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






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Obscenity" Quotes from Famous Books



... immense. He would start off with an imitation of Mr H.B. Irving, and a very good imitation it would be—with soft music. He would leave the Signallers thrilled and silent. The lights flashed up, and "Spot" darted off on some catchy doggerel of an almost talented obscenity. In private life Spot was the best company imaginable. He could not talk for a minute without throwing in a bit of a recitation and striking an attitude. I have only known him serious on two subjects—his master and Posh. He would pour out with the keenest delight little stories of how his ...
— Adventures of a Despatch Rider • W. H. L. Watson

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

... "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

... 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 a knowledge of its affairs than those who thus ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... three-quarters of an hour for dinner. In all three of these men, as in the case of Clark's companions, there had been developed, partly I suppose by the circumstance of enforced idleness of brain, the most loathsome tendency to obscenity. This was the one subject which was common ground, and upon which they could talk. It was fostered too by a passion for beer, which was supplied by the publican across the way, who was perpetually travelling to and fro with cans. My horror when I first found out into what society I ...
— Mark Rutherford's Deliverance • Mark Rutherford

... knaves, and the public foe of vice, when he himself has acknowledged that he satirized only to gratify his resentment; for it was his opinion, that writing satires without being in a rage, was like killing in cold blood. Was his conversation instructive whose mouth was full of obscenity; and was he a friend to his country, who diffused a dangerous venom thro' his works to corrupt its members? in which, it is to be feared he has been but too successful. Did he never smooth the face of prosperous villainy, as, Mr. Wolsely expresses it, ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... 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 were ...
— The Greatest Highway in the World • Anonymous

... peculiar institutions, set at defiance all the refinements 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 of sportive ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... 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 untouched even ...
— Criminal Man - According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso • Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

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

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

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

... 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 ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... world seems to suggest obscenity to you. You're always looking for it and always finding it—you don't seem ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... spirit of femininity surround him from the first like the four walls of a house; and even the vaguest or most brutal man has been womanized by being born. Man that is born of a woman has short days and full of misery; but nobody can picture the obscenity and bestial tragedy that would belong to such a monster as man that was born ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... doors and windows he could see the inside of wretched homes, could catch glimpses of stifling bedrooms and close, crowded little kitchens. Often one of the denizens came to door or window to stare at Nellie and him; sometimes they were accosted with impudent chaff, once or twice with pitiful obscenity. ...
— The Workingman's Paradise - An Australian Labour Novel • John Miller

... loudly) Say! What was the most revolting piece of obscenity in all your career of crime? Go the whole hog. Puke it ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... with the third act, we should have retired from their theatre with a much higher idea of the moral tendency of their drama, than was conveyed by the offensive, libidinous scene, exhibited by the ladies in the concluding part. The language of the song, no doubt, corresponded with the obscenity of their actions; which were carried to a degree of extravagance that were calculated to produce nothing but disgust, even to ...
— The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, • Murat Halstead

... regularly to absorb, would have brought speedy punishment. Pope's loose talk probably meant little enough in the way of actual vice, though, as I have already said, Trumbull saw reasons for friendly warning. But some of his writings are stained by pruriency and downright obscenity; whilst the same fault may be connected with a painful absence of that chivalrous feeling towards women which redeems Steele's errors of conduct in our estimate of his character. Pope always takes a low, sometimes a brutal view of the relation ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... 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

... or should restrain. And now I remember their faces on Sunday evening, when, after the 'Kreutzer Sonata,' they played a passionate piece, written I know not by whom, but a piece passionate to the point of obscenity. ...
— The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories • Leo Tolstoy

... rather gaudisserie than prurience." "It is," he says, "a coarseness of language, not of idea.... Such throughout the East is the language of every man, woman and child, from prince to peasant." "But," he continues, "there is another element in the Nights, and that is one of absolute obscenity, utterly repugnant to English readers, even the least prudish." Still, upon this subject he offers details, because it does not enter into his plan "to ignore any theme which is interesting to the Orientalist and the Anthropologist. To assert ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... to the master 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 hair ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

