'VULGAR AND DISGRACEFUL'
As a filler, from my regular perusals of the old newspapers, can I offer you this short tit-bit, clipped from the Lincolnshire Chronicle of 1823 relating to a moment of 'high apoplexy' on the part of its exasperated Editor: who wrote ...
'We cannot but be disgusted by the blasphemy and impiety to which some of our Whig-Radical contemporaries have recourse, in order to endeavour to weaken in men's minds the love of the church through the medium of exciting a contempt for its ministers. What can be more deserving of open and avowed indignation than the conduct of the editor of the Mercury in inserting into that journal the following vulgar and disgraceful paragraph:-
"John Rolf, bellows-blower at the Bath Abbey Church, completed his 45th year of office on the 25th inst. His salary is two guineas per annum: the bellows-blower in the pulpit below has two thousand per annum."
There is in political writing a certain allowed limit (too often, alas! overstepped) to the shafts of satire and it is with much regret that we see, by the present ministerial question for the abolition of church-rates, the affairs of eternity mingle with temporal matters: but can the editor of the Mercury, as a politician, excuse so vile an attack upon a minister of God - can he, as a gentleman, palliate so ridiculous and aimless an insult upon a man? As for the value of his insinuation, which would denote a vast quantity of of emoluments, it is too insignificant to attach to it aught but a conviction of the paucity and weakness of the arguments against a church establishment, when recourse is had to such a lame quiddit.' [a quibbling subtlety]