i’m reading pantagruel, which was written in 1532.
in the introduction, after he addresses the translator, there is a refrence to tobacco:
To drink he was a furious enemy
Contented with a six-penny --
(with diamond hatband, silver spurs, six horses.) pie --
And for tobacco's pate-rounding smoke,
Much had he said, and much more spoke,
But 'twas not then found out, so the design was broke.
according to wikipedia, “tobacco”, as a word, was introduced to europeans around 1552, twenty years AFTER pantagruel was written, and Hernández de Boncalo, Spanish chronicler of the Indies, was the first European to bring tobacco seeds to the Old World in 1559 following orders of King Philip II of Spain.
before that, especially in europe, one would assume, tobacco was quite rare, and usually not available to “ordinary” people.
i’ve never read pantagruel before, and the 16th century, in general, was kind of a weird, amorphous time, during which what we take as “knowledge” now, was a lot more fluid and undecided, so i think i can overlook this inconsistency, but it’ll be interesting.