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

... the very end that anything occurred really to break the mood professionally produced shows are designed to achieve. That occurrence startled the viewers out of their semi-comatose state, just as blatant obscenity or intolerable profanity would have done. Linda Beach, in fine sincerity and in tribute to the children, made a statement which was utterly explosive. When the show ended, people all over the world were ...
— Long Ago, Far Away • William Fitzgerald Jenkins AKA Murray Leinster

... precisely 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

... received the adoration of all present, while the young women, her attendants, whose alluring looks already sufficiently indicated their profession, retired into the chapels around the choir, where every species of licentiousness and obscenity was indulged in without control, with hardly any veil from the public gaze. To such a length was this carried, that Robespierre afterward declared that Chaumette deserved death for the abominations he had permitted on that occasion. Thenceforward that ...
— The Revelation Explained • F. Smith

... niggardly, and vicious children! How many homes are there in which the gentle words of love are never heard; in which the tender graces of a Christian heart are never unfolded; in which a prayer is never uttered! How many fathers are there whose lips are black with profanity and foul with obscenity, and whose lives are mean and unwholesome! How many mothers are there whose tongues are nimble with scandal and bitter with scolding, and whose brains are busy with vanities and jealousies! Ah! if there be any man ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

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

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

... filthiness, pollution, filth, corruption, dirtiness; indecency, smut, obscenity, bawdry, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... we 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

... 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 ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... detestable, perhaps a particular Person, no Play will succeed, and the most execrable Language, in a Comedy, produc'd at this Time, shall be more applauded than the most beautiful Turns in a Love for Love: Such are the Hardships a Dramatick-Poet has to struggle with, that either Obscenity, Party, or Scandal must be his Theme, and after he has performed his utmost in either of these Ways, without a powerful Interest, he'll have more Difficulty in the bringing his Play upon the Theatre ...
— A Vindication of the Press • Daniel Defoe

... 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 ...
— Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls - War on the White Slave Trade • Various

... he is no more than a human machine, as insensible of misconduct, in speech and action, as a parrot or an automaton. This is more particularly the case with respect to indecorums, such as the defender is accused of; for a man can no more be held a common swearer, or a habitual talker of obscenity, because he has been guilty of using such expressions when intoxicated, than he can be termed an idiot, because, when intoxicated, he has spoken nonsense. If, therefore, the defender can extenuate the guilt of his intoxication, he hopes that its consequences will ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

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

... of his, that great oceanic avalanche of learning and piety and obscenity and gigantic merriment, smells ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

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

... Latin, macaronics^, gibberish; confusion of tongues, Babel; babu English^, chi-chi. figure of speech &c (metaphor) 521; byword. colloquialism, informal speech, informal language. substandard language, vernacular. vulgar language, obscene language, obscenity, vulgarity. jargon, technical terms, technicality, lingo, slang, cant, argot; St. Gile's Greek, thieves' Latin, peddler's French, flash tongue, Billingsgate, Wall Street slang. pseudology^. pseudonym &c (misnomer) 565; Mr. So-and-so; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... Fora D. Reasons for Applying Strict Scrutiny 1. Selective Exclusion From a "Vast Democratic Forum" 2. Analogy to Traditional Public Fora V. Application of Strict Scrutiny A. State Interests 1. Preventing the Dissemination of Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Material Harmful to Minors 2. Protecting the Unwilling Viewer 3. Preventing Unlawful or Inappropriate Conduct 4. Summary B. Narrow Tailoring C. Less Restrictive Alternatives D. Do CIPA's Disabling Provisions Cure the Defect? ...
— Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Ruling • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

... 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, ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

