Socrates, Caesar, Alexander, Martial, Catullus, Virgil, Achilles; Napoleon, Frederick the Great, Goethe, Shakespeare, Bacon, an unbroken line of English monarchs; Mohammed, Benvenuto Cellini, Wilde, Symonds, Emerson, Pater, Fitz-Gerald, Leighton, Whitman, Michael Angelo, Leonardo, and a host of others
I shall fight openly for that which no living Englishman dare defend, even in secret — sodomy! At school I was taught to admire Plato and Aristotle, who recommend sodomy to youths. I am not so rebellious as to oppose their dictum; and in truth there seems no better way to avoid the contamination of woman and the morose pleasures of solitary vice. (Not that women themselves are unclean; it is the worship of them as ideals that rots the soul). Again we may say that all the great men of antiquity were sodomites: Socrates, Caesar, Alexander, Martial, Catullus, Virgil, Achilles; Napoleon, Frederick the Great, Goethe, Shakespeare, Bacon, an unbroken line of English monarchs; Mohammed, Benvenuto Cellini, Wilde, Symonds, Emerson, Pater, Fitz-Gerald, Leighton, Whitman, Michael Angelo, Leonardo, and a host of others — even unto this hour. But of this hour I will not speak. I am now collecting a great body of evidence similar to that which Herr Harden has gathered in Germany, and involving an even higher class of society. Not in the least to show the corruptions of that class; but to proclaim sodomy as an aristocratic virtue, which our middle class had better imitate if they wish to be smart. If I have not already published the correspondence in my possession between the late Duke of Clarence and “Boy Morgan” — as well as many other important papers — and a pretty penny they have cost me! — it is not for any dog-in-the manger reasons, but because it would coincide so dramatically with the moment when, like Socrates, I get into trouble for corrupting morality, and because I never like to leave a job half done. It is almost incredible how large a number of peers there are against whom I have not a shadow of evidence or even suspicion. Luckily the judges are less wary. While the bishops are such easy game as to be hardly worth powder and shot. There, I’ve done it now!
As long as sexual relations are complicated by religious, social and financial considerations, so long will they cause all kinds of cowardly, dishonourable and disgusting behaviour. When war conditions imposed artificial restraint on the sister appetite of hunger, decent citizens began to develop all kinds of loathsome trickery. Men and women will never behave worthily as long as current morality interferes with the legitimate satisfaction of physiological needs. Nature always avenges herself on those who insult her. The individual is not to blame for the crime and insanity which are the explosions consequent on the clogging of the safety valve. The fault lies with the engineer. At the present moment, society is blowing up in larger or smaller spots all over the world, because it has failed to develop a system by which all its members can be adequately nourished, without conflict and the waste products eliminated without discomfort.