Beer & 'baccy: a christmas miscellany of jovial literature online

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4^^ HE ascertained history of tobacco
{^ begins with the sojourn in Hayti
^^^ of Father Romano Pano, chap-
lain to Christopher Columbus, who first
mentioned the herb and its use. This
was in the year 1496— nearly sixty
years before its, arrival in Europe. The
early literature of tobacco is pretty
voluminous, for in addition to the many
references to it by Franciscus Heman-
•dez de Toledo, who was sent to Mexico
by Philij) IL of Spain, to study the
natural history of that countrjr, a great
4eai of information concerning it is con-
tained in the writings of Hernandez de
Oviedo, who was alcaide of San Do-
mingo in 1535, Geronimo Benzono of
Milan, Father Andr^ Thevet, and Jean
de Lery. In 1555, the first tobacco
seed was brought from Florida to Por-
tugal and planted there, and in 1559,
^'Maister John Nicot de Villemain,
•Counsellor to the Kyng, beeying Em-
bassadour for the Kyng in Portugall,''
had his attention directed on various
occasions to the medicinal properties of
the leaves, by the keeper of the prisons.
He planted some ^ seed in his own
^garden, and experimented with the
tobacco himself, and was so satisfied of
its vidue that he sent specimens of it
to the Comte de Jamac, who took an
opporjninity one day of introducing it to
the attention of the Queen Mother
during dinner. In France, strange to
«ay, tobacco was first employed as a
drink, in the shape of nicotine and
water, but smoking soon became genend
and gradually extended into England,
where, in 1585, tobacco houses were
already well-known institutions. I
believe the house is still in existence
where the first pipe of tobacco was

smoked in this country. This was Sir
Walter Raleifi'h^s house in Blackwall, a
building which, when I last saw it, M
been turned into a tavern and msMi-
lessly desecrated. In one of the room
of this house, Sir Walter and a ftm
other gallants blew the first cio6dt fi
tobacco smoke that this country «mr
knew, and rehearsed the performaaeeB
which subsequently the Queen heiieif
deigned to grace. Not even the daring
imaginations of the piratical oonrtien
of Queen Elizabeth ever dreamed, how-
ever, of the dimensions of the indnstdN
which these premonitary puffs of
tobacco smoke subsequently stioanlated,
or of the immense wealth which they
have created and kept in circulaticui.

In England, tobacco has exercifled a
most salutary influence, not only directly
on smokers, but indirectly on the State
and ^ the country at large. We may
consider that we owe to it two of the
most important cities of our Emplie,
for although in recent ^rears thev have
made great strides as identified with
industries and departments of commerce
of a different character, it is to their
early trading in tobacco that we have
to ascribe their first stimulus to fortune,
and the accumulation of that canital
which enabled them to launch mto

E 'eater ventures. I am alluding to
iverpool and Glasgow. Ihaveabceady
pointed out that originally we obtained
our tobacco from France. After a tim&
when our demand increased, we keceivea
it from Spanish and Portuguese mer-
chants, who imported it from America;
but in James the First's reiffn, when
Virginia waft colonised, we began to
receive it direct. The very first bales
reached Liverpool in 1616. The trade


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'wortld have immediately assumed enor-
nckous proportions, but for ^ears it had
svt: every step to coi^nd with the pre-
jndioes of the King and his son Charles.
Iix 1619 James published hi» notorious
** Oounterblast, and from that time
^He activit;^ of his tobaccophobia knew
no intermission. In 16^ he even
^went the len^h of ordering the colo-
nists of Virginia to breed silkworms
azLcl set up^ looms, describing silk in his
proclamation as ^' a rich and solid com-
modity,^ preferable to tobacc©." The
sturdy planters, however, although they
-were somewhat intimidated by the royal
displeasure, failed to obey the com-
mands they received, for in 1631 we
find Charles ordering the Virginians to
send to the mother country " some
Ijetter fruit than tobacco and smoke,"
ajid so avoid ** the speedy ruin likely to
befall the eoltnies, and the danger to
th.e bodies and manners of the English
people through the excepsive growth of
tobacco." Is^otwithstanding these arbi-
trary exercises of authority, the trade
increased. In 1740 more than 200
Hritish s^ips were constantly engaged
in the shipping of tobacco, and the
annual total of their cargoes exceeded
18,000,0001bs. Under these eircum-
stamces it is not astonishing that from a
small market town Liverpool should so
soon have developed into an important
city. A century and a half ago its
principal merchants were all engaged in
the tooacoo traffic ; the most important
of these were Sir Thomas Johnson, Sir
William Norris, and William Clayton.
The well-known Old Dock was com-
menced in 1699, solely to meet the
requirements of the ever increasing
tobacco trade, and indeed it was this
traffic that made the town, for in
addition to yielding it enormous profit
intrinsically, it was the means of intro-
ducing it to the slave and cotton trades,

