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About Smoking

My Brother Henry
Strictly speaking I never had a brother Henry, and yet I...

The Romance Of A Pipe-cleaner
We continued to visit the _Arcadia_, though only one at ...

House-boat Arcadia
Scrymgeour had a house-boat called, of course, the _Arcadia...

Abuse And Praise Of Tobacco
This is my friend Abel, an honest fellow; He lets me...

Smoking Under King William Iii And Queen Anne
Hail! social pipe--thou foe of care, Companion of my...

Gilray's Dream
Conceive me (said Gilray, with glowing face) invited to wri...

The Murder In The Inn
Sometimes I think it is all a dream, and that I did not rea...

The Perils Of Not Smoking
When the Arcadians heard that I had signed an agreement ...

Later Victorian Days
When life was all a summer day, And I was under tw...

Primus is my brother's eldest son, and he once spent his Ea...

A Face That Haunted Marriot
This is not a love affair, Marriot shouted, apologetically....

Man Know Thy-self

Smoking By Women
Ladies, when pipes are brought, affect to swoon; The...

The Arcadia Mixture Again
One day, some weeks after we left Scrymgeour's house-boa...

Cavalier And Roundhead Smokers
A custom lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, ...

English-grown Tobacco
Pettigrew asked me to come to his house one evening and tes...

The Grandest Scene In History
Though Scrymgeour only painted in watercolors, I think--...

My First Cigar
It was not in my chambers, but three hundred miles furth...

Jimmy's Dream
I see before me (said Jimmy, savagely) a court, where I, Ja...

My Last Pipe
The night of my last smoke drew near without any demonst...

Abuse And Praise Of Tobacco

This is my friend Abel, an honest fellow;
He lets me have good tobacco.

BEN JONSON, _The Alchemist._

The druggists and other tradesmen who sold tobacco in Elizabethan and
Jacobean days had every provision for the convenience of their
numerous customers. Some so-called druggists, it may be shrewdly
suspected, did much more business in tobacco than they did in drugs.
Dekker tells us of an apothecary and his wife who had no customers
resorting to their shop for any phisicall stuffe, but whose shop had
many frequenters in the shape of gentlemen who came to take their
pipes of the divine smoake. That tobacco was often the most
profitable part of a druggist's stock is also clear from the last
sentence in Bishop Earle's character of A Tobacco-Seller, one of the
shortest in that remarkable collection of Characters which the
Bishop issued in 1628 under the title of Micro-Cosmographie.

A Tobacco-Seller, says Earle, is the onely man that findes good in
it which others brag of, but do not; for it is meate, drinke, and
clothes to him. No man opens his ware with greater seriousnesse, or
challenges your judgement more in the approbation. His shop is the
Randevous of spitting, where men dialogue with their noses, and their
communication is smoake. It is the place onely where Spaine is
commended, and prefer'd before England itselfe. He should be well
experienc'd in the world: for he ha's daily tryall of mens nostrils,
and none is better acquainted with humors. Hee is the piecing commonly
of some other trade which is bawde to his Tobacco, and that to his
wife, which is the flame that follows this smoke.

This brief Character is hardly so pointed or so effective as some of
the others in the Micro-Cosmographie, but it would seem that the
Bishop was not very friendly to tobacco. In the character of A
Drunkard he says: Tobacco serves to aire him after a washing [_i.e._
a drinking-bout], and is his onely breath, and breathing while. In
another, a tavern is the common consumption of the Afternoone, and
the murderer, or maker away of a rainy day. It is the Torrid Zone that
scorches the face, and Tobacco the gunpowder that blows it up.

The druggist-tobacconists were well stocked with abundance of
pipes--those known as Winchester pipes were highly popular--with maple
blocks for cutting or shredding the tobacco upon, juniper wood
charcoal fires, and silver tongs with which the hot charcoal could be
lifted to light the customer's pipe. The maple block was in constant
use in those days, when the many present forms of prepared tobacco and
varied mixtures were unknown. In Middleton and Dekker's Roaring
Girl, 1611, the mincing and shredding of tobacco is mentioned; and
in the same play, by the way, we are told that a pipe of rich smoak
was sold for sixpence.

