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Title: Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction
Author: Davenport, John, 1789-1877
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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              | Old spellings and syntax in the French |
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                     THREE ESSAYS ON THE POWERS
                          OF REPRODUCTION.

                   [Illustration: _Frontispiece._
                           VOTIVE COLUMNS
                       Of the Ancient Oscans.]

                 Aphrodisiacs and Anti-Aphrodisiacs:

                    THREE ESSAYS ON THE POWERS OF

                        SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

                         BY JOHN DAVENPORT.

              _Ubi stimulus, ibi fluxus._--HIPPOCRATES.

                          PRIVATELY PRINTED.


The reproductive powers of Nature were regarded by the nations of remote
antiquity with an awe and reverence so great, as to form an object of
worship, under a symbol, of all others the most significant,--the
_Phallus_; and thus was founded a religion, of which the traces exist to
this day, not in Asia only, but even in Europe itself.

That scarcely any notices of this worship should appear in modern works,
except in the erudite pages of a few antiquarians may be accounted for
by considering the difference of opinion between the ancients and the
moderns as to what constitutes--modesty; the former being unable to see
any moral turpitude in actions they regarded was the designs of nature,
while the latter, by their over-strained notions of delicacy, render
themselves, in some degree at least, obnoxious to the charge that, in
proportion as manners becomes corrupt, language becomes more
guarded,--modesty, when banished from the heart, taking refuge on the

To supply, to some extent, this lacuna in our popular literature has
been the object of the present work, in which, it is hoped, may be found
much curious and interesting physiological information, interspersed
with _recherché_ and festivous anecdotes.

The text is illustrated by a few plates, drawn from antiquarian sources.

J. D.


NOTE.--_As it was found impossible always to insert the illustrations
opposite the explanatory text, the following List will assist the reader
to those pages which explain the objects represented_:--

 Plate                                                Described on page

 FRONTISPIECE, INSCRIBED VOTIVE COLUMNS                    Facing title
 Of small size and of great antiquity; in use amongst
 the Oscan people, who were finally subjugated by
 the Sabines.

   I. _Figure_ 1, EGYPTIAN PHALLUS                              1, 2, 3
 From "Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, &c., par
 le Comte de Caylus."

        "      2, DO., different view                           1, 2, 3

        "      3, Two views of a double figure                  1, 2, 3

        "      4, ROMAN PRIAPUS over a baker's door at Pompeii       11
 From "Musée secret de Naples."

  II. _Figure_ 1, LINGHAM                                       1, 2, 3

 From M. Sonnerat's "Voyage aux Indes Orientales."

       "       2, PAN'S HEAD                                      9, 10

 From the Collection of Antiquities at Pompeii, _vide_
   "Musée secret de Naples."

 III. _Figure_ 1, LEADEN PHALLUS                                      5
 From the "Forgeais Collection of Plombs Historiques."

       "       2, DITTO, a different view                             5

       "       3, DITTO ditto                                         5

       "       4, DITTO ditto                                         5

  IV. _Figure_ 1, ROUND TOWER                                   5, 6, 7
 From O'Brien's "History of the Round Towers of

      "        2, THREE-HEADED OSIRIS                           7, 8, 9
 From the Comte de Caylus' "Recueil d'Antiquités
   Egyptiennes," &c.

   V. _Figure_ 1, CROSS                                      12, 13, 14

 From Higgin's "Anacalypsis."

       "       2, Another example                            12, 13, 14
 From the same work.

       "       3, Another example                            12, 13, 14
 From the same work.

       "       4, Another example                            12, 13, 14
 From the same work.

  VI. _Figure_ 1, EX VOTO, in silver                         18, 19, 20
 From the British Museum copy of R. Payne Knight's
   "History of the Worship of Priapus."

      "        2, DUDAÏM or MANDRAKE                     67, 70, 71, 74

 From Dr. Kitto's "Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature."

 VII. _Figure_ 1, FIBULA                                         142, 3
 From Holyday's "Juvenal."

       "       2, Another example of a different construction    142, 3




 Phallic Worship the most ancient and general                       1-2

 Phallic Worship found to exist in America                            2

 Indian Trimourti or Trinity                                          3

 Lingham                                                              3

 Yoni or Cteis, and Pulleiar                                          4

 Taly, Anecdote of the                                                4

 Leaden Phalli found in the river Rhône                               5

 Round Towers in Ireland--Phallic temples                             6

 The May-Pole a relic of phallic worship                              6

 Phallus held in reverence by the Jews--King David                    6

 Le prerogativi de' Testicoli (note)                                  6

 An Egyptian Phallic Oath                                             8

 Ancient Welsh Phallic Law                                            8

 London Costermongers' Oath "By my taters"                            9

 Bembo (Cardinal), his saying (note)                                 10

 Priapus, derivation of the word                                     10

 Priapus, how reverenced by Roman women                              10

 Priapus, decline of his worship                                     11

 The Cross [Symbol: Tau] known to the Buddhists and the Lama
   of Thibet                                                         12

 Cross (the) regarded by the Ancients as the emblem of fruitfulness  12

     Rev. Mr. Maurice quoted                                         12

 The Tau, Crux-Ansata, or triple Phallus                             14

 Remains of Phallic Worship in Europe                                14

 Lampsacus, the Birth-place of the deity Priapus (note)              14

 Saint Foutin                                                        14

 The Phallus of Foutin at Embrun--the holy vinegar                   16

 Curious Phallic Customs                                          16-17

 Godfrey de Bouillon and the Holy prepuce                            18

 Il santo-membro                                                     18

 Sir W. Hamilton's account of the Worship paid to Saints Cosmo
   and Damianus                                                      18

 _Ex votos_                                                          18



 Impotency, three kinds of, according to the Canon Law               21

 Impotency, Causes of, proper to Men                                 21

 Impotency, Causes of, proper to Women                               21

 Sterility and its Causes                                            21

 Morgagni quoted                                                     21

 Clitoris, its length sometimes prevents the sexual
   union--case quoted by Sir Everard Home                         24-25

 Columbus, Martial, Haller, Juvenal, and Ariosto quoted           25-26

 Impotency, Moral Causes of                                       28-29

 Montaigne's Advice                                                  32

 Impotency caused by too great warmth of Clothing--Hunter's
   Opinion                                                           33

 Point-Tying--Voltaire's Pucelle d'Orléans quoted                    35

 Point-Tying known to the Ancients--instances quoted              37-38

 Point-Tying among the Moderns recognised by James I.                40

 Counter-Charm to Point-Tying                                        41

 Agreeable Mode of curing such Enchantment                           42

 Case of Point-Tying related by Venette                              43

 Montaigne's curious Story                                           44

 Judicial Congress in Cases of alleged Impotency                     47

 Manner of conducting the Congress                                   48

 Judicial Congress originated with the Church                        52

 Judicial Congress practised in France during the 16th and
   17th Centuries--Forbidden in 1677                                 52

 Boileau quoted                                                   55-56

 Cases determined by the Judicial Congress                        54-58

 Willick, Dr., his Remarks and Advice upon the Sexual
   Intercourse                                                    58-63



 The Mandrake or Dudaïm the most ancient aphrodisiac                 66

 Rachel and Leah                                                     66

 Solomon's Song                                                      67

 Pliny the Elder quoted                                              68

 Sappho's love for Phaon accounted for                               66

 Superstitious ideas respecting the mandrake during the
   Middle Ages                                                       69

 The Knights Templars accused of adoring it                          69

 Mandrake, Weir's description of it                                  70

 Mandrake under the name of Mandragora used as a charm               70

 Macchiavelli's Comedy of La Mandragora and Voltaire's
   account of it                                                     71

 Love potions, Venetian law against them                             72

 Richard III. accuses Lady Grey of witchcraft                        72

 Maundrell's account of the Dudaïm                                   73

 Singular Aphrodisiac used by the Amazons                            75

 Philters, or love potions used by the ancients                      75

 Hippomanes, wonderful powers of, as an aphrodisiac                  79

 Recipes for love-potions                                            80

 Fish an aphrodisiac--Hecquet's anecdote                             86

 Mollusca, truffles and mushrooms used as aphrodisiacal              88

 George IV.'s appreciation of truffles (note)                        88

 Effect of truffles described by a lady                              89

 Latin epigram on the vices of the monks                             90

 _Naïveté_ of a monk on the score of adultery                        91

 Curious Quatrain in the Church of St. Hyacinth                      91

 Madame Du Barri's secret                                            93

 Do., Do., description of (note)                                     93

 Tablettes de _Magnanimité_--Poudre de joie--Seraglio
   Pastilles                                                         94

 Musk, Cantharides--effects of the latter                            96

 Cardinal Dubois' Account of a Love-Potion                           98

 Caricature upon Dubois (note)                                       98

 Indian Bang                                                        104

 Stimulating Powers of Odours                                       106

 Cabanis quoted                                                     107

 D'Obsonville quoted                                                108

 Portable Gold--Shakespeare quoted                              109-110

 Bouchard's Account of Aphrodisiacal Charms                         111

 Flagellation--Graham's Celestial Bed--Lady Hamilton--Lord
   Nelson, &c.                                                  121-126

 Burton quoted                                                      126


 Refrigerants--Recommendation of Plato and Aristotle            128-129

 Sir Thos. Brown quoted                                             130

 Origen                                                             130

 Camphor an anti-aphrodisiac                                        134

 Coffee an anti-aphrodisiac--Abernethey's saying (note)             137

 Infibulation, Holyday quoted                                   141-144

 Bernasco Padlocks                                                  144

 Voltaire's poem of the Cadenas                                     146

 Rabelais' anti-aphrodisiacal remedies                          147-154

[Illustration: PLATE I., EGYPTIAN PHALLI. AND Pompeian House--sign.]



From the investigations and researches of the learned, there appears to
be no doubt but that the most ancient of all superstitions was that in
which Nature was contemplated chiefly under the attribute or property of
fecundity; the symbols of the reproductive power being those under which
its prolific potencies were exhibited. It is not because modern
fastidiousness affects to consider those symbols as indecent, and even
obscene, that we should therefore suppose them to have been so regarded
by the ancients: on the contrary, the view of them awakened no impure
ideas in the minds of the latter, being regarded by them as the most
sacred objects of worship. The ancients, indeed, did not look upon the
pleasures of love with the same eye as the moderns do; the tender union
of the sexes excited their veneration, because religion appeared to
consecrate it, inasmuch as their mythology presented to them all Olympus
as more occupied with amatory delights than with the government of the

The reflecting men of those times, more simple, but, it must be
confessed, more profound, than those of our own day, could not see any
moral turpitude in actions regarded by them as the design of nature, and
as the acme of felicity. For this reason it is that we find not only
ancient writers expressing themselves freely upon subjects regarded by
us as indecent, but even sculptors and painters equally unrestrained in
this particular.

The statesman took advantage of these religious impressions: whatever
tended to increase population being held in honour. Those images and
Priapi so frequently found in the temples of the ancients, and even in
their houses, and which we consider as objects of indecent lewdness,
were, in their eyes, but so many sacred motives exciting them to
propagate their species.

In order to represent by a physical object the reproductive power of the
sun in spring-time, as well as the action of that power on all sentient
beings, the ancients adopted that symbol of the male gender which the
Greeks, who derive it from the Egyptians, called--Phallus.[1] This
worship was so general as to have spread itself over a large portion of
the habitable globe, for it flourished for many ages in Egypt and Syria,
Persia, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy: it was, and still is, in vigour in
India and many parts of Africa, and was even found in America on its
discovery by the Spaniards. Thus Garcilaso de la Vega informs us[2]
that, in the public squares of Panuco (a Mexican town), _bas-reliefs_
were found which, like those of India, represented, in various ways the
sexual union; while at Tlascala, another town of that country, the
reproductive act was worshipped under the joint symbol of the generative
organs, male and female.

A more surprising fact is, that this worship has, as will be shewn
hereafter, been perpetuated to a very late date, among the Christians of

In its origin, the Phallus or emblem of the generative and procreative
powers of nature appears to have been of a very simple and inoffensive
character--although it was afterwards made subservient to the grossest
and most superstitious purposes.

In India this worship is everywhere to be found accompanying the triune
God, called by the Hindoos, _Trimourti_ or _Trinity_, and the
significant form of the single obelisk or pillar called the _Linga_ or
_Lingham_;[3] and it should be observed, in justice to the Hindoos that
it is some comparative and negative praise to them, that this emblem,
under which they express the éléments and operations of nature is not
externally indecorous. Unlike the abominable realities of Egypt, Greece,
and Rome, we see this Indian phallic emblem in the Hindoo religious
exhibitions, without offence, nor know, until information be extorted,
that we are contemplating a symbol whose prototype is obscene.[4]

[Illustration: PLATE II., Fig 1. Lingham, Fig 2. Pan's head.]

Besides the Lingham, the equally significant _Yoni_ or _Cteis_ is to be
seen, being the female organ of generation. It is sometimes single,
often in conjunction, for the Indians, believing that the emblem of
fecundity might be rendered more energetic by combining the organs of
both sexes, did so unite them, giving to this double symbol the name of
_Pulleiar_, confounded by some writers with the Lingham itself. This
pulleiar is highly venerated by the sectarian worshippers of Siva (the
third god of the Trimourti), who hang it round their neck, as a charm or
amulet, or enclosing it in a small box, fasten it upon their arm. The
Indians have also a little jewel called _taly_, worn, in like manner, by
females round their necks as a charm. It is presented to them on their
wedding day by their husbands, who receive it from the hands of the
Brahmins. Upon these jewels is engraved the representation, either of
the Lingham or of the Pulleiar. The following anecdote connected with
this custom is given by M. Sonnerat.[5]

  "A Capuchin missionary had a serious dispute with the
  Jesuits residing at Pondicherry, which was referred for
  decision to the judicial courts. The disciples of Loyola,
  who can be toleration itself when toleration furthers their
  crafty and ambitious views, had declined all interference
  with the above custom. M. Tournon, the Pope's legate
  apostolic, who regarded the matter as one not to be trifled
  with, and with whom, moreover, the Jesuits were no
  favourites, strictly prohibited the _taly_, enjoining all
  female converts to substitute in its place either a cross or
  a medal of the Virgin. The Indian women, strongly attached
  to their ancient customs, refused obedience. The
  missionaries, apprehensive of losing the fruits of their
  zealous labours, and seeing the number of their neophytes
  daily diminishing, entered into a compromise by adopting a
  _mezzo-termine_ with the females in question, and it was
  agreed that a Cross should be engraved upon the _taly_, an
  arrangement by which the symbol of Christian salvation was
  coupled with that of the male and female _pudenda_."

The deep and enthusiastic veneration felt by the Hindoos for this
worship is naturally explained by their intense anxiety and desire for
having children who might perform those ceremonies to their _manes_
which they firmly and piously believe will have the effect of mitigating
their punishment in the world to come. They worship the _Lingham_,
therefore, for the sake of having progeny, and husbands, whose wives are
barren, send them to adore that symbol, and, if report be true, the
ladies take especial care not to disappoint the wish of their dear

It is probable that the introduction of this worship is due to the
Indians who founded the sect of Siva, imagining, as they no doubt did,
that the most effectual means of propagating it would be by presenting
their deity under the form of that organ by which the reproduction of
the human race is effected.

Nothing can be a greater proof of the high antiquity of the Indians than
this worship, it being certain that the Egyptians did not establish it,
as well as the dogma of the Metempsychosis, among themselves, until
after they had travelled in India.

Phalli, usually in lead, have been even found in the river Rhône. These
were most likely the signs and tokens belonging to some secret society
probably of a licentious character. Similar ones are in the _Forgeais_
collection, and were engraved in the _Plombs Historiés_ of that

[Illustration: PLATE III., Figs. 1-4, PHALLUS EMBLEM, found in the
Rhône, From the Forgeais Collection.]

According to an ingenious writer,[7] who is of opinion that the Indians
sent, at a very remote period, colonists to Ireland, the round towers,
so numerous in that island, are no other than ancient Phallic temples
erected in honour of the fructifying power of nature emanating, as it
was supposed to do, from the sun, under the name of Sol, Phœbus,
Apollo, Abad, or Budh.[8]

Alluding to these towers, Mr O'Brien observes, "the eastern votaries,
suiting the action to the idea, and that their vivid imaginations might
be still more enlivened by the very _form_ of the _temple_, actually
constructed its architecture after the model of the _membrum virile_,
which, obscenity apart, is the divinity-formed and indispensable medium
selected by God himself for human propagation and sexual prolificacy."
There is every reason to believe that our _May-pole_ is a relic of the
ancient Phallic worship.


The manners of the ancient Hebrews seem to have differed little, if at
all, in this respect, from those of the nations surrounding them: thus,
David, dancing with all his might before the ark, lifted up his ephod
and exhibited his nakedness to "the eyes of the handmaids of his
servants." No blame is attached to the king for such gross indecency
during a public and religious ceremony; while Michal, his wife, was
punished with barrenness, for expressing her disapprobation of his

This example attests the great respect entertained by the Hebrews for
the organs of generation;[10] but we have a further proof of this
reverence for them in the fact that, when taking a solemn oath, they
placed their hand upon them in token of its inviolability: When Abraham,
addressing "his oldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he
had," is made to say, "Put I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and I
will make thee swear, by the Lord, the God of Heaven, and the God of the
earth that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son, of the daughters of
the Canaanites:"[11] and when Jacob, at the point of death, called his
son Joseph, and said unto him, "If now I have found grace in thy sight,
put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly
with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt,"[12] the Hebrew text has
been incorrectly translated in both these instances; for, according to
learned commentators, it is not the _thigh_, but the _phallus_ that is
meant; such tact having, in the opinion of the Rabbins, been introduced
for the purpose of doing honour to circumcision.

This custom obtains in Egypt, even in our own day, for many travellers
assert that the Arabs, when desirous of saluting or making a promise
with great solemnity, place their hand upon the part in question. A case
in point is related in a letter of the Adjutant-General Julian to a
member of the Institute of Egypt.[13] An Egyptian, who had been arrested
as a spy, and brought before the general, finding that all his
asservations of innocence could not be understood "leva sa chemise
bleue, et prenant son phallus à la poignée, resta un moment dans
l'attitude théatrale d'un dieu jurant par le Styx. Sa physionomie
semblait me dire: _Après la serment terrible que je fais pour vous
prouver mon innocence, osez-vous en douter?_ Son geste me rappela que du
tems d'Abraham on jurait vérité en portant la main aux organes de la
génération." The vast antiquity of this custom among the ancient
Egyptians is proved by figure 2, Plate IV. This figure, which is copied
from Caylus, Vol. VI., Plate I., figure 4, represents Osiris grasping
his phallus while taking an oath.

A custom greatly resembling this manner of swearing existed also in the
north of Europe, as is proved by an ancient law still extant: thus, one
of the articles of the Welsh laws enacted by _Hoel the Good_, provides
that, in cases of rape, if the woman wishes to prosecute the offender,
she must, when swearing to the identity of the criminal, lay her right
hand upon the relics of the saints and grasp with her left one, the
peccant member of the party accused.[14]

It may be mentioned, _en passant_, that the low Irish in Dublin, and the
London costermongers, often make use of an expression which, whether
connected or not with the custom above noted, offers for our
consideration a curious coincidence at least. If extra force is to
accompany an assertion, it is very common for the vulgar to say in
conclusion: "_S'elp my taters!_" or "_So help me_ TESTES"--equal to
saying, "_I swear by my member_." That the word "taters" is a corruption
of, and vulgarism for, "_testes_" we see very readily in the expression
"_strain my taters_"--_i.e._, to pass urine or make water.

The Greeks had consecrated the same symbols of universal fecundity in
their mysteries, the phallus and the cteis being publicly exhibited in
the sanctuary of Eleusis. The _membrum virile_ or _active_ principle of
generation was carried to the temple of Bacchus and there crowned with a
garland by one of the most respectable matrons of the town or city. The
Egyptian Osiris, and the female _pudenda_, or symbol of the _passive_
principle of generation were, in like manner, carried in procession to
the temple of Libera or Proserpine.

The worship of Priapus among the Romans was derived from the Egyptians,
who, under the form of Apis, the sacred Bull, worshipped the generative
power of nature; and, as the syllable _pri_ or _pre_ signifies, in the
Oriental tongue, _principle_, production, or natural or original source,
the word _Priapus_ may be translated _principle of production_ or of
_fecundation of Apis_. The same symbol also bore among the Romans the
names of _Tutunus_, _Mutinus_, and _Fascinum_. Among the many places
where this divinity was worshipped, Lampsacus,[15] in Asia Minor, was
the most noted on account of the obscene rites there practised. The
Priapi were of different forms; some having only a human head and the
Phallus; some with the head of Pan or of a faun--that is, with the head
and ears of a goat.[16] Others, with their indecent attribute, were
placed in the public roads, and were then confounded with the divinities
_Mercury_ and _Terminus_, who presided over boundaries. Scaliger says
that he saw at Rome, in the palace of a cardinal,[17] a similar statue,
whose phallus had served as a sign post.[18] All the human part of these
Priapi were invariably painted red.[19]

When furnished with arms, which he was when representing Terminus,
Priapus held in one hand a reaping hook, and, like Osiris, grasped with
the other the characteristic feature of his divinity, which was always
of a monstrous size and in a state of energy.

In the towns, Priapus had public chapels, whither such devotees as were
suffering from maladies connected with his attributes repaired for the
purpose of offering to him _ex-votos_ representing the parts afflicted;
these ex-votos being sometimes paintings and, at others, little figures
made of wax or of wood, and occasionally, even of marble.

Females as superstitious, as they were lascivious, might be seen
offering in public to Priapus, as many garlands as they had had lovers.
These they would hang upon the enormous phallus of the idol, which was
often hidden from sight by the number suspended by only one woman.

Others offered to the god as many phalli, made of the wood of the willow
tree, as they had vanquished men in a single night.

St. Augustine informs us that it was considered by the Roman ladies as a
very proper and pious custom to require young brides to seat themselves
upon the monstrous and obscene member of Priapus: and Lactantius says,
"Shall I speak of that _Mutinus_, upon the extremity of which brides are
accustomed to seat themselves in order that the god may appear to have
been the first to receive the sacrifice of their modesty?"[20]

These facts prove that the worship of Priapus had greatly degenerated
with the Romans, since, losing sight altogether of the object typified,
they attach themselves to the symbol alone, in which they could see only
what was indecent; and hence religion became a pretext for

Respected so long as the Roman manners preserved their pristine
simplicity, but degraded[22] and vilified in proportion as the morals of
that people became corrupted, the very sanctuary itself of Priapus
failed to protect him from obloquy and ridicule. Christian writers added
their indignant invectives to the biting sarcasms of the poets, and the
worship of Priapus would have been annihilated had not superstition and
the force of habit, that most indestructible of all human affections,
come to the rescue. These two powerful levers of mankind triumphed over
reason and Christianity, and succeeded, notwithstanding the strenuous
and continued efforts of the latter, in maintaining in some degree the
worship of that filthy deity; for the Christian priests, while opposing
_à l'outrance_, the superstitions and impure practices already adverted
to, did not so do, as regarded the other customs equally repugnant to
decency and true religion. Less austere to these, and consulting their
own interests, they turned to their profit the ancient worship
established by the Romans and strengthened by habit: they appropriated
to themselves what they could not destroy, and, in order to attract to
their side the votaries of Priapus, they made a Christian of him.

But besides the Lingham of the Indians, the Phallus of the Greeks, and
the Priapus of the Romans, the Cross ([Symbol: Tau]), although generally
thought to be exclusively emblematical of eternal life, has also an
account of its fancied similarity to the _membrum virile_, been
considered by many as typical of the reproductive powers of nature. It
was known as such to the Indians, being as common in their country as in
Egypt or in Europe.[23] "Let not the piety of the Catholic Christian,"
says the Rev. Mr. Maurice, "be offended at the preceding assertion that
the Cross was one of the most usual symbols among the hieroglyphics of
Egypt and India. Equally honoured in the Gentile and the world, this
Christian emblem of universal nature, of that world to whose four
corners its diverging radii pointed, decorated the hands of most of the
sculptured images in the former country (Egypt), and the latter (India)
stamped its form upon the most majestic of the shrines of their

[Illustration: PLATE V., Figs. 1-3, THREE HEADED OSIRIS.]

It is well known that the cross was regarded by the ancient Egyptians as
the emblem of fruitfulness. Thus the Rev. Mr. Maurice describes a
statue bearing a kind, of cross in its hand as the symbol of fertility,
or, in other words, of the procreative and generative powers.[24] The
cross [Symbol: Tau] so common upon Egyptian monuments was known to the
Buddhists and to the Lama of Thibet 700 years before Christ. The Lama
takes his name from the _Lamah_, which is an object of profound
veneration with his followers: "Cequi est remarquable," says M. Avril,
"c'est que le grand prêtre des Tartares porte le nom de Lama, qui, en
langue Tartare, désigne _la Croix_, et les Bogdoi qui conquirent la
Chine en 1664, et qui sont soumis au Dulai-Lama dans les choses de la
religion, ont toujours des croix sur eux, qu'ils appalent _lamas_."[25]

The letter _Tau_ [Symbol: Tau], being the last one of the ancient
alphabets, was made to typify, not only the end, boundary, or terminus
of districts, but also the generative power of the eternal
transmigratory life, and was used indiscriminately with the Phallus; it
was, in fact, the Phallus.[26] Speaking of this emblem, Payne Knight
observes: "One of the most remarkable of those symbols of generation is
a cross in the form of the letter [Symbol: Tau], which thus served as
the emblem of _creation_ and _generation_ before the church adopted it
as the sign of salvation, a lucky coincidence of ideas which, without
doubt, facilitated the reception of it among the faithful."[27] And
again, "the male organs of generation are sometimes represented by signs
of the same sort, which might properly be called symbols of symbols. One
of the most remarkable of these is the Cross in the form of the letter
[Symbol: Tau], which thus served as the emblem of creation and

The famous _Crux ansata_[29] which may be seen on all the monuments of
Egypt is what is alluded to by the Prophet Ezekiel,[30] and is affirmed
by the learned L. A. Crozius to be nothing else than the triple Phallus
mentioned by Plutarch.[31]

We shall now proceed to notice a few of the traces of the phallic
worship as were still to be found lingering in some parts of Europe so
late as the 18th century, a tenacity of existence by no means surprising
if it be considered that of all the human affections none is more
dangerous to oppose, none more difficult to eradicate, than habit.
Accordingly it will be found that the above superstition has maintained
itself in countries where Christianity was already established, and
that, bidding defiance to the severe precepts of that pure faith, it
successfully resisted for at least seventeen centuries every effort made
to extirpate it by the Christian clergy backed by the civil power. Its
triumph was, however, by no means complete, for this worship was
constrained to yield to circumstances and to use a disguise by adopting
the forms and designations peculiar to Christianity, a mask which on the
other hand, favoured not a little, its preservation.

Hence it was that the names of certain legendary saints were given to
the ancient God of Lampsacus,[32] the said names having some relation
either to the act over which that deity presided, or to his most
prominent attributes.

The first bishop of Lyon was honoured throughout Provence, Languedoc,
and the Lyonnais as a saint, and as his name happened to be Pothin,
Photin, or Fotin, commonly pronounced by the low orders _Foutin_, these
people, who are very apt to judge of the nature of things by the sound
of the words by which they are designated, thought St. Foutin worthy of
replacing Saint Priapus, and accordingly conferred upon him the
prerogatives of his predecessor.

Saint _Foutin de Varailles_ had particular reverence paid to him in
Provence, nor is this to be wondered at, since the power was attributed
to him of rendering barren women fruitful, stimulating flagging
husbands, and curing their secret maladies. It was consequently the
custom to lay upon his altar, as was formerly done on that of the god
Priapus, small votive offerings, made of wax, and representing the weak
or otherwise afflicted parts. Sanci says, "To this saint are offered
waxen models of the _pudenda_ of both sexes. They are strewn in great
numbers over the floor of the chapel, and should a gust of wind cause
them to rustle against one another, it occasioned a serious interruption
to the devotions paid to the saint. I was very much scandalized,"
continues he, "when, passing through the town, I found the name of
_Foutin_ very common among the men. My landlord's daughter had for
godmother a young lady whose name was _Foutine_."

The same saint was similarly honoured at Embrun. When the Protestants
took that town in 1585, they found, among the relics of the principal
church, the _Phallus_ of St. Foutin. The devotees of that town, in
imitation of pagan ones, made libations to this obscene idol. They
poured wine over the extremity of the Phallus, which was dyed red by it.
This wine being afterwards collected and allowed to turn sour, was
called _the holy vinegar_, and, according to the author from whom this
account is taken,[33] was applied by women to a most extraordinary
purpose; but what that purpose was we are not informed, and therefore
can only guess it.

At Orange there was also a phallus much venerated by the inhabitants of
that town. Larger than the one at Embrun, it was, moreover, covered with
leather, and furnished with its appendages. When, in 1562, the
protestants destroyed the church of St. Eutropius, in this town, they
seized the enormous Phallus and burned it in the market place. Similar
Phalli were to be found at Poligny, Vendre in the Bourbonnais, and at

The inhabitants of Puy-en-Velay even to this day speak of their St.
_Foustin_ who, in times not far remote from our own, was invoked by
barren women who, under the idea of giving greater efficacy to their
prayers, scraped the phallus of the saint, and, mixing the particles so
abraded in water, devoutly swallowed them, in the hope of thereby being
rendered fruitful.

It is no doubt to one of these phallic saints that Count de Gebelin
refers when, speaking of the goat _Mendés_, he says: "I have read
somewhere that in the south of France there existed not long ago a
custom resembling the one mentioned; the women of that part of the
country devoutly frequented a temple containing a statue of the saint,
and which statue they embraced, expecting that their barrenness would be
removed by the operation."[34]

In the neighbourhood of Brest stood the chapel of the famous Saint
Guignole, or Guingalais, whose Phallic symbol consisted of a long wooden
beam which passed right through the body of the saint, and the fore-part
of which was strikingly characteristic. The devotees of this place, like
those of Puy-en-Velay, most devoutly rasped the extremity of this
miraculous symbol for the purpose of drinking the scrapings mixed with
water as an antidote against sterility, and when by the frequent
repetition of this operation, the beam was worn away, a blow with a
mallet in the rear of the saint propelled it immediately in front. Thus,
although it was being continually scraped, it appeared never to
diminish, a miracle due exclusively to the mallet.

Antwerp was the Lampsacus of Belgium, Priapus being the tutelary god of
that city. _Ters_ was the name given to him by the inhabitants who held
this divinity in the greatest veneration. Females were accustomed to
invoke him on the most trivial occasions, a custom which Goropius
informs us continued as late as the 16th century.[35]

So inveterate was this superstition that Godefrey de Bouillon, marquis
of that city, the illustrious leader of the first crusade, in order to
eradicate it, or to replace it by the ceremonies of the Christian
church, sent to Antwerp, from Jerusalem, as a present of inestimable
value, the _foreskin of Jesus Christ_.[36] This precious relic, however,
found but little favour with the Belgian ladies, and utterly failed to
supersede their beloved _Fascinum_.[37]

In the kingdom of Naples, in the town of Trani, the capital of the
province of that name, there was carried in procession, during the
Carnival, an old wooden statue representing an entire Priapus, in the
ancient proportions; that is to say, that the distinguishing
characteristic of that god was very disproportioned to the rest of the
idol's body, reaching, as it did, to the height of his chin. The people
called this figure _il Santo Membro_, the holy member. This ancient
ceremony, evidently a remains of the feasts of Bacchus, called by the
Greeks _Dyonysiacs_, and by the Romans _Liberalia_, existed as late as
the commencement of the 18th century, when it was abolished by Joseph
Davanzati, archbishop of that town.

