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Obscenity   /əbsˈɛnɪti/   Listen
Obscenity

noun
(pl. obscenities)
1.
The trait of behaving in an obscene manner.  Synonyms: bawdiness, lewdness, salaciousness, salacity.
2.
An offensive or indecent word or phrase.  Synonyms: dirty word, filth, smut, vulgarism.
3.
An obscene act.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Obscenity" Quotes from Famous Books



... the women, whose 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 ...
— The Greatest Highway in the World • Anonymous

... 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 and sarcasm—a very Aristophanes, ...
— 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 profane ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... 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 ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... blade; the Lieutenant and Midshipman, fellows of the same description; the Chaplain, the most profane; the Surgeon, a dabbler in surgery, or in medicine, or anything else; the Ensign, the tallest member of the class; the Boatswain, one most inclined to obscenity; the Drum Major, the most aristocratic, and his assistants, fellows of the same character. These constitute the Band. Such are the general rules of choice, but they are not always followed. The remainder of the class who have had no parts and are not officers of the ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... 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!" ...
— Young Adventure - A Book of Poems • Stephen Vincent Benet

... helplessness, innocence 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 ...
— Lahoma • John Breckenridge Ellis

... because its contents seemed to one official 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 disseminates."[241] In Donaldson v. Read Magazine,[242] however, ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... misses giggled and gave pretty screams, and cried, 'Oh, fie!' and 'lor!' and then the visitors all laughed together? Then Miss ——, a little bolder, hissed at the lunatics herself, and poked them with a stick—and then there was a fresh storm of tears and howls and blasphemy and obscenity; and the keepers, rushing in with heavy cudgels, beat the 'patients' right and left like cattle—and it was all 'so horrible!' Bad, think you? These were the ladies and gentlemen of the old school—the Grandisons and Chesterfields and their dames. At the present day there are still vulgar people ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... of 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

... faculties, voluntarily exposed themselves to sufferings which on ordinary occasions would have been sufficient to deprive them of life. The scenes that occurred were a scandal to civilisation and to religion—a strange mixture of obscenity, absurdity, and superstition. While some were praying on bended knees at the shrine of St. Paris, others were shrieking and making the most hideous noises. The women especially exerted themselves. ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... without undergoing the influences of the unbelief prevailing in those regions, where, on the strength of a little knowledge of the human frame, cartloads of puerile ignorance and anile vulgarity, not to mention obscenity, are uttered in the name of truth by men who know nothing whatever of the things that belong to the deeper nature believed in by the devout and simple, and professed also by many who are perhaps yet farther from ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... 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

... fine, but dirty; his peasant is not assured, but stupid; his droll is not jocose, but ridiculous; and his lover is not gay, but lewd. So that to me the man seems not to have written his poesy for any temperate person, but to have intended his smut and obscenity for the debauched and lewd, his invective and satire ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... Turbulence, Hatred, and Revenge. If unrestrained, these culminate in violent and criminal acts; if regulated, they are employed in personal defense. When unduly excited, they lead to dissipation, obscenity, swearing, rowdyism, and licentiousness; when perverted, they are the source of recklessness, quarrels, frauds, falsehoods, robberies, and homicides. They are unlike instinct, inasmuch as they are not self-limiting. The intimate ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... made the world." He held up his carven obscenity. "He made the World out of himself. This is ...
— Oomphel in the Sky • Henry Beam Piper

... of the house at a place where I was dining—that she had brought back his Satirist, but didn't think there was quite so much 'fun' in it as there used to be. I looked at the paper afterwards, and found it crammed with such vile obscenity as positively made one's ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... to see him, for I was in no humour for his company; but he 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 so ...
— The Stark Munro Letters • J. Stark Munro

... what you would have expected from his appearance—dull and gross. He was chiefly distinguished among men of birth for general obscenity of speech ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... night every night, drinking after every dance, living in the fumes of liquor and tobacco, and in constant jangle of profanity and obscenity, how long is required to snuff out every spark of womanliness that a girl may bring with her to ...
— Fifteen Years With The Outcast • Mrs. Florence (Mother) Roberts

... excitement, which the press constantly instilled into the veins of the people. Its language already bordered on delirium, and borrowed from the population even their proverbs, their love of trifles, their obscenity, their brutality, and even their oaths, with which the articles were interlarded, as though to impress more forcibly its hatred on the ear of its foes. Danton, Hebert, and Marat were the first to adopt this tone, these gestures, and these ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... the credit of Webster that he spoke out plainly concerning the obscenity of what was extorted from the witches. No one who has not read for himself can have any notion of the vile character of the charges and confessions embodied in the witch pamphlets. It is an aspect of the question which has not been discussed ...
— A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 • Wallace Notestein

... din the heavy steadiness of a Breton voice could be heard asserting itself. Though every man spoke in French, for the purposes of the common parliament, each man swore in his own tongue; and they all swore briskly and crisply, with a seemingly inexhaustible vocabulary of blasphemy and obscenity, so that the foul air of that inn parlor was rendered fouler still by the volley of oaths—German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Biscayan, and Breton—that were fired into its steaming, stinking atmosphere. So much for the six men that sat at ...
— The Duke's Motto - A Melodrama • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... lived with him and upon him 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 ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... 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: 'He ...
— The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe • Charles Edward Stowe

... language was not more moral than his life—for he not only enforced his principles by his example, but also by his precept. His conversation consequently resolved itself into a mingled stream of swearing and obscenity. Ridicule of religion, and a hardened triumph in his own iniquitous exploits, illustrated and confirmed by a prodigality of blasphemous asservations, constituted the staple of his thoughts and expressions. According to his own principles he could not look forward ...
— Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... sat down. By-and-by she rose up before the assembly, and was received with shouts of applause, and, as a further expression of respect, her immediate friends, young and old, took up stones and beat themselves until their heads were bruised and bleeding. The obscenity to prove her virginity which preceded this burst of feeling will not bear the light of description. Then followed a display of the oloa (or property) which the bridegroom presented to the friends of the bride. Then they had ...
— Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before • George Turner

... of the cattleman Dave read the ghastly fear of his own soul. Doble was capable of terrible evil. His hatred, jealousy, and passion would work together to poison his mind. The corners of his brain had always been full of lust and obscenity. There was this difference between him and Shorty. The squat cowpuncher was a clean scoundrel. A child, a straight girl, an honest woman, would be as safe with him as with simple-hearted old Buck Byington. But Dug Doble—it was impossible to predict what he would do. He had a vein of caution in his ...
— Gunsight Pass - How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West • William MacLeod Raine

... were afraid to come out. They went away finally with a closing burst of ridicule and offensive epithets. The third night they came again and were more obstreperous than ever. They swaggered up and down the almost deserted pier, and hurled curses, obscenity, and stinging sarcasms at our crew. It was more than human nature could bear. The executive officer ordered our men ashore—with instructions not to fight. They charged the British and gained a brilliant victory. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... whom poverty excludes from the higher ranks of life, 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

... "Oh, obscenity! Is that what it's about?" Rand exclaimed in disgust. "Yes, Gresham told me about that. He didn't have the drink, and he wasn't smoking a cigar in the shop, and he left a little after nine. He got home at nine twenty-two. I can testify to that, myself; I was there at the time, and so ...
— Murder in the Gunroom • Henry Beam Piper

... markets, shops, and post-offices, those places must be, and are, conducted with order and decency. The only great resorts from which woman is excluded by law are the election places; and the violence, rowdyism, profanity, and obscenity of the gathering there in our largest cities are sufficient to drive decent men, even, away from the polls. If our wives, sisters, and daughters were going to the polls, we should go with them, and good order would be observed, or a row would ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... simplicity made him keenly alive to the proximity of the sublime to the ridiculous or the exquisite to the grotesque. Though he had little of the animal in him, and was never troubled by his appetites, he was quite free from prudery. If obscenity moved him at all, it was to frank laughter or to grim contempt; he never dwelt upon it, either in the way of enjoyment or loathing. "For rules of ascetic discipline," says a friend, "he had no need. The view of life suggested by so much of the best French literature, ...
— An Estimate of the Value and Influence of Works of Fiction in Modern Times • Thomas Hill Green

... by the aerial shrine Comes forth to dance, a hoofed obscenity, His satyr's dance, with laughter in his eye, And cruelty along the scarlet line Of his bright smiling mouth. All uncontrolled, Love's rebel servant, he delights to beat The maddening quick dry rhythm of goatish feet Even in the sanctuary, and makes bold To ...
— The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems • Aldous Huxley

