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Obscenity   Listen
noun
Obscenity  n.  (pl. obscenities)  That quality in words or things which presents what is offensive to chastity or purity of mind; obscene or impure lanquage or acts; moral impurity; lewdness; obsceneness; as, the obscenity of a speech, or a picture. "Mr. Cowley asserts plainly, that obscenity has no place in wit." "No pardon vile obscenity should find."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Obscenity" Quotes from Famous Books



... among you, pray what sort of Men are they? I answer'd, their Lives and Doctrine were of a-piece, their Example differing nothing from their Precepts: That Hypocrisy, Avarice, Ambition, litigious Suits, Lying, Revenge, and Obscenity, were Vices known to 'em by Name only: That they were a mortify'd Set of Men, who look'd upon nothing transitory worth their Concern; and having their Thoughts always employ'd on Meditations of a ...
— A Voyage to Cacklogallinia - With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of That Country • Captain Samuel Brunt

... greeted Marianne was calculated to make his rivals in the field of fiction jealous. Perhaps no one felt more keenly than did Crebillon fils the growing popularity of a novel the purity of which but enhanced the obscenity of his own writings. To this feeling may be attributed his attack upon Marivaux's style in a very free and tiresome story, entitled Tanzai et Neadarne, ou l'Ecumoire, in which his rival's muse is represented as a mole. The mole relates her life, in a most diffuse and ...
— A Selection from the Comedies of Marivaux • Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux

... said to be altogether bad, and they are generally looked upon as thieves and robbers; murders are said not to be unfrequent. They carry off one another's wives, and are much addicted to drunkenness. The father trains the children to stealing, and the mother to obscenity. ...
— A Woman's Journey Round the World • Ida Pfeiffer

... importance among the copy-purchasers in town. With this view, he worshipped the muse; and, conscious of the little regard which is in this age paid to every species of poetic composition, in which neither satire nor obscenity occurs, he produced an imitation of Juvenal, and lashed some conspicuous characters, with equal truth, spirit, and severity. Though his name did not appear in the title-page of this production, he managed matters so that the work was universally ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... the City Prison, not blindly, but with unusual fussy care at corners, the fussiness of an old woman potting plants. It kept him from facing the obscenity of fate. ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... produce a horror worthy of myself,' I thought. 'The mist dagger was melodrama to be smiled at. But this—ah, here we have a refinement that reduces death to a minor obscenity. She attacks me now with a weapon worthy my indifference. It is true, my senses writhe less frightenedly. But I, Mallare—yes, Mallare the Supreme One—honor her ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... on the subject of Christianity, he said he had prepared a long letter; for which I looked out in vain, though he wrote to me every day on other topics—chiefly a tissue of obscenity and folly. ...
— My Ten Years' Imprisonment • Silvio Pellico

... when I remembered that formerly I read newspapers, and opened the nearest. The mystery and foreignness of it was as complete as the red fire of Antares that gleamed so balefully every night across the Lake—a hell of trials and jealousy and suicide, obscenity and passion. It all came up from the sheet to my nostrils ...
— Child and Country - A Book of the Younger Generation • Will Levington Comfort

... what it comes to) compels us to accept it from those adults among whom political and theological discussion does as a matter of fact lead to the drawing of knives and pistols, and sex discussion leads to obscenity, it has no application to children except as an imperative reason for training them to respect other people's opinions, and to insist on respect for their own in these as in other important matters which are equally dangerous: for example, money. And in any case ...
— A Treatise on Parents and Children • George Bernard Shaw

... leading-strings devised by lawgivers, philosophers, prophets and poets for their guidance. But morality is not dependent on censorship for protection. It is already powerfully fortified by the magistracy and the whole body of law. Blasphemy, indecency, libel, treason, sedition, obscenity, profanity, and all the other evils which a censorship is supposed to avert, are punishable by the civil magistrate with all the severity of vehement prejudice. Morality has not only every engine that lawgivers can devise in full operation for its protection, but also ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... yet, all appearances notwithstanding, I myself (remember, critic, it was in my youth) had a few mornings before seen that very identical picture of all those engaging qualities in bed with a rake at a bagnio, smoaking tobacco, drinking punch, talking obscenity, and swearing and cursing with all the impudence and impiety of the lowest and most ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... Cathedral, New York, on Sunday, February 7, 1909, said that "the stage is worse today then it was in the days of paganism." He added: "We see today men and women—old men and old women—who ought to know better bringing the young to these orgies of obscenity. Instead of that they should be exercising a supervision over the young and should look carefully ...
— Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls - War on the White Slave Trade • Various