Sir W. Hamilton's account of the worship paid to St. Cosmo and St.
Damianus is very curious. "On the 27th September, at Isernia, one of the
most ancient cities of the kingdom of Naples, situated in the province
called the Contado di Molise, and adjoining the Aruzzo, an annual fair
is held which lasts three days. On one of the days of the fair the
relics of Sts. Cosmo and Damianus are exposed. In the city and at the
fair, _ex-votos_ of wax representing the male parts of generation, of
various dimensions, sometimes even of the length of a palm, are publicly
exposed for sale. There was also waxen vows that represent other parts
of the body mixed with them, but of those there are few in comparison of
the number of the Priapi."

[Illustration: PLATE VI., Fig. 1, SILVER EX VOTO, Fig. 2. DUDAIM.]

The distributors of these vows carry a basket full of them in one hand,
and hold a plate in the other, to receive the money, crying out, "Saints
Cosmo and Damianus!" If you ask the price of one, the answer is, "_più
ci metti, più meriti_;" the more you give, the more the merit. The vows
are chiefly presented by the female sex, and they are seldom such as
represent legs, arms, &c., but most commonly the male parts of
generation. The person who was at the _féte_, in the year 1780, and who
gave me this account (the authenticity of which has since been confirmed
to me by the governer of Isernia) told me also that he heard a woman
say, at the time she presented a vow, "_Santo Cosmo, benedetto, cosi lo
voglio_." Blessed St. Cosmo, "let it be like this!" The vow is never
presented without being accompanied by a piece of money, and is always
kissed by the devotee at the moment of presentation.[38]

But, as might naturally be expected, this does not suffice to fructify
barren women; and consequently another ceremony, one which is doubtless
more efficacious, was required.

The parties who resort to this fair, slept for two nights, some in the
church of the Capuchian friars and the others in that of the Cordeliers,
and when these two churchs were found to be insufficient to contain the
whole of such devotees, the church of the Hermitage of St. Cosmo
received the surplus.

In the three edifices, the women were during the two nights, separated
from the men, the latter lying under the vestibule, and the women, in
the church, these, whether in the church of the Capuchins or in that of
the Cordeliers, were under the protection of the Father guardian, the
vicar, and a monk of merit. In the hermitage, it was the hermit himself
who watched over them.

From this it may easily be imagined how the miracle was effected without
troubling Saint Cosmo and Saint Damianus at all, in the matter, as well
as that the virtue, possessed by those two saints was extended even to
young maidens and widows.

Essay II.


A description of the symbols under which the _reproductive power_ was
anciently worshipped, having been given in the preceding Essay, the
present one will contain some account of the _negation_ or _absence_ of
that faculty, whether total or partial, as known under the names of
_Impotency_ and _Sterility_.

Potency or power, as regards the generative act, may be defined as--the
aptitude or ability to beget; and Impotency, the negation or absence of
such power.

The canon law distinguished three kinds of impotency--viz., that which
proceeds from frigidity; that which is caused by sorcery (ligature or
point-tying), and that which proceeding from some defect of conformation
is properly designated as _impotentia coeundi_. The different lends of
impotency may be thus classed--1. Those which are proper to men; 2.
Those proper to women, and 3. Those common to both sexes.

The causes of impotency proper to man are natural frigidity; defect of
conformation, and accident.

The causes of impotency proper to women are all such obstacles as arise
_ex clausurâ uteri aut nimia arctitudine_.

The causes common both to men and women are the defect of puberty and
imperfect conformation.[39]

Impotency may also be divided into natural and accidental; the former
being that which a person is born with, or which proceeds _ex vitio
naturalis temperamenti vel partium genitalium_; and the latter that
which arises from some accident, as _ex casu vel morbo_.[40]

Another definition of impotency in man is the _non posse seminare in
vase idoneo_; three things being considered as indispensable to his due
performance of the generative act.--_Ut arriget_ or erection; 2, _Ut vas
fœmineum resaret_, or intromission, and 3, _Ut in vase seminat_, or

Sterility must not be confounded with impotency. Many women are barren,
but very few are impotent; while, on the contrary, many men are impotent
who ought not, on that account, to be regarded as barren. In either sex
impotency is present when from whatever cause an individual cannot
concur in the sexual contact. Sterility exists when the contact, after
having been regularly accomplished, is followed by no productive result.

With the exception of those pathological cases in which deformities are
sometimes, but very rarely, met with, it may be affirmed that woman is
never impotent, for her organization opposes it. Radical impotence, in
fact, results in the female from the complete absence, or the occlusion
simply, of the vagina. Now, these cases are extremely rare, and may
there fore be considered as exceptions or as real monstrosities.

As the causes of sterility in women are numerous and of various kinds,
we shall briefly enumerate them.

The absence of ovaries or their deceased state are the radical cause of
sterility. These causes may be suspected but not cured. When there is no
uterus, still fecundation and pregnancy are not impossible, since
extra-uterine pregnancies are occasionally observed, that is to say,
cases in which the product of conception has escaped the uterus, end
proceeded to establish itself in some point of the lower belly. Neither
is the vagina indispensable, for cases are cited of the contraction of
this organ accompanied by the rectovaginal fistula, in which fecundation
is effected, although the fecundating fluid had been confined to the

Female masturbation is another rife cause of barrenness in women. If it
be true that the number of eggs is limited, and that there are not more
than from 15 to 20 in each ovary, it is evident that sterility must
ensue when these 15 or 20 eggs have been detached without fecundation.
If, on the contrary, new eggs are continually secreted by the ovaries,
it is equally evident that the secretory action must, sooner or later,
become exhausted by the over excitement caused by the indulgence above

Another very great cause of sterility, and which must be of frequent
occurrence, is found in the obstructed or choked-up state of the
Fallopian tubes. These passages, which establish the communication
between the ovary and the uterus, may be obstructed by inflammation,
either acute or chronic, to which they must be subject in all diseases
to the abdomen, as well as by frequent excitement.

Morgagni speaks of certain women of the town, with whom the Fallopian
tubes were completely obliterated by the thickening of the parietes or
sides, an evident consequence of the continual orgasm in which they were
kept by immoderate indulgence in coition.

The absence of menstruation almost always induces barrenness. Cases are,
notwithstanding, reported in which women have their menses during
pregnancy, but these are exceptions which so far from invalidating the
rule, confirm it.

Polypi, or the developement of fibrous bodies in the uterus, present an
equal obstacle to fecundation, their presence having the effect of
perverting the physiological functions of the uterus, nor does their
removal always cause sterility to disappear.

Impotency in women can only result from the absence of the vagina, or
from its excessive narrowness which does not allow of the approach of
the male, although instances have occured of fecundation being effected
without the introduction of the male organ. Thus cases have been found
of women who have been fecundated, and have even arrived at the term of
pregnancy, having been obliged to submit to a surgical operation for the
removal of the Hymen, which membrane had not been broken in the acts
which had nevertheless effected the fecundation. Lastly, the excessive
length, when it does exist, of the clitoris, also opposes the conjugal
act, by the difficulty it presents to the introduction of the
fecundating organ; the only remedy to employed in this case consists in
amputation, an operation which has been frequently performed. The organ
in question is known to resemble, in a very great degree, the virile
member, both in external form and internal structure, to be susceptible
of erection and relaxation and endowned with exquisite sensibility. It
has been seen equal to the penis in volume. A remarkable instance is
given by Home.[41] It occured in a negress who was purchased by General
Melville, in the island of Dominica, in the West Indies, about the year
1744. She was of the Mandango nation, 24 years of age, her breasts were
very flat, she had a rough voice, and a masculine countenance. The
clitoris was two inches long, and in thickness resembled a common sized
thumb, when viewed at same distance the end appeared round and of a red
colour, but upon closer examination was found to be more pointed than
that of a penis, and having neither prepuce nor perforation; when
handled it became half erected, and was in that state fully three inches
long and much thicker than before: when she voided her urine she was
obliged to lift it up, as it completely covered the orifice of the
urethra. The other parts of the female organs were found to be in a
natural state. Columbus quotes the existence of a woman who had a
clitoris as long as the little finger. Haller speaks of another in whom
this organ was seven inches in length. Some have even been said to be of
the monstrous length of twelve inches. These are the enormous dimensions
which sometimes deceive as to the real character of the sex, and which
have occasioned a belief in the existence of real hermaphrodites. Women
so formed have also a great disposition to usurp the virile functions;
they preserve scarcely anything of their sex except their habits and
manners. Their stature is in general tall, their limbs muscular, their
face masculine, their voice deep, and their deportment bold and
manly--in a word, they completely justify the words of Martial:

  "Mentiturque virum prodigiosa Venus."[42]

In the case of man's impotency it often happens, on the contrary, that,
with organs to all appearance perfectly formed, he is, nevertheless,

If the woman be organized for receiving, the man is formed for
imparting; now, in the majority, of cases, his impotency is such that,
although he seems to be provided with abundant stores he is precluded
from offering them.

                                  ... "Si
  Coneris, jacet exiguus cum ramice nervus
  Et quamvis tota palpetur nocte, jacebit."[43]

Such, in fact, is the great difficulty of those individuals who have
abused their organs and destroyed their sensibility. The erectile tissue
whose turgescence is indispensable, no longer admits into its vascular
_plexus_ or network, a quantity of fluid sufficient to give the organ
the power of penetrating--_jacet exiguus_--and, although it may be
supposed that the seminal glands perform their functions perfectly well,
and secrete abundantly the fluid peculiar to them, the copulative organ
remains paralyzed. This is the impotence which is brought on by old age,
and which Ariosto has so forcibly described in the following lines,
wherein he relates the futile attempts made upon Angelica by the hermit:

  Egli l'abbraccia, ed a piacer la tocca:
  Ed ella dorme, e non più fare ischermo:
  Or le baccia il bel petto, ora la bocca,
  Non è, ch'l veggia, in quel loco aspro ed ermo.
  Ma nel incontro, it suo destrier trabocca
  Che al desio non risponde, it corpo infirmo:
  Tutte le vie, tutti i modi tenta,
  _Ma quel pigre rozzo non però salta_
  Indarno el fren gli scoute e li tormenta
  E non può far che tenga la testa alta.[44]

At other times the impotency of the man is independent of the secretion
of the fecundating fluid and even of the erection, both of which are
regular. In such case it is caused either by the gland not being
properly perforated, or by a contraction of the urethral canal, which
contraction arrests the seminal fluid at the moment of expulsion,
causing it to flow back towards the bladder, or else intercepting the
continuous stream and allowing it to run by dribblets only. The former
of these imperfections technically called _Hypospsdiæos_ is a vice of
conformation in which the penis, instead of being perforated at the
summit of the gland, presents its opening at a greater or less distance
from the gland, at the lower part of the urethra or at the _perinæum_.

As might be expected, impotency when precocious, influences, in no small
degree, the moral character. Cabanis knew three men who, in the vigour
of age, had suddenly became impotent, although in other respects they
were in good health, much engaged in business, and had but little reason
to be affected by the loss of pleasures in which they indulged but very
rarely and with great moderation, yet their character became gloomy and
irascible, and their mental powers appeared to diminish daily.[45] The
celebrated Ribeiro Sanchez, a pupil of Boerhaave, observes in his
"_Traité des maladies Vénériennes chroniques_," that these diseases
particularly dispose those subject to them to superstitious terrors.

Impotency may, however, equally proceed from moral as from physical
causes. In this case it consists in the total privation of the
sensibility peculiar to the reproductive organs. This insensibility is
by no means infrequent in persons whose mental powers are continually in
action, as the following case will shew:--

A celebrated mathematician of a very robust constitution, having married
a young and pretty woman, lived several years with her, but had not the
happiness of becoming a father. Far from being insensible to the charms
of his fair wife, he, on the contrary, felt frequently impelled to
gratifying his passion, but the conjugal act, complete in every other
respect, was never crowned by the emission of the seminal fluid. The
interval of time which occurred between the commencement of his labour
of love and the end was always sufficiently long to allow his mind,
which had been for a moment abstracted by his pleasure, to be brought
back to the constant objects of his meditation--that is, to geometrical
problems or algebraical formula. At the very moment even of the orgasm,
the intellectual powers resumed their empire and all genital sensation
vanished. Peirible, his medical adviser, recommended Madame ---- never to
suffer the attentions of her husband until he was _half-seas-over_, this
appearing to him the only practicable means of withdrawing her learned
spouse from influence of the divine Urania and subjecting him more
immediately to that of the seductive goddess of Paphos. The advice
proved judicious. Monsieur ---- became the father of several fine and
healthy boys and girls, thus furnishing another proof of the truth of
the maxim, "_Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus_."

But the impotency arising from the predominance of the intellect is the
least formidable of all. The one most to be dreaded is that which
results from the excessive and premature exercise of the reproductive
functions, for, as has been well observed, "the too frequent indulgence
of a natural propensity at first increases the concomitant desire and
makes its gratification a part of the periodical circle of action; but
by degrees the over excitement of the organs, abating their tone and
vitality, unfits them for the discharge of their office, the
accompanying pleasures are blunted, and give place to satiety and

Such unfortunate persons as are the victims of this kind of anaphrodisia
become old long before their natural time, and have all their generative
apparatus blasted with impotency. Their testicles withered and dried up
secrete nothing but a serous fluid void of all virtue; the erectile
tissue no longer admits into its plexus the quantum of blood necessary
for turgescence, the principal organ of the reproductive act remains in
a state of flaccidity, insensible to the reiterated and most stimulating
solicitations; the muscles destined to favour erection are stricken with
paralysis, and the violence of their desires, joined to the want of
power to gratify them, drives the unhappy victim to acts of the most
revolting lubricity and thence to despair.

An instance of this kind occurred in the case of a young man, the son of
an opulent family. He had arrived at puberty, but from the early age of
ten had been accustomed to indulge in indecent familiarities with young
girls, who had gratified him by lascivious manipulations; the
consequence was an entire loss of the erectile power. Travelling being
recommended, he proceeded to France, where he consulted, but without
avail, several celebrated physicians. He then went to the waters of Spa,
and there his case was attentively and anxiously considered by Van-Hers.

The sensibility and weakness of the genital member were so great that
on the slightest touch, and without any sensation or desire to sexual
intercourse the young man emitted a fluid similar to whey. This
secretion continued night and day, every time that he made water, or
upon the slightest friction of his linen. After various remedies being
proposed, without any beneficial results, Van-Hers considered the
disease as incurable; but, as the patient would not coincide in his
opinion and was very rich, he continued his travels in Italy, France,
and Germany, in the hope of recovering his powers of virility. He failed
not, as usual, to meet with physicians who, from mercenary motives, held
out to him the most illusory prospects of a perfect cure. At length,
after six years passed in travelling and in vain attempts to regain the
generative faculty, he returned to the candid and able physician from
whom he had the truth, and whose opinion he was now convinced was but
too well founded. As may be supposed, Van-Hers perceived no new
circumstance to justify an alteration in his view of the case, and the
unfortunate young man returned home, deeply deploring the advantages of
a fortune which had made him the victim of the precocious abuse of
pleasures to which he must now bid adieu for ever.[47] Too great warmth
of passion may not only defeat its own object, but also produce a
temporary impotency. A lover, after having, with all the ardour of
affections, longed for the enjoyment of his mistress, finds himself at
the moment of fruition incapable of consummating his happiness. The only
remedy for this misfortune is to allay the over-excitement and to
restrain the exuberance of the imagination. It would be madness to
persist in endeavouring to obtain a victory which must be certain, as
soon as the heat of the animal spirits being abated, a portion of them
proceeds to animate the agents of voluptuous passion. The following are
cases of this description.

  "A young man whose wife's relations had promised him a
  considerable estate as soon as she proved to be pregnant,
  fatigued himself to no purpose by continued devotions at the
  shrine of love; his over anxiety defeating the very object
  he so ardently desired to accomplish. In despair at the
  failure of his repeated efforts, he was, at length, on the
  point of believing his wife barren, when, following the
  advice of a judicious physician, he absented himself from
  home for a fortnight, and upon his return proved by the
  success which attended his amorous labours, that absence is
  sometimes the best doctor."

  "A noble Venetian, aged twenty years, was married to a very
  handsome lady, with whom he cohabited with a good deal of
  vigour, but never could emit semen in the coition, whereas
  in his dreams he could discharge very freely. This
  misfortune very much afflicted him and his family; and as no
  remedy could be found at home, the Venetian ambassadors
  residing at the different courts of Europe were desired to
  consult some of the most eminent physicians in the cities
  where they resided, to account for the causes, and to find a
  cure for this extraordinary complaint of the difference of
  the states when in sleep and when actually in coition.

  "I was of opinion that it consisted altogether in the
  urethra being closely shut by the vigour of the erection in
  coition which found so great a resistance that the powers
  that throw the seed out of the _vesiculæ seminals_ could not
  overcome it; whereas, in dreams, the pressure on the urethra
  being much less, an evacuation was affected."

The method of cure was not less successful than obvious from the
foregoing account: for gentle evacuations and a slender diet brought
about and fully completed their desires.[48]

Cabanis is of opinion that debility of the stomach almost always
produces a similar state in the organs of generation. "L'énergie ou la
débilité de l'éstomac produit, presque toujours, un état analogue dans
ceux de la génération. J'ai soigné un jeune homme chez qui la paralysie
accidentelle de ces derniers avait été produit par certains vices de la
digestion stomachique; et qui reprit la vigueur de son âge, aussitôt
qu'il eût récouvré la puissance de digérer."[49]

Old Montaigne's advice in cases similar to those above cited is worthy
of notice. "As to what concerns married people," says he, "having the
year before them, they ought never to compel, or so much as offer at the
feat, if they do not find themselves very ready. And it is better
indecently to fail of handling the nuptial sheets, and of paying the
ceremony due to the wedding night, when man perceives himself full of
agitation and trembling, expecting another opportunity at a better and
more private leisure, when his fancy shall be better composed, than to
make himself perpetually miserable for having misbehaved himself, and
being baffled at the first result. Till possession be taken, a man that
knows himself subject to this infirmity, should leisurely and by degrees
make certain little trials and light offers, without attempting at once
to force an absolute conquest over his own mutinous and indisposed
faculties; such as know their members to be naturally obedient to their
desires, need to take no other care but only to counterplot their fancy.
The indocile and rude liberty of this scurvy member, is sufficiently
remarkable by its importunate, unruly, and unseasonable tumidity and
impatience at such times as we have nothing for it to do, and by its
most unseasonable stupidity and disobedience when we stand most in need
of its vigour, so imperiously contesting the authority of the will, and
with so much obstinacy denying all solicitations of hand and fancy. And
yet, though his rebellion is so universally complained of, and that
proofs are not wanting to condemn him, if he had, nevertheless, feed me
to plead his cause, I should, peradventure, bring the rest of his
fellow-members into suspicion of complotting the mischief against him,
out of pure envy of the importance and ravishing pleasure peculiar to
his employment, so as to have, by confederacy, armed the whole world
against him, by malevolently charging him alone with their common

Too great warmth of clothing round the parts of generation, or too great
pressure upon them, may be reckoned as causes of impotency. The custom
of wearing breeches was considered by Hippocrates[51] as a predisposing
cause of the impotency so common among the ancient Scythians. Mr. Hunter
was also of opinion that this article of dress by keeping the parts too
warm, affording them a constant support, and allowing the muscles but
little freedom of motion, may, at least, relax and cause them to become
flaccid, if it do not totally incapacitate them for the due performance
of their functions.

Equally disadvantageous, in this respect, is the practice of riding upon
horseback, as the organs of generation are, of necessity, frequently
compressed either against the saddle or the horse's back. Lalemant, in
his Commentaries upon Hippocrates, adduces the case of bakers, upon
whom, by their not wearing breeches, the contrary effect is produced.
"We have often heard," says he, "that bakers and others whose parts of
generation are not covered by clothing, but hang freely, have large,
well-grown testicles."[52]

Another cause of impotency is the allowing the parts of generation to
remain too long in a state of inaction. Those parts of the body which
are most exercised are always found to be better grown, stronger, and
more fitted for the discharge of their natural functions provided the
exercise be neither too violent nor too frequent. The parts, on the
contrary, which are condemned to rest and inactivity wither and
gradually lose their tone, as well as the power of effecting the
movements natural to them. Galen observes that the genital organs of the
athletæ, as well as those of all such whose profession or calling
compelled them to remain chaste, were generally shrunken and wrinkled
like those of old men, and that the contrary is the case with those who
use them to an excess. "All the athletæ," says he, "as well as those who
for the sake of preserving or improving the voice, are, from their
youth, debarred the pleasures of love, have their natural parts shrunken
and wrinkled like those of old men, while, in such as have from an early
age indulged in those delights to an excess, the vessel of those parts,
by the habit of being dilated, cause the blood to flow there in great
abundance, and the desire of coition to be proportionately increased,
all which is a natural consequence of those general laws which all our
faculties obey. Thus it is that the breasts of women who have never had
children remain always small, while those of females who have been
mothers, and who suckle their children, acquire a considerable volume,
that they continue to give milk as long as they suckle their infants,
and that their milk does not fail until they cease to nourish them."[53]
So well, indeed, was this fact known to the ancients, that Aristophanes
uses the expression, [Greek: _pôosthên mikran_], _penem exiguum_, as an
attribute of a youth who has preserved his innocence and [Greek: _kôlên
megalên_], _penem magnum_, as the sign of a dissolute one.

It will easily be supposed that superstition when brought to act upon
weak and ignorant minds, is capable of producing temporary impotence.
The pretended charm or witchery common in France as late as the close of
the 17th century, and known by the name of _nouer l'aiguillette_ (point
tying) is a proof of this:

  Ami lecteur, vous avez quelquefois
  Oui conter qu'on _nouait l'aiguillette_,
  C'est une étrange et terrible recette,
  Et dont un Saint ne doit jamais user,
  Que quand d'un autre il ne peut s'aviser.
  D'un pauvre amant, le feu se tourne en glance;
  Vif et perclus, sans rien faire, il se lasse;
  Dans ses efforts étonné de languir,
  Et consume sur le bord du plaisir.
  Telle une fleur des fear du jour séchée,
  La tête basse, et la tige penchée,
  Demande en vain les humides vapeurs
  Qui lui rendaient la vie et les couleurs.[54]

In olden times, prior to the invention of buttons, the femoral
habiliments of men, or hose, as they were called, were fastened up by
means of tags or points (Gallice) _aiguillettes_. Thus, Falstaff says,
"Their points being cut, down fell their hose." From this French word
_aiguillette_ was derived the term _nouer aiguillette_ (to tie up the
points), equivalent to--button up the flap, to express the rendering, by
enchantment, a husband incapable of performing the conjugal rite. The
whole secret of this charm consisted in the impostor choosing for his
victim an individual whose youth, inexperience, or superstition
presented him with a fit subject to work upon. The imagination of the
party being already predisposed for the trick, a look, a sign, a menace,
either of the voice or of the hand, accompanied by some extraordinary
gesture, was sufficient to produce the effect, and, as the mere
apprehension of an evil frequently occasions its occurrence, it followed
that, superstition having prepared the event, the latter, in his turn,
fortified the superstition, a vicious circle which may justly be
considered an opprobrium to a man's intelligence.

That such was the opinion entertained of it by sensible men when it was
in vogue, will be seen by the following curious passage from an old and
quaint French writer:

  "Quelques uns tiennent cela pour superstition, qui quand on
  dit la Messe des espousées, lorsque l'on prononce ce mot
  _Sara_, à la bénédiction nuptiale, si vous estrerignez une
  esguillette, que le marié ne pourra rien faire á son
  espousée la nuict suyuante, tant que la dite esguillette
  demeurera noüée. Ce que j'ay veu expérimenter faux infinies
  fois: car pourveuque l'esguillette du compagnon soit
  destachée, et qu'il siot bien roide et bien au point il ne
  faut point douter qu'il n'accoustre bien la besongne, comme
  il appartient. Aussi donne l'on vn folastre amulette et
  digne du subject: c'est à sçavoir que pour oster le sort, it
  faut pisser au travers d'une bague de laquelle on a esté
  espousé. Véritablement ie le croy: car c'est à dire, en bon
  Français que si on degoutte dans cet anneau de Hans Carvel,
  il n'y a charme qui puisse nuire. Aussi nouer l'esguillette
  ne signifie autre chose qu'vn coüard amant qui aura le
  mēbre aussi peu disposé, que si l'esguillette ne sa brayette
  estoit nouée."[55]

As to the mode itself of conjuration, Bodin, a writer upon these
subjects, asserts that there are not less than fifty different ways of
performing it: of all which the most efficacious one is to take a small
strip or thong of leather, or silken or worsted thread, or cotton cord,
and to make on it three knots successively, each knot, when made, being
accompanied by the sign of the cross, the word _Ribald_ being pronounced
upon making the first knot, _Nabal_ upon making the second one, and
_Vanarbi_ upon making the third and last one; all which must be done
during the celebration of the marriage ceremony. For the sake of change,
one of the verses of the _Miserere mei, Deus!_ may be repeated
backwards, the names of the bride and bridegroom being thrice
pronounced. The first time, the knot must be drawn rather tight; the
second time still more so, and the third time quite close. Vulgar
operators content themselves with pronouncing some cabalistic words
during the marriage rite, tracing, at the same time, some mysterious
figures or diagrams on the earth with the left foot, and affixing to the
dress of the bride or bridegroom small slips of paper having magical
characters inscribed upon them. Further details may be found in the
works of Sprenger, an inquisitor, Crespet of Sans, Debris, a Jesuit,
Bodin, Wier, De Lancre, and other learned demonologists.

This species of enchantment was not unknown to the ancients. Accordingly
to Herodotus[56] Amasis was prevented enjoying his wife Ladice by a
sorcery of this description, nor was it till after the Queen had vowed a
statue to Venus, "_si secum coiret Amasis_," that the king's wishes and
her own were gratified.

Plato warns married persons against such sorceries.[57] Virgil speaks
also of impotency effected by ligature.

  Terna tibi hæc primum, duplici diversa colore
  Licia circumdo.[58]

Ovid admits the power of such charms in the following lines:

  Carmine læsa, Ceres sterilem vanescit in herbam
  Deficiunt læsi carmine fontis aquæ:
  Ilicibus glandes, cantataque vitibus uva
  Decedit, et nulla forma movente, flexunt.
  Quid vetat et nervos
  Et juveni et Cupido, carmine abesse viro.[59]

Of that most detestable of all tyrants, Nero, it is said that, finding
he could not enjoy a female whom he passionately desired, he complained
of having been bewitched.

The fables of Apuleius are full of the enchantments of Pamphilus.[60]

Numantina, the first wife of Plautius Sylvanus, was accused of having
rendered her husband impotent by means of sorcery "injecisse carminibus
et veneficiis vecordium marito."[61]

Paulus (Julius) of Tyr states that the law of the Twelve Tables
contained an express prohibition against the employment of ligatures;
"qui, sacra, impia nocturnave fecerint, ut quem incantarent,
obligarent," &c.[62]

Gregory of Tours relates[63] that Eulatius having taken a young woman
from a monastery and married her, his concubines, actuated by jealousy,
put such a spell upon him, that he could by no means consummate his
nuptials. Paulus Æmilius, in his life of King Clovis says that Theodoric
sent back his wife Herméberge to her father, the King of Spain, as he
had received her, a pure virgin, the force of witchcraft having
incapacitated him from taking her maidenhead; which sorcery Aimoinus
Monachaus[64] asserts to have been effected by Queen Brunchante.

The practise of point tying was formerly so general that princes and
princess made it one of their most amusing pastimes. Louis Sforza having
seen the young Princess Isabella, daughter of Alphonso King of Arragon,
and who was betrothed to Geleas, duke of Milan, was so enamoured of her
beauty that he point-tyed Geleas for several months. Marie de Padille,
concubine of Don Pedro King of Castille and Leon, point-tied him so
effectually that he could not give the least marks of his fondness to
his consort Queen Blanche.

That the church acknowledged the power of these point-tiers is proved by
the fact of their having been publicly anathematized by the provincial
Councils of Milan and Tours, the Synods of Mont-Cassin and Ferriare, and
by the clergy of France assembled at Mélun in 1579. A great number of
rituals specify the means to be employed as counter-charms to the
sorceries of the point-tiers; and the Cardinal Cu Perron,[65] a very
able and experienced prelate, has inserted in the ritual of Evreux very
sage directions for this purpose. Similar precautions may be found in
the synodal statues of Lyons, Tours, Sens, Narbonne, Bourges, Troyes,
Orléans, and many other celebrated churches. St. Augustine, St. Thomas
and Peter Lombard positively recognise the power of point-tying and of
disturbing, in this manner, married persons in the enjoyment of their
dearest privilege. "_Certum est_," says St. Augustine, "_corporis vires
incantationibus vinciri_."

Our James I., who prided himself so much upon his skill in demonology,
declares positively that sorcerers and witches possess the power of
point-tying, "Or else by staying married folkes, to have naturally adoe
with other, _by knitting knottes upon a point at the time of their

The old parliament of France have generally admitted the power of these
sorcerers. In 1582 the Parliament of Paris condemned one Abel de la Rue
to be hung and afterwards burnt for having wickedly and wilfully
point-tied Jean Moreau de Contommiers. A singular sentence was
pronounced in 1597 against M. Chamouillard for having so bewitched a
young lady about to be married that her husband could not consummate the
marriage. But the most singular instance of the kind upon record is that
of R. F. Vidal de la Porte, who was condemned by the judges of Riom to
make the _amende honorable_, and afterwards to be hung, and his lady to
be burnt until reduced to ashes for having by sorceries and wicked and
sacrilegious words point-tied, not only the young men of his town, but
also all the dogs, cats and other domestic animals, so that the
propagation of these species so useful to man was upon the point of
being stopped. In 1718 the Parliament of Bordeaux ordered a famous
point-tier to be burnt. This pretended sorcerer had been accused and
convicted of having point-tied a nobleman of high family, his wife, and
all the men and women servants in his establishment.

It must not be supposed that no counter-charms or amulets existed. The
Curate Thiers, who has written at large upon this subject, enumerates
twenty-two different ones, the most potent of which were the following:

1. To put salt in the pocket before proceeding to church; pennies marked
with the cross and put into the shoes of the bride and bridegroom were
equally efficacious.

2. To pass three times under the crucifix without bowing to it.

3. For the bridegroom to wear upon the wedding day, two shirts, one
turned inside out upon the other, and to hold, in the left hand, during
the nuptial benédiction, a small wooden cross.

