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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

of the population everywhere and doubtless stretches back to the tenth 

century before the domination of ecclesiastical matrimony began, and 

partly by the progressive modification of marriage laws which were made 

necessary by the needs of the propertied classes anxious to secure the 

State recognition of their unions. The whole process is necessarily a 

gradual and indeed imperceptible process. It is impossible to fix 

definitely the dates of the stages by which the Church effected the 

immense revolution by which it grasped, and eventually transferred to the 

State, the complete control of marriage, for that revolution was effected 

without the intervention of any law. It will be equally difficult to 

perceive the transference of the control of marriage from the State to 

the individuals concerned, and the more difficult because, as we shall 

see, although the essential and intimately personal fact of marriage is 

not a proper matter for State control, there are certain aspects of 

marriage which touch the interests of the community so closely that the 

State is bound to insist on their registration and to take an interest in 

their settlement. 

 

The result of dissolving the formal stringency of the marriage 

relationship, it is sometimes said, would be a tendency to an immoral 

laxity. Those who make this statement overlook the fact that laxity tends 

to reach a maximum as a result of stringency, and that where the merely 

external authority of a rigid marriage law prevails, there the extreme 

excesses of license most flourish. It is also undoubtedly true, and for 

the same reason, that any sudden removal of restraints necessarily 

involves a reaction to the opposite extreme of license; a slave is not 

changed at a stroke into an autonomous freeman. Yet we have to remember 

that the marriage order existed for millenniums before any attempt was 

made to mould it into arbitrary shapes by human legislation. Such 

legislation, we have seen, was indeed the effort of the human spirit to 

affirm more emphatically the demands of its own instincts.[365] But its 

final result is to choke and impede rather than to further the instincts 

which inspired it. Its gradual disappearance allows the natural order free 

and proper scope. 

 

The great truth that compulsion is not really a force on the side 

of virtue, but on the side of vice, had been clearly realized by 

the genius of Rabelais, when he said of his ideal social state, 

the Abbey of Thelema, that there was but one clause in its rule: 

Fay ce que vouldras. "Because," said Rabelais (Bk. i, Ch. VII), 

"men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in 

honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that 

prompts them unto virtuous actions and withdraws them from vice. 

These same men, when by base subjection and constraint they are 

brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble 

disposition by which they freely were inclined to virtue, to 

shake off and break that bond of servitude." So that when a man 

and a woman who had lived under the rule of Thelema married each 

other, Rabelais tells us, their mutual love lasted undiminished 

to the day of their death. 

 

When the loss of autonomous freedom fails to lead to licentious 

rebellion it incurs the opposite risk and tends to become a 

flabby reliance on an external support. The artificial support of 

marriage by State regulation then resembles the artificial 

support of the body furnished by corset-wearing. The reasons for 

and against adopting artificial support are the same in one case 

as the other. Corsets really give a feeling of support; they 


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