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Title: The Book of Nature - Containing information for young people who think of getting - married, on the philosophy of procreation and sexual - intercourse, showing how to prevent conception and to avoid - child-bearing: also, rules for management during labor and - child-birth
Author: Ashton, James
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Book of Nature - Containing information for young people who think of getting - married, on the philosophy of procreation and sexual - intercourse, showing how to prevent conception and to avoid - child-bearing: also, rules for management during labor and - child-birth" ***

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                             BOOK OF NATURE;

                      INFORMATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
                              WHO THINK OF
                            GETTING MARRIED,
                                 ON THE
                        PHILOSOPHY OF PROCREATION
                           SEXUAL INTERCOURSE;
                        HOW TO PREVENT CONCEPTION
                                 AND TO
                          AVOID CHILD-BEARING.

                             ALSO, RULES FOR

                         BY JAMES ASHTON, M. D.
       Lecturer on Sexual Physiology, and Inventor of the “Reveil

                                NEW YORK:


    Abortions and Miscarriages                  61

    Abortions, how produced                  62-63

    Aphrodisiacs                                63

    Child-getting, how to avoid                 38

    Clitoris, the                               19

    Conception, modes of preventing             38

    Conception, signs of                        55

    Conception, how to avoid                    25

    Coverings for the Penis                     41

    Drugs to destroy the Semen               12-40

    Ergot of Rye                             62-64

    Fallopian Tubes                             15

    Female Generative Organs                 13-14

    Female Private Parts                        18

    Fœtus, development of the                   31

    Fœtus, size and position of                 33

    Hymen, the                                  17

    Impregnation                                24

    Impregnation, manner of                     26

    Intellect, how formed                       48

    Labor and Child-birth                 55 to 60

    Longevity, causes of                        53

    Love Powders                                63

    Male Generative Organs                       5

    Management at difficult Births              60

    Marriage, natural laws of                   50

    Miscarriages                                61

    Nymphomania                                 27

    Orgasms of a Female                         35

    Ovaries of a Female                         13

    Ova, expulsion of the                       14

    Ovum, or Egg                                13

    Penis, the                                   7

    Penis, malformations of the                  8

    Pregnancy, how to detect                    54

    Semen, the                                  10

    Semen, animalcules of the                   11

    Sexual Abuses                               44

    Sexual Desires                              20

    Sexual Enjoyment of Females                 34

    Sexual Feeling in Females                   35

    Sexual Indulgence                           33

    Sexual Indulgence, time for                 36

    Sexual Intercourse, too early               42

    Sexual Intercourse, too frequent            22

    Sexual Intercourse, enjoyment of            36

    Sexual Intercourse, position at             46

    Sexual Organs, Food to stimulate            37

    Sexual Union                             21-22

    Sex of a Child, how determined              28

    Testes, the                                  6

    Temperaments, laws of the                   50

    Unborn Child, growth of the                 32

    Unborn Child, intellect of                  48

    Uterus, or Womb                             16

    Vagina, the                                 16

    Vital Force, influence of                   52

    Wife, choice of a                           48

    Why Children look like Parents              30

    Zoospermes                                  10

DAY, in the Clerk’s Office of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.


Within the past few years, numerous physiological books have been
compiled and printed, ostensibly for popular reading and to impart
certain information which could not be obtained except from very
expensive medical works. On examination, nearly the whole of them prove
to be the productions of persons calling themselves physicians, and
issued as a medium of advertising their medicines, or their peculiar
practice. In most of these books, facts in physiology are so mixed up
with empirical self-laudations, absurd reasonings, useless repetitions,
and fabulous cases in point, as to become not only intensely tedious, but
in a measure disgusting to the reader.

The Prevention of Conception appears to be one of the main features of
these publications, and each author professes to have a secret plan of
his own for that purpose, which he offers to impart for a professional
fee of five dollars. An offer like this to intelligent people is
understood as arrant quackery; but there are such a vast number of
married persons who desire to limit the number of their offspring, that
many will send their money in sheer desperation, and with little or no
hope of success.

As the writer of this treatise does not propose to offer his professional
services to his readers, and as even the copy-right of it is disposed of
in advance, he will endeavor to present, briefly and impartially, the
prominent facts which modern science has demonstrated in the phenomena
of procreation, the conception and production of offspring, and the
various safe and harmless methods that may be resorted to by married
people to prevent child-bearing. All that is known on these interesting
and important subjects is given in plain language, and with but few
medical terms. In collecting this information, the writer has examined
all the different modes ever recommended, discovered or invented, for the
prevention of conception, whether alleged to be secret or otherwise. Some
of them were found to be utterly worthless; others may, in most cases,
be employed successfully by extreme caution and pains-taking, while not
more than two or three are perfectly reliable. These last are subject
to failure, only from prejudice or want of energy; and if adopted with
moderate caution, will be successful. In these discoveries the French
physicians appear to be the most ingenious, and some of the plans given
are consequently of French origin.

The Physiology of Generation, which comprises all medical knowledge
relative to the reproduction of offspring, is a subject of intense
interest to the adult portion of mankind. It has been zealously
investigated by learned men of all ages—physicians, philosophers and
theologians—and numerous conflicting theories have been advanced, books
written, and ideas inculcated, which have presented the subject in
various phases for popular reading. One class denounces all attempts to
prevent conception and child-bearing as immoral, unnatural, and hurtful
to health, while others hold more liberal views, and consider that
married people have a perfect right to decide for themselves whether they
shall breed a family or not. The writer takes no part in these arguments.
He is content to impart to his readers, in a brief and matter-of-fact
form, reliable physiological information which could only be obtained by
long study from other sources. With this explanation, he trusts that the
object of his little treatise will be appreciated by the public.



The Generative Organs of man consists of two distinct outward members,
called the Penis and the Testes, or Testicles—both together being
frequently called the Genitals. The Testes are inclosed in a sac or bag
hanging from the pubic bone called the Scrotum, and their functions
are to produce the male principle or Semen, as the Ovaries in the
female ripen the Ovum or Egg. The Testes are a curious work of Nature.
On dissection they are found to be composed of fine blood vessels
intermingled with small tubes called the Seminal Tubes, in which the
Semen is generated. Some very knowing physicians say that there are sixty
thousand of these Seminal Tubes; but we doubt if anybody ever counted
them. These tubes, as they leave the Testes, gradually join together
until finally a single tube only goes from each Testicle. These are
called the Vas Deferens, and they ascend to the abdomen through a larger
tube, (which also contains arteries, nerves, lymphatics, &c.,) where
they connect with two small organs called Seminal Vesicles. From these
vesicles the Semen passes downwards through a tube called the Ejaculatory
Canal, which is connected with the Prostate Gland, and from whence it is
forced to the Urethra or urinal passage, and so out of the body. This is
a brief outline of all the organs connected with the generative system
of man: the Testes have the peculiar property of making the Semen—the
Vas Deferens and the Ejaculatory Canal carry it into the abdomen to the
Prostate Gland, from whence it is conveyed, by a peculiar but spasmodic
effort, through the urinal passage in the Penis into the body of the
female. It is supposed that the Seminal Vesicles and Prostate Gland
impart a vital principle to the Semen, and that the peculiar pleasurable
feeling experienced during connection with the female springs from these

The Scrotum, in a healthy state, is contracted so as to draw its skin
into folds and keep the Testes close to the body. But when a person is in
ill health, or greatly fatigued, the skin relaxes and the two Testes hang
low, the Scrotum being then supported in the middle by a membrane or cord
called the Septum Scroti, which acts as a sort of partition. The Scrotum
of old men is permanently relaxed in this manner; but in children it is a
sure indication of ill health.

The size of the Testes vary in different persons. The average of mankind
have them each about the bigness of a pigeon’s egg; but sometimes they
are larger. It seldom makes any difference in the actual power of
procreation whether these organs are large or small, though persons
with large Testes can generally perform the act of copulation oftener,
and with less exhaustion. A man with large Testes generally has a large
Penis, as the size of the one usually governs the growth of the other;
but it is by no means certain that sexual connection thereby affords him
any more pleasure. Such men should marry with great caution. Many females
are incapable of affording them pleasure from the comparative smallness
of their private parts; and they suffer much pain and ill health from
such intercourse. On the contrary, men whose genital organs are not fully
developed, though they may impregnate, yet they cannot always give full
satisfaction to the female. If it could so be that people about to marry
were properly matched in their private parts, it would prevent a great
deal of unhappiness in the world.


Explanation of the Engraving.

1. The Bladder.

2. Spermatic Cords composed of Arteries, Veins, and Nerves.

3. Vas Deferens, or Tube which conveys the Semen from the Testicle.

4. The Ureter, or Tube which conveys the Urine from the Kidneys to the

5. Left Seminal Vesicle.

6. The Prostate Gland, which connects the Ejaculatory Canal through which
the Semen passes into the Urethra.

7. Bones of the Pelvis.

8. The Scrotum.

9. The Penis.

10. The Glans, or head of the Penis.

11. Vas Deferens—detached views.

12. Right Seminal Vesicle—interior cells.

13. Left Seminal Vesicle—detached outside view.

14. Ejaculatory Canal through which the Semen passes to the
Penis—detached view.

15. The Bladder comes in here, the Seminal Vesicles and Vas Deferens
being each side of it.]

Some curious cases are reported in the books of ill-matched couples in
this respect. One of the Princes of the Royal Family of England (a son
of George III.) died without legitimate issue because he could not have
connection with his wife—she being too small, or he being too large for
the purpose. It is true, he was entitled to a divorce by law, but it was
said he respected his wife too much to resort to such a measure. Another
curious case was that of Baron Brunner, whose wife claimed a divorce on
the ground that her husband was a sort of eunuch, who could afford her no
pleasure during connection. But in this case, as Madame was the mother of
a daughter, to whom she dared not deny the paternity of the Baron, her
petition was rejected.

The Penis is the principal generative organ of man. It is usually from
five to seven inches in length, hanging pendant, and extending from the
Pelvic Bones to the glans at the end, and is divided into two parts
called the Cavernosum and the Spongiosum. There is a groove underneath
and between these two parts, through which runs the Urethra, or urinal
passage. The head of the Penis is called the Bulb, and is of a spongy
nature, being filled with little cells or cavities communicating with
each other, and which extend into blood vessels which run the whole
length of the organ, and are finally connected with an artery and a
vein in the body. When no excitement of the part exists, these cells
and blood vessels are nearly empty; but when excited by sexual desires,
they rapidly fill with blood, when the Penis stands erect and enlarges
to one-third greater size. The erection is also assisted by a number
of muscles which only act when the blood rushes into the part. These
are called the Cavernosus Muscles. In some persons the erection is
very sudden, while in others it is the reverse—all depending upon the
temperament and construction of the parts. The time for the erection
to subside is also different in different persons. The causes of this
difference depend upon certain vital actions of the blood vessels not
fully understood. In old age this organ will often become hard and erect,
though it requires more time, and the erection subsides almost instantly
after connection with a female. The Penis is often destroyed by accident
or by disease, and sometimes it is naturally deformed. A case is stated
by Dr. Hollick of a young man 19 years old, whose Penis was only a
quarter of an inch long! By a protracted and careful course of treatment,
however, it was made to grow several inches. Some male children have been
born with no Penis at all—a slight swelling, like the top of a small
tumor, being the only mark of the spot where it ought to have grown. In
some cases of deformity like this, men have been known to beget children,
the flow of Semen being ample; and it only requiring, for the purpose of
impregnation, that the Semen shall be placed within the external lips of
the private parts of the female, as will be shown hereafter.

There are frequent malformations of the Penis. Sometimes it will grow
in such a way that, when erect, it turns one side or the other, so that
association is painful and very difficult. This is generally caused
by contraction of the skin or muscles, and is very easily remedied by
carefully cutting them in the proper place. Sometimes a one-sided Penis
is the result of aneurism, swelling of the veins, or unnatural erections.
These causes generally form tumors, which must first be reduced before a
proper action can be restored. Cold astringent lotions, used constantly,
will generally cure these tumors, though it is sometimes necessary to
bind some smooth, hard substance firmly on to them—a piece of horn or
ivory being the most suitable. Frequently the cord at the end of the
Penis, which binds the prepuce, will be so short as to pull down the end
of the Glans and thus prevent a proper connection with the female. This
cord, when too short, will often break; but the best way is to cut it
carefully either with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors. A Penis with a
head too large is a malformation caused by boyish pranks in handling the
organ during its growth.

The causes of a non-development of the Penis are various. Sometimes a
general torpor of the Testes retards its growth. Disease or excess will
frequently make it wither and decrease in size; and many a youth by early
masturbation prevents the full development of the organ. Injuries to the
Testes, during early childhood, will often stop the growth of the Penis.
The Mumps, Scarlet Fever, Measles, Rickets, and Scrofula—each of these
diseases will also more or less affect its perfect development. It is
nearly impossible to prescribe a remedy for this evil, as much depends
upon the temperament of the person affected. In persons of little sexual
feeling, I would recommend a rational and moderate use of the organ
as Nature intended. The healthy excitement thus produced will tend to
its growth. In some men, however, this plan would rather do harm than
good—a frequent tepid bath, with brisk rubbing of the muscles, being
the proper treatment. A stimulating ointment of some kind might be used
to advantage with this latter treatment. A tube to fit over the Penis,
with an air-pump, is frequently used by physicians in connection with a
shampooing of the muscles, and in some cases this acts beautifully.

The lascivious practices of boys, who learn of one another the habit of
onanism—their too early connection with females—these and other habits
affect the growth and full development of the Penis.

The Penis should be fully developed in a boy fourteen or fifteen years
old. At that age the seminal fluid, destined for the perpetuation of the
species, begins to be secreted by the Testicles, and not only excites the
sexual organs, but affects every part of the body. The power of the mind,
too, is improved; the digestion becomes more vigorous; the circulation of
the blood is more rapid; indeed, every organ is abundantly nourished by
it, and they perform their functions with much more energy than before
this period of life. But the sexual organs, notwithstanding they may be
of full size, have not yet matured, as will be shown hereafter.


The Semen is a yellowish-white liquid substance secreted in the Testes
of the Male, and which contains the animalculæ that grow to be future
human beings. A microscopic examination shows it to consist of two
substances, one fluid and the other little white globules. These globules
soon dissolve when exposed to the air. The composition of the Semen is
nine-tenths water—the remaining tenth being 10 soda, 30 phosphate of
lime, and 60 animal mucilage containing a peculiar principle which is
unknown. The living animalculæ of the Semen can be plainly seen with a
microscope. They look like little eels with large heads, or pollywogs,
and are supposed to be the germ of the brain and spine. They are called
Zoospermes, and the microscope enables us to study their habits, and
describe them with correctness. These animalculæ first grow in the little
globules or eggs. Their extreme smallness may be imagined when we state
that one of these globules, which are not visible to the naked eye, but
can be seen only with a microscope, contains thirty of them. After the
globules break open, the Zoospermes grow and become developed before they
are in a fit state to enter the female Ovum. Attached to their head is
a sort of sucker which fastens itself on to anything it can take hold
of. By the aid of the microscope we are enabled to study the habits of
these animalculæ so closely that it is known they cast their skins as
they grow larger, like some insects. A French physiologist writes that
he easily distinguishes their sex, male and female, but we doubt the
truth of his assertion. They are apparently very playful and active, but
it appears to be their nature to move only in one direction, and that
straight forward—which movement has a connection with impregnation that
is explained elsewhere in these pages. In watching the motions of these
curious little creatures, we find that combats frequently occur among
them. They fight very fiercely, and sometimes the fight lasts until only
one or two out of a dozen or more are left alive, showing a pugnacity of
disposition peculiar to mankind in the primitive or half-civilized state.
They will live for several hours in warm water, and it is thus that their
manœuvres are more easily seen. The Semen of a boy, before puberty,
contains no Zoospermes; and hence females of amorous propensities have
indulged with them without becoming impregnated. Diseases of a certain
character, and also some kinds of drugs, will destroy the vitality of the


1. Zoosperme magnified.

2. Highly magnified.

3. Undeveloped Zoospermes in the Semen.

4. Female Ovum burst open for impregnation.

5. Zoospermes darting in to impregnate the Ovum.]

The animalculæ of the Semen are not developed in the Testes. While there,
it contains only the granules, which ripen as they proceed, and it is not
until they reach the Prostate Gland that they burst open. It is therefore
necessary to a healthy connection, that some time should elapse between
the acts of coition. It frequently happens, when people first marry, that
months will pass before impregnation takes place. This is because of too
frequent connection. The Semen does not have time to be fully developed
on its passage from the Testes.

We have stated that it is a habit of the Zoospermes to move only in
one direction, and that straight forward. It is this peculiarity which
enables them to make their way up into the Womb, even from the Labia or
external lips of the female. It is found, also, that Zoospermes will live
twenty-four hours in the private parts of the female, during which time
she may become impregnated by them. It seems to be of little consequence
_how_ Semen is deposited in the female organ. Conception may take place,
even without sexual connection, if the Semen is fresh from the male, and
healthy. The sexual feeling of the female, though it may conduce certain
favorable conditions of the part, and thus promote the result, is not, in
most cases, necessary.

The celebrated John Hunter reported the case of a patient of his who had
entirely lost his penis by syphilis. It was sloughed off half an inch
into his body. Yet this man could eject his semen from the orifice; and
he married after his misfortune, and became the father of a child. His
wife was impregnated by means of a small glass syringe, with which the
semen was injected into the proper place.

The Parisian doctors make preparations of various drugs to destroy
the animalculæ of the Semen, and thus prevent conception. This plan,
if thoroughly adopted, produces the desired effect, as will be shown
hereafter. Iodine, Strychnine, Prussic Acid, or even Opium, will
instantly kill the Zoospermes. Alcohol will likewise generally destroy
them, or render them powerless until they die. An electric shock kills
them instantly, and so will cold water, in very many cases, though not

Modern science enables us to speak with certainty relative to a cause of
childless couples, which is a want of vitality of the Semen. Formerly it
was supposed that barrenness was a peculiarity of women alone; but it is
now known that the fault is more frequently in the husband. The Semen
of these barren men contains the usual globules, which never ripen or
come to maturity. Such men may experience a certain degree of pleasure
in connection, but they cannot become fathers. The Semen is undeveloped,
like that of a boy of ten years. The sexual desires of such men are
never very strong, and quickly subside; nor can they excite the female
to any great degree of ardor. Long continued excesses in venery, whether
with women or by means of onanism, is a frequent cause of barrenness or
impotence in men. In these cases the Semen loses its prolific power.
Frequently this impotence cannot be remedied, though I have cured many
persons of it who had daily involuntary emissions of the spermatic fluid
without erections or amorous impulse. The treatment consists in avoiding
its causes, restoring the general health by proper diet and exercise, and
in invigorating the affected organs by the internal and external use of
such remedies as have a direct influence upon them.


The Ovaries, or egg-vessels of a human female, are two bodies situated on
each side of the Pelvis just within the lower edge of the hip bone. They
vary in size, averaging about the same as the male testicle, but of a
different shape, being flat and oblong, like an almond. When in a healthy
state, they are of pale red color, and have a rough exterior. Every Ovary
consists of a large number of cells about the size of a buck-shot, called
the Graafian Vesicles, and which contain a transparent fluid. On looking
at this fluid with a glass, the Ovum, or germ of the human being, can be
plainly seen in each cell. It is very small—not much larger than a grain
of sand. A healthy and perfectly formed female has some thirty or more of
these vesicles. It is impossible to tell the exact number, because all of
them are not fully developed at the same time. In fact, they ripen and
become perfect in succession, from month to month, and one is expelled at
each menstrual flow, as described below, beginning at the age of puberty,
and so continuing until the turn of life, when all have been expelled and
the Ovaries then become barren. The Ovum generally comes from each side
alternately—the right ovary expelling its egg one month, and the left the
next, and so on. But where disease or any cause has disabled one Ovary,
the other one, if healthy, expels its egg monthly. Such are the curious
workings of Nature.

When an Ovum, or egg, is fully developed, it leaves the Ovary, and
passing through a very curious hollow ligature called the Fallopian
Tube, is thus conveyed into the Womb. This occurs once in four weeks in
a healthy female. In order to detach this ripe egg from the Ovary, real
inflammation is experienced, which causes a discharge of blood and mucus,
called the menstrual or monthly flow. This constant action of the Ovaries
has a most extraordinary influence upon the whole being of woman. It
not only absorbs a large portion of her nervous power, but it actually
affects her mind to a considerable extent. It is the principal cause
of hysteria, fickleness, gayety, peevishness, and other eccentricities
peculiar to female character.

The Ovum usually reaches the Womb from one to two days after the monthly
flow ceases. After being retained a certain time by a thin membrane
called the Decidua, the membrane loosens and passes out of the body,
taking the Ovum along with it. While it remains in the Womb, it is of
course liable to be impregnated by the semen from the male; but the
moment it is expelled, no impregnation can take place until another
monthly flow. Many French females, who have studied this subject closely
and attentively, are enabled to tell with certainty when the Ovum leaves
them, and they avoid contact with the other sex except during the
interval between its expulsion and their next monthly turn. In this way
they avoid child-bearing.

The usual healthy time during which the Ovum remains in the Womb, is
fourteen days. In some females it remains as long as sixteen or seventeen
days. Cases of supposed barrenness are frequently those where the ova
are expelled from the womb very soon after lodging there. It is then
necessary for the husband, if he desires children, to cohabit with his
wife immediately after the menstrual flow ceases. On the contrary, those
who would avoid having offspring, (unless they use the means pointed out
in another part of this book,) should refrain from sexual indulgence
until the Ovum has been expelled, which is generally the third week after
the menstrual flow has ceased.

By a curious provision of Nature, the blood and vital energy required
to ripen and expel the monthly Ovum in a female, is turned in another
channel during pregnancy, and tends to secrete the milk and the fluids on
which the growing fœtus subsists. Thus the ova lie dormant during that
period, and they seldom begin to ripen again until the new-born infant is


Explanation of the Engraving.

1. The Clitoris.

2. The Outer and the Inner Lips of the Private Parts.

3. Meatus Urinarius, and Mouth of the Bladder.

4. The Vagina, or Passage towards the Womb.

5. Mouth of the Womb.

6. Thick Walls of the Womb.

7. The Rectum.

8. The Bladder.

9. Pubic Bone.

10. Right Ovary and Fallopian Tube.]


Explanation of the Engraving.

1. The Clitoris.

2. Right Outer Lip.

3. Right Inner Lip.

4. Entrance to the Vagina, or Passage towards the Womb.

5. Urinary Passage, or Mouth of Bladder.

6. Intestine of the Rectum.

7. Covering, or Wall of the Vagina.

8. The Bladder.

9. Covering of the Womb.

10. The Ovaries, showing their connection with the Womb by the Fallopian

11. The Abdomen.]

It will be understood, from the foregoing facts, that no female can
produce more than a certain number of ova. When all are exhausted,
the turn of life takes place. It is, therefore, desirable that girls
should not become sexually excited before the full age of puberty, as
such excitement is sure to hasten that period. The sooner they begin to
menstruate, the sooner they become old women. In the same way maiden
ladies usually reach the turn of life sooner than child-bearing women.

In some women, the Ovaries being originally weak, or diseased, they are
irregular in their menstrual periods, or have frequent flooding from the
debilitated state of the organs. Deformity of children is supposed to
arise from imperfect ova, and want of sufficient vital force to fully
develop them. The ripening of the Ovum, or egg, is in many respects
like unto the ripening of an apple on the tree. Some are perfect and
beautiful, while others are deformed and ungainly in appearance.

The two Fallopian Tubes, which connect the ovaries with the Womb, are
very curious. They are hollow ligaments, a little larger at one end than
the other. On dissection they are found to be lined with fine thread-like
points, which point towards the smallest end of the tube, adjoining the
Womb. These points are in perpetual motion, like small worms, and this
operation is what causes the egg to pass through the tube. For the same
reason nothing can go back in these tubes from the Womb to the Ovaries.
These tubes also afford a passage for the secretions and fluids, which
would otherwise accumulate in the Ovaries of women in ill health. A
considerable portion of the discharges from the Vagina, to which some
females are subject, come from the Ovaries through the Fallopian Tubes
into the Womb, and thence to the lower passage. Sexual or amative
feeling on the part of the female affects these tubes, by causing them
to straighten and relax, thus working the points on the inner surface,
and hastening the passage of the Ovum, should one be in the passage.
This feeling also hastens the ripening of the Ovum, to a certain extent.
The usual length of the Fallopian Tubes is from three to four inches. A
woman may be made perfectly barren by tying ligatures round these two
tubes, an operation which would be attended with but little pain. It is
obvious, however, that her health might seriously suffer in consequence.
In France, animals are frequently served in this manner in preference to
the painful process of spaying.

