Studies in the psychology of sex, volume 2 by Havelock Ellis. - HTML preview
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part has ever
allowed the possibility of such construction as mentioned is
terrible. I am fain to hope that the pages themselves are not to
be even mentioned for such gratuitous and quite at the time
undreamed and unwished possibility of morbid inferences--which
are disavowed by me and seem damnable."
It would seem from this letter that Whitman had never realized that
there is any relationship whatever between the passionate emotion of
physical contact from man to man, as he had experienced it and sung it,
and the act which with other people he would regard as a crime against
nature. This may be singular, for there are many inverted persons who have
found satisfaction in friendships less physical and passionate than those
described in _Leaves of Grass_, but Whitman was a man of concrete,
emotional, instinctive temperament, lacking in analytical power, receptive
to all influences, and careless of harmonizing them. He would most
certainly have refused to admit that he was the subject of inverted
sexuality. It remains true, however, that "manly love"
occupies in his
work a predominance which it would scarcely hold in the feelings of the
"average man," whom Whitman wishes to honor. A normally constituted
person, having assumed the very frank attitude taken up by Whitman, would
be impelled to devote far more space and far more ardor to the subject of
sexual relationships with women and all that is involved in maternity than
is accorded to them in _Leaves of Grass_. Some of Whitman's extant letters
to young men, though they do not throw definite light on this question,
are of a very affectionate character, and, although a man of
remarkable physical vigor, he never felt inclined to marry. It remains
somewhat difficult to classify him from the sexual point of view, but we
can scarcely fail to recognize the presence of a homosexual tendency.
I should add that some friends and admirers of Whitman are not
prepared to accept the evidence of the letter to Symonds. I am
indebted to "Q." for the following statement of the objections:--
"I think myself that it is a mistake to give much weight to this
letter--perhaps a mistake to introduce it at all, since if
introduced it will, of course, carry weight. And this for three
or four reasons:--
"1. That it is difficult to reconcile the letter itself (with its
strong tone of disapprobation) with the general
_Leaves of Grass_, the tenor of which is to leave everything open
"2. That the letter is in hopeless conflict with the
section of poems. For, whatever moral lines Whitman may have
drawn at the time of writing these poems, it seems to me quite
incredible that the possibility of certain inferences, morbid or
other, was undreamed of.
"3. That the letter was written only a few months before his last
illness and death, and is the only expression of the kind that he
appears to have given utterance to.
"4. That Symonds's letter, to which this was a reply, is not
forth coming; and we consequently do not know what rash
expressions it may have contained--leading Whitman (with his
extreme caution) to hedge his name from possible use to justify
I may add that I endeavored to obtain Symonds's letter, but he
was unable to produce it, nor has any copy of it been found among
It should be said that Whitman's attitude toward Symonds was
marked by high regard and admiration. "A wonderful man is
Addington Symonds," he remarked shortly before his own death;
"some ways the most indicative and penetrating and significant
man of our time. Symonds is a curious fellow; I love him dearly.
He is of college breed and education, horribly literary and
suspicious, and enjoys things. A great fellow for delving into
persons and into the concrete, and even into the physiological
and the gastric, and wonderfully cute." But on this occasion he
delved in vain.
The foregoing remarks (substantially contained in the previous
editions of this book) were based mainly on the information
received from J.A. Symonds's side. But of more recent years
interesting light has been thrown on this remarkable letter from
Walt Whitman's side. The Boswellian patience, enthusiasm, and
skill which Horace Traubel has brought to his full and elaborate
work, now in course of publication, _With Walt Whitman in
Camden_, clearly reveal, in the course of various conversations,
Whitman's attitude to Symonds's question and the state of mind
which led up to this letter.
Whitman talked to Traubel much about Symonds from the
twenty-seventh of April, 1888 (very soon after the date when
Traubel's work begins), onward. Symonds had written to him
repeatedly, it seems, concerning the "passional relations of men
with men," as Whitman expressed it. "He is always driving at me
about that: is that what Calamus means?--because of me or in
spite of me, is that what it means? I have said no, but no does
not satisfy him. [There is, however, no record from Symonds's
side of any letter by Whitman to Symonds in this sense up to this
date.] But read this letter--read the whole of it: it is very
shrewd, very cute, in deadliest earnest: it drives me hard,
almost compels me--it is urgent, persistent: he sort of stands in
the road and says 'I won't move till you answer my question.' You
see, this is an old letter--sixteen years old--and he is still
asking the question: he refers to it in one of his latest notes.
He is surely a wonderful man--a rare, cleaned-up man--a
white-souled, heroic character.... You will be writing something
about Calamus some day," said W. [to Traubel], "and this letter,
and what I say, may help to clear your ideas.
Calamus needs clear
ideas; it may be easily, innocently distorted from its natural,
its motive, body of doctrine."
The letter, dated Feb. 7, 1872, of some length, is then
reproduced. It tells how much _Leaves of Grass_, and especially
the Calamus section, had helped the writer. "What the love of man
for man has been in the past," Symonds wrote, "I think I know.
What it is here now, I know also--alas! What you say it can and
should be I dimly discern in your Poems. But this hardly
satisfies me--so desirous am I of learning what you teach. Some
day, perhaps,--in some form, I know not what, but in your own
chosen form,--you will tell me more about the Love of Friends.
Till then I wait."
"Said W: 'Well, what do you think of that? Do you think that
could be answered?' 'I don't see why you call that letter driving
you hard. It's quiet enough--it only asks questions, and asks the
questions mildly enough,' 'I suppose you are right--
not exactly the word: yet you know how I hate to be catechised.
Symonds is right, no doubt, to ask the questions: I am just as
much right if I do not answer them: just as much right if I do
answer them. I often say to myself about Calamus--
means more or less than what I thought myself--means different:
perhaps I don't know what it all means--perhaps never did know.
My first instinct about all that Symonds writes is violently
reactionary--is strong and brutal for no, no, no.
thought intervenes that I maybe do not know all my own meanings:
I say to myself: "You, too, go away, come back, study your own
book--as alien or stranger, study your own book, see what it
amounts to." Some time or other I will have to write to him
definitely about Calamus--give him my word for it what I meant or
mean it to mean.'"