The tobacco-tongs were more properly called ember-or brand-tongs. They
sometimes had a tobacco-stopper riveted in near the axis of the tongs,
and thus could be easily distinguished from other kinds of tongs. An
example in the Guildhall Museum, made of brass, and probably of late
seventeenth-century date, has the end of one of the handles formed
into a stopper. In the same collection there are several pairs of
ember-tongs with handles or jaws decorated. In one or two a handle
terminates in a hook, by which they could be hung up when not required
for use. In that delightful book of pictures and gossip concerning old
household and farming gear, and old-fashioned domestic plenishings of
many kinds, called Old West Surrey, Miss Jekyll figures two pairs of
old ember-or brand-tongs. One of these quite deserves the praise which
she bestows upon it. Its lines, says Miss Jekyll, fill one with the
satisfaction caused by a thing that is exactly right, and with
admiration for the art and skill of a true artist. These homely tongs
are fashioned with a fine eye for symmetry, and, indeed, for beauty of
design and perfect fitness for the intended purpose. The ends which
were to pick up the coal are shaped like two little hands, while the
edges have slight mouldings and even a low bead enrichment. The
circular flat on the side away from the projecting stopper has two
tiny engraved pictures; on one side of the joint a bottle and tall
wine-glass, on the other a pair of long clay pipes crossed, and a bowl
of tobacco shown in section. This beautiful little implement bears
the engraved name of its Surrey maker, and the date 1795.

Country-folk nowadays often light their pipes in the old way, by
picking up a live coal, or, in Ireland, a fragment of glowing peat,
from the kitchen fire, with the ordinary tongs, and applying it to the
pipe-bowl; but the old ember-tongs are seldom seen. They may still be
found in some farmhouses and country cottages, which have not been
raided by the agents of dealers in antique furniture and implements,
but examples are rare. This is a digression, however, which has
carried us far away from the early years of the seventeenth century.

It is pretty clear that not a few of the druggists who sold tobacco
were great rascals. Ben Jonson has let us into some of their secrets
of adulteration--the treatment of the leaf with oil and the lees of
sack, the increase of its weight by other artificial additions to its
moisture, washing it in muscadel and grains, keeping it in greased
leather and oiled rags buried in gravel under ground, and by like
devices. Other writers speak of black spice, galanga, aqua vitae,
Spanish wine, aniseeds and other things as being used for purposes of

Trickery of another kind is revealed in a scene in Chapman's play A
Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599. A customer at an ordinary says: Hark
you, my host, have you a pipe of good tobacco? The best in the
town, says mine host, after the manner of his class. Boy, dry a
leaf. Quietly the boy tells him, There's none in the house, sir, to
which the worthy host replies _sotto voce_, Dry a dock leaf. But the
diner's potations must have been powerful if they had left him unable
to distinguish between the taste of tobacco and that of dried

Sometimes coltsfoot was mixed with tobacco. Ursula, the pig-woman and
refreshment-booth keeper in Bartholomew Fair, in Ben Jonson's play of
that name, says to her assistant: Threepence a pipe-full I will have
made, of all my whole half-pound of tobacco and a quarter of a pound
of coltsfoot mixt with it too to eke it out.

