Sunday, June 23, 2013


The Pulpit Whine

Patrick Maxwell, Pribbles and Prabbles: or, Rambling Reflections on Varied Topics (London: Skeffington & Son, 1906), p. 166:
Then there is what, for want of a better name, I must call the pulpit whine. I have no desire to offend any man; but the thing must be described and deprecated. I refer to that dolorous and affected sing-song tone of voice in which it pleases some divines to preach their sermons and to read the Scriptures. These gentlemen apparently think—or affect to think—that sacred subjects can bo appropriately dealt with only in an unnatural sanctimonious drawl which they would never dream of employing for any other purpose in life. They seem to be quite unconscious that such affectation throws an air of unreality, if not of insincerity, over all their utterances; deadens all interest in what they say; and lulls the auditors to slumber.

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