Sunday, December 22, 2013

God Rest Ye Merry (But Not TOO Merry)

"The writer was once inclined to the common opinion, that dancing was harmless, and might be properly regulated; and she allowed a fair trade to be made, under her auspices, by its advocates.  The result was, a full conviction, that it secured no good effect, which could not be better gained another way; that it involved the most pernicious evils to health, character, and happiness; and that those parents were wise, who brought up their children with the full understanding that they were neither to learn nor to practise the art.  In the fifteen years, during which she has had the care of young ladies, she has never known any case, where learning this art, and following the amusement, did not have a bad effect...

It is encouraging to those who take this view of the subject, to find how fast the most serious and intelligent portion of the community is coming to a similar result.  Twenty-five years ago, dancing was universally practised by the young, as a matter of course, in every part of the Nation.  Now, in those parts of the Country, where religion and intelligence are most extensively diffused, it is almost impossible to get up a ball, among the more refined classes of the community."

Catherine Esther Beecher, A Treatise on Domestic Economy.  And a depressing read it is, too.

1 comment:

Bunnykins said...

I sampled a bit of this. Yes, very depressing. Self righteous priggery at it's best combined with a generally sour temperament if you ask me. Now I know what the old battleaxes of my youth read (or had practiced on them) to form them - handed down copies of this. I don't generally think book banning is a good idea, but this tome should come with a warning label.

A very Merry Christmas - and much dancing - to you!