The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life/Chapter IX
The Uranian and Uraniad in the Distinctively Ethical, Religious and Intellectual Life: and in the Distinctively Æsthetic Professions and Environments: Types and Biographies.
In intellectual developments of civilization, through letters, science, philosophy, religion, in the liberal arts, in all phases of aesthetics, we find the Uranian to be either worker or amateur. Turning to homosexuals classically famous in such careers, as philosophers, religious teachers, scientists, poets, romancists, dramatists, musicians, painters sculptors, actors, architects, they are bewilderingly numerous. Readers who know only the more conventional sorts of biography, where all the vita sexualis of a man can be "edited away"—especially if abnormal—easily become skeptical when told that such and such a personage has been Uranian. But sooner or later one can satisfy himself that countless such statements are true.
The importance of the classic Greek belles-lettres in the history and study of homosexual Hellas will be further touched upon presently; especially as to lyric and dramatic poets.
phy and Uranian-
Indeed, as we study Gospel narratives and familiarize ourselves with Christ's emotional personality, have we not cause to believe that Christ was an Uranian?—the highest type of Uranian that the world could see. There is nothing ignoble, nothing at all lowering in this theory. The ideal Christ in omniscient sympathy must be profoundly acquainted with all human love, the Uranian's emotions included. We cannot separate from Christ such intimacy with mortal nature, with the innermost soul? Again, no negative trait in Christ is so clearly indicated as his reserved interest in women. Christ is unmoved by warmer sentiment for women than friendship. He is affectionate and interested toward them as only their brother, Mend, teacher. On the contrary, his sentiment for Lazarus is openly passional; he loves, he laments in tears, he restores the dead young man to life, Christ's love for John is spoken of as jealously observed; explicit with even the physical demonstrativeness of the picture of so young a Disciple leaning on his Master's heart; as nearest and dearest, even at Golgotha. The type presented by painters from the first has always depicted a young, fair, femininely boyish John. In fact, references to "love" in connection with Christ's life occur only when young men, not when women, are spoken of; notably the "young man" whom Jesus "loved"—again an intentional phrase. Christ's personality and career; his vivid attraction to total strangers; the immediate spell that, right and left, he exercised on all men, so that they left everything for his sake; his magnetic charm over each human Creature, young or old, who came within personal contact with him, are all traits of the mysterious powers of a noble and beautiful Uranian. Such a type casts its spell inevitably over woman also, though unmoved sexually by womanly beauty. One may even ask whether the treason of Judas was the madness of a jealous homosexual passion, on the part of the betrayer; in a hatred of John, or of whomsoever else. We may also remember that Christ was a Jew, and that his apostles were of an Oriental race inclined to homosexual passions.
To many an Uranian not only the conviction that his homosexual instinct is worthy, but also the thought of Christ as an Uranian, as understanding the gamut of the homosexual's joys and sorrows, are consoling and elevating. An English similisexual wrote to the authour of this study "—The idea of Christ as possibly an Urning has saved me from loneliness, from solitude, from loss of self-respect and of faith, as to this world and the next!"
Concidentally we find St. John, the supremely Beloved of Christ, eminently the herald of the widest gospel of human love. This message runs through the Johannean Epistles like a passionate leading-theme in some celestial symphony. "Love one another"—"Little children, love one another—" "There is no fear in love, for perfect love casteth out fear"—"That we should love one another". Is such an insistance of the gentle Apostle addressed exclusively to a sexless life of the spirit?
"About this time, as I began to teach in my birthplace, I made a friendship with a young man between whom and myself was such a conformity of inclinations and of sentiments as to make me love him above anything that one can express. We were both of an age, in the flower of our youth; we had been at school together. But that former degree of friendship between us did not approach that which now followed, if in fact one can call it friendship; for there is only one true friendship, the tie of that love with which our hearts are filled by the Holy Spirit".
"Nevertheless, between myself and this young man there was a tenderness that is incredible. It was founded, as I have said, on a perfect conformity of inclinations and sentiments. He would have brought to me all that holy and healthful doctrine in which he had been brought up (though in them he had, for all that, but mediocre practical instruction) while I would have thrown him back toward those, fancies and pernicious suggestions which so afflicted my mother, and made her shed so many tears on my account. But we understood each other, even in error; and this perfect union of our hearts made it impossible for me to live without him. But thou O God! who art at the same time the God of chastisements and of pity, thou didst serve us two as a master serves runaway slaves; since scarce had I enjoyed one year the sweetness of this friendship, which was the greatest joy of my life, than Thou didst remove from the world him whom I loved. The young man sickened of a violent fever, and therewith fell into such a sweating, all at once, that they thought it was of death; and he remained a long time unconscious. As there seemed no more hope of him, they baptized him, though he did not know of it. I made nothing of this, convinced that what.had taken place, merely a thing done to him corporeally, would not affect our relationship. But not so went the matter. I waited eagerly till he could speak with me of what had occurred; for I did not quit him, our attachment for one another not suffering me to leave his side for a moment. So as soon as he was better, I began to rally him, on that baptism which had been given him while he had been so unaware of it … never dreaming that he would not join in my mockery. But he showed a horror of me now, as if I had been his worst enemy, and with a firmness that astonished me, so unexpected was all this, declaring that if I wished him to keep to our friendship I must avoid such discoursing. I was much amazed to hear him speak so strongly, but I restrained myself and waited till he should become well and strong enough to talk with me as to what was in my mind: when Thou, O Lord! didst take him away from my seductions and madness, and by one stroke (that was to be, by and by, my consolation) Thou didst set him safely in Thine own bosom. For, a few days after, when I was absent, he relapsed to the same fever, which therewith ended his life."
"The grief of that loss made a strange impression on me; who had from thence onward only trouble and darkness in my soul. I saw Death everywhere; my country became as a land of exile, my own dwelling grew intolerable; and all that had been such a joy when I could partake of it with him became torture, having him no more. Mine eyes sought him everywhere, and found him nowhere; what I beheld instead filled me with loathing, because I saw him in no place, and because each spot which when he was alive had always seemed to say to me "Look, he is coming! You will soon meet him!" now was silent. I did not know myself … I found solace only in my tears, and. they became now for me what had been my friend".
"Behold to what a state of soul was I brought, O my God! Thou my only hope, who dost purify my heart from the stains of these too-passionate friendships, Thou who now keepest mine eyes fixed on Thee, and who forbiddest me to fall into the pitfalls which surround me!… While my friend lived, it seemed to me that his soul and mine were almost one spirit in two bodies. And so when he was dead, life became a horrible thing to me, inasmuch as I could not grow wonted to life without the other half of my soul … What madness it is not to know how to love mankind as we should love all that must die! My heart was utterly torn, bleeding; I knew not what to do. The cool shades of the woods, sports and music, perfumes, good cheer, whatever in the commerce of love is most potent to impress our senses, books or poetry, in short all that had been life to me, without him now became hateful and as naught save something for sighs and tears."
This is the language of pagan homosexualism, of pagan-philosophy, much more than the utterance of ascetic, Christian self-rebuke. Augustine reverts to this early passion as if its human sweetness suddenly exhaled into the air of his cell; as if for a moment he was again the young uranian man of the world, not a Christian saint. His outcry as to why we cannot better regulate our hearts has its eternal echo in the Uranian soul.
A bibliography of references to similisexualism in the early ecclesiastical fathers and commentators presents many works of importance in considering the cloistered homosexual, the uranian who was also an anchorite; and the solicitude that he caused the Church and the laity. Johannes Cassianus, Peter Damiani and many more are attentive to him. Sometimes the sexual casuistry is curious, as when we find Dolcino, in his famous "Instructions," of the opinion that "conjuger ventrem ut cesset tentation non est peccatum"—between cloistered religieux.
Among the greater philosophers, perhaps the profoundest humanist of the Renaissance epoch, was Erasmus of Rotterdam. That Erasmus was homosexual is one of the many interesting studies in circumstantial evidence of biography. Again, the eccentricities of life and of vita sexualis on the part of the great English philosopher Sir Isaac Newton, his hatred of women sexually, have cast a colour of uranianism over the personality of the elaborator of the theory of gravitation. There is some ground to infer that Spinoza, gentle natured and noble-hearted, an Italian Jew by race, and as cold to women sexually as he was warm in friendship (especially with one intimate) was similisexual. Among quite modern philosophers whose biography and teaching have uranian currents was Friedrich . There can be little.doubt that Nietsche's passionate hero-worship of Richard Wagner was homosexual, at its most climatic stage, and that bitter disappointment in Wagner's sordid personality, as he came to know it better, and feeling that an idol had been shattered—the glory of which had been largely in the worshipper—were factors in the advance of Nietsche's mental distresses and overthrow. We are warned by Coleridge that "to be wroth with one we love doth work like madness in the brain The writings of Nietsche have various references to homosexual love, including the epigrammatic counsel—"Sondern physisch; und wenn möglich dionysisch," in "Zarathustra."
"Tevirum mihi sustulere fata!
Quod unum licet his quo quotannis
Pares inferias dabo sepulchro,
Ut meo Pyladi, meo Achati.
Sic qui finis erit mihi loquendi,
Deflendi mihi finis est futurus
Te meum Pyladem, meumque Achatem!"
One of Beza's longer Latin poems, entitled "Theodorus Beza de Sua in Candidam et Audebertum Benevolentia", deals with feeza's young friend, the lad Audebert, and with a young woman named Candide; depicting Beza's conflict in loving the young man as much as he loves the lady, and his inability to lessen his passion for Audebert, even though Candide jealously demands that he shall do so. One passage beginning "Sed utrum rogo proferam decorum? Utrum invisere me decet priorum?"—may be translated thus: "But which of these two, I ask myself, is most to me? Which one should I first seek to see again? Who could be dearer to me than, art thou, Candide? But whom could I ever place in my heart before thee, Audebert? Yes, if I should cut myself into two parts, one part would be Candide's but the other would be Audebert's". There are several such episodes. Beza's fierce Catholic enemy, Bolsec, in one of his attacks on the historian, in the lines "Spintria nunc fueras" etc., declares—"Awhile ago you were a passive sodomite and a filthy poet; now all at once you have turned yourself into a man learned in the Holy Scriptures!" Also Laingeaus exclaims, in an arraignment of Beza—"He was tortured by burning lust for his young Audebert, a remarkably handsome boy, with whom he was united in a sodomistic love". Beza was even accused of being ill, owing to certain sexual excesses, in Paris. Says Xaintes (de Sanctis) "Instead of your Audebert, now you have embraced Calvin, and so have substituted a spiritual male-whore for a carnal one; thus being still what you were,—a sodomist." All which may be called rather plain talking between holy conversationalists!
The Clergy and
It is of interest to notice that, nolens, an attitude of philosophical and scientific toleration of similisexuality is to be observed in the Roman clergy to-day; quite another matter, of course, than mere complaisance toward vice. A priest, whose confidential opinion of the prevalence of uranian instincts in superior moral natures was asked some years ago, by means of a species of circular-letter addressed to the Catholic pastorate, issued by the Natur Wissenchaft Komittee, in Berlin, wrote: "The best and most learned and most pious men have frequently the homosexual instinct. I am convinced that just because -of this fact, many men enter into a monastic life, fleeing solely from the homosexual desires, ignorant of inclinations to the other sex. I am also convinced that the homosexual man has a far harder battle with himself than has the heterosexual. I have even advised penitents to go away' to oriental countries to live, where such unfortunate natures are not punished by laws as criminals. Particularly do I recall the suicide of one popular man, on account of being blackmailed by a studio-assistant, with whom he had been culpable".
Another Catholic pastor stated that his experience in his profession, and his opinions, had convinced him that if female prostitution is to be tolerated, then there should be no penalty for male sexual intercourse; and that having known many such individuals he believed that the general excellence or unworth of a character has no connection with the homosexual impulse. He wrote,—"I have known two individuals, formerly young parishioners of mine, who are each homosexual, but always patterns of Christian morality, whether of old or of to-day".
In the same confidential symposium of ideas of present-day Catholic priesthood in Germany concerning uranianism some twenty-five replies to the circular-letter mentioned were received, such replies being, of course, anonymous as to publication. Some of the writers alluded to the theory, not new, that Saint Paul was not free from homosexual instincts, if indications in the Epistles be accepted.
The reader is referred to the interesting correspondence mentioned, as it appears in the "Jahrbuch für Sexuelle Zwischenstufen" (Max Spohr, Leipzig) edited by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld; Volume II, pp. 161-203. Also as an instance of minute study of the Biblical attitude toward similisexuality, may be remarked a contribution made by a Catholic clergyman (anonymous) in the fourth volume of the same "Jahrbuch". In that study, the commentator reviews practically every pertinent passage of the Scriptures; and, as a scholarly priest, he reaches the conclusion that there is no authority for holding decent homosexual love as a sin in the eyes of God, or of society. Instead he finds every reason to think uranians the victims of a warping of social common sense, by mere dogmatic influences.
Removals of the Catholic clergy for similisexual scandals are incessant. The Continental newspapers especially show this, each year. Several grave affairs of the sort are current in the press, as these pages are written; one of them involving a priest distinguished for high attainments and for social and ecclesiastical respect. The murder in 1857 of the saintly and almost adored Archbishop Sibour of Paris, which tragedy occurred while the Archbishop was at the altar, came through the uranistic frenzy of the murderer, himself a priest. It was an episode that cast all Paris, not to say all France, into mourning.
As may be supposed, in Italy and Spain crimes connecting Catholic clergy with uranian habits are not rare. The recent murder of a priest in Naples (which case is before the court as these lines are written) by another ecclesiastic has proved, by the confession of the survivor to have had a homosexual liaison between the two men, and a scene of jealousy as the source of the affair, known as the Adorni-Costantini assassination.
The College of Cardinals, in very recent days, has had several members of whose philarrenic tastes gossip has been eloquent; including one distinguished politician of the cappa magna, some years deceased. Anotherof the Sacred College, a contemporary of high birth, with a distinguished career at—apparently—his back, long has had attached to his name the rumours of invincible uranianism; and a sobriquet that his political enemies have lately lent him, because of his present policy toward his church, is frequently uttered with a sarcastic accent, to mark its double meaning.
À-propos, of the Uranian clergy of the Continent, there lately appeared in the sedate and calvinistic "Journal de Genève" a cryptic little advertisement—literary?—which the present writer has not yet explained quite to his satisfaction; and so will leave to the queries of his readers: "L. Prètres Homos-Sexuels du Noviciat de jersey 2, V. Lesin-Viersère, avec documents bien détaillés, 1898-1899."
In the Greek Church, the permission to the clergy to marry lessens homosexual scandals, as it does heterosexual Ones. But such episodes are not unusual.
The Established Church of England, and the ranks of an innumerable and sectarian Protestant clergy, the world over, are far less often scandalized by homosexual episodes than the Roman priesthood. There is certainly a considerable proportion of more or less distinctly uranian pastors in Protestantism. Occasionally some individual case in manifested. One such has been recently before both the English and the American public. But the Protestant clergyman is freer to square his homosexuality, if he have it, with his general moral convictions, education, and religious ideas, without reference to a rule of celibacy, built up against the force of Nature, such as adds to the problem of sex for the Catholic priest.
annes von Müller.
During Müller's life time, he was frequently spoken of as homosexual—pederastic—by more or less tolerant friends, or by literary enemies. His return to Switzerland, and his continued residence there, were said to be his escape from serious scandals, and because he wished to live out of the legal jurisdiction of Germany. The letters of the historian to Bonstetten were published (by Cotta, Stuttgart) under the editing of Brun. Another collection, of miscellaneous sort, was issued by Orel in Zürich, edited by Füssli. The Bonstetten correspondence mentioned ("Briefe Eines Jungen Gelehrten an Seinen Freund") stirred up much comment, when in print. They mumber about one hundred and fifty, often being long. Nearly every page, each paragraph, speaks the heart of an Uranian lover before his beloved. In citing them one hardly knows where to begin. A few passages only are the following:
"Without you I can never be happy; with you all my misfortunes find their alleviation … You letters are my eye-salve, since what heals my heart is my body's health … You love me as I love you … I shall love you till my death … Good God! How far I am from you, my own Bonstetten! Among such ordinary mortals! And yet, my God! Bonstetten is mine!… Remember ever, my Bonstetten that you are my friend. No matter where I may live, still my greatest bliss is only you. Bethink you, too, that every idea, every principle of wisdom I have learned and possess, my whole individuality, belong to you. Yes, dispose of my person as you choose … My dearest of all! I find our friendship indeed extraordinary, because no other feeling has any comparison with it. I love you even more than even when in Habsburg. All that I have would I give if at this moment I could embrace you! I feel what the unity of our two hearts would fain speak out … Yes, my B—, I am yours and you are mine. I love you as no other man in this world of ours to-day can love another. I love other men just in the measure that they are like you. I hold it as the priceless bliss of life that in the twenty-first year of my age, by a chance, I found you out, among a group of forty-two other mortals; you who have been my brother throughout the many changes of my life, and who will be my companion until my death and whose heart is worthy to be the object of the whole overflowing stream of my friendship; you, the only single human being, among all others, who is noble enough and of a soul sensitive enough to love me as I love him!" …
"The only thing that gives me anxiety is my fear that my friendship for you is not warm enough! My dearest, my friend! My heart is oppressed when I think of that four-days-long dream from the Gods that has been ours!… I count the hours and the instant until the post shall bring me news of my B—. Believe not that ever another human being was loved as are you … Tell me why it is that I love you always more and more? You are always within me, round about me. My dearest friend! How much better is it for me be alone, to give my thoughts to you, than to be going about with others! How is it possible to desecrate that heart which is consecrated to you? No friendship is like ours. We two are Athenians, not Swiss … And if you and I know what it is to love each other according to our sort of love, why, then not allow to others to love after their sort?".
There are many such epistles in this curious collection. Not often does the personal correspondence between two extremely learned men (for Bonstetten was also a savant of high qualities) keep such an unliterary and passionally personal accent. In other letters we find Müller calling Bonstetten his Apollo, whose godlike beauty and grace have inspired Muller's heart. He names Bonstetten his "Cory don". He writes to Bonstetten in a fever of longing, for a letter from his "friend" and in feminine anxiety for his welfare. He narrates his dreams of Bonstetten. Bonstetten himself was an older man, and a calmer personality, though equally homosexual. His reciprocation of Muller's extravagant affection was more contained and dignified. Muller in his correspondence with another friend Kinloch, writes with similarly homosexual emotions; and there are interesting traces of rivalries and jealousies in the intimacy. In even the historical writings of Muller a delicate colouring of uranian feeling is to be remarked, when he is dealing with biography which admits of it.
the Professions of
Recently the alert "Committee" in Berlin, already mentioned, succeded in making a remarkable "census" of the students in the great Technical School, in Charlottenburg, as to the proportion of homosexual young men in that institution. The showing was between one and two percent, a result closely conforming to other statistics of Germanic uranianism.
icine and Uran-
A distinguished French surgeon writes thus: "Always homosexual, my marriage did not alter this, nor do any of the intellectual and professional currents of my life. I have a large practice, and I am much in social demand. I have intimate friendships with women, and I have never had reason to think them indifferent to me … But I have always found in the homosexual embrace infinitely more satisfaction than in intercourse of the normal sort … When I find my homosexual desires overpowering, I go to B— where I have a colleague, a former student with me in the B— University, who is "like myself", and I pass some time with him. I have also a similar relation with a student here. My wife seems to have never suspected the nature of my sexual coldness, she herself being rather frigid … My colleague, Doctor X— is another homosexual member of the profession. I know of his intimacy with a certain patient (a member of the Chamber of Deputies) and with others. They, however, are fortunate in being unmarried. My marriage was absolutely a necessity, for family-reasons. I am aware of numerous such instances as mine … You probably know that the eminent German surgeon Z… is homosexual; and that his intimacy with the young son of a noble patron menaced him with scandal a few years ago, the matter being hushed up by the intervention of—I might write—one of the royal family." …
A minute autobiographical study of a German physician, typically Uranian, occurs in Dr von Krafft-Ebing's treatise "Psychopathia Sexualis" in the eleventh (German) edition of that work, under the reference, "Observation No. 148."
The Uranian in
The homosexual's literary communicativeness varies widely in dignity; varies as widely as the clearly personal homosexualism of writers. Beauty, refinement, power, idealism are shifting qualities. The uranian library ranges from the classic elegance of Greek and Latin idylls and elegies, from sonnets by Shakespeare, Buonarroti or August von Platen, from exquisitely oriental ghazels of Hafiz and other Persian and Arabic classics, from the novels of Alexander von Sternberg, Wilbrandt, "Rachilde", Essebac, Pernhaum, Loti or Georges, to the pornographic prose and verse that flooded the East and the West of old, just as it does London or Berlin or Paris to-day. But a literature of high quality, in all languages, is of uranian authourship, and wide suggestiveness to its readers; a real literature, so diffused and accessible that we can forgive many pages of vulgarly homosexual eroticism. It is very largely a serious, deeply emotional literature. Humourous modern literature owes less to the Uranian than does any other class of writings. The Uranian's temperament, and his problematic social life have checked his mirth.' His gayety tends to irony, or is of that artificial good-humour often characteristic of him.
According to the late John Addington Symonds, who his life through was extremely interested in the subject of homosexualism in letters and art, and made minute studies of the topic, the homosexual influence in the Greek "lyrist-age" was Dorian. It was largely pederastic, like the Platonic references to homosexualism. We have Theognis, Ibycus, Theocritus, Anacreon, Pindar, Meleager, Alkman, the fairest singers of Greek lyrics, all pederastic to a greater or less degree. Ibycus has been called "the male Sappho," in fact. Theocritus is passionally homosexual. Pindar, whose feeling for beauty in a youth is profound, has made the lad Theoxenos immortal among the group of beautiful boys loved by classic verse-makers. The Greek Anthologies are almost wholly pederastic. A large literature now lost to us, except by fragments, and a proportion tolerably extant, have offered examples of greater or lesser interest and elegance as to hellenic similisexual writers.
Greek writers were rarely gross, even when. personal. The Hellene, at home or in his colonial environment seldom approached vulgarity in æsthetics. One can linger over the examples of his pederastic loves; so refined the speech, and in such sympathy with Nature; ever sounding the psychic note, even when explicitly uttering the praise of physical loveliness in male youth. For the Roman, a descent to the literary obscene was easy. We have no Latin Pindar or Meleager. Even Hierocles and Philagre were not Martialesque.
Lucian of Samosata in many of the "Dialogues of the Dead" touches gaily and gracefully, ironically and slyly,, on the homosexual loves of the gods and heroes. It is to the last-named authour, so prolific, brilliant and charming, that we owe the- most important and interesting of all classic discussions of male-to-male love, when to be considered apart from philosophical theorizings. This is Lucian's long dialogue (which is also occasionally attributed to Aristhetenes) "Love": an-argument between Charicles a handsome heterosexual of Corinth, and Kallicratides the Athenian homosexual, as to which of "the two kinds" of sexual love is the most honourable and æsthetic. The discussion closes with the victory given by the umpire to the boy-lover. In this disquisition we find Lucian citing two lines by an unknown poet, suggesting that the tie between Achilles and Patroclus was sexual as well as less ardently psychical:
"Formosum tuorum sanctæ consuetudinis,
"Nisus … acerrimus armis
Et juxta comes Euryalus, quo pulchrior alter
Non fuit Aeneadum, Troiana neque induit arma,
Cum puer prima signans intonsa juventa.
Hic amor unus erat, pariter in bella ruebant".
It is the uranian elegist that we hear in Vergil's splendid and skilfully patriotic eulogy of their affection and bravery:
"Fortunati ambo! Si quid mea carmina possunt,
Nulla dies upquam memori vos eximet aevo,
Dum domus Aenae Capitoli immobile saxum
Accolet, imperiumque pater Romanus habebit".
The Great Latin
"Pedicabo ego vos, et irrumabo,
Aureli pathice, et cinaede Furi—"
There are many such flights of the catullian blague; especially toward "passives", including Julius Cæsar and Mamurra, and in vulgar flouts at Mentula, Gretlius, G-allus, and others of the lewd "smart set" in Rome. But Catullus is plainly concerned in his private and pederastic personality, when attacking angrily sly Aurelius, who is trying to rob the poet the affections of a boy about town:
"Aurel, pater esuritionum,
Non harum modo, sed quot aut fuerunt,
Aut sunt, aut aliis erunt in annis!
Pedicare cupis meos amores?
Nec clam, nam simules, jocaris una:
Haeres ad latus, omnia experiris," etc.
Catullus is not converted by Lesbia nor by any other mistress, from uranian boy-loves, no matter how femininity may have attracted his capricious heart. He addresses the beautiful lad Juventius, telling him that of his kisses he can never have enough (quite as he declared of the better-known osculations of Lesbia) and rhapsodizes over the boy's eyes as "sweeter than the golden honey of the bee"—those eyes which Catullus would fain "coyer with a thousand kisses." To this same boy, Juventius, are those lines that call him "the floweret of the youth" of all Rome. Catullus angrily and jealously sneers at Juventius on account of a flirtation with another lover, so poor that he has "neither a purse nor a valet." Bitterly too does Catullus complain of another youth, Alphenus, as "without faith, insensible, and forgetful of Catullus, the constant and the tender one"; describing Alphenus as a boy "whose seductions have carried me out of my senses, by ties of whose potency you have been boasting."
Tibullus, despite the charms of Delia, of Nemesis, of Neara, and so on, was personally and poetically a pederastic homosexual; with verses that can be painfully modern to uranians. In the Fourth Elegy of the First Book, Tibullus addresses an old terminal Priapus in a garden-alley, begging the stone god to tell him how a man as he grows older still can be attractive to boys—a problem perennially eloquent and difficult to many homosexuals. The grey statue replies with a store of good counsels—tact, shrewdness, patience, devotion, and so on; but emphasizing the common sense of one's not falling in love at all after youth ends. Tibullus is incidentally told that in loving a boy one "must seek to win him by everything that thou canst do to please him—soon he will come under the yoke of thy love." We have warnings and encouragements, in Tibullian hendekasyllabics:
"Avoid thou the throng of such beautiful lads,
For theirs is the reason and right to know love.
Lo, that one shall win thee in reining his horse
Or that one when, shining, his form cleaves the wave;
By boyish assurance yon youth gains thy heart;
Another with cheeks that are soft as a girl’s.
But though he be shy to thee, standing aloof,
Anon wilt thou find how he yields to thy love.
By the patience of men even lions are tamed,
The dropping of water will soften the rock,
The sun ripens slowly cold grapes, on the hills;
Nay the very stars fall …
But beware of delaying too long! See, the year
Passes swiftly—" etc. etc.