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

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

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

... there is another element in The Nights and that is one of absolute obscenity utterly repugnant to English readers, even the least prudish. It is chiefly connected with what our neighbours call le vice contre nature—as if anything can be contrary to nature which includes all things.[FN357] Upon this subject I must offer details, as it does not enter into my plan ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... the people as a whole is incredible. Profanity and obscenity are said to be mingled in the speech of the common people to an extent unknown among almost any other people on earth. Filthy homes and utter uncleanliness of person are the general rule. Sanitation is almost wholly disregarded, and it is a wonder ...
— A Fantasy of Mediterranean Travel • S. G. Bayne

... the souls of men and scourging them with serpents, or driving them with tridents, or dragging them with chains into the flaming mouth of hell. Even in the most hidden and sacred places of the medieval cathedral we still find representations of Satanic power in which profanity and obscenity run riot. In these representations the painter and the glass-stainer vied with the sculptor. Among the early paintings on canvas a well-known example represents the devil in the shape of a dragon, ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

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

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

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

... is neither an affectation, nor a 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 ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... of by-gone days; when, we say, such theories are rampant in the halls of our modern universities, should we be astonished to see outright infidelity, political socialism, religious anarchy, stalk the length and breadth of the land? "Impurity, obscenity, moral corruption in many forms, with the ever consequent cynicism and pessimism, forerunners of moral decadence, destruction of the original, creative, shaping, joyous, confident energies of society, ...
— Catholic Problems in Western Canada • George Thomas Daly

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

... its action; whether he is using it for the daintiest flower of sentiment—fair passions and bountiful pities and loves without stain—or for the expression of his fiery passions and hatreds in some flagrant obscenity or venomous insult, it is alike straight and reckless, with no scruple and no mincing of words; in Mr. Swinburne's curiously true and vivid phrase, he "makes mouths at our speech" when we try ...
— Latin Literature • J. W. Mackail

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

... 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 ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... faithful portraiture of 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 ...
— Germania and Agricola • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... liquor. What pained me most, was to see the large number of lads and young men who came in to lounge and drink; and there was scarcely one of them whose face did not show marks of sensuality, or whose language was not marred by obscenity, profanity, or vulgar slang. The subjects of conversation were varied enough, though politics was the most prominent. In regard to politics I heard nothing in the least instructive; but only abuse of individuals and dogmatism on public measures. They were all ...
— Ten Nights in a Bar Room • T. S. Arthur

... "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. ...
— Murder in the Gunroom • Henry Beam Piper

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

... broke into peals of laughter. Pancracio and Manteca vied with each other in calling forth oaths and obscenity. ...
— The Underdogs • Mariano Azuela

... 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

... printed, one of which the ministry had bribed the printer to give up. Lord Temple then objected to the manner of obtaining it; and Bishop Warburton, as much shocked at infidelity as Lord Sandwich had been at obscenity, said, "the blackest fiends in hell would not keep company with Wilkes when he should arrive there." Lord Sandwich moved to vote Wilkes the author; but this Lord Mansfield stopped, advertising the House that it was necessary first to hear what Wilkes could say in his ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... on analysis would find the genuine nobility) of a Norman house, and his Grace shall not be able to say nay to the infamous alliance. There is not an atom of Tom's slime, not a cubic inch of any pestilential gas in which he lives, not one obscenity or degradation about him, not an ignorance, not a wickedness, not a brutality of his committing, but shall work its retribution through every order of society up to the proudest of the proud and to the highest ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... 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 worked better than ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... lovers. It was to be remembered that the wine drunk not only profited the house, but paid in commissions for their own cosmetics and other little gratifications. On entering the place O'Iwa shrank back to the wall in horror; to shrink away in turn from the filth and obscenity to be seen on that support. She would have fled, but the entering crowd pressed her further in. It was a long room. The entrance formed a sort of parlour or place to sit. The rest of the apartment was divided longitudinally into little ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... which I am driving now! This dam that erstwhile was a very blasphemy, an obscenity flung on the marshy meadows with their reeds, their cat-tails, and their wide-leaved swamp-dock clusters! It had been used by the winds as a veritable dumping ground for obnoxious weeds which grew and thrived on the marly clay while every other plant despised it! ...
— Over Prairie Trails • Frederick Philip Grove

