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Obscenity   /əbsˈɛnɪti/   Listen
Obscenity

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






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Obscenity" Quotes from Famous Books



... 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

... smells that corrode the nostrils Crumble me, Eat me deep; And my garments disintegrate: First my nightgown, Leaving my naked arms and legs disjointed, Sprawled about the bed in postures meaningless to the point of obscenity. ...
— Precipitations • Evelyn Scott

... there arose suddenly the sound of many feet shuffling, as if men were carrying a heavy weight, and presently the smell of ether began to come to them through the key-hole. And they heard groans, and a dull, passionless voice that spoke words of blasphemy and obscenity. ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... of July, in the evening, she may be found near the 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 ...
— Romano Lavo-Lil - Title: Romany Dictionary - Title: Gypsy Dictionary • George Borrow

... had the magnanimity to acknowledge its justice. In the preface to the Fables, he makes the amende honorable. "I shall say the less of Mr. Collier, 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 ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

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

... 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, ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... Geret, the justice and a number of prostitutes, dance the farandole around the guillotine. At Auch, one of the worst tyrants in the South, Dartigoyte, always heated with liquor "vomited every species of obscenity" in the faces of women that came to demand justice; "he compels, under penalty of imprisonment, mothers to take their daughters to the popular club," to listen to his filthy preaching; one evening, at the theatre, probably after an orgy, he shouts at ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... 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 of the high. Verily, what with tainting, plundering, and spoiling, ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... of heathenism is not to be learned from the sacred books of all nations and the precious gleams of wisdom and feeling after the Divine which we recognise in man. As a simple matter of fact, all over the world the religion of heathen nations is a mass of obscenity, intertwined so closely with nobler thoughts that the two seem to be inseparable. Unalleviated sorrows, hideous foulnesses, a gross ignorance covering all the most important realities for men—these are the facts with which we have to grapple. Do ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... 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," ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... 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, ...
— The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, • Murat Halstead

... I passed many times was reading 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 ...
— Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras - Being the Random Notes of an Incurable Vagabond • Harry A. Franck

... 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 Happiness, neglected every thing on Earth but their ...
— A Voyage to Cacklogallinia - With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of That Country • Captain Samuel Brunt

... imputed to this poet, which very much obscure, if not entirely efface, his glory. These are, low buffoonery, and gross obscenity; and it has in vain been attempted to offer, in excuse for the first of these faults, the character of his audience; the bulk of which generally consisted of the poor, the ignorant, and dregs of the people, whom, however, ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... cunning they thought themselves—when they closed their false accusation by pretending that I had sought for two sea-beasts known by gross names. That fellow Tannonius wished to indicate the nature of the obscenity, but failed, matchless pleader that he is, owing to his inability to speak. After long hesitation he indicated the name of one of them by means of some clumsy and disgusting circumlocution. The other he found impossible to describe with decency, and evaded the difficulty ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... 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, ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... noble minds some dregs remain Not yet purg'd 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, 530 Tho' wit and art conspire to move your mind; But Dulness 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 thriv'd with large increase: 535 When love was all an easy Monarch's care; Seldom ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

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

... is obliged to throw persons who command his sympathy into the company of the most abandoned wretches for an entire night. Drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and fighting, are the principal charges brought against the occupants of the Bummers' Cell. The noise, profanity, and obscenity are fearful. All classes and ages are ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... however, adopt the Zulu fashion of covering the glans penis with a small wooden case or the outer shell of a fruit. The Wa-Yao have a strong sense of decency in matters of this kind, which is the more curious since they are more given to obscenity in their rites, ceremonies, and dances than any other tribe. Not only is it extremely rare to see any Yao uncovered, but both men and women have the strongest dislike to exposing their persons even to the inspection of a doctor. The Atonga and many of the A-nyanga ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... described, after his own fashion, as a Wilkes-Chatham. He had Wilkes's sensuality, Wilkes's levity, Wilkes's insensibility to shame. Like Wilkes, he had brought on himself the censure even of men of pleasure by the peculiar grossness of his immorality, and by the obscenity of his writings. Like Wilkes, he was heedless, not only of the laws of morality, but of the laws of honour. Yet he affected, like Wilkes, to unite the character of the demagogue to that of the fine gentleman. Like Wilkes, he conciliated, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... clamor was, raised for spirits or wine. This meeting with no attention, a Dutch concert began of songs in every possible, style—hunting songs, sea songs, jovial songs, love songs, comic songs, political songs, together with the lowest obscenity and ribaldry; all which, floated on the breeze through the sinuous labyrinths: of the mountains in company with the Catholic chaunts and anthems which attended the body of Captain le Harnois. Never man had merrier funeral. Singing being over, ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I. • Thomas De Quincey

... endeavour and defeat. It is people of this kidney who find Harry Champion vulgar. His is the robust, Falstaffian humour of old England, which, I am glad to think, still exists in London and still pleases Londoners, in spite of efforts to Gallicize our entertainments and substitute obscenity and the salacious leer for honest fun and the frank roar of laughter. If you want to hear the joy of living interpreted in song and dance, then go to the first hall where the name of Harry Champion is billed, and ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... 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 turn outraged ...
— Current History, A Monthly Magazine - The European War, March 1915 • New York Times

... life. Irons and fetters were used to prevent escape, while those who could not obtain the means of subsistence from their friends, suffered the horrors of starvation. Over-crowding, disease, riot, and obscenity united to render these ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

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

... suffered acutely from the intense cold. He cursed it in his prolific and exhaustive way. He cursed the leaden weight of his snowshoes, and the thongs that chafed his feet. He cursed the pack he carried on his back, which momently grew heavier. He cursed the country; then, after a general debauch of obscenity, he decided it was time ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... reinstated in the position it occupied during the days of Roman civilization, but the plays of this period were merely imitations of the Latin comedies; and if we may judge by the most celebrated of them which still exists—the Mandragora of Macchiavelli, for example—far exceeded their models in obscenity. When Benedict XIV. ascended the pontifical throne he established a severe censorship, and inaugurated the harsh system to which I have already alluded, with the effect of banishing immoral productions from the stage, though without improving its intellectual tone. In the eighteenth ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Vol. XV., No. 85. January, 1875. • Various

... 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

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

... the pony to faster pace and with a jingling clash of tinware we bore down upon this lewd-tongued company which, howling obscenity, scattered promptly right and left—all except the big man Tom who, with a dexterous leap, caught the rein, jerking and wrenching at the bit with hand so cruelly strong that the poor animal reared up, snorting with fright and pain and the cart ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... sun, repulsive. 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; dreadful, ...
— Arizona Nights • Stewart Edward White

... with the public, and at the same time establish his importance among the copy-purchasers in town. With this view, he worshipped the muse; and, conscious of the little regard which is in this age paid to every species of poetic composition, in which neither satire nor obscenity occurs, he produced an imitation of Juvenal, and lashed some conspicuous characters, with equal truth, spirit, and severity. Though his name did not appear in the title-page of this production, he managed matters ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... Lovers of curious Discoveries; and as it is my immediate Business to trace every Particular for an ample Dissertation on the Nature of Hermaphrodites, (which obliges me to a frequent Repetition of the Names of the Parts employ'd in the Business of Generation) so, I hope, I shall not be charg'd with Obscenity, since in all Treatises of this Kind it is impossible to finish any one Head compleatly, without pursuing ...
— Tractus de Hermaphrodites • Giles Jacob

... good if he had been more gentle. I proceeded to answer myself thus: 'Perhaps it has been of advantage, as it has given weight to what you said: you could not, perhaps, have talked with such authority without it.' JOHNSON. 'No, Sir; I have done more good as I am. Obscenity and Impiety have always been repressed in my company[908].' BOSWELL. 'True, Sir; and that is more than can be said of every Bishop. Greater liberties have been taken in the presence of a Bishop, though a very good man, ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... by Lady Henry Somerset that when the first set of children came down from London for a fortnight's holiday in the country, she was much startled and shocked by the obscenity of the games they played amongst themselves. Being a sound psychologist, Lady Henry wisely refrained from appearing surprised or from attempting any direct method of reproof. "I saw," she said, "that the 'goody' element would have no effect, so I changed ...
— The Art of the Story-Teller • Marie L. Shedlock

