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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

high character, and received permission to dispense with this 

badge on account of her "rara scienzia di poesia et filosofia." 

She dedicated her _Rime_ to the Duchess. Tullia D'Aragona was 

very beautiful, with yellow hair, and remarkably large and bright 

eyes, which dominated those who came near her. She was of proud 

bearing and inspired unusual respect (G. Biagi, "Un' Etera 

Romana," _Nuova Antologia_, vol. iv, 1886, pp. 655-711; S. 

Bongi, _Rivista critica della Letteratura Italiana_, 1886, IV, p. 

186). 

 

Tullia D'Aragona was clearly not a courtesan at heart. Perhaps 

the most typical example of the Renaissance courtesan at her best 

is furnished by Veronica Franco, born in 1546 at Venice, of 

middle class family and in early life married to a doctor. Of her 

also it has been said that, while by profession a prostitute, she 

was by inclination a poet. But she appears to have been well 

content with her profession, and never ashamed of it. Her life 

and character have been studied by Arturo Graf, and more slightly 

in a little book by Tassini. She was highly cultured, and knew 

several languages; she also sang well and played on many 

instruments. In one of her letters she advises a youth who was 

madly in love with her that if he wishes to obtain her favors he 

must leave off importuning her and devote himself tranquilly to 

study. "You know well," she adds, "that all those who claim to be 

able to gain my love, and who are extremely dear to me, are 

strenuous in studious discipline.... If my fortune allowed it I 

would spend all my time quietly in the academies of virtuous 

men." The Diotimas and Aspasias of antiquity, as Graf comments, 

would not have demanded so much of their lovers. In her poems it 

is possible to trace some of her love histories, and she often 

shows herself torn by jealousy at the thought that perhaps 

another woman may approach her beloved. Once she fell in love 

with an ecclesiastic, possibly a bishop, with whom she had no 

relationships, and after a long absence, which healed her love, 

she and he became sincere friends. Once she was visited by Henry 

III of France, who took away her portrait, while on her part she 

promised to dedicate a book to him; she so far fulfilled this as 

to address some sonnets to him and a letter; "neither did the 

King feel ashamed of his intimacy with the courtesan," remarks 

Graf, "nor did she suspect that he would feel ashamed of it." 

When Montaigne passed through Venice she sent him a little book 

of hers, as we learn from his _Journal_, though they do not 

appear to have met. Tintoret was one of her many distinguished 

friends, and she was a strenuous advocate of the high qualities 

of modern, as compared with ancient, art. Her friendships were 

affectionate, and she even seems to have had various grand ladies 

among her friends. She was, however, so far from being ashamed of 

her profession of courtesan that in one of her poems she affirms 

she has been taught by Apollo other arts besides those he is 

usually regarded as teaching: 

 

"Cosi dolce e gustevole divento, 

Quando mi trovo con persona in letto 

Da cui amata e gradita mi sento." 

 

In a certain _catalogo_ of the prices of Venetian courtesans 

Veronica is assigned only 2 scudi for her favors, while the 

courtesan to whom the catalogue is dedicated is set down at 25 

scudi. Graf thinks there may be some mistake or malice here, and 

an Italian gentleman of the time states that she required not 


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