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

... also introduced, and in the first part of our text Peter makes an especially emphatic continuation of the admonition in the foregoing part of the chapter, warning Christians to abstain from gross vices—carnal lusts—which in the world lead to obscenity, and from the wild, disorderly, swinish lives of the heathen world, lives of gormandizing, guzzling and drunkenness. Peter admonishes Christians to endeavor to be "sober unto prayer." The epistle was written chiefly to the Greeks, the masses of which people were very social, and inclined to carouse ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... for it; he defends it; for the triplicity is a symbol of godhead, and it means that God is the origin of all life. Yes, but what that religion needed was a great reformer, who should have cut the religion clear adrift from idols of every kind, from the old mythology, from obscenity. It may very well be that such a reformer was unthinkable; even if he had appeared, he would have been foredoomed to fail, as the compromise of the Stoics shows. Plutarch and his kind did not attempt ...
— The Jesus of History • T. R. Glover

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

... wished. He saw these other scenes through drifting vapors and swirls of sullen fog dissolving before shafts of red and garish light. He saw cowboys at the bar, drinking fierce whiskey, the air filled with obscenity and ribald language, and he saw himself with them drinking and cursing with the wildest, or sitting at table with them, under smoking kerosene lamps, while the chips clicked and clattered and the cards were dealt around. He saw himself, stripped to the waist, with naked fists, fighting ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... those who talk most freely to the others are just those with the most distorted and vicious ideas, whose discourse abounds in obscene detail and ribald jest. Your child must learn either from ignorant, unclean minds, or be taught in a clean, sacred way, which will rob sex of secrecy and obscenity; learn he will; if you will not teach your ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

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

... Home Rule press, and read the floods of abuse—some spreading out into absolute obscenity—published by the principal papers day after day against all their political opponents, and we can judge of the temper with which the Irish Home Rulers would administer affairs. Of their statesmanlike provision—of ...
— About Ireland • E. Lynn Linton

... before those women who are demanding birth control as a means to a New Race is the changing of our so-called obscenity laws. This will be no easy undertaking; it is usually much easier to enact statutes than to revise them. Laws are seldom exactly what they seem, rarely what their advocates claim for them. The "obscenity" statutes are ...
— Woman and the New Race • Margaret Sanger

... Benefits, I confess, I don't know what Provision to make for them. People who judge of Books from their Titles, must be often imposed upon. There is neither Blasphemy nor Treason in the Words, and they are far enough from Obscenity: If any Mischief is to be fear'd from them, Drink and be Rich, a Title that has been bawl'd about the Streets, must be far more dangerous. This latter is a direct Precept, a pernicious, as well as deceitful Doctrine, comprised in a full Sentence, wrote in ...
— A Letter to Dion • Bernard Mandeville

... performances were 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, ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... continued their scandalous behavior upon the high altar. A huge, massive butcher among them, a young man, had taken off his white apron and tied it around his neck, so that it hung down his back like a surplice, and he celebrated mass with the wildest and maddest words, full of obscenity and blasphemy. An oldish little fellow with a fat belly, active and nimble in spite of his weight, with a face like a skinned pumpkin was the sacristan and responded with the most frivolous refrains. He kneeled down and genuflected and turned his back to the altar and rang the ...
— Mogens and Other Stories - Mogens; The Plague At Bergamo; There Should Have Been Roses; Mrs. Fonss • Jens Peter Jacobsen

... 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 ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... add to the stringency of the present obstructive medical law; the other was designed to assist the labors of Anthony Comstock in interrupting the circulation of popular physiological literature, under pretence of suppressing obscenity. ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 - Volume 1, Number 6 • Various

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

... possible in some other things, individual liberty must ultimately be governed by the liberty of others. A fanatical religious sect practicing human sacrifice, for instance, could not be tolerated by any civilized society. Obscenity in art ...
— Socialism - A Summary and Interpretation of Socialist Principles • John Spargo

