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An essay by Israel Zangwill

A Counterblaste To James I

Title:     A Counterblaste To James I
Author: Israel Zangwill [More Titles by Zangwill]

So please your Majestie, I would beg leave in all loyaltie & service to cry you mercy on behalf of the foreign weed, _Tobacco_, which stands for all time condemned by the potent _Counterblaste_ of a monarch, the maruelle of _Christendom_, whose brow hath borne at once the bays of Apollo, the laurels of Mars, & the crownes of Scotia & Anglia. And _imprimis_ I would venture humbly to obserue that your Majesties arguments are to the last Degree asinine. Euen the title--which, as is customarie with great personages, is the best part of your Majesties book--is marred by an unseemlie concession to paronomasia. That your Majesties manifold abuses of the Logicks may be better espied, I will take them _seriatim_. (1) The ground founded upon the Theoricke of a deceiuable apparence of Reason--your Majestie is mistaken in thinking that I hold it a sure aphorisme in the Physickes. For the braines are neuer colde & wet saue when there is water on them; & those who do not Smoak haue no braines for _Tobacco_ to benefit. (2) Your Majesties argumentation proueth how zealously your Majestie striueth to liue up to the nickname of the _British Solomon_. And, of a veritie, I could not myself run atilt more cunningly at this popular fallacie; though I might back up your Majestie with a most transparent illustration--to wit, that the affection of Mankind for monarchs is no proof that they are good for them. (3) I denie that _Tobacco_ wastes ones substance, & I would refer your Majestie to my demonstration of the Extrauagance of not smoaking. (4) And is it not an advantage that it resembleth to the Stigian smoak of the pit? The more we accustom ourselves thereto, the lesse we shall suffer when we join your Majestie. Will your Majestie kindlie recommend a Brande? Nor can I conclude without a word as to the ill-taste of that supplement to your Majesties booklet--a tax of Six Shillings & Eighte-Pence uppon euery Pounde-Waighte of _Tobacco_, ouer & aboue the Custome of Two Pence uppon the Pound-Waighte usuallye paide heretofore. Did your Majestie hope to effect so little by Reason that your Majestie must needs fall back on Reuenue? Hauing challenged this habit by the Kings pen, how unmannerly to resort to the coastguards cutlass & fight the custome at the Custome House. Was it, perhaps, that your Majestie was wishful to promote English Agriculture or was getting up a cornere in Cabbaiges?

Howsoever, Smoak hath suruiued the _Stuarts_. May I offer your Majestie a Cigarre?

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Israel Zangwill's essay: Counterblaste To James I