The Social Pipe

Honest men, with pipes or cigars in their mouths, have great physical advantages in conversation. You may stop talking if you like, but the breaks of silence never seem disagreeable, being filled up by the puffing of the smoke; Hence there is no awkwardness in resuming the conversation, no straining for effect - sentiments are delivered in a grave easy manner. The cigar harmonizes the society, and soothes at once the speaker and the subject whereon he converses. I have no doubt that it is from the habit of smoking that the Turks and American Indians are such monstrous well-bred men. The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of a philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected; in fact dear Bob, - I must out with it, - I am an old smoker. At home, I have done it up the chimney rather than not do it (the which I own is a crime).

I vow and believe that the cigar has been one of the greatest creature-comforts of my life - a kind companion, a gentle stimulant, an amiable anodyne, a cementer of friendship.


No comments: