I iiitli 1 I
. 1 /, I !
Presented to the
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Hon. Hartford p. Brown^ of the Pennsylvania
Legislature, and originator of the School House
Flag Bill, says :
Doctor WalHng's "Sexology" is a volume
of rare value, and should be in the possession
of home-builders everywhere.
Its disclosures and teachings, if widely dis-
seminated, would make immeasurably for the
uplift and the happiness of the human race.
Rev. J. Thompson Baker, B.L., Ph.M., Presi-
dent of Frank Hughes College, Clifton, Tenn.,
I carefully read "Sexology," and with all
my heart I say God bless the author, and
MAY HIS BOOK FALL INTO MANY HANDS
WHERE IT MAY SAVE AS WELL AS PURIFY
I have several works of this kind, but this
is the best and most straightforward of any I
have seen. I shall be indeed thankful to place
it into the hands of many of the young people
under my charge and recommend it to others.
M. J. F. Albrecht, President of Concordia
College, Milwaukee, Wis., says:
I have read "Sexology" with great interest.
It is truly an excellent volume and deserves
to be read by every man and woman. May
the book find a wide circulation.
Wm. Taylor Stott, D.D., LL.D., President of
Franklin College, Franklin, Ind., says:
I am pleased with the work "Sexology." It
is a serious and successful discussion of what
our people— old and young — ought to know.
Harry Means CrookSy President of Albany
College^ Albany, Ore.y says :
I am familiar with "Sexology," and con-
sider it a work that shall be of great benefit
to people of the age to read.
J. A. Leavitty President of Ewing College^
Ewing, Ill.y says :
"Sexology" is chaste in thought and dic-
tion, most important in matter and always
timely. I predict it will live long and do
Rev. Samuel H. Lee, A.M., President of Amer-
ican International College, Springfield, Mass.y
"Sexology" is certainly an important con-
tribution — clean and healthful — to a discussion
of importance, which should lead to a greatly
needed social reform.
George Sutherland, President of Grand Island
College, Grand Island, Neb., says:
"Sexology" recently received and read with
interest. Such books should be in every
home, should be read by every boy and girl,
and by every man and woman.
Rev. Peter Augustus Mattson, Ph.D., President
of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn.,
I have read "Sexology" and find it very
good and wish to give it a cordial recom-
mendation. It is an eye opener and ought to
be spread among those who have to deal with
the rising generation as teachers, parents and
guardians. Let the good work go on! Let
us save the rising generation from the deluge
of sin and immorality which sweeps over our
Rev. Joseph Addison Thompson^ D.D., Presi-
dent of Tarkio College^ Tarkio, Mo., says :
I think the book "Sexology" a valuable one
in the family. The time has come when every
intelligent man or woman wishes to be in-
formed on the vital questions which are
involved in sex. "Sexology" answers these
questions in a sane and sensible way.
C. H. Levermore, B.A., Ph.D., President of
Adelphi College, Brooklyn, N. Y., says:
I thank you for the opportunity to examine
Dr. Walling's "Sexology." It seems to me
that the study of the book is likely to do good
and not harm,
William Henry Harrison, President of Bethel
College, Russellville, Ky., says:
I think that the book "Sexology" is full of
good discussions of most important matters.
For use as a text-book by parents when in-
structing their children it would be invaluable,
for I think that many parents are themselves
ignorant of many of the matters so well pre-
sented in this volume.
Rev. L. H. Schuh, A.M., Ph.D., President of
Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, says :
"Sexology" is timely, pointed, pure and
deserving of a wide circulation. It will add
immensely to our domestic and national
happiness if read and obeyed.
Geo. A. Harter, M.A., Ph.D., President of
Delaware College, Newark, Del., says:
I read "Sexology" with much interest.
There is need of just such literature conserva-
tively expressed to be put into the hands of
our college students.
Rev. Charles Adotphus Mock, President of
Dallas College, Dallas, Ore., says:
I read "Sexology" with deep interest, and
am pleased to say that I thoroughly endorse
the matter it contains, and hope that the book
may have a wide circulation. The subjects
treated in the book are necessarily delicate to
handle, but I was especially impressed with
the refinement with which the author has suc-
ceeded in expressing his thoughts. I hope
that the book may have a vital influence in
educating the young on this all-important
Frederick Jonte Stanleyy D.D., of the Presby-
terian Board of Education, says:
Your book "Sexology" I read with in-
tense interest. It is a marvelous com-
pendium of facts, evincing wide and deep
research. It is also a revelation of existing
evils, unknown to the public at large.
The whole subject is of vital relation to the
family, the Church and the State.
Were all parents intelligent and judicious
they would instruct their children in these all-
important matters of life, physical and moral.
This book is calculated to make them intelli-
gent and judicious in the highest degree.
Every parent should read, digest and use
with discrimination the information therein,
as they rear a family according to the Divine
Every young man and woman contemplat-
ing marriage, would find this volume of in-
I wish you all success in this effort to in-
struct, uplift and create homes as God would
Rev. Frederick W. Hamilton^ D.D.y President
of Tufts College, Tufts College, Mass., says:
It seems to me that it would be wise if a
publication like "Sexology" could be in the
hands of all parents.
Prof. M. Luecke, President of Concordia Col-
lege, Fort Wayne, Ind., says:
The Puritan Publishing Company has ren-
dered in its publication "Sexology," by Wall-
ing, a commendable service to young and
old. The scriptural foundation of the vol-
ume extols it high above all similar publi-
cations that flood the book market. May this
valuable book enter many homes and schools
and do its mission work where it is most
necessary in our times.
Oscar B. Fallis, Ph.D.f President of Stanford
College, Stanford, Ky., says :
For some weeks we have been in possession
of your excellent book "Sexology." We,
with many others into whose hands we have
put the book, think that it fills a vacancy in
our young people's literature, that has been
needing such text by a master hand for ages.
The book has been well advertised in our
school and community and we believe that
it has sown many good seed.
James Gray McAllister, President of Hampden
Sidney College, H amp den-Sidney, Va., says:
I have a copy of "Sexology" and I write to
express my high value and appreciation of the
work you are doing for the youth of our land.
p. G. Knowlton, Dean of Fargo College, Fargo ^
N. D.f says:
I have carefully examined "Sexology." At
first I thought it too horrible to be true, and
too plain spoken for the sight of young peo-
ple. But further reflection leads me to be-
lieve that some such teaching is necessary.
And I endorse its teaching as containing
the things that young people are bound to
know in some way or another, and should be
Cora J. Knighty of University of California,
The author (of "Sexology") is sincere and
greatly in earnest. He speaks frankly and
squarely indeed, some warnings which need
to be spoken squarely. We must honor him
for his desire to enlighten and warn the race.
Every woman should desire her husband to
read "Sexology," and if he is convinced of
the truths therein stated, his wife may be
assured of her married happiness.
Walter D. Agnewy President of Missouri JTes-
leyan College, Cameron, Mo., says:
I have received a copy of "Sexology" and I
have looked it over carefully. I believe it
contains sound philosophy.
Dr. John Edgar Fretz, of Lafayette College,
and Surgeon to the Y. M. C. A., says :
Dr. William H. Walling has written a
pure a id true book on a very important sub-
ject, treating this very difficult subject
squarely and understandingly. Without being
scientifically .too obscure, he has made the
salient lessons impressive and so that "he
who runs may read." I have for some time
looked for such a work that could be placed
in the hands of younger persons from whom
true knowledge of such subjects is usually
kept, but who afterwards learn all in its
worst aspect. Such a work is Dr. Walling*s
as ought to be read by all persons, whatsoever
their state. I am glad I possess the book and
shall take pleasure in recommending it.
The Hon. John M. Mickey ^ Governor of Ne-
braska ^ says:
I have read your book "Sexology" with
much interest. In my judgment it is a very
practical work and, placed in the hands of the
proper parties, will accomplish much good.
Rev. Samuel PlantZy Ph.D.^ D.D.y President of
Lawrence Universityy Appleton, Wis.y says:
I have examined the book entitled "Sex-
ology" and it seems to be written in a man-
ner which ought to make its circulation help-
ful to young people.
Rev. J. S. Flipper, D.D.y LL.D.y President of
Morris Brown College, Atlantay Ga., says:
I have given the work on "Sexology" a
careful study and consideration and I am con-
vinced that as a text-book it is an ideal one on
Fear of knowing too much as to sexual
association has wrought havoc with the youth
of both sexes, and the time is ripe for a bet-
ter knowledge of sexual wrongs in order to
preserve manhood and womanhood and save
the youth from self-destruction.
W. R. McChesney, on behalf of the Faculty of
Cedarville College, Cedarville, Ohio, says :
The book "Sexology" is neat in its make-up.
It is dear, faithful, pure and should be read
by all who would lead a clean, virtuous life.
Read in time it would prove a saviour of
thousands from folly and vice and consequent
DeWitt Clinton Huntington, D.D., LL.D., Pres-
ident of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Univer-
sity Place, Neb.y says :
I have read with considerable care the
volume "Sexology." The importance of the
subject and the very judicious way in which
it is handled, strongly impressed upon me
the fact that its wide circulation would be
a public benefit. The author is in a position
to know whereof he speaks, and he is prac-
tical and direct. I wish the book a very wide
E. W. VanAken, A.M., B.D., President of
Parker College, Winnebago, Minn., says :
I fully believe your book "Sexology" ought
to accomplish a great deal of good. Its
subject matter seems to be well arranged,
well-expressed and to the point in all its
Family Medical Edition
Prof. Wm. H. WaUing. A.M.. MD. ^
PRor. Gynecology, Eastern College; Late Wills
Hospital ; Prof. ElectrotherApzutics,
Printed and Published by
PURITAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
Philadelphia, Pa., u. s. A., and Hanley, Eng.
Copyright, 1904, by
PURITAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
Printers and Publlsheri
Philadelphia, Pa., U. S. A.
Entered Stationers' Hall, 1904, by
PURITAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
Printers and Publishers
Sentinel Building, Hanley, Eng.
Copyright, 1909, by
PURITAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
Printers and Publishers
Philadelphia, Pa., V. 8. A.
We present this work with pardonable pride, believing
it will be the means of saving many lives and a vast amount
of suffering and needless unhappiness.
The importance and demand for a work of this char-
acter cannot be doubted. Its need has been announced
upon the floor of the Senate Chamber; in resolutions
adopted by Church Assemblies; in the Pulpit; in our
Religious and Medical Journals; and the need of the
knowledge it contains is evidenced by the newspapers, in
their daily records of disagreements, separations, deser-
tions, seductions, adultery, insanity, suicide, murder and
death, the cause of which in almost every case is admitted
by all authorities and shown by the Records of our Courts
to be ignorance of the Laws of Nature, of self and of sex.
It is to the unfortunate victims of these dreadful condi-
tions that this book directly appeals. It is written to
enlighten and benefit those who have recklessly plunged
into marriage, who have assumed that relationship at once
80 holy and so intricate, where knowledge is essential, yet
substituted by ignorance; marriage, whose only incentive
is to get "a home" or secure a "partner." It is this *Tiome"
and this "partner" that we desire to reach, as well as to
enlighten those who mentally and physically are capable of
the functions of wedlock, but who for lack of knowledge
suffer in silence.
In attempting to map out the rights and wrongs of the
relations that exist between human beings, and which
govern their life, health, intellect, love, power, happiness,
usefulness and honor, we cannot avoid a feeling of respon-
sibility, a desire and absolute determination to record
nothing without careful investigation and due considera-
tion — and yet an equal desire to hold back nothing that
can give them a proper understanding of themselves.
It is far from our object to profane with open publicity
the secrecy of Holy Matrimony; yet within this Holy
Matrimonial state there exists a deplorable condition of
sexual incompatibility, a frightful undercurrent of unhap-
piness ; a feeling of wrong and outrage, which although in
many cases not admitted — even to one's self — ^yet smoulders
on until it bursts forth into the flame of some one of the
crimes referred to.
We cannot say that this imperfect state of affairs is with
the minority — nay ! it exists, to a greater or less degree,
with the vast majority I
A true and happy marriage, wherein we see the hus-
band's and the wife's love for each other increase from day
to day, where they grow to even strongly resemble one
another — where the offspring is blessed by a healthy body
and mind ; where true and congenial wedlock exists ; where
sorrow and poverty only more strongly rivet the ties that
bind them — this — this state of married happiness, which
should and could be enjoyed by nearly all, is unfortunately
the exception and not the rule.
It is not to those, who have either by study or natural
perfection and wisdom, entrenched themselves within
those all-powerful walls of true love and happiness that
this book is written; except to furnish them with such
knowledge as will enable them to instruct in a proper man-
ner, and at a proper time their children, who otherwise
would not, though the picture and example is constantly
before them, know how and why such happiness is obtained
It is for the rank and file of our fellow human beings
that this book is mainly written. Its message is to those
who have little or no conception of the duty due and owing
between husband and wife. To those who are the victims
of misadvised friends ; the victims of the glaring advertise-
ments of Quacks, that fill our daily papers, even polluting
our religious journals, preying upon the minds and souls
of our young men and women, with their endless list of
symptoms, until the average youth and maiden are well
nigh hypochondriacs, believing as they do (though they
know not why) that they are the victims of some disease
(though they know not what) which makes them unfit for
To them we give the gems of knowledge gleaned from
the entire field of standard literature and from the docu-
mentary evidence of eminent European and American men
and women Physicians, Professors, Lawyers, Preachers
and other brilliant minds, whose far sight led them to
the investigation of a subject which means the life and
lionor of our Nation — the health and happiness of our
Remember, then, that this work is not based upon medi-
cal evidence alone, nor is it in any sense a "Medical
Treatise,^' as experience has shown that knowledge, not
medicine, is needed. Therefore, in addition to the com-
bined contributions of our Physicians, it embodies the con-
centrated wisdom and experience of every age and country,
and does not rely upon the mere unsupported opinion of
any one man, however great his genius.
Those who would accuse us of exaggeration will accusr
us of extreme moderation if they will but consult the recog-
nized authorities, from the first fathers of medicine to the
most eminent scientists of our present time, and which,
for the benefit of Physicians and those who desire further
research, we give herewith in addition to those given
throughout the book, sufficient references to standard works
as will open up to them a field of study unlimited and
without bounds :
Hippocrates (De Morbis, lib. ii, c. 49) ; Areteus (De
Sign's et caus. dius. morb. lib. ii, c. 6) ; Lomnius (Com-
ment de Sanit, tuend, p. m., 37) ; Boerhaave (Instit., p.
776) ; Hoffman (Consult) ; Ludwig (Instit. physiol.) ;
Kloekh of (De Morb. anim. ab. infir. med. cereb.) ; Levis
(A Practical Essay upon Tabes Dorsalis) ; M. Legoure
(Histoire Morale des Femmes) ; Harbinger (On Health) ;
Ellis (Psychology of Sex, ii) ; C. K. Mills (American Text
Book, Diseases of Children) ; Garrigues (American Text
Book) ; Palmer (American Text Book of Obs., '95) ; Lusk
(Management of Preg'y.) ; Hirst (American Sys. Obs.,
'89) ; Galabin (Manual M'dw'f'y., '86) ; Gardin (Cyclo-
pedia Obs. and Gym., '89) ; Sexual Hygiene (Clinic Pub.
Co.) ; Brown on Divorce, Manual of Legal Medicine
Above all, let it be remembered that we have not writ-
ten to please. Had such been the ambition, the Author
would have selected a widely different class of subjects.
We have written to instruct, and we assure our readers that
to heed our instructions is their only route to happiness.
What greater service could we hope to render our fellow-
creatures, than to declare to them the revelations of science
in language deprived of ambiguity and cleared of the mists
of technology ?
Those who shall seek in our pages the gratification of a
libidinous curiosity, will be disappointed, but, better still,
they will be scared ! Their terror will prove eminently
salutary, for, in describing the evils of sexual excesses and
unnatural practices, we point with the finger of authority
which they dare not despise, at the deplorable consequences
involved — consequences which none may escape. Indeed,
in the whole range of science, there is nothing more inev-
itable than the dangers we have described.
If you will, suppose that by some chance, a school-girl
should embrace stolen opportunities for its inspection. We
ask. What harm ? We are perfectly sure that the very best
treatment of young persons suspected of secret bad habits,
would be the leaving of this book in their way; and a
young girl who can bring herself to read it, after discover-
ing the subjects upon which it treats, needs to read it, and
her parents may wink at her "indiscretion.^'
We believe our work will prove to be a service to all,
both young and old, married or single, who will take the
trouble to "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it.
Should it teach but one man how a wife should be
"initiated," and in consequence, should it rescue but one
woman from the sad fate which otherwise awaits her;
should it snatch but one boy from the dreadful vortex into
which he else had plunged, or save one girl from moral
and physical ruin, it will not have been written in vain.
That it may do this for many thousands is the sincere
hope and prayer of
Boys and Young Men, Their Education and
The evils and dangers of the present system of educating
and bringing up the boys of our country are too obvious to
require minute description; and yet, startling as are the
facts, the remedy is strangely obscure to even the very best
thinkers of our time, Irreligion and infidelity are pro-
gressing pari passu with the advance guards of immorality
and crime, and all are fostered, if not engendered, by the
materialistic system of instruction, and the consequent
wretched training at home and on the play-ground. The
entire absence of all religious instruction from the school-
room, which has resulted from the utter impossibility of
harmonizing the multiform creeds, and the growing fal-
lacy of "refraining from prejudicing the minds of our
children in favor of any particular system of theology until
they are able to think and choose for themselves," are fast
bearing fruit in a generation of infidels, and we are becom-
ing worse even than the pagans of old, who had, at least,
their positive sciences of philosophy, and their religion
such as it was, to oppose which was a criminal offense. To
those who would dispute this somewhat horrible assertion,
the author would point to the published statistics of church
attendance, from which it appears that of the entire popu-
lation but a very small proportion are habitual church-
goers. Deducting from these again those who attend
church simply as a matter of fashion, or from other than
religious motives, and there remains a minimum almost too
small to be considered, abundantly sustaining our charge.
The disintegration of the prevalent forms of religious be-
lief, the rapid multiplication of sects, the increase in the
ranks of intellectual skeptics, the fashionable detractions
from, and perversions of, the Holy Scriptures, acting with
the influences already mentioned, may well cause alarm.
The boy of the present generation has more practical
knowledge of sexual instinct at the age of fifteen than,
under proper training, he should be entitled to at the time
of his marriage; and the boy of eleven or twelve boastfully
announces to his companions the evidences of his ap-
proaching virility. Nourished by languishing glances and
fanned by more intimate association on the journey to and
from school, fed by stolen interviews and openly arranged
festivities, stimulated by the prurient gossip of the news-
paper and the flash novel, the gallant of twelve years
is the libertine of fourteen. That this picture is not
overdrawn every experienced physician will bear witness.
Eevelations are rare; instances of detection are extremely
infrequent; so liberal are the opportunities afforded, and
so blind are those whose duty it should be to guard. We
boldly proclaim that the roues among boys outnumber the
onanists by thousands, and that, destructive and revolting
as is the latter vice, it is even more tolerable to contemplate
than the other. The one, if persevered in, must reveal
itself; the other keeps secret its hidden transactions. The
one wrecks body and mind; the other grows and fattens to
invest the subtlest of demons. The writer could engage
to select the onanists of a school by a walk among the
pupils; he could not promise so much for the young Lo-
tharios. Indeed, if he could, and it were to be made a
cause of expulsion, he fears there would be but a slender
attendance in any school thus vised. Onanism, though
called the solitary vice, is essentially gregarious in its
origin. It is, indeed, by unrestrained intercourse with
each other that boys are taught and encouraged to pursue
this destructive practice. From false notions of delicacy,
with a prudery as astonishing as it is criminal, the parents
and guardians of boys refrain from all allusion to the sub-
ject, while in their hearts they must realize the imminence
of the danger. Eeady and willing to acknowledge it in
the abstract, they seem to feel, and certainly they act, as
though some special immunity were granted to their own
proteges. Thus it happens that a boy contracts a habit,
which, discovered too late, is well-nigh unconquerable in
its tliraldom, as it is formidable in its sad results, and
which a few earnest, timely words would have surely pre-
We charge then that the present system of education, by
its faults of omission and commission, is directly respon-
sible, not, it is true, for the bare existence, but for the enor-
mous prevalence of vices and crimes which we here deplore,
and we call upon the civil authorities to so modify the
obnoxious arrangements of our schools, and upon parents
and guardians to so instruct and govern their charges, that
the evils may be suppressed if not extinguished. By the
former this has been measurably effected in isolation of the
sexes; by the latter, it may be, in encouraging the confi-
dence and preparing the minds of boys for the great phys-
iological crisis and its consequent dangers, whose advent
they can easily and surely discern. In many instances the
requisite instruction and counsel may be best imparted by
the famil}'' physician, who can be consulted for the purpose;
and there is no reputable physician who will not undertake
the task with both prudence and alacrity, while from such
a source the words have an importance and authority which
few parents can command. The boy's intercourse with his
fellows and with servants should be closely watched and
always suspected. Many, alas! have received their first
lessons in immorality or crime from the hostler or the
cook, while a single night with a strange bed-fellow may
initiate a boy in mysteries to which he had else remained a
stranger. This last danger is greatly increased if the
casual room-mate be by a few years his senior; for the
power of mischief possessed by the older boy is increased
in proportion to his size, and, alas! his experience. If a
boy be an onanist he is sure to corrupt the smaller boys
of his acquaintance whenever a safe opportunity presents
itself, and thus children of six and twelve fall victims of
those of twelve and eighteen.
At the age of six, states a physician in describing his own
case, he was allowed to attend an evening party with his
sister, many years his senior, for the purpose of taking part
in some tableaux. A violent storm compelled several to
pass the night with our entertainers and he occupied the
same bed with a young gentleman of seventeen. On that
occasion a lesson of vice was imparted, whose import was
then unknown, but whose impression was indelible.
Another case, of a writer who states : At the age of eight
he was lodged, at a watering place, in the same room with
three girls, respectively ten, twelve, and fourteen years of
age. The elder of these little misses succeeded effectually,
during the few weeks^ association, in inducting her com-
panions into the science of reproduction, while the male
member of the quartet was aptly used in illustration of the
subject. The matronly dignity with which this lady now
chaperones her young daughters in the most fashionable
circles of one of our most fashionable cities, does not, he
says, in the least diminish the feelings of hostility with
which he, as one of her pupils regards her, and which the
publication of this anecdote is the first opportunity afforded
him to gratify. His secrecy during his involuntary pupil-
age, was not the result of an innate sense of wrong or
shame, but was induced solely by the subtle representa-
tions of his seductress.
The custom of permitting children of different sexes to
sleep in the same bed, or in the same room, is surprisingly
common in this country, even where the excuse of poverty
is wanting. The mere matter of convenience, or of inno-
cent solicitation is often deemed sufficient to warrant a
practice which can have but disastrous results, if nothing
more comes of it than undue familiarity with the differ-
ences of organization. It is astonishing what small credit
we give these little people for powers of observation and
comparison, while the least intimation of the possession of
them, by the wondering query of word or look, is frowned
down or rudely checked, with no sufficient explanation of
its impropriety. Instances are by no means rare, of girls
sleeping with their younger brothers long after woman-
hood, and the fashion is to retort upon those who remon-
strate with the parent, "Evil to him that evil thinks." It is
a truth, proven by the experience of ages, that separation of
the sexes should begin early, at least at four or five years,
for the impressions of early childhood are the most in-
eradicable of life. Concupiscence, though the strongest
and most injurious, is far from being the only passion need-
lessly and wrongfully developed in boys; those of cupidity,
extravagance, dishonesty, and faithlessness are notable.
"Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined," is a homely
adage, inclosing a deal of Gospel truth, which it is nowa-
days the fashion to ignore almost as completely as Solo-
mon's aphorism, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." With
every allowance for the vast differences in temperament
and disposition, we believe the statement axiomatic, that
parents are strictly responsible, before God, for the con-
firmed vices of their children. The punishment meted out
to young offenders for drunkenness, stealing, and the like,
might too often be more advantageously inflicted upon the
really guilty parties, the neglectful parents; and the secret
of this truism is precisely the fact that the proclivities of
the individual are developed very early. Thus a boy in
whom lying seems a part of his very nature is morally cer-
tain, if every inch of gi'ound be not vigorously contested,
and the habit early eradicated, to become an adult knave.
The writer knows of a case of two brothers in whom the
opposite qualities of unimpeachable veracity and utter
mendacity were fully apparent as early as the fourth and
sixth years, yet, by indomitable care and patience, they are
now, at the ages of ten and twelve, equally models of irre-
proachable honor. Innumerable remonstrances, whippings,
and privations were vainly tried upon the little reprobate,
until a plaster covering the mouth, and duly perforated to
admit of respiration (but not of falsehoods), proved specific
in a very few applications; so a habit which else had ruined
the man was easily uprooted in the boy. A placard an-
nouncing "thief," not exhibited beyond the nursery, may
do as much for one who manifests an early tendency to
kleptomania. The vices of cupidity and extravagance may
be early cured by opposite lessons, and great patience and
ceaseless observation are required to accomplish a radical
cure in either case, but, nevertheless, it can and should be
done. Many an avaricious monster may thank his doting
parents for the qualities which render him odious, and
which were ineradicably fixed upon him in childhood by
encouragement of his miscalled "cuteness," while the
ruined spendthrift may live to curse the "fond parental
ass" for his undue indulgence of mere childish lavishness.
Not long since we were quietly examining a little patient,
who, not relishing the process, struck us in the face. The
mother took the matter as an excellent joke; not so the
author, who indulged in the unpleasant reflection that the
germ of a possible murderer was being carefully nourished
in that fashionable "south front." These fits of rage on
the part of little boys, are often foolishly encouraged, or at
least quietly regarded as "marks of spirit" and very "comi-
cal." So they are in habies; they are terrible in men.
Most vices are only distorted virtues, and the very ele-
ments we have so much occasion to dread, are, when prop-
erly directed, so many sources of excellence. Positive
qualities are of slow growth, and, whether good or evil,
they invariably date back to the nursery. Crime, then,
may be restricted within very narrow limits, and by proper
management, may be banished from good society and
monopolized by those who, like Topsy, "only growed."
It will be readily perceived, from what has been alread;
said, that the transition of Young America from boy to
man is too brief to be separately considered. The habits
acquired at school are perfected in the university or the
counting-room. For good or for evil they go on ripening
in these arenas, and bear fruit in the hosts of skeptics,
infidels, and libertines now crowding our land.
GiELS AND Young Women^ Their Education and
Education, considered in its largest sense, has the mis-
sion of rendering the youth of both sexes beautiful, health-
ful, strong, intelligent and honest. Thus it comprehends
such physical and moral training as shall most surely con-
duce to these objects. We have but to glance around us
at the dwarfed, miserable, sickly specimens of feminine
humanity, which really constitute the rule rather than the
exception, to observe at once how far short of the attain-
ment of these ends is our system as actually conducted.
The very name of youth should imply beauty, strength,
vivacity, and integrity. We have said sufficient elsewhere
to show that these attributes in no way pertain to our
American youth as a class. We propose briefly, in this
connection, to analyze somewhat philosophically, the
errors in practice which have conduced to these disasters.
It is conceded on all sides that the race is unmistakably
deteriorating. With some it is the fashion to charge this
upon the advance of centuries, and to say that as the age
of the race increases deterioration advances. If this were
true of the human family, it ought also to be true of the
brute creation ; for the same laws which govern the physical
condition of the one, are likewise applicable to that of the
other. Sheep, cattle, and horses, however, when placed in
conditions favorable to their development, increase in fecun-
dity, in size, in strength, and in beauty. It cannot be
otherwise with man. But the mens sana in corpore sano
(a healthy mind in a healthy body), is the desideratum.
The soul participates strongly in the vices of the body.
Rosseau says, very truly, "The more feeble the body the
more it commands; the stronger the body the more it
obeys." Among savages and beasts, and even the lowest
classes in civilized communities, the feeble or imperfect die
before reproducing themselves, so the race is perpetuated
only by the strong and healthy ; but with civilized nations,
science preserves the existence of debilitated creatures, who
marry and reproduce their similars. The art of medicine
has altogether failed in that noble duty of bringing the
feeble to the condition of the strong; in other words, of
eradicating hereditary vices of constitution. The child
who inherits the consumption of his father, surrounded by
dangers which menace the lungs, is placed in conditions of
temperature, air and exercise which are most directly cal-
culated to develop his inherent malady. The son of the
madman, in the place of enforced indolence, is daily
crowded with excessive study. He who inherits intestinal
disease, is delivered to a government of chance or caprice.
Neither temperament, constitution, weakness, nor diseased
proclivities of children are in any way studied or con-
sidered, either in families, or in public and private estab-
lishments. These facts apply with still greater force to
the ignorant and poorer classes, but happily, with them,
misery kills off the weaker, those who are not sufficiently
strong to resist it. So we hear much of the health and
vigor of the children of the poor. They are dying in
hordes ! but the blame should not rest wholly upon science.
Little thought or attention is paid except for those who
are actually and palpably ill ; and advice is unsought, and
even despised, for those who are apparently well. When
people learn to avail themselves of the means of preven-
tion, then they may hope to see the race of pigmies give
place to a generation of giants. Based upon an exact
knowledge of the constitution of the parents, and foresee-
ing the dangers which will menace the child, proper physi-
cal education will indicate, in due time, the surest means of
avoiding them. The varied nutrition, the changes of air,
and water, and places, which our wonderful system of rail-
roads puts at our disposal ; the varied and skillful systems
of exercise, the use of all these will enable us to regulate
and to change the most deplorable hereditary taints. It is
not claimed that vices of constitution can be thus entirely
abolished, or that the puny children may be thus brought
to the standard of the most robust, but we do claim that
natural defects may be so far remedied that a condition of
well-being and comparative comfort, as well as a wonderful
prolongation of life, may be secured, and that, in a very
few generations, these taints may be eradicated, and the
race vastly improved.
With few exceptions, we are not born with the diseases
with which our parents are afflicted, but only with a ten-
dency to those diseases. These usually declare themselves
at about the age at which our parents were first attacked.
This affords time and ample warning to pursue such a
judicious system of physical and mental training as shall
almost certainly prefvent them. For example: a child
whose father died of consumption at the age of thirty-five,
knows that whatever may be his physical conformation, he
is at least liable to fall a victim to that disease between
thirty and forty. Now, he has twenty or thirty years of
preparation to avert a threatened calamity. Who can
doubt what the result of a proper effort must be?
The "weakly systems" are not the only ones who suffer
from the prevailing notions of education ; the most robust
and healthy organizations are debilitated and destroyed.
At an age when the organism demands air, and space, and
sun, and motion, when the senses are dominated by the
inherent necessity for exterior action, we behold children,
girls especially, condemned to inaction, excluded from
light and air in the paternal mansion, carefully secluded
from both through tender regard, if not for the fine furni-
ture, at least for the complexion and the clothing of the
poor creatures who are thus made to violate the most
obvious dictates of nature. Entire days are passed with-
out beholding a ray of sunlight or breathing the external
air. In many private and public schools it would really
seem as though everything were expressly devised to
weaken the body and to enervate the moral senses. Pupils
are constrained to breathe the vitiated atmosphere of the
study hall during many hours of each day, subjected the
while to an amount of mental application to which even
adult natures would succumb. In most of these establish-
ments the provisions for physical development are wretch-
We make these reflections here because the improvement
of the race depends so largely upon the physical improve-
ment of the mothers of the race, and because it is the
fashion to deprive girls of physical advantages to even a
'greater extent than boys. The girls of our country who
have the misfortune to be bred in city life, whether in
fashionable or semi-fashionable circles, are truly objects
of commiseration. In this fast age the very methods most
calculated to force a premature womanhood, are those
universally adopted, and both at home and at school the
poor girl sees and hears so much that is positively poison-
ous that our only wonder should be, not that our women
are proverbially sickly and delicate, but that we have any
women at all deserving the sacred name.
Much that has been said in the chapter devoted to boys,
is equally true of girls, but with the latter a system of train-
ing is pursued, which not only forces a precocious sexual
development, but wholly destroys that maidenly freshness
and innocence which, at the pace we are going, will soon
cease to have real examples, and will be ranked only with
the dreamy visions of poets and romancers.
We purpose to deal plainly with a few salient facts
within the knowledge and observation of all, and to connect
these facts with their legitimate consequences in the prev-
alence of evils so universally deplored. In behalf of
girls, even more strongly than of boys, we would plead for
early isolation of the sexes — ^not that complete separation
which would exclude children of the same family from
innocent and legitimate participation in childish sports and
pleasures, but isolation in sleeping, and dressing, and all
those little matters which expose the differences of con-
formation, and are capable of suggesting ideas of curiosity
or comparison. "With the opulent there is no sort of diffi-
culty in effecting this to perfection, and with nearly all
classes it can be carried to the fullest extent necessary for
the purpose. There is required only a full appreciation of
its necessity and binding obligation. This kind ©f isola-
tion should begin as early as the fourth or fifth year, and
rigid supervision, with lessons in propriety, should be main-
tained thereafter. Erotic propensities are often very early
manifested, and, if as early detected, can be easily con-
Love of dress is less an innate passion with girls than it
is one so early implanted by pernicious example and pre-
cept as to seem congenital. It is, moreover, fraught with
the greatest dangers, not only to the health of mind and
body, but even to chastity itself. The statistics of prosti-
tution abundantly prove the correctness of this assertion,
and show the ruinous vanity of mothers who inoculate their
daughters with this ridiculous rivalry almost with the first
words they are taught to lisp. Whatever pride may actuate
a mother to decorate her little daughters with the flummery
of fashion, should be carefully explained to them as the
requirement of neatness and propriety. Surely, a little
harmless equivocation here were necessary for those who
will engage in this preposterous contest. It were far more
honest, however, as well as simply decent, to limit the out-
ward adornment of girls entirely to the requirements of
comfort and scrupulous neatness.
Of late years a new and horrible rivalry has arisen — ^that
of children's parties. It is now a common occurrence to
hold these entertainments for little children, at which the
extravagances and dissipations of their elders are imitated
to the very letter. Each fond matron seeks to excel her
acquaintances in the mimic pomp and fashion displayed,
and a modern child's party differs from others only in the
size of the dramatis personce. The newspapers pander to
the unnatural performance, and the superb toilets of the
misses and exquisite make-up of the masters are elaborately
blazoned in the column of "Fashionable Gossip." Children
from eight to thirteen are thus initiated in the mysteries
of dissipation, including flirtation and liaisons. We know
of many who have attended from three to twenty of these
diabolical inventions in the course of a single "season."
"Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad."
It is well-nigh impossible for a pure-minded and inno-
cent young girl to avoid listening to or beholding, if she do
not finally participate in, the debasing conversations and
practices of her companions, and we know there are some
things which no young lady can listen to or behold without
"Vice is a creature of such hideous mien,
That, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
But, seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."
Thus a bad education impresses upon the whole moral
nature a false and vicious direction, and that exquisitely
frail and delicate organization, all made of nerves and
sensibility, the most impressionable and sensitive being
of living nature, is thus early placed in the very condi-
tions most calculated to enervate and destroy her. All
medical authorities agree that nothing is more calculated
to exalt sensibility, to sensualize the heart, and expose the
nervous system to the most fatal perturbations than a
luxurious and voluptuous education. This, remember well,
parents! is the concentrated wisdom of the experience of
every age and country; not the unsupported opinion of
any one man however brilliant his genius, and that, in
science, there is no difference whatever on this topic. The
remedy is less obvious. He would be rash indeed, who
would enter a crusade against the dominion of fashion so
far as to prohibit the cultivation of those arts .which are
really innocent, and even ennobling, in themselves, and
which lead only indirectly to pernicious results. It is in
the abuse of good things that evil generally consists, and
we would, therefore, compromise with the demands of the
age by requiring that lessons in both dancing and music
should begin early in life, and be made tasks rather than
pleasures, and that all occasions in which these accomplish'
ments can conduce to dissipation or excitement, be scrupu-
lously prevented until the great physiological change from
girl to woman has been accomplished. We are satisfied
that it is less the polite arts themselves than the occasions
to which they lead, which impart to them their dangerous
character. Surely, that sublime language, "the concord of
sweet sounds," which, we are taught, is the very highest
form of adoration and love, to which even the hosts of
Heaven are attuned, cannot be intended by our Creator
to foster unchaste thoughts or desires, save, as in other
things, by the unnatural perversion of His gifts. As for
the perusal of romances, attendance on balls and theatres,
the luxurious indolence of the drawing-room, the perusal
of newspapers, they should be forbidden fruit to every
young person. There are those who will read these pages
who, with an inconsistent prudery — or hypocrisy (?) —
impossible to believe, will deem our work imprudently
plain, and yet who do not scruple to place in the hands of
their daughters the journals of the day, albeit teeming
with advertisements and "news items" of the most revolt-
ing and indecent character.
Young America in petticoats, as in trousers, manifests
no intermediate stage of existence between childhood and
adult age. If she do not marry from the school-room, she
is at least "engaged." The exceptions are those who do
not secure eligible "lovers," or those who are too unattrac-
tive to find any. An "engagement," in these modern
times, is, however, rather a genteel method of legalizing
improper relations with some favored one of the opposite
sex, than a veritable betrothal. These singular liaisons
often exist for a long time, and become patent to "all the
world" before they are even suspected by the parents whose
consent is regarded as a mere matter of form, and is
sought, if matrimony be finally determined on (!) more for
the purpose of securing the necessary supplies than of
seriously submitting the question of approval. Too often
a giri is "engaged to be married" many times before the
"right one" is secured, and the young heart is "used up"
before it should dream of love. We waive the question of
propriety in permitting young ladies and gentlemen to hold
possession of the drawing-room night after night, to the
banishment of their natural guardians, who are too indo-
lent or too careless to discharge their duties of supervision,
and inveigh at once against the privileges which, with
happily increasing exceptions, are so improperly accorded
to those who hold the acknowledged relation of lovers. It
is the pernicious custom to accord to these favored beings
all the rights of soUtude and retiracy that they could
reasonably expect if the marriage ceremony had actually
transpired. Except a private bed-room, they are as se-
cluded whenever they may choose to be so, as any married
couple could wish. "With closely drawn curtains, and with
doors either locked or sacred from intrusion, they pass the
"wee sma' hours ayont the twal'" in learning the details
of passion, and too often its entire mysteries, to the detri-
ment of their physical, and the utter ruin of their moral
Only a short time since there appeared in one of our
principal pictorial weeklies, a beautifully executed design
representing two lovers unwilling to say good-night. The
youthful gallant has sunk exhausted into a large arm-chair.
