My First Tutor

‘Just as from madjar into which even a single drop of alcohol has been poured only vinegar is obtained and never wine, so the gratification of lust before adulthood leads to a youth’s becoming a monstrosity. But when the youth is grown up, then he can do whatever he likes; just as with madjar—when it is already wine you can put as much alcohol in it as you like; not only will it not be spoiled but you can obtain whatever strength you please.’

Father Borsh had a very original idea of the world and of man.

His views on man and the aim of man’s existence differed completely from those of the people round him and from everything I had heard or gathered from my reading.

I will mention here certain thoughts of his which may serve to illustrate the understanding he had of man and what he expected of him.

He said:

‘Until adulthood, man is not responsible for any his acts, good or bad, voluntary or involuntary; solely responsible are the people close to him who have undertaken, consciously or owing to accidental circumstances, the obligation of preparing him for responsible life.

‘The years of youth are for every human being, whether male or female, the period given for the further development of the initial conception in the mother’s womb up to, so to say, its full completion.

‘From this time on, that is, from the moment the process of his development is finished, man becomes personally responsible for all his voluntary and involuntary manifestations.

‘According to laws of nature elucidated and verified through many centuries of observation by people of pure reason, this process of development is finished in males between the ages of twenty and of twenty-three, and in females between the ages of fifteen and nineteen, depending on the geographical conditions of the place of their arising and formation.

‘As elucidated by wise men of past epochs, these age periods have been established by nature, according to law, for the acquisition of independent being with personal responsibility for all one’s manifestations, but unfortunately at the present time they are hardly recognized at all. And this, in my opinion, is owing chiefly to the negligent attitude in contemporary education towards the question of sex, a question which plays the most important role in the life of everyone.