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Ladies' Guide 

Health and Disease. 

irlhood, jjaidenliood, j ifehood, Jjotherliood. 

By J. H. KELLOGG, M. D., 

Member ot the British Association for the Advancement of Science, The Societe a" Hy 
giene of France, The American Public Health Association, Editor of " Good 
Health," Author of "The Home Hand-Bcok of Domestic Hy- 
giene and Rational Medicine," " Man, the Master- 
piece," and Various Other Works. 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882, by 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C 






;:.' ; r^.-V;:' 




A. Cebebbum, ok Large Brain. . 

B. Cerebellum, ok Little Bkain. 

C. Nasal Fossa. 



F. Pharynx. 

G. Tongue. 

H. Fbontal Sinus. 

I. Epiglottis. 

J. (Esophagus, ok Meat Pipe. 

K. Ribs Fokming the Thorax. 

L. Steknum. 

M. Cabtilages. 

NN. Lungs. 

0. Trachea and Bronchial Tubes. 
P. Livek. 

Q. Gall Duct. 

R. Stomach. 

.s. Pylorus. 

T. Duodenum. 

U. Colon. 

V. Small Intestines. 

W. Bladder. 

X. Spleen. 

Y. Pancreas. 

a. Descending Vena Cava. 

h. Aorta. 

cd. Pulmonary Arteries. 

e. Pulmonary Veins. 

f. Heart. 

g. Ascending Vena Cava. 
hh. Kidneys. 

1. Abdominal Aorta. 
jj. Fallopian Tubes. 
kk. Ovaries. 

I. Uterus, or Womb. 

in. Mouth of Womb, or Os Uteri. 

n. Inner Extremity of Vagina. 
\fz. Remains of Foetal Circulation. 

M— -f 

F Pi EI F A d El 

HE author of this volume was induced to undertake its prep- 
aration by the belief that there was a real and urgent demand 
for such a work, and the hope that the effort would do some- 
thing at least toward supplying that demand. The very remarkable 
increase in the number and frequency of that very large class of 
maladies familiarly known as " diseases of women " observable in 
modern times, especially among the women of the more civilized 
nations, and those of this country in particular, has attracted the 
attention of many intelligent physicians. The ailments from which 
women suffer constitute a large part of the practice of the majority 
of physicians, and probably contribute more to the support of the 
medical profession than any other class of maladies. So numerous 
and complicated has this class of diseases become in recent times, 
that a new race of specialists has sprung up, who confine themselves 
exclusively to this branch of practice ; and many a fashionable 
woman has her favorite gynecologist as well as her favorite milliner 
or dress-maker, and is as much dependent upon the first to keep her 
internal arrangements in proper order as upon the second and third 
to regulate her head-gear and garments in accordance with the rul- 
ing fashion. We have no sympathy with that large class who seem 
to consider chronic invalidism necessary to gentility ; and it is not 
the purpose of this work in any way to increase or exaggerate the 
tendency in this direction which is so apparent among civilized 
women at the present time. What we hope to do is in some degree 
to mitigate this growing evil by calling attention to the causes out 
of which it springs, and pointing out the remedy. 

The fact to which we have above referred has received many 
different interpretations. One author attributes the increasing 
physical infirmity of woman to her increasing intellectuality ; an- 
other, to faulty methods of education, particularly the co-education 



of the sexes. Still another, and an eminent authority, attributes 
the failure in health from special ailments of so large a porportion 
of the female part of the population to the malign influence of 
some subtle agency native to the country and wholly beyond the 
reach of human control. One of the prime objects of this work 
is to show that the sufferings of civilized women from special 
diseases above those of other races, is not due to injurious climatic 
influences, nor to excessive mental culture and development ; but 
to a lack of physical culture, defective home training, sedentary 
habits of life, too much excitement, especially during the develop- 
ing period, and numerous other causes which may be removed by 
proper attention on the part of parents, if the effort is begun at 
a sufficiently early age. 

Believing that the growing delicacy and increasing suscepti- 
bility to disease and lack of endurance so manifest, especially among 
English and American women, is chiefly due to neglects of various 
sorts arising from ignorance of the laws which relate to the proper 
development and maintenance in health of the special set of organs 
characteristic of the sex, we have deemed it best to present as an 
introduction to the more practical portion of the work a concise 
description of these organs and their functions. We are well aware 
that in the minds of a few the anatomical portion of the work will 
be considered objectionable ; but this has not deterred us from pre- 
senting this part of the subject in such a manner as we hope will 
accomplish the desired end ; viz., the education of those into whose 
hands the work may fall respecting the important functions con- 
sidered, to such a degree as to enable them to avoid, if they desire 
to do so, the pitfalls into which so large a sharj of their sisters fall, 
thereby preserving and increasing their store of that choicest of all 
possessions, good health, and fitting themselves to transmit the 
same as a priceless legacy to their children. 

The old adage, " A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," has 
done a vast deal of mischief both in deterring those fitted to impart 
useful information on these topics from giving it, and discouraging 
those who needed such instruction from seeking it. We have never 
yet known a case in which a woman was injured by scientific in- 
formation respecting her own body and its functions. We believe 
that enlightenment on this and kindred topics, and on all that 


relates to the physical, mental, and moral well-being of woman, is 
the surest means of correcting some of the greatest evils which 
curse the race at the present time, and which are sapping the 
very foundations of society. 

In order to point out in the clearest manner possible the way of 
escape for women from the thralldom of aches and pains and "weak- 
nesses" in which the sex is as a class enslaved, we have endeavored 
to trace the outlines of what we conceive to be the method of train- 
ing by which a higher type of womanhood may be developed, be- 
ginning with " The Little Girl," and considering in succeeding 
sections under the respective headings, "The Young Lady," "The 
Wife," and "The Mother," the several phases of woman's life. 

The remainder of the work is devoted to the practical considera- 
tion of the various maladies to which women are subject. In this 
section it has not been the attempt of the author to furnish a sub- 
stitute for the physician, except so far as the physician fails to do 
his duty in instructing his patient in relating to the nature, causes, 
and rationale of cure of her maladies, information to which every 
intelligent women is entitled. We have, however, endeavored to 
make the instruction given so simple and untechnical, and so prac- 
tical in character, as to enable any woman of ordinary ability to 
discover the beginnings of local ailments, and to manage success- 
fully many of the most common diseases of the sex, and in the 
absence of a competent physician, to treat with a fair prospect of 
success most of the curable maladies known as "female diseases." 

Having for years enjoyed ample opportunity for the study of 
this class of maladies, as physician in charge of one of the 
largest Sanitariums in the United States, and with unlimited 
facilities at command for the treatment of the several thousand 
invalid women who annually visit the institution for treatment 
for every variety of disease peculiar to the sex, we feel in some 
measure prepared to discriminate with some degree of fairness 
with reference to the methods in use by physicians as well as 
by specialists in the treatment of this very large class of maladies. 
We have endeavored to select from the great number of remedies 
and methods in use, those which have been attended by the highest 
degree of success in our hands and in the practice of the most 
successful specialists of this and other countries ; and we are happy 


to be able to say to our readers that those methods which are 
the most efficient and the most essential in the treatment of the 
more common of these maladies, are so simple that by the aid 
of a few inexpensive appliances and the exercise of a fair degree 
of intelligence, they may be managed in many cases by the pa- 
tient herself with perfect safety, and with success. 

We believe that the intelligent and unprejudiced physician will 
welcome this work, and wish it placed in the hands of all his lady 
patients, since it will in no degree detract from the confidence which 
ought to be reposed in him, if he is worthy of such confidence, but 
will increase the esteem in which he is held by placing his patient 
beyond the reach of quackery, and adding to his success in severe 
cases which may have long withstood his best skill, by so instruct 
ing the patient as to enable her to co-operate intelligently and 
efficiently in the effort to aid nature in effecting a cure. 

The reader's indulgence is craved for what he may discover as 
lacking in literary form or embellishment in the work. It has 
been written amid the distractions and anxieties incident to the care 
of a large hospital for chronic invalids and surgical cases, and every 
line is the product of time stolen from sleep. 

J. H, K. 

Preface , 

Anatomy and Physiology of Reproduction, 

Man the masterpiece — Animated atoms — Study of microscopic life — 
The protoooccus — The amoebae — Similarity between plants and 
animals — Marvels of minute living forms — Distinguishing 
feature of animals and vegetables — The body an aggregation of 
living cells. 

General Survey of the Body 27 

The digestive system — The alimentary canal — The teeth — The sal- 
ivary glands — The oesophagus, or meat-pipe — The stomach — 
The intestines — The liver — The pancreas — The spleen — The 
portal system — The five digestive juices — The elements of food 
— The saliva — The gastric juice — The bile — The pancreatic 
juice — The intestinal juice — Absorption — Disintegration and 
elimination — Assimilation — The motive system — The nervous 
system — Brain cells — Nerve fibres. 

The Reproductive System 37 

The zoosperm — The ovum — The organs of reproduction — The ovary 
— The womb, or uterus — The fallopian tubes — The bladder — The 
rectum — The perinaeum — Blood-supply of the uterus and ovaries 
— Nerves of the uterus and ovaries — Supports of the uterus — 
Broad ligaments — The pelvis — The sacrum — The coccyx — 
The symphysis — Promontory of the sacrum — Differences be- 
tween the male and the female pelvis — Proper proportion of 
the form in females — Canal of the pelvis — The pelvic canal in 
lower animals — Measurements of the pelvis — Curve of the pel- 
vic cavity — Pelvis of the guinea-pig — Pelvis of the cow — 
Changes in the pelvis prior to childbirth in the human female 

2 W 



and in lower animals — Other interesting facts about the pelvis 
— The breasts, or mammary glands — Lacteal secretion — Mech- 
anism of lactation — A curious modification of the mammary 
glands in lower animals — Supernumerary mammary glands — 
Secretion of milk in virgins — Milk secretion in infants. 

Mysteries of Reproduction 56 

Ovulation — Viviparous and oviparous animals — Procreation a bud- 
ding process — Reproduction in polyps — Curious mode of repro- 
duction in the fluke — Ovulation periodic — Ovulation in lower 
animals — Menstruation — Menstrual discharge — (Estruation — 
Condition of the uterus and ovaries during menstruation — 
Relation of menstruation to other functions — Origin of the 
menstrual blood — Nature of the menstrual discharge — Influ- 
ence of the moon on menstruation — Vicarious menstruation — 

Sex in Plants and Animals 67 

Fecundation in lowly forms of life — Male and female elements of 
generation — Sex in flowers — Fecundation in flowers — Marvel- 
ous mechanism of reproduction in plants — Reproduction in in- 
fusoria — Reproduction in the earth-worm, snail, and leech — In- 
teresting arrangement for fecundation in the tape-worm — Her- 
maphrodite animals — Hermaphrodite flowers — Hermaphrodism 
in human beings — Fecundation in fishes — Method of fecunda- 
tion in frogs — Fecundation in the human species — Action of 
the womb in fecundation — Union of the spermatozoa and ovum 
— Nature of fecundation — Relation of fecundation to heredity. 

Conception 78 

Circumstances favoring conception — When conception is not likely 
to occur — Multiple conceptions — Superfecundation — Precocious 
conception — Conception in advanced age — Influence of parents 
upon offspring in conception — The determining cause of sex 
— How to predict and regulate the sex of offspring — The be- 
ginning of life — Wonderful rapidity of changes in the ovum 
— Significance of " quickening." 

Gestation, or Pregnancy 86 

Care of eggs by fishes — A nursery in a mouth — Singular 
form of gestation in the " obstetric toad " — Gestation in 
the tree-frog — Gestation in mammalia — Changes in the uterus 
after conception — Changes in the nerve centers — Develop- 
ment of the ovum during gestation — Segmentation of the 


ovum — The primitive trace — The origin of monsters explained 
— The Siamese twins — Resemblance of the human embryo at 
different stages to various species of lower animals — How the 
digestive organs are formed — The reversed position of the in- 
ternal organs — Development of the heart — Development of the 
arms and legs — Development in lower animals and human 
beings compared — Formation of the face — Cause of hare-lip — 
Causes of congenital deformities — Nourishment of the embryo 
— The placenta — Influence of the foetus on the mother — Why 
a woman's children by a second husband resemble the first — 
The foetal pulse — Means of determining the sex of an unborn 
' child — Position and condition of the foetus in the womb — The 
amniotic fluid, or " the waters." 

Summary of Development 100 

Size of the embryo — Size of embryo at different periods of pregnancy 
■ — Length of gestation — Gestation in the horse, rabbit, and other 
animals — Abbreviated gestation — Prolonged gestation — Quick- 
ening — Changes in the system of the mother during gestation — 
Why women sometimes enjoy superior health during pregnancy 
— The uterine souffle — Preparation of the system for parturition 
— Extra-uterine pregnancy — Abdominal pregnancy — Tubal 
pregnancy — Ovarian pregnancy — Parturition — Expulsion of 
the " after-birth " — Involution of the uterus — The lochia — 
Changes in the child at birth. 

Development of the Body after Birth 112 

Relative size of different parts of the body of new-born infants 
— Cause of inferior development of the legs in infants — 
Shedding of the hair in infants — Development of the teeth — 
The temporary or milk teeth — The permanent teeth — Ages at 
which the different temporary and permanent teeth make their 
appearance — Puberty. 


Errors in the Early Education of Girls 118 

Difference between boys and girls largely the result of education — 
The inefficiency of women the result of early perverting influ- 
ences — The physical development of the sexes run parallel till 
puberty — The influence of fashion very detrimental to little 
girls — Early training. 


Education of Girls 122 

Education should begin with the earliest dawn of reason — Dam- 
aging influence of " baby-talk " — Small children highly im- 
itative — The nursery should be a sacred place — The build- 
ing of a brain a work of high art — Why women as a class are 
dependent — How to encourage normal development — Advan- 
tages of the kinder-garten as a means of teaching temperance 
and morality — School education of little girls — School life of 
children perverted — Damaging effects of wrong methods of in- 

Moral Culture of Children 123 

Children should be taught to do right from principle — Senile manners 
— Artificial manners in children — Contrast between a real and 
an artificial little girl — Responsibility of parents — Juvenile par- 
ties — Juvenile flirtations — Natural simplicity of childhood to 
be cherished-^Hypocrisy in parents imitated by children. 

Clothing""of Girls 128 

Cause of mortality in young children — Why diseases of the throat 
and lungs are more frequent among young children than 
adults — So-called " mysterious providences " result of inexcusa- 
ble neglect — The right of little girls to live — How the body should 
be clothed — Directions for making undergarments for little girls 
— Dressing to " develop the form " an insult to nature — Ne- 
cessity for careful adaptation of children's clothing to the 
weather — Night-clothing. 

Exercise for Girls 135 

The play -room or family-gymnasium — Necessity for out-of-door ex- 
ercise — " Model children " usually monstrosities — Early teach 
to be useful — Pernicious results of " coddling." 

Rest and Sleep 137 

Care of children during sleep — Feather-mattresses to be avoided 
— Sleeping of children with older people — A popular fallacy. 

Diet for Girls 141 

Harmful effects of candies and nicknacks — Digestive organs of chil- 
dren easily injured — Best diet for children — Damaging effect 
of stimulating foods— Pernicious results of eating between 
meals — Infant dyspeptics — Regular attention to bowels and 


Vicious Habits 144 

Alarming prevalence of solitary vice — Boarding schools — Effects 
of secret vice in girls — A cause of early " break down " — 
Signs — Suspicious evidences — How the vice is acquired — Evil 
associations — Mothers should be aroused — A human fiend 
— Various causes of vice — Bad books — Sentimental literature 
dangerous — Sunday-school books not above suspicion — Im- 
proper dressing of infants — A few sad examples — A remarka- 
ble case — How to cure vicious habits — Appeals from anxious 
mothers — A few words to girls. 


Puberty 171 

The physiological import of puberty — Age at which it oc- 
curs — Precocious puberty — Causes of precocious puberty 
— Delayed puberty — Influences which delay puberty — A pecul- 
iar case — Signs of the approach of puberty — Mental and phys- 
ical changes — A mental malady incident to puberty- — Hygiene 
of puberty — Mistaken notions — Sad results of ignorance — Neg- 
lect of mothers to impart information — Illustrative cases — A 
solemn duty on the part of mothers — Special care necessary at 
puberty — Precautions to be observed. 

Education of Young Ladies 185 

Home training — Mistakes of mothers — Useless accomplishments — 
A knowledge of house-keeping essential — School education — 
Young ladies' seminaries — " Young girl graduates." 

Mental Equality of the Sexes 190 

Arguments for the mental inferiority of woman considered — Recent 
studies in comparative brain weight — Average size of male 
brain — Average size of female brain — Woman's brain propor- 
tionately larger than man's — Brain capacity of lower ani- 
mals — Great mental capacity sometimes observed in small 
brains — Dr. Bastian on brain quality — The brain capacity of 
idiots — Mental difference between men and women the result 
of education — Fallacious arguments of a popular writer exposed 
— Relation of heredity to this question — Female brain in bar- 
barous nations — Parisian brains — The supposed mental inferi- 


oiity of woman an argument for better opportunities rather than 
the reverse — Comparative mental capacity of Egyptian women 
— Coeducation of the sexes — Overstudy at critical periods. 

Novel Reading and Dancing 207 

Impurity of speech — The immoral dance — Testimony of a dancing 

Diet 215 

Tea-drinking — Tea and temper — Late suppers, ices, confectionary, 
etc. — Too much meat. 

Drugs, Stimulants, and Narcotics 221 

Dangers from habitual use of drugs — The opium, chloral, liquor, 
and tea and coffee habits — Chloralism — Damaging dosing. 

Exercise 224 

Physical culture among Grecian women — Lack of physical develop- 
ment among English and American girls — Frequency of nar- 
row backs, flat chests, round shoulders, and scrawny arms — 
Deficient muscular development a cause of uterine disease — 
How to cure " backache " — Healthfulness of work — Degenera- 
tion of unused muscles — How to take exercise — When to 
exercise — Best forms of exercise — Skating, rowing, dancing — 
Calisthenics — Parlor gymnastics — Necessity for unrestrained 
action — Physical training of young women — Cause of round 
shoulders and spinal curvatures — Bad positions in sleeping, 
sitting, and standing — How to prevent and cure spinal curva- 
tures and weak backs — A home-made gymnasium — Light cal- 
isthenics for girls — How to develop the chest — Exercises to 
straighten the spine and develop the waist. 

The Question of Woman's Dress 240 

Extravagances of fashionable dress — The slavery of fashion — Natural 
requirements for dress — Essential qualifications of healthful 
clothing — Male corset wearers — Fashionable dress examined — 
Corsets and tight-lacing — Natural female form — Female form 
deformed by fashion — Venus of Milo — Modern Parisian Belle 
— The corset a cause of consumption — How a good complexion 
is spoiled — Corset-stiffened chests — Corsets and vital capacity 
— Health missionaries needed — Heart disease caused by tight- 
lacing — Other effects of tight-lacing — Corsets and dyspepsia — 



Death from pressure over stomach — Tight-laced fissure of the 
liver — A patient in Bellevue Hospital — Various deformities 
of the liver from tight-lacing — A liver cut in two — Other evil 
results — Instant death from tight-lacing — The corset not a ne- 
cessity — The corset a modern invention — From one folly to 
another — Elastics — A cause of cold feet and headache — Fash- 
ionable suicides — Equable protection of the body necessary — 
Bustles — Unclad limbs — What drags the life out of a woman ? 
— A cause of uterine disease — Abuse of the feet — French 
heels — Evils of narrow shoes and high heels — Chinese treat- 
ment of the feet — Fashion in deformity — Healthful clothing 
for women — How to dress warmly — Flounces and overskirts — 
Testimony of a distinguished lady physician — Summary of 
measurements of civilized and uncivilized women — Mrs. Lang- 
try compared with the Venus de Medicis. 

Personal Beauty 276 

How to be beautiful — A beautiful character — An active liver and 
sound digestion needed — Danger of using cosmetics — Bathing 
- — How to avoid colds — A cause of skin diseases — Bathing a 
natural instinct — How to bathe — Treatment of common diseases 
of the skin — Heat-rash — Treatment — Erythema, or redness of 
the skin — Treatment — Acne, face-pimples — Treatment — Com- 
edones — Treatment — Acne rosacea — Treatment — Oily skin — 
Treatment — Dry skin — Treatment — Dandruff — Treatment — 
Offensive perspiration — Treatment — Freckles — Treatment — 
Moth patches — Treatment — Baldness — Treatment — Patchy 
baldness — Treatment — Hirsutes, overgrowth of hair — Treat- 
ment — Depilatories. 

Marriage 291 

Marriage conducive to longevity — Different views respecting marriage 
— Modern disregard for the sanctity of marriage — Object of 
marriage — When to marry — Marriage in Japan, in the Orient, 
in Africa, Italy, Spain, and the Sandwich Islands — Plato's 
view of the time for marriage — Wisdom of stock breeders — 
Young wives and old husbands — Proper difference in age be- 
tween husband and wife — W^hom to marry — Characteristics of 
a man who will make a good husband — Good health requisite 
— Danger from results of early " indiscretions " — Danger of 
marrying a man who has been " just a little fast " — Women 
should be as scrupulous as men about past character — May he be 
a cousin ? — Who ought not to marry — Folly of marrying to 
cure disease — A word of advice — Little girls should not marry 
— Courting — Dangers of courtship — Flirting. 


The Social Evil 322 

Extent of the evil — Hideous results of vice increasing — Danger of 
contamination — Causes of falls from virtue — Men not wholly 
at fault — Sowing " wild oats " — Purity of mind a complete 
safeguard — Illustrative cases — The evil influence of " gush- 
ing" manners — Religion the best safeguard — The restraining 
influence of physical exercise. 


Influence of the true wife — Dignity of wife-hood — The import of 
marriage — The dangers of ignorance — Prime object of marriage 
— The hygiene of marriage — Useful suggestions to young wives 
— Wedding journeys — Excesses — A woman's rights — A sug- 
gestion from nature — Suggestions to wives who desire children 
— The Limitation of offspring — Harmful means of preventing 
conception — Criminal abortion — Unreliability of preventives — 
How respect for the maternal function is destroyed. 

Criminal Abortion 351 

Revolting character of the crime — Its prevalence in ancient times — 
Recommended by Aristotle — Not prohibited by ancient Greeks 
or Romans — Modern apologists for the crime — General preva- 
lence in modern times — A notorious fact — Destroys more 
lives than " war, pestilence, and famine, combined " — Preva- 
lence among Southern negroes — Fatality to the mother — Al- 
most certain cause of life-long invalidism — A dangerous com- 
plication of abortion — Even physicians not aware of the extent 
of the crime — Horrible results of attempted abortion — A cause 
of deformed children — Influence of abortion on future pregnan- 
cies — Influence of abortion on children afterward born — Diffi- 
culty of convicting abortionists — The only hope for the future 
— Duty of society toward the perpetrators of the crime — Duty 
of physicians — Testimony of eminent physicians — A cause of 
cancer of the womb. 

The Meno-Pause, or Change of Life 369 

When the change occurs — Nature of the change — The grand cli- 
macteric — A critical period — A " Pandora's box " of ills — 
"An ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure" — Symptoms 
indicating approach of the change — Morbid symptoms during 


the change — " Flushings " — Treatment — Perspirations — Treat- 
ment — Mental excitement with tendency to mania — Numerous 
symptoms — Liability to tumors and malignant disease — A 
special cause of the occurrence of cancer at the change of life 
— Hygiene of the change of life — Special care required. 


The motherly instinct — Woman's ruling passion — An unhappy 
tendency — The dignity of motherhood — A mother's mission — 
Mischievous teaching — The prospective mother. 

Heredity 383 

" Like father like son " — Sons resemble the father and daughters 
the mother — The question of pedigree — Neglect of the matter 
of pedigree in contracting marriages — The race deteriorating 
from neglect of hereditary influence — A fatal element at work 
in modern society — Lesson from stock breeders — Curious illus- 
trative facts — Origin of a new race of sheep — An acquired 
deformity inherited — Transmission of acquired habits — The 
Lambert family — The " Porcupine Man " — Remarkable exper- 
iment by Prof. Brown Sequard — Heredity in Guinea pigs — 
Testimony of Francis Gal ton — Hereditary genius — Curious 
observation respecting parentage of remarkable divines — The 
criminal classes — Bad habits of parents become irresistible 
tendencies in children — The children of drunkards — The Juke 
family — A remarkable Chinese custom — The case of Guiteau 
— The poets Coleridge — Effect of long-continued anxiety — The 
case of James I. — Napoleon — Interesting examples of pre-natal 
influence — The puny progeny of young animals — Testimony 
of Aristotle against premature marriages — Bad results of youth- 
ful marriages in France — the only hope for the physical 
redemption of the race. 

Gestation, or Pregnancy 397 

Signs of pregnancy — Cessation of menstruation — " Morning sick- 
ness " — Abdominal flattening — Changes in the breasts — 
" Quickening " — Explanation of " quickening " — Ascent of 
womb — Abdominal enlargement — Vomiting of later months — 
— Leucorrhcea — Descent of the womb. 


Hygiene of Pregnancy 402 

How to secure painless childbirth — The mother's responsibility — 
Necessity for special care — Measures which conduce to com- 
fort and safety of the mother during pregnancy and child- 
birth — Physiological childbirth — Parturition without pain — 
Diet — Stimulants — An erroneous theory — " Longings " — Ex- 
ercise — Massage — Dress — The dress of pregnant women reg- 
ulated by law in ancient times — Bathing — Local bathing — 
Care of the breasts — Measures which influence the child — 
Hygiene of ante-natal life — Mental condition of mother — Ef- 
fects of intoxication at conception — Hap-hazard generation — 
How to secure special mental qualities in children — Care of the 

Disorders of Pregnancy 426 

Pregnancy specially liable to certain derangements of the system — 
Results of perverting influences — " Morning sickness " — Treat- 
ment — Acidity — Flatulence — Treatment — Constipation — 
Treatment — Hemorrhoids, or Piles — Treatment — Disorders of 
the Bladder — Treatment — Disorders of the Womb — Treat- 
ment — Vaginal discharges — Treatment — Itching genitals — 
Treatment — Varicose or enlarged veins — Treatment — Dropsi- 
cal swelling of the feet and limbs — Treatment — Puffiness of 
the face — Neuralgia — Treatment — Headache and disturban- 
ces of vision — Shortness of breath — Fainting — Miscarriage 
and abortii n — Treatment — Premature labor — Death of the 
foetus — Molar or false pregnancy — Flooding — Treatment — 
Puerperal convulsions — Treatment — Cramps — Treatment — 
Painful breast — Treatment — Palpitation of the heart — Rigid 
skin — Treatment — Malpositions, how to remedy. 

Labor, or Childbirth 444 

Length of Pregnancy — Signs of approach of childbirth — Uterine pains 
— False pains — Presentation and position — " Breech presenta- 
tion " — Other abnormal presentations — Stages of labor — Length 
of labor — Causes of delay in labor — Rigidity of the womb — 
Rigidity of the perinaeum — Inactivity of the womb — Means of 
hastening labor — Massage used by the Chinese, Siamese, Jap- 
anese, and other nations — Cong-fou — Ambouk — Methods in 
use among the natives of Africa, India, the South Sea Islands, 
Mexico, Pueblos, and among the Welch and Dutch peasantry 
— Relics of the peculiar methods used by the early settlers of 
Kentucky and Ohio — The preparation for labor — Vaginal 
douche — Massage — Fomentations — Frictions — Management 


of labor — Midwivcs — The preparation of the bed — Position 
of patient during the different stages — The employment of 
" expression " — How to apply — A substitute for the forceps 
— To prevent laceration of the perinseum — Delivery of the 
child — Expulsion of the placenta, or after-birth — What to do 
in cases of still-birth — Artificial respiration for infant — Wash- 
ing and dressing the child — Dressing the cord — The belly-band — 
The colostrum — Meconium — The binder — Diet of the mother 
— Care of the bladder and bowels — The lochial discharge — 
Vaginal injections. 

Complications of Childbirth 463 

Milk-fever — How to prevent — Diet — Treatment — Care of the 
breasts — Massage to nipple — Treatment for retracted nipples 
— Sore nipples — Treatment — Causes — inflammation of the 
breast — Treatment — How to empty the breast — How to sup- 
port the breast — To check the secretion of milk — Galactor- 
rhoea — Treatment — To promote the secretion of milk — " Get- 
ting up" — Subinvolution — Hemorrhage after labor — Treat- 
ment — Inactivity of the womb — Treatment — Retention of the 
after-birth — Treatment — Rigidity of the womb — Treatment — 
Rigidity of the perinseum — Treatment — After-pain — The use 
of ergot — Use of anaesthetics — Chloroform — Twins — Abdom- 
inal pregnancy — Puerperal fever — Treatment — Lacerations of 
the womb and perinseum — Phlegmasia dolens — Milk-leg — 
Treatment — Puerperal mania — Treatment — Pelvic inflamma- 
tions — Adhesions — Pelvic abscess — Treatment — Misplaced af- 
ter-birth, " Placenta previa" — Treatment. 


Causes of increasing frequency — Effects of perverted social habits 
— Evils of fashion — Neglect of the bowels and bladder — Causes 
of habitual constipation — Deficient muscular exercise— Incon- 
venient and imperfect privy accommodations — The earth 
closet — Perpetual " dosing " — Homeopathy — False modesty — 
"Female Weaknesses" — Success of rational methods — Leu- 
corrhoea, or whites — Treatment — Vaginitis, or inflammation of 
the vagina — Treatment — Vaginismus — Treatment — Itching of 
genitals — Treatment — Inflammation of the labia — Treatment — 
Uterine catarrh, or Endometritis — Treatment — Inflammation of 
the womb — Treatment — Congestion of the womb — Treatment 
— Erosion, or so-called ulceration of the neck of the womb — 


Treatment — Amenorrhoea, or suppressed menstruation — Treat- 
ment — Molimen — Emmenagogues — Scanty Menstruation — 
Treatment — Infrequent menstruation — Treatment — Vicarious 
menstruation — Treatment — Menorrhagia, or profuse menstrua- 
tion — Treatment — Metrorrhagia, or uterine hemorrhage — 
Treatment — Too frequent menstruation — Treatment — Fetid 
menstruation — Treatment — Dysmenorrhea, or Painful men- 
struation — Treatment — Congestive dysmenorrhoea — Treatment 
— Obstructive dysnienorrhoea — Treatment — Membranous dys- 
menorrhoea — Treatment — Ovarian dysmenorrhoea — Treatment 
— Neuralgic dysmenorrhoea — Treatment — " Inter-menstrual " 
dysmenorrhoea — Treatment — Congestion of the ovaries or 
ovarian irritation — Treatment — Inflammation of the ovaries — 
Treatment — Cellulitis, Pelvic peritonitis, Inflammation about 
the womb — Treatment — Prolapsus or falling of the womb — 
Treatment — Pessaries — Anteversion — Treatment — Anteflex- 
ion — Treatment — Retroversion — Treatment — Retroflexion 
— Treatment — Lateral displacements — Treatment — Prolapsus 
of the ovaries — Treatment — Cystocele, or prolapsus of the 
bladder — Treatment — Rectocele — Treatment — Nymphomania 
— Treatment — Sterility — Treatment — Coccygodynia, Painful 
sitting — Treatment — Irritable or hysterical breast — Treat- 
ment — Dyspareunia, or painful connection — Treatment — Tu- 
mor of the urethra — Treatment — Disease of the ure- 
thral glands — Treatment — Bladder disorders in women 
— Inability to retain urine — Irritability of the bladder — 
Treatment — Hemorrhoids or piles — Treatment — Constipation 
— Treatment — Backache — Treatment — Chlorosis — Treat- 
ment — Rupture of the neck of the womb — Treatment — Lac- 
eration of the perinaeum — Treatment — Vesico- vaginal fistula, 
Recto-vaginal fistula — Treatment — Stricture of the womb — 
Tumors of the womb — Fibroid tumor — Polypus — Treatment 
— Ovarian dropsy — Treatment — Floating tumor of abdo- 
men — Floating Kidney — Treatment — Cancer of the womb — 
Treatment — Tumors of the breast — Treatment — Cancer of 
the breast — Treatment — Relaxed and pendant breast — 
Treatment — Atrophy of the breast — Treatment — Imper- 
forate hymen — Treatment — Deficient development of the 
ovaries — Enlarged or relaxed abdomen — Treatment — Hys- 
teria — Treatment — Nerve-tire and various nerve ailments 
— Treatment — Retention of urine — Treatment — Use of 

Practical Suggestions 591 

First symptoms of uterine disease — Exercise and rest — Position 
during sleep — Diet. 



Diseases of Children 609 

Hints about the diet of infants — Wet-nurses — Overfeeding — Care 
during warm season — Danger from lead-poisoning — " Baby 
foods " — Weaning — Convulsions — Treatment — Night terrors 

— Treatment — Pain in the bowels — Treatment — Worma — 
Treatment — Vomiting — Treatment — Eruptions — Treatment 
— Mumps — Treatment — Measles — Treatment — Whooping- 
cough — Treatment — Diphtheria — Treatment— Scarlet fever or 
scarlatina — Treatment — Chicken-pox — Treatment — Infantile 
Dyspepsia — Treatment — Diarrhea — Treatment — Dysentery — 
Treatment — Prolapsus Ani — Treatment — Wetting the Bed — 
Treatment — Colds — Treatment — Nasal catarrh — Treatment 
— Ear-ache — Treatment — Discharge from the ear — Treatment 
— Sore eyes — Treatment — Croup — False or spasmodic croup 

. — Treatment — Sore mouth — Treatment — Sore throat — Treat- 

Applications of Water and Electricity 631 

Rules for bathing — Sponge bath — Wet-sheet pack — Sitz or hip. 
bath — Foot bath — Wet girdle — Vaginal douche — Enema — 
Fomentations — Compresses — Oil bath — Heat and cold to spine 

— Electricity, how to use — Galvanism — Electric douche — 
Bladder douche. 

Postural Treatment and Massage 639 

To strengthen the muscles of the trunk — Ladder exercises — Arm 
and leg movements — To restore displaced organs to position — 
Knee-chest position — Massage — Massage of bowels — Massage 
of womb. 

Miscellaneous Remedies and Prescriptions 643 

Soap-and-water enema — Camphor- water enema — Glycerine enema 
— Linseed tea enema — Quassia enema — Starch enema — Lo- 
tions for use in cancer of the breast — Lotions and other reme- 
dies for sore nipples — Vaginal lotions — Vaginal pledgets of 
tampons — Glycerine — Vaseline — Alum — Vinegar — Vaginal 
suppositories — For bladder douche — Prescriptions for consti- 
pation — For catarrh — For mouth and throat — Lime-water — 
Disinfectant lotions — Miscellaneous — Salt glow. 

xviii CONTENTS. 

Useful Dietetic Receipts 653 

Breads — Soft biscuit — Rice waffles — Oatmeal breakfast cake — 
Graham breakfast rolls — Rusk — Graham crisps — Oatmeal 
crisps — Graham and oatmeal crackers — Diabetic bread — Gru- 
els — Beef tea and oatmeal — Milk gruel — Oatmeal gruel — Rice 
gruel — Milk porridge — Farina gruel — Cream gruel — Chicken 
jelly — Lemon jelly — Bread jelly — Sago jelly — Drinks — Tap- 
ioca milk — Rice milk — Bran tea — Rice water — Apple and 
toast water — Tamarind water — Currant water — Toast water — 
Lemonade — Hot lemonade — Flaxseed lemonade — Barley wa- 
ter — Gum arabic water — Flaxseed tea — Bran or wheat coffee 
— Liquid foods — Chicken broth — Beef tea — Milk diet — Lime- 
water and milk — Beef juice — Koumyss — Preparations for nu- 
tritive injections — Pancreas and meat solution — Pancreas and 
cream — Beef tea and egg — Miscellaneous — White of egg — 
White of egg and milk — Eggs and sugar — Slip — Frugolac — 
Rice milk — To cook rice. 

Glossary 661 

Explanation of Plates 663 

Index 666 


Plate I. — Low Forms of Life and Simplest Modes of Re- 
production Faces 22 

Plate II. — Male and Female Pelvis, with Pelvis of Guinea- 

Pig 48 

Plate III. — Reproduction in Plants 70 

Plate IV. — Ovum and Spermatozoa in Man and Lower 
Animals 76 

Plate V. — The Womb and its Appendages. (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate VI. — Development of the Embryo. (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate VII. — Siamese Twins and Primitive Trace 91 

Plate VIII. — The Breast and the Areola of Pregnancy. 53 

Plate IX. — Pregnant Womb, Section of Ovary, Reproduc- 
tion in Tape-Worm, Ovary Discharging Ovum. (See 

Plate X. — Results of Tight-Lacing 250 

Plate XI. — Light Gymnastics 244 

Plate XII. — Postural Treatment. (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate XIII. — Partial and Advanced Prolapsus of the 

Womb. (See Pamphlet.) 
Plate XIV. — Anteversion and Anteflexion. (See Pamphlet.) 
Plate XV. — Retroversion and Retroflexion. (See Pamphlet.) 
Plate XVI. — Partial and Complete Laceration of the 

Perinseum. (See Pamphlet.) 



Plate XVII.— Side Profile of a German Peasant Woman 

Plate XVIII.— Outline of a Well-developed Man 269 

Plate XIX. — Outline of a Young Woman Wearing a Corset 
Laced as Usually Worn 272 

Plate XX. — Outline of a Women Who Had Compressed 
the Waist to Get Rid of Enlarged Spleen 273 

Plate XXI. — Outline of a Young Woman Who Had Sus- 
pended Her Clothing from Her Shoulders 276 

Plate A. — (Chromo- Lithograph) Female Reproductive Or- 
gans. Disease of the Urethral Glands. (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate B. — (Chromo-Lithograph) Laceration of the Neck of 
the Womb. (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate C. — (Chromo-Lithograph) Polypus and Cancer of the 
Womb. (See Pamphlet) 

Plate D. — (Chromo-Lithograph) Cancer of the Breast, be- 
ginning and advanced. (See Pamphlet) 

Plate E. — Human Embryo and Embryo of Dog. (See 

Plate F. — Bad Positions Productive of Deformity 242 

Plate G. — Natural and Deformed Waist Contrasted. . . . 249 

Plate H. — Fashion in Deformity 262 

Plate J. — Grecian, Hawaiian, and Chinese Fashions. . . 266 

Plate K— Models for Healthful Clothing 264 

Plate L. — " Expression " and " Turning." (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate M. — Postural Exercises 640 

Plate N. — The Round Ligaments. (See Pamphlet.) 

Plate O. — Natural and Unnatural Breathing . , 260 

Anatomy and Physiology 

O F 


HEN pursuing the study of "the human 
form divine/' the anatomist or physiologist 
is often led to pause in the midst of his dis- 
sections or observations, and to exclaim 
with the Psalmist, " Great and wondrous 
are Thy works." Even the atheist, who 
recognizes no Omnipotent Hand as the Cre- 
ator of all the marvels which greet the in- 
vestigating scientist at every turn, is loth 
to believe himself to be a creature of 
chance, and is prone to erect an altar dedicated 
to the worship of Nature, even if he fails to rec- 
ognize the God of. Nature. That wonderful machine 
which we call the body is the masterpiece of 
the Infinite Artist. In every detail of fibre 
and structure and function, the most marvelous 
wisdom and foresight are displayed, and such an 
adaptation of means to end as none but an in- 
finite mind could devise. In no part of this won- 
derfully delicate and complicated mechanism is this 

3 [31] 


more .strikingly to be observed than in that por- 
tion of the body devoted to the perpetuation of the 
species, — a function in the performance of which the 
interests of the individual are subjugated to those of 
the race. To the set of organs to which this impor- 
tant work is allotted in woman, and to the nature and 
peculiarities of their several functions, this section is 
to be devoted ; but before entering upon the special 
consideration of the reproductive system, and as a 
preparation for the most perfect understanding of the 
subject, we will take a hasty glance at life and its 
functions in general, and at the structure of the body 
and its several parts, with their various functions. 

Animated Atoms. — Let us begin at the very 
foot of the scale of animate being. Did you ever ob- 
serve the filmy coat of green which covers the bottom 
of a half-dried pool by the roadside ? or the greenish 
accumulation which occurs in old and uncleansed 
eaves-trouiihs ? If so, gather a little of this same 
green substance and bring it to our laboratory where 
we will study it with care by the aid of a powerful 
microscope and learn a lesson in the science of life 
from the lowly forms which we may observe. 

Everything being in readiness, we place beneath 
the microscope a little speck of the green slime, and 
find that the characteristic color of the same is due to 
the green coloring of the myriads of minute specks of 
life of which it is composed. The exact appearance 
of these under the microscope is well shown in Fig. 
1, Plate I, to which the reader's attention is invited. 
Each little speck is what is known to the biologist as 


Fig 2. 

Fig. 3 

PLATE I. — Low Forms of Life. 


a cell. It is composed of a gelatinous substance of 
the consistence of jelly, transparent in all parts ex- 
cept its center, at which may be seen sundry little 
greenish specks to which the color of the aggregated 
mass is due. This humble creature, infinitesimal in 
size, is as much a living being as the proudest mon- 
arch, and bears the name of protococcus. 

A little careful scrutiny of the object will prob- 
ably reveal other forms of life closely allied to the 
species named, such as those shown at Fig. 2, Plate 
I, which are known as amoeba? , and which in many 
respects differ little from the protococcus. However, 
there is in reality a wide difference between these two 
animated specks, for one is a vegetable, and the other 
an animal. If we had the time at command, it would 
be most interesting to study closely the characteris- 
tics and habits of life of these two representative creat- 
ures ; but we can only glance a moment at some of 
their leading points of interest. 

1. They are more or less globular in form,in wide 
contrast with the sharp, angular outlines of a crystal 
of salt, a snowflake, or a minute grain of sand. This 
is true of all living bodies. 

2. They eat. Although they are not possessed of 
teeth, or even of mouths, they may be observed to 
eat, each in its own way, and choosing its own proper 
food. The protococcus, our little green plant, sub- 
sists upon the minerals and gases which exist in the 
moist earth where it finds its home. A careful exam- 
ination of the amoeba suggests a reason why it is 
found in close proximity to its humble relative, since 


it is found to contain within its central portion, sun- 
dry fragments which are evidently the remains of a 
protococcus upon which it has made a sumptuous 

3. They grow. As they absorb and appropriate 
nourishment, they increase in size, up to a certain 
limit, each passing through the several stages of ex- 
istence peculiar to its species. In many of these 
lowly forms, as in some higher, some of the stages 
of the existence of a single individual involve such 
remarkable changes that it loses all semblance of 
its former appearance and would not be recognized 
as the same by the most acute observer. This is 
true of the protococcus, as will be seen by compar- 
ing the different forms shown in the Plate. 

4. They move about. The property of voluntary 
or spontaneous motion is usually associated with 
animals only ; but this rule does not apply to the 
little creatures which are found at the lowermost end 
of the scale of animate existence. Here both animals 
and vegetables are endowed with the power of motion. 
The protococcus, at least at certain stages of its ex- 
istence, possesses two little filaments by the con- 
stant motion of which it propels itself rapidly through 
the water when it is immersed, or wriggles along the 
face of a moist surface. The amoeba, our atomic 
animal, possesses still greater powers of motion and 
locomotion. It has no limbs, no feet, no hands, no 
wings, and yet it moves about with great facility, and 
sometimes after a very lively fashion. 

5. They increase in numbers. These infinitesimal 


beings, like the larger members of the animated world 
of which they are the types, possess the power of re- 
production, by which their respective races may be 
preserved from extinction. Of the exact modes of 
reproduction here illustrated, we shall take occasion 
to speak elsewhere, and need not say more in this 
connection except to mention that they are essentially 
the same in each of the two little creatures which 
we are considering as representatives of the two great 
divisions of the organic world, animals and vegetables. 

6. After living its allotted span of life and per- 
forming its due share of labor in the great workshop 
of the world, each of these two little creatures " pays 
its debt to nature " and returns to its mother earth 
whence, directly or indirectly, it came. 

Are animals and vegetables then so nearly alike ? 
The verdict of science is that the chief distinction 
which can be made between these two great classes 
in the lowest forms is in the character of the food 
upon which they subsist. The vegetable finds its 
food in the inanimate elements of the soil, moisture, 
and air. The animal cannot appropriate this kind of 
nourishment, and feeds upon the vegetables to which 
it is so near akin, or upon its brothers of the animal 

Slight as is the difference between the two classes, 
animals and vegetables, the difference between lowly 
vegetable forms and higher, and between the amoeba 
and higher animals, is still less. The giant oak is in 
reality only an aggregation of living cells each of which 
is essentially like the protococcus. The mammoth ele- 


pliant, man himself, is but a community of little creat- 
ures of which the amoeba is a type. Take a drop of 
blood from the finger ; place it under the microscope, 
and we find in view thousands of little creatures, 
some of which are so nearly like the amoeba which 
we found in the slime from a stagnant pool that the 
most powerful microscope scarcely shows any differ- 
ence (Fig. 2, Plate 1 ) . These little creatures are known 
as the white blood-corpuscles. Each drop of the vi- 
tal fluid contains these and millions more of other 
little creatures known as the red blood-corpuscles, 
which are simply white blood-corpuscles grown old. 
Tear off a little bit of tissue from the liver and sub- 
mit it to the scrutiny of a powerful magnifying glass. 
This too we find to be composed of curiously shaped 
little living creatures. These living atoms have each 
their particular individual work to do ; the red cor- 
puscles to carry oxygen, the white ones to repair in- 
jured portions of the body and in their old age to 
become red corpuscles, and the cells of the liver to 
make bile. In the kidneys are found other peculiar 
creatures to which is assigned the duty of removing 
from the body certain impurities which together form 
the urine. In the stomach are found creatures which 
are adapted to the work of making gastric juice to 
digest the food. Other cells in the body, devoted to 
mechanical work, form the muscles. In the brain 
and spinal cord are found still other active creatures 
which do our feeling and thinking for us. Thus the 
whole body is divided into groups of cells, each group 
being assigned a special work to do, just as the mem- 


bers of a community might be grouped according to 
the several trades to which its members are devoted. 
Having now gained a few fundamental ideas re- 
specting the general make-up of the body, let us pro- 
ceed to study its several parts with greater care, so 
that we may be better prepared to understand their 
relations to each other and to the whole. We will 
consider first, 


All organized beings require a more or less con- 
stant supply of new material to promote the processes 
of growth and repair. In order to make this material, 
termed food, available for the purpose designed, a set 
of organs has been provided which are collectively 
known as 

The Digestive Apparatus. — A quaint author de- 
scribed an animal as a stomach with various accessory 
organs for ministering to its wants. This remark 
presents in a somewhat exaggerated light the relative 
importance of the digestive apparatus if we consider 
the human animal alone ; but if we are to regard the 
animal kingdom as a whole, it cannot be considered 
as very much overdrawn. By some mysterious al- 
chemy, the exact nature of which is by no means 
well understood, the stomach reduces to a soluble 
form and a homogeneous character a great variety of 
substances which are used as human food, and which , 
after absorption are by further processes still more 
marvelous and mysterious, converted into the various 


tissues and elements which compose the body. The 
stomach and its accessory organs are the means by 
which fresh material is brought into the body to take 
the place of that which has become worn out and use- 
less, and provides the necessary pabulum for the 
growth and development of the yet immature body. 
The digestive apparatus consists first, of 

The Alimentary Canal, a muscular tube about 
thirty feet in length, extending from the mouth to 
the anus, along which are arranged the various acces- 
sory organs which take part in the process of diges- 
tion. At each end this canal is guarded by a sphinc- 
ter muscle for the purpose of retaining its contents 
during the process of digestion. Beginning at the up- 
per end, we will examine in detail each of the organs 
of digestion in the order in which they occur. 

The Teeth, twenty in number in the child and 
thirty-two in the adult, are arranged in the upper and 
lower jaws, being equally divided between the two. 
Their function is to reduce the food to a pulverulent 
condition so that it may be easily swallowed and may 
be readily acted upon by the digestive juices. The 
maintenance of the health of the teeth requires their 
vigorous use in the mastication of food requiring 

The Salivary Glands. — Arranged on either side 
of the mouth are three glands, the office of which is to 
secrete a bland flaid which moistens the food and 
softens it preparatory to the act of swallowing, and 
at the same time acts an important part in the 
chemistry of digestion, as we shall see presently. 


The amount of salivary fluid secreted depends very 
largely upon the length of time the food is masticated, 
as its secretion is stimulated by the act of chewing. 

The (Esophagus or Meat-pipe. — The back part 
of the mouth is knoAvn as the pharynx, which con- 
tracts at its lower part to form a small tube which 
extends downward to the stomach and is known as 
the oesophagus. After the food has been masticated, 
it is thrown back into the pharynx by the tongue, 
and by a process of squeezing and pulling is carried 
down to the stomach. 

The Stomach. — This organ, although one of the 
most important of the various organs engaged in the 
work of digestion, is not, as is generally supposed, the 
essential one. It performs only a part of the work 
of digestion, and may be dispensed with as easily as 
any one of a number of other organs which are asso- 
ciated with it in the perfect elaboration of the food. 
The stomach is simply a dilated portion of the ali- 
mentary canal, holding about three pints when mod- 
erately distended. Its lining membrane is filled 
with little glands which secrete a fluid known as 
gastric juice, which contains a peculiar substance 
known as pepsine, the properties of which we will 
discuss presently. The gastric juice is intensely acid, 
and is secreted in great abundance during the process 
of digestion. 

The Intestines. — From the stomach downward, 
the alimentary canal continues as a small tube for the 
greater portion of its length, expanding about five 
feet from its termination to form the large intestine, 


or colon, and again contracting a few inches from the 
end, forming the rectum, its terminal portion. All 
along its course, but especially in that portion known 
as the small intestine, this part of the alimentary 
canal is plentifully supplied with glands which secrete 
a complicated fluid which has an important part to 
play in the work of digestion. While the process of 
digestion is in progress, the intestines are in constant 
motion, wave-like motions, termed peristaltic move- 
ments, traversing their whole length, from the 
stomach downward, one following another with a sort 
of rhythmical action. Similar movements also take 
place in the stomach while that organ is engaged in 
the digestion of food. 

The Liver. — This organ, the largest gland in the 
body, is located just beneath the ribs on the right 
side of the body. Its left portion projects over the 
stomach somewhat. The function of the liver is a 
complicated one. Besides its work of making bile, to 
which it may be said to be chiefly devoted, it also 
perforins very important offices in the process of 
digestion, and other important functions which may 
be more properly mentioned elsewhere. The bile is 
conveyed from the liver to the intestine, which it en- 
ters a few inches below the stomach, by a duct, which 
is joined before it reaches- the intestine by another 
duct coming from an organ close at hand which is 
also involved in the digestive process. 

The Pancreas. — This is a gland in many re- 
spects closely allied to the salivary glands. The 
fluid which it secretes, the pancreatic juice, is a very 


important digestive agent and very strongly resembles 
the salivary juice. It will receive further attention 
when we consider the digestive fluids. 

The Spleen. — This organ is so closely associated 
with the digestive apparatus that it has been long 
surmised that it is in some way involved in the 
process of converting food into blood ; but as yet, 
what part, if any, it acts, has not been made out. It 
is located in the left side, just under the lower border 
of the ribs. It is usually not large enough to be felt, 
but often becomes considerably enlarged in persons 
who reside in a malarious country, sometimes, as in a 
case which we have now under treatment, to ten or 
twelve times its natural size, which is scarcely larger 
than that of the closed hand. 

The Portal System. — All the blood from that 
portion of the digestive system included in the ab- 
dominal cavity, is gathered into one large vein by 
which it is carried to the liver, a very wise provision 
of nature, since it necessitates that whatever is taken 
into the blood-vessels^from the stomach must pass 
through this natural strainer before it can mingle 
with the blood of the rest of the body. This relation 
of the liver to the portal circulation is important, as 
it explains some cases of disease of other abdominal 
organs which would otherwise be inexplicable. 

The Fiue Digestive Juices. — From the above 
description, it appears that there are five distinct digest- 
ive fluids; viz., the saliva, the gastric juice, the bile, the 
pancreatic juice, and the intestinal juice. Each of these 
several jv'ces has its particular work to perform in 
the digestive r >, ocess. 


Food, in its relation to the digestive organs, may 
be divided into the following classes : — 

1. Nitrogenous elements, represented hy the albu- 
men of eggs, the lean portion of flesh, and the gluten 
or vegetable albumen of plants ; 

2. Farinaceous and Saccharine elements, repre- 
sented by the various kinds of starch and sugar ; 

3. Oleaginous elements, found in the various sorts 
of vegetable and animal fats ; 

4. Indigestible and Innutritions elements, as the 
cellulose of plants and the tendinous and indigestible 
portions of flesh food. 

For each one of these classes, except the last, nat- 
ure has provided a distinct digestive fluid. 

The saliva digests starch, converting it into sugar. 
It also changes cane sugar into grape sugar. 

The gastric juice digests albumen, caseine, gluten, 
and all other digestible dtrogenous elements, and 
does not digest any other of the elements of food. 

The bile digests the fatty elements of the food, 
and no others. The digestion of fats consists in their 
conversion into an emulsion and the saponification of a 
small portion. 

We have still two digestive fluids, the pancreatic 
and the intestinal, although we have found provision 
for the digestion of all the digestible elements of food. 
What use have we for them? Here we see an il- 
lustration of the wonderful economy ' of nature. 
Lest any small portion of the food should escape 
without complete digestion, she has provided extra 
means for the digestion of the several elements of 
which our food is composed, as follows : — 


The Pancreatic Juice possesses the remarkable 
property of being able to digest two of the elements 
of food, and those very dissimilar in character, the 
farinaceous and the oleaginous ; so that if there is any 
portion of the starch or sugar which escapes the action 
of the saliva, it may be acted upon by the pancreatic 
fluid ; and the fats not digested by the bile, still have 
a chance for digestion by the same agent. 

The Intestinal Juice is a still more wonderful 
fluid, since it is able to digest all the elements of 
food. This remarkable property is undoubtedly due 
to the fact that it is the combined product of the ac- 
tion of a very large number of different glands, and so 
is undoubtedly very complicated in its composition. 

Absorption. — After the food has been reduced to 
a fluid state by the action of these various juices, it 
is absorbed through two sets of absorbent vessels, and 
in some mysterious manner which is by no means well 
understood, is converted into blood, a sort of fluid tis- 
sue which circulates through the body for the purpose 
of conveying to the other tissues the required nour- 
ishment, and conveying away the worn out material. 

Disintegration and Elimination. — Every move- 
ment of a limb, every sensation, even every thought, 
results in the destruction or breaking down of tissue. 
The force employed in the various life-processes of 
the body is evolved at the expense of tissue. Even 
the act of digestion itself occasions the loss of, a cer- 
tain amount of tissue. This process is known as dis- 
assimilation or disintegration. The result of it is the 
formation in the body of certain substances known as 


debris or waste products which are poisonous to the liv- 
ing tissues, and require prompt removal to preserve 
the body in health. When they are left to accumu- 
late, various diseases arise, and death ensues, some- 
times in a very short space of time. 

To remove these useless and poisonous substances, 
a special set of organs is provided, which are termed 
diminutive or excrctor//. Each one of the principal 
poisonous elements formed in the body has its special 
organ to effect its removal. Urea, the poisonous prod- 
uct of the disassimilation of the muscles, is eliminated 
by the kidneys. Cholesterinc, which results from the 
breaking down of nerve tissue, is carried out of the 
body through the liver. Carbon di-oxide, or carbonic 
acid gas, is eliminated by the lungs. Various poison- 
ous elements are carried out by means of the skin, 
and still others by the intestinal mucous membrane. 
By the action of these several organs, the system is 
kept free from the waste matter which would otherwise 
accumulate to such an extent as to hinder the various 
vital processes, and in a short time obstruct them al- 

Assimilation. — The breaking down and removal 
of waste products creates a demand for new material, 
which is supplied through digestion and assimilation. 
Each tissue possesses the power to repair itself, and 
this work is constantly going forward in all parts of 
the body, especially during sleep, when the process 
of disintegration is less rapid than at other times. 
Every tissue participates in this process of change, 
even the hardest bones. The soft tissues change very 


often, probably every few weeks or months, while the 
more solid tissues probably change as often as every 
few years, if not more frequently. The blood, a fluid 
tissue, changes completely every few weeks. 


All of the voluntary and involuntary movements 
of the body are the result of the contraction of the 
minute fibres of the muscles, which constitute the 
fleshy portion of the body. The bones also partici- 
pate in many of the bodily movements, particularly 
those of a voluntary character, by affording points 
for the attachment of the muscles. 


In the brain and spinal cord, and to some extent 
in other parts of the body, there are to be found 
curious little cells, which vary greatly in size and 
shape, and are exceedingly minute, but which possess 
similar and very remarkable properties. When ex- 
amined closely, it is found that these little creatures 
are provided with delicate prolongations of their sub- 
stance, which may be compared to fingers, and which 
may be traced from the cells themselves to the most 
remote parts of the body in many instances, while in 
others they seem to be joined to other cells in the 
immediate vicinity. Some cells are furnished with a 
very large number of these fingers, while others have 
but one or two, or even none at all. Certain cells 


send fingers to the eye, others to the ear, still others 
to the nose, others to the tongne, and others to the 
skin. . 

Thus it is that the various sensible properties of 
objects are perceived by the brain. Its cells are ex- 
tended into the remotest parts of the body by means 
of their immensely long fingers, and thus are con- 
scious of whatever is transpiring at the surface or out- 
side of the body. Similar fingers are sent out by 
other cells to the muscles, and muscular action is pro- 
duced by impulses received from the cells in the 
brain or spinal cord. Other cells send out fingers to 
the stomach, and through their influence the work of 
digestion is performed. Still other cells have charge 
of the work of the liver in a similar manner. Thus 
all the work of the body is done through the influence 
of the little creatures which reside in the brain and 
spinal cord. By means of fingers sent out by other 
cells, all the various parts of the body are associated 
together in the closest sympathy. Every member 
sympathizes with every other member. When one 
suffers, all suffer. 


The Reproductive System, 

All of the organs and systems of organs thus far 
considered, relate to the individual exclusively. 
Their object is the development and maintenance of 
the individual life. Reproduction has for its object 
the production of new individuals. This, so far as 
physiology teaches us anything on the subject, is its 
sole and entire function. It has reference to the race, 
not to the individual. Its exercise ought to be 
wholly unselfish in its object, though the human spe- 
cies, unlike the majority of lower animals, too often 
prostitute it to basely selfish purposes. 

As this book is intended for one sex only, we 
shall in the consideration of the anatomy of reproduc- 
tion, confine the description to the reproductive appa- 
ratus of the human female, although the consideration 
of the physiology of reproduction will require us to 
study to some extent the function in both sexes, and 
in lower animals. 

The organs of reproduction in both sexes may be 
divided into two classes, — essential and accessor?/. 
The essential organs are those which produce the re- 
productive elements known as the zoosperm or sperma- 
tozoa in the man, and the ovum in the female, the for- 
mer being produced by the essential organ of repro- 
duction of the male known as the testicle, and the lat- 
ter by the ovary, the essential reproductive organ of 
the female. The other organs concerned in reproduc- 



tion in the female are chiefly for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the young human being during its develop- 
ment. The concise description of the various organs 
involved in the process of reproduction which we shall 
attempt to give, will be best understood by reference 
to Plate A, which represents the middle portion of 
the body as divided vertically through the center. 

Beginning with the most external portion of the 
reproductive apparatus, we find, first, two fleshy folds 
known as the labia, which unite in front at a 
prominence known as the mons veneris, which, with 
the labia, is in the adult covered with a thick growth 
of hair. A vertical slit separates the labia, a short 
distance from the lower or posterior end of which is 
the anus, or circular opening of the lower end of the 
alimentary canal, or intestine. 

Just within the labia are two smaller folds of tis- 
sue known as the labia minora, which unite at the 
upper end, forming a sort of sheath, beneath which is 
the clitoris, which corresponds to the penis of the male. 
The clitoris is composed of erectile material, which is 
also true of the labia minora. Both of these parts are 
abundantly supplied with nerves of sensibility, and 
together they constitute the chief seat of sensation in 
the sexual act. 

Just below the clitoris is a small oj^ening known 
as the meatus urinarius, the external orifice of the 
urethra, a small passage connected at its inner end 
with the bladder, and serving as a means of out-let 
for the urinary secretion. 

A short distance below the meatus urinarius is an- 


other opening which leads into the vagina. This 
opening is usually partially closed by a thin mem- 
brane termed the hymen. In some cases the vaginal 
orifice is nearly closed by the hymen, while in others 
there is but a mere trace of membrane. In excep- 
tional cases the hymen may be wholly absent, or may 
completely close the mouth of the vagina. The 
presence or absence of the hymen is not, as was form- 
erly supposed, a test of virginity. As just indicated, 
it may be absent normally, and cases are not rare in 
which it persists after marriage or even after child- 
birth, though it is usually ruptured at the first sexual 

The vagina is a canal lying between the bladder 
in front and the rectum behind. Its length is usually 
four to six inches. It is lined with mucous membrane 
which lies in folds so as to allow distention at partur- 
ition. Its walls contain muscular fibres by the con- 
traction of which, at least in part, the canal is made 
to return to its normal size after child-birth. 

Projecting into the inner end of the vaginal canal, 
as may be seen in the Plate, are to be found the 
fleshy lips of the lower end of the uterus or womb'. 
This organ is pear-shaped in outline. Its length is 
about three inches. It is somewhat flattened, being 
about two inches wide at its broadest point, and one 
inch thick. Its tissue is chiefly muscular, its fibres 
being of the unstriated or involuntary variety, 
which contract independent of the will, like those of 
the stomach and bladder. The upper or larger por- 
tion of the organ is known as the fundus or body, the 


lower or tapering portion, as before stated, being 
termed the cervix or neck. The cavity of the uterus 
differs in form in different parts of the organ. In the 
fundus it is triangular, the apex of the triangle point- 
ing downward. The cavity of the cervix is fusiform. 
The two cavities, that of the fundus and that of the 
cervix, are separated by a constriction known as the 
os internum or internal os. The lower opening of the 
cervix or mouth of the womb is termed the os exter- 
num or external os. The uterus lies in the pelvis 
between the bladder and the lower portion of the 
large intestine, being somewhat inclined forward from 
the axis of the trunk. The cavity of the uterus is 
lined with mucous membrane, which is covered with 
a peculiar kind of cell known as ciliated epithelium. 
These cells are conical in shape, being attached by 
their smaller extremity. The outer or free extremity 
is covered with minute, hair-like processes which are 
constantly in motion. In the lower portion of the 
womb their motion is such as to produce a constant 
current inward toward the cavity of the body ; while 
in its upper portion their action is in an opposite di- 

The upper angles of the body of the womb are so 
constituted as to form two small tubes, one on either 
side, known as the fallopian tubes, or ovi-ducts, which 
terminate in a sort of fringe. At each extremity the 
canal of the fallopian tubes is scarcely large enough 
to admit a bristle. Through the middle portion of the 
tube the' canal is considerable larger. The fallopian 
tubes like the vagina, are lined with mucous mem- 


brane, and, as is the case with the uterus also, their 
lining membrane is covered with ciliated epithelium ; 
but instead of moving inward, the motion of the cilia 
in the tubes is toward their outward extremity which 
communicates with the uterus, the object of which is 
to carry the ovum toAvard the cavity of the uterus, as 
will be presently seen. 

On either side of the uterus and near its central 
portion are located the essential organs of reproduc- 
tion, the ovaries. Each ovary is about one and one- 
half inches in length, and is placed horizontally, as 
shown on Plate VI. The ovary is held in position and 
connected to the uterus by a broad fold of membrane 
known as the broad ligament, which also supports 
along its upper border the fallopian tube, the outer 
extremity of which curves downward and terminates 
near the ovary. Each ovary is also joined by its in- 
ner end to the upper angle of the uterus by a small 
twisted cord known as the ligament of the ovary. 
When the ovary is cut in two, as shown on Plate IX, 
and examined by means of a microscope, it is found 
to be filled, especially near its outer border, with 
small cells, which are undeveloped or unripe ova, 
destined to be matured and cast off one at 
a time at each menstrual period during the life of 
the individual, some, under favorable circumstances, 
to be developed into human beings. 

The Bladder.— -The bladder in females is located 
in front of the uterus, and is somewhat larger than 
in the male, its measurement from side to side being 
greater than from before backward. The urine is dis- 


charged from the bladder through a canal about 
one-fourth inch in diameter, known as the urethra, 
the opening in which is just above that of the upper 
edge of the vagina. 

The Rectum. — This portion of the alimentary 
canal, its inferior terminus, lies behind the uterus 
and the vagina in the hollow of the sacrum, its lower end 
being guarded by a circular muscle known as the 
sphincter ani. Between the lower part of the rectum 
a id that of the vagina is placed a wedge-shaped body, 
tne broad base of which occupies the space between 
the anus and the vaginal opening. This structure is 
known as the perineum. It is a muscular structure, 
but is possessed of considerable solidity, and plays a 
most important part in maintaining the internal 
organs in proper position. It is sometimes ruptured 
in parturition, giving rise to serious disease, as else- 
where shown. 

Blood Supply of the Uterus and Ovaries. — 
The blood supply of these associated organs is chiefly 
derived from the same source, the uterine and 
ovarian arteries connecting in such a way as to 
make the circulation of the ovary and uterus practic- 
ally the same. The blood-vessels of the uterus are 
distributed through its substance in such a way as to 
very readily give rise to passive congestion, being 
very torturous, and venous obstruction occurring very 
easily. This accounts for the great readiness with 
which the organ becomes subject to diseases of 
various sorts due to passive congestion. 


Nerves of the Uterus and Ovaries. — The nerv- 
ous supply of the uterus and ovaries, as well as of 
the other internal organs of generation, is chiefly de- 
rived from the organic or sympathetic system of nerves, 
very few sensory nerves being found in their sub- 
stance. This accounts for the very great degree of 
insensibility to pain characteristic of these organs in 
a state of health. The nervous supply of the ovaries, 
uterus, and vagina, is still more closely associated 
than the blood-vessels of these organs, nearly all the 
nerve-branches being derived from the same source ; 
which accounts for the very close nervous connection 
which is observed in both health and disease, but 
particularly in the latter condition. The nerves sup- 
plying the uterus and ovaries are chiefly derived from 
the nerve-centers of the lower part of the spine, 
which also send branches to the external tissues ly- 
ing in their vicinity, which undoubtedly accounts for 
the great prominence of pain in this region as a 
symptom of uterine disease. 

Supports of the Uterus. — The womb is held in 
place by a variety of forces brought to bear on it. 
In a state of health and when unimpregnated, the 
uterus weighs scarcely more than an ounce and a 
quarter, so that little force is required to retain it in 
position. Nevertheless, ample means are supplied to 
keep it in its proper place, such as are sufficient when 
there is no departure from the conditions upon which 
depends the maintenance of these organs in a state 
of health. The uterus is connected with the adjacent 
organs by six ligaments. Two connect its posterior 


surface with the rectum ; two other ligaments con- 
nect it anteriorly with the posterior wall of the blad- 
der ; while its sides are connected with the sides of 
the pelvis by means of two broad folds of tissue 
known as the broad ligaments. These ligaments are 
not composed of fibrous tissue as are ligaments in 
other parts of the body, but are simply folds of the 
serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity, known 
as the peritoneum. They are not muscular in char- 
acter, and so do not possess the power of contraction, 
though they sometimes become contracted as the re- 
sult of disease. 

The broad ligaments, with the uterus, divide the 
pelvic cavity into two portions. The anterior part 
contains the vagina, bladder, and the anterior half of 
the uterus, while the posterior portion contains the 
rectum and the posterior half of the womb. The 
ovaries, as before described, are located in the broad 
ligaments which form this septum. These bands of 
tissue undoubtedly play an important part in maintain- 
ing the uterus in position, and yet they are so placed 
that they cannot prevent the organ from settling 
down into the cavity of the pelvis, or changing its 
position in various other ways, when any degree of 
force calculated to displace it is brought to bear 
upon it. 

The maintenance of this organ in its proper place 
is undoubtedly chiefly due to other means than the 
ligaments just described. Probably the most efficient 
of these is the support of contiguous organs, — the rec- 
tum, bladder, and portions of the small intestine 


which lie closely about the uterus, — and the peri- 
neum, the wedge-shaped body occupying the space be- 
tween the lower portion of the vagina and the rectum. 
The latter organ must be regarded as the chief means 
by which the descent of the uterus is prevented when 
the trunk of the body is in a perpendicular position. 
The perineum is located some distance below the ute- 
rus, and is connected with the latter organ only 
through the vagina ; but the vaginal walls possess suf- 
ficient firmness when in a healthy state, to act effi- 
ciently as a prop for the womb attached to their upper 
extremity. The efficiency of the vagina as a support 
for the uterus by the aid of the perineum, is greatly 
increased by the concavity of its posterior wall, which 
will be observed by reference to Plate A, being sup- 
ported behind by the rectum, in front by the bladder, 
and below by the perineum. The vagina is an effi- 
cient means of maintaining the uterus in position so 
long as its walls retain their proper " tonicity " or 

The muscular walls of the abdomen must also be 
regarded as an efficient means of supporting the ute- 
rus and ovaries in position, acting indirectly through 
the intestinal viscera. The uterus and ovaries lying 
in close contact with the organs which occupy the 
lower portion of the abdomen and the upper part of 
the pelvis, are supported by them so long as the in- 
testines and neighboring organs are held in position 
by the abdominal walls. When the muscles of the 
abdomen lose their tone, so that they no longer sup- 
port the contents of the abdominal cavity, and allow 


them to drop down into the pelvis, the uterus and 
ovaries will be crowded out of position in spite of the 
support which they receive from several ligaments, 
the vagina, and the perineum. It is probable also, 
that the pyri-form shape of the uterus aids in keeping 
it in position, the adjacent organs being packed 
around its lower portion in such a way as to sustain 
it. This is evidenced by the fact that its position 
varies with that of the bladder and rectum. When 
these cavities are both distended, the organ lies higher 
than when they are empty. When the bladder is 
empty and the rectum distended, it is tilted over 
toward the former, and vice versa. The last named 
means of support for the uterus has been too often 
overlooked, and, as we shall hereafter show, this 
oversight has given rise to injurious and unsuccessful 
methods of treating uterine displacements. 

The Pelvis. — This is a cavity formed by the union 
of several bones, the ossa innominata forming the 
two sides, and the wedge-shaped sacrum and coccyx 
the posterior portion. Four joints are formed : one 
by the union of the ossa innominata, — the symphy- 
sis pubis ; two at the points of union between the 
ossa innominata and the sacrum; and the fourth 
by the junction of the coccyx with the lower end of 
the sacrum. These joints are not flexible joints like 
those of the fingers, elbows, or most other joints of 
the body, but are almost immovable under ordinary 
circumstances, the bones being held together by stron^ 
ligaments. In advanced age they often become solid; 
in fact, this change may occur in males in early life. 


The form of the pelvis will be best seen by referring 
to Plate II. We would call especial attention to 
the expanded lateral portion of the pelvis, formed by 
the broad iliac bones, the space between which is 
known as the false pelvis, and to the opening through 
the pelvis, forming quite an essential cavity, known 
as the true pelvis. The line separating the false and 
the true pelvis is known as the brim of the true pel- 
vis, a term often used in midwifery, the significance 
of which ought to be understood on that account. 
Just opposite the symphysis pubis is a prominent 
point also of especial interest in this connection, 
known as the promontory of the sacrum, formed by 
the upper portion of the sacrum, which projects into 
the true pelvis, lessening its diameter from before 
backward. Upon the greater or less prominence of 
this promontory depends, to a great degree, the ease 
or difficulty with which child-birth may take place. 
Attention should also be called to the arch formed 
beneath the symphysis pubis by the divergence of the 
lower portions of the ossa innominata, which support 
the weight of the body in sitting. This arch, with 
the space between the lower part of the symphysis 
pubis and the coccyx, forms the outlet of the pelvis. 
Differences between the Male and Female Pel- 
v is. — There are several important differences between 
the pelvis in males and females which should here re- 
ceive attention, which will be best understood by re- 
ferring to Figs. 1 and 2, Plate II. 

These may be enumerated as follows : — 

1. The bones of the female pelvis are more slen- 


der than those of males, and present smoother sur- 

2. The female pelvis is much wider than that of 
the male, the distance between the extreme points of 
the ossa innominate being proportionately much 
greater than in the male pelvis. 

3. The true pelvis is very much larger than in the 
male; and the distance between the brim and th3 
outlet proportionately less, which is due to the f;i it 
that the sacrum is shorter and the arch beneath the 
pubis much wider than in the male. 

4. The sacrum in the female pelvis is much less 
curved than in the male pelvis, so that the canal of 
the pelvis in much straighter in the female than in 
the male pelvis. 

Smne of the differences above noted are made 
more apparent by the comparative views of the male 
and female pelvis given in Figs. 1 and 2, Plate II. 
It will also he observable that the prominent points 
on the interior surface of the pelvis project into its 
cavity to a much greater distance in the male pelvis 
than in the female. 

Some of the above mentioned peculiarities of the 
female pelvis, particularly the greater divergence of 
the large bones of the pelvis, give to the female figure 
its chief characteristics. The ancient Greeks, in their 
models of female beauty, made the measurement 
across the hips one-third greater than across the shoul- 
ders, reA^ersing these measurements in their represen- 
tation of male beauty in Apollo. It is this great 
breadth across the hips which occasions the swinging 



gait in females in whom the size of the pelvis is unus- 
ually prominent. The greater the width, the more 
marked will be the peculiarity of the gait. 

Canal of the Pelvis. — The space between the 
brim of the pelvis and its outlet constitutes what is 
known as the cavity or canal of the pelvis. The 
outlet is very irregular and incomplete in its bony 
outline, but is rounded and completed by the soft 
parts. When thus completed, its proportionate length 
and direction is about as represented in Fig. 3, Plate 
II. The strongly curved character of the canal will 
be at once noticed; also the fact that the symphysis 
pubis, located at the point marked S in the figure, is 
almost directly under the promontory of the sacrum, 
P. It will thus be seen that the brim or inlet of the 
pelvic cavity looks almost directly backward when 
the person is standing erect, while the outlet of the 
pelvis looks forward. This peculiar arrangement is 
characteristic of the human pelvis, and is designed to 
give to the contents of the abdominal cavity the 
proper support while the body is in the erect posture 
peculiar to human beings. In the lower animals the 
canal of the pelvis is almost straight; which is wholly 
compatible with the prone position natural to all the 
lower orders of animals. 

Measurements of the Pelvis. — The principal 
measurements of the pelvis are as follows : from the 
upper edge of the symphysis pubis to the promontory 
of the sacrum, four and one-half inches ; transversely 
across from T to T, as shown in Fig. 2, Plate II, five 
and one-fourth inches ; obliquely across from to L 
or to R, five inches. These dimensions are those 


obtained by measuring the cavity at the brim. It is 
found that measurements vary considerably at differ- 
ent portions of the canal. At the middle portion of 
the pelvic cavity the oblique diameter is more than 
five and one-fourth inches, while the transverse meas- 
urement is only five inches, or one-fourth inch less 
than at the brim. At the outlet, the transverse 
measurement is only four and one-fourth inches, or 
one-fourth inch less than at the brim of the pelvis, 
and the oblique four and three-fourths inches, or one- 
fourth inch less than at the brim, and one-half inch 
less than at the middle of the cavity ; while the an- 
tero-posterior diameter is five inches, or six when the 
coccyx is forced back, as it is during the last stage of 
child-birth. It thus appears that at the brim the 
transverse diameter is the greatest, at the middle of 
the cavity the oblique diameter, and at the outlet the 
antero-posterior. This relation of the different meas- 
urements of the pelvis gives rise to the change in the 
position of the head of the child during child-birth, 
known as rotation, which will be more fully explained 

The remarkable curve of the pelvic cavity and the 
peculiar relation of its several diameters make the act 
of child-birth in the human female much more compli- 
cated and difficult than in the females of the lower 
animals, in whom the canal is usually straight, al- 
though in some instances, as in the cow and the 
guinea-pig, it is much too narrow to admit of the pas- 
sage of the young animal. In these cases, however, 
a remarkable change takes place during the few weeks 
prior to the termination of pregnancy. In the guinea- 


pig, the ligaments which unite the ossa innominate 
at the symphysis pubis become greatly relaxed, so 
that the cavity can be greatly enlarged during partu- 
rition by the separation of the ends of the bones. 
This is well shown in Figs. 4 and 5, Plate II. In 
the cow the same thing takes place at the junctions 
of the ossa innominate with the sacrum, allowing the 
bones to be separated at these points to such a degree 
as to greatly enlarge the pelvic cavity. After partu- 
rition, the ligaments in both animals very quickly 
shorten again, so that the bones return to their nor- 
mal relation with each other. 

A change somewhat similar to that described above 
takes place in the human female prior to child-birth. 
Numerous observations have shown that the change 
which occurs is almost identical with that which takes 
place in the pelvis of the cow, and occasional in- 
stances are known in which the change noted as tak- 
ing place in the guinea-pig has occurred in the human 
female. A few years ago, a case of this sort came 
under our observation, in which the separation of the 
ossa innominate at the pubis was so great that the 
bones did not return to their normal position again, 
but remained movable, giving rise to a considerable 
degree of motion, which was accompanied by a grat- 
ing sound whenever the patient exercised upon her 

Another interesting fact which should be men- 
tioned in this connection as having an important bear- 
ing on the size of the pelvic cavity is the fact that 
the several parts of the pelvis sustain different rela- 
tions to each other in different positions of the body. 



When the body is in a standing, sitting, or lying po- 
sition, the promontory of the sacrum recedes some- 
what, making the brim or inlet of the true pelvis 
larger than when the body is in other positions. 
When the body is bent forward upon the thighs, 
the symphysis is tilted forward by the contrac- 
tion of the abdominal muscles, thus diminishing the 
size of the brim and enlarging the outlet. This ac- 
counts for the positions naturally taken by women 
during the different stages of child-birth. At the be- 
ginning a sitting, standing, or lying position is pre- 
ferred, while during the later stages, the body is bent 
forward, or the limbs drawn up. 

The Breasts or Mammary Glands. — These or- 
gans are so closely associated with the organs of gen- 
nation in the female that a description of the latter 
would not be complete without it includes at least a 
general account of the former. The breast is situated 
between the third and sixth or seventh ribs, and ex- 
tends from the sternum to the axilla. The left 
breast is usually a little larger than the right. In 
the center of the breast is located the nipple, which 
is of a rose-pink color in a woman who has not borne 
children, and is surrounded by a ring of tissue some- 
what different from the surrounding skin, and of the 
same color as the nipple. Upon the surface of this 
ring several little tubercular projections may be seen, 
at the top of which may be observed, upon close in- 
spection, a number of little openings, which are the 
orifices of small glands producing an oily secretion 
which protects the nipple. These minute structures 
are mentioned on account of the peculiar changes 



which occur in them during pregnancy. The nipple 
is very liberally supplied with blood-vessels and in- 
voluntary muscular fibres, and is exceedingly sensi- 
tive. Upon being irritated, the nipple becomes 
charged with blood, undergoing erection, and a slightly 
pleasurable sensation is produced. The great bulk 
of the breast consists of fatty or adipose tissue, un- 
derneath which is placed the glandular and essential 
portion of the breast, which consists of a large 
number of lobes and lobules, as shown in the lower 
part of Fig. I, Plate VIII. Each lobule is divided into 
still smaller lobules, in the interior of which are 
found a large number of cells, by which the milk se- 
cretion is produced. Each lobule communicates with 
a small duct, which joins with other ducts, and thus 
forms a larger canal, which in turn unites with other 
canals of the same character, forming still larger 
ducts, some fifteen or twenty in number ; all of these 
converge toward the nipple, near which they become 
considerably dilated, forming reservoirs, in which the 
milk collects. At the base of the nipple, the ducts 
are reduced to a small size again, and are continued 
up through the nipple without uniting together, each 
opening at the surface by a separate orifice. The 
milk-ducts and reservoirs contain a large number of 
muscular fibres in their walls, which are capable of 
contracting and thus diminishing the size of the tubes. 
Irritation of the nipple, either by the mouth of the 
child or otherwise, causes dilation of the openings 
of the ducts, and at the same time a contraction of 
the Avails of the ducts within the glands, by which 


double action the milk is made to flow freely. This 
action is sometimes reproduced by emotional excite- 
ment of any kind, so that the milk is expelled invol- 
untarily and lost. It sometimes happens that irrita- 
tion of one gland will cause expulsion of milk from 
the other, so that nursing the child at one breast 
will occasion a loss of the secretion at the other. 

Lymphatic vessels are very abundant in the 
breast, by which the watery portion of the milk may 
be absorbed. The action of the lymphatics may be 
increased by friction, which furnishes an excellent 
means of lessening the milk secretion when necessary. 

The mammary gland is a peculiar modification of 
the sebaceous or oil glands, which are very abundant 
in the skin. It is present in all animals which have 
warm blood and bring forth their young alive. These 
animals are known as mammals, in consequence of their 
possession of mammae. A very interesting study in 
natural history is the peculiar arrangement and loca- 
tion of the mammary glands in different animals. In 
one animal known as the " duck-bill," a native of 
Australia, the mammary gland consists simply of a 
flat surface not covered by hair, which presents 
numerous little openings for the milk-ducts. In some 
animals the breast is a cavity or depression in the 
surface rather than a prominence. In one very 
curious class of animals known as marsupials, to 
which belong the kangaroo and opossum, the breasts 
consist simply of nipples, which are inclosed in a 
pouch, into which the young are placed after their 
birth, each young one becoming attached to a nipple, 


to which it clings until it is developed ; when it un- 
dergoes a sort of second birth. The young of these 
animals are very imperfectly developed when first 
born. In bats, the breasts consist of a single pair, 
which are placed upon the chest in the same position 
as in human beings. In whales, the breasts are lo- 
cated very close to the vulva. In dogs and pigs, the 
breasts are arranged in a double row extending nearly 
the whole length of the body. 

Certain anomalies and irregularities sometimes oc- 
cur in the formation of the breasts, which are not un- 
interesting. Cases are sometimes met in which there 
are two or three nipples on one gland. In some in- 
stances, there are more than two breasts. Usually 
the extra breast or breasts are located near the ordin- 
ary position, but sometimes they are found on distant 
parts of the body, as the back or thigh, or in the 

In the male, the breast is usually only rudiment- 
ary, but cases are on record in which the gland has 
been abnormally developed in the male to such an ex- 
tent as to produce an abundant supply of milk. A 
case is reported in which a colored man acted as wet- 
nurse in the family of his master for many years. 

The secretion of milk in the female breast is 
not usually formed until toward the termination of 
pregnancy, but by a long continued process of manip- 
ulation and stimulation, the gland may be made to 
produce milk freely in virgins. In some countries, 
wet-nurses are systematically produced in this way. 
The curious fact has been observed that milk is some- 


times secreted by the mammary gland in very young 
infants, the secretion usually commencing at birth or 
two or three clays afterward, and continuing for two 
or three weeks. Usually only two or three drops 
can be pressed out of the nipple at one time, but oc- 
casionally the amount of fluid is increased to one or 
two drachms. This anomalous secretion of milk is 
observed with equal frequency in both sexes. 

Before pregnancy, the breast, when fully devel- 
oped, is hemispherical in form, and possessed of con- 
siderable firmness, but after nursing, during which 
time the breast is considerably enlarged, the tissues 
become somewhat softer and flabby or pendulous. 


Wonderful as they are in their anatomical struct- 
ure, the reproductive organs are still more remark- 
able in the functions which they are designed to 
perforin. To them is allotted the important work of 
producing new individuals, and thus perpetuating 
the race. They enable man to become in a certain 
sense a creator. Their function may be regarded 
as the highest of that of any of the organs of the 
body, if we except the brain, the organ of thought 
and feeling. Although their office relates particularly 
to new beings, rather than to the individual, their as- 
sociation with the other organs of the body is so inti- 
mate that any derangement of function is quickly fol- 
lowed by disease of other parts, as we shall have oc- 
casion to show more fully hereafter. Their functions 


are also largely controlled by the varying conditions 
of the body which affect the functions of other or- 
gans, sometimes being suspended, sometimes exag- 
gerated, by influences which may similarly affect 
other organs. 

A fact of importance which it is well to understand, 
is that the sexual function, being the least concerned in 
the maintenance of individual life, is more likely to be 
suspended than other functions, when through lack of 
nutrition, wasting disease, or any other depressing 
cause, the vital forces of the body are impaired. This 
fact accounts for the cessation of menstruation in 
connection with tubercular disease, anaemic conditions 
of the body resulting from hemorrhage or otherwise, 
and other morbid states in which the vitality is at a 
low ebb, instances of which are frequently observed. 
We have mentioned this fact in this connection for 
the purpose of correcting the popular notion that the 
suspension of menstruation, one of the leading sexual 
functions in woman, is in these cases the cause of the 
other morbid conditions with which the disease is 
associated ; whereas, as just explained, it is simply a 
result, and is of no greater significance than other 
symptoms growing out of the fundamental morbid 
condition under which the system may be suffering. 

Notwithstanding the immense amount of study 
and research which has been bestowed on the sexual 
function in man as well as animals, there is still much 
mystery connected with the subject. Nature has not 
yet allowed inquisitive man, even when aided by the 
most powerful microscope and other instruments of 


investigation which he has invented, to fathom all the 
secrets connected with the marvelous process by 
which new beings are created. Nevertheless a suffi- 
cient amount of knowledge has been developed to 
render this subject exceedingly interesting, and to 
disperse to a large extent, the mists of ignorance by 
which it has been surrounded from the earliest times 
down to the present. We shall not attempt to pre- 
sent in the brief space devoted to this part of the sub- 
ject, all that is known respecting the functions of the 
reproductive organs, but only some of the more sali- 
ent points, and such as have some relation to the 
practical information to which the greater portion of 
this work is devoted. 

In order to make more clear and comprehensible 
the nature of the function in human beings, we have 
introduced a few illustrative facts respecting the 
function in the various lower orders of animals. By 
these and other means, we have endeavored to so 
simplify this intricate subject as to bring it within 
the understanding of all who are sufficiently mature 
in mind to be capable of comprehending it and prof- 
iting by the instruction given in this work. 

Ovulation. — A microscopical examination of the 
fully developed ovary shows that its interior is chiefly 
made up of an almost infinite number of little sacs, 
each one of which contains a small cell as shown in 
Fig. 3, Plate IX. This is true of the ovaries of all spe- 
cies of higher animals. When the female of any spe- 
cies of animal attains a certain stage of development, 
these cells begin to work toward the surface of the 


ovary. One by one they approach the outer surface 
of the organ, together with the little sac in which each 
is contained, which increases gradually in size during 
its approach toward the surface, and finally, when the 
surface of the ovary is reached, becomes distended to 
many times its former size, by the accumulation of 
serum within its cavity. The little cell in the mean- 
time becomes attached to that portion of the sac 
nearest the surface of the ovary. 

By and by the distension of the sac becomes so 
great that it can no longer retain its contents, when 
it ruptures with considerable violence, thus allowing 
the escape of its fluid contents, which sweep along with 
them the little cell for the development of which this 
curious arrangement was designed. The final act in the 
process which we have just described, has been well 
shown by the artist in Fig. 4, Plate IX. Tfye little 
cell which is thus forcibly ejected from the ovary by 
the process just described, is really an egg, composed 
of a delicate membrane inclosing a yolk. 

Viviparous and Oviparous Animals. — Up to 
very nearly the present time it has been supposed 
that a radical difference existed in the mode of devel- 
opment of viviparous and oviparous animals, or those 
which bring forth their young alive, and those which 
produce eggs to be afterward hatched outside the 
body. Modern researches, however, have shown 
that no such radical difference exists, but that the 
young of all higher animals, including those which 
bring forth their young alive, are really produced from 
eggs, the only difference being in the manner in which 
these eggs are developed. 


Procreation a Budding Process. — The affinity 
between man and the lower orders extends still fur- 
ther down the scale of animate existence. The stu- 
dent of biology is familiar with the fact that in certain 
low orders of animals, as, for instance, the hydroids, 
the multiplication of the species takes place by a kind 
of budding. The hydroid is a sort of animated shrub 
of jelly-like consistence. It is usually found growing 
attached to rocks and various solid or stationary bod- 
ies, in little communities. From the parent stems lit- 
tle buds grow out, some of which after a time break 
off and swim away as independent little jelly-fishes. 
These, in turn, become attached to a submerged rock 
an aquatic plant, and after becoming fully devel- 
oped, give rise to other buds, thus perpetuating the 
species. This is a process of external budding, but 
in oth^r species of lower animals the same process 
takes place on the interior of the parent animal. 
This is the case, for example, with the distoma or 
"fluke" a parasitic creature one species of which 
makes its home in the human liver. In one stage of 
its existence, this little animal consists of a long yel- 
low sac, looking like a yellow worm. From the in- 
terior of this sac little buds arise, which become de- 
veloped into new beings, and these, in time, come to 
resemble their parent, and perpetuate the same curi- 
ous process. 

This same budding process actually takes place in 
human beings, the little cell or egg ejected from the 
ovary being in fact nothing more nor less than an in- 
terior bud produced in that organ and separated by a 



process not very different from that by which the lit- 
tle buds of the polyp or the distoma are separated 
from the parent. The chief difference between the 
budding process in human beings and in the lower or- 
ders referred to, is that in the case of the former 
the little bud separated from one parent cannot de- 
velop into a perfect human being without uniting with 
a similar bud from another individual of the opposite 

Ovulation Periodic — The above described bud- 
ding process or casting off of an egg or ovum does 
not take place continually, but occurs periodically. 
This is true of all classes of higher animals as well as 
of the human female. The length of the interval be- 
tween the periodical repetitions of this process varies 
in different individuals and different classes of ani- 
mals. In the human female the ovum is matured 
once every four weeks or in twenty-eight to thirty 
days, a period corresponding very nearly to the lunar 
month. In the horse, cow, rabbit, and numerous other 
animals, the period is very much shorter. Completion 
of the development of the ovum and rupture of the 
vesicle containing it, is hastened by sexual congress. 
Menstruation. — In connection with the matura- 
tion and casting off the ovum, various other changes 
take place in the sexual organs which are accompanied 
by a greater or less disturbance of the whole system. 
In the lower animals this is termed the " oestrus," 
" heat," or " rut." At this period in lower animals 
there is usually a considerable degree of congestion 
of the whole generative apparatus ; the secretions of 


the vagina and the neighboring parts are greatly in- 
creased in quantity and somewhat changed in quality. 
In the female dog the mucous membrane of the vagina 
becomes very red and somewhat swollen, and produces 
an abundant secretion slightly tinged with blood. This 
secretion also produces at this time a peculiar odor, 
which attracts the attention and appears to stimulate 
the passions of the male animal. The same condition is 
observed in the rabbit, and in certain species of apes 
the congestion involves not only the sexual organs 
themselves, but extends to the neighboring parts, in- 
volving the skin of the buttocks and thighs and the 
under part of the tail. The general system of the 
animal is also affected very considerably. For exam- 
ple, the cow, on the near approach of the oestrual 
period usually loses her appetite and becomes very 
restless. If feeding in a field, she will frequently sud- 
denly stop grazing, and run rapidly from one side of 
the field to the other, looking about in a startled, un- 
easy manner, and presenting every evidence of pecul- 
iar excitement. This condition continues for two or 
three days, when the animal returns to her natural 
condition again.. 

A fact of significance which may be mentioned 
here is that the female of these animals will not allow T 
the approach of the male except during or just after 
the oestrual period, wmich careful observation has 
shown to be the only time when sexual contact is 
likely to be fruitful. The bearing of this important 
fact will be referred to elsewhere. 

In the human female, ovulation is accompanied by 


changes very similar to those which occur in lower 
animals as just described. The following is a descrip- 
tion of the changes which occur as given by Dalton : — 

"The menstrual discharge consists of mucus 
mingled with blood. When the period is about to 
come on, the female is affected with a certain degree 
of discomfort and lassitude, a sense of weight 
in the pelvis, and more or less disinclination to 
society. These symptoms in some instances are 
slightly pronounced, in others more troublesome. 
An unusual discharge of vaginal mucus then begins to 
take place, soon becoming yellowish or rusty-brown 
in color, from the admixture of a certain proportion of 
blood; and by the second or third day, the discharge 
has the appearance of nearly pure blood. The un- 
pleasant sensations, at first manifest, then usually sub- 
side; and the discharge, after continuing for two or 
three days longer, grows more scanty, its color chang- 
ing from red to a rusty or brownish tinge until it 
finally disappears, and the period comes to an end. 

" The menstrual epochs of the human female cor- 
respond with the periods of cestruation in the lower 
animals. Their general resemblance to these periods 
is very evident. Like them, they are absent in the 
immature female, and begin to take place only at the 
period of puberty, when the aptitude for impregna- 
tion commences. Like them, they recur during the 
child-bearing period at regular intervals, and are lia- 
ble to the same interruption by pregnancy. Finally, 
their disappearance corresponds with the cessation of 


" The period of oestruation in many of the lower ani- 
mals is accompanied with an unusual discharge from 
the generative passages, frequently more or less 
tinged with blood. In the human female, the bloody 
discharge, though more abundant than in other in- 
stances, differs only in degree from that in many 
species of animals." 

During menstruation, the uterus and ovaries are 
considerably increased in size by the physiological 
congestion to which they are subjected. This natur- 
ally gives rise, in most cases, to an increased activity 
of the reproductive instinct, as in lower animals. The 
nature of the menstrual flow has been the subject of 
much speculation. As before stated, it consists of 
the natural secretions of the vagina and uterus, which 
are greatly augmented in quantity, mingled with more 
or less blood, in many cases consisting chiefly of 
blood. When present only in a normal quantity, it 
has been observed that menstrual blood does not coag- 
ulate. This fact has led to the supposition that the 
blood of the menstrual discharge is different from that 
of the body in general ; but very careful investigation 
of the matter shows that this peculiarity of menstrual 
blood is the result of its mixture with the acid secre- 
tions of the vagina, by which its coagulation is pre- 
vented. This view is sustained by the fact that when 
the blood is present in large quantity it does coagu- 
late, just as when discharged from any other part of 
the body. 

Whether or not the menstrual discharge is to any 
degree an excretion, is a question not yet well settled; 



but it is perhaps probable that the secretion of the 
utricular glands, which are found very abundant in 
the lining of the cavity of the uterus, is to some ex- 
tent, at least, an excretory product. The serious dis- 
turbances of the general system which are occasioned 
by a sudden suppression of the menstrual flow, sup- 
port this idea. Further support of the same notion 
is given by the fact that the secretion of urea by the 
kidneys is diminished fully one-fifth during menstrua- 
tion. It is not to be supposed, however, that the 
menstrual discharge possesses anything of the ex- 
tremely noxious character attributed to it by the 
ancients, who supposed it to possess the power to blight 
everything with which it came in contact, even vege- 
tation being said to wither and droop within a few 
hours after being exposed to its influence. 

The length of time that the flow continues varies 
considerably in different individuals. In some wo- 
men the flow is present only one or two days, while 
in others it continues from five to eight days without 
any apparent injury to health. The average is 
probably about four days. The amount of the dis- 
charge has been variously estimated, some placing it 
at three or four ounces, and others as hisjh as seven- 
teen ounces, or more. It is probable that the smaller 
estimate is about the average amount in healthy fe- 
males. It has been observed that the flow is more 
abundant in women of indolent or sedentary habits 
than in those accustomed to active labor ; also in per- 
sons of feeble constitutions than those of robust health. 
It is also stated that the average amount of the dig- 



charge is greater in women residing in cities than in 
those who reside in the country or in country vil- 

The origin of the blood is the interior of the 
uterus, from the walls of which it exudes very much 
like perspiration from the surface of the body. For 
several clays previous to the occurrence of the dis- 
charge, the mucous membrane of the uterus has been 
found to undergo peculiar changes, increasing to sev- 
eral times its usual thickness, and undergoing a sort 
of fatty degeneration, by which the walls of the cap- 
illaries are weakened to such an extent as to allow 
the passage of the blood through them. This change 
in the character of the mucous membrane of the 
uterus is undoubtedly a sort of preparation for the re- 
ception of the ovum, which is becoming matured at 
the same time, preparatory to its passage into the 

A considerable portion of the menstrual discharge 
consists of epithelium which has been softened and 
exfoliated. Sometimes the epithelium is thrown off 
in the form of large patches, which frequently have 
the appearance and consistency of membrane, and 
which is occasionally so extensive as to present a 
cast of the inside of the uterus. This has led to the 
erroneous belief that the mucous membrane of the 
uterus is actually thrown off at each menstrual pe- 
riod. This is not so, however, even in cases of what 
is known as membranous dysmenorrhcea, in which what 
appears to be the mucous lining of the uterus is sim- 
ply a false membrane somewhat similar to the mem- 
branous formation in croup. 


The ancients held many very singular notions 
respecting the function of menstruation, among 
which was the idea that the moon exerted a powerful 
influence over this function. This notion has retained 
its hold on the popular mind more or less even to the 
present time. It has in fact been so firmly held by 
some, that an eminent French astronomer a few years 
ago thought it worth his while to devote several 
years to a careful study of the subject. After mak- 
ing several thousand observations, he stated as the 
result of his study that no relation whatever could be 
traced between the menstrual function in women and 
the phases of the moon. 

Vicarious Menstruation. — In some cases in 
which the regular menstrual flow is suppressed or ab- 
sent, the discharge of blood takes place from some 
other part of the body, as from the nose and lungs or 
stomach and bowels, or even from the surface. This 
discharge has been termed vicarious menstruation. 
The flow of blood which occurs in these cases cannot 
be considered as a natural menstrual discharge. The 
condition is one of disease, and will be considered 

Fecundation. — The process by which the male 
and female elements of generation are united to form 
the embryo of the new individual, is termed fecun- 
dation. This is a process of so great interest from a 
physiological stand-point that it will be well worth 
while to consider it at some length, studying the 
mode in which it takes place in lower forms of life, 
and lower animals, as well as in human beings. At 


the lower limit of the scale of life, are found numer- 
ous species of plants and animals which consist of a 
single cell. Although, in some of the simpler forms, 
the different individuals of the same species are to all 
appearance exactly alike, there being no physical 
characteristics by which to distinguish the sexes, 
there is evidence for believing that the property of 
sex is possessed by these minute creatures, since it 
has been observed that reproduction does not take 
place without the occurrence of a process essentially 
the same as that of fecundation in higher animals. 
In the case of these lower forms, how 7 ever, the process 
of fecundation involves the whole individual, rather 
than a minute element produced by either sex. In 
studying this process, a male and a female cell, both 
so nearly alike that no distinguishing features can be 
discovered by the most powerful microscope, may be 
seen to approach each other, and soon after coining 
in contact, to become so completely united as to form 
one homogeneous cell. Soon after this takes place, 
the one individual thus formed begins to subdivide, 
first separating into two halves, each half again sub- 
dividing in the same manner until a large number of 
individuals are formed from the original two, or from 
the one individual formed by the union of the first 
two. In this class of creatures, fecundation involves 
the loss of the identity of the parents. This form of 
fecundation or reproduction is illustrated on Plate I, 
Fig. 3. The rapidity with which the process above 
described may occur is truly astonishing. In a spe- 
cies of the protococcns which sometimes appears in win- 


m i _. . ... m 

ter, covering in some instances large tracts of coun- 
try, producing the remarkable phenomenon of green 
snow, the multiplication is so rapid that more than. 
60,000 individuals may be produced from a single 
pair in one hour, and in thirty minutes more time a 
number exceeding that of the inhabitants of the 

In the higher orders of plants we observe a pro- 
cess of fecundation of a much higher type. The male 
and female elements of generation are produced by 
flowers, which are the sexual organs of plants. In 
many cases the two elements are produced by dis- 
tinct flowers, either from the same plant or from sepa- 
rate plants, although in some cases the two elements 
are produced by different parts in the same flower. 
The male element is known to the botanist as the 
pollen, which is produced by the anthers, usually borne 
at the top of long filaments termed stamens. By va- 
rious means, chiefly through the agency of the wind 
and the visits of insects from flower to flower, the 
pollen is carried from the male flower or the male 
parts of flowers. to the end of the pistil or pistils of 
the female flowers, on which the little pollen grains 
are lodged when the process of fecundation begins. 
A little sprout is sent out from the pollen grain and 
down through the pistil of the flower to the ovary at 
the base of the pistil, in which is secreted a little cell 
or a number of minute cells, corresponding to the 
ovum of female animals. When the ovum is reached 
by the little filament from the pollen grain, the 
process of fecundation is completed, and the pro- 


cess of development begins, and in due time results in 
the production of a perfect seed, from which another 
plant may be produced. The reproductive organs of 
plants and the process of fertilization are well rep- 
resented on Plate III. 

