THE Womens complaint AGAINST TOBACCO: Or, An excellent help to Multiplication. Pespicuously shewing the annoyance that it brings to Mankind, and the great deprivation of Comfort and delight to the Female Sex, with a special and significant order set forth by the VVomen for suppressing the general use thereof amongst their Husbands, they finding that Tobacco is the only Enemy to Pleasure and Procrea­tion as they now plainly make it appear in this their Declaration:

London, Printed in the Year. 1675.

The Womens Complaint against Tobacco.

AT a Sessions of Women lately holden at Gossips Hall; amongst the rest of their grievances which were then debated of, this great question arose, concerning the use of Tobacco: whether it was necessary that their Husbands should take Tobacco or no? a two minutes silence was made, (which was a great wonder) one more gra­ver then the rest, begins to declare her self an utter Enemy to Tobacco, in this manner.

Neighbours and Friends quoth she, I have been married to my Husband about fourteen years, this Man hath been all his time a great Smoaker, and to tell you the truth I was never got with child by him but once, and that was so feebly done, that I may boldly say it was not half gotten, though he is a Man as likely as any of his Neighbours, and as for my own part I am sure I am not in the least defective, but am as apt and fit for the work of generation as any of my Neighbours, nay I may say as likely to be got with child as any Woman in England, let the other be what she will, yet this Man cannot do the feat, and the reason why it is not done, I must clear­ly impute to his smoaking that Infernal Indian Weed, which they call To­bacco, as for example. My next Neighbour Mrs. Twattle, her Husband and she have been married but nine years, and she has brought him nine brave lusty Children, well gotten Children, and the reason is, because her Husband never takes Tobacco; this I think may be a strong evidence that this filthy Weed is altogether destructive to procreation and robs a Wo­man of that sweet natural delight, which she ought to receive from her Husband or from some body else: Thus much I can testifie of my self, which I desire you would take into consideration, and proceed to further Judge­ment according to your best knowledge.

This witty Oration so tickled the fancy and imagination of the rest of this Female Assembly, that they could scarce forbear speaking all at once, but silence was again commanded, but could not be obtained for a good while, at length a handsome, comely, buxome Woman stands up, and desires to be heard, and passes her sentence thus. Tobacco! O cursed Tobacco? I wish that Man had been hang'd that first brought thee over into England; for I have a pritty young Man to my Husband, as you all know Neigh­bours; and by his countenance appears to be a good Womans Man, but I am sure 'tis I that find the contrary, I am sure I have heard my Grandmo­ther [Page 2] say, (but indeed she was old) that one Man was enough for one Wo­man) but (O this damn'd Tobacco) I am sure I find it nothing so, for I could dispence with two or three such Men as my Husband; Alas, what is once in three Weeks? or once a Month for a young brisk Woman who could wil­lingly enjoy a Man every night; to be sure; if not a little in the day time? Well, if this be the effects of Tobacco, I am resolv'd my Husband shall leave it off, or Ile leave him off, and betake my self to some other Man, that shall take no Tobacco, but shall refresh himself and me, sometimes at the Tavern with good brisk Wine, and a good Dinner or Supper, and sometimes carry me to see a Play, and sometimes cross the water to Spring-Garden, and there eat and drink well; and when the Night comes he shall wait on me home to my Chamber, and there briskly to supply the wants of a longing Woman, as it may be my self; all this I will have instead of Tobacco, or else Ile want of my will; who can endure to have a smoaky Chimny lye by her all night nay more then all this, the stinking Brute must kiss you, thinking to satisfie you with that; for alas he can do nothing else: For there is no Oyl left in the Lamp, that is all wasted and consumed by smoaking, and fuming that stinking unnatural, destructive Devil, Tobacco: O how I am transported with hatred and aversion towards this Weed, when I call to mind how de­structive it is to the pretious Nature of Man, which was made for the supply of us Women; and not to be spung'd up by Tobacco, whose Original sprung from Hell, for the Devil (who thinks he never ensnares men fast enough) in­vented this stinking dry Weed, that Men taking of it their mouths will so stink, and their throats be so parched & scorched with the heat thereof, that they must drink excessively to quench the inflamation thereof, till at length they become drunk; then are they fit for all manner of debauchery, which is the ready road to destruction. How say you Neighbours have not I spoke divinely, I am confident that there is ne're a Woman here, but will willingly set her Seal to the truth of these Objections, which I have here experimen­tally declared before this worthy Assembly. And if it comes to my turn to speak again I can yet say more on this subject, which may be as much sig­nificant to the good and benefit of our Sex as what I have already spoken.

