(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 459

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459. XIII. THAT WITH THOSE WHO FOR VARIOUS REASONS CANNOT YET ENTER INTO MARRIAGE, AND BECAUSE OF SALACITY CANNOT RESTRAIN THEIR LUSTS, THIS CONJUGIAL CAN BE PRESERVED IF THE [ROAMING] LOVE OF THE SEX BECOME RESTRICTED TO ONE MISTRESS. That immoderate and inordinate lust cannot be curbed by those who are salacious, reason sees and experience teaches. In order then, that, with those who labor under burning heat, and for many reasons cannot hasten or look forward to marriage, what is immoderate and inordinate may be curbed and reduced to something moderate and ordinate, there appears to be no other refuge, and, as it were, asylum than the taking of a mistress, called in French maitresse. It is well known that in kingdoms where there are governments, matrimonies cannot be contracted by many until after the period of early manhood has passed, inasmuch as offices must first be earned and means acquired to support a house and family, it being only then that a worthy wife can be sought. Yet, with few men can the fountain of virtue be kept shut up during the preceding age and reserved for a wife. It is indeed preferable that it be reserved; but if, because of the unbridled power of lust it cannot be, then an intermediate means is sought whereby it can be provided that conjugial love shall not perish in the meantime. In favor of the keeping of a mistress as such a means are: 1. That promiscuous and inordinate fornications are thereby curbed and limited, and a more restrained state is thus induced which is more akin to the conjugial life. [2] 2. That the ardor of venery which, in its beginning, is boiling and, as it were, burning, is allayed and made milder, and thus the lasciviousness of salacity which is filthy is tempered by something like an analogue of marriage. [3] 3. By its means, the forces are not thrown away and weakness contracted, as is the case in roaming and unlimited satyriases. [4] 4. Diseases of the body and insanities of the mind are thereby avoided. [5] 5. Thereby likewise adulteries are guarded against, which are whoredoms with wives; also stuprations which are violations of virgins, not to speak of criminal practices which are not to be named; for when he first comes to manhood, a boy has no thought that adulteries and stuprations are other than fornications, thinking that the one is the same as the other. Nor does he know from reason how to resist the enticements of those of the sex who have purposely devoted themselves to harlotry; but in pellicacy, which is a more ordered and sane fornication, he can learn and see the distinctions. [6] 6. By pellicacy there is no approach to the four kinds of lust treated of in what follows, which are in the highest degree destructive of conjugial love, namely, the lust of defloration, the lust of varieties, the lust of violation, and the lust of seducing innocences. What has been said, however, is not for those who can restrain the heat of their lust, nor for those who can enter into marriage as soon as they attain to manhood and can offer and devote the first-fruits of their vigor to their wife.


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