The devices of nature for accomplishing the act 
of fecundation in plants are so marvelous as to be al- 
most incredible. The following graphic description 
of the process we quote as a concise statement of the 
results of the most recent scientific investigations : — 

"Deep hidden within the flower's heart lies the 
little nursery where the seeds are born ; most cun- 
ningly the pistil and the stamens watch each other 
like true lovers for a greeting; tenderly the petals 
close around them in the cool, and open through fit 
hours of sunlight. And when the stamens and the 
pistil cannot meet directly, but the message must be 
borne by insect rovers, then the complication of con- 
trivance to secure the transport of the message al- 
most exceeds belief. The pollen must be brought 
from a certain spot in one flower and left on a certain 
spot within another. Says one, speaking of Darwin's 
investigation of the orchids : ' Moth-traps and spring- 
guns set on these grounds, might be the motto of 
these flowers. There are channels of approach, along 
which the nectar-loving insects are surely guided, so 
as to compel them to pass the given spots ; there are 
adhesive plasters nicely adjusted to fit their proboscides 
or to catch their brows, and so unload their pollen- 
burden ; sometimes, where they enter for the honey, 
there are hair-triggers carefully set in their necessary 



path, communicating with explosive shells that pro- 
ject the pollen-stalks with unerring aim upon their 
bodies.' " 

In all except the very lowest forms of animal life, 
reproduction is performed by the union of a male and 
female element produced by separate individuals or 
by separate parts of the same individual, as in the 
case of the higher plants. This is true even of the 
minute infusoria, which have been demonstrated to 
reproduce their species by means of eggs. 

In some classes of animals, as the tape-worm, earth- 
worm, snail, leach, and slug, the male and female ele- 
ments are produced by the same individual, as is the 
case with many flowers ; but with the single exception 
of the tape-worm, the species mentioned require the 
union of two individuals to secure the fecundation of 
the female element. 

The curious manner in which fecundation takes 
place in the tape-worm is shown in Plate IX, Fig. 2. 
The spermatozoa are discharged from the testicle by 
an opening close beside the opening of the canal which 
receives the numerous eggs from the ovary, which 
constitutes the greater portion of each segment of the 
body of this curious creature, and readily find their 
way back into the interior of the segment, where the 
process of fecundation takes place. 

Animals of this class are known as hermaphrodites, 
possessing, as they do, both male and female organs 
of generation. As before remarked, however, the 
earth-worm, leach, slug, and snail, which are also her- 
maphrodites, require for fecundation the union of two 


individuals. This is true of most of the true her- 
maphrodites, and is probably also true of many her- 
maphrodite flowers, the sexual organs of such flow- 
ers being often so placed that self-fecundation is much 
more difficult than fecundation by means of pollen 
brought by the wind or insects from other flowers. 

Some curious instances of true hermaphrodism or 
double sex have been observed in human beings. 
Most cases of hermaphrodism, so-called, are really 
cases in which there is deformity of the sexual or- 
gans producing a resemblance to the opposite sex, 
the cause of which will be explained presently. 
There are a few cases on record, however, in which 
individuals have possessed in a degree of develop- 
ment more or less complete, both male and female 
organs of generation. This anomalous condition 
would be very difficult of explanation if it were true, 
as was formerly supposed, that the testicles in the 
male are the analogues of the ovaries in the female. 
Some of our most eminent modern biologists, how- 
ever, have disputed this view, which has been so long 
held and considered thoroughly established, and some 
observations have been made in the development of 
the lower animals which have led to the conclusion 
that the ovaries and testicles, while in a certain sense 
analogues, are not really so in the same sense as are 
the clitoris in the female and the corresponding organ 
in the male. Among the most interesting of these 
observations were those made by Van Beneden, who 
studied with great care the development of polyps. 
He found that the testicle in these animals is devel- 


oped from the outer portion of the embryo, while the 
ovaries are developed from the inner portion. This 
is not true of organs which are morphologically iden- 
tical. It is very probable that what is true in the 
development of polyps is true also in the development 
of higher animals and human beings. This accounts 
for the existence of both sets of organs in human be- 
ings, and throws some light on the nature of the fe- 
cundating process, by suggesting the idea that the 
male element of generation represents more specific- 
ally one portion of the human organism, while the 
female element represents more particularly another 
portion, the union of the two making the complete 

Peculiar Modes of Fecundation. — In all of the 
instances thus far mentioned, fecundation takes place 
within the body of the individual. In some classes 
of animals, however, fecundation takes place outside 
of the body. This is true of most fishes. At certain 
seasons of the year, as is well known, the female fish, 
loaded with ova, termed " spawn," visits certain local- 
ities for the purpose of depositing her eggs. The 
waters of certain rivers which empty into the sea are 
sometimes densely crowded with fish seeking their 
spawning grounds. Impelled by an imperious instinct, 
they force their way against the most rapid currents, 
leaping over obstacles, rushing through foaming 
rapids, never pausing even for a moment until their 
destination has been reached. At the same time the 
male fish, led by the same strong instinct, follows 
closely in the wake of the female, and when she has 


reached her destination and deposited her eggs along 
the gravelly bottom of some shallow stream, he de- 
posits in the same spot the fecundating fluid or "milt." 

In a few of the osseous fishes, fecundation takes 
place by the union of the two sexes, as in higher 

In reptiles, the ova are usually fecundated out- 
side of the body of the female, as in fishes. In cer- 
tain species of frogs, the male, instead of following 
the female in order to deposit the fecundating fluid 
at the same spot with the ova, as is done by most 
fishes, mounts upon her back, and rides about until 
she has deposited her eggs, at the same time deposit- 
ing the fluid by which they are fecundated. 

In all the animals known as " air-breathing ver- 
tebrates," fecundation is performed by means of a 
union of both sexes, the male element being deposited 
in the generative passages of the female through the 
means of the accessory generative organs of the male. 
This stage of the process, known as copulation or 
sexual congress, is usually accompanied in the female, 
as in the male, by a discharge of fluid, the source of 
which is the two glands situated near the mouth of 
the vagina. This fluid was formerly supposed to 
play an important part in* the process of fecundation, 
and was termed by Hippocrates, " female semen." 
The act is also attended by an intense degree of con- 
gestion of the whole sexual apparatus and intense 
nervous action. The exact manner in which the 
spermatozoa of the male find their way to the ovum 
which is usually located high up in the generative 


passages of the female; is not thoroughly understood. 
Some observations have been made which lead to the 
belief that the uterus, during the sexual act, is in a 
state of unusual activity. 

Some observers have described a peculiar suction 
action on the part of the uterus by means of which 
the seminal fluid might be drawn up into its cavity. 
Something closely allied to this has been observed in 
lower animals killed directly after the performance of 
the sexual act. In some of these cases an active per- 
istaltic movement has been noticed in the fallopian 
tubes, the movement being in the downward direc- 
tion, evidently for the purpose of facilitating the pas- 
sage of the ovum to the cavity of the uterus. It is 
quite possible that a movement of the uterus designed 
to facilitate the entrance of the seminal fluid into its 
cavity may take place, although it cannot be said that 
such an action is thoroughly demonstrated. Indeed, 
it is known that fecundation may take place when 
there can be no such action on the part of the uterus, 
owino- to the fact that the female is entirely passive 
during the sexual act. This is undoubtedly true 
in most of the occasional cases of rape which have 
been followed by pregnancy. Pregnancy has been 
known to occur also as the result of sexual union in 
which the female was unconscious, in deep sleep, or 
under the influence of chloroform or a narcotic. 

The fact that the action of the cilia of the epithe- 
lial lining of the greater portion of the uterus and of 
the fallopian tubes is in the downward direction, pro- 
ducing a more or less constant current toward the 


mouth of the womb, leads to the conclusion that there 
is some such action on the part of the uterus. It 
may be considered possible, however, that the sperm- 
atozoa find their way to the cavity of the uterus and 
even higher up in the generative passages by their 
own efforts. It is well known that when capable of 
fecundating the ovum, the spermatozoa are very act- 
ive, and capable of propelling themselves in a suita- 
ble fluid by means of their filamentous appendages. 
The form and structure of the spermatozoon, or male 
element of generation, in man and some lower animals, 
is shown on Plate IV, together with human and other 
ova in various stages of development. 

The spermatozoa may come in contact with the 
ovum either in the uterus, in some portion of the 
fallopian tubes, or even at the surface of the ovary, 
fecundated ova having been found in all these locali- 
ties. After contact, a union of the spermatozoa and 
the ovum seems to take place. In some lower ani- 
mals a distinct opening in the membrane surrounding 
the yolk has been observed, and spermatozoa have 
been seen crowding their way through this opening to 
the interior of the ovum. No similar opening has 
been seen in the ovum of the human female, but 
there is evidence for believing that such an opening- 
exists, for it is well known that spermatozoa pene- 
trate the wall of the ovum, or at least make their 
way into the interior. It is possible, however, that 
this may occur without an opening, as it is a well at- 
tested fact that the embryos of trichina pass readily 
through the mucous membrane of the intestines with- 



out the aid of openings. Each ovum is penetrated by 
a number of spermatozoa, though how many are re- 
quired for fecundation is not known. Experiments 
with the eggs of frogs have shown that so small a 
quantity as three grains of the male fecundating ele- 
ment is sufficient for the fertilization of many thou- 
sands of ova. 

The Nature of Fecundation. — The process of 
fecundation seems to be an actual molecular union of 
the male and female elements exactly similar to what 
we find in some of the lowest orders, in which the 
male and female individual are wholly lost in the in- 
dividual which they unite to form, and which after- 
ward divides into a large number of progeny. Some 
have supposed fecundation to be a sort of electrical 
process, the male being the positive element, and the 
female the negative. This theory is undoubtedly 
visionary, but it is evident that the male element 
supplies something which is necessary to enable the 
ovum to undergo development, since complete devel- 
opment cannot take place without fecundation, al- 
though cases are on record in which the ovum has 
developed to a considerable degree without the influ- 
ence of the male element. It has also been suggested 
that the male element supplies a sort of necessary 
nutriment to the ovum, by which its development 
becomes possible. The suggestion first made is 
probably the correct one ; viz., that the ovum and 
spermatozoa each contain certain germinal elements 
necessary for the formation of the new individual, 
neither being complete in itself. The only objection 


to this theory is the fact that a large number of sperm- 
atozoa are apparently required for the fecundation of 
a single ovum. At any rate, it is well known that in 
the case of some of the lower animals, as, for ex- 
ample, the frog, a very large number of spermatozoa 
enter each ovum and disappear in its interior, be- 
coming amalgamated with its elements. 

It has been suggested that the sex of progeny 
may depend to a considerable degree upon the number 
of spermatozoa which unite with the ovum, a certain 
number being sufficient to produce males and a 
smaller number females. The resemblance of children 
to their father or mother has also been accounted for 
in the same way ; a large number of spermatozoa 
uniting with the ovum producing a preponderance of 
the male characteristics of the sex, and a lesser num- 
ber the contrary. 

It is useless to devote space to a discussion of the 
relative importance of the male and female reproduc- 
tive elements, since neither is capable of independent 

Conception. — There is considerable evidence for 
believing that the union of the spermatozoa with the 
ovum takes place in some portion of the fallopian 
tubes. After this has been effected, the ovum usu- 
ally soon passes down to the cavity of the uterus. 
Sometimes, when fecundation occurs at the surface of 
the ovary, the ovum loses its way, and remains in the 
abdominal cavity. Its progress down the fallopian 
tube is also occasionally stopped before it reaches the 
uterus. The result of its arrest in these abnormal 


positions will be referred to elsewhere. When the 
ovum reaches the uterus, it soon becomes attached to 
some portion of its wall, the mucous membrane hav- 
ing been previously prepared for its reception by a 
process of thickening and the formation of little 
pockets, one of which receives the ovum, and to 
which it becomes attached. The adhesion of the 
ovum to the lining membrane of the uterus is known 
as conception. This usually takes place without the 
knowledge of the individual, but some women claim 
to be able to detect the moment at which conception 
takes place by peculiar sensations, usually a slight 
dizziness or faintness. From this time on, however, 
in most cases, the ovum gives no indication of its 
presence for some time, although very great changes 
in both the uterus and the ovum are taking place. 
These will be described presently. 

It has been determined that conception is much 
more liable to occur at certain times than at others. 
In order that fecundation shall take place, it is of 
course necessary that the ovum should be present in 
the generative passage of the female either at the 
time of sexual congress, or soon afterward. Just how 
long the spermatozoa may remain active in the gener- 
ative passages of the female, and capable of impreg- 
nating the ovum, is not known, but it is certain that 
they retain their vitality and efficiency for a number 
of days after copulation. The ovum is also usually 
retained for some days in some portion of the genera- 
tive canal of the female, not usually passing off with 
the menstrual discharge, but some days later. It is 


probably retained from four to ten days after the ces- 
sation of the menstrual flow. From these facts it is 
evident that conception will be most likely to occur 
a few days before or four to ten days after the men- 
strual period. Many observations have shown that 
with the majority of females, at least, conception is 
not likely to occur during the interval between the 
periods named. This is known to be the case with 
lower animals, and while it is not universally true of 
human females, it holds good in a sufficient number 
of cases to constitute a general law. 

Usually but one ovum is produced at a time in 
a human female. The same is true of the females 
of many other classes of animals, as the elephant, 
horse, and cow. In exceptional cases two or more 
ova are matured at once, and under favorable circum- 
stances may be fecundated, giving rise to multiple 
conception. Cases are on record also which demon- 
strate the fact that two conceptions may take place 
with a longer or shorter interval between, both ova 
undergoing development at the same time. This is 
known as superfecundation. In one case observed by 
a surgeon in the late war, a mulatto woman gave birth 
to twins, one of which was nearly white, the other 
much blacker than the mother. At the time of con- 
ception the woman was employed as a domestic in 
the house of a white man, while sleeping at night with 
a negro husband. The latter was so thoroughly con- 
vinced of her unfaithfulness by the sight of the white 
child that he turned her out of doors, notwithstanding 
her constant assertion of her innocence. Cases have 


also occurred in which a woman has had two confine- 
ments with an interval of several weeks, a period not 
long enough to allow a new pregnancy to occur, but 
long enough to show that the second pregnancy must 
have taken place several weeks after the first. That 
such a circumstance might occur is evidenced by the 
fact that in some females menstruation continues sev- 
eral months after conception occurs. As the mouth 
of the womb remains open for some time, there is no 
obstacle in the way of a second conception in such 

Conception cannot of course occur before the pe- 
riod of puberty, previous to which time the cells of 
the ovaries from which the ova are developed, exist 
only in a rudimentary condition, as shown by Plate 
IV. The change known as puberty occurs at or near 
the age of fifteen years, and conception may occur at 
any time from this period until the menopause, or 
change of life, which usually occurs sometime between 
the ages of forty-five and fifty. Cases are on record 
in which the ability to conceive has been acquired 
much earlier or retained until a much later period 
than the ages mentioned. In one observed case, a 
girl became a mother at eight, and an instance is 
given, which seems to be well authenticated, of the 
occurrence of conception after sixty. 

A large number of observations have shown that 
conception is less likely to occur between the ages of 
fifteen and twenty than between twenty and twenty- 
four, so that women marrying young are less likely 
to be fruitful than those marrying when more mature. 


No point in biology is better settled than that the 
mental, moral, and physical condition of the parents 
at the time of conception may be impressed on the 
offspring, and usually has an important influence on 
the character of the progeny. The influence of the 
male parent is particularly strong at this time, proba- 
bly more so than that of the female, whose influence 
over the offspring is fully as great ultimately, how- 
ever, on account of the much longer time through 
which it is exerted during gestation. 

Heredity. — How mental, moral, and physical traits 
of character are transmitted from the parents to the 
offspring is a problem which has not yet been fully 
solved, but there is no doubt as to the fact. Stock- 
breeders well recognize the truth of this principle, 
and frequently take advantage of it. Strong im- 
pressions made on the mother soon after conception 
has occurred, are likely to exert a strong influence 
on the child. The patriarch Jacob seems to have un- 
derstood this physiological fact, and to have made use 
of it to his own advantage while caring for the flocks 
of Laban, as we learn from the following passage : — 

" And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of 
the hazel and chestnut tree, and pilled white streaks 
in them, and made the white appear which was in the 
rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before 
the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when 
the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive 
when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived 
before the rods, and brought forth cattle, ringstreaked, 
speckled, and spotted." 


Another interesting fact which has been observed 
is, that an impression more or less permanent seems 
to be made on the female by the first pregnancy, 
so that the offspring of subsequent conceptions are 
made to partake of the characters of the male by 
whom the first conception occurred. On this account, 
breeders of blooded animals are very careful to avoid 
employing an inferior male, especially for the first time 
that the animal is made to become pregnant, since all 
subsequent offspring would be likely to partake of the 
characters of the inferior male first employed. The 
same thing is often observed in human beings : a wo- 
man marries the second time after the death of her 
first husband, and her children by her second hus- 
band are very likely to resemble her first husband as 
much as the second. The resemblance in the color of 
the hair and eyes is often particularly noticeable. In 
case a white woman has had children by a negro, but 
afterward bears children to a white man, the latter 
will be very sure to exhibit some of the characteris- 
tics of the negro race in a marked degree. 

Cause .of Sex. — It was long supposed that the 
right ovary in females and the right testicle in males 
produced elements which when united in fecundation 
would develop into males, while the elements pro- 
duced by the left ovary and the left testicle would de- 
velop into females. The erroneous character of this 
theory has been amply shown by repeated instances in 
which the right testicle in man or the right ovary in 
woman have been removed on account of disease, 
without affecting the ability of either parent to pro- 


create males as well as females. A corresponding 
fact has been observed in cases in which the left 
ovary has been removed. It is probable that the re- 
lation of the ages of the parents to each other has 
something to do with the determination of sex. For 
example, when a young and vigorous man marries a 
woman considerably older and less vigorous than him- 
self, the offspring will be very likely to be males. 
When the contrary is the case, that is, when a man 
somewhat advanced in years and not in vigorous 
health marries a young and vigorous female, the off- 
spring are very likely to be females 

Careful observations have been made which seem 
to show that the chief circumstance in the determina- 
tion of the sex is the time in relation to ovulation 
when fecundation takes place. The evidence is pretty 
strong that when fecundation of the ovum occurs very 
soon after menstruation, the offspring will be of the 
female sex ; while fecundation occurring several days 
later, just before the ovum would naturally leave the 
generative passages of the female if not fecundated, is 
pretty certain to result in male offspring. It is thus 
possible to predict with some degree of certainty 
whether the result of conception will be a male or fe- 
male, by noting the time with reference to menstrua- 
tion when conception occurs. 

The idea has been advanced that the sex of a child 
is determined by influences brought to bear on the 
embryo after fecundation, but many facts in natural 
history go to show that the sex of the progeny is de- 
termined at fecundation, and there is great probability 


that the theory stated in the preceding paragraph is 
the correct one. There must be also some reason for 
the theory, since it essentially agrees with the obser- 
vation previously mentioned with reference to the in- 
fluence of the relation of the ages and physical con- 
dition of the parents on the offspring. The ovum 
just ready to be cast off, might well be compared 
to the female advanced in years, and fresh spermato- 
zoa to the young and healthy male married to such a 

It is perhaps possible also that the number of 
spermatozoa which penetrate the ovum has some- 
thing to do with the determination of sex, as well as 
other physical characteristics. 

The Beginning of Life. — The moment fecunda- 
tion is completed — the process seems to be instan- 
taneous — the life of the new individual is begun. 
Within a very few hours great changes take place in 
the ovum, which will be described presently. What 
was formerly a mere speck of fat and albumen sur- 
rounded by a delicate film, is now destined to become, 
under favorable circumstances, a fully developed hu- 
man being. This little speck contains all the possibil- 
ities of the future of the individual man or woman to 
be developed from it. From being a mere cell, it has 
now come to be a human being, of very small dimen- 
sions, it is true, but possessed of as indubitable rights, 
as much worthy of respect, as though it were a ma- 
tured man or woman. 

The idea held by the ancients that individual life 
did not begin until the change known as " : quickening" 



occurred, has no basis whatever in fact. No especial 
change takes place in the embryo at the period 
known as quickening. Whatever individuality the 
human being possesses exists in rudimentary form in 
the ovum, immediately after fecundation has taken 
place. From this time no radical change occurs. We 
have simply a process of unfolding and development, 
which continues until the man or woman has reached 
full maturity. The immediate bearing of this fact in 
relation to the means adopted to avoid pregnancy and 
the crime of abortio will be considered elsewhere. 


After fecundation, and during the subsequent 
process of its development, the ovum is treated 
in various ways by different classes of animals. 
Many animals, as is the case with many reptiles, 
deposit the fecundated eggs in the sand or in 
some secluded location, and give them no further at- 
tention. Fishes usually deposit their eggs, and then 
allow their young to shift for themselves when 
hatched. There are, however, some very notable and 
interesting exceptions to this method of treating the 
young among fishes and reptiles. For example, Prof. 
Wyman gives an account of a South American fish 
which carries its eggs in its mouth until long after the 
young are hatched. In one instance, he found a 
young fish nearly three inches long in the mouth of 
its parent. This office seems to be usually performed 
by the male, who plays the part of nurse for the 


young of its mate. The number of eggs usually found 
in the mouth of these fish during the breeding season 
is twenty to thirty. The question would naturally 
arise. How can the fish eat Avhen its mouth is thus 
employed as a nursery, without swallowing its prog- 
eny ? Prof. Wyman answers this question by stat- 
ing the fact that he has frequently found among the 
eggs filling the mouth of the fish those of other vari- 
eties offish — rarely, however, more than one or two 
of other species — which leads him to the conclusion 
that the eggs are allowed to escape from the mouth 
for a short time while the fish is feeding, being after- 
ward gathered up again. 

A curious fish known as the hippocampus, or " sea- 
horse," affords a similar instance of the male acting 
as a nurse for its young. The males of these fishes are 
furnished with a pouch upon the lower surface of the 
body behind the anal opening, in which the eggs of 
the female are carefully placed and cared for until 

The continent of Europe is the home of a curious 
species of reptile known as the " obstetric toad," the 
male of which attaches the eggs of the female to his 
legs, carrying them about with him until they are 

Naturalists give numerous illustrations of care for 
their young on the part of fishes and reptiles. For 
example, Prof. Wyman describes a female fish which 
carries her eggs carefully arranged along the lower 
surface of her body, each one attached to a cup at the 
end of a cylindrical thread. The same naturalist 


mentions a somewhat similar peculiarity observed in 
the " swamp toad." After the eggs were laid by the 
female and fecundated by the male, the latter ar- 
ranges them one by one at regular intervals on the 
back of the former. In due time, a thin wall of skin 
grows up around them by which they are inclosed 
and protected. 

A species of tree-frog carries about its young ones 
on its back, the little fellows hanging on by their 

Another species of tree-frog has a little pouch on 
its back in which the male, carefully stows away the 
eggs, which are thus cared for until hatched. 

Fishes and reptiles usually " lay eggs " either 
before or after fecundation ; but in a few cases, the 
young are brought forth alive, and a single case has 
been observed in which a snake has laid eggs and 
brought forth living young at the same time. 

In the human female, as in the females of all the 
mammalia, the fecundated ovum is retained during its 
development. This process usually takes place in 
the uterus, though, as we shall presently see, it may 
occur elsewhere. 

As before stated, while the ovum is becoming 
matured and ready to be cast off from the ovary, the 
mucous membrance of the uterus is undergoing a change 
preparatory to receiving the ovum in case it shall 
become fecundated. After fecundation takes place, 
the ovum attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, and 
changes at once begin in both the ovum and the 
womb to which it is attached. We will describe first 
the changes which take place in the latter. 


* ■ ' — ■ — ■ 

Changes in the Uterus. — After conception, the 
uterus at once begins to increase in size. The physi- 
ological congestion which occurs periodically at men- 
struation and momentarily during the sexual act, be- 
comes now a permanent condition to be continued for 
several months. The enormous increase in size of 
the uterus is the result of this increase of the Mood 
supply. The muscular fibres of the uterus, which 
are of the unstriated variety and very small in the un- 
impregnated state, become enormously developed. 
The blood channels, which are also small, become 
dilated, in the case of the veins, to an enormous ex- 
tent, so as to form sinuses. 

Changes also take place in the nerve centers from 
which the uterus derives its nerve supply, especially 
those of the organic system, which likewise partici- 
pate in the development which occurs in the other 
parts of the generative apparatus. 

The most remarkable changes of all, however, 
take place in the mucous membrane lining the interior 
of the uterus. Something of the character of these 
changes is shown in Figs. 1 to 5, Plate VI. In the un- 
impregnated state, the mucous lining of the uterus is 
very thin and scantily supplied with blood-vessels. 
After conception occurs, the membrane becomes 
greatly thickened, and its blood-vessels enlarge and 
increase in number with great rapidity. These 
changes soon give to the membrane a velvety appear- 
ance. The activity in the development of the mem- 
brane is particularly great in the immediate vicinity 
of the ovum, around which folds of membrane soon 


begin to project forward, and very shortly meet over 
the free surface of the ovum, grow together, and thus 
completely inclose it. The ovum is now shut up in 
a cavity by itself, distinct from the general cavity of 
the uterus. 

The remaining changes of the greatest importance 
whi<?h occur are in the ovum itself together with its 
inclosing membrane, which has been formed from the 
uterine mucous membrane, and which may be now 
considered as a part of the developing ovum. 

Development of the Ovum During Gestation. — 
Immediately after fecundation, the ovum begins to 
grow, and subdivisions take place in its interior. 
This process is known as segmentation. The nature 
of the change will be readily understood by reference 
to Figs. 1 to 0, Plate IV. After this process has gone 
on for some time, a large number of cells have been 
formed within the ovum. These cells unite together 
at the surface of the yolk, forming a sort of membrane, 
on which presently appears a straight line which is 
termed the Primitive Trace. It is, in fact, a sort of 
furrow, the sides of which gradually grow up and 
close above it, subsequently forming the spinal canal 
of the embryo. The appearance of the primitive 
trace, as shown by the microscope, may be seen in 
Fig. 2, Plate VII. Some cases have been observed in 
the examination of lower animals in which the primi- 
tive trace has been double or divided at one of the 
extremities. This is supposed to be an explanation 
of the manner in wdiich double monsters are formed. 
Subdivision of the trace in the end destined to form 



the head, as shown in Fig. 3, Plate VII, would give 
rise to a monster with one pair of legs and one trunk, 
but with two heads. If the division extended to 
near the middle of the primitive trace, the succeed- 
ing development would result in the formation of a 
monster with one pair of legs but two trunks more or 
less completely separated. A trace forked at the end 
destined to form the inferior portion of the body 
would result in a monster having one head and trunk 
with two pairs of legs. Two complete primitive 
traces united at the center by a band as shown in 
Fig. 4, Plate VII, would result in embryos joined to- 
gether like the Siamese Twins. The manner in 
which the internal structures of these curious individ- 
uals were united is shown in Fig. 1, Plate VII. 

The membrane of which the primitive trace is 
formed divides into an inner and an outer layer, be- 
tween which is formed another layer which again sub- 
divides into two, making four layers in all. From 
these different layers all of the different parts of the 
individual are developed, the outer layers going to 
form the skin, muscles, bones, and nerves ; while the 
inner layers form the walls of the alimentary canal 
and other internal parts of the body. Thus certain 
groups of cells are set apart for one kind of work, 
while to other groups are allotted other functions. 
One group forms the liver, another the kidneys, an- 
other the spleen, another the pancreas. Each group, 
when its development is completed, performs a func- 
tion peculiar to itself. Still other groups form the 
brain, and when their development is complete, per- 


form the various offices required for the production of 
thought, the reception of impressions, and the control 
of the operations of the body. The various foldings, 
ingro wings, projection of various parts and absorption 
of other parts, subdivisions, and other complicated 
processes by which the development of the individual 
is completed, we shall not attempt to trace, as infor- 
mation of this kind is too technical to be interesting to 
the general reader. Some points of special interest 
will be noted, however. One of the most remarkable 
of these is the fact that a human being in the process 
of development passes through various stages, each 
of which represents the permanent condition of some 
class of lower animals. 

The alimentary canal, as first produced, is simply 
a straight tube, a form in Avhich it permanently exists 
in such animals as the eel. After a time, dilations 
occur in the upper and the lower portion, which ulti- 
mately form the stomach and the large intestine. The 
convolutions of the small intestine are formed by 
lengthening the canal. The upper dilation — the stom- 
ach — is usually on the left side of the body; while the 
most dilated part of the expanded portion, which ulti- 
mately forms the cceciun, is placed at the right and 
lower portion of the abdominal cavity. Cases some- 
times occur in which this arrangement is reversed. 
When this happens, a corresponding reversion occurs 
in the position of all the other organs contained 
within the trunk of the body, the liver being upon 
the left side instead of the right, the heart transposed 
to the right side, and other corresponding changes oc- 


curring. We met a case of this kind a few years a^o 
in a young girl whom we were treating for scrofulous 
disease, whose heart we were led to examine by com- 
plaint of the occurrence of palpitation. After seeking 
in vain for the presence of the heart in its usual loca- 
tion, we were astonished to find it beating vigorously 
and without any evidence of disease, on the right side, 
several inches from its normal position. The idea 
has been suggested that this peculiarity is more likely 
to be present in left-handed people than in others, the 
disposition to use the left hand rather than the right 
growing out of the abnormal position of the internal 

The heart, like the alimentary canal, is at first a 
straight tube, which, by twisting around itself and 
undergoing various other changes by which it is di- 
vided by longitudinal and transverse partitions into 
four chambers, finally becomes developed into the 
heart as found in adults. 

The arms and legs are at first simply little buds 
projecting from the sides of the embryo. As they 
grow out, their tips are subdivided into rudimentary 
fingers and toes. Still further development results 
in the formation of joints and the various segments 
of the arms and legs. In different classes of lower 
animals, the developmental process seems to stop 
short at different stages. In the seal, the feet of 
which are webbed, development ceases when the sub- 
division of the original bud has occurred only in part. 
The same thing is observed sometimes in human be- 
ings, in which the fingers and toes are often found 


more or less united, in some eases being joined to 
their tips. In the walrus, the limbs consist of little 
more than a wrist and ankle, with fingers and toes at- 
tached. With animals a little higher in the scale, 
the limbs are a little more fully developed. Most 
quadrupeds possess knee and elbow joints. The 
lion, panther, and other members of the feline species 
have still more perfectly developed limbs, while in 
the highest apes the limbs are nearly as free in their 
movements as in human beings. 

As before remarked, we haA r e in the process of de- 
velopment of the human embryo types of all these pe- 
culiarities of structure observed as permanent condi- 
tions in the lower animals. The human embryo, dur- 
ing the earlier stages of its development, cannot be 
easily distinguished from the embryo of various 
lower animals. This is readily shown by the figures 
on Plate E, which show the resemblance between 
the embryo of the dog at four and six weeks and the 
human embryo at four and eight weeks, respectively, 
to be so close that a casual observer would pronounce 
them to be identical. It will be observed that at 
this early period of their existence human beings are 
furnished with caudal appendages, as well as lower 
animals. In later stages of development, this por- 
tion of the body gradually disappears, until in the 
mature human form it is represented by a mere ves- 
tige termed the coccyx. 

The formation of the iace in the embryo is a very 
interesting process. Like the abdominal and thoracic 
cavities, the cavities of the nose and mouth are formed 


by the closing together of folds or plates of tis- 
sue which project from the side and gradually ap- 
proach each other. When the process of closing to- 
gether is not quite complete, a deformity known as 
harelip results. If the deficiency affects the bony 
cells and soft tissues, an opening is left through the 
roof of the mouth, which is termed cleft-palate. 

Arrest of development may occur at any of the 
various stages of the process just described. This 
may involve the embryo as a whole or one or 
more parts only, while other parts are allowed to go 
on to full development. It is in this way that con- 
genital deformities arise. The causes of arrest of de- 
velopment are not very well understood. 

It should be mentioned in this connection that arrest 
of development or abnormal development, which also 
sometimes occurs, are the leading causes of those 
hideous creatures to which women sometimes give 
birth, known as monsters. The stories of females 
becoming pregnant by dogs and other animals, and 
giving birth to offspring resembling the supposed 
fathers, undoubtedly originated in the birth of mon- 
sters, which were like other human embryos during 
the first stages of development, but by an arrest of 
development are born with a resemblance to some 
lower animal. It is impossible for a human ovum to 
be fecundated by other than human spermatozoa. 

Hermaphrodites, or persons supposed to possess 
the sexual organs of both sexes, are, as a rule, simply 
cases of arrested or exaggerated development. In- 
stances are very rare in human beings in which both 


ovaries and testicles are found in the same individual, 
but numerous cases have been observed in which cer- 
tain parts of the sexual organs of the female were so 
abnormally developed as to produce a striking resem- 
blance to the organs of the male, and the reverse. 

Nourishment of the Embryo. — Soon after the 
segmentation of the ovum and the formation of layers 
of cells or membranes at its surface, that portion of it 
lying next to the uterine wall undergoes a peculiar 
development. Little vascular loops are formed which 
interlace with similar loops formed on the surface of 
the lining of the uterus. These loops become so 
closely united with each other that the blood-vessels 
of the ovum, which begin to form at a very early 
stage, and those of the uterus have only a very thin 
partition between their w r alls. Through this delicate 
membrane the nutritive fluids of the mother's blood 
pass readily into the ovum. After the circulation of 
the ovum is fully developed, the blood corpuscles of 
the mother and those of the embryo are by this ar- 
rangement allowed to come very close to each other 
without coming in actual contact. The blood corpus- 
cles of the mother never pass into the veins of the 
child, nor vice versa. If any such change did occur, it 
could be readily detected, as the blood corpuscles of 
the embryon are of a different size from those of the 
mother. The interchange of fluids between the em- 
bryo and the mother takes place very readily, how- 
ever, by means of the arrangement briefly described 
above, which is known as the placenta. 

As the embryo advances in development, it be- 


comes separated from the placenta, but retains con- 
nection with it by means of the umbilical cord, which 
contains two arteries and a vein. The arteries con- 
vey blood from the embryon, or foetus, to the placenta, 
from which it is returned by means of the veins. 
During the passage of the foetal blood through the 
placenta, it undergoes a double change, receiving 
from the blood of the mother nutritive elements by 
which the process of development may be maintained, 
and giving back to the mother's blood in exchange 
the impurities and excrementitious elements which 
have been derived from the foetus. This intimate 
association between the foetus and the mother through 
the blood explains the mysterious influence of the 
former upon the latter which has been before referred 
to. It is undoubtedly in this way that the impres- 
sions are made which give rise to the curious circum- 
stances previously mentioned, that the children by 
a second husband frequently resemble the former hus- 
band in both character and features. Experiments 
upon animals show that the mother may be affected 
even fatally by poisonous substances introduced into 
the body of the foetus. Cases are also frequent in 
which the mother contracts constitutional disease from 
a foetus which has inherited the same from its father. 
This is particularly true of syphilis. This relation of 
the circulation of the foetus with that of the mother 
also explains to some degree at least, the remarkable 
influence which is exerted upon the foetus by the 
physical and mental condition of the mother. 


Respiration of the Fcetus. — How the process of 
respiration could be carried on in the unborn infant 
was for a long time a matter of deep mystery, but it 
is now very well understood that the placenta is for 
the foetus an organ of respiration as well as of nutri- 
tion. The blood of the foetus is carried to the pla- 
centa through the umbilical arteries, charged with car- 
bonic acid gas, and coming into close proximity, in 
the placenta, with the blood of the mother, — which, 
through exposure to the air in the mother's lungs, 
has become charged with oxygen, — an interchange 
takes place, the carbonic acid gas being absorbed by 
the blood of the mother, and the oxygen by that of 
the foetus, so that the foetal blood returns in the um- 
bilical vein purified and oxygenated, just as the blood 
returns from the luncrs to the heart in the adult indi- 
vidua!. With this fact in view, it is unnecessary to 
suggest the importance of securing to the mother an 
abundant supply of fresh air, since she has to breathe 
for the foetus as well as for herself. This point will 
be dwelt upon more at length elsewhere. 

The Fcetal Pulse . — The action of the foetal heart 
can be distinctly heard through the abdominal walls 
of the mother, after the fourth or fifth month. In 
some cases the beating of the foetal heart has been 
traced as early as the end of the eleventh week. In 
order to observe the feeble sounds which are produced 
by the yet imperfectly developed heart of the foetus, 
the ear must be placed upon that portion of the ab- 
dominal wall directly over the heart. The point at 
which the sounds may be most easily distinguished 


in the majority of cases is a little to the left of the 
median line, about half way between the umbilicus 
and the symphysis pubis. The rate of the foetal 
pulse varies from 130 to 160 a, minute. 

A large number of observations have shown that 
the pulse of female infants is more rapid than that of 
males, so that this may be a means of distinguishing 
between male and female children before they are 
born. The average rate in females is about 144 per 
minute; in males, 131. 

Position and Condition of the Child in the 
Womb. — During the early months of gestation, the 
condition of the child varies considerably. As the 
end of pregnancy approaches, however, the position 
becomes more and more constant, and near the end 
of gestation, in the majority of cases, the position of 
the child in the womb is with the head downward, 
and the back forward and to the left, with the limbs 
in a state of flexion, as shown by reference to Fig. 1, 
Plate IX. . 

Amniotic Fluid. — In order to protect the delicate 
structures of the foetus from the unpleasant effect of 
sudden jars to which the mother is liable to be sub- 
jected, and for various .other apparent reasons, it is not 
made fast to the interior of the uterus, but floats, or 
rather is suspended, in a sac filled with fluid, which fills 
the whole of the interior of the distended womb not oc- 
cupied by the foetus. This fluid, known as the amni- 
otic fluid, or the " waters," varies considerably in quan- 
tity, sometimes being so abundant as to amount to 
dropsy, at other times being barely sufficient to 


answer the purpose for which it was designed. This 
fluid is very complex in its composition, at first resem- 
bling very closely the serum of the blood, but as 
pregnancy advances becoming more and more charged 
with excretory matters thrown off by the skin and 
kidneys of the foetus. 

Summary of Development. — The following is a 
concise summary of the process of development at 
different stages as given by Flint : - 

" At the third week the embryon is from two to 
three lines in length. This is about the earliest pe- 
riod at which measurements have been taken in the 
normal state. 

" At the seventh week, the embryon measures 
about nine lines ; points of ossification have appeared 
in the clavicle and lower jaw ; the wolffian bodies 
are large ; the pedicle of the umbilical vesicle is very 
much reduced in size ; the internal organs of genera- 
tion have just appeared ; the liver is of large size ; 
the lungs present several lobules. 

" At the eighth week, the embryon is from ten to 
fifteen lines in length. The lungs begin to receive a 
small quantity of blood from the pulmonary arteries ; 
the external organs of generation have appeared, but 
it is difficult to determine the sex; the abdominal 
walls haA r e closed over in front. 

" At the third month, the embryon is from two to 
two and a half inches long and weighs about one 
ounce. The amniotic fluid is then more abundant in 
proportion to the size of the embryon than at any 
other period. The umbilical cord begins to be 


twisted; the various glandular organs of the abdo- 
men appear ; the pupillary membrane is formed ; the 
limitation of the placenta has become distinct. At 
this time, the upper portion of the embryon is rela- 
tively much larger than the lower portion. 

" At the end of the fourth month, the embryon be- 
comes the foetus. It is then from four to five inches 
long and weighs about five ounces. The muscles be- 
gin to manifest contractility ; the eyes, mouth, and 
nose are closed ; the gall-bladder is just developed ; 
the fontanelles and sutures are wide. 

"At the fifth month, the foetus is from nine to 
twelve inches long and weighs from five to nine 
ounces. The hair begins to appear on the head ; the 
liver begins to secrete bile, and the meconium appears 
in the intestinal canal ; the amnion is in contact with 
the chorion. 

" At the sixth month, the foetus is from eleven to 
fourteen inches long and weighs from one and a half 
to two pounds. If the foetus be delivered at this 
time, life may continue for a few moments ; the bones 
of the head are ossified, but the fontanelles and sut- 
ures are still wide ; the prepuce has appeared ; the 
testicles have not descended. 

" At the seventh month, the foetus is from four- 
teen to fifteen inches long and weighs from two to 
three pounds ; the hairs are longer and darker ; the 
pupillary membrane disappears, undergoing atrophy 
from the center to the periphery ; the relative quan- 
tity of the amniotic fluid is diminished, and the foetus 
is not so free in the cavity of the uterus. The foetus 
is now viable. 8 


" At the eighth month, the foetus is from fifteen 
to sixteen inches long and weighs from three to four 
pounds. The eyelids are opened, and the cornea is 
transparent ; the umbilicus is at about the middle of 
the body, the relative size of the lower extremities 
having increased. 

" At the ninth month, the foetus is about seven- 
teen inches long and weighs from five to six pounds. 
Both testicles have usually descended, but the tunica 
vaginalis still communicates with the peritoneal cav- 

" At birth, the infant weighs a little more than 
seven pounds, the usual range being from four to ten 
pounds, though these limits are sometimes exceeded." 

We have known instances in which infants have 
weighed scarcely more than three pounds at birth, 
and yet have attained normal development afterward, 
though requiring great care during the first few weeks 
of life. Prof. Carpenter, of London, in his human 
physiology refers to a case in which the weight at 
birth was but one pound. At three and a half years 
the weight had increased to about 30 pounds. 

Length of Gestation. — The length of time re- 
quired for the development of the young sufficiently 
to enable them to exist outside the body of the 
mother differs greatly in different classes of animals. 
In the horse the period of gestation is 335 days, 
while the rabbit matures its young in the brief period 
of 30 days. In the cow about 280 days are required. 
In the human female, the period intervening be- 
tween conception and birth is about forty weeks or 


ten lunar months. The exact length of the period in 
an individual case cannot always be determined on 
account of the difficulty of fixing the exact date of 
conception; but in those instances in which the cir- 
cumstances have been such as to render the fixing of 
the date of conception accurately, it has been found 
to vary little from 275 to 280 days. 

The period of gestation is frequently somewhat 
shorter than this, many children being born from four 
to six weeks before the usual time. If the period of 
gestation is shorter than seven months, the foetus 
w T ill not be sufficiently developed to live. Infants 
born before the full term of gestation require especial 
care and the most careful nursing, and those born be- 
fore the completion of the seventh month very sel- 
dom survive birth more than a few days. The period 
of gestation is sometimes extended two or three 
weeks beyond the end of the tenth month. Cases 
have been reported in which the period has been 
much longer than this, but they are not considered 

Quickening . — The term quickening is applied to 
the time when the mother for the first time becomes 
conscious of the movements of the foetus within the 
womb. This was formerly believed to be caused by 
the sudden descent of the foetus from the uterus into 
the pelvic cavity, but it is now well known to be 
produced by the movements of the limbs of the child 
when they come in contact with the walls of the 

This is generally felt about the beginning of the 


fifth calendar month from the beginning of pregnancy, 
or about the middle of gestation. There is no doubt 
but that the limbs of the foetus move often and quite 
vigorously before this period, but they are not felt 
by the mother on account of the fact that not until 
about this time does the uterus become sufficiently 
enlarged to bring its walls in direct contact with the 
walls of the abdomen. The body of the uterus con- 
tains very few sensory nerve fibres, those being dis- 
tributed in its neck, and it is only after the uterus 
comes in contact with the abdominal wall so that the 
shock of the foetal movements is communicated to 
the latter tissue, which abounds in sensory fibres, that 
the mother becomes conscious of the activity of the 
developing embryo. These movements sometimes be- 
come so vigorous as to give the mother absolute pain 
so as to cause her to cry out in agony. They are the 
result of a vigorous kicking action on the part of the 

The period of quickening was formerly considered 
one of great importance, but is now looked upon as of 
very little significance except as forming positive evi- 
dence of the existence of pregnancy. The idea that 
at this time the foetus first becomes possessed of indi- 
vidual life was long since exploded, and the laws re- 
lating to criminal abortion which were based on this 
ancient notion ought to have been repealed at least 
half a century ago. As we have before shown, indi- 
vidual life begins at the moment of fecundation, and 
whatever rights the developing being may possess af- 
ter the period of quickening, it certainly possesses be- 


Changes in the System of the Mother During 
Gestation. — While the remarkable changes previously 
described are occurring within the body of the mother, 
it would certainly be very remarkable if some change 
did not occur in the system at large in some small 
degree, at least, commensurate in character. As a 
general rule, the mother's attention is first called to 
her condition by the fact that the usual monthly 
sickness does not occur at the proper time, or, if it 
does occur at all, the discharge is so slight as to be 
hardly appreciable. There are cases, however, in 
which menstruation occurs several times after con- 
ception takes place, and in occasional instances, the 
periodical discharge goes on during the whole period 
of gestation. After a few weeks, in many instances, 
general symptoms, affecting the nervous system 
chiefly, make their appearance. After a short time, 
the increase in size of the lower portion of the ab- 
domen becomes apparent. The latter symptom of 
course increases rapidly as pregnancy advances. 

During pregnancy, a change more or less marked 
takes place in the organic nervous system, the nerve 
centers having charge of the function of nutrition tak- 
ing on unusual activity, so that the blood-making and 
tissue-building processes are carried on much more 
vigorously than usual. It is owing to this fact that 
many women enjoy better health during pregnancy 
than at any other time. 

The development of the muscular tissue of the 
uterus as it increases in size has been already referred 
to, as well as the great increase in number and size 


of the uterine blood-vessels. The veins of the uterus 
sometimes become so enormously distended that the 
blood in passing through them produces a sound 
somewhat similar to that produced by the passage of 
blood through an aneurism. This is known as the 
uterine souffle or bruit, which is one of the signs by 
which a pregnant condition is distinguished. 

During the period of development of the foetus, 
preparatory to its exit into the external world, cer- 
tain parts of the reproductive system of the mother 
are also undergoing preparation for this same event. 
In the normal condition of the vagina and the ex- 
ternal organs of generation, child-birth would be im- 
possible, as the soft parts would not admit of the 
enormous distension required for the passage of the 
head and pelvis of the child. During the later 
months of pregnancy, these parts undergo certain de- 
velopmental changes by which they are prepared for 
the ordeal to which they are to be subjected. The 
walls of the vagina become relaxed and thickened and 
the canal shortened. The external parts also undergo 
a similar relaxation. The secretions are greatly in- 
creased in quantity, and the tissues formerly firm and 
rigid become soft and distensible. 

In addition to the changes above noted which 
usually occur, marked mental and nervous disturb- 
ances are sometimes present during pregnancy. 
These cannot be considered perfectly normal, how- 
ever, and hence will more properly receive attention 
elsewhere in this work. 


Extra-Uterine Pregnancy. — As previously inti- 
mated, the ovum is sometimes fecundated at the surface 
of the ovary, and for some reason does not reach its 
proper position in the uterus before becoming fixed and 
beginning development. It is well known that full de- 
velopment may take place in other situations than the 
uterine cavity. This is known as extra-uterine preg- 
nancy. When the ovum after fecundation falls into the 
cavity of the abdomen and becomes attached to some 
portion of its lining membrane, there undergoing devel- 
opment, the case is known as one of abdominal preg- 
nancy. If the ovum lodges in the fallopian tubes and 
there undergoes development, which is sometimes the 
case, we have what is termed tubal pregnancy. Re- 
cent investigations have also shown that in occasional 
instances the ovum when fecundated at the ovary may 
never leave its original situation, but may undergo 
fecundation there, constituting ovarian pregnancy. 
The course of pregnancy in these cases is very simi- 
lar to that when the ovum is lodged in its normal 
position. The subsequent dangers to the life of the 
foetus and of the mother which necessarily arise be- 
fore the termination of gestation will be considered 
elsewhere, together with the symptoms by which 
these abnormal varieties of pregnancy may be known. 

Parturition. — At the end of gestation, certain 
causes, the exact nature of which is not fully under- 
stood, give rise to the beginning of a process by which 
the foetus is expelled from the womb where it has 
been protected during the process of development. 
It is probable that the occasion of this action on the 


part of the womb is some change in the foetus or its 
connections with the uterus by which the latter is led 
to treat its contents, which it has heretofore tolerated 
with the greatest impunity, as a foreign body which 
must be expelled. The contractions of the uterus 
cause a slight separation of the placenta from its 
walls, which greatly increases as the contractions con- 
tinue. The membranes, pressing upon the lower 
portion of the uterine cavity cause gradual dilation 
of the cervix. After a time, the membranes rup- 
ture, and the amniotic fluid is discharged, allow- 
ing the head to come in contact with the neck of 
the womb. With each pain, the head of the child, 
in normal child-birth, is pressed down more and more 
vigorously until it is finally expelled from the uterus 
and shortly afterward from the vagina, making its 
exit into the world. The separation of the pla- 
centa of course causes a laceration of the blood- 
vessels by which it is connected with the uterus. 
This would occasion profuse hemorrhage, which might 
prove fatal in a few moments, were it not for the fact 
that the same contraction which occasions separation 
of the placenta also closes the mouths of the lacerated 
vessels. It sometimes happens that the uterus fails 
to contract, particularly after the placenta is separated, 
allowing the greatly dilated blood-vessels to remain 
fully distended, thus giving rise to a most alarming 
hemorrhage, which not infrequently occasions death 
in a very short time if the proper measures are not 
promptly applied. 


Involution. — Directly after the child is born, the 
placenta and the membranes by which the foetus was 
invested in the uterus, known as the after-birth, are 
also expelled, and the act of parturition is complete. 
In four to six days, seldom later than a week, after 
child-birth, an examination of the uterus will show 
that it has undergone a very great reduction in size. 
This process, known as involution, continues until it 
is reduced to very nearly its size when in a non-im- 
pregnated state, although it never becomes quite as 
small as before. The muscular fibres, which have 
been enormously hypertrophied, undergo fatty degen- 
eration, and are absorbed. A new membrane is soon 
formed to take the place of the old one which was 
thrown off at child-birth with the placenta, and by 
the end of the second month, the process is complete. 
A discharge usually follows child-birth, and continues 
from one to three weeks, which is composed of bloody 
serum mixed with disintegrated portions of membranes 
and blood-clots from the cavity of the uterus, and is 
termed the lochia. 

Changes in the Child at Birth. — At the moment 
of birth, a remarkable change takes place in the sys- 
tem of the new-born infant. Previous to this time, 
its lungs have been wholly inactive, the process of 
respiration being performed by the placenta. In or- 
der to carry on the processes of respiration, purifica- 
tion, and nutrition, all of which functions have been 
performed by the aid of the placenta, a pecul- 
iar arrangement of the circulatory system has 
been necessary, two arteries and a large vein 


passing between the body of the foetus and the pla- 
centa. When the placenta is separated from the uter- 
ine walls, the circulation in the blood-vessels of the 
cord at once ceases. Instantly, an accumulation of car- 
bonic acid begins, and if some other means for the pu- 
rification of the blood from this poison were not pro- 
vided, death would occur within a few moments. 
Just at this critical epoch, the lungs are brought into 
action. Stimulated by the impending danger to the 
system of the infant, or by contact of the body with 
the external air, or by some other means not under- 
stood, the lungs begin their important function. This 
is not of course fully performed at once ; time is re- 
quired for the lungs to become fully expanded and 
able to do their whole duty in the elimination of oar- 
bonic acid gas and the absorption of oxygen. Fortu- 
nately, the delicate skin of the infant, which is abun- 
dantly supplied with blood-vessels, possesses the abil- 
ity to transmit oxygen and carbonic acid gas, and is 
able to supplement the excretory action of the lungs 
to a very considerable degree. It is on this account, 
as well as for other reasons, that it is of the highest 
importance that the young infant should be kept for 
some time at as nearly as possible the same tempera- 
ture as that to which it has previous to its birth been 
accustomed, or about 100° F., since the effect of cold 
on the skin will be to cause contraction of the blood- 
vessels, and so prevent it from doing its part in the 
breathing process. It is not necessary that the tem- 
perature of the room should be 100° provided the in- 
fant is properly clothed; but the room should be 15° 


to 20° higher than is necessary for adults, for the 
first few days after birth. 

In the adult, the blood is obliged to pass through 
a double circuit in order to complete its tour of the 
body. Starting from the left side of the heart, it is 
distributed through the arteries, gathered up by the 
veins, and returned to the right side of the heart, 
completing the first circle or first half of its double 
circuit. From the right side of the heart, — or, in some 
of the lower animals, the right heart, the two halves 
being distinct organs, — it is sent to the lungs, and 
thence through the pulmonary veins to the left side, 
its starting point. In the foetal condition, as the 
lungs are not distended with air, little blood passes 
through them from the right side of the heart to 
the left side, so that some other provision is necessary 
to enable the blood to complete its round. The in- 
genious arrangement which nature has made for this 
purpose is a valve-like opening in the partition be- 
tween the right and left sides of the heart which 
allows the blood to pass from the right side into 
the left side, but does not allow a movement in 
the opposite direction. This is known as the fora- 
men ovale. This opening is placed in such a position 
that the current of nearly pure blood that is brought 
into the right auricle from the ascending vena cava 
passes directly from it without mingling to any great 
extent with the impure blood which is present in the 
right auricle, and enters the left auricle, from which it 
passes to the left ventricle, and is thence carried to 
the head, arms,, and upper part of the body. An- 


other peculiar arrangement in the circulation of the 
foetus is the connection between the pulmonary artery 
and the aorta by which the greater portion of the 
blood which would pass through the lungs if they 
were in action, takes a short cut through the duct 
provided for the purpose to the aorta, which it enters 
below the openings of the arteries which supply blood 
to the upper part of the body. This blood con- 
sists chiefly of the venous blood returned from the 
upper part of the trunk. It thus appears that the 
upper part of the body of the foetus is provided with 
pure blood or that which is nearly pure, containing 
but a slight admixture of venous blood, while that 
supplied to the lower portion of the body is much less 
pure in character, being almost wholly venous blood. 
This fact is given as an explanation of the inferior 
development of the lower portion of the body at birth, 
the legs and feet being much less perfectly devel- 
oped than the arms and hands in the newly born child. 

At birth, or soon after, this peculiar course in the 
circulation of the child is interrupted by the closure 
of the foramen ovale and the duct communicating be- 
tween the pulmonary artery and the aorta. It occa- 
sionally happens, however, that these openings re- 
main unclosed, in consequence of which arterial and 
venous blood continue to mingle as before birth, 
giving the child a bluish appearance, a condition 
termed cyanosis, or blue disease. 

Development of the Body after Birth. — At birth, 
the infantile human being has by no means arrived 
at a state of complete development. The organs 


of the special sense, sight, hearing, and taste, as well 
as the olfactory sense and the sense of touch, are 
dull, and the degree of intelligence is small, much 
less than in the young of many of the lower animals. 
The development of the lower extremities is very 
much inferior to that of the rest of the body, while 
the head is very large in proportion. The following 
table, showing the difference in proportion of the va- 
rious parts of the body to the whole, in the foetus and 
the adults, is interesting : — 




[ght of the entire body, 

- 1000.00 




- 148.00 



liver, - 







', a 




, a 

thyroid gland, 



> a 

thymus gland, 



The arms and legs are curved upward and for- 
ward ; the chest, abdomen, and all the joints are in a 
semi-flexed position. The curve of the lower extrem- 
ities causes the soles of the feet to look toward each 
other instead of as in adults. 

During the first few weeks of its existence, the 
little creature does little more than eat and sleep. 
Its actions are almost wholly if not entirely, auto- 
matic or reflex in character. The movements of the 
hands and feet as well as the act of suckling and un- 
doubtedly also the contortions of the face and its fre- 
quent cries, are in no sense volitionary. 

The remains of the umbilical cord begin to wither 


within twenty-four hours after birth, and by the 
third day are usually completely dried, after which 
ulceration takes place at the point of connection with 
the body by which it is separated and thrown off by 
the end of the first week. In ten or twelve days the 
raAV surface left by the separation of the cord should 
be entirely healed. 

A short time after birth, the hair is shed and re- 
placed by a new growth. This change involves the 
eye-lashes and minute hairs of the body as well as 
the head of the infant. In fact, according to Kol- 
liker, a very acute observer, the entire cuticle of the 
new-born infant is shed and replaced by a new epi- 
dermic covering. The fontaneUes, or soft spaces be- 
tween the unossified portions of the cranial bones, 
gradually diminish in size, and at the age of four 
years are almost completely closed. 

The teeth of the infant are at birth very imper- 
fectly developed, and wholly concealed in little 
pockets beneath the gums. They are twenty in 
number, consisting of two incisors, one canine tooth 
and two molars, on each side of each jaw. The fully 
formed teeth make their eruption from the gums in 
the following order : The two central incisors, or cut- 
ting teeth, in the seventh month after birth; the 
other two incisors in the eighth month ; the first 
molars at the end of the year; the cuspid teeth, 
commonly known as the eye-teeth in the upper jaw 
and the stomach-teeth in the lower jaw, at a year and 
a half, the second molars which complete the set, not 
making their appearance until the end of the second 


This set of teeth is commonly known as the tem- 
porary or " milk " teeth. They are retained until the 
seventh year, during which a change begins to take 
place by which they are thrown off and replaced by a 
permanent set, which differ considerably in shape and 
size as w T ell as in number from the first set. The 
first permanent tooth which makes its appearance is 
the anterior molar tooth which emerges from the 
gum just behind the second temporary molar. This 
fact should be borne in mind, as this tooth is some- 
times mistaken as belonging to the first or the tem- 
porary set, since it usually makes its appearance be- 
fore any of the other teeth are shed, or at the age of 
about six and one-half years. At the end of the 
seventh year, the temporary teeth begin to give way 
to the permanent teeth in nearly the same order in 
which they made their appearance in the jaw. First 
the two middle incisors are shed ; next the lateral in- 
cisors about one year later. Within the next two 
years, the two molars are replaced by the two bicus- 
pids of the permanent set. One year later, the sec- 
ond permanent molars make their appearance, and 
between the seventeenth and twenty-first years the 
wisdom-teeth appear at the extreme end of the gum, 
making thirty-two teeth in all in the adult. 

At the age of about fifteen years, a change known 
as puberty occurs in both sexes, the nature of which 
is more fully considered elsewhere. 

After the attainment of puberty, the physical de- 
velopment continues, not being perfected until near 
the twenty-fifth year, when the ossification of the 


bones is completed. The development of the brain 
continues for some years later, not being completed 
until near the fortieth year. 

With the cessation of growth and the attainment 
of maturity, the vital forces of the system are no 
longer expended in the processes of development, 
and hence the various organs of the body are able to 
manifest their functions more energetically and con- 
tinuously than during early life. At this period the 
processes of assimilation and disintegration are -just 
in proportion to the amount of work done. 

After a period, the length of which largely de- 
pends upon the habits and inherited tendencies of the 
individual, the period of decline begins. This may be 
either lengthened or abbreviated in a very large de- 
gree by each individual. A person who "lives too 
fast," will certainly reach the time when the various 
vital functions begin to fail much sooner than one 
who by temperate living and careful conformance to 
the laws of nature conserves and economizes his vital 
energies. The average length of human life is less 
than forty years, although many facts and considera- 
tions go to show very conclusively that human life 
would be prolonged to one hundred years, or even 
greater age, if human beings would strictly adhere to 
the natural order of life. 

The Little Girl, 

S infants, little girls and little boys begin 
life very much alike. Aside from the 
physical differences between the two, the 
distinguishing characteristics are not marked 
at first, but the period of earliest infancy 
is scarcely passed before marked points of 
difference begin to make their appearance. 
These are in part due to inherited pecul- 
iarities of disposition; but we are led 
to believe from considerable observation 
that many of these differences are more largely 
the result of education than of inheritance. The toys 
presented to the girl-baby for her amusement differ 
radically from those furnished the little boy. She 
learns to love dolls and tiny cradles, miniature china 
sets, and similar toys, simply because they are first 
presented to her in such a way as to attract her at- 
tention. Not only in the selection of toys, but in al- 
most every other particular the little girl is treated 
differently from the little boy. The latter is expected 
to become a strong, vigorous man, able to hold his 
own in the battle of life, and is treated with a sort of 
respect which is inspired by the anticipation of what 
he is to become. The little girl, on the other hand, 

9 [117] 


is looked upon as destined to fill an inferior place, — 
she is to be " only a woman/' and is treated as a toy, 
petted, kissed, admired as a pretty thing, talked to in 
a simpering manner, and every way treated quite dif- 
ferently from her little brother. The result of these 
different modes of treatment is to cause the little boy 
and little girl to become more and more unlike during 
the wdiole period of development. 

Under such circumstances, it is not surprising 
that the tastes of boys and girls are so totally different, 
and that a casual observer in comparing mature or 
half developed human beings of the two sexes should 
be led to believe that the differences between the two 
sexes are radical and fundamental, — that woman is 
" the weaker vessel," and by nature destined to fill a 
very subordinate place in the social scheme. We do 
not deny that there are mental as well as physical 
differences between the sexes, neither do we dispute 
the position that the work for which the average 
woman is naturally fitted differs from that for which 
the average man is best adapted ; but we thoroughly 
believe that the great differences in adaptation which 
are observed between man and woman, are largely the 
result of perverting influences acting upon woman 
from earliest infancy, the effect of which is to make 
her mentally and physically the inferior of man. 
Against these perverting influences we protest. There 
is no reason why little girls should not be treated 
during the first years of infancy exactly the same as 
little boys ; their physical demands are precisely the 
same ; until near the period of puberty the physical 
development of the two sexes run parallel. 


— . 

We regard the popular method of treating little 
girls as not only senseless but criminal. In case a 
girl is born of healthy parents, who are well developed 
mentally, morally, and physically, she loses a large 
portion of her precious inheritance by the depraving 
processes to which, in obedience to the dictates of 
fashion, she is subjected almost from the moment her 
sex is ascertained. Now and then it happens that 
a girl-baby's parents are poor and outside the pale of 
fashionable influence, by which fortunate circumstance 
she grows up under more favorable influences ; and in 
a large share of these cases it may be noticed that the 
girl differs far less from the boy than when brought 
up under the usual influences. 

The little girl of fashionable parents is kept in the 
house, dressed up like a little doll, and is taught that 
she must keep still like a little lady, that she must 
keep out of the sun, never run out of doors bare- 
footed, and must try to ape her fashionable mother in 
every possible manner. Her clothes are so fine that 
she must never venture near the dirt, and must 
devote her whole time to playing mother with her 
dolls, or sitting bolt upright in a high chair with her 
hands folded while her mother receives company. 
Starting out in life under such a regimen, while the 
mind is plastic and just beginning its development, 
and the whole organization is in the highest degree 
susceptible to impressions, is it any wonder that the 
delicate, rosy tint of health soon gives way to sallow- 
ness, or that the blooming cheeks become pale and 
faded, and that the mind becomes dwarfed and shal- 


: * — 

Early Training. — As just intimated, the influences 
to which the little girl is subjected in early childhood, 
often in earliest infancy, are of the greatest conse- 
quence. The mind is at this period in the highest 
degree impressible. The infantile brain is soft and 
almost semi-fluid in its texture. The skull and 
coverings of the brain have acquired little of that 
density and firmness which they exhibit in later years. 
The brain may be molded into almost any shape. 
Deficient organs may be developed, exaggerated ones 
may be repressed by proper training : and it is equally 
possible by improper training to destroy utterly its 
symmetry by dwarfing well-developed and valuable 
faculties, and obliterating desirable traits of character, 
while developing those which are in the highest 
degree undesirable. 

Education should begin with the earliest dawn of 
reason. The first evidences of mental activity on the 
part of the child should be watched for and met in 
such a manner as to insure a healthy development. 
It is possible, by giving careful attention to all the 
surroundings of the infant, and bestowing care upon 
every act in relation to it, on the part of the mother, 
to give direction to the development of its dawning 
mind, and thus to do much toward forming the 

One of the most reprehensible of all perverting 
processes to which the minds of children are exposed, 
is the practice of talking " baby-talk" to them. 
Sometimes it requires years for individuals to unlearn 
the bad habits of pronunciation which they acquired 


by this absurd practice, which also leads children 
to form bad habits of thought and expression. 
Those who have the care of children ought ever to 
bear in mind the fact that the perceptive faculties of 
small children are very active. As a rule, these little 
ones are in the highest degree imitative ; every look, 
gesture, action of the nurse or mother, is followed 
with the closest scrutiny. Whatever is brought be- 
fore the attention of the little one makes an image 
upon its soft and forming brain which is pretty sure 
to be reproduced, more or less modified, sometime in 
its future history. The nursery ought to be consid- 
ered a sacred place ; nothing perverting in its ten- 
dency should ever be allowed to enter its doors. The 
building of a brain, the formation of a character, is a 
work with which that of the most skillful sculptor 
cannot for a moment compare ; yet how little atten- 
tion is given to this important work. Children — 
little boys as well as little girls — are allowed to come 
up without any attempt to give proper or natural di- 
rection to their development. 

A matter of great importance to the little girls and 
little boys alike is that they should be early taught 
to think. Women as a class are dependent. The ma- 
jority of women want some one to do their thinking 
for them. Little girls should be taught to think by 
bringing objects calculated to stimulate thought to 
their attention, and by stimulating inquiry by care- 
fully and patiently answering all their questions, and 
putting to them such questions as will call out thought 
and encourage further inquiry. This work, properly 


done, will accomplish more toward the molding of 
character and the developing of valuable mental quali- 
ties in the first four or five years of life, than can be 
accomplished by the most skillful training' during any 
subsequent period. The kinder-garten is a most ad- 
mirable institution which may be made the means of 
imparting most valuable instruction. A large amount 
of useful knowledge may be impressed upon the mind 
in such a manner that it cannot be forgotten, by the 
methods employed in the kinder-garten. Moral as 
well as mental culture may be imparted in this way. 
We have been greatly pleased with the recent effort 
to employ the kinder-garten as a means of impressing 
on the young mind the truths of temperance. We 
believe that here is a wide field of usefulness for this 
new educational system, and have no doubt that un- 
der the wise and inspiring influence of such talented 
and enthusiastic workers in the temperance cause as 
Miss Willard, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Hunt, and others 
whom we might name, this agency will be made a 
means of incalculable good to the rising generation, 
especially in our large cities. 

School Education. — When the little girl reaches 
an age at which it is thought proper to send her to 
school, other depraving influences are brought to bear 
upon her. While there has been great improve- 
ment in methods of education within the last quarter 
of a century, it is still an unfortunate fact that the 
school-life of the young, boys as well as girls, is to a 
large degree perverting in its character. Little ones 
are made to learn by rote. Instruction is imparted 


in such a way that they are led to acquire knowledge 
very much like little parrots, and without much 
greater appreciation of what they learn. Little at- 
tention is given to the natural order in which the 
mental faculties should be developed, or the natural 
means by which young children acquire knowledge. 
A routine method is followed, the effect of which is 
to extinguish, to a large extent, the naturalness of 
those who are subjected to it. Reforms are in prog- 
ress, however, and we trust the day is not far distant 
when school instruction will be made much more in 
conformity to the healthy development of the mind 
than at present. 

Moral Culture of Children.— The cultivation of 
the moral faculties of the child cannot be begun too 
early. Depraving influences are so abundant and so 
certain to be brought in contact with the little one at 
a very early period in its existence, that the attempt 
to fortify the mind against such influences cannot be 
begun at too early a date. It is of the greatest im- 
portance that while the minds of children are yet im- 
pressible, such images of truth and purity should be 
formed upon them as cannot be easily effaced. Chil- 
dren ought early to be taught to love the right be- 
cause it is right. The instinct of fear should seldom 
be appealed to, and never when such an appeal can be 
avoided. The dignity of truth, the nobility of purity, 
and reverence for nature and the God of nature, 
should be held up before the young mind as the high- 
est possible incentives for right doing. A moral 
character founded upon such a basis will not be dis- 


turbed by the " winds of doctrine " or the waves of 
unbelief; it is founded upon a rock which cannot be 

Senile Manners. — A most alarming, and, we may 
almost say, disgusting feature of the modern fash- 
ionable mode of bringing up children, is the encour- 
agement which is given to the formation of senile 
manners. The question has been very pertinently 
asked, " What has become of all the little girls?" It 
certainly is not often now-a-days that we see a genuine 
little girl. There are plenty of little creatures dressed 
in such a marvelous manner that even a zoologist 
might be puzzled to determine the species to which 
they belong, but there is very little in these fanci- 
fully dressed specimens, these human dolls, which 
should characterize the ideal little girl. A talented 
and observing lady has in the following words drawn 
a true picture of the contrast between the real and 
the artificial little girl : — 

" In former times, a pretty muslin bonnet, or a 
simple, close-fitting cottage straw, was thought the 
most appropriate covering for a little head, protecting 
the bright eyes from too intense light, and shielding 
the rosy cheeks from the sun's too fervid kisses. 
But now we see something placed on the sunny 
curls, leaving eyes and cheeks entirely unprotected, 
which is elaborately trimmed with bows, feathers, a 
flower-garden, or perhaps a mingling of both ; for al- 
though it is too small for even a good-sized doll, the 
milliner, with an ingenuity which would have been 
praise-worthy if exercised in a more sensible manner, 


has contrived to pile up trimming enough to hide 
even the faintest suspicion of a bonnet. But what is 
sadder than the lack of true taste and good common 
sense in this stylish affair, we see no semblance of 
child-like simplicity in the wearer. And the bonnet 
is but the beginning of this unfortunate change which 
we mourn. The pretty " baby waist" the plain white 
dress, the neat muslin or merino, so appropriate, 
which little girls used to wear, are supplanted by in- 
comprehensible garments, the fac-simile of the grand- 
dame's attire, flounces, fringes, bows, and double- 
skirts looped and festooned in an astounding manner, 
the child's — no, we mean the young lady's height, 
there are no children in these days — is less than her 
circumference, and the "mite" who is made to carry 
such an incongruous burden', totters about on high- 
heeled boots. This tiny specimen of womanhood, 
hardly weaned from her mother's breast, or more prob- 
ably, a wet-nurse's, shakes out her redundant robes, 
bending and twisting her small body in grotesque imi- 
tation of the woman spoken of by the prophet Isaiah 
" with haughty mien ; walking and mincing as they 
go." See how the little ape looks over her shoulders, 
as she tottles about, to be sure that her skirts give 
her dress and figure the correct wiggle her sharp eyes 
have observed in the stylish mother and her fashion- 
able friends. It is lamentable that all the simplicity 
and beauty of babyhood and childhood should be de- 
stroyed by fashion. 

" Added to the absurdity of the dress, these little 
women attempt to discourse on the ' latest style.' 


With their companions or dolls you will hear them 
imitating the discussions on this subject that they 
daily hear in the parlor or nursery from their mother ; 
or still imitating with contemptuous toss of their lit- 
tle heads, they will inform their listeners that they 
6 could n't think of 'sociating with those girls, because 
they are not stylish ! ' 

" A few day since, as we passed out of a store on 
Broadway, our attention was arrested by the conver- 
sation of two little figures seated in a fine carriage, 
waiting, doubtless, for mamma to finish her shopping. 
They were dressed in a style positively overwhelm- 
ing. Their hats were wonders of skill, their gloves 
had the orthodox number of buttons with bracelets 
over them, a dainty handkerchief suspended from a 
ring attached by a chain to another ring on the little 
doll-like fingers. The dress was simply indescribable. 
The elder was speaking to the younger, who, scarcely 
more than a baby, sat demurely by her side. ' Oh, 
mercy ! just look at that horrid little girl who is 
crossing the street ! She has no hoops on, and not a 
single flounce — no trimming at all on her dress ! And, 
oh ! see her gloves ! — why, she has only one button ! 
Pshaw ! she's nobody — not a bit of style ! ' 

" The youngest lisped a reply, which we lost as 
we passed on; but it was painful to think of the 
training they must have received which enabled them 
at that early age to judge a child of their own years 
so quickly by the rules of fashionable dress, and be- 
cause her attire was not in exact accordance with 
that week's style, turn from her with contempt as 
something too low for their notice.' 1 


The above description of the fashionable little girl 
of to-day is not overdrawn ; yet how few parents re- 
alize the dangers into which they are themselves lead- 
ing their little daughters in fostering and stimulating 
this sad and unnatural inclination ! 

This terribly pernicious tendency is wholly the 
fault of the parents, who little realize. the mischievous 
work they are doing, the sad harvest they are pre- 
paring to reap in later years. They are rearing their 
children like house-plants, forcing them to an unnat- 
ural growth, the result of which must be an early de- 
cay. As soon as exposed to the storms of adversity 
they must quickly wither and fall. 

Juvenile Parties. — Nothing could be more pain- 
ful than the descriptions which we sometimes read in 
the papers, of children's parties. Some of them 
would be appropriate objects of ridicule, were it not 
for the painful disclosures they make of weakness 
and wickedness on the part of the parents and de- 
pravity on the part of their children. Some time ago 
a New York paper gave a graphic description of a 
children's party in Brooklyn. The writer told '" of 
ravishing costumes of silks and satins and laces in 
most delicate and fashionable shades, all in the high- 
est style of the modiste's art ; of flashing diamonds 
and milky pearls in tiny ears and on slender necks ; 
of six-buttoned white kid gloves on lilliputian hands, 
barred with massive bracelets of ' the real stuff,' as 
one midget of nine years proudly asserted ; of twink- 
ling feet encased in French boots matching the 
dresses in color ; of dazzling lights and fragrant flow- 
ers ; of bewitching music and circling dances ; of 


flirtations and a midnight supper with its indigesti- 
bles, its ices, and its wines." 

Such parties are not confined to Brooklyn nor to 
the large cities ; we hear of them in all parts of the 
country, and their legitimate result is seen in the 
petty insubordination of children not yet in their 
teens, in juvenile flirtations which result in elope- 
ments of boys and girls, are in all sorts of social 

The natural simplicity and sincerity of childhood 
is a precious trait which should be fostered and pre- 
served. Hypocrisy and sham, notwithstanding their 
prevalence in the fashionable society of the day, are 
always distasteful to a person of pure mind and un- 
perverted instincts, but never so much so as when 
exhibited in children. Genuineness of character has 
come to be a rare trait to both old and young. The lit- 
tle girl does not reach her teens, scarcely, in fact, learns 
to talk, before she begins to acquire the art of trying 
to appear somewhat different than she is, imitating 
the example of her elders, who possibly imagine that 
their shoddy gentility passes for the genuine article, 
when in fact they are the laughing-stock of all their 

The Clothing of Little Girls. —As a rule, moth- 
ers exercise excellent sense in the clothing of their 
little boys : their limbs are warmly clad, their feet 
protected from the cold, and their garments are so 
constructed as to allow freedom of motion to their 
limbs. Thus protected, they are usually allowed to 
romp and play in the open air, gathering health and 
strength, and laying the foundation of a constitution 


which will be able to bear the wear and tear of later 
years. Why should not little girls be as comfortably 
and sensibly clothed as little boys ? Why should 
fashion insist that the " weaker vessel," even in her 
tenderest years, should be clothed in such a manner 
as would be considered culpable neglect on the part 
of the mother if the child were a boy instead of a 
girl? How often have we seen fashionable mothers 
leading along the street shivering little girls whose 
lower extremities were so thinly clad as to be scarcely 
protected from the gaze of the passers-by, to say 
nothing of the piercing winds' against which the 
mother was protected, at least in part, by her long 
skirts, thick boots, woolen stockings, warm drawers, 
and leggins. The upper portion of the body is usu- 
ally protected by furs, warm cloaks, and mittens or 
muff, but not infrequently we have seen little ones 
trotting along beside their mothers with their little 
limbs plainly in sight, blue and pinched by the cold, 
— their short skirts no protection to the portion of 
the leg below the knee, and the thin drawers that 
scarcely met the top of the stocking no adequate 
protection for the limbs. The stockings, too, are 
often of the thinnest material to allow the wearing of 
as small a shoe as possible. 

Is it any wonder that these little ones so often 
sicken and die ? Who knows how many consump- 
tions originate in colds contracted by these exposures 
in early childhood ? This style of dressing is without 
doubt responsible for the great share of croups, diph- 
therias, and other throat and bronchial troubles to 
which children are subject in early life. Diseases of 


the lungs and air-passages are vastly more frequent 
in young children than in older persons; and we 
doubt not that the culpable carelessness and senseless 
obedience to fashion in the manner of clothing them 
is in a large degree responsible. In more than one in- 
stance we have known mothers called to mourn the 
death of their beloved little ones when we very well 
knew that the responsibility was their own. The 
minister offered consolation in the thought that the 
ways of Providence were mysterious, and that perhaps 
the good Father had taken the little one to himself 
for some wise purpose which eternity might reveal. 
Possibly the mother accepted the consolation with the 
thought that the little one was really better off, being 
delivered from all the trials and hardships of life and 
safe with reference to the future. We confess to have 
felt our indignation roused when hearing such senti- 
ments as these expressed. Providence has nothing 
to do with the killing of little children. Fashion is 
the modern Herod that slaughters the brightest, fair- 
est, and most promising of our little ones without 
compunction. Little girls seem to be her favorite 
victims. Children have a right to live, to develop, 
to enjoy this life as well as the next. In fact we can 
scarcely understand how the true fullness of joy can 
be reached in the next world in any other way than 
through the experience afforded in this. There are joys 
and legitimate pleasures and happiness in this world 
which make the present life well worth living. We in- 
sist that girls as well as boys have an inalienable right 
to live, and the mother who sacrifices the life of her 
child by bending her kuee to the goddess of fashion 


is as culpable as she who commits her little one to 
the merciless waves of the Ganges, or dashes it be- 
neath the cruel wheels of Juggernaut. 

The little girl should be so clad that every portion 
of her body will be thoroughly protected. The arms 
and limbs should be as well protected as the trunk. 
In order to secure this equable protection of the body, 
the undergarments should be made in one piece, that 
is, the chemise and drawers should be united. The 
undergarments should be of flannel, the best material 
for children's wear at all seasons of the year, thick 
flannel being worn in the winter, and in the summer 
time the thinnest woolen fabrics, if the weather is 
very hot. Children often complain that flannel irri- 
tates their sensitive skins. This difficulty can be ob- 
viated by wearing thin gauze suits underneath the 
flannel garment. The stockings should always be of 
wool except in very warm weather. They should 
never be supported by garters, but should be sus- 
pended from the shoulders by means of elastic straps 
either passing over the shoulders or attached to the 

In cold weather, high boots with thick soles should 
be worn, and should be supplemented with warm, knit 
leggins extending above the knees. 

Short-sleeved and low-necked dresses are fortun- 
ately just now out of style, so we need not say much 
with reference to this abominable mode of dressing 
children which has been so long in vogue. It must 
have a passing notice, however, as the fickle dame 
may soon return to her old folly, and insist that the 
arms and bosoms of children shall be exposed at all 


seasons of the year regardless of the pernicious effect 
of such exposure upon their delicate constitutions. 
The upper part of the trunk contains the heart and 
lungs, — two of the most important vital organs. 
Chilling of this portion of the body is certain to 
result disastrously to health. There is no doubt 
that many of the weakly, sickly, consumptive girls 
of the present generation owe their feeble condition 
to the low-necked, short-sleeved dresses which they 
wore in childhood. 

We are glad to know that mothers are becoming 
more sensible in this matter. It is now not an un- 
common thing to see upon the streets a little girl who 
is warmly and sensibly clad. We hope that this 
course on the part of some mothers will be con- 
tagious, so that we may have a thorough-going revo- 
lution in the dress of little girls. 

Stays, corsets, and French heels are instruments 
of torture to which no intelligent mother will subject 
her growing daughter. The idea that the clothing of 
the little girl must be so constructed as to " develop 
a nice form " is an intolerable reproach on the Creator. 
It is a rare thing now-a-clays, at least in large cities, to 
find a young lady who can walk in an easy, graceful 
manner. The stiff, unnatural, mincing gait of the 
fashionable young lady is not so much an affectation 
as a necessity with her. Her physical development 
has been so sadly deformed by the unnatural compres- 
sion of the waist with stays or corsets, by the curving 
of the spine through the wearing of shoes with high 
heels placed under the instep instead of under the 
heel, and by various other deforming processes, that 


an easy, natural, graceful bearing is as impossible for 
her as for a man with heavy manacles upon his ankles. 
She struts or wriggles and minces along in the most 
ridiculous fashion, not because she desires to do so, 
but because it is impossible for her to walk in any other 
way. But we will not delay longer upon this pnint 
here, as it will be more fully considered hereafter. 

A point of primary importance in regard to the 
clothing of children which mothers should ever bear 
in mind is the fact that frequent changes are necessi- 
tated by the almost constant changes of temperature 
in this climate. The weather of a temperate climate 
is always subject to changes which will be recognized, 
and should be as far as possible anticipated, by the 
careful mother. Children possess very little power 
to resist the influence of cold or heat. Their vital 
functions, while very active, are more easily disturbed 
than those of older people, hence they are more sus- 
ceptible to injury from change of weather than older 
persons. Mothers should be constantly on the look- 
out for changes which may involve the life of their 
little ones. The fashion of putting on flannel under- 
garments at the beginning of the cold season of the 
year, and putting them off again in the beginning of 
spring, is a pernicious one. There is no time of year 
when flannel clothing is more imperiously required 
than in the cool, damp days of spring and the occa- 
sional cool days in summer. Clothing should be ad- 
justed to the weather of each day independently. In 
the winter time, an unusually cold day demands an ad- 
ditional supply of clothing. In the summer time, an 

unusually hot day may require an opposite change of 



garments. In the spring and autumn, particularly 
when the weather is very changeable, it may be nec- 
essary to change the clothing two or three times a 
day in order to meet the exigencies of the weather. 

Children should never be allowed to suffer for 
the want of a change of this kind simply because 
the needed garment has been soiled or must be saved 
for Sunday wear, or for any other trivial reason. If 
a child cannot be properly clothed, it should be sent 
to bed and kept there until the proper garments can 
be provided for it. The excuse w r hich mothers often 
make for carelessness in this particular, " that they 
have been too busy " to make the necessary garments 
for the little one who has outgrown its old clothing, 
is no justification for such neglect ; and it will gener- 
ally be found that the required time has been worse 
than wasted in the preparation of unwholesome dishes 
which will have no other influence than to deprave 
the tastes and undermine the health of the husband 
and child, or in the entertainment of fashionable 
friends who are themselves squandering valuable time 
which belongs properly to their children, in the dis- 
cussion of the latest fashions or the most recent 

The clothing of the child at night is also a matter 
of importance. As a rule, flannel night-gowns should 
be worn, as by this means the little one avoids the 
chill often given by coming in contact with cotton or 
linen sheets, and is better protected from the chilly 
night air if, as is often the case, it becomes uncovered 
in the night by the displacement of the bed covers 
through its restlessness. 


Exercise. — The idea that little girls must be kept 
in the house and never allowed to romp and play out 
of doors as do their brothers, is productive of a vast 
amount of mischief to health. There is no more rea- 
son why little girls should be treated this way than 
for the treatment of little boys in the same manner. 
As previously remarked, during the first years of 
their existence until the approach of puberty, girls 
and boys are very much alike in their physical develop- 
ment, and there is no reason why they should not re- 
ceive very much the same treatment. The muscles 
and bones cannot be developed in any other way than 
by physical exercise, and this cannot well be done 
with the proper freedom elsewhere than in the open 
air. The play-room or family gymnasium is an ex- 
cellent thing for use on rainy days and in inclement 
weather ; but there is no means by which a good foun- 
dation for physical health and a normal development 
can be so well laid as by abundant exercise in the 
open air. The disposition which most healthy little 
girls exhibit to romp and play with their little broth- 
ers should not be repressed unless carried to great 
excess. A little girl with the steady and sober man- 
ners of an old person, while often pointed out as a 
model of decorum, is really a monstrosity. Such a 
girl lacks something in her mental or moral composi- 
tion, and will be likely to be still more lacking in the 
physical endurance requisite to meet the emergencies 
of mature womanhood, which can only be secured by 
proper development of the physical organism in child- 
hood and early youth. 

Girls as well as boys should be early taught to be 


useful. In many kinds of work they may find the 
most healthful of all kinds of exercise. The various 
movements required in the process of "putting a 
room in order," clearing off the table, washing or wip- 
ing dishes, running errands, replenishing the fire, and 
in various other household duties, afford almost as 
good an opportunity for the exercise and develop- 
ment of muscles as the most complicated maneuvers 
of systematic calisthenics in a gymnasium. For girls 
who do not have an opportunity to engage in light 
household duties, gymnastic exercises of various 
sorts, a few of which are shown, on Plate XI, are ex- 
ceedingly useful, and should be employed daily. 
Every family ought to have its gymnasium, where its 
little ones can find ample opportunity for healthful 
exercise in all weathers and at all seasons of the year. 

Little girls should be early taught the dignity of 
work. They should be made to understand that their 
lives, if successful, must be lives of usefulness. 
Nothing can be more damaging to the mental and 
moral development of a little girl than the common 
custom of making her a household pet. We do not 
say that children should not receive kind attentions 
from older persons, and be made to see that they are 
beloved and respected by their superiors ; but the 
common habit of humoring and petting children, es- 
pecially little girls, is in the highest degree detrimen- 
tal to their proper development and usefulness in fut- 
ure life. 

Another common custom, very damaging in char- 
acter, is that of " coddling" little children. Very care- 
ful mothers, in their anxiety for their daughters, 


frequently keep them too close in-doors, hovering 
about the fire, or pent up in furnace-heated rooms 
from which the vivifying air of heaven and the re- 
viving sunshine are rigorously excluded. Such chil- 
dren grow up like sickly plants in a cellar or a coal- 
mine. It is no wonder that their cheeks are pale, 
their lips bloodless, their eyes lusterless or lighted by 
an unearthly brightness, and their constitutions so 
weak as to be the easy prey of disease. We do not 
advise that children should be exposed in a careless 
or unreasonable manner, but they should be inured 
to exposure sufficiently to prevent an unnatural sus- 
ceptibility to injury from slight changes. The man 
who obliged his child to run through the ice and 
snow of winter with unprotected feet, carried this 
idea to a very great extreme ; but the danger to the 
lives and health of children through such extreme 
and cruel treatment is by no means so great as that 
incurred by the mode of treatment to which children 
are often subjected by their over-anxious mothers. 

Rest and Sleep. — Children require much more 
sleep than older people. An infant does little more 
during the first weeks of its existence than to eat and 
sleep. This is very natural, since the greater part of 
the process of growth and repair takes place during 
the hours of sleep. During the waking hours the 
vital functions are occupied in the expenditure of en- 
ergy through the activity of the muscular and nerv- 
ous systems ; but during sleep, these activities cease, 
and processes of growth and repair are carried on 
with great vigor. This is true to some extent with 
plants as well as animals. During the day, the plant 


is occupied with receiving food and elaborating it into 
nutritive materials by which its sap is enriched, and 
during the night the new material received through 
the day is organized into cells and formed into the 
tissues of the growing plant. It is of great impor- 
tance then that children should be allowed ample time 
for sleep. For a child eight or ten years of age, ten 
hours of sleep is none too much. Children should be 
taught to go early to bed and should not be awakened 
in the morning so long as they are sleeping soundly, 
but a child should never be allowed to lie long in bed 
after waking. 

Great care should be taken that the children's 
conditions during sleep shall be such as are conducive 
to health. The sleeping room should be well ven- 
tilated. The vital activities of children are very 
great, and they throw off from their bodies in a given 
time a much larger proportion of organic impurities 
than do older persons. Hence, the same provision 
for a supply of fresh air should be made for a child 
as for an adult. The air of the sleeping apartment 
should be so changed that it cannot acquire the pecul- 
iar fusty odor by which such apartments are gener- 
ally characterized, and which, although not observa- 
ble to the inmates while occupying them, is readily 
detected by a person coming in from the fresh air 

Care should also be taken that children are warmly 
covered at night. Violent colds are frequently con- 
tracted by children in consequence of insufficient cov- 
ering during sleep. The sleep of children is so sound 
that the little one will not be awakened by a degree 


of cold which would readily awaken an older person 
sleeping less soundly. Changes of temperature at 
night often result seriously to a child which may have 
been properly covered at bed-time but is not protected 
from the greater degree of cold to which it is sub- 
jected during a subsequent portion of the night. To 
provide against such emergencies, an extra cover 
should always be provided at hand, and during sea- 
sons of the year when sudden changes are liable to 
take place at night, young children should be looked 
after at least once during the night to see that they 
are properly covered. Children are also frequently 
restless through dreams, usually the result of indiges- 
tion, late suppers, or the irritation of worms. This 
also necessitates their being looked after during the 
night to re-adjust displaced clothing. 

Equal care should be exercised to avoid covering 
the child too warmly. As a rule, heavy " quilts " 
should not be used as coverings for children, and in- 
deed it would be better to avoid their use as bed- 
coverings altogether. Woolen blankets are far more 
healthful, since they furnish an equal degree of warmth 
with much less weight than the old-fashioned comfort- 

The nature of the material on which the child lies, 
as well as that with which it is covered, is also a mat- 
ter of importance. We advise that feathers be dis- 
carded altogether. They are objectionable on many 
accounts. Their animal origin gives them in a high 
degree the property of absorption, so that they read- 
ily take up and retain the exhalations of the body and 
whatever impurities may be brought in contact with 


them. It is true that feathers may be renovated, 
but this process is seldom resorted to more than once 
a year, and frequently the feather-bed passes down un- 
cleansed from generation to generation, adding yearly 
to its accumulation of impurities. The susceptible 
systems of children may be readily injured by con- 
tact with this source of impurities. We well recollect 
when a child, visiting away from home, having been 
made very sick upon several occasions by being put 
to bed on one of these reservoirs of filth. Feathers 
are also objectionable on account of their heating 
property. The body settles into the yielding mass 
in such a way as to be half buried in it. Feathers 
are very poor conductors of heat, and consequently 
a child, if none too warm when first put to bed, by 
the accumulation of heat is very certain to become 
very warm after an hour or two. Perspiration being 
induced, the little one becomes restless, and kicks off 
the covering, exposing itself to the cold air, which 
suddenly checks perspiration, thus occasioning a se- 
vere cold. 

A word should be said respecting the sleeping of 
children with older people. We have ho faith in the 
popular notion that one person may attract vitality 
from another in a mysterious way, and would not sug- 
gest that children may be injured from any such 
cause. We have no idea that any injury whatever 
can come to a child from sleeping with a healthy 
adult; but the susceptible constitutions of children 
may be injured by sleeping with an invalid or an 
elderly person with enfeebled constitution, through 
the absorption of effete materials thrown off by its 


invalid or aged and infirm companion. The custom 
of placing a child between two adult persons is one 
which should be condemned. A child so circum- 
stanced is often in the highest degree uncomfortable. 
If the face of each of its companions happens to be 
turned toward it, it may have to lie for hours breath- 
ing air grossly contaminated by the exhalations of its 
bed-fellows. Very often, also, a child sleeping with 
elder persons becomes covered with the bed-clothing 
in such a way that it breathes over and over the air 
charged with the products of its own respiration and 
the exhalations of its companions. Death not infre- 
quently results in this way. Sometimes, also, in the 
case of small infants, death has resulted by the little 
one being " overlaid " by one of its parents, most fre- 
quently the mother. 

We also object to children of the opposite sex 
sleeping together, at least after the very earliest years 
of infancy are passed. We have in mind examples 
where children of both sexes have been injured for 
life by promiscuous sleeping. It is very seldom that 
little girls are allowed to sleep with older brothers, 
but the contrary arrangement is a very frequent 
custom, and should be condemned. Children who are 
properly brought up will seldom be afraid to .sleep 
alone. The infant may be accustomed to sleeping by 
itself from its earliest childhood, and if it is never in- 
jured by frightful stories of ghosts and hobgoblins, it 
will never think of being afraid of the dark, or con- 
sider a bed companion necessary. 

Diet. — The health of children is to a much greater 
degree dependent upon their food than is generally 


supposed. The popular notion seems to be that little 
ones should be allowed to eat what they crave and 
whenever they please. This is a very mischievous 
practice, and results in weakening their digestive or- 
gans at a very early age. Candies, nuts, sweet-meats, 
and " knick-knacks " generally, are exceedingly harm- 
ful, and should never be allowed children at any age. 
Their digestive organs are not as strong as those of 
older persons, and will not bear the amount of abuse 
which those of their parents endure with impunity. 

The diet of children should be simple in character. 
It should consist chiefly of fruits and grains with 
plenty of milk. Eggs should be sparingly used and 
meat would better be discarded altogether. Condi- 
ments, such as pepper, vinegar, pepper-sauce, mustard, 
and other stimulating articles of diet, should be wholly 
interdicted. The use of tea and coffee is another 
practice which should be discountenanced in the 
young as well as in older persons. The use of stim- 
ulating articles of diet not only weakens the digestive 
organs, but develops those parts of the system which 
would better be restrained. 

Fine flour bread is another aiticle of diet the gen- 
eral use of which has been in the highest degree det- 
rimental to children by interfering with their normal 
development. Grain from which the coarse parts 
have been removed does not contain the requisite 
amount of bone and muscle building material. Such 
food is fattening, but not strengthening. Graham 
bread, cracked wheat, oatmeal, and other whole-meal 
preparations, are in the highest degree wholesome, 
and are especially adapted to the wants of the grow- 


ing child. The taste of these articles, if not nat- 
urally possessed by the child, should be early culti- 

A child brought up on " knick-knacks " is never a 
healthy child. The large use of sweets is sure to re- 
sult in some sort of dyspepsia sooner or later. Can- 
dies should be discarded altogether, not only as 
furnishing an unnecessary amount of saccharine mate- 
rial, but on account of the fact that they contain many 
injurious articles employed for flavoring and coloring 
purposes. The public should also know that such a 
thing as pure candy, that is, candy made from genuine 
cane-sugar, does not exist. Candy is universally 
adulterated. Glucose, or " corn-sugar," is almost ex- 
clusively used in the manufacture of all kinds of 

The habit of eating fruits, nuts, sweet-meats, etc., 
between meals, is in the highest degree pernicious 
and detrimental to the health of the child. When it 
is considered how universal is the custom of allowing 
children to indulge in sweet-meats, pastry, and tidbits 
of every description without restraint, it is not to be 
wondered at that infantile dyspeptics are becoming 
exceedingly common. Great regularity in meals 
should be observed from the very beginning of infant 
life. After the first month of infancy, the child 
should be strictly confined to three regular meals a 
day, and the last meal should not be taken less than 
two and one-half hours before retiring. The child 
should not be allowed to taste a mouthful between 
meals. The habit of eating between meals when 
early acquired, becomes as inveterate and difficult to 


break as that of tobacco-using or liquor-drinking. A 
short time ago, we heard a confirmed dyspeptic con- 
fess that he had experienced greater difficulty in 
breaking off the habit of taking sugar between meals 
than in discontinuing the use of tobacco, although he 
had been an inveterate user of the weed for years. 

Regular Habits. — A variety of diseases very 
grave and sometimes incurable in character arise from 
the habit of inattention to the call of nature to re- 
lieve the bowels and bladder. The habit of inatten- 
tion to this important duty to the body is often formed 
in early childhood. This is the case especially with 
girls. Mothers ought to give attention to this matter 
and instruct their daughters respecting the impor- 
tance of regularly relieving the bowels and bladder at 
certain times each day. The call of nature should 
never be resisted or delayed a moment when such 
delay can be avoided. The inactive condition of the 
bowels, and the irritable state of the bladder which 
often result from the violation of this simple rule of 
health are not infrequently the means of inducing ab- 
normal excitement in the genital organs which may 
result in the formation of habits most deplorable in 
their character and consequences. 

Vicious Habits. — Many mothers are wholly ig- 
norant of the almost universal prevalence of se- 
cret vice, or self-abuse, among the young. It is ex- 
ceedingly common among girls as well as boys. The 
nature of this vice is such that it may be acquired 
and continued months and even years, possibly dur- 
ing the greater part of a life-time, without its exist- 
ence being suspected by those who are not skilled 


in its detection. We have met scores of such cases 
in which it was impossible to convince the doting 
mother that her daughter could be guilty of such an 
offense, although the marks of vice were too plain to 
be mistaken. A careful study of this too prevalent 
vice and a wide opportunity for observation have con- 
vinced us that this is one of the great causes of the 
large increase of nervous diseases and diseases pecul- 
iar to the sex, which has been so marked among wo- 
men during the last half century. A pungent writer 
who has devoted himself almost exclusively to the 
treatment of the diseases of females, asks pertinently : 
" Why hesitate to say firmly and without quibble that 
personal abuse lies at the root of much of the feeble- 
ness, paleness, nervousness, and good-for-nothingness 
of the entire community ? " 

Within the last ten years we have examined and 
treated for various local ailments the cases of sev- 
eral thousand women of various ages, and more often 
than we have dared to declare have we found convinc- 
ing evidence that the foundation of the disease from 
which the patient was suffering had been laid in vi- 
cious habits acquired in early childhood. 

This vice is not confined to any one class of so- 
ciety : it penetrates all classes. Those whose social 
surroundings have been such that they would be 
least suspected, are frequently found to be among its 
most abject victims. Too little attention has been 
given to this matter. Certain writers have taken the 
position that the prevalence of the vice has been 
greatly exaggerated as well as its bad effects, which 
has had a tendency to lull to sleep parents who 


might otherwise have realized the dangers with 
which their daughters as well as their sons were 

Mothers place their daughters in boarding schools 
which enjoy a good reputation as successful and re- 
spectable schools, and imagine that they are safe ; 
when their associations are such that if they escape 
contamination with this foul vice it is to be regarded 
as almost a miracle. It is not to be supposed that all 
girls are corrupt, or that most of those who are the 
inmates of boarding schools are so ; but it is scarcely 
possible that a large number of girls can be brought 
together without including at least a few who have 
been corrupted by this evil habit ; and one or two of 
these emissaries of evil are sufficient to contaminate 
any number of others. 

Teachers as well as parents ought to inform them- 
selves on this subject so that they may be prepared 
to rescue those who may have become enslaved, and 
protect those whose innocence has not yet been 

Effects of Solitary Vice in Girls. — The victim 
of this evil habit is certain to suffer sooner or later 
the penalty which nature invariably inflicts upon 
those who transgress her laws. Every law of nature 
is enforced by an inexorable penalty. This is em- 
phatically true respecting the laws which relate to 
the sexual organs. The infliction of the penalty 
may be somewhat delayed, but it will surely come, 
sooner or later. The girl who begins the habit in 
early childhood will scarcely escape great suffering 
from some form of sexual disorder as she approaches 


womanhood, at the period of puberty, and her suffer- 
ings will not end here. All through life the penalty 
of unlawful transgression will be visited upon her. 
If she becomes a wife and mother, the perils incident 
to that condition will be vastly increased. 

In the majority of cases, the effects of secret vice 
soon begin to manifest themselves in a variety of 
ways which are easily recognized by the experienced 
physician, and may often be detected by others. How 
often have we seen little girls who at the age of five 
or six years were pictures of blooming health, with 
faces indicative of purity and all the elements which 
when developed contribute to the formation of perfect 
womanhood, — how often, we say, have we seen such 
lovely little ones fading away under the influence of 
some terrible blight of the nature of which their 
friends were wholly ignorant. From month to month 
we have seen the roses leave their cheeks, the lustre 
depart from their eyes, the elasticity from their step, 
the glow of health and purity from their faces, while 
with the gradual departure, one by one, of their 
charms, came, instead, the convincing evidences of the 
vicious habit, undermining both their constitution and 
their character, and working devastation which the 
lapse of long years could not efface. The mother 
often notices these changes in her daughter with 
other changes which we might mention, and wonders 
what can be the cause for such remarkable evidences 
of deterioration. Perhaps it is attributed to some 
trivial cause which has had little or no influence in 
effecting the change, but the real cause is usually 
overlooked. As a rule, mothers will not believe it 


possible that their daughters can be guilty of a 
vice which they are forced to believe is common 
enough among the daughters of their friends, and 
often cannot be induced to institute a thorough-going 
investigation, when the need of it is plainly evident 
to an unbiased observer. 