The fumes of dried coltsfoot leaves were used as a remedy in cases of
difficulty of breathing, both in ancient Roman times and in Tudor
England. Lyte, in his translation, 1578, of Dodoens' Historie of
Plants, says of coltsfoot: The parfume of the dryed leaves layde
upon quicke coles, taken into the mouth through the pipe of a funnell,
or tunnell, helpeth suche as are troubled with the shortnesse of
winde, and fetche their breath thicke or often, and do [_sic_] breake
without daunger the impostems of the breast. The leaves of coltsfoot
and of other plants have often been used as a substitute for tobacco
in modern days. A correspondent of _Notes and Queries_, in 1897, said
that when he was a boy he knew an old Calvinist minister, who used to
smoke a dried mixture of the leaves of horehound, yarrow and foal's
foot intermingled with a small quantity of tobacco. He said it was a
very good substitute for the genuine article. Similar mixtures, or the
leaves of coltsfoot alone, have often been smoked in bygone days by
folk who could not afford to smoke tobacco only.

The number of shops where tobacco was sold in the early days of its
triumph seems to have been extraordinary. Barnaby Rich, one of the
most prolific parents of pamphlets in an age of prolific writers,
wrote a satire on The Honestie of this Age, which was printed in
1614. In this production Rich declares that every fellow who came into
an ale-house and called for his pot, must have his pipe also, for
tobacco was then a commodity as much sold in every tavern, inn and
ale-house as wine, ale, or beer. He goes on to say that apothecaries'
shops, grocers' shops, and chandlers' shops were (almost) never
without company who from morning to night were still taking tobacco;
and what a number there are besides, he adds, that doe keepe houses,
set open shoppes, that have no other trade to live by but by the
selling of tobacco. Rich says he had been told that a list had been
recently made of all the houses that traded in tobacco in and near
about London, and that if a man might believe what was confidently
reported, there were found to be upwards of 7000 houses that lived by
that trade; but he could not say whether the apothecaries', grocers'
and chandlers' shops, where tobacco was also sold, were included in
that number. He proceeds to calculate what the annual expenditure on
smoke must be. The number of 7000 seems very large and is perhaps
exaggerated. Round numbers are apt to be over rather than under the

Another proof of the extraordinary popularity of the new habit is to
be found in the fact that by the seventeenth year of the reign of
James I--the arch-enemy of tobacco--that is, by 1620, the Society of
Tobacco-pipe-makers had become so very numerous and considerable a
body that they were incorporated by royal charter, and bore on their
shield a tobacco plant in full blossom. The Society's motto was
happily chosen--Let brotherly love continue.

A further witness to the prevalence of smoking and to the enormous
number of tobacco-sellers' shops is Camden, the antiquary. In his
Annales, 1625, he remarks with curious detail that since its
introduction--that Indian plant called Tobacco, or Nicotiana, is
growne so frequent in use and of such price, that many, nay, the most
part, with an insatiable desire doe take of it, drawing into their
mouth the smoke thereof, which is of a strong scent, through a pipe
made of earth, and venting of it againe through their nose; some for
wantownesse, or rather fashion sake, and other for health sake,
insomuch that Tobacco shops are set up in greater number than either
Alehouses or Tavernes.

One result of the herb's popularity was found in frequent attempts by
tradesmen of various kinds to sell it without being duly licensed to
do so. Mr. W.G. Bell, in his valuable book on Fleet Street in Seven
Centuries, mentions the arrest of a Fleet Street grocer by the Star
Chamber for unlicensed trading in tobacco. He also quotes from the St.
Dunstan's Wardmote Register of 1630 several cases of complaint against
unlicensed traders and others. Four men were presented for selling
ale and tobacco unlicensed, and for annoying the Judges of Serjeants
Inn whose chambers are near adjoyning. Two other men, one of them
hailing from the notorious Ram Alley, were presented for annoying the
Judges at Serjeants Inn with the stench and smell of their tobacco,
which looks as if the Judges were of King James's mind about smoking.
The same Register of 1630 records the presentment of two men of the
same family name--Thomas Bouringe and Philip Bouringe--for keeping
open their shops and selling tobacco at unlawful hours, and having
disorderly people in their house to the great disturbance of all the
inhabitants and neighbours near adjoining. The Ram Alley, Fleet
Street, mentioned above, was notorious in sundry ways. Mr. Bell
mentions that in 1618 the wardmote laid complaint against Timothy
Louse and John Barker, of Ram Alley, for keeping their
tobacco-shoppes open all night and fyers in the same without any
chimney and suffering hot waters [spirits] and selling also without
licence, to the great disquietness and annoyance of that
neighbourhood. There were sad goings on of many kinds in Ram Alley.