... to his boiling passion in a torrent of curses. He shrieked imprecation upon Burgess, Troke, and North. He cursed all soldiers for tyrants, all parsons for hypocrites. He blasphemed his God and his Saviour. With a frightful outpouring of obscenity and blasphemy, he called on the earth to gape and swallow his persecutors, for Heaven to open and rain fire upon them, for hell to yawn and engulf them quick. It was as though each blow of the cat forced out of him a fresh burst of beast-like rage. ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... their blunt, grim humour, their stoicism 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 from the Dakotas ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... naturalistic copy of things as they are. "While poetry is based on imitations ... it does not resign the likeness of the truth, since the charm of imitation is probability."[35] As a result of his naturalism, Plutarch admitted as appropriate poetical material immorality and obscenity as well as virtue, because these things are in life. If the copy is good, the poem is artistic and praiseworthy, just as a painting of a venomous spider, if a faithful representation of its loathsome subject, is praised ...
— Rhetoric and Poetry in the Renaissance - A Study of Rhetorical Terms in English Renaissance Literary Criticism • Donald Lemen Clark

... accomplished young gentleman and tried to imitate him. For Egerton represented, faithfully enough, traditions to which John bowed the knee. Upon any point of schoolboy honour his authority ruled supreme. He told the truth among his peers; he loathed obscenity; he disliked ...
— The Hill - A Romance of Friendship • Horace Annesley Vachell

... bad manners, ill temper, and brutishness (for that is 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 there are decisive reasons; ...
— A Treatise on Parents and Children • George Bernard Shaw

... father to redeem the boy's idea of human procreation from obscenity, and, under right conditions, to have this process regarded by his boy as the most wonderful responsibility that falls to man. Sometime before the boy has reached thirteen, the father will have explained to him the facts and temptations of the pubescent period. ...
— The Minister and the Boy • Allan Hoben

... 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 ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... of life, and return home, lamenting the social anarchy of America, and retailing their own indecent conduct as the ordinary customs of the country.... The pranks which, in a backwoods American, would be stigmatized as shocking obscenity, become, when perpetrated by a rich Englishman, charming evidence ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... prejudiced 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 get into trouble ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... futilities of every sort, the "great poets" wallowing in the mud of Paris, the "great musicians" making night hideous in German concert-halls, the "great painters" of various countries mixing their colors with as much filth as the police will allow. His keen thrusts at these incarnations of folly and obscenity in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and especially at those who seek to hide the poverty of their ideas in the obscurity of their phrases, encourage one to think that in the next generation the day of such pretenders ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II • Andrew Dickson White

... I have 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 cities in America, I have come in contact with thousands ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... 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 and women in pairs, the thousands of tipplers. "No, there certainly was nothing like that in Paris." ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... hands of two Germans, who had gone to her parents-in-law's house, where she was living in the absence of her husband, who had been mobilized. One of the Germans held M. X., the father, in front of the door while the other, threatening the young woman with his rifle, committed acts of revolting obscenity upon her in the presence of the mother-in-law. When he had accomplished his crime he took the place of his comrade, mounting guard over M. X., while the former in his ...
— Current History, A Monthly Magazine - The European War, March 1915 • New York Times

... comparison of qualities with the second, we constantly find beauty and melody, transfigured into harmony and sublimity; an exchange unquestionably for the better: but in certain stages, or only perhaps in a single stage of it, we frequently find humour and reality supplanted by realism and obscenity; an exchange undeniably for the worse. The note of his earliest comic style was often a boyish or a birdlike wantonness, very capable of such liberties and levities as those of Lesbia's sparrow with the lip or bosom of his mistress; as notably in the parts of Boyet and Mercutio: and ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... 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 and ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... poorest corner of this soul-destroying Christendom vitality suddenly begins to germinate again. Joyousness, a sacred gift long dethroned by the hellish laughter of derision and obscenity, rises like a flood miraculously out of the fetid dust and mud of the slums; rousing marches and impetuous dithyrambs rise to the heavens from people among whom the depressing noise called "sacred music" is a standing joke; a flag with Blood and Fire on it is unfurled, not in murderous ...
— Bernard Shaw's Preface to Major Barbara • George Bernard Shaw

... a dance of its own. Dances in honour of Venus were common, she was the patroness of proper and decent dancing; on the contrary, those in honour of Dionysius or Bacchus degenerated into revelry and obscenity. The Epilenios danced when the grapes were pressed, and imitated the gathering and pressing. The Anteisterios danced when the wine was vatted (figs. 8, 9, 10), and the Bahilicos, danced to the sistrus, cymbals, and tambour, often degenerated ...
— The Dance (by An Antiquary) - Historic Illustrations of Dancing from 3300 B.C. to 1911 A.D. • Anonymous

