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Title: Plain Facts for Old and Young

Author: John Harvey Kellogg

Release date: November 27, 2006 [eBook #19924]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Ron Swanson


The Sanitarium at Battle Creek, Mich.

Dr. Kellog










Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D.C.


The publishers of this work offer no apology for presenting it to the reading public, since the wide prevalence of the evils which it exposes is sufficient warrant for its publication. The subjects with which it deals are of vital consequence to the human race; and it is of the utmost importance that every effort should be made to dispel the gross ignorance which almost universally prevails, by the wide diffusion, in a proper manner, of information of the character contained in this volume.

This book has been written not for the young only, nor for any single class of persons, but for all who are old enough to be capable of understanding and appreciating it. The prime object of its preparation has been to call attention to the great prevalence of sexual excesses of all kinds, and the heinous crimes resulting from some forms of sexual transgression, and to point out the terrible results which inevitably follow the violation of sexual law.

In order to make more clear and comprehensible the teachings of nature respecting the laws regulating the sexual function, and the evils resulting from their violation, it has seemed necessary to preface the practical part of the subject by a concise description of the anatomy of reproduction. In this portion of the work especial pains has been taken to avoid anything like indelicacy of expression, yet it has not been deemed advisable to sacrifice perspicuity of ideas to any prudish notions of modesty. It is hoped that the reader will bear in mind that the language of science is always chaste in itself, and that it is only through a corrupt imagination that it becomes invested with impurity. The author has constantly endeavored to impart information in the most straightforward, simple, and concise manner.

The work should be judiciously circulated, and to secure this the publishers will take care to place it in the hands of agents competent to introduce it with discretion; yet it may be read without injury by any one who is sufficiently mature to understand it. Great care has been taken to exclude from its pages those accounts of the habits of vicious persons, and descriptions of the mechanical accessories of vice, with which many works upon sexual subjects abound.

The first editions of the work were issued with no little anxiety on the part of both author and publishers as to how it would be received by the reading public. It was anticipated that no little adverse criticism, and perhaps severe condemnation, would be pronounced by many whose education and general mode of thought had been such as to unfit them to appreciate it; but it was hoped that persons of more thoughtful and unbiased minds would receive the work kindly, and would readily co-operate with the publishers in its circulation. This anticipation has been more than realized. Wherever the book has been introduced, it has met with a warm reception; and of the several thousand persons into whose hands the work has been placed, hundreds have gratefully acknowledged the benefit which they have received from its perusal, and it is hoped that a large proportion have been greatly benefited.

The cordial reception which the work has met from the press everywhere has undoubtedly contributed in great measure to its popularity. The demand for the work has exhausted several editions in rapid succession, and has seemed to require its preparation in the greatly enlarged and in every way improved form in which it now appears. The addition of two whole chapters for the purpose of bringing the subject directly before the minds of boys and girls in a proper manner, adds greatly to the interest and value of the work, as there seemed to be a slight deficiency in this particular in the former editions.

J. H. K.        





, M



        October, 1879






Living beings

Animals and vegetables

Life force


Spontaneous generation

Simplest form of generation


Sex in plants

Sex in animals

Other sexual differences

Men and women differ in form

Modern mania for female pedestrianism

3,000 quarter miles in 3,000 quarter hours

A female walking-match

The male and female brain

Vital organs of man and woman

Woman less muscular, more enduring

A pathological difference

Why a woman does not breathe like a man

The reproductive elements

Sexual organs of plants

Polygamous flowers

The female organ of flowers

Sexual organs of animals

The spermatozoön

The ovum


Fecundation in flowers

Union of the ovum and zoösperm

Curious modes of reproduction

Human beings are developed buds

Fecundation in hermaphrodites


Unprotected development

Partial protection of the ovum

Development in the higher animals and in man

The uterus

Uterine gestation

The primitive trace

Curious relations to lower animals

Simplicity of early structures

The stages of growth

Duration of gestation

Uterine life

How the unborn infant breathes


Changes in the child at birth


Anatomy of the reproductive organs

Male organs

The prostate gland

Female organs


Influence of diet on puberty

Brunettes naturally precocious

Remarkable precocity

Premature development occasions early decay

Early puberty a cause for anxiety

Changes which occur at puberty


Nature of menstruation

A critical period

Important hints



Amenorrhoea and chlorosis


Prevention better than cure

Extra-uterine pregnancy




Law of sex


Ante-natal influences

Law universal

A source of crime




Sexual precocity

Astonishing ignorance

Inherited passion

Various causes of sexual precocity

Senile sexuality


Time to marry

Application of the law of heredity

Early marriage

Mutual adaptation

Disparity of age


Long Courtships


Youthful flirtations




Who may not marry

Do not be in a hurry


Mental unchastity


Unchaste conversation

Causes of unchastity

Early causes

Diet vs. chastity

Clerical lapses

Tobacco and vice

Bad books


Dress and sensuality

How young women fall

Fashion and vice

Reform in dress needed

Round dances

Physical causes of unchastity


Intestinal worms

Local uncleanness

Irritation of the bladder

Modern modes of life


Continence not injurious

Does not produce impotence

Difficulty of continence

Helps to continence

The will






Object of the reproductive functions

Results of excesses

Effects upon husbands

Testimony of a French physician

Continence of trainers

A cause of throat disease

A cause of consumption

Effects on wives

The greatest cause of uterine disease

Legalized murder

Indulgence during menstruation

Effects upon offspring

Indulgence during pregnancy

Effect upon the character

A selfish objection

Brutes and savages more considerate

What may be done

Early moderation


Conjugal onanism

—"Male continence"—

Shaker views

Moral bearings of the question

Unconsidered murders

The charge disputed


Woman's rights

What to do

A compromise


Not a modern crime

Causes of the crime

The nature of the crime

Instruments of crime

Results of this unnatural crime

An unwelcome child

The remedy

Murder by proxy


Unchastity of the ancients

Causes of the "social evil"

Libidinous blood


Precocious sexuality

Man's lewdness


Lack of early training

Sentimental literature




Results of licentiousness

Thousands of victims

Effects of vice ineradicable

The only hope

Hereditary effects of venereal disease

Man the only transgressor

Origin of the foul disease

Cure of the "social evil"

Prevention the only cure

Early training

Teach self-control

Mental culture

Early associations


Alarming prevalence of the vice

Testimony of eminent authors

Not a modern vice

Victims of all ages

Unsuspected rottenness

Causes of the habit

Evil associations

Corruption in schools

Wicked nurses

Not an uncommon case

The instructor in vice

Local disease

An illustrative case

Other physical causes

Influence of stimulants

Signs of self-abuse

Suspicious signs

General debility

Early symptoms of consumption

Premature and defective development

Sudden change in disposition



Failure of mental capacity



Love of solitude


Unnatural boldness

Mock piety

Confusion of ideas

Round shoulders

Weak backs

Pains in the limbs

Stiffness of the joints



Bad positions

Lack of development of the breasts

Capricious appetite

Eating clay

The use of tobacco

Unnatural paleness


Biting the finger nails

Palpitation of the heart



Epileptic fits

Wetting the bed

Unchastity of speech

Positive signs

Results of secret vice

Effects in males

Local effects

Urethral irritation


Enlarged prostate

Urinary diseases



Prolapsus of rectum

Extension of irritation



Nocturnal emissions

Exciting causes

Are occasional emissions necessary or harmless?

Emissions not necessary to health

Eminent testimony

Diurnal emissions

Cause of diurnal emissions

Internal emissions

An important caution


General effects

General debility




Throat affections

Nervous diseases


Failure of special senses

Spinal irritation


A victim's mental condition pictured

Effects in females

Local effects


Uterine disease

Cancer of the womb


Atrophy of mammæ


General effects

A common cause of hysteria

Effects upon offspring

Treatment of self-abuse and its effects

Prevention of secret vice

Cultivate chastity

Timely warning

Curative treatment of the effects of self-abuse

Cure of the habit

How may a person help himself?

Hopeful courage

General regimen and treatment

Mental and moral treatment


Never overeat

Eat but twice a day

Discard all stimulating food

Stimulating drinks



Can dreams be controlled?


Improvement of general health

Prostitution as a remedy


Local treatment

Cool sitz bath

Ascending douche

Abdominal bandage

Wet compress

Hot and cold applications to the spine

Local fomentations

Local cold bathing



Internal applications

Use of electricity







Closing advice


Who are boys?

What are boys for?

Boys the hope of the world

Man the masterpiece

How a noble character is ruined

The marvelous human machine

The two objects of human existence

The nutritive apparatus

The moving apparatus

The thinking and feeling apparatus

The purifying apparatus

The reproductive apparatus

How a noble character and a sound body must be formed

The downhill road


A dreadful sin


What makes boys dwarfs

Scrawny and hollow-eyed boys

Old boys

What makes idiots

Young dyspeptics

The race ruined by boys

Cases illustrating the effects of self-abuse

Two young wrecks

A prodigal youth

Barely escaped

A lost soul

The results of one transgression

A hospital case

An old offender

The sad end of a young victim

From bad to worse

An indignant father

Disgusted with life

Bad company

Bad language

Bad books

Vile pictures

Evil thoughts

Influence of other bad habits

Closing advice to boys and young men



How to develop beauty and loveliness

The human form divine

A wonderful process

Human buds

How beauty is marred

A beauty-destroying vice

Terrible effects of secret vice

Remote effects

Causes which lead girls astray

Vicious companions

Whom to avoid

Sentimental books

Various causes

Modesty woman's safeguard

A few sad cases

A pitiful case

A mind dethroned

A penitent victim

A ruined girl

The danger of boarding-schools

A desperate case

A last word

A few words to boys and girls


Books almost without number have been written upon the subject treated in this work. Unfortunately, most of these works are utterly unreliable, being filled with gross misrepresentations and exaggerations, and being designed as advertising mediums for ignorant and unscrupulous charlatans, or worse than worthless patent nostrums. To add to their power for evil, many of them abound with pictorial illustrations which are in no way conducive to virtue or morality, but rather stimulate the animal propensities and excite lewd imaginations. Books of this character are usually widely circulated; and their pernicious influence is fully as great as that of works of a more grossly obscene character. In most of the few instances in which the evident motive of the author is not of an unworthy character, the manner of presenting the subject is unfortunately such that it more frequently than otherwise has a strong tendency in a direction exactly the opposite of that intended and desired. The writer of this work has endeavored to avoid the latter evil by adopting a style of presentation quite different from that generally pursued. Instead of restricting the reader's attention rigidly to the sexual function in man, his mind is diverted by frequent references to corresponding functions in lower animals and in the vegetable kingdom. By this means, not only is an additional fund of information imparted, but the sexual function in man is divested of its sensuality. It is viewed as a fact of natural history, and is associated with the innocence of animal life and the chaste loveliness of flowers. Thus the subject comes to be regarded from a purely physiological standpoint, and is liberated from the gross animal instinct which is the active cause of sensuality.

There are so many well-meaning individuals who object to the agitation of this subject in any manner whatever, that it may be profitable to consider in this connection some of the principal objections which are urged against imparting information on sexual subjects, especially against giving knowledge to the young.

I. Sexual matters improper to be spoken of to the young.

This objection is often raised, it being urged that these matters are too delicate to be even suggested to children; that they ought to be kept in total ignorance of all sexual matters and relations until nature indicates that they are fit to receive them. It is doubtless true that children raised in a perfectly natural way would have no sexual thoughts until puberty, at least, and it would be better if it might be so; but from facts pointed out in succeeding portions of this work, it is certain that at the present time children nearly always do have some vague ideas of sexual relations long before puberty, and often at a very early age. It is thus apparent that by speaking to children of sexual matters in a proper manner, a new subject is not introduced to them, but it is merely presenting to them in a true light a subject of which they already have vague ideas; and thus, by satisfying a natural curiosity, they are saved from supplying by their imaginations distorted images and exaggerated conceptions, and from seeking to obtain the desired information from evil sources whence they would derive untold injury.

What reason is there that the subject of the sexual functions should be treated with such maudlin secrecy? Why should the function of generation be regarded as something low and beastly, unfit to be spoken of by decent people on decent occasions? We can conceive of no answer except the worse than beastly use to which the function has been so generally put by man. There is nothing about the sexual organism which makes it less pure than the lungs or the stomach. "Unto the pure all things are pure," may have been written especially for our times, when there is such a vast amount of mock modesty; when so much pretense of virtue covers such a world of iniquity and vice. The young lady who goes into a spasm of virtuous hysterics upon hearing the word "leg," is perhaps just the one who at home riots her imagination in voluptuous French novels, if she commits no grosser breach of chastity. The parents who are the most opposed to imparting information to the young are often those who have themselves indulged in sexual excesses. In the minds of such persons the sexual organs and functions, and everything even remotely connected with them, are associated only with ideas of lust and gross sensuality. No wonder that they wish to keep such topics in the dark. With such thoughts they cannot well bear the scrutiny of virtue.

Sexual subjects are not, of course, proper subjects for conversation at all times, or at any time in a spirit of levity and flippancy.

II. Knowledge is dangerous.

Very true, knowledge is dangerous, but ignorance is more dangerous still; or, rather, partial knowledge is more dangerous than a more complete understanding of facts. Children, young people, will not grow up in innocent ignorance. If, in obedience to custom, they are not encouraged to inquire of their parents about the mysteries of life, they will seek to satisfy their curiosity by appealing to older or better informed companions. They will eagerly read any book which promises any hint on the mysterious subject, and will embrace every opportunity, proper or improper—and most likely to be the latter—of obtaining the coveted information. Knowledge obtained in this uncertain and irregular way must of necessity be very unreliable. Many times—generally, in fact—it is of a most corrupting character, and the clandestine manner in which it is obtained is itself corrupting and demoralizing. A child ought to be taught to expect all such information from its parents, and it ought not to be disappointed.

Again, while it is true that knowledge is dangerous, it is equally true that this dangerous knowledge will be gained sometime, at any rate; and as it must come, better let it be imparted by the parent, who can administer proper warnings and cautions along with it, than by any other individual. Thus may the child be shielded from injury to which he would otherwise be certainly exposed.

III. Young people should be left to find out these things for themselves.

If human beings received much of their knowledge through instinct, as animals do, this might be a proper course; but man gets his knowledge largely by instruction. Young people will get their first knowledge of sexual matters mostly by instruction from some source. How much better, then, as we have already shown, to let them obtain this knowledge from the most natural and most reliable source!

The following paragraph from Dr. Ware is to the point:—

"But putting aside the question whether we ought to hide this subject wholly from the young if we could, the truth, it is to be feared, is that we cannot if we would. Admitting it to be desirable, every man of experience in life will pronounce it to be impracticable. If, then, we cannot prevent the minds of children from being engaged in some way on this subject, may it not be better to forestall evil impressions by implanting good ones, or at least to mingle such good ones with the evil as the nature of the case admits? Let us be at least as wise as the crafty enemy of man, and cast in a little wheat with his tares; and among the most effectual methods of doing this is to impart to the young just and religious views of the nature and purposes of the relation which the Creator has established between the two sexes."

When Shall Information Be Given?—It is a matter of some difficulty to decide the exact age at which information on sexual subjects should be given to the young. It may be adopted as a safe rule, however, that a certain amount of knowledge should be imparted as soon as there is manifested a curiosity in this direction. If there is reason to believe that the mind of the child is exercised in this direction, even though he may have made no particular inquiries, information should not be withheld.

How to Impart Proper Knowledge.—No little skill may be displayed in introducing these subjects to the mind of the young person in such a way as to avoid arousing his passions and creating sexual excitement. Perhaps the general plan followed in the first portion of this work will be found a very pleasant and successful method if studied thoroughly and well executed.

All information should not be given at once. First obtain the child's confidence, and assure him by candor and unreserve that you will give him all needed information; then, as he encounters difficulties, he will resort for explanation where he knows he will receive satisfaction. When the little one questions, answer truthfully and carefully.

The following paragraph by Dr. Wilkinson is suggestive:—

"When we are little boys and girls, our first inquiries about our whence are answered by the authoritative dogma of the 'silver spade;' we were dug up with that implement. By degrees the fact comes forth. The public, however, remains for ages in the silver-spade condition of mind with regard to the science of the fact; and the doctors foster it by telling us that the whole subject is a medical property.... There is nothing wrong in the knowing; and, though the passions might be stimulated in the first moments by such information, yet in the second instance they will be calmed by it; and, ceasing to be inflamed by the additional goad of curiosity and imagination, they will cool down under the hydropathic influences of science. Well-stated knowledge did never yet contribute to human inflammation; and we much question whether the whole theory of the silver spade be not a mistake; and whether children should not be told the truth from the first; that before desire and imagination are born, the young mind may receive, in its cool innocency, a knowledge of the future objects of powers and faculties which are to be subject afterward to such strong excitements."

The experience of hundreds in the circulation of this work has proven beyond all chance for question the truth of the foregoing remarks, and often in a most striking manner. Scores of persons have written us, "I would give all I possess in this world could I have had a copy of 'Plain Facts' placed in my hands when I was a lad," or, "Words cannot express the gratitude I would now feel had some kind friend imparted to me the invaluable information which this book contains; it would have saved me a life of wretchedness."

We have had the satisfaction of knowing in numerous instances that the virtue and happiness of whole families have been secured by the timely warnings of danger which parents have obtained from this work. We are glad to be able to feel that it is now thoroughly demonstrated that intelligent persons who have given this subject thought universally approve of the objects of the work and the manner of presenting the subject adopted in it. Those who at first question the propriety of discussing the subject so freely and thoroughly as is here done, lose their prejudice entirely upon giving the work a careful perusal. In numerous instances it has occurred that those who were most decided in their denunciations have become the most zealous and efficient agents in its circulation after becoming more fully acquainted with it.


Life, in its great diversity of forms, has ever been a subject of the deepest interest to rational beings. Poets have sung of its joys and sorrows, its brilliant phantasies and harsh realities. Philosophers have spent their lives in vain attempts to solve its mysteries; and some have held and thought that life was nothing more than a stupendous farce, a delusion of the senses. Moralists have sought to impress mankind with the truth that "life is real," and teeming with grave responsibilities. Physiologists have busied themselves in observing the phenomena of life, and learning, therefrom, its laws. The subject is certainly an interesting one, and none could be more worthy of the most careful attention.

Living Beings.—Man possesses life in common with other beings almost infinite in number and variety. The hugest beast that roams the forest or plows the main is no more a living creature than the smallest insect or microscopic animalculum. The "big tree" of California and the tiny blade of grass which waves at its foot are alike imbued with life. All nature teems with life. The practiced eye detects multitudes of living forms at every glance.

The universe of life presents the most marvelous manifestations of the infinite power and wisdom of the Creator to be found in all his works. The student of biology sees life in myriad forms which are unnoticed by the casual observer. The microscope reveals whole worlds of life that were unknown before the discovery of this wonderful aid to human vision,—whole tribes of living organisms, each of which, though insignificant in size, possesses organs as perfect and as useful to it in its sphere as do animals of greater magnitude. Under a powerful magnifying glass, a drop of water from a stagnant pool is found to be peopled with curious animated forms; slime from a damp rock, or a speck of green scum from the surface of a pond, presents a museum of living wonders. Through this instrument the student of nature learns that life in its lowest form is represented by a mere atom of living matter, an insignificant speck of trembling jelly, transparent and structureless, having no organs of locomotion, yet able to move in any direction; no nerves or organs of sense, yet possessing a high degree of sensibility; no mouth, teeth, nor organs of digestion, yet capable of taking food, growing, developing, producing other individuals like itself, becoming aged, infirm, and dying,—such is the life history of a living creature at the lower extreme of the scale of animated being. As we rise higher in the scale, we find similar little atoms of life associated together in a single individual, each doing its proper share of the work necessary to maintain the life of the individual as a whole, yet retaining at the same time its own individual life.

As we ascend to still higher forms, we find this association of minute living creatures resulting in the production of forms of increasing complicity. As the structure of the individual becomes more complex and its functions more varied, the greater is the number of separate, yet associated, organisms to do the work.

In man, at the very summit of the scale of animate existence, we find the most delicate and wonderfully intricate living mechanism of all. In him, as in lower, intermediate forms of life, the life of the individual is but a summary of the lives of all numberless minute organisms of which his body is composed. The individual life is but the aggregate life of all the millions of distinct individuals which are associated together in the human organism.

Animals and Vegetables.—The first classification of living creatures separates them into two great kingdoms, animals and vegetables. Although it is very easy to define the general characteristics of each of these classes, it is impossible to fix upon any single peculiarity which will be applicable in every case. Most vegetable organisms remain stationary, while some possess organs of locomotion, and swim about in the water in a manner much resembling the movements of certain animals. Most vegetables obtain their nutriment from the earth and the air, while animals subsist on living matter. A few plants seem to take organic matter for food, some even catching and killing small insects.

It is found impossible to draw the precise line between animals and vegetables, for the reason just mentioned. The two kingdoms blend so intimately that in some cases it is impossible to tell whether a certain microscopic speck of life is an animal or a vegetable. But since these doubtful creatures are usually so minute that several millions of them can exist in a single drop of water, it is usually of no practical importance whether they are animal or vegetable, or sometimes one and sometimes the other, as they have been supposed to be by some biologists.

All living creatures are organized beings. Most possess a structure and an organism more or less complicated; but some of the lowest forms are merely little masses of a transparent, homogeneous jelly, known as protoplasm. Some of the smallest of these are so minute that one hundred millions of them could occupy the space of a cube one-thousandth of an inch on each side; yet each one runs its course of life as regularly as man himself, performing its proper functions even more perfectly, perhaps.

Life Force.—To every thinking mind the question often recurs, What makes the fragrant flower so different from the dead soil from which it grows? the trilling bird, so vastly superior to the inert atmosphere in which it flies? What subtle power paints the rose, and tunes the merry songster's voice? To explain this mystery, philosophers of olden time supposed the existence of a certain peculiar force which is called life, or vital force, or vitality. This supposition does nothing more than furnish a name for a thing unknown, and the very existence of which may fairly be doubted. In fact, any attempt to find a place for such a force, to understand its origin, or harmonize its existence with that of other well-known forces, is unsuccessful; and the theory of a peculiar vital force, a presiding entity present in every living thing, vanishes into thin air to give place to the more rational view of the most advanced modern scientists, that vital force, so-called, is only a manifestation of the ordinary forces of nature acting through a peculiar arrangement of matter. In other words, life depends, not upon a peculiar force, but upon a peculiar arrangement of matter, or organization. It is simply a peculiar manifestation of the force possessed by atoms exhibited through a peculiar arrangement of atoms and molecules. This arrangement is what is known as organization; and bodies which possess it are known as organized or living bodies. The term life may be understood as referring to the phenomena which result from organization.

That life results from organization, not organization from life, is more consonant with the accepted and established facts of science than the contrary view. We might adduce numerous facts and arguments in support of this view of the nature of life, but will not do so here, as we have considered the subject at some length elsewhere.[1]

1 See "Science and the Bible," pp. 36-46.

Nutrition and reproduction are the two great functions of life, being common not only to all animals, but to both animals and plants, to all classes of living creatures. The object of the first, is the development and maintenance of the individual existence; the second has for its end the production of new individuals, or the preservation of the race. Nutrition is a purely selfish process; reproduction is purely unselfish in its object; though the human species—unlike the lower animals, which, while less intelligent, are far more true to nature—too often pervert its functions to the most grossly selfish ends.

The subject of nutrition is an important one, and well worthy the attention of every person who values life. The general disregard of this subject is undoubtedly the cause of a very large share of the ills to which human flesh is heir; but our limited space forbids its consideration here, and we shall confine our attention to reproduction.


As before remarked, reproduction is a function common to all animals and to all plants. Every organized being has the power to reproduce itself, or to produce, or aid in producing, other individuals like itself. It is by means of this function that plants and animals increase or multiply.

When we consider the great diversity of characters illustrated in animal and vegetable life, and the infinite variety of conditions and circumstances under which organized creatures exist, it is not surprising that modes of reproduction should also present great diversity both in general character and in detail. We shall find it both interesting and instructive to consider some of the many different modes of reproduction, or generation, observed in different classes of living beings, previous to entering upon the specific study of reproduction in man. Before doing thus, however, let us give brief attention to a theoretical form of generation, which cannot be called reproduction, known as

Spontaneous Generation.—By this term is meant the supposed formation of living creatures directly from dead matter without the intervention of other living organisms. The theory is, in substance, an old one. The ancients supposed that the frogs and other small reptiles so abundant in the vicinity of slimy pools and stagnant marshes, were generated spontaneously from the mud and slime in which they lived. This theory was, of course, abandoned when the natural history of reptiles became known.

For several thousand years the belief was still held that maggots found in decaying meat were produced spontaneously; but it was discovered, centuries ago, that maggots are not formed if the flesh is protected from flies, since they are the larvæ, or young, of a species of this insect. A relic of the ancient belief in spontaneous generation is still found in the supposition that horse-hair snakes, so-called, are really formed from the hairs of horses. This belief is quite common, but science long ago exposed its falsity.

When the microscope was discovered it revealed a whole new world of infinitesimal beings which were at first supposed to be of spontaneous origin; but careful scientific investigation has shown that even these mere specks of life are not independent of parentage. M. Pasteur and, more recently, Prof. Tyndall, with many other distinguished scientists, have demonstrated this fact beyond all reasonable chance for question.

It is, then, an established law that every living organism originates with some previously existing living being or beings.

It may be queried, If it be true that life is but a manifestation of the ordinary forces of matter,—which are common to both dead and living matter,—being dependent upon arrangement, then why may it not be that dead matter may, through the action of molecular laws, and without the intervention of any living existence, assume those peculiar forms of arrangement necessary to constitute life, as supposed by the advocates of the theory in question? It is true that some who recognize the fact that life is the result of organization maintain the doctrine of spontaneous generation; that is, the production of life without any agency other than the recognized forces of nature being brought about simply by a fortuitous combination of atoms. Although this doctrine cannot be said to be inconsistent with the theory of life presented, yet it is by no means a legitimate or necessary result of it; and observation proves its falsity.

The testimony of all nature, as almost universally admitted by scientific men, is that life originated through a creative act by the first Great Cause, who gave to certain bodies the requisite arrangement or organization to enable them to perform certain functions, and delegated to them the power to transmit the same to other matter, and thus to perpetuate life. The Creator alone has the power to originate life. Man, with all his wisdom and attainments, cannot discover the secret of organization. He may become familiar with its phenomena, but he cannot unravel, further, the mystery of life. The power of organizing is possessed only by the lower class of living or organized bodies, those known as vegetable organisms or plants. A grain of wheat, a kernel of corn, a potato, when placed under favorable conditions, takes the inert, lifeless particles of matter which lie about it in the earth and air, and organizes them into living substances like itself.

To man and animals the Creator delegated the power to form their own peculiar structures from the vitalized tissues of plants. Thus, both animal and vegetable life is preserved without the necessity of continued acts of creative power, each plant and each animal possessing the power not only to preserve its own life, but also to aid, at least, in the perpetuation of the species. The record of creation in Genesis harmonizes perfectly with this view, it being represented that God formed (organized or arranged) man, animals, and vegetable productions from the earth.

Simplest Form of Generation.—Deep down beneath the waters of the ocean, covering its bottom in certain localities, is found a curious slime, which, under the microscope, is seen to be composed of minute rounded masses of gelatinous matter, or protoplasm. By watching these little bodies intently for a few minutes, the observer will discover that each is a living creature capable of moving, growing, and assuming a variety of shapes. Continued observation will reveal the fact that these little creatures multiply; and a more careful scrutiny will enable him to see how they increase. Each divides into two equal parts so nearly alike that they cannot be distinguished apart. In this case the process of generation is simply the production of two similar individuals from one.

A small quantity of slime taken from the surface of a stone near the bottom of an old well, or on the seaside, when placed under the microscope, will sometimes be found to contain large numbers of small, round, living bodies. Careful watching will show that they also multiply by division; but before the division occurs, two cells unite to form one by a process called conjugation. Then, by the division of this cell, instead of only two cells, a large number of small cells are formed, each of which may be considered as a bud formed upon the body of the parent cell and then separated from it to become by growth an individual like its parent, and, like it, to produce its kind. In this case, we have new individuals formed by the union of two individuals which are to all appearance entirely similar in every particular.

Sex.—Rising higher in the scale of being, we find that, with rare exceptions, reproduction is the result of the union of two dissimilar elements. These elements do not, in higher organisms, as in lower forms of life, constitute the individuals, but are produced by them; and being unlike, they are produced by special organs, each adapted to the formation of one kind of elements. The two classes of organs usually exist in separate individuals, thus giving rise to distinctions of sex; an individual possessing organs which form one kind of elements being called a male, and one possessing organs for the formation of the other kind of elements, a female. The sexual differences between individuals of the same species are not, however, confined to the sexual organs. In most classes of plants and animals, other sexual differences are very great. In some of the lower orders of animals, and in many species of plants, the male and female individuals are so much unlike that for a long time after they were well known, no sexual relation was discovered.

Hermaphrodism.—An individual possessing both male and female organs of reproduction is called an hermaphrodite. Such a combination is very rare among higher animals; but it is by no means uncommon among plants and the lower forms of animal life. The snail, the oyster, the earth-worm, and the common tape-worm, are examples of true hermaphrodites. So-called human hermaphrodites are usually individuals in whom the sexual organs are abnormally developed so that they resemble those of the opposite sex, though they really have but one sex, which can usually be determined with certainty. Only a very few cases have been observed in which both male and female organs were present.

There is now living in Germany an individual who bears the name of a woman; but learned physicians have decided that the person is as much man as woman, having the organs of both sexes. What is still more curious, this person has the feelings of both sexes, having loved at first a man, and afterward a woman. There have been observed, also, a very few instances of individuals in whom the sexual organs of neither sex were present. It thus appears that a person may be of both sexes or of no sex at all.

Sex in Plants.—To one unacquainted with the mysteries of plant life and growth, the idea of attaching sexuality to plants seems very extraordinary; but the botanist recognizes the fact that the distinctions of sex are as clearly maintained in the vegetable as in the animal kingdom. The sexual organs of the higher orders of plants are flowers. That part of the flower which produces seeds answers to the female; another part, which is incapable of forming seeds, answers to the male. The fertile and sterile flowers are sometimes produced on separate plants. Very frequently, they are produced upon separate parts of the same plant, as in the oak, walnut, and many other forest trees, and Indian corn. In the latter plant, so familiar to every one, the "tassel" contains the male flowers, and the part known as the "silk," with the portion to which it is attached—which becomes the ear—the female or fertile flowers. In a large number of species, the male and female organs are combined in a single flower, making a true hermaphrodite.

Sex in Animals.—As previously remarked, individuals of opposite sex usually differ much more than in the character of their sexual organs only. Among higher animals, the male is usually larger, stronger, and of coarser structure than the female. The same contrast is observed in their mental characters. With lower animals, especially insects, the opposite is often observed. The female spider is many times larger than the male. The male ant is small in size when compared with the female. Nevertheless, in all classes of animals the difference in the structure and the functions of the sexual organs is the chief distinguishing character. These differences are not so great, however, as they might at first appear. The male and female organs of reproduction in man and other animals, which seem so dissimilar, when studied in the light shed upon this subject by the science of embryology, are found to be wonderfully alike in structure, differing far more in appearance than in reality, and being little more than modifications of one general plan. Every organ to be found in the one sex has an analogue in the other which is complete in every particular, corresponding in function, in structure, and usually in position.

Other Sexual Differences.—In this country there is between five and six inches difference in height and about twenty pounds difference in weight between the average man and the average woman, the average man being about five feet, eight inches in height, and weighing one hundred and forty-five pounds; while the average woman is five feet, two or two and one-half inches in height, and weighs one hundred and twenty-five pounds. The relation of the sexes in height and weight varies in degree in different countries, but is never changed. The average height and weight of American men and women is considerably above that of the average human being.

Men and Women Differ in Form.—The differences in form are so marked that it is possible for the skilled anatomist to determine the sex of a human being who has been dead for ages, by an examination of the skeleton alone. In man, the shoulders are broad, the hips narrow, and the limbs nearly straight with the body. In woman, the shoulders are narrow and usually rounded, and set farther back, the collar-bone being longer and less curved, giving the chest greater prominence; while the hips are broad.

The consequence of these differences is that woman is generally less graceful and naturally less skillful in the use of the extremities than man, and hence less fitted for athletic sports and feats requiring great dexterity. A girl throws a stone awkwardly, less from want of practice than from a natural peculiarity of physical structure. A woman walks less gracefully than a man, owing to the greater relative breadth of her hips, requiring a motion of the body together with that of the limbs. In consequence of this peculiarity, a woman is less fitted for walking long distances.

Modern Mania for Female Pedestrianism.—Nothing could be much more inhuman than the exhibitions made in satisfying the mania for female pedestrianism which has recently arisen. Not long since, in walking down one of the principal streets of Boston, we passed, in going a distance of thirty rods, three illuminated placards announcing to the public that in as many different public halls four female pedestrians were exhibiting their walking talents for the gratification of the crowds of bawdy loafers and jockeys who congregated to criticize their several "points," and bet on their walking capacity, as though they were horses on a race-course or hounds on a fox hunt.

3,000 Quarter Miles in 3,000 Quarter Hours.—We visited the halls and ascertained that two of these misguided women were attempting the feat of walking respectively 2,700 and 3,000 quarter miles in an equal number of successive quarter hours. This would require almost incessant exertion for nearly twenty-eight days in one case, and for more than thirty-one days in the other, without at any time a period of unbroken rest longer than ten minutes. Such a procedure, in the light of physiology, is a greater inhumanity than the most merciless Boston teamster would inflict upon his dumb brutes. Why does not Mr. Bergh exercise his function in such cases? We did not wonder that the poor women looked pale and suffering, and trudged along with a limping gait.

A Female Walking Match.—At another hall we found two women engaged in a "walking match." The hall was so crowded with spectators—with very few exceptions of the male sex—that it was with difficulty the narrow track could be kept clear.

The sixty hours for which the walk was to be continued had nearly expired, and the excitement grew more intense each moment. One of the walkers, who was a few miles in advance, strode on at a pace almost marvelous, constantly stimulated to greater efforts by the coarse shouts of the masculine audience, who evidently took the same sort of interest in the proceeding that they would in a dog race or a cock fight. The other was pale and spiritless, and it seemed with difficulty that she dragged herself along to keep upon the track until the last. At times she seemed to be almost fainting, as the result of the long-continued excitement and fatigue; but she managed to keep going until nine minutes before the slow moving clock had measured off the sixty hours, when she became too ill to be longer able to stand, and was carried off the track.

The cheers for the winner were as vigorous as though a rebel fort had been captured, a million people emancipated from slavery, or some great and noble deed of honor or daring had been done; but no one thought of the injury which had been done the contestant. We turned away in disgust.

The ancient Greeks and Romans amused themselves with witnessing the gladiatorial contests of their male slaves; but it was left for civilized America to introduce woman into the "ring" and make her show her paces on the race-course. An ungraceful figure she cuts, and a repulsive spectacle she presents; and worst of all is the havoc which she makes with her health. At the very time that these four female pedestrians were making their disgraceful exhibit in Boston, in another part of the same city lay a helpless invalid who was once as noted a "female walkist" as any of them, made hopelessly ill by the same disregard of the plainest laws of nature.

The Male and the Female Brain.—But there are other important physical differences to which we must call attention. Man possesses a larger brain than woman, but she makes up the deficiency in size by superior fineness in quality. The female brain differs from the masculine organ of mentality in other particulars so marked that one who has given the subject attention can determine with perfect ease the probable sex of the owner of almost any skull which might be presented to him. This difference in the conformation of the skull is undoubtedly due to a difference in mental character, which, in turn, depends upon a difference in cerebral development. Faculties which are generally largely developed in one are usually smaller in the other, and the reverse.

Vital Organs of Man and Woman.—The anatomist also observes an interesting difference in the size of the various vital organs. For example, while a woman has a heart proportionally smaller than the same organ in man, she has a larger liver. Thus, while less well fitted for severe physical exertion by less circulatory power, she has superior excretory powers.

Woman Less Muscular, More Enduring.—This peculiarity of structure is perfectly harmonious with the fact which experience has established so often as to make the matter no longer a question, that woman is less fitted for severe muscular exertion than man, but possesses in a superior degree the quality known as endurance. With a less robust frame, a more delicately organized constitution, she will endure for months what would kill a robust man in as many weeks. More perfect elimination of the wastes of the body secures a higher grade of vitality. On no other hypothesis could we account for the marvelous endurance of the feminine part of the civilized portion of the human race, ground down under the heel of fashion for ages, "stayed," "corseted," "laced," and thereby distorted and deformed in a manner that would be fatal to almost any member of the masculine sex.

A Pathological Difference.—Most physiologists mention another particular in which woman differs materially from man; viz, in naturally employing, in respiration, chiefly the upper part of the lungs, while man breathes chiefly with the lower part of the lungs. For several years we have carefully studied this question, and we have been unable to find any physiological or anatomical reason sufficient to account for this fact, if it be such.

Why a Woman Does not Breathe Like a Man.—It is undoubtedly true that most women do breathe almost exclusively with the upper part of the chest; but whether this is a natural peculiarity, or an acquired, unnatural, and depraved one, is a question which we are decidedly inclined to answer in harmony with the latter supposition, basing our conclusion on the following undeniable facts:—

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

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

3. We believe the cause of this modification of respiration is the change in dress which is usually made about that time. The young girl is now becoming a woman, and must acquire the art of lacing, wearing a corset, "stays," and sundry other contrivances by means of which to produce a "fine form" by distorting and destroying all natural grace and beauty in the "form divine."

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

We are thoroughly convinced that this so-called physiological difference between man and woman is really a pathological rather than a natural difference, and is due to the evils of fashionable dress, which we have exposed at some length in another work exclusively devoted to that subject.[2] In short, we believe that the only reason why women do not, under ordinary circumstances, breathe as do men, is simply because they can not breathe naturally.

2 "Evils of Fashionable Dress, and How to Dress Healthfully."

The Reproductive Elements.—As has been previously observed, in all except the very lowest forms of life, two elements are necessary to the production of a new individual, or a reproduction of the species—a male element and a female element. The special organs by means of which these elements are produced, brought together, and developed into the new individual in a more or less perfect state, are termed sexual organs, as we have already seen. As an introduction to the specific study of the sexual organs in the human species, let us briefly consider the

Sexual Organs of Plants.—As already remarked, flowers are the sexual organs of plants. Nothing is more interesting in the natural world than the wonderful beauty, diversity, and perfect adaptability to various conditions and functions, which we see in the sexual parts of plants. An exceedingly interesting line of study, which has occupied the attention of many naturalists, is the wonderful perfection displayed in the adaptability of the male and female parts of plants to each other. Without burdening the reader with unnecessary technicalities of detail, we will briefly notice the principal parts of vegetable sexual organs as illustrated in flowers.

Complete flowers are made up of four parts, two of which, the stamen and pistil, are essential, while the other two, the calyx and corolla, are accessory.

The calyx is that part which surrounds the flower at its outer and lower part. It varies greatly in form and color, but is most frequently of a green or greenish color.

Just within the calyx is the corolla, which usually forms the most attractive, showy, and beautiful part of the flower. The beautifully colored petals of the rose, geranium, dahlia, and other similar flowers, form their corollas.

Vegetable Husbands.—Within the cup formed by the calyx and corolla are placed the stamens and pistils of the flower, the first being the male organs proper, and the second the female organs of the flower.

The stamen is composed of a stem or filament, at the summit of which are placed two little sacks called the anther, which contain a fine, microscopic dust, the pollen, which contains the male reproductive element of the flower. This part of the plant corresponds to the male organ of reproduction in animals. A stamen has been called, not inaptly, a vegetable husband. Some flowers have many stamens, or vegetable husbands, which reminds us of the custom in Thibet and some other Eastern countries which allows a woman to have several husbands.

Polygamous Flowers.—The great naturalist, Linnæus, whose name was immortalized by his careful study and classification of organized life, made the number of stamens possessed by various flowers the basis of a systematic classification.

For example, a flower having but one stamen was classed as monandria, which means, literally, one husband; one having two stamens was classified as diandria; flowers having a large number of male organs were termed polyandria, or many husbands.

The Female Organ of Flowers.—The pistil occupies the very center of the flower. It produces and contains in a cell, the female element, termed the ovule. It is surmounted by the style and the stigma.

A series of plants in which the sexual organs are not visible to the eye are termed cryptogamia, which means literally, hidden marriages.

As we proceed to study the anatomy of the human sexual apparatus we shall be constantly struck with the remarkable correspondence between animals and vegetables in the structure and functions of the sexual apparatus.

Sexual Organs of Animals.—The male reproductive element is called a spermatozoön or zoösperm. The female element is called an ovum, literally, an egg.

The Spermatozoön.—The male reproductive element of animals is formed by an organ called the testis, or testicle, of which each male possesses two. They are elastic, glandular bodies, and are formed within the cavity of the abdomen, near the kidneys, but usually pass out of the abdominal cavity and descend to their permanent position before birth. The opening in the abdominal wall is usually completely closed in a short time; but occasionally it remains open, giving rise to congenital hernia, an accident in which a loop of intestine follows the testicle down into the scrotum, either completely or partially. In a few animals, as in the porcupine, the opening is never fully closed, and the testis remains in the cavity of the body most of the time, passing out only at certain periods. We also occasionally meet cases of human beings in which the testes have never descended from their place in the abdominal cavity, giving the individuals the appearance of eunuchs. This condition, however, though an abnormal one, does not in any way interfere with the function of the organs, as those who happen to possess it often imagine. We have also met with cases in which the organs were movable, and could readily be pressed up into the abdominal cavity, through the unclosed inguinal cavity, which afforded them a passage downward in the process of development.

As before remarked, these peculiarities do not affect the functions of the organs in any appreciable degree, although they not infrequently give rise to some apprehension on the part of those subject to them. The left testicle is sometimes a little smaller than the right, another fact which is seized upon by quacks as a means of exciting the fears of young men who have been addicted to bad habits, although the peculiarity is generally without important significance.

The testicles are connected with the urinary passage by means of two ducts which terminate near the base of the bladder, at which point they connect with the urethra. We need not dwell at further length upon the structure of the testicles, as this subject receives fuller attention elsewhere.

Human spermatozoa are about 1/600 of an inch in length. Those of reptiles are very much larger. One of the remarkable features of these minute elements is their peculiar movements. While alive, the filamentous tail is in constant action in a manner strongly resembling the movements of the caudal appendage of a tadpole. This wonderful property led the earlier observers to believe that they were true animalcula. But they are not to be regarded as such, though one can scarcely make himself believe otherwise while watching their lively evolutions, and apparent volitionary movement from one point to another.

Spermatozoa originate in the testis as cells, which are filled with granules. After a time, each granule acquires a long appendage, and then the cell has become converted into a bundle of small zoösperms. Development still continues, until finally the thin pellicle on the outside of the bundle is ruptured, thus liberating the young spermatozoa, which speedily complete their full development. The spermatozoön is pure protoplasm, which is the basis of all life, and its power of spontaneous motion is due to this fact.

In man, the formation of spermatozoa continues with greater or less rapidity from puberty to old age, though at the two extremes of existence they are imperfectly developed. When not discharged from the body, they are said to be absorbed. Some physiologists claim that they are composed of a substance identical with nerve tissue, and that by absorption they play a very important part in the development and maintenance of the nervous system.

It is asserted by good authorities that the reproductive element in man is not so well developed as to be really fit for the reproduction of the species before the age of twenty-four or twenty-five. After the age of forty-five or fifty, the reproductive elements deteriorate in quality, and become again unfitted for vigorous procreation.

The fully developed zoösperms are suspended in a transparent, gelatinous fluid, which, mingled with the secretion of the prostate gland and other fluids which it meets during its expulsion from the body, constitutes the semen.

The Ovum.—The female element of generation, the ovum, is produced by an organ called the ovary, of which there are two in each individual. In size and form, the ovary closely resembles the testicle. Like the latter organ, also, it is formed within the body early in the process of development; but instead of passing outward and downward, as does the testicle, it remains within the abdominal cavity, suspended in place by ligaments. It is connected with a duct which receives the ovum as it is discharged, and conveys it to the uterus.

The human ovum varies in size from 1/240 to 1/120 of an inch in diameter, and consists of a single cell. Ova are not formed in such large numbers as zoösperms. As a general rule, in the human female, a single ovum is developed and discharged once in about four weeks, during the period of sexual activity.

Fecundation.—It is often asked, and the question has elicited some discussion, Which is the principal reproductive element; the zoösperm, or the ovum? The ancients supposed the male element to be the essential element, being simply nourished and developed by the female; but modern research in biological science does not sustain this view. Probably neither one enjoys especial preëminence; for neither can undergo complete development without the other. In very rare cases, the ovum has been observed to undergo a certain amount of development of itself; but a perfect individual can be produced only by the union of the two kinds of elements, which process is known as fecundation. The instant this union occurs, the life of a new individual begins. All the changes which result between that moment and the birth of the individual are those of development only. Indeed, the same existence continues from the instant of the union of the two elements, not only until birth, but through growth, the attainment of maturity, the decline of life, and even until death.

It is interesting to observe the different methods by which fecundation is effected, both in plants and animals, for this is a process common to both.

Fecundation in Flowers.—The great naturalist, Linnæus, was the first to explain the reproductive process in plants. He tells us that "the flower forms the theater of their amours; the calyx is to be considered as the nuptial bed; the corolla constitutes the curtains; the anthers are the testes; the pollen, the fecundating fluid; the stigma of the pistil, the external genital aperture; the style, the vagina, or the conductor of the prolific seed; the ovary of the plant, the womb; the reciprocal action of the stamens on the pistil, the accessory process of fecundation."

Thus marvelous is the analogy between the reproductive organs and their functions in plants and animals. Through this one vital process we may trace a close relation between all the forms of life, from the humblest plant, or even the mere specks of life which form the green scum upon a stagnant pool, to man, the masterpiece of creation, the highest of all animated creatures. In all the realm of Nature there can be found no more remarkable evidences of the infinite skill and wisdom of the Creator of all things.

In many instances the action of plants seems almost to be prompted by intelligence. At the proper moment, the corolla contracts in such a way as to bring the stamens nearer to the stigma, or in contact with it, so as to insure fecundation. In some aquatic plants the flowers elevate themselves above the surface of water while the process of fecundation is effected; submerging themselves again immediately afterward.

Other very curious changes occur in flowers of different species during the reproductive act. The stigma is observed to become moistened, and even to become distinctly odorous. Often, too, it becomes intensely congested with the juices of the plant, and sometimes even acquires an uncommon and most remarkable degree of contractility. This is the case with the stigma of the tulip and one variety of sensitive plant, and is in these plants observed to occur not only after the application of the pollen to the stigma, but when excited by any other means of stimulation. The flowers of some plants, during and after fecundation, also show an increase of heat, in some cases so marked as to be readily detected with the thermometer. This is said to be the case with the arum of Italy.

In some plants in which the pistil is longer than the stamens, thus elevating the stigma above the anthers, the female organ is often observed to bend over and depress itself so as to come within reach of the anthers.

In most instances the fecundation of flowers is chiefly effected through a purely mechanical process, though in these cases also we see a wonderful adaptation of parts to conditions.

When the male and female parts of flowers are situated on different plants, as is the case in the willow, the poplar, the melon vine, and many other species, the pollen of the male flower is wafted by the wind or gentle breeze to the stigma of the female flower, which will usually be found at no very great distance, although fertilization may take place in this way at very considerable distances. Bees, moths, and many other species of insects, serve a very important purpose in this work, transporting the fertilizing dust upon their wings, antennæ, sucking-tubes, and feet. Small birds, and even the humble snail, which would scarcely be credited with any useful function, are also very serviceable in the same direction. The part performed by insects in the reproductive process of many plants is so great that they have been very poetically termed "the marriage priests of flowers."

Nature provides for thorough fecundation in these cases by placing the plants which bear the male and the female flowers near each other. This fact accounts for the unproductiveness of certain varieties of strawberries unless mixed with plants of some other variety, it being well known to nursery-men that some varieties produce only the female parts of flowers.

Modes of Fecundation in Animals.—The modes by which fecundation is effected in animals are still more various and wonderful than in plants. In some of the lower animals, as in most fish and reptiles, both elements are discharged from the bodies of the parents before coming in contact, there being no contact of the two individuals. In this class of animals the process is almost wholly analogous to fecundation in those plants in which the male and female flowers are on different plants or different parts of the same plant. In the female fish, a large number of ova are developed at a certain season of the year known as the spawning season. Sometimes the number reaches many thousands. At the same time, the testicles of the male fish, which are contained within the abdominal cavity, become distended with developed zoösperms. When the female seeks a place to deposit her eggs, the male closely follows; and as she drops them upon the gravelly bottom, he discharges upon them the zoösperms by which they are fecundated. The process is analogous to some species of frogs. When the female is about to deposit her eggs, the male mounts upon her back and rides about until the eggs are all deposited, discharging upon them the fertilizing spermatozoa as they are laid by the female.

In higher orders of animals, fecundation takes place within the generative organs of the female by contact between the male and the female organs. To effect this, there are necessitated certain accessory organs, the penis in the male and the vagina in the female.

Nothing in all the range of nature is more remarkable than the adaptation of the two varieties of sexual organs in each species. This necessary provision is both a powerful means of securing the perpetuation of the species, and an almost impassable barrier against amalgamation.

The act of union, or sexual congress, is called coitus or copulation. It is accompanied by a peculiar nervous spasm due to excitement of special nerves principally located in the penis in the male, and in an extremely sensitive organ, the clitoris, in the female. The nervous action referred to is more exhausting to the system than any other to which it is subject.

Union of the Ovum and Zoösperm.—The zoösperms not only come in contact with the ovum, but penetrate the thin membrane which incloses its contents, and enter its interior, where they disappear, becoming united with its substance. In the ova of certain fishes, small openings have been observed through which the spermatozoa find entrance. Whether such openings exist in human ova is an undecided question; but it is probable that they do.

Curious Modes of Reproduction.—A peculiar kind of reproduction is observed in a variety of polyp, a curious animal which very much resembles a shrub in appearance. It attaches itself to some solid object, and then, as it grows, sends out little protuberances resembling buds. Some of these separate and fall off, swimming about as separate animals. These never become like the parent polyp; but they lay eggs, which hatch, and become stationary polyps like their grandparent, and in their turn throw off buds to form swimming polyps. In this case we have two kinds of generation combined, alternating with each other.

Plant-lice afford a curious illustration of a similar generation. Males and females unite and produce eggs. The creatures produced by the hatching of eggs are neither males nor perfect females. They are imperfect females. They are all alike, so that no sexual union occurs. Instead of laying eggs, they produce live young like themselves, which appear to be developed from internal buds similar to the external buds of the polyp. After this method of reproduction has continued for eight or ten generations, a few perfect individuals appear, and the first process is repeated.

The common honey-bee affords another illustration like the last. A virgin queen sometimes lays eggs, which always produce males, or drones. After union with a male, she lays eggs in the royal cells which become perfect females like herself. She also seems to have the power to lay, at will, unfecundated eggs, from which drones are produced.

Human Beings Are Developed Buds.—It has been very aptly suggested by an eminent physiologist that the ovum and zoösperm may be correctly considered as internal buds. Thus it would appear that generation is universally a process of budding. A child is but a compound bud, an offshoot from its parents. This idea is not a mere fancy, but has a scientific basis. As all the exquisite details of the most beautiful flower are in essence contained within the tiny bud which first makes its appearance, so is the developed human being, the full-grown man or woman, virtually contained within the tiny cell called the ovum after it has been impregnated or fecundated by the zoösperms. In short, men and women are blossoms in a strictly scientific sense.

Fecundation in Hermaphrodites.—The process of fecundation in hermaphrodite animals is very peculiar. In some cases, as in the snail, the union of two individuals is usually necessary, though each possesses both kinds of organs. In other cases, as in the tape-worm, the oyster, and numerous other mollusks, a single individual has the power to fertilize its own ova, thus being wholly independent. Human hermaphrodites are usually so deformed that fecundation is not effected, which is a fortunate safeguard against the multiplication of such monstrosities.

Development.—After the union of the two elements, known as fecundation or conception, if the conditions are favorable, development occurs, and the little germ is in due process of time developed into an individual which is an exact counterpart of its parents. During this developmental process, the embryonic being is variously treated by different classes of animals.

Unprotected Development.—Most fishes and reptiles discharge their ova before fecundation, or soon after, and pay no further attention to them. The fish deposits its eggs in a little hollow scooped out in the gravelly bed of a stream, or sows them broadcast upon the waters. The turtle buries its eggs in the sand, and leaves them to be hatched by the sun. The ostrich disposes of her eggs in the same way. Many other species of animals pay no regard to the protection of the germs which are destined, if placed under favorable conditions, to become individuals like themselves.

Partial Protection of the Ovum.—There are some exceptions, however, to this general rule among fishes and reptiles. Even fishes manifest a degree of parental solicitude in certain cases. The male of a species of South American fish gathers up the eggs after fecundation has taken place, and carries them in his mouth until they are hatched. Another male fish carries the eggs of his mate in a little pouch upon the lower and posterior part of his body.

Certain species of frogs carry their eggs wound about their legs; others suspend them from the abdomen. Another variety carries its young upon its back. Prof. Wyman describes a "swamp toad" which patiently takes the eggs of his mate, one by one, and fastens them upon her back, observing great regularity in arrangement. These several devices are evidently for the purpose of protecting, in some degree, the young individual during the helpless stage of its existence.

Development in the Higher Animals and Man.—Higher animals are less prolific, and their development is a more complicated process; hence, their young need greater protection, and, for this reason, the ova, instead of being discharged from the body of the female after fecundation, are retained.[3] As we have seen that a suitable receptacle is sometimes provided outside of the body, so now a receptacle is needed, and is provided in the interior of the body of the female. This receptacle is called

3 Curious examples of internal development sometimes occur in animals which usually deposit eggs. Snakes have been known to produce both eggs and living young at the same time. At the annual meeting of the American Society for the Advancement of Science, at Detroit, Mich., in August, 1875, we had the pleasure of examining a specimen, exhibited by Prof. Wilder, of a chick which had undergone a considerable degree of development within the ovary of the hen. It had a head, a rudimentary brain, and internal viscera, but no feathers nor limbs. It was, in fact, an egg hatched before it had been laid. The anomaly excited much interest at that time and since among biologists.

The Uterus.—This is a hollow, pear-shaped organ, located in the median line, just behind the bladder, between it and the rectum. It is supported in place by various ligaments and by the juxtaposition of other organs. Its larger end is directed upward, and communicates upon each side with a very narrow tube which is prolonged outward on either side until it nearly touches the ovary of the same side. Its lower and smaller end fills the internal extremity of the passage previously described as the vagina. When an ovum is matured, it escapes from the ovary into the narrow tube referred to, called the Fallopian tube, and passes down into the cavity of the uterus. If fecundation does not occur, it is expelled or absorbed after six to twelve or fourteen days. If copulation occurs, however, zoösperms are brought into the cavity of the uterus, and, coming in contact with the ovum, fecundate it. This is conception. When the natural process is allowed to proceed, development occurs.

Uterine Gestation.—This is the term applied to the process last referred to. We shall not attempt to describe in detail this most wonderful and intricate of all living processes; but will sketch only the chief points, leaving the reader who would obtain a more complete knowledge of the subject to consult any one of the numerous physiological and obstetrical works which deal with it in a very exhaustive manner.

As soon as the ovum is impregnated by the male element, it begins a process of symmetrical division. The first division produces two cells out of the single one which first existed. By the next division, four segments are produced; then eight, sixteen, etc. While this process is going on, the ovum becomes adherent to the internal wall of the uterus, and is soon enveloped by its mucous membrane, which grows up about and incloses it.

The Primitive Trace.—When the process of segmentation has advanced to a certain point, the cells are aggregated together in a compact layer at the surface. Soon a straight line appears upon this layer, which is called the primitive trace. This delicate line becomes the basis for the spinal column; and upon and about it the whole individual is developed by an intricate process of folding, dividing, and reduplication of the layer of cells. One end of the line becomes the head, and the other becomes the tail. Even man has a caudal appendage at an early stage of his existence. After a further lapse of time, little excrescences, buds, or "pads," appear in the proper positions to represent the arms and legs. After further development the ends split up into fingers and toes, and by the continued development of the parts, perfect arms and legs are formed.

Curious Relation to Lower Animals.—It is a very remarkable fact that in the lower animals we have numerous examples in which the permanent condition of the individual is the same as some one of the stages through which man passes in the process of development. The same author previously quoted makes the following interesting statements:—

"The webbed feet of the seal and ornithorhynchus typify the period when the hands and feet of the human embryo are as yet only partly subdivided into fingers and toes. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the 'web' to persist to some extent between the toes of adults; and occasionally children are born with two or more fingers or toes united to their tips.

"With the seal and the walrus, the limbs are protruded but little beyond the wrist and ankle. With the ordinary quadrupeds, the knee and elbow are visible. The cats, the lemurs, and the monkeys form a series in which the limbs are successively freed from the trunk, and in the highest apes they are capable of nearly the same movements as the human arm and leg, which, in their development, passed through all these stages."

Simplicity of Early Structures.—The first structures formed are exceedingly simple in form. It is only by slow degrees that the great complicity which characterizes many organs is finally attained. For example, the heart is at first only a straight tube. By enlargement and the formation of longitudinal and transverse partitions, the fully developed organ is finally produced. The stomach and intestines are also at first but a simple straight tube. The stomach and large intestine are formed by dilatation; and by a growth of the tube in length while the ends are confined, the small intestines are formed. The other internal organs are successively developed by similar processes.

The Stages of Growth.—At first insignificant in size—a simple cell, the embryonic human being steadily increases in size, gradually approximating more and more closely to the human form, until, at the end of about nine calendar months or ten lunar months, the new individual is prepared to enter the world and begin a more independent course of life. The following condensation of a summary quoted by Dr. Austin Flint, Jr., will give an idea of the size of the developing being at different periods, and the rate of progress:—

At the end of the third week, the embryon is a little less than one-fourth of an inch in length.

At the end of the seventh week, it is three-fourths of an inch long. The liver, lungs, and other internal organs are partially formed.

At the eighth week, it is about one inch in length. It begins to look some like a human being, but it is impossible to determine the sex.

At the third month, the embryon has attained the length of two to two and one-half inches. Its weight is about one ounce.

At the end of the fourth month, the embryon is called a fetus. It is from four to five inches long, and weighs five ounces.

At the fifth month, the fetus is nearly a foot long, and weighs about half a pound.

At the sixth month, the average length of the fetus is about thirteen inches, and its weight one and a half to two pounds. If born, life could continue a few minutes.

At the seventh month, the fetus is from fourteen to fifteen inches long, and weighs two to three pounds. It is now viable (may live if born).

At the eighth month, the length of the fetus is from fifteen to sixteen inches, and its weight from three to four pounds.

At the ninth month, the fetus is about seventeen inches long, and weighs from five to six pounds.

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

Duration of Gestation.—The length of time required for the development of a human being is usually reckoned as about forty weeks. A more precise statement places it at about two hundred and seventy-eight days. This limit is often varied from. Cases have occurred in which a much longer time has been required, and numberless cases have occurred in which human beings have been born several weeks before the expiration of the usual time, as stated. There is some uncertainty respecting the exact length of the period of gestation, which grows out of the difficulty of determining, in many cases, the exact time when conception takes place.

Uterine Life.—The uterine life of the new individual begins with the impregnation of the ovum, which occurs the instant it is brought in contact with the zoösperms of the male. While in the uterus, the young life is supported wholly by the mother. She is obliged to provide not only for her own sustenance, but for the maintenance of her child. And she must not only eat for it, but breathe for it as well, since it requires a constant and adequate supply of oxygen before birth as much as afterward.

How the Unborn Infant Breathes.—Oxygen and nutriment are both supplied to it through the medium of an organ called the placenta, which is a spongy growth composed almost entirely of blood-vessels, and is developed upon the inner wall of the uterus, at the point at which the ovum attaches itself after fecundation. The growing fetus is connected with this vascular organ by means of a sort of cable, called the umbilical cord. The cord is almost entirely composed of blood-vessels which convey the blood of the fetus to the placenta and return it again. The fetal blood does not mix with that of the mother, but receives oxygen and nourishment from it by absorption through the thin walls which alone separate it from the mother's blood.

The umbilical cord contains no nerves, as there is no nervous connection between the mother and the child. The only way in which the child can be influenced by the mother is through the medium of the blood, to changes in which it is very susceptible, as we shall see more clearly hereafter.

The cord is attached to the body of the child at the point called the navel, being cut off at birth by the accoucheur. With the placenta, it is expelled soon after the birth of the child, and constitutes the shapeless mass familiarly known as the after-birth, by the retention of which the most serious trouble is occasionally caused.

Parturition.—At the end of the period of development, the young being is forcibly expelled from the laboratory of nature in which it has been formed. In other words, it is born; and this process is termed parturition. Though, at first thought, such an act would seem an utter impossibility, yet it is a very admirable illustration of nature's adaptation of means to ends. During the months of gestation, while the uterus has been enlarging to accommodate its daily increasing contents, the generative passages have also been increasing in size and becoming soft and distensible, so that a seeming impossibility is in due time accomplished without physical damage, though possibly not without intense suffering. However, it is a most gratifying fact that modern medical science may do much to mitigate the pains of childbirth. It is possible, by a proper course of preparation for the expected event, to greatly lessen the suffering usually undergone; and some ladies assert that they have thus avoided real pain altogether. Although the curse pronounced upon the feminine part of the race, in consequence of the sin of Eve, implies suffering in the parturient act, yet there is no doubt that the greater share of the daughters of Eve are, through the perverting and degenerating influences of wrong habits and especially of modern civilization, compelled to suffer many times more than their maternal ancestor. We have sufficient evidence of this in the fact that among barbarian women, who are generally less perverted physically than civilized women, childbirth is regarded with very little apprehension, since it occasions little pain or inconvenience. The same is true of many women among the lower laboring classes. In short, while it is true that more or less suffering must always accompany the parturient act, yet the excessive pain usually attendant upon the process is the result of causes which can in many cases be removed by proper management beforehand and at the time of confinement.

After being relieved of its contents, the uterus and other organs rapidly return to nearly their original size.

Changes in the Child at Birth.—In the system of the child a wonderful change occurs at the moment of its expulsion into the outer world. For the first time, its lungs are filled with air. For the first time they receive the full tide of blood. The whole course of the circulation is changed, and an entirely new process begins. It is surprising in how short a space of time changes so marvelous can be wrought.

Nursing.—The process of development is not fully complete at birth. The young life is not yet prepared to support itself; hence, still further provision is necessary for it. It requires prepared food suited to its condition. This is provided by the mammæ, or breasts, of the female, which are glands for secreting milk. The fully developed gland is peculiar to the female; but a few instances have been known in which it has been sufficiently developed to become functionally active in men, as well as in young girls, though it is usually inactive even in women until near the close of gestation. It is a curious fact that the breasts of a new-born child occasionally contain milk.

The first product of the mammæ is not the proper milk secretion, but is a yellowish fluid called colostrum . The true milk secretion begins two or three days after delivery.

The lacteal secretion is influenced in a very remarkable manner by the mental conditions of the mother. By sudden emotions of grief or anger, it has been known to undergo such changes as to produce in the child a fit of indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, and even convulsions and death. Any medicine taken by the mother finds its way into the milk, and often affects the delicate system of the infant more than herself. This fact should be a warning to those nursing mothers who use stimulants. Cases are not uncommon in which delicate infants are kept in a state of intoxication for weeks by the use of alcoholic drinks by the mother. The popular notion that lager-beer, ale, wine, or alcohol in any other form, is in any degree necessary or beneficial to a nursing woman is a great error which cannot be too often noticed and condemned. Not only is the mother injured, instead of being benefited by such a practice, but great injury, sometimes life-long in its consequences, is inflicted upon the babe at her breast who takes the intoxicating poison at second hand, and is influenced in a fourfold degree from its feebleness and great susceptibility.


Having now considered the functions and somewhat of the structures of the principal organs of reproduction, we may obtain a more definite idea of the relation of the several organs of each class by a connected review of the anatomy of the parts.

Male Organs.—As previously stated, the external organs of generation in the male are the penis and the testicles, the latter being contained in a pouch called the scrotum. The penis is the organ of urination as well as copulation. Its structure is cellular, and it contains a vast number of minute coils of blood-vessels which become turgid with blood under the influence of sexual excitement, producing distention and erection of the organ. A canal passes through its entire length, called the urethra, which conveys both the urine and the seminal fluid. The organ is protected by a loose covering of integument which folds over the end. This fold is called the foreskin or prepuce.

The fluid formed by each testicle is conveyed by the vas deferens, a curved tube about two feet in length, to the base of the bladder. Here the vas deferens joins with another duct which communicates with an elongated pouch, the vesicula seminalis, which lies close upon the under side of the bladder. The single tube thus formed, the ejaculatory duct, conveys the seminal fluid to the urethra, from which it is discharged.

As the production of seminal fluid is more or less constant in man and some animals, while its discharge is intermittent, the vesiculæ seminales serve as reservoirs for the fluid, preserving it until required, or allowing it to undergo absorption. Some claim that the zoösperms are matured in these organs. They always contain seminal fluid after the age of puberty. During coition, their contents are forcibly expelled by a spasmodic contraction of the muscles which surround them and the ducts leading from them.

The Prostate Gland.—Surrounding the ejaculatory ducts and their openings into the urethra at the base of the bladder is the prostate gland, which produces a peculiar secretion which forms a considerable portion of the seminal fluid, being mingled with the secretion of the testes during its ejaculation. This gland sometimes becomes the seat of somewhat serious disease. In old age it usually becomes somewhat indurated, and often to such an extent as to seriously affect the health and comfort of the individual by interference with urination and by occasioning pain.

Anterior to this organ, in the urethra, is a curious little pouch, the utriculus, which corresponds to the vagina and uterus in the female. Just in front of the prostate gland are two small bodies known as Cowper's glands. They secrete a fluid which combines with the seminal secretion.

Female Organs.—The ovaries, uterus, or womb, Fallopian tubes, and vagina have already been described in part. The external organs of the female are included in the term vulva or pudenda. The most superficial parts are the labia, two thick folds of integument. Just within these are two thinner folds, the labia minora or nymphæ. These, together with the clitoris, situated just above, are extremely sensitive organs, being the chief seat of sexual sense in the female. At the lower part is the opening to the vagina, which in the virgin is usually partially guarded by a thin membrane, the hymen. This is not always a reliable test of virginity, however, as commonly regarded, since it may be destroyed by disease or accident, and may exist even after the occurrence of pregnancy.

The vagina extends from the vulva to the lower end of the uterus, which it incloses, passing between the bladder and the rectum. The lower extremity of the uterus presents a small opening which leads into its interior. Upon either side, at its upper and larger end, is a minute opening, the mouth of the Fallopian tube. The latter organs extend from the uterus outward nearly to the ovaries, toward which they present a number of small filaments, one of which is in contact with each ovary. These filaments, together with the interior of the tubes, are covered with a peculiar kind of cells, upon which are minute cilia, or hairs, in constant motion. Very curiously, they all move in the same direction, toward the cavity of the uterus. When an ovum escapes from the ovary in connection with menstruation, it is by these delicate hairs propelled along a filament of tissue to the Fallopian tube, and thence by the same means is conveyed to the uterus. It may come in contact with the zoösperms at any point between the ovary and the lower orifice of the uterus, and thus undergo fecundation.

Puberty.—For a certain period after birth, the sexual organs remain in a partially developed condition. This period varies in duration with different animals; in some cases being very brief, in others, comprising several years. Upon the attainment of a certain age, the individual becomes sexually perfect, and is then capable of the generative act. This period is called puberty. In man, puberty commonly occurs between the ages of ten and fifteen years, varying considerably in different climates. In this country, and in other countries of about the same latitude, puberty usually occurs at the age of fourteen or fourteen and one-half years in females, and a few months later in males. In cooler climates, as in Norway and Siberia, the change is delayed to the age of eighteen or nineteen years. In tropical climates it is hastened, occurring as early as nine or ten years. In warm climates it is no uncommon thing for a girl to be a mother at twelve; and it is stated that one of the wives of Mahomet was a mother at ten.

Other causes besides climate tend to hasten the occurrence of this change, as habits, temperament, constitutional tendency, education, and idiosyncrasy.

Habits of vigorous physical exercise tend to delay the access of puberty. For this reason, together with others, country boys and girls generally mature later than those living in the city by several months, and even a year or two. Anything that tends to excite the emotions hastens puberty. The excitements of city life, parties, balls, theaters, even the competition of students in school, and the various causes of excitement to the nervous system which occur in city life, have a tendency to hasten the occurrence of the change which awakens the sexual activities of the system into life. Hence, these influences cannot but be considered prejudicial to the best interests of the individual, mentally, morally, and physically, since it is in every way desirable that a change which arouses the passions and gives to them greater intensity should be delayed rather than hastened.

Influence of Diet on Puberty.—The dietary has a not unimportant influence in this respect. Stimulating food, such as pepper, vinegar, mustard, spices, and condiments generally, together with tea and coffee, and an excess of animal food, have a clearly appreciable influence in inducing the premature occurrence of puberty. On this account, if on no other, should these articles be prohibited to children and youth, or used very sparingly. Those who advocate the large use of meat by children and youth have not studied this matter closely in all its bearings. While it is true that children and growing youth require an abundance of the nitrogenous elements of food which are found abundantly in beefsteak, mutton, fish, and other varieties of animal food, it is also true that in taking those articles of food they take along with the nutrient elements properties of a stimulating character, which exert a decidedly detrimental influence upon the susceptible systems of children and youth. At the same time, it is possible to obtain the same desirable nitrogenous elements in oatmeal, unbolted wheat flour, peas, beans, and other vegetable productions, which are wholly free from injurious properties. We are positive from numerous observations on this subject, that a cool, unstimulating, vegetable or farinaceous diet would deter the development of the sexual organism for several months, and perhaps for a year or two.

While it might not be in all cases desirable to do this, it would at least be wise to adopt such measures in cases in which the child is unavoidably exposed to influences which have a tendency to hasten the change.

It is important to add in this connection a word of caution against the adoption of a dietary too abstemious in character. It is necessary that an abundance of good, wholesome food, rich in the elements of nutrition, should be taken regularly. There is no doubt that many young ladies have induced conditions of serious disease by actual starvation of the system. A young woman who attempts to live on strong tea or coffee, fine-flour bread, and sweet cake, is as certainly starving herself as though she were purposely attempting to commit suicide by means of starvation, and with as much certainty of the same result.

Brunettes Naturally Precocious.—It has been observed that in girls the occurrence of puberty is earlier in brunettes than in blondes; and in general it makes its appearance earlier in persons of a nervous or nervo-bilious temperament than in persons of a lymphatic temperament or phlegmatic nature.

Certain nationalities and families are marked by the earlier occurrence of puberty than in others. In Jews, the change is commonly a year or two in advance of other nationalities in this country. It also occurs somewhat sooner in negroes and creoles than in white persons, the African race seeming to retain something of the precocity occasioned by the tropical influence of its native clime.

Remarkable Precocity.—Cases occasionally occur in which puberty makes its appearance at the age of three or four years. Indeed, a case has been reported in this country in which a female child possessed all the characteristics which are usually developed at puberty, from birth. In this case the regular periodical changes began at birth.

Premature Development Occasions Early Decay.—A fact which is of too great importance to allow to pass unnoticed, is that whatever occasions early or premature sexual development, also occasions premature decay. Females in whom puberty occurs at the age of ten or twelve, by the time their age is doubled, are shriveled and wrinkled with age. At the time when they should be in their prime of health and beauty, they are prematurely old and broken. Those women who mature late retain their beauty and their strength many years after their precocious sisters have become old, decrepit, and broken down. Thus, the matrons of thirty and forty years in colder climates are much more attractive in appearance than the maidens of sixteen; while quite the reverse is true in this and other countries where sexual development is unduly hastened.

Early Puberty a Cause for Anxiety.—The unnaturally early appearance of puberty is a just cause for apprehension, since it usually indicates an inherent weakness of the constitution. When there are reasons for fearing its occurrence, active measures should be taken to occasion delay if possible. We call especial attention to this point, since there are many who erroneously suppose the early occurrence of puberty to be a sign of superior vigor.

Changes which Occur at Puberty.—The changes which occur in the two sexes at this period have been thus described:—

"In both sexes, hair grows on the skin covering the symphysis pubis, around the sexual organs, and in the axillæ (armpits). In man, the chest and shoulders broaden, the larynx enlarges, and the voice becomes lower in pitch from the elongation of the vocal cords; hair grows upon the chin, upper lip, and cheeks, and often exists upon the general surface of the body more abundantly than in woman." The sexual organs undergo enlargement, and are more frequently excited. The testicles first begin the secretion of the seminal fluid.

"In woman, the pelvis and abdomen enlarge, but the whole frame remains more slender, the muscles and joints less prominent, the limbs more rounded and tapering [than in the male]. Locally, both external and internal organs undergo a considerable and rapid enlargement. The mammæ enlarge, the ovarian vesicles become dilated, and there is established a periodical discharge of one or more ova, accompanied, in most cases, by a sanguineous fluid from the cavity of the uterus."

These changes, so varied and extraordinary, often occur within a very short space of time; and as they are liable to serious derangement, especially in the female, great care should be taken to secure for the individual the most favorable conditions until they are successfully effected. It is, however, a fact deserving of mention, that many of the ills which are developed at this particular period are quite as much the result of previous indiscretions and mismanagement as of any immediate cause. A few suggestions with regard to the proper treatment of individuals at this age may be in place.

1. Do not allow the boy or girl to be overworked, either mentally or physically. Great and important changes are occurring within the body, and nature should not be overtaxed.

2. Keep the mind occupied. While excessive labor should be avoided, idleness should be as carefully shunned. Some light, useful employment or harmless amusement—better some kind of work—should keep the mind fully occupied with wholesome subjects.

3. Abundant exercise out-of-doors is essential for both sexes. Sunshine and fresh air are as necessary to the development of a human being as for the expanding of a flower bud.

4. Watch carefully the associations of the youth. This should be done at all times, but especially just at the critical period in question, when the general physical disturbances occurring in the system react upon the mind and make it peculiarly susceptible to influences, especially those of an evil character.

5. None too much care can be exercised at this important epoch of human life, provided it is properly applied; but nothing could be more disastrous in its consequences than a weak solicitude which panders to every whim and gratifies every perverted appetite. Such care is a fatal error.

Menstruation.—The functional changes which occur in the female are much more marked than those of the male. As already intimated, the periodical development and discharge of an ovum by the female, which occurs after puberty, is accompanied by the discharge of a bloody fluid, which is known as the flowers, menses, or catamenia. The accompanying symptoms together are termed the process of menstruation, or being unwell. This usually occurs, in the human female, once in about four weeks. In special cases, the interval may be a week less or a week longer; or the variation may be even greater. Dalton describes the process as follows:—

"When the expected period is about to come on, the female is affected by a certain degree of discomfort and lassitude, a sense of weight in the pelvis, and more or less disinclination to society. These symptoms are in some cases slightly pronounced, in others more troublesome. An unusual discharge of vaginal mucus then begins to take place, which soon becomes yellowish or rusty brown in color, from the admixture of a certain proportion of blood; and by the second or third day, the discharge has the appearance of nearly pure blood. The unpleasant sensations which were at first manifest, then usually subside; and the discharge, after continuing for a certain period, begins to grow more scanty. Its color changes from a pure red to a brownish or rusty tinge, until it finally disappears altogether, and the female returns to her ordinary condition."

The menstrual function continues active from puberty to about the forty-fifth year, or during the period of fertility. When it finally disappears, the woman is no longer capable of bearing children. The time of disappearance is termed the "change of life," or menopause. Exceptional cases occur in which this period is greatly hastened, arriving as early as the thirty-fifth year, or even earlier. Instances have also been observed in which menstruation continued as late as the sixtieth year, and even later; but such cases are very rare; and if procreation occurs, the progeny is feeble and senile.

With rare exceptions, the function is suspended during pregnancy, and usually, also, during the period of nursing.

Nature of Menstruation.—There has been a great amount of speculation concerning the cause and nature of the menstrual process. No entirely satisfactory conclusions have been reached, however, except that it is usually accompanied by the maturation and expulsion from the ovary of an ovum, which is termed ovulation. But menstruation may occur without ovulation, and, vice versa.

Menstruation is not peculiar to the human female, being represented in the higher animals by what is familiarly termed the "rut." This is not usually a bloody discharge, however, as in the human female, though such a discharge has been observed in the monkey.

It has been quite satisfactorily settled that the discharge of the ovum from the ovary generally takes place about the time of the cessation of the flow. Immediately after the discharge, the sexual desires of the female are more intense than at other times. This fact is particularly manifest in lower animals. The following remark by Prof. Dalton is especially significant to those who care to appreciate its bearing:—

"It is a remarkable fact, in this connection, that the female of these [domestic] animals will allow the approaches of the male only during and immediately after the oestrual period [rut]; that is, just when the egg is recently discharged, and ready for impregnation. At other times, when sexual intercourse would be necessarily fruitless, the instinct of the animal leads her to avoid it; and the concourse of the sexes is accordingly made to correspond in time with the maturity of the egg and its aptitude for fecundation."

The amount of fluid lost during the menstrual flow varies greatly with different individuals. It is estimated at from three ounces to half a pint. In cases of deranged function, it may be much greater than this. It is not all blood, however, a considerable portion being mucus. It is rather difficult to understand why the discharge of so considerable a quantity of blood is required. There is no benefit derived from a very copious discharge, as some suppose. Facts seem to indicate that in general those enjoy the best health who lose but small quantities of blood in this manner.

A Critical Period.—As the first occurrence of menstruation is a very critical period in the life of a female, and as each recurrence of the function renders her especially susceptible to morbid influences, and liable to serious derangements, a few hints respecting the proper care of an individual at these periods may be acceptable.

Important Hints.—1. Avoid taking cold. To do this, it is necessary to avoid exposure; not that a person must be constantly confined in a warm room, for such a course would be the surest way in which to increase the susceptibility to cold. Nothing will disturb the menstrual process more quickly than a sudden chilling of the body when in a state of perspiration, or after confinement in a warm room, by exposure, without sufficient protection, to cold air. A daily bath and daily exercise in the open air are the best known means of preventing colds.

2. Intense mental excitement, as well as severe physical labor, is to be sedulously avoided during this period. At the time of its first occurrence, special care should be observed in this direction. Intense study, a fit of anger, sudden grief, or even great merriment, will sometimes arrest the process prematurely. The feeling of malaise which usually accompanies the discharge is by nature intended as a warning that rest and quiet are required; and the hint should be followed. Every endeavor should be made to keep the individual comfortable, calm, and cheerful. Feelings of apprehension arising from a continual watching of symptoms are very depressing, and should be avoided by occupying the mind in some agreeable manner not demanding severe effort, either mental or physical.

There is no doubt that many young women have permanently injured their constitutions while at school by excessive mental taxation during the catamenial period, to which they were prompted by ambition to excel, or were compelled by the "cramming" system too generally pursued in our schools, and particularly in young ladies' seminaries. It is not to be supposed, however, that the moderate amount of sound study required by a correct system of teaching would be injurious to a healthy young woman at any time, and we have no doubt that a very large share of the injury which has been attributed to over-study during the catamenia has been induced by other causes, such as improper dress, exposure to taking cold, keeping late hours, and improper diet.

If there is any class of persons deserving of pity it is that large class of girls and young women who are in every large city employed as clerks, seamstresses, flower makers, and in other taxing and confining occupations. In order to keep their situations they are required to be on hand daily, being allowed no opportunity for rest at the menstrual period. In many cases, too, they are compelled to remain upon their feet all day behind a counter, or at a work table, even at periods when a recumbent position is actually demanded by nature. There should be less delicacy in relation to this subject on the part of young women, and more consideration on the part of employers. Here is a field for philanthropic effort which is well worthy of the best efforts of any person of influence who will engage in it.

Custom of Indian Women.—The ease with which Indian women perform the parturient act is proverbial. They suffer scarcely at all from the pains of childbirth; and without doubt one reason of this is the preservation of their sexual health by rest during the menstrual period. At those seasons they invariably absent themselves from the lodge, and enjoy absolute rest. We may readily suppose, from the nature of some of the Mosaic laws, that a custom somewhat similar prevailed among the ancient Hebrew women. If the hardy women of the forest are benefited by rest, certainly our more delicate females may be thus benefited. All need a degree of rest; with some it should be absolute.

The reckless manner in which some young women treat themselves at the menstrual period, is quite appalling to one who is acquainted with the painful and inveterate character of the evils which arise from such abuse. It is no uncommon thing for young ladies to attend balls, visit skating rinks, and otherwise expose themselves to the influences in every way the best calculated to do them the most harm at this particular period, observing not the slightest precaution. Such recklessness is really criminal; and the sad consequences of physical transgression are sure to follow. A young lady who allows herself to get wet or chilled, or gets the feet wet, just prior to or during menstruation, runs the risk of imposing upon herself life-long injury. Mothers should look carefully after their daughters at these periods, and impress upon them the importance of special care.

3. A third hint, which is applicable to both sexes and at all times, is the necessity of attending promptly to the demands of nature for relief of the bowels and bladder. School-girls are often very negligent in this respect; and we have seen the most distressing cases of disease which were entirely attributable to this disregard of the promptings of nature. Obstinate constipation and chronic irritation of the bladder are common effects. When constipation results, purgatives in the shape of pills, salts, or "pleasant purgative pellets," are resorted to with the certain result of producing only temporary relief, and permanent damage.

To escape these evil consequences, do this: 1. Establish a regular habit of relieving the bowels daily at a certain hour; 2. Discard laxative and cathartic drugs of every kind; 3. To aid in securing a regular movement of the bowels, make a liberal use of oatmeal, wheat-meal, fruit, and vegetables, avoiding fine-flour bread, sweetmeats, and condiments; 4. Take daily exercise, as much as possible short of fatigue; if necessarily confined indoors, counteract the constipating influence of sedentary habits by kneading and percussing the bowels with the hands several minutes each day; 5. Never resist the calls of nature a single moment, if possible to avoid it. In this case, as in numerous others, "delay is dangerous." Ladies who desire a sweet breath—and what lady does not—should remember that retained feces are one of the most frequent causes of foul breath. The foul odors which ought to pass out through the bowels find their way into the blood and escape at the lungs. A medical man whose sense of smell is delicate soon learns to know a constipated person by the breath. As one says, "What is more offensive than the breath of a costive child?"

Boerhaave, a famous old Dutch physician, left to his heirs an elegantly bound volume in which, he claimed, were written all the secrets of the science of physic. After his death, the wonderful book was opened, when it was found to contain only the following sentence:—

"Keep the head cool, the feet warm, and the bowels open."

An old Scotch physician once gave the following advice to Sir Astley Cooper for the preservation of health:—

"Keep in the fear of the Lord, and your bowels open."

4. Perhaps nothing tends more directly to the production of menstrual derangements—as well as uterine diseases of every sort—than fashionable modes of dress. We have not space here to give to the subject the attention it deserves; it will be found treated of in works devoted to the subject of dress exclusively. Some of the most glaring evils are,—

(1) Unequal distribution of clothing. The trunk, especially the abdomen and pelvis, is covered with numerous layers of clothing, an extra amount being caused by the overlapping of the upper and lower garments. Very frequently, the amount of clothing upon these, the most vital parts, is excessive. At the same time, the limbs are sometimes almost in a state of nudity. A single cotton garment, or at most one of thin flannel, is the only protection afforded to the limbs beneath the skirts, which often serve no better purpose than to collect cold air and retain it in contact with the limbs. A thin stocking is the only protection for the ankles, and a thin shoe is the only additional covering afforded the feet. Under such circumstances, it is no wonder that a woman catches cold if she only steps out-of-doors on a chilly or damp day.

(2) Another glaring fault is in the manner of suspending the skirts. Instead of being fastened to a waist or suspended so as to give them support from the shoulders, they are hung upon the hips, being drawn tight at the waist to secure support. By this means, the organs of the pelvis are pressed down out of place. The uterus becomes congested, and painful menstrual derangements ensue.

(3) Tight lacing, or compressing the waist with a corset, is a barbarous practice which produces the same results as the one last mentioned. Reform in all of these particulars is an imperative necessity for every woman who desires to secure or retain sexual health.

It is of the greatest importance that careful attention should be given to the proper establishment of the menstrual function at the outset of a woman's life of sexual activity. The first two years will be quite likely to have a deciding influence respecting her health during her whole future life. If a woman can get through the first two years after puberty without acquiring any serious uterine or ovarian disease, she will stand a good chance of enjoying a good degree of sexual health during the balance of her life. The foundation of a great share of the many thousands of cases of uterine disease is laid during this period.

At this early period the daughter is usually too young to appreciate the importance of observing slight deviations from the standard of health, even if she were able to recognize them. Hence it is a duty which no mother should neglect, to inquire into the exact frequency of the periods, the amount and character of the discharge, and other points necessary to ascertain whether or not there is any deviation from the natural condition of health. If there is pain, it is a certain evidence of something seriously wrong. If there is irregularity in any particular, it is a matter well deserving of serious attention.

Menorrhagia.—This condition is that in which there is a too profuse discharge of blood. The system is weakened by the loss, and, so much so, in many cases, that the individual does not recover her accustomed strength before the occurrence of the next period, when she becomes weakened still more. By a continuance of this periodical loss, the person may be reduced to a state of almost utter helplessness. A deathly pallor of the countenance, extreme emaciation, loss of strength, and general debility mark the effects of the constant drain upon the system. Thousands of young women continue to suffer in this way year after year, until their constitutions are almost hopelessly wrecked, being deterred by false notions of modesty or delicacy from consulting a proper medical adviser and finding relief.

The observance of a few simple precautions, and the application of proper remedies, will check the unnatural loss in most of these cases very promptly. In the first place, absolute rest, chiefly in a supine position, must be observed not only during the menstrual period, but for a few days previous to its commencement. If this does not restrain the flow, then cool and even cold compresses may be applied to the lower part of the abdomen and to the small of the back. In severe cases no harm will come from the use of an ice-compress, made by inclosing pounded ice between the folds of a towel. Great care must be taken to make the hands, arms, feet, and limbs thoroughly warm by the application of warm bottles and woolen blankets. These measures will scarcely fail to accomplish the desired end, if employed thoroughly and judiciously. It may be well to add just here that the popular fear of using cold in such cases is groundless. No harm can come so long as the extremities are kept warm, and the circulation well balanced. The patient must not be made chilly, however. It is also of importance that the patient be kept mentally quiet as well as physically so.

Much good will result from these simple measures at the time of the period; but a radical cure can only be effected by removing the cause of the difficulty. The patient's general health must be improved, and local congestion must be removed. This will be accomplished by attention to general hygiene, gentle exercise out-of-doors between the periods, abundance of good food, tonic baths and other necessary treatment if there is derangement of the digestive organs, and daily hip baths with a local douche. The hip bath should be taken in water of a temperature of 92° at the beginning. After five minutes the temperature may be lowered 5°. After five minutes more, it may be lowered a few degrees more. By taking a warm foot bath at 95° or 100° at the same time, quite a cool bath may be endured without chilling. The bath should be continued 15 minutes to 30 minutes, according to the strength of the patient. A shorter bath than this will do little good, as the sedative effect will not be obtained.

The douche may be taken at the same time with the bath, or before, as is most convenient. The fountain or syphon syringe should be employed, and the water used should range from 95° to 105°, as best suits the sensations of the patient, being cooled a little toward the last. In general, the hot douche, of a temperature from 100° to 115°, or even 120°, is not only more agreeable, but much more beneficial.

By these simple remedies alone we have successfully treated scores of cases of this sort. In some cases other remedies may be required, and in nearly all, accessory remedies can be employed to advantage; but the measures described are the main features of the most successful mode of treatment.

Dysmenorrhoea.—This condition is that in which there is more or less pain and difficulty in connection with the menstrual process. The causes are various, as congestion of the uterus, malformation, and displacement or distortion of the organ. Some of these conditions require the attention of a skilled physician to remedy; but all will be palliated more or less by a course of treatment similar to that described for the previous condition. A warm sitz or hip bath just at the beginning of the period will often give almost magical relief. The application of fomentations over the lower part of the abdomen, and the corresponding portion of the spine, or of hot bags, bottles, etc., in the same localities, is a measure of great utility. The patient should be covered warm in bed, should keep quiet, and great care should be used to keep the extremities well warmed. The use of electricity is a very valuable aid in numerous cases, but this requires the services of a physician, who should always be employed in severe cases when within reach.

In many cases of this form of disease the suffering is so great that the constant dread of its periodical repetition becomes a source of great unhappiness, and casts a gloom over the life of an individual who would otherwise be as happy as could be desired.

Amenorrhoea and Chlorosis.—These are serious disorders which require prompt and vigorous attention. They depend less frequently on disorder of the sexual organs themselves than upon some disorder of the general system. They usually demand the attention of a competent physician, and require a more accurate description of their nature and of proper modes of treatment than we have space to give here.

Hysteria.—From the most remote ages of medical history this disease has been regarded as intimately connected with morbid states of the female organs of generation, especially the uterus. That it is not exclusively produced by causes of this kind is evidenced by the fact that men also sometimes suffer from this curious malady. The phases which it assumes are so numerous that we shall not attempt an accurate description of it; neither is this required, as there are few who are not familiar with its peculiar manifestations. It simulates almost every disease. Even consumption and other formidable maladies have been so completely simulated by this disorder as to deceive physicians of long experience. We have met cases in which young ladies were supposed to be in the last stages of pulmonary disease, were apparently gasping almost their last breath, panting, coughing, and experiencing the usual symptoms which accompany tuberculous disease of the lungs, when, upon making a thorough physical examination of the chest, we could find no evidence of pulmonary disease. In one case we incurred the everlasting displeasure of a young lady by disclosing the real state of affairs; but we were repaid in seeing an immediate disappearance of the symptoms, and complete recovery within six weeks, although the young woman had been considered hopelessly ill by her friends and physicians for six months, and was tenderly watched over, petted, and mourned by friends as one who must soon fall a victim to fell disease.

The foundation of this disease is almost always laid in some indiscretion by means of which disease of the uterus is induced, and the most careful attention to this part of the organism is required. It should not be treated as a trivial matter which is wholly the result of a diseased imagination, and requires only mental treatment, since it is a real malady, dependent upon morbid states of the system. It requires substantial and thorough treatment as much as rheumatism, dyspepsia, or any other of the numerous diseases to which humanity is subject.

Prevention Better than Cure.—We might mention numerous other diseased conditions which grow out of inattention to the laws of health relating to the sexual organism; but to dwell longer upon this part of the subject would be to depart from the plan of this work, and we must forbear. This whole class of maladies is noted for obstinacy in great numbers of cases when the morbid conditions have existed for a long time. In addition it should be remarked that some of the most inveterate disorders of the nervous system originate in this same manner. The thousands of ladies who are suffering with spinal irritation, organic disease of the spine and other nervous disorders, are witnesses to this fact. It is apparent, then, that prevention of these serious maladies by attention to sexual hygiene, especially to the hygiene of menstruation at the first establishment of that function, is a matter of gravest importance. In fact, attention to hygiene is about all that is required. With this, drugs will be rarely required; without, they will be utterly useless.

Extra-Uterine Pregnancy.—Sometimes the ovum becomes fecundated before reaching the uterus, and, instead of passing onward into that organ as usual, remains in its position in the Fallopian tube or even on the surface of the ovary. Occasionally an ovum falls into the cavity of the abdomen instead of passing into the tube. Even in this situation it may be fecundated. Impregnated ova thus left in abnormal positions, undergo a greater or lesser degree of development. They commonly result in the death of the mother.

Twins.—The human female usually matures but one ovum at each menstrual period, the two ovaries acting alternately. Occasionally two ova are matured at once. If fecundation occurs, the result will be a development of two embryos at the same time. In rare cases, three or even four ova are matured at once, and by fecundation produce a corresponding number of embryos. As many as five children have been born alive at one birth, but have not lived more than a few minutes.

The occurrence of multiple pregnancies may be explained by the supposition that ova matured subsequent to the first fecundation are also fecundated.

In lower animals, the uterus is often divided into two long segments which afford room for the development of a number of young at once. Some ancient writers make most absurd statements with regard to the fecundity of females. One declares that the simultaneous birth of seven or eight infants by the same mother was an ordinary occurrence with Egyptian women! Other statements still more extravagant are made by writers. For example: A traveler in the seventeenth century wrote that he saw, in the year 1630, in a church near the Hague, a tablet on which was an inscription stating that a certain noted countess gave birth at once, in the year 1276, to 365 infants, who were all baptized and christened, the males being all called John, and the females, Elizabeth. They all died on the day of their birth, with their mother, according to the account, and were buried in the church, where a tablet was erected to their memory.

Monsters.—Defects and abnormalities in the development of the embryon produce all degrees of deviation from the typical human form. Excessive development may result in an extra finger or toe, or in the production of some peculiar excrescence. Deficiency of development may produce all degrees of abnormality from the simple harelip to the most frightful deficiency, as the absence of a limb, or even of a head. It is in this manner that those unfortunate individuals known as hermaphrodites are formed. An excessive development of some parts of the female generative organs gives them a great degree of similarity to the external organs of the male. A deficient development of the male organs renders them very similar in form to those of the female. Redundant development of the sexual organism sometimes results in the development of both kinds of organs in the same individual in a state more or less complete. Cases have occurred in which it has become necessary, for legal purposes, to decide respecting the sex of an individual suffering from defective development, and it has sometimes been exceedingly difficult to decide in a given case whether the individual was male or female.

Such curious cases as the Carolina twins and Chang and Eng were formerly supposed to be the result of the union of two separate individuals. It is now believed that they are developed from a single ovum. It has been observed that the primitive trace—described in a previous section—sometimes undergoes partial division longitudinally. If it splits a little at the anterior end, the individual will have a single body with two heads. If a partial division occurs at each end, the resulting being will possess two heads and two pairs of legs joined to a single body. More complete division produces a single trunk with two heads, two pairs of arms, and two pairs of legs, as in the case of the Carolina twins. Still more complete division may result in the formation of two perfect individuals almost entirely independent of each other, physiologically, but united by a narrow band, as in the remarkable Siamese twins, Chang and Eng.

In a curious case reported not a great while ago, a partially developed infant was amputated from the cheek of a child some time after birth.

The precise cause of these strange modifications of development is as yet, in great degree, a mystery.

Hybrids.—It is a well-known law of biology that no progeny result from union of animals of different species. Different varieties of the same species may in some cases form a fertile union, the result of which is a cross between its two parents, possessing some of the qualities of each. The mule is the product of such a union between the horse and the ass. A curious fact is that the offspring of such unions are themselves sterile almost without exception. The reason of this is that they do not produce mature elements of generation. In the mule, the zoösperms are either entirely absent or else very imperfectly developed; hence the fact that a colt having a mule for its sire is one of the rarest of curiosities, though a few instances have been reported. This is a wise law of nature to preserve the purity of species.

Law of Sex.—If there is a law by which the sex of the developing embryon is determined, it probably has not yet been discovered. The influence of the will, the predominant vitality of one or the other of the parents, and the period at which conception occurs, have all been supposed to be the determining cause. A German physician some time since advanced the theory that the two testicles and ovaries produce elements of different sexual character, the right testicle forming zoösperms capable of producing only males, and the right ovary producing ova with the same peculiarity. The left testis and the left ovary he supposed to form the female elements. He claimed to have proved his theory by experiments upon animals. Even if true, this theory will not be made of practical importance. It is, in fact, nothing more than a revival of an old theory held by physicians who flourished more than two thousand years ago.

More recently another German physician has advanced the theory that the sex may be controlled at will by observing the time of fecundation. He asserts that when fecundation occurs shortly after menstruation, the result will be a female; but if impregnation occurs later in the month, and prior to the three or four days preceding the next menstrual period, a male will almost certainly be produced. This theory was proposed by Prof. Thury of the academy of Geneva, who claims to have thoroughly tested it in a great variety of ways, and always with an affirmative result. Dr. Heitzman, of New York, an instructor in pathological histology, and an eminent physiologist, informs us that he has thoroughly tested this theory, and finds it to be entirely reliable. There are numerous facts which seem to corroborate the truth of this theory, and future investigations may give to it the dignity of an established physiological fact.

Heredity.—The phenomena of heredity are among the most interesting of biological studies. It is a matter of common observation that a child looks like its parents. It even happens that a child resembles an uncle or a grandparent more nearly than either parent. The same peculiarities are often seen in animals.