It is uncertain when licences were first issued for the sale of
tobacco. Probably they were issued in London some time before it was
considered necessary to license dealers in other parts of the country.
Among the Municipal Records of Exeter is the following note: 358.
Whitehall, 31 August 1633. The Lords of the Council to the Chamber.
'Whereas his Ma^tie to prevent the excesse of the use of Tobacco, and
to set an order to those that regrate and sell or utter it by retayle,
who observe noe reasonable rates or prizes [prices], nor take care
that it be wholsome for men's bodyes that shall use it,' has caused
letters to be sent to the chief Officers of Citties and towns
requiring them to certify 'in what places it might be fitt to suffer
ye retayleing of Tobacco and how many be licenced in each of those
places to use trade'; and the City of Exeter having made a return the
Lords sent a list of those which are to be licensed, and order that no
others be permitted to sell.

In the neighbouring county of Somerset the Justices of the Peace sent
presentments to the Council in 1632 of persons within the Hundred of
Milverton and Kingsbury West thought fit to sell tobacco by retail;
and for Wiveliscombe, Mr. Hancock says in his book on that old town, a
mercer and a hosier were selected.

It would seem, from one example I have noted, as if in some places
smoking were not allowed in public-houses. In the account-book of St.
Stephen's Church and Parish, Norwich, the income for the year 1628-29
included on one occasion 20s. received by way of fine from one Edmond
Nockals for selling a pot of beer wanting in measure, contrary to the
law, and another sovereign from William Howlyns for a like offence.
This is right and intelligible enough; but on another occasion in the
same year each of these men, who presumably were ale-house keepers,
had to pay 30s.--a substantial sum considering the then value of
money--for the same offence and for suffering parishioners to smoke
in his house. I have been unable to obtain any information as to why
a publican should have been fined an additional 10s. for the heinous
offence of allowing a brother parishioner to smoke in his house.

Penalties for offences of this fanciful kind were not common in
England; but in Puritan New England they were abundant. In the early
days of the American Colonies the use of the creature called Tobacko
was by no means encouraged. In Connecticut a man was permitted by the
law to smoke once if he went on a journey of ten miles, but not more
than once a day and by no means in another man's house. It could
hardly have been difficult to evade so absurd a regulation as this.

It has been already stated that the Elizabethan gallant was
acquainted with the most fashionable methods of inhaling and exhaling
the smoke of tobacco. A singular feature of the enthusiasm for tobacco
in the early years of the seventeenth century was the existence of
professors of the art of smoking.

Some of the apothecaries whose shops were in most repute for the
quality of the tobacco kept, took pupils and taught them the
slights, as tricks with the pipe were called. These included
exhaling the smoke in little globes, rings and so forth. The
invaluable Ben Jonson, in the preliminary account of the characters in
his Every Man out of his Humour, 1600, describes one Sogliardo as
an essential clown ... yet so enamoured of the name of a gentleman
that he will have it though he buys it. He comes up every term to
learn to take tobacco and see new motions. Sogliardo was accustomed
to hire a private room to practise in. The fashionable way was to
expel the smoke through the nose. In a play by Field of 1618, a
foolish nobleman is asked by some boon companions in a tavern: Will
your lordship take any tobacco? when another sneers, 'Sheart! he
cannot put it through his nose! His lordship was apparently not well
versed in the slights.