Wide observation has convinced us that a great 
many of the back-aches, side-aches, and other aches 
and pains of which girls complain, are attributable to 
this injurious habit. Tenderness of the spine, giving 
rise to grave fears of spinal disease, is not an infre- 
quent result. Much of the nervousness, hysteria, 
neuralgia, and general worthlessness of the girls of 
the rising generation, originates in this cause alone. 
The pale cheeks, hollow eyes, expressionless counte- 
nances, and languid air of many school-girls, which 
are likely to be attributed to overstudy, are due to 
this one cause. We know of no means by which the 
vitality can be so quickly lowered and the very 
foundations of the constitution sapped, as by this. 
The continuance of the habit for only a few years is 
sufficient to lay the foundation for suffering through 
the whole future life. 

The period of puberty is one at which thousands 
of girls break down in health. One great cause of 
this alarming decline at this period is undoubtedly 
that which we have mentioned. At this time un- 
usual demands are made on the system ; and the con- 
stitution, already weakened by a debilitating, debas- 
ing vice, is not prepared for the unusual strain, and 
the poor victim drops into a premature grave. In 
most of these cases, the sadden failure is attributed 


to overwork, overstudy, a slight exposure, or some 
other cause by no means sufficient to account for 
the observed results. 

Signs of Self - Abuse in Girls. — Mothers should 
always be on the alert to detect the first evidences of 
this vice in their daughters. It is especially impor- 
tant that it should be detected at the start, as the 
habit when once formed so completely subjects its 
victim as to make escape well-nigh impossible. It 
fastens its fetters so firmly that, in some instances, 
nothing but almighty power seems competent to loosen 
its grasp. It is by no means easy to detect the 
habit in those who are addicted to it. The evidences 
may be such as to convince the watchful mother or 
experienced physicians, but it will be necessary in 
most cases to obtain undoubted evidences of the ex- 
istence of the habit before it can be broken up. 
Girls will almost uniformly deny very emphatically 
that they are addicted to the vice, when they are 
truthful on every other subject. We have found 
this to be the case much more frequently with girls 
than with boys. Hence, it requires the greatest 
care and watchfulness in most cases to obtain such 
evidence of the vice as will render mistake impossible. 
The only positive evidence is, of course, detection of 
the child in the act. If the child is observed to 
visit some secluded spot daily or more or less fre- 
quently, or to be much alone, avoiding the company 
of other girls of her age, her actions should be care- 
fully watched, and means taken to detect her in the 
act. The habit is often pursued at night after retir- 
ing, or in the morning after awakening, before getting 



up. Not infrequently we have known children to be 
pursuing this soul-and-body-destroying vice while 
their parents supposed them to be quietly slumbering 
in healthy innocence. Children sometimes feign 
sleep to afford them an opportunity to practice this 
vile but fascinating indulgence. A suspected child 
should be watched under all circumstances with un- 
ceasing vigilance. 

It is not enough to have such a child under ob- 
servation in a general way. A most vigilant surveil- 
lance must be kept up constantly, and during the 
night as well as during the day. No dependence can 
be placed upon the statements made by the victims 
of this vice, for the moral nature soon becomes de- 
praved to such a degree that conscience is easily si- 

Aside from positive evidence, there are other 
signs which may well give rise to suspicion which 
may lead to the discovery of positive evidence. 
These may be enumerated as follows : — 

1. A sudden, marked decline in health. A change 
of this kind in a girl who has previously been healthy 
and has been subject to no influences adequate to 
produce such a change may well be regarded with 
suspicion and should be closely watched. Mothers 
will often find upon a careful investigation of such 
cases a depth of depravity for which they are wholly 

2. A marked change in disposition is frequently 
the result of this same cause. When a girl who has 
formerly been truth" 1 !, happy, obliging, gentle, and 
confiding, becomes wh. 'n a short period of time 


peevish, irritable, morose, disobedient, and restrained 
in her manner, it is evident that she is under the in- 
fluence of some foul blight, and the one which we 
have described is the one of all others the most fre- 
quent. Such a change in disposition should arouse 
the mother's most earnest solicitude and lead to a 
thorough investigation of the habits of the child. 

3. Loss of memory and of the love for study is a 
very frequent result of this enervating habit. The 
nervous forces are weakened and the vitality lowered 
to such a degree that the natural energy and vivacity 
are destroyed, giving place to mental weakness and 

4. Unnatural boldness in a little girl who has 
previously been retiring and reserved, if not bashful, 
is evidence of some deep-seated cause which affects 
the character, and is just ground for the suspicion of 
secret vice. 

5. A forward or loose manner in company with 
little boys is suspicious conduct, especially in one 
who has previously shown no disposition of this sort. 
Girls addicted to this habit usually show an unnatural 
fondness for the society of little boys, and not infre- 
quently are guilty of the most wanton conduct. 

6. Languor and lassitude appearing in a little girl 
who has previously possessed a marked degree of 
activity and energy, should give rise to earnest solici- 
tude on the part of the mother for the physical and 
moral condition of her child. 

7. An unnatural appetite is another indication of 
the existence of this habit. This peculiarity is 
manifested in a great variety of ways. Sometimes 


children will show an excessive fondness for mus- 
tard, pepper, vinegar, spices, and other stimulat- 
ing condiments. Little girls who are very fond of 
cloves and desire to be always eating them are likely 
to be depraved in other respects. Such girls are also 
often very fond of eating clay, slate, chalk, charcoal, 
and other indigestible substances. We have met 
persons who were in the habit of eating large quanti- 
ties of these articles daily. 

8. The presence of leucorrhoea in a young girl ac- 
companied by a relaxed condition of the vagina, is 
presumptive evidence of the existence of this vice, if 
there is no other cause to which this unnatural con- 
dition can be attributed. We have met girls who 
had scarcely entered their teens in whom the relaxa- 
tion was almost as great as if they had been the 
mothers of children. This condition very readily re- 
sults from the practice of self-abuse, which occasions 
a frequently recurring congestion of the parts, to- 
gether with the mechanical irritation accompanying 
the habit. 

9. Ulceration about the roots of the nails, espe- 
cially affecting one or both of the first two fingers of 
the hand, usually the right hand, is an evidence of 
the habit which depends upon the one just mentioned, 
the irritation of the fingers being occasioned by the 
acrid vaginal discharge. 

10. Biting the finger-nails is a habit, which, when 
very marked, may be regarded with some degree of 
suspicion. The irritation of the fingers which gives 
rise to the habit, growing out of the irritable condi- 
tion of the nails described in the preceding paragraph. 


11. The expression of the eyes often betrays to 
the careful observer the existence of this deteriorat- 
ing vice. The blank, dull, lustreless, expressionless 
eye, surrounded by a dark ring, habitually given to 
staring into vacancy, frequently tells the tale of sin 
which its possessor vainly imagines to be unknown to 
any but herself. 

12. Palpitation of the heart, hysteria, nervous- 
ness, St. Vitus' dance, epilepsy, and other marked 
nervous symptoms occurring in children who have 
been previously healthy and have been subject to no 
other causes adequate to produce such results, are 
good grounds for suspicion. Incontinence of urine, 
giving rise to wetting the bed, is a common result of 
masturbation, and when present calls for careful inves- 
tigation of the habits of the child. 

It should be remarked that none of the above- 
mentioned suspicious signs when taken alone is suffi- 
cient evidence to warrant the conviction of a girl of 
this soul-destroying vice, but several taken together 
may form a chain of evidence sufficiently strong to be 
considered positive. 

Evil Associations. — It is well that mothers 
should thoroughly inform themselves respecting the 
various channels through which their daughters may 
become contaminated. The majority of mothers are 
either sadly ignorant of the dangers to which their 
daughters are exposed, or are asleep with reference to 
them. We earnestly desire to say something that 
will arouse mothers from their apathy respecting the 
dangers that their daughters are subject to almost 
from early infancy. 



That " evil communications corrupt good manners " 
is as true at the present day as when the words were 
penned by the inspired writer. The vice to which 
we have called attention is almost always acquired 
through the influence of evil associations. On this 
account, mothers should be exceedingly careful of the 
associations of their daughters. Little girls should 
never be allowed to go away to spend the night or to 
sleep with other girls, either of their own age or much 
older, whose characters are not known to be above 
suspicion. Many times persons who would not be 
suspected of such a crime, are in fact not only guilty 
of the vice themselves, but ready to lead others to 
the same degradation. Servant-girls often teach the 
habit to young children as a means of quieting them. 
Girls not infrequently learn the habit in school. 
There is probably not a public school in the land 
where there are not one or more instructors in this 
debasing vice. Sometimes vile boys, taking advan- 
tage of the unsuspecting innocence and simplicity of 
girls of tender years, give them their first lessons in 
this most degrading vice. 

In a case which came under our observation a few 
years ago a little girl, naturally bright and unusually 
attractive and intelligent, had become the victim of 
this soul-and-body-destroying habit, which had brought 
on a serious nervous disease that threatened to de- 
stroy both body and mind before she had reached 
the age of ten years. Her first instruction was re- 
ceived from a hoary-headed fiend in human shape who 
had enticed her to a secluded place, and there intro- 
duced her to all the nastiness which his depraved and 


sensual nature could devise. That a mature human 
being could ever descend to such immeasurable depths 
of infamy as this, is almost beyond belief; yet the 
facts are too well attested to be doubted. 

Mothers cannot be too careful of the associations 
of their little daughters. Often those who would be 
least suspected of such wickedness are the agents of 
sin who will instruct their innocent little ones in this 
debasing habit. Trust no one not known to be pure. 
Keep your little girls under your own roof until you 
are sure that their characters are sufficiently well- 
formed to resist the encroachments of evil. Build 
up bulwarks against vice by developing the pure and 
the good in their dispositions and repressing evil ten- 
dencies. The first impure thought instilled into a 
child's mind is usually the source of all the subse- 
quent ruin. A prurient curiosity is excited which 
craves satisfaction, and will not rest until the de- 
sired information is obtained. Thus the evil seed 
germinates and develops, and in due time, under ordi- 
nary circumstances, brings forth an abundant crop of 
impure ideas which fill Jtlie mind and result in impure 
acts. A child whose mind has been contaminated by 
evil communications may be rescued, but cannot be 
restored to the innocence which when once lost is 
gone forever. A scar will always remain which can- 
not be effaced. -Our observation has been that the 
cases of vicious depravity in young women are almost 
exclusively confined to those whose minds have been 
corrupted in early childhood so that their evil ten- 
dencies have grown and strengthened with their 
years. This fact accounts for the great difficulty of 


reforming young women who have once fully entered 
upon a life of shame. 

Bad Books. — By bad books we do not mean those 
included under the head of obscene literature. The 
active efforts of Mr. Anthony Comstock for several 
years past have resulted in the suppression of the 
greater part if not the whole of this class of literature, 
but Ave refer to a class of books not generally recog- 
nized as so very bad in character. Mr. Comstock 
has only succeeded in suppressing the publication of 
those works which are ostensibly vile in character 
and vicious in purpose. In this he has done a most 
excellent work, and his labors have undoubtedly 
resulted in saving thousands of young men and women 
from ruin ; but there is a large and groAving class of 
literature which his efforts do not and cannot reach. 
We refer to books written by men and women whose 
sole object is gain, and who do not hesitate to 
introduce in one way or another ideas which tend in 
exactly the same direction as the class of books 
which are pronounced illegal, and are suppressed 
wherever found by authorized agents of the govern- 
ment. Often these prurient, sensual ideas are pre- 
sented in the* most refined and elegant language, and 
interwoven with other thoughts which may be in 
themselves elevating, in such a manner that the 
intent of the writer may be wholly disguised to 
many persons, and the real character of the book not 
discoverable without the most careful scrutiny, by a^ 
person whose taste is unvitiated by familiarity with 
vice, and whose intuitions are in harmony with what 
is pure and ennobling in character. 


It is not always the direct object of these writers 
to corrupt the morals of their readers. They recog- 
nize the fact, however, that a very large class of read- 
ers have an intense relish for works which give here 
and there hints of dark intrigues, illicit amours, and 
other manifestations of sensuality, and introduce this 
class of ideas as a sort of spice by which to render 
their productions palatable to the depraved taste of a 
large proportion of the novel-reading public of the 
present day. Never was there a time when books 
were so plentiful or cheap as now. The competition 
of great publishing houses has brought books of every 
sort within the reach of persons of all classes, and a 
dime to-day will buy more reading-matter than a dol- 
lar half a century ago. 

Within a generation, a special class of literature 
has sprung up known by the general term of " Sun- 
day-school books." The supposed characteristics of 
these books are wholesome thought, freedom from im- 
moral tendencies, and the inculcation of pure and ele- 
vating principles. Unfortunately, many books even 
of this class are, from our stand-point, wholly unsuit- 
able to be read by young girls, if indeed they are 5 * 
suitable to be read by anybody. The fact that a 
book is a " Sunday-school " book should not be suffi- 
cient recommendation to a mother who desires to pre- 
serve the simple-hearted purity of her daughter. 
Every mother should scrutinize with the greatest care 
.♦the reading matter supplied to her daughter at Sunday- 
school or day-school, from the town library, circulating 
libraries, or libraries of friends. From whatever 
source a book or paper or magazine comes, it should 


be carefully examined before being placed in the 
hands of a little girl old enough to read and compre- 
hend its meaning. We once took from the hands of 
a little girl a book over which she had been pouring 
for hours, and found on the open page sentiments 
which made our cheeks tingle with shame that au- 
thors could be so lost to the interests of purity and 
virtue and so reckless of results as to pen such senti- 
ments as we found expressed so plainly that even a 
young and unsophisticated school-girl could not fail 
to comprehend the import of the language. 

In our opinion, sentimental literature whether im- 
pure in its subject matter or not, has a direct ten- 
dency in the direction of impurity. The stimulation 
of the emotional nature, the instilling of sentimental 
ideas into the minds of young girls, has a tendency 
to develop the passions prematurely, and to turn the 
thoughts into a channel which leads in the direction 
of the formation of vicious habits. 

Various Causes of Vice. — Among other causes 
which operate to produce a tendency to the vice un- 
der consideration in the early years of girlhood, may 
be mentioned bad diet. The use of mustard, pepper- 
sauce, pepper, vinegar, spices, and highly seasoned 
and stimulating dishes and articles of diet of every 
description, has a marked tendency to the produc- 
tion of an abnormal development of the passions, 
sometimes undoubtedly stimulating the sexual organs 
to such a degree as to occasion a spontaneous forma- 
tion of the habit. We have known instances in 
which this has been the case, the habit being ac- 
quired accidently, without the aid of an instructor. 


Sometimes this abnormal condition of the genitals is 
produced by local disease, causing an irritable or itch- 
ing condition by which the child's attention is called 
to this part of the body in such a way as to lead to 
the discovery of the awful secret. Intestinal worms, 
a constipated condition of the bowels, certain forms 
of skin disease affecting the parts, are all causes 
which may result in the accidental formation of the 
habit of self-abuse. 

Another cause which we shall mention, one which 
we believe has been generally overlooked, is the 
improper dressing of infants. It is a custom with 
most mothers and nurses during the early years of 
infancy to envelop that portion of the body of the in- 
fant in which the genitals are located, in many folds 
of diapers for the purpose of avoiding the necessity 
for frequent change. Sometimes this thick mass of 
material is still further augmented by a covering of 
oiled silk or rubber. The effect of this practice is to 
retain the moisture of the excretions in contact with 
this delicate portion of the system, which, with the 
heat accumulated from the body, acts like a poultice, 
stimulating and irritating the nerves of the parts, and 
thus inducing an abnormally sensitive and excitable 
condition. We have no doubt but that this unwhole- 
some practice on the part of mothers is a very great 
cause not only of the early formation of the destructive 
vice, but also of serious disease in future life. 
Mothers should wisely consider this matter before 
allowing themselves to subject their little ones to 
such an unwholesome practice, and one which would 
seem to be directly contrary to the dictates of com- 


mon sense respecting the requirements of cleanliness. 
The diaper should consist of as few folds as possible, 
and should never be covered by anything impervious 
to air. The child's clothing should be changed as often 
as necessary, which is as often as it is soiled, or 
as soon as possible after. 

Silly letter writing in which little boys and girls 
at school often indulge, should never be encouraged 
nor tolerated by parents. We have known of several 
instances in which the minds of pure girls became 
contaminated through this channel. A few years 
ago, a letter was intercepted from a little boy to a 
little girl and brought to our notice. Both the 
writer and the intended receiver of the letter were 
wholly unsuspected of any evil tendency, and had 
been on intimate terms for a long time. Notwith- 
standing this fact, the letter contained language in 
the highest degree vulgar and impure, and displayed 
a depth of depravity, on the part of the sender at 
least, which was most astounding. Mothers should 
scrutinize carefully the conduct of their daughters in 
their associations with the opposite sex, checking 
promptly any tendency to undue familiarity, and pro- 
hibiting utterly associations the tendency of which is 
manifestly bad. Eternal vigilence is the price of pu- 
rity, and at no time in the development of the girl is 
it of more importance than between the ages of six 
and ten or twelve years. 

A Few Sad Examples. — To illustrate the facts to 
which we have called attention, we will cite a few 
out of the hundreds of cases which have come under 
our care, taking pains to withhold names, and in some 


cases slightly modifying some of the unimportant de- 
tails so as to make impossible the identification of the 
individuals referred to. We do this merely for the 
purpose of impressing on the minds of mothers the 
importance of this subject and the reality of the facts 
to which we have called attention. Many times we 
have received evidence for believing that the average 
mother is quite too incredulous respecting the extent 
and enormity of this evil. It is only in the hope 
that we may say something to arouse such mothers 
to a sense of the dangers to which their little daugh- 
ters may be exposed or the condition in which they 
may be already, that we venture to pen these chap- 
ters in the life history of a few of those who have 
come under our immediate care for the treatment of 
the terrible results of an evil which we have at- 
tempted to portray in its true colors. 

A Remarkable Case. — Some years ago, a little 
girl came under our care for the treatment of a very 
curious nervous difficulty, which had baffled the skill 
of numerous physicians who had been invited to 
examine the case. The little girl was naturally 
bright, attractive, and intelligent, and excited the 
sympathy of all who witnessed the strange and 
inexplicable manifestations of her disease. Her doting 
parents had spared no means which might conduce to 
her recovery, and which could be secured by the 
employment of the best medical skill and the lavish 
expenditure of money, but she was no better. The 
painful and distressing malady which had fastened 
itself upon her and threatened to destroy her mentally 
as well as physically, held her firmly in its grasp. 


At any moment of the day or night she was liable to 
be seized with paroxysms most distressing to behold. 
We at once suspected the real nature of the difficulty, 
but the most careful investigation failed to reveal any 
tangible evidence to sustain our suspicions, except 
what we could draw from our knowledge of the nature 
of the case. The mother felt almost indignant that 
her lovely daughter should be suspected of such a 
horrible vice. Every measure of treatment was 
wholly unsuccessful or only temporary in its effects. 
At last the discovery was accidentally made that the 
girl had for years been addicted to a curious habit 
which had been considered as simply a strange no- 
tion and had not aroused the least suspicion as being 
in any way connected with the vicious habit under 
consideration. Feeling thoroughly convinced now of 
her guilt, we did not hesitate to insist upon the 
child's being placed under such circumstances as to 
make the practice of the habit impossible. For some 
time this was not effected satisfactorily, but ulti- 
mately the desired end was accomplished, and a good 
recovery was secured. 

How to Cure Vicious Habits. — The habit of self- 
pollution is one which when thoroughly established, is 
by no means easily broken. The victim of this most 
terrible vice is held in the most abject slavery, the 
iron fetters of habit daily closing the prisoner more 
and more tightly in their grasp. When the mother 
makes for the first time the discovery that her little 
daughter is a victim to this polluting habit, it usually 
seems to her that all the case will require is a careful 
explanation of its sinfulness and a vivid portrayal of 
the consequences ; but in the majority of cases they 


soon learn that this is not enough. The effect of this 
kind of transgression is to weaken the moral sense 
perhaps more rapidly than any other vice. The vic- 
tim gradully grows weaker and weaker in will-power, 
and the conscience becomes less and less sensitive, 
until there is very little left in the character of the 
child to which an appeal can be made or by which an 
effort to reform can be supported. 

Scores of times have we received from anxious 
mothers the inquiry, " How can I rescue my daughter 
from this terrible habit ? " As before remarked, the 
task is not an easy one. Notwithstanding the fact 
that the effort may be wholly ineffectual, the mother 
should first carefully set before the child the exceed- 
ing sinfulness of the habit, its loathsomeness and vile- 
ness, and the horrible consequences which follow in 
its wake. As powerful an impression as possible 
should be made at the first interview. In some in- 
stances, this will be all that is required, but in the 
majority of cases the evil is not so easily mastered. 
After receiving the proper instruction, the child 
should be carefully watched. The little girl should 
be placed in the care of some trustworthy, judicious 
person whose duty should be to keep her under con- 
stant observation every moment of her waking hours. 
Some simple employment or congenial amusement 
should be afforded by which her time may be wholly 
occupied, and a sufficient degree of active exercise 
should be secured to render the child by evening 
thoroughly tired muscularly and nervously, so that 
sleep will be natural and grateful, and the child 
will have no disposition to lie awake after going 


to bed. Care should be taken that the child does not 
feign sleep for the purpose of gaining an opportunity 
to avoid observation. This we have known to be 
done very frequently by those who were determined 
to continue the habit in spite of the instruction 
and warnings given them. Immediately upon wak- 
ing in the morning, the child should be taken out 
of bed and dressed, and should be employed from 
that moment until the time of retiring at night. In 
case there is any disease of the bladder or rectum, 
or of any other portion of the body immediately 
associated with the genital apparatus, this matter 
should receive attention from a competent physician, 
so that whatever influence it may exert as a cause of 
the habit may be removed. 

Children suffering from incontinence of urine 
should be made to empty the bladder frequently, as 
the nervous condition which results from over-disten- 
sion, or its irritable condition, often produces an un- 
easy condition of the genitals which may not only 
lead to the formation of the habit, but will present a 
great obstacle in the way of its cure. 

Care should also be taken to see that the bowels 
are properly evacuated. Constipation of the bowels 
is often a cause of sexual excitement which cannot 
be easily controlled so long as the physical condition 
is such as to antagonize the effort of the will in the 
direction of reform. 

Itching of the genitals is another physical condi- 
tion which should receive attention, medical aid being 
called unless careful regard for cleanliness suffices to 
secure relief. 


In obstinate cases, very severe means must be 
sometimes adopted. We were once obliged after 
every other measure had failed, to perform a surgical 
operation before we were able to break the habit in 
the case of a young girl of eight or ten years who 
had become addicted to the vice to a most extraordin- 
ary degree. 

As a rule it is much more difficult to cure this 
soul-destroying vice in girls than in boys. They are 
seldom as ready to confess their guilt as are boys, 
and then are less easily influenced by a portrayal of 
its terrible consequences, so that moral means have 
less influence with them than with boys. The most 
sleepless vigilance must be coupled with the most 
persevering patience to rescue one of the unfortunate 
victims from the physical, mental, and moral ruin 
which are certain to result from a continuation of this 
terrible vice. 

Reform is not impossible, however, for any one 
who really desires to reform ; but the work of refor- 
mation must begin with the mind. The impure 
thoughts and images which have been harbored must 
be banished. The mind must be cleansed from every 
taint of evil. This is a task which requires no little 
patience, and in many cases more than human 
strength. In seeking to reform such an one, point 
her to the Source of all strength, encourage her to 
believe that there is One who knows the weaknesses 
of human nature, and while He abhors sin and vile- 
ness, loves the sinner and is ready and anxious to 
aid her to release herself from the toils of vice. Re- 
ligion offers aid to these victims of sin for which 



there is no substitute ; and with the majority of 
those who have become fully ensnared, success can- 
not be attained except through earnest prayer for 
divine aid. By the aid of an earnest purpose to re- 
form, and a determination to become again pure and 
free from the foul taint of vice, and by a humble, 
prayerful life of trust in divine strength, the most 
hapless sinner may find pardon, peace, and purity. 

A Few Words to Girls. — Who does not admire 
the sweet purity of the lily, the delicate loveliness of 
the rose, the natural beauty and grandeur of a land- 
scape, or the golden tinting of an autumn sunset ? No 
work of art, however marvelous its ingenuity, or 
wonderful its symmetry, can rival for a moment the 
magnificence and the wonderful delicacy of the nat- 
ural beauty which the Creator has spread about us. 
We all admire them. Even the little infant in its 
mother's arms, is not insensible to the charms of nat- 
ural beauty. 

The transparent loveliness of the dew drop or the 
icicle glittering in the sunshine fixes the attention of 
the appreciative on-looker as closely as the sheen and 
glitter of the costliest gem. 

The love of beauty, of purity, is innate in the 
human mind. Who does not suffer a pang of grief at 
the ruthless destruction of one of nature's beauties — 
the crushing of a flower or a crystal, or of any lovely 

Most beautiful and noble of all the Creator's 
works, is the human form. Towering in grandeur 
high above the most impressive of all Nature's pict- 
ures, is the human character, a miniature copy of the 


divine. Even in its least attractive forms, the hu- 
man face possesses a beauty unrivaled by any other 
natural object ; and when not debased by sin and de- 
formed by vice, the human character possesses attrac- 
tions unapproachable by any other of all God's handi- 

The Creator has given to each not only natural 
graces and beauties of form and character, but the 
power to become more beautiful and attractive through 
the improvement of natural good qualities, and the 
acquirement of others. Human life is a school, the 
object of which is to fit human beings for a higher 
and grander life. How this life is spent, determines 
the condition in the next. Is it not a glorious, soul- 
inspiring thought that this life may be made the be- 
ginning of an endless eternity of progress, a never- 
ending school-day, each moment adding new wisdom 
and knowledge and beauties and graces ? The all- 
wise Father puts men and women, boys and girls, on 
trial in this life, to see whether their tendency is 
greatest in an upward or a downward direction. 
Those who love true beauty and purity, and who as- 
pire to the highest degree of perfection attainable, 
will gladly seek such aids to a perfect life as are of- 
fered by genuine religion ; while those who choose 
sin rather than holiness, vice rather than purity, ug- 
liness rather than beauty, will despise the good coun- 
sels of their parents, the warnings of the Book of 
books, the admonitions of friends, and will rush head- 
long down the path of sin to reap at last the terrible 
reward of evil doers. 

The love of purity, the abhorrence of sin, the de- 


sire to attain to the highest degree of perfection pos- 
sible to humankind, will be the actuating motives of 
every high-minded, unsophisticated girl. The mere 
thought of evil will be appalling to such an one. 
Self-respect and veneration for the God-implanted 
virtues of purity and innocence, should be encour- 
aged and cultivated. The girl who has these quali- 
ties will turn a deaf ear to the siren voice which 
tempts her to sin. The allurements of vice will pre- 
sent no fascinations to her. She is safely entrenched 
behind an impregnable wall of defense. 

The fact that sin may be committed without be- 
ing known to parents or friends will be no induce- 
ment to a girl of pure instincts. That she will her- 
self possess the knowledge of her guilt will be a suf- 
ficient restraint to prevent the commission of the 
wrong ; and that God and pure beings will behold the 
sin and grieve over it, will be a mental monitor ever 
at hand to defeat the tempter. 

An unvitatecl mind will be ever on the alert to 
detect wrong and to avoid it. Its keen sensibilities 
will apprehend the real character of sin under what- 
ever guise it may come. There will be no dallying 
with sin, no harboring of evil thoughts, no beginnings 
of vice. The seeds of impurity cannot take root in 
such a soil. How important then that from earliest 
infancy the mind should be prepared for the ready 
appreciation and eager acceptance of truth and purity 
and the prompt resistance of the first approach of 
what is false and impure. 

We doubt not that we have all inherited enough 
of sinful tendencies and depraved propensities to lead 


us in a downward direction without some powerful 
restraining and redeeming influence ; but we do not 
believe in the idea that humanity is wholly depraved. 
There is enough of good in every human being to 
furnish a foundation for a pure and noble character if 
only the desire for such a character is present. The 
want of respect for the pure and good and truly beau- 
tiful is what leaves so many human lives to go to 
wreck and ruin. 

The only hope for the race is in the future of its 
girls. If there is to be any permanent, thorough- 
going reform, it must start with the girls and young 
women of the world. They are to be the mothers of 
the next generation. They will mold the characters 
of the men and women who are to rule in politics 
and society a score or two of years hence. They are 
to cradle the men who through the press and the pul- 
pit give tone to the religious sentiments of the gener- 
ation to come. Whatever they are, their children 
will be like them. Woman's responsibility to the 
race is vast and incomprehensible. 

The girl who wishes to be a grand, noble, useful 
"woman, a true mother, must be a noble-minded, truth- 
ful, honorable, pure girl. If she yields herself to 
vice and sin, it is not she alone that suffers ; for the 
deformities of mind and character which she thus ac- 
quires will follow along down the ages, a legacy of, 
woe and shame, ineffaceable to the end of time. Lei 
every girl who has not yet been led into vice and 
sensuality think of this. When the tempter comes 
to you, count the cost to yourself "and to the race be- 
fore you yield yourself to sinful indulgence. Think 


how your mother, your father, or an innocent brother 
) would look upon you if your guilt were known to 

them, and then think how the purity of Heaven \ 
must regard such acts. Let the thought inspire in 
your own heart the same abhorrence and loathing, 
and you will be saved from the tempter's wiles. ^^ 
^ — Happy indeed is the girl who has come to woman- 
hood with, a mind untainted by sin, a character un- 
sullied by vice ! The graces of simple innocence and 
purity are gems above price. It is the earnest prayer 
of the writer that God will aid these pages to inspire 
in the hearts and minds of at least a few of those who 
may peruse them, aspirations after purity, longings 
for real beauty of character, such as will lead them to 
seek the great Source of all goodness and purity and 
wisdom for aid and guidance through the pitfalls and 
perils of girlhood, to the attainment of a noble, ma- 
ture, and useful womanhood. 

The Young Lady. 

YOUNG girl just budding into womanhood, 
with a warm, loving heart, an innocent and 
unsophisticated mind, rosy health upon her 
cheeks, bounding vitality in her veins, and 
a gay laugh in her voice, is the most beauti- 
ful object the Creator ever made. The 
critical period at which the change from 
girlhood to womanhood occurs is known as 
Puberty. — The physiological import of 
this change has already been described, and 
need not be further dilated upon here. The time at 
which puberty occurs differs considerabl} T in different 
individuals as well as in the two sexes and in 
the different races of human beings, always oc- 
curring a little earlier in females than in males. 
In this country, the average age at which the 
change occurs in girls is fourteen years. In trop- 
ical climates, the change occurs very much earlier. 
It is stated that one of the wives of Mahomet was a 
mother at ten years, and a case is on record in which 
puberty occurred in a little girl at the age of two 
years and pregnancy at eight. In cold climates, as 
in Denmark, Sweden, and the adjacent countries, the 
age of puberty is usually delayed to eighteen or nine- 



teen years. In temperate climates like this it is not 
infrequent to observe the change as early as eleven 
or twelve years and as late as seventeen or eighteen. 

Causes of Precocious Puberty, — Puberty is hast- 
ened by a variety of causes besides" that of the influ- 
ence of climate just mentioned. In the cases of early 
puberty which we have observed, the individuals 
were of feeble constitution, nervous temperament, and 
decidedly precocious in other particulars as well as in 
this. We believe this to be usually the case. Emo- 
tional influences of any sort have a direct tendency 
to hasten the change from girlhood to womanhood. 
Theaters, social gatherings, dancing, etc., all have an 
unhappy influence in this direction. 

The influence of diet in hastening puberty is such 
that it cannot be ignored. Stimulating foods of all 
kinds, by their effect on the nervous system and the 
circulation, stimulate the development of the sexual 
system and thus have a tendency to hasten the change. 

It may also be remarked that temperament seems 
to have considerable influence in determining the pe- 
riod at which puberty shall occur. Medical men have 
observed that as a rule puberty occurs a little earlier 
in brunettes than in blondes, and in persons of a nerv- 
ous temperament than in those who are of a phleg- 
matic disposition. 

The national peculiarity in respect to the early or 
late appearance of puberty seems to be preserved to a 
greater or less degree even when a change of climate 
is made. For example, puberty occurs one or two 
years earlier in Jews in their native country than is 


the average with girls in this country, and the same 
peculiarity is observed in Jewish children born in the 
United States. 

Influences which Delay Puberty. — Aside from 
the influence of a cold climate, various other causes 
affect the system in such a manner as to delay the 
approach of puberty, in some persons even to a very 
marked degree. Some considerable delay may occur 
within the limits of health, but when the change does 
not make its appearance within a year and a half or 
two years of the time at which it usually occurs in 
other females of the same family, medical advice 
should be had, as there may be some fault in the con- 
stitution, the correction of which may be aided by an 
intelligent physician. We do not wish to intimate 
that drugs should be given for the purpose of bring- 
ing on the menstrual flow when it does not make its 
appearance at the proper time : nothing could be 
more unwise than this. A girl in whom puberty is 
unnaturally delayed is usually undeveloped in other 
particulars, and the proper thing to be done is to en- 
force such habits of life, exercise, diet, sleep, etc., as 
shall tend to promote growth and development. If 
active disease of any sort is present, such as indiges- 
tion, resulting in anaemia, nervous troubles of any 
sort, etc., the proper remedies or means of treatment 
should be employed to correct the defect. 

Certain malformations of the sexual organs some- 
times occur which prevent the appearance of the men- 
strual flow after the other changes incident to puberty, 
such as increased rapidity of growth, broadening of the 


hips, development of the breasts, etc., have occurred. 
In such a case as this a skillful surgeon should 
be consulted. In some cases it will be found that the 
hymen is unnaturally developed, entirely closing 
the mouth of the vagina, so that the menstrual flow 
is left to accumulate in the vagina and uterus. Cases 
of this sort have occurred in which the real cause was 
not discovered until several years had elapsed, in 
which time the accumulation had become so great as 
to form what was supposed to be a large tumor. In 
a few cases the vagina has been found to be absent, 
while both uterus and ovaries were present. In both 
of these classes of cases, a surgical operation is neces- 
sary, and by the aid of it the obstruction can usually 
be removed. Great skill, however, and experience 
are required in the performance of such operations, 
and care should be taken to consult for the purpose a 
surgeon known to be wholly competent and experi- 
enced in such cases. 

A peculiar case, illustrating another cause of the 
non-appearance of menstruation has recently come to 
our attention. The case was that of a girl bereaved 
of her mother at an early age, and left without the 
care and advice of a lady friend. Being wholly ig- 
norant of matters of the kind, she was not alarmed 
that the menstrual flow did not make its appear- 
ance at the usual age, and in fact did not know 
that she was in any way different from other girls 
until many years after the usual time for the appear- 
ance of the change. Becoming informed with ref- 
erence to the matter, she finally consulted a sur- 


geon, who, upon making an examination- and consult- 
ing with other eminent physicians, arrived at the 
conclusion that the case was one of deformity, 
only the external organs being present, no trace of 
either ovaries, uterus, or vagina being discoverable. 
One very remarkable feature of this case was the fact 
that the hips, breast, and other portions of the form 
were developed in the characteristic manner which 
is usually considered to be impossible without the in- 
fluence of the ovaries. 

Signs of the Approach of Puberty. — As the 
time for the establishment of a new function ap- 
proaches, various changes, mental and physical, begin 
to make their appearance. Usually the physical de- 
velopment becomes more rapid. The vital forces 
seem to waken to new activity. The girl grows tall and 
slender. In the course of a year or two, the breast be- 
gins to expand, the hips to broaden, and the abdomen 
to enlarge. The organs of generation increase in size 
{ind become covered externally by an excessive devel- 
opment of the hairy growth with which the whole body 
is covered. In some, development takes place in the 
hairs of the arm-pits and to some extent, in many 
cases, over the greater portion of the body. 

Mental changes of an equally well marked charac- 
ter are also observed. If of a nervous temperament, 
ihe little girl, though usually kind and affable, is likely 
to become somewhat petulant and irritable. She is 
restless and uneven of disposition, apt to become 
easily excited, and subject to spells of depression and 
despondency. A stong tendency to sentimentality 


is also manifest. Indeed,' as one writer says, senti- 
mentality is a malady incident to this period of girl- 
hood as much as measles, mumps, chicken-pox, and 
other diseases are incident to childhood. 

Hygiene of Puberty. — When the above-mentioned 
signs make their appearance, the mother's watchful 
care should be called into still more active exercise. 
The most strict attention should be given to every 
habit of life which relates to mental and physical 
health. The interests of the girl's moral nature 
should also receive attention, as the turbulent condi- 
tion of both mind and nervous system which fre- 
quently occurs at this period of the girl's existence, 
needs the calming and soothing effects of wholesome 
religious influences. 

Great care should be taken that a sufficient 
amount of wholesome and nutritious food is eaten 
regularly and at proper hours. At this period, the 
appetite is often capricious, and frequently new and 
strange- appetites are developed which need to be 
restrained, while there may be suddenly manifested a 
strange aversion for the simple and wholesome food 
which has before been eaten with relish. Fruits and 
grains should chiefly constitute the diet. Oatmeal, 
cracked wheat, graham bread, milk, and fruit, with 
various grain preparations, furnish the very materials 
which are most needed for the proper development of 
the system at this time, and in the very best possible 
form. Meat should be used sparingly. The idea that 
girls at this time require a large amount of mutton, 
beef-steak, eggs, and other stimulating and exciting 


food, is a very great mistake. It is much better that 
the system should be undisturbed by stimulating in- 
fluences of any sort. . 

Too early indications of the occurrence of puberty 
are just cause for solicitude on the part of the mother, 
and call for the employment of all such measures as 
will tend to prevent premature development. It 
should be recollected that early decay is very certain 
to be the result of precocious development. 

The changes which occur at puberty require but a 
very short time for their completion. In fact the ra- 
pidity with which such extraordinary changes may 
occur is very remarkable. Such extraordinary de- 
mands on the vital forces of the individual make this 
the most critical of all periods in a woman's life. At 
this time is often laid the foundation for a whole life- 
time of suffering. A large share of the peculiar 
troubles with which women are afflicted originate in 
indiscretions occurring at this time. The ignorance 
of mothers and their failure to instruct their daugh- 
ters when they themselves are informed respecting 
the dangers incident to this period of life, undoubt- 
edly result in a vastly greater amount of disease and 
premature death than the " ills of maternity " which 
are often charged with being the bane of a woman's 
life and the cause of the greater portion of her suffer- 

We cannot emphasize too emphatically the impor- 
tance of giving proper instruction at the right time. 
Mothers should first inform themselves thoroughly re- 
specting the physiological changes which puberty in- 


voh r es, and the possible dangers which may arise, and 
should then give their daughters explicit and careful 
instruction respecting the care of their health during 
this critical period. 

We have met hundreds of cases in which women 
have suffered all through life in consequence of the 
want of instruction at the proper time. Within a few 
hours of the time of this writing, we have been con- 
sulted by a lady of unusual intelligence and most brill- 
iant talents, whose whole life has been made miser- 
able with pain and suffering in consequence of inad- 
vertent imprudence during this period. A little in- 
struction at this time would have saved all these 
years of suffering and added greatly to the usefulness 
of one whose rare gifts qualified her for wide useful- 
ness. Notwithstanding her disabilities and the great 
obstacles thrown in her way by feeble and uncertain 
health, she had accomplished a great amount of good 
and won an enviable position in society ; but just 
when she was by experience and influence prepared 
to accomplish the greatest good, her nervous system 
gave way under the double strain of physical suffer- 
ing and mental labor. Though fond of children and 
devoting her whole life to efforts in behalf of poor lit- 
tle waifs, she had herself to remain childless in conse- 
quence of disability suffered from ignorant violation 
of nature's laws at the establishment of the menstrual 

Some time ago a young lady was brought to us 
for treatment who had suffered for years from a sim- 
ilar cause. The menstrual function made its appear- 


ance, she was alarmed and distressed, and having 
never been taught to make a confidant of her mother, 
especially on subjects of this kind^ she said nothing 
aBouf The matter, but brooded over it and mourned 
about it until reason was nearly dethroned. In this 
condition she roamed about through snow and rain, 
exposing herself to the searching cold of an early 
winter day, at one time remaining out during the 
whole night, her clothing becoming saturated to the 
skin and her whole body thoroughly chilled. This 
was repeated at nearly every menstrual period. It 
resulted, of course, in the production of serious local 
disease, in a very short time giving rise to severe pain 
in connection with menstruation, which increased her 
mental disturbance. This led to the discovery of her 
real condition by her friends, but they too were igno- 
rant of what should be done under the circumstances ; 
instead of placing the girl under the care of a skillful 
physician, she was sent to school. Close confinement 
to her studies and the constant recurrence of a period 
of suffering, led to the appearance of nervous symp- 
toms, which finally terminated in what her physician 
pronounced to be a serious attack of inflammation of 
the brain. For weeks she was very near death's 
door. She finally rallied, however, but was left in a 
helpless condition from complete paralysis of the 
lower extremities. 

The above was the condition in which we found 
her. The history of the case led us to make a care- 
ful local examination, the result of which was simply 
astounding. It scarcely seemed possible that disease 


could have obtained so firm a hold upon one so young 
and in so short a space of time. The uterus and 
ovaries were both involved in most serious disease, 
the womb being enormously enlarged from repeated 
inflammation, and prolapsed to such a degree as to be 
almost ready to make its exit into the external 
world, and exquisitely sensitive, as were all the sur- 
rounding tissues. After many months of treatment 
the patient was restored to a fair degree of health, 
regaining the use of her limbs and being almost 
wholly relieved of the severe menstrual pain which 
she had suffered from almost the beginning of the 
function. In this case an unusually intelligent, amia- 
ble girl was well-nigh ruined for life by the injuries 
resulting from want of knowledge. 

As before remarked, we believe it to be the sol- 
emn duty of mothers to thoroughly inform themselves 
on this subject, and then impart to their daughters 
the needed information. Indeed, one of the strongest 
motives which has actuated us in the preparation of 
this volume has been the hope that we might, by call- 
ing attention to these facts, induce at least a few 
mothers to give their daughters timely warning of the 
necessity of special care and watchfulness at the 
time the menstrual function is being established and 
at the monthly recurrence of each subsequent period. 
Young girls, especially at this period, are often quite 
reckless respecting the care of their health. This is 
particularly the case if they have never been previ- 
ously taught to regard the preservation of their 
health as a sacred duty and a moral obligation as 


binding upon them as any other. No pains should 
be spared to impress upon them the fact that the 
first two or three years after puberty are pretty cer- 
tain to exert an influence of no trifling character 
upon their whole subsequent life. After the men- 
strual function becomes thoroughly established, it is 
not so easily disturbed, but at this time, "when nature 
is just establishing the changes incident to the per- 
formance of this function, very slight causes may 
produce serious disturbance. 

One who is acquainted with these facts is often 
appalled at the recklessness which young women 
sometimes exhibit. An invitation to a party or con- 
cert or even a fashionable ball is not refused even if 
the weather may be such as to make it highly impru- 
dent for a young lady passing through a catamenial 
period, to venture out of doors, to say nothing of the 
disturbing influences to which she will be likely to be 
subjected, such as the violent and prolonged exercise 
of dancing, confinement in a close and overheated 
lecture-room, occasioning profuse perspiration to be 
followed by a chill on coming out in the cold, damp 
air, etc. The necessity for rest and especial care at 
this period has long been recognized among uncivil- 
ized nations. We find evidence also, that this 
fact was duly appreciated among the ancient Jews. 
Their wise law-giver, Moses, considered the matter of 
sufficient importance to place in his code of regula- 
tions known as the " ceremonial law," certain rules to 
govern the conduct of women during this period. 
The Jewish women were required to leave the camp 



with all its burdens, excitements, and anxieties, and 
withdraw to a quiet and secluded place, where they 
might enjoy quiet and rest during the performance of 
the menstrual function. A similar custom still pre- 
vails among Indian women, who, as is well known, 
suffer very little at child-birth, a fact which we be- 
lieve is very closely related to the care which they 
exercise when " unwell." 

In conclusion, we would summarize the precau- 
tions to be observed at the approach of puberty anr 1 
at the menstrual period as follows : — 

1. Maintain the general health in every way pos- 
sible. This can best be done by proper food, which 
means a simple and unstimulating dietary; abundant 
exercise in the fresh air with exposure to the sun; 
proper clothing, which means warmly clothing the 
limbs as well as the trunk of the body and avoiding 
stays, corsets, belts, and tightness of the dress about 
the waist as well- as suspension of the skirts from the 
hips ; and proper rest at proper times with perfect 
regularity of all the habits of life. 

2. While the young girl should not be allowed to 
engage in any kind of hard or taxing labor, it is much 
better that both mind and body should be occupied 
by light and, if possible, congenial employment. Even 
too much labor is less injurious than idleness, but it 
should be recollected that while the body is forming 
and new functions are being developed, neither mus- 
cles nor nerves will bear the amount of taxation which 
maturely developed tissues are able to endure. 

3. When the menstrual period makes its appear- 


ance or a day or two before, if the symptoms are such 
as to make its approach apparent, the girl should be 
relieved of taxing duties of every description, and 
should be allowed to yield herself to the feeling of 
malaise^ which usually comes over her at this period, 
lounging on the sofa or using her time as she pleases, 
provided it is not in the perusal of sensational stories 
or in too great devotion to fancy-work, or any other 
occupation in which an unhealthful or strained posi- 
tion has to be assumed. 

4. The greatest care should be taken to avoid tak- 
ing cold, as the most serious maladies are often 
brought upon women by exposure at this time. To 
accomplish this, it is not necessary that the person 
should be confined constantly in a heated room. The 
overheating of rooms is the most common cause of 
susceptibility to colds, hence it is much better that 
the body should be inured to a certain degree of cold 
so that very slight exposures cannot affect the system 
injuriously. The susceptibility to colds may also be 
to a very great extent overcome by the habit of tak- 
ing daily or tri-weekly baths. The bath should not 
be a hot one, but its temperature should not be so low 
as to be uncomfortable. Water at eighty degrees is 
twenty degrees below the temperature of the body, 
and cool enough to produce tonic effects on the skin 
without chilling the person uncomfortably. The 
clothing of the feet is a matter of very great impor- 
tance, as getting the feet w T et is the most common of 
all means by which women contract colds at this pe- 
riod. It is not necessary that the shoes should be 


saturated in order to produce a cold : when thin shoes 
are worn, the wetting of the soles, by which the bot- 
toms of the feet become chilled by evaporation of 
moisture from the soles of the shoes, is sufficient to 
induce a severe cold in a sensitive person. 

- 5. During the catamenial period, the mind should 
be kept in a calm and undisturbed condition. Intense 
grief, sudden anger, or even exuberant joy have been 
known to suddenly check the menstrual function in 
the midst of the period. Severe mental application 
sometimes produces the same results. These effects 
are produced through the connection of the nerve cen- 
ters of the brain and spinal cord with the uterus. 
Numerous experiments have shown that the circula- 
tion through the uterus is greatly affected by mental 

6. Notwithstanding all the preceding precautions 
which we have given, we think it important to add 
that constant watching of symptoms or apprehension 
of possible or impossible dangers is quite as injurious 
as inattention to the points we have mentioned. 
While mothers should be watchful and solicitous for 
the welfare of their daughters at the ushering in of 
the menstrual function and for a few years following, 
they should by no means consider it their duty to 
yield to every caprice or to gratify every fancy which 
may be manifested by their daughters at this period. 
This sort of care is an injury rather than a benefit. 
Intelligent supervision and watchcare guided by rea- 
son is what girls require to enable them to pass 
through the critical period of puberty and early 
womanhood with safety. 


Education of Young Ladies. — The education of 
young ladies is a question which has been widely dis- 
cussed during the last few years. A variety of po- 
sitions have been taken by prominent educators with 
respect to this question, and the discussion has not as 
yet resulted in a complete and thorough settlement 
of all the problems involved. We have not space 
in this little work to consider the subject in all its 
phases, but we cannot avoid at least a brief considera- 
tion of the subject from the stand-point of its relation 
to health. 

Home Training. — Of first importance in the ed- 
ucation of a young lady is proper home training and 
education. The young lady who has acquired all the 
culture and accomplishments which can be secured in 
the schools, but has no knowledge of the simple arts 
so necessary to the making of a home, and the proper 
training of a family, has neglected the most important 
part of her education. The general prevalence of this 
defect is becoming alarming. The girls of the pres- 
ent generation are as a rule far less skillful in bread- 
making, house-cleaning, and the other household arts, 
than in piano-playing, elocution, and similar accom- 
plishments. This condition of affairs is becoming 
more and more common in this country. The poor 
mother, who has become worn out with arduous toil 
in the rearing of her family and in providing them 
"with comforts and luxuries, seldom has a daughter 
who is able to take her place in the kitchen, at the 
wash-tub, or at the ironing-table. Unfortunate as is 
this state of things for the broken-down mother, as 


for her imperfectly educated daughter, mothers are 
themselves generally responsible for it. Mothers 
who have been brought up to a life of usefulness and 
labor, often become infected with the popular notion 
that physical labor is ungenteel and unladylike, and 
determine that their daughters shall be " brought up 
differently from what they were." Imagining that 
they are going to make their daughters something 
more than women, and prepare them for a sphere 
something above that of true womanhood, these silly 
mothers toil and slave in the kitchen while their 
daughters sing and thrum the piano in the parlor, or 
simper and drawl nonsense in the drawing-room with 
some shallow-pated fop. The mother rises at early 
dawn to prepare the breakfast while her useless 
daughters are sleeping off the effects of their midnight 
dissipation in the ball-room. Reared in idleness to 
habits of uselessness, the hard earnings of father and 
mother are spent in lavishing upon them accomplish- 
ments which can be of no service to them in after life. 
Such daughters are unfit to meet the realities of life, 
and are utterly devoid of the real accomplishments 
which go to make up womanly character and which 
would fit them for the performance of the duties of 
wife and mother in their mature years. 

The fact is that the average modern young wo- 
man is accomplished to the point of actual uselessness. 
What women as a rule need is a more solid education. 
We do not object to accomplishments if they are not 
acquired at the expense of that thorough training 
which lies at the very foundation of real refinement 


and usefulness. How many young women fritter 
away their time and waste their lives in devotion to 
nothings. A young woman who is able to sing and 
play the piano skillfully, to dance gracefully, to 
talk " smalt talk " fluently, to dress " to kill," to 
sketch a landscape passably, to embroider, to knit 
lace collars, to jabber a little French and German, 
may be able to satisfy the demands of society, but 
may be utterly wanting in that kind of culture which 
contributes to the real happiness of life. Such a per- 
son, as a quaint writer once said, is "all ruffle and no 

Nothing contributes more to the formation of a 
sound character than a knowledge of the humble in- 
dustries which contribute to the making of a happy 
home. A long stride will be made toward the mil- 
lenium for which so many long and which some 
fondly believe to be approaching, when a training in 
useful labor shall be considered as the first and most 
important part of a young lady's education ; when 
girls are taught to do their part in the world's work, 
and that to be able to do it well is the highest posi- 
tion and the greatest happiness to which they may 
hope to attain. 

mother cannot do her daughter greater injury 
than to allow her to grow up ignorant of household 
duties and unaccustomed to useful labor, yet mothers 
are so utterly blind to their duties in this respect 
that it is not to be wondered at that the rising gener- 
ation of girls is vastly inferior to their predecessors. 
An omen for good is the establishment in many large 


cities of cooking-schools and schools for training 
nurses ; and there is some prospect that this country 
will soon possess institutions similar to those already 
established in England in which girls can learn a va- 
riety of useful employments, and also receive training 
in domestic duties. 

Popular sentiment needs to be educated in the 
right direction, and we believe that in the better 
classes of society at least some little advancement is 
being made, thanks to the labors of such noble and 
talented women as Mrs. Livermore and Mrs. Jane 
Swisshelm, whose eloquent words in popular lectures 
and magazine articles have so graphically portrayed 
the follies of fashionable education, and the advan- 
tages of practical training as to convict thousands of 
mothers of the wickedness and folly of the popular 
methods of educating daughters, and have thus given 
an impulse to a reform the influence of which we 
trust may widen and deepen until the tide of fash- 
ionable folly is checked. The National Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union under the masterly lead- 
ership of Miss Francis E. Willard has recently organ- 
ized in America a work the influence of which eter- 
nity alone can tell. The introduction of the " health 
plank " into the platform of this organization, which 
we regard as the very backbone of the present won- 
derful temperance movement in the United States, 
was an important advance. Women are of all others 
the very ones to institute and carry forward this 
great reform, and the same indomitable energy, un- 
flagging perseverance, and irresistible determination 


which has marked the work of the leaders of this or- 
ganization will secure the same happy results which 
have followed their efforts in behalf of temperance 

School Education. — There is no doubt but that 
school-life has an important influence on the health of 
young ladies, particularly those just entering woman- 
hood. School-girls between the ages of twelve and 
twenty often suffer life-long injury as the result of 
too close application to their studies. They are stim- 
ulated by the spirit of competition which is fostered 
in most schools, or compelled by the 'rigorous disci- 
pline to which they are subjected in some schools, 
particularly young ladies' seminaries, and the ambition 
of teachers and parents to prepare them for gradua- 
tion in the shortest possible space of time. The ap- 
pearance on the stage, at the commencement exer- 
cises of some of our schools, of " young girl gradu- 
ates " with frail forms and a hectic flush on their 
cheeks and a weak and overstimulated nervous sys- 
tem, is an exceedingly common spectacle. Soon 
after graduation, if not before, these overworked girls 
having escaped from the cramming process to which 
they have been subjected for years, are turned over 
to the physician to be put in repair physically. Not 
infrequently the physician finds this by no means an 
easy task. The physical education has been so ut- 
terly neglected, while the nervous system has been 
overstimulated and overworked with the artificial 
educational process to which the patient has been 
subjected almost from early girlhood, that there is no 
foundation upon which to build the superstructure of 


health. Such girls go through life weakly from suf- 
fering, and unable to make any use of the knowledge 
which they have obtained, even if some portion of it 
may have been of a character likely to be of use, and 
too often the prospects for health and usefulness have 
been blighted by devotion to accomplishments of little 
or no practical value in life. 

Girls have been charged with being unequal to 
boys in mental calibre, and their breakdowns in the 
midst of a course of study or just after its completion 
have been attributed to a natural mental inferiority. 
We believe, however, that the female brain is equally 
as capable of mastering the studies usually pursued 
in our schools and colleges when the education of the 
boy and girl have been the same from early childhood. 
Unless the young lady's early training has been such 
as to dwarf her intellect and check the development 
of her mental faculties, she ought to be in every way 
the intellectual peer of her brother. 

An argument for the mental inferiority of women 
has been based on the fact that the brain of man is 
larger than that of woman. A comparison of a 
large number of brains of both sexes has shown that 
in males the average weight is 49 £ ounces, and in fe- 
males 44 ounces, a difference of 5? ounces, or about 
ten per cent in favor of the male brain. This fact 
has been used until it has become threadbare by 
those who oppose the coeducation of the sexes and 
the granting to woman an equal share with man in 
the various walks of life. There is a certain class of 
men, and now and then a woman also, who delight to 
descant on the inferiority of woman, and dilate upon 


the asserted fact that she is a ''weaker vessel" and 
hence unqualified to fill most of the positions of trust, 
responsibility, and honor after which men aspire. 
Some little time ago, a specious article upon this sub- 
ject appeared in one of the popular monthlies under 
the heading " Science and the Woman Question," in 
which the author — a woman — took strong ground in 
favor of the position that woman is decidedly inferior 
to man in mental capacity. The general interest 
taken in this subject by both sides warrants us in de- 
voting to its consideration a larger amount of space 
than would be otherwise justifiable. Let us consider 
some of the arguments advanced in favor of the posi- 
tion named. It is undoubtedly true that the average 
female brain is some 5 2 ounces less in weight than 
the male brain ; but those who use this argument with 
so much force, carefully conceal the fact that the 
proper measure of brain capacity is not its absolute 
size, but rather its proportionate size, or the size or 
weight of the brain compared with the bulk or weight 
of the individual. The element of quality must also 
be taken into consideration, as we shall show pres- 

Now while it is true that the female brain is five 
ounces lighter than the male brain, it is also true that 
the average woman is something like twenty-five 
pounds lighter in weight than the average man, the 
average man weighing 145 pounds, and the average 
woman 125 pounds. Dividing the weight of the 
average man by the average weight of his brain, 
we very readily ascertain the weight of the male 
brain to be 1-47 that of the body. By a similar 


process we find that the average female brain is 
a little less than 1-45 of the weight of the aver- 
age female. \It thus appears at once, that if the argu- 
ment respecting the size of the brain amounts to any- 
thing, it proves that the female brain is superior to 
that of the rnaLel The above conclusion would not be 
a just one, however, for, as all close students of psy- 
chology are well aware, the element of quality, as 
before remarked, must be considered as well as that 
of quantity in making a comparison between the 
brains of persons of different race or of different 
sex. The great naturalist Cuvier, carried a brain 
weighing 64^ ounces — 15 ounces more than that of 
the average male brain. Some years ago, a brick- 
laver died in London whose brain was found to weigh 
67 ounces. Notwithstanding the enormous size of 
his brain, this individual never manifested during his 
life any unusual degree of intelligence or mental ca- 
pacity. Dr. Morris, who made the autopsy at Uni- 
versity College Hospital in 1849, states that the 
man's height w r as five feet and nine inches, his frame 
robust, that he had a good memory, and w T as fond of 
politics, but could neither read nor write. Dr. Biich- 
ner records the brain weight of a man who was an 
epileptic and whose brain weighed 641 ounces — ex- 
actly the same as that of Cuvier. The largest female 
brain of which we have any record weighed 61 h 
ounces. It was possessed by a woman who was a 

Some recent studies in the subject of brain weight 
in the Chinese race show very interesting results 
which have a direct bearing on this subject. The ob- 


servations were made by Dr. Clapham, and reported 
by him in the Journal of the Anthropological Insti- 
tute. Dr. Clapham found the average weight of the 
brains which he examined to be : in males, 50 h 
ounces ; in females, 45 ounces. The possessors of 
these brains were not in the higher classes of Chinese, 
but were Coolies, who are the lowest class of Chinese 
society. Notwithstanding this fact, the average weight 
of the brain in the males was one ounce greater than 
that of the average European man, and in the females 
one and one half ounces greater than that of the aver- 
age European woman. Now if the premises upon 
which the arguments for the supposed mental inferi- 
ority of women are based, are good for anything, they 
will prove beyond a possibility of doubt that the av- 
erage Chinaman is greatly superior, intellectually, to 
the average European male, and the same for Chinese 

The investigations of physiologists have shown 
that the brain weight of the average negro is precisely 
the same as that of the brain of the average European 
woman. As the intellectual inferiority of the negro 
male to the European male is universally acknowl- 
edged, it would follow, allowing the premises to be 
correct, that the average European woman must be 
intellectually inferior to the average European man ; 
but the facts stated in the preceding paragraph con- 
clusively prove that this method of reasoning is an 
incorrect one. As stated before, the element of qual- 
ity must be taken into consideration, in investiga- 
tions of this subject. The relation of brain qual- 
ity to the brain function is w T ell recognized by biolo- 


gists in the study of the mental functions in lower 
animals, and why should not the same principle be 
applied to the study of mind in human beings ? 
Dr. W. Lauder Lindsay, in his admirable and ex- 
haustive work on " Mind in the Lower Animals," calls 
attention to this fact by numerous examples, one of 
the most striking of which we present in his own 
language : — 

" The Nuehr and other savages depend for sub- 
sistence solely on what nature produces, therefore nei- 
ther sow nor plant, and consequently are frequently 
on the verge of starvation. The Yeddas of Ceylon 
live without any system of cultivation, and the Bush- 
men of Southern Africa have neither flocks nor culti- 
vated grounds. On the other hand, according to the 
observations of Dr. Lincecum, who has carefully stud- 
ied its habits since 1848, there is in Mexico, Texas, 
and other parts of North America, an ant which has 
been distinctively called the ' agricultural ' or * har- 
vesting ' ant. It not only stores up seed, but culti- 
vates the plants which are to provide it, and carefully 
gathers in its crop at the right season. ... In 
the wet season the seeds in the ant granaries are apt 
to get wet and sprout; and, accordingly, on the first 
fine day the ants bring out all the damaged grain and 
set it in the sun to dry, returning to the store only 
such as is uninjured. These ants may truly be said 
to cultivate their estates. They have grass paddocks 
around their estate nests, and they w 7 eed these pad- 
docks. From their fields they bear off all herbage 
save Aristida Striata, a grain-bearing grass, called by 
Dr. Lincecum i ant rice,' and they sow the seeds of 


the same grass. When ripe, the grain is harvested 
and the chaff removed. Several other grains or seeds 
of grasses and other plants are gathered and garnered 
in a similar way. These ants, therefore, sow, reap, 
and store grain for winter use. If the grain is set 
sprouting by damp from inundations, it is dried in the 
sun on fine days — it is exposed, that is, only during 
the clay and during sunshine, being taken in-doors at 
night. According to Belt, certain leaf-cutting ants of 
Nicaragua cultivate fungi on decomposing leaves in 
their subterranean nests, ' the ants cutting and storing 
the leaves for the sake of the fungi which are subse- 
quently developed in the debris.'" 

It will not be disputed that the ants above de- 
scribed are in some respects superior to the tribes of 
savages with whom they are compared, notwithstand- 
ing that the brain of the ant, such as it possesses, is 
a mere atom compared with that of a Bushman. 

Bastian, in the exhaustive work to which we have 
previously referred, gives the weight of the brain in 
a large number of distinguished men, among others 
those of Tiedmann, the celebrated anatomist, and 
Hausemann, the eminent mineralogist; the brain of 
the former weighing 44.2 ounces, barely above that 
of the average woman, and that of the latter 43.2 
ounces, considerably below the weight of the average 
female brain. Speaking of the relation of brain weight 
to intelligence, Bastian says, " It seems perfectly 
plain from the facts recorded that there is no neces- 
sary or invariable relation between the degree of intel- 
ligence of human beings and the mere size and weight 
of a brain. Looking in fact to the mere size and 


weight of a brain, it must never be forgotten 

that an organ of a large size or weight may yet be a 
more or less inferior perceptive or thinking instrument 
by reason of its inner and finer developments being 
defective and badly attuned for harmonious action. 
Or again, it may be a defective instrument by reason 
of some still more subtle and mere molecular pecul- 
iarities of the nerve elements of which it is composed ; 
whereby these are perhaps both less receptive and 
less c retentive' of those sensorial impressions which 
constitute the raw material of intelligence, and also 
less capable than they might be of taking part in 
higher mental operations. There is, therefore, no in- 
variable or necessary relation between the mere brain- 
weights of individuals and their, degrees of intelli- 

Bastian also mentions the fact that " the male 
brain actually attains 5-6ths, and the female brain 
10-1 lths of its total ultimate weight by the end of 
the seventh year, although at this time the inner 
and finer structural development of the organ is, in all 
its higher tracts, still in a comparatively embryonic 
condition." This eminent author draws from this 
fact the following conclusion : — 

" Even such data might, therefore, be considered 
to show, in the strongest manner, how comparatively 
unimportant is mere bulk or weight of brain in refer- 
ence to the degree of intelligence of its owner, when 
considered, as it often is, apart from the much more 
important question of the relative amount of its gray 
matter, as well as of the amount and perfection of the 


minute internal development of the organ either act- 
ual or possible." 

It thus appears that no less eminent authority 
than Dr. Bastian recognizes the fact that the quality 
of brain structure is of far greater importance than 
quantity, while he, as well at all other investigators 
in this line, hold to the position that average brain 
size is, all other things being taken into considera- 
tion, a fair measure of the average intelligence of a 
race or class of people. It is reasonable to suppose 
that more extended investigations and deeper research 
into the finer elements of brain structure may only 
establish the fact that differences in mental capacity 
observed in different races and classes result as much 
from differences in the quality of the structure as in 
the quantity of the brain matter. 

Use has also been made of the fact that the lower 
limit of brain power in women, that is, the point at 
which human intelligence vanishes, is below that of 
males. Broca, as quoted by Bastian, places the 
lowest limit at which ordinary intelligence may be 
manifested in females at 32 ounces, and in males at 
37 ounces. A recent writer* in a popular magazine 
concludes from this fact that the male brain is supe- 
rior to that of the female, although to persons of " or- 
dinary intelligence " it would seem to be apparent 
that the female brain-matter must be superior to the 
cerebral tissue of males since a smaller amount of it is 
capable of manifesting intelligence. But we consider 

*Miss Emma Hardaker, Popular Science Monthly, March, 




it doubtful whether any correct conclusion can be 
drawn from such data as this, owing to the fact to 
which we previously called attention, that in these 
investigations no account was taken of the propor- 
tionate weight of the brain as compared with the rest 
of the body, which seems to us too important a mat- 
ter to be ignored. We are by no means prepared to 
accept the arguments offered by the writer above men- 
tioned, who says, " It is most probable that we may 
at some time establish an exact correspondence be- 
tween brain substance and intelligence, as the size 
and condition of the lungs yield an exact measure 
of the breathing power and as the contractile muscle 
of the heart measures the amount of blood ejected at 
each pulsation." 

This is but a partial view of the case. Breathing 
power, as we have often demonstrated, depends as 
much upon the quality of the respiratory apparatus 
as upon its size. We have frequently met cases of 
very great lung capacity in persons much below 
the average stature. The same is true of the work- 
ing power of the heart. The amount of blood which 
the heart can eject depends as much upon the quality 
of the muscle and its nervous connections as upon the 
size of the heart. The same is true of the stomach 
and other organs. The amount of food which the in- 
dividual can digest depends not alone upon the size 
of the stomach, but upon the quality of the stomach 
and the digestive juices secreted by it. 

While it may be true, as the writer referred to 
states, that the average man eats and assimilates one- 
fifth more food than the average woman, there is no 


good ground for the conclusion that because a man 
eats more he thinks more. Again, it is undoubtedly 
true that a larger amount of muscle enables him to 
make a greater expenditure of force, but this can 
readily be accounted for by the greater amount of 
muscular activity in man as compared with woman. 
The author reasons on the supposition that " the brain 
of man has the same proportion to the weight of his 
body that the brain of woman has to the weight of 
her body," which we have previously shown to be in- 
correct, the average female brain being greater in pro- 
portion to the weight of the body than the average 
male brain. It thus appears that while' the brain of 
woman might not be equal in absolute size, it might 
still receive as large an amount of blood and utilize 
as great an amount of force on account of its greater 
proportionate size. 

The same writer also bases an argument on the 
fact that woman expends a large amount of force in 
the functions of motherhood, which he assumes as 
about one-twentieth part of the total amount of vital 
force during the child-bearing period. In this argu- 
ment an important fact is overlooked ; namely, that 
during the period of pregnancy, when the mother's 
vital powers are taxed in an extraordinary degree, a 
more than commensurate increase occurs in the force- 
producing capacities of the mother. This fact is well 
recognized by physiologists, and ought not to be ig- 
nored in this discussion. It is well known that a 
woman usually gains in flesh during the period of 
pregnancy, and women often enjoy a higher degree of 
health at this period than when in their usual 


conditions. In view of this fact, it appears to 
be fair to draw the conclusion that motherhood is 
really a gain to an individual in the ability to mani- 
fest force rather than a loss, at any rate, during the 
period in which the functions of maternity may be 

Another fact is worthy of attention in this con- 
nection ; namely, that the transmission of character- 
istics from the mother to the daughter by heredity is 
scarcely if any greater than from the father to the 
daughter. If woman's training and education through 
generations has been such as to develop her mental 
faculties less than those of man, the deteriorating influ- 
ences of these circumstances must be neutralized by 
heredity, since mothers are as likely to transmit their 
enfeebled mental qualities to their sons as to their 
daughters, and fathers as likely to transmit their su- 
perior mental development to their daughters as to 
their sons. The seeming contradictions to this state- 
ment may be readily accounted for by the fact that 
girls have not, at least until recently, enjoyed the 
same opportunities for developing the mental powers 
which they might possess as have boys, so that supe- 
rior inherited mental qualifications have undoubtedly 
in thousands of instances lain dormant in women be- 
cause their circumstances were not such as to expand 
and develop them. 

But suppose that those who so arduously seek to 
demonstrate the mental inferiority of woman were 
able to establish their point, what conclusion has been 
reached ? Simply the fact that through a long course 
of injudicious training, woman has become mentally as 


well as physically inferior to man. That such a dif- 
ference, if it exists, is simply the result of education, 
cannot be doubted. All the evidence necessary for 
the demonstration of this fact is afforded by an ob- 
servation made by Vogt, as quoted by Bastian in his 
recent admirable work entitled " The Brain as an Or- 
gan of Mind," that the difference between the size of 
the brain in males and females is much less in unciv- 
ilized than in civilized nations. This is undoubtedly 
due to the fact that in races which are in a low state 
of culture the occupations for physical and mental 
labor are more nearly alike. As Vogt remarks, 
" Among the Australians, the Bushmen, and other low 
races possessing no fixed habitations, the wife par- 
takes of all her husband's toils, and has, in addition, 
the care of the progeny. The sphere of occupation 
is the same for both sexes ; whilst among civilized 
nations there is a division both in physical and men- 
tal labor. If it be true that every organ is strength- 
ened by exercise, increasing in size and weight, it 
must equally apply to the brain, which must become 
more developed by proper mental exercise." 

The observations made by Le Bon, also quoted by 
Bastian, show that the difference between the capac- 
ity of the skulls of males and females among modern 
Parisians is about double that of the ancient Egyp- 
tians. From these facts we may legitimately draw the 
conclusion that the difference in the mental develop- 
ment of men and women is wholly the result of differ- 
ences in training and education which have been oper- 
ating through many generations. If this is the case, 
certainly it is about time that woman had a chance to 


regain her lost capacity, and instead of being an argu- 
ment against the demands made for woman for wider 
opportunities for culture, it is the best possible argu- 
ment which could be urged in favor of affording her 
such opportunities. Indeed, it is evident that she 
ought to be provided with better opportunities for 
culture and development than man, who has so long 
enjoyed a monopoly of these advantages. 

Coeducation of the Sexes. — The question of the 
coeducation of young men and young women has been 
much discussed during recent years. The question 
is important, but we have not here space to give it 
more than a very brief consideration, ULLnd^r-^mjper 
restrictions as to intercourse with each other, we re- 
gard the coeducation of boys and girls as beneficial to 
both, in accustoming each to the society of the other 
and conducive to the development of desirable traits 
and the repression of undesirable ones in both sexes. 
The difficulties in preventing too intimate associations 
of the sexes during school-life are sometimes so great, 
or the necessary restrictions so imperfectly main- 
tained, that whatever advantages might be derived 
from proper associations are much more than neu- 
tralized by the evil results of too great intimacy 
between the sexes. A school at which boys and 
girls or young men and young women, are allowed 
to associate without the restraint of rigorous discipline 
and the enforcement of wholesome regulations, is a 
dangerous place for either sex ; and schools in which 
the sexes are strictly isolated are decidedly preferable 
to such schools as these, which are, unfortunately, Far 
too common. It may, in fact, be regarded as abso- 


lutely impossible for a faculty or board of trustees, in 
a school for both sexes, to prevent serious evils from 
growing out of the close associations of school-life and 
the opportunities for improper and injurious alliances, 
without the thorough cooperation of the parents of the 
students and of the community in which the school is 
located. This fact is well evidenced by the frequent 
occurrence of scandals in connection with colleges and 
seminaries and the numerous elopements and prema- 
ture marriages which originate in the too intimate as- 
sociation of the sexes during school-life. 

The great objection which is urged against the 
coeducation of the sexes is that women have no 
practical use for the scientific and classical studies to 
the acquirement of which a great portion of the period 
of study in our colleges is devoted. It should be 
borne in mind, however, that the discipline derived 
from a thorough course of training in the classics and 
sciences is really of far greater value than the mere 
knowledge obtained. The Iliad and the Odyssey 
may be forgotten ; the abstractions of mental philos- 
ophy may sink into oblivion ; time may efface almost 
the last trace of the knowledge of facts so laboriously 
acquired ; but the acumen of thought, the power of 
critical analysis, the strength and independence of char- 
acter gained by the labor put forth in the acquisition 
of knowledge, can never be lost while reason remains 
enthroned. The majority of men who graduate from 
colleges do not spend their lives in translating Greek 
poems nor in solving the problems of Euclid. Proba- 
bly two-thirds or three-fourths never look into their 
Greek or Latin text-books six months after they re- 


ceive their diplomas. Their school studies are for- 
saken and soon forgotten ; but the mental discipline 
which they received in their pursuit remains with 
them as valuable capital to be invested in any enter- 
prise in which they may embark. 

A sensible woman who has been thoroughly edu- 
cated in the classics, mathematics, chemistry, and ge- 
ology, need not necessarily make herself ridiculous 
by quoting Latin or Greek passages to her visitors, or 
spend her whole time in the collection of specimens 
of rocks and minerals, or in chemical investigations 
for the detection of some new metal, or in midnight 
observations for the discovery of a comet or a new 
planet. The mental training, the habits of close 
thought, the power of independent reasoning and in- 
vestigation which the woman of sound mind acquires 
in a thorough college course are of as great benefit to 
her in the performance of household duties as to her 
equally well educated brother engaged in the various 
departments of business life. 

Overstudy at Critical Periods. — The only real 
evil result to woman which can be made to appear as 
growing out of the coeducation of the sexes is the 
possibility of overstudy when the system requires 
tranquillity of mind and rest of body. As previously 
remarked, the girl who is approaching puberty should 
be relieved of severe burdens of any kind. She is 
not prepared to sustain any severe tax of either mind 
or body, and if at this time she is compelled to keep 
pace with others whose conditions are not such as to 
demand shorter lessons and less severe mental taxa- 
tion, the exhaustion of the nervous system which 


may result may interfere seriously with the proper 
completion of the approaching changes in her physi- 
cal system intended to result in the establishment of 
an important function. There is no doubt that girls 
have sometimes been injured by overstudy at this 
critical period. 

What is true of the few months preceding the es- 
tablishment of the menstrual function is also true of 
the few days attending each subsequent occurrence of 
the flow during the first years after the establishment 
of this function, especially the first two or three. 
Girls require rest of both body and mind at the men- 
strual period. This should not be absolute, but noth- 
ing taxing should be imposed upon them. They are 
not able to do their best physically nor mentally at 
this period, as the forces of the system are in part oc- 
cupied in the performance of vital functions not un- 
der the control of the will. 

From these facts it appears that girls between the 
ages of twelve and eighteen should not be expected 
to do so large an amount of work as boys of equal 
mental capacity, and hence it appears that certain 
dangers may arise from the competition of the sexes 
in a school in which they are educated together. 
This danger is by no means so great, however, as has 
been claimed, since, as is well known to physiologists 
and to all acute observers, girls develop mentally 
more rapidly than boys. The mental capacity of a 
girl at sixteen is usually equal to that of a boy at 
eighteen, so that as a rule girls are able to accomplish 
their school tasks much more rapidly than boys of 
the same ages and with a less expenditure of vital 


force. This being the case, the teacher who under- 
stands the matter will readily obviate the liability to 
injury which the young lady members of his classes 
might otherwise suffer by showing them greater len- 
iency during the week of the menstrual period, know- 
ing that they will, if properly encouraged, readily 
make up during the three following weeks the little 
they may have dropped behind. 

Those who use this argument against the coedu- 
cation of the sexes seem to have lost sight of the fact 
that it tells fully as much against the education of 
girls together as against the coeducation of girls 
and boys. If a girl cannot be educated in connec- 
tion with a boy on account of her diminished ability 
to study during the menstrual week, it is evident that 
she cannot be educated Avith other girls, except those 
whose menstrual week may happen to occur at the 
same time as her own. The carrying out of this 
principle would require that girls should be classified 
according to the time of the occurrence of the men- 
strual function as well as according to their mental 
acquirements or ability. But we hope no one will 
attempt to carry out this suggestion, as such a proj- 
ect would certainly prove a failure on account of the 
great variation of the time of the occurrence of the 
menstrual function during the first few years after it 
is established, the only time when it interferes to 
any great extent with the other functions of the 
body, mentally or physically. 

From some considerable observation with refer- 
ence to this subject we are convinced that the injury 
which girls suffer from the system of coeducation is 


not so much due to their sexual peculiarities as to the 
improper methods to which they are subjected. The 
process of cramming, so common in nearly all of our 
popular schools, and particularly in young ladies' sem- 
inaries, is really the cause of the greatest injury to 
young girls. They suffer more than boys from this 
" stuffing " process because of the diminished ability 
to endure it to which they are subject at certain pe- 
riods. We firmly believe that girls are fully able to 
compete with boys of the same age in the study of any 
of the subjects pursued in our schools and colleges, 
provided natural and proper methods of instruction 
are employed. 

We ought not to leave this part of the subject 
without calling attention to the fact that much of the 
weakness and failure of girls during school-life is due 
to improper habits of dress, improper food, w T ant of 
regular habits of rest, attendance at theaters, evening 
parties, dances, etc., too little physical exercise, con- 
finement in close and unventilated schoolrooms, sit- 
ting upon hard and improperly made seats, bending 
over desks which are equally improper and unsuitable 
in construction, — all of these causes and many more 
among which may be included the vicious habit to 
which we have called attention in a previous section, 
are really the chief causes of the numerous break- 
downs which are so common among school girls. 

Novel-Reading. — The reading of works of fiction 
is one of the most pernicious habits to which a young 
lady can become devoted. When the habit is once 
thoroughly fixed, it becomes as inveterate as the use 
of liquor or opium. The novel-devotee is as much a 


slave as the opium-eater or the inebriate. The read- 
ing of fictitious literature destroys the taste for sober, 
wholesome reading and imparts an unhealthy stimulus 
to the mind, the effect of which is in the highest de- 
gree damaging. 

When we add to this the fact that a large share 
of the popular novels of the day contain more or less 
matter of a directly depraving character, presented in 
such gilded form and specious guise that the work of 
contamination may be completed before suspicion is 
aroused, it should become apparent to every careful 
mother that her daughters should be vigilantly 
guarded against this dangerous source of injury and 
possible ruin. We have dilated quite fully upon this 
subject in a preceding section, and will not enlarge 
upon it here. We wish, however, to put ourself upon 
record as believing firmly that the practice of novel 
reading is one of the greatest causes of uterine dis- 
ease in young women. There is no doubt that the 
influence of the mind upon the sexual organs and 
functions is such that disease may be produced in this 
way. As remarked in the consideration of the physi- 
ology of the reproductive organs, it is a common ob- 
servation that the menstrual function may be sus- 
pended suddenly as the result of grief or some 
other strong emotion experienced by the individual. 
Hemorrhage or profuse menstruation may result from 
a similar cause. These facts demonstrate beyond the 
possibility of question that the circulation in the 
uterus and its appendages is greatly subject to 
changes through the influence of the mind. Reading 
of a character to stimulate the emotions and rouse 


the passions may produce or increase a tendency to 
uterine congestion, which may in turn give rise to a 
great variety of maladies, including all the different 
forms of displacement, the presence of which is indi- 
cated by weak backs, painful menstruation, leucor- 
rhoea, etc. 

We do not insist that nothing should ever be read 
but history, biography, or perfectly authentic accounts 
of experiences in real life. There are undoubtedly 
novels, such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, and one or two 
others which we might mention, which have been 
active agents in the accomplishment of great and 
good results. Such novels are not likely to do any- 
body any harm ; but the number of harmless works 
of fiction is very limited indeed. Many works which 
are considered among the standards of literature are 
wholly unfit for the perusal of young ladies who wish 
to retain their simplicity of mind and purity of 
thought. We have felt our cheeks burn more than 
once when we have seen young school-girls intently 
poring over the vulgar poems of Chaucer or the amor- 
ous ditties of Burns or Byron. Still worse than any 
of these are the low witticisms of Rabelais and Boc- 
caccio ; and yet we have not infrequently seen these 
volumes in the book-cases of family libraries readily 
accessible to the young daughters or growing sons of 
the family. The growing influence of this kind of 
literature is far more extensive than can be readily 
demonstrated. Thousands of women whose natural 
love for purity leads them to shun and abhor every- 
thing of an immoral tendency, yet find themselves 
obliged to wage a painful warfare for years to banish 


from their minds the impure imagery generated by 
the perusal of books of this character. We have met 
cases of disease in which painful maladies could be 
traced directly to this source. 

Impurity of Speech. — It is not to be supposed 
that young ladies are by any means so remiss in this 
particular as the majority of young men, and yet we 
have had painful evidence of the fact that too often 
even young ladies who are looked upon as in the 
highest degree respectable allow themselves to indulge 
in conversation of a character which they would not 
like to have overheard by their mothers. We would 
not say that every young woman who indulges in 
loose conversations is guilty of vicious habits; but it 
is certain that a young woman who allows herself to 
utter unchaste words and joins with others in conver- 
sation upon impure subjects, if not already impure, is 
in the way to become so should a strong temptation 
present itself under favorable circumstances. 

The habit which many girls have of talking famil- 
iarly about the boys, is an exceedingly detrimental 
one. It leads" in the same direction as the habit in- 
dulged in by many coarse and vulgar young men who 
stand upon the street .corners making lewd criticisms 
upon every passing female. " Out of the abundance 
of the heart the mouth speaketh," are the words of an 
inspired writer, and it is fair to conclude that a young 
woman who delights in conversation upon unchaste 
subjects is poorly fortified against the temptation to 
overt acts of unchastity. 

Women of mature age as well as young girls are 
often guilty of this same practice. In one form or 


another this "ghost of vice" often haunts the sewing- 
circle and the boudoir. Women who consider 1 them- 
selves immaculate often seem to enjoy nothing more 
thoroughly than the retailing of scandal and gossiping 
about the lapses from virtue of the sons and daughters 
of their neighbors. 

Lapses from virtue, in women as well as men, be- 
gin with mental impurity. A young woman who 
allows her imagination to run riot in lewdness is in a 
fair way to become impure in deed as well as thought. 
Man, even when most debased, loves to regard woman 
as chaste and pure in mind as well as body, and a 
woman cannot consider herself in the strictest sense 
pure unless she reaches this high ideal. Even listen- 
ing to impure conversation without participation in it 
is demoralizing and destructive to purity, as the mind 
accustomed to hear words of unchaste and impure 
meaning unconsciously acquires some tolerance not 
only of the language but of the actions which it signi- 
fies. The society of women whether young or old who 
indulge in unchaste conversation, should be shunned 
as one would avoid the vicinity of a rattlesnake or a 
man sick with the plague. The moral disease engen- 
dered by this contagion of vice is far more deadly 
than any physical malady from which the body can 
suffer, yet these inoculators of vice are often admitted 
to the best circles of society, and the moral vaccina- 
tion to which girls and young women who come un- 
der their influence are subjected, is much more cer- 
tain to "work " and to develop in some foul disease in 
the victims than a vaccine inoculation for kine-pox. 


The Immoral Dance. — Notwithstanding the apol- 
ogies which have been made for dancing by clergy- 
men in high positions, the impression is becoming 
each year more and more fixed in the minds of 
thoughtful people that dancing is in the highest degree 
demoralizing in its tendency. This is especially true 
of what is known as round dancing, and particularly 
of the different varieties of the waltz. Recently, 
Prof. Welch, a popular dancing-master of Philadel- 
phia, after having been for many years engaged in 
his profession and having the widest opportunities for 
observation of the effects of the waltz, speaks out 
against it in the following decided terms : — 

" I have watched closely and thought deeply on 
the subject, and now I have no hesitation in say- 
ing that the waltz, under whatsoever name it may go, 
for the time being is immoral. It is the only dance 
that decent people protest against, and I am happy to 
say that there still remain numbers of careful fathers 
who will not allow their daughters to dance it, although 
a vast proportion of the fashionable and a majority of 
the middle and lower classes do not seem as yet 
awakened to its iniquity. Ten or fifteen years ago 
the waltz w T as not so objectionable as at present. 
Dancers of to-day come in altogether too close con- 
tact. In the olden time a gentleman merely touched a 
lady's waist, at the same time holding her right hand 
is his left. Now he throws his arm clear around her 
form, pulls her closely to him, as though fearful of 
losing her, brings his face into actual contact with her 
soft cheek, and, in a word, hugs her. Such action is 
altogether too familiar, but still custom and society 


sanction it, and instead of improvement for the better, 
we see year after year a marked advance in the im- 
proprieties of the dance. In the old days the waltz 
was comparatively modest ; now it is just the reverse, 
and the waltz is calculated to do more injury to the 
young than many of the vices that are preached 
against from the pulpit and deeply deplored in pri- 
vate life. 

" I have made it my practice for years to attend 
parties in order to keep pace in my teachings with 
the popular demand. I have no hesitation in saying 
that I attribute much of the vice and immorality now 
prevailing to the insidious influences of the waltz. 
This may seem an overstraining of the point, but it 
is my honest conviction. I tell you that in the higher 
circles, young ladies at parties and balls are absolutely 
hugged — embraced would be too weak to express my 
meaning — by men who were altogether unknown to 
them before the waltz began to inspire the toes of the 
dancers. Is this a pleasant sight to contemplate? 

" Then in the lower classes, the license of the 
dance is much more shocking. I have seen couples 
so closely interlocked that the face of the man was 
actually in contact with that of the palpitating girl 
in his arms. I have seen kisses interchanged amid 
the whirl of the maddening waltz." 

The writer of the above raises no objection to 
other dances than those characterized by what he 
terms " hugging," but in our opinion there is no place 
where the line can be drawn between harmless and 
harmful dancing when both sexes participate in the 
exercise. As a mode of exercise, we have no objec- 



tion to dancing itself any more than to calisthenics 
or parlor gymnastics ; but like card-playing, this form 
of exercise has been rendered dangerous and per- 
nicious by the demoralizing influences with which it 
has been so long associated. We do not approve of 
even parlor dances when the participants are members 
of the same family. This may justly be compared to 
tippling or moderate drinking, which is pretty certain, 
sooner or later, to result in drunkenness. So parlor 
dancing eventually leads to public balls and all the 
evil associations connected therewith. 

Some little time ago, the Chief of Police in New 
York City made the astounding statement that " three- 
fourths of the abandoned girls in that city are ruined 
by dancing." We might recount a large number of 
cases which have come to our knowledge in which in- 
nocent girls and young women have begun the down- 
ward course to shame and utter moral ruin in the 
dancing-school. In our opinion, this form of amuse- 
ment ought to be discountenanced by respectable 
Christian people everywhere. Not only is it harmful 
on account of its immoral tendencies, but on account 
of the physical injury which frequently results. 
Thousands of young women in blooming health have 
laid the seeds of consumption in a cold contracted by 
going out of an over-heated ball-room in a light, fash- 
ionable dress, reeking with perspiration from the ex- 
haustive heat and the vigorous exercise, into the cold 
air of a wintry night. Many cases of serious uterine 
disease have come under our care which were directly 
traceable to indulgence in midnight dancing with hips 
and waist burdened with heavy, trailing skirts, often 


at a time when complete mental and physical rest 
should have been taken. 

It is true that dancing is a healthful exercise. We 
do not object to it on the ground that when taken at 
proper hours and not too greatly prolonged it may 
not be harmless as a form of exercise ; but these con- 
ditions are seldom secured, and dancing offers no 
advantages whatever over calisthenics or parlor gym- 
nastics, which are wholly free from the dangers and 
evil consequences of the dance. 

Diet. — As a rule, girls are more delicate in their 
tastes than boys. Taking less vigorous out-of-door 
exercise, their appetites are less keen and more fas- 
tidious. They are more fond of pastry and knick- 
knacks and care less for the substantial of diet. By 
the indulgence of this morbid taste, a large share of 
the young ladies of the day either actually become 
dvspeptics or lay the foundation for this disease while 
vet in their teens. We have no doubt that a 
large share of the nervousness which is so character- 
istic of American women has its foundation in these 
depraved appetites and the consequent impaired di- 
gestion. Imperfect elaboration of food leaves the 
blood deficient in nutritive elements and more or less 
impaired in quality by the addition of the crude prod- 
ucts of impaired digestion. The impoverished blood 
is deficient in the elements which go to rebuild the 
brain and nervous system, and this portion of the 
body soon manifests its diseased condition by a weak 
and disordered action which is termed nervousness. 
Most of the neuralgia which is the bane of so many 
women's lives is but the cry of tired, impoverished 


nerves for more and better food. The same impover- 
ished condition of the nervous system is undoubtedly 
responsible for much of the hysteria as well as other 
forms of nervousness with which the young women of 
the present day, especially the daughters of fashion- 
able parents, x are afflicted. 

The habit some young ladies have of drinking 
vinegar in large quantities for the purpose, as they 
say, of making their complexions white, is in the 
highest degree detrimental to health. In fact, it is 
through the injury to the digestive organs that the 
supposed desirable results are obtained, the effect of 
the vinegar being to impoverish the blood and so pro- 
duce an unnatural paleness of the countenance. 

Tea and Coffee. — Some time ago, a friend sent us 
a clipping from a popular newspaper, consisting of an 
extract from a lecture delivered at Sheffield, Eng., in 
which a professor said, " The domestic, quiet life and 
habits of the Chinese owe much of their strength to 
the constant use of this beverage (tea)." This asser- 
tion, the gentleman sending the clipping made the 
basis of an argument in favor of the general use of 
tea; but who ever heard before that the Chinese 
were particularly noted for placable, quiet tempers 
and domestic habits ? About the first Chinaman *we 
ever saw threw his flat-iron through a Avindow, break- 
ing two sashes of glass, because some little boys in 
the street were gazing in astonishment to see him 
sprinkle clothes with his mouth. The testimony of 
the eminent Dr. Bock, of Leipsic, is that " the snap- 
pish, petulant humor of the Chinese can certainly be 
ascribed to their immoderate fondness for tea." 


Not long ago a lady patient said to us while un- 
dergoing an examination, " Now, Doctor, do tell me 
what makes me so cross ! I did not use to be ir- 
ritable ; bat for two or three years I have been get- 
ting so cross and disagreeable that I do not see how 
my friends can endure me. I scold and fret without 
any cause whatever, and get out of patience with 
every little thing. Do tell me what is the matter." 
Having learned that the lady was in the habit of us- 
ing strong tea, we attributed the irritability to that 
cause. She gave up the use of tea in a short time, 
and soon recovered her former equanimity of temper. 

The use of strong tea and coffee by young ladies 
undoubtedly has much to do with the depraved con- 
dition in which the nervous system is found in at least 
nine out of ten of the fashionable young ladies of the 
present day. The use of these beverages not only 
directly impairs the nervous system through the 
narcotic principle which they contain, but creates a 
demand for other stimulants and narcotics, as alcohol, 
chloral, and morphine, which are frequently re- 
sorted to. 

The use of these articles is so very common and 
their injurious effects so little appreciated, that we 
feel justified in introducing here a somewhat extended 
consideration of their character and influence on the 
human body, hoping thereby to cause a few of those 
who peruse these pages to take a resolute stand 
against them. 

A correspondent writes that one of Jus neighbors 
daily drinks " four cups of tea at breakfast, four at 
dinner, and four or five at supper." He raises the 


question whether his neighbor is not as bad a man 
from the stand-point of temperance as himself, who 
uses tobacco. The query is certainly a pertinent 
on<\ and there can be no question that the use of 
tea in the quantities described is quite as bad as- the 
use of tobacco in the quantities in which it is usually 
taken. It does not seem to be generally understood 
that tea and coffee are poisons ; but the experiments 
of a large number of scientists show most conclusively 
that they both contain a substance known as caffeine 
or theine which is capable of producing death in 
lower animals and human beings. One observer 
found that one-seventh of a grain killed a frog in a 
very short time. Five grains killed a good sized cat 
and also a rabbit. Death occurs in lower animals in 
a manner almost the same as that in which death oc- 
curs in poisoning from strychnia. Strong convulsions 
are produced with the arrest of respiration, and in a 
short time the heart ceases to beat. Tea contains 
about three per cent of theine, or more than thirteen 
grains to the ounce. Every pound of tea contains 
enough of this poison to kill fifteen hundred frogs or 
more than forty cats. One case is on record in which 
a fine horse belonging to an English army officer was 
killed by eating accidentally a small quantity of tea. 
The largest dose of theine which is recorded as 
being taken by a human being, is twelve grains, 
which produced very dangerous symptoms, and with 
the addition of a few grains more would undoubtedly 
have proved fatal. Yet it is perfectly well known 
that half an ounce of tea containing six and one- 
half grains of the poison is often used in making a 


strong cup of tea. Thirteen cups of strong tea would 
contain a little more than eighty-four grains of the 
poison theine, or an amount sufficient, in all probabil- 
ity, to kill three or four men. 

If tea contains such a poison, why does it not 
produce fatal results more frequently than it does ? 
may be inquired. We answer, simply because a tol- 
erance for the drug is established by use, just as in 
the case of tobacco. One-tenth of a grain of nicotine 
will kill a frog, and so small a dose as one-sixteenth 
of a grain has produced dangerous symptoms in a 
man ; it has also been shown that the smoke from a 
half ounce of tobacco contains sufficient nicotine to 
produce death, yet sudden death from tobacco-smok- 
ing is not a very common result of the almost uni- 
versal use of this poisonous drug. The wakefulness 
and increased mental activity which many persons ex- 
perience from the use of tea are evidences of its poison- 
ous character. The same thing is observed in cats 
and other lower animals when tea is administered to 
them in a little less than the fatal dose, or when a 
fatal dose has been given, and before the fatal effects 
make their appearance. The poor creatures manifest 
sometimes the wildest excitement. 

These facts ought to be more widely known than 
they are, and if duly appreciated must have some in- 
fluence in lessening the use of a beverage which un- 
der the guise of " the cup that cheers and not in- 
ebriates" has captivated almost the entire English- 
speaking world. 

Late Suppers, Ices, etc. — One of the most dam- 
aging of all dietetic digressions is the fashionable 


custom introduced into this country from abroad of 
taking supper at a late hour, some time between nine 
and twelve P. M. The articles eaten at this late meal 
are usually those of a highly indigestible character, 
such as pastry, ices, wines, confectionery, etc. The 
person who indulges in such midnight feasting on 
such unhealthful viands is certain to sutler the penalty 
of such transgression sooner or later in the pangs of 
indigestion or the remorse of a remonstrating stomach. 
A young lady whose digestive organs are, from her 
habits of life, less vigorous than those of a man, can- 

O 7 

not with impunity indulge in such indiscretions as 
these. Her health will sooner or later become seri- 
ously impaired, and she will thereby become utterly 
unqualified for the performance of the arduous duties 
which devolve upon a wife and mother. 

Too Much Meat. — The usual prescription which 
a young lady suffering from nervousness, impover- 
ished blood, and general debility, gets upon going to a 
physician is, " Eat more meat ; live upon beef-steak, 
mutton-chops, and roast beef." We consider such 
advice not only unnecessary but mischievous. A 
young lady who has ruined her digestion by late sup- 
pers, the use of strong tea and coffee and condiments, 
does not want more meat, but less knick-knacks. She 
does not require more beef-steak, but more oat-meal 
and less pastry. It is wholly unnecessary that she 
should consume a large quantity of roast-beef or 
mutton chop, but it is of the first importance that she 
should take a liberal supply of well-cooked fruits and 
grains and other simple articles of food. A young lady 
who is nervous already from overstimulation does not 


want further excitation. Meat of all kinds, as every 
physiologist and observing physician knows, is stimu- 
lating, and should not be freely used by anyone whose 
nervous system is already overexcited and irritable. 

The Use of Opium, Liquor, Chloral, and other 
Drugs. — On this subject we cannot do better than to 
quote a few paragraphs from another work by the 
author * in which the whole subject of stimulants 
and narcotics is considered at greater length than 
would be proper here. 

"Within the last few years the consumption of 
this narcotic drug has been increasing in this country 
to an alarming extent. Thirty years ago the amount 
of opium imported was about 130,000 pounds annually. 
To-day, according to the report of the chief of the 
Bureau of Statistics, it is not less than 400,000 
pounds. Of this amount not more than one-fifth is 
used for medicinal purposes, leaving the enormous 
amount of 320,000 pounds to be disposed of by habit- 
ual users of the drug. The exact number of opium 
consumers cannot be determined with any degree of 
accuracy, as the devotees of the drug usually avoid 
disclosing the habit as much and as long as possible. 
Careful inquiries of druggists, and others likely to be 
the best posted, have elicited facts upon which it is 
perfectly safe to base the estimate that there are not 
less than 100,000, and very probably as many as 
200,000, habitual opium-takers in the United States. 
" The amount of opium consumed by an old opium- 

* The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Ra- 
tional Medicine. 


eater is sometimes enormous. In one case under the 
writer's care, half an ounce of morphia was habitually 
taken as a single dose, and twice daily, with no more 
effect than would follow the administration of one- 
fourth of a grain to a person unaccustomed to its use. 
" Probably the greatest of all causes of this enor- 
mous increase in the habit within the last few years 
is its reckless and uncalled-for use in medicine. It is 
the custom of many physicians to prescribe opium in 
some form for almost every ache or pain which they 
encounter in practice." 

There is also evidence for believing that although 
women are much less addicted to the use of alcoholic 
stimulants than are men, the alcohol habit is steadily 
gaining ground among them, especially in what are 
supposed to be the higher circles of society. The 
jaded belle, worn out with the excesses of fashionable 
dissipation, seeks a renewal of her wasted energies in 
the deceptive influence of a " pick-me-up," and soon 
the habit is formed too strongly to be resisted. Every 
large city contains numerous places where women can 
obtain all kinds of liquor without letting the public 
into the secret. Often these " bars " for the special 
accommodation of women are ingeniously hidden 
behind a milliner's sign, or placed in a side room 
in connection with some fashionable dress-maker's 

In looking for the causes of the appalling increase 
in female intemperance, we have been led to believe 
that one of the most important is the frequent recom- 
mendation of alcoholic drinks or mixtures as remedies 
by physicians. 


Although it is a little more than a half-score of 
years since the introduction of chloral as a remedy, 
its use has become so general that cases of " chloral- 
ism" are by no means uncommon. The chloral habit 
threatens to become a rival of the opium habit, if it 
has not already become quite as extensive in its prev- 
alence. In fashionable circles it is no uncommon 
thing for ladies to carry chloral bottles in their 
portmanteaus or work-baskets. As complete men- 
tal, physical, and moral demoralization are produced 
by this drug as result from the use of alcohol or 

The habit of continual dosing with one drug or 
another, practiced by thousands of ladies, cannot be 
too strongly condemned. We have met hundreds of 
cases in which the digestion had been wholly ruined 
by this pernicious practice, and several serious mala- 
dies established which were in large measure incurable. 
Mothers often make their children invalids for life by 
constant dosing with this or that remedy which has 
been recommended by a friend or newly advertised in 
the newspapers. The family medicine chest is a more 
dangerous piece of furniture in a home than a loaded 
shot gun or a keg of powder. The harm which has 
come from the popular notion that something in the 
line of medicine must be swallowed for every little 
ache or pain, is incalculable. Young ladies, mothers, 
and everybody else ought to know that drugs do not 
cure disease. Nature cures, if a cure is accomplished, 
and in the great majority of cases the regular or ir- 
regular nostrums taken into the stomach impede re- 
covery instead of aiding the cure. When a- person 


feels somewhat " out-of-sorts," the proper thing to do 
is not to swallow a few doses of this man's " pills," or 
that man's " tonic," or some old lady's mixture, but 
to carefully scrutinize the habits, and thereby ascer- 
tain the cause of the indisposition. When this is dis- 
covered, its removal will be speedily followed by a 
disappearance of the morbid symptoms 


At the present time, little attention is paid by 
women to physical culture. In fact, the idea of mus- 
cularity seems to be in some way connected with 
coarseness, and the popular idea of female beauty 
does not "include a good physique, whatever else it 
may demand. In ancient Greece the physical train- 
ing of women was considered as important as that of 
men. We read in the history of those ancient times 
of the exploits of female gladiators, and women were 
frequently found contending for prizes in the athletic 
sports which were so popular at that age of the 

The physical inferiority of women is much more 
marked in civilized than in uncivilized countries. 
Among barbarous nations the difference between the 
physical development of men and women is far less 
than that observed among civilized people. This is 
undoubtedly due to the fact that the mode of life 
among barbarous nations is such that the females are 
required to perform quite as much daily physical 
labor as the males. Among some nations, in fact, a 
great portion of the labor is done by the females. 


