Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

other side of the title-page, and have dependence one upon another: which manner of writing and printing he doth purpose to continue weekly by God's assistance from the best and most certain intelligence: farewell, this twenty-three of August, 1622.

Like most innovations, this attempt met with an indifferent reception, and was greeted in the literary world with a shower of invective. Even Ben Jonson joined in the outcry, and ridiculed the newspaper office in his "Staple of News," in which, among other notions, he publishes the paradox, as it now appears to us, that the information contained in the gazette "had ceased to be news by being printed." Butler's venture seems to have been anything but a success, and but for the fact that it gave rise to speculation on the subject of newspapers, and laid the foundation of our periodical literature, might, so far at all events as its promoter was concerned, never have had an existence. But the idea lost no ground, and newspapers began to make their way, though they did not assume anything like regularity, or definite shape and character, for nearly half a century. None of these precursors of newspaper history exceeded in size a single small leaf, and the quantity of news contained in fifty of them would be exceeded by a single issue of the present day.

What is generally supposed to be, but is not, the first authenticated advertisement is the following, the political and literary significance of which is apparent at a glance. It appears in the Mercurius Politicus for January 1652 :—

TRENODIA GRATULATORIA, an Heroick Poem ; being a con■*• gratulatory panegyrick for my Lord General's late return, summing up his successes in an exquisite manner.

To be sold by John Holden, in the New Exchange, London. Printed by Tho. Newcourt, 1652.

In this chapter we have no intention of giving any specimens beyond those which are striking and characteristic. In subsequent chapters we shall carry the history in an unbroken line to modern times, but our intention is now \ to select special instances and specimens of particular

interest, and so we pass on to what may be almost considered a landmark in the history of our civilisation and refinement, the introduction of tea. The Mercurius Politicus of September 30, 1658, sets forth—

'TpHAT Excellent, and by all Physicians, approved, China drink, called by the Chineans Tcha, by other nations Tay alias Tee, is sold at the Sultaness Head Cophee-House, in Sweeting's Rents, by the Royal Exchange, London.

This announcement then marks an era; it shows that • "l'impertinente nouveaute" du siecle," as the French physi

cian, Guy Patin, called it in his furious diatribes, has not only made its advent, but is fighting its way forward. Patin is not without followers even in the present day, many people who would be surprised if accused of wanting in sense believing all "slops" to be causes of degeneracy. It must be observed that this is not the first acquaintance of our countrymen with the Chinese leaf—the advertisement simply shows the progress it is making—as tea is said to have been occasionally sold in England as early as 1635, at the exorbitant price of from j£6 to ^10 per pound. Thomas Garway, a tobacconist and coffee- house keeper in Exchange Alley, the founder of Gangway's Coffee-house, was the first who sold and retailed tea, recommending it, as always has been, and always will be the case with new articles of diet, as a panacea for all disorders flesh is heir to. The following shop-bill, being more curious than any historical account we have of the early use of "the cup that cheers but not inebriates," will be found well worth reading :—

Tea in England hath been sold in the leaf for £6, and sometimes for £ 10 the pound weight, and in respect of its former scarceness and dearness it hath been only used as a regalia in high treatments and enter

> tainments, and presents made thereof to princes and grandees till the year 1657. The said Garway did purchase a quantity thereof, and first sold the said tea in leaf or drink, made according to the directions of the most knowing merchants into those Eastern countries. On the know

> ledge of the said Garway's continued care and industry in obtaining the best tea, and making drink thereof very many noblemen, physicians, merchants, &c, have ever since sent to him for the said leaf, and daily resort to his house to drink the drink thereof. He sells tea from 16s. to 50s. a pound.

[graphic]

The opposition beverage, coffee—mention is made of the "cophee-house" in the "Tcha" advertisement—had been known in this country some years before, a Turkey merchant of London, of the name of Edwards, having brought the first bag of coffee to London, and his Greek servant, Pasqua Rosee, was the first to open a coffee-house in London. This was in 1652, the time of the Protectorate, and one Jacobs, a Jew, had opened a similar establishment in Oxford a year or two earlier. Pasqua Rosee's coffeehouse was in St Michael's Alley, Cornhill. One of his original handbills is preserved in the British Museum, and is a curious record of a remarkable social innovation. It is here reprinted :—

THE VERTUE OF THE COFFEE DRINK,
First made and publicly sold in England by
PASQUA ROSEE.

The grain or berry called coffee, groweth upon little trees only in the deserts of Arabia. It is brought from thence and drunk generally throughout all the Grand Seignour's dominions. It is a simple, innocent thing, composed into a drink, by being dried in an oven, and ground to powder, and boiled up with spring water, and about half a pint of it to be drunk fasting an hour before, and not eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as can possibly be endured; the which will never fetch the skin of the mouth, or raise any blisters by reason of that heat.