Taking tobacco was clearly an accomplishment to be studied seriously.
Shift, a professor of the art in Jonson's play, puts up a bill in St.
Paul's--the recognized centre for advertisements and commercial
business of every kind--in which he offers to teach any young
gentleman newly come into his inheritance, who wishes to be as exactly
qualified as the best of the ordinary-hunting gallants are--to
entertain the most gentlemanlike use of tobacco; as first, to give it
the most exquisite perfume; then to know all the delicate sweet forms
for the assumption of it; as also the rare corollary and practice of
the Cuban ebolition, euripus and whiff, which he shall receive, or
take in here at London, and evaporate at Uxbridge, or farther, if it
please him.

Taking the whiff, it has been suggested, may have been either a
swallowing of the smoke, or a retaining it in the throat for a given
space of time; but what may be meant by the Cuban ebolition or the
euripus is perhaps best left to the imagination. Ebolition is
simply a variant of ebullition, and ebullition, as applied with
burlesque intent to rapid smoking--the vapour bubbling rapidly from
the pipe-bowl--is intelligible enough, but why Cuban? Euripus was
the name, in ancient geography, of the channel between Euboea
(Negropont) and the mainland--a passage which was celebrated for the
violence and uncertainty of its currents--and hence the name was
occasionally applied by our older writers to any strait or sea-channel
having like characteristics. The use of the word in connexion with
tobacco may, like that of ebolition, have some reference to furious
smoking, but the meaning is not clear.

If one contemporary writer may be believed, some of these early
smokers acquired the art of emitting the smoke through their ears, but
a healthy scepticism is permissible here.

The accomplished Shift promises a would-be pupil in the art of taking
tobacco that if he pleases to be a practitioner, he shall learn in a
fortnight to take it plausibly in any ordinary, theatre, or the
Tiltyard, if need be, in the most popular assembly that is. The
Tiltyard adjoined Whitehall Palace and was the frequent scene of
sports in which Queen Elizabeth took the greatest delight. Here took
place, not only tilting properly so called, but rope-walking
performances, bear- and bull-baiting, dancing and other diversions
which her Majesty held in high favour. Consequently the Tiltyard was
constantly the scene of courtly gatherings; and if smoking were
permitted on such occasions--as Shift's boasting promises would appear
to indicate--then it may be reasonably inferred that Queen Elizabeth
did not entertain the objections to the new practice that her
successor, King James, set forth with such vehemence in his famous
Counterblaste to Tobacco. There is, however, no positive evidence
one way or the other, to show what the attitude of the Virgin Queen
towards tobacco really was. A tradition as to her smoking herself on
one occasion is referred to in a subsequent chapter--that on Smoking
by Women.

Although tobacco was in such general use it yet had plenty of enemies.
It was extravagantly abused and extravagantly praised. Robert Burton,
of Anatomy of Melancholy fame, like many other writers of his time,
was prepared to admit the medicinal value of the herb, though he
detested the general habit of smoking. Tobacco was supposed in those
days to be good for a surprising variety of ailments and diseases;
but to explore that little section of popular medicine would be
foreign to my purpose. Burton believed in tobacco as medicine; but
with regard to habitual smoking he was a worthy follower of King
James, the strength of whose language he sought to emulate and exceed
when he denounced the common taking of tobacco by most men, which
take it as tinkers do ale--as a plague, a mischief, a violent purger
of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish, and damned tobacco, the
ruin and overthrow of body and soul. No anti-tobacconist could wish
for a more whole-hearted denunciation than that.

Thomas Dekker, to whose pictures of London social life at the opening
of the seventeenth century we are so much indebted for information
both with regard to smoking and in respect of many other matters of
interest, was himself an enemy of tobacco. He politely refers to that
great Tobacconist, the Prince of Smoake and Darkness, Don Pluto; and
in another place addresses tobacco as thou beggarly Monarche of
Indians, and setter up of rotten-lungd chimney-sweepers, and proceeds
in a like strain of abuse.