The last remark is also true of some lands called civ- 
ilized. For instance, travelers in Italy record that 
it is not an uncommon sight to see a man going to 
market with a cart loaded with vegetables drawn by 
a team consisting of a donkey and his muscular wife 
harnessed up together. One traveler reports having 
seen a woman and a cow yoked together before a cart 
in one of the countries of continental Europe. Wo- 
men growing up under such conditions would not be 
likely to be lacking in the matter of physical develop- 
ment, although they might suffer for want of sym- 
metrical development. 

In England and America, however, but particu- 
larly in this country, and especially in cities and 
towns, girls as a rule are found to be decidedly lack- 
ing in physical development. Observe the students 
of a female seminary as they pass along toward their 
homes at the conclusion of their hour of study. No- 
tice how few possess shapely bodies, a strong, elastic, 
vigorous step, well developed waists, plump arms, 
broad backs, and a full chest. How rare it is to see 
a lady who has a good walk or a graceful carriage ! 
The majority of young ladies whom we meet upon 
the streets have narrow backs, flat chests, round 
shoulders drooping forward, thin necks, scrawny 
arms, waspish waists, and an awkward gait. The 
ruddy bloom of health is rarely seen now-a-days ex- 
cept occasionally in some out-of-the-way country place. 
Girls are not to be blamed for their want of svmmetrv 
and numerous deficiencies in physical development if 
they have no opportunities to develop strong and 
comely forms. The fashion which requires them to 


walk with their arms stiff, their elbows rigidly pin- 
ioned against their sides, renders a graceful carriage 
impossible and insures an imperfect development of 
the arms and shoulders, which are accordingly lack- 
ing in plumpness and unfitted for any occupation re- 
quiring muscular strength. 

Girls avIio grow up in this way are certain to suf- 
fer seriously during their whole lives. The weak 
muscles, lacking vigorous exercise, must naturally re- 
sult in weak hearts, weak lungs, weak stomachs, and 
weak nerves, and we might add, also, without depart- 
ing from the truth, weak minds. It cannot be ex- 
pected that such girls will produce anything else than 
nervous, feeble mothers utterly unfit for the perform- 
ance of the duties of life. 

The want of proper muscular development is one 
of the greatest causes of uterine disease in women. 
As previously shown, the organs of the pelvis are 
kept in position chiefly by the agency of muscles 
which act upon the uterus and ovaries indirectly from 
above and below. If these muscles are never devel- 
oped so as to acquire proper tone and firmness, it is 
inevitable that the organs which they should sustain 
will ultimately become displaced. Before the period 
of puberty, no danger could arise from this cause, but 
after this period, the increased size and weight which 
the pelvic organs acquire, renders them liable to be- 
come displaced if their natural supports are not main- 
tained in a vigorous condition. The general coin- 
plaint of back-ache which is almost universal among 
women, would seldom be heard if they acquired 


proper physical development during the period of 

That there has been a very considerable decline 
in the muscular development of women within the 
last few years is evident to all who have made any 
observation on the subject. Our grandmothers 
thought nothing of walking five or ten or even 
twenty miles a day ; but how many women can be 
found at the present time who feel equal to the task ? 
The physical training of women ought to begin in 
early childhood. The school is the proper place for 
a systematic course of training. In order to secure 
the best results, the same course must be carried out 
at home to a greater or less extent. Regular, syste- 
matic, daily exercise should be taken, of such a charac- 
ter as to develop those parts of the muscular system 
which are weakest until they become proportionately 
strong, and then varied in such a manner as to secure 
equal development of the whole muscular system. 
The good results which would accrue from such a 
course of training as this, provided it could be made 
general among the girls of the present generation, is 
incalculable. One result would undoubtedly be the 
production of a better race of men in the succeeding 
generation. There is evidence to believe that a 
mother possessed of a vigorous physical development 
is more likely to give birth to children of large men- 
tal capacity than those whose physical development 
is below par. The Sandwich Islanders have a prov- 
erb which is particularly significant in this connec- 
tion : " If strong be the frame of the mother, her sons 
will make laws for the people." Many of the great 


men of this nation, if not most of them, have had re- 
markable mothers, although the father was in many 
cases not at all above the average. 

Thousands of breakdowns in mothers during the 
bearing or the rearing of their children would be 
saved by previous physical development. We have 
met many mothers who were suffering with local 
disease which they attributed to the carrying of a 
baby or to being upon their feet, or to some other 
similar muscular taxation which would have been re- 
garded as of no consequence if the muscles had been 
previously prepared by proper training. 

Women who have already attained to maturity 
and find themselves suffering in consequence of inat- 
tention to physical culture in their early years may 
do much by pursuing a course of physical exercise of 
such a character as will be likely to remove the phys- 
ical disability. That much can be done even late in 
life is very clearly shown by the results obtained by 
Prof. Maclaren, in the training of students and others 
during a period of from a few months to two or three 
years. A case was recorded in which a man w T ho 
had attained maturity long before, had been actually 
made to increase his dimensions in every particular. 
In one case a man thirty years of age increased one- 
half inch in height and proportionately in breadth of 
chest and in the dimensions of other parts of the 
body. In cases in which the development of the 
body has been seriously neglected, special forms of 
exercise are sometimes necessary to bring up the 
weak parts to a degree of development proportionate 
with the others. It is not necessary, however, that 


extensive or other than very simple apparatus should 
be employed for this purpose. Indeed, a small pair 
of wooden dumb-bells and clubs, with such other ap- 
pliances as can be obtained in any home, are amply 

However useful and necessary may be calisthenics 
and various other forms of exercise, the fact should 
not be overlooked that useful labor and the perform- 
ance of the various household duties, are among the 
very best forms of exercise and the best possible 
means of securing a good physical development. On 
this subject Mrs. C. E. Beecher some years ago of- 
fered the following very suggestive thoughts : — 

" Our land is now full of motorpathic institutions, 
to which women are sent at great expense to have 
hired operators stretch and exercise their inactive 
muscles. They lie for hours to have their feet 
twigged, their arms flexed, and all the different mus- 
cles of the body worked for them, because they are 
so flaccid and torpid that the powers of life do not go 
on. Would it not be quite as cheerful and a less ex- 
pensive process, if young girls from early life devel- 
oped the muscles in sweeping, dusting, starching, 
ironing, and all the multiplied domestic processes 
which our grandmothers knew of? The woman who 
did all these, and diversified the intervals with spin- 
ning on the great and little wheel, did not need the 
gymnastics of Dio Lewis or the Swedish Movement 
Cure, which are really a necessity now. Does it not 
seem poor economy to pay servants for letting our 
muscles grow feeble, and then to pay operators to ex- 
ercise them for us ? I will venture to say that our 



grandmothers went over in a week every movement 
that any gymnast ever invented, and went over them 
with some productive purpose, too." 

The muscles, perhaps, more than any other organs 
of the body, depend for their health upon regular, 
systematic, adequate, and proper exercise. By exer- 
cise, the muscular fibres are made to contract, and in 
doing so, the old, stagnant, venous blood is squeezed 
out, and new, fresh, invigorating, vitalizing blood 
takes its place. By this means their vital activities 
are quickened and their growth increased. There is 
evidence for believing that muscular fibres do not 
increase in number in the voluntary muscles ; but it 
is certain that they increase very materially in size 
and in firmness, and hence in strength. The strength 
of a muscle depends upon the individual strength of 
each of its fibres, as its strength is but the combined 
strength of its component parts. If each fibre be- 
comes large, firm, and strong in consequence of use, 
the whole muscle becomes so ; and that this is the 
case we have abundant evidence in the ponderous 
right arm of the blacksmith, which outgrows the 
other in consequence of constant exercise in swing- 
ing a heavy hammer. The lower extremities of a 
ballet dancer become developed in a proportionately 
large degree, from the trying exercise to which they 
are accustomed. 

Nature never attempts to maintain a useless or- 
gan, and almost as soon as an organ is not used she 
sets to work to demolish it ; or at any rate she wastes 
no time in endeavoring to keep it in repair when it is 
not needed, or at least is not used. This is true all 


through the vital economy, and is nowhere more clearly 
seen than in the muscular system. A disused mus- 
cle soon becomes thin, pale, relaxed, weak ; and after 
a time a change begins which is termed fatty degen- 
eration. Nature does not think it worth while to 
keep so much valuable nitrogenous matter lying idle, 
and so she sets to work taking the muscle to pieces 
and carrying it away little by little for use elsewhere, 
depositing in place of the muscle substance little par- 
ticles of fat until the whole muscle is changed to fat. 
This change often occurs in cases of paralysis ; and 
when it has been completed, restoration of the func- 
tion of the muscle is impossible. 

How to Take Exercise. — It is not sufficient to 
simply take exercise indiscriminately and without 
reference to the object for which it is taken, the man- 
ner, time, etc. It must be taken regularly, systemat- 
ically, at proper times, and in proper amount. Per- 
haps we cannot do better in treating this subject prac- 
tically than to ask and answer some of the most im- 
portant questions relating to exercise. 

1. When is the best time to exercise 1 ? There is a 
popular theory extant that exercise taken early in the 
morning has some specific virtue superior to that 
taken at any other time. After careful observation 
on the subject we have become convinced that this 
popular notion is a mistake Avhen adopted as a rule 
for everybody. For many engaged in professional 
duties, especially editors, authors, teachers, and 
others whose vocations keep them mostly in-doors, 
the morning may be the only time when exercise can 
be taken conveniently ; and if not taken at this time 


it is likely to be neglected altogether. Such persons, 
unless they are laboring under some special derange- 
ment of health, as dyspepsia or some other constitu- 
tional malady, would better by far take the morning 
walk or other form of exercise than to take none at 
all. However, we are pretty well convinced that for 
most persons the middle of the forenoon is a much 
better time to take any kind of active or vigorous ex- 
ercise. In the morning, the circulation is generally 
weakest and the supply of nerve force is the least abun- 
dant. In the forenoon, when the breakfast has been 
eaten and digestion has become well advanced, the 
system is at its maximum of vigor; hence if the in- 
dividual is at liberty to choose his time for exercise, 
this should be his choice. 

For poor sleepers, a half-hour's exercise taken in 
the evening not long before retiring will often act like 
a soporific, and without any of the unpleasant after- 
effects of drugs. 

Vigorous exercise should never be taken imme- 
diately nor within an hour after a meal, and should 
net be taken just before eating. Disregard of this 
rule is a very common cause of dyspepsia. 

2. What kind of exercise shall be taken ? The an- 
swer to this question must, of course, vary with the 
individual. Exercise must be modified to suit the 
strength, the age, and even the tastes of the individ- 
ual. As a general rule, persons who take exercise for 
health are apt to overdo the matter, the result of 
which is damage rather than benefit. For most per- 
sons there is no more admirable and advantageous 
form of exercise than walking ; but many find walk- 


ing simply for exercise too tedious to persevere in it 
regularly. Such will find advantage in walking in 
companies, provided care is taken to avoid all such 
questionable diversions as walking matches or any 
kind of exercise in which there will be a strife which 
will be likely to excite to excess. 

Horseback riding, for those who ride well and en- 
joy this form of exercise, may be of great benefit. It 
is not so well suited for ladies as for men, however, on 
account of the awkward and unnatural manner in 
which fashion compels them to ride. It is impossible 
for a lady to ride with the same degree of comfort, 
ease, and grace that her male companion may, on ac- 
count of the one-sided way in which she sits in the 
saddle. In many countries ladies ride in the same 
fashion as men ; with them, of course, this objection 
does not hold. 

Horseback riding is an excellent aid to digestion, 
and often effectually relieves habitual constipation of 
the bowels. 

Carriage riding is worth very little as a form of ex- 
ercise except for feeble invalids, for whom the gentle 
swaying of the vehicle and the excitement of viewing 
objects seldom seen may be sufficient and appropriate 
exercise. Riding in a lumber wagon over a corduroy 
road is about the only kind of carriage riding which 
is worth speaking of as exercise for people in ordi- 
nary health. 

Skating, rowing, dancing, and most other exer- 
cises of the sort, are more often harmful than other- 
wise, because carried to excess and associated with 
other evils of a pernicious character. Calisthenics, 


for school-children and young students, is a most ad- 
mirable form of exercise. It is also well adapted to 
invalids who are unable to walk more than a short 
distance at a time. Full directions for the use of 
calisthenics, or gymnastic exercises, are given in a 
chapter devoted to the subject. In our opinion, 
every family ought to be fitted out with all the con- 
veniences for parlor gymnastics. They afford not 
only healthful exercise but a large amount of excel- 
lent amusement for the little folks. 

The health-lift is a form of exercise too important 
to be overlooked. We have carefully tested this 
form of exercise, and believe it to be an exceedingly 
valuable measure for those whose employments are 
sedentary and whose time for exercise is limited. 
However, we can indorse but a small portion of what 
has been claimed for it by persons who have made its 
use and sale a specialty. Again, we have no sympa- 
thy with the course which has been taken by most 
manufacturers in charging an enormous price for a 
piece of apparatus which really costs but very little 
and could well be afforded for one-half the money 
charged. The chief benefits of the health-lift may be 
derived from a very simple form of apparatus which 
can be constructed at slight expense by means of two 
stout rubber bands attached to the floor or a platform, 
and furnished with handles. 

For many persons, as before remarked, no form of 
exercise is more beneficial healthwise than some kind 
of physical labor. For ladies, general housework is 
admirably adapted to bring into play all the different 
muscles of the body, while affording such a variety of 


different exercises and such frequent change that no 
part need be very greatly fatigued. There are thou- 
sands of young ladies pining under the care of their 
family physician in spite of all he can do by the most 
learned and complicated prescriptions, for whom a 
change of air or a year's residence in some foreign 
clime, or some similar expensive project, is proposed, 
when all in the world that is needed to make the deli- 
cate creatures well is to require them to change places 
with their mothers for a few weeks or months. Let 
them cease thrumming the piano or guitar for a time, 
and learn to cook, bake, wash, mend, scrub, sweep, 
and perform the thousand and one little household du- 
ties that have made their mothers and grandmothers 
well and robust before them. We made such a pre- 
scription once for a young lady who had been given 
up to die of consumption by a gray-headed doctor, and 
whose friends were sadly watching her decline, and 
in six weeks the young miss was well and has been 
so ever since ; but we entailed her everlasting dislike, 
and have no doubt that any physician or other person 
who should adopt the same course in a similar case 
would be similarly rewarded. 

There is no gymnasium in the world which is bet- 
ter to secure excellent results from exercise than the 
kitchen, the wash-room, and the garden. These are 
nature's gymnasia. They require no outlay for spe- 
cial appliances, and are always fitted up for use. 

In ancient Greece, in the palmy days of that em- 
pire, physical training was considered as much a part 
of the necessary education of young men and women, 
as their mental culture. Every inducement was of- 


fered to them to make themselves strong, vigorous, 
.'iiid athletic. Their schools were called gymnasia, on 
account of the attention given to gymnastics. Small 
waists and delicate forms, white, soft, helpless hands 
and tiny feet were not prized among the pioneers of 
civilization. The mothers of heroes and philosophers 
were not pampered and petted and spoiled by indul- 
gence. They were inured to toil, to severe exercise. 
Their bodies were developed so as to fit them for the 
duties of maternity and give them constitutions to be- 
queath to their children which would insure hardi- 
hood, courage, and stamina in the conflict with the 
world to obtain a subsistence, and with human foemen 
in the rage of battle. The women developed by this 
system of culture were immortalized in marble, and 
the beauty of their forms has been the envy of the 
world from that day to this ; yet no one seems to 
think of attempting to gain the same beauty in the 
same way. It might be done : there is no reason 
why it cannot be ; but the only way is the one which the 
Grecian women adopted, — physical culture. 

Mens sana in corpora sano was the motto of the an- 
cient Greeks ; and the experience of every day shows 
that the person with strong muscles and good diges- 
tion, with fair intellectual abilities, is the one who 
wins the goals in the strifes for wealth and fame 
and all that men seek after, and the same is also 
true of women. " A sound mind in a sound body " 
is as necessary for assured success in life in the nine- 
teenth century as when the sentiment was first in- 
scribed upon the gates of the temples in ancient 


Necessity for Unrestrained Action. — A muscle 
tied up is rendered as helpless as though it were para- 
lyzed. When a muscle acts, it does so by swelling 
out in thickness, while contracting in length. From 
this it will be evident that if a tight band is put 
around a muscle in such a manner as to prevent its 
expansion or increase in thickness, it cannot possibly 
act. Hence, a fundamental requisite of healthful 
muscular action is entire freedom from restraint. 
Unrestrained action is indispensable to complete ac- 
tion and perfect development. When a broken arm 
is done up in a splint for a few weeks, upon removing 
the bandage it is usually found that the arm has 
shrunken in size ; the muscles have wasted, partly in 
consequence of pressure, and partly on account of the 
enforced inaction of the muscles. The very same 
thing happens wherever pressure is brought to bear 
upon the muscular tissues. A ring worn upon a fin- 
ger causes atrophy, or wasting of the tissues beneath 
it. By placing an elastic band around soft tissues 
they may be absorbed altogether, in consequence of 
the pressure. This action has been taken advantage 
of for the removal of tumors in certain parts of the 

Physical Training of Young Women. — The 
tendency to physical decline in young women has 
become so marked that we believe it to be the duty 
of every mother to give careful attention to the phys- 
ical training of her daughters. Mothers ought to 
watch with care the development of young girls, and 
correct at once any manifest defect, such as drooping 


shoulders, flatness of the chest, curvatures of the 
spine, etc. 

Among the most common causes of round shoul- 
ders in girls are bad positions occupied in sitting, 
standing, and lying during the hours of sleep. On 
Plate F Ave have introduced a few figures which show 
incorrect attitudes contrasted with correct and health- 
ful ones. Among the best means of overcoming these 
deformities are the various calisthenic exercises, a few 
of which are shown on Plate XI. The dumb-bell and 
club exercises are particularly useful. Both these 
appliances should be of wood and very light, weigh- 
ing not more than one or two pounds each. 

The same exercises also strengthen the muscles of 
the back and thus act as a preventive of spinal curva- 
tures and weak backs ; and if persevered in and prop- 
erly adapted to the conditions of the individual case, 
are exceedingly useful means of curing curvatures due 
to muscular weakness or unsymmetrical muscular de- 
velopment. In addition to these exercises, special 
forms of exercise, such as carrying a heavy book upon 
the head, hanging by the hands, and suspension by 
the head and shoulders with a suitable apparatus are 
useful and essential in extreme cases. It should be 
borne in mind that in cases of spinal curvature the 
higher shoulder is the weaker one, and the curvature 
of the spine toward that side of the body result- 
ing in the elevation of the shoulder above that of the 
opposite side, is due to the preponderance in strength 
of the muscles of the latter. To correct the deformity 
by exercise, the weak side must be developed up to 


equality with the other by giving it the greater 
amount of exercise. 

A home-made gymnasium in which a variety 
of healthful exercises can be taken may be eas- 
ily constructed in a garret or even in the sleep- 
ing-room, where it will be convenient for use. 
Two ropes suspended from a beam in the ceiling and 
furnished with a ring at the free end of each, a pair 
of rubber tubes each about two feet long furnished 
with hooks at both ends and rings which can be at- 
tached and detached at pleasure, and the wooden 
dumb-bells and clubs before mentioned, furnish all the 
apparatus necessary for a great variety of healthful 
exercises. Light gymnastics ought to be taught and 
practiced in every school, and particularly in young 
ladies' seminaries and boarding schools. 

A half-hour's daily practice in a home gymnasium 
will develop the chest and waist to a wonderful de- 
gree in the course of a few months. In the treat- 
ment of numerous cases of disease of various sorts in 
girls and young women we have found physical train- 
ing a most valuable accessory, and in many instances 
have regarded it as the chief factor in securing the 
rapid and complete recovery which we have usually 
been able to obtain in this class of cases. 

Women do not naturally possess so largely devel- 
oped a muscular system as men, and microscopical 
examination shows the muscular fibres to be smaller 
in size. Nevertheless, the smaller size and conse- 
quent closer connection with the blood supply give to 
them an increased power of endurance which compen- 
sates for the lack of ability for so great a spasmodic 


manifestation of force as the male muscle fibre. Prof. 
Haughton claims to have demonstrated by direct ex- 
periment that " the muscles of women are capable of 
longer continued work than those of men, although 
inferior to them in force exerted for a short time." 
In the long run, then, woman ought to be the peer of 
man muscularly as well as mentally ; and if she is 
not, it is simply because she allows her physical pow- 
ers to degenerate by lack of use. 


The dress of woman has for years been so gener- 
ally discussed that it has almost come to be a hack- 
neyed subject ; but we have sufficient evidence that 
the agitation of this question is still required for the 
enlightenment of the people to justify us in giving it 
a somewhat conspicuous place in these pages. In dis- 
cussing the subject here we shall take the liberty to 
draAV freely from what we have elsewhere written on 
the same subject, without stopping to give credit in 
each case. 

The extravagances of fashionable dress, together 
with its almost total disregard of health and real com- 
fort, have become so apparent to all sensible persons 
that few can be found who are willing to risk their 
reputation for soundness of mind by attempting to 
defend its absurdities. It would be an outrage 
against the intelligence of civilized womanhood to 
suppose that the devotees of fashion are ignorant of 
the fact that the daily homage which they pay to 
their goddess is at the expense of real physical com- 


fort, and often of health and of life itself. The evils 
of improper dress have been so often exposed, and 
the sad results so faithfully depicted, that none can 
be in innocent ignorance. The shackles of a slavery 
worse than any political despotism holds one-half of 
civilized humanity in a durance more galling, more 
enervating, and more deplorable than Egyptian bond- 
age, notwithstanding the stirring appeals which have 
been made to them by eminent physicians of their 
own sex, as well as others. 

Some noble minds are asserting their liberty and 
claiming the right to consider first the demands of 
health and comfort, irrespective of the dictum of 
Dame Fashion; and we must continue to wage un- 
ceasing warfare against the many harmful customs 
which Fashion imposes upon her followers until ev- 
ery woman of noble mind, elevated tastes, and sound 
reason, shall be compelled to see the importance of 
the subject, and be led to emancipate herself from so 
irksome a bondage. 

The natural requirements for dress are the follow- 
ing : — 

1. Modesty requires that the body should be 

2. Protection against sudden changes of tempera- 
ture is required for the maintenance of health. 

The dusky savage who roams the tropical wilds of 
Central Africa finds no necessity for clothing. Mod- 
esty is to him unknown. The genial climate of his 
native forests insures him against vicissitudes of tem- 
perature, and so he lives as he was born, protected 
only by the SAvarthy cloak which nature gave him. 


Civilization creates the first requirement for clothing, 
and the varying temperatures of the temperate and 
frigid zones create the second. 

Essential Qualifications of Healthful Clothing. 
— In order to properly meet the wants of the body in 
fulfilling the above requirements, clothing must pos- 
sess the following qualifications : — 

1. It must allow unrestrained action of every or- 
gan of the body. 

2. It must secure equable temperature of all por- 
tions of the body. 

3. Its weight must be as light as possible without 
sacrificing other necessary qualities. 

4. It must be so adjusted- to the body as to be 
carried with the slightest possible effort. 

In view of the above principles, let us examine 
some of the fashionable articles of dress. 

Fashion has graciously spared one-half of her sub- 
jects the pains and follies which she has heaped in 
double portion upon the other half. With the excep- 
tion of tight boots and tight cravats, — both of which 
are now out of fashion, fortunately, — little fault could 
be found on the score of health with most of the gar- 
ments worn by men. 

It was, indeed, reported some time since by the 
lady correspondent of a prominent American news- 
paper, who was writing from the metropolis of En- 
gland, that in that portion of the world creatures 
calling themselves men are sometimes found to be 
addicted to the feminine custom of corset-wearing; 
but these sickly specimens of humanity are hardly 

Fig. 1. 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 3 

Fig. 4. 

Fig. 5. 



worthy the name of men, and may be left out of the 

Corsets and Tight-Lacing. — The baneful effects 
of corset -wearing are now so well understood that 
few women will venture to deny that the practice is 
harmful, but they endeavor to shield themselves by 
declaring that they are sure their corset does them no 
harm, that it is very loose, etc., etc. We scarcely 
ever met a lady who would admit that her corset was 
tight, and we have had occasion to speak with hun- 
dreds of ladies on this point in making medical exam- 

We read the other day in a newspaper of a young 
woman who actually broke a rib in the attempt to 
gain another half-inch on her corset string. She well 
deserved the accident, no doubt ; but the chances are 
ten to one that she would assert in the most positive 
terms, if expostulated with about the matter, that her 
corset was " quite loose," and to demonstrate the mat- 
ter would show you how much more she could pinch 
up when she tried, or something of the sort. The 
fact is, ladies do not really know when their clothing 
is tight about the waist and when it is loose. The 
tissues have been so long under pressure that they 
have lost a good share of their sensibility, and cloth- 
ing really seems loose to them which to a man would 
be so uncomfortably tight as to make him utterly 

Figs. 1 and 3 of the accompanying plate (Plate 
G) show the proportions of the female form as fash- 
ioned by nature. Figs. 2 and 4 show the form when 
^formed by the pernicious practice under considera- 


tion. Plate X also shows the same points very 
clearly by contrasting the form of a modern belle 
dressed in Parisian fashion, with the splendid form 
of the yenus of Milo. It will be observed by 
careful inspection of these figures that the thorax 
when in a natural condition is cone-shaped, the base 
of the cone being below, while in the thorax of a per- 
son whose waist has been compressed and distorted 
by the ruthless hand of fashion by means of the cor- 
set, tight belts, and waistbands, the reverse is the 
case. Let every woman consider carefully the injury 
which results from this artificial and totally unnatural 
constriction of the waist. 

The object of the arrangement referred to is to 
give ample room for the action of the delicate vital 
organs which are carefully lodged within this bony 
cage for protection. Chief among these are the lungs, 
the heart y the liver, the diaphragm, and the stomach. 
In the healthy performance of their functions, these 
organs require a considerable degree of motion. With 
every act of respiration, the lungs alternately expand 
and contract; the diaphragm moves up and down; the 
stomach and liver have the same motion. Every beat 
of the pulse is accompanied by a change in the posi- 
tion of the heart. The size of the stomach necessa- 
rily varies greatly, being full after a meal, and nearly 
empty at other times. 

The Corset a Cause of Consumption. — How 
does compression affect these various organs and their 
functions ? The corset, with its inflexible stays and 
hour-glass shape, grasps the expanding lungs in 
their lower part like an iron vise and prevents their 

PLATE XI. — Light Gymnastics. 


proper filling with air. The lungs are thus crowded 
up into the upper part of the chest and are pressed 
against the projecting edges of the first ribs, upon 
which they move to and fro with the act of breathing. 
The friction thus produced occasions a constant irrita- 
tion of the upper portion of the lung, which induces a 
deposit of tuberculous matter, and the individual be- 
comes a prey to that dread disease, consumption — a 
sacrifice to a practice as absurd as pernicious. 

The lower part of the chest being narrowed, thus 
preventing proper expansion of the lungs, the amount 
of air inhaled is insufficient to properly purify the 
blood by removing from it the poisonous carbonic 
acid which gives to impure blood its dark color, and 
is so fatal to the life of all animals. In consequence 
of this defective purification of the blood, the whole 
body suffers. None of the tissues are properly kept 
in repair. They are all poisoned Particles of gross, 
carbonaceous matter are deposited in the skin, causing 
it to lose its healthy color and acquire a dead, leath- 
ery appearance and a dusky hue. The delicate nerve 
tissues are poisoned, and the individual is tormented 
with " nerves," sleeplessness, and fits of melancholy. 

We wish also to call attention to the important 
fact that continuous pressure upon these parts may 
cause such a degree of degeneration of the muscles of 
the chest as to seriously impair the breathing capac- 
ity. Unused muscles waste away, as already ob- 
served ; and when pressure is applied in addition, the 
wasting and degenerating become still more marked. 
This is exactly what happens with those who wear 
their clothing tight about the waist. This is the 



reason why ladies who have been accustomed to wear 
corsets declare so emphatically that they " could not 
live without them," that they feel when their corset 
is off as though they " should fall down into a heap." 

While the ribs suffer the least of any of the or- 
gans of the chest from the absurd custom which fash- 
ion has imposed upon the gentler sex, tight-lacing the 
waist and encasing the body in a vise of stays of bone 
or steel, is of positive and often incurable injury to 
this part of the vital economy. 

The bony ribs do not join the sternum or breast- 
bone directly, but indirectly through the medium of 
flexible cartilages, an arrangement which gives to the 
thorax the power to expand and thus enable the lungs 
the better to perform their important functions. 
Careful study has shown that this flexibility of the 
costal cartilages is due to their constant exercise. 
Day and night, sleeping or waking, twenty times a 
minute, these flexible parts are bent and allowed to 
return again to their natural position. This constant 
bending and unbending allows them no opportunity 
to become stiff and unyielding like the bones. But 
when the chest is imprisoned in a corset, this con- 
stant movement becomes impossible ; and the conse- 
quence is that a process of stiffening is set up, and 
after a time the once flexible, yielding cartilages be- 
come as rigid as the rest of the ribs. The inevitable 
result of this change is a permanent limitation of the 
movements of the lungs. It becomes impossible for 
them to expand except to a limited degree upward 
and downward. Lateral expansion is as impossible 
when the corset is laid aside as when it is in place. 


The deformity, which was at first temporary, has be- 
come permanent. There are thousands of delicate 
ladies all over the land whose costal cartilages have 
been thus changed through their own willful abuse of 
their bodies, and who will undoubtedly go down into 
premature graves in consequence, in spite of all that 
the most skillful physicians can do for them. 

The action of the lungs ought to be wholly unre- 
strained, allowing the pure air with its life-giving oxy- 
gen to penetrate to the smallest extremity of every 
air-tube, and fill to its utmost capacity every delicate 
cell. The chest ought to be capable of expansion 
from two to five inches, — even greater expansion is 
attainable. But if you put a tape-line around one of 
these corset-stiffened chests you will be unable to ob- 
tain more than a scant quarter-inch of difference in 
measurement between the chest when empty and 
when filled to its utmost capacity. We have often 
tried the experiment when making physical exami- 
nations of the chest, and though the patient is almost 
always anxious to do her best, in order to demon- 
strate if possible what every lady will eagerly con- 
tend for, that her corset never did her any harm 
because it was worn so loose, and so draws up her 
shoulders to her utmost and makes a desperate at- 
tempt to swallow more air than there is room for, we 
have often found that the expansion of the sides of 
the chest was so slight as to be imperceptible. If 
tight-lacing did no other harm than this, we should 
certainly wish to condemn it in the strongest terms 
we could find language to express ; and we cannot 
help feeling sometimes that it is a great misappropria- 


tion of 'money to support an army of missionaries 
among the inappreciative and degenerated inhabitants 
of African jungles and other heathen countries, who 
value human life so little that they feed their super- 
fluous little ones to the crocodiles, and sacrifice a 
store of women to commemorate the death of a king, 
while there are so many thousands, perhaps millions 
in civilized lands who are sacrificing lives which 
might bo a hundred-fold more useful, in ways equally 
absurd and senseless. The homage paid by millions 
of ladies to the latest style of corset is a grosser form 
of idolatry than the fetich worship of the natives of 
African jungles. 

Heart Disease Caused by Tight - Lacing — 
Another Bufferer is the heart. The dark, impure 
venous blood goes rushing from the heart to the lungs 
for purification. The lungs are so compressed that 
only a portion of the blood can get through. The 
remainder is crowded back into the heart, causing en- 
largement of that organ, and heart disease. The in- 
dividual then sutlers from flutterings and palpitations 
of the organ, and a constant fear lest sudden death 
may cut short her career. 

But this da mming-back process extends far beyond 
the heart. The venous blood, being crowded into the 
heart, finds its way back into the veins, and thus to 
the head, causing congestion of that organ, with all 
its dullness, pain, nervousness, loss of memory, and 
mental inefficiency. 

The diaphragm, one of the most important muscles 
of inspiration, is crowded up into the chest by the up- 
ward pressure of the abdominal organs, which are 

Fig. 2. 

rig. 4. 



squeezed out of place by the vise which grasps them. 
This makes breathing still more- inefficient, and the 
expansion of the cavity of the chest less complete, 
adding greatly to the evils already mentioned. 

Corsets and Dyspepsia. — The stomach is located 
just beneath the point where the pressure of the corset 
is greatest. It must either suffer from constant, un- 
yielding compression, or else it must be displaced 
either upward or downward. In the first case, it en- 
croaches upon the lungs, and in the second, it presses 
upon delicate organs below, so that the result is 
equally bad in either case. This constant compres- 
sion and displacement disturbs the function of the 
organ, and thus produces dyspepsia with all its dire 
consequences. Experiments upon animals sliow that 
pressure upon the stomach will produce death quicker 
than almost any other means. A .sharp bloAv upon 
the stomach will often produce instant death. Dis- 
placement and distortion of the stomach are also in- 
duced, as may be seen by reference to Fig.C, Plate X. 

Tight-Laced Fissure of the Liver. — We once 
found in Belle vue Hospital, New York City, a woman 
who was suffering under a complication of maladies 
which evidently had their origin in the foolish practice 
of tight-lacing to which she had been addicted. On 
making an examination of the internal organs, we 
were amazed to find the liver presenting itself just 
above the hip bone, its normal position being entirely 
above the lower border of the ribs. Further exami- 
nation revealed the fact that in about the middle of the 
organ there was a constriction, or fissure, nearly di- 
viding it in two, which had been produced by habitual 


lacing. The function of the organ had been so greatly 
interfered with that it had foiled to remove the biliary 
elements from the blood, and they had been largely 
deposited in the skin, making the latter anything but 
beautiful, although the woman was not advanced in 
years, and was naturally fair. Thousands of young- 
ladies have cut their livers nearly in two in the same 
way. No wonder that they require rouge and French 
chalk to hide their tawny skins. Figs. D and L\ Plate 
X, represent very accurately the deformities of the 
liver produced by this foolish and inexcusable practice. 

A physician of eminence, upon making a post- 
mortem examination of a woman who had worn heavy 
skirts suspended from her waist for many years, be- 
ginning the practice in early childhood, found the liver 
dragged down into the pelvis and entirely cut in two, 
the separate portions being only held together by a 
fibrous cord. 

Numcj'ous Other Evil Results. — The waist is 
naturally larger than the upper part of the chest. Its 
size is due to the contents of the abdominal cavity. 
If it is pinched and squeezed into one-half its natural 
size at one point, some other portion must be enlarged 
in order to give room for the internal viscera of the 
abdomen. This enlargement naturally occurs below 
the waist, giving that portion of the body an unnatu- 
ral, ungraceful, and distorted appearance. Indeed, 
the practice distorts the whole body, giving it an 
hour-glass shape when there should be a graceful 
taper from the armpits to the hips. The noble 
matrons of Greece and Rome, in the sunny days of 
those empires, never possessed such misshapen forms 



as modern fashionable belles contrive to torture their 
bodies into. 

Tight-lacing and the corset are the most fruitful 
sources of a majority of the ills from which women 
especially suffer. The great increase of pressure 
brought upon the delicate organs which occupy the 
female pelvis, occasions displacement of those organs 
and all the resultant miseries. 

More than one case is on record of young ladies 
who have applied the belt or corset so tightly that a 
blood-vessel has been ruptured and almost instant 
death has ensued. 

If we should consider the remote effects of lacing 
the waist, we would find that nearly every internal 
malady may be either induced or greatly aggravated 
in virulence by this pernicious practice. 

The Corset Not a Necessity. — " But I cannot 
live without a corset," said a lady when we expostu- 
lated with her for her persistence in wearing the ob- 
jectionable article, " I need its support; I should fall 
down all in a heap without it. I feel so weak and 
helpless without something to brace me up." It is 
possible that such individuals do really feel better 
when encased in a framework of whalebone, steel, 
and cords, than when depending only on their natural 
resources for support. They have so long confined 
their yielding muscles in a rigid, unyielding case, that 
they have lost their strength and elasticity. Let a 
strong man strap his arm to a board and wear it con- 
stantly for a year. He will find it almost useless. 
Its muscles will be thin, flaccid, and powerless. The 
corset has the same effect upon the muscles of the 


chest which are by nature designed to support the 
trunk. Will the muscles of the man's arm become 
strong by continuing to wear the board ? Never ; 
the only way to recover its strength is to throw away 
the board and use the weakened member. So with 
the corset. It is the cause of the condition which it 
is thought makes it a necessity. So long as it is 
worn, the muscles of the chest will be weak and lax. 
Throw it away, and begin to exercise the wasted 
muscles and they will speedily recover themselves. 
The mothers of Grecia's noble sons never wore cor- 
sets. They were equally unknown to Roman moth- 
ers. If the article was unnecessary for them, why 
is it so needful for modern women ? If support for 
the bust is required, it can be obtained by better 
means than the corset. A short experience without 
it always results in its dismissal forever, when a fair 
trial is made. 

Although the corset is the chief offender in con- 
straining the healthy activity of the vital organs of 
the body, there are other articles and modes of dress 
which deserve attention on account of their interfer- 
ence with some of the bodily functions. When the 
leaders of fashion decreed that the previously indis- 
pensable crinoline must be discarded, the sensible 
part of the world rejoiced, thinking that Dame Fash- 
ion was really about to reform her ways. But such 
hopes were dashed to the ground when the present 
fashionable style of dress appeared. Formerly, fash- 
ionable ladies sailed along the streets like animated 
balloons, monopolizing the whole walk with their w 7 ide- 
spreading skirts. A few years ago the opposite ex- 


treme was reached and fashionable ladies were to be 
seen wriggling along the street like competitors in a 
sack-race. Indeed, it seemed a marvel that locomo- 
tion was a possibility, so greatly hampered were the 
limbs by numerous heavy skirts drawn tightly back 
and fastened at the sides. Anything like graceful 
ease in walking was impossible. A Chinese wriggle 
was the result of the best attempt. 

The motions of the arms are curtailed to an almost 
equal extent by the fashion of the garments about 
the shoulders. They are so made that it is next to 
impossible for the wearer to raise the hand an inch 
above the head. The arms are actually pinioned. 
Why not have the shoulders of ladies' garments made 
like those of men, which allow perfect freedom of mo- 
tion to the arms ? The more recent fashions are 
adopting this style, and we trust that the old style of 
cutting ladies' sacques and dresses will soon wholly 

The elastic bands worn about the leg to keep the 
stocking in place, and sometimes used upon the arms to 
hold the sleeves up, are more harmful than is usually 
imagined. The long stockings worn by females bring 
the elastic just above the knee, where the large blood- 
vessels of the limb come near the surface and are .in 
position to be compressed against the thigh bone in 
such a way as to impede the circulation. It is not 
to be wondered at that under these circumstances, in 
addition to the evil of thin stockings, and thin, tight 
shoes, there should seem to be a necessity for arti- 
ficial calves, which we are informed on creditable au- 
thority have actually been employed. 


Whether garters are elastic or inelastic, the effect 
is essentially the same. They interfere with the cir- 
culation of the blood in the lower limbs, and often 
produce varicose veins. Cold feet and headache are 
the ordinary results of their use. School girls suffer 
greatly from their injurious effects. 

Fashionable Suicides. — If the number of deaths 
annually resulting from improper dress were accurate- 
ly recorded, the aggregate would be absolutely appall- 
ing. A large percentage of these would be found to 
be due to inattention to the maintenance of a uniform 
temperature of the body. Fashionable attire sepa- 
rates the body into zones. The upper part of the 
chest and the feet and ankles are the frigid zones, 
while the lower part of the abdomen is the torrid 
zone. The feet and limbs are so far away from the 
centers of life and heat that they naturally require 
more clothing to maintain in them a temperature 
equal to that in other parts. The warm blood cur- 
rent loses much of its warmth in passing the whole 
length of the limbs, and so reaches the extremities 
only after being chilled. Instead of supplying the 
required extra clothing to these parts, fashion totally 
ignores the wants of nature and gives the limbs even 
less protection than other parts which need it less. 
The upper part of the chest is often exposed even to 
the eye. At best, it is usually covered only by a 
few thin layers. 

Garments from the upper part of the body over- 
lap those from the lower portion, below the waist, 
thus doubling the amount of clothing over the most 
vital parts — those least liable to suffer from cold. In 


this way the natural heat of the parts is greatly in- 
creased, and much suffering is the result. Local con- 
gestions and inflammations find their exciting cause 
in this mode of clothing the body. 

In addition to the many thicknesses occasioned 
by the overlapping of garments and bands, fashion 
adds a huge deformity behind in the form of a bus- 
tle, which is located just over the nerve centers 
which preside over the reproductive functions, and by 
the excess of heat thus engendered often occasions 
very great injury, which cannot always be remedied, 
even by years of medical treatment. 

While the central portion of the body is thus 
burning with excessive heat, being covered with 
from seven to fourteen thicknesses, the limbs are al- 
lowed to go almost nude. One thin, muslin garment 
meeting an equally thin stocking below, supplemented 
upon the foot by a thin shoe, is often thought to be 
amply sufficient clothing for the limbs and feet, even 
when the mercury stands in the thermometer near 
zero. The arms are frequently little better clad, 
the sleeves of undergarments extending but a little 
below the shoulder. 

Loose skirts are wholly inadequate to secure 
proper warmth to the limbs, even though they be 
multiplied, for the simple motion of the limbs in walk- 
ing; creates currents of air about them beneath the 
warmest skirts. The wind also dashes cold air upon 
them from below, sometimes even making skirts a 
disadvantage, rather than a protection. 

To add still more to the unbalance of the tem- 
perature occasioned by improper clothing, heavy furs 


are worn upon the chest and shoulders, where less 
artificial covering is really needed than at other 

If under so unequal a distribution of the heat of 
the body a woman escapes a score of such maladies as 
congestion of the brain, headache, neuralgia, torpid 
liver, dyspepsia, and consumption, besides the nu- 
merous ills peculiar to the sex, it is either because she 
is uncommonly " tough," or on account of a special 
interposition of Providence. But we do not believe 
that Providence ever works miracles to enable people 
to disregard his laws. The usual result is a chronic 
inflammation of all the internal organs of the pelvis 
and lower portion of the abdomen. 

What Drags the Life out of a Woman ? — 
Those heavy skirts, varying in number from three to 
seven or more, all suspended from the waist, and 
pulling down upon the hips, are enough to drag the 
life out of a Hercules. A strong man would not 
endure for a single day one-tenth of the discomfort 
wmich a fashionable woman suffers every day of her 
life. It is useless for woman to think of rising above 
her present level while she is chained dow T n by the 
burdens imposed by heavy, trailing skirts. 

The unnecessary and injurious weight occasioned 
by superfluous length and number of skirts is greatly 
increased by the addition upon the outer garment of 
an indefinite number of flounces, folds, heavy over- 
skirts, and various other useless accessories. 

But the evils and inconveniences above referred 
to are not the worst which result from the wearing of 
to great a weight of clothing as is customary among 


fashionable people. The most serious consequences 
are those which are suffered by the delicate organs of 
the pelvis. The many heavy skirts and under-gar- 
ments which are hung about the waist with no sup- 
port from above, drag down the internal organs of the 
abdomen and cause them to press heavily upon the 
contents of the pelvis. After a time the slender 
ligaments which hold those organs in place give way, 
and various kinds of displacements and other derange- 
ments occur. The tightness with which the gar- 
ments are drawn at the waist greatly increases the 

The custom of wearing the pantaloons buttoned 
tightly at the top, and sustained by the hips, pro- 
duced so much disease even among the hardy soldiers 
of the Russian army, that a law was enacted making 
the wearing of suspenders compulsory. If strong 
men suffer thus, how much greater must be the in- 
jury to frail, delicate women! Here is found the 
source of " weak back," lumbago, pain in the side, and 
several other diseases of the trunk which affect so 
many thousands of American women. 

Natural vs. Artificial Breathing. — Within the 
last fifteen years, we have had the opportunity of 
making many thousands of observations on the respir- 
atory movements in women of all classes and several 
distinct races, civilized and uncivilized, recording our 
observations by means of an ingenious instrument 
known as the pneumograph. The result of our studies 
has been the demonstration of the fact,^which we are 
glad to say is now recognized by many leading physi- 
ologists, that women whose respiratory organs have 


not been deformed by tight lacing, breathe exactly as 
do men. The accompanying graphic illustrations of 
the breathing movements show the grounds for our 
conclusions. The first half of each tracing shows the 
movement of the upper part of the chest; the second 
half, that of the lower part of the chest. It will be 
noted that the tracings of all except the corset-wearing 
woman and the man in a corset, are practically iden- 
tical, as are also those obtained from the man and 
woman in like conditions of corset compression. 

Up to the present time, all standard authorities in 
physiology have been agreed that there are two dis- 
tinct types of respiration in human beings, character- 
istic of the two sexes; namely, abdominal and costal, 
it being declared that adult males breathe chiefly with 
the lower portion of the chest, using the diaphragm 
and abdominal muscles freely, while women breathe 
chiefly with the upper part of the chest. In arriving 
at this conclusion, physiologists seem to have confined 
their studies of respiration in women wholly to civil- 
ized women, in whom the mode of dress is evidently 
well calculated to produce serious interference with 
the respiratory function. Eleven years ago (1879), 
referring to this alleged natural difference in the res- 
piration of man and woman, the author wrote : — 

"It is undoubtedly true that most women do 
breathe almost exclusively with the upper part of the 
chest; but whether this is a natural peculiarity, or an 
acquired, unnatural, and depraved one, is a question 
which we are^lecidedly inclined to answer in harmony 
with the latter supposition, basing our conclusion 
upon the following undeniable facts : — 


1. "In childhood, and until about the age of 
puberty, respiration in the boy and the girl is exactly 
the same. 

2. "Although there is a change in the mode of 
respiration in most females, usually soon after the 
period of puberty, marked by increased costal respira- 
tion and diminished abdominal or deep respiration, 
this change can be accounted for on other than physi- 
ological grounds. 

3. "We believe the cause of this modification of 
respiration is the change in dress which is usually 
made about the time of puberty. The young girl is 
now becoming a woman, and must acquire the art of 
lacing, wearing corsets, ' stays,' and sundry other con- 
trivances which will aid in producing a 'fine form/ 

4. "We have met a number of ladies whose good 
fortune and good sense had delivered them from the 
distorting influence of corset-wearing and tight lacing, 
and have invariably observed that they are capable of 
as deep respiration as men, and practice it naturally. 

5. "We are thoroughly convinced that this so- 
called physiological difference between man and 
woman is really a pathological rather than a physio- 
logical difference. In short, we believe that the only 
reason why women do not, under ordinary circum- 
stances, breathe as do men, is simply that they can- 
not breathe naturally." 

Since writing the above we have made many ob- 
servations which confirm the views expressed. We 
long ago determined, however, to make»a more exact 
study of the subject, should opportunity ever be 
afforded us to observe respiration in the women of 


Indian tribes or other races who have not adopted 
the habits of civilization as regards dress. 

The following brief description of some of the 
results of the studies above referred to, will enable 
the reader to appreciate the nature and value of the 
evidence thus obtained : — 

Fig. 1 is a tracing obtained from a man of vigor- 
ous habits, when breathing without voluntary effort. 

Fig. 2 shows the curves produced by a young 
woman wearing a corset. There is almost no move- 
ment of the lower part of the chest, although she 
evidently made an effort to use that part. 

Fig. 3 is a tracing showing the respiratory move- 
ments of a man with a corset on. This tracing is 
exactly the reverse of that obtained from a man with 
ordinary clothing. 

Fig. 4 is a fair average of the tracings obtained 
from the Chinese women. 

Fig. 5 is a tracing obtained from a Chippeway 
Indian woman, who wore a loose dress, and had never 
had a corset on. 

Fig. 6 is of interest in this connection, as it repre- 
sents the respiratory movements of a civilized woman 
of Scotch birth, who, at the age of forty-five years 
(at the time this tracing was taken), had never in her 
life worn a corset or other means of constricting the 
waist, and had been wholly free from the pelvic dis- 
orders to which a large share of the members of her 
sex in civilized lands are subject. 

Fig. 7 represents the breathing of a reformed 
corset-wearer, who had, by her change of dress, re- 
covered from a condition of useless invalidism. 

Cosial. Abdominal. 

Fig. i. Man. 

Costal. Abdominal. 

Fig. 2. Young Woman, in Corset. 

Costal. Abdominal. 

Fig. 3. Man in Corset. 

Costal. Abdominal. 

Fig. 4. Chinese Woman. 

Costal. Abdominal. 

Fig. 5. Chippeway Indian Woman. 

Costal. Abdominal. 

Fig. 6. A Scotch Woman who had never worn a Corset. 

Costal. Abdominal. 

Fig. 7. A Reformed Corset-wearer. 

PLATE O. — Pneumographs Tracings of Natural 
and Unnatural Breathing. 


The lesson to be learned from these graphic rep- 
resentations of the breathing of women who have 
never acquired an artificial mode of respiration, as 
compared with the breathing of corset-choked women, 
is too obvious to require special emphasis. We only 
wish to add upon this point that our observations 
have been confirmed by other scientific investigators, 
and we believe we may confidently expect that the 
teaching of the next generation of text-books in physi- 
ology will be modified to agree with the plain teach- 
ing of nature upon this important question. 

We beg our fair readers to consider for a moment 
the shape and structure of the chest, and the natural 
act of breathing. The upper part of the chest is 
completely inclosed by walls of bone and cartilage. 
The lower part of the chest is not thus confined, the 
lower ribs being connected to the breast-bone by long, 
flexible cartilages, so as to give them great latitude of 
movement. The chest may be compared, in its action, 
to a pair of bellows. The larynx is the nozzle, the 
upper chest the body, and the lower parts of the 
chest, the points of the ribs, the handles of the 
breathing bellows. Is it not apparent that to place a 
constriction about the waist, thus confining the lower 
part of the chest, is equivalent to tying together the 
handles of a pair of bellows, and then endeavoring to 
make use of them by vainly seeking to expand the 
body of the instrument ? It is precisely in this awk- 
ward and inefficient fashion that the waist-constricted 
woman undertakes to breathe ! 

Abuse of the Feet. — Though we have not space 
here to elucidate fully the subject of the hygiene of 



the feet, we cannot forbear calling attention to 
the very common evil practices which relate to 

Narrow soles and small toes cramp the foot, and 
prevent it from supporting the weight of the body 
upon its whole under surface, as designed by nature. 
The high heel throws the weight forward upon the 
toes, which still further embarrasses them in their 
cramped condition, and greatly increases the injury 
arising from narrow toes and soles. 

High, narrow heels do not afford sufficient support 
for the foot, and it is easily turned to one side, often 
resulting in serious sprains. The chief weight being 
thrown forward upon the fore part- of the foot, it 
becomes weary, in walking, much sooner than it 
otherwise would. The narrow soles which usually 
accompany high and narrow heels, are likewise pro- 
ductive of injury, from not allowing the whole flat 
of the foot to sustain the weight of the body, as it 
should. Corns, bunions, and various distortions of 
the feet, are caused by wearing improperly fitting 
shoes or boots. 

Fashion in Deformity. — The thoughtful reader, 
in view of the foregoing considerations, will be ready 
to ask, How did these depraving and injurious fashions 
first arise ? While it may be impossible to answer 
this question in full, something of an explanation is 
found in the fact that fashions of a deforming character 
are common to almost every nation of the globe, bar- 
barous as well as civilized, but particularly the former. 
It is very possible that the fancy for deforming the 
person by compression of the waist, may be a vestige 

PLATE H. — Fashion in Deformity. 


of the barbarous tendencies of the race when in an 
uncivilized state. With this thought in mind, it is 
interesting to study the customs of various nations, 
with reference to artificial deformities. We have not 
space to pursue the subject further here, and shall be 
content with presenting on a plate a few representa- 
tions of the customs of various nations, which will 
speak for themselves. (See Plate H.) 

Healthful Clothing for Women. — " What shall 
we wear?" is a question we have often been asked 
by ladies who had patiently listened to a description 
of the evils of fashionable styles of dressing. We 
should certainly be very remiss in duty if we failed 
to point out a better way than that which we have 
condemned. If ladies could only be induced to ignore 
fashion altogether for a time, no difficulty would arise 
in the effort to conform to the order of nature. 

In the first place, the corset and all its substi- 
tutes and subterfuges, tight belts, and every other de- 
vice for compressing the waist or any other part of 
the body, can be at once discarded without the atten- 
tion of any one being drawn to the fact unless it be 
by the more elastic and graceful step, the brighter 
color of the face, and the general improvement in 
health in all respects. Suppose the waist does ex- 
pand a little — or a good deal, even — beyond the stand- 
ard seventeen inches; is it any disgrace ? No, indeed. 
A woman ought to be proud of a large waist. A 
large waist indicates large lungs, and large vital or- 
gans, which, in turn, represent the probabilities of 
long life. A small waist indicates precisely the op- 
posite. Women must emancipate themselves from 


fashion before they can accomplish anything in the 
direction of reform. 

Why should woman — the gentler sex — be com- 
pelled to wear a strait-jacket, like a madman or a 
criminal, while man is allowed to go untrammeled by 
any such impediment? A strong popular sentiment 
in favor of large waists would soon do away with the 
foolish emulation to look frail and slender. If re- 
quired, a suitable garment may be made, to support 
the bust, which will lit ihf form neatly without com- 
pressing any part. Several such garments and pat- 
ions for others arc manufactured and sold by various 
parties in the large cities, oast and west. See 
Plate K. Able physicians declare that compression 
of this pari of the body, and the wearing of an un- 
due amount of clothing, thus producing a local in- 
crease of temperature, is the cause of many of the pe- 
culiar diseases of woman, acting through reflex influ- 
ence upon interna] organs. 

How to Dress Warmly. — The next important 
Btep should he to regulate the clothing properly. 
The whole body should be clad in soft flannel from 
neck to wrists and ankles nearly the year round. It 
is better to have the underclothing for the upper part of 
the body and that for the limbs combined in one gar- 
ment. If arranged in two garments, they should 
only meet, and not overlap, as this gives too much 
additional heat over the abdominal organs. See 
Plate K, for pattern. 

A woman's limbs require as many thicknesses as 
a man's ; and a garment which fits the limb closely 
will afford four times the protection given by a loose 



skirt. Thick shoes or boots with high tops, and 
heavy woolen stockings which are drawn up outside 
the undergarments clothing the limbs, complete the 
provision for warmth. Leggins should be worn in 
cold weather. 

All the undergarments, including the stockings, 
should be suspended from the shoulders by means of 
waists or suspenders. Waists are doubtless the better 
for the purpose. If several garments are to be sus- 
pended from the same waist, the rows of buttons to 
which they are attached should be arranged one above 
another, to avoid bringing several bindings together. 

The two most important particulars having been 
secured, — freedom from compression and uniform tem- 
perature, — the outside dress may receive attention. 
It should be as simple as possible consistent with t]je 
mental comfort of the wearer. Gaudy colors and con- 
spicuous ornaments betray poor taste and a vain, 
shallow mind. Many flounces, folds, and heavy over- 
skirts are objectionable on account of their weight, to 
say nothing of the useless expenditure of time and 
money which they occasion. 

The proper length of the skirt is a question of in- 
terest in this connection. How long shall it be ? If 
physiology alone were asked the question, the answer 
would be that women do not need long skirts more 
than men, and that they are really an impediment to 
locomotion, and often very inconvenient. Custom 
says that women must wear skirts. Fashion says 
she must wear long skirts. Custom and fashion have 
prevailed so long that they have created an artificial 
modesty which seems to demand that woman's dress 


must differ from man's by the addition of a skirt, at 
least, even if they are alike in all other particulars. 
This being the case, the best we can do is to modify 
the skirt so that it will be as free from objections as 
possible. The great evils of long skirts are, unneces- 
sary weight, the accumulation of moisture which is 
transferred to the feet and ankles, and sundry incon- 
veniences to the wearer in passing over rough places, 
up and down stairs, etc. 

The obvious remedy for these defects is to curtail 
the length of the dress. The train must be discarded 
at once as too absurd and uncleanly, with its filthy 
load of gleanings from the gutter, to be tolerated. 
Any further improvement, to be of practical utility, 
must shorten the skirt to the top of the ankle, at least. 

A distinguished lady physician remarks as follows 
on this subject : — 

" The externals of dress, though they involve a 
moral question, seem to me of far less consequence 
than the arrangement of the under-dress, for that in- 
volves health. As now generally worn, the under- 
dress is weakening the present generation of women ; 
and, from the unvarying laws of nature, the effect 
must be transmitted to future generations. Mothers 
will confer upon their offspring a lower and lower 
vitality; and when we consider the already fearful 
mortality in infancy and childhood, there is little hope 
for the future, unless we can have some reform in this 

Deformed Figures. — The average civilized woman 
is a deformed woman. Uncomplimentary as this 
statement may appear, it is nevertheless demon- 

Grecian Dress. 

Hawaiian Dress. 

Chinese Foot. 

Chinese Slipper. 



strably true. Neglect of physical exercise, and corset 
wearing, have produced such grave and almost univer- 
sal physical deterioration among American women 
that scarcely one can be found who has reached the 
age of twenty years who is not more or less deformed. 
This idea was thoroughly impressed upon the writer's 
mind by personal study of the natural figure among 
Indian women of various tribes, including the primi- 
tive Yuma tribe of New Mexico and Arizona, Chinese 
women, and the peasant women of Italy, Germany, 
France, and England, and those very rare specimens 
of healthy and vigorous womanhood whom one meets 
in this country among the few who have dared to re- 
fuse to bow the knee to fashion, and have allowed 
themselves to grow up without any attempt to mould 
or fashion the body into a shape different from that 
designed for it by nature. Plates XVII to XXI show 
the contrast between a natural female figure and a 
figure which has been deformed by fashionable dress 
and neglect of physical exercise. Figs. 3 and 4 of 
Plate XXI, illustrate natural and unnatural breathing. 
Uterine prolapsus, retroversions, retroflexions, and 
the various degrees of ovarian prolapse which accom- 
pany these displacements, are seldom met with among 
chaste unmarried women of savage or semi-civilized na- 
tions, but are very frequent among this class of young 
women in this country, and those of the wealthier 
classes of all civilized countries. In this country these 
conditions, when found in young women, are almost in- 
variably attributed to some accident or imprudence in 
muscular exercise, such as jumping from a carriage, a 
fall upon the ice, jumping the rope, walking too great a 


distance, lifting a pail of water, carrying a baby, or some 
similar circumstances. The baneful effects of stair- 
climbing have been lengthily dwelt upon by physicians 
as well as by over-careful mothers. Not infrequently 
such light exercise as running a sewing-machine, or 
standing behind a counter, or sitting upon a piano- 
stool, has been charged with producing the most 
dreadful forms of uterine displacement and other pel- 
vic diseases. I do not say that none of the things 
referred to have ever been instrumental in brimnno- 
about uterine or pelvic diseases, but I have long been 
thoroughly convinced that such causes as are above 
mentioned are quite too trifling in character to be 
considered as anything more than proximate causes, 
back of which there lies an etiological factor of a 
general and fundamental character, the essential nat- 
ure of which is deficient muscular development. 

Climbing a flight of stairs a dozen or a hundred 
times a day would not injure in the slightest degree 
a young woman accustomed to mountain-climbing, or 
one of the Swiss damsels who, every day of their 
lives, descend and ascend the ladder road, which, for 
a good part of the year, is the only means of access 
to the little village of Albinen, Switzerland. Walk- 
ing the floor with a ten-pound baby in her arms 
would be very light exercise for one of the swarthy 
women whom Stanley employed as porters to carry 
his heavy loads of supplies across the Dark Continent. 
A Dahomey Amazon would consider running a sew- 
ing-machine a ridiculous pastime, and would much 
prefer twirling the machine itself over her head or 
balancing it on her thumb. The female equestrian 

Fig. i. Correct poise (a German peasant 

Fig. 2. Incorrect, results of corset- 
% wearing. 

PLATE XVII. — Correct and Incorrect Standing Poise. 





I Hi 















£ -"'■ 



who leaps from her horse to the ground and back 
again a half-dozen times in succession, with the animal 
flying about the ring at full speed, would smile at 
the absurdity of the proposition that any young 
woman could suffer serious injury by jumping from a 
carriage to the ground, or skipping a rope a few scores 
of times. It need not be denied, however, that these 
causes, trifling as they may appear, may be sufficient 
to provoke all the mischiefs with which they have 
been charged, in a young woman whose physical edu- 
cation has been neglected. 

It is quite possible that the city girl who has never 
been accustomed to more vigorous exercise than mov- 
ing herself at a moderate rate along a level surface, 
should be harmfully overtaxed by the exercise of 
climbing two or three flights of stairs several times 
a day. 

The remedy is not to be found in abolishing stairs 
and prohibiting young ladies every form of exercise 
which has been charged with producing pelvic mis- 
chief, but rather in subjecting young women to such 
a course of physical education as will fit them to 
endure muscular efforts of any reasonable character 
without injury. 

The mechanical injuries resulting from the wear- 
ing of garments which constrict the waist are con- 
spicuously shown in the change in the figure which 
this mode of dress produces. I have had made a 
simple apparatus, by which it is possible to make an 
exact profile of the body in an upright position in 
any plane. 

I have made with this apparatus a large number 


of tracings for the purpose of studying the change in 
form induced by constriction of the waist, and lack of 
muscular development 

From an artistic standpoint, the change in the 
contour of the body produced by corsets or tight 
bands certainly presents nothing attractive. But the 
deformity produced by the constriction of the waist 
has a significance of far greater importance than that 
which it presents from an artistic or aesthetic stand- 
point. Dr. Trastour, an eminent French physician, 
has clearly shown that what he terms the statique ab- 
dominale has an important relation to the health of the 
abdominal viscera. The relations of the several or- 
gans which occupy the abdominal and pelvic cavities 
are such that any considerable change in position 
necessarily results in disease. The stomach, dragged 
out of place, loses its natural tone, its walls become 
relaxed, dilatation results, and the patient suffers 
from all the distressing symptoms of gastric neuras- 
thenia. The constant dragging upon the liver and 
the right kidney occasions the displacement of these 
organs, especially of the kidney. The prolapse of the 
organs which normally occupy the upper part of the 
abdominal cavity necessarily compels the displace- 
ment of the organs lying next beneath them, thus 
leading to prolapse of the intestines, or what is 
termed by Glenard and other French writers, enterop- 
tosis. Prolapsed intestines become atonic through 
the disturbance of the portal circulation, and not in- 
frequently pseudo-stricture of the large intestine is 
occasioned by its abnormally folding upon itself through 
the depression of its central portion, which is more 


easily dragged down than the ascending or descend- 
ing portion. Obstruction leads to fecal accumulation 
and dilatation. 

Such disturbances of the relations of the viscera 
will be found in a large proportion of women suffer- 
ing from pelvic disorders. Indeed, one may say, 
almost without reservation, that in a case in which 
there is disturbance of the normal relations of the 
pelvic organs, there will be found considerable disturb- 
ance of the relations of the abdominal viscera. In a 
woman who presents a prolapsed or retroverted uterus 
and ovaries there will almost invariably be found 
prolapsus of the bowels, in many cases a dilated or 
prolapsed stomach, and not infrequently a movable 
and prolapsed right kidney. In one hundred cases 
of pelvic diseases, taken without selection and in the 
order in which they came under observation, I have 
found disturbances of the normal relations of the ab- 
dominal viscera in ninety-four cases. The stomach 
and bowels were prolapsed in all of these cases. 
There was dilatation of the stomach in more than half 
the cases. The right kidney was distinctly movable, 
and fallen below its normal position in thirty cases. 
In twenty cases the kidney had fallen so much below 
its normal position that it could be freely moved 
about. In three cases both kidneys were pro- 
lapsed. In four cases the liver was very greatly pro- 
lapsed ; and in three of the cases almost the entire 
organ was below the inferior border of the lower ribs. 
In one case the spleen, which was four times its nor- 
mal size, enjoyed the freedom of the entire abdominal 
cavity. When first noticed, it was lying between the 


uterus and the bladder, and was at first touch taken 
to be a fibroid growth connected with the uterus. 

In the six cases in which there was no disturbance 
of the relative positions of the abdominal organs, the 
patients were unusually well developed muscularly, 
and the pelvic disease was distinctly traceable to other 
than mechanical causes. 

The abnormal position of the kidneys and stomach 
present in a large proportion of cases of pelvic dis- 
ease is undoubtedly responsible for a large share of 
the symptoms which are frequently termed reflex, 
and are supposed to be primarily due to abnormal 
pelvic conditions ; .whereas they are only a partial 
expression of the group of morbid conditions involv- 
ing the entire contents of the abdomen and pelvis, of 
which the pelvic disorder is only a small part. 

I have made a large number of measurements of 
civilized and uncivilized women for the purpose of de- 
termining the comparative relations of the waist 
measurements to the height and other proportions of 
the figure. The following is a partial summary of the 
results, the measurements being expressed in inches : 

Percentage of 

waist to 




American women, 




English women (brickmakers, 

who wear heavy skirt), 




French women, 




Telugu women of India, 




Chinese women, 




Yuma women, 




Civilized men — American, 




The average of the measurements of 1100 young 
women between nineteen and twenty-one years of age, 
made by Dr. M. Anna Wood, of Wellesley College, 

Fig. i. Young woman in corset. Fig. 2. Results of the corset. 

PIRATE XIX— Results of Tight Lacing. 

Fig. l. 

Fig. 2. 

PLATE XX. — Results of Wearing Heavy Skirts. 


were for height, 63 inches, for waist, 24.6 inches, 
making the percentage of waist to height 39, instead 
of 39.6. These figures are probably more nearly cor- 
rect than my own measurements, as they represent 
the average of a much larger number. 

A few words of explanation are necessary to 
present the full significance of the above figures. 
The civilized American corset-wearing woman has the 
smallest waist of any of the classes examined. The 
next in order is the Telugu woman, who suspends her 
scanty clothing by a cord tied tightly about the waist. 
Miss Dr. E. J. Cummings, of Ramapatam, India, who 
kindly made for me the measurements from which the 
above figures relating to Telugu women are deduced, 
tells me that it is customary with these women to 
draw the cord which suspends their clothing as 
tightly as possible ; yet the amount of harm done 
thereby does not seem to equal the mischief accom- 
plished by the American corset. The women brick- 
makers of England, who come next in the scale of 
waists, doubtless diminish the size of their waists and 
produce considerable distortion of their figures 
through wearing many heavy skirts suspended by 
bands drawn rather tightly about the waist. Civil- 
ized men, next in the scale, have a much larger waist 
than civilized women, yet do not equal in waist meas- 
ure women who have had an opportunity to develop 

French peasant girls, who are the principal re- 
cruits for the maisons dlionte of Paris, from their 
out-of-door life acquire fine figures, which, at least in 
the early years of their life in Paris, are not much re- 


stricted by clothing, hence they have as good waists 
in proportion to their height as have Chinese women, 
whose loose garments afford ample room for natural 
development of the figure. But the Yuma Indian 
woman has a waist which seems almost dispropor- 
tionately large, but which is doubtless the result of 
her active out-of-door life, free from other restraint 
than a little bark apron before and behind, and even 
this restriction is lacking before she has attained the 
age of fourteen or fifteen years, so that she enjoys 
absolute freedom from restrictions of any sort during 
the years when the civilized girl is already beginning 
the process of fashion torture which deforms her body 
and destroys its natural grace and beauty, and ren- 
ders her the feeblest and most diseased of all human 

The measurements which I have made of savage 
men and women of the same tribe convince me that 
women naturally have larger waists, in proportion to 
their height, than do men. The liver and other viscera 
of the abdomen are larger in a woman, in proportion 
to height, than in a man, and hence require more 

It will be noticed by referring to the table of waist 
measurements which we have given, that the waists 
of French women, Chinese women, and Yuma Indian 
women are larger in proportion to their height than 
the waist of the average civilized man, the proportions 
being 45.4 for French and Chinese women, and 55.2 
for Yuma Indian women, as compared with 43.3 for 
civilized men. Careful measurements of an excellent 
model of the Venus de Medicis which I have in my 



possession, shows the waist proportion to be 47.7 
when compared with the height, the height being five 
feet seven inches, waist measure thirty-two inches. 
Certainly a great contrast with the modern woman. 
The following is a recently published comparison of 
the figure of the famous Mrs. Langtry, with that of 
Venus de Medicis : — 

Mrs. Langtry. 

The Venus. 


5 ft. 

7 in. 

5 ft. 7 in. 

Across the shoulders, 

15 inches 

16 * inches 



< < 

38" " 
















13| " 




42 " 

Length of leg, 



32 " 





Length of arm, 



28 " 




9J " 







Crown of the head, 



Nose to finger tip, 



It will be noted that in Mrs. Langtry, who prob- 
ably fairly represents the modern civilized woman, the 
hips are broader, the shoulders narrower, and the neck 
smaller than in the Venus, although the height and 
many other proportions are identical. The most glar- 
ing difference, however, is in the measurement of the 
waist, which, in the case of Mrs. Langtry, is twenty- 
six inches, or 39.5 per cent of height, while that of 
Venus is 47.7 per cent. The waist measurement is not 
given in the comparative measurements of Mrs. Lang- 
try and the Venus, a very judicious oversight, evidently 
intended to conceal from the fashionable aspirant for 
beauty of figure the fact that her small waist is a 
hideous deformity. 


Personal Beauty. — Every woman desires to be 
beautiful ; and there are few women indeed who do not 
yield to the instinct which leads her to adopt various 
little devices for the purpose of increasing, or making 
to appear to the best possible advantage, her natural 
attractions of mind or person. But the popular idea 
of beauty is in many respects faulty. A woman with 
a pretty face and a fine figure may be or may not be 
beautiful. Beauty is not simply " skin deep." Its 
real elements are based upon mental and moral quali- 
ties rather than mere physical traits. £ % face cannot 
be really beautiful which hides behind it a character 
devoid of worth. A superficial observer may mistake 
a mere physical symmetry or comeliness for beauty ; 
but an individual who is alive to the character of his 
surroundings and sufficiently awake mentally and 
morally to really know the significance of life, will 
through his intuitions quickly discriminate between a 
mere surface glitter and real beauty of soul or charac- 
ter. Physical beauty is the shadow after which so 
many seek, while character beauty is the real sub- 
stance which is so often ignored. A beautiful charac- 
ter cannot be ugly in its external expressions, no 
matter how much Nature may seem to have neglected 
the principle of mutual fitness. The face is so 
thoroughly a mirror of the mind, simply a reflection 
of the character, that the real beauty or ugliness of 
the latter cannot fail to appear as plainly as the hand 
writing upon the wall in ancient time, and no prophet 
is required to interpret its meaning. 

The way to cultivate real beauty, then, is to adorn 
the heart and mind with valuable and lovely traits, 


and of all other mental and moral furnishing, nothing 
is so" much to be desired as " the ornament of a meek 
and quiet spirit." 

Without the cultivation of inward beauty, outward 
adornments and beautification are of little conse- 
quence ; with such attainments only one thing more 
is needful, viz., physical health. Nothing contributes 
so much to the maintenance of a beautiful complexion, 
a sparkling eye, and grace of form and motion, as an 
active liver and sound digestion. Without these, it 
is useless to depend upon cosmetics. Their action is 
in the end harmful, as a rule, sometimes to a fatal de- 
gree. With physical health and vigor, and mental 
and moral worth, the individual whom Nature has ap- 
parently neglected, in dispensing her favors, will not 
be without attractions. 

One of the most essential means of maintaining 
healthful beauty aside from scrupulous attention to 
diet, is the daily bath. A lady of fashion, in enumer- 
ating the means for preserving beauty, says : " Clean- 
liness, my last recipe (and which is applicable to all 
ages), is of most powerful efficacy. It maintains the 
limbs in their pliancy, the skin in its softness, the 
complexion in its luster, the eyes in their brightness, 
the teeth in their purity, and the constitution in its 
fairest vigor. To promote cleanliness, I can recom- 
mend nothing preferable to bathing. The frequent 
use of tepid baths is not more grateful to the sense 
than it is salutary to the health and to beauty. . . 
By such means, the women of the East render their 
skins softer than that of the tenderest babe in this 
climate." " I strongly recommend to every lady to 



make a bath as indispensable an article in her house 
as a looking-glass." 

When the foul matters which ought to be elimin- 
ated by the skin and quickly removed from the body 
are allowed to remain unremoved, the skin becomes 
clogged and inactive, soon loses its natural luster and 
color, becoming dead, dark, and unattractive. When 
bathing is so much neglected, it is no marvel that 
paints, powders, lotions, and cosmetics of all sorts, 
are in such great demand. A daily bath, at the 
proper temperature, is the most agreeable and efficient 
of all cosmetics. 

Bathing Protects against Colds. — It is an er- 
roneous notion that bathing, renders a person more 
liable to " take cold, by opening the pores." Colds 
are produced by disturbance of the circulation, not by 
opening or closure of the pores of the skin. Fre- 
quent bathing increases the activity of the circulation 
in the skin, so that a person is far less subject to 
chilliness and to taking cold. An individual who 
takes a daily bath has almost perfect immunity from 
colds, and is little susceptible to changes of tempera- 
ture. Colds are sometimes taken after bathing, but 
this results from some neglect of the proper precau- 
tions necessary to prevent such an occurrence. 

Neglecting to keep the skin active and vigorous 
by frequent ablutions is one of the most prolific 
causes of nearly all varieties of skin diseases, which 
are also too often aggravated by gross dietetic habits. 
The relation between the cutaneous function and 
that of the kidneys is so intimate that neglect of the 
kind mentioned, resulting as it must in obstruction of 


function, is a very common cause of most dangerous 
disorders of the renal organs. Inactivity of the skin 
is also very commonly associated with dyspepsia, 
with rheumatism, gout, hysteria, and other nervous 
derangements. It is a not uncommon cause of 
bronchial and pulmonary affections. It is quite 
evident, then, that the proper and most efficient 
means of preventing these diseases is to maintain the 
functional vigor of the skin by the proper application 
of water. 

A modern writer declares that in Spain the relig- 
ious instincts of the people have become so perverted 
that it is considered sacrilege for a woman to bathe 
more than once in her life, which is upon the eve of 
her marriage. In more enlightened countries, it is to 
be hoped that the condition of the feminine cuticle is 
not quite so bad as that ; but another writer, an En- 
glishman, asserts that a large proportion of his coun- 
trymen " never submitted themselves to an entire 
personal ablution in their lives, and many an octogen- 
arian has sunk into his grave with the accumulated 
dirt of eighty years upon his skin." American cus- 
toms in this respect are not much better than the 
English ; but it is gratifying to know that a very 
perceptible improvement is becoming evident in both 
countries. Our intercourse with Oriental nations and 
barbarians has taught us wholesome lessons in the 
care of the person. There is scarcely a savage tribe 
to be found in the deepest jungles of tropical Africa 
the members of which do not pay more attention to 
the preservation of a clean and healthy skin than the 
average American or Englishman. 


All nature attests the importance of the bath. 
The rain is a natural shower bath in which all vegeta- 
tion participates, and gains refreshment. Its invigo- 
rating influence is seen in the brighter appearance, 
more erect bearing, and fresher colors, of all plants 
after a gentle rain. The flowers manifest their grat- 
itude by exhaling in greater abundance their fragrant 
odor. Dumb animals do not neglect their moraine; 
bath. Who has not seen the robin skimming along 
the surface of the lake or stream, dipping its wings 
in the cool waters, mid laving its plumage with the 
crystal drops which its flapping pinions send glittering 
into the air? No child that has ever seen the ele- 
phant drink will forget how the huge beast improved 
the opportunity to treat himself to a shower bath, 
and perhaps the spectators as well, for he is very 
generous in his use of water. 

If man's instincts were not rendered obtuse by 
the perverted habits of civilization, he would value 
the bath as highly and employ it as freely as his 
more humble felloAv-creatures, whose instinctive im- 
pulses have remained more true to nature, because 
they have not possessed that degree of intelligence 
which would make it possible for them to become so 
grossly perverted as have the members of the human 
race. Man goes astray from nature, not because he 
is deficient in instinct, but because he stifles the 
promptings of his better nature for the purpose of 
gratifying his propensities. 

A woman who has a perfectly healthy skin is 
nearly certain to be healthy in other respects. In no 
way can the health of the skin be preserved but by fre- 


quent bathing. A daily or tri-weekly bath, accompan- 
ied by friction, will keep the skin clean, supple, and vig- 
orous. There is no reason why the whole surface of 
the body should not be washed as well as the face 
and hands, and the notion that a common sponge 
bath is weakening is a popular error which has grown 
out of the fact that in the early days of the " cold- 
water cure," many persons injured themselves by cold 
bathing, and afterward went to the other extreme in 
the- employment of the bath at too high a temperature. 
A bath at a temperature but a few degrees below 
that of the body may be taken daily without in- 
jury and with decided benefit. A little fine soap 
should be used once or twice a week to remove the 
oily secretion of the skin, which is always present in 
greater or less degree. 

The following directions for treating a few of the 
most common maladies of the skin, especially those 
which affect the face and hands, we quote from our 
lamer work on "Rational Medicine" in which the 
whole subject is more fully considered : — 

Heat- Rash.— -This is a form of eruption which 
often occurs during the intense heat of summer. It 
may consist of simply a diffused redness of the parts 
exposed to the direct action of the sun's rays, usually 
termed sunburn, or in the form of an eruption of mi- 
nute, red pimples known as " prickly heat " eruption, 
or " heat eruption," which is accompanied by severe 
prickling and itching. Sunburn, when severe, is fol- 
lowed by peeling off of the epidermis. Prickly heat 
generally disappears within a few hours, but may con- 
tinue some time, and become a real eczema. 


Treatment: For sunburn, cool the affected parts 
with tepid compresses, and anoint well with vaseline. 
Persons subject to prickly heat should wear silk or 
cotton next the surface, and should avoid overheat- 
ing themselves by overexertion during hot weather. 
Irritation of the eruption may be relieved by cool 
baths or cool sponging, bathing the surface with soda 
or saleratus water, a teaspoonful to the pint. After 
bathing, the surface should be dried by a gentle pat- 
ting with a fluffy towel and without rubbing. 

Erythema or Redness of the Skin. — This is a 
disease of the skin characterized by redness, due to 
active congestion or inflammation. It may occur as a 
simple diffused redness, produced by cold, friction 
from wearing flannel clothes, the rubbing together of 
two folds of skin, etc. It also accompanies various 
other diseases of the skin. Sometimes, in addition to 
the diffused redness, an eruption of small red pimples 
occurs on the face or hands. The digestion is often 
disturbed, and the patient feels slightly feverish. 
The duration of the disease is usually very shortj 
little treatment being required. 

Treatment: The diet should be very light and 
unstimulating. A warm bath should be taken daily, 
and the affected parts should be covered with a thin 
cloth moistened with tepid water, or with a solution 
of saleratus, a teaspoonful to a pint of water. The 
use three or four times a day of a lotion consisting of 
equal parts of glycerine and soft water is also of great 

Acne — Face Pimples. — This is a very common 
affection, especially between the ages of fifteen and 


thirty years. The seat of the disease is the seba- 
ceous follicles or oil-glands of the skin. The erup- 
tion consists in pimples scattered over the face, neck, 
back, and chest. The inflammation of each follicle 
may run its course in three or four days, or may con- 
tinue for a week or ten days. When the inflamed 
part becomes indurated, or even hardened, the inflam- 
mation may continue for several weeks. Several va- 
rieties of the disease are observed; that just described 
is the most common. Another form consists in ob- 
struction of the outlets of the sebaceous glands, pro- 
ducing what are sometimes termed flesh-worms, or 
grubs. This form of acne is indicated by little black 
specks, seen upon different parts of the face, but 
chiefly upon the skin of the nose. Each speck marks 
an obstructed outlet; and if pressure is made on 
either side, something having the appearance of a 
small grub may be pressed out. Upon careful exam- 
ination, this so-called grub proves to be a mass of 
hardened sebaceous matter, or sebum, which has as- 
sumed its grub-like form by being pressed through 
the small mouth of the follicle. The black speck, giv- 
ing to this little cylinder of fat the appearance of a 
head, is simply a small accumulation of dirt. The 
technical term for one of these little masses is comedo. 
When examined under a microscope, these are often 
found to contain a whole family of parasites, jnale, 
female, and their numerous progeny. It is not proba- 
ble that this parasite gives rise to the disease, but 
rather that the distended follicle furnishes an agreea- 
ble home for the insect, which is closely related to 
the acarus scabiei, or itch mite. In another form of 


acne, in which the nose and the adjoining portion of 
the cheek are chiefly involved, in addition to the pim- 
ples described there is intense congestion and redness 
of the parts, due to enlargement of the blood-vessels 
which are sometimes so much distended as to be dis- 
tinctly visible. This form of the disease is termed 
acne rosacea. 

The chief causes of acne are erroneous dietetic 
habits. People suffering with acne can bring on an 
acute attack at any time by the use of rich pastry, fried 
food, and large amounts of sugar or sweet food, etc. 
Doughnuts, griddle cakes, cheese, hot bread, pre- 
serves, candies, and similar dietetic abominations, are 
very active causes of different forms of this affection. 
Acne rosacea is very frequently the result of using al- 
coholic liquors in some form, on which account it is 
sometimes termed, when seen in persons addicted to 
drinking, the "rum-blossom." Acne is sometimes the 
result of debilitating habits, particularly secret vice in 
young persons, though it should be by no means sup- 
posed that every young person affected with this dis- 
ease is addicted to secret vice. 

Oily Skin. — In some persons there is an excessive 
production of sebaceous matter or sebum, due to mor- 
bid activity of the fatty glands of the skin. The skin 
of such persons presents a shiny look. Little beads of 
oily matter may be seen at the mouths of the glands 
near the roots of the hairs. The forehead, nose, and 
cheeks are most frequently affected. When the scalp 
is affected, the condition may be indicated by soiling 
of the pillow. Acne is frequently accompanied by 
this condition. 


Treatment : The only treatment to be employed is 
the frequent application of soap. When many of the 
glands are clogged up, as indicated by the abundance 
of grubs, the surface should first be thoroughly rubbed 
with warm oil. Cocoanut or almond oil is the best. 
After half an hour the surface should be rubbed with 
a flannel cloth, thoroughly saturated with soap moist- 
ened with warm water, and stretched over the fingers ; 
or a soft sponge may be used. This is best done at 
night, just before retiring. When the secretion of fat 
is very profuse, the operation may be repeated two or 
three times a day. 

Dry Skin. — A condition of deficient secretion of 
fat is very frequently met with in cases of dyspepsia 
and in persons suffering with other wasting diseases. 
The best remedy is the daily application of the olive 
oil or vaseline. 

Dandruff, or Dandriff — This is a condition in 
which branny scales are shed from the scalp in great 
abundance. It may be due to eczema or pityriasis, as 
already remarked, or may result from a disorder of 
the sebaceous glands, and from acne. The latter is 
the most common cause of the disease. In this form 
of the affection, the abnormal secretion of the fat 
glands appears upon the scalp as yellowish scales. 
This condition is akin to that described under the 
head of oily skin, being, in fact, a dry form of the 
same disease. This condition is sometimes present 
upon the nose and cheeks as well as the scalp. It is 
often a very annoying complaint. When affecting the 
scalp, it sooner or later results in loss of the hair. 
This is not because the dandruff destroys the hair, 


but because the same disease which causes the dan- 
druff interferes with the nutrition of the hair, thus oc- 
casioning its loss. On account of its tendency to pro- 
duce baldness, the disease should never be neglected. 
Dandruff is generally occasioned by disorder of the 
digestion, or some other debilitating disease. 

Treatment : Restore the general health by proper 
attention to the digestion and general hygiene. For 
dandruff of the face, apply the same remedies recom- 
mended for oily skin. The scalp should also be treated 
in the same way, by gentle shampooing with ordinary 
washing soap once or twice a week. A very soft 
brush should be used. Neither a stiff brush nor a fine 
comb should ever be used for removng dandruff. 
After shampooing, a liniment composed of equal parts 
of castor-oil and alcohol may be rubbed on the scalp, 
or an ointment composed of a drachm of tannin to an 
ounce of vaseline. 

Offensive Perspiration. — This is a condition which 
is sometimes exceedingly annoying. It is occasioned 
by the excretion in the sweat of elements of an offen- 
sive character. Odors of various kinds are produced. 
Rheumatic persons are generally most disagreeably 
affected. The arm-pits are the portions of the body 
most frequently affected, the offensive odor arising 
from the feet being due to decomposition of the sweat, 
and not to the abnormal character of the secretion. 
This condition is sometimes very difficult to overcome. 
The best j'emedy is thorough cleansing of the parts, at 
least twice a day, with soap and water, or some disin- 
fectant lotion, as permanganate of potash, a solution 
of chlorinated soda, or of two or three per cent of 


carbolic acid. Washing the affected part with a solu- 
tion of chloral, a drachm to the ounce, is a recently 
recommended remedy. What is known as Bromid- 
rosis, is a condition in which the perspiration imparts 
to the clothing some peculiar color. 

Freckles — Lentigo. — These consist in an increase 
of the pigment or coloring matter of the skin in small 
spots. They most often occur in persons who have 
delicate skins, being greatly increased by exposure to 
sun and wind, though not produced by them, as is tan. 
They do not necessarily indicate an inactive state of 
the liver. Quite an eminent authority on lung disease 
declares that freckles indicate a predisposition to con- 

Treatment : Very difficult of removal, and impossi- 
ble if patient continues exposure. It is better to have 
the freckles however than to forego the valuable influ- 
ence of the sunshine and fresh air. The advertised lo- 
tions and cosmetics are either dangerous or useless. 
The following are a few of the best-known remedies 
for the removal of freckles and tan : — 

1. Three tablespoonfuls of fresh scraped horse- 
radish; buttermilk, a pint. Allow to soak six or 
eight hours, shaking occasionally. Cider vinegar is 
sometimes used in place of the horse-radish. Apply 
to the face at night, leaving on till morning. 

2. Two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice ; an equal 
quantity of water ; a tablespoonful of glycerine ; a 
heaping teaspoonful of powdered borax. Apply three 
or four times a day, drying after fifteen or twenty 
minutes with a fluffy towel. 


Moth Patches — Liver Spots — Chloasma. — The 
brownish spots of irregular shape and size often seen 
upon the face, and popularly known as w * liver spots," 
are similar to freckles, but larger in size. They often 
accompany disease of the liver, and are not infre- 
quently present in diseases of the womb, which may 
be due to the fact now well understood that disease 
of the liver is a common cause of disease of the 

Treatment : Little or nothing can be done for these 
blemishes except to improve the general condition as 
much as possible. 

Baldness. — There are two varieties of baldness, 
the ordinary form, and what is known as ''patchy 
baldness," a, form in which the hair is lost only in 
circumscribed spots. The loss of hair usually begins 
first at the temples, the forehead, or the crown, grad- 
ually extending. It is very common in old age, being 
the result of the general decline in nutrition which 
occurs in advanced life. When it occurs in early or 
middle life, it most commonly results from the disease 
of the scalp known as dandruff. Baldness also results 
from eczema and from ringworm and favus. Tempo- 
rary baldness not infrequently follows erysipelatous, 
typhoid, and other fevers. Baldness may be occa- 
sioned by anything which deteriorates the general 
health. Excessive brain labor, resulting in conges- 
tion of the head and too much heat in the scalp, may 
produce it. It may be the result of dyspepsia, of ex- 
cesses of various kinds, and of any debilitating dis- 
ease. Men suffer more than women, which is proba- 
bly due to the fact that women do not so habitually 


overheat the head by the constant wearing of warm 
head coverings. In some cases, the disease is 

Treatment : Prevention is the best remedy, as 
many cases are incurable. The scalp should never be 
overheated. Head coverings should be light, and 
should allow free access of air to the head at all 
times. The hair should not be harshly brushed with 
a stiff brush, and should never be combed with a fine, 
sharp-toothed comb. This is particularly true if 
dandruff is present, as the measures referred to will 
certainly aggravate the difficulty. When the hair is 
very dry, a little fine unguent of some kind may be 
employed; but the common practice of "greasing" 
the hair is a bad one. Such harsh mixtures as are 
often employed by barbers in shampooing are very 
harmful to the hair. Soap should be rarely used 
unless of the finest quality, but the head should be 
kept clean by frequent washing with warm water, 
shampooing with the white of egg, followed by thor- 
ough rinsing. 

When the scalp is smooth and shiny, especially in 
cases of " patchy baldness," which is due to nervous 
disease of the scalp, little can be expected from treat- 
ment. If a large number of hairs are still present, 
however, even though they are very short and thin, 
something may be done. The case is much more 
hopeful in young than in old persons. When heredi- 
tary, little can be expected from treatment. First 
attention should be given to the general health. The 
various stimulating lotions which are advertised for 
this jmrpose should be carefully avoided, as they will 


be rarely successful, and may do much harm. No 
amount of stimulation of the scalp will effect more 
than temporary benefit unless the general nutritive 
forces of the patient are also improved by attention 
to hygiene. 

It is rarely necessary to cut the hair close, and 
shaving the scalp is quite unnecessary. If the scalp 
is dry, a little fine oil should be rubbed upon it daily 
with much gentle friction. If dandruff is present, 
treat as directed on page 286. If the case is ob- 
stinate, consult a physician. 

Hirsutes— Overgrowth of the Hair.— This morbid 
condition consists in an abnormal development of the 
fine short hairs. It is most troublesome in ladies, in 
whom the hair of the upper lip is sometimes suffi- 
ciently developed to form a mustache. We recently 
met a case in which a full silken beard had grown. 

Treatment; The so-called depilatories sold for the 
relief of this condition are worthless. They do noth- 
ing more than to remove the external ' portion of the 
hair, only penetrating a short distance into the hair 
follicle, and hence the hairs soon grow again. Being 
usually composed chiefly of lime, considerable irrita- 
tion is not infrequently produced, and sometimes 
quite severe disease of the skin. Pulling out the 
hairs is only temporary in its effects, although more 
lasting than the action of depilatories. The only cure 
is destruction of the hair or its follicle. This may be 
generally accomplished by passing into the follicle a 
fine glover's needle and twisting it about in such a 
w T ay as to excite sufficient inflammation to obliterate 
or close it. Sometimes a heated needle is used for 


the purpose. The best plan of all is to pass a current 
of electricity through the needle after it has been in- 
serted into the follicle. Galvanic electricity is neces- 
sary for this purpose. This method of treatment 
is the most satisfactory of all. We have employed it 
in a number of cases with entire success and do not 
rely on any other method as entirely efficient. 

The scope of this work does not permit us to con- 
sider this subject at any length in other than its 
physical relations. Considered from the stand-point 
of health alone, marriage under favorable circum- 
stances is conducive to the longevity of the individual 
as well as necessary to the perpetuation of the race. 
Statistics show that married persons, whether male or 
female, live longer on the average than unmarried 
persons. There are various influences which may 
contribute to cause this difference other than those 
which arise directly from the matrimonial state ; but 
after making fair allowance for these, it is probably 
true that the influence of marriage is to prolong life 
when the privileges which it allows are not abused. 
Marriage as an institution is as old as the human race. 
As a natural rite, traces of the institution exist among 
the lowest and most degraded tribes of the human 
race, and also to some extent among certain classes of 
the lower animals. At different ages of the world 
and among different classes of people, marriage has 
been regarded in very different ways. At some pe- 
riods and among some races, it has been looked upon 


as of trifling import, — a state which might be entered 
upon and withdrawn from at pleasure, by either 
party, though usually the husband has considered it 
his right to rule in the matter, making or dissolving 
the marriage bond at will. Among all Christian na- 
tions, however, the rite of marriage has ever been 
looked upon as most sacred in character, binding alike 
upon both husband and wife, and not to be dissolved 
without cause of the gravest character. Unfortu- 
nately, the notion of marriage which prevails among 
savage and barbarous people at the present time, 
which regards the institution as simply a convenient 
arrangement or formal contract, seems to have fast- 
ened itself to a very considerable extent upon the 
minds of certain classes even in the civilized com- 
munities of the present day. The records of our 
courts and the columns of the daily newspaper afford 
abundant evidence of this fact. This disregard of the 
sanctity of marriage and contempt for its restrictions 
is one of the most alarming tendencies of the present 
age. It is no uncommon spectacle to see men and 
women of good standing in society appear in court in 
a suit for divorce without in the slightest degree af- 
fecting their standing with their society friends, or in 
any way disturbing their social position. Doubtless 
much of this loss of regard for the marriage institu- 
tion and the desire to escape from its bonds arises 
from evils which have their foundation in a want of 
mutual adaptation in the wedded parties. Undoubt- 
edly the great haste to enter the matrimonial state 
manifested by the young people of the present day 
and the wholly artificial conditions under which ao- 


quaintanceships leading to marriage are formed and 
carried on, tend strongly to detract from the sanctity 
with which the institution should be regarded. 

In view of these facts it is important to consider 
some of the factors which go to make up a healthful 
and happy matrimonial union. 

The Object of Marriage. — Physiology recognizes 
one object for the institution of marriage, namely, the 
preservation of the species. This is undoubtedly its 
primary object, although there are other ends to be 
attained by marriage which add to its importance and 
dignity as a divinely established institution. A genu- 
ine woman looks forward to the possibilities of 
motherhood with glad anticipations, — the sexual priv- 
ileges of the married relation are not the attractions 
which lead her to desire to enter upon it ; but it is 
not to be supposed that motives of so high and 
chaste a character are always the actuating ones. 
The passion denominated love might often be more 
properly termed lust. The opportunity for the grati- 
fication of the animal passions is no part of the func- 
tion of marriage. Thednstincts of the animal nature 
were never intended by the Creator to become domi- 
nant in their influence, but simply subservient to the 
accomplishment of the great ends for which the insti- 
tution of marriage was created. 

When to Marry. — This question is a purely 

physiological one. At any rate, the physiological 

aspect of the question is the leading one and the 

dictum of physiology must be allowed to settle 

the question wheneA^er any conflict of opinions may 

arise. The voice of physiological science on this 



question is a clear and decisive one. She speaks in 
terms which cannot be mistaken. According to her 
ruling, the earliest period at which marriage can occur 
physiologically is that at which the body completes 
its development, which is not before twenty to 
twenty-two in the female, and twenty-four to twenty- 
six in the male. The girl may attain her full growth 
in height two or three years before this time, but 
growth in stature is not the whole of development. 
The developmental process is one w T hich involves 
every organ in the body. It includes the broadening 
and deepening of the chest and -the expansion of the 
pelvis ; the development of rudimentary nerve-cells 
and fibres, the hardening or ossification of the bones, 
and numerous other details of development too nu- 
merous to mention. Some of these, particularly those 
which relate to the complete development of the 
brain and nervous system, are not fully accomplished 
until some years later than the ages above men- 

Marriage involves the probability of offspring; 
and for a woman to enter the marriage state and take 
upon herself the responsibility of bringing into the 
world new beings before she has herself attained com- 
plete physical development, is nothing more nor less 
than a physical crime. The mother transmits to her 
offspring her own characteristics. If the mother is 
immature and imperfectly developed, her child will 
have impressed upon it the stamp of her immaturity 
and will come into the world with a defective organi- 
zation destined never to attain mature development. 
Who has not met time and again the progeny of these 


girl-mothers grown old in years but as childish in 
intellect as though they were yet in their teens. 
Such children are destined to a short and inefficient 
life. No experienced stock-raiser ever allows his ani- 
mals to breed until they have attained their full ma- 
turity, knowing well that the offspring of young 
mothers are not such as to be desired, and that they 
will be weak and of feeble constitution, and will not 
reach the high order of excellence which he wishes 
to maintain. 

It is a notable fact that among nations who are de- 
generating and whose national characteristics present 
the marks of race deterioration in operation for many 
centuries, marriages occur at a very early age. For 
instance, we are informed by travelers in Japan that 
maidenhood is a period of life not known in that coun- 
try. As soon as the period of puberty is reached, 
the girl becomes a married woman and assumes the 
duties of a wife and mother. The same is true of 
nearly all other Eastern countries, in the Sandwich 
Islands, in the interior of Africa, and even in some 
more civilized countries, as in Italy, and to a consid- 
erable extent in Spain. In all of these countries 
physical, mental, and moral degeneracy is apparent 
in a very marked degree, and who can doubt that 
early marriage is one of the most prolific causes? 
The ancient Grecian philosopher, Plato, fixed the ages 
of marriage at twenty for the female and thirty for 
the male. In modern Greece as well as in oriental 
countries the ages at which marriage usually occurs 
are much earlier than this. The result of following 
the wholesome advice of Plato was the production of 


a nation which led the world in culture, enlighten- 
ment, and literary prowess ; but the Greeks of the 
present day can boast of neither mental nor physical 

There are other reasons besides those of a 
purely physiological character which forbid the en- 
trance of the marriage state before the ages men- 
tioned. Before this time, the judgment is not suffi- 
ciently mature to enable a young woman to make a fit 
selection of a partner for life. Her own character is 
not thoroughly formed ; her tastes are not yet fully 
developed. The person who may answer to her ideal 
husband at sixteen might appear in a very different 
light after a few more years' experience with the 
world. The selection of a life partner is one of the 
most momentous questions which a human being is 
ever called upon to settle ; and it is certainly highly 
improper that such a question should be settled once 
for all while the character is undeveloped and the 
judgment immature. 

Again, until the age of twenty to twenty-two or 
twenty-three years the vital forces are wholly re- 
quired for the proper maturing of the structures of 
the body and the development of the mind. A young 
woman of sixteen or eighteen is totally unprepared to 
enter upon the grave responsibilities of wifehood or 
motherhood. How many great statesmen, philoso- 
phers, or authors have been born of girl-mothers ? 
The great men of the world have had, almost with- 
out exception, mothers whose youth was occupied 
in fitting themselves mentally and physically for the 
grave duties of later years. The girl who marries at 


sixteen and settles down to the routine of domestic 
duties, as must be the case in the majority of in- 
stances, has little further opportunity for storing the 
mind with useful knowledge, cultivating the intellect, 
and preparing herself to discharge her duty to society 
in such a way as to leave a lasting impression upon it. 
The women of influence, those who are the shining 
lights of society, are those who have not been in too 
great haste to assume responsibilities for which they 
were not prepared and of which they knew nothing. 
They have been women who devoted the early years 
of womanhood and maidenhood to the acquisition of 
knowledge and the formation of refined tastes, to the 
cultivation of mind and morals, and the formation of 
habits of industry and usefulness. Such women have 
found plenty to occupy their time until they had at- 
tained to full maturity without devoting any portion 
of it in setting traps for husbands. The other day we 
heard of a woman boasting to her daughter of sixteen 
that she was engaged eighteen times before she was 
as many ears of age. It was not at all surprising that 
the daughter of such a mother should marry a boy as 
childish as herself and but a little older. 

A girl who marries at fifteen or sixteen years of 
age, never attains to full development of either mind 
or body. The duties of wifehood and maternity make 
demands upon her vitality which she is not prepared 
to support, and consequently her development is 
dwarfed in every way. Females suffer more than 
males in consequence of early marriage, as in addition 
to other exhausting demands, they have imposed upon 
them the burden of childbearing. It is an appalling 


thought that these weak and immature mothers will 
not only transmit to their children their own deficien- 
cies of development, but through their children the 
same defects of constitution and character will be 
transmitted to the next generation, and thus the evil 
be perpetuated, the offspring of each generation grow- 
ing weaker and weaker, and becoming more and more 
liable to disease, and showing greater constitutional 
defects, until the line becomes extinct, unless the de- 
generating process is checked by some intervening 
influence of a redeeming character. 