The cause of this resemblance of offspring to parents and ancestors has been made a subject of careful study by scientific men. We shall present the most recent theory adopted, which, although it be but a theory, presents such an array of facts in its support, and explains the phenomena in question so admirably, that it must be regarded as something more than a plausible hypothesis. It is the conception of one of the most distinguished scientists of the age. The theory is known as the doctrine of pangenesis, and is essentially as follows:—

It is a fact well known to physiologists that every part of the living body is made up of cellular elements which have the power to reproduce themselves in the individual, thus repairing the damage resulting from waste and injury. Each cell produces cells like itself. It is further known that there are found in the body numerous central points of growth. In every group of cells is found a central cell from which the others originated, and which determines the form of their growth. Every minute structure possesses such a center. A simple proof of this fact is found in the experiment in which the spur of a cock was grafted upon the ear of an ox. It lived in this novel situation eight years, attaining the length of nine inches, and nearly a pound in weight. A tooth has been made to grow upon the comb of a cock in a similar manner. The tail of a pig survived the operation of transplanting from its proper position to the back of the animal, and retained its sensibility. Numerous other similar illustrations might be given.

The doctrine of pangenesis supposes that these centers of nutrition form and throw off not only cells like themselves, but very minute granules, called gemmules, each of which is capable, under suitable circumstances, of developing into a cell like its parent.

These minute granules are scattered through the system in great numbers. The essential organs of generation, the testicles in the male and the ovaries in the female, perform the task of collecting these gemmules and forming them into sets, each of which constitutes a reproductive element, and contains, in rudimentary form, a representative of every part of the individual, including the most minute peculiarities. Even more than this: It is supposed that each ovum and each zoösperm contains not only the gemmules necessary to reproduce the individuals who produced them, but also a number of gemmules which have been transmitted from the individuals' ancestors.

If this theory be true,—and we can see no sound objection to it,—it is easy to understand all the problems of heredity. The gemmules must be very small indeed, but it may be suggested that the molecules of matter are smaller still, so this fact is no objection to the theory.

It will be seen, then, that each spermatozoön, or zoösperm, actually contains, in an embryonic condition, every organ and tissue of the individual producing it. The same is true of the ovum. In other words, the reproductive elements are complete representatives, in miniature, of the parents, and contain all the elements for producing an offspring possessing the same peculiarities as the parents. Various modifying circumstances sufficiently explain the dissimilarities between parents and children.

This theory is strikingly confirmed by the fact, previously mentioned, that in certain cases the ovum alone, a single reproductive element, may undergo a degree of development approaching very near to completion. It is supposed that fecundation is chiefly necessary to give to the gemmules the requisite amount of nourishment to insure development.

As we shall see hereafter, this matter has a very important bearing upon several practical questions.

Ante-Natal Influences.—There can be no manner of doubt that many circumstances which it is entirely within the power of the parents to supply, exert a powerful influence in molding both the mental and the physical characteristics of offspring. By carefully availing himself of the controlling power given him by a knowledge of this fact, the stock-raiser is enabled to produce almost any required quality in his young animals. Pigeon fanciers show wonderful skill in thus producing most curious modifications in birds. The laws of heredity and development are carefully studied and applied in the production of superior horses, cows, dogs, and pigeons; but an application of the same principles to the improvement of the human race is rarely thought of. Human beings are generated in as haphazard and reckless a manner as weeds are sown by the wind. No account is taken of the possible influence which may be exerted upon the future destiny of the new being by the physical or mental condition of parents at the moment when the germ of life is planted, or by the mental and physical conditions and surroundings of the mother while the young life is developing. Indeed, the assertion of a modern writer that the poor of our great cities virtually "spawn children," with as little thought of influences and consequences as the fish that sow their eggs broadcast upon the waters, is not so great an exaggeration as it might at first sight appear to be.

Law Universal.—Men and women are constantly prone to forget that the domain of law is universal. Nothing comes by chance. The revolutions of the planets, studied by the aid of the telescope, and the gyrations of the atoms, seen only by the eye of science, are alike examples of the controlling influence of law. Notwithstanding this sad ignorance and disregard of this vitally important subject, the effects of law are only too clearly manifested in the crowds of wretched human beings with which the world is thronged. An old writer sagely remarks, "It is the greatest part of our felicity to be well born;" nevertheless, it is the sad misfortune of by far the greater portion of humanity to be deprived of this inestimable "felicity."

A Source of Crime.—Who can tell how many of the liars, thieves, drunkards, murderers, and prostitutes of our day are less responsible for their crimes against themselves, against society, and against Heaven, than those who were instrumental in bringing them into the world? Almost every village has its boy "who was born drunk," a staggering, simpering, idiotic representative of a drunken father, beastly intoxicated at the very moment when he should have been most sober.

An interesting study of this question has recently been made by Mr. Dugdale, a member of the Prison Association of the State of New York. When visiting the various jails of the State, he found in one six persons detained for crimes of various character, between all of whom there was a family relation. Upon further inquiry, he found that of the same family there were twenty-nine relatives in the vicinity, seventeen of whom were criminals. Still further investigation developed the following facts:—

Within seventy-five years, a family of 1200 persons have sprung from five sisters, several of whom were illegitimate, and three of whom were known to be unchaste, and who married men whose father was an idle, thriftless hunter, a hard drinker, and licentious.

Of this family, the history of but 709 was traced. Of these, the facts set forth in the following incomplete summary were found to be true:—

Paupers, 280
Years of pauperism, 798
Criminals, 140
Years of infamy, 750
Thieves, 60
Murderers, 7
Prostitutes and adulteresses, 165
Illegitimate children, 91
No. of persons contaminated by syphilitic disease, 480
Cost to the State in various ways, $1,308,000

Without doubt a complete summary would make this showing still more appalling, since of the 709 whose histories were traced, it was in many instances impossible to determine whether the individuals were guilty of crime or unchastity or not, even where there were grounds for suspicion. Such cases were not included in the summary.

No amount of argument on this question could be so conclusive as are these simple facts concerning the "Juke" family. It is certainly high time that our legislators began to awaken to this subject, and consider whether it would be an unprofitable experiment to make some attempt to prevent the multiplication of criminals in this manner. We are not prepared to offer a plan for securing such an end; but it is very clearly important that something should be done in this direction.

It is an established physiological fact that the character of offspring is influenced by the mental as well as the physical conditions of the parents at the moment of the performance of the generative act. In view of this fact, how many parents can regard the precocious—or even mature—manifestations of sexual depravity in their children without painful smitings of conscience at seeing the legitimate results of their own sensuality? By debasing the reproductive function to an act of selfish animal indulgence, they imprinted upon their children an almost irresistible tendency to vice. Viewing the matter from this stand-point, what wonder that licentiousness is rife! that true chastity is among the rarest of virtues!

Prof. O. W. Holmes remarks on this subject: "There are people who think that everything may be done if the doctor, be he educator or physician, be only called in season. No doubt; but in season would often be a hundred or two years before the child was born, and people never send so early as that." "Each of us is only the footing up of a double column of figures that goes back to the first pair. Every unit tells, and some of them are plus and some minus. If the columns don't add up right, it is commonly because we can't make out all of the figures."

It cannot be doubted that the throngs of deaf, blind, crippled, idiotic unfortunates who were "born so," together with a still larger class of dwarfed, diseased, and constitutionally weak individuals, are the lamentable results of the violation of some sexual law on the part of their progenitors.

If parents would stop a moment to consider the momentous responsibilities involved in the act of bringing into existence a human being; if they would reflect that the qualities imparted to the new being will affect its character to all eternity; if they would recall the fact that they are about to produce a mirror in which will be reflected their own characters divested of all the flimsy fabrics which deceive their fellow-men, revealing even the secret imaginings of their hearts,—there would surely be far less of sin, disease, and misery born into the world than at the preset day; but we dare not hope for such a reform. To effect it, would require such a revolution in the customs of society, such a radical reform in the habits and characters of individuals, as nothing short of a temporal millennium would be able to effect.

It is quite probable that some writers have greatly exaggerated the possible results which may be attained by proper attention to the laws under consideration. All cannot be equally beautiful; every child cannot be a genius; the influence of six thousand years of transgression cannot be effaced in a single generation; but persevering, conscientious efforts to comply with every requirement of health, purity, morality, and the laws of nature, will accomplish wonders in securing healthy children with good dispositions, brilliant intellects, and beautiful bodies.

This is not the proper place to describe in detail a plan to be pursued; but the few hints given, if rightly appreciated, may enable those interested in the subject to plan for themselves a proper course. In concluding the subject, we may summarize its chief points as follows, for the purpose of impressing them more fully upon the mind:—

1. If a child is begotten in lust, its lower passions will as certainly be abnormally developed as peas will produce peas, or potatoes produce potatoes. If the child does not become a rake or a prostitute, it will be because of uncommonly fortunate surroundings, or a miracle of divine grace. But even then, what terrible struggles with sin and vice, with foul thoughts and lewd imaginations—the product of a naturally abnormal mind—must such an individual suffer! If he is unsuccessful in the conflict, is he alone to blame? Society, his fellow-men, will censure him alone; but He who knoweth all the secrets of human life will pass a more lenient judgment on the erring one, and mete out punishment where it most belongs.

2. The same remarks apply with equal force to the transmission of other qualities. If the interest of the parents is only for self, with no thought for the well-being of the one whose destiny is in their hands, they can expect naught but a selfish character, a sordid, greedy disposition, in the child.

3. The influence of the father is, at the outset, as great as that of the mother. The unhappy or immoral thoughts of one alone at the critical moment when life is imparted, may fix for eternity a foul blot upon a character yet unformed.

4. If during gestation the mother is fretful, complaining, and exacting; if she requires to be petted and waited upon; if she gratifies every idle whim and indulges every depraved desire and perverted appetite—as thousands of mothers do—the result will surely be a peevish, fretful child, that will develop into a morose and irritable man or woman, imperious, unthankful, disobedient, willful, gluttonous, and vicious.

If such undesirable results would be avoided, the following suggestions should be regarded:—

1. For the beginning of a new life, select the most favorable time, which will be when the bodily health is at its height; when the mind is free from care and anxiety; when the heart is joyous, cheerful, and filled with hope, love, high aspirations, pure and beautiful thoughts. If, as one writer says, it is the duty of every human pair engaging in the reproductive act to bring into existence the most perfect specimen of the race of which they are capable, then it becomes a monstrous crime to enter into relations which may produce a contrary result. This may be a truth hard to accept, but who is prepared to dispute it on logical or moral grounds?

2. If a child has been properly conceived, the duty then devolves upon the mother to secure its proper development. Is beauty desired, let the mother be surrounded with beautiful objects; and let her mind dwell upon such objects. If an active mind and brilliant intellect are required, the mother should devote considerable time to study and mental labor of a pleasant nature. The moral nature should be carefully cultivated, to insure a lovely disposition. No angry words or unhappy feelings should be tolerated. Purity of heart and life should be maintained. The husband should do his part by supplying favorable surroundings, suggesting cheerful thoughts, and aiding mental culture.

3. After birth, the mother still possesses a molding influence upon the development of her child through the lacteal secretion. Every mother knows how speedily the child will suffer if nursed when she is exhausted by physical labor or when suffering from nervous excitement, as anger or grief. These facts show the influence which the mental states of the mother exert upon the child even when the act of nursing is the only physical bond between them.

It would be a happy day for the race which should witness the recognition of the fact that infants, even human beings in embryo, possess rights which are as sacred as those of adult human beings.

Circumcision.—The fold of integument called the prepuce, which has been previously described, has upon its inner surface a large number of glands which produce a peculiar secretion. Under certain circumstances, and from inattention to personal cleanliness, this secretion may accumulate, and then often becomes the cause of irritation and serious disease. To prevent such disorders, and to insure cleanliness, the Jewish law required the removal of the prepuce, which constituted the rite of circumcision. The same practice is followed by several modern nations dwelling in tropical climates; and it can scarcely be doubted that it is a very salutary one, and has contributed very materially to the maintenance of that proverbial national health for which the Jews are celebrated. Eminent physicians have expressed the opinion that the practice would be a salutary one for all men. The maintenance of scrupulous cleanliness, by daily cleansing, is at least an imperative duty.

In some countries, females are also circumcised by removal of the nymphæ. The object is the same as that of circumcision in the male. The same evils result from inattention to local cleanliness, and the same measure of prevention, daily cleansing, is necessitated by a similar secretion. Local cleanliness is greatly neglected by both sexes. Daily washing should begin with infancy and continue through life, and will prevent much disease.

Castration.—This operation consists in the removal of the testes of the male. It does not at once obliterate the sexual sense, especially if performed after puberty, but of course renders the individual impotent, or incapable of reproduction. Persons upon whom it has been performed are called eunuchs. It was a very common custom in ancient times, being usually prompted by the jealousy of rulers, who allowed no males but eunuchs to associate with their wives and concubines. The effect upon the male is to render him effeminate in appearance and weak in mind. If performed before puberty, the growth of the beard is scanty, and the voice never acquires that deepness of tone natural to the masculine voice.

An analogous operation, termed spaying, is performed upon females, consisting in the removal of the ovaries; effects similar to those in the male, sterility without entire immediate loss of sexual sense, being the usual result. Spaying is much more rarely performed than castration. Both operations are now quite rare, seldom being resorted to except in surgical cases. Castration is still practiced in some Eastern countries.


Just in proportion as the perpetuation of the race is more important than the existence of any single individual, the organs of reproduction may in a certain sense be said to rank higher than any other organs of the human frame, since to them is intrusted the important duty of performing that most marvelous of all vital processes, the production of human beings. That this high rank in the vital economy is recognized by nature, is shown by the fact that she has attached to the abuse of the generative function the most terrible penalties which can be inflicted upon a living being. The power of abuse seems to be almost exclusively confined to man; hence, we find him the only one of all living creatures subject to the awful penalties of sexual transgression.

The use of the reproductive function is perhaps the highest physical act of which man is capable; its abuse is certainly one of the most grievous outrages against nature which it is possible for him to perpetrate. No observing person can doubt that the sexual relations of men and women determine in a great degree their happiness or misery in life. This subject, then, deserves due attention and careful consideration. It is of no use to scout it; for it will inevitably obtrude itself upon us, no matter now sedulously we attempt to avoid it. It can be rightly considered only with the most perfect candor, with the mind unbiased by passion, and prayerfully anxious to know and do what is right.

In the following paragraphs of this section are considered some of the evils out of which grows much of the sexual suffering of men and women:—

Sexual Precocity.—There are two periods in human life when the sexual instincts should be totally dormant; and they are so when nature is not perverted. The first is the period reaching from infancy to puberty. The second is the period reached in advanced age.

If raised strictly in accordance with natural law, children would have no sexual notions or feelings before the occurrence of puberty. No prurient speculation about sexual matters would enter their heads. Until that period, the reproductive system should lie dormant in its undeveloped state. No other feeling should be exhibited between the sexes than that brotherly and sisterly affection which is so admirable and becoming.

Fortunate, indeed, would it be for humanity if this natural state always existed; but it is a lamentable fact that it is rarely seen in modern homes. Not infrequently, evidences of sexual passion are manifested before the child has hardly learned to walk. It has been suggested that this precocity is nothing remarkable or unnatural, since it is often seen in little lambs and other young animals. To this it is only necessary to reply that the development of the sexual instincts perfectly corresponds with the longevity of the animal; if short-lived, like the sheep, only a short period intervenes between birth and the attainment of the sexual appetite and virility. If the animal is intended for long life, as is the case with man, these manifestations are delayed until a much later period, or should be. Certain insects perform the sexual act as soon as they acquire their perfect form; but they perish as soon as the act is completed.

Astonishing Ignorance.—It is astonishing how ignorant and indifferent the majority of people are upon this subject. A friend related to us an incident which fairly illustrates the terrible apathy which prevails among parents. While teaching a country school, he learned that a large number of children, boys and girls, of ages varying from eight to twelve and fourteen years, were in the habit of collecting together in barns and other secluded places, and in a state of nudity imitating the "Black Crook" with all possible additional nastiness. Horrified at such a monstrous evil, he hastened to inform the parents of the corruption in their midst. Imagine his astonishment when he was met with an indifferent laugh and the response, "Pooh! it's only natural; perfectly harmless; just like little pigs!" As though pigs were models for human beings!

It is not pleasant to consider what must have been the moral status of parents who could hold such views; and it is no wonder that they should produce such children. Doubtless they learned, too late, that those "natural" manifestations were the outgrowth of incipient vices, planted and fostered by themselves, which in later years destroyed shame and gave loose rein to lust.

Often the manifestation of sexual precocity is less gross, but almost equally fraught with danger, nevertheless. Dr. Acton, a distinguished English surgeon whom we shall frequently quote, makes the following excellent remarks upon this subject:—

"Slight signs are sufficient to indicate when a boy has this unfortunate tendency. He shows marked preferences. You will see him single out one girl, and evidently derive an unusual pleasure (for a boy) in her society. His penchant does not take the ordinary form of a boy's good nature, but little attentions that are generally reserved for a later period prove that his feeling is different, and sadly premature. He may be apparently healthy, and fond of playing with other boys; still there are slight, but ominous, indications of propensities fraught with danger to himself. His play with the girl is different from his play with his brothers. His kindness to her is a little too ardent. He follows her, he does not know why. He fondles her with a tenderness painfully suggestive of a vague dawning of passion. No one can find fault with him. He does nothing wrong. Parents and friends are delighted at his gentleness and politeness, and not a little amused at the early flirtation. If they were wise, they would rather feel profound anxiety; and he would be an unfaithful or unwise medical friend who did not, if an opportunity occurred, warn them that such a boy, unsuspicious and innocent as he is, ought to be carefully watched and removed from every influence calculated to foster his abnormal propensities.

"The premature development of the sexual inclination is not alone repugnant to all we associate with the term childhood, but is also fraught with danger to dawning manhood. On the judicious treatment of a case such as has been sketched, it probably depends whether the dangerous propensity shall be so kept in check as to preserve the boy's health and innocence, or whether one more shattered constitution and wounded conscience shall be added to the victims of sexual precocity and careless training. It ought not to be forgotten that in such cases a quasi-sexual power often accompanies these premature sexual inclinations. Few, perhaps, except medical men, know how early in life a mere infant may experience erections. Frequently it may be noticed that a little child, on being taken out of bed in the morning, cannot make water at once. It would be well if it were recognized by parents and nurses that this often depends upon a more or less complete erection."

We have been not more disgusted than shocked to see parents, whose intelligence ought to teach them better, not only winking at, but actually encouraging, these premature manifestations of passion in their children. They may yet learn, by bitter experience, the folly of their course, unless they make the discovery in time to avert the calamitous results which threaten the future of their children, by careful reformatory training.

Inherited Passion.—It is important to inquire the cause of this precocity. Said a father of our acquaintance, when remonstrated with for encouraging his infant son in a ridiculous flirtation, "I did just so when I was of his age." In this case the cause was evident. The child was only acting out the disposition bequeathed him by his parent. How often do the secret follies of parents stand out in bold relief in their children. Such a legacy is nothing to be proud of.

We again quote from Dr. Acton some observations on the causes of this disorder,—for a grave disorder it is,—as follows:—

"I should specify hereditary predisposition as by no means the least common.... I believe that, as in body and mind, so also in the passions, the sins of the father are frequently visited on the children. No man or woman, I am sure, can have habitually indulged the sexual passions ... without, at least, running the risk of finding that a disposition to follow a similar career has been inherited by the offspring. It is in this way only that we can explain the early and apparently almost irresistible propensity in generation after generation indulging similar habits and feelings."

Various Causes of Sexual Precocity.—Another very powerful predisposing cause of sexual precocity will be alluded to under the head of "Marital Excesses." The irritation caused by worms in the rectum, by local irritation or uncleanliness, or by irritation of the bladder, are exciting causes which are not infrequent. The latter cause is indicated by another symptom, the frequent wetting of the bed at night. Such a symptom doubly demands immediate attention.

The juvenile parties so common now-a-days, at which little ones of both sexes, of ages varying from four or five years to ten or twelve, with wonderful precocity and truthfulness imitate the conduct of their elders at fashionable dinners, cannot be too much deprecated. Such associations of the sexes have a strong tendency to develop prematurely the distinctive peculiarities of the sexes. This is well evidenced by the fact that on such occasions one of the most common and popular entertainments is sham marriages. Parents greatly err in encouraging or allowing their children to engage in amusements of so dangerous a character. They are productive of no good, and are almost without exception productive of positive and serious injury.

Modern modes of life, improper clothing, the forcing system of cramming in schools, the immodest example of older persons, and especially the irritating, stimulating articles of diet which are daily set before children, as well as older people, undoubtedly have a powerful influence in stimulating the development of the sexual passions. This subject is again referred to under the heading, "Chastity."

Obscene books and papers, lewd pictures, and evil communications are telling causes which will be further noticed elsewhere.

Senile Sexuality.—As with childhood, old age is a period in which the reproductive functions are quiescent unless unnaturally stimulated. Sexual life begins with puberty, and, in the female, ends at about the age of forty-five years, the period known as the menopause, or turn of life. At this period, according to the plainest indications of nature, all functional activity should cease. If this law is disregarded, disease, premature decay, possibly local degenerations, will be sure to result. Nature cannot be abused with impunity.

The generative power of the male is retained somewhat longer than that of the female, and by stimulation may be indulged at quite an advanced age, but only at the expense of shortening life, and running the risk of sudden death. Says Parise, "One of the most important pieces of information which a man in years can attain is 'to learn to become old betimes,' if he wishes to attain old age. Cicero, we are told, was asked if he still indulged in the pleasures of love. 'Heaven forbid,' replied he, 'I have forsworn it as I would a savage and a furious master.'"

Some learned physicians place the proper limit of man's functional activity at fifty years, if he would not render himself guilty of shortening his days by sensuality. Other reasons for this course will appear hereafter.

When the passions have been indulged, and their diminishing vigor stimulated, a horrid disease, satyriasis, not infrequently seizes upon the imprudent individual, and drives him to the perpetration of the most loathsome crimes and excesses. Passions cultivated and encouraged by gratification through life will thus sometimes assert a total supremacy in old age.

Marriage.—The scope and plan of this work will allow of but the briefest possible consideration of this subject upon which volumes have been written, much to no purpose other than the multiplication of books. We shall devote no space to consideration of the origin of the institution, its expediency, or varied relations, as these topics are foreign to the character of this work.

The primary object of marriage was, undoubtedly, the preservation of the race, though there are other objects which, under special circumstances, may become paramount even to this. These latter we cannot consider, as only the relations of the reproductive functions in marriage come properly within our province.

The first physiological question to be considered is concerning the proper age for marriage.

Time to Marry.—Physiology fixes with accuracy the earliest period at which marriage is admissible. This period is that at which the body attains complete development, which is not before twenty in the female, and twenty-four in the male. Even though the growth may be completed before these ages, ossification of the bones is not fully effected, so that development is incomplete.

Among most modern nations, the civil laws fixing the earliest date of marriage seem to have been made without any reference to physiology, or with the mistaken notion that puberty and nubility are identical. It is interesting to note the different ages established by different nations for the entrance of the married state. The degenerating Romans fixed the ages of legal marriage at thirteen for females, and fifteen for males. The Grecian legislator, Lycurgus, placed the ages at seventeen for the female, and thirty-seven for the male. Plato fixed the ages at twenty and thirty years. In Prussia, the respective ages are fifteen and nineteen; in Austria, sixteen and twenty; in France, sixteen and eighteen, respectively.

Says Mayer, "In general, it may be established that the normal epoch for marriage is the twentieth year for women, and the twenty-fourth for men."

Application of the Law of Heredity.—A moment's consideration of the physiology of heredity will disclose a sufficient reason why marriage should be deferred until the development of the body is wholly complete. The matrimonial relation implies reproduction. Reproduction is effected through the union of the ovum with the zoösperm. These elements, as we have already seen, are complete representatives of the individuals producing them, being composed—as supposed—of minute gemmules which are destined to be developed into cells and organs in the new being, each preserving its resemblance to the cell within the parent which produced it. The perfection of the new being, then, must be largely dependent on the integrity and perfection of the sexual elements. If the body is still incomplete, the reproductive elements must also be incomplete; and, in consequence, the progeny must be equally immature.

Early Marriage.—The preceding paragraph contains a sufficient reason for condemning early marriage; that is, marriage before the ages mentioned. It is probable that even the ages of twenty and twenty-four are too early for those persons whose development is uncommonly slow. But there are other cogent reasons for discountenancing early marriages, also drawn from the physiology of reproduction, to say nothing of the many reasons which might be urged on other grounds.

1. During the development of the body, all its energies are required in perfecting the various tissues and organs. There is no material to be spared for any foreign purpose.

2. The reproductive act is the most exhaustive of all vital acts. Its effect upon an undeveloped person is to retard growth, weaken the constitution, and dwarf the intellect.

3. The effects upon the female are even worse than those upon the male; for, in addition to the exhaustion of nervous energy, she is compelled to endure the burdens and pains of child-bearing when utterly unprepared for such a task, to say nothing of her unfitness for the other duties of a mother. With so many girl-mothers in the land, is it any wonder that there are so many thousands of unfortunate individuals who never seem to get beyond childhood in their development? Many a man at forty years is as childish in mind, and as immature in judgment, as a well-developed lad of eighteen would be. They are like withered fruit plucked before it was ripe; they can never become like the mellow and luscious fruit allowed to mature properly. They are unalterably molded; and the saddest fact of all is that they will give to their children the same imperfections; and the children will transmit them to another generation, and so the evil will go on increasing, unless checked by extinction.

Mutual Adaptation.—Another question of very great importance is that of the mutual adaptation of the individuals. To this question we can devote but a very brief consideration, and that will be more of the nature of criticism than of a set of formal rules for governing matrimonial alliances.

A writer of some note, whose work on this and kindred subjects has had quite an extensive circulation, advocates with great emphasis the theory that parties contemplating marriage should in all cases select for partners individuals as nearly like themselves as possible. Exact duplicates would, in his opinion, make the most perfect union attainable. To make his theory practicable, he is obliged to fall back upon phrenology; and directs that a man seeking a wife, or a woman seeking a husband, should obtain a phrenological chart of his head and then send it around until a counterpart is found. If the circle of one's acquaintance is so fortunate as to contain no one cursed with the same propensities or idiosyncrasies as himself, the newspapers are to be brought into requisition as a medium of advertising.

If so strange a doctrine as this were advocated by an obscure individual in some secluded hamlet, or found only in the musty volumes of some forgotten author, it surely would be unworthy of notice; but coming as it does from a quite popular writer, and being coupled with a great amount of really valuable truth, it is sufficiently important to deserve refutation. A brief glance at the practical working of the theory will be a sufficient exposure of its falsity.

According to this rule, a man or woman of large combativeness should select a partner equally inclined to antagonism; then we should have—what? the elements of a happy, contented, harmonious life? No; instead, either a speedy lawsuit for divorce, or a continual domestic broil, the nearest approach to a mundane purgatory possible. The selfish, close-fisted, miserly money-catcher must marry a woman equally sordid and stingy. Then together they could hoard up, for moths and rust to destroy, or for interested relatives to quarrel over, the pictorial greenback and the glittering dollar, each scrimping the other down to the finest point above starvation and freezing, and finally dying, to be forgotten as soon as dead by their fellow-men, and sent among the goats at the great assizes. A shiftless spendthrift must choose for a helpmeet (?) an equally slovenly, thriftless wife. A man with a crotchet should select a partner with the same morbid fancy. A man whose whole mental composition gravitates behind his ears, must find a mate with the same animal disposition. An individual whose mental organization is sadly unbalanced, is advised to seek for a wife a woman with the same deficiencies and abnormalities.

Any one can see at a glance the domestic disasters which such a plan of proceeding would entail. Men and women of unbalanced temperaments would become more unbalanced. An individual of erroneous tendencies, instead of having the constant check of the example and admonitions of a mate of opposite tendencies, would be, by constant example, hastened onward in his sinful ways. Thus, to all but a very small proportion of humanity, the married state would be one of infelicity and degeneration.

And what would be the progeny of such unions? The peculiarities and propensities of the parents, instead of being modified and perhaps obliterated in the children by corresponding differences in character, would be doubly exaggerated. The children of selfish parents would be thieves; those of spendthrifts, beggars; those of crotchety parents, monomaniacs; those born of sensual parents, beastly debauchees. A few generations of such a degenerating process would either exterminate the race or drive it back to Darwin's ancestral ape.

It must not be inferred, from our strictures upon the theory mentioned, that we would advocate the opposite course, that is, the contraction of marriage by individuals of wholly dissimilar tastes, aims, and temperaments. Such alliances would doubtless be quite as wretched in their results as those of an opposite character. It is with this as with nearly all other subjects; the true course lies between the two extremes. Parties who are negotiating a life partnership should be careful to assure themselves that there exists a sufficient degree of congeniality of temperament to make such close and continued association agreeable.

Disparity of Age.—Both nature and custom seem to indicate that the husband should be a little older than the wife. Several reasons might be given for this; but we need not mention them. When, however, the difference of ages reaches such an extreme as thirty, forty, even fifty or more years, nature is abused, good taste is offended, and even morality is shocked. Such ill-sorted alliances are disastrous to both parties, and scarcely more to one than the other. An old man who forms a union with a young girl scarce out of her teens—or even younger—can scarcely have any very elevated motive for his action, and he certainly exposes himself to the greatest risk of sudden death, while insuring his premature decay. A king once characterized such a course as "the pleasantest form of suicide." It is doubtless suicidal, but we suspect there are some phases of such an unnatural union which are not very enjoyable.

One reason of the great danger of such marriages to the old is the exhaustive effects of the sexual act. As previously noted, in some animals it causes immediate death. Dr. Acton makes the following pertinent remarks:—

"So serious, indeed, is the paroxysm of the nervous system produced by the sexual spasm, that its immediate effect is not always unattended with danger, and men with weak hearts have died in the act. Every now and then we learn that men are found dead on the night of their wedding."

"However exceptional these cases are, they are warnings, and should serve to show that an act which may destroy the weak should not be tampered with, even by the strong."

"There are old men who marry young wives, and who pay the penalty by becoming martyrs to paralysis, softening of the brain, and driveling idiocy."

Dr. Gardner quotes the Abbé Maury, as follows: "I hold as certain that after fifty years of age a man of sense ought to renounce the pleasures of love. Each time that he allows himself this gratification is a pellet of earth thrown upon his coffin."

Dr. Gardner further says: "Alliances of this sort have taken place in every epoch of humanity, from the time of the patriarchs to the present day,—alliances repugnant to nature,—between men bordering on decrepitude and poor young girls, who are sacrificed by their parents for position, or who sell themselves for gold. There is in these monstrous alliances something which we know not how to brand sufficiently energetically, in considering the reciprocal relations of the pair thus wrongfully united, and the lot of the children which may result from them. Let us admit, for an instant, that the marriage has been concluded with the full consent of the young girl, and that no external pressure has been exerted upon her will—as is generally the rule—it will none the less happen that reflection and experience will tardily bring regrets, and the sharper as the evil will be without remedy; but if compulsion, or what is often the same thing, persuasion, had been employed to obtain the consent which the law demands, the result would have been more prompt and vehement. From this moment the common life becomes odious to the unhappy victim, and culpable hopes will arise in her desolate heart, so heavy is the chain she carries. In fact, the love of the old man becomes ridiculous and horrid to her, and we cannot sufficiently sympathize with the unfortunate person whose duty [?] it is to submit to it. If we think of it an instant, we shall perceive a repulsion, such as is only inspired by the idea of incest.... So what do we oftenest observe? Either the woman violently breaks the cursed bands, or she resigns herself to them; and then she seeks to fill up the void in her soul by adulterous amours. Such is the somber perspective of the sacrilegious unions which set at defiance the most respectable instincts, the most noble desires, and the most legitimate hopes. Such, too, are the terrible chastisements reserved for the thoughtlessness or foolish pride of these dissolute gray-beards, who prodigalize the last breath of their life in search of depraved voluptuousness."

The parents, the perpetrators of such an outrage against nature, are not the only sufferers. Look at the children which they bring into the world! Let Dr. Gardner speak again:—

"Children, the issue of old men, are habitually marked by a serious and sad air spread over their countenances, which is manifestly very opposite to the infantile expression which so delights one in the little children of the same age engendered under other conditions. As they grow up, their features take on more and more the senile character; so much so that every one remarks it, and the world regards it as a natural thing. The old mothers pretend that it is an old head on young shoulders. They predict an early death to these children, and the event frequently justifies the horoscope. Our attention has for many years been fixed upon this point, and we can affirm that the greater part of the offspring of these connections are weak, torpid, lymphatic, if not scrofulous, and do not promise a long career."

In old age the seminal fluid becomes greatly deteriorated. Even at the best, its component elements could only represent decrepitude and infirmity, degeneration and senility. In view of such facts, says Dr. Acton,—

"We are, therefore, forced to the conclusion that the children of old men have an inferior chance of life; and facts daily observed confirm our deductions. Look but at the progeny of such marriages; what is its value? As far as I have seen, it is the worst kind—spoilt childhood, feeble and precocious youth, extravagant manhood, early and premature death."

Unions of an opposite character to those just considered, wherein a young man marries a woman much older than himself, are more rare than those of the other class. They are, perhaps, less deplorable in their physical effects, but still highly reprehensible. They are seldom prompted by pure motives, and can be productive of no good. Children resulting from such unions are notably weak, unbalanced, and sorry specimens of humanity.

We have scarcely referred to the domestic misery which may result from these disgraceful unions. If a young girl is brought home by a widower to preside over his grown-up daughters, perhaps old enough to be her mother, all the elements are provided for such a domestic hell as could only be equaled by circumstances precisely similar. If children are born, neither father nor mother is fit to act the part of a parent to them. The father, by reason of his age, is fitful, uncertain, and childish; to-day too lenient, to-morrow too exacting. The mother is pettish, childish, indulgent, impatient, and as unskilled in government as unfit for motherhood. In the midst of all this misrule, the child grows up undisciplined, uncultivated, unsubdued; a misery to his parents, a disgrace to his friends, a dishonor to himself.

"What shall I do with him? and what will he do with me?" was the question asked by a girl of eighteen whose parents were urging her to marry an old man; and every young woman would do well to propound it under similar circumstances.

Were we disposed to define more specifically the conditions necessary to secure the most harmonious matrimonial unions, it would be useless to do so; for unions of this sort never have been, and never will be—with rare exceptions—formed in accordance with a prescribed method independent of any emotional bias. Nor is it probable that such a plan would result in remedying, in any appreciable degree, existing evils. It is a fact too patent to be ignored that a very large share of the unhappiness in the world arises from ill-mated marriages; but it is also true that nearly the whole of this unhappiness might be averted if the parties themselves would endeavor to lessen the differences between them by mutual approximation.

Courtship.—We cannot well avoid devoting a few paragraphs to a part of the subject so important as this, especially as it affords an opportunity for pointing out some evils too patent and too perilous to be ignored.

Courting, in the sense in which we use the word, is distinctly an American custom. The social laws of other civilized countries are such as to preclude the possibility of the almost unrestrained association of the sexes in youth which we see in this country. We do not offer this fact as an argument in favor of foreign social customs, by any means, although in this one particular they often present great advantages, since in the majority of instances other evils as great or even greater are encouraged. We mention the fact simply for the purpose of bringing into bold relief the evils of the characteristic American looseness in this particular.

A French matron would be horrified at the idea of a young man asking her daughter to accompany him alone on an evening ride, to a lecture, concert, or other place of amusement, and much more should he ask the privilege of sitting up all night in the parlor with the light turned down, after the rest of the family had retired. Among respectable people in France such liberties are not tolerated; and a young man who should propose such things would be dismissed from the house instantly, and would be regarded as unfit for association with virtuous people. If a young man calls upon a young lady for the purpose of making her acquaintance, he sees both her and her mother, or an aunt or older sister. He never sees her alone. If he invites her to ride, or to accompany him to an entertainment of any sort, he must always invite her lady friend also; she goes along at any rate. There is afforded no chance for solitary moonlight strolls or rides, nor any other of the similar opportunities made so common by American courting customs. We are no advocates of the formal modes of contracting matrimonial alliances common among many nations, and illustrations of which we find at all ages of the world. For example, among the ancient Assyrians it was a custom to sell wives to the highest bidder, at auction, the sums received for the handsomer one being given to the less favored ones as a dowry, to secure a husband for every woman. The same custom prevailed in Babylon in ancient times, and has been practiced in modern times in Russia. At St. Petersburg, not many years ago, an annual sale of wives was held on Whit Sunday, after the same plan followed by the Assyrians.

Among the early Jews it seems to have been the custom for parents to select wives for their sons. In the case of Isaac, this important matter was intrusted to an old and experienced servant, who was undoubtedly considered much more competent to select a wife for the young man than he was himself. The same custom has been handed down even to the present time among some oriental nations. In many cases the parties are not allowed to see each other until after the wedding ceremony is completed. The Hungarians often betroth their children while they are yet in their cradles, as did the Mexicans and Brazilians of the last century. In some countries it has even been customary to betroth girls conditionally before they were born. The primitive Moravians seem to have adhered to the ancient Jewish custom in some degree, though making the selection of a wife a matter of chance. The old people did all the courting there was done, which was not much. When a young man desired a wife, a helpmeet was selected for him by casting lots among the marriageable young ladies of the community, and the young man was obliged to abide by the decision, it being supposed that Providence controlled the selection. We are not prepared to say that the young man ran any greater risk of getting an uncongenial or undesirable life companion by this mode of selection than by the more modern modes in vogue among us.

As before remarked, we do not present these customs as illustrations of what might be considered a proper mode of conducting the preliminary steps of matrimonial alliances. On the contrary, we unhesitatingly pronounce them decidedly objectionable on moral grounds if not on others, and we can readily see that such unions must have been in many cases exceedingly unsatisfactory.

In various other countries, marriage customs quite the opposite from those described have been in vogue. In Irving's "Knickerbocker's History of New York," a somewhat humorous account is given of a custom which has prevailed in some parts of this country as well as others, even within the memory of persons living at the present day, and is, indeed, said to be not yet altogether obsolete in Finland. The author, in dwelling upon the social customs of the early Dutch settlers of New York, describes "a singular custom prevalent among them, commonly known by the name of bundling,—a superstitious rite observed by the young people of both sexes, with which they usually terminated their festivities, and which was kept up with religious strictness by the more bigoted part of the community. This ceremony was likewise, in those primitive times, considered as an indispensable preliminary to matrimony, their courtships commencing where ours usually finish,—by which means they acquired that intimate acquaintance with each other's good qualities before marriage, which has been pronounced by philosophers the sure basis of a happy union. Thus early did this cunning and ingenious people display a shrewdness of making a bargain, which has ever since distinguished them."

"To this sagacious custom, therefore, do I chiefly attribute the unparalleled increase of the Yanokie or Yankee race; for it is a certain fact, well authenticated by court records and parish registers, that, wherever the practice of bundling prevailed, there was an amazing number of sturdy brats annually born into the State, without the license of the law, or the benefit of clergy."

Long Courtships.—Chiefly for the reasons presented in the preceding paragraphs, we are opposed to long courtships and long engagements. They are productive of no good, and are not infrequently the occasion of much evil. There may be circumstances which render a prolonged engagement necessary and advisable; but, in general, they are to be avoided.

On the other hand, hasty marriages are still more to be deprecated, especially when, as is too commonly the case, the probability is so great that passion is the actuating motive far more than true love. Marriage is a matter of most serious consequences, and deserving of the most careful deliberation. Too often matrimony is entered upon without any more substantial assurance of happiness as the result than the individual has of securing a valuable prize who buys a ticket in a lottery scheme. In the majority of cases, young people learn more of each other's real character within six weeks after marriage than they discovered during as many months of courting. To every young man and woman we say, Look well before you leap; consider well, carefully, and prayerfully. A leap in the dark is a fearful risk, and will be far more likely to land you in a domestic purgatory than anywhere else. Do not be dazzled by a handsome face, an agreeable address, a brilliant or piquant manner. Choose, rather, modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, qualities of heart and mind, rather than exterior embellishments.

"It is folly," suggests a friend, "to give advice on these subjects, for no one will follow advice on this point, no matter how sensible and reasonable he may be on all other subjects. The emotions carry the individual away, and the reason loses control." This is all too true, in nearly all cases. We believe in affection. The emotions have their part to act. We have no sympathy with the theories of those who will have all marriages made by rule. But reason must be allowed a voice in the matter; and although there may be a time when the overwhelming force of the emotions may force the reason and judgment into the background, there has been a time previous when the judgment might have held control. Let every young man and woman be most scrupulously careful how he allows emotional excitement to gain the ascendency. When once reason is stifled, the individual is in a most precarious situation. It is far better and easier to prevent the danger than to escape from it.

Flirtation.—We cannot find language sufficiently emphatic to express proper condemnation of one of the most popular forms of amusement indulged in at the present day in this country, under the guise of innocent association of the sexes. By the majority of people, flirtation is looked upon as harmless, if not useful, as some even consider, claiming that the experience gained by such associations is valuable to young persons, by making them familiar with the customs of society and the ways of the world. We have not the slightest hesitation in pronouncing flirtation as pernicious in the extreme. It exerts a malign influence alike upon the mental, the moral, and the physical constitution of those who indulge it. The young lady who has become infatuated with a passion for flirting, courting the society of young men simply for the pleasure derived from their attentions, is educating herself in a school which will totally unfit her for the enjoyment of domestic peace and happiness should she have all the conditions necessary for such enjoyment other than those which she herself must furnish. More than this, she is very likely laying the foundation for lifelong disease by the dissipation, late hours, late suppers, evening exposures, fashionable dressing, etc., the almost certain accompaniments of the vice we are considering. She is surely sacrificing a life of real true happiness for the transient fascinations of unreal enjoyment, pernicious excitement.

It may be true, and undoubtedly is the case, that the greater share of the guilt of flirtation lies at the door of the female sex; but there do exist such detestable creatures as male flirts. In general, the male flirt is a much less worthy character than the young lady who makes a pastime of flirtation. He is something more than a flirt. In nine cases out of ten, he is a rake as well. His object in flirting is to gratify a mean propensity at the expense of those who are pure and unsophisticated. He is skilled in the arts of fascination and intrigue. Slowly he winds his coils about his victim, and before she is aware of his real character, she has lost her own.

Such wretches ought to be punished in a purgatory by themselves, made seven times hotter than for ordinary criminals. Society is full of these lecherous villains. They insinuate themselves into the drawing-rooms of the most respectable families; they are always on hand at social gatherings of every sort. They haunt the ball-room, the theater, and the church, when they can forward their infamous plans by seeming to be pious. Not infrequently they are well supplied with a stock of pious cant, which they employ on occasion to make an impression. They are the sharks of society, and often seize in their voracious maws the fairest and brightest ornaments of a community. The male flirt is a monster. Every man ought to despise him; and every woman ought to spurn him as a loathsome social leper.

Youthful Flirtations.—Flirting is not confined to young men and women. The contagion extends to little boys and girls, whose heads ought to be as empty of all thoughts of sexual relations as the vacuum of an air-pump of air. The intimate association of young boys and girls in our common schools, and, indeed, in the majority of educational institutions, gives abundant opportunity for the fostering of this kind of a spirit, so prejudicial to healthful mental and moral development. Every educator who is alive to the objects and interests of his profession knows too well the baneful influence of these premature and pernicious tendencies. Many times has the teacher watched with a sad heart the withering of all his hopes for the intellectual progress of a naturally gifted scholar by this blighting influence. The most dangerous period for boys and girls exposed to temptations of this sort is that just following puberty, or between the ages of twelve and eighteen or twenty. This period, a prominent educator in one of our Western States once denominated, not inappropriately, "the agonizing period of human puppyhood." If this critical period is once safely passed, the individual is comparatively safe; but how many fail to pass through the ordeal unseared!

The most painful phase of this subject is the tacit—even, in many cases, active—encouragement which too many parents give their children in this very direction, seemingly in utter ignorance of the enormity of the evil which they are winking at or fostering. Parents need enlightenment on this subject, and need to be aroused to the fact that it is one of the most momentous questions that can arise in the rearing and training of children.

Polygamy.—One hundred years ago the discussion of the public propriety or impropriety of a plurality of wives would have been impossible. Polygamy had not obtained a foothold as an institution in any civilized land. Being well known as not uncommon among certain heathenish and barbarous tribes, it was looked upon as a heathenish and debasing institution, the outgrowth of ignorance and gross sensuality, and a relic of a sensual age. Now, this is no longer true. Even in this, the most enlightened of all lands, where there are most ample facilities for culture, for moral and mental development, polygamy holds up its hideous head in defiance of all the laws of God and man. It is true that the perpetrators of this foul crime against humanity and Heaven have been driven by the indignation of outraged decency to seek a lurking place in the far-off wilderness of the Western territories; yet the foul odors from this festering sore are daily becoming more and more putrescent, and in spite of the distance, are contaminating the already not overstrict morals of the nation.

No better evidence of the blighting, searing effect of this gross social crime could be found than the fact that not only is polygamy coming to be winked at as something not so very bad after all, but men from whom we have a right to expect something better are coming forward in its defense.

We have just been perusing a work written for the express purpose of justifying and advocating polygamy, which was written by an evangelical clergyman. He was evidently not willing to own his work, however, since his name is carefully excluded from the title-page, and his publisher put under an oath of secrecy. The arguments which he makes in favor of polygamy are chiefly the following:—

1. That it is approved by the Bible.

2. That a robust man requires more than one woman to satisfy his sexual demands.

3. That there are more women than men; and since every woman has a right to have a husband, the only way all can be supplied is to allow several women, two or more, according to the capacity of the man, or as they can agree, to form a marriage partnership with one man.

4. That the great men of all ages have been polygamists in fact, if not by open profession.

5. That monogamy is a relic of the paganism of the ancient Greeks and Romans, with whom it originated.

6. That it is the only proper and effective cure for the "social evil," and all its attendant vices and dire diseases.

As this work has had quite a circulation, bearing the imprint of a well-known Boston publisher, and has not received any answer that we are aware of, we deem it worth while to give these arguments, which are very strongly presented, at least a brief passing notice. We will consider them in the order in which we have stated them.

1. We deny most emphatically the assertion that polygamy is either taught or approved by the Bible. It was tolerated in a people who had long been in the darkness of Egyptian bondage, but never approved. Indeed, the inspired writers have evidently taken pains to give numerous examples of the evils growing out of that violation of the law of God and Nature.

2. The second argument is based upon the asserted fact that man naturally possesses stronger sexual demands than woman; that these demands are imperative; and that it is not only impossible, but in the highest degree injurious, to restrain them.

While it is true as a fact affirmed by constant observation that men have stronger passions than women, in general, and that many men demand of their wives a degree of sexual indulgence which is the cause of serious injury to them, and even impossible for them to grant without doing themselves the greatest wrong, it is by no means proven either that these demands are imperative, that they are natural, or that they are not injurious to the man as well as the woman, much less beneficial to either. On the contrary, there is as great a weight of evidence as could be required that restraint, self-control, and moderation in the exercise of the sexual instinct is in the highest degree beneficial to man, as well as to woman, and necessary for his highest development.

3. While it is true that there are a few more adult women than men, the difference is not sufficiently great to require the introduction of polygamy as a remedy for enforced celibacy. At any rate this would be unnecessary until all bachelors had been provided with wives, when there would be found no necessity for further provision, since there are large numbers of women who are utterly unfit to marry, who would be injured by so doing, and would only serve to degenerate the race, besides making themselves more wretched than they already are.

Again, it is a well-known fact that more males than females are born, the preponderance of adult females being caused by a greater mortality among male children, together with the losses from accidents and war. By a correct observance of the laws of health, together with the abolition of wars, the disparity in relative numbers of the sexes would disappear. Indeed, it might happen that men would be in the preponderance.

Still again, it is only in a few very populous and long-settled communities that there are more women than men, as in the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and a few others of the Eastern States, and a few countries of Europe. In all newly settled countries the reverse is true. The inquiry naturally arises, What shall be done under these circumstances? Shall a woman be allowed more than one husband, as is actually the case in some countries? "Oh! no;" our polygamist replies, "A woman is not capable of loving more than one man, and is not even able to satisfy the sexual demands of a single husband; so, of course, a plurality of husbands is out of the question. A man is capable of loving any number of women, being differently constituted from a woman; and so the same rule does not apply."

