Quotation by Mark Twain

When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a steamboatman. We had transient ambitions of other sorts, but they were only transient. When a circus came and went, it left us all burning to become clowns; the first negro minstrel show that came to our section left us all suffering to try that kind of life; now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates. These ambitions faded out, each in its turn; but the ambition to be a steamboatman always remained.
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910), U.S. author. "Old Times on the Mississippi," Atlantic Monthly (1874). Life on the Mississippi, ch. 4 (1883).
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