Leaving the consideration of these themes, however, for a more appropriate place, and continuing our inquiry into the moral and social aspects of the sexual relation, I consider Maudsley's statement, that the sexual feeling is the rightful foundation of the social feeling, as indisputably true. " Were man to be robbed of the instinct of procreation, and all that arises from it, mentally, nearly all the poetry, and perhaps the moral sense, as well, would be torn from his life." Upon it is founded his love of home, wife, offspring; and upon these, in turn, as all observers agree, not only his love of country, and obligations to society, but the influence of his life and the ethics of his religion.
1 Charles Major, "When Knighthood Was in Flower," p. 148.
* Wife of St. Louis.
•Wife of Herod.
Thus, if it produced among the Romans the rape of the Sabine maidens, it produced also the devotion of the mother of the Gracchi. " Beauty cov-ereth more sins than charity, and maketh more grief than pestilence," says a modem novelist.1 If the sex-life produced a Messalina and an Elvora' in one country,it produced an Iphigenia and a Marianne3 in another; and the prostitution of Dubarry and Montespan, in France, did not touch the national and social life of the people as did the purity of Joan of Arc and of Josephine.
"It is certain," remark Stanley Hall and Allin, "that very much of what is best in religion, art and life, owes its charm to the progressively widening irradiation of sexual feeling ;" and to this I will venture to add that if we reflect on all that is great, glorious and heroic in the literature of the ages, the records of toil, poverty, sacrifice and battle, we shall find the golden thread of sexual love woven in it into deathless patterns of divine splendor.
In the immortal poem of Dante, the fairest angel of his paradise blossoms out from the woman of his earthly love. The dreamy-eyed beauty of the female Florentine faces which surrounded him, blends inseparably with the angelic countenances of Raphael's Madonnas; and the soft smiles of Correggio's wife meet again and again in all his works. Well, indeed, does Foscolo call the fine arts the "children of love." When Petrarch was crowned with laurel at Rome, and when the olive-cheeked daughters of sunny Italy hum his sonnets in the streets of Philadelphia, or New York, both circumstances are less a tribute to the genius of the poet than to his character as a lover.
The impetus of every noble ambition, effort and achievement, lies in the feelings. While the philosopher speculates, and the statesman temporizes, and the scholar cites authorities, the man of feeling, the man inspired by a pure sexual love, acts, realizes; puts forth the sublime energies of his soul, and accomplishes results which, to the cold eye of reason, seem impossible. "Sympathy," as Tuckerman well remarks, "is the golden key which unlocks the treasures of the universe;" and sympathy, directly or indirectly, is always the product of sexuality, depending on the latter for all its vividness of purpose and ardency of feeling.
Shakespeare might have studied whole libraries on the philosophy of the passions without being able to conceive, had he not experienced within himself something of both, either the jealousy of an Othello or the love of a Juliet; and when the soldier dies on the battlefield, we may trace his devotion, not so much to love of country, or liberty, as to his little cottage home, where sleep the woman he loves and the offspring of his sexual passion.