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work till a second edition should appear : this prohibition was rather too magisterial ; for an author is no longer the sole master of a book which he has given to the publick; yet he has been punctually obeyed ; we had no desire to offend him, and if his character may be estimated by his book, he is a man whose failings may well be pardoned for his virtues.
The second edition is now sent into the world, corrected and enlarged, and yielded up by the author to the attacks of criticism. But he shall find in us no malignity of censure. We wish indeed, that among other corrections he had submitted his pages to the inspektion of a grammarian, that the elegancies of one line might not have been disgraced by the improprieties of another ; but with us, to mean well is a degree of merit which overbalances much greater errors than impurity of style.
We have already given in our collections one of the letters, in which Mr Hanway endeavours to shew, that the consumption of Tea is injurious to the interest of our country.
We shall now endeavour to follow him regularly through all his observations on this modern luxury; but it can scarcely be candid, not to make a previous declaration, that he is to expect little justice from the author of this extract, a hardened and shameless Tea-drinker, who has for twenty years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant, whose kettle has scarcely time to cool, who with Tea amuses the evening, with Tea solaces the midnight, and with Tea welcomes the morning.
He begins by refuting a popular notion, that Bohea and Green Tea are leaves of the same shrub,
gathered at different times of the year. He is of opinion, that they are produced by different shrubs. The leaves of Tea are gathered in dry weather; then dried and curled over the fire in copper pans. The Chinese use little Green Tea, imagining that it hinders digestion and excites fevers. How it should have either effect is not easily discovered ; and if we consider the innumerable prejudices which prevail concerning our own plants, we shall very little regard these opinions of the Chinese vulgar, which experience does not confirm.
When the Chinese drink Tea, they infuse it slightly, and extract only the more volatile parts; but though this seems to require great quantities at a time, yet the author believes, perhaps only because he has an inclination to believe it, that the English and Dutch use more than all the inhabitants of that extensive empire. The Chinese drink it sometimes with acids," seldom with sugar; and this practice our author, who has no intention to find any thing right at home, recommends to his countrymen.
The history of the rise and progress of Teadrinking is truly curious. Tea was first imported from Holland by the Earls of Arlington and Ossory, in 1666; from their ladies the women of quality learned its use. Its price was then three pounds a pound, and continued the same to 1707. In 1715, we began to use Green Tea, and the practice of drinking it descended to the lower class of the people. In 1720, the French began to send it hither by a clandestine commerce. From 1717 to 1726, we imported annually seven hurdred thousand pounds. From 1732 to 1742,
million and two hundred thousand pounds were every year brought to London; in some years' afterwards three millions; and in 1755, near four millions of pounds, or two thousand tons, in which we are not to reckon that which is surreptitiously introduced, which perhaps is nearly as much. Such quantities are indeed sufficient to alarm it is at least worth enquiry, to know what are the qualities of such a plant, and what the consequences of such a trade.
He then proceeds to enumerate the mischiefs of Tea, and seems willing to charge upon
every mischief that he can find. He begins, however, by questioning the virtues ascribed to it, and denies that the crews of the Chinese ships are preserved in their
scurvy by Tea. About this report I have made some enquiry, and though I ca:not find that these crews are wholly exempt from scorbutick maladies, they seem to suffer them less than other mariners in any course of equal length. This I ascribe to the Tea, not as possessing any medicinal qualities, but as tempting them to drink more water, to dilute their salt food more copiously, and perhaps to forbear punch, or other strong liquors.
He then proceeds in the pathetick strain, to tell the ladies how, by drinking Tea, they injure their health, and, what is yet more dear, their beauty.
6 To what can we ascribe the numerous com
plaints which prevail ? How many sweet creatures “ of your sex languish with a weak digestion, low “spirits, lassitudes, melancholy, and twenty disor“ ders, which in spite of the faculty have yet no
names, except the general one of nervous conna VOL. II.
“plaints ? Let them change their diet, and among “ other articles, leave off drinking Tea, it is more “than probable the greatest part of them will be o restored to health."
Hot water is also very hurtful to the teeth. 6 The Chinese do not drink their Tea so hot as
we do, and yet they have bad teeth. This can“ not be ascribed entirely to sugar, for they use
very little, as already observed : but we all know “ that hot or cold things which pain the teeth, de
stroy them also. If we drank less Tea, and used “gentle acids for the gums and teeth, particularly
sour oranges, though we had a less number of “ French dentists, I fancy this essential part of beau“ty would be much better preserved.
“ The women in the United Provinces, who
sip Tea from morning till night, are also as re“ markable for bad teeth. They also look pallid, and
many are troubled with certain feminine disor“ ders arising from a' relaxed habit. The Portu
guese ladies, on the other hand, entertain with “ sweetmeats, and yet they have very good teeth: “ but their food in general is more of a farina“ ceous and vegetable kind than ours. They also “ drink cold water instead of sipping bot, and never “ taste fermented liquors; for these reasons the
does not seem to be at all perni« cious to them.”
66 Men seem to have lost their stature and come"liness, 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
li cards are not so great enemies to female charms. “ What Shakespeare ascribes to the concealment “ 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 street to another, but in carriages of