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a native of a more southern climate, and was handed along the continent from one nation of savages to another. * Dr. Robertson informs us, that it was not till the year 1616 that its cultivation was commenced in Virginia. However this may be, the gallant and unfortunate Sir Walter Ralegh has the credit of bringing it into fashion in England. I It is well known that the colony planted in Virginia by Sir Walter, suffered many calamities, and we are told, that Ralph Lane, s one of the survivers who was carried back to England by Sir Francis Drake, was the person who first made tobacco known in Great Britain. This was in the 28th year of Queen Elizabeth, A. D. 1585.|| Sir Walter himself is said to have been very fond of smoking, and many humorous stories have been recorded concerning it, particularly of a wager he made with Queen Elizabeth, that he would determine exactly the weight of the smoke which went off in a pipe of tobacco. This he did by first weighing the tobacco which was to be smoked, and then carefully preserving and weighing the ashes, and the queen paid the wager cheerfully, being satisfied that what was wanting to the prime weight must have been evaporated in smoke. Every one remembers the story of the alarm of one of Sir Walter's servants, who, coming into a room and beholding his master enveloped in smoke, supposed him to be on fire.
To the devout and genuine worshippers of this weed, it may be satisfactory to know, that a tobacco-box and some pipes, belonging formerly to Sir Walter, are still in existence, and all smokers who may feel so disposed may perform a pilgrimage to them when they visit England, they being in the museum of Mr. Ralph Thoresby of Leeds, Yorkshire. I We shall conclude our
* Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, p. 62.
* It is said that Ralegh used to give smoking partics at his house, where his guests were treated with nothing but a pipe, a mug of ale, and a nutmeg.Thomson's Life of Ralegh, p. 471.
$ Ralph Lane was lieutenant of the fleet of Sir Richard Grenville, which had been sent to Virginia by Sir Walter Ralegh, in 1585, where he was made governor.-Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. iii. p. 251.
# Camden has the following passage: "Et hi reduces,” speaking of those survivers who were carried home by Drake, “ Indicam illam plantam, quam tabaccam vocant et nicotiam, qua contra cruditates, ab Indis edocti, usi erant, in Angliam primi quod sciam, intulerunt. Ex illo sane tempore usu cæpit esse creberrimo, et magno pretio, dum quamplurimi graveolentem illius fumum, alii lascivientes, alii valetudini consulentes, per tubulum testaceum inexplebili aviditate passim hauriunt et mox e naribus efflant ; adeo ut tabernæ tabacanæ non minus quam cervisiariæ et vinariæ,” beer-houses and grog-shops, we presume, “passim per oppida habeantur. Ut Anglorum corpora (quod salse ille dixit) qui hac planta tantopere delectantur in barbarorum naturam degenerasse videantur; cum iisdem quibus barbari delectentur et sanari se posse credant.”-Camdeni Ann. Rer. An. glican. p. 415.
1 These valuables are thus described in a note to Cayley's Life of Sir Walter Ralegh, vol. i. p. 81. “Among Thoresby's artificial curiosities, we have Sir W.
remarks upon Sir Walter, by a poetical tribute to his memory, which is both apposite and eloquent.
“ Immortal Ralegh! were potatoes not,
Could grateful Ireland e'er forget thy claim ?*
Which blend thy memory with Eliza's fame ;
Tobacco would enshrine and consecrate thy name.” We cannot forbear to make a quotation concerning the Virginia colony, at a more flourishing subsequent period, which, as it records a historical fact, cannot fail to be interesting, while at the same time it is sufficiently comic. “The adventurers," says Malte-Brun, “who increased from year to year, were reduced, in consequence of the scarcity of females, to import wives by order, as they imported merchandise. It is recorded, that ninety girls, ‘ young and uncorrupt,' came to the Virginia market in 1620, and sixty in 1621; all of whom found a ready sale. The price of each at first was one hundred pounds of tobacco, but afterwards rose to one hundred and fifty. What the prime cost was in England is not stated.”+
In whatever manner tobacco found its way into Europe, it met with a very hostile reception from several crowned heads. Elizabeth published an edict against its use. James imposed severe prohibitory duties, and Charles, his successor, continued them.
