Monday, July 20, 2015

Dickens at Niagara Falls

From American Notes.

When Charles Dickens visited Niagara Falls in 1842, he noticed in a gift shop a visitors’ book where sightseers could write their names and comments. Dickens, of course, was a reader and as we readers know no reader passes by any written material without sampling. Poor Dickens was shocked at “the vilest and the filthiest ribaldry that ever human hogs delighted in.” Really upset, the lover of language spits fire:

It is humiliating enough to know that there are among men brutes so obscene and worthless, that they can delight in laying their miserable profanations upon the very steps of Nature’s greatest altar.  But that these should be hoarded up for the delight of their fellow-swine, and kept in a public place where any eyes may see them, is a disgrace to the English language in which they are written (though I hope few of these entries have been made by Englishmen), and a reproach to the English side, on which they are preserved.

Thank heaven he was spared social media….

No comments:

Post a Comment