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The Great Leveller – 1853

Fred Ott's Sneeze (film by William K.L. Dickson for the Edison laboratory) 1894 Wikimedia Commons

Fred Ott’s Sneeze (film by William K.L. Dickson for the Edison laboratory)
1894
Wikimedia Commons

The Brooklyn Daily 12th March 1853

 

(abridged)

It’s curious how one snuff-taker will pick out another.  Place two snuff takers in the most crowded room, and before ten minutes are over they will have found out each other and be in earnest conversation together.

A snuff-box is an opening for conversation between two persons, who, without it, would not probably have exchanged a single word.  The English, who are generally so punctilious about introductions, cheerfully dispense with the ceremony if a stranger only advance with a snuff-box in hand.

There is a Freemasonry in snuff taking not enjoyed by the worshippers of any other social vice.  Gamblers are necessarily discontented, scowling, suspicious people.  Smokers are generally dreamers, wandering in the clouds which they themselves have blown.  Drinkers are surly, quarrelsome creatures, who fling insults and bottles about.  But snuff takers are invariably open, communicative souls, who associate with one another all over the world.

Snuff is a great leveller.

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