On the mantel stands a clock, the indices of which desig-
nate the hour, half-past eleven, to which the charming
betrothed regretfully points, while riveting a gaze of
languid passion on her admirer, who returns it with
meaning attention. The whole scene is painfully sugges-
tive, and is chiefly notable in its truthful revelation of our
national style of courtship. A very young lady, herself
just "engaged," pointed out as a defect in this represen-
tation, that the lady's hair and dress were too smooth and
unruffled for the hour and the occasion. "0, times! 0,
manners!" Eeally, our American courtships are but little
better than "bundlings." Under all these circumstances it
is not surprising that a broken engagement should seriously
compromise a young lady's matrimonial prospects, and that
young men should be shy of one whose charms, they are
well assured, have been already freely lavished on another.
"We know of young ladies, very pretty and attractive girls,
who shine as belles in society year after year, who are
unable to obtain husbands wholly from the circumstance
that they are too well known to the young men as girls by
whom the most daring freedoms have been not only un-
rebuked but encouraged. Long drives and walks in solitary
pairs, unchaperoned at balls and parties, even the sacred
edifice polluted by flirtations scandalous to behold — of
what are the fathers and mothers of America thinking, to
afford these allurements and temptations? Shpuld not
their own experience lead them to protect those dependent
on them from such dangers? If those whose authority is
unasserted or unheeded, do not restrain them, let them
listen to instruction from one who knows thoroughlj" the
weakness of women and the perfidy of men.
Young women of America, if you knew how lightly you
are estimated by those who so earnestly and passionately
seek your favors, you would certainly deny them, if the
effort cost your lives. There are degrees in libertinism:
the affectionate caress, the wanton impropriety, the delib-
erate seduction; and, however humiliating, the assertion
may be, it is nevertheless a fact, that these several stages
are at the command of him to whom you surrender the out-
posts of your purity. The world is full of maxims which
demonstrate the truth of this. "If a woman hesitates, she
is lost;" "C'est le premier pas qui coute;" and this sentiment
is multiplied into all languages, held by all nations. Such
is the universal sentiment of mankind, and all history
shows that the more innocent a girl may be, at heart, the
more sure is she to fall if she surrender the advance guards
of her honor. The philosophy of the affair is plain. No
pure-minded girl would permit the slightest familiarity
unless strongly impelled to do so by sentiments of love.
This could not exist without its component element of pas-
sion. Latent, undeveloped it may be, but the spark is
there, and if once developed, it is uncontrollable in direct
proportion to the strength of love and confidence. The
thought that you are deliberately surrendering yourself
to the power of any man, is so startling that, if you
believed it, you would be well-nigh exempt from danger;
for you would certainly guard the fortress with a vigi-
lance that no strategy could surprise.
The danger, then, consists in the indulgence of pleasures
which seem pure and innocent in themselves, but which
alas! are the poisoned arrows which destroy the very power
of resistance. In point of fact, however, it makes but
little difference whether the mere physical virginity be lost
or not, if the maidenly purity of heart be gone; if all
degrees of sensuality, save the mere physical consumma-
tion, have been tasted. The Biblical instructions on this
subject are literal truth, be sure of it, and no sophistry can
change the obvious meaning of Divine revelation. Ee-
member that you have actually committed the sins which
you have willfully entertained, desired, and cherished in
your hearts. Eepent of them in secret humiliation, and
sin no more. Ohsta principiis (resist all beginnings).
Even while -writing this chapter we learn the particulars
of a most sad, yet too common occurrence, so common, in
fact, that we are tempted to narrate it as typical, especially
as the heroine is from one of our leading and most fashion-
able families. Mr. Croesus, a gentleman of high notions
and exclusive tastes, has a family of lovely and beautiful
daughters, who receive their gentlemen friends a la mode.
One is an exquisitely moulded being, whose highly-wrought
and sensuous nature imparts a charm to her manners which
has rendered her an object of great attention, and early
brought around her hosts of fashionable striplings, indeed
all whose social rank could procure them an entrance to
the spacious drawing-rooms of old Croesus. One suitor
after another was accepted by the daughter, and as
promptly rejected by the father. No measures were
adopted to prevent the opportunities for forming these
attachments, but when formed they were rigorously, almost
ferociously opposed. To be kept a prisoner in her chamber
until the required pledge of renunciation had been ob-
tained, was a thing of frequent occurrence for the poor
susceptible being, who could not learn the lesson that she
might hold her fingers in the flame, but must not burn
them. It was to break up one of these affairs of the heart,
more serious than the rest, that a European tour was
resolved upon, and for some months the family have been
abroad. A European "count" found no trouble in bestow-
ing his fondest attentions, but every obstacle to his hon-
orable proposals; and how surprising it must have been
to the gentleman to be received as an acknowledged and
favored suitor, yet denied the rights which, by the usage
of his country, he might justly claim. The result was
altogether natural; an elopement, detectives, thirty-six
hours' concealment, discovery, and a meeting of the re-
spective papas to arrange for the wedding ceremony. Dis-
satisfied with the terms proposed (probably of the marriage
portion, for these European gentlemen are great fellows
for such details, especially when they condescend to marry
untitled American girls), the father continued his travels,
taking along his daughter, what was left of her, perhaps
with the hope of disposing of her to better advantage,
and so all Europe is scandalized, less at the very natural
maneuver of M, Le Comte, than at the inconceivable
stupidity of Crcesus, phe.
The girls of our country are trained and educated in the
idea that matrimony is the end and aim of their existence;
to marry well, that is, to marry wealth if possible, but at
all events to marry. The air-castles of our young misses
are the objects of their thoughts and dreams, the topics of
their daily conversation. Not one word do they hear of the
good old-time veneration for voluntary virginity. Their
Bibles have for them no literal meaning as regards the
passages inculcating the rewards awaiting her who piously
resolves upon perpetual chastity. Our modern Christian-
ity, alas! has no honorable niche for "old maids." They
are the Pariahs of society, at least in the estimation of
young girls and married women. "0, poor thing! she
might have married Mr. , and be now the wife of a
cabinet minister; he always loved her, but I suppose she
looked higher then." 0, miserable worldlings that ye are!
Wait till you behold her wearing the crown of the virgin,
and singing the celestial canticles that none others may
dare to sing; fortunate if you behold her not as Dives
The latest modem invention, which we fear will plague
the inventors, is the proposition that women are entitled to
the same "privileges" as men in conducting political affairs,
and in all offices of honor and emolument now monopolized
by the "sterner sex." This heresy has been christened by
the seductive cognomen of "Woman's Eights." Set in mo-
tion by a singular class of advocates, it would almost seem
to have become epidemic. As though dissatisfied with the
irksome lullaby and the wearisome routine of household
duties, hosts have joined the invading forces, and now their
conventions, their speeches, their special organs, and their
sophistical catch-words have assumed so great proportions
that they really seem on the verge of securing political
The fierce and indomitable energy of the American
people, which has survived the most mighty social and
political revolution of this world, must and will have some
fiery excitement with which to occupy itself; and, having
amused itself with the labor and the Colonial questions, it
has seized upon the bauble of "Woman's Eights, and bids
fair to dignify it into a terrible engine of destruction. Let
US examine what it will do for our daughters in its present
aspect, and what if carried to successful operation. The
mere discussion of such a revolution as a possibility, the
bare toleration of the idea, is sufficient in itself to injure
the mind and to operate powerfully upon the imagination
of these impressionable creatures — ^to excite in them feel-
ings of indignation and dissatisfaction with their present
condition. Every argument that ingenuity can suggest, is
brought to bear in assuring them that they are deprived of
certain inherent "rights" by an unjust and tyrannical age.
It is of but little moment to them what these so-called
rights may be; the feeling that they exist, and that they
are unjustly withheld, is sufficient to occasion a sort of
sentimental rebellion dangerous to tranquil repose and to
feminine modesty. If carried out in actual practice, this
matter of "Woman's Eights" will speedily eventuate in the
most prolific source of her wrongs. She will become rap-
idly unsexed, and degraded from her present exalted posi-
tion to the level of man, without his advantages; she will
cease to be the gentle mother, and become the Amazonian
While it is difficult to see how any single abuse could be
reformed, it is easy to imagine how very many would be
created by the "political enfranchisement and eligibility
of woman/' It would most assuredly introduce a new
and alarming element of discord into the family circle,
already weakened, well-nigh ruined, by the singular cus-
toms of the time.
The tendency to isolation has been ably commented on
by a recent writer as the greatest danger to American
society; the living in hotels and boarding-houses, and the
'loss of the restraining and purif3dng associations that
gathered around the old homestead." What remains of
the family is only held together by the graces and virtues
of woman; and the facility of obtaining divorces is fast
breaking down even this last hope. The same writer truly
says, that "when the family goes, the nation goes too, or
ceases to be worth preserving."
We cannot imagine how men can be reformed by invest-
ing woman with the ballot, but we can readily believe that
many women would thereby become debased. The chiv-
alric veneration with which man now regards woman, arises
from the distance, as well as the difference, between them;
in fact, from the advantages she possesses as woman. This
would vanish with her political equality, for he would then
be in perpetual and open strife and rivalry against her;
whether as a political enemy or political ally, the distinc-
tions of sex will be forgotten, and she will lose that respect
and deference with which she has hitherto been so gener-
ously endowed; she will be treated rather as man than as
woman; "she cannot have the advantages of both sexes at
once." Nature, not legislators, has assigned to the two
sexes their respective spheres, as we shall prove in another
chapter, in which the "woman question" will be argued
more at length.
We have shown that the very evils we deplore, and which
it is sought to reform, have arisen from laxity and negli-
gence of home duties. How, then, can we hope to reform
them by still further increasing this laxity and neglect?
If what we have said of domestic training be true, it will
be seen how necessary it is to render mothers more faithful
and vigilant, instead of weakening their interest and ob-
ligation to become so. Observe the families of those women
who devote almost their entire time and attention to even
meritorious and essentially feminine, but outside works —
how neglected and proverbially wild and ungovernable are
the children. Everyone says of such a woman, "She does
good in a general way, but neglects her poor family, who
have the prior claim, to her attention." But how is it with
those women who neglect these sacred duties to follow
schemes of ambition or of pleasure? They are justly
regarded as monstrosities. Extend the suffrage to woman,
throw her into the political arena, set her squabbling and
scheming for office, and you multiply indefinitely the num-
ber of monstrosities. The evils of child-murder, of un-
natural repugnance to offspring, will, for obvious reasons,
be prodigiously increased; so the attainment of women's
rights will prove the establishment of babies' wrongs.
Suppose a case: Mrs. Le Baron is elected to a lucrative
and honorable office. She finds, to her infinite disgust,
that she is "as ladies (used to) love to ie, who love their
lords/* She must gire up the office or the nursery. Who
can doubt what her choice will be if she has already broken
down her morality by employing the usual political in-
trigue? Indeed, with female suffrage "political intrigue"
will gain a new and even a worse significance than it now
enjoys. It will certainly prove an additional and very
powerful danger for woman's chastity.
Undoubtedly the special destiny of woman is to be wife
and mother. If, from mysterious causes, she fail of this
destiny, there are the poor and motherless, the forsaken
and the down-trodden, the sinful, and the sorrowful, and
the suffering — ^behold her charge! Behold the spiritual
children of "old maids!"
Eeforms are needed — none can be more sensible of this
fact than we — and the remedy can be applied by woman;
this we not only concede, but claim. But it is as woman, as
wife, as mother that she must do the work: as woman, to
soften asperities, and to refine what else were coarse and
brutal; as wife, to render home bright and cheerful, "the
sweetest place on earth;'* as mother, to direct and inspire
the noble and righteous aspirations of her sons — to train
and mould to exquisite beauty, grace, and loveliness the
character of her daughters — to implant in all her children
that piety, and filial love, and obedience, which are the
surest guarantees of respect for civil law and authority.
Then let us have our daughters educated as women, and
not as men. Let us have them trained for the duties of
the household and the nursery, and the sweet enchant-
ments of the domestic hearth. "Be that you are — that is,
a woman; if you be more, you're none.'*
Viewing the world over, this shameful and criminal act
is the most frequent, as well as the most fatal, of all vices.
In our country, however, it is second in frequency — though
not, surely, in importance — only to the crime of libertinism.
It is encountered in all ages, from the infant in the cradle
to the old man groaning upon his pallet. But it is from
the age of fourteen to twenty that its ravages are most
frequent and most deplorable. Nothing but a sense of
inexorable duty, in the hope of effecting a radical reform
by awakening the alarm of parents and teachers to the
enormous frequency and horrible consequences of this
revolting crime, could induce the author to enter upon the
Granted that, as already stated, it must, if persevered in,
reveal itself, it is only the most aggravated cases that are
brought to notice, and these usually are hopeless and incur-
able. The vast majority escape detection, and the practice
in such, though indulged to a comparatively moderate
extent, does not the less seriously, but only the less com-
pletely, impair the intellect and lay the foundation of phys-
ical, mental and moral maladies, the causes of which are
usually as unsuspected as they are consequently persistent
in their operation.
The frequency of masturbation before the age of puberty
is in direct relation to the development of the nervous
system, and the opportunity afforded for acquiring a knowl-
edge of the sin from pernicious examples.
prostatic portion ^
of urethra. ■
ypHINOTCR ANI. ^
Cowper's j penis,
SECTION OF MALE PELVIS AND ORGANS.
The predominance of the action of the nervous system
over that of the other portions of the human organization,
is exceedingly frequent in young children, and is the most
powerful predisposing cause of the vice in question. It
can never, of course, be attributed to the stimulation
exerted on the genital organs by the presence of the sper-
matic fluid, for in them this secretion does not exist. It
sometimes happens that, by a kind of special organic
idiosyncracy, the organs of generation become the seat of
abnormal sensitiveness or irritation in young subjects, at
once the occasion and the signal for the explosion of this
most terrific and fatal passion. This explains the great
number of examples in which, even in the nursery, during
the "innocent slumbers of childhood," the genital organs
are observed to be in a state of erection, or erethism,
unnatural at that age, and which can by no possibility be
supposed to subserve any physiological end. It is obvious
that, in such a condition of abnormal excitation, the least
accidental touch, or even an involuntary mechanical move-
ment, may very easily lead to a most frightful and devour-
However, in all probability, the most common origin of
this nervous concentration and precocious sensibility is to
be found in the criminality of passionate creatures to whose
care the innocent little beings are confided, as nurses or
young servants. *^ise women" have been known to adopt
this method of quieting the outcries of the youngest
infants ! Such children never fail, sooner or later, to avail
themselves of their frightful discovery. Facts of this
nature demand the vigilant solicitude of moralists, heads
of families, principals of schools, of all persons, in short,
to whom the destinies of the young are confided.
French physicians have already bestowed great atten-
tion on this subject of infantile masturbation, though
there are probably few physicians of experience in this
country who cannot recall facts equally astonishing with
those we are about to quote.
Dr. Doussin Dubreuil relates the case of a child who con-
tracted the habit spontaneously at the age of five years,
who, in spite of all that could be done, died at sixteen,
having lost his reason at eleven. Deslandes, in his work
on onanism, speaks of a confirmed masturbator at eighteen
Another case was that of inveterate priapism in a child
four years of age. The erethism had continued during
four or five entire days. The urine was voided drop by
drop, and the paroxysms of suffering were at intervals
extreme. The attending physician reports that he found
the little patient surrounded by ladies and "wise** old
women, who were actually endeavoring to reduce the organ
by immodest procedures. The secret was found to consist
wholly in the presence of a minute calculus which had
lodged in the urethra, and which being removed the
erethism subsided; but a well-nigh fatal lesson had been
imparted through the insane attempts at relief.
"A young man from Montpelier'* (we translate from
Tissot), "a student of medicine, died from excess of this
kind of debauch. The idea of his crime so agitated his
mind that he died in a kind of despair, believing that he
saw hell open at his side to receive him. A child of this
city, six or seven years of age, instructed by a female ser-
vant, polluted himself so often that the slow fever which
resulted very soon terminated fatally. His fury for this
act was so great that it could not be prevented, even in the
last days of his life. When told that he was hastening
his death, he consoled himself by saying that he would go
the sooner to find his father, who died some months before/'
Here is the narration of a subject who became a mastur-
bator a little later :
"I knew nothing of the vice of onanism until the age of
ten years, when one of my companions, at the college where
I was placed, instructed me. I could not tell you the
number of times that I practiced it to the age of fifteen;
then only my eyes were opened to the whole enormity of
my fault. I am now eighteen, but though for three years
I have not fallen again, I am no less afflicted with fre-
quent pollutions, which occur in spite of myself, during
five or six nights in succession. I am never permitted to
enjoy tranquil repose; the whole day I am sad. I have
four times changed my school, and everywhere I have
seen this kind of libertinism carried to excess. Where I
terminated my studies, we assembled often in parties of
twelve or fifteen to indulge this fine practice. It is doubt-
less due to my temperament that I have outlived nearly
all my comrades; save one, whom I meet quite often, and
who leads a very wretched life, all have died in the most
Perhaps the most constant and invariable, as well as
earliest signs of the masturbator are the downcast, averted
glance, and the disposition to solitude.
Prominent characteristics are, loss of memory and intelli-
gence, morose and unequal disposition, aversion, or indif-
ference to legitimate pleasures and sports, mental abstrac-
tions, stupid stolidit)'^, etc. A distinguished German phys-
ician, Gottlieb Wogel, gives the following truthful picture :
"The masturbator gradually loses his moral faculties, he
acquires a dull, silly, listless, embarrassed, sad, effeminate
exterior. He becomes indolent ; averse to and incapable of
all intellectual exertion ; all presence of mind deserts him ;
he is discountenanced, troubled, inquiet whenever he finds
himself in company; he is taken by surprise and even
alarmed if required simply to reply to a child's question;
his feeble soul succumbs to the lightest task; his memory
daily losing more and more, he is unable to comprehend
the most common things, or to connect the simplest ideas;
the greatest means and the most sublime talents are soon
exhausted ; previously acquired knowledge is forgotten ; the
most exquisite intelligence becomes naught, and no longer
bears fruit ; all the vivacity, all the pride, all the qualities
of the spirit by which these unfortunates formerly subju-
gated or attracted their equals, abandon them, and leave
them no longer aught but contempt; the power of the
imagination is at an end for them; pleasure no longer
fawns upon them; but in revenge, all that is trouble and
misfortune in the world seems to be their portion. In-
quietude, dismay, fear, which are their only affections,
banish every agreeable sensation from their minds. The
last crisis of melancholy and the most frightful sugges-
tions of despair commonly end in hastening the death of
these unfortunates, or else they fall into complete apathy,
and, sunken below those brutes which have the kast
instinct, they retain only the figure of their race. II;
even frequently happens that the most complete folly and
frenzy are manifest from the first."
According to Dr. Franck, "Masturbators are not only a
charge upon society, but are even dangerous," and this
celebrated physician exhorts to exercise over them the most
active supervision. Says Dr. Debreyne :
"Consider now this imbruted and degraded being ; behold
him bent under the weight of crime and infamy, dragging
in darkness a remnant of material and animal life. Unfor-
tunate! He has sinned against God, against nature, and
against himself. He has violated the laws of the Creator ;
has disfigured the image of God in his own person, and has
changed it into that of the beast, imago hestice. He is even
sunken below the brute, and, like him, looks only upon
the ground. His dull and stupid glance can no longer
raise itself toward Heaven; he no longer dares lift his
miserable brow, already stamped with the seal of reproba-
tion ; he descends little by little into death, and a last con-
vulsive crisis comes at length, violently to close this strange
and horrible drama."
As we have said of the physical, so also can we say of
the moral punishment of the masturbator. Not all offen-
ders are visited so severely as above described. Perhaps
even a small proportion of the whole number die in this
manner; yet, in this comparatively small minority, those
who persist in the practice will sooner or Inter surely he
included. Let no one delude himself with the false assump-
tion that he can be exempt from this universal law. There
can he no possible exemption! Those who persist will
surely die the death most horrible of all deaths ; and those
who practice the most limited and most occasional acts of
onanism will surely be punished in proportion to their
crimes ; while the very individuals who seem to escape, are
those who most surely carry the punishment for the remain-
der of their lives, never live to attain old age, and most fre-
quently fall victims to some grave chronic disease, the
germs of which they owe to this detestable vice. Or an
acute malady, which they resist far less readily than others,
cuts the thread of their existence in the prime of their man-
Let those who read these pages reflect upon the number-
less instances, which must have come within the observa-
fion of all medical or lay observers, of youths who stood
high in their classes, and ranked quite as intellectual
prodigies up to or a little beyond the age of puberty, say
from fourteen upward — who suddenly, without obvious
cause, became stupid as dunces, or losing their vivacity,
seemed to fail rapidly in intelligence, and to disappoint the
high hopes which had been entertained of them. Ninety-
nine per cent of these examples are cases in point.
Alas, that such a term is possible! 0, that it were as
infrequent as it is monstrous, and that no stern necessity
compelled us to make the startling disclosures which this
chapter must contain! We beseech, in advance, that every
young creature into M-hose hands this book may chance to
fall, if she be yet pure and innocent, will at least pass over
this chapter, that she may still believe in the general
chastity of her sex; that she may not know the depths of
degradation into which it is possible to fall. We concede
that only a wide-spread existence of the crime could justify
this public description of its consequences. We believe
that a smaller proportion of girls than of boys are addicted
to it, but the number is nevertheless enormous, and the
dangers are all the greater, that their very existence is so
Beyond all dispute the crime exists. We translate the
following from an acknowledged high medical authority,
the "Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales:"
"Naturally more timid and more secret than boys, the
effects of their reunion, although very fatal, are less than
in the latter. At the same time a culpable negligence in
the boarding-schools of 'young ladies,' too frequently allows
to be introduced there the disorders of masturbation. This
practice is dissembled from the impenetrative or careless
eyes of the teacher under the guise of friendship, which
is carried, in a great number of cases, to a scandalous
extent. The most intimate liaisons are formed under this
specious pretext; the same bed often receives the two
friends. . . .
'^e have seen letters from these young persons to each
other, scarcely eleven or twelve years of age, the burning
and passionate expressions of which made us shudder. The
clandestine reading of certain books in which abject
authors have traced, in the liveliest colors, the deplorable
deviations of the senses, is another no less fatal circum-
stance which hastens the corruption of girls. One can
affirm that this reading of romances, which so easily
becomes the object of a veritable passion with young per-
sons, is to-day one of the most active causes of their depra-
With them, as with boys, the genital organs may be con-
stitutionally endowed with excessive predominance of
action, which masters all the affections, all the movements
of the economy, and causes them to titillate incessantly that
part of those organs which is the seat of the keenest sensi-
bility. Very little girls are often thus borne along, by a
kind of instinct, to commit masturbation. The famous
Dr. Deslandes makes the astounding statement, which can
only be true of the French nation, that "a great number of
little girls, and the majority of adolescents, commit this
Human nature, however, is much the same the world
over, and a habit so easily acquired and practiced, so little
suspected, or entirely ignored, and which, for these and
certain physical reasons, girls are even more liable to con-
tract than boys, may well excite astonishment and alarm,
and render the distinguished Frenchman's caution equally
appropriate here : "There is no young girl who should not
be considered as already addicted to or liable to become
addicted to this habit." All physicians admit that it is
very difficult — almost impossible, in fact — ^to ascertain the
origin of many of the diseases of unmarried women which
they are called upon to treat, and, if the cause be perpetu-
ally in operation, they will prescribe with fruitless results.
The broken health, the prostration, the great debility, the
remarkable derangements of the gastric and uterine func-
tions, too often have this origin, and when the cause is
investigated the subject alleges great exertions, intense
trouble, unhappiness, etc., but is silent as to the real cause,
which, perhaps, after all, she does not herself associate with
her maladies. The utmost penetration can only cause one
to suspect the truth, but a question skillfully put will
generally reveal all.
One of the most celebrated surgeons in the world has
related the following case : "A young girl of ten or twelve
years, sole heiress of a considerable fortune, was unsuccess-
fully treated by the most skillful physicians of Paris. At
length the physician who has furnished this narration was
summoned. He was not more fortunate than his colleagues.
Unable to explain this general failure to relieve, and the
constantly increasing debility of the patient, he imparted
to the mother his suspicions of the cause of all these acci-
dents that nothing subdued. The mother, exceedingly
astonished and almost indignant at an assertion which
appeared to her so rash, earnestly maintained that the
thing was impossible, as the child had always been under
her own eye, or confided to a governess incapable of teach-
ing her evil. This governess was an old woman who had
reared the mother, and who had never excited her suspi-
cions in any respect. The physician, however, caused the
child to be separated from both mother and governess.
She was sent to her aunt in the country, in order the better
to watch her in this intentional isolation. This aunt,
taking advantage of the ascendency which she had obtained
over the girl's mind, subjected her to a secret interrogation.
She was moved, embarrassed, discountenanced, but con-
fessed nothing. Her embarrassment had already betrayed
her, and from that moment, in the estimation of the aunt,
her fault was assured. Soon the doctor arrived, who
directed against the poor child a last and vigorous attack.
'Mademoiselle,' said he, with a tone of authority, certainty,
and conviction, 'the solemn moment has arrived to tell us
here the truth, and nothing but the truth. Your aunt and I
now understand the whole matter. It only remains to
inform us who taught you this detestable habit, which has
totally ruined your health, and how long since this fatal
secret was revealed to you, for it certainly did not originate
with yourself.* At this severe and unexpected language the
young girl was much affected. Being urged, she hesitated,
looked at her aunt, and avowed all. It was her old gov-
erness who had taught her masturbation. The aid of medi-
cine proved powerless to restore the health which she had
After this, trust women, trust nurses, trust governesses,
believe mothers! NoUte confidere in mulieribus. The
symptoms which enable you to recognize or suspect this
crime are the following : A general condition of languor,
weakness, and loss of flesh; the absence of freshness and
beauty, of color from the complexion, of the vermilion from
the lips, and whiteness from the teeth, which are replaced
by a pale, lean, puffy, flabby, livid physiognomy; a bluish
circle around the eyes ; which are sunken, dull, and spirit-
less; a sad expression, dry cough, oppression and panting
on the least exertion, the appearance of incipient consump-
tion. The menstrual periods often exist, at least, in the
commencement, and so the alteration in health cannot
be attributed to their derangement or suppression. It is
not uncommon to see the shape impaired.
The moral symptoms are similar to those of the opposite
sex. They are sadness or melancholy, solitude or indif-
ference, an aversion to legitimate pleasures, and a host of
other characteristics common to the two sexes. The condi-
tion called "nymphomania" sometimes ensues, in which
the most timid girl is transformed into a termagant, and
the most delicate modesty to a furious audacity which even
the effrontery of prostitution does not approach.
Let it not be supposed that the absence of the seminal
secretion in woman, renders this vice less destructive than
in man. Ubi irritatio ibi fluxtis (where there is irritation
there is increased secretion), is a medical maxim, and the
increase of the proper secretions of the female organs
under habitual irritation, is enormous and extremely debili-
tating. Witness the sad examples of leucorrheal dis-
charge (called the "whites"), now so common as to be well
nigh the rule rather than the exception.
Deslandes says: "I have reason to believe, from a great
number of facts presented to me in practice, that of every
twenty cases of leuchorrhea ('whites'), or of inflammation
of the vulva or vagina in children and young girls, there
are at least fifteen or eighteen which result from masturba-
tion!" And again: "Eepeated admissions have also con-
vinced me that leucorrhea and chronic inflammation of
the womb, so common with the women of our cities, most
frequently owe their origin to former, and sometimes to
recent, excesses of this nature !"
We have termed onanism a solitary vice, and nothiij^' is
more just. It has also been termed a contagious vice^ aj».fi
nothing is more true. The example of a single mastur-
bator never fails to bear its fruit. At first the novelty, and
then the pleasure, explains the contagiousness. This
furnishes the explanation for its frequency in establish-
ments where a great number of young subjects are gathered
together — schools, boarding-houses, colleges; in short, all
places where education is in common — and great care,
watchfulness, and supervision should be, and to a certain
extent are exercised, in order that this horrible evil may
not entirely depopulate these establishments.
There is among children a sort of instinct, which leads
them to hide and to dissimulate their maneuvers before
even they have found them to be illicit and shameful. The
art with which they elude watchfulness and evade questions
is often inconceivable. They cannot be too strongly sus-
pected. The nature of the habits of a young person should
awaken suspicion ; for masturbation leads them to solitude.
Have an eye,, then, upon those who prefer darkness and
solitude ; who remain long alone without being able to give
good reasons for this isolation. Let vigilance attach itself
principally to the moments which follow the retirement to
bed, and those which precede the rising. It is then espe-
cially that the masturbator may be surprised in the act.
Her hands are never outside the bed, and generally she
prefers to hide her head under the coverlet. She has
scarcely gone to bed ere she appears plunged in a profound
sleep. This circumstance, which to a practiced observer is
always suspicious, is one of those which most frequently
contributes to the cause, or to nourish the false security of
parents. The affectation that the young person carries into
pretended sleep, the marked exaggeration with which she
pretends to sleep, may often serve to betray her. Often,
when suddenly approached, she may be seen to blush, and
to be covered with perspiration unaccounted for by the
temperature of the room, the warmth of the covering, or
any other observable cause. The breathing is at the same
time more precipitate, the pulse more developed, harder,
and quicker, the blood-vessels fuller, and the heat greater
than in the natural condition. There is, in short, that sort
of fever which ordinarily accompanies the venereal act.
We could give facts almost without number in reported
cases, to show the prevalence and destructive nature of this
vice among girls in our own country, but we forbear ; the
subject is painful and revolting even to contemplate. We
believe that we have said enough to terrify parents into
the needful precautions against it. If so much has been
accomplished our object is fully realized. We remark, how-
ever, in conclusion, that it is not sufficient to use merely
ordinary precautions of a judicious watchfulness; direct
and skillful interrogation must be from time to time em-
ployed, at least in every suspected case. The subject
should never be avoided through false delicacy, and such
lessons should be imparted on the dreadful consequences
of the habit, as shall effectually deter the perpetrators from
persisting in it. It were far better to acquaint even pure-
minded and perfectly innocent girls with the existence of
such a vice, while teaching them its horrible consequences,
than, through a false modesty or mistaken motives of deli-
cacy, to fail in imparting the requisite information in a
The Eights of Offspring.
Children have the right to be bom ! Alas, that this
God-given privilege should ever be called in question!
That it is so, however, the testimony of modern physicians,
the daily records of the newspapers, the fulminations from
the pulpit, the remonstrances of philanthropists, and the
forebodings of philosophers abundantly prove.
If we examine the history of abortion, we shall find that
this crime, now so commonly practiced as to demand the
attention it is receiving from moralists, is of extremely
ancient origin, having existed among pagan nations from
the earliest times; that the influence of Christianity has
ever been to banish the practice, and that in proportion as
Christianity becomes weakened or destroyed, the fearful
evil in question re-appears and extends.
The Eoman women did not scruple to disembarrass them-
selves of a pregnancy which might interfere with their con-
venience or pleasure, until Ulpian repressed the practice
by attaching to it the most severe penalties. Plato and
Aristotle advocated it for the avowed purpose of preventing
excessive population, and taught that the child only
acquires a soul at the moment of mature birth ; hence, that
the embryo not possessing animation, its sacrifice is not
murder. This monstrous heresy against religion, science,
and common sense is not without its imitators in our own
time. Modern sophists pretend that before a certain period
of intra-uterine existence, which they term "animation,*'
the embryo has neither life nor soul ; that, consequently, its
destruction before that period is an evil, perhaps, but, in
certain cases, is lawful.
The following letter was received by a certain physician,
from a clergyman of great influence in the community
where he resides — a gentleman of rare intellectual culture,
and, withal, a shining light in his particular sect. The
letter and his reply are given verbatim, the omissions being
only such as are necessary to avoid the possibility of
"Dear Sir^ — Since my wife returned home she has not
been at all well; she has seemed very much fatigued, etc.
This morning, after rising, she was taken with a severe fit
of vomiting. Is not this one of the symptoms attendant
upon a certain condition ? We are both somewhat alarmed
about the matter, and we have further firmly decided that
we must have no further increase of family at present. If
Mrs. is in such a condition, it would be entirely
proper now, before life or animation has commenced, that
something be done to bring on the regular periods. We
are both very anxious it should be done, and in her present
condition there would be nothing at all wrong. But know-
ing her, and also our general circumstances, as I do, it
seems to me a Christian duty. Had life commenced the
case would be different. She may not be in this much
dreaded condition, however; if not, then what does the
morning nausea denote? Please drop me a line, . . .
and greatly oblige,
"Yours truly, .'*
He replied immediately to this letter. It certainly
merited attention ! We reproduce the reply here, as indi-
cating, in a familiar manner, our views on this subject :
'TReverend Bin, — Yours of is received. It is im-
possible to decide at the present stage whether your wife is
pregnant or not. The morning sickness, even if often
repeated, would be very far from proof, because in nearly
all uterine ailments the same sympathetic phenomena as
occur in pregnancy may exist — and from the same general
cause, uterine irritation. In the case of intestinal worms,
for example, the same rule obtains. The symptoms pro-
ceed from intestinal irritation, but this irritation may be
caused by other things than worms; so we are never sure
till we have physical proof. Thus the question of preg-
nancy in your wife's case, cannot be decided until sufficient
time has elapsed to furnish the necessary physical signs.
Independently of all moral considerations, to assume that
she is pregnant, and to endeavor to overcome that condi-
tion, would, in case the assumption were wrong, be attended
with great risk to her life. So, in any event, the neces-
sity for waiting is inexorable. Of this, however, I am
certain; she has an uterine affection entirely independent
of pregnancy, capable of producing all the symptoms she
has yet manifested. You seem to invite me to a discus-
sion of another branch of the subject, and from our rela-
tive positions I cannot well avoid accepting your challenge.
You are a teacher, to be sure, and so am I ; but you are a
teacher of religion, I, of science. It belongs to each of us
to speak oracularly in his proper sphere, but in this instance
the two are mutually dependent ; you must base your teach-
ings upon the clearly determined facts of science, for true
science and true religion can never conilict. Now, both
declare positively that the child in the womb, from the
very moment of conception, has being and soul, and conse-
quently ^ife or animation.' I presume you intend by this
expression, life or animation/ the moment when it could
maintain existence independently of the mother, or 'via-
bility/ as we term it; but, in a certain sense, it is still
dependent on the mother after 'viability;' for, although
capable of breathing *on its own account,' it would perish
but for the mother's care and sustenance. Why not, then,
decide that it might be a 'Christian duty' to murder the
infant six months or a year after birth, or, for that matter,
at any time before it is old enough to defend itself ? Cir-
cumstances of mother or father might be pleaded in justifi-
cation. Seriously, neither you nor I can say when a being
has not 'life or animation' in the sense you probably intend ;
and if we could determine the exact moment it would not
alter the case in the least. The civil law makes some dis-
crimination between 'viability* and 'non- viability ;* but
science is loudly demanding an obliteration of the absurd
distinction, and religion adds her powerful voice. By
'religion' I mean simply, in this connection, the common
belief of all Christendom, irrespective of sect or creed. Sup-
pose, sir, you were to imagine that the child, whose advent
you so much dread, would be in all respects the superior of
the one you now possess, that your love and affection for it
would exceed by a hundred-fold that which you entertain
for the present ; of course you would naturally wish to pre-
serve it, and would take every means in your power to avert
the catastrophe which, it so happens, you now desire. But
you must not have two children, knowing your 'general cir-
cumstances,' as 'you do ;' it would then become your 'Chris-
tian duty' to murder your present child, and let the other
come. In some respects the morale would be in favor of
the latter course, inasmuch as it would be so much more
easily performed — a little strychnine would do it ! — and no
danger to life or health would attach to the mother. In
the one case you destroy one life and jeopard a second; in
the other, you destroy but one life, and hazard nothing
beyond it — that is, in this world. Come, Reverend sir, I
will as soon help you do the one as the other — suppose we
try it? Certainly you can as well persuade me of my
'Christian duty' in the one case as in the other. It does
not alter the ease that physicians can be found ready to
undertake your 'little affair/ Any physician who would
undertake it is a monster and a scoundrel, and would mur-
der you and your entire family as readily, 'for a considera-
tion,' provided the chances of detection were equal. By
the Almighty God who rules in the Heaven, I conjure you
do not this thing ! nay, do not even contemplate it !
"Now, let us take the lower view, and regard the ques-
tion as one of expediency merely. There is no medicine
known to the profession which possesses the specific prop-
erty of inducing miscarriage ; many will do it in some cases,
but only secondarily ; that is, in proportion as they shatter
the constitution, ruin the health, and produce a state of
the system which renders it incompetent, through debility,
to sustain pregnancy. Medicines, then, are out of the
question if a man loves his wife, and values her health or
her happiness. There remains the mechanical method, in
which various instruments are used, according to the taste
of the operator. All of these are more or less dangerous
in themselves, and none of them can avert the dangers inci-
dental to abortion. These are numerous, and to one who
knows them, frightful. I will enumerate a few:
"First, flooding. ' She may flood to death before your
very eyes, and many cases do happen altogether beyond the
control of the most skillful practitioners.
"Second, inflammations. Escaping the dangers of flood-
ing, inflammation may attack the womb, or its appendages,
or the surrounding organs, and she may die in horrid
"Third, insanity. By reflex action the brain not unf re-
quently takes on disease, and in place of a prattling baby,
you may be saddled for the remainder of your life with a
"Fourth, barrenness — a most common result. 'Circum-
stances' may change ; it may seem the most desirable thing
in the world that your family should 'increase,' but violated
nature defies you. Pregnancy occurs often enough, but
the womb gives up its contents at precisely the same term as
you forced it to do before, and no art can come to your
"Fifth, 'female weaknesses.' The long train of sad and
tedious phenomena indicated by this popular term, is abso-
lutely multifarious — congestions, ulceration, and prolapsus
uteri, diseases of the bladder, urethra, and rectum, incon-
tinence of urine, spinal irritation, sciatica, and other things,
of which the greatest misfortune is that they do not kill,
but simply render life insupportable. Now, Eeverend sir,
I have hastily and imperfectly scribbled off some of the
prominent objections to your intended course. Pardon me
if I have seemed severe. I have taken the trouble for two
reasons : first, to save the life of a human being, and, second,
to rescue you, but above all your excellent wife, from the
commission of a sin of damnation.
"Respectfully, etc., ."