4. To lay the new married couple naked upon the ground; to cause the
bridegroom to kiss the great toe of the bride's left foot, and the bride
the great toe of the bridegroom's right foot: after which they must make
the sign of the cross with the left hand and repeat the same with the
right or left hand.

5. To take the bridegroom's point-hose and pass it through the wedding
ring: knot the said point, holding the fingers in the ring, and
afterwards cut the knot saying, "God loosens what the Devil fastens."

6. When the new-married couple are about to retire for the night to
fasten upon the thigh of each a little slip of paper, inscribed with
these words, _Domine, quis similis tibi?_

7. To broach a cask of white wine from which none has yet been drawn,
and pour the first of the liquor which flows, through the wedding ring.

8. To rub with wolf's grease the door posts through which the married
couple pass on their way to the nuptial bed.

9. To write upon virgin parchment before sunrise, and for nine days
successively, the word _Arigazartor_.

10. To pronounce the word _Temon_ three times successively at sunrise,
provided the day promises to be fine.

But the mode of procedure in which the learned curate Thiers appears to
place the greatest confidence is that employed by a priest of his
acquaintance. This person's plan was to tie the bride and bridegroom to
a pillar and administer to them with his own hand the stimulus with
which the pedagogue awakens the genius of idle and sluggish pupils;
after this flagellation they are unbound and left together, amply
provided with such restorative and stimulants as are proper to maintain
the condition so favourable to Venus, in which he had placed them. The
result was in the highest degree satisfactory.

Bodin informs us that he knew at Bordeaux, a woman of middle age, but
still lively and fresh, who professed to cure radically all enchantments
of this description. Nothing could be more natural than her _modus
operandi_. She got into bed with her patients, and there by the
resources of her amatory powers succeeded so well in arousing their
flagged and sluggish desires that their domestic peace was never
afterwards disturbed by the reproaches of their disappointed spouses.
Upon her mother's death, the daughter embraced the same interesting
profession and in addition to acquiring considerable reputation by her
successful practise, realized a handsome fortune.

Ridiculous and contemptible as this quackery now appears, so great at
one time was its power, that persons every way qualified for the
generative act, have been seen suddenly reduced to a humiliating
nullity, in consequence of an impudent charlatan, a village sorcerer or
a fortune-teller having threatened them with point-tying. Saint André, a
French physician, gives an account of a poor weaver, who having
disappointed Madame André in not bringing home some work was threatened
by that lady with being point-tied by her husband the doctor. The poor
fellow was so alarmed that the charm had the same effect as a reality,
nor was it until the work he had in hand was finished, and the lady had
consented to restore him to his natural state, that he could resume the
exercises of his conjugal duties.

Venette gives the case of one Pierre Buriel. "This man," to use
Venette's own words, "was about thirty-five years of age, a cooper and
brandy manufacturer by trade. Being at work one day for my father in one
of his country houses, he offended me by some impertinent observations,
to punish which I told him the next day that I would point-tie him when
he married. It so happened that he had the intention of uniting himself
with a servant girl who lived in the neighbourhood, and although I had
threatened him merely in a jesting manner, it made so strong an
impression upon him that although, when married, he felt the most ardent
desire to enjoy his connubial rights, he found himself totally
incapacitated for the work of love. Sometimes when he flattered himself
with being on the point of accomplishing his wishes, the idea of the
witchcraft obtruded itself, and rendered him for the time completely
impotent. This incapacity alienated the affections of his wife, and
produced on her part towards him the most repulsive coldness. I need not
say what gain I felt on witnessing these effects, how I regretted
having, I may truly say, unintentionally caused so unpleasant a state of
things, and I did and said everything in my power to disabuse the man,
and prove to him the folly of his impressions. But the more I did so,
the more he testified his abhorrence of me, and his conviction that I
had really bewitched him. At length the curate of Notre Dame, who had
married them, interfered, and after some time succeeded, though with
considerable difficulty, in freeing him from his imaginary bonds. They
lived together for twenty-eight years, and several children, now
citizens of Rochelle, were the issue of their union."

Montaigne gives us a curious story upon this subject, which he
introduces thus: "I am not satisfied and make a very great question,
whether those pleasant ligatures with which the age of ours is so
fettered--and there is almost no other talk--are not mere voluntary
impressions of apprehension and fear; for I know by experience, in the
case of a particular friend of mine, one for whom I can be as
responsible as for myself, and a man that cannot possibly fall under any
manner of suspicion of sufficiency, and as little of being enchanted,
who having heard a companion of his make a relation of an unusual
frigidity that surprised him at a very unseasonable time, being
afterwards himself engaged upon the same account, the horror of the
former story so strangely possessed his imagination that he ran the same
fortune the other had done; he from that time forward (the scurvy
remembrance of his disaster running in his mind and tyrannizing over
him) was extremely subject to relapse into the same misfortune. He found
some remedy, however, for this inconvenience by himself frankly
confessing and declaring beforehand to the party with whom he was to
have to do, the subjection he lay under, and the infirmity he was
subject to; by which means the contention of his soul was, in some sort,
appeased; and knowing that now some such misbehaviour was expected from
him, the restraint upon those faculties grew less, and he less suffered
by it, and afterwards, at such times as he could be in no such
apprehension as not being about any such act (his thoughts being then
disengaged and free, and his body being in its true and natural state)
by causing those parts to be handled and communicated to the knowledge
of others, he was at last totally freed from that vexatious infirmity.
After man has once done a woman right, he is never after in danger of
misbehaving himself with that person, unless upon the account of a
manifest and inexcusable weakness. Neither is this disaster to be feared
but in adventures where the soul is over-extended with desire or
respect, and especially where we meet with an unexpected opportunity
that requires a sudden and quick despatch; and in these cases, there is
no possible means for a man always to defend himself from such a
surprise as shall put him damnably out of countenance. And yet I have
known some who have secured themselves for this misfortune by coming
half-sated elsewhere, purposely to abate the ardour of their fury, and
others who being grown old, find themselves less impotent by being less
able; and particularly one who found an advantage by being assured by a
friend of his that had a countercharm against certain enchantments that
would defend him from this disgrace. The story itself is not much amiss,
and therefore you shall have it.--A count of a very great family, and
with whom I had the honour to be familiarly intimate, being married to a
very fair lady, who had formerly been pretended to and importunately
courted by one who was invited to and present at the wedding. All his
friends were in very great fear, but especially an old lady, his
kinswoman, who had the ordering of the solemnity, and in whose house it
was kept, suspecting his rival would, in revenge, offer foul play, and
procure some of these kinds of sorceries to put a trick upon him, which
fear she also communicated to me, who, to comfort her, bade her not
trouble herself, but rely upon my care to prevent or frustrate any such
designs. Now, I had, by chance, about me, a certain flat piece of gold,
whereon were graven some celestial figures good to prevent frenzy
occasioned by the heat of the sun, or for any pains of the head, being
applied to the suture; where, that it might the better remain firm, it
was sewed to a ribbon, to be tied under the chin. A foppery
cousin-german to this of which I am speaking was Jacques Pelletier who
lived in the house, presented to me for a singular rarity and a thing of
sovereign virtue. I had a fancy to make some use of this quack, and
therefore privately told the count that he might probably run the same
fortune other bridegrooms had sometimes done, especially some persons
being in the house who, no doubt, would be glad to do him such a
courtesy; but let him boldly go to rest, for I would do him the office
of a friend, and if need were, would not spare a miracle that it was in
my power to do, provided he could engage to me, upon his honour, to keep
it to himself, and only when they came to bring him his candle (a custom
in France being to bring the bridegroom a candle in the middle of the
night, on his wedding night) if matters had not gone well with him, to
give such a sign, and leave the rest to me. Now, he had his ears so
battered and his mind so prepossessed with the eternal tattle of this
business, that when he came to it, he did really find himself tired with
the trouble of his imagination, and accordingly, at the time appointed,
gave me the sign. Whereupon I whispered him in the ear, that he should
rise under pretence of putting us out of the room, and after a jesting
manner, pull my night-gown from my shoulders, throw it over his own, and
keep it there till he had performed what I appointed him to do, which
was that when we were all gone out of the chamber, he should withdraw to
make water, should three times repeat such and such words and as often
do such and such actions; that at every of the three times be should tie
the ribbon I put into his hand about his middle, and be sure to place
the medal that was fastened to it (the figures in such a posture)
exactly upon his reins; which being done, and having the last of the
three times so well girt and fastened the ribbon that it could neither
untie nor slip from its place, let him confidently return to his
business, and withal not to forget to spread my gown upon the bed so
that it might be sure to cover them both. These ridiculous circumstances
are the main of the effect, our fancy being so far seduced as to believe
that so strange and uncouth formalities must of necessity proceed from
some abstruse science. Their inanity gives them reverence and weight.
However, certain it is that my figures proved themselves more _Veneran_
than _Solar_, and the fair bride had no reason to complain."

Upon a due consideration of this singular superstition, it must be
obvious to any person of sense that these pretended ligatures are, in
fact, the consequence of an enfeebled constitution, weak intellects, and
sometimes of an ardent imagination, an over-excited desire which carries
the vitality to the head, and diverts it from its principal direction.
Do away with these circumstances and imagine a man in full health, and
gifted with a young and vigorous constitution, alike incapable of
allowing himself to be acted upon by vain terrors, and of permitting his
passions an uncontrolable course; and all the charms and incantation of
these redoubted point-tiers would immediately cease. Who, for instance,
could pretend to point-tie that hero of ancient Greece so famous for his
twelve labours, of which by far the most brilliant was the transforming,
in the course of one night, fifty young virgins into as many women![67]

The most singular circumstance, however, connected with impotency is,
that for a long time there existed exclusively in France a particular
kind of proof called--The Judicial Congress. In the old jurisprudence of
that country but little value was attached to moral proofs; all was made
to depend upon material ones, which were made by witnesses. The whole
enquiry after truth was made to depend upon the establishment of the
fact, and, too frequently, the administrators of the law were not
over-scrupulous as to the nature of the testimony by which it was to be
proved. Provided there were such testimony, no matter of whatever kind,
no matter how contradictory to common sense, justice pronounced itself
satisfied, for, relying upon this testimony it was enabled to pronounce
its decision, and this was all it required. Hence all those personal
examinations of litigants, so often practised formerly, and hence the
judge, whatever might be the nature of the suit or complaint, ordered a
report to be made by parties chosen to that effect, and who were called
_experts_ or examiners. This mode of procedure was employed in cases in
which a woman applied for a divorce from her husband on the ground of
impotency: hence arose the _Congrés_, in which the justice of the
application was to be proved in the presence of examiners appointed to
give in a report upon the case to the court. "Ce qui est encore plus
honteux," says a writer of the 17th century, "c'est qu'un quelques
procés, les hommes ont visité la femme, et au contraire, les femmes ont
été admises à visiter l'homme, qui a été cause d'une grande irrison et
moquerie, que telles procédures ont servi de contes joyeux et plaisans
discours en beaucoup d'endroits."[68] The whole was a most disgusting
procedure, which, although greatly abused, was for a long time
encouraged as offering a legal mode of dissolving a marriage which was
incompatible with the happiness of both the parties, but which the law
declared to be indissoluble. The judges who introduced or maintained the
Congress, who, in fact, protected it, only contemplated it, but
certainly most erroneously as a proper means of legalizing divorces.

All historians, and other writers who have treated of this disgraceful
institution, pretty generally agree in giving it an origin not further
back than the commencement of the 16th century; it is, however, but the
extension of a custom almost as obscene which prevailed in the first
ages of Christianity. This was nothing less than the subjecting a young
girl, whether nun or otherwise, accused of fornication, to a rigorous
personal examination, whence was to result the proof of her innocence or
guilt. Siagrius, Bishop of Verona, and who lived towards the close of
the fourth century, condemned a nun to undergo this disgusting and
insulting examination. St. Ambroise, his metropolitan, disapproved of
the Bishop's sentence, declared the examination as indecent, thus
attesting its existence. The opinion, however of this prelate, supposed
as it was by that of several others, did not prevent the continuance of
this custom for a very long time. The ecclesiastical and civil tribunals
frequently directed this proof to be made; and Venette[69] cites the
procès-verbal of a similar examination made by order of the Mayor of
Paris in 1672, in the case of a woman who complained of violence
committed on her by a man of dissolute habits.

We prefer giving the following curious description of the manner of
conducting the Congress in the original quaint and antiquated French:

  "La forme duquel Congrez est, qui le iour et heure prins, et
  les Expers connenus ou nommez (qui sont ordinairement ceux
  mêmes qui ont fait la visitation lesquels partant n'ont
  garde de se contrarier ny de rapporte que l'homme y a fait
  l'intromission ayant desia (déjà) rapporté sa partie vierge
  et non corrompüe) le juge prend le serment des parties,
  qu'elles tascheront de bonne foy et sans dissimulation
  d'accōplir l'œuvre de mariage sans y apporter
  empeschement de part ny d'autre: des Expers qu'ils ferōt
  fidelle rapport de ce qui se passera au Congrez; cela fait
  les parties et les expers se retirent en une chābre pour ce
  préparée, où l'homme et la femme sont de rechef visités,
  l'homme, afin de sçavoir s'il a point de mal, s'en estans
  trouué à aucuns l'ayans gaigné depuis avoir esté visité qui
  n'ont laissé d'estre séparés encore, qu'il parust assez par
  là qu'ils n'estoient impuissans, la femme pour considérer
  l'estat de se partie honteuse et, par ce moyen cognoistre la
  difference de son ouverture et dilatation, auant et après le
  Congrez, et si l'intromission y aura esté faicte, ou non:
  sans, toutefois, parler en leur rapport de la virginité ou
  corruption de la femme, reputée vierge, ayant vne fois
  esté rapportée telle, sans qu'on la visite plus pour cela.
  En quelques procès (comme en celuy de Bray, 1578) les
  parties sont visités nues depuis le sommet de la teste
  iusques à la plante des pieds, en toutes les parties des
  leurs corps, _etiam in podice_, pour sçavior s'il n y a rien
  sur elles qui puissent auancer ou empescher le congrez, les
  parties honteuses de l'homme lavées d'eau tiéde (c'est a
  sçavoir à quelle fin) et la femme mise en demy bain, où
  elle demeure quelque temps. Cela fait, l'homme et la
  femme se couchent en plein iour en un lict, Expers
  présens, qui demeurent en la chambre, ou se retirent (si les
  parties le requièrent on l'vne d'elles, en quelque
  garde-robe ou gallerie prochaine, l'huis (la porte)
  entreouvert toutefois, et quand aux matrones se tiennent
  proche du lict, et les rideaux estant tirez, c'est à l'homme
  à se mettre en devoir de faire preuve de sa puissance
  habitant charnellement avec sa partie et faisant
  intromission: ou souvent aduiennent des altercations
  honteuses et ridicules, l'homme se plaignant que sa partie
  ne le veut laisser faire et empesche l'intromission; elle le
  niant et disant qu'il veut mettre le doigt et la dilater, et
  ouvrir par ce moyen; de sorte qu'il faudroit qu'un homme
  fust sans apprehension et pire qu'aucunes bêstes, ou que
  _mentula velut digito uteretur_, s'il ne desbandsit
  cependant au cas qu'il fust en estat, et si nō obstant ces
  indignitez il passait autre iusques à faire intromission;
  encore ne sçauroit il, quelque érection qu'il face (fasse),
  si la partie veut l'empescher si on ne lui tenoit les mains
  et les genoux ce qui ne se fait pas. En fin, les parties
  ayās esté quelque tēps au lict, comme une heure ou deux, les
  Espers appellex, ou de leur propre mouvement, quand ils
  s'ennuyent en ayant de subject, _si sint viri_,
  s'approchent, et ouvrans les rideaux, s'informent de ce qui
  s'est passé entre elles, et visitent la femme derechef,
  pour sçavoir si elle est plus ouverte et dilatée que lorsqu'
  elle s'est mise au lict, et si intromission a été faicte
  aussi, _an facta sit emission, ubi, quid et quale emissio_.
  Ce qui ne se fait pas sans bougie et lunettes à gens qui
  s'en seruent pour leur vieil age, ni sans des recherches
  fort sales et odieuses: et font leur procès verbal de ce qui
  s'est passé au Congrez (ou pour mieux dire) de ce qu'ils
  veulent, qu'ils baillent au juge, estant au mesme logis vne
  salle, ou chambre à part, avec les procureurs et patriciens,
  en cour d'Eglise, attendant la fin de cet acte lequel
  rapporte est tousiours (toujours) au desaduantage des hommes
  à faute d'auoir fait intromission, sans laquelle, l'érection
  _etiam sufficiens ad coeundem_, ny l'émission n'empeschent
  la séparation, comme il se voit par les procès verbaux des
  Congrez de De Bray des onziesme et vingt unsiesme d'Apuril,
  1578. Auxquels Congrez, principalement au premier, il fit
  érection rapportée suffisante _ad copulem carnalem, et
  emisit extra vas, sed non intromisit_, et pour cela fut
  séparé; laquelle intromission ne peust aussi estre faite au
  Congrez par quelque homme que ce fut, si la femme n'y
  preste consentement, et empesche, comme il est tout

The first judicial sentence which ordered a Congress is said to have
been caused by the shameless effrontery of a young man who, being
accused of impotency, demanded permission to exhibit proof of his powers
before witnesses, which demand being complied with, the practice was
introduced into the jurisprudence of the country. But, as we have
already shown, the custom of the Judicial Congress may be referred to a
far earlier period, in fact, to the remotest times of the middle ages,
and that it originated with the Church, when the public morals were far
from being well ascertained, as is proved by many well-known privileges
belonging to the Seigneur or Lord of the Manor. Pope Gregory the Great,
who was raised to the Pontificate in 590, appears to have been the first
who conferred upon bishops the right of deciding this description of
questions. It was, doubtless, from considerations of tender regard for
female modesty that the Church took upon itself the painful duty of
investigating and deciding upon questions of this nature. Numerous
instances prove this, especially the dissolution of the marriage of
Alphonso VI. of Portugal and his Consort, pronounced in 1688, and
mentioned by Bayle.[70] The great antiquity of this custom is proved by
the 17th Art. of the Capitulars of Pepin, in the year 752, which bears a
direct allusion to it: inasmuch as that article established as a
principle that the impotency of a husband should be considered as a
lawful cause for divorce, and that the proof of such impotency should be
given, and the fact verified at the foot of the Cross--_exeant ad
crucem, et si verum fuerit, separantur_.

That the Congress originated with the Church, who considered it as an
efficacious means for deciding questions of impotency, is still further
proved by the President Boutrier and by other writers, who assert that
the ecclesiastical judges of other times were alone empowered (to the
exclusion of all secular ones) to take cognizance of cases of impotency.

It is well attested that during the 16th and 17th centuries all the
courts of law in France held the opinion that a marriage be anulled on
the demand of a wife who claimed the Congress.

The fatal blow to this disgusting custom was given by a decree of the
Parliament of Paris, under the presidency of the celebrated Lamoignon,
dated Feb. 18, 1677, which decree forbids the practice by any other
court whatsoever, ecclesiastical or civil. It is supposed that the
ridicule cast upon it by the following lines of Boileau had no small
share in causing its suppression.

  "Jamais la biche en rut, n'a pour fait d'impuissance
  Trainé du fond des bois, un cerf à l'audience;
  Et jamais juge, entre eux ordonnant le congrès,
  De ce burlesque mot n'a sali ses arrêts."[71]

Three causes were alleged for the abolition of the Congress--its
obscenity, its inutility, and its inconveniences. Its obscenity; for
what could be more infamous, more contrary to public decency and to the
reverence due to an oath than the impurity of the proof, both in its
preparation and execution? Its inutility; for what could be less certain
and more defective? Can it be, for one moment, imagined that a
conjunction ordered by judges between two persons embittered by a
law-suit, agitated with hate and fury against each other, can operate in
them? Experience has shown that, of ten men the most vigorous and
powerful, hardly one was found that came out of this shameful combat
with success; it is equally certain that he who had unjustly suffered
dissolution of his marriage, for not having given a proof of his
capacity in the infamous Congress, had given real and authentic
evidences of it in a subsequent marriage. This degrading mode of proof,
in short, far from discovering the truth, was but the cause and
foundation for impotence and falsehood. Its inconveniences; these
are--the declared nullity of a legitimate marriage--the dishonour cast
upon the husband, and the unjust damages, oftentimes exorbitant, which
he is condemned to pay--two marriages contracted upon the dissolution of
the first--both of which, according to purity and strictness, are
equally unlawful--the error or the malice discovered, _ex post facto_,
and, nevertheless, by the authority of the law, became irreparable.

It was in the power of the magistrate, upon a complaint of impotency
being alleged by a wife against her husband, to order examiners to make
an inspection of the husband's parts of generation, and upon their
report to decide whether there was just cause for a divorce; and this
without proceeding to order the congress. The following are a few cases
of this description, and are extracted from the reports and judgments of
the Officialty at Paris in cases of impotency.

Case I. Jean de But, master fringe maker, was, in 1675, charged with
impotency by Genevieve Helena Marcault, his wife; he being inspected by
Renauolot, a physician, and Le Bel, a surgeon, by order of the official;
they declared that, after a due and thorough examination of all the
members and parts of the said De But, as well genital, as others which
might throw a light upon the case and likewise his condition of body,
his age, the just conformation and proportion of his limbs, but
especially his penis, which was found to be of as proper a thickness,
length and colour as could be wished: and likewise his testicles, which
exhibited no perceptible viciousness or malformation, they are of
opinion that from all these outward marks, which are the only ones they
consider themselves justified in judging from, the said De But is
capacitated to perform the matrimonial act. Signed by them at Paris,
July 18, 1675, and attested by the Sieur de Combes. And on August 23,
1675, by the sentence of M. Benjamin, official, the said Marcault was
non-suited and ordered to return to her husband and cohabit with him.

Case II. Inspection having been ordered by the official of Paris of the
body of Joseph Le Page, who is taxed with impotency by Nicola de Loris,
his wife, the said inspection was made by Deuxivoi and De Farci,
physicians, and Paris and Du Fertre, surgeons; their report is as

  "We have found the exterior of his person to be like that of
  other men's, the penis of a good conformation and naturally
  situated, with the nut or glans bare, its adjoining parts
  fringed with soft, fine hair, the scrotum of an
  unexceptional thickness and extent, and in it vessels of
  good conformation and size, but terminating unequally; on
  the right side, they end in a small, flabby substance
  instead of a true testicle; and on the left side we observed
  a testicle fixed to the extremity of one of the vessels, as
  usual, invested in its tunicle, which left testicle we do
  not find to be at all flabby, but of a middling size: upon
  the whole, we are of opinion that the said Le Page is
  capable of the conjugal act but in a feeble manner. Signed
  and dated March 5, 1684. By the sentence of M. Cheron, the
  official, the said De Loris's petition is rejected, and she
  is enjoined to return to her husband."

Case IV. Peter Damour being accused of impotency by his wife Louisa
Tillot an inspection was ordered to be made by Rainset and Afforti,
physicians, and Franchet and Colignon, surgeons. They report as
follows:--"We have proceeded to inspect Peter Damour, master saddler at
Paris, and having attententively examined his parts of generation, we
have found them well constituted and in good condition as to their size,
conformation and situation for the conjugal act; according, however to
the statement of the said Damour himself, the erection is imperfect, the
penis not being sufficiently rigid for perforating the vagina; admitting
this, however, to be the case, we are of opinion that the imperfection
may be remedied, repaired, and rectified, in time, by proper remedies.
Signed January 16, 1703." In consequence the official, M. Vivant, refused
Villot's demand, and ordered her to go home to her husband and cohabit
with him as her lawful spouse.

Case V. In the suit of Demoiselle Maris Louise Buchères accusing of
impotence Antoine de Bret, an inspection was ordered and performed by
Venage and Lita, physicians, Lombard and Delon, surgeons. They reported
as follows: "We find the string of the foreskin shorter than it should
be for giving the nut free scope to extend itself when turgid:--that the
body of the left testicle is very diminutive and decayed, its tunicle
separated, the spermatic vessels very much disordered by crooked swollen
veins--that the right testicle is not of a due thickness, though thicker
than the other: that it is somewhat withered and the spermatic vessels
disordered by crooked swollen veins. On all which accounts we do not
think that the natural parts of the said Sieur de Bret have all the
disposition requisite for the well performing the functions they were
designed for; yet we cannot say that he is impotent until we have
inspected the wife. Paris July 11, 1703, Signed." On the 22d of July,
1703, the wife was inspected by the said physicians and surgeons and by
two matrons; the result of which was that they observed no visciousness
of conformation in her womb: the valvula were circular and the carunclæ
myrtiformes, placed in the neck of the vagina, were soft, supple,
flexible, entire, and did not seem to have suffered any violence or
displacing, and the cavity of the womb-pipe was free and without any
obstacle. Therefore they are of opinion that she is not capable of the
conjugal act, and that there has been no intromission, consequently that
she is a virgin, and that if the marriage had not been consummated, it
is her husband's fault, because of his great debility and defective
conformation of his parts of generation. Another inspection of the same
parties was ordered Aug. 1, 1703. Bourges and Thuillier being the
physicians, and Tranchet and Meri the surgeons, who declared that after
due and careful examination they had found no defect which could hinder
generation. Their report is dated Paris, Aug. 13, 1703. M. Chapelier
ordered, in consequence, both parties,--viz., the Sieur De Bret and the
said Buchères to acknowledge each other for man and wife.

Case VI. On the 2nd April, 1653, the Chevalier René de Cordovan, Marquis
de Langey, aged 25 years, married Maria de Saint Simon de Courtomer
between 13 and 14 years of age. The parties lived very happily for the
first four years, that is to say, up to 1657, when the lady accused her
husband of impotency. The complaint was heard before the _Lieutenant
Civil_ of the _Chatelet_, who appointed a jury to examine the parties.
The examination was made, and the report declared that both parties were
duly and fully qualified for performing the conjugal act. In order to
invalidate this report the lady affirmed that if she was not a virgin it
was in consequence of the brutal efforts of one whose impotency rendered
him callous as to the means he employed to satisfy himself. The
Chevalier de Langey, much incensed at this imputation, demanded the
_Congress_; the judge granted the petition, the wife appealed from the
sentence, but it was confirmed by the superior courts.

For carrying the sentence into effect, the house of a person named
Turpin, who kept baths, was chosen. Four physicians, five surgeons and
five matrons were present. It is impossible to enter into the details of
this disgusting prequisition; they are given in full detail in the
_procès verbal_. Suffice it to say that the event being unfavourable to
the chevalier, his marriage was declared void by a decree of the 8th of
February, 1659.

By this decree the chevalier was not only condemned to pay back the
dowry which he had had with his wife, but was prohibited from
contracting another marriage--the lady, on the contrary, was allowed to
enter into any other engagement she might think fit, as being considered
entirely freed from her former bonds.

The next day after this decree the chevalier made his protest against it
before two notaries, declaring that he did not acknowledge himself to be
impotent, and that he would, in defiance of the prohibition imposed upon
him, enter into wedlock again whenever he pleased.

The lady St. Simon contracted a marriage with Peter de Caumont, Marquis
de Boèsle, and from this marriage were born three daughters. At the same
time the Chevalier de Langley married Diana de Montault de Navaille, and
their marriage was followed by the birth of seven children.

In 1670 the Marchioness de Boèsle, the ci-devant Countess de Langey,

It was in consequence of the ulterior proceedings in the law courts
respecting the real paternity of the children of the marchioness that
the government availed itself of the opportunity of abolishing, as we
have seen, the useless and obscene ordeal of the congress.

We shall conclude the present Essay by transcribing Dr. Willick's
judicious observations upon the sexual intercourse.

  _Of the_ SEXUAL INTERCOURSE _in particular; its physical
  consequences with respect to the Constitution of the
  Individual; under what circumstances it may be either
  conducive or detrimental to Health._

  A subject of such extensive importance, both to our
  physical and moral welfare, as the consequences resulting
  from either a too limited or extravagant intercourse between
  the sexes deserves the strictest enquiry, and the most
  serious attention of the philosopher.

  The inclination to this intercourse, and the evacuation
  connected with it, are no less inherent in human nature than
  other bodily functions. Yet, as the semen is the most subtle
  and spirituous part of the human frame, and as it
  contributes to the support of the nerves, this evacuation is
  by no means absolutely necessary; and it is besides attended
  with circumstances not common to any other. The emission of
  semen enfeebles the body more than the loss of twenty times
  the same quantity of blood; more than violent cathartics,
  emetics, &c.; hence excesses of this nature produce a
  debilitating effect on the whole nervous system, on both
  body and mind.

  It is founded on the observations of the ablest
  physiologists, that the greatest part of this refined fluid
  is re-absorbed and mixed with the blood, of which it
  constitutes the most rarified and volatile part; and that it
  imparts to the body singular sprightliness, vivacity, and
  vigour. These beneficial effects cannot be expected if the
  semen be wantonly and improvidently wasted. Besides the
  emission of it is accompanied with a peculiar species of
  tension and convulsion of the whole frame, which is always
  succeeded by relaxation. For the same reason, even
  libidinous thoughts, without any loss of semen, are
  debilitating, though in a less degree, by occasioning a
  propulsion of blood to the genitals.

  If this evacuation, however, took place only in a state of
  superfluity, and within proper bounds, it is not detrimental
  to health. Nature, indeed, spontaneously effects it in the
  most healthy individuals during sleep; and as long as we
  observe no difference in bodily and mental energy after
  such losses, there is no danger to be apprehended from them.
  It is well established and attested by the experience of
  eminent physicians, that certain indispositions, especially
  those of hypochondriasis and complete melancholy and
  incurable by any other means, have been happily removed in
  persons of both sexes, by exchanging a single state for

  There are a variety of circumstances by which the physical
  propriety of the sexual intercourse is in general to be
  determined. It is conductive to the well being of the
  individual, if the laws of nature and society (not an
  extravagant or disordered imagination) induce man to satisfy
  this inclination, especially under the following conditions:

  1. In young persons, that is, adults, or those of a middle
  age; as from the flexibility of their vessels, the strength
  of their muscles, and the abundance of their vital spirits,
  they can more easily sustain the loss thence occasioned.

  2. In robust persons, who lose no more than is speedily

  3. In sprightly individuals, and such as are particularly
  addicted to pleasure; for the stronger the natural and legal
  desire, the less hurtful is its gratification.

  4. In married persons who are accustomed to it; for nature
  pursues a different path, according as she is habituated to
  the reabsorption or the evacuation of this fluid.

  5. With a beloved object; as the power animating the nerves
  and muscular fibres is in proportion to the pleasure

  6. After a sound sleep, because then the body is more
  energetic; it is provided with a new stock of vital spirit,
  and the fluids are duly prepared;--hence the early morning
  appears to be designed by nature for the exercise of this
  function; as the body is then most vigorous, and being
  unemployed in any other pursuit, its natural propensity to
  this is the greater; besides, at this time a few hours sleep
  will, in a considerable degree restore the expended powers.

  7. With an empty stomach; for the office of digestion, so
  material to the attainment of bodily vigour, is then
  uninterrupted. Lastly.

