"Not at all!" replied Herr Kalm. "It is the constant use of the life-giving infusion of tea that has saved China! Tea soothes the nerves; it clears the blood, expels vapors from the brain, and restores the fountain of life to pristine activity. Ergo, it prolongs the existence of both men and nations, and has made China the most antique nation in the world."
Herr Kalm was a devotee to the tea-cup; he drank it strong to excite his flagging spirits, weak to quiet them down. He took Bohea with his facts, and Hyson with his fancy, and mixed them to secure the necessary afflatus to write his books of science and travel. Upon Hyson he would have attempted the Iliad, upon Bohea he would undertake to square the circle, discover perpetual motion, or reform the German philosophy.
The professor was in a jovial mood, and gambolled away gracefully as a Finland horse under a pack-saddle laden with the learning of a dozen students of Abo, travelling home for the holidays.
"We are fortunate in being able to procure our tea in exchange for our useless ginseng," remarked the Lady de Tilly, as she handed the professor a tiny plate of the leaves, as was the fashion of the day. After drinking the tea, the infused leaves were regarded as quite a fashionable delicacy. Except for the fashion, it had not been perhaps considered a delicacy at all.