Charles Booth seems to be of the same opinion, and quotes (Life and Labor of the People, Third Series, vol. vii, p. 364) from a Rescue Committee Report: "The popular idea is, that these women are eager to leave a life of sin. The plain and simple truth is that, for the most part, they have no desire at all to be rescued. So many of these women do not, and will not, regard prostitution as a sin. 'I am taken out to dinner and to some place of amusement every night; why should I give it up?" Merrick, who found that five per cent. of 14,000 prostitutes who passed through Millbank Prison, were accustomed to combine religious observance with the practice of their profession, also remarks in regard to their feelings about morality: "I am convinced that there are many poor men and women who do not in the least understand what is implied in the term 'immorality. Out of courtesy to you, they may assent to what you say, but they do not comprehend your meaning when you talk of virtue or purity; you are simply talking over their heads" (Merrick, op. cit., p. 28). The same attitude may be found among prostitutes everywhere. In Italy Ferriani mentions a girl of fifteen who, when accused of indecency with a man in a public garden, denied with tears and much indignation. He finally induced her to confess, and then asked her: "Why did you try to make me believe you were a good girl?" She hesitated, smiled, and said: "Because they say girls ought not to do what I do, but ought to work. But I am what I am, and it is no concern of theirs." This attitude is often more than an instinctive feeling; in intelligent prostitutes it frequently becomes a reasoned conviction. "I can bear everything, if so it must be," wrote the author of the Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (p. 291), "even serious and honorable contempt, but I cannot bear scorn. Contempt yes, if it is justified. If a poor and pretty girl with sick and bitter heart stands alone in life, cast off, with temptations and seductions offering on every side, and, in spite of that, out of inner conviction she chooses the grey and monotonous path of renunciation and middle-class morality, I recognize in that girl a personality, who has a certain justification in looking down with contemptuous pity on weaker girls. But those geese who, under the eyes of their shepherds and life-long owners, have always been pastured in smooth green fields, have certainly no right to laugh scornfully at others who have not been so fortunate." Nor must it be supposed that there is necessarily any sophistry in the prostitute's justification of herself. Some of our best thinkers and observers have reached a conclusion that is not dissimilar. "The actual conditions of society are opposed to any high moral feeling in women," Marro observes (La Pubert