At his backside he freely vents

These snippets are from an anonymous 17th century pamphlet aimed at Tobacconists. The illustration above is a detail from the larger woodcut, The Armes of the Tobacconist, below, the symbolism of which is explained by the author:

The Sable field resembles hells blacke pit,
Whereas the Divells in smoake and darkness sit:
The Man reversed shewes men, or beast indeed,
That doate too much upon this heathen weed,
Who smoake away their precious Time and Chinke,
And all their profit is contagious stinke:
The pipes and fume unto us doth disclose
How it leades coxcombes dayly by the nose:
The match or halter in the goblins pawes,
Portends that fatall period of the lawes:
That those that waste themselves in ayre and smoake,
May to the hangman leave both coate and cloake,
The Moores head shewes that cursed Pagans did
Devise this stink, long time from Christians hid:
The Topfull pisspot shewes the vaine excess,
Of men oer’charg’d with fume and drunkeness,
The Mantells shewes these fellows mighty skill,
That can turne money into vapours still:
The Tassells at the end depending here,
And have these vertues very hot and deare,
Are like to Whores that often hang upon,
Tobacconists, till all their moneys gone:
By the supporters, wisdome wisely notes,
Tobacconists want sweeping in their Throates.

© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved


  • May 28, 2010 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I agree we’ve lost some of that wonderfully playful use of language, to our detriment. I’d love to see traffic wardens lambasted in this fashion.

  • May 28, 2010 - 4:49 am | Permalink

    There was a bawdiness that was a bit naughty but still acceptable, apparently. We have become so decent, we couldn’t get away with that bawdiness now.

  • May 27, 2010 - 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The author must have been on an opium pipe.

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