The Turk's drink at meals and other times is usually water, and their diet consists much of fruit; the acidities whereof are very much corrected by this drink.

The quality of this drink is cold and dry; and though it be a drier; yet it neither heats nor inflames more than hot posset. It so incloseth the orifice of the stomach, and fortifies the heat within, that it is very good to help digestion; and therefore of great use to be taken about three or four o'clock afternoon, as well as in the morning. It much quickens the spirits, and makes the heart lightsome; it is good against sore eyes, and the better if you hold your head over it and take in the steam that way. It suppresseth fumes exceedingly, and therefore is good against the head-ache, and will very much stop any defluxion of rheums that distil from the head upon the stomach, and so prevent and help consumptions and the cough of the lungs.

It is excellent to prevent and cure the dropsy, gout, and scurvy. It is known by experience to be better than any other drying drink for people in years, or children that have any running humours upon them, as the king's evil, &c. It is a most excellent remedy against the spleen, hypochondriac winds, and the like. It will prevent drowsiness, and make one fit for business, if one have occasion to watch, and therefore you are not to drink of it after supper, unless you intend to be watchful, for it will hinder sleep for three or four hours.

It is observed that in Turkey, where this is generally drunk, that they are not troubled with the stone, gout, dropsy, or scurvy, and that their skins are exceeding clear and white. It is neither laxative nor restrin> gent.

Made and Sold in St Michaets Alley, in Comhill, by Pasqua Rosee, at the sign of his own head.

In addition to tea and coffee, the introduction and acceptance of which had certainly a most marked influence on the progress of civilisation, may be mentioned a third, which, though extensively used, never became quite so great a favourite as the others. Chocolate, the remaining member of the triad, was introduced into England much about the same period. It had been known in Germany as early as 1624, when Johan Frantz Rauch wrote a treatise against that beverage. In Eugland, however, it seems to have been introduced much later, for in 1657 it was still advertised as a new drink. In the Publick Advertiser of Tuesday, June 16-22, 1657, we find the following:—

■> TN Bishopsgate Street, in Queen's Head Alley, at a Frenchman's

-*- house, is an excellent West India drink, called chocolate, to be sold, where you may have it ready at any time, and also unmade, at reasonable rates.

Chocolate never, except among exquisites and women of fashion, made anything of a race with its more sturdy opponents, in this country at all events, for while tea and coffee have become naturalised beverages, chocolate has always retained its foreign prejudices.

[graphic]

In the Kingdom's Intelligencer, a weekly paper published in 1662, are inserted several curious advertisements giving the prices of tea, coffee, chocolate, &c, one of which is as follows:—

AT the Coffeehouse in Exchange Alley, is sold by retail the right

coffee powder, from 4s. to 6s. 8d. per pound, as in goodness; that pounded in a mortar at 2S. 6d. per pound, and that termed the East India berry at l8d. per pound. Also that termed the right Turkey berry, well garbled at 3s. per pound, the ungarbled for lesse, with directions gratis how to make and use the same. Likewise there you may have chocolatta, the ordinary pqund boxes at 2s. 6d. per pound; the perfumed from 4s. to 10s. per pound. Also sherbets, made in Turkie, of lemons, roses, and violets perfumed, and Tea according to its goodness. For all which, if any gentleman shall write or send, they shall be sure of the best, as they shall order, and, to avoid deceit, warranted under the house-seal—viz., Morat the Great. Further, all gentlemen that are customers and acquaintance, are (the next New Year's day), invited at the sign of the Great Turk, at the new coffee house, in Exchange Alley, where coffee will be on free cost.

Leaving the enticing subject of these new beverages, we find that in May 1657 there appeared a weekly paper which assumed the title of the Public Advertiser, the first number being dated 19th to 26th May. It was printed for Newcombe, in Thames Street, and consisted almost wholly of advertisements, including the arrivals and departures of ships, and books to be printed. Soon other papers also commenced to insert more and more advertisements, sometimes stuck in the middle of political items, and announcements of marine disasters, murders, marriages, births, and deaths. Most of the notices at this period related to runaway apprentices and black boys, fairs and cockfights, burglaries and highway robberies, stolen horses, lost dogs, swords, and scent-bottles, and the departure of coaches on long journeys into the provinces, and sometimes even as far as Edinburgh. These announcements are not devoid of interest and curiosity for us who live in the days of railways and fast steamers; and so we quote

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »