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An essay by Israel Zangwill

On Tobacco

Title:     On Tobacco
Author: Israel Zangwill [More Titles by Zangwill]

But even ancient kings did write sometimes, as witness this of James I: I hold it aye to be a Kings part to the Body-Politicke of all euils & excesses, & would fain demonstrate afresh to my dear Countrey-men how abhorrent to Heauen is this stinking incense that ascendeth day & night; but amid the heat & burden of the day I cannot find an hour to examine into this matter _de nouo_, & must needs be content with commending to the readers of "Without Prejudice" my booklet, "A Counterblaste to Tobacco," imprinted _Anno_ 1604, wherein they will find the abuses of this foreign custome duly set forth at length. But, on second thoughts, perchance these moderns read nothing but what is under their noses, so I will shortly recapitulate my main positions, merely adding that my objections to Smoak are to-day even stronger than when I wrote. (1) It is a fallacie of the vulgar that _because_ the braines of men are colde & wet, therefore _Tobacco_ Smoak, being hote and dry, is good for them; a conclusion which no more followeth on the Premiss than the Ratiocination of one who should apply a cake of cold lead to his stomacke, because the Liver, being the fountaine of blood, is always hote. Moreover, the Smoak hath also a venomous qualitee. (2) It is a vulgar fallacie that the affection of mankind for the Practise is a proof that it is good for them; inasmuch as men are ledd astray by a mode, & furthermore, the affectation & conceit of the patient persuadeth him he is benefited; yet how shall one drug cure of all diseases men of all complexions? (3) Men are by this custom disabled in their goods, spending many pounds a year upon this precious stinke, and are no better than drunkards. (4) It is a great iniquitee & against all humanity that the husband shall not bee ashamed to reduce thereby his delicate, wholesome and cleane complexioned wife to that extremitee that either shee must also corrupt her sweete breath therewith, or else resolve to live in a perpetual stinking torment. In short, tis a custome lothsome to the eye, hateful to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, & in the blacke stinking fume thereof neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomeless.

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Israel Zangwill's essay: On Tobacco