The Uterus, or Womb, is suspended mid-way between the lower edges of the
hip-bones. Its upper part goes up between the bladder and the rectum,
and lies upon the bladder. Its lower part joins the passage called the
Vagina, which is usually about four or live inches in length. In fact,
the neck of the Womb hangs down into the Vagina, and is the cause of
an indescribable delightful feeling on the part of the female when in
connection with the male. Many women say that they experience very little
sexual feeling, and that the act of copulation is to them a matter of
indifference. This is because the mouth of the Womb is not reached or
touched by the glans of the male organ; and the pleasurable sensation of
the female is then confined to a slight irritation of the Clitoris and
Nymphæ, in the private parts. When the amorous sensations of the female
are excited during connection, the Womb becomes engorged with blood, and
moves up and down in the Vagina, bringing the neck in contact with the
glans of the male organ, and this contact, if not too violent, is the
perfection of sexual indulgence for both parties.

The Vagina is a curved passage from the Womb to the lower private parts
of the female called the Vulva. It is a tubular passage, the diameter
of which varies from one and a half to two inches, and is usually from
four to five inches in length. This curved tube possesses some curious
powers, which are in action only during connection with the male. It is
lined with a mucus membrane throughout, and underneath is thick cellular
membrane which is spongy and fills with blood during sexual excitement,
the same as the head of the penis in the male. This is the erectile
tissue. On each side are certain little openings where are secreted a
thickish gray fluid of a peculiar smell, which is discharged copiously
during connection. Some uninformed persons erroneously think this to be
a kind of Semen; but it is merely a fluid provided by Nature to assist
in the nuptial act. Some females have the erectile tissue imperfectly
developed, and for this reason are liable to a lax-vagina, which leads to
a falling of the Womb, and other diseases that render the marriage state
necessary to restore them to health. Mothers are apt to attach too little
importance to this disease.

The entrance to the Vagina, a small oval opening, easily seen by parting
the lips of the private parts, is usually closed in virgins by a thin
membrane, or skin, which grows over it. This is called the Hymen; and
in ancient times its presence was considered necessary at marriage to
establish the virginity of the bride. If in reality such proof was
demanded, we think that very many brides must have been pronounced lewd,
for there is scarcely one woman in a hundred at the present day who
preserves her Hymen intact until she is twenty years old. In some, it is
broken at the first menstrual flow—in others, any debilitating disease
of the parts destroys it—and many girls who constantly bathe and wash
their private parts, unconsciously wash away this membrane. These are
cases where it is very thin; but where it has strength to resist such
accidents, it may even then be quickly destroyed by any attempt of the
female to produce sexual excitement. Some curious facts are related in
the medical books of the toughness of the Hymen in certain cases. Dr.
Wakley, of London, was applied to by a woman who alleged that though her
husband regularly performed his marital duties, yet she herself could
not enjoy the nuptial act. On examination, it was found that the Hymen
had not been broken, though the woman had been married eight years. The
membrane was a tough, calloused substance, and it was deemed necessary
to cut it out entirely. This lady became a mother in less than eleven
months from the time of the operation. Dr. Bostwick, of New York, had
a case where a thick piece of flesh grew over the mouth of the Vagina;
and though the woman had the menstrual flow regularly through a small
opening, yet her husband could have no sexual pleasure with her. A very
painful and dangerous operation relieved this lady, and she is now the
mother of a family. As a general rule, a girl loses her Hymen before she
is twenty, and it is seldom that she knows when it is destroyed.

In some women the mouth of the Vagina is so small that a first connection
is painful, tearing the part and causing a flow of blood. When such women
become widows, or refrain from sexual intercourse for a long period, the
same tearing and flow of blood may again occur on resuming connection.

The external appearance of the private parts of a female, as given in
the engraving, we will here particularize. The peculiar round and plump
prominence at the lower extremity of the abdomen, is a thick layer of
fatty matter over the pubic bone, called the Mons Veneris. This is
usually covered with hair at the age of puberty. In some cases the hair
grows very profusely, and to the length of six or eight inches. Others
have but little hair, and some none at all. The growth of hair is usually
considered the sign of womanhood, though it is really no proof of that
condition. Many girls have a growth of hair over the Mons at the age of
ten or eleven years, while the menstrual flow will not commence until
some years after. The two outer lips of the part are also covered with
hair. These are called Labia, and inside they have little glans or
follicles which discharge a mucus of a peculiar smell, which is provided
by Nature to keep the parts in health. Within these external lips or
Labia, are smaller ones called the Nymphæ. In infants the Nymphæ can be
plainly seen outside, as the Labia do not cover them; but as the child
grows, the external lips gradually close, and in a perfectly-formed
female, at the age of puberty, nothing can be seen but the outer lips,
which are, or should be, hidden by the hair.

At the upper junction of the Nymphæ is the Clitoris, a very curious
formation which resembles a miniature male penis. This is an organ
which, when irritated, causes sexual desires. It is usually about the
size of a pea, though in some cases it is larger. The growth of the
Clitoris to an unnatural size is what has given rise to a belief in the
existence of hermaphrodites, or persons of double sex. I can easily
understand how these reports originated. A female infant with a Clitoris
of a very large size would naturally induce such a belief by persons
ignorant of physiology—for the Clitoris is always proportionably a great
deal larger before puberty—and particularly so when the child is first
born. In an unnatural growth, then, of this member, the private parts
of an infant would certainly present a hermaphroditic appearance. It
is almost unnecessary to say that no such human beings ever existed as
hermaphrodites. Those that have been so called were females with an
enlarged Clitoris. This enlargement being a source of some mortification
to the girl as she grows to womanhood, it should be partially amputated,
an operation which can be performed with perfect safety. Young girls of
amorous desires get up a sexual excitement, and produce masturbation, by
rubbing the Clitoris; and in boarding schools they often practice the
habit upon one another until they cause repeated Orgasms, and in this
manner injure their health. Many of the diseases of after life may be
traced to such unnatural pranks—particularly the weakness which causes
miscarriage and excessive flooding.


The sexual organs of man and woman are wonderfully adapted to each
other, and have a perfect power of mutual attraction. Nature sacrifices
every thing to reproduction: it is thus that we enjoy all strength,
vigor and beauty, so as to excite us to contribute to the procreation
of our species; and thus that such exquisite pleasure is associated
with the copulative act. It is for this reason also that we experience
so many sweet illusions in the brilliant season of our amours, and that
we give way to others when our reproductive powers have failed. In a
word, Nature always regards the species, and never the individual; and
whatever we may say or think of our superiority over inferior animals,
we cannot conceal from ourselves the fact that, like the brutes, we
are influenced in our unions by the pleasure of sexual intercourse. It
is useless to deny that the majority of marriages which are apparently
based on the sentiment called love, are nothing more than the result of
an involuntary obedience to the imperious voice of our sexual organs. A
man admires the graceful figure, the voluptuous form, and the general
female graces of a woman, and he at once desires to possess her person.
This induces him to cultivate her acquaintance, and unless he finds
something in her disposition positively disagreeable, ten to one he will
offer her marriage. Who will deny that sexual desire was the moving
cause of this connection? A woman meets a man of fine figure, noble gait
and manner, broad chest, and elevated head, furnished with a luxuriant
growth of hair. His eyes are full of fire, and he is amiable, gallant and
polite. She at once feels a thrilling desire to become better acquainted
with him. What is that but a sexual yearning? Thus far, certainly, no
sentimental collusion can have occurred between them.

The philosophy of sexual desires has been frequently discussed by learned
men, and interesting experiments have been made to test whether the
attraction of the two sexes was not precisely the same in human beings as
in the minor animals. These tests proved that our animal natures are not
directed altogether by the intellect. We see young persons of opposite
sex mutually caress and embrace each other by some mysterious influence,
even before they are of sufficient age to experience sexual desires. This
mutual attraction is attributed by some people to Animal Magnetism—the
male being the positive, and the female the negative principle. We,
however, believe it to be an instinctive sympathy; for experiments have
been made which prove that the Generative Organs of either sex exercise a
certain mysterious influence one upon the other. A French physiological
writer says that two vigorous young persons were put in a semi-insensible
state by the use of certain drugs. Being stripped and their private
parts placed slightly in contact, (their heads being fully covered,)
this slight touch instantly excited the sexual feeling. This experiment
is reported in detail, and we do not doubt that it was _bona-fide_. The
peculiar instinctive attraction in this case was so delicate that it
acted almost like electricity to the male organ. Besides this instinctive
attraction, the nervous sensibility is so constituted as to aid in the
union of the sexes. In the present state of society, however, young
people do not usually wait the slow process of Nature’s teachings, but
gain their knowledge by a precocious association or under the instruction
of their seniors. The sexual impulse, under such circumstances, is forced
and unnatural, and is frequently the parent of incurable disease.

Coition, or sexual union, may be compared to a fit of epilepsy, or to
an electrical shock. It entirely engages both the mind and the body;
we neither hear nor see, but the soul is entirely absorbed in the act.
When a man is performing this act, if his thoughts wander, the product
will be feeble, and if his wife become pregnant the offspring will be
inferior. This fact is applied to the offspring of great geniuses, who
are supposed to be thinking of something else when they beget their
children, and hence their descendants are often much below them in
intellect. In further confirmation of this theory, history informs us
that some of the greatest men the world ever saw were bastards—children
begotten with vigor, and when the minds of the parents are supposed to
have been absorbed in the one idea of a loving sexual embrace. Aristotle
believed that the causes of deformed children, of monstrosities, and of
all defective offspring, were in consequence of imperfect connections,
or acts of generation when the minds of the parents were depressed by
passion, anxiety, trouble, or any difficult or abstract matters.

Persons of moderate and regular habits, with strong and sound
constitutions, beget healthful infants; while those whose habits are
excessively mental, generally produce feeble offspring, though their
constitutions and general health may be good.

Another cause of feeble children is the abuse of the function of
generation by too frequent intercourse. In such cases the semen is thin
and watery, being too suddenly secreted. Harvey says that to produce
vigorous offspring, the spermatic fluid ought to remain two or three days
in its receptacles for its thinner parts to become absorbed, when more
vitality will be imparted to it, and hence the more vigorous will be the

It will be thus seen that the proper union of the sexes is at that
moment when the mind and body are at rest, and when both parties are in
a mood for mutual caresses. Certain moral and intellectual perceptions
undoubtedly govern their feelings under such circumstances, and aid in
producing that intense pleasurable feeling which a healthy and proper
connection will always promote.

As to the times when sexual union should be avoided, I would say that
during five or six days after the monthly turn of the female commences,
it is absolutely unhealthy to both. Married men of cleanly habits will
religiously observe the Jewish law in this respect, and wait seven
days. It was formerly thought that connection with a female during
the menstrual flow, was the origin of a certain sexual disease called
gonorrhœa; but such is not the fact. Connection during that period is,
however, unnatural, hurtful, and often painful to the female. Neither
should there be any intimacy of this kind when the female is troubled
with fluor albus, or whites, as then there is danger that the male may
contract gonorrhœa. When a girl appoints her wedding day, she should
reckon as near as possible a time when she will be fully over her monthly
turn. If subject to fluor albus, she should first seek the most efficient
means of cure; and if possible, a cure should be effected before she
marries. Girls subject to this complaint seldom enjoy the constant
sexual intercourse incident to married life. Medical science can manage
this disease so easily and effectually by the aid of the Truss, or
Abdominal Supporter, that there is no excuse for neglecting it. Unless
the strictest cleanliness is practiced by the wife while she has the
whites, she may give her husband the disease called gonorrhœa. She should
never have any connection with him in the morning until she has risen
and washed the part thoroughly. Suspicious men have often believed their
wives unfaithful because they have contracted gonorrhœa from the whites.
But the fact is well known to medical men that that alone is the original
cause of the disease.

In Persia, and indeed in most Mahomedan countries where a plurality of
wives is allowed, it is considered indecent to approach a woman for
sexual intercourse during pregnancy, or when she is suckling her child.
This custom is highly commendable, and if observed among Christians it
would tend to promote the health of both the mother and her offspring,
for Nature never intended that the nuptial act should be performed
solely for the gratification of our passions. Nevertheless, I do not
say that a moderate indulgence during pregnancy would be hurtful to a
robust woman; though to a weak and nervous one it surely is. But after
the child is born, sexual intercourse should cease until it is weaned, to
insure its health. Many sucking children die in consequence of the sexual
indulgences of their parents, and none are wholly unaffected thereby.


