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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

generally took two baths a year when in health; in illness they 

could be taken as often as necessary. The rules of Cluny only 

allowed three towels to the community: one for the novices, one 

for the professed, and one for the lay brothers. At the end of 

the seventeenth century Madame de Mazarin, having retired to a 

convent of Visitandines, one day desired to wash her feet, but 

the whole establishment was set in an uproar at such an idea, and 

she received a direct refusal. In 1760 the Dominican Richard 

wrote that in itself the bath is permissible, but it must be 

taken solely for necessity, not for pleasure. The Church taught, 

and this lesson is still inculcated in convent schools, that it 

is wrong to expose the body even to one's own gaze, and it is not 

surprising that many holy persons boasted that they had never 

even washed their hands. (Most of these facts have been taken 

from A. Franklin, _Les Soins de Toilette_, one of the _Vie Privee 

d'Autrefois_ series, in which further details may be found.) 

 

In sixteenth-century Italy, a land of supreme elegance and 

fashion, superior even to France, the conditions were the same, 

and how little water found favor even with aristocratic ladies we 

may gather from the contemporary books on the toilet, which 

abound with recipes against itch and similar diseases. It should 

be added that Burckhardt (_Die Cultur der Renaissance in 

Italien_, eighth edition, volume ii, p. 92) considers that in 

spite of skin diseases the Italians of the Renaissance were the 

first nation in Europe for cleanliness. 

 

It is unnecessary to consider the state of things in other 

European countries. The aristocratic conditions of former days 

are the plebeian conditions of to-day. So far as England is 

concerned, such documents as Chadwick's _Report on the Sanitary 

Condition of the Laboring Population of Great Britain_ (1842) 

sufficiently illustrate the ideas and the practices as regards 

personal cleanliness which prevailed among the masses during the 

nineteenth century and which to a large extent still prevail. 

 

A considerable amount of opprobrium has been cast upon the Catholic Church 

for its direct and indirect influence in promoting bodily uncleanliness. 

Nietzsche sarcastically refers to the facts, and Mr. Frederick Harrison 

asserts that "the tone of the middle ages in the matter of dirt was a form 

of mental disease." It would be easy to quote many other authors to the 

same effect. 

 

It is necessary to point out, however, that the writers who have committed 

themselves to such utterances have not only done an injustice to 

Christianity, but have shown a lack of historical insight. Christianity 

was essentially and fundamentally a rebellion against the classic world, 

against its vices, and against their concomitant virtues, against both its 

practices and its ideals. It sprang up in a different part of the 


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