... 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 ...
— The Mysteries of All Nations • James Grant

... determine my fair fellow-subjects and their adherents to adopt and scrupulously conform to Mr. Johnson's rules of true orthography.' Johnson, in the last year of his life, at a time of great weakness and depression, defended the roughness of his manner. 'I have done more good as I am. Obscenity and impiety have always been repressed in my company' ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... ancient of any known, and during the earlier and purer ages of human faith was celebrated in honor of returning spring. In later ages, however, after passion had become the only recognized god, May-day was celebrated with "all manner of obscenity and lewdness." ...
— The God-Idea of the Ancients - or Sex in Religion • Eliza Burt Gamble

... 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 ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... and was the discarded mistress of two of the King's associates. Clarendon lamented what he had seen, as a sad lapse from dignity, a grievous fall from the ideals that he had hoped for. What followed was nothing but a carnival of mad obscenity. Samuel Pepys was no squeamish critic; but even he was moved to some earnestness of indignation at the foul orgies in which Charles and his new associates indulged, in shameless publicity. As was natural, such advisers were no careful guardians of Parliamentary ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

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

... and crime rule supreme; from the gin-palace, and the beer-shop, and the midnight haunts of the tramp and the burglar, they came in all their repulsiveness and debasement, with the rags of wretchedness upon their backs, and the cries of profanity and obscenity upon their lips. Forward they rushed in a surging flood through many a street and byway, until where the narrowing thoroughfares open into the space surrounding the New Bailey Prison, in that suburb of the great ...
— The Dock and the Scaffold • Unknown

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

... "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 spake as ...
— The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe • Charles Edward Stowe

... seventy, after a long life sans peur et sans reproche, this fine old reformer was dragged by the paid Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Vice (or the Vice Society as Cobbett always called it) into a criminal court to answer a charge of obscenity. The objectionable matter was contained in an extremely mild, not to say mawkish, essay on the population question by Robert Dale Owen, a man of literary eminence in the United States, and once an ambassador of the ...
— Prisoner for Blasphemy • G. W. [George William] Foote

... 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 a ...
— Lahoma • John Breckenridge Ellis

... 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

... gun, in the course of an advance. He had met the Prussian Guard in the open, he and his comrades, and the famous crack corps had "certainly run some." That was not the boy's phrase. When he reached the climax of his tale his language was a rich mixture of blasphemy and obscenity. ...
— A Padre in France • George A. Birmingham

... up like a tame girl. The flesh and 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 of ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... dressed as very young children in white socks, short skirts which displayed frilled drawers, and muslin bonnets adorned with floating blue and pink ribbons, swayed to and fro and joined their cracked voices in a duet, the French words of which seemed to exhale a sort of fade obscenity. While they swayed and jigged heavily, showing their muscular legs to the staring audience, they gazed eagerly about, seeking an admiration from which they might draw profit when their infantile task was over. Presently they retired, running skittishly, taking small leaps into ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... excuse of bad manners, ill temper, and brutishness (for that is what it comes to) compels us to accept it from those adults among whom political and theological discussion does as a matter of fact lead to the drawing of knives and pistols, and sex discussion leads to obscenity, it has no application to children except as an imperative reason for training them to respect other people's opinions, and to insist on respect for their own in these as in other important matters which are equally dangerous: ...
— A Treatise on Parents and Children • George Bernard Shaw

... movement. Its first aim is to take the question straight to Congress and repeal the Federal statute which prohibits the circulation of contraceptive knowledge. All the restrictive state laws are modeled on this Federal obscenity statute. If that is repealed, the state laws can easily be made ...
— The Red Conspiracy • Joseph J. Mereto

... I have seen many wantonly cruel men. I have known numbers of mates of Mississippi river steamers—a class which seems carefully selected from ruffians most proficient in profanity, obscenity and swift-handed violence; I have seen negro-drivers in the slave marts of St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, and overseers on the plantations of Mississippi and Louisiana; as a police reporter in one of ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... plodding spirit with which men of adust temperament follow up any track of study, merely because it is denominated learning; indifferent to its intrinsic nature, whether it be the illustration of the wisdom or of the ribaldry and obscenity of antiquity. He had pored over these old volumes so intensely that they seemed to have been reflected into his countenance; which, if the face be indeed an index of the mind, might be compared to a ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