... monosyllabic words bit like the blow of a pioneer's ax—and Mark was like that. Then I think 1601 came out of Mark's instinctive humor, satire and hatred of puritanism. But there is more than this; with all its humor there is a sense of real delight in what may be called obscenity for its own sake. Whitman and the Bible are no more obscene than Nature herself—no more obscene than a manure pile, out of which come roses and cherries. Every word used in 1601 was used by our own rude pioneers as a part of their vocabulary—and no word was ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... its whole effect, might very often be desirable. Sedition, or obscenity, might be no greater crimes in the opinion of other electors, than in that of the freeholders of Middlesex; and many a wretch, whom his colleagues should expel, might come back persecuted into fame, and provoke, with ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... that there is no mortal sin in touches and kisses. For the Apostle says (Eph. 5:3): "Fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints," then he adds: "Or obscenity" (which a gloss refers to "kissing and fondling"), "or foolish talking" (as "soft speeches"), "or scurrility" (which "fools call geniality—i.e. jocularity"), and afterwards he continues (Eph. 5:5): "For know ye this and understand that no fornicator, ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... decided that the two daughters should be given to their mother, but that the custody of the son should be given to the father. She was acquitted of the least impropriety or indiscretion; yet, though the obscenity and profanity of her husband in his own family was shocking, and it was in the last degree painful to that high-minded woman to see her son brought up under the charge of such a man, the law decided that the unworthy father was the more proper guardian ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... and children, destroying their cities and making their lands desolate. A humane person reading these books for the first time without any glamour of divine inspiration, would shudder at their cruelty and blush at their obscenity. ...
— The Woman's Bible. • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... Particular for an ample Dissertation on the Nature of Hermaphrodites, (which obliges me to a frequent Repetition of the Names of the Parts employ'd in the Business of Generation) so, I hope, I shall not be charg'd with Obscenity, since in all Treatises of this Kind it is impossible to finish any one Head compleatly, without pursuing the Methods ...
— Tractus de Hermaphrodites • Giles Jacob

... red cloak and a large beaver; her appearance is bold and reckless—she is dukkering low tradesmen and servant girls behind the trees at sixpence a head, or is bandying with the voice of a raven slang and obscenity with country boors, or with the blackguard butcher-boys who throng in from Whitechapel and Shoreditch to the Gypsy Fair. At Goodwood, a few weeks after, you may see her in a beautiful half-riding dress, her hair fantastically plaited and adorned with pearls, ...
— Romano Lavo-Lil - Title: Romany Dictionary - Title: Gypsy Dictionary • George Borrow

... present discards as disgusting. Ladies of the highest rank sat through plays of which the purpose and effect was to degrade their own womanhood, to remove from the minds of the men who sat about and watched their countenances at each new obscenity, whatever respect for the sex might have lingered there. Some wore masks to hide the blushes which might have been looked for as a drama proceeded, which represented every female character on the stage as little better than an animal, using such reason as she possessed only to further the ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... fable, nor a piece of stupidity. The German woman, quoted by Mr. Bryce, found her American compeer furchtbar frei, but she had at once to add und furchtbar fromm. "The innocence of the American girl passes abysses of obscenity without stain or knowledge." She may be perfectly able to hold her own under any circumstances, but she has little of that detestable quality which we call "knowing." The immortal Daisy Miller is a charming illustration of this. I used sometimes to ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... the nostrils Crumble me, Eat me deep; And my garments disintegrate: First my nightgown, Leaving my naked arms and legs disjointed, Sprawled about the bed in postures meaningless to the point of obscenity. ...
— Precipitations • Evelyn Scott

... who has been at one time so popular as to be generally esteemed, and at another so formidable as to be universally detested, he observed that his acquisitions had been small, or that his capacity was narrow, and that the whole range of his mind was from obscenity to politics, and ...
— Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift • Samuel Johnson

... some Bishop or High-Priest, with perhaps half-a-dozen wives already, who is able to feed his family well and clothe them decently; so they plunge into polygamy at once. Another result of the practice is universal obscenity of language among both sexes. The published sermons of the Mormon leaders are utterly vile in this respect, although they are somewhat expurgated before being printed. They consider no language profane from which the name ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... who are doomed to seek the converse of those, who are in a measure corrupted, and, by associating with them on public occasions, often in taverns and alehouses, are soon involved in habits of dissipation and obscenity. Man is a social being, loves society, and, rather than spend his life in solitude, will seek the ...
— Twenty-Four Short Sermons On The Doctrine Of Universal Salvation • John Bovee Dods

