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Full Online Book HomeEssaysOld Friends - Essays In Epistolary Parody - LETTER: From Euphues to Sir Amyas Leigh, Kt.
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Old Friends - Essays In Epistolary Parody - LETTER: From Euphues to Sir Amyas Leigh, Kt. Post by :thekid Category :Essays Author :Andrew Lang Date :August 2011 Read :1331

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Old Friends - Essays In Epistolary Parody - LETTER: From Euphues to Sir Amyas Leigh, Kt.

LETTER: From Euphues to Sir Amyas Leigh, Kt.

This little controversy on the value of the herb tobacco passed between the renowned Euphues and that early but assiduous smoker, Sir Amyas Leigh, well known to readers of "Westward Ho."

(He dissuadeth him from drinking the smoke of the Indian weed.)

Sir Amyas,--Take it not unkindly that a traveller (though less wide a wanderer than thou) dissuadeth thee from a new-found novelty--the wanton misuse, or rather the misuseful wantonness, of the Indian herb. It is a blind goose that knoweth not a fox from a fern-bush, and a strange temerity that mistaketh smoke for provender. The sow, when she is sick, eateth the sea-crab and is immediately recovered: why, then, should man, being whole and sound, haste to that which maketh many sick? The lobster flieth not in the air, nor doth the salamander wanton in the water; wherefore, then, will man betake him for nourishment or solace to the fire? Vesuvius bringeth not forth speech from his mouth, but man, like a volcano, will utter smoke. There is great difference between the table and the chimney; but thou art for making both alike. Though the Rose be sweet, yet will it prove less fragrant if it be wreathed about the skunk; and so an ill weed from the land where that beast hath its habitation defileth a courteous knight. Consider, if this practice delights thee, that the apples of Sodom are outwardly fair but inwardly full of ashes; the box-tree is always green, but his seed is poison. Mithridate must be taken inwardly, not spread on plasters. Of his nature smoke goeth upward and outward; why wilt thou make it go inward and downward? The manners of the Cannibal fit not the Englishman; and this thy poison is unlike Love, which maimeth every part before it kill the Liver, whereas tobacco doth vex the Liver before it harmeth any other part. Excuse this my boldness, and forswear thy weed, an thou lovest


From Sir Amyas Leigh to Euphues.

Whereas thou bringest in a rabble of reasons to convince me, I will answer thee in thine own kind. Thou art like those that proffer a man physic before he be sick, and, because his pleasure is not theirs, call him foolish that is but early advised. Nature maketh nothing without an end: the eye to see with, the ear to hear, the herb tobacco to be smoked. As wine strengtheneth and meat maketh full, tobacco maketh the heart at rest. Helen gave Nepenthe to them that sorrowed, and Heaven hath made this weed for such as lack comfort. Tobacco is the hungry man's food, the wakeful man's sleep, the weary man's rest, the old man's defence against melancholy, the busy man's repose, the talkative man's muzzle, the lonely man's companion. Indeed, there was nothing but this one thing wanting to man, of those that earth can give; wherefore, having found it, let him so use as not abusing it, as now I am about doing.--Thy servant,


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A _dialogue A _dialogue

A _dialogue
After correcting the proofs of all that precedes I imagine a residual state of mind on the part of my reader which may still keep him unconvinced, and which it may be my duty to try at least to dispel. I can perhaps be briefer if I put what I have to say in dialogue form. Let then the anti-pragmatist begin:-- Anti-Pragmatist:--You say that the truth of an idea is constituted by its workings. Now suppose a certain state of facts, facts for example of antediluvian planetary history, concerning which the question may be asked: 'Shall the truth about them ever

_two English Critics _two English Critics

_two English Critics
Mr. Bertrand Russell's article entitled 'Transatlantic Truth,' (Footnote: In the Albany Review for January, 1908.) has all the clearness, dialectic subtlety, and wit which one expects from his pen, but it entirely fails to hit the right point of view for apprehending our position. When, for instance, we say that a true proposition is one the consequences of believing which are good, he assumes us to mean that any one who believes a proposition to be true must first have made out clearly that its consequences be good, and that his belief must primarily be in that fact,--an obvious absurdity, for