Young Wives and Old Husbands. — Occasionally, 
far too frequently in fact, the good sense of society is 
shocked by a matrimonial union between a blooming 
young girl and some infirm octogenarian whose only 
charm is the possession of a large fortune. It is 
hardly conceivable that a young girl could be actu- 
ated by other than sordid motives in allowing herself 
to make an alliance of this character. It is wholly 
unnatural that young women should love and desire 
to marry men bordering on decrepitude if not actually 
infirm with age. Too often these unions are the re- 
sult of coercion on the part of the parents, who are 
willing to sacrifice the feelings of their daughter and 
her life happiness for the purpose of making what 
they consider an advantageous family alliance. Such 
a course on the part of parents is in the highest de- 
gree criminal, and the daughter who is the victim of 
such monstrous cruelty is deserving of sympathy and 
commiseration. Her life is destined to be a desolate 
one. Many a young woman marrying under such 
circumstances has in the desperation of her unhappi- 


ness sacrificed character, home, and friends rather 
than endure the galling bondage of such an ill-assorted 

The children of such a marriage, if it is a fruitful 
one, are cursed by the results, as well as. the parents. 
The old, unhappy faces of such little ones are really 
sad to look upon. They are certain to die early, and 
their premature death is, in most cases, a happy event, 
both for themselves and the world. Many times 
scrofula and consumption make their existence a 
curse to themselves and a burden to others, so that 
death comes as a grateful release. 

Another feature of this sort of marriages is the 
fact that the husband has, in the majority of instances, 
been married before, perhaps more than once, and very 
likely has grown-up children who still need the care 
of a mother. No young woman, with an ordinary 
amount of common sense and foresight, would venture 
into such a home to preside over it as its mistress 
without the most serious foreboding. Step-mothers, 
especially if young, have a hard lot. They seldom 
receive sympathy either from their husbands or their 
friends. The husband is very certain to sympathize 
with the children, and if the friends do not take sides 
with the children in their real or imaginary troubles, 
the mother does not receive their sympathy, the gen- 
eral feeling being that she knew what was before her, 
and ought to have known better than to place herself 
under such circumstances. 

As a rule, the husband should be one or two years 
older than the wife, but the difference should not ex- 
ceed eight or ten years in favor of the husband. Too 


great a difference in age makes the husband and wife 
too unlike in tastes and in character. A woman 
should avoid marrying a man younger than herself. 
As a rule, a young woman is more mature than a man 
of the same age, and for a woman to marry a man 
younger than herself is to prepare her for domestic 
unhappiness in the lack of the husband's power to 
command proper respect from his wife on account of 
his own inferiority in years and development. 

Whom to Marry. — We have already given sev- 
eral hints respecting the selection of a husband, but a 
few more words on the same subject will be admiss- 
ible. We do not propose to give exact rules on this 
point, knowing very well that such rules will not be 
followed if laid down, as marriage is not a thing to be 
governed strictly by law, although it is a matter in 
which, above all others, calmness, consideration, and 
deliberation should be exercised. " Love at first 
sight " is seldom the kind of love which will bear the 
test of years of association and the trials and per- 
plexities of married life, together with its disappoint- 
ments and hardships, which frequently come through 
the reverses of fortune. Genuine love is that which 
is based upon a real adaptation of individuals to each 
other, and must be the outgrowth of real acquaintance 
with the character, tastes, habits, and all that goes to 
make up the sum of personal traits and characteristics. 
Love based on any less thorough foundation than this, 
can scarcely be called genuine, a*nd* is not likely to 
last. We have known cases in which marriages re- 
sulting from "love at first sight" were apparently 
mutually happy; but these are certainly excep- 


tions to the rule. What is mistaken for love in these 
cases is simply fancy. A young lady meets a young 
gentleman -at a party, or has an introduction to him 
under some other circumstances in which he is ap- 
pearing at his best. She sees only one side of him, 
and that only a very small side. She may be favor- 
ably impressed with his general appearance or with 
some particular feature, such as impressive eyes or a 
good form, or she may be fascinated, through love of 
dress, by a fashionable suit of clothes, an ivory-headed 
cane, a richly set ring, or some other showy orna- 
ment. Any of these fancies may be mistaken for 
love, but they are wholly different from the genuine 
article. True love is a sentiment excited only by 
responsive sympathies from a kindred soul. Love 
which is centered only on externals is as superficial a 
feeling as that on which it is fixed. The only ele- 
ment in manhood or womanhood worthy of love is the 
character. This does not depend upon externals, 
although there is undoubtedly a close harmony be- 
tween the external and internal characteristics of the 

Let us consider, then, some of the points to which 
a young woman should give attention in selecting 
from among those who may bestow attentions upon 
her, the one who will be the most likely to make her 
a good husband. 

1. The individual must be of the proper age. A 
suitor her inferior in years or one many years her 
senior should be at once discarded for reasons already 
given. Such persons sometimes make good husbands, 
but the circumstances are very rare which can make 


a violation of this rule a safe course to follow or one 
likely to result in happiness. The usual result is un- 
happiness and the nearest approach to purgatory on 

2. He should be the possessor of good health and 
a good constitution. Some sentimental mothers will 
exclaim against such a restriction as this, but we in- 
sist that this is a matter of too great importance to be 
ignored. A young man who has not good health can- 
not make a good husband in the fullest sense, as fee- 
bleness of constitution will render him liable to become 
unable to-contribute to the support of the family, and 
the wife, enfeebled by the duties of maternity and the 
double burdens of caring and providing for her house- 
hold, may find herself placed in the most unhappy and 
embarrassing circumstances. 

Again, a husband who is not in the enjoyment ot 
good health is not prepared to transmit a good consti- 
tution to his children. Although the mother may 
herself be healthy, she may have imposed upon her 
the task of rearing children blighted with disease from 
the very moment of conception, and destined to live 
short and suffering lives, a constant source of anxiety 
to their parents and of misery to themselves. 

Before entering upon such a union, a young 
woman should also take into consideration the fact 
which has been mentioned in the physiology of re- 
production, namely, that in some mysterious manner 
the constitution of the wife is modified by that of the 
husband, probably through the influence of the child 
during pregnancy, so that hor own health may -suffer 
to a greater or less degree as well as that of the child. 


She should also recollect that the impression thus 
made on the constitution is ineffaceable, so that though 
the feeble husband should die and a subsequent 
marriage be with a healthy man, the resulting off- 
spring might still be affected by the feebleness of the 
former husband. 

It is obvious that a man suffering with any con- 
tagious disease is wholly unfit to enter the marriage 
state. A young woman should take pains to ascer- 
tain whether or not the young man who offers his 
hand in marriage is free from any possible taint of 
any of the diseases which result from immorality. 
We have often met cases in which we have found 
women suffering in the most painful manner from dis- 
eases which were the direct result of contagion from 
husbands who had before marriage contracted some 
form of venereal disease. 

Dr. Noegerath of New York City, some years ago 
read a paper before the American Gynaecological 
Society, in which he called attention to the fact that 
a latent or apparently cured Gonorrhoea contracted 
many years before might excite the most serious and 
intractable forms of uterine and ovarian disease in a 
woman who had before marriage been free from any 
form of sexual disorder. The paper referred to cited 
many cases hi illustration of the position taken, and 
since our attention was called to the matter, we have 
observed quite a large number of cases in which the 
existing disease could be traced to no other cause, 
and could be fairly attributed to this. 

The only safe rule for a Avoman to follow in this 
matter is to refuse to marry any man who has suffered 


from any form of venereal disease. This rule we 
would make imperative. We grant that there are 
cases in which this restriction may seem a severe one, 
but so long as men understand that they can violate 
every law of purity and decency without prejudicing 
their chances for a satisfactory marriage, masculine 
purity, and consequently feminine purity also, lacks 
one of the strongest safe-guards which may be thrown 
around it. Hence, we advise every young woman be- 
fore marrying any young man concerning whose past 
history she has any suspicion whatever, or is in the 
dark, to make careful inquiry from those who have 
had opportunity to know, and if she cannot obtain 
the desired information elsewhere, to seek it from the 
young man himself. 

A young man whose family is known to be con- 
sumptive, and who himself possesses tendencies in the 
same direction, should not be considered a fit husband 
for any young woman, nor indeed for any one. We 
have known cases in which young women have so ut- 
terly ignored this fact as to marry men who were 
already in the advanced stages of the disease. In 
one case which came under our immediate notice, the 
man being a patient under our care for a short time, 
the husband, a recent graduate, died in a few weeks 
after the marriage, of pulmonary tuberculosis, after 
suffering from the disease for several months, it be- 
ing well advanced at the time of his marriage. It is 
a weak sentimentality which leads a young woman to 
think it her duty to marry a young man in order to 
be his nurse. A man who really needs a nurse can 
employ one as easily as he can support a wife, and 


can doubtless secure more skillful services than a wife 
could possibly render. 

Hereditary tendency to insanity should also be 
sufficient to render a young man, otherwise in every 
respect unobjectionable, ineligible to marriage. 

Epilepsy is another disease so evidently hereditary 
in character and so closely allied to mental disease 
that the son of an epileptic father or mother should 
be regarded as likely to make a very undesirable 
husband, since the disease might at any time make its 
appearance though it may have been quiescent until 
the time of marriage, and it is likely to appear in the 
children even if the father should happen to escape. 
A person suffering with epilepsy or any other form of 
nervous disease should of course be considered unfit 
to enter the marriage state. Epileptics are as a rule 
defective mentally and often morally. The observa- 
tion has been made that a much larger proportion of 
epileptics is found in the criminal classes than among 
other classes of society. 

A year or two ago we took part in a discussion at 
a meeting of a medical association at which a paper 
had been presented by a professor of genito-urinary 
diseases in men. In considering the question whether 
syphilitics should marry, the professor had taken the 
position in his paper that a person who had suffered 
a severe attack of syphilis should delay marriage 
for two or three years, after which time he considered 
marriage perfectly admissible. We of course took 
issue with the professor on this point, since he had 
considered only the question of contagion, and had 
wholly ignored the fact that a man who has suffered 


with syphilitic disease, though he may have recovered 
from the active symptoms of the malady to such a 
degree that he is not liable to communicate it directly 
to another person, is pretty certain to transmit the 
results of the horrible disorder to his children, in 
whom they will appear, if not in the most active form 
of the disease, as is often the case, in the form of 
scrofula, consumption, rickets, and other constitutional 
disorders. We would insist with the greatest em- 
phasis that a syphilitic individual should never marry. 
While it is possible that this hereditary disease may 
be eradicated by a long course of training and abste- 
miousness, it is never possible to say with any degree 
of certainty that the disease is cured, and the com- 
mon method of treating this malady is such that while 
the active symptoms are repressed, the seeds of the dis- 
ease are left in the system to make their appearance 
later on in life or in the next generation. 

Congenital defects, as hare-lip, congenital deafness 
or blindness, and deformities of various kinds, should 
be considered an objection to marriage as these de- 
formities are likely to appear in the children. This 
is not an invariable rule, but it is true in a sufficient 
number of cases to render it undesirable that a person 
possessing them should take any part in the produc- 
tion of the race, for whom it were better that such in- 
dividuals should contribute nothing to the increase of 
human beings rather than that the defective organiza- 
tions which they possess should be perpetuated. Such 
a rule respecting the choice of husbands would be 
wholly unnecessary in most barbarous countries, and 
was unknown in ancient times, as it was then cus- 


tomary as it is now among uncivilized nations, to 
destroy congenital cripples at birth. A dyspeptic, a 
chronic rheumatic, an asthmatic, a paralytic, a person 
with a hereditary tendency to scrofula, in fact, any 
individual suffering with any marked deviation from 
the standard of health, will not be looked upon by a 
healthy young woman who considers the matter of 
matrimony from the stand-point of physiology and 
physical health, as desirable for a husband. 

3. He should be a man of good habits. By good 
habits we mean not only steady, industrious, thrifty 
habits with a disposition to economize and avoid ex- 
travagance, but freedom from such habits as the use of 
liquor, tobacco, and other stimulants and narcotics. 
Young women sometimes marry young men in a sort 
of missionary spirit, thinking that through their in- 
fluence over them they will be able to effect a reform 
and thus wean them from the injurious habits which 
they may have contracted. This is an illusion which 
but a few weeks of married life suffice to dispel. A 
young man who does not care enough for the young 
lady whom he wishes to become his wife to reform 
before marriage, will never reform afterward. In 
fact, it is a very dangerous piece of business for a 
young woman to run the risk of marrying a man who 
has been "just a little fast." Habits of dissipation 
when once thoroughly fastened upon an individual are 
not easily shaken off, and though he may reform for 
a time, favorable circumstances will be likely to lead 
him back into the same channel again. 

The notion which we sometimes hear expressed, 
that " reformed rakes make the best husbands," is as 


far from the truth as anything well can be. It is ex- 
ceedingly rare that a man who has lived a rakish life 
ever makes such a thorough reform as to be in any 
way worthy of the affection of a pure-minded young 
woman ; and if the reform of his moral nature be such 
as to make him not unworthy of her confidence and 
love, the chances are ten to one that his physical sys- 
tem is so depraved as the result of his lapses from vir- 
tue that he is wholly unfit to become the husband of 
a pure and healthy wife. Some years ago, we remon- 
strated in the most earnest manner with a young lady 
who was about to marry a young man whom we 
knew to have lived for years a dissolute life and 
whom we had treated for the terrible disease which 
usually results from such a life. She replied that if 
the disease from which he was suffering was not in 
such a stage that she was liable to catch it, she should 
not consider it any objection to accepting him as a 

The readiness with which women forgive the lapses 
from virtue in man is astounding when we consider 
their unforgiving, unrelenting disposition toward those 
of their own sex who may have fallen, as well as the 
contemptuous manner in which men treat such wo- 
men, even those who may have been the victims 
of their wickedness. What pure-minded man, who 
possessed even a modicum of self-respect, would 
think of asking a woman who had lived a life of 
shame to become his wife ? It is rare indeed that a 
man can be found that will accept as his wife a wo- 
man who may have lapsed from virtue even once and 
under circumstances which ought to form an apology 


for the sin, if such a sin can be condoned. Until 
men are willing to accept without question, as wives, 
women who, they have reason to believe, have ignored 
the requirements of chastity and purity, it will be 
just as well as wise for women to be equally scrupulous 
respecting the conduct before marriage of those who 
wish to become their husbands. 

We cannot leave this point without a word re- 
specting that most detestable of popular vices, tobacco- 
using. No young woman who has any appreciation 
of the possible suffering she is likely to bring upon 
herself, will consent to marry a man who is addicted 
to the weed. A woman whose husband uses either 
pipe or cigar, lives in a nicotine-poisoned atmosphere. 
She derives from the narcotic none of the peculiar 
solacing influence which renders it so fascinating to 
those who become accustomed to its use, though 
obliged to inhale its nauseating fumes. We have 
known wives who suffered more than tongue can de- 
scribe during long years of intimate association with 
men who had rendered themselves objects of dread 
and repugnance through their devotion to the vile 
habit of tobacco-using. Let the young women of the 
land say resolutely that they will marry no man who 
is addicted to» the use of the weed in any form, and 
tobacco-using will soon become a thing of the past. 
It is high time that the women of this and all other 
civilized nations should rise up en masse in opposition 
to the tyranny of this barbarous and debasing habit. 
Until some effort of this sort is made, the practice 
will go on gaining victims from year to year, until 
the man who does not carry a quid in his cheek, or a 



pipe or cigar in his mouth, will be considered an odd- 
ity. Indeed, such is almost the case at the present 
day. The men who are not addicted to the uncleanly 
practice in one form or another, are few and far be- 
tween. But let the young women declare once for 
all that they will have no man for a husband who 
loves a vile weed better than he loves the woman 
whom he wishes to make his wife, and we shall have 
a reform at once. 

4. He should be of suitable temperament. By 
proper temperament we clo not mean that the young 
man who will make the best husband for a young 
woman must be her exact counterpart in tempera- 
ment, nor that he should be her opposite in this par- 
ticular. What is necessary for mutual happiness is 
that people who are to live together in the close 
bonds of wedded life should be of such temperaments 
as to be mutually agreeable to each "other. The ad- 
vice given by a somewhat noted writer on this sub- 
ject, that exact counterparts should be selected as 
partners for life, is exceedingly absurd and certain to 
result badly if put in practice ; and the same may be 
said of advice given by some phrenologists, that per- 
sons of opposite temperament should be selected for 
husband or wife. Neither similarity or oppositeness 
should be sought for, but agreeableness. Sometimes 
a person will dislike exceedingly another individual 
for a trait of character which is very prominent in 
himself. Conceited people are of all others the most 
likely to be disgusted with conceit when manifested 
in other persons than themselves. The same is true 
with reference to various other prominent traits, as 


pride, jealousy, suspicion, etc. The so-called science 
of phrenology has been greatly abused in the attempt 
to make it a guide in the formation of life-partner- 
ships. Nothing is more absurd than the supposition 
that the adaptation of young men and young women 
for each other can be decided by scrutinizing the 
physiognomy or fumbling the cranium. A great 
amount of mischief has been done by phrenologists 
who have attempted to regulate matrimonial unions 
according to their opinion of the bumps. The only 
way in which mutual adaptation can be learned is by 
acquaintance, which should be of such a character, 
and carried on under such circumstances as to lead 
the individuals to a correct and just estimate of each 
others character. Ability, wealth, position in society, 
good looks, brilliant prospects, — none of these good 
qualities should be allowed to turn the scale against 
an objectionable temperament, as an agreeable dis- 
position in a husband will do more to contribute to 
a wife's happiness than all other circumstances com- 

5. May he be a Cousin ? — This question has 
been much discussed, and numerous statistics have 
been collected which, in the hands of one writer, es- 
tablish the fact that the marriage of cousins is pretty 
certain to result in idiotic progeny, while in the hands 
of another writer statistics are made to tell a very 
different story. Anyone who has ever attempted to 
establish a point by appealing to statistics, is aware of 
the fact that this sort of evidence can be made to 
prove almost anything according to the desires or the 
predilections of the investigator. It is now generally 


conceded that the marriage of cousins is not likely to 
result in any mental or physical defects in the chil- 
dren, provided both parents are perfectly healthy ; but 
it should be recollected that the blood-relationship of 
individuals greatly increases the influence of an ob- 
jectionable tendency in such a manner as to bring it 
into activity in the offspring. In the second place, a 
young woman should never marry her cousin without 
making a careful investigation of the causes of death 
of the relatives of both, back to the common ancestor, 
gaining all possible information concerning the dis- 
eases which have been most prominent in the family. 
6. lie should be of good morals and good reputa- 
tion. The readiness with which young women form 
alliances with young men whose society is avoided by 
other young men who wish to retain their reputation 
for respectability, is simply astounding; yet such 
cases are of almost every day occurrence. Young 
women will often place the most implicit confidence 
in young men whose employers would not trust them 
with a dollar, and whose reputation for virtue and 
morality is one hundred per cent below joar. A 
young woman who really respects herself, and who 
has any solicitude respecting her future happiness 
and that of her family, will refuse to marry a man 
who makes a mock of religion and sneers at morality, 
who boasts of infidelity and makes light of sacred 
things. A man who has none of the restraints of re- 
ligion or morality to keep him in the path of virtue 
and rectitude, cannot properly perform the duties of a 
husband and father ; and no matter how earnest his 
protestations of reform, he should be discarded, or 


held on probation until positive evidence of a genuine 
reform are to be seen. 

7. The prospective husband should be of propor- 
tionate size ; that is, a very small woman should not 
select a very large man for a husband, or vice versa. 
The latter selection is not very likely to be made, as 
large women very seldom desire as husbands very 
small men ; but small women are very apt to prefer 
for husbands very tall and large men. Such a union 
is physically improper and likely to entail on the wife 
no small amount of physical suffering and increase the 
dangers of child-birth many fold. There ought to be 
physical as well as mental and moral adaptation be- 
tween husband and wife. 

Who Ought not to Marry. — A young woman 
who is herself subject to hereditary physical or men- 
tal disease or physical deformity of a serious char- 
acter, ought to consider it her duty to refuse an offer 
of marriage on this account. Of course an extreme 
view must not be taken of this restriction. We do 
not wish to exclude nine-tenths of the young women 
from entering the marriage state ; but any disability 
which is likely to be transmitted to children, or to 
make the individual a life-long invalid, should be con- 
sidered an insurmountable obstacle to marriage. A 
young man may be wholly willing to accept an invalid 
for a Avife at the time of marriage, and may for a few 
months or years remain reconciled to having his house 
made a hospital and to pay all his hard earnings to 
the doctors ; but the time will come when this sort of 
thing will be no longer enjoyed, and his affections 
will be gradually weaned from the woman whom he 


promised to love and cherish in health or disease, 
etc. Such a marriage will not be likely to be a happy 

The idea, which manv women have, and which is 

•/ 7 

often encouraged by physicians, that marriage will ef- 
fect a cure of various local affections to which the sex is 
liable, should not be encouraged. The fact is that 
marriage as a rule aggravates instead of mitigating 
local diseases which may have become thoroughly es- 
tablished before marriage. It is true that if a woman 
is suffering with an anteflexion of the womb, the oc- 
currence of pregnancy — which is not at all likely, as 
as such women are generally sterile — will often 
effect a cure. But this is about the only class of 
cases in which improvement as the result of marriage 
may be looked for, and in these cases it is as likely 
to prove detrimental as beneficial. We have met 
a good many cases in which young women have been 
sadly disappointed in the results of matrimony as a 
curative means. Instead of gaining in health, they 
have declined from the outset, and have found their 
sufferings aggravated to such a degree as to render 
life exceedingly wretched and miserable. A woman 
ought to be enjoying the highest health when she vent- 
ures to enter upon a sphere which will demand all the 
vigor and vitality which she possesses or can command 
to enable her to faithfully perforin her imposed duties. 
A " good-for-nothing " young woman has no right 
to marry. A woman has a right to expect in a man 
the qualifications of ~a good husband, such as will en- 
able him to provide for his family the comforts of life 
and the opportunities for culture required by their 


position in society. A young woman who is not her- 
self by nature or education fitted to make a home 
happy, to superintend or perform, if necessary, the 
duties of a well regulated household, has no right to 
impose herself upon any man as a fit person to become 
his companion for life. The world is full of good-for- 
nothing girls, as well as good-for-nothing young men, — 
girls who have never been taught by their mothers the 
simple arts of housewifery and who are as unprepared 
as the merest child to take charge of the affairs of a 
household. It is time that this good-for-nothingness 
were looked upon as an evidence A unfitness for mar- 
riage ; and it is to be hoped that public sentiment will 
soon demand the institution of schools for instruction 
in housewifery and the training of women to become 
worthy and helpful wiA^es. 

A Word of Advice. — Some years ago on inquir- 
ing why a certain estimable young woman had mar- 
ried a most disagreeable and unworthy man, we were 
answered that " She married him to get rid of him." 
The young man pressed his suit with such unyielding 
perseverance, even after he had been repeatedly re- 
pulsed that tht young lady weakly yielded as the easi- 
est method by which to get rid of his importunities. 
As might be expected almost from the very day when 
her reluctant consent to be his wife was given, his 
kind caresses ceased and the tyranny and ugliness of 
temper which he manifested rendered her whole life 
indescribably wretched. During the first few months 
of marriage, when her eyes had become thoroughly 
opened to the folly of her course and the dreadful 
slavery to which she had bound herself, reason was 


nearly dethroned ; but it was too late to correct the 
fatal mistake. She had nothing to do but bear it 
with as much calmness and patience as she couid sum- 
mon. What could be expected other than that the 
offspring of such a union should receive the impress 
of the mothers unhappy mental state ? In the case 
referred to, the first-born, a son, possessed in many 
respects marked ability ; but at an early age he man- 
ifested peculiar traits of character which gradually be- 
came more and more prominent until the will became 
powerless to maintain the mental equilibrium, and 
reason was dethroned. This young man, notwith- 
standing his natural abilities and thorough college 
training, fitting him under ordinary circumstances for 
a position of high usefulness, is to-day incarcerated 
within the Avails of an insane asylum with little or no 
hope of recovery. 

The folly of marrying a man to get rid of him 
does not need further emphasis. This is the most im- 
practicable of all methods of dismissing a disagreeable 
suitor. A young woman who is not pleased with the 
man who wishes to ask her hand in marriage, should 
frankly and promptly tell him so, and if she is satis- 
fied that there is no mutual adaptation, or that on 
further acquaintance she will not be likely to change 
her views, the dismissal should be final. The inter- 
ests involved are too great to be trifled with, and no 
young woman can afford to allow herself to be 
" bullied " into a marriage with a man whom she does 
not and cannot love. 

Neither wealth, social position, nor any other 
qualifications than those which pertain to the individ- 


ual character should influence a woman in her selec- 
tion of a husband. Women who marry for money 
are sure, sooner or later, to be made most unhappy by 
so doing. No woman can patiently bear the taunts 
of having " married a man for money," year after 
year, while she may be supposed to be waiting for 
his decease so as to get entire control of the coveted 

Cases are not rare in which women marry " to 
avoid becoming old maids." We cannot understand 
why a woman should look forward with dread to a 
life of celibacy more than a man, or at any rate, why 
it should be so utterly abhorred that an alliance of 
almost any sort should be considered preferable to it. 
Perhaps the education of girls in the idea that the 
condition of an old maid is one to be abhorred, is 
chiefly responsible for the prevalance of this senti- 
ment among young ladies. The ideal old maid is one 
who is scrupulously neat in appearance, by most peo- 
ple considered very nice, possibly somewhat prudish 
in her notions of modesty and unwilling to place any 
confidence in the opposite sex, but a very useful sort 
of person in cases of illness, a ready worker in Sab- 
bath-schools, home missions, and temperance organi- 
zations, and in fact on the whole, quite an indispensable 
member of society. There is certainly nothing to be 
abhorred in this, and a woman would better by far 
be an old maid and die homeless and childless than 
to live the life of wretchedness and unhappiness sure 
to result from an ill-mated marriage. 

Little Girls should not Marry. — We have al- 
ready dwelt upon the importance of mature develop- 


ment as a preparation for the marriage state, but we 
wish to impress this fact again upon the minds of our 
fair young readers as one of great importance. A 
little girl is not prepared to select a husband, and is 
not fit to become a wife. She cannot safely ignore the 
laws of nature which demand that she should have 
time for physical, mental, and moral development. 
No circumstances whatever can justify a girl-marriage. 
Such unions are pretty certain to turn out bad. Only 
recently a case has come to our notice in which a girl 
of fifteen ran away from home to live with a young 
man of twenty to avoid meeting a step mother whom 
her father was about to introduce into his household. 
She found out too late that the young man in whom 
she had placed her confidence was a roue of the worst 
stamp, his constitution being shattered by habits of 
vice and dissipation, and at the time when she came 
under our care as a patient her own system was thor- 
oughly saturated with the venom of a foul disease. 

Marriage is an institution for men and women, not 
for boys and girls, and common sense would suggest 
that a young man or young woman whose age is such 
that the law does not recognize him or her as capable 
of making a contract involving simply matters of tem- 
poral interest, is wholly unfitted for making a contract 
which involves not only the present and future hap- 
piness of himself and another, but may exert a bane- 
ful influence to an incalculable extent over succeeding 

The restrictions Ave have given respecting the age 
at which marriage may be contracted, should be looked 
upon as imperative. The limit placed is too low rather 


than otherwise. Many girls are not fitted for mar- 
riage by their mental or physical development before 
the age of twenty-five or twenty-six. In fact, some 
girls as well as some boys never become old enongh 
to marry, apparently remaining, mentally at least, in a 
state of childhood. 

Courting. — We have no intention of attempting 
to point out in these paragraphs the exact manner in 
which courtship should be conducted ; but we wish to 
call attention to some of the evils which grow out of 
the popular manner of conducting courtship. Court- 
ing, as the word is generally understood in this 
country, seems to be peculiar to America. In most 
other countries, unmarried persons are by the laws of 
custom and society forbidden to associate with such 
unrestrained freedom as is customary in this country. 
If a young woman in France should allow herself to 
take loner walks or rides with a man without some fe- 
male companion, or even to visit places of amusement 
or recreation, or to be shut up with him in a parlor or 
sitting-room with the light turned down or wholly ex- 
tinguished until the small hours of the night, her rep- 
utation would be ruined. She would be looked upon 
as a loose character, unfit to associate with respect- 
able people. We do not pretend to say that chastity 
is better preserved among the young women of France 
than among American young women ; but we do know 
that the unrestricted license allowed in the association 
of young unmarried men and women presents the most 
favorable opportunities for the lapses from virtue 
which are altogether too common, more so than the 
majority of persons would be willing to believe. 


This is not our only objection to the popular 
method of courting. The primary object of courtship 
should be to allow the parties to become acquainted 
with each other's characters so as to know whether or 
not there exists such mutual adaptation as to make a 
life partnership desirable or likely to be a happy one. 
Courtships are not, however, usually conducted in 
such a manner as to enable either party to arrive at 
a just estimate of the character of the other. The 
conditions are made as artificial as possible. Each 
endeavors by various artifices to appear in the most 
attractive and advantageous light possible. The 
whole experience is generally a series of shams from 
beginning to end. Young people never really get 
acquainted with each other until after they are mar- 
ried. Then, divested of all pretense, the real charac- 
ter appears in its true light, often to the great disap- 
pointment of both parties. 

Courtship should be conducted in such a manner 
as to allow each to become acquainted with the other's 
real character just as it will appear in every-day life. 
It is the greatest folly imaginable for a young woman 
to pass herself off for more than she really is, or to 
attempt to sustain a character which she cannot 
really maintain every day and month and year of her 
life. The husband, if he is entangled by deception, 
will sooner or later be undeceived, and then, whether 
he owns it or not, his former admiration will be 
turned to disgust and loathing. If a young woman 
wishes to secure a really good husband, let her ap- 
pear exactly as she is. Let her be perfectly natural. 
Then a man who is sufficiently pleased with her to 


wish to make her his wife, will be likely to prove him- 
self a kind and devoted husband, one on whom she 
can lean with confidence during all the coming years. 

Mothers should exercise careful supervision over 
their daughters when they have reached an age 
proper for marriage, and have begun to receive the 
attentions of gentlemen friends. This is the time 
above all others when a young woman ought to make 
a confident of her mother, and mothers ought to treat 
their daughters in such a manner as to win their con- 
fidence and respect. The young women who marry 
contrary to their parents' wishes and against their ad- 
vice almost always regret having clone so, and endure 
life-long misery in consequence of the one false step. 

But they are not always so much to blame as 
their parents. A mother who has pursued the right 
course with her daughter from early childhood to 
maturity, Avill always hold her confidence, and can 
exert so strong an influence over her as to be able to 
mold her action, at least to a very great degree, at 
this most important epoch of life. 

The advice of a parent or friend of mature years 
may be invaluable at this time, and a young woman 
should never think of committing her happiness to the 
keeping of any young man without first consulting 
her mother or some other female friend competent to 
give advice in case she has no mother to consult. 

The habit of sitting up late at night during court- 
ship is one which should be condemned and discoun- 
tenanced. A young woman of proper age need not be 
ashamed of the attentions of a young man worthy to 
become her husband, and no attempt at concealment 


is necessary. Young j)eople can judge of each other's 
characters much better by daylight than lamplight. 
We agree with an author of considerable experience 
who suggests that courting can best be done by 
young people when engaged in the every-day duties 
of life. Then there are good opportunities to judge 
of each other's qualities and capabilities in the most 
practical manner possible. 

Flirting. — Every true man despises the flirt. A 
young woman who trifles with the affections of young 
men, purposely attracting their attention and display- 
ing her charms in such a manner as to fascinate and 
entangle their affections for the mere purpose of 
amusement or to gratify an unholy pride or to rouse 
the jealousies of some rival, is unworthy ever to be- 
come the wife of a sincere and noble-minded man. 
Such a woman's affections gradually wither and her 
motives become depraved until she is utterly unfitted 
to become a dutiful wife or a patient, sympathizing 


This portion of our subject is one which we would 
gladly avoid ; but we have a few words to say which 
we think ought to be said, and which we may not 
depend upon being said by any one else to the same 
audience to which we wish to speak, and so we ad- 
dress ourself to the subject, though with great reluc- 
tance, with a sense of duty to be done regardless of 
its unpleasantness. 

Prostitution is an evil which is undoubtedly rap- 


idly on the increase. This fact has become so notice- 
able and the evil so alarming in its proportions, that 
it has attracted the attention of many of the ablest 
thinkers and students of social science in all civilized 
lands. Considered in all its bearings, the subject is 
a large one, and we shall not attempt to canvass it in 
all its various phases, but only to note a few points 
in connection with the question of causation and pre- 

Some idea of the proportions of this monster evil 
may be gathered from the statistics of the number of 
fallen women and of the diseases which result 
from prostitution. We are informed by a reliable 
authority that there are at the present time no less 
than 50,000 fallen women in England alone who are 
devoted to a life of shame. The number of this class 
in this country must be very much greater, even if 
the proportion to the population is the same, which is 
undoubtedly the case. It should be remembered also 
that these figures do not give an adequate idea of 
the extent of the vice, for the reason that there is 
a very large class of lewd women known as " kept 
mistresses," or whose lapses from virtue are known 
only to themselves and their companions in sin, while 
to the public they appear as respectable as their sis- 
ters. This class in fact probably greatly exceeds in 
numbers those who are known as common prostitutes. 
Lax morals have become so common at the present day 
that it is impossible to form an estimate of the extent 
of the evil which we are considering. Its very nat- 
ure causes those who are its victims to avoid publicity 
in every way possible, and society has always endeav- 


ored to hide its eyes from the foul ulcer festering in 
its midst. But it is useless to ignore the evil simply 
because it is loathsome and obnoxious to our moral 
sense, for it will obtrude itself upon us in its most 
disgusting forms and often when we least expect it in 
spite of our aversion and disinclination to consider it. 

Cases of the horrible diseases which result from 
this vice are known to be rapidly on the increase. A 
prominent sanitary officer of one of our large cities 
affirms that not less than one-fifth of the entire popu- 
lation of the city is tainted with venereal disease in 
some form. If this is true of the city in question, it 
is undoubtedly true of most other large cities on this 
continent. There is good evidence for believing that 
many of the cases of cancer and hopeless disease of 
the heart, together with much of the scrofula and con- 
sumption which the physician meets at every turn in 
his daily rounds of practice, owes its existence to this 
foul source if not in the sufferer, in a parent or grand- 
parent. The most contagious form of venereal dis- 
ease, syphilis, has become so common, as shown by 
Dr. Gihon in a paper read by him at a late meeting of 
the American Public Health Association, that it is 
almost dangerous to travel abroad, so great is the 
peril of contracting the disease. The closet of the 
popular hotel or the palace car, the possibly unchanged 
linen of the sleeping car or hotel, even the food pre- 
pared by diseased cooks and served by diseased wait- 
ers in hotels and restaurants, all afford possible oppor- 
tunities for contracting a malady which may blight 
several generations of human lives. 

The influences which lead women to enter a life of 


shame are varied and numerous. We shall not at- 
tempt to consider them all nor even to mention them ; 
but wish to call attention to a few of the influences of 
this sort which we think are not understood as they 
should be, or are at least greatly underestimated. And 
first we wish to note the fact that the whole tendency 
of modern fashionable life is in the highest degree 
calculated to stimulate the development of the emo- 
tional nature, which leads directly to the exaggeration 
of the propensities, and none more than those con- 
nected with reproduction. The cultivation of the 
" esthetic " at the expense of the practical, and the 
devotion to the thousand and one nothings which 
make up the sum total of a fashionable woman's life, 
are by no means conducive to the growth of purity 
and the repression of the animal instincts. With an 
untrained mind, that is, one which has not cultivated 
self-control and the habit of making a careful analysis 
of the feelings, one emotion is often converted into an- 
other seemingly wholly unlike and incompatible with 
the first. The cultivation of the emotional nature at 
the expense of the reasoning faculties is on this ac- 
count a most serious error. Theater-going, novel- 
reading, dancing, attendance at fashionable parties, 
flirtation, and a variety of other practices exceedingly 
common in the life of the average young lady, are the 
means by which the moral sense becomes depraved 
and the character so unbalanced as to break down the 
barriers to unchastity, and open the way for the en- 
croachments of the tempter. 

The courting customs of American young people 

we regard as directly opposed to the interests of fe- 



male virtue. The conditions are often such as not 
only to allow of temptation to depart from the path 
of virtue, but to directly stimulate the passions in the 
highest degree and thus destroy the power to resist 
temptation should it come. 

The looseness in the associations of the sexes we 
regard one of the most prolific of all the predisposing 
as well as exciting causes of vice, and this is partic- 
ularly true of the unreserved manner in which young 
people of the opposite sex associate during courtship. 
Often have we seen a young woman whose course had 
previously been in every respect unexceptional, rap- 
idly deteriorate under the influence of a courtship 
conducted in the manner referred to. We will not 
dwell farther upon this point in this connection, how- 
ever, as we shall take occasion to refer to it at length 
elsewhere in this work. 

Womanly modesty is a quality which is becoming 
quite too rare. The manners of the times are such 
as to abolish the reserve and modesty so characteristic 
of maidenhood in olden times. A bashful girl is much 
more difhcult to find now-a-days than was the case a 
quarter of a century ago. Children, girls especially, 
are too early accustomed to publicity, and are l$d to 
believe that bashfulness is a sin next to falsehood or 
theft. A certain forwardness of manner is becoming ex- 
ceedingly prevalent among young girls. By many, this 
trait is considered an evidence of smartness, and is 
encouraged ; to our mind, it is a most alarming indi- 
cation of threatened, if not actual, deterioration in 
woman of those qualities upon the preservation of 
which depends the maintenance of virtue and purity. 


This matter is one which should receive the ear- 
nest attention of mothers, teachers, and all who have 
to do Avith the education of girls. The old-fashioned 
modesty and innocent simplicity of manner must be 
presented as the pattern to be followed instead of the 
bold and flippant style of bearing so exceedingly com- 
mon among the girls of the present day. A retiring 
and reserved manner is one of the very best safe- 
guards to virtue, and woman cannot afford to dispense 
with so important an aid to purity in the nineteenth 
century better than in generations past and gone. 

Mothers should check in their daughters the very 
first manifestations of a tendency to boldness of man- 
ner, and should carefully shield them from the influ- 
ence of those who exhibit this unfortunate trait. 

The dangerous idea is becoming prevalent that 
young women as well as young men may " sow their 
wild oats " without committing any very great crime, 
providing their sin is not found out. Thousands of 
those who with this idea in their minds yield to the 
promptings of passion, would not for a moment enter- 
tain a thought of entering upon a life of vice. They 
have too much respect for themselves and for their 
friends to allow them to choose such a course. They 
have read so much of the departures from virtue, in 
the public prints and the fashionable literature of the 
day in which the transgression is often pictured in 
such colors as to arouse and stimulate a prurient cu- 
riosity to the highest degree, that, with favoring cir- 
cumstances, they are unprepared to resist a strong 
temptation to yield "just once" to the promptings of 
the lower nature, thoroughly expecting to return im- 


mediately to the path of virtue and to make no fur- 
ther digressions. But the barrier once broken down, 
cannot be so easily erected again. When a woman 
has once allowed the bulwark of modesty to be in- 
vaded, she has no longer any defense. 

Purity once gone, is gone forever. A mind once 
sullied with vice is marred forever. Even in eternity 
will remain some reminder of the sin, though thorough 
and bitter repentance may have saved the victim of 
impurity from eternal ruin. 

Men have been charged with being principally re- 
sponsible for the fall of young women from the path 
of virtue. There is no doubt that thousands of young 
women are enticed into sin by the promise of mar- 
riage, and on finding themselves deserted by the 
heartless wretches who have accomplished their ruin, 
disowned by their friends, and outcasts from society, 
in despair enter upon a life of shame as a means of 
gaining a livelihood ; but we believe that this is by 
no means the most common, way in which the ranks 
of the denizens of the demi-monde are recruited. The 
assertion is made by those Avho have made a careful 
investigation of the personal history of a large num- 
ber of these unfortunate creatures that a very small 
proportion of them are led astray by men under prom- 
ise of marriage. There is no doubt that men are in- 
strumental in leading them to ruin in a vast number 
of cases ; but the evidence is very strong that these 
unfortunate creatures are in the majority of cases led 
astray by their own depraved and uncontrolled im- 
pulses. A young woman Avhose mind is pure and 
free from unhallowed desires is perfectly safe from 


temptation in this direction. Such a person would 
detect and instantly repel the very first advances of 
an impure character. The young women who fall 
easy prey to the snares of rakes and libertines are 
those whose minds have been filled with sinful 
thoughts, and who have not subdued the first begin- 
nings of impulses Avhich, meeting no restraint, have 
grown to be almost uncontrollable. 

Vile men Offer the opportunity for sin, but the 
real cause of transgression on the part of a young 
woman who falls from virtue is the previous prepara- 
tion of her own mind for such a step through the 
demoralizing influence of impure thoughts. The 
conversion of evil thoughts into evil acts is only a 
question of time and opportunity. A mind accus- 
tomed to think of sin comes to look upon it as desir- 
able, and loses all appreciation of its hideousness and 
its consequences. The change from innocence to 
guilt, from purity to vice, is not a sudden transition. 
The work of ruin is not accomplished by one fatal 
plunge, but by little departures, small harborings of 
sinful thoughts, until the mind becomes defenseless 
against the encroachments of sin. 

Purity of life depends upon purity of mind ; and 
the only way to secure the first is by the cultiva- 
tion of the second. A mind left to revel in voluptu- 
ousness will sooner or later lead the possessor to 
overt acts of sin unless the restraint of circumstances 
is more than ordinarily strong; and even if this is not 
the case, the baleful influence of the mental vice will 
be indelibly stamped upon the physical as well as 
the mental character of the individual, giving rise to 
positive and even incurable disease. 


While it is true that the seducer is usually a male, 
this is by no means always the case. Not very long 
ago a young man came under our care for treatment 
for epilepsy of a very peculiar type which was evi- 
dently the result of sexual abuse. The patient as- 
serted that he had never practiced the habit of mas- 
turbation, but admitted that he had been guilty of 
other sexual excesses, and when closely questioned 
confessed to a degree of abandonment to his passions 
which was scarcely credible. His confessions were 
made with the tears streaming down his face ; and his 
evident sincerity left no room to doubt his statement 
that he was led into sin by a neighbor's hired girl who 
was several years his senior, when he was but four- 
teen years of age. 

Such cases as the above are undoubtedly excep- 
tional ; but they do not unfairly represent the part 
which is often acted by girls and young women in in- 
viting their own ruin and accomplishing that of young 
men who might otherwise have remained pure. We 
refer to the loose conduct and " gushing " manners to 
which many girls are addicted. The want of proper 
restraint and reserve in their intercourse with boys 
and young men, and the liberties and familiarities 
which they not only allow but invite, and which are 
tolerated by the customs of society, are in the highest 
degree calculated to stimulate the passions of young 
men and to lead them to lose respect for the sanctity 
and purity of maidenhood, and to believe that young 
ladies whose manner is such as referred to will be 
only too willing to accede to them any favor they 
may ask. While we are willing that young men 


should be charged with a large share of the lapses 
from virtue on the part of girls and young women, we 
feel confident that no young woman who conducts 
herself with proper reserve and modesty toward the 
opposite sex is in the slightest danger of injury from 
this source. The only way to reform young men is 
to raise the standard of conduct among young women. 

After all, the only safeguard for virtue is religion. 
The young women as well as the young men of the 
land cannot afford to get along without the religion of 
Christ, which offers help to the weak and tempted, 
and provides a way of escape from every snare and 
temptation ; and most of all enables an individual to 
obtain a victory over himself or herself, and by its 
calming and purifying influence subdues the passions 
and cleanses the mind from impurity and sensuality. 
The best prescription we can make for a person whose 
tendencies are naturally in a downward direction is to 
get " pure and undefiled religion." Nothing else is so 
good an antidote for sensuality. When beset with 
impure images and unhallowed desires, fly to some 
secluded spot, and on bended knees send up to Heaven 
a petition for help from the Mighty One who is " able 
to save to the uttermost those who come unto him." 

One more suggestion we would make. Physical 
exercise of a vigorous character exerts a most salu- 
tary influence upon the mind which is beset with pru- 
rient thoughts. Really vigorous muscular work has a 
remarkably refrigerating influence upon the passions, 
and ought to be systematically engaged in by those 
who find themselves obliged to wage a constant war- 
fare with impure thoughts. Exercise should be taken 



to the extent of real fatigue, and will be found bene- 
ficial in many other ways than that for which it is 
suggested. If young ladies were brought up to work 
as their grandmothers were, there would be far less 
need for books of this character, and the army of out- 
casts from society which now infests every city in the 
land and is pouring out into the life blood of the race 
a horrible stream of death, deformity, and disease, 
would receive a much smaller number of recruits. 


The Wife, 



ARRlAGE is an institution of divine ordi- 
nation, having its origin in Eden, the birth- 
place of the race. The duties and respon- 
sibilities of a wife are in no way second to 
those of her husband. Her sphere of use- 
fulness is necessarily different from his, but 
it is in no way secondary in importance. 
The true wife may exert an influence upon 
her husband and through him upon society 
which may determine the destiny of na- 
tions. Many a man who has risen to greatness has 
been proud to acknowledge that the real credit of his 
grandest achievements was as much or more due to 
his wife than to himself. The Wise Man has Avell 
said, " Who can find a virtuous woman ? for her price 
is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth 
safely trust in her. She will do him good and not 
evil all the days of her life." 

The responsibilities and dignity of wifehood is in 
recent times altogether too little respected. Too often 
a wife is regarded simply as an ornament for the par- 
lor or a manager of the housekeeping. Even women 
themselves are prone to take this narrow view of their 
sphere of usefulness. A woman who really appreci- 



ates the importance of her position as a wife, the op- 
portunity for powerful influence which she enjoys, 
and the grave responsibilities which devolve upon 
her, will not complain that her sphere of usefulness 
is not as broad and her mission as high and sacred as 
she can desire. Anions; the women of the day who 
are calling for a higher and broader usefulness for 
woman, are two distinct classes : Qne is earnestly 
seeking to lead women to see and comprehend the 
true import of their mission as wives and mothers, 
and to appreciate the fact of the momentous responsi- 
bilities which grow out of their ability to shape the 
destinies of the race ; another class, ignoring this nat- 
ural and important field of work for woman, is clam- 
oring for a place for her outside the order of nature. 
We have no objection to granting to woman the same 
freedom of action which is enjoyed by man. We are 
decidedly in favor of doing so ; but at the same time 
we most profoundly hope that any effort which has 
for its object the diversion of woman from her proper 
and natural sphere will not be attended with success. 
But we have to deal chiefly with the physical re- 
lations of wifehood, and our limited space forbids thf. t 
we should enter largely into the discussion of topics 
which do not bear upon this in the most direct man- 
ner. Let us then inquire respecting 

The Import of Marriage. — Many a young woman 
enters upon the marriage relation without the faintest 
idea of the character of the new duties, dangers, and 
responsibilities which she has assumed. The revela- 
tion made to her is often a very different picture from 
that which her fancy has sketched ; and the contrast 

THE WIFE. 335 

between the real and the ideal is often so great that 
it is not to be wondered at that so many soon become 
discontented with their lot. We consider it of the 
greatest importance that young women should be 
thoroughly informed of the nature of the relations 
which they are to assume in marriage before entering 
upon its obligations. Mothers are almost universally 
remiss in their duty to their daughters in this regard. 
Many mothers seem to regard it a sort of virtue in 
their daughters that they are wholly ignorant of the 
import of marriage and its duties, and purposely keep 
them in ignorance, repressing in them any desire to 
acquire knowledge on the subject. Such a course we 
regard as criminally foolish, and the result of a per- 
verted education on the part of the mothers of the 
present generation. Not until women come to look 
upon marriage as a sacred and divine institution, and 
themselves illuminate and glorify it by developing 
through its means a nobler and higher type of man- 
hood and womanhood, and not until mothers come to 
accept and fully comprehend the fact that all physio- 
logical knowledge is in itself pure and chaste, can we 
hope to see any great reform in the direction indi- 
cated ; and so we have written this chapter for the 
purpose of contributing in a small degree to the at- 
tainment of this end. 

As previously stated, the prime object of marriage 
as an institution, considered from a physiological 
stand-point, is procreation, or the perpetuation of the 
species. The full significance of this physiological 
fact has been sufficiently hinted in the introductory 
portion of this work. On this subject every woman 


should have full and reliable information before en- 
tering the marriage relation. Mothers should not 
think that because they were ignorant, their daughters 
should be equally so. Thousands of women might 
have saved themselves from life-long suffering had 
they received the proper instruction at the right time. 
The old adage, " Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly 
to be wise," does not apply to this kind of knowledge, 
imparted at the proper time ; the lack of such knowl- 
edge is one of the most prolific sources of danger to 
which a woman can be exposed. 

The Hygiene of Marriage. — At no period of a 
woman's life is the observance of the requirements 
of laws relating to health of greater importance than 
at the beginning of married life. At this time a new 
set of functions is brought into activity which sustain 
a most important relation to other of the bodily func- 
tions. These functions involve the most profound 
agitation of the system and the most lavish expendi- 
ture of nervous energy of which the body is capable. 
It is evident, then, that all should not be left to in- 
stinct, but that reason should be made the umpire, 
and its verdicts be regarded final. The set of organs 
which after marriage are for the first time brought 
into legitimate activity, are highly sensitive, and be- 
ing subjected to excitements of an unusual character 
are exceedingly liable to take on inflammation. We 
have met scores of cases in which the most distress- 
ing and obstinate maladies had originated with the 
excesses of the first few weeks of married life. Self: 
control at this time on the part of both husband and 
wife is of the utmost consequence. Many times have 

THE WIFE. 337 

we been told by women who had suffered more than 
words could describe for many years, " I have never 
been a well woman since the night of my marriage." 
This sort of an introduction to a divine and sacred in- 
stitution *is not in accordance with the dictates of 
reason or morality. At this time of all others, the 
stormy passions should be kept at bay. If her hus- 
band is disposed to disregard the dictates of reason 
and common sense, either through ignorance or the 
promptings of passion, the wife should not hesitate to 
make known to him her wishes, and the man is too 
much of a brute to be worthy of the love and respect 
of a virtuous woman who will not regard the desires 
of the woman whom he has promised to love and pro- 
tect. The most heroic battle which many a man can 
fight is to protect his wife from his own lustful pas- 
sions. Every young wife should know that it is her 
duty as well as her privilege to protect herself from 
the possible causes of life-long suffering. It is no 
woman's duty to surrender herself soul and body to 
her husband simply because he has promised to " love 
and protect her." 

The beginning as well as the full fruition of phys- 
iological marriage is accompanied by a more or less- 
considerable amount of suffering on the part of the 
wife. This is in part due to the highly sensitive 
character of the mucous surfaces, and in part to the 
presence of the hymen. The rupture of the latter 
membrane is often accompanied by a slight hemor- 
rhage which was in ancient times considered as a 
proof of virginity, though it is now very well known 
to be unreliable as a test of previous chastity, since it 


is frequently absent naturally, or may be obliterated 
or ruptured by other means, or may be so imperfectly 
developed or so dense in its structure that no rupture 
occurs. It should be borne in mind, however, that it 
is not only possible for such a rupture to take place, 
but that undue violence may give rise to a dangerous 
and even fatal hemorrhage, or to an equally danger- 
ous inflammation. A few years ago we had under 
treatment a case in which an inflammation was thus 
produced which required months of treatment to sub- 
due. The use of warm sitz baths or sponging with 
quite warm water and the local application of un- 
guents of various sorts will serve in a great measure 
to prevent as well as relieve suffering from this cause ; 
but moderation and self-restraint are the most service- 
able of all precautions. If any considerable degree 
of irritation is set up, especially if attended by severe 
pain in the pelvis, across the lower part of the back 
and bowels, or by fever, entire rest should be insisted 
upon for several days. Fomentations should be ap- 
plied across the bowels, and vaginal injections of hot 
water should be administered every three or four 
hours. The bowels, if constipated, should be relieved 
by a warm enema. These are the very best means of 
preventing serious inflammation and of treating an in- 
flammation which has already begun. The only ap- 
paratus required is a common wash tub or a tin sitz- 
bath tub, and a good syringe. For the latter we 
recommend the syphon syringe, which excels all 
others in simplicity, efficiency, and durability. It is 
also automatic in action, requiring no attention while 
in use. Valve or piston syringes are unreliable. By ' 

THE WIFE. 339 

the adoption of these simple measures of treatment 
at the very outset, even at the eost of eonsiderahle 
inconvenience, a chronic leucorrhoea, uterine inflam- 
mation or congestion, or a possibly fatal pelvic cellulitis 
may in- nineteen cases out of twenty be prevented. 

In rare cases, an imperforate or thickened hymen 
presents an obstacle to the consummation of marriage 
which should receive attention from a competent sur- 
geon at an early date, before inflammation has been 

Wedding Journeys. — The fashionable custom of 
taking a journey immediately after marriage is not 
altogether to be commended. The young wife needs 
at this time rest and care such as cannot often be 
commanded among strangers, at least when being 
rapidly hurried from place to place, stopping at hotels, 
or at fashionable watering-places, or popular pleasure 
resorts. The exposures and excesses of a wedding 
journey have cost more than one young bride her life, 
and in hundreds of cases have laid the foundation of 
disease which has for years baffled the skill of the 
most experienced and sagacious physicians. We feel 
that too much cannot be said in condemnation of this 
absurd fashion, and do not miss an opportunity to con- 
demn it. 

Excesses. — We regard it of the utmost impor- 
tance that plain words should be spoken on the impor- 
tant subject of marital excesses. The popular suppo- 
sition seems to be that any amount of indulgence of 
the passions is made permissible by the marriage cer- 
emony. No view could be more erroneous. Consid- 
ered from a physiological stand-point, and we think 


from a moral stand-point as well, there is as great an 
amount of violation of sexual law within the marriage 
pale as without. Unbridled lust is sin under all cir- 
cumstances ; and however man may wink at these 
transgressions of law, Nature does not omit io enter 
a protest against them and to visit upon the trans- 
gressors a sure retribution. The results of marital 
excesses are to be seen everywhere in the rapid de- 
cline in health of newly married women, and the 
crowds of ladies of all ages from the young wife whose 
honey-moon is scarcely ended to the grey haired wo- 
man who has passed her climacteric, who frequent the 
offices of the popular gynecologists in our large cities, 
are to a large extent the victims of sexual transgres- 
sion. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, the fault 
lies elsewhere than at the door of the victim. We 
have spoken plainly on this point elsewhere. Women 
have long been taught that it is their duty to submit 
uncomplainingly to the will of their husbands, espe- 
cially in matters of this sort, and in obedience to this 
teaching, and in ignorance of the consequences, or of 
their duty to themselves, they have allowed them- 
selves to be made the victims of lust, by which they 
have had entailed upon them sufferings grievous to be 
borne. \No man has a right to prostitute his wife to 
the mere gratification of a selfish propensity) With 
the wife rests the gravest responsibilities of the repro 
ductive act, and with her should rest the responsibil- 
ity of saying when she will incur the risk of her life 
in giving birth to a new being. 

Many a woman is by her marriage vow introduced 
to a slavery far more galling and vastly more debas- 

THE WIFE. ■ 34i 

ing than that which cost this nation years of civil war 
and hundreds of thousands of lives to abolish. The 
great majority of sufferers keep their troubles wholly 
secret, knowing that they have little sympathy to ex- 
pect from those who believe this to be the proper lot 
of woman, — a burden imposed upon her by the curse ; 
but now and then a woman's sufferings become too 
great to be longer borne in silence, and the facts come 
to the surface. It is high time that there was a 
change of public sentiment in reference to this matter. 
Of all the rights to which a woman is entitled, that of 
the custody of her own body is the most indubitable. 

We know that there are circumstances which com- 
plicate this question to such a degree as to make it 
difficult for a wife to decide what her duty is in any 
given case. We cannot lay down any rule to be fol- 
lowed without exceptions ; but we do not hesitate to 
express what we believe to be the broad grounds on 
which the principles of human individuality and re- 
sponsibility rest, leaving for each woman to decide for 
herself what her duty may be in any particular case. 

A Suggestion from Nature. — The question as 
to what must be considered excess, is not so easily 
answered as asked. There are numerous questions 
involved in the consideration of the subject which we 
have not space even to notice in this connection. We 
shall simply call attention to a few facts which point 
with unmistakable clearness to the design of nature. 

In many species of lower animals the reproductive 
act is performed only at certain periods for which a 
physiological preparation has taken place by the de- 
velopment simultaneously of the reproductive organs 



in both sexes. This development occurs at certain 
periods only, the organs being during the interval in 
a state of inactivity. This is particularly noticeable 
in fishes, reptiles, and in certain species of birds. It 
is not, however, confined to these animals, as the 
same periodicity in the development to activity of the 
reproductive functions is observed in many species of 
mammals, especially those which produce young but 
once a year, as the deer, the wolf, and the fox. In the 
case of other animals which produce several broods a 
year, the sexual organs of the male are most of the 
time in the condition of development required for their 
physiological activity. 

It seems to be the universal law of nature that 
the condition and desires of the female shall determine 
the time for activity of the reproductive functions. 
The females of most animals resolutely resist the ad- 
vances of the males except at such times as the re- 
productive act may be properly and fruitfully per- 
formed. May we not pertinently inquire whether it 
is not probable that the much greater degree of 
erethism of the sexual organs observed in man than 
in lower animals — with few exceptions — is not the 
direct result of a wrong course of life continued 
through a long series of years, particularly the stim- 
ulating articles of food which have been for years 
becoming more and more generally used ? We do not 
doubt that the free use of animal food has had a very 
marked influence in this direction. The direct effect 
of animal food, when largely used, is to increase the 
excitability of the nervous system, and to induce a 
condition of the nervous system in the highest degree 

THE WIFE. 343 

calculated to produce just such a result. This fact is 
very generally recognized by physiologists who have 
for many years claimed that the liberal use of animal 
food is necessary for human beings in order to secure 
the perpetuation of the species. If this suggestion is 
worthy of greater weight than a mere suggestion, it 
is important that it should be made of practical value 
as a means of enabling those who recognize the evils 
of unrestrained indulgence of the passions to attain 
the self-control necessary to enable them to obey the 
dictates of their own conscience and the plain teach- 
ings of nature. 

Suggestions to Wives who Desire Children. — 
We have often been consulted by women who greatly 
desired children, but had remained childless during 
several years of married life. We have often been 
able to make to such would-be mothers suggestions 
which have been of value to them. We do not intend 
to consider here the subject of sterility, as this condi- 
tion will be considered quite fully elsewhere in this 
work ; we wish simply to call attention to the fact 
that certain conditions are more favorable to concep- 
tion than others, and to point out a few of the most 
important for the benefit of those who may earnestly 
desire children. 

It is well known to physiologists that fecundation 
and development are much more likely to follow sexual 
union occurring either just before or just after the 
menstrual period. During the menstrual period the 
ovum is matured, but it is not discharged from the 
generative passages of the female until after the pe- 
riod of menstruation is passed. The ovum is usually 


retained for several days, and during this time fecun- 
dation may occur. As it is very probable that fecun- 
dation takes place in the fallopian tubes, it is possible 
that seminal fluid received in the passages of the fe- 
male several days before the menstrual period, may be 
retained until the ovum is discharged from the ovary 
and comes in contact with it, thus securing its fecunda- 
tion. It is a well-known fact that the spermatozoa 
of the seminal fluid will retain their vitality for several 
days in the fluids of the female generative passages. 
It may be laid down as a rule then that conception is 
much more likely to occur as the result of a union 
during the week preceding or the week following 
menstruation. An acute observer who has made a 
careful investigation of the subject asserts that in all 
but six or seven per cent of all pregnancies, conception 
occurs within this period. This same fact is also ob- 
served in lower animals in a marked degree. 

Another circumstance which favors conception is 
rest after sexual congress. Women who do not con- 
ceive readily, frequently find themselves able to be- 
come pregnant by observing this rule ; and the custom 
practiced by some women of dancing, lifting, riding 
horseback, or engaging in vigorous exercise of some 
other sort for the purpose of preventing conception is 
very well known. In some temperaments uterine 
contractions are very easily excited by physical ef- 
fort of any kind, and hence absolute repose for a few 
hours after is necessary to secure a fruitful union. 

The popular faith in various substances supposed 
to favor conception and in various trivial circumstances 
relating to the nature and position of the bed, etc., 

THE WIFE. 345 

have no scientific basis. The too frequent repetition 
of the sexual act is a common cause of sterility. 

We have not the space here to discuss the various 
causes of sterility, but would suggest that in case the 
simple suggestions made are not productive of the de- 
sired result, the barren woman should consult some 
competent physician for a careful examination. There 
are a great variety of causes which may prevent con- 
ception which may be remedied either by proper 
medical treatment or by a surgical operation. Those 
of these which may be removed by treatment at 
home or without the aid of a physician will be fully 
discussed in the section devoted to the diseases of 

The Limitation of Offspring. — This is not the 
proper place for the discussion" of the propriety of the 
limitation of offspring and the various problems which 
the question involves. Malthus and other writers 
have dwelt upon this theme exclusively and have pro- 
posed various theories and plans by which to accom- 
plish the desired end. We have no theory to sus- 
tain or any original plan to suggest, but will call 
attention to a few physiological facts which have an 
important bearing on the subject. Whatever may be 
said with reference to the injury to the race which 
might result from a systematic employment of meas- 
ures for the limitation of offspring, it cannot be ques- 
tioned that there are circumstances under which, for 
the individual at least, this becomes very desirable. 
We may add, also, that there are circumstances under 
which the prevention of offspring is quite as desirable 
for posterity as for the parents. The fact that 


there is a real necessity for some means by which the 
number of children may be restricted is at least sug- 
gested by the almost universal resort to some means 
for this purpose, often, as we shall show, means of a 
most injurious character. 

The following may be considered as justifiable rea- 
sons for avoidance of offspring : 1. Ill health on the 
part of either parent; 2. Mental disease on the part 
of either father or mother ; 3. Habits of intemperance 
or the opium-habit indulged to any degree on the 
part of either parent ; 4. Deformity on the part of the 
mother, making childbirth dangerous to her own life ; 
5. Congenital deformity on the part of either parent 
when serious in character; 6. Hereditary mental dis- 
ease not manifested in the parents but appearing in 
the children, as when the results of several successive 
conceptions have been insane or idiotic ; 7. Lastly we 
mention poverty as one of the circumstances which 
may make it proper and desirable that the number of 
children should be limited. 

tWe regard the notion that it is a woman's duty to 
bear as many children as possible during the child- 
bearing period of her life, as a relic of a barbarous age.1 
Equally barbarous and more cruel is the disposition 
so marked in modern times, especially in fashionable 
women, to avoid bearing children at all hazard, regard- 
less of the consequences to present or future health 
or happiness. It can certainly be no advantage to 
the world that persons who are too poor to be able to 
care for their children properly should bring into the 
world a large number of offspring to become paupers, 
vagabonds, and ultimately, in a great proportion of 

THE WIFE. 347 

cases, criminals. Neither is it any advantage to 
either the race or the individuals that persons of de- 
praved or diseased constitutions should add to the 
number of diseased and decrepit human beings trans- 
mitting their physical or mental imperfections to their 

The most natural method of limiting offspring is 
the avoidance of the reproductive act when its full 
fruition is considered undesirable. No other method 
can be considered perfectly physiological ; but weak 
human nature will seldom submit to the self-denial 
and restraint and control of the passions which this 
would necessitate, although now and then individuals 
may be found who are determined to keep in the or- 
der of nature at any cost, preferring the peace of mind 
and the satisfaction afforded by a conscience void of 
offense toward Nature or Nature's God to the moment- 
ary pleasure afforded by the gratification of an ani- 
mal passion. Such persons are generally looked 
upon as fanatics or victims of a self-imposed martyr- 
dom ; but an enlightened mind looks upon such indi- 
viduals as examples of a heroism equal if not superior 
to that required for death at the stake or before the can- 
non's mouth. A man or woman who can fully eman- 
cipate himself or herself from " the passions' vengeful 
reign," has accomplished a work greater than the man 
who has led an army to victory or conquered a Avorld. 
Alexander the Great was able to vanquish all his foes, 
and stood the proud monarch of the world ; but he 
was of all men the most abject slave to his passions, 
descending to the very lowest depths of beastly deg- 


radation fur the purpose of gratifying his jaded pas- 

Those who are not prepared to accept the teach- 
ings of nature on this subject, if willing to submit to 
partial control only, may in part attain the desired 
end, although it must be frankly admitted that no 
perfect substitute can be offered for the total-absti- 
nence method for controlling the number of offspring. 
As stated in the introductory portion of this work, 
and also hinted in the preceding paragraphs of this 
section, there is a period of several days in the inter- 
menstrual period during which conception is much 
less likely to occur than at other times. This period 
begins at about the tenth day after the close of the 
catamenia, and continues until about one week pre- 
vious to the beginning of the next menstrual period. 
Allowing five days for the continuance of the men- 
strual period, there remain six days out of each 
menstrual month during which a woman is not likely 
to conceive. We have known of many instances in 
which the knowledge of this fact and the practice of 
the degree of self-control which it necessitates has 
enabled persons whose circumstances were such as to 
make offspring undesirable, to avoid children for 

It must not be supposed, however, that this rem- 
edy is a perfectly reliable one. There are various 
circumstances which make it unreliable, a "few of 
which we will state. 1. Menstruation occurs in 
many cases in less than four weeks, or twenty-eight 
days, thus shortening the period during which there 
is no ovum present in the womb or fallopian tubes 

THE WIFE. 349 

ready for fecundation. A shortening of the period 
one week would of course obliterate the period. 2. 
There are exceptions to the general rule that one 
ovum is expelled before another is sufficiently ma- 
tured to allow fecundation to take place. As previ- 
ously stated, six or seven per cent of all conceptions 
occur during the period in which most women are ex- 
empt. Consequently, it appears that at least one 
woman in every fourteen is not exempt from the lia- 
bility to conceive at any time. 3. The act of coitus 
hastens the maturation of the ovum so that a sexual 
union during the period of usual exemption may be- 
come fruitful by the early maturation of another 
ovum, the seminal fluid being retained in an active 
condition until fecundation can take place. 

Notwithstanding the imperfect reliability of the 
above means of preventing conception, it is the only 
one which can be considered at all consistent with 
physiological principles except absolute continence. 
Even this, as we have elsewhere shown, is not strictly 
physiological, since the period immediately following 
menstruation is that in which the sexual act is most 
normal and most likely to be followed by conception. 

The introduction of sponges into the vagina, the 
wearing of womb veils, shields, etc., for the purpose 
of preventing the normal result of the union of the 
sexes, are none of them wholly reliable, and all are 
injurious in character. The same must be said of the 
common practice of incomplete union and the still 
worse practice of injecting into the vagina cold water 
or fluids of various kinds for the purpose of destroy- 
ing the seminal fluid. While there may be a differ- 


ence in the evil results following the employment of 
these several methods, none are sufficiently harmless 
to allow of their continued use without imperiling the 
health of the wife, and in most cases the health of 
the husband as well. We have met hundreds of cases 
of severe disease of the womb in which the chief cause 
of the abnormal condition of the pelvic organs was the 
continuance of some of these practices for a course of 
years. We have no doubt that the congestions and 
irritation of the sensitive nerves of the parts arising 
from these various filthy maneuvers, practiced for 
the purpose of subverting the natural processes, are 
among the most common cause of malignant disease 
of the uterus, -one of the most common and fatal of 
all the serious maladies to which the sex is subject, 
and one which is constantly becoming more and more 

Another thing which is to be said with reference 
to the various means referred to is that none of them 
can be relied upon as certainly effective. Nature will 
frequently assert her sway in getting the start of the 
finest calculations to prevent such a result. Then the 
mother is obliged to carry in her bosom that most un- 
fortunate of all creatures, an unwelcome child. Her 
mind filled with chagrin and dread, and perhaps even 
with hatred of the innocent cause of her troubles, the 
mother transmits to her offspring the most unhappy 
traits of character and thus entails upon the little in- 
nocent a life of wretchedness and misery. When 
such mothers find that the means taken to prevent 
conception have been ineffectual, they often do not 
hesitate to adopt other means for the purpose of get- 

THE WIFE. 351 

ting rid of the embryo at the earliest possible mo- 
ment, adding a still more heinous sin to the one 
already committed. Often enough have we been 
consulted by women under precisely these circum- 
stances, and beset with importunities to aid them in 
accomplishing the desired end. But we need not 
speak further on this point at the present, as it will 
presently receive ample attention. 

A woman who allows herself to indulge in the 
practices referred to, soon loses all respect for the sa- 
credness of the maternal function, and suffers not only 
physical but mental and moral injury more than can 
be estimated. By means of these subterfuges, the 
sexual act becomes in no way better than self-abuse, 
and the results are practically the same as of that hid- 
eous vice, in both parties. 

Criminal Abortion. — The practice of abortion is 
one of the most revolting crimes which has ever be- 
come prevalent in any country at any period of the 
world's history. The pages of history are stained 
with the records of this most despicable of crimes. 
The records of the civil laws of ancient nations show 
that this crime has been prevalent in all ages and 
among all nations. At some periods it has been even 
more prevalent than it is at the present. Strange as 
it may appear, there have in ancient times been found 
philosophers and great teachers, some of whom are re- 
spected even at the present day, who have justified 
this crime and recommended it as a means of limiting 
the growth of population. Aristotle not only did 
this, but even went so far as to insist that it was the 
duty of the State to enact laws enforcing the practice 

3D 2 


of abortion when the population had reached a certain 
state. The ancient Grecians and Romans had no law 
against this crime. Numerous historians represent 
the practice as almost universal in ancient times. 
History records that a niece of one of the Roman 
Emperors died in consequence of having committed 
the crime in obedience to the command of the em- 
peror. The crime seems to have been looked upon by 
a large part of those nations who were guilty of it in 
ancient times very much as excesses in eating are re- 
garded by the majority of persons at the present day, 
undoubtedly wrong, but so slightly criminal as to be 
easily condoned, and scarcely to be censured. 

In modern times there have not been wanting 
apologists for this horrible crime ; but on the whole 
it may be safely asserted that there is less tolerance 
for ante-natal murder at the present day than at any 
previous period of the world's history, so far as there 
is any record bearing on the subject. We do not 
attribute this improvement to any special increase in 
the moral sense of the people, but to the greater en- 
lightenment which has resulted from the free discussion 
of the subject and the diffusion of knowledge respect- 
ing the wickedness of the act and the dangers to life 
and health attending it. It is only with the hope 
that we may be able to further the work of reform in 
this direction that Ave mention the revolting subject 
in these pages. 

The prevalence of this crime even in this enlight- 
ened country, and that after all which has been said 
upon it by physicians and priests and clergymen, un- 
doubtedly far surpasses the conception of any but 

THE WIFE. 353 

those who have an opportunity for knowing the facts 
or an approximation to the truth. The crime is al- 
most always a secret one, and hence no exact data 
respecting its prevalence can be obtained ; but suffi- 
cient is known to indicate clearly that it is on the in- 
crease rather than otherwise, and to cause those who 
are interested in the welfare of the race to tremble at 

the future prospect. 

It has become a notorious fact that the families 
of native Americans are getting to be so small 
on the average that the children hardly replace 
the parents. It has been stated on good authority 
that the increase of population is almost entirely due 
to immigration and the numerous families of the na- 
tives of foreign countries. In New England where 
families of eight and nine were formerly exceedingly 
common, it is now stated that the average number of 
persons to a family is scarcely more than three among 
the native born population. At this rate, it is evident 
that this monstrous vice threatens to exterminate the 
race if nothing is done to check its ravages. It is 
certainly high time that the public were thoroughly 
enlightened on the subject and a general and organ- 
ized effort instituted against this enemy of the race 
which, to use the words of another employed in speak- 
ing of another vice, annually destroys more human 
beings than " war, pestilence, and famine combined." 
Since the war by which the slaves of the South 
were liberated, the same appalling vice has become 
prevalent among them. With this exception, however, 
the crime is chiefly confined to the middle and higher 
classes of society. Professional abortionists who are, 


it is sad to know, too often women, ply their criminal 
trade in every large city of the land, and in almost 
every little hamlet as well. The newspapers still 
contain numerous advertisements which the initiated 
well understand. For almost any sum from $500 
down to the paltry sum of $10 these fiends in human 
shape, the thugs of civilized lands, are ready at any 
time to undertake the destruction of a human being 
without the slightest compunction of conscience and 
with little danger of detection, so imperfect are the 
laws relating to the crime and so difficult the task of 
obtaining evidence sufficient to convict the criminal. 
The fact that jurymen as well as judges and attorneys 
are not infrequently indebted to the criminal for sim- 
ilar services, also has an important bearing on the re- 
sults of the case in numerous instances. The im- 
possibility of obtaining a conviction for the crime of 
abortion, no matter what may be the character of the 
evidence, is so notorious that persons who are well 
known as professional abortionists are allowed to ply 
their horrible trade year after year without being 

But the crime is not confined to professionals. 
Women sometimes become sufficiently skilled in the 
use of instruments for the purpose to be able to per- 
form the operation upon themselves, and such women 
do not hesitate to instruct others in the art of de- 
stroying their unborn children. Thus the vile conta- 
gion spreads from one to another until in some in- 
stances a whole neighborhood becomes demoralized. 
It is not an uncommon thing for women to boast that 
they know too much to have children. Often these 

THE WIFE. 355 

knowing ones may be seen leading around a solitary 
little one whose brothers and sisters have been all 
nipped in the bud by the cruel abortionist, or by the 
mother's own hand. Some little time ago a physician 
of intelligence who had observed somewhat closely, 
reported that in his neighborhood of several hundred 
families, there had been scarcely a child born in three 
or four years. 

Every physician who has been a year in practice 
will testify 'that he has had already from one to 
twenty applications from women to aid them in ac- 
complishing the murder of their helpless offspring. 
The majority of these cases are of married women 
whose only excuse is that they do not wish to en- 
dure the inconvenience and trouble of pregnancy and 
childbirth, or that they " do not want to have chil- 
dren," or that they " have children enough," or some 
other equally frivolous excuse. Often have we had 
women urge these and even more trifling arguments 
to induce us to comply with their request to assist 
them to secure an abortion. 

Our first experience of this kind opened up to us 
a new phase of human nature. We had previously 
supposed that the reason why the crime was so prev- 
alent was the ignorance of women with reference to 
its criminality and the possible, even probable conse- 
quences to themselves. We felt no doubt that to set 
before a woman the matter in its true light, would be 
sufficient to turn her from her purpose, and to insti- 
tute a reform in that particular case at least. Noth- 
ing could have surprised us more than to see our ex- 
planations and appeals received with the most un- 


flinching coldness, and not allowed to have the least 
apparent weight in turning the woman from her pur- 
pose. No matter how great the crime nor how im- 
minent the risk, she was willing and anxious to take 
the responsibility, and did not hesitate to state the fact, 
and to still persist in importuning us to assist her. 
She seemed lost to all sense of moral obligation, and 
was ready to do anything or to sacrifice anything to 
enable her to accomplish her object. So absorbed does 
a woman, intent on the commission of this crime, be- 
come in the accomplishment of her object, the most 
touching appeals are usually wholly unavailing. 

Some years ago a gentleman called at our private 
office, and after considerable preliminary explanation 
stated the fact that his wife was desirous of placing 
herself under our care as a patient for the purpose of 
securing the production of an abortion, it having oc- 
curred to her that the superior advantages afforded 
for treatment would enable her to escape the more 
surely from the dangers which she well knew to ac- 
company the crime. We promptly gave him a neg- 
ative answer and did not hesitate to supplement our 
refusal by a pretty full expression of our opinion of 
the operation both from a professional and a moral 
stand-point. He seemed really touched by our repre- 
sentations of the immorality of the act, and promised 
to return to his home in a neighboring city and in- 
duce his wife to visit us in the hope that she might 
be persuaded to look at the crime in its true light. 
We heard nothing more of the matter for several 
weeks, and the circumstance had almost passed from 
our mind when we were informed one day that a lady 

THE WIFE. 357 

was waiting for us in the office, and on receiving her 
card, recognized her as the lady in question, whom 
we had been expecting. She at once stated her er- 
rand, saying that her husband had told her what we 
had said to him, but that she had come hoping never- 
theless that she might be able to induce us to per- 
form the operation for her, as she had no thought of 
giving it up, and should certainly employ some one 
else if we did not consent to do it. We promptly as- 
sured her that if the operation was performed at all, 
it must be done by some one else besides us, and at 
once began to lay before her some considerations cal- 
culated to divert her mind from her purpose. Our 
most earnest arguments and appeals seemed to have 
no weight with her, however, and at last we said to 
her, " Madam, you have had children before ? " 
" Yes," she replied, " I have two beautiful children, 
aged three and five years." "Very well; you say 
that you do not feel capable of caring for and rearing 
more than two children, and assign this as a reason 
why you are so anxious to destroy the child now de- 
veloping within you. You are even willing not only 
to destroy the coming little one, but to incur the risk 
of losing your own life as well, or in all probability of 
becoming an invalid for life at least, to say nothing of 
the destruction of your peace of mind. Now I can 
suggest for your consideration a much more rational 
plan, one which will accomplish the same result, and 
which will be attended with little if any physical 
danger to yourself, and will be in no degree more 
criminal." She was eager to hear the plan I had to 
suggest, and expressed herself as very ready to adopt 


it if it would, as I said, accomplish the same result. 
We accordingly presented it to her as follows : — 

"Since your chief reason for wishing to destroy 
your unborn child is your inability to care for more 
than the two children which you already have, a 
much better plan than that which you propose would 
be to take the life of one of the children already born, 
and thus save yourself the danger of an operation 
which is almost as likely to destroy your own life as 
that of your child. You could easily drop the little 
one into the river on some dark night, or could cut 
its throat or smother it, with little fear of detection, as 
no one would suspect you of such a crime, and then 
you could allow the present pregnancy to go on to 
full maturity and have no more children than you now 
have. The crime would be in no sense a greater one, 
and would not be so great in one sense, since if an abor- 
tion is produced, the result may virtually be suicide 
as well as murder. So far as the child is concerned, 
it is murder in either case, and of the most cowardly 
kind, since it is taking advantage of the weakness and 
helplessness of a human being unable to defend itself, 
an act which is seldom equaled in atrocity by the 
most heartless assassin or eA r en the barbarian captor." 

She weakened for a few moments, and we felt 
that possibly Ave might succeed in rescuing her from 
the commission of the crime which she had meditated; 
but it was only for a moment that she hesitated; she 
then rose and AA T ithdreAV from our office with the asser- 
tion that if Ave Avould not do the operation she must 
find some one Avho Avould. 

It Avould seem that such a vieAV of the matter, so 

THE WIFE. 359 

manifestly true and unanswerable as an argument, 
would arouse the conscience of any woman in whom 
still glowed a single spark of the instinct of mother- 
hood; but unfortunately this is by no means the case. 
Too often the mind is so determinedly set upon 
the commission of the crime that even the thunders 
of Sinai would scarcely turn it from its purpose. 
Many times have we earnestly labored for hours with 
women who have applied to us for the performance of 
an operation or for medicine by which the same end 
might be accomplished, without other result than a 
very weak promise to consider the matter farther; 
and we knew too well that the consideration would 
all be in the opposite direction from what it should be. 
When a woman has so far smothered her womanly 
instincts as to wish to deliberately and in cold blood 
murder her innocent, unborn babe, even at an 
early period of its existence, she becomes desperate, 
and sometimes desperately wicked. Conscience seems 
to be asleep and the moral instincts benumbed. 

Sometimes, however, we have been glad to know 
that the results of our efforts lnwe been otherwise. 
Often, as we pass along the street, we meet a little 
fair-haired boy who does not know how narrowly his 
mother escaped the commission of the awful crime of 
murder, nor how earnestly we pleaded for his life when 
he was a helpless, yet undeveloped, and, unfortu- 
nately, unwelcome child. Would to God that we 
could place before the mind of every woman in the 
land a picture of the evils of this awful crime, the 
sacrilege, the profanity, the worse than brutish cruelty 
of this crime against God, against the race, against 


nature, and against the perpetrator, a picture so vivid 
in coloring, so horrifying in its hideousness, that it 
would make an impression ineffaceable by any of the 
selfish and frivolous considerations usually urged as 
reasons justifying the act. 

Statistics and the experience of every physician 
of long practice show that abortion is many times 
more dangerous to the life of the mother under ordi- 
nary circumstances than pregnancy. The majority of 
those who are guilty of this crime, become invalids 
for life. 

Criminal abortion is the cause to which thousands 
of women may trace a long line of ailments of a most 
obstinate and aggravating character. Many such 
cases have come under our care, and no class of diseases 
are so obstinate and often utterly intractable as this. 
After normal childbirth, the uterus and its appendages 
naturally undergo a change known as involution, by 
which the organ is rapidly restored to its natural and 
ordinary size and condition. After abortion, this 
change is very likely to be incomplete, leaving the 
uterus congested, enlarged, sensitive, and in a condi- 
tion to invite the most serious disease. This is true 
even in the most favorable cases. Often the imme- 
diate results, as well as the more remote, are much 
more serious. Abortion is very likely to be followed 
by inflammations of various sorts, especially of the 
uterus, ovaries, and surrounding tissues, which if not 
immediately fatal, leave behind them results which 
render the Avoman a life-long sufferer, and frequently 
develop in later years into some form of malignant 
disease. This is undoubtedly one of the most prolific 

THE WIFE. 361 

causes of the increasing frequency of this most appall- 
ing and incurable of all human maladies, cancer. 

One of the most frequent complications of abortion, 
and one which rarely occurs in natural childbirth, is 
blood poisoning from retention and decomposition of 
the placenta and membranes of the foetus. At the end 
of normal pregnancy, Nature prepares the way for the 
prompt separation of these attachments of the foetus, 
and thus obviates this danger ; but in cases of abor- 
tion there has been no such preparation • indeed, the 
placenta is at this time becoming more and more 
firmly attached to the walls of the uterus, and conse- 
quently is likely to be retained to undergo gradual 
decomposition, thus involving the liability to blood 
poisoning, which will ruin the constitution for life if 
it does not at once terminate fatally. 

Physicians alone are to any degree acquainted 
with the awful extent to which this crime prevails. 
Even they are not always able to get at the facts. 
Women who will commit this crime will resort to 
any means to conceal it from those whom they know 
regard it as such. Not long ago, on making an ex- 
amination of a young unmarried woman, we were 
surprised to find a large tear of the neck of the womb 
which we could not doubt had been produced in this 
way, though she professed to know of nothing ex- 
cept a fall to which to attribute it. 

A married woman who came under our care a few 
years ago for treatment for a uterine disease, stated 
that she had never borne a child, and adhered to the 
statement, although an examination disclosed a large 
tear in the neck of the womb which could not have 


been in any other way. Our confidence in the in- 
tegrity of the patient for a time led us to think that 
the morbid condition might possibly be the result of 
the removal of a morbid growth from the uterus 
which she asserted had been done at a previous time ; 
but we afterward learned that our first opinion was 
correct, the occasion for the tear having been a lapse 
from virtue when a girl, — a circumstance which had 
all her life been held a secret. 

The most horrible results often follow attempts at 
the performance of this crime which are unsuccessful. 
The instruments used frequently mutilate the inno- 
cent being against whose life these cruel efforts are 
directed, in a most terrible manner without accom- 
plishing the desired result, so that the termination of 
the pregnancy often reveals a beautiful babe with a 
limb torn from its body, or frightfully disfigured in 
other ways, or a monster so deformed as to be scarcely 
recognizable as ever having had anything of a human 
shape. Cases have even occurred in which the head 
has actually been torn from the body without causing 
abortion or even preventing development of the re- 
mainder of the body. Nature sometimes endures all 
this violence rather than surrender her trust before 
the proper time for so doing ; and every woman who 
subjects herself to an operation for the purpose of in- 
ducing abortion incurs the risk of becoming the un- 
willing mother of an eyeless or crippled child, or a 
headless monster. 

Recent investigations have shown that there is 
still another result of criminal abortion which has 
been heretofore overlooked. Careful observations 

THE WIFE. 363 

have developed the fact that the subsequent preg- 
nancies are affected by an induced abortion not only 
as regards the liability to miscarriage, which is well 
known, but as regards the development of the foetus. 
Thousands of mothers have found that when they 
.had repented of their criminal attempts to thwart the 
purposes of nature, and really desired children, the 
womb had either undergone such changes that preg- 
nancy was impossible, or if it occurred, could not 
proceed to full development ; or that if the develop- 
ment did continue to full term, the result was only a 
weak, puny creature, badly developed, and certain to 
be all its life-time a silent witness of the mother's} 
criminaJ attempts. 

This is a matter to be considered by mothers who 
desire to get rid of their unborn infants simply for 
their convenience ; because they do not want to settle 
down to sober life just yet, or because they have 
planned a trip to Europe, or a summer at Saratoga. 
Are you willing, mother, to incur the risk not only of 
blighting the existence of the little innocent whom 
Nature has furnished you with instincts to protect, 
and to involve the liability of paying the penalty of 
your crime with your own life, but also to render al- 
most certain the destruction of the prospects of the 
little ones who may come to you in future years, 
should you still be capable of becoming a mother ? 

One thing women ought to know. A skillful phy- 
sician cannot be easily deceived as to the cause of an 
abortion. The symptoms of an abortion occurring 
spontaneously from ovarian disease, displacement, a 
fall or other accident, are different from those which 



accompany an instrumental abortion, and the differ- 
ence Avill be readily detected by a physician of ex- 

The time has fully come when there ought to be 
a general waking up on the part of all lovers of hu- 
manity, with reference to this devastating vice. Phy- 
sicians and clergymen should " cry aloud and spare 
not." Laws are of no consequence, or at any rate 
are of little avail, since there are usually but two wit- 
nesses to the crime, both of whom are criminals, and 
both of course desirous of concealing their crimes. 
The professional abortionist is skilled in the art of 
concealment and evasion of justice. We have had 
some experience in attempting to bring these human 
fiends to justice, but not such as to encourage us in 
repeating the effort. The evidence may be clear and 
conclusive as possible, shrewd and unscrupulous law- 
yers will find some means for befogging the average 
jury to such an extent as to cause a disagreement if 
not an out and out acquittal. 

The only hope for any better state of things 
than at present exists is in the education of the peo- 
ple. Women must be educated concerning them- 
selves, and a wholesome respect for the sacredness of 
the reproductive function must be cultivated. Wo- 
men must be informed of the perils which they incur 
in resorting to instrumental or medicinal means for pro- 
ducing abortion. Only a few weeks ago a young wo- 
man came to us for examination and treatment for 
dropsy. Her history disclosed the fact that she had 
taken a large dose of "tansy tea," as the result of which 
she sank into collapse and remained unconscious for 

THE WIFE. 365 

many hours, her life being saved only by the greatest 
exertions. Since that time, she stated, she had been 
bloating, and had not menstruated. A few questions 
elicited the fact that the tansy was taken " to bring her 
around," as she said, menstruation not having occurred 
at the usual time, and the fear being entertained that 
she was pregnant. We at once understood the cause 
of the bloating, and the examination made apparent 
the correctness of our conclusions. The father soon 
arrived on the scene and made a most eloquent appeal 
to us to produce an abortion. We answered him in 
the usual way, and he was apparently satisfied ; but 
his subsequent course was such as to lead us to sus- 
pect very strongly that he was determined not to 
rest until the desired end was accomplished. This 
case illustrates the fact that the mother's life may be 
greatly imperiled without any result so far as the 
foetus is concerned. All medicinal agents used for 
this purpose are powerful poisons, and quite as likely 
to produce the death of the mother as the expulsion 
of the foetus. 

Every woman who commits or attempts to com- 
mit this horrible crime, and every husband who en- 
courages it or even assents to its performance, ought 
to be treated as a criminal, and ostracized from so- 
ciety. So long as the act of abortion is looked upon 
as an offense so trifling as to be easily condoned, and 
hardly worthy of censure, its frequency will increase. 
Every pulpit in the land ought to send out in stirring 
and unmistakable tones, warnings against the gross 
immorality of this practice, drawing vivid pictures of 
its cruelty and unnaturalness, and pronouncing anath- 


emas upon its perpetrators. : The crime should be 
considered a just cause for church action to disfellow- 
ship, and the nature of the crime should not induce 
those who may have knowledge of it to keep it secret. 
The crime must be made odious, and the perpetrators 
condemned in unstinted terms. 

Physicians must warn women of the physical as 
well as the moral calamities which follow in the wake 
of this inhuman practice, and the certainty of retribu- 
tion in this life, as well as the next. 

Testimony of Eminent Physicians. — The follow- 
ing paragraphs express not only the sentiments of the 
eminent authorities referred to, but the conclusions 
and views of all conscientious physicians of expe- 
rience : — 

" Yet this very thing of criminal abortion means, 
in plain terms, the most cowardly, base kind of mur- 
dering, — cowardly, because upon a helpless, living 
embryo, to hide the result of sensual gratification, 
or to evade the duty of caring for it afterward ; or 
simply, with some, because it is thought to be vulgar 
to have children, — base in a deliberate purpose to 
sacrifice life, moral purity, maternal nobility and 
loveliness, to degrading desire. 

" There are those who would fain make lisrht of 
this crime by attempting to convince themselves and 
others that a child, while in embryo, has only a sort 
of vegetative life, not yet endowed with thought, and 
the ability to maintain an independent existence. If 
such a monstrous philosophy as this presents any 
justification for such an act, then the killing of a 
newly-born infant, or of an idiot, may be likewise 

THE WIFE. 367 

justified. The destruction of the life of an unborn 
human being for the reason that it is small, feeble, 
and innocently helpless, rather aggravates than pal- 
liates the crime. Every act of this kind, with its 
justification, is obviously akin to that savage philos- 
ophy which accounts it a matter of no moment, or 
rather a duty to destroy feeble infants, or old, help- 
less fathers and mothers. 

" Perhaps only medical men will credit the asser- 
tion that the frequency of this form of destroying hu- 
man life exceeds all others by at least fifty per cent, 
and that not more than one in a thousand of the 
guilty parties receive any punishment by the hand of 
civil law. But there is a surer mode of punishment 
for the guilty mother, in the self-executing laws of 
nature. This, in the majority of instances, is suf- 
ficiently severe, far more so than any ever planned 
and executed by the hand of man. The punishment 
is often capital, or by death, as every physician has 
witnessed, and as the newspapers of the day abun- 
dantly testify. When not so, there is usually a life- 
long retribution in store for them, with an untimely 
and agonizing mode of death. 

" Yearly, thousands of women, wives, and mothers, 
in the higher walks of life, risk, or actually sacrifice, 
their lives by this unnatural crime, — their most inti- 
mate friends uninformed and unsuspicious as to the 

real cause of their death." 

•a rj^g great ma j or ity of those who submit to this 
crime drag through life in miserable health, victims to 
painful irregularities, to slow and obstinate irritations, 
or to a predisposition of the maltreated parts to take 


on disease from the slightest exposure and exertion. 
Frequently the constitutional shock is so severe that 
the strength is never fully recovered, the victim pre- 
senting a striking and permanent absence of all the 
marks of health and vigor. Even in some instances 
in which the transgressor flatters herself that she is 
uninjured; there is an insidious and terrible disease 
forming in the generative organs, which only awaits 
the waning of the general strength and energies to 
burst forth into torturing and incurable activity. I 
allude to that fearful disease, cancer of the womb."* 

" The tendency to serious and often fatal organic 
disease, as cancer, is rendered much greater at the so- 
called turn of life, which has generally, and not with- 
out good reason, been considered as especially the 
critical period of a woman's existence." 

" Not only is the foetus endangered by the at- 
tempt at abortion, and the mother's health, but the 
stamp of disease thus impressed is very apt to be per- 
ceived upon any children she may subsequently bear. 
Not only do women become sterile in consequence of 
a miscarriage, and then, longing for offspring, find 
themselves permanently incapacitated for conception; 
but, in other cases, impregnation, or rather the at- 
tachment of the ovum to the uterus, being but imper- 
fectly effected, or the mother's system being so insid- 
iously undermined, the children that are subsequently 
brought forth are unhealthy, deformed, or diseased. 
This matter of conception and gestation, after a mis- 
carriage, has of late been made the subject of special 

* Black. 

THE WIFE. 369 

study, and there is little doubt that from this, as the 
primal origin, arises much of the nervous, mental, and 
organic derangement and deficiency that, occurring in 
children, cuts short or embitters their lives." 

" In thirty-four cases of criminal abortion reported 
by Tardieu, where the history was known, twenty- 
two were followed, as a consequence, by death, and 
only twelve were not." * 

Another authority states that of one hundred and 
sixty cases of instrumental abortion, the death of 
the mother occurred in sixty. 

The Meno-Pause, or Change of Life. — Begin- 
ning at about the age of thirteen years, the men- 
strual function usually continues about thirty-two 
years, reaching its conclusion, on an average, in the 
forty-sixth year, but terminating in the majority of 
women in the fiftieth year. At puberty the ovary 
enlarges until it attains its full development and be- 
gins its work of casting off each month a perfected 
ovule. When the forty -fifth year of a woman's life is 
reached, the reverse of this process begins. The 
ovary begins to shrivel, soon reaching the size and 
acquiring much the appearance of a peach stone. A 
few months later is is still more shrunken ; and after 
the cessation of the menses it often becomes so shriv- 
eled as to be scarcely recognizable. 

At the same time that the ovaries are undergoing 
this remarkable degenerative change, a similar change 
is taking place in the other organs of generation. 
The uterus also diminishes in size, as does also the 
vagina. The mouth of the womb becomes contracted, 

* Storer. 


and after a time entirely closed. The upper part of 
the vagina is often contracted to such a degree as to 
produce folds closely resembling those which result 
from serious inflanrmatioDs about the uterus. The 
breasts also diminish in size. These changes indicate 
unmistakably the decline of the function of reproduc- 
tion preparatory to its entire suspension. 

As a rule, the capability of procreation ceases with 
the cessation of menstruation ; but this is not uni- 
formly the case. Instances are on record in which 
pregnancy has occurred before the appearance of men- 
struation ; and so it may also occur after the disap- 
pearance of menstruation. This seeming anomaly is 
due to the fact that ovulation and menstruation are 
really two distinct acts, although usually coincident. 

As before stated, menstruation usually ceases 
somewhere between forty-five and fifty years ; but 
cases are recorded in which the meno-pause has oc- 
curred at much earlier and much later periods. In 
one instance which came under our observation a few 
years ago, the change of life was complete at twenty- 
eight; and in a case now under our care for treat- 
ment for a mental affection, the meno-pause was de- 
layed to the sixty-first year. Cases are recorded in 
which the function was continued as late the eightieth 
year, but there may be some doubt as to the authen- 
ticity of these reports. 

As at the establishment of the function it is at- 
tended with a considerable degree of irregularity, so 
also at the conclusion. There seems, indeed, to be a 
remarkable correspondence between the morbid con- 

THE WIFE. 371 

ditions affecting the two termini of a woman's sexual 
activity. If the function is ushered in with great 
irregularity, its conclusion will be attended with the 
same phenomena. Great pain, local or general during 
menstrual activity, will pretty certainly be followed 
by the same sort and degree of pain at the grand 
climacteric. One very singular circumstance is the 
fact that a late puberty indicates a short rather than a 
long menstrual life. So also, habitual pain at the 
menstrual period indicates pretty certainly much pain 
and suffering at the meno-pause. 

A Critical Period. — This period is one of the 
most critical epochs of a woman's life. Upon the 
manner in which she passes through it, depends 
her future health and happiness in a very great de- 
gree. The perturbations in the general system which 
occur at this time are of a character so profound 
as to be wholly inexplicable were not the intimate 
relations of the ovaries with the general system 
through their nervous connections so thoroughly un- 
derstood. During the period of menstrual activity, 
a woman's system is affected, we may almost say, 
dominated, by the influence of these two little glands 
in a most remarkable manner. The relation between 
the ovaries and the digestive functions must be 
familiar to every one. The nausea which is induced 
by simply pressing upon the ovaries, especially if 
they are in the slightest degree irritable, is evi- 
dence of the reflex influence which they exert upon 
other important abdominal organs. Either an ex- 
cess or a deficiency of the proper influence of these 


organs over other parts of the system may be produc- 
tive of disease, and to an extent even more than is at 
present well understood. 

In view of these facts it is not to be wondered 
at that the removal of an influence so profound should 
be accompanied by a greater or less degree of general 
disturbance. The period during which these disturb- 
ances are observable lasts from a few months to 
several years. The average period from the time 
when the first irregularities are noticed to the entire 
cessation of the menstrual flow is about two and one- 
fifth years. 

The degree of disturbance observed during this 
period is exceedingly variable. Much depends upon 
the condition of the system when the period is 
reached. A woman who comes to this critical epoch 
of her life with a constitution unimpaired by fashiona- 
ble dressing or dissipation or by excesses of any kind, 
may hope to pass through it safely and quickly, avoid- 
ing the numerous dangers which at this time beset 
the pathway of her sister who has recklessly ignored 
the demands of nature and the dictates of reason in 
respect to the care of her health. A woman who has 
all her life been feeble, a sufferer from " female weak- 
nesses " of various sorts, will find this period a verita- 
ble " Pandora's box " of ills, and may well look 
forward to it with apprehension and foreboding. It is 
well, indeed, if being forewarned, she begins in time to 
correct the various faults of habit and regimen which 
have a direct or indirect tendency to increase the 
perils of the approaching crisis. A proper prepara- 
tion for this eventful period will do more to mitigate 

THE WIFE. 373 

its sufferings and hasten it to a happy termination 
than all the prescriptions which can be compounded 
by the most skillful physicians. Hence the attention 
which we give to this important subject here. In 
this case as in many others the homely adage, " an 
ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure," 
is peculiarly applicable. 

As a rule, the first indication of the approach of 
the meno-pause is irregularity of the menstrual flow, 
either in time or in quantity, or in both. In excep- 
tional cases there is a sudden cessation of the flow, 
there being no return of the function, even in a slight 
degree. This should not be considered a cause for 
alarm, when it does occur, as is likely to be the case 
on account of the numerous popular superstitions re- 
specting this period. There is no danger to the sys- 
tem in any way from such a sudden suspension of 
the function, provided opportunity is given for the 
system to recover its balance by perspiration or other- 
wise. The most common mode of termination is a 
gradual diminution of the flow until it ceases alto- 
gether. Sometimes a profuse flooding terminates the 
function, and in other cases a succession of such flood- 
ings occur. With some women the flow is alternately 
scanty and profuse for a few months before it wholly 
ceases, while with others the quantity is normal but 
the time either shortened or lengthened or irregular 
in both ways, until suspension occurs. 

Other symptoms besides those immediately con- 
nected with the function, almost invariably mark the 
approach of this epoch and characterize its continu- 
ance. There is in almost all cases a decline in health 



more or less marked in degree. The strength is di- 
minished, and in many instances there is loss of flesh 
as well. The appetite is capricious and morbid, as at 
the beginning of the period of menstrual activity. 
Various disturbances of the stomach, bowels, bladder, 
and even kidneys are to be noted. Cutaneous erup- 
tions often occur, particularly a form of acne of the 
face. The patient perhaps complains of symptoms 
referring to the heart, also the lungs and other vital 
organs, all of which are found on examination to be 
of a purely reflex character. The expression of the 
face often changes in a marked degree ; and some- 
times there is a marked growth of hair on the chin or 
upper lip. 

But by far the most noticeable symptoms are 
those which relate to the nervous system. The neu- 
ralgias, nervousness, fidgets, and hysterias, which af- 
flict some women at this period are such as to render 
life wholly undesirable. " Flushings " are among the 
most constant of the symptoms referable to the nerv- 
ous system. This is due to the reflex influence of the 
ovaries upon the vaso-motor system. A sudden rushing 
of blood to a part, accompanied by excessive heat and 
often violent throbbing, renders the patient really 
wretched by its frequency. Any part of the body 
may be affected, but the head or face and neck are 
the favorite seat of the affection. The hands, feet, 
legs, and trunk of the body may be affected in the 
same manner. The phenomenon is precisely the same 
as that of blushing, and indeed this may be said to be 
a sort of "pathological blushing." This sudden afflux 
of blood to any part may occur as often as several 

THE WIFE. 375 

times an hour, or may be as infrequent as half a dozen 
times a day. The paroxysm usually lasts not more 
than ten minutes, and is succeeded by a profuse per- 
spiration, which relieves the surcharged blood-vessels 
of their repletion. When the heat is not succeeded 
by the perspiration, it is familiarly termed " dry 
flushing," which is much more disagreeable than 
the other form of the malady, since the surcharged 
blood-vessels are not emptied of their contents by the 
exudation of serum. 

