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the philosophy that has solved human doubts and has administered to human wants, came after men had begun to smoke.
Alas, that we should have to write it—but we must be true to ourselves and our country-a feeble philosophy, a maudlin morality, has sprung up in our midst, under the influence of which, some few benighted men have sought to introduce innovations into society, in spite of all rhyme and reason, at variance with the wisdom of our ancestors, and the fundamental constitution of man. The results are chartism, Benthamism, teetotalism, and socialism. From their scheme of life do these shallow-pated reformers strike out the passions that ennoble, the poetry that leads to heaven, the thoughts that wander through all time and space; the noblest attributes of our common humanity they overlook-nay, the very conditions of life they misunderstand. As their mind is never overtaxed, they do not see that sometimes they require rest. Good fellowship, and all that leads to it, is with them a waste of time. There are men who will tell
“Wine, mighty wine-" wine, that makes glad the heart of man-is poison; and that smoking is a folly which wise men should shun. It is expensive, and a waste of money, says the miser. It is low, says the vulgar struggler after the genteel-never did his mother's son make a more egregious mistake. If money do not aid in acquiring pleasure, what is it worth more than the dirt we trample under foot ? and a custom sanctioned by so many of the really wise and great, can never rightly be described as low. Rather may they be termed low who use the phrase, and who thus show how low and conventional is their rule of judgment, their ultimate appeal. Was the late Duke of Sussex low? what dealer in curiosities has not one or other of his meerschaums for sale ? Was Byron low ? Hear what he says--a fitting judge—for
" Smokers alone the joy of smoke can know.” Hear the aristocratic bard
“ Sublime tobacco, which, from east to west,
Cheers the tar's labour, and the Frenchman's rest;
Was Lady Hester Stanhope-she, as well born and bred as any woman that ever dazzled in high life—was she low? and did not she smoke till her dying day? Is George Sand, the most eloquent of female writers, low ? and there are but few of either sex that can smoke more gracefully than she. Can that custom be low which is sanctioned by all the respectable females in China ? for there, according to Mr. Barnes, girls of nine or ten carry about with them a bag, in which is contained their tobacco and pipe. Is not the cigarette in the lips of beauty-such beauty as buds and blooms in the sunny southan accompaniment most graceful, yet most deadly to the heart of man? Chesterfield considered it low to laugh; Beau Brummell, though he once confessed to having eaten a green pea, considered it low to eat vegetables; some of the fine ladies in Fielding's comedies considered it low to walk; and by suchby all women without susceptibility, and men without sensewe are quite content that smoking should be considered low. There are persons—it is no original remark of ours--whose blame is praise. We would not hang ourselves, were we to excite Robert Owen's indignation, or Father Matthew's ire.
There are some things that should be remembered without the aid of Grey's Memoria Technica. The date of the introduction of tobacco is one of these. The custom of smoking spread as wildfire. It was no sooner introduced than it became universal. King James, in that most foolish and illogical performance, the Counterblast, ever penned by royal-pen, estimates that some gentlenien spent three or four hundred a year in smoke. This was long before the commencement of our present enormous duty. To smoke, at that time, was considered wholesome and edifying, good both for the body and the mind of man.
The universality of the custom appears from the "Panacea, or the Universal Medicine, being a Discovery of the wonderful virtues of Tobacco. By Dr. Everard. 1659. The writer says,
“ The necessity of tobacco, and maintaining the plantations of it, is almost as great, if we do but consider who they are that buy it only for their own drinking, and cannot abstain from it. Seamen will be supplied with it for their long voyages. Soldiers want it when they keep guard all night, or are upon other hard duties, in cold and tempestuous weather. Farmers, ploughmen, porters, and almost all labouring men plead for it, saying they find great refreshment by it; and very many would as soon part with their necessary food, as they would be totally deprived of the use of tobacco. The nobility and gentry, who find no fault with it but that it is too common amongst the vulgar, do ordinarily make it the compliment of all their entertainment, and ofttimes all their
entertainment besides is but a compliment. Scholars use it much, and many grave and great men take tobacco to make them more serviceable in their callings. Tobacco is grown to be not only the physic, but even the meat and drink of many men, women, and children. In a word, it hath prevailed so far, that there is no living without it; that notwithstanding the vast plantations of it in the West Indies, all our cornfields would soon be turned to gardens of tobacco, were not men restrained from it by the civil magistrate. It is like Elias's cloud, which was no bigger at first than a man's hand, that hath suddenly covered the face of the earth. The low countries, Germany, Poland, Arabia, Persia, Turkey-almost all countries
-derive a trade from it, and there is no commodity that hath advanced so many from small fortunes to gain great estates, in the world.”