... graver offences against the present code of morality. The philosopher of British Socialism informs us: "Society is directly concerned—(1) with the production of offspring, (2) with the care that things sexually offensive to the majority shall not be obtruded on public notice, or obscenity on 'young persons.' Beyond this, all sexual actions (of course excluding criminal violence or fraud) are matters of ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... of respecting anything. Virtue, family life, patriotism, honour, religion, are represented to a frivolous generation as fitting subjects of ridicule. The theatres have become schools of shamelessness and obscenity. Drop by drop, poison is instilled into the very core of an ignorant and enervated society, which has neither the insight nor the energy left to amend its institutions, nor—which would be the most necessary step to take—become better informed or ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... race, he revealed his ambitions. He was writing a novel which he hoped would make his name. He was under the influence of Zola, and he had set his scene in Paris. He told Philip the story at length. To Philip it seemed crude and stupid; the naive obscenity—c'est la vie, mon cher, c'est la vie, he cried—the naive obscenity served only to emphasise the conventionality of the anecdote. He had written for two years, amid incredible hardships, denying himself all the pleasures of life which had attracted him to Paris, fighting with starvation ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... of the dance are sometimes in imitation of those of animals,[218] sometimes spontaneous, and sometimes from our point of view indecent. The indecency and obscenity originated and has continued in a period when no moral element entered into such performances—they simply follow animal instincts and impulses, are controlled by them, and appear usually not to affect the customs relating to marriage ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... coarser than many passages of Shakespeare, Sterne, and Swift, and their uncleanness rarely attains the perfection of Alcofribas Naiser, "divin maitre et atroce cochon." The other element is absolute obscenity, sometimes, but not always, tempered by wit, humour and drollery; here we have an exaggeration of Petronius Arbiter, the handiwork of writers whose ancestry, the most religious and the most debauched of mankind, practised every abomination before ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... religion while I relate it. I have, in one hour, heard more blasphemy and more lewd language at the table of one of these clergymen of the established church, than ever polluted the walls of my house in all my life. I have heard more obscenity flow from the lips of one of these hoary-headed dignified pastors of the church of England, aye, one who resides in this county too, than I ever heard come from the lips of all the reformers I was ever acquainted with ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... because it is not so striking in any of its excellences; their lines are always a little blurred. Still, it shows that ten years before Clinker, Smollett had learned to combine the contradictory elements of life in something like their right proportions. If obscenity and ferocity are found in his fourth novel, they are no longer ...
— The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves • Tobias Smollett

... D[u]rg[a]-p[u]j[a].[61] The temples, to which reference has often been made, have this in common with the great Civaite festivals, that to describe them in detail would be but to translate into words images and wall-paintings, the obscenity of which is better left undescribed. This, of course, is particularly true of the Civa temples, where the actual Linga is perhaps, as Barth has said, the least objectionable of the sights presented to the eye of the devout worshipper. But the Vishnu temples are as bad. Architecturally admirable, ...
— The Religions of India - Handbooks On The History Of Religions, Volume 1, Edited By Morris Jastrow • Edward Washburn Hopkins

... seen many wantonly cruel men. I have known numbers of mates of Mississippi river steamers—a class which seems carefully selected from ruffians most proficient in profanity, obscenity and swift-handed violence; I have seen negro-drivers in the slave marts of St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, and overseers on the plantations of Mississippi and Louisiana; as a police reporter in one of the largest ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... extensive one, and the employment of adjectives which, to a refined ear, sounds deplorable, is only used by them to describe an intensity which no other words they possess would be capable of rendering. I am, of course, not referring to blasphemy or obscenity, which is immediately checked by ...
— With The Immortal Seventh Division • E. J. Kennedy and the Lord Bishop of Winchester

... teaches the Studious how to banquet. That Thriftiness with Jocoseness, Chearfulness without Obscenity, and learned Stories, ought to season their Feasts. Iambics are bloody. Poets are Men of no great Judgment. The three chief Properties of a good Maid Servant. Fidelity, Deformity, and a high Spirit. A Place out of the Prologue of ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... under stress, their adventures, their treasures found in a day and gambled in a night, their direct, crude speech, their generosity and cruelty, their heroism and bestiality, their religion and profanity, their self-sacrifice and obscenity—a true and fearless setting forth of a passing phase of history, un-compromising, sincere; each group in its proper environment; the valley, the plain, and the mountain; the ranch, the range, and the mine—all this, all the traits and types of every community ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... atmosphere of discouragement and despair. There is no strength in weakness, no encouragement in foul air, vile food, and dank dens. They are there because they are so made that they are not fit to be higher up; but filth and obscenity do not strengthen the neck, nor does chronic emptiness of belly stiffen ...
— War of the Classes • Jack London

... Then seeing that I was so much lighter than himself and perhaps valuing himself against me purely on a basis of avoirdupois, pound for pound, he gathered and came at me, roaring out blasphemy and obscenity which I had rather Lafitte ...
— The Lady and the Pirate - Being the Plain Tale of a Diligent Pirate and a Fair Captive • Emerson Hough

