The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1163  Friday, 18 May 2001

From:           Tom Rutter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 May 2001 08:59:25 +0100
Subject: 12.1126 Hemp and Hanging
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1126 Hemp and Hanging

Dear Rainbow,

A couple of years ago I looked at the copy of 'Work for Chimny-sweepers'
that's in the British Library. I didn't make detailed notes on it
because it wasn't very useful for my purposes, but I did copy out a
summary of its contents that's given on sig. Bv - see below. I'm afraid
I don't remember the author mentioning any smokeable substances other
than tobacco, though.

Tom Rutter
University College London

For the dislike that I haue conceiued in the vse and practise of
Tabacco, I take it to be grounded on eight principall reasons and

1    First, that in their vse or custome, no methode or order is
obserued. Diuersitie and distinction of persons, tymes and seasons
considered, no varietie of accidents and diseases pondered.

2    Secondly, for that it is in qualitie and complexion more hot and
drye then may be conueniently vsed dayly of any man: much lesse of the
hot and cholerique constitution.

3    Thirdly, for that it is experimented and tryed to be a most strong
and violent purge.

4    Fourthly, for that it withereth and drieth vp naturall moisture in
our bodies, therby causing sterrilitie and barrennesse: In which respect
it seemeth an enemie to the continuaunce and propagation of mankinde.

5    Fiftly, for that it decayeth an dissipateh [sic] naturall heate,
that kindly warmeth in vs, and thereby is cause of crudities and
rewines, occasions of infinit maladies.

6    Sixtly, for that this herb or rather weed, seemeth not voide of
venome and poison, and thereby seemeth an enemie to the lyfe of man.

7    Seventhly, for that the first author and finder hereof was the
Diuell, and the first practisers of the same were the Diuells Priests,
and therefore not to be vsed of vs Christians.

8    Last of all, because it is a great augmentor of all sorts of
melancholie in our bodies, a humor fit to prepare our bodies to receaue
the presigations and hellish illusions of the Diuell himselfe: in so
much that many Phisitions and learned men doe hold this humour to be the
verie seate of the Diuell in bodies possessed.

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