Again, a month later (May 24, 1888), Whitman speaks to Traubel of
a "beautiful letter" from Symonds. "You will see that he harps on
the Calamus poems again. I don't see why it should, but his
recurrence to that subject irritates me a little. I suppose you
might say--why don't you shut him up by answering him? There is
no logical answer to that I suppose: but I may ask in my turn:
'What right has he to ask questions anyway?'" W.
laughed a bit.
"Anyway the question comes back to me almost every time he
writes. He is courteous enough about it--that is the reason I do
not resent him. I suppose the whole thing will end in an answer
The letter follows. The chief point in it is that the writer
hopes he has not been importunate in the question he had asked
about Calamus three years before.
"I [Traubel] said to W.: 'That's a humble letter enough: I don't
see anything in that to get excited about. He doesn't ask you to
answer the old question. In fact he rather apologizes for having
asked it.' W. fired up 'Who is excited? As to that question, he
does ask it again and again: asks it, asks it, asks it.' I
laughed at his vehemence. 'Well, suppose he does? It does not
harm. Besides, you've got nothing to hide. I think your silence
might lead him to suppose there was a nigger in your wood pile.'
'Oh, nonsense! But for thirty years my enemies and friends have
been asking me questions about the _Leaves_: I'm tired of not
answering questions.' It was very funny to see his face when he
gave a humorous twist to the fling in his last phrase. Then he
relaxed and added: 'Anyway I love Symonds. Who could fail to love
a man who could write such a letter? I suppose he will yet have
to be answered, damn 'im!'"
It is clear that these conversations considerably diminish the force of
the declaration in Whitman's letter. We see that the letter which, on the
face of it, might have represented the swift and indignant reaction of a
man who, suddenly faced by the possibility that his work may be
interpreted in a perverse sense, emphatically repudiates that
interpretation, was really nothing of the kind. Symonds for at least
eighteen years had been gently, considerately, even humbly, yet
persistently, asking the same perfectly legitimate question. If the answer
was really an emphatic no, it would more naturally have been made in 1872
than 1890. Moreover, in the face of this ever-recurring question, Whitman
constantly speaks to his friends of his great affection for Symonds and
his admiration for his intellectual cuteness, feelings that would both be
singularly out of place if applied to a man who was all the time
suggesting the possibility that his writings contained inferences that
were "terrible," "morbid," and "damnable." Evidently, during all those
years, Whitman could not decide what to reply. On the one hand he was
moved by his horror of being questioned, by his caution, by his natural
aversion to express approval of anything that could be called unnatural or
abnormal. On the other hand, he was moved by the desire to let his work
speak for itself, by his declared determination to leave everything open,
and possibly by a more or less conscious sympathy with the inferences
presented to him. It was not until the last years of his life, when his
sexual life belonged to the past, when weakness was gaining on him, when
he wished to put aside every drain on his energies, that--being
constitutionally incapable of a balanced scientific statement--he chose
the simplest and easiest solution of the difficulty.
Concerning another great modern writer--Paul Verlaine, the first of modern
French poets--it seems possible to speak with less hesitation. A man who
possessed in fullest measure the irresponsible impressionability of
genius, Verlaine--as his work shows and as he himself admitted--all his
life oscillated between normal and homosexual love, at one period
attracted to women, at another to men. He was without doubt, it seems to
me, bisexual. An early connection with another young poet, Arthur Rimbaud,
terminated in a violent quarrel with his friend, and led to Verlaine's
imprisonment at Mons. In after-years he gave expression to the exalted
passion of this relationship--_mon grand péché radieux_-
-in _Læti et
Errabundi_, published in the volume entitled _Parallèlement_; and in later
poems he has told of less passionate and less sensual relationships which
yet were more than friendship, for instance, in the poem, "_Mon ami, ma
plus belle amitié, ma Meilleure_" in _Bonheur_.
In this brief glance at some of the ethnographical, historical, religious,
and literary aspects of homosexual passion there is one other phenomenon
which may be mentioned. This is the alleged fact that, while the phenomena
exist to some extent everywhere, we seem to find a special proclivity to
homosexuality (whether or not involving a greater frequency of congenital
inversion is not usually clear) among certain races and in certain
regions. In Europe this would be best illustrated by the case of
southern Italy, which in this respect is held to be distinct from northern
Italy, although Italians generally are franker than men of northern race
in admitting their sexual practices. How far the supposed greater
homosexuality of southern Italy may be due to Greek influence and Greek
blood it is not very easy to say.
It must be remembered that, in dealing with a northern country like
England, homosexual phenomena do not present themselves in the same way as
they do in southern Italy today, or in ancient Greece.
In Greece the
homosexual impulse was recognized and idealized; a man could be an open
homosexual lover, and yet, like Epaminondas, be a great and honored
citizen of his country. There was no reason whatever why a man, who in
mental and physical constitution was perfectly normal, should not adopt a
custom that was regarded as respectable, and sometimes as even specially
honorable. But it is quite otherwise today in a country like England or
the United States. In these countries all our traditions and all our
moral ideals, as well as the law, are energetically opposed to every
manifestation of homosexual passion. It requires a very strong impetus to
go against this compact social force which, on every side, constrains the
individual into the paths of heterosexual love. That impetus, in a
well-bred individual who leads the normal life of his fellow-men and who
feels the ordinary degree of respect for the social feeling surrounding
him, can only be supplied by a fundamental--usually, it is probable,
inborn--perversion of the sexual instinct, rendering the individual
organically abnormal. It is with this fundamental abnormality, usually
called sexual inversion, that we shall here be concerned. There is no
evidence to show that homosexuality in Greece was a congenital perversion,
although it appears that Coelius Aurelianus affirms that in the opinion of
Parmenides it was hereditary. Aristotle also, in his fragment on physical
love, though treating the whole matter with indulgence, seems to have
distinguished abnormal congenital homosexuality from acquired homosexual
vice. Doubtless in a certain proportion of cases the impulse was organic,
and it may well be that there was an organic and racial predisposition to
homosexuality among the Greeks, or, at all events, the Dorians. But the
state of social feeling, however it originated, induced a large proportion
of the ordinary population to adopt homosexuality as a fashion, or, it may
be said, the environment was peculiarly favorable to the development of
latent homosexual tendencies. So that any given number of homosexual
persons among the Greeks would have presented a far smaller proportion of
constitutionally abnormal individuals than a like number in England.
