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Title: A Counter-Blaste to Tobacco
Author: James I, King of England, 1566-1625
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Counter-Blaste to Tobacco" ***





     This Edition is limited to seventy-five Large Paper copies, and
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Bibliotheca Curiosa.










A Covnter-Blaste To Tobacco.


by R.B.

_Anno_ 1604.

Transcriber's note: Footnotes moved to end of text.


As euery humane body _(deare Countrey men) how wholesome soeuer, be
notwithstanding subiect, or at least naturally inclined to some sorts of
diseases, or infirmities: so is there no Common-wealth, or
Body-politicke, how well gouerned, or peaceable soeuer it bee, that
lackes the owne popular errors, and naturally enclined corruptions: and
therefore is it no wonder, although this our Countrey and Common-wealth,
though peaceable, though wealthy, though long flourishing in both, be
amongst the rest, subiect to the owne naturall infirmities. We are of
all Nations the people most louing and most reuerently obedient to our
Prince, yet are wee (as time has often borne witnesse) too easie to be
seduced to make Rebellion, vpon very slight grounds. Our fortunate and
off prooued valour in warres abroad, our heartie and reuerent obedience
to our Princes at home, hath bred vs a long, and a thrice happy peace:
Our Peace hath bred wealth: And Peace and wealth hath brought foorth a
generall sluggishnesse, which makes vs wallow in all sorts of idle
delights, and soft delicacies, The first seedes of the subuersion of all
great Monarchies. Our Cleargie are become negligent and lazie, our
Nobilitie and Gentrie prodigall, and solde to their priuate delights,
Our Lawyers couetous, our Common-people prodigall and curious; and
generally all sorts of people more carefull for their priuate ends, then
for their mother the Common-wealth. For remedie whereof, it is the Kings
(as the proper Phisician of his Politicke-body) to purge it of all those
diseases, by Medicines meete for the same: as by a certaine milde, and
yet iust form of gouernment, to maintaine the Publicke quietnesse, and
preuent all occasions of Commotion: by the example of his owne Person
and Court, to make vs all ashamed of our sluggish delicacie, and to
stirre vs up to the practise againe of all honest exercises, and
Martiall shadowes of VVarre; As likewise by his, and his Courts
moderatenesse in Apparell, to make vs ashamed of our prodigalitie: By
his quicke admonitions and carefull overseeing of the Cleargie to waken
them vp againe, to be more diligent in their Offices: By the sharpe
triall, and seuere punishment of the partiall, couetous and bribing
Lawyers, to reforme their corruptions: And generally by the example of
his owne Person, and by the due execution of good Lawes, to reform and
abolish, piece and piece, these old and euill grounded abuses. For this
will not bee_ Opus vnius diei, _but as euery one of these diseases,
must from the_ King _receiue the owne cure proper for it, so are there
some sorts of abuses in Common-wealths, that though they be of so base
and contemptible a condition, as they are too low for the Law to looke
on, and too meane for a_ King _to interpone his authoritie, or bend his
eye vpon: yet are they corruptions, as well as the greatest of them. So
is an Ant an_ Animal, _as well as an Elephant: so is a VVrenne_ Auis,
_as well as a Swanne, and so is a small dint of the Toothake, a disease
as well as the fearefull Plague is. But for these base sorts of
corruption in Common-wealthes, not onely the_ King, _or any inferior
Magistrate, but_ Quilibet è populo _may serve to be a Phisician, by
discouering and impugning the error, and by perswading reformation

_And surely in my opinion, there cannot be a more base, and yet hurtfull
corruption in a Countrey, then is the vile vse (or other abuse) of
taking_ Tobacco _in this Kingdome, which hath moued me, shortly to
discouer the abuses thereof in this following little Pamphlet._

_If any thinke it a light Argument, so it is but a toy that is bestowed
upon it. And since the Subiect is but of Smoke, I thinke the fume of an
idle braine, may serue for a sufficient battery against so fumous and
feeble an enemy. If my grounds be found true, it is all I looke for; but
if they cary the force of perswasion with them, it is all I can wish,
and more than I can expect. My onely care is, that you, my deare
Countrey-men, may rightly conceiue euen by this smallest trifle, of the
sinceritie of my meaning in great matters, never to spare any_
    _paine that may tend to the_
      _procuring of your weale_
        _and prosperitie._


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



[Footnote A: This argument is merely that because an inferior race has
made a discovery, a superior one would be debasing itself by making use
of it.]

[Footnote B: By Sir Walter Raleigh, one of the greatest and most learned
men of the age, whose head the author cut off, partly influenced, no
doubt, by his detestation of tobacco. Smokers may therefore look upon
the author of the "History of the World" as the first martyr in their

[Footnote C: A centenarian has recently died, the papers relate, who,
till within a few days of his death, was in perfect health, having been
a constant smoker, but was unfortunately induced by his friends to give
up the habit, from which moment he rapidly sank. Probably these
barbarians were affected in the same manner.]

[Footnote D: Had the royal pedant ever heard of locking the stable door
after the horse has been stolen?]

[Footnote E: The previous arguments can of course have no weight in our
day, but this tendency to imitate others is as true now as then.
Evidently, if the Darwinian theory holds good, a matter of three
centuries is not sufficient to cause any perceptible diminution in the
strength of original instinct inherited from the ape.]

[Footnote F: Time has taken upon itself to upset this argument; for
though the novelty may certainly be said to have worn off, the habit
itself is more firmly rooted than ever.]

[Footnote G: This shows that so late as the 17th century the influence
of the planets on the body was an article of firm belief, even amongst
the learned. The following recipes may be of interest to the reader.
They are taken from a manuscript volume which belonged to and was
probably written by Sir John Floyer, physician to King Charles II., who
practised at Lichfield, in the Cathedral library of which city the
volume now is:--"An antidote to ye plague: take a cock chicken and pull
off ye feathers from ye tayle till ye rump bee bare; you hold ye bare of
ye same upon ye sore, and ye chicken will gape and labour for life, and
in ye end will dye. Then take another and do ye like, and so another
still as they dye, till one lives, for then ye venome is drawne out. The
last chicken will live and ye patient will mend very speedily."

"Madness in a dog: 'Pega, Tega, Sega, Docemena Mega.' These words
written, and ye paper rowl'd up and given to a dog, or anything that is
mad, cure him."]

[Footnote H: Or Camisado. A night attack on horseback, wherein the
attacking party put their shirts on over their armour, in order to
recognise each other in the darkness. Charles II. attempted a Camisado
at Worcester, which did not succeed, owing to treachery.]

[Footnote I: Our royal author would no doubt have been astonished to see
English officers smoking on the field of battle, which I am told is now
a common occurrence.]

[Footnote J: It was not dreamt of in James's philosophy, that the price
of tobacco might fall to 5s. 6d. and less a pound.]

[Footnote K: They still say in Scotland, "To feel a smell."]

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Counter-Blaste to Tobacco" ***

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