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About Smoking

Not The Arcadia
Those who do not know the Arcadia may have a mixture tha...

Man Know Thy-self
...

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

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

My Tobacco-pouch
I once knew a lady who said of her husband that he looke...

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

Smoking Unfashionable: Early Georgian Days
Lord Fopling smokes not--for his teeth afraid; Sir T...

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

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

Tobacco From A Moral Stand-point |
...

Marriot
I have hinted that Marriot was our sentimental member. H...

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

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

Matrimony And Smoking Compared
The circumstances in which I gave up smoking were these: ...

Preface
This is the first attempt to write the history of smoking i...

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

My Pipes
In a select company of scoffers my brier was known as the M...

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

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

How Heroes Smoke
On a tiger-skin from the ice-clad regions of the sunless no...



The Romance Of A Pipe-cleaner








We continued to visit the _Arcadia_, though only one at a time now,
and Gilray, who went most frequently, also remained longest. In other
words, he was in love again, and this time she lived at Cookham.
Marriot's love affairs I pushed from me with a wave of my pipe, but
Gilray's second case was serious.

In time, however, he returned to the Arcadia Mixture, though not until
the house-boat was in its winter quarters. I witnessed his complete
recovery, the scene being his chambers. Really it is rather a pathetic
story, and so I give the telling of it to a rose, which the lady once
presented to Gilray. Conceive the rose lying, as I saw it, on Gilray's
hearth-rug, and then imagine it whispering as follows:

A wire was round me that white night on the river when she let him take
me from her. Then I hated the wire. Alas! hear the end.

My moments are numbered; and if I would expose him with my dying sigh,
I must not sentimentalize over my own decay. They were in a punt, her
hand trailing in the water, when I became his. When they parted that
night at Cookham Lock, he held her head in his hands, and they gazed in
each other's eyes. Then he turned away quickly; when he reached the punt
again he was whistling. Several times before we came to the house-boat
in which he and another man lived, he felt in his pocket to make sure
that I was still there. At the house-boat he put me in a tumbler of
water out of sight of his friend, and frequently he stole to the spot
like a thief to look at me. Early next morning he put me in his
buttonhole, calling me sweet names. When his friend saw me, he too
whistled, but not in the same way. Then my owner glared at him. This
happened many months ago.



Next evening I was in a garden that slopes to the river. I was on his
breast, and so for a moment was she. His voice was so soft and low as
he said to her the words he had said to me the night before, that I
slumbered in a dream. When I awoke suddenly he was raging at her, and
she cried. I know not why they quarrelled so quickly, but it was about
some one whom he called 'that fellow,' while she called him a 'friend of
papa's.' He looked at her for a long time again, and then said coldly
that he wished her a very good-evening. She bowed and went toward a
house, humming a merry air, while he pretended to light a cigarette made
from a tobacco of which he was very fond. Till very late that night I
heard him walking up and down the deck of the house-boat, his friend
shouting to him not to be an ass. Me he had flung fiercely on the floor
of the house-boat. About midnight he came downstairs, his face white,
and, snatching me up, put me in his pocket. Again we went into the punt,
and he pushed it within sight of the garden. There he pulled in his pole
and lay groaning in the punt, letting it drift, while he called her his
beloved and a little devil. Suddenly he took me from his pocket, kissed
me, and cast me down from him into the night. I fell among reeds, head
downward; and there I lay all through the cold, horrid night. The gray
morning came at last, then the sun, and a boat now and again. I thought
I had found my grave, when I saw his punt coming toward the reeds. He
searched everywhere for me, and at last he found me. So delighted and
affectionate was he that I forgave him my sufferings, only I was jealous
of a letter in his other pocket, which he read over many times,
murmuring that it explained everything.

Her I never saw again, but I heard her voice. He kept me now in a
leather case in an inner pocket, where I was squeezed very flat. What
they said to each other I could not catch; but I understood afterward,
for he always repeated to me what he had been saying to her, and many
times he was loving, many times angry, like a bad man. At last came a
day when he had a letter from her containing many things he had given
her, among them a ring on which she had seemed to set great store.
What it all meant I never rightly knew, but he flung the ring into
the Thames, calling her all the old wicked names and some new ones.
I remember how we rushed to her house, along the bank this time, and
that she asked him to be her brother; but he screamed denunciations at
her, again speaking of 'that fellow,' and saying that he was going
to-morrow to Manitoba.

So far as I know, they saw each other no more. He walked on the deck
so much now that his friend went back to London, saying he could get
no sleep. Sometimes we took long walks alone; often we sat for hours
looking at the river, for on those occasions he would take me out of the
leather case and put me on his knee. One day his friend came back and
told him that he would soon get over it, he himself having once had
a similar experience; but my master said no one had ever loved as he
loved, and muttered 'Vixi, vixi' to himself till the other told him not
to be a fool, but to come to the hotel and have something to eat. Over
this they quarrelled, my master hinting that he would eat no more; but
he ate heartily after his friend was gone.

After a time we left the house-boat, and were in chambers in a great
inn. I was still in his pocket, and heard many conversations between him
and people who came to see him, and he would tell them that he loathed
the society of women. When they told him, as one or two did, that they
were in love, he always said that he had gone through that stage ages
ago. Still, at nights he would take me out of my case, when he was
alone, and look at me; after which he walked up and down the room in
an agitated manner and cried 'Vixi.'

By and by he left me in a coat that he was no longer wearing. Before
this he had always put me into whatever coat he had on. I lay neglected,
I think, for a month, until one day he felt the pockets of the coat for
something else, and pulled me out. I don't think he remembered what was
in the leather case at first; but as he looked at me his face filled
with sentiment, and next day he took me with him to Cookham. The winter
was come, and it was a cold day. There were no boats on the river. He
walked up the bank to the garden where was the house in which she had
lived; but the place was now deserted. On the garden gate he sat down,
taking me from his pocket; and here, I think, he meant to recall the
days that were dead. But a cold, piercing wind was blowing, and many
times he looked at his watch, putting it to his ear as if he thought it
had stopped. After a little he took to flinging stones into the water,
for something to do; and then he went to the hotel and stayed there
till he got a train back to London. We were home many hours before he
meant to be back, and that night he went to a theatre.

That was my last day in the leather case. He keeps something else in
it now. He flung me among old papers, smoking-caps, slippers, and other
odds and ends into a box, where I have remained until to-night. A month
or more ago he rummaged in the box for some old letters, and coming upon
me unexpectedly, he jagged his finger on the wire. 'Where on earth did
you come from?' he asked me. Then he remembered, and flung me back among
the papers with a laugh. Now we come to to-night. An hour ago I heard
him blowing down something, then stamping his feet. From his words I
knew that his pipe was stopped. I heard him ring a bell and ask angrily
who had gone off with his pipe-cleaners. He bustled through the room
looking for them or for a substitute, and after a time he cried aloud,
'I have it; that would do; but where was it I saw the thing last?' He
pulled out several drawers, looked through his desk, and then opened the
box in which I lay. He tumbled its contents over until he found me, and
then he pulled me out, exclaiming, 'Eureka!' My heart sank, for I
understood all as I fell leaf by leaf on the hearth-rug where I now lie.
He took the wire off me and used it to clean his pipe.





Next: What Could He Do?

Previous: The Arcadia Mixture Again



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