Thursday, June 10, 2010

Popular amusements

An appeal to Methodists, in regard to the evils of card-playing, billiards, dancing, theatre-going, etc. — Hiram Mattison (1811-1868)

I. Like playing cards and billiards it is A USELESS WASTE OF TIME.
For children to learn to dance requires a great deal of time, which they need for other and better purposes.

To learn to dance requires a dancing-master or school and no little outlay of money for tuition, extra dresses, slippers, etc.

III. Dancing often brings the otherwise virtuous and pure-minded into association with the low and vile.
Public balls are not apt to be very select in this respect. In fact, there are all grades of "hops," from the private parlor to the dance-house and the brothel.

IV. Public dancing and moral impurity are almost inseparably associated.
Among the Greeks the public dancers were almost invariably wretched females, who made merchandise of their own persons.

V. Dancing is usually associated with tippling, and often leads leads to intemperance, and consequent ruin.
The fact is, both ladies and gentlemen drink at balls, and both get heated with wine and inflamed by passion.

VI. Dancing is usually as injurious to the HEALTH of its votaries as it is to their purity of mind and morals and their habits of temperance and sobriety.
Every dancer knows that after a night spent in the ballroom it takes two or three days for the system to recover its wonted elasticity and spirits.

VII. The habit of dancing is necessarily opposed to all true piety and spirituality.
No Christian can go to a ball and dance without having a sense of demoralization, a feeling of condemnation and personal unworthiness and shame.
The complete text and other fabulous books can be read at Making of America (MoA).

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