The writer evidently confounds love with lust. He will grant unstinted reign to the lusts of man, but requires woman to be restrained, offering as an apology for such a manifest unfair and unphilosophical discrimination that "man is differently constituted from a woman, sexually, requiring more active exercise of the sexual functions," a conclusion which could be warranted only by the selection, as a typical specimen of the male part of humanity, of a man with an abnormal development of the animal propensities.

A correct understanding and application of the laws of sexual hygiene would effectually sweep away every vestige of argument based on this foundation.

4. In proof of the propriety of polygamy, as well as of its necessity, the author referred to cites the well-known fact that Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Alexander, Cæsar, Napoleon, Burns, Byron, Augustus, Webster, and numerous others of the noted men of all ages have been incontinent men. The fact that these men were guilty of crime does not in the least degree detract from the enormity of the sin. It is equally true that many great men have been addicted to intemperance and other crimes. Alexander was a Sodomite as well as a lecherous rake. Does this fact afford any proof that those crimes are virtues instead of vices? Such argument is hardly worthy of serious refutal, since it stultifies itself.

5. The fact that monogamy was practiced among the ancient Greeks and Romans is in no way derogatory of it as an institution. Even if it could be shown that it originated with those nations, still this would in no way detract from its value or respectability. Do not we owe much to those grand old pagans who laid the foundation for nearly all the modern sciences, and established better systems of political economy, and better schools for uniform culture of the whole individual, than any the world has seen since? But monogamy did not originate with the Greeks, neither was it invented by the Romans, nor by any other nation. It originated with the great Originator of the human race. It is an institution which has come down to us, not from Greece or Rome, but from Paradise.

If it was so important that man should have more than one woman to supply his sexual demands, why was the Creator so short-sighted as to make but one Eve? It would have been as easy to remove two or three or half a dozen ribs from Adam's side as one; and as the whole world had yet to be populated, a plurality of wives would certainly have accelerated the process. Surely, if polygamy was ever required or excusable, it ought to have been allowed at the start.

Again, when Noah went into the ark, taking with him an assortment of all species of animals, he took some kinds by pairs and some by sevens, from which we might suspect, at least, that he observed the laws of nature respecting polygamous and monogamous animals. But he took only one wife for himself, and only one for each of his sons. Why not two or half a dozen instead? Polygamy would certainly have accelerated the repopulation of the earth most wonderfully; but Noah was monogamous. To say, in view of such facts, that monogamy originated with the paganism of ancient Greece and Rome, is blasphemy.

6. The argument that polygamy will cure the "social evil" is exactly equivalent to the argument that the removal of all restraint from the sale and manufacture of intoxicating drinks, thus making them cheap and common, is the best remedy for intemperance. An equally good argument might be made for the cure of theft, murder, and every other vice and crime, by a similar plan. Such reasoning is the veriest sophistry. None but a biased mind could produce such flimsy arguments.

But we forbear. We have already given this subject more attention than it is worthy of, though we have failed to characterize the vice of polygamy as it deserves. We leave this for the reader.

Polyandry.—Perhaps we should add a word or two respecting this custom, which seems to be a still greater outrage against nature than that of polygamy, being the possession of a plurality of husbands by one woman. This practice is in vogue in several countries at the present time, being very common in Thibet, where it is not an unusual thing for a woman in marrying the eldest of a family of brothers to include in the contract all of the other brothers as well. Polyandry was also common among the ancient Medes. Indeed, the Medes practiced both polygamy and polyandry. A man was not considered respectable unless he had at least seven wives; neither were women considered worthy of general esteem unless they had as many as five husbands. In that country, the fact that a woman was already married was in no degree a barrier to subsequent marriages, even while the husband was living, and without the trouble of a divorce. Those who maintain the propriety of polygamy would do well to consider the historic facts respecting the opposite practice. There appear to be as good grounds for believing one to have a basis in the human constitution as the other.

Divorce.—Another of the crying evils of the day, and one which menaces in a most alarming manner the most sacred interests of society, is the facility with which divorces may be obtained. In some States the laws regulating divorce are so notoriously loose that scores and even hundreds of people visit the States referred to every year with no other object than to obtain a dissolution of the bonds of matrimony. The effect of this looseness in the laws is to encourage hasty, inconsiderate marriages, and to make escape from an uncongenial partner so easy that the obligation to cultivate forbearance and to acquire mutual adaptation which may not at first exist, is wholly overlooked.

The Bible rule for divorce, laid down by the Great Teacher, is little regarded in these degenerate days. He made adultery the only legitimate cause for divorce; yet we now see married people breaking asunder their solemn marriage ties on the occurrence of the most trivial difficulties. If a couple become tired of each other and desire a change, all they have to do is to forward the fee to a New York or Chicago lawyer, and they will receive back in a short time the legal papers duly signed, granting them the desired annulment of their vows.

Although countenanced by human laws, there can be no doubt that this shameless trifling with a divine institution is regarded by High Heaven as the vilest abomination. In no direction is there greater need of reformatory legislation than in this. The marriage contract should be recognized in our laws as one which cannot be made and broken so lightly as it now is. It should be annulled only for the most serious offenses. The contrary course now pursued so frequently is most detrimental to morals. Our divorce laws virtually offer a premium for unchastity.

Not infrequently we see among the advertisements in the newspapers notices like the following: "The undersigned is prepared to furnish divorces to parties desiring the same at moderate rates, in short time, and without publicity. —— ——."

The animus of these advertisements is fraud. The parties so engaged are the vilest scoundrels; and that they are allowed to continue to ply their nefarious vocation is a foul blot upon the enlightened civilization of a so-called Christian country. A publisher who will insert such a notice in his journal, would advertise a brothel if he dared. While there is so much interest in the suppression of obscene literature, we would suggest that the proper authorities should direct their attention to the suppression of unlawful divorces, and the proper punishment of the villains engaged in forwarding this nefarious business.

Who May not Marry.—Many writers devote much space in laying down rules which are to be implicitly followed by those seeking life partners. We have attempted nothing of the sort, both from its impracticability, and from the fact that such rules are never followed; and if the attempt should be made to follow the prescribed rules, we are not sure that more good than harm would be the result. Hence, we shall content ourselves with calling attention to a few facts of great importance respecting the conditions which imperatively forbid marriage, and which cannot be violated without the certain entailment of great suffering.

1. Persons suffering with serious disease of a character communicable to others by contagion or by hereditary transmission.

Many people wonder why it is that diseases are so much more numerous and varied in modern times than in the earlier ages of the race. There has been an evident increase within a few centuries. While there are, undoubtedly, numerous influencing causes, one which cannot be overlooked is the hereditary transmission of disease, which preserves those disorders which already exist, and adds new ones which originate from new exciting causes. By this means, the human race is undoubtedly being weakened, human life shortened, and diseases multiplied. Compare the average age of human beings of the present day, less than forty years, with the longevity of the early members of the race, who lived more than as many score of years. Some mighty deteriorating influence has been at work; and we hazard nothing in the assertion that the marriage of diseased persons and kindred violations of the laws of human hygiene have been not unimportant factors in producing this most appalling diminution in the length of human life.

Among the diseases which are most certain to be transmitted are pulmonary tuberculosis, or consumption, syphilis, cancer, leprosy, epilepsy, and some other nervous disorders, some forms of skin disease, and insanity. The list might be extended; but these are the more common. Persons suffering with these disorders have no right to marry, for at least four reasons:—

(1) It is a sin against the offspring of such unions, who have a right to be born well, but are forced to come into the world with weakly constitutions, diseased frames, and the certainty of premature death. The children of consumptive and syphilitic parents rarely survive infancy. If they do, it is only to suffer later on, as they surely will, and, perhaps, to communicate the same destructive diseases to other human beings; but these diseases rarely extend beyond the third generation, the line becoming extinct. The most heart-rending spectacles we have ever met have been the children of parents suffering with the diseases mentioned. Their appearance is characteristic; no physician of experience can fail to detect the sins of a profligate parent in a syphilitic child. Every feature indicates the presence of a blighting curse.

There are those who assert that a man who has suffered with disease of the character last mentioned may marry after the lapse of two or three years from the disappearance of the active symptoms of the malady. Such assertions we consider as most dangerous and pernicious. The individuals who make them are well acquainted with the fact that of all diseases this is the most difficult to eradicate when once the system has become thoroughly infected by it. Not only three years but thirty years may elapse after active symptoms disappear, yet the disease may break out again in a new and still more serious and complicated form. It may even lie entirely dormant or latent in the system of the parent during his lifetime, but break out in all its terrible destructiveness in his children. A man or woman who has once suffered with this fell disease is contaminated for life; and it is a crime for such an one to entail upon innocent, unoffending human beings such a terrible legacy. Such a person has no right to marry; or if married, has no right to perpetuate the results of his sins in offspring. It is never safe to say to a man who has once been infected that he is cured. If a cure ever takes place, it is exceedingly rare.

(2) It is a crime against the race. One of the primary objects of marriage is reproduction. As members of the human race, it is the duty of parents to produce a high type of human beings, at least to do all in their power to produce healthy offspring. If they cannot do this, and are aware of the fact, they are guilty of abuse of the reproductive function in bringing sickly offspring into the world to suffer.

(3) It is injurious to the contracting parties themselves. If a person has a communicable disease, as syphilis, leprosy, and some bad forms of skin disease, the disease will certainly be communicated to the wife or husband, and so a double amount of suffering will be entailed. The dread disease, consumption, rightly called the scourge of civilization, is now well known to be communicable. A few years ago we were consulted by an old gentleman, a native of Canada, who was suffering with pulmonary disease. We inquired respecting the history of the malady. Said he, "Doctor, it may seem strange, but I believe I inherited consumption from my wife, who died of consumption a few years ago." Excepting the wrong use of the term inherit, we were not prepared to dispute the old gentleman's ideas respecting the origin of his disease. Living in close association for years with his wife, who was slowly dying with disease of the lungs, it was quite possible for him to have received the disease from her. So many cases of this kind have been reported that it is now generally believed by medical men that consumption is communicable from one person to another by the reception into the system of the well person of the exhalations from the lungs of the person affected.

Another point worthy of mention here is the well-known fact that the intimate association of married people modifies even the physical form of both. Almost every one has noticed how much alike in appearance married people who have lived many years together come to be. This physical change undoubtedly extends further than to the features only. The whole constitution is modified.

A remarkable illustration of this fact is found in the frequent observation that the children of a woman by a second husband often resemble in appearance the first husband much more than their own father. It has been observed that the children of negro women, even by husbands of pure negro blood, are much lighter in color than usual if she has had a child by a white man previously.

The same fact is observed in lower animals. In England, some years ago, a cross was effected between a male zebra and several young mares. Not only the hybrid colts resulting from this union, but all the colts afterward foaled by the same mares, from other horses, were striped like the zebra.

In view of these facts, it is evident that the system of the woman, at least, may be profoundly affected in a similar manner by constitutional weaknesses, as well as by other individual peculiarities possessed by her husband.

No person suffering with a contagious or infectious disease has any right to communicate the same to another. Indeed, it is the moral duty of every person so affected to do all in his power for the protection of others from the same cause of suffering.

2. Persons having a marked hereditary tendency to disease must not marry those having a similar tendency.

Every physician knows only too well the powerful influence of hereditary causes in determining the length of human life. Persons, one or both of whose parents have died of consumption, are very likely to die of the same disease, and frequently at about the same age. The children of such parents are commonly feeble and puny, and die early if they survive infancy. When both parents possess the consumptive tendency, the chance for life in the offspring is very poor indeed. The same may be said of those suffering with cancer, epilepsy, insanity, etc. Persons with a strong tendency to any one of the diseases mentioned should in no case marry. If there is but a slight morbid tendency, marriage may be admissible, but only with a partner possessing robust health.

3. Should cousins marry?

Writers have devoted a good deal of attention to this subject, and we have been shown statistics, reports of imbecile asylums, etc., for the purpose of proving that the marriage of cousins results in the production of idiots, and other defectives; but the results of more careful examinations of the subject invalidate the views heretofore held, and it must be acknowledged that when both parties are healthy there is no more liability of mental incompetency in the children of cousins, than in the offspring of persons more remotely related. It must be added, however, that there are other reasons why the marriage of cousins is not to be generally recommended. Besides the fact that the feeling existing between cousins is often only that which is felt by brothers and sisters for each other, there is the still more important fact that on account of the blood relation, unions of this kind are more apt than others to bring together persons having similar morbid tendencies.

4. Persons having serious congenital deformities should not marry.

The reason for this rule is obvious. Persons suffering with serious congenital defects, as natural blindness, deafness, deformity of the limbs, or defective development of any part, will be more or less likely to transmit the same deformities or deficiencies to their children. There are, of course, cases of natural blindness, as well as of disability in other respects, to which this rule does not apply, the natural process of development not being seriously defective. It has even been observed that there is a slight tendency to the reproduction in the offspring, of deformity which has been artificially produced in the parents, and has existed for a long time.

Many ancient nations observed this rule. Infants born cripples were strangled at birth or left to die. A Spartan king was once required by his people to pay a heavy fine for taking a wife who was inferior in size.

5. Criminals should not marry.

It has been satisfactorily shown by thorough and scientific investigation that criminals often receive their evil proclivities from their parents. What are known as the criminal classes, which are responsible for the greater part of the crime committed, are constantly and greatly on the increase. There is no doubt but that inheritance is largely responsible for the continued increase of crime and criminals. A drunkard begets in his child a thirst for liquor, which is augmented by the mother's use of ale or lager during gestation and nursing, and the child enters the world with a natural taste for intoxicants. A thief transmits to his offspring a secretive, dishonest, sneaking disposition; and the child comes into the world ticketed for the State prison by the nearest route. So with other evil tendencies. By legislation or by some other means, measures should be speedily adopted for the prevention of this rapid increase of criminals, if there is any feasible plan which can be adopted. We offer no suggestion on this point, but it is one well worthy of the consideration of philanthropic statesmen.

6. Persons who are greatly disproportionate in size should not marry.

While good taste would suggest the propriety of this rule, there are important physiological reasons for its observance. While the lack of physical adaptitude may be the occasion of much suffering and unhappiness in such unions, especially on the part of the wife, being even productive of most serious local disease, and sometimes of sterility, it is in childbirth that the greatest risk and suffering is incurred. More might be said on this point, but this is sufficient for those who are willing to profit by a useful hint.

7. Persons between whom there is great disparity of age should not marry.

The reasons for this have already been given at length, and we will not repeat. In general, the husband should be older than the wife, from two to five years. The husband may often be ten or twelve years the senior of the wife; but when more than that, the union is not likely to be a profitable or happy one, if it is not absolutely productive of suffering and unhappiness. The ancient Greeks required that the husband should be twenty years older than the wife; but this custom was no more reasonable than that of another nation which required that only old and young should marry, so that the sobriety of the old might restrain the frivolity of the young.

8. Persons who are extremely unlike in temperament should not marry.

Persons who are so unlike in temperament and tastes as to have no mutual enjoyments, no congeniality of feeling, will be incompatible as husband and wife, and the union of such persons will be anything but felicitous. No definite rule can be laid down; but those seeking a companion for life would do well to bear this caution in mind, at the same time remembering that too great similarity of character, especially when there are prominent defects, is equally undesirable.

9. Marriage between widely different races is unadvisable.

While there is no moral precept directly involved in marriage between widely different nations, as between whites and blacks or Indians, experience shows that such marriages are not only not conducive to happiness, but are detrimental to the offspring. It has been proven beyond room for question that mulattoes are not so long-lived as either blacks or whites.

10. Persons who are unable to sustain themselves or a family should not marry.

Both moral and social obligations—if the two obligations may exist independently—forbid marriage to a young man who is scarcely able to provide for himself, much less to support a wife and a family. The theory advocated by some that two can live almost as cheaply as one, so that a saving will be made by a union of two in marriage, is a most fallacious one. There may be occasional exceptions, but in general, young people who marry with this idea in their heads find that they have reasoned not wisely. It will not be disputed that a married couple may live upon what is often spent foolishly by a young man; but a young man can be economical if he will; and if he does not learn economy before marriage, it is likely that he never will learn it.

The marriage of paupers, to beget pauper children and foist them upon the community for support, is an outrage against society. We believe it is not improper to speak out plainly upon this subject, and in no uncertain tone, notwithstanding the popular prejudice which cries, "Hush, be quiet; don't interfere with individual rights, don't disturb the peace of society," whenever anything is said which has a bearing on a regard for propriety in matters relating to one of the most ancient, the most sacred, and the most abused of all divinely appointed human institutions. We have never been able to account for this strange averseness to the consideration of this phase of the matrimonial question, and the determined effort often made to ignore it whenever it is broached. We purpose to speak out, notwithstanding the feeling referred to, since we believe this to be a crying evil; and we have no fears but that we shall have the hearty indorsement of every individual who can so far lay aside his prejudices as to allow his native common sense a fair chance to influence his judgment.

In the country of Iceland, a land which is scarcely more than semi-civilized, if a young man wishes to marry, the first thing to be considered is his pecuniary situation. Before he can take to himself a wife, he must appear before the proper authority and present evidence that he is able to support a wife and family in addition to providing for himself. Even the barbarous natives of Patagonia show an equal degree of good sense, the chief of each tribe requiring that every young man who wishes to marry shall first prove himself competent to provide for a family, having attained the requisite degree of proficiency in hunting and fishing, and having possessed himself of at least two horses and the necessary equipments.

In this country,—a civilized, so-called Christian country, blessed with all the enlightenment of the nineteenth century, what do we see? Instead of any regulation of the sort, the utmost indifference to such clearly important considerations. If young people profess to love each other and wish to marry, no one of their friends thinks of asking, "How are they going to live after they are married? Has the young man a trade? Has the young lady been so educated as to be self-sustaining if necessary? Has the young man a home or the wherewithal to obtain one? Has he a good situation, with prospects of being able to support his wife comfortably and provide for a family?" These, or similar questions are sometimes asked, but little respect is paid to them by any one, least of all by the young people themselves, who ought to be most interested. The minister never inquires respecting the propriety of the wedding at which he is to officiate, and invokes the blessings of Heaven upon a union which, for aught he knows, may be the grossest violation of immutable laws, Heaven-implanted in the constitution of the human race. The friends tender their congratulations and wishes of "much joy," when in three cases out of four the conditions are such that a preponderance of grief is an inevitable certainty, and "much joy" an utter impossibility.

There are exceptions to all general rules; but it is a fact of which almost any one may convince himself that a man or a woman seldom rises much higher than the level reached at marriage. If a young man has no trade then, it is more than probable that he will never be master of one. If he has not fitted himself for a profession, he will most likely never attain to such a rank in society. He will, in all probability, be a common laborer, living "from hand to mouth," with nothing laid by for a rainy day.

A wag says that a young couple just married, and for the first time awakened to the full consciousness of the fact that they must provide for themselves or starve, held the following dialogue: Husband. "Well, wife, what are we going to do? How shall we live?" Wife. "Oh, my dear, we shall get along very well, I am sure; you love me, don't you?" H. "Certainly, dear, but we cannot live on love." W. "We can live on bread and water; so long as we have each other, it doesn't matter much what we have to eat." "That's so, my dear; well, you furnish the bread, and I will skirmish around after the water." This exact dialogue may never have taken place; but the circumstances which might have called it out have occurred thousands of times. How many times has a dependent woman who had hastily married an improvident husband awakened at the end of a short honeymoon to find that she had only a limber stick or a broken reed to lean upon, instead of a self-reliant, independent, self-sustaining man, able to provide for her the comforts of a home and to protect her from the rudeness and suffering of privation and want.

In our estimation it is as much a sin for a man to assume the obligation of caring for a wife and family when he has no reasonable grounds for believing himself able to do so, as for a man to go in debt a few hundreds or thousands of dollars, and agree to pay the same when required, though perfectly well aware that he will probably be unable to do so. Hence we say again, with emphasis, the improvident should not marry; and we shall insist upon urging this truth, notwithstanding the fact that the very class of persons referred to are usually of all classes the most anxious to enter the matrimonial state at the earliest possible moment, and the most certain to bring into the world large families of children still more improvident than themselves.

11. Do not marry a person whose moral character will not bear the closest scrutiny.

By this we do not mean that absolute perfection should be required, as this would interdict marriage altogether; but we wish to warn every young man against marrying a young woman who treats lightly or contemptuously matters which should be treated with profound respect; who uses the name of Deity flippantly or rudely; who treats her parents disrespectfully; who never cares to talk of subjects of a spiritual nature; who is giddy, gay, dressy, thoughtless, fickle. Such a young woman will never make a loving, patient, faithful, helpful wife.

We wish also to warn every young woman against choosing for a husband a man who has a strong leaning toward infidelity; who does not believe in human responsibility; who makes a mock of religion; who is addicted to profanity; who is either grossly intemperate or given to moderate tippling, be it ever so little, so long as he does not believe in and practice total abstinence; who uses tobacco; who is a jockey, a fop, a loafer, a scheming dreamer, or a speculator; who is known to be unchaste, or who has led a licentious life.

The man who has no love for his Maker will be likely to have little for his wife and children. He who does not acknowledge his responsibility to a higher power will soon forget his obligations to the wife he has promised to love and cherish. The man who is not willing to sacrifice the gratification afforded by such pernicious habits as dram-drinking and tobacco-using to insure the comfort and happiness of his wife and children, is too selfish to make any woman a kind husband.

There is no greater error abroad than that held by not a few that "a reformed rake makes the best husband." The man whose affections have been consumed in the fires of unhallowed lust is incapable of giving to a pure-minded woman the love that she expects and deserves. A person cannot pass through the fire unscathed. The scars burned into the character by the flames of concupiscence are as deep and lasting as those inflicted upon the body, and even more so. Only "in the regeneration" will the marks and scars of the reformed reprobate be wholly effaced.

We willingly grant that there have been numerous instances in which noble women have by years of patient effort reformed their erring husbands, restoring them to the paths of virtue and sobriety from which they had wandered. We do not deny that it can be done again; but we do not hesitate to say that the experiment is a most perilous one for any woman to undertake, and one which not more than one woman in a hundred can bring to a successful termination. The hazard is terrible. Perhaps it is on this very account that many young women run the risk; but they rarely understand what they are doing. The woman who marries a drunkard will, ten chances to one, die a heart-broken drunkard's wife, or follow her husband to a drunkard's grave. It is never safe for a woman to marry a man who has been for years an habitual drunkard, since he may relapse at any time; and the man who has only indulged moderately should be thoroughly reformed and tested before the chances are taken "for better or worse." Let him prove himself well first. A proposition to reform on condition of marriage should be dismissed with disdain. If a young man will not determine to do right because it is right, his motives are sordid; and the probability is very great that so soon as some stronger incentive appeals to his selfishness, he will forget his vows and promises and relapse into his former vices.

Do Not Be in a Hurry.—In conclusion, perhaps we could give no more important advice than this: Do not be in a hurry to marry. There is little danger that this advice will do harm, for ten illustrations of the evil results of hasty marriage are seen to one in which the opposite mistake is made. It rarely happens that a marriage made without consideration and due deliberation on the part of both parties is a happy one in its results. There are exceptional cases in which this kind of matrimonial alliances result very satisfactorily; but these cases are quite exceptional. The business of selecting a partner for life, one who is expected to sustain the closest relation possible between human beings, who must be prepared to share in another's sorrows as well as joys, to sympathize with another's aspirations and appreciate another's motives and sentiments,—such a task is certainly one of the most serious of an individual's life and ought to be entered upon with calmness, deliberation, and unbiased judgment and entire self-control. When making a decision which must affect seriously an individual's whole life-time, passion, caprice, and all motives calculated to bias the judgment, should be laid aside. The happiness and usefulness of a whole life-time may be marred by a word. There is too much pending to be in a hurry.

A certain philosopher once "compared a man about to marry to one who was about to put his hand into a sack in which were ninety-nine serpents and one eel; the moral of which is that there are ninety-nine chances to one against a fortunate selection." If this is true of a man about to marry, it is probably equally true that a woman under the same circumstances has nine hundred and ninety-nine chances against, for one in favor of, a fortunate selection.


"Thou shalt not commit adultery." "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

In these two scriptures we have a complete definition of unchastity. The seventh commandment, with the Saviour's commentary upon it, places clearly before us the fact that chastity requires purity of thought as well as of outward acts. Impure thoughts and unchaste acts are alike violations of the seventh commandment. As we shall see, also, unchastity of the mind is a violation of natural law as well as of moral law, and is visited with physical punishment commensurate to the transgression.

Mental Unchastity.—It is vain for a man to suppose himself chaste who allows his imagination to run riot amid scenes of amorous associations. The man whose lips delight in tales of licentiousness, whose eyes feast upon obscene pictures, who is ever ready to pervert the meaning of a harmless word or act into uncleanness, who finds delight in reading vivid portrayals of acts of lewdness,—such a one is not a virtuous man. Though he may never have committed an overt act of unchastity, if he cannot pass a handsome female in the street without, in imagination, approaching the secrets of her person, he is but one grade above the open libertine, and is as truly unchaste as the veriest debauchee.

Man may not see these mental adulteries, he may not perceive these filthy imaginings; but One sees and notes them. They leave their hideous scars upon the soul. They soil and mar the mind; and as the record of each day of life is photographed upon the books in Heaven, they each appear in bold relief, in all their innate hideousness.

O purity! how rare a virtue! How rare to find a face which shows no trace of sensuality! One turns with sadness from the thought that human "forms divine" have sunk so low. The standard of virtue is trailing in the dust. Men laugh at vice, and sneer at purity. The bawdy laugh, the ribald jest, the sensual glance, the obscene song, the filthy tale, salute the eyes and ears at every street corner, in the horse-car, on the railroad train, in the bar-room, the lecture hall, the workshop. In short, the works and signs of vice are omnipresent.

Foul thoughts, once allowed to enter the mind, stick like the leprosy. They corrode, contaminate, and infect like the pestilence; naught but Almighty power can deliver from the bondage of concupiscence a soul once infected by this foul blight, this moral contagium.

Mental Uncleanness.—It is a wide-spread and deadly error, that only outward acts are harmful; that only physical transgression of the laws of chastity will produce disease. We have seen all the effects of beastly abuse result from mental sin alone.

"I have traced serious affections and very great suffering to this cause. The cases may occur at any period of life. We meet with them frequently among such as are usually called, or think themselves, continent young men. There are large classes of persons who seem to think that they may, without moral guilt, excite their own feelings or those of others by loose or libidinous conversation in society, provided such impure thoughts or acts are not followed by masturbation or fornication. I have almost daily to tell such persons that physically, and in a sanitary point of view, they are ruining their constitutions. There are young men who almost pass their lives in making carnal acquaintances in the street, but just stop short of seducing girls; there are others who haunt the lower classes of places of public amusement for the purpose of sexual excitement, and live, in fact, a thoroughly immoral life in all respects except actually going home with prostitutes. When these men come to me, laboring under the various forms of impotence, they are surprised at my suggesting to them the possibility of the impairment of their powers being dependent upon these previous vicious habits."[4]

4 Acton.

"Those lascivious day-dreams and amorous reveries, in which young people—and especially the idle and the voluptuous, and the sedentary and the nervous—are exceedingly apt to indulge, are often the sources of general debility, effeminacy, disordered functions, premature disease, and even premature death, without the actual exercise of the genital organs! Indeed, this unchastity of thought—this adultery of the mind—is the beginning of immeasurable evil to the human family."[5]

5 Graham.

Amativeness.—Certain phrenologists contend that the controlling center of the sexual passion is the cerebellum, or little brain, which is situated at the lower and back part of the head. They apparently love to dwell upon the theme, and ride their hobby upon all possible occasions, often in the most disgusting manner, and always leaving the impression that they must be themselves suffering from perversion of the very function of which they speak.

There may be some doubt whether the function called amativeness is located in the cerebellum at all; at least, it is perfectly certain that amativeness is not the exclusive function of the cerebellum. Says Carpenter, the learned physiologist, "The seat of the sexual sensation is no longer supposed to be in the cerebellum generally; but probably in its central portion, or some part of the medulla oblongata."

The cerebellum is intimately connected with the principal vital organs; hence, if it is largely developed, the individual will possess a well-developed physical organism and a good degree of constitutional vigor. He will have vigorous health, and probably strong sexual powers; not, however, as a special function, but for the same reason that he will have a good digestion.

To the majority of mankind, apparently, amativeness, or sexual love, means lust. The faculty has been lowered and debased until it might almost be considered practically synonymous with sensuality. The first step toward reform must be a recognition of a higher and purer relation than that which centers every thought upon the gratification of the animal in human nature. If one may judge from the facts which now and then come to the surface in society, it would appear that the opportunity for sensual gratification had come to be, in the world at large, the chief attraction between the sexes. If to these observations we add the filthy disclosures constantly made in police courts and scandal suits, we have a powerful confirmation of the opinion. Even ministers, who ought to be "ensamples to the flock," are rather "blind leaders of the blind," and fall into the same ditch with the rest.

This perversion of a natural instinct, and these sudden lapses from virtue which startle a small portion of community and afford a filthy kind of pleasure to the other part, are but the outgrowths of mental unchastity. "Filthy dreamers," before they are aware, become filthy in action. The thoughts mold the brain, as certainly as the brain molds the thoughts. Rapidly down the current of sensuality is swept the individual who yields his imagination to the contemplation of lascivious themes. Before he knows his danger, he finds himself deep in the mire of concupiscence. He may preserve a fair exterior; but deception cannot cleanse the slime from his putrid soul. How many a church-member carries under a garb of piety a soul filled with abominations, no human scrutiny can tell. How many pulpits are filled by "whited sepulchers," only the Judgment will disclose.

Unchaste Conversation.—"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of Judgment." "By thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matt. 12: 34, 36, 37. In these three brief sentences, Christ presents the whole moral aspect of the subject of this paragraph. To any one who will ponder well his weighty words, no further remark is necessary. Let filthy talkers but consider for a moment what a multitude of "idle," unclean words are waiting for account in the final day; and then let them consider what a load of condemnation must roll upon their guilty souls when strict justice is meted out to every one before the bar of Omnipotence, and in the face of all the world—of all the universe.

The almost universal habit among boys and young men of relating filthy stories, indulging in foul jokes, making indecent allusions, and subjecting to lewd criticism every passing female, is a most abominable sin. Such habits crush out pure thoughts; they annihilate respect for virtue; they make the mind a quagmire of obscenity; they lead to overt acts of lewdness.

But boys and youths are not alone in this. More often than otherwise, they gain from older ones the phraseology of vice. And if the sin is loathsome in such youthful transgressors, what detestable enormity must characterize it in the old.

And women, too, are not without their share in this accursed thing, this ghost of vice, which haunts the sewing-circle and the parlor as well as the club-room. They do not, of course, often descend to those black depths of vulgarity to which the coarser sex will go, but couch in finer terms the same foul thoughts, and hide in loose insinuations more smut than words could well express. Women who think themselves rare paragons of virtue can find no greater pleasure than in the discussion of the latest scandal, speculations about the chastity of Mrs. A. or Mr. B., and gossip about the "fall" of this man's daughter or the amorous adventures of that woman's son.

Masculine purity loves to regard woman as chaste in mind as well as in body, to surround her with conceptions of purity and impregnable virtue; but the conclusion is irresistible that those who can gloat over others' lapses from virtue, and find delight in such questionable entertainments as the most recent case of seduction, or the newest scandal, have need to purify their hearts and re-enforce their waning chastity. Nevertheless, a writer says, and perhaps truly, that "the women comprise about all the real virtue there is in the world." Certainly if they were one-half as bad as the masculine portion of humanity, the world would be vastly worse than it is.

Causes of Unchastity.—Travelers among the North American Indians have been struck with the almost entire absence of that abandonment to vice which might be expected in a race uninfluenced by the moral restraints of Christianity. When first discovered in their native wilds, they were free from both the vices and the consequent diseases of civilization. This fact points unmistakably to the conclusion that there must be something in the refinements and perversions of civilized life which is unfavorable to chastity, notwithstanding all the restraints which religion and the conventionalisms of society impose. Can we find such influences? Yes; they abound on every hand and leave their blight in most unwelcome places, oft unsuspected, even, till the work of ruin is complete.

Early Causes.—The earliest of all causes is hereditary predisposition. As we have shown, a child conceived in lust can no more be chaste by nature than a negro can be a Caucasian. But back of this there is a deeper cause, as we shall see, one that affects parents as well as offspring. Between infancy and puberty, are in operation, all those influences mentioned under "Sexual Precocity."

The frequent custom of allowing children of the opposite sex to sleep together, even until eight or ten years of age, or longer, is a dangerous one. We have known of instances in which little boys of seven or eight have been allowed to sleep with girls of fourteen or sixteen, in some of which most shameful lessons were taught, and by persons who would not be suspected of such an impropriety. In one instance a little boy of eight, occupying the same bed with three girls several years older, was used for illustration by the older girl in instructing the younger ones in the modus operandi of reproduction. The sexes should be carefully separated from each other at least as early as four or five years of age, under all circumstances which could afford opportunity for observing the physical differences of the sexes, or in any way serve to excite those passions which at this tender age should be wholly dormant.

Diet vs. Chastity.—From earliest infancy to impotent old age, under the perverting influence of civilization, there is a constant antagonism between diet and purity. Sometimes—rarely we hope—the helpless infant imbibes the essence of libidinous desires with its mother's milk, and thence receives upon its forming brain the stamp of vice. When old enough to take food in the ordinary way, the infant's tender organs of digestion are plied with highly seasoned viands, stimulating sauces, animal food, sweetmeats, and dainty tidbits in endless variety. Soon, tea and coffee are added to the list. Salt, pepper, ginger, mustard, condiments of every sort, deteriorate his daily food. If, perchance, he does not die at once of indigestion, or with his weakened forces fall a speedy victim to the diseases incident to infancy, he has his digestive organs impaired for life at the very outset of his existence.

Exciting stimulants and condiments weaken and irritate his nerves and derange the circulation. Thus, indirectly, they affect the sexual system, which suffers through sympathy with the other organs. But a more direct injury is done. Flesh, condiments, eggs, tea, coffee, chocolate, and all stimulants, have a powerful influence directly upon the reproductive organs. They increase the local supply of blood; and through nervous sympathy with the brain, the passions are aroused.

Overeating, eating between meals, hasty eating, eating indigestible articles of food, late suppers, react upon the sexual organs with the utmost certainty. Any disturbance of the digestive function deteriorates the quality of the blood. Poor blood, filled with crude, poorly digested food, is irritating to the nervous system, and especially to those extremely delicate nerves which govern the reproductive function. Irritation provokes congestion; congestion excites sexual desires; excited passions increase the local disturbance; and thus each reacts upon the other, ever increasing the injury and the liability to future damage.

Thus, these exciting causes continue their insidious work through youth and more mature years. Right under the eyes of fathers and mothers they work the ruin of their children, exciting such storms of passion as are absolutely uncontrollable.

Clerical Lapses.—Our most profound disgust is justly excited when we hear of laxity of morals in a clergyman. We naturally feel that one whose calling is to teach his fellow-men the way of truth, and right, and purity, should himself be free from taint of immorality. But when we consider how these ministers are fed, we cannot suppress a momentary disposition to excuse, in some degree, their fault. When the minister goes out to tea, he is served with the richest cake, the choicest jellies, the most pungent sauces, and the finest of fine-flour bread-stuffs. Little does the indulgent hostess dream that she is ministering to the inflammation of passions which may imperil the virtue of her daughter, or even her own. Salacity once aroused, even in a minister, allows no room for reason or for conscience. If women wish to preserve the virtue of their ministers, let them feed them more in accordance with the laws of health. Ministers are not immaculate.

The remedy for the dangers to chastity arising from this source, is pointed out in the article on "Continence."

Tobacco and Vice.—Few are aware of the influence upon morals exerted by that filthy habit, tobacco-using. When acquired early, it excites the undeveloped organs, arouses the passions, and in a few years converts the once chaste and pure youth into a veritable volcano of lust, belching out from its inner fires of passion torrents of obscenity and the sulphurous fumes of lasciviousness. If long-continued, the final effect of tobacco is emasculation; but this is only the necessary consequence of previous super-excitation. The lecherous day-dreams in which many smokers indulge, are a species of fornication for which even a brute ought to blush, if such a crime were possible for a brute. The mental libertine does not confine himself to bagnios and women of the town. In the foulness of his imagination, he invades the sanctity of virtue wherever his erotic fancy leads him.

We are aware that we have made a grave charge against tobacco, and we have not hesitated to state the naked truth; yet we do not think we have exaggerated, in the least, the pernicious influence of this foul drug. As much, or nearly as much, might be said against the use of liquor, on the same grounds.

Bad Books.—Another potent enemy of virtue is the obscene literature which has flooded the land for many years. Circulated by secret agencies, these books have found their way into the most secluded districts. Nearly every large school contains one of these emissaries of evil men and their Satanic master. Some idea of the enormity and extent of this evil may be gained from the following quotations from a published letter of Mr. Anthony Comstock, who has been for some time employed by the Young Men's Christian Association in suppressing the traffic by arresting the publishers and destroying their goods:—

"I have succeeded in unearthing this hydra-headed monster in part, as you will see by the following statement, which, in many respects, might be truthfully increased in quantity. These I have seized and destroyed:—

"Obscene photographs, stereoscopic and other pictures, more than one hundred and eighty-two thousand; obscene books and pamphlets, more than five tons; obscene letter-press in sheets, more than two tons; sheets of impure songs, catalogues, handbills, etc., more than twenty-one thousand; obscene microscopic watch and knife charms, and finger-rings, more than five thousand; obscene negative plates for printing photographs and stereoscopic views, about six hundred and twenty-five; obscene engraved steel and copper plates, three hundred and fifty; obscene lithographic stones destroyed, twenty; obscene wood-cut engravings, more than five hundred; stereotype plates for printing obscene books, more than five tons; obscene transparent playing-cards, nearly six thousand; obscene and immoral rubber articles, over thirty thousand; lead molds for manufacturing rubber goods, twelve sets, or more than seven hundred pounds; newspapers seized, about four thousand six hundred; letters from all parts of the country ordering these goods, about fifteen thousand; names of dealers in account-books seized, about six thousand; lists of names in the hands of dealers, that are sold as merchandise to forward circulars or catalogues to, independent of letters and account-books seized, more than seven thousand; arrest of dealers since Oct. 9, 1871, more than fifty."

"These abominations are disseminated by these men first obtaining the names and addresses of scholars and students in our schools and colleges, and then forwarding circulars. They secure thousands of names in this way, either by sending for a catalogue of schools, seminaries, and colleges, under a pretense of sending a child to attend these places, or else by sending out a circular purporting to be getting up a directory of all the scholars and students in schools and colleges in the United States, or of taking the census of all the unmarried people, and offering to pay five cents per name for lists so sent. I need not say that the money is seldom or never sent, but I do say that these names, together with those that come in reply to advertisements, are sold to other parties; so that when a man desires to engage in this nefarious business, he has only to purchase a list of these names, and then your child, be it son or daughter, is liable to have thrust into its hands, all unknown to you, one of these devilish catalogues."

"Since the destruction of the stereotype plates of old books, secret circulars have been discovered of a notice to dealers that twelve new books are in course of preparation, and will soon be ready for delivery."

Says Hon. C. L. Merriam, as quoted by Dr. Lewis: "We find that the dealers in obscene literature have organized circulating libraries, which are under the charge of the most vicious boys in the schools, boys chosen and paid by the venders, and who circulate among the students, at ten cents a volume, any of the one hundred and forty-four obscene books heretofore published in New York City."

Largely through the influence of Mr. Comstock, laws have been enacted which promise to do much toward checking this extensive evil, or at least causing it to make itself less prominent. Our newspapers still abound with advertisements of various so-called medical works, "Marriage Guides," etc., which are fruits of the same "upas-tree" that Mr. Comstock has labored so faithfully to uproot.

It is a painful fact, however, that the total annihilation of every foul book which the law can reach will not effect the cure of this evil, for our modern literature is full of the same virus. It is necessarily presented in less grossly revolting forms, half concealed by beautiful imagery, or embellished by wit; but yet, there it is, and no law can reach it. The works of our standard authors in literature abound in lubricity. Popular novels have doubtless done more to arouse a prurient curiosity in the young, and to excite and foster passion and immorality, than even the obscene literature for the suppression of which such active measures have recently been taken. The more exquisitely painted the scenes of vice, the more dangerously enticing. Novel-reading has led thousands to lives of dissoluteness.

Idleness.—This evil is usually combined with the preceding. To maintain purity, the mind must be occupied. If left without occupation, the vacuity is quickly filled with unchaste thoughts. Nothing can be worse for a child than to be reared in idleness. His morals will be certain to suffer. Incessant mental occupation is the only safeguard against unchastity. Those worthless fops who spend their lives in "killing time" by lounging about bar-rooms, loafing on street corners, or strutting up and down the boulevard, are anything but chaste. Those equally worthless young women who waste their lives on sofas or in easy-chairs, occupied only with some silly novel, or idling away life's precious hours in reverie—such creatures are seldom the models of purity one would wish to think them. If born with a natural propensity toward sin, such a life would soon engender a diseased, impure imagination, if nothing worse.

Dress and Sensuality.—There are two ways in which fashionable dress leads to unchastity; viz., 1. By its extravagance; 2. By its abuse of the body.

How does extravagance lead to unchastity? By creating the temptation to sin. It affects not those gorgeously attired ladies who ride in fine carriages, and live in brown-stone fronts, who are surrounded with all the luxuries that wealth can purchase—fine apparel is no temptation to such. But to less favored—though not less worthy—ones, these magnificent displays of millinery goods and fine trappings are most powerful temptations. The poor seamstress, who can earn by diligent toil hardly enough to pay her board bill, has no legitimate way by which to deck herself with the finery she admires. Plainly dressed as she must be if she remains honest and retains her virtue, she is scornfully ignored by her proud sisters. Everywhere she finds it a generally recognized fact that "dress makes the lady." On the street, no one steps aside to let her pass, no one stoops to regain for her the package that slips from her weary hands. Does she enter a crowded car, no one offers her a seat, though she is trembling with fatigue, while the showily dressed woman who follows her is accommodated at once. She marks the difference; she does not pause to count the cost, but barters away her self-respect, to gain the respect, or deference, of strangers.

How Young Women Fall.—It has been authoritatively stated that there are, in our large cities, hundreds of young women who, being able to earn barely enough to buy food and fuel and pay the rent of a dismal attic, take the advice offered by their employers, "Get some gentleman friend to dress you for your company." Others spend all their small earnings to keep themselves "respectably" dressed, and share the board and lodgings of some young roué as heartless as incontinent. Persons unaccustomed to city life, and thousands of people in the very heart of our great metropolis, have no conception of the frightful prevalence of this kind of prostitution. Young women go to our large cities as pure as snow. They find no lucrative employment. Daily contact with vice obtunds their first abhorrence of it. Gradually it becomes familiar. A fancied life of ease presents allurements to a hard-worked sewing-girl. Fine clothes and comfortable lodgings increase the temptation. She yields, and barters her body for a home without the trouble of a marriage ceremony.

Wealthy women could do more to cure the "social evil" by adopting plain attire than all the civil authorities by passing license laws or regulating ordinances. Have not Christian women a duty here? A few years ago, some Nashville ladies made a slight move in the right direction, as indicated in the following paragraph; but we have not heard that their example has been followed:—

"The lady members of the first Baptist Church, of Nashville, Tenn., have agreed that they will dispense with all finery on Sunday, wearing no jewels but consistency, and hereafter appear at church in plain calico dresses."

A more radical reform would have been an extension of the salutary measure to all other days of the week as well as Sunday; though we see no reason for restricting the material of clothing to calico, which might, indeed, be rather insufficient for some seasons of the year.

Fashion and Vice.—Let us glance at the second manner in which dress lends its influence to vice, by obstructing the normal functions of the body. 1. Fashion requires a woman to compress her waist with bands or corsets. In consequence, the circulation of the blood toward the heart is obstructed. The venous blood is crowded back into the delicate organs of generation. Congestion ensues, and with it, through reflex action, the unnatural excitement of the animal propensities. 2. The manner of wearing the clothing, suspending several heavy garments from the hips, increases the same difficulty by bringing too large a share of clothing where it is least needed, thus generating unnatural local heat. 3. The custom of clothing the feet and limbs so thinly that they are exposed to constant chilling, by still further unbalancing the circulation, adds another element to increase the local mischief.

All of these causes combined, operating almost constantly,—with others that might be mentioned,—produce permanent local congestions, with ovarian and uterine derangements. The latter affections have long been recognized as the chief pathological condition in hysteria, and especially in that peculiar form of disease known as nymphomania, under the excitement of which a young woman, naturally chaste and modest, may be impelled to the commission of the most wanton acts. The pernicious influence of fashionable dress in occasioning this disorder cannot be doubted.

Reform in Dress Needed.—The remedy for these evils, the only way to escape them, is reformation. The dress must be so adjusted to the body that every organ will be allowed free movement. No corset, band, belt, or other means of constriction, should impede the circulation. Garments should be suspended from the shoulders by means of a waist, or proper suspenders. The limbs should be as warmly clad as any other portion of the body. How best to secure these requirements of health may be learned from several excellent works on dress reform, any of which can be readily obtained of the publishers of this work or their agents.

Fashionable Dissipation.—The influence of so important an agent for evil in this direction as fashionable dissipation, cannot be ignored. By fashionable dissipation we mean that class of excesses in the indulgence in which certain classes, usually the more wealthy or aristocratic, pride themselves. Among this class of persons a man who is known to be a common drunkard would not be recognized; such a person would be carefully shunned; yet a total abstainer would be avoided with almost equal care, and would be regarded as a fanatic or an extremist at least. With persons of this class, wine-drinking is considered necessary as a matter of propriety. Along with wine are taken the great variety of highly seasoned foods, spices, and condiments in profusion, with rich meats and all sorts of delicacies, rich desserts, etc., which can hardly be considered much less harmful than stimulants of a more generally recognized character.

These indulgences excite that part of the system which generally needs restraint rather than stimulation. A participant, an ex-governor, recently described to us a grand political dinner given in honor of a noted American citizen, which began at 5 P.M., and continued until nearly midnight, continuous courses of foods, wines, etc., being served for nearly six hours. Similar scenes have been enacted in a score of our large cities for the same ostensible purpose. Knowing that public men are addicted to such gormandizing on numerous occasions, we do not wonder that so many of them are men of loose morals.

The tendency of luxury is toward demoralization. Rome never became dissipated and corrupt until her citizens became wealthy, and adopted luxurious modes of living. Nothing is much more conducive to sound morals than full occupation of the mind with useful labor. Fashionable idleness is a foe to virtue. The young man or the young woman who wastes the precious hours of life in listless dreaming, or in that sort of senseless twaddle which forms the bulk of the conversation in some circles, is in very great danger of demoralization. Many of the usages and customs of fashionable society seem to open the door to vice, and to insidiously, and at first unconsciously, lead the young and inexperienced away from the paths of purity and virtue. There is good evidence that the amount of immorality among what are known as the higher classes is every year increasing. Every now and then a scandal in high life comes to the surface; but the great mass of corruption is effectually hidden from the general public. Open profligacy is of course frowned upon in all respectable circles; and yet wealth and accomplishments will cover a multitude of sins.

This freedom allowed to the vile and vicious is one of the worst features of fashionable society. Such persons carry about them a moral atmosphere more deadly than the dreaded upas-tree.

Round Dances.—Whatever apologies may be offered for other forms of the dance as means of exercise under certain restrictions, employed as a form of calisthenics, no such excuse can be framed in defense of "round dances," especially of the waltz. In addition to the associated dissipation, late hours, fashionable dressing, midnight feasting, exposures through excessive exertions and improper dress, etc., it can be shown most clearly that dancing has a direct influence in stimulating the passions and provoking unchaste desires, which too often lead to unchaste acts, and are in themselves violations of the requirements of strict morality, and productive of injury to both mind and body.

Said the renowned Petrarch, "The dance is the spur of lust—a circle of which the devil himself is the center. Many women that use it have come dishonest home, most indifferent, none better."

We cannot do better than to quote on this subject from a little work entitled, "The Dance of Death," the author of which has given a great amount of attention to this subject, and presents its evils in a very forcible light, as follows:—

"A score of forms whirl swiftly before us under the softened gaslight. I say a score of forms—but each is double—they would have made two score before the dancing began. Twenty floating visions—each male and female. Twenty women, knit and growing to as many men, undulate, sway, and swirl giddily before us, keeping time with the delirious melody of piano, harp, and violin.

