Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

you, that I am one of superior moral feeling, or possessed of exquisitely refined taste in works of science or of art; but simply to state to you, that I have much acuteness of the organs of smell. Stimuli, applied to this part of my conformation, act with peculiar efficacy; and this delicacy of organization is productive frequently of very disagreeable consequences.

You will have no difficulty in conceiving, with such a nose as this, in such a town as yours, how frequently causes of highest distress will occur; and, were I to expatiate on the various annoyances I meet with in my peregrinations through your streets, “I could a tale unfold, whose noxious words would harrow up the nose,” &c.

But these are annoyances defended by the bul. warks of habit and of profit; and directed against such a defence, the weapons which delicacy and cleanliness furnish, would fall blunted and ineffectual. There can be no doubt, that, on a fair review of the good and evil which chequers human life, our senses, under common circumstances, convey to us much more of pleasure than of pain. But it would admit of doubt, whether, to a man destined to spend his whole existence in this city, a nose, especially a nose of considerable sensibility, is a blessing or a curse.

I leave it, however, to a more potent arm, to lay the axe to the root of this great and flagrant evil, and shall only attempt to apply the pruning knife to one small branch of the sense-offending evils.

- I am come a stranger into your land, to drink a little of that knowledge which flows so copiously in the different streams of your illustrious College. I attend some of the classes; and in an hour when I was discharging this pleasant duty with all the assiduity that an eager desire for information could command, I was suddenly seized with the most violent convulsions-convulsions that not only distracted mental attention, but shook my bodily frame to its centre. This violent emotion I found was occasioned by the effluvia from a snuff-box, which a very young man (instead of attending to the business of the class) was circulating with great good nature all around him. Of course, every one in the neighbourhood, willing or unwilling, was obliged to admit into his nostrils a portion of this very diffusible, and to some very unpleasant, stimulus. .. . :

This was not the worst part of the business ; as soon as the gentleman had given his nose as much of the contents of the box as it was inclined to receive, he pulled out a pocket handkerchief, the hues and scents of which it would beggar the powers of description to detail. From its colour and effluvia, it might have served a family of snuff-takers through every generation, from the first invention of snuff down to the present day. . . . . .

It appears, that in the economy of snuff-taking, a handkerchief of this kind is necessary, in the same way as a jack-plane is to a joiner for rough-dressing ; and then comes a clean white cambric handkerchief to finish off the operation. That a sensible nose can bear to be served by officers of such different qualities and pretensions, is an enigma which must be referred for explanation to the power of habit, which reconciles even to apparent contradictions. ; I once knew a gentleman, a great snuff-taker, whose waistcoat pocket, was his snuff-box: now this I conceive to be a more liberal mode of disposing of this article than the common one, as it constitutes only a personal fixed nuisance, which you may escape by keeping out of its neighbourhood; whereas the moving social snuff-box may reach you, however cautiously you take your station.

To the snuff-taking fair I would observe, that. I have seen cheeks that might emulate the Parian marble and the rose of Damascus, conjoined to the lip and nose of an Egyptian mummy. From such a lip as this, pure pleasure never can be extracted ; and surely this is one mode of marring the “human face divine.”

Every man's house, Mr. Editor, is his castle. At home he may take as much snuff as he pleases. I am not interfering in this business, beyond the interest the public has in it; but against the admission of open snuff-boxes into public rooms I must enter my solemn protest. It is an unjustifiable and a cruel proceeding. If a man cannot keep his nose in good humour without snuff, for the time that he must appear in public, he is bound to provide himself with a box, whose lid or opening exactly fits the capacity of his nostrils. By such a contrivance, he will avoid much of the unjust mischief he will otherwise commit; he may take the whole of the effluvia, so disagreeable to many, into his own nose; and not, like Pandora, with a mischievous disregard to general consequences, diffuse the convulsion-exciting contents indiscriminately into the world around him Yours, &c. la boca letedikon ANTI-TABAC,

[graphic]
[graphic]

A DEFENCE OF SNUFF-TAKING,

BY PHILO-TABAC.
SIR,-A late correspondent, politely enough,
In want of a text, gave a lecture on SNUFF;
Whose votries he publicly branded with censure
Not one of the tribe having courage to answer.
Now as I'm a snuffer, and scorn to flinch,
Permit me to treat our bold foe with a pinch ;
In defence of my box and the sociable practice,
I'll beg just to mention what “ matter of fact is.”

[graphic]

SNUFF's known for a nostrum and famous speci Of pow'rs ever potent, and virtues prolific; It may be applied with success in a school, Where the teacher is plagu'd with a dunce or a foc When Euclid's diagrams and problems are solvin Or astronomers' brains like the planets revolving When plagu'd with pedantical, crabbed constru

tions, Or lost in a labyrinth of tangents and fluxions,

[graphic]

Sonid a faza Gure a fomu

Of some lunatic fuilled in Penis Or sitting in judgment on sophists no i Moon-struck, midst their dull metail With such soporifies the crifies would do Had experience not taught them a cure by the

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »