A Covnter-blaste To Tobacco

That the manifolde abuses of this vile custome of _Tobacco_ taking, may

the better be espied, it is fit, that first you enter into consideration

both of the first originall thereof, and likewise of the reasons of the

first entry thereof into this Countrey. For certainely as such customes,

that haue their first institution either from a godly, necessary, or

honorable ground, and are first brought in, by the meanes of some

> worthy, vertuous, and great Personage, are euer, and most iustly, holden

in great and reuerent estimation and account, by all wise, vertuous, and

temperate spirits: So should it by the contrary, iustly bring a great

disgrace into that sort of customes, which hauing their originall from

base corruption and barbarity, doe in like sort, make their first entry

into a Countrey, by an inconsiderate and childish affectation of

Noueltie, as is the true case of the first inuention of _Tobacco_

taking, and of the first entry thereof among vs. For _Tobacco_ being a

common herbe, which (though vnder diuers names) growes almost

euerywhere, was first found out by some of the barbarous _Indians_, to

be a Preseruative, or Antidot against the Pockes, a filthy disease,

whereunto these barbarous people are (as all men know) very much

subiect, what through the vncleanly and adust constitution of their

bodies, and what through the intemperate heate of their Climate: so that

as from them was first brought into Christendome, that most detestable

disease, so from them likewise was brought this vse of _Tobacco_, as a

stinking and vnsauorie Antidot, for so corrupted and execrable a

Maladie, the stinking Suffumigation whereof they yet vse against that

disease, making so one canker or venime to eate out another.

And now good Countrey men let vs (I pray you) consider, what honour or

policie can mooue vs to imitate the barbarous and beastly maners of the

wilde, godlesse, and slauish _Indians_, especially in so vile and

stinking a custome? Shall wee disdaine to imitate the maners of our

neighbour _France_ (hauing the stile of the first Christian Kingdom) and

that cannot endure the spirit of the Spaniards (their King being now

comparable in largenes of Dominions to the great Emperor of _Turkie_).

Shall wee, I say, that haue bene so long ciuill and wealthy in Peace,

famous and inuincible in Warre, fortunate in both, we that haue bene

euer able to aide any of our neighbours (but neuer deafed any of their

eares with any of our supplications for assistance) shall we, I say,

without blushing, abase our selues so farre, as to imitate these beastly

_Indians_, slaves to the _Spaniards_, refuse to the world, and as yet

aliens from the holy Couenant of God? Why doe we not as well imitate

them in walking naked as they doe? in preferring glasses, feathers, and

such toyes, to golde and precious stones, as they do? yea why do we not

denie God and adore the Deuill, as they doe?[A]

Now to the corrupted basenesse of the first vse of this _Tobacco_, doeth

very well agree the foolish and groundlesse first entry thereof into

this Kingdome. It is not so long since the first entry of this abuse

amongst vs here, as this present age cannot yet very well remember, both

the first Author,[B] and the forme of the first introduction of it

amongst vs. It was neither brought in by King, great Conquerour, nor

learned Doctor of Phisicke.

With the report of a great discouery for a Conquest, some two or three

Sauage men, were brought in, together with this Sauage custome. But the

pitie is, the poore wilde barbarous men died, but that vile barbarous

custome is yet aliue,[C] yea in fresh vigor: so as it seemes a miracle

to me, how a custome springing from so vile a ground, and brought in by

a father so generally hated, should be welcomed vpon so slender a

warrant. For if they that first put it in practise heere, had remembred

for what respect it was vsed by them from whence it came, I am sure they

would haue bene loath, to haue taken so farre the imputation of that

disease vpon them as they did, by vsing the cure thereof. For _Sanis non

est opus medico_, and counter-poisons are neuer vsed, but where poyson

is thought to precede.

But since it is true, that diuers customes slightly grounded, and with

no better warrant entred in a Commonwealth, may yet in the vse of them

thereafter, prooue both necessary and profitable; it is therefore next

to be examined, if there be not a full Sympathie and true Proportion,

betweene the base ground and foolish entrie, and the loathsome, and

hurtfull vse of this stinking Antidote.