We have stated elsewhere that there are certain times during the month
when it is impossible for a woman to be impregnated by sexual connection.
This is a fact that may be relied upon with the utmost certainty, and we
will discuss it more in detail. The Vesicles of the Ovary are constantly
growing and ripening, as we have shown. Once in four weeks one or more of
them is ready to leave its cell. Inflammation commences—which is called
the Menstrual Flow—the Vesicle then begins to enlarge, and by the time
the flow ceases, it bursts open, when the Ovum or Egg within escapes and
is taken up by some very curious little membranes and drawn into the
Fallopian Tube. It passes through this tube into the Womb, and it is
generally two days, and often longer, in making the passage. Meantime
a thin, delicate membrane, called the Decidua, forms in the Womb, and
is ready to receive the Egg and detain it there, otherwise it would
pass out and be lost. This membrane will generally last about a week,
when it gradually loosens and passes out, taking the Egg along with it.
If, however, the Egg be impregnated—in other words, if the female have
connection with a man, and the Semen comes in contact with the Egg during
this period, the Decidua from that moment begins to grow fast to the
Womb, and becomes one of the coverings that protect the new being during
the fœtal state.

It will thus be understood that during the first twenty-four hours
after the Menstrual Flow has ceased, there is very little danger of
impregnation, and in some females this time might be extended to two
or three days with safety. The Zoospermes of the Semen will live for
twenty-four hours within the Womb, and it is possible for the Egg to
be impregnated by them the moment it leaves the Fallopian Tube. We
therefore state the probable time that impregnation cannot take place
to be twenty-four hours, allowing the second twenty-four hours for the
possibility of there being living Semen in the Womb. After the Decidua
and Egg have passed out of the Womb, which is from ten to sixteen days
after the Menstrual Flow has ceased, impregnation, or conception, is then
utterly impossible until after another monthly turn is over, and so on.
French women are famous for a clear understanding of all the phenomena
attending impregnation, and they generally avoid it at pleasure. They
know exactly when the Decidua and Egg leaves them—they watch for it, and
it is said many of them search for it and take it away violently. At
all events, there are multitudes of the class called grisettes—females
who are content to live and cohabit with any decent man who offers them
a support—who never get into the family way at all. Their secret is
supposed to be a physiological knowledge, or art, which enables them to
destroy the Decidua, or membrane which keeps the Egg from passing out of
the Womb. We confess we cannot understand how so delicate an operation
can be performed by a woman upon her own person; but the thing is not

Married people who desire to avoid having children might generally attain
their object by refraining from sexual intercourse for a week or ten days
after the cessation of the Menstrual Flow; or, they might follow the
precaution recommended in our chapter on Prevention during that period.
It is supposed that conception takes place within seven days after the
monthly turn nineteen times out of twenty. But to be on the safe side,
you should wait longer—even to sixteen days—unless you can discover
when the Decidua and Egg pass off. There are certain symptoms connected
with this expulsion of the Egg which may be detected. A thin, colorless,
watery fluid comes from the Vagina, and is often so abundant as to wet
the external parts. This will continue for some hours, and will be
followed by a grayish-white clot about the size of a pea. The discharge
of this clot is frequently accompanied by slight pains and bearing down
of the Womb. This is the Decidua and Egg. When a woman can discover, with
certainty, the passage of this clot, she is then safe from impregnation
until after her next monthly turn.

The manner in which the Egg of the female is impregnated by the male
Semen is curious and interesting. In its first state, while in the Ovary,
there may be seen within it a little dot called the Germinal Vesicle.
When the Egg is fully ripe, and just as it leaves the Ovary, this little
dot is by some unknown process expelled, leaving an open passage to the
very centre. The Egg is then ready for impregnation; for, on passing
into the Womb, if the male Semen come in contact with it, one of the
animalculæ instantly darts into this open passage and buries itself. All
these curious operations of Nature have been discovered by the use of
the Microscope, and they are not only very interesting, but are of great
importance to mankind.

It will be seen from these explanations of the principles of
Impregnation, that a healthy woman may conceive under almost any
circumstances—that the idea that a first and only connection would
not impregnate is erroneous—that the most brutal violation may cause
conception—in short, that if a female were rendered senseless by drugs,
or by a blow upon the head, this would not prevent the impregnation of
the Egg if the time were propitious.

Sexual enjoyment of the female during connection may hasten the
accomplishment of the desired end in various ways, but it is by no means
necessary to impregnation or conception. Indeed, there are many females
of cold temperament who seldom experience any very pleasing sensations
during connection, and some who have no sexual desires at all. I knew a
case in Hartford, Connecticut, many years ago, where a wealthy gentleman
desired offspring. He had lost his Penis when quite a young man; but
yet he was able, at times, to discharge Semen from the urinary passage.
He was married after the loss of his private member, and lived with his
wife—a very worthy woman—ten years, never dreaming that he could ever
become a father. One day a physician banteringly told him of a similar
case in Vienna, where the man had actually become a father by the use of
a small glass syringe, with which he injected his Semen into the Vagina.
It was a singular coincidence that this Hartford gentleman afterwards
became the father of two interesting little ones. He had doubtless used
the Syringe!

There is a class of amorous women who cannot be impregnated at all. They
are afflicted with a sort of disease called Nymphomania, or insatiable
passion for venery. Such cases are rare, but still they occur. A young
lady patient of mine, in describing this disease, said that she had
the most irresistible disposition to lasciviousness imaginable; that
when alone she could not desist from rubbing the parts until she became
exhausted and sunk down in perspiration: she slept well, but as soon
as she was awake the same propensity recurred. Another lady (married)
who consulted me, said she had always been brought up virtuously, and
had hitherto been well disposed; but now a man could scarcely pass her
without her experiencing those sensations which were alone her husband’s

Nymphomania is attended with obscenity, restlessness, and delirium.
The patients delight to talk obscenely, and solicit men to satisfy
their desires, both by words and gestures. It is generally caused by
masturbation, or undue irritation of the private parts when very young;
and the usual treatment is to keep them well syringed out with castile
soap and water, and wear a bag of powdered camphor on the back of the
neck. Camphor taken internally is also good. A very little camphor
introduced into the water with which you wash the part will likewise act

Young females troubled with Nymphomania, who thereby bring themselves
into disgrace, are more to be pitied than despised: for it requires a
great degree of moral firmness for them to resist both the promptings
of Nature and those of licentious men at the same moment. Parents and
guardians should act accordingly.


Physiologists have given many absurd ideas on this subject, and almost
all their theories have been exploded. In olden time it was believed that
male children came from the right ovary of the mother, while females
came from the left. Hence it was asserted that on whichever side she lay
after connection, the ovary on that side would be impregnated. This plan
of producing girls or boys at pleasure did not work, and was discarded
even before the present minute knowledge of the principles of generation
became known. The sex of an infant is not necessarily determined at its
conception. In their unformed state, the Testes are within the body
in about the same position as the Ovaries, and are similar to them in
appearance. It is therefore possible that certain causes may influence
the sex of the Fœtus after it has commenced its growth. As a general
rule, however, the sex of a child is influenced by circumstances at the
moment of conception. Both experiment and observation have shown that the
most ardent and vigorous individual of the couple, whether it be the man
or the woman, will cause the sex of the child. On the other hand, where
both are nearly alike in this respect, other influences must govern,
and hence some couples have children of both sexes. The relative ages of
married people frequently has an influence, because, when both are young,
the oldest of the two is usually the most vigorous, and hence, as before
stated, sex follows the predominating parent. Some physicians lay it down
as a rule, that an elderly or middle-aged man will be sure to get boys
from a young woman, and _vice versa_. But the rule does not work in every
case. There is such a difference of sexual desires in different people,
that it is impossible for any one, except perhaps themselves, to judge
which has the most robust sexual powers. Another cause of sex is supposed
to be the relative amorousness of the couple after impregnation has taken
place. Some women experience much pleasure in sexual connection until
they become _enciente_, and then all their desires suddenly cease. In
cases like this, where the connection is continued, the husband would be
apt to influence the sex after conception, and then the offspring would
be male. But should circumstances prevent their continued connection, she
would, in nine cases out of ten, give birth to a female child. To sum up,
amorous females generally breed female children, while those of a colder
temperament breed boys. When both are moderate in their desires, children
of both sexes are produced. When the female is unnaturally amorous, (and
such cases frequently occur,) she seldom becomes impregnated at all. The
following mode of influencing the sex of the child, some physiologists
assert, is really effective, and it looks reasonable. When the woman is
just over her monthly turn—say within two or three days—the husband may
then try for a girl. After one or two connections, let him abstain for
the next month or two, or even longer. He thus impregnates his wife at
the moment of her greatest sexual vigor, and by abstinence he does not
influence the sex of the child after conception. Should he desire a boy,
let him keep up his connection for two weeks or more after his wife has
got over her monthly turn, at the same time carefully practicing the
precaution of withdrawal, described in other pages under the head “Modes
of Preventing Conception.” At that period the wife will have partially
exhausted her amative powers, when he can be almost certain that a boy
will be the result of her impregnation.

A curious fact relative to the resemblance of children to their parents
has been developed by observation. Where a man is absent from his wife
during the period of gestation, the child is almost sure to resemble
the mother. On the other hand, an amorous father, who keeps a constant
connection with his wife during pregnancy, will cause the child to
resemble him. If a woman should become pregnant by one man, and then
cohabit constantly with another during her pregnancy, the child would
bear a resemblance to the second man rather than to its father. This
would surely be the case if she were fond of the latter’s caresses.

It often happens that a married couple will have “a run” of children of
one sex, and then turn round and breed those of the opposite sex. This
may be accounted for by the failing health, and consequent vigor, of the
predominating parent. Thus if a woman begins to breed boys, and after
having had several, turns round and breeds a number of girls, it is a
pretty sure sign that the sexual vigor of her husband is on the wane, or
that his bodily health is failing. Should girls come first in rotation,
and boys afterwards, the mother’s generative vigor may be suspected of
falling off. These are, however, mere suggestive ideas; though readers
may understand from them the principle upon which Nature forms the two
sexes. I have no doubt that a careful and practical study of the subject
may sometimes enable parents to elect the sex of their offspring, on the
principle we have explained; but there are so many curious phases in the
phenomena of procreation, that any certainty on the subject is out of the


The escape or expulsion of the Germinal Vesicle from the Ovum, or Egg,
leaves, as we have already explained, a passage to its very centre,
thus enabling the Zoospermes, or male animalculæ, to enter. If both are
perfect and healthy, impregnation is then complete. The first change that
now takes place is observed in the Vitellus, or yellow of the Egg, which
at once forms itself into a mass of little globules; and it is a singular
fact that these are always a fixed even number, generally beginning with
four or six, and so multiplying or doubling—always, however, keeping
the number even. If by chance they should end their self-arrangement
by an odd number, a perfect being could not be formed—the impregnation
would end either in an abortion or an unnatural growth in the Womb. It
generally takes two or three days for the globules to arrange themselves,
and meantime the Zoosperme, or male principle, remains dormant. The
globules soon begin to form themselves either into Testicles or Ovaries,
as the sex may be, of the future being. At the same time myriads of
smaller globules break off from them and spread all round the Zoosperme,
which is soon entirely covered or coated with them. They now grow
together and form the skin. The Zoosperme is supposed to be the head and
spine, and the globules, which thus form the skin, shut out our view from
observing any further formations. The Testicles, or Ovaries, as the case
may be, are now quite prominent, though we cannot yet determine the sex,
even with the most powerful microscope, nor is there any form to the new
being other than the original shape of the male animalculæ.

After the formation of the skin and procreative organs, as stated, the
little being again shows signs of life, and struggles in its Egg until it
frees itself from all the membranous substances which surround it, and
is enabled to turn round at its pleasure. Its movements are frequently
rapid and lively, and they doubtless are necessary to the formations
and changes which soon begin to take place. At the end of twelve days
the Ovum is found to be enlarged to the size of a pea, and its whole
organization may be seen with the naked eye. It is coated with two
membranes, between which is a gelatinous substance, and the interior is
filled with a fluid in which the fœtus swims about at pleasure. On a
close examination, the mouth and eyes can be seen about the fifteenth
day. The eyes first appear on the side of the head, and, as the Fœtus
grows, they move round to their position. In ten days more we see the
future being in form and size like a small ant. At the end of the first
month it has increased to the size of a honey-bee, and the arms begin to
grow—first appearing like small warts on the body. They sprout straight
out, and are then folded together on the breast. At this time the
head is as large as all the rest of the body, and the features can be
distinguished. The legs have not yet appeared, but the lower extremities
are like a tail. At two months the legs and feet appear, the toes being
united similar to frogs’ feet. During the tenth week the eyes show their
lids, the mouth becomes more prominent, and the ears may be seen. The
heart is now fully developed, but as yet contains no blood. The brain
shows its form and substance. The next change brings red blood to the
larger veins and to the heart, and at the end of three months the shape
and form of the future being is nearly perfect, weighing less than three
ounces. The next process of Nature is the thickening of the skin, and so
rapid now is the growth that within one month the Fœtus fully doubles in
weight. During the fourth month the bones begin to ossify, the uterus
rises in the abdomen, and we are then enabled to determine the sex. This
change is what is usually called quickening, and it corresponds with the
time of breaking the shell in birds. At the end of the fifth month the
finger-nails appear, and fine silky hair begins to grow on the head. At
seven months the being is generally perfect, the bones are firm and hard,
and it weighs about three pounds. The intellectual faculties are not
developed, however. The eighth and ninth months merely increase the size
and strength of the child.