... of 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 in my life. I can point out half ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... is 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 effort to go to the water-closet, ...
— Manhood Perfectly Restored • Unknown

... perpetually pandering to the depraved appetites of the age. It is not, therefore, wonderful that all true Christians viewed the theatre with disgust. Its frivolity was offensive to their grave temperament; they recoiled from its obscenity; and its constant appeals to the gods and goddesses of heathenism outraged their religious convictions. [321:1] In their estimation, the talent devoted to its maintenance was miserably prostituted; and whilst every actor was deemed unworthy of ecclesiastical fellowship, every church member ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... losing all its grossness." The reader of Bayle and Brantome had been introduced to a bizarre sort of morality; her "spiritual father," Voltaire, was the author of La Pucelle and Jacques le Fataliste proceeded from the same pen as the University for Russia. Diderot, indeed, whose moral obscenity was not the whole of the man, but was, nevertheless, sincere and from the centre, was able to compliment her on the freedom from "the decencies and virtues, the worn-out rags of her sex." She had no fund of theoretical cynicism on such matters, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... Farley, in a sermon at St. Patrick's 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

... immaculate spouse—the Vicar of Christ, the ministers of religion, and everything held dear 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 ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... always regarded classical studies as the panacea of civilization, provided they were made serviceable to pure Christianity. His sincere ethical feeling made him recoil from the obscenity of a Poggio and the immorality of the early Italian humanists. At the same time his delicate and natural taste told him that a pedantic and servile imitation of antique models could never produce the desired result. Erasmus knew Latin too well to be strictly classical; his Latin was alive and ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... the comedies of the "-dimidiatus Menander-." And, while the aesthetic critic cannot recognize an improvement in the transition from the coarse to the dull, as little can the moralist in the transition from the obscenity and indifference of Plautus to the accommodating morality of Terence. But in point of language an improvement certainly took place. Elegance of language was the pride of the poet, and it was owing above all to its inimitable charm that the most refined ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... understand. For instance, he tried to persuade himself that he was learning how to be good and kind to her when they were married. He thus associated her with all his visionary dreamings. Protected by the purity of his affection against the obscenity of certain eighteenth-century tales which fell into his hands, he found particular pleasure in shutting himself up with her in those humanitarian Utopias which some great minds of our own time, infatuated by visions of universal happiness ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... overwriting—that 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 ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... witness to indecency. Of 142 criminals examined by my father, the tattooing on five showed obscenity of design and position and furnished also a remarkable proof of the insensibility to pain characteristic of criminals, the parts tattooed being the most sensitive of the whole body, and therefore left ...
— Criminal Man - According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso • Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

... the harpies gone—Yet ere we perch Where such foul birds have roosted, let us cleanse The foul obscenity they've left behind ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... esteem among them 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 dialect of the Gitanos, the knowledge ...
— The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain • George Borrow

... attraction of Aristophanes is the abounding comic force and verve of his style. It resembles an impetuous torrent, whose swift rush purifies in its flow the grossness and obscenity inseparable from the origin of comedy, and buoys up and sweeps along on the current of fancy and improvisation the chaff and dross of vulgar jests, puns, scurrilous personalities, and cheap "gags," allowing no time for chilling reflections or criticism. Jests which are singly feeble combine to ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... 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 of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... 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 most ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... the Order, 817-m. Templar secret object the rebuilding of the Temple on the model of Ezekiel, 816-u. Templar Secret Order had princes as Grand Masters, 823-l. Templarism lived under other names, governed by unknown chiefs, 821-u. Templars accused of impiety, obscenity and the worship of Baphomet, 820-m. Templars and Hospitallers took vows of obedience, chastity, poverty, 802-u. Templars arrested and imprisoned by Clement the Fifth and Philip le Bel, 820-m. Templars, at the origin, were opposed to the tiara of Rome and the crown of kings, ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... Anthony Weldon was the author of "The Court and Character of King James; written and taken by Sir A. W., being an eye and ear witness." London, 1650. A work which has been pronounced, by competent authority, " a despicable tissue of filth and obscenity, of falsehood ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... sensual, and welcomed as enjoyable, what the 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 ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... 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 ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... efficient teamster. He had certain profane rituals which he repeated on suitable occasions, word for word, but with an emphasis and sincerity that made them sound each time as though he had invented them under the inspiration of the immediate necessity. He had a special torrent of obscenity for his team when they were making a difficult crossing somewhere on the Little Missouri. It was always the same succession of terrifying expletives, and it always had the desired effect. It ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... idioms of wooers took on in Charity's ear a grotesque obscenity, a sacrilegious burlesque of words as holy to her as prayer or the sacred dialect of priests. When Zada murmured, "Kissings! kissings!" Charity screamed: "Stop it, you ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... and their counsels, the records of their 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 ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... fortitude and real heroism I have met with in my acquaintances among the poor. Strength in time of trial, virtue amidst obscenity, suffering long drawn out and perpetual self-denial are characteristics that abound in many of my poorest friends, and in some of the chapters that are to follow I shall tell more fully of them, but just now I am amongst neither sinners nor saints, but with my friends "in motley." ...
— London's Underworld • Thomas Holmes