It is due to these parties to mention that the arguments
set forth in the response, had the full effect intended, and
that they now rejoice in the possession of the mature pro-
duct of that pregnancy — a living refutation of the asser-
tion that man can ever usurp the functions of Divine Pro-
vidence. The health of the mother has been fully restored
through the very process which, in the fallible judgment
of man, appeared most calculated to destroy it. Were this
the place, or did space permit we could adduce many
remarkable facts. A few must suffice:
The same physician submits the following : A lady who,
in a former pregnancy, had suffered so intensely from a
serious complication of diseases that her life was long
despaired of by several distinguished physicians, they de-
clared she could never hope to survive another pregnancy,
nevertheless again she became pregnant, and by the concur-
rent advice of the regular number of physicians submitted
to the operation for abortion. She subsequently passed
successfully through another term of pregnancy, and now
rejoices in the possession of excellent health and a splendid
Another, who, in view of an anticipated summer tour,
vainly sought to obtain relief from an inconvenient preg-
nancy, and succeeded in *Tiaving it done for her" by an
infernal rascal, lay helpless and suffering through the
weary months of spring and summer, losing not only
her baby and her journey, but her health, and all that
makes life endurable.
A third had "children enough," rebelled at the prospect
of an acquisition, tried every known means to disembarrass
herself of the unwelcome incumbent — happily without suc-
cess — ^and, a few days before the birth of a beautiful boy,
had to mourn the loss of her only son, killed, in the midst
of exuberant health, but a most horrible accident.
A fourth, left penniless by the death of her husband, was
well-nigh persuaded by a friendly though misguided ac-
quaintance — one, alas, conspicuous for many Christian
virtues, and a veritable authority in her church — to murder
the child, which, to-day, is the prop and support of her
A fifth had "too many children already." The son whose
existence she was barely dissuaded from abolishing remains,
the sole survivor of eight brothers and sisters, able and
happy in supporting his aged and indigent parents through-
out the last years of their afflicted life.
Numberless similar instances are within our knowledge
and we could add some dozens to the list. Not all nor any
of the numerous essays and monographs, remonstrances
and addresses recently put forth on the subject, convey any-
thing like an adequate idea of the enormous prevalence of
child-murder. Let the reader ask any man of learning —
he will verify our words.
It is not a pleasant thought that the very audience before
whom a preacher fulminates against the "great crime of
the twentieth century," is so far sprinkled with the crimi-
nals that he feels the powerlessness of his words. It is not
a pleasant thought that the authors of the numerous
treatises referred to, know that a mighty influence prevails
in the culpable sentiment of the community, which shall
neutralize their labors. It is not a pleasant thought that
the recognized motive for postponing to another year the
consideration of certain resolutions presented in the recent
"Old School Presbyterian Assembly," was the fact that
many of the rich and powerful of that society would be
These thoughts are not pleasant — they are horrible f Yet
such is the actual state of morality in our land. The start-
ling truth is that in what is termed "good society," both
in the city and country, it is the exception rather than the
rule to find, among either ladies or gentlemen, correct
"Scriptural" ideas on this subject.
A very able physician in writing on this subject says:
"What physician cannot recall cases in which the most
profoundly scientific men have committed the most serious
blunders in diagnosis? How often has it not happened
that the melancholy prediction that such or such a woman
rfould 'never have a living child/ that another must 'die
in labor/ that a third could 'never live through another
pregnancy/ has been completely falsified by subsequent
events; and shall precious lives be sacrificed on this mere
fiat of feeble human judgment, and on a questionable
ruling? Suppose the opinion were correct, who consti-
tuted man the arbiter of human life ? who appointed him to
decide between the relative merits and claims of human
lives? Certainly not Almighty God; and without His
express sanction, he must be a bold man who dares decide
the issue, at least, supposing he believes in hell. The fact
is, and corporate medical bodies must one day assume this
ground, the distinction between 'criminal' and 'justifiable'
abortion is nonsense ; it is worse than nonsense, it is itself
criminal. Every pregnancy must be allowed to progress to
its full completion, or in well-determined cases to the period
of 'viability,'^ and the issue left in the Hand which holds
all our destinies. When this course is adhered to, it is
wonderful to witness the extraordinary if not miraculous
evolutions of nature to rescue both lives from danger, or
if this may not be, the same beneficent nature kindly elects
the maternal life and permits the infant to perish the
earliest. It is here that science beautifully and legitimately
comes to her aid, determines with accuracy the exact mo-
ment that the young life has taken its flight, and on the
instant proceeds boldly to an operation which, a moment
earlier, would have been murder. She has now only to deal
with the dead foetus, a 'foreign body,* which it is her duty
to remove with the utmost possible dispatch."
We beg our fair countrywomen, those wlio would "walk
in the knowledge and love of God/' to scorn the proposi-
tions from whatever source they may come, to destroy the
lives of their unborn children, and to imitate the example
of the simple-minded but pious woman in our own practice,
who replied to five eminent physicians, who assured her
that she must assent to the destruction of her baby, or die :
'^hat! murder my poor bairn? No! God knows which
life to take!" In so doing they may hope for the
same reward which was vouchsafed to her, a living child,
and robust health to nurture and work for it.
Again we assert^ that science can no more decree the
death of a being in the womb than out of the womb ; that
she must limit herself to the discharge of her whole duty in
this view of the subject, and that in the vast majority of
cases lives will be saved where they are now sacrificed; in
other words, that were the rule here advocated enforced
by the combined influence of the civil and medical codes,
fewer maternal lives would perish, and a far greater num-
ber of infantile lives would be saved than under the present
outrageous and unnatural system, and also that the present
toleration of "justifiable" infanticide, as implied in the
expression "criminal abortion," opens the door for the most
frequent and frightful abuses of the "privilege," by leaving
the question of legality in particular instances, impossible
to be determined. On the lowest view of the subject, namely,
that thousands of lives are sacrificed under the plea of
necessity where one "legal" necessity exists, the decrees of
law and of science should be changed.
But what do we say ? By solemn decrees the largest body
of Christians has declared and rigidly maintains that the
dftstruction of intra-uterine life, under any and all circum-
stances, is murder; and as all the Christianity vre possess
has descended through this channel, the question should be
regarded as settled without argument. Away, then, with
all quibbles and sophisms, and let the laws of God be, in
formal enactments at least, also the laws oi man !
The Physiology of Wedlock.
The extraordinary delicacy of this subject is such as
to have hitherto absolutely prevented its discussion; but
when ministers publicly declaim from the pulpit on the
crime of ante-natal infanticide, and the press teems with
minute details of the last act of a daily presented tragedy,
we think it time that the drama should be faithfully elab-
orated and the earlier scenes equally exposed, and with
the same lawful purpose — ^the prevention of crime, and
of consequent domestic unhappiness. It is with this object
in view that we venture to penetrate the secrecy of the
nuptial chamber, and discover there the very beginning
of evils so universally acknowledged, yet so little under-
From the preceding chapters the different relations of
man and woman on the night following the solemn cere-
mony which has made them one flesh can be comprehended
at a glance. But few words, then, are needed to explain
these differences. Of course, what we have to say regard-
ing the woman supposes her to be, at least physicallj'^, a
virgin. The poor girl has been for weeks an object of
open commiseration and sympathy on the part of all the
old women and young girls of her acquaintance. It is
not so much what has been said as what has been mysteri-
ously hinted by looks and actions more suggestive than
words. She has been taught to regard this night as one
of unspeakable horror and torment; not alone her vir-
ginity, but her utmost capacity for physical pain, are to
be offered a sacrifice to her love — ^too often of mere posi-
tion. These vague apprehensions, added to the fatigues
of preparation of her wedding outfit, have produced in her
the very acme of bodily and mental exhaustion; she is
jaded and worn out, but, above all, frightened. The one
thing in all this world of which she is least capable at
this moment is the faintest spark of sexual passion. The
man may be by nature kind, considerate, and loving, but
the whole tenor of his thoughts and experiences on this
subject are connected with violence — indeed, dynamic con-
summation is, as he falsely believes, the true idea of mercy.
And with this disparity between the forces — shrinking
timidity and ungoverned boldness — ^the match anticipated
by Juliet, is won and lost. Lost indeed for the poor crea-
ture left mangled and terrified — nay, infinitely disgusted !
Love, affection even, are well-nigh crushed out of the
stricken woman, whose mental ejaculation, "0, that I
had not married!" is the key-note to her whole after-
existence. And so, through the long hours of that dreary
night, she listens to the heavy respirations of her gross
companion, whose lightest movement causes her to shrink
with terror. She is fortunate, indeed, if her miseries be
not renewed ere she escapes from the '^Dridal chamber;"
and the day which follows, filled as it is with forebodings
of the coming night, seems all too short for the contem-
plations and the resolutions which crowd upon her. Far
from friends and kindred, with no sympathizing one to
whom she can tell a word of her strange sorrow, with him
who is miscalled her protector, revealing, by his every look
and act, the bestial thoughts which fill his breast, what
wonder is it that twenty-four hours of marriage have been
more prolific to her of loathing than the whole previous
courtship of love!
Again and again these nights of horror are repeated,
each, if possible, more hateful than the first, until her
monster rests from sheer exhaustion, and nature cicatrizes
the wounds of body and soul. The worunds received by the
latter are serious indeed. Passion is forever killed.
Now if all this were remediless, if we had nothing to
offer beyond the sickening exposure, too painful for the
most studied narration, we should deem the foregoing too
wanton for apology.
The subject, then, owes its origin to the honey-moon ; *
but the honey-moon must be. Where, then, is the remedy ?
We propose to speak very plainly on this point, for it were
of little service to portray the disease unless we could also
indicate the specific, which, under Providence, we hope to
do clearly and unequivocally. It were well if the treat-
ment could begin with the earliest manifestations of the
malady, with the first dawning of the indomitable passion
in the boy, and follow him through the dangerous years
whose progress, in a former chapter, we have sufficiently
traced. But as this is impracticable, in the actual state
of things, we must take him as he is when he closes the
door of the nuptial chamber — ^mayhap a "reformed rake"
— and say to him, with all the import of a solemn warn-
ing, "Hold I" In your keeping are now placed the destinies
of that shrinking woman, for wedded happiness or wedded
woe; your own tranquillity and peace of mind, perhaps
your honor as a husband and father hang upon your deci-
sion now. Be cautious how you thread the mysterious
path before you. You have need of all the fortitude and
self-control you can possibly summon to your aid in this
great emergency. You may talk of the instincts of nature,
but in you these instincts are brutalized; in her they are
artificially suppressed. You have the double task of curb-
ing the former and of developing the latter. Undoubtedly
the "instincts of nature" would make the marriage con-
summation a very awkward proceeding, sufficiently pro-
tracted for all practical purposes; but society has gotten
these instincts sadly out of tune for both of you. By
proper caution and delicacy on your part they may yet be
harmonized, and perfect accord be thus secured. Your
first words should be those of re-assurance and sympathy.
Assure her most positively that her apprehensions are
groundless, that no consummation shall occur this night,
or, indeed, at all, until on that, as you trust on all other
subjects, your wishes and hers shall exactly harmonize;
above all, inform her that whenever your happy marriage
shall be consummated, neither violence nor suffering shall
attend it, but perfect and reciprocal happiness shall crown
the act. You should know that gentleness, moderation,
but more than all, due and reasonable cultivation of her
womanly passion will enable you to fulfill your pledge to
the very letter. You should know that in rare cases
days or even weeks must elapse before entire consummation
can be effected, but that when it does occur the slight pain
she will suffer will be of such a character as shall increase
rather than diminish her pleasure. You will also discover,
by experience, that with due deliberation and prudence,
nature will co-operate in your favor to relieve you of
nearly all the trouble you anticipate.
We cannot be more explicit than this, but you will
readily comprehend our meaning when you obey these
instructions. The slightest intimation of pain or fear
should warn you to desist, being determined that under
no circumstances shall more violence be used than is obvi-
ously invited and shared. In one word, beware of com-
mitting a veritable outrage on the person of her whom
Ood has given you for a companion. From all ilaa/t we
can learn, and the instances from which we derive our
conclusions are very numerous, the first conjugal act is
little else than a legalized rape in most cases. Let noth-
ing interfere with your determination to wait for and
obtain entire reciprocity of thought and desire, and let this
always be your guide, not only during the honey-moon,
but also throughout your married existence. Thus will
you secure not only happiness and love for yourself, but
that perfect confidence and gratitude from your wife which
shall make her literally a sharer in your joys, as she must
needs be in your sorrows. You should never forget that this
passion is ordinarily slower of growth and more tardy of
excitation in women than in men, but when fairly aroused
in them it is incomparably stronger and more lasting.
This, of course, with due allowances for differences of
individual temperaments. Therefore be careful to avoid
a most common error of unphilosophical man, that of
undue haste and precipitation on these occasions through-
out your wedded career. Be always assured that your wife
is at least in entire sympathy with your own condition.
It is rare that two natures are so exactly in harmony with
each other that love and desire are always equal in both,
but the rule should be for the one who loves the most to
measure his ardor hy that of the one who loves the least.
You should remember that a woman has her capacity
for sexual enjoyment, and that most, if not all, wives have
a tender spot for a child and a strong (yet perfectly natu-
ral) desire to become a mother, which increases as she
develops into full womanhood; that undue haste, lack of
sympathy and ignorance on the part of the husband is in
most every case the cause of the ungratified and disap-
pointed condition of the wife.
M. Balzac, whose satirical Meditations embrace a deal of
sound philosophy, says of the young wife (and which ex-
presses our opinion of the average case) :
"Her imagination persuades her to expect pleasure or
happiness from a next day which will never arrive."
"She will be silent no longer when she perceives the use-
lessness of her sacrifices."
If you will but remember, that the fond caresses which,
before marriage, won her love and affection, will arouse a
world of love and passion after marriage, if you will but
try it, you will be rewarded and gratified by a response of
love and affection, such as only can come from a happy
wife and loving mother who has realized in marriage that
happiness, that right which is by nature due her.
We are now led to anticipate the question, "How fre-
quently does health or prudence permit the repetition of
the marital act?" No positive rule can be stated on this
subject, dependent, as it is, on so great a variety of con-
ditions, as individual temperaments, state of health at the
moment, etc., but general principles can be clearly stated,
from which may be readily deduced rules for particular
instances. Eegard must always be had to instructions
already stated : namely, that nothing should induce a man
to -gratify his own desires at the expense of his wife's com-
fort or inclination; that the lawful pleasures of wedlock
should never be permitted to degenerate into mere animal
lust; that the rule should be, in all cases, to keep within
but never to exceed the limits of fond desire. Franklin's
rule for eating, always to rise from the table with an
appetite for more, can wisely be applied to the conjugal
act — never to repeat it so frequently but that the ability
on both sides exists for further indulgence.
Perhaps most men learn this lesson soon enough for
themselves, but a strongly passionate woman may well-
nigh ruin a man of feebler sexual organization than her
own, and so it is important that the woman also should be
familiarized with the "physiology of matrimony/' sufiB-
ciently, at least, to refrain from too exacting or frequent
demands. Whatever may be her feelings, she should always
remember that delicacy, as well as prudence and common
sense, require her to await the advances of her companion
before she manifests her willingness for his approaches.
If, on the one hand, he is bound to respect her tempera-
mental conditions, she, on her part, is equally bound to
preserve toward him such an amount of womanly reserve
and continence as shall prove, at the same time, her most
alluring attribute, as well as her most successful guarantee
of continued conjugal happiness. Something should
always be held in reserve, no less of her capacity for bestow-
ing and receiving enjoyment, than of her personal and
peculiar charms. The imagination should always be left
to occupy itself in depicting those treasures which it has
enjoyed but never beheld; and thus the husband will
remain the lover, and courtship continue until death do
them part. Drapery but enhances the estimation in which
men hold the female attractions of person, and the rustle
of a woman's garment is more potent to charm them than
the lavish exposure of the proportions of a Venus.
"These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die; like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume : the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness.
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore, love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow."
There is but one legitimate method of avoiding in-
crease of family, and this should be adopted only for
legitimate reasons, such as hona fide considerations of
health or clearly established peculiarities of constitution.
No sordid calculations of economy should have a feather 's
weight in its adoption. Whom the Lord endows with
existence He provides for, according to the needs of
His children, and no mere human foresight can discover
whether economy lies in the increase or diminution in
the number of children. This most judicious method
of avoiding offspring is entire continence during the time
it is desirable or necessary to remain exempt. All other
methods of prevention of offspring are disgusting,
beastly, positively wrongful, as well as unnatural, and
physically injurious. Some of them are so revolting that
it is impossible to imagine how persons with the least
pretensions to decency can adopt them. Any deliberate
preparations with such an object savor too much of cold-
blooded calculation to be even possible with pure-minded
people. At best, the conjugal act should be spontaneous,
and directly in. accordance with the promptings of nature.
A husband who can coolly lay his plans with reference
to future performances of this character is guilty of
practicing the seducer's art in relation to his own mar-
riage bed; he is the unclean bird that literally befouls
his own nest. It is then impossible that those who are
guilty of such practices can be ignorant of their wicked
and criminal nature, and the woman who consents,
equally with the man who organizes the method, is a
willful and premeditated criminal. We are not writ-
ing for the benefit of such persons. We can positively
assert, however, that, without a single exception, they are
certainly productive of disastrous consequences to health.
"BxA there is a practice so universal tTiat it may well be
termed a national vice, so common that it is unblushingly
acknowledged by its perpetrators, for the commission of
which the husband is even eulogized by his wife, and
applauded by her friends, a vice which is the scourge and
the desolation of marriage ; it is the crime of Onan. "He
spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be
bom. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a
Who can doubt that Almighty God, in this terrible
punishment, wished to impart to man a positive moral
instruction which should endure to the end of time, for
the crime of Onan will have imitators while the world en-
dures — as what crimes will not? But that these should
be found among men of respectability would surpass belief,
if the thing were not notoriously true. At any rate, the
conjugal onanists in this age and country are more num-
erous than the exceptions. Ministers of the Gospel, promi-
nent church members, the very elite of society, well-nigh
monopolize the art, for it is far less common to find repug-
nance to offspring in the lower classes than in "upper-
This enormous crime is not in all cases confined to the
husband; the wife too often becomes affected with the
diabolical mania, and not only by consent, but often by
voluntary effort, facilitates its accomplishment. "We know
of cases in which this conduct has been the cause of do-
mestic discord, through remonstrances on the part of the
husband. In these instances the woman only was guilty
of the crime. One example must suffice.
A physician states that he was consulted by a gentleman
of the highest respectability, who complained that his wife
had not only never borne him children, but was so con-
stituted that she seemed incapable of permitting full com-
pletion of the conjugal act. On inquiry, it appeared that
she had acted by the instigations of her own mother, who
had instructed her in the execution of a certain maneuver,
too indecent to describe, by which she "could avoid the
dangers of child-birth/' Yet this monstrous mother is a
zealous member of an "orthodox" church, and not only
believes in hell-fire, but indicates without scruple the very
souls who, in her opinion, will be consigned to it. It is a
comfort to add that the machinations of the old she-devil
were readily thwarted by proper advice, and the parties
now glory in the possession of children and connubial bliss.
We now propose to offer a few physiological reasons why
this crime of Onan should never be committed, even if
moral considerations were entirely out of the question.
The effect of the practice on man is incontestably similar
to that of masturbation. All the effects of the solitary
vice are not manifested, because certain of the conditions
are wanting, but its influence on mind and body is only
less in degree. The act being against nature, she revenges
herself for her violated laws in diseases of the brain and
spinal marrow, functional disorders, organic diseases of the
heart, lungs, and kidneys, wasting of the muscles, blind-
ness, and frequently by impotence. The effects, in fact,
are slower in development, but the same in kind. The
victim finally succumbs to some acute or chronic disorder,
and his epitaph may be written, "Therefore the Lord slew
him because he did a detestable thing."
The effect upon woman is more obvious, because more
immediate and local. The orgasm induced in the female
organs by the conjugal act is such that, if left incomplete,
the congestion does not immediately relieve itself, and
inflammations, ulcerations, and final sterility are the re-
suits. The phenomena known as female weaknesses are
produced oftener hy this than hy all other causes combined.
Derangements of the bladder, rectum, and womb arising
from this cause are well-nigh intractable. But these things
rarely kill ; we do not read that God slev^ Thamar.
A consideration which should operate most powerfully
with generous natures, against this practice, is the fact
that in every instance the most cruel injustice is practiced
upon the woman in the incompleteness of the act. It is
impossible for a woman, however passionate and loving
she may be, to reach the true crisis of the sexual act when
conjugal onanism is practiced. It is well known to physi-
ologists that the contact of the seminal fluid with the neck
of the womb is a positive necessity, not only for the proper
reduction of the local congestion, but for the realization
on her part of the pleasure to which the woman is justly
entitled. But few repetitions of these incomplete ap-
proaches are requisite to well-nigh obliterate all ideas of
enjoyment on the part of the wife so defrauded, and,
therefore, another and very powerful cause of conjugal
unhappiness is added to those already enumerated. But
these considerations can have but little weight with most
men — to their shame be it spoken. The gratification of
their own lust — we cannot term it pleasure — is, with the
majority of men, the leading idea connected with the
Man is, by his very nature, hard, selfish, and tyrannical
toward woman we have elsewhere sufficiently proved. "We
have also shown the causes and cure of this oppression.
Christianity, however, while vastly ameliorating the con-
dition of woman in all other respects, has shown a sur-
prising diffidence in dealing with the brutality to which
she is subjected in the marriage chamber. ''Wives submit
yourselves to your husbands" is a text which has been
construed with a crushing literalness, while the reciprocal
injunction, "Husbands love your wives/' and "So ought
men to love their wives as their own bodies/* seems to be
A woman of much social and intellectual distinction
said, not long ago, "When my husband closes the door
of our apartments at night, he is no longer a man, he is a
monster!" Christianity has been imitated by the civil
law in this last remaining tyranny, which she still permits
to be exercised upon the "weaker vessel." For a woman
subjected to the most hellish tortures under the forms of
"marital rights" there would seem to be, literally, no
redress either in "Church or State." Eeligion replies to
such an one, "Your duty to your -husband is submission,"
while the Civil Code utterly ignores her complaint. In a
land where divorces can be had on the most frivolous pre-
texts, no allegations of cruelty in the marriage chamber,
however horrible they may be, can command a hearing.
We give the strongest proof of this in an application for
divorce just terminated. A young and beautiful girl who
had "taken all the honors" in the high school of her city,
and subsequently carried off the prizes for scholarship and
lady-like accomplishments in a celebrated seminary, was
persuaded by her parents to marry a man far inferior to
herself, whose sole recommendation was his wealth. A
physician was called to attend the lady some months after
her marriage, and a more pitiable spectacle, he says, has
seldom come within my professional observation. I
could scarcely realize that the haggard and emaciated
creature before us was the wreck of the beautiful girl so
recently proverbial for her fascinations. In place of the
brilliant eyes, flashing with proud intelligence, her dull
and listless orbs told the sad story of already approaching
insanity. A few questions, followed by a physical exami-
nation, and the "diagnosis" was simple enough. This
bestial husband had brought the poor girl to her sad con-
dition wholly by his excesses in the exercise of his "marital
rights.'" It is difficult to imagine the horrible condition
to which the whole generative organization had been
brought. Womb, vagina, bladder, and rectum, all were
fearfully inflamed and mangled. The case was simply
dreadful. Separation was obtained. Many painful weeks
of treatment succeeded in restoring her to comparative
health, and I was subpoenaed as medical witness in her
suit for "divorce and alimony." I gave my testimony,
detailing with minuteness the disease and its cause. It
was proved by the sworn statements of the wife and full
admissions by her husband that a course of incredible bru-
tality, arising from his fiendish passions, had been pursued
toward her "night and day" from the first night following
their marriage; but the evidence also showed that "out-
side of their bedroom he was kind and even affectionate."
The court decided that the charge of cruelty was not
proven, inasmuch as the law does not take cognizance of
the sexual relations of married persons ! Positively, dur-
ing the same session of the same court, some twenty-odd
divorces were granted upon allegations which, compared
with what this poor woman had suffered, were heavenly
virtues. And now comes this same brutal husband and
applies in his turn for a divorce from his wife on "the
ground of desertion !" Undoubtedly he will have no diffi-
culty in obtaining it.
While briefly reciting the consequences entailed upon
the woman by the practice of conjugal onanism, we re-
served for special mention the frightful danger of cancer
of the womb. We have high authority for the statement
that this loathsome disease has this cause for its origin
more frequently than any other. Indeed, if the consti-
tutional proclivity to cancer exist in an individual, the
practice of this vice is almost sure to develop it.
If the ejection of the seminal fluid upon the mouth of
the womb and within the vagina be necessary to the attain-
ment of pleasure in the sexual act, as we have already
stated, it is absolutely indispensable to safety. There
is in this fluid a certain specific property which, as it were,
remedies the otherwise dangerous condition in which the
womb and vagina are placed by the venereal excitement.
And this property is something peculiar, outside of and
beyond the mechanical effect already referred to; conse-
quently nothing can be devised to take its place, and, con-
sequently, whenever the genital function is not completed
physiologically, direct injury results. The explanation is
this: the generative organs, both male and female, are
invariably congested, that is to say, the vessels are unduly
filled with blood during copulation. Now, while in man
this congestion subsides with the stimulus which occa-
sioned it, in woman it persists to a considerable extent,
and new congestions being successively added to the pre-
ceding, there result, at first, what are termed engorge-
ments, then inflammations, then follow ulcerations, and
theUj if there be the least predisposition to cancer, those
frightful malignant degenerations succeed which carry so
many victims to premature graves.
Marital intercourse during pregnancy is a question on
which theologians and moralists are, as yet, divided in
opinion. The former contend that, while there are certain
periods— embracing the first days and last month of preg-
nancy — ^when marital approaches are prohibited by reason
of the greater danger of abortion, at other times moderate
indulgence is permissible, while moralists urge that the
virtue of husbands would be endangered by any restric-
tions. With these discussions, however, we have nothing to
do in this connection. We merely allude to them as prov-
ing that there is a recognized danger to health of parents
and life of offspring in the least departure from the rule
of continence during gestation. The legitimate object of
the sexual act being absent, no physiological end can be
subserved, and the practice is, therefore, against nature,
and consequently injurious. "To make love at all times
is what distinguishes man from other animals,'' says Beau-
marehais; and, in fact, with all other animals the condi-
tion of pregnancy is sacred from masculine approaches.
There is no exception to this law. It might, therefore, be
supposed that the exaltation of the sexual instinct by the
imagination and vicious practices of man is the occasion
of his violation of what appears to be a law of nature.
Such is indeed the fact, and, like many another unnatural
proceeding, it surely entails its punishment.
Abortions during the first few days after conception are
exceedingly frequent, and often occur without the knowl-
edge of the parties. A woman "goes over her time" by a
few days, and then has some pain and considerable flood-
ing. She regards as delayed menstruation what in fact
was a veritable conception; and these abortions are very
frequently repeated, eventuating in broken health and
sterility. By far the most common origin of such evils
is the fault in question.
It is a fact long admitted in science that excessive coi-
tion during pregnancy exerts a profound influence upon
the child, occasionally those puny, sickly little objects of
compassion upon whom "the sins of their fathers" have
been literally visited. Deformed, idiotic, undeveloped in-
fants are often the product of such pregnancies, while
those hideous objects known as "monstrosities" owe their
abnormal development to this above all other causes!
If, then, excessive coition during pregnancy is followed
by such disastrous consequences, the effect of even moder-
ate indulgence can be only less in degree. It must cer-
tainly exert some influence, and to that extent is injurious.
The best that can be said of it is that it is a questionable
means of preserving a husband's virtue.
During lactation, also, the physiological aim of sexual
intercourse is in abeyance, as indicated by the suspension
of the menstrual function. It is certain that the whole
resources of the female economy, while nursing her infant,
are absorbed and occupied. She is living for two, and
needs to be free from physical and mental burdens. Nev-
ertheless, as instances of pregnancy occurring during lac-
tation are not wanting, the fact shows that the end of
sexual intercourse is possible, and therefore the act is
not, in itself, against nature. It were best, however, to
confine the indulgence within the most severe limits of
prudence. We are positive that six weeks after the birth
of a child is the very earliest that marital approaches
should be attempted under any circumstances.
All that we have thus far stated in this chapter has
had reference to early married life. The parties were pre-
sumed to be young, or, at least, not to have passed the
period of middle life. As age advances new laws gain the
ascendency in the married life. In well-regulated lives
the sexual passions become less and less imperious, dimin-
ishing gradually, until at an average age of forty-five in
the woman, and fifty-five in the man, they are but rarely
awakened, and seldom solicited. It is as though nature
had decreed that, in the decline of the generative faculty,
while the other functions are still in their perfection, man
shall enjoy in the calmness of reason and silence of the
passions the results of his work, and seeing himself, in
some sort, reproduced in his children, may look forward
without regret to the end of his mortal existence. Nor is
this the least sublime side of married life. Nothing can
exceed the beneficent calm of parents descending the down-
hill of life, in whose well-regulated existence the past has
no remorse for violated laws, and with whom the present,
freed from the torments of excitement, has only the sweet
rewards of contentment and chaste repose. Surrounded
by the numerous pledges of their earlier loves, they may
indeed abandon the cares, and toils, and struggles of life
to those who owe to them their existence, and thus far
their maintenance. It is the natural order of things, that
the parents shall thus, as it were, change places with their
children. After the "change of life" with woman, sexual
congress, while permissible, should be infrequent, no less
for her own sake than that of the husband, whose advanc-
ing years should warn him of the medical maxim : "Each
time that he delivers himself to this indulgence he casts a
shovelful of earth upon his coffin." The caution is the
concentration of wisdom, and we commend it to our readers
— at the risk of not being heeded.
A profound observer has written: "One of the chief
causes of this infraction of the true principles of hygiene
is, that man, in the beginning of old age, long refuses
to believe himself to be what he is. His reminiscences,
almost synonymous with regrets, are always tormenting
his memory and his heart; for he constantly looks back
to contemplate on the distant horizon, that promised land
of love and its pleasures, where it would be so sweet to
dwell if it were possible to remain there. With diflBculty
does he accustom himself to the idea that the high pre-
rogative of procreation is almost withdrawn from him,
and he declines to admit to himself to the latest moment
the state of decay with which nature has stricken him.
This new existence seems, as it were, reproachful and de-
grading ; since there are very few persons capable of accept-
ing old age without weakness of mind and derangement
of reason. Time whitens their heads without disenchant-
ing their spirit. Besides, a man of good constitution,
whom age has not yet overpowered, still experiences per-
fidious and tempting reminiscences; all seems young in
him except the date of his birth. His years are expended,
but not his strength. He admits to himself that desire is
not as pressing as formerly; that he no longer feels that
excess of life, that fire, that ardor, which once inflamed
his blood and his heart, but he does not deem himself an
athlete so disarmed that he ought entirely to abandon the
contest and the triumph. As Fenelon says *The young
man has not yet been killed in him.' Many old madcaps,
loaded with years, are recognized in this picture. I only
ask them to be sincere. Is not this the humiliating portion
of certain superannuated coxcombs, whose disgraces in
love are contemptible, and whose successes are perfectly
ridiculous? Sometimes the evil is rooted in the habits,
and, as a thinker of our time has said, 'the punishment of
those who have loved women too much is to love them
"It is only repeated defeats, formidable diseases, the
swift and precipitous advance of old age, which at
length teach the imprudent being what he should have
long since known, that comfort and health consist — above
all in the decline of life — in the proper accord of a rem-
nant of force, an approved reason, and sober conduct.
"Another motive equally impels certain old men to
dangerous excesses; it is the example of aged men who,
in reality or in appearance, preserve the faculties that
age always destroys. So they recall them ; they quote them
with complaisance, with a sort of inward satisfaction, dis-
posed, as they are, to reckon themselves in this category
of the predestinated. Thus, the Marechal d' Estrees was
married for the third time at the age of ninety-one, and
married, say they, 'very seriously/ The Duke of Lauzun
lived a long time after having indulged in excesses of every
kind. The Marechal de Richelieu was married to Madame
de Roth at the age of eighty-four, and they add, 'with im-
punity/ Then how can we believe what Bacon says, that
the debauches of youth are conjurations against age, and
that one pays dearly in the evening for the follies of the
"You see that it is not always thus, and the gay old
fellow who thinks himself rejuvenated by some desires
hidden beneath the ashes, is delighted to cite such exam-
ples. But what signify certain isolated and assuredly very
rare facts ? Ought one to govern himself by such examples
unless he also has received from nature one of those excep-
tional constitutions, of which the erotic salaciousness ends
only with life ? It would be a very fatal mistake !"^
Besides the numerous evils which old men produce by
the inconsiderate indulgence in sexual pleasures, it should
be understood that sudden death is sometimes the immedi-
ate consequence, by hemorrhage of the brain (apoplexy)
or rupture of large blood-vessels. These accidents happen
as the consequence of a violent and undue emotion, accel-
erating the pulsations of the heart, or of efforts which, for
the moment, suspend respiration.
The precise period of life at which it is imperative that
a man should maintain continence for the remainder of
his existence it is, of course, impossible to state, dependent,
as it is, on a great variety of circumstances, as the con-
stitution of the individual and the expenditure of his
virile forces in early life. In doubtful cases an experienced
physician should be taken into confidence. Says the author
from whom we have already quoted: ^^^hen you see an
old man full of judgment, endowed with strong reason,
whose enlightened and active mind is still capable of
properly directing his affairs, and of being useful to
society, be convinced that that man is prudent and conti-
nent; that temperance, so justly called sophrosyne — guar-
dian of wisdom — with the ancients, has in him a fervent
worshiper. In fact, has he not acquired complete moral
liberty? Is he not delivered from a violent tyranny.?
Such was the opinion of Cicero: 'Behold,' says he, 'a
good reply of Sophocles to some one who asked him if,
being old, he still enjoyed the pleasures of love: "May
the gods preserve me from them \" said he ; "I have aban-
doned, them as willingly as I would have quitted a savage
and furious master.'' ' Certainly a man who has taken
so pure and so firm a position exhibits a very remarkable
moral vigor, and, after all, it should be remarked, he
merely follows the indications of nature. The imitators
of Sophocles, however, are not the less deserving of praise,
so little are men disposed to make the least sacrifice in
this respect. It is necessary that you resolve upon it,
however; you whom age is nearing, and you whom it has
already attained. You wish to live as long as possible,
and with the least possible suffering — difficult solution
of the grand problem of life. Well, renounce that which
is no longer in harmony with your age, temperament, and
forces. Accept from age peace, repose, and wisdom, in
exchange for the transports and the flames of passion.
Remember, moreover, that to quit before losing entirely
is, in many respects, an essential article of the hygienic
code of old men.* So may they say with Adam :
"Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty:
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood;
Nor did not, with unbashful forehead, woo
The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as lusty Winter,
Frosty, but kindly :"
(As You Like It, Act II, Scene III.)
rather than with Macbeth :
"My way of life
Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf:
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have ; but in their stead
Curses, not loud, but deep."
(Macbeth, Act V, Scene HI.)'
The effect of these excesses on aged women is different,
but not less serious. After the function of menstruation
has at length entirely ceased, a remarkable change gradu-
ally develops in the organs of generation. The womb
shrinks and hardens, the vagina loses its peculiar softness,
and becomes harsh and dry — the vaginal secretions, in
fact, are altered and abolished. Everything goes to prove
the inaptness of these organs for the act of reproduction.
Cancer of the womb or neighboring organs, so common in
women of advanced age, is often the result of these unnat-
ural connections. While infrequent and moderate indul-
gences are not "usually followed by disastrous consequences,
habitual excesses are sure to be severely punished.
Sexual intercourse during the menstrual period need
scarcely be mentioned, save to warn against its dangers.
It is not often that persons are found to violate the rule
of decency in this regard, but now and again, under the
idea of immunity from the danger of conception, this
proscribed period is selected. It is dangerous for both
parties, for reasons which we need not dwell upon. It is
sufficient to state the fact. It, moreover, by no means
presents an exemption from the liability to pregnancy.
This vulgar notion is a popular error.
Ill-assorted marriages in respect to age remain to be
considered. The most common is disparity of ages. It is
inconceivable with what stupid and ridiculous vanity lech-
erous old men are wont to seek for young wives. It is still
more inconceivable that their search is so often successful.
The fact is usually attributable to the cupidity of parents,
who do not hesitate to sacrifice their daughters to the
interests of position or fortune.
In these monstrous alliances, whether we consider the
reciprocal situation of the parties thus abusively joined,
or the kind of progeny which is likely to result from them,
we are equally moved with disgust and compassion. Ad-
mitting, for an instant, that which is seldom true, that
the union has been concluded with the free and voluntary
consent of the young girl, and that no undue pressure has
been exerted over her wishes, it must nevertheless occur
that reflection and experience will lead too late to bitter
regrets, so much the more poignant that they will be with-
But when violence or persuasion — which is often the
same thing — have been employed to exact the avowal which
the law requires, the revolt will be only the more prompt
and vehement. From that moment the married life will
become odious to the unhappy victim, and criminal hopes
will arise in her heart, the chains which bind her will
seem too cumbersome to wear, and she will secretly long
for the death of her superannuated husband. In fact, the
amours of old men are ridiculous and hideous, as we have
already stated, and the poor creature condemned to wit-
ness, but above all to endure them, can hardly be sufficiently
commiserated. When one reflects upon this revolting sub-
ject he cannot resist a sensation akin to that inspired by
the idea of incest. All is in strong contrast, physically as
well as morally, and chastity is necessarily banished from
those embraces where the brutality of the senses is not
moderated and poetized, so to speak, by the passionate
transports of the heart. So it is altogether natural, the
restraints of religion apart, that the young creature should
violently rupture the hated bonds, or endeavor to fill the
void in her heart by adulterous love. Sometimes, indeed,
by an heroic practice of Christian fortitude, she resigns
herself to her fate, and then her sad and cheerless life
is one perpetual martyrdom.
Such is the sombre picture of those sacrilegious unions
which set at defiance the most respectable instincts, the
most noble thoughts, and the most legitimate hopes. Such
are the terrible penalties reserved for the improvident and
foolish pride of those dissolute old men who expend their
last breath of life in the quest of perfidious pleasures. We
shall not review the dangers which we have already suf-
ficiently exposed, inherent to the exercise of the genital
sense in advanced age. It is true that these dangers are
only for the man, but they are so much the more imminent,
as the young wife is the more capable of arousing the
sensual appetite by her graces, Tier youth, and all those
other attractions with which she is endowed. Alas! for
the old dotard who dares to drink of this enchanted cup I
Nature will assuredly avenge herself most cruelly for her
violated laws. "It is better to be an old man's darling
than a young man's slave" is a proverb which reveals the
corruption of our manners, and the stupid infamy which
makes of the nuptial couch an arena of debauch as detest-
able as the very slums of vice.
