Strangely enough the two phases are
frequently associated in the same individual. Both
tendencies are eminently feminine; the affinity lies in a
hysterical nature. Thus, excessive pietism is a frequent
concomitant of excessive sexual passion; this, though notably
the case with women, is common enough with men of unduly
Only the other day some letters appeared in the 'Times' about
the flogging of boys in the Navy. And, as a sentimental
argument against it, we were told by the Humanitarian
Leaguers that it is 'obscene.' This is just what might be
expected, and bears out the foregoing remarks. But such
saintly simplicity reminds us of the kind of squeamishness of
which our old acquaintance Mephisto observes:
Man darf das nicht vor keuschen Ohren nennen,
Was keusche Herzen nicht entbehren konnen.
(Chaste ears find nothing but the devil in
What nicest fancies love to revel in.)
The same astute critic might have added:
And eyes demure that look away when seen,
Lose ne'er a chance to peep behind the screen.
It is all of a piece. We have heard of the parlour-maid who
fainted because the dining-table had 'ceder legs,' but never
before that a 'switching' was 'obscene.' We do not envy the
unwholesomeness of a mind so watchful for obscenity.