King of England James I.

The essayes of a prentise, in the divine art of poesie. Edinburgh. 1585. A counterblast to tobacco. London, 1604 online

. (page 8 of 10)
Online LibraryKing of England James IThe essayes of a prentise, in the divine art of poesie. Edinburgh. 1585. A counterblast to tobacco. London, 1604 → online text (page 8 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of the firfl Chriftian Kingdom) and that cannot endure
the fpirit of the Spaniards (their King being now com-
parable in largenes of Dominions, to the great Empe-
ror of Turkic) Shall wee, I fay, that haue bene fo 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 fupplications for affifl-
ance) (hall we, I fay, without blufhing. abafe ourfelues
fo farre, as to imitate thefe beaflly Indians^ flaues to
the Spaniards, refufe 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 glaffes, feathers, and fuch toyes, to golde
and precious flones, as they doe? yea why do we not
denie God and adore the Deuill. as they doe?

Now to the corrupted bafeneffe of the firft vfe of
this Tobacco, doeth very well agree the foolifh and
groundleffe firfl entry thereof into this Kingdome. It
is not fo long fince the firfl entry of this abufe amongfl
vs here, as this prefent age cannot yet very well re-



A counicrblafte to Tobacco. JOT

member, both the firfl Author, and the forme of the
firft introduction of it amongft vs. It was neither
brought in by King, great Conquerour, nor learned
Dodtor of Phificke.

With the report of a great difcouery for a Conqtieft,
fome two or three Sauage men, were brought in,
together with this Sauage cuftome. But the pitie is,
the poore wilde barbarous men died, but that vile
barbarous cuftome is yet aliue, yea in frefh vigor : fo
as it feemes a miracle to me, how a cuftome fpringing
from fo vile a ground, and brought in by a father fo
generally hated, fliould be welcomed vpon fo flender
a warrant. For if they that firft put it in practife heere,
had remembred for what refpedl it was vfed by them
from whence it came, I am fure they would haue bene
loath, to haue taken fo farre the imputation of that
difeafe vpon them as they did, by vfmg the cure
thereof. For Sanis non eft opus medico, and counter-
poifons are neuer vfed, but where poyfon is thought
to precede.

But fmce it is true, that diuers cuftomes flightly
grounded, and with no better warrant entred in a
Commonwealth, may yet in the vfe of them thereafter,
prooue both neceffary and profitable ; it is therefore
next to be examined, if there be not a full Sympathie
and true Proportion, betweene the bafe ground and
foolifh entrie, and the loathfome, and hurtfull vfe of
this {linking Antidote.

I am now therefore heartily to pray you to confider,
firfl vpon what falfe and erroneous grounds you haue
firft built the generall good liking thereof ; and next,
what fmnes towards God, and foolifh vanities before
the world you commit, in the deteftable vfe of it.

As for thefe deceitfull grounds, that haue fpecially
mooned you to take a good and great conceit thereof,
I fhall content my felfe to examine here onely foure of
the principals of them ; two founded vpon the Theo-
ricke of a deceiuable apparance of Reafon, and two
of them vpon the miftaken Praclicke of generall
Experience.



102 A count erblafle to Tobacco.

Firft, it is thought by you a fure Aphorifme in the
Phyfickes, That the braines of all men, beeing natur-
ally colde and wet, all dry and hote things mould be
good for them ; of which nature this (linking fuffumi-
gation is, and therefore of good vfe to them. Of this
Argument, both the Proportion and Affumption are
falfe, and fo the Conclufion cannot but be voyd of it
felfe. For as to the Propofition, That becaufe the
braines are colde and moid, therefore things that are hote
and drie are beft for them, it is an inept confequence :
For man beeing compounded of the foure Complexions,
(whofe fathers are the foure Elements) although there
be a mixture of them all in all the parts of his body,
yet muft the diuers parts of our Microcofme or little
world within our felues, be diuerfly more inclined, fome
to one, fome to another complexion, according to the
diuerfitie of their vfes, that of thefe difcords a perfecl
harmonic may bee made vp for the maintenance of
the whole body.