  8. In the vernal months; as nature at this season in
  particular, incites all the lower animals to sexual
  intercourse, as we are then most energetic and sprightly;
  and as the spring is not only the safest, but likewise the
  most proper time with respect to the consequences resulting
  from that intercourse. It is well ascertained by experience
  that children begotten in spring are of more solid fibres,
  and consequently more vigorous and robust, than those
  generated in the heat of summer or cold of winter.

  It may be collected from the following circumstances,
  whether or not the gratification of the sexual intercourse
  has been conducive to the well-being of the body; namely, if
  it be not succeeded by a peculiar lassitude; if the body do
  not feel heavy, and the mind averse to reflection, these are
  favourable symptoms, indicating that the various powers have
  sustained no essential loss, and that superfluous matter
  only has been evacuated.

  Farther, the healthy appearance of the urine in this case,
  as well as cheerfulness and vivacity of mind, also prove a
  proper action of the fluids, and sufficiently evince an
  unimpaired state of the animal functions, a due
  perspiration, and a free circulation of the blood.

  There are times, however, in which the gratification is the
  more pernicious to health, when it has been immoderate, and
  without the impulse of nature, but particularly in the
  following situations.

  1. In all debilitated persons; as they do not possess
  sufficient vital spirits, and their strength after this
  venerating emission is consequently much exhausted. Their
  digestion necessarily suffers, perspiration is checked, and
  the body becomes languid and heavy.

  2. In the aged; whose vital heat is diminished, whose frame
  is enfeebled by the most moderate enjoyment, and whose
  vigour, already reduced, suffers a still greater diminution
  from every loss that is accompanied with a violent
  convulsion of the whole body.

  3. In persons not arrived at the age of maturity; by an easy
  intercourse with the other sex, they become enervated and
  emaciated, and inevitably shorten their lives.

  4. In dry, choleric and thin persons; these, even at a
  mature age, should seldom indulge in this passion, as their
  bodies are already in want of moisture and pliability, both
  of which are much diminished by the sexual intercourse,
  while the bile is violently agitated, to the great injury of
  the whole animal frame. Lean persons generally are of a hot
  temperament; and the more heat there is in the body the
  greater will be the subsequent dryness. Hence, likewise, to
  persons in a state of intoxication, this intercourse is
  extremely pernicious; because in such a state the increased
  circulation of the blood towards the head may be attended
  with dangerous consequences, such as bursting of
  blood-vessels, apoplexy, etc. The plethoric are particularly
  exposed to these dangers.

  5. Immediately after meals; as the powers requisite to the
  digestion of food are thus diverted, consequently the
  aliment remains too long unassimilated, and becomes
  burdensome to the stomach.

  6. After violent exercise; in which case it is still more
  hurtful than in the preceding, where muscular strength was
  not consumed, but only required to the aid of another
  function. After bodily fatigue, on the contrary, the
  necessary energy is in a manner exhausted, so that every
  additional exertion of the body must be peculiarly

  7. In the best of summer it is less to be indulged in than
  in spring and autumn; because the process of concoction and
  assimilation is effected less vigorously in summer than in
  the other seasons, and consequently the losses sustained are
  not so easily recovered. For a similar reason the sexual
  commerce is more debilitating, and the capacity for it
  sooner extinguished in hot than in temperate climates. The
  same remark is applicable to very warm temperature combined
  with moisture, which is extremely apt to debilitate the
  solid part. Hence hatters, dyers, bakers, brewers, and all
  those exposed to steam, generally have relaxed fibres.

  It is an unfavourable symptom if the rest after this
  intercourse be uneasy, which plainly indicates that more has
  been lost than could be repaired by sleep; but if, at the
  same time, it be productive of relaxation, so as to affect
  the insensible perspiration, it is a still stronger proof
  that it has been detrimental to the constitution.[72]



When it is considered how strongly the sexual desire is implanted in
man, and how much his self-love is interested in preserving or in
recovering the power of gratifying it, his endeavours to infuse fresh
vigour into his organs when they are temporarily exhausted by
over-indulgence, or debilitated by age cannot appear surprising.

This remark particularly applied to natives of southern and eastern
climes, with whom the erotic ardour makes itself more intensely felt;
since it is there that man's imagination, as burning as the sky beneath
which he first drew breath, re-awakens desires his organs may have long
lost the power of satisfying, and consequently it is there more
especially that, notwithstanding the continual disappointment of his
hopes, he still pertinaciously persists in searching for means whereby
to stimulate his appetite for sexual delights. Accordingly it will be
found that in the remotest ages, even the vegetable, animal, and
mineral kingdoms have been ransacked for the purpose of discovering
remedies capable of strengthening the genital apparatus, and exciting it
to action.

But however eager men might be in the above enquiry, their helpmates
were equally desirous of finding a means whereby they might escape the
reproach of barrenness,--a reproach than which none was more dreaded by
eastern women. Such means was at last discovered, or supposed to be so,
in the mandrake,[73] a plant which thenceforth became, as the following
quotation proves, of inestimable value in female eyes.

  "And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found
  mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother,
  Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy
  son's mandrakes.

  "And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast
  taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's
  mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with
  thee to-night for thy son's mandrakes.

  "And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah
  went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me,
  for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he
  lay with her that night.

  "And God harkened unto Leah, and she conceived and bare
  Jacob the fifth son."[74]

There is only one other passage in the Bible in which this plant is
alluded to, and that is in Solomon's song:

"The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of
pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my

All that can be gathered from the former of the above quotations is that
these plants were found in the fields during the wheat harvests and
that, either for their rarity, flavour, or, more probably, for their
supposed quality of removing barrenness in women, as well as for the
stimulating powers attributed to them, were greatly valued by the female
sex. In the quotation from Solomon's Song, the Hebrew word _Dudaim_
expresses some fruit or flowers exhaling a sweet and agreeable odour,
and which were in great request among the male sex.[76]

According to Calmet, the word _Dudaim_ may be properly deduced from
_Dudim_ (pleasures of love); and the translators of the Septuagint and
the Vulgate render it by words equivalent to the English one--mandrake.
The word _Dudaim_ is rendered in our authorized version by the word
_mandrake_--a translation sanctioned by the Septuagint, which, in this
place, translates _Dudaim_ by [Greek: mêla mandragorôn],
_mandrake_--apples, and in Solomon's Song by [Greek: oi mandraorai]
(_mandrakes_). With this, Onkelos[77] and the Syrian version agree; and
this concurrence of authorities, with the fact that the mandrake
(_atropa mandragora_) combines in itself all the circumstances and
traditions required for the Dudaim, has given to the current
interpretation, its present prevalence.

Pythagoras was the first (followed by Plutarch) who gave to this plant
the name of [Greek: anthrôpomorphos] (man-likeness), an appellation
which became very generally used; but why he gave it is not precisely
known: Calmet, however, suggests as a reason the partial resemblance it
bears to the human form, from the circumstance of its root being parted
from the middle, downwards.

The opinion respecting the peculiar property of the mandrake was not
confined to the Jews, but was also entertained by the Greeks and Romans,
the former of whom called its fruit--love-apples, and bestowed the name
of _Mandragorilis_ upon Venus. Dioscorides knew it by that of [Greek:
Mandragoras], and remarks that the root is supposed to be used in
philters or love-potions;[78] and another writer lauds it as exciting
the amorous propensity, remedying female sterility, facilitating
conception and prolificness, adding the singular fact that female
elephants, after eating its leaves, are seized with so irresistible a
desire for copulation, as to run eagerly, in every direction, in quest
of the male.[79]

Speaking of the plant Eryngium, the elder Pliny says: "The whole variety
of the Eryngium known in our (the Latin) language as the _centum capita_
has some marvellous facts recorded of it. It is said to bear a striking
likeness to the organs of generation of either sex; it is rarely met
with, but if a root resembling the male organ of the human species be
found by a man, it will ensure him woman's love; hence it is that Phaon,
the Lesbian, was so passionately beloved of Sappho."[80] If it be true,
as is asserted by medical writers, that the above root contains an
essential oil of peculiarly stimulating qualities, the fact would
account, not only for Sappho's passion for Phaon, but also for the high
value set upon it by the rival wives of Jacob.

For the same reason as that suggested by Calmet, Columella calls the
mandrake _semihomo_:

  "Quamvis _semihominis_ vesano gramine fœta
   Mandragoræ pariat flores."[81]

  "Let it not vex thee if thy teeming field
   The half-man Mandrake's madd'ning seed should yield;"

and qualifies its seed by the epithet _vesanus_, because in his time
(the first century after Christ) it was still supposed to form one of
the ingredients of philters or love-potions. The superstitious ideas
attached to the mandrake were indeed so current throughout Europe during
the middle ages, that one of the accusations brought against the Knights
Templars was that of adoring, in Palestine, an idol to which was given
the name of Mandragora.[82] Even, comparatively, not very long ago,
there might be seen in many of the continental towns quacks and
mountebanks exhibiting little rudely-carved figures, which they declared
to be genuine mandrakes, assuring their gaping auditors, at the same
time, that they were produced from the urine of a gibbeted thief, and
seriously warning those who might have to pull any out of the ground to
stop their ears first, for otherwise the piercing shrieks of these
plants would infallibly strike them with deafness. Wier thus describes
the manufacture of these interesting little gentlemen: "Impostors carve
upon these plants while yet green the male and female forms, inserting
millet or barley seeds in such parts as they desire the likeness of
human hair to grow on; then, digging a hole in the ground, they place
the said plants therein, covering them with sand till such time as the
little seeds have stricken root, which, it is said, would be perfectly
effected within twenty days at furthest. After this, disinterring the
plants, these impostors, with a sharp cutting knife, so dexterously
carve, pare, and slip the little filaments of the seeds as to make them
resemble the hair which grows upon the various parts of the human

"I have seen," says the Abbé Rosier, "mandrakes tolerably well
representing the male and female parts of generation, a resemblance
which they owe, almost entirely, to manual dexterity. For the intended
object, a mandrake is chosen having a strong root, which, at the end of
a few inches, bifurcates into two branches. As the root is soft, it
easily takes the desired form, which it preserves on becoming dry."[84]
The author then describes the process of producing the resemblance of
human hair, and which is similar to that given above.

In the year 1429, a Cordelier by name Brother Richard, fulminated from
the pulpit a vigorous sermon against the amulette then much in vogue,
and called "Mandragora." He convinced his auditors, both male and
female, of its impiety and inutility, and caused hundreds of those
pretended charms which, upon that occasion, were voluntarily delivered
up to him, to be publicly burnt. It is no doubt, to these mandragoras
that an old chronicler alludes in the following strophe:

  J'ai puis vu soudre en France
    Par grant dérision,
  La racine et la branche
    De toute abusion.
  Chef de l'orgueil du monde
    Et de lubricité;
  Femme où tel mal habonde
    Rend povre utilité.[85]

In the 15th century the mandrake enjoyed in Italy so great a reputation
as an erotic stimulant, that the celebrated Macchiavelli wrote a much
admired comedy upon it, called "_La Mandragora_." The subject of this
piece, according to Voltaire, who asserts "qu'il vaut, peut être mieux
que toutes les pièces d'Aristophane, est un jeune homme adroit qui veut
coucher avec la femme de son voisin. Il engage, avec de l'argent, un
moine, un _Fa tutto_ ou un _Fa molto_, à séduire sa maitresse et à faire
tomber son mari dans un piège ridicule. On se moque tout le long de la
pièce, de la religion que toute l'Europe professe, dont Rome est le
centre et dont le siège papal est le trone."[86]

Callimaco, one of the dramatis-personæ of this comedy, thus eulogizes
the plant in question, "Voi avete a intendere che non è cosa più certa a
ingravidare, _d'una pozione fatta di Mandragola_. Questa è una cosi
sperimentata da me due para di volte, e se non era questa, la Reina di
Francia sarebbe sterile, ed infinite altre principesse in quello

"You must know that nothing is so sure to make women conceive, as a
draught composed of Mandragola. That is a fact which I have verified
upon four occasions, and had it not been for the virtues of this plant,
the queen of France, as well as many noble ladies of that kingdom, would
have proved barren."

By the Venetian law the administering of love-potions was accounted
highly criminal. Thus the law "_Dei maleficii et herbarie_." Cap. XVI.
of the code, entitled "Della Commissione del maleficio" says, "Statuimo
etiamdio che se alcun homo o femina harra fatto maleficii, iguali so
dimandono volgarmente _amatorie_, o veramente alcuni altri maleficii,
che alcun homo o femina se havesson in odio, sia frusta et bollade, et
che hara consigliato, patisca simile pena."[88]

The notion of the efficacy of love powders was also so prevalent in the
15th century in our own country that in the Parliament summoned by King
Richard III., on his usurping the throne, it was publicly urged as a
charge against Lady Grey, that she had bewitched King Edward IV. by
strange potions and amorous charms.

  "And here also we considered how that the said pretended
  marriage betwixt the abovenamed King Edward and Elizabeth
  Grey, was made of great presumption, without the knowing and
  assent of the Lords of this land, and also by sorcery and
  witchcraft committed by the said Elizabeth and her mother
  Jaquet Duchesse of Bedford, as the common opinion of the
  people and the public voice and fame is thorow all this
  land." (From the "Address of Parliament to the high and
  mightie Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.")[89]

Modern writers, as might be expected, have taken a very wide range in
their inquiries as to what kind of plant the Dudaïm really was, some
regarding it as lilies, roses, violets, snowdrops, and jasmine; others,
as melons, plantain fruits, whirtleberries, dwarf brambles, the berries
of the physalis or winter cherry, grapes of some peculiar kinds, or even
underground fungi, as truffles, &c. Many have supposed the word to mean
the ingredients, whatever they might have been, of a charm or love
potion, and hence have recurred to the mandrake, celebrated, as already
said, throughout antiquity, for its supposed virtues, and whose history
has been tricked out with all the traditionary nonsense that might be
imagined to confirm that report of such qualities.

Liebentantz,[90] in 1660; the younger Rudbeck,[91] in 1733, and
Celsius,[92] in 1745, have displayed much erudition and research in
their inquiries; but the first of these writers arrived at the
conclusion that nothing certain could be come to on the subject; while
the second proposed raspberries as the Dudaïm; and the third maintained
that they were the fruit of the Zizyphus, the Spina Christi of the
disciples of Linnæus.

Maundrell, who travelled in the East in the 17th century, informs us
that, having asked the chief priest of Aleppo what sort of a plant or
fruit the Dudaïm, or (as we translate it) the _mandrakes_, were which
Leah gave to Rachel for the purchase of her husband's embraces, the
holy man replied "that they were plants of a large leaf bearing a
certain sort of fruit, in shape resembling an apple, growing ripe in
harvest, but of an ill savour, and not wholesome. But the virtue of them
was to _help conception_, being laid under the genial bed. That the
women were wont to apply it at this day, out of an opinion of its
prolific virtue."[93]

Some writers have supposed the Dudaïm to be neither more nor less than
the truffle. Virey asserts it to be a species of Orchis; and, indeed,
considering the remarkable conformation of the root of this plant,[94]
the slightly spermatic odour of its farinaceous substance, as well as
that of the flowers of another one belonging to the same family, an
odour so similar to the emanations of an animal proverbial for its
salaciousness, and to which its bearded spikes or ears give additional
resemblance, the almost unbounded confidence which the ancients reposed
in its aphrodisiacal virtues cannot appear surprising.

One of the most extraordinary aphrodisiacs upon record is that reported
to have been employed by the Amazons. The "Amazons," says
Eustathius,[95] "broke either a leg or an arm of the captives they took
in battle, and this they did, not only to prevent their attempts at
escape, or their plotting, but also, and this more especially, to render
them more vigorous in the venereal conflict; for, as they themselves
burnt away the right breast of their female children in order that the
right arm might become stronger from receiving additional nutriment, so
they imagined that, similarly, the genital member would be strengthened
by the deprivation of one of the extremities, whether a leg or an arm."
Hence, when reproached by the Scythians with the limping gait of her
slaves, Queen Antianara replied, "[Greek: arista chôlos oiphei]," "the
lame best perform the act of love."

Among the ancient Romans, it was impossible that philters, or
love-potions, should not be introduced amid the general depravity so
common in every class; and hence we meet with frequent allusions to them
in their writers. Thus, the emperor Julian, surnamed the Apostate,
writing to his friend Callixines, observes "At enim inquies, Penelopes
etiam amor et fides erga virum tempore cognita est. Et quis, tandem,
inquam, in muliere amorem conjugis sui religioni ac pietati anteponet
_quam continuò mandragoræ bibesse judicitur_?"[96]

  "But you, Callixines, observe that Penelope's love to her
  husband was always thus manifested. To this I answer, who
  but he _that has habitually drunk Mandragora_ can prefer in
  a woman conjugal affection to piety?"

The over excitement caused in the nervous system by such potions
frequently proved fatal. Such, according to Eusebius, was the fate of
the poet Lucretius, who, having been driven to madness by an amatory
potion, and having, during the intervals of his insanity, composed
several books, which were afterwards corrected by Cicero, died by his
own hand, in the 44th year of his age.[97] It should, however, be
remembered that this account has been questioned by the poet's
translator and annotator, the late Mr. Mason Good, in these words:

  "By whom the potion was administered is conjectured only
  from a passage in St. Jerome,[98] who says that a certain
  Lucilia killed her husband or her lover by giving him a
  philtre, which was intended to secure his love, but the
  effect of which was to make him insane. This Lucilia is
  supposed to have been the wife or the mistress of Lucretius,
  but by whom the supposition was first made, I am not able to
  discover."[99] Suetonius relates the same thing of Caius
  Caligula, who although, when he arrived at manhood, endured
  fatigue tolerably well, was still occasionally liable to
  faintness, owing to which he remained incapable of any
  effort. He was not insensible to this disorder of his mind,
  and sometimes had thoughts of retiring.[100] "Creditum," he
  continues, "potionatus a Cæsonia uxore, amatorio quodam
  medicamento, sed quod furorem verterit."[101]

  "It is thought that his wife Cæsonia administered to him a
  love-potion, which threw him into a phrensy." It is in
  allusion to this that Juvenal writes

                "Tamen hoc tolerabile, si non
    Et furere incipias, ut avunculus ille Neronis
    Cui totam tremuli frontem Cæsonia pulli

    "Some nimbler juice would make him foam and rave,
    Like that Cæsonia to her Caius gave,
    Who, plucking from the forehead of the foal
    The mother's love, infused it in the bowl:
    The boiling blood ran hissing through his veins,
    Till the mad vapour mounted to his brains."

These concoctions were publicly sold at Rome, their ingredients
consisting of herbs of various kinds, in the culling and testing of
which the shepherds were often employed. The remora, or sucking-fish,
certain bones of the frog, the astroit, or star-fish, and the hippomanes
were also used. Horace informs us that dried human marrow and liver were
also had recourse to:

  "Exsucta uti medulla et aridum jecur
  Amoris esset poculum."[103]

  That his parch'd marrow might compose,
  Together with his liver dried, an amorous dose.

Del Rio[104] and Wallick[105] assert that to the above were likewise
added nail-parings, sundry metals, reptiles, and the intestines of
particular birds and fishes, and even _semen virile_ and _sanguis
menstruus_.[106] During the concoction of these filthy, disgusting, and
abominable compounds, the Infernal Deities were earnestly invoked.

Of all the above ingredients the most famous was the hippomanes, which,
according to Wier, was a piece of flesh upon the forehead of a young
colt, of a black or brown colour, in size and shape like a fig, which
the mare is said to bite off as soon as she has foaled, the mare
forsaking her offspring when prevented from so doing; hence the
hippomanes, which was in reality nothing more than a caul or part of the
omentum attached to the head of the foal, as it is also sometimes to
that of infants, was thought to be particularly effective in
conciliating love, especially when calcined or reduced to powder, and
swallowed in some of the blood of the person beloved. This superstition
is, however, in some degree excusable, if it be considered that, even in
the present day, many persons in our own country firmly believe the
human caul to have the power of saving its possessor from drowning; and
that in the good old times, it was regarded as a visible indication that
Providence had designed the infant so furnished for the service of
religion, such children, whether male or female, being destined, in
consequence, for the cloister.

Virgil thus mentions it as one of the ingredients of the philter that
Dido caused to be made for her previously to her committing suicide:

  "Falcibus et messæ ad Lunam quæruntur alienis
  Pubentes herbæ, nigri cum lacte veneni.
  Quæritur _et nascentis equi in fronte revulsus_
  Et matri præruptus amor."[107]

  "Herbs are brought, by moonlight mow'd
  With brazen scythes, big, swol'n with milky juice
  Of curious poison, _and the fleshy knot
  Torn from the forehead of a new foal'd colt_
  To rob the mother's love."

The following curious account of the wonderful effects of the
hippomanes, and which fully justifies the etymology of that
word, is given by Pausanias:

  "Among these (offerings) you may behold those of Phormis
  Menalius.... His gifts in Olympia are two horses and two
  charioteers, one of which horses the Ælians assert to have
  been made by a magician, of brass, into which metal he had
  previously infused the _hippomanes_, and which, in
  consequence, possessed the power of exciting in horses a mad
  desire for coition. The horse so made by the magician was,
  both in size and shape inferior to many horses which are
  dedicated within Altis, and was rendered still more deformed
  by having no tail. Horses desire connection with this image
  not only in spring, but every day throughout the year, for,
  breaking their bridles or running away from their drivers,
  they rush into Altis and attack the horse in a manner much
  more furious than if it was the most beautiful mare, and one
  they were acquainted with. Their hoofs, indeed, slip from
  the side of the image, but nevertheless they never cease
  neighing vehemently and leaping furiously on the figure till
  they are driven off by the whip or by some other violent
  means, for till such methods are applied, it is impossible
  to disengage them from the brass."[108]

Many formula for love-potions may be found in the work of
Albertus Magnus, who, among other things, particularly recommends
"the brains of a partridge calcined into powder and swallowed
in red wine," a remedy which is also much insisted upon
by Platina, who, in praising the flesh of the partridge, says,
"Perdicis caro bene ac facile concoquitur, multum in se nutrimenti
habet, cerebri vim auget, _genituram facilitat ac demortuam
Venerem excitat_."[109]

  "The flesh of the partridge, which is of good and easy
  digestion, is highly nutritious; it strengthens the brain,
  facilitates conception, and arouses the half-extinct desire
  for venereal pleasures." Mery[110] confidently prescribes,
  for the same purpose, the _partes genitales_ of a cock
  prepared and administered in like manner.

The following compositions enjoyed a vast reputation during the 17th

  FORTUNA VENERIS.--"Take of pismires or ants (the biggest,
  having a sourish smell, are the best) two handfuls, spirits
  of wine one gallon; digeste them in a glasse vessel, close
  shut, for the space of a month, in which time they will be
  dissolved into a liquor; then distil them in balneo till all
  be dry. Then put the same quantity of ants as before; do
  this three times, then aromatize the spirit with cinnamon.
  Note, that upon the spirit will float an oil which must be
  separated. This spirit (continues the inventor) is of
  excellent use to stir up the animal spirits insomuch that
  John Casimire, Palsgrave of the Rhine, and Seyfrie of
  Collen, general against the Turks, did always drink thereof
  when they went to fight, to increase magnanimity and
  courage, which it did even to admiration."

  "This spirit doth also _wonderfully irritate them that are
  slothful to venery_."[111]

  AQUA MAGNANIMITATIS.--Take of ants or pismires a handful of
  their eggs two hundred, of millepedes (wood-lice) two
  hundred, of bees two hundred and fifty; digeste them
  together, the space of a month, then pour off the clear
  spirit, and keep it safe. This water or spirit is of the
  same value as the former.[112]

But, quitting these "fond conceits," as honest old Burton[113] calls
them, and investigating the subject upon acknowledged and recognised
principles, it will be found that, as the ancient philosophers and
naturalists regarded the semen as the purest and most perfect part of
our blood, the flower of our blood and a portion of the brain, so the
sole object of all aphrodisiacal preparations should be to promote its
copious secretion.

Before, however, proceeding to indicate the means most conducive
thereto, it may prove interesting to the reader to be informed what were
the opinions of some of the most celebrated philosophers of antiquity,
upon the semen. "Let us first," says Montaigne,[114] "know whether, at
least, all they (physicians) agree about the matter whereof men produce
one another.... Archesilaus, the physician, whose favourite and disciple
Socrates was, said that men and beasts were formed of a lacteous slime,
expressed by the heat of the earth. Pythagoras says that our seed is the
foam or cream of our better blood. Plato, that it is the distillation of
the marrow of the back-bones; and raises his argument from this: that
that part is first sensible of being weary of the work. Alcmeon, that it
is a part of the substance of the brain, and that it is so, says he, is
proved by its causing weakness of the eyes in those who are
over-immoderately addicted to that exercise. Democritus, that it is a
substance extracted from soul and body. Aristotle, an excrement drawn
from the aliment of the last blood which is diffused over all our
members; others, that it is a blood concocted and digested by the heat
of the genitals."

But, to return from this digression. Under whatever point of view the
_semen verile_ be considered, whether as containing, according to some
physicians, all the parts of the fœtus, under the name of organic
molecules, or as being, in the opinion of others, merely destined to
fecundate the female egg, it will be equally true that the semen is a
fluid impregnated with a vivifying principle regarded as the most
important (_validissimum_) of our humours, by Hippocrates, who, in
support of this his opinion, adduces the fact of our becoming
debilitated, however small the quantity we may lose of it in the
venereal act.[115]

Zeno, the father of the Stoic philosophy, called the loss of semen the
loss of part of the animating principle; and that sage's practice was
conformable with his principles, for he is recorded to have embraced his
wife but once in his life, and that out of mere courtesy.

Epicuras and Democritus were nearly of the same opinion as Zeno; and the
Athletæ, that their strength might be unimpaired, never married. The
Rabbis, in their anxiety to preserve their nation, are said to have
ordered, with a view of preventing a loss of vigour, that a peasant
should indulge but once a week, and a merchant but once a month, a
sailor but twice a year, and a studious man but once in two years; and
for the same reason, Moses forbade indulgence before battle.

  "Les êtres," says a writer in the Dictionnaire des Sciences
  Médicales,[116] "qui font le plus abus de leurs facultés
  intellectuelles et sensitives extérieures, sont les moins
  capables d'un coït fréquent, tandis que les idiots, les
  crétins, l'exercent bien davantage. De même, l'âne, le
  cochon se livrent plus stupidement à l'acte de propagation
  et repandent beaucoup plus de sperme que des espèces
  intelligentes; enfin les animaux à petit cerveau, tels que
  les poissons, montrent une extrême fécondité."

If now, it be asked what will best promote the secretion of the seminal
fluid, or, in other words, which is the best aphrodisiac, it may be
confidently answered, the use of a substantial nourishment, such as
medical men designate as an analeptic diet. Food of this description,
without fatiguing the gastric organs, furnishes an abundant chyle, from
which is elaborated a rich blood, and in which the secretory organs find
materials of an excellent quality, and in an almost constant proportion
with the regular consumption of their products. All food of easy and
quick digestion is an analeptic, whence it follows that the same
substance which is an analeptic to one person, may prove indigestible
and innutritious for another. The numerous treatises upon digestion
render it unnecessary to specify here the different aliments most proper
for convalescents, suffice it to say, generally, that those meats in
which azezome is found are the most nutritious. This animal principle is
that extractive matter of animal fibre which produces the red appearance
of uncooked meat; it is also that which forms what is called the _brown_
of roasted meats, gives the flavour to broths and soups, the peculiar
smell to boiled meat, and constitutes the much admired _gout_ of game
and venison. It is not found in the flesh of young animals, which is
said, with reason, to be, on that very account, less nutritious. It is
only when they have attained the adult age that it appears in them; it
is abundant in beef, mutton, kid, hare, pigeon, partridge, pheasant,
woodcock, quail, duck, goose, and generally, in all animals having dark
coloured flesh. Mushrooms and oysters also contain some, but in a very
small proportion.

Food in which this principle exists appears to impress upon the membrane
of the stomach an increase of activity; the digestion is easy, and from
a small mass of alimentary substance an abundant chyle is obtained. The
chyliferous vessels derive a very great proportion of reparative
materials; there is found but little excrementitious residue, the blood
is enriched and its course accelerated, while the impulsive force of the
heart and arteries is strong and more lively. Under the influence of
this regimen a greater quantity of heat is developed and, in a given
time, there is a greater absorption of oxygen than during a vegetable
one; the respiration is performed more freely, the organs increase in
size, but it is then a genuine embonpoint; nutrition is, in reality,
more active, it is not a deceptive turgidity; the energy of the
secretions and exhalations is redoubled, cutaneous perspiration becomes
more abundant, and the glandular apparatus fulfil their functions with
greater facility. A man who adopts this food becomes consequently very
well fitted to make the sacrifices exacted by the calls of love, to
which he is then more frequently solicited.

The mollusca in general, and testaceous animals in particular, have
been considered as endowed with aphrodisiac properties. Juvenal
attributes this quality to oysters which, together with mussles, have in
this respect become vulgarly proverbial.

          "Quis enim Venus ebria curat?
  Inguinis et capitis quæ sint discrimina nescit
  Grandia quæ mediis jam noctibus ostrea mordet."[117]

          "For what cares the drunken dame?
  (Take head or tail), to her 'tis much the same
  Who at deep midnight on fat oysters sups."

Wallich informs us that the ladies of his time had recourse, on such
occasions, to the brains of the mustela piscis. The Sepia octopus was
also in great repute, and Plautus, in his play of Cisina, introduces an
old man who has just been purchasing some at the market.

Appuleius, the celebrated author of the _Metamorphoseon de Asino aureo_
(Metamorphoses of the Golden Ass), and who lived in the 2nd century,
under the Antonines, having married a rich widow, was accused by her
father Æmilian, before Claudius Maximus, pro-Consul of Asia, of having
employed sorcery and charms in order to gain her affections (a parallel
case with that of Shakspear's Othello). The love-potions alleged to have
been administered were asserted to be chiefly composed of shell-fish,
lobsters, sea hedge-hogs, spiced oysters, and cuttle-fish, the last of
which was particularly famed for its stimulating qualities. Appuleius
fulley exonerated himself in his admirable _Apologia ceu oratio de
Magica_, so esteemed for the purity of its style as to have been
pronounced by Saint Augustine (De Civitate Dei, lib. xviii. c. 20) as
_copiosissima et disertissima oratio_. The reason adduced by Æmilian for
believing that Appuleius had chiefly used fish for the purpose was, that
they must necessarily have great efficacy in exciting women to venery,
inasmuch as Venus herself was born of the sea.

Venette[118] supports this view when he says:

  "Nous avons l'expérience en France que ceux qui ne vivent
  presque que de coquillages et de poissons qui ne sont que de
  l'eau rassemblée, sont plus ardents à l'amour que les
  autres, en effet, nous nous y sentons bien plus y portés _en
  Caresme qu'en tout autre saison parce-qu'en ce temps là nous
  ne nous nourrissons que de poissons et d'herbes qui sont
  des aliments composés de beaucoup d'eau._"

Should this be true, the Infallible (?) Church must have committed an
astounding blunder in thinking to mortify, for six weeks, the sinful
lusts and affections of its dupes, by confining them, for the above
period, to the exclusive use of such articles of food.