I am now therefore heartily to pray you to consider, first vpon what

false and erroneous grounds you haue first built the generall good

liking thereof; and next, what sinnes towards God, and foolish vanities

before the world you commit, in the detestable vse of it.[D]

As for these deceitfull grounds, that haue specially mooued you to take

a good and great conceit thereof, I shall content myselfe to examine

here onely foure of the principals of them; two founded vpon the

Theoricke of a deceiuable apparance of Reason, and two of them vpon the

mistaken Practicke of generall Experience.

First, it is thought by you a sure Aphorisme in the Physickes, That the

braines of all men, being naturally colde and wet, all dry and hote

things should be good for them; of which nature this stinking

suffumigation is, and therefore of good vse to them. Of this Argument,

both the Proposition and Assumption are false, and so the Conclusion

cannot but be voyd of it selfe. For as to the Proposition, That because

the braines are colde and moist, therefore things that are hote and drie

are best for them, it is an inept consequence: For man beeing compounded

of the foure Complexions (whose fathers are the foure Elements) although

there be a mixture of them all in all the parts of his body, yet must

the diuers parts of our _Microcosme_ or little world within ourselves,

be diuersly more inclined, some to one, some to another complexion,

according to the diuersitie of their vses, that of these discords a

perfect harmonie may bee made vp for the maintenance of the whole body.

The application then of a thing of a contrary nature, to any of these

parts is to interrupt them of their due function, and by consequence

hurtfull to the health of the whole body. As if a man, because the Liuer

is hote (as the fountaine of blood) and as it were an ouen to the

stomache, would therefore apply and weare close vpon his Liuer and

stomache a cake of lead; he might within a very short time (I hope) be

susteined very good cheape at an Ordinairie, beside the cleering of his

conscience from that deadly sinne of gluttonie. And as if, because the

Heart is full of vitall spirits, and in perpetuall motion, a man would

therefore lay a heauy pound stone on his breast, for staying and holding

downe that wanton palpitation, I doubt not but his breast would bee more

bruised with the weight thereof, then the heart would be comforted with

such a disagreeable and contrarious cure. And euen so is it with the

Braines. For if a man, because the Braines are colde and humide, would

therefore vse inwardly by smells, or ontwardly by application, things of

hot and drie qualitie, all the gaine that he could make thereof would

onely be to put himselfe in a great forwardnesse for running mad, by

ouer-watching himselfe, the coldnesse and moistnesse of our braine

beeing the onely ordinarie meanes that procure our sleepe and rest.

Indeed I do not denie, but when it falls out that any of these, or any

part of our bodie growes to be distempered, and to tend to an

extremetie, beyond the compasse of Natures temperate mixture, that in

that case cures of contrary qualities, to the intemperate inclination of

that part, being wisely prepared and discreetely ministered, may be both

necessarie and helpefull for strengthning and assisting Nature in the

expulsion of her enemies: for this is the true definition of all

profitable Physicke.

But first these Cures ought not to bee vsed, but where there is neede of

them, the contrarie where of, is daily practised in this generall vse of

_Tobacco_ by all sorts and complexions of people.

And next, I deny the minor of this argument, as I haue already said, in

regard that this _Tobacco_, is not simply of a hot and dry qualitie; but

rather hath a certaine venemous facultie ioyned with the heate thereof,

which makes it haue an Antipathie against nature, as by the hatefull

smell thereof doeth well appeare. For the nose being the proper Organ

and convoy of the sense of smelling to the braines, which are the onely

fountaine of that sense, doeth euer serue vs for an infallible witnesse,

whether that Odour which we smell, be healthfull or hurtfull to the

braine (except when it fals out that the sense it selfe is corrupted

and abused through some infirmitie, and distemper in the braine.) And

that the suffumigation thereof cannot haue a drying qualitie, it needes

no further probation, then that it is a smoake, all smoake and vapour,

being of it selfe humide, as drawing neere to the nature of the ayre,

and easie to be resolued againe into water, whereof there needes no

other proofe but the meteors, which being bred of nothing else but of

the vapours and exhalations sucked vp by the Sunne out of the earth, the

Sea, and waters, yet are the same smoakie vapours turned, and

transformed into Raynes, Snowes, Dewes, hoare Frostes, and such like

waterie Meteors, as by the contrarie the raynie cloudes are often

transformed and euaporated in blustering winds.

