Charles’ Cigar

Just something I came across combing the Spurgeon site linked below. Tim

From William Williams, Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Personal Reminiscences (London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d.), 30-32.

ll the world knows that Mr. Spurgeon now and again enjoyed a cigar. Not a few caricatures represented him smoking a pipe, but he never used a pipe all the years I knew him. His shrewd reply to the gentleman who “had heard he smoked, but could not believe it to be true,” and asked Mr. Spurgeon to satisfy him, is choice: “I cultivate my flowers and burn my weeds.”

“Enjoying your ‘bacca again, sir!” said old George, Mr. Spurgeon’s tried and trusted servant, one day when his master was lighting a cigar.

“I can do without my ‘bacca’ a good deal easier than you can, George,” said the master.

“I don’t believe you can, sir.”

“Very well, George, don’t smoke again until I do.”

“Agreed, sir.”

A week passed, a fortnight. Poor old George was dying for his pipe. One was asked to intercede with the master that George might be allowed to have it.

“No, no!” said Mr. Spurgeon. “He made a bargain; let him stick to it.”

Eventually George was allowed to smoke, but Mr. Spurgeon did not have a cigar for months after that. . . .

While Mr. Spurgeon was living at Nightingale Lane, Clapham, an excursion was one day organised by one of the young men’s classes at the Tabernacle. The brake with the excursionists was to call for the President on their way to mid-Surrey.

It was a beautiful early morning, and the men arrived in high spirits, pipes and cigars alight, and looking forward to a day of unrestrained enjoyment. Mr. Spurgeon was ready waiting at the gate. He jumped up to the box-seat reserved for him, and looking round with an expression of astonishment, exclaimed: “What, gentlemen! Are you not ashamed to be smoking so early?”

Here was a damper! Dismay was on every face. Pipes and cigars one by one failed and dropped out of sight. When all had disappeared, out came the President’s cigar-case. He lit up and smoked away serenely.

The men looked at him astonished. “I thought you said you objected to smoking, Mr. Spurgeon?” one ventured. “Oh no, I did not say I objected. I asked if they were not ashamed, and it appears they were, for they have all put their pipes away.”

Amid laughter the pipes reappeared, and with puffs of smoke the party went on merrily.


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