The Black Dwarf

Licensed Breach of the Sabbath – Marchioness of Salisbury’s Converszationes!

Source: The Black Dwarf, Vol vii 1821;
Translated: from the original broadsheet by Mitchell Abidor.

Through tattered rags small vices do appear?

Robes and furred gowns hide all.

A correspondent write me word, with just indignation, that while notices are posted about Bridge Street, which is now become the political ST. Giles , threatening with prosecution such poor creatures as venture to sell fish on the Sabbath , lest it should be spoilt, to those who cannot obtain it any other day, – and who probably have a family to be fed upon the precarious proceeds – while the ministers of the gospel are crying out against the horrid blasphemies and irreligion of the poor, – while the societies for suppression of vice are peeping into every hole and corner, to find some poor wretch on whom to wreck the vengeance they dare not hint against fashionable criminality – while the prisons are filled with those who cannot believe what they are ordered, and will not play the hypocrite by professing to believe, – while all this is done, and peers and peeresses club their money to cheer on the hounds in the paltry chase of those who cannot resist oppression, the Marchioness of Salisbury can publicly advertise converzationes for the Sunday evening; at which in all probability, some of the subscribers to put down irreligion are regular attendants! He may well say, with Lord Byron; he is “ashamed of being one of a nation, that suffers an order of society which influences the mass, to commit crimes with impunity, for which the defenceless are punished without mercy.” I can only refer him to the lines above quoted for a solution of the problem. (p34-35)