In two others of the Elegies of Tibullus, the Eighth and Ninth of the same Book, mingled into the addresses to the unworthy Delia, are the verses of Tibullus to yet another boy, Marathus. The poet's comments on his really grande passion for that youth, who seems to have given Tibullus a great deal of unhappiness. In the Eighth Elegy we find the poet in somewhat the same situation as was Shakespeare. The inconstant Marathus has fallen in love with a mercenary girl, Pholoe, who is cold to Marathus; making the boy wretched with desire. The jealous Tibullus is altruistic enough to reproach Pholoe, and to wish the ungrateful lad success; reminding Pholoe of what a treasure of sexual delight she is scorning:
"A boy more precious is than gold! On his soft lips
No rough beard wounds thee, as he clasps thee close.
It should be more to thee to press thy arm,
Around a neck so white, than to possess
The wealth of kings".
But soon Tibullus is not so philosophical as to being neglected by Marathus. A storm of passion breaks out. The poet appeals to the justice of heaven since
Worse follows; for, in the long Ninth Elegy we learn that young Marathus has sold his favours to a rich man—a married homosexual—casting aside Tibullus, forgetting him. This extraordinary Elegy pours out a volcano of love, grief, of dolorous retrospect, of bitter reproach to Marathus; and even warns the rival whose gold has won the lad, that the dionysian Marathus easily may debauch the young wife in the family. The apostrophe to Marathus ends angrily:—and declaring that when cured of this passion the elegist will dedicate a golden ex voto to Venus, in her temple.
As for Propertius, whose muse isin a higher and more varied strain (except where Propertius is recording his passion for Cynthia) we find a touch of sensibility to pederastic love, more or less personal, in the charming address to his friend Gallus, who was in torment by a certain beautiful youth named Hylas. Propertius reminds Gallus that the name "Hylas" is classically an ominous one that Gallus must not let the nymphs of Rome ravish the boy from his lover; the poet proceeding to tell the story of loss of Hylas, the beloved of Hercules. Propertius also reminds a jealous friend, Demophöon, in the Twenty-Second Elegy of, the Second Book, that although he, Propertius, is so susceptible to women, still he cannot resist the charms of some handsome and sweet-voiced male actor in the theater; declaring truly that Nature makes each man with some weakness:
"Unicuique dedit vitium natura creato,
Mi fortuna aliquid semper amare dedit."
—a confession, not to say a predicament, that many an Uranian will echo, joyfully or ruefully, a long life through.
Uranians in Latin
Of Latin tragedians we have only imperfect data, as also only imperfect fragments, except as to Seneca, who has always descended to posterity as a rigid stoical moralist in theory at lease, and whose sober plays are not in touch with homosexual themes.
Horace, in spite of his dionysian sexuality was pederastic, not only by what he indicates but from allusions of various members of his dissolute "set." His relations with the youth Lysicus are a topic of raillery from Martial. Martial also accuses Horace of carefully hiding away a certain handsome boy in his employ, lest visitors should desire him.
"Mentula cum doleat puero tibis, Naevole, culus:
Non sum divinus sed scio quid facias.
Artemidorus habet puerum sed vendidit agrum;
Agrum pro puero Calliodorus habet.
Die uter istis melius rem gesserit, Aucte,
Artimedorus amat, Calliodorus arat.
Mollia quod nivei duro teris ore Galaesi
Basia quod nudo cum Ganymede jaces,
Quis negat? hoc nimiumst. Sed sit satis! inguina saltem
Parce fututrici sollicitare manu.
Levibus in pueris plus haec quam mentula peccat
Et faciunt digiti precipitantque virum:
Inde tragus celeresque pili mirandaque matri
Barba nec in clara balnea luce placent.
Divisit natura marem, pars una puellis
Una viris genitum est. Utere parte tua.
Illa salax nimium nec paucis nota puellis
Stare Lino desit mentula. Lingua, cave!
Invasit medici Nasica phreniticus Eucti
Et percidit Hylan. Hie puto sanus erat.
Multis jam, Lupe, posse se diebus
Pedicare negat Charisianus.
Causam cum modo quaererunt sodales,
Ventrem dixit habere so solutum.
Addixisti, Labiene, tres agellos:
Emisti, Labienus, tres cinaedos:
Pedicas, Labiene, tres agellos!
Ut pueros emeret Labienus vendidit hortos.
Nil nisi ficetum nunc Labienus habet.
Triginta tibi sunt pueri, totidemque puellae :
Una est nec surgit mentula. Quid facies?
Rideto multum qui te, Sextille, cinaedum
Dixerit et digitum porrigito medium.
Sed nec pedico es nec tu, Sextille: fututor,
Calda Vetustinae nec tibi bucca placet.
Ex istis nihil es fateor Sextille: quid ergo es?
Nescio, sed tu scis res superesse duas.
Dormis cum pueris mutuniatis,
Et non stat tibi, Galle, quod stat illis?
Quid vis me, rogo Phoebe, suspicari?
Mollem credere te virum volebam,
Sed rumor negat esse te cinaedum.
Stare, Luperce, tibi pridem mentula desit
Luctaris demens tu tamen arrigere.
Sed nihil erucae faciunt bul bique salaces
Improba nec prosunt jam satureia tibi.
Cepisti puras opibus corrumpere buccas:
Sic quoque non vivit sollecitata Venus.
Mirari satis hoc quisquam vel credere possit
Quod non stat, magno stare, Luperce tibi?
Secti podicis usque ad umbilicum.
Nullas reliquias habet Charinus,
Et prurit tamen usque ad umbilicum.
O quanta scabie miser laborat!
Culum non habet, est tarnen cinaedus.
Sit culus tibi quam macer, requiris?
Paedicare potes, Sabene, culo."
In a finer instance of Latin novel-writing, "The Metamorphoses; or The golden Ass" of Apuleius, occur passages referring us to pederastic uranism, hellenic in suggestion. We know no more of Apuleius sexually than of Petronius; but we are informed that he gave over a wild life to marry for money, unsuccessfully—in which sacrifice he was not in the end more fortunate than are many men, homosexual or dionysian!
Nothing in the recitals of such historians or philosophers as Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, Lampridius, Dion Cassius, Ammianus Marcellinus, Sallust and so, gives us indication that they were uranistic. They rebuke its sentiment as coarsened, venalized. But they are nowhere strong moralists against it. Suetonius depicts imperial homosexualism in decadent Rome with only capricious austerity.
To return to the East—we must not forget how openly (often grossly) uranistic are many episodes in "The Book of the Thousand Nights and A Night"; nor pass by suggestions in that other nobler and more virile work, "Antar." In "The Thousand and One Nights," the homosexual sentiment is occasionally not wholly pederastic. But it is so in the majority of examples; sometimes with the coarsest sexual accents. Examples are "The Tale of the Third Saluk" (Kalendar); "The Story of Bedreddin-Hassan" (which occasionally is a sheer rhapsody of oriental admiration for a beautiful young man; "The Story of Kemmerezzaman," to which a climax and explanation of mysteries comes by way of a scene of homosexual passion; the narrative of the host who wished to prove another man's sexual morals by the advances of of an homosexual boy, on a terrace at night; and in several other tales, formal discussions and many lyrics. The complete English translations of the "Nights,", by Burton or Payne exhibit this matter faithfully: earlier English translations do not. pederastic poets, classic and popular; especially from one famous bard, Abu-Nuwas, an incorrigible boy-adorer; whose stanzas waver between line idealism and—none whatever; including sundry particularly outspoken passages as to boy-prostitutes, a class to which Abu-Nuwas was incorrigibly partial.In the "Thousand and One Nights" we are given liberal extracts from Eastern
Early Italian, Ger-
man and French
We have already spoken of Michel-Angelo Buonarroti, and of Cellini. Fuller allusion to the uranianism of those remarkable men will occur when we shall consider the Uranian in other than literary aesthetics.
al tres—the Mine-
This progression has continued in modern Germany and Austria, in their belles-lettres; by the poets, the romancists, the dramatists. Typical Germans who were not only similisexual in their writings, but personally uranians have been Hölderlin, Platen, Iffland, Hebbel and von Kleist; the sombre Lenau—that Hungaro-Austrian Shelly; Mosenthal; Alfred Meissner (the latter's life being concluded under an homosexual penumbra) and Alexander von Sternberg. But much of what was uranistically significant in the histories of these men was scarcely understood till they had long passed out of the world. Only with full publication of diaries, letters, and so on, held back for a greater or longer period (by accident or by dread of publicity) have such homosexual individualities became incontestable. A special chapter,of this study is given to the brilliant poet and dramatist August von Platen, whose remarkable diary has only lately been accessible.
It is a salient fact that in no other language is annually published so much distinctive literature of the similisexual instincts—novels, essays, poems, dramas—as in German. No other presses are as occupied with the topic as are those of Germany and Austria-Hungary. This belleslettres element is to be distinguished from the wide output of scientific publications, which are of first importance to an up-to-date knowledge of the subject. Leipzig, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, are centers for such books and reviews. The Germanic belles-lettres publication in a homosexual key, while often anonymous or under pseudonyms, and of qualified merit, have always included, and still include, the names of authours of first distinction; the classics not absent.
The following extract from Hölderlin's novel "Hyperion" illustrates the quality of hellenic similisexuality in that book. The scene and time of the tale are modern Greece, and the hero Hyperion is a young Greek who has been educated under German culture, only to reject it rapidly and scornfully. He has returned to his native land shortly before a Greco-Turkish struggle in 1770. He is hyperæsthetic, patriotic, quite pagan in his temperament. He wanders for awhile in unfrequented rural districts, meditating and yearning romantically—to which phase are devoted the first chapters of the story—at most a slender matter. When alone in Asia Minor, he happens upon another mysterious rover, named Alabanda, somewhat his senior, who is a neo-hellenic kind of Childe Harold. With Alabanda is cemented an uranian bond. In spite of the sentimentality of the style, the episode has some graphic quality:
"The summer was nearly over; I had now the gloomy days of rain, and the whistling of the wind and the swollen rush of the mountain torrents about me: and Nature which had been like a foaming spring, leaping in the forest-plants and trees, now was in a melancholy mood, shutting herself into herself—as did I.
I would fain have carried about within me for the coming time whatever I could of all the vanishing life about me: I would have stored up all that out there, in the forests, I cared so much for: inasmuch as I knew that another year would not find me here, among these trees and hills: hence, I daily walked or rode more than usual, in the neighbourhood of Smyrna.
But what also particularly led me to be out and about so, was a secret longing to see again a certain stranger, whom, during a short time, I had met every day, under the trees, outside the gates of Smyrna.
"Like a youthful Titan stalking among dwarfs, so had this magnificent young apparition seemed to me; even the crowd covertly regarding with eager eyes his beauty, his height, his vigour, the warm, sunburned head, that were a refreshment to see: and it had been a thrilling moment for myself when the stranger's eye (for which even the free air seemed too contracted an aether) cast about with a careless pride, had met my own glance, when we had blushed at so noticing one another and had turned away.
"One evening I had been riding deep into the forest, and was coming homeward late. I had dismounted, and was leading my horse down a steep, lonely path, over tree-roots and stones. Then, as I picked my way along through the bushes that opened before me, suddenly a couple of common highwaymen attacked me. During the first instants, I had some trouble to ward off the two swords drawn upon me; but the men were already wearied out with earlier activities, and I was soon out of any danger from them. I mounted, and rode on.
At the foot of the mountain, between the woods and the rocks, stretched a little meadow. It was a bright night. The moon had just risen above the trees. At some distance I saw a horse stretched out dead on the greensward; some men were lying motionless around the horse.
"Who are you?" I cried out.
"You are Hyperion!" called to me in return, a fine round voice, as if its owner were pleasantly surprised. He continued "—You know me, too; for I meet you each day under the trees, at the town-gate",
My horse and I flew to him like an arrow. I knew him, and I leaped from my saddle.
"A good evening to you!" exclaimed this winning Unknown, looking at me with a kind of wild tenderness, and pressing my hand in his sinewy ones-a contact that I felt in my innermost being.
Ah, now I knew that the emptiness of life was over for me!
Alabanda, for so was the stranger named, proceeded to tell me his story: how he and his servant had been attacked by the robbers of the neighbourhood, as had I; how he had put them to flight before meeting me; had lost his way; and so had been waiting alone in this spot. He pointed to his dead steed, adding sadly:
"The affair has cost me a friend, you see".
I gave my own horse to his servant, and we walked onward together.
"All this has served us both quite right," I said, as we went along, arm in arm. "Why have we two been so tardy to know one another?—always delaying, until accident itself brings us to each other?"
"As to that matter," responded Alabanda, "you have been the colder one; the blame is yours. I have been riding after you, this very day".
"Friend ", I exclaimed, "you shall never be my forerunner in our love!"
Ever more and more joyful, and deeper within the natures of each other, did we feel ourselves growing, now that we had met. Coming near to the city, and passing a good khan that stood amid plashing fountains and scent laden-fruit trees, we resolved to pass the night there. Long did we sit together in the open window. A deep spiritual hush had come ever us. Earth and sea were silent as the stars that looked down on us. Scarcely a breeze from the waters came into our room, to play with the lights and shadows; scarcely the strongest notes of some distant music reached to us The occasional thunder in the highest aether overhead sounded from afar in the stillness, like the breathing of a giant in his terrifying dream.
Our souls came together all the more vehemently, because so involuntarily had come at last their joining. We met like two brooks that rush down from the hills, breaking past the weight of earth and stone and rotten wood and all that first burdensome chaos, to make aeach other; until, with the same strength of current, they go onward in one majestic stream, to the open sea.
He, on his side, driven hither and thither among strangers, sent forth from his home by destiny and the cruelty of man; embittered and grown ruder and ruder since earliest youth, though with a heart in his breast ever full of love and of yearning, struggling forth from the rough outer shell of his. personality toward a kindlier element: I, on my part, already so set aside, so lonely and strange among the men about me and, yet so full of hope, so full of expectation of some future existence.
What should two such young men do, except clasp each other to the heart, with the glad swiftness of the storm-winds?…"
The personal and patriotic relationship between Hyperion and Alabanda deepens after their first night thus together. Hyperion describes their enthusiastic companionship, and the sudden transfer of his own individuality to the more dominant Ego of Alabanda. Unluckily the course of their intimacy, after what Hyperion calls their "bride and bridegroom days in Arcadia," does not run smoothly, the friends being separated for a considerable time. Hyperion is wretched under this; but he cannot early see his way to their reunion. Later in the tale, on one occasion Hyperion and the rather vague heroine of the story—a young Greek girl, classically named Diotima, who gives a dionystic touch in the book are sitting in a garden, with some other enthusiasts. The homosexual friendship between Harmodios and Aristogeiton is alluded to, by one of the youths:
"When Harmodios and Aristogeiton lived," said he, "then there was friendship in the world!"
"We ought to plait you a laurel-wreath, just for saying that!" I exclaimed to him. "Have you then really an idea, a concept in your mind of just what was such a friendship as that between Harmodios and Forgive me but, by—the very aether itself! I think one would have to be Aristogeiton to comprehend how Aristogeiton could love; and a man certainly would not fear a lightning's bolt who was loved with the love of Harmodius; for I am deceived by every thing in this world if that terrible youth did not feel a love vehement as Minos … There is nothing grander on earth than such a pair."
With the revolt in Greece against the Turks, Hyperion and Alabanda are restored to their former unity, which is strengthened to an evenmore heroic character, in the key of antique warrior-love—by battles and vigils and camp-life together. In the naval conflict at Tschesme, Hyperion is dangerously wounded. He lies several days in unconsciousness, until he opens his eyes to find Alabanda caring for him:
"With tears of joy he stood there before me, so grand a figure to me. I held out my hand, and he, that stately being, kissed it with all the transports of love. "He lives!" he exclaimed,—"O Nature thou saviour! thou kind and all healing one! Wandering pair that we two are, now without even a fatherland, thou dost not desert us!"
But the two friends must part for good and all, presently. Alabanda is subject to the orders of a mysterious political society, such as abounded in Greece at the time. He is already in peril of death, as a punishment for his love for young Hyperion, which has more or less drawn him aside from certain political services. The story concludes with Hyperion returning to Germany; lingering there alone henceforth, ever rancorous in his hatred of Teutonism in temperament and social culture. Hölderlin expresses constantly his ideals and personality during the story; especially when he sums up the German race as "—barbarians through all the ages, made only more barbarous by their diligence their and science and even their religion; wholly incapable of any high emotions, spoiled to the marrow for any felicitous sense of what the Graces bestow; insulting every refined nature by their exaggerations and their deficiences; dull and tuneless as castaway barrel-staves! A hard judgment, and yet I write—for it is true!"
"—You beg that I should describe to you "her" whom I love? "Her", whom I love, you put it? Would to God that my being were capable of that complete surrender, that self-forgetfulness, that attachment, that sinking of one's self in a beloved object! But—I do not know whether I must call it a highest grade of Egoism, or if it be the consequence of an unlimited striving after Art, and what to Art belongs, putting out of my vision all other matters which I momentarily grasp—in a word, I am not capable of love. However near a precious other existence may attract me, still there is always a certain Something that stands higher before me; and this Something's influence so works on all other feelings that after a To-day full of glowing tenderness, readily—without interval, without any particular cause—comes a To-morrow of the most removed coldness, of forgetfulness, I might say of enmity. I think I have already said that in 'the feminine Beloved' I love merely the image which my fancy has made out of her, so that the Actual becomes an artificial creation which, has charmed me by my making a sort of compact with just my intellectual side; only to be so much the more strongly cast back on the least decline of my mood. Can one call that 'Love'? Lament me, and lament any her who may deserve really, for her own sake, to be—loved."
"The consciousness of this unfortunate peculiarity of my nature has so worked that I have always as possible kept myself out of all relations with women; to whom my physique makes me rather inclined. Everywhere that I have allowed myself to yield, have come melancholy experiences; so much the oftener as a matter of course, because I feel myself attracted mostly or exclusively toward the type that is least suitable for me."
Grillparzer's relations to Altmütter were not always smooth. One early storm came at the time of closest intimacy, with a quite concrete similisexuality in the emotions. Grillparzer found that Altmütter was maintaining a clandestine intimacy with another young man, whom Grillparzer considered quite unworthy of Altmütter's regard, and much inferior to himself. He discovered that Altmütter even used the sacramental "thou", of German Mendships of closest sort. The entry in the poet's diary is on June 16:
"I went to-day. to Altmütter; and while waiting I picked up some of his books and written things, as he was not at home. As I was glancing through the last-named matters, I came on a section of his diary, in which were some letters from him to Karl N—(I do not yet know his last name) and some observations on his relationship to this Karl. Certainty I have never felt the strength of my own friendship for Altmütter so deeply as in that instant; but at the same moment came, into play my strange vanity, which I so often have cursed. For—his letters referred to me. I read eagerly on, and kept hoping to come on some expression which made for my honour; but alas! I had made a mistake, I hit on nothing that was to my praise, and so came my pride into revolt: but more painful than that was the 'impression that Altmütter gave me of feeling himself disappointed constantly in the friendship between us. I hardly remember anything which has made so severe an impression on me. Wounded egotism, shame, and jealousy threw me into a state of mind which was only increased when Altmütter came into the room. I was undecided what I would do; but I could not hold back. I reproached him for his falsity, and then instead of giving him any explanation—which, by God, was simply impossible for me, as I was so angry!—I threw the diary down on the table before him. He did not excuse himself for having addressed his dear Karl with "Du"! How often has he told me that he himself, was jealous of my intimacy with Maillern, for which he has never had any reason—and now! The thought of my being supplanted by that young man is unendurable to me, from any point of view!"
"Since some time I have begun to notice that the force of my emotions grows less, decidedly—a condition of which I unwillingly convince myself—but which, for all that, is irresistibly clear to me. Like a dream, do I remember the time when in the moonlight nights I could forget the whole world; could elevate myself to a degree of emotional enthusiasm, to think of which nowadays makes me feel fairly dizzy. I am no longer in a state to turn out even a mediocre poem … In a word, I am an unlucky mortal, and if destiny does not soon pull me out of this torturing condition, I shall put a bullet into my head But fie! I am ashamed of such a contemptible picture of myself! Am I he who was once so full of courage and strength, ready to accept the course of destiny!—am I the fiery, the deep-feeling creature who fairly swam in all that was poetical, a part of the domain of measureless, vast fancy? I can endure anything except despising myself. That must be got rid of, come what may! One way or another! If no old road out of it all appears to my view, then I will make one for myself, even if the path out of my labyrinth be also that out of my life—I must break one, cost what it will. Another such a day as this one, and—!
"It is not possible for me—I cannot get the damned thought of it out of my head! This relationship (to Altmütter) that I have so long regarded as a part of my happiness!… Parted, parted from him who has betrayed me through every word that is more confidential with another this could make coldness into deep melancholy. I, sacrificed to a new-coming, unknown young fellow! of whose want of sound character his recent obtruding of himself has so plainly given evidence! And Altmütter, who cannot change in me my frequently ill-considered and repellant demeanour, he seeks now in the bosom of this … creature, the Friendship that he cannot find with me! Till now, he feels himself "always deceived in what is friendship"!—and therefore he flies to this other person! So then has happened what I have always thought impossible to happen, and Wohlgemuth is quite right; but the break is not through my inconstancy (with which Altmütter has always so reproached me) but through his own But where have been my eyes? Why have I not seen, this long time, his indifference to me? He in whose arms I lay in that holy hour; he who alone, out of all humanity, saw into the innermost of my neart; he is it who began first awhile ago to interest himself in that Arabian pedant! and he is it who again gets to knowing this common fellow—he can write to him, can call him "thou"! Oh, that evening, so unforgettable for me, when for the first time I called Altmütter "thou", and set the seal forever on my friendship, with that word!—and now what misuse he makes of it!—And then, to make the thing complete, he borrows twenty gulden of him! That, just that too, has taken the worst hold on me! What a degree of confidentiality that stands for! Or else——Oh, how much have I been mistaken in thee, or how much hast thou deceived me!
"I must go to him again, I must have some sort of a clearing-up of the affair—I cannot endure to remain long in this mood. Still—what use in clearing up what already is clear enough? Well, the clock strikes—I shall go to bed, and find forgetfulness for at least some hours."
June 17, seven o'clock, evening.
I have been with him. He is innocent! The letters which I read are not meant for any real correspondent, and our friendship remains as firm as ever! Another man, in my position, would have still doubted him; yes, Altmütter himself certainly would do so: but no! no suspicion of the truth of what he has told me enters my soul! He is my friend, and by God! there is no shadow of mistrust in me! I feel cheered—easier in mind; but still melancholy has not yet disappeared."
The "explanation" which Altmütter elaborated to his friend in this curious episode of uranian love and jealousy, is apparently open to much more suspicion that his wounded Pythias thought proper to—formulate. Grillparzer seems to have been too miserable in the situation to be exacting.
Grillparzer during, his London visit took a strong sentimental interest in a young Londoner of foreign parentage, who was the poet's daily guide in the city—a youth named Figdor.
In the dramas of Grillparzer occur some striking passages that touch on the homosexual sentiment, the force of destiny in it, its power, and so on: He has also finely,paraphrased the ancien platonic theory of the original 'unisexuality' of man; of divided existences that have supervened. In the famous passage in "The Golden Fleece" cyclus, says Jason:
"In my fair home a fair belief is held.
That doubled, by the Gods, each human soul
Created is, and once so shaped—divided!
So shall the half its missing fellow seek
O’er land, o'er sea—till, when the lost is found,
Those parted halves unite, and forthwith blend,
Are one, at last! Feel'st thou, then, this half-heart?
Beats it with pain, divided, in thy breast?
Another vibrant instance, in "Well Dem Der Lügt" expresses well the immediate personal attraction between two men, and the subjection of one to the other, often part of the chemistry of their first intimacy:
"Only to see him walking through our streets.
Within me cried a voice—"Him must thou serve!
Him!—yea, though 'twere but as stall-boy!"
The same mystery of immediate, unreasoning sympathy between two human souls, before acquaintance knits their attachment, is admirably put by Grillparzer in these lines:
"Like flash to metal, magnet sped to iron,
A Something goes, a Current mystic, strange,
From man to man—from human breast to breast!
Yet 'tis not Beauty, Grace, not Virtue, Right,
That bind or shall unbind, the magic thread:
Unseen is Inclination's charmed bridge—
The more we point it out, the less 'tis shown."
A. von Sternberg's
Von Sternberg's stories, are a curious study. They have not been republished in German within many years. What English translations of them ever appeared (the present writer has not been able to find any) seem to have become lost. The most characteristic stories would not be admissable in England, though not a phrase that is not in good literary taste appears in their authour's pages. Their mixture of fanciful and real personages individualizes them. Thus in "Molière" we discover, as the mainspring of action, the passion which the great French actor and dramatist (when past middle life) felt for a beautiful youth in his theater-company, named Baron. Molière so loves young Baron that he considers renouncing his career; retiring to some lonely, rural spot with Baron, as his greatest happiness. But a tragedy develops, in which Sternberg also utilizes the rash marriage which Molière made, when fifty years old; young Baron becoming the betrayer of his patron's bed. In "Galathée", Sternberg gives us the reminiscences of an extremely sensual love by an old and eccentric ээrouéээ, Prince Favourite, for a marvellously beautiful boy, the Chevalier Hernsdorf … "I burned for him, I swore that I would possess him, cost what it might. Ah, what delight, could I but see those dark eyes bent on mine with love!—to banquet on those fresh lips and cheeks—so softly and sensually moulded!—which had not yet been desecrated by any sinful caresses!" … A quarrel leads to a duel, but not to a favourable outcome for the too-inflammable Prince Favourite; though his advances are not wholly declined by Hernsdorf. In yet another novel, "Saint-Sylvain", the action is of the time of Frederick the Great. One hero is Dionys, son of a Saxon country-parson, and bound by a homosexual passion to Count Floras von Saint-Sylvain, a, young nobleman, the more prominent figure in the plot. The narrative by Saint-Sylvain of his early love for young Dionys is closely analytic in passages. This story develops a situation of some dramatic strength, as other persons take part in it; including the father of Dionys, who is turned out of his parish on account of a charge of heresy—with a painful suspicion of betrayal between the friends. Next follows the imprisonment of Dionys on a accusation of. treason; and so the tale attains a climax. In another book "Kallenfels", comes the history of Julian von Kallenfels, an Antinoüs, who becomes not only the protégé of his uncle, the President Clemens, but is loved homosexually to adoration by this elderly relative on account of Julian's wonderful beauty. Unluckily, Julian has a heterosexual nature, and he falls in love with Leontine, the daughter of a village-pastor. In anguish and jealousy, Uncle Clemens separates the youthful pair. Julian looses all trace of the girl, until he discovers her too late, only to have her die in his arms.
