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About Smoking

The First Pipes Of Tobacco Smoked In England
Before the wine of sunny Rhine, or even Madam Clicquot's,...

Page Six |
stimulus. Alcohol, ever true to its companion, steps in and su...

Early Victorian Days
Scent to match thy rich perfume Chemic art did ne'er...

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

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...

The Ghost Of Christmas Eve
A few years ago, as some may remember, a startling ghost...

Smoking Unfashionable: Later Georgian Days
Says the Pipe to the Snuff-box, I can't understand ...

Tobacconists' Signs
I would enjoin every shop to make use of a sign which ...

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

Arcadians At Bay
I have said that Jimmy spent much of his time in contributi...

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

His Wife's Cigars
Though Pettigrew, who is a much more successful journali...

Scrymgeour was an artist and a man of means, so proud of hi...

The Arcadia Mixture
Darkness comes, and with it the porter to light our stai...

A Covnter-blaste To Tobacco
That the manifolde abuses of this vile custome of _Tobacco_...

Pettigrew's Dream
My dream (said Pettigrew) contrasts sadly with those of my ...

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

What Could He Do?
This was another of Marriot's perplexities of the heart. He...

English-grown Tobacco

Pettigrew asked me to come to his house one evening and test some
tobacco that had been grown in his brother's Devonshire garden. I had
so far had no opportunity of judging for myself whether this attempt
to grow tobacco on English soil was to succeed. Very complimentary was
Pettigrew's assertion that he had restrained himself from trying the
tobacco until we could test it in company. At the dinner-table while
Mrs. Pettigrew was present we managed to talk for a time of other
matters; but the tobacco was on our minds, and I was glad to see that,
despite her raillery, my hostess had a genuine interest in the coming
experiment. She drew an amusing picture, no doubt a little exaggerated,
of her husband's difficulty in refraining from testing the tobacco until
my arrival, declaring that every time she entered the smoking-room she
found him staring at it. Pettigrew took this in good part, and informed
me that she had carried the tobacco several times into the drawing-room
to show it proudly to her friends. He was very delighted, he said, that
I was to remain over night, as that would give us a long evening to test
the tobacco thoroughly. A neighbor of his had also been experimenting;
and Pettigrew, who has a considerable sense of humor, told me a
diverting story about this gentleman and his friends having passed
judgment on home-grown tobacco after smoking one pipe of it! We were
laughing over the ridiculously unsatisfactory character of this test
(so called) when we adjourned to the smoking-room. Before we did so Mrs.
Pettigrew bade me good-night. She had also left strict orders with the
servants that we were on no account to be disturbed.

As soon as we were comfortably seated in our smoking-chairs, which takes
longer than some people think, Pettigrew offered me a Cabana. I would
have preferred to begin at once with the tobacco; but of course he was
my host, and I put myself entirely in his hands. I noticed that, from
the moment his wife left us, he was a little excited, talking more than
is his wont. He seemed to think that he was not doing his duty as a
host if the conversation flagged for a moment, and what was still more
curious, he spoke of everything except his garden tobacco. I emphasize
this here at starting, lest any one should think that I was in any way
responsible for the manner in which our experiment was conducted. If
fault there was, it lies at Pettigrew's door. I remember distinctly
asking him--not in a half-hearted way, but boldly--to produce his
tobacco. I did this at an early hour of the proceedings, immediately
after I had lighted a second cigar. The reason I took that cigar will
be obvious to every gentleman who smokes. Had I declined it, Pettigrew
might have thought that I disliked the brand, which would have been
painful to him. However, he did not at once bring out the tobacco;
indeed, his precise words, I remember, were that we had lots of time.
As his guest I could not press him further.

Pettigrew smokes more quickly than I do, and he had reached the end of
his second cigar when there was still five minutes of mine left. It
distresses me to have to say what followed. He hastily lighted a third
cigar, and then, unlocking a cupboard, produced about two ounces of
his garden tobacco. His object was only too plain. Having just begun a
third cigar he could not be expected to try the tobacco at present, but
there was nothing to prevent my trying it. I regarded Pettigrew rather
contemptuously, and then I looked with much interest at the tobacco. It
was of an inky color. When I looked up I caught Pettigrew's eye on me.
He withdrew it hurriedly, but soon afterward I saw him looking in the
same sly way again. There was a rather painful silence for a time, and
then he asked me if I had anything to say. I replied firmly that I was
looking forward to trying the tobacco with very great interest. By this
time my cigar was reduced to a stump, but, for reasons that Pettigrew
misunderstood, I continued to smoke it. Somehow our chairs had got out
of position now, and we were sitting with our backs to each other.
I felt that Pettigrew was looking at me covertly over his shoulder,
and took a side glance to make sure of this. Our eyes met, and I bit
my lip. If there is one thing I loathe, it is to be looked at in this
shame-faced manner.