The application then of a thing of a contrary nature,
to any of thefe parts, is to interrupt them of their due
funclion, and by confequence hurtfull to the health
of the whole body. As if a man, becaufe the Liuer is
hote (as the fountaine of blood) and as it were an
ouen to the ftomacke, would therfore apply and
weare clofe vpon his Liuer and ftomacke a cake of
lead ; he might within a very fhort time (I hope) be
fufteined very good cheape at an Ordinarie, befide
the cleering of his confcience from that deadly fmne
of gluttonie. And as if, becaufe the Heart is full of
vitall fpirits, and in perpetuall motion, a man would
therefore lay a heauy pound ftone on his bread, for
flaying and holding downe that wanton palpitation, I
doubt not but his bread would bee more bruifed with
the weight thereof, then the heart would be comforted
with fuch a difagreeable and contrarious cure. And
euen fo is it with the Braines. For if a man, becaufe
the Braines are colde and humide, would therefore
vfe inwardly by fmells, or outwardly by application,



A counterpane to Tobacco. 103

things of hot and drie qualitie, all the gaine that he
could make thereof, would onely be to put himfelfe
in a great forvvardneffe for running mad, by ouer-
watching himfelfe, the coldneffe and moiftneffe of our
braine beeing the onely ordinarie meanes that procure
our fleepe and reft. Indeed I do not denie, but
when it fails out that any of thefe, or any part of our
boclie growes to be diftempered, and to tend to an
extremitie, beyond the compaffe of Natures temperate
mixture, that in that cafe cures of contrary qualities,
to the intemperate inclination of that part, being
wifely prepared and difcreetely miniftered, may be both
neceffarie and helpefull for ftrengthning and affifting
Nature in the expulfion of her enemies : for this is
the true definition of all profitable Phyficke.

But firfl. thefe Cures ought not to bee vfed, but
where there is neede of them, the contrarie whereof,
is daily practifed in this generall vfe of Tobacco by
all forts and complexions of people.

And next, I deny the Minor of this argument, as I
haue already faid, in regard that this Tobacco, is not fim-
ply of a dry and hot qualitie ; but rather hath a certaine
venemous facultie ioyned with the heate thereof,
which makes it haue an Antipathic againft nature, as
by the hatefull fmell thereof doeth well appeare. For
the Nofe being the proper Organ and conuoyof the fenfe
of fmelling to the braines, which are the onely fountaine
of that fenfe, doeth euer ferue vs for an infallible wit-
neffe, whether that Odour which we fmell, be health-
full or hurtfull to the braine (except when it fals out
that the fenfe it felfe is corrupted and abufed through
fome infirmitie, and diftemper in the braine.) And
that the fuffumigation thereof cannot haue a drying
qualitie, it needes no further probation, then that it
is a fmoake, all fmoake and vapour, being of it felfe
humirle, as drawing neere to the nature of the ayre,
and eafie to be refolued againe into water, whereof
there needes no other proofe but the Meteors, which
being bred of nothing elfe but of the vapours and ex-



104 A counterblajle to Tobacco.

halations fucked vp by the Sunne out of the earth, the
Sea, and waters yet are the fame fmoakie vapours
turned, and transformed into Raynes. Snowes, Deawes,
hoare Frofles, and fuch like waterie Meteors, as by the
contrarie the raynie cloudes are often transformed and
euaporated in bluflering winds.

