Punch — 25.1853

Seite: 80
DOI Heft: 10.11588/diglit.16612.3
DOI Seite: 10.11588/diglit.16612#0092
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Immense excitement prevails am on 2; an important class of manufac-
turers—those engaged in the manufacture of that atmospheric canopy,
the sable expanse of which extends over London and its environs,
serving the inhabitants of the whole metropolitan district as a parasol.
The cause of this commotion is the Smoke Nuisance Bill—so called;
against which a number of gentlemen, and others, professing the prin-
ciples of Free Carbon, met last night to protest, at the Hole-and-

The chair having been taken by Mr. Sutkins, the business of the
meeting commenced with uproar. Comparative silence having been

Mr. Longshaet, brewer, rose to move a resolution, that the principle
of the Smoke Bill was at variance with the constitution of England.
At a time when London was much more smoky than it is now, it was
said that “ Liberty is like the air we breathe.” Could any atmosphere
be more salubrious than that air? Smoke possessed curative pro-
perties, especially in reference to hams ; and the very essence of smoke
was applied for the cure of kippered salmon. He had sent some bottles
of smoke from his own brew-house to a celebrated German chemist,
who had written him a certificate in the form of a letter, to the effect
that he had analysed the smoke, and found it to consist principally of
carbon, which possessed antiseptic properties; sulphurous and carbonic
acid gases: the former of which acted as a tonic, whilst the latter con-
stituted the enlivening element of bottled ale aud stout, ginger beer
and soda water. The philosopher had accompanied this statement by
a declaration that he, for his part, liked the smoke as a perfume, and
would be glad to be supplied with a few more bottles of it for his per-
sonal use. Hitherto this beautiful smoke had been allowed to waste its
sweetness on the London air, which was now threatened with the de-
privation of that singular advantage. The loss of the smoke would not
affect him individually much, as he lived some distance out of town;
and could only indulge in a whiff now and then, when he went to his
place of business. He regarded the attack upon their chimneys as the
commencement of an invasion of their hearths ; and exhorted all who
meant to defend the latter to rally round the former. (Great

Mr. Bunnell, Captain of a Thames steamer, seconded the resolution.
In his situation he had good opportunities of hearing the expression of
public opinion about the Smoke Bill. People said if Parliament
objected to volumes of smoke, why did they publish so many Blue
Books ? If they wanted to prevent chimneys from puffing they shouldn’t
have took off the Advertisement duty. What was the use of

emancipating Blacks abroad if they wasn’t to enjoy freedom at home ?
That was what the Public had to say about the matter. For his part
he looked on the separation of fire and smoke as a unnatural diworce.
Consume his own smoke ! Why they might as well ask him to consume
his own wife. Fire without smoke—by-and-bye, he supposed, it would
be bread without butter. What ? he expected the next thing would be
your scientific legislators would bring in a bill for dividing thunder and
lightning. He called this here Smoke Bill the Kepeal of the Union.
A little smoke on the river was wholesome. A stream that had
such a lot of sewers flowing into it required fumigation. He had
heard passengers returning from Kew Gardens talk about plants there
that lived upon air. In course, the more substance there was in the
air the more nutritious it must be both for wegetable and hanimal life.
Legislation was going too fast. Ease her! stop her! take a turn
astam ! As to tnis tyrannical and arbitrary Bill of Lord Palminster’s
for the consumption of smoke, he should give it every opposition: and
he hoped through their united efforts it would be brought to end in
that wery identical object it was directed agin. {Much cheering.)

Mr. Cowl had the honour to belong to a branch of the medical pro-
fession. His practice was the cure of smoky chimneys. He protested
against a measure which would deprive him of his patients; and if the
Smoke Act was enforced he hoped at least he should receive

Mr. Gentlet was a producer of smoke. He supposed his interests
were affected by this measure, winch required the producer to be also
the consumer, but did they call that political economy ? To be sure he
was not the proprietor of a chimney; but he possessed a nose : which
came to the same thing. The very occupation he pursued was that of
smoking. It was the employment of his life. It might not be a very
useful branch of industry : but it was an ornamental one. They knew
by the smoke that so gracefully curled from the end of his weed, that a
Pickwick was near. They knew that a gent of fashionable exterior and
elegant manners was nigh likewise. If he was obliged to consume his
own smoke, how could he continue to diffuse fragrance in society ?
He identified himself with the party of smokers; as he was a smoking
party himself. If smoke was such a nuisance, why did they make so
much the other day at the review at Spithead ? Let them put that
question in their pipe—and, he would add, smoke it. Talking of pipes,
he would tell Palmerston that his idea of a chimney consuming its
own smoke was a mere sham.

[.The speaker resumed his seat, amid great laughter, principally from
himself, and the meeting terminated as it began, with clamour.
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