In a similar manner--though I do not regard the analogy as
complete--infanticide or the exposition of children was practised in some
of the early Greek States by parents who were completely healthy and
normal; in England a married woman who destroys her child is in nearly
every case demonstrably diseased or abnormal. For this reason I am unable
to see that homosexuality in ancient Greece--while of great interest as a
social and psychological problem--throws light on sexual inversion as we
know it in England or the United States.
Concerning the wide prevalence of sexual inversion and of homosexual
phenomena generally, there can be no manner of doubt.
This question has
been most fully investigated in Germany. In Berlin, Moll states that he
has himself seen between 600 and 700 homosexual persons and heard of some
250 to 350 others. Hirschfeld states that he has known over 10,000
There are, I am informed, several large cafés in Berlin which are almost
exclusively patronized by inverts who come here to flirt and make
acquaintances; as these cafés are frequented by male street prostitutes
(Pupenjunge) the invert risks being blackmailed or robbed if he goes home
or to a hotel with a café acquaintance. There are also a considerable
number of homosexual _Kneipen_, small and unpretentious bar-rooms, which
are really male brothels, the inmates being sexually normal working men
and boys, out of employment or in quest of a few marks as pocket money;
these places are regarded by inverts as very safe, as the proprietors
insist on good order and allow no extortion, while the police, though of
course aware of their existence, never interfere.
Homosexual cafés for
women are also found in Berlin.
There is some reason for believing that homosexuality is especially
prominent in Germany and among Germans. I have elsewhere referred to the
highly emotional and sentimental traits which have frequently marked
German friendships. Germany is the only country in which there is a
definite and well-supported movement for the defense and social
rehabilitation of inverts. The study of sexual inversion began in Germany,
and the scientific and literary publications dealing with homosexuality
issued from the German press probably surpass in quantity and importance
those issued from all other countries put together. The homosexual
tendencies of Germans outside Germany have been noted in various
countries. Among my English cases I have found that a strain of German
blood occurs much more frequently than we are entitled to expect; Parisian
prostitutes are said to be aware of the homosexual tastes of Germans; it
is significant that (as a German invert familiar with Turkey informed
Näcke), at Constantinople, the procurers, who naturally supply girls as
well as youths, regard Germans and Austrians as more tending to
homosexuality than the foreigners from any other land.
deny, however, that there is any special German proclivity to inversion,
and it would not appear that such statistics as are available (though all
such statistics cannot be regarded as more than approximations) show any
pronounced predominance of inversion among Germans. It is to Hirschfeld
that we owe the chief attempt to gain some notion of the percentage of
homosexual persons among the general population. It may be said to
vary in different regions and more especially in different occupations,
from 1 to 10 per cent. But the average when the individuals belonging to a
large number of groups are combined is generally found to be rather over 2
per cent. So that there are about a million and a half inverted persons in
Germany. This would be a minimum which can scarcely fail to be below
the actual proportion, as no one can be certain that he is acquainted with
the real proclivities of all the persons comprising a larger group of
acquaintances. It is not found in the estimates which have reached
Hirschfeld that the French groups show a smaller proportion of homosexual
persons than the German groups, and a Japanese group comes out near to
the general average for the whole. Various authorities, especially
Germans, believe that homosexuality is just as common in France as in
Germany. Saint-Paul ("Dr. Laupts"), on the other hand, is unable to
accept this view. As an army surgeon who has long served in Africa he can
(as also Rebierre in his _Joyeux et demifous_) bear witness to the
frequency of homosexuality among the African battalions of the French
army, especially in the cavalry, less so in the infantry; in the French
army generally he finds it rare, as also in the general population.
Näcke is also inclined to believe that homosexuality is rarer in Celtic
lands, and in the Latin countries generally, than in Teutonic and Slavonic
lands, and believes that it may be a question of race. The question
is still undecided. It is possible that the undoubted fact that
homosexuality is less conspicuous in France and the other Latin countries
than in Teutonic lands, may be due not to the occurrence of a smaller
proportion of congenital inverts in the former lands, but mainly to
general difference in temperament and in the social reaction. The
French idealize and emphasize the place of women to a much greater degree
than the Germans, while at the same time inverts in France have much less
occasion than in Germany to proclaim their legal grievances. Apart from
such considerations as these it seems very doubtful whether inborn
inversion is in any considerable degree rarer in France than in Germany.
As to the frequency of homosexuality in England and the United
States there is much evidence. In England its manifestations are well
marked for those whose eyes have once been opened. The manifestations are
of the same character as those in Germany, modified by social and national
differences, and especially by the greater reserve, Puritanism, and
prudery of England. In the United States these same influences exert
a still greater effect in restraining the outward manifestations of
homosexuality. Hirschfeld, though so acute and experienced in the
investigation of homosexuality, states that when visiting Philadelphia and
Boston he could scarcely detect any evidence of homosexuality, though he
was afterward assured by those acquainted with local conditions that its
extension in both cities is "colossal." There have been numerous criminal
cases and scandals in the United States in which homosexuality has come to
the surface, and the very frequently occurring cases of transvestism or
cross-dressing in the States seem to be in a large proportion associated
In the opinion of some, English homosexuality has become much more
conspicuous during recent years, and this is sometimes attributed to the
Oscar Wilde case. No doubt, the celebrity of Oscar Wilde and the universal
publicity given to the facts of the case by the newspapers may have
brought conviction of their perversion to many inverts who were before
only vaguely conscious of their abnormality, and, paradoxical though it
may seem, have imparted greater courage to others; but it can scarcely
have sufficed to increase the number of inverts. Rather, one may say, the
development of urban life renders easier the exhibition and satisfaction
of this as of all other forms of perversion. Regarding the proportion of
inverts among the general population, it is very difficult to speak
positively. The invert himself is a misleading guide because he has formed
round himself a special coterie of homosexual persons, and, moreover, he
is sometimes apt to overestimate the number of inverts through the
misinterpretation of small indications that are not always conclusive.
