Sunday, 23 May 2010

Joseph Addison's Essays: Sir Roger at Church

What fascinates me most about the essays is that they teach me so much about life back than. It seems there was a great deal of social rules.

Today's essay is about Church life. Apparently Sir Roger valued the church. So much in fact that he made sure his whole town attended the sermons every Sunday. The essays says he:

'...sometimes stands up when everybody else is upon their knees, to count the congregation, or see if any of his tenants are missing.'

The point of the essay, in my opinion, is that if the squire and parson do not get on, church life suffers. He compares the church life in the parish of Sir Roger and the parish the next town over where the pastor and the squire hate each other. The 'squire never goes to church. The essay relates:

'The 'squire has made all his tenants atheists and tithe-stealers; while the parson instructs them every Sunday in the dignity of his order, and insinuates to them, almost in every sermon, that he is a better man than his patron.'

Oh, how much power one man can have.

4 comments:

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  3. Addison has presented a contemporary documentation of English society.

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