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“Sayings, Wise and Otherwise,” (also in the “The Sayings of Dr. Bushwhacker and Other Wise Men”) by Frederic S. Cozzens; American Book Exchange, New York; 1880; pp. 143-145.



Dainty Hints for Epicurean Smokers.*

WHOEVER has been in Havana must needs recollect the little brazier, with its ball of white ashes, beneath which a live hard-wood coal, called a “candela,” glows all day for the accommodation of smokers in every house. This we thought once a dainty device. But our friend, Master Karl, has given us some new, delicate, and fragrant suggestions: —

“It is an established canon that the purest and most elevated tastes or flavors are unmixed — simple. I respectfully submit that in smoking tobacco, this rule by no means holds good.

“And here I might cite the learned Winstruphius, who in his ‘Epigrammata’ puns so learnedly on Bacchus and To-Bacco, and their mutual flavoring influence. This I spare you. Likewise the lucubrations of Schioppius Dunderhedius, who in speaking most horrifically, De odore fetida tobacci, distinctly analyzes it into two smells — one infernal, the other diabolical. This spared also (by request).


“But I mean simply to say that a point may be given to a good cigar by lighting it from wood — not from the timber of a lucifer match, but from a smouldering, smoking fragment of a log, either hickory, oak, or even pine. And note ye, good fellows all, that the earlier in the season this is done, the more delicate is the goût; yea, this rule holds so far good, that on the first crisp evenings in September, no musk-rose or violet that is — nay, no vitivert — nay, no ess bouquet — nay, no florimel — nay, no eau de cypre — nay, no hediosmya — nay, no daintily-ambered aqua coloniæ or any Paradisaical sweets that can be, can surpass the odorat of the first whiff of a wood-lighted cigar.

“Yea, and more. If you smoke light, and mild, and dry, preferring Latikéa and Knaaster to fine-cut, tumback, and chopped cavendish, there is a class of perfumes — that I ween, which Piesse places as the third note in the gamut of good smells — a certain spicy oriental class, such as cascarrilla, or a faint admixture of santal, which perfumes the axe which lays it low, which in no wise detracts from piping joys. And I tell you in all truth, that Virginia leaf, with these sweet delights, and with sumach or kinni kinnick therein gently mingled, spreads around such a pastilled, ecclesiastical cathedral air, blended with dim souvenirs of the rue Bréda, that he who smokes thereof is oftentimes in tone to sing the high song of King Solomon, or the lyrics of the Persian land, wherein love and devotion are so curiously entwined, 145 that no sensation that is, can be compared thereto, unless it be the kissing of your sweetheart during sermon-time under the lee of a high-backed old-fashioned pew.

“ ‘Ita dixit ille Rector
    Er wollt’s nicht anders han,
    Vale semper bone Lector,
    Lug du und stoss dich dran
    Gut Gesell ist Rinckman.’ ”


*  See Preface.

Elf.Ed — Although this footnote is in the text of Sayings, Wise and Otherwise, it has no preface and was clearly copied from The Sayings of Dr. Bushwhacker and Other Learned Men. In that Preface, Cozzens states, on pp. 5-6, ‘Mr. Chas. G. Leland, wrote the “Dainty Hints,” to Epicurean Smokers;’ which was published in his magazine The Wine Press.


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