The estimate of the ordinary normal person, feeling the ordinary disgust
toward abnormal phenomena, is also misleading, because his homosexual
acquaintances are careful not to inform him concerning their proclivities.
A writer who has studied the phenomena of homosexuality is apt to be
misguided in the same way as the invert himself, and to overestimate the
prevalence of the perversion. Striving to put aside this source of
fallacy, and only considering those individuals with whom I have been
brought in contact by the ordinary circumstances of life, and with whose
modes of feeling I am acquainted, I am still led to the conclusion that
the proportion is considerable. Among the professional and most cultured
element of the middle class in England, there must be a distinct
percentage of inverts which may sometimes be as much as 5 per cent.,
though such estimates must always be hazardous. Among women of the same
class the percentage seems to be at least double, though here the
phenomena are less definite and deep-seated. This seems to be a moderate
estimate for this class, which includes, however, it must be remembered, a
considerable proportion of individuals who are somewhat abnormal in other
respects. As we descend the scale the phenomena are doubtless less common,
though when we reach the working class we come to that comparative
indifference to which allusion has already been made.
Taken altogether we
may probably conclude that the proportion of inverts is the same as in
other related and neighboring lands, that is to say, slightly over 2 per
cent. That would give the homosexual population of Great Britain as
somewhere about a million.
 Taking all its forms _en bloc_, as they are known to the police,
homosexuality is seen to possess formidable proportions.
Thus in France,
from official papers which passed through M. Carlier's bureau during ten
years (1860-70), he compiled a list of 6342 pederasts who came within the
cognizance of the police; 2049 Parisians, 3709
provincials, and 584
foreigners. Of these, 3432, or more than the half, could not be convicted
of illegal acts.
 The chief general collection of data (not here drawn upon) concerning
homosexuality among animals is by the zoölogist Prof.
und Tribadie bei den Tieren," _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol.
ii. Brehm's _Tierleben_ also contains many examples. See also a short
chapter (ch. xxix) in Hirschfeld's _Homosexualität_.
 H. Sainte-Claire Deville, "De l'Internat et son influence sur
l'education de la jeunesse," a paper read to the Académie des Sciences
Morales et Politiques, July 27, 1871, and quoted by Chevalier,
_L'Inversion Sexuelle_, pp. 204-5.
 M. Bombarda, _Comptes rendus Congrès Internationale de l'Anthropologie
Criminelle_, Amsterdam, p. 212.
 Lacassagne, "De la Criminalité chez les Animaux,"
 Steinach, "Utersuchungen zu vergleichende Physiologie," _Archiv für
die Gesammte Physiologie_, Bd. lvi, 1894, p. 320.
 Féré, _Comptes-rendus Société de Biologie_, July 30, 1898. We may
perhaps connect this with an observation of E. Selous (_Zoölogist_, May
and Sept., 1901) on a bird, the Great Crested Grebe; after pairing, the
male would crouch to the female, who played his part to him; the same
thing is found among pigeons. Selous suggests that this is a relic of
primitive hermaphroditism. But it may be remembered that in the male
generally sexual intercourse tends to be more exhausting than in the
female; this fact would favor a reversion of their respective parts.
 E. Selous, "Sexual Selection in Birds," _Zoölogist_, Feb., 1907, p.
65; ib., May, p. 169. Sexual aberrations generally are not uncommon among
birds; see, e.g., A. Heim, "Sexuelle Verirrungen bei Vögeln in den
Tropen," _Sexual-Probleme_, April, 1913.
 See Moll, _Untersuchungen über die Libido Sexualis_, 1898, Bd. i, pp.
369, 374-5. For a summary of facts concerning homosexuality in animals see
F. Karsch, "Päderastie und Tribadie bei den Tieren auf Grund der
Literatur," _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd.
ii, 1899, pp.
 Muccioli, "Degenerazione e Criminalità nei Colombi," _Archivio di
Psichiatria_, 1893, p. 40.
 _L'Intermédiare des Biologistes_, November 20, 1897.
 R.I. Pocock, _Field_, 25 Oct., 1913.
 R.S. Rutherford, "Crowing Hens," _Poultry_, January 26, 1896.
 This has now been very thoroughly done by Prof. F.
Karsch-Haack in a
large book, _Das Gleichgeschlechtliche Leben der Naturvölker_, 1911. An
earlier and shorter study by the same author was published in the
_Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd. iii, 1901.
 See a brief and rather inconclusive treatment of the question by
Bruns Meissner, "Assyriologische Studien," iv, _Mitteilungen der
Vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft_, 1907.
 _Monatshefte für praktische Dermatologie_, Bd.
xxix, 1899, p. 409.
 Hirschfeld, _Die Homosexualität_, p. 739.
 Beardmore also notes that sodomy is "regularly indulged in" in New
Guinea on this account. (_Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, May,
1890, p. 464.)
 I have been told by medical men in India that it is specially common
among the Sikhs, the finest soldier-race in India.
 Foley, _Bulletin Société d'Anthropologie de Paris_, October 9, 1879.
 See, e.g., O. Kiefer, "Plato's Stellung zu Homosexualität," _Jahrbuch
für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol. vii.
 Bethe, op. cit., p. 440. In old Japan (before the revolution of 1868)
also, however, according to F.S. Krauss (_Das Geschlechtsleben der
Japaner_, ch. xiii, 1911), the homosexual relations between knights and
their pages resembled those of ancient Greece.
 _Archiv für Kriminal-Anthropologie_, 1906, p. 106.
 _Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft_, 1914, Heft 2, p. 73.
 Among the Sarts of Turkestan a class of well-trained and educated
homosexual prostitutes, resembling those found in China and many regions
of northern Asia, bearing also the same name of _batsha_, are said to be
especially common because fostered by the scarcity of women through
polygamy and by the women's ignorance and coarseness.
The institution of
the _batsha_ is supposed to have come to Turkestan from Persia. (Herman,
"Die Päderastie bei den Sarten," _Sexual-Probleme_, June, 1911.) This
would seem to suggest that Persia may have been a general center of
diffusions of this kind of refined homosexuality in northern Asia.