Sometimes nausea and vomiting accompany the 
flushing, as does invariably a feeling of weakness and 
malaise to which the patient should yield herself, se- 
curing quiet and repose until the equilibrium of the 
circulation is restored. Sometimes the congestion of 
the head becomes so intense as to make apoplexy 
imminent; and, indeed, cases of paralysis have oc- 
curred at such a time in a few instances. 

Another unpleasant complication of these attacks 
is the intense mental excitement which often accom- 
panies them, and which sometimes amounts to actual 
delirium or mania. On account of this tendency, they 
ought not to be regarded lightly or unworthy of 
prompt and efficient attention. 

Profuse perspirations, sometimes so copious as to 
saturate the bed-clothing, is also a common symptom 
of this condition. These may follow a " flushing," or 
may occur independently. They are most apt to 
occur during sleep. They follow, also, mental or nerv- 
ous excitement almost invariably. 

Other general symptoms occur with greater or less 
frequency and prominence, as general debility, chloro- 


sis, biliousness, headache, pain in the back and bowels, 
sick headaches, hemorrhoids or piles, diarrhoea, con- 
stipation, dropsy, bloating of the face, swelling of 
the hands or feet, frequent fainting, irritation and 
swelling of breasts, neuralgia or rheumatism of joints, 
leucorrhoea, pain in chest with or without cough, 
false pregnancy, nettle rash, water brash, inconti- 
nence of urine, numbness in limbs, prickling sensation 
in hands and arms, epilepsy, fits of laughing and 
crying, irritation of the rectum, vicarious hemorrhages, 
as from nose, stomach, varicose veins, and even skin, 
boils near the anus, peeling of nails, falling off of nails, 
inflammation of the eye and weak vision, toothache, 
neuralgia of vulva, itching of vulva, inflammation of 
vagina, sciatica, and unnatural drowsiness. 

The great liability to the formation of morbid 
growths at this time is also a prominent feature of 
the pathology of the meno-pause. This applies par- 
ticularly to polypi and fibroid growths of the uterus. 
Cancer must also be mentioned as one of the morbid 
conditions which frequently chooses this as the favor- 
able moment for it to establish itself. If the neck of 
the womb has been previously torn by childbirth, or if 
the nutrition of the organ has been impaired by the 
practice of abortion, the occurrence of cancer at this 
time is rendered much more probable. 

A peculiar form of morbid growth known as " vas- 
cular tumor of the urethra " is also likely to make its 
appearance at this time. We have operated upon a 
large number of these tumors, and have found by far 
the greater number in women at or near the meno- 

THE WIFE. 377 

pause, although the affection is by no means confined 
to this class. 

But we have not yet mentioned the most promi- 
nent class of symptoms which characterize this impor- 
tant period, viz., those which relate to the mind. 
The mental symptoms are quite as marked and prom- 
inent in most cases as are those which relate to any 
part of the system. Often there is an entire and 
most remarkable change in disposition. A kind, pa- 
tient mother, or forbearing, confiding, exemplary wife, 
becomes irritable, unreasonable, and suspicious. Her 
natural modesty may even give place to wantonness 
in extreme cases, and the mother's instincts may be- 
come so thoroughly obliterated as to give place to an 
almost uncontrollable desire to take the lives of her 
little ones. The once happy woman becomes de- 
spondent, moody, and taciturn. She avoids company, 
has no taste for amusements, and spends her time in 
watching her varying symptoms, and bewailing her 
real and imaginary woes. In many cases, actual in- 
sanity, usually of a temporary character, fortunately, 
is the result of the profound disturbances which the 
system undergoes at this time. 

Although this is but a hasty and imperfect sketch 
of this critical ej)Och in a woman's life, we must 
hasten to consider what may be done to prevent and 
ameliorate these various morbid conditions. 

Hygiene of the Change of Life. — The best way 
for a woman to prepare for the crisis which we have 
briefly described, is to live healthfully and physiologic- 
ally in every particular, as we have described in the 
foregoing pages of the work. In matters pertaining 


to dress, diet, and exercise, it is particularly important 
that all the laws of health be scrupulously obeyed. 
If this has been done from early childhood, happy 
will be the transit through the stormy sea of 
the climacteric ; but if the reverse has been the case, 
there are dangerous breakers ahead. If there is no 
time for preparation, the necessary reforms should be 
at once adopted as the most certain means of avoid- 
ing the worst evils, and by the aid of a few practical 
suggestions, much can be done to redeem the time. 

On the appearance of the first indication of the 
approaching change, the woman should be relieved of 
all taxing cares, and should be placed under such cir- 
cumstances as to secure quiet, and mental and physi- 
cal repose. If she must remain at home, she must be 
shielded from the thousand and one petty annoyances 
which creep into the best regulated domestic circles. 
Induce her to take a liberal allowance of out-of-door 
exercise daily. Carriage riding is especially to be 
recommended, as it provides gentle exercise with en- 
tertainment. The diet should be amply nourishing 
and varied, but unstimulating. Nothing is better 
than the fruits and grains prepared in various simple 
but palatable ways. Tea and coffee are especially ob- 
jectionable, as are all forms of alcoholic beverages, to- 
gether with " bitters" of every description. 

A tri-weekly warm bath will be found exceedingly 
soothing to the irritable nerves. Gentle rubbing ad- 
ministered daily will be of special advantage also ; 
sponging the spine alternately with hot and cold 
water once or twice a day, ten to twenty minutes at 
a time, will be found of special service also. 

THE WIFE. 379 

The pain in the back may usually be removed by 
means of hot fomentations applied very thoroughly 
for half an hour once or twice a day. The pain and 
tenderness often present in the lower part of the bow- 
els may be relieved by the same means applied over 
the seat of pain. Another very useful measure is the 
application of heat to the sacrum by means of a hot 
brick or water-bag and a cold bag over the seat of pain 
in front. This application may be continued from two 
to four hours daily with benefit in these cases when 
quite obstinate. 

Another simple measure of great value as a pre- 
ventive of local inflammations, and a means of con- 
trolling a tendency to hemorrhage and removing con- 
gestion of the uterus and ovaries, is the vaginal 
douche, full directions for taking which are given in 
the appendix. This measure alone used daily or 
twice a day, is worth more than all the other measures 
known to the medical profession combined, if thor- 
oughly administered. 

Warm sitz baths are also of advantage, and may 
be recommended for use in most cases. 

To relieve the " flushings " of the face ana head, 
no remedy works so promptly as hot sponging of the 
congested parts and hot fomentations of the spine. 
The same principle applies when other parts of the 
body aie affected as well as the head. 

For the profuse sweating, hot salt sponging, at a 
temperature as high as can be borne, is an excellent 
means of treatment. If not successful, equal parts of 
alcohol and water may be used instead. Special ail- 
ments should receive special treatment, either as di- 


rected in the concluding portion of this work, or by a 
competent physician. 

One more question remains to be answered in case 
the patient is a married lady, the question of the mar- 
ital relations during this change. There are undoubt- 
edly cases in which the perturbed state of the sexual 
as well as of the nervous system gives rise to an un- 
natural excitement of the sexual desires at this epoch, 
but that such is rarely the case is the uniform testi- 
mony of those whose experience qualifies them to 
testify on the subject. As a rule the appetite for 
the physical pleasures of the marriage bed are during 
this time greatly in abeyance, if not wholly extin- 
guished. It is evidently the design of Nature to pro- 
tect the nervous system of the woman from the tem- 
pestuous excitements which she is unqualified to en- 
dure without damage not only to the system as a 
whole, but to that portion of the vital economy chiefly 
involved in the act. There is no doubt but that sex- 
ual congress at this time is a very common cause of 
intensifying all the numerous inconveniences and 
physical, mental, and nervous ailments which are at- 
tendant upon this period, and hence continence is to 
be not only recommended but enjoined as one of the 
most essential hygienic measures by which a safe and 
rapid transit through the turbulent period of sexual 
decline may be insured. 

< J &%V i <%^ 

The Mother, 

HE motherly instinct is without doubt the 
ruling passion in the heart of the true wo- 
man. The sexual nature of woman finds 
expression in this channel when her life is 
a normal one, rather than in the grosser 
forms of sexual activity. In modern times 
there seems to be a tendency to the oblit- 
eration of the instinct which makes mother- 
hood desirable and regards it with respect ; 
but every true woman will recognize the 
demoralizing nature of this unhallowed influence, and 
will lift her voice in solemn protest against it. In 
no sphere does woman so well display her Eden-born 
graces of character so excellently as when fulfilling her 
duties in nurturing and training for usefulness the 
plastic minds and forms which have been intrusted to 
her care. We behold with admiration the canvass of 
a Raphael or a Michael Angelo ; we stand with 
speechless wonderment before the recovered marble 
of a Phidias or a Praxiteles ; we are almost ready 
to bend the knee in adoration of the lofty genius 
which gave birth to these marvelous works of art which 
have immortalized their creators ; but which of all 
of these can for a moment compare with the work in- 

■ [381] 


trusted to the mother, the task of molding a mind, 
of modeling a character, not for time only, but for 

Let the purity and dignity of motherhood be 
magnified. Let woman be taught that in the per- 
formance of her Heaven-intrusted task she is fulfill- 
ing a mission so lofty and so sacred that none other 
can ever approach to it. We do not say that woman 
should never aspire to any calling outside the prov- 
ince of the domestic circle ; but we do most emphatic- 
ally denounce as false and in the highest degree 
perverting in its tendency, the notion that the 
mother's mission is a lowly one, unsuited to the capa- 
bilities of a brilliant intellect. Such teaching is in 
the highest degree mischievous. Any mother may 
find within the scope of her own family circle ample 
opportunity for the full employment of the noblest 
endowments of mind and soul which have ever been 
bestowed upon a human being. 

The Prospective Mother. — The woman who for 
the first time recognizes the fact that she will in the 
natural course of events in a few months become a 
mother, naturally finds her mind occupied with new 
thoughts and curious questions on a variety of themes 
which may never have interested her before. If she 
possesses the true mother's instincts she will earnestly 
inquire how her own habits of life, her thoughts and 
actions, may affect the well-being of her developing 
child. Possibly she may never have heard of the 
marvelous influence of heredity in molding not only 
the form but the character of the unborn ; but in- 
stinct teaches her that her own conditions in some 


way affect those of her child, and that for a period 
she must think, act, and live for another besides her- 
self. One of the most powerful means of impressing 
indelibly upon the mind the necessity for care and 
proper training, mental and moral, as well as physi- 
cal, during the period of pregnancy and lactation, is a 
presentation of the principles and facts of 


We have not space here to enter into the de^ 
tails of this somewhat intricate department of biol- 
ogy, and can only call attention to a few of its 
leading features which are of special practical value 
in this connection. 

" Like father like son," is a homely adage, the cor- 
rectness of which is rarely questioned ; and " like 
mother like daughter" would be equally true. A 
careful study of the subject of heredity has estab- 
lished as a scientific fact the principle that sons as a 
rule most resemble the father, and daughters the 
mother, although there are often observed marked 
exceptions to the rule. The degree to which this 
hereditary tendency exists, and how it may be utilized 
to the improvement of the race is a question of inter- 
est which we may profitably consider. Unfortu- 
nately, the question of " pedigree " receives very little 
attention so far as human beings are concerned. If a 
man is about to expend a thousand dollars for a fine 
horse, he inquires with great care into the ancestry 
of the animal. The owner must be able to show a 
record of lineal and unmixed descent from parents 


of pure stock, or its value will be greatly depreciated 
in the eyes of the purchaser. 

Stock raisers aj^preciate in the highest degree the 
fact that " blood " is a thing of market value, and not 
to be ignored in the slightest degree. In matters 
which relate to the welfare of their own race, how- 
ever, eternal as well as temporal, human beings seem 
to ignore the principles which they so readily recog- 
nize in lower species. 

A young man seeking a wife, or a young woman 
considering the eligibility of a young man to be- 
come her husband, asks no questions about pedigree. 
The question, At what age did your father or mother, 
or grandfather or grandmother die, or of what disease, 
is rarely if ever asked as having any bearing on the 
subject of marriage. Family tendencies to scrofula, 
consumption, insanity, epilepsy, or any one of numer- 
ous other lines of physical degeneracy, to say nothing 
of vicious moral and mental tendencies, are never 
taken into consideration. 

Race Deterioration. — In consequence of this 
neglect of one of the primary conditions of healthy 
parentage, the race is daily deteriorating in spite of 
the efforts of sanitarians and health teachers. Sani- 
tary laws respecting the care of cities and of indi- 
viduals may be ever so thorough and complete, and 
may be enforced with the most scrupulous rigor, 
yet the race will continue to degenerate so long as 
this matter of heredity is neglected ; for " blood will 
tell," whether good or bad, and the great prepon- 
derance of " bad blood " is the fatal element at work 
undermining the constitution of the race and destined 


ultimately to destroy it, if some means is not taken 
to prevent its baneful influence. 

We are fully aware that this view of the pros- 
pects of the race is a very unpopular one ; but con- 
siderable study of the subject has convinced us that 
the conclusion we have drawn is the only correct one. 
Defects of body and mind, as well as of morals, are 
growing yearly more abundant. Two persons possess- 
ing these defects unite in marriage, and their defects 
are many times increased in intensity in their chil- 

A quaint writer in speaking on the subject of 
heredity and indiscriminate marriage, utters the truth 
in the following very forcible words : — 

" By our too much facility in this kind, in giving 
way for all to marry that will, too much liberty and 
indulgence in tolerating all sorts, there is a vast con- 
fusion of breed and diseases, no family secure, no man 
almost free from some grievous infirmity or other, 
when no choice is had, but still the eldest must 
marry .... or, if rich, be they fools or diz- 
zards, lame or maimed, unable, intemperate, dissolute, 
exhaust through riot, as it is said, jure hcereditatis 
sapere jubentur, they must be wise and able by inherit- 
ance ; it comes to pass that our generation is cor- 
rupt, we have many weak persons, both in body and 
mind, many feral diseases raging amongst us, crazed 
families, parentes peremptores ; our fathers bad, and 
we are like to be worse."* 

The stock-breeder modifies the form and mental 
and nervous qualities of his animals almost at will. 

* Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy 


He increases or lessens length of body or legs, and in- 
creases or decreases any particular feature of muscu- 
lar development. Under his manipulations, the com- 
mon race of horses yields in obedience to his will, the 
carriage horse or cart horse, the racer or the roadster, 
each with special qualities and characteristics which 
enable him to excel in a particular direction. 

Interesting Illustrations. — Every breeder knows 
that not only good traits but disease and vicious 
tendencies are transmissible. Broken wind, spavin, 
and numerous other diseases are well-known to be 
inherited in horses, as also defects, even when ac- 
cidentally produced. It is asserted that when sev- 
eral generations of horses have been marked with a 
red-hot iron in the same spot, the colts sometimes 
acquire the same marking. 

The well-known variety of sheep known as the 
ancon originated in a male lamb born of an ordinary 
sheep, but possessing the peculiarity of a long body, 
short legs, and crooked fore-legs. These qualities 
being desirable as they rendered the animal unable to 
leap fences with the usual facility, the same qualities 
were produced in others by breeding from the origi- 
nal, and thus a distinct breed of sheep has been pro- 

It is undoubtedly in a similar manner that the 
flies of some of the windy islands of the Pacific Ocean 
have lost their wings, without which they are much 
better fitted to meet the gales to which they are al- 
most constantly exposed. 

An army officer who had acquired a deformity of 
the little finger as the result of a gunshot wound, 


transmitted the same to his children and thence to 
his grandchildren. 

Acquired habits are often transmitted. This is 
noticed in a marked degree in the various breeds of' 
dogs. The shepherd dog takes naturally to his task ; 
and the pointer needs scarcely any training to make 
him proficient in his particular line. That the dispo- 
sition to use the left hand runs in families is a famil- 
iar fact. A curious example is given in which the 
habit of crossing the legs in a peculiar manner during 
sleep was transmitted through two generations. 

A remarkable example of heredity appears in the 
case of the Lambert family. More than a century 
and a half ago a boy of fourteen appeared before the 
Royal Society of England, possessing a peculiarity, 
which attached to him the appellation of the "Porcu- 
pine Man," consisting of a thick covering of horny 
scales or bristles which gave to his integument the 
appearance of that of a hedgehog with its quills 
trimmed to about an inch in length. This peculiarity, 
accidentally acquired through some abnormality of the 
developmental process, was transmitted to his sons 
and grandsons. The narrator remarks concerning 
this curious freak of nature, " It appears, therefore, 
past all doubt, that a race of people may be propa- 
gated by this man having such rugged coats, or cov- 
erings as himself; and if this should ever happen, 
and the accidental original be forgotten, it is not im- 
probable they might be deemed a different species of 
mankind." ■ 

Dr. Brown Sequard, an eminent French physiolo- 
gist, has succeeded in inducing epilepsy in Guinea-pigs, 


and has observed that even when thus artificially in- 
duced, the disease is transmitted to the young of the 
diseased animals. 

It has also been observed that the conditions re- 
sulting from overwork or ill usage of an animal are 
readily transmitted to the young. 

Mr. Francis Galton, who has probably made the 
most careful study of the hereditary influences which 
produce men of genius, tells us that nearly all men of 
great talent, jurists, statesmen, commanders, artists, 
scientists, poets, and clergymen, haA r e had parents of 
marked ability. Of the two parents, the father has 
the precedence in the proportion of seven to three ; 
but this is no greater difference in favor of the male 
than would naturally result from the superior advan- 
tages afforded men for the development of genius. 

One curious fact is that eminent divines seem to 
inherit their ability from their mothers much more 
frequently than their fathers, the proportion being 
nearly three to one in favor of mothers, from which 
he concludes that mothers transmit piety to their 
children in a larger measure than fathers. 

If true, this certainly speaks well for the piety of 
women ; but we question the correctness of the con- 
clusion, for we are by no means certain that the 
qualities which contribute the most largely to the 
eminence of distinguished divines are not other than 
those which constitute piety. Learning, eloquence, 
and other traits which make men famous in other 
callings are more often the chief factors. 

The difference in the aptitude for acquiring knowl- 
edge, which is very apparent between the negro and 


the Caucasian races, is almost equally marked when 
the children of the ignorant and the cultivated classes 
of the white race are compared. In both cases the 
influence of heredity is apparent. 

That moral as well as mental qualities are trans- 
mitted from parent to child is also evident from the 
observation of what are known as the criminal classes, 
in whom the hereditary tendency to crime is so appar- 
ent that in England, institutions have been organized 
to provide for the care of the children of criminals in 
the hope that by correct early training something may 
be done toward reclaiming them. 

The habit or vice of the parent becomes in the 
child an almost irresistible tendency. This is appar- 
ent in the children of drunkards, thieves, libertines, 
and prostitutes, and we do not doubt that farther in- 
vestigation and careful study of the subject will show 
that the tobacco, opium, chloral, and other similar 
habits, and possibly also the excessive use by parents 
of tea and coffee and of stimulating condiments, 
stamp the progeny with vicious tendencies which 
either lead directly to the formation of similar habits 
or worse ones, or establish diseased conditions which 
sooner or later develop into serious or even fatal mal- 

No better illustration of the fact of the inheritance 
of a tendency to vice could be asked than is afforded 
by the notorious Juke family of New York. From 
five unchaste sisters have sprung a family of 1200 
persons, nearly all of whom, at least of those living, 
are the occupants of jails, work-houses, poor-houses, 
or houses of bad repute. Nearly half are known to 



be contaminated with the foulest of all diseases to 
which human beings are subject. 

The hereditary tendency to vice and crime is one 
which deserves more attention than it now receives 
from our law-makers and administrators as well as 
from parents. It is really impossible to justly esti- 
mate the degree of an individual's guilt without know- 
ing something of his hereditary tendencies. We do 
not propose that persons with hereditary tendencies 
to theft and other crimes shall be excused on that 
account, but rather that they should be punished in a 
different manner from other criminals. 

The Chinese are certainly a hundred years ahead of 
us in their administration of justice, at least in this 
particular. In that country, careful inquiry is made 
in each case as to the family history of the prisoner 
and the possible hereditary tendencies which he may 
have received from his parents. 

Very recently an example of hereditary influence 
in a bad direction has been exhibited before the whole 
country in the person of the assassin, Guiteau. Ac- 
cording to the testimony given in this case, the pris- 
oner's mother was wholly unreconciled to her condi- 
tion during pregnancy previous to his birth, and 
resorted to every possible means of producing an 
abortion by means of drugs. He came into the world 
an " unwelcome child," his body weakened by the 
violence done it, his nervous system depraved by the 
excited and turbulent condition of his mother during 
his development, and his mind stamped with the reck- 
less disregard for human life felt by his mother in her 
unsuccessful attempts to destroy her helpless, unborn 


babe. Are there not thousands of just such unbal- 
anced and erratic minds whose bias toward evil has 
been obtained in the same manner ? What would be 
the children of such a father as Guiteau ? Are there 
not thousands of just such little ones growing up in 
the heart of every large city at this very moment ? 
Is it any marvel that our prisons and insane asylums 
are full to overflowing ? 

The poets Coleridge, father and son, illustrate 
this same principle. The father was an opium-eater, 
and as a result of yielding to the fascination of the 
habit, he was reduced to such a state that he said of 
himself that not only in reference to his habit but in 
all the relations of life his will was utterly powerless. 
His son inherited his father's propensities and weak- 
ness of will. His favorite poison was alcohol, how- 
ever, instead of opium. The following is his brother's 
description of him : " A certain infirmity of will had 
already shown itself. His sensibility was intense, 
and he had not wherewithal to control it. He could 
not open a letter without trembling. He shrank from 
mental pain; he was beyond measure impatient of 
constraint. . . . He yielded, as it ivere uncon- 
sciously ', to slight temptations, — slight in themselves, 
and slight to him, as if swayed by a mechanical impulse 
apart from his own volition. It looked like an organic 
defect, a congenital imperfection." 

He well understood his condition, as is evidenced 
by the following reference to himself which occurs in 
one of his works : — 

"Oh ! woful impotence of weak resolve, 
Eecorded rashly to the writer's shame, 


Days pass away, and time's large orbs revolve, 
And every day beholds me still the same, 
Till oft-neglected purpose loses aim, 
And hope becomes a flat, unheeded lie." 

The senior Coleridge, as well as the younger, was 
well aware of his weakness, and kept himself con- 
stantly under the care of an attendant to prevent him 
from yielding to his propensities. 

One of the most talented of modern essayists * 
has looked deeply into this subject and thus coined 
his thoughts into words : — 

" It is very singular, that we recognize all the 
bodily defects that unfit a man for military service, 
and all the intellectual ones that limit his range of 
thought; but always talk at him as though all his 
moral powers were perfect. . . . Some persons 
talk about the human will as if it stood on a high 
lookout, with plenty of light, and elbow-room reaching 
to the horizon. Doctors are constantly noticing how 
it is tied up and darkened by inferior organization, 
by disease, and all sorts of crowding interferences; 
until they get to look upon Hottentots and Indians, 
— and a good many of their own race, too, — as a kind 
of self-conscious blood-clocks, with very limited power 
of self-determination; and they find it as hard to 
hold a child accountable in any moral point of view 
for inherited bad temper, or tendency to drunkenness, 
as they would to blame him for inheriting gout or 

Notwithstanding these facts, we must still main- 
tain that man is morally, responsible for his acts, al- 

* Holmes. 


though in somewhat less degree than has been in 
generations past supposed. The light thrown upon 
the subject of heredity by modern scientific re- 
searches explains the divine mandate, " The sins of 
the fathers shall be visited upon the children unto 
the third and fourth generations." 

All of these facts are of practical interest as 
showing the mother how she may determine some- 
thing of the character to expect in her children, and 
knowing beforehand what their deficiences and mor- 
bid tendencies may be, will be prepared to meet 
them in such a manner as to correct them so far as 
may be by proper training during the period when 
the mind is plastic and impressible. But there is a 
still more valuable lesson to be learned from heredity, 
one which ought to be indelibly fixed in the mind of 
every woman who may possibly become a mother; 
viz., the fact that during the period of gestation, or 
pregnancy, the mental and bodily states of the 
mother affect those of the embryonic being to whom 
she is destined in due time to give birth. This posi- 
tion has been disputed, but the accumulated evidences 
have become too strong to allow of room for doubt. 
The following are a few illustrations out of many 
which we might cite : — 

According to Carpenter, in his large and excellent 
work on physiology, a state of anxiety long main- 
tained during pregnancy has a tendency to produce 
idiocy in the children. He cites in support of this 
idea the fact that out of ninety-two births which oc- 
curred in the district of Londan, France, within a few 
months after the siege of 1793, during which a terri- 


ble cannonading was kept up for days and the arsenal 
was blown up, sixteen died at birth, thirty-three died 
before the expiration of the first year, eight were 
idiots and died before they were five years of age, 
two were found at birth to have numerous fractures 
of the limbs, making nearly two-thirds of the entire 
number lost to the world through the unhappy men- 
tal influence of a continual state of alarm on the part 
of the mother. 

James I. Avas a monarch noted for his cowardice. 
Emotions of fear would sometimes sieze upon him so 
that he Avould shudder at the mere sight of a sword. 
This was not a trait of his immediate ancestors, and 
can only be accounted for by the fact that his 
mother, Queen Mary, of Scotland, was terrorized by 
the assassination in her presence of David Rizzio, 
shortly before the birth of James. 

Napoleon was a character in striking contrast with 
the monarch just mentioned. Before his birth his 
mother was accustomed to Avarlike scenes, * accom- 
panying her husband on military expeditions, and 
sharing with him the scenes of civil war ; not in a 
state of alarm, but of firmness and bravery. 

Another author -f quotes the case of a woman Avho 
was during her pregnancies ahvays afflicted with a 
mania for theft, the result of which Avas that she trans- 
mitted the propensity to all her children. 

Numerous other cases might be cited, did space 
permit ; but sufficient has been said to shoAV clearly 

* Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, by Sir Walter Scott, 
f M. Lucas. 


that ante-natal influence upon the mother is a power- 
ful factor in determining the character of offspring. 

Influences operating upon the father, and perhaps 
also upon the mother at the time of impregnation, 
have also an important bearing on the character of 
offspring. This fact was recognized by the ancients, 
who attributed to influences of this character greater 
importance than the facts will support. 

Combe gives an account of a case reported by a 
physician of the Isle of Man as follows : " A man's 
first child was of sound mind ; afterwards he had a 
fall from his horse, by which his head was much in- 
jured. His next two children proved to be both 
idiots. After this he was trepanned, and had other 
children, and they turned out to be of sound mind." 

One more fact should be mentioned in this con- 
nection. It has been observed that the young of an- 
imals who are immature in years or development are 
small and chvarfed, and incapable of perfect develop- 
ment. Lambs, goats, calves, and colts born of young 
parents, remain undeveloped, weak, lymphatic, and 
incapable of performing their full functions. The 
same is true of the stag. It has been noticed that the 
young of such animals do not reach maturity so soon 
as those born of older parents. 

It is asserted by Aristotle that in those cities of 
Greece where it was the custom for young people to 
marry early, before complete 'maturity, the children 
were of small stature and puny. 

An eminent French authority * observed the same 
thing in his native country where the fear of con- 

* Montesquieu. 


scription induced many young persons to marry be- 
fore the proper age. He states that although the 
unions Avere fruitful, the children were small, wretched, 
and unhealthy. Another authority, M. Lucas, states 
that the same thing occurred in France in 1812 and 

If the race is ever to be redeemed from the pres- 
ent state of physical degeneracy into which it has 
fallen, it must be by means of attention to the laws of 
heredity. By this means only can diseased tenden- 
cies be successfully combated. Without the aid of 
this powerful redeeming agency, all other means will 
be unavailing. The keeping alive of weak and physic- 
ally depraved individuals, thus allowing them to marry 
and impress their own weakness and morbid tenden- 
cies upon the race, directly contributes to the further- 
ance of race deterioration rather than the reverse. 
This is one of the most interesting and important of the 
numerous problems to be grappled with by students 
of social science. How can the laws of heredity be 
applied to the human species in such a manner as to 
make them of practical value to the race ? Men 
ought to be born into the world with a bias toward 
good instead of evil, " weighted " toward health in- 
stead of toward disease. We do not look for the 
dawn of the Utopian day when such will be the case, 
in the present generation at least ; but every mother 
ought to study and ponder the subject with the great- 
est care and though tfulness, and seek so far as possible 
to make a practical application of these principles in 
the rearing of her children. 



Signs of Pregnancy. — The cessation of the men- 
ses is usually the first indication that conception has 
taken place and that the period of gestation has be- 
gun. As remarked in a previous portion of the work, 
however, some women seem to have certain symptoms 
indicative of the occurrence of conception, such as 
slight faintness, or some nervous symptom peculiar 
to the individual. These cases must be regarded, 
however, as quite exceptional. When the menstrual 
function is interrupted without the occurrence of any- 
thing to which it may be fairly attributed, as taking 
cold, or some serious general or local disease, a mar- 
ried woman who has been exposed to the liability of 
conception may consider that she has good grounds 
for suspecting that she has become pregnant. It 
should be borne in mind, however, that pregnancy 
sometimes occurs without inturrupting the menstrual 
function, at least during the first months. Cases are 
also on record in which pregnancy has occurred with- 
out the menstrual function ever having made its ap- 
pearance, and after the change of life had occurred, 
the menstrual discharge having been absent for 

"Morning Sickness," is a symptom which makes 
its appearance very early in the period of pregnancy, 
usually in the second month, and often in the first 
week, continuing six or eight weeks. There is nau- 
sea and sometimes vomiting, the symptom usually 
occurring just after rising in the morning, whence its 


name. This form of vomiting is due to sympathetic 
influences, and while generally not so serious but that 
it may be easily controlled by the simple means which 
will be hereafter described, sometimes becomes so vio- 
lent and uncontrollable as to endanger not only the 
life of the foetus but of the mother. Many women 
do not suffer at all with this symptom. 

One of the most constant and important signs of 
pregnancy is the change which takes place in the 
breasts. At the middle or end of the second month 
the mammary glands begin to enlarge, become firmer 
to the touch and somewhat sensitive, and other 
marked changes occur in the nipple and adjacent 
tissue. Its color becomes darker, and the dark ring 
about it, known as the areola, acquires a considerable 
increase in color, becomes somewhat enlarged, and 
presents on its surface many little tubercules, formed 
by the enlargement of the peculiar glands which are 
found in this locality, each of which is in fact a minia- 
ture breast in its structure, and hence ready to take 
on the same development as the gland itself when in- 
fluenced by the same exciting cause. 

In many cases, dark spots appear at this period 
upon the face and hands or other parts of the body, 
which closely resemble liver spots, but are distin- 
guished from them by the fact that they speedily 
disappear after childbirth. 

By the end of the second month the womb has 
acquired a considerable increase in size, in consequence 
of which it settles down into the pelvis, giving to the 
abdomen an unnatural flatness characteristic of this 


Between the third and fourth months the foetus 
reaches a degree of development sufficient to enable 
an acute observer to hear distinctly the beating of 
the heart. Observations respecting the foetal heart- 
beat and the means for detecting it have been made 
at page 98 and need not be repeated here. This is 
a certain sign of pregnancy. 

" Quickening," is the term applied to the first 
movements of the child which are observed by the 
mother. The term originated in an age of ignorance 
when it was supposed that at the time motion was 
first felt, a change took place in the development of 
the child by which it acquired individual life, which 
it did not possess prior to that time. The fallacy of 
this theory has been already shown in this work. It 
is necessary only to say that motions are made by 
the foetus at a very early period ; but as the uterus 
does not become sufficiently enlarged to bring its w T alls 
in contact with the abdominal walls until the fourth 
or fifth month, the mother does not observe them 
until this period. 

The movements are described as resembling the 
fluttering of a bird, or strong pulsation. They may 
be easily observed by others besides the mother by 
placing the hand upon the abdomen for a few mo- 
ments. If they do not occur promptly, a slight tap of 
the fingers will occasion them, or dipping the hand in 
cold water before placing it upon the abdomen. 
Sometimes these movements are imitated either pur- 
posely or as the result of disease ; when this is the 
case, the fact may be discovered by observing that 
the means just given for exciting them does not succeed. 


Sometimes women who greatly desire children mis- 
take the movements of the intestines occasioned by 
flatus or indigestion for those of a foetus. These 
imitations of foetal movements are so rare, however, 
that this may be considered an almost positive symp- 
tom of pregnancy. 

By the time the foetal movements begin to be felt, 
the uterus has increased in size to such a degree that 
there is a very considerable increase in size in the ab- 
domen. This symptom must not be relied upon, how- 
ever, as constituting a reliable sign of pregnancy, as 
there are so many causes which occasion abdominal 
enlargements, particularly dropsy and flatulence of 
the bowels, both of which conditions have often been 
mistaken for pregnancy. The enlargement of preg- 
nancy is somewhat peculiar, however, being greater 
at the center than the sides, as a rule, and frequently 
appearing greatest on the right side. Ovarian tumors 
have been mistaken for pregnancy and the reverse. 

A case of the latter kind came under our observa- 
tion some time ago. We were called to see a lady 
who was said to have a tumor, the enlargement of the 
abdomen having .been pronounced by several physi- 
cians to be an ovarian or uterine tumor which should 
be removed. A subscription had been raised by the 
friends to pay the expenses of the patient to a large 
city hospital for the purpose of having the operation 
performed. She expected to start for her destination 
in a day or two. On examination we found the 
usual appearances of pregnancy, although the woman 
denied having had any of the usual symptoms, and of 
course advised a postponement of the intended jour- 


ney. A few days later, other medical advice was 
called, and the physicians present were so completely 
deceived that they resorted to the use of a " sound," as 
the result of which the woman was in a few hours 
obliged to send for a physician who delivered her of 
a nearly developed child. 

Several cases have occurred in which operations 
have been begun for what was supposed to be uterine 
or ovarian tumors. In nearly all of these cases the 
surgeon has been led astray by the representations of 
the patient. It is important that women should be- 
come thoroughly instructed on this subject, so as to 
be able to give an intelligent account of their symp- 
toms and conditions, and to observe more accurately, 
thus themselves avoiding deception. 

Near the termination of pregnancy the uterus be- 
comes so greatly enlarged that it presses seriously 
upon the stomach and occasions a return of the nau- 
sea and vomiting. 

A few weeks before the conclusion of gestation, 
the turgid condition of the blood-vessels of the vagina 
gives rise to a leucorrhoea. 

At the very termination of pregnancy, or just 
previous to the final act of parturition, the uterus 
again settles down into the pelvis and rapidly under- 
goes preparation for the process by which its contents 
are expelled. 

During the period of gestation the uterus in- 
creases to more than twenty times its natural size, 
and becomes capable of holding more than five hun- 
dred times its normal quantity. 

The size of the embryo and foetus at different 


stages, and of the child at birth, have been fully de- 
scribed elsewhere in this work. (See page 100.) 


During the period of gestation the mother has 
the responsibility of another life besides her own ; 
and it should be known and understood by every 
mother that by her own acts during this time not 
only her own health is affected, but the physical, 
mental, and even moral well-being of her child. 

Sufficient reference has already been made to the 
way in which hereditary and ante-natal influences may 
affect the unborn infant, and we shall not recapitulate 
here, but wish to point out some of the ways in 
which a mother may so relate herself to the laws of 
Nature as to secure to her offspring the highest possi- 
ble realization of the ideal worshiped by the ancient 
Greeks, " A sound mind in a sound body." 

The condition of pregnancy is in many respects a 
critical one. This is true of this period in all species 
of animals, but especially with human females, ow- 
ing to certain peculiarities of structure to which we 
have elsewhere called attention. The necessity for 
special care at this time has prompted nearly all na- 
tions to surround their females when pregnant, with 
special safe-guards from violence and injuries. The 
laws of ancient nations, as well as the usages, even 
at the present day, of barbarous tribes, make appar- 
ent the fact that the state of pregnancy has always 
been regarded by the race as one to be held sacred 
from invasion. 


We will first call attention to measures of regimen 
and treatment which conduce to the comfort and 
safety of the mother during gestation and while pass- 
ing through the process of childbirth, by the aid of 
which the pains of parturition and the perils of ma- 
ternity may be avoided. Thousands of women look 
forward to the termination of pregnancy with con- 
stant dread and most dismal forebodings ; and thou- 
sands of others adopt every possible device to avoid 
pregnancy through fear of the pains and dangers 
which are commonly attributed to these physiological 
processes. We hope to offer in these pages sugges- 
tions which will afford to such wives assurance of 
safety and so great a mitigation of suffering as will 
lead them to choose the slight inconveniencies of nor- 
mal pregnancy and physiological childbirth rather 
than the dismal comfort of a childless old age and the 
increased liability to disease which is likely to result 
from a childless life. 

Parturition without Pain, — For ages woman- 
kind has submitted, not always uncomplainingly, 
it is true, but with evident hopelessness of any re- 
demption, to the pains and perils of maternity, fully 
believing that their sufferings were the result of the 
curse pronounced upon womankind in consequence of 
the transgression of their first mother, Eve. Doubt- 
less woman must endure some burdens and sufferings 
to the end of time in obedience to the divine man- 
date, " in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children " ; 
but we are prepared to show that the greater part of 
woman's sufferings in the performance of this the 
highest of all physical functions is the result, not of 


the curse of Jehovah, but of Dame Fashion. The 
perverting and deteriorating influences of civilization 
and fashion have entailed upon woman an amount of 
sorrow and suffering many fold greater than that 
which legitimately results from the penalty of the 
first woman's transgression. 

We are aware that some people whose moral in- 
stincts are perverted, will exclaim in holy horror 
against such a doctrine as this, and will even go so 
far as to object to the employment of any means for 
the purpose of obviating or mitigating the pains and 
dangers of childbirth on the ground that in so doing 
we are attempting to thwart the purposes of the Al- 

There have been prominent divines who have 
placed themselves in the attitude of objectors on this 
ground ; but we shall not be deterred by the absurd 
arguments of these over-scrupulous persons from pre- 
senting to our readers every known means by which 
the discomforts and sufferings attendant upon the 
function of maternity may be mitigated, and so far as 
possible altogether obviated. 

Diet. — The kind of food eaten has an important 
bearing on the ease and safety with which the func- 
tions of childbirth may be performed, as well as the 
proper development of the child. All rich and indi- 
gestible food should be avoided. The diet should be 
simple, and should consist largely of fruits and grains. 
Copious water-drinking, especially taking a glass or 
two of hot water an hour or two before each meal, 
is a most excellent means of guarding against disease 
of the kidneys, — one of the most serious of all the 


complications of pregnancy, as well as being an ex- 
cellent remedy for indigestion, particularly acid dys- 
pepsia, so very common among pregnant women. 
Oatmeal, cracked wheat, Graham flour, and the whole- 
grain preparations generally, are to be recommended 
as the very best means of preventing constipation, 
— one of the most common morbid conditions of the 
pregnant state. These foods also afford to the sys- 
tem of the mother the very best kind of nourish- 
ment, providing an adequate supply of salts for the 
bones, nitrogenous material for the nerves and mus- 
cles, and fat-producing elements to give the round- 
ness and plumpness of form which is characteristic of 
this condition. The practice of many mothers of liv- 
ing upon tidbits of various kinds during this period 
cannot be too strongly condemned. Good, wholesome 
food is needed, in abundance and sufficient variety, 
not only to sustain the mother, but to afford a proper 
amount of nourishment of the right kind to the child. 
Fine-flour bread, rich sauces and pastry, confection- 
ary and everything of like character should be scru- 
pulously avoided. Not more than three meals a day 
should be taken, and these should be at regular 

The too free use of animal food during the period 
of gestation is also to be condemned. The stimulat- 
ing character of such diet has an injurious influence 
upon the nervous system, and, in addition, its highly 
nitrogenous character increases the liability to acute 
inflammation of the kidneys, a most serious affection 
which is liable to make its appearance near the ter- 
mination of pregnancy. 



The use of tea and coffee is justly condemned by 
the wise physician, especially during pregnancy, as 
the abdominal nervous irritability present at this time 
is very easily increased by any morbid agent of a 
stimulating character. They are also serious impedi- 
ments to digestion, and their use increases the ten- 
dency to " morning sickness," one of the unpleas- 
ant and sometimes most serious complications of 

The same is to be said still more emphatically of 
beer, ale, wine, and spirituous liquors of ever descrip- 
tion. The idea that the woman needs something of a 
stimulating character to " keep her up," is a serious 
error. Nothing of this sort can be used without posi- 
tive detriment to both mother and child. The only 
thing needed to sustain the prospective mother and 
prepare her for the ordeal before her, is good healthy 
food, and obedience to all the laws of health. Stimu- 
lants give an appearance of strength without the 
reality. A person feels stronger under their in- 
fluence, while in reality weaker by the loss of nerve 
power which unnatural excitement always involves. 
A long-continued course of stimulation, even of a 
mild character, will so weaken the nervous system as 
to utterly unfit a woman to endure the ordeal of the 
final termination of pregnancy, and a vast amount of 
mischief has been occasioned in this way. The only 
time when stimulants of any sort are needed is at the 
very close of pregnancy, when the system is taxed to 
the uttermost by the efforts of childbirth ; and if the 
system has been previously accustomed to the use of 
stimulants, it will not respond at the moment when 



an extraordinary exhibition of nerve power is de- 
manded, the vital resources having been previously 
exhausted by the habitual demands made upon it. 
This matter we consider of very great importance, 
and worthy of the most serious consideration on the 
part of mothers. 

What has been said of the common alcoholic liq- 
uors is equally true of hard cider, not always regarded 
as a stimulant, and especially of the various brands 
of " bitters," all of which contain alcohol, some of 
them in considerable quantity. We do not except 
even " temperance bitters," which we have proved to 
contain as much alcohol as many brands of lager beer. 
"Bitters" as a class are filthy concoctions of bad 
whisky and various cheap herbs of no real value ex- 
cept as a means of enriching the pockets of their mer- 
cenary manufacturers. 

The idea recently advanced, that food which is 
rich in bone-making material should be avoided dur- 
ing the pregnant state, we consider a mischievous 
error which ought to be corrected. It is really dan- 
gerous to mother as well as child to follow this ad- 
vice, since Nature is not easily thwarted in the 
attainment of her purposes ; and when bone-making 
material is needed for the child, if an adequate supply 
is not afforded from some other source, she Avill not 
hesitate to seize upon such material which has already 
been deposited in the system of the mother, thus 
damaging, sometimes to a serious extent, the osseous 
system of the mother for the benefit of the developing 
child whose interests are sometimes made paramount 
to those of the parent. The notion that labor is made 


more severe or dangerous by supplying the child with 
such nourishment as its proper development really 
requires is so contrary to the conclusions which Avould 
be dictated by ordinary good sense that we are as- 
tonished to see it given any credence. The bony 
system of the child will not be developed to such an 
extent as to furnish any impediment to parturition, 
even when bone-making material is provided in great- 
est abundance, unless there is some morbid condition ; 
and when this is the case — and it cannot be determined 
beforehand — the omission of certain articles of diet 
will not be likely to affect the diseased condition to a 
sufficient degree to make any appreciable difference 
with the result. Fortunately, also, this morbid devel- 
opment of the child before birth is so exceedingly rare 
that if real benefit were to be derived from a special 
dietary excluding the whole-grain preparations and 
other foods rich in bone-making material, it would not 
be worth while to starve nine hundred and ninety- 
nine embryonic human beings for the doubtful ben- 
efit which might be afforded to the mother of the one- 

"Longings" — The craving which pregnant wo- 
men often experience for various articles of food can- 
not be regarded as an expression of a real want upon 
the part of the system, for very often the articles 
most eagerly desired are those of a positively injuri- 
ous character ; however, it is generally best to yield 
to the demands of the capricious appetite so far as 
can be done without doing positive injury to the 
digestion or the interests of the child, especially if 
there is much nausea and loss of appetite. We feel 


confident, however, that in the majority of cases the 
craving is not so strong that it cannot be readily con- 
trolled by a little determination on the part of the 
prospective mother, and when the article craved is 
manifestly an improper one, the will should be set 
actively at work to resist the morbid appetite. 

The popular notion that if a craving of this char- 
acter is not gratified, the child will be marked in some 
peculiar manner corresponding to the nature of the 
craving, either mentally or physically, is an error. 
The occasional instances of seeming confirmation of 
the notion are nothing more than coincidences. We 
refer particularly to the supposition that "mothers' 
marks," so-called, which often resemble berries of va- 
rious kinds, are produced by a craving on the part of 
the mother for the variety of fruit which they happen 
to resemble. It is of course possible that a pro- 
longed and absorbing " longing " on the part of the 
mother for any particular article might so affect the 
mental and nervous systems of the child as to develop 
in it a similar appetite ; but we do not think the in- 
fluence of such mental conditions on the part of the 
mother are usually sufficiently prolonged to produce 
any such effects. " Longings " are usually very ca- 
pricious in character, and the constant change coun- 
teracts the danger of the formation of a morbid ten- 
dency in the child. 

The appetite of the mother is often so delicate, 
and capricious that special pains must be taken to 
provide such food as will be inviting and palatable ; 
but we do not approve of the common practice of hu- 
moring every whim and fancy which the mind may 


happen to fasten upon. A morbid and unnatural ap- 
petite, if strong and not controlled by the will, may 
be most easily gotten rid of, sometimes, by being grati- 
fied, provided the gratification is not continued. If 
the " longing " is of a very tantalizing and teasing 
character, this means may be tried as a last resort; 
but care must be taken that the use of the injurious 
article is not continued any length of time. 

Under a healthful regimen, mental, moral, and 
physical, " longings " are not usually difficult to con- 
trol, and seldom become at all troublesome. Those 
in whom they are the most imperious are usually 
persons who have habitually yielded to the demands 
of appetite, and who are of an impulsive disposition 
and have not acquired the art of self-control. The 
cultivation of firmness o A character and subordination 
of the emotions and impulses to the reason and judg- 
ment are the very best measures to be recommended 
for the prevention of this one of the inconveniences 
involved by the pregnant state. 

Exercise. — The advantages to be derived from 
the taking of regular, systematic exercise during the 
whole period of pregnancy are so great that no wo- 
man, whatever her station in life, can afford to ignore 
this means of securing a safe and speedy termination 
of the parturient process. Nothing should be more 
unstintedly condemned by physicians "than the habit 
many women form when pregnant, of yielding to the 
languor which is often very oppressive, and spend- 
ing most of their time, especially during the later 
months of pregnancy, in idleness and inactivity. A 
pregnant woman who spends ctiost of her time upon 


the sofa or in an easy chair, may look forward with 
certainty to a childbirth, the dangers and sufferings 
of which will be greatly increased by the bad bodily 
conditions arising from her indolence. No class of 
women pass through this trying ordeal so rapidly and 
so easily as those whose station in life requires of 
them a daily use of the muscles to such a degree as 
to maintain good muscular tone and bodily activity. 
We have often known washer-women who worked up 
to the very day of confinement able to resume their 
occupation the day following without inconvenience, 
although contrary to the advice of their physicians. 
The ease with which the negro women of the South 
give birth to their children has long been remarked ; 
and those who are familiar with the wild native tribes 
of our country assure us that an Indian woman 

thinks little of the inconveniences of childbirth, and if 


on a journey stops only for a few hours for rest, and 
to properly care for her infant, and then is ready to 
mount her pony and proceed to her destination. The 
same remark is true of other savage tribes. It is 
chiefly among the middle and higher classes of so- 
ciety that the pains of childbirth are felt and the dan- 
gers of maternity experienced. This fact is almost - 
conclusive evidence that the habits of luxury and 
idleness which are so common among the women of 
these classes are the chief causes of making a pro- 
cess which is naturally attended by little suffering - 
and danger, so extremely painful and even haz- 
ardous that it is looked forward to with indescribable" 
dread and avoided by every possible means. 

The obstetrical process is chiefly muscular in 


character. The child is expelled from the womb by 
the contractions of the womb itself, aided by the ac- 
tion of the muscles of the abdomen. Nearly all the 
muscles of the trunk are involved in the process, if 
not in direct action upon the womb or its contents, in 
so fixing the points of attachment of other muscles 
as to enable them to bring their whole force to bear 
in direct expulsive efforts. Hence it is apparent that 
good muscular ability is one of the most excellent 
preparations which a woman can possess for the easy 
and speedy performance of this act. 

A woman whose muscles have wasted away in 
idleness has a long, lingering, painful childbirth be- 
cause of the weak and inefficient character of the 
muscular efforts which she is able to make. Hour 
after hour the womb makes vigorous contractions 
which are ineffectual because not seconded by the ac- 
tion of other muscles which are weak and powerless 
from disuse, and the unaided organ becomes ex- 
hausted before it has accomplished any real progress. 
Thus the process lingers till the agony becomes so ex- 
treme and unendurable that the physician is obliged 
to come to the rescue with a pair of forceps and ex- 
tract the child by force, running the risk of mutilat- 
ing its features, compressing its delicate brain to such 
a degree as to injure its mental development, or even 
destroying its life entirely, to say nothing of the risk 
of lacerating or tearing the neck of the womb and 
other soft parts which have not been properly dilated 
on account of the absence of the successive stages 
which should precede the final one of delivery. At 
the present day no obstetrician thinks of going to a 


confinement without a pair of forceps in his visiting 
case, and many physicians whose practice is chiefly 
among the higher classes, rarely leave the lying-in 
chamber without making use of the obstetrical forceps. 

Two centuries ago forceps were not known, and 
were rarely needed. The conditions which demanded 
the use of such an instrument were so rare that their 
necessity was not recognized. To-day their use is 
becoming yearly more necessary, and the prospect is 
that at the present rate of progress in this direction 
the children of the next generation will nearly all be 
brought into the world by the aid of this mechanical 

Some persons cry out against this increasing use 
of the forceps as though the instrument were a means 
of torture invented by the doctors for the purpose of 
aggravating the sufferings of womankind, — a most 
heartless insinuation against the character of the 
most generous and self-sacrificing of all professions. 
The forceps are not an invention made and utilized 
by the medical profession for any other purpose than 
the mitigation of sufferings which women bring upon 
themselves by inattention to the immutable laws of 

If women had always lived physiologically, it is 
probable that such a thing as the obstetric forceps, or 
such a person as a man midwife, would not to-day exist. 
The fact is the departures from healthful modes of 
life have entailed upon woman so much suffering and 
have encompassed about the process of child-bearing 
such a host of dangers and possible complications, 
that it has become necessary that the best intellects 


of the world should bend their energies to the devis- 
ing of means to mitigate the sufferings and lessen the 
dangers to both mother and child in the crowning 
process in the procreation of the species. 

From the earliest period of pregnancy moderate 
but regular and systematic exercise should be daily 
taken. Walking is a most excellent form of exercise 
for women in this condition, as it calls into gentle ac- 
tivity nearly all the muscles of the trunk as well as 
those of the limbs. Light calisthenics are also very 
useful. Special forms of exercise, such as will 
strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and back, par- 
ticularly, are in the highest degree desirable. Some 
of the most valuable of these will be found in the ap- 

Occupation of mind as well as body is very desir- 
able during the whole period of pregnancy, and es- 
pecially toward the latter end of the period. On 
this account the exercise afforded by ordinary house- 
hold duties constitutes one of the best forms of 
exercise. But it should not be forgotten that the am- 
ple supply of fresh air and sunshine which can be ob- 
tained only by exercise in the open air is absolutely 
essential to the maintenance of the high degree of bod- 
ily health which is demanded for the perfect accom- 
plishment of the object of the process through which the 
woman is passing. When long walks cannot be taken, 
carriage riding may be substituted. These systematic 
exercises should be taken up to the very day of con- 
finement, care being exercised, of course, to avoid vio- 
lent exertion of all kinds, and especially about the 
third and seventh months, particularly if there has pre- 


viously been a premature birth or a miscarriage, the 
latter being most likely to occur at the third month 
and the former at the seventh. 

Massage. — When the patient is for any reason 
unable to take any of the forms of exercise suggested, 
passive or active-passive movements may be substi- 
tuted. Massage and Swedish movements constitute 
the best forms of passive movements for use in these 
cases. Such of these movements as we consider 
most useful will be found described in the appendix. 
Care should also be taken with these movements not 
to so over-do them as to excite premature action in the 
womb. There is, however, far less danger from this 
cause than is generally supposed. 

Dress. — The evils of fashionable dress have been 
quite fully considered in a preceding section of this 
work, and hence we do not need to amplify upon the 
same subject here ; but we wish to impress the fact 
that all the objections urged against the several evils 
involved in fashionable modes of dressing are still 
more cogent when applied to the condition of preg- 
nancy. For a pregnant woman to wear clothing tight 
about the waist is so manifest an outrage upon Nature 
that the practice was prohibited by law by an ancient 
Grecian legislator, and ought to be by modern legisla- 
tures. Whatever a woman has a right to do to her 
own body, she has no right to blight for all time the 
prospects of another being possessed of individual 
rights as well as herself, although yet a prisoner 
within her own body. The practice of some women 
in lacing themselves all through the period of preg- 
nancy for the purpose of " preserving their form," is 


nothing short of absolute cruelty, not only to them- 
selves, but to their unborn infants. Such a practice 
is so manifestly outrageous that it can scarcely be 
condoned. Nothing should be worn about the body 
of a pregnant woman of a close-fitting character. The 
garments should be perfectly loose. Such a thing as 
a corset should not be thought of, although now and 
then an elastic abdominal supporter or a wide bandage 
made to fit the abdomen may be necessary. The 
muscles of the back and abdomen should be so 
strengthened by exercise that they will be prepared 
to sustain themselves without the aid of " bones " or 
anything of the sort. The fact that the need of such 
aids is felt is evidence of the strongest character 
that their use would be injurious and that what is 
really required is a course of muscular training by 
which the weakness may be overcome. 

The remarks which have elsewhere been made 
respecting the equable protection of the body and the 
clothing of the feet, are all particularly applicable to 
the pregnant condition, but need not be repeated 

The underclothing should be of soft flannel, by 
preference. If woolen fabrics are not well tolerated by 
the skin, as is sometimes the case, thin silk or cotton 
garments may be worn next the skin with thicker 
woolen garments outside ; but when the skin is not 
irritable, woolen next the skin is much to be pre- 
ferred to any other fabric. 

A word should be said in this connection about 
the relation of clothing to the breasts. The com- 
pression of the breasts by corsets is often the cause 


of great injury and suffering. The long-continued 
pressure causes some degree of atrophy of the gland 
and also obliteration of some of the ducts so that the 
proper secretion of milk may be made impossible, and 
if the secretion is established, abscesses are likely to 
form, causing " broken breasts " and all the attendant 
suffering and subsequent deformity. Compression 
also frequently causes so great a depression of the 
nipple as to make nursing difficult or impossible, a 
condition which often requires a long and persevering 
treatment to overcome, and may not be remediable 
even by this means. 

The wearing of " pads " over the breasts is also a 
practice to be condemned, as by this means the heat 
is retained and an unnatural condition produced which 
renders the gland susceptible to disease and less 
able to perform its proper function. The unnaturally 
sensitive condition of the gland during pregnancy 
makes these facts particularly important at that time. 

Bathing. — The influence of baths in maintaining 
a healthy condition of the system in general has been 
so well understood for years that we need not say 
more on this point than to impress the importance of 
giving special attention to the maintenance of a 
healthy action of the skin by frequent bathing. A 
general bath should be taken at least twice a week, 
and every other day is not too often for most persons. 
Special attention should be given to local cleanliness, 
as the increased blood supply of the parts increases 
the local secretion and makes more frequent cleansing 
necessary, while under ordinary circumstances a xjcal 
bath with fine castile soap and water may not be re- 


quired more than two or three times a week. During 
gestation such a bath is needed at least daily. No 
fear need be felt that the bath will disturb the 
contents of the womb. The bath may be taken with 
an ordinary syringe, care being taken not to employ 
more than very gentle force, and that the tempera- 
ture of the water is not above 100° F. nor below 90° 
F. The best means for taking a local douche is the 
syphon or fountain syringe. For further directions, 
see appendix. A little soap should be used, and if 
there is considerable leucorrhoea, certain remedies, 
as elsewhere directed 

Aside from these baths, which are useful in a gen- 
eral way, other baths may be taken which are of very 
great value as means of preparing the system for 
easy childbirth. Among the most useful of these is 
the sitz bath, directions for taking which will be 
found in the appendix. The temperature of the 
water should be about 94° F. at the beginning of the 
bath, and should be cooled to about 88° F. at the 
conclusion, after continuing ten minutes to half an 
hour. The warm vaginal douche taken in connection 
with the bath, the quantity used being one to three 
or four gallons of water at a temperature as nearly as 
possible that of the body, is a most valuable additional 
means of obviating many of the dangers of childbirth, 
and facilitating the exit of the new being into the 
world. These two baths combined will accomplish 
more to lessen the suffering of childbirth than all 
other known means. They are especially serviceable 
in cases in which there has been previous disease of 
the womb. We should add in this connection the cau- 



tion that the temperature should not vary much from 
that of the body, as either a hot or a cold douche 
might occasion a miscarriage. 

The baths above described should be taken during 
the early months of pregnancy, two or three times a 
week, and daily or even twice a day during the last few 
weeks. We have seen the most satisfactory results 
follow the employment of these simple measures when 
perseveringly used, even when the same persons had 
on previous occasions suffered extremely. 

Care of the Breasts.— By proper care of the 
breasts during the few months preceding childbirth, 
much suffering during the nursing period may be 
saved to the mother, and dangers to the child may 
be avoided. As previously observed, the breasts 
should not be compressed by tight clothing, nor heated 
by "pads." They should be protected from pressure 
and from overheating. The effect of pressure is to de- 
press the nipple so that it cannot be grasped by the 
mouth of the child, thus making nursing impossible, 
and also, when severe and long-continued, to obliter- 
ate the ducts of some of the gland lobules, thus con- 
fining the milk secretion and giving rise to abscesses 
or " broken breast " after childbirth. 

When tender, as is often the case during preg- 
nancy, a hot fomentation or a hot poultice may be ap- 
plied. Pain accompanied by excessive heat may be 
relieved -by the application of cool compresses. 

When the nipple is small and retracted, it should 
be drawn out daily by the fingers of the mother or 
nurse, and friction and manipulation should be em- 


ployed so as to secure a proper degree of develop- 
ment to prepare it for the child. 

When the breasts are small and undeveloped, and 
there is apprehension that they will fail to supply 
the necessary nourishment for the child, daily manipu- 
lation with the hands should be practiced, together 
with the daily application of alternate hot and cold 
sponging or compresses. By this means much can be 
done to overcome deficiency of development and often 
to a remarkable degree. 

When the surface of the nipple or of the breast 
in the immediate vicinity is sore or tender, some 
hardening lotion should be used, as alum or borax in 
whisky, decoction of oak bark or solution of tannin, 
or sulphate of zinc solution. See appendix for 

Hygiene of Ante-Natal Life. — The influence of 
the mother upon the child during gestation has al- 
ready been referred to under the head of " Heredity," 
and the facts there presented need not be repeated 
here. We wish, however, to impress still further a few 
points, and especially to call attention to the fact that 
since it is evident that accidental influences and cir- 
cumstances acting upon the mother affect the child 
either favorably or unfavorably, it becomes the duty 
of the mother to surround herself with such influences 
and to supply such conditions and circumstances as 
she knows will be for the best good of her develop- 
ing infant. In this work she should be aided so far 
as possible by her husband and by all those about 
her who have an opportunity to render her assist- 
ance. Work of so important a character as this, the 


influence of which can only be estimated in eternity, 
such work demands the earnest and prayerful atten- 
tion of every prospective mother. The self-denial 
which must be exercised, the subordination of the ap- 
petites, desires, tastes, and convenience to the inter- 
ests of another being which the duties of the mother 
involve, afford a moral discipline which if rightly ap- 
preciated must result in good to the mother as well 
as to the child, and, like every act of duty in life, no 
matter how remotely relating to the individual, reacts 
upon the doer through the reflex influence of mental 
and moral discipline. 

The special influence of the mother begins with 
the moment of conception. In fact it is possible that 
the mental condition at the time of the generative 
act has much to do with determining the character of 
the child, though it is generally conceded that at 
this time the influence of the father is greater than 
that of the mother. Any number of instances have 
occurred in which a drunken father has impressed 
upon his child the condition of his nervous system to 
such a degree as to render permanent in the child 
the staggering gait and maudlin manner which in his 
own case was a transient condition induced by the 
poisonous influence of alcohol. A child born as the 
result of a union in which both parents were in a 
state of beastly intoxication was idiotic. 

Another fact might be added to impress the im- 
portance that the new being should be supplied from 
the very beginning of its existence with the very best 
conditions possible. Indeed, it is desirable to go 
back still further, and secure a proper preparation 



for the important function of maternity. The quali- 
ties which go to make up individuality of character 
are the result of the summing up of a long line of in- 
fluences, too subtle and too varied to admit of full 
control, but still, to some degree at least, subject to 
management. The dominance of laAv is nowhere 
more evident than in the relation of ante-natal influ- 
ences to character. 

The hap-hazard way in which human beings are 
generated leaves no room for surprise that the race 
should deteriorate. No stock-breeder would expect 
anything but ruin should he allow his animals to prop- 
agate with no attention to their physical conditions 
or previous preparation. 

Finding herself in a pregnant condition, the 
mother should not yield to the depressing influences 
which often crowd upon her. The anxieties and 
fears which women sometimes yield themselves to, 
grow with encouragement, until they become so ab- 
sorbed as to be capable of producing a profoundly 
evil impression on the child. The true mother who 
is prepared for the functions of maternity, will wel- 
come the evidence of pregnancy, and joyfully enter 
upon the Heaven-given task of molding a human 
character, of bringing into the world a new being 
whose life-history may involve the destinies of na- 
tions, or change the current of human thought for 
generations to come. 

The pregnant mother should cultivate cheerfulness 

/of mind and calmness of temper, but should avoid ex- 

( citements of all kinds, such as theatrical performances, 

, . public contests of various descriptions, etc. Anger, 


envy, irritability of temper, and, in fact, all the pas- 
sions and propensities should be held in check. The 
fickleness of desire and the constantly varying whims 
which characterize the pregnant state in some Avomen 
should not be regarded as uncontrollable, and to be 
yielded to as the only means of appeasing them. 
The mother should be gently encouraged to resist such 
tendencies when they become at all marked, and to 
assistjier in the effort, her husband should endeavor 
to engage her mind hy interesting conversation, ready- 
ing, and various harmless and pleasant diversions. 

If it is desired that the child should possess a 
special aptitude for any particular art or pursuit, dur- 
ing the period of pregnancy the mother's mind should 
be constantly directed in this channel. If artistic 
taste or skill is the trait desired, the mother should be 
surrounded by works of art of a high order of merit. 
She should read art, think art, talk, and write about 
art, and if possible, herself engage in the close prac- 
tical study of some one or more branches of art, as 
painting, drawing, etching, or modeling. If ability 
for authorship is desired, then the mother should de- 
vote herself assiduously to literature. It is not 
claimed that by following these suggestions any 
mother can make of her children great artists or au- 
thors at will ; but it is certain that by this means the 
greatest possibilities in individual cases can be at- 
tained ; and it is certain that decided results have 
been secured by close attention to the principles laid 
down. It should be understood, however, that not 
merely a formal and desultory effort on the part of 
the mother is what is required. The theme selected 


must completely absorb her mind. It must be the one 
idea of her waking thoughts and the model on which 
is formed the dreams of her sleeping hours. 

The question of diet during pregnancy as before 
stated is a vitally important one as regards the inter- 
ests of the child. :^A diet into which enters largely 
such unwholesome articles as mustard, pepper, hot 
sauces, spices, and other stimulating condiments, engen- 
ders a love for stimulants in the disposition of the in- 
fant. Tea and coffee, especially if used to excess, 
undoubtedly tend in the same direction. We firmly 
belieA^e that we have, in the facts first stated, the key 
to the constant increase in the consumption of ardent 
spirits. The children of the present generation in- 
herit from their condiment-consuming, tea-, coffee-, 
and liquor-drinking, and tobacco-using parents, not 
simply a readiness for the acquirement of the habits 
mentioned, but a propensity for the use of stimulants^ 
which in persons of weak will-power and those whose 
circumstances are not the most favorable, Ibe comes 

The present generation is also suffering in con- 
sequence of the impoverished diet of its parents. 
The modern custom of bolting the flour from the dif- 
ferent grains has deprived millions of infants and 
children of the necessary supply of bone-making mate- 
rial, thus giving rise to a greatly increased frequency 
of the various diseases which arise from imperfect 
bony structure, as rickets, caries, premature decay of 
the teeth, etc. The proper remedy is the disuse of 
fine-flour bread and all other bolted grain prepara- 
tions. Graham-flour bread, oatmeal, cracked wheat, 


and similar preparations, should be relied upon as the 
leading articles of diet. Supplemented by milk, the 
whole-grain preparations constitute a complete form of 
nourishment, and render a large amount of animal food 
not only unnecessary but really harmful on account 
of its stimulating character. It is by no means so 
necessary as is generally supposed that meat, fish, 
fowl, and flesh in various forms should constitute a 
large element of the dietary of the pregnant or nurs- 
ing mother in order to furnish adequate nourishment 
for the developing child. We have seen the happiest 
results follow the employment of a strictly vegetarian 
dietary, and do not hesitate to advise moderation in 
the use of flesh food, though we do not recommend 
the entire discontinuance of its use by the pregnant 
mother who has been accustomed to use it freely. 
/^ A nursing mother should at once suspend nursing 
/if she discovers that pregnancy has again occurred. s 
The continuance of nursing under such circumstances 
is to the disadvantage of three individuals, the mother, 
the infant at the breast, and the developing child. 
3>^Sexual indulgence during pregnancy may be sus-^ 
pended with decided benefit to both mother and child. 
The most ancient medical writers call attention to the 
fact that by the practice of continence during gesta- 
tion, the pains of childbirth are greatly mitigated. 
The injurious influences upon the child of the gratifi- 
cation of the passions during the period when its 
character is being formed, is undoubtedly much 
greater than is usually supposed. We have no doubt 
that this is a common cause of the transmission of 
libidinous tendencies to the child ; and that the ten- 


dency to abortion is induced by sexual indulgence has 
long been a well established fact. The females of 
most animals resolutely resist the advances of the 
males during this period, being guided in harmony 
with natural law by their natural instincts which have 
been less perverted in them than in human beings. 
The practice of continence during pregnancy is also 
enforced in the harems of the East, which fact leads 
to the practice of abortion among women of this class 
who are desirous of remaining the special favorites of 
the common husband. 

/^The general health of the mother must be kept 

>rp in every way. It is especially important that the 

[regularity of the bowels should be maintained. 

/ Proper diet and as much physical exercise as can be 

i taken are the best means for accomplishing this. 

When constipation is allowed to exist, the infant as 

well as the mother suffers. The effete products 

which should be promptly removed from the body, 

being long retained, are certain to find their way back 

into the system again, poisoning not only the blood 

of the mother but that of the developing foetus. 


The pregnant condition is one which is especially 
liable to certain derangements of the system, some 
of which are wholly peculiar to this state, while others 
are frequently the result of other causes. It cannot 
be justly supposed that these morbid conditions are 
necessary accompaniments of the function of mater- 
nity, for they do not appear when the function is per- 


formed in a perfectly physiological manner. They 
must be regarded as among the results of the per- 
verted state into which the race has fallen, and in 
which there have been great departures in a great 
variety of ways from the normal conditions of the 
race. It should be added that a careful observance 
of all the suggestions made in the preceding section 
will effectually prevent nearly all the disorders to 
which we here call attention. 

"Morning Sickness." — This is one of the earli- 
est, and sometimes one of the most serious, complica- 
tions of pregnancy, occurring usually only in the ear- 
lier and later months of pregnancy. The nausea, 
sometimes accompanied by vomiting, most often oc- 
curs in the morning just after rising. 

Treatment. — This difficulty is often very obsti- 
nate, but very simple measures will give relief in the 
majority of cases. 

Give the patient something to eat before getting 
up in the morning, as a bowl of brown bread and milk. 
Food should be taken at least fifteen or twenty min- 
utes before attempting to get up, and after rising, the 
patient should dress quickly and go out in the open 
air for a walk, unless the weather forbids. 

The abdominal bandage is a very excellent means 
of relieving this unpleasant symptom. It should be 
worn continually for a week or two both day and 
night and then should be omitted during the night. 
Daily sitz baths are also of great advantage. In 
many cases, electricity relieves this symptom very 
promptly. When nearly all kinds of food are re- 
jected, milk and lime-water may be employed. In 


very urgent cases in which the vomiting cannot be 
repressed, and the life of the patient is threatened, 
the stomach should be given entire rest, the patient 
being nourished by means of nutritive injections. 
(See appendix.) Fomentations over the stomach and 
swallowing of small bits of ice, are sometimes effec- 
tive when other measures fail. 

It is claimed by some gynecologists of large ex- 
perience that this symptom is the result of disease of 
the neck of the womb, particularly abrasion. It is 
recommended that slight dilitation of the os-uteri 
should be employed. This should of course be done 
by a physician or an experienced nurse. 

Acidity and Flatulence. — When there is much 
acidity or flatulence, conditions which are very com- 
mon indeed, vegetables and starchy foods should 
be avoided, together with butter, sugar, pastry, and 
sweets of all descriptions. Such persons should 
also for a time avoid the use of raw fruits and 
soups, and should refrain from taking much fluid 
at meals. The use of hot water in considerable 
quantity about three hours after each meal is a most 
excellent remedy for this condition, the effect being 
to cleanse the stomach from its souring, fermenting 
contents and to stimulate the sluggish, digestive pro- 
cesses to more vigorous action. The use of hot milk 
at the time of eating is also to be recommended in 
these cases. Both the water and the milk should be 
taken at as high a temperature as possible without 

Various disorders of digestion are exceedingly 
common during this period, such as heartburn, pyro- 


sis, etc., most of which can be quite promptly re- 
lieved by the adoption of such dietetic measures as 
are required by the particular condition present. All 
of these conditions, with their proper treatment, are 
thoroughly discussed in a volume by the author en- 
titled, " Digestion and Dyspepsia," to which the 
reader is respectfully referred, as our space is too 
limited to allow of the full consideration of the sub- 
ject here. 

Constipation. — This condition is so very common 
that we cannot omit noticing it here, although we 
have treated the subject more fully in ,the work re 
ferred to above. In many cases relief will be afforded 
by the adoption of a diet composed chiefly of fruits 
and grains. The large use of flesh meats and of fine- 
flour bread is one of the most common causes of in- 
activity of the bowels during pregnancy. The coarse 
grain preparations should be freely used, and also 
vegetables, when the patient is able to digest them. 
Figs, stewed prunes, and other fruits of a laxative 
character, if freely used by the patient, will gener- 
ally obviate the necessity for other means. Drink- 
ing a glass of cold water before breakfast is an ex- 
cellent means of securing a regular evacuation of the 

In case dietetic measures are insufficient, the 
enema may be resorted to. As small a quantity of 
water should be used as will secure the desired 
movement. It is also better to employ water at a 
moderately low temperature, so as to keep the blood- 
vessels of the part well toned, as a means of prevent- 
ing hemorrhoids. A very excellent plan by which 


the dependence upon the enema may be somewhat 
avoided, or overcome, is to inject into the rectum at 
night, just before retiring, two tablespoonfuls of 
water containing ten drops of spirits of camphor. This 
will often provoke a movement of the bowels at once. 
If the fluid is retained over night, it will be quite 
certain to secure a prompt movement, at least if the 
same quantity of camphor water is used as an enema 
soon after breakfast. A tablespoonful of glycerine in 
three or four spoonfuls of water used in the same 
manner is equally useful and often more agreeable to 
the patient. 

Light massage to the bowels, together with exer- 
cises of the trunk such as are recommended for the 
purpose of strengthening the abdominal muscles (see 
appendix), are of great value in relieving this un- 
pleasant symptom. The same is to some degree true 
of walking and gentle calisthenic exercises. 

It is very unwise to become dependent upon the 
use of the enema, and hence a persevering effort 
should be made to secure a healthy activity of the 
bowels by regulation of the diet, and by the employ- 
ment of the other means suggested. The same re- 
mark is still more emphatically true respecting the 
use of the laxatives of various sorts so commonly re- 
sorted to by pregnant women. The habit thus 
formed is very often difficult to overcome, and the re- 
sulting mischief more than can be well described. 

Hemorrhoids, or Piles. — This condition is the 
usual accompaniment of the preceding, of which it is 
commonly the result, although it is sometimes fairly 
attributable to the pressure exerted upon the blood- 


vessels of the lower bowels by the pregnant womb. 
The suffering from this source is often very great, 
constituting one of the most serious inconveniences 
of the pregnant state. 

Treatment : Keep the bowels loose by means of 
the measures mentioned for the relief of constipation. 
Linseed tea is especially serviceable for an emollient 
enema. If the constipation is very obstinate, a soap 
and water enema may be employed to empty the 
bowels. (See appendix.) 

The pain of hemorrhoids may generally be re- 
lieved by the application of a hot fomentation. A 
large, soft sponge is useful for the purpose. The 
daily sitz bath which should be taken during the 
later months of pregnancy is a most excellent means 
not only of allaying the pain by relieving local con- 
gestion, but also overcoming the tendency to consti- 
pation. When the pain of moving the bowels is very 
great, the patient will find great relief by sitting over 
a vessel half-filled with hot water for a few minutes 
before making the attempt. In some cases it is bet- 
ter that the water should be in immediate contact 
with the body. 

When there is hemorrhage from the bowels, or 
" bleeding piles," an ointment consisting of a dram of 
tannin dissolved in an ounce of vaseline should be 
thoroughly applied after each movement, care being 
taken to introduce the ointment to the point at which 
the bleeding occurs. 

Disorders of the Bladder. — The bladder is often 
the seat of troublesome affections during the pregnant 
condition. Abnormal irritability, pain in passing 


urine, inability to retain the urine a proper length of 
time, and the opposite condition, or failure of the blad- 
der to evacuate its contents as frequently or com- 
pletely as proper, are among the most common troubles 
of this sort. Irritability of the bladder is most gen- 
erally due to neglect to empty the bladder of its con- 
tents with proper frequency and regularity. In some 
cases, the bladder troubles are due to displacements of 
the womb existing before pregnancy occurred. This 
is especially true of incontinence of urine, which gener- 
ally results in these cases from pressure upon the 
bladder by the enlarged and displaced womb. 

Irritability of the bladder is generally relieved by 
copious water-drinking, the free use of fruit, and re- 
lieving the organ regularly once in five or six hours. 
The recumbent position is the best remedy for incon- 
tinence of urine. Sometimes this difficulty may be 
prevented by the use of the abdominal bandage for 
the purpose of holding the uterus in place. Reten- 
tion can often be overcome by the employment of 
the warm sitz bath, the bladder being relieved 
while in the bath. Another very efficient means of 
overcoming retention is the warm vaginal douche. 
The temperature should be as nearly as possible 100° 
F., the internal temperature of the body. The blad- 
der will generally evacuate itself during the admin- 
istration of the douche. A hot enema is also of serv- 
ice in these cases. 

Disorders of the Womb. — The occurrence of 
pregnancy in a woman suffering with chronic disease 
of the womb is generally a most unhappy event, not- 
withstanding the fact that a cure is sometimes sought 


through this means. Disease of the womb greatly 
increases the perils of the pregnant condition, and is 
not likely, in the majority of cases, to be at all bene- 
fited by the changes induced by pregnancy. 

Prolapsus and retroversion are conditions which 
often require the attention of a physician to relieve. 
If begun in time, however, great benefit may be de- 
rived from the postural treatment described in the 
appendix, and particularly the knee-chest position 
illustrated on Plate XII. 

Vaginal Discharges. — The discharges which 
take place from the vagina during pregnancy are 
quite various. The most common is a profuse mu- 
cous discharge or leucorrhoea, the best remedy for 
which is the daily use of vaginal injections adminis- 
tered with the syphon or fountain syringe. The 
water should be at the temperature of the body, and 
little force should be employed. The various reme- 
dies elsewhere recommended for leucorrhoea are use- 
ful in this form of the affection. 

Occasionally strong gushes of a watery fluid 
occur, followed for some time by a dribbling of the 
same. The remedy for this difficulty is complete 
rest in bed. Fluid discharges occurring during preg- 
nancy should receive prompt attention, as they indi- 
cate a liability to miscarriage. 

Itching Genitals. — This affection is usually an 
accompaniment of an acrid leucorrhoeal discharge. 
The treatment is the same as elsewhere described for 
the same affection. 

Varicose or Enlarged Veins. — This condition of 
the veins of the lower extremities is a very frequent 


complication of pregnancy, and is often the source of 
much suffering and inconvenience to the patient not 
only during the pregnancy, but afterward. Hence it 
should receive careful attention. The cause is me- 
chanical, being found in the pressure of the heavy 
uterus against the large veins which return to the 
heart through the abdomen the blood gathered by 
the veins of the lower extremities. Sometimes a 
similar enlargement of the veins of the external or- 
gans of generation on one or both sides also occurs. 

Treatment : The limbs should be supported by 
means of an elastic bandage, or elastic silk stocking, 
whenever the patient is on her feet. A flannel band- 
age made of strips of flannel torn across the web so 
as to give some elasticity may be used in place of the 
rubber bandage, though less efficient. The bandage 
should be applied evenly, from the toes upward, as 
high as needed, even extending to the body if nec- 
essary. When the patient is sitting or lying down, 
the feet should be elevated a little higher than the 
hips if possible. If the labia become very much 
swollen, the patient should remain as much as possi- 
ble in a horizontal position, in the meantime pressing 
out the blood from the distended veins by steady 
compression with the hand. A pad and bandage can 
be adjusted in such a way as to answer the same 

Dropsical Swelling of the Feet and Limbs. — 
General dropsy, indicated by puffiness of the face 
and swelling of the limbs so that pitting is produced 
by pressure with the finger, is a veiy^erious__ compli- 
cation of pregnancy, indicating probable disease of th( 


kidneys. This condition should receive prompt atten- 
tion from a competent physician, to Avhom should be 
given a specimen of the urine for examination. The/ 
most useful remedies are such as will induce active j 
perspiration, as the hot-air bath, the wet-sheet pack / 
the blanket pack, etc. The patient should be allowed 1 , 
no animal food except milk, the diet being made up 
chiefly of fruits and grains. When the swelling is{ 
confined to the feet and limbs, it may' be treated by 
means of the bandage, or the elastic silk stocking as 
directed for varicose veins of the limbs. 

Rubbing of the feet and limbs in an upward direc- 
tion is a means of treatment which should not be neg- 
lected. The rubbing should be administered two or 
three times daily, and for half an hour at a time. 

Neuralgia. — The neuralgia of pregnancy is some- 
times a most disagreeable complication. The affection 
may assume a great variety of forms. It most fre- 
quently affects the face. Very often the teeth are 
the seat of the pain. Sometimes the pain is mostly 
confined to the back or chest or the limbs. 

Treatment: The most useful measures of treat- 
ment are fomentations to the affected part, the use of 
dry heat, alternate hot and cold applications, and elec- 
tricity, particularly the galvanic current. These 
measures are not usually efficient, however, unless 
the exciting cause, which may generally be found to 
be some form of indigestion or an impoverished condi- 
tion of the blood, is carefully sought for and removed. 

Headache and Disturbances of Vision. — Se- 
vere, continuous headache and various disturbances of 
vision, such as blurring, double sight, etc., are some- 


times of quite serious import. These cases should be 
investigated by a competent physician. Whenever 
these symptoms occur, a careful examination of the 
urine should be made, to determine if albumen is 
present. The headache may generally be relieved by 
cool or hot compresses to the head, hot fomentations, 
or hot and cold sponging of the upper part of the 
spine, warm sitz or foot baths, and other derivative 

Shortness of Breath. — Shortness of breath or 
difficulty of breathing, are frequently among the 
most prominent inconveniences of the latter stages of 
the pregnant state. ^Patients suhjec_tjp__a^ijima^ani 
affected with organic disease of the heart, suffer 
much more than do others.) The interference with 
respiration is produced in most cases by crowding 
upward of the abdominal organs against the dia- 
phragm, thus preventing its proper descent, and 
making it impossible for the patient to take a full in- 
spiration. Shortness of breath is sometimes due to 
poverty of the blood. 

The first class of cases can be relieved but little, 
as the cause cannot be removed. Some advantage 
may be derived, however, by the application of far- 
adization to the chest, for the purpose of strengthen- 
ing the respiratory muscles. In cases in which the 
difficulty arises from debility, the patient should re- 
ceive such treatment as will secure improvement of 

Fainting. — This symptom occurs quite frequently 
during the first few months of pregnancy. The 
cause is the morbidly susceptible condition of the 


nervous system during this period, very slight causes 
being sufficient to occasion intense mental excitement 
and profound disturbance of the circulation. 

Miscarriage and Abortion. — These terms are 
applied to cases in which the foetus is discharged be- 
fore the seventh month. Miscarriage occurs most 
frequently in fleshy persons and those who are sub- 
ject to monorrhagia, or profuse menstruation. Nearly 
all the severe acute diseases may give rise to miscar- 
riage. Violent excitement or exertion, either mental 
or physical, displacements of the uterus, together 
with chronic inflammation and tumors of the organ, 
falls, and other violent accidents, severe vomiting or 
coughing, bad hygiene, and sexual indulgence, may 
be enumerated as the principal causes of abortion. 

The symptoms of abortion within the first two 
weeks do not differ very greatly from those attending 
profuse menstruation. Not infrequently miscarriages 
occur at this period without the woman being con- 
scious of the fact. In the third or fourth month, 
there is considerable hemorrhage, and some portion 01 
the foetus is likely to be retained in the womb, where 
decomposition not infrequently takes place, imperiling 
the patient's life. Criminal abortion is very fre- 
quently attended by fatal results. The moral aspect 
of this question has been fully considered else- 
where. (See pages 351-369.) Miscarriage occur- 
ring as late as five or six months, very closely resem- 
bles labor. 

It has been observed that miscarriage is most apt 
to occur at or near the regular time for menstruation, 



if the function had continued, and hence special care 
should be observed at these periods. 

Treatment : In cases in which abortion habitually 
occurs at a certain time, complete rest should be en- 
joined upon the patient. She should not be upon her 
feet at all until the dangerous period is past. Sexual 
excitement should also be strictly prohibited. In 
case flooding occurs, or other symptoms of abortion, 
the patient should at once go to bed and apply cold 
compresses over the bowels, and tepid injections of 
tannin or a decoction of white-oak bark into the 
vagina. Abortion or miscarriage is much more likely 
to be followed by disease of the womb than natural 
labor, and hence every possible precaution should be 
taken to prevent exposure and overdoing in these 

Premature Labor. — Births occurring after the 
beginning of the seventh month are termed prema- 
ture. The causes are essentially the same as those 
which produce abortion. The rules laid down for the 
management of labor at full term, are equally applica- 
ble to premature labors. It should be remarked that 
extra preparations should be made to give the feeble 
infant likely to be born in these cases the best possi- 
ble chances for life. 

Death of the Foetus. — When many symptoms of 
pregnancy which have been distinctly present disap- 
pear, there are grounds for suspicion that death of 
the foetus has been occasioned by some cause. The 
causes which occasion death of the foetus are essen- 
tially the same as those which give rise to abortion 
and premature labor. The foetus is generally expelled 


a week or ten days after it dies, but cases are re- 
corded in which it has been retained many months. 

Molar or False Pregnancy. — Two forms of 
false pregnancy occur. In one of these, after the 
usual symptoms of abortion, and with considerable 
pain and hemorrhage, a fleshy body of varying size 
is expelled, which may be shown by a close examin- 
ation to be an undeveloped foetus. This form of false 
pregnancy is attended by little danger. 

In the other form, the symptoms of pregnancy 
continue up to the fourth or fifth month, though no 
foetal movements are ever felt. The abdominal walls 
are generally extended more than at the same time in 
true pregnancy. After a time, a large quantity of 
bloody serum is discharged, along with severe hemor- 
rhage, the escaping fluid containing small, bladder-like 
bodies resembling grapes. This is known as the hy- 
datidi-form. This form of false pregnancy is by no 
means free from danger, and requires the attention of 
a skilled physician. 

Flooding. — When this serious symptom occurs, 
the patient, if not already in a recumbent position, 
should at once go to bed. Cold compresses should 
be applied over the lower part of the bowels. She 
should be given an abundance of cold water to drink. 
Cold water may also be injected into the rectum with 
advantage. In case of a severe hemorrhage after 
miscarriage or premature labor, the best remedy is 
the prolonged hot-water vaginal douche. If not 
speedily effective, a strong, hot, saturated solution of 
alum, about one pint in quantity, should be injected 
into the vagina. If necessary, a tablespoonful of 


powdered alum may be carefully inclosed in a bag of 
thin muslin and introduced into the vagina and re- 
tained for a few hours. 

Puerperal Convulsions. — This is a very serious 
disease which may occur during pregnancy, or during 
or after labor. It generally occurs in patients who 
have suffered with disease of the kidneys during 
pregnancy, as shown by swelling of the feet and 
limbs, puffmess of the face, and the presence of albu- 
men in the urine. Among the first symptoms are 
disorders of vision, as blurred sight, double vision, and 
continuous headache. The attack generally begins 
with strong muscular contractions, in which the 
muscles of the limbs become rigid, and respiration 
ceases through the rigidity of the muscles of the 
chest. This is followed in a short time by spasmodic 
twitching of the various muscles. Sometimes the 
contortions of patients suffering with this affection 
are frightful. The most common, and probably the 
sole, cause of true puerperal convulsions, is poisoning 
of the blood by the elements of the urine which are 
not eliminated on account of congestion or inflamma- 
tion of the kidneys. 

Sometimes attacks occur resembling those of epi- 
lepsy. These cases are probably due to some other 

Treatment: The preventive treatment of this dis- 
ease is by far the most important. It consists, first, 
in thorough attention to the laws of hygiene relating 
to the pregnant state. The diet should be chiefly 
fruit, and farinaceous articles of food. Sugar and 
meat should be carefully discarded. As soon as the 


swelling of the feet and puffiness of the face are ob- 
served, the patient should take frequent warm baths 
with wet-sheet packs, vapor baths, and other treat- 
ment which will induce active sweating. Consider- 
able quantities of water should be daily drank, so as 
to replace the water removed by the sweating pro- 
cess, which should be made almost continuous. 

At the time of the attack, vigorous efforts snould 
be made to relieve the system of the obnoxious ele- 
ment by which the brain and nervous system is be- 
ing poisoned, through the medium of perspiration. 
If possible, the patient should be given a hot blanket 
pack, hot bottles being packed around her to induce 
copious sweating. If the bowels are constipated they 
should be relieved by a warm enema. A spoon han- 
dle wrapped with cloth should be placed between the 
teeth to prevent the tongue being bitten. The pa- 
tient should not be violently restrained, but should 
be gently prevented from injuring herself. When 
coma is present, as is frequently the case, cold or iced 
compresses should be applied to the head. Hot and 
cold applications should be made to the spine. If 
these measures do not bring relief, chloroform may be 
used to subdue the spasms. This remedy is gener- 
ally effective. When the contractions have ceased, en- 
ergetic measures should be taken to prevent their re- 
currence by exciting activity of the kidneys and 

Cramps. — Spasmodic contraction of the muscles 
of the limbs is a very common and often troublesome 
affection incident to pregnancy. Measures to im- 
prove and maintain the tone of the nervous system 


should be thoroughly employed as preventive means. 
When the cramping occurs, the affected muscles 
should be firmly grasped and vigorously rubbed. 
Sometimes the cramping may be made to cease by 
simply walking about for a few minutes. Fomenta- 
tions or hot and cold applications made to the lower 
part of the spine usually afford relief in a prolonged 
attack where other measures fail. Hot sponging of 
the cramping muscles is also a useful remedy. 

Painful Breast. — This unpleasant affection is not 
infrequently a cause of very great discomfort to the 
pregnant woman. When there is much heat and a 
tense feeling or hardness, cool compresses should be 
applied, cloths being dipped in cool or cold water 
and applied, being changed as often as they become 
warmed. Alternate hot and cold sponging will some- 
times afford more prompt relief. When there is pain 
without heat, fomentations or hot sponging may be 
employed two or three times a day with benefit, or 
soothing liniments may be employed. 

Palpitation of the Heart. — This symptom is the 
result of reflex action, and may generally be relieved 
by alternate hot and cold sponging of the spine, and 
either hot or cold applications over the heart. It is 
generally occasioned by some disturbance of diges- 

Rigid Skin. — In some cases the skin of the abdo- 
men is wanting in elasticity to such a degree that 
great pain and uneasiness is caused by the strain 
upon the abdominal walls during the. later months of 
pregnancy. To relieve this condition, the skin of the 
abdomen should be daily rubbed with vaseline or 


olive-oil and thoroughly manipulated. Hot sponging 
is also a useful measure for increasing the activity of 
the skin and developing a healthy condition. 

Malpositions. — The best time to treat malposi- 
tions is before the critical period of childbirth has ar- 
rived. This may seem to be a singular statement, 
but a careful consideration of the subject will be suf- 
ficient to convince any one of its truth. Active mus- 
cular exercise is one of the very best means of pre- 
venting malpositions. The head of the child being 
the heaviest portion, it naturally gravitates down- 
ward, thus securing a natural presentation. When, 
however, from any cause, a malposition has been pro- 
duced, it is of the utmost importance that it should 
be discovered and corrected before the period of child- 
birth arrives. That this is possible has been demon- 
strated again and again. It is now well understood 
by scientific obstetricians that under ordinary circum- 
stances the " presentation " can be made out weeks 
before the hour of confinement, and that when this 
knowledge has been gained, the position, if wrong, 
can be readily corrected by the employment of such 
external manipulations as the case may require. 
Every physician who undertakes the practice of ob- 
stetrics ought to be practically familiar with the 
proper method of procedure, and should make an ex- 
amination of all expected cases sufficiently early to 
enable him to apply the remedy. Something of an 
idea of the mode of applying this remedy for malposi- 
tions may be obtained by reference to Fig. 1, Plate 

Women ought to know that by the use of this 


means the pains and perils of childbirth may be al- 
most infinitely lessened. Most obstetrical operations, 
so fraught with danger to both mother and child, are 
made necessary by malpositions which may be easily 
corrected without pain or inconvenience to the 
mother or danger to the child by proper manipulation 
prior to confinement. In view of this fact, every wo- 
man will recognize the importance of consulting an 
experienced and intelligent physician at intervals dur- 
ing the last months of pregnancy to assure her- 
self that all is well, or to submit to the proper treat- 
ment for correcting any faulty position, thus avoiding 
the danger and suffering which might otherwise be 

In some cases it becomes necessary that a prop- 
erly constructed supporter should be worn to prevent 
a return of the difficulty after the malposition has 
been corrected. 


(See Appendix for Instruction in Antiseptic Midwifery.) 

The period of gestation, or labor, usually lasts, in 
the human female, from 278 to 300 days, at the end 
of which time it is terminated by labor or parturition. 
The approach of labor is usually indicated by pre- 
monitory symptoms for some hours or even days be- 
fore-hand, but sometimes occurs suddenly without any 
premonitory symptoms. 

The following are the leading signs of the approach 
of the termination of pregnancy : Gradually increasing 
irritability of the bladder, with much difficulty in 
standing or walking, and a change in form of the ab- 


domen which results from the settling down of the 
womb, leaving the waist smaller, but increasing the 
prominence of the lower portion of the abdomen a 
short time before the labor is to begin. Also the ex- 
ternal parts become swollen, and there is a leucor- 
rhceal discharge of a thick, clear matter somewhat re- 
sembling the white of an egg. Uterine contractions, 
quite painless in character, are also indicative of the 
approaching crisis. These contractions at first occur 
at irregular intervals. When they become regular, 
the labor has begun. The pains usually begin in the 
back and sacrum, and extend to the front part of the 
abdomen. What are termed false labor pains arise 
from colic, constipation, or irritation of the bowels. 
They differ from labor pains in being irregular. The 
term pain, as used in obstetrics, is applied to the spas- 
modic uterine contractions which take place, together 
with the pain incident to the same. 

Presentation and Position. — The term presen- 
tation has reference to the particular part of the body 
which presents at the mouth of the womb. The term 
position has reference to the location of the present- 
ing part in the passages of the mother. The most 
usual presentation is the head. Occasionally the 
other extremity of the trunk takes precedence, form- 
ing what is termed a " breech presentation." In still 
other cases the body lies crosswise of the outlet, a 
presentation which must be modified in some way be- 
fore the infant can be born. 

There are various modifications of each of these 
classes of presentation, that is, other parts of the 
head may present. In a perfectly natural labor, the 


vertex of the head is the presenting part. But vari- 
ous other parts of the head may be presented, more 
or less complicating the process. 

Stages of Labor. — Labor is divided into three 

1. Dilation of the month of the womb. This is 
indicated by cutting pains felt mostly in the back, 
contractions taking place in the womb only, and 
gradually growing more and more frequent until the 
neck of the womb is fully dilated. 

2. Expulsion of the child, by means of stronger 
contractions in which the abdominal muscles contract, 
as well as the uterus. 

3. The expulsion of the after-birth. 

The average length of labor in women who have 
previously borne children is about six hours, the first 
four of which are occupied in the first stage, and the 
latter two in the second stage. The after-birth is 
often expelled at once after the expulsion of the child, 
but is more often retained five to thirty minutes. 

The first and second stages of labor are often 
considerably prolonged. Some women, especially 
those who have broad hips and are well adapted to 
childbirth, pass through the process of labor in a 
much shorter space of time, in some cases not more 
than thirty minutes or an hour being occupied. In 
women who have not borne children before, espe- 
cially those who are somewhat advanced in life, labor 
is often very greatly prolonged. 

Various obstacles frequently arise to delay the 
process ; such as inactivity of the womb, rigidity of 


the neck of the womb or of the perinseum, con- 
tracted pelvis, and malpositions of the child. 

Simple minded, primitive people, in a savage 
state, by the study of Nature have in all parts of the 
world arrived at the discovery of very much the 
same means for facilitating the painful processes of 
childbirth. The most important of all these natural 
methods is massage, which is almost universally prac- 
ticed, not only by the Chinese, among whom it seems 
to have originated, under the name of Cong-fou, but 
by their neighbors, the Siamese and Japanese, being 
termed by the latter Ambouk. Our own native tribes, 
the North American Indians, as well as the aboriginal 
inhabitants of Mexico, and the Pueblos, also prac- 
tice methodically a sort of massage, the purpose of 

which is to assist Nature in bringing into the world 
the new being. The natives of Africa, India, the 
South-Sea Islands, and the savage tribes of Central 
Asia, all employ certain modifications of the same art 
peculiar to themselves, some of which, however, are 
so rude and violent as to be, apparently, dangerous to 
the life of both mother and child. 

Some of the ancient and rude practices referred to 
have been in use among the lower classes of civilized 
nations, particularly the Welch and Dutch j3easantry, 
and some of the older medical practitioners of the 
present day can recollect of meeting with relics of 
such methods among the earlier settlers of Kentucky 
and Ohio. 

Massage, as referred to in this connection, has 
reference to various manipulations practiced upon the 
abdomen and back, the purpose of which is to expel 


the child or the after-birth, to excite uterine contrac- 
tion, or to correct malpositions. The exact mode of 
administering such manipulations will be described a 
little later. The object of this mention is to call at- 
tention to the fact that this one of the most recent 
additions to scientific obstetrical practice is almost as 
old as the race, and simply an adoption of what has 
been practiced by savages from time immemorial, 
with, of course, such improvements as civilized man 
with his greater intelligence is easily able to add. 

Preparation for Labor. — The whole period of 
pregnancy should be a course of preparation for its 
termination ; but in addition to the various measures 
previously described, special measures may be adopted 
at its veiy termination by which the pains and dan- 
gers of childbirth may be greatly lessened and the 
process expedited. 

First we mention the vaginal douche. No better 
means is known for securing natural and ready dilata- 
tion of the neck of the womb at delivery than the hot 
water douche. It should be administered two or 
three times daily for the last week or two of preg- 
nancy, and when the pains of childbirth begin, may 
be employed continuously for hours with benefit. It 
is one of the most effectual means of relieving the 
annoying, ineffectual pains of the first stage of labor. 
The temperature should not be over 110° F., and the 
patient should be placed in such a position as to 
make her as comfortable as possible. We have wit- 
nessed the most excellent results from this method, 
and can recommend it as well worth a trial, and cer- 


tain to yield satisfactory results without any possible 
danger of doing harm. 

Another important means of preparation is the 
employment of massage to the abdomen and loins. 
This should be practiced to some extent during the 
entire latter half of pregnancy ; but during the last 
two or three weeks should be employed more assid- 
uously. Properly applied, this measure is not capable 
of doing harm. By the aid of it, malpositions may 
be corrected, the abdominal muscles strengthened, 
and the patient prepared for the approaching crisis. 
It should be applied daily for thirty minutes to an 
hour, during the last two months of pregnancy. 

The manipulation consists in rubbing and knead- 
ing the abdomen and loins very much after the fash- 
ion of kneading bread, care being taken not to make 
such violent movements as to endanger the child or to 
force it into a wrong position. There is really little 
danger of this, however, as the tendency of any manip- 
ulation of the abdomen, not purposely directed in a 
manner to reverse the position of the child, is to 
bring the head, or heaviest portion, into the lowest 
part of the abdomen. 

Fomentations and frictions with unguents applied 
to the perineum are also of undoubted utility in pre- 
paring this part for the extraordinary strain to which 
it is to be subjected. These measures should be em- 
ployed two or three times a day, and for fifteen min- 
utes to an hour at a time during the last two weeks 
of pregnancy. 

Care should be taken to keep the bowels loose 


and the kidneys acting freely. The diet should be 
especially simple. The usual amount of exercise 
should be taken, or as nearly so as possible, to the 
very day of confinement, unless there should be some 
complication contra-indicating exercise. 

Management of Labor. — The first thing to be 
done at the beginning of labor is to secure the servi- 
ces of a competent attendant. The attendant should, 
if possible, be a thoroughly trained physician. This 
is a field in which woman as a physician can fill a 
very useful sphere. Under no circumstances, except 
in emergencies, should the important process of par- 
turition be placed wholly in the hands of a midwife 
whose qualifications, such as she may possess, are 
wholly derived from experience at the bedside, no 
matter how large be the number of cases she may 
have attended. No one person could by practical ex- 
perience alone in a life-time acquire all the knowledge 
necessary to meet the urgent emergencies which are 
liable to arise at any time in childbirth. The science 
and art of obstetrics have been developed by a very 
slow process ; and as they exist at the present day, 
are the result of the combined experience of physi- 
cians during the last two thousand years. Thorough 
theoretical knowledge is indispensable as a founda- 
tion for practical skill. 

lS soon as the first labor pains make their ap- 
pearance, the physician should be promptly notified, 
also the nurse, if the latter is not already in 
readiness. The room in which the patient is to be 
confined should be a large, light, airy, and pleasant 
me. But few persons should be allowed to be pres:. 


ent^ and these should be such as are desired by the 
patient, and no others. 

So far as consistent, all her wishes should be com- 
plied with, so that she may be in as pleasant a state 
of mind as possible, and that no mental influence 
may present an obstacle to prevent the completion of 
the process in which her physical and nervous pow- 
ers will be taxed to the uttermost. No remark of a 
discouraging nature should be uttered in the presence 
of the patient, but hope and confidence should be in- 

During this stage the patient need not go to 
bed. In fact, it is better that she should sit up, as 
the sitting posture favors the progress of labor. 
This need not be required, however, if the patient 
prefers to be in bed. During this stage the patient 
should quietly allow nature to carry on the work with- 
out any attempt to hasten matters by " bearing down," 
as she may often be encouraged to do by ignorant 
friends. These voluntary efforts are of no consequence 
until the neck of the womb is fully dilated. The pa- 
tient should be allowed to drink cold water, or weak 
lemonade as freely as desired ; but stimulants should 
not be given, as they will produce a feverish state of 
the system without giving any real strength. Hot 
teas are also better withheld. If the bowels have not 
moved freely, they should be relieved by a full 

During this stage, the bed should be made in 
readiness. The feather bed, if in use, should be re- 
moved and replaced by a moderately hard mattress 
covered by a sheet. Over this should be placed a 


large rubber cloth three or four feet wide and six 
feet long. This should be covered with a comfort- 
able, and a sheet placed over all. 