There are also some aliments which, although not included in the class
of analeptics, are, nevertheless, reported to possess specific
aphrodisiacal qualities; such are fish, truffles, and chocolate.

The following anecdote relative to this property in fish is related by

  "Sultan Saladin, wishing to ascertain the extent of the
  continence of the dervishes, took two of them into his
  palace, and, during a certain space of time, had them fed
  upon the most succulent food. In a short time all traces of
  their self-inflicted severities were effaced, and their
  _embonpoint_ began to re-appear.

  "In this state he gave them two Odalisques[120] of
  surpassing beauty, but all whose blandishments and
  allurements proved ineffectual, for the two holy men came
  forth from the ordeal as pure as the diamond of

  "The Sultan still kept them in his palace, and, to celebrate
  their triumph, caused them to live upon a diet equally
  _recherché_, but consisting entirely of fish. A few days
  afterwards they were again subjected to the united powers of
  youth and beauty, but this time nature was too strong, and
  the too happy cenobites forgot, in the arms of
  voluptuousness, their vows of continence and chastity."

This peculiar property in fish has been attributed to the presence of
phosphorus, which is known to exist somewhat plentifully in their
substance, and has also been discovered in their roes in a simple state
of combination. Now, phosphorus is one of the most powerful stimulants:
it acts upon the generative organism in a manner to cause the most
violent priapisms; but this principle does not act alone, and there must
also be taken into account the different seasonings and condiments which
form the basis of most culinary preparations to which fish are
subjected, and which are all taken from the class of irritants.

The prolific virtues of fish have, no doubt, been greatly exaggerated,
and it is certain that too much importance has been given to the
observation made (rather upon slight grounds) by travellers as to the
abundant population of ichthyophagic nations; nor would it be difficult
to adduce facts to prove to the incredulous that the continuous use of
fish excites lasciviousness in such persons only as are constitutionally
inclined thereto.

The following instances sufficiently establish the aphrodisiacal
qualities of phosphorus. A drake belonging to a chemist having drunk
water out of a copper vessel which had contained phosphorus, ceased not
gallanting his females till he died. An old man to whom a few drops only
of phosphoric ether had been administered, experienced repeated and
imperious venereal wants which he was compelled to satisfy. Leroy and
Battatz, two celebrated French physicians of the last century, tried the
effects of phosphorus upon themselves, with similar results. Sensations
of the same kind are said to be experienced by persons whose occupation
requires the frequent handling of this drug. It may thus be considered
as satisfactorily proved that the above substance is essentially an
energetic stimulant of the genital organs; but, should still further
evidence be required, it may be found in the fact that the
administration of it, even in small doses, has been productive of the
most horrible and fatal results, instances of which are recorded in many
medical works both foreign and English, but more particularly in those
of Brera, Magendie, and others.

The erotic properties of truffles and mushrooms are considered by most
writers as better established than those of fish. The ancient Romans
were well acquainted with truffles, and obtained them from Greece and
Africa, especially from the province of Libya, the fungi found there
being particularly esteemed for their delicacy and flavour. In modern
times, also, the truffle is regarded as the _diamond_ of the kitchen,
being highly valued for its capability of exciting the genesiac sense,
it being a positive aphrodisiac which disposes men to be exacting and
women complying.[122]

The following instance of its effects is given by Brillat Savarin,[123]
to whom the circumstances were communicated, in confidence, by the lady
who was the subject of them:

  "Je soupai," says she, "un jour chez moi en trio avec mon
  mari et un de ses amis dont le nom était V----. C'était un
  beau garçon et ne manquant pas d'esprit et venait souvent
  chez moi, mais il ne m'avait jamais rien dit qui put le
  faire regarder comme mon amant, et s'il me fesait la cour,
  c'était d'une manière si enveloppée qu'il n'y avait qu'une
  sotte qui eut pû s'en fâcher. Il paraissait, ce jour là,
  destiné á me tenir compagnie pendant le reste de la soirée,
  car mon mari avait un rendezvous et devait nous quitter
  bientôt. Notre souper avait pour base une petite volaill
  truffée. Les truffes étaient délicieuses, et quoique je les
  aime beaucoup, je me contins, nonobstant; je ne bus aussi
  qu'un seul verre de Champagne, ayant quelque pressentiment
  que la soirée ne se passerait pas sans évènement. Bientôt
  mon mari partit et me laissa seule avec V---- qu'il
  regardait comme tout à fait sans consequence. La
  conversation roula d'abord sur des sujets indifférents, mais
  elle ne tarda pas à prendre une tournure plus sérieuse et
  plus intéressante. V---- fut successivement flatteur,
  expansif, affectueux, caressant, et voyant que je ne faisais
  que plaisanter de tant de belles choses, il devint si
  pressant que je ne pus plus me tromper de ses prétensions.
  Alors, je me reveillai comme d'une songe et me défendis avec
  autant plus de franchise que mon cœur ne me disait rien
  pour lui. Il persistait avec une action que pouvait devenir
  tout à fait offensante; j'eus beaucoup de peine de la
  remener, et j'avone, à ma honte, que toute espérance ne lui
  serait pas interdite. Enfin, il me quitta, j'allai me
  coucher et dormis tout d'un somme. Mais le lendemain fut le
  jour du jugement; j'examinai ma conduite de la veille, et je
  la trouvai repréhensible. J'aurais du arreter V---- dès les
  premières phrases, et ne pas me prêter à une conversation
  qui ne présageait rien de bon. Ma fierté aurait dû sonner,
  crier, me fâcher, faire, enfin, tout ce que je ne fis pas.
  Que vous dirai je, Monsieur, je mis tout cela sur le compte
  des truffes, et je suis réelement persuadée qu'elles
  m'avaient donne une prédisposition dangereuse, et si je n'y
  renonce pas (ce qui eut été trop rigoureux) du moins je n'en
  mange jamais sans que le plaisir qu'elles me causent ne soit
  mêlé d'un peu de defiance."

The mushroom was also equally well known as the truffle to the ancient
Romans for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Thus, Martial says:

  "Quum sit anus conjux et sint tibi mortua membra,
  Nil aliud _bulbis_ quam sater esse potes."[124]

  "If envious age relax the nuptial knot,
  Thy food be mushrooms, and thy feast shalot."

This bulb was believed by the ancients to be so decided a stimulant,
that it was always served up, together with pepper and pine-nuts, at the
wedding dinner.

An immoderate use of chocolate was, in the 17th century, considered so
powerful an aphrodisiac that Jean Franco Raucher strenuously enforced
the necessity of forbidding the monks to drink it, adding that if such
an interdiction had been laid upon it at an earlier period, the scandal
with which that sacred order had been assailed would have been
prevented. It is a singular fact that, fearful of losing their
character, or, what, perhaps, was dearer to them, their chocolate, the
worthy cenobites were so diligent in suppressing Raucher's work that
four copies only of it are said to be in existence.

The history of the middle ages abounds with complaints of the lubricity,
gluttony, and drunkenness of the monks, vices which are described as
being their ruin, in the fallowing pithy distich:

  "Sunt tria nigrorum quæ vestant res monachorum,
  Renes et venter et pocula sumpta frequenter."[125]

  "Three things to ruin monks combine--
  Venery, gluttony, and wine."

A monk who was a great enemy to adultery, was one day preaching against
it, and grew so warm in his argument, and took so much pains to convince
his congregation of his own abhorrence of it, that at last he broke out
in the following solemn declaration:

  "Yea, my brethren, I had rather, for the good of my soul,
  have to do with ten maids every month, than, in ten years,
  to touch one married woman!"

The celebrity they acquired in the field of Venus may readily be
imagined from a quatrain that was affixed in a conspicuous part of the
Church of St. Hyacinthe, and which runs thus:

  "Femmes qui désirez de devenir enceinte
   Addressez cy vos vœux au grand Saint Hyacinthe,
   Et tout ce que pour vous le Saint ne pourra faire
   _Les moines de céans pourront y satisfaire_.[126]

  "You ladies who for pregnancy do wish
   To great St. Hyacinthe your prayers apply,
   And what his Saintship cannot accomplish
  _The monks within will surely satisfy_."

It would have been well had these holy men been contented with these,
comparatively, venial indulgences. The following macaronic epigram,
however, shows that they were but too much addicted to the _Amour

  "Let a friar of some order tecum pernoctare
  Either thy wife or thy daughter hic vult violare,
  Or thy son he will prefer, sicut fortem fortis,
  God give such a friar pain in Inferni portis."[127]

But the open violation of their monastic vows, especially that of
chastity, sometimes subjected monks to very severe punishment, a
singular instance of which is recorded by Thevet,[128] who, on account
of the inimitable quaintness of his language and style, must be allowed
to tell his own story:

  "Phillippus Bourgoin, grād prieur de l'Abbaye de Cluny,
  voyant l'insolence, riblerïes et putasseries que menoient
  certains religieux de l'abbaye de Cluny les fist appeller
  particulièrement, leur demonstra le tort qu'ilz se faisoient
  et à la saincteté de leur ordre, et appercevant qu'ilz
  continuoient leur train, en pleine voute ou assemblée,
  qu'ils font en leur chapitre, leur denonça, pu'estāt en
  son oratoire Sainct Hugues s'estoit apparu à luy, le
  chargeant de leur fair entendre qu'ilz amendassent leur vie,
  ou autremēt, qu'ilz tomberoient en son indignation,
  les ayant en telle verdeure envoya querir des maistres
  opérateurs sécretment en son logis et māda querir une
  nuict tous les plus mauvais garçons de Moynes, les uns après
  les autres, qui n'estaient plutôt entrez au logis du Prieur
  qu'ō leur bādoit les yeux, et après _les maistres
  leurs nettòiét bragardement_ leurs _petites boursettes_ de
  ce qui les faisoit hennir après leurs voluptéz et après les
  renvoiet en leurs chambres, _plus legiers de deux grains
  qu'ilz n'etoiét auparavant, les ayant chappônez_. Après
  telle exécution le bruict courut qu'ō avoit veu Sainct
  Hugues se pourmêant près de l'enfermerie de l'abbaye, qui
  fist croire aux pauvres Moynes hongres, que par adresse
  autre qu'humaine, ils avoiêt _ainsi esté estropiez_ de leur

To these poor monks may, however, be applied the sly remark of Hume,
upon a similar act of cruelty perpetuated, though for a far more
innocent cause, by Geoffry, the father of Henry II., upon the prior and
chapter of Seez in Normandy, viz., that "of the pain and danger they
might justly complain, yet, since they had vowed chastity, he deprived
them of a superfluous treasure."[129]

If the properties of ambergris be less potent than those of phosphorus,
they are certainly less fatal. According to Boswell,[130] three grains
of the former suffice to produce a marked acceleration of the pulse, a
considerable development of muscular strength, a greater activity in the
intellectual faculties, and a disposition to cheerfulness and venereal
desires. The same author also says that it is a medicine which can, for
a short time, restore an effete old man to juvenility.[131] The ancients
reposed great confidence in the virtues of this drug, employing it as a
renovator of the vital powers and of the organs, whose energy had been
exhausted by age or by excess; and throughout the East this perfume
still maintains a reputation for life-preserving qualities.

Madame Du Barry,[132] the infamous mistress of Louis XV., is reported to
have availed herself of its aphrodisiacal qualities in order to
stimulate the jaded appetites of her royal paramour. "L'attachement du
roi pour Madame Du Barry[133] lui est venu des efforts prodigieux
qu'elle lui fit faire au moyen d'un baptême (lavement) ambré dont elle
se parfuma intérieurement tous les jours. On ajoute qu'elle joignit à
cela un secret dont on ne se sert pas encore en bonne société."

Piquant as is this anecdote, the key to it is equally so. "Les mouches
cantarides, i diabolini l'essence de giroflée, les baptêmes ambrés,
etc., sont des inventions de notre siecle dont la débilité eut été
incurable sans ces secours, l'auteur ne peut rendre le _secret de la
mauvaise société_, dont se sert la Comtesse, sans blesser la bonne, tout
ce qu'il peut dire décemment est que ce secret est un diminutif des
erreurs philosophiques."[134]

The old pharmacopœia are amply furnished with formula of which
amber constitutes the base. These recipes are generally designated by
names which, to a certain extent, indicate the particular use to which
they are destined by their makers; thus, France formerly boasted her
"_Tablettes de Magnanimité_," or "_Electuaire Satyrion_," and "_Un
poudre de joie_." Troches, or odoriferous lozenges, to which the
ancients gave the pretty name of "_Avunculæ Cypriæ_," were, and perhaps
are still, sold in Paris under that of "_Seraglio Pastilles_." Ambergris
forms the basis of these, as it also does of the Indian pastilles called
"Cachunde," and which were equally in repute. Zactus Lusitanus[135]
states that they were composed of bole Tuccinum, musk, ambergris,
aloes-wood, red and yellow sanders (pterocarpus santalinus) mastic,
sweet-flag (calamus aromaticus) galanga, cinnamon, rhubarb, Indian
myrobalon, absynth, and of some pounded precious stones, which, however,
impart no additional quality to the composition. Speaking of this
composition, the Encyclopœdia Perthensis describes it as "a medicine
highly celebrated among the Chinese and Indians; it is composed of
ambergris and several other aromatic ingredients, perfumes, medicinal
earths, and precious stones. It imparts a sweetness to the breath, is a
valuable medicine in all nervous complaints, and is esteemed as a
prolonger of life and _an exciter to venery_."[136]

Rivière[137] gives us the following formula for a potion whose virtue is
indisputable. "Take of amber, half a drachm; musk, two scruples; aloes,
one drachm and a half; pound them all together, pour upon the mass a
sufficient quantity of spirits of wine so that the liquor may cover it
to the height of about five fingers' breadth; expose it to sand heat,
filter and distil it, close it hermetically, and administer it in broth
in the dose of three or five drops. This liquor is also advantageous
when mixed with syrup, prepared as follows:--Take of cinnamon water,
four ounces; orange and rose water, each six ounces, and sugar candy

Musk taken internally is said by many physicians to be almost equal to
ambergris for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Externally applied, this
substance produces very singular phenomena. Borelli details the case of
a man "qui s'étant frotté le penis avec du musc avant de se livrer à
l'exercise des fonctions genitales, resta uni avec sa femme sans pouvoir
s'en séparer. Il fallait, dans cette position lui donner une quantité
de lavements afin de ramoller les parties qui s'étaient
extraordinairement tumifiées."[138] Diermerbreek and Schurigius gave
similar instances. The effects of musk are, therefore, almost equal to
those produced by certain plants, as recorded by Theophrastus: "Esse
herbas quæ vel ad _sexagesimum coitum_ vim præstant sed at demum
secernitur sanguis."[139] Weickard says that by means of this drug he
resuscitated the genital power in a man who had nearly completed his
eightieth year.

But, of all aphrodisiacs, the most certain and terrible in its effects
are cantharides, commonly known as Spanish flies. That they exercise a
powerful and energetic action upon the organization and stimulate, to
the utmost, the venereal desire, is but too true. The effects, however,
which these insects, when applied as a blister upon the skin, are known
to produce, are insignificant when compared with their intense action
upon the stomach when taken internally; nor is it the stomach only which
is affected by them: the bladder experiences an irritation exceeding
even that caused by the severest strangury. To these succeed perforation
of the stomach, ulcers throughout the entire length of the intestinal
canal, dysentery, and, lastly, death in the midst of intolerable
agonies. Medical works abound with observations concerning the fatal
effects of cantharides when unduly administered, whether from ignorance
or for exciting the venereal appetite. The two following cases are
recorded by Pabrol in his "Observations Anatomiques":

  "En 1752 nous fumes visiter un pauvre homme d'Organ en
  Provence atteint du plus horrible satyriasis qu'on saurait
  voir et penser. Le fait est tel. Il avait les quartes, pour
  en guérir prend conseil d'une sorcière, laquelle lui fait
  une potion d'une once de semences d'orties, de deux drachmes
  de cantharides, d'une drachme et demi de caboule et autres,
  ce qui le rendit si furieux à l'acte vénérien que sa femme
  nous jura son Dieu, _qu'il l'avait chevauchée, dans deux
  mois, quatre vingt sept fois, sans y comprendre plus de dix
  fois qu'il s'était_ corrompu lui-même. Dans le temps que
  nous consultions, le pauvre homme spermatisa trois fois à
  notre présence, embrassa le pied du lit, et agitant contre
  lui comme si c'eust été sa femme. Ce spectacle nous étonn et
  nous hâtâ à lui faire des remèdes pour abattre cette
  furieusse chaleur, mais quel remède qu'on lui eust faire, se
  passa-t-il le pas."

  "Un médecin à Orange, nommé Chauvel avait été appellé en
  1758 à Caderousse, petite ville proche de sa résidence, pour
  voir un homme atteint d'une maladie du même genre. A
  l'entrée de la maison il trouve la femme du dit malade,
  laquelle se plaignit à lui de la furieuse lubricité de son
  mari, _qui l'avait chevauchée quarante fois pour une nuit_,
  et avait toutes les parties gonflées, étant contrainte les
  lui montrer afin qu'il lui ordonnast les remèdes pour
  abattre l'inflammation. Le mal du mari étant venu d'un
  breuvage semblable à l'autre que lui fut donné par une femme
  qui gardait l'hôpital, pour guérir la fièvre tierce qui
  l'affligeoit, de laquelle il tomba dans une telle fureur
  qu'il fallait l'attacher comme s'il eust été possédé du
  diable. Le vicaire du lieu fut présent, pour l'exhorter à la
  présence même du Sieur Chauvel, lesquels il priait le
  laisser mourir avec le plaisir, les femmes le plièrent dans
  un linsseuil mouillé en eau et en vinaigre, où il fut lassé
  jusqu'au le lendemain qu'elles allaient le visiter, mais sa
  furieuse chaleur fut bien abattue et eteinte, car elles le
  trouvèrent roid mort, la bouche béante, montrant les dents,
  et son membre gangréne."

Paré also relates that a courtezan, having sprinkled the meat given by
her to one of her lovers, with pounded cantharides, the wretched youth
was seized with a violent priapism and loss of blood at the anus, of
which he died.

Ferdinand the Catholic, of Castile, owed his death to the effects of a
philter administered to him by his queen, Germaine de Foix, in the hope
of enabling him to beget an heir to the crowns of Aragon, Navarre, and
Naples. "Plusieurs dames," says Mignot,[140] "attachées à la Reine, lui
indiquèrent un breuvage qu'il fallait, disoit on donner à Ferdinand pour
ranimer ses forces. Cette princese fit composer ce reméde, sous ses
yeux, et le présenta au roi qui désirait, plus qu'elle, d'avoir un fils.
Depuis ce jour, la santé de Ferdinand s'affaiblit, au point qu'il ne la
recouvra jamais."

The life of the celebrated Wallenstein, one of the heroes of the "Thirty
Years' war," was far a long time endangered from the effects of a potion
administered to him by his countess. "De retour dans sa patrie, il
(Wallenstein) sut inspirer une vive passion à une riche veuve de la
famille de Wiezkova, et eut l'adresse de se faire préféré à des rivaux
d'un rang plus élevé; mais cette union fut troublée par l'extrême
jalousie de sa femme; ou prétend même qu'elle fit usage de philtres que
pensèrent compromettre le santé de son mari."[141]

Cardinal Dubois,[142] the favourite and minister of Philip Duke of
Orleans, Regent of France, during the minority of Louis XV., gives the
following amusing account of a love potion, to the powerful effects of
which he considered himself indebted for his existence. "An old
bachelor, of Brivas, had engaged to marry a young lady of only sixteen
years of age. The night before the wedding he assembled the wise heads
of his family for the purpose of consulting upon the best means of
enabling him to perform his part creditably in the approaching amorous
conflict. Opinions were divided; some maintained that nature was
adequate to the occasion at any age, while others recommended a certain
preparation in the Pharmacopeia, which would amply supply the defect of
youth in a sexaginary husband. The old gentleman chose, without
hesitation, the surest and speediest of these two chances of success.
The prescription was sent to the shop of my worthy father, who was an
apothecary in the town, and he accordingly immediately set to work, and
made up a draught which would have awakened desire even in Methusaleh
himself. This valuable philter was not to be sent to the party till the
next day. It was late, and my mother," continues the Cardinal, "desired
her husband to retire to rest and he, tired with his day's work, quickly
undressed himself, blew out his candle, and deposited himself, like a
loving husband, by the side of his dear spouse. Awakening in the middle
of the night, he complained of being excessively thirsty, and his better
half, roused from her slumbers, got up in the dark, and groping about
for something wherewith to quench his thirst, her hand encountered the
invigorating philter, which it truly proved to be, for I came into the
world precisely nine months after that memorable night."[143]

Although love-potions and philters, as well as the other preparations
had recourse to, for animating and arousing the organs for reproduction
frequently owe, as we have shewn, their advantages to cantharides, and
are, but too often productive of terrible effects, yet it cannot be
denied that when administered by a skilful, cautious, and experienced
physician, they have restored the desired vigour when all other means
have failed.

The flesh of the Schinck (scincus), an amphibious animal of the lizard
species, and sometimes of the land lizard, or crocodile, is said, when
reduced to powder and drunk with sweet wine, to act miraculously in
exciting the venereal action; it is also prepared for the same object in
the form of the electuary known by the name of Diasatyrion. Ælius
recommends that in order to cause the erection of the virile organ, the
flesh of this animal should be taken from the vicinity of its genital
apparatus.[144] It is a well known fact that the Egyptian peasants
carried their lizards to Cairo, whence they were forwarded, _viâ_
Alexandria, to Venice and Marseilles. This species of lizard, which
feeds upon aromatic plants, was also used as an aphrodisiac by the
Arabs, and the well known anti-poisonous quality of its flesh had caused
it, in more ancient times, to be employed as an ingredient in the
far-famed Mithridates, or antidote to poison. Browne informs us[145]
"that in Africa, no part of the Materia Medica is so much in requisition
as those which stimulate to venereal pleasure. The _Lacerta scincus_ in
powder, and a thousand other articles of the same kind, are in continual
demand." The plant Chervri (_sandix ceropolium_) is also accounted as
capable of exciting amorous propensities, so much so that Tiberius, the
Roman emperor, the most lascivious, perhaps, of men, is said to have
exacted a certain quantity of it from the Germans, by way of tribute,
for the purpose of rendering himself vigorous with his women and
catamites; and Venette says that the Swedish ladies give it to their
husbands when they find them flag in their matrimonial duties.[146]

But it was upon the plant called Satyrion (_orchis mascula_) that those
who required aphrodisiacal remedies rested their most sanguine hopes.
This plant, Theophrastus assures us, possesses so wonderful a property
of exciting venery that a mere application of it to the parts of
generation will enable a man to accomplish the act of love twelve times
successively. Speaking of this plant, Venette[147] says that the herb
which the Indian King Androphyl sent to King Antiochus was that it was
so efficacious in exciting men to amorous enjoyment as to surpass in
that quality, all other plants, the Indian who was the bearer of it
assuring the king "qu'elle lui avait donné de la vigueur pour soixante
dix embrassements," but he owned "qu'aux derniers efforts ce qu'il
rendait n'était plus de semence."

Matthoile, however, observing that those persons who made use of it did
not appear much given to lasciviousness, concluded that we had lost the
true satyrion of the ancients; but, it is nevertheless certain,
notwithstanding so adverse an opinion, that this plant long preserved
its reputation, and was recommended by all botanists for its aphrodisiac
potency. Of all the species of this plant the one popularly known as
dog-stones is reputed to possess the greatest virtue.

The Turks have also their Satyrion (_orchis morio_), which grows upon
the mountains near Constantinople, and which they make use of to repair
their strength, and stimulate them to the generative act. From this root
is made the salep of which the inhabitants of Turkey, Persia, and Syria,
are extremely fond, being looked upon as one of the greatest
restoratives and provocatives to venery in the whole vegetable world.
But besides the aphrodisiacal qualities attributed to this plant by the
above people, they give it credit for other ones, which good opinion
experience has confirmed, and therefore whenever they undertake a long
voyage, they never omit to carry it with them as a specific against all
diseases. Modern practitioners likewise commend its restorative,
mucilaginous and demulcent qualities as rendering it of considerable
utility, particularly in sea scurvy, diarrhœa, dysentery, and stone
or gravel. In addition to this property, salep also possesses the very
singular one of concealing the taste of sea water, hence to prevent the
dreadful calamity of perishing by thirst at sea it has been proposed
that the powder of this plant should form part of the provisions of
every ship's company.

Borax is likewise considered to possess peculiar aphrodisiacal
qualities. "Il pénètre," says Venette, "toutes les parties de notre
corps et ouvre tous les vaisseaux, et par la ténuité de sa substance,
_il conduit aux parties génitales_ tout ce qui est capable de nous
servir de matière à la semence."[148]

The plant Rocket (_Brasica eruca_) has likewise been especially
celebrated by the ancient poets for possessing the virtue of restoring
vigour to the sexual organs, on which account it was consecrated to and
sown around, the statue of Priapus; thus Columella says:--

  "Et quæ frugifero seritur vicina Priapo
   Excitet ut veneri tardos eruca maritos."[149]

  "Th' eruca, Priapus, near thee we sow
   To rouse to duty husbands who are slow."

Virgil attributes to it the same quality, designing it as--

  "... Et venerem revocans eruca morantem."[150]

  "Th'eruca, plant which gives to jaded appetite the spur."

Lobel[151] gives an amusing account of the effects of this plant upon
certain monks in the garden of whose monastery it was sown, an infusion
of it being daily doled out to them under the impression that its
cheering and exhilarating qualities would rouse them from the state of
inactivity and sluggishness so common to the inmates of such
establishments. But, alas! the continual use of it produced an effect
far more powerful than had been contemplated by the worthy itinerant
monk who had recommended it, for the poor cenobites were so stimulated
by its aphrodisiacal virtues that, transgressing alike their monastic
wall and vows, they sought relief for their amorous desires in the fond
embraces of the women residing in the neighbourhood.

Salt, mala Bacchica[152] Cubebs, Surag,[153] and radix Chinæ (bark),
were also regarded by ancient physicians as powerful aphrodisiacs.
Gomez[154] asserts of the first of these substances, that women who much
indulge in it are thereby rendered more salacious, and that, for this
reason, Venus is said to have arisen from the sea; whence the epigram:

  "Unde tot in Veneta scortorum millia cur sunt?
   In promptu causa est. Venus orta mari."

  "In Venice why so many punks abound?
   The reason sure is easy to be found:
   Because, as learned sages all agree,
   Fair Venus' birth-place was the _salt, salt sea_."

To the last of the above-mentioned plants, Baptista Porta ascribes the
most wonderful powers, his words being: Planta quæ non solum edentibus,
sed et genitale languentibus tantum valet, ut coire summe desiderant,
quoties fere velint, possint; alios _duodecies_ profecisse, alios ad
_sexaginta vices_ pervenisse, refert.[155]

Certain condiments are also aphrodisiacal, acting as they undoubtedly
do, as powerful stimulants. Thus Tourtelle and Peyrible assure us that
pepper is a provocative to venereal pleasures, while Gesner and Chappel
cured an atony of the virile member of three or four years' duration, by
repeated immersions of that organ in a strong infusion of mustard seed.

The principal ingredient of the _Bang_ so much used by the Indians, as
well as of the _Maslac_ of the Turks is a species of the hemp plant. The
Indians, says Acosta,[156] masticate the seeds and leaves of several
species of that plant, in order to increase their vigour in the venereal
congress, and very frequently combine with it, ambergris, musk, and
sugar, preparing it in the form of an electuary. It has been remarked,
moreover, that even in our own climate, the caged birds that are fed
with hemp seed are the most amorously inclined.

According to Browne[157] whole fields are in Africa sown with _hashish_,
the _bang_ of the East Indies, for the purpose of being used as a
stimulant to amorous dalliance. It is used in a variety of forms, but in
none, it is supposed, more effectually than what in Arabic, is called
Maijûn, a kind of electuary, in which both men and women indulge to

It is said that the Chinese, domesticated at Batavia, avail themselves
of a certain electuary for the purpose of stimulating their appetite for
sexual intercourse. This preparation, called by them Affion, is chiefly
composed of opium, and it is asserted that its effect is so violent that
a brutal passion supervenes and continues throughout the night, the
female being obliged to flee from the too energetic embraces of her

Narcotics, in general, and especially, opium, have been considered as
direct aphrodisiacs, an opinion which, if well founded, would enable us
to account more easily far those agreeable sensations by which the use
of these substances is followed.

But it is very probable that narcotics act upon the genital organs in no
other way than they do upon the other ones, that is to say, they
certainly do simulate them, but only proportionately to the increase of
force in the circulation of the blood and to the power or tone of the
muscular fibre. It is also very probable that the voluptuous
impressions superinduced by them depend upon the circumstances under
which those persons are, who habitually indulge in them, and that they
are connected with other impressions or with particular ideas which
awaken them. If, for instance, in a Sultan reclining upon his sofa, the
intoxication of opium is accompanied by images of the most ravishing
delight, and if it occasions in him that sweet and lively emotion which
the anticipation of those delights awakens throughout the whole nervous
system, the same inebriation is associated in the mind of a Janizary or
a Spahi with ideas of blood and carnage, with paroxysms, the brutal fury
of which has certainly, nothing in common with the tender emotions of
love. It is in vain to allege in proof of the aphrodisiacal qualities of
opium the state of erection in which the genital members of Turks are
found when lying dead on a field of battle,[159] for this state depends
upon, or is caused by, the violent spasm or universal convulsive
movements with which the body is seized in the moment of death: the same
phenomenon frequently appears in persons who suffer hanging. In warm
countries, it is the concomitant of death from convulsive diseases, and
in our own climate, it has been observed in persons who have died from
apoplectic attacks.

The power which certain odours possess of exciting venereal desires
admits not the slightest doubt, at least as far as the inferior animals
are concerned. Nearly all the mammifera exhale or emit, in the rutting
season, peculiar emanations serving to announce from afar to the male
the presence of the female and to excite in him the sexual desire. Facts
have been observed with respect to insects even, which cannot be
otherwise accounted for than by odorous effluvia. If, for instance, the
female of the bombyx butterfly, be placed in a box accurately closed, it
will not be long before several males will be seen flying around the
prison, and which could not possibly have known, by means of their
visual organs, the presence of their captive Dulcinea. Now the question
is, does anything analogous take place in our own species? Many authors
assert that there does, and among them Virey, who, speaking of such
exhalations, says: "L'extrême propreté des hommes et des femmes,
l'habitude de se baigner et de changer souvent de linge _font
disparaïtre_ les odeurs génitales.[160] ... On doit aussi remarquer que
la haire des Cénobites, la robe des Capucins, le froc des moines, les
vêtements rudes et mal-propres de diverses corporations religieuses
exposent ceux qui les portent à de fortes tentations, à cause de la
qualité stimulante et de la sueur fétide dont étaient bientôt empreintes
toutes ces sortes d'habillements."[161] "Odours," observes Cabanis[162]
"act powerfully upon the nervous system, they prepare it for all the
pleasurable sensations; they communicate to it that slight disturbance
or commotion which appears as if inseperable from emotions of delight,
all which may be accounted for by their exercising a special action
upon those organs whence originate the most rapturous pleasure of which
our nature is susceptible. In infancy its influence is almost nothing,
in old age it is weak, its true epoch being that of youth, that of

It is certain that among most nations, and from the remotest antiquity,
voluptuous women strengthened their amorous propensities by the use of
various perfumes, but particularly of musk, to which has been attributed
the power of exciting nocturnal emissions. The great Henry IV., of
France, no novice in love affairs, was opposed to the use of odours,
maintaining that the parts of generation should be allowed to retain
their natural scent, which, in his opinion, was more effectual than all
the perfumes ever manufactured by art.