The interests of posterity, no less than of public morals,
demand prohibitory laws upon this subject, and we call
upon our legislators to boldly prescribe the extreme differ-
ence in age, beyond which it shall be unlawful for mar-
riages to be solemnized. A law of this nature would do
much toward reforming the injustice, now daily committed,
in the re-marriage of widowers, the rights of whose chil-
dren are thus ruthlessly invaded. Independently of the
proverbial cruelty of step-mothers, there are often prop-
erty considerations of great importance. Domestic infe-
licity of the most flagrant character is thus introduced in
families whose home-circles had been hitherto models of
innocent happiness. The evil would be well-nigh reme-
died by the proposed legislation, for, if the temptation to
seek young wives were removed, few old men would care
for re-marriage. The products of such marriages are
generally vitiated in blood, sickly, and predisposed to all
morbific agencies. The explanation of this fact is com-
plex, and relates tb the abnormal character of the seminal
fluid, to the physical prostration of the father, and doubt-
less, also, to the absence of harmonious conditions in the
Every one must have observed in the progeny of old
men that sad and serious aspect, so different from the
ordinary infantile expression. In proportion as their
growth progresses, these unfortunate innocents acquire
more and more of the senile expression, and either suc-
cumb in their childhood to the diseases for which they
are proverbially an easy prey, or they eke out a miserable
and puny existence, rarely attaining to adult ageJ
Disparity of ages in which the woman is the older is
a comparatively rare occurrence. Melancholy instances
happen sufficiently often, however, to render it necessary
that we should also include these ill-assorted unions in
our denunciations. "While they are infinitely preferable,
in the moral and physicnl point of view, to the vicious
connections of which we have hitherto spoken, they are,
nevertheless, to be deprecated as entailing not only posi-
tive unhappiness, but grave dangers to health.
In no case should the age of the woman exceed that of
her husband, to however slight an extent. The earlier
relative period of "old age" will mark this disparity very
painfully as time progresses, a disparity which must gradu-
ally develop itself in the decade of thirty to forty. So,
while the husband appears in the prime of his manhood,
*'the sere, the yellow leaf" is too obviously stealing over
the wife. There is something exceedingly touching in the
efforts put forth by these forlorn wives to hide the inexor-
able ravages of time. But the resources of art, albeit dan-
gerous to health,* cannot long postpone the evil day when
the poor creature, the senior of her husband, finds herself
the unmistakable "old woman," no longer personally at-
tractive to her husband, himself, perhaps, in the very pride
of manly beauty. It is in precisely these circumstances that
so many men seek to justify themselves in the establish-
ment of criminal relations, often introducing their para-
mours into the very household, under the guise of servants.
governesses, etc., but more frequently maintaining separate
establishments. These horrors are too often known or
suspected by the unhappy wife, who, "for the sake of
peace/' or "to avoid publicity," or "on account of the chil-
dren," or from womanly pride, and, in many cases, from
pure Christian fortitude, endures her torture in silence.
The age properly considered "marriageable" is a ques-
tion of which there can be no absolute solution, dependent,
as it is, on so great a variety of conditions, as climate,
constitution, temperament, the actual state of health of the
individual, etc. As a general rule it is imperative that the
full growth shall have been attained, the vital organs in
good condition, and those of generation free from all faulty
conformation which may interfere with the consummation
of the marriage. It is also essential that in man the
sexual instinct shall have become sufficiently awakened,
that the desire for sexual relations shall have created in
some sort of a necessity.* In a word, both sexes should
have reached the age of procreative maturity. True pro-
creative maturity is that condition in which the genital
functions can be performed without danger to health, and
in which the requisite qualities may be transmitted to the
resulting offspring. So understood, this period is dis-
tinguished from that of puberty by the term nubility;
that is, the age suitable for marriage. At the nubile age
the procreative ability has existed for some time without
employment, so that it may have completely developed,
and be able to manifest its fullest powers. To this end
it is essential that the seminal secretion shall have re-
entered the organism, in order to have imparted the requi-
site vigor to the constitution, and to have afforded the full
and normal development of the body.
The civil laws of different times and countries have
fixed the minimum age of parties to the marriage con-
tract as follows: with the Eomans at thirteen years for
females, and at fifteen for males; in Prussia at fifteen
and nineteen; in France at fifteen and eighteen; in Aus-
tria at sixteen and twenty. These are the ages fixed by dif-
ferent nations as indicating the earliest period of nubility.
It will be observed that a difference of from two to five
years is allowed as the relative marriageable age of the
two sexes. It is by no means to be inferred that this dif-
ference is intended to indicate the rule for actual practice.
It is simply intended to fix the minimum nubile age
for each of the sexes. Extended observation would lead us
to recommend strongly that a difference of from five
years as the minimum to fifteen years as the maxi-
mum should be regarded in the choice of com-
panions, as there is fully that difference in the two sexes
in "growing eld." In our temperate climate we would
indicate twenty-one as the nubile age of women, and
twenty-six as that of men. Within proper limitations,
early marriages are more apt to be prosperous, as regards
the health both of parents and children, than late ones.
Especially is this true of the relative dangers of child-
As the average duration of a woman's fecundity is about
twenty-five years, and as the mean duration of pregnancy
and lactation is eighteen months, it follows that a healthy
woman can give birth to sixteen children, but examples are
not wanting in which, in consequence of plural births or of
prolonged periods of fecundity, as many as twenty-four
children have resulted from a single marriage. At least
three or six children should be the average product of
,0f ill-assorted marriages, in respect to consanguinity.
enough has long ago been written and said to sufficiently
educate all well-informed persons in a knowledge of their
pernicious character, yet it is not by any means rare to
witness intermarriage within the second and third degrees,
and the products of such connections are proverbially feeble
and delicate. The difficulty of "raising" such children is
but too well known to all physicians of any experience.
In nearly all civilized countries civil legislation, as well
as religious laws, have fixed the degrees of consanguinity,
within which they refuse to sanction marriages. This pro-
hibition is based upon the following grave considerations :
1. That by causing the blood to "return into its source"
the race is degenerated.
2. That the peace of families, which constitute the foun-
dation of society, is invaded, by destroying the respect
which children owe to their superiors, and that often the
most shameful abuse of authority would be practiced to
subserve a criminal passion.
But it is not only marriages within the prohibited degrees
which should be proscribed. Multiplied unions between
the same families are not less disastrous, in that they all
tend to the premature extinction of races. This fact has
been clearly demonstrated in a remarkable work by De
Chateauneuf, upon "The Duration of Noble Families in
France." This learned statistician has proved that nearly
all the old families of a portion of Europe have long since
ceased to exist. His observations embrace France, Italy,
England, and Spain. In Germany, Holland, and Switzer-
land the male descendants of William Tell have been
extinct for nearly two centuries. If some grand names
have escaped the general destruction, it has been by the
aid of subterfuges of every sort, such as the infinite num-
ber of substitutions, the transmission of names by women
of other families, etc. Expedients of this nature abound
in the annals of old monarchies.
In a communication to the Academy of Medicine, in
Paris, Dr. Eilliet, of Geneva, states in substance as fol-
lows: that in Geneva a considerable number of intermar-
riages have occurred among blood relations, and that his
attention has been long attracted by the fatal results to the
health and even to the lives of the children. These con-
1. The absence of conception.
2. Delayed conception.
3. Imperfect conception. (Miscarriage.)
4. Incomplete products. (Monstrosities.)
5. Products whose physical and moral constitution is
6. Products more especially exposed to diseases of the
nervous system, and in the order of frequency: epilepsy,
imbecility or idiocy, deaf-mutes, paralysis, and various
diseases of the brain.
7. Lymphatic products — predisposed to diseases which
relate to scrofulous and tubercular tendencies.
8. Products which die in infancy in greater proportion
than children born in other conditions.
9. Products which, if they survive inftncy, are less apt
than others to resist disease and death.
To these rules there are certainly exceptions which are
attributable either to the health of the parents, or to their
organic conditions at the time of procreation. Thus: (1)
It is seldom that all the children escape the evil influence.
(2) In the same family some are attacked, while others
are spared. (3) Those of the same family who are
attacked are rarely ever seized in the same manner; for
example, one is an epileptic, another is a deaf-mute, etc.
The researches of Dr. Bemis, of Kentucky, are full
of interest. He has shown that 10 per cent of the
deaf-mutes, 5 per cent of the blind, and about 15
per cent of the idiots, placed in the different estab-
lishments of the United States are the issue of mar-
riages between first cousins. Of seven hundred and fifty-
seven marriages between first cousins, two hundred and
fifty-six produced deaf-mutes, blind, and idiots. Of four
hundred and eighty-three other marriages of first cousins,
one hundred and fifty-one had sickly children, and many
were sterile. In several States — Kentucky included — laws
have been adopted forbidding intermarriage of cousins-
german. M. Briere relates that in a village of the dis-
trict of Yverdun, in Switzerland, two brothers married
two sisters, their cousins-german. Both were peasants, in
easy circumstances, and of good health, with no bad ante-
cedents in either of the families. One of them had five
children, the other two. These seven children are all per-
fect Albinos, with complete discoloration of the skin, soft
flesh, white, silvery, fine hair. Their eyelids are agitated
with incessant winking, and their eyes are of a deep
pink, nearly red. These children, the eldest of whom was
twenty years old present, it will be observed, the most
complete characteristics of Albinism. Three of the chil-
dren of the first brother died, one of a fall, the two others
of diseases, the nature of which is not known. One of the
two children of the second brother is also dead. The
father of the five children having lost his wife, married
another, to whom he was not related, and by whom he has
had four children, all in excellent health, and presenting
no trace of Albinism. This example is most conclusive,
for nothing is wanting, not even the counter-proof. We
cannot dwell longer upon this subject, at the same time
so vast and so interesting, without transcending the limits
and the scope of this work. We can but reiterate the
warning, that the practice is against the laws of God and
man, and therefore unnatural, criminal, and revolting.
In the absence of penal enactments on the subject, the
inherent punishment should deter every well-informed per-
son from the commission of so great an imprudence.
There is, however, another condition generally neglected
in the formation of marital alliances, to the great detri-
ment of the children who may result from them, and
which it is our duty to indicate in this connection. We
allude to the "crossing" of temperaments, constitutions,
and peculiarities in such a manner that the products may
be withdrawn from all danger of hereditary taints, and,
by the mingling of the different attributes, peculiar to
each of the parents, may escape all organic vices of con-
formation. Listen, on this subject, to the words of an
authority who is without a superior in these matters :
"Marriages, in the physical point of view, should be
so combined as to neutralize, by the opposition of con-
stitutions, temperaments, and idiosyncrasies, the elements
of morbid inheritance possessed by the parties. The
union of two lymphatic, or of two evidently nervous sub-
jects, should be forbidden. Two families equally predis-
posed to pulmonary affections ought never to mingle their
blood. There is the same danger in the union of two sub-
jects affected with general debility, etc. A predisposition
to analogous affections constitutes, in the eyes of the
physician, another incompatibility in marriage. Scrofula
and consumption would form a sordid nursery; while a
woman issued from consumptive parents, hut married to
a robust and healthy man, may become the happy mother
of a valid generation, which, crossed in its turn with
blood of good alloy, will produce another generation which
shall be altogether irreproachable; for the propensity to
hereditary maladies ends by exhausting itself. Stahl, Bor-
deu, Buchan, Pujol, Baumes, Gintrac, and P. Lucas think
thus. Unhappily, physicians are not consulted in the com-
position of laws, and nothing is stipulated in our codes in
favor of the physical amelioration of the human race, save
the limitation of marriage to certain degrees of consan-
guinity, and the epoch of legal nubility."^^
It is a matter of common observation, that parents com-
municate to their descendants a more or less striking re-
semblance in organization, which often extends even to
the moral and intellectual qualities. It is this which con-
stitutes the fact of inJieritance. "Indeed," says M. Levy, ^^
"inheritance shows itself in man both in his general form
and in the relative proportion of its parts. It is mani-
fested by the intimate properties of the organic fibre, if
one may use that expression ; motions, attractions, features,
tone of voice, functional peculiarities, all testify to the
lively relation which is continued between the product
and its producer, even after the separation of the new
being, who, emancipated from uterine incubation, is be-
yond the reach of its individuality. We do not say that
procreative beings exactly repeat themselves in their pro-
geny, but they impress upon it, with life, a portion of the
particular direction that life has taken with them. That
which appears most obviously to have been transmitted
from the parents to the child is the physical type, the
external conformation, the physiognomy, the form, the
color." There were Eoman families called Nasones, Lobe-
ones, from the salient feature which denoted the hereditary
influence. Temperament, idiosyncrasies, general charac-
teristics of the organism, are all transmitted, equally with
Original defects and deformities are often transmitted,
such as blindness, deafness, imbecility, idiocy, hare-lip,
hernias, etc. All authors cite examples of individuals with
one or more supernumerary fingers and toes, from father to
eon, for generations.^^ Burdach tells of a father and son
who had twelve fingers and as many toes. Van Derbach
mentions a Spanish family, forty members of which had an
extra number of fingers. Science teems with similar facts.
The predisposition to diseases is a sad and last proof of
the bond which unites the successive generations of the
same family. The best manner of correcting morbid
hereditary predispositions, such as consumption, gout,
cancer, scrofula, etc., is the crossing of races and tempera-
ments, in order to establish a sort of compensation between
the negative qualities of one organism, and the excess, in an
opposite sense, of the other, whence results, in the last
analysis, a profitable proportion for the offspring.
Dr. Serrurier, of Paris, who has devoted a life-time to
the elucidation of this question, advises: "Let every one
consult his physician in this matter, and be not afraid to
learn the truth from his lips; encourage him, even, to
explain himself categorically. Such is the duty of fathers
and mothers. It is an act of humanity which every family
should perform. The physician, on his part, from the
importance of his ministry, ought to act with all the sin-
cerity of his conscience, and to place himself as an impartial
judge between the families, rejecting those alliances of
which the consequences can be only fatal to one or both of
The transmission of disease to offspring is not the sole
danger to be apprehended from incompatible marriages.
Besides those contagious diseases which are so readily
transmissible in sexual congress, sad examples of which
are constantly before physicians, it is now a well-established
fact that, by a sort of chronic poisoning, consumption is
communicated even to those who were apparently the least
predisposed to it. This nuptial contamination daily counts
its victims unsuspected by the community, because public
attention has scarcely been directed to the fact, the opinion
of physicians being seldom sought in the conclusion of
marriages. It is enough to declare the existence of the
danger to awaken attention to the subject.
Nor can we sufficiently stigmatize those instances in
which the stupidity of society allows women to be married
who, from faulty conformation of the pelvis, or by reason
of some organic disease, are almost sure to fall victims
to the ravages of childbirth. Ordinary prudence would
seem to dictate that families should seek counsel in all cases
where there is the slightest suspicion of any infirmity
incompatible with the normal accomplishment of the end
of marriage — ^the propagation of the species. In the ab-
sence of enlightened views upon this subject, the whole
matter, unfortunately, is left to the decision of chance, the
deplorable consequences of which are matters of daily
A question often asked, is there any means of determin-
ing, in advance, the sex of offspring ? We answer, unhesi-
tatingly, No ! — so far as voluntary influence is concerned,
and yet extended observation and study have conducted us
to a theory which appears to be well founded. In brief,
the conclusions are as follows:
1. The sex of the progeny of given parties will depend
upon the relative vigor of their sexual organization.
2. If the man be the stronger in this regard, the children
wrill be girls, and vice versa.
3. Where the organizations are equally balanced, the
circumstances attending the particular act of fecundation
determine the result. So the sexes of the children of such
unions are apt to be pretty equally distributed.
"We do not propose, nor is this the arena for a discussion
of the considerations which have led to these conclusions.
We merely state them in this connection, and invite atten-
tion to the subject, confident that they will be found correct.
We wish to anticipate, however, a single objection that
will probably be raised in the circumstance that statistics
prove that, in the whole number of births, boys are in
excess of girls, and that the preponderance of males is
considerably greater for legitimate than for illegitimate
births. So far as this touches our theory at all, we see
nothing contradictory; for certainly the fathers of illegiti-
mate offspring are ordinarily the most passionate of men.^*
The influence upon offspring of the moral disposition of
the parents at the moment of procreation is a subject of
vast interest and importance. Thus, it is a fact of common
remark, that "love children" are often physically and men-
tally of rare perfection. So the earlier children of a mar-
riage are apt to excel those born at a time when the parents
seek only the grosser gratifications of the senses in their
approaches, divested of the sentiment of their younger days.
The generative function is intensified by gayety, content-
ment, and in fact by all the expansive emotions, while
depressive emotions, as trouble, fear, and anxiety, paralyze
it. Intellectual labor and violent emotions repress it. The
power of the imagination is demonstrated in all that relates
to the pleasures of love. Astonishing proofs are extant of
the intimate physiological relation between everything per-
taining to generation and the simple imagination. Trevi-
ranus tells of a woman whose breasts were distended with
milk whenever she heard the cries of a newly-born infant.
It occurs often that physicians are summoned to labors
where all is real, save the presence of an infant. This has
happened many times.
We cite the following case from a reliable source: A
woman, married late in life, mistook the "change of life"
for pregnancy, and passed through all the usual symptoms
attendant upon that condition, including enlargement of
the abdomen, tumefaction and pain in the breasts, morning
nausea, and even swelling of the lower extremities. At the
expected "term" regular pains occurred, exactly simulating
those of labor, and physician and attendants were sum-
moned to this extraordinary scene where nothing was
wanting, save the presence of a baby. Pichon cites the
case of a woman of forty-eight, who had not menstruated
for four years, and who, while assisting at the bedside of
a sister during a long and painful labor, was seized with
pains absolutely similar to those she was witnessing. Some
hours after flooding commenced, which continued several
days, after which the breasts became swollen, and fur-
nished an abundant secretion of milk. Another case is
tliat of a woman in labor whose sister, a woman of forty,
married, but sterile, was taken with simulative labor-pains
so severely that she had to be removed from the scene.
The influence of marriage upon longevity is a question
which has given rise to much dispute. While statistics
would seem to show that the average of bachelors die earlier
than married men, we are inclined to think that the iacl
is attributable to other circumstances than continence. In
order to show the contrary it would be necessary to prove
continence, or at least to select for the comparison bachelors
whose known habits of life would tend to that presump-
tion. In fact, they are very often men of irregular and dis-
Bolute lives, in which continence is certainly not an element.
The following table from M. Casper^* would seem to sustain
our position. Of many hundreds of celibates who had
attained their seventieth year, there were found of
Priests 42 per cent
Agriculturists 40 "
Merchants and Manufacturers 35 "
Soldiers 32 "
Lawyers 29 "
Artists 28 "
Teachers 27 "
Physicians 24 "
That which is certain in this table, is that the priests
were celibates, and that which is melancholy is that the
poor physician whose life is devoted to prolonging that of
others, finds himself at the foot of the macrobiotic scale.
Let no one contend that continence is incompatible with
health and longevity. It is the argument of libertines, of
those who seek a pretext for excesses of every sort, of those
who would evade the plainest dictates of reason and com-
mon sense. It is certainly opposed to sound physiological
views. Nature has decreed that the act of reproduction
shall be expensive to the individual, so she surrounds it,
in all cases, with something more or less of danger. In
most vegetable, and in certain animal organizations, the
accomplishment of this act is followed, more or less speedily,
by death. In certain instances the male expires in the
embrace. All tends to prove that the propagation of the
species is the final law assigned to all living beings. As
though apprehensive that the intelligence of man would
inform him of the danger, and lead him to refrain from
the duty imposed on him, nature had hidden its perils
under the most alluring attractions. His mind, his heart,
and his senses provide him with the most powerful excitants
to the generative act, but that he may be at the same time
capable of accomplishing it and of realizing its pleasures,
she has imposed rules which he can not infringe without
greatly enhancing its perils. There are symptoms closely
allied to epilepsy in the crisis of the venereal act, and in
rare cases a veritable epileptic convulsion. Venereal ex-
cesses, on the other hand, are proverbially fatal. So it
follows that, in obeying the law imposed upon him, man,
no less than other animals, expends somewhat of his vital
forces. Certain physiologists have even maintained that
nature only permits the male to survive the grand act of
his existence in the interests of the resulting progeny.
If the retention of the reproductive materials within
the organism, so far from being injurious, be even necessary
during the period of puberty, it would seem that, other
things being equal, it should not be detrimental during
nubility. In fact, if these materials accumulate to excess,
nature furnishes a ready and efficacious means of discard-
ing them. With those who allow the function to remain,
long disused, however, the elimination of the fecundating
fluid but seldom occurs. The secretion is well-nigh abol-
ished, and the organism profits by the economy of forces
thus attained. Severe mental labors, the pursuits of science,
and protracted physical exertion exercise a profound influ-
ence upon the genital sense. A learned author has said
that one must choose between leaving to posterity works of
genius or children. La Fontaine who well understood these
matters, declares: Un muhtier a ce jeu vaut trois rois.
Without doubt, there are certain erotic temperaments which
constitute altogether exceptions to the rule we have laid
down, and with whom celibacy, without the employment of
the most strenuous measures, is morally impossible; but
whenever it exists this temperament is an idiosyncrasy, real
or acquired, most frequently the latter, and is as amenable
to proper treatment as any other morbid condition. We do
not wish to be understood as advocating celibacy or per-
petual continence — all that we have said elsewhere should
exonerate us from such a suspicion — but what we insist
upon is this : that the pretended dangers of continence are
purely imaginary; that in the state of marriage there are
periods when protracted continence is absolutely necessary,
and that these periods are salutary no less for the husband
than for the wife. From these propositions which, we
think, are sufficiently established, there results the impor-
tant conclusion that under no circumstances can valid pre-
texts be devised for resorting to vicious practices, whether
as regards the marriage bed or the establishment of illicit
We have not thought it necessary to touch upon the
effect of continence upon the female organism, because it
is scarcely admitted as a question. Too many instances
are within knowledge of all to render any defence of
the proposition necessary, that the state of continence is
positively innocuous for women. The dangers of this con-
dition, so feelingly portrayed by certain medical writers,
have been proven not to exist.
The influence of maternal impressions, during preg-
nancy, upon the physical and mental peculiarities of chil-
dren is a question which science has long held in disdain.
Unable to explain the phenomenon, medical men have
obstinately refused to entertain its existence. Popular
prejudice, however, has accorded to it a faith and credulity
impossible to destroy. For our part, we are disposed to
occupy a middle-ground between the vulgar notions on the
one hand and the incredulity of science on the other. If in
the love of the marvelous, the people have strangely dis-
torted the facts, science has even refused to admit the facts
themselves. "We readily conceive the influence upon the
offspring of "longings" on the part of the mother in
"marking" her child with the impression of a grape, a fig,
a strawberry, or a peach, but we cannot conceive how those
parts of the body already formed, can undergo a change or
destruction under the influence of any emotions however
vivid. So we can believe that certain portions of the skin
may resemble that of the animal which has frightened the
mother; we cannot believe that the limbs and features of
the animal can be substituted for those of the 'Tiuman
form divine." The emotion of fear and of other violent
impressions may cause those "arrests of development"
which occasion monstrosities, nearly all of which defects
are found in the middle line of the body. Such are the
hare-lip, the cleft palate, the spina hifldu, the divided
cranium, the lack of separation of the eyes, etc. These
occurrences are anything but marvelous when it is con-
sidered that in the development of the foetus the median
line is the point which is perfected the last, and that the
least obstacle to the junction of the two halves of the body,
may occasion these abnormal conditions.
A singular result of married life has, it seems to us,
scarcely attracted the attention it deserves, and yet it is of
common observation. We allude to a certain degree of
mutual resemblance of feature and expression which parties
long married acquire. There is evidently something more
than mere coincidence in this resemblance, since it is so
often remarked, and usually develops only with time. In
reality, there is nothing surprising in the fact as the influ-
ence of the emotions upon the physiognomy is so well
known. It is upon the knowledge of this that the whole
science of Lavater is based. As the same vicissitudes ordi-
narily affect both the husband and wife, it is altogether
natural that the muscles concerned in expressing the
resulting emotions should impress similar modifications
upon the countenance of each. But, in our view, there
is an additional and far more interesting reason for this
resemblance, which we mention with some diffidence, inas-
much as, so far as we are aware, it has never hitherto
been noticed. During the whole period of ante-natal exist-
ence the child derives the elements of its growth and
development from materials furnished by the mother
tl) rough the circulating medium — the blood. But the child
is not all mother, as it certainly partakes also of the physi-
cal nature of the father. Now, the blood, in passing
through the economy of the infant, while parting with
those ingredients necessary for its growth and sustenance,
must receive, reciprocally, something of the individual
nature of the new being ; that is to say, of the father him-
self. This, in turn, it communicates to the mass of blood
circulating in the mother's system; so that, in fact, the
child has impregnated the mother with the hlood of thS.
father. Successive pregnancies can only add to the inti-
macy of this admixture, and as the blood is that which
supplies and nourishes both form and feature, it can hardly
happen otherwise than that a veritable physical resemblance
should result. If this be true, and we see nothing unrea-
sonable in our hypothesis, the expression of Adam, "bone of
my bones, and flesh of my flesh," becomes of literal signif-
icance, and the beauty and intimacy of the marriage rela-
tion are infinitely enhanced. It would also perfectly
explain the otherwise mysterious resemblance, so often
remarked, between the children of the second marriages of
women and their first husbands — a resemblance which
often extends to minute physical and mental peculiarities.
It would also seem that this theory is corroborated by the
facts known to stock raisers as the "breeding back" of
animals. We can barely indicate here, however, what can
be scientifically discussed only on other fields. We are pre-
pared for such encounter should our position be assailed.
In conclusion we have to consider marriage in another
point of view, that is to say, aesthetically. It has been
said that "man does not live by bread alone.'' He has not
only physical, but intellectual and moral wants which no
less imperiously require satisfaction. He has not only the
right, but the duty of seeking this satisfaction under the
penalty of sinking to the level of the brute, and of failing
in the accomplishment of his destiny. The sentiment of
art causes him to seek the beautiful and the good. In all
that he fashions he aims at perfection ; all his efforts tend
to personify himself in his works, and he allows to matter
the least possible share in the value of his productions. He
does not otherwise in love. Carnal, gross pleasure, disen-
gaged from all participation of the heart, very soon becomes
for him a source of disgust, and an object of repulsion. He
is only really happy in the spiritual possession of the loved
being, and this happiness, comparable to none other, is the
only one of which time cannot deprive him. Marriage has,
consequently, a double end, applicable to the dual nature
of man — the procreation of the species, and the gratifica-
tion of his love of perfectibility. Says Proudhon : "Love,
then, as soon as it is determined and fixed by marriage,
tends to free itself from the tyranny of the organs. It is
this imperious tendency (of which man is warned from the
first day by the fatigue of his senses, and upon which so
many persons build such wretched illusions) that the pro-
verb expresses: ^Marriage is the tomb/ that is to say, the
emancipation, 'of love/ The people, whose language is
always concrete, have intended here by love the violence of
desire, the fire of the blood ; it is this entirely physical love
which, according to the proverb, is extinguished in mar-
riage. The Avorld, in its native chastity and its infinite
delicacy, has not wished to reveal the secret of the nuptial
couch; it has left to the wisdom of each one the care of
penetrating the mystery, and of profiting by the instruc-
tion. It knows, however, that veritable love begins with
this death; that it is a necessary effect of marriage that
gallantry shall change into worship; that every husband,
whatever he may pretend, is at the bottom of his soul
idolatrous ; that if there is an ostensible conspiracy among
men to shake off the yoke of the sex, there is a tacit agree-
ment to adore it ; that only the weakness of woman obliges
man to resume the empire from time to time; that with
these rare exceptions the woman is sovereign, and that
therein is the principle of conjugal tenderness and har-
Love in marriage is not only a state of domestic happi-
ness, which every one should seek in preference to all the
other elements which ordinarily enter into matrimonial
combinations ; it is, as we have already shown, one of the
most powerful influences which bear upon the qualities of
the progeny. The children of the most natural and happy
marriages, that is, marriages of inclination, are, other
things being equal, those who exhibit physical and mental
qualities in their greatest perfection.
Marriage, then, properly regulated, exerts a powerfully
beneficent influence upon the individual, and consequently
upon private manners. Unlike the bachelor, whose lead-
ing characteristics are selfishness, narrowness of views, ec-
centricity, and obstinacy, the married man allies himself
more closely to the grand interests of society, is animated by
sentiments of right and justice, readily submits to the
authority of law, shares in the general happiness, and holds
aloof from visionary contemplations and sterile reveries.
"The conjugal union,^' says Burdach, "engenders the
desire for children, for it is in itself, as it were, a repetition
of infantile life; the woman cares for her husband as a
mother would do, and the husband directs her, protects her,
and nurses her as if he were her father. In giving each
other the names of 'father' and 'mother' respectively,
parties long married express the cordiality of their union.
It is thus that marriage attaches to life by love, and thus
the majority of those who cut short their existence through
disgust for life are celibates."
Finally, marriage is a remedy against debauch, in that
it moderates the violence of sexual inclinations by the
facility of gratifying them. It also, for the same reason,
prevents excesses and economizes the forces during the
time that the woman is inapt for conjugal approaches.
Happiness in Mareiage.
It is far from our intention to present an exhaustive
treatise upon the subject of this concluding chapter. We
sincerely believe that those who have thus far perused our
pages, have already formed a tolerably clear idea of the
relations of the sexes and the principles which comprise
the elements of a happy marriage. We have only now
to apply the lessons resulting from our previous studies.
In creating the human race, God has made them intelli-
gent and free, because he has designed them for immortal
existence. He has created them male and female, because
they are destined to perpetuate themselves upon the earth
by means of generation, and because the complicity of the
obligations imposed upon them necessitates participation.
To facilitate the fusion of these two hearts, God has
ordained that the supreme necessity of thinking creatures
shall be to love and to be loved, and that they shall be
drawn toward each other by common interests and affec-
tions. He has endowed them with sufficient differences to
prevent their collision upon the narrow line of selfishness
and egotism, and with sufficient similitude to unite without
conflict, and to travel side by side, as in parallel lines, divid-
ing and sharing the cares, the joys, and sorrows of their
heavenward journey. He has given them "Equality in
difference.'' In no respect are these differences more
marked than in love. It differs not only in degree, but in
kind. Love is the very nature of woman. She may be
said to possess it in a general sense, independently of indi-
vidual application. Scarcely out of the cradle, she responds
readily to all caresses and manifestations of affection. The
boy, on the contrary, seems endowed with a sort of brutal-
ity. His affections and tendencies develop only with his
growth and in proportion as the necessities of his life exact
All the passions of woman relate in the last analysis to
her maternal role. So, as we have elsewhere asserted, she
manifests the mother almost in her infancy. Her instincts
unceasingly attract her in this direction. To fulfill so im-
portant a function it was absolutely necessary that she
should be provided with instinctive tendencies, and that
her will should be dominated by the mysterious power of
a heart full of obedience and faith in her mission. Intel-
ligence and reason alone are not sufficient for the develop-
ment of humanity ; the loving element of woman only can
impart those treasures of faith, hope, and charity which
are so essential to its nourishment.
It is claimed by theologians that the immortality of the
soul is proved by the fact that of the whole animal crea-
tion, man is the only being who does not attain the limits
of his aspirations while on earth. It is certain, however,
that in nothing is he able to approach so nearly the realiza-
tion of his fondest hopes as in love. When consecrated
by a happy marriage he finds in this heavenly attribute the
nearest approach to Paradise — the invisible bond which
attaches him most closely to Divinity. We of course refer,
in this connection, to that love which comprises domestic
happiness in its largest sense. Mere sexual desire — the
gratification of his carnal appetites — soon takes its proper
rank as one of the least elements of married felicity. We
should scarcely be believed were we to state how infrequent
in the very happiest unions, are the repetitions of the gene-
rative act. The greatest error one can commit is to sup-
pose that love consists only of those fugitive moments which,
according to the magnificent comparison of Bossuet, '^re-
semble in one's life-time nails driven in the wall; they
appear numerous to the eye, but when collected together
they can be held in the hand/' Even in the most intimate
relations of marriage, love is expended chiefly in charming
conversations, in acts and words which breathe only good-
ness, grace, and delicacy. Women demand not that the
extravagances of early wooing should be continued in the
husband, but they will readily exchange all the transports
of passion for those caresses of the soul which they prize
so dearly, and which cost men nothing save a little atten-
tion. The flattering words of the lover are acceptably
supplanted by the flattering acts of the husband, and even
reproaches can be administered without sacrifice of tender-
ness, denials without disappointments, decisions without
disputes. In short, it is as easy to "manage" as it is diffi-
cult to "govern" them. We translate the following from
M. de Balzac, in illustration :
"One fine morning in the month of January, 1822, I as-
cended the boulevards of Paris, from the peaceful spheres of
the Marais, to the elegant regions of the Chuussee d'Antin,
remarking for the first time, and not without a philosophic
joy, those singular gradations of physiognomy, and those
varieties of garb which make each portion of the boulevard,
from the Rue Pas de la Mule to La Madeleine, an individual
world, and this whole Parisian girdle one great sampler
of manners. Having as yet no idea of the things of life,
and little suspecting that I should one day have the hardi-
hood to constitute myself a legislator of marriage, I was
going to breakfast with one of my college friends who was,
perhaps too early, afflicted with a wife and two children.
My former Professor of Mathematics resided within a
short distance of my friend's house, and I decided to visit
that worthy before delivering my stomach to all the dainties
of friendship. I penetrated easily to the interior of a
cabinet where everything was covered with dust, attesting
the honorable distractions of the savant. A surprise awaited
me. I beheld a pretty woman seated upon the arm of a
large chair as though on horseback. She made me one
of those little conventional grimaces reserved by house-
wives for persons whom they do not know, but she did not
60 disguise the pouting air which clouded her face on my
arrival, but that I could perceive the inopportuneness of my
presence. Doubtless busy with an equation, my teacher had
not yet raised his head ; so I waved my right hand toward
the lady, like a fish moving his fin, and withdrew on tiptoe
with a mysterious smile which might be interpreted, 'It
certainly shall not be I who will hinder you from making
him commit an infidelity to Polymnia.' She made one
of those gestures of the head of which it is impossible to
describe the graceful vivacity.
" 'Eh, my good friend, don't go away,' cried the geomet-
rician. 'It is my wife.'
"Then I saluted her more particularly. ! Coulon,
where wert thou at that moment to applaud the only one
of thy pupils who comprehended thy expression, 'anacre-
ontic,' as applied to a reverence ! The effect must have
been very penetrating, for Madame de M. blushed and rose
to go, returning a slight salute which seemed to say, 'ador-
"Her husband detained her, saying, 'Eemain, my child.
It i? one of my pupils. The young wife advanced her head
toward the scholar, like a bird perched upon a branch
stretching its neck to receive a grain.
" 'It is impossible !' resumed the husband with a sigh,
'and I am going to prove it by A plus B/
"'Ah, desist, I pray you,' she replied, looking toward
me. If it had been only algebra my preceptor would
have comprehended this glance, but it was Chinese to him,
and he continued:
" 'See, my child, you shall judge. We have an income
of ten thousand francs.' At these words I retired toward
the door, as though seized with curiosity to examine some
articles. My discretion was recompensed by an eloquent
glance. Alas ! she little knew the acuteness of my sense of
" 'The principles of general economy,' said my master,
'decree that one shall expend but two-tenths of his income
on the rent of his dwelling and the wages of his servants;
but our apartments and our retinue cost one hundred louis.
I allow you twelve hundred francs for your wardrobe/
(here he dwelt upon each syllable), 'the cuisine consumes
four thousand francs ; our children require at least twenty-
five louis ; and I take for myself but eight hundred francs.
Washing, fuel, and lights cost a thousand francs ; so there
remain, as you see, only six hundred francs, which are not
sufficient for unforeseen expenses. To purchase the diamond
cross, it will be necessary to take one thousand crowns from
our capital, and this way once opened, my little beauty,
there will be no reason for not leaving this Paris which you
love so dearly; we shall soon be compelled to remove to
the country to re-establish our impaired fortune. Chil-
dren and expenses will increase ! Come, be wise !"
'"It is, indeed, necessary,' said she. 'But you will be
the only husband in Paris who has not made his wife a
New- Year's present.' And she slipped away like a school-
girl who had received a punishment.
'*My preceptor shook his head joyfully. When he saw
the door close he rubbed his hands; we chatted about the
Spanish war, and I repaired to the Bue de Provence, no
more dreaming that I had just received the first part of a
grand conjugal lesson than I thought of the conquest of
Constantinople by General Diebitch. I reached my Amphit-
ryon at the moment when the pair were seated at table,
having awaited me for the half -hour decreed by the ecumen-
ical discipline of gastronomy. It was, I believe, in open-
ing a paU de foie gras that my pretty hostess said to her
husband, with a resolute air : 'Alexander, if you were very
good you would give me that set of diamonds that we saw
" They are yours, then,' pleasantly exclaimed my com-
rade, drawing from his pocket-book three one thousand
franc notes which he flourished in the sparkling eyes of his
wife. '1 can no more resist the pleasure of offering them,'
he added, 'than you that of accepting them. It is the anni-
versary of the day when I saw you for the first time ; per-
haps the diamonds may cause you to remember it ?"
"'Mediant!' said she, with a ravishing smile, and draw-
ing from her bosom a bouquet of violets, she cast them with
a childish gesture in my friend's face. Alexander handed
her the price of the diamonds, exlaiming: 'I had seen the
"I can never forget the quick movement and the rapa-
cious gayety with which the little woman seized the three
bank notes — like a cat placing her sheathed claw upon a
mouse. Blushing with pleasure she folded them and put
them — where the violets had shed their perfume a moment
before. I could not help thinking of my Professor of
Mathematics. I saw, at that time, no difference between
him and his pupil, save that of economy and extravagance.
little suspecting that he who apparently best understood
calculation reckoned illest.
"The breakfast terminated very gayly. Soon installed
in a parlor newly decorated, and seated before a cheerful
fire, I complimented the loving couple upon the furnishing
of their establishment.
" 'It is a pity it all costs so dearly !' said my friend ; T)ut
the nest must be worthy of the bird ! Why, diable, do you
compliment me upon things not paid for ? You remind me,
during my digestion, that I still owe two thousand francs
to a Turk of an upholsterer/
"At these words the mistress of the house inventoried
with her eyes the pretty houdoir, and from brilliant her face
became thoughtful. Alexander took me by the hand and
drew me into the embrasure of a window.
" 'Do you happen to have a thousand pounds to lend me ?'
said he in a low voice ; 'I have only ten or twelve thousand
pounds income, and this year — '
" 'Alexander !' cried the dear creature, interrupting her
husband, running to us and holding out the three bank-
notes, 'Alexander, I see my folly !'
" 'Why do you meddle ?' replied he ; 'keep your money.*
" 'But, my love, I ruin you ! I ought to have known that
you love me too much to permit myself to confide to you all
"Keep it, my darling, it is well earned. Bah ! I shall get
it back at play this winter !'