which crowned the edifice of its pros-
perity. The history of Gla^ow is f
parallelism of that of Liverpool. Until
the union in 1702, it was a very small
market and export town for pickled
salmon and dried herrings. ^ Entering
however, into competition with Liver-
pool in the tobacco traffic, its rise was
rapid. ** I once asked," said Sir John
Dalrymple, in 1788, "the late Lord
Provost Cochrane, of Glasgow, who waa
eminently wise, and who had been a
merchant there for seventy years, to
what causes he imputed the sudden rise
of Glasgow. He said it was all - owing
to four young men of talent and spirit,
who started at one time in business, and
whose successes gave example to the-
rest. The four had not £10,000 amongst
them when they began." These enter-

g rising youths were William Cunning -
am, Henry Ritchie, Alexander Spiers,
and John Glassford, and the enterprise
on which they launched their capital
was the importation of tobacco from
Virginia. Glassford, during some years
before his death, in 1783, had twenty-
five ships of hirf own, in which he im-
ported £500,000 worth of tobacco per
annum ; and Spiers was at the same
time said to be still richer. The result
on Glasgow of this sudden commercial
inflation may be imagined. The town
grew and prospered with extraordinary
rapidity, and when Liverpool began
limiting itself to the still more lucra-
tive slave trade, Glasgow obtained a
monopoly of the tobacco trade until the
time of the American War of Inde-
pendence. When that war was con-
cluded the monopolist days were seen
to have reached their end, and th&
tobacco trade gradually distributed
itself among the various ports and
towns which are now identified with it*
traffic in the form we know it.


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rwas Cbristmas-eve ; the snow had
been falling all the day— covering
the griminess of the Great Citv
with a spotlefis mantle of virgin white. A
crisp, cold winter's night, and people
heamly congratulated each other upon
once more rejoicing in good old-fashioned
Christmas weather.

The main streets were full of pedes-
trians briskly passing to and fro, all
eager after their seasonable purchases,
and all gleeful. Here, the parents, with
a following of joyful children, laden
with imwonted festive fare : there, a
young couple, purchasing their first
Christmas dinner. God grant they may
enjoy many another. The rare cabs
passed like phantoms, so stilled were
the roads witn the fallen snow.

The shops wore their most bright and
festive air : . from the butchers and
bakers, to the very candlestick makers,
some attempt had been made to decorate
the windows with holly and evergreens,
and flaming placards. Yet of all, the
snuggest was certainly, the comfortable
bar of the Holly Tree public-house.

The Holly Tree was situate almost at
the comer of one of the streets leading"
off Tottenham Court Road, and what
with the brilliant picture of Father
Christmas dipping into a flowing bowl,
on which was printed in large charac-
ters, "Jolly's Goose Club Held Here,"
and the gorgeous anconncement, in
green and gold, that covered all the
available space in front of the house, to
the effect of "Punshon's Entire," one
couldn't be surprised at the number of
customers who Kept passing in and out
through its hospitably swinging doors.

You might be certain, too, that one
out of every three woula be the prood
possessor of a timely -purchased goon.
Good luck to them !

The Holly Tree was none of toot
new-fangled palaces, all silvered ffam,
mahogany, medisBval lamps, and super-
cilious barmaids; but one of the old-
fashioned sort, where you were sure to
get good liquor drawn you bv the molt
obliging of landlords, and. I should add,
landladies; for Mr. Jolly, the pto-
prietor, had just married.

Mr. Jolly had inherited the Holfar
Tree in due course from his father, who
had had it from his father, and bo on
for years more than the oldest iahalii*
tant could remember; and with fte
prosperity of the house was aasodatod
the name of the great brewer, yti.
Punshon. Indeed, it was a moot questkn
who had started in business first, tibe.
Punshons or the JoUys. Jolly was
accounted a warm man, so that wiMo
he proposed for Phoebe Gray, tlM
pettiest ^rl in a certain quiet litUe
Kentish village, Phoebe was consicl^red
a very lucky girL For my part, I cotak-
der Jolly ought to have thanked his stais
that he had fallen across so pretty^jio
innocent, and so meet a helpmate. SbiQ
certainly made a pretty pictiif&
as she stood in front of a backgro«iS
of artistically coloured bottles, and I
do believe the foaming tankards tasM
sweeter after she had drawn them. {
know one thing ; there was no falling off
in the number of customers since she
had assisted to dispense the good things
At length the last customer was


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served, the shnitcrs drawn— though not
before many a friendly grip of the hand
and seasonable compliment had passed
— and Jolly could with satisfaction sit
down beside his little wife to a steaming
hot snpper. Ah ! he remembered that
supper months afterwards, I can tell yon.

