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Nicotiana Or The Smoker's and Snuff-Taker's Companion   By:

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NICOTIANA;

OR THE SMOKER'S AND SNUFF TAKER'S COMPANION;

CONTAINING THE HISTORY OF TOBACCO;

CULTURE MEDICAL QUALITIES AND THE LAWS RELATIVE TO ITS IMPORTATION AND MANUFACTURE:

WITH AN Essay in its Defence.

THE WHOLE ELEGANTLY EMBELLISHED AND INTERSPERSED WITH ORIGINAL POETRY AND ANECDOTES, BEING INTENDED AS AN AMUSING AND INSTRUCTIVE VOLUME FOR ALL GENUINE LOVERS OF THE HERB,

BY HENRY JAMES MELLER, ESQ.

"I do assert and will affirm it before any prince in Europe, to be the most sovereign and precious weed that ever the earth tendered to the use of man." Captain Bobadil. Every Man in his Humour.

LONDON: EFFINGHAM WILSON, ROYAL EXCHANGE. 1832.

TO H. R. H. THE DUKE OF SUSSEX, This little Work, AS A TRIFLING TOKEN OF VENERATION FOR HIS CHARACTER AND ESTEEM FOR HIS TASTE, IS MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.

PREFACE.

Many an excellent cause has been lost through the want of sound arguments, founded on a knowledge of the case, to support and place it in its proper light. None, perhaps, more than smoking and snuff taking , the propriety of which, in the upper orders of life, have been and are, whether as regards their social or medicinal qualities, so frequently called in question by their enemies. These, the author is sorry to say, by the use of a few specious arguments, that chiefly pass current in refined society the ladies in particular have, strongly aided by prejudice, often made the defence succumb to the attack an unpardonable weakness on the part of a consumer of the herb, who is naturally enough expected to know the entire history of the favorite of his adoption. Unacquainted with the excellence of his subject, its importance and consequence in ancient and modern annals its high worshippers and eulogists, medical, and non medical, with its many endearing and social virtues acknowledged over the far greater part of the world; he, the Author asserts, unacquainted with the above data and references, opposes but a feeble barrier to the sweeping and general assertions of his adversary.

In the above glorious cause (i. e. Anti Smokers and Snuff Takers v. Lovers of the Herb) the Author himself holds a brief in the defence as counsel, and flattering himself he has made himself fully master of the case, he begs to impart it as a proper, if not an absolutely requisite accompaniment to all lovers of the 'soothing leaf.' The prejudices against smoking are numerous. Smoking that is called unsocial , the author affirms to be the common source of harmony and comfort, the badge of good fellowship in almost every state, kingdom, and empire. Aye, from the English settlers in the wildernesses of America, where the Calumet or Pipe of Peace is smoked by the natives, to the turbaned infidel of the East from the burning zone of Africa to the icy regions of the North. In fact, in almost every clime and condition of society it is known as a common sign, or freemasonry of friendly feeling and social intercourse. In the East, the first act of hospitality is proffering the pipe with its invariable accompaniment coffee, which is more or less observed under various modifications over nearly the rest of the habitable world.

Smoking that is termed low and vulgar was, and is, an occasional recreation with most of the crowned heads of Europe, among which may be named his late Majesty, and their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of Sussex and Cumberland Ferdinand of Spain, and the Emperor Nicholas of Germany besides very many of the nobility of either empires and kingdoms.

Smoking that is termed idle , is singularly popular with mechanics, the most industrious classes of England.

Smoking that is said to be dirty and filthy , is in the greatest esteem, among the most moral and cleanly sect in Christianity the Society of Friends or Quakers.

Smoking that is affirmed to be revolting and disgusting , is indulged in by the most rigidly kept women in the world those of Turkey, who elevated in the dignity of the Haram, are taught to consider a whiff of their lord's chibouque a distinction... Continue reading book >>




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