Better Not: A Discussion of Certain Social Customs

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Funk & Wagnalls, 1892 - Amusements - 86 pages
The social customs discussed and condemned are wine-drinking, card-playing, theatre-going, and dancing.
 

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Page 45 - I think it is below reasonable creatures to be altogether conversant in such diversions as are merely innocent, and have nothing else to recommend them, but that there is no hurt in them. Whether any kind of gaming has even thus much to say for itself, I shall not determine ; but I think it is very wonderful to see persons of the best sense passing away a dozen hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards, with no ether conversation but what is made up of a few f No 93.
Page 46 - Whether any kind of gaming has even thus much to say for itself, I shall not determine; but I think it is very wonderful to see persons of the best sense passing away a dozen hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards, with no other conversation but what is made up of a few game phrases, and no other ideas but those of black or red spots ranged together in different figures. Would not a man laugh to hear any one of this species complaining that life is short?
Page 67 - ... to have been invented in an unfriendly quarter, usually conceived of as situated under us, to give our human passions leave to disport themselves, unreproved by conscience, by reason, or by shame, almost at their will.
Page 67 - ... such is the occasion, and still, hour after hour, the dance whirls its giddy kaleidoscope around, bringing hearts so near that they almost beat against each other, mixing the warm, mutual breaths, darting the fine personal electricity across between the meeting fingers, flushing the face and lighting the eyes with a quick language...
Page 45 - ... as to cards and dice, I think the safest and best way is never to learn any play upon them, and so to be incapacitated for those dangerous temptations, and incroaching wasters of useful time.
Page 52 - York within recent years —copies prepared for the use of the actors being used— shows that if language and sentiments which would not be tolerated among respectable people in private intercourse, and would excite indignation if addressed to the most uncultivated and coarse servant-girl, not openly vicious, by an ordinary young man, and profaneness which would brand him who uttered it as irreligious, are improper amusements for the young and for Christians of every age, at least fifty of the sixty...
Page 65 - In this connection, we consider it to be our duty to warn our people against those amusements which may easily become to them an occasion of sin, and especially against those fashionable dances, which, as at present carried on, are revolting to every feeling of delicacy and propriety, and are fraught with the greatest danger to morals.
Page 46 - ... can recommend itself to the favor of Christ's disciples. ' ' The presence of culture and genius may embellish, but can never dignify it. I have at this moment ringing in my ears the dying injunction of my father's early friend: 'Keep your son from cards. Over them I have murdered time and lost heaven.
Page 66 - It is no accident that the dance is what it is. It mingles the sexes in such closeness of personal approach and contact as, outside of the dance, is nowhere tolerated in respectable society. It does this under a complexity of circumstances that conspire to heighten the impropriety of it. It is evening, and the hour is late ; there is the delicious and unconscious intoxication of music and motion in the blood ; there is the strange, confusing sense of being individually unobserved among so many, while...
Page 15 - If wine make my brother to offend, I will drink no wine while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to oflend !"— Address, pp.

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