Of "Jena and Leipzig" and of "The Two Shots" sufficient has been, said elsewhere in this study. A longer story in the Sternberg collection, the "Memoirs Of A German Gil Bias", where the lively imagination and irony have Voltairean accents. The earlier reminiscences offer several homosexual figures and episodes, particularly where the hero, an officer named Xavier von Violet, describes his life as a page at the court of a certain eccentric Prince Heinrich. In the " von Marienburg" is introduced the secret uranianism of the Germanic Order, in its grim stronghold. Several scenes are notable, such as the "initiation" of the handsome Goswin von Wedenburg (seventeen years old) into obedience; the Grand Master of the Order, Ulrich von Jungingen having fallen madly in love with the boy, and being determined to enjoy him by any -pretext. In this tale, sexual flagellation has a share. In "Winckelmann", Sternberg had no need to go far outside of biography, especially in ending the novel with the murder of the great archaeologist by a male prostitute. A graceful episode is developed, more or less fanciful, but quite in key with the character of Winckelman; where he falls in love, on the street of a village near Dresden, with a Saxon peasant-boy of marvellous loveliness. Young Arlo comes to Winckelmann's lodgings; an accident makes it necessary for him to pass the nigh! there. But Arlo is so perfectly innocent of all sexuality, so untroubled in emotions, his psychic purity is so exquisite, that Winckelmann cannot bring himself to lay a hand on the lad—who is docility itself. He guards Arlo in his sleep, all the night, seated by him, contemplating his loveliness, but resolute against violating it; fights off the sexual temptations that trouble the vigil involuntarily, and sends the boy away next morning as virgin in mind and body as when he came. This tale is managed with much delicacy and taste, while peculiarly homosexual in essence. The Sternberg collection does not end here. It includes, "Claudia", "Iffland", "Kombat",.and many others, shorter or longer.
More suggestive even is an episode toward the conclusion of the story. The bisexual Fridolin after being fairly engaged to a charming girl, with whom he fancied himself "really and permanently" in love—all his boy-loves forever relinquishing his heart—is humiliated to find that uranianism reasserts its power. He fairly deserts the field, in a sort of panic, under circumstances—unknown to him—that make grave complications in the chaperonage and protection of the slighted young lady. They bring Fridolin face to face for the first time, with Ferdinand, the brother of the deserted fiancée; a handsome, manly boy of about eighteen, who has indignantly come to hunt out the fugitive Fridolin, to call the latter to strict account for his conduct to humour. The susceptible Professor falls in love at sight with the boy! The lad's sister vanishes from his heart, a dream in which he no longer has any interest. The boy-loving moiety of his nature reacts. Little by little, he succeeds in explaining to young Ferdinand the outward tangle of coincidences that has so excited and angered the lad. The Professor's charm of manner, his evident sincerity, captivate Ferdinand, as they have done so many other youth. From suspicion and wrath Ferdinand's frank, impressionable heart is caught; a fervent peace is sworn. The story ends with their expecting to settle down together as tutor and pupil, for the fair Ottilie marries Leopold. Professor Fridolin is more than consoled for his superficial "loss";—with his Ferdinand in his arms. The story is extremely amusing, farcically droll in places, but subtly philosophic—a small chef d'œuvre in its kind. Here is the conclusion of the meeting between Fridolin and Ferdinand, with Fridolin's running fire of soliloquy, comment and tactful open-heartedness with the lad who stands before him in subsiding wrath:Ottilie. But Ferdinand is even more beautiful in his anger than when in amiable
"… (Ottilie as a boy!—the most interesting boy that I ever saw in my life!) … Have a little patience, for once, please … (how becoming his bad temper is to him!) … and be so kind as to tell me in a couple of words just what has really happened … (Yes, he has just exactly the same nose as hers!—how captivating such a male Ottilie is—that saucy way of speaking to me! When he looks in that way at me, he has just such eyes as his sister's—such brown eyes!) … Where I have been to blame, my dear young man, why. of all that later; the business now is to discover this lost sister of yours … (He smiles a little—he smiles like her, too! Oh, what a smile he has! Yes, he smiles more charmingly than his sister.) … You really won't have anything to eat? Well then, we must at least drink together, and out of this green glass here, Mr. Ferdinand. You allow me, an old professor [Fridolin was in his thirties!] to call you by your first name? (He nods, he smiles again! That fine-bred expression of his face!) … There—the sound of the wine in this glass in my notion belongs to the most charming sounds in all Nature—just like the lingering, caressing sigh of a first kiss—"
Fridolin stopped. All at once he thought again of Fraüiein Ottilie. But what a transformation had come to him! The thought of Ottilie now gave him no pain! He was himself again—the bachelor Fridolin, who neither should nor would marry. He was no longer the handsome "Count Egmont" type of man, sighing for a girl, but the "Professor Socrates" individuality, whose whole being could sink only into the soul of some youth. He collected himself, and thensmiled. For, it seemed to him that Nature, behind her veil, bent her calm eyes on him, and whispered, "See, my son! So do I sport with thee! So do I tempt thee back again, from the girl to the boy—and therewith do I lead thee back to thyself, and rocking thy spirit thus to and fro, so do I hold thee fast in a compact between thyself and thyself, as—Two. What wouldst thou from Ottilie? Here she stands, in another shape! Look on this gentle-natured, innocent youth here!—beautiful and noble-natured as thyself, Vivify his soul, educate it, All it, win it for thyself—why, it is indeed already thine! Was Socrates happy with Xantippe? No! Good, noble youths, to whom to be teacher, master, father, friend—there was his joy. And that is thine. It faces thee here again. Fulfil thy vocation!"
"The wine is capital. Herr Professor," said young Ferdinand gently, breaking the deep silence between them, but you are not drinking any of it."
Professor Fridolin came to outward things of life again: then he fixed his pleesant, gentle eyes on the boy—"You have called me "Herr Professor" for the first time. Be it the last, Ferdinand—for it sounds to me too unnatural—too inhuman—from your lips. "Herr Professor" indeed! How fortunate were those old 'Greeks who knew no use of titles!—who were just man and man, when together. Ah, call me from this moment "Fridolin"—and nothing else! All my young friends call me so—and I regard you already as my friend! Speak to me so, I pray you! Only as "Fridolin."
"Fridolin" cried young Ferdinand springing up in his exciteent, "what kind of mortal being are you? Can it be possible—ah, if it only were possible!—that you could ever really—care for me?"
Whereupon the two new Mends, in this hellenic mood, throw themselves into one another's arms—as master and pupil, friend and lover, the older spirit and the younger mutually seeking and surrendering. The episode, like all the story, is of charming psychologic vivacity and grace.
E. M. Vacano
In one of Мacano's novels, occurs the subjoined episode. The hero of the tale, young Count Alexander Althoff, of remarkable good-looks, is roving about America (in the famous "Forty-Nine" period) in incognito, as "Bosco" as a circus-artist. Althoff is a dionysian-uranian. One night, when in poor spirits, he finds that a young Arab, an athlete in the troupe, Kassad, whose person and strength make him the admiration of the town, is similarly depressed. Different members of the show have received invitations from their feminine public to be guests at suppers, after the performance ends. But neither young man wishes for demi-mondaine or other female society; they are indifferent to all billets-doux. Kassad, like Bosco, is a dionysian-uranian; Kassad being described as "the pearl of the Beduin troupe, a youth of the build of Hercules, a creature as if cast out of bronze, with his ravenblack hair and his eyes like those of a gazelle." …
"Bosco and his new acquaintance were standing under the street-lamp. They read their "invitations."
"Do you care to accept; dear Kassad?" asked Bosco. The athletic Bedouin shook his head. "No—no," said he in his deep yet soft voice. "And you, Bosco?"
Bosco crumpled up contemptuously the note that had been given him.
"Not I, any more than you."
Then the two looked at one another—a long keen look. And they had—understood each other.
Each of them had been invited by a young and pretty woman to a—tete-a-tete; and yet each one declined, and had sent away the two maid-servants who had brought them the messages.
Then each young man held out his hand to the other, with a strong, lingering clasp, knowing what each meant; and then they gave one another the kiss of Brotherhood. From now on they would be inseparable—united for life—for they understood. With them it was as Wilhelm Müller, the poet of the "Schöne Müllerin" cycle, sings in his verses "Quick Friendship", where the two travellers in a moment are brothers in heart.
"Come with me," said Bosco, throwing his arm over the Beduin's neck.
"Yes—come!" exclaimed Kassad.
And so they went along together. In the hotel, Bosco had his own little room. A little one only it was indeed—plain, poor, with only one bed. But they ate something together, and drank something together; and then they put out the light and lay down together, on that hard little bed, each with his arms about the other, with heart next heart. The gas-lamp out in the street cast a narrow, shimmering light on the ceiling.
"Brother," said Bosco, "awhile ago, when thou wast reading the note from the woman who desired thee—from the way thou didst so, also from the tone of that "No!", I knew that it is with thee as with me; that thou too art suffering as am I. That thou too art in pain, because of a real, a true love, which will not away from the heart, let one do what he will!"
"Thou hast thought aright," said Kassad; and he pressed his dark head upon his new brother's breast, and wept there—half for sorrow and half in joy that he could weep with a Brother. And Bosco stroked gently the tossed, black locks, and murmured soothing words; and at last he said—"Now tell me thy story." …
The narrative of the young Bedouin is of his early and only real love with a woman—an affair however wholly psychic.
… "And then Kassad pressed himself ever tighter to his new Brother whom he had thus found this night; and he wept himself out, like a child—he, this strong-muscled, brown-skinned, barefooted athlete of the desert—poor fellow!
And then, in turn, did Bosco relate to Kassad his own heart-history. A sad, a heart-breaking one …
Long talked they thus together; and then they slept there together, no longer without consolation; for each true and feeling heart rested on just such another heart!…
While they were sitting together on the bed, in the early morning, with yet many matters in each others' lives to tell of, Kassad said to his new brother:
"Bosco, thou seekest curiosities. I have one for thee." And therewith Kassad drew from the quiver, which he wore in the circusring along with his white burnus, an arrow, rusted with time …"
After the young Beduin has told the story of this arrow, which is a family-relic, (connected with the murder of the young Prince Louis Napoléon, in Zululand, in 1879) Bosco hesitates to accept the gift, as too preciously personal to Kassad. But Kassad says:
"No, I would not sell it; but I will give it to thee, O, my Brother! Does not my life itself now belong to thee, shouldst thou ask it? Art thou not my second Self?—another Kassad, just as I am another Bosco? Have I not given thee much more than any arrow—my whole self!" …
Such is this curious and touching little scene, in which homosexual-physical love is traced between the lines. Another episode is that in which Bosco—after whom all his female spectators and acquaintances sigh in vain—refuses the advances of a fair Mexican girl; thereby nearly drawing upon himself a peculiarly treacherous and horrible death. The story is a singular mixture of the serious and the humourous, the dramatic and the satiric, thrown into an extravagant plot; but is certainly artistic and picturesque.
A considerable contemporary series of novels, more or less openly and distinctively homosexual, more or less to be classed as real literature, is noticeable in German. This element grows larger annually. It is usually under pseudonyms, or is anonymous; and a portion of it is privately printed, or nominally so. Of course, the merits of such tales, their vigour of emotional concepts, ideality, refinement, truth to life literary art, sincerity of accent and originality are extremely variable factors. Many representatives of this class of novel make their way into the more "specialistic" German bookshops; being from publishers who particularize the literature of uranianism, scientific and popular. None of such recent stories are to be met in English translations, no matter if irreproachable in their aspects as belles-lettres. The present writer would be glad to cite passages from several of these newer romances—some evidently not merely romances—if space allowed. A few only can be briefly characterized:—
A recent story of the sort, with, a classical hellenic background and Greek types, is the "Eros" of Wilhelm Walloth, in which is depicted the tragic passion of the young sculptor Gorgias for Lykon, a trivial youth of great beauty, the sculptor's model. The boy, becomes entangled in a passing dionistic love for a woman-sculptor; partly in trying to do his friend a service of bad professional morality. But Lykon's uranian instinct returns; he repents his treason, and he commits suicide with Gorgias, the two casting themselves down from the roof of the Akropolis. This tale is typical of a special group in German.
A story entirely homosexual in Leitmotif, and of considerable literary eloquence, artistic construction and taste, is the "Ercole Tomei" of Fritz Pernhaum. Like the majority of its congeners, it is tragic. Two uranian schoolmates begin life in a close physical and psychic bond, Tomei and his friend Buchner; the former a dionysian-uranian type, in some degree. They grow to manhood, and Tomei marries. Buchner's love for Tomei is disinterested enough to accept a situation acutely painful for him, though his adoration for Ercole is unchangeable. He frequents his friend's home; but now only as a friend, repressing any demonstrative sentiment which can disturb the happiness of Tomei. This quite usual permutation of the relationship might continue permanently, if fate would not bring into acquaintance with Tomei, a homosexual musician, Büllman, who succeeds in carrying off Tomei, in a professional tournée. Suddenly stirred to pain beyond endurance, Buchner seeks out Tomei, and throws himself upon the pity of the latter, in a scene of strong emotionality. Buchner conquers. Not only is the rivalry of the musician overcome, but Tomei's Italian bisexualism, his old-time love for Buchner, resumes its authority, Tomei is willing to sacrifice his marriage to his friend. Unfortunately Tomei dies, through a revolver-shot. The re-uniting of the two uranians is not long for this world.
A group of other immediately contemporary romances of similisexualism includes "Anders als Andern", a book that in psychologic study, serious purpose and literary quality in general is among the best on the topic; in its basis suggesting the remarkable Diary of August von Platen, and conducted with, firmness of delineation, and. taste; Schumann-Arndt's "Wir Vom Dritten Geschlecht" (a novel that includes a study of uranian); Elise Kupffer's "Sein Räthsel der Liebe", with the contest of the bisexual type in a lover; "Der Junge Kurt", where the dormant homosexualism in the lover of a woman is vivified by her young son, so that the one emotion in the uranian Ego gives place to the other. We have also "Die Wahre Liebe" by Norbert Langer: tales and verses by Joseph Kitir, the Viennese poet and journalist; novelettes and collections of verses by Hans Heinz Evers, Adolf Brand and others.
Certain novels by the well-known romancist Sacher-Masoch deal with homosexualism, though this writer's stories of psychiatric sort concern themselves more with "fetichism" etc., in sexual instincts.
The German Ur-
Apart from certain plays that indirectly, at most episodically—"atmospherically"—are touched with homosexualism, such as the beautiful "Prinz von Homburg" of Kleist, (1777-1811) who was himself homosexual; the "Hadrian" of Paul Heyse; and several others, occurs the drama "Jasminblüthe" by Ludwig Dilsner, in which is presented the struggle between two theorists in homosexualism. One man believes the emotion a perfectly natural, in fact, a bisexual manifestation, such as is the double sexuality of the jasmin-blossom; the other (both men are physicians) holds it as a perversion. The young son of the austerer scientist is an inborn homosexual. He becomes involved in a disgraceful blackmailing affair, concocted by another homosexual. His confession is made to his father; the latter is about to banish the youth from home and country, as an expiation. But the more humane and liberal-minded colleague intervenes, in an argument to spare the boy such an exile. The old dispute thus has "come home" terribly to one theorist! Why not try the boasted experiment, test the father's ideas of homosexuality—try the "cure" by a normal marriage? The son consents to the alternative. He becomes engaged—only to take his own life, rather than give himself sexually to any woman.
Another intersexual study via a psychic drama, is "In Eigener Sache", by August Adolf Friedrich. We meet a brilliant homosexual and parliamentarian, Doctor Auer, who loves a boy, a minor of fifteen years, of extreme beauty. Auer wishes to escape from the sentiment, yet without losing sight of the youth. He betroths himself to the boy's sister, who resembles the brother, and who loves the Doctor. Among unsuccessful suitors of the young lady, is a journalist and publicist, who learns of the intimacy between Auer and the boy. In revenge he denounces the unfortunate doctor legally, as a criminal under the famous "Paragraph 175" of the German Code against homosexuals. The doctor succeeds in defending himself. He is acquitted. His fiancée has never believed him criminal; she remains true to her love for him. In the curious last act of the piece, the German Parliament, in a debate on the Paragraph mentioned, is before us. Deputy Auer speaks in support of the suppression of the harsh law, and ends by saying that he takes such a view in the interest of personal and family life. A letter is brought to him; his fiancée has learned that he has been guilty of the offense of which he was legally acquitted. She has committed suicide. The champion of tolerance becomes all at once indeed a suppliant—with anguish and disgrace before him. In this piece, occurs the expression of opinion—or rather the non-expression—"I do not dare to say whether homosexuality be a crime, a madness, or the results of the maximum of intellectual culture "—a striking pose of the question.
The comedy "Die Reise nach Riva," August Wilbrandt's dramatization of his brilliant novel "Fridolin's Heimliche Ehe", has been mentioned here already. It will long hold its place as a sort of little classic in the homosexual theater of the finest literary class. But its production before the Vienneseexcited a lively hostility at once; and the play has not seen the footlights since its tumultuous first presentations, nor is likely to do so.
Another drama of superiour literary quality is the one act piece "Narkissos", by Elise Kupffer, the romancist and essayist mentioned above. It is of fine emotional currents, and occasionally rises to lyric elegance of diction, being at once a sort of ode to the beauty of the male and a deprecation of female loveliness.
To the poet and dramatist Mosenthal is due the libretto of at least one German opera which is often called "the homosexual opera"—"Die Königin von Saba"; that richly melodious and sumptuously instrumentated score, by the Hungarian-German Karl Goldmark. In the relationship in its text-book, between King Solomon and his adored favourite, the young Assad, who falls under the spell of the hypocritical Queen, there is a delicate but certainly not unintentional Hauch of homosexualism. Mosenthal himself was wholly homosexual; and died in the arms of a male friend—"the being he loved best in the world."
Apart from quite medico-psychiatric studies of all sorts, now so innumerable in German, the Germanic essayist of belles-lettres class is not silent on the topic. A striking instance, which may or may not have been intended as homosexual literature, but which reads as a highly idealized kind, of plaidoyer—is that by Hermann Bahr, the distinguished Viennese psychic-dramatist, novelist, essayist, and critic in so many branches of æsthetics. In his charming little fantasy. "Die Hauptstadt von Europa", which appeared some years ago, in the Vienna "Neue Freie Presse", are subtle suggestions of hellenic homosexualism, on classical lines.
There are also numerous German fictions and other matters of belles-lettres by no means to be characterized as "homosexual novels", or approaching closely that category as to their emotional contents, plots, salient individualities and so on; which tales nevertheless contain brief episodes, types, or allusions that make them quite pertinent to notice in more minute studies of how far the uranian sentiment intrudes itself into the heterosexual romance in Germany.
Also in Germany has been published at least one periodical of belles-lettres kind, distinctively for homosexual readers; the little "Der Eigene" of Adolf Brand. Its career was troubled, and it is no longer issued.
As previously pointed out in another connection, the activity of scientific German writers in the way of studies—social, legal, psychologic, psychiatric—of similisexual instincts is very large each year. At present it is attaining by itself the proportions of a vast Bibliography; much in excess of that in any other language, and by far the most exhaustive, intelligent and progressive. In many cases the writers are well-known as uranians. In quite as numerous and authoritative instances not such, and impersonal in their relation to the. topic. Both in the graver literature or in lighter presentations, the subject of the similisexual is now freely before German readers and thinkers, with an insistance and a variety of perceptions such as nowhere else.
and the Literary
The brilliant German-Hungarian lyric poet, and poetical dramatist, Nicholas., Lenau (Niembsch von Strehlenau) belonging to the classic galaxy of the first half of the nineteenth century, has become to biographers a clearer and more, complex homosexual personality, as the dolorous story of his life has been unfolded from its mysteries. Few men of genius have had so stormy and tragic a history. Much of it has come to light only reluctantly, in fragments. The poet's lyric drama "Faust", his "Savonarola", and "The Albigenses" (in the first-named fantastic poem occurs an uranian accent) will preserve his literary fame; while the dark drama of his own life might well be a subject for a Baudelaire or a Poe, not to speak of Lenau himself. It has been well said of Lenau that in his career we find mounting ever higher, step by step with his intense idealism, and in spite of his poetical enthusiasms and successes, a painful antagonism with his sexual being; as with his intellectual existence. His incessant wanderings about the world bred a melancholy more and more emphasized in his verse, as well as in his own private records; and they never pacified the contrarieties of a secret Ego that terrified himself. His struggles culminated in Lenau's sudden, unexpected betrothal, in 1844; with the shattering by him of the engagement, almost as soon as it was undertaken; in the scene with his betrothed, finished in the poet's frantic rushing from her presence with the cry, "One of two must go mad!"—as Lenau very soon did. After six years in an asylum, he died; the glooming-over of his career suggesting the fates of Hölderlin, and Schopenhauer.
As a classic English poet has reminded us, "Great wits to madness surely are allied". The literary, imaginative and aesthetic similisexual all too easily gravitates across the border of unreason. His brilliancy is too frequently the precursor of shattered nerves, especially if an ignorant anxiety and the intellectual sense of his strange predicament increase his life-secret. The feverishly tense sense of physical beauty, vain desire for it, efforts to realize it in at least word and page, invite perilous agitations of the poetical temper in finer types of homosexuals. The longing for an unattainable companion, for the real friend not merely a romance of his own creation, who may be passing him undeclared in the crowd—the dread of social obloquy, the moral struggles!—one should not be much surprised when the intellectual homosexual throws aside his pen to take up a pistol or a flask of poison; or becomes the subject for a madhouse.
uality and French
Among the antique Latin romancists of similisexual land was at least one Haul. Homosexual literature of the imagination is to day abundant in France, though mostly ephemeral. An unpleasing trait of it is the tendency to depict the trivial, the effeminate, the decadent, the vicious phases; rather than those which are virile, wholesome and of finer psychic quality. Here the French man of letters, and French woman of letters, are,in key with the French homosexualism, which turns toward neurotisms, perversities, effeminacy, to the grossly sexual—to the decadent in general. In France the pederastic passion for the very youthful minor is strong. In no other European country are small hoys so much in demand by debauched elders, or by 'clients' by no means elderly. To a large contingent of Frenchmen who write 'eccentric' literature, or what passes for literature, homosexuality means merely a vitiating eroticism—hermaphroditism, orgies of jaded men with chlorotic youths, womanish in psychos and body. In other nationalities (as for example the teutonic) poets and novelists present, as a rule, a more wholesome uranianism; seldom laying stress on debauched febrilisms of Parisian kind. But the French novel-writer in the intersexual field delights in tableaux of obscene détraqués. Unnatural homosexuality, masochism, bestiality, flagellation, erotic manias, are incessant ingredients. The French Uranian seems hag-ridden by debased fancies and phases. This is typified in the romances of the infamous Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) whose stories "Justine", "Julie" etc., minutely pourtray almost everything that is repulsive in a diseased uranian psychos. The sex-emotions of de Sade himself, were maniacal vagaries, and he ended in madness. Of him something more will be said in a succeeding chapter. The problem of urnindism, of feminine similisexualism so widely prevalent in France, enter into many stories of the day. Lesbianism is the staple subject of a school of Parisian tale-tellers, who deal with it in the crudest way that anything like literary diction allows.
In French heterosexualism there appears also far less of the ideal, of dignified and virile qualities, than in any other society in Europe. France indeed is the land of an apotheosis of—vulvolatry. Of course one must remember that Paris is not France, and that Parisian story-writers should not be considered as wholly representative of French racial aspects. But even so admitting, there is an inherent racialism in the repellant materials and atmosphere of some of the worst 'sexualistic' French fiction.
Among what we may call classic French literary Uranians, sometimes expressers of its emotions in letters, have been, for example, Molière, Montaigne, Michelet, Diderot and Voltaire. The relations between Molière and the young actor Michel Baron, indicate the great dramatist as having developed into a dionian-uranian, as his maturity advanced. Many allusions to Molière's homosexualism were current in social literary and theatrical circles of Paris, during Moliere's lifetime. Boileau suppressed a series of ironical lines as to this delicate topic, and they are to be met only in certain rare editions of Boileau. Montaigne's closest intimacy of. sentimental sort, with his adored friend Etienne de la Boétie, was uranistic; the noble and richly-endowed Boétie seems to have been completely homosexual. The story of Michelet and his fidus Achates, Paul Poinsot (the eminent geometer) includes the relation of Poinsot as an outspoken homosexual. Voltaire, whether ever physically and sincerely uranian or not, was one of the early unprejudiced and tolerant recognizers of the homosexual instinct; an accepter of Greek love as a legitimate passion, however mysterious and contrary to modern moral concepts. When Voltaire was writing for the "Encyclopédie" he attested this attitude.
In the catalogue of nineteenth century and contemporary French novelists and poets, who have concerned themselves distinctly with uranianism in its various nuances—authours who have in many cases more or less identified themselves personally with it—we have Balzac, Huysmans, Pierre Loti, Verlaine, André Gride, Mendès, de Souillac, Henri d'Argis, Eckhoud, "Rachilde," Péladan, Adelswärd-Fersen: while the subject has also been at least abordé, incidentally but explicitly, by Zola, Paul Adam, Oscar Meténier, Abel Hermant, Willy, Colette Willy, Edmond Fazy, Achille Essebac, Norvèze, Nozière, Raymond Laurent, J.-A. Raimbaud, Pierre Louys, Lucien Descaves, and a long succession. This study cannot be an anthology of them, nor even an index. Two of Balzac's novelettes.deal with, respectively, the masculine and the feminine similisexuality—"La Dernière Incarnation de Vautrin", and "La Fille aux Yeux d'Or"; and we remember how explicitly the dark and dingy "Maison Vauquer" was a "Pension Bourgeoise des Deux Sexes—et Autres." Joris Huysmans left "A Rebours," and a study (more such than story, so slight is that texture of the book) in his "Là-Bas", where we have not only an incidental "Black Mass" (not accurate however, in its details) but a sort of monograph on the career of the young Breton pederast, boy-murderer, and sorcerer, the Marquis Gilles de Rais (1404-40) to whom we shall refer under the topic of typical decadents. Pierre Loti's military and naval tales have already been touched upon; "Mon Frère Yves" and "Le Roman d'un Spahi" being typical. The voluminous fictionist and poet Catulle Mendès has written numerous homosexual sketches, almost invariably dealing with perversities. In the "Sodome" of Henri d'Argis is depicted a neurasthenic young uranian who after an agitating adventure with a physical hermaphrodite, falls in love with a beautiful youth named Henri Laus; has a stormy episode of his vita sexualis with him; and finally goes insane—the reader's being a tableau of Laus watching his former protector "delivering himself up to a furious onanism", in the asylum-garden! These sorts of agrémens are typic of a large selection of French homosexual belles-lettres.