Another aphrodisiacal remedy, which for a long time enjoyed a great
reputation was the penis of the stag, which was supposed to possess the
virtue of furnishing a man with an abundance of seminal fluid. Perhaps
the reason why the ancients attributed this property to the genital
member of that animal was from the supposition that it was the
receptacle of the bile; that the abundance and acrid quality of this
fluid caused lasciviousness, and that the stag being transported by an
erotic furor during the rutting season, he was the most salacious of
animals, and consequently that the genital organ of this quadruped
would, when applied to man's generative apparatus, impart thereto
considerable heat and irritation. A somewhat similar opinion respecting
the horse appears to have obtained among the Tartars, if we may judge
from the following account given by Foucher d'Obsonville:[163] "Les
palefreniers aménent un cheval de sept à huit ans, mais nerveux, bien
nourri et en bon état. On lui présente une jument comme pour la saillir,
et cependant on le retient de façon à bien irriter ses idées. Enfin,
dans le moment où il semble qu'il va lui être libre de s'élancer dessus,
l'on fait adroitment passer la verge dans un cordon dont le nœud
coulant est rapproché au ventre, ensuite, saisissant à l'instant où
l'animal parait dans sa plus forte érection, deux hommes qui tiennent
les extrémités du cordon le tirent avec force et, sur le champ, le
membre est séparé du corps au dessus le nœud coulant. Par ce moyen,
les esprits sont retenus et fixés dane cette partie laquelle rests
gonflée; aussitôt on la lave et la fait cuire avec divers aromatiques et
épiceries aphrodisiaques."

The means of procuring the vigour necessary for sexual delights has also
been sought for in certain preparations celebrated by the alchymists.
Struck by the splendour of gold, its incorruptibility, and other rare
qualities, some physicians imagined that this metal might introduce into
the animal economy an inexhaustible source of strength and vitality;
while empirics, abusing the credulity of the wealthy and the voluptuous
made them pay exorbitantly for aphrodisiacal preparations in which they
assured their dupes that gold, under different forms, was an ingredient.
Among innumerable other instances, is that of a French lady who, to
procure herself an heir, strove to reanimate an exhausted constitution
by taking daily in soup what she was made to believe was potable gold,
to the value of 50 francs, a fraud to expose which it suffices to say
that the largest dose of perchloride of gold that can be safely
administered is 1/6th of a grain. The tincture of gold known by the name
of _Mademoiselle Grimaldi's potable gold_ enjoyed a wonderful reputation
towards the close of the 18th century as an efficacious restorative and
stimulant; and numerous instances of its all but miraculous powers were
confidently adduced. Dr. Samuel Johnson, indeed, in a note upon a
well-known passage in Shakespeare,[164] denies the possibility of making
gold potable: "There has long," he observes, "prevailed an opinion that
a solution of gold has great medicinal virtues, and that the
incorruptibility of gold might be communicated to the body impregnated
with it. Some have pretended to make gold _potable_ among other frauds
practised upon credulity." So far back, however, as the 17th century the
Abbé Guence shewed that it was feasible, and even described the process
minutely; and it is now known to every chemist that gold is susceptible
of entering into immediate combination with chlorine by the agency of
heat, that it may even be dissolved in water charged with chlorine, and
that various methods exist of obtaining chlorate of gold, a combination
which is often successfully employed in the treatment of syphilitic
cases. Ether, naptha, and essential oils take gold from its solvent, and
form liquors which have been called _potable_ gold.

Even the Christian Church itself possessed, in its early times,
aphrodisiacs peculiarly its own. "On trouve," says Voltaire,[165] "dans
la lettre à Maitre Acacius Lampirius (Literæ virorum obscurorum) une
raillerie assez forte sur la conjuration qu'on employait pair se faire
aimer des filles. Le secret consistoit à prendre un cheveu be la fille,
on le plaçoit d'abord dans son haut-de-chausses; on faisoit une
confession générale et on fesoit dire trois messes, pendant les quelles
on mettoit le cheveu autour de son col; on allumait un cièrge béni au
dernier Evangile en on prononcait cette formule. 'O Vierge! je te
conjure par la vertu du Dieu tout-puissant, par des neuf chœurs des
anges, par la vertu gosdrienne, amène moi icelle fille, en chair et en
os, afin que _je la saboule_ à mon plaisir.'"

Bourchard, Bishop of Worms, has transmitted to us[166] an account of
certain aphrodisiacal charms practised by women of his time, the
disgusting obscenity of which is such that we cannot venture upon
translating the passage:

  "Fecisti quod quædam mulieres facere solent? Tollunt
  menstruum suum sanguinem et immiscunt cibo vel potui et dant
  viris suis ad manducandum vel ad bibendum ut plus diligantur
  ab eis. Si fecisti, quinque annos per legitimas ferias

  "Gustasti de semine viri tui ut propter tua diabolica facta
  plus in amorem exardisceret? Si fecisti, septem annos per
  legitimas ferias pœnitere debeas.

  "Fecisti quod quædam mulieres facere solent? Prosternunt se
  in faciem et discoopertis natibus, jubent ut supra nudas
  nates conficirtur panis, ut eo decocto tradunt maritis suis
  ad comedendum. Hoc ideo faciunt ut plus exardescant in
  amorem suum. Si fecisti, duos annos per legitimas ferias

  "Fecisti quad quædam mulieres facere solent? Tollunt piscem
  vivum et mittunt eum in puerperium suum, et tamdiu ibi
  tenent, donec mortuus fuerit, et decocto pisce vel assato,
  maritis suis ad comedendum tradunt. Ideo faciunt ut plus in
  amorem suum exardescant. Si fecisti, duos annos per
  legitimas ferias pœniteas."

Remedies taken internally are not the only ones which stimulate man to
sexual intercourse. External applications materially contribute to that
end, and liniments have been composed wherewith to anoint the parts of
generation. These washes are made of honey, liquid storax, oil and fresh
butter, or the fat of the wild goose, together with a small quantity of
spurge, pyrethrum, ginger or pepper to insure the remedy's penetrating:
a few grains of ambergris, musk, or cinnamon are to be added by way of

Remedies for the same purpose may also be applied to men's testicles
especially; as according to the opinion of Galen, those parts are the
second source of heat, which they communicate to the whole of the body;
for, besides the power of engendering, they also elaborate a spirituous
humour or fluid which renders man robust, hardy, and courageous. The
best application of this kind is that composed of cinnamon powder,
gilliflower, ginger and rose water, together with theriac, the crumb of
bread, and red wine.

In addition to the means already mentioned for restoring vigour to the
generative organs, two others may be reckoned which have been
successfully resorted to for bracing them in such persons whose
reproductive faculties lie dormant rather than extinct: these two
methods are known as _flagellation_ and _urtication_.[167]

Flagellation was recommended by several of the ancient physicians as an
effectual remedy in many disorders, and this upon the physiological
axiom of Hippocrates--_ubi stimulus, ibi affluxus_. Seneca considers it
as able to remove the quartan ague. Jerome Mercurialis speaks of it as
employed by many physicians in order to impart embonpoint to thin,
meagre persons; and Galen informs us that slave merchants used it as a
means of clearing the complexion of their slaves and plumping them up.
Alædeus of Padua, recommends flagellation with green nettles, that is,
urtication, to be performed on the limbs of young children for the
purpose of hastening the eruption of the small pox. Thomas
Campanella[168] attributes to flagellation the virtue of curing
intestinal obstructions, and adduces in proof to his assertion, the case
of the Prince of Venosa, one of the best musicians of his time, who
could not go to stool, without being previously flogged by a valet kept
expressly for that purpose.

Even at a later period the same opinion obtained as to the efficacy of
flagellation, it being supposed by many physicians to reanimate the
torpid circulation of the capillary and cutaneous vessels, to increase
muscular energy, to promote absorption, and to favour the necessary
secretions of our nature.[169] As an erotic stimulant, more particularly
it may be observed that, considering the many intimate and sympathetic
relations existing between the nervous branches of the extremity of the
spinal marrow, it is impossible to doubt that flagellation exercised
upon the buttocks and the adjacent parts, has a powerful effect upon the
organs of generation.

Meibomius,[170] the great advocate for the use of this remedy, remarks,
that stripes inflicted upon the back and loins are of great utility in
exciting the venereal appetite, because they create warmth in those
parts whose office it is to elaborate the semen and to convey it to the
generative organs. He, therefore, considered it by no means wonderful
that the miserable victims of debauchery and lasciviousness, as well as
those whose powers have been exhausted by age or excess, should have
recourse to flagellation as a remedy. He observes that its effect is
very likely to be that of renewing warmth in the now frigid parts, and
of furnishing heat to the semen, an effect in producing which the pain
itself materially contributes by the blood and heat which is thereby
drawn down to the part until they are communicated to the reproductive
organs, the erotic passion being thus raised, even in spite of nature
herself, beyond her powers. A similar view is taken by a modern writer,
whose opinion is "that the effect of flagellation may be easily referred
to the powerful sympathy which exists between the nerves of the lower
part of the spinal marrow and other organs. Artificial excitement
appears in some degree natural; it is observed in several animals,
especially in the feline race. Even snails plunge into each other a
bony, prickly spur, that arises from their throats, and which, like the
sting of the wasp, frequently breaks off, and is left in the

After the appearance of the Abbé Boileau's _Histoire de la
Flagellation_, the Jesuits condemned several propositions found either
in that work or in others approved by him. The following is one:

  "Necesse est cum musculi lumbares virgis aut flagellis
  diverberantur, spiritus vitales revelli, adeoque salaces
  motus ob vicinam partium genitalium et testium excitari,
  qui venereis ac illecebris cerebrum mentemque fascinant ac
  virtutem castitatis ad extremas augustias redigunt."

From out of almost innumerable instances of the efficacy of flagellation
as an aphrodisiac, the following are selected.

Cornelius Gallus, the friend of Virgil, Horace, Tibullus, and Catullus,
and who, according to Pliny, died the most delightful of deaths by
expiring in the embraces of the fondest object of his affections,[172]
was solely indebted for the delicious transports he enjoyed with her to
the scourge with which her severe father chastised her for the faults
that originated in too warm a temperament, a punishment which, instead
of counteracting, furthered the wishes of the voluptuous Roman.

Jean Pic de Mirandole relates[173] the case of a person known to him
who, being a great libertine, could not consummate the act of love
without being flagellated until the blood came, and that, therefore,
providing himself for the occasion with a whip steeped in vinegar, he
presented it to his _inamorata_, begging her not to spare him, for "plus
on le fouettait, plus il y trouvait des délices, la douleur et la
volupté marchant, dans cet homme, d'un pas egal."

Meibomius mentions the case of a citizen of Lubeck who, being accused
and convicted of adultery, was sentenced to be banished. A woman of
pleasure with whom this man had been for a long time intimate, appeared
before the judges as a witness on his behalf. This woman swore that the
man was never able to consummate the act of love with her unless he had
been previously flogged,--an operation which it was also necessary to
repeat before each successive indulgence.

That this was a means employed by Abelard in his commerce with Heloisa,
appears from the following passages in two of his letters to her;

  "Verbera quandoque dabat amor non furor, gratia non ira quæ
  omnium unguentorum suavitatem transcenderent."[174]

  "Stripes which, whenever inflicted by love, not by fury but
  affection, transcended, in sweetness, every unguent."

  "Nosti quantis turpitudinibus immoderata mea libido corpora
  nostra addixerat et nulla honestatis vel Dei reverentia in
  ipsis diebus Dominicæ passionis vel quantarumque
  solemnitatem ut hujus luti volutabro me revocavit. Sed et te
  nolentem aut dissuadentem quæ natura infirmior eras, ut
  sæpius minis ac flagellis ad consensum trahebam.[175]"

  "Thou knowest to what shameful excesses my unbridled lust
  had delivered up our bodies, so that no sense of decency, no
  reverence for God, could, even in the season of our Lord's
  passion, or during any other holy festival, drag me forth
  from out that cesspool of filthy mire; but that even with
  threats and scourges I often compelled thee who wast, by
  nature, the weaker vessel, to comply, notwithstanding thy
  unwillingness and remonstrances."

The renowned Tamerlane, the mighty conqueror of Asia, required a like
stimulus,[176] the more so perhaps from the circumstance of his being a

The Abbé Boileau, in his well known and entertaining "Histoire des
Flagellants," partly attributes the gross licentiousness of that period
to the strange practice then in vogue of doing penance by being scourged
in public; and his brother the celebrated poet and critic, defending the
Abbé against the animadversions of the Jesuits, remarks very forcibly:

  "Non, le livre des Flagellans
  N'a jamais condamné, lisez le bien, mes pères,
    Ces rigidités salutaires
    Qui, pour ravir le Ciel, saintement violens,
  Exercent sur leurs corps, tant de Chrétiens austères;
    Il blâme seulement ces abus odieux
    D'étaler et d'offrir aux yeux
  Ce que leur doit toujours cacher la bienveillance,
    Et combat vivement la fausse piété,
  _Qui sous couleur d'eteindre en nous la volupté
  Par l'austérité méme, et par la pénitence
    Sait allumer le feu de la lubricité_.[178]"

Flagellation, indeed, as well as the custom of wearing the hair-shirt,
so common with the monks, and even with religious lay catholics, was, by
the stimulus it imparted to the skin, and hence to the internal viscera,
much more likely to increase the energy of the physiological functions,
and _thus excite the commission of the very acts they are intended to

The Abbé Chuppe d'Auteroche, member of the Académie des Sciences, and
who died in California a few days after the observation of the Transit
of Venus in 1760, remarks that the stripes given to persons frequenting
the vapour baths in Russia impart activity to the fluids and elasticity
to the organs and gives additional stimulus to the venereal

M. Serrurier records the following curious case. "One of my
schoolfellows, who found an indescribable pleasure in being flogged,
purposely and wilfully neglected his duty in order to draw upon himself
the correction, which never failed to produce an emission of semen. As
may easily be imagined he soon began the practice of masturbation, in
which he indulged to so frightful an extent that rapid consumption
ensued, and he died, a most horrible and disgusting object, affording a
melancholy example of that fatal vice."[180]

The case of Jean Jacques Rousseau is well known. When a child he was by
no means displeased with the corrections administered to him by a lady
considerably his elder, he even frequently sought for a whipping at her
hands, especially after he perceived that the flagellation developed in
him the manifest token of virility. But he must be allowed to give his
own account of it. "Assez long temps," says he, "Madame Lambercier
s'entint à la menace, et cette menace d'un châtiment tout nouveau pour
moi me semblait très effrayante, mais après l'exécution, je la trouvai
moins terrible à l'épreuve que l'attente ne l'avait été, et ce qu'il y
a de plus bizarre est qui ce châtiment m'affectionna davantage d'elle
qui me l'avoit imposé. Il fallait même toute la vérité de cette
affection et toute ma douceur naturelle pour m'empêcher de chercher le
retour du même traitement en le méritant, car j'avais trouvé dans la
douleur, dans la honte même, un mélange de sensualité qui m'avait laissé
plus de désir que de crainte de l'éprouver derechef, par la même main.
Il est vrai que comme il se mêlait, sans doute, à cela quelque instinct
précoce du sexe, le même châtiment reçu de son frère, ne m'eut point du
tout, parut plaisant."[181]

As flagellation is practised by striking the skin with a rod formed of
twigs, until the heat and redness become more intense, so if the twigs
be replaced by fresh nettles, the operation will become,--_urtication_.

The employment of urtication is of great antiquity, for Celsus as well
as Aretæus mentions the use of it, it being in those times, a popular
remedy. That the Romans had frequent recourse to it in order to
arouse the sexual appetite, is proved by the following passage from
Petronius Arbiter, which for obvious reasons, we shall content
ourselves with giving in the original only. "Oenothea semiebria ad me
respiciens;--Perficienda sunt, inquit, mysteria _ut recipas nervos_.

"Simulque profert scorteum fascinum quod, ut olio et minuto pipere, atque
_urticæ_ trito circumdedit semine, paulatim cœpit inserere ano meo.
Hoc crudelissima anus spargit subinde femina mea Nasturcii[182] succum
cum abrotono miscet, perfusis que inguinibus meis, viridis urticæ fascem
comprehendit omnes que infra umbilicum cœpit lenta manu cædere."[183]

Menghus Faventinus assures us that nettles have "une propriété
merveilleuse pour allonger, tendre, grossir et ériger le membre viril,
qui, par une parsimonie de la nature, feroit craindre la

Urtication appears to have been well known in France during the time of
Rabelais, who alluding to this mode of procuring the vigour necessary
for the amorous conflict, says, "se frotter le cul au panicaut (a
species of thistle) vrai moyen d'avoir au cul passion."

  Une femme en mélancholie
  Pour faute d'occupation,
  Frottez moi le cul d'ortie
  Elle aura au cul passion.[185]

The irritation caused by nettles produces effects analogous to those
which are observed in persons afflicted with the itch, the ring-worm and
leprosy. The lubricity of those unfortunates is sometimes uncontrolable;
they suffer violent priapisms, which are followed by ejaculation,
whenever a severe itching forces them to scratch themselves with a kind
of furor or madness.

  "In a medical point of view," observes Dr. Milligen,
  "urtication, or stinging with nettles, is a practice not
  sufficiently appreciated. In many instances, especially in
  cases of paralysis it is more efficacious than blistering or
  stimulating frictions. Its effects, though perhaps less
  permanent, are general and diffused over the limb. This
  process has been found effectual in restoring _heat to the
  lower extremities_, and a case of obstinate lethargy was
  cured by Corvisart by a repeated urtication of the whole
  body. During the action of the stimulus, the patient, who
  was a young man, would open his eyes and laugh, but then
  sink again into a profound sleep. In three weeks, however,
  his perfect cure was effected."[186]

In 1783, Dr. James Graham, an humble imitator of the celebrated
Cagliostro, commenced giving his sanatary lectures, which he illustrated
by the dazzling presence of his Goddess of Health, a character which,
for a short time, was sustained by Emma Harte, afterwards the celebrated
Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton, English Ambassador at the
Court of Naples, and the _chère amie_ of the immortal Nelson.

After describing various aphrodisiacal remedies, the lecturer thus
proceeds: "But, gentlemen, if all the above means and methods, which I
have thus faithfully, ingenuously, and with the frankest and most
unreserved liberality, recommended, fail, suffer me, with great
cordiality, and assurance of success, to recommend my celestial, or
medico, magnetico, musico, electrical bed, which I have, with so much
study and at so vast an expense, constructed, not alone to insure the
removal of barrenness, when conception is at all in the nature of things
possible, but likewise to improve, exalt, and invigorate the bodily, and
through them, the mental faculties of the human species. This bed, whose
seemingly _magical_ influences are now celebrated from pole to pole and
from the rising to the setting sun! is indeed an _unique_ in science!
and unquestionably the first and the only one that ever was mentioned,
erected, or even, perhaps, thought of, in the world; and I will now
conclude the lecture with giving you a slight descriptive sketch of the
structure of the bed, and the nature of those influences with which it
glows--which it breathes forth, and with which it animates,
regenerates, and transports those happy, happy persons who have the
honour and the paradisiacal blessedness of reposing on it.

  "The Grand Celestial State Bed! then, gentlemen, which is
  twelve feet long by nine wide, is supported by forty pillars
  of brilliant glass, of great strength and of the most
  exquisite workmanship, in regard to shape, cutting, and
  engravings; sweetly delicate and richly variegated colours,
  and the most brilliant polish! They are, moreover, invisibly
  incrusted with a certain transparent varnish in order to
  render the insulation still more complete; and that
  otherwise, properly assisted, we may have, in even the most
  unfavourable weather, abundance of the electrical fire.

  "The sublime, the magnificent, and, I may say, the
  super-celestial dome of the bed, which contains the
  odoriferous, balmy, and ethereal spices, odours, and
  essences, and which is the grand magazine or reservoir of
  those vivifying and invigorating influences which are
  exhaled and dispersed by the breathing of the music, and by
  the attenuating, repelling, and accelerating force of the
  electrical fire,--is very curiously inlaid or wholly covered
  on the under side with brilliant plates of looking-glass, so
  disposed as to reflect the various attractive charms of the
  happy recumbent couple, in the most flattering, most
  agreeable and most enchanting style.

  "On the top or summit of the dome, are placed, in the most
  loving attitudes, two exquisite figures, representing the
  marriage of Cupid and Psyche, with a fine figure of Hymen
  behind, and over them, with his torch flaming with
  electrical fire in one hand and, with the other, supporting
  a celestial crown, sparkling, likewise, with the effulgent
  fire over a pair of real living turtle-doves, who, on a
  little bed of roses, coo and bill under the super-animating
  impulses of the genial fire! The other elegant groups of
  figures which sport on the top of the dome--the Cupids, the
  Loves, and the Graces!--besides festoons of the freshest and
  most beautiful flowers, have each of them musical
  instruments in their hands, which by the exquisite and most
  expensive mechanism, are made to breathe forth sounds
  corresponding with the appearance of the several
  instruments,--flutes, guitars, violins, clarionets,
  trumpets, horns, oboes, kettle-drums, &c. On the posts or
  pillars, too, which support the grand dome are groups of
  figures, musical instruments, organ-pipes, &c., which, in
  sweet concert with the other instruments, at the
  commencement of the tender dalliance of the happy pair,
  breathe forth celestial sounds! lulling them in visions of
  elysian joys! opening new sources of pleasure, and
  "untwisting all the chains which tie the hidden soul of
  harmony!" At the head of the bed, in the full centre front,
  appears, sparkling with electrical fire, through a glory of
  burnished and effulgent gold, the great, first,
  ever-operating commandment, BE FRUITFUL, MULTIPLY, AND
  REPLENISH THE EARTH! under this is a most elegant and
  sweet-toned organ, in the front of which is a fine landscape
  of moving figures on the earth, birds flying, swans, &c.,
  gliding on the waters, a fine procession, too, is seen,
  village nymphs strewing flowers before priests, brides,
  bridegrooms, and their attendants, who, all entering into
  the temple of Hymen, disappear from the delightful eye. The
  painting and embellishment of this front are most masterly,
  and reflect the highest honour on the artists by whom they
  were executed; and the whole view is terminated with
  fountains, waterfalls, shepherds, shepherdesses, and other
  peasants, as pastoral sports and rural employment, and by a
  little church, the dial of which points out truly and
  distinctly the hour.

  "In the celestial bed no feather bed is employed; sometimes
  mattresses filled with sweet new wheat or cut straw, with
  the grain in the ears, and mingled with balm, rose leaves,
  lavender flowers, and oriental spices, and, at other times,
  springy hair mattresses are used. Neither will you find upon
  the celestial bed linen sheets; our sheets are of the
  richest and softest silk or satin; of various colours suited
  to the complexion of the lady who is to repose on them. Pale
  green, for example, rose colour, sky blue, black, white,
  purple, azure, mazarin blue, &c., and they are sweetly
  perfumed in the oriental manner, with otto and odour of
  roses, jessamine, tuberose, rich gums, fragrant balsams,
  oriental spices, &c.; in short, everything is done to assist
  the ethereal, magnetic, musical and electric influences, and
  to make the lady look as lovely as possible in the eyes of
  her husband and he, in hers. But to return, in order that I
  might have for the important purposes, the strongest and
  most springy hair, I procured, at a vast expense, the tails
  of English stallions, which when twisted, baked and then
  untwisted and properly prepared, is elastic to the highest

  "But the chief elastic principle of my celestial bed is
  produced by artificial loadstones. About fifteen hundred
  pounds' weight of artificial and compound magnets are so
  disposed and arranged as to be continually pouring forth in
  an ever-flowing circle inconceivable and irrestibly powerful
  tides of the magnetic effluxion, which is well known to have
  a very strong affinity with the electric fire.

  "Such is a slight and inadequate sketch of the grand
  celestial bed, which, being thus completely
  insulated,--highly saturated with the most genial floods or
  electrical fire!--fully impregnated moreover, with the balmy
  vivifying effluvia of restorative balsamic medicines and of
  soft, fragrant, oriental gums, balsams and quintescence, and
  pervaded at the same times with full springing tides of the
  invigorating influences of music and magnets both real and
  artificial, gives such elastic vigour to the nerves, on the
  one hand, of the male, and on the other, such retentive
  firmness to the female; and, moreover, all the faculties of
  the soul being so fully expanded, and so highly illuminated,
  that it is impossible, in the nature of things, but that
  strong, beautiful, brilliant, nay, double-distilled
  children, if I may use the expression, must infallibly be

A digression may, perhaps, be here pardonable, in order to give some
notice of the latter and last days of the beautiful, highly accomplished
and fascinating woman mentioned above.

She had been presented to Nelson by her husband, who had previously told
her that he was about to introduce her to a little _thread-paper_ of a
man, who could not boast of being very handsome, but who would become,
some day, one of the greatest men that England ever produced. After the
battle of the Nile he again visited Naples, and was now little better
than a perfect wreck. At Calvi, in 1794, he had lost an eye. At
Teneriffe his right arm was shattered and amputated close to the
shoulder. At the battle of the Nile he was severely wounded in the head.
Incessant anxiety and watchfulness for his country's honour and welfare
had blanched his brow, and shattered the "little thread-paper of a man"
at the outset, till, on his return in triumph to his mistress, he seemed
to be on the verge of an early grave.

Yet she proved herself a true woman, if an erring one, in her reception
of the man she loved, and unhesitatingly and unequivocally forsook her
all, to attend upon and worship him.

Not far from Merton turnpike stood the house of Nelson and his mistress.
It was left with all its liabilities to Lady Hamilton, but she was
obliged to take a hasty departure, and, harassed by creditors, in
sickness of heart and without funds, the unhappy woman escaped to

Now for the sad, sad finale. From the portal of a house, as cheerless
and dreary as can be imagined, in the month of January, with a black
silk petticoat stretched on a white curtain thrown over her coffin for a
pall, and an half-day Irish dragoon to act as chaplain over the grave,
which was in a timber-yard, were the remains of Nelson's much-adored
friend removed to their final resting place, under the escort of a
_sergent de ville_.

She died without the common necessaries of life, and was buried at the
expense of the town, notwithstanding Nelson's last words, "_Blackwood,
take care of my poor Lady Hamilton!_"

"Whatever the errors of Lady Hamilton may have been," says Doran, "let
us not forget that without her aid, as Nelson said, the battle of the
Nile would never have been fought, and that in spite of her sacrifices
and services, England left her to starve, because the government was too
virtuous to acknowledge the benefits rendered to her country by a lady
with too loose a zone."

The remarks of honest old Burton[187] upon Aphrodisiacs, though quaint,
are so judicious and pertinent, that we cannot better conclude this part
of our essay than by quoting them:--

  "The last battering engines," says he, "are philters,
  amulets, charms, images, and such unlawful meanes: if they
  cannot prevail of themselves by the help of bawds, panders,
  and their adherents, they will fly for succour to the devil
  himself. I know there be those that denye the devil can do
  any such thing, and that there is no other fascination than
  that which comes by the eyes. It was given out, of old, that
  a Thessalian wench had bewitched King Philip to dote on her,
  and by philters enforced his love, but when Olympia, his
  queen, saw the maid of an excellent beauty well brought up
  and qualified: these, quoth she, were the philters which
  enveagled King Philip, these the true charms as Henry to

    "One accent from thy lips the blood more warmes
     Than all their philters, exorcismes, and charms."

With that alone Lucretia brags, in Aretine, she could do more than all
philosophers, astrologers, alychmists, necromancers, witches, and the
rest of the crew. As for herbs and philters I could never skill of them.
_The sole philter I ever used was kissing and embracing, by which alone
I made men rave like beasts, stupefied and compelled them to worship me
like an idol._[189]


The means best calculated to produce effects contrary to those just
treated of are of several kinds, but such as are derived from hygiene
are entitled to be considered as the most powerful. Previously, however,
to describing the medicinal substances that may be efficaciously
employed in moderating, or rather checking, too violent a propensity to
venery, some notice must be taken of the diet adapted to insure such a

The use of milk, vegetables, such as lettuce, water-purslain, cucumbers,
&c., and especially of fruit in which the acid principle predominates,
slackens the movement of the heart and of the sanguineous system; it
diminishes the animal heat, the chief source of which is in the activity
of the circulation; it produces a feeling of tranquillity and of
coolness; the respiration being more slow, occasions the absorption of a
less quantity of oxygen, add to which, as a less quantity of reparative
materials is contained in this description of aliments, there result a
less active nutrition, the loss of embonpoint and the complete
prostration of every principle of irritability; in short, it is of all
diets the one least capable of furnishing fuel to the passions. For
common drink mere water, and, if the impulse of passion should increase,
a small quantify of nitre, vinegar, or vitrolic acid, may, occasionally
be added to the water to make it more cooling.

Other means conducive to the same end are a laborious life, much bodily
exercise, little sleep, and a spare diet, so that the fluids may be more
easily conducted to other parts, and that there may not be produced a
greater quantity than is requisite for the support of the body. Equally

  "When there's a young and sweating devil
   That commonly rebels,"

will be found what Shakespeare recommends--

  "A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
   Much castigation, exercise devout."[190]

Should the desire of committing excesses rise to any height, immediate
recourse must be had to some serious and mind-absorbing occupation, less
nutritious food and drink should be taken, all dishes peculiarly
stimulating to the palate avoided, as well as the use of wine and other
spirituous liquors.

A cool regimen in every respect was particularly insisted upon by the
ancients: hence Plato and Aristotle recommended the custom of going
barefoot as a means of checking the stimulus to carnal desire, a
suggestion which appears to have been acted upon by some of the monkish
orders. The cold bath was considered equally efficacious, while some,
among whom may be reckoned Pliny and Galen, advised thin sheets of lead
to be worn on the calves of the legs and near the kidneys.

