Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/109

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75
LIFE IN THE CAPITAL

'Away, burn all the records of the realm: my mouth shall be the parliament of England. Holl. Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.' So that Shakespeare compared the 'biting statutes' already to teeth that should be extracted, then to become a mockery, and hung up as a badge of ornament."

Tobacco was usually sold at the apothecary's shop and our interest lies rather in the material than in the shop. The use of tobacco, which had recently been introduced into England, was rapidly becoming general. Stow tells us that it was taken by most men and by many women. "In these days," says Harrison in his Chronology, "the taking of the smoke of the Indian herb called tobacco, by an instrument formed like a little ladle, whereby it passeth from the mouth into the head and stomach, is greatly taken up and used in England against Rewmes (colds) and some other deseases ingendered in the lungs and inward parts, and not without effect. This herb as yet is not so common but that for want thereof divers do practice for the like purpose with the Nicetian . . . or the yellow henbane, albeit not without great error; for, although that herb be a sovereign healer of old vices and sores reported incurable outwardly, yet is not the smoke or vapour thereof so profitable to be received."