... Hasselbakken, [Footnote: a favourite outdoor pleasure resort at Stockholm.] and the arrangements were magnificent. But what highly astonished me, and was in reality most out of keeping in such a circle, was the tone that the conversation at table gradually assumed, and especially the obscenity of the subjects of conversation. It was not, however, the Ministers and Diplomats present, but a Danish roue, a professor of Physics, who gave this turn to the talk. He related anecdotes that would have made a sailor blush. Neither Count Manderstroem, nor any of the other Ministers, neither ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... somewhat better bred, and were entering, as I may say, into the first rudiments of civil conversation, they left these hedge-notes for another sort of poem, somewhat polished, which was also full of pleasant raillery, but without any mixture of obscenity. This sort of poetry appeared under the name of "satire" because of its variety; and this satire was adorned with compositions of music, and with dances; but lascivious postures were banished from it. In the Tuscan language, says Livy, the ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... victory. It was plain that the crew of the Molly were little better than a den of thieves, their whole thought being of plunder, their whole ambition the winning of gold. Blair blushed for the honor of his country, to find such men among her avowed defenders. Oaths and obscenity made even more hateful the rough narratives in which each strove to prove himself more hardened and abandoned than the last speaker. Blair's soul recoiled with horror from the taint of such companionship; yet for him there was no escape. Among these coarse rovers he was forced to eat ...
— The Boy Patriot • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... gin-palace, and the beer-shop, and the midnight haunts of the tramp and the burglar, they came in all their repulsiveness and debasement, with the rags of wretchedness upon their backs, and the cries of profanity and obscenity upon their lips. Forward they rushed in a surging flood through many a street and byway, until where the narrowing thoroughfares open into the space surrounding the New Bailey Prison, in that suburb of the great city known as the Borough of Salford, they ...
— The Dock and the Scaffold • Unknown

... is invariably the greatest MAJO, and to acquire that character it is necessary to appear in the dress of a Merry Andrew, to bully, swagger, and smoke continually, to dance passably, and to strum the guitar. They are fond of obscenity and what they term PICARDIAS. Amongst them learning is at a terrible discount, Greek, Latin, or any of the languages generally termed learned, being considered in any light but accomplishments, but not so the possession of thieves' slang or the ...
— The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain • George Borrow

... however, be extremely unfair to let it be supposed that the fabliaux contain nothing but obscenity, or that they can offer attractions to no one save those whom obscenity attracts. As in those famous English followings of them, where Chaucer considerably reduced the licence of language, and still more considerably increased the dose of wit—the Reeve's and Miller's sections of the ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... thick a coating of manner and phrase that many a cad will pass for something better. Well, here is the test. Unvarnish your man; make him drink, and listen. That was my procedure with P. G. Esquire. I listened to his outpouring of inanity and obscenity and, listening sympathetically, like some compassionate family doctor, could not help asking myself: Is such a man to be respected, even when sober? Be that as it may, he gave me to understand why some folk are rightly ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... their adherents to adopt and scrupulously conform to Mr. Johnson's rules of true orthography.' Johnson, in the last year of his life, at a time of great weakness and depression, defended the roughness of his manner. 'I have done more good as I am. Obscenity and impiety have always been repressed in my company' (post, June ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... wars and conquests. At Thebes, too, is the Memnon, a mutilated statue of Amnoph, which never was vocal except by trick or in imagination, and the Obelisks, whose form is sufficiently explained, without obscenity or mystery, by the fancy for monolithic monuments and the possession of large blocks of granite. The remains of the Labyrinth do not enable us to pronounce whether its twenty-seven halls were a burial-place for kings or crocodiles, ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... him one better. The man in the skull-cap declared that while he could not bring himself to tell a smutty story himself, he was "as good as any man in appreciating one." He then offered a box of cigars for the most daring anecdote, and there ensued an orgy of obscenity that kept us shouting (I could not help thinking of similar talks at the cloak-shops). Loeb suggested that the smoking-room be dubbed "smutty room" and was applauded by the little Chicagoan. The prize was awarded, by a vote, to a man who had told his story in the gravest tone of voice and ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... ancient of any known, and during the earlier and purer ages of human faith was celebrated in honor of returning spring. In later ages, however, after passion had become the only recognized god, May-day was celebrated with "all manner of obscenity and lewdness." ...
— The God-Idea of the Ancients - or Sex in Religion • Eliza Burt Gamble

... printed in his own edition of his works, I never saw; Once a Lover and always a Lover, is said to be, in a great degree, indecent and gross. Granville could not admire without bigotry; he copied the wrong, as well as the right, from his masters, and may be supposed to have learned obscenity from Wycherley, as he learned ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... this society, Emil Ruedebusch, known in this country through his work, "The Old and New Ideal," which, by the way, was confiscated upon the grounds of obscenity and the author put on trial. It is an undisputed fact that robust, graft-greedy Columbia abhors every free expression on love or marriage. Emil Ruedebusch, like many others who have dared to lift the veil of hypocrisy, was condemned to a heavy fine. A second work ...
— Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 1, March 1906 • Various

