The negro boasts that he can conjure a white woman; and indeed his exploits in that direction are such as to afford Is the Fault that of some ground for believing him; if by "conjuring" he the Negro or of mean that species of fascination, bom of terror, em-the White Woman? ployed by the serpent in capturing the bird; but I am inclined to think, in the total absence of any better solution of the difficulty, that his undoubted success with a certain class of white women, sexually hyperesthetic, possibly permanently or temporarily nymphomaniac, lies in the greater boldness and directness with which, on the principle that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, he approaches the sexual subject.
Sexually hyperesthetic women frequently spend as much time, energy and diligence, in courting the man as the man ordinarily does in courting the woman; and, in plain language, when she wants the penis, and wants it imperatively, she is quite as apt as man himself to follow the point of least resistance, availing herself of the first one which offers, whether it be white or black.
The woman, in most cases at least, I believe, would prefer a white man: but the white man is comparatively timid in love-matters, fearful of offending, and lacking in the braggadocio and self-assurance which are distinguishing traits of the negro character. Therefore the latter, in living exemplification of the proverb that faint heart never won either fair or dart lady, brings down the game by promptitude and daring which the other misses through diffidence and fear.
This fact, in connection with novelty on both sides, always a powerful factor in sexual selection, with drink sometimes, and innate depravity always on the woman's part, I think constitute the chief indictment in these deplorable and frequently criminal acts.1
1 Plautus held that a white akin has a peculiar charm for women; but Desdemona refute* him. She found in her "sooty blackamoor" a being as fair as the lame Vulcan was to Venus. It is only a part of the natural mystery of woman; and when we have discovered why Mary Stuart fell in love with the deformed Rizzio, the noble Roman Justine's wife with a strolling player, the queen in Ariosto with the miserable dwarf, and the beautiful empress, Faustina, with a common fencing-master, then, and not till then, shall we be able to account, on physiological and rational grounds, for what I have ventured to term Negrophilia—the love of white women for black men. In the meantime the law, and public opinion far more resolutely, are dealing with the problem as beat they can.