The fecond Argument grounded on a mow of rea-
fon is, That this filthie fmoake, afwell through the
heat and flrength thereof, as by a naturall force and
qualitie, is able and fit to purge both the head and
flomacke of Rhewmes and diflillations, as experience
teacheth, by the fpitting and auoyding fleame, im-
meadiately after the taking of it. But the fallacie of
this Argument may eafily appeare, by my late pre-
ceding defcription of the Meteors. For euen as the
fmoakie vapours fucked vp by the Sunne, and flaied
in the lowefl and colde Region of the ayre, are there
contracted into cloudes and turned into raine and
fuch other water)- Meteors : So this {linking fmoake
being fucked vp by the Nofe, and imprifoned in the
colde and moyft braines, is by their colde and wett
facultie, turned and cafl foorth againe in waterie dif-
tillations, and fo are you made free and purged of
nothing, but that wherewith you wilfully burdened
your felues : and therefore are you no wifer in taking
Tobacco for purging you of diflillations, then if for pre-
uenting the Cholike you would take all kinde of
windie meates and drinkes. and for preuenting of the
Stone, you would take all kinde of meates and drinkes
that would breede grauell in the Kidneyes, and then
when you were forced to auoyde much winde out of
your flomacke, and much grauell in your Trine, that
you fhouid attribute the thank e thereof to fuch nourilh-
ments as bred thofe within you, that behoued either to
be expelled by the force of Nature, or you to haue
burft at the broad fide, as the Prouerbe is.

for the other two reafons founded vpon ex-
perience, the firfl of which is, That the whole ]
would not haue taken fo generall a good liking there-



A counterblajle to Tobacco. 105

of, if they had not by experience found it verie
foueraigne and good for them : For anfwere thereunto
how eafily the mindes of any people, wherewith God
hath replenifhed this world, may be drawen to the
fool i fh affectation of any noueltie, I leaue it to the
difcreet iudgement of any man that is reafonable.

Doe we not dayly fee, that a man can no fooner
bring ouer from beyond the Seas any new forme of
apparell, but that hee can not bee thought a man of
fpirit, that would not prefently imitate the fame?
And fo from hand to hand it fpreades, till it be prac-
tifed by all, not for any commoditie that is in it, but
only becaufe it is come to be the fafhion. For fuch is
the force of that naturall Selfe-loue in euery one of vs,
and fuch is the corruption of enuie bred in the brefl
of euery one, as we cannot be content vnleffe we imi-
tate euery thing that our fellowes doe, and fo prooue
our felues capable of euery thing whereof they are cap-
able, like Apes, counterfeiting the maners of others, to
our owne deflruclion. For let one or two of the
greateft Mailers of Mathematickes in any of the two
famous Vniuerfities, but conflantly affirme any cleare
day, that they fee fome ftrange apparition in the
fkies : they will I warrant you be feconded by the
greateft part of the Students in that profeffion : So
loath will they be, to bee thought inferiour to their
fellowes, either in depth of knowledge or fharpnefTe of
fight : And therefore the generall good liking and
imbracing of this foolifh cuftome, doeth but onely
proceede from that affectation of noueltie, and popu-
lar errour, whereof I haue already fpoken.

The other argument drawen from a miflaken ex-
perience, is but the more particular probation of this
generall, becaufe it is alleaged to be found true by
proofe, that by the taking of Tobacco diners and very
many doe finde themfelues cured of diuers difeafes
as on the other part, no man euer receiued harme
thereby. In this argument there is firfl a great mif-
taking and next a monftrous abfurditie. For is it not
a very great miftaking, to take Non caufam pro caufa,



io6 A countcrblajk to Tobacco .

as they (ay in the Logicks? becaufe peraduenture
when a ficke man hath had his difeafe at the height,
hee hath at that inftant taken Tobacco, and afterward
his difeafe taking the naturall courfe of declining, and
confequently the patient of recouering his health, O
then the Tobacco forfooth, was the worker of that
miracle. Befide that, it is a thing well knovven to all Phi-
ficians, that the apprehenfion and conceit of the patient
hath by wakening and vniting the vitall fpirits, and fo
flrengthening nature, a great power and vertue, to cure
diuers difeafes For an euident proofe of miftaking in
the like cafe, I pray you what foolifh boy, what iillie
wench, what olde doting wife, or ignorant countrey
clowne, is not a Phifician for the toothach, for the
cholicke, and diuers fuch common difeafes? Yea,
will not euery man you meete withal, teach you a
fundry cure for the fame, and fweare by that meane
either himfelfe, or fome of his neerefl kinfmen and
friends was cured ? And yet I hope no man is fo
foolifh as to beleeue them. And all thefe toyes do
only proceed from the miftaking Non caufam pro
caufa, as I haue already fayd, and fo if a man chance
to recouer one of any difeafe, after he hath taken
Tobacco, that mufl haue the thankes of all. But by
the contrary, if a man fmoke himfelfe to death with it
(and many haue done) O then fome other difeafe
muft beare the blame for that fault So doe olde
harlots thanke their harlotrie for their many yeeres,
that cuftome being healthfull (fay they) ad purgandos
Rents, but neuer haue minde how many die of the
Pockes in the flower of their youth. And fo doe olde
drunkards thinke they prolong their dayes, by their
fwinelike diet, but neuer remember howe many die
drowned in drinke before they be halfe olde.

And what greater abfurditie can there bee, then to
fay that one cure fhall feme for diuers, nay, contrar-
ious fortes of difeafes? It is an vn doubted ground
among all Phificians, that there is almoft no fort either
of nourishment or medicine, that hath not fome thing
in it disagreeable to fome part of mans bodie, be-



A counterblajle to Tobacco. 107

caufe, as I haue already fayd, the nature of the temper-
ature of euery part, is fo different from another, that
according to the olde prouerbe, That which is good
for the head, is euill for the necke and the fhoulders.
For euen as a flrong enemie, that inuades a towne or
fortreffe, although in his fiege thereof, he do belaie
and compaffe it round about, yet he makes his breach
and entrie, at fome one or few fpecial parts thereof,
which hee nath tried and found to bee weakeft and
leaft able to refill ; fo fickeneffe doth make her parti-
cular affault, vpon fuch part or parts of our bodie, as
are weakeft and eafieft to be ouercome by that fort of
difeafe, which then doth affaile vs, although all the reft
of the body by Sympathie feele it felfe, to be as it
were belaied, and befieged by the affliction of that
fpeciall part, the griefe and fmart thereof being by the
fence of feeling difperfed through all the reft of our
members. And therefore the fkilfull Phifician preffes
by fuch cures, to purge and ftrengthen that part
which is afflicted, as are only fit for that fort of difeafe,
and doe beft agree with the nature of that infirme
part ; which being abufed to a difeafe of another na-
ture, would prooue as hurtfull for the one, as helpfull
for the other. Yea, not only will a fkilfull and warie
Phifician bee carefull to vfe no cure but that which is
fit for that fort of difeafe, but he wil alfo confider all
other circumftances, and make the remedies futable
thereunto : as the temperature of the clime where the
Patient is, the conflitution of the Planets, the time of
the Moone, the feafon of the yere, the age and com-
plexion of the Patient, and the prefent ftate of his body,
in ftrength or weakeneffe. For one cure muft not euer
be vfed for the felf-fame difeafe, but according to the
varying of any of the forefaid circumftances, that fort
of remedie muft be vfed which is fitted for the fame.
Whear by the contrarie in th is cafe, fuch is the mir-
aculous omnipotencie of our /irong tailed Tobacco, as
it cures all forts of difeafes (which neuer any drugge
could do before) in all perfons, and at all times. It



io8 A counterblafle to Tobacco.

