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The Government Of The Tongue by Richard Allestree

Section XII. Of Obscene Talk.

There is another vice of the Tongue which I cannot but mention, though I knew not in which of the former Classes to place it: not that it comes under none, but that tis so common to all, that tis not easy to resolve to which peculiarly to assign it, I mean obscene, and immodest talk, which is offensive to the purity of God, damageable and infectious to the innocence of our Neighbors, and most pernicious to ourselves: and yet is now grown a thing so common, that one would think we were fallen into an Age of Metamorphosis, and that the Brutes did (not only Poetically and in fiction) but really speak. For the talk of many is so bestial, that it seems to be but the conceptions of the more libidinous Animals clothed in human Language.

2. And yet even this must pass for Ingenuity, and this vile descent below Humanity, must be counted among the highest strains of Wit. A wretched debasement of that sprightful Faculty, this to be made the interpreter to a Goat or Boar: for doubtless had those Creatures but the organs of Speech, their Fancies lie enough that way to make them as good company, as those who more studiously apply themselves to this sort of entertainment.

3. The crime is comprehensive enough to afford abundance of matter for the most Satyrical zeal, but I consider the dissecting of putrid Bodies may cast such pestilential fumes, as all the benefits of the scrutiny will not recompense. I shall therefore, in respect to the Reader dismiss this noisome Subject, and thereby give an example with what abhorrence he should always reject such kind of discourse, remembering the advice of St. Paul, That all uncleanness should not be once named among those who would walk as becometh Saints, Eph.5.3.

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