The second Argument grounded on a show of reason is, That this filthie

smoake, as well through the heat and strength thereof, as by a naturall

force and qualitie, is able and fit to purge both the head and stomacke

of Rhewmes and distillations, as experience teacheth, by the spitting

and auoyding fleame, immeadiately after the taking of it. But the

fallacie of this Argument may easily appeare, by my late preceding

description of the Meteors. For euen as the smoakie vapours sucked vp by

the Sunne, and staied in the lowest and colde Region of the ayre, are

there contracted into Cloudes and turned into raine and such other

watery Meteors: So this stinking smoake being sucked vp by the Nose, and

imprisoned in the colde and moyst braines, is by their colde and wett

facultie, turned and cast foorth againe in waterie distillations, and so

are you made free and purged of nothing, but that wherewith you wilfully

burdened yourselues: and therefore are you no wiser in taking _Tobacco_

for purging you of distillations, then if for preuenting the Cholike you

would take all kinde of windie meates and drinkes, and for preuenting

the Stone, you would take all kinde of meates and drinkes, that would

breede grauell in the Kidneys, and then when you were forced to auoyde

much winde out of your stomacke, and much grauell in your Vrine, that

you should attribute the thanke thereof to such nourishments as bred

those within you, that behoued either to be expelled by the force of

nature, or you to haue _burst at the broad side_, as the Prouerbe is.

As for the other two reasons founded vpon experience. The first of which

is that the whole people would not haue taken so generall a good liking

thereof, if they had not by experience found it verie soueraigne, and

good for them: For answere thereunto how easily the mindes of any

people, wherewith God hath replenished this world, may be drawen to the

foolish affectation of any noueltie, I leaue it to the discreet

iudgement of any man that is reasonable.

Doe we not dayly see, that a man can no sooner bring ouer from beyond

the Seas any new forme of apparell, but that hee cannot bee thought a

man of spirit, that would not presently imitate the same? And so from

hand to hand it spreades, till it be practised by all, not for any

commoditie that is in it, but only because it is come to be the fashion.

For such is the force of that naturall Selfe-loue in euery one of vs,

and such is the corruption of enuie bred in the brest of euery one, as

we cannot be content vnlesse we imitate euerything that our fellowes

doe, and so prooue our selues capable of euerything whereof they are

capable, like Apes, counterfeiting the maners of others, to our owne

destruction.[E] For let one or two of the greatest Masters of

Mathematickes in any of the two famous Vniuersities, but constantly

affirme any cleare day, that they see some strange apparition in the

skies: they will I warrant you be seconded by the greatest part of the

Students in that profession: So loath will they be, to bee thought

inferiour to their fellowes, either in depth of knowledge or sharpnesse

of sight: And therefore the generall good liking and imbracing of this

foolish custome, doeth but onely proceede from that affectation of

noueltie, and popular errour, whereof I haue already spoken.[F]

