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vegetable kind than ours. They also drink cold svater instead of sipping hot, and never taste any fermented liquors ; for these reasons the use of sugar does not seem to be at all pernicious to them.
« Men seem to have lost their stature and comeliness, and women their beauty. I am not young, but methinks there is not quite so much beauty in this land as there was.
Your very chamber maids have lost their bloom, I suppose by sipping tea. Even the agitations of the passions at cards are not so great enemies to fe. male charms. What Shakspeare ascribes to the conceal'ment of love, is in this age more frequently occasioned by the use of tea."
To raise the fright still higher, he quotes an account of a pig's tail scalded with tea, on which however he does not much insist.
Of these dreadful effects, some are perhaps imaginary, and some may have another cause. That there is less beauty in the present race of females, than in those who entered the world with us, all of us are inclined to think on whom beauty has ceased to smile ; but our fathers and grandfathers made the same complaint before us ; and our posterity will still find beauties irresistibly powerful.
That the diseases commonly called nervous tremors, fits, habitual depression, and all the maladies which proceed from laxity and debility, are more frequent than in any former time, is, I believe, true, however deplorable. But this new race of evils will not be expelled by the prohibition of tea. This general languor is the effect of general luxury, of general idleness. If it be most to
be found among tea drinkers, the reason is, that tea is one of the stated amusements of the idle and luxurious. The whole mode of life is changed ; every kind of voluntary labour, every exercise that strengthened the nerves, and hardened the muscles, is fallen into disuse. The inhabitants are crowded together in populous cities, so that no occasion of life requires much motion ; every one is near to all that he wants ; and the rich and delicate seldom pass from one sireet to another, but in carriages of pleasure. Yet we eat and drink, or strive to eat and drink, like the hunters and huntresses, the farmers and the housewives of the former generation ; and they that pass ten hours in bed, and eight at cards, and the greater part of the other six at the table, are taught to impute to tea all the diseases which a life unnatural in all its parts may chance to bring upon them.
Tea, among the greater part of those who use it most, is drunk in no great quantity. As it neither exhilarates the heart, nor stimulates the palate, it is commonly an entertainment merely nominal, a pretence for assembling to prattle, for interrupting business, or diversifying idleness. They wlio drink one cup, and who drink twenty, are equally punctual in preparing or partaking it ; and indeed there are few but discover, by their indifference about it, that they are brought together not by the tea, but the tea table. Three cups make the common quantity, so slightly impregnated, that perhaps they might be tinged with the Athenian cicuta, and produce less effects than these letters charge upon tea.
Our author proceeds to shew yet other bad qualities of this hated leaf.
* Green tea, when made strong even by infusion, is an emetic ; nay, I am told it is used as such in China ; a decoction of it certainly performs this operation ; yet by long use it is drank by many without such an effect. The infusion also, when it is made strong, and stands long to draw the grosser particles, will convulse the bowels ; even in the manner commonly used, it has this effect on some constitutions, as I have already remarked to you from my own experience.
“ You see I confess my weakness without reserve ; but those who are very fond of tea, if their digestion is weak, and they find themselves disordered ; they generally ascribe it to any cause except the true one. aware that the effect just mentioned is imputed to the hot water ; let it be so, and my argument is still good ; but who pretends to say it is not partly owing to particular kinds of tea ? perhaps such as partake of coppemas, which there is cause to apprehend is sometimes the case ; if we judge from the manner in which it is said to be cured, together with its ordinary effects, there is some foundation for this opinion. Put a drop of strong tea, either Green or Bohea, but chiefly the former, on the blade of a knife, though it is not corrosive in the same manner as vitriol, yet there appears to be a corrosive quality in it, very different from that of fruit which stains the knife.”
He afterwards quotes Paulli to prove that tea is a desiccative, and ought not to be used after the fortieth year. I have then long exceeded the limits of permission, but I comfort myself that all the enemies of tea cannot be in the right. If tea be desiccative, according to Paulii, it
cannot weaken the fibres, as our author imagines ; if it be emetic, it must constringe the stomach, rather than relax it.
The formidable quality of tinging the knife, it has in common with acorns, the bark, and leaves of oak, and every astringent bark or leaf; the copperas which is given to the tea, is really in the knife. Ink may be made of any ferrugineous matter and astringent vegetable, as it is generally made of galis and copperas.
From tea the writer digresses to spirituous liquors, about which he will have no controversy with the Literary Magazine ; we shall therefore insert almost his whole letter, and add to it one testimony, that the mischiefs arising on every side from this compendious mode of drunkenness, are enormous and insupportable ; equally to be found among the great and the mean ; filling palaces with disquiet and distraction ; harder to be borne as it cannot be mentioned ; and overwhelming multitudes with incurable diseases and unpitied poverty.
“ Though tea and gin have spread their baneful influence over this island and his majesty's other dominions, yet you may be well assured, that the governors of the foundling hospital will exert their utmost skill and vigilance, to prevent the children under their care from being poisoned, or enervated by one or the other. This, however, is not the case of workhouses ; it is well known, to the shame of those who are charged with the care of them, that gin has been too often permitted to enter their gates ; and the debauched appetites of the people who inhabit these houses has been urged as a reason for it.
Desperate diseases require desperate remedies ; if laws are rigidly executed against murderers in the highway, those who provide a draught of gin, which we see is murderous, ought not to be countenanced. I am now informed that in certain hospitals, where the number of the sick used to be about five thousand six hundred in fourteen years,
“ From 1704 to 1718, they increased to 8,189 ;
« What a dreadful spectre does this exhibit! Nor must we wonder, when satisfactory evidence was given before the great council of the nation, that near eight millions of gallons of distilled spirits, at the standard it is commonly reduced to for drinking, was actually consumed annually in drams! The shocking difference in the numbers of the sick, and we may presume of the dead also, was supposed to keep pace with gin ; and the most ingenious and unprejudiced physicians ascribed it to this
What is to be done under these melancholy circumstances ? Shall we still countenance the distillery, for the sake of the revenue ; out of tenderness to the few who will suffer by its being abolished; for fear of the madness of the people ; or that foreigners will run it in upon us ? There can be no evil so great as that we now suffer, except the making the same consumption, and paying for it to foreigners in money, which I hope never will be the case.
“ As to the revenue, it certainly may be replaced by taxes upon the necessaries of life, even upon the bread