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

... the habit of swearing. Many men—and, because of their pernicious example, many boys too—habitually garnish their conversation with oaths, profanity, and obscenity of the vilest description. It may be—though I earnestly hope and pray it will not—that a bad example in this respect will be set you by even your superior officers. If such should unhappily be the case, think of this, our parting moments, and of my parting advice to you, ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

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

... accord with the sentence."[208] Consideration of the connotation of English words is required of the translators of the Bishops' Bible. "Item that all such words as soundeth in the Old Testament to any offence of lightness or obscenity be expressed with more convenient terms and phrases."[209] Generally, however, it was the theological connotation of words that was at issue, especially the question whether words were to be taken ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... temple which should be a dwelling-place for the Holy Spirit. Delicacy and refinement are too often looked upon merely as the elegant ornaments of polished life. They should, on the contrary, be esteemed essentials in the Christian Character; Everything leaning towards profanity, obscenity, or indelicacy is utterly incompatible with Christian purity of heart. Low attempts at wit, that hinge on vulgarity, are a common form of this vice; and those who indulge their propensities in this direction, are laying the foundation ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... the Butcher. Every rank recess of prostitute pollution in Paris was ransacked to furnish materials for the celebration of their impure and impious orgies. The ode to Atheism, and the song of Blasphemy, were succeeded by the applauding yells of Drunkenness and Obscenity. ...
— The Stranger in France • John Carr

... excitement of attack and victory. It was plain that the crew of the Molly were little better than a den of thieves, their whole thought being of plunder, their whole ambition the winning of gold. Blair blushed for the honor of his country, to find such men among her avowed defenders. Oaths and obscenity made even more hateful the rough narratives in which each strove to prove himself more hardened and abandoned than the last speaker. Blair's soul recoiled with horror from the taint of such companionship; yet for him there was no escape. Among these ...
— The Boy Patriot • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... the important duties 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

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

... ridiculously affected and outre politeness. Notwithstanding the complacent grimaces of his face, the self-sufficiency of his looks, his systematically powdered and dressed hair, his showy dress, his counted and short bows, and his presumptuous conversation, teeming with ignorance, vulgarity, and obscenity, he cannot escape ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

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

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

... for the name of religion while I relate it. I have, in one hour, heard more blasphemy and more lewd language at the table of one of these clergymen of the established church, than ever polluted the walls of my house in all my life. I have heard more obscenity flow from the lips of one of these hoary-headed dignified pastors of the church of England, aye, one who resides in this county too, than I ever heard come from the lips of all the reformers I was ever acquainted with in my life. I can point out half a score clergymen of ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... 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, perched near the head of a dying man, eager to seize his soul as it issues from his mouth, and ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... was wisely announced that for the future the Deity should be covered by a cloud. These plays, carried about the country, taken up by the baser sort of people, descended through all degrees of farce to obscenity, and, in England, becoming entangled in politics, at length disappeared. It is said they linger in Italy, and are annually ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... have bedaubed ourselves with so thick a coating of manner and phrase that many a cad will pass for something better. Well, here is the test. Unvarnish your man; make him drink, and listen. That was my procedure with P. G. Esquire. I listened to his outpouring of inanity and obscenity and, listening sympathetically, like some compassionate family doctor, could not help asking myself: Is such a man to be respected, even when sober? Be that as it may, he gave me to understand why some folk are rightly ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... Its obscenity outrivals that of the preceding text, and the grammar, style, and curiosa felicitas Petroniana make it an almost perfect imitation. There is no internal evidence of forgery. If the text is closely scrutinized it will be seen that it is composed ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... eloquence of the Marseilles demoniac, they tried obscenity in its stead. It was a hideous thing to see these girls give full vent in public to their sensual fury, on the plea of scolding their pretended devils. Thus indeed it was that they managed to swell their audiences. People flocked to hear from the lips ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... boys and young men of relating filthy stories, indulging in foul jokes, making indecent allusions, and subjecting to lewd criticism every passing female, is a most abominable sin. Such habits crush out pure thoughts; they annihilate respect for virtue; they make the mind a quagmire of obscenity; they lead to ...
— Plain Facts for Old and Young • John Harvey Kellogg