The other argument drawen from a mistaken experience, is but the more

particular probation of this generall, because it is alleaged to be

found true by proofe, that by the taking of _Tobacco_ diuers and very

many doe finde themselves cured of diuers diseases as on the other part,

no man euer receiued harme thereby. In this argument there is first a

great mistaking and next a monstrous absurditie. For is it not a very

great mistaking, to take _Non causam pro causa_, as they say in the

Logicks? because peraduenture when a sicke man hath had his disease at

the height, hee hath at that instant taken _Tobacco_, and afterward his

disease taking the naturall course of declining, and consequently the

patient of recouering his health, O then the _Tobacco_ forsooth, was the

worker of that miracle. Beside that, it is a thing well knowen to all

Physicians, that the apprehension and conceit of the patient hath by

wakening and vniting the vitall spirits, and so strengthening nature, a

great power and vertue, to cure diuers diseases. For an euident proofe

of mistaking in the like case, I pray you what foolish boy, what sillie

wench, what olde doting wife, or ignorant countrey clowne, is not a

Physician for the toothach, for the cholicke, and diuers such common

diseases? Yea, will not euery man you meete withal, teach you a sundry

cure for the same, and sweare by that meane either himselfe, or some of

his neerest kinsmen and friends was cured? And yet I hope no man is so

foolish as to beleue them. And al these toyes do only proceed from the

mistaking _Non causam pro causa_, as I haue already sayd, and so if a

man chance to recouer one of any disease, after he hath taken _Tobacco_,

that must haue the thankes of all. But by the contrary, if a man smoke

himselfe to death with it (and many haue done) O then some other disease

must beare the blame for that fault. So do olde harlots thanke their

harlotrie for their many yeeres, that custome being healthfull (say

they) _ad purgandos Renes_, but neuer haue minde how many die of the

Pockes in the flower of their youth. And so doe olde drunkards thinke

they prolong their dayes, by their swinelike diet, but neuer remember

howe many die drowned in drinke before they be halfe olde.

And what greater absurditie can there bee, then to say that one cure

shall serue for diuers, nay, contrarious sortes of diseases? It is an

vndoubted ground among all Physicians, that there is almost no sort

either of nourishment or medicine, that hath not some thing in it

disagreeable to some part of mans bodie, because, as I haue already

sayd, the nature of the temperature of euery part, is so different from

another, that according to the olde prouerbe, That which is good for the

head, is euill for the necke and the shoulders. For euen as a strong

enemie, that inuades a towne or fortresse, although in his siege

thereof, he do belaie and compasse it round about, yet he makes his

breach and entrie, at some one or few special parts thereof, which hee

hath tried and found to bee weakest and least able to resist; so

sicknesse doth make her particular assault, vpon such part or parts of

our bodie, as are weakest and easiest to be ouercome by that sort of

disease, which then doth assaile vs, although all the rest of the body

by Sympathie feele it selfe, to be as it were belaied, and besieged by

the affliction of that speciall part, the griefe and smart thereof being

by the sense of feeling dispersed through all the rest of our members.

And therefore the skilfull Physician presses by such cures, to purge and

strengthen that part which is afflicted, as are only fit for that sort

of disease, and doe best agree with the nature of that infirme part;

which being abused to a disease of another nature, would prooue as

hurtfull for the one, as helpfull for the other. Yea, not only will a

skilfull and warie Physician bee carefull to vse no cure but that which

is fit for that sort of disease, but he wil also consider all other

circumstances, and make the remedies suitable thereunto; as the

temperature of the clime where the Patient is, the constitution of the

Planets,[G] the time of the Moone, the season of the yere, the age and

complexion of the Patient, and the present state of his body, in

strength or weaknesse. For one cure must not euer be vsed for the

self-same disease, but according to the varying of any of the foresaid

circumstances, that sort of remedie must be vsed which is fittest for

the same. Whear by the contrarie in this case, such is the miraculous

omnipotencie of our strong tasted _Tobacco_, as it cures all sorts of

diseases (which neuer any drugge could do before) in all persons, and at

all times. It cures all maner of distellations, either in the head or

stomacke (if you beleeue their Axiomes) although in very deede it doe

both corrupt the braine, and by causing ouer quicke disgestion, fill the

stomacke full of crudities. It cures the Gowt in the feet, and (which is

miraculous) in that very instant when the smoke thereof, as light, flies

vp into the head, the vertue thereof, as heauie, runs downe to the

little toe. It helpes all sorts of Agues. It makes a man sober that was

drunke. It refreshes a weary man, and yet makes a man hungry. Being

taken when they goe to bed, it makes one sleepe soundly, and yet being

taken when a man is sleepie and drowsie, it will, as they say, awake his

braine, and quicken his vnderstanding. As for curing of the Pockes, it

serues for that vse but among the pockie Indian slaues. Here in

_England_ it is refined, and will not deigne to cure heere any other

then cleanly and gentlemanly diseases. Omnipotent power of _Tobacco_!

