Robert Louis Stevenson on the Moral Bargain

In my recent article on William James, he taught us How to Know a Good Man, and part of his argument referenced a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson:

Stevenson says somewhere to his reader: “You think you are just making this bargain, but you are really laying down a link in the policy of mankind.”

I was intrigued by that quotation, and I decided to return to the source material to read the entire quotation in context.  Here’s what I found on page 20 of Stevenson’s fine book, Lay Morals:

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Clean Women and Christian Girls

A female friend of mine, fresh on the dating scene after a disengaged marriage, lamented the lack of an available good man.  She is offended by many of the online dating sites where available men list as a requirement a “clean woman” — which, I was told, is a code phrase that translates into a “woman who washes her private parts on a regular basis.”

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