Sunday, 1 July 2007

James VI and I speaks

For this will not bee Opus unius diei, but as every one of these diseases, must from the King receive the owne cure proper for it, so are there some sorts of abuses in Common-wealths, that though they be of so base and contemptible a condition, as they are too low for the Law to looke on, and too meane for a King to interpone his authoritie, or bend his eye upon: yet are they corruptions, as well as the greatest of them... And surely in my opinion, there cannot be a more base, and yet hurtfull corruption in a Countrey, then is the vile use (or other abuse) of taking Tobacco in this Kingdome, which hath moved me, shortly to discover the abuses thereof in this folowing little Pamphlet.

from the introduction to A Counter-Blaste to Tobacco


Even our most foolish, autocratic and rabidly anti-smoking monarch thought it wasn't a matter for legislation, you will note. We now have government more restrictive than that deemed possible under the Divine Right of Kings.