... (p. xiv.) there is another element in The Nights and that is one of absolute obscenity utterly repugnant to English readers, even the least prudish. It is chiefly connected with what our neighbours call le vice contre nature—as if anything can be contrary to nature which includes all things.[FN357] Upon this subject I must offer details, ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... to piety and faith; in fine, the fearful licentiousness of public manners, the odious devices resorted to for perverting the innocent and the young, the evident wish and aim to make immorality, obscenity, uncleanness triumph among all classes; such are, your Excellency, the rapid and faint outlines of the scandalous state of things created in the Marches by the legislation and discipline so precipitately introduced by the Piedmontese government. We appeal to your Excellency. Could we remain ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... homes are there in which the gentle words of love are never heard; in which the tender graces of a Christian heart are never unfolded; in which a prayer is never uttered! How many fathers are there whose lips are black with profanity and foul with obscenity, and whose lives are mean and unwholesome! How many mothers are there whose tongues are nimble with scandal and bitter with scolding, and whose brains are busy with vanities and jealousies! Ah! if there be any man or woman in this world who has no moral right to have a child, it is one who ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... live in ugly shapes, that no tears and no repentance will ever wipe out. Nothing can do away with 'the marks of that which once hath been.' What are you painting on the chambers of imagery in your hearts? Obscenity, foul things, mean things, low things? Is that mystic shrine within you painted with such figures as were laid bare in some chambers in Pompeii, where the excavators had to cover up the pictures because they were so foul? Or, is it ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... nearly suffocated by the paint applied to his face, it was wisely announced that for the future the Deity should be covered by a cloud. These plays, carried about the country, taken up by the baser sort of people, descended through all degrees of farce to obscenity, and, in England, becoming entangled in politics, at length disappeared. It is said they linger in Italy, and are annually reproduced ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... number of children are assembled on such occasions, who listen with high glee to the conversation, whether in the field or at the inn. If it be the grossest profaneness, or the coarsest obscenity, they will sometimes pride themselves in imitating it, thinking it to be manly; and in a like spirit will partake of the glass, and thus commence the drunkard's career.—This practice is conducted somewhat differently in different places, ...
— The Young Man's Guide • William A. Alcott

... to wait, while with rapid steps he returned to the monastery and straight to the Father Superior's. He had no clear idea what he would do, but he knew that he could not control himself, and that a touch might drive him to the utmost limits of obscenity, but only to obscenity, to nothing criminal, nothing for which he could be legally punished. In the last resort, he could always restrain himself, and had marveled indeed at himself, on that score, sometimes. He appeared in the Father Superior's dining-room, at the moment when the prayer was ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... irresistible attraction exercised by all that brought opprobrium and disgust. The Paris of enjoyment, the bourgeoisie which held all wealth and power, which would relinquish naught of either, though it was surfeited and gradually wearying of both, simply hastened to the place in order that obscenity and insult might be flung in its face. Hypnotised, as it were, while staggering to its fall, it felt a need of being spat upon. And what a frightful symptom there lay in it all: those condemned ones rushing upon dirt of their own accord, voluntarily hastening their own decomposition by that unquenchable ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... aghast. The others said nothing. They were used to Pilzer's oaths and obscenity, with a growing inclination to profanity on their own part. Besides, they rather agreed with his view of ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... Mrs. Stowe said: "They were so curiously compounded of blasphemy, cruelty, and obscenity, that their like could only be expressed by John Bunyan's account of the speech of Apollyon: ...
— The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe • Charles Edward Stowe

... costumes included a short dress and pantalets, which were appreciated for their convenience if not for their beauty. The women also adopted the practice of wearing short hair, which it was claimed saved time and vanity. Tobacco, intoxicants, profanity, obscenity, found no place in the community. The diet consisted largely of vegetables and fruits, while meat, tea and coffee were served ...
— The Greatest Highway in the World • Anonymous

... outrage; there is bestiality and obscenity about both pain and pleasure when in their voracious maw they devour the magic of the unfathomable world. Thus it may be noted that most great and heroic souls hold their supreme pain at a distance from them, with a ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... affected and outre politeness. Notwithstanding the complacent grimaces of his face, the self-sufficiency of his looks, his systematically powdered and dressed hair, his showy dress, his counted and short bows, and his presumptuous conversation, teeming with ignorance, vulgarity, and obscenity, he cannot escape even ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... falling over his face and several teeth missing. His clothes were in rags and he never wore shoes. He boasted of never washing unless "the old one" stood over him with a stick, and his language was worse than both his manners and his looks. An unbroken stream of profanity and obscenity poured from his rarely silent mouth, and he heaped withering scorn on any attempt at ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... this month. This day is observed with mirth, in imitation of the old Roman celebration of the days when the goddess Flora was worshipped. The Roman floral games began on the 28th April, and continued a few days. At one time these celebrations were conducted with obscenity, but by degrees the amusements became more moral. It was customary during the middle ages for rich and poor to go out on May-day, with music and other signs of joy and merriment, to gather flowers, and sip the dew before sunrise. The people then decorated their ...
— The Mysteries of All Nations • James Grant