... influence in nature, and his consorts. One of these, Kali by name, is the impersonation of slaughter. Her shrine, near Calcutta, is knee-deep in blood, and the Dhyan or formula for contemplating her glories, is a tissue of unspeakable obscenity. Most Hindus are Saktas, or worshippers of the female generative principle: happily for civilisation they are morally in advance of their creed. But it is a significant fact that Kali is the tutelary goddess of extremist politicians, whose minds are prepared for the ...
— Tales of Bengal • S. B. Banerjea

... grim humour, their stoicism under stress, their adventures, their treasures found in a day and gambled in a night, their direct, crude speech, their generosity and cruelty, their heroism and bestiality, their religion and profanity, their self-sacrifice and obscenity—a true and fearless setting forth of a passing phase of history, un-compromising, sincere; each group in its proper environment; the valley, the plain, and the mountain; the ranch, the range, and the mine—all this, all the traits and types of every community from the Dakotas to ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... 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 ...
— Adventures of a Despatch Rider • W. H. L. Watson

... ranks of life, who are doomed to seek the converse of those, who are in a measure corrupted, and, by associating with them on public occasions, often in taverns and alehouses, are soon involved in habits of dissipation and obscenity. Man is a social being, loves society, and, rather than spend his life in solitude, will seek the ...
— Twenty-Four Short Sermons On The Doctrine Of Universal Salvation • John Bovee Dods

... remarkable newspaper for its obscenity, and total disregard for all decency and truth in its personal attacks, is the Morning Herald of New York, published by a person of the name of Bennett, and being published in so large a city, it affords a convincing proof with what impunity the ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... domineering, and it was strange that he had notwithstanding a shyness which made him dislike people who were not quite of his kidney. He judged others, naively, by their language, and if it was free from the oaths and the obscenity which made up the greater part of his own conversation, he looked upon them with suspicion. In the evening the two men played piquet. He played badly but vaingloriously, crowing over his opponent ...
— The Trembling of a Leaf - Little Stories of the South Sea Islands • William Somerset Maugham

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

... reproofs, father-like, rebuking the misdeeds of the froward,—and this for slight enough reward; but nowadays they study to spend their time in hawking evil reports from one to another, in sowing discord, in speaking naughtiness and obscenity and (what is worse) doing them in all men's presence, in imputing evil doings, lewdnesses and knaveries, true or false, one to other, and in prompting men of condition with treacherous allurements to base and shameful actions; and he is most cherished ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... in Strindberg and in most of the Norwegian and Swedish writings. It is with them a sort of phallic worship also, but now the worship is mental and perverted: the phallus is the real fetish, but it is the source of uncleanliness and corruption and death, it is the Moloch, worshipped in obscenity. ...
— Twilight in Italy • D.H. Lawrence

... a moral law, 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 fool of a young aristocrat to resist ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... until you get the trick of it. And the trick of it is in the accent and intonation, and not so much in any peculiar form of words. They have a peculiar way of dropping their voices, too, which is sometimes disconcerting. But it is a clean wholesome language, undefined by the disgusting and childish obscenity which is too often a disgrace to other districts in England. It reminds me a little of the Scottish tongue, but rather more of the country speech in the northern parts of Yorkshire, but in some ways it is all its very own. It must ...
— Q.6.a and Other places - Recollections of 1916, 1917 and 1918 • Francis Buckley

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

... or High-Priest, with perhaps half-a-dozen wives already, who is able to feed his family well and clothe them decently; so they plunge into polygamy at once. Another result of the practice is universal obscenity of language among both sexes. The published sermons of the Mormon leaders are utterly vile in this respect, although they are somewhat expurgated before being printed. They consider no language profane from which the name of the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... It would seem 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 and understand that no fornicator, or unclean, ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

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

... by the Sight, or by the bare Sound of the Words Private Vices, Publick 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 the Imperative Mood. What ...
— A Letter to Dion • Bernard Mandeville

... he said, 'Julius is somewhat insane. On the one hand he's had religious mania, and on the other, he is fascinated by obscenity. Either he is a pure servant, washing the feet of Christ, or else he is making obscene drawings of Jesus—action and reaction—and between the two, nothing. He is really insane. He wants a pure lily, another girl, with ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... Esperanto, Hindustani, kitchen Kaffir. dog 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; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... 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

... the best of those written in imitation of the Decameron, though Italian critics find fault with them for negligence and inelegance of style. They have little value from a purely literary point of view, and many of them are disfigured by the grossest obscenity. Historically, however, they are of no little interest, not only from the insight into the social life of the period which they afford, but from the important influence they exercised on the Elizabethan ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... 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, ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... to the very depths of anti-religious and anti-social doctrines, with logical and paradoxical rigidity, more impetuously and more obstreperously than d'Holbach himself; but again he falls into and sports himself in the slime of the age, consisting of obscenity, and into the beaten track of declamation. In his leading novels he dwells a long time on salacious equivocation, or on a scene of lewdness. Crudity with him is not extenuated by malice or glossed ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... Leo Taxil was printed in Latin and English, with an interleaved French version in manuscript. As presented by its discoverer, there is no doubt that it is an execrable production, involving the practice in open lodge of obscenity, diabolism, and sacrilege. Passing over the first three grades, and beginning "at the point of bifurcation," we find it stated in the ritual of the fourth degree of Elect that the New and Reformed Palladium has been instituted "to ...
— Devil-Worship in France - or The Question of Lucifer • Arthur Edward Waite

... the licentiousness of the Athenians was boundless, his pleasantries are coarse and impolite, his characters extravagantly forced, and distorted with unnatural deformity, like the monstrous caricaturas of Callot. He is full of the grossest obscenity, indecency, and inurbanity; and as the populace always delight to hear their superiors abused and misrepresented, he scatters the rankest calumnies on the wisest and worthiest personages of his country. His style ...
— Essays on Wit No. 2 • Richard Flecknoe and Joseph Warton

... present day. The person in most esteem among them is invariably the greatest MAJO, and to acquire that character it is necessary to appear in the dress of a Merry Andrew, to bully, swagger, and smoke continually, to dance passably, and to strum the guitar. They are fond of obscenity and what they term PICARDIAS. Amongst them learning is at a terrible discount, Greek, Latin, or any of the languages generally termed learned, being considered in any light but accomplishments, but not so the possession of thieves' slang or the dialect of the Gitanos, the knowledge of a few ...
— The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain • George Borrow

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

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

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

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

... Nick spent the night there when 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, relationships, finances, love affairs, ...
— Gigolo • Edna Ferber

... 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

... ascertain to each Individual, as well as Society, their proper and distinct Rights. Actions, by directing those in general, and particular, to the Honour of the Deity and Welfare of the Community: Expression, by the penal Interdiction of prophane Cursing and Swearing, Obscenity, Scurrility, Calumny, and Detraction, yet with a full Indulgence of proper Satire against such as merited popular Reprehension, or Contempt; the Satirist's Pen in those Days being as much dreaded, or rather more so, than the Magistrate's ...
— An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland • Henry Brooke

... the sexual refinement on which the capacity for supersensual love depends comes last of the virtues. The Rev. George Turner, who had forty years of experience among the Polynesians, writes (125) that at their dances "all kinds of obscenity in looks, language, and gesture prevailed; and often they danced and revelled till daylight." The universal custom of tattooing was connected with immoral practices (90). During the wedding ceremonies of chiefs the ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... allows his taste to be less pure than that of Menander, has yet undertaken his defence against the outrageous censure of the ancient critick. In the first place, he condemns, without mercy, his ribaldry and obscenity. But this part, so worthy of contempt, and written only for the lower people, according to the remark of Boivin, bad as it is, after all, is not the chief part which is left of Aristophanes. I will not say, with Frischlinus, that Plutarch ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... The obscenity and ordure of Rabelais were to the taste of his time; his severer censures of Church and State were disguised by his buffoonery; flinging out his good sense and wise counsels with a liberal hand, he also wields vigorously the dunghill pitchfork. If he is gross beyond what can be described, he ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... contents seemed to one official not good for the public would sanction withdrawal of the second-class rate tomorrow from another periodical whose social or economic views seemed harmful to another official. The validity of the obscenity laws is recognized that the mails may not be used to satisfy all tastes, no matter how perverted. But Congress has left the Postmaster General with no power to prescribe standards for the literature or the art which ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... Nature might. O when I read those excellent things of thine, Such Strength, such sweetnesse coucht in every line, Such life of Fancy, such high choise of braine, Nought of the Vulgar wit or borrowed straine, Such Passion, such expressions meet my eye, Such Wit untainted with obscenity, And these so unaffectedly exprest, All in a language purely flowing drest, And all so borne within thy selfe, thine owne, So new, so fresh, so nothing trod upon. I grieve not now that old Menanders veine Is ruin'd ...
— The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in Ten Volumes - Volume I. • Beaumont and Fletcher

... last ragged memory — a room; Air foul with wine; a shouting, reeling crowd Of friends who dragged him, dazed and blind with drink Out to the street; a crazy rout of cabs; The steady mutter of his neighbor's voice, Mumbling out dull obscenity by rote; And then... well, they had brought him home it seemed, Since he awoke in bed — oh, damn the business! He had not wanted it — the silly jokes, "One last, great night of freedom ere you're married!" "You'll get no fun then!" "H-ssh, don't tell ...
— Young Adventure - A Book of Poems • Stephen Vincent Benet

... will disarm a foe, there are some ingrates so constituted that it moves them the other way. When Tom replied gently to Zeigler, and asked him privately why he annoyed him without cause, the fellow sneered the more at him. He took pains to indulge in profanity and obscenity before Tom, and received the full reward he sought when he saw how ...
— Brave Tom - The Battle That Won • Edward S. Ellis

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

... 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 that such lore is ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... loose morals, their dramatic 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, every church ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... barrier where the spectators could have touched her by leaning over. More than one stretched his hand out, one at least his walking cane. Then she took hold of her skirt and held it back, just as a girl does when she passes wet paint. This little touch, which made the young men jeer and whisper obscenity, brought the water to Manvers' eyes. He heard Gil Perez draw again his whistling breath, and felt him tremble. Directly Manuela was in her place, standing, facing the assize, Gil Perez looked at her, and never took his eyes from her again. ...
— The Spanish Jade • Maurice Hewlett

... means of picturesque representation are made use of, including the introduction of certain North Italian dialects. Often the place of wit is taken by mere insolence, clumsy trickery, blasphemy, and obscenity; one or two jokes told of Condottieri are among the most brutal and malicious which are recorded. Many of the 'burle' are thoroughly comic, but many are only real or supposed evidence of personal superiority, ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... self-denial. He had known nothing from his childhood up except an atmosphere of amusement, refinement, brilliancy, and idleness; he came where gnawing hunger, brutalized jest, ceaseless toil, coarse obscenity, agonized pain, and pandemonaic mirth alternately filled the ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... 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 ...
— Socialism - A Summary and Interpretation of Socialist Principles • John Spargo

... 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 increased the dose of wit—the Reeve's ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... offences against the present code of morality. The 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 matters ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... draggled skirts and dirty and disordered hair were in the crowd, shrieking joyous profanity, striking and fighting one another in their mad excitement. There were children, too, almost naked girls and boys, as ready with oath and obscenity as their elders, fair young faces and forms, some of them, debauched out of all that was childlike. Every fetid alley and filthy court near which this procession had passed had vomited its scum to swell the crowd. In the center of it rocked and swayed a coach. Hands were ...
— The Light That Lures • Percy Brebner

... our point may be repeated. One winter's morning a stately matron entered St. Gudule's at Brussels to attend mass. The heels of her shoes were caked with snow, and on the smooth pavement of the church she slipped up. As she fell, there escaped from her lips a single word, of mere obscenity. The bystanders helped her to her feet, and amid their laughter she slunk away, crimson with mortification, to hide herself in the crowd. Nowadays great ladies have not ...
— The Age of Erasmus - Lectures Delivered in the Universities of Oxford and London • P. S. Allen

... necessity for the doing of any great work in ideal art, is the looking upon all foulness with horror, as a contemptible though dreadful enemy. You may easily understand what I mean, by comparing the feelings with which Dante regards any form of obscenity or of base jest, with the temper in which the same things are regarded by Shakspere. And this strange earthly instinct of ours, coupled as it is, in our good men, with great simplicity and common sense, renders them shrewd and perfect observers and delineators ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

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

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

... 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 ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... of 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 fraternal communion which we have in the Lord, I ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

... eloquent developement of every subject that his acute intellect chose to dilate upon." His conversation was ever egotistical in the extreme: the bold assertion that his Lacon was the most clever work in the English language, was ever on his lips, and I regret to add, obscenity and irreligion too often supplied the place of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XX. No. 556., Saturday, July 7, 1832 • 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 ...
— An Essay on Criticism • Alexander Pope

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

... 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 child, his ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

... cheerfully and pleasantly to the fellows, giving them such names as Tom, Bob, Joe, Snowball, and so on, to which they readily answered, instead of abusing them and ordering them about with brutal oaths and obscenity, as was the habit of the crew; and although the poor wretches understood not a word of what was spoken to them either by the crew or by myself, yet they readily enough distinguished the difference of manner, and not only so, but they seemed to possess the faculty of interpreting ...
— The Pirate Slaver - A Story of the West African Coast • Harry Collingwood

... the greater part of classic authors, and of Lempriere, Shakspere, Sterne, Fielding, Richardson, Rabelais, etc., must be stopped: while the Bible—containing obscene passages omitted from the lectionary—must no longer be permitted circulation. All these contain obscenity which is either inserted to amuse or to instruct, and the medical work now assailed deals with physiological points purely to instruct, and to increase the happiness ...
— Autobiographical Sketches • Annie Besant

... humour for his company; but he had heard all about it from Miss Williams, and had come to stop. Only then did I fully realise how much of the kindly, delicate-minded gentleman remained behind that veil of profanity and obscenity which he so often held ...
— The Stark Munro Letters • J. Stark Munro

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

... sensual, and welcomed as enjoyable, what the present discards as disgusting. Ladies of the highest rank sat through plays of which the purpose and effect was to degrade their own womanhood, to remove from the minds of the men who sat about and watched their countenances at each new obscenity, whatever respect for the sex might have lingered there. Some wore masks to hide the blushes which might have been looked for as a drama proceeded, which represented every female character on the stage as little better than an animal, using such reason as she possessed only to further the gratification ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... ballad-singer, to hear the sequel of a dismal story, though sure of being severely punished for delaying to return with whatever I was sent to purchase. I could just spell and put a sentence together, and I listened to the various arguments, though often mingled with obscenity, which occurred at the table where I was allowed to preside: for a literary friend or two frequently came home with my master, to dine and pass the night. Having lost the privileged respect of my sex, my presence, instead of restraining, perhaps gave the reins to their tongues; ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... physically, the cleanest member of the band the 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

... 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 like the smell ...
— Child and Country - A Book of the Younger Generation • Will Levington Comfort

... has lost the faculty of respecting anything. Virtue, family life, patriotism, honour, religion, are represented to a frivolous generation as fitting subjects of ridicule. The theatres have become schools of shamelessness and obscenity. Drop by drop, poison is instilled into the very core of an ignorant and enervated society, which has neither the insight nor the energy left to amend its institutions, nor—which would be the most necessary step to take—become better informed or more moral. One after the other the fine ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

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

... of Bayle and Brantome had been introduced to a bizarre sort of morality; her "spiritual father," Voltaire, was the author of La Pucelle and Jacques le Fataliste proceeded from the same pen as the University for Russia. Diderot, indeed, whose moral obscenity was not the whole of the man, but was, nevertheless, sincere and from the centre, was able to compliment her on the freedom from "the decencies and virtues, the worn-out rags of her sex." She had no fund of theoretical cynicism on such matters, nor, on the other hand, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... covered a spirit as cold and tempered as fine metal. She was totally without the social sentiment of his own world; but she was equally innocent of its nauseous hypocrisy, the pretensions of a piety covering commercial dishonesty, obscenity of thought and spreading scandal. The injustice he saw practiced on shore had always turned him with a sense of relief to the cleansing challenge of the sea; always, brought in contact with cunning and self-seeking ...
— Java Head • Joseph Hergesheimer



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