The first thing a missionary teaches the savage is indecency.
- Notebook, 1897
Each race determines for itself what indecencies are. Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.
- Notebook, 1896
Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity--these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing; they are not ashamed. Man, with his soiled mind, covers himself. He will not even enter a drawing room with his breast and back naked, so alive are he and his mates to indecent suggestion. Man is "The Animal that Laughs." But so does the monkey, as Mr. Darwin pointed out; and so does the Australian bird that is called the laughing jack-ass. No--Man is the Animal that Blushes. He is the only one that does it--or has occasion to.
- "The Lowest Animal"
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