Attributed to some chap* called IAR Wylie (by Willard and Marguerite Beecher on page 89 of their 1966 book Beyond Success and Failure Simon and Schuster Books.
Reminds me of that Clemenceau line about the United States –
“America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.”
* Ah, now, there’s a sexist assumption! IAR Wylie was not a chap but a chappette (dang, there I go again!). One Ida Alexa Ross Wylie. Loads of her books on googlebooks, but no biog. Who she?
More googling and that sexist assumption is just getting more and more cringeworthy.
For Ida Wylie was sapphic. Page 159 of Spinsters and lesbians: independent womanhood in the United States by Trisha Franzen.
Ah, my search was stuck in google books. Closed the browser window, re-opened and got this….