... matron was ascending the steps of the church of St. Gudule at Brussels. They were covered with ice; she slipped and took a precipitate and involuntary seat. In the anguish of the moment, a single word, of mere obscenity, escaped her lips. When the laughing bystanders, among whom was Erasmus, helped her to her feet, she beat a hasty retreat, crimson with shame. Nowadays ladies do not have such a ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... not good for the public would sanction withdrawal of the second-class rate tomorrow from another periodical whose social or economic views seemed harmful to another official. The validity of the obscenity laws is recognized that the mails may not be used to satisfy all tastes, no matter how perverted. But Congress has left the Postmaster General with no power to prescribe standards for the literature or the art which a mailable periodical ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... cacoethes of imprudent men—it was almost hissed off the stage. Whether this was owing to a weariness of Congreve's style, or whether at the time of its first appearance Collier's attacks, of which anon, had already disgusted the public with the obscenity and immorality of this writer, I do not know: but, whatever the cause, the consequence was that Mr. William Congreve, in a fit of pique, made up his mind never to write another piece for the stage—a wise resolution, perhaps—and to turn fine gentleman instead. With the exception of composing ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... dropped the letter was similar to that he would have had entering his bedroom and finding it full of black-beetles. The meanness of anonymity gave a shuddering obscenity to the moment. And the worst of it was that this shadow had been at the back of his mind ever since the Sunday evening when Fleur had pointed down at Prosper Profond strolling on the lawn, and said: "Prowling cat!" Had he not in connection therewith, this very day, perused ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... business. For him, it was impossible to celebrate with hoarse ha-has, like his cousins, the discomfiture of these women when they realized that they had wasted so many hours without accomplishing more than abundant drinking. The gross obscenity, so public and noisy, like a parade of riches, was loathsome to Julio. "There is nothing like this in Paris," his cousins repeatedly exulted as they admired the stupendous salons, the hundreds of men ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... read those excellent things of thine, Such strength, such sweetness couched in ev'ry line, Such life of fancy, such high choice of brain, Nought of the vulgar wit or borrow'd strain, Such passion, such expressions meet my eye, Such wit untainted with obscenity, And these so unaffectedly exprest, All in a language purely flowing drest, And all so born within thyself, thine own, So new, so fresh, so nothing trod upon: I grieve not now that old Menander's vein Is ruin'd to survive in thee again; ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... transgression of a moral law, for no such law was recognised, but he detested himself because he had been drawn into close contact with a miserable wretch simply in order to satisfy a passion, and in the touch of mercenary obscenity there was something horrible to him. It was bitter to him to reflect that, notwithstanding his aversion from it, notwithstanding his philosophy and art, he had been equally powerless with the uttermost fool of a young aristocrat ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... Fred Starratt to move anywhere without hearing fragments of all this gossip. During the noon hour particularly it filtered through the midday tattle of business, pleasure, and obscenity—at the Market, at Collins & Wheeland's, at Hjul's coffee house, at Grover's Lunchroom—everywhere that clerks forgathered to appease their hunger and indulge in idle speculations. Sometimes he got these things ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... may see converging as it were in one grand focus, toil and idleness, filth and spruceness, sharp set hunger and lavish plenty, vice without disguise, incessant gambling, brawls and quarrels every hour in the day, murders every now and then, ribaldry and obscenity, singing, dancing, laughing, swearing, cheating, and thieving without end. There many a man of quality seeks for his truant son, nor seeks in vain; and the youth feels as acutely the pain of being torn from that life ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... continued, making the word sound like an obscenity, "it is that tells me how much I can ...
— All Day September • Roger Kuykendall

... festival of the Holi, celebrated with drunkenness and obscenity, takes place in March, and is supposed to be the festival of the vernal equinox (see ante, chapter 27 note 16). The magistrates in India have no duty which requires more tact, discretion, and firmness than ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... of a piece. We have heard of the parlour-maid who fainted because the dining-table had 'ceder legs,' but never before that a 'switching' was 'obscene.' We do not envy the unwholesomeness of a mind so watchful for obscenity. ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... by Leo Taxil was printed in Latin and English, with an interleaved French version in manuscript. As presented by its discoverer, there is no doubt that it is an execrable production, involving the practice in open lodge of obscenity, diabolism, and sacrilege. Passing over the first three grades, and beginning "at the point of bifurcation," we find it stated in the ritual of the fourth degree of Elect that the New and Reformed Palladium has been instituted "to impart a new ...
— Devil-Worship in France - or The Question of Lucifer • Arthur Edward Waite

... whose choice he was, seated aloft upon men's shoulders, with a purple robe thrown on his shoulders, there sat a brawny, grinning, bloated, jibbering thing, with curled lips and savage eyes, and satyr's leer: the creature of greed, of lust, of obscenity, of brutality, of avarice, of desire. This thing the people followed, rejoicing exceedingly, content in the guide whom they had chosen, victorious in the fiend for whom they spurned a deity; crying, with wide open throats ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... found to be suffering from acute mania, alternating with periods of intense melancholia in which he invariably attempts to take his own life. His language when excited exceeds in obscenity anything ever heard. During the intervals of quiet he is constantly practicing the vile habit which has undoubtedly been the cause of his insanity. He has lost all sense of shame and continues to practice before visitors, attendants and physicians. He makes no ...
— Manhood Perfectly Restored • Unknown