She having thus spoken they signified their assention by a general applause of what she had declared: but still striving who should be next; there was a great and terrible combustion amongst themselves: till at length a Do­ctors Wife claimed the preheminence; saying, that she (from the experi­ence she had learned from her Husbands books) could discover and lay o­pen unto them, the many and injurious impediments that were occasioned [Page 3] in the body of Man by the poysonous fume of the Tobacco: and how ob­noxious it is to the Seminal; and luxurious parts of those Men, that take de­light in sucking in the venome of that dull Leaf.

The rest hearing her begin thus learnedly were resolved to be silent a while, and bridle their tongues, expecting that she would unfold some se­cret evil that lay lurking in this broad Leaf of Tobacco: So she begun her discourse after this skilful method.

Neighbours (quoth she) it has been my fortune to have been twice marry­ed; Yet I must also let you know, that I am still but young in years, not surpassing the age of thirty: I was marryed to my first Husband but three years, and then he dyed; and in that time I had no child by him; nor half that satisfaction from him, which a young Woman (as I was) might expect: but I knew no better then; though I have had a large and comfortable ex­perience since I buryed him, and married the Doctor; who is now my Hus­band by whom I have had six Children, and all the delights which are due to the Marriage bed. I once took an occasion to ask him what he thought might be the reason that I had no Children by my former Husband, who in his life time appeared to be a likelyer Man then himself: he made me this Answer, that he took too much Tobacco: For (saith he) Tobacco is of it self hot and dry, and destroys the Radical Moisture; Now I hope you know what is meant by the Radical Moisture, for it is the seed in Man which pro­pagates and begets Children in women; Now that being wanting, those Men are altogether unfit for procreation; and this vacancy of Nature is oc­casioned by Mens smoaking that base destructive Weed called Tobacco: Nay a further account I can yet give you of it's operations; for reading late­ly in one of my Husbands books I found it thus written, first in Latine;

Destrnctio generis humani Nicotiana: Semen radicale exaruit, Pericranio venenum infundit; Sic vita humana perfecta. This I did not understand, but reading on I found it thus Englished. The Weed Tobacco is the destructi­on of humane Race, for it dryes up the Radical Moisture, and throws such poy­sonous vapours into the Brain, that it sends many untimely unto their Graves.

This being heard they began to be weary of silence every one striving who should give this Doctress the greatest applause: but she desired them to for­bear, for she had not finisht her discourse; so then they again seated them­selves as before. Now says she, which of you all will suffer your Husbands or Bedfellows, to take this cursed Tobacco that fills their heads full of infla­mations, conflagrations, proclamations, incendiaries, combustions, and such like hard words, which sends them to their graves in the prime of their age; Nay moreover it robs & deprives us women of that consolation & delight which every young woman ought to enjoy in a full measure.

[Page 4] I say it steals away all those happinesses from us, even whilst our Hus­bands are alive with us, and at last tumbles them over the perch as they call it, by consumption Coughs, and such like languishing distemper.

At that they all unanimously cryed out away with this cursed Tobacco, this venemous Indian Weed, we do clearly vote it down to be a common and publick Enemy to Men, in robbing of them of their health and strength but a private and secret Enemy to Women in robbing them of their pleasure and Delight. Silence again was order'd by the grand Matron of the Assem­bly, who to tell you the truth was well striken in years, and yet she would very fain have had her vote amongst the rest, but she was very gently and mildly prohibited by the younger sort they very fairly alledging that there was enough of them to mannage this cause, whose warmer blood runs briskly through their veins, and truly it dos altogether belong to us, for Tobacco could in no wise be injurious to her, whom Time already had deprived of the enjoyments of mankind, but the harm it did was to those who were capable of receiving the benefits of Nature, but were made destitute there­of by reason of their sottish Husbands, who make Chimneys of their throats and change their Teeth from their natural colour to be as black as the Chim­ney stock; 'tis we I say, that have just cause to make our timely and most just complaint against this surfeiting, unnaturall stinking Weed, least in a few years we find a dissolution of mankind, and then I am sure the World will soon be at an end, for we Women be we never so active, cannot pleasure one another in that great work of generation, neither can we Multiply: Poor Souls we shall be starved unless a speedy course be taken for the extirpation and rooting up of this great and destructive enemy to our mournful Sex.