... his looks, the rapacity of his hands, the frivolousness of his bearing, the foulness of his manners (which the whole neighborhood spews out), the obscenity of his lust, the ugliness of his body, the baseness of his life, his spotted reputation, I would lay bare and thrust into the face of the public, did not my respect for his Christian name restrain me. For being mindful of my profession, and of the ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

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

... 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

... youth wondered how he had come by his sobriquet—that is, he wondered until he heard Dirty Eddie speak, after which he was no longer in doubt. The Oskaloosa Kid, self-confessed 'tramp' and burglar, flushed at the lurid obscenity of Dirty ...
— The Oakdale Affair • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... incomparable. Side by side by these are to be found, as in Lovelace, pieces that will not even scan, and, as not in Lovelace (who is not seldom loose but never nasty), pieces of a dull and disgusting obscenity. But we do not go to Suckling for these; we go to him for his easy grace, his agreeable impudence, his scandalous mock-disloyalty (for it is only mock-disloyalty after all) to the "Lord of Terrible Aspect," whom all his elder contemporaries worshipped so piously. Suckling's inconstancy ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

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

... A rattlesnake dragged its loathsome length from under a mesquite. The dried carcass of a steer, whose parchment skin drew tight across its bones, rattled in the breeze. Here and there rock ridges showed with the obscenity of so many skeletons, exposing to the hard, cruel sky the earth's nakedness. Thirst, delirium, death, hovered palpable in the wind; ...
— Arizona Nights • Stewart Edward White

... [Footnote: a favourite outdoor pleasure resort at Stockholm.] and the arrangements were magnificent. But what highly astonished me, and was in reality most out of keeping in such a circle, was the tone that the conversation at table gradually assumed, and especially the obscenity of the subjects of conversation. It was not, however, the Ministers and Diplomats present, but a Danish roue, a professor of Physics, who gave this turn to the talk. He related anecdotes that would have made ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... board," and this 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, that thinking ...
— An Estimate of the Value and Influence of Works of Fiction in Modern Times • Thomas Hill Green

... disillusionment this was to the young officer. What depths of cruelty and obscenity it revealed in the Parisian rabble. What folly to treat them with the Christian forbearance shown by Louis XVI. How much more suitable was grapeshot than the beatitudes. The lesson was stored up for future use at a somewhat similar ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... or the histories. The most heavily annotated plays are, however, the tragedies, and it is curious to observe that the sombre "problem comedy," Measure for Measure, commands more notes than any other comedy. Further, Johnson's moral and religious sensibilities were offended by profanity and obscenity in the drama, and Shakespeare's comedies, far more than his tragedies and histories, transgress in this direction. One recollects, finally, that the dramatic genre favored most by Johnson was the ...
— Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I Comedies • Samuel Johnson

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

... circumstances to constitute a critic on human life could not easily concur." The only phrase which survives to justify this remark is Savage's statement about Walpole, that "the whole range of his mind was from obscenity to politics, and from politics to obscenity." We may, however, guess what was the special charm of the intercourse to Johnson. Savage was an expert in that science of human nature, learnt from experience not from books, upon which Johnson set so high a value, and of which ...
— Samuel Johnson • Leslie Stephen

... apparent possession of all their 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. On one side of the chapel there might be seen a score of them, ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... like a hammerblow. Blades spoke an obscenity. Sweat sprang forth under his arms and ...
— Industrial Revolution • Poul William Anderson

... to the 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

... account of it given in Macaulay's Comic Dramatists of the Restoration.] because in many things he has taxed me justly, and I have pleaded guilty to all thoughts and expressions of mine which can be truly argued of obscenity, profaneness, or immorality, and retract them. If he be my enemy, let him triumph; if he be my friend, as I have given him no personal occasion to be otherwise, he will be glad of my repentance. It becomes me not to draw my pen in the defence ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... minds some dregs remain, Not yet purged off, of spleen and sour disdain; Discharge that rage on more provoking crimes, Nor fear a dearth in these flagitious times. No pardon vile obscenity should find, Though wit and art conspire to move your mind; But dullness with obscenity must prove As shameful sure as impotence in love. In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease, Sprung the rank weed, and thrived with large increase: When love was all an easy monarch's ...
— An Essay on Criticism • Alexander Pope

