24 June 2009
SHORT, Thomas (ca 1690-1772). A Dissertation upon Tea, Explaining its Nature and Properties by Many New experiments ... to Which is Added the Natural History of Tea and a Detection of the Several Frauds Used in Preparing it. London: by W. Bowyer for Fletcher Gyles, 1730.
4o (249 x 198 mm). Woodcut head- and tail-pieces and woodcut intitials. 19th-century flexible cloth-backed marbled boards (some minor wear at corners). Provenance: Culh: Mitford (signature on title-page).
FIRST EDITION, covering the history of tea, including its importance in Japan and China and its first appearance in England. Short discusses the curative uses of tea in preventing such ailments as the spitting of blood, scurvy, dropsy, and indigestion. He advises its use as an antidote against the effects of chronic fear or grief and stresses that "[t]ea, if moderately drunk, and of a due strength, is generally more serviceable to the fair sex than to men" (p. 61). Short also points out the ill effects of tea, which include tremors and should on no account be used for obstructions of the liver, spleen, or pancreas. Included is "An Appendix Containing a Dissertation on Sage and Water" in which Short describes the various types of sage and its medicinal properties. NLM/Blake p.417.
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