1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

Alexander Carlyle, 1769; in Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle (1910) 528-29.



Before I began my operations relative to the window-tax, I witnessed something memorable. It being much the fashion to go on a Sunday evening to a chapel of the Magdalene Asylum, we went there on the second sunday we were in London, and had difficulty to get tolerable seats for my sister and wife, the crowd of genteel people was so great. The preacher was Dr. Dodd, a man afterwards too well known. The unfortunate young women were in a latticed gallery, where you could only see those who chose to be seen. The preacher's text was, "If a man look on a woman to lust after her," etc. The text itself was shocking, and the sermon was composed with the least possible delicacy, and was a shocking insult on a sincere penitent, and fuel for the warm passions of the hypocrites. The fellow was handsome, and delivered his discourse remarkable well for a reader. When he had finished, there were unceasing whispers of applause, which I could not help contradicting aloud, and condemning the whole institution, as well as the exhibition of the preacher, as "contra bonos mores," and a disgrace to a Christian city.