One of the most curious of the early publications on tobacco, in which
an attempt is made to hold the balance fairly between the legitimate
use and the licentious abuse of the herb, is Tobias Venner's tract
with the long-winded title: A Brief and Accurate Treatise concerning
The taking of the Fume of Tobacco, Which very many, in these dayes doe
too licenciously use. In which the immoderate, irregular, and
unseasonable use thereof is reprehended, and the true nature and best
manner of using it, perspicuously demonstrated. Venner described
himself as a doctor of physic in Bath, and his tract was published in
London in 1637. Venner says that tobacco is of ineffable force for
the rapid healing of wounds, cuts, sores and so on, by external
application, but thinks little of its use for any other purpose. Like
others of his school, he attacks the licentious Tobacconists
[smokers] who spend and consume, not only their time, but also their
health, wealth, and witts in taking of this loathsome and unsavorie
fume. He admits the popularity of the herb, but expresses his own
personal objection to the detestable savour or smack that it leaveth
behind upon the taking of it; from which one is inclined to surmise
that the doctor's first pipe was not an entire success. With an
evident desire to be fair, Venner, notwithstanding his dislike of the
savour, refuses to condemn tobacco utterly, because of what he
considers its valuable medicinal qualities, and he goes so far as to
give 10 precepts in the use of tobacco. The sixth is that you drink
not between the taking of the fumes, as our idle and smoakie
Tobacconists are wont--there must be no alliance, in short, between
the pipe and the cheerful glass. The tenth and last precept is that
you goe not abroad into the aire presently [immediately] upon the
taking of the fume, but rather refrain therefrom the space of halfe an
houre, or more, especially if the season be cold, or moist. The
suggestion that the smoker, when he has finished his pipe, shall wait
for half an hour or so before he ventures into the outer air is very

Venner goes on to give a terrible catalogue of the ills that will
befall the smoker who uses tobacco contrary to the order and way I
have set down. It is a dreadful list which may possibly have
frightened a few nervous smokers; but probably it had no greater
effect than the terrible curse in the Jackdaw of Rheims.

Another tract which may be classed with Venner's Treatise was the
Nepenthes or the Vertues of Tobacco, by Dr. William Barclay, which
was published at Edinburgh in 1614. This is sometimes referred to and
quoted, as by Fairholt, as if it were a whole-hearted defence of
tobacco-taking. But Barclay enlarges mainly on the medicinal virtues
of the herb. If Tabacco, he says, were used physically and with
discretion there were no medicament in the worlde comparable to it;
and again: In Tabacco there is nothing which is not medicine, the
root, the stalke, the leaves, the seeds, the smoake, the ashes. The
doctor gives sundry directions for administering tobacco--to be used
in infusion, in decoction, in substance, in smoke, in salt. But
Barclay clearly does not sympathize with its indiscriminate use for
pleasure. As concerning the smoke, he says, it may be taken more
frequently, and for the said effects, but always fasting, and with
emptie stomack, not as the English abusers do, which make a smoke-boxe
of their skull, more fit to be carried under his arme that selleth at
Paris _dunoir a noircir_ to blacke mens shooes then to carie the
braine of him that can not walke, can not ryde except the Tabacco Pype
be in his mouth. He goes on to say that he was once in company with
an English merchant in Normandy--betweene Rowen and New-haven--who
was a merry fellow, but was constantly wanting a coal to kindle his
tobacco. The Frenchman wondered and I laughed at his intemperancie.

It is a little curious, considering the devotion of latter-day men of
letters to tobacco, that in their early days so many of the men who
wrote on the subject attacked the social use of tobacco with violence
and virulence. Perhaps, courtier-like, they followed the lead of the
British Solomon, King James I. Their titles are characteristic of
their style. A writer named Deacon published in 1616 a quarto entitled
Tobacco tortured in the filthy Fumes of Tobacco refined; but Joshua
Sylvester had easily surpassed this when he wrote his Tobacco
Battered and the Pipes Shattered about their Eares, that idely Idolize
so base and barbarous a Weed, or at least overlove so loathsome a
Vanity, by a Volley of Holy Shot Thundered from Mount Helicon, 1615.
Controversialists of that period rejoiced in full-worded titles and in
full-blooded praise or abuse.