The supper over, and the long churdi-
warden lighted, a glass of something
hot by his side, together with a smaller
edition of the same for his wife's benefit,
and with Phoebe sitting on his knee
Jolly looked the essence of comfort, and
I daresay felt so toa

" By the bye," said Phoebe, "I have
got a surprise for you. Who do you
think is coming to dine with us to-
morrow, along with father?"

JoUy couldn't guess at all.

"Why, the reverend Mr. Jawley,"
and she said the word, " reverend," with
bated breath, for Jawley was an uncle
of hers, whose word, after the ten
commandments, she had been taught to
accept as law. Jawley was really a
viHage grocer, who, alter making a
decent competence out of sanded sugar
and short weights, * * received a ca ' 1, " and
retired, but being a stirring man, tamed
his energies to tub-thumping, and en-
joyed nothing so much as every Sunday
to denounce everything wad everybody
— excepting, of course, himself — as

Now I don't think Jolly, in his heart,
anxiously desired the reverend's pre-
sence at his festive board, but he so
loved Phoebe, that had she told him
that she had invited the two Polar
bears from the Zoo to dine with them,
be wouldn't have murmured. So hd
only smiled, kissed her, thought no
more of it, and went to bed.

The next day came, and with it Old
Gray, the miller (Phoebe's father), laden
with good things—ruddy apples, plump
chickens, and, I believe, a brace (h
pheasants. With him came her uncle
Jawley, laden with tracts, headed with
TOch comforting titles as "Which is
your Road?" "Sinner Beware!"

"Where is your Soul?" &c. A very
jolly Christmas dinner it was too, plenty
to eat, and plenty of good stuff to drink.
Jolly didn^t bring out his worst tap,
you may be sure. Everybody enjoyed
themselves, and the reverend Jawley
excelled them all in the matter of the
disposal of the edibles ; but aifter having
eaten to repletion, he looked very grave
—it may have been indigestion — and
roundly declared good liquor was sin,
damnation and all the vices, and when
Old Gray lighted his pipe after dinner,
next denounced tobacco as being as bad.
The old miller didn't take much notice,
he was used to it, and as he said, ''put
it in his pipe, and smoked it." But
Phoebe looked quite distressed, poor
little woman, and Jolly didn't like it.

Phoebe's father returned home that
night, but the reverend Jawley said he
woidd stay with them a short time and
endeavour to pluck the brand from th«
burning. I only know that, after a few
days, he managed to make poOT Phoebe
perfectly wretched. He told her " she
was the devil's handmaiden," and added,
"her misguided husband was a servant
of Satan.^' Not very comfOTting re-
marks, you majr be sure, and poor Jolly
began to be quite distressed to see his
wife so miserable. In those days, I be-
lieve, if she had asked him to jump over
the moon, he would have tried to do so.

At last Phoebe made a clean breast of
it; "she did not think tiieir way of
getting money was anything but sin-
ful," and let out that Jawley had hinted
" that the next world would be a warm
one for them," and then she burst out

" But what are we to do, my darling,
for a living, then," said JoUy, almost at
his wits' end.

" Do," replied Phoebe, " we will con-
sult with Mr. Jawley in the morning."
Jolly passed anything but a comfortable
night, you may be bound, and in the
morning, asked Jawley, at breakfast,
" how he expected him to get a living if
he gave up tne old place ?"


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" Vont sive tip the old i^aoe/' replied
Jawley, '* out make a fortune in it ; turn
it into a traaperanoe palace for tfa« sin-
f al multitade, and prepare a place for
yourself above."

** Do, do ! " added Phoebe, clappii^
her hands, *' at all events we can try it
for a year," and between the pair of
them, poor Jolly was obliged to assent.

It was with a very abashed face that
Jolly called shortly after on old Mr.
Punshon, to tell him that *'he needn't
send in any mere of his casks and
Burels/' and then explained the con-
templated change.

"very good," said the kind old
brewer, " but we have served the house
for centuries, and if ever you want a

friend, depend on me."