From the Belgian novelist Georges Écklioud came some years ago "Le Comte de la Digue" ("Escal Vigor") a story of tragic colouring, entirely pederastic in sentiment; the action taking place in a Flemish village. The aristocratic protagonist, is a homosexual of middle years. Intensely susceptible to the physical beauty of boys, ho falls in love at sight with a comely peasant-lad, whom he sees dancing in the firelight, at a rural festival. The boy becomes his; adoring his master and patron with an equally frank sexual surrender, regardless of consequences. The youth is torn to pieces by the furious villagers, whose morality is outraged to the point of madness. This book is perhaps most representative one in its key.
The most elaborate, thoughtful French study in a novel of homosexualism, which the present writer has happened to meet—one not new—is "Les Hors-Nature" by "Rachilde" (Mme. Alfred Valette, one of the editors of "Le Mercure de France") which novel has been noted in another connection. "Les Hors-Nature", in fact, stands quite apart from other uranian tales in French belles-lettres, in its dignity, and in general individuality. In spite of a certain nervous roughness, and over-condensation of style, it has emphatic literary excellence; and in its psychology it has been carefully worked-up. It paints in nearly four hundred, pages, with much movement, the violent moral struggle of a mature man, highly intellectual, strong-natured, altruistic, austere (once meditating the priesthood but now agnostic) the Baron Jacques-Routier de Fertzen. He is indomitably proud, self-contained; is far from attractive in his herculean person. The object of his love is his young brother, Paul-Eric de Fertzen—a type as unlike Reutler as can well be, in his decadent and effeminized temperament. This young Parisian, Paul-Eric, about twenty years old, is a complex creation, but undeniably time to nature. His beauty is girlish, he has an hundred temperamental lapses toward womanishness; but he is yet indistinctly homosexual and has held aloof in indifference from such rapports. He has no end of vivacity, of wit, of a curiously conflicting, lively—virility, one may say. His disposition is utterly selfish, frivolous, and taquinante enough to take pleasure in tormenting the affection of Reutler, without appreciating its sexual force. Reutler's struggle is emphatically an ethical struggle. He believes himself alone in the world under such sexual torment. He will never let Paul-Eric know! He will even accept the cruel comedy of seeming to despise, to hate Paul, of humiliating and alienating the petted boy utterly—rather than confess himself unable to conquer himself. He will maintain the strictly psychic limits. One episode is that in which Reutler loses control of his temper, through Eric's own outrageously bad behaviour. He insults the spoiled youth so practically that Eric shuts himself up in a fury, in his own apartments in the chateau, refusing to meet Reutler. When Reutler begs him, for the sake of his health, at least to go down sometimes to the garden, the youth sends a curt note that he will go into the garden when the garden comes up to his rooms! Reutler therewith has a superb staircase, corridor and garden-terrasse built—as his tacit expiation. Heterosexualism is made a complication of the story by several women; especially throngh a pretty waif, Marie, brought into the chateau. The final scenes bring not only Reutler's disclosures, and Eric's assent, but a voluntary death to the two brothers, as their chateau burns.
Two brief incidents only in this curious romance can be cited here—in part; the extracts being the first English translations of any portions of the story. The first is the soliloquy, the prayer, of Reutler, as he watches Eric asleep, still dressed in an extravagantly costly female costume, that of a Byzantine princess, which the lad has worn to a public masquerade-ball; where he has unfortunately disgraced himself and the family-name, by being recognized and insulted. In consequence of this incident, a duel is impending for Reutler:
… "Under the dais of florentine velvet, the "Byzantine Princess" was sleeping, and sleeping ill; for Eric's livery of infamy had not been yet laid aside. He was smothering in his double girdles; what heavy ornaments were left on his costume were bruising his flesh. The pearls of the dalmatic, the rosaries of amethysts, the rings, the Greek crosses, were in a tangle together along the charming form, pressing little by little into the skin; and even the fine threads of gold-lace were printing strange letters in violet on one of the "Princess's" cheeks. On her neck showed a tiny red fleck, like the bite of a vampire; her diadem was sliding off; her head, thrown far back as she lay there, seemed the head of some one dead, crowned so, with only the hair turned up in two bizarre crescent-shaped masses. The sleeper's mouth was parted; the teeth—of such dazzling whiteness—clenched a little; their setting rosy as if with blood. Her long robe fell in chaste folds; one did not see the legs, but only the shoeless feet, made more delicate to the eyes by the fineness of white silken fleshings—feet stretched out there, like those of a statue on a tomb. Still smothering, the "Princess" made an abrupt movement, putting one arm above her head.
Reutler knelt down before the bed. To-morrow the beautiful Princess of Byzance would awaken dishonored. At three o'clock in the afternoon she would get up, laughing still at the merriment of the evening; she would ring for her valet, she would take her bath, her douche, she would ask for piquant dishes—and not seeing anywhere her elder brother, she would strike her hand upon her brow in despair—remembering—and calling herself a coward!
The elder brother!—he so necessary as the unhappy witness of all Paul-Eric's follies, the sad-hearted spectator, participant, in all those caprices!—Reutler hoped indeed that the Princess would not see him coming back again … Reutler had regulated everything as to the function before him, the new task that was now ahead. No, he must not come back, he must not live any longer—that would be too much for him!
Paul-Eric murmured an indistinct word—"Reutler"—very softly. Out of his sleep, the sleep of a spoiled child who still is amused at some excellent farce, the boy was calling Reutler, to show him Madame de Croissac, there in the box at the theatre, in all her rumpled disorder. It all seemed simply fun to Paul-Eric; he wanted to laugh at it with his friend—with Reutler, his only real friend … Reutler buried his face in his shaking hands.
"Lord," he began, thinking—praying—almost audibly, "I have denied you"—he did not say 'Thee'—"and you have cruelly punished me. Perhaps it is just that which proves your real existence; yet if you do not exist any more within me, then I recreate you, O Lord God! I summon you to be existent, I call you; and my Will ought to be enough here to make you come down to me. Where is even the atheist, who when he has reached the very paroxysm of his despair, does not vomit out your name, as if from the very depths of his entrails?—does not tear out of himself the confession of your power, in the realization of his own weakness? If it be you who have brought me here, Lord, is it not because now you are willing to reveal yourself unto me? to hold out your right hand to me? Yes, Lord, I stand on that, now; I need you, once more. It is shameful! Oh, I know that well—you did not hearken at all to Him who cried out to you, "Father, if thou wilt, let this cup pass from me!" But your Son, he was a god—so it seems—and I, I am only a man. I do not want the divine mission of suffering which you have entrusted to me. Listen, Lord—it is not going to be allowed to you—understand that—to assault my honour without my being allowed to defend myself, because you have put me face to face with something unknown to man. You have set before my eyes a fiery Cross—one that is not met in your every-day problems for humanity. Really, really, Lord, you are carrying things too far!" Here a terrible sort of smile came across Reutler's face; he raised his head. "You, you are responsible for this new crime of mine. If I am not your Only Son among all mankind, I am for all that at least—quite alone. You know well that the shame of my soul is the very greatest of all shames; that nothing can go beyond such ignominy as that in me.—Take care, Lord! When I came near to being a priest, I missed holding you in my two hands; I missed the power of creating you, for the consolation of other men; of distributing out your body, sacred to poor human creatures who hunger for—illusions! Take care, then, lest to console me—me, the inconsolable!—I do not terrify you some day with my blasphemies; … crucify you with my finger-nails. Yes, I say it again to you, this is too much! You must come down here, to know what is going on! Come!—I will have it so! I am not mad; until this very night I have not to reproach myself with the least crazy action. But I know now that the fixity of thoughts can carry me whither I have resolved that I would never go—without you." …
"The only kindly choice that you have left for us is, I think, that we should be enemies: but I see that that kindness is not genuine—for you stoop now to take it back. Speak—at last! Must I kill him? Is that what you wish? To-morrow, it can be too late; I shall not be here—the boy will be alone—and then"—Reutler burst into a strangled sobbing, "My life will no longer protect his, if I die tomorrow; nothing, nothing will protect this creature beside me." Reutler went on, as if now not quite sure of what he was saying, very softly, almost as if fearfully: "Lord, you are not a physician, no, for it is you have created all the diseases, all the nervous ills of humanity. You cannot know what things prowl around this being so dear to me, who has no other defender than the slave that I have made myself." Reutler clenched his fists. "Speak then!—come!—manifest yourself to me Lord! I swear that ten years of torture such as I have undergone, without complaint, they ought perhaps to be reason enough for such a miracle!—Lord, I do not quite.know any longer what I am saying; and that means that I am sure to be saying what is true! Yes—yes—you are a doctor! Just think of it. For, you sent an angel, once on a time, to one of your servants—to an imbecile, he was!—to let him know that the gall of a fish was a sovereign cure for an inflammation of the eyelids. Don't you remember it? I am an intelligent man, worth the, trouble of your sending some sort of a messenger who will show me how I can preserve my eyes from the horrible vision of my brother here, my child, alone in the world, at the mercy of—brutes! Lord, my Will was strong enough for matters yesterday; but—but—to-morrow, escaped from the bullet-hole in my breast, whither is to go my Will? Can you promise me that if I am not here my soul, my breath, will envelop by their protection this human creature beside me? My Will! Why, it is strong enough to sot before your face the most monstrous of men, the most dreadful of enemies for you, another Satan—one who will end by honouring himself just because he is a Satan—one that shall find himself more God than are you! Are you daring to make so much of a plaything out of me that you will even turn me into your accomplice? Lord, I am crying out to you because my very pride is so great that it can turn for help only to God! Since you have dazzled, blinded me, by a superhuman temptation, make me your equal, Lord!—if you mean that I am to resist!
On his knees, Reutler pressed nearer to the bed on which the Byzantine Princess still lay, stretched out, as if on a monument. She ' had just let her left arm slip downward; and her hand shone near to the very lips of the unhappy Reutler. It was an extremely beautiful hand, that hand of a boy; long, narrow, tapering at the extremities; so much the hand of a woman, as Paul -Eric lay there, in that heavy sleep after the fatigues of the night-long ball. Reutler looked at the hand, in dread.
"No," said he, "that is not the hand of my brother! I do not recognize that hand—"
But he took it, and drew gently from it a ring, chosen from the others by chance—an opal, set in dull gold, which had come from Jane Monvel, the actress. Reutler slipped it quickly on his own ring-finger; hut it was too small for him after the first joint, and stopped.
Paul began speaking again—still fancying that he was talking to Geneviève, trying to calm her nervous crisis—his voice warming as he spoke; decidedly Reutler had not appeared to him in the vision of the ball, to see the disorder of the unlucky victim.
"I—have never—felt as much love for you," Paul was murmuring to Jane.
"Oh, my God," tried Reutler, "trembling in every limb now, "is that the sign? Must I kill him? Must I spare him? Must I try to go back, to retreat? Ah, Beloved!—Beloved!" he repeated, as if echoing his brother's voice.
Paul-Eric did not awaken.
The elder brother rose now. Softly he went into the boudoir with its huge mirrors, which had always been Paul's dressing-room? even when he was a little fellow; and where still were standing two costly playthings of his infancy, ironical phantoms of his youngest life; two huge mannikin figures, in their gaudy costumes. One was a Punch, half in rose and half in yellow; the other a tall diver, the gloomy eyes in his water-tight helmet staring out like those of a corpse into space. Reutler bent down, and detached from the diver's side a small hatchet that hung'there. It was the same hatchet that Paul-Eric had used when he was breaking the pearl shirt-stud.
"I—I too," said Reutler, "am going to know now how one crushes a pearl—a fine pearl! I shall strike him on the temple—only one blow it must be—so that he shall not suffer. I shall shut all the doors tight—I will give my orders—nobody will come up to see anything, until my crime shall have met with its—recompense. Hurrah for the Shades—! We shall meet again, if our Wills are really our only vital forces—our all! Yes—now to set about it—it is simple, after all—and I wish it."
He returned to Paul's bedroom.
The Byzantine Princess was sitting up there, on her bed, awake now. But she was so tired that she could not unclasp the metal claws of her girdle.
"Reutler—what a torment"—said Paul, yawning, in an accent all the softer for the champagne and sleepiness. "Come here—help me, big brother, to get out of this—I am simply choking …"
Reutler stood there, motionless, letting fall the hatchet.
"Oh, my soul! Oh, my Beloved!" he answered very softly. "I shall try not to go back—to retreat—"
Then he fled the room, locking the doors behind him, not daring to look back; as if pursued by ironical phantoms—the diver, with enormous glaring eyes, and the Punch, in his costume of rose and yellow ….."
The final episode brings not only the confession—rather to be called surrender—of Reutler, and Paul-Eric's reversion to homosexual conformity to meet it, but also the inevitable tragedy. Reutler here has quite crossed the bounds of sanity. His servants in terror have mutinied, and he is to be sent to a madhouse. The chateau is set on fire. Reutler flies to his lonely astronomical observatory and study, far up in a tower; where Paul-Eric is sleeping—towards dawn, unconscious of the revolt of the domestics and of the fire. Reutler bars out all aid, and with Paul-Eric in his arms, half-cynical, half passional in his consent to their death, they meet it. But even to the last, Reutler's homosexuality is restrained to a passion more psychical than physical.
"The night-wind was storming into the building, blowing the flames after the very heels of the lost Reutler. The pack was finding the track! Reutler tore away the coat which still was smouldering on his shoulder; and halted, to listen and to look. "They are following me—we shall not go over this road again! Eric—up there—what if he be lying dead, overcome with his despairing terror not waiting for me! …What if I am not to find him?"
He was at the last landing; above him were glittering the tranquil stars. He made himself certain that the flames down below were checking themselves somewhat—to devour poor Jorgon. He reached the trap-door; the bolt had been adjusted as he had ordered. He entered the observatory, …
Paul-Eric was sleeping; half-naked in his draperies of a flowery Japanese silk; despoiled of all his virile ornaments, of all manly masking, his cheek, the cheek of a beautiful woman, once more resting on the gold bracelet that he wore on his left arm.
Reutler shut the trap-door behind him.
"God exists!" he murmured, looking down at that peaceful tableau.
Before Paul-Eric had gone to sleep there; he had drawn the great shade across the dome of the observatory, not wishing to be awakened too early by daylight. Around him was already the beginning of the reddening dawn, a tender rosy, light soon to be that of the sun. The ambergris with which was saturated the idol in its niche filled the cell of the learned Reutler, which was in fact completely turned upside down. The books pulled out of the open bookcases were scattered about in a sea; on the edge of the alchemist's furnace sparkled a glass of champagne, with its bubbles; a page of figures, Reutler'scalculations, was spread out in the middle of a desk; a fan thrown across it, had its margins covered with wonderful little drawings—obscene ones. Evidently the boy had been entertaining himself!
Reutler went to a closet, took out a slender flask, and poured, its contents into the champagne.
"There will be enough for two," he said to himself—"I hope we shall not have time to suffer …"
Once more, he listened sharply.
A dull roaring came up; under his feet it was beginning to grow warm. He caressed Paul-Eric's hair gently, and awakened him.
"What! Really day again!" exclaimed the young man, ill-humouredly, rubbing his eyelids.
"Yes—it is dawn!" answered Reutler, smiling.
Paul looked sharply at Reutler, and smiled in his turn. " You're awfully good to come up to—but what's happened to you?" Reutler had forgotten that he was in his shirt-sleeves; he, always so punctilious in his dress when with Paul-Eric.
"If only he does not guess anything!" he said to himself; then gently adding, catching up the champagne; "Aren't you thirsty, Eric?"
"There you are again!" cried Eric pettishly, "the traditional moral lecture is going to begin! They've been telling you that I was tipsy last night, and so you are going to talk hygiene to me?" His voice became that of a plaintive child. "You are always putting me into penitence, for something—you treat me like a schoolboy! So I've had to find out some amusements. I have been making love-philters here. Reutler, my big brother! your medical books have given me some perfectly extraordinary recipes! Ah, I haven't lost my time up here!" He made a face." And what about your fiancée, Marie? Is she running around the countryside, still?"
A dull sound could be heard, like that of distant artillery, or a storm.
"Yes—I have found her", replied Reutler with an ironical gesture; "she is down below. She is well—very well, too. And she has released me from my promise. So I shall never marry."
Paul-Eric stretched himself out voluptuously, and draped himself in the Japanese silk-stuff, taking care however to uncover his breast as he did so.
"Hand me the rest of my philter there, so that I can clear my brains" he said. "You look queerly yourself, Reutler," he murmured.
Reutler, holding the glass, was trembling.
"Will you allow me to taste it?" he asked.
"What, you? In my glass? Really you are scandalous this morning!" He burst out laughing. "If you do that, I warn you that you'll do a stupid thing, my big brother! One of my wonderful little powders is in there—and—and—between ourselves, Reutler, do you need it?"
Reutler, with one spring, was at the dormer of the room, and threw the cup out into space. "No!" Paul exclaimed angrily,—"It is disgusting! I've done well to trust your-loyalty! Have you any right to concern yourself with my dreams—? Good God, no more champagne for me then, no more of my aphrodisiac; and you will propose to me cold baths or a gallop in the forest?".. Paul-Eric interrupted himself, to spring up in his turn—with a cry; he had just perceived the large red patch under his brother's shirt-sleeve. "Reutler, what is that—on your shoulder?"
"Nothing," replied Reutler hesitatingly. "I did not care to tell you—but I've been in a fight … the servants have been behaving like mutineers—they seem to think that I am going crazy—they have wanted to shut me up—like you here—me! Nothing but that. My beloved, do not be disturbed. They have been putting leeches on me, before the last douche—I've escaped from their claws, though—escaped to take refuge up here with you, you see. Don't be afraid—I'm not mad!"
Paul shook his fists in the air.
"Oh, the dogs! The brutes! The vile beasts! Now I'm not surprised at your melancholy looks. All this has been hatching itself out in the house, for a good while! They want to shut you up, do they? Well—they'll pay for it to me, Reutler, when I go down stairs! To dare to lay a hand on my big brother Reutler!—and—just because he is in love with me! What idiots!"
He threw his arms now around Reutler, and hid his face in Reutler's bosom. Reutler began to think that it would be very difficult to kill him, now. He had no longer at hand that revolver that Eric had thrown away; and the poisons left in the laboratory were all slow. " There will be other way left for me but to strangle him!—to realize indeed all the impossible!" he thought.
But he smiled still, even in so thinking; caressing Paul's hair; while Paul began lamenting softly to him:
"What—is going—to become of us?"
"I do not know," murmured Reutler.
The boy had not yet marked the Are below them, confined, but gaining fast. "If they talk about.madness—if they only might shut us up in the same cell—God, Reutler! What sound is that! That noise under our feet here? Listen, listen, Reutler!"
The elder brother pressed the lad frantically to himself. "Dearest—the time has come to be brave!" he said.
"Oh, I know that " cried Paul-Eric, in a sudden revolt. " It's Corneille, with his 'Rodrigue, as tu du cœur?'—and so on! But no-no! Not this morning! Above all, not with such a dawn about us as this—a light that makes your face green! No, no—I don't want to die—to go down there—Reutler, when I'm only twenty—! But I wont have them shutting you up for a madman, for I won't live without you, Reutler—my big brother, my great Hercules! Suppose they come up stairs—they will kill us—"
"Eric—do you love me—very much?"
"How your heart beats, Reutler! You aren't a marble man any longer!" ……
"And if I ask of the Princess of Byzantium that just for me, her adorer, she would be such a superhuman creature in courage as never there was yet? If I ask her—to look death in the face—and to smile at it? Are we two going to lie to each other, to cheat each other,even to our last minutes?" Reutler gasped the words, kneelling down now in front of the idol.
Paul-Eric stood straight up, a figure for the theater; wonderful in his blue robe, with its flowers and chimæras. He held up his joined hands high above his head, around which now began to glow the rose of the dawn.
"I should answer then 'I am ready!' And I should never speak a falsehood again!"
The elder brother opened the trap-door.
"Come and look" he said, "it is an odd sight."
The young man leaned over the furnace far below.
The first landing of the great stair was blazing. The flames had encircled in graceful volutes the acanthus leaves of the little pillars of the staircase. The carpet, devoured step by step of the stair, boiled like a purple wine; a rosy smoke wound in a spiral, up, up along the balustrade, carried along by the air through the dormer-windows in the dome. The whole donjon was nothing more than a colossal chimney. Little sparks rose to the nostrils of Paul-Eric. He drew back, choking. Reutler shut the trapdoor.
"You understand now?" said the elder brother.
"I should say I did!" returned Paul-Eric carelessly. He. added, in his plaintive other voice. "It will teach us, big brother, to set up the kitchen-fireplace in the drawing-room! Hand me my fan—it's going to be warm here!"
He had become transparently pale, his young lips were trembling;, his quivering fingers, shaking like those of old age, brushed convulsively the stuff of his robe. But there was no cowardice in his eyes.
"Ah, Princess," exclaimed Reutler, "you are really worthy of all this apotheosis!"
But Paul-Eric was staggering now, and had fallen on the divan. Reutler fell down before those bared feet, contracted in terror.
"They cannot save us, no! We are up far too high for that! The joke goes pretty far!" faltered Paul-Eric, fanning himself mechanically. "And nobody down there who can climb up to us, either by outside or in! Your apotheosis, as you call it, is a pretty business! Nobody at all to admire it!" He hid himself in Reutler's arms. "When I think how you have come across all that—! You are a god! Only you must do one thing more—keep me from being burned alive. Where is your revolver?"
"I haven't it any longer. And to think it was you that made me throw away, just now, my very best poison—such a sweet one, that would have given you such dreams. A nice state of affairs!
"Big brother, I … That racket stuns me. Listen, listen—!"
The roaring of the fire was growing stronger. One could hear the wood-work cracking in the coridors. A thin smoke began to fill the room, the perfume in the idol grew ranker, with a sulphurous smell; little jets of flame filtered through the strong trap-door.
"I—I have confidence in Jorgon" stammered Paul-Eric naively.
"Jorgon is dead—at least I hope so, for his sake," replied the elder brother, rocking the lad to and fro in his arms, against his broad chest. "Burns, dearest, are not really very painful—just press your nails here and there along my shoulder, and I shall not feel any thing that hurts. Why, it's enough only to think of something else—of my love."
Reutler did not cease smiling; he was perfectly happy.
"Oh, you seem to be very well entertained" cried Paul, starting up in terror. "But take care to eittertain me, or I shall call for help! Oh, I—I—am choking—I am going to be afraid—I am going to be afraid! Reutler, do something to make me lose my reason! I am afraid of being afraid—don't you understand?"
With a vehement gesture, the young man tore away the silk from his bosom. The white skin—those two points of rose—they piqued the eyes of the tall Hercules who, looked down at them, with a strange look.
"That is what Marie did!" he murmured, with a sigh. ".. Look here, Eric, you are not behaving well. Real beauty, real, isn't—that!" Reutler held up the robe around the young man's haunches, that it might not slip downward; then he carefully drew up the folds of what was to be so elegant a winding-sheet, draped it about the lad's bosom; and finally put his hands about that slender throat. Eric's face turned away from his own. "Yes—I love you! Don't call anyone, for it is useless! Dont think of anything now, except of the happiness it is that we are together—free. Put your head closer to mine. My agony will be much more terrible than yours—but I shall be looking all, the longer at you, and I shall not feel the other burning. Do you remember, Eric, my boy, the words 'I have made Nature herself the scene for my Will?' Look me straight in the face! Open your eyes wider—kiss me, for I want to drink-in your very soul. Yes—we are gods …!"
Only the first pressure of those powerful hands!—Reutler had strangled him.
The mad force of the flames forced up the trap-door; one single, enormous red flame mounted up, as if to devour the very sky.
"Too late, my little sister!" cried out Reutler proudly, to the fire, "I am still master in my own house!" And his calm face was bathed in a purple-red glow, as if splashed over with the blood of wars."
A distinctly homosexual quality, chiefly pederastic and referring to very youthful ephebi, recurs in the novels, and verse of Count Jacques Adelswärd-Fersen—a sonnet by whom will be cited in course of this chapter. The most artistic of Fersen's tales is met in "Une Jeunesse". It is a simple and graceful sketch of the passion of Robert Jélaine, a young French painter—sensual and prematurely disillusioned but not wholly embittered—for a Sicilian youth, Nino, with a head "like that of the David of Verocchio." The boy is living with his grandmother, at Taormina. Nino hashomosexuality, though he does not know it. But the instinct, and consequent incidents, bring his sudden separation from Jélaine. The lad is led to undertake in Verona, a noviciate which is to lead him to the priesthood; for which he has obviously no vocation. He is expelled from the seminary, partly because of an intercepted letter from Jélaine (the character of which is too explicit for doubt) and partly because of the lad's suddenly awakened heterosexuality, his love for a young girl in whose society he has been thrown in his holiday-hours. The end of the talc is not a conclusion. Jélaine finds Nino, in his disgrace, sitting alone at night, in the half-ruined Amphitheater in Verona. His friend implores him, now that he is free and so utterly alone in the world, to return to him. But Nino refuses; be it in sexual bewilderment, fear, conviction that it would be an error,—or vaguer prescience?—and the two part. This final scene is as follows:
… "At last after a long and slow climb, arriving at the top of the ancient tabellium,—like some gigantic cup turned upside down into which stars were raining—Nino distinguished a circle relatively light … Then suddenly the moon leaped out from the torn robe of the wet sky. The whole circus appeared, magnified by the pale light. At the same moment, came a sudden squall of wind, so strong that Nino just escaped being blown over. He gripped fast; and as he wished to take in, at one look, both the night and the city, he must needs clamber onward up to the last rows of seats. There he sat down, and looked on at the festival; For it was really a festival, worthy the caprice of an emperor,—the wild night playing on the ruin. The clouds, like resuscitated heroes, rushed along endless avenues, broad as the sea, or as their processions. Defiles that by turn were sumptuous or fragmentary, as marked out on the hard sky or softened by the moonlight, passed onward with the wind, before the imaginary stage-box of some Caesar! Then circling above the city's campanili and palaces, reflected in the curve of the Adige, sweeping across the flat country, they went on to be lost to sight in the south—where the flowers warm to life ……
Nino felt clearly these things, though without force, without volition, as he sat up there. He saw himself, too, as some stranger would have seen him; the tears slowly came into his eyes. But a groan, at his side, made him tremble. Was that, too, a dream? He looked about him. Someone had just fallen down at his very feet, a lamentable human shape, shaken by sobs … Not till there came again a trembling blue ray from the moon did the lad bend his head, only to raise it. suddenly with the cry—"Jélaine!"
"I have been following you for hours, for days, for months, for years—Nino!" the man murmured—"all my life was waiting for you! I could not stay away from you. I am willing to do whatever you wish. Insult me—strike me—hate me—revenge yourself. The only strength that I have, like the only weakness, is to breathe the same air that you breathe!—I have suffered, I have been dragging my life around with me as a drunkard drags his feet in the gutter! I have stooped to all cowardly things—I can be ready to endure all shames—only with one condition—that I see you, Nino!—only that I shall be near enough to you to hear your whisper if you speak to me, to inhale the faint warm odour of your body. You are in my blood!"