 Morache, art. "Chine," _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences
Médicales_; Matignon, "La Péderastie en Chine,"
Criminelle_, Jan., 1899; Von der Choven, summarized in _Archives de
Neurologie_, March, 1907; Scié-Ton-Fa, "L'Homosexualité en Chine," _Revue
de l'Hypnotisme_, April, 1909.
 _Moeurs des Peuples de l'Inde_, 1825, vol. i, part ii, ch. xii. In
Lahore and Lucknow, as quoted by Burton, Daville describes "men dressed as
women, with flowing locks under crowns of flowers, imitating the feminine
walk and gestures, voice and fashion of speech, ogling their admirer with
all the coquetry of bayaderes."
 _Voyages and Travels_, 1814, part ii, p. 47.
 A. Lisiansky, _Voyage, etc._, London, 1814, p.
 _Ethnographische Skizzen_, 1855, p. 121.
 C.F.P. von Martius, _Zur Ethnographie Amerika's_, Leipzig, 1867, Bd.
i, p. 74. In Ancient Mexico Bernal Diaz wrote: _Erant quasi omnes sodomia
commaculati, et adolescentes multi, muliebriter vestiti, ibant publice,
cibum quarentes ab isto diabolico et abominabili labore_.
 Hammond, _Sexual Impotence_, pp. 163-174.
 _New York Medical Journal_, Dec. 7, 1889.
 J. Turnbull, "_A Voyage Round the World in the Year 1800_," etc.,
1813, p. 382.
 _Annales d'Hygiène et de Médecine Coloniale_, 1899, p. 494.
 Oskar Baumann, "Conträre Sexual-Erscheinungen bei die
Neger-Bevölkerung Zanzibars," _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1899, Heft 6,
 Rev. J.H. Weeks, _Journal Anthropological Institute_, 1909, p. 449. I
am informed by a medical correspondent in the United States that inversion
is extremely prevalent among American negroes. "I have good reason to
believe," he writes, "that it is far more prevalent among them than among
the white people of any nation. If inversion is to be regarded as a
penalty of 'civilization' this is remarkable. Perhaps, however, the Negro,
_relatively to his capacity_, is more highly civilized than we are; at any
rate his civilization has been thrust upon him, and not acquired through
the long throes of evolution. Colored inverts desire white men as a rule,
but are not averse to men of their own race. I believe that 10 per cent,
of Negroes in the United States are sexually inverted."
 Among the Papuans of German New Guinea, where the women have great
power, marriage is late, and the young men are compelled to live separated
from the women in communal houses. Here, says Moskowski (_Zeitschrift für
Ethnologie_, 1911, Heft 2, p. 339), homosexual orgies are openly carried
 C.G. Seligmann, "Sexual Inversion Among Primitive Races," _Alienist
and Neurologist_, Jan., 1902. In a tale of the Western Solomon Islands,
reported by J.C. Wheeler (_Anthropophyteia_, vol. ix, p.
376) we find a
story of a man who would be a woman, and married another man and did
 Hardman, "Habits and Customs of Natives of Kimberley, Western
Australia," _Proceedings Royal Irish Academy_, 3d series, vol. i, 1889, p.
 Klaatsch, "Some Notes on Scientific Travel Amongst the Black
Populations of Tropic Australia," Adelaide meeting of _Australian
Association for the Advancement of Science_, January, 1907, p. 5.
 In further illustration of this I have been told that among the
common people there is often no feeling against connection with a woman
 Chevalier (_L'Inversion Sexuelle_, pp. 85-106) brings forward a
considerable amount of evidence regarding homosexuality at Rome under the
emperors. See also Moll, _Konträre Sexualempfindung_, 1899, pp. 56-66, and
Hirschfeld, _Homosexualität_, 1913, pp. 789-806. On the literary side,
Petronius best reveals the homosexual aspect of Roman life about the time
 J.A. Symonds wrote an interesting essay on this subject; see also
Kiefer, _Jahrbuch f. sex. Zwischenstufen_, vol. viii, 1906.
 See L. von Scheffler, "Elagabal," _Jahrbuch f. sex.
vol. iii, 1901; also Duviquet, _Héliogabale (Mercure de France_).
 The following note has been furnished to me:
"Balzac, in _Une
Dernière Incarnation de Vautrin_, describes the morals of the French
_bagnes_. Dostoieffsky, in _Prison-Life in Siberia_, touches on the same
subject. See his portrait of Sirotkin, p. 52 et seq., p.
120 (edition J.
and R. Maxwell, London). We may compare Carlier, _Les Deux Prostitutions_,
pp. 300-1, for an account of the violence of homosexual passions in French
prisons. The initiated are familiar with the fact in English prisons.
Bouchard, in his _Confessions_, Paris, Liseux, 1881, describes the convict
station at Marseilles in 1630." Homosexuality among French recidivists at
Saint-Jean-du-Maroni in French Guiana has been described by Dr. Cazanova,
_Arch. d'Anth. Crim._, January, 1906, p. 44. See also Davitt's _Leaves
from a Prison Diary_, and Berkman's _Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist_; also
Rebierre, _Joyeux et Demifous_, 1909.
 D. McMurtrie, _Chicago Medical Recorder_, January, 1914.
 See Appendix A: "Homosexuality among Tramps," by
 _Inferno_, xv. The place of homosexuality in the _Divine Comedy_
itself has been briefly studied by Undine Freün von Verschuer, _Jahrbuch
für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd. viii, 1906.
 Hirschfeld and others have pointed out, very truly, that inverts are
less prone than normal persons to regard caste and social position. This
innately democratic attitude renders it easier for them than for ordinary
people to rise to what Cyples has called the "ecstasy of humanity," the
emotional attitude, that is to say, of those rare souls of whom it may be
said, in the same writer's words, that "beggars' rags to their
unhesitating lips grew fit for kissing because humanity had touched the
garb." Edward Carpenter (_Intermediate Types among Primitive Folk_, p. 83)
remarks that great ethical leaders have often exhibited feminine traits,
and adds: "It becomes easy to suppose of those early figures--who once
probably were men--those Apollos, Buddhas, Dionysus, Osiris, and so
forth--to suppose that they too were somewhat bisexual in temperament, and
that it was really largely owing to that fact that they were endowed with
far-reaching powers and became leaders of mankind."
