This section is from the book "Free Love: Or, A Philosophical Demonstration Of The Non-Exclusive Nature Of Connubial Love", by Austin Kent. Also available from Amazon: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures.
While we have been writing our book, New York city has been all astir with a volcano of Free Love. No not that: It was a volcano of exclusive marriage, touched off by a free love match. (See city papers about the 20th of October.) The Tribune reissued its bulls and pledged itself anew to the defence of the family. Other editors - from the greater to the less, even to the remote towns - caught the spirit of the times, and were on the alert; and alike renewed their vows of watchful care and kind regards to their old mistress. Seriously - what has happened to cause this alarm in the marriage institution? Has free love encroached upon her just and established rights? Has she clandestinely entered the sexual plantations of her neighbor, and enticed away his body slave-mate? No! There is no evidence of that. Has she taken the liberty to regulate her own domestic concerns to her own taste, regardless of what might be the incidental effect upon her old neighbor? We think not even that. She has spoken her mind of exclusive marriage, and recommended free love! She has talked about the marriage institution. It will not do. Something must be done. The power of the law must be invoked.
She must send the noble Brisbane to her city dungeon for a night, as a token of what she can and will do, if her wishes are not regarded Shame on such despotism and cowardly persecutior in Protestantism! Shame on such inhumanity in the light of this age!
When an institution of so great age, and being in such an overwhelming majority, is so easily and causelessly set in such excited and angry motion, 1 is moral proof equal to a mathematical demonstrate of her inherent weakness, and of her consciousnes of it. It must be rotten at heart, and without a sur foundation. Like slavery, it quakes when touched Yea, when even looked at! Mr. Greeley, Mr. Ballou and others, would know how to appreciate such re flections as these, if connected with any subject no in harmony with their faith. Our opponents see the full force of them, when they relate to slavery. Gen tlemen, consistency is a jewel. If I were to find such a sensation on my side of the house, from com parativly so small a cause, even though our beloved is hardly through her teens, I should recommence its friends to look again, and overhaul the whole concern, to lay a deeper foundation for their super structure. Mr. Greeley believes in the entire safety of truth in free discussion, when it relates to the institutions of his remote neighbors, but does he really dare to trust it and himself here? Has he no fear of the consequences here? From his course with Mr. Andrews, and since, we think he has.
Still, as he believes in a true expediency, he may have thought the people would not yet bear it. Perhaps not. We do not complain of him, but we do thank him for what he has ventured in this line.
I have not done with Mr. Greeley, I wish to record my sincere gratitude to him for the good he has done to the cause which I advocate, as also to every other radical reform, in preparing the way for it and them by his general efforts on the side of free discussion. Whatever may be his future course, I promise never to forget his past services. He has made his impress on the age, in favor of a degree of freedom. Like the colter to the plow, he has cut the sod. True, in all this he has never meant to advance free love; and as this child is being born, he would gladly slay it. He has just renewed his pledge to always pursue it, and if possible exterminate it. (I suppose the late pledge in the Tribune to be his. At least he stands in that position ) To the cause of the most radical reform, Mr. Greeley's name has been John (the baptist,) now it is Herod. Christ has come and John is no more needed. We think Herod is; but we have no fear that he can do his successor any real harm. We most sincerly pray that he may not do by what has been the John in himself, as the Herod of old did with the baptist." As one who still loves him we have feared this.
Mr. Greeley is still really devoted to the spread and advancement of free love; never before half as much so as now. He has taken his position behind, in the rear of it, and by his opposition he will bring the whole power of his tremenduous battery to drive it forward. The cause has able leaders enough, and Mr. Greeley has taken the best possible position which he could take, and the only one which he is now prepared to occupy. Here he will act with zeal. Reader, these were our reflections on reading the late pledge of perpetual opposition to our principles in the Tribune. As I turned from my pen to that paper for relaxation, I was encouraged and strengthened by that promise to oppose. I do not believe that a truthful opposition will ever advance error. But I do believe that an untruthful opposition will always advance truth.
[The author would say to the reader that from unavoidable hinderances, this small work has been delayed over a year since it was ready for the press.]