... let not my readers be surprised or shocked, if, in the course of these adventures, I should display some of the fruits of that fatal seed, so early and so profusely sown in my bosom. If, on my first coming into the ship, I shrank back with horror at the sound of blasphemy and obscenity—if I shut my eyes to the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, it was not so long. By insensible degrees, I became familiarised with vice, and callous to its approach. In a few months I had become nearly as corrupt as others. I might indeed have resisted longer; but though the fortress of virtue ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... festival is said to be the most 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 ...
— The God-Idea of the Ancients - or Sex in Religion • Eliza Burt Gamble

... abandoned the ideal of the graceful craft I had sketched, and compromised on a flat bottom. Observe how the ways of deception lead to transgression: I recalled the cast-off lumber pile of Jarvis, the carpenter, a good-natured Englishman, coarse and fat: in our neighbourhood his reputation for obscenity was so well known to mothers that I had been forbidden to go near him or his shop. Grits Jarvis, his son, who had inherited the talent, was also contraband. I can see now the huge bulk of the elder Jarvis as he stood in the melting, soot-powdered snow in front of his ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... fight off the truth. It was facing him now in all its nakedness, monstrous to obscenity, demanding its due measure from his own soul's blood. He aroused himself, shivering, and looked out into the room where the shadows lay heavy, and from whence came the breathing of the sleepers. He picked up the now sputtering candle, set in its hole bored in a block of ...
— The Lions of the Lord - A Tale of the Old West • Harry Leon Wilson

... 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 wearisome manner, constantly ...
— A Selection from the Comedies of Marivaux • Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux

... gluttony would give them leisure, could find no way of amusing themselves so effectually as by attempting to call up the devil of lust. Allusions that were evidently their common-place table talk, and that approached as nearly as they durst venture to obscenity, were their pastime. With these they tickled their fancy till it gurgled in their throats, applied to Miss Wilmot to give it a higher gusto, and, while they hypocritically avoided words which the ear could not endure, they taxed their dull wit to conjure up their corresponding ideas. ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... clumsy form which flirtation assumes under the action of alcohol is only too well known. The gross and persistent obscenity of drunken persons in railway carriages and other places toward women is an example of ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... 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 afraid of exposing, under the influence of ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... 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 ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... see that this patient exhibited symptoms of dementia praecox from the outset of her stupor, with scattering, genital sensations and incest ideas. The stupor symptoms gradually gave way to the typical indifference, negativism, obscenity, filthiness and inexplicable conduct of dementia praecox. At the beginning, however, the condition was superficially similar to that of a benign stupor, it being only on careful observation that other symptoms ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... brave gentlemen that followed him; yet not taken for a popular or dangerous person." Though extremely choleric, he was honest, and not at all malicious. It was said of him that "his Latin and his dissimulation were both alike," equally bad, and that "his custom in swearing and obscenity in speech made him seem a worse Christian ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... the crowd, pouring on, like an inundation, toward the deserted palace. The doors were forced open, and the interior of the palace was instantly filled with the swarming multitudes. The mob from the streets polluted the sanctuaries of royalty with every species of vulgarity and obscenity. An amazon market-woman took possession of the queen's bed, and, spreading her cherries upon it, she took her seat upon the royal couch, exclaiming, "To-day it is the nation's turn to take their ease." One of the caps of ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... intended to represent the male and female principle. Around these carved and painted statues are many offerings, plates, knives, and cloth, and frequently also the phallic symbol may be seen dangling from the rafters. There is not the slightest suspicion of obscenity in all this, and anyone qualifying this worship of the generative power as obscene does so hastily and ignorantly. It is a solemn mystery to the Congo native, a force but dimly understood, and, like all mysterious natural manifestations, ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen



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