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shipping water. One cannot pass through a modern university without
carrying away scars. And by the same token one cannot live and have
one's being in a modern democratic state, year in and year out, without
falling, to some extent at least, under that moral obsession which is
the hall-mark of the mob-man set free. A citizen of such a state, his
nose buried in Nietzsche, "Man and Superman," and other such advanced
literature, may caress himself with the notion that he is an immoralist,
that his soul is full of soothing sin, that he has cut himself loose
from the revelation of God. But all the while there is a part of
him that remains a sound Christian, a moralist, a right thinking and
forward-looking man. And that part, in times of stress, asserts itself.
It may not worry him on ordinary occasions. It may not stop him when he
swears, or takes a nip of whiskey behind the door, or goes motoring on
Sunday; it may even let him alone when he goes to a leg-show. But the
moment a concrete Temptress rises before him, her nose snow-white, her
lips rouged, her eyelashes drooping provokingly--the moment such an
abandoned wench has at him, and his lack of ready funds begins to
conspire with his lack of courage to assault and wobble him--at that
precise moment his conscience flares into function, and so finishes his
business. First he sees difficulty, then he sees the danger, then he
sees wrong. The result is that he slinks off in trepidation, and another
vampire is baffled of her prey.
It is, indeed, the secret scandal of Christendom, at least in the
Protestant regions, that most men are faithful to their wives. You will
a travel a long way before you find a married man who will admit that he
is, but the facts are the facts, and I am surely not one to flout them.
36. The Origin of a Delusion
The origin of the delusion that the average man is a Leopold II or
Augustus the Strong, with the amorous experience of a guinea pig, is not
far to seek. It lies in three factors, the which I rehearse briefly:
1. The idiotic vanity of men, leading to their eternal boasting, either
by open lying or sinister hints.
2. The notions of vice crusaders, nonconformist divines, Y. M. C. A.
secretaries, and other such libidinous poltroons as to what they would
do themselves if they had the courage.
3. The ditto of certain suffragettes as to ditto.
Here you have the genesis of a generalization that gives the less
critical sort of women a great deal of needless uneasiness and vastly
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