" 'Play !' said she, with an expression of terror ; 'Alexan-
der, take back your notes ! Come, sir, I wish it.'
"'No! no!' replied my friend, pushing away the little
white and delicate hand, 'are you not going on Thursday to
the ball of Madame ?'
" 'I will think over your request,' said I to my friend.
and departed with a salute to his wife, but I saw very well
that after the scene just enacted, my anacreontic reverence
would not produce much effect. 'He must be a fool,'
thought I, 'to talk of a thousand pounds to a law student !'
"Five days later, I found myself at midnight at Madame
's ball. In the middle of the most brilliant of the
quadrilles I beheld the wives of my friend and the mathe-
matician. Madame Alexander had a ravishing toilette, of
which a few flowers and white muslin comprised the entire
expense. She wore a little cross, a la Jeanette, attached
to a black velvet ribbon which enhanced the whiteness of
her perfumed skin, and long pears of filigree gold adorned
her ears; upon the neck of Madame de M. scintillated a
superb diamond cross. 'This is droll !' said I to a person-
age who had as yet neither read in the great book of the
world, nor deciphered a single woman's heart. That per-
sonage was myself. If I had just then the desire of pro-
posing a dance to these two pretty women, it was only
because I perceived a secret of conversation which embold-
ened my timidity.
" 'Well, Madame, you have your cross ?' said I to the first.
" 'But I earned it dearly !' she replied with an indefinable
" 'How, no diamonds ?' I inquired of my friend's wife.
" 'Ah,' said she, 'I enjoyed them during an entire break-
fast ! But, you observe, I ended by conquering Alexander/
" '^Vas he easily seduced ?'
"She answered me with a look of triumph."
In this little story resides a whole treatise on domestic
happiness. It is not that Monsieur de M. was a learned
fool, nor that Alexander was a doting hypocrite. It is that
woman has a perfect horror of conviction ; that she is easily
persuaded to give that which no force can extort from
her ; that she loves to be won — to grant a favor ; that exact
reasonings irritate and vex her ; that the secret of governing
her resides in making use of the weapon she herself pos-
sesses and uses so often, her sensibility. It is in his wife,
therefore, rather than in himself that the husband will find
the elements of his power. Like the diamond she can only
be conquered by herself. To know how to offer diamonds
so as to have them returned, is a talisman which applies to
the most minute details of domestic life. The politics
of marriage resembles that of nations — a bauble may lead
the people where whole armies could never drive them !
The general education of our girls is as pernicious as it
could well be made, Eeared with the idea that the end
and aim of their existence is marriage, they are taught little
which is calculated to prepare them for its sacred and sol-
emn duties. Dress is instilled as the sole science worthy
of female ambition — the arrangement of that fig-leaf
^'introduced" by Mother Eve. They have heard for fifteen
years, says Diderot, only this : "My daughter, your fig-leaf
fits badly ; my daughter, your fig-leaf fits well ; my daugh-
ter, would not your fig-leaf be more becoming so f Fed,
almost exclusively, upon works of fiction, their diseased
intelligence incessantly creates some imaginary hero with
whose impossible attributes they are wont to invest their
"intended," and a miserable life-time barely suffices to
instruct them that the heroes of romance are as rare as
the Apollos of sculpture. Surely it is not surprising if
they persist in the fruitless search for their ideal long
after the disenchantments of a marriage which renders it
thenceforth a crime. ISTor if in the relations of practical
life they emulate the example of the spirituelle princess,
who, on being informed of a riot occasioned by the scarcity
of bread, exclaimed: "Why don't they eat cake!" Many
noble women there are who disengage themselves from
these shackles and rise to the true altitude of their station,
but it is wonderful to observe how many even of this class
allow to be perpetuated in their daughters the same' ruinous
customs which had well-nigh wrecked themselves. We
know hundreds of excellent matrons who are practically
conversant with all the details of housekeeping, but whose
daughters can neither cook a dinner, nor soar beyond the
merest small talk of the drawing-room, nor do any one
thing in all this wide world passably well, save to arrange
their "fig-leaves" becomingly, and flirt with equally vapid
gallants. "We see them return from their "polishing
schools" — these demoiselles — cursed with a superficial
smattering of every thing but what they ought to have
learned — physical and moral wrecks whom we are expected
to wind up in the morning for the husband-hunting excite-
ments of the evening. And these creatures are intended
for wives," In vain do we insist upon occupation, upon
the necessity of work — ^work with a sensible object — as the
sovereign remedy. Now and again we are allowed the
privilege of probing a young lady's "accomplishments" for
the purpose of discovering whether by any possible chance
some one natural gift may have been allowed its normal
development. Alas ! if in rare instances we can exclaim
eureka, and if, still less frequently, we succeed in inspiring
some faint glow of enthusiasm, the devil interposes in the
shape of some perfumed coxcomb, who is no more fitted for
the character of husband than our subject for that of wife.
Our hygienic rules are then laughed to scorn, and it is
expected of medicine what only a thorough, radical, phys-
ical and mental revolution can achieve. So the winding-
up process is again resorted to, and the victim is, literally,
dressed for the sacrifice. Such marriages must, in the
nature of things, prove unfortunate. But apart from thease
unions it cannot be denied that in our age and country
the ideal of the Christian marriage is very seldom realized.
The vast majority of unions, if not positively unhappy, are
at least only negatively fortunate. This cannot be other-
wise if we reflect upon the nature, origin, and history of
matrimony. Unless contracted in solemn view of its
Divine end and object, with the sanction of the civil law,
and the blessing of God's Church, it must depend upon
purely natural considerations, and every one of the least
experience in human disappointments knows how these
must always result. The ante- Christian idea of ownership
and mastery has clung with astonishing pertinacity to the
marriage relation. To this reason, more than all others,
must be attributed the universal want of sympathy
accorded to the husband of an unfaithful wife. He is like
the jailer whose prisoner's escape provokes only ridicule.
It is, perhaps, the only grief at which every one laughs
save the sufferer. The crime of the guilty becomes the
shame of the innocent, and he is called "dishonored."
Blood alone can wash away the stain ; the world absolutely
prescribes for him to hill or he Icilled. Everywhere, in pro-
portion to the weakening of Christian influence is the idea
of ownership and mastery regaining the ascendency. An-
other powerful cause of conjugal disappointment is the
stupid notion that one can love but once. Love is charged
with blindness, and not without reason.
"Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind,
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind,"
says the great dissector of the human heart. Hence a
"first passion" is often an injudicious one — its object being
accredited with all that one wishes or can imagine of good-
ness and perfection. On one side or on both, "marriages
of inclination^' are very apt to be carnal. Love perishes in
the satisfaction of the senses, and the true character of the
parties being unveiled, the disenchantment leads frequently
to the most pronounced antipathies. "Love founded upon
beauty does not last,'' says Plutarch. "Carnal mar-
riages begin in joy and end in despair," says St. Gregory.
When other considerations than mere physical attributes
do not form the basis of union, the slander of a celebrated
pagan becomes an aphorism: "There are only two happy
days in marriage — ^the day of the nuptials and the day of
We have said that conjugal tenderness has no heroes.
We of course referred to the facts of history. Let us
record one for the honor of our sex as set forth by a phys-
ician and author of high standing: "Many years ago we
were called to an old lady whom we found dying from
"respectable poverty." Mal-nutrition, at an age when the
system not only tolerates, but demands those little luxuries
■which in earlier life are superfluous, had but too surely done
its work, and our patient succumbed to a gangrene of the
extremities which no art could arrest. Among the many
friends who thronged the house, eager to minister to the
needs discovered too late, was a young man of twenty whose
assiduous devotion attracted our especial notice. His form
was beautifully athletic, and he would have been strikingly
handsome, but for the ravages of a small-pox, which had
not, however, destroyed, the regularity of his features, the
beauty of his hazel eye, nor the luxuriance of his dark-
brown hair. There was a grace and suppleness in every
movement, and a frankness and cordiality of manner which
won all hearts. No one seemed to know anything of him
save that he was a stranger in the great city, where success
in his little mercantile enterprise was enabling him to
support a widowed mother and younger brother and sister,
whose home was in a distant State. He had obtained the
entree to the house of sorrow and poverty through his
Church associations, and not only his substantial aid, but
his extremely efficient services as nurse, soothed the last
days of the old lady, and relieved her anxiety in behalf of
her two little daughters of ten and twelve years — ^her only
remaining charge. The eldest of the two girls was a shy
little maiden, whose modesty and refinement bespoke the
training she had received from her who now lay stricken
with inevitable death. After the last sad rites we knew
nothing of the family save the assurance that they were
"provided for" — how, and by whom, we scarcely cared to
inquire, and the circumstance was displaced from our
memory by fresh scenes of trouble and desolation which
the kaleidoscope of a doctor's life brings ever before his
"Ten years afterward we were summoned to visit a young
and beautiful woman, whose luxurious surroundings be-
spoke the bride, even if the exultant mien of the noble form
by her bedside had been wanting. They were the shy little
girl and the generous youth of the death scene — she grown
to a beautiful woman, and he one of the "substantial men"
of the city — prominent in business and social circles as the
man of open heart and purse. But she lay ill now, and the
tenderness of his manner, the delicacy of his attentions,
were beyond expression. A pregnancy, of which this ill-
ness was the announcement, produced in her system that
degree of irritation — ^happily so seldom witnessed — that
one after another of her vital organs became the seat of
inflammatory action, which at length involved the kidneys,
and there was little hope of her recovery.
'^e shall never forget how one midnight that we had
been summoned, he followed us back to our office to learn
the result of a microscopical investigation, which, we had
candidly informed him, was to settle the question of life
or death for his darling, nor his inexpressible anguish
when our worst fears were confirmed. From that moment
for three entire months he abandoned business — every
thing, including sleep and rest, to the care of his sick wife.
He never left her side. "We never once failed to find him
at his post, throughout the most trying and apparently
hopeless case we had ever witnessed. At last we all sup-
posed the fatal moment had arrived — a still-born baby
waited in its little coffin to be buried with its mother, who
lay unconscious, scarcely the faintest respiration indicating
that the spirit still lingered. She died, apparently, and
•we wondered next day, as we drove to the door — trying to
con some soothing word to speak to that truly disconsolate
mourner — why the usual crape had been omitted.^^ We
solemnly declare that if the still-born baby had sat erect
in its coffin, we could hardly have been more astonished
than by the salutation which feebly greeted us, "Good
morning, doctor V from the lips of the woman we had
believed, of course, to be dead !
"Scarcely less marvelous was the recovery which fol-
lowed. An enormous slough left exposed the tendons, liga-
ments, vessels, and bones, of the entire lower third of the
back — while the legs were so "doubled" beneath her that
for almost a year she propelled herself about her chamber
by resting the palms of her hands upon the floor. With
indomitable patience and perseverence the husband
addressed himself to the task of removing these last horrors.
Under our direction, he "dressed" and finally healed the
frightful hiatus in the back, and then with gentle force and
suave determination, he "worked at those legs" till in
eighteen months he had accomplished what modern
surgery had declared impossible. His beautiful wife
emerged from her two years' seclusion erect as a
statue and more lovely than before. Alas, and alas ! that
the truth permits us so apt an illustration of our subject ;
the earliest use she made of her liberty was to run away
with a worthless fellow whom the devil had endowed for
the purpose with a smooth face and a corrupt heart ! Nor
did the exquisite tenderness of this altogether exceptional
man stop here. It provided for the maintenance and edu-
cation of his wife's younger sister, and follows the perjured
creature even into the purlieus of her now forsaken misery
— keeps want from her door, and in an unseen and myste-
rious way informs itself with scrupulous providence how
best to soften and assuage the bitterness of her lot !" No
more sublime picture has ever been presented to our view.
We cannot help asking ourself, "Why Providence wrought
a special miracle to accumulate so much anguish?" We
do not know, unless to show what man may do "seven times
tried by fire." Why was the foolish wife permitted to
violate every principle of justice, honor, gratitude, and
morality? We do not know, unless to show that only
religion can guarantee the virtue of woman."^*
What passes in the heart of a young girl who loves ? She
is entirely absorbed in her passion. Everything else van-
ishes — friends, parents, even God Himself is obliterated.
The loved object alone has any attraction for her. She
thinks of him all day, and dreams of him all night. She
worships and adores, her entire being is fused in her love.
She can imagine no other felicity than to be near him, and
in his absence she thinks only of his return. In the midst
of social gayeties and festivities she only sees him, only
hears his voice. At first so timid and fearful in his pres-
ence that a look causes her to blush and tremble, a word
magnetizes her from head to foot, she soon feels at ease
only by his side. All other companions are displeasing to
her. Then, in proportion to the innocence and purity of
her nature, she yields herself to the most delightful inti-
macy — ^the most absolute confidence. She says whatever
she thinks, whatever she feels ; or, what she does not dare to
say, she looks. It is her very innocence which constitutes
her danger. And this innocence — even that which falls —
is a great and holy thing. It is its profanation only which
should be anathematized. The object of all this blind
passion may be a graceless puppet, a stupid ignoramus, a
worthless scoundrel — or, worse than all, a libertine.
If obstacles are thrown in her way — if she be impru-
dently crossed in the indulgence of her love, she speedily
becomes cunning and provident in the interest of her pas-
sion. She finds the most incredible resources in her
instincts, in her woman-nature a degree of assurance and
skill in evading the penetrating eyes of a mother, or the
perspicacity of a father which are truly astonishing. She
finds methods of giving natural and satisfactory explana-
tions to the most difficult situations. She readily ascer-
tains, and with marvelous art conciliates all those who may
be of service to her in the furtherance of her desires. The
character of Juliet affords a truthful view of the wonderful
rapidity with which the young girl passes from artless
timidity to the most cunning duplicity.
To cure these attachments when unfortunate in their
object, time alone is necessary — time, which so surely
brings its disenchantments after the irrevocable step, is
equally potent to prevent ill-assorted unions if only the
indispensable management be judiciously employed. Con-
sent should not be withheld, the condition of postponement
only need be insisted on, a concession readily obtained in
most cases. Then situations should be contrived, calcu-
lated to bring before the eyes of the deluded girl those
qualities in her lover, which, odious to everyone else, will
soon end by becoming so to herself.^^ It should be remem-
bered that the most ardent love of which a woman is capable
is readily abandoned if of and hy herself she discovers that
the soul and the heart are not in relation with the outside
which has attracted her, if reason has had time to weigh the
real value of the object. She then abandons her lover fully
and completely. She may still cherish the ideal with
which she had invested him, she may even mourn its loss
with a grief bordering upon the tragic, but she rarely fails
to search for it elsewhere, and her heart is none the worse
for the encounter.
It were easy to accumulate evidence of our assertion, that
only Christian marriages can be permanently happy. This
we think has been already sufficiently shown in these pages
from the records of past ages which teem with the proofs.
Not only do all pagan authorities and the pages of the Old
Testament attest it, but through the centuries of the Chris-
tian era, in proportion as man rejects the salutary influence
of woman, the human race is rude and savage, and in exact
relation to the weakening or dilution of the Christian
religion, is the reduction of marriage to the mere carnal
association where Adonis is invited to the wedding instead
of Christ, Venus instead of His Blessed Mother. Such
inevitably bring disappointments, regrets, and loss of love.
This is altogether what might be expected from the Divine
nature of the contract, as in all his religious relations man
is constantly taught both by precept and experience that
only the grace of God can keep him true to his obligations
and faithful to the end. "We trust then that none of our
readers "professing" Christianity will smile at our asser-
tion, that special supernatural gifts are absolutely required
for the attainment of true domestic happiness. Such spe-
cial gifts can only be obtained by a compliance with the
conditions imposed by Him who ordained "holy wedlock/'
and still blesses those whom He "joins together !"
Between those who unite on this holy ground, who con-
tract marriage with Christian judgment and Christian prep-
aration, there can be but little fear of failure in attaining a
degree of happiness which shall increase and strengthen
with advancing years, which shall far transcend their live-
liest anticipations, and which, as no other earthly condition,
forestalls the joys of Heaven ! In this holy alliance there
can be no such word as mastery. Neither is superior,
neither inferior. Their qualities mingle by exchange. The
wife is strengthened by the husband, who in turn is made
better by the wife. Tenderness, tempering passion with
sympathy, blends their two hearts in one. Other objects
of affection they may have — children, parents, relations,
and friends — ^none can equal, none can compare with each
other in their hearts. They have nothing to fear from the
lapse of time. Only wrong emotions bring ugli/ wrinkles.
A life of happiness and virtue imparts such ineffable sweet-
ness to the countenance that time seems to give even more
than it takes. It is related of Michel Angelo that when
some person objected that he had represented the Virgin
Mary as beautiful when no longer young, he replied : "Do
you not see that the beauty of her soul has preserved that
of her countenance?"
Psycho-Physiological Comparison of the Sexes.
It is not merely in the organs of generation that Nature
lias placed the differences between the sexes. She has
deeply engraved them throughout the entire organization.
Woman is distinguished from man under whatever aspect
she is regarded. Differences are manifested in the form,
and are apparent to the most superficial observer. The
anatomist encounters them in the physical exploration of
the body, and the phj'-siologist recognizes them in the char-
acter and the functions of each organ, we might almost
say of each fiber. Only the insufficiency of his means of
observation arrests him in his astonishing revelations, and
he is reluctantly obliged to confess that he can never arrive
at the real limits of the comparison, which, however, he is
ever tempted to project into the regions of hypothesis and
pure conjecture. The relations of mind and matter may
be studied almost positively in the integral composition of
the human body; and the anatomist should never forget
that man has a moral as well as a physical existence, and
that a soul, the Divine breath, has inhabited the organism
that he studies, has presided over its movements, has
directed its actions.
The most obvious anatomical differences are those which
relate to the external configuration. The relative stature
of woman is less, and her joints are smaller, the bony
protuberances less marked. The head is smaller, her fore-
head more depressed, the frontal line is straighter and
more elevated. The chest is shorter and broader below;
the hips wider and more prominent; the entire pelvis is
more Toluminous. Tlie trunk of man resembles an in-
verted cone, that of woman an upright one. The thighs
of woman are more oblique than those of man. Another
important anatomical difference is presented bv the wind-
pipe. In man, at the age of puberty, the opening of the
glottis enlarges in the proportion of five to ten; in woman,
i\t the same period, it increases only in the ratio of five to
seven. This accounts for the difference in the voice, that
of man being deep and sonorous, while that of woman is
soft and melodious.
These anatomical peculiarities, no less than her special
and periodical function, and the very tendencies of her
character, all go to prove that she has not been created
to cope with the exigencies of material life, or to place in
subjection the hostile elements of the outer world. If we
search the entire animal kingdom we shall everywhere
find the female stamped with the seal of physical subordi-
nation,* but in none do grace and beauty belong more
especially to the weaker sex than in the human family.
On more minute inspection we find other and still more
significant dift'erences. Thus, the brain of woman is rela-
tively smaller in the anterior and larger in the posterior
regions; the former being the seat of the higher intel-
lectual faculties, the latter of the affections, instincts, and
feelings. So she has the advantage in sentiment, man in
Thus we see that Nature has assigned to woman the
part she is to sustain in life. It is the same among savage
nations, and wherever man and woman share the same
labors and fatigues. The relative differences, therefore,
in no way proceed from the influence of civilization. The
cellular tissue is more abundant in woman, and it is this
♦Save in the cases of certain birds and insects.
tissue which fills out the skin, effaces the osseous projec-
tions, and affords those soft inflections and those graceful
outlines which impart to her comeliness, and attract our
admiration. It harmonizes the different parts of her body-
by insensible curves, and influences the suppleness of her
movements by lubricating the organs of locomotion. But,
this cellular tissue is regarded as the elementary tissue of
organized bodies, and its greater abundance shows her to
be less advanced in personal development, and destined to
provide for other creations.
"The head of woman differs from that of man in form,
volume and weight. We believe that the more the head
approximates the spherical form, and the more it is de-
veloped in the anterior lateral regions, the nearer it ap-
proaches perfection. . . . Ancient sculpture, which
did not comprehend phrenology, had at least an intuition
when it expressed this anatomical contrast by the develop-
ment accorded to the forehead of Jupiter, and the con-
traction of that of Venus. But, if the forehead of woman
is lower and less capacious, " the posterior region of the
cranium is larger. It is now known from the most positive
revelations of phrenology, that to this conformation be-
longs the greatest depth of feeling, and of nurturing the
The bodies of the spinal bones (vertebrae) are longer
and thinner, and the cartilages which separate them oc-
cupy more space; hence the spinal column is longer, the
canal larger, and the spinal marrow more developed. Now
vital activity is always in direct relation to the development
of the spinal marrow relatively to the other portions of
the body, and in its greater or less predominance over that
of the brain, is the degree of relative inferiority through-
out the whole animal series. Woman generally lives longer
than man, althougli she has less strength, and is more suh-
ject to derangements of health. She produces more blood;
her circulation is more active; her respiration more accele-
rated. She lives faster, and lives for two. Almost her
whole existence is consecrated to the material conservation
of the race. To man belongs the initiative in the work of
generation. He furnishes the animating principle — the
"breath of life" — while woman provides the material ele-
ments, and works the longer and more painfully in their
elaboration. The region of the generative organs is much
more developed, and all its dimensions are larger than in
man. The influence of the reproductive sphere dominates
her entire being. "We can scarcely exaggerate the depend-
ence of the brain and other organs upon the condition of
the womb. It would seem that all parts of a woman's
body are so connected that whatever transpires in one
region is felt immediately in all the others. One would
suppose the genital organs to be the center of sensorial
life, to which the entire organism is, in a manner, subor-
dinated, so numerous are their nervous irradiations. The
ramifications of the "great sympathetic" system of nerves
establish a keen and intimate communication between the
womb and the brain, lungs, heart, stomach, and even the
breasts, the lips, and the throat; so when this organ is
diseased the entire organism is troubled, and reciprocally,
in serious derangements of other and distant parts, the
womb sympathizes profoundly. Hence the habitual ex-
pression of women to designate the periodical flow : "I am
unwell." In man, on the contrary, sensation is limited by
organic resistance no less than by his will, which holds his
nervous system in subjection. In woman, sensation is like
the electric spark — ^it usurps and traverses the organism,
which it rules and masters completely. All her parts are
sympathetic, either by continuity or contiguity of tissue;
her very skin is most highly endowed with the power of
spreading and repeating in every part that which is felt at
a single point.
Her periodical function is designed to disembarrass her
system of the excess of blood whenever it is unemployed
in generation. Its appearance announces the period of
puberty, and its definite cessation marks the age when she
is no longer apt for conception. Its suspension occurs
during pregnancy and lactation, while its absence at other
times is a sign of sterility. Woman may then be said to be
consecrated, during the finest years of her life, to the
propagation and nutrition of the species. The sentiment
of maternity is of innate force, since it is manifested in
the hearts of children. A little girl of five years was
placed in temporary charge over some children younger
than herself, in an asylum. She was observed to be weep-
ing, and when asked the reason, replied, "My children are
not good.'' A boy would have said "My pupils," and would
have probably scolded them instead of weeping over them.
The little girl manifests her proclivities in the care which
she bestows upon her doll, and the pleasure she derives
from plays which simulate household duties. Everything
which relates to material life interests her. The boy, on
the contrary, disdains these kinds of amusement, and de-
lights in imitating the affairs of public life, such as the
military art, religious ceremonies, travels, equestrian exer-
cises, etc., according to his individual tastes and tempera-
The advent of puberty in the two sexes is marked by
vast dissimilarity. "Woman, in advancing toward puberty,
withdraws more sensibly than man from her primitive
constitution. Delicate and tender, she always preserves
something of the childish temperament; the texture of her
organs does not lose all of its original softness. The
development which age effects in all portions of the body
never gives to them the same degree of density that they
acquire in man; however, in proportion as the womanly
qualities become fixed, differences are noted in her figure
and proportions, of which some did not previously exist,
while others were not appreciable. Although she starts
from the same point as man, she develops in a manner
peculiar to herself, and reaches earlier the last stage of
her development. Everywhere puberty is relatively earlier
than in man; has Nature more to accomplish in the one
than in the other? Does the perfection of man cost more
than that of woman? However this may be, man is still
evidently in his childhood, and subject to the laws which
govern that age, while woman already experiences a new
kind of life, and finds herself, perhaps with astonishment,
provided with new attributes, and subject to a new order
of functions, foreign to man, and hitherto foreign to her-
self. From this moment there is discovered in her a new
chain of physical and moral relations, which constitutes
for man the principal of that new interest which shall
soon attract him toward the woman, and which has already
become for her a source of new needs and functions.
Man has a far less exquisite tenderness for his off-spring
than woman. There is little else than moral sympathy
which attaches the father to the infant. Paternal love
does not exist save as a thing of growth, of education. The
sense of proprietorship, a sort of manly pride is about the
extent of a father's feeling toward his infant during the
first days or weeks of its life. Not so with the mother;
she loves her child as the fruit of her womb, as the purest
of her blood, as her own life — a thing easily understood.
In man the substance of the brain has more consistence,
more density; in woman, it is softer and less voluminous.
In these numerous organic differences we find the cause
of woman's greater excitability. She is less given to re-
flection. Everything which occasions violent emotions
troubles and bewilders her. Man, less sensitive, belongs
more to himself; for sensibility, while it multiplies our
relations with the external world, whenever it passes cer-
tain limits, subjugates and delivers us without a guide to
all the hazards of passion. So, says J. J. Eousseau,
"Woman has more wit, and man more genius; woman
observes, and man reasons."
The nerves emanating from the spine are larger in
woman relatively to the size of the muscles. She presents
all the characteristics of the nervous temperament, and
has, consequently, its advantages and defects. In fact,
there is far less variety of temperament among women.
They seem, in this respect at least, to be cast more in a
common mold than men. It would seem that, in the
designs of Providence, each man has to follow the paths
of a special destiny, and consequently is endowed with
special aptitudes. The common destiny of women does
not exact those profound and essential differences among
them which are remarked among men. But, as the fem-
inine nature is exceedingly impressionable, there are ob-
served a host of superficial differences arising from educa-
tion, manners, and customs, and from all the general
causes which affect the secondary qualities of beings.
There is now and then a woman who, in constitution and
proclivities, may be considered as an exception to the rule.
Strongly constituted, endowed with intellectual qualities
superior to her sex, with broad and high forehead like a
man, she is a sort of mistake of Nature. Such women are
generally wanting in the qualities which inspire the love
of man, and so, as in the harmony of things force must be
united to weakness, these masculine women nearly always
ally themselves with blanched males, weak physically and
mentally, capable of receiving the authority which their
wives needs must exercise. The parts are simply reversed,
that is all, but the phenomenon is not pleasant. Nearly
every prominent advocate of Woman's Eights now before
the public, is of this class, and, if married, she is thus
coupled. If it were consistent with politeness we could
specify these coincidences, ad nauseam.
The temperament of woman exposes her to the most
singular inconveniences and inconsistencies. Extreme in
good, she is also extreme in evil. She is inconstant and
changeable; she "will" and she "won't." She is easily
disgusted with that which she has pursued with the great-
est ardor. She passes from love to hate with prodigious
facility. She is full of contradictions and mysteries. Ca-
pable of the most heroic actions, she does not shrink from
the most atrocious crimes. Jealousy can transform this
angel of peace to a veritable fury. She poisons her rival
as readily as she would sacrifice her life for him she loves.
She is terrible in vengeance. By turns gentle and imper-
ious, timid and apprehensive from a sense of her own weak-
ness, she is capable of superhuman courage. Man is more
brave, woman more courageous. Moved by a resolute will,
man comprehends danger, measures, and faces it. Woman
calculates nothing; she sees the end, and will attain it at
any price. If she be unskillfully thwarted in her imperious
desires, her fickleness is changed to obstinacy; you shall
•crush her sooner than reduce her.
Popular excitements, the terrors of superstition, the
intoxication of political fanaticism, are propagated among
women like a veritable conflagration. They are more
merciless, more bloodthirsty than men — witness the
frightful memories of the French Eevolution, and the
inveterate hatred displayed in our late civil war. On the
other hand, when exalted by generous sentiments they
become sublime, and leave men far behind them. Arte-
misia and Lucretia are types without masculine analogues.
Man is absolutely incapable of love so disinterested and
ardent as that of Heloise.*
It is a woman, Magdalen, who personifies repentance:
another, Theresa, who personifies devotion; another Joan
of Arc, who personifies political enthusiasm. Woman car-
ries sentiments and passions to their utmost limits, pre-
cisely because of the facility with which she yields to novel
influences. There is something fugacious and indeter-
minate in her physical organization; something intangible,
which adds to her means of seduction by provoking the
desires. The sentiment of modesty, inherent in her nature,
operates in the same wa}', by surrounding her, as it were,
with a sort of misty veil.
The cohesion of her parts is less, and her whole body
softer and more flexible. Her skin, "the limiting organ
of the individual," is thinner, smoother, less compact,
more elastic, and is destitute of those little hairs which
*It is time to rescue the history of this unfortunate love from
the injustice of the popular version. One thing is certain, the
unwillingness of Heloise to be married, her preference to re-
main the mistress of Abelard, and her denial of the marriage
relation equally arose from purely disinterested love. She
feared, simply, to injure his genius, to retard his development,
to extinguish "that brilliant torch which God had lighted for
the world." Hence her first letter: Si uxoris nomen sanctius
ac validius videret, dulcius mihi semper extitet amicae vocabu-
lum; aut si non indigneris, concubinae vel scorti.
interfere with sensibility. When she loses the freshness
of youth, when the firmness of the skin and delicacy of
color diminish, the increase in her general proportions pre-
serves the charm of her form, and although her organs
lose their flexibility, she is still graceful in her movements,
and carries a certain winning attractiveness even into old
Atmospheric influence, temperature, and electricity exert
a far more powerful influence upon woman than upon man.
She is in more intimate relation with Nature. Her in-
stincts are stronger, while her personal intelligence is less.
She readily achieves many things by instinct at which
man arrives less surely by reflection. Man is guided by
calculation and personal interest, woman by passion and
feeling. Man sees the truth, woman feels it. Ask advice
from a woman, you get a prompt "yes" or "no," but if you
force her to analyze the principles of her opinion, she may
either ignore them, or give but very poor ones, but the
conclusion will be correct notwithstanding. Little accus-
tomed to the severe exercise of logic, debarred by Nature
from rigorous deductions of ideas, she is moved, like the
poet, by inspiration. Ask a man, on the contrary, and he
proceeds slowly; he must ask questions; must know the
pros and cons; ere he can enlighten you he must enlighten
himself; he must "think about it."
The faculty of knowing others and of knowing one's
self depends upon reason. Female penetration is without
a parallel in judging individuals; it is worth but little in
judging the race. A woman comprehends admirably the
men of her acquaintance, she does not comprehend man.
"The greatest study of mankind is man," yet of this science
woman is profoundly ignorant. Women possess an in-
credible consciousness of their own feelings, and even of
their own physiognomy. The maneuvers of coquetry, the
science of glances, of inflections of voice, and of gestures
reveal to us a being who is self-conscious even to the most
minute details of her life. One would almost believe that
a mirror invisible to others, always reflected her to herself;
but to the "know thyself," in its large, philosophical sense,
she is an entire stranger. It ought to be thus, moreover,
for the genius of analysis almost always excludes that of
synthesis. The illustrious Geoffrey Saint Hilaire said of
Cuvier, "When we walk together in the gallery of monkeys,
he sees a thousand monkeys where I see but one," and so
with man and woman; to one the genius of the individual,
to the other that of the race.
She has far less idea of justice than man. She revels
in distinctions, preferences, and privileges. Her self-love
is wounded if lost in the crowd; she cannot bear to pass
unremarked. This is why justice which tends to the aboli-
tion of rank, is to her insupportable. For her, aristocracy
is in the natural order of things. Systems of metaphysics,
abstractions, general ideas, politics, and equality are there-
fore indifferent to her. There is only one method of intro-
ducing them to her intelligence; it is in making them reach
it through her heart. Depict to her the sufferings of in-
dividuals arising from social inequality, and then, but not
till then, she is clamorous for the "rights of man/' The
justice of man is the charity of woman.
While to man belongs the physical strength which is
necessary for the cultivation of the soil and for his own
defense, woman possesses the suppleness and dexterity
requisite for minute works and domestic details. She
does not seize objects with as much force, but she handles
them with more skill and delicacy. Her small hands and
attenuated fingers enable her to wield the needle. In
painting she excels in miniature. "We are forced to con-
clude that she is destined for light and easy work, and
that she thwarts the designs of Nature whenever she
engages in exercises which call for the employment of
considerahle strength. So we can never behold woman
condemned to rude labor, as among semi -barbarous people,
without the deepest pity. Under the dominion of this
custom they gradually lose their feminine attributes, and,
without acquiring any of the characteristics of manly
beauty, they, one by one, are divested of their own peculiar
graces, and fall into a condition of premature senility —
recognizable neither as men nor women.
Woman measures less space in walking, and accom-
plishes long marches with greater difficulty, but her step
has a grace and lightness which man's can never equal.
In general, her organs are relatively smaller, and by com-
pensation, of keener susceptibility and of finer organic
texture, which give them the advantage in operations re-
quiring less of receptivity and force than of quickness and
acuteness. The globe of her eye is smaller, and the lens
more convex, so that if she receives fewer rays of light
she can see more closely. Skillful to distinguish delicate
shades and minute differences, she has difficulty in esti-
mating the proportions of distant or voluminous objects.
Iler ear is smaller, and the canal more constricted, but this
canal is round rather than funnel-shaped; it narrows less
abruptly; hence, if it admits less noise, if it loses distant
sounds, those which it does receive reach the membrane
of the drum more directly, and she can distinguish the
tone of the faintest sounds. Her organs of taste and smell
have also less development and more tenuity; so she prefers
Bweet aliments and delicate perfumes.
These differential relations in external properties and
sensorial functions are observed also in the intellectual
faculties — the brain functions. The intellect of man,
served by firmer and more developed organs, embraces a
wider horizon, and yields fruit of a higher order. While
the personal intelligence of woman has less extent and
power, it is more subtile and acute. Her vivacity, and the
multiplicity of her sensations — probably also the con-
formation of the anterior lobes of her brain — do not allow
her to appreciate exactly the relations of things, their
causes and effects. This accounts for her inferiority in the
metaphysical sciences already alluded to. She has diffi-
culty in fixing her attention upon a single object. She is
little given to abstraction and generalities, but she seizes
marvelously sensible qualities and facts of detail, and in
everything which simply requires tact, finesse, and taste
she is incontestably the superior of man.
We owe to woman none of the grand, immortal mas-
ter-pieces, either in literature or art,* yet women are
artistes from temperament. Their very nature would seem
to entitle them to the first rank in art. In painting and
sculpture not an immortal picture or statue claims a woman
for its author. In music not a symphony, not an opera,
not even a sonata — we speak of master-pieces — ^has been
given us by women. In dramatic art, no tragedy, not so
much as a comedy, jiistly celebrated, has come from the
hand of a woman. Woman has enriched humanity with
none of the great discoveries which have changed the face
of the world. Scarcely a patent has ever been issued to a
woman. These facts are marvelous; they must result from
*If certain modern examples would seem to constitute excep-
tions, it must be remembered that the question of immortality
is in abeyance.
natural causes, and are, therefore, susceptible of explana-
tion. Let us examine these causes. The insufficiency
of female education, though counting for something, can-
not be the only nor even the principal reason. In the
study of music, for example, nothing has hindered woman
from attaining the highest development of which she is
capable. The theatrical profession is as free to actresses
as to actors, yet neither the most assiduous study of the
grand musical compositions, nor perpetual contact with the
popular taste in the dramatic art, which did much to create
the immortal composers, have endowed woman with either
dramatic or musical genius. "We wish to be understood.
She imitates and learns admirably; she is great in execu-
tion, but she does not originate. But what is it to orig-
inate? It is to possess genius. For example, dramatic
genius is founded not merely on the knowledge of men,
but of man; that is, it depends neither upon talent, nor
finesse, nor knowledge of individuals, nor the sagacious
observation of the follies of a day, but rather upon that
powerful and generative faculty which rests upon a knowl-
edge of human nature in the aggregate. But we have al-
ready shown that the faculties of which genius is composed
are precisely those in which women are deficient by nature.
They may, therefore, prove themselves ingenious, touch-
ing, and even eloquent in the most elevated regions of art
— rarely superior. By compensation, or, rather, in conse-
quence of the same law, they ought to excel in elegiac
poetry, in romance^ in epistolary effort, and in conversa-
tion. In the last two, indeed, they are, and should be,
beyond the reach of masculine emulation. Here their very
defects become qualities of success. Their excitability be-
ing more keen, and their individuality less pronounced,
they receive impressions more readily, and betray them
more promptly and faithfully. The physiognomy of
woman is consequently more expressive and more change-
able. Some one has said, very truthfully, that "man has
ten expressions, woman a hundred; he one smile, she a
Iler voice, which is an index of the force and inner quali-
ties of the heing, is sweet, and flexible, and suppliant;
more appropriate to the different intonations of song.
That of man, more grave and prolonged, is better adapted
to public discussions and command. It has been already
shown that his vocal organs are firmer and more devel-
oped. The influence of the accent, the gestures, the looks,
no less than the sentiments and feelings, and the words
which these excite, and by which they are in turn excited,
make up the charm of conversation. Epistolary excellence
also results from some of these attributes.
The curiosity of woman is proverbial, and justly so.
It results less from love of truth than from her necessity
for varied emotions.* Man searches laboriously everything
which can enlarge the sphere of his intelligence; woman,
everything which amuses or interests her. The secrets of
private life have for her far greater attractions than the
secrets of science. As woman is more dependent upon her
surroundings than man, as she is less distinct from the
universal whole, and as the instincts have more dominion
over her, she is more sensibly convinced of the idea of God.
For man, God is some thing; for woman. He is some One.
*It is related of an illustrious professor, that, having to treat
a very delicate subject, he notified the women of his class that
he should rely upon their absence from the next lecture. The
appointed day arrived, and in place of twenty women he beheld
more than a hundred.
Man discusses Him, tries to explain Him, imagines Him,
alas! sometimes creates Him; woman hves Him.
