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dinner table until vice becomes almost a physical necessity!
Nothing tends so powerfully to keep the passions in abeyance as a simple
diet, free from condiments, especially when coupled with a generous
amount of exercise.
The influence of tobacco in leading to unchastity has been referred
to in another connection. This is assuredly a not uncommon cause. When
a boy places the first cigar or quid of tobacco to his lips, he takes--if
he has not previously done so--the first step in the road to infamy;
and if he adds wine or beer, he takes a short cut to the degradation
of his manhood by the loss of virtue.
Precocious Sexuality.--The causes of a too early development of sexual
peculiarities, as manifested in infantile flirtations and early signs
of sexual passion, were dwelt upon quite fully in a previous connection,
and we need not repeat them here. Certain it is that few things can
be more dangerous to virtue than the premature development of those
sentiments which belong only to puberty and later years. It is a most
unnatural, but not uncommon, sight to see a girl of tender age evincing
all those characters which mark the wanton of older years.
Man's Lewdness.--It cannot be denied that men are in the greatest degree
responsible for the "social evil." The general principle holds true
here as elsewhere that the supply is regulated by the demand. If the
patrons of prostitution should withdraw their support by a sudden
acquisition of virtue, how soon would this vilest of traffics cease!
The inmates of brothels would themselves become continent, if not
virtuous, as the result of such a spasm of chastity in men.
Again, the ranks of fallen women, which are rapidly thinned by loathsome
diseases and horrid deaths, are largely recruited from that class of
unfortunates for whose fall faithless lovers or cunning, heartless
libertines are chiefly responsible. The weak girl who, through too much
trust, has been deceived and robbed of her dearest treasure, is disowned
by relatives, shunned by her acquaintances, and turned out upon a cold
world without money, without friends, without a character. What can
she do? Respectable employment she cannot find, for rumor follows her.
There seems to be but one door open, the one which she herself so
unintentionally opened. In despair, she enters the "open road to hell,"
and to her first sad error adds a life of shame. Meanwhile, the villain
who betrayed her still maintains his standing in society, and plies
his arts to win another victim. Is there not an unfair discrimination
here? Should not the seducer be blackened with an infamy at least as
deep as that which society casts on the one betrayed?
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