Thursday, July 06, 2006

From the Ball-Room to Hell

This From the Ball-Room to Hell should be required reading for you loose women! You know who you are. It's an 1892 tract, written by one T.A. Faulkner and posted in its entirety at

Here's an excerpt:
She is now in the vile embrace of the Apollo of the evening. Her head rests upon his shoulder, her face is upturned to his, her bare arm is almost around his neck, her partly nude swelling breast heaves tumultuously against his, face to face they whirl on, his limbs interwoven with hers, his strong right arm around her yielding form, he presses her to him until every curve in the contour of her body thrills with the amorous contact. Her eyes look into his, but she sees nothing; the soft music fills the room, but she hears it not; he bends her body to and fro, but she knows it not; his hot breath, tainted with strong drink, is on her hair and cheek, his lips almost touch her forehead, yet she does not shrink; his eyes, gleaming with a fierce, intolerable lust, gloat over her, yet she does not quail. She is filled with the rapture of sin in its intensity; her spirit is inflamed with passion and lust is gratified in thought. With a last low wail the music ceases, and the dance for the night is ended, but not the evil work of the night.
The girl whose blood is hot from the exertion and whose every carnal sense is aroused and aflame by the repetition of such scenes as we have witnessed, is led to the ever-waiting carriage, where she sinks exhausted on the cushioned seat. Oh, if I could picture to you the fiendish look that comes into his eyes as he sees his helpless victim before him. Now is his golden opportunity. He must not miss it, and he does not, and that beautiful girl who entered the dancing school as pure and innocent as an angel three months ago returns to her home that night robbed of that most precious jewel of womanhood--virtue!
When she awakes the next morning to a realizing sense of her position her first impulse is to self-destruction, but she deludes herself with the thought that her "dancing" companion will right the wrong by marriage, but that is the farthest from his thoughts, and he casts her off--"he wishes a pure woman for his wife."
She has no longer any claim to purity; her self-respect is lost; she sinks lower and lower; society shuns her, and she is to-day a brothel inmate, the toy and plaything of the libertine and drunkard.


At 7:48 AM, Blogger Debra Hamel said...

Dear God! I barely escaped that fate!

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous crimefic said...

Hi Susan,
That reminded me of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. I thank God I live with the fate that befalls me today - much more freedom and choice and the ability to choose my own path in life.
It's actually a wonderful piece of sensual prose until the ending which is like a dagger to the heart and rocks all foundations.
Have a good weekend Susan!

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Perhaps T.A. Faulkner really wanted to be writing porn! I can imagine this being turned into a silent movie, complete with wide-eyed innocents and mustache-twirling villains.

Thank you for stopping by, Crimefic! I've seen you over at Petrona's haven't I?

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous crimefic said...

Yes. And Keeper of the Snails!

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Bill said...

Dear Susan:

The post reminds me of a description of a church dance in Denver @ 1950 by Sayvid Quib, one of the founders of the modern Moslem fundamentalist movement:

"They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chesed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire."

I also quote Joni Mitchell"s song :Come in From the Cold":

"Way back in 1957
We had to dance a foot apart
And they hawk-eyed us
From the sidelines
Holding their rulers without a heart
And so with just a touch of our fingers
Oh, we could make our circuitry explode
All we ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold."

Certainly when I went to dances, it was not to display my high standing in the cult of Terpsichore, it was for the chance to hold a real live girl. The Reverend and the Iman are right in the sense that a dance is an erotic event. Their problem is that erotic drives them up the wall.

Stay Well


At 1:29 PM, Blogger Maxine said...

It reminded me of reading Fanny Hill under the bedcovers at age 14 or so!

I think I first encountered Crimeficreader over at Debi Alper's blog, or maybe via Minx's comments. Bit of an incestuous lot, aren't we, all our roads end at Rome.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I think it's wonderful how we can find like-minded people all over the globe via this medium!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Minx said...

Yep, there are sauce lovers all over the globe Susan and funny how we can all meet up in Canada for a quick chat!!

Sorry, must apologise, left a comment to say that I had linked to this post but it's not here!
I agree with CFR, I loved it until the last bit then I wanted to kill someone!!


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