Our Engravings show the relative sizes and position of a Fœtus, as it
lies in the Womb, at three several stages of gestation. They are original
drawings from anatomical figures in wax in the New York Anatomical


[Illustration: FŒTUS AT SIX MONTHS.]


The child, previous to birth, never takes nutriment in by its mouth, for
that is always firmly closed until after birth. Its food during gestation
is probably derived from the blood of its mother through the umbilical
cord, or navel-string, which likewise supplies its veins and arteries
until the very hour of birth. An artery and two veins pass through this
cord. There is sometimes an impediment in the circulation of new-born
infants, which is called the blue disease, and for which there is no
remedy. In these cases the body is of a leaden blue color, and the child
appears sleepy and inanimate. Such children usually die before they are a
year old, though sometimes they live four or five years.


Most men are of an amative disposition, and after the age of puberty have
frequent desires to indulge in sexual intercourse. Some feel this desire
so overpoweringly that everything else is forgone, all risks are run, and
consequences madly braved, merely for the gratification of a momentary
passion. Females, on the contrary, are seldom troubled with sexual
desires; and among those who risk their reputation and their social
existence in the gratification of illicit love, few are prompted to the
act by the amative feeling. It is the idea that they are loved, and the
wish to impart pleasure to the loved object, that overpowers their own
judgment. When once a man has gained the love of a true female heart, it
lies in his power to use her person at will. Very few of the weaker sex
can withstand the promptings of disinterested affection; but their sexual
passions seldom lead them astray.

In sexual union, the ecstatic point of enjoyment is termed in
medical phrase the Orgasm, and in some men it is so intense that all
consciousness ceases, and a perfect insensibility to everything around
is produced for the moment. The Orgasm is usually followed by a state of
dreamy languor or exhaustion, which induces sleep. In women the Orgasm is
not always experienced, and some females of cold temperament do not know
what it is, though they are often excited, and feel a certain degree of
pleasure. When it does occur in women, it is often even more intense than
in the other sex, causing convulsive motions and involuntary cries. It
does not exhaust the system, as in the male, and the dreamy languor is
more pleasing, and will often continue for an hour or more. It sometimes
happens that a female of amative desires is never satisfied with one
Orgasm, but craves frequent and repeated intercourse, as the indulgence
does not exhaust her as it does her partner. Such a woman, unless she be
possessed of great moral firmness, is apt either to injure the health of
her husband, or to indulge in illicit love. Happily, cases like this are
rare. The male can have but one perfect Orgasm at the same time, because
he must secrete a new supply of Semen before another can take place.
Men do frequently attempt the second, third, and even more frequent
connections within a few hours, but the subsequent ones are spasmodic and
hurtful. Those who value their health, and desire to enjoy true sexual
pleasure, should never attempt these repetitions, as they permanently
injure the organs, and impart to them an unnatural craving for frequent
intercourse. Two or three days should occur between the periods of sexual
indulgence to enable a man to enjoy it in full perfection. The female
Orgasm, not being produced by any secretion, may be enjoyed without
particular injury, though it is sometimes apt to affect the nerves. In
most females it is very difficult to be produced—in others it will occur
during sleep, and be entirely absent while in the act of coition. Orgasms
in the female may therefore be experienced without the least licentious
idea being entertained. This is sometimes the case with a class of
women called “mediums” by the Spiritualists. The same temperaments are
those which can be put in a mesmeric slumber. Women of great devotional
feeling are generally of this class, though not always. Dr. Hollick
tells us of a lady much addicted to mesmeric practices, who wrote to him
her experience. She confessed that whenever she was capable of being
acted upon, mesmerically, the mesmeric state was always preceded by
sexual excitement—often amounting to a perfect Orgasm—and that if this
feeling was not experienced, she could never be mesmerized. Sometimes so
many Orgasms would follow each other that she would become completely
exhausted and faint away. According to her statement, the mesmeric sleep,
or ecstasy, was nothing but the dreamy languor following a sexual Orgasm.
There are some mysteries connected with these peculiarities of the female
system which Science has thus far failed to discover; but new facts come
to light every day, and it is probable we may yet solve them. The sexual
feeling in females is often curious and peculiar, and I have no doubt
that the mind and imagination control it in some unexplained manner. A
case occurred in France where a female enjoyed the feeling to excess with
one man, while with others she could enjoy nothing, though these latter
persons were quite as agreeable and pleasing to her. This fact shows that
there are persons of opposite sexes naturally adapted to each other, and
where such people marry they are generally happy in the marriage state.

Sexual intercourse is no doubt beneficial to health in all fully
developed persons, and in some females it is actually necessary to
preserve their lives. It is a proper stimulant to the nervous system,
and serves as a sort of safety-valve when the vital functions are too
active. The statistics of the world show that married people are longer
lived on the average than single ones, and it is quite certain that
as a general rule they enjoy more perfect health. M. Pidoux, a French
physician who had practiced extensively in the Nunneries, assures us that
almost invariably the Nuns are afflicted with floodings, with an absence
of their monthly turns, and with other uterine diseases, after they reach
a certain age.

The proper time for sexual indulgence is an important consideration,
inasmuch as carelessness in this respect may tend to dyspepsia,
indigestion, and other affections of the stomach. Persons who are
predisposed to such diseases should never have sexual intercourse just
before eating, nor very soon after a full meal. Its peculiar effect on
the stomach is calculated to weaken digestion, particularly on the part
of the male; and many a miserable dyspeptic might trace his unhappiness
to imprudent acts of sexual intercourse. From two to three hours after
or before eating a full meal, is the proper time for this business. Both
the body and the mind should be calm and at perfect rest—no troubles or
bickerings should disturb the perfect harmony of the amorous pair—nor
should the thoughts be allowed to stray away from the matter at issue.
Tristram Shandy tells us that he owed the whole misfortunes of his life
to an idle remark made by his mother at the very moment of his conception!

A full enjoyment of sexual intercourse depends as much upon the proper
time chosen, the condition of the parties, and their mutual sympathies,
as upon the fact that they are really persons of the opposite sex. It
should not be indulged in except when there is a natural desire and a
vigorous impulse. It should be avoided whenever it tends to produce
a depression of spirits, or the least debility. It should never be
indulged in during intoxication, or where the sexual organs of either
party are diseased or out of order. It ought to be entirely abstained
from during six or seven days after the commencement of the female
monthly turn, and for one month after child-birth. It would be better,
for both mother and child, if no sexual intercourse was indulged in
during the whole period of suckling her infant, but as that abstinence
is not to be expected from ordinary men, I advise as little connection
as possible during that time. And should connection with a suckling
mother prematurely bring on her menses, (as it sometimes does,) she must
immediately wean her child.

Female prostitutes never enjoy their sexual connections with
strangers—they are mere passive instruments—while the male only relieves
himself of a superabundance of Semen. Too frequent intercourse is quite
as unnatural; those who practice it rob themselves of more than half the
pleasure they seek. A man in robust health who has refrained from sexual
pleasures, may, it is true, enjoy such intercourse once in twenty-four
hours for several days together; but he could not attain the full
enjoyment from one female. He must then rest. I speak of the highest
degree of sexual pleasures. Many newly married couples give no limit to
their indulgences; and it is to such that I say, you deny yourselves
of the real pleasures of married life. A little philosophy, and some
experiments on the hints given, would render the married state a state of
more refined pleasures than it now presents to a large class of mankind.

The particular food which is calculated to stimulate the sexual organs
is shell-fish, or sea fish of any kind, and turtle, as these generally
contain phosphorus. Among vegetables may be mentioned celery, parsnips,
onions, peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, Lima beans, &c. Mushrooms and
truffles are a stimulant, as is also mint, sage, pennyroyal, thyme, and
spices of all kinds, especially pepper and nutmeg. Canvas-back Duck, in
proper season, is of excellent stimulating qualities; and for puddings,
sago, tapioca and arrowroot. For drinks take porter and strong beer,
wines, or coffee. Spirits are too exhilerating, and cause a reaction.


The effectual Prevention of Conception is a subject in which everybody is
interested. No class of mankind in civilized life desires an unlimited
number of offspring; yet Nature has made prevention a somewhat difficult
task. Persons of energy and resolution can, however, fully accomplish
their object in this respect if they will but discard the notion that the
delights of sexual intercourse are marred by the withdrawal of the male
organ just before the discharge of Semen takes place. This plan injures
neither party, nor does it really diminish the pleasurable sensations
of the connection. If you once form the _habit_ of withdrawal, you will
find it to be a far more desirable and satisfactory mode than it at first
appears. I know that the plan is discouraged by many physicians, and has
been pronounced a kind of _Onanism_ on the part of the male; but it is
not so. If properly performed, the act of coition is as pleasurable, as
healthy and as complete as it can be when the Semen is fully injected.
The cleanliness of this practice is also a great desideratim, as females
of any degree of refinement can understand. I would then suggest to
married people the following rule: Always carry to bed a clean napkin,
which is to be kept in the hand of the male during the nuptial act. It
will then be a very easy matter to place this napkin in a proper position
to receive the Semen on withdrawal, at the instant it would otherwise be
injected into the body of the female. If you do it at the proper moment,
no pleasure is lost to either party; and habit will soon make you expert
in this respect. This is the most certain mode of preventing conception
that can be adopted, but as it cannot be carried out except by the prompt
action of the husband, other plans are sometimes necessary to give the
wife confidence, and make her feel sure of success. These we will proceed
to explain as minutely as possible.

The judicious use of an ordinary female syringe, with cold water alone,
or a weak solution of white vitriol or other stringent in cold water,
immediately after coition, will in most cases prevent conception. The
syringe must be a large one, if made of metal, and should be filled
several times, and its contents injected as far up as possible. The
India-rubber syringe has of late years nearly superseded metal ones, and
is beautifully adapted to the business of preventing conception. By the
use of this article a female may inject as much fluid as she pleases,
through an elastic tube, quite as far up into her person as is necessary.
The mixture should be prepared beforehand, and, with the syringe, kept
by her bed-side, as success often depends upon promptness in using
it. If used immediately, with a weak solution, as hereinafter stated,
there is very little danger but that a woman may keep herself safe from
child-bearing as long as she pleases. Solutions of Alum, Sulphate of
Zinc, Chloride of Zinc, Sulphate of Iron, &c., will kill the animalculæ
of the Semen, if injected with sufficient force and profuseness. If the
woman rises _instantly_ and performs the duty, she will probably be
successful. If solutions are used in preference to pure cold water, it is
better to use water at last as a rinsing process. The use of the syringe,
so far from injuring the female, keeps the part clean and healthy, and
tends to promote general good health. In commencing this practice, you
should first accustom yourself to the use of cold water by degrees. Use
but little at first, and let it not be too cold. Increase the quantity
and the coldness gradually, until at last the feeling will be refreshing
and agreeable. India-rubber syringes can be purchased at almost any
respectable drug-store in New York, at from two to three dollars. We can
furnish the best article to our customers for three dollars. It is an
instrument that every family should keep in the house to be used in case
of sickness, if for no other purpose.

Either of the following lotions may be used, as we have explained, in
preventing conception. Sulphate of Iron is the favorite article which our
quack doctors recommend. They usually charge five dollars for an ounce
paper of it, including directions for use; whereas the cost in New York,
at a drug-store, is less than fifty cents a pound.

LOTIONS.—1. Dissolve half an ounce, or more, of pulverized Alum in two
quarts of rain-water. If you can get Sulphate of Zinc, put in that with
the Alum, in equal quantities, say a quarter of an ounce each.

2. Two drams (quarter of an ounce) Sulphate of Zinc in two quarts of soft
water. Or, one-third of an ounce will perhaps do better, if used alone.