 English translation, _Primitive Folk_, in Contemporary Science
 R. Horneffer, _Der Priester_, 2 vols., 1912. J.G.
Frazer, in the
volume entitled "Adonis, Attis, Osiris" (pp. 428-435) of the third edition
of his _Golden Bough_, discusses priests dressed as women, and finds
various reasons for the custom.
 Edward Carpenter, _Intermediate Types among Primitive Folk_, 1914.
 Westermarck, _Origin and Development of Moral Ideas_, vol. ii, ch.
 "Italian literature," remarks Symonds, "can show the _Rime
Burlesche_, Becadelli's _Hermaphroditus_, the _Canti Carnascialeschi_, the
Macaronic poems of Fidentius, and the remarkably outspoken romance
entitled _Alcibiade Fanciullo a Scola_."
 The life of Muret has been well written by C.
 F.M. Nichols, _Epistles of Erasmus_, vol. i, pp.
 Burckhardt, _Die Kultur der Renaissance_, vol. ii, _Excursus_ ci.
 F. de Gaudenzi in ch. v of his _Studio Psico-patologico sopra T.
Tasso_ (1899) deals fully with the poet's homosexual tendencies.
 Herbert P. Horne, _Leonardo da Vinci_, 1903, p. 12.
 S. Freud, _Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci_, 1910.
 See Parlagreco, _Michelangelo Buonarotti_, Naples, 1888; Ludwig von
Scheffler, _Michelangelo: Ein Renaissance Studie_, 1892; _Archivo di
Psichiatria_, vol. xv, fasc. i, ii, p. 129; J.A.
Symonds, _Life of
Michelangelo_, 1893; Dr. Jur. Numa Praetorius, "Michel Angelo's
Urningtum," _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol.
ii, 1899, pp,
 J.A. Symonds, _Life of Michelangelo_, vol. ii, p.
 Sodoma's life and temperament have been studied and his pictures
copiously reproduced by Elisár von Kupffer, _Jahrbuch für sexuelle
Zwischenstufen_, Bd. ix, 1908, p. 71 et seq., and by R.H. Hobart Cust,
_Giovanni Antonio Bazzi_.
 Cellini, _Life_, translated by J.A. Symonds, introduction, p. xxxv,
and p. 448. Queringhi (_La Psiche di B. Cellini_, 1913) argues that
Cellini was not homosexual.
 See the interesting account of Duquesnoy by Eekhoud (_Jahrbuch für
sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd. ii, 1899), an eminent Belgian novelist who
has himself been subjected to prosecution on account of the pictures of
homosexuality in his novels and stories, _Escal-Vigor_
and _Le Cycle
Patibulaire_ (see _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd. iii, 1901).
 See Justi's _Life of Winkelmann_, and also Moll's _Die Konträre
Sexualempfindung_, third edition, 1899, pp. 122-126. In this work, as well
as in Raffalovich's _Uranisme et Unisexualité_, as also in Moll's
_Berühmte Homosexuelle_ (1910) and Hirschfeld's _Die Homosexualität_, p.
650 et seq., there will be found some account of many eminent men who are,
on more or less reliable grounds, suspected of homosexuality. Other German
writers brought forward as inverted are Platen, K.P.
Moritz, and Iffland.
Platen was clearly a congenital invert, who sought, however, the
satisfaction of his impulses in Platonic friendship; his homosexual poems
and the recently published unabridged edition of his diary render him an
interesting object of study; see for a sympathetic account of him, Ludwig
Frey, "Aus dem Seelenleben des Grafen Platen," _Jahrbuch für sexuelle
Zwischenstufen_, vols. i and vi. Various kings and potentates have been
mentioned in this connection, including the Sultan Baber; Henri III of
France; Edward II, William II, James I, and William III of England, and
perhaps Queen Anne and George III, Frederick the Great and his brother,
Heinrich, Popes Paul II, Sixtus IV, and Julius II, Ludwig II of Bavaria,
and others. Kings, indeed, seem peculiarly inclined to homosexuality.
 Schultz, _Das Höfische Leben_, Bd. i, ch. xiii.
 _De Planctu Naturæ_ has been translated by Douglas Moffat, _Yale
Studies in English_, No. xxxvi, 1908.
 P. de l'Estoile, _Mémoires-Journaux_, vol. ii, p.
 Laborde, _Le Palais Mazarin_, p. 128.
 Thus she writes in 1701 (_Correspondence_, edited by Brunet, vol. i,
p. 58): "Our heroes take as their models Hercules, Theseus, Alexander, and
Cæsar, who all had their male favorites. Those who give themselves up to
this vice, while believing in Holy Scripture, imagine that it was only a
sin when there were few people in the world, and that now the earth is
populated it may be regarded as a _divertissement_.
Among the common
people, indeed, accusations of this kind are, so far as possible, avoided;
but among persons of quality it is publicly spoken of; it is considered a
fine saying that since Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord has punished no one
for such offences."
 Sérieux and Libert, "La Bastille et ses Prisonniers," _L'Encéphale_,
 Witry, "Notes Historiques sur l'Homosexualité en France," _Revue de
l'Hypnotisme_, January, 1909.
 In early Teutonic days there was little or no trace of any punishment
for homosexual practices in Germany. This, according to Hermann Michaëlis,
only appeared after the Church had gained power among the West Goths; in
the Breviarium of Alaric II (506), the sodomist was condemned to the
stake, and later, in the seventh century, by an edict of King
Chindasvinds, to castration. The Frankish capitularies of Charlemange's
time adopted ecclesiastical penances. In the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries death by fire was ordained, and the punishments enacted by the
German codes tended to become much more ferocious than that edicted by the
Justinian code on which they were modelled.
 Raffalovich discusses German friendship, _Uranisme et Unisexualité_,
pp. 157-9. See also Birnbaum, _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd.
viii, p. 611; he especially illustrates this kind of friendship by the
correspondence of the poets Gleim and Jacobi, who used to each other the
language of lovers, which, indeed, they constantly called themselves.