^ « ♦ ♦ « «

What a change had taken place ! It
was Christmas-eve once more, the s^ of
the Holly Tree had vanished, and in its
place hung a brand new sign, the Cocoa
Tree. Out of doors it was a cold,
slushy, miserable night, and the people
who were forced to go out that even-
ing seemed only intent on effecting
their purchases and then hurrying
home as fast as they could ; excepting
those sensible ones whom poor Jolly could
see defying the elements with a nip or
glass at the Tvtro Swans, across the road.
Alas, few customers troubled him now !
In vain he daily manufactured quarts
of coffee, cocoa, tea, or soup, and pre-
pared the most economical of dinners
for them. He only saw his money, like
his business, growing smaller day by day.

Inside the tavern, where, only one
year ago, aU was business, bustle, and
ji^tY, there now sat two or three miser-
able beings, who, in lieu of better things,
were fain to accept the tickets from the
charitable that had procured them the
drinks they were then swallowing, not
without many a wistful glance either, at
the, to them, closed attractions of the
Two Swans.

It was a miserable Christmas dinner
Jolly and his wife sat down to that

year ; old Gray had made some exense.
I really believe he couldn't forego his
rape and glass, and wouldn't come. B«t
Jawley was there, and Jolly inwaid^
cursed him as the author of his impend-
ing ruin. Even poor Phoebe looked
haggard and careworn, and every moutii-
ful the reverend swallowed — and he
swallewed a good many — ^the Imdcen-
hearted publican wished would choke

At last Phoebe fairly broke down, and
fell sobbing on the table ; this was too
much for poor Jolly's feelings, human
endurance nas its limits, and he felt thsit
they both had by this time had enoogh
of the Reverend JawJey's company. I
am afraid they came to naughty words,
but I know the certain result was tiiat
the now infuriated Jolly fairly kicked
the Reverend Jawley into the street,
and as the door closed on him swore the
morrow should see the old Holly iSree la

its place once more.
« * * ♦ ♦ *

Christmas comes but once a year, but
when you are happy the months aeem to
roll by only too quicMy. It was Christ-
mas once again, the Holly Tree was all
ablaze, and no lack of holly, or misletoe
either for the matter of that, atx>ut the
dear old bar, and Phoebe was there too,
pretty and plump as ever, as though tbe
Christmas eve of to-night was the iden-
tical one of two years ago.

Ah, a good many things had happened
since then. Poor Jolly firstly, liad
found himself nearly ruined, and next,
his wife worn almost to a shadow. Some-
thing had to be done, and, like a brave
fellow, he made up his mind and did it.

It was net without a great deal of
stammering, though, that he was able
to blurt out the truth to kind old Mr.
Punshon. But the brewer could be
relied on in an emergency, and only
said, '* Jolly, you are a fool ; I promised
to assist you, and I will," adding, smil-
ing, 'Hhat is, if you have had enough of
the Cocoa Tree. The very word coooa
seemed to rise in poor Jolly's gorge.


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So, shortly, Punshon'a Entire shone
out cnce again in green and gold, and
I^unshou's hearty-looking draymen and
great fat horses delivered, as of old,
barrrel after barrel into his empty

The customers soon returned to him,
X am afraid much to the annoyance of
the Two Swans across the road, and by
that Christmas Eve things once more
wore their wonted appe^ance.

It was a jolly supper that ntght, take
my word for it. Old Gray was there, in
the corner by the fire, and Phoebe smil-
ing, as of old, and a little Jolly crowing
and smiling too.

Not was a glass (in truth it was a
bowl) of punch wanting to crown the
board, and many a health was drunk to
dear old Punshon, his Entire, and suc-
cess to the Holly Tree too.


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@NUFFING was, no doubt, the
g) earliest form in which tobacco
J^ was consumed in Europe ; and,
indeed, we only have to glance at the
hiittorv of the introduction of tobacco
into Europe to immediately conjure up
visions of Catherine de Medicis taking
huge pinches of the Ha*be de la Heine
from the snuflf-box of Monsieur Jean
Nicot de Villemain. The snuff-box
was long a gorgeous institution in the
society of times gone by, and until
recently was the recognised vehicle of
the highest honour a corporation could
bestow. The snuff-boxes of our grand-
fathers were such lavishly ornamented
and expensive receptacles that a writer
of the last century was induced to
exclaim —

" What strange and wondrous virtue

must there be,
And secret charm, O snuff, concealed

in thee,
That bounteous nature and inventive

Bedecking thee thus all their powers

exert 1"

In those courtly days snuff-taking
was an art. In a general sort of way,
Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., Censor of Great
Britain, formulated, in the Tatlei\ a
few rules for snuff-taking, just in the
same way as another satirical writer
laid down^ rules in the Spectator for
manipulating fans. In Paris too the
process of snuffing was by specially
codified law divided under the following
twelve heads:— 1. Take the snuff-box
in the right hand. 2. Pass the snuff-
box into the left hand. 3. Tap the lid.
4. Open the box. 5. Present the box to
the company. 6. Take back the box.

