Toleration, Current Events

Moral Panic–Everything Old is New Again

Those who are observing 4/20 may be interested (not, perhaps, today) in a wonderful example of moral panic from 1641. The broadside “The Sucklingtonian Faction: or Suckling’s Roaring Boyes” mocks the profligate lifestyle, fancy fashions, expensive tastes, and shocking indulgence in that new and scandalous drug–tobacco–of the poet Sir John Suckling and his friends.

The brief poet that serves as a caption to the central image of the broadside reads:

Much meate doth gluttony produce

And makes a man a swine

But hee’s a temperate man indeed

That with a leafe can dine.

Hee needes no napkin for his handes

His fingers for to wipe.

Hee hath his kitchin in a box.

His roast meat in a pipe.

The whole broadside is well worth a look. An appropriately solemn reading thereof should return you all to the state of moral rectitude and obedience so devoutly to be wished.

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Author: Sarah Skwire


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