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History of smoking.

The first mode of using tobacco in England was smoking, and Sir Walter Raleigh, as is well known, was the first man that introduced the fashion. Raleigh had his arms emblazoned at his dwelling at Islington, afterwards an inn, known as the Pied Bull, with a tobacco plant upon the top. It was the first house in England in which tobacco was smoked. The celebrated tobacco box of Sir Walter, used in entertaining his guests, was of a cylindrical form, about seven inches in diameter and twelve inches high; the outside was of gilded leather, and within was a receiver of glass or metal, which would hold about a pound of tobacco; a kind of collar connected the receiver with the case, and on every side the box was piercod with holes for the pipes.

The honor of being the first female smoker in England, is due to Queen Elizabeth, who copied the habit from Raleigh, and was in her time imitated by ladies of her court. There was another claimant for this honor in the person of one Molly Cutpurse, a low woman famous for her follies and her crimes, but upon examination it was found that the distinction belonged to the Virgin Queen. Molly never laid aside her pipe till her death in 1662. She was an original genius, as was shown by a direction in her will that her nephews, to whom she left the bulk of her property, "should not lay it out foolishly, but get drunk with it while it lasted."

Raleigh loved his pipe till the day of his death. He smoked on the morning of his execution, which, says a contemporary writer, "some formal persons were scandalized at; but I think," he adds, "'twas well and properly done to settle his spirits." On being asked if it pleased him, "aye," said Raleigh, "'tis indeed good if a man might tarry by it."

Smoking soon spread through all ranks and became universal. The spectators at the theatres, in Shakespeare's time, were permitted to sit on the stage during the performance and puff away vigorously at their pipes and tobacco. Smoking was also permitted in all other parts of the house. The practice reached its climax about 1610. A common mode of smoking was to swallow the smoke partially, and afterwards blow it out through the nostrils. This was called tobacco drinking. In 1614 there was said to be upwards of seven thousand tobacco selling houses in London.--The Virginia tobacco was usually imported in the leaf, tied up in small loose bundles; the Spanish tobacco mostly in balls about the size of a man's head, coarsely spun into a kind of thick twine. The medical profession of that period ascribed to tobacco extraordinary medicinal effects. The "humors" of the body could only be "purged" by tobacco.

It was during this universal prevalence of the practice that the royal pendant, James L, wrote his "Counterblast to Tobacco." which however, does not seem to have produced much effect. In the frontispiece was engraved "the tobacco smoker's coat of arms, consisting of a blackamoor's head, cross pipes, cross leg bones, death heads, &c, curiously and scientifically disposed, as a warning to tobacconists." The author denounces smoking as a barbarous and beastly imitation of the godless and slavish Indian; contests the idea of its benefits as a medicine; but, on the contrary, contends that it is a poison, and maintains that it will render Britons effeminate, so that the land will produce no more great warriors. He predicts that British soldiers, upon a march, will lag in the rear, enjoying their pipes, and then be cut off by the the enemy. It is clear that the King had not foreseen Waterloo, nor imagined the existence of French Zouaves, to whom the pipe is almost as india ensable as the bayonet. His Majesty also dilates upon the extravagance of this precaution, "some of the gentry bestowing £300, some £400 a year upon this precious stink." He avers that smoking "makes a kitchen oftentimes in the inward parts of a man, soiling and infecting them with an unctuous and oily kind of cool as hath been found in some great tobacco-takers that after their deaths were opened," and winds up by pronouncing it "a custom loathsome to the eye — hateful to the nose — harmful to the brain — dangerous to the lungs — and in the black, stinking fumes thereof, nearest resembling the horrid Stygian fumes of the pit that is bottomless."

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