The old Gentlewoman hearing these great reasons, did willingly give place to the younger Dames, confessing the truth, that her dancing days were done, and she cared no more for Man, then Man cared for her, but yet Girls quoth she, I have a fellow feeling of your sad and languishing condi­tions; Well, well my pretty Rogues stand up for your privilledges, I was young once and could as ill dispence with a defective Man, as the briskest Dame in town, though I say it my self, and truly my pretty Lambs, I must advise you to make the best use of your time, and take away those things, and causes, which in any wise do obstruct or hinder your delight and plea­sure in this World: For truly, old age will quickly come. Time to my knowledge hath Wings, and flies away with a swift pace, O methinks it is but yesterday since I embraced a pretty young Man a friend of mine, when as alas it is now above twenty years since, yet I cannot forget the sweet de­light [Page 5] and pleasure I then receiv'd: In my Conscience Girls, if I should talk of it a little longer, old bal'd pated Time would retreat, and I should become young again; but O alas the Chollick now doth gripe me, the Cramp doth draw my Limbs together sorely, Diseases encompass me round about, and I must give way to younger heads to manage this great work of Women-kind, and when the Bill is pass'd for the voting down of this filthy Tobacco, if I cannot put my hand to it, to shew my willingness and my well wishings to our Sex, I will put one finger to it, and thus I will take my leave of you, finding my self something faint, in speaking what I have said already, Ah this old Age, I say it cannot be hid, be sure you vigorously pro­ceed against this cursed Tobacco, that is your open enemy, and so farewell.

With that they all gave her many and hearty thanks, for her good coun­sel and advise, either of them being more sensible of the great injuries it did their Husbands (and so consequently themselves) then she was, by reason old Age had not yet overtaken them.

Now again, it was to be considered who should speak next, all of them still having something to say and declare, though much to the same effect which had been said already; till at length a nimble tongued Lass, desired that her verdict might be heard, not doubting (as she told them) that what she had to offer and propose, might be as significant and effectual to the bu­siness in hand, as any thing that had been said and declared by any of them: for truly she had the sence of fellow feeling upon her as much as the best of them, though as yet not actually known the pleasures of Man: for (saith she) I am now upwards of seventeen, and by your selves you may know that a Woman in my condition has a longing desire to be further satisfied concerning the enjoyment of mankind.

They hearing her so violently urge upon this point, gave order that she should be heard with great attention and diligence, not knowing but her aggrievances might equally compare with their own, so they commanded her to speak as boldly as her Sex and tender years would admit and allow of: so she declared her self briefly after this manner. Neighbours (quoth she) I understand that the drift of our present business is to disanul and make void this Weed Tobacco, and to prohibit and forbid all mankind in general as well Batchelors as married Men, from taking or smoaking any more of it, from this time forward, and for evermore.

Now the reasons that I shall infer upon my own account (for I suppose you will expect that I should nominate some principal grounds) shall be these. I being as yet a Virgin (though it may be contrary to my own [Page 6] will shall be afraid to marry, fearing I should marry and tye my self to a Man that should take Tobacco, and that I thereby should be deprived of those enjoyments and delight which every Woman expects after Marriage: For you do all agree with me that Tobacco is the great Thief that robs all our Sex of their natural pleasures: The apprehension and fear of this To­bacco for ought I know, may be the utter ruine and destruction, not only of my self, but of many thousand Damsels more, for it may cause them never to marry, expecting no comfort nor consolation from a smoaker: so that they will be forced to live and dye Maids as they call us, then shall we be forced, as our great Grandmothers have left upon record, to lead Apes in Purgatory; the sence of which torment I think is sufficient to disswade all Men from taking Tobacco, if they have any tenderness of hearts towards us, and to perswade you the Governours of this honourable Assembly to enact something so strong, that all Men may be afraid hence-forward to smoak any more of that stinking weed: and that I leave to your wiser breasts to go forward with; for you have been (as you have declared) suffi­cient sufferers by your Husbands smoaking this fuming and suffocating Indi­an Leaf. She having thus ended they gave a general consent to what she had said to be very significant; and now they proceed to make an order order for the prohibition of their Husbands taking Tobacco, and thus they begun.

Imprimis, We do declare that our Will and Pleasure is, that no Man what­soever, Married or unmarryed, under the Age of fifty years old, (then started up a young woman and said, pray let it be sixty) No, no, said she hold your peace, I say no Man under the Age of fifty years old, shall at any time, or upon any occasion whatsoever, take, smoak, or draw into his Mouth the smoak of that cursed stinking Weed called Tobacco, for the grounds and Reasons a­bove-mentioned, which are sufficiently known to our selves. Now if any Man shall at any time he perverse, and will not obey these our orders; then it shall be lawful for the Wife of such a man, to choose, and take unto her self, a Friend, or Gallant, such a man as shall seem most pleasant in her Eyes: this we do li­cense and permit in case of the like default.


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