cures all maner of diflillations, either in the head or
ftomacke (if you beleeue their Axiomes) although in
very deede it doe both corrupt the braine, and by
caufing ouer quicke difgeflion, fill the (loraacke full of
crudities. It cures the Gowt in the feet, and (which
is miraculous) in that very inflant when the fmoke
thereof, as light, flies vp into the head, the vertue
thereof, as heauie, runs downe to the little toe. It
helpes all forts of Agues. It makes a man fober that
was drunke. It refrefhes a weary man, and yet makes
a man hungry. Being taken when they goe to bed, it
makes one fleepe foundly, and yet being taken when a
man is fleepie and drowfie, it will, as they fay, awake
his braine, and quicken his vnderflanding. As for
curing of the Pockes, it ferues for that vfe but among
the pockie Indian flaues. Here in England it is re-
fined, and will not deigne to cure heere any other then
cleanly and gentlemanly difeafes. O omnipotent pow-
er of Tobacco \ And if it could by the fmoke thereof
chace out deuils, as the fmoke of Tobias fifh did (which
I am fure could fmel no ftronglier) it would ferue for
a precious Relicke, both for the fuperflitious Priefls,
and the infolent Puntanes, to cafl out deuils withall.

Admitting then, and not confeffing that the vfe
thereof were healthfull for fome fortes of difeafes;
mould it be vfed for all ficknefTes? mould it be vfed
by all men ? mould it be vfed at al times ? yea mould
it be vfed by able, yong, flrong, healthful men ? Med-
icine hath that vertue, thit it neuer leaueth a man in
that ftate wherin it findeth him : it makes a ficke
man whole, but a whole man ficke. And as Medicine
helpes nature being taken at times of neceffitie, fo be-
ing euer and continually vfed, it doth but weaken,
wearie, and weare nature. What fpeake I of Medi-
cine? Nay let a man euery houre of the day, or as oft
as many in this countrey vfe to take Tobacco, let a man
I fay, but take as oft the beft forts of nourifhments in
meate and drinke that can bee deuifed, hee mail with
the continuall vfe thereof weaken both his head and his



A coimterblafte to Tobacco. 109

ftomacke : all his members mall become feeble, his
fpirits dull, and in the end, as a drowfie lazie belly-
god, he fhall euanim in a Lethargic.

And from this weakneffe it proceeds, that many in
this kingdome hau2 had fuch a continuall vfe of taking
this vnfauorie fmoke, as now they are not able to for-
beare the fame, no more then an olde drunkard can
abide to be long fober, without falling into an vncur-
able wcake:ieffe and euill conflitution : for their con-
tinuall cuftome hath made to them, habititm, alteram
natiirani : fo to thofe that from their birth haue bene
continually nourifhed vpon poifon and things venem-
ous, wholefome meates are onely poifonable.

Thus hauing, as I trufle, fufficiently anfwered the
moft principal 1 arguments that are vfed in defence of
this vile cuftome, it refts onely to informe you what
fmnes and vanities you commit in the filthie abufe
thereof. Firll, are you not guiltie of finnefull and
fhamefull luft ? (for lufl may bee as well in any of the
fenfes as in feeling) that although you bee troubled
with no difeafe, but in perfect, health, yet can you
neither be merry at an Ordinarie, nor lafciuious in the
Stewes, if you lacke Tobacco to prouoke your appetite
to any of thofe forts of recreation, lulling after it as the
children of Ifrael did in the wilderneffe after Quailes?
Secondly it is, as you vfe or rather abufe it, a branche
of the fmne of drunkenneffe, which is the roote of all
fmnes : for as the onely delight that drunkards take
in Wine is in the ftrength of the tafte, and the force of
the fume thereof that mounts vp to the braine : for no
drunkards loue any weake, or fweete drinke : fo are
not thofe (I meane the flrong heate and the fume) the
onely qualities that make Tobacco fo delectable to all
the louers of it? And as no man likes ftrong headie
drinke the firfl day (becaufe nemo repentc fit turpijfi-
imii) but by cuftome is piece and piece allured, while
in the ende, a drunkard will haue as great a third to
bee drunke, as a fober man to quench his third with
a draught when hee hath need of it : So is not this the
very cafe of all the great takers of Tobacco ? which



no A countcrblajle to Tobacco.

