The desecration of the Herm. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Three allegations of sexual harassment may be regarded as a misfortune, but a 13-year affair looks like carelessness. At some point in those 13 years she must surely have realized that he was not going to give her a job.

There are questions on both sides of this most recent allegation. Cain’s defense seems somewhat illogical – he claims she only had his private phone number because he was attempting to assist her financially – but then again, it would come as more of a surprise if his defense were entirely logical. This is a man who tends to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct by singing hymns.

Ms. White, on the other hand, has one problematic lawsuit to her credit. And she has received multiple eviction notices, FOX Atlanta’s I-Team reports, including one within the past month. White acknowledges this and says it should not detract from her case — she has what she claims is Cain’s cellphone number, says they had a physical relationship for 13 years in which he flew her around and lavished gifts on her. So far her evidence seems largely to amount to dedications that Cain wrote to her in copies of his books, which do not exactly rank among the great love letters of all time.

According to White, he wrote, “Miss G, you have already made a ‘big difference!’ Stay focused as you pursue your next destination” in her copy of Leadership is Common Sense .

Dante once wrote that to Beatrice, but he thought it was too forward, so he deleted it and wrote something about the soul instead.

And that wasn’t all. Cain also signed “CEO of SELF” to her with the words, “Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus.”

Abelard once wrote that to Heloise, with remarkable prescience.

“Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus” is the original second line of that sonnet that starts off, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” But Elizabeth Barrett Browning worried that it might throw off the scan.

“Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” Romeo exclaimed. “Miss C., you have already made a ‘big difference.’ ”

“Stay focused as you pursue your next destination,” Juliet shrieked, just before plunging the dagger into her chest.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” Rhett told Scarlett. “Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus.”

“I wish I knew how to quit you,” Ennis told Jack. “You have already made a ‘big difference.’ ”

“Jack! I’ll never let go! Stay focused as you pursue your next destination!” Rose cried, releasing Jack’s hand.

“We’ll always have Paris,” Rick told Ilsa. “Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus.”

Well, you get the idea.

My other favorite part of this so far is that Herman Cain implied that he had no idea what the allegations were, but his attorney immediately emerged to state that from what he heard, it sounded like the sort of thing that had happened in private between consulting adults and was nobody’s business.

He said:

“This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault — which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.

Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public’s right to know and the media’s right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one’s bedroom door.”

I can tell you that this is exactly where it does not end. It never has. Alexander Hamilton did not perish in a duel so that we could stop peering past the bedroom doors of politicians.

Sure, Mrs. Patrick Campbell may have said that “Does it really matter what these affectionate people do – so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.” But we know better. Of course it matters. We don’t care what side of the aisle you’re from. We want to know all the lurid personal details. Of course it’s wrong.

But it’s never stopped us before.

“For never was there story of more woe,” as Shakespeare wrote, “Than that of Herman Cain and his effort to win the Republican nomination. Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus.”