"But draw nearer—let us see how this miracle is accomplished. Do you mark yonder couple who seem to excel the rest in grace and ardor. Let us take this couple for a sample. He is stalwart, agile, mighty; she is tall, supple, lithe, and how beautiful in form and feature! Her head rests upon his shoulder, her face is upturned to his; her naked arm is almost around his neck; her swelling breast heaves tumultuously against his; face to face they whirl, his limbs interwoven with her limbs; with strong right arm about her yielding waist, he presses her to him till every curve in the contour of her lovely body thrills with the amorous contact. Her eyes look into his, but she sees nothing; the soft music fills the room, but she hears nothing; swiftly he whirls her from the floor or bends her frail body to and fro in his embrace.

"With a last, low wail the music ceases. Her swooning senses come back to life. Ah, must it be! Yes; her companion releases her from his embrace. Leaning wearily upon his arm, the rapture faded from her eye, the flush dying from her cheek—enervated, limp, listless, worn out—she is led to a seat, there to recover from her delirium and gather her energies as best she may in the space of five minutes, after which she must yield her body to a new embrace."

"And now tell me, friend of mine, did you not recognize an old acquaintance in the lady we have been watching so closely? No! Then believe me; she is no other than the 'pure and lovely girl' you so much admired earlier in the evening, the so desirable wife, the angel who was to 'haunt your dreams.'"

The author just quoted publishes in his little work a letter from a woman of great ability and strength of mind, of unblemished character and national reputation, written in response to his request for her opinion of the dance. The statements made in this remarkable letter are so clear and convincing that every parent ought to read it. We quote the chief portions as follows:—

"'I will venture to lay bare a young girl's heart and mind by giving you my own experience in the days when I waltzed.

"'In those times I cared little for Polka or Varsovienne, and still less for the old-fashioned "Money Musk" or "Virginia Reel," and wondered what people could find to admire in those "slow dances." But in the soft floating of the waltz I found a strange pleasure, rather difficult to intelligibly describe. The mere anticipation fluttered my pulse, and when my partner approached to claim my promised hand for the dance, I felt my cheeks glow a little sometimes, and I could not look him in the eyes with the same frank gayety as heretofore.

"'But the climax of my confusion was reached when, folded in his warm embrace, and giddy with the whirl, a strange, sweet thrill would shake me from head to foot, leaving me weak and almost powerless, and really almost obliged to depend for support upon the arm which encircled me. If my partner failed from ignorance, lack of skill, or innocence, to arouse these, to me, most pleasurable sensations, I did not dance with him the second time.

"'I am speaking openly and frankly, and when I say that I did not understand what I felt, or what were the real and greatest pleasures I derived from this so-called dancing, I expect to be believed. But if my cheeks grew red with uncomprehended pleasure then, they grow pale with shame to-day when I think of it all. It was the physical emotions engendered by the contact of strong men that I was enamored of—not of the dance, nor even of the men themselves.

"'Thus I became abnormally developed in my lowest nature. I grew bolder, and from being able to return shy glances at first, was soon able to meet more daring ones, until the waltz became to me and whomsoever danced with me, one lingering, sweet, and purely sensual pleasure, where heart beat against heart, hand was held in hand, and eyes looked burning words which lips dared not speak.

"'All this while no one said to me, You do wrong; so I dreamed of sweet words whispered during the dance, and often felt while alone a thrill of joy indescribable yet overpowering when my mind would turn from my studies to remember a piece of temerity of unusual grandeur on the part of one or another of my cavaliers.

"'Girls talk to each other. I was still a school girl, although mixing so much with the world. We talked together. We read romances that fed our romantic passions on seasoned food, and none but ourselves knew what subjects we discussed. Had our parents heard us, they would have considered us on the high road to ruin.

"'Yet we had been taught that it was right to dance; our parents did it, our friends did, and we were permitted. I will say also that all the girls with whom I associated, with the exception of one, had much the same experience in dancing; felt the same strangely sweet emotions, and felt that almost imperative necessity for a closer communion than that which even the freedom of a waltz permits, without knowing exactly why, or even comprehending what.

"'Married now, with home and children around me, I can at least thank God for the experience which will assuredly be the means of preventing my little daughters from indulging in any such dangerous pleasure. But, if a young girl, pure and innocent in the beginning, can be brought to feel what I have confessed to have felt, what must be the experience of a married woman? She knows what every glance of the eye, every bend of the head, every close clasp means, and knowing that, reciprocates it, and is led by swifter steps and a surer path down the dangerous, dishonorable road.

"'I doubt if my experience will be of much service, but it is the candid truth, from a woman who, in the cause of all the young girls who may be contaminated, desires to show just to what extent a young mind may be defiled by the injurious effects of round dances. I have not hesitated to lay bare what are a young girl's most secret thoughts, in the hope that people will stop and consider, at least, before handing their lilies of purity over to the arms of any one who may choose to blow the frosty breath of dishonor on their petals.'"

Much more might be added on this important subject, would the limits of this work allow; but this must suffice. We beg the reader to consider carefully and prayerfully the facts presented before deciding that dancing is so harmless as many persons suppose.

Physical Causes of Unchastity.—Some of the physical causes of impurity in women have been previously referred to, since it is through physical injuries that unhealthful clothing exerts its influence. Too little is generally known of the intimate connection between physical and mental conditions. Doubtless, many vices originate in physical imperfections. Indeed, when the full bearing of physical influences upon the mind is allowed, it is difficult to avoid pleading extenuating circumstances in the cases of the greatest share of transgressors of both moral and civil laws. This principle is especially applicable to sexual relations.

In males, one of the most general physical causes of sexual excitement is constipation. The vesicula seminalis, in which the seminal fluid is stored, is situated, as will be remembered, at the base of the bladder. It thus has the bladder in front, and the rectum behind. In constipation, the rectum becomes distended with feces, effete matter which should have been promptly evacuated instead of being allowed to accumulate. This hardened mass presses upon the parts most intimately concerned in the sexual act, causing excessive local excitement. When this condition is chronic, as in habitual constipation, the unnatural excitement often leads to most serious results. One of these is the production of a horrible disease, satyriasis, the nature of which has been previously indicated.

Constipation in females has the same tendency, though the dangers are not quite so great. The irritation is sufficient, however, to lead to excitement of the passions.

Intestinal worms often produce the same result in children.

Local uncleanliness is another very frequent cause which is often overlooked. The natural local secretions quickly become a source of great irritation if not removed by daily washing. Certain anatomical peculiarities sometimes exist in the male which greatly aggravate this difficulty, and for which circumcision, or an equivalent operation, is the remedy.

Irritation of the bladder, producing incontinence of urine, is another enemy to chastity. It should receive prompt attention and treatment. In children, this irritability is indicated by wetting of the bed at night. In cases of this kind, allow the child little drink in the latter portion of the day. See that the bladder is emptied just before he goes to bed. Wake him once or twice during the night, and have him urinate. Use all possible means to remove the cause of irritation by giving him plenty of out-of-door exercise and a very simple, though nutritious, diet. Avoid meat, eggs, and condiments.

Modern Modes of Life.—Aside from all of the causes already enumerated, there are many other conditions and circumstances, the result of modern habits of living, that tend directly toward the excitement of sensuality. Superheated rooms, sedentary employments, the development of the mental and nervous organizations at the expense of the muscular, the cramming system in schools, too long confinement of school-children in a sitting position, the allowance of too great freedom between the sexes in the young, the demoralizing influence of most varieties of public amusement, balls, church fairs, and other like influences too numerous to mention, all tend in the one direction, that of abnormal excitation and precocious development of the sexual functions.

It is not an exaggeration to say that for one conforming to modern modes of living, eating, sleeping, and drinking, absolute chastity is next to an absolute impossibility. This would certainly be true without a special interposition of Providence; but Providence never works miracles to obviate the results of voluntary sin.


Continence differs from chastity in being entire restraint from sexual indulgence under all circumstances, while chastity is only restraint from unlawful indulgence. As we have both physical and mental chastity, so continence should be both mental and physical. Many of the observations on the subject of "Chastity" apply with equal force to continence. The causes of incontinence are the same as those of unchastity. The same relation also exists between mental and physical continence as between mental and physical chastity.

The subject of continence evidently has a somewhat wider scope than that of chastity, as generally understood; but as we have considered the latter subject so fully, we shall devote less space to this, leaving the reader to make the application of such preceding remarks as reason may suggest to him are equally appropriate here.

Without stopping to consider the various circumstances under which absolute continence is expedient, or desirable, or morally required, we will proceed at once to examine the question, Is continence harmful?

Continence not Injurious.—It has been claimed by many, even by physicians,—and with considerable show of reason,—that absolute continence, after full development of the organs of reproduction, could not be maintained without great detriment to health. It is needless to enumerate all the different arguments employed to support this position, since they are, with a few exceptions, too frivolous to deserve attention. We shall content ourselves chiefly with quotations from acknowledged authorities, by which we shall show that the popular notions upon this subject are wholly erroneous. Their general acceptance has been due, without doubt, to the strong natural bias in their favor. It is an easy matter to believe what agrees well with one's predilections. A bare surmise, on the side of prejudice, is more telling than the most powerful logic on the other side.

"We know that this opinion is held by men of the world, and that many physicians share it. This belief appears to us to be erroneous, without foundation, and easily refuted."[6]

6 Mayer.

The same writer claims "that no peculiar disease nor any abridgment of the duration of life can be ascribed to such continence." He proves his position by appealing to statistics, and shows the fallacy of arguments in support of the contrary view. He further says:—

"It is determined, in our opinion, that the commerce of the sexes has no necessities that cannot be restrained without peril."

"A part has been assigned to spermatic plethora in the etiology of various mental affections. Among others, priapism has been attributed to it. In our opinion, this malady originates in a disturbance of the cerebral nerve power; but it is due much less to the retention of sperm than to its exaggerated loss; much less to virtuous abstinence than to moral depravity."

There has evidently been a wide-spread deception upon this subject. "Health does not absolutely require that there should ever be an emission of semen, from puberty to death, though the individual live a hundred years; and the frequency of involuntary nocturnal emissions is an indubitable proof that the parts, at least, are suffering under a debility and morbid irritability utterly incompatible with the general welfare of the system."

Does not Produce Impotence.—It has been declared that strict continence would result in impotency. The falsity of this argument is clearly shown by the following observations:—

"There exists no greater error than this, nor one more opposed to physiological truth. In the first place, I may state that I have, after many years' experience, never seen a single instance of atrophy of the generative organs from this cause. I have, it is true, met the complaint, but in what class of cases does it occur? It arises, in all instances, from the exactly opposite cause, abuse; the organs become worn out, and hence arises atrophy. Physiologically considered, it is not a fact that the power of secreting semen is annihilated in well-formed adults leading a healthy life and yet remaining continent. No continent man need be deterred by this apocryphal fear of atrophy of the testes, from living a chaste life. It is a device of the unchaste—a lame excuse for their own incontinence, unfounded on any physiological law."[7]

7 Acton.

The truth of this statement has been amply confirmed by experiments upon animals.

The complaint is made by those whose lives have been far otherwise than continent, that abstinence occasions suffering, from which indulgence gives relief. The same writer further says that when such a patient consults a medical man, "he should be told—and the result would soon prove the correctness of the advice—that attention to diet, gymnastic exercise, and self-control, will, most effectually relieve the symptoms."

Difficulty of Continence.—Some there are who urge that self-denial is difficult; that the natural promptings are imperious. From this they argue that it cannot but be right to gratify so strong a passion. "The admitted fact that continence, even at the very beginning of manhood, is frequently productive of distress, is often a struggle hard to be borne—still harder to be completely victorious in—is not to be at all regarded as an argument that it is an evil."[8]

8 Ibid.

But if rigid continence is maintained from the first, the struggle with the passions will not be nearly so severe as after they have once been allowed to gain the ascendency. On this point, the following remarks are very just:—

"At the outset, the sexual necessities are not so uncontrollable as is generally supposed, and they can be put down by the exercise of a little energetic will. There is, therefore, as it appears to us, as much injustice in accusing nature of disorders which are dependent upon the genital senses, badly directed, as there would be in attributing to it a sprain or a fracture accidentally produced."[9]

9 Mayer.

Helps to Continence.—As already indicated, and as every individual with strong passions knows, the warfare with passion is a serious one if one determines to lead a continent life. He needs the help of every aid that he can gain. Some of these may be named as follows:—

The Will.—A firm determination must be formed to lead a life of purity; to quickly quench the first suggestions of impurity; to harbor no unchaste desire; to purge the mind of carnal thoughts; in short, to cleave fast to mental continence. Each triumph over vicious thoughts will strengthen virtue; each victory won will make the next the easier. So strong a habit of continence may be formed that this alone will be a bulwark against vice.

Diet.—He who would keep in subjection his animal nature must carefully guard the portal to his stomach. The blood is made of what is eaten. Irritating food will produce irritating blood. Stimulating foods or drinks will surely produce a corresponding quality of blood. Irritating, stimulating blood will irritate and stimulate the nervous system, and especially the delicate nerves of the reproductive system, as previously explained. Only the most simple and wholesome food should be eaten, and that only in such moderate quantities as are required to replenish the tissues. The custom of making the food pungent and stimulating with condiments is the great, almost the sole, cause of gluttony. It is one of the greatest hindrances to virtue. Indeed, it may with truth be said that the devices of modern cookery are most powerful allies of unchastity and licentiousness. This subject is particularly deserving of careful, candid, and studious attention, and only needs such investigation to demonstrate its soundness.

Exercise.—Next to diet as an aid to continence, perhaps of equal importance with it, is exercise, both physical and mental. It is a trite proverb, the truth of which every one acknowledges, that "Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do," and it is equally true that he always has an evil thought in readiness—speaking figuratively—to instill into an unoccupied mind. A person who desires to be pure and continent in body and mind must flee idleness as he would the devil himself; for the latter is always ready to improve upon the advantages afforded by an idle moment, an hour given to reverie.

We have the strongest testimony from the most eminent physicians in regard to the efficacy of exercise in overcoming abnormal sexual desires. Mr. Acton relates the following statement made to him by a gentleman who has become distinguished in his profession:—

"'You may be surprised, Mr. Acton,' said he, 'by the statement I am about to make to you, that before my marriage I lived a perfectly continent life. During my university career, my passions were very strong, sometimes almost uncontrollable, but I have the satisfaction to think that I mastered them; it was, however, by great efforts. I obliged myself to take violent physical exertion; I was the best oar of my year, and when I felt particularly strong sexual desire, I sallied out to take my exercise. I was victorious always, and I never committed fornication. You see in what vigorous health I am; it was exercise alone that saved me.'"

Says Carpenter, on the same subject, in a textbook for medical students, "'Try the effect of close mental application to some of those ennobling pursuits to which your profession introduces you, in combination with vigorous bodily exercise, before you assert that the appetite is unrestrainable, and act upon that assertion.'"

Walking, riding, rowing, and gymnastics are among the best modes of physical exercise for sedentary persons; but there is no better form of exercise than working in the garden. The cultivation of small fruits, flowers, and other occupations of like character, really excel all other modes of physical exercise for one who can engage in them with real pleasure. Even though distasteful at first, they may become very attractive and interesting if there is an honest, persevering desire to make them so. The advantages of exercises of this kind are evident. 1. They are useful as well as healthful. While they call into action a very large number of muscles by the varied movements required, the expenditure of vital force is remunerated by the actual value of the products of the labor; so that no force is wasted. 2. The tillage of the soil and the dressing of vines and plants bring one in constant contact with nature in a manner that is elevating and refining, or at least affords the most favorable opportunities for the cultivation of nobility and purity of mind, and elevated principles.

Exercise carried to such excess as to produce exhaustion is always injurious. The same is true of mental labor as of physical exercise. Plenty of sleep, and regular habits of retiring and rising, are important. Dozing is bad at any time; for it is a condition in which the will is nearly dormant, though consciousness still lingers, and the imagination is allowed to run wild, and often enough it will run where it ought not. Late study, or late hours spent in any manner, is a sure means of producing general nervous irritability and sexual excitement through reflex influence.

Bathing.—A daily bath with cool or tepid water, followed by vigorous rubbing of the skin with a coarse towel and then with the dry hand, is a most valuable aid. The hour of first rising is generally the most convenient time. How to take different kinds of baths is explained in other works devoted to the subject.[10] General and local cleanliness are indispensable to general and local health.

10 See "Uses of Water" and "The Household Manual."

Religion.—After availing himself of all other aids to continence, if he wishes to maintain purity of mind as well as physical chastity—and one cannot exist long without the other—the individual must seek that most powerful and helpful of all aids, divine grace. If, in the conflict with his animal nature, man had only to contend with the degrading influences of his own propensities, the battle would be a serious one, and it is doubtful whether human nature alone—at least in any but rare cases,—would be able to gain the victory; but, in addition to his own inherent tendencies to evil, man is assailed at every point by unseen agencies that seek to drag him down and spoil his soul with lust. These fiendish influences are only felt, not seen, from which some argue that they do not exist. Such casuists must find enormous depths for human depravity. But who has not felt the cruel power of these unseen foes? Against them, there is but one safe, successful weapon, "the blood of Christ which cleanseth from all sin."

The struggling soul, beset with evil thoughts, will find in prayer a salvation which all his force of will, and dieting, and exercising, will not, alone, insure him. Yet prayer alone will not avail. Faith and works must always be associated. All that one can do to work out his own salvation, he must do; then he can safely trust in God to do the rest, even though the struggle seems almost a useless one; for when the soul has been long in bondage to concupiscence, the mind a hold of foul and lustful thoughts, a panorama of unchaste imagery, these hateful phantoms will even intrude themselves upon the sanctity of prayer and make their victim mentally unchaste upon his knees. But Christ can pity even such; and even these degraded minds may yet be pure if with the psalmist they continue to cry, with a true purpose and unwavering trust, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

At the first suggestion of an evil thought, send up a mental prayer to Him whose ear is always open. Prayer and impurity are as incompatible as oil and water. The pure thoughts that sincere prayer will bring, displace the evil promptings of excited passion. But the desire for aid must be sincere. Prayer will be of no avail while the mind is half consenting to the evil thought. The evil must be loathed, spurned, detested.

It would seem almost unnecessary to suggest the impropriety of resorting to prayer alone when sexual excitability has arisen from a culpable neglect to remove the physical conditions of local excitement by the means already mentioned. Such physical causes must be well looked after, or every attempt to reform will be fruitless. God requires of every individual to do for himself all that he is capable of doing; to employ every available means for alleviating his sufferings.


It seems to be a generally prevalent opinion that the marriage ceremony removes all restraint from the exercise of the sexual functions. Few seem to even suspect that the seventh commandment has any bearing upon sexual conduct within the pale of matrimony. Yet if we may believe the confessions and statements of men and women, legalized prostitution is a more common crime than illicit commerce of the sexes. So common is the popular error upon this subject, and so strongly fortified by prejudice is it, that it is absolutely dangerous for a writer or speaker to express the truth, if he knows it and has a disposition to do so. Any attempt to call attention to true principles is mocked at, decried, stigmatized, and, if possible, extinguished. The author is vilified, and his work is denounced, and relegated to the ragman. Extremist, fanatic, ascetic, are the mildest terms employed concerning him, and he escapes with rare good fortune if his chastity or virility is not assailed.

We are not going to run any such risks, and so shall not attempt to enunciate or maintain any theory. We shall content ourselves with plainly stating established physiological facts by quotations from standard medical authors, leaving each reader to draw conclusions and construct a practical formula for himself.

Object of the Reproductive Functions.—Man, in whatever condition we find him, is more or less depraved. This is true as well of the most cultivated and refined ladies and gentlemen of the great centers of civilization, as of the misshapen denizens of African jungles, or the scarcely human natives of Australia and Terra del Fuego. His appetites, his tastes, his habits, even his bodily functions are perverted. Of course, there are degrees of depravity, and varieties of perversion. In some respects, savages approach more nearly to the natural state than civilized man, and in other particulars, the latter more nearly represents man's natural condition; but in neither barbarism nor civilization do we find man in his primitive state.

In consequence of this universal departure from his original normal condition,—the causes of which we need not here trace, since they are immaterial in the consideration of this question,—when we wish to ascertain with certainty the functions of certain organs of the human body, we are obliged to compare them with the corresponding organs of lower animals, and study the functions of the latter. It is by this method of investigation that most of the important truths of physiology have been developed; and the plan is universally acknowledged to be a proper and logical one.

Then if we wish to ascertain, with certainty, the true function of the reproductive organs in man, we must pursue the course above indicated; in other words, study the function of reproduction in lower animals. We say lower animals, because man is really an animal, a member of the great animal kingdom, though not a beast—at least he should not be a beast, though some animals in human form approach very closely to the line that separates humanity from brutes. We are brought, then, for a solution of this problem, to a consideration of the question, What is the object of the reproductive act in those members of the animal kingdom just below man in the scale of being? Let science tell us, for zoölogists have made a careful study of this subject for centuries.

We quote the following paragraphs from one of the most distinguished and reliable of modern physiologists;[11] the facts which he states being confirmed by all other physiologists:—

"Every living being has a definite term of life, through which it passes by the operation of an invariable law, and which, at some regularly appointed time, comes to an end.... But while individual organisms are thus constantly perishing and disappearing from the stage, the particular kind, or species, remains in existence.... This process, by which new organisms make their appearance, to take the place of those which are destroyed, is known as the process of reproduction or generation.

"The ovaries, as well as the eggs which they contain, undergo, at particular seasons, a periodical development, or increase in growth.... At the approach of the generative season, in all the lower animals, a certain number of the eggs, which were previously in an imperfect and inactive condition, begin to increase in size and become somewhat altered in structure."

"In most fish and reptiles as well as in birds, this regular process of maturation and discharge of eggs takes place but once in a year. In different species of quadrupeds it may take place annually, semi-annually, bi-monthly, or even monthly; but in every instance it recurs at regular intervals, and exhibits accordingly, in a marked degree, the periodic character which we have seen to belong to most of the other vital phenomena."

"In most of the lower orders of animals there is a periodical development of the testicles in the male, corresponding in time with that of the ovaries in the female. As the ovaries enlarge and the eggs ripen in the one sex, so in the other the testicles increase in size, as the season of reproduction approaches, and become turgid with spermatozoa. The accessory organs of generation, at the same time, share the unusual activity of the testicles, and become increased in vascularity and ready to perform their part in the reproductive function."

"Each of the two sexes is then at the same time under the influence of a corresponding excitement. The unusual development of the genital organs reacts upon the entire system, and produces a state of peculiar activity and excitability, known as the condition of 'erethism.'"

"It is a remarkable fact, in this connection, that the female of these animals will allow the approaches of the male only during and immediately after the oestral period; that is, just when the egg is recently discharged, and ready for impregnation. At other times, when sexual intercourse would be necessarily fruitless, the instinct of the animal leads her to avoid it; and the concourse of the sexes is accordingly made to correspond in time with the maturity of the egg and its aptitude for fecundation."

"The egg, immediately upon its discharge from the ovary, is ready for impregnation. If sexual intercourse happens to take place about that time, the egg and the spermatic fluid meet in some part of the female generative passages, and fecundation is accomplished.... If, on the other hand, coitus do not take place, the egg passes down to the uterus unimpregnated, loses its vitality after a short time, and is finally carried away with the uterine secretions."

"It is easily understood, therefore, why sexual intercourse should be more liable to be followed by pregnancy when it occurs about the menstrual epoch than at other times.... Before its discharge, the egg is immature, and unprepared for impregnation; and after the menstrual period has passed, it gradually loses its freshness and vitality."

11 Dalton.

The law of periodicity, as it affects the sexual activity of males of the human species, is indicated in the following remarks by the same author:—

"The same correspondence between the periods of sexual excitement in the male and female, is visible in many of the animals [higher mammals], as well as in fish and reptiles. This is the case in most species which produce young but once a year, and at a fixed period, as the deer and the wild hog. In other species, on the contrary, such as the dog, the rabbit, the guinea-pig, etc., where several broods of young are produced during the year, or where, as in the human subject, the generative epochs of the female recur at short intervals, so that the particular period of impregnation is comparatively indefinite, the generative apparatus of the male is almost always in a state of full development; and is excited to action at particular periods, apparently by some influence derived from the condition of the female."

The facts presented in the foregoing quotations from Dr. Dalton may be summarized as follows:—

1. The sexual function is for the purpose of producing new individuals to take the place of those who die, and thus preserve the species from becoming extinct.

2. In the animal kingdom generally, the reproductive function is necessarily a periodical act, dependent upon the development of the reproductive organs of both the male and the female at stated periods.

3. In those exceptional cases in which the organs of the male are in a state of constant development, sexual congress occurs, in lower animals, only at those periods when the periodical development occurs in the female.

4. Fecundation of the female element can only take place about the time of periodical development in the female.

5. The desire for sexual congress naturally exists in the female only at or immediately after the time of periodical development.

6. The constant development of the sexual organs in human males is a condition common to all animals in which development occurs in the female at short intervals, and is a provision of nature to secure a fruitful union when the female is in readiness, but not an indication for constant or frequent use.

7. The time of sexual congress is always determined by the condition and desires of the female.

An additional fact, as stated by physiologists, is that, under normal conditions, the human female experiences sexual desire immediately after menstruation more than at any other time. It has, indeed, been claimed that at this period only does she experience the true sexual instinct unless it is abnormally excited by disease or otherwise.

From these facts the following conclusions must evidently be drawn:—

1. The fact that in all animals but the human species the act can be performed only when reproduction is possible, proves that in the animal kingdom in general the sole object of the function is reproduction. Whether man is an exception, must be determined from other considerations.

2. The fact that the males of other animals besides man in which the sexual organs are in a state of constant development do not exercise those organs except for the purpose of reproduction, is proof of the position that the constant development in man is not a warrant for their constant use.

3. The general law that the reproductive act is performed only when desired by the female, is sufficient ground for supposing that such should be the case with the human species also.

The opinions of writers of note are given in the following quotations:—

"The approach of the sexes is, in its purest condition, the result of a natural instinct, the end of which is the reproduction of the species. Still, however, we are far from saying that this ultimate result is, in any proportion of cases, the actual thought in the minds of the parties engaged."

"The very lively solicitations which spring from the genital sense, have no other end than to insure the perpetuity of the race."[12]

12 Dr. Gardner.

"Observation fully confirms the views of inductive philosophy; for it proves to us that coitus, exercised otherwise than under the inspirations of honest instinct, is a cause of disease in both sexes, and of danger to the social order."[13]

13 Mayer.

"It is incredible that the act of bringing men into life, that act of humanity, without contradiction of the most importance, should be the one of which there should have been the least supposed necessity for regulation, or which has been regulated the least beneficially."[14]

14 Dunoyer.

"But it may be said that the demands of nature are, in the married state, not only legal, but should be physically right. So they are, when our physical life is right; but it must not be forgotten that few live in a truly physical rectitude."[15]

15 Gardner.

"Among cattle, the sexes meet by common instinct and common will; it is reserved for the human animal to treat the female as a mere victim to his lust."[16]

16 Quarterly Review.

"He is an ill husband that uses his wife as a man treats a harlot, having no other end but pleasure. Concerning which our best rule is, that although in this, as in eating and drinking, there is an appetite to be satisfied, which cannot be done without pleasing that desire, yet since that desire and satisfaction were intended by nature for other ends, they should never be separated from those ends."

"It is a sad truth that many married persons, thinking that the flood-gates of liberty are set wide open, without measures or restraints (so they sail in the channel), have felt the final rewards of intemperance and lust by their unlawful using of lawful permissions. Only let each of them be temperate, and both of them modest."[17]

17 Jeremy Taylor.

Says another writer very emphatically, "It is a common belief that a man and woman, because they are legally united in marriage, are privileged to the unbridled exercises of amativeness. This is wrong. Nature, in the exercise of her laws, recognizes no human enactments, and is as prompt to punish any infringement of her laws in those who are legally married, as in those out of the bonds. Excessive indulgence between the married produces as great and lasting evil effects as in the single man or woman, and is nothing more or less than legalized prostitution."

Results of Excesses.—The sad results of excessive indulgences are seen on every hand. Numerous ailments attributed to overwork, constitutional disease, or hereditary predisposition, know no other cause and need no other explanation.

Effects upon Husbands.—No doubt the principal blame in this matter properly falls upon the husband; but it cannot be said that he is the greatest sufferer; however, his punishment is severe enough to clearly indicate the enormity of the transgression, and to warn him to a reformation of his habits. The following is a quotation from an eminent medical authority:—

"But any warning against sexual dangers would be very incomplete if it did not extend to the excesses so often committed by married persons in ignorance of their ill effects. Too frequent emissions of the life-giving fluid, and too frequent excitement of the nervous system are, as we have seen, in themselves most destructive. The result is the same within the marriage bond as without it. The married man who thinks that because he is a married man he can commit no excess, however often the act of sexual congress is repeated, will suffer as certainly and as seriously as the unmarried debauchee who acts on the same principle in his indulgences—perhaps more certainly from his very ignorance, and from his not taking those precautions and following those rules which a career of vice is apt to teach the sensualist. Many a man has, until his marriage, lived a most continent life; so has his wife. As soon as they are wedded, intercourse is indulged in night after night, neither party having any idea that these repeated sexual acts are excesses which the system of neither can bear, and which to the man, at least, are absolute ruin. The practice is continued till health is impaired, sometimes permanently, and when a patient is at last obliged to seek medical advice, he is thunderstruck at learning that his sufferings arise from excesses unwittingly committed. Married people often appear to think that connection may be repeated as regularly and almost as often as their meals. Till they are told of the danger, the idea never enters their heads that they are guilty of great and almost criminal excess; nor is this to be wondered at, since the possibility of such a cause of disease is seldom hinted at by the medical man they consult."

"Some go so far as to believe that indulgence may increase these powers, just as gymnastic exercises augment the force of the muscles. This is a popular error; and requires correction. Such patients should be told that the shock on the system each time connection is indulged in, is very powerful, and that the expenditure of seminal fluid must be particularly injurious to organs previously debilitated. It is by this and similar excesses that premature old age and complaints of the generative organs are brought on."

"The length to which married people carry excesses is perfectly astonishing."

"Since my attention has been particularly called to this class of ailments, I feel confident that many of the forms of indigestion, general ill health, hypochondriasis, etc., so often met with in adults, depend upon sexual excesses.... That this cause of illness is not more generally acknowledged and acted on, arises from the natural delicacy which medical men must feel in putting such questions to their patients as are necessary to elicit the facts."

"It is not the body alone which suffers from excesses committed in married life. Experience every day convinces me that much of the languor of mind, confusion of ideas, and inability to control the thoughts, of which some married men complain, arise from this cause."[18]

18 Acton.

The debilitating effects of excessive sexual indulgence arise from two causes; viz., the loss of the seminal fluid, and the nervous excitement. With reference to the value of the spermatic fluid, Dr. Gardner remarks:—

"The sperm is the purest extract of the blood.... Nature, in creating it, has intended it not only to communicate life, but also to nourish the individual life. In fact, the re-absorption of the fecundating liquid impresses upon the entire economy new energy, and a virility which contributes to the prolongation of life."

Testimony of a French Physician.—A French author of considerable note,[19] remarks on the same subject:—

"Nothing costs the economy so much as the production of semen and its forced ejaculation. It has been calculated that an ounce of semen was equivalent to forty ounces of blood.... Semen is the essence of the whole individual. Hence, Fernel has said, 'Totus homo semen est.' It is the balm of life.... That which gives life is intended for its preservation."

19 Parise.

It may be questioned, perhaps, whether physiology will sustain to the fullest extent all the statements made in the last quotation; but perhaps physiology does not appreciate so fully as does pathology the worth of the most vital of all fluids, and the fearful results which follow its useless expenditure.

Continence of Trainers.—"The moderns who are training are well aware that sexual indulgence wholly unfits them for great feats of strength, and the captain of a boat strictly forbids his crew anything of the sort just previous to a match. Some trainers have gone so far as to assure me that they can discover by a man's style of pulling whether he has committed such a breach of discipline over night, and have not scrupled to attribute the occasional loss of matches to this cause."[20]

20 Acton.

A Cause of Throat Disease.—The disease known as "clergyman's sore throat" is believed by many eminent physicians to have its chief origin in excessive venery. It is well known that sexual abuse is a very potent cause of throat diseases. This view is supported by the following from the pen of the learned Dr. X. Bourgeois:—

"We ought not, then, to be surprised that the physiological act, requiring so great an expenditure of vitality, must be injurious in the highest degree, when it is reiterated abusively. To engender is to give a portion of one's life. Does not he who is prodigal of himself precipitate his own ruin? A peculiar character of the diseases which have their origin in venereal excesses and masturbation is chronicity."

"Individual predispositions, acquired or hereditary, engender for each a series of peculiar ills. In some, the debility bears upon the pulmonary organs. Hence results the dry cough, prolonged hoarseness, stitch in the side, spitting of blood, and finally phthisis. How many examples are there of young debauchees who have been devoured by this cruel disease!... It is, of all the grave maladies, the one which venereal abuses provoke the most frequently. Portal, Bayle, Louis, say this distinctly."

A Cause of Consumption.—This fatal disease finds a large share of its victims among those addicted to sexual excesses, either of an illicit nature or within the marriage pale, for the physical effects are essentially identical. This cause is especially active and fatal with sedentary persons, but is sufficiently powerful to undermine the constitution under the most favorable circumstances, as the following case illustrates:—

The patient was a young man of twenty-two, large, muscular, and well developed, having uncommonly broad shoulders and a full chest. His occupation had been healthful, that of a laborer. Had had cough for several months, and was spitting blood. Examination of lungs showed that they were hopelessly diseased. There was no trace of consumption in the family, and the only cause to which the disease could be attributed was excessive sexual indulgence, which he confessed to have practiced for several years.

Effects on Wives.—If husbands are great sufferers, as we have seen, wives suffer still more terribly, being of feebler constitution, and hence less able to bear the frequent shock which is suffered by the nervous system. Dr. Gardner places this evil prominent among the causes "the result of which we see deplored in the public press of the day, which warns us that the American race is fast dying out, and that its place is being filled by emigrants of different lineage, religion, political ideas, and education."

The same author remarks further on the results of this with other causes which largely grow out of it:—

"It has been a matter of common observation that the physical status of the women of Christendom has been gradually deteriorating; that their mental energies were uncertain and spasmodic; that they were prematurely care-worn, wrinkled, and enervated; that they became subject to a host of diseases scarcely ever known to the professional men of past times, but now familiar to, and the common talk of, the matrons, and often, indeed, of the youngest females in the community."

So prevalent are these maladies that Michelet says with truth that the present is the "age of womb diseases."

Every physician of observation and experience has met many cases illustrative of the serious effects of the evil named. Some years ago, when acting as assistant physician in a large dispensary in an Eastern city, a young woman applied for examination and treatment. She presented a great variety of nervous symptoms, prominent among which were those of mild hysteria and nervous exhaustion, together with impaired digestion and violent palpitation of the heart. In our inquiries respecting the cause of these difficulties, we learned that she had been married but about six months. A little careful questioning elicited the fact that sexual indulgence was invariably practiced every night, and often two or three times, occasionally as many as four times a night. We had the key to her troubles at once, and ordered entire continence for a month. From her subsequent reports I learned that her husband would not allow her to comply with the request, but that indulgence was much less frequent than before. The result was not all that could be desired, but there was marked improvement. If the husband had been willing to "do right," entire recovery would have taken place with rapidity.

Another case came under our observation in which the patient, a man, confessed to having indulged every night for twenty years. We did not wonder that at forty he was a complete physical wreck.

The Greatest Cause of Uterine Disease.—Dr. J. R. Black remarks as follows on this subject:—

"Medical writers agree that one of the most common causes of the many forms of derangement to which woman is subject consists in excessive cohabitation. The diseases known as menorrhagia, dysmenorrhoea, leucorrhoea, amenorrhoea, abortions, prolapsus, chronic inflammations and ulcerations of the womb, with a yet greater variety of sympathetic nervous disorders, are some of the distressing forms of these derangements. The popular way of accounting for many of these ills is that they come from colds or from straining lifts. But if colds and great strain upon the parts in question develop such diseases, why are they not seen among the inferior animals? The climatic alternations they endure, the severe labor some of them are obliged to perform, ought to cause their ruin; or else in popular phrase, 'make them catch their deaths from cold.'"

Legalized Murder.—A medical writer of considerable ability presents the following picture, the counterpart of which almost any one can recall as having occurred within the circle of his acquaintance; perhaps numerous cases will be recalled by one who has been especially observing:—

"A man of great vital force is united to a woman of evenly-balanced organization. The husband, in the exercise of what he is pleased to term his 'marital rights,' places his wife, in a short time, on the nervous, delicate, sickly list. In the blindness and ignorance of his animal nature, he requires prompt obedience to his desires; and, ignorant of the law of right in this direction, thinking that it is her duty to accede to his wishes, though fulfilling them with a sore and troubled heart, she allows him passively, never lovingly, to exercise daily and weekly, month in and month out, the low and beastly of his nature, and eventually, slowly but surely, to kill her. And this man, who has as surely committed murder as has the convicted assassin, lures to his net and takes unto him another wife, to repeat the same programme of legalized prostitution on his part, and sickness and premature death on her part."

Prof. Gerrish, in a little work from which we take the liberty to quote, speaks as follows on this subject:—

"One man reckless of his duty to the community, marries young, with means and prospects inadequate to support the family which is so sure to come ere long. His ostensible excuse is love; his real reason the gratification of his carnal instincts. Another man, in exactly similar circumstances, but too conscientious to assume responsibilities which he cannot carry, and in which failure must compromise the comfort and tax the purses of people from whom he has no right to extort luxuries, forbears to marry; but, feeling the passions of his sex, and being imbued with the prevalent errors on such matters, resorts for relief to unlawful coition. At the wedding of the former, pious friends assemble with their presents and congratulations, and bid the legalized prostitution Godspeed. Love shields the crime, all the more easily because so many of the rejoicing guests have sinned in precisely the same way. The other man has no festival gathering.... Society applauds the first and frowns on the second; but, to my mind, the difference between them is not markedly in favor of the former."

"We hear a good deal said about certain crimes against nature, such as pederasty and sodomy, and they meet with the indignant condemnation of all right-minded persons. The statutes are especially severe on offenders of this class, the penalty being imprisonment between one and ten years, whereas fornication is punished by imprisonment for not more than sixty days and a fine of less than one hundred dollars. But the query very pertinently arises just here as to whether the use of the condom and defertilizing injections is not equally a crime against nature, and quite as worthy of our detestation and contempt. And, further, when we consider the brute creation, and see that they, guided by instinct, copulate only when the female is in proper physiological condition and yields a willing consent, it may be suggested that congress between men and women may, in certain circumstances, be a crime against nature, and one far worse in its results than any other. Is it probable that a child born of a connection to which the woman objects will possess that felicitous organization which every parent should earnestly desire and endeavor to bestow on his offspring? Can the unwelcome fruit of a rape be considered, what every child has a right to be, a pledge of affection? Poor little Pip, in 'Great Expectations,' spoke as the representative of a numerous class when he said, 'I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born, in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion and morality, and against the dissuading arguments of my best friends.' We enjoin the young to honor father and mother, never thinking how undeserving of respect are those whose children suffer from inherited ills, the result of the selfishness and carelessness of their parents in begetting them.

"These accidental pregnancies are the great immediate cause of the enormously common crime of abortion, concerning which the morals of the people are amazingly blunted. The extent of the practice may be roughly estimated by the number of standing advertisements in the family newspapers, in which feticide is warranted safe and secret. It is not the poor only who take advantage of such nefarious opportunities; but the rich shamelessly patronize these professional and cowardly murderers of defenseless infancy. Madame Restell, who recently died by her own hand in New York, left a fortune of a million dollars, which she had accumulated by producing abortions."

A husband who has not sunk in his carnality too far below the brute creation will certainly pause a moment, in the face of such terrible facts, before he continues his sensual, selfish, murderous course.

Indulgence during Menstruation.—The following remarks which our own professional experience has several times confirmed, reveal a still more heinous violation of nature's laws:—

"To many it may seem that it is unnecessary to caution against contracting relationships at the period of the monthly flow, thinking that the instinctive laws of cleanliness and delicacy were sufficient to refrain the indulgence of the appetites; but they are little cognizant of the true condition of things in this world. Often have I had husbands inform me that they had not missed having sexual relations with their wives once or more times a day for several years; and scores of women with delicate frames and broken-down health have revealed to me similar facts, and I have been compelled to make personal appeals to the husbands."[21]

21 Gardner.

The following is an important testimony by an eminent physician[22] upon the same point:—

"Females whose health is in a weak state ... become liable, in transgressing this law, to an infectious disorder, which, it is commonly supposed, can only originate or prevail among disreputable characters; but Dr. Bumstead and a number of other eminent authorities believe and teach that gonorrhoea may originate among women entirely virtuous in the ordinary sense of the term. That excessive venery is the chief cause that originates this peculiar form of inflammation, has long been the settled opinion of medical men."

22 Dr. J. R. Black.

It seems scarcely possible that such enormity could be committed by any human being, at least by civilized men, and in the face of the injunctions of Moses to the Jews, to say nothing of the evident indecency of the act. The Jews still maintain their integrity to the observance of this command of their ancient lawgiver.

"Reason and experience both show that sexual relations at the menstrual period are very dangerous to both man and woman, and perhaps also for the offspring, should there chance to be conception."[23]

23 Mayer.

The woman suffers from the congestion and nervous excitement which occur at the most inopportune moment possible. Man may suffer physical injury, though there are no grounds for the assertions of Pliny that the menstrual blood is so potent for evil that it will, by a mere touch, rust iron, render a tree sterile, make dogs mad, etc., or that of Paracelsus that "of it the devil makes spiders, fleas, caterpillars, and all the other insects that people the air."

Effects upon Offspring.—That those guilty of the transgression should suffer, seems only just; but that an innocent being who had no part in the sin—no voice in the time or manner of its advent into the world—that such a one should suffer equally, if not more bitterly, with the transgressors themselves, seems anything but just. But such is nature's inexorable law, that the iniquities of the parents shall be visited upon the children; and this fact should be a most powerful influence to prevent parental transgression, especially in this direction, in which the dire consequences fall so heavily and so immediately upon an innocent being.

Says Acton, "The ill effects of marital excesses are not confined to offending parties. No doubt can exist that many of the obscure cases of sickly children, born of apparently healthy parents, arise from this cause; and this is borne out by investigations amongst animals."

Breeders of stock who wish to secure sound progeny will not allow the most robust stallion to associate with mares as many times during the whole season as some of these salacious human males perform a similar act within a month. One reason why the offspring suffer is that the seminal fluid deteriorates very rapidly by repeated indulgence. The spermatozoa do not have time to become maturely developed. Progeny resulting from such immature elements will possess the same deficiency. Hence the hosts of deformed, scrofulous, weazen, and idiotic children which curse the race, and testify to the sensuality of their progenitors. Another reason is the physical and nervous exhaustion which the parents bring upon themselves, and which totally unfits them to beget sound, healthy offspring.

The effects of this evil may often be traced in a large family of children, nearly all of whom show traces of the excesses of their parents. It commonly happens, too, that such large families are on the hands of poor men who cannot earn enough to give them sufficient food and comfortable clothing, with nothing whatever to provide for their education. The overburdened mother has her strength totally exhausted by the excessive demands upon her system incident to child-bearing, so that she is unable to give her children that culture and training which all children need. More than as likely as not she feels that they were forced upon her, and hence she cannot hold for them all that tender sympathy and affection a mother should feel. The little ones grow up ignorant and often vicious; for want of home care drives them to the street. Thus does one evil create another.

It is certainly a question which deserves some attention, whether it is not a sin for parents to bring into the world more children than they can properly care for. If they can rear and educate three children properly, the same work would be only half done for six; and there are already in the world a sufficiency of half-raised people. From this class of society the ranks of thieves, drunkards, beggars, vagabonds, and prostitutes, are recruited. Why should it be considered an improper or immoral thing to limit the number of children according to the circumstances of the parents? Ought it not to be considered a crime against childhood and against the race to do otherwise? It is seriously maintained by a number of distinguished persons that man "is in duty bound to limit the number of his children as well as the sheep on his farm; the number of each to be according to the adequacy of his means for their support."

Indulgence during Pregnancy.—Transgressions of this sort are followed by the worst results of any form of marital excess. The mother suffers doubly, because laden with the burden of supporting two lives instead of one. But the results upon the child are especially disastrous. During the time when it is receiving its stock of vitality, while its plastic form is being molded, and its various organs acquiring that integrity of structure which makes up what is called constitutional vigor,—during this most critical of all periods in the life of the new being, its resources are exhausted and its structure depraved—and thus constitutional tendencies to disease produced—by the unnatural demands made upon the mother.

Effect upon the Character.—Still another terrible consequence results from this practice so contrary to nature. The delicate brain, which is being molded, with the other organs of the body, receives its cast largely from those mental and nervous sensations and actions of the mother which are the most intense. One of the most certain effects of sexual indulgence at this time is to develop abnormally the sexual instinct in the child. Here is the key to the origin of much of the sexual precocity and depravity which curse humanity. Sensuality is born in the souls of a large share of the rising generation. What wonder that prostitution flourishes in spite of Christianity and civil law?

It is scarcely necessary to say that all medical testimony concurs in forbidding indulgence during gestation. The same reasons require its interdiction during the nursing period. The fact that fecundation would be impossible during pregnancy, and that during this period the female, normally, has no sexual desire, are other powerful arguments in favor of perfect continence at this time.

We quote the following from a work on health by Dr. J. R. Black:—

"Coition during pregnancy is one of the ways in which the predisposition is laid for that terrible disease in children, epilepsy. The unnatural excitement of the nervous system in the mother by such a cause cannot operate otherwise than by inflicting injury upon the tender germ in her womb. This germ, it must be remembered, derives every quality it possesses from the parents, as well as every particle of matter of which it is composed. The old notion of anything like spontaneity in the development of the qualities of a new being is at variance with all the latest facts and inductions concerning reproduction. And so is that of a creative fiat. The smallest organic cell, as well as the most complicated organism, in form and quality, is wholly dependent upon the laws of derivation.

"These laws are competent to explain, however subtle the ultimate process may be, the great diversities of human organization and character. Impressions from without, the emotions, conduct, and play of the organic processes within, are never alike from day to day, or from hour to hour; and it is from the aggregate of these in the parents, but especially of those in the mother immediately before and after conception, that the quality of the offspring is determined. Suppose, then, that there is every now and then an unnatural, excited, and exhausted state of the nervous system produced in the mother by excessive cohabitation, is it any wonder that the child's nervous system, which derives its qualities from those of its parents, should take its peculiar stamp from that of the parent in whom it lives, moves, and has its being?

"In the adult, epilepsy is frequently developed by excessive venery; and the child born with such a predisposition will be exceedingly liable to the disease during its early years when the nervous system is notoriously prone to deranged action from very slight disturbing causes.

"The infringement of this law regulating intercourse during pregnancy also reacts injuriously upon the mental capacity of the child, tending to give it a stupid, animalized look; and, there is also good reason to believe, aids in developing the idiotic condition."

A Selfish Objection.—The married man will raise the plea that indulgence is to him a necessity. He has only to practice the principles laid down for the maintenance of continence to entirely remove any such necessity should there be the slightest semblance of a real demand. Again, what many mistake for an indication of the necessity for indulgence, to relieve an accumulation of semen, is in fact, to state the exact truth, but a call of nature for a movement of the bowels. How this may occur, has already been explained, as being due to the pressure of the distended rectum upon the internal organs of generation situated at the base of the bladder. It is for this reason, chiefly, that a good share of sexual excesses occur in the morning.

But, aside from all other considerations, is it not the most supreme selfishness for a man to consider only himself in his sexual relations, making his wife wholly subservient to his own desires? As a learned professor remarks, in speaking of woman, "Who has a right to regard her as a therapeutic agent?"

Brutes and Savages More Considerate.—It is only the civilized, Christianized (?) male human being who complains of the restraint imposed upon him by the laws of nature. The untutored barbarian, even some of the lowest of those who wear the human form, together with nearly all of the various classes of lower animals, abstain from sexual indulgence during pregnancy. The natives of the Gold Coast and many other African tribes regard it as a shameful offense to cohabit during gestation. In the case of lower animals, even when the male desires indulgence, the female resents any attempt of the sort by the most vigorous resistance.

Are not these wholesome lessons for that portion of the human race which professes to represent the accumulated wisdom, intelligence, and refinement of the world? Those who need reproof on this point may reflect that by a continuance of the evil practice they are placing themselves on a plane even below the uncouth negro who haunts the jungles of Southern Africa.

