Punch,  48 (1865), 107.

Sentiment and the Streams of England



News-Commentary, Drollery


Pollution, Environmentalism, Manufactories, Commerce, Industry, Mining, Politics, Government, Religion

    Discusses an extract from a report in the Morning Post describing John Bright's criticism of Robert Montagu's 'motion for a Bill to prevent the rivers of England from continuing to be poisoned and polluted with the sewage of towns and the washings of mines and chemical works'. Criticises Bright for believing Montagu to be acting on 'sentimental feeling', pointing out that such 'gentlemen' as Bright 'are trying to make us all ashamed of sentiment' because it 'does not tend to the creation of material wealth'. Adds that Bright would probably believe that Thames water is fit for drinking and that 'If the Thames ran drab as a member of the Society of Friends he would say 'What matter?'. Insisting that all members of Parliament agree that the Thames reeks, suggests that Bright is claiming that 'if the Thames is offensive to sentimental people, it is good enough for the beverage of people who are not more nice than they need to be'.

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