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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

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PROHIBITION

I don't think prohibition is practical. The Germans, you see, prevent it. Look at them. I am sorry to learn that they have just invented a method of making brandy out of Sawdust. Now, what chance will prohibition have when a man can take a rip saw and go out and get drunk with a fence rail? What is the good of prohibition if a man is able to make brandy smashes out of the shingles of his roof, or if he can get delirium tremens by drinking the legs off his kitchen table.
- quoted in "Educators, Authors." Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1908, pg. VI14. (An earlier and similar version of this interview appeared in Dallas Morning News, December 22, 1907 stating it was obtained by a W.C.T.U. woman during an Atlantic crossing earlier that year. In that version the last word "table" was replaced with "chair.")

Grant 63 blotter
Blotter advertising Grant 63 Whiskey issued by Joseph P. Spang, distributor,
Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1910.
The label is illustrated with an image of
General Ulysses S. Grant on horseback.

What marriage is to morality, a properly conducted licensed liquor traffic is to sobriety. In fact, the more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1895

Temperate temperance is best. Intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance, while temperate temperance helps it in its fight against intemperate intemperance. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1896

It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

Also see: Temperance and Pledge

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