At the beginning of the second stage the patient 
should go to bed, and her clothing should be drawn 
up under her arms so that it will not be soiled, the 
lower portion of the body being protected by a sheet 
or petticoat. The patient may lie on the left side or 
on the back. If the foetus is strongly inclined toward 
the right side, it is better for the patient to lie upon 
the left side. During the severe pains which char- 
acterize the second stage of labor, the back of the 
patient should be supported by firm pressure with 
the hand. The knees should be drawn up and fixed 
in such a position as to give them support during the 
pains. The nurse should take hold of the hand or 
wrist of the patient to give her an opportunity to 
make firm traction during the pain. 

It is at this stage of labor that much can be done 
by an intelligent midwife or physician to facilitate 
the process of childbirth and to relieve the sufferings 
of the patient. Rubbing and manipulation of the 
muscles of the loins and thighs often afford great 
relief to the patient. In case the pains are inefficient, 
and hence the progress slow and the patient discour- 
aged, frictions should be made over the abdomen 
with the hand, gentle pressure being made above the 
uterus so as to press it down into the cavity of the 
pelvis ; when there is considerable delay, what is 
known to physicians as "■ expression " should be em- 
ployed. There are several modes of applying this 
useful measure, but the following, known as the 


method of Kristeller, is the most simple and ef- 
fective : — 

The patient lying upon the back, the operator 
places his hands upon the abdomen in such a manner 
as to grasp the womb, as shown in Plate L, Fig. 
1. First the abdominal walls should be gently rubbed 
against the uterus, then slight pressure should be 
made in a downward direction, care being taken to 
bring the womb exactly to the middle of the body so 
that its mouth may be brought in direct line with the 
middle of the pelvic canal. The pressure should be 
gradually increased for three or four seconds, and 
then gradually diminished, the whole time occupied 
by the pressure being five to eight seconds. The 
hand should be retained in position, and the pressure 
repeated at short intervals. During the early part of 
the second stage, the intervals between successive 
pressures should be two or three minutes ; but as 
labor advances, it should be shortened to one or one- 
half minute. 

The points of pressure should be changed occa- 
sionally, the force being brought to bear alternately 
upon the upper lateral portions of the uterus instead 
of constantly over the central portion. 

The systematic application of this simple measure 
will in most cases obviate the use of the forceps, even 
in difficult labors, and in cases in which the forceps 
are required, it should always be used as a means of 
bringing the child within easy reach of the forceps 
and facilitating the extraction. In the first labors 
this method should always be employed, and by 



means of it the tediousness of such cases may be 
wonderfully lessened. 

In cases of breech or other abnormal presenta- 
tion the method is also found most serviceable. It is 
vastly superior to ergot and all other medicinal means 
of exciting uterine contraction, and is free from the 
dangers well known to accompany the use of drugs 
for this purpose. 

The most proper time for the application of " ex- 
pression" is after the membranes have ruptured, 
when the os is well dilated and the external parts are 
becoming tense from the pressure of the head of the 
child. When the method becomes sufficiently well 
known to secure its general and thorough adoption, 
we doubt not that it will almost entirely replace the 
forceps, and thus save thousands of women from the 
pain and often serious injuries resulting from instru- 
mental delivery. 

The Mexican midwife practices " expression " by 
means of the feet. The patient is placed upon the 
floor, and the operator stands upon the abdomen, the 
heels being placed upon the stomach, and compression 
and friction applied to the womb with the toes. The 
midwives of several barbarous tribes employ essen- 
tially the same means by suspending the patient to a 
rope attached to the ceiling and a band passed be- 
neath the arms, while the operator grasps her about 
the waist and with the pressure of her entire weight 
performs a stripping movement downward. Others 
strap about the waist a strong leather band, known 
among the Indians as a " squaw belt," the belt being 
tightened and drawn downward as the child advances. 


In some instances the pregnant woman applies " ex- 
pression" herself by pressing the body against the 
end of a thick stake driven into the ground obliquely. 
These methods, though effective, are much less so 
than the more scientific one employed by modern ob- 
stetricians, and are liable to result in injury to both 
mother and child. 

In the intervals between the pains, if the patient 
is exhausted, she should be allowed to sleep, if possi- 
ble, in order to recuperate her strength. When 
the face becomes hot and flushed, it should be bathed 
with cool water. As the termination of labor ap- 
proaches, as indicated by the increasing severity and 
frequency of the pains which at this time often be-' 
come almost continuous, a supply of hot water 
should be got in readiness, a large pailful being 
brought to the bedside, together with a large pan to 
be ready for use if necessary. A syphon syringe 
should also be filled with hot water and held ready 
for use. A bottle of camphor should be at hand, 
and a strong cord, made of silk or linen thread twisted 
and well waxed, with a pair of scissors, should be in 
readiness for prompt use. 

As the head of the child presses severely upon 
the perinseum, the efforts of the patient should be re- 
strained, to avoid rupture by giving the tissues time 
to dilate. Pressing back the back of the head and 
elevating the chin of the child by means of two fin- 
gers placed in the rectum, is the best means of pre- 
venting laceration of the perinseum. 

As soon as the head passes out, the cord should 
be felt for, as it is sometimes wound around the 


neck in such a way as to interrupt the circulation 
as the strain is brought to bear upon it. It also 
sometimes happens that knots are tied in it, which 
being tightened by the strain may cut off the supply 
of blood from the child too soon. If the body is not 
speedily expelled, the child may be withdrawn by 
making traction with the finger placed in the armpit. 

During the delivery of the child the hand of the 
nurse or assistant should be kept upon the abdo- 
men of the mother in such a way as to grasp the 
upper part of the womb, firm pressure being made for 
the purpose of securing contraction of the organ. 
This pressure should be kept up until the after-birth 
is expelled and the bandage applied. If the after- 
birth is not promptly expelled, and the uterine con- 
tractions seem to be suspended, friction should be 
made over the uterus ; and after a few minutes, firm 
pressure should be applied, the womb being grasped 
in the manner shown in Fig. 2, Plate 0. The 
pressure should be firm as can be borne by the 
mother without discomfort, and should be applied at 
brief intervals, every half minute at least, until the 
placenta is expelled, gentle traction being made upon 
the cord to assist its expulsion. 

As soon as born, the child should be brought to 
the edge of the bed and carefully examined. Gener- 
ally it at once utters a cry, which indicates that its 
lungs are filled with air. In case it does not cry, and 
breathes feebly, or only gasps, the hand should be 
dipped in cold water and placed upon its chest, or 
the chest may be slapped with the hand. This will 
generally be sufficient to start the respiration. If 


the child is limp and pale, and makes no efforts what- 
ever at respiration, it should be immediately inverted, 
being held with the head downward, and hot flannels 
should be wrapped about it. Efforts should be made 
to excite respiration by compressing the chest at in- 
tervals of a few seconds. Care should also be taken 
to see that the mouth is cleared of mucus, though 
this is not likely to be necessary unless the child has 
begun to breathe just as the head is being born and 
has drawn mucus into the throat. If the face has a 
purplish appearance, the child should be placed at 
once in a warm bath of a temperature of ]05°, or as 
hot as can be safely used without injury to the skin, 
and cold water should be dashed upon the chest. 
Artificial respiration may also be employed at the 
same time. These measures should be continued for 
some time and should not be abandoned so long as 
any evidence whatever of the action of the heart can 
be obtained. Some cases are recorded in which in- 
fants have been resuscitated after apparent death for 
fully an hour. 

As soon as it breathes freely or the cord has 
ceased to pulsate, the cord should be tied in two 
places ; the first about two inches from the body, the 
other about three inches. The child should then be 
laid upon its side, not on the back, as the side posi- 
tion favors the escape of mucus from the throat. If 
there should be much rattling in the throat, indicating 
the presence of considerable mucus, the infant should 
be laid with its head downward and to one side, so as 
to allow the mucus to escape. 


Washing and Dressing the Child. — If the birth 
is a premature one, having occurred before the infant 
was fully developed, the child will be smaller than 
usual and less well developed ; its movements will be 
slight and feeble, its cry will be very faint, and the 
countenance will have a peculiarly old expression. 
Such a child requires extra care and warmth. It 
should be carefully wrapped in soft cotton. Very 
great care will be required in rearing it, as it will at 
first be too weak to nurse and must be fed with a 
spoon. It should not be washed and dressed for 
some hours, and should be kept very warm. Care 
should be taken in washing the child not to expose it 
to cold so as to produce blueness of the surface, as is 
often done. It should be recollected that the infant 
has all its life thus far been accustomed to a temper- 
ature of nearly 100°, and being wholly without pro- 
tection when born, and keenly susceptible, it must suf- 
fer quite severely from cold. Another important fact 
is that the process of respiration is not completely car- 
ried on by the lungs for some days after birth, the 
skin performing a very important part of the work. 
When it becomes cold, it can no longer perform this 
extra function, and the blood of the child is quickly 
poisoned by the accumulation of carbonic acid and 
other effete products which should be eliminated. 

The best plan for washing the child is to place it 
in a warm bath, the temperature of which is about 
blood heat, and then rub it gently with a sponge 
dipped in warm, weak suds made of castile soap. If 
the surface is covered with curd-like matter, as is 
sometimes the case, it should be smeared with a mixt- 


ure of equal parts of egg and sweet oil beaten up to- 
gether. After the bath, the surface should be 
anointed with a little olive-oil or vaseline. If some 
portions of the curdy matter seem to be firmly adher- 
ent to the skin, no violent efforts should be made to 
remove them, as they will dry up and disappear in 
a short time without further attention. After being 
thoroughly washed, the child should be carefully ex- 
amined to see that it possesses no deformity. The 
outlets of the body should receive particular attention, 
as in some cases the anus or urethra are closed. 

The best method of dressing the cord is this : 
Grasp the cord with the thumb and finger close to 
the body, cutting it off at the ligature. Squeeze out 
all its contents by pressure with the thumb and fin- 
ger of the other hand, keeping a firm grasp upon it 
with the thumb and finger first applied so as to pre- 
vent hemorrhage. Now apply another ligature about 
an inch from the end of the stump. By this means 
the cord will be very greatly reduced in size and 
may be much more easily dressed than when treated 
in the usual way. In dressing, apply a soft, thin 
muslin bandage, about as wide as the first joint of the 
thumb, wrapping it around the cord three or four 
times. Now apply another ligature outside of the 
bandage, and the dressing is complete. Some prefer 
to apply for a bandage a soft linen cloth four or five 
inches square, smeared upon the under surface with 
mutton tallow, and having a hole in the center through 
which the cord is slipped. The cloth is generally 
s 'orched, but not much is gained by this practice. 


By dressing the cord in this way, much offensiveness 
which arises from decomposition is avoided. 

It is generally customary to next apply what is 
termed the belly-band. This is not so important as 
many suppose, if indeed it is needed at all, which we 
very seriously doubt. If applied it should not be 
drawn too tight, and should be fastened with tape in- 
stead of pins. The best material to use is very soft 
flannel. When the dressing is completed, the infant 
should be placed in a warm bed; but it should not 
have its head covered, as it needs an abundance of 
air, as well as an adult. The infant, when thus prop- 
erly dressed, generally sleeps several hours. When 
it awakes, it should be applied to the breast. Al- 
though the milk is not yet formed, the efforts of the 
child to nurse will promote the secretion and will also 
benefit the child, as the first secretion furnished by 
the breast, a watery fluid known as colostrum, has a 
slightly laxative effect upon the bowels of the infant, 
freeing them from their contents, which is termed 

The Binder. — After the child has been born and 
its immediate wants attended to, the binder or ab- 
dominal bandage should be applied to the mother. 
The binder consists of a double thickness of strong 
muslin cloth or a large linen towel. It should be ap- 
plied in such a way as to give the mother the least 
possible amount of inconvenience in the application. 
In fastening, it should be drawn so as to fit the body 
snugly, and should be pinned from above downward. 
The bandage is generally applied more tightly than 
is necessary, the serious consequence of which is not 


infrequently prolapsus of the womb. In case there 
is any marked tendency to hemorrhage after the 
birth, a folded towel should be laid over the womb 
beneath the bandage. The use of the binder is now 
by no means so universally recommended as formerly. 
It is probable that it may be dispensed with in most 
cases with no danger and with real adA r antage. It 
need not be Avorn after the first day or two ; but a 
bandage should be worn for a few days after the 
mother first begins to walk about. 

The soiled clothing should next be removed. 
The patient should be washed and wiped dry, and a 
dry, clean sheet with old cloths for absorbing the dis- 
charges should be placed beneath the patient. Care 
should be taken that the patient is warmly covered. 
A slight shivering will often occur, but this is gener- 
ally from nervousness. If the patient has lost much 
blood, or is very weak, the head should be placed low ; 
only a very small pillow or none at all should be 

The patient should now be allowed to rest. Sim- 
ple drinks may be given when desired, but stimulants 
are rarely called for. The*patient Avill generally fall 
asleep if allowed to do so, and will awake after two 
or three hours very much refreshed. Food may be 
taken at regular times, but should be simple and un- 
stimulating. Milk, toast, oatmeal porridge, and oc- 
casionally soft boiled eggs, should constitute the chief 
diet. Beefsteak and other meats are better avoided. 

Attention should be given to the bowels and blad- 
der. If the bowels do not move by the second day, 
an enema should be administered. Either tepid wa- 


ter or flaxseed tea may be employed. The bladder 
should be emptied within a few hours after labor. 
If there is inability to urinate, a warm fomentation 
may be applied over the bladder between the thighs, or 
a warm vaginal douche administered. This will usu- 
ally bring relief, especially the latter measure, the pa- 
tient being directed to urinate while the douche is be- 
ing given. If these simple measures do not succeed, it 
will be necessary to use a catheter. The bladder 
should be relieved at least two or three times a day. 

During the first twenty-four hours after child- 
birth, the nurse should carefully examine the condition 
of the womb by placing the hand upon the abdomen, 
every two or three hours. If the organ is found con- 
tracted down to a proper size and firm, all is well; 
but if it is appreciably enlarged and soft, or large 
and tense, friction should be at once applied and kept 
up until firm contractions are induced. 

For the first day, the discharge from the womb is 
of a bloody character ; after this, it gradually becomes 
watery, and in from three to five days it becomes 
thicker. This is termed the lochial discharge, and 
generally continues from olle to three weeks. It is 
often checked for a day or two at the time when the 
milk secretion begins. In order to prevent the dis- 
charge from becoming offensive, as is sometimes the 
case, the vaginal douche should be taken at least 
twice a day ; and when the discharge is very profuse, 
more frequently. The water employed should be 
quite warm, and should contain a teaspoonfnl of car- 
bolic acid dissolved in a tablespoonful of glycerine or 
alcohol to the quart of water. The injection of hot 


water not only cleanses the parts, but stimulates com- 
plete contraction of the tissues, and thus prevents 
danger from hemorrhage, and hastens the process by 
which the organ returns to its natural size. A solu- 
tion of permanganate of potash in the proportion of a 
teaspoonful of the crystals to a quart of water, is also 
an excellent injection for use when the discharge is 
offensive. The carbolic acid solution should be thor- 
oughly shaken before it is used. When blood reap- 
pears in the discharges after a few days, it is an in- 
dication that the process referred to is not taking 
place regularly and satisfactorily. This is generally 
the result of the patient's getting up too soon. 

Milk Fever. — This is a term applied to the fever- 
ishness which is sometimes present on the third day 
after confinement. The fever may be introduced by 
a slight chilliness. The patient has thirst, headache, 
and frequent pulse. The breasts are generally some- 
what swollen, harder than natural, and sensitive ; 
throbbing and darting pains are sometimes felt in 
them. It is probable that the fever is not the result 
of the milk secretion, but is due to the absorption of 
decomposing discharges through the raw surfaces of 
the vagina and womb, and the swelling and tender- 
ness of the breasts is due to the fever. The thorough 
use of disinfectant injections will generally prevent 
the ocurrence of this fever. Placing the child to the 
breast soon after its birth, and at regular intervals 
afterward, is also an excellent means of prevention, 
as it not only empties the breast and promotes the 
natural secretion, but also stimulates contraction of 
the womb, and thus hastens the process of involution. 


The inability of a mother to nurse her child is almost 
as great a misfortune to herself as to the child, as nat- 
ure requires this natural stimulus to uterine contrac- 
tion to enable her to do her work in reducing the 
womb to its natural condition after childbirth. The 
treatment at this time should consist in giving the pa- 
tient little fluid to drink, feeding her chiefly with 
solid food, and quenching the thirst by means of 
pieces of ice. Hot fomentations should be applied to 
the breasts, and they should be emptied by means of 
careful manipulations, unless the child is able to with- 
draw the secretion by nursing. Sometimes the swell- 
ing is so great.that the nipple is partly buried, thus 
interfering with the nursing. In this case the breast- 
pump should be employed to draw out the nipple, in 
case it cannot be drawn out by manipulation with the 
hands, which is by far the best means, or a nipple 
shield with a rubber teat should be employed. In 
case of necessity, an adult may act as a substi 
tute for the child, or a young pup may be em- 
ployed. When the breasts have been properly cared 
for during pregnancy, such troubles as this very 
rarely occur. 

Care of the Breasts. — Care should be taken to 
wash the nipples carefully with cold water both before 
and after nursing. If the breasts are large, flabby, 
and pendulous, it is well to support them by means of 
bandages properly applied, passing under the breasts 
and over the neck. This precaution will often pre- 
vent inflammation of the breasts. 

The friction and massage to which the nipple 
should be subjected during the months of pregnancy, 


will so effectually harden and toughen its covering of 
skin as to render it able tc stand the hardest usage 
during a prolonged period of nursing. In applying 
massage to the nipple, press back the areola with the 
forefinger until the nipple becomes prominent, then 
seize it, and draw it forward in imitation of the ac- 
tion of the child in nursing, at the same time pinch- 
ing and rolling it between the thumb and finger. 
Pressing and rolling the breast between the hands is 
also a useful means for preparing the gland for use, 
and for increasing its activity when there is deficient 
secretion. The same method may be employed for 
the purpose of drawing forward the retracted nipple 
of a nursing mother. 

Sore Nipples will rarely occur when these pre- 
cautions are observed. If the nipple should become 
cracked and tender, especial attention should be given 
to cleansing, both before and after nursing, and an 
ointment of carbolated vaseline, ten drops to an 
ounce, should be used, care being taken to remove 
the ointment before the nipple is given to the child. 
A solution of tannin in glycerine, fifteen grains to the 
ounce, is also an excellent application for sore nipples. 
It should be used twice a day, after the nipples have 
been well cleansed. 

Another excellent remedy is the following lotion, 
which should be applied twice a day with a camel's- 
hair brush : Carbolic acid twenty drops, glycerine two 
teaspoonfuls, water a tablespoonful and a half; mix 
thoroughly. Several other excellent prescriptions 
for sore nipples are given in the appendix. 

Care should also be taken to give the nipple as 


much rest as possible, by using the breasts alter- 
nately, and making the intervals between nursing as 
long as possible without doing injury to the child. 
One of the greatest causes of sore nipples is compres- 
sion of the breast by improper dressing before and 
during pregnancy. In some cases, severe pain may 
be felt whenever the child is taken to the breast, in 
consequence of neuralgia of the part. This should be 
carefully distinguished from soreness of the nipple by 
a critical examination Of the breast. 

Inflammation of the Breast. — If swelling of the 
breast occurs, accompanied by redness, pain, and ten- 
derness, it should be given entire rest at once. 
Hot fomentations should be applied to relieve the 
pain. The fomentations should not be simply warm, 
but they should be as hot as can be borne. If relief 
is not obtained in this way, ice-compresses or an ice- 
pack should be used continuously until the symptoms 
disappear. It is well to remove the ice-pack or ice- 
bag for a few minutes every two or three hours, ap- 
plying a hot fomentation. 

By a vigorous application of these measures, an 
inflammation may often be cut short in its course. 
It is very important that the first indication of inflam- 
mation should be detected. When this is done, the 
continuous application of cold and complete emptying 
of the gland by manipulation will usually control the 
inflammatory tendency. Rubbing of the breast is 
also an excellent means of producing absorption of 
inflammatory products. 

After the inflammation is controlled, the breast 
should be carefully kneaded in such a manner as to 


thoroughly remove the partially coagulated milk cer- 
tain to be present. A failure to do this is one of the 
.chief causes of the formation of abscesses. The 
common use of the breast pump is objectionable as a 
means of emptying the breast. By its use, violence 
is frequently done to the delicate tissues, so that act- 
ual harm is done, sometimes leading to permanent in- 
jury. By patient and well directed efforts, the breast 
can be emptied by manipulation in almost every case, 
so that the pump need be resorted to but rarely. 
The following is the best method of emptying the 
breast by this means : — 

The nurse should seat herself beside the patient 
so that the left forearm rests lightly on the chest. 
Place the right hand beneath the breast in such a 
manner as to support it, allowing it to rest in the 
crotch formed by the thumb and the first finger. 
Now with the fingers of the left hand, sweep from 
the upper and left border of the breast toward the 
nipple with gentle, gradually increasing pressure. 
Occasionally raise the breast from the chest and roll it 
between the palms ; after ten or fifteen minutes thus 
spent in alternate stroking and rolling of the breast, 
it will become softer and much less nodular, and a 
drop or two of milk may be squeezed out. Both 
hands should now be used, the left being employed in 
the same way as the right, one lifting and supporting 
the breast, and the other stroking as described, the 
action of lifting and stroking being alternately per- 
formed by the two hands. By this means the milk 
will be pressed out of the gland into the milk sinuses 
around the nipple. When this becomes distended, the 


nipple is to be milked in the same manner as the 
teat of a cow. After the secretion is once started, the 
breast may be emptied very rapidly. If there is 
only a slight obstruction, a few skillful strokes of the 
hand will overcome it ; but when more serious, per- 
severing, but always gentle efforts must be made. 

A little olive-oil, vaseline, or other unguent should 
be used to facilitate the manipulation and prevent ir- 
ritating friction of the skin. A breast threatened 
with inflammation should be emptied by this means 
every few hours, as the inflammatory action can be 
much more readily controlled in an empty breast than 
in one distended with milk. 

Inflammation of the breast most usually occurs in 
the third or fourth week after delivery. The usual 
exciting causes are neglect to properly empty the 
breast on account of a sore nipple, u a cold," neglect of 
the bowels, too rich food, or some similar infraction 
of the laws of hygiene relating to the nursing period. 

A breast subject to inflammation should be made 
to rest functionally, if possible. It is not always easy 
to stop the flow of the milk, but something can be done 
by pressure. A firm bandage should be applied about 
the breast, and constant pressure should be employed. 
Dried sponge is very useful for this purpose. A 
large sponge should be moistened and then dried un- 
der pressure so as to flatten it. A hole should be cut 
in the middle so as to prevent pressure upon the 
nipple and to allow the milk to be pressed out. This 
should be bound over the breast, being exchanged in 
five or six hours for another sponge prepared in the 
same manner, thus maintaining the pressure almost 


without intermission, if need be for days. By this 
means the blood supply is lessened, and so the se- 
cretion is diminished. 

The application of adhesive straps is also a useful 
means of applying pressure, although by no means 
equal to the compressed sponge. 

If the breast becomes tense, hard, shiny, and dis- 
colored, an abscess is forming or has formed, and 
should be at once opened so as to prevent burrowing 
and absorption of pus. This is of course the duty of 
the physician, and the exact mode of procedure need 
not be further described. 

It should be remarked by way of caution that the 
prolonged use of poultices or fomentations should be 
avoided, as they often produce a sodden and relaxed 
condition of the breast. 

To Cheek the Secretion of Milk. — In some 
cases it becomes desirable that the secretion of milk 
should be checked. This is especially important in 
cases of still-birth and the sudden death of the child. 
The most effective measures for checking the secre- 
tion of milk is to require the patient to abstain from 
the use of fluids of any sort, and the application of 
pressure. The food should be of a solid character. 
The thirst may be relieved by taking small quanti- 
ties of ice. This should be continued until the fourth 
or fifth day, when there will usually be no further dif- 
ficulty. The breasts should be partially relieved of 
their contents by manipulation, as already described, or 
by the breast pump if necessary, but should not be en- 
tirely emptied. The application of compressed sponge 
as described in a previous paragraph is one of the best of 



all known means of rapidly drying up the secretion. 
The application of the ice-pack or cold compresses to 
the breasts, is also an excellent means for diminishing 
the secretion. It is also a good plan to apply to the 
breasts two or three times a day a mixture of equal 
parts of sweet-oil and spirits of camphor, and to keep 
the breasts constantly covered with a cloth saturated 
with spirits of camphor. 

Galactorrhea. — Sometimes the secretion of milk 
is too profuse, the secretion being in consequence 
poor in quality, and so affording insufficient nourish- 
ment to the child while draining the system of the 
mother. The remedial measures to be employed are 
the same as those mentioned as useful " to check the 
secretion of milk." 

To Promote the Secretion of Milk. — This must 
be accomplished chiefly by regulation of the diet and 
attention to the general health, especially to the im- 
provement of the digestion. The patient should 
make free use of liquid food, particularly fresh milk, 
sweet cream, oatmeal porridge, graham gruel, and 
other whole-grain preparations. Teas of various kinds 
are of little consequence and do not increase the 
quantity of milk except by the addition of water. 
The use of wine, beer, ale, and other alcoholic stimu- 
lants is a practice to be in the highest degree con- 
demned, as it not only deteriorates the quality of milk, 
but makes the child liable to various diseases. An 
eminent physician declares that in many instances in 
which beer and ale are used, the infant is not sober a 
moment from the time it begins nursing until it is 


Gentle manipulation of the breast and nipple, as 
previously described, is in many cases very efficacious 
in promoting the secretion of milk. By this means, 
the secretion has been produced in women who have 
never borne children, in such a quantity as to enable 
them to act as wet-nurses with entire success. 

Getting Up. — No definite time can be set at 
which it would be safe for every woman " to get up." 
Some are as able to get up in three or four days as 
others at the end of two weeks. The traditional " nine 
days for lying in" has no substantial foundation. ■ As 
a general rule, the woman should remain recumbent 
in bed for a week or ten days. If she has been get- 
ting along nicely, she may be permitted to sit up a 
few minutes after the fourth or fifth day while the 
bed is being changed and aired ; but if the lochial 
discharge becomes bloody after being up, it is an in- 
dication that she should remain in bed some time 

Getting up too soon after confinement is a fre- 
quent cause of some of the most troublesome chronic 
ailments from Avhich women suffer. The worst of 
these is enlargement of the womb, due to sub-involu- 
tion, a condition in which the organ fails to return to its 
natural size, remaining permanently enlarged. When 
everything progresses well, this process generally 
takes place in six or eight weeks. During this time 
the patient should exercise very great care to avoid 
exposure of any kind. Getting the feet wet, being 
chilled, overexertion of any kind, either mental or 
physical, and anything which has a prostrating effect, 
will be likely to check the natural retrograde process, 


the prompt and thorough performance of which is 
very important. Special care should be taken so 
long as the lochial discharge is still present. Care 
during this period will often save the patient from 
many years of suffering. 

Hemorrhage after Labor. — Sometimes the womb 
does not contract so firmly as it should after child- 
birth, in consequence of which its greatly dilated 
blood-vessels remain open, and frightful hemorrhage 
is the result. This is also sometimes caused by only 
partial separation of the after-birth, the remainder of 
the after-birth being attached so firmly that it cannot 
be expelled by the contractions of the organ. In 
other cases more or less hemorrhage continues for 
some time after childbirth in consequence of a lacera- 
tion or tear of the neck of the womb. 

Treatment : When the hemorrhage is due to par- 
tial attachment of the placenta, the after-birth should 
be removed as quickly as possible. In order to effect 
this, it is sometimes necessary for the physician to 
pass his hand into the womb. The necessity for this 
measure may almost always be obviated by the em- 
ployment of the hot water douche at as high a tem- 
perature as can be borne by the patient, and by the 
employment of ''expression," described on page 452. 
When the directions there given are followed out, 
hemorrhage after labor will rarely occur. 

Where hemorrhage is due to failure of the uterus 
to contract, the best remedy known is the hot water 
douche and massage or friction over the womb. The 
syphon syringe, or some other efficient instrument of 
the kind should be in readiness for use in an emergency 


of this sort. The water employed should be as hot 
as can be used without burning the tissues, or giving 
great discomfort to the patient, which will usually be 
at a temperature of about 110° to 120° F. These 
means combined will seldom fail. Uterine contrac- 
tion may also be stimulated by alternate hot and cold 
applications to the abdomen over the womb and to 
the breast. 

Care should be taken by the nurse to examine 
the patient frequently after childbirth to see that 
there is no unusual hemorrhage. 

Inactivity of the Womb. — When labor is delayed 
in any of its stages in consequence of failure of the 
uterus to contract with sufficient vigor, it is necessary 
to adopt means for the purpose of stimulating the 
contractions. Among the various simple measures 
which may be employed with advantage are the ap- 
plication of cold water to the breast and over the 
abdomen. Sometimes alternate hot and cold applica- 
tions are more effective than cold alone. Sometimes 
the inactivity is due to exhaustion, and rest is 
needed. In such cases the patient should be allowed 
to sleep, if possible, and should be given food. The 
most important and effective of all measures is mas- 
sage or " expression." 

The hot vaginal douche should also be employed, 
and farradic electricity may be in some cases used 
with advantage. When the last named agent is em-- 
ployed, the positive pole should be applied to the 
back and the negative over the womb. 

Retention of the After-birth.— As remarked in 
the preceding paragraph, hemorrhage sometimes oc- 


curs in consequence of failure of the uterus to con- 
tract properly after the child has been born, or in 
consequence of an unusually firm attachment of the 
placenta to the internal walls of the uterus. When 
the uterine contractions suddenly cease after the 
child is born, so that the placenta is not expelled,. the 
remedies suggested for inactivity of the womb should 
be applied. In case these are not effective, it be- 
comes necessary for the physician to pass two or 
more fingers into the womb, and by gradually work- 
ing them under the placenta, loosen it and bring it 
away. This is a painful procedure, and should not be 
resorted to until a very thorough trial of other means 
has been made. 

Rigidity of the Womb. — In some cases labor is 
delayed by a failure of the neck or mouth of the 
womb to dilate with sufficient rapidity. This is 
sometimes due to an early rupture of the membranes, 
in consequence of which the " bag of waters," which 
precedes the child as it passes downward, does 
not perforin its usual and important function of di- 
latation. It is also sometimes due to an unnatural 
condition of the tissues of the neck of the womb. In 
these cases the pains are very severe and acute, 
being felt mostly in the sacrum. The patient is 
feverish and very restless, the pulse becomes very 
frequent, and the patient suffers great distress. By 
internal examination, the os, or mouth, of the womb 
is felt like a hard ring. 

The best remedies for this condition are the hot 
sitz bath, and hot vaginal douche. They may be 
continued for several hours if necessary without det- 


riment. Large, hot enemas are also very useful in 
this condition. They should be retained as long as 

Rigidity of the Perinceum. — In this condition, 
the perinseum, or portion of the tissue between the va- 
gina and rectum, does not dilate as it should, but the 
central portion bulges forward while the upper edge 
remains hard and unyielding. This is the most fre- 
quent cause of rupture of the perinseum. The best 
remedies are the hot sitz bath and hot fomentations 
to the parts. A very excellent way of applying 
moist heat is by means of a large sponge dipped in 
hot water, and applied as hot as can be borne. The 
hot-water douche and the hot enema are remedies of 
very great value. The employment of daily sitz 
baths during the later months of pregnancy, and of 
daily massage of the part are the most reliable means 
of preventing this complication. 

After-Pains. — In some cases, contractions of the 
uterus continue for a longer or shorter period after 
labor is completed. When these contractions are so 
severe as to give the patient great discomfort, hot 
fomentations should be applied over the abdomen. 
The hot vaginal douche is also an excellent means of 
relieving after-pains by producing firm contraction of 
the womb. Friction over the womb is also a use- 
ful measure for these cases by securing thorough 
contraction of the uterine muscles. 

The Use of Ergot. — This drug, once very popu- 
lar, indeed thought to be almost indispensable in all 
cases of childbirth, is now charged by many of the 
most eminent obstetricians with being the cause of 


a, . . . 

much increase of suffering during childbirth, and se- 
rious subsequent disease. It has often been the 
cause of ruptures of the neck of the womb and of the 
perinaeum by producing too rapid labor. If used at 
all, it should be only after the delivery of the head, 
and it is probable that its use can be dispensed with 
in most, if not all, cases, without detriment to any, 
and with benefit to many. As elsewhere remarked, 
the proper employment of massage and " expression " 
obviates the use of ergot even in those cases in which 
it has long been considered indispensable. 

The Use of Ancestheties. — The employment of 
anaesthetics in childbirth is a practice of very recent 
date. When it was first introduced, many fears were 
expressed that harm would result to either mother or 
child, or both. Some opposed the measure on moral 
grounds, claiming that the pains of childbirth were 
part of the curse pronounced upon Eve, and that the 
use of anaesthetics for the purpose of mitigating the 
pain was preventing the execution of the penalty. 
Notwithstanding the opposition, however, some form 
of anaesthetic, generally chloroform, is now very 
largely used, especially in prolonged and unusually 
painful labors. If the patient is strong and vigorous, 
and the labor is not unusually severe, there is no oc- 
casion for the use of the anaesthetic but if the con- 
trary of this is true, there is no question but that 
benefit, as well as comfort, may be derived from the 
judicious use of chloroform. It is unnecessary to pro- 
duce profound anaesthesia, or to bring the patient 
fully under the influence of the drug, and hence there 
is little or no danger of immediate, injury to the pa- 


tient. Neither have those opposed to the use of 
chloroform been able to show that injury results 
to the child. It should never be used, however, 
without the advice and constant supervision of the 
physician. When the proper preparatory treatment 
has been carefully employed during pregnancy, there 
will be little necessity for an anaesthetic. 

Twins. — Twin pregnancy may be suspected when 
the mother is unusually large, or when there is a 
double appearance of the enlarged abdomen. Twin 
birth occurs in proportion of about one to seventy or 
eighty single births. The usual unpleasant symptoms 
which occur during pregnancy are greatly exagger- 
ated in twin pregnancy. Complicated labors are also 
somewhat more frequent in twin births. The birth 
of the second child generally succeeds that of the 
first very quickly, but cases have been observed in 
which several hours and even days have elapsed 
before the birth of the second child. 

Abdominal Pregnancy. — It sometimes happens 
that the impregnated ovum finds its way into the ab- 
dominal cavity and there undergoes development; 
fortunately, occurrences of this kind are very rare. 
In many cases, the foetus becomes surrounded with a 
cyst, by means of which it is separated from the rest 
of the body, and sometimes may be thus preserved 
for years in a degenerated condition. In other cases, 
the different portions of the foetus gradually work 
out through the bowels, or even through the abdom- 
inal wall. In still other cases, decomposition and 
suppuration take place, the system becomes infected 
with the products of decomposition, and the patient 


dies of blood poisoning. Cases have occurred in 
which, by the performance of a surgical Operation, a 
fully developed child has been removed from the ab- 
dominal cavity, the lives of both mother and infant 
being saved. 

Puerperal Fever. — This disease is responsible 
for a large number of deaths following confinement, 
and a great multitude of chronic, diseased conditions, 
by which women who have suffered from it are crip- 
pled and maimed, many times for life. It is now 
pretty generally conceded that severe fever following 
confinement is usually the result of absorption into 
the system of some of the products of the decomposi- 
tion taking place in the generative passages. Having 
gained access to the blood, the diseased germs multi- 
ply in great numbers and soon pervade the whole 
system. In addition to the general fever, inflamma- 
tions of the womb or its surrounding tissues and the 
ovary and other organs are very likely to occur, 
leaving adhesions, consolidations, abscesses, indu- 
rations, etc. 

The best treatment of this disease is prevention. 
If the parts are thoroughly washed out two or three 
times a day with a disinfectant lotion, by means of a 
syphon syringe, the thorough cleansing being kept up 
continuously until the lochial discharge has entirely 
ceased, there is little chance for the germs of disease 
to find an entrance into the system, and puerperal 
fever will not be likely to occur. A physician at- 
tending one case of the disease will be very likely to 
convey it to other patients whom he may visit, unless 
he takes great care to disinfect his person and clothing. 


The fever should be treated on the general principles 
which govern the treatment of fever in other diseases. 
Such cases as this require the services of a skill- 
ful and experienced physician, and the most careful 

Lacerations of the Womb and Perinceum. — The 
long continuance of a bloody discharge after confine- 
ment is ground for suspicion that the neck of the 
womb has been torn, and the matter should at once 
receive attention. 

After every confinement a careful examination 
should be made to ascertain whether there has been 
a tear of the perinseum or any other serious injury to 
the soft parts of the mother. The neglect of this 
precaution has left thousands of women to suffer a 
life-time from a long train of painful ailments which 
might have been easily prevented by the immediate 
performance of an operation to restore the torn parts. 
The old adage " a stitch in time saves nine " is in no 
case more applicable than in these. 

Phlegmasia Dolens. — Milk-leg. — This painful 
complication of parturition usually appears about ten 
days after childbirth, being ushered in by chills, head- 
ache, mental depression, heaviness in the bowels, gen- 
eral uneasiness, feverishness, and a quickened pulse. 
These symptoms are speedily followed by pain in 
the groin of the affected side, extending down the 
limb. Very soon the whole limb becomes hot, swol- 
len, white, and shining. The patient is exceedingly 
restless and uneasy, and suffers much. There is 
complete loss of power in the limb. The flesh yields 
to the finger, but does not " pit " on pressure. The 


swelling usually begins at the body and extends 
downward, but sometimes the reverse is the case. 

Nothing positive is known respecting the cause of 
this disease, except that it is most likely to occur in 
debilitated patients, especially those who have suf- 
fered from severe hemorrhage. It is probable also 
that lacerations of the neck of the womb and of the 
perinseum favor the occurrence of the disease by 
a Hording an easy channel for entrance of germs and 
septic matter into the system. It has been observed 
that the disease is most likely to occur in the left leg, 
and that it is more frequent in women who have pre- 
viously borne children than in those who are mothers 
for the first time. Undoubtedly there is, during the 
disease, closure of the veins and lymphatic vessels. 

Treatment : At the very beginning of the attack, 
the affected limb should be elevated, the calf being 
supported by a soft cushion by which it will be raised 
at least a foot above the level of the bed. During 
the first stages of the disease, hot fomentations and 
hot syringing of the limb and painful parts should be 
applied almost constantly. By this means the pain 
is relieved and the circulation restored at an earlier 
date than would otherwise be the case. The fever 
should be relieved by cool sponging, the cool enema 
frequently repeated, and cool compresses over the 
bowels. The diet should be light but nutritious, as 
milk, gruels, beef tea, toast, etc. The bowels should 
be kept open by the warm water enema, to which 
may be added, if necessary, a tablespoonful of gly- 
cerine or a little soap. 

Relief from pain will often be given by rubbing of 


the limb with sweet-oil or vaseline, the rubbing al- 
ways being in an upward direction, and very gentle. 
After a few days, the tissues become softer, and when 
pressed by the finger, show a depression which re- 
mains for some minutes, — a symptom known as " pit- 
ting." This indicates that the lymphatic channels 
are being opened up, and the treatment should now 
be changed. The limbs should be daily rubbed up- 
ward with firm pressure by the hand, beginning at 
the toes and grasping the whole circumference of the 
limb, or as nearly so as possible. This should be re- 
peated three or four times a day, and should be con- 
tinued fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. During 
the intervals the limb should be bandaged by a rubber 
or flannel bandage, which should be applied evenly 
and firmly, from the toes to the thigh, and without so 
great pressure as to give pain. Alternate hot and 
cold sponging of the limb and friction with the hand 
are also valuable measures of treatment. The patient 
should be kept quiet in bed until all evidence of act- 
ive disease has disappeared. The bandage should 
be worn so long as there is any swelling or bloating. 
The effects of the disease sometimes persist for a 
long time. Patients complain of a "wooden feel" 
which often lasts for months, and sometimes even 
years, although the attack itself seldom lasts more 
than two or three weeks. Sometimes a permanent 
enlargement remains. Fortunately, the disease is not 
dangerous, and one attack does not seem to increase 
the liability to the disorder to any great degree, and 
indeed, second attacks seem to be less severe than 
first ones. One of the most unpleasant features of 


the malady is its liability to appear in the limb of the 
opposite side when the limb first attacked is begin- 
ning to recoA'er. 

Puerperal Mania. — This form of mental disease 
is most apt to show itself about two weeks after de- 
livery. Although, fortunately, of not very frequent 
occurrence, it is a most serious disorder when it does 
occur, and hence Ave may Avith propriety introduce 
the following somewhat lengthy, but most graphic de- 
scription of tlic disease from the pen of Dr. Rams- 
botham, an eminent English physician : — 

" In mania there is almost ahvays, at the very 
commencement, a troubled, agitated, and hurried 
manner, a restless eye, an unnaturally anxious, suspi- 
cious, and impleading expression of face ; — sometimes 
it is pallid, at others more flushed than usual ; — an un- 
accustomed irritability of temper, and impatience of 
control or contradiction ; a vacillation of purpose, or 
loss of memory ; sometimes a rapid succession of con- 
tradictory orders are issued, or a paroxysm of exces- 
sive anger is excited about the merest trifle. Occa- 
sionally, one of the first indications will be a sullen 
obstinacy, or listlessness and stubborn silence. The 
patient lies on her back, and can by no means be per- 
suaded to reply to the questions of her attendants, or 
she will repeat them, as an echo, until, all at once, 
Avithout any apparent cause, she Avill break out into a 
torrent of language more or less incoherent, and her 
words will follow each other Avith surprising rapidity. 
These symptoms will sometimes show themselves 
rather suddenly, on the patient's aAvakening from a 
disturbed and unrefreshing sleep, or they may super- 


vene more slowly when she has been harassed with 
wakefulness for three or four previous nights in suc- 
cession, or perhaps ever since her delivery. She 
will very likely then become impressed with the idea 
that some evil has befallen her husband, or, what is 
still more usual, her child ; that it is dead or stolen ; 
and if it be brought to her, nothing can persuade her 
it is her own ; she supposes it to belong to somebody 
else ; or she will fancy that her husband is unfaithful 
to her, or that he and those about her have con- 
spired to poison her. Those persons who are natur- 
ally the objects of her deepest and most devout affec- 
tion, are regarded by her with jealousy, suspicion, and 
hatred. This is particularly remarkable with regard 
to her newly born infant ; and I have known many 
instances where attempts have been made to destroy 
it when it has been incautiously left within her 
power. Sometimes, though rarely, may be observed 
a great anxiety regarding the termination of her own 
case, or a firm conviction that she is speedily about 
to die. I have observed upon occasions a constant 
movement of the lips, while the mouth was shut ; or 
the patient is incessantly rubbing the inside of her 
lips with her fingers, or thrusting them far back into 
her mouth ; and if questions are asked, particularly if 
she be desired to put .out her tongue, she will often 
compress the lips forcibly together, as if with an ob- 
stinate determination of resistance. One peculiarity 
attending some cases of puerperal mania is the im- 
morality and obscenity of the expressions uttered ; 
they are often such, indeed, as to excite our astonish- 
ment that women in a respectable station of society 


could ever have become acquainted with such lan- 

The insanity of childbirth differs from that of 
pregnancy in that in the latter cases the patient is al- 
most always melancholy, while in the former there is 
active mania. Derangement of the digestive organs 
is a constant accompaniment of the disease. 

If the patient has no previous or hereditary ten- 
dency to insanity, the prospect of a quite speedy re- 
covery is good. The result is seldom immediately 
fatal, but the patient not infrequently remains in a 
condition of mental unsoundness for months or even 
years, and sometimes permanently. 

Treatment : When there is reason to suspect a lia- 
bility to puerperal mania from previous mental dis- 
ease or from hereditary influence, much can be done 
to ward off an attack. Special attention must be 
paid to the digestive organs, which should be regu- 
lated by proper food and simple means to aid diges- 
tion. The tendency to sleeplessness must be coni- 
batted by careful nursing, light massage at night, 
rubbing of the spine, alternate hot and cold applica- 
tions to the spine, cooling the head by cloths wrung 
out of cold water, and the use of the warm bath at 
bed time. These measures are often successful in 
securing sleep when all other measures fail. 

The patient must be kept very quiet. Visitors, 
even if near relatives, must not be allowed when the 
patient is at all nervous or disturbed, and it is best to 
exclude nearly every one from the sick-room with 
the. exception of the nurse, who should be a compe- 
tent and experienced person. 


When the attack has really begun, the patient 
must have the most vigilant watchcare, not being left 
alone for a moment. It is much better to care for 
the patient at home, when possible to do so efficiently, 
than to take her to an asylum. 

When evidences of returning rationality appear, 
the greatest care must be exercised to prevent too 
great excitement. Sometimes a change of air, if the 
patient is sufficiently strong, physically, will at this 
period prove eminently beneficial. A visit from a 
dear friend will sometimes afford a needed stimulus 
to the dormant faculties. Such cases as these of 
course require intelligent medical supervision. 

Pelvic Inflammations. — One of the most serious 
complications of childbirth is acute inflammation of 
the uterus or its surrounding tissues. The cause is 
usually exposure to draughts by which a cold is con- 
tracted, neglect to properly cleanse the parts by thor- 
ough disinfecting vaginal douches, two or three times 
a day, allowing the decomposing matters to be ab- 
sorbed, getting up too soon, neglect to properly evac- 
uate the bowels or bladder, and similar neglects to re- 
gard the hygiene of this period with proper care. It 
is one of the most serious of all the complications of 
the post-partum period, often leaving the patient a 
life-long sufferer from adhesions, chronic pelvic ab- 
scesses, and other local disorders. 

The disease is usually ushered in with a chill. 
The temperature runs very high in a few hours, as in- 
dicated by the rapid pulse, hot, dry skin, and thirst, 
often accompanied by delirium. There is great local 
pain and tenderness, the patient can scarcely bear to 



be stirred or touched, and can hardly endure the 
weight of the bed-clothes. 

Treatment : Energetic measures must be adopted 
at once. Apply ice bags, or cloths wrung out of ice- 
water, every five or ten minutes, hot fomentations or 
hot bags to the spine, hot enemas, and cool sponging 
of the trunk of the body. The temperature must be 
lowered as soon as possible. If the cold applications 
over the seat of pain do not give relief from pain, hot 
fomentations must be applied every two or three hours 
for a half hour or more. The hot douche slightly 
tinged with permanganate of potash solution, must 
also be assiduously employed, being repeated at least 
every two or three hours, until the fever begins to 
diminish. A physician should be called. 


The placenta, or after-birth, which properly de- 
velops at the upper part of the cavity of the womb, is 
sometimes attached in such a position as to cover the 
outlet of the organ. In such cases, known as " Pla- 
centa Previa," child-birth cannot take place without a 
frightful hemorrhage, which may be fatal if the con- 
dition is not understood beforehand. Hemorrhage 
may occur at any time after the earliest months, and 
the danger increases as pregnancy advances. A pro- 
fuse flow of blood should warn the mother to go at 
once to bed and send for a physician. In the mean- 
time the bleeding may be controlled by crowding a 
large sponge with a string attached into the vagina, 
and pressing it against the mouth of the womb, 

The Diseases of Women. 


HAT there has been in the last quarter of a 
century a most remarkable increase in the 
number and frequency of diseases of the 
class known as " female diseases," is a fact 
well attested by the observation of hun- 
dreds of physicians and other persons who 
have had wide opportunities for observa- 
tion on this point. No one disputes the 
fact, but various interpretations have been 
given to it. 

author attributes the difficulty to faulty 
methods of education, particularly the attempt of 
young women to compete with their brothers in the 
study of the classics and the higher mathematics. 
Another, adducing the fact that American women 
seem to suffer more than those of any other nation, finds 
an explanation in the asserted fact "that all animals 
tend to deteriorate in this country." No reason is 
offered why America should not be as healthy a coun- 
try as any other upon the globe, but attention is 
called to the fact that numerous classes of people 
have occupied the territory in succession, from which 
it is argued that no race can long continue an exist- 
ence here without degeneration ; thus placing the re- 



sponsibility wholly upon nature and removing it from 
the shoulders of those who, according to our view, 
are only suffering the consequences of their own 
transgression of nature's laws, combined with inher- 
ited weaknesses and morbid tendencies. 

During the last ten years our opportunities for 
studying this class of disorders has been very exten- 
sive, and we have carefully sought for the cause in 
each individual case of the thousands which have 
come under our care for treatment. Careful and pro- 
Longed consideration of the subject has convinced us 
that the increased frequency of diseases peculiar to 
the female sex are more directly attributable to bad 
habits of dress, diet, and unnatural and injurious per- 
sonal and social habits of various sorts, than to any 
other causes. We cannot conceive it to be possible 
for a woman to dress in accordance with the require- 
ments of fashion for any length of time, without he- 
mming seriously diseased in the functions peculiar to 
her sex. This subject has already been considered 
at length in earlier portions of this work, and hence 
need not be dwelt upon here. 

The fact above stated is recognized by the most 
eminent authorities among those who have made a 
specialty of the treatment of this class of maladies, as 
is evidenced by the following significant words from 
Prof. Emmett :— 

" At the very dawn of womanhood the young girl 
begins to live an artificial life, utterly inconsistent 
with the normal development. The girl of the period 
is made a woman before her time by associating too 
much with her elders, and in diet, dress, habits, and 

Diseases op women. 489 

tastes, she becomes at an early age but a reflection of 
her elder sisters. She may have acquired every ac- 
complishment, and yet will have been kept in igno- 
rance of the simplest feature of her organization, and 
of the requirements for the preservation of her health. 
Her bloom is often as transient as that of the hot- 
house plant, where the flower has been forced by cul- 
tivation to an excess of development, by stunting the 
growth of its branches and limiting the spread of its 
roots. A girl is scarcely in her teens before custom 
requires a change in her dress. Her shoulder-straps 
and buttons are given up for a number of strings 
about her waist, and the additional weight of an in- 
creased length of skirt is added. She is unable to 
take the proper kind or necessary amount of exercise, 
even if she were not taught that it would be unlady- 
like to make the attempt. Her waist is drawn into a 
shape little adapted to accommodate the organs placed 
there, and as the abdominal and spinal muscles are 
seldom brought into play, they become atrophied. 
The viscera are thus compressed and displaced, and 
as the full play of the abdominal wall and the descent 
of the diaphragm are interfered with, the venous blood 
is hindered in its return to the heart." 

Although mothers have been repeatedly warned 
of the danger of thus allowing their daughters to sap 
the very foundation of their life in early ivomanhood, 
it is rare indeed that a mother can be found who has 
the moral courage to stand up against the tide of pub- 
lic opinion and bravely refuse to bow to the mandates 
of fashion. Health, happiness, usefulness, comfort, 
are all sacrificed upon the throne of the fickle goddess 


to whom so many thousands pay an onerous but will- 
ing homage. So long as this strangely inconsistent 
course is persisted in, woman will continue to be the 
chief supporter of the medical fraternity, whose skill 
and ingenuity are taxed to the utmost in devising 
means for the relief of her multitudinous and painful 
ills, at least three-fourths of which might be easily 
avoided by better attention to the laws which govern 
her sexual nature. 

Although Ave cannot here enumerate all, or even a 
small part, of the causes which give rise to the vari- 
ous maladies to which women are especially liable, 
this portion of our subject having been quite fully 
considered elsewhere, Ave must again call attention to 
what is probably one of the most common of all the 
causes of uterine disease, viz., neglect to attend 
promptly to the call of nature for evacuation of the 
boAvels and bladder. With many, perhaps Ave may 
say most, Avomen, this neglect is habitual. The great 
majority of Avomen, young, old, and middle-aged, suffer 
with constipation of the boAvels. In a majority of 
cases this is largely the result of neglect. By de- 
grees, the boAvels lose their natural sensibility, and 
become torpid and inactive ; the immediate result of 
this is congestion of all the organs of the pelvis, the 
uterus and ovaries with the rest, and sooner or later 
the symptoms of disease of these organs make their 
appearance. When the bladder is alloAved to become 
distended, the body of the Avomb is croAvded backAvard, 
Avhile the neck of the organ is drawn forward, and 
thus retroversion and ultimately retroflexion is pro- 
duced. The overdistended bladder becomes irritable, 


and takes on serious inflammation. The severe ef- 
forts required to relieve the bowels in obstinate con- 
stipation, are productive of prolapsus and other dis- 
placements. Aside from this, the general health suf- 
fers from the retention of offensive material which 
should be carried out of the body promptly, but being 
retained, is absorbed, contaminating the blood, poison- 
ing the nerve centers, and working general mischief. 
One of the causes of this prevalent condition among 
women is deficient muscular exercise and a concen- 
trated diet, the too free use of meat, pastry, and fine- 
flour bread. Oatmeal, cracked wheat, graham flour, 
and fruits, if more freely used, would obviate much 
of the suffering from this cause ; but probably the 
most potent cause may be found in the inconvenient, 
often repulsive, we may even say indecent, and to a 
delicate or menstruating woman, actually dangerous 
closet accommodations provided for the use of the 
average family. In ancient times the apartments de- 
voted to the relief of the bowels and bladder were 
dedicated to the beautiful goddess Cloacina, and were 
made convenient, comfortable, even attractive, and so 
stable in structure that they have withstood the blasts 
of many centuries. How different from the modern 
edifice devoted to the same purpose ! Its structure is 
usually such as to make it in warm weather a noisome 
and loathsome place, and in winter scarcely an apol- 
ogy for protection from the snow and chilling blasts 
incident to the season. Its location is generally at 
some distance from the house, rarely sheltered from 
the gaze of the street, and approached by a neglected 
path surrounded with tall grass or weeds, insuring the 


wetting of feet and ankles from rain or dew, and mak- 
ing it almost inaccessible when the ground is covered 
deep with snow. For a woman who is passing through 
her menstrual period to visit such a place is, in cold 
or rainy weather, certainly a dangerous proceeding. 
A visit at any time is to be dreaded, and hence is 
avoided as long as possible. In most parts of the 
country, particularly in the South and West, a neigh- 
boring shed, a clump of bushes, or the shelter of a 
rock, afford the only convenience for meeting the 
demands of nature for the performance of one of the 
most imperative and essential of the vital functions. 

The remedy for this defect which we suggest, 
where the most i m proved form of water-closet cannot 
be employed, is the earth-closet. This need not be 
.in expensive affair, although there are various pat- 
ented devices which are as ornamental as useful, and 
fulfill all the requirements to be met. All the prac- 
tical advantages to be gained from the earth-closet can 
be secured by an exceedingly small outlay. All that 
is really necessary is a properly constructed seat, un- 
der which should be placed a large galvanized pail or 
pan one-third filled with well-sifted coal ashes, or fine, 
dry clay or dust from the street. A supply of the 
same material should be at hand, with a small shovel 
ready for use, and after use of the closet, a shovelful 
should be added to the contents of the pail. The lat- 
ter should be emptied and rinsed with a saturated so- 
lution of copperas, daily. With these precautions, 
such a closet may be placed anywhere in a house with 
perfect safety. A warm corner of the woodshed may 
be partitioned off to receive it, or a small room adjoin- 


ing the house may be built on purpose for its accom- 
modation. Warmth in cold weather, convenience at 
all times, and privacy of approach, are advantages 
which should be embodied in every case as essential 
means of maintaining the health, as well as minister- 
ing to the mental and physical comfort of the female 
members of the household. 

Perpetual " dosing " must be set down as one of 
the causes which have been instrumental in making so 
conspicuous u the little health of women." This sub- 
ject has also been considered elsewhere, but we think 
will bear mentioning again, so common is the custom 
and so serious its consequences. It must be conceded 
that Homeopathy has been of most invaluable service 
to the world, at least to one-half of humanity, by 
demonstrating that this class of ailments, when cura- 
ble, recover more rapidly without than with the con- 
stant dosing with pills and pellets and regulating pow- 
ders, nauseating compounds and sickening decoctions. 
The treatment of the diseases of women as practiced 
to-day by the most experienced and scientific practi- 
tioners, more nearly approaches the ideal standard of 
rationality than any other branch of medicine, and 
the daily advances in this direction are greater than' 
in any other department. 

We should fail to do our duty should Ave neglect 
to endeavor to impress upon the minds of our readers 
the paramount importance of attending seriously and 
promptly to the first evidences of the maladies to 
which this section is devoted. Nearly all this class 
of diseases, although very chronic and obstinate when 
thoroughly developed are readily controlled by proper 


and efficient treatment at the outset. False modesty 
often restrains the sufferer from making known her 
condition to a competent medical adviser until it has 
existed so long that a cure can only be accomplished 
by long-continued and persevering efforts. When ap- 
prized of this fact, the unfortunate individual often 
gives up in discouragement. In far too many instan- 
ces, when this is not the case, the patient has the 
misfortune to fall into the hands of some physician 
who blindly follows obsolete or routine methods of 
treatment, perhaps doing the best he knows how, but 
notwithstanding, in no way benefiting the patient 
even after years of treatment. 

The treatment of this class of diseases, or " female 
weaknesses/' as they are termed by the advertising 
charlatan, is one of the most lucrative sources of rev- 
enue to quacks of every description. Not hesitating 
to promise the most marvelous results within a short 
space of time, they excite the hopes of their victims 
only to leave them deeper than ever in the slough of 
despond. A person who has been thus imposed upon 
a few times, is generally in about as wretched a con- 
dition, both physically and mentally, as an individual 
can well be. It is partly for the purpose of render- 
ing sufferers from this class of diseases sufficiently in- 
telligent upon the subject of their ailments to enable 
them to discriminate between the competent and reli- 
able physician and the ignorant pretender, that this 
section is written. Another object in its preparation 
which we may mention in conclusion, is to inspire 
those of this large class of sufferers into whose hands 
this work may fall, with hope and courage, by the as- 

Diseases of women. 495 

surance that there are rational and successful methods 
of treatment which will reach almost every case, no 
matter how chronic nor how apparently hopeless it may 
be, provided they are skillfully adapted to each par- 
ticular case and faithfully administered. Fortu- 
nately, also, most of the common ailments of women 
are curable by a very few and comparatively simple 
means in their earlier stages, before many complica- 
tions have arisen, and these means are such as can be 
utilized at home, if a fair degree of interest and in- 
telligence are enlisted in the effort. We have en- 
deavored to point out in the appendix the measures 
of treatment best adapted to home treatment, and 
such as we have known to be successful in hundreds, 
we may even say thousands, of cases in which we have 
recommended their use. 

We shall consider first and most fully those mala- 
dies which are most easily manageable by methods 
which can be employed at home, giving only brief 
space to the treatment of diseases which are not 
readily recognized by any but the skilled physician, 
and which demand his personal services in carrying 
out a course of treatment. Even in these cases, 
however, as every physician knows, that which the 
patient can do for herself at home, or can have done 
by a competent nurse, contributes more largely to the 
successful result than all other measures combined. 


This exceedingly common condition is usually a 
symptom of disease rather than an independent disor- 
der ; but it is so exceedingly common that it is proper 


to describe its treatment independently. As a symp- 
tom, leucorrhoea is indicative of quite a variety of 
conditions. The discharge to which the term 
"whites" or "female weakness" is familiarly applied, 
varies considerably in character. A natural dis- 
charge of whitish mucus, the proper secretion of the 
vaginal mucous membrane, takes place for a short 
time just before and just after menstruation, and 
need occasion no concern ; but when the discharge 
becomes continuous, not disappearing in the interval 
between the menstrual periods, it becomes a symptom 
of disease. A very profuse discharge naturally takes 
place also in the latter part of pregnancy. 

hi addition to the special causes mentioned, leu- 
oorrhoea may result from simple congestion of the 
blood-vessels of the vaginal mucous membrane due to 
improper dress. It may also be occasioned by tak- 
ing cold, by sexual excess, and by indigestion or a 
debilitated state of the system. 

The indication of leucorrhoea as a symptom depends 
largely upon the character of the discharge. Viscid 
mucous discharges are generally from the womb. 
Curdy mucous discharges are occasioned by catarrh 
of the vagina. Clear or turbid watery discharges, es- 
pecially when very offensive in character, are indica- 
tive of tumors or malignant disease of the womb. 
Discharges containing pus are indicative of inflamma- 
tion or ulceration ; they may proceed from the vag- 
inal mucous membrane or from the uterus. Reddish 
or bloody discharges accompany tumors of various 
kinds, cancer, and ulceration of the womb. Dis- 
charges of a very offensive character, especially when 


occasionally mixed with blood, are indicative of the 
presence of malignant disease. Offensive discharges 
are not positive evidence of the presence of cancer, 
however, as they may arise from other causes. 

Treatment : The first and most important measure 
of treatment is the hot vaginal douche (see appen- 
dix). In cases in which there is much irritation, 
soothing lotions may be applied, as linseed or slip- 
pery-elm tea, starch water, infusion of hops, one 
ounce to the pint of water, a solution of borax, one 
teaspoonful, powdered, to the pint of water, is also 
exceedingly useful in allaying the vaginal irritation 
and that of the labia, which frequently results from 
an acrid discharge. 

When the disease is chronic, the discharge profuse, 
and the parts relaxed, astringents may be employed 
with benefit. The hot water douche should be made 
slightly astringent in character by tlft addition of 
powdered alum, tannin, and other mild astringents, V 
the astringent solution may be used after the usual 
liot water douche. Alum may be used in the propor- 
tion of a teaspoonful of powdered alum to a pint of 
t water. Tannin may be used in proportion of one 
dram to a pint of water. When the discharge is of- 
fensive, a solution of permanganate of potash, in the 
proportion of ten grains to a pint of water, will gen- 
erally be effective in correcting the fetor. 

The hot douche should be taken at least twice a 
day, for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time, the 
astringent application being made once a day. It is 
best to alternate in the use of astringents when they 
are used for a long time. Glycerine is also a most 


useful measure, used alone or combined with astrin- 
gents. The same may be said of a more recently 
discovered remedy, the extract of the Eucalyptus 
globulus or Australian gum-tree. For formula for 
these remedies, see the appendix. 

The sitz or hip bath may be usefully employed in 
this as well as most other forms of local disease in 
women. The temperature of the bath should be at 
92° F., at the beginning, and after ten to twenty min- 
utes should be cooled down from two to five degrees 
for about one minute, so that there will be no lia- 
bility of the patient's taking cold. The bath may be 
taken daily if the patient is strong, or in other cases 
two to four times a week. 

Still another measure of very great value in these 
cases is the medicated tampon, which is also de- 
scribed in the appendix. Alum, tannin, glycerine, 
and a varietjrof useful remedies may be applied in 
tliis manner, either with or without the aid of an in- 
strument for placing the tampon, as described in the 



This disease is much less common than the pre- 
ceding, one form of which is sometimes termed 
chronic vaginitis. In the acute form of the disease 
there is swelling, heat, tenderness, smarting, and a 
burning sensation, with a more or less profuse dis- 
charge. This form of the disease very closely resem- 
bles the specific form of the affection known as gonor- 
rhoea, which usually results from impure connection. 


In a somewhat rare variety of the disease the whole 
vaginal mucous membrane is covered with granula- 
tions, which render it exceedingly sensitive. 

The causes of vaginitis are cold, irritating dis- 
charges from the womb, caustics, badly fitting sup- 
porters, self-abuse, and excessive coitus. 

Treatment : An acute attack of vaginitis can gener- 
ally be cured in ten days or two weeks by the em- 
ployment of sitz baths, warm douches, three or four 
times a day, injections of starch water, and resting in 
bed. Other measures are seldom necessary. When 
the disease is chronic, longer time is required for a 
cure. Glycerine and tannin, in the proportion of one- 
half dram of the latter to one ounce of the former, is 
an excellent remedy in chronic vaginitis, to be ap- 
plied to the affected part daily or every other day by 
means of cotton saturated with the solution. A so- 
lution of chlorate of potash, a dram to a half pint of 
water, is also a very useful remedy. Dr. Smith, of 
London, especially recommends a solution of half an 
ounce of alum and a dram of tannin to a quart of 
water, one half to be used at night and the other half 
in the morning, to be applied after the warm, douche. 

Gonorrhoea in females is to be treated upon essen- 
tially the same plan as vaginitis from any other cause. 


The chief symptoms of this disease are pain in 
walking, and severe spasmodic pain due to contraction 
of the sphincter muscle of the vagina whenever the 
parts are touched or otherwise excited. This is 
often a very severe affection, being the occasion not 


only of great inconvenience, but of intense mental as 
well as physical suffering. It consists in an unnat- 
urally sensitive condition of the vagina, which causes 
violent spasmodic contraction of its walls from the 
slightest irritation. The chief causes are hysteria, 
inflammation of the vagina, excoriations of the mucous 
membrane, vascular tumors of the urethra, and fissure 
of the anus. 

Treatment: The sitz-bath, daily hot douche, and 
soothing lotions, such as infusion of hops, starch water, 
linseed tea. etc., should be first employed, and if un- 
successful, a most rigorous search should be made for 
the cause. Whatever this is, it must be removed. 
Often it consists in an irritable condition of the 
vagina, which must of course be cured first of all. In 
very obstinate cases, a surgical operation is necessary, 
and hence a physician should be consulted. 


This is usually a very distressing complaint. It is 
characterized by an intense burning, itching, and 
tingling of the organs of generation. The seat of the 
itching varies, being sometimes confined to the ex- 
ternal organs of generation, and sometimes involving 
the vaginal canal to a greater or less extent. The 
affection is sometimes purely nervous, but most com- 
monly depends upon an acrid discharge, especially in 
the senile leucorrhoea of old age, which is character- 
ized by a very acrid discharge from the womb. A 
serious form of the disease accompanies diabetes in 
women. The itching is so intense, the desire to 
scratch the person becomes uncontrollable and isolates 


the sufferer ironi society, also occasioning loss of 
sleep and the greatest mental depression, sometimes 
even resulting in insanity. 

Treatment : The disease is sometimes very obsti- 
nate, and requires perseA^ering treatment. Try first, 
the hot vaginal douche. Bathe the external parts 
with hot water, hot as can be borne without pain, 
gently striking the parts with a sponge squeezed 
from the water. Bathing the parts with cider vine- 
gar is also very useful as a means of relief in some 
cases. Injections of decoctions of slippery elm, sas- 
safras pith, flax seed, quince seed, and starch or 
gum water are also useful means of soothing the 
irritation. When due to diabetes, the urine should 
be drawn with a catheter for a time. When due 
to a uterine discharge, pledgets or tampons of cot- 
ton should be introduced into the vagina to absorb 
and arrest the secretion, and thus protect the diseased 
parts. If these remedies do not give relief, some one 
of the lotions given in the appendix may be tried. 


This is a disagreeable and often painful ailment, 
most commonly caused by acrid discharges from the 
vagina or womb. Relief may usually be obtained by 
hot douches, sitz baths, and the application of lotions 
of borax, boracic acid, and carbolic acid, for which see 
appendix. When caused by acrid discharges, a cot- 
ton tampon should be placed in the vagina to pre- 
vent the discharge from constantly bathing the af- 
fected parts. The tampon should be dusted with 
powdered borax or boracic acid, tannin, iodoform, 



camphor gum, or chloral. Sometimes diabetes acts 
as a cause, the urine keeping the parts in a state 
of irritation. In these cases the urine should be 
drawn with a catheter several times a day. 


General debility ; pulse weak ; countenance pale 
and sallow ; digestion slow ; bowels very inactive ; 
eyes dull, surrounded by a dark circle ; nervousness ; 
headache ; hysteria ; weakness in the back and lower 
part of the bowels ; watery or glary discharge, some- 
times very copious, often appears in adhesive, stringy 
masses ; scanty or suppressed menstruation ; painful 
menstruation; monorrhagia; are the leading symptoms. 

The mucous membrane lining the cavity of the 
uterus is subject to catarrh as well as all other mu- 
cous membranes of the body. This condition is gen- 
erally termed, inflammation of the interior of the 
womb, and it has long been treated as such. It has 
recently been thoroughly demonstrated, however, that 
this is not the case, and that the condition of the mu- 
cous membrane lining the organ is that of congestion 
and not inflammation. 

The most common causes are improper dress; tak- 
ing cold at the menstrual period ; sexual excess ; self- 
abuse ; and whatever may cause congestion of the 
womb. It occurs very frequently in women who for 
any reason do not nurse their children. 

Treatment : All exciting causes, so far as possible, 
should be removed. If the patient has been in the 
habit of wearing the clothing tight about the waist 


and suspended from the hips, and has neglected to 
clothe the lower extremities properly, these matters 
should receive immediate attention. The limbs should 
be thoroughly clad in flannel the greater portion of the 
year. The feet should be protected by thick woolen 
stockings and warm shoes. The clothing should be 
so loose as to remove all compression about the waist, 
and should be suspended from the shoulders by be- 
ing buttoned to a waist, or by properly adjusted sus- 

The diet of the patient should be nourishing but 
unstimulating. A large proportion of animal food is 
not advisable. Fruits and grains, with a moderate 
alloAvance of eggs and milk, constitute the best diet. 
Although excessive exercise, such as running, jump- 
ing, lifting, and horseback riding, is injurious, a con- 
siderable amount of daily gentle exercise in the open 
air is very important. The sexual system should 
have entire rest during the course of treatment. In 
many cases, married women suffering from uterine 
catarrh are barren. When pregnancy occurs, it is 
likely to be attended by a great number of complica- 
tions, some of which are highly dangerous. 

Careful attention should be given to the regula- 
tion of the bowels. A thorough movement should be 
secured daily, the enema being employed if necessary. 
In most cases, however, the inactivity of the bowels 
may be overcome by careful attention to diet, daily 
kneading of the bowels, and wearing the moist ab- 
dominal bandage at night. The local treatment of 
the disease consists chiefly in the employment of sitz 
baths and hot water douches. The sitz bath should 


be taken daily, or at least every other day, as fol- 
lows : Begin the bath at 95°, after five minutes, 
lower the temperature to 90° ; after ten or fifteen 
minutes longer, the temperature should be lowered 
two or three degrees more, and the. bath immediately 
concluded. A warm foot bath should be taken at the 
same time, at a temperature four or five degrees 
higher than that of the sitz bath. 

The use of astringent injections, as of tannin, 
golden seal, etc., one or two drams to the quart of 
water, is also to be recommended ; but the medicated 
tampon pledget is much to be perferred, especially 
the tannin and glycerine application. See appendix. 

All of these measures must be steadily persisted 
in, not only until the slightest symptoms of the local 
disease have passed away, but for several weeks 
after, and for a few days after each menstrual period 
for several months. It is unnecessary to remark that 
the sitz bath or douche should be suspended during 
the menstrual period unless the disease has assumed 
such a form as to occasion painful menstruation, when 
the hot sitz bath may be necessary to give relief. 

The injection of irritating lotions of various sorts 
into the cavity of the uterus, — a measure of treatment 
employed by some physicians, — is in our opinion a haz- 
ardous procedure and one that is rarely required. 
We have had occasion to see the ill effects of this 
mode of treatment in a number of cases. In a case 
which came under our care a few years ago the pa- 
tient had recently been treated by an injection into 
the cavity of the womb of a strong solution of nitrate 
of silver, The immediate results were so serious 


that the lady barely escaped with her life. We 
scarcely need add that the chronic congestion of the 
organ from which she had suffered many years was 
greatly aggravated in the inflammation Avhich fol- 
lowed, in Avhich not only the womb itself, but its sur- 
rounding tissues were involved. In this Avay an 
amount of damage is often done which can hardly 
be repaired by many months of treatment, and may 
occasion life-long injury. 


The symptoms of this disease are almost identical 
with those of catarrh of the Avomb, but are much 
more intense. The local symptoms are chiefly, pain 
in the lower part of the back, extending around the 
body ; weight, or dragging-down feeling in the bow- 
els ; pain just above the pubic bones, Avith tenderness 
on pressure ; frequently, various symptoms relating to 
the bladder. In most cases there is more or less dis- 
turbance of digestion, leucorrhcea, constipation of the 
boAvels, headache, nervousness, and general debility. 

This disease, like the preceding one, has long 
been mistaken for an inflammation, Avhich its name 
really implies, but Avhich does not in reality exist. 
The condition commonly knoAvn as chronic inflamma- 
tion of the uterus is really congestion of the organ. 
In consequence of disturbance of the circulation in 
the womb, it becomes engorged Avith blood and 
speedily becomes enlarged, sometimes reaching a size 
three or four times as large as in health. As the re- 
sult of the enlargement and increased Aveight, the or- 
gan settles down in the pelvis and thus prolapsus or 


falling of the womb is produced. Sometimes its in- 
creased weight tips it over forward, producing an- 
other form of displacement, known as anteversion. 
In other cases it tips backward against the rectum, 
producing retroversion ; by degrees the anteversion or 
retroversion may become converted into an anteflex- 
ion or retroflexion, conditions in which the organ is 
bent upon itself. In some cases it is tipped to one 
side, conditions known as lateroversion or flexion. 
The various symptoms arising from these several dis- 
placements are given in connection with their consid- 
eration elsewhere. 

The causes of inflammation of the w r omb are the 
same as those which have been mentioned as causes 
of uterine catarrh. In cases of uterine catarrh, the 
whole organ finally becomes affected, as well as its 
mucous lining, by the long continuance of the causes 
referred too. Among the most active causes are sex- 
ual excess in married women, secret vice in the 
unmarried, the employment of various means to pre- 
vent conception, and improper dress. Very fre- 
quently, enlargement or congestion of the womb is 
the result of getting up too soon after confinement, in 
consequence of which the organ fails to return to its 
natural size, remaining more or less enlarged. Mis- 
carriages and abortions are particularly liable to be 
followed by this condition, which is known as subin- 
volution, as are also tears of the neck of the w T omb and 
of the perinseum at childbirth. The wearing of badly 
fitting supporters should be mentioned as a not infre- 
quent cause of chronic congestion of the womb. 

Treatment : The treatment for chronic congestion 


and enlargement of the uterus is essentially the same 
as that recommended for chronic uterine catarrh, the 
details of which need not be repeated here. The sitz 
bath, the hot douche, rest from violent exercise and 
from sexual excitement, and the avoidance of all the 
exciting causes of the affection, are the essentials of 
treatment. The method of treating this affection 
which was popular a dozen years ago, is now pro- 
nounced by the most eminent medical authorities to 
be in the highest degree irrational and detrimental 
to the patient. The cauterizations to which thou- 
sands of women have been subjected year after year, 
the only effect of which was to produce an aggrava- 
tion of other ailments, are iioav condemned in no 
stinted terms by the very men who once employed 
these remedies. 

In our experience at the " Medical and Surgical 
Sanitarium," we have met with hundreds of these 
cases, in which caustics had been employed at inter- 
vals for periods ranging from six months to twenty 
years ; and we have to say that we have never met a 
case in which there was evidence of substantial bene- 
fit from the course of treatment employed. The 
effect of long-continued cauterization is to increase 
the very difficulty which it is supposed to be efficient 
in curing. What the congested organ needs is not 
the application of irritating caustics, but the use of 
soothing remedies. The warm sitz bath attracts the 
blood to the surface, and thus relieves the local con- 
gestion. The hot douche acts efficiently as a rem- 
edy, by causing contraction of the dilated blood- 


Cold injections were formerly recommended for 
this purpose, but the benefit received by their em- 
ployment was very slight, if any good at all was ac- 
complished. Cold applications to the uterus cause 
immediate contraction of its blood-vessels, but the con- 
traction produced is almost immediately followed by 
dilatation, so that the congestion may be aggravated 
rather than relieved. Hot applications cause first a 
slight increase of congestion, but this condition is 
subsequently followed by a contraction of the blood- 
vessels, which continues for a long time. This is 
well shown by a simple experiment. The hands 
dipped in cold water, or rubbed with ice, are at first 
blanched, but in a few seconds become red from con- 
gestion of the blood-vessels of the skin ; while upon 
the other hand, if flic hands arc dipped in hot water, 
they become at first reddened, but after they have 
been immersed for a long time the skin becomes white 
through contraction" of its small arteries. This is well 
shown in the white and wrinkled skin of the hands of 
the washerwoman, which have been immersed in warm 
water for several hours. In performing surgical oper- 
ations upon the womb, when annoyed by troublesome 
bleeding, w r e have resorted to the use of sponges 
dipped in hot water and applied directly to the organ, 
and have thus been able to witness an ocular demon- 
stration of the utility of hot applications to this or- 
gan in the speedy checking of the bleeding, and the 
marked paleness of the organ after the application. 

It should be remarked, however, that there are 
occasional cases in which the hot douche is not well 
tolerated, and benefit seems to be derived from the 
cool douche. 


When there is considerable catarrhal discharge, 
some benefit may be derived from the employment of 
astringents. In addition to the hot water douche, 
alum, common salt, solutions of tannin, of golden seal, 
and various other astringent substances, are usefully 
employed for this purpose. It is a very good plan 
to add a teaspoonful of powdered alum, or common 
salt, to the last pint of water employed in the douche. 

The best method for applying astringents, how- 
ever, is by the use of tampons properly medicated. 
A number of suitable preparations are described in 
the appendix, which see. 

When the uterus is enlarged, and indeed, in all 
cases of chronic inflammation, chronic catarrh, and 
congestion, in Avhich there is little tenderness on 
pressure, uterine massage constitutes a most impor- 
tant measure of treatment, The mode of application 
is described in the appendix. 


The symptoms of congestion of the womb are es- 
sentially the same as those of the two preceding dis- 
eases, which, as remarked, are really the result of con- 
gestion. The patient feels uncomfortable whenever 
on her feet long at a time, has a dull, aching pain 
across the lower part of the back, and often across 
the bowels low down in front, has a good deal of 
headache, particularly at the top of the head, and 
feels nervous and miserable, especially just before and 
just after the menstrual period, when the congestion 
is generally greater than at other times. At first 
there maybe no leucorrhoea ; but as the congestion 


continues, uterine and vaginal catarrh are induced, the 
womb becomes enlarged and subject to the changes 
which are found in chronic inflammation of the womb 
and chronic uterine catarrh. It is impossible to draw 
an exact line between these various conditions, as 
one can hardly exist for any length of time without 
the other. 

Treatment : Sitz baths, hot vaginal douches, as- 
tringent injections and tampons, avoidance of all the 
causes of the disease, and practically the same course 
prescribed for catarrh ana inflammation of the womb, 
are the measures to be followed in this disorder. 


The symptoms of this disorder are profuse leucor- 
rhceal discharge, aching around the body, low down, 
especially when on the feet, and the usual symptoms 
of catarrh or congestion of the womb, which see. As 
seen through the speculum, the os, or lower portion 
of the neck of the womb, is red, raw, and generally 
enlarged. The rawness is usually termed ulceration; 
but the term is an improper one, since the condition 
is not that of true ulceration, but simply of rawness. 
Ulceration of this portion of the body is a quite rare 

The causes of erosion of the os are the same as 
those of congestion, of which it is the result, the mu- 
cous membrane being softened and corroded by an ac- 
rid discharge from the womb, or a profuse vaginal se- 
cretion. When such conditions exist, the movements 
of the body in walking, etc., by producing friction of 


the neck of the womb against the vaginal walls, rub 
off the softened membrane and leave the tissues in a 
raw and irritable condition. 

A large share of the cases which are mistaken for 
ulceration of the womb are cases of laceration of the 
cervix produced at childbirth. We have cured scores 
of such cases by a proper surgical operation after they 
had been treated unsuccessfully for many years by 
means of caustics and the other usual applications. 

Treatment : When the abrasion or erosion is due 
to a rupture at childbirth, and is at all severe, an op- 
eration by a skillful surgeon affords the most speedy 
and certain means of cure. When due to simple con- 
gestion, catarrh of the womb, or prolapsus, these con- 
ditions must be cured. The treatment which will af- 
ford relief and effect a cure in the great majority of 
cases is the following : A sitz bath three or four times 
a week. Two hot vaginal douches daily. (See ap- 
pendix.) The use of astringent injections or tampons, 
preferably the latter, at least three times a week. 
All the causes must be avoided. Sexual continence 
should be observed. Proper diet, dress, regulation of 
the bowels, and attention to all the laws of health are 
essential in securing a rapid and permanent recovery. 


This is a condition in which there is absence of 
the usual menstrual flow. There are two classes of 
cases : those in which the flow fails to make its ap- 
pearance at the proper time, and those in which the 
flow is suppressed after having once been established. 


Amenorrhoea is not a disease of itself, being simply 
a symptom of some disorder of the uterine organs. 
The conditions from which it may arise are various. 
In pregnancy, menstruation is usually suspended, al- 
though in exceptional cases the regular monthly flow 
continues. There is some discussion, however, 
whether in these cases the loss of blood is the true 
monthly menstrual flow. Menstruation is also usu- 
ally suspended during nursing, although the function 
is not infrequently resumed two or three months after 
childbirth. Imperfect development of the reproduc- 
tive organs, and obstruction of the uterus or the vag- 
ina, are conditions which occasionally give rise to 
amenorrhoea. When a mechanical obstruction exists, 
there is generally enlargement of the abdomen from 
accumulation of the menstrual fluid. Sudden sup- 
pression of menstruation is generally due to taking 
cold during the menstrual period, or a sudden mental 
shock. When it occurs suddenly in this way, the 
patient generally complains of pain in the back, head- 
ache, fever, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

We have noticed also, in some cases, temporary 
suspension of the menstrual flow in consequence of a 
change in diet, in which persons who had been accus- 
tomed to a stimulating diet, consisting largely of an- 
imal fat, including a free use of stimulating condi- 
ments, suddenly discontinued the use of these articles. 
In these cases, however, we have never observed any 
impairment of the general health ; in fact, in the ma- 
jority of cases there has been improvement in the 
general health notwithstanding the suppression of 
this function. In the course of a few months the 


function appears again, though as a general rule the 
flow is somewhat less profuse than before. 

We have observed a few peculiar cases of suppres- 
sion of menstruation in which the patient suffered at 
the times when menstruation should appear, with pe- 
culiar nervous symptoms closely resembling a slight 
epileptic attack. 

In many cases there are symptoms of the occur- 
rence of menstruation at the usual time for it to make 
its appearance, with an increase in the quantity of 
the vaginal secretions, known as the molimen, but no 
true menstruation. 

Patients suffering with amenorrhoea are fre- 
quently subject at the time when the menstrual flow 
should make its appearance to hemorrhage in various 
parts of the body, as from the nose, lungs, stomach, 
bowels, etc. Some cases have been observed in 
which bloody sweat appeared at these times. These 
hemorrhages are sometimes termed vicarious menstru- 

Treatment : In cases in which the function has 
never appeared, the difficulty is generally due to mor- 
bid development, or some form of obstruction. For 
the first condition, such measures should be adopted 
as will improve the patient's general health, and se- 
cure proper development. In these cases, the hips 
are generally narrow and the breasts small, and 
the patient often something of a masculine appear- 
ance. When the difficulty has existed for a long 
time, its removal may be impossible ; hence the im- 
portance of giving attention to the matter in time. 
The best means of treatment in these cases are warm 


hip baths three or four times a Aveek, warm vaginal 
douches daily at a temperature of about 100° F., gen- 
eral massage, and special massage of the breasts and 
womb. The massage should be administered daily in 
the manner directed in the appendix, which see. 
Frictions and manipulations of the thighs and lower 
extremities are especially serviceable, as is also per- 
cussion of the lower portion of the back. 

When complete obstruction exists, as indicated by 
the periodical occurrence of the usual symptoms of 
menstruation, but without the menstrual flow, and 
with enlargement of the lower part of the abdomen, 
surgical measures should be resorted to, to allow the 
accumulated fluid to escape. This should be clone 
gradually, however, and in such a way as to prevent 
the entrance of air, as otherwise decomposition would 
occur, which might result in poisoning of the blood. 
This class of persons often suffer much mental annoy- 
ance through suspicion of pregnancy. Such cases of 
course require the services of a skillful physician. 

In cases in which suppression occurs suddenly 
during the menstrual period, the patient should take 
a hot foot or sitz bath, or better still, a hot blanket 
pack, and should be made to sweat profusely by this 
means combined with hot drinks. Hot fomentations 
should be applied across the lower part of the bowels, 
hot bricks, hot bags, and other similar applications to 
the limbs and inside of the thighs. Ice bags or com- 
presses should be applied over the lower portion of the 
spine, and the patient should be kept quiet in bed. 
If the flow is not re-established, the suppression will 
become chronic. When the symptoms of menstruation 


with increased vaginal discharge or molimen, occurs at 
the time for menstruation, but without the natural 
discharge, the same measures should be adopted ; and 
when the condition becomes chronic, or there is rea- 
son to expect that the menstrual flow will not make 
its appearance at the proper time, warm vaginal 
douches and hot sitz baths should be administered for 
a week before the time for the recurrence of the pe- 
riod, and thorough massage of the bowels and also of 
the uterus should be given daily. 

When amenorrhoea exists in consequence of de- 
bility or anaemia, as in consumption and other pros- 
trating diseases, attention should be given to the im- 
provement of the general health by nutritious food, 
daily exercise in the, open air, daily massage, with 
inunctions, electricity and other tonic measures. In 
these cases, the amenorrhoea is not to be considered 
as the cause of the existing debility or general dis- 
ease, as is usually thought to be the case. It is sim- 
ply the result of general depression of the system 
which will disappear after the removal of the cause. 
In these cases, warm sitz baths, hot fomentations over 
the bowels, and daily application of the ice compress 
to the lower portion of the spine for an hour or two, 
are useful measures. The local application of elec- 
tricity by a competent person is also of very great 
advantage. It should be recollected, however, that 
it will be of no advantage to restore the function 
while the cause remains, since its suspension is sim- 
ply a means adopted by nature for economizing her 
resources ; and to force her to perform a function for 
which she is unprepared, will be the means of injury, 


rather than good. When the general health has been 
sufficiently improved, nature will herself correct the 
disordered function in most cases, and the simple 
measures above suggested are all that will be required 
in any but very exceptional cases. 

Emmenagogues. — We wish to say a word just at 
this point about a class of drugs known to the phy- 
sician as emmenagogues^ because of their supposed 
power to restore the menstrual function. There is 
quite a long list of these remedies, none of which, 
however, are reliable. Those which are the most 
efficient as stimulants of the uterus are so poisonous 
and potent for evil that much more harm than good 
is likely to come from their use, and hence none of 
them are to be recommended. If used at all, they 
can do good only when discreetly used by an experi- 
enced physician. 


The length and quantity of the menstrual flow 
varies very greatly in different individuals within the 
Limits of health. A person suffers with scanty menstru- 
ation Avhen the function is meagre compared with 
what is usual for the same individual. The principal 
causes are debility, consumption, disease of the ova- 
ries, ovarian tumors, anteflexion of the uterus, melan- 
choly, and chlorosis. This disease is very common 
among English girls. 

Treatment : The general treatment should be the 
same as recommended for similar cases in which men- 
struation is entirely suspended. For a few davs 
before the period should make its appearance, the 


patient should take daily a warm sitz bath for fifteen 
or twenty minutes. At the time of the period, warm 
enemas, cold compresses applied to the lower part of 
the spine, with fomentations over the bowels at the 
same time, constitute the best measures of treatment. 
The difficulty will generally exist until the patient 
shows marked evidences of improved health, or until 
the local disease upon which it depends is removed. 
Massage to the limbs and bowels, as well as to the 
womb itself, are among the indispensable means of 
treatment in bad cases. 

When the interval between the menstrual periods 
is too prolonged, the causes are usually the same as 
those mentioned as causes of scanty menstruation, 
and the treatment should be essentially the same. 


The interval between the beginning of one men- 
strual period and that of another is normally about 
four weeks. The period may vary within consider- 
able limits in different individuals without impair- 
ment of health ; but should remain the same with the 
same individual through life, except, of course, during 
pregnancy and nursing, till the approach of the meno- 
pause, or change of life. Any great deviation is an 
indication of disease, which should receive prompt at- 

The causes of delayed menstruation are essentially 
the same as those of scanty or suppressed menstrua- 
tion, and the same treatment is demanded, especial 
care being taken to remove or avoid the cause of the 




In cases of amenorrhoea. it occasionally happens 
that a bloody discharge occurs at the menstrual pe- 
riod from some other part of the body than the uterus. 
This is known as vicarious menstruation. Such dis- 
charges have been observed to occur from the scalp, 
ear, nose, eyelids, cheeks, gums, salivary glands, lungs, 
stomach, breasts, abdomen, back, arm-pits, chest, navel, 
kidneys, bowels, legs, hands, and from wounds, sores, 
or ulcers. Hemorrhages from the stomach, breasts, 
and lungs are most frequent, and occur in the order 

Treatment : The habit, when once established, is 
often difficult to cure, and frequently continues for 
many years in spite of treatment, sometimes resulting 
fatally. The measures to be employed are the same 
as recommended for amenorrhoea, with the usual 
means for checking the hemorrhage of the affected 


There is no definite standard as to the length or 
quantity of the menstrual flow. When the flow is 
much more than usual, or so excessive as to produce 
weakness and prostration either at the time or after, 
it may be termed monorrhagia. 

Menorrhagia may be produced by either plethora 
or debility. When resulting from plethora, the pa- 
tient suffers with severe throbbing headache, pain in 
the back, and general symptoms of fever. When it 


results from the ODposite condition, the patient is 
very weak, pale, and thin in flesh, and the flow is al- 
most continuous, one period beginning almost at the 
conclusion of the other. In addition to plethora and 
debility, monorrhagia may be the result of chronic 
congestion of the uterus, prolapsus and other dis- 
placements, tumors, laceration of the neck of the ute- 
rus, disease of the heart, liver, lungs, and other im- 
portant organs. 

Treatment : In cases of monorrhagia arising from 
plethora, the diet should be simple and plain. The 
patient should take but two meals a day, and little or 
no meat. Abundant out-of-door exercise is also es- 
sential ; great advantage may be derived from the 
use of packs, vapor baths, hot-air baths, and other 
eliminative treatment, until the symptoms of plethora 
disappear. Daily cold sitz baths between the pe- 
riods are also advantageous. At the time of the 
period, and about twenty-four hours before it is ex- 
pected, the patient should have complete mental and 
physical rest in bed. Cold cloths should be applied 
over the lower part of the abdomen and between the 
thighs. A cold or cool enema should be given two 
or three times a day. Cold should not be applied for 
more than an hour or two at a time without allowing 
the patient an interval of half an hour. Bags of 
hot water or heated bricks or bottles should be ap- 
plied to the lower part of the spine three to five 
hours a day, at the same time that cold applications 
are made over the womb. 

In patients who are pale, debilitated, and have 
but Utile blood, energetic measures are often needed. 


The patient should observe the directions just given 
respecting quiet. Cold applications should be made 
to the lower part of the bowels, being replaced once 
in twenty or thirty minutes by a hot fomentation for 
three or four minutes, cold being then applied again. 
The cold enema and often the cold vaginal douche 
are indicated when the flow is profuse. Heat should 
be applied to the spine as above directed. 

The hot vaginal douche should be used in all 
cases in which the flow is excessive. When hot 
water alone is not sufficient, a strong solution of alum 
should be used. The douche should be given very 
thoroughly, and may be repeated every hour or two 
if necessary. A still more efficient measure is the 
alum tampon, for mode of using which see appendix. 

In cases in which the hemorrhage is almost con- 
tinuous from one period to another, the patient should 
remain in bed or lie upon the sofa several days after 
the flow has been checked by the treatment before 
described. This disease can only be permanently 
cured by improvement of the general health. The 
same directions for treatment should be followed in 
cases in which the monorrhagia arises from conges- 
tion, tumors, displacements, or any other of the 
causes mentioned. When the hemorrhage cannot be 
controlled in any other way, it sometimes becomes 
necessary to plug the vagina with cotton in the man- 
ner described for checking uterine hemorrhage. 

We should not fail to mention another point in 
the treatment of these cases, which has been regarded 
by observing physicians of all nations since the time 
of Hippocrates, the father of medical literature^ viz., 


the importance of elevating the lower extremities and 
hips of the patient above the level of the rest of the 
body. This may be done by raising the foot of the 
bed twelve or fifteen inches higher than the head, or 
by raising the foot of the mattress or the springs on 
which the mattress rests. 


This is a hemorrhage -occurring from the uterus 
at other times than at the menstrual period. The 
causes are essentially the same as those described as 
occasioning menorrhagia. 

Treatment : Keep the patient quiet in bed ; apply 
cold over the bowels and between the thighs ; admin- 
ister cold enemas and hot vaginal injections. In 
case the hemorrhage is severe, much may be gained 
by tying a band tightly around one or both lower 
limbs, thus retaining in the legs a large amount of 
the venous blood. The* ligature should not be re- 
tained long enough to do harm, and should be grad- 
ually removed if the limbs become considerably swol- 
len and purple. Compression may also be practiced 
by means of a pad composed of a folded towel placed 
over the womb. 

In addition, the measures recommended for men- 
orrhagia should be employed with conscientious care 
to follow the directions given. The alum douche, or 
tampon will be found to succeed in nearly every case. 
We have rarely found it to fail. 

In case the patient becomes faint from loss of 
blood, fomentations should be applied to the head. 


This is one of the best means of stimulating the flag- 
ging action of the heart, and may be applied in all 
cases of uterine hemorrhage from whatever cause, as 
well as in cases of severe hemorrhage from other 
parts in which there is danger of syncope. 

In severe cases it often becomes necessary to plug 
the vagina. This is best done by means of moist 
cotton. The cotton should be saturated with water 
and squeezed as dry as possible. It should then be 
soaked for a few seconds in a strong solution of alum, 
and again squeezed dry. It should then be made into 
a number of small rolls of a size convenient for intro- 
duction ; and after tying a string ten or twelve inches 
in length around the center of each, they should be 
passed into the vagina and crowded up around the 
neck of the uterus as tightly as possible. The whole 
neck of the womb should be surrounded, and the 
vagina should be packed as full as possible. Care 
should be taken that no spaces are left between the 
different portions of cotton, and that the whole mass 
is made as compact as possible. This is generally 
known as tamponing the vagina. The operation can- 
not be thoroughly done without the aid of a specu- 
lum, and hence a physician should be called in every 
case of uterine hemorrhage sufficiently severe to re- 
quire this mode of treatment. Persistent hemorrhage 
also demands a thorough examination by a competent 
physician to ascertain the real cause of the difficulty 
in order to adopt the proper measures for permanent 



The causes and treatment of this condition are 
essentially the same as have been stated in the sec- 
tion on " Profuse Menstruation." 


Peculiar odors are often attached to the menstrual 
discharge without being of any special significance. 
A violet odor has been described as often present in 
certain forms of nervous disease. When the discharge 
has an exceedingly fetid odor, however, indicative of 
putrescence, it is important that the matter should re- 
ceive serious attention, as there is probably some 
serious uterine malady which requires treatment. 
A physician should be consulted if relief is not speed- 
ily found from the employment of the measures of 
treatment recommended for inflammation of the womb. 


There are numerous varieties of this affection, the 
following being the most common forms : Neuralgic, 
congestive, obstructive, membranous, and ovarian. 
Neuralgic dysmenorrhea is caused by general neu- 
ralgia, chlorosis, gouty and rheumatic conditions of 
the system, high living, especially the use of stimu- 
lating condiments and excessive quantities of meat, 
sexual excess, and secret vice. Congestive dysmen- 
orrhea is caused by plethora, sudden chill, taking 
cold at the beginning of menstruation, chronic conges- 


tion of the uterus, retroflexion, cellulitis, torpidity of 
the liver, and constipation of the bowels. Obstruct- 
ive dysmenorrhoea arises from obstruction of the 
canal of the uterus by anteflexion or other causes, as 
a fibrous tumor, a polypus, or swelling of the mucous 
membrane from uterine catarrh. The variety known 
as membranous dysmenorrhoea, in which a cast or 
mold of the cavity of the uterus is sometimes ex- 
pelled, is due to chronic congestion of the uterus, 
which is increased at the menstrual periods almost to 
a condition of inflammation resulting in the formation 
of a false membrane in the womb. Ovarian dysmen- 
orrhoea results from congestion and inflammation of 
the ovaries. 

In neuralgic dysmenorrhoea, the patient has throb- 
bing pain in the loins and lower part of the bowels, 
together with neuralgic pains in other parts of 
the body. In congestive dysmenorrhea, when 
produced by taking cold, as by getting the feet wet 
just before the time of the menstrual period, the pa- 
tient suffers with severe pain, often accompanied by 
a chill, which is followed by fever. When inflamma- 
tion is present, the pain is dull and heavy. Severe 
bearing-down pains for a few hours or a day or two 
before the beginning of the flow, with relief either en- 
tirely or to great extent as soon as the flow is es- 
tablished, indicates obstruction. In membranous 
dysmenorrhoea, the patient suffers with severe bear- 
ing-down pains, which cease as soon as the membrane 
is expelled. Ovarian dysmenorrhoea is characterized 
by pain continuing for several days before the period, 
in one or both groins, and extending down the thighs; 


there is also, usually, tenderness in one or both 
breasts. When one ovary only is affected, the sym- 
pathetic pain is manifested in the breast of the same 
side. The tenderness in the groin is more or less 
marked between the menstrual periods. 

We have met with a few cases of another rare 
form of dysmenorrhoea, which has been denominated, 
" intermenstrual dysmenorrhoea " on account of its oc- 
curring midway between the menstrual periods, the 
pain being similar to that in ovarian dysmenorrhoea. 

Treatment : Dysmenorrhoea can generally be cured 
by the adoption of proper means, provided the real 
cause is ascertained ; though when due to fibrous tu- 
mors of the uterus, the treatment often fails. The 
most that can be done, however, in the domestic 
treatment of the difficulty, is to palliate the symptoms 
at the time of the menstrual period. Curative treat- 
ment can be best managed by a competent physician. 
The patient suffering with any form of dysmenorrhoea 
should take care to keep the bowels quite free by a 
carefully regulated diet, and the use of the warm 
water enema when necessary. Laxatives and purga- 
tives should be carefully avoided. 

The patient should rest quietly in bed or upon 
the sofa for a day or two before the time for men- 
struation to begin. On the day it is expected, or as 
soon as the pain commences, the patient should take 
a hot full bath or a hot blanket pack, and should after- 
ward be covered with warm woolen blankets, with 
hot water bags or heated bricks to the feet and back 
and over the lower part of the abdomen, and should 
be kept as quiet as possible. Severe pain, when not 


relieved by these measures, will often yield to hot fo- 
mentations over the lower part of the bowels, when thor- 
oughly applied ; or the application of the hot blanket 
pack. Especial pains should be taken to keep the feet 
and limbs thoroughly warm. The use of both faradic 
and galvanic electricity is in some of these cases very 
advantageous. We have often secured almost imme- 
diate relief from pain by their use. A large, hot 
enema will sometimes give relief. The water should 
be injected slowly, and should be retained for several 
minutes if possible to do so. In many cases, hot sitz 
baths give speedy relief. The hot bath was known 
to the ancients and employed by them in these cases. 
It was highly recommended by Rhazes, an eminent 
ancient physician. Fomentations across the lower 
part of the back are also very advantageous. 

We have found good results from the use of hot 
water bags applied to the spine for three to five hours 
daily, and bags filled with ice or cold water applied 
over the lower portions of the bowels at the same 
time, the treatment being employed for some days be- 
fore the menstrual period. The hot vaginal douche 
should be used daily, and may be employed at the 
time of the period in the variety due to congestion. 

When the disease is due to anteflexion, which is 
according to our observation the most common cause 
of severe pain at the menstrual period, nothing will 
give permanent relief but a surgical operation. The 
operation will not always effect a cure ; but out of 
more than fifty operations of the kind performed within 
the last three years, we have had not more than two 
or three failures, and those were cases in which the 


pain was probably due to other diseased conditions 
associated with the anteflexion. 

Opium is very frequently resorted to in these 
cases, but it should be avoided as much as possible, 
as the opium-habit is very likely to be contracted. 
We have met a number of cases in which the habit 
was acquired in this way. If anodyne remedies of 
any sort must be used, gelsemium, hyoscyamus, and 
conium are much to be perferred. These remedies 
should not of course be used unless prescribed by a 
physician. We seldom find it necessary to resort to 
their use, almost invariably securing relief by the 
measures described. 