3. Chloride of Zinc, (liquid,) half a fluid ounce to two quarts of water.
You can buy an ounce phial full, and use half at a time, or a two or four
ounce phial, and use in proportion. If you prefer to make the lotion
stronger, it will do no harm.

4. Take one and a half to two ounces Sulphate of Iron and mix it with two
quarts of soft water. This is a mixture which any New York quack will
charge you from three to five dollars for, and will pretend it is a great
and wonderful secret.

Another plan which the wife may adopt for the prevention of conception is
as follows: Procure a fine sponge at a drug-store, and cut off a piece of
it about the size of a walnut; then make a fine silk string by twisting
together some threads of sewing silk; tie one end of the string to the
piece of sponge; wet the sponge in a weak solution of sulphate of iron,
or of any of the solutions before mentioned as fatal to the animalculæ
of the Semen. Before connection, insert the piece of sponge far up into
your person. You can place it entirely out of the way by the use of a
smooth stick of the proper size and shape. The string will hang out, but
will be no obstacle. After the act is over, you withdraw the sponge,
and if you have a syringe, use that also. This method is pronounced
by some physicians to be a sure one, and the only objection to it is
that it is apt to mar the pleasure experienced by the wife. Some of our
quack doctors charge five dollars for this information. It is true, they
furnish a certain mysterious powder to make a mixture of in which to wet
the sponge used; but the powder is nothing more than sulphate of iron, or
some astringent similar to those named by us.

Coverings for the Penis, which are used in Europe to avoid contracting
sexual diseases from prostitutes, must necessarily prevent conception.
With one of these coverings (which are now made beautifully with a
preparation of India-rubber) a man may be certain that he will never
impregnate his wife. But the enjoyment of the nuptial act is not so
complete as a naked Penis affords, hence the covering, or sheath, is not
very popular. The cost of the best article is about three dollars a dozen.

Some men tie up the scrotum to prevent a discharge of Semen, and thus
hope to avoid impregnating the female; but this method is exceedingly
hurtful, as it forces the discharge into the bladder, from whence it
passes off with the urine. Such a practice will in a short time so
derange the procreative organs as to send all the Semen into the bladder
as fast as it generates, and the effect on health will be a wasting away
of vitality in the same manner as if the patient constantly practiced

I have thus given the only safe methods of preventing conception that
are known. The first one—the withdrawal—is an art to be acquired by the
husband. It is a plan which every person of good breeding should adopt
for its cleanliness alone, if for no other reason. Once habituated to
this precaution while enjoying the nuptial bed, you will wonder how
rational beings can pursue a different course. It is indeed a refinement
of social intercourse—a triumph of mind which thus controls even the laws
and instincts of our nature!


One of the greatest evils to mankind is a too free sexual indulgence by
young men and boys. It not only injures their vital powers, but affects
their intellects. Parents should watch their boys to observe whether they
are of amorous temperament. If they are found to be so, a prudent person
can find means to persuade or prevent their indulgence of sexual passion.
If a boy is allowed free and habitual intercourse with females before he
has attained his growth, it will not only prevent the full development
of his body, but also of his intellect. This is a well known fact in
physiology; and by this very means many youths, who would otherwise
become distinguished, have settled down into mediocrity, with scarcely
sufficient energy of character to earn a livelihood. In a certain family
in one of the country towns on the Hudson River, three sons were born.
The two oldest afterwards became distinguished men. It was a family that
inherited naturally the fine talents of their father, combined with the
extraordinary robust and nervous energy of the mother. It was impossible
that such a couple could produce other than intellectual and vigorous
offspring. The third son, up to the age of twelve or thirteen years,
promised to be the flower of the family. His education was progressing
favorably. He was the pride of his parents. Years rolled along, and it
seemed as though the boy stood still at thirteen or fourteen. He was
amiable, and learned his lessons well enough, but all the energy and fire
of youth seemed to have vanished. He did not care to join in the manly
sports of his elder brothers, but in a listless and dreamy mood preferred
to stay at home. His parents began to have fears for his health,
though he did not complain. The father finally took him to New York,
and consulted a physician of eminence. The doctor asked some questions
relative to his habits, but the simple and candid answers of the lad
did not lead to anything explaining the real cause of his malady. At
parting, the physician said to his father, that if the lad lived in New
York, he should pronounce his case one of too early sexual indulgence,
unless he practiced the silent vice of Onanism. “Are there no females in
your neighborhood with whom the lad could by any possibility associate?”
inquired the doctor. “He never goes in company at all,” was the reply.
“What servants have you?” “Two excellent girls who have been years in
the family—the idea of an illicit association there is preposterous.”
“His mother is positive that he does not practice the solitary habit?”
“Yes!” “Well, I can do nothing for him; but yet I would like to see the
boy again. With your permission I will run up to your place in a week or
two.” “We shall be happy to see you.”

The doctor found out the secret of the boy’s malady within twenty-four
hours after his arrival. He had cohabited constantly with one of the
maids from the age of twelve and a half years until he was sixteen!
The lad was saved only because of his youth. He partially outgrew this
severe shock to his nervous system; but yet never fully developed the
intellectual powers with which Nature had endowed him. Young men who
marry too soon are in the same category. There is not one in a dozen who
is fully developed even at twenty-one years of age.

The case of the son of Napoleon I., Emperor of the French, was similar to
that above related. At the age of fifteen or sixteen he began his career
of sexual indulgence, which ended his life at the early age of twenty-one
years. He, too, was an amiable, inoffensive and studious youth—beloved
by his grandfather and by the whole Austrian Court; and though the son
of the most energetic man that modern times has produced, yet, from
his quiet and effeminate life, he scarcely attracted the least public

The present Sultan of Turkey is a living evidence of the effects of too
early indulgence in sexual intercourse. He is the son of a brave and
vigorous soldier, and with proper culture would doubtless have become
a great and good man. ABDUL MEDJID has been over twenty years on the
Turkish throne, and has hitherto impressed those who came in contact
with him simply as a weak and indolent young man, with good intentions,
but with neither nerve nor energy to carry them out. It was generally
believed, and with good reason, that in his case, as in that of so many
others of his race, the sensual indulgence begun in his boyhood had
destroyed every trace of masculine decision. No one who watched his
dreamy, listless expression, and saw his relaxed muscles, and lolling
attitude as he rode on horseback through the streets, could help feeling
that he reigned rather in virtue of foreign support than of his own
ability to command obedience.


It was not our intention in this work to speak of Onanism and
Masturbation. These unnatural practices are so generally known to be
destructive to the sexual powers, and of health, that young people
scarcely need advice on the subject. But it may be interesting to know
the results of such practices, and of the abuse of the sexual organs by
over indulgence. Some constitutions experience a sort of consumption
which arises from the dorsal portion of the spinal marrow. No fever
accompanies it, the appetite continues good, but the patient gradually
wastes away. Women thus affected describe a crawling sensation down the
spine. Men lose their seminal fluid in their urine, having a ringing in
the ears, a weakness of vision, near-sightedness, and their intellectual
capacities are weakened and confused. In short, the whole nervous
system is generally prostrated. Excess of venery is likewise the first
exciting cause of many painful diseases, such as rheumatism, neuralgia,
epilepsy, convulsions, &c. Young married people are apt to indulge too
much in sexual intercourse, and many a man lives a life of misery from
ill health originated in this manner. Women are not affected so much by
over indulgence as by Masturbation. Delicacy not allowing an ardent woman
to tell her husband of her needs, she is apt to relieve herself by this
unnatural practice. There are, however, but few women who crave sexual
intercourse. The excess is generally on the part of the man. Moderation
in sexual pleasures is the key to health in a great many cases where
the patient is hopelessly lamenting his sad fate. Sometimes a man will
indulge to excess without experiencing much inconvenience, when suddenly
a fit of palsy or epilepsy prostrates him, and leaves him a hopeless
invalid for life. I remember an interesting case in point. A man of
robust health and strong sexual powers, married at the age of nineteen.
From that time until the age of forty-five, he lived temperately, was
regular in his habits, and never knew a day of sickness. He had always
the reputation of being fond of a variety of women—indeed, this seemed
to be the one passion of his life, for he dissipated a handsome property
in settling crim. con. suits, and paying for bastard children. As he
advanced in years his passion seemed to increase, and it was said that
he supported five different mistresses at the time of the occurrence of
the event I am now about to relate. One day when he was writing a letter,
he felt a peculiar twitching of the forefinger with which he held his
pen. This twitching sensation increased so much that he called on me for
advice. I replied, “Let the women alone, for that is a symptom of palsy.”
Within two days thereafter he was struck down and lost the use of his
hands, his right arm, and partially of his right side. Ten years have
passed, and this man, who had previously enjoyed excellent health, is
still as helpless as on the first day of his misfortune. He has consulted
distinguished physicians—American, French and German—but there is no help
for him. All agree that relief is impossible, but that he may live for
many years an imbecile, palsied man.

To sum up: If you wish to maintain your intellectual faculties intact—to
enjoy good health—to be cheerful in the decline of life—to keep your
strength, your imagination, your memory, and your eye-sight unimpaired,
refrain from too frequent intercourse with women. Once a week is
quite often enough for this indulgence, and more than twice a week is
positively hurtful. Some men may sneer at this advice, perhaps; but
to such we say, look back upon your life. Are you as perfect, both
physically and intellectually, as you would have been had you curbed your
sexual desires?


There is one phase of sexual matters that physiological writers seldom
allude to, but which should be understood by married people, viz.:
the position of their bodies during the nuptial act. Any unnatural
performance of this act is apt to impair the health of the female,
and many women have been seriously injured and rendered miserable for
life by the beastliness of their husbands in this respect. Unnatural
positions will cause derangements and bearing down of the womb, produce
fluor albus, or whites, and sometimes will originate tumors and fungi in
the private parts. A woman of delicate mould and constitution might be
fatally injured in this manner; and no female, however robust, can enjoy
sexual intercourse except in the position intended by Nature. For a full
and perfect enjoyment of sexual pleasures, there must be first a mutual
fondness or sentimental feeling, called love. Where this does not exist,
the married pair should, in their associations, endeavor to be in as good
humor as possible, and to tolerate each other’s caresses with the hope
that love may grow between them. Marriages have occurred where the bride
felt an antipathy almost amounting to disgust towards the embraces of
her husband, but afterwards, on a close intimacy and free acquaintance,
became not only reconciled, but really fond of him. Delicacy and
watchfulness on the part of the husband will often enable him to make
himself agreeable to a woman who at first has no sympathy with him
whatever. From the peculiar organization of females, there are times when
a husband’s caresses may be unpleasant and irksome even to a loving wife:
if he is reasonable and consciencious, he will not fail to observe this,
and will abstain from intruding on her privicy on such occasions.

A man who will force his caresses upon his wife can be ranked only
with “the brutes that perish.” Of this class also are those who “go
in unto their wives” after the manner of brutes. The natural position
to which we have alluded suggests itself to every married pair who
possess the most remote particle of love for each other. But to make it
unmistakable, we would say, that the female should lie upon her back,
with her legs straight down—or if the legs are raised, they should be
but slightly elevated. All other positions are unnatural and unhealthy.
I could illustrate this fact by several cases in point, but the details
are too disgusting. Suffice it then to say, that I have known females
suffering from painful diseases caused by sexual connection in a standing
position—in a position where their partners approached them from behind,
and also in one case where the woman was forced or persuaded to lie on
her back with her knees up against her chest. No female can desire such
intercourse as this, because she cannot enjoy it. It is therefore the
libidinous antics of her companion that compels her to it. Very few men
of decent breeding require the caution I have here given, but if there be
half-a-dozen who profit by it, I shall be compensated for thus alluding
to a delicate subject.


It is wisely ordered by Nature that genius, and a high order of
intellect, shall not, as a general rule, descend to children. If mankind
could impart to offspring an intellectual superiority, we should
probably have too many geniuses in the world, and too few workers. The
animal propensities, the peculiar disposition, the various passions,
the form, features, &c.—these, and other peculiarities of parents are
always transmitted to their children; but that lofty, soul-inspiring
sentimentality which enlarges the reasoning faculties and bestows mental
distinction upon its recipients, seems to be a peculiar gift from the
Deity itself.