 This letter may be found in Ernst Schur's _Heinrich von Kleist in
seinen Briefen_, p. 295. Dr. J. Sadger has written a pathographic and
psychological study of Kleist, emphasizing the homosexual strain, in the
_Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens_ series.
 Alexander's not less distinguished brother, Wilhelm von Humboldt,
though not homosexual, possessed, a woman wrote to him,
"the soul of a
woman and the most tender feeling for womanliness I have ever found in
your sex;" he himself admitted the feminine traits in his nature. Spranger
(_Wilhelm von Humboldt_, p. 288) says of him that "he had that dual
sexuality without which the moral summits of humanity cannot be reached."
 Krupp caused much scandal by his life at Capri, where he was
constantly surrounded by the handsome youths of the place, mandolinists
and street arabs, with whom he was on familiar terms, and on whom he
lavished money. H.D. Davray, a reliable eyewitness, has written "Souvenirs
sur M. Krupp à Capri," _L'Européen_, 29 November, 1902.
It is not,
however, definitely agreed that Krupp was of fully developed homosexual
temperament (see, e.g., _Jahrbuch f. sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd. v, p.
1303 et seq.) An account of his life at Capri was published in the
_Vorwärts_, against which Krupp finally brought a libel action; but he
died immediately afterward, it is widely believed, by his own hand, and
the libel action was withdrawn.
 Madame, the mother of the Regent, in her letters of 12th October, 4th
November, and 13th December, 1701, repeatedly makes this assertion, and
implies that it was supported by the English who at that time came over to
Paris with the English Ambassador, Lord Portland. The King was very
indifferent to women.
 Anselm, Epistola lxii, in Migne's _Patrologia_, vol. clix, col. 95.
John of Salisbury, in his _Polycrates_, describes the homosexual and
effeminate habits of his time.
 Pollock and Maitland, _History of English Law_, vol. ii, p. 556.
 Coleridge in his _Table Talk_ (14 May, 1833) remarked: "A man may,
under certain states of the moral feeling, entertain something deserving
the name of love towards a male object--an affection beyond friendship,
and wholly aloof from appetite. In Elizabeth's and James's time it seems
to have been almost fashionable to cherish such a feeling. Certainly the
language of the two friends Musidorus and Pyrocles in the _Arcadia_ is
such as we could not use except to women." This passage of Coleridge's is
interesting as an early English recognition by a distinguished man of
genius of what may be termed ideal homosexuality.
 See account of Udall in the _National Dictionary of Biography_.
 _Complete Poems of Richard Barnfield_, edited with an introduction by
A.B. Grosart, 1876. The poems of Barnfield were also edited by Arber, in
the English Scholar's Library, 1883. Arber, who always felt much horror
for the abnormal, argues that Barnfield's occupation with homosexual
topics was merely due to a search for novelty, that it was "for the most
part but an amusement and had little serious or personal in it." Those
readers of Barnfield, however, who are acquainted with homosexual
literature will scarcely fail to recognize a personal preoccupation in his
poems. This is also the opinion of Moll in his _Berühmte Homosexuelle_.
 See appendix to my edition of Marlowe in the _Mermaid Series_, first
edition. For a study of Marlowe's "Gaveston," regarded as "the
hermaphrodite in soul," see J.A. Nicklin, _Free Review_, December, 1895.
 As Raffalovich acutely points out, the twentieth sonnet, with its
reference to the "one thing to my purpose nothing," is alone enough to
show that Shakespeare was not a genuine invert, as then he would have
found the virility of the loved object beautiful. His sonnets may fairly
be compared to the _In Memoriam_ of Tennyson, whom it is impossible to
describe as inverted, though in his youth he cherished an ardent
friendship for another youth, such as was also felt in youth by Montaigne.
 A scene in Vanbrugh's _Relapse_, and the chapter (ch. li) in
Smollett's _Roderick Random_ describing Lord Strutwell, may also be
mentioned as evidencing familiarity with inversion. "In our country," said
Lord Strutwell to Rawdon, putting forward arguments familiar to modern
champions of homosexuality, "it gains ground apace, and in all probability
will become in a short time a more fashionable vice than simple
 These observations on eighteenth century homosexuality in London are
chiefly based on the volumes of _Select Trials_ at the Old Bailey,
published in 1734.
 Numa Praetorius (_Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, Bd. iv, p.
885), who has studied Byron from this point of view, considers that,
though his biography has not yet been fully written on the sexual side, he
was probably of bisexual temperament; Raffalovich (_Uranisme et
Unisexualité_, p. 309) is of the same opinion.
 A youthful attraction of this kind in a poet is well illustrated by
Dolben, who died at the age of nineteen. In addition to a passion for
Greek poetry he cherished a romantic friendship of extraordinary ardor,
revealed in his poems, for a slightly older schoolfellow, who was never
even aware of the idolatry he aroused. Dolben's life has been written, and
his poems edited, by his friend the eminent poet, Robert Bridges (_The
Poems of D.M. Dolben_, edited with a Memoir by R.
 A well-informed narrative of the Oscar Wilde trial is given by
Raffalovich in his _Uranisme et Unisexualité_, pp. 241-281; the full
report of the trial has been published by Mason. The best life of Wilde is
probably that of Arthur Ransome. André Gide's little volume of
reminiscences, _Oscar Wilde_ (also translated into English), is well worth
reading. Wilde has been discussed in relation to homosexuality by Numa
Praetorius (_Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol.
iii, 1901). An
instructive document, an unpublished portion of _De Profundis_, in which
Wilde sought to lay the blame for his misfortune on a friend,--his
"ancient affection" for whom has, he declares, been turned to "loathing,
bitterness, and contempt,"--was published in the _Times_, 18th April,
1913; it clearly reveals an element of weakness of character.
 T. Wright, _Life of Edward Fitzgerald_, vol. i, p.
 Most of these were carelessly lost or destroyed by Posh. A few have
been published by James Blyth, _Edward Fitzgerald and_
 It is as such that Whitman should be approached, and I would desire
to protest against the tendency, now marked in many quarters, to treat him
merely as an invert, and to vilify him or glorify him accordingly. However
important inversion may be as a psychological key to Whitman's
personality, it plays but a small part in Whitman's work, and for many who
care for that work a negligible part. (I may be allowed to refer to my own
essay on Whitman, in _The New Spirit_, written nearly thirty years ago.)