And if it could by the smoke thereof chace our deuils, as the smoke of

_Tobias_ fish did (which I am sure could smel no stronglier) it would

serue for a precious Relicke, both for the superstitious Priests, and

the insolent Puritanes, to cast out deuils withall. Admitting then, and

not confessing that the vse thereof were healthfull for some sortes of

diseases; should it be vsed for all sicknesses? should it be vsed by all

men? should it be vsed at al times? yea should it be vsed by able, yong,

strong, healthfull men? Medicine hath that vertue that it neuer leaueth

a man in that state wherein it findeth him: it makes a sicke man whole,

but a whole man sicke. And as Medicine helpes nature being taken at

times of necessitie, so being euer and continually vsed, it doth but

weaken, wearie, and weare nature. What speak I of Medicine? Nay let a

man euery houre of the day, or as oft as many in this countrey vse to

take _Tobacco_, let a man I say, but take as oft the best sorts of

nourishments in meate and drinke that can bee deuised, hee shall with

the continuall vse thereof weaken both his head and his stomacke: all

his members shall become feeble, his spirits dull, and in the end, as a

drowsie lazie belly-god, he shall euanish in a Lethargie.

And from this weaknesse it proceeds, that many in this kingdome haue had

such a continuall vse of taking this vnsauerie smoke, as now they are

not able to forbeare the same, no more than an olde drunkard can abide

to be long sober, without falling into an vncurable weakenesse and euill

constitution: for their continuall custome hath made to them, _habitum,

alteram naturam_: so to those that from their birth haue bene

continually nourished vpon poison and things venemous, wholesome meates

are onely poisonable.

Thus hauing, as I truste, sufficiently answered the most principall

arguments that are vsed in defence of this vile custome, it rests onely

to informe you what sinnes and vanities you commit in the filthie abuse

thereof. First are you not guiltie of sinnefull and shamefull lust?

(for lust may bee as well in any of the senses as in feeling) that

although you bee troubled with no disease, but in perfect health, yet

can you neither be merry at an Ordinarie, nor lasciuious in the Stewes,

if you lacke _Tobacco_ to prouoke your appetite to any of those sorts of

recreation, lusting after it as the children of Israel did in the

wildernesse after Quailes? Secondly it is, as you vse or rather abuse

it, a branche of the sinne of drunkennesse, which is the roote of all

sinnes: for as the onely delight that drunkards take in wine is in the

strength of the taste, and the force of the fume thereof that mounts vp

to the braine: for no drunkards loue any weake, or sweete drinke: so are

not those (I meane the strong heate and the fume), the onely qualities

that make _Tobacco_ so delectable to all the louers of it? And as no man

likes strong headie drinke the first day (because _nemo repente fit

turpissimus_), but by custome is piece and piece allured, while in the

ende, a drunkard will haue as great a thirst with a draught as when hee

hath need of it: So is not this the very case of all the great takers of

_Tobacco_? which therefore they themselues do attribute to a bewitching

qualitie in it. Thirdly, is it not the greatest sinne of all, that you

the people of all sortes of this Kingdome, who are created and ordeined

by God to bestowe both your persons and goods for the maintenance both

of the honour and safetie of your King and Commonwealth, should disable

yourselves in both? In your persons hauing by this continuall vile

custome brought yourselues to this shameful imbecilitie, that you are

not able to ride or walke the journey of a Jewes Sabboth, but you must

haue a reekie cole brought you from the next poore house to kindle your

_Tobacco_ with? where as he cannot be thought able for any seruice in

the warres, that cannot endure oftentimes the want of meate, drinke, and

sleepe, much more then must hee endure the want of _Tobacco_. In the

times of the many glorious and victorious battailes fought by this

nation, there was no word of _Tobacco_. But now if it were time of

warres, and that you were to make some sudden _Caualcado_[H] vpon your

enemies, if any of you should seeke leisure to stay behinde his fellowe

for taking of _Tobacco_, for my part I should neuer bee sorie for any

euill chance that might befall him.[I] To take a custome in any thing

that bee left againe, is most harmefull to the people of any land.

_Mollicies_ and delicacie were the wracke and ouerthrow, first of the

Persian, and next of the Romane Empire. And this very custome of taking

_Tobacco_ (whereof our present purpose is), is euen at this day

accounted so effeminate among the Indians themselues, as in the market

they will offer no price for a slaue to be sold, whome they finde to be

a great _Tobacco_ taker.