“In 1590,” says Dr. Thomson, “Shah Abbas prohibited the use of tobacco in Persia, by a penal law; but so firmly had the luxury rooted itself in the minds of his subjects, that many of the inhabitants of the cities fled to the mountains, where they hid themselves, rather than forego the pleasure of smoking. In 1624, Pope Urban VIII. anathematized all snuff-takers, who committed the heinous sin of taking a pinch in any church ; and so late as 1690, Innocent XII. excommunicated all who indulged in the same vice in Saint Peter's church at Rome. In $1625, Amurath IV. prohibited smoking as an unnatural and irreligious custom, under pain of death. In Constantinople, where the custom is now universal, smoking was thought to be so ridiculous and hurtful, that any Turk, who was caught in the act, was conducted in ridicule through the streets, with a pipe transfixed through his nose. In Russia, where the peasantry now smoke all day long, the Grand Duke of Moscow prohibited the entrance of tobacco into his dominions, under the penalty of the knaut for the first offence, and death for the second ; and the Muscovite who was found snuffing, was condemned to have his nostrils split. The Chambre au Tabac for punishing smokers, was instituted in 1634, and not abolished till the middle of the eighteenth century. Even in Switzerland, war was waged against the American herb : to smoke, in Berne,
Ralegh's tobacco-box, as it was called, but is rather the case for the glass wherein it was preserved, which was surrounded with small wax candles of various colours. This is of gilded leather, like a muff-case, about half a foot broad and thirteen inches high, and hath cases for sixteen pipes in it.-Ducatus Leodensis, fol. 1715, p. 485."
• Ralegh is believed to have introduced the culture of the potato, as well as tobacco, into Ireland. The latter on his own estate at Youghal, in the county of Cork.
† Universal Geography, vol. iii. p. 223.
ranked as a crime next to adultery ; and in 1653, all smokers were cited before the Council at Apenzel, and severely punished.”
We shall see hereafter what a host of enemies tobacco found also among medical writers. We speak here particularly of the moderns ; for many of the older physicians extolled its healing virtues to the skies, and they were giants in knowledge ; but as an old author says, “ Pigmei gigantum humeris impositi plusquam ipsi gigantes vident.” Indeed it must be admitted, as a very powerful argument against the efficacy of tobacco as a medicine, that the physicians of our day have in many cases abandoned its use, and in others adopted some less dangerous succedancum.
It may not be unamusing to the curious reader to know in what manner this subject is handled by King James. The “Counterblaste" commences by denouncing tobacco, because "the vile and stinking custome comes from the wilde, godlesse, and slavish Indians,” by whom it was used as an antidote against the most dreadful of all diseases. Its use was introduced “neither by a king, great conqueror, nor learned Doctor of Physicke, but by some Indians who were brought over;” they died, but the “savage custome” survived. King James contents himself by examining only four of the principal grounds or arguments upon which tobacco is used, two founded “on the theoricke of a deceivable appearance of reason,” and two “ upon the mistaken practicke of generall experience." Thus, “1. An aphorisme in the Physickes that the brains of all men being naturally cold and wet, all dry and hote things should be good for them.” Ergo, this “stinking suffumigation.”—2. The argument grounded on a show of reason, is “ that this filthy smoke, as well through the heat and strength thereof, as by a natural force and quality, is able and fit to purge both the head and stomach of rhewmes and distillations, as experience teacheth by the spitting and avoiding fleame immediately after the taking of it.”—3. That "the whole people would not have taken so general a good liking thereof, if they had not by experience found it very soveraigne and good for them.”—4. That by the taking of tobacco, divers and very many doe finde themselves cured of divers diseases ; as on the other hand no man ever received harme thereby.” The King after having, as he trusts, sufficiently answered “the most principal arguments” that are used in defence of this " vile custome," proceeds "to speake of the sinnes and vanities committed in the filthy abuse thereof." And 1. As being a sinneful and shameful lust. -2. As a branch of drunkennesse.-3. As disabling both persons and goods. His majesty concludes the “Counterblaste” by calling the smoking of tobac
• Appendix, p. 466.
co “a custome loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmeful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the blacke and stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomlesse.