7. Collect the snuff in one place by
tapping the box on the side. 8. Take
the snuff between the forefinger and
thumb. 9. Hold the snuff for a short
time in the fingers before carrying it to
the nose. 10. Carry the snuff to the
nose. 11. Equally fill the nostrils
without grimacing. 12. Close the box ;
sneeze, expectorate, and blow the nose.
On* the subject of snuffing, a curious
calculation has been left on record bv
Lord Stanhope.^ ** Every professed,
inveterate, and incurable snuff- taker,**
says his lordship, **at a moderate com-

Sutation takes one pinch in ten minutes.
Svery pinch, with the a^^eable cere-
mony of blowing and wiping the nose
and other incidental circumstances,
consumes one minute and a half. One
minute and a half out of every ten,
allowing sixteen hours for a snuff -taldog
day, amounts to two hours and twenty-
four minutes out of every natural day,
or one day out of ten. One day out of
everv ten amounts to thirty-six days and
a half in a year. Hence, if we suppose
the practice to be persisted in forgr
years, two entire years of the snuff
taker s life will be dedicated to tickling
his nose, and two more to blow-
ing it! The expense of snuff, snuff
boxes, and handkerchiefs will be the
subject of a second essay, in which it
will appear that this luxury encroaches
as mucn on the income of the snuff-
taker as it does on his time ; and that
by proper application of the time and
money thus lost to the public, a fund
might be constituted for the cUscharge
of the national debt"

Snuff was originally recommended by
the medical faculty to cure iNiins in the
head. Under the patronage of the Queen


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Ikf other it soon became a very general
article of luxnry, and was so much
patronised bv the clergy that it led to
tbe celebrated anathema of Pope Urban.
It was first made by grating, and was
in consequence called tabac rapi, whence
is derived the name Rappee. The po7)u-
larity of snuffing increased after the
Grreat Plague. To take snuflf and offer
a box gracefully was part of a beau's
education even in the time of Shakes-
peare. SSuch a one must have been in
the great dramitist's mind when in
Henry JV, he makes Hotspur describe
a certain nobleman who —

** Was perfumed like a milliner ;

And *twixt his finger and his thumb

he held
A pouncet box, which ever and

He gave his nose, and took 't away

again ;
Who therewith angry, when it next

came there,
Took it in snuff."

Poisons are sometimes mixed with
scented snuffs. In .1712 the Due de
Noailles presented the Dauphiness of
France with a box of such snuff. She
took the snuff, and five days after died,
complaining of sharp pains in the


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fHAT is this smoking, that it
should be considered a crime?
I believe in my heart that
women are jealous of it, as of a rival.
The fact is, that the cigar is a rival to
the ladies, and their conqueror too. Do
you suppose you will conquer? Look
over the wide world, and see that your
adversary has overcome it. Germany
has been puffing for threescore years ;
France smokes to a man. Do you think
you can keep the enemy out of England ?
Pshaw! look at its progress. Ask
the club-houses. I, for my part, do not
despair to see a Bishop lolling out of the
Athenaeum with a cheroot in his mouth,
or, at any rate, a pipe stuck in his shovel
hat.— Thackebay.

" A quart of ale is a dish for a king."
Shakespeare.-— iFtn^cr'^ Tale.

" Back and side go bare, go baie,
Both foot and hand go cold ; [enough,
But, belly, God send thee good ale
Whether it be new or old."

Still. — Gammer GuHoh.

" He who goes to bed, and goes to bed
Falls as the leaves do, and dies in

October ;
But he who goes to bed, and goes to

bed mellow,
Lives as he ought to do, and dies an
honest' fellow."


*• What two ideas are more inseparable
than Beer and Britannia?" —

ISypney Smith.

« If on thy theme I rightly think.
There are five reasons why men drink;
Good wine, a friend, or being dry,
Or lest I should be by-and-by,
Or any other reason why."


" Petition me no petitions, Sir, to-d^y ;
Let other hours be set apart for

To-day it is our pleasure to be drank,
And this our Queen shall be as drunk
as we."

Fielding.— Tbw Thumb,

" What a glorious creature was he iriio
first discovered the use of tobacco ! "
Fielding.— 7%e Grub Street Opera,

*^ Divine Tobacco."

Spenser. — Faerie Qaeen,

" Cassio. — Every inordinate cup la un-

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