... The obscenity and ordure of Rabelais were to the taste of his time; his severer censures of Church and State were disguised by his buffoonery; flinging out his good sense and wise counsels with a liberal hand, he also wields vigorously the dunghill pitchfork. If he is gross beyond what can be described, he is ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... ago a Judge of the High Court (who was also a Liberal) made what struck me as an eminently wise observation. While trying a couple of Elementary School-teachers whose obscenity was too gross for even an Old Bailey audience, and who themselves were products of Elementary Schools, the Judge said: "It almost makes one hesitate to think that elementary education is the blessing which we had hoped it was." Of course, all the prigs of the educational ...
— Prime Ministers and Some Others - A Book of Reminiscences • George W. E. Russell

... time his blurred mind stumbled back To its last ragged memory — a room; Air foul with wine; a shouting, reeling crowd Of friends who dragged him, dazed and blind with drink Out to the street; a crazy rout of cabs; The steady mutter of his neighbor's voice, Mumbling out dull obscenity by rote; And then... well, they had brought him home it seemed, Since he awoke in bed — oh, damn the business! He had not wanted it — the silly jokes, "One last, great night of freedom ere you're married!" "You'll get no fun then!" "H-ssh, don't ...
— Young Adventure - A Book of Poems • Stephen Vincent Benet

... the private and public life of the degenerate Romans, there was much to call for the hand of a master in satire. And we find in the glowing sketches of our author, all the vigor and point of a Juvenal, without his vulgarity and obscenity; all the burning indignation which the Latin is so peculiarly capable of expressing, with all the vigor and stateliness by which the same language is equally characterized. Tacitus has been sometimes represented as a very Diogenes, for carping ...
— Germania and Agricola • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... the sentence, both before and after, and look that such equivocal words accord with the sentence."[208] Consideration of the connotation of English words is required of the translators of the Bishops' Bible. "Item that all such words as soundeth in the Old Testament to any offence of lightness or obscenity be expressed with more convenient terms and phrases."[209] Generally, however, it was the theological connotation of words that was at issue, especially the question whether words were to be taken in their ecclesiastical or their ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... and beauty. One of the band, a tall broad-shouldered man of middle-age, with an immense quantity of whiskers perhaps worn as a visible sign of inward wildness, was, despite his hardened nature, moved to remonstrance. Under cover of lurid oaths and outrageous obscenity, he advanced his opinion that "the kid" needn't be shot just because her father was ...
— Lahoma • John Breckenridge Ellis

... eloquence of the Marseilles demoniac, they tried obscenity in its stead. It was a hideous thing to see these girls give full vent in public to their sensual fury, on the plea of scolding their pretended devils. Thus indeed it was that they managed to swell their audiences. People flocked to hear from the lips of these ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... recently as boon companions and partners in debauchery. Together with him, they formed the Dilettanti Club in Palace Yard, and they also revived the Hell-Fire Club of the days of the Duke of Wharton, at Medmenham Abbey, Bucks, where they revelled in obscenity, and made everything that was moral or religious, a subject of their scorn and derision. Over the grand entrance of this abbey was inscribed, Fays ce que voudras, "Do what you like;" and the jokes of the members of the club consisted principally in wearing ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... of our poets who writ for bread, and in order the better to support himself, tho' he lived in an age far from being dissolute, viz. in that of the renowned Queen Elizabeth; yet he had recourse to the mean expedient of writing obscenity, and favouring the cause of vice, by which he no doubt recommended himself to the rakes about town, who, as they are generally no true judges of wit, to estimate the merit of a piece, as it happens to suit their appetite, or encourage them in every irregular indulgence. No man of honour who sees ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume I. • Theophilus Cibber

... provoked with this satire, and Savage was censured in the weekly Miscellany, with a severity he did not seem inclined to forget: But a return of invective was not thought a sufficient punishment. The court of King's-Bench was moved against him, and he was obliged to return an answer to a charge of obscenity. It was urged in his defence, that obscenity was only criminal, when it was intended to promote the practice of vice; but that Mr. Savage had only introduced obscene ideas, with a view of exposing them to detestation, ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753),Vol. V. • Theophilus Cibber

... do this they feel that it is essential that the same moral influence which enabled them to become men should be continued. This influence moves almost unconsciously among the industrial plants. For instance, we do not find here the tendency to obscenity which we find in any ordinary factory or workshop. Environment in these plants is all-powerful as an uplifting condition. Cleanliness is encouraged in the dormitory and kitchen. Respectful attention is paid at meals while grace is being said. The reading room ...
— The Social Work of the Salvation Army • Edwin Gifford Lamb

