AN EPIDEMIC OF SWEARING

ID: 25652
450.00
A practical discourse concerning swearing:

WAKE, William, A practical discourse concerning swearing: especially in the two great points of perjury and common-swearing. London: Richard Sare. 1696.

8vo., (4) + xxix (i.e. xlv) + (15) + 144pp., including the preliminary blank (A1), contemporary panelled calf with raised bands, unlettered, short (1 cm.) split at head of upper joint but, nonetheless, a fine, crisp, copy.

First edition.

A 'practical discourse' on swearing in all its forms, including, of course, the use of profane words in everyday speech. it was, Wake suggests, an 'evil practice'. 'This is so just a reflection, that it is, perhaps, the only account that can be given, how men come to swear so ordinarily, and upon such little occasions, as they do: in such cases, where there is neither any manner of need of an oath for the conformation of what they speak; nor have they, often times, any such design in it. But 'tis a fashionable way of adorning, or rather of profaning their discourse; the practice of it is become almost epidemical; and they have, insensibly, accustomed their tongues to it, till at last they neither know how to avoid it, nor are themselves sensible when they do it .....'. [p.104]. William Wake (1657-1737) was at the time rector of St. James's church, Westminster. In 1716 he was elevated to the Archbishopric of Canterbury.