chapter  8
22 Pages

English Enlightenment or Fillers? Improvement, Morality and Religion

Among the middling and lower class of people some real hospitality yet exists-but in the higher order, nothing but vanity or avarice is consulted…at present the old substantials of the table are banished, and a nobleman cannot have an elegant dinner if there be a turkey, goose, duck, fowl, or any joint of mutton, beef, veal, or pork, visible on his table; all must be in disguise; and no man knows what he is going to eat, nor when he eats it, is he able to discover what it was, or the dish is unfashionable. With the banishment of the sirloin, buttock, and chine, hospitality took its farewell of great men’s houses, and with the fripperies of French dinners came the parade of French nothingness, attended by cooks, hairdressers and valets…

Sheffield Advertiser, 1 January 1790, article on Christmas

The resurrection, and a general judgment, (essentials in the belief of a Christian) are the most awful ideas that can possibly occupy the human mind. How depraved and reprobate must the wretch be, who can sport with such sentiments! What tie can society have upon the miscreant who dares to jest with a subject at once so solemn, so interesting, and so sublime!