Zacharias Werner, a romantic poet turned priest, and a former notorious transgressor, packed Vienna's churches in 1809 with his fiery sermons on "that tiny piece of flesh, the most dangerous appurtenance of a man's body." Gentlemen blanched, ladies blushed, as he elaborated on all the horrendous consequences of its misuse, his piercing eyes shooting sparks as he expounded graphically on and on.
Toward the end of his sermon, he leaned over the pulpit to scream at his listeners: "Shall I name you that tiny piece of flesh?" There was paralyzed silence. Smelling salts were extracted from ladies' handbags. He leaned out farther, and his voice rose to a hoarse shout. "Shall I you that tiny piece of flesh?" Horrified silence. Not a whisper or a rustle of a prayer book could be heard. Werner's voice dropped, and a sly smile slid over his face. "Ladies and gentlemen, behold the source of our sins!" And he stuck out his tongue.
- Dorothy Gies McGuigan, Metternich and the Duchess (Doubleday)