"Do you know what you have done for me with that letter of yours?" interrupted the boy with a hiss in his voice. "I have lost my road in life forever! Do you understand that?—in spite of your fine phrases? The Seminary? I'm driven out of it! Family? Don't speak of that! Anything left me anywhere? Ah, yes,—for what is left me? An unhappy little girl, whom I have abused, ill-treated, like a coward; abused, yes! since only that line from you was lacking to make it clear that I was unworthy of her. See what you have done!"
"Are you then dreaming of that girl,—that Micaela, whom they have been telling me about?"
"Yes—for I loved her!"
"Now I feel something else, more violent still."
"Bah! Hate is all the same a desire—!"
"Also a vengeance."
"Perhaps so, but one—remembers."
"Those remembrances are odious to me!"
"No" cried Jélaine, "you cannot have forgotten! You are not willing to confess that just those things were so beautiful. But your will cannot go so far that you can recall, without a thrill going through you, those kisses at Taormina! Ah," continued Jélaine, as if half-drunken with his own memories and. words, "I should always have expected to And you once more, on such a night and in solitude!Look, I am here, in that desert-pathway of which you know nothing. I know all, Nino—your flight, your ruin, your scene with the old Chevalier, your leaving the house there. And so is it that with a last fearful hope moving me, I have been able to come to you. For, now, as it was of old it is my duty, Nino. In yielding to our embraces—in your looks when I speak, to you—in your dreams, in your actions, in your attitudes, in your beauty above all which is the divinest form of human art—since it is life breathed into a masterpiece—in all this I have recognized the ineffaceable print of my initiation. That, you will not deny!—When you think of engaging yourself to any girl—in your evoking any girl to your help -you go against Nature and against your future. It means only unhappiness for you and for her. One does not contradict Nature and go unpunished, Nino. The future is something that we make within ourselves, as something that is only Self, blindly Self. Nino—we two should do such great things together! Two hearts that throb with the same enthusiasms, Who are trying to look out toward the same ideal—they are made to understand each other, or to die!—"
"But what if the struggle is not worth while—for me?" asked the boy, thrown into sudden trouble, already hesitant.
"Ah, that cry is the sort which comes from people who last out their lives, but do not live them! There is a difference between enduring,—living on—and living! One must fight the fight, down here below. Do you understand that? It is truth, all the same. How you deceive yourself!—allow yourself illusions—"
"Be that so; but I have suffered!
"Not enough; since you still believe in the kindness of this world. Have you not found out the masques, the puppets, the buffoons which are all about us, who sneer and snivel in mockery? For my part, I know of only one school where one can learn them better—the madhouse. There, in their cells, they show what they are …"
"Father Serafino used to tell me that. But, there was Micaela—she believed in me …"
"Nonsense! Has not a single phrase thrown at you, only one vain accusation, been enough to make her fall down in a fainting-fit!—to desert you! I thought you had more sense, my dear fellow! Except when women are mothers—which is their sanctification though not always 'except'—women are nothing but so many skirts with emotions under them! Look at yourself. You are their rival! How do you wish women to love you?"
"I—I do not know them …"
Jélaine was silent. Then after a moment, "Come—come with me." he faltered, while the wind seemed to snatch away the voice from his lips.
"It would have been better to leave all," answered Nino, looking over the town, where the lights were already extinguished … "better to say 'Never more!" …
"Come—come with me! " repeated Jélaine beseechingly …
But Nino stood up, very pale, his lips half-parted but silent. In that instant, God knows what prayers, what remorses were sobbing about the world, without echo.
Nino turned away, with no reply. The sky was clearer now. The Milky Way already shimmered over Verona. Above the gray-black level of the roofs, dominating the marble balustrades and blanch terraces, rose the many campanili, slender, as if chiseled out with.their crosses. One would have said that he was in an immense cemetery. Crosses! Oh, there must indeed have been some part of the divine in those things, that whole generations of men should have lived, slept, wept, around that symbol of torment! Why not take it as after all emblem of the evil of a world?—the sign of our own disenchanted hearts? Imagination creates a large part of truth; perhaps the most charming part of truth since, it just hesitates on the side of error. To 'believe', has been enough to put Death above Love, to throw beside the tomb of a Juliette the grimacing of a saint!
'Become a priest'! Facing troubled or disordered existences, the cloister or the chapel opens itself, in the kindly penumbra of renunciations … 'Become a priest'? The thought was to him—a mere lad, wounded and still wild—like that of those crumbling houses with no windows to look out on the horizon, with no gardens for letting in the light, but which, in tempest, shelter the poor who have no other hearths. The boy looked at Jélaine, who seemed in the night to be dressed, like himself, in a soutane of shadow. Once, at least, before now their lots had been separated. But then, a gleam of hope had subsisted after they had parted at the desert-pathway, like those red fires which shine down in the plains at night. Now those beacons were only ashes—it was all too late.
"Farewell," murmured Nino with trembling lips.
Jélaine remained inert for some seconds, crushed.
He understood that the word meant the boy's final choice. With a dull mockery, echoed in his head some words that he himself had uttered one evening—"We have the right to be free."
"What are you going to do, Nino?"
"You have not anybody—?"
"Take care, Nino! We are weak. You are going to suffer—"
—"And perhaps you will keep only the feeling of having deceived yourself; of having caused pain and evil about you. Some day you will know remorse—desertion—restlessness—"
A large anthology of contemporary French verse could be compiled, reflecting uranianism—especially if pederastic—in, or by, many types of lyrists. As the founder of a "school" of elegantly (or other) decadent verse, the uranian Paul Verlaine has described lyrically a pederastiс amour with an ecclesiastical background, in a narrative-poem of some length. An episode in this particular Parnassus, was the recent suicide, in Venice, of Raymond Laurent, a young Parisian homosexual and litteratéur, just fairly started on his career; the authour of some poems dealing with uranian emotions. His tragic end is stated to have been the direct consequence of an homosexual passion, inspired by a young anglo-saxon acquaintance.
The numerous fictions of Achille Essebac merit by their individuality in recent French literature of homosexualism, a longer notice than this volume can give. them. Of the series, "Dédé" is of special quality; being a sort of romantic elegy—retrospect describing the instinctively passional love between two schoolmates. Their sentiment is unequivocally intersexual, though rather subconsciously such, and free from the least tinge of physical grossness. Essebac's other tales, including "Partenza" and "Luc" are in much the same vein, though more elaborated in episodes. The Essebac group is distinctively pederastic, in relation to love for young boys—the very juvenile ephebus; which sentiment has been pointed out as rather particular to French homosexuals of aesthetic tempers and education. Essebac's stories suffer from their authour's style; a manneristic, recherchée diction, frequently so affected and self-conscious as to be tiresome reading, and his key of elegy soon grows monotonous. Never theless, he has pages when (as if forgetting to write "for a style") he shows real eloquence of emotion and of phrase.
The French stage now and then is directly concerned with uranian drama. (To the personal connections of, Parisian theaters with similisexualism will be made a later allusion in this study.) For example, at the Nouveau Théâtre de l'Art, in 1908, was produced Amory's "Le Monsieur aux Chrysanthèmès"; a symbolic little piece, to which a well-known group of actors gave a brief vitality—only brief, in spite of considerable elegance and skill in construction and literary aspects.
The well-known review "literature. Certain of its serials—by Georges Eekhoud and others—have been of such category. In this trait, though always subordinating it to literary aspects of a production, this important French review is unique.", though its range is wider than any merely special currents of belles-lettres, devotes much notice to similisexual
in English Lite-
rature, and in
The Anglo-Saxon uranian presents himself to us less frequently as a man of letters than does his Continental colleague. He dares not. Social ostracism and criminal prosecutions, can easily follow. He may write books having homosexuality as an ingredient, whether in them he expresses himself, or is only an observer: but he cannot readily find a publisher who will risk their printing, and risk the legal proceedings likely to ensue; no matter how truly the work be one of literature, or how discreet and decorous the management of its uranian elements. Not all authours can afford to print at their own expense. The most offensively erotic stories, poems and social studies, with heterosexual passion in them, can be sold freely in English bookshops, are circulated in the lending-libraries all over Great Britain, and are reviewed in the British press. In contrast, a homosexual tale of the most reservedly careful diction and sensitive good taste in treatment, informed with high idealism or spirituality, and which might be "read aloud in a lady's drawing-room by an archbishop" will not be permitted British publication.
Yet the Englishman, ever belonging to one of the most homosexual of races and societies, never has failed to contribute to the world's uranian literature; in large part the authours themselves being similisexual. The Renaissance unlocked the lips of the English Intersexual, in prose and in verse. Warmed by that Italian sunshine, he has sometimes written out his personal message, with a genius of universal recognition.
Beyond doubt Shakespeare was, for at least a part of his life, dionysian-uranian; alternating between passion for a beautiful young man, and amorous sentiment for a woman. No other commonsense conclusion is possible, in view of the Sonnets. Who was that youth whom the poet styles their "onlie begetter"? The mysterious "Mr.W. H—" maybe long disputed, and is probably unlikely ever to be known—whether he was the Earl of Southampton, or some other ephebus. But that Shakespeare loved the lad with a perfectly pagan, sexual passion, is not to be questioned. Those other sonnets that have a feminine motif (the word "onlie" in the dedication of the Sonnets is significant) often read like foils to those of the male love. It is as silly to try to reduce the sexualism of the Shakespearean personality in the Sonnets to mere romantic idealism and fantasy, as it would be to try to construe Hafiz and Sadi into spiritual lyrists and elegant allegorists. Men do not write, as did Shakespeare write, of their consuming love for a young man, of adoration of his fair body, of consequent jealousies, hopes, doubts, despairs, slavery, in such verses as those of the Sonnets from, we will say, the first to the twentieth or the twenty-fourth, (with the rhapsodic "What is your substance, whereof are you made?") unless such poets are, or would be, pederasts. It is either hypocrisy or idiocy on the part of a commentator on Shakespeare to misconstrue such addresses as "A woman's face, with Nature's own hand painted," or "Lord of my love, to whom in vassallage," or "Against my love shall be as I am now", or "What's in the brain that ink may character," or "O thou my lovely boy", or "That thou hast her, it is not all my grief"—the last-mentioned among the dionysian-uranian group. We know little of the personal Shakespeare. We know little of his life. But we know enough of the poet's matrimonial infelicity, and of his charm of personality for his own sex to support the evidential theory of his uranianism; even had he not made it into his poetical autobiography.
That the plays of Shakespeare contain so extremely few references of any sort to homosexual love is not more than remarkable, in view of the general uncertainty of just how much of the text of any dramas that we ascribe to Shakespeare ever was from the authour of the Sonnets. There are many references to the beauty of boys; to the physical and spiritual charm of male youthfulness. We meet such in the dialogue about the supposed Fidele between the sons of Leonatus, in "Cymbeline". There is a flavour of sentimental homosexualism in the comedy that Orlando consents to play with the mysterious Ganymede. So too in the fascination which Viola, as a boy, exerts over the Duke of Illyria. But these and other passages are of elusive intent. One of the few outspoken remarks in the Plays comes in "Troilus and Cressida," where the railing Thersites calls Patroclus a "minion"; and adds explainingly, "male whore"—of Achilles. The portraits of Shakespeare himself have that curious mixture of intellectuality and sexualism met in many men of genius. But the Shakespeare of the Plays is yet a vague individual; an editorial, managerial and personal ignis fatuus.
On the English stage at the Shakespeare epoch, and much later, the custom of committing female rôles to boys of physical grace and beauty, must have exerted homosexual influences on impressionable Englishmen. "Behold divineness no elder than a boy!" found its echo in many a pederastic heart, after some performance of "Cymbeline," or of "As you Like It," or of "Twelfth Night". Samuel Pepys—not at all homosexual—speaks of seeing the famous young actor of female rôles, Kynaston, in a part that made the youth seem even to Pepys "the loveliest lady I ever saw in my life"; and Pepys was a most experienced connaisseur of female charms. There must have been many English "stage-boys", quite able when in their women's robes to excite other than tearful passions of uranian spectators, seated in "The Globe" or "The Swan" or at "The Duke's House"; even if Shakespeare has made his Egyptian Queen repudiate the idea of having "some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness".
Drama of the
Era in General:
Apart from Shakespeare himself, dramas and other matters from his contemporaries allude to male-to-male love and to male beauty, especially boyish, with a Greek-Italian quality. Presumptively, it often expressed the real personality of the writers—reflexes of the individual. Occasionally the subject of a stage-play or poem overtly brought such atmosphere into the printed page, the acted scene. To Christopher Marlowe's "The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of King Edward II" we have referred. But even in that piece there is no crude accusation that Edward's passionate tenderness for Piers Gaveston or Hugh Ledispenser is more concrete than of psychic sort. Such a motif is somewhat enhanced in clearness by the dialogues between the King and Gaveston, as by the jealousies of Queen Isabella, who complains that her caresses are despised for those of Gaveston. Noteworthy is the bold word on the royal tie to Piers which the Elder Mortimer speaks when leaving England; cautioning his nephew not to intrigue rashly against Gaveston:
"Nephew, I must to Scotland; thou stayest here.
Leave now to oppose thyself against the King.
Thou seest, by nature he is mild and calm;
And, seeing his mind so dotes on Gaveston,
Let him without controulment have his will.
The mightiest kings have had their minïons:
Great Alexander loved Hephaestion;
The conquering Hercules for Hylas wept;
And for Patroelus stern Achilles drooped.
And not kings only, but the wisest men:
The Roman Tully loved Octavius,
Grave Socrates wild Alcibiades.
Then let his Grace, whose youth is flexible,
Freely enjoy that vain, light-headed earl,
Fer riper years will wean him from such toys."
Marlowe's genius, unpruned and rugged, was part of a personality licentious, unrestrained and intemperate. His death, as we know, came in a vulgar brawl. Was he homosexual? Suggestive is not only his choice of subject in "Edward II"; but such descriptions of a beautiful young man as occur in his poem, "Hero and Leander"; and in the opening scene of his "Dido". Young Leander is thus painted:
"His body was as straight as Circe's Wand,
Jove might have sipped out nectar from his hand.
Even as delicious meat is to the taste,
So was his neck in touching, and surpast
The white of Pelops shoulder: I could tell ye
How smooth his breast was, and how white his belly,
And whose immortal fingers did imprint
That heavenly path, with many a curious dint,
That ran along his back. But my rude pen
Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men,
Much less of powerful gods: let it suffice
That my slack muse sings of Leander's eyes.—
Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his
That leaped into the water for a kiss
Of his own shadow, and despising many
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,
Enamoured of his beauty he had been.
His presence made the rudest peasant melt,
That in that vast, uplandish country dwelt.
The barbarous Thracian soldier, moved with naught,
Was moved with him, and for his favour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,
For in his looks were all that men desire—
A pleasant-smiling cheek, a speaking eye,
A brow for love to banquet royally;
And such as knew he was a man would say,
"Leander, thou art made for amorous play:
"Why art thou not in love, and loved of all?
"Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall."
Openly pederastic, in the same poem by Marlowe, is the passion of Neptune to possess the swimming Leander. Neptune supposes that so beautiful a mortal must be Ganymede, and determines to "enjoy him". The-god swims beside Leander, eager to rape the lad in the very waters:
"He watched his arms, and as they opened wide
At every stroke between them he would slide
And steal a kiss, and then run out and dance,
And, as he turned steal many a lustful glance,
And throw him gaudy toys to please his eye,
And dive into the water, and there pry
Upon his breast, his thighs, and every limb,
And up again, and close beside him swim,
And talk of love."
The opening of Marlowe's tragedy "Dido", presents to us "Jupiter dandling Ganymede upon his knee, and Hermes lying asleep", with the exclamation from Jupiter:
"Come, gentle Ganymede, and play with me:
I love thee well, say Juno what she will"!
—continued by a dialogue in which the boy bargains his favours to Jove like a knavish young harlot; his final demand being—
"A jewel for mine ear,
And a fine brooch to put into my hat,
And then I'll hug with you an hundred times".
In the English drama of the Elizabethan quality and epoch, occur certain catch-words and sobriquets, some of them of Anglo-Saxon, some of other derivation, that refer to homosexual characters and passions. Such are however more intelligible to philologists than to less erudite readers, being largely obsolete in the language to-day.
We do not arrive at any conclusion of Milton as uranian in examining not over-clear details of his personality and history, in England or when he lived abroad. There are however indirect, vague suggestions; his domestic life, his social theories, his passion for Italianism, and Hellenism, and the accents of his most lyric verse, which seem not merely imitative notes. Never was an Anglo-Saxon—albeit a Roundhead in so many affiliations—tuned finer to the harp of Greek pederasty, than was the authour of "Lycidas" (Milton's threnody on his dead friend Edward King so intensely beloved), of "Hylas" or of episodes in "Comus". One can half-forget in reading them, the luridly epic Milton, the Michel-Angelo of Christian themes in verse.
With the Restoration, and the gross sexual-sensualism of the Court and epoch of Charles II, uranistic passions came into removed public notice. Private "friendships" were full of the quality. It was the same sort of "platonic" atmosphere that pervaded the French Regency. But even debauched French conceptions became more vulgar in the English air. We have only to look into memoirs and correspondence of the time, into yet unprinted pages of Pepys, the letters of Rochester and Sedley, to know what was male to male love in the Restoration, exactly as love for woman had become lust. In all countries, in all lands, the homosexual passion takes colours of refinement or crudity, its aesthetic or grossly opposite, according to the social civilization about it. It does not degrade or elevate social morals, so much as become degraded or elevated by social morals. In the licentious dramas of the English Restoration epoch, though we do not find them plotted on the passions of the Uranian, are plain references. Perhaps the most outrageously open allusion to homosexuality in any theater, since the days of Greek and Roman comedy, even to presenting a homosexual in a state of excitement on the stage, occurs in Vanbrugh's famous play, "The Relapse," where an uranian bawd is sexually inflamed by the manly beauty of his complaisant client, during a visit at the latter's lodging. The episode, extraordinary in its crude homosexualism is as follows. We may well remember that the play was one highly popular with the most aristocratic society of England, not to speak of the lower social orders in London, at the time:
Coupler. Let me put my hand into your—bosom.
Fashion. Stand off, old Sodom!
Coup. Nay, prithee now, don't be so—coy.
Fash. Keep your hands to yourself, you old dog you, or I'll wring your nose off!
Coup. Hast thou been a year in Italy, and brought home a fool at last? By my conscience, the young fellows of this age profit no more by their going abroad than they do by their going to church! … But come, I'm still a friend to thy person though I've a contempt of thy understanding, and I would willingly know thy condition that I may see whether thou standest in need of my assistance: for widows swarm, my boy—the town's infected with' em. Egad, sirrah, I could help thee!
Fash. Sayest thou so, old Satan? Show me but that, and my soul is thine.
Coup. Pox o' thy soul! Give me thy warm body instead, sirrah! I shall have a substantial title to't when I shall tell thee my project.
Fash. Out with thee, dear dad!—and take possession as soon as thou wilt!
Coup. Sayest thou so, my Hephestion?… The lady is a great heiress … If therefore you will be a generous young dog, and secure me five thousand pounds, I'll be a covetous old rogue and help you to the lady.
Fash. Egad, if thou canst bring this about, I'll have thy statue cast in-brass! But don't you dote, you old pander you, when you talk at this rate?
Coup. That your youthful parts shall judge of … When the fatigue of the wedding-night's over, you shall send me a swingeing purse of gold, you dog you!
Fash. Egad, old dad. I'll put my hand in thy bosom, now!
Coup. Ah, you young, hot, lusty thief I Let me muzzle you! (Kisses him.) Sirrah, let me muzzle you!
Fash. Pshaw! The old lecher …!
Coup. Well, sirrah—be at my lodgings in half an Hour, and I'll see what may be done. We'll sign and seal and eat a pullet together; and when I have given thee some farther instructions, thou shalt hoist sail and be gone. (Kisses him.) T'other buss!—and so—adieu!
Fash. Um! Pshaw!
Coup. Ah, you young—warm—dog! What a delicious night the bride will have with you! (Exit.)
As noted, Smollett's "Roderick Random" contains two episodes that show acquaintance with the prevalence of uranianism in England, in his day. In Chapter XXIV, an effeminate young commander, Captain Whiffle, comes aboard ship, presently followed by the Captain's equally effeminate friend, Surgeon Simper. With Simper, the Captain is accused of "maintaining a correspondence not fit to be named." Another passage is the long and audacious narrative in Chapter LI,where the homosexual Earl Strutwell (one of the authour's political caricatures) after hugging and kissing the good-looking young hero, presented to him by a pimp, tries to seduce Roderick by way of Petronius; entering upon a long panegyric of uranianism as being the most healthful and fashionable kind of sexual intercourse.
We are likely to repel the idea that the delightful cynic Horace Walpole could experience either heterosexual or homosexual affection. No woman ever more than stirred the heart of Horace Walpole. He had only intellectual and aesthetic interest in the sex. But homosexualism was in his blood. The quality of his friendship with Conway did not always remain passionless. In the Letters, one now and then comes on a passage warm enough to show that Walpole had a heart, given to Conway with an ardour hid from gossips about him. We are almost equally likely to doubt if the philosophic and often acid Pope could so betray himself, in spite of Pope's artificial gallantry to Lady Mary Wortley-Montague. The great satirist and social philosopher was outlawed from love,by disposition and bodily defects. Yet underneath Pope's cold cynicism smouldered the fires of sexual desire. Once the flame broke into life, for a young and beautiful man, who despised the poet, being indeed incapable of understanding him. Pope was perceptibly a dionysian-uranian; for his misfortune.
Lord Byron: a
Lord Byron is a striking example of the literary Dionian-Uranian. During all his life, the great English poet was more or less temperamentally homosexual; an idealistic, hellenic, romantic homosexual. In Byron's boyhood and in his university-days, his homosexuality was the most really passional emotion of love which he knew. In maturity, it retained its psychic hold. To many readers will seem incredible the statement,—one nevertheless well based—that it is to be doubted if Byron really ever loved any woman, save in that superficial sense which he himself despised. He did not believe that he ever fully surrendered himself, could surrender himself, to any woman. Even as important and durable a liaison as that which was his final one, with the young, beautiful, intellectual and devoted Countess Guiccioli, became presently a burden of which he was tired, socially and sexually. Under that entanglement, Byron chafed, and was scheming how he could bring it to an end, "like a gentleman", with decency and honour, when the Greco-Turkish War gave him an an excuse, apart from his philhellenic enthusiasms. He would never have resumed the intimacy had he lived. His marriage with Miss Milbank had no passion in it. In nearly all his affairs with his mistresses, in Venice and everywhere else, a sort of sexual contempt pervades the memoranda. Byron despised women, first and last; despised the sexualism of his epoch, while he made it so much a part of his outer, animal life. His own words as to the feeble hold that women had over him are conclusive.
On the other hand, how enduring and explicit were Byron's numerous friendships!—ties that were, to use his phrase, "friendships that were passions!" His journals and letters tell us not only of Lord Clare—that Clare so immeasureably loved by Byron,—Clare, whose name Byron could not hear spoken his life through without nervous excitement overmastering him, and whom to meet, even for a few moments, long years after their early life, was unmanning to him; but of Wingfield, Long, and the choir-boy Eddleston. There were many others. These were loved, as he defines it, with a vehemence not felt in even his deep affection for such friends as Hobhouse, Moore, Shelley, and so on. In previously alluding to Byron's boyhood, we have mentioned his passionate intimacy with a village-lad. But Eddleston has a clearer history. Eddleston was a handsome young chorister, who caught Byron's fancy and heart at the University. Byron writes of him, later:—"His voice first attracted my attention, his countenance fixed it, and his manners attached him to me forever. I certainly love him more than any human being, and neither time nor distance have had the least effect on my (in general) changeable disposition. In short we shall put Lady E. Butler and Miss Ponsonby to the blush, Pylades and Orestes out of countenance, and want nothing but a catastrophe, like Nisus. and Euryalus to give Jonathan and David the go-by. He certainly is perhaps more attached to me than even I am in return. During the whole of my residence at Cambridge we met every day, summer and winter, without passing one tiresome moment, and separated each hour with increasing reluctance" … This is no ordinary college-friendship from Byron, who already had little to learn in discriminating the colours of sexual emotions. Never did Byron write of d woman in such a tone, in all his letters. His using the names of two women—the celebrated "Ladies of Llangollen"—is suggestive. Eddleston was far below Byron in social grade; of no particular intellectual gifts; and of highly musical temperament. He died untimely in 1811, in his twenty-second year, to Byron's unspeakable grief. The letter which Byron wrote to a lady, at the time, asking her to send back a certain little souvenir of Eddleston in her possession, refers to the same theme; as does a poem on "The Token". Another friend of Byron's young manhood, for whom a peculiar sentiment hovers between uranistic and dionistic attachment, was Lord Dorset. "At school," writes Byron, "I was passionately attached to him;" and he adds that although years had cooled the ardour "there was a time in my life when this event would have broken my heart." The account that Byron set down of his emotion in his last hasty meeting with Lord Clare, unexpectedly, (on a journey), is a witness to the enduring nature of their bond. Another passionate sentiment for a youth, in which homosexualism is even clearer suggested, occurred in Greece, in 1811. Byron's mood invited such an affair. The object was a young French-Greek boy, of great beauty, named Nicolo Giraud. Giraud was a model for the Italian painter Lusieri. Not only for the moment was Byron wholly free from any feminine preoccupation, but his heart was reactive against the sex. He saw young Giraud, found him "the most beautiful being I have ever beheld", and took possession of the youth with characteristic impetuosness. Moore makes a nervous allusion to the affair, as expressing interest an in Giraud "similar to those which had inspired Byron's early attachment to the cottage-boy near Newstead, and to the young chorister (Eddleston) at Cambridge;" Young Giraud completely dominated the poet. Byron made a testament at this date, leaving practically his whole fortune to Giraud—the first article of the document! In the poet's affection for one of his young body-servants, the lad Robert, are other refléts of no common regard. That Greece, and everything Hellenic appealed to Byron from the first, is appropriate. Greek in his intellectual and sexual nature, he was Englishman by birth but Athenian by heart.
Is there no uranianism in the mature Byron's verse? The writer of these pages has received, from a source that claims strong private authority in discussing Byron's homosexualism, a pertinent comment on "Manfred". Among all Byron's dramatic poems, none remains more a subject of speculation. What exactly is the mysterious burden on Manfred's conscience? that unspeakable sin, to bind him and the dead Astarte together?—a sin inseparable from passion. That it was sexual is indicated. It is the expression of a feeling out of key with ethical and social toleration, yet with a fearful beauty, and in near relation to some strange, resistless under-current of our mortal natures. Are Manfred and Astarte brother and sister?—or what else? Is incest their crime? Manfred's moral horizon is not circumscribed by any Church or theologies. He is in revolt against all. An exceptional deflection burdens this exceptional type.