The symptoms of this disease are tenderness in 
the groin, pain in standing or walking, more or less 
continuous pain, aggravated at the menstrual period, 
which is generally ushered in by a chill, followed by a 
fever resembling that of ovarian inflammation. 

This condition is frequently called chronic inflam- 
mation of the ovaries, and is often accompanied by en- 
largement of the organ which, in consequence of some 
sudden jar or unusual strain, becomes dislocated or 
prolapsed. Ovarian irritation often produces a reflex 
effect upon the system. It is a frequent cause of 
obstinate dyspepsia, especially of the nervous form, 
accompanied by spinal irritation, and painful head- 
aches, and in some cases of serious mental disease, 
finallv amounting to insanity. Hysteria and a pecul- 


iar form of epilepsy are frequent results of this form 
of ovarian disease. 

Among the chief causes may be mentioned im- 
proper dress, taking cold at the menstrual period, dis- 
appointment, induced abortion, the use of " prevent- 
ives," constipation, the opium-habit, nervous debility, 
inflammation of the uterus, displacement of the 
uterus, and self-abuse. 

Treatment : The patient should be given the ad- 
vantage of as good hygienic surroundings as possible. 
Sun baths, massage, complete rest at the menstrual 
period, daily fomentations over the affected parts, the 
daily use of the hot vaginal douche, the hot enema, 
fomentations over the lower part of the spine, and 
the local application of electricity, are among the best 
means of treatment. We have secured reliof in some 
cases of this kind by the use of bags filled with hot 
water and applied to the spine four to six hours a 
day, with an ice bag applied over the affected organ 
at the same time. 

We have recently found a valuable addition to 
our means for relieving this class of cases in the ex- 
tract of the eucalyptus globulus, or Australian blue 
gum-tree, the method of using which, with the cotton 
tampon, is described in the appendix. 

Some eminent surgeons have recently resorted to 
the plan of removing one or both of the ovaries in 
cases similar to this. The effect thus far has been 
very satisfactory, although the remedy is by no 
means free from danger. We have treated quite a 
large number of cases of ovarian irritability, and have 


thus far succeeded in effecting a cure in nearly every 
case without resorting to a surgical procedure. 


The leading symptoms are sudden pain in one or 
both groins, sometimes extending down the legs to the 
feet ; often pain in the breast of the affected side ; 
increase of pain during menstruation ; tenderness on 
pressure ; pain in moving the bowels ; general dis- 
tress ; nausea ; more or less fever. 

This disease most frequently results from taking 
cold during menstruation, from injury, and from the 
infection of gonorrhoea. In many instances innocent 
wives have suffered from inflammations which have 
rendered them barren and invalids for life by the last- 
named disease contracted from incontinent husbands. 

Treatment : Rest, fomentations to the affected 
part, hot vaginal douches two or three times a day, 
and especially the hot enema taken once or twice a 
day and retained for half an hour or as long as possi- 
ble. The patient should remain perfectly quiet in 
bed, and should not attempt to get upon her feet or 
walk about for some time, or until the local irritation 
is wholly subdued. Ice bags over the seat of pain 
and hot water bags to the spine opposite, is a useful 
measure. The bowels must be kept loose by enemas. 


This is one of the most serious inflammatory affec- 
tions to which women are especially subject. There 
are several forms of the disease, but they are so 


nearly alike as to causes, treatment, and results, that 
they may be considered together. This is especially 
true for a work of this kind, as the different condi- 
tions are often so difficult to distinguish that even 
the most skillful physician may be unable to arrive at 
a correct diagnosis. 

The disease is usually ushered in by a chill, 
which is accompanied and followed by the following 
symptoms : — 

Fever ; pelvic pain ; small, wiry pulse ; nausea 
and vomiting ; tenderness on pressure just above the 
pubic bone; painful urination and defecation; pro- 
fuse menstruation. 

Inflammations of this sort are much more common 
than is generally supposed, and are usually very 
serious in their results. There is a strong tendency 
to the formation of abscesses. Another serious com- 
plication is the inflammation of the broad ligament, 
which subsequently contracts, thus becoming short- 
ened. This kind of shortening is a common cause of 
lateral displacements of the uterus. 

Inflammation following childbirth, abortion, tak- 
ing cold during the menstrual period, inflammation of 
the ovary, gonorrhoea, the use of caustics upon or in 
the uterus, wearing of ill-fitting pessaries, and sexual 
excesses, are the most common causes.- An eminent 
New York physician has recently called attention to 
the fact that latent gonorrhoea, or cases of the disease 
supposed to be cured in men, will communicate this 
form of disease. In these cases, the disease begins 
with less violence. 

Treatment : An acute attack can generally be 


checked by a sufficiently thorough and energetic 
course of treatment. The patient should be kept 
perfectly still in bed. If the fever is high, the ice 
cap should be applied, with ice compresses or bags 
filled with ice-cold water over the affected part. The 
most effective measures of treatment, however, are 
the hot vaginal douche and the hot enema. These 
should be given with great thoroughness. The 
douche should be taken for an hour at a time, and 
should be repeated three or four times a day, or it 
may be given continuously for several hours. This 
is one of the most reliable means known for cutting- 
short an inflammation after it has begun. The hot 
enema should be retained for fifteen to thirty minutes 
if possible. Hot applications should be made to the 
feet to balance the circulation. The hot blanket 
pack, as a means of inducing perspiration, is an excel- 
lent measure in this disease, as it relieves the conges- 
tion of the internal organs. 

Chronic cases require the persistent use of fo- 
mentations over the lower part of the abdomen, hot 
douches two or three times a day, together with rest 
in bed and complete functional rest of the affected 
organs. Attention should be given to the improve- 
ment of the general health by means of a good diet, 
massage, the use of electricity in various forms, etc. 
We have thought that the absorption of the hardened 
mass felt after an attack of this sort has been in many 
cases stimulated very greatly by the local use of gal- 
vanism. Care should be taken, however, to avoid 
the employment of too strong currents. In one case 
which had been under treatment for some months 


with very great benefit, though the patient was not 
entirely cured, the lady became somewhat impatient 
because we refused to employ as strong a current of 
electricity as she wanted, and resorted to a Chicago 
physician who made a specialty of the use of elec- 
tricity. She received from this source the strong 
current she desired, but the result was most disas- 
trous, as an inflammation was set up which obliged 
her to return to us, and which we had much difficulty 
in subduing. 

It is certain that the employment of the hot vag- 
inal douche, once, twice, or even three times daily, 
will accomplish more than any other one means in 
these cases. Good results also follow the careful em- 
ployment of massage of the womb after the tender- 
ness becomes sufficiently subsided to allow the neces- 
sary manipulation. Great care to avoid a relapse is 
necessary, as it is very likely to occur at the men- 
strual period. Getting up too soon after an attack, 
exposure to cold at the menstrual period, and over- 
exertion at such times, are all likely to bring on a 


This is one of the most common of all the dis- 
placements to which the organ is subject. The fol- 
lowing are among the leading local symptoms : Drag- 
ging pain in the lower part of the back, extending 
around the body ; general tenderness over the pubes ; 
sensation of fullness in the vagina ; irritation of the 
bladder and rectum ; discomfort increased by walking 
or exertion; leucorrhoea; painful or profuse menstrua- 


tion; in very bad cases, protrusion of the organ; 
symptoms sometimes absent. 

In addition to the above symptoms, there is gen- 
erally more or less impairment of the general health, 
constipation of the bowels, deranged digestion, head- 
ache, especially at the top of the head, and general 
debility. The condition of the organ may be seen by 
reference to Plate XIII. 

Falling of the womb is a very common affection, 
especially among women who have borne children. 
It al st) occurs in women who have never been preg- 
nant, as the result of tight lacing, wearing heavy 
skirts suspended from the hips, and fashionable dissi- 
pation. Prolapsus is sometimes induced by a sudden 
jar or fall; but it is most commonly preceded by 
chronic congestion of the organ, by which its weight 
is very greatly increased, and becoming too heavy to 
be held in place by its natural supports, it settles 
down in consequence. Prolapsus is also the result of 
violent muscular exertion, rupture of the perinseum 
in labor, and of getting up too soon after childbirth. 
Every cause which tends to produce disease of the 
sexual organs in females may occasion prolapsus. 
The immediate cause in chronic cases, and that which 
presents the greatest obstacle to successful treatment, 
is relaxation of the natural supports of the organ. 

Treatment : The usual treatment for prolapsus 
consists almost exclusively in the application of sup- 
porters of various kinds. The amount of ingenuity 
which has been displayed in the construction of de- 
vices of various sorts for the purpose of restoring a 
prolapsed uterus to its natural condition, is not sur- 



passed by the display of inventive genius in any 
other direction. While pessaries or supporters of 
some kind are often very useful in the treatment of pro- 
lapsus as temporary palliatives, and as a means of re- 
lieving cases which are incurable, they should ever be 
regarded as incapable of producing a radical cure. 
In many cases they actually increase the morbid con- 
ditions upon which the prolapsus depends, although 
giving temporary relief to the most unpleasant symp- 
toms attending this form of displacement. There 
are many eminent physicians who condemn their use 
entirely. We regard this as somewhat ultra ground, 
but in our practice use the pessary or uterine sup- 
porter, just as we use a splint to support a broken 
limb while the ends are knitting together, or as we 
would employ a crutch to give rest to a diseased knee 
joint. The pessary is often useful as an auxiliary of 
other treatment, but of itself seldom does anything 
more than to palliate the patient's sufferings, and 
this effect is only temporary unless other means is 
put in operation by which a cure may be effected. 

The rational plan of treatment for prolapsus re- 
quires, first, the removal of the causes by which the 
difficulty has been produced, when they are still in 
operation; second, relief of the congestion and en- 
largement of the organ by proper treatment ; third, 
palliation of the painful symptoms attending this con- 
dition ; fourth, restoration of the natural supports of 
the organ to a healthy condition. 

The first indication must be met by thorough and 
careful attention to the laws of sexual hygiene. The 
second indication is best met by a persistent use of 


sitz baths and vaginal douches, which should be taken 
as recommended for the treatment of catarrh and con- 
gestion of the womb, together with the use of the cot- 
ton supporter and astringent applications, as directed 
in the appendix. In many cases, the douche can be 
taken twice a day with advantage, in the morning 
and again just before retiring at night. Greater ben- 
efit is derived from this treatment when the patient 
can remain in a recumbent position for some hours 
afterward. In some cases the patient requires rest 
from walking and other exercises upon the feet for a 
few weeks. In the majority of cases, however, it is 
better for the patient to continue as much exercise as 
can be endured without excessive fatigue, as it is 
important that the muscular strength should be 
kept up. 

The third indication is in part met by the treat- 
ment already described. The hot douche and sitz 
baths will generally accomplish more than any other 
two remedies in relieving the local pain and discom- 
fort. In many cases, much additional benefit may be 
derived from wearing a properly adapted pessary, or 
supporter. When the womb is prolapsed, its circula- 
tion is interfered with so that the organ becomes en- 
gorged with blood. This can be overcome by a 
restoration of the organ to its proper position so as to 
give freedom to the circulation. The simplest form 
of supporter is a small roll of cotton. It should be 
pressed up against the mouth of the womb after it 
has been restored to its proper position. It should 
be introduced while the patient is lying upon the 
back or is in the knee-chest position, See Plate XII. 


The ball of cotton should be large enough to be re- 
tained in position, and should be saturated with gly- 
cerine or a weak solution of tannin in glycerine before 
being applied. A string should be tied around the 
center of the roll to facilitate its removal. This ap- 
plication the patient can make for herself, though not 
nearly so well as it can be made by a physician. 
Care should be taken in removing the cotton that the 
organ is not dragged down with it, to avoid which, 
it should be first loosened by the finger to facilitate 
its removal. Cases which need the application of a 
pessary require the care and attention of an intelli- 
gent physician. 

The fourth indication is the most important of all, 
as it relates more directly to the radical cure of this 
affection. Unfortunately, this part of the treatment 
of prolapsus is rarely attended to. Either the physi- 
cian fails to appreciate the importance of this part of 
the work, or the patient is satisfied Avith a mere amel- 
ioration of her symptoms, and fails to persevere in 
carrying out the proper methods of treatment until a 
complete cure is effected. In meeting this indication, 
one of the best of all measures of treatment is the 
daily employment of special exercises. General ex- 
ercise is essential for the purpose of strengthening 
the general muscles of the body ; but there are cer- 
tain special exercises which may be taken, the advan- 
tage of which can hardly be overestimated. These 
are fully described in the appendix under the head of 
postural treatment. 

Movements of this sort not only strengthen the 
abdominal muscles by calling them into active exer- 


cise, which of itself has a tendency to lift the pro- 
lapsed organs into position, but the force of gravita- 
tion acts directly to restore the displaced organ to its 
normal position. The patient will also derive great 
advantage from sleeping with the hips elevated as 
much as is consistent with comfort. In addition to 
these measures, the patient may take with advantage 
certain exercises for developing the muscles of the 
trunk and abdomen, such as bending forward and 
backward, bending sideways, kneading and percuss- 
ing the abdominal Avails, lifting weights with hands 
stretched above the head while lying down, etc. 

Electricity is an admirable remedy for use in 
these cases. It may be applied both externally and 
internally. When applied internally, it should be in 
the hands of a competent physician, unless adminis- 
tered in connection with the hot douche, a plan which 
we very highly recommend. See appendix, under 
"Electric Douche." These movements may be 
taken several times a day with advantage. If taken 
but once, the best time is at night just before retiring. 
This is also the best time for taking an astringent 
douche. A very excellent plan is to take the move- 
ments first, then the hot douche, concluding by the 
injection of a pint of water containing one quarter of 
an ounce of alum or tannin, or two tablespoonfuls of 
a strong decoction of oak bark. By means of the 
movements, the uterus is restored to its natural posi- 
tion ; and by the aid of the hot and astringent injec- 
tions, the lower supports of the uterus are toned up 
so as to aid in holding the organ in position. 

Congestion is also relieved by the same treatment; 


and thus nature is given the opportunity during the 
night to do much toward restoring the organ to its 
normal condition. When the patient surfers much 
with constipation, which is nearly always present in 
these cases, and very obstinate, the bowels should, if 
possible, be relieved at night just before retiring. In 
case there is loss of desire to move the bowels, which 
sometimes exists, benefit will be derived from the in- 
jection into the rectum of four tablespoonfuls of cold 
water, containing five to fifteen drops of spirits of 
camphor. The solution should be retained ten min- 
utes, by the end of which time there is generally a 
very strong desire to move the bowels. In some 
cases a tablespoonful of glycerine is more efficient 
than the camphor, to be used in the same way. 

In cases in which the prolapsus is due to rupture 
of the perinseum in childbirth, a surgical operation 
may be required to effect a cure. We have met 
scores of cases of this kind, and by performing the 
necessary operation to restore the parts to a natural 
condition, have obtained the most gratifying results. 
In cases in which the organ is prolapsed to such an 
extent as to appear outside of the body, which is a 
very rare condition how. rer, a complete cure can 
rarely be effected, although the organ may be sup- 
ported foy means of properly adapted pessaries. As 
a rule, however, the cotton supporters, saturated with 
some astringent, are much superior to any other form 
of support. 



In anteversion, or forward displacement, the 
womb is tilted forward against the bladder at the 
same time that it retains its usnal form. The organ 
is naturally tilted forward to a considerable degree, 
so that anteversion is simply an exaggeration of its 
natural state. (See Plate XIV.) 

The particular symptoms which arise from this 
form of displacement are painful and frequent urina- 
tion ; aching pain just above the pubic bones ; in 
some cases pain in moving the bowels, and inability 
to walk or to be upon the feet on account of the ag- 
gravation of the local pain. 

The principal causes of anteversion are enlarge- 
ment of the womb, violent efforts, as in lifting, jump- 
ing, straining, and especially tight-lacing; the last- 
named cause is undoubtedly one of the most common 
of all. Anteversion may also be the result of weak- 
ening of the supports which sustain the uterus in po- 
sition, which may arise from general weakness of the 
whole system or from laceration of the perinseum. 

Treatment : The first matter to be attended to is 
removal of the cause. This will require attention to 
the suggestions made for the same purpose with ref- 
erence to chronic congestion of the uterus. Sitz 
baths and hot douches should be thoroughly em- 
ployed. The patient should remain as much as pos- 
sible in a horizontal position upon the back. A surgi- 
cal operation is sometimes necessary, in order to 
effect a radical cure. Much harm has often resulted 
from depending upon the use of pessaries in these 


cases. The supporter is of service ; but we can ac- 
complish much more in the treatment of displace- 
ments without pessaries of any sort, than with them 
alone. The special exercises and postural treatment 
described in the appendix are of special service in 
these cases, and are alone capable of effecting a cure 
in many cases. The cotton supporter with astringents 
may also be usefully employed in these cases. 


This is commonly the result of an exaggeration of 
an anteversion. The weight of the displaced organ 
causes it to bend upon itself, sometimes so closely 
that the canal is almost entirely closed. (See Plate 
XIV.) In many cases, the symptoms are the same as 
those of anteversion, only exaggerated ; but when the 
flexion is so sharp as to create a mechanical obstruc- 
tion to the menstrual flow, great pain at the menstrual 
period is added to the other symptoms. When the 
finger is introduced into the vagina, the body of the 
womb will be easily felt in front, lying farther for- 
ward than the neck of the organ. 

Treatment : The treatment of anteflexion is essen- 
tially the same as that for anteversion, only it must 
be still more thorough and persevering, as this form 
of displacement is one of the most difficult to cure. 
When there is great pain at menstruation, a surgical 
operation will probably be necessary, and if properly 
performed, will be pretty certain to give relief. At 
least, this has been our experience in a very large 
number of cases. We have never felt greater satis- 
faction in the performance of any operation nor the 


employment of any remedy than this, so uniformly 
excellent have been the results. The success has 
been equally marked in cases of one or two years' 
and of twenty-five or thirty years' standing. 


In this form of displacement the uterus is tipped 
backward against the rectum. The organ may be 
tipped directly back, or inclined more or less to either 
side. (See Plate XY.) 

The principal symptoms are constant pain in the 
lower part of the back ; great discomfort in walking , 
increased pain on moving the bowels, with a sense of 
obstruction ; sometimes spasmodic contraction of the 
rectum or bladder • painful menstruation ; in some 
cases, chronic inflammation of the bladder. 

Treatment : The same remark made with refer- 
ence to cause and treatment in connection with the 
subject of anteversion, applies also to retroversion. 
Frequent sitz baths and daily hot douches are among 
the essentials of treatment. To these should be added 
daily replacing the organ by a competent person. 
When the body is not bound by adhesions, replace- 
ment may generally be effected by the patient herself 
by the following procedure : The patient should place 
herself upon the bed in a kneeling position. She 
should now bend forward until the chest is in con- 
tact with the bed. The limbs should now be moved 
downward until the thighs are perpendicular, so that 
the pelvis is elevated in the air as high as possible. 
The inlet of the vagina should now be opened so 
as to admit air. This may be done by raising the 


perinseum with the finger. As soon as the air enters, 
the womb falls forward into position. When neces- 
sary, air may be admitted by means of a glass tube 
inserted before the exercise is begun, or by means of 
the Davison syringe. This is known as the knee- 
chest position, and is more fully described in the ap- 
pendix, and illustrated on Plate XII. While in this 
position, a cotton supporter, prepared according to the 
directions given in the appendix and saturated with 
tannin and glycerine or some other astringent prepa- 
ration, should be inserted and pushed into position 
behind the neck of the womb so as to support the 
fundus. It is a better plan to insert the cotton sup- 
port behind the cervix before the knee-chest position 
is assumed, pressing it up farther after the organ 
goes forward into position. 

This is one of the most important of all the means 
of treating this disease, when taken in conjunction 
with other postural treatment, etc. The patient 
should avoid lying on the back, and should be very 
quiet at the menstrual periods, remaining in bed 
most of the time. Care should also be exercised by 
the patient to avoid straining at stool. 


(See Plate XV.) 

This is a condition which naturally grows out of 
the preceding. Its symptoms, causes, and proper 
treatment are essentially the same. It is very diffi- 
cult of cure in many cases, and must generally re- 
ceive the attention of a skillful physician. 



The womb may be displaced either to the right or 
left, as well as backward or forward. Lateral dis- 
placements are generally the result of inflammation 
on the side to which the organ is drawn, producing 
contraction of the lateral ligament. Displacements of 
this kind seldom cause any very great amount of suf- 
fering, which is to be regarded-as fortunate, as their 
complete relief is not always possible. There is 
often much suffering in these cases, however, which 
is attributable to the old inflammation. For relief of 
this, such measures should be used as have already 
been recommended for the treatment of inflammation 
about the uterus, page 530. The hot douche, hot 
fomentations, and hot enema are invaluable in such 


This is a very serious condition, fortunately, not 
so common as prolapsus of the uterus. The leading 
symptoms are pain in walking, of a sickening charac- 
ter, starting in the groin and often extending down 
the front portion of the leg of the affected side; 
throbbing pain when the bowels are loaded; great 
pain during movement of the bowels ; pain during 
sexual connection; sudden, severe pains radiating 
from the groin of the affected side ; great mental de- 
pression. The ovary is usually enlarged and exqui- 
sitely sensitive, and can be felt by the finger. It 
may occupy any one of a number of positions besides 
the normal one, but most often lies behind the uterus. 


The most common causes of prolapsus of the ovaries 
are subinvolution of the uterus, chronic congestion of 
the womb, prolapsus, retroversion or retroflexion, and 
other displacements of the uterus, inflammation of 
the ovaries, sexual excesses and abuses, abortion, 
prevention of conception. One of the worst cases of 
this disease which we ever met was in a young woman 
who had been addicted to the habit of self-abuse. 

Treatment : The treatment of this disease is essen- 
tially the same as that recommended for retroversion. 

The knee-chest position should be taken several 
times a day. Hot douches must be used twice a day, 
two to five gallons of water at a time. When accom- 
panied by retroflexion or version, cotton supports medi- 
cated by astringent preparations should be employed. 

Relief will be obtained in these cases by wearing 
an abdominal bandage, by which the pelvic organs are 
relieved of the weight of the intestines. 

In very bad cases which cannot be relieved other- 
wise, the ovaries may be removed. 


At the time the first edition of this work was 
published, the greater majority of extreme cases of 
retroversion, anteversion, and prolapsus, were prac- 
tically incurable. In many cases, it was possible to 
hold the organ in position by the employment of 
pessaries of various sorts, but the use of these arti- 
ficial supports is attended by no little inconvenience. 
In many cases, it is necessary to change the instru- 


merit employed for one of larger size every few 
weeks or months, until finally the displaced organ 
can be kept in place by no other means than a 
pessary with an external support; so that in the ma- 
jority of cases the result of wearing supporters of 
any description is ultimately to render the patient's 
condition worse than before. In many instances, the 
continued pressure of a hard instrument impinging 
against the ovaries, causes chronic inflammation of 
these organs, and in not a small proportion of cases 
downward and backward displacements are accom- 
panied by prolapsus of the ovaries, which, becoming 
tender from congestion or inflammation, will not toler- 
ate the presence of a pessary, so that, the patient is 
unable to obtain even the temporary relief afforded 
by this instrument. 

We are glad, however, to be able to state at the 
present date, 1892, that the advances made in the 
surgery of this region of the body, within the last 
feAV years, now render it possible to cure a very 
large proportion of these cases by a perfectly safe 
and comparatively simple operation,- the nature of 
which will be better understood by a brief explana- 
tion of the method by which the uterus is normally 
held in position. 

The womb is a wedge-shaped body, balanced in 
the pelvis between the bladder in front, and the 
rectum behind. As one or the other of these hollow ? 
adjacent organs is filled or emptied, the uterus is 
slightly tilted backward or forward, as its upper por- 
tion has considerable latitude of movement in the ab- 
dominal cavity. To the lower part of the body of 


the womb are attached four ligaments, two in front 
and two behind, connected respectively with the blad- 
der and the rectum. Two broad membraneous bands, 
the broad ligaments, connect its sides to the sides of 
the pelvis ; while from either side at the upper part 
arises a "round ligament," which passes forward and 
through the abdominal wall and the abdominal ring, 
then passes along the canal between the layers of 
muscle which chiefly compose the abdominal wall, 
known as the inguinal canal, and emerges at the ex- 
ternal abdominal ring, which lies just at the outer end 
of the pubic bone. The uterus is sustained in position 
by the adjacent organs which buoy it up, and by the 
ligaments attached to its lower part. These liga- 
ments contain more or less muscular structure, which 
gives them considerable elasticity. 

The round ligaments are usually found in a 
relaxed condition, so that they are not constantly 
employed in sustaining the uterus in position. Their 
function is, nevertheless, quite as important as any 
other of the sustaining structures of the uterus. 
When examined minutely, they are found to be 
chiefly composed of muscular fibers, the outer portion 
of the ligaments consisting of voluntary fibers, while 
the inner part is made up of involuntary, muscular 
tissue, similar to that which composes the uterus. 
The small intestines, as well as the large intestines, 
usually lie behind the uterus, thus holding it forward. 
Such efforts as occasion straining and contraction of 
the abdominal muscles and downward action of the dia- 
phragm, have a tendency to force the uterus backward, 
bringing the small intestines between it and the blad- 


der. The normal relation of the round ligaments to 
the uterus and the position of the intestines, as regards 
the uterus, is seen in Fig. 1 of Plate N, and the con- 
dition resulting from backward displacement of the 
uterus is well shown in Fig. 2 of the same Plate. 
Nature has wisely arranged matters so that when the 
strong abdominal muscles contract, thus endangering 
the uterus by throwing it backward in the abdominal 
cavity, at the same instant the round ligaments con- 
tract also, so as to tilt the body of the uterus forward 
out of harm's way. This function was first dis- 
covered by the author some three years ago (1887), 
and has since been confirmed by numerous experi- 
ments and observations. In cases of retroversion, 
and in some cases of extreme anteversion, as well as 
in extreme cases of prolapsus, the round ligaments 
are stretched, and the positions of the organs of the 
pelvis so deranged that these structures cannot per- 
form their normal function, so that the uterus is con- 
tinually forced lower in the pelvis by such muscular 
movements as involve contraction of the abdominal 
muscles, and which, in a state of health, are entirely 
harmless, in consequence of the action of the round 
ligaments in preventing the uterus from tilting back- 

It readily appears, then, that the natural and 
most rational means possible of correcting displace- 
ments of this sort is found in the operation for short- 
ening the round ligaments, and thus restoring them 
so far as possible to a normal condition. This 
operation was first suggested by Dr. Alexander, of 
Liverpool, England. The method of operating pro- 


posed, however, involved such difficulties that in 
quite a large proportion of cases the operation was 
not successful. The author has, however, so far im- 
proved the operation that it is now performed with al- 
most unvarying success by surgeons who have had 
experience with it. Indeed, in the last fifty cases ope- 
rated upon by the author, in less than two per cent 
has the operation failed of being entirely successful. 
It is now several years since some of the first cases 
were operated upon, and the patients are still enjoying 
perfect health. Some have borne children without 
mishap or unusual inconvenience. This operation, 
when properly performed, not only restores the 
uterus to perfect position, but in the great majority 
of cases the displaced ovaries are also restored to 
their right places in the pelvis ; and enlargement and 
tenderness, the result of chronic conjestion and in- 
flammation, speedily disappear under the *more favor- 
able conditions established by the operation. The 
operation is an eminently safe one, and is attended by 
so little pain that nothing more than cocaine, a local 
anaesthetic, is ordinarily required, and with the proper 
after-treatment, a permanent cure may be expected in 
every case to which the operation is suited. Of 
course it ought not to be performed in cases in which 
the uterus is bound fast in its abnormal position by 
firm adhesions ; but the operation has already proved 
a boon to hundreds of " pessary-pestered" women, 
who have by its aid been able to escape from the dis- 
tress and inconvenience incident to the constant wear- 
ing of a pessary, and the burden of constant treat- 
ment in the hands of successive gynecologists. 



In consequence of great relaxation of the vaginal 
walls, the anterior portion frequently gives way so as 
to form a sort of pouch just below the pubic bone, which 
protrudes whenever the patient relieves the bowels 
or bladder. The posterior Avail of the bladder being 
dragged down with the vagina, the bladder is not 
completely emptied, and many unpleasant symptoms 
arise in consequence, frequently chronic inflammation 
of the bladder. Sometimes this condition is the re- 
sult of prolapsus of the womb, which crowds the va- 
ginal wall down before it. 

Treatment: Hot douches, and the use of cotton 
supports saturated with tannin and glycerine, the 
knee-chest position, and care to avoid straining at 
stool, constitute the chief measures to be employed in 
the home management of these cases ; but in many 
cases a surgical operation is needed, and an expe- 
rienced surgeon should be consulted. 

The use of the cotton tampon saturated with a so- 
lution of tannin in glycerine, a dram to the ounce, is 
a useful measure in cases of cystocele in which there 
is an irritable condition of the bladder, as by this 
means the prolapsed wall of the bladder is supported, 
securing complete emptying of the bladder, which is 
one of the conditions essential to a cure. 




In this class of cases the posterior wall of the vag- 
ina bulges forward, dragging Avith it the anterior wall 
of the rectum, thus forming a pouch in which the 
faeces accumulate, making it difficult to evacuate the 
bowels. The causes are the same as those of cysto- 
cele, being, in the majority of cases, a tear of the per- 
inseum at childbirth. 

Treatment : The treatment is the same as for cys- 
tocele. Most cases are incurable without an opera- 
tion. The operation is a very satisfactory one in- 
deed. Out of scores of cases operated upon, we have 
never failed to get a good result. 


This term is applied to a condition in which there 
is such an intense degree of sexual excitement that 
the passions become uncontrollable. A female suffer- 
ing with this affection will sometimes commit the 
grossest breaches of chastity. Its principal causes 
are self-abuse and a complete abandonment of the 
mind to lascivious thoughts. It is sometimes pro- 
duced by ovarian irritation and by various diseases 
of the brain. The genitals are often found in a state 
of great excitement and abnormal enlargement in this 

Treatment : Cool sitz baths ; the cool enema ; a 
spare diet ; the application of blisters and other irri- 
tants to the sensitive parts of the sexual organs, the 
removal of the clitoris and nymphae, constitute the 
most proper treatment. 


The same measures of treatment are indicated in 
the cases in which the disposition to practice self- 
abuse is uncontrollable by other means. In an ex- 
treme case of this kind brought to us for treatment a 
few years ago, we were compelled to adopt the last- 
mentioned method of treatment before the patient 
could be cured. 


The most common causes of sterility in women 
are displacements of the uterus, contraction of the 
uterine canal, leucorrhoea, catarrh of the uterus, men- 
orrhagia, sexual excess, secret vice, absence of the 
uterus or ovaries. Women who suffer from great 
losses of blood at the menstrual period, and those 
who are excessively fat, are very apt to be childless, 
or if they become pregnant are likely to suffer mis- 
carriage. In a much larger proportion of cases of 
sterility than is generally supposed, the difficulty ex- 
ists in the husband instead of the wife. It may be 
mentioned here that Dr. Nceggerath, an eminent phy- 
sician of New York City, after a very extensive in- 
vestigation of the subject, asserts that what he terms 
" latent .gonorrhoea " is a very common cause of ster- 
ility. Dr. N. holds that if a man has once suffered 
with gonorrhoea, even when months or years have 
elapsed after a cure has apparently taken place, he is 
still likely, in case he marries, to communicate to his 
wife a disease which will render her incapable of 
childbearing, if he is not himself rendered incapable 
of procreation as a just punishment for his sin and 


Treatment : The various diseases upon which ster- 
ility may depend should receive first attention, and 
all the known causes should be avoided, particularly 
sexual excesses. It may be properly mentioned in 
this connection that sexual contact just prior to or 
within a few days after menstruation is much more 
likely to be successful than at other times. A phy- 
sician of experience should be consulted. Sometimes 
relief can be given by a surgical operation. Some- 
times time effects a cure, as shown by numerous re- 
corded cases 

One of the causes of sterility is sexual frigidity, or 
absence of sexual feeling. This may be the result of 
self-abuse practiced early in life, but is most fre- 
quently due to some form of local disease which re- 
quires attention. 

Failure of the vagina to retain the seminal fluid 
may be obviated in extreme cases by the adoption 
of the knee-chest position, a very old recommenda- 
tion which has been successfully employed when all 
other means failed. Infrequent connection is much 
more likely to be fruitful than the act when often re- 


This is an occasional accompaniment of pregnancy, 
though it often occurs in other conditions as well, and 
is not confined exclusively to the female sex. The 
disease consists of a painful affection of the coccyx, 
or terminal portion of the spinal column. The proper 
treatment consists in applications of cold, alternate 
heat and cold, galvanism, and in bad cases, the per- 
formance of a surgical operation. 



The breast is sometimes the seat of severe neu- 
ralgic pain. In other cases, the pain is located in the 
intercostal nerves, just beneath the breast, particu- 
larly upon the left side. We have occasionally met 
cases in which the whole breast was very sensitive, 
the patient shrinking from the lightest touch. These 
difficulties arise from a great variety of causes, chief 
among which may be mentioned indigestion and dis- 
ease of the womb or ovaries. The most severe case 
of irritable breast we ever met, was in the person of a 
young woman who was grossly addicted to the habit 
of self-abuse. The left breast in this case was con- 
siderably swollen, pulsated violently, and was appar- 
ently so sensitive as to cause the patient to scream 
with pain, even at the slightest touch. The discon- 
tinuance of the habit caused an entire disappearance 
of the morbid irritability within a week, so that the 
patient was able to strike the breast a full blow 
without suffering any inconvenience whatever. The 
form of the disease in which the pain and swelling 
make their appearance suddenly, is associated with 

Treatment: The cause must be sought and re- 
lieved. Improvement of the general health, and es- 
pecially of the digestion, if impaired, must receive 
first attention. If disease of the womb or ovaries 
exists, it must be cured. Fomentations to the spine 
and the application of electricity to the breast are 
very valuable means of treatment, affording relief in 
most cases. 



This is a condition in which there is great pain in 
connection with the sexual act. No doubt the con- 
dition exists much more frequently than is known, 
owing to the reluctance felt by the sufferers about 
speaking of the condition to their physician. We 
have known of instances in which women have suf- 
fered for many years so greatly that their lives were 
rendered wretched, without even mentioning the mat- 
ter to their most intimate friends, and in some cases 
not even to their husbands. The causes of pain are 
various, the most common being local disease, as acute 
or chronic inflammation of the vagina, fissure of the 
vagina or rectum, irritation of the bladder or urethra, 
and sensitive points about the mouth of the vagina. 
In some cases it appears £o be purely a nervous af- 

Treatment: The cause must be removed by 
proper treatment. If the spasm and pain still con- 
tinue, finger-shaped plugs of ice may be tried, being 
introduced into the vagina and retained an hour or 
two daily if possible, being renewed as often as melted. 
Soothing ointments may also be employed. Prepara- 
tions of belladonna and iodoform are specially service- 
able. (See appendix.) Hot vaginal douches and 
tannin and alum injections should be employed daily, 
as directed for chronic inflammation of the uterus. 

When this means has been thoroughly tried, 
dilatation must be employed. A piece of sponge 
should be compressed and dried, its size being such 


that it can be easily introduced. The secretions of 
of the vagina will soon expand the sponge, and thus 
the vaginal orifice will be distended. In cases which 
resist all of these measures, gradual dilatation must 
be performed with proper instruments by a competent 
surgeon. The difficulty is often removed by a cure of 
disease of the womb. Some time ago we succeeded 
in entirely curing a patient who had suffered much 
for many years, by an operation for an anteflexion 
which existed in connection with the vaginismus. 


The female urethra is subject to a most painful 
morbid growth which appears in the form of a small 
vascular excrescence at the mouth of the urethra. 
These apparently insignificant tumors are exceedingly 
sensitive and irritable, and not infrequently render 
the life of the patient wretched with the constant, 
harrassing, burning pain, aggravated whenever the 
bladder is relieved. The growths are usually single, 
but sometimes several appear in a group. They are 
sometimes located so far from the mouth of the ure- 
thra as to be invisible, and in these cases are usually 
not discovered until an examination is made by an 
experienced physician. We have in a number of 
cases traced to this source an obstinate, tantalizing 
pain which had resisted all measures of treatment 
and was in no way improved, the real cause having 
been overlooked. 

Treatment : The only remedy is a surgical opera- 
tion. The morbid groAvths must be removed by the 


scissors, the caustic, or the actual cautery. We have 
found the galvano cautery the most reliable of all 
means of treating these cases. 


Within a few years the discovery has been made 
that urethral irritation causing smarting in passing 
urine and afterward, is in many cases due to disease 
of two little glands located just within the mouth of 
the urethra. The remedy is slitting up of the ducts 
of the glands, and this should be attended to at once, 
a surgeon being employed for the purpose. 


Disease of the bladder in one form or another is 
one of the most common ailments to which women 
are subject. Various displacements, laceration of the 
neck of the womb and of the perinaeum, holding the 
urine an improper length of time, and inflammation of 
the bladder or urinary passages, are among the causes 
of conditions which frequently seriously affect the 
health and happiness of women and sometimes make 
life a burden through the imposed suffering. Irrita- 
ble bladder, pain in passing urine, and inability to re- 
tain the urine or to empty the bladder, constitute the 
most serious morbid conditions to be met by 

Treatment: Irritable bladder is best relieved by 
hot vaginal douches, hot fomentations over the blad- 
der, the use of a vaginal tampon to support the base 
of the bladder, and copious water drinking. The 


tampon should be introduced daily, should be a 
pretty large one, and should be saturated with gly- 
cerine or a solution of glycerine and tannin, about 
one dram of the latter to an ounce of the former. In 
some obstinate cases a surgical operation, consisting 
of the dilatation of the urethra, is necessary, and the 
relief afforded by the operation is often most re- 

Inability to retain the urine is often due to an ab- 
normally sensitive state of the bladder, which causes 
the immediate expulsion of the urine as soon as re- 
ceded from the kidneys. These cases are greatly 
benefited by the use of hot bladder douches, a little 
salt being added to the water, about a dram to the 
quart of water. This treatment must of course be 
given under the supervision of a physician until the 
patient becomes skilled in the use of the catheter. 
The syphon or fountain syringe is the best means of 
washing out the bladder, and should be used daily. 
Various remedies may be used to diminish the irrita- 
ble condition of the mucous surface. When chronic 
inflammation or catarrh is present, the douche is indis- 
pensable to a cure. We also find the use of a decoc- 
tion of tamarack bark an advantage in these cases. 
One pound of the bark should be used for each pint 
of the decoction, and of this a patient should use a 
tablespoonful three times a day. Using several 
glasses of water daily, at least eight to ten glasses 
being taken in the course of the twenty-four hours. 

When there is paralysis of the bladder, a condi- 
tion by no means uncommon in cases of uterine dis- 
ease of long standing, associated with catarrh of the 


bladder, the bladder douche and electricity are indis- 
pensable remedies. The douche should be as hot as 
can be borne, slightly astringent and disinfectant, con- 
taining perhaps a dram of pulverized boracic acid and 
half a dram of carbolic acid, thoroughly dissolved with 
a tablespoonful of glycerine to the pint of water. 
The faradic current is the best form of electrical ap- 
plication, one pole being placed in the vagina or blad- 
der, and the other just over the bladder in front. 
We have by this means cured some very obstinate 
cases of the disease. 

Warm sitz baths and hot vaginal douches, with 
astringent vaginal tampons, are useful in all these 
cases and should be regularly employed. When the 
bladder trouble is due to anteflexion, prolapsus, cys- 
tocele, or any other form of local disease, this must 
of course receive appropriate treatment. 


These aggravating conditions are often the result 
of the varicose condition of the veins established by 
the pregnant condition ; but they are more often the 
legitimate consequence of the long-continued and ha- 
bitual constipation from which many women suffer 
most of their lives. Much can be done to alleviate 
the pain of hemorrhoids and even the intolerable, 
burning pain of fissure, by proper treatment; but a 
radical cure cannot be expected without a surgical 
operation. The best palliative measures are those 
given on page 430, which should be perseveringly ap- 

In cases of fissure, the bowels should be kept very 


loose by means of a careful diet and linseed tea ene- 
mas, and the patient should remain in a horizontal 
position for an hour or more after the bowels are 
moved. On this account it is well to adopt the plan 
of moving the bowels at night. Gradual or forcible 
dilatation is usually required to effect a cure in cases 
of fissure. 


This is a condition much more common in women 
than in men, which is attributable to their more seden- 
tary habits, and to the habitual neglect of the bowels 
so common with women. The relation of deficient 
privy accommodations to this disease has been else- 
where pointed out, page 491. The use of a concen- 
trated diet, including tea, coffee, and condiments, is 
the leading cause of this condition. Other disorders 
of the digestive organs, such as catarrh of the stom- 
ach and bowels, slow digestion, stricture of the intes- 
tines, and atony or partial paralysis of the intestines, 
are among the causes of the affection. Probably the 
most common of all causes, however, is the lack of 
prompt attention to the call of nature to relieve the 
bowels. The feces are by the peristaltic movement 
of the" intestines gradually carried down to the rec- 
tum; and when they reach this point, there is gener- 
ally a desire to relieve the bowels. If the duty is at 
once attended to, the habit of evacuating at a regular 
hour soon becomes fixed. If the call of nature is un- 
heeded, however, the feces are carried upward by 
peristaltic action into the colon again, so that the de- 
sire passes away. As a result of constipation, 


absorption of the decomposing fecal matter also takes 
place to some extent, giving rise to foulness of breath ; 
and the poisoning of the nerve centers occasions great 
mental depression, headache, confusion of thought, 
neuralgia, and a great variety of symptoms. One of 
the most common and painful results of chronic con- 
stipation is hemorrhoids, or piles, the treatment of 
which has already been considered. 

Treatment : Even the most obstinate constipation, 
not dependent upon stricture of the intestines, can 
generally be relieved by thorough rational treatment. 
In the first place, all the causes of the disease must 
be carefully avoided. If the patient's habits have 
been sedentary, she must take abundant exercise by 
walking, riding, etc. Horseback-riding is particu- 
larly useful in this disease. Another excellent meas- 
ure in such cases is vigorous kneading and percussing 
of the abdomen several times a day for five or ten 
minutes at a time. Many obstinate cases of consti- 
pation have been cured by this means alone. 

Eating an orange or drinking a glass or two of cold 
water before breakfast are simple measures which have 
often proved effective. The diet should be carefully 
attended to. Unless there is some disease of the 
stomach, such as ulcer or painful dyspepsia, coarse 
food should be used. Very little animal food should 
be taken. The diet should consist chiefly of fruits 
and unbolted meal, or grains. A regular time should 
be appointed to relieve the bowels, whether there is 
any indication or not. The time at which movement 
is most likely to be secured is after breakfast. With 
some persons, however, the movement occurs imme- 


diately upon rising. Hot applications to the abdo- 
men, the use of alternate hot and cold applications to 
the lower part of the spine, the employment of the 
abdominal girdle, and cool sitz baths daily or every 
other day, are measures of great value in the treat- 
ment of this condition. In the treatment of obsti- 
nate cases, we have often secured great benefit by 
the employment of electricity and Swedish Move- 
ments. Electricity should be applied directly to the 
bowels sufficiently strong to occasion slight contrac- 
tion of the abdominal muscles, the positive pole be- 
ing placed upon the spine and the negative on the 
bowels. When the patient has been for a long time 
dependent on laxatives of some sort, enemata of tepid 
water should be substituted, while the effect of re- 
medial measures of a more radical character is be- 
ing obtained. 

It is unwise, however, to allow the bowels to be- 
come wholly dependent upon the enema. To obvi- 
ate this tendency and to provoke a desire for move- 
ment, small enemas containing a small proportion of 
castile soap, a little glycerine, as a tablespoonful of 
glycerine to three or four of water, or ten to twenty 
drops of spirits of champhor to the same quantity of 
water, may be used with good results. In many 
cases, it is better to take the glycerine or camphor 
enema at night, or both night and morning. It 
should usually be retained a short time before at- 
tempting to move the bowels. This measure is es- 
pecially useful in cases in which the contents of the 
bowels are not hard and dry, but there is absence of 
natural desire for a movement. In cases in which 


the stools are hard and dry, benefit will be derived 
from the use of a small water enema, or an enema of 
three or four tablespoonfuls of sweet-oil on retiring at 
night. The bowels should not be allowed to move 
when the contents have become hardened by long re- 
tention without taking a large enema. 

Wearing the moist abdominal bandage at night, or 
even night and day for a week or two at a time, is an- 
other very serviceable measure. Free water drink- 
ing to the extent of six to ten glasses a day is also to 
be recommended. Of all measures, however, aside 
from diet, the most reliance may be placed upon 
massage of the bowels, thoroughly and systematically 
administered. In obstinate cases the bowels should 
be kneaded half an hour three times a day, as di- 
rected in the appendix. By means of the simple 
measures mentioned above, we have relieved cases in 
which there has been no natural movement of the 
bowels for from ten to twenty years, the patient hav- 
ing been wholly dependent upon cathartics. 


This is one of the most constant symptoms of dis- 
ease of the womb and pelvic organs. Though not 
a„ disease of itself, it is so prominent and so 
troublesome as a symptom that Ave give it separate 
notice. The pain is usually described as a dull, con- 
stant ache, located in the small of the back or across 
the hips, often extending around to the front of the 
body. It is most severe when the patient has been 
long upon the feet in standing or walking. 


Pain in the small of the back is commonly sup- 
posed to indicate disease of the kidneys, which is 
very rarely true. 

Treatment : Heat applied to the back, across the 
hips, by means of fomentations or the application of 
a rubber bag filled with hot water, is one of the most 
valuable remedies for relief of this symptom. Al- 
ternate hot and cold applications to the seat of pain 
and vigorous massage to the loins and hips are also 
most efficient means of relieving this aggravating 
pain ; but it should be borne in mind that permanent 
relief can be obtained only by the successful treat- 
ment of the malady of which it is a symptom, which 
in most cases will be found to be congestion or dis- 
placement of the womb, the proper remedies for 
which have been described elsewhere. 


The symptoms of this disease are chiefly the fol- 
lowing : Pale or yellowish countenance ; dark circles 
about the eyes ; palpitation of the heart ; lassitude ; 
variable and perverted appetite ; depression of the 
mind ; usually suppressed or scanty menstruation. 

Among the causes of chlorosis, the first that should 
be mentioned are unhygienic habits of life, particu- 
larly sedentary habits, unwholesome diet, and the un- 
wholesome mental condition produced by the reading 
of novels and other sentimental literature. The prac- 
tice of secret vice very often entails upon its victims 
this serious disease. There can be no doubt that the 
neglect of physical exercise among girls is a most 
potent cause of this malady. 


Treatment ; The first measures to be adopted are 
those which will secure, as far as possible, the re- 
moval of the causes of the affection. The diet should 
be properly regulated, the patient being required to 
take such food as will encourage elimination from the 
system of the products of excretion, which are dimin- 
ished in this affection in a marked degree, the urine 
being pale and containing less than the usual propor- 
tion of urea. Ripe fruits, milk, cream, oatmeal, and 
whole-wheat meal are among the most excellent arti- 
cles of food for persons suffering with chlorosis. 
Sugar and fats should be avoided. Exercise should 
be taken in the open air, and the patient should be 
exposed to the sunshine as much as possible and sur- 
rounded with cheerful conditions. No special treat- 
ment should be employed for the purpose of bringing 
on menstruation until the patient's condition has been 
improved otherwise. Indeed, it is seldom necessary 
to give this symptom especial attention, as the func- 
tion will be speedily restored when the cause of its 
suppression has been removed, together with the other 
morbid conditions from which the patient has suf- 

No -harsh or reducing remedies should be em- 
ployed ; but it is of very great advantage to encour- 
age elimination to a moderate extent. For this pur- 
pose the proper employment of water in connection 
with electricity is of very great service. The wet- 
hand rub with salt water every day, or three or four 
times a week, together with sitz-baths three or four 
times a week, and, when possible, the application of 
electricity two or three times a week. Electricity 


may be profitably applied to the body in general in a 
manner and of sufficient strength to secure contrac- 
tion of the muscles over the whole body, especially 
those of the arms and legs. Massage should also be 
administered in a thorough manner daily. This last 
measure is one of the most important. 


This accident is the result of childbirth, in conse- 
quence of unnatural rigidity of the womb, excessive 
size of the head of the infant, malposition, the use of 
instruments, precipitate labor, and perhaps from other 
causes. A tear may occur in the neck of the womb, 
without the patient being aware of the accident at 
the time. If the difficulty is not discovered and rem- 
edied, the usual result is, that, instead of making a 
rapid recovery after childbirth, the patient remains 
weak for a long time, and is perhaps confined to the bed 
on account of the pain and inconvenience occasioned 
when she attempts to get upon her feet and walk 
about. She suffers with all the symptoms of con- 
gestion of the womb, and after a time suffers with 
prolapsus, or some form of displacement. Menstrua- 
tion is likely to be very profuse. This condition 
often goes undiscovered, even when the patient re- 
sorts to a physician for examination and advice. The 
majority of cases of laceration of the cervix, or neck, 
of the Avomb, are treated for ulceration. When the 
physician makes an examination, he finds the lips of 
the womb enlarged, gaping, rolling outward, con- 
gested, and often covered with granulations. Too 
often these symptoms are mistaken for inflammation 



or ulceration of the womb, and the case is accordingly 
treated with caustics and various other routine reme- 
dies. In consequence of the laceration, dense cicatri- 
cial tissue forms upon the raw surfaces, which in- 
creases with the lapse of time, especially if the pa- 
tient is subjected to a course of cauterization. We 
have met many of these cases in which laceration had 
existed for periods varying from five to fifteen years, 
the patients having been invalids during all of this 
time ; and in scarcely a single instance had the real 
nature of the difficulty been previously discovered. 
They had been treated for " prolapsus," "inflamma- 
tion," " ulceration," "elongation of the neck," various 
displacements, and. in fact, almost everything but the 
real difficulty. 

Treatment : The proper remedy for this accident 
is the restoration of the torn parts to their natural 
condition as nearly as possible by a surgical opera- 
tion. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to 
carefully remove all of the products of inflammation 
and long-continued irritation. The dense, cartilage- 
like substance which is nearly always present, and 
which produces a great amount of reflex irritability, 
such as severe headache, pain in the spine, obstinate 
dyspepsia, etc., must first be carefully removed ; then 
the parts are brought together and secured by means 
of fine silver wires. In the course of nine or ten 
days, nature cements the torn parts together again, 
and the organ is restored to its normal condition. 
The satisfaction we have felt in being able to relieve 
by this simple operation patients who have come to 
us after having " suffered many things from many 



physicians," as well as from their diseases, has been 
only exceeded by the gratification and relief afforded 
the patients themselves. We recently received a 
visit from a patient upon whom we performed this 
operation a few weeks ago. She had been out of 
health for several years, ever since the laceration oc- 
curred, and had sought relief in vain by traveling, by 
medication, by local treatment, by every means that 
could be secured for her by a fond husband, and yet 
was not improved. After a few weeks of proper 
treatment, she submitted to the necessary operation, 
soon after which she went home, and recently re- 
turned for a very brief visit for the purpose of show- 
ing us what a wonderful change had taken place. 
Her thin, pale cheeks and bloodless lips were now 
plump and ruddy with the glow of health. She had 
gained twenty pounds of flesh within a little more 
than six weeks. Instead of being compelled to spend 
most of her time in bed, upon the sofa, or in an easy 
chair, her step was elastic and buoyant, and she had 
within a few days walked four miles in a single day 
without feeling at all fatigued, and none the worse 
the next day for the exertion. We might mention 
scores of similar cases in which the change has been 
equally great. 


Judging from the large number of cases of this 
sort which have come to our notice, laceration of the 
perinseum is an accident which probably occurs fully 
as frequent as the form of laceration just described. 
A slight degree of laceration almost always occurs at 


the birth of the first child. When this is very slight, 
no harm results ; but when it extends into the mus- 
cular tissue, serious injury is done. The laceration 
may be so extensive as to bring the two passages to- 
gether in one. A complete laceration of this sort is 
usually discovered at the time of its occurrence ; but 
when it is smaller in extent, the rupture is most fre- 
quently overlooked. The symptoms of rupture of the 
perinseum arc an unusual amount of soreness and 
long delay in healing. When the patient attempts to 
get upon her feet, she soon begins to suffer from the 
various Bymptoms <>f prolapsus, or retroversion. She 
is unable to walk but a short distance, suffers with 
pain in the back, weakness, and various other local 
disturbances. If the rupture is complete, there will 
be a loss of power to retain the contents of the bow- 
els, especially when they are loose. 

Treatment: The proper treatment for this acci- 
dent, as well as the preceding, is a surgical operation, 
whenever the laceration is more than very slight. 
When the laceration is discovered, the operation 
should be performed within five or six hours of its 
occurrence. If not attended to then, it should be at 
a subsequent period, when the patient has so far as 
possible recovered her usual strength. The opera- 
tion consists in making raw the surfaces which have 
been torn apart, and then bringing them together with 
silver wire. This operation requires not a little me- 
chanical ingenuity; but when properly performed in a 
case requiring it, affords a degree of relief which in 
some cases seems almost marvelous. In the case of 
a lady upon whom we performed the operation a few 


months ago, the improvement was so rapid that with- 
in a very short time she was able to perform a large 
amount of physical labor, and could walk long dis- 
tances without the slightest fatigue, although she had 
been a wretched invalid since the birth of her child, 
some eight or nine years previous. This case was 
somewhat exceptionally rapid in recovery, but in 
scores of similar cases we have ultimately seen 
equally good results. 

Judging from the large number of these cases 
which have come under our observation in the treat- 
ment of several thousand cases of diseases peculiar to 
women at the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium, we 
have no doubt that there are at the present time 
thousands of women who have been suffering for 
many years from the effects of laceration of this sort, 
which might readily be cured by a proper surgical 
operation. We have dwelt at some length upon this 
class of cases for the purpose of calling special atten- 
tion to them. On account of the general neglect 
with which they are treated, we urge upon every 
lady who has borne children, and who has any reason 
to suspect that any difficulty of this sort may exist, 
the importance of consulting a surgeon at the earliest 
possible moment, selecting the most competent and 
reliable surgeon who has had experience in such 
cases, who may be accessible. The idea which many 
women entertain that all the ills which they suffer are 
the natural Jieritage of woman, and that they' are a 
necessary consequence of motherhood and to be borne 
with patience and resignation, is an error far too com- 
mon. Most of the ailments of this class from which 


women suffer may be quite readily and effectually re- 



One of the most unfortunate accidents of child- 
birth is a rupture of the anterior or the posterior wall 
of the vagina, resulting in the formation of a perma- 
nent opening into the bladder or rectum. The incon- 
veniences arising from such a condition will be 
readily understood. While nothing can be done by 
In nnc treatment to cure or even alleviate these condi- 
tions, every woman ought to know that modern sur- 
gery affords complete relief in such cases, even when 
bo severe as to seem utterly hopeless, and relief by 
an operation should be sought at the earliest opportu- 
nity . at the hands of a competent surgeon. For 
want of this knowledge thousands of women have for 
years suffered more than death from these accidents, 
when a complete cure might have been effected with 
very little Buffering and no risk. 

Various other forms of fistula occasionally occur, 
but with less frequency than those mentioned. 
Nearly all are curable by a proper surgical operation. 


A stricture or contraction of the canal of the neck 
of the womb is by no means an uncommon condition. 
The stricture is sometimes located at the inner ex- 
tremity of the canal or the internal os, and sometimes 
at the external os. In occasional instances, some por- 
tion of the canal between these two points is the part 


The stricture may be due to flexion, anterior or 
posterior, to inflammation of the mucous membrane of 
the canal, or it may be congenital. The leading 
symptoms are obstructive dysmenorrhoea and steril- 
ity. As the result of the obstruction, preventing 
complete discharge of the menstrual and other secre- 
tions of the womb, chronic uterine catarrh finally re- 
sults, and following this a long train of local ills, 
prominent among which are congestion of the womb, 
enlargement, prolapsus and other forms of displace- 
ment, disease of the ovaries, and various disorders of 
the bladder. 

Treatment : There is but one proper remedy, viz., 
dilatation of the cervix, either rapid or gradual, for 
which the sendees of a surgeon of experience will be 
required. All the means recommended for conges- 
tion and chronic inflammation of the womb should be 
employed assiduously. 


The most common forms of tumors of the womb 
are fibroid tumor and polypus. The first and most 
prominent symptom is in most cases frequent and se- 
vere uterine hemorrhage. These hemorrhages at 
first occur at the menstrual period, but after a time 
become more frequent. Hemorrhage is also the first 
symptom in cases which occur after the change of 
life. Bearing-down pains, a dull continuous pain in 
the pelvis, fullness, weight, tenderness of the sacrum, 
dragging sensation in the groins and loins, pain in the 
hips and thighs during menstruation, leucorrhoea — 
the discharge being either clear, opaque, glairy, pur- 


ulent, or bloody — painful urination, retention of urine 
difficult or painful defecation, — these are the leading 
symptoms of tumors of the womb, although all these 
symptoms may be present without the existence of a 
tumor. When the tumor has reached a considerable 
degree of development, it may be felt through the 
abdominal wall; but its presence cannot be deter- 
mined with certainty, only by careful examination by 
.in experienced physician. 

Little is known of the cause of uterine tumors, 
except that they are most likely to occur in persons 
who have been exposed to the causes of other uterine 
diseases. They are also more likely to occur in wo- 
men <»f middle age or past that period than in young 
women. A polypus of the womb is shown on 
Plate C. 

Treatment: When either fibroid tumors or polypi 
are developed on the interior of the womb, nature 
often effects a cure by causing the tumor to slough 
oil', either en masse, or by piece-meal, the dead tissue 
being expelled. It is often observed that absorption 
of fibroid tumors takes place after the change of life. 
The greatest care should be taken to avoid all causes 
of uterine excitement or congestion. On this ac- 
count, single persons should not marry, and the mar- 
ried should observe the strictest continence. At the 
menstrual period, or when suffering with hemorrhage, 
the patient should receive the same treatment ad- 
vised for " Profuse Menstruation " and uterine hem- 
orrhage. Rest in bed with hips elevated and knees 
drawn up, and the hot water or alum douche, are es- 
pecially valuable. The hot vaginal douche should be 


employed twice daily, twenty minutes at a time, and 
Avhen necessary to relieve pain, fomentations over the 
pelvis and loins may be applied two or three times a 
day. The application of hot water bags to the spine 
and cold bags over the womb for two to five hours a 
day, is a very excellent means of checking the growth 
of the tumor and alleviating the accompanying pain. 
The application of galvanism, the positive pole to the 
cervix and the negative over the bowels, is a useful 
measure of treatment, as is also the electric douche 
(see appendix) . The knee-chest position is a source 
of great relief in many cases by lifting the tumor out 
of the pelvis and thus relieving the bladder and rec- 
tum from pressure. It also retards the growth of the 
tumor by lessening the blood supply. 

Massage, daily salt sponging, the general applica- 
tion of electricity, gentle out-of-door exercise, and 
other means for improving the general health should 
be assiduously employed. Care should be taken to 
keep the bowels regular and the digestion sound by 
careful diet. When there is constipation, warm water 
enemata or small enemata of glycerine, soap, or cam- 
phor water, should be employed. 

A skillful surgeon should always be consulted in 
these cases, as in occasional instances immediate relief 
can be given by a surgical operation. As a rule, 
however, this class of tumors should be let alone, at 
least until nature indicates that she has prepared the 
way for their safe removal. 



This disease begins with dull pain low down on 
one side of the body. Other symptoms speedup fol- 
low, chief of which are scanty menstruation, and fi- 
nally suppression; dragging pain in the bowels; pain- 
ful Mini frequent urination; difficulty in moving the 
bowels; great debility ; loss of flesh; enlargement 
beginning on one side of the body. 

Ovarian dropsy consists in the formation of a cyst 
in the ovary, which gradually enlarges until it attains 
in sonic instances a very great size, and is filled with 
fluid which differs in character in different cases. In 
some cases there are a number of cysts instead of one. 
The ovary is also subject to the growth of various 
other tumors, as fibrous and cancerous tumors. Ova- 
rian dropsy generally runs its course in about four 
years. The causes are obscure. The difficulty is 
probably occasioned in many instances by inflamma- 
tion of the ovary. 

Treatment : The medical treatment of ovarian 
dropsy consists in withdrawing the fluid by means of 
tapping, or preferably by the use of the aspirator, the 
employment of galvanism, and electricity in other 
forms, and improvement of the patient's health in 
every possible way. In a case which we had under 
treatment a few years ago, the tumor had attained 
such enormous size as to give to the patient, natu- 
rally a very slight woman, a waist circumference of 
over forty-four inches. The plan of treatment in this 
case was removal of the fluid by means of the aspira- 


tor, followed by the application of a strong galvanic 
current over the affected part. The result Avas that 
the patient was able to leave for her home after six 
or eight weeks' treatment without the slightest trace 
of any disease ; and when we met her a year later, 
she continued well. 

The only radical cure for the disease, however, is 
ovariotomy, — a surgical operation by means of which 
the diseased ovary, with the cyst attached to it, is 
removed. This is a comparatively recent procedure, 
and is one of the most brilliant operations of modern 
surgery. When the operation was first employed, a 
very large proportion of those operated upon died ; 
but so many improvements have been made since that 
time that skillful operators have now reduced the 
risk of death to five per cent, or five in one hun- 
dred. A celebrated English operator recently per- 
formed the last of one hundred successive cases with- 
out a single death. 

Other tumors of the ovary are of much less fre- 
quent occurrence, and require the attention of a care- 
ful physician. 


This peculiar form of tumor is usually found in 
the right side, and most frequently in women who 
have borne a number of children and in quite rapid 
succession. The tumor is oval in shape, about the 
size of a large goose egg, and exceedingly movable. 
It can usually be crowded up under the ribs where it 
cannot be felt, but quickly falls again when the pa- 
tient takes a long breath or stands upright. 


A floating tumor is simply a kidney which has be- 
come dislodged from its proper position. ' The organ 
seems to be able to perform its functions nearly as 
well when moving about as when quietly at rest in 
its proper position. 

Treatment: A radical cure cannot be effected ; but 
much may be done to relieve the unpleasant drag- 
ging sensation which is usually experienced in con- 
nection with this condition by toning up the abdom- 
inal walls, for which nothing is better than the daily 
application of electricity or the alternate hot and cold 
spray to the abdomen. A silk elastic bandage is also 
a most effective means for use in cases in which the 
relaxation is too great to be overcome by the meas- 
ures of treatment suggested. In a case which we 
have recently had under treatment, the difficulty ap- 
parently disappeared altogether after three or four 


The usual symptoms of this horrible and often 
incurable malady are as follows: Very profuse 
watery discharge, of a dirty, pale-green color, always 
offensive, usually putrescent; sudden, and, in the later 
stages, frequent attacks of hemorrhage ; severe local 
pain at night at first, in later stages constant; dis- 
turbances of digestion, nausea and vomiting: irreen- 
lar action of the bowels; great mental depression; 
rapidly increasing debility; sallow countenance; 
when examined, the womb is found to be enlarged 
nodular, fixed by adhesions in the pelvis so as to be 


Little is known of the cause of this disease. It 
has been observed, however, that a laceration of the 
neck of the womb is usually the starting-point of the 
malady. Death usually occurs within two years. 
The appearance of the disease is shown in Fig. C 
Plate C. 

Treatment : Almost every imaginable form of treat- 
ment has been adopted, but modern medical science 
is still completely baffled so far as a radical cure is 
concerned. The most that can be done is to palliate 
the patient's sufferings by such means as will relieve 
pain and check the hemorrhage. For this purpose 
the most efficient measures are those already recom- 
mended for use in fibroid tumors of the womb and 

The use of " clover tea," and " Chian turpen- 
tine," — remedies which have become popular within 
the last few years, offer at least the advantage 
that they will do no harm if they do no good, which 
cannot be said of many other popular remedies. We 
usually allow patients to take " clover tea " freely, 
but cannot say that we ever saw a case in the least 
benefited by the remedy. 

Something can be done by surgical operations to 
check the development of the disease, and occasional 
instances are met in which after thorough removal of 
the diseased tissue the malady does not reappear, 
hence a surgeon of experience and skill should be 
consulted in all cases of this sort. No reliance should 
be placed upon the pretentions of quacks or " cancer 
doctors." Their reputation is wholly gained by false 



The female breast is subject to various morbid 
growths, such as fibrous and cystic tumors, fatty 
growths, and to simple overgrowth of the breast. 
The latter condition may be due to an overaccumula- 
tion of fat or to an actual overgrowth of the gland 
itself. The causes of fat accumulation are obesity 
and masturbation and other sexual excesses. Over- 
growth of the gland itself is due to the organ not di- 
minishing in size after lactation. In the first variety 
of enlargement, the breast is large and soft. In the 
second, it contains nodular masses which are portions 
of the enlarged gland. 

Fibrous and cystic growths begin as small nodules 
in the gland, which are easily movable, and do not 
become intimately connected with the gland or the 
skin covering it. These growths are not at all dan- 
gerous, never terminating fatally, although it is possi- 
ble that their character may in time become changed ; 
they are, however, usually the cause of much mental 
uneasiness on the part of the patient, who imagines 
that she has a cancer. It is sometimes not easy to 
distinguish a cystic or fibrous growth from a cancer, 
but usually there is a marked difference in the char- 
acter of the pain, and the mode of growth. The 
former grows slowly, while the cancer grows rapidly, 
and usually occasions death within two or three years. 
The pain of a cystic tumor is of a neuralgic character 
if present, and is worse at the menstrual period. 
The pain of cancer is very severe, and of a sharp, 
lacerating character, shooting down the arm. When 


considerably developed, cancer shows its real charac- 
ter by the enlargement of the lymphatic glands of 
the neck and armpit of the affected side, and by re- 
traction of the nipple, which does not occur in non- 
malignant tumors. Cancers seldom occur under 
thirty, while other tumors may appear at any age 
after puberty, and are most frequent under thirty and 
in single persons. 

Treatment : For overgrowth of the gland, the 
causes should be removed and pressure applied to the 
breast by means of adhesive straps or a well placed 
bandage. Pressure is one of the best means of 
checking the growth of all forms of tumors of the 
breast, not excepting cancer. The best mode of ap- 
plying pressure is by means of an air-bag held firmly 
in position by a bandage. Compressed sponge, that 
is, sponge dried under pressure, is also a useful means. 
In the absence of either, a simple pad of cotton or 
wool may be applied over the tumor. The applica- 
tion of ice-bags when there is much heat, is a com- 
mendable measure of treatment. 

When the tumor becomes troublesome by reason 
of causing pain, or inconvenience on account of its 
size, it should be removed. This may often be done 
by a skillful surgeon in such a manner as to leave 
scarcely any trace of the operation. 


This is one of the most frequent and most formid- 
able of all the forms of cancer. The following are 
the leading symptoms : a sharp, throbbing, lacerating 
pain often shooting down the arm ; a sense of weight 


in the breast ; sometimes little or no pain ; a hard 
swelling in the substance of the breast which is first 
movable, afterward becoming fixed ; nipple drawn in ; 
tenderness to the touch ; skin over tumor reddish, 
afterward becoming purple; in some cases the whole 
breast is moderately hard, there being no distinct 
tumor ; after a time the glands of the neck and arm- 
jtit become enlarged. 

The leading points of difference between cancer 
and other morbid growths of the breast have been 
■liven in the description of Ub Tumors of the Breast." 
It is important to note these differences, as a failure 
to distinguish between a malignant and a non-malig- 
nant tumor of the breast has often been the cause of 
years of anhappiness, and has perhaps quite as often 
led patients to allow a disease possibly curable at an 
early stage to reach a degree of development at 
which all remedies are alike useless. 

Treatment : The intractable nature of malignant 
disease in any part of the body, when well developed, 
makes it important that prompt measures should be 
taken upon the first discovery of any symptom afford- 
ing ground for suspicion of cancer of the breast. The 
patient should not hesitate and temporize until the 
chances for a permanent cure are lost. The opinion 
of the best pathologists at the present day is that the 
disease is wholly a local affection in its early stages, 
so that if the diseased part is removed before other 
parts become infected, the patient has a chance to 
recover. There is only one method of treatment for 
use and recommendation in these cases, and that is, 
thorough removal of the diseased part as soon as sus- 


picious symptoms occur. The earlier the removal 
can be effected, the better. Of the various methods 
which have been employed, the removal by the knife 
is in the majority of cases the best, as it is a thorough 
operation, and it can be made painless by means of 
anaesthesia ; it also possesses the advantages of giv- 
ing the parts an opportunity for healing immediately, 
thus affording less opportunity for the disease to re- 
turn. It has been clearly shown that the slow heal- 
ing by granulation which follows the use of caustics 
favors the return of the disease. We have seen caus- 
tics employed in many cases, and in every instance 
in which the disease had shown distinct evidences of 
cancer, the malady returned in full vigor in a short 
time. No remedy is a positive cure, however, since 
the same depraved condition of the system which 
gave rise to the disease in the first place may cause 
a new outbreak, even though the first be entirely 

The public cannot be too frequently and earnestly 
warned against patronizing the numerous horde of 
cancer doctors who thrive upon the ignorance of the 
masses, lauding the virtues and advantages of so- 
called specifics which are warranted to cure every 
case. These wonderful (?) specifics, when of any 
value whatever, are standard remedies which are well 
known to the regular profession and have been for 
years. The apparent success which many of these 
quacks achieve is due to the fact that they do not 
hesitate to pronounce all forms of tumors to be can- 
cers, notwithstanding the fact that the great majority 
of tumors are wholly benign. 

38 • 


A person finding a small, painful lump in the 
breast should consult a skillful surgeon at once, es- 
pecially if there is any history of malignant disease 
in the family. In cases of cancer of the breast which 
are already very far advanced, ulceration having be- 
gun and infection of the system having taken place, 
as shown by the debilitated condition of the patient 
and enlargement of the glands under the arm, etc., 
removal of the breast may still be of advantage in 
prolonging the life of the patient, and adding to her 
comfort, alt hough there may be no hope of effecting 
a cure. 

The application of ice to the aifected part in the 
form of iced compresses, or better, by means of rub- 
ber bags filled with iced water or small pieces of ice, 
is an excellent means for relieving the severe pain 
which characterizes, the disease, and also for delaying 
its progress. Frequent freezing of the diseased 
parts by means of a mixture of salt and pounded ice, 
in proportion of one part of the former to two of the 
latter, applied by means of a muslin bag, has been 
very highly recommended for holding in check the 
progress of this terrible malady. These modes of ap- 
plying cold are also useful in checking the hemorrhage 
which is often severe after the cancer becomes an 
open sore. Pressure made by means of air bags 
and a properly applied bandage, is useful as a means 
of retarding growth, but cannot be employed where 
there is much tenderness. When the breast is hot 
and swollen, support of the breast and the applica- 
tion of cold bags or compresses are indicated. 

In the appendix will be found prescriptions for a 


number of useful applications for use in these cases 
to remove fetor and subdue pain. When the hemor- 
rhage is not controlled by cold or pressure, soft 
sponges or absorbent cotton wrung out of hot water 
may be applied. In severe cases, a physician should 
be called. 


This condition is not usually present except in 
women who have borne several children. The best 
remedies are proper support, firm bandaging, and 
daily hot and cold applications. 


This is a very frequent condition among American 
women. The causes are chiefly deficient physical 
development, compression of the breast by corsets, 
stays, or " forms," and deficient development of the 
ovaries. When the latter condition is the cause, 
there is usually an unnatural growth of hair on the 
upper lip. 

Treatment : Removal of causes so far as possible 
is the first measure, which of course includes improve- 
ment of the general health. The only other meas- 
ures of treatment of any value are daily massage of 
the breast (see page 467), and sponging with hot 
water. If there is associated atrophy or deficient 
development of the womb, uterine massage may also 
be employed. 



As elsewhere explained, the hymen is a membra- 
nous structure found at the entrance of the vagina, 
usually consisting merely of a crescentic fold. Some- 
times the membrane is developed to such an extent 
as to close the vaginal orifice entirely. This may not 
be noticed until attention is called to the fact by the 
retention of the menses. In most cases, however, in 
which there is abnormal development, there is not 
complete closure, but sufficient to prevent the con- 
summation of marriage. A physician should be con- 


This condition may be indicated by the absence 
of the usual changes which occur at puberty, or a 
masculine appearance of the patient. The growth of 
hair upon the upper lip is considered a diagnostic 
sign of special value. Absence of menstruation is 
also sometimes traceable to this cause, as well as 

Treatment : General and local massage, the daily 
hot douche, the general application of electricity, the 
use of the electric douche, massage of the breasts, daily 
exercise in the open air, and all measures calculated 
to build up the general health are indicated in these 
cases. When begun at an early age, the prospect of 
success is good. 



This condition is usually the result of pregnancy, 
and is by far the most common in women who have 
weakened their abdominal muscles by wearing cor- 
sets, or stays, and heavy skirts suspended from the 
hips. It is not likely to occur when the abdominal 
walls are allowed to become strong and firm by 
proper exercise, and are made still more so by special 
manipulations or massage during the period of 

Treatment: Daily massage, the alternate hot and 
cold spray or hose or pouring douche, and exercise of 
the abdominal muscles by the postural methods de- 
scribed in the appendix, constitute the best of curative 
measures. As a palliative, the elastic abdominal 
bandage should be worn. 


The symptoms of this disease are very numerous 
and varied. The following are a few of the most 
common : The patient laughs or cries immoderately 
without cause or with very slight cause ; has hallu- 
cinations ; all the senses perverted ; morbidly sensi- 
tive to light and sound ; breasts sensitive ; pain in 
ovary ; headache ; wandering pains in the chest, ab- 
domen, joints, and spine, especially between the 
shoulders ; loss of sensation in the skin ; paralysis of 
certain muscles ; sometimes loss of voice ; sensation 
as of a ball rising in the throat ; contraction of the 
muscles ; violent spasms ; disorder of digestion with 


symptoms of nervous dyspepsia; changeable temper; 
sometimes large quantity of pale urine ; in some cases 
delirium or stupor. 

The above is a very inadequate description of 
this peculiar disease ; in fact, a complete description 
would include a list of the symptoms of all known 
diseases, since there is no known malady which may 
not be imitated by hysteria. The affection is not, as 
many people suppose, wholly an imaginary disease, 
but is really a malady of considerable gravity. 

Hysteria occurs most frequently between the 
ages of fifteen and twenty-five. The most common 
causes are sexual excesses, novel-reading, perverted 
habits of thought, idleness, and some form of ovarian 
or uterine disease. It occurs most frequently among 
young ladies who have been reared in luxury and 
who have never learned self-control, but who have 
had every whim and fancy indulged until self-gratifi- 
cation has come to be their greatest aim in life. It 
is a notable fact that hysteria rarely or never occurs 
among the women of uncivilized nations. It is stated 
that before the war, the disease was unknown among 
the nesrro women of the South, though it has occa- 
sionally been met with since the emancipation. 

Treatment : This disease may be considered as 
curable in nearly all cases. Indeed it is not, of itself, 
a fatal malady ; but mental and moral, as well as 
medical, treatment are essential. The patient must 
be taught self-control; her mind must be, by some 
means, drawn away from herself. The most effective 
means of interrupting the paroxysm is the applica- 

Diseases of women. 55? 

tion of cold in some form to the head and spine. 
Either the cold pour or the ice pack may be em- 
ployed with almost certain success. To prevent the 
recurrence of the paroxysms, the patient's health 
should be improved as much as possible by abundant 
exercise in the open air, wholesome diet, plentiful 
sleep, and general tonic treatment. Sitz baths may 
be used, in most cases, to advantage, one or two a 
week, the temperature ranging from 92° to 93° at the 
beginning of the bath, to 88° or 86° at the conclusion. 
The bath may last fifteen or twenty minutes with 

With patients whose blood is poor, massage and 
inunction two or three times a week should be em- 
ployed. A daily spinal ice pack, continuing from ten 
to twenty minutes, may be used with advantage. 
Galvanism to the spine is another useful measure. 
When there is paralysis of sensation and motion, far- 
adic electricity should be applied to the paralyzed 

When the patient complains of tenderness and 
soreness of the spine, hot fomentations should be ap- 
plied to the spine daily, or hot-water bags or heated 
bottles or bricks should be employed in the same way 
one to three hours daily. 

When there are symptoms of ovarian or uterine 
disease, the proper remedies should be addressed to 
these maladies. Strong pressure made over the ova- 
ries will sometimes terminate a paroxysm more 
promptly than any other means. 



While it is undoubtedly true that many of the 
nervous symptoms so common among women, the 
neuralgias, headaches, backaches, nervousness, fidg- 
ets, hysterias, etc., etc., are due to local ailments of 
the womb and ovaries, it is quite an error to suppose 
that these organs are responsible for all the manifold 
symptoms which are not infrequently found associated 
with a greater or less degree of local disease. We 
have no sympathy with the fashion which is becom- 
ing quite too prevalent among physicians, in accord- 
ance with which the slightest degree of local disease 
is considered sufficient to give rise to an infinite 
number and variety of remote symptoms, and is ac- 
cordingly made the chief point of attack with a for- 
midable array of tampons, pessaries, lotions, supposi- 
tories, etc., with the expectation that all the harass- 
ing symptoms in head, spine, stomach, and other or- 
gans will take their departure as promptly as if dis- 
pelled by a magician's wand. That disappointment 
usually follows this plan of treatment is evidenced by 
the hundreds of invalid women who spend their lives 
in drifting about from one specialist to another until 
they become disgusted with life, and are in not a few 
instances absolutely worn to death. Having met 
scores of such cases, we feel justified in taking this 
view of the case. Nerve-tire, or exhaustion of the 
nervous system, is one of the most common causes of 
uterine and ovarian disease. Constant overwork or 
wotv, too much excitement, too little physical ex- 


ercise or recreation, and overstimulation in various 
ways, result in imperfect nutrition of the nerve cen- 
ters, and then follows any number and variety of 
secondary disturbances. Spine, stomach, head, womb, 
ovaries, and numerous other organs, all participate in 
the cry for more rest and better blood. The neurolo- 
gist calls the disease, in technical phrase, neurasthenia; 
the gynecologist is too likely to look no farther than 
the womb and ovaries ; and the general practitioner 
is apt to imagine spinal disease, dyspepsia, " liver com- 
plaint," or " malaria " to be at the bottom of all the 
trouble. Each treats the patient from his partial 
stand-point, and is disappointed that recovery does 
not result. Although either one of the supposed 
causes may be the chief factor at the beginning, long- 
continued sympathetic disturbance finally results in 
the establishment of independent disorders, so that 
the patient must be treated not with relation to one 
single malady, but with an intelligent comprehension 
of the whole case. The patient, not her disease or 
diseasss, should be made the object of treatment. 

The best course to be pursued with this class of 
patients is to take them away from their cares and 
all old associations, and surround them with an en- 
tirely new set of influences. They can seldom be 
treated successfully at home, and can be best man- 
aged in a well-regulated sanitarium, where they can 
have the advantage of a careful regimen, systematic 
management, and the benefit of treatment administered 
by trained attendants and experienced physicians, 
together with as complete mental and nervous repose 
as possible. Massage, electricity, and proper diet, 


constitute the most essential means of treatment in 
these cases, and when skillfully applied, often work 
most marvelous results. 


The bladder should be emptied at least twice in 
twenty-four hours, the quantity of urine passed dur- 
ing the day being on an average about two pints. 
When the quantity is very much less than this, or 
there is no passage of urine for twenty-four hours, the 
matter should receive immediate attention ; and if re- 
lief is not speedily obtained, a physician should be 
called, as retention in women is almost always con- 
nected with some disease or displacement of the 

Retention may almost always be relieved by a 
warm sitz bath or a hot vaginal douche, the bladder 
should be evacuated, if necessary, during the admin- 
istration of the douche, or while the patient is in the 

If relief is not otherwise obtained, the catheter 
should be used to withdraw the urine. A soft cathe- 
ter is the best. This can be passed by any one, as 
there is no danger of doing harm with it. The mouth 
of the urethra is located just above the upper border 
of the vaginal orifice. The instrument should be in- 
troduced about two and one-half or three inches, care 
being taken to direct it so as to reach the most de- 
pendent portion of the bladder, and the outer extrem- 
ity being held lower than the internal so as to secure 
complete drainage of the bladder. 



Perhaps a few concise suggestions of a general 
character should be added to the general and special 
advice given in the preceding portions of the book re- 
specting the treatment of the various ailments peculiar 
to the sex, which have been described. First let us 
emphasize the importance of early attention to local 
derangements, even though they may be quite slight 
in character. Nearly all serious maladies of a chronic 
nature have small beginnings, the first indications of 
disease being but slight departures from the normal 
condition. The first symptom of beginning local dis- 
ease may be a slight leucorrhoeal discharge, at first 
continuing a week or two after the menstrual period, 
and then becoming continuous from one period to the 
other, or the patient may observe some slight irregu- 
larity of the menses, as a too profuse or too prolonged 
flow, lengthening or shortening of the interval between 
the menstrual periods, or an unusual degree of nervous 
prostration or pain at the menstrual period. In other 
cases, a pain in the back, especially when the patient is 
upon her feet, will be the first indication of a departure 
from health. Sometimes there is no local symptom 
whatever, but instead, some nervous disturbance, as de- 
spondency, or excessive nervousness without adequate 
cause, perhaps hysteria, fretfulness, confusion of 
mind, and constant headache, particularly at the top 
of the head. Sometimes the pain in the back may 
extend to the whole spine, but it is usually felt most 


severely at the small of the back or across the hips, 
or, as frequently expressed, "at the bottom of the 
waist." A pain across the lower part of the bowels 
or the groins is also significant. 

All of these symptoms indicate some derange- 
ment of the pelvic organs, and should at once receive 
the most careful attention. A leucorrhoeal discharge, 
for example, is the result of congestion. A simple 
whitish discharge indicates nothing more ; but a yel- 
lowish or offensive discharge indicates a much more 
grave condition. It should be borne in mind that 
leucorrhcea itself is not a disease, but simply a symp- 
tom of disease ; and hence, if a thorough application 
of the measures, of treatment suggested for the relief 
of this condition does not effect a cure within a few 
weeks, an experienced physician should be consulted 
respecting the matter. 

In health, the perfect regularity of the menstrual 
function is such ;is to entitle it to be regarded as one 
of the most marvelous of all the mysteries of nature, 
and no departure from this regularity will occur with- 
out some disturbing cause, which may become a 
source of serious mischief. When the disturbing 
element is of a temporary character, the vital ener- 
gies of the system will in many cases bring back the 
function to its normal condition, and hence a slight 
deviation is not sufficient cause to give rise to alarm ; 
but a continual repetition of the irregularity should 
not be allowed to go unnoticed for any length of time, 
as the disturbing cause may by neglect become so 
firmly established as to be removed with difficulty, or 
if this were not the case, a habit of irregularity may 


be formed out of which may grow evils of a very se- 
rious character. 

The occurrence of pain at the menstrual period, 
unless very severe in character, is not considered by 
most women as worthy of attention. When ques- 
tioning women upon this point in the examining room, 
we have often received the reply, " Why, certainly I 
suffer pain when unwell ; all women do." It cannot 
be reasonably supposed that the Creator intended 
that woman should suffer pain at each performance of 
the menstrual function. The curse pronounced upon 
woman for her share in the first transgression im- 
posed suffering and pain at child-birth ; but there is 
no reason to suppose that the curse extended to the 
function of menstruation, and the fact that the women 
of barbarous tribes, as our native Indian women, and 
the strong healthy women whom we find among the 
emigrants from foreign countries, do not suffer at this 
time, is sufficient proof that pain is not a necessary 
accompaniment of the function. The fact that so 
much pain is experienced by so large a proportion of 
women when unwell is evidence rather of the great 
prevalence of local disease in one form or another. 

Pain is also the result in many cases of conges- 
tion, and is due in the majority of cases to the aggra- 
vation of the normal or physiological congestion which 
occurs in the pelvic organs during menstruation. No 
woman should be satisfied with the condition of her 
health so long as she suffers any considerable degree 
of discomfort during the menstrual week, at least 
when taking a reasonable amount of care to avoid 
over-exertion and exposure at this time, 


Pain -in the lower part of the back is usually re- 
garded as an indication of disease of the kidneys, and we 
have met hundreds of women suffering with local dis- 
ease who had dosed themselves for years with various 
popular nostrums, supposed to be effective remedies 
for all forms of kidney disease, or had been treated by 
an indefinite number of quacks who are always ready 
to seize upon any pretext which will, in the estimation 
of the patient, warrant them in pronouncing the case 
one of some grave internal malady which can only be 
cured by some potent remedy of which they are the 
fortunate and sole possessors. It is a lamentable fact, 
also, that many practitioners whose opportunities have 
been such that the patient has a right to expect more 
intelligent treatment, frequently accept the patient's 
diagnosis of disorder of the kidneys based upon the 
existence of a pain in the lower part of the back 
accompanied by a sediment in the urine, and treat 
the disease by internal remedies addressed to the 
kidneys instead of making such an investigation of 
the case as would reveal its true character. We may, 
perhaps, remark just here that pain in the region re- 
ferred to is almost never indicative of any trouble 
with the kidneys. The kidneys are located in the 
abdominal cavity several inches above the point 
where the pain is usually seated, and local pain is by 
no means a prominent feature in disease of the kid- 
neys. The " pain in the back," from which so many 
thousands of women suffer during a great part of 
their lives, is due to an unhealthy state of the nerve 
centers of that part of the spine, which results from 
morbid reflex influences growing out of pelvic diseases.. 


and investigation of these causes almost uniformly 
develops the fact that the patient is suffering from 
prolapsus or retroversion or flexion, or from two or 
more of these combined, and accompanying active or 
passive congestion, which may be the result, but is 
more probably the cause, of the mechanical difficulty. 
Every woman who suffers with " pain in the back " or 
weak back, ought to know that her case demands at- 
tention ; and if the study of this little work and atten- 
tion to the recommendations made does not readily 
secure relief, an experienced specialist should be con- 
sulted with reference to the case. 

The last remark also applies with equal force to 
the great share of so-called cases of " spinal disease," 
" spinal irritation," and to many of the cases of obsti- 
nate headache, hysteria, and other nervous disorders 
which are so frequent among the women of the present 
day. It is true that these disorders sometimes arise 
from disturbances of the stomach and other vital organs, 
but when there are no marked evidences of other 
functional disturbances to which the symptoms named 
may be fairly attributed, pelvic disease may be rea- 
sonably suspected 

Exercise and Rest. — On both of these points we 
wish to offer a few remarks, the importance of which 
is well understood by every specialist who has treated 
professionally any large number of severe chronic 
-cases of pelvic disease. While it is true that a great 
number of cases of local disease in women arise from 
improper exercise, as heavy lifting, taking long walks 
at the menstrual period, etc., it is equally true that 
not a few cases may be fairly attributed to deficient 


exercise of the muscles, giving rise to a feeble condi- 
tion of the abdominal walls and the natural supports 
of the uterus, thereby entailing upon the individual 
the liability to serious and perhaps life-long disease. 
Careful regulation of the habits in relation to exercise 
is a matter of paramount importance in all cases of 
this class. In general, we may say that patients 
whose pelvic troubles are the result of indolence or a 
too sedentary life, must accustom themselves to a 
more active life as the first step toward recovery ; 
while persons whose disorders are the result of too 
much or too violent exercise, will at first require a 
period of rest more or less prolonged, according to the 
nature of the case. When there is much pelvic pain 
which is greatly aggravated by the upright position, 
the patient must be kept in bed, unless she has already 
been there too long, until the pain subsides so that 
she is comfortable in a horizontal position. This rec- 
ommendation is particularly important in cases in 
which there is active local inflammation, as in cases 
of chronic cellulitis or ovaritis, and many cases of so- 
called inflammation of the womb. We need not 
mention that while a patient is being kept in bed it 
is important that various means should be employed 
to obviate the evil effects of inactivity, such as thor- 
ough massage of the whole body daily, and massage 
of the bowels two or three times a day, frequent 
sponge baths, a carefully regulated diet, etc., together 
with the employment of all other means which are in- 
dicated in the particular case. It is not necessary 
that the patient should be kept all the time in bed, as 
she can be assisted to the sofa for an hour or two 


each day, or she can be drawn into another room or 
out of doors in a rocking-chair, where she can lie upon 
a lounge or cot, and thus receive the benefit of change, 
fresh air, and sunshine, while still maintaining the 
horizontal position. 

The great advantage of rest in these cases is that 
the pelvic vessels, which have long been overcharged 
with blood, are allowed to empty themselves, and by 
remaining empty their relaxed walls are allowed to 
contract so that the congestion may be overcome. 
The difference in regard to the amount of blood pres- 
ent in the blood-vessels in a horizontal position as 
compared with the upright may readily be seen by a 
comparison of the two hands while one is allowed to 
hang by the side and the other is held with the arm 
stretched out in a horizontal position. The veins of 
the pendent hand will be observed to be full and dis- 
tended with blood so that they stand out quite prom- 
inently, while they can hardly be distinguished in the 
hand held in a horizontal position, which latter will be 
observed to be pale and almost bloodless, while the 
other becomes reel from the distension of its blood- 
vessels. Sometimes we have even found it an advan- 
tage for a time to increase the effect of the horizontal 
position by raising the foot of the patient's bed. In 
all cases care should be taken to keep the head rather 
low. We have known patients to completely neutral- 
ize the good results which should have been obtained 
from the horizontal position by keeping themselves 
bolstered up in bed in such a way as to drain the 
upper part of the body into the pelvis, thus increasing 
rather than diminishing the local blood supply. 


After the patient has been kept in bed a sufficient 
length of time, which may vary from a week to six 
or eight weeks, or even longer in cases attended by 
active inflammation, she should be gradually brought 
upon her feet. The rapidity with which the upright 
position is reassumed should be carefully graduated 
according to the length of time that the patient has 
been in bed. If the patient has been confined to her 
bed only a week or two, she may on the first day 
after getting up take a few steps, perhaps walking 
across the room once or twice during the day. The 
next time the distance may be doubled, and thus the 
amount of exercise may be increased from day to day 
until a considerable distance is walked. If the pa- 
tient has been long confined in bed, say from three 
to six months or more, she should be satisfied with 
simply assuming the upright position the first time. 

The feet should be covered with thick woolen 
stockings, and with nothing additional unless it be a 
pair of light slippers Avithout heels, as the body is much 
more easily and firmly supported when the whole sole 
of the foot receives its weight. The length of time the 
upright position is maintained at the first attempt 
must depend somewhat upon the patient's feelings, 
but should not be longer than two or three minutes, 
and in some cases even less. During the time, the 
patient's mind should be occupied in some pleasant 
way, so that the attention may not be too much di- 
rected to the effort, as otherwise the excessive tension 
of the nerves and muscles might result in greater 
harm than good. The next day the length of time 
may be considerably increased, and the patient may 


take one or two steps perhaps, with the aid of an as- 
sistant, or even two assistants if necessary. The pa- 
tient should not be alarmed if the limbs sting and 
tingle, and perhaps become numb in feeling and mot- 
tled in appearance, or even should the heart palpitate, 
and the old backache and headache return, together 
with numerous other symptoms which may have been 
subdued by the confinement in bed. These symp- 
toms will almost invariably return at the first attempt 
to exercise, but will quickly subside when the recum- 
bent position is assumed. When this is not the case, 
an interval of a day or two should be allowed to 
elapse before the attempt is repeated. 

From time to time, the amount of*exercise should 
be gradually increased until the patient is able to 
take long walks without suffering any unpleasant con- 
sequences ; but the recumbent position should be re- 
sorted to for some time after exercise has been taken. 
When the amount of pain induced by exercise is con- 
siderable, the patient will find great relief by lying 
with the head low and the hips elevated by means of 
two or even three pillows, so that the pelvis may be 
thoroughly drained. Nearly all women who suffer 
with backache and pain across the lower portion of 
the abdomen, or other forms of pelvic pain, may find 
relief in the same way. Many ladies to whom we 
have suggested this procedure, have assured us that 
they were able to perform a very considerable amount 
of work by taking rest and relieving the pelvis from 
its superabundant blood in this manner, from ten to 
fifteen minutes, once or twice during the day. When 
the patient is suffering from retroversion or a considr 


erable degree of prolapsus, the knee-chest position, 
which is illustrated and explained under the head of 
" Postural Treatment," furnishes the most thorough and 
prompt relief from pelvic pains brought on by exer- 

Ladies suffering with weak backs, often think 
they cannot walk, and so settle down to a very indo- 
lent and sedentary life, which only results in an ag- 
gravation of their difficulties in the end, as already 
explained. Those who find themselves getting into 
this bad condition should at once begin a regular 
course of walking exercise, walking each day a given 
distance, which should be gradually extended from 
day to day, as the ability to walk is recovered. Lit- 
tle difficulty will be found in adopting this suggestion 
when the above hints respecting rest after exercise 
are carefully heeded. 

We regard walking as one of the most healthy of 
exercises, and consider its practice indispensable to 
the perfect cure of uterine diseases. Walking is alto- 
gether too little practiced by American ladies, and 
this perhaps accounts, in part, for the great frequency 
of pelvic disorders in this country. It is well known 
that pelvic disease is much less common among the 
well-to-do classes in England than in this country; and 
this may be fairly attributed to the almost universal 
practice among English ladies of taking a large amount 
of walking exercise nearly every clay of their lives. 
We also observe the same fact among the middle 
classes of France and Germany. The active muscular 
life led by the women of the lower classes of nearly 
all European countries, has been made a matter of 


comment by all observing travelers interested in mat- 
ters pertaining to health. 

We were particularly struck with the robust and 
healthy appearance of the peasant women of Germany 
and Austria, who engage in all kinds of physical la- 
bor in company with their husbands and brothers 
plowing, harvesting, digging ditches, working on the 
streets in the large cities, driving wheelbarrows heavily 
laden with brick and mortar, or carrying the same in 
pails or baskets upon their heads, and, in fact, doing 
nearly all the drudgery and hard work of the country. 
These women were always remarkably straight and 
square-shouldered, and firm in their poise. We never 
saw one of them with her hand upon her back, and do 
not suppose one could be found who would confess to 
a back-ache or a side-ache ; and yet we would not wish 
to be understood that the women of Germany, and 
other continental countries where similar customs pre- 
vail, are wholly free from the troubles from which 
their American sisters suffer so much. 

Aside from the simple dietary, out-of-door life, and 
active physical habits to which European women of 
the lower classes are accustomed, their mode of life is 
by no means such as can be considered conducive to 
health. The feet are usually well clad in stout boots, 
while the head is totally uncovered ; but the hips are 
burdened with a load of heavy skirts tied close 
about the waist, outside of which is worn a stiff 
bodice, or outside corset, which is tightly laced. As 
a natural consequence of this wretched mode of dress, 
prolapsus, even to the most extreme degree, is not 
uncommon, and various other mechanical displace- 


ments occur. Nevertheless, so robust is the general 
health; and so firm and vigorous the muscular devel- 
opment, that the majority of these women are en- 
abled to endure the double burden of a very laborious 
life and the dragging weight of their heavy skirts 
without suffering from any form of local disease what- 
ever; and those who do suffer in this way know 
nothing of the torturing pain endured by American 
women under similar circumstances. In the hospitals 
we frequently met women who had for years been en- 
gaged in vigorous physical labor, notwithstanding the 
fact that the womb was prolapsed to such a degree as 
to be protruding into the external world ; and when 
questioned upon the point, it appeared that they only 
sought relief from the inconvenience of their condition, 
rather than from any serious pain which they had 
ever -suffered. Much more might be said upon this 
subject, but we have already dwelt quite fully on the 
importance of exercise in the body of this work. 

Before leaving this point, however, one caution 
should be made. Ladies suffering with pelvic affec- 
tions, should, as a rule, take their exercise on a level 
surface. Going up or down stairs, especially long 
flights of stairs, should be avoided as too violent ex- 
ercise to be taken without injury until the muscles 
have been strengthened by milder forms of exercise. 
It should be recollected that experiments upon exercise 
have shown that the effort required to lift the body per- 
pendicularly, as in ascending a ladder or steep stairway, 
is twenty times as great as that required to move the 
body over the same distance on a level surface. That 
is, as much effort is required to ascend one foot as is 


required to walk twenty feet on a level. Walking on a 
level surface is also, as a rule, a much better form of 
exercise than carriage riding, the jolting of a carriage 
frequently causing much more serious pain than the 
effort required in walking even quite a long distance. 
Horseback-riding must be wholly forbidden to ladies 
suffering with any form of pelvic disease, though a 
partial exception may be made in the case of those 
who are accustomed to riding, and are willing to ride 
at a pace no faster than a very slow walk. Dancing 
must be wholly interdicted, as a form of exercise too 
violent for this class of patients, and in many ways 
liable to result in injury. We have met many cases 
of the most serious local disease which could be traced 
directly to the practice of dancing, especially when 
engaged in at the menstrual period. The use of the 
feet in pumping an organ or running a sewing-machine, 
is also a form of exercise which must be scrupulously 
avoided in most cases of this sort. 

When the patient finds that she has taken too 
much exercise at any time, as indicated by a consid- 
erable increase of pelvic pain, resort should be at 
once had to the recumbent position, elevation of the 
hips, hot douche, and hot and cold sponging of the 
limbs and middle portion of the body. The latter is 
a very effective method of relieving pelvic pain, and 
is so simple a means of treatment that it can be taken 
by the patient herself, and with very little prepara- 
tion. All the materials necessary are*two large, soft 
sponges and two vessels, one containing hot and the 
other cold water. The temperature of the hot water 
should be as high as can be borne without positive 


discomfort. The body should be first rubbed with a 
sponge wrung quite dry from the hot water, for one- 
half minute, and then with the sponge from the cold 
water for about the same length of time. The applica- 
tion should be continued five to fifteen minutes. The 
results are better when the treatment can be given 
by an attendant, although the absence of an assistant 
should not prevent its being employed when necessary. 
After the last application of cold water, the body 
should be quickly dried, and the patient should be 
wrapped in warm blankets, and remain quiet for a 
few hours. A large folded towel, wrung out of tepid 
water and covered with oiled silk or several folds of 
flannel, should be placed over the abdomen at night 
when so much exercise has been taken during the 
day as to cause considerable pain. The body should 
be quickly rubbed with the hand dipped in cold water 
after removing the compress in the morning. This 
treatment may be taken with advantage after the al- 
ternate hot and cold sponging. A prolonged warm 
sitz-bath, taken just before retiring, is also a very ef- 
fective means for relieving the consequences of over- 
exercise, though it cannot be taken so conveniently 
as the measures of treatment just described. 

Position during Sleep. — The position of the body 
during sleep is a matter of importance, as it often in- 
volves, with very sound sleepers, an unchanged posi- 
tion for at least one-third of the twenty-four hours. 
This time is •amply sufficient for the production of 
results of a character favorable or adverse to the pro- 
duction of diseased conditions ; and when disease is 
present, the mere matter of position is sufficient to 


present an obstacle to recovery, or to be an important 
auxiliary to proper treatment. As a rule, patients 
suffering with pelvic troubles should sleep with the 
head low, or at any rate not higher than the pelvis, 
and in some instances it will be found an advantage 
to lift the hips by a pillow, or even to elevate the 
foot of the bed so that the whole body will form an 
incline toward the head. A patient suffering with 
retroversion or flexion should lie upon the face, while 
a person suffering with ante-flexion or version should 
habitually lie upon the back. A patient suffering 
with simple prolapsus may lie on either face or back, 
as either position may be found the more comfortable. 
We may also mention here that lying upon the face 
is preferable to the dorsal position during the first 
two or three weeks after confinement, as the uterus 
is then heavy, and through its abnormal weight is li- 
able to become tipped backward before the process of 
involution is completed. It would be injurious, how- 
ever, for the position upon the face to be maintained 
continuously for two or three weeks, as ante-version 
would be likely to result. 

Diet. — The regulation of the dietary is a matter 
of no small consequence in the management of the 
majority of cases of pelvic disease. We have no 
space here to enter into the full subject of dietetics 
as related to pelvic disorders, but would offer a few 
hints which our experience warrants us in saying will 
be found serviceable ; and first we wish to call atten- 
tion to the mistaken notion that women suffering 
from nervousness and general debility arising from 
long-continued pelvic disease