Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Macaulay on Addington

"So effectually indeed, did he retort on vice the mockery which had recently been directed against virtue, that, since his time, the open violation of decency has always been considered among us as the mark of a fool."
Macaulay has lots of interesting remarks about the changes in public morality, from the Puritans, to the license of Charles II's court, and back again. As he tells it, bad behaviour in public ends when it becomes, not shocking, but ridiculous. Which tangentially reminds me of this classic from the Onion.