I continued to smoke the stump of my cigar until it scorched my
under-lip, and at intervals Pettigrew said, without looking round, that
my cigar seemed everlasting. I treated his innuendo with contempt; but
at last I had to let the cigar-end go. Not to make a fuss, I dropped
it very quietly; but Pettigrew must have been listening for the sound.
He wheeled round at once, and pushed the garden tobacco toward me.
Never, perhaps, have I thought so little of him as at that moment. My
indignation probably showed in my face, for he drew back, saying that he
thought I wanted to try it. Now I had never said that I did not want
to try it. The reader has seen that I went to Pettigrew's house solely
with the object of trying the tobacco. Had Pettigrew, then, any ground
for insinuating that I did not mean to try it? Restraining my passion,
I lighted a third cigar, and then put the question to him bluntly. Did
he, or did he not, mean to try that tobacco? I dare say I was a little
brusque; but it must be remembered that I had come all the way from the
inn, at considerable inconvenience, to give the tobacco a thorough trial.

As is the way with men of Pettigrew's type, when you corner them, he
attempted to put the blame on me. Why had I not tried the tobacco,
he asked, instead of taking a third cigar? For reply, I asked bitingly
if that was not his third cigar. He admitted it was, but said that he
smoked more quickly than I did, as if that put his behavior in a more
favorable light. I smoked my third cigar very slowly, not because I
wanted to put off the experiment; for, as every one must have noted,
I was most anxious to try it, but just to see what would happen. When
Pettigrew had finished his cigar--and I thought he would never be done
with it--he gazed at the garden tobacco for a time, and then took a pipe
from the mantelpiece. He held it first in one hand, then in the other,
and then he brightened up and said he would clean his pipes. This he did
very slowly. When he had cleaned all his pipes he again looked at the
garden tobacco, which I pushed toward him. He glared at me as if I had
not been doing a friendly thing, and then said, in an apologetic manner,
that he would smoke a pipe until my cigar was finished. I said All
right cordially, thinking that he now meant to begin the experiment;
but conceive my feelings when he produced a jar of the Arcadia Mixture.
He filled his pipe with this and proceeded to light it, looking at me
defiantly. His excuse about waiting till I had finished was too pitiful
to take notice of. I finished my cigar in a few minutes, and now was the
time when I would have liked to begin the experiment. As Pettigrew's
guest, however, I could not take that liberty, though he impudently
pushed the garden tobacco toward me. I produced my pipe, my intention
being only to half fill it with Arcadia, so that Pettigrew and I might
finish our pipes at the same time. Custom, however, got the better of
me, and inadvertently I filled my pipe, only noticing this when it was
too late to remedy the mistake. Pettigrew thus finished before me; and
though I advised him to begin on the garden tobacco without waiting for
me, he insisted on smoking half a pipeful of Arcadia, just to keep me
company. It was an extraordinary thing that, try as we might, we could
not finish our pipes at the same time.

About 2 A.M. Pettigrew said something about going to bed; and I rose and
put down my pipe. We stood looking at the fireplace for a time, and he
expressed regret that I had to leave so early in the morning. Then he
put out two of the lights, and after that we both looked at the garden
tobacco. He seemed to have a sudden idea; for rather briskly he tied the
tobacco up into a neat paper parcel and handed it to me, saying that I
would perhaps give it a trial at the inn. I took it without a word, but
opening my hand suddenly I let it fall. My first impulse was to pick
it up; but then it struck me that Pettigrew had not noticed what had
happened, and that, were he to see me pick it up, he might think that
I had not taken sufficient care of it. So I let it lie, and, bidding
him good-night, went off to bed. I was at the foot of the stair when
I thought that, after all, I should like the tobacco, so I returned.
I could not see the package anywhere, but something was fizzing up the
chimney, and Pettigrew had the tongs in his hand. He muttered something
about his wife taking up wrong notions. Next morning that lady was very
satirical about our having smoked the whole two ounces.

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