Nor does our author stop here. The gift is so great, it must be received with trembling. “I confess," says he, “that tobacco is a plant of God's making, and it hath many admirable faculties in it, and the fault is not in the leaf, though it be sophisticated by some, and inordinately abused by others; yet there is some reason to suspect that there has been much of the cunning of the devil, and of man's perverse understanding, employed in the large propagation of it, because that Christians, Jews, Turks, and Infidels—almost all mankind, who are naturally so averse from all that is good, and prone to nothing but mischief—are so delighted with it. But in my opinion, the providence of God intended, by discovering this herb to Christians amongst the Indians, that by their daily commerce the gospel of Jesus Christ should be made known to those heathen people, who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. The devil was much afraid of it, as I was informed by one born in England, of Spanish parentage. For, when the Christians came first among the Indians, and began to convert them to the Christian faith (as there appeared some symptoms of zeal at the beginning, though it soon grew cold at the sight of gain), the devil threatened to revenge himself on the Christians, by teaching them to take tobacco, which having once tasted, they should never be able to refrain from it. We see, indeed, that Christians are so much affected with it, that they cannot forbear it; but the devil seems to be more afraid than hurt, to think that Christians now-a-days do withdraw more barbarous people from his service.”
Thus does he estimate its advantages : -- "First, it is the great friend of physicians, though it be a physical plant, for the very smoke of it is held to be a great antidote against all nervous and pestilential diseases. It is also singular against
the colic, and therefore King James merrily said that was the way to take it.
to take it. But the Duke of Savoy, who was so cured by it, was of another mind. The Irish are altogether for snuff tobacco, to purge their brains. The Indians swallow the smoke against weariness, till they fall into an extasy. The upper Scout of Amsterdam, as some report, chews it against all diseases, aod likes it better than partridge or pheasant. But the ordinary way, to suck it from a pipe and puff it again, is held the best way to cure rheums or distillations from the head. It works such contrary effects, that philosophers contend almost as much about it as chemists do concerning mercury; they cannot certainly conclude whether it be hot and dry or cold and moist; for it quencheth thirst, and yet it is the fittest thing to draw down drink and to make men dry; it abates hunger, and yet is excellent to provoke a man's appetite to meat. It is a fit companion for mirth or melancholy; it will make one sleep who wants rest, yet it will keep a scholar waking in his study, and a soldier upon his guard. It puts physicians to a nonplus, for it agrees with all ages, sexes, and tempers. D. Veuner, in his “ Vita Recta ad Longam Vitam," allows any man, be he choleric, phlegmatique, sanguine, or melancholique, six pipes a day. "Wherefore some object that it is a vain thing. I answer with Solomon, so are all things else—" Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
We could quote many more testimonies of a similar character. Howel, in his preface to the “ Organon Salutis” of Judge Rumsey, says, “Concerning tobacco, which the Spaniards call La Yerva Santa, the holy herb, in regard of the sundry vertues it hath, without doubt, 'tis a wholesome vegetable, if rightly applied and seasonably taken. It is a good companion to sedentary men and students, when they are stupified by long reading and writing, by dissipating those vapours which used to becloud the brain. The smoke of it is passing good against all contagious airs, insomuch that if one takes two or three puffs in the morning, before he goes abroad, there is no infectious air can fasten upon him, for it keeps out all other scents, according to the axiom, intus eristens prohibet alienum.'” Even the author, a Mr. Sylvester, of a most unfortunate performance entitled, “ Tobacco Blasted, and the pipes shattered about their ears that idly idolize so loose and barbarous a weed, or at leastwise over love so loathsome a vanity,” is obliged to confess that the custom, pernicious as he deemed it, every where prevailed. In lines more forcible than beautiful he explains,
“O, great tobacco! greater than great Can,
Great Turk, great Tartar, or great Tamerlane ;
With vulture's wings thou hast (and swifter yet
Nay, more than this, the enemies of tobacco themselves were compelled to bear witness in its favour. Thus, the publisher of several arguments against tobacco in the year 1672, and who calls himself “Philanthropos,” thus concludes his precious medley, “ Such as are so resolved against tobacco, that they cannot forbear it, let what can be said against it, so that neither the good and solid persuasions of a great, wise, and learned king, nor the wholesome and rational arguments of two able and skilful physicians, will be of force to prevail with them, my
advice to such is, while they take it to meditate on this poem following, by which they may be able to make this double spiritual use of it
1. To see the vanity of the world.
II. The mortality of mankind,which I think is the best use that can be made of it and the pipe, ora
“ That Indian weed, withered quite,
“ The pipe that is so lily white,
Shows thee to be a mortal wight;
“And when the smoke ascends on high,
Think thou behold’st the vanity
“And when the pipe grows foul within,
Think on thy soul, defiled with sin,
“ The ashes that are left behind,
May serve to put thee still in mind,