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AT MAIDENHEAD

Apart from the procreative necessity, was woman an unavoidable evil? The doctor’s untrammelled thoughts began to climb high, spin, nose dive and loop the loop. Nowadays we took a proper care of the young, we had no need for high birth rates, quite a small proportion of women with a gift in that direction could supply all the offspring that the world wanted. Given the power of determining sex that science was slowly winning to-day, and why should we have so many women about? A drastic elimination of the creatures would be quite practicable. A fantastic world to a vulgar imagination, no doubt, but to a calmly reasonable mind by no means fantastic. But this was where the case of Sir Richmond became so interesting. Was it really true that the companionship of women was necessary to these energetic creative types? Was it the fact that the drive of life towards action, as distinguished from contemplation, arose out of sex and needed to be refreshed by the reiteration of that motive? It was a plausible proposition: it marched with all the doctor’s ideas of natural selection and of the conditions of a survival that have made us what we are. It was in tune with the Freudian analyses.

Sex not only a renewal of life in the species,” noted the doctor’s silver pencil; “sex may be also a renewal of energy in the individual.