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 Post subject: A tid bit from Mark Twain on smoking and pleasure
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Posts: 2738
The Moral Statistician - Mark Twain
Originally published in Sketches, Old and New, 1893

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.
You are blind to the fact that most old men in America smoke and drink coffee, although, according to your theory, they ought to have died young; and that hearty old Englishmen drink wine and survive it, and portly old Dutchmen both drink and smoke freely, and yet grow older and fatter all the time. And you never try to find out how much solid comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment a man derives from smoking in the course of a lifetime (which is worth ten times the money he would save by letting it alone), nor the appalling aggregate of happiness lost in a lifetime by your kind of people from not smoking. Of course you can save money by denying yourself all those little vicious enjoyments for fifty years; but then what can you do with it? What use can you put it to? Money can't save your infinitesimal soul. All the use that money can be put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in this life; therefore, as you are an enemy to comfort and enjoyment where is the use of accumulating cash?
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. And you never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor wretch, seeing you in a good humor, will try to borrow a dollar of you; and in church you are always down on your knees, with your ears buried in the cushion, when the contribution-box comes around; and you never give the revenue officers a full statement of your income.
Now you know all these things yourself, don't you? Very well, then, what is the use of your stringing out your miserable lives to a lean and withered old age? What is the use of your saving money that is so utterly worthless to you? In a word, why don't you go off somewhere and die, and not be always trying to seduce people into becoming as ornery and unlovable as you are yourselves, by your villainous "moral statistics"?
Now, I don't approve of dissipation, and I don't indulge in it either; but I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices. And so I don't want to hear from you any more. I think you are the very same man who read me a long lecture last week about the degrading vice of smoking cigars, and then came back, in my absence, with your reprehensible fire-proof gloves on, and carried off my beautiful parlor stove.


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 Post subject: Re: A tid bit from Mark Twain on smoking and pleasure
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:34 am
Posts: 315
Location: Virginia, USA
Howdy Jack,

Enjoyed reading the article! Thanks for posting it. Chuck.


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 Post subject: Re: A tid bit from Mark Twain on smoking and pleasure
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
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Location: West Central Fl.
thanks for posting this . said by a real master. master of words and master of living . lee


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 Post subject: Re: A tid bit from Mark Twain on smoking and pleasure
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:13 am
Posts: 2056
Hi --

Just beautiful! I certainly won't compare myself to that great man, but I've expressed many of the same sentiments Clemens wrote in that sketch and in this forum (see Health Benefits of Tobacco topic).

I wonder who was complaining about parlor stoves and why?

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: A tid bit from Mark Twain on smoking and pleasure
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:34 pm
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Quote:
I wonder who was complaining about parlor stoves and why?


Probably the same people (type) who have outlawed fireplaces in new construction in certain areas of California. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: A tid bit from Mark Twain on smoking and pleasure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 1573
Location: West Central Fl.
I just reread this 5th time lol. :lol: and thought 1893=115+years and saying same thing . That type or group of people claiming no vice lecturing those that do have a vice (enjoyment) amd then steal from them. Think missing stove=unfair taxes. think it is great post .Also amazed that it has not been destroyed. Needs to be posted on all goverment buildings.
When someone says smoking is their vice. what does that mean?

It is basically a guilty pleasure. Something you know you shouldn't do but do it anyhow. Like having a Scotch when you get home from work every night.
It could be harmful to you but you do it anyways.

Amazing in 1992 My doctor told me to have a drink with every evening meal. He said 1 glass red wine OR one beer, one wine any type or one drink any wiskey etc. so doc orders i drink a (1) drink every night . so is not a vice . ergo smoking is not been shown to me to be something not to do. wife smokes weight stays 125# quits and goes to 170# so she smokes and I have no complaints. Smoking seems to be weight program so seems to me.
Smoking is not a vice . All matter of opinuin and to me mine is best.lee


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