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Tobacco Talk and Smokers' Gossip  —  £ 3.99

Go to the eBook Shop "An amusing Miscellany of Fact and Anecdote relating to the 'Great Plant' in all its Forms and Uses including a Selection from Nicotian Literature."  is the introduction to this unusual and witty little book published in 1886.

Something for the Smoker, the Ex-Smoker and the Non-Smoker. Whatever you predilection you will find evidence here to support it, extracted from a very wide range of sources by the anonymous complier.

This eBook version contains the entire text. Please see the extract below, for the preface, a list of the contents and five of the shorter entries from the 113 in the book.

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The original cover shows a long-stemmed clay pipe in outline on a blank background and is rather dull, so I made the one above. The only parts of the book not reproduced are a few advertisements and the index, because most readers can search eBooks.


The text and any images below are identical to the eBook; however, depending on the typeface, etc., that you select, they may not display here exactly as they do on your eReader. Also, pages turn as normal, rather than the scrolling effect seen here.



      THE present collection of Notes and Anecdotes has been gleaned from the more generally interesting portion of a History of Tobacco, which for some few years has been in progress, and the materials for which were gathered from every available source.
      Not only novels and plays, old newspapers, travels and memoirs, have been examined or perused; but the works of poets and satirists, histories, acts of parliament, technical treatises, the accounts of early voyages, collections of tracts and tobacco journals, have been ransacked for contributions on the use and abuse, the praise and blame, of the "plant divine."
      For the delectation of all devotees of Tobacco; for those who take their Latakia from the seductive meerschaum, or Virginia from the clay; for those who taste the "naked beauties" of sweet Havana, as well as those who the "primrose path of dalliance tread" with a cigarette between their teeth; we have brought together in this little volume droll stories of the pipe, the romantic history of the snuff-box, odds and ends of Tobacco lore, and pages of splendid panegyric by nicotians such as Charles Lamb and Byron, Bulwer and Thackeray.
      Here too will be found pleasant gossip about famous tobacco-takers from Raleigh to Tennyson; not omitting the small sins of royalty, the backslidings of bishops (archbishops too) in this respect; soldiers and doctors, lawyers and artists, poets and peers — every one in short who is an honour to nicotian society, among whom one living lady at least must be numbered — no less exalted a personage than an Empress!
      The Editor desires to associate with this work the name of a friend, Mr. Ernest Darke, whose unremitting labours augmented considerably the mass of material from which Tobacco Talk was derived.


A Tobacco Parliament
Napoleon's First Pipe
A Dutch Poet and Napoleon's Snuff-Box
Frederick the Great as an Ass
Too Small for Two
A Smoking Empress
The Smoking Princesses
An Incident on the G.W.R.
Raleigh's Tobacco Box
Bismarck's Last Cigar
Bismarck's Cigar Story
Moltke's Pound of Snuff
Lord Brougham as a Smoker
Mazzini's Sang-froid as a Smoker
Lord Clarendon as a Smoker
Politics and Snuff-Boxes
Penn and Tobacco
Tobacco and the Papacy
The Snuff-Mull in the Scotch Kirk
Whately as a Snuff-Taker
The First Bishop who Smoked
Pigs and Smokers
Jesuits' Snuff
Kemble Pipes
An Ingenious Smoker
Anecdote of Dean Aldrich
Smoking to the Glory of God
Professor Huxley on Smoking
Blücher's Pipe-Master
Shakespeare and Tobacco
Ben Jonson on Tobacco
Lord Byron on Tobacco
Décamps and Horace Vernet
Milton's Pipe
Anecdote of Sir Isaac Newton
Emerson and Carlyle
Paley and his Pipe
Jules Sandeau on the Cigar
The "Pickwick" of Fleet Street, The Obsequio of Havana
The Social Pipe (Thackeray)
Triumph of Tobacco over Sack and Ale
The Smoking Philosopher
Sam Slick on the Virtues of a Pipe
Smoking in 1610
Bulwer-Lytton on Tobacco-Smoking
Professor Sedgwick
St. Pierre on the Effect of Tobacco
Ode to Tobacco (C. S. Calverley)
Meat and Drink (Charles Kingsley)
The Meerschaum (O. W. Holmes)
Charles Kingsley at Eversley
Robert Burns's Snuff-box
Robinson Crusoe's Tobacco
Victor Hugo
Mr. Buckle as a Smoker
Carlyle on Tobacco
A Poet's Pipe (Baudelaire)
A Pipe of Tobacco
The Headsman's Snuff-Box
The Pipe and Snuff-Box (Cowper)
Anecdote of Charles Lamb
Gibbon as a Snuff-Taker
Charles Lamb as a Smoker
Farewell to Tobacco (Chas. Lamb)
The Power of Smoke (Thackeray)
Thackeray as a Smoker
Dickens as a Smoker
Chewing and Spitting in America
Tennyson as a Smoker
A Smoker's opinion of Venice
Coleridge's First Pipe
Richard Porson
Cruikshank and Tobacco
Mr. James Payn
Mr. Swinburne on Raleigh
The Anti-Tobacco Party
"This Indian Weed"
Dr. Abernethy on Snuff-Taking
Abernethy and a Smoking Patient
Tobacco and the Plague
"The Greatest Tobacco-Stopper in all England"
Dr. Richardson on Tobacco
Advice to Smokers
Some Strange Smokers
The Etymology of Tobacco
The Snuff called "Irish Blackguard"
A Snuff-Maker's Sign
Mr. Sala's Cigar-Shop
Death of the "Yard of Clay"
A Prodigious Smoker
A Professor of Smoking
Tobacco in time of War
Ages attained by Great Smokers
A Maiden's Wish
"Those Dreadful Cigars"
How To Take a Pinch of Snuff
The Tobacco Plant
Fate of an Early Smoker
Adding Insult to Injury
Tom Brown on Smoking
The Snuff-Taker
Tobacco in North America
National Characteristics
Smoking at School
Carlyle on "The Veracities"
Children's Pipes
The Uses of Cigar Ash
An Inveterate Smoker
A Tough Yarn
Some French Smokers
Riddles for Smokers
Cigar Manufacturing in Havana