Now how you are by this custome disabled in your goods, let the gentry

of this land beare witnesse, some of them bestowing three, some foure

hundred pounds a yeere[J] vpon this precious stinke, which I am sure

might be bestowed vpon many farre better vses. I read indeede of a

knauish Courtier, who for abusing the fauour of the Emperour _Alexander

Seuerus_ his master by taking bribes to intercede, for sundry persons in

his master's eare (for whom he neuer once opened his mouth) was iustly

choked with smoke, with this doome, _Fumo pereat, qui fumum vendidit_:

but of so many smoke-buyers, as are at this present in this kingdome, I

neuer read nor heard.

And for the vanities committed in this filthie custome, is it not both

great vanitie and vncleanenesse, that at the table, a place of respect,

of cleanlinesse, of modestie, men should not be ashamed, to sit tossing

of _Tobacco pipes_, and puffing of the smoke of _Tobacco_ one to

another, making the filthie smoke and stinke thereof, to exhale athwart

the dishes, and infect the aire, when very often, men that abhorre it

are at their repast? Surely Smoke becomes a kitchin far better then a

Dining chamber, and yet it makes a kitchen also oftentimes in the inward

parts of men, soiling and infecting them, with an vnctuous and oily

kinde of Soote, as hath bene found in some great _Tobacco_ takers, that

after their death were opened. And not onely meate time, but no other

time nor action is exempted from the publicke vse of this vnciuill

tricke: so as if the wiues of _Diepe_ list to contest with this nation

for good maners their worst maners would in all reason be found at least

not so dishonest (as ours are) in this point. The publike vse whereof,

at all times, and in all places, hath now so farre preuailed, as diuers

men very sound both in iudgement, and complexion, haue bene at last

forced to take it also without desire, partly because they were ashamed

to seeme singular (like the two Philosophers that were forced to duck

themselues in that raine water, and so become fooles as well as the rest

of the people) and partly, to be as one that was content to eate

Garlicke (which he did not loue) that he might not be troubled with the

smell of it, in the breath of his fellowes. And is it not a great

vanitie, that a man cannot heartily welcome his friend now, but straight

they must bee in hand with _Tobacco_? No it is become in place of a

cure, a point of good fellowship, and he that will refuse to take a pipe

of _Tobacco_ among his fellowes, (though by his own election he would

rather feele the sauour of a Sinke[K]) is accounted peeuish and no good

company, euen as they doe with tippeling in the cold Easterne Countries.

Yea the Mistresse cannot in a more manerly kinde, entertaine her

seruant, then by giuing him out of her faire hand a pipe of _Tobacco_.

But herein is not onely a great vanitie, but a great contempt of God's

good giftes, that the sweetenesse of mans breath, being a good gift of

God, should be willfully corrupted by this stinking smoke, wherein I

must confesse, it hath too strong a vertue: and so that which is an

ornament of nature, and can neither by any artifice be at the first

acquired, nor once lost, be recouered againe, shall be filthily

corrupted with an incurable stinke, which vile qualitie is as directly

contrary to that wrong opinion which is holden of the wholesomnesse

thereof, as the venime of putrifaction is contrary to the vertue


Moreouer, which is a great iniquitie, and against all humanitie, the

husband shall not bee ashamed, to reduce thereby his delicate,

wholesome, and cleane complexioned wife, to that extremetie, that either

shee must also corrupt her sweete breath therewith, or else resolue to

liue in a perpetuall stinking torment.

Haue you not reason then to bee ashamed, and to forbeare this filthie

noueltie, so basely grounded, so foolishly receiued and so grossely

mistaken in the right vse thereof? In your abuse thereof sinning

against God, harming yourselues both in persons and goods, and taking

also thereby the markes and notes of vanitie vpon you: by the custome

thereof making your selues to be wondered at by all forraine ciuil

Nations, and by all strangers that come among you, to be scorned and

contemned. A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose,

harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke

stinking fume thereof, neerest

resembling the horrible Stigian

smoke of the pit that is