We quote the following from the pen of a talented professor in a well-known medical college:—

"I believe we cannot too strenuously insist upon this point—that sexual intercourse should never be undertaken with any other object than procreation, and never then unless the conditions are favorable to the production of a new being who will be likely to have cause to thankfully bless his parents for the gift of life. If this rule were generally observed, we should have no broken-nosed Tristram Shandys complaining of the carelessness of their fathers in begetting them."[24]

24 Dr. Gerrish.

What May Be Done?—But what is the practical conclusion to be drawn from all the foregoing? What should people do? what may they do? Dr. Gardner offers the following remarks, which partially answer the questions:—

"We have shown that we can 'DO RIGHT' without prejudice to health by the exercise of continence. Self-restraint, the ruling of the passions, is a virtue, and is within the power of all well-regulated minds. Nor is this necessarily perpetual or absolute. The passions may be restrained within proper limitations. He who indulges in lascivious thoughts may stimulate himself to frenzy; but if his mind were under proper control, he would find other employment for it, and his body, obedient to its potent sway, would not become the master of the man."

What are the "proper limitations," every person must decide for himself in view of the facts which have been presented. If he find that the animal in his nature is too strong to allow him to comply with what seems to be the requirements of natural law, let him approximate as nearly to the truth as possible. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind," and act accordingly, not forgetting that this is a matter with serious moral bearings, and, hence, one in which conscience should be on the alert. It is of no use to reject truth because it is unpalatable. There can be nothing worse for a man than to "know the truth and do it not."

It is but fair to say that there is a wide diversity of opinion among medical men on this subject. A very few hold that the sexual act should never be indulged except for the purpose of reproduction, and then only at periods when reproduction will be possible. Others, while equally opposed to the excesses, the effects of which have been described, limit indulgence to the number of months in the year.

Read, reflect, weigh well the matter, then fix upon a plan of action, and, if it be in accordance with the dictates of better judgment, do not swerve from it.

If the suggestion made near the outset of these remarks, in comparing the reproductive function in man and animals—viz., that the seasons of sexual approach should be governed by the inclination of the female—were conscientiously followed, it would undoubtedly do away with at least three-fourths of the excesses which have been under consideration. Before rejecting the hint so plainly offered by nature, let every man consider for a moment whether he has any other than purely selfish arguments to produce against it.

Early Moderation.—The time of all others when moderation is most imperatively demanded, yet least likely to be practiced, is at the beginning of matrimonial life. Many a woman dates the beginning of a life of suffering from the first night after marriage; and the mental suffering from the disgusting and even horrible recollections of that night, the events of which were scarred upon her mind as well as upon her body, have made her equally as wretched mentally as bodily.

A learned French writer, in referring to this subject, says, "The husband who begins with his wife by a rape is a lost man. He will never be loved."

We quote the following very sensible words from Dr. Napheys:—

"It sometimes happens that marriage is consummated with difficulty. To overcome this, care, management, and forbearance should always be employed, and anything like precipitation and violence avoided."

Cases have come under our care of young wives who have required months of careful treatment to repair the damage inflicted on their wedding night. A medical writer has reported a case in which he was called upon to testify in a suit for divorce, which is an illustration of so gross a degree of sensuality that the perpetrator certainly deserved most severe punishment. The victim, a beautiful and accomplished young lady, to please her parents, was married to a man much older than herself, riches being the chief attraction. She at once began to pine, and in a very few months was a complete wreck. Emaciated, spiritless, haggard, she was scarcely a shadow of her former self. The physician who was called in, upon making a local examination, found those delicate organs in a state of most terrible laceration and inflammation. The bladder, rectum, and other adjacent organs, were highly inflamed, and sensitive in the highest degree. Upon inquiring respecting the cause, he found that from the initial night she had been subjected to the most excessive demands by her husband, "day and night." The tortures she had undergone had been terrific; and her mind trembled upon the verge of insanity. She entered suit for divorce on the charge of cruelty, but was defeated, the judge ruling that the law has no jurisdiction in matters of that sort.

In another somewhat similar case which came to our knowledge, a young wife was delivered from the lecherous assaults of her husband—for they were no better—by the common sense of her neighbor friends, who gathered in force and insisted upon their discontinuance. It is only now and then that cases of this sort come to the surface. The majority of them are hidden deep down in the heart of the poor, heart-broken wife, and too often they are hidden along with the victim in an early grave.



The evil considered in the preceding section is by far the greatest cause of those which will be dwelt upon in this. Excesses are habitually practiced through ignorance or carelessness of their direct results, and then to prevent the legitimate result of the reproductive act, innumerable devices are employed to render it fruitless. To even mention all of these would be too great a breach of propriety, even in this plain-spoken work; but accurate description is unnecessary, since those who need this warning are perfectly familiar with all the foul accessories of evil thus employed. We cannot do better than to quote from the writings of several of the most eminent authors upon this subject. The following paragraphs are from the distinguished Mayer, who has already been frequently quoted:—

"The numerous stratagems invented by debauch to annihilate the natural consequences of coition, have all the same end in view."

Conjugal Onanism.—"The soiling of the conjugal bed by the shameful maneuvers to which we have made allusion, is mentioned for the first time in Gen. 38:6, and following verses: 'And it came to pass, when he [Onan] went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; wherefore he slew him.'

"Hence the name of conjugal onanism.

"One cannot tell to what great extent this vice is practiced, except by observing its consequences, even among people who fear to commit the slightest sin, to such a degree is the public conscience perverted upon this point. Still, many husbands know that nature often succeeds in rendering nugatory the most subtle calculations, and reconquers the rights which they have striven to frustrate. No matter; they persevere, none the less, and by the force of habit they poison the most blissful moments of life, with no surety of averting the result that they fear. So, who knows if the infants, too often feeble and weazen, are not the fruit of these in themselves incomplete procreations, and disturbed by preoccupations foreign to the generic act? Is it not reasonable to suppose that the creative power, not meeting in its disturbed functions the conditions necessary for the elaboration of a normal product, the conception might be from its origin imperfect, and the being which proceeded therefrom, one of those monsters which are described in treatises on teratology?"

"Let us see, now, what are the consequences to those given to this practice of conjugal onanism.

"We have at our disposition numerous facts which rigorously prove the disastrous influence of abnormal coitus to the woman, but we think it useless to publish them. All practitioners have more or less observed them, and it will only be necessary for them to call upon their memories to supply what our silence leaves. 'However, it is not difficult to conceive,' says Dr. Francis Devay, 'the degree of perturbation that a like practice should exert upon the genital system of woman by provoking desires which are not gratified. A profound stimulation is felt through the entire apparatus; the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries enter into a state of orgasm, a storm which is not appeased by the natural crisis; a nervous super-excitation persists. There occurs, then, what would take place if, presenting food to a famished man, one should snatch it from his mouth after having thus violently excited his appetite. The sensibilities of the womb and the entire reproductive system are teased for no purpose. It is to this cause, too often repeated, that we should attribute the multiple neuroses, those strange affections which originate in the genital system of woman. Our conviction respecting them is based upon a great number of observations. Furthermore, the normal relations existing between the married couple undergo unfortunate changes; this affection, founded upon reciprocal esteem, is little by little effaced by the repetition of an act which pollutes the marriage bed; from thence proceed certain hard feelings, certain deep impressions which, gradually growing, eventuate in the scandalous ruptures of which the community rarely know the real motive.'

"If the good harmony of families and their reciprocal relations are seriously menaced by the invasion of these detestable practices, the health of women, as we have already intimated, is fearfully injured. A great number of neuralgias appear to us to have no other cause. Many women that we have interrogated on this matter have fortified this opinion. But that which to us has passed to the condition of incontestable proof, is the prevalence of uterine troubles, of enervation among the married, hysterical symptoms which are met with in the conjugal relation as often as among young virgins, arising from the vicious habits of the husbands in their conjugal intercourse.... Still more, there is a graver affection, which is daily increasing, and which, if nothing arrests its invasion, will soon have attained the proportions of a scourge; we speak of the degeneration of the womb. We do not hesitate to place in the foremost rank, among the causes of this redoubtable disease, the refinements of civilization, and especially the artifices introduced in our day in the generic act. When there is no procreation, although the procreative faculties are excited, we see these pseudo-morphoses arise. Thus it is noticed that polypi and schirrus [cancer] of the womb are common among prostitutes. And it is easy to account for the manner of action of this pathogenetic cause, if we consider how probable it is that the ejaculation and contact of the sperm with the uterine neck, constitutes, for the woman, the crisis of the genital function, by appeasing the venereal orgasm and calming the voluptuous emotions under the action of which the entire economy is convulsed."

"We may, we trust, be pardoned for remarking upon the artifices imagined to prevent fecundation that there is in them an immense danger, of incalculable limits. We do not fear to be contradicted or taxed with exaggeration in elevating them into the proportions of a true calamity."

The following is from an eminent physician[25] who for many years devoted his whole attention to the diseases of women and lectured upon the subject in a prominent medical college:—

"It is undeniable that all the methods employed to prevent pregnancy are physically injurious. Some of these have been characterized with sufficient explicitness, and the injury resulting from incomplete coitus to both parties has been made evident to all who are willing to be convinced. It should require but a moment's consideration to convince any one of the harmfulness of the common use of cold ablutions and astringent infusions and various medicated washes. Simple and often wonderfully salutary as is cold water to a diseased limb, festering with inflammation, yet few are rash enough to cover a gouty toe, rheumatic knee, or erysipelatous head with cold water.... Yet, when in the general state of nervous and physical excitement attendant upon coitus, when the organs principally engaged in this act are congested and turgid with blood, do you think you can with impunity throw a flood of cold or even lukewarm water far into the vitals in a continual stream? Often, too, women add strong medicinal agents, intended to destroy by dissolution the spermatic germs, ere they have time to fulfill their natural destiny. These powerful astringents suddenly corrugate and close the glandular structure of the parts, and this is followed, necessarily, by a corresponding reaction, and the final result is debility and exhaustion, signalized by leucorrhoea, prolapsus, and other diseases.

"Finally, of the use of intermediate tegumentary coverings, made of thin rubber or gold-beater's skin, and so often relied upon as absolute preventives, Madame de Stael is reputed to have said, 'They are cobwebs for protection, and bulwarks against love.' Their employment certainly must produce a feeling of shame and disgust utterly destructive of the true delight of pure hearts and refined sensibilities. They are suggestive of licentiousness and the brothel, and their employment degrades to bestiality the true feelings of manhood and the holy state of matrimony. Neither do they give, except in a very limited degree, the protection desired. Furthermore, they produce (as alleged by the best modern French writers, who are more familiar with the effect of their use than we are in the United States) certain physical lesions from their irritating presence as foreign bodies, and also, from the chemicals employed in their fabrication, and other effects inseparable from their employment, ofttimes of a really serious nature.

"I will not further enlarge upon these instrumentalities. Sufficient has been said to convince any one that to trifle with the grand functions of our organism, to attempt to deceive and thwart nature in her highly ordained prerogatives—no matter how simple seem to be the means employed—is to incur a heavy responsibility and run a fearful risk. It matters little whether a railroad train is thrown from the track by a frozen drop of rain or a huge bowlder lying in the way, the result is the same, the injuries as great. Moral degradation, physical disability, premature exhaustion and decrepitude are the result of these physical frauds, and force upon our conviction the adage, which the history of every day confirms, that 'honesty is the best policy.'"

25 Dr. Gardner.

Within the last ten years we have had under treatment many hundred cases of ladies suffering from ailments of a character peculiar to the sex; and in becoming acquainted with the history of individual cases we have, in many instances, found that the real cause of the disease which had sapped the vitality and undermined the constitution slowly but surely until cheerful health and freshness had given place to suffering, debility, and, in many cases, most deplorable melancholy, was the very crime against nature mentioned in the preceding paragraphs. The effects of these sins against nature are frequently not felt for years after the cause has been at work, and even then are seldom attributed to the true cause. In some instances we have known persons to suffer on for many years without having once suspected that the cause of their sufferings was a palpable violation of nature's laws. Uterine diseases thus induced are among the most obstinate of diseases of this class, being often of long standing, and hence of a very serious character. Dr. Wm. Goodell of Philadelphia has recently called attention to the fact that the prevention of conception is one of the most common causes of prolapsus of the ovaries, a very common and painful disease. Not infrequently, too, other organs, particularly the bladder, become affected, either through sympathy or in consequence of the congested condition of the contiguous parts.

A difficulty which we have often met with has been the inability to convince those who have been guilty of the practices referred to, of the enormity of the sin against both soul and body. In spite of all warnings, perhaps supplemented by sufferings, the practice will often be continued, producing in the end the most lamentable results. Too often it is the case that this reluctance to obey the dictates of Nature's laws is the result of the unfeeling and unreasonable demands of a selfish husband.

Shaker Views.—The Shakers do not, as many suppose, believe wholly in celibacy. They believe in marriage and reproduction regulated by the natural law. They, also, would limit population, but not by interfering with nature; rather, by following nature's indications to the very letter. They believe "that no animals should use their reproductive powers and organs for any other than the simple purpose of procreation." Recognizing the fact that this is the law among lower animals, they insist upon applying it to man. Thus they find no necessity for the employment of those abominable contrivances so common among those who disregard the laws of nature. Who will not respect the purity which must characterize sexual relations so governed? Such a method for regulating the number of offspring is in immense contrast with that of the Oneida Community, which opens the door to the unstinted gratification of lust, separates the reproductive act entirely from its original purpose, and makes it the means of mere selfish, sensual, beastly—worse than brutish—gratification.

Those who are acquainted with the history of the founder of this community are obliged to look upon him as a scheming sensualist who well knows the truth, but deliberately chooses a course of evil, and beguiles into his snares others as sensual as himself. The abominations practiced among the members of the community which he has founded are represented by those who have had an inside view of its workings as too foul to mention. It seems almost wonderful that Providence does not lay upon this gigantic brothel his hand of vengeance as in ancient times he did upon Sodom, which could hardly have been more sunken in infamy than is this den of licentiousness. It is, indeed, astonishing that it should be tolerated in the midst of a country which professes to regard virtue and respect the marriage institution. We are glad to note that popular opinion is calling loudly for the eradication of this foul ulcer. Only a short time ago a convention of more than fifty ministers met at Syracuse, N. Y., for the express purpose of considering ways and means for the removal of this blot "by legal measures or otherwise." We sincerely wish them success; and it appears to us that the people in that vicinity would be justified should they rise en masse and purge their community of an evil so heinous, in case no civil authority can be induced to do the work of expurgation.[26]

26 Just as this edition is going to press we receive the gratifying information that the younger members of the Community have become disgusted with their sensual life and announced that their former vile practices will be discontinued. Mr. Noyes with a few followers has sought refuge in Canada.—J. H. K.

Moral Bearings of the Question.—Most of the considerations presented thus far have been of a physical character, though occasional references to the moral aspect of the question have been made. In a certain sense—and a true one—the question is wholly a moral one; for what moral right have men or women to do that which will injure the integrity of the physical organism given them, and for which they are accountable to their Creator? Surely none; for the man who destroys himself by degrees, is no less a murderer than he who cuts his throat or puts a bullet through his brain. The crime is the same—being the shortening of human life—whether the injury is done to one's self or to another. In this matter, there are at least three sufferers; the husband, the wife, and the offspring, though in most cases, doubtless, the husband is the one to whom the sin almost exclusively belongs.

Unconsidered Murders.—But there is a more startling phase of this moral question. It is not impossible to show that actual violence is done to a human life.

It has been previously shown that in the two elements, the ovum of the female, and the spermatozoön of the male, are, in rudimentary form, all the elements which go to make up the "human form divine." Alone, neither of these elements can become anything more than it already is; but the instant that the two elements come in contact, fecundation takes place, and the individual life begins. From that moment until maturity is reached, years subsequently, the whole process is only one of development. Nothing absolutely new is added at any subsequent moment. In view of these facts, it is evident that at the very instant of conception the embryonic human being possesses all the right to life it ever can possess. It is just as much an individual, a distinct human being, possessed of soul and body, as it ever is, though in a very immature form. That conception may take place during the reproductive act cannot be denied. If, then, means are employed with a view to prevent conception immediately after the accomplishment of the act, or at any subsequent time, if successful, it would be by destroying the delicate product of the conception which had already occurred, and which, as before observed, is as truly a distinct individual as it can ever become—certainly as independent as at any time previous to birth.

Is it immoral to take human life? Is it a sin to kill a child? Is it a crime to strangle an infant at birth? Is it a murderous act to destroy a half-formed human being in its mother's womb? Who will dare to answer "No," to one of these questions? Then, who can refuse assent to the plain truth that it is equally a murder to deprive of life the most recent product of the generative act?

Who can number the myriads of murders that have been perpetrated at this early period of existence? Who can estimate the load of guilt that weighs upon some human souls? and who knows how many brilliant lights have been thus early extinguished? how many promising human plantlets thus ruthlessly destroyed in the very act of germinating? It is to be hoped that in the final account the extenuating influence of ignorance may weigh heavily in the scale of justice against the damning testimony of these "unconsidered murders."

The Charge Disputed.—It will be urged that these early destructions are not murders. Murder is an awful word. The act itself is a terrible crime. No wonder that its personal application should be studiously avoided; the human being who would not shrink from such a charge would be unworthy of the name of human—a very brute. Nevertheless, it is necessary to look the plain facts squarely in the face, and shrink not from the decision of an enlightened conscience. We quote the following portions of an extract which we give in full elsewhere; it is from the same distinguished authority[27] whom we have frequently quoted:—

"There is, in fact, no moment after conception when it can be said that the child has not life, and the crime of destroying human life is as heinous and as sure before the period of 'quickening' has been attained, as afterward. But you still defend your horrible deed by saying: 'Well, if there be, as you say, this mere animal life, equivalent at the most to simple vitality, there is no mind, no soul destroyed, and, therefore, there is no crime committed.' Just so surely as one would destroy and root out of existence all the fowls in the world by destroying all the eggs in existence, so certain is it that you do by your act destroy the animal man in the egg and the soul which animates it.... Murder is always sinful, and murder is the willful destruction of a human being at any period of its existence, from its earliest germinal embryo to its final, simple, animal existence in aged decrepitude and complete mental imbecility."

27 Gardner.

Difficulties.—Married people will exclaim, "What shall we do?" Delicate mothers who have already more children on their hands than they can care for, whose health is insufficient to longer endure the pains and burdens of pregnancy, but whose sensual husbands continue to demand indulgence, will echo in despairing tones, while acknowledging the truth, "What shall we do?" We will answer the question for the latter first.

Mr. Mill, the distinguished English logician, in his work on "The Subjection of Woman," thus represents the erroneous view which is popularly held of the sexual relations of the wife to the husband: "The wife, however brutal a tyrant she may be chained to—though she may know that he hates her, though it may be his daily pleasure to torture her, and though she may feel it impossible not to loathe him—he can claim from her and enforce the lowest degradation of a human being, that of being made the instrument of an animal function contrary to her inclinations."

Woman's Rights.—A woman does not, upon the performance of the marriage ceremony, surrender all her personal rights. The law recognizes this fact if her husband beats her, or in any way injures her by physical force, or even by neglect. Why may she not claim protection from other maltreatment as well? or, at least, why may she not refuse to lend herself to beastly lust? She remains the proprietor of her own body, though married; and who is so lost to all sense of justice, equity, and even morality, as to claim that she is under any moral obligation to allow her body to be abused?

Since the first edition of this work was published, we have many times been appealed to by suffering wives in the most pathetic terms. In many instances the poor wife was suffering with local disease of a serious character, making sexual approaches in the highest degree painful as well as repugnant; yet notwithstanding this, the demands of the husband for the gratification of his bestial passions were, in many instances, in no degree lessened by a knowledge of the facts in the case.

In cases like these it is often a very delicate and exceedingly difficult task to point out the duty of the suffering wife and mother. The duty of the husband is very plain, and to him the wise physician will appeal in a manner which cannot fail to arouse him to a sense of his duty if there is yet left unconsumed by the fires of lust even a vestige of genuine manhood.

What to Do.—Now to the question as asked by the first parties—married people who together seek for a solution of the difficulties arising from an abandonment of all protectives against fecundation. The true remedy, and the natural one, is doubtless to be found in the suggestion made under the heads of "Continence" and "Marital Excesses." By a course of life in accordance with the principles there indicated, all of these evils and a thousand more would be avoided. There would be less sensual enjoyment, but more elevated joy. There would be less animal love, but more spiritual communion; less grossness, more purity; less development of the animal, and a more fruitful soil for the culture of virtue, holiness, and all the Christian graces.

"But such a life would be impossible this side of Heaven." A few who claim to have tried the experiment think not. The Shakers claim to practice, as well as teach, such principles; and with the potent aids to continence previously specified, it might be found less difficult in realization than in thought.

A Compromise.—There will be many, the vast majority, perhaps, who will not bring their minds to accept the truth which nature seems to teach, which would confine sexual acts to reproduction wholly. Others, acknowledging the truth, declare "the spirit willing" though "the flesh is weak." Such will inquire, "Is there not some compromise by means of which we may escape the greater evils of our present mode of life?" Such may find in the following facts suggestions for a "better way," if not the best way, though it cannot be recommended as wholly free from dangers, and though it cannot be said of it that it is not an unnatural way:—

"Menstruation in woman indicates an aptitude for impregnation, and this condition remains for a period of six or eight days after the entire completion of the flow. During this time only can most women conceive. Allow twelve days for the onset of the menses to pass by, and the probabilities of impregnation are very slight. This act of continence is healthful, moral, and irreproachable."[28]

28 Gardner.

It should be added to the above that the plan suggested is not absolutely certain to secure immunity from conception. The period of abstinence should certainly extend from the beginning of menstruation to the fourteenth day. To secure even reasonable safety, it is necessary to practice further abstinence for three or four days previous to the beginning of the flow.

Many writers make another suggestion which would certainly be beneficial to individual health; viz., that the husband and wife should habitually occupy separate beds. Such a practice would undoubtedly serve to keep the sexual instincts in abeyance. Separate apartments, or at least the separation of the beds by a curtain, are recommended by some estimable physicians, who suggest that such a plan would enable both parties to conduct their morning ablutions with proper thoroughness and without sacrificing that natural modesty which operates so powerfully as a check upon the excessive indulgence of the passions. Many will think the suggestion a good one and will make a practical application of it. Sleeping in single beds is reputed to be a European custom of long standing among the higher classes.

This subject cannot be concluded better than by the following quotations from an excellent and able work entitled, "The Ten Laws of Health"[29]:—

"The obvious design of the sexual desire is the reproduction of the species.... The gratification of this passion, or indeed of any other, beyond its legitimate end, is an undoubted violation of natural law, as may be determined by the light of nature, and by the resulting moral and physical evils."

"Those creatures not gifted with erring reason, but with unerring instinct, and that have not the liberty of choice between good and evil, cohabit only at stated periods, when pleasure and reproduction are alike possible. It is so ordered among them that the means and the end are never separated; and as it was the all-wise Being who endowed them with this instinct, without the responsibility resulting from the power to act otherwise, it follows that it is HIS LAW, and must, therefore, be the true copy for all beings to follow having the same functions to perform, and for the same end. The mere fact that men and women have the power and liberty of conforming or not conforming to this copy does not set them free from obedience to a right course, nor from the consequences of disobedience."

"The end of sexual pleasure being to reproduce the species, it follows, from the considerations just advanced, that when the sexual function is diverted from its end, reproduction, or if the means be used when the end is impossible, harm or injury should ensue."

"Perhaps the number is not small of those who think there is nothing wrong in an unlimited indulgence of the sexual propensity during married life. The marriage vow seems to be taken as equivalent to the freest license, about which there need be no restraint. Yet, if there is any truth in the law in reference to the enjoyment of the means only when the end is possible, the necessity of the limitation of this indulgence during married life is clearly as great as for that of any other sensual pleasure.

"A great majority of those constituting the most highly civilized communities, act upon the belief that anything not forbidden by sacred or civil law is neither sinful nor wrong. They have not found cohabitation during pregnancy forbidden; nor have they ever had their attention drawn to the injury to health and organic development, which such a practice inflicts. Hence, a habitual yielding to inclination in this matter has determined their life-long behavior.

"The infringement of this law in the married state does not produce in the husband any very serious disorder. Debility, aches, cramps, and a tendency to epileptic seizures, are sometimes seen as the effects of great excess. An evil of no small account is the steady growth of the sexual passion by habitual unrestraint. It is in this way that what is known as libidinous blood is nursed as well among those who are strictly virtuous, in the ordinary meaning of the term, as among those who are promiscuous in their intercourse.

"The wife and the offspring are the chief sufferers by the violation of this law among the married. Why this is so, may in part be accounted for by the following consideration: Among the animal kind it is the female which decides when the approaches of the male are allowable. When these are untimely, her instinctive prompting leads her to resist and protect herself with ferocious zeal. No one at all acquainted with the remarkable wisdom nature invariably displays in all her operations, will doubt that the prohibition of all sexual intercourse among animals during the period of pregnancy must be for a wise and good purpose. And, if it serves a wise and good purpose with them, why should an opposite course not serve an unwise and bad purpose with us? Our bodies are very much like theirs in structure and in function; and in the mode and laws that govern reproduction there is absolutely no difference. The mere fact that we possess the power to act otherwise than they do during that period, does not make it right.

"Human beings having no instinctive prompting as to what is right and what is wrong, cohabitation, like many other points of the behavior, is left for reason or the will to determine; or, rather, as things now are to unreason; for reason is neither consulted nor enlightened as to what is proper and allowable in the matter. Nature's rule, by instinct, makes it devolve upon the female to determine when the approaches of the male are allowable.

"But some may say that she is helpless in the matter. No one dare to approach her without consent before marriage; and why should man not be educated up to the point of doing the same after marriage? She is neither his slave, nor his property; nor does the tie of marriage bind her to carry out any unnatural requirement."

29 J. R. Black, M.D.


Few but medical men are aware of the enormous proportions which have been assumed by these terrible crimes during the present century. That they are increasing with fearful rapidity and have really reached such a magnitude as to seriously affect the growth of civilized nations, and to threaten their very existence, has become a patent fact to observing physicians. The crime itself differs little, in reality, from that considered in the last section, the prevention of conception. It is, in fact, the same crime postponed till a later period.

We quote the following eloquent words on this subject:—

"Of all the sins, physical and moral against man and God, I know of none so utterly to be condemned as the very common one of the destruction of the child while yet in the womb of the mother. So utterly repugnant is it that I can scarcely express the loathing with which I approach the subject. Murder!—murder in cold blood, without cause, of an unknown child; one's nearest relative; in fact, part of one's very being; actually having, not only one's own blood in its being, but that blood momentarily interchanging! Good God! Does it seem possible that such depravity can exist in a parent's breast—in a mother's heart!

"'Tis for no wrong that it has committed that its sweet life is so cruelly taken away. Its coming is no disgrace; its creation was not in sin, but—its mother 'don't want to be bothered with any more brats; can hardly take care of what she has got; is going to Europe in the spring.'

"We can forgive the poor deluded girl—seduced, betrayed, abandoned—who, in her wild frenzy, destroys the mute evidence of her guilt. We have only sympathy and sorrow for her. But for the married shirk who disregards her divinely-ordained duty, we have nothing but contempt, even if she be the lordly woman of fashion, clothed in purple and fine linen. If glittering gems adorn her person, within there is foulness and squalor."[30]

30 Gardner.

Not a Modern Crime.—Although this crime has attained remarkable proportions in modern times, it is not a new one by any means, as the following paragraph will suffice to show:—

"Infanticide and exposure were also the custom among the Romans, Medes, Canaanites, Babylonians, and other Eastern nations, with the exception of the Israelites and Egyptians. The Scandinavians killed their offspring from pure fantasy. The Norwegians, after having carefully swaddled their children, put some food into their mouths, placed them under the roots of trees or under the rocks to preserve them from ferocious beasts. Infanticide was also permitted among the Chinese, and we saw, during the last century, vehicles going round the streets of Pekin daily to collect the bodies of the dead infants. To-day there exist foundling hospitals to receive children abandoned by their parents. The same custom is also observed in Japan, in the isles of the Southern Ocean, at Otaheite, and among several savage nations of North America. It is related of the Jaggers of Guinea, that they devour their own children."[31]

31 Burdach.

The Greeks practiced infanticide systematically, their laws at one time requiring the destruction of crippled or weakly children. Among all the various nations, the general object of the crime seems to have been to avoid the trouble of rearing the children, or to avoid a surplus, objects not far different from those had in view by those who practice the same crimes at the present time.

The destruction of the child after the mother has felt its movements is termed infanticide; before that time it is commonly known as abortion. It is a modern notion that the child possesses no soul or individual life until the period of quickening, an error which we have already sufficiently exposed. The ancients, with just as much reason, contended that no distinct life was present until after birth. Hence it was that they could practice without scruple the crime of infanticide to prevent too great increase of population. "Plato and Aristotle were advocates of this practice, and these Stoics justified this monstrous practice by alleging that the child only acquired a soul at the moment when it ceased to have uterine life and commenced to respire. From hence it resulted that, the child not being animated, its destruction was no murder."

The prevalence of this crime will be indicated by the following observations from the most reliable sources:—

"We know that in certain countries abortion is practiced in a manner almost public, without speaking of the East, where it has, so to speak, entered into the manners of the country. We see it in America, in a great city like New York, constituting a regular business and not prevented, where it has enriched more than one midwife."

"England does not yield to Germany or France in the frequency of the crime of infanticide."[32]

32 Jardien.

"Any statistics attainable are very incomplete. False certificates are daily given by attending physicians. Men, if they are only rich enough, die of 'congestion of the brain,' not 'delirium tremens;' and women, similarly situated, do not die from the effects of abortion, but of 'inflammation of the bowels,' etc."

"Infanticide, as it is generally considered (destroying a child after quickening), is of very rare occurrence in New York, whereas abortions (destroying the embryo before quickening) are of daily habit in the families of the best informed and most religious; among those abounding in wealth, as well as among the poor and needy."[33]

33 Gardner.

"Perhaps only medical men will credit the assertion that the frequency of this form of destroying human life exceeds all others by at least fifty per cent, and that not more than one in a thousand of the guilty parties receive any punishment by the hand of civil law. But there is a surer mode of punishment for the guilty mother in the self-executing laws of nature."[34]

34 Black.

"From a very large verbal and written correspondence in this and other States, I am satisfied that we have become a nation of murderers."[35]

35 Reamy.

Said a distinguished clergyman of Brooklyn in a sermon, "Why send missionaries to India when child-murder is here of daily, almost hourly, occurrence; aye, when the hand that puts money into the contribution-box to-day, yesterday or a month ago, or to-morrow, will murder her own unborn offspring?

"The Hindoo mother, when she abandons her babe upon the sacred Ganges, is, contrary to her heart, obeying a supposed religious law, and you desire to convert her to your own worship of the Moloch of Fashion and Laziness and love of Greed. Out upon such hypocrisy!"

Writers tell us that it has even become the boast of many women that they "know too much to have babies."

Says the learned Dr. Storer, "Will the time come, think ye, when husbands can no longer, as they now frequently do, commit the crime of rape upon their unwilling wives, and persuade them or compel them to allow a still more dreadful violence to be wreaked upon the children nestling within them—children fully alive from the very moment of conception, that have already been fully detached from all organic connection with their parent, and only re-attached to her for the purposes of nutriment and growth, and to destroy whom 'is a crime of the same nature, both against our Maker and society, as to destroy an infant, a child, or a man?'"[36]

36 "Is It I?"

Says another well-known author, "Ladies boast to each other of the impunity with which they have aborted, as they do of their expenditures, of their dress, of their success in society. There is a fashion in this, as in all other female customs, good and bad. The wretch whose account with the Almighty is heaviest with guilt too often becomes a heroine."[37]

37 A Woman's Thoughts about Women.

Causes of the Crime.—Many influences may combine to cause the mother ruthlessly to destroy her helpless child: as, to conceal the results of sin; to avoid the burdens of maternity; to secure ease and freedom to travel, etc., or even from a false idea that maternity is vulgar; but it is true, beyond all question, that the primary cause of the sin is far back of all these influences. The most unstinted and scathing invectives are used in characterizing the criminality of a mother who takes the life of her unborn babe; but a word is seldom said of the one who forced upon her the circumstances which gave the unfortunate one existence. Though doctors, ministers, and moralists have said much on this subject, and written more, it is reasonable to suppose that they will never accomplish much of anything in the direction of reform until they recognize the part the man acts in all of these sad cases, and begin to demand reform where it is most needed, and where its achievement will effect the most good. As was observed in the remarks upon the subject of "Prevention of Conception," this evil has its origin in "marital excesses," and in a disregard of the natural law which makes the female the sole proprietor of her own body, and gives to her the right to refuse the approaches of the male when unprepared to receive them without doing violence to the laws of her being.

The Nature of the Crime.—"The married and well-to-do, who by means of medicines and operations produce abortions at early periods of pregnancy, have no excuse except the pretense that they do not consider it murder until the child quickens.

"No, not murder, you say, for 'there has not been any life in the child.' Do not attempt to evade, even to man, a crime which cannot be hidden from the All-seeing. The poor mother has not herself felt the life of the child perhaps, but that is a quibble only of the laws of man, founded indeed upon the view, now universally recognized as incorrect, that the child's life began when its movements were first strong enough to be perceptible. There is, in fact, no moment after conception when it can be said that the child has not life, and the crime of destroying human life is as heinous and as sure before the period of 'quickening' has been attained as afterward. But you still defend your horrible deed by saying, 'Well, if there be, as you say, this mere animal life, equivalent at the most to simple vitality, there is no mind, no soul destroyed, and therefore, there is no crime committed.' Just so surely as one would destroy and root out of existence all the fowl in the world by destroying all the eggs in existence, so certain is it that you do by your act destroy the animal man in the egg, and the soul which animates it. When is the period that intelligence comes to the infant? Are its feeble first strugglings any evidence of its presence? Has it any appreciable quantity at birth? Has it any valuable, useful quantity even when a year old? When, then, is it, that destruction is harmless or comparatively sinless? While awaiting your metaphysical answer, I will tell you when it is sinful. Murder is always sinful, and murder is the willful destruction of a human being at any period of its existence, from its earliest germinal embryo to its final, simple, animal existence in aged decrepitude and complete mental imbecility."[38]

38 Gardner.

"There are those who would fain make light of this crime by attempting to convince themselves and others that a child, while in embryo, has only a sort of vegetative life, not yet endowed with thought, and the ability to maintain an independent existence. If such a monstrous philosophy as this presents any justification for such an act, then the killing of a newly-born infant, or of an idiot, may be likewise justified. The destruction of the life of an unborn human being, for the reason that it is small, feeble, and innocently helpless, rather aggravates than palliates the crime. Every act of this kind, with its justification, is obviously akin to that savage philosophy which accounts it a matter of no moment, or rather a duty, to destroy feeble infants, or old, helpless fathers and mothers."[39]

39 Black.

Instruments of Crime.—"The means through which abortions are effected are various. Sometimes it is through potent drugs, extensively advertised in newspapers claiming to be moral!—the advertisements so adroitly worded as to convey under a caution the precise information required of the liability of the drug to produce miscarriages. Sometimes the information is conveyed through secret circulars; but more commonly the deed is consummated by professed abortionists, who advertise themselves as such through innuendo, or through gaining this kind of repute by the frequent commission of the act. Not a few women, deterred by lingering modesty or some sense of shame, attempt and execute it upon themselves, and then volunteer to instruct and encourage others to go and do likewise."[40]

40 Black.

Results of this Unnatural Crime.—It is the universal testimony of physicians that the effects of abortion are almost as deadly upon the mother as upon the child. The amount of suffering is vastly greater; for that of the child, if it suffer at all, is only momentary, in general, while the mother is doomed to a life of suffering, of misery, if she survives the shock of the terrible outrage against her nature. It has been proved by statistics that the danger of immediate death is fifteen times as great as in natural childbirth. A medical author of note asserts that a woman suffers more injury from one abortion than she would from twenty normal births. Says Dr. Gardner on this point:—

"We know that the popular idea is that women are worn out by the toil and wear connected with the raising of large families, and we can willingly concede something to this statement; but it is certainly far more observable that the efforts at the present day, made to avoid propagation, are ten thousand-fold more disastrous to the health and constitution, to say nothing of the demoralization of mind and heart, which cannot be estimated by red cheeks or physical vigor."

An Unwelcome Child.—But suppose the mother does not succeed in her attempts against the life of her child, as she may not; what fearful results may follow! Who can doubt that the murderous intent of the mother will be stamped indelibly upon the character of the unwelcome child, giving it a natural propensity for the commission of murderous deeds?

Then again—sickening thought—suppose the attempts to destroy the child are unsuccessful, resulting only in horrid mutilation of its tender form; when such a child is born, what terrible evidences may it bear in its crippled and misshapen body of the cruel outrage perpetrated upon it! That such cases do occur is certain from the following narrative, which we might confirm by others similar in character:—

"A lady, determined not to have any more children, went to a professed abortionist, and he attempted to effect the desired end by violence. With a pointed instrument the attempt was again and again made, but without the looked-for result. So vigorously was the effort made, that, astonished at no result being obtained, the individual stated that there must be some mistake, that the lady could not be pregnant, and refused to perform any further operations. Partially from doubt and partially from fear, nothing further was attempted; and in due process of time the woman was delivered of an infant, shockingly mutilated, with one eye entirely put out, and the brain so injured that this otherwise robust child was entirely wanting in ordinary sense. This poor mother, it would seem, needs no future punishment for her sin. Ten years face to face with this poor idiot, whose imbecility was her direct work—has it not punished her sufficiently?"

The Remedy.—Whether this gigantic evil can ever be eradicated, is exceedingly doubtful. To effect its cure would be to make refined Christians out of brutal sensualists; to emancipate woman from the enticing, alluring slavery of fashion; to uproot false ideas of life and its duties,—in short, to revolutionize society. The crime is perpetrated in secret. Many times no one but the criminal herself is cognizant of the evil deed. Only occasionally do cases come near enough to the surface to be dimly discernible; hence the evident inefficiency of any civil legislation. But the evil is a desperate one, and is increasing; shall no attempt be made to check the tide of crime and save the sufferers from both physical and spiritual perdition? An effort should be made, at least. Let every Christian raise the note of warning. From every Christian pulpit let the truth be spoken in terms too plain for misapprehension. Let those who are known to be guilty of this most revolting crime be looked upon as murderers, as they are; and let their real moral status be distinctly shown.

All of these means will do something to effect a reform; but the radical cure of the evil will only be found in the principles suggested in the section devoted to the consideration of "Marital Excesses." The adoption of those principles and strict adherence to them would effectually prevent the occurrence of circumstances which are the occasion of abortions and infanticides.

Murder by Proxy.—"There is, at the present time, a kind of infanticide, which, although it is not so well known, is even more dangerous, because done with impunity. There are parents who recoil with horror at the idea of destroying their offspring, although they would greatly desire to be disembarrassed of them, who yet place them without remorse with nurses who enjoy the sinister reputation of never returning the children to those who have intrusted them to their care. These unfortunate little beings are condemned to perish from inanition and bad treatment.

"The number of these innocent victims is greater than would be imagined, and very certainly exceeds that of the marked infanticides sent by the public prosecutor to the Court of the Assizes."


Illicit intercourse has been a foul blot upon humanity from the earliest periods of history. At the present moment, it is a loathsome ulcer eating at the heart of civilization, a malignant leprosy which shows its hideous deformities among the fairest results of modern culture. Our large cities abound with dens of vice whose habitués shamelessly promenade the most public streets and flaunt their infamy in the face of every passer-by. In many large cities, especially in those of Continental Europe, these holds of vice are placed under the supervision of the law by the requirement that every keeper of a house of prostitution must pay for a license; in other words, must buy the right to lead his fellow-men "down to the depths of hell."

In smaller cities, as well as in large ones, in fact, from the great metropolis down to the country village, the haunts of vice are found. Every army is flanked by bands of courtesans. Wherever men go, loose women follow, penetrating even to the wildness of the miner's camp, far beyond the verge of civilization.

But brothels and traveling strumpets do not fully represent the vast extent of this monster evil. There is a class of immoral women—probably exceeding in numbers the grosser class just referred to—who consider themselves respectable; indeed, who are considered very respectable. Few are acquainted with their character. They live in elegant style and mingle in genteel society. Privately, they prosecute the most unbounded licentiousness, for the purpose of gain, or merely to gratify their lewdness. "Kept mistresses" are much more numerous than common prostitutes.

The numerous scandal and divorce suits which expose the infidelity of husbands and wives, are sufficient evidence that illicit commerce is not confined to the unmarried; but so many are the facilities for covering and preventing the results of sins of this description it is impossible to form any just estimate of their frequency. The incontinence of husbands and the unchastity of wives will only appear in their enormity at that awful day when every one shall "stand before the judgment-seat" and hear the penalty of his guilty deeds.

Unchastity of the Ancients.—We are prone to believe that the present is the most licentious age the world has ever known; that in the nineteenth century the climax of evil has been reached; that the libidinous blood of all the ages has culminated to produce a race of men more carnal than all predecessors. It is a sickening thought that any previous epoch could have been more vile than this; but history presents facts which disclose in ancient times periods when lust was even more uncontrolled than now; when vice was universal; and when virtue was a thing unknown. A few references to historical facts will establish this point. We do not make these allusions in any way to justify the present immorality, but to show the part which vice has acted in the overthrow of nations.

From the sacred record we may judge that before the flood a state of corruption prevailed which was even greater and more general than any that has ever since been reached; only eight persons were fit to survive the calamity which swept into eternity that lustful generation with their filthy deeds.

But men soon fell into vice again, for we find among the early Assyrians a total disregard of chastity. Her kings reveled in the grossest sensuality.

No excess of vice could surpass the licentiousness of the Ptolemies, who made of Alexandria a bagnio, and all Egypt a hot-bed of vice. Herodotus relates that "the pyramid of Cheops was built by the lovers of the daughter of this king; and that she never would have raised this monument to such a height except by multiplying her prostitutions." History also relates the adventures of that queenly courtesan, Cleopatra, who captivated and seduced by her charms two masters of the world, and whose lewdness surpassed even her beauty.

Tyre and Sidon, Media, Phoenicia, Syria, and all the Orient, were sunk in sensuality. Fornication was made a part of their worship. Women carried through the streets of the cities the most obscene and revolting representations. Among all these nations a virtuous woman was not to be found; for, according to Herodotus, the young women were by the laws of the land "obliged, once in their lives, to give themselves up to the desires of strangers in the temple of Venus, and were not permitted to refuse anyone."[41]

41 Bourgeois.

St. Augustine speaks of these religious debaucheries as still practiced in his day in Phoenicia. They were even continued until Constantine destroyed the temples in which they were prosecuted, in the fourth century.

Among the Greeks the same corruptions prevailed in the worship of Bacchus and Phallus, which was celebrated by processions of half-nude girls "performing lascivious dances with men disguised as satyrs." In fact, as X. Bourgeois says, "Prostitution was in repute in Greece." The most distinguished women were courtesans, and the wise Socrates would be justly called, in modern times, a libertine.

The abandonment to lust was, if possible, still more complete in the times of the Roman emperors. Rome astonished the universe "by the boldness of its turpitudes, after having astonished it by the splendor of its triumphs."

The great Cæsar was such a rake that he has been said to have "merited to be surnamed every woman's husband." Antony and Augustus were equally notorious. The same sensuality pervaded the masses as reigned in the courts, and was stimulated by the erotic poems of Ovid, Catullus, and other poets of the time.

Tiberius displayed such ingenuity in inventing refinements in impudicity that it was necessary to coin new words to designate them. Caligula committed the horrid crime of incest with all his sisters, even in public. His palace was a brothel. The Roman empress, Messalina, disguised herself as a prostitute and excelled the most degraded courtesans in her monstrous debaucheries. The Roman emperor Vitellius was accustomed to take an emetic after having eaten to repletion, to enable him to renew his gluttony. With still grosser sensuality he stimulated his satiated passions with philters and various aphrodisiac mixtures.

Nero, the most infamous of the emperors, committed rapes on the stage of the public theaters of Rome, disguised as a wild beast.

If this degraded voluptuousness had been confined to royalty, some respect might yet be entertained for the virtue of the ancients; but the foul infection was not restrained within such narrow bounds. It invaded whole empires until they fell in pieces from very rottenness. What must have been the condition of a nation that could tolerate such a spectacle as its monarch riding through the streets of its metropolis in a state of nudity, drawn by women in the same condition? Such a deed did Heliogabalus in Rome.

In the thirteenth century, virtue was almost as scarce in France as in ancient Greece. Nobles held as mistresses all the young girls of their domains. About every fifth person was a bastard. Just before the Revolution, chastity was such a rarity that a woman was actually obliged to apologize for being virtuous!

In these disgusting facts we find one of the most potent agents in effecting the downfall of the nations. Licentiousness sapped their vitality and weakened their prowess. The men who conquered the world were led captive by their own beastly passions. Thus the Assyrians, the Medes, the Grecians, the Romans, successively fell victims to their lusts, and gave way to more virtuous successors. Even the Jews, the most enlightened people of their age, fell more than once through this same sin, which was coupled with idolatry, of which their seduction by the Midianites is an example.

Surely, modern times present no worse spectacles of carnality than these; and will it be claimed that anything so vile is seen among civilized nations at the present day? But though there may be less grossness in the sensuality of to-day, the moral turpitude of men may be even greater than that of ancient times. Enlightened Christianity has raised the standard of morality. Christ's commentary upon the seventh commandment requires a more rigorous chastity than ancient standards demanded, even among the Jews; for had not David, Solomon, and even the pious Jacob more wives than one? Consequently, a slight breach of chastity now requires as great a fall from virtue as a greater lapse in ages past, and must be attended with as severe a moral penalty.

We have seen how universal is the "social evil," that it is a vice almost as old as man himself, which shows how deeply rooted in his perverted nature it has become. The inquiry arises, What are the causes of so monstrous a vice? so gross an outrage upon nature's laws? so withering a blight upon the race?

Causes of the "Social Evil."—A vice that has become so great an evil, even in these enlightened times, as to defy the most skillful legislation, which openly displays its gaudy filthiness and mocks at virtue with a lecherous stare, must have its origin in causes too powerful to be ignored.

Libidinous Blood.—In no other direction are the effects of heredity to be more distinctly traced than in the transmission of sensual propensities. The children of libertines are almost certain to be rakes and prostitutes. History affords numerous examples in illustration of this fact. The daughter of Augustus was as unchaste as her father, and her daughter was as immoral as herself. The sons of David showed evident traces of their father's failing. Witness the incest of Amnon, and the voluptuousness of Solomon, who had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Solomon's son was, likewise, a noted polygamist, of whom the record says, "He desired many wives." His son's son manifested the same propensity in taking as many wives as the debilitated state of his kingdom enabled him to support. But perhaps we may be allowed to trace the origin of this libidinous propensity still further back. A glance at the genealogy of David will show that he was descended from Judah through Pharez, who was the result of an incestuous union between Judah and his daughter-in-law.

Is it unreasonable to suppose that the abnormal passion which led David to commit the most heinous sin of his life in his adultery with Bath-sheba and subsequently procuring the death of her husband, was really an hereditary propensity which had come down to him through his ancestors, and which, under more favorable circumstances, was more fully developed in his sons? The trait may have been kept dormant by the active and simple habits of his early years, but asserted itself in full force under the fostering influence of royal idleness and luxury. In accordance with the known laws of heredity, such a tendency would be the legitimate result of such a combination of circumstances.

The influence of marital excesses, and especially sexual indulgence during pregnancy, in producing vicious tendencies in offspring, has been fully dwelt upon elsewhere in this work, and will not be reconsidered here, it being only necessary to call attention to the subject. Physiology shows conclusively that thousands of parents whose sons have become libertines and their daughters courtesans, have themselves implanted in their characters the propensity which led to their unchastity.

Gluttony.—As a predisposing cause, the influence of dietetic habits should rank next to heredity. It is an observed fact that "all libertines are great eaters or famous gastronomists." The exciting influence upon the genital organs of such articles as pepper, mustard, ginger, spices, truffles, wine, and all alcoholic drinks, is well known. Tea and coffee directly excite the animal passions through their influence upon the nerve centers controlling the sexual organs. When children are raised upon such articles, or upon food with which they are thoroughly mingled, what wonder that they occasionally "turn out bad"? How many mothers, while teaching their children the principles of virtue in the nursery, unwittingly stimulate their passions at the dinner table until vice becomes almost a physical necessity!