The first and most important of the hygienic means consists in shunning
every species of excitement and in having little or no communication
with the sex, and the earlier such restraint is imposed, the better. "He
that is chaste and continent, not to impair his strength, or terrified
by contagion, will hardly be heroically virtuous. Adjourn not that
virtue until those years when Cato could lend out his wife, and impotent
satyrs write satires against lust--but be chaste in thy flaming days,
when Alexander dared not trust his eyes upon the fair sisters of
Darius, and when so many men think that there is no other way than that
of Origen."[191][192]

The next means is that of carefully abstaining from the perusal of all
publications calculated to inflame the passions, by which publications
are meant, not obscene books only. With respect to these, indeed, a
great error obtains, for the persons most anxious to peruse them are,
for the most part, old, worn-out debauchees, men whose generative powers
are, comparatively, feeble, if not altogether destroyed, and who,
unfortunately for themselves, require this unnatural and detestable kind
of stimulus, while, on the contrary, young men and those in middle life,
who had not drawn too largely upon their constitution, and for whom the
allurements of nature are themselves a sufficient provocative, regard
such publications with horror and disgust. It is not, therefore, we
repeat, works of this description which we allude to, but those the
perusal of which is more dangerous during the period of the
passions--novels, more especially such as, under the pretext of
describing the working of the human heart, draw the most seducing and
inflammatory pictures of illicit love, and throw the veil of sentimental
philosophy over the orgies of debauchery and licentiousness. Nothing is
more perilous to youth, especially of the female sex, than this
description of books. Their style is chaste, not one word is found that
can offend the ear, while the mind of the unsuspecting reader is often
tainted and corrupted by the most impure ideas and descriptions clothed
in the most elegant phraseology. How admirably does Voltaire stigmatise
this attention to a mere superficial (if the epitaph be allowed) purity!
"Plus," says he "les mœurs sont dépravés, plus les expressions
deviennent mésurées: on croit de gagner en langage ce qu'on a perdu en
vertu. La pudeur s'est enfuite des cœurs et s'est refugiée sur les

There are two kinds of study particularly adapted to preserve the mind
and the affections from the assaults of vice and libidinousness. The
first of these is the _Mathematics_, whose efficacy in this respect has
been proved by frequent experience. The Venetian lady mentioned by
Rousseau in his "Confessions" was not ignorant of this their power,
when, seeing the singular effect which her charms had produced upon the,
as yet, youthful philosopher, said to him, "_Gianetto, lascia le donne e
studia la matimatica_." "James, give up the ladies, and apply yourself
to mathematics." It will, indeed, be found that, in all ages,
mathematicians have been but little disposed or addicted to love, and
the most celebrated among them, Sir Isaac Newton, is reputed to have
lived without ever having had sexual intercourse. The intense mental
application required by philosophical abstraction forcibly determines
the nervous fluid towards the intellectual organs, and hinders it from
being directed towards those of reproduction.

After the study of the Mathematics comes that of _Natural History_,
which will be found to be almost equally beneficial, requiring as it
does, the unremitting attention of the student, his perambulation of the
open country, and the personal observation of all animated objects.

This peculiar influence of the above-mentioned studies ought
particularly to engage the attention of persons who superintend the
education of youth; there being no doubt that the effervescence of
youthful passions may, to a great extent, be allayed by directing the
juvenile mind to either of those studies, according as the constitution
exhibits greater or less ardour and precocity. Sometimes, however, there
are found idiosyncrasies which bid defiance to remedies of this
description, but, nevertheless, yield to the force of medicine: of such,
the following is an instance:

  "A man, by profession a musician, of an athletic figure and
  sanguine complexion, with red hair, and a very warm
  temperament, was so tormented with erotic desires that the
  venereal act, repeated several times in the course of a few
  hours, failed to satisfy him. Disgusted with himself, and
  fearing, as a religious man, the punishment with which
  concupiscence is threatened in the Gospel, he applied to a
  medical practitioner, who prescribed bleeding and the use of
  sedatives and refrigerants, together with a light diet.
  Having found no relief from this course of treatment, he was
  then recommended to have recourse to wedlock, and, in
  consequence, married a robust and healthy young woman, the
  daughter of a farmer. At first, the change appeared to
  benefit him, but, in a short time, he tired his wife out by
  his excessive lubricity, and relapsed into his former
  satyriasis. His medical friend now recommended frequent
  fasting, together with prayer, but these also failing of
  effect, the unhappy man proposed to submit to castration, an
  operation which was judged to be highly improper,
  considering the great risks the patient must necessarily
  incur. The latter, however, still persisted that his wish
  should be complied with, when, fortunately, a case having
  occurred in Paris, in which a person afflicted with
  nephritic pains occasioned by the presence of a calculus,
  was cured by a preparation of nitre, at the expense,
  however, of being for ever incapacitated for the pleasures
  of love, the hint was taken, and doses of nitre dissolved in
  _aqua nymphæ_ were given, night and morning, during the
  space of eight days, and with such success that, at the end
  of that time, he could scarcely satisfy the moderate claims
  of his wife."[193]

Some physicians place great confidence in the medicines called
refrigerants. The most favourite of these are infusions from the leaves
or flowers of the white water-lily (_nymphea alba_), sorrel, lettuce,
perhaps also from mallows, violets, and endive (cichorium), oily seeds,
and waters distilled from lettuce, water lily, cucumbers, purslain, and
endives. In equal esteem are the syrups of orgeat, lemons, and vinegar,
to which may be added cherry-laurel water, when given in proper and
gradually-increasing doses. Hemlock, camphor, and agnus-castus, have
likewise been much recommended as moderators of the sexual appetite.

According to Pliny,[194] the nymphea alba was considered so powerful
that these who take it for twelve days successively will then find
themselves incapable of propagating their species, and if it be used for
forty days, the amorous propensity will be entirely extinguished.

With respect to hemlock, it is too dangerous a medicine to repose
confidence in.

The ancients had a high opinion of camphor, a reputation which this drug
preserved until, comparatively, a late period, for Scaliger informs
that, in the 17th century, monks were compelled to smell and masticate
it for the purpose of extinguishing concupiscence; and it was a
favourite maxim of the medical school of Salernum[195] that--

  "Camphora per nares castrat odore mares."

   Camphor if smell'd
   A man will geld.

This fatal property, however, has been denied by modern medical
authorities, and apparently with reason, if the fact be true that such
workmen as are employed in extracting this useful vegetable product, and
who may be said to live constantly in a highly camphorated atmosphere,
do not find themselves in the leash degree incapacitated for gratifying
the calls of _l'amour physique_.

There is no doubt, on the other hand, that camphor has been successfully
employed in cases of nymphomania, and that several medical writers have
asserted its efficacy in neutralising the properties of cantharides,
adducing instances which would appear to prove its sedative power: the
following one is related by Groenvelt:--[196]

A young man who had taken a large dose of cantharides in some wine, felt
at first, a sort of violent itching, accompanied by great irritation in
the bladder, and soon after he suffered greatly from extreme heat,
together with an intolerable strangury. Bleeding, emulsions, injections,
and opium preparations afforded not the slightest relief. Groenvelt
prescribed two scruples of camphor in two boluses. The first dose partly
mitigated the pains, and the second one removed them entirely. The
remedies which were first administered had, no doubt, weakened the
inflammation, and the strangury being no longer kept up by the spasmodic
state of the urinary apparatus, camphor sufficed to effect a cure.
Burton asserts the value of camphor as an anti-aphrodisiac, and says
that when fastened to the parts of generation, or carried in the
breeches, it renders the virile member flaccid.

Agnus castus, so called from the down on its surface resembling that
upon the skin of a lamb, and from its supposed anti-aphrodisiacal
qualities, was in great repute among the Athenians, whose women, during
the celebration of the Thesmophoria, or feasts and sacrifices in honour
of Ceres or Thesmophoria, the legislatress, abstained for some days from
all the pleasures of love, separating themselves entirely for that time
from the men. It was also usual with them during the solemnities to
strew their beds with agnus castus, fleabane, and other herbs as were
supposed to have the power of expelling amorous inclinations. Arnaud de
Villeneuve[197] exaggerates, almost to a ridiculous degree, the virtue
of the agnus castus, asserting as he does, that the surest way to
preserve chastity, is to carry about the person, a knife with a handle
made of its wood. It was also, and perhaps is still, much used by the
monks, who made an emulsion of its seeds steeped in Nenuphar water, and
of which they daily drank a portion, wearing at the same time round
their loins a girdle made of its branches. Lettuce has also the
reputation of being anti-aphrodisiacal. Lobel instances the case of an
English nobleman who had long been desirous of having an heir to his
estates, but all in vain. Being, however, at length advised to
discontinue eating lettuces, of which he was particularly fond, his
wishes were gratified by his being blessed with a numerous offspring.

The desire for coition was also supposed to be diminished by drinking a
decoction of the pounded leaves of the willow. Vervain, dried coriander,
and also mustard, drunk in a fluid state, are also said to prevent the
erection of the penis. Alexander Benedictus declares that a topaz having
been previously rubbed against the right testicle of a wolf, then
steeped in oil or in rose water and worn as a ring, induces a disgust
for venereal pleasures, as does also, if we may credit the same sapient
physiologist, a powder made of dried frog. The two following
prescriptions are also said to be of great efficacy:--

  "Da verbena in potu, et non erigitur virga sex diebus. Utere
  menthâ siccâ cum aceto: genitalia illinita succo hyoscyami
  aut cicutæ coitûs appetitum sedant."

It has even been asserted that coffee possesses the same property. In
the year 1695 it was maintained, in a thesis at the Ecole de Médicine at
Paris, that the daily use of coffee deprived both man and woman of the
generative power. M. Hecquet[198] relates the following anecdote as a
proof of such effect:--

A Queen of Persia seeing some grooms using all their efforts to throw a
horse upon the ground, enquired the reason of the trouble they were thus
taking. Her attendants gave her to understand as delicately as they
could, that it was far the purpose of castrating him.

  "How unnecessary is so much trouble," said her majesty,
  "they have only to give him coffee, and their object will be
  fully and easily attained."[199]

Most probably the queen spoke from her own experience of its
anti-aphrodisiacal effects upon her royal consort.

There are some diseases which are considered as anti-aphrodisiacal, on
account of the decided aversion which the patient who is afflicted with
them feels for the pleasures of the sexual union. Thus a species of
epidemic leprosy is common among the Cossacks of the Jaik, which is
attended by pains in the joints and a disgust for copulation, a disgust
the more extraordinary, not only because exanthematous diseases, in
general excite a desire for the above act, but also inasmuch as this
malady, in particular usually attacks persons in the prime of their
youth. Another disease analogous to the one just mentioned, the
Plica-Polonica, rages, during the autumnal season, in Poland, Lithuania,
and Tartary. It is said to have been introduced into the first of these
countries by the Tartars, who had it originally from India. One of the
most singular phenomena attending this disorder, and which evidently
proves the close sympathy existing between the head and the organs of
generation, is that when the patient is bald, the Plica not unfrequently
fastens upon the sexual parts, and acquires such a length as to descend
below the calves of the legs. The mode of treatment, that of mercury and
sudorifics, proves the mucous character of the disorder, and,
consequently, accounts for its well known tendency to strike the whole
animal economy with that prostration of strength which produces a total
indifference to the sex.

Continual exercise on horseback was considered by Hippocrates[200] as
anti-aphrodisiacal and Van Sweiten commenting upon that opinion, justly
observes that the continual joltings caused by so violent an exercise,
added to the compression produced upon the parts of generation by the
weight of the body, was by no means unlikely to produce a focal
relaxation of those organs to such an extent as to prevent erection

If whatever opposes an obstacle to the gratification of the
sexual appetite may be considered as having a place among the
anti-aphrodisiacs, certain mechanical processes may be ranked as such.
Of these, _fibulation_, from the Latin word _fibula_ (a buckle or ring)
was the very reverse of circumcision, since the operation consisted in
drawing the prepuce over the glans, and preventing its return, by the
insertion of the ring.[201]

The _Fibula_ (buckle) is so called, because it serves to fix together
and to re-unite parts which are separated. It was, formerly a surgical
instrument which, besides the use now particularly in question, served
also to keep closed the lips of any extensive wounds. It is mentioned as
being so applied by Oribuse,[202] and by Scribonius Largus.[203]
Employed, therefore, as it was for various uses, the _fibula_ appears to
have different shapes, now but little known to us. Rhodius[204] has
treated of all those mentioned in the writings of antiquity.

Meinsius thinks that the custom of infibulating may be traced back to
the time of the siege of Troy, for the singer Demodocus, who was left
with Clytemnestra by Agamemnon,[205] appears to that critic, to have
been a eunuch, or, at least, to here been infibulated.[206]

Among the ancients, as well as among many modern nations, the laws of
chastity and the restraints of honour appeared scarcely sufficient to
hinder the sexes from uniting, in spite of all the obstacles opposed by
a vigilant watch and strict seclusion.[207] Indeed, what Roman virgin
could entertain very strict ideas of modesty while she saw the goddess
of love honoured in the temple, or the amours of Venus and Mars
celebrated, while the poor cuckolded Vulcan, after seizing the amorous
couple in his net, way only thereby exposed to the ridicule of the
Olympic Divinities. There can be little doubt but that excess of this
description bastardized and corrupted the ancient Greeks and Romans, and
that recourse was necessarily had to the _fibula_ when the deities
themselves set the example. Of what use, indeed, could be the moral
lessons of a Plato or a Socrates, even when enforced by infibulation, if
vice was thus sanctioned by divine example? The only aim of such a state
of things was to vanquish obstacles. The art of eluding nature was
studied, marriage was despised, notwithstanding the edicts of Augustus
against bachelors; the depopulated republic wallowed in the most
abandoned lust, and, as a natural consequence, the individual members of
it became corrupted and enervated from their very infancy.

The infibulation of boys, sometimes on account of their voice, and not
unfrequently, to prevent masturbation, was performed by having the
prepuce drawn over the glans; it was then pierced, and a thick thread
was passed through it, remaining there until the cicatrizing of the
hole; when that took place, a rather large ring was then substituted,
which was not removed but with the permission of the party ordering the
operation.[208] The Romans infibulated their singers in order to
preserve their voice:

    "Si gaudet cantu; _nullius fibula_ durat
     Vocem vendentis prætoribus."[209]

  "But should the dame in music take delight,
   The public singer is disabled quite;
   In vain the prætor guards him all he can,
   She slips the buckle (_fibula_) and enjoys her man."

They even subjected to the same operation most of their

  "Solvitur his magno comœdi fibula. Sunt, quæ
   Chrysogonum cantare vetent."[210]

  "Take from Chrysogonus the power to sing,
   Loose, at vast prices, the comedian's ring."

  "Dic mihi, simpliciter, comœdis et citharœdis,
   Fibula, quod præstat?... carius ut futuunt."[211]

"Tell me, clasp! frankly, of what advantage are you to actresses and
lute-players? To enhance their favours."

  "Menophili, penem tam grandis fibula vestit
   Ut sit comœdis omnibus, una satis
   Hunc ego credideram (nam sæpe lavamur in unum)
   Sollicitum voci parcere, Flacce, suæ;
   Dum ludit media populo spectante palæstra,
   Delapsa est misero, fibula; verpus erat."[212]

  "Una si gran fibula copre il membro di Menofila, che sola
   basterebbe a tutti i commenianti. Io O Flacco, avevo creduto
   (imperocche si siamo sovente lavati insiême) che esso
   sollecito avesse cura delle sua voce; lotta in mezzo la
   palestra a vista del popolo, la fibula cascó sventvrato; era
   un' inciso."

Nor were dancers and gladiators exempted from the same operation,
especially the latter, in order that they might preserve all the vigour
required in their horrible and degrading occupation.

The best description of the _fibula_ is that given by Holiday: "The
fibula," says he, "does not strictly signifie a button, but also a
buckle or clasp, or such like stay. In this place, the poet expresses by
it the instrument of servilitie applied to those that were employed to
sing upon the stage; the Prætor who set forth playes for the delight of
the people, buying youths for that purpose, and that they might not, by
lust, spoil their voice, their overseers closed their shame with a case
of metal having a sharp spike of the same metal passing by the side of
it, and sometimes used one of another form; or by a nearer crueltie,
they thrust a brazen or silver wire thought that part which the Jew did
lose in circumcision.

"The form of the first, and also another fashion, the curious reader may
here see (being without any immodestie) as they are represented by
Pignerius, _de servis_, p. 82. But whatsoever the fashion or invention
was, the trust was but fond that was committed to them, seeing that the
art of lust and gold could make them as vain as the Italian engines of
jealousy in this day. Thus, 'O Lentulus,' says the poet, speaking
figuratively to some nobleman, 'it is that thou art married; but it is
some musician's or fencer's bastard that is born under thy lordly

[Illustration: PLATE VII., Figs. 1-2, PHALLIC FIBULÆ.]

Winkleman furnishes us with a description of an infibulated
musician,[214] it being a small bronze statue representing a naked
deformed individual, as thin as a skeleton, and carrying a ring in his
_enormi mentula_. Martial, who laughs at everything, speaks of these
singers sometimes breaking their ring, and says that it becomes
necessary to send them to the fibula-makers in order to have the damage

  "Et cujus refibulavit turgidum, faber, penem,
   Il di cui turgido membro abbia fabro fibbiato."

The practice of infibulation was very common in India, from religious
motives. As a proof of their sanctity, many of the Santons, or
Mohammedan saints, as well as other devout persons, bonzes, fakirs, and
the like, devoted themselves to perpetual virginity. Whether it was with
the intention of placing themselves beyond the possibility of breaking
their vow, or of giving evidence of their constancy, certain it is that
they loaded their prepuce with an enormous fibula, or ring; and, in
their warm climate, where nudity does not shock ideas of propriety or
decency, devout women not unfrequently repaired to these _soi-disant_
saints, to admire and venerate such efforts of virtue and self-denial;
they are even reported to have knelt down, and, in that humiliating
posture, to have kissed the preputial ring, no doubt with the vain hope
of thereby obtaining indulgences. In some places, these martyrs fasten
their fibula with a lock, the key which they deposit with the magistrate
of the town or village. But, nature insisting upon her rights, is often
too strong for this self-violence, nor can desire, or the
not-to-be-mistaken symptom of it, be opposed, or even prevented, from
being gratified; and since the lock, which obstructs the extremity of
the prepuce only, cannot hinder a kind of erection, nor, indeed, of
effusion of the seminal fluid, it cannot do more than oppose the
introduction of the male organ into the receptacle destined for it.

Another description of fakirs were formerly to be seen in India, and,
especially, in its southern peninsula, whose custom it was to traverse
the country in a state of nudity, and who had been rendered impotent by
the following regimen. The children destined for this penitential state
are taken away from their parents at the age of six or seven years, and
made to eat, daily, a quantity of the young leaves of a tree called
_Mairkousie_. At first, the dose given them is not larger than a
filbert. This regimen must be persisted in until the party reaches the
age of five-and-twenty years, the dose being increased till, at the
maximum, it is as large as a duck's egg. During all this time, the
devotee is subjected to no other regimen, except a light purge, once in
six months, by means of _Kadoukaie_, or the black mirobolan. Although
rendered completely impotent by this mode of treatment, so far from
their physical strength and beauty of form being diminished or
deteriorated thereby, they are, on the contrary, improved by it; the
enjoyment of constant good health is likewise almost an invariable

Infibulation is not confined to the male sex exclusively, for it is
practised on girls and women in India, Persia, and the East, generally,
and most commonly consists in joining together the female sexual organ,
or closing the labia of the vagina by a suture made with waxed thread, a
small aperture being left for the egress of the urine and the menstrua.

Linschet witnessed the operation at Pegu, as did also Schultz, Brown saw
it performed, at Darfour, on females from eleven to twelve years of
age.[216] At the time of marriage, a cut of the bistouri dissevers the
parts which have been closed by the effects of the suture. Sometimes
jealousy contents itself by passing a ring through the parts. Women, as
well as girls, are subjected to this disgusting operation, the only
difference being that the ring of the latter cannot be removed, while
that of the former has a kind of lock, the key of which is in the
husband's possession. Pallas informs us that the beautiful nation of the
Tcherkesses, or Circassians carefully preserve the virginity of their
girls by means of a leathern girdle, or rather corslet made of skin, and
sewn immediately upon the naked body. The husband alone has the right of
severing this corslet, which he does, on the nuptial night.

When the violation of virgin chastity and conjugal fidelity became more
frequent, fathers and husbands had recourse, even in Europe, to a
mechanical contrivance for the purpose of preserving intact the honour
of the family. This was a kind of padlock, which shut up all access to
the seat of voluptuousness. The invention is attributed to one Francesco
di Carrera, an imperial judge of Padua, who lived about the close of the
15th century. The machine itself was called the _Girdle of Chastity_.
Francesco's acts of cruelty brought him to the scaffold, where he was
strangled in 1405, by a decree of the Senate of Venice. One of the
principal accusations brought against him was the employment of the
_Girdle of Chastity_, for his mistresses, and it is said by Misson[217]
that a box filled with these articles was for a long time preserved in
the palace of St. Mark, at Venice. Rabelais speaks of these girdles,
which he calls _Ceintures_ á la Bergamasque, "Nay," says he, Pantagruel,
"may that Nick in the dark cellar, who hath no white in his eye, carry
me quiet away with him, if, in that case, whenever I go abroad from the
palace of my domestic residence, I do not, with as much circumspection
as they use to ring mares in our country, to keep them from being
saillied by stoned horses, clap a Bergamesco lock upon my wife."
Brantome has the following notice of these chastity preservers. "Des
temps du roi Henri il yeut un certain Quinquallier qui apporte une
douzaine de certains engins à la foire de St. Germain pour brider le cas
des femmes. Ces sortes de cadenas estoient en usage à Venise dès devant
l'année 1522, estoient faites de fer et centuroient comme une ceinture,
et venoient à se prendre par le bas, et se fermer à clef, si subtilement
faites, qu'il n'estoit pas possible que la femme en estant bridée und
fois, s'en peust jamais prévaloir pour ce doux plaisir, n'ayant que
quelques petits trous menus pour servir à pisser."[218]

An endeavour was made to introduce these Bernasco padlocks into France
during the reign of Henry II., and a shop was opened by an Italian at
the fair of St. Germain, where they were publicly sold, and in such
numbers, that the French gallants, becoming alarmed, threatened to
throw the vendor into the Seine, if he did not pack up his merchandise
and decamp, which he immediately did for fear that the menace might be
put in execution.

Voltaire describes the Cadenas as originating with Pluto, who, jealous
of his wife Proserpine, was advised:

  Qu'un cadenas, de la structure nouvelle
  Fut le garant de sa fidélité,
  A la vertu par la force asservie,
  Plus ne sera l'amant favorisé.
  En un moment, feux, enclumes, fourneaux
  Sont préparés aux gouffres infernaux;
  Tisiphone, de ces lieux, serrurière,
  Au cadenas met la main, la première,
  Elle l'achève et des mains de Pluton
  Proserpine reçut ce triste don,
  Or ce secret aux enfers inventé
  Chez les humains tôt après fut porté
  Et depuis ce temps dans Venise et dans Rome
  Il n'est pédant, bourgeois, ou gentilhomme
  Qui pour garder l'honneur de sa maison
  De cadenas n'ait sa provision.[219]

  This sage advice, a loud applause
  From all the damned assembly draws;
  And straight, by order of the State,
  Was registered on brass by fate;
  That moment, in the shades below,
  They anvils beat and bellows blow.
  Tisiphoned, the blacksmith's trade
  Well understood; the locks she made:
  Proserpina, from Pluto's hand
  Receiving, wore it by command.
  This lock, which hell could frame alone,
  Soon to the human race was known;
  In Venice, Rome, and all about it,
  No gentlemen or cit's without it.[220]

We shall close this our third essay with the amusing summary of
anti-aphrodisiacal remedies, as given by Rabelais.

  "You say," said the physician Rondibilis to Panurge, "that
  you feel in you the pricking stings of sensuality, by which
  you are stirred up to venery. I find in our faculty of
  medicine, and we have founded our opinion therein upon the
  deliberate resolution and final decision of the ancient
  Platonics, that carnal concupiscence is cooled and quelled
  five several ways:--

  "_Firstly_. By the means of wine. I shall easily believe
  that quoth Friar John, for when I am well whittled with the
  juice of the grape, I care for nothing else, so I may sleep.
  When I say, quoth Rondibilis, that wine abateth lust, my
  meaning is, wine immoderately taken; for by intemperance,
  proceeding from the excessive drinking of strong liquor,
  there is brought upon the body of such a swill-down bouser,
  a chillness in the blood, a slackening in the sinews, a
  dissipation of the generative seed, a numbness and
  hebetation of the senses, with a perversive wryness and
  convulsion of the muscles, all which are great lets and
  impediments to the act of generation. Hence it is that
  Bacchus, the god of bibbers, tipplers, and drunkards, is
  most commonly painted beardless and clad in a woman's habit,
  as a person altogether effeminate, or like a libbed eunuch.
  Wine, nevertheless, taken moderately worketh quite contrary
  effects, as is implied by the old proverb, which
  saith,--That Venus taketh cold, when not accompanied by
  Ceres and Bacchus.[221] This opinion is of great antiquity
  as appeareth by the testimony of Diodorus the Sicilian, and
  confirmed by Pausanias, and it is usually held among the
  Lampsacians, that Don Priapus was the son of Bacchus and

  "_Secondly_. The fervency of lust is abated by certain
  drugs, plants herbs and roots, which make the taker cold,
  maleficiated, unfit for, and unable to perform the act of
  generation; as hath often been experimented by the
  water-lily, Heraclea, Agnus-Castus, willow-twigs,
  hemp-stalks, woodbine, honeysuckle, tamarisk, chastetree,
  mandrake, bennet keebugloss, the skin of a hippopotamus, and
  many other such, which, by convenient doses proportioned to
  the peccant humour and constitution of the patient, being
  duly and seasonably received within the body--what by their
  elementary virtues on the one side, and peculiar properties
  on the other, do either benumb, mortify and beclumpse with
  cold, the prolific semence, or scatter and disperse the
  spirits which ought to have gone along with, and conducted
  the sperm to the places destined and appointed for its
  reception,--or lastly, shut up, stop and obstruct the way,
  passages, and conduits, through which the seed should have
  expelled, evacuated, and ejected. We have, nevertheless, of
  those ingredients, which, being of a contrary operation,
  heat the blood, bind the nerves, unite the spirits, quicken
  the senses, strengthen the muscles, and thereby rouse up,
  provoke, excite and enable a man to the vigorous
  accomplishment of the feat of amorous dalliance. I have no
  need of those, quoth Panurge, God be thanked and you, my
  good master. Howsoever, I pray you, take no exception or
  offence at these my words; for what I have said was not out
  of any ill-will I did hear to you, the Lord, he knows.

  "_Thirdly_. The ardour of lechery is very much subdued and
  mated by frequent labour and continual toiling. For by
  painful exercises and laborous working so great a
  dissolution is brought upon the whole body, that the blood
  which runneth alongst the channels of the vein thereof for
  the nourishment and alimentation of each of its members, had
  neither time, leisure, nor power to afford the seminal
  resudation or superfluity of the third concoction, which
  nature most carefully reserves for the conservation of the
  individual, whose preservation she more heedfully regardeth
  than the propagation of the species and the multiplication
  of human kind. Whence it is that Diana is said to be chaste,
  because she is never idle, but always busied about hunting.
  For the same reason was a camp, or leaguer of old
  called--Castrum,[222] as if they would have said--Castum;
  because the soldiers, wrestlers, runners, throwers of the
  bar, and other such like athletic champions, as are usually
  seen in a military circumvallation, do incessantly travail
  and turmoil, and are in a perpetual stir and agitation. To
  this purpose, also, Hippocrates writeth in his book, _De
  Aere, Aqua et Locis_:--That in his time there were people
  in Scythia as impotent as eunuchs in the discharge of a
  venerean exploit; because that, without any cessation, pause
  or respite, they were never from off horseback, or
  otherwise, assiduously employed in some troublesome and
  molesting drudgery.

  "On the other part, in opposition and repugnancy hereto, the
  philosophers say, that idleness is the mother of luxury.
  When it was asked Ovid, why Ægisthus became an adulterer? he
  made no other answer than this, Because he was idle.[223]
  Who were able to rid the world of loitering and idleness
  might easily disappoint Cupid[224] of all his designes,
  aims, engines and devices and so disable and appal him, that
  his bow, quiver, and darts should from thenceforth be a mere
  needless load and burthen to him; for that it could not then
  lie in his power to strike or wound any of either sex with
  all the arms he had. He is not, I believe so expert an
  archer as that he can hit the cranes flying in the air, or
  yet the young stags skipping through the thicket, as the
  Parthians knew well how to do; that is to say, people
  moiling, stirring, and hurrying up and down, restless and
  without repose. He must have those hushed, still, quiet,
  lying at a stay, lither and full of ease, whom he is able to
  pierce with all his arrows. In conformation thereof,
  Theophrastus being asked on a time, What kind of beast or
  thing he judged a toyish, wanton love to be? he made answer,
  That it was a passion of idle and sluggish spirits.[224]
  From which pretty description of tickling-tricks, that of
  Diogenes, the Cynic, was not very discrepant when he defined
  lechery--The occupation of folk destitute of all other
  occupation. For this cause the Sicyonian sculptor
  Canachus,[225] being desirous to give us to understand that
  slowth drowsiness, negligence, and laziness, were the prime
  guardians and governesses of ribaldry, made the statue of
  Venus, not standing, as other stone-cutters had used to do,
  but sitting.

  "_Fourthly_. The tickling pricks of incontinency are blunted
  by an eager study; for from thence proceedeth an incredible
  resolution of the spirits, that oftentimes there do not
  remain so many behind as may suffice to push and thrust
  forwards the generative resudation to the places thereto
  appropriated, and therewithal inflate the cavernous nerve,
  whose office is to ejaculate the moisture for the
  propagation of human progeny. Lest you should think it is
  not so, be pleased but to contemplate a little the form,
  fashion, and carriage of a man exceeding earnestly set upon
  some learned meditation and deeply plunged therein, and you
  shall see how all the arteries of his brains are stretched
  forth, and bent like the string of a cross-bow, the more
  promptly, dexterously and copiously to suppeditate, furnish
  and supply him with store of spirits, sufficient to
  replenish and fill up the ventricles, seats, tunnels,
  mansions, receptacles and cellules of common sense--of the
  imagination apprehension, and fancy--of the ratiocination,
  arguing, and resolution--as likewise, of the memory,
  recordation, and remembrance; and with great alacrity,
  nimbleness, and agility, to run, pass and course from one to
  the other, through those pipes, windings, and conduits,
  which to skilful anatomists are perceivable at the end of
  the wonderful net, where all the arteries close in a
  terminating point; which arteries taking their rise and
  origin from the left capsule of the heart, bring, through
  several circuits, ambages, and anfractuosities, the vital
  spirits, to subtilize and refine them in the ætherial purity
  of animal spirits. Nay, in such a studiously meditating,
  musing person, you may espy so extravagant raptures of one,
  as it were out of himself, that all his natural faculties
  for that time will seem to lie suspended from each their
  proper charge and office, and his exterior senses to be at a
  stand. In a word, you cannot choose than think, that he is
  by an extraordinary ecstasy quite transported out of what he
  was or should be; and that Socrates did not speak improperly
  when he said, That philosophy was nothing else but a
  meditation upon death. This possibly is the reason why
  Democritus[226] deprived himself of the sense of seeing,
  prizing, at a much lower rate, the loss of his sight, than
  the diminution of his contemplation which he had frequently
  found disturbed by the vagrant flying-out strayings of his
  unsettled and roving eyes.[227] Therefore is it that Pallas,
  the goddess of wisdom, tutoress and guardianess of such as
  are diligently studious and painfully industrious, is and
  hath been still accounted a virgin. The Muses upon the same
  consideration are esteemed perpetual maids: and the Graces,
  for the same reason, have been held to continue in a
  sempiternal pudicity.

