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expenses were about eighty million; the net
profits about one hundred and eighty million.

The Government has every interest to see
that what it sells should be of good quality, in
order, firstly, that the demand for the thing sold
should be general; and, secondly, that there
should arise no suspicion of trickery or
adulteration in the public mind. To this end, the
supervision exercised over the tobacco
manufacture is exceedingly strict. A director-
general, responsible to the minister of finance,
is placed at the head of the administration,
and all the inferior posts of superintendence
are filled by officers selected from the Ecole
Polytechnique: which means that they are
men of honour and unquestionable capacity.

The number of the imperial manufactories is
seventeen. Five hundred and twenty-four
officers are entrusted with the management of
the plantations, and the surveillance of the
manufactories. There are thirty-one storehouses;
three hundred and fifty-seven wholesale
warehouses; and thirty-eight thousand
eight hundred and thirty-one retail

The tobacconist in France is an official. The
post is in the direct gift of the government, and
is tenable only during good behaviour. He or
she (for a great many of the holders are women)
generally owes the appointment to the
recommendation of the receiver-general of the district:
the applicant is obliged to go through
the form of drawing up a petition, which is
submitted to the minister of finance, and
signed by him on ratification. It is needless to
say that the number of candidates to fill each
vacant place is very large. Owing to the
limited number of tobacconists' shops, the business
is very lucrative. The net profits of some
of the shops on the boulevards, range from
twenty-five thousand francs to sixty thousand
francs a year. The famous Civette, opposite
the Palais Royal, is said to yield one hundred
and twenty-five thousand francs (five thousand
pounds) a-year, but in the case of these well-
situated establishments, it is not unusual for
the business to be let and sub-let half a dozen
times, the titular owner being often a person
of high position: the widow of a general officer,
who has died poor: or often an old retired
officer himself, who has rendered secret services,
and must be recompensed otherwise than by
promotion or the Legion of Honour.

Every year introduces some new improvement
into the system of preparation. Some
scores of scientific men are continually
employedthey are paid to do it and to do
nothing elsein studying new methods of
ameliorating the culture of tobacco, improving
the lavour of the leaves, and so blending the
different varieties as to form finer, and more
wholesome cigars. But it is in the making of
snuff that the French have attained rare
perfection. The time required to turn a leaf of
tobacco into snuff, according to the method of
the "Régie," is four years and two monthsa
fact which speaks volumes for the care and
pains bestowed upon the fabrication.

The "Régie" sells three kinds of tobacco
for pipe-smokers. The best goes by the name
of "Maryland." It is retailed in yellow packets,
and costs five shillings a pound English money.
The second quality has been baptised
"Caporal." It is that most used, and costs four
shillings the pound. The third quality is prepared
for the use of soldiers solely; it costs
but half the piece of Caporal; but it can only
be obtained on presentation of a species of
government voucher, to one of which the soldier
is entitled every ten days. Tobacconists are
forbidden under heavy penalties to sell this
tobacco to civilians.

The "Régie" manufactures six or seven
kinds of cigars. The best cost from fifty centimes
to a franc each. The large majority of
Frenchmen know but five kinds of cigars: the
Londres, Trabucos, Millares, Decimos, and
Sontellas. Of these five kinds, the Londres is
best; it costs twenty-five centimes (twopence
halfpenny), and, if carefully selected, is fully
equal to the Regalias which cost sixpence in
London. The Trabucos cost twenty centimes,
the Millares fifteen centimes, the Decimos ten
centimes. They are none of them bad, and are
all far superior to anything that can be had
elsewhere for the money.

The two principal manufactories are in Paris:
at the Gros-Caillon, where snuff and pipe-
tobacco are made; and at Reuilly, where the
higher class of cigars are manufactured. The
task is entrusted in the latter establishment
entirely to women: of whom there are as many
as two hundred and fifty employed. A skilful
workwoman can make from ninety to one
hundred and fifty Londres in ten hours, and
three hundred Sontellas within the same time.
Not the least curious circumstance which
strikes a visitor at the manufactory of Reuilly
is the total silence observed by the two hundred
and fifty workers. A whisper is punished
by a fine, and work is paid for "by the piece."

Of course the tobacco monopoly enjoyed by
the French government has often been made
the subject of attack; and reformers are not
wanting on the other side of the Channel who
would abolish the privilege and open the market.
Still, as these innovators are fain to own that
the tobacco sold by the Regie is excellent, and
that they could not hope to get better anywhere
else for the same price, it is probable that these
clamours will avail but little, and will, metaphorically
and literally, end insmoke.



I SLEPT soundly during the first part of
the night. But about three o'clock I woke
suddenlyI might almost say, I started
from my sleep. I had not been dreaming;
I was not conscious of having heard any
noise; but my sleep, somehow or other, was
broken suddenly, and I sat up in my bed
with a sense of undefined alarm. I listened: