and early youth, say from thirteen to twenty: the sex-urge, the lust of the flesh was so overwhelming in me that I was conscious only of desire. When the rattlesnake's poison-bag is full, he strikes at everything that moves, even the blades of grass; the poor brute is blinded and in pain with the overplus. In my youth I was blind, too, through excess of semen.
I often say that I was thirty-five years of age before I saw an ugly woman, a woman that is, whom I didn't desire. In early puberty, all women tempted me; and all girls still more poignantly.
From twenty to twenty-three, I began to distinguish qualities of the mind and heart and soul; to my amazement, I preferred Kate to Lily, though Lily gave me keener sensations: Rose excited me very little yet I knew she was of rarer, finer quality than even Sophy who seemed to me an unequalled bed-fellow.
From that time on the charms of spirit, heart and soul, drew me with ever-increasing magnetism, overpowering the pleasures of the senses though plastic beauty exercises as much fascination over me to-day as it did fifty years ago. I never knew the illusion of love, the rose-mist of passion till I was twenty-seven and I was intoxicated with it for years; but that story will be for my second volume.
Now strange to say, my loves till I left America just taught me as much of the refinements of passion, as is commonly known in these States.
France and Greece made me wise to all that Europe has to teach; that deeper knowledge too is for the second volume in which I shall relate how a French girl surpassed Sophy's art as far as Sophy surpassed Rose's ingenuous yielding.
But it was not till I was over forty and had made my second journey round the world that I learned in India and Burmah, all the high mysteries of sense and