    INVETERATE smokers have reached very great ages. Hobbes, who smoked twelve pipes a day at Chatsworth, attained the age of 92; Izaak Walton, 90; Dr Parr, 78 — all devoted lovers of the pipe; and Dr. Isaac Barrow called tobacco his "panpharmacon."

    In 1769, died Abraham Favrot, a Swiss baker, aged 104; to the last he walked firmly, read without spectacles, and always had a pipe in his mouth.

    In 1845, died Pheasy Molly, of Buxton, Derbyshire, aged 96; she was burnt to death, her clothes becoming ignited whilst lighting her pipe at the fire.

    In 1856, there died at Wellbury, North Riding of Yorkshire, Jane Garbutt, aged 110; she retained her faculties and enjoyed her pipe to the last; she had smoked "very nigh a hundred years."

    Wadd, in his Comments on Corpulency mentions an aged Eflfendi, "whose back was bent like a bow, and who was in the habit of taking daily four ounces of rice, thirty cups of coffee, and three grains of opium, besides smoking sixty pipes of tobacco."

    Mr. Chatto, in his amusing Paper of Tobacco, relates that some time ago there was living at Hildhausen, in Silesia, a certain Heinrich Hartz, aged 142, who had been a tobacco-taker from his youth, and still continued to smoke a pipe or two every day.


    THERE has always existed a party devoted to the expulsion of the "Divine Plant" from our midst. Voltaire, Rousseau and Mirabeau have each in turn thundered forth anathemas against tobacco. "The nation that smokes perishes," said Charles Fourier, in a sentence as terse as it was dogmatic and untenable, when viewed in the light of the federation into one mighty Empire of the numerous German States, each impotent in itself, yet forming one resistless whole. The following, attributed to Stendhal, is certainly not so utterly at variance with established fact "If the Turk wears his fatalism impressed upon his features, if the German fritters away his existence in an ideal dreamland, if the Spaniard sleeps the sleep of the somnambulist, if in short, the Frenchman already lets his steadfast eye waver, the chibouque, pipe, cigar, and cigarette should bear the blame."


    THE following is derived from a New York paper. "A thoughtful girl says, that when she dies she desires to have tobacco planted over her grave, that the weed nourished by her dust, may be chewed by her bereaved lovers." Steinmetz has suggested the lines given below as a suitable epitaph for this tobacco-loving maiden:-

Let no cold marble o'er my body rise,
But only earth above and sunny skies.
Thus would I lowly lie in peaceful rest.
Nursing the Herb Divine, from out my breast.
Green let it grow above this clay of mine,
Deriving strength from strength that I resign.
So in the days to come, when I'm beyond
This fickle life, will come my lovers fond,
And gazing on the plant, their grief restrain
In whispering, 'Lo! dear Anna blooms again!'


    AT a debate upon Smoking among the members of the British Association, many speakers denounced and others advocated the practice. Professor Huxley said, "For forty years of my life, tobacco has been a deadly poison to me. (Loud cheers from the anti-tobacconists) In my youth, as a medical student, I tried to smoke. In vain! at every fresh attempt my insidious foe stretched me prostrate on the floor. (Repeated cheers) I entered the navy; again I tried to smoke, and again met with a defeat. I hated tobacco. I could almost have lent my support to any institution that had for its object the putting of tobacco-smokers to death. (Vociferous applause) A few years ago I was in Brittany with some friends. We went to an inn. They began to smoke. They looked very happy, and outside it was very wet and dismal. I thought I would try a cigar. (Murmurs) I did so. (Great expectations) I smoked that cigar — it was delicious! (Groans) From that moment I was a changed man; and I now feel that smoking in moderation is a comfortable and laudable practice, and is productive of good. (Dismay and confusion of the anti-tobacconists. Roars of laughter from the smokers) There is no more harm in a pipe than there is in a cup of tea. You may poison yourself by drinking too much green tea, and kill yourself by eating too many beef-steaks. For my own part, I consider that tobacco, in moderation, is a sweetener and equaliser of the temper." (Total rout of the anti-tobacconists and complete triumph of the smokers.)


LITTLE tube of mighty power,
Charmer of an idle hour,
Object of my warm desire.
Lip of wax, and eye of fire:
And thy snowy taper waist,
With my finger gently braced;
And thy pretty swelling crest,
With my little stopper press'd,
And the sweetest bliss of blisses,
Breathing from thy balmy kisses.
Happy thrice, and thrice agen.
Happiest he of happy men;
Who when agen the night returns,
When agen the taper burns;
When agen the cricket's gay
(Little cricket, full of play),
Can afford his tube to feed
With the fragrant Indian weed;
Pleasure for a nose divine,
Incense of the god of wine.
Happy thrice, and thrice agen,
Happiest he of happy men.

Isaac Hawkins Browne (1736).


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