Mark Twain on the Anti-Smoking Police

(and Busybodies In General )



” Today’s Wall Street Journal reprinted a delightful five-paragraph excerpt from a 1893 essay by Mark Twain titled “The Moral Statistician.”  It is worth a few minutes of attention because it illustrates how far we’ve traveled from the days when politically incorrect truths could be voiced without fear of condemnation and censorship by the mainstream media.”


   To those of you who , like us , bemoan the endless parade of PC drivel coming from the ” powers that be ” whether leftist do-gooders or the official authorities in DC and the statehouses , it may bring some small measure of comfort to know that this nanny tendency predates us . Leave it to Mark Twain to set the Bloombergs of the world in their place . 



Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



” I don’t want any of your statistics; I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it.

I hate your kind of people. You are always ciphering out how much a man’s health is injured, and how much his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety-two years’ indulgence in the fatal practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc. etc. And you are always figuring out how many women have been burned to death because of the dangerous fashion of wearing expansive hoops, etc. etc. You never see more than one side of the question.

It won’t do for you to say that you can use it to better purpose in furnishing a good table, and in charities, and in supporting tract societies, because you know yourself that you people who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and hungry. . . . “