Some physiologists assert that Nature does not endow the children of
distinguished men so bountifully as those of less exalted capacities,
and assign as a reason that great minds have their weaknesses and their
follies, which are apt to show themselves in a marked manner at the
moment they are begetting their children. I do not endorse this doctrine,
but suspect that men are beholden rather to their mothers than to their
paternal parents for whatever intellectual gifts God, in his wisdom, has
bestowed upon them. A healthy, well developed, and naturally intelligent
woman will have smart and intellectual children, even though her husband
may be a ninny. If you want intelligent children, then, look you out a
wife who has a soul above street yarn and love stories. But should you
select the best woman from a thousand, you will scarcely find in her a
wife capable of breeding you a very moderate genius. It is thought by
some people that the state of the intellect at the moment of the nuptial
act marks the mind of the child. I do not believe this; for if a crop of
geniuses could be raised by minds specially tutored for the occasion, who
doubts but that the world would be full of them?

In looking for a mother for his children, a man should seek a woman
of different temperament from himself. If he is lymphatic and good
natured, let him find a wife who is nervous and irritable; and _vice
versa_. If he be of a sandy complexion, or fair-haired, with blue eyes,
let him choose one of those luscious brunettes, with flashing black
eyes, and a resolution as firm as a rock. On the contrary, if he be dark
complexioned, impatient and passionate, let him sacrifice and enslave
a mild and blue-eyed blonde of the cold North. Choose you always a
woman of intellect, and if with that, you have one of a temperament and
complexion opposite to your own, your children will be distinguished for
something—they will not live a life of drudgery and dependence—and they
_may be_ geniuses. The selection of a conjugal partner is one of the most
important events of life, in either man or woman. Too little attention is
generally paid to it.


In the course of this treatise we have alluded to the Temperaments of
different individuals, and it may therefore be interesting to describe
them. A person of a Lymphatic temperament has a languid, good-natured
look, sleepy eyes, and the face is soft, round and full. A Sanguine
temperament is represented by an earnest, anxious countenance,
large intelligent eyes, prominent nose, robust health, and a strong
constitution. The Bilious temperament usually presents a strong marked
countenance, yellow skin, bulging eyes, projecting lips, full muscular
habit, and not very fleshy. Persons of Nervous temperament are usually
(though not always) thin and spare: their features are firm set, lines of
countenance harsh, constitution delicate, and intellectual qualities of
the first order.

Men of genius may be ranked as follows: Sanguine-nervous are usually
great writers, divines, musicians, or artists. Sanguine-bilious,
great generals, politicians, statesmen, inventors, business men, or
distinguished in any calling requiring much energy and industry.
Sanguine-lymphatic are frequently persons of great talent, enterprise,
and distinction, and are generally long lived; but they seldom make any
considerable display of their abilities, or become men of mark.

Lazy, inefficient and irresolute people, are in most cases
constitutionally so from a lack of sanguinity in their temperaments. Some
men and women are so constituted that they never can rise above drudges
in society; for if they are industrious they have no confidence in


It is well known that marriages between near relatives produce unhealthy
and imperfect children, but the causes of such a result are not generally
understood. These causes extend far beyond the circle of a family, for it
is quite as improper for two persons of the same temperament to marry, as
it would be for a brother and a sister. The laws of the Temperaments of
the human family may be enumerated as follows:

1st. When both parties to a marriage are constitutionally the same, there
will probably be no children.

2d. The vital elements are incompatible with each other, and if children
are born to parents who are alike in this respect, they will probably be
idiotic, or rachitic.[1]

3d. When parties who marry are nearly alike—if their temperaments differ
only in part—they will have children who may live to adult age, but
who will then probably die of tubercular phthisis (consumption). In
illustration of this, I have known whole families of children to be taken
off by consumption between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-seven years,
where this disease had not previously existed in the families of the
parents or their progenitors.

4th. If the constitutions of a married couple assimilate to the extent
of one-half, their children will be apt to die before the first seven
years. The diseases of such children are tubercles in the glands of the
intestines, or in the membranes of the brain.

5th. When persons marry who are alike in temperament, and whose
constitutions materially differ, a majority of their children will be
still-born, and none will probably live to be two years old.

6th. When one of the parties to a marriage is exclusively vital, and the
other similar, but of a nervous and melancholy turn, the children will
generally be promising.

7th. To produce smart and healthy children, one of the parties should be
of sanguine-bilious temperament, with good vitality, and the other of a
quiet, lymphatic turn.

Scrofulous forms of disease result exclusively from marriages illustrated
by the first five laws above given. More than half the children that die
are those of constitutionally incompatible parents. People who live in
health to a good old age, owe more to their parents giving them a sound
constitution than to any efforts of their own to preserve health. So many
diseases are traced by skillful physicians to improper marriages, that
the study of Physiology, and of the human temperaments, seems to be as
necessary to young people as the most common branches of education.

Fortunately for the human race, marriages are oftener contracted from
instinct than from motives of policy; and individuals of opposite
temperaments are apt to experience that natural attraction towards
each other that results in marriage. But marriages of interest are
still occurring sufficiently frequent to fill our lunatic, idiot, and
deaf-and-dumb asylums, and we are glad to notice that the subject is
attracting attention, and that new laws are proposed to prevent the
marriage of blood relatives.

It is also proper to state that there should not be an extreme
disproportion in stature between a married pair. A delicate, slightly
formed, small woman, whose pelvis is small, should not marry a large
robust man. If she does, her offspring will be too large for her to
bring into the world without much suffering, and sometimes mutilation,
and destruction of health. This is also the fate of many girls of small
stature who become mothers at too early an age, and before the hip and
other bones, which form the cavity through which the infant comes into
the world, is sufficiently developed.

Early marriages (if not too early) are better than late ones, for the
natural state of mankind, after puberty, is a rational association of the
two sexes. Woman was adorned by Providence with her graces and charms
to delight the opposite sex, and she possesses those graces in full
perfection only while she is young. At that period she is indued with
power to give and to inherit a sort of terrestrial paradise, to multiply
her species, and to become matron, queen, and mother. Her early ripeness
proves that it was the intention of Providence that mankind, while young,
should settle in matrimony, and exercise those gifts which reproduce
their equals. In many young people the marriage state, when properly
enjoyed, augments the energies of the sanguineous system; the distended
arteries carry warmth and animation through the body; the muscles become
vigorous; the walk is more free; the voice firmer—in short, both men and
women by this means improve their health, strength and beauty, and assist
the development of their intellectual faculties.

[1] Softening and distortion of the bones.


The base of the brain is the source and foundation of motion, thinking,
and feeling in the human body. The breadth of it indicates the vigor,
and its depth the tenacity of life. Men generally have the base of the
brain more developed than women, and as a consequence exhibit, in both
body and mind, more of what is called force of character. A man whose
brain is very full at the base, seldom, if ever, suffers from chronic
forms of disease, and never dies from consumption, except in old age
when the brain is decayed. His ailings will be confined to inflammatory
diseases, gout and rheumatism. Men of this class are never drudges. They
are usually energetic, either for good or evil, and are more apt to be
leaders of their fellow-men than otherwise. Vital force is as necessary
to the promotion of health as pure blood. Those who are deficient of it
sooner or later become afflicted with some functional form of disease.
Intellectual men of this class usually pursue the profession of a
minister, a physician or a college professor, though they make very
indifferent doctors or teachers. They do not possess sufficient force
or energy of character to make their talents and worth appreciated by
the multitude. The trustees of schools and colleges employ them without
making any inquiries as to their ability to govern youth, and the
consequence is frequent difficulties and fruitless disputes with their


The depth of the base of the brain is a true index of vital tenacity,
or duration of life in any individual. This depth varies in different
persons from less than a quarter of an inch up to an inch and a
quarter.[2] A full inch in an individual fifty years of age indicates
a life of eighty or ninety years. One-half to five-eighths of an inch
shows that though the person may live many years, yet he has not the
vital power to resist formidable assaults of disease. And those persons
whose base of brain presents a depth of less than half an inch, must be
exceedingly careful of their health, and may expect to die from the most
trivial cause. On the contrary, those with three-fourths of an inch, and
above it, will probably survive the most powerful attacks of disease.
The base of the brain, being the seat of vitality in all animals, the
exact size of it shows the quantum of life possessed by any individual.
Hereditary diseases may be excepted, in certain cases.

[2] Take a piece of twine and pass it from the outer corner of each
eye around the back of the head, letting it touch the most projecting
protuberance on the hind part of the skull. The distance between this
line and the ear-hole gives the depth alluded to.


Almost every married woman considers the stoppage of her usual monthly
turns a warning that she is in the family way; and this will hold true in
nine cases out of ten. Nevertheless, in some women the menses continue
for a couple of months or more after impregnation takes place. So, also,
there are many other causes for the suppression of the menses, and the
failure of the monthly turn is not, therefore, conclusive evidence of
impregnation. Other peculiarities may be noticed which will go to confirm
the fact, and one is an enlargement of the neck. Singular as this may
appear, it is true: and some married ladies keep the exact measure of
their necks so as to be able to detect this sign. Pains similar to colic,
fainting fits, shuddering and creeping of the skin, longings for unusual
food and drinks, loss of appetite, morning sickness, fretfulness and
peevishness, hysteria, and a dozen other changes in the feelings, temper
or desires of a woman, are strong presumptive signs of conception.

The breasts, being always in sympathy with the womb, usually begin to
enlarge a little, the nipples become hard, and their color turns from
the usual delicate pink to a chestnut brown, with little dots or pimples
on the circle. This alteration in the nipple must be closely observed to
indicate positive pregnancy, as it frequently becomes dark from other
causes. The hue occasioned by conception is peculiar to itself, and is a
sure indication that gestation has commenced.

Soon after conception, in some females, the face and eyelids will
swell; and many girls are suspected from this cause alone by their more
experienced sisters. Others are warned of their condition by flying
pains, palpitations, &c., and by pains at the top of the head. If the
urine be kept in a clean vessel for several days, and a white scum arises
at the top, this is considered by some physicians as conclusive evidence
of pregnancy.

When a woman has become pregnant, the white line on the abdomen,
extending from the navel to the pubis, becomes darker, and the navel
itself swells out a little. The mucus membrane which lines the Vagina,
which is usually of a delicate rose color, turns blue or purple.

The above are the most prominent and conclusive evidences of conception
during the first three months, though some of them may not be experienced
until a later period. At the end of thirteen weeks the enlargement of the
womb begins to develop itself so as to leave no doubt whatever of the
interesting situation of the lady. In some cases even this enlargement is
the result of other causes; and should a doubt exist, an examination by a
physician, or any experienced person who can feel the mouth of the womb
with a finger, will determine the state of the case. The mouth closes and
contracts together immediately after conception, and this condition of it
can be easily detected if the finger be applied in the right place. If
the mouth of the womb is not closed, then the enlargement is surely from
other causes.


A healthy and natural birth usually takes place after the fifteenth day
of the ninth month of pregnancy. It may be delayed until the end of the
month, but is seldom so protracted. Shortly before labor is to commence,
the belly sinks, and the hitherto snug-fitting dress will become loose.
This is caused by the descent of the womb into the bottom of the belly.
The motions and weight of the child are also felt to be lower than usual,
and if in a natural position, the head will fall down to the orifice of
the womb, and press upon it. This drives forward the membranes which
restrain the water at the orifice, and at the proper moment they break,
and labor then commences.

Labor is caused by involuntary contractions of the uterus and abdominal
muscles. By their force the liquor amnii flows out, the head of the fœtus
is engaged in the pelvis, it goes through it, and soon passes out by the
valve, the folds of which disappear. These different phenomena take place
in succession, and continue a certain time: they are accompanied with
pains more or less severe, with swelling and softening of the soft parts
of the pelvis and external genital parts, and with an abundant mucous
secretion in the cavity of the vagina. All these circumstances, each in
its own way, favor the passage of the fœtus.

The precursory signs of labor are as follows: Two or three days before
it is to commence, a flow of mucus takes place from the vagina, and the
external genital parts swell and become softer: it is the same with the
ligaments that unite the bones of the pelvis; the mouth of the womb
flattens, its opening is enlarged, its edges become thinner, and slight
pains, known under the name of _flying pains_, are felt in the loins
and abdomen. At the next stage pains begin to be felt in the lower
part of the back, or lumbar region, and tend towards the womb, or the
rectum: these occur at intervals of fifteen to thirty minutes, and each
is accompanied with contraction of the womb, and tension of its neck,
which begins to open. If a finger is now introduced into the vagina, a
considerable tumor may be felt, which is a protrusion of the membrane
coverings of the fœtus, containing the first waters. The pains gradually
become stronger up to the time when the membranes break, and labor
actually begins.