The respiratory apparatus of woman is more perfect
than that of man. The lungs are situated higher in the
chest, elevating, as it were, the situation of the heart,
liver, and other organs. Woman is thus not only the con-
servator of the race, but the depositary of the great seal
of the superiority of the human family over the brute
creation — and of race over race. Man respires more like
the lower animals, by the base of the lungs, woman more
by the superior portions. She is in more direct commu-
nication with the revivifying atmosphere; drinks, as it
were, from the fountain-head of this celestial and mys-
terious aliment. On this principle many strange phe-
nomena may be explained. It is often remarked how
much less women eat than men, even those whose work
is almost as laborious. They are often said, jokingly, to
"live upon air.^' Indeed, those nervous beings whom one
constantly meets, without muscular force, consuming but
little, yet sustaining superhuman exertions, how do they
live, if not "upon air?" Frenchmen have something of
this type. It has been said: "Give a Frenchman a morsel
of bread and a swallow of wine, and he will march and
fight to the end of the earth." He "lives upon air."
In the intelligence which can judge and appreciate the
productions of genius, woman is without equal. Her leis-
ure and her enthusiastic ardor have always assured her a
great influence in these judgments. So the approval of
women is sure to become the taste of the public.
Intelligence, then, belongs to women as to men, rather
with different qualities than in different proportions. The
higher qualities of intelligence, of which we have spoken
as peculiar to man, are only the possession of the chosen
few, and can no more be considered the rule than the
necessity. Genius is not necessary to constitute an intel-
We have already asserted that women have more courage
than men. In the fortitude to endure privation, suffering,
disease, reverses of fortune, they are not merely superior
to man, they have enough for both. They not only sup-
port their own misfortunes, they bear those of others.
They re-animate the broken merchant, the discouraged
artist. A wife, sick at heart, can smile to make "him"
smile. She represents at the same time resignation and
hope. She is the personification of all that is compre-
hended in what we call "heart," the domestic and social
qualities, such as filial, fraternal, conjugal, and maternal
affection, but above all, of Love. The Joys which spring
from the association of father and son pertain more to
hope than to reality, to the future rather than to the
present. The daughter, only, can complete them, and
the charm which she gives to the household, despite her
present ungracious position, foreshadows to us what hap-
piness she will yet bring to the family in the better order
of things to come. If the son represents the hope of the
family, the daughter represents its purity. When the
mother weeps it is the daughter who consoles her; when
the father suffers it is the daughter who cares for him.
The father returns in the evening, bowed with fatigue,
saddened with pre-occupations, who runs to meet him even
upon the threshold? who relieves him of his hat and coat?
his daughter! and suddenly fatigue and care have vanished.
And so with education. The chances are ten to one that
your son has scarcely emerged from his infancy ere the
necessities of his education separate him from you. If
you live in the country, you send him many miles away;
if in the city, to the other end of the town. Two days
in a month, or once in a year, you are again a father. Your
son returns to you, but as a stranger, formed by another,
and seeking under your roof only the pleasure of idleness,
liberty, or comfort. His education finished, his passions,
his pleasures, or his sports rob you of his society. The
paternal mansion is a prison to him; you are his jailer, or,
what is worse, his cashier. Without doubt he is touched
by your reproaches, he is afflicted by the tears of his
mother — but for an hour. He has the fever of life — he
must live. Have you not lived, also?
A daughter, on the contrary, is yours, and yours only.
Her heart will never forsake you, even when she becomes
mistress of another household, for she leaves you only to
become a mother in her turn, and, retracing then, as
teacher, the steps she has taken as pupil, each one of her
experiences in her new journey will be gratefully associated
with her memories of you. At length old age comes upon
you, and with it isolation, sadness, infirmities. Your son
does not abandon you, but, borne along by the necessity
of activity which lies at the foundation of the life of man,
his visits are less frequent, his words are more brief; a man
does not know how to console. Your daughter, on the
contrary, be she maiden, wife, or widow, establishes herself
by your pillow or behind your sick-chair, and leads the
most skeptical to believe in Divinity by force of that good-
ness which is truly Divine. Who has not encountered one
of these Cordelias loieeling before a father whose reason
totters or whose body decays? Ah! then the daughter be-
comes the mother, and those tender and caressing intona-
tions consecrated to children — those words which, it would
seem, are peculiar to the lips of mothers — are bestowed
with an ineffable grace; the old man recognizes this change
of characters as, with a smile full of melancholy and ten-
derness, he says to his daughter, "I know I am childish,
but I am so happy to be your child!"
We have arising in our memory an old man, bent with
age and disease, who came from a distant city to breathe
his last, as he fondly supposed, in the arms of his only
son, comfortably established in a household of his own.
It was one of those pitiful cases of gentlemanly respect-
ability long maintained in governmental employ, where
the salary ceases with superannuation; so he became at
once a charge upon the son. "Well do we remember the
ardent welcome he received, and the generous instructions
given us to "Do everything in our power for the old gen-
tleman." But, as the weeks lengthened into months, and,
the months multiplied to years, the son grew impatient
of death's delay, and, but for an angel daughter who sped
to his bedside and there remained, the old man had been
deserted by the entire household. She came to him young,
and fresh, and blooming, but the long watches, and, above
all, the "lifting^' day and night, robbed her of these at-
tributes forever. Nothing could exceed the exquisite ten-
derness of this girl, the little epithets so sadly sweet, the
insurmountable grief with which she closed the dear, dear
eyes in death, unless it be the meanness of the wretch who
then, and not till then, ostentatiously displayed his pre-
tended grief beside her! Both of them will recognize this
picture, thank God!
Emancipated, as she most assuredly will be, from the
chains which now restrain her, who can estimate the part
which the daughter shall yet fulfill in the life of the
family! These shackles are: insufficiency of education for
the rich girl; insufficiency of salary for the poor girl;
exclusion from most of the professions; inferiority in the
paternal household. These changes are difl&cult to attain,
but, we repeat, they will be made, and then only shall the
daughter mingle in the material and moral life of her
parents, and shall become a companion and an aid where
now she too often weighs as an incumbrance.
As for fraternal love, we do not know that there is so
great a difference in the sexes. "We find equally charming
models in brother and sister, only there is a sexuality iji
its method of manifestation. According as one or the
other has the advantage of years, the role of protector
changes in character. The brother protects in the capacity
of cavalier, the sister in that of mother.
Conjugal tenderness has its heroines, but not its heroes.
"VATiat masculine example can match Eponina, sharing her
husband's hiding-place in a cave for nine years, when dis-
covered, vainly imploring the emperor's clemency for her
husband, and dying a voluntary martyr to her affection?
Or, the modern instance of Lady Franklin ? Whole vol-
umes are filled with histories of conjugal love on the part
of wives. It is so entirely natural that, even when extin-
guished by criminal passion, it is frequently revived by
the husband's danger. Unfaithful wives will often hasten
to the sick-beds of their husbands, spend their days and
nights there, neglecting those whom they love, but who
are in health, for those they no longer love, but who are ill.
A man will fight for his wife, perhaps, though he no longer
cares for her, but it is his pride rather than his heart
which defends her.
It is remarkable that, while in all languages, ancient
and modern, the love of brother or sister, husband or wife,
daughter or son is expressed by a single word — fraternal,
conjugal, filial — that of the mother for her children is
marked by a character so personal that it has everywhere
consecrated to it a specific term. Thus, in all languages,
we find maternal as opposed to paternal love. We have
shown that this love is innate with woman.
Of love as between the sexes, that "compound of esteem,
benevolence, and animal desire," as "Webster coldly defines
it, or, as Shakespeare hath it,
"It is to be all made of sighs and tears;
It is to be all made of faith and service;
It is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion and all made of wishes;
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience and impatience.
All purity, all trial, all observance" —
of this love, a word shows the enormous difference between
that of woman and that of man. The one says, "I am
yours;" the other, "She is mine." There is all the differ-
ence between giving and receiving. If we analyze our
masculine love severely, we find therein many foreign
elements. Vanity and sexual desire monopolize three-
fourths, while the remainder always finds space for dreams
of ambition or of glory. The artist, the man of letters,
and the speculator remain such in becoming lovers. It is
at the side of the loved one that they lament their defeats
or boast of their triumphs. To quote Byron,
"Man's love is of man's life a thing apart —
'Tis woman's whole existence."
Love, in fact, takes root so deeply in the heart of woman
that it fills her entire being. It even regenerates her.
When the coquette loves there is an end of coquetry.
Even lost women have suddenly recovered modesty and
the very delicacy of affection under the influence of love.
But, if a corrupt man falls in love with a pure young girl,
he endeavors to corrupt her also I Should chance or
caprice place in the power of a man who loves one woman
another whom he does not love, but whose beauty or
position flattexs his vanity, he will divide his favors. A
woman who loves would recoil with horror from such a
proposal, even from a hero or a sovereign.* History cites
more than one who has delivered herself to the object of
her hatred to rescue the object of her love, and statistics
have shown that, of twenty young girls convicted of theft,
nineteen steal for the benefit of a lover! In woman's love
there is an imperious requirement of ideality, an almost
constant siibordination of the physical to the moral. In
that of man the material is almost all in the relations of
It is the qualities of heart which render these frail
creatures such marvelous nurses. A woman prolongs hei
watches by the bedside through several successive nights,
while the most robust man, exhausted by a night of unrest,
falls asleep by the very couch of death. It is from their
depth of heart that women draw that sublime tenderness
and delicacy that man can never imitate.
Madame de Chantal, about to become a mother, saw her
husband, whom she devotedly loved, mortally wounded, in
the chase, by the imprudence of one of their young rela-
tions. In despair, the young man was about to kill him-
self. Madame de Chantal heard of it, and suddenly in-
formed him, through the clergyman of the village, that
she had chosen him as godfather to her infant.
"A poor working girl was taken to a hospital on account
*"God is my witness that if Augustus, master of the universe,
were to oflfer me the title of wife, and with this title should give
me the entire world to rule over, I should find more charm
and grandeur in being called your concubine than his empress."
— Letter of Heloise to Abelard.
of a paralysis of the larynx, which deprived her of speech.
Her suffering, which was insupportable, expressed itself in
sobs and torrents of tears. The physician-in-chief sub-
jected her to a rigorous and, for a long time, fruitless
treatment. At length, one night when she attempts, as
usual, to move her rebellious windpipe, a word escapes,
she speaks, she is saved! What does she do? Doubtless
she calls her companions in misery, and says to them, 'I
speak!' — tells it to them in order to hear the sound of
her own voice? No, she is silent. Six o'clock, seven
o'clock strikes; the guardian sisters bring her nourish-
ment; she keeps silent, and only now and then, hiding her
head beneath the bed-clothes, she assures herself of her
recovery by a few half-uttered syllables. At last the door
opens; the physician enters and approaches her bed; then,
with a smile full of tears, 'Monsieur,' says she, 'I speak, and
I wished to keep my first word for my preserver.'" A
woman only could have acted thus, for to her belongs the
empire of the heart. But which weighs most in the bal-
ance, the intellect or the heart? Which does most for the
perfection and the happiness of humanity? One cannot
love without thinking, but one can think without loving.
What are all the systems of philosophy, all the social and
political Utopias, all the creations of the mind — works
which are often evanescent, sublime to-day, and sterile or
ridiculous, perhaps, to-morrow? What are all these in
comparison with that immutable and adorable quality
which has neither beginning nor end, and which, alone,
really brings us nearer to God — charity? Genius may dis-
appear from the face of the world, but if tenderness, if
charity were abolished, the earth would be hell itself. St.
Theresa expressed this when she exclaimed; "How I pity
the demons; they do not love."
In this brief analysis we have endeavored to prove that
the essential psychological differences in the sexes exactly
correspond with anatomical and physiological facts, and
are, consequently, innate and ineradicable. If the result is
but little palatable to the "strong-minded," who are seek-
ing to uproot the very foundations of the social order, they
must blame, not us, but Nature. We are in this but the
humble exponent of the established facts of science — facts
which enter into the immutable laws of God. But we
entertain no apprehension that the really feminine women
of our country will see in our effort the least disparagement
of their sex, either in fact or intention. The inference to
be drawn from the foregoing study is precisely the same
as that resulting from our historical examination, namely,
that the sexes are equal — equal, but different. The quali-
ties of the one are necessary to supplement, nay, to com-
plete those of the other. "WTiich of these dissimilar beings
has the advantage? Neither, and for the simple reason
that the advantages are equally balanced. In whatever
light we regard them, we find the law of compensation.
The Creator has divided His gifts between the sexes with
infinite wisdom, for He has decreed that they shall be
"two in one," and that the perfection of either shall be
obtained only by their fusion. The gifts which are in rela-
tion with material domination have been accorded to man;
those which relate to the domination of love have been
accorded to woman, because she is the intelligent compan-
ion of an intelligent being. Each admires and seeks that
in which he is deficient, and which is necessary to perfec-
tion. Neither has a purely isolated and individual exist-
ence; force must unite itself with weakness, weakness must
lean upon force. The intellect and the heart have the
largest share in the normal union of the sexes.
The barrenness, or sterility, of married couples is one of
the most prolific sources of domestic unhappiness. "Chil-
dren are a heritage from the Lord; blessed is the man that
hath his quiver full of them." This is the testimony of
Holy Writ; and even from the ancient days when these
words were written, through all the life of the world, in
palace or in hovel, the truth of it stands unimpeached.
It becomes, then, of importance to look into the causes
of sterility; for knowledge of them frequently assists in
Sterility is the inability of an individual to supply his or
her share of the procreating element; but the word is gen-
erally applied to females who cannot conceive, whatever
the cause may be.
Sterility among men, of normal conformation, is very
rare, and can be caused only by an unnatural condition of
the vital principle of the fecundating fluid. Constitutional
diseases may so affect the generative organs in man as to
render him sterile. And, although he may not be aware
of his deficiency in reproductive power (for the cause may
be remote, and not within the scope of his knowledge)
still the fluid emanating from him may not contain the
germ of fecundation; or, if it does, it may be in so un-
healthy a state as to be inefficient in its operation. This
condition may be brought on by syphilis, venereal excess,
advanced age, or chronic maladies.
Among young married people, a very common cause of
sterility is an excessive sexual indulgence. In such cases, a
temporary separation is advisable. We know of many in-
stances where this measure has been rewarded by success-
ful consequences. A few sea-baths on the part of the hus-
band during the separation, will be greatly conducive to
the regaining of his manly vigor.
There is a time, also, when woman is said to be naturally
sterile; and that is, after the ovum has escaped the womb,
which generally happens about the twelfth day after men-
struation. From this time to two or three days before the
menses are due again, many physiologists maintain that
woman is absolutely sterile.
Besides the above-mentioned period, it may also be stated
that, as a rule, women do not generally conceive while nurs-
ing their infants.
Beyond these normal periods of temporary barrenness,
however, sterility is quite frequent among women; and the
causes are often obscure. The organic causes are: a closure
of the uterine neck; imperfections in the conformation of
the Fallopian tubes or ovaries; and strictures of the vagina
itself. Physiologists have advanced other theories, such as
the absence of voluptuous sensation at the approach of the
conjugal relation, contrast of temperaments, etc.
This latter, which is called "the theory of frigidity,'' is
untenable, from the fact that many women who have never
experienced the slightest voluptuous sensation have con-
ceived and given birth to a numerous family; that women
have conceived when commerce was forced on them under
the most repugnant circumstances, or even under the most
The contrast of temperament — although very rarely —
has sometimes been proven a true cause of sterility, by the
fact that a man and a woman who never have had children
while they cohabited together, each had children when sep-
arated, and married to another person.
Well-confirmed causes of sterility in woman are, also,
prolapsus of the womb; obliquities that throw the mouth
of the womb against the bladder or the rectum; ulcerations
and inflammations of the neck of the womb; acrid purulent
leucorrhoea; and tumors. These latter causes can be re-
moved by proper treatment, for which only a physician of
high respectability and professional eminence should be
It may be remarked, generally, that women who have not
borne children for many years need not despair, because
there are many cases of wives who have conceived even
after twenty years of perfect sterility.
Best, and change of climate, are often productive of
happy results, when there seems to be no apparent reason
Dr. Duncan states, that the age when a woman is given
in marriage affects the probability of offspring, as, indeed,
we have seen in our glance at the statistics of procreation.
Very early and late marriages show a great proportion of
If people would not transgress natural laws, they would
have less occasion of blaming Providence for their own
The Womb, and its Appendages.
These organs, being the all-important agents in receiv-
ing, fructifying, nourishing, quickening, ripening, and
bringing forth to life and growth the seed of humanity,
demand our special attention. We will give a description
sufficiently detailed for the purposes of this book. The
womb is a pear-shaped sac, situated in the cavity of the
pelvis, between the urinary bladder and the rectum, or
terminal portion of the large intestine. It is retained in
its position by ligaments. Its upper end is directed for-
wards; its lower or open end, backwards, to about six
inches from the entrance of the vagina.
The womb measures about three inches in length, two
in breadth at its upper part, and an inch in thickness; and
it weighs from an ounce to an ounce and a half.
The fundus is the upper extremity of the organ, enclos-
ing the main cavity.
The tody gradually narrows downward from the fundus
to the neck.
The necJc, or cervix, is the lower (rounded and con-
stricted) portion of the womb; around its circumference is
attached the upper end of the vagina.
At the lower or vaginal extremity of the womb is the
mouth, called os uteri and os tincoe, which is bounded by
The cavity of the wonib, when unoccupied by the grow-
ing child, is small in comparison with the organ.
Essentially, the womb is a thick, powerful, and elastic
^-«BTi^l— — Last Lumbar Vertebra.
.here covered by Peritoneum /
Interior of /
SECTION OF FEMALE PELVI3 AND ORGANS,
muscle, which can expand itself until it is thin as a sheet
of paper. During pregnancy, it increases in size and
weight. It dilates so as to be capable of retaining within
its cavity a child weighing twelve pounds or more, the
after-birth (weighing three or four pounds), and a pint or
more of water. Often it contains twins, and two after-
Its power of contractility is so great, that, during the
process of labor, it can expel all of its contents, and reduce
itself to a size very little beyond its size before pregnancy,
unaided by drugs, or by the accessory efforts of the mother.
On either side of the womb is a narrow, tubular passage,
one end of which enters the womb, and the other, ending in
fimbriated or fringed branches, is connected with one of
the ovaries. These are called the Fallopian tubes, each
being four inches in length: their ofSce is to convey the
ova from the ovaries to the cavity of the uterus.
The ovaries are elongated, oval-shaped bodies, situated
one on each side of the womb. They are about an inch
and a half in length, three-quarters of an inch in thickness,
and weigh from an eighth to a quarter of an ounce. They
contain the so-called Graafian vesicles, each of which vesi-
cles holds an ovum, an egg. Each ovary contains from
fifteen to thirty of these vesicles, which vary in size from
a pin's head to a pea.
The ovum, or egg, is a small spherical body, situated
near the centre of the immature vesicles, approaching,
however, a point on the periphery as the vesicles mature.
The ova measures from 1-240 to 1-120 of an inch in diam-
It is necessary, in order that our future remarks may be
clearly undeistood, to give also a brief definition of the
various terms for displacements of the womb.
In Anteversion (literally, a turning or falling forward),
the fundus is found pressing against the bladder, and the
mouth against the rectum.
In Retroversion (a falling backward), the fundus of the
womb presses against the rectum, its mouth against the
In Prolapsus, the womb sinks downward, and is found
often far down in the vagina.
In Anteflexion, the womb is bent upon itself, and falls
forward against the bladder.
In Retroflexion, it is bent upon itself, and falls backward
against the rectum.
Inversion, which is very rare, is the falling-in of the
fundus within the cavity.
OVULATION, MENSTBUATION, CONCEPTION.
We now enter upon the exploration of a field which we
would gladly avoid, did we not feel it to be our duty to ac-
quaint every woman, for her own welfare, with the process
of those functions upon which are based the creation and
procreation of mankind, as well as of the whole animal
kingdom. It is the ignorance of these things, and the
false modesty connected with them, that lead to so many
fatal errors, to so many blighted hopes.
The Ovaries perform the highest functions in the process
of procreation; indeed, we may say that procreation de-
pends entirely upon the presence of the ovaries, and their
functional integrity. These organs originate and develop
the ova, or eggs, one of which, as with fowls and birds, is
always a necessity to the commencement of a new being.
During childhood, the ovaries remain inactive, and are
affected by no periodical season.
Puberty, or the era of fertility, commences, in woman,
with a series of physiological processes in the ovaries,
which prepare the female for the fulfillment of the law of
The time when the ovaries come to a life of activity^
differs in girls, according to climates, and personal constitu-
tions and habits. Thus it is that warm climates, residence
in cities, and the habits of reading romance or conversing
on amorous subjects, together with a robust constitution,
contribute to an early development of puberty; while a
climate of low temperature, residence in the country where
girls are more innocent, or constitutions of a feeble or of a
lymphatic nature, allow this process to appear later.
It is equally true that those who so early usher in the
period of ovarian evolutions and menstrual functions are
more liable to disorders of menstruation, and to an early
cessation of those functions, than those who, through liv-
ing in purer atmospheres, morally or physically, attain a
considerable development of the body and mental faculties
before they enter into this second sphere of vital exuber-
Collectively, girls arrive at puberty from the tenth to the
eighteenth year of their life; but this period begins, in the
great majority, from the twelfth to the fifteenth year.
At puberty, the ovaries awaken from a dormant state
into a life of activity and production. The ovaries contain
a conglomeration of vesicles, called Graafian, from their
discoverer. Each of these vesicles contains the germ of
an egg embedded in a fluid within the wall of the vesicle.
For analogy, imagine the yelk of an egg surrounded by its
albumen (the white), with this difference only, that the
yelk of the Graafian vesicle is so small as to be impercepti-
ble to the naked eye. Each one of these Graafian vesicles
successively grows, at its proper time, to maturity, and is
then no larger than a small-sized pea. The apparent
anomaly in the size of the human egg, as compared to the
egg of a bird or fowl, is accounted for by the fact that the
egg of the fowl must contain within itself the nourishment
of the chick until this is ready to break down its prison,
and carry off some of its wall on its back; while the human
being develops itself into a being within the womb, and
derives nourishment from the body of the mother.
Every four weeks, one of these eggs is matured (some-
times, though rarely, two or three), and by a process here-
after described finds its way into the womb.
Every four weeks, with few exceptions, a determination
of blood to the ovaries, womb, and all the generative or-
gans, takes place. This orgasm, or congestive state, is com-
municated to the Graafian vesicle, which swells into matur-
ity bursts, and gives freedom to the egg. This process is
called ovulation, or generation of eggs.
The Fallopian tubes, of which we have spoken as appen-
dages to the womb, by a reflex or sympathetic action seize
this egg, and convey it within their fold, on one or the
other side. There it remains for some days. Physiologists
disagree as to the length of time that the tube retains the
egg; some stating it at two, some five, some even eight and
ten days: some also say that it does not retain the egg at
all, but conveys it directly into the womb, where it re-
mains for a certain time, and, if not fecundated (or made
fruitful), is passed out.
The temporary sojourn of the egg within the Fallopian
tubes or within the womb has its important significance.
It is alleged that it remains there to become fecundated
by the male principle. If not fecundated within a certain
time, ?ay ten or twelve days, it passes off; and, from the
time of its exit until the succession of another ovulation, the
woman is considered not liable to conception.
It is to be regretted, that, at the present state of physio-
logical knowledge, the precise duration of the egg's sojourn
cannot be ascertained. From two to fifteen days are the
limits after which a woman is supposed not to be liable to
conception; but even this rule has often been intruded
upon, which renders the theory rather unreliable.
The fertilization of the egg often takes place two or
three days before the expected menstrual flow, which is
then interfered with and even suppressed by the very fact
that conception has occurred. This proves that the process
of ovulation may happen two or three days before the
return of the menses, and that therefore the woman is
liable to conception at that time. The process of ovula-
tion and the exudation of the menses need not occur
During ovulation, we have already stated, there is a de-
termination of blood to the ovaries, uterus, &c. This ex-
cess of blood seems necessary for the maturation of the
egg, and to its final escape from the Graafian vesicle and
the ovary. When this process is completed, the uterus,
and other parts oppressed by this excess of blood, are
relieved by an exudation of the superfluous matter from
the womb: this it is which is called menstruation, or
monthly flow. Should the ovum, however, become fecun-
dated before menstruation takes place, that excess of blood
would be needed for the formation of those membranes
which are to envelop the fructified egg as it descends into
the womb; and, consequently menstruation would not
take place, or, if it did, it would be but scanty. Menstrua-
tion, therefore, is totally dependent upon ovulation, and
affected by fecundation. To prove this further, cases are
given of women, who, although they had menstruated with
perfect regularity, ceased menstruating from the moment
that the ovaries had been extirpated by certain surgical
operations made necessary by disease. A corroboration of
this statement is also the fact that females do not men-
struate before ovulation begins, which time is denominated
the period of puberty; and cease to menstruate when ovula-
tion ceases, which period is called the cliange of life.
The change of life occurs generally between the ages of
forty and fifty. This change, or termination of ovulation
and of the capability of bearing children, is affected by
the time when ovulation first commenced, by climate, and
by the habits and constitution of the subject. Thus, the
woman in whom ovulation had commenced at the age of
ten would cease menstruating five years before the one in
whom it commenced at fifteen. And women who are of
prudent and healthy habits, of sound and robust constitu-
tion, may retain the power of ovulation longer than others,
as is recorded of women who bore children at the advanced
age of fifty-five and sixty.
In women whose ovaries have been extirpated, the most
singular phenomena have been noticed to take place; they
menstruate no longer, their breasts dwindle away, their
delicate mould and features are lost, and a more sinewy
and coarse expression of form and face appear; the soft,
melodious voice of woman changes into a strong, harsh,
Menstruation, although a consequence of ovulation, is
not necessary to conception; for it is known that women
have borne children who never menstruated.
PBEPAHATIONS OF THE WOMB FOR THE RECEPTION OF THE
The vital principle of the male having found access to
the egg, through the tubes of the uterus, the egg has re-
ceived its fecundating element, and is now to remain in
that wonderful chamber, to grow, and develop into a
human being. Were the womb neutral in this process, the
egg would fall out of it from its specific gravity; but the
womb is not a neutral organ, and has a great part to play
for the reception and maintenance of its guest.
While the egg progresses in its journey through the
Fallopian tube towards the womb, that organ forms in its
interior a membrane, which lines its wall, and closes the
opening of its mouth; when the egg enters, it pushes this
membrane before it, embedding itself within.
When the egg has not been fecundated, the womb spends
no waste effort; the membrane is not developed to any
extent: in fact, it remains so incomplete and delicate, that
it passes off with the egg, unnoticed by the subject.
But when it has been fertilized, the womb assists in the
completion of that membrane which is to retain the child
within its fold, increases in size, and prepares itself to
supply all the elements necessary to the growth and
maintenance of the fcctus.
The monthly production of an ovum is a part of the
proper action of the female system. Why she should be
subject to this once a month, while the lion and the ele-
phant are subject to it but once in three years, can only be
answered by such questions as. Why do some roses bloom
every month, and others only every six months, or once a
Peegnancy. Its Symptoms.
Suppression of iJie Menses. The suppression of the
menses is not a certain sign of pregnancy, although it is
one of its most important concomitant symptoms. Ex-
posure to cold or wet, a shock to the nervous system from
fright or other causes, uterine congestion or structural dis-
ease of the womb, — any of these may cause suppression.
There are instances in the history of pregnancy when
women menstruated regularly through the whole period of
utero-gestation (pregnancy); and it often occurs that
women menstruate for the first two or three months.
Baudelocque and Dewees mention cases when women men-
struated only during pregnancy.
Enlargement and Shape of the Abdomen. The enlarge-
ment and shape of the abdomen is not always a sure in-
dication of pregnancy, and certainly not during the first
three months. At the end of the third month, however,
some physicians believe that they can detect a flatness
in the lower part of the abdomen, which is produced,
partly by the intestines being pushed upwards and side-
ways, and partly by gaseous accumulations. The French
have so much confidence in this change, that they have
adopted the adage. En ventre plat, enfant il y a. During
the first month, the process of gestation causes more blood
to flow to the uterine region; and the womb, in adapting
itself to the new condition, causes a sympathetic irritation
of the alimentary canal, which induces formation of gases
that render the abdomen more tense and full: but this soon
disappears, leaving the abdomen more natural, apparently
destroying often the sanguine hopes of the would-be
Gases are often a concomitant symptom of pregnancy.
In some eases, they are so troublesome as to suddenly col-
lect in the abdomen; and cause such distention as to throw
the patient into spasms.
After the third month, the abdomen acquires a very per-
ceptible prominence, which gradually increases and rises,
until it fills up the whole abdominal region.
The increase and modification of the abdomen is not in
itself a sure sign of pregnancy; for some women, after mar-
rying, become very fat; others are so constructed as to
show very little increase; while others show it very soon
and plainly. Women having a large frame and large pelvis
would show very little abdominal prominence; but little
women with small pelves, or women having the lower part
of the spine much curved forward, would show a great deal.
This is to be borne in mind in judging of the advancement
of pregnancy when there are no data to go by.
Although a gradual increase of the abdomen is a strong
indication of pregnancy, there are often diseases that simu-
late it. Dropsy may be present; tumors may be growing
in the abdomen. These exceptional cases do not often
interfere, however, with the diagnosis.
Additional Signs. A woman oftentimes cannot tell
whether she is pregnant or not until the fourth or fifth
month; when quickening occurs, and there is no more room
for doubt. There are, however, rational or s3Tnpathetic
symptoms accompanying the suppression of the menses,
strongly indicating that pregnancy exists. A month or
two after conception, the mamma: (or breasts) enlarge, and
often become the seat of slight pains and pricking sensa-
tions; the nipples also enlarge, become tumid and darker;
the areola, or ring around the nipples, spreads in circum-
ference, and assumes a darker color, in brunettes becoming
almost black. The little follicles, or pimples, also become
more prominent and darker, and the veins more blue.
These symptoms and changes, however, often occur from
sympathy with a diseased womb. And some women state
that they experience them before and during every men-
The presence of milk in the mammae is an additional
sign, although old women and young girls have been found
with milk in their breasts.
Morning sickness — nausea or actual vomiting on rising
from bed — is another rational sign. The term is misap-
plied, however; for the sickness may come on after every
meal, or at any time during the day or night. Many are
fortunate enough to escape this distressing symptom en-
tirely; others are subject to it during the first two or three
months and the last; others are afflicted by it through the
whole period, becoming thus much exhausted, and their
life, in some instances, put in jeopardy. This symptom is
so common, that it is sufficient, in some women, to pro-
nounce pregnancy at its appearance. It generally lasts
from six weeks to three months, when the patient experi-
ences a great relief until the eighth month; then it often
It is advanced, also, and it has been pretty thoroughly
tested by accoucheurs, that a certain change in the urine
of a pregnant woman takes place, which may add to the
circumstantial evidences of pregnancy; and that is, the
presence of a mucilaginous principle called Kyestein. This
may be detected in the following manner: take half a pint
of the urine of a woman supposed to be pregnant, passed
early in the morning, before breakfast; put it in a glass
cylinder or a tumbler; cover it with paper, and let it rest
in a safe place. After two days, a dense pellicle of fat-like
matter will be found on its surface, which will increase for
two or three days longer, and then evolve a powerful odor
of putrefying cheese.
For the sake of brevity, I will give here the recapitula-
tion of the rational signs of pregnancy.
First and Second Months.
Suppression of the menses (numerous exceptions).
Slight flatness of the lower part of the abdomen.
Depression of the umbilical ring.
Swelling of the breasts, accompanied with sensations of
pricking and tenderness.
Third and Fourth Months.
Suppression of the menses continued (a few exceptions).
Frequently continuance of the nausea, and sometimes
Less depression of the umbilical ring.
Augmented swelling of the breasts, prominence of the
nipples, and slight discoloration in the areolae.
Kyestein in the urine.
Fifth and Sixth Months.
Sensation of quickening, motion in the abdomen.
Suppression of the menses continued (some rare excep-
Vomiting and nausea disappear (few exceptions).
Considerable development of the whole sub-umbilical
A convex, fluctuating, rounded abdominal protuberance,
salient particularly in the middle line, and sometimes ex-
hibiting the fetal inequalities.
The umbilical depression is almost completely effaced.
The discoloration in the areolae is deeper, tubercles ele-
Kyestein in the urine.
Seventh and Eighth Months.
Suppression of the menses continued (exceptions very
Active movements of the foetus (child).
Disorders of the stomach (rare).
The abdomen more voluminous.
Sometimes pouting of the umbilicus.
Numerous discolorations on the skin of the abdomen.
Sometimes a varicose and dropsical condition of the
vulva and lower extremities.
Extended and deeper discoloration of the areolae; breasts
still larger, and nipples more prominent; sometimes flow
Kyestein in the urine.
First Half of the Ninth Month.
The vomiting frequently re-appears.
The abdominal swelling has increased, rendering the
skin very tense.
Difficulty of respiration.
All other symptoms increase in intensity.
Sometimes pain in the back, and other irregular pains.
Last Half of the Ninth Month.
The vomiting often ceases.
The abdomen is fallen.
The respiration is easier.
Great difficulty in walking.
Frequent and ineffectual desire to urinate.
Hemorrhoids, augmentation of the varicose and drop-
Pains in the loins.
"Quickening'* is the common term by which is generally
meant the first cognizance that a mother takes of the
child's moving. The period in which it occurs varies;
but, in the majority of cases, it dates from the eighteenth
week of utero-gestation. The child may be felt earlier
or later, stronger or weaker, probably according to its
constitutional strength and the room it has to move in.
I have seen cases where the mother prognosticated a
strong, large child, from her feelings; while, to her great
surprise, she gave birth to a small and puny infant. The
great movement during pregnancy was due to an immense
quantity of water in the sac, in which the child could
float and move freely. Whenever the mother cannot give
approximate data of conception, she may safely calculate
the date of the end by adding four months and a half to
date of quickening. These peculiar movements at first
often induce sensations of syncope, or fainting, which
gradually disappear as the woman becomes accustomed to
The sensation of quickening does not remove all doubt
as to the existence of pregnancy. Some women have not
only felt this, but have even thought of having seen the
movements of the child through the abdominal walls, and
yet were not pregnant. Again: women have been found
pregnant when they had not been conscious of any sen-
sation of quickening. The movements of the child may
be so slight as to be imperceptible to the mother.
DURATION OF PEEGNANCY.
Two hundred and eighty days is the general average,
which may be divided into ten lunar months, or nine
calendar months and ten days.
THE PBOBABLE TIME OF DELIVERY, OR THE AGE OF THE CHILD
IN THE WOMB.
This has already been alluded to in discussing the pro-
^ gressive signs. Pregnancy is generally dated from the last
" appearance of the menses. In this, however, physiologists
have differed; probably from the fact that many women
have been disappointed by this calculation: and this ques-
tion cannot be settled as long as it is impossible to exactly
tell when conception takes place.
The accepted theory is now, that an ovum descends into
the womb immediately before or after every menstruation;
that it remains there eight or ten days, exposed to fecunda-
tion; that, after this, it loses its vitality, and passes off,
after which the female is not liable to conceive until the
next operation of the ovaries. This theory has a great
deal that is plausible, but has been found untenable in so
many instances, that it is not to be relied on. An ac-
coucheur of great renown and experience has given a hun-
dred and fifty cases, in each of which he had noted the
precise date of the last appearance of the menses. These
cases, which will be found below, show the impossibility of
making an exact calculation of the time of delivery from
It can be well understood, that if a woman conceives just
before her menses are due, and the menses become sup-
pressed in consequence, and nine months are counted from
the time of the appearance of the last, the calculation will
fall short four weeks; thus giving the false impression that
the woman has been pregnant ten months before giving
birth to the child.
ADVICE TO A WOMAN WITH CHILD.
First of all, be hopeful. There is not one case in a
hundred in which life is imperilled; and there is no reason
why you should be that one. Take your chances with the
ninety-nine. Do not appeal to old women, or listen to
their stories. If you have any apprehension, apply to your
physician, who will assist you in case of need. Be moderate
in everything; shun balls, heated rooms, crowds, and excite-
Take daily exercise in the open air; do not lace; do not
run; do not jump; do not drive unsafe horses; give up
dancing and riding; do not plunge into cold water. Many
women in your condition will tell you they have done these
things, and no harm befell them; still, do none of them.
Sponging your body will answer for cleanliness, and a
happy heart for the dancing and riding.
If you are weak, do not run for extolled tonics, for beer,
or whiskey. Apply to your physician: he will discover the
cause, and find the remedy.
Do not take medicines (purgatives, in particular) on
your own or your friends' advice: your physician is the
only person capable to prescribe for you. I have known
an "innocent purgative" to be followed by frightful conse-
In your diet, use nothing that induces constipation.
Remove from your chest, waist, and abdomen any article
of clothing that exerts undue pressure.
Avoid all practices that increase nervous irritability,
such as an immoderate use of coflEee or tea; also, operations
on the teeth.
Do not indulge in inordinate or morbid appetites. A
woman in pregnancy may have unusual aversions or long-
ings. It will do no harm to avoid what is repugnant to
you; but it may be detrimental to your health to satisfy
the longing for slate-pencil, chalk, or other deleterious sub-
stances which sometimes women in your condition crave.
But, above all, keep a cheerful mind; do not yield to
grief, jealousy, hatred, discontent, or any perversion of
disposition. It is true that your very condition makes you
more sensitive and irritable; still, knowing this, control
your feelings with all your moral strength.
Your husband should be aware, also, that this unusual
nervous irritability is a physical consequence of your con-
dition, and would therefore be more indulgent and patient,
unless he is a brute.
If you believe that strong impressions upon the mother's
mind may communicate themselves to the foetus, producing
marks, deformity, etc., how much more you should believe
that irritability, anger, repinings, spiritual disorders, may
be impressed upon your child's moral and mental nature,
rendering it weakly or nervous, passionate or morose, or in
some sad way a reproduction of your own evil feelings!
FEARS OP DANGER IN BEARING CHILDREN.
These apprehensions, so common in pregnant women,
are very seldom well founded. If a woman has no deform-
ity of the spine or pelvis; if the distance from hip to hip
indicates no unusual narrowness; if, as she stands, she sees
that she is as well formed as the majority of women; and
if she knows of no objective reasons herself, — she should
conclude, without any further thought, that she is per-
fectly able to bear children. A deformity which would
disable a woman from bearing children would be of such
magnitude as could hardly escape her notice.
APPEEHENSIONS OF DIFFICULT LABOR.
Experience does not show that a woman's first labor is
necessarily a difficult one. It often occurs that her first
labor is an easy and short one; while subsequent ones are
more protracted and painful. It depends upon the condi-
tion of the soft parts of the woman at that period, whether
more or less relaxed; and also upon the size of the child,
which cannot be prognosticated.
The size of woman is never a hinderance in labor: small
women bear large children with comparative ease.
The Creator never intended that pregnancy should be
a source of disease; but ignorance, false modesty, fashion,
previously-acquired diseases of the womb, errors of regimen
and diet, a weak constitution, bad training in girlhood,
often lay the foundations of serious troubles during preg-
nancy. At the head of them stand:
Such are, undefined fear of pending evil; anxiety about
the future, and fear of dying; many forebodings and gloom,
even to despair.