... Pontano's verses, of Molza and Firenzuola, of the whole mass of mundane writers in short, who had done so much to reveal the corruption of Italian manners. It seemed as though the Church cared less to ban obscenity than to burke those authors who had spoken freely of her vices. When we come to examine the expurgated editions of notorious authors, we shall see that this was literally the case. A castrated version of Bandello, revised by Ascanio Centorio degli ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

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

... incessantly, with the speed of a Frenchman, from printed strips of cheap colored paper which she offered for sale at a cent each. They were political in nature, often in verse, insulting in treatment, and mixed with a crass obscenity at which the dismal multitude laughed bestially. Three musicians, one with a rude harp, a boy striking a triangle steel, sang mournful dirges similar to those of Andalusia. The peons listened to both music and reading motionless, with expressionless faces, with never a "move on" from the ...
— Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras - Being the Random Notes of an Incurable Vagabond • Harry A. Franck

... 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 such ...
— Fifteen Years With The Outcast • Mrs. Florence (Mother) Roberts

... only of the vices of the school—whispering—and in that she excels. But she does not so readily resort to the great vice—the crime of falsehood—as do her companions of the other sex. I call falsehood the great vice, because, if this were unknown, tardiness, truancy, obscenity, and profanity, could not thrive. Holmes has well said that "sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle ...
— Thoughts on Educational Topics and Institutions • George S. Boutwell

... stifling holds or forecastles, with hard fare,—a base life, for the sailor, oppressed on shipboard, was the prey of vile women and land-sharks when on shore. What pictures of prostitution and indecency! what obscenity of language! what drunken infernal orgies! We may shun the book as we would shun the company, and yet the one is the exact ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... 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 ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... 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

... 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 ...
— Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... socialized. The simplest and most familiar form of that is the boys' gang. Here is a group of young humans who get their fun and adventure by pulling the whiskers of the law. They idealize vice and crime. Leadership in their group is won by proficiency in profanity, gambling, obscenity, and slugging. The gang assimilates its members; there is regimentation of evil. It acts as a channel of tradition; the boy of fifteen teaches the boy of twelve what he has learned from the boy ...
— The Social Principles of Jesus • Walter Rauschenbusch

... forced to work overtime. His home life, at best, was a sketchy affair. Here chauffeurs, mechanics, washers lolled at ease exchanging soft-spoken gossip, motor chat, speculation, comment, and occasional verbal obscenity. Each possessed a formidable knowledge of that neighbourhood section of Chicago known as Hyde Park. This knowledge was not confined to car costs and such impersonal items, but included meals, scandals, ...
— Gigolo • Edna Ferber

... Captain, a jolly 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 ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... 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 ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... 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: ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... consistently in spite of temptations. He who possesses them will all the more surely be regarded as a "man among men." Take any crowd of new recruits! The greater number of them during their first few days in service will use more profanity and obscenity, talk more about women and boast more about drinking than they have ever done in their lives, because of the mistaken idea that this is the quick way to get a reputation for being hard-boiled. But at the same time, the one or two men among them who stay decent, talk moderately ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... found his tongue, the wretched man gave vent 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 ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... shape, and not unlike one another. To enliven which weary stuff in rattled the Prince of the power of the air, and an imp that kept molesting him and buffeting him with a bladder, at each thwack of which the crowd were in ecstasies. When the Vices had uttered good store of obscenity and the Virtues twaddle, the celestials, including the nine Muses went gingerly back to heaven one by one; for there was but one cloud; and two artisans worked it up with its supernatural freight, and worked it down with a winch, in full sight of the audience. ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade



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