The uterus now contracts on itself, and is applied to the surface of
the fœtus. Soon the pains and contractions of the uterus increase
considerably, and are accompanied by the contraction of the abdominal
muscles. The woman should favor this state of things by making all the
muscular efforts in her power, (straining.) As the labor progresses,
her pulse will become stronger and more frequent; her face becomes
animated; her eyes grow brighter; her whole body is in extreme agitation;
perspiration flows in abundance; until the head of the child descends
into the lower strait of the pelvis.

At this stage there is a discharge of whitish matter from the vagina,
and pains occur which extend from the small of the back, or loins, and
the groins, down towards the front, or private parts; and sometimes the
membranes will even protrude through the external opening. Presently a
strong pain comes on, crack go the membranes, the liquor amnii gushes
out with a rush, deluging the bed. After this there are longer intervals
between the pains, and on the midwife’s introducing her finger, she can
feel the head of the child. As the pains increase in intensity, the
patient is apt to scream, though some women of firmness will suppress
their feelings: she lays hold of a towel, which is commonly fastened to
the bed-post for this purpose, and bears down with all her might: her
pulse now is rapid, and her skin is hot; the process still goes bravely
on; the pains are now more frequent, stronger and lasting.

The head of the child now gradually descends lower and lower in the
vagina until it presses on the perinœum, or outer edge of the private
part adjoining the anus. In this stage of the labor an inexperienced
midwife would think that a few pains more would expel the child, but
although the head rests upon the perinœum, and shows itself at the
external orifice, yet it may be some hours before it is expelled,
more especially if it is a first child; but if the second or third,
half-a-dozen more pains will generally be sufficient to complete the

During this time the woman usually suffers some from head-ache, looks
intensely red in the face, and often experiences a trembling of the lower

The outer passage will now begin to enlarge gradually, and the head
appears. When it is advanced as far as its ears, it is said to be “in the
passage.” When the birth has advanced one-third, the midwife may assist
the expulsion if she chooses, though Nature alone would accomplish it.
When the child is born, the midwife should lay it upon her knees, with
its face down, so as to give exit to the mucus, waters, &c., from the
mouth, if any has been imbibed, which is most generally the case.

Now that the child is born, there is a freedom from pain and the mother
feels rejoiced at the sudden transition from severe suffering to
comparative ease. In about ten minutes she again begins to experience
pains, which are, however, slight, or less violent than before, in
the region of the uterus, coming and going about every five minutes.
On examination, the accoucheuse will find a quantity of clotted blood
expelled, and on passing up the finger along the cord, she will discover
the after-birth, or placenta, as it is called, forced into the upper
part of the vagina. If not attached to the womb, which is easily known
by carefully pulling at the cord, the midwife will separate it gently,
by introducing her hand. The navel-string must be divided as soon as the
child is born; which may be done with a pair of scissors, having first
tied a string as well on the child’s side of the cord as the mother’s, to
prevent hemorrhage. The placenta being taken away, the labor is now over.

An hour after, let the mother take a little oil of sweet almonds, to
ease the after pains; and let a poultice of oil of sweet almonds, and
two or three new-laid eggs, be boiled together, and laid to the parts,
renewing at every six hours for two days. Fifteen days after the birth,
the parts may be bathed with an astringent decoction of red roses, alum,
or nut-galls in red wine, in order to brace them. The following is the
formula I usually employ: Red-rose-leaves, 1 ounce; Alum, 2 drams;
Ordinary Claret, half a pint. Put them into a sauce-pan and let them
boil for five or ten minutes. After having stood for fifteen or twenty
minutes to cool, strain, and apply warm to the parts.

The above is a brief description of a healthy delivery; and such are
the usual ones. In some cases, however, the labor may be tedious and
difficult, when the lower part of the belly must be covered with a
flannel cloth dipped in a hot decoction of bitter herbs, as tanzy, hops,
wormwood and catnep, of each a small handful, to which put three pints of
equal parts vinegar and water; boil for half an hour in a covered vessel.
Wring the flannel out and apply warm over the region of the womb, which
will relieve the tension and ease the pain, besides gently stimulating
the uterus to contract more forcibly on its contents, whereby the labor
is facilitated.

Stimulating injections by the bowels, may now and then be
administered—especially if the woman be at all costive. The midwife
should also push back with her longest finger the os coxygis, which tends
to excite the labor and ease the pain. If the parts are in a stiff,
straitened condition, as in the first child, especially if the woman is
not young, emollient liniments are to be used, and the parts must be
anointed with fresh butter or oil, and to be dilated gently with the
hand. If there is a tumor, carbuncle, or membrane opposing the birth, the
assistance of an experienced surgeon is required.

Always in difficult labors, the patient should be made as cheerful as
possible by her friends, by the recital of lively and amusing anecdotes,
and by every species of encouragement in their power; as a depressed and
melancholy state of mind invariably retards the labor.

Women in labor, who have a languid circulation and a weak constitution,
are benefited by cordials and good nourishment. Let half a glass of wine
be given every two hours, which will invigorate the system, and render
the action of the uterus more powerful.

If the feet present first, the midwife must be very cautious lest there
be twins, and lest she should take a foot of each. The feet must be
wrapped in a dry napkin, and the child must be drawn gently, till the
waist is in the orifice of the uterus. Then the infant’s hands must
be drawn down close to the sides; and if the nose be turned towards
the pubic bone in front, it should be placed in an opposite direction
to prevent any obstacle. If the chin is embarrassed, the midwife must
disengage it, by putting her finger into the mouth, in order to turn to
advantage. In case the infant’s head presents across the passage, or
laterally, it must be gently thrust back, and carefully turned to its
natural situation. If the shoulder presents, the same _tact_ and talent
must be employed, although the difficulty is greater. If the belly, hip,
or thigh appears first, the child must be extricated by gentle traction
made at the feet, and the mother must lie flat on her back. If one or
both hands are directed upward, above the head, and lie close to it,
the case is not so bad as some would apprehend; for they will keep the
orifice equally dilated till the head passes, and thus prevent strangling.

When the fœtus dies before the time of birth, and the membranes are not
yet ruptured, it will not putrefy; therefore the work must be left to
Nature, for the pains of labor will at length come on spontaneously.
Baudelocque says, if the navel-cord first appears, and is compressed soon
after by the head of the infant, its life is in danger; and the remedy
is to return the infant, and reduce the cord, till the head fills the
opening. But if this cannot be done, the woman must be put in a suitable
posture, and the child must be extracted by the feet.

When the _placenta_ first presents itself, which is known by its spongy,
soft texture, and the great quantity of blood flowing at the same time,
it requires speedy assistance. If the membranes are entire, they should
be broken, the placenta and membranes should be returned into the
uterus, and the child be extracted by the feet (which is more readily
effected in the membranes than in the uterus), and put into a proper
situation. When there is a great flow of blood from untoward accidents,
the infant should be immediately delivered by art, though the mother be
not in true labor.

I would caution all how they use the instruments when the mouth of the
womb is not fully opened, and never to resort to them unless actually
compelled to do so by some serious danger which is to be apprehended from
delay. Many cases of this kind do occur, it is true, in large cities, if
one happens to have a large practice in this branch of the Healing Art.


The anxiety of a woman who desires to avoid pregnancy will often lead her
to such dangerous extremes that she is ready to risk health, and even
life itself, rather than become a mother. Hence she earnestly seeks the
means to destroy her unborn child. When this is done so early that the
fœtus cannot live, it is called an abortion. After the sixth or seventh
month, it is a miscarriage. Abortions are always dangerous, though
some females get over them without much suffering or harm. The most
propitious periods for an abortion are at three, five, and six months.
Both abortions and miscarriages are brought about by irregularities of
conduct, such as too eager gratification of sexual desires, remaining
too long in a warm bath, lacing the corsets too tight, violent exercise,
such as dancing, riding a hard trotting horse, romping, jumping long
distances, &c. Any of these imprudences will be apt to kill the fœtus,
which will soon thereafter be expelled from the womb. Women know the
moment the fœtus dies, for it falls to the bottom of the abdomen and lies
there a dead weight, feeling like a foreign substance in the body.

Sudden and unexpected violence, such as falling down stairs, or being
knocked down unexpectedly, will produce abortion or miscarriage, but
as these mishaps would be a severe shock to the nervous system, they
endanger the life of the mother. Any unnatural efforts to produce
abortion, such as forcing the mouth of the womb, or taking powerful
medicines, are also dangerous, as these may cause flooding that cannot be
stopped. Bleeding too freely will bring on an abortion in some women, and
on others will have no effect.

Ergot of Rye is sometimes given by physicians to produce abortion in
the early stages of gestation. It is the diseased seeds of the common
rye, called grown rye. It acts specifically on the uterus, or womb,
increasing its contractile energy. Ergot is not only a powerful promoter
of abortions and miscarriages, but it is given to women as a stimulant to
uterine action during labor, and also to check hemorrhage. The dose, in
powder, is fifteen to twenty grains repeated every twenty minutes until
the desired effect is produced, or until one dram is taken. Or, a dram of
ergot may be infused in four fluid ounces of boiling water, and one-third
taken as a dose, and the other two doses (if necessary) at intervals of
twenty minutes. On some women it will produce not only abortion at three
or five months, but even a miscarriage, particularly when the fœtus is
male. There is no doubt that many women can escape child-bearing by the
use of ergot, but it would be better for any one to get it from her
family physician, who would know something of her constitution, than to
pay a hundred times its worth to a quack, and perhaps endanger life or
health by taking more than is prudent, and at an improper time. Oil of
Tansey is another article used to bring on the monthly turn, and in some
cases it will stop the course of gestation if taken at the time the turn
is due. Two or three drops only are necessary for a dose. In some women,
a considerable dose will cause a miscarriage at three months.

Abortions are sometimes produced under the direction of physicians by
inserting a small hand up into the Vagina, and feeling for the mouth
of the Womb with the finger. A little extract of Belladonna is used
to promote the relaxation of its mouth, and by the most gentle means
possible the finger may force a passage, when flooding at once ensues,
and the fœtus will generally be expelled soon after. Women who submit to
this operation run some risk of losing their lives, and hence a physician
will seldom endanger his reputation by advising it, except in extreme
perilous cases.

Abortions and Miscarriages being in collision with Nature’s laws, should
never be resorted to except in extreme cases, and then only under medical


Many quack doctors advertise medicines to stimulate the procreative
powers, and thus create a desire for sexual intercourse. These are sold
at enormous prices, and are often useless, for the reason that the
venders of them cannot know anything at all of their patients, and must
fix the dose so as to suit the most delicate temperament for fear of
injurious effects. The drugs used for this purpose are sold by every
apothecary, and indeed at almost any country store. We will mention some
of them:

_Cannabis Indica_ is the principal article used in making love powders.
It acts powerfully on the nerves, excites the sexual organs, and
increases their activity. The quantity to be taken differs with different
persons—too large a dose producing extraordinary excitement and sexual
desire, which is followed by corresponding prostration, both mental and
physical. The proper use of this drug is not detrimental to health.

_Phosphorus_ is another article used in making preparations to excite
the sexual organs. It has a disagreeable smell, and must necessarily
be disguised as much as possible. It is powerful in its effects, and
has frequently been known to excite women so furiously as to make them
discard all prudence and abandon themselves to licentious indulgence.
Phosphorated Oil of Almonds, flavored with bergamot, can be introduced
into almost any gelatinous substance to disguise the taste of the
phosphorus. Dose, from five to ten drops of the oil.

_Ether_ will affect some females very curiously, making them amorous and
imparting a strong desire to cohabit with their husbands. On some, again,
it has no such effect at all. The dose of Nitrous Ether is from ten to
forty drops; or if you prefer Sweet Spirits of Nitre, take half a fluid
dram up to twelve drams.

_Strong Coffee_ is a direct stimulant of the generative organs, and if
taken in large quantities does not fail to produce marked effects.

_Ergot of Rye_ is taken by some women to bring on their expected monthly
turn when they fear they may have become pregnant. It acts as a stimulant
and an invigorater of the sexual powers. Dose, in powder, fifteen to
twenty grains.

_Saltpetre_ acts also as a stimulant to the sexual organs, and causes a
desire to cohabit. It is taken in daily doses of five to ten grains, in
the form of purified Nitrate of Potassa.

_Cantharides_, or Spanish Flies, is a direct stimulant of the sexual
feeling in some people. It is taken as a tincture, in doses of ten to
twenty drops, and should be used with great caution.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Book of Nature - Containing information for young people who think of getting - married, on the philosophy of procreation and sexual - intercourse, showing how to prevent conception and to avoid - child-bearing: also, rules for management during labor and - child-birth" ***

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