I've been meaning to post a selection from a book in my collection, Social Abominations, published in the 1880's. This wonderfully subtle book warns us against the pitfalls of Swearing and Cursing, Clandestine Marriages, Hypnotism in Relation to Crime, The Dance, and Whisperers. Gotta watch out for those Whisperers--they'll lead you to Hell in a heartbeat.
I also expect you'll have to watch out for voyeristic cherubs with opera glasses like the little bastard on the cover. He's clearly attempting to stop the canoodling couple on the cover from holding hands too long or Whispering or some such.
Have a go at this little tidbit of The Dance:
The conditions of the ball-room, with its gay company, its elegant robes, its exciting music, and whirling movements are caclulated to arouse to its highest pitch every sense of the body, and as the circling of the waltz proceeds, as hand clasps hand, arm encircles waist, the hot breath of each reaches the other, heart beats to heart, and eye responds to eye, as they move onward in the giddy and exciting maze, under the stirring notes of the music and sometimes the exhilarations of the wine cup, the dancers are, to say the least, not under the holiest possible moral influences, and soon, getting beyond their own judgement, some at least will go whirling on in the "dance of death."
I'm confused. Wasn't there an old hardcore song called "Dance of Death"?
I don't know about you but I think I want to try some of this waltzing jazz. Sounds like more action than I've had in a while. Just so long as there isn't some half-naked cherub in a winding sheet spying on the proceedings.
Next time: J. Harvey Kellog's infamous Plain Facts For Old and Young