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Potton (Appendix to Parent-Duchatelet, vol. ii, p. 446) states
that of nearly four thousand Lyons prostitutes only 376 belonged
to Lyons. In Vienna, in 1873, Schrank remarks that of over 1500
prostitutes only 615 were born in Vienna. The general rule, it
will be seen, though the variations are wide, is that little more
than a third of a city's prostitutes are children of the city.
It is interesting to note that this tendency of the prostitute to
reach cities from afar, this migratory tendency--which they
nowadays share with waiters--is no merely modern phenomenon.
"There are few cities in Lombardy, or France, or Gaul," wrote St.
Boniface nearly twelve centuries ago, "in which there is not an
adulteress or prostitute of the English nation," and the Saint
attributes this to the custom of going on pilgrimage to foreign
shrines. At the present time there is no marked English element
among Continental prostitutes. Thus in Paris, according to Reuss
(_La Prostitution_, p. 12), the foreign prostitutes in decreasing
order are Belgian, German (Alsace-Lorraine), Swiss (especially
Geneva), Italian, Spanish, and only then English. Connoisseurs in
this matter say, indeed, that the English prostitute, as compared
with her Continental (and especially French) sister, fails to
show to advantage, being usually grasping as regards money and
deficient in charm.
It is the appeal of civilization, though not of what is finest and best in
civilization, which more than any other motive, calls women to the career
of a prostitute. It is now necessary to point out that for the man also,
the same appeal makes itself felt in the person of the prostitute. The
common and ignorant assumption that prostitution exists to satisfy the
gross sensuality of the young unmarried man, and that if he is taught to
bridle gross sexual impulse or induced to marry early the prostitute must
be idle, is altogether incorrect. If all men married when quite young, not
only would the remedy be worse than the disease--a point which it would be
out of place to discuss here--but the remedy would not cure the disease.
The prostitute is something more than a channel to drain off superfluous
sexual energy, and her attraction by no means ceases when men are married,
for a large number of the men who visit prostitutes, if not the majority,
are married. And alike whether they are married or unmarried the motive
is not one of uncomplicated lust.
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