therefore they themfelues do attribute to a bewitching
qualitie in it. Thirdly, is it not the greatefl finne of
all, that you the people of all fortes of this Kingdome,
who are created and ordeined by God to beftowe both
your perfons and goods for the maintenance both of
the honour and fafetie of your King and Common-
wealth, mould difable your felues in both? In your
perfons hauing by this continuall vile cuftome brought
your felues to this fhameful imbecilitie, that you are
not able to ride or walke the iourney of a lewes Sab-
both, but you mufl haue a reekie cole brought you
from the next poore houfe to kindle your Tobacco
with ? whereas he cannot be thought able for any fer-
uice in the warres, that cannot endure oftentimes the
want of meate, drinke and fleepe, much more then
muft 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 fome
fudden Caualcado vpon your enemies, if any of you
fhould feeke leifure to flay behmde his fellowe for
taking of Tobacco, for my part I fhould neuer bee forie
for any euill chance that might befall him. To take
a cuflome in any thing that cannot bee left againe, is
mofl harmefull to the people of any land. Mol/icies
and delicacie were the wracke and ouerthrow, firft of
the Perfian, and next of the Romane Empire. And
this very cuflome of taking Tobacco (whereof our pre-
fent purpofe is) is euen at this day accounted fo effe-
minate among the Indians themfelues, as in the market
they will offer no price for a flaue to be fold, whome
they finde to be a great Tobacco taker.

Now how you are by this cuflome difabled in your
goods, let the Gentry of this land beare witneffe, fome
of them beftowing three, fome foure hundred pounds
a yeere vpon this precious ftinke, which I am fure
might be beftowed vpon many farre better vfes. I
read indeede of a knauifh Courtier, who for abufing
the fauour of the Emperour Alexander Seiierus his
Mafter by taking bribes to intercede, for fundry per-



A counterblafte to Tobacco. in

fons in his Matters eare, (for whom he neuer once
opened his mouth) was iuftly choked with fmoke, with
this doome, Fumo pereat, qiii fumum vendidit : but of
fo many fmoke-buyers, as are at this prefent in this
kingdome, I neuer read nor heard.

And for the vanities committed in this filthie cuf-
tome, is it not both great vanitie and vncleaneneffe,
that at the table, a place of refpecl:, of cleanlineffe, of
modeftie, men mould not be afhamed, to fit toffing of
Tobacco pipes, and puffing of the fmoke of Tobacco one
to another, making the filthy fmoke and ftinke thereof,
to exhale athwart the dimes, and infect the aire, when
very often, men that abhorre it are at their repaft?
Surely Smoke becomes a kitchin far better then a
Dining chamber, and yet it makes a kitchin alfo often-
times in the inward parts of men, foiling and infecting
them, with an vncluous and oily kinde of Soote, as
hath bene found in fome great Tobacco takers, that
after their death were opened. And not onely meate
time, but no other time nor action is exempted from
the publike vfe of this vnciuill tricke : fo as if the wiues
QtDiepe lift to conteft with this Nation for good maners
their worft maners would in all reafon be found at lead
not fo difhoneft (as ours are) in this point. The publike
vfe whereof, at all times, and in all places, hath now
fo farre preuailed, as diners men very found both in
Judgement, and complexion, haue bene at laft forced
to take it alfo without defire, partly becaufe they were
afhamed to feeme fingular, (like the two Philofophers
that were forced to duck themfelues in that raine
water, and fo become fooles afwell as the reft of the
people) and partly, to be as one that was content to
eate Garlicke (which hee did not loue) that he might
not be troubled with the fmell 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 ftraight
they muft bee in hand with Tobacco ? No it is become
in place of a cure, a point of good fellowship, and
he that will refufe to take a pipe of Tobacco among
his fellowes,. (though by his own election he would



ii2 A counterblafle to Tobacco.

rather feele the fauour of a Sinke) is accounted peeuifh
and no good company, euen as they doe with tippeling


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10

Online LibraryKing of England James IThe essayes of a prentise, in the divine art of poesie. Edinburgh. 1585. A counterblast to tobacco. London, 1604 → online text (page 8 of 10)