  "I remember to have read that Cupid,[227] on a time, being
  asked by his mother Venus, why he did not assault and set
  upon the Muses, his answer was, that he found them so fair,
  so neat, so wise, so learned, so modest, so discreet, so
  courteous, so virtuous, and so continually busied and
  employed,--one in the speculation of the stars,--another in
  the supputation of numbers,--the third in the dimension of
  geometrical quantities,--the fourth in the composition of
  heroic poems,--the fifth in the jovial interludes of a comic
  strain,--the sixth in the stately gravity of the tragic
  vein,--the seventh in the melodious disposition of musical
  airs,--the eighth in the completest manner of writing
  histories and books on all sorts of subjects, and--the ninth
  in the mysteries, secrets, and curiosities of all sciences,
  faculties, disciplines and arts whatsoever, whether liberal
  or mechanic,--that approaching near unto them he unbent his
  bow, shut his quiver, and extinguished his torch, through
  mere shame and fear that by mischance he might do them any
  hurt or prejudice. Which done, he thereafter put off the
  fillet wherewith his eyes were bound, to look them in the
  face, and to hear their melody and poetic odes. There took
  he the greatest pleasure in the world, that many times he
  was transported with their beauty and pretty behaviour, and
  charmed asleep by their harmony, so far was he from
  assaulting them or interrupting their studies. Under this
  article may be comprised what Hippocrates wrote in the
  afore-cited treatise concerning the Scythians, as also that
  in a book of his intituled, Of Breeding and Production,
  where he hath affirmed all such men to be unfit for
  generation as have their parotid arteries cut--whose
  situation is behind the ears--for the reason given already,
  when I was speaking of the resolution of the spirits, and of
  that spiritual blood, whereof the arteries are the sole and
  proper receptacles; and that likewise he doth maintain a
  large portion of the parastatic liquor to issue and descend
  from the brains and backbone.

  "_Fifthly_. By the too frequent reiteration of the act of
  venery. There did I wait for you, quoth Panurge, and shall
  willingly apply it to myself, whilst any one that pleaseth
  may, for me, make use of any of the four preceding. That is
  the very same thing, quoth Friar John, which Father
  Scyllion,[228] Prior of St. Victor, at Marseilles, calleth
  maceration and taming of the flesh. I am of the same
  opinion, and so was the hermit of Saint Radegonde, a little
  above Chinon; for, quoth he, the hermits of Thebaïde can no
  way more aptly or expediently macerate and bring down the
  pride of their bodies, daunt and mortify their lecherous
  sensuality, or depress and overcome the stubbornness and
  rebellion of the flesh, than by dufling and fanfreluching
  five and twenty or thirty times a day."


  [1] For a representation of the Egyptian "Phallus" see Plate
      I., figures 1, 2, and 3. These are taken from the
      "_Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes_" by the Comte De
      Caylus, who, speaking of the first of them, observes:
      "Cette figure représente le plus terrible Phallus qu'on
      ait vû, proportion gardée, sur aucun ouvrage. On
      n'ignore point la vénération que les Egyptiens avaient
      pour cet emblême, il est vrai; mais je doute que cette
      nation sage et peu outrée dans sa conduite eût consacré
      dans les premiers siécles, c'est a dire, avant le régne
      des Ptolemées, une pareille figure."

  [2] Historia de los Incas. Cap. VI.

  [3] In the church of St. Peter's at Rome, is kept, _en
      secret_, a large stone emblem of the creative power, of
      a very peculiar shape, on which are engraved [Greek:
      Zeus Sôtêr]. Only persons who have great interest can
      get a sight of it. Is it from this stone having some
      peculiar virtue that those _preux chevaliers_, the
      cardinals, keep it so closely? Perhaps they choose to
      monopolize the use of it? I never saw it, but I know
      that it was at St Peter's.--HIGGINS.

  [4] See Plate II., figure 1. This figure of the Lingham
      presents a kind of Trinity, the vase represents Vishnu,
      from the middle of which rises a column rounded at the
      top representing Siva, and the whole rests upon a
      pedestal typifying Brahma. From the _Voyage aux Indes
      Orientales et à la Chine_, par M. Sonnerat, depuis 1774
      jusqu'en 1781. Tom. I., p. 179.

  [5] _Voyage aux Indes et à la Chine_, par Sonnerat, depuis
      1774 jusqu'en 1781; Tom. I. liv. 2.

  [6] See plate III., figures 1, 2, 3, and 4.

  [7] Henry O'Brien, Round Towers of Ireland. London, 1834.
      Chapter viii.

  [8] See Plate IV., figure 1.

  [9] Samuel II., chap. vi., v. 20, 21, 22, 23.

  [10] The indispensable and inseparable appendages to the
       male organ have thus been eulogized by Giov. Francesco
       Lazzarelli in his poem entitled, La Cicceide, p. 120.


         Gran sostegni dei mondo, almi C ......
         Del celeste Fattor, opre ingegnose;
         Da caricare i piccoli cannoni,
         Ond' armata va l'uom, Palle focose:
         Robusti, anchorè teneri Palloni,
         Con cui guiocan tra lor, mariti e spose;
         Del corpo uman spermatici Embrioni;
         De' venerei piacer fonti amorose;
         Magazzini vitali, ove Natura
         L'uman seme riposto, a' figli suoi
         D' assicurar la succession procura! etc.

  [11] Genesis, chap. xxiv. v. 2, 3.

  [12] Genesis, chap. xlvii. v. 29.

  [13] Mémoires sur l'Egypte, publiés pendant les Campagne de
       _Bonaparte_, Partie, 2, p. 193.

  [14] The Latin text of the law is as follows:--"Si mulier
       stuprata lege cum illo agere velit, membro virili
       _sinistra prehenso et dextra reliquos sanctorum
       imposita, juret, super illas quod is per vim se, isto
       membro, vitiaverit_."--Voyage dans le Département du
       Finisterre, Tom. iii., p. 233.

  [15] Hunc locum tibi dedico consacroque, Priape,
       Quæ domus tua, Lampsaei est, quaque silva, Priape.
       Nam te præcipue in suis urbibus colit, ora
       Hellespontia, cæteris ostreosior oris.--Catullus, Carm. xviii.

  [16] See Plate II., figure 2.

  [17] From possessing such an article of VIRTU, his Eminence
       must surely have been of the opinion of Cardinal
       Bembo--_that there is no sin below the navel_.

  [18] Falce minax et parte tui majore, Priape,
       Ad fontem quæso, dic mihi, qua sit iter.--Priapeia

  [19] See note [21], p. 11.

  [20] See S. Augustine, Civ. Dei., lib. 6, cap. 9, and
       Lactantius _De falsa religione_. lib. I.

  [21] See Plate I., figure 4. This phallus was found at
       Pompeii over a baker's door.

  [22] Thus his statue was placed in orchards as a scare-crow
       to drive away superstitious thieves, as well as
       children and birds.

          Pomarii tutela, diligens _rubro_
          Priape, furibus minare mutino.--Priapeia Carm. 73.

  [23] Ind. Antiq. ii., p, 361.

  [24] Ind. Antiq., vol. I., p. 247.

  [25] Voyage dans la Chine par Avril, Liv. iii., p. 194.

  [26] Higgins, Anacalypsis, vol. i., p. 269.

  [27] Worship of Priapus.

  [28] _Ibid._, p 48.

  [29] For some ingenious and learned observations on the Tau
       or Crux Ansata see Classical Journal, No. 39, p. 182.

  [30] Chap. ix., v. 3. "And the Lord said unto him: Go
       through the midst of the city, through the midst of
       Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the forehead of the men
       that sigh and cry for the abominations that be done in
       the midst thereof."

  [31] For a description of some of the above-mentioned
       Crosses, see Plate V., also "_Voyage dans la basse et
       la haute-Egypte pendant les campagnes de Bonaparte_,
       1802 et 1829," par Denon--Planches 48, 78.

  [32] This city was the birth place of the deity Priapus,
       whose orgies were there constantly celebrated.
       Alexander the Great, in his Persian expedition,
       resolved to destroy Lampsacus on account of its many
       vices, or rather from a jealousy of its adherence to
       Persia; but it was saved by the artifice of the
       philosopher Anaxamenes, who, having heard that the king
       had sworn to refuse whatever he should ask him, begged
       him to destroy the city.

  [33] Journal d'Henri III. par l'Etoile. Tom. 5.

  [34] Historie Religieuse du Calendrier, p. 420.

  [35] Johannis Goropii Becani, Origines Antwerpianæ, 1569,
       lib. i., p.p. 26 and 101.

  [36] The foreskins, still extant, of the Saviour, are
       reckoned to be twelve in number. One was in the
       possession of the monks of Coulombs; another at the
       Abbey of Charroux; a third at Hildesheim, in Germany; a
       fourth at Rome, in the Church of St. Jean-de-Latran; a
       fifth at Antwerp; a sixth at Puy-en-Velay, in the
       Church of Notre Dame, &c., &c. So much for relics!

  [37] Dulaure, Singularités Historiques de l'Historie de
       Paris, p. 77. Paris, 1825.

  [38] Letter of Sir W. Hamilton prefixed to Payne Knight's
       "Worship of Priapus."

       For a representation of the ancient, _Ex voto_, in
       silver, the size of the original see Plate VI., figure
       1. It is copied from an additional plate inserted by M.
       Panizzi, late librarian of the British Museum, in the
       fly-leaf of Payne Knight's "_Worship of Phallus_."

  [39] To these the canon law adds sorcery, ligature or

  [40] Zachais, Quæst. medico. leg. lib. II., tit. I, quæst.

  [41] See _Lectures on Comparative Anatomy_ by Sir Everard
       Home, Bart. Vol. III., p. 166. London 1823.

  [42] Lib. I., Epigram. 91.

  [43] Juvenal Sat. I., vv. 204, 105.

  [44] Orlando Furioso, Can. I, stanz. 49, 60.

  [45] Rapport, Tom. I., p. 335.

  [46] Sir Charles Morgan, Philos. of Morals, p. 25.

  [47] Nosographie philosophique.

  [48] Medical Essays published by a society in Edinburgh,
       vol. I., p. 270. Case reported by W. Cockburn, M.D.

  [49] Rapport, tome II., p. 422.

  [50] Essays, Book I., chap. xx. Cotton's translation.

  [51] Hippocrates de Aer: aqua et loco, 210.

  [52] Treatise on the Venereal Disease.

  [53] Comment. de Aer: aqua et loco, 210.

  [54] Voltaire, Pucelle d'Orléans, Chant. xii.

  [55] Bigarrures du Seigneur des Accords.

  [56] Herodotus Enterpe clxxxii.

  [57] De Legibus, lib. ii.

  [58] Ecologa viii.

  [59] Amor., lib. iii., Eleg. 6.

  [60] De Asino Aureo, lib. ii., v. 3.

  [61] Tacitus Annal., lib. iv., 22.

  [62] Lib. v., Sentent, tit. 23.

  [63] De rebus gestis Francorum, lib. 4. cap. 94.

  [64] Histoire des Français.

  [65] Nominated to the Bishopric of Evreux by Henry IV. of
       France. His favourite authors were Rabelais and

  [66] Demonologie, 1603, Book I., Chap. III., p. 12.

  [67] "Hercules, puer, L. Virgines, una nocte, gravidus
       reddit."--Cœlius, lib. 14, cap. 8.

  [68] Traité premier de la dissolution de Mariage pour
       l'impuissance et froideur de l'homme, ou de la Femme,
       par Antoine Hotman, p. 63.

  [69] Tableau de l'Amour considéré dans l'état du Mariage,
       par II., chap. 2, art. 3.

  [70] Art. Portugal. rem. F.

  [71] Boileau Despréaux, Satires, Satire VIII.

  [72] Willick's Lectures on Diet and Regimen, p. 538, et seq.

  [73] From [Greek: mandra], relating to cattle, and [Greek:
       agaron], baneful, injurious.

  [74] Genesis, Chap. xxx., v. 14, 15, 16, 17. The last verse must
       be considered as decisive of the efficacy of the mandrake.

  [75] Solomon's Song, chap. vii. v. 13.

  [76] See the word _Dudaïm_, in Dr. Kitto's Cyclopædia
       of Biblical Literature. The learned doctor has given a
       sketch of the plant Mandragora, a copy of which the
       reader will find in plate VI.

  [77] Onkelos was a celebrated rabbin contemporary with St.
       Paul, and to whom the Targum, that is, a translation or
       paraphrase of the Holy Scriptures, is attributed.

  [78] Lib. IV., cap. 76.

  [79] Quoted by Oct. Celsius in his "_Hierobotanicon_," Part
       I., par. 5. art. _Dudaim_, from Epiphan: Physiolog. c. 4.

  [80] Pliny's "Natural History," Vol. IV., p. 397 (Bohn's
       Classical Library).

  [81] Columella _De hortorum Cultu._, v. 19, 20.

  [82] See a manuscript Interrogatory still preserved in the
       "Bibliothèque Nationale," Fonds de Baluze, Rouleau 5.

  [83] See "_De l'imposture des Diables_," par Jacques Grévin,
       Tom. IV., p. 359.

  [84] From Weir "De Mag: demonia:" Cours Complet
       d'agriculture par l'Abbé Rosier, Tom. VI., p. 401.

  [85] Récollections des choses merveilleuses Advenues en
       notre temps par George Chastelain, Edition de
       Coustelier, p. 150.

  [86] Lettres d'Amabed, Vol. XXXIV., p. 261. Edition Beuchot,

  [87] Mandragola, Atto II. Scena 6. See also La Fontaine's
       tale of "La Mandragore," founded upon the above comedy.

  [88] See Warburton on Shakespear's Othello, Act I.,
       Scene 8.

         "_By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks._"

  [89] See Speed's Historie of Great Britaine. Richard III.
       Book II., page 913 folio edition, 1632.

  [90] Exercitatio de Rachelis Deliciis, 420, 1678.

  [91] Atlantica illustrata, 1733.

  [92] Hierobotanicon, 1745.

  [93] "Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D.,

  [94] _Orchis_ is a Greek word signifying _testicle_, a name
       given by the ancients to this plant on account of the
       supposed resemblance of its root to that organ.

  [95] Eustathii Commentarii ad Homerum, Vol. I., p. 325,
       403-9. Editio Lipsiæ, 1827.

  [96] Juliani Calixenæ Epistola.

  [97] "Amatorio poculo furorem versus, quum aliquot libros
       per intervalla conscripserat."

  [98] Epist. dissuas: ad Rufinum C. 22. Tom XII. p.
       245, ad Varon.

  [99] Remarks on the life and poems of Lucretius, p. vi.
       (Bohn's Classical Library).

  [100] Probably to Anticyra, a Greek town situated at the
        mouth of the river Sperchius, and reputed to produce
        the genuine hellebore, recommended by the ancient
        physicians as a cure for insanity, whence the well
        known adage, "Naviget Anticyram."

  [101] Sueton. Calig. 50.

  [102] Juvenal. Sat. vi. v. 614.

  [103] Hor. Epod Lib. Carm. V. 1703. See also the admirable
        notes of Dacier and Sanadon upon the above ode.

  [104] Disquisitionum Magicarum, Lib. III. Quæstio III. De
        Amatorio Malaficio, page 7.

  [105] Cinq livres de l'imposture et tromperie des diables.
        Lib. II., p. 216, 1569.

  [106] De Margarum Daemonomania. Lib. I., Cap. III., p.

  [107] Æneid, Lib. IV., v. 13, 14, 15, and 16.

  [108] Pausanias, Græciæ Descriptio, Lib. V., c. 27.

  [109] In his work "De valetudine tuendâ."

  [110] Traité universel des drogues simples.

  [111] The Holy Guide by John Heyden, Gent., [Greek:
        Philonomos] a servant of God and a Secretary of
        Nature, Lib. v. p. 61.

  [112] Ibid., p. 62.

  [113] Anatomy of Melancholy.

  [114] Essays, Vol. II., p. 262-3. Translated by Cotton.
        London, 1743.

  [115] "Cujus rei istud est argumentum, quod ubi rem veneream
        exercemus, tantillo emisse, imbecilles evadimus."--_De

  [116] Tome 52, p. 286, et seq.

  [117] Juvenal, Sat. 6, v. 302. "Ad venerem," says Lubinus in
        a note on this passage, "miris modis instigant
        (_i.e._, ostreæ), inde turpissimæ illæ bestiæ (feminæ)
        ostrea comedebant, _ut ad Venerem promptiores

  [118] De la génération de l'homme, p. 272.

  [119] Traité des dispenses et de Carême, Paris, 1709, en
        12mo, réimprimé trois fois.

  [120] Names given to the female slaves or concubines in the
        harem of the Sultan.

  [121] A large province of the Deccan, said to have been
        famous, in ancient times, for its diamond mines.

  [122] That Coryphæus of voluptuaries, George IV., so highly
        appreciated this quality in truffles, that his
        Ministers at the courts of Turin, Naples, Florence,
        &c., were specially instructed to forward by a state
        messenger to the Royal Kitchen any of those fungi that
        might be found superior in size, delicacy or flavour.

  [123] Physiologie du Gout, par Brillat Savarin, Paris, 1859.

  [124] Martial, Epigram, lib. xiii. epig. 34.

  [125] Ducange, Glossaire.

  [126] J. H. Meibomius de flagrorum usu in Re medica et
        Venerea, Paris, 1792, p. 125.

  [127] See Macaronéana, par M. Octave Delepierre, Paris,
        1852, p. 3.

  [128] Thevet, Portraits des Vies des Hommes Illustres, Vol.
        I., p. 13, fol. edit., Paris, 1584.

  [129] Hume's Hist. of England, Vol. I., p. 348.

  [130] Dissertatio Inauguralis de Ambra, § iv. p. 36.

  [131] Medicamentum quod non solum potenter stimulat, sed vel
        effœtum senem, pro brevi tempore, ad
        juventutem iterum restituit. _Ibid._ § viii., p. 44.

  [132] Née dans une condition obscure, vouée au libertinage
        dés sa plus tendre jeunesse, autant par goût que par
        état, Made. Du Barry ne put offrir à son auguste
        amant, malgré la fleur de la jeunesse et les brillants
        appas dont elle étoit encore pourvue, que les restes
        de la plus vile canaille, de la prostitution." Vie
        privée des maîtresses de Louis XV., p. 153.--"You are
        no doubt curious to hear an opinion of Madame Du
        Barri's beauty from the lips of one who has seen her
        both in her days of prosperity and after her downfall.
        She was a person of small, almost diminutive stature,
        extremely frail and delicate in feature, which saved
        her from being vulgar; but even from the first, she
        always wore that peculiarly _fane_ look which she owed
        to a youth of dissipation, a maturity of unbounded
        indulgence. At the period of my visit she was about
        thirty-six years of age, but, from her child-like form
        and delicacy of countenance, appeared much younger,
        and her _gambades_ and unrestrained gestures of
        supreme delight on having, as she said, _quelqu'un à
        qui parler_, did not seem displaced. Although alone,
        and evidently not in expectation of visitors, her
        toilet was brilliant and _recherché_, the result of
        the necessity of killing time."--"Talleyrand Papers."

  [133] Espion de la Cour.

  [134] Gazetier Cuirassé, ou Anecdotes Scandaleuses de la
        Cour de France.

  [135] In his "_Praxis Medica Admiranda_," wherein he also
        gives the formula of an electuary _ad excitandum
        tentiginem nulli secundum_, p, 295, Observ. XCI., as
        well as a recipe for pills ad _Coitûs ignaviam_,
        CXIII., p. 297.

  [136] Encyclopœdia Parthensis, Article Cachunde.

  [137] See his Premier Traité de l'homme et de son
        essentielle anatomie, avec les éléments et ce qui est
        en eux, de ses maladies, médicine et absolus remèdes,
        etc., Paris, 1588.

  [138] Cent. 2.

  [139] See Celius, lib. xiv., cap. 3.

  [140] Histoire de Ferdinand et Isabelle, Tom. II., 326.
        Paris, 1766.

  [141] Biographie Universelle, Art. Wallenstein.

  [142] Detested by the Parisians, Dubois was the object of
        innumerable caricatures, of which the most _sanglante_
        was one representing him "à genoux aux pieds d'une
        fille de joie qui prenait de ce sale écoulement qui
        afflige les femmes, tous les mois, pour lui en rougir
        sa calotte et le faire Cardinal." See Erotika Biblion.
        Paris, 1792, p. 52.

  [143] Mémoires du Cardinal Dubois, vol. I., p. 3.

  [144] Ælius Tetrabilis, I., Disc. Chap. 32 and 33.

  [145] Browne's Travels in Africa, etc., p. 343.

  [146] La génération de l'homme, ou tableau de l'amour
        conjugal. Tom. 1., p. 276.

  [147] Ibid., p. 232.

  [148] Venette, Génération de l'homme, Tom. I., p. 279.

  [149] De cultu hortorum, v. 108.

  [150] Moretum, v. 85.

  [151] Mag. Nat., Lib. vii.

  [152] Mala Bacchica tanta olim in amoribus prævalerunt, ut
        coronæ ex illis statuæ Bacchi ponerentur.

  [153] Surag radis ad coitum summe facit: _si quis comedat
        aut infusionem bibat, membrum subite erigitur_.
        Leo Afric., Lib, IX., cap. ult., p. 302.

  [154] Gomez (Ferdinand) of Ciudad Real, a celebrated
        physician, born 1388, died 1457.

  [155] Mag. Nat. Lib. VII., c. 16.

  [156] Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de las Indias
        Orientales chap. LXI., p. 360, Burgos, 1578.

  [157] Travels in Africa, &c., p. 341.

  [158] Lignac. A physical view of man and woman in a state of
        marriage. Vol. I., p. 190.

  [159] Turcæ ad Levenzinum contra Comitem Ludovicum Souches
        pugnantes, opio exaltati turpiter cæsi, et octo mille
        numero occisi, _mentulas rigidas_ tulere. Christen.
        Opium Hist.

  [160] It was, perhaps, the knowledge of this fact that
        suggested to La Fontaine the lines:--

         "Un muletier à ce jeu
          Vaut trois rois."

         "To play at which game, I'm sure it is clear,
          Three kings are no match for one muleteer."

  [161] Histoire Naturelle du Genre Humain. Tom. II., p. 123.

  [162] Cabanis, Rapport, &c., Tom. II., p. 89.

  [163] Essais philosophiques sur les mœurs de divers
        animaux étrangers.

  [164]                  "The care on thee depending
        Hath fed upon the body of my father,
        Therefore, thou best of gold art worst of gold;
        Other less fine in carat is more precious,
        Preserving life in _medicine potable_."

          _Henry IV._, sec. part, act iv. sc. v.

  [165] Lettres sur François Rabelais. Let. II.

  [166] De Pœnitentiâ Decretorum, lib. xix.

  [167] See Millengen's "Curiosities of Medical Experience,"
        art. Flagellation Vol. II., p. 47 et seq.

  [168] Medic., Lib. III., art. 12.

  [169] See Richter, Opuscula medica Col. I., p. 273, "Qui
        novit ex stimulantium fonte, cardiaca, _aphrodisiaca_,
        diaphoretica, diuretica aliaque non infirmi ordinis
        medicamenta peti, perspicit plenius quam larga
        _verberibus_ bene merendi sit, uti præsertim in
        torpore nervorum, paralysi, _impotentia ad Venerem_ et
        naturalium excretionum eluxit."

  [170] Author of the work entitled, "_De flagrorum usu in re
        venerea_," Lug. Bat., 1639, with the motto:

         "Delicias pariunt Veneri crudelia flagra,
          Dum nocet, illa juvat, dum juvat, ecce nocet.

         "Lo! cruel stripes the sweets of love ensure,
          And painful pleasures pleasing pains procure."

  [171] Millingen, "Curiosities of Medical Experience." Vol.
        II., p. 52.

  [172] To this personage may justly be applied the French
        epitaph upon one who died under similar circumstances:

          "Je suis mort de l'amour enterpris
           Entre les jambes d'une dame,
           Bien heureux d'avoir rendu l'âme,
           Au même lieu où je l'ai pris."

  [173] See his work, _contra Astrologos_, Lib. III., cap. 27.

  [174] Petri Abœlardi Abbatis Rugensis et Heloissæ
        Abbatissæ Paracletensis Epistolæ. Epist. I., p. 10.

  [175] Ibid., Epist. III., p. 81.

  [176] See Meibomius, p. 43, note a. Edit. Paris, 1792, 12mo.

  [177] Name given to persons having only one testicle.

  [178] Œuvres, Tom. I, p. 283. Ed. 1714.

  [179] Travels in Siberia in 1661, Tom. I., p. 319.

  [180] Dictionnaire des Sciences Médicales. Art. Pollution.

  [181] Confessions, Tom. I.

  [182] De Nasturcio mira refert Dioscoridas I., 2, c. 185.

  [183] Satyricon, Caput xxxviii.

  [184] Pract. part. ii. cap. de passioni membré-génital.

  [185] Ducatiana ii., b. 505.

  [186] Curiosities of Medical Experience, vol. II., p. 55.

  [187] Anatomy of Melancholy, Part 3, memb. 3, subj. 5.

  [188] Pornodidascalus seu Colloquium Muliebre Petri Aretini
        _ingeniossimi et ferè incomparabilis virtutum et
        vitiorum demonstratoris_: De Astu nefario,
        horrendisque dolis, quibus impudicæ mulieres juventuti
        incautæ insidiantur.--Francofurti. Anno 1623.

  [189] Verum omni istâ sciencâ (magica) (says Lucretia)
        nunquam potui movere cor hominis solâ vero salivâ mea
        (id est ampleux et basiis) inungens tam furiosè furere
        tam bestialiter obstupefieri plurimos coegi ut instar
        idoil me Amoresque meos adorarint.--p. 47-8.

  [190] Othello, Act iii. Sc. 10.

  [191] Sir Thos. Browne's Works, Vol. III., p. 89. Bohn's

  [192] Origen, one of the Fathers of the Church, born in A.D.
        185, is a melancholy proof how far the reason may be
        perverted by erroneous views in religious matters; for
        according to Fulgos, "ut corpus ab omni venerea labe
        mundum servaret, omnique suspicione careret, sectis
        genitalibus membris, eunuchum se fecit." He, however,
        lived long enough to condemn his error. See his 15th
        sermon upon St. Matthew, cap. 19, v. 12; his work
        against Celsus, lib. 7; and his 7th Treatise upon the
        18th and 19th Chapters of St. Matthew.

  [193] Baldassar Timœus Cas. med. Lib. XIX., Salacitas
        nitro curata.

  [194] Historie Mundi, Lib. XXVI., c. 7.

  [195] The medical school of Salerno (_latine_ Salernum) was
        founded by Robert Guiscard at the end of the 11th
        century; and about the year 1100 a collection of
        medical aphorisms, was composed in Latin verse by a
        certain John of Milan, and published under the title
        of _Medicina Salertina_. Of this poem, which
        originally consisted of 1239 verses, only 373, or
        about a third, are extant. These were published at
        Paris in 1625 by Réné Moreau; in 1653 it was
        travestied by L. Martin; paraphrased by Bruzen de la
        Martinière in 1743, and by Dr. Levacher de la Feuverie
        in 1782.

  [196] De tuto cantharidum in medicinâ usu interno.

  [197] Arnaud de Villeneuve was one of the luminaries of the
        13th century, being distinguished for his profound
        knowledge of medicine, chemistry, astrology, and
        theology. He discovered the sulphuric, muriatic and
        nitric acids, and was the first to compose alcohol and
        the essence of terebinth or turpentine.

  [198] Traité des dispenses du carême.

  [199] "Any man," said Abernethy, the celebrated and
        eccentric surgeon, "that drinks coffee and soda water,
        and smokes cigars, may lie with my wife."

  [200] De Aer: Aquā et Locis. Liber, caput x.

  [201] Comment. in Boerh. Aphor. sec. 1063, Vol. III.

  [202] _De Machinis_, C. IV.

  [203] No. 206.

  [204] _Exercitatio de aciá_, Cap. 4, _et seq._

  [205] Odyssey VIII. line 477.

  [206] Introd. to Hesiod, cap. VI. p. 14. Edit. Plautin,
        1603, in voce [Greek: aoidos].

  [207] Annals of Gallantry.

  [208] Celsus has described the operation, in detail.
        Medicina, lib. VII. c. 25.

  [209] Juvenal, Sat. VI. v. 379-80.

  [210] Ibid., v. 73-74.

  [211] Martialis, lib. XIV. Ep. 215.

  [212] Martialis, lib. VII. Ep. 81.

  [213] Holiday's Juvenal, Sat. VI., illustr. 11, note
        "_Unbutton a Comedian_." For a copy see plate VII.,
        fig. 1. and 2.

  [214] Monumenti Antichi inediti. Rome, 1767, fol., p. IV. c.
        8, p. 247, fig. 188.

  [215] Martial, Lib. IX. Epig. 28, v. 12.

  [216] Travels in Africa and Egypt.

  [217] "There (in the arsenal) are also various whimsical
        bolts and locks with which he (Carrera) used to keep
        his concubines confined." Travels in Italy. See _The
        World_, vol. 18, p. 154.

  [218] Brantome, Dames Galantes, tom. iii., p. 138.

  [219] Le Cadenas. This poem was composed by the author when
        he was only eighteen years of age, and it was
        occasioned by a lady who was in the circumstances here
        spoken of.

  [220] Dr Smollett's translation, Vol. XXXII.

  [221] Sine Baccho et Cerere friget Venus.

  [222] "_Castrum quasi Castum, Castra_," says Isidorus in his
        _Etymologies_, Lib. IX., "sunt ubi miles steterit:
        dicta autem, castra, quasi casta, eo quod ibi
        castraretur libido." _A castle_ from _castrating of

  [223] Quæritur Ægystus quare sit factus adulter
        In promptu causa est: desidiosus.--De Remed. Amoris.

  [224] "Otia si tollas, periere Cupidinis artes."

  [225] See Pausanias's "Corinthians."

  [226] Vide Cicero, lib. V., Tusc. Questions and Plutarch's
        Treatise of Curiosity. It must, however, be observed,
        that this story is wholly incredible, inasmuch as the
        same writers affirm that Democritus employed his
        leisure in writing books and in dissecting the bodies
        of animals, neither of which could very well be
        effected without the eyes.

  [227] In Lucian, in the Dialogue entitled--"Venus and

  [228] The story itself is the same as that related by Poggio
        (Bracciolini) of a hermit of Pisa. "Eremita," says he,
        "qui Pisis morabatur, tempore Petri Gambacurtæ,
        meretricem noctu in suam ce lulan deduxit, vigesiesque
        ea nocte mulierem cognovit; semper cum moveret clunes,
        ut crimen fugeret luxuriæ vulgaribus verbis dicens:
        'domati, carne cattizella;' hoc est, doma te,
        miserrima caro!"


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operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.