These mental disturbances, although they may have no
cause, are serious in the extreme. It is important to the
mother's well-being, and to a happy termination of her
labor, that these mental illusions should be conquered.
Serious consequences have been produced by an over-
wrought imagination. This dark phantom that hangs
over the reason of the already burdened patient should be
chased away by gentle reasoning and moral suasion.
Mothers, your God is a God of love, and would not
threaten with danger her who is the mother of mankind.
A special reason exists why the Great Father should ex-
tend his protecting hand over a woman who bears a human
being in her womb. Fear and despondency is not grati-
tude or thanksgiving to Him who willed it that to bear
a child should be a gift to woman, who can love and
protect her offspring with all the strength of her soul. In
choosing Mary as the mother of his only-begotten Son, He
did not surround her with impending dangers and with
fear of death. Her heart beat with joy that she was to
beget a child. Her prayers were tha^sgivings for the
great privilege. You are, as she was, a creature of your
God. Away, then, with your gloomy thoughts! Kejoice
that you are one of the elect! In a short time, a human
being — flesh of your flesh, a creature of your God — will lie
on your lap to ask from your lips the smile of a happy
To you, husbands, I say, Eeflect upon the manifold in-
conveniences and annoyances your wife must labor under
while pregnant. The love which you gave her before the
altar of God — double it now. Think of the suffering you
are spared, which she must undergo to give you the delight
of paternity. In doubling your attentions, in anticipating
her desires, in calming her fears, in soothing her irrita-
tions, you do only your duty, though it should also be your
highest pleasure. Do it cheerfully; let your devotion
spring from a manly heart, — from the heart of a true
husband. What was a molehill to your wife before must
be a mountain now. Smooth her rugged path; shade her
from the burning flame of mental agitation; encourage her,
inspire her with hope; and when the time comes that she
lies prostrate, her face beaming with happiness at the
sounds of her first-born, thank God that you have been
kind to her.
The hygiene in these cases is purely a moral one, and
must be conducted by a careful and loving husband and
affectionate relatives or friends. When forebodings and
gloom pervade the mind of her who is to become a mother,
reasoning may be in vain. In this case, her condition
should not be totally ignored lest offense be given; but
unknowingly to her, and apparently unaffected by her
fears, simple means may be employed to throw her off the
gloomy path of her thoughts. The wife's tastes and predi-
lections when in health being known, there are a hundred
things that can be done to attract her from her sorrow
of self into innocent distractions and pleasures. This must
be done without an effort or an apparent purpose, else the
object may be defeated by making her aware that care and
kindness are induced by solicitude. Bring home a good
book, a favorite fruit, or a mutual friend with whom you
may enter into an innocent conspiracy for her good. In-
vite her to take a walk; and then do not rush her through
an unfeeling crowd, but walk leisurely in a favorite place;
call her attention to objects of interest, and even to trifles,
that may have amused her before. Have some congenial
friends at home; a game of whist, or any sort of innocent
game, and moderate gayety; a little surprise-party of
dropping-in friends, — some genial, happy faces. If it be
necessary, an innocent plot with your friends may be
formed to get her out some evening to a social meeting,
a lecture, a concert, a lively, pleasing drama. If the rooms
or halls are too hot or crowded, you may show solicitude
enough to take her home. Cheerful fireside, unstinted
sacrifices, loving sympathy, will rob the mind of many a
dark shadow. Change of scene; short, easy journeys to
favorite cities or spots, is a source of pleasant and healthy
excitement that will invigorate body and mind. Be never
weary, and success and happiness will crown your noble
occupation of the mother during pregnancy.
A woman with child would find it greatly to her advan-
tage, and conducive to her health and happiness, to employ
her leisure hours in the preparation of the necessary arti-
cles of clothing for herself and her coming baby.
As many seem really ignorant of what is necessary, I
name some few of the articles which she will absolutely
need. These will naturally suggest others to women ac-
customed to the convenience of plentiful supplies.
Articles needed hy the Mother.
Six cotton night-dresses.
Six unbleached cotton bandages, one yard and a half
Two flannel skirts.
One flannel dressing-gown, to wear on getting up.
Three dozen napkins.
One dozen common face-towels.
One pair bed-room slippers.
Two pairs of open drawers.
One large apron for the physician.
Articles needed hy the Child.
Eight belly-bands of infants' flannel; four of them one-
quarter of a yard wide and five-eighths long, and the other
four not quite so wide, for earlier use.
Two dozen diapers.
Four flannel barrie-coats with muslin bodies; left open
like an apron.
Four all-wool undershirts.
Six muslin night-slips, one yard long.
Two flannel skirts.
Four pairs knit socks.
Two blankets of fine flannel or merino, one yard square,
bound with ribbon, for a shawl.
One baby-basket, containing: a box of baby-powder;
one powder-puff; one cake of old, white Castile soap;
pieces of old handkerchiefs, to be used in dressing the
navel; one box of cold-cream; one fine sponge; one paper
of large, one of small, safety-pins; one pair of sharp,
round-pointed scissors. A complete suit of baby-clothes
should be in it at the time needed.
Strange as it may appear, it is often the case, that, while
attending a woman in labor, the physician finds no provis-
ion of the most necessary articles, creating delay and con-
fusion. Some women are so indolent, that they put off
these preparations until the time overtakes them quite
Among the lower classes of women in Italy, it is cus-
tomary to raise a chicken for the mother, and save money
for the doctor's fee. A most philosophical plan! Nine
months will make a good chicken, that will yield rich
broth for a debilitated parturient. The doctor's fee is
quite as necessary for him. In this country, a great deal
of unnecessary flummery is often gotten up for the child,
very often forgetting the chicken, and the physician's
By this term, is meant a woman experienced in attend-
ing confinements, and capable of assuming the care of a
baby, and of the parturient, for a month from the com-
mencement of labor.
In some countries, these nurses are educated for the
purpose, and are even capable of exercising all the duties
belonging to a midwife. In this country it is not so.
Women actually prefer a male accoucheur to a female.
They feel safer in his hands: they rely not only upon his
superior knowledge, but upon his courage. They feel he
would not flinch before duty, and would assume the great-
est responsibility to save life. It is not generally so with
female accoucheurs, allowing very honorable exceptions.
I know of many cases where the female accoucheur, get-
ting frightened, deserted her patient at the moment she
was most needed; thus sacrificing a life that might other-
wise have been saved.
But I am speaking of a monthly nurse. She should be
intelligent, and have experience; yet she should not be
presumptive, and should never be allowed to exercise
duties not within her province, as long as there is a phy-
sician attending who is responsible for the case.
The monthly nurse should be a judicious, unobtrusive,
well-tempered woman. She should know the care the
patient needs; she should administer to her comfort, but
not attempt to entertain her with stories or gossips of any
kind; she should carry out the wishes of the physician
conscientiously, but never remonstrate on her account,
with the patient; she should acquaint the physician with
every irregularity without exaggeration, and never under-
take, under the assumption that it will do no harm, to
administer favorite lotions or potions to the patient or to
In the house, she should not be a source of trouble. I
have known nurses to demand so much attention from the
house-servants as to be unbearable. Some nurses assume
rights and authority over the patient and the husband.
Take my adviee: such a woman, being a nuisance, should
be paid and sent off.
If the parturient is worried by the nurse, she should
inform her physician without delay. I have known pa-
tients that were so intimidated by the nurse as to be afraid
to mention this fact to physician or husband, and would,
consequently, go from day to day, sick without an appre-
In this case, let the husband take the matter in his own
hands, and let him protest against such conduct: if this
be vain, let him invite the woman out of the sick-room,
and deliberately inform her that she must leave the house.
Having gone thus far, she should not, under any pretext
whatsoever, be allowed to enter that room before leaving;
for, with truly revengeful spirit, she may make a scene
that will greatly affect the condition of the wife.
It may be thought that I concern myself entirely too
much about these nurses. Not so. Any one who has had
experience with them will tell you that every young
mother or husband needs all these cautions.
Nurses have their favorite doctors; and those are they
who employ them the oftenest. When they are engaged
where their favorite is not in attendance, they are some-
times given to talking disparagingly of the one who has
the case in hand, and praising others: they have even been
known to improvise facts and stories that bear against his
character, or his skill as a physician. When this is the
case, do not hesitate to silence them at once, and then
watch them closely; for, to prove themselves right, they are
possibly capable of injuring you or your child. If the
nurse feeds the child by hand, see that she puts no powder
in the milk, although she may tell you it is only a little
soda, to prevent flatulence. If you employ a physician.
and she distrusts the treatment, watch her still closer, and
resist all her attempts to inveigle you into permitting the
use of things contrary to or different from those prescribed
by your physician.
In looking up a nurse, and inquiring into her qualifica-
tions from those who have had experience of her, it will
be found useful to ask the following
Is she a graduate? The foregoing facts seldom apply
to a trained nurse.
Is she strong and healthy?
Is her breath offensive?
Is she clean about her person?
Does she keep the baby clean, and is she tidy in the
Is she attentive to the mother?
Is she gentle, kind, anticipating all wants, and supplying
them with a willingness?
Is nursing to her only an effort by which she makes a
livelihood, or has she a natural adaptability for the calling?
Is she a light or a sound sleeper?
Does she snore?
Has she such a habit of watching, that she can keep
awake if necessary.
Can she cook food or dainties for the mother?
Did any accident ever happen through her carelessness?
Is she truthful?
Does she receive many visitors?
Does she interfere with the household servants?
Is she inquisitive or gossipy?
In making these inquiries, see that your informant is
reliable; for many people, through mistaken kindness,
recommend the most objectionable servants.
When you engage her, — which should be at least two
months before the expected time, — stipulate the price, and
make every condition clear and unmistakable.
She should be ready to attend two or three weeks before
the anticipated event.
Should be a spacious and well-ventilated one. If possible,
it should have a southern exposure. Let it be remote
from the noise of the street or the house. If there is a
bath or dressing room attached to it, so much the better.
Keep no soiled clothes in it during sickness. One bed,
one washstand, wardrobe, bureau, and two or three chairs,
is all the furniture needed; any more would be in the way,
unless the room is unusually large.
Should be a double one, in good order, on castors. The
spring mattress is the best: hair and cotton come next.
Feather-mattresses are inconvenient, too warm, and should
be avoided. The sheets should be of cotton, unless it is
in the midst of summer, or in a hot climate. During labor,
the patient should lie on the right side of the bed. This
position will place the patient on the right side of the
physician. Attention to this will prevent a change of side
when the physician arrives.
For labor, the bed should be prepared as follows: Fold
the lower sheet so that it will not come below the waist of
the patient, with the end towards the hips, so that it can
be grasped and pulled down after delivery.
Cover the mattress, from the waist down, with an im-
pervious material, — a piece of India-rubber or oil-cloth.
Over it place a thick cover — a blanket or sheet folded sev-
eral times — to absorb the discharges. Replace the bed-
covers as though the bed had been made up as ordinarily.
To the foot-board — against which the feet should be fixed
during expulsive pains — attach a long towel, twisted, that
the patient may grasp at it during strong bearing-down
ACCOMMODATIONS FOB THE PHYSICIAN,
A chair to sit upon, some lard or sweet-oil to lubricate
his hands and the soft parts of the mother, several towels,
cold and warm water, and soap.
ARTICLES NEEDED DURING LABOR.
A cord made of twisted linen thread; a pair of sharp-
edged but blunt-ended scissors; a paper of largCj sharp-
pointed pins; a square yard of soft flannel, or some suitable
material, to envelop the child when born; a bandage for
the mother; an abundant supply of warm water; some
suitable stimulant, brandy, or aromatic spirit of ammo-
nia; one dozen towels and napkins; a fine sponge; a vessel
under the bed to receive the after-birth.
Although some physicians split hairs about the bandage,
and some assume even that the patient can do better with-
out it, I cannot but recommend the use of it. The brac-
ing-up of the collapsed abdomen gives such a feeling of
comfort, that that alone would recommend it, as, in ordi-
nary cases, enabling the mother soon to move about the
bed without feeling that she is going to fall to pieces.
Besides, I know cases where the abdomen never contracted,
from want of this support; and the woman had to bear a
pendulous abdomen ever after, to her great discomfort and
annoyance. And I never knew or heard of an instance
where the bandage, properly applied, had caused unpleas-
ant or dangerous results. Of course, as in all things in
this world, there is a way to do it right, another to do it
wrong: even a feather, in the hands of an ignoramus, may
prove a fatal weapon. If the bandage be put on snugly,
with no undue pressure exerted, so as to obstruct the cir-
culation, none of the far-fetched maladies will result from
A great deal is said about the shape of a bandage. For
my part, a towel long enough to go around the body I have
always found to answer every purpose; some, however, pre-
fer to have it so shaped as to fit the curves of the body.
It should be wide enough, at all events, to cover the whole
WHEN TO SEND FOR PHYSICIAN AND NURSE.
This requires some judgment; for it is very hard on a
physician, fatigued by a severe day's labor, to be suddenly
awakened from his sleep, and requested to relinquish his
rest and go to a patient, only to find that it is all false
alarm. I speak feelingly on this subject. Physicians ap-
preciate the anxieties of a woman, who, being conscious
that her term is near completion, feels pains flitting about
her abdomen; and they are willing to go to her, were it
only to calm her apprehension: still, some consideration is
also expected on her part. He, like other mortals, has
only one life to live, the preservation of which requires
the same rest and the same peace that others enjoy.
On the completion of her eighth month, the woman is
liable to be overtaken by pains simulating labor. These
pains are probably caused by the womb's attempt to adapt
itself to its enlarged condition and position. A few hours
of complete rest will often make these pains disappear
without further trouble.
When a woman, however, has reached her full term, she
may suddenly awake one night to find herself in labor.
Still, let her remember that labor is very rarely an instan-
taneous process. There are preparing pains, and many
are they, before the actual presence of the physician is
Pains coming at regular intervals, commencing in the
back, and running down the loins, causing the womb to
Jiarden under the hand, and to relax after the pain is gone,
should be considered labor-pains. When these pains are
accompanied by a serous bloody discharge, there can le no
doubt that labor has commenced.
As long as the pains do not return oftener than every
fifteen minutes, the physician need not be summoned, if
it is night. The nurse should be sent for, however with-
When the intervals are gradually getting shorter, until
they are no longer than five minutes apart, the physician
should be summoned.
The physician's attendance should also be immediately
required after the breaking of the bag of waters. This
may happen suddenly, without giving any premonitory
When the symptoms of labor occur during the day, the
physician should be informed of the fact without delay;
for he may find it convenient to call, and ascertain for
himself the condition of things. If early in the momin'g,
let him know it before he leaves his office, lest he cannot
be found when he is wanted later in the day.
A sudden gush of blood, or a continuous stream of it,
should warn the patient, or the attendants, to have the
physician instantly; and, if the regular family attendant
is not to be found, the nearest doctor should be brought
to the spot.
In case the stream of blood is continuous and alarming,
fill up the vagina with a sponge, and Iceep the patient quiet
on her back until the physician arrives.
Is the inevitable and physiological consequence of preg-
nancy. It is a process of pain and suffering. It is a pro-
cess that requires all the moral courage and fortitude a
woman is capable of.
The woman who bears a child to her husband performs
an act which his lifelong love and kindness could not
repay. The woman who bears a child to the State gives
the legislator to mould the nation, the general to defend
her honor, the admiral to span the oceans. The woman
who bears a child to her God is an imitator of his creation,
and will glory in the light of his love.
Woman is the re-creator and the nurse of mankind. Her
sufferings in giving birth to her offspring, her self-abnega-
tion in raising and educating it, command man's respect,
his admiration, his love, his gratitude.
Beautiful in love, sympathetic in sorrow, she governs his
affections, and assuages his pains.
In the throes of labor, she is heroical. On the life of
her infant, she sheds tears of joy. In the tenderness of a
newly-made mother, she forgets her pains. Her lips
whisper thanks to her God; her eyes look with a trium-
phant joy upon her husband.
No wonder man loves his mother! If a mother never
did anything but give birth to her son, he should love her
and be grateful to her forever.
I will presume that every woman expecting to give birth
to a child engages an accoucheur one or two months be-
fore the expiration of her term. As the woman in labor
is quite incapable of assisting herself, I will treat only of
natural labor, to give an idea of its physiological process,
and the manner in which it should be attended in case the
physician is not present. Any abnormal deviation or com-
plication should positively require a well-skilled accoucheur
to be in attendance.
When labor has really commenced, the most important
point to ascertain is the presentation. The term "presenta-
tion" refers to the part of the child that presents itself
to the mouth of the womb. Physicians divide presenta-
tion into classes, and the classes into positions, until they
have reached a rather confusing number. For the prac-
tical purpose of an unprofessional attendant, four only
are important, — head, foot, hreech, and hand presentation;
the first three constituting natural presentations, from the
fact that they do not offer difficulties, and the latter, pre-
ternatural, because it offers serious difficulties to labor.
The presentation can easily be detected by introducing
the index finger into the vagina as far as the womb, when,
if the head presents itself, a hard, round tumor will be felt
within the mouth of the womb. This presentation may be
confounded with the hreech, for that also is round, and
almost of the same diameter; but, in the latter, there is a
feeling of elasticity, given by the fleshy buttock, that can-
not be mistaken. Besides, by thrusting the finger a little
higher, and feeling carefully around, the protrusions of
the vertebrae of the spine, or the division of the limbs and
the genital organs, can be discovered.
Hand or foot presentation is easily detected by the nat-
ural shape of those organs.
Head or hreech presentation should give no concern; for
the diameter of each is sufficient to expand the womb and
the soft parts, so as to render the exit of the other parts of
the body comparatively easy.
Foot presentation is liable to render labor long and dan-
gerous to the child, inasmuch as the head may be arrested
in the pelvis of the mother after the body is extruded,
delaying thus the respiration, and causing, probably fatal
Hand presentation is dangerous in the extreme: no time
sliould he lost in securing the immediate attendance of a
skilful physician; for it is evident that the child lies cross-
ways, in which case it cannot be bom without turning.
PEEMONITOEY SIGNS OF LABOE.
During the last fortnight of pregnancy, the abdominal
tumor subsides, so that pressure is taken off from the lungs,
heart, and stomach, and the woman feels more buoyant,
freer, and more comfortable. The pressure, however, is
brought downwards by the descent of the womb, causing,
often, a desire to void urine, and sometimes, even with an
inability of doing so,
FIEST STAGE OF LABOE.
Labor may be divided into two stages: the first consti-
tuting the process of dilatation of the mouth of the womb;
the second, the process of expulsion of the child from the
interior of the mother.
During the first stage, the parts become humid: a dis-
charge of watery blood, "the show,'' occurs; intermittent.
regular, and periodical pains come on, each, nshered in by
shiverings. This stage of preparation occupies five-sixths
of the duration of labor. The fibres of the womb contract,
and its mouth dilates, at every pain.
During this stage, it is evident that there is nothing to
be done but to patiently wait. The mother should make
no expulsive efforts: on the contrary, she should save her
strength for the second stage, when the child escapes from
the womb, and is pressing hard against the soft parts.
She may walk the room or sit in a chair alternately: the
first will assist in the expansion of the mouth of the womb
by the pressure of the weight against it; the second will
shorten her confined position in bed, which may become
very tiresome if the labor is slow.
The patient should know, that, during this stage, there
is no accident to apprehend: her mind should be at ease
During these contracting pains, she may become nause-
ated, and may even vomit. This condition is considered
favorable, because it relaxes the system.
She need not have any fear or anxiety if this stage is
rather long; for it may depend upon the rigidity of the
mouth of the uterus, which will yield in proper time. Anx-
iety will only tend to diminish the force of her pains, and
render labor longer and more tedious. She should dispel
every imaginary dread that she will not get through; for
nine hundred and ninety pregnant women in a thousand
have suffered like herself, and have gone to the end with
perfect safety to themselves and their offspring.
She should not resist any inclination to move her bowels,
or to pass urine: on the contrary, she should encourage hoth,
as the discharges will give her relief, and make the exit of
thie child easier. It has even been customary to have the
bowels moved by a cathartic, and in ease the patient should
be in the least constipated, I do not deem it objectionable
in the least.
During this stage, if her physician is not present, she
should be examined now and then by the nurse, in order to
know the progress made in the dilatation of the mouth of
the womb. If, after every five or six pains, no progress is
detected, there should be no hurry in summoning the phy-
sician. When, however, the mouth of the womb is so ex-
panded as to be of the size of a silver dollar, the physician
should be present.
How to make an Examination.
Place the patient on her left side with knees drawn up.
The nurse lubricates with oil or lard the index finger of
her right hand, introduces it into the vagina, running it
upwards and backward in the direction of the spine. When
she reaches the tumor, let her feel for an opening in the
membrane that covers the child. If she is in doubt
whether her finger is then in the mouth of the womb, let
her keep it within until a pain comes on, and, if the finger
is within the womb, she will feel the mouth contract
around it like the string of a purse. She can then detect
the size of the opening. When the womb is relaxed, she
may confound the thin mouth of the womb with folds of
the vagina, but not so when it is in a state of contraction.
The mouth of the womb is sometimes difficult to find,
because it lies backward, and high up. The examiner
should not he satisfied until it has been found and its dimen-
sion fairly measured. Care should be taken, during these
examinations, not to press too hard against the tumor, lest
the bag of waters should be broken. The waters, enclosed
in an elastic bag around the head of the child, assist in
expanding the mouth of the womb. This bag of waters
generally breaks spontaneously during a violent pain.
When it breaks in the beginning, it constitutes what is
called ''dry labor" which may last longer on account of
the absence of the assistance spoken of. It usually breaks
in the second stage, although it may do so at any time,
particularly if the pains are strong, and the membrane
The mother should he made acquainted with the existence
and the necessary bursting of this bag, lest she should be
frightened at a sudden and unexpected gush of so much
The Arrival of the Physician
should be announced: his entering the room unannounced
may give the patient a shock. Even modesty requires this
caution. After he has made his examination, he should be
invited to another room. He will accept willingly; for he
knows that the patient will thus feel less constrained than
she would in his presence.
Conduct of the Attendants.
Admit no one to the room except the nurse or a female
friend requested by herself.
Under no circumstance, permit idle curiosity to peer into
that room. Keep out officious women whose services are
not needed. Stop every conversation regarding hard labors,
or accidents happened to other parturients. This is impera-
tive. Physicians know, to their regret, how many labors
have been kept lingering by the influence of these mis-
chievous conversations on the mind of the patient.
The husband should bear himself manfully; and, in his.
expressions of love and sympathy, he should not show thai
he is harrowed hy a feeling of anxiety and the fear that the
case may not terminate well.
Arrangement of Dress.
Before the commencement of the second stage, the
patient's dress should be so adjusted that it need not be
soiled. Her dress or gown should be folded up around her
waist, and the bandage to be used after delivery pinned
around it. This will secure the dress, and, at the same
time, leave the bandage ready to be brought down, without
moving the patient after delivery. Below this may be put
a flannel skirt, or a small sheet folded, which will cover
the patient, and protect the clothing above.
This simple precaution will prevent the necessity of
changing her linen after delivery; a process which may be
dangerous, in proportion to the condition of the patient.
SECOND STAGE OF LABOR.
The Birth. The mouth of the womb having dilated dur-
ing the first stage, and the child being now bearing down
upon the soft parts of the mother, the patient has a strong
desire to make expulsive efforts. This should now ie en-
couraged. When she feels a pain coming on, she should
draw a long inspiration, and then, holding her breath, bear
down with all her strength. Eestrain her from making ex-
clamations during the pains, and urge her not to relinquish
the downward pressure she ought to exert. If she com-
plains of her back, press gently with your hand against it.
During these pains, she may become very much excited,
and even talk incoherently. Ee-assure her, by telling her
that she is now near the end of her troubles. Encourage
her to rest between her pains, and maintain her position on
her left side.
Place a pillow between her knees, which should be bent,
and let her feet press against the foot-board.
Take a napkin, and press gently 'between the vagina and
the rectum during the pains; not enough, however, to pre-
vent the descent of the child, but to prevent a possible
rupture of the soft parts. If her exertions cause her to
perspire, dry her face with a handkerchief, or fan her a
little; if she is faint, give her volatile-salts or cologne to
Should the pains subside, and become weaker during this
stage, give her a cup of hot tea.
This stage, sometimes, is very short. Many instances
have occurred in my practice, particularly amongst healthy
and strong women, where it consisted of one pain, pro-
longed until the child was expelled. With some women,
it requires several pains, particularly when the parts are
rigid. Encourage patience. In cases where the infant's
head is very large, or the outlet of the mother rather nar-
row, the head is to be moulded, as it were, to the proper
proportions, and the resistance will cause some delay.
It is during these pains, that she should pull at a towel
fixed to the bed or in the hands of an attendant.
The patient should not be discouraged if several severe
pains, at this stage, do not cause the child to be bom. As
long as the presentation is right she need have no fear for
the result, even if no physician be present.
When, at last, the result begins to appear, and the head
is expelled, it should be supported in the palm of the
right hand, but no traction made.. If the pain ceases, and
the cord is twined around the child's neck, pull the cord
gently until it is loosened; and, if it is sufficiently long,
pass it around the child's head until it is disentangled. If
the pain delays, and the child's face looks congested and
blue, make gentle frictions on the mother's abdomen;
force your index finger under the armpit of the child, and
"When the child is born, and it breathes, turn its face
from the motlier, and from the discharges, lest, during an
inspiration, it draws in some of the fluids. If it cries, so
much the better: that will cause a long inspiration, and
expand its chest.
Do not be in a hurry now: there is no necessity.
How and when to cut the Cord. Having your string and
scissors at hand, as soon as the cord ceases pulsating, tie a
cord about it, an inch and a half from the navel; then put
another ligature two inches from that, and cut between
them. Then take a soft napkin, and wrap it around the
child, so that, in its slimy condition, it may not slip from
the hands; and place it in a smooth blanket in a safe place.
The After-Birth (Placenta). With your right hand, take
hold of the cord, and put it on the stretch; place your left
hand on the abdomen of the patient. If the abdomen is
not very much collapsed, and the womb does not feel like a
round ball that you can grasp with the hand, there may he
a twin-laly. But if the abdomen is sunken, and the womb
contracted, wait for a pain; and, when it comes, pull
gently, but steadily, at the cord. It will probably be felt
to follow the pull; if not, do not pull hard, lest you break it,
and have no means to get it out. It may take one or two
Sometimes the womb, being rid of the greatest part of
its contents, remains inactive, and suffers the placenta to
remain for a time. In this case, gentle frictions should be
made on the abdomen, and the womb gently pressed, so as
to excite contractions.
Should you, by accident, separate the cord from the pla-
centa, and, after waiting twenty or thirty minutes, during
which several pains may occur, the placenta not leing passed
out, introduce your hand, formed in conical shape, into the
vagina, hook your fingers in the spongy placenta, and
gently pull it out.
ATTENTION TO THE CHILD.
Does it Ireathe? If the child gives a hearty cry, you
may be sure it is all right. If it is evidently breathing at
all, as the vast majority of new-bom infants are, there is
no further serious trouble to be looked for on that score;
but if it remains still, and gives no sign of life, it will
require immediate attention. Some authors recommend
not to cut the cord until respiration is fairly established.
But this connection should exist only as long as the cord is
pulsating: when that ceases, the cord should be cut, lest the
placenta act like an instrument of suction, and withdraws
blood from the child.
The unhreathing condition of the child may be caused
by mucus filling its mouth: care should be taken, therefore,
to clear it as soon as born, by wiping the mouth with a
finger wrapped in the corner of a soft handkerchief. Then
sprinkle cold water on its face and body: the shock thus
given may awaken the dormant vitality. Should this be
not sufficient, alternate the sprinkling of cold water with
immersion in warm water. This alternate treatment of
heat and cold may be repeated several times. Should this
not succeed, take a towel wet in cold water, and with a
corner of it strike the child vigorously on the chest, back,
Do not give up in discouragement, even if the child does
not breathe for half an hour. There are instances in which
children have been brought to life after an inconceivable
length of time, and after many attempts to make them
Another means to restore life is the following: Close its
nostrils by pinching them together, and then blow into its
mouth, so as to force air into its lungs; then press its ribs
together, so as to cause the lungs to expel the air: this
alternate movement continued may stimulate the lungs
into action. During this process, the body of the child
should undergo frictions made with warm flannel im-
mersed in alcohol, brandy, whiskey, or any stimulant at
Some authors suggest taking a mouthful of brandy, and
then spurting it forcibly against the breast of the child:
this repeated has sometimes induced convulsive contrac-
tions of the respiratory muscles, and caused the lungs to
expand. Also a stream of cold water from a height has
These efforts should be continued even after respiration
has commenced, if it is very weak.
Should a galvanic battery be at hand, currents of elec-
tricity may be made to pass from the nape of the neck to
the muscles of the chest.
During these attempts to restore life, the child should
lie on a flat surface, with the head lower than the hody; and,
during the manipulations, the head should not be allowed
to fall on its chest.
Should the face of the child remain very much congested
and blue for several minutes, untie the cord, and let a
tablespoonful or two of blood flow.
Sometimes the new-born child's features look shrivelled;
it has a blue appearance, and breathes with a spasmodic
jerk, and feebly; its cries are very weak, and sound like a
weak groan. Under such conditions, it should be stimu-
lated by alternate douches of cold and warm water, by dry
heat and frictions. Care should be taken not to fatigue
it. It may be bathed with alcohol, and artificial respira-
tion kept up by alternate blowing in the mouth and press-
ing the ribs together. A little brandy may also be given
as follows: Five drops of brandy to a tablespoonful of
warm water; one drop of this solution on the tongue every
five or ten minutes, until the child gives sign of some
strength and of established circulation.
ATTENTIONS TO THE MOTHER.
Immediately after delivery, the patient, passing from a
state of tension to a state of relaxation, is often taken by a
nervous chill: so do not expose her surface to the air un-
necessarily; and, if the chill comes, cover her up until
reaction has set in, and she feels warmer.
Do not allow her, under any circumstance, to help her-
self; gently and steadily pull from under her the soiled
cloths and garments; then draw down the bandage, and
pin it snugly around her; pull down her dress, and cover
Apply a soft napkin to the vulva. Should the soft parts
be very sore, they may be bathed with tepid water medi-
cated with witch hazel.
If a physician has been in attendance, after his depart-
ure leave the patient to repose, and let no cverscrupuloushj
cleanly person interfere. Too much intermeddling is the
cause of severe after-pains, or of more or less dangerous
flooding. If the patient be allowed to sit upright, the
blood will accumulate again in the uterine veins, distend
them, and cause coagulations of blood that will induce
violent after-pains; and if the blood does not coagulate,
but flows away, it will produce the most violent and dan-
gerous flooding. The patient is thus exposed to the risk
of her life at a time when every moment of repose is of
the highest value to her.
Change of Position. If the patient should flow so much
that flooding may be apprehended, she should remain quiet
in the same position, until all danger is over. If the dis-
charges seem no more than should be expected, she may
be drawn up upon the bed, or even slidden to the other
side, as soon as convenient. Being made comfortable, she
should be left quiet, and allowed a little sleep, from which
she will awaken very much refreshed. The removal of
soiled clothes should be done with care to give her no
cold, or expose her to violent motions.
DRESSING THE CHILD.
Lubricate the child all over with some unctuous matter,
vaseline. In many instances, the application of unctuous
matter will be sufficient to detach all the viscid matter
adhering to the child; and it may be wiped off by a fine
sponge or a soft flannel cloth. This will prevent the chill-
ing of the child by washing. However, washing with fine
Castile soap and warm water is not objectionable, and may
satisfy the fastidious cleanliness of the mother. This
washing process should be as short as possible, and care-
fully done before the fire, lest the child is chilled.
The Umbilical Cord. Take a piece of linen (an old
handkerchief is good) about six inches square; cut a hole
in the centre of it; smear it all over with vaseline, and
through the hole draw the cord; then fold this linen up
so as to envelop the cord completely, and lay it upwards on
the abdomen; then cover it over with a square piece of
absorbent cotton, and apply the belly-band, so as to secure
it in its place, and prevent rubbing.
The Clothing. In dressing the child, care should be
taken that the diaper is not too thick or coarse, as it would
keep the limbs too widely separated. Otherwise, the child
may be dressed as the mother desires, although I would
suggest that the dress should be with high neck, and the
sleeves down to its wrist; thus maintaining equal circula-
tion throughout the body, and avoiding exposure of its
chest and arms when the child is taken up.
PEESENTATION OF THE CHILD TO THE MOTHEE.
After the mother has had some rest, and the child is
dressed, it should be presented to the mother.
She will look with pride on her offspring; and the joy
caused by the first sight of her babe will act beneficially
on her mind and system.
Allow the mother then to tender the hreast to her haby.
The first flow of milk is the first medicine that the child
receives. It is a natural laxative, to clear its bowels from
the meconium, which is a dark mucilaginous matter. The
act of nursing stimulates the breasts, and the reflex action
stimulates the womb to healthy contraction.
Threatened hemorrhage has been suspended by this
If the mother is strong, the baby may be allowed to draw
from the nipple for several minutes; lut if the mother he
nervous and irritable, and the efforts of nursing cause vio-
lent contractions of the womb, it should be taken from her,
and placed in a soft warm bed.
If the child cries, and is restless after this, as if it were
hungry, a few drops of sugared water may be given it.
Keep the room darkened, and do not turn the child's eyes
to the light.
The room should have ventilation by allowing open a
door that communicates with another room, hut no draught.
WHEN COMPANY MAY BE ALLOWED.
The birth of a child is a source of joy and excitement in
a household. Every member is impressed with the desire
to run and congratulate the mother. This should he allowed
only after the mother has had rest, and gives sure signs that
she is in good condition.
Let no one, in an outburst of Joy, jump at her, but let
them approach her calmly and happily. A great joy may
be changed into a great sorrow by not adhering to these
The Nursing and Eearing of Infants,
When the child is presented to the mother commences
that period of nursing, which, with few modifications, is to
be continued for many months.
Good habits are as conducive to the welfare of an infant
as they are to a grown person. Habits are acquired
through a persistent method of application, and, when
formed, our system responds to them with regularity: a
child may thus become thoroughly regulated by the will
of the mother. Eegular habits will greatly contribute to
the well being of the infant; for its intervals of rest, sleep,
or nursing, need never be interfered with, and the equilib-
rium of the functions of its organs so well maintained, that
it could not get sick except through accident.
Regular habits is the first lesson in the education of that
being which can only grow by the fulfillment of all the
laws of Nature. As the child commences with purely an
animal life, so feeding is its first act, its first thought, its
first desire, in maintaining its existence. Feeding plays
the most important part in the sustenance of its animal
life. And, as the child cannot for some time bring its ani-
mal instincts under the discipline of reason, it follows that
the mother must impart to it, through a method consistent
with the requirements of nature, those habits which will
be conducive to its well being. Only a woman who has
brought up children regularly and irregularly can tell the
ease and comfort derived from the former, and the dlfii-
culties and annoyances derived from the latter. Hence
make your rules for nursing, and adhere to them with a
pertinacity worthy only of a mother who loves her child.
Nurse your child at slated hours, and do not deviate by a
minute: soon you will have the happiness to see that your
child will awake only at those hours, as regularly as the
hand of the dial points to them. The intervals will be
periods of refreshing sleep to the child, and of needed rest
to the mother.
During the day, for the two first months, if your child is
vigorous, nurse it every two hours; during the third and
fourth months, every three hours; after that, every four
hours. Should you do otherwise, and should you nurse
the child every time it cries, you will overload its stomach,
without giving it a sufficient time to digest the food; an
error that will tend to gradually derange the digestive
functions, and induce all its fearful consequences of indi-
gestion. Besides, the child will soon begin to know that
it can nurse whenever it cries; and then it will cry very
often, and give signs that it wants the breast every time.
Should its cries sometimes be only the result of nervous-
ness or uneasiness produced by indigestion, your nursing,
instead of relieving, will only add fuel to the fire. Slow
digestion will cause flatulence, fiatulence will cause colic;
and when you think that the child cries and desperately
throws itself about for food, it is only giving notice that
it has cramp-colic in its belly. The fact that nursing often
quiets the child is taken as an indication that it needed
food. That is a mistake: a little more food may stupefy it,
rendering it less conscious of its pains, but this is only
temporarily so; in a little while, the child will cry and
writhe worse than ever.
Children may cry even without any appreciable reason;
it is a way they have sometimes to entertain themselves;
they, too, like to hear their own voice. If that indulgence
does them no harm, let them cry: their lungs will receive
the beneiit of this muscular action.
The cries of hunger, which may occur soon after feeding,
if the mother's milk is poor in quality, are generally ac-
companied by throwing the little arms about, turning the
head to the breast, and opening the mouth to everything
If the child is weak, and can nurse only a little at a time,
it may, of course, be necessary to nurse it oftener; but this
should be done only with a perfect understanding of the
At night, the child should not be nursed as often as dur-
ing the day. For the three first months, nurse it when you
put it to bed, say six or seven o'clock, P. M.; then at eleven
or twelve o'clock; then at five or six, A. M, After that
period, you may omit the midnight meal, and, if the child
wakes, give to it a sip of water. This method will secure
many an hour of good sleep to the mother, and give whole-
some habits to the child.
A child in good health generally wakes spontaneously
when it needs nourishment. Some children, however, are
slow in taking the nipple. In that case, wet the nipple with
a little of the milk, and titillate the child's mouth with it
until it takes hold. When the child does not wake, through
constitutional weakness, it should be wakened at stated
periods. If it is very weak, it may sleep almost constantly,
and the mother may rejoice at the quietude of her infant;
but she will soon find that the child is less and less inclined
to nurse after each prolonged sleep, that it cries very
weakly, and is ready to go to sleep again. Such evidence of
weakness is dangerous in the extreme; and the child should
be at once undressed, taken to a warm fire, and rubbed
briskly with a flannel moistened with some stimulating
substance, as alcohol, whiskey, brand}^, or camphorated
spirit; and, if the child is still disinclined to nurse, milk
should be drawn from the breast, and given with the spoon
until there are signs of restoration of strength. It should
be wakened every hour or two, and fed as above, until it is
able to take the nipple, and nurse itself.
It is difficult to say how long a child should nurse; for
what is plenty for one may be too little or too much for
another; but, if in good health, the child may be allowed
to nurse until it is satisfied, for Nature will relieve it by a
good throwing up if it has taken too much. If the act of
nursing lulls it to sleep before it has had a fair allowance,
wake it up, and it will go on nursing again. As soon as it
has had enough, and drops asleep, put it in its cradle: do
not retain it one minute longer on your arms, lest it might
take cold, or contract such habits of sleeping out of its bed,
that will be difficult to conquer when the holding the child
becomes a labor, and ceases to be a pleasure.
