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Introduction Of Tea, Coffee, And Chocolate
by [?]

Chocolate the Spaniards brought from Mexico, where it was denominated Chocolati; it was a coarse mixture of ground cacao and Indian corn with rocou; but the Spaniards, liking its nourishment, improved it into a richer compound, with sugar, vanilla, and other aromatics. The immoderate use of chocolate in the seventeenth century was considered as so violent an inflamer of the passions, that Joan. Fran. Rauch published a treatise against it, and enforced the necessity of forbidding the monks to drink it; and adds, that if such an interdiction had existed, that scandal with which that holy order had been branded might have proved more groundless. This Disputatio medico-diaetetica de aere et esculentis, necnon de potu, Vienna, 1624, is a rara avis among collectors. This attack on the monks, as well as on chocolate, is said to be the cause of its scarcity; for we are told that they were so diligent in suppressing this treatise, that it is supposed not a dozen copies exist. We had chocolate-houses in London long after coffee-houses; they seemed to have associated something more elegant and refined in their new term when the other had become common.[6] Roger North thus inveighs against them: “The use of coffee-houses seems much improved by a new invention, called chocolate-houses, for the benefit of rooks and cullies of quality, where gaming is added to all the rest, and the summons of W—- seldom fails; as if the devil had erected a new university, and those were the colleges of its professors, as well as his schools of discipline.” Roger North, a high Tory, and Attorney-General to James the Second, observed, however, these rendezvous were often not entirely composed of those “factious gentry he so much dreaded;” for he says “This way of passing time might have been stopped at first, before people had possessed themselves of some convenience from them of meeting for short despatches, and passing evenings with small expenses.” And old Aubrey, the small Boswell of his day, attributes his general acquaintance to “the modern advantage of coffee-houses in this great city, before which men knew not how to be acquainted, but with their own relations, and societies;” a curious statement, which proves the moral connexion with society of all sedentary recreations which induce the herding spirit.

[Footnote 1:
Dr. James, the translator of “Pauli’s Treatise on Tea,” 1746, says: “According to the Chinese, tea produces an appetite after hunger and thirst are satisfied; therefore, the drinking of it is to be abstained from.” He concludes his treatise by saying: “As Hippocrates spared no pains to remove and root out the Athenian plague, so have I used the utmost of my endeavours to destroy the raging epidemical madness of importing tea into Europe from China.” ]

[Footnote 2:
Edinburgh Review, 1816, p. 117. ]

[Footnote 3:
Modern collectors have gone beyond this, and exhibited “Elizabethan tea-pots,” which are just as likely to be true. There is no clear proof of the use of tea in England before the middle of the seventeenth century. This ante-dating of curiosities is the weakness of collectors. ]

[Footnote 4:
Aubrey, speaking of this house, then in other hands, says that Bowman’s Coffee-house in St. Michael’s Alley, established 1652, was the first opened in London. About four years afterwards, James Farr, a barber, opened another in Fleet-street, by the Inner Temple gate. Hatton, in his “New View of London,” 1708, says it is “now the Rainbow,” and he narrates how Farr “was presented by the Inquest of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West, for making and selling a sort of liquor called coffee, as a great nuisance and prejudice to the neighbourhood.” The words of the presentment are, that “in making the same he annoyeth his neighbours by evill smells.” Hatton adds, with naivete, “Who would then have thought London would ever have had near 3000 such nuisances, and that coffee would have been (as now) so much drank by the best of quality and physicians.” It is, however, proper to note that coffee-houses had been opened in Oxford at an earlier date. Anthony Wood informs us that one Jacob, a Jew, opened a coffee-house in the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East, at Oxford, as early as 1650. ]

[Footnote 5:
This witty poet was not without a degree of prescience; the luxury of eating spiders has never indeed become “modish,” but Mons. Lalande, the French astronomer, and one or two humble imitators of the modern philosopher, have shown this triumph over vulgar prejudices, and were epicures of this stamp. ]

[Footnote 6:
“Not only tea, which we have from the East, but also chocolate, which is imported from the West Indies, begins to be famous.”–Dr. James’s “Treatise on Tobacco, Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate.” 1746. ]