... the newcomers first with absolute refusal; then, when the patient, persistent applicants did get inside, both students and teachers met them not only with unkindness and unfairness, but with a weapon ingeniously well chosen, and most discreditable—namely, obscenity. Grave professors, in lecture and clinic, as well as grinning students, used offensive language, and played offensive tricks, to drive the women ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... any young fellow who should make as free with a sister of mine as I have made with the sisters and daughters of others. But then I took care never to promise any thing I intended not to perform. A modest ear should as soon have heard downright obscenity from my lips, as matrimony, if I had not intended it. Young ladies are generally ready enough to believe we mean honourably, if they love us; and it would look lie a strange affront to their virtue and charms, that it should be supposed needful to put the question whether in your address ...
— Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady, Volume 8 • Samuel Richardson

... accusers lied—and very cunning they thought themselves—when they closed their false accusation by pretending that I had sought for two sea-beasts known by gross names. That fellow Tannonius wished to indicate the nature of the obscenity, but failed, matchless pleader that he is, owing to his inability to speak. After long hesitation he indicated the name of one of them by means of some clumsy and disgusting circumlocution. The other he found impossible to describe ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... may assure your self that the Virgin Particles of Your Modesty shall never be Agitated by the Amorous Transparancy of Pasquin's Obscenity. (Mimicking her) ...
— The Covent Garden Theatre, or Pasquin Turn'd Drawcansir • Charles Macklin

... I have often wonder'd at: Considering the Absurdities on the Religion of the Greeks and Romans, the bad Examples and Immoralities of their Deities, the ridiculous Fables of a Charon, a Styx, a Cerberus, &c, and the obscenity display'd in several of their Festivals, I cannot conceive how Men could expect, that such Religions should make Men Honest, or do any good to their Morals; and yet, which is amazing to me, most wise men in all Ages have agreed, that, without some Religion or other, it ...
— An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War • Bernard Mandeville

... used to think the language of a merchant ship's fo'c'sle pretty bad, but the language of Tommies in point of profanity quite equals, and in point of obscenity beats it hollow. This department is a speciality of his. Of course, after a little it becomes simply meaningless, and you scarcely notice it, but the haphazard and indiscriminate way, quite regardless ...
— With Rimington • L. March Phillipps

... had heard all about it from Miss Williams, and had come to stop. Only then did I fully realise how much of the kindly, delicate-minded gentleman remained behind that veil of profanity and obscenity which he ...
— The Stark Munro Letters • J. Stark Munro

... a "bad man" who surpassed the rest of his fellows in using foul language. Roosevelt, who loathed obscenity as he did any other form of filth, tired of this bad man's talk and told him very calmly that he liked him but not his nastiness. Instead of drawing his gun, as the bystanders thought he would do, Jim looked sheepish, acknowledging the charge, and changed his tone. He remained ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... notwithstanding this undeniable fact, that the libellous journal, to which he thought proper to affix his sanction, trespassed on decency, not only by its slander, but, in some instances, by downright obscenity; and, worse than that, by prurient solicitations to the libidinous imagination, through blanks, seasonably interspersed. I said nothing to him in the way of inquiry; for I easily guessed that the knot of writers who were here ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... way into the chambers of the great and wealthy. In spite of some signs of moral vigour, society was cankered with pride of class and with self-indulgence. It possessed no regenerating force capable of checking the repulsive vice which was encouraged by the obscenity of actors and ...
— The Books of the New Testament • Leighton Pullan

... mocked and gibed at by every passer-by. He saw them locked up in prison-cells, under the charge of jailers that were half brute, half fiend; he saw Fred and Minnie carried off by an Italian padrone to a den reeking with filth, and loud with oaths and obscenity. With a hoarse shout of rage he would spring up to avert blows that were bruising their little forms; he saw his wife turn her despairing eyes from heaven and curse the hour of their union; he saw Mildred, writhing ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... were carrying a heavy weight, and presently the smell of ether began to come to them through the key-hole. And they heard groans, and a dull, passionless voice that spoke words of blasphemy and obscenity. ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... the motion termed ami. There can be no doubt that the ami was at times used to represent actions unfit for public view, and so far the blame is just. But the ami did not necessarily nor always represent obscenity, and to this extent the hula ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... are considered as the classical stock-pieces of the Chinese stage; but like ourselves, they complain that a depraved taste prevails for modern productions very inferior to those of ancient date. It is certainly true, that every sort of ribaldry and obscenity are encouraged on the Chinese stage at the present day. A set of players of a superior kind travel occasionally from Nankin to Canton; at the latter of which cities, it seems, they meet with considerable encouragement from the Hong merchants, and other wealthy inhabitants. At these exhibitions ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... temple which should be a dwelling-place for the Holy Spirit. Delicacy and refinement are too often looked upon merely as the elegant ornaments of polished life. They should, on the contrary, be esteemed essentials in the Christian Character; Everything leaning towards profanity, obscenity, or indelicacy is utterly incompatible with Christian purity of heart. Low attempts at wit, that hinge on vulgarity, are a common form of this vice; and those who indulge their propensities in this direction, ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler



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