Deacon, as the title of his book just quoted shows, was very fond of
alliteration, and one sentence of his diatribe may be quoted. He
warned his readers that tobacco-smoke was very pernicious unto their
bodies, too profluvious for many of their purses, and most pestiferous
to the publike State. Much may be forgiven, however, to the
introducer of so charming a term of abuse as profluvious. Deacon's
book takes the form of a dialogue, and after nearly 200 pages of
argument, in which the unfortunate herb gets no mercy, one of the
interlocutors, a trader in tobacco, is so convinced of the iniquity of
his trade, and of his own parlous state if he continue therein, that
he declares that the two hundred pounds' worth of this beastly
tobacco which he owns, shall presently packe to the fire, or else
be sent swimming down the Thames.

Many good folk would seem to have associated smoking with idling. In
the rules of the Grammar School at Chigwell, Essex, which was founded
in 1629, it is prescribed that the Master must be a man of sound
religion, neither a Papist nor a Puritan, of a grave behaviour, and
sober and honest conversation, no tippler or haunter of alehouses, no
puffer of tobacco. A worthy Derbyshire man named Campbell, in his
will dated 20 October 1616, left all his household goods to his son,
on this condition that yf at any time hereafter, any of his brothers
or sisters shall fynd him takeing of tobacco, that then he or she so
fynding him, shall have the said goods--a testamentary arrangement
which suggests to the fancy some amusing strategic evasions and
manoeuvres on the part of the conditional legatee and his watchful

A converse view of smoking may be seen in Izaak Walton's Life of Sir
Henry Wotton, who died in 1639. Walton says that Wotton obtained
relief to some extent from asthma by leaving off smoking which he had
practised somewhat immoderately--_as many thoughtful men do_. The
italics are mine.

Tobacco, as has been said, was praised as well as abused
extravagantly. Much absurdity was written in glorification of the
medicinal and therapeutic properties of tobacco, but a more sensible
note was struck by some lauders of the weed. Marston wrote in 1607:

_Musicke, tobacco, sacke and sleepe,
The tide of sorrow backward keep._

An ingenious lover of his pipe declared ironically in the same year
that he had found three bad qualities in tobacco, for it made a man a
thief (which meant danger), a good fellow (which meant cost), and a
niggard (the name of which is hateful). It makes him a theefe, he
continued for he will steale it from his father; a good fellow, for
he will give the smoake to a beggar; a niggard, for he will not part
with his box to an Emperor! A character in one of Chapman's plays,
1606, calls tobacco the gentleman's saint and the soldier's idol. A
little-known bard of 1630--Barten Holiday--wrote a poem of eight
stanzas with chorus to each in praise of tobacco, in which he showed
with a touch of burlesque that the herb was a musician, a lawyer, a
physician, a traveller, a critic, an ignis fatuus, and a whiffler,
_i.e._ a braggart. The first verse may suffice as a specimen:

_Tobacco's a musician,
And in a pipe delighteth,
It descends in a close
Through the organ of the nose
With a relish that inviteth._

These are merely a few examples of both the praise and the abuse which
were lavished upon tobacco at this early stage in the history of
smoking. It would be easy to fill many pages with the like
testimonials and denunciations, especially the latter, from writers of
the early decades of the seventeenth century. Perhaps the most curious
thing in connexion with the immense number of allusions to smoking in
the literature of the period is that there is no mention whatever of
tobacco or smoking in the plays of William Shakespeare. As Edmund
Spenser, in the Faerie Queene, speaks of

_The soveraine weede, divine tobacco_,

it may be presumed that he was a smoker.

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