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In all countries, Christian, Mahomedan, Jewish and Pagan, some foolish abomination or other has, in the dark ages, sprung up amongst the people, no one knows how, and been perpetuated, no one knows why. It is not my intention to illustrate the art of spinning-out in writing, and impose upon the public by entering into minute details, and citing grave authorities from cyclopædias, to show how the followers of the prophet first came to eat opium, the inhabitants of Cochin China whang-te, or any
other parallel case, but confine myself closely to the subject more immediately under consideration-a subject which, it may be said, is in every man's mouth,
comes home to the bosom and business of all."
It is strange what a strong propensity nature has implanted in the human species, from infancy to old age, to convey all sorts of substances into
that orifice which serves as a port of entry for the stomach. Even the small weeping and wailing babe, no sooner grasps with its tiny and unsteady hand any thing eatable, than its cries are stilled, and it carries it instinctively to its mouth; while, beyond all question, a mother's most infallible recipe for assuaging the grief of the hardy urchins around her, is a substantial slice of bread and butter. It is pleasant to note the sudden transition from grief, or rather mechanical crying, to joy, which takes place in a little fellow as soon as a pacifying piece of victuals is placed in his hand. How his face lightens up, and his bright eyes sparkle and glisten through the moisture which overflows them, while ever and anon the "big round tears” unconsciously leave his silken eyelashes, and
“ Course one another down his innocent nose."
It is a pretty study for a painter. The capacities for eating possessed by young children at a tender age are immense-many of the young rogues will continue stuffing from the rising to the going down of the sun, with a gusto calculated to excite the astonishment of an epicure and the horror of a valetudinarian. The swallowing capabilities of a man, however, are by no means so great, though his early objections to letting his jaw-bones remain in a quiescent state continue equally strong; he has, therefore, adopted various ways of indulging this propensity without danger to himself, and among these, masticating tobacco stands strikingly conspicuous in this section of the globe. To such an extent is this carried, that not only are thousands of acres of fertile land devoted to the purpose of raising it, but ships are fitted out and sent across the ocean ; and men, esteemed by statesmen and philosophers of an inferior order on account of their color, are torn from their home and wives and children, in order to cultivate a weed for other men of another color to put into their mouths and then take out again!
To me tobacco appears a very unodoriferous and anti-poetical substance. To rebut the latter charge it may be urged that Byron, the greatest poet of the age, was partial to it; but it must be remembered that Byron used it only as a medicine an antidote to rotundity-in small round balls, in order to allay the pangs of hunger when his lordship chose to fast, to prevent his growing, like Falstaff, “out of all compass-out of all reasonable compass." Notobacco is death to poetry and poetical associations wherever it comes in contact with them. Fancy, for an instant, a fine clear sabbath morn in some of the snug sheltered
villages on the Connecticut river, the bell from the simple spire summoning the hardy yeomanry, far and near, to the house of prayer. Fancy a venerable old man trudging along the narrow pathway that runs winding through the sweet-scented meadows which lie betwixt his home and the spot consecrated to the service of his Maker, with his smiling happy family tripping gaily at his heels. He feels the benign influence of nature in the balmy air, and is glad, though he almost deems cheerfulness a sin at such a time, while the rising generation find their hearts leaping with frolic glee as the delicious southern breeze, laden with the merry music of birds and the breath of flowers, comes sweeping over the bold hills and beautiful valleys. There is poetry, deep and pure, in such a sight. But suppose, for an instant, the old man, or any part of the male progeny,“ chew"_faugh! what a jar it gives the feelings—it is like a discord in a strain of music, or a blot from a sign-painter’s brush on one of Turner's landscapes. It brings you at once from the poetry of life to the harsh prosethe scurvy reality-and you see nothing but an old farmer and his tobacco-munching sons lounging along, employed in transferring large quantities of that detestable weed from one side of their mouths to the other, and ever and anon staining the bright young grass and pretty wild-flowers with their impure squirtations as they pass on their way,
Much is said of the influence which females exercise in this country, but it is, we fear, over-rated. Powerful as may be their commands and entreaties, and strong as may be their charms, it is reasonable to suppose that the charms of tobacco are still stronger, or they would doubtless have banished it from civilized society long ere this. It is shocking to think of a delicate creature with lips "like two young rose-leaves torn," having them at any time come in contact with those attached to what out of courtesy is called the mouth of a man, but which, in reality, is nothing better than a damp tobacco-box. Yet there is much kissing going on in the world for all this.
It is curious what strange and childish notions will perpetuate an evil. Drinking, gambling, &c. are enticing in the first instance, but all agree that the use of tobacco is dreadfuly disagreeable to the young beginner; yet boys will imitate the actions of men; unfortunately it is considered manly to swear, drink mint juleps, eat tobacco, and smoke cigars; and thousands of beardless, puny creatures are led away by the desire to appear older than they are. Poor children! Why do not their parents whip them and put them to bed early for doing