RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY
Vol. 2, No. 61 ] SATURDAY, 29th., FEBRUARY, 1868 [ Price 1d.
SWEARING IN RAILWAY CARRIAGES.
Sir,- It falls to my lot frequently to travel by
railway, and I am often much pained by profane and blasphemous utterances.
On such occasions it is my custom to convey a gentle reproof to the offenders,
and I am glad to say that such reproofs have, in most cases, been received
with a good grace, and I have had the pleasure of seeing how good it is
to "speak a word in season". I have only met with a single instance
in all my travels in which a profane swearer attempted to defend the habit.
On Monday last I entered a third-class carriage at Rowley Station with
a ticket for Hockley, Birmingham, I had no sooner taken my seat than my
ears were saluted with a volley of oaths. This was repeated again and
again. I felt it my duty to say a word or two to the reckless blasphemer,
and at once told him in the gentlest manner, that "I was very sorry
to hear him swear, so recklessly; it was in bad habit and a source of
great annoyance to all decent and respectable people". In answer
to this mild reproof the swearer said "he had the right to swear
as much as he liked, and he should do so in spite of Ranter parsons."
As he continued to utter profane language, I appealed to the guard at
the next station whether it was not unlawful to annoy passengers with
profane oaths. The guard replied in the affirmative, and corrected the
offender. No sooner had the train started again, however, than he began
to swear worse than before, and said that I ought to be thrown out of
the train, and intimated that he was prepared to do so if I did not keep
my mouth shut, (turning toward me at the same time and shaking his hand).
I confess I began to get alarmed at the attitude assumed, for the guard's
reproof, which was brought upon him by my appeal, seemed to sting him.
I should not have troubled you with this correspondence but I have been
informed this reckless profane swearer lives within the bounds of the
Black Country, and this may meet his eyes. Should such be the case, I
trust he will blush in secret though ashamed publicity to his own "barbican