From a letter before the writer he quotes the followin: "… When my grandfather had finished his account, which you can imagine was done with great embarassment, Byron said after a moment—"Pooh, I don't think any the worse of you for such an affair …… Why, let me tell you I expected awhile ago to write a drama on Greek Love—not less—modernizing the atmosphere—glooming it over—to throw the whole subject back into nature, where it belongs now as always—to paint the struggle of the finer moral type of mind against it—or rather remorse for it, when it seems to be chastized … But I made up my mind that British philosophy is not far enough on for swallowing such a thing neat. So I turned much of it into "Manfred" … Lord Byron then went on to give my grandfather some other observations on the abandoning of his original plan for the poem mentioned. My grandfather alluded to L…, The conversation was interrupted, and before my grandfather had an opportunity to meet Byron again (though Byron expressed himself most cordially anxious to do so) Byron had left Venice."
We may then argue "Manfred" as, in a sense, an uranian drama, according to the foregoing; a sexual love between Manfred and a youth, or some more mature friend, as the burden on the conscience of Manfred—or rather the loss that oppresses him. Astarte thus becomes a psychic allegory; under her feminine personality is hidden a male relationship, which ( startling as is the idea of incest) was thought by Byron too audacious a motive for the British public. The structure and even the diction of the play require little changing to meet the idea of homosexual passion, on which, has descended a divine Nemesis; a vengeance on Manfred for what he still feels—however against his will—as a defiance to. earthly existence, to religion, to God, to human Being; all this, while he so adores the memory of it. He and that Other have been carried away, by their mystic and criminal mutuality. What part Manfred has in it can be expiated, forgotten, in only death. Perhaps not the transgression but some circumstances in it, of Manfred's fault, make him feel such remorse and longing for release. If this interpretation be correct, even in part, "Manfred's" vagueness as homosexual literature is a loss. In any case, the study is curious.
In the celebrated oriental novel, "Anastasius: or Memoirs of a modern Greek," by Hope, a work that maintains a respectable place in English classics, the authour has depicted his hero's hellenic relationships with two male friends. The first is pederastic in its colouring. It is the swift, passional intimacy between Anastasius and Anagnosti, a handsome effeminate youth—a male dancer. This boy induces Anastasius to seal their intimacy by going through a formal secret marriage, celebrated by a priest in a church; thus reviving a disused ancient custom—a plain relic of paganism. This intense friendship ends in a tragedy.- The young dancer bitterly rebukes Anastasius for faithlessness to their bond, when Anastasius, for selfish reasons, is afraid to acknowledge Anagnosti before some political enemies. Anagnosti falls against a dagger drawn in the angry Anastasius's hand; and dies. The second episode in the same novel is longer, and suggests the higher offices of Grecian homosexualism—through the ardent friendship of Anastasius with young Spiridion, his protégé and junior. Spiridion, saved from death in boyhood by Anastasius, acquires a supreme influence over the latter. He undertakes the moral reformation of Anastasius. Their mutual affection, for a time transcendent, is broken off in a foreign city, by a misunderstanding which Anastasius is too proud to set right. Spiridion quits him suddenly, when they are estranged, and returns to his home, and to months of unhappiness, before he dismisses Anastasius from his mind. Anastasius learns, in time, that Spiridion is married and has a family of lovely children. Anastasius, on his side, feels intense anguish and solitude at the separation; and bitterly reproaches himself for it always—as he may justly do. Lord Byron said this novel made him weep—for two reasons—first, 'the beauty of the story; second, that he 'had not written it'.
Both to Leigh Hunt and to Shelley attach episodes of their sentimental lives, earlier or mature, that have a similisexual accent.
The history of the gifted Irish novelist, essayist and dramatist, Oscar Wilde is a literary tragedy remembered by many contemporaries with grief. Wilde was in early life dionistic-uranistic. As he grew older, he became more and more conclusively uranian, notwithstanding the fact that he was happily married. Wilde's first literary successes were his poems, including the noble "Ave Imperatrix!" His dramatic, novelistic and critical work followed, including the dramas "The Importance of Being in Earnest", "Lady Windermere's Fan", "Salome",etc., and a novel of vague homosexual suggestiveness, "The Picture of Dorian Gray." At the height of his career, Wilde was attacked by a virulent personal enemy, the notorious Marquis of Q—. For a good while, Wilde's eccentric intimacies with young men of far inferior station and even of notoriously venal pederasty, had been whispered around London. Among a set of Wilde's more aristocratic literary friends was Lord Alfred D—, the younger son of the Marquis of Q— mentioned. Of this young man much gossip was current. Presently the Marquis of Q—, in a grotesquely vulgar fashion, publicly charged Wilde with homosexualism. Wilde felt obliged to bring the accusation into a court (April, 1895), as a libel; a step anything but well-taken. The case was not made out, and sentiment went wholly against him. A second criminal charge, from the Crown, was laid and tried. Put into the position of a felon under the English laws relating to homosexuality, Wilde was convicted, and sentenced to a two-years term of imprisonment, at hard labour. The evidence in the case was anything but a credit to the poet's æstheticism, or idealism of male-love. After his release, his wife having divorced him, his career broken, Wilde lived for a time in obscurity in Paris, and there died suddenly, within a year or so after his enlargement. For a considerable time the super-hostile public sentiment of Great Britain ostracised his plays and other writings: but British popular feeling has grown more tolerant of Wilde's name. Indeed, he may be said to have assumed, even to English dionysians something of the aspect of a judicial martyr. An exaggerated personal cult for Wilde (considerably due to imperfect knowledge of his individuality) and a correspondingly exaggerated estimate of his intellectualism have become noticeable in circles of English homosexuals. In France, the same curious error of perspective is common. The brilliancy of Wilde, at its brightest, did not reach the level of genius. His originality of thought, and even of expression in his writings, his suggestiveness as an aesthetic theorist, his epigrammatic independence in conversation and print, all are highly discutable traits. Again, Wilde's type of uranianism was in no sense classic. It was far below the level of idealism which his intellectuality would lead one to expect. His sexual instincts were concentrated on vulgar boy-prostitutes of the town. His receiving the halo of a "martyr" to homosexualism is also the less well-bestowed, since he repudiated in his last writings (though perhaps with his constitutional insincerity) the morality of the homosexual instinct, and so died "repentant." That Wilde was a victim of British social intolerance and hypocrisy, and of the need of new and intelligent English legislation as to similisexual instincts is perfectly true; but Wilde himself was not a little a shrewd and superficial poseur, to the very last.
The name of Lord Alfred D— is perhaps indissolubly linked to that of Oscar Wilde, as being the latter's literary protègé, in some sort; apart from any other relationship. Much Wilde's junior, and possessed of considerably literary ability, he early identified himself with uranian literature in such verses as the sonnet with "I am the Love that Dares not Speak its Name" and others, in the extinct periodical "The Chameleon"; in the sketch "Priest and Acolyte" (attributed also to Wilde at one time) in some well-written articles, analytic of Wilde, in London literary print; and in various other contributions. The sketch mentioned "Priest and Acolyte ", depicts the passion ot a young homosexual priest and a lad, and ends in their drinking poison together at the altar. It is an immature trifle, not distinguished for good taste in concept or elaboration. Its authour has since its date advanced far beyond such productions, and seems progressing to a position of some distinction in English belles-lettres.
When first was published Tennyson's memorial to his dead friend Arthur Hallam, the passionally sentimental elegy, "In Memoriam," exhaling elègiacally so much psychological uranism, it met a storm of British rebuke. The young poet's glorification of his unity with "my loved Arthur", his feminine lamentations and apostrophes, were called worse than merely "maudlin" sentimentalizings. Tennyson and his friends, were compelled to defend the poem ethically. Certainly "In Memoriam" is open to the charge of being a homosexual threnody. It offers, despite its reserves, aspects of a panegyric of the uranian-psychological bond between two idealistic young men. Of "In Memoriam", when it appeared (anonymously) one English reviewer said that the poem was certainly the work of a woman—"the widow of a military officer!" Hallam, who died suddenly in Vienna, was perceptibly of homosexual type.
Italianistic influences of uranian effect, in the Pre-Raphaelitish "school" of English verse have not been distinctly studied. They are not vivid. In the Pre-Raphaelists femininism was pronounced; idealized, neuroticized, Catholicized. They affected a mediaeval or early Renaissance pose toward woman, sexually, socially and spiritually. The label of personal homosexuality hardly attaches to any of the high-priests of the "Fleshly School" or to the studios of its epoch. They cultivated a pictorial feminism. To Rosetti's youth a vague episode of homosexuality—bisexuality?—attaches; and in the verse of Swinburne are pagan suggestions, but of a deeadently French, colouring, rather than even hellenic.
The atmosphere of uranianism hangs around the personality, and some of the literary work, of two eminent British orientalists—Captain Sir Richard Burton and W. G-. Palgrave. Was it the excursions toward—into? homosexuality that were bruited about in Burton's life, and his attention to the topic so exhaustively in his oriental studies and translations, which stood in the way of the political advancement of one of the most remarkable men in similar service, in all the contemporary history of English oriental workers? Only the Foreign Office can answer that query.
W. G. Palgrave, that subtly-gifted and adventurous traveller (of Hebrew blood) also a man of letters of fine individuality, was frequently spoken of as sufficiently "easternized" to "accept the homosexual." His curious and beautiful oriental novel, "Hermann Agha", with its scenes in the wild country about Diarbekir in the end of the eighteenth century, is a book far superiour to anything of its type yet public from English hands and eyes; a perfect mirror of life and character. Cast into a heterosexual romance, occurs the incident of an Arabian uranian friendship, better to be called love, in the bond between the hero of the tale, Hermann Agha, and young Moharib; a tie first sealed in blood, then ended in blood. One of the many exquisite lyrics in this story occurs in Hermann's agnostic lament for the boy—
"Could the Resurrection be,
I had wished it but for thee;
For, though changed all else, and new,
Thou unchanged wouldst rise—and trug!
Stories; M. E. Co-
From a contemporary English novelist Robert Hichens, a writer of superior literary traits and often of penetrant psychology came early in his career a brilliant little satirical story (or rather portrait-gallery) of London uranianism, "smart-set" cynicism and aristocratic decadence, entitled "The Green Carnation". In this were introduced, with more or less fidelity or exaggeration, personalities like Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred D—, and sundry others of "the set" about the city. While nowhere being veristic as to word or deed of homosexualism, aesthetic pederasty is an obvious suggestion in the relationships of the two chief personages in the story—the effeminate young Lord Reggie Hastings and the epigrammatic decadent Esmé Amarinth. From the same authour recently has appeared a novel of quite other atmosphere and of more subtlenuances, in its sincerity of character-painting and delicate art, "The Call of the Blood." Here occurs throughout (in tact as a psychic mainspring of the action), the impulse of hereditary bisexualism, in Maurice Delarey; an artist suggesting a dionysian-uranian—of Sicilian blood though English birth. Between him and a Taormina youth, Gasparo (a type admirably presented) springs into being at once a vibrantly passional tie; though the artist is newly wedded. The background is Taormina; and the local colour and Ionian-Sicilian psychology are truthful. The scene in which Delarey watches the boy Gasparo dancing the tarantella is unique in recent English romance, for spiritual and pictorial management. The absorption of the lad's nature by his passional relation to his patron is conveyed unmistakeably, to the end of the tragedy in which they are involved. Whether the average British reader at all 'understands' the story is another matter, so artistically is it conducted, in diction and incident.
Fiction for young people that has uranian hints naturally is thought the last sort for circulating among British boys, and girls. A pathetic story "Tim" (mentioned in the seventh chapter of this book) a direct and specialistic study of 'psychic homosexuality' in two school-lads—one of them wholly intersexual in type—is nevertheless to be classed in the library for young Britons. The authourship of this little tale remains anonymous. Another juvenile, "The French Prisoners" by Edward Bertz, better-known by his active career in German belles-lettres, has a subtle note of the psychologic kind in question, in its emotional development. A recent story of Harrow school-life, "The Hill", by Horace Vachell (a book exceptional in its crowded field, for its vividness of characterizations, manly moral uplift and charm of style) offers even more than "Tim" the ingredient of an absolutely absorbing "passion of friendship", a self-forgetting devotion and intense admiration on the part of one lad for another—the 'god of his idolatry." A kind of mystic struggle, of which jealousy is a factor, against the evil charm of a third —the beautiful and conscienceless "Demon", as he is nick-named—enters into the the story. It has no hint (in fact a passing incident is particularly to the contrary) of physical emotionalism. But almost first and last it is suggestive of the key of sub-conscious youthful uranianism. No other emotional factor in the book is on the same plane of elaboration and import. Also in "White Cockades" a little tale of the flight of the Younger Pretender, by E. I. Stevenson, issued in Edinburgh some years ago, passionate devotion from a rustic youth toward the Prince, and its recognition are half-hinted as homosexual in essence. The sentiment of uranian adolescence is more distinguishable in another book for lads, "Philip-and Gerald", by the same hand; a romantic story in which a youth in his latter teens is irresistibly attracted to a much younger lad: and becomes, con amore, responsible for the latter's personal safety, in a series of unexpected events that throw them together—for life. From this writer are also to be noted in various periodicals a considerable series of dramatic studies of passional friendships between adults—in accent chiefly tragic.
A noteworthy historical novel, "The King With Two Faces", by the late Miss M. E. Coleridge, deals with the personality of Gustavus Third of Sweden. It is based on his strongly emotional intimacies, his favouritism, and the conspiracy of Ankerström, in which were intrigued against their unfortunate and impolitic sovereign many of the comely young noblemen, who played such mystic roles in his psychic life. The authour discerns in her studies the "abnormal" currents of the King's nature. Throughout the story, there are such phases—as to Fersen, Ribbing, and so on—that are faithful to historical analysis. Almost the final scene (a strange one, in which Fersen and his dying king look into each other's eyes confessionally, for the last time) is to be 'noted. The introduction of such an ingredient in the story is as reserved as one would expect in an English romance; but its authour's literary manner in general inclines to the merely suggestive, elliptical and over-terse.
The commentator on homosexualism in belles-lettres is often criticized for supposing such an ingredient to be latent where it does not at all conclusively appear. Indeed, one recent German psychiater makes the foolish observation that uranians are so predisposed that. they are incapable of seeing, either in letters, arts or life, the difference between ardent friendship and homosexual love. This accusation is anything but well-based. The first duty of the sexual psychiater is to keep clear two such currents of emotion. When however the sentiment of friendship, so-called, is invested with a distinctly passional quality, such a tale merits recognition as perhaps more or less of uranian tendency—verging perceptibly, but not committedly, to uranian love. There is here some interest in noticing how frequently certain British novelists have made "passional friendship" a vehement factor in their stories, even to its being the most vital trait of a book. Thus Dickens, in a series of his stories and their characters: David Copperfield and the handsome Steerforth—Eugene Wrayburn and Mortimer Lightwood in "Our Mutual Friend"—and Sydney Carton in the tragic "A Tale of Two Cities". There is a touch of the same "passional" inspiration in Reade's "The Cloister and the Hearth." A more recent British novelist, the-late David Christie Murray, in his fine tale "Val Strange," practically builds all the story on an intensive sentiment of the sort, and utilizes it perceptibly in others of his novels.
Those who enter into the study of uranianism in literature and in arts, whether as to Anglo-Saxons or other races naturally must be solicitous in guarding against the idea (and not less so against the statement) that because such or such an authour deals with intersexual love in a story, poem, or what else, the authour himself is uranian. Many instances which will recur to the mind of the reader of this book as pertinent to be categorized in it in one way or another, do not have clearly any association of personal homosexuality, despite more or less merely literary suggestiveness.
A few years ago appeared a distinctively homosexual story in English; referred to in the eighth chapter of this book, and from the same hand. In this is depicted, with more serious purpose than entertainment, the homosexual sentiment in two highly virilized uranians, one of them a young Hungarian officer. The story takes its course against a background of Magyar soldier-life. Both the young men are of strong moral and intellectual fibre; and their respect for each other, their dread of being repudiated, of losing the first friendship which each feels for the other, make them wear the mask, day by day, until finally it is thrown away, first by one, then by the other. From this tale, are appropriate in this literary connection two excerpts. The first summarizes the quality of the immediate and close friendship between the two young men; which presently pulsates inevitably to a warmer and more physical sentiment:
"Now of what did two men thus insistent on one another's companionship, one of them some twenty-five years of age, the other past thirty, neither of them vaporous with the vague enthusiasms of first manhood, nor fluent with the mere sentimentalities of idealism … of what did we talk, hour in and hour out, that our company was so welcome to each other, even to the point of our being indifferent to all the rest of our friends roundabout?… centering ourselves on the time together as the best thing in the world for us Such a question repeats a common mistake, to begin with. For it presupposes that companionship is a sort of endless conversazione, a State-Council ever in session. Instead, the silences in intimacy stand for the most perfect mutuality. And, besides, no man or woman has yet ciphered out the real secret of the finest quality, clearest sense, pf human companionability—a thing that often grows up, flower and fruit, so swiftly as to be like the oriental juggler's magic mango-plant. We are likely to set ourselves to analyzing, over and over, the externals and accidence … the mere inflections of friendships, as it were. But the real secret evades us. It ever will evade. We are drawn together because we are drawn. We are content to abide together just because we are content. We feel that we have reached a certain harbour, after much or little drifting, just because it is for that haven, after all, that we have been moving on and on; with all the irresistible pilotry of the wide ocean-wash friendly to us. It is as foolish to make too much of the definite in friendship as it is in love—which is the highest expression of companionship. Friendship?—love? what are they, if real on both sides, but the great Findings?…
As a fact, my new friend and I had an interesting range of commonplace and practical topics, on! which to exchange ideas. Sentimentalities were quite in abeyance. We were both interested in art, as well as in sundry of the less popular branches of literature, and in what scientifically underlies practical life. Moreover, I had been longtime enthusiastic as to Hungary and the Hungarians, the land, the race, the magnificent military history, the complicated, troublous aspects of the present and future of the Magyar Kingdom. And though I cannot deny that I have met with more ardent Magyar patriots than Imre von N— (for somehow he took a conservative view of his birth-land and fellow-citizens) still, he was always interested in clarifying my ideas. Again, contrary-wise, Lieutenant Imre was zealous in informing himself on matters and things pertaining to my own country and to its system of social and military life, as well as concerning a great deal more; even to my native language, of which he could speak precisely seven words, four of them too forcible for use in general society …
And besides more general matters, there was … for so is it in friendship as in love … ever that quiet undercurrent of inexhaustible curiosity about each other as an Ego, as psychic facts not yet mutually explained. Therewith comes-in that kindly seeking to know better and better the Other, as a being not yet fully outlined, as one whom we would understand even from the farthest-away time when neither friend suspected the other's existence, when each was meeting the world alone—as one now looks back on those days … and was absorbed in so much else in life, before Time had been willing to say. "Now meet, you two! Have I not been preparing you for each other?" So met, the simple personal retrospect is an ever-new affair of detail for them, with its queries, its confessions, its comparisons. « I thought that, but now I think this. Once on a time I believed that, now I believe this. I did so and so, in those old days; but now, not so. I have desired, hoped, feared purposed such or such a matter then; now no longer. Such manner of man have I been, whereas nowadays my indentity before myself is thus and so. » Or, it is the presenting of what has been enduringly a part of ourselves, and is likely ever to abide such. Ah, these are the moods and tenses of the heart and the soul in friendship ! more and more willingly uttered and listened-to as intimacy and confidence thrive. Two natures are seeking to blend. Each is glad to be its own directory for the new comer; to treat him as an expected and welcomed guest to the Castle of Self, while yet something of a stranger to it; opening to him any doors and windows that will throw light on the labyrinth of rooms and corridors, wishing to keep none shut … perhaps not even some specially haunted, remote and even black-hung chamber. Guest? No, more than that; for is it not the tenant of all others, the Master, who at last, has arrived!
The ensuing second fragment is from the dialogue between Oswald and Lieutenant Imre, when both are in a strong nervous tension from their mutual reserves. It occurs just before Oswald reaches the point of a narration of his tragic life-story, and confession to Imre, under stress of an expected parting which suddenly seems inevitable by Oswald's summons to England; a self-revelation which, however, the timorousness of Imre does not reward by equal frankness until the story's end.
"We had made a detour around the lonelier portion of the park. The sun was fairly setting as we came out before the open lawn, wide, and uncropped, save by two cows and a couple of farm-horses. There were trees on either border. At farther range, was the long, low mansion, three stories high, with countless white-painted croisées, and lime-blanched chimneys; an odd Austro-Magyar style of dwelling, of a long-past fashion, standing up solid and sharp against that silver-saffron sky. Not a sign of life, save those slow-moving beasts, far off in the middle of the lawn. No smoke from the yet more removed old homestead. Not a sound, except a gentle wind … melancholy and fitful. We two might been remote, near a village in the Siebenbürgen; not within twenty minutes of a great commercial city.
Instead of going on toward the avenue which led to the exit—the hour being yet early—we sat down on a stone bench, much beaten by weather. A few steps away, rose the monument I have mentioned … "To the Unforgettable Memory" of Lorand and Egon Z…
Neither Imre nor I spoke immediately. Each of us was a trifle leg-weary. I once more was sad and … angry. As we sat there, I read over for yet another time … the last time?… those carved words which reminded a reader, whether to his gladness of soul or dolour, that love, a love indeed strong as death, between two manly souls was no mere ideal; but instead, a possible crown of existence, a glory of life, a realizable unity that certain fortunate sons of men attained! A jewel that others must yearn for, in disappointment and folly, and with the taste of aloes, and the white of the egg, for the pomegranate and the honeycomb! I sighed.
"Oh, courage, courage, my well-beloved friend!" exclaimed Imre, hearing the sigh and apparently quite misreading my innermost thoughts. "Don't be down-hearted again as to leaving Szent-Istvànhely tomorrow; not to speak of being cheerful even if you must part from your most obedient servant. Such is life!… unless we are born sultans and kaisers … and if we are that, we must die to slow music in the course of time."
I vouchsafed no comment. Could this be Imre von N—? Certainly I had made the acquaintance of a new and extremely uncongenial Imre; in exactly the least appropriate circumstances to lose sight of the sympathetic, gentler-natured friend, whom I had begun to consider as one well understood, and had found responsive to a word, a look. Did all his closer friends meet, sooner or later, with this under-half of his temperament—this brusqueness which I had hitherto seen in his bearing with only his outside associates? Did they admire it … if caring for him? Bitterness came over me in a wave, it rose to my lips in a burst:
"It is just as well that one of us should show some feeling … a trifle … when our parting is so near."
A pause. Then Imre:
"The 'one of us', that is to say the only one who has any 'feeling', being yourself, my dear Oswald?"
"Don't you think that perhaps you rather take things for granted? Or that, perhaps, you feel too much? That is, in supposing that I feel too little"?
My reply was quick and and acid enough:
"Have you any sentiments in the matter worth calling by such a name, at all? I've not remarked them so far! Are friends that love you and value you only worth their day with you?… have they no real, lasting individuality for you? Your heart is not difficult to occupy."
Again a brief interval. Imre was beating a tattoo on his braided cap, and examining the top of that article with much attention. The sky was less light now. The long, melancholy house had grown pallid against the foliage. Still the same fitful breeze. One of the cows lowed.
Presently he looked up, and began speaking gravely—kindly—not so much as if seeking his words for their exactness, but rather as if he were fearful ofhimself outwardly to some innermost process of thought. Afraid, more than unwilling.
"Listen, my dear friend. We must not expect too much of one another in this world—must we? Do not be foolish. You know well that one of the last things that I regard as 'of a day' is our friendship—however suddenly grown. No matter what you think now … for just these few moments—when something disturbs us both—that you know. Why, dear friend! did I not believe it myself, had I not believed it so soon after our meeting—do you think I would have shown you so much of my real self, happy or unhappy, for better or worse? Sides of my nature unknown to others? Traits that you like, along with traits that I see you do not like? Why, Oswald, you understand me—the real me!—better than anybody else that I have ever met. Because I wished it—I hoped it. Because I could not help it. Just that. But you see the trouble is that, in spite of all—you do not wholly understand me. And the worst of the reason is that I am the one most to blame for it! And I—I cannot better it now."
"When do we understand one another in this life of half-truths—of half-intimacies?"
"Yes, all too-often half … or less! And I am not easy (ah, howl have had to learn the way to keep myself so, to study it till it is a second nature to me!) I am not easy to know! But, Oswald, Oswald, ich kann nicht anders! nein, nein ich kann nicht anders!" And then, in his own language, dull and doggedly he added to himself—"Mit használ, mit használ az én nekem? [What matters it to me?]"
He took my hand now, that was lying on the settle beside his own, and held it while he spoke; unconsciously clasping it tighten, and tighter till it was in pain, or would have been so, had it not been, like his own, cold from sheer nervousness. He continued:
"One thing more. You seem to forget sometimes that I am a man, and that you too are a man. Not either of us a—woman. Forgive me—I speak frankly. We are both of us, you and I, a bit over-sensitive—high-strung—in type. Isn't that so? You often suggest a—a regard so—what shall I call it?—so romantic—heroic—passionate—a love indeed (and here his voice was suddenly broken) something that I cannot accept from anybody without warning him back, back! I mean back if coming to me from any man. Sometimes you have troubled me—frightened me. I cannot, I will not, try to tell you why this is so. But so it is. Our friendship must be friendship as the world of to-day accepts friendship! Yes, as the world of our day does. God! What else could it be to-day. Friendship? What else—to-day?"
"Not the friendship which is love, the love which is friendship? " I said in a low voice; indeed, as I now remember more than half to myself.
Imre was looking at the darkened sky, the gray lawn—into the vague distance—at whatsoever was visible save myself. Then his glance was caught by the ghostly marble of the monument to the young Z… heroes, at which I too was staring. A tone of appeal came as he continued:
"Once more, I beg, I implore you, not to make the mistake of—of thinking me cold-natured. I, cold-natured? Ah, ah! If you knew me better, you'd not pack that notion into your trunks for London! Instead, believe that I value unspeakably all your friendship for me, dear Oswald. Time will prove that. I have had no friend like you, I believe. But though friendship can be a passion—can cast a spell over us that we cannot comprehend nor unbind"—here he withdrew his hand and pointed to the memorial-stone set up for those two human hearts that after so ardently beating for each other, were now but dust—"it must be only a spiritual, manlike regard! The world thought otherwise once. The world thinks—as it thinks—now. And the world, to-day's world, must decide for us! Friendship now—now—must stay as the, man of our day understands it, Oswald. That is, if the man deserves the name, and is not to be not classed as some sort of an incomprehensible—womanish—outcast—counterfeit—a miserable puzzle—born to be every genuine man's contempt!"