While the child is at the hreast, notice if it swallows; for
often it plays with the nipple without drawing the milk:
the act of deglutition is very apparent by the motion of the
Never neglect to make the child nurse at both hreasts
during the same meal: this will prevent engorgement of
one breast while the other is emptied, and will also accus-
tom the child to lie on either side without preference.
In case the breasts become so distended with milk as to
be painful to the mother, and make it difficult for the child
to hold the nipple deeply embedded in them, the pump
should be applied, and some milk drawn before nursing.
Breast-glasses or reservoirs can be worn by the mother.
The air in them being rarified by breathing hot air within
them, they will gently draw as they cool, and receive milk
that will flow from the over-extended breasts even by the
pressure of the dress. These will act twofold: they will
relieve the breasts, and save the dress from being con-
stantly wet and soiled.
Nursing women require rest and sleep for the formation
of plenty of good milk: consequently they should not keep
the baby in bed with them; for it will soon learn its way to
the breast, and nurse all night, even unknowingly to the
mother. This would be very injurious to the child, besides
exposing it to the accident of crushing or suffocation. If
the mother has an attendant, let the latter carry the child
to her at the stated periods; if not, and the mother is com-
pelled to keep the child in her own room, it is better that
she should get up and take her child than run the risk of
keeping the child in her own bed. A baby in her bed will
sink lower than the pillow, and may eventually be covered
over by the bed-clothes, compelling it to breathe the im-
pure air emanated under them, while the purest air is
necessary to its existence.
Do not expose your breast to the cold air; for, in its sensi-
tive condition, it is liable to take up inflammation, which
will end in abscesses or gathered-breasts, commonly called,
so terrible to the mother, and dangerous to the child:
avoid, therefore, nursing a child while taking a drive in a
carriage, unless it is in a warm summer day.
Never nurse a child immediately after a heated walk or a
fit of anger: rest, and get cool. After a fit of passion, it
would be better to draw out the milk with the pump, and
wait for a fresh supply.
RAISING A CHILD BY HAND.
Whenever human milk cannot be procured, or, by rea-
son of its disagreeing with the child, it cannot be used,
some proper method of feeding must be adopted for the
preservation of its life.
This is a subject of great importance, — one which re-
quires all the attention of the mother and the physician;
for statistics show that the mortality of infants is much
greater among those who are raised by hand than among
those who are raised at the human breast.
In different countries, and even among the mothers of
the same country, different means are adopted to feed
children artificially. And as each of these methods has its
adherents, and each is, by turn, pronounced successful and
unsuccessful, it becomes of great moment to investigate
the merits and demerits of each before deciding upon one
on which your infant is to be raised.
Cow's, goat's, ass's, and ewe's milk are used. "Solidi-
fied," "condensed" milk, farinaceous and cracker and pre-
pared foods, and broths, are used.
A young mother, making inquiries among her lady-
friends of how her child should be fed, will hear one or
the other of these extolled or condemned, until she will be
at a loss which to select.
Milk is unquestionably the best food for an infant.
When woman's is not to be used, that of animals must be
substituted. But, as each varies from the others in its con-
stituents, an analysis has been made of the principal ones,
in order to learn the proportions of the constituents as
they exist in each, to enable us to supply the deficiencies,
or reduce the superabundance. In this way, the milk of
animals may be rendered of the same quality as that of the
The following table will serve as a guide: the fractions
have been nearly all omitted, as unimportant, and some-
what confusing: —
The solid constituents are
From the above table, we learn that the solid constitu-
ents of Ass's Milk are arranged in the same manner as
human milk; and it therefore suggests itself as the most
appropriate milk for infants' food. The great objection to
this milk is the difficulty in obtaining it; for while, in
some countries, the ass is found in abundance, in others it
is hardly found at all, and, even in those countries where
it is found in plenty, its milk is very expensive. Ass's
milk being deficient in oily matters, it is suggested that a
little cream (about the twentieth part) be added to it.
This milk possesses also some laxative properties, which
are not always desirable. To counteract such an effect,
heat it to a boiling-point, and add about one-fourth of
Cow's Milk is the next substitute, and the most gener-
ally adopted. But as this milk contains more caseine, and
less sugar, than human milk, it is necessary to dilute it
with water, and sweeten it with sugar.
The degree of dilution must vary according to the age
of the infant. For the two first months, to the milk should
he added an equal quantity of water; from the second to
the sixth month, one-third; afterwards, the child may have
it pure. All milk should be sterilized before using.
The temperature of the milk should be as near as pos-
sible to the temperature of milk just drawn; namely,
from 90° to 95° Fahrenheit. To prevent burning in heat-
ing it, the bottle containing the milk prepared for use
should be put in a pan containing warm water, and there
left until it has acquired the proper temperature. To be
sure that you get it to the right temperature every time,
a thermometer should be used.
The milk that remains in the bottle after feeding should
never he used again.
The bottle should be kept scrupulously clean, and, once
a day, it should be washed with scalding water.
The nipples, as soon as used, should be cleaned, and
allowed to remain in water until they are wanted again.
The quantity of cow's milk that a child should take each
time will depend upon its age and upon its natural require-
ments; for while one child is easily satisfied, and thrives on
two ounces of milk every two hours, another will require
more. As a general rule, to an infant of one or two
months, two or three ounces are sufficient; from the second
to the fourth month, from four to five ounces; afterwards,
from six to eight. This seems a very rapid increase of
food; but as, in the latter months, the child is not fed so
often, the quantity it takes in twenty-four hours is not so
great as it may appear at first thought.
The quality of the cow's milk is of great importance.
The milk of a healthy cow is slightly alkaline; this alka-
linity may be changed into an acidity by improper food.
A cow shut up in a stall, and poorly fed, will give a milk
greatly deficient in solid constituents, and very liable to
Cows kept in the city, and fed on carrots, garbage, etc.,
will give a very inferior milk. It is therefore preferable to
obtain milk from a cow that is at pasture, or that you are
sure is fed on hay, straw, clover, or such forage as horses
feed upon. Whenever it is apprehended that the milk may
have an acid re-action, it should be tested with litmus-
paper, and, if found so, a little lime-water may be added to
render it slightly alkaline.
Great caution must be exercised in the selection of a
person well known for honesty and integrity to supply the
milk; for an ignorant and careless person may think it but
a light trick to give you the milk of one cow instead of
another: this little trick, however, may cost your child's
Engage the milk of one cow, which has just calved, and
keep taking it from her until you have good reasons for
changing. Examine the milk every time you receive it; do
not trust ignorant servants or nurses; see to it yourself, and
the milkman will conclude that you are in earnest in this
matter, and will not attempt deception.
New milk should be brought morning and evening; for
it will not keep sweet twenty-four hours without chemical
means, which should not be allowed.
Many nurses heat the milk to the boiling-point as soon
as they receive it, and keep in a cool place, in an open ves-
sel. This treatment will prevent its turning in a few hours,
even in a warm day.
A thunder-storm will turn the milk: this electrical influ-
ence gives the milk an acid re-action, and renders it unfit
** Solidified" and "Condensed" Milk. Professional itin-
erants, such as actors, etc., who are unwilling to leave
their cares behind, by necessity use such milk, as fresh
and good milk could not always be obtained; and it would
be dangerous to a child to thus change daily the quality of
the milk. But "solidified" and "condensed" milk are not
made by the same process. The process now used in "con-
densing" requires no chemical adjunct; while the "solidi-
fied" requires the presence of bicarbonate of soda, and one-
fourth of sugar. Hence, for an infant, I would recommend
the "condensed" in preference to the "solidified."
PEEPAKED BABY FOODS.
The advance in this science is truly gratifying, and many
of the foods now so prominently advertised have great
merit. Some are prepared from rich, full cream milk,
combined with the valuable nutritive extracts of malted
barley and wheat. Such a product, being highly concen-
trated and partially predigested, supplies the greatest
amount of nutrition with the least tax upon the digestive
organs. They come in convenient powdered form, and
are easily prepared. Such full and perfect directions ac-
company each package that it is useless to go into details
here. We recommend, however, that in all cases, where
the mother's or cow's milk does not agree with the baby,
to immediately substitute one of the recognized prepared
foods, either in combination with milk, or prepared by
simply adding water.
Period of growth. This is called so only relatively; for
we know that the child grows from its very birth. After it
has attained the twelfth year of age, however, the growth
is so rapid, the organs hasten so fast to the completion of
their development, that the time from that age to puberty
has been styled the "period of growth.''
This is the most important and interesting period in the
human life; for, after this, the moral habits are formed,
and the organs are shaped to a fashion in which they will
remain ever after. It is during this period, also, that the
mind, heretofore passive and almost totally imitative,
springs as from its cell into an existence of self-depend-
ence, self-regulation, and gives evidence of originality of
thought and conception. All the senses become more
active; and one can notice the human being gradually
breaking away from the anchor of parental control, and
drifting towards the current of life, where it will ever after
steer its own course. It is now that you will see the fruit
of your early instruction; it is now that the imperfections
will become apparent; it is now that artistic touches will
be required, lest the picture is a daub forever.
It is, also, at this period that latent diseases often de-
velop themselves; and the offspring of parents who have
died of tuberculous consumption need now the greatest
attention, for in this condition of susceptibility the slight-
est indiscretion is often the spark that kindles a fatal fire
in the young and tender body.
It has already been stated that this period is marked by
Tery notable changes, and particularly in the organs of
generation. This development will infuse a new stimulus
into the organism heretofore unknown to the child. It is
not agreeable to our self-love to speak of ourselves as ani-
mals; but unfortunately our nature has an animal side
which even our conceit cannot destroy. The most impor-
tant of all these functions is, probably,
Menstruation is that which characterizes the develop-
ment of puberty in the woman.
The time of its first appearance varies according to cli-
mates, national or individual constitutions, the manner of
living, the occupation, the habits, the moral and physical
education. It appears sooner in warm than in cold cli-
mates. In the neighborhood of the equator, it appears in
girls of ten or eleven years, and even sooner; in the north,
not before the fourteenth or fifteenth year or even later.
Different habits, occupation, and education will cause girls
to vary in the coming on of menstruation in the same city
or locality. The one who leads a life of excitement, reads
romances, and is very imaginative, will menstruate early;
the other, retired and modest in her habits, of quiet dispo-
sition, kept within the sphere of innocence, will not men-
fitruate till late.
Although the menses appear sometimes without any pre-
monitory symptoms, they are generally heralded by a sense
of lassitude, a sensation of weight in the lower part of the
abdomen and in the loins, by heat in the parts, and by a '
painful swelling of the breasts. Where the nervous system
predominates, a general excitement prevails, inducing mel-
ancholy, palpitation of the heart, hysteria; also a desire for
uncommon things, as slate-pencil, salt, tar, pickles, etc.
After a few days of this malaise, a discharge of white
mucus appears, which may immediately be followed or not
by a regular menstruation. It often occurs, that, after one
normal menstruation, two or three months elapse before
another, until finally they become established with regu-
larity. In some cases, the re-appearance is not accompa-
nied by the unpleasant precursory symptoms experienced
the first time; in others, the same pains, sensations of
weight, of heat, of general malaise recur. Some girls suffer
much, and show it in their appearance; their eyes become
surrounded by a dark circle, their breath becomes unpleas-
ant, they suffer from oppression of the chest, tenderness of
the abdomen, colic; their usual equanimity is lost, and they
become irritable, impatient, violent, or sad. These symp-
toms would indicate an irritation of the uterus amounting
almost to inflammation.
The quantity of blood lost each time, and the number of
days of sickness, vary, as they depend upon the constitu-
tion, climates, habits, and moral affections.
Menstruation ceases at the age of forty to fifty, which
cessation is called the "change of life," or the "critical
Whenever the irregularity of menstruation produces
sympathetic affections that are not consistent with health,
a physician should be consulted without delay.
Menstruation plays a most important part in procreation.
Although women who never menstruated have given birth
to children, and although women have menstruated during
pregnancy, still the general law is, that menstruation is
necessary to conception and does not occur in a period of
pregnancy. Derangement of menstruation is, therefore, in
all cases, of grave importance, as it relates to one of the
most important duties of mankind. Deranged menstrua-
tion is also a source of manifold maladies, hysteria, dys-
pepsia, sick-headache, backache, weakness, colics, insanity,
Could a mother, then, he indifferent to the estahlishment
of this function in her daughter? Should she not be solic-
itous that it should continue with regularity and nor-
mality? Could pretended modesty excuse her from attend-
ing to this function of which her daughter is entirely
ignorant? Would her daughter thank her, when, in later
days, she finds that her own instructed ignorance has led
her into fatal errors?
As soon as this process commences in tJie girl, her mother
should make her acquainted with its necessities and its
dangers. Let her understand its purpose; how it can be
preserved, regulated, and made conducive to health; and
how easily deranged, and allowed to bring dangerous mala-
dies upon her, — and she will not be long in comprehending
its full meaning and importance. It will not be difficult,
then, to induce her to avoid the excesses and the exposures
that will imperil her welfare for life.
Menstruation is sometimes tardy in its first appearance.
Before interfering, however, it is necessary to observe if
the girl is sufficiently developed to menstruate. This
change, or puberty, is always accompanied by a develop-
ment of the organs that are in close sympathy with the
womb. The breasts should have become larger, the hips
wider, the form fuller, before this function is established:
as long as they are undeveloped, it would be useless, and
even dangerous, to attempt to establish menstruation by
medical means. If she have reached her sixteenth year,
and her form has acquired the shape to indicate that pu-
berty has arrived, she should be subjected to some healthier
regimen. She should be taken from school, sent to the
country, given exercise in the open air; her diet should be
simple, but nutritious; her feet bathed in warm water every
night. A journey on the sea, a sojourn on the mountains,
has often induced that crisis without any other aid.
When the girl, already developed, suffers periodically
from headache, backache, flashes of heat, nose-bleed, palpi-
tatioA of the heart, nervousness, and pain in her breasts,
while the menses do not make their appearance, a skillful
physiciajL should be consulted.
The common causes of irregularity in the menses are
taking cold, wet feet, too much mental application, seden-
tary life, want of exercise, abuse of coffee, stimulants, or
narcotics, violent exercise, checked perspiration, laziness,
late Jiours, want of attention to the daily evacuations, excite-
ment, anger, passion, grief, worry, immorality, disappoint-
ments, home-sickness, mental shocks, frights.
Diseases of the womb are insidious in their nature, be-
cause uncared for. Should all irregularities be attended to
in the beginning, they would not run into that chronic state
in which physicians almost always find them. Thousands
of our weak, nervous, helpless women, would revel in the
enjoyment of perfect health, in the discharge of their sol-
emn duties as wives and as mothers, if they had given
timely attention to little irregularities.
The hygiene of a girl at this critical period should be
guarded, both morally and physically. Her mind should
be free from cares or sorrows; free from the shackles of
society; not laden with engrossing studies; prevented from
reading amorous literature, or too much of romance and
novels; guarded from all nervous shocks. Her body should
be allowed to develop, untrammelled by unsuitable dress,
unimpeded by confinement to the house or school. The
open air should be her life, healthy exercise her practice,
innocent pleasures her resources.
harmony of temperament and education.
The union of two moral and intellectual beings, linked
by a pure love, in conjugal relation, is a sublime conception
of Christianity and civilization. "Those whom God has
joined together, let not man put asunder," Man and
woman thus joined become a unit. Their thoughts, their
actions, their will, should all tend to cohesion. This cohe-
sion can be maintained only by harmony of temperament
and of education. Discordant temperaments and different
educations will force a married pair asunder perpetually,
and end only in the destruction of the compact made on
the very altar of God. The disregard or the want of these
elements of cohesive moral force in persons who join in
marriage renders their union a mistake, if not a crime. We
often see persons, who, although joined with the sincerest
intent to fulfill their duty to each other, and with hope of
happiness beating high within their bosoms, fall suddenly
apart, from incompatibility of temperament or education.
This incompatibility will cause attritions and jarrings,
which eventually intensify into explosions of bad temper,
conducing to separation and crime.
A son, dutiful and amenable in his parents' home, a
daughter, a very angel in her father's household, join in
wedlock; and the occasion is one of great rejoicing among
the parents and friends. Only a few months, and the
daughter returns to shed tears on her mother's bosom,
whispering sad accusations against her husband. The son
returns downcast, with knitted brow, to his parents' home;
and, when forced by a doting mother into a confession of
his troubles, he inveighs against his wife. Soothing words
and good advice may send them back in better temper, to
renew vows of love and promises of better things for the
future, but, alas! only a few weeks. — often a few days, —
and again each takes the path to the parental home. This
time the fault is unpardonable. Affectionate words from a
loving and frightened mother, good warnings from a sensi-
ble father, fail to soothe. A restlessness takes possession
of the young people, which is prognostic of heavier storms.
The clouds gather fast. An opportunity, and a blast of
passion is in them. All the warnings and loving words are
forgotten; hot thoughts are exchanged, an intense look is
given to one another, and the discovery is made,— they are
strangers. The wife's parents recognize no more the
seraph that only chanted notes of innocence within their
ears. The husband's parents do not recognize the dutiful,
amenable son. Each was good when they were separate:
both are bad now that they are united. Is this a difficult
problem to solve? No. Had each found a mate homo-
geneous in temperament and in education (or, in other
words, congenial), the union would have been perfect; but
this important principle was neglected, the centripetal
moral force was wanting, and there they are, asunder: one
not comprehending the other; both appearing what they
are not, — selfish and ill-intentioned.
Marriage brought about by a love inspired in the ball-
room, in the shady paths of summer retreats, where life's
duties and personal requirements are not discussed, or al-
lowed to trespass, should be looked upon with distrust.
The ardor of youth, selfish in its intent, will not allow the
mind, at such times, to descend for a moment from the
lofty pinnacle of love to a prosaic analysis of e very-day's
affairs, among which they, nevertheless, must spend their
life when they are married. They do not think — they can-
not think — that marriage is a contract of "give and take/'
and that, as in all contracts, there must he honesty and in-
tegrity in the fulfillment as well as in the promise. They
themselves would laugh at others entering upon engage-
ments so solemn and so binding on simple protestations of
friendship and good faith. They would see to it, that,
before they make such solemn vows, each possesses the
means to discharge his self-imposed duties to the very let-
ter, not only by words, but by such securities as will insure
a true fulfillment, — so important to a continuation of har-
mony in that partnership where individuality is lost, dual-
ism abandoned, and union sought and achieved.
With our knowledge of human affairs, is it safe to allow
two inexperienced beings, young in the ways of the world,
to enter into a contract unassisted by the warnings and
knowledge of the parents?
But how can the parents act without infringing upon the
right of selection, which is a natural privilege of their
First of all, encourage the associations of your children
with such as bear no great contrast in social status or edu-
cation. Educate your daughter to take a practical view of
life, by enjoining industry and self-reliance. Educate her
to be a co-laborer with man, recognizing, that, if she be-
come married, in the fulfillment of the contract she must
take a share of the toil as well as the enjoyment; that,
while he is toiling for the support of the family, she is not
to sit with hands on her lap, wasting her mental capacity
on the novels of the day, or the small earnings of her hus-
"band in everlasting "shopping." What she can save by her
industry and discretion will be equal to the income he
brings home. This will secure his respect and his confi-
dence. To her he will unfold his plans, relate his success
and his failures; and hand in hand, in mutual encourage-
ment, they will walk the "long path," through the myste-
rious avenues of happiness, and generally to the goal of
Educate your sons to virtue, and to the habit of regard-
ing woman, not as a fading flower or a divine statuette, but
as a noble fellow-creature. And, if he marry, let him know
her as a helpmate, who has her rights in the contract.
Let him be taught that he is not to be the autocrat, and
she his serf; but that they are equal, each attending to the
department suited to his kind, each department being a
part of the whole; that in her he should confide, not only
because it is his will, but because it is her right; that the
fidelity, interest, and compliance he exacts from her, he
should feel she has the right to exact from him; that, be-
fore he transgresses, he should think how he would like it
should she transgress likewise.
Parents who have boys and girls to rear should take care
not to make odious distinctions; and those foolish mothers
who dote upon their sons, and allow them privileges not
granted to the daughters, raise bad husbands. The boy
who has been educated to regard his sister as inferior to
himself is not likely to put a greater estimate on a woman
when he is wedded to her.
How is harmony of temperament and education, so
essential in married life, to be found out before marriage?
Certainly not under the present system of betrothal be-
tween boys and girls in this country. In the United States,
a boy and a girl become "engaged;" then he or she informs
the parents, who must acquiesce at once, or create serious
disappointment with disapproval. The parents of both are
thus often compelled to a consent without having the
slightest knowledge of the true character and education of
the parties concerned.
Wise parents should know that their children will
eventually want to get married; they should therefore
watch with solicitude the accomplishment of this fact. By
proper management, they should make the children feel
that they do not look with aversion upon this occurrence;
on the contrary, they should make them feel that they
share this as every other happiness of a beloved child.
This will secure the confidence of the young persons, who
will admit to their parents their predilections. Thus time
will be afforded for proper warnings and advice; and, when
there is no absolute reason for opposition, a girl's parents
should receive a young man's attentions to their daughter
with that dignified acquiescence which will make him not
only respectful, but grateful. Invite him to visit your
family as a friend of all; show interest in his pursuits; make
him feel that you share his aspirations in life's work; that
you respect him, and have confidence in his integrity, — and
he will become unreserved, communicative, and even confi-
dential; his whole nature will gradually be manifested, and
in the interchange of social ideas, family sentiments, etc.,
these two beings, attractive to one another, will have a fair
opportunity of putting the true estimate on each other.
Moreover, the parents, who are there not as mere specta-
tors, but as interested parties, will be able to Judge of the
probability of happiness; and if, in their Judgment, there
should be incompatibility of temperament or education,
they will have time to prevent what might be an irretriev-
able error. During this acknowledged courtship, there
should be, however, no binding engagement.
The prevailing custom in this country, that excludes the
parents from the society of young gentlemen who admire
their daughters, is erroneous, and prolific of a social evil.
It cannot be expected that two young people thus left will
spend much of their time in reflections, or analytical obser-
vation of each other's intrinsic character or merit. The
subdued, winning ways of a beautiful girl will entrance the
susceptible heart of a youth, who, in his turn, hides his
own short-comings in the effort to appear what he thinks
she must love. These loving creatures are simply dissem-
bling, though, perhaps, with the most honest and amiable
motives. Hypocrisy is the art of love, and skill is not
wanting when the heart is in a state of effervescence. It
is when excitement ceases, after a few months' marriage,
that, unconsciously, the mask is allowed to drop, to take a
breath. The discovery thus made is pleasing only in in-
verse proportion to the disguise. Disguise there is always
in lovers: the very anxiety to please makes them always
put the best foot foremost; the discovery of the cloven-foot
is always productive of disappointment and heart-burnings
for being deceived while trying to deceive.
As a mask cannot be worn forever, we recommend long
engagements, and constant association en familh, so as to
prevent those periods of rest which enable the dissembler
to put on sweet dispositions for the occasion.
A GIEL FIT TO MAEEY.
When a man offers himself in marriage, it is expected
that he has a trade, a profession, an occupation of some
kind, in which he is skilled, in order that he may be able
to provide for himself and family.
"What is expected of woman?
I have heard mothers say, "Let my daughter enjoy her-
self while she is single: there is time enough for her to
learn cooking and house-keeping after she is married."
Now, suppose a young man should go to a college to ask for
his diploma, telling the professors that he would take out
his degrees; but the profession he would learn afterwards.
Suppose that a young man, while offering his hand to the
daughter of the above mother, should say, "Madam, I have
enjoyed myself so far; now that I take to myself a wife,
I will learn a profession : there is plenty of time after mar-
riage to learn." What would the dame say? Very likely
she would stand aghast at the impudence of the fellow; and
politeness would not prevent her from telling him that he
was not fit to have the care of her child. And yet, when
he says, "I am a mechanic, a merchant, a lawyer, or a doc-
tor of medicine," what does she say of her daughter? —
probably this: "She is a good girl; she is the idol of our
family; she has never worked; she has never known a trou-
ble: see that you make her happy." good mother! is
that your idea of equity? The way you ought to be able
to answer is this: "My daughter, too, has a profession; she
can keep house; she can sew; she can cook; she knows the
market price of comestibles, knows the proportions of gro-
ceries to be meted out for a certain number of individuals
in a family; can keep a book of expenses; understands the
laws of economy, the management of servants, the govern-
ment of her house. I assure you that the earnings from
your toil will be safe in her hands. While you make, she
will economize; and, instead of being an expense to you,
she will be an assistance. Even if she should not need to^
labor, she so understands how to do that she can direct the
service of others. Her pleasures are only secondary to her
duties; and while she is refined, educated, and virtuous, she
is a good manager, and a pleasant companion/'
mothers! let this be so, and hundreds of bachelors
who rove through the miseries of "single blessedness," de-
terred from marriage by the fear that they cannot support
a wife, will take to themselves one of these lovely and in-
dustrious women, and regret that they did not find her
Whose fault is it that the young men of our days are so
afraid of marriage? Whose fault is it if married men can-
not encourage bachelors to change their condition? Even
from the pulpit we have heard denounced this disinclina-
tion of men to marry. We know that this abnormal state
of things is prolific of moral vices and social degradation,
yet we cannot encourage good men to marry women who
are totally ignorant of the duties of a wife: we cannot
blame them if they do not want to marry women who drag
them from step to step down from the ladder of success.
No woman, were she a queen, should feel above a certain
amount of daily work.
It is for the parents to educate their daughters for the
profession of housewives. To become an efiicient house-
wife, it needs the early training that a man has to undergo
to become a mechanic, a professional man, or a trader.
The habit of methodical work is acquired only through
early perseverance, never after. Men will more respect a
girl who can use a little French on her pastry than one who
can only utter French bons-mots in the parlor. Her white
and flexible hands will lose none of their charms if they are
pricked by the industrious needle. A well-fitting dress will
attract no less if the nimble fingers of the wearer did the
cutting and the sewing.
Eaise your daughters to do their work, and the limited
incomes of young men will be ample to support a family,
and also to save for rainy days. The wife thus employed
will have more respect for herself, and will be a good judge
of the hardships of her husband. The husband will love
the little sprite who lessens his anxieties, and affords him
so much comfort. No more dependence upon unwilling or
untrusty servants; she can laugh at them, and, when they
find that it is so, they will learn that their interest is to
work, to economize, and be faithful. The whole household
will then be in harmony; the vexations that try one's
temper, the heart-burnings and rejoinders, be replaced by
peace, prosperity, and happiness.
Occupation and labor are conducive to health; and, with
habits of industry, many of our beautiful but frail girls
would have been much finer specimens of womanhood,
morally and physically.
HEALTH IN MARRIAGE.
Health is that condition of an animal in which all the
parts are sound, well organized; in which they all perform
their natural functions without hinderance.
Is this condition made a requisite on the part of the
parents before they give their consent to the marriage of
their children? Would that it were so! The cattle-breeder
carefully inquires into the pedigree of the sire; but the
father gives his daughter in marriage to one whose lungs
will not carry him ten years, whose skin indicates remote
disease, whose puny figure demonstrates an organization
vitiated by inherited humors; and, while the cattle-breeder
looks with pride on the purity of his stock, the grandfather
gazes stolidly at his rickety grandchildren. The marriage
of unhealthy persons soon brings forth an offspring that
bears the sickly taint of the parents, — sometimes even in-
tensified. How often the physician listens to the mother's
lament, who entreats that he may save the only remaining
child: she has lost all, and this is her only hope! The
physician looks at her and at her husband, and in his own
mind exclaims, "No wonder!" Alas! this is too true.
One-tenth of the human race die before they reach the age
of three. Can this be the intention of the Creator? Can
it be accident? What chance can a baby have to live
through the scores of little disorders to which it is exposed
during that tender age, when its very organization bears
-the seed of scrofula or syphilis? Teething, summer-com-
plaint, pneumonia, whooping-cough, catarrh, croup, that
fill thousands of untimely graves with the innocents, are
cursed by desolate mothers, who, had they or their parents
known better, might have avoided a union that compels
them now to immolate the life of their children upon the
altar of ancient vice. Teething, indeed! How can the lit-
tle ones who bear marks of the dissoluteness of their fore-
fathers live through any accidental physical irritation?
Every day, the knell vibrates the sound of the funeral-
march of some one too young, too lovely, for the grave; and
3'-et the marriages that spread destructive elements of dis-
ease are celebrated every day, and blessed on the altar of
How often do you hear of tubercles in our day! When
a physician declares a lovely girl to have tubercles on her
lungs, the mother's heart is stricken to despair; for she
knows that affliction and desolation must follow.
foolish parents! You carefully inquire into the family
status, the social pedigree, and financial condition of the
candidate for your daughter's hand, why do you not trace
his physical pedigree? Are the offspring of your children
less to you than the mere accidents of social inheritance,
which a day may reverse, a breath of misfortune blow
away? Will wealth, will nobility, give strength to your
rickety children, or life to your consumptive grandchild?
Better, much better, that your daughter should remain a
maiden all her life, better that you should deny her the
right of marriage, than that she should entail disease upon
her child, and cause you to be an accessory to the crime.
You should require, if not a physician's certificate, at least
some assurance of health, and a great step will then be
taken towards providing for your daughter's happiness in
life, as well as towards improving the human race.
Conjugal Peinciples and Truths.
A husband is generally the architect of his own mis-
Love does not stand still. It moves — forward or back-
A husband should never indulge in pleasures which he
has not the talent to render reciprocal.
Conjugal pleasures should never degenerate into habits.
Modesty is a feminine attribute which should be pre-
served or cultivated, but never destroyed.
Prodigality of personal charms leads Love to bankruptcy.
Women like to feel that a man desires to grant what he
may be compelled to refuse.
He who can manage one woman can govern a nation.
The converse is not always true.
Women can *1ive upon air" — ^but not without it. Many
conjugal apartments are rendered sad by ill-ventilation.
A man may love several at the same time; a woman but
*^'one at a time, and often."
The man who assumes that a woman can love but once,
is an egotist or a fool.
Women are more faithful and less constant than men.
Jealousy in a man is an inconsistent passion ; he is loved
or he is not loved — in either case jealousy is useless.
When a woman takes suddenly to habits of devotion, she
is almost always struggling with a new love or forgetting
an old one— often both.
The man who forces idleness upon his wife, exposes her
to every temptation that can assail a woman.
'Naturally speaking, love once lost is nerer regained.
"When a woman, hitherto industrious, becomes idle, the
chances are thousands to one that she is "falling in love.'*
Sudden and unwonted scrupulousness of toilet announces
All the faculties of a woman are at the service of her
Two mysteries of a woman's heart : 1. She forgets even
the favors she has accorded to one whom she has ceased to
love; 2. She loves in proportion to the favors she has
Every husband of genius should be a strenuous advocate
of indissolubility — it takes away all hope of "doing better.'*
A woman deceives to conceal what she feels — a man to
pretend what he does not feel.
The idea of ownership and mastery involves despair for
the wife and dishonor for the husband.
Illicit love renders a woman indulgent to the faults of
others — ceasing to love she becomes more severe.
Money forms no element in conjugal happiness ; its pos-
session cannot purchase, nor its loss forfeit affection.
The only recipe for permanent happiness in wedlock:
* The resolutions referred to read as follows :
^'Whereas, it is well known that unscriptural views of
the marriage relation are becoming prevalent in some parts
of our land, so that its obligations are disregarded by many,
and separation of husband and wife, and divorces for slight
and unwarrantable reasons, are becoming more frequent
every year; and whereas, the horrible crime of infanticide
is also on the increase; and whereas, the evils which these
errors and crimes have already brought upon the Church
and country, and the worse evils which they threaten in
the future, make it imperative that the whole power of the
ministry and Church of Jesus Christ should be put forth
in maintenance of truth and virtue in regard to these
things ; therefore, be it
"Resolved, That we urge upon all the ministers of our
church the duty of giving instruction to the people of their
respective charges as to the Scriptural doctrine concerning
the marriage relation, and that they warn them against
joining in wedlock any who gain divorces upon other than
Scriptural grounds ; and we also exhort church associations
to the exercise of due discipline in the case of those mem-
bers who may be guilty of violating the laws of Christ in
"Resolved, That we regard the destruction by parents
of their own offspring before birth as a crime against God
and against nature, and that, as there are very many influ-
ences at work, in public and in secret, to corrupt the minds
of the people, until the frequency of such murder is not
longer sought to be concealed, we hereby warn those who
are guilty of these crimes that they cannot inherit eternal
life, and that it is vile hypocrisy for such persons to remain
in connection with the visible Church of Christ; and we
exhort those who have been called to preach the Gospel, and
all those who love purity and the truth, and who would
arrest the just judgment of Almighty God from the State
and nation, that they may be no longer silent or tolerant of
these things, but take a bold stand, that the thought of
impurity and cruelty may be stayed/' — Proceedings of the
"Old School Presbyterian Assembly," New York.
* That is, when the child can live if prematurely born ;
determined to be possible after six months, when the opera-
tion for premature delivery may be justifiable under certain
circumstances not necessary to detail here.
' This time not altogether without fear of contradiction,
for men of science are too often slow to trust implicitly in
the God of nature, or to change old and rooted beliefs.
* A witty French author calls the honeymoon the moortr'
• Kev£ill6-Parise. Traits de la Viellesse.
• Op. cit. p. 431, et seq.
' Exceptional instances of procreative ability in advanced
life are mentioned in medical works — instances so rare,
moreover, that they are preserved as curious items of medi-
cal history. Among others are the following:
Begon, a physician of Puy-en-Velay, tells of a lawyer of
his own time and country who was married at the age of
seventy-five, "moved thereto hy a principle of conscience,
being no longer able to resist the tardy but violent impulses
of a temperament which excited him to love."
An armorer of Montf aucon, aged eighty, feeling a sudden
renewal of forces which he had thought forever lost, re-mar-
ried and generated vigorous children.
Thomas Parr, an Englishman of celebrity, who died at
the ripe age of one hundred and fifty, at one hundred and
twenty married a widow, and for a long time "continued to
accomplish the matrimonial act with a punctuality for
which his companion was pleased to render him justice,"
According to Valerius Maximus, Massinissa, King of
Numidia, engendered one of his fifty-four sons at the age
Felix Plater affirms that his grandfather continued to
procreate until the age of one hundred.
A well-authenticated case is given in UHistoire dd
V Academic des Sciences, attested by the Bishop of Seez. It
is that of a man who, at the age of ninety-four, espoused a
woman of eighty-three, "whom he had rendered enciente!"
She was delivered at full term of a boy.
Behr, a distinguished physician of the last century, re-
lates the case of a man aged ninety-six, "who, having mar-
ried a woman of only ninety-three, accomplished thrice
each night the duties of marriage." During three years
of this practice the old monster suffered "no appreciable
alteration in health."
It is related of Wadislas, a king of Poland, that he begot
two sons at the age of ninety.
'A recent analysis of all the 'Tiair restoratives" of
repute, embracing more than twenty of those professing to
"restore the original color of the hair," exliibits the pres-
ence of lead in quantities of from one to six grains to the
ounce in every one of them, while several contained other
poisons. Spinal complaints, neuralgias, paralysis, and very
frequently death itself, result from the use of these diaboli-
A caution but little required in this age and country.
^'^ According to statistics, the proportion of unnatural
labors to the whole number is as one to twenty-eight, while
in first labors the proportion of deaths among women who
have attained the age of thirty is as one to nine.
^^ Michel Levy, Traite d' hygiene publique et privee.
*' A comical scene is told by a physician which occurred
many years ago, when a gentleman, ecstatic in the first
glories of a father, inquired of us if we had discovered any
peculiarity in the hands or feet of the cherub, then lustily
responding to the first application of soap and water. We
assured him there was "nothing wrong with the baby," but
he clearly intimated that "something would he wrong"
unless we should discover an odd number of fingers or toes
— that none of his family were ever born without an extra
number. To satisfy his droll anxiety we made the search
requested, and there, sure enough, was the little super-
numerary, branching out at a right angle from its legiti-
mate fellows ! Our friend drew a long sigh of relief, and
— kissed his wife. Several subsequent children have been
equally pleasing to their indisputable progenitor.
^* There is a theory recently started, by certain respect-
able authors, that the children conceived within the first
six days after the cessation of the monthly period, are girls,
and those conceived after the ninth day, are boys. We
confess to a want of confidence in this theory, but give it
"for what it is worth."
" De V influence du mariage sur la duree de la vie hu-
maine. Par le docteur Casper.
*" But wives only, for it is fast going out of fashion to
intend them for mothers — an "accident" of the kind being
regarded as "foolish!"
*^ For the benefit of our medical readers, we give a brief
recital of the pathological features of this truly wonderful
case: Coincidently with the beginning of pregnancy was
a pneumonia, attended with complete hepatization of the
right lung, followed by acute gastritis, then hepatitis, and
finally nephritis, with hematuria, albuminuria, ascites, and
all the final phenomena of that desperate condition. The
labor, somewhat premature, was ushered in by convulsions,
followed by coma, stertorous respiration, etc., which con-
tinued forty-eight hours, A tympanites — ^the most exten-
sive we ever saw — was accompanied by stercoraceous vomit'
ing and total suppression of urine. At length the pupil
dilated to its utmost capacity, the intervals of respiratory
movements gradually lengthened, and that peculiar metal-
lic sound accompanied each expiration which marks the
moribund state. We beg our professional readers to believe
that we never pretended to claim credit for this recovery,
so clearly a miracle of Providence!
**"We can almost hear the vile calumniator of every
virtue exclaiming, "What a fool, he hadn't the spirit of a
mouse !" , Pardon, sir, nothing is wanting in this picture —
not even the physical courage of which you make so much.
Eeturning to his home one day at an unwonted hour, he
was "presented" to the coxcomb, who was comfortably
seated in the drawing-room. He bowed him civilly out,
and then quietly remarking to his wife that he feared the
"gentleman was not a proper person to visit her," he
made no further allusion to the subject. Eeturning again
"quite unexpectedly," a day or two afterward, he found
"my gentleman" in the act of ringing for admission. Not
a word was exchanged, but a brief "sparring exhibition"
transpired on the sidewalk, out of which emerged one of the
contestants with a physiognomy seriously damaged. It is
needless to explain that our conjugal hero was not the
"injured party." It was probably this incident which
precipitated the escapade.
*' We know of a certain father who skillfully managed a
"cure" by taking the young man into his family and there
"exhibiting his paces" with such tact and skill, that the
young lady soon presented "the mitten." Not a word was
said against the young gentleman from first to last.