 I may add that Symonds (in his book on Whitman) accepted this letter
as a candid and final statement showing that Whitman was absolutely
hostile to sexual inversion, that he had not even taken its phenomena into
account, and that he had "omitted to perceive that there are inevitable
points of contact between sexual inversion and his doctrine of
friendship." He recalls, however, Whitman's own lines at the end of
"Calamus" in the Camden edition of 1876:--
"Here my last words, and the most baffling, Here the frailest leaves of me, and yet my strongest-lasting,
Here I shade down and hide my thoughts--I do not expose them,
And yet they expose me more than all my other poems."
 Whitman's letters to Peter Doyle, an uncultured young tram-conductor
deeply loved by the poet, have been edited by Dr. Bucke, and published at
Boston: _Calamus: A Series of Letters_, 1897.
 Whitman acknowledged, however (as in the letter to Symonds already
referred to), that he had had six children; they appear to have been born
in the earlier part of his life when he lived in the South. (See a chapter
on Walt Whitman's children in Edward Carpenter's interesting book, _Days
with Walt Whitman_, 1906.) Yet his brother George Whitman said: "I never
knew Walt to fall in love with young girls, or even to show them marked
attention." And Doyle, who knew him intimately during ten years of late
life, said: "Women in that sense never came into his head." The early
heterosexual relationship seems to have been an exception in his life.
With regard to the number of children I am informed that, in the opinion
of a lady who knew Whitman in the South, there can be no reasonable doubt
as to the existence of one child, but that when enumerating six he
possibly included grandchildren.
 While the homosexual strain in Walt Whitman has been more or less
definitely admitted by various writers, the most vigorous attempts to
present the homosexual character of his personality and work are due to
Eduard Bertz in Germany, and to Dr. W.C. Rivers in England. Bertz has
issued three publications on Whitman: see especially his _Der
Yankee-Heiland_, 1906, and _Whitman-Mysterien_, 1907.
The arguments of
Rivers are concisely stated in a pamphlet entitled _Walt Whitman's
Anomaly_ (London: George Allen, 1913). Both Bertz and Rivers emphasize the
feminine traits in Whitman. An interesting independent picture of Whitman,
at about the date of the letter to Symonds, accompanied by the author's
excellent original photographs, is furnished by Dr. John Johnston, _A
Visit to Walt Whitman_, 1898. It may be added that, probably, both the
extent and the significance of the feminine traits in Whitman have been
overestimated by some writers. Most artists and men of genius have some
feminine traits; they do not prove the existence of inversion, nor does
their absence disprove it. Dr. Clark Bell writes to me in reference to the
little book by Dr. Rivers: "I knew Walt Whitman personally. To me Mr.
Whitman was one of the most robust and virile of men, extraordinarily so.
He was from my standpoint not feminine at all, but physically masculine
and robust. The difficulty is that a virile and strong man who is poetic
in temperament, ardent and tender, may have phases and moods of passion
and emotion which are apt to be misinterpreted." A somewhat similar view,
in opposition to Bertz and Rivers, has been vigorously set forth by
Bazalgette (who has written a very thorough study of Whitman in French),
especially in the _Mercure de France_ for 1st July, 1st Oct., and 15th
 Lepelletier, in what may be regarded as the official biography of
Verlaine (_Paul Verlaine_, 1907) seeks to minimize or explain away the
homosexual aspect of the poet's life. So also Berrichon, Rimbaud's
brother-in-law, _Mercure de France_, 16 July, 1911 and 1
Feb., 1912. P.
Escoube, in a judicious essay (included in _Préférences_, 1913), presents
a more reasonable view of this aspect of Verlaine's temperament. Even
apart altogether from the evidence as to the poet's tendency to passionate
friendship, there can be no appeal from the poems themselves, which
clearly possess an absolute and unquestionable sincerity.
 Sir Richard Burton, who helped to popularize this view, regarded the
phenomenon as "geographical and climatic, not racial,"
and held that
within what he called the Sotadic Zone "the vice is popular and endemic,
held at the worst to be a mere peccadillo, while the races to the north
and south of the limits here defined practice it only sporadically, amid
the opprobrium of their fellows, who, as a rule, are physically incapable
of performing the operation, and look upon it with the liveliest disgust."
He adds: "The only physical cause for the practice which suggests itself
to me, and that must be owned to be purely conjectural, is that within the
Sotadic Zone there is a blending of the masculine and feminine
temperaments, a crasis which elsewhere only occurs sporadically" (_Arabian
Nights_, 1885, vol. x, pp. 205-254). The theory of the Sotadic Zone fails
to account for the custom among the Normans, Celts, Scythians, Bulgars,
and Tartars, and, moreover, in various of these regions different views
have prevailed at different periods. Burton was wholly unacquainted with
the psychological investigations into sexual inversion which had, indeed,
scarcely begun in his day.
 Spectator (_Anthropophyteia_, vol. vii, 1910), referring especially
to the neighborhood of Sorrento, states that the southern Italians regard
passive _pedicatio_ as disgraceful, but attach little or no shame to
active _pedicatio_. This indifference enables them to exploit the
homosexual foreigners who are specially attracted to southern Italy in the
development of a flourishing homosexual industry.
 It is true that in the solitude of great modern cities it is
possible for small homosexual coteries to form, in a certain sense, an
environment of their own, favorable to their abnormality; yet this fact
hardly modifies the general statement made in the text.
 See especially Hirschfeld, _Die Homosexualität_, chs. xxiv and xxv.
 Ulrichs, in his _Argonauticus_, in 1869, estimated the number as
only 25,000, but admitted that this was probably a decided underestimate.
Bloch (_Die Prostitution_, Bd. i, p. 792) has found reason to believe that
in Cologne in the fifteenth century the percentage was nearly as high as
Hirschfeld finds it today. A few years earlier Bloch had believed
(_Beiträge_, part i, p. 215, 1902) that Hirschfeld's estimate of 2 per
cent, was "sheer nonsense."
 Hirschfeld mentions the case of two men, artists, one of them
married, who were intimate friends for a great many years before each