We had come, once more, suddenly, fully, and because of me, on the topic which we had touched on, that night of our Lánczhíd walk! But this time I faced it, in a sense of fatality and finality; in a rash, desperate desire to tear a secret out of myself, to breathe free, to be true to myself, to speak out the past and the present, so strangely united in these last few weeks; to reserve nothing, cost what it might. My hour had come!
"You have asked me to listen to you!" I cried. Even now I feel the despair, I think I hear the accent of it, with which I spoke. "I have heard you! Now I want you to listen to me! I wish to tell you a story. It is out of one man's deepest yet daily life—my own life. Most of what I wish to tell happened long before I knew you. It was far away, it was in what used to be my own country. After I tell it, you will be one of very few people in all the world who have known, who have even suspected what happened to me. In telling you, I trust you with my social honour—with all that is outwardly and inwardly myself. And I shall probably pay a penalty, just because you hear the wretched history, Imre—you! For before it ends, it has to do with you; as well as with something that you have just spoken of, so fiercely! I mean—how far a man, deserving to be called a man, refusing, as surely as God lives and has made him, to believe that he is—what did you call him?—'a miserable, womanish counterfeit—outcast'—even if he be incomprehensible to himself—how such a being can suffer and be ruined in- his innermost life and peace, by a soul-tragedy which he the night that we talked, as we crossed the Lánczhíd. No, that is not true! I could not then. But I can now. For I may never see you again. You talk of our 'knowing' each other! I wish you to know me. And I could never write you this, never! Will you hear me, Imre?—patiently?"can hide—must hide! I could have told you all on
"I will hear you patiently—yes, Oswald—if you think it best to tell me. Of that pray think, carefully."
"It is best! I am tired of thinking of it. It is time you knew."
"And I am really concerned in it?"
"You are immediately concerned. That is to say, before it ends. You will see how."
"Then you would better go on—of course."
He consented thus, in the constrained but decided tone which I have indicated as so often recurring during the evening, adding—"I am ready, Oswald."
The North-Aunerican (by such term indicating particularly the United States) with his nervosity, his impressionability, his complex fusion of bloods and of racial traits, even when of directly British stocks, is usually far more "temperamental" than the English. He has offered interesting excursions at least towards, if not always into, the homosexual library. His novels, verses and essays have pointed out a racial uranianism. In the United States and adjacent British possessions, the prejudices and restrictions as to literature philarrhenic in accent, are quite as positive as in Great Britain. The authour or publisher of a homosexual book, even if scientific, not to speak of a belles-lettres work, will not readily escape troublesome consequences. Even psychiatric works from medical publishers are hedged about with conditions as to their publication and sale. Nevertheless, similisexualism is far from being an unknown note in American belles-lettres, and has even achieved its classics.
An American poet, who has assumed an international significance and cult—well-deserved—Walt Whitman, can be regarded through a large proportion of his most characteristic verse, as one of the prophets and priests of homosexuality. Its atmosphere pervades Whitman's poems; being indeed an almost inevitable concurrent of the neo-hellenic, platonic democracy of Whitman's philosophic muse. One series of Whitman's earlier poetic utterances, at once psychologic and lyric, the famous "Calamus" group in "Leaves of Grass", out of dispute stands as among the most openly homosexual matters of the sort, by idealizing (but sensually idealizing) man-to-man love, psychic and physical, that modern literature knows; in virility far beyond the verse of Platen; while Whitman much exceeds Platen in giving physical expressiveness to what he sings. Of Whitman's own personal homosexualism there can be n'o question, if anyone be acquainted with the intimate story of the "good gray poet's long life." Episodes in his reminiscences called "Hospital Sketches" (many others were never put into print) are personally significant enough. Whitman's choice of intimates, too was significant. The tie with the young Irish tram-driver, Peter Doyle,was only one of the Whitmanian divagations of the kind. To women, Whitman was sexually quite indifferent; philosophically contemptuous of them. In physical type the magnificent manly beauty of Whitman, and its endurance, even late in his life, are in key with his philarrhenic nature. To cite more than a few of Whitman's expressions of uranianism, from his poetry only, is impossible here, and perhaps not necessary. For the sake of illustrating to readers who do not know him at all in such guise, are here appended passing instances from "Leaves of Grass"—including of course, some in the "Calamus" section;
"A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room, around the stove,
late of a winter-night, and I unremarked seated in a corner.
Of a youth who loves me, and whom I love, silently approaching
and seating himself near me, that he may hold me by the hand
A long while; amid the noises of coming and going of drinking and
oath and smutty jest.
There we two—content, happy in being together, speaking little,
perhaps not a word."
"… Whichever the sex, whatever the season or place, he may go freshly
and gently and safely, by day or by night;
He has the pass-key of all hearts, to him the responses of the
prying of hands on the knobs;
Pis welcome is universal—the flow of beauty is not more welcome
or universal than he;
The person he favours by day, or sleeps with at night is blessed."
"O tan-faced prairie-boy!
Before you came into camp came many a welcome gift;
Praises and presents came, and nourishing food, till at last
among the recruits
You came—taciturn, with nothing to give. We but looked on each other,
When, lo, more than all the gifts of the world you gave me!"
"… Behold me, well-clothed, going gaily or returning in the afternoon,
my brood of tough boys accompanying me,
My brood of grown and part-grown boys, who love to be with no
one else so well as to be with me;
By day to work with me, and by night to sleep with me."
"I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
Was called by my nighest name, by clear loud voices of young men,
as they saw me approaching or passing;
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
their flesh against me as I sat;
Saw many I loved, in the street or ferry-boat, or public assembly,
but never told them a word ……
Sound out, voices of young men I loudly and musically call me by
my nighest name !',
"… The beauty of all adventurous and daring persons,
The beauty of wood-boys and wood-men, with their clear untrimmed
"… I sit by the restless all the dark night; some are so young,
Some suffer so much? I recall the experiences sweet and sad.
Many a soldier's loving arms about this neck have crossed and rested,
Many a soldier's kiss dwells on these bearded lips."
"… One turns to me his appealing eyes—poor boy, I never knew you,
Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that
[would save you."
"Armed regiments arrive everyday, pass through the city, and embark
from the wharves.
How good they look as they tramp down to the river, sweaty, with
their guns on their shoulders!
How I love them! How I could hug them!—with their brown faces,
and their clothes and knapsacks covered with dust."
"Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poet.
I whisper with my lips close to your ear,
"I have loved many women and men—but I love none better than you."
"What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver, as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman, drawing his seine by the shore, as I
[walk by and pause?"
"Are you the new person drawn toward me?…
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
"Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?"
"I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing.
All alone it stood, and the moss hung down from its branches.
Without any companion it stood there, uttering joyous leaves of green.
But I wondered how it could utter joyous leaves, standing alone there,
Without its friend near; for I know I could not.
And I broke off a twig … and brought it away …
Yet it remains to me, a curious token, it makes me think of manly love:
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana,
solitary, in a wide, flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life—without a friend, a lover near—
I know very well I could not!
In a large succession of Whitman's philosophico-political poems he accents the idea of the importance of masculine ties on lines of the old hellenic sort—the Sacred Band—as vital to the State, in the restoration of the true democracy. As in the following:
"I will sing the song of companionship
I believe these are to found their own ideals of manly love.
I will let flame forth from me the burning fires that were
threatening to consume me.
I will lift what has too long kept down these smouldering fires,
I will give them complete abandonment:
I will write the evangel-poem of comrades and of love.
For who but I should understand love, with all its sorrow and joy?
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?"
"I dreamed in a dream I saw a city, invincible to the attacks of
the whole earth.
I dreamed that that was the new city of Friends.
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led
It was seen every hour in the actions of men,
And in all their looks and words."
"… I believe the main purport of these States is to found a superb
friendship, exaltée, previously unknown;
Because I perceive it waits, and always has been waiting, latent in
"… Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine, magnetic lands,
With the love-of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades!"
"… Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer, before
I think where I go—
O, here I last saw him that tenderly loves me, and returns again,
never to separate from me."
"Ah, lover and perfect equal!
I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections;
And I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you."
"O you, to whom I often and silently come where you are, that I may
be with you
As I walk by your side, or sit near, or remain in the same room
Little you know the subtle electric fire that, for your sake, is playing
… I ascend, I float in the regions of your love, O man!
O sharer of my roving life!
There are dozens of such passages in Whitman. They culminate in certain outspoken idyls of psychic and physical homosexuality; as the impassioned nocturne, "When I heard at the close of the day"; the threnody "Vigil strange I kept on the field one night"! in many lines of "The Song of the Open Road"—which ends with its manly, joyful acclaim of the comrade-lover "Camarado, I will give you my hand in the retrospective "As I lay with my head in your lap, Camerado"; and in the lines ending "Paumanok" that are like an orgasm—"O, Camarado, close! O you and me at last, and only!" In numerous utterances Whitman, proclaims his socratic mission; admits the accusation of immorality that is cast at him; retorts with his intention to he frightened by no modern conventionalities; hints his recognition of the uranian nature of Christ; affirms the profound and antique concept of male love, which modern religions and ethics obscure. In the most solemnly, widely purposeful, as in the most lyrically personal Whitman, whom we meet throughout "Leaves of Grass", is to be heard a new voice, if with an accent classically old, in its philosophic message of conviction as to the purity, the naturalness of true uranian love and its high mission to the individual and toward nations.
By a coincidence, perhaps not quite unintentional, an American poet of the immediate day, W. E. Davenport, who follows the verse-structure (or no-structure) of Whitman, lately published in a leading New York magazine an hellenic vignette "The Parting" that might have been written by the youth-adoring Whitman himself. It seems to be an Italian reminiscence:
"After so much of, art, pictures, statues, rich and towering churches,
And nature's infinite splendid sights, my South-Italian mountain-towns—Agnone, Sala, Acri and Cosenza—
Sticks in my mind one simple scene, of cheerful, fond intent—befitting not the expense of many lines:
A teacher scarcely old, a traveler, seer of sights and observer of men and their ways,
By a group of youths at eve in the open street surrounded.
Of these—their pleased looks, their manners, easy, free, full of cheerful resolve;
Their wit, brightness, mirth, courtesy, confidence, outstreched hands, with or without words—
And he, the elder, pleased just as much, easy and confident as they—
Toward dusk in the street, before the hotel, bidding good-by;
Saying only, "Good-night, good-night, we shall see each other again."
of the Day.
Several contemporary poets of the United states, older and younger, have interjected the accent of at least psychic uranianism in their verses, though none known to the present writer approach Whitman in loftiness, directness and clarity. Professor George E. Woodberry, of Columbia University, is the authour of a long elegy, giving title to a volume, "The North-Shore Watch;" a retrospect and lament inspired by the death of a lad—a poem hellenically passional, and of superiour poetic quality. Noticeable, passim, is also the poetry frequently tending to the sort of psychology here in question (though unequal in inspiration) by the Canadian-American, Bliss Carman.
In prose, as in verse, of American origin, the connection between the addresses of ardent and absorbing friendship and a stronger emotion is not one to be taken for granted, any more than in belles-lettres not in English. In Emerson's neo-grecian attitude to friendship, in his essays and his poetry, there is no clear uranian suggestion. To read uranianism between even such Emersonian lines as those that say that only through the friend is the sky blue, the rose red, the fountains of hidden life fair, is not by warrant. The same reserve applies to numerous contemporaries, including many in minor letters. Here and there, however, in current American periodicals, occur tales or. poems of at least a two-coloured psychic suggestion. In the chapter on military uranianism, was mentioned a recent volume, "The Spirit of Old West-Point" a charming series of reminiscences of cadet-days, by General Morris Schaf. In certain sketches of the late H. C. Bunner something of the uranian strain occasionally echoes. An openly homosexual novelette, apparently unique in such an explicit category in America, came many years ago from a New York journalist—"A Marriage Below Zero", signed with the pen-name "Alan Dale". The story, not one of any artistic development, narrates (in the person of a neglected wife) her marriage with an uranian, apparently a passivist, who cannot shake off his sexual bondage to an older and coarser man, an officer. The story ends in the young husband's suicide in Paris, after an homosexual scandal has ostracised him.
In the charming "South-Sea Idyls" of Charles Warren Stoddard, a Californian writer, and university-professor, occur episodes and suggestions of uranian complexion; though in case of a book so light-heartedly fantastic it is difficult to say where the personal and absolutely reminiscent are to be understood. Kána-Aná, Niga, Zebra, Joe, are eloquent as personalities. For example, can be cited here a fragment of the narration of one of the authour's predilections—the beautiful lad Kána-Aná, to whom is devoted the chapter "Chumming with a Savage:"
"… I knew I was to have an experience with this young scion of a race of chiefs. Sure enough I have had it. He continued to regard me steadily, without. He seated himself before me; I felt myself at the mercy of those questioning eyes. This sage inquirer was perhaps sixteen years of age I saw a round, full, rather girlish face; lips ripe and expressive, not quite so sensual as those of most of his race; not a bad nose, by any means; eyes perfectly glorious,—regular almonds—with the mythical "lashes that sweep," etc., etc. The smile which presently'transfigured his face, was of the nature that flatters you into submission against your will."
"Having weighed me in his balance—and you may be sure his instincts didn't cheat him—they don't do that sort of thing—he placed his two hands on my knees and declared, "I was his best friend, as he was mine; I must come at once to his house, and there live, always, with him." What could I do but go?… This was our little plan—an entirely private arrangement between Kána-Aná and myself. I was to leave, with the Doctor, in an hour; but at the expiration of a week, we should return hither; then I would stop with Kána-Aná, and the Doctor would go his ways."
"There was an immense amount of secrecy and many vows, and I was almost crying, when the Doctor hurried me up that terrible precipice, and we lost sight of the beautiful valley. Kána-Aná swore he would watch continually for my return, and I vowed I'd hurry back, and so we parted. Looking down from the heights, I thought, I could distinguish his white garment; at any rate I knew the little fellow was somewhere about, feeling as miserably as I felt—and nobody has any business to feel worse. How many times I thought of him through that week! I was always wondering if he still thought of me. I had found those natives to be impulsive, demonstrative, and—I feared—inconstant. Yet why should he forget me,—having so little to remember in his idle life, while I could still think of him, and put aside a hundred pleasant memories for his sake? I often wondered if I should ever again behold such a series of valleys, hills, and highlands, in so small a compass. That land is a world in, the dearest spot of which to me was that secluded valley, for there was a young soul watching for my return."
"That was rather a slow week for me; but it ended finally. And just at sunset, on the day appointed, the Doctor and I found ourselves back on the edge of the valley … I heard the approach of a swift horseman, I turned; and at that moment there was a collision of two constitutions that were just fitted for one another; and all the doubts and apprehensions of the week just over were dismissed; for Kána Aná and I were one and inseparable-which was perfectly satisfactory to both parties."
"The plot which had been thickening all the week, culminated then, much to the disgust of the Doctor, who had kept his watchful eye upon me all three days—to my advantage, as he supposed. There was no disguising the project any longer; so I came out with it, as mildly as posible—"There was a dear fellow here" I said, "who loved me, and wanted me to live with him. Also all his people wanted me to stop—his mother and his grandmother had specially desired it … I needed rest; his mother and his grandmother assured me that I needed rest. Now, why not let me rest here awhile?" The Doctor looked very grave. He tried to talk me over to the paths of virtue and propriety; but I wouldn't be talked over … The Doctor never spoke again but to abuse me; and off he rode, in high dudgeon, and the sun kept going down on his wrath. I resolved to be a barbarian, and perhaps to dwell forever and ever in this secluded spot."
"Over the sand we went, and through the river to Kána Aná's hut, where I was taken in, fed and petted in every possible way; and finally put to bed, where Kána Aná monopolized me—growling in true savage fashion if anyone came near me. I didn't sleep much after all. I think I must have been excited. I though how strangely I was situated—alone, in a wilderness, among barbarians; my bosom-friend, who was hugging me like a young bear, not able to speak one syllable of English, and I very shaky on a few bad phrases in his tongue. We two lay upon an enormous, old-fashioned bed with high posts—very high they seemed to me in the dim rush-light. The natives always burn a small light after dark; some superstition or other prompts it. The bed, well stocked with pillows or cushions, of various sizes, covered with bright-colored chintz, was hung about with numerous shawls, so that I might be dreadfully modest behind them … I found our bedposts festooned with flowers in the morning .. Oh, that bed! It might have come from England, in the Elizabethan era, and have been wrecked off the coast—hence the mystery of its presence. It was big enough for a Mormon."
"There was a little opening in the room, opposite our bed; you might call it a window, I suppose. The sun shining through it, made our tent of shawls perfectly gorgeous in crimson light, barred and starred with gold. I lifted our bed-curtain and watched the rocks through this window—the shining rocks, with the sea leaping above them in the sum I wondered what more I could ask for to delight my eye. Kána-Aná was still , but he never let loose his hold on me, as though he feared his pale-faced friend would fade away from him. He lay close beside me. His sleek, figure, supple and graceful in repose, was the embodiment of free, untrammeled youth … I dropped of into one of those delicious morning naps. I awoke, again presently; my companion-in-arms was the occasion, this time. He had awakened, stolen softly away, resumed his single garment—said garment, and all others, he considered superfluous after dark—and had prepared for me, with his own hands, a breakfast; which he now declared to me, in violent and suggestive pantomime, was all ready to be eaten …
"If it is a question how long a man can withstand the seductions of nature, and the consolations and conveniences of the state of nature, I had solved it in one case; for I was as natural as possible, in about three days."
The relation between Kána-Aná and the narrator ends in the death of the lad, after the latter has visited • America with his friend, and has returned to his island, but not to happiness; his young spirit out of poise by his experiences in civilization, miserable without his friend, and ever pining away, untill he is drowned in the sea—by accident or intention. The sketch ends:
"I can see you, my beloved—sleeping naked, in the twilight of the west. The winds kiss your pure and fragrant lips. The sensuous waves invite you to their embrace. Earth offers you her varied store. Partake of the offering and be satisfied. Return, O troubled soul, to your first and natural joys; they were given you by the Divine hand that can do no ill … Dear comrade, pardon and absolve your spiritual adviser for seeking to remould so delicate a soul as yours; and though neither prophet nor priest, I yet give you the kiss of peace at parting, and the benediction of unceasing love."
In Italian fiction (notably a crudely physical sketch, of slight literary quality, by Giorgio uranian muse, who is nevertheless not Urania., entitled "Ermafrodito," in that writer's "Turpi Amori') are contributions to the topic that are more or less explicit. In Italian verse we have also the promptings of that
In Scandinavian literature of the day names of several writers of greater or lesser note suggest themselves—including some of the Strindberg school. The pederastic homosexuality of that charming fabulist and mystic. Hans Christian Andersen was recently the subject of a close and affirmative German study.
As one acquaints himself with the personalities of many a distinctly uranian man of letters, and realizes the unrest, the solitude, the disappointments, the agonies of soul which have entered into lives, if not always into printed pages, he realizes the truth of a sonnet by a French uranian already cited, Jacques Adelswärd-Fersen:
"Vous qui lisez nos vers au clair de votre lampe
Et feuilletez nos cœurs avec un doigt distrait,
O vous, les inconnus, qui, sachant nos secrets,
Ecoutez le sang battre aux veines de nos tempes.
Vous qui, l'esprit tranquille et les sens apaisés,
Demandez à nos cris l'émotion divine,
Et sous votre douleur voulez que l'on devine
Les agonies du Rêve et l'espoir écrasé,
O vous, qui froidement, désirez la torture
Et dépecez à vif nos cruelles amours,
Qui cherchez dans un livre l'éphémère toujours
En oubliant nos noms, nos vies et nos blessures,
Pensez à ces instants de sauvages douleurs
Où notre enthousiasme au désespoir se brise,
Et pour que votre esprit trouve notre âme exquise,
A ce qu'un de nos vers doit contenir de pleurs!
ture, Music, etc.
As has been said here, the Uranian meets us in no other career and life so plainly and so often as in the directly æsthetic atmosphere. He turns toward the even more spontaneously and successfully than to letters; for literature requires a far firmer Intellectuality than is demanded in painting, sculpture or music. Indeed, the Intersexual, though a long way from being (in the scornful phrase of the of the philistine) "good for nothing else" except art, seems often to us not as "good for anything else. He is aesthetically receptive, because of his natural predilection for what is concretely beautiful. He is productive in them because the finer uranian nature inclines to produce and to diffuse, even subsconsciously, what is beautiful. Again, in creating out of marble or on canvas the beauty of the male physique, the uranian utters his sexual creed. Generally he cannot publish it to the world any more plainly, and not more sympathetically. He turns to his chisel, to his palette, to his score, to his pianoforte, as a refuge. His physique is often adapted to only such a life. The relative unintellectuality and emotionality of several of the arts are consonant with his type, be what inspires him valuable or trivial, a jewel or paste.
reers and Envi-
ronments as a Re-
fuge for Uranians.
Fortunate is that æsthetic homosexual who can really live a life of art, professionally and completely. A thousand traits of his type are accepted in such a situation as being intelligible, interesting, appropriate, excusable, even laudable; in many cases as matters of course; all of which, were he not of a distinctively artist-profession, would be remarked, questioned, satirized, or suspected of being "vicious." Uranian effeminacies and degeneracies are passed lightly by, as being mere artistic "eccentricities." Hazy scandals are smiled at, if not too frequent. Even scandals not hazy are dismissed by the public in amiable indifference, as part of the aesthetic privilege. "Artist are all such children—sometimes such naughty children!"—"Oh these musical people!—these painting people!—these sculptors! They are not like the rest of us I They really must not be judged like common mortals!" Such tolerant dicta are not misapplied to similisexuals in art-life; for, we may repeat it, the uranian in much is the Eternal Child.
Not only does absorption in the arts hide the homosexual nature from friends and from the public, not only do necessities of this or that branch of aesthetic work screen the sexual interests in the male, on the part of the homosexual man. They do more. When the homosexual is not clear as to his own nature, and cannot reconcile—with his moral conscience or religious training—his intense sensitiveness to masculine beauty, cannot analyze the dominance of the male over his emotions, then his professional art can obstruct his growing wiser as to himself—whether to his advantage or to his loss. For many intersexual men, art is a sort of psychic outlet, not necessarily enlightening. A surging idealism, whole currents of philarrhenic sexuality, spend themselves in the. studio and concert. The very body is sometimes (by no means always) "kept down," by a kindlier régime than that of a cloister—by enthusiastic art-work.
Good morals have no necessary relations to aesthetic genius. To produce the very beautiful does not mean that the producer is very good. We discover, in studying the æsthetic uranian, that repulsive, effeminate, grossly sensual, despicable men have demostrated superbly their superbly artistic natures. In this, the uranian presents a contrast to similisexuals in the military, intellectual, and otherwise robust life. Still, the dionysian chronicle'of art is far longer in the same unsatisfactory tenor. The biography of art is convincing proof that art does not per se ennoble, does not refine, does not strengthen, does not ethically uplift the moral or intellectual man; a vast amount of sentimental theorizing to the contrary.
and Italy, and in
It is easy to see why many painters and sculptors have been similisexuals. They turn to it instinctively, in admiration of male forms. Such are nude in the studio by prescription. The delight in reproducing them is perennial to artists. Joy in their study is part of the homosexual's sense of the superiority of masculine beauty to feminine. Often the comely model becomes the Beloved.
We need not wonder at tales of the uranistic passions of classic Greek and Roman sculptors, during the far-away epochs of Hellas. As sculpture advanced in idealism, and as a preferential sense of the beauty of a youth intensified, as Greek social culture, Greek athletics, the Greek religion (with the very gods as homosexualists and pederasts) progressed, also developed philarrhenism. So was it in Rome. The Renaissance brought into the studio of marble-carver or painter, at the potency of the uranian impulses, all the plastic beauty of the naked male. In Italy especially, the Renaissance art took pederastic tinges; and a beautiful, budding youth became even more sensitively admired and desired than a virile young man. In vain did Savonarola cry out against pederasty, sodomy in Florence; a city notably homosexual in its proletariat to-day.
We have seen that Michelangiolo's best verses were inspired by homosexual and pederastic-uranistic love. In his social and artistic life and career, Buonarroti never is interested clearly by a woman sexually. He was incapable psychically of such desire. But one or another young man was continually and successively taking the place of such "normal love" in the soul of the great sculptor and painter and architect. A pederastic emotion of the sort was his feeling for a beautiful boy of seventeen named Cecchino dei Bracchi. Cecchino was already the beloved of another noble Florentine. Luigi dei Ricci, of Buonarroti's social circle. But there was no rivalry between Michelangiolo and Ricci. One letter from Michelangiolo to Ricci, accompanying an ardent madrigal to Cecchino by the poet-sculptor, Michel Angelo tells Ricci could be "thrown into the fire—that is to say into that thing which consumes me." At the same time, Buonarroti recounts a strange dream of young Cecchino which has come to him. When Cecchino died suddenly, Buonarroti wrote a set of elegiac quatrains to his memory. (A sonnet penned after this grief is often cited.) The sentiment in Buonarroti for his handsome friend Tommaso Cavalieri, is recorded in several other Sonnets, including that which terminates with a play on the Italian word for "Knight"; a declaration that the writer "abides the captive of an armed knight." The colour of this intimacy with Cavalieri becomes more definite by their correspondence. Unfortunately representatives of the Buonarroti family have thought proper to suppress many of these letters, along with others, because of their homosexual tinge. Also uranistic was Michelangiolo's passion for Febo di Poggi, to whom he wrote many eloquent love-letters. Buonarroti never married. His sexual insensibility to woman influenced his want of artistic expressiveness as to the female figure and the female face. Buonarroti's feminine types are amazonian, androgynous beings; more like athletes than women, in their heavy contours. In one sonnet—numbered usually as "LIII", Buonarroti deprecates the love of man for a woman, as compared with man's love for a male. It is not be forgotten that Michelangiolo's poetry and correspondence, especially in the English translations, has long been edited and adapted, by timorous Anglo-Saxons, so as to give the reader the impression that their passional quality was ever inspired by feminine loves. This dexterous travesty has only lately been discontinued. There are now faithful English versions obtainable, especially that superior one by J. A. Symonds. Symonds particularly clears away the old idea (on which have been written volumes of mis-statements) that Buonarroti's admiration and friendship with that elderly, learned lady, Vittoria Golonna was of a warmer hue; and that some of Buonarroti's sonnets were addressed to her, instead of to masculine objects. The sentiment from Buonarroti to the gifted Vittoria was unsexual—intellectual. The sculptor who carved the Young David, or the Torso in the Accademia in Florence, the famous Christ of the Santa Maria in Minerva at Rome, or he who painted the robustly naked males crowding the frescos of the Sistine Chapel, could not conceive of a Venus on canvas or in marble worthy of his immortality!