Let it not be supposed that tobacco has been without friends, wise, learned, and distinguished; but space forces us to pretermit the mention of many who have ascribed to it as many virtues as were ever ascribed to the grand elixir of Alchemy. We shall content ourselves with two or three miscellaneous testimonies.-- Thus Acosta tells us it is a plant, " which hath in it rare virtues, as amongst others it serves for a counterpoison-for the Creator hath imparted his virtues at his pleasure, not willing that any thing should grow idle.”+ Lord Bacon speaks of its “cheering and comforting the spirits,” and that it relieves in lassitude. Again he says, “ doubtless it contributes to alleviate fatigues and discharge the body of weariness. 'Tis also conmonly said to open the passages, and draw off humours; but its virtues may be more justly attributed to its condensing the spirits.”'S * It is a good companion,” says Howell, “ to one that converseth with dead men, for if one hath bin poring long upon a book, or is toiled with the pen, or stupified with study, it quickeneth him, and dispels those clouds that usually oreset the brain. The smoke of it is one of the wholesomest sents that is against all contagious airs, for it oremasters all other smells ; as King James they say found true, when being once a hunting, a showr of rain drave him into a pigsty for shelter, where he caused a pipe full to be taken of purpose.”|| It were easy to multiply quotations both in prose and verse, but it is to the latter, most especially, that we must look for the most glowing ascriptions—to poetry which has ever delighted. I
“ To sing the praises of that glorious weed
Dear to mankind, whate'er his race, his creed,
In every form congenial to the soul.”
• King James's Works, fol. from page 214 to 222.
q In the TEXNOTAMIA or Marriage of the Arts, by Barten Holiday, 1680, there is a singular poem on the subject of Tobacco, where, in successive stanzas, it is compared to a musician, a lawyer, a physician, a traveller, a crittike, an ignis fatuus, and a whyffler. Beloe's Sketches, vol. ii. p. 10.
which modern physicians are pleased to consider so pestiferous and baleful, let us attend for a few moments to what has been said concerning its culture and manufacture. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes, says that its culture is productive of infinite wretchedness ; that it is found easier to make 100 bushels of wheat than 1000 pounds of tobacco, and that they are worth more when made.* Davies, in his History of the Carriby Islands, after giving an account of the culture and preparation of tobacco, adds, “that if the people of Europe who are so fond of it, had themselves seen the poor servants and slaves who are employed about this painful work, exposed the greatest part of the day to the scorching heat of the sun, and spending one half of the night in reducing it to that posture wherein it is transported into Europe; no doubt they would have a greater esteem for, and think much more precious that herb which is procured with the sweat and labours of so many miserable creatures.”+
Numerous medical writers, of the justest celebrity, have assured us, that endless and dreadful evils are the portion of all who are engaged in the manufacture of tobacco; that the workmen are in general meagre, jaundiced, emaciated, asthmatic, subject to colic, diarrheas, to vertigo, violent headach, and muscular twitchings, to narcotism, and to various diseases of the breast and lungs. I They have also declared that some of these evils have befallen families from the fact alone of being in the neighbourhood of a tobacco manufactory. Ramazzini says that even the horses employed in the tobacco mills are most powerfully affected by the particles of the tobacco. Now if these things be true, when we call to mind the countless multitudes employed in this “dreadful trade,” what a throng of evils present themselves upon the very threshold of our subject. || In this view of the case, one could not pass such a manufactory without an involuntary shudder, regarding it as a charnel house, or rather as a Pandora's box, to those wretched beings who are doomed to work or dwell within its pestilential precincts. I But in spite of the various and
* Notes on Virginia, pp. 278, 279.
| Ramazzini also says that the breath of those who labour at tobacco is in. tolerably offensive, "efficit, ut tabacariarum semper fæteant animæ.”
$" Tanta enim ex illâ tritura partium tenuim," says Ramazzini, “æstate præsertim, diffunditur exhalatio, ut tota vicinia tabaci odorem, non sine querimonia, et nausea persentiat.”
| Puellam hebræam novi, quæ tota die explicandas placentas istas ex tabaco incumbens, magnum ad vomitum irritamentum sentiebat, et frequenter alvi subductiones patiebatur, mihique narrabat, vasa hemorroidalia multum sanguinis profudisse, cum super placentas illas sederet.
9 Tourtel, in his Elémens d'Hygiène tom. ii. p. 410, assures us it is very dangerous to sleep in tobacco magazines. He cites an observation of Buchoz, who says that a little girl, five years old, was seized with frightful vomitings, and ex• pired in a very short time from this sole cause.