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THE CULPRIT AND THE JUDGE.
THE realm of France possess'd, in days of old, A thriving set of literati,
Or men of letters, turning all to gold:
The standard works they made less weighty By new abridgments-took abundant Pains their roughnesses to polish, And plied their scissars to abolish The superficial and redundant ; And yet, instead of fame and praise, Hogsheads of sack, and wreaths of bays, The law, in those benighted ages, By barbarous edicts did enjoin, That they should cease their occupation, Terming these literary sages
Clippers and filers of the coin:
(Oh, what a monstrous profanation!)
Nay, what was deeper to be dreaded,
These worthies were, when caught, beheaded!
But to the point. A story should
Be like a coin-a head and tail
In a few words enveloped. Good!
A Gascon, who had long pursued
And filing the similitude
Of good King Pepin,
Was caught by the police, who found him
And ounces of Pactolian sand
Lying around him.
"As to offending Powers divine,"
Of the king's image; you, oh, fearful odds!
"O madness to think use of strongest wines,
And strongest drinks, our chief support of health.”
A CERTAIN popular writer who is wasting his time and misemploying his formidable pen in vituperating that most innocent and ingratiating of all beverages, 'Tea, should be condemned, for at least six months, to drink from a slop-basin the washing of a washerwoman's Bohea; or be blown up with some of Twining's best Gunpowder: or be doomed to exemplify one of Pope's victims of spleen, and
"A living tea-pot stand, one arm held out,
One bent; the handle this, and that the spout."
His cottage economy may be very accurate in its calculations: I dispute not his agrestical or bucolic lore; but why should this twitter of Twankay presume to denounce it as insalubrious, or brand its frugal infusions with riot and unthrift? Is Sir John Barleycorn, after the brewer's chymist has "drugged our possets;" or "Blue Ruin," with all its juniper seductions; or Roman Purl, still more indigestible than Cleopatra's,-to leave no alternative of tipple to the thirsty cottager ? Is he to have no scruples for drams, and yet to be squeamish and fastidious about a watery decoction, to play the anchorite about a cup of tea? Sobriety and temperance are not such besetting virtues among our lower orders, that we can afford to narrow their influence by circumscribing the use of this antidote against drunkenness; and the champion of the brewers should recollect the dictum of Raynal-that tea has contributed more to sobriety than the severest laws, the most eloquent harangues of Christian orators, or the best treatises of morality. But we have within our realm five hundred as good as he, who have done full justice to the virtues of this calumniated plant. Dr. Johnson, as Mrs. Thrale knew to her cost, was an almost insatiable tea-bibber, and praised that ɛalutiferous potation with as much cordiality as he drank it.
Bontikoe, a Dutch physician, considers it a universal panacea; and after bestowing the most extravagant encomiums upon it, declares that two hundred cups may be drank in a day with great benefit. The learned Grusterzippius, a German commentator, is of opinion
that the "Te veniente die, te decidente," alludes to the morning and evening use of this beverage among the Romans, while the "Te teneam moriens deficiente manu" seems to intimate its being occasionally used as a species of extreme unction among the ancients. The late Emperor of China, Kien Long, of pious memory, composed a laudatory ode upon this fragrant product of his country, and a nephew of the writer's, a Guinea-pig on board one of the East India ships, having occasion to go to Nankin to buy a pair of trowsers for himself, and a piece of Indian rubber for his brother, found means of procuring a copy, of which I submit the first verse to the reader's inspection:"Kou-onen peing-tcho onen-chang, King-tang shoo kin Cong-foo-tse; Chong-choo lee-kee kou-chon whang, To-hi tche-kiang She-whang-te."
The artful allusion to Confucius in the second line, and the happy introduction of the subject beverage in the fourth, will not escape the most careless critic.
Candour requires that we should not disguise, on the other hand, the opinion of Swift, who thus writes in his Journal to Stella:-"I was telling Sir George Beaumont of my head ;-he said he had been ill of the same disorder, and by all means forbid me Bohea Tea, which he said always gave it him, and that Dr. Radcliffe said it was very bad. Now I had observed the same thing, and have left it off this month, having found myself ill after it several times; and I mention it that Stella may consider it for her poor own little head."-This libellous insinuation does not amount to much. Swift was
a splenetic and deficient being, unimpassioned by the beauties of Stella and Vanessa, and therefore naturally unimpressed by the beauties of Bloom,-incapable of Bohea-a Narses or a Menophilus among the lovers of Tea. What! is China, with its 330 millions of inhabitants, a nation of invalids? Rather may we apprehend from the universal potion of Tea an acceleration of the Malthusian dilemma, when the population shall press upon the limits of food, than any debilitation of our national strength. For my own part, I am so persuaded of its benign influences upon vitality, hospitality, conviviality, comicality, and all the other 'alities, that if there be any adventurous spirits abroad, any fellows of pith and enterprize stirring, any champions of the aqueous infusion instead of that of the grape, we will hoist the standard of revolt against the vine-crowned Bacchus, dispossess him of his Pards to yoke a couple of milch cows to his car, twitch from his hand the Thyrsus" dropping odours, dropping wine," to enwreath it with tea-leaves, substitute for the fir-cone at its tip a tiny sugar-loaf, convert Pan into a slop-basin, and Silenus and the Satyrs into cups and saucers.
Fecundi calices quem non fecere Disertum ?
Apply this to tea-cups; and why should we not be as jovial and Anacreontic under their pacific inspiration as if we revelled in the orgies of the rosy god, and were stunned and stimulated by all the cymbals of the Bacchanals? Surely it is more natural to make a toast of our mistresses at tea than at dinner-time; and if upon the authority of the " Nævia sex cyathis, sep