Buonarroti was not alone in his epoch in Italy as uranistic in nature. Raphael was a dionysian-uranian, turning psychically now to the male, now the female. Bazzi the Sienese, one of the most individualized of all the Renaissance painters, derived his nickname, "Sodoma" and sanctioned its use in public—at Siena—from his tastes and practices; being withal a superior and respected man, in spite of his eccentric life. Correggio, Bronzino and Guercino were uranistic. Benvenuto Cellini, in his famous "Autobiography," gives us many hints at his pederastic homosexualism; such as the episode of Cellini's sudden flight to Venice when accused of sodomy with his handsome studio-aid, Cencio; later, his being flatly taxed with the habit, by a spiteful rival, in presence of the Pope; and the fact that Cellini was imprisoned on direct charges of the sort, by a cabal, in 1556.
One of the renowned sculptors in the Seventeenth Century, the Fleming Jérôme Duquesnoy, was not only homosexual but came to his tragic death by a pederastic charge. Jérôme's great brother François (commonly mentioned in Flemish art as "Le Flameng", or "Le Flamand") has somewhat overshadowed Jérôme in fame, but was of no finer talent. In fact in Flemish art, Jérôme Duquesnoy is without superior. He lived and studied in Rome, at the same time that his brother François, with Antony Van Dyck and many other brilliant young artists of the North were students in Italy. Jérôme and François were not harmonious in temperaments, and their quarrels have led biographers even to accuse Jérôme of having tried to poison François—a groundless charge. Some time earlier, Van Dyck also had come to Rome, to reside for a time. The two brothers Duquesnoy awhile were wholly separated; though Van Dyck maintained a close intimacy with both. In fact, Italian pederasty was strongly influential on the Northern colony in Rome at this time—as ever; for not only Jérôme Duquesnoy but François and Van Dyck became sensibly affected by its æsthetie elements. Jérôme Duquesnoy left Italy and went to Spain for a time; and after halts in Italian and French cities, he set out for Flanders along with his brother, who died suddenly at Leghorn. A brilliant professional career in Flanders began for the sculptor, once back in his own land. He executed commissions for the most important art-patronage of Belgium, and became official Court-sculptor. He went to Ghent, to complete the magnificent tomb of the Bishop of St. Bavon. In Ghent, ruin overtook the unfortunate Uranian. He was accused of sodomy with two young lads, acolytes of St. Bavon's Church, who had been his models. He was condemned. Every effort to save his life was frustrated, because of vehement clerical hostility. His magnificent private collections were confiscated; and he was strangled and burned in September, 1654.
The accent of similisexualism, "not distinctly of pederasty, attaches to Van Dyck, that most "cavalier" of portraitists, whose sense of physical beauty and distinction in both men and women was so fine. Van Dyck's psychos seems to have been dionysian-uranian, in many aesthetic aspects. There is a strain of uranianism in the personality and work of Raphael Mengs (1728-1779) the once much-admired painter—an intimate Mend of the archeologist Winckelman; although Mengs was considerably "a married man", in his attitude toward domestic and social life. Anecdotes more amusing than edifying are in key with Mengs's bisexuality.
It is not in the province of this study to catalogue, contemporary painters and sculptors to be counted as uranistic; now in one degree and phase, now another. The studios of London, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Naples, New York and anywhere else acquaint one with names of homosexual artists of the first importance in art of to-day The list is not limited to the less practical of aesthetic arts. Architecture, that almost uniquely virile and intellectual of aesthetic professions; designing applied in commercial connections; the finer industries, where the intimate sense of the beautiful has essentially a large part—these callings offer the practical uranian abundant fields for his gifts.
Music and Drama
Reviewing all artistic temperaments and genetic classes, we find that music and the dramatic stage present the greatest census of uranians. Singers, players, composers, amateurs "passionately fond of music", actors of all ranks—they seem genetically homosexual. A crude saying among the observers of uranianism is—"Show me a Jew and you show me an—Uranian." A like statement might run "Show me a musician and show show me a homosexual." Doubtless music is preeminently the Uranian's art. His emotional nature goes out to it and in it, as in no other. This occurs though his understanding of music as an art may be most limited.
Nature of Music.
Not superficially is music among finer aesthetics; it is the most neurotic, the most "essential", the most subtly nerve-disturbing of arts. Music, as a mystery in aesthetics, unites logically with uranianism as a deep problem in psychology. Precisely what music "says", when we think it "says" something, and has such or such a "message" to us, we really do not in the least know. The dog who howls during a symphony or a waltz, in what we call his canine "nervousness" perhaps understands music far better than the greatest composer that has ever lived. The more complex music has become, the less appears its beneficence; originally doubtful. The neurotic character of music reaches its contemporary height in Wagner and Richard Strauss. Nerve-exciting as are the scores of many other operatic giants, none have quite so concrete an action on the nervous system, affecting both musical and unmusical auditors. Here clearly cultivated tastes or quite the contrary are in question. Hence the popularity of Wagner, himself a homosexual nature, and of Richard Strauss. If we turn from the formalized neurotism of such great composers we may say that no music seems as directly sexual as the Magyar; wonderfully beautiful in its rhythms, melodies and harmonies. And the Magyar is a distinctively 'sexual' racial type.
Music an Eternal
Sphynx of Art.
It can be theorized further, that music has an articulate significance, seemingly dangerous. Is it not possibly a language, the broken diction of intenser existences, of which we catch troublous accents?—a speech which if—or because?—misunderstood cannot be for the good of mankind? Is the eternally music-loving, music-making, intersexual Uranian verily a sort of creature from another sphere?—still in touch with it?—an "Overman", an "Over-Soul?—one ever sharply sensitive to the language of his early Somewhere Else, and alert to the chief medium for its communications, however little he or we may now understand it?
Composers present homosexual types; during either all their lives, or portion of them. The supreme secret of the noble-natured and moral Beethoven seems to have been an idealized homosexualism. In Beethoven's sad latest days, can be traced a real passion for that unworthy nephew Carl; who, it is said, once sought to extort money from Beethoven, on threats to disclose an homosexual relationship! Beethoven's beautiful sonata, Opus 111, in often called among German and Austrian Uranians, "The Uranian Sonata", from some legendary "in-reading" of the work. The death of the brilliant and unhappy Russian composer Tschaikowsky has been affirmed (if denied with equal conviction) as a suicide, not a sudden illness, in consequence of terror of a scandal that hung over him—a relative being spoken of as the persecutor. Some homosexual hearers of Tschaikowsky's last (and most elegiac) symphony, known as the "Pathetic" claim to find in it such revelations of a sentimental-sexual kind that they have nicknamed the work the "Pathic" Symphony. Brahms and the colossal Bruckner have been characterized as "the ultimate voices in a homosexual message by symphonic music"; even if one sub-consciously uttered.
of Music and
Gustav Naumann lately has Written a brochure on the. theory that art is living, interesting and alluring solely because of its sexual power and sexual quality; solely because of direct working on the sexual instincts of men and women. This influence may exist, even when they are not aware of it, by inseparably sensuo-sexual aspects of the artistic product or performance which they admire. Naumann lays stress on modern dramatic music (especially Wagner's) as "disturbing." our natural sexual harmony and wholesome repose of being; as acting on it unfavourably and excitingly. He claims that chaster and more classic forms of music have a tranquilizing operation; are in better sexual accord with the healthful man. The argument is interesting certainly. Most, if not all all, music seems indissolubly connected with the nervous-generative systems, in men and beasts. If some finer, forms, styles and schools of it do not seem at all sexuo-nervously irritant they are those that are palely elementary, or to which humanity is now accustomed—much as it grows wonted to dubious airs, evil waters or harmful chemical beverages. Unless in simple, familiar ambients, our contemporary human race does not receive music in sexual calm. A pastoral melody on a flute, a ballad on a mandoline may soothe us, as we think; so minute is the unwholesome effect on us. As music's dramatic force and complexity thicken, we ourselves are much as beasts whose nerves quiver when a pianoforte is played, or when a sonorous is march sounded on a military band.
Wagner's music-dramas can be directly an agent of seduction; of loss of sexual control and self-poise. A noted European physician, a dionysian-uranian, once told the writer that a performance of "Tristan and Isolde" was always sufficient to excite him sexually, and that he knew many individuals on whom Wagner acted as an aphrodisiac. A distinguished French student of psychiatrics has stated that the Bayreuth Wagner Festivals represent a kind of homosexual forcing-house. This topic has been treated by the philosophic art-writer Kufferath. Wagner himself, with adroit audacity, chose a covertly homosexual subject for his ripest and most sensuous music-drama, "Parsifal". A fine study of this matter has been written by the well-known American critic, James G. Huneker, in an American periodical, in course of a "Parsifal" analysis, unfortunately not printed entire in the authour's studies as collected in book-form.
The æsthetic Uranian, absorbed in belles-lettres, in the graphic arts, in sculpture, in music or what else, is more likely to maintain many ideals, to be sexually "consistent with himself," to achieve union with superiour types, than is the unæsthetic. However well-born, well-bred, educated, and whatever his own personal, intellectual or social grade, the Uranian (as we have seen) often wishes nothing of "the gentleman", when he seeks sexual satisfactions. Nevertheless a sensitive artist sometimes selects a clumsy, able-bodied workman, or a common soldier, rather than more refined types. The law of physical and psychic completion makes this logical. Walt Whitman alludes to such a relish for "powerful, uneducated persons"—an inconsistent selection unless we analyze its psychology of complements.
Composition is a relatively intellectual phase of musically. But if we descend to lower uranistic musical levels, the proportion of musical artists, vocal or instrumental, professional or amateur, is enormous. In this trait, music is a huge sexual republic. Conductors, accompanyists, singers, pianists, violinists, 'cellists, organists, associates of the orchestras of the world, now here, now there, are well-known (at least in confidential circles of uranism) for homosexual lives. Their adventures are the subjects of a thousand and one racontars. Not long ago, a homosexual singer was seated one evening with a dionian friend in a leading lyric theater, and pointed the attention of his companion to the fact that the composer of the opera, the conductor, the tenor, the baritone, the assistant stage-manager of the performance, and the secretary of the establishment were "all Uranians." The singers in question were the objects of unlimited female admirations and aspirations. Just then, there entered a box near by a distinguished pianist of the day and a violinist famed in two hemispheres. "Those two also!" exclaimed the companion; and then in a burst of naive confidence—quite unsolicited—he added "And—and—so am I!"
In amateur musical life, the cultivated and aesthetic classes constantly present the homosexual male. The type inclines to effeminacy of at least psychic sort; but the exceptions, as to that are legion, and disprove most rules.
The dramatic stage would yield almost an equal census, especially in particular nationalities and localities. It has always done so from the days of Nero, of Paris and of Mnester till now. It always will do so. The fact is interesting that many actors who are most the subjects of sentimental admiration from women, on account of manly beauty, are uranistic. They cultivate a wide female-worship, for advertising or social convenience. Homosexual prostitution, the actor as entretenu, are by no means rare among the more mercenary adonises of the theater. Young actors often profit by the passions of rich male adorers. A notable scandal in a large European city, a few years ago, came from the sudden discovery by an elderly amateur of the play, amateur also of the handsome jeune premier—that the young'; man was false to him, despite a large subsidy. Four young Parisian actors of distinction are notoriously uranian. Another artiste on the French stage who has been called "the handsomest actor in France" is homosexual. One of the most distinguished of the protagonists in classic-romantic productions; also his colleague who just now is perhaps the most notable young comedian of Paris; another comedian adored by the smartest sets—all are homosexual. The most distinguished romantic actor on the German stage is uranian. The same may be said of a world-famous Austrian romantic actor, and of a dozen stars of the English stage—including one of an unusual popularity and beauty. But these are only types. Their like are legion. The late Viennese singer Theodore Reichmann had a long and successful life and career that was a tissue of homosexualism—either as to its romance or—crude materialism. Reichman left a long and minute diary, not likely to be published complete, so much would it displease Austrian censorship, and interest social Vienna.
Far less mysterious (indeed hardly any mystery) is the neurotic power of the spoken dramatic stage, compared with musical drama—music. But sexual excitement is often the essence of greater or lesser theatrism. Obviously plastic in the every-day theater, as on the operatic stage (but to more variety) the physical beauty of men, as of women, is minutely enhanced. The physique must be part of the attractive thrill. All the senses of sexual enjoyment and of a vague or vivid physical desire can be stirred,for the Uranian as he sits in his stall—in silence.
The philosopher may question whether a woman of robust, aggressive, fairly masculine mentality be not always contrary to true femininism. Certainly the student of the Uraniad-problem will often class personalities about him with the Intersexuals. Independent intellectual careers exert an "asexual" effect. "Learned women" have been happy wives and mothers, but these types are in the minority. Women of abnormal intellectualism are likely by temperament to be averse to marriage, or indifferent to it. From that attitude to an absolute similisexualism the degrees are few, particularly if intimacies of school-life and college-days have given women ideas of uranian relationships. When woman muscularizes her mind beyond the harmonious vigor to make her man's companion, without her being his rival, her natural quality of sexual sentiment often suffers. There is small sensibility in her toward the normal, passional love which attracts man and surrenders to him, in the highest type of intellectual-masculine women. She is less a heart than a brain,—a sexless mind.
The types, biographies and psychology of the intellectual and aesthetic Uraniad suggest a volume, not yet written; a capital study for some Uraniad. Distinguished and royal women have been mentioned in an earlier chapter; types whose masculinity sets them apart from their apparent sex, whether they are as warriors, sovereigns and stateswomen. The less aristocratic, and robustly male Uraniad is a wide study, impossible in this work.
A striking example is met in Anna Maria Schurmann, the Hollander, who attracted world-wide notice during the middle of the Seventeenth Century. She was a precocious girl, with an intellectual maturity early famed in Cologne, where she was born in 1607. A brother being a student at the University of Utrecht, Anna became his fellow-student, and graduated with high distinction. Her first literary successes were in the way of Latin poems; but soon such diversions were left behind. She continued her scientific, classical and artistic education, partly to assist her brother in his career (he was a remarkable scholar) partly in zeal of learning; and her abilities presently became universally applauded. She read, spoke and wrote some fourteen languages, with ease and precision, including Greek, Latin, most of the current European tongues and several Oriental ones. She compiled a grammar of the Ethiopic language simply as part of her study of it. She mastered philosophy, theology, and was "a library of scientific knowledge." She wrote forceful treatises; advanced important theories, being one of the; earliest women-writers of Germany to discuss the wider relations of women to intellectual and moral life; like the famous Italian savantes Lucretia Marinelli, Novella d'Andrea and the celebrated Frenchwoman, Marie de Jars-Courtenay. Anna Maria Schurmann also travelled widely, everywhere received by learned and distinguished men of science and literature. She became the object of pilgrimages of respect and curiosity on the part of the wise, the noble and the eminent. Christina of Sweden made her visit to Anna Maria a particular object. With her severer pursuits, Anna had pleasure and facility in the arts. She drew and painted, especially portraits, with superiour skill, carved in wood and stone, and embroidered elegantly. This last was one of her few specially feminine occupations; she was averse to the toilette, to cooking and household cares. In her later life she maintained close friendship with Labadie, the Calvinist theologian. (Its course was wholly intellectual.) With her mental distinction, Anna Maria Schumann possessed high moral qualities, and generously sacrificed herself for others. She never married. No heart-romance appears in her history. She was of strikingly masculine exterior, and had the air, the voice and tastes of men. She had friendships only with men; or—significant trait—with gentle, feminine and unintellectual women. She died in 1678, at an advanced age, with the wide recognition of learned Europe. If we cannot include her among among Uraniads, she is apart from true womankind; a neighbour of the second Intersex.
In the Intellectual Uraniad class, we can include many keenly professional women who quit the sphere of private and domestic life for practical science, higher educational work, or for solider departments of literature; as womenpoets, women-critics, women-novelists, editors, preachers, musicians, painters, architects. A proportion of specially serious-minded women, administrative in commerce and finance are Uraniads in temperament rather than "real" women. Frequently their sexual life accords. Many such women live together, where no other family-ties bind them to a less emancipated life. The intellectual Uraniad faces boldly the clamorous struggles in great literary and commercial commercial capitals of the world. She resorts to the great artistic and educational centers, for aesthetics and for a free life. London, Paris, New York, Berlin, Vienna and Munich are familiar with her. The Bourses and Wall Street and Capel Court often take note of her. In the bustling United States, many an Uraniad is "the right hand man" of the private-office, counting-room, shop and factory.
In social studies, essays, verse, and fiction the women-writers whose works have unfeminine aspects are endless. They occur especially in Anglo-Saxon, French, German and Scandinavian literatures. The personal or literary type of George Sand has little that is graciously womanish in it, though no feminosexual legend whatever attaches to the authour of "Consuelo." The English novelist George Eliot, though her sexual intimacy with Lewes contradicts her 'unfeminism,' was intellectually more intersexual than really womanly. Her long liaison with Lewes was not robustly sexual-passional on her side: and her marriage to another man (much her junior) later in her life was considerably a step of intellectual and social policy. On the other hand, no one can properly include the famous Mary Somerville as at all uraniad, save by her vigorous mind for the abstract.
Suggestive friendships of uraniad force and constancy are many among women of the intersexual type. In numerous cases their literary records are striking. Thus we remember from youth, the history of the famous "Two Ladies of Langollen", whose romantic retreat to a rural life, in the end of the eighteenth century, was so remarked. A biographical record of a long relationship, that seems to have has a strongly psychic uranianism, an an intersexual. quality in it, came a few years ago from an American lady, Miss A. C. Wood, in a volume "The Story Of A Friendship"; sketching the personality and life of Miss Irene Leache, a Virginian lady with whom Miss Wood had been intimately associated for more than thirty years. Their companionship was of exceptional closeness, excluding approach of any counter-sentiment to interrupt its, passional quality. Miss Leache had a nature of classic breadth and depth in its acceptances; was mystic, perceptive by intuition and virile; was, in fact, one of those magnetic types whose educative currents of mind impress themselves on even casual acquaintances. Her outward type—judging from her portrait—was equally of classic suggestiveness in the gentle gravity of the countenance, the philosophic repose of features, and the profound eyes.
The literature of Uraniadism, whether due to uraniad authours or quite impersonal as a study, including a large number of books by male writers, is a large aggregate. Much of it (indeed most of it) is in French, and by Frenchmen or Frenchwomen. By far the greater part of it depicts whatever is vitiating, grossly sexual, neurotic, "realistically physical and repulsive. Hundreds of novels have the feminosexual instinct as their theme, but to call them "literature" is a politeness. Two studies—so to say—presenting typical aspects, with more or less decency, are "Madame Adonis" by "Kachilde" and "Zéboïm" by Souillac. The story "Deux Amies" is also—conspicuous. Pierre Louys touches on the theme in his "Aphrodite " with delicate art. But there is not space or utility in entering here into the bibliography of uraniadism. The German literary catalogue is growing annually longer and of more acceptable traits in this curious field of fancy or fact. In English, there is chiefly pornography—of crudest kind.
Theater and Ura-
It is not likely that tho acting-stage will ever allow to uraniadism as openly suggestive doings—not merely hints of the feminine intersex—as are permitted to Uranianism; at least not such as some Paris theaters and music-halls have tolerated. In the autumn of 1908, was played at a well-known house, a piece called "L'Après-Midi Byzantine", by tho well-known Parisian authour and critic, Nozière. An openly sexual suggestiveness of the kind in question was an essential episode (as well as hinted homosexuality) which two actresses played as if—con amore. In the same season, came before a Paris police-court the cases of the proprietor of the "Little Palace" Theater, and of some others concerned in the affair (including four or five actresses) for "outrages to the public decency", by a far too realistic pantomime named "Griserie d'Ether," In this spectacle, Mademoiselle Bouzon and Mademoiselle Lepelly … "interprétaient une scène d'ivresse et de passion lesbienne … renversées sur un fauteuil" … in a semi-nude condition, and "se pressent contre elles, en caressant les seins, et en laissant les mains s'égarer plus bas …" The manager of the theater was fined and imprisoned—not heavily—for this scandalously uraniad audacity. The actresses were not punished.
Quite as the Uranian turns himself instinctively to the arts, so do we find the refined Uraniad in a grateful atmosphere when she is painter, sculptor, musician, actress, or busied in some one of the callings that are practical but aesthetic. Certain commercial gratify her sense of the beautiful and give her opportunity to be creative in it. They also keep her in close contact with lovely femininity. Of course, this type is widely removed from the unidealistic sorts in feminine intersexualism.
An interesting suggestion of the intersexual painter is met in the famous Madame Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1750-1842) not only lauded as a portraitist, but of notable intellectuality in many branches of letters and science. Mme. Lebrun married; but for reasons explicitly apart from sexual interests. As to their entire dismissal of them she had a solemn understanding with her elderly husband, before and after the ceremony. Dargenville remarks of her slyly—"I could well say of her, as of Madame Dacier, that under their traits as two illustrious women one saw two great—men."
An interesting recent example in aesthetics—productively—was Rosa Bonheur; a man in appearance, with not a little of the male in her vigorous artistic personality. Numerous such artists will recur to those who are familiar with the salons of to-day.
In music, we find often (as in the foregoing study of the Uranian) that the aesthetic Uraniad is passionately musical. Uraniad passions are met often in those female musicians conspicuous for bodily abnormality, and masculinity. They occur in the instances of female tenors, female baritones, female basses, such as are heard in "freak" concerts, or as artistic "curios" under more diginified conditions. A Berlin physician, who has a particular clientage among musical professionals, says that experience has led him to the conclusion that the contralto voice in a woman indicates an abnormal sexualism more than does a higher vocal timbre; that the deeper the female voice, the more to be suspected is intersexualism.
On the stage occur types of the masculine-feminine; presumptive or known Uraniads. Sometimes theatrical life offers a type of woman, who in spite of a normally sexual past seems more a man than many men, in her force of intellect, in her dismissal to the secondary plane most sentimental feminine interests. Such is Sarah Bernhardt; who has, with advancing years identified herself more and more with male roles, masculinizing her life, and uniting in her many-sided personality aspects of the intellectual and the physical of two sexes. In fact, this great actress's real sexual history is considerably uraniad; more than is well-known. A strongly uraniadistic actress (psychically) was the noted American tragedian, Charlotte Cushman. Like Sarah Bernhardt she was acceptable in male roles; at her best only in the severer and almost unfeminine characters, her bodily personality being rather virile than female. The French and Italian theatrical stage has a large contingent of uraniads of mark. One distinguished actress of Italy; also a South-Italian dramatic contralto; also a distinguished vocal instructress; a great German dramatic teacher; three female painters; a Scandinavian sculptress—all recur to the writer of these pages as being identified more or less as Uraniads. A noted female sculptor who died about a decade ago in Rome, was not only of masculine nature and physique, but carried far enough her sexual indifference to- everything male to embarrass occasionally her friends. Sometimes she admitted visitors to her atelier while working from nude male models. On one such occasions her calmness was amusing. A distinguished sculptor, a man, was present, though the model was nude. The model, a robust young Trastevere lad of some fourteen years, became sexually excited. Somehow timid of a change of pose or expecting his agitation to subside, he remained conspicuously—priapian. Miss X—, without interrupting her chat, walked to the other side of the room, caught up a large jug of cold water, poured it gently and slowly over the youth, talking away gaily all the time, and sat down to continue her study of his thigh when he was in—repose!
In the ornamental trades and callings, such as dressmakers, milliners, dealers in fine underwear and hosiery, costume-designers and so on, the Uraniad has a large field. Here she can come unsuspected into intimate bodily contact with beautiful women. Jeune filles appétissantes innocently can titillate daily her sexualism. Professional acquaintances second it. The professions of mantua-making, millinery, corset-ateliers and so on are recognized as screens for the Lesbian bawd in many great cities, especially Paris. The smart "hat-parlours," the rooms of corsetières, the establishments of discreet màsseurs, etc. are made useful for similisexualism between women; even to being recognized as rendezvous. Scandals of a sort imaginable have often darkened such establishments, not suspected save by the inner circles of initiées; thus emphasizing to us the fact that what the poet calls the "eternal womanly" often is anything but such in the beckonings—on of the mysterious intersexual passions.
- Not only adultery but fornication, and many another long-recognized offense, according to Jewish theology and daily life, were particularized by Christ, some of them more than once. But as'to what might have been thought one of the chief immoralities and vices under the Law, he is silent; no matter how near his discourses might bring him to a direct allusion.
- Transl. X. M.
- The same sort of wise counsel—but to heterosexuals—is met many centuries later in Racine; where the great French dramatist of the human heart makes his grizzled Mithridates exclaim, in self-rebuke and anger:
"Ah, qu'il eût mieux valu, plus sage et plus heureux,
Et repoussant les traits d'un amour dangereux,
Ne pas laisser remplir d'ardeurs empoisonnées,
Un cœur déjà glacé par le froid des années!"
- A considerable study of Hölderlin, published some years ago, by the present writer, deals somewhat minutely with Hölderlin's hellenism.
- The "Harden Case", the "Eulenburg Affair" and other homosexual scandals in Germany in 1908 insinuated a good many allusions to homosexualism into German burlesques and so on, as well as into even more pretentious pieces. For instance, a perfectly direct reference was introduced into Eisler's comic opera "Schütz-enlise" (at least as that piece was given à l'étranger) where a bit of dialogue in the second act and some lively "business" made no doubtful matter of it—sometimes received with laughter in the audiences, sometimes with manifest disapproval.
- In making the foregoing references to belles-lettres that in colouring are more or less immediate to the topic of this book, its authour is well aware of how incomplete and arbitrary they may seem. Many names and titles inevitably must be absent that are of much interest and importance. The reader in fact is asked to accept what is offered as only a small contribution to a suitably general survey. Especially from the field of essays, philosophic studies and so on, there has been no room here, at the date when these pages go to press, to include several recent allusions of value. For a single English instance a special word is due to Mr. Edward Carpenter's new little volume "The Intermediate Sex: A Study of Some Transitional Types of Men and Women" (London, Swan, Sonnenschein & Co.; Manchester, S. Clarke, & Co.) The essayistic and anthologie work of the distinguished English social philosopher named mark him as a pioneer in the path of British enlightenment on philarrhenic questions. "The Intermediate Sex" is a study that all thoughtful Anglo-Saxons should take pains to read.
- There is a striking element of the plastically uraniah quality in the paintings of a group of French classicists, i. e. David, Giron, Girodet (particularly the second-named artist), which the visitor to various representative collections, including the Louvre, will remark. The suggestion applies to artists whose youth or maturity subjected them to influences—social or intellectual—of the French Revolution, with its vehement sentimentalities for everything that was Greek and Roman, from the political diction in the Convention, or at the Jacobins, Cordeliers and other clubs, down to names, emblems, bandeaux, sandals and phrygian bonnets. In fact, a curious study has yet to be written on the Revolution's influences toward homosexuality in France, as a result of the revival of a pseudo-"classic" and greco-roman colouring of life and ideas, and of the Revolutionary abrogation of Christianity.