Nothing tends so powerfully to keep the passions in abeyance as a simple diet, free from condiments, especially when coupled with a generous amount of exercise.

The influence of tobacco in leading to unchastity has been referred to in another connection. This is assuredly a not uncommon cause. When a boy places the first cigar or quid of tobacco to his lips, he takes—if he has not previously done so—the first step in the road to infamy; and if he adds wine or beer, he takes a short cut to the degradation of his manhood by the loss of virtue.

Precocious Sexuality.—The causes of a too early development of sexual peculiarities, as manifested in infantile flirtations and early signs of sexual passion, were dwelt upon quite fully in a previous connection, and we need not repeat them here. Certain it is that few things can be more dangerous to virtue than the premature development of those sentiments which belong only to puberty and later years. It is a most unnatural, but not uncommon, sight to see a girl of tender age evincing all those characters which mark the wanton of older years.

Man's Lewdness.—It cannot be denied that men are in the greatest degree responsible for the "social evil." The general principle holds true here as elsewhere that the supply is regulated by the demand. If the patrons of prostitution should withdraw their support by a sudden acquisition of virtue, how soon would this vilest of traffics cease! The inmates of brothels would themselves become continent, if not virtuous, as the result of such a spasm of chastity in men.

Again, the ranks of fallen women, which are rapidly thinned by loathsome diseases and horrid deaths, are largely recruited from that class of unfortunates for whose fall faithless lovers or cunning, heartless libertines are chiefly responsible. The weak girl who, through too much trust, has been deceived and robbed of her dearest treasure, is disowned by relatives, shunned by her acquaintances, and turned out upon a cold world without money, without friends, without a character. What can she do? Respectable employment she cannot find, for rumor follows her. There seems to be but one door open, the one which she herself so unintentionally opened. In despair, she enters the "open road to hell," and to her first sad error adds a life of shame. Meanwhile, the villain who betrayed her still maintains his standing in society, and plies his arts to win another victim. Is there not an unfair discrimination here? Should not the seducer be blackened with an infamy at least as deep as that which society casts on the one betrayed?

Fashion.—The temptation of dress, fine clothing, costly jewelry, and all the extravagances with which rich ladies array themselves, is in many cases too powerful for the weakened virtue of poor seamstresses, operatives, and servant girls, who have seen so much of vice as to have lost that instinctive loathing for it which they may have once experienced. Thinking to gain a life of ease, with means to gratify their love of show, they barter away their peace of mind for this world, all hope for the next, and only gain a little worthless tinsel, the scorn of their fellow-creatures, and a host of loathsome diseases.

Lack of Early Training.—It is needless to demonstrate a fact so well established as that the future character of an individual depends very largely upon his early training. If purity and modesty are taught from earliest infancy, the mind is fortified against the assaults of vice. If, instead, the child is allowed to grow up untrained, if the seeds of vice which are sure to fall sooner or later in the most carefully kept ground are allowed to germinate, if the first buds of evil are allowed to grow and unfold instead of being promptly nipped, it must not be considered remarkable that in later years rank weeds of sin should flourish in the soul and bear their hideous fruit in shameless lives.

Neglect to guard the avenues by which evil may approach the young mind, and to erect barriers against vice by careful instruction and a chaste example, leaves many innocent souls open to the assaults of evil, and an easy prey to lust. If children are allowed to get their training in the street, at the corner grocery, or hovering around saloons, they will be sure to develop a vigorous growth of the animal passions. The following extract is from the writings of one whose pen has been an inestimable blessing to American youth:—

"Among the first lessons which boys learn of their fellows are impurities of language; and these are soon followed by impurities of thought.... When this is the training of boyhood, it is not strange that the predominating ideas among young men, in relation to the other sex, are too often those of impurity and sensuality.... We cannot be surprised, then, that the history of most young men is, that they yield to temptation in a greater or less degree and in different ways. With many, no doubt, the indulgence is transient, accidental, and does not become habitual. It does not get to be regarded as venial. It is never yielded to without remorse. The wish and the purpose are to resist; but the animal nature bears down the moral. Still, transgression is always followed by grief and penitence.

"With too many, however, it is to be feared, it is not so. The mind has become debauched by dwelling on licentious images, and by indulgence in licentious conversation. There is no wish to resist. They are not overtaken by temptation, for they seek it. With them the transgression becomes habitual, and the stain on the character is deep and lasting."[42]

42 Ware.

Sentimental Literature.—In another connection, we have referred particularly to the bawdy, obscene books and pictures which are secretly circulated among the youth of both sexes, and to their corrupting influence. The hope is not entirely a vain one that this evil may be controlled; but there seems no possible practicable remedy for another evil which ultimately leads to the same result, though by less gross and obscene methods. We refer to the sentimental literature which floods the land. City and school libraries, circulating libraries, and even Sunday-school libraries, are full of books which, though they may contain good moral teaching, contain, as well, an element as incompatible with purity of morals as is light with midnight darkness. Writers for children and youth seem to think a tale of "courtship, love, and matrimony" entirely indispensable as a medium for conveying their moral instruction. Some of these "religious novels" are actually more pernicious than the fictions of well-known novelists who make no pretense to having religious instruction a particular object in view. Sunday-school libraries are not often wholly composed of this class of works, but any one who takes the trouble to examine the books of such a library will be able to select the most pernicious ones by the external appearance. The covers will be well worn and the edges begrimed with dirt from much handling. Children soon tire of the shallow sameness which characterizes the "moral" parts of most of these books, and skim lightly over them, selecting and devouring with eagerness those portions which relate the silly narrative of some love adventure. This kind of literature arouses in children premature fancies and queries, and fosters a sentimentalism which too often occasions most unhappy results. Through their influence, young girls are often led to begin a life of shame long before their parents are aware that a thought of evil has ever entered their minds.

The following words from the pen of a forcible writer[43] present this matter in none too strong a light:—

"You may tear your coat or break a vase, and repair them again; but the point where the rip or fracture took place will always be evident. It takes less than an hour to do your heart a damage which no time can entirely repair. Look carefully over your child's library; see what book it is that he reads after he has gone to bed, with the gas turned upon the pillow. Do not always take it for granted that a book is good because it is a Sunday-school book. As far as possible, know who wrote it, who illustrated it, who published it, who sold it.

"It seems that in the literature of the day the ten plagues of Egypt have returned, and the frogs and lice have hopped and skipped over our parlor tables.

"Parents are delighted to have their children read, but they should be sure as to what they read. You do not have to walk a day or two in an infested district to get the cholera or typhoid fever; and one wave of moral unhealth will fever and blast the soul forever. Perhaps, knowing not what you did, you read a bad book. Do you not remember it altogether? Yes! and perhaps you will never get over it. However strong and exalted your character, never read a bad book. By the time you get through the first chapter you will see the drift. If you find the marks of the hoofs of the devil in the pictures, or in the style, or in the plot, away with it.

"But there is more danger, I think, from many of the family papers, published once a week, in those stories of vice and shame, full of infamous suggestions, going as far as they can without exposing themselves to the clutch of the law. I name none of them; but say that on some fashionable tables there lie 'family newspapers' that are the very vomit of the pit.

"The way to ruin is cheap. It costs three dollars to go to Philadelphia; six dollars to Boston; thirty-three dollars to Savannah; but, by the purchase of a bad paper for ten cents you may get a through ticket to hell, by express, with few stopping places, and the final halting like the tumbling of the lightning train down the draw-bridge at Norwalk—sudden, terrific, deathful, never to rise."

43 T. De Witt Talmage.

Poverty.—The pressing influence of poverty has been urged as one cause of prostitution. It cannot be denied that in many cases, in large cities, this may be the immediate occasion of the entrance of a young girl upon a life of shame; but it may still be insisted that there must have been, in such cases, a deficiency in previous training; for a young woman, educated with a proper regard for purity, would sooner sacrifice life itself than virtue. Again, poverty can be no excuse, for in every city there are made provisions for the relief of the needy poor, and none who are really worthy need suffer.

Ignorance.—Perhaps nothing fosters vice more than ignorance. Prostitutes come almost entirely from the more ignorant classes, though there are, of course, many exceptions. Among the lowest classes, vice is seen in its grossest forms, and is carried to the greatest lengths. Intellectual culture is antagonistic to sensuality. As a general rule, in proportion as the intellect is developed, the animal passions are brought into subjection. It is true that very intellectual men have been great libertines, and that the licentious Borgias and Medicis of Italy encouraged art and literature; but these are only apparent exceptions, for who knows to what greater depths of vice these individuals might have sunk had it not been for the restraining influence of mental culture?

Says Deslandes, "In proportion as the intellect becomes enfeebled, the generative sensibility is augmented." The animal passions seem to survive when all higher intelligence is lost. We once saw an illustration of this fact in an idiot who was brought before a medical class in a clinic at Bellevue Hospital, New York. The patient had been an idiot from birth, and presented the most revolting appearance, seemingly possessing scarcely the intelligence of the average dog; but his animal propensities were so great as to be almost uncontrollable. Indeed, he showed evidences of having been a gross debauchee, having contracted venereal disease of the worst form. The general prevalence of extravagant sexual excitement among the insane is a well-known fact.

Disease.—Various diseases which cause local irritation and congestion of the reproductive organs are the causes of unchastity in both sexes, as previously explained. It not unfrequently happens that by constantly dwelling upon unchaste subjects until a condition of habitual congestion of the sexual organs is produced, young women become seized with a furor for libidinous commerce which nothing but the desired object will appease, unless active remedial measures are adopted under the direction of a skillful physician. This disease, known as nymphomania, has been the occasion of the fall of many young women of the better classes who have been bred in luxury and idleness, but were never taught even the first lessons of purity or self-control. Constipation, piles, worms, pruritis of the genitals, and some other less common diseases of the urinary and genital systems, have been causes of sexual excitement which has resulted in moral degradation.

Results of Licentiousness.—Apparently as a safeguard to virtue, nature has appended to the sin of illicit sexual indulgence, as penalties, the most loathsome, deadly, and incurable diseases known to man. Some of these, as gonorrhea and chancroid, are purely local diseases; and though they occasion the transgressor a vast amount of suffering, they may be cured and leave no trace of their presence except in the conscience of the individual. Such a result, however, is by no means the usual one. Most frequently, the injury done is more or less permanent; sometimes it amounts to loss of life or serious mutilation, as in cases we have seen. And one attack secures no immunity from subsequent ones, as a new disease may be contracted upon every exposure.

By far the worst form of venereal disease is syphilis, a malady which was formerly confounded with the two forms of disease mentioned, but from which it is essentially different. At first, a very slight local lesion, of no more consequence—except from its significance—than a small boil, it rapidly infects the general system, poisoning the whole body, and liable forever after to develop itself in any one or more of its protean forms. The most loathsome sight upon which a human eye can rest is a victim of this disease who presents it well developed in its later stages. In the large Charity Hospital upon Blackwell's Island, near New York City, we have seen scores of these unfortunates of both sexes, exhibiting the horrid disease in all its phases. To describe them would be to place before our readers a picture too revolting for these pages. No pen can portray the woebegone faces, the hopeless air, of these degraded sufferers whose repentance has come, alas! too late. No words can convey an adequate idea of their sufferings. What remorse and useless regrets add to the misery of their wretched existence as they daily watch the progress of a malignant ulceration which is destroying their organs of speech, or burrowing deep into the recesses of the skull, penetrating even to the brain itself! Even the bones become rottenness; foul running sores appear on different portions of the body, and may even cover it entirely. Perhaps the nose, or the tongue, or the lips, or an eye, or some other prominent organ, is lost. Still the miserable sufferer lingers on, life serving only to prolong the torture. To many of them, death would be a grateful release, even with the fires of retributive justice before their eyes; for hell itself could scarcely be more awful punishment than that which they daily endure.

Thousands of Victims.—The venturesome youth need not attempt to calm his fears by thinking that these are only exceptional cases, for this is not the truth. In any city, one who has an experienced eye can scarcely walk a dozen blocks on busy streets without encountering the woeful effects of sexual transgression. Neither do these results come only from long-continued violations of the laws of chastity. The very first departure from virtue may occasion all the worst effects possible.

Effects of Vice Ineradicable.—Another fearful feature of this terrible disease is that when once it invades the system its eradication is impossible. No drug, no chemical, can antidote its virulent poison or drive it from the system. Various means may smother it, possibly for a life-time; but yet it is not cured, and the patient is never safe from a new outbreak. Prof. Bumstead, an acknowledged authority on this subject, after observing the disease for many years, says that "he never after treatment, however prolonged, promises immunity for the future."[44] Dr. Van Buren, professor of surgery at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York, bears the same testimony.

44 Venereal Disease.

Prof. Van Buren also says that he has often seen the disease occur upon the lips of young ladies who were entirely virtuous, but who were engaged to men who had contracted the disease and had communicated it to them by the act of kissing. Virtuous wives have not infrequently had their constitutions hopelessly ruined by contracting the disease from husbands who had themselves been inoculated either before or after marriage, by illicit intercourse. Several such unfortunate cases have fallen under our observation, and there is reason to believe that they are not infrequent.

The Only Hope.—The only hope for one who has contracted this disease is to lead a life of perfect continence ever after, and by a most careful life, by conforming strictly to the laws of health, by bathing and dieting, he may possibly avoid the horrid consequences of the later stages of the malady. Mercury will not cure, nor will any other poison, as before remarked.

The following strong testimony on this subject we quote from an admirable pamphlet by Prof. Fred. H. Gerrish, M.D.:—

"The diseases dependent upon prostitution are appallingly frequent, a distinguished surgeon recently declaring that one person in twenty in the United States has syphilis, a malady so ineradicable that a profound observer has remarked that 'a man who is once thus poisoned will die a syphilitic, and, in the day of Judgment, he will be a syphilitic ghost.' Prof. Gross says: 'What is called scrofula, struma, or tuberculosis, is, I have long been satisfied from careful observation of the sick and a profound study of the literature of the subject, in a great majority of cases, if not invariably, merely syphilis in its more remote stages.' Though there are doubtless many of us who believe that a not inconsiderable proportion of scrofulous and phthisical cases are clearly due to other causes than syphilis, we must admit that this statement contains a very large element of truth."

Hereditary Effects of Venereal Disease.—The transgressor is not the only sufferer. If he marries, his children, if they survive infancy, will in later years show the effects of their father's sin, exhibiting the forms of the disease seen in its later stages. Scrofula, consumption, cancer, rickets, diseases of the brain and nerves, decay of the bones by caries or necrosis, and other diseases, arise in this way.

But it generally happens that the child dies before birth, or lingers out a miserable existence of a few days or weeks thereafter. A most pitiable sight these little ones are. Their faces look as old as children of ten or twelve. Often their bodies become reduced before death to the most wretched skeletons. Their hollow, feeble cry sends a shudder of horror through the listener, and impresses indelibly the terrible consequences of sexual sin. Plenty of these scrawny infants may be seen in the lying-in hospitals.

No one can estimate how much of the excessive mortality of infants is owing to this cause.

In children who survive infancy, its blighting influence may be seen in the notched, deformed teeth, and other defects; and very often it will be found, upon looking into the mouth of the child, that the soft palate, and perhaps the hard palate as well, is in a state of ulceration. There is more than a suspicion that this disease may be transmitted for several generations, perhaps remaining latent during the life-time of one, and appearing in all its virulence in the next.

Man the Only Transgressor.—Man is the only animal that abuses his sexual organization by making it subservient to other ends than reproduction; hence he is the only sufferer from this foul disease, which is one of the penalties of such abuse. Attempts have been made to communicate the disease to lower animals, but without success, even though inoculation was practiced.

Origin of the Foul Disease.—Where or when the disease originated, is a mystery. It is said to have been introduced into France from Naples by French soldiers. That it originated spontaneously at some time can scarcely be doubted, and that it might originate under circumstances of excessive violation of the laws of chastity is rendered probable by the fact that gonorrhea, or an infectious disease exactly resembling it, is often caused by excessive indulgence, from which cause it not infrequently occurs in the newly married, giving rise to unjust suspicion of infidelity on both sides.

Read the following from a noted French physician:—

"The father, as well as the mother, communicates the syphilitic virus to the children. These poor little beings are attacked sometimes at their birth; more often it is at the end of a month or two, before these morbid symptoms appear.

"I recall the heart-rending anguish of a mother whom I assisted at her fifth confinement. She related to me her misfortune: 'I have already brought into the world four children. Alas! they all died during the first months of their existence. A frightful eruption wasted them away and killed them. Save me the one that is about to be born!' cried she, in tears. The child that I delivered was sickly and puny. A few days after its birth, it had purulent ophthalmia; then, crusted and ulcerated pustules, a few at first, numerous afterward, covered the entire surface of the skin. Soon this miserable little being became as meager as a skeleton, hideous to the sight, and died. Having questioned the husband, he acknowledged to me that he had had syphilis."[45]

45 Bourgeois.

Cure of the "Social Evil."—With rare exceptions, the efforts of civil legislation have been directed toward controlling or modifying this vice, rather than extirpating it.

Among other devices adopted with a view to effect this, and to mitigate in some degree the resulting evils, the issuing of licenses for brothels has been practiced in several large cities. One of the conditions of the license makes it obligatory upon the keepers of houses of ill-repute and their inmates to submit to medical examination at stated intervals. By this means, it is expected to detect the cases of foul disease at the outset, and thus to protect others by placing the infected individuals under restraint and treatment. It will be seen that for many reasons such examinations could not be effective; but, even if they were, the propriety of this plan of dealing with the vice is exceedingly questionable, as will appear from the following considerations:—

1. The moment that prostitution is placed under the protection of law by means of a license, it at once loses half its disrepute, and becomes respectable, as do gambling and liquor-selling under the same circumstances.

2. Why should so vile a crime as fornication be taken under legal protection more than stealing or the lowest forms of gambling? Is it not a lesser crime against human nature to rob a man of his money by theft or by deceit and trickery than to snatch from him at one fell swoop his health, his virtue, and his peace of mind? Why not as well have laws to regulate burglary and assassination, allowing the perpetrators of those crimes to ply their chosen avocations with impunity under certain prescribed restrictions; if robbery, for instance, requiring the thief to leave his victim money enough to make his escape to another country; or, if murder, directing the assassin to allow his intended victim time to repeat a sufficient number of Ave Marias to insure his safe transit through purgatory or to pay a priest for doing the same? Such a course would not be inconsistent with the policy which legalizes that infamous traffic in human souls, prostitution.

3. By the use of certain precautionary measures the fears of many will be allayed, so that thousands whose fear of the consequences of sin would otherwise have kept them physically virtuous, at least, erroneously supposing that the cause for fear has been removed, will rush madly into a career of vice, and will learn only too late the folly of their course.

Prevention the Only Cure.—Those who have once entered upon a career of sensuality are generally so completely lost to all sense of purity and right that there is little chance for reforming them. They have no principle to which to appeal. The gratification of lust so degrades the soul and benumbs the higher sensibilities that a votary of voluptuousness is a most unpromising subject for reformatory efforts. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is strikingly exemplified in this case. The remedy must be applied before the depths have been reached. It was well said by a celebrated physician to a young man beginning a life of vice, "You are entering upon a career from which you will never turn back."

Early Training.—The remedy, to be effective, must be applied early, the earlier the better. Lessons on chastity may be given in early infancy. The remedy may be applied even further back than this; children must be virtuously generated. The bearing of this point will be fully appreciated in connection with the principles established in the preceding pages of this work, and which have already been sufficiently elucidated.

Children should be early taught to reverence virtue, to abhor lust; and boys should be so trained that they will associate with the name of woman only pure, chaste, and noble thoughts. Few things are more deeply injurious to the character of woman, and more conducive to the production of foul imaginations in children, than the free discussion of such subjects as the "Beecher scandal" and like topics. The inquisitive minds and lively imaginations of childhood penetrate the rotten mysteries of such foul subjects at a much earlier age than many persons imagine. The inquiring minds of children will be occupied in some way, and it is of the utmost importance that they should be early filled with thoughts that will lead them to noble and pure actions.

Teach Self-Control.—One important part of early training is the cultivation of self-control, and a habit of self-denial, whenever right demands it. Another most essential part of a child's moral training is the cultivation of right motives. To present a child no higher motives for doing right than the hope of securing some pleasant reward, or the fear of suffering some terrible punishment, is the surest way to make of him a supremely selfish man, with no higher aim than to secure good to himself, no matter what may become of other people. And if he can convince himself that the pleasure he will secure by the commission of a certain act will more than counterbalance the probable risk of suffering, he will not hesitate to commit it, leaving wholly out of the consideration the question, Is it right? or noble? or pure? A love of right for its own sake is the only solid basis upon which to build a moral character. Children should not be taught to do right in order to avoid a whipping, or imprisonment in a dark closet,—a horrid kind of punishment sometimes resorted to,—or even to escape "the lake of fire and brimstone." Neither should they be constantly coaxed to right-doing by promised rewards,—a new toy, a book, an excursion, nor even the pleasures of Heaven. All of these incentives are selfish, and invariably narrow the character and belittle life when made the chief motives of action. But rather begin at the earliest possible moment to instill into the mind a love for right, and truth, and purity, and virtue, and an abhorrence for their contraries; then will he have a worthy principle by which to square his life; then will he be safe from the assaults of passion, of vice, of lust. A mind so trained stands upon an eminence from which all evil men and devils combined cannot displace it so long as it adheres to its noble principles.

Mental Culture.—The cultivation of the physical organization must not be neglected. Healthful mental discipline should receive equal attention. By healthful mental discipline is not meant that kind of superficial "cramming" and memorizing which constitute the training of the average school, but sound culture; a directing of the mind from facts to underlying principles; a development of the reasoning powers so as to bring the emotions and passions into subjection; the acquirement of the power to concentrate the mind, one of the best methods of cultivating self-control,—these are some of the objects and results of sound culture of the mind.

To supply the mind with food for pure thoughts, the child should be early inspired with a love for nature. The perceptives should be trained, the child taught to observe closely and accurately. The study of the natural sciences is a most valuable means of elevating the mind above grossness and sensuality. To be successful in this direction, parents must cultivate a love for the same objects themselves. Take the little ones into the country, if they are not so fortunate as to live there, and in the midst of nature's glories, point their impressible minds upward to the Author of all the surrounding loveliness. Gather flowers and leaves and call attention to the peculiarities and special beauties of each, and thus arouse curiosity and cultivate habits of close observation and attention.

Early Associations.—As children grow older, watch their associations. Warn them of evil influences and evil practices. Make home so attractive that they will enjoy it better than any other place. Cultivate music; its mellowing, harmonizing, refining influence is too great to be prudently withheld. Children naturally love music; and if they cannot hear it at home, they will go where they can hear it. Supply attractive books of natural history, travels, interesting and instructive biographies, and almost any other books but love-sick novels, and sentimental religious story-books. Guard against bad books and bad associates as carefully as though they were deadly serpents, for they are, indeed, the artful emissaries of the "old serpent" himself. A taste once formed for reading light literature destroys the relish for solid reading; and usually the taste, once lost, is never regained. The fascination of bad companionship once formed around a person is broken with the greatest difficulty. Hence the necessity for watching for the very beginnings of evil and promptly checking them.

The mind should be thus fortified against the trifles and follies of fashionable life. It should be elevated into a sphere far above that occupied by those who pass their time in fashionable drawing-rooms in silly twaddle, with thrumming a piano, with listless day-dreaming, or in the gratification of perverted tastes and depraved instincts in any other of the ways common to fashionable life.


If illicit commerce of the sexes is a heinous sin, self-pollution, or masturbation, is a crime doubly abominable. As a sin against nature, it has no parallel except in sodomy (see Gen. 19:5, Judges 19:22). It is the most dangerous of all sexual abuses, because the most extensively practiced. The vice consists in any excitement of the genital organs produced otherwise than in the natural way. It is known by the terms, self-pollution, self-abuse, masturbation, onanism, manustupration, voluntary pollution, solitary or secret vice, and other names sufficiently explanatory. The vice is the more extensive because there are no bounds to its indulgence. Its frequent repetition fastens it upon the victim with a fascination almost irresistible. It may be begun in earliest infancy, and may continue through life.

Even though no warning may have been given, the transgressor seems to know, instinctively, that he is committing a great wrong, for he carefully hides his practice from observation. In solitude he pollutes himself, and with his own hand blights all his prospects for both this world and the next. Even after being solemnly warned, he will often continue this worse than beastly practice, deliberately forfeiting his right to health and happiness for a moment's mad sensuality.

Alarming Prevalence of the Vice.—The habit is by no means confined to boys; girls also indulge in it, though, it is to be hoped, to a less fearful extent than boys, at least in this country. A Russian physician, quoted by an eminent medical professor in New York, states that the habit is universal among girls in Russia. It seems impossible that such a statement should be credible; and yet we have not seen it contradicted. It is more than probable that the practice is far more nearly universal everywhere than even medical men are willing to admit. Many young men who have been addicted to the vice, have, in their confessions, declared that they found it universal in the schools in which they learned the practice.

Dr. Gardner speaks of it as "the secret cause of much that is perverting the energies and demoralizing the minds of many of our fairest and best." He further says:—

"Much of the worthlessness, lassitude, and physical and mental feebleness attributable to the modern woman are to be ascribed to these habits as their initial cause." "Foreigners are especially struck with this fact as the cause of much of the physical disease of our young women. They recognize it in the physique, in the sodden, colorless countenance, the lack-luster eye, in the dreamy indolence, the general carriage, the constant demeanor indicative of distrust, mingled boldness and timidity, and a series of anomalous combinations which mark this genus of physical and moral decay."

The extent to which the vice is practiced by an individual is in some cases appalling. Three or four repetitions of the act daily are not uncommon; and the following from Dr. Copland is evidence of much deeper depravity:—

"There can be no doubt that the individual who has once devoted himself to this moloch of the species becomes but too frequently its slave to an almost incredible degree. A patient who was sent to London for my advice confessed that he had practiced this vice seven or eight times daily from the age of thirteen until twenty-four; and he was then reduced to the lowest state of mental weakness, associated with various bodily infirmities; indeed, both mental power and physical existence were nearly extinguished."

Testimony of Eminent Authors.—Says a medical writer, "In my opinion, neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism; it is the destroying element of civilized societies, which is constantly in action, and gradually undermines the health of a nation."

"The sin of self-pollution, which is generally considered to be that of Onan, is one of the most destructive evils ever practiced by fallen man. In many respects it is several degrees worse than common whoredom, and has in its train more awful consequences, though practiced by numbers who would shudder at the thought of criminal connection with a prostitute."[46]

46 Dr. Adam Clarke.

"However revolting to the feelings it may be to enter upon such a subject, it cannot be passed over in silence without a great violation of duty. Unhappily, it has not been hitherto exhibited in the awful light in which it deserves to be shown. The worst of it is that it is seldom suspected. There are many pale faces and languid and nervous feelings attributed to other causes, when all the mischief lies here."[47]

47 Sir W. C. Ellis.

We scarcely need add further evidence of the fearful extent of this evil, but will conclude with the following:—

"The pernicious and debasing practice of masturbation is a more common and extensive evil with youth of both sexes than is usually supposed." "A great number of the evils which come upon the youth at and after the age of puberty, arise from masturbation, persisted in, so as to waste the vital energies and enervate the physical and mental powers of man." "Many of the weaknesses commonly attributed to growth and the changes in the habit by the important transformation from adolescence to manhood, are justly referable to this practice."[48]

48 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.

Not a Modern Vice.—That this vice is not entirely a modern one is proved by the fact that in many ancient writings directions are given for treating its effects. Even Moses seems to have recognized disorders of this class. Hippocrates and others devoted considerable attention to them.

Victims of all Ages.—The ages at which the habit may be practiced include almost the whole extent of human life. We have seen it in infants of only three or four years, and in old men scarcely less than sixty, in both extremes marked by the most unmistakable and lamentable consequences. Cases have been noted in which the practice was begun as early as two years of age. It is common among African boys at nine and ten years of age, according to Dr. Copland.

Unsuspected Rottenness.—Parents who have no suspicion of the evil, who think their children the embodiment of purity, will find by careful observation and inquiry,—though personal testimony cannot be relied upon,—that in numerous instances their supposed virtuous children are old in corruption. Such a revelation has brought dismay into many a family, only too late in some cases.

Not long since a case came under our care which well illustrates the apathy and blindness of parents with respect to this subject. The parents of a young man whose mind seemed to be somewhat disordered, sent word to us through a friend respecting his condition, asking advice. We suspected from the symptoms described the real cause of the disease, and urged prompt attention to the case. In a short time the young man was placed under our immediate care without encouragement of a cure, and we gave the case still closer study. The characteristic symptoms of disease from self-abuse were marked, but the father was positive that no influence of that kind could have been at work. He had watched his son narrowly from infancy, and did not believe it possible for him to have been guilty. In addition, the young man had long been remarkable for his piety, and he did not believe there could be any possibility of his being guilty of so gross a crime.

A short time sufficed, however, to secure the indisputable evidence of the fact by his being caught in the act by his nurse.

This young man was a sad example of what havoc is made with the "human form divine" by this debasing vice. Once a bright boy, kind, affectionate, active, intelligent, the pride of a loving mother and the hope of a doting father, his mind had sunken to driveling idiocy. His vacant stare and expressionless countenance betokened almost complete imbecility. If allowed to do so, he would remain for hours in whatever position his last movement left him. If his hand was raised, it remained extended until placed in a position of rest by his attendant. Only with the utmost difficulty could he be made to rise in the morning, to eat, drink, or walk. Only by great efforts could he be aroused from his lethargy sufficiently to answer the most simple question. The instinctive demands of decency in regarding the calls of nature were not respected. In short, the distinguishing characteristics of a human being were almost wholly obliterated, leaving but a physical semblance of humanity; a mind completely wrecked, a body undergoing dissolution while yet alive, a blasted life, no hope for this world, no prospect for the next. In the insane asylums of the country may be seen hundreds of these poor victims in all stages of physical and mental demoralization.

Causes of the Habit.—It is needless to recapitulate all the causes of unchastity which have previously been quite fully dwelt upon, nearly all of which are predisposing or exciting causes of solitary as well as of social vice. Sexual precocity, idleness, pernicious literature, abnormal sexual passions, exciting and irritating food, gluttony, sedentary employment, libidinous pictures, and many abnormal conditions of life, are potent causes in exciting the vile practice; but by far the most frequent causes are evil associations, wicked or ignorant nurses, and local disease, or abnormality. These latter we will consider more particularly, as they have not been so fully dwelt upon elsewhere.

Evil Associations.—A child may have been reared with the greatest care. From infancy he may have been carefully shielded from all pernicious influences, so that at the age of ten or twelve, when he is for the first time sent away to school, he may be free from vice; but when he associates with his fellow-students, he soon finds them practicing a habit new to him, and being unwarned, he speedily follows their filthy example and quickly becomes fascinated with the vice. Thousands have taken their first lessons in this debasing habit at school. Teachers and scholars testify that it is often practiced even in school hours, almost under the teacher's eyes; but where the infection most quickly spreads is in the sleeping apartments, where more than one occupy the same bed, or where several sleep in the same room.

Nothing is more indispensable to purity of body and of morals than a private sleeping room and single bed for each student. Such an arrangement would protect the youth from the reception of much evil, and would allow an opportunity for privacy which every young man or youth needs for his spiritual as well as physical benefit. Not the least benefit of the latter class is the opportunity for a thorough cleansing of the whole body every morning, which is almost as indispensable to purity of morals as cleanliness of body. The same suggestion is fully as applicable to the sleeping arrangements of girls. The exceptional cases in which this plan would not be the best are very few indeed.

Corruption in Schools.—Says Dr. Acton, "I cannot venture to print the accounts patients have given me of what they have seen or even been drawn into at schools. I would fain hope that such abominations are things of the past." The entrance of a single corrupt boy into a school which may have been previously pure—though such schools must be extremely rare—will speedily corrupt almost the entire membership. The evil infection spreads more rapidly than the contagion of small-pox or yellow fever, and it is scarcely less fatal.

This danger exists not in public or city schools alone, but in the most select and private schools. A father who had kept his two sons under the care of a private governess for several years, and then placed them in a small school taught by a lady, and composed of a few small children from the most select families, was greatly astonished when informed by a physician that his sons showed symptoms of the effects of self-abuse. He was totally incredulous; but an investigation showed that they had already practiced the vile habit for several years, having learned it of an infantile school-mate.

We were acquainted with one instance in which a primary school in a secluded and select community was nearly broken up by the introduction of this vile habit through a corrupt student. Many a watchful teacher has seen the light of growing intelligence suddenly dim and wane in the eye of his favorite student just when he was giving the most promise of developing unusual talents in literature, mathematics, or some one of the natural or physical sciences, and has been compelled to watch the devastating influence of this deadly upas tree that often claims the best and fairest human flowers as its victims.

Wicked Nurses.—In those cases in which the habit is acquired at a very early age, the work of evil is usually wrought by the nurse, perhaps through ignorance of the effects of the habit. Incredible as it seems, it is proved by numerous instances that it is not an uncommon habit for nurses to quiet small children by handling or titillating their genital organs. They find this a speedy means of quieting them, and resort to it regardless or ignorant of the consequences.

Not an Uncommon Case.—Prof. Lusk, of Bellevue Hospital College, New York, related to his medical class in our hearing a case which came under his observation in which all of the children in a large family had been taught the habit by a wicked nurse for the purpose of keeping them quiet after they were put to bed. The vileness that would lead a person to thus rob childhood of its innocence, and blast its prospects for this life and the next, is base enough for the commission of almost any crime. Indeed, the crime could hardly have been a worse one had the nurse referred to in the above case in cold blood cut the throats of those innocent children; perhaps it might have been better for the children.

A gentleman once declared that if he should detect a person teaching this crime to his child he would shoot him on the spot; and if homicide is allowable under any circumstances, it seems to us it would be extenuated by such an aggravation. If occasional bad associations will work an immense damage to the youthful character, what terrible injury may be wrought by an agent of sin, an instructor in vice, who is within the household, who presides in the nursery, and exerts a constant influence! No one can estimate it.

Acton remarks on this point, "I need hardly point out how very dangerous this is. There seems hardly any limit to the age at which a young child can be initiated into these abominations, or to the depth of degradation to which it may fall under such hideous teaching. Books treating of this subject are unfortunately too full of accounts of the habits of such children."

In not a few instances the "hired man" has been the means of communicating to innocent little boys the infamous knowledge which, fortunately, they had not acquired in babyhood. With no knowledge of the evil they are committing, they begin the work of physical damnation which makes a hell of life and leads to endless death.

The "hired girl" is often an equally efficient agent for evil in the instruction of little girls in this debasing vice. Some time ago, the very intelligent parents of a bright family of children were awakened to the importance of this subject from the perusal of the first edition of this work, and upon investigation were horrified to find that their oldest child a promising daughter of ten, was already a victim to the vile practice, having been initiated by a "hired girl." After using in vain every means he could bring to bear upon the case, the father brought her to us, and with tears in his eyes gave his story. After telling of his unsuccessful attempts to effect a reform, he declared that he would far prefer to place his daughter in the grave than to see her grow up a wretched victim of this vice. We were most happy to be able, after a few weeks' treatment, to restore her to her parents, as we hope, permanently reformed. Not a few such cases are constantly coming to the attention of the medical profession.

The Instructor in Vice.—Are these lines perused by any one who has ever taught another this vice so vile, and so certainly followed by penalties so terrible—penalties not upon the instigator but upon the hapless victim? let such a person clothe himself in sackcloth and ashes, and do penance for the remainder of his life. The only way in which he can hope to atone even in some small degree for such a heinous crime, is by doing all in his power to warn those in danger against this sin. When all men receive their just deserts, what will be the punishment of such a one who has not, by thorough repentance and a life spent in trying to undo the work of ruin so foully wrought, in some measure disburdened himself of the consequences of his act!

Sending children very early to bed before they are weary, "to get them out of the way," or for punishment, is a grave error, as this may give rise to the vice. Confining children alone in a room by themselves is an equally reprehensible practice, as it favors the commission of the act, at least, and may afford a favorable opportunity for its discovery. Allowing children to form a habit of seeking solitude is an evil of the same nature.

Local Disease.—In the male, a tight or long foreskin is a frequent cause of the habit. The constant contact of the prepuce with the most sensitive part of the organ increases its sensibility. The secretion is retained, and accumulates, often becoming hardened. In this manner irritation is set up, which occasions uncomfortable feelings, and attracts the hands to the part. Owing to the great degree of excitement due to irritation, but a slight provocation is necessary to arouse voluptuous sensations, and then the terrible secret is revealed. The child readily discovers how to reproduce the same, and is not slow to commit a frequent repetition of the act; and thus the habit is formed.

An Illustrative Case.—A case in which the vice originated in this manner was recently under our observation. The patient was a man of considerable intellectual power and some culture, but showed unmistakable signs of his early indiscretion. He stated that although he mingled quite freely with other boys of his age, he obtained no knowledge of the habit from others. He often heard allusions which he did not understand, and of which he did not, fortunately, discover the meaning. But he was afflicted with congenital phimosis, the prepuce being so tight that retraction was impossible. This, together with urinal irritation,—which occasioned nocturnal incontinence of urine,—constipation, and highly seasoned food, produced so much local irritation as to occasion frequent erections, and an increased secretion. He soon noticed that there was an accumulation of hardened secretion beneath the foreskin, and in attempting to remove this, he accidentally provoked voluptuous sensations. He speedily abandoned himself to the habit, often repeating it several times a day. Beginning at the age of twelve years, he continued it for three or four years.

Soon after acquiring the habit, he became aware of its tendencies, through reading books upon the subject, but he found himself so completely enslaved that abstinence seemed impossible. One resolution to reform after another was formed, only to be speedily broken. His unwholesome diet, habitual constipation, and especially the unfortunate organic difficulty in his genital organs, produced an almost constant priapism, which was only relieved, and then but temporarily, by the act of pollution. His sedentary habits increased the difficulty to an extreme degree.

In the meantime, his constitution, naturally weak, was being gradually undermined. He suffered from constant headache, heart-burn, pains in the back and limbs, weakness, and lassitude. Yet he attributed none of these ailments to the true cause. After the lapse of three or four years thus spent, and after repeated ineffectual attempts, by a powerful effort of the will, by the aid of prayer, and by adopting a more wholesome diet, he succeeded in getting the mastery of his vice. But the local difficulties still continued in a great degree, and under particularly aggravating circumstances occasioned a relapse at long intervals. After a time, the local difficulties grew less and less, and enabled him to gain a complete victory over the habit, though the results of previous sin still remained, for which he desired treatment.

This case will serve as a fair illustration of many of similar character, in which the child accidentally makes the discovery which leads him to work his own ruin.

Other Physical Causes.—Constipation, piles, irritable bladder, fissure of the anus, local uncleanliness, and pruritis of the genital organs, will produce the habit in both males and females in the manner described. Sleeping on feather beds increases the local congestion, and thus favors the exciting influences of any of the above-named causes. It may, perhaps, itself be the exciting cause.

We once treated a patient who was affected with stone in the bladder, and who asserted that the constant irritation which he suffered in the end of the penis was only relieved by friction. This might readily be the cause of masturbation, though in this case the vice had been acquired many years before, and was still continued in spite of all efforts to reform.

Lying upon the back or upon the abdomen frequently leads to self-abuse by provoking sexual excitement. Certain kinds of exercises, as climbing, in particular, have been attended by the same results. It is said that children sometimes experience genital excitement amounting to pleasure as the result of whipping.

Influence of Stimulants.—The use of stimulants of any kind is a fruitful cause of the vice. Tea and coffee have led thousands to perdition in this way. The influence of tobacco is so strongly shown in this direction that it is doubtful if there can be found a boy who has attained the age of puberty and has acquired the habit of using tobacco, who is not also addicted to this vile practice. Candies, spices, cinnamon, cloves, peppermint, and all strong essences, powerfully excite the genital organs and lead to the same result.

It should be further added that there is evidence that a powerful predisposition to this vice is transmitted to the children of those who have themselves been guilty of it.

Signs of Self-Abuse.—The net which this vice weaves around its victims is so strong, and its meshes are so elaborately interwoven with all his thoughts, his habits, and his very being, when it has been long indulged, that it is important to be able to detect it when first acquired, as it may then be much more easily overcome than at any subsequent period. It is often no easy matter to do this, as the victim will resort to all manner of cunning devices to hide his vice, and will not scruple to falsify concerning it, when questioned. To be able to accomplish this successfully, requires a careful study, first, of the signs by which those who indulge in the practice may be known, and, secondly, of the habits of the individuals.

In considering the subject it will be found that there are two classes of signs, as follows:—

1. Those which may arouse suspicion, but any one of which, taken singly, would not be an evidence of the practice.

2. Those which may be regarded as positive. Several suspicious signs together may constitute a positive sign. Under these two heads, we will consider the signs of this vile habit.

It is well to bear in mind the fact that one or two suspicious signs are not evidence of the disease. It is likewise well to remember that the habit may be found where least looked for, and where one would have a right to expect perfect purity. Prejudice must be allowed no voice upon either side. A writer has said that every young person under puberty ought to be suspected of the disease. We can hardly indorse this remark, in full, but it would be at least wise for every guardian of children to criticize most carefully their habits and to quickly detect the first indications of sinful practices. Parents must not think that their children, at least, are too good to engage in such sinful abuses. It is most probable that their children are very like those of their neighbors; and any amount of natural goodness is not a protection against this insidious vice when it presents itself as a harmless pleasure to the unwarned and ignorant child.

Suspicious Signs.—The following symptoms, occurring in the mental and physical character and habits of a child or young person, may well give rise to grave suspicions of evil, and should cause parents or guardians to be on the alert to root it out if possible:—

1. General debility, coming upon a previously healthy child, marked by emaciation, weakness, an unnatural paleness, colorless lips and gums, and the general symptoms of exhaustion, when it cannot be traced to any other legitimate cause, as internal disease, worms, grief, overwork, poor air or poor food, and when it is not speedily removed by change of air or appropriate remedial measures, may safely be attributed to solitary vice, no matter how far above natural suspicion the individual may be. Mistakes will be rare indeed when such a judgment is pronounced under the circumstances named.

2. Early symptoms of consumption—or what are supposed to be such—as cough, and decrease in flesh, with short breathing and soreness of the lungs—or muscles of the chest—are not infrequently, solely the result of this vice. That such is the case may be considered pretty surely determined if physical examination of the lungs reveals no organic disease of those organs. But it should be remembered that solitary vice is one of the most frequent causes of early consumption. Several cases which strikingly prove this have fallen under our own observation.

3. Premature and defective development is a symptom closely allied to the two preceding. When it cannot be traced to such natural causes as overstudy, overwork, lack of exercise, and other influences of a similar nature, it should be charged to self-abuse. The early exercise of the genital organs hastens the attainment of puberty, in many cases, especially when the habit is acquired early, but at the same time saps the vital energies so that the system is unable to manifest that increased energy in growth and development which usually occurs at this period. In consequence, the body remains small, or does not attain that development which it otherwise would. The mind is dwarfed as well as the body. Sometimes the mind suffers more than the body in lack of development, and sometimes the reverse is true. This defective development is shown, in the physical organization of males, in the failure of the voice to increase in volume and depth of tone as it should; in deficient growth of the beard; in failure of the chest to become full and the shoulders broad. The mind and character show the dwarfing influence by failure to develop those qualities which especially distinguish a noble manhood. In the female, defective development is shown by menstrual derangements, by defective growth either in stature, or as shown in unnatural slimness, and in a failure to develop the graces and pleasing character which should distinguish early womanhood. Such signs deserve careful investigation, for they can only result from some powerfully blighting influence.

4. Sudden change in disposition is a sign which may well arouse suspicion. If a boy who has previously been cheerful, pleasant, dutiful, and gentle, suddenly becomes morose, cross, peevish, irritable, and disobedient, be sure that some foul influence is at work with him. When a girl, naturally joyous, happy, confiding, and amiable, becomes unaccountably gloomy, sad, fretful, dissatisfied, and unconfiding, be certain that a blight of no insignificant character is resting upon her. Make a careful study of the habits of such children; and if there is no sudden illness to account for the change in their character, it need not require long deliberation to arrive at the true cause, for it will rarely be found to be anything other than solitary indulgence.

5. Lassitude is as unnatural for a child as for a young kitten. A healthy child will be active, playful, full of life and animal spirits. If a young child manifests indisposition to activity, a dislike for play, lifelessness and languor, suspect his habits, if there is no other reasonable cause to which to attribute his unnatural want of childish sprightliness.

6. In connection with the preceding symptom will generally be found, instead of that natural brilliance of expression in the eyes and countenance, an unnatural dullness and vacantness altogether foreign to childhood. This is a just ground for suspicion.

7. Sleeplessness is another symptom of significance. Sound sleep is natural for childhood; and if sleeplessness be not occasioned by dietetic errors, as eating indigestible food, eating between meals, or eating late suppers, it may justly be a cause for suspicion of evil habits.

8. Failure of mental capacity without apparent cause should occasion suspicion of evil practices. When a child who has previously learned readily, mastered his lessons easily, and possessed a retentive memory, shows a manifest decline in these directions, fails to get his lessons, becomes stupid, forgetful, and inattentive, he has probably become the victim of a terrible vice, and is on the road to speedy mental as well as physical ruin. Watch him.

9. Fickleness is another evidence of the working of some deteriorating influence, for only a weak mind is fickle.

10. Untrustworthiness appearing in a child should attract attention to his habits. If he has suddenly become heedless, listless, and forgetful, so that he cannot be depended upon, though previously not so, lay the blame upon solitary indulgence. This vice has a wonderful influence in developing untruthfulness. A child previously honest, under its baneful influence will soon become an inveterate liar.

11. Love of solitude is a very suspicious sign. Children are naturally sociable, almost without exception. They have a natural dread of being alone. When a child habitually seeks seclusion without a sufficient cause, there are good grounds for suspecting him of sinful habits. The barn, the garret, the water-closet, and sometimes secluded places in the woods, are the favorite resorts of masturbators. They should be carefully followed and watched, unobserved.

12. Bashfulness is not infrequently dependent upon this cause. It would be far from right to say that every person who is excessively modest or timid is a masturbator; but there is a certain timorousness which seems to arise from a sense of shame or fear of discovery that many victims of this vice exhibit, and which may be distinguished from natural modesty by a little experience. One very common mode of manifestation of this timidity is the inability to look a superior, or any person who is esteemed pure, in the eye. If spoken to, instead of looking directly at the person to whom he addresses an answer, the masturbator looks to one side, or lets his eyes fall upon the ground, seemingly conscious that the eye is a wonderful tell-tale of the secrets of the mind.

13. Unnatural boldness, in marked contrast with the preceding sign, is manifested by a certain class of victims. It can be as easily distinguished, however, as unnatural timidity. The individual seems to have not the slightest appreciation of propriety. He commits openly the most uncouth acts, if he does not manifest the most indecent unchastity of manner. When spoken to, he stares rudely at the person addressing him, often with a very unpleasant leer upon his countenance. In some few cases there seems to be a curious combination of conditions. While mentally fearful, timid, and hesitating, the individual finds himself, upon addressing a person, staring at him in the most ungainly manner. He is conscious of his ill manners, but is powerless to control himself. This sign is one which could hardly be of use to any except a very close observer, however, as few can read upon the countenance the operations of the mind.

14. Mock piety—or perhaps we should more properly designate it as mistaken piety—is another peculiar manifestation of the effects of this vicious practice. The victim is observed to become transformed, by degrees, from a romping, laughing child, full of hilarity and frolic, to a sober and very sedate little—Christian, the friends think, and they are highly gratified with the piety of the child. Little do they suspect the real cause of the solemn face; not the slightest suspicion have they of the foul orgies practiced by the little sinner. By the aid of friends he may soon add hypocrisy to his other crimes, and find in assumed devotion a ready pretense for seeking solitude. Parents will do well to investigate the origin of this kind of religion in their children.

15. Easily frightened children are abundant among young masturbators, though all easily frightened persons are not vicious. It is certain, however, that the vice greatly exaggerates natural fear, and creates an unnatural apprehensiveness. The victim's mind is constantly filled with vague forebodings of evil. He often looks behind him, looks into all the closets, peeps under the bed, and is constantly expressing fears of impending evil. Such movements are the result of a diseased imagination, and they may justly give rise to suspicion.

16. Confusion of ideas is another characteristic of the devotee of this artful vice. If he attempts to argue, his points are not clearly made. He may be superficially quick and cute, but is incapable of deep thought, or abstruse reasoning; is often very dull of apprehension. Ideas are not presented in logical order, but seem to fall out promiscuously, and fairly represent the condition of a disordered brain. Attempts at joking are generally failures, as the jest is sure to be inappropriate or vulgar, and no one but himself sees any occasion for laughter except at his stupidity. Such individuals are not scarce.

17. Boys in whom the habit has become well developed sometimes manifest a decided aversion to the society of girls; but this is not nearly so often the case as some authors seem to indicate. It would rather appear that the opposite is more often true. Girls usually show an increasing fondness for the society of boys, and are very prone to exhibit marked evidences of real wantonness.

18. Round shoulders and a stooping posture in sitting are characteristics of young masturbators of both sexes. Whenever a child seats himself, the head and shoulders droop forward, giving to the spine a curved appearance.

19. Weak backs, pains in the limbs, and stiffness of the joints, in children, are familiar signs of the habit. To the first of these conditions is due the habitual stooping posture assumed by these children. The habit referred to is not the only cause of these conditions, but its causative occurrence is sufficiently frequent to give it no small importance as a suspicious indication.

20. Paralysis of the lower extremities, coming on without apparent cause, is not infrequently the result of solitary indulgence, even in very small children. We have seen several cases in which this condition was traced to the habit of masturbation, in children under six years of age.

21. The gait of a person addicted to this vice will usually betray him to one who has learned to distinguish the peculiarities which almost always mark the walk of such persons. In a child, a dragging, shuffling walk is to be suspected. Boys, in walking rapidly, show none of that elasticity which characterizes a natural gait, but walk as if they had been stiffened in the hips, and as though their legs were pegs attached to the body by hinges. The girl wriggles along in a style quite as characteristic, though more difficult to detect with certainty, as females are often so "affected" in their walk. Unsteadiness of gait is an evidence seen in both sexes, especially in advanced cases.

22. Bad positions in bed are evidences which should be noticed. If a child lies constantly upon its abdomen, or is often found with its hands about the genitals, it may be at least considered in a fair way to acquire the habit if it has not already done so.

23. Lack of development of the breasts in females, after puberty, is a common result of self-pollution. Still it would be entirely unsafe to say that every female with small mammary glands had been addicted to this vice, especially at the present time when a fair natural development is often destroyed by the constant pressure and heat of "pads." But this sign may well be given a due bearing.

24. Capricious appetite particularly characterizes children addicted to secret vice. At the commencement of the practice, they almost invariably manifest great voracity for food, gorging themselves in the most gluttonous manner. As the habit becomes fixed, digestion becomes impaired, and the appetite is sometimes almost wanting, and at other times almost unappeasable.

25. One very constant peculiarity of such children is their extreme fondness for unnatural, hurtful, and irritating articles. Nearly all are greatly attached to salt, pepper, spices, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, mustard, horse-radish, and similar articles, and use them in most inordinate quantities. A boy or girl who is constantly eating cloves or cinnamon, or who will eat salt in quantities without other food, gives good occasion for suspicion.

26. Eating clay, slate-pencils, plaster, chalk, and other indigestible articles is a practice to which girls who abuse themselves are especially addicted. The habit sometimes becomes developed to such a wonderful extent that the victims almost rival the clay-eaters of the Amazon in gratifying their propensity.

27. Disgust for simple food is one of the traits which a victim of this vice is sure to possess. He seems to loathe any food which is not rendered hot and stimulating with spices and other condiments, and cannot be induced to eat it.

28. The use of tobacco is good presumptive evidence that a boy is also addicted to a practice still more filthy. Exceptions to this rule are very rare indeed, if they exist, which we somewhat doubt. The same influences which would lead a boy to the use of tobacco would also lead him to solitary vice, and each sin would serve to exaggerate the other.

29. Unnatural paleness and colorless lips, unless they can be otherwise accounted for, may be attributed to secret sin. The face is a great tell-tale against this class of sinners. Justice demands, however, that an individual should be given the benefit of a doubt so long as there is a chance for the production of these symptoms by any other known cause, as overwork, mental anxiety, or dyspepsia.

30. Acne, or pimples, on the face are also among the suspicious signs, especially when they appear upon the forehead as well as upon other portions of the face. Occasional pimples upon the chin are very common in both sexes at puberty and for a few years afterward, but are without significance, except that the blood may be somewhat gross from unwholesome diet or lack of exercise.

31. Biting the finger nails is a practice very common in girls addicted to this vice. In such persons there will also be found, not infrequently, slight soreness or ulceration at the roots of the nails, and warts, one or more, upon one or both the first two fingers of the hand—usually the right.

32. The eyes often betray much. If, in addition to want of luster and natural brilliancy, they are sunken, present red edges, are somewhat sore, perhaps, and are surrounded by a dark ring, the patient, especially if a child, should be suspected and carefully watched. It should be observed, however, that dyspepsia, debility from any cause, and especially loss of sleep, will produce some or all of these signs, and no one should be accused of the vice upon the evidence of these indications alone, neither could he be justly suspected so long as his symptoms could be accounted for by legitimate causes.

33. An habitually moist, cold hand, is a suspicious circumstance in a young person who is not known to be suffering from some constitutional disease.

34. Palpitation of the heart, frequently occurring, denotes a condition of nervous disturbance which has some powerful cause, and which may often be found to be the vice in question.

35. Hysteria in females may be regarded as a suspicious circumstance when frequently occurring on very slight occasions, and especially if there is no hereditary tendency to the disease.

36. Chlorosis, or green sickness, is very often caused by the unholy practice under consideration. It is very commonly attributed, when occurring in young women, to menstrual derangements; but it is only necessary to remember that these menstrual irregularities are in many cases the result of the same habit, as has been already pointed out.

37. Epileptic fits in children are not infrequently the result of vicious habits.

38. Wetting the bed is an evidence of irritation which may be connected with the practice; it should be looked after.

39. Unchastity of speech and fondness for obscene stories betray a condition of mind which does not exist in youth who are not addicted to this vice.

As previously remarked, no single one of the above signs should be considered as conclusive evidence of the habit in any individual; but any one of them may, and should, arouse suspicion and watchfulness. If the habit really exists, but a short time will elapse before other signs will be noticed, and when several point in the same direction, the evidence may be considered nearly, if not quite, conclusive. But persistent watching will enable the positive signs to be detected sooner or later, and then there can no longer be doubt. It is, of course, necessary to give the individual no suspicion that he is being watched, as that would put him so effectually on his guard as, possibly, to defy detection.

Positive Signs.—The absolutely positive signs of solitary vice are very few. Of course the most certainly positive of all is detection in the act. Sometimes this is difficult, with such consummate cunning do the devotees of this Moloch pursue their debasing practice. If a child is noticed to seek a certain secluded spot with considerable regularity, he should be carefully followed and secretly watched, for several days in succession if need be. Many children pursue the practice at night after retiring. If the suspected one is observed to become very quickly quiet after retiring, and when looked at appears to be asleep, the bedclothes should be quickly thrown off under some pretense. If, in the case of a boy, the penis is found in a state of erection, with the hands near the genitals, he may certainly be treated as a masturbator without any error. If he is found in a state of excitement, in connection with the other evidences, with a quickened circulation as indicated by the pulse, or in a state of perspiration, his guilt is certain, even though he may pretend to be asleep; no doubt he has been addicted to the vice for a considerable time to have acquired so much cunning. If the same course is pursued with girls, under the same circumstances, the clitoris will be found congested, with the other genital organs, which will also be moist from increased secretion. Other conditions will be as nearly as possible the same as those in the boy.

Stains upon the night shirt or sheets, occurring before puberty, are certain evidences of the vice in boys, as they are subject, before that time, to no discharge which will leave a stain resembling that from the seminal fluid, except the rare one from piles. In the very young, these stains do not occur; but when the habit is acquired before puberty, a discharge resembling semen takes place before the ordinary period. Of course, the stains from urine will be easily distinguished from others. The frequent occurrence of such stains after puberty is a suspicious circumstance. A discharge in some respects similar may occur in girls.

Before puberty, the effect of the vice upon the genital organs is to cause an unnatural development, in both sexes, of the sensitive portions. When this is marked, it is pretty conclusive evidence of the vice. In girls, the vagina often becomes unnaturally enlarged, and leucorrhoea is often present. After puberty, the organs usually diminish in size, and become unnaturally lax and shrunken.

All of these signs should be thoroughly mastered by those who have children under their care, and if not continually watching for them, which would be an unpleasant task, such should be on the alert to detect the signs at once when they appear, and then carefully seek for others until there is no longer any doubt about the case.


The physician rarely meets more forlorn objects than the victims of prolonged self-abuse. These unfortunate beings he meets every day of his life, and listens so often to the same story of shameful abuse and retributive suffering that he dreads to hear it repeated. In these cases, there is usually a horrid sameness—the same cause, the same inevitable results. In most cases, the patient need not utter a word, for the physician can read in his countenance his whole history, as can most other people at all conversant with the subject.

In order to secure the greatest completeness consistent with necessary brevity, we will describe the effects observed in males and those in females under separate heads, noticing the symptoms of each morbid condition in connection with its description.


We shall describe, first, the local effects, then the general effects, physical and mental.

Local Effects.—Excitement of the genital organs produces the most intense congestion. No other organs in the body are capable of such rapid and enormous engorgement. When the act is frequently repeated, this condition becomes permanent in some of the tissues, particularly in the mucous membrane lining the urethra. This same membrane continues into and lines throughout the bladder, kidneys, and all the urinary organs, together with the vesiculæ seminales, the ejaculatory ducts, the vasa deferentia, and the testes. In consequence of this continuity of tissue, any irritation affecting one part is liable to extend to another, or to all the rest. We mention this anatomical fact here as a help to the understanding of the different morbid conditions which will be noticed.

Urethral Irritation.—The chronic congestion of the urethra after a time becomes chronic irritability. The tissue is unusually sensitive, this condition being often indicated by a slight smarting in urination. It often extends throughout the whole length of the urethra, and becomes so intense that the passage of a sound, which would occasion little if any sensation in a healthy organ, produces the most acute pain, as we have observed in numerous instances, even when the greatest care was used in the introduction of the instrument.

Shooting pains are often felt in the organ, due to this irritation. Pain is in some cases most felt at the root, in others, at the head. It often darts from one point to another. Just before and just after urination the pain is most severe.

Stricture.—Long-continued irritation of the mucous membrane of the urethra produces, ultimately, inflammation and swelling of the same in some portion of its extent. This condition may become permanent, and then constitutes real stricture, a most serious disease. More often the swelling is but transient, being due to some unusual excess, and will subside. Sometimes, also, a temporary stricture is produced by spasmodic contraction of the muscular fibers surrounding the urethra, which is excited by the local irritation. This kind of stricture is often met in the treatment of spermatorrhoea.

Enlarged Prostate.—This painful affection is a frequent result of the chronic irritation in the urethra, which the gland surrounds, the morbid action being communicated to it by its proximity. A diseased action is set up which results in enlargement and hardening. It is felt as a hard body just anterior to the anus, and becomes by pressure the source of much additional mischief. Sometimes the disease progresses to dangerous ulceration. It is attended by heat, pressure, and pain between the anus and the root of the penis.

Urinary Diseases.—The same congestion and irritability extend to the bladder and thence to the kidneys, producing irritation and inflammation of those organs. Mucus is often formed in large quantities; sometimes much is retained in the bladder. Earthy matter is deposited, which becomes entangled in the mucus, and thus a concretion or stone is produced, occasioning much suffering, and perhaps death.

We saw, not long since, a case of this kind. The patient was nearly sixty years of age, and had practiced masturbation from childhood. In consequence of his vice, a chronic irritation of the urethra had been produced, which was followed by enlargement of the prostate, then by chronic irritation of the bladder and the formation of stone. His sufferings were most excruciating whenever he attempted to urinate, which was only accomplished with the greatest difficulty and suffering.

One of the unpleasant results of irritation of the lining membrane of the bladder is inability to retain the urine long, which requires frequent urination and often causes incontinence of urine.

Priapism.—This same morbid sensitiveness may produce priapism, or continuous and painful erection, one of the most "terrible and humiliating conditions," as Dr. Acton says, to which the human body is subject. The horrid desperation of patients suffering under this condition is almost inconceivable. It is, fortunately, rare, in its most severe forms; but hundreds suffer from it to a most painful degree as one of the punishments of transgression of nature's laws; and a most terrible punishment it is.

Piles, Prolapsus of Rectum, etc.—As the result of the straining caused by stricture, piles, prolapsus of the rectum, and fissure of the anus are not infrequently induced, as the following case observed at Charity Hospital, New York, illustrates:—

The patient had a peculiar deformity of the genital organs, hypospadias, which prevented sexual intercourse, in consequence of which he gave himself up to the practice of self-abuse. He had become reduced to the most deplorable condition of both mind and body, and presented a most woebegone countenance. In addition to his general ailments, he suffered from extreme prolapsus of the rectum and a most painful anal fissure. His condition was somewhat bettered by skillful surgical treatment.

Extension of Irritation.—Serious and painful as are the affections already noticed, those which arise from the extension of the congestion and irritation of the urethra to those other organs most intimately connected with the function of generation are still more dreadful in themselves, and far more serious in their consequences. The irritation extends into the ejaculatory ducts, thence backward into the seminal vesicles, and downward through the vasa deferentia to the testes. These organs become unnaturally excited, and their activity is increased. The testicles form an abnormal amount of spermatozoa; the seminal vesicles secrete their peculiar fluid too freely. From these two sources combined, the vesicles become loaded with seminal fluid, and this condition gives rise to a great increase of sexual excitement.

In cases of long standing, the irritation of the urethra at the openings of the ejaculatory ducts, a point just in front of the bladder, advances to inflammation and ulceration. Here is now established a permanent source of irritation, by which the morbid activity of the testes and seminal vesicles is kept up and continually increased. This condition is indicated by frequent twitchings of the ejaculatory and compressor muscles in the perineum. It is also indicated by a burning sensation at the root of the penis after urination, which, in severe cases, amounts to very serious pain.

Atrophy, or Wasting of the Testes.—The first result of the irritation communicated to the testes, is, as already remarked, increased activity; but this is attended by swelling in some cases, more or less pain, tenderness, and, after a time, diminution in size.

This degenerative process likewise affects the seminal fluid, which becomes more or less deteriorated and incapable of producing healthy offspring, even while it retains the power of fecundating the ovum, which it also ultimately loses if the disease is not checked by proper treatment, when the individual becomes hopelessly impotent, a happy result for the race, for it prevents the possibility of his imparting to another being his debilitated constitution.

Varicocele.—This morbid condition consists in a varicose state of the spermatic veins. It is almost always found upon the left side, owing to an anatomical peculiarity of the spermatic vein of that side. It has been supposed to be a result of masturbation and its effects, but is certainly caused otherwise in many cases. It is not infrequently found in these patients; but Prof. Bartholow contends that even in such cases we should "consider its presence, in general, as accidental." Atrophy of the left testicle is often produced by the pressure of the distended veins; but this does not produce impotence. It occasionally occurs simultaneously on both sides, and greatly aggravates the effects of self-abuse, if it is not itself an effect of the vice.

Nocturnal Emissions.—Seminal emissions during sleep, usually accompanied by erotic dreams, are known as nocturnal pollutions or emissions, and are often called spermatorrhoea, though there is some disagreement respecting the use of the latter term. Its most proper use is when applied to the entire group of symptoms which accompany involuntary seminal losses.

The masturbator knows nothing of this disease so long as he continues his vile practice; but when he resolves to reform, and ceases to defile himself voluntarily, he is astonished and disgusted to find that the same filthy pollutions occur during his sleep without his voluntary participation. He now begins to see something of the ruin he has wrought. The same nightly loss continues, sometimes being repeated several times in a single night, to his infinite mortification and chagrin. He hopes the difficulty will subside of itself, but his hope is vain; unless properly treated, it will probably continue until the ruin which he voluntarily began is completed.

This disease is the result of sexual excesses of any kind; it is common in married men who have abused the marriage relation, when they are forced to temporary continence from any cause. It also occurs in those addicted to mental unchastity, though they may be physically continent. It is not probable that it would ever occur in a person who had been strictly continent and had not allowed his mind to dwell upon libidinous imaginations.

Exciting Causes.—The exciting causes which serve to perpetuate this difficulty are chiefly two; viz., local irritation and lewd thoughts.

The first cause is usually chiefly located in the urethra, and especially at the mouths of the ejaculatory ducts. Distention of the seminal vesicles with a superabundance of seminal fluid also acts as a source of irritation. Constipation, worms, and piles have an irritative influence which is often very seriously felt.

Unchaste thoughts act detrimentally in a two-fold way. They first stimulate the activity of the testes, thus increasing the overloading of the seminal vesicles. Lascivious thoughts during wakefulness are the chief cause of lascivious dreams.

Emissions do not usually occur during the soundest sleep, but during that condition which may be characterized as dozing, which is most often indulged in early in the morning after the soundest sleep is passed. This fact has an important bearing upon treatment, as will be seen hereafter.

At first, the emissions are always accompanied by dreams, the patient usually awaking immediately afterward; but after a time they take place without dreams and without awaking him, and are unaccompanied by sensation. This denotes a greatly increased gravity of the complaint.

Certain circumstances greatly increase the frequency of the emissions, and thus hasten the injury which they are certain to accomplish if not checked; as, neglect to relieve the bladder and bowels at night, late suppers, stimulating food and drinks, and anything that will excite the genital organs. Of all causes, amorous or erotic thoughts are the most powerful. Tea and coffee, spices and other condiments, and animal food have a special tendency in this direction. Certain positions in bed also serve as exciting or predisposing causes; as sleeping upon the back or abdomen. Feather beds and pillows and too warm covering in bed are also injurious for the same reason.

In frequency, emissions will vary in different persons from an occasional one at long and irregular intervals to two or three a week, or several—as many as four in one case we have met—in a single night.

The immediate effect of an emission will depend somewhat upon the frequency of occurrence and the condition of the individual. If very infrequent, and occurring in a comparatively robust person, after the seminal vesicles have become distended with seminal fluid, the immediate effect of an emission may be a sensation of temporary relief. This circumstance has led certain persons to suppose that emissions are natural and beneficial. This point will receive attention shortly.

If the emissions are more frequent, or if they occur in a person of a naturally feeble constitution, the immediate effect is lassitude, languor, indisposition and often inability to perform severe mental or physical labor, melancholy, amounting often to despair and even leading to suicide, and an exaggeration of local irritation, and of all the morbid conditions to be noticed under the head of "General Effects." Headache, indigestion, weakness of the back and knees, disturbed circulation, dimness of vision, and loss of appetite, are only a few of these.

Are Occasional Emissions Necessary or Harmless?—That an individual may suffer for years an involuntary seminal loss as frequently as once a month without apparently suffering very great injury, seems to be a settled fact with physicians of extensive experience, and is well confirmed by observation; yet there are those who suffer severely from losses no more frequent than this. But when seminal losses occur more frequently than once a month, they will certainly ultimate in great injury, even though immediate ill effects are not noticed, as in exceptional cases they may not be. If argument is necessary to sustain this position, as it hardly seems to be, we would refer to the fact that seminal losses do not occur in those who are, and always have been, continent both mentally and physically, when such rare individuals can be found. They occur the most rarely in those who the most nearly approach the standard of perfect chastity; so that whenever they occur, they may be taken as evidence of some form of sexual excess. This fact clearly shows that losses of this kind are not natural.

Emission not Necessary to Health.—If it be argued that an occasional emission is necessary to relieve the overloaded seminal vesicles, we reply, the same argument has been used as an apology for unchastity; but it is equally worthless in both instances. It might be as well argued that vomiting is a necessary physiological and healthful act, and should occur with regularity, because a person may so overload his stomach as to make the act necessary as a remedial measure. Vomiting is a diseased action, a pathological process, and is occasioned by the voluntary transgression of the individual. Hence, it is as unnecessary as gluttony, and must be wasteful of vitality, even though rendered necessary under some circumstances. So with emissions. If a person allows his mind to dwell upon unchaste subjects, indulges in erotic dreams, and riots in mental lasciviousness, he may render an emission almost necessary as a remedial effort. Nevertheless, he will suffer from the loss of the vital fluid just the same as though he had not, by his own concupiscence, rendered it in some degree necessary. And as it would have been infinitely better for him to have retained and digested food in his stomach instead of ejecting it—provided it were wholesome food—so it would have been better for him to have retained in his system the seminal fluid, which would have been disposed of by the system and probably utilized to very great advantage in the repair of certain of the tissues.

Eminent Testimony.—An eminent English physician, Dr. Milton, who has treated many thousands of cases of this disease, remarks in a work upon the subject as follows:—

"Anything beyond one emission a month requires attention. I know this statement has been impugned, but I am quite prepared to abide by it. I did not put it forward till I considered I had quite sufficient evidence in my hands to justify me in doing so."

"An opinion prevails, as most of my readers are aware, among medical men, that a few emissions in youth do good instead of harm. It is difficult to understand how an unnatural evacuation can do good, except in the case of unnatural congestion. I have, however, convinced myself that the principle is wrong. Lads never really feel better for emissions; they very often feel decidedly worse. Occasionally they may fancy there is a sense of relief, but it is very much the same sort of relief that a drunkard feels from a dram. In early life the stomach may be repeatedly overloaded with impunity, but I suppose few would contend that overloading was therefore good. The fact is that emissions are invariably more or less injurious; not always visibly so in youth, nor susceptible of being assessed as to the damage inflicted by any given number of them, but still contributing, each in its turn, a mite toward the exhaustion and debility which the patient will one day complain of."

Diurnal Emissions.—As the disease progresses, the irritation and weakness of the organs become so great that an erection and emission occur upon the slightest sexual excitement. Mere proximity to a female, or the thought of one, will be sufficient to produce a pollution, attended by voluptuous sensations. But after a time the organs become so diseased and irritable that the slightest mechanical irritation, as friction of the clothing, the sitting posture, or riding horseback, will produce a discharge which may or may not be attended by sensation of any kind. Frequently a burning or more or less painful sensation occurs; erection does not take place. Even straining at stool will produce the discharge, or violent efforts to retain the feces when there is unnatural looseness.

The amount of the discharge may vary from a few drops to one or two drams, or even more. The character of the discharge is of considerable importance. When it occurs under the circumstances last described, viz., without erection or voluptuous sensations, it may be of a true seminal character, or it may contain no spermatozoa. This point can be determined by the microscope alone. The discharge is the result of sexual excitement or irritation, nevertheless, and indicates a most deplorable condition of the genital organs. The patient is sometimes unnecessarily frightened by it, and often exaggerates the amount of the losses, and the symptoms arising from them. However, when a single nocturnal emission occasions such detrimental results, what must be the effect of repeated discharges occurring several times a day, or every time an individual relieves his bowels, urinates, or entertains an unvirtuous thought! If the losses were always seminal, the work of ruin would soon be complete; fortunately, those discharges which are the most frequent are only occasionally of a true seminal character. It is not true, however, as has been claimed by some writers, one at least, that they are never seminal, as we have proved by repeated microscopic examinations.

Cause of Diurnal Emissions.—The causes of these discharges are spasmodic action of the muscles involved in ejaculation, which is occasioned by local irritation, and pressure upon the seminal vesicles by the distended rectum or bladder. They denote a condition of debility and irritation which may well occasion grave alarm.

In occasional instances, the internal irritation reaches such a height that blood is discharged with the seminal fluid.

Internal Emissions.—As the disease progresses, external discharges finally cease, in some cases, or partially so, and the individual is encouraged by that circumstance to think that he is recovering. He soon discovers his error, however, for he continues to droop even though the discharges apparently cease altogether. This seems a mystery until some medical friend or a medical work calls his attention to the fact that the discharges now occur internally instead of externally, the seminal fluid passing back into the bladder and being voided with the urine. An examination of the urine reveals the presence of cloudy matter appearing much like mucus, or a whitish sediment. A microscopic examination shows this matter to be composed largely of zoösperms, which decides its origin.

An Important Caution.—It is necessary, however, to caution the reader not to pronounce every whitish sediment or flocculent matter found in the urine to be a seminal discharge, for the great majority are of a different character. They are, most frequently, simply mucus or phosphates from the bladder. Seminal fluid cannot be distinguished from mucus by any other than a careful microscopic examination. A microscope of good quality and capable of magnifying at least one hundred and fifty diameters is required, together with considerable skill in the operator. Quacks have done an immense amount of harm by frightening patients into the belief that they were suffering from discharges of this kind when there was, in fact, nothing more than a copious deposit of phosphates, which is not at all infrequent in nervous people, especially after eating.

When the condition described does really exist, however, the patient cannot make too much haste to put himself under the care of a competent physician for treatment. If there is even a reasonable suspicion that it may exist, he should have his urine carefully examined by one competent to criticize it intelligently.

By many authors, the term spermatorrhoea is confined entirely to this stage of the disease.

It is said that the forcible interruption of ejaculation has been the cause of this unfortunate condition in many cases. Such a proceeding is certainly very hazardous.

One more caution should be offered; viz., that the occasional presence of spermatozoa in the urine is not a proof of the existence of internal emissions, as a few zoösperms may be left in the urethra after a voluntary or nocturnal emission, and thus find their way into the urine as it is discharged from the bladder.

Impotence.—In the progress of the disease a point is finally reached when the victim not only loses all desire for the natural exercise of the sexual function, but when such an act becomes impossible. This condition may have been reached even before all of the preceding symptoms have been developed. Ultimately it becomes impossible to longer practice the abominable vice itself, on account of the great degeneration and relaxation of the organs. The approach of this condition is indicated by increasing loss of erectile power, which is at first only temporary, but afterward becomes permanent. Still the involuntary discharges continue, and the victim sees himself gradually sinking lower and lower into the pit which his own hands have dug. The misery of his condition is unimaginable; manhood lost, body a wreck, and death staring him in the face.

This is a brief sketch of the local effects of the horrid vice of self-abuse. The description has not been at all overdrawn. We have yet to consider the general effects, some of which have already been incidentally touched upon in describing nocturnal emissions, with their immediate results.

General Effects.—The many serious effects which follow the habit of self-abuse, in addition to those terrible local maladies already described, are the direct results of two causes in the male; viz.,

1. Nervous exhaustion;

2. Loss of the seminal fluid.

There has been much discussion as to which one of these was the cause of the effects observed in these cases. Some have attributed all the evil to one cause, and some to the other. That the loss of semen is not the only cause, nor, perhaps, the chief source of injury, is proved by the fact that most deplorable effects of the vice are seen in children before puberty, and also in females, in whom no seminal discharge nor anything analogous to it occurs. In these cases, it is the nervous shock alone which works the evil.

Again, that the seminal fluid is the most highly vitalized of all the fluids of the body, and that its rapid production is at the expense of a most exhaustive effort on the part of the vital forces, is well attested by all physiologists. It is further believed by some eminent physicians that the seminal fluid is of great use in the body for building up and replenishing certain tissues, especially those of the nerves and brain, being absorbed after secretion. Though this view is not coincided in by all physiologists, it seems to be supported by the following facts:—

1. The composition of the nerves and that of spermatozoa is nearly identical.

2. Men from whom the testes have been removed before puberty, as in the case of eunuchs, are never fully developed as they would otherwise have been.

The nervous shock accompanying the exercise of the sexual organs—either natural or unnatural—is the most profound to which the system is subject. The whole nervous system is called into activity; and the effects are occasionally so strongly felt upon a weakened organism that death results in the very act. The subsequent exhaustion is necessarily proportionate to the excitement.

It need not be surprising, then, that the effects of the frequent operation of two such powerful influences combined should be so terrible as they are found to be.

General Debility.—Nervous exhaustion and the loss of the vivifying influence of the seminal fluid produce extreme mental and physical debility, which increases as the habit is practiced, and is continued by involuntary emissions after the habit ceases. If the patient's habits are sedentary, and if he had a delicate constitution at the start, his progress toward the grave will be fearfully rapid, especially if the habit were acquired young, as it most frequently is by such boys, they being generally precocious. Extreme emaciation, sallow or blotched skin, sunken eyes, surrounded by a dark or blue color, general weakness, dullness, weak back, stupidity, laziness, or indisposition to activity of any kind, wandering and illy defined pains, obscure and often terrible sensations, pain in back and limbs, sleeplessness, and a train of morbid symptoms too long to mention in detail, attend these sufferers.

Consumption.—It is well recognized by the medical profession that this vice is one of the most frequent causes of consumption. At least such would seem to be the declaration of experience, and the following statistical fact adds weight to the conclusion:—

"Dr. Smith read a paper before a learned medical association a few years since in which he pointed out the startling fact that in one thousand cases of consumption five hundred and eighteen had suffered from some form of sexual abuse, and more than four hundred had been addicted to masturbation or suffered from nocturnal emissions."[49]

49 Acton.

"Most of those who early become addicted to self-pollution are soon afterward the subjects, not merely of one or more of the ailments already noticed, but also of enlargements of the lymphatic and other glands, ultimately of tubercular deposits in the lungs and other viscera, or of scrofulous disease of the vertebræ or bones, or of other structures, more especially of the joints."[50]

50 Copland.

Many young men waste away and die of symptoms resembling consumption which are solely the result of the loathsome practice of self-abuse. The real number of consumptives whose disease originates in this manner can never be known.

Dyspepsia.—Indigestion is frequently one of the first results. Nervous exhaustion is always felt by the stomach very promptly. When dyspepsia is once really established, it reacts upon the genital organs, increasing their irritability as well as that of all the rest of the nervous system. Now there is no end to the ills which may be suffered; for an impaired digestion lays the system open to the inroads of almost any and every malady.

Heart Disease.—Functional disease of the heart, indicated by excessive palpitation on the slightest exertion, is a very frequent symptom. Though it unfits the individual for labor, and causes him much suffering, he would be fortunate if he escaped with no disease of a more dangerous character.

Throat Affections.—There is no doubt that many of the affections of the throat in young men and older ones which pass under the name of "clergyman's sore throat" are the direct results of masturbation and emissions.

Dr. Acton cites several cases in proof of this, and quotes the following letter from a young clergyman:—

"When I began the practice of masturbation, at the age of sixteen, I was in the habit of exercising my voice regularly. The first part in which I felt the bad effects of that habit was in the organs of articulation. After the act, the voice wanted tone, and there was a disagreeable feeling about the throat which made speaking a source of no pleasure to me as it had been. By-and-by, it became painful to speak after the act. This arose from a feeling as if a morbid matter was being secreted in the throat, so acrid that it sent tears to the eyes when speaking, and would have taken away the breath if not swallowed. This, however, passed away in a day or two after the act. In the course of years, when involuntary emissions began to impair the constitution, this condition became permanent. The throat always feels very delicate, and there is often such irritability in it, along with this feeling of the secretion of morbid matter, as to make it impossible to speak without swallowing at every second or third word. This is felt even in conversation, and there is a great disinclination to attempt to speak at all. In many instances in which the throat has been supposed to give way from other causes, I have known this to be the real one. May it not be that the general irritation always produced by the habit referred to, shows itself also in this organ, and more fully in those who are required habitually to exercise it?"

Nervous Diseases.—There is no end to the nervous affections to which the sufferer from this vice is subject. Headaches, neuralgias, symptoms resembling hysteria, sudden alternations of heat and cold, irregular flushing of the face, and many other affections, some of the more important of which we will mention in detail, are his constant companions.

Epilepsy.—This disease has been traced to the vile habit under consideration in so many cases that it is now very certain that in many instances this is its origin. It is of frequent occurrence in those who have indulged in solitary vice or any other form of sexual excess. We have seen several cases of this kind.

Failure of Special Senses.—Dimness of vision, amaurosis, spots before the eyes, with other forms of ocular weakness, are common results of this vice. The same degeneration and premature failure occur in the organs of hearing. In fact, sensibility of all the senses becomes in some measure diminished in old cases.

Spinal Irritation.—Irritation of the spinal cord, with its resultant evils, is one of the most common of the nervous affections originating in this cause. Tenderness of the spine, numerous pains in the limbs, and spasmodic twitching of the muscles, are some of its results. Paralysis, partial or complete, of the lower limbs, and even of the whole body, is not a rare occurrence. We have seen two cases in which this was well marked. Both patients were small boys and began to excite the genital organs at a very early age. In one, the paralytic condition was complete when he was held erect. The head fell forward, the arms and limbs hung down helpless, the eyes rolled upward, and the saliva dribbled from his mouth. When lying flat upon his back, he had considerable control of his limbs. In this case, a condition of priapism seems to have existed almost from birth, owing to congenital phimosis. His condition was somewhat improved by circumcision. In the other case, in which phimosis also existed, there was paralysis of a few of the muscles of the leg, which produced club-foot. Circumcision was also performed in this case and the child returned in a few weeks completely cured, without any other application, though it had previously been treated in a great variety of ways without success, all the usual remedies for club-foot proving ineffectual. Both of these cases appeared in the clinic of Dr. Sayre at Bellevue Hospital, and were operated upon by him.

We have recently observed several cases of spinal disease which could be traced to no origin but masturbation. Two patients were small boys, naturally quite intelligent. They manifested all the peculiarities of loco-motor ataxia in older persons, walking with the characteristic gait. The disease was steadily progressing in spite of all attempts to stay it. An older brother had died of the same malady, paralysis extending over the whole body, and finally preventing deglutition, so that he really starved to death.

Insanity.—That solitary vice is one of the most common causes of insanity, is a fact too well established to need demonstration here. Every lunatic asylum furnishes numerous illustrations of the fact. "Authors are universally agreed, from Galen down to the present day, about the pernicious influence of this enervating indulgence, and its strong propensity to generate the very worst and most formidable kinds of insanity. It has frequently been known to occasion speedy, and even instant, insanity."[51]

51 Arnold.

"Religious insanity," so-called, may justly be attributed to this cause in a great proportion of cases. The individual is conscience-smitten in view of his horrid sins, and a view of his terrible condition—ruined for both worlds, he fears—goads him to despair, and his weakened intellect fails; reason is dethroned, and he becomes a hopeless lunatic. His friends, knowing nothing of the real cause of his mysterious confessions of terrible sin, think him over-conscientious, and lay the blame of his insanity upon religion, when it is solely the result of his vicious habits, of which they are ignorant.

In other cases, the victim falls into a profound melancholy from which nothing can divert him. He never laughs, does not even smile. He becomes more and more reserved and taciturn, and perhaps ends the scene by committing suicide. This crime is not at all uncommon with those who have gone the whole length of the road of evil. They find their manhood gone, the vice in which they have so long delighted is no longer possible, and, in desperation, they put an end to the miserable life which nature might lengthen out a few months if not thus violently superseded.

If the practice is continued uninterruptedly from boyhood to manhood, imbecility and idiocy are the results. Demented individuals are met in no small numbers inside of hospitals and asylums, and outside as well, who owe to this vice their awful condition. Plenty of half-witted men whom one meets in the every-day walks of life have destroyed the better half of their understanding by this wretched practice.

A Victim's Mental Condition Pictured.—The mental condition of a victim of this vice cannot be better described than is done in the following paragraphs by one himself a victim, though few of these unfortunate individuals would be able to produce so accurate and critical a portrait of themselves as is here drawn by M. Rousseau, as quoted by Mr. Acton:—

"One might say that my heart and my mind do not belong to the same person. My feelings, quicker than lightning, fill my soul; but instead of illuminating, they burn and dazzle me. I feel everything. I see nothing. I am excited, but stupid; I cannot think except in cold blood. The wonderful thing is that I have sound enough tact, penetration, even finesse, if people will wait for me. I make excellent impromptus at leisure; but at the moment I have nothing ready to say or do. I should converse brilliantly by post, as they say the Spaniards play at chess. When I read of a Duke of Savoy who turned back after starting on his journey to say, 'In your teeth! you Paris shop-keeper!' I said, 'That is like me!'"

"But not only is it a labor to me to express, but also to receive, ideas. I have studied men, and I think I am a tolerably good observer; yet I can see nothing of what I do see. I can hardly say that I see anything except what I recall; I have no power of mind but in my recollection. Of all that is said, of all that is done, of all that passes in my presence, I feel nothing, I appreciate nothing. The external sign is all that strikes me. But after a while it all comes back to me."


Local Effects.—The local diseases produced by the vice in females are, of course, of a different nature from those seen in males, on account of the difference in organization. They arise, however, in the same way, congestions at first temporary ultimately becoming permanent and resulting in irritation and various disorders.

Leucorrhoea.—The results of congestion first appear in the mucous membrane lining the vagina, which is also injured by mechanical irritation, and consists of a catarrhal discharge which enervates the system. By degrees the discharge increases in quantity and virulence, extending backward until it reaches the sensitive womb.

Contact with the acrid, irritating secretions of the vagina produces soreness of the fingers at the roots of the nails, and also frequently causes warts upon the fingers. Hence the value of these signs, as previously mentioned.

Uterine Disease.—Congestion of the womb is also produced by the act of abuse; and as the habit is continued, it also becomes permanent. This congestion, together with the contact of the acrid vaginal discharge, finally produces ulceration upon the neck, together with other diseases.

Another result of congestion is all kinds of menstrual derangements after puberty, the occurrence of which epoch is hastened by the habit. Prolapsus and various displacements are produced in addition to menstrual irregularities.

Cancer of the Womb.—Degeneration of this delicate organ also occurs as the result of the constant irritation and congestion, and is often of a malignant nature, occasioning a most painful death.

Sterility.—Sterility, dependent on a total loss of sexual desire and inability to participate in the sexual act, is another condition which is declared by medical authors to be most commonly due to previous habits of self-abuse. In consequence of overexcitement the organs become relaxed.

Atrophy of Mammæ.—Closely connected with other local results is the deficient development of the breasts when the vice is begun before or at puberty, and atrophy if it is begun or continued after development has occurred. As previously remarked, this is not the sole cause of small mammæ, but it is one of the great causes.

Pruritis.—This is an affection not infrequent in these subjects. Continued congestion produces a terrible itching of the genitals, which increases until the individual is in a state of actual frenzy, and the disposition to manipulate the genitals becomes irresistible, and is indulged even in the presence of friends or strangers, and though the patient be at other times a young woman of unexceptionable modesty. In cases of this kind, great hypertrophy of the organ of greatest sensibility has been observed, and in some cases amputation of the part has been found the only cure.

General Effects.—The general effects in the female are much the same as those in the male. Although women suffer no seminal loss, they suffer the debilitating effects of leucorrhoea, which is in some degree injurious in the same manner as seminal losses in the male. But in females the greatest injury results from the nervous exhaustion which follows the unnatural excitement. Nervous diseases of every variety are developed. Emaciation and debility become more marked even than in the male, and the worst results are produced sooner, being hastened by the sedentary habits of these females, generally. Insanity is more frequently developed than in males. Spinal irritation is so frequent a result that a recent surgical author has said that "spinal irritation in girls and women is, in a majority of cases, due to self-abuse."[52]

52 Davis.

A Common Cause of Hysteria.—This, too, is one of the most frequent causes of hysteria, chorea, and epilepsy among young women, though not often recognized.

A writer, quoted several times before in this work, remarks as follows:—

"This is not a matter within the scope of general investigation; truth is not to be expected from its habitués; parents are deceived respecting it, believing rather what they wish than what they fear. Even the physician can but suspect, till time develops more fully by hysterias, epilepsies, spinal irritations, and a train of symptoms unmistakable even if the finally extorted confession of the poor victim did not render the matter clear. Marriage does, indeed, often arrest this final catastrophe, and thus apparently shifts the responsibility upon other shoulders, and to the 'injurious effects of early marriages,' to the 'ills of maternity,' are ascribed the results of previous personal abuse.

"For statistics and further information on this all-important subject, we must refer the reader to the opinions of physicians who have the charge of our retreats for the insane, lunatic asylums, and the like; to the discriminating physicians of the families of the upper classes—stimulated alike by food, drinks, scenes where ease is predominant, where indolence is the habit and novel-reading is the occupation—for further particulars on a subject here but barely alluded to."[53]

53 Gardner.


If sterility does not result, children are liable to be "delicate, puny, decrepit, or subject to various congenital maladies, especially of the nervous system, to idiocy from deficient development of the brain, to hydrocephalus, to epilepsy, convulsions, palsy. The scrofulous diathesis, tubercular and glandular maladies, diseases of the vertebræ and of the joints, softening of the central portions of the brain, and tuberculous formations in the membranes, palsy and convulsions, chorea, inflammations of the membranes or substance of the brain or spinal cord, and numerous other affections to which infants and children are liable, very commonly result from the practice of self-pollution by either of the parents previous to marriage. But the evil does not always stop at this epoch of existence, it often extends throughout the life of the offspring, or it appears only with puberty and mature age."

Too frequently, the victim of self-abuse, when he finds himself suffering from the first results of his sin, neglects to adopt any measures for the cure of the disease. Not understanding its inveterate character, he labors under the delusion that it will cure itself in time. This is a fatal mistake. The diseased conditions induced by this vice never improve themselves. Their constant tendency is to increase in virulence and inveteracy. The necessity of taking prompt measures for relief is too apparent to need especial emphasis.


After having duly considered the causes and effects of this terrible evil, the question next in order for consideration is, How shall it be cured? When a person has, through ignorance or weakness, brought upon himself the terrible effects described, how shall he find relief from his ills, if restoration is possible? To the answer of these inquiries, most of the remaining pages of this work will be devoted. But before entering upon a description of methods of cure, a brief consideration of the subject of prevention of the habit will be in order.


For the rising generation, those yet innocent of the evil practices so abundant in this age of sensuality, how the evil habit may be prevented is the most important of all questions connected with this subject. This topic should be especially interesting to parents, for even those who are themselves sensual have seen enough of the evils of such a life to wish that their children may remain pure. There are, indeed, rare exceptions to this rule, for we sometimes learn of parents who have deliberately led their own children into vice, as though they desired to make them share their shame and damnation.

Cultivate Chastity.—From earliest infancy all of those influences and agencies which cultivate chastity should be brought into active exercise. These we need not repeat here, having previously dwelt upon them so fully. The reader is recommended to re-peruse the portion of the work devoted to this subject, in connection with the present section. If parents have themselves indulged in this vice, they should use special care that all of the generative and gestative influences brought to bear upon their children are the purest possible, so that they may not inherit a predisposition to sin in this direction.

Special care should be exercised to avoid corrupt servants and associates. Every servant not known to be pure should be suspected until proof of innocence has been established. They should be especially instructed of the evil arising from manipulation of the genitals even in infants, as they may do immense harm through simple ignorance.

Timely Warning.—But, in spite of chaste surroundings and all other favorable circumstances, if the child is left in ignorance of his danger, he may yet fall a victim to the devices of servants or corrupt playmates, or may himself make a fatal discovery. Hence arises the duty of warning children of the evil before the habit has been formed. This is a duty that parents seldom perform even when they are not unaware of the danger. They in some way convince themselves that their children are pure, at least, even if others are corrupt. It is often the most difficult thing in the world for parents to comprehend the fact that their children are not the best children in the world, perfect paragons of purity and innocence. There is an unaccountable and unreasonable delicacy on the part of parents about speaking of sexual subjects to their children. In consequence, their young, inquisitive minds are left wholly in ignorance unless, perchance, they gain information from some vile source.

Objections are raised against talking to children or young persons about matters in any degree pertaining to the sexual organs or functions. Some of the more important of them are considered in the introduction to this work, and we need not repeat here.

The little one should be taught from earliest infancy to abstain from handling the genitals, being made to regard it as a very improper act. When the child becomes old enough to understand and reason, he may be further informed of the evil consequences; then, as he becomes older, the functions of the organs may be explained with sufficient fullness to satisfy his natural craving for knowledge.

If this course were pursued, how many might be saved from ruin! It is, of course, necessary that the parents shall themselves be acquainted with the true functions of the organs before they attempt to teach any one else, especially children. Many parents might receive benefit from being obliged to "study up;" for it is a lamentable fact, the ill effects of which are every day seen, that a great many people have spent a very large portion of their lives without ever ascertaining the true function of the reproductive organs, though living in matrimony for many years. Some of the consequences of this ignorance have been portrayed in previous pages.

"Oh! why did not some kind friend tell me of the harm I was doing myself?" has been the exclamation of many an unfortunate sufferer from this vice. A warning voice should be raised to save those who are ignorantly working their own destruction. Parents, teachers, ministers, all who have access to the youth, should sound the note of alarm in their ears, that if possible they may be saved from the terrible thralldom pictured by a writer in the following lines:—

"The waters have gone over me. But out of the black depths, could I be heard, I would cry to all those who have set a foot in the perilous flood. Could the youth look into my desolation, and be made to understand what a dreary thing it is when a man shall feel himself going down a precipice with open eyes and passive will—to see his destruction and have no power to stop it, and yet to feel it all the way emanating from himself; to perceive all goodness emptied out of him, and yet not be able to forget a time when it was otherwise; to bear about with him the spectacle of his own self-ruin; could he feel the body of death out of which I cry hourly with feebler and feebler outcry to be delivered."


When the habit and its effects are of very short duration, a cure is very readily accomplished, especially in the cases of children and females, as in them the evils begun are not continued in the form of involuntary pollutions. In cases of longer standing in males, the task is more difficult, but still the prospect of recovery is very favorable, provided the coöperation of the patient can be secured; without this, little can be done. But in these cases the patient may as well be told at the outset that the task of undoing the evil work of years of sin is no easy matter. It can only be accomplished by determined effort, by steady perseverance in right doing, and in the application of necessary remedies. Those who have long practiced the vice, or long suffered severely from its effects, have received an injury which will inevitably be life-long to a greater or lesser extent in spite of all that can be done for them. Yet such need not despair, for they may receive inestimable benefit by the prevention of greater damage, which they are sure to suffer if the disease is allowed to go unchecked.

Cure of the Habit.—The preliminary step in treatment is always to cure the vice itself if it still exists. The methods adopted for this purpose must differ according to the age of the individual patient.

In children, especially those who have recently acquired the habit, it can be broken up by admonishing them of its sinfulness, and portraying in vivid colors its terrible results, if the child is old enough to comprehend such admonitions. In addition to faithful warnings, the attention of the child should be fully occupied by work, study, or pleasant recreation. He should not be left alone at any time, lest he yield to temptation. Work is an excellent remedy; work that will really make him very tired, so that when he goes to bed he will have no disposition to defile himself. It is best to place such a child under the care of a faithful person of older years, whose special duty it shall be to watch him night and day until the habit is thoroughly overcome.

In younger children, with whom moral considerations will have no particular weight, other devices may be used. Bandaging the parts has been practiced with success. Tying the hands is also successful in some cases; but this will not always succeed, for they will often contrive to continue the habit in other ways, as by working the limbs, or lying upon the abdomen. Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anæsthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice.

In adults, or youths, a different plan must be pursued. In these cases, moral considerations, and the inevitable consequences to health of body and mind, are the chief influences by which a reform is to be effected, if at all. These considerations may be urged with all possible eloquence and earnestness, but should not be exaggerated. The truth is terrible enough. If there are any special influences which may be brought to bear upon a particular individual,—and there always will be something of this sort owing to peculiarities of temperament or circumstances,—these should be promptly employed and applied in such a manner as to secure for them their full bearing.

But after all, the most must be done by the individual himself. All that others can do for him is to surround him with favoring circumstances and arouse him to a proper sense of his real condition and danger. If this can be thoroughly accomplished, there is much reason to hope; but if the individual has become so lost to all sense of purity, all aspirations toward good and noble objects, that he cannot be made to feel the need of reformation, his case is hopeless.

How May a Person Help Himself?—The following suggestions will be found useful in fighting the battle with vice and habit:—

1. Begin by a resolution to reform, strengthened by the most solemn vows.

2. Resolve to reform now; not to-morrow or next week, but this very minute. Thousands have sunk to perdition while resolving to indulge "only this once."

3. Begin the work of reform by purging the mind. If a lewd thought enters the mind, dispel it at once. Cultivate a loathing for concupiscence. Never harbor such ideas for an instant, for they will surely lead to the overt act. If, perchance, the physical sin should not be committed, the thought itself is sin, and it leaves a physical as well as a moral scar almost as deep and hideous as that inflicted by the grosser crime.

4. As a help to purity of mind, whenever impure thoughts enter, immediately direct the mind upon the purest object with which you are acquainted. Flee from the special exciting cause, if there is one, and engage in some active labor or other exercise that will divert the mind into another channel.

5. Avoid solitude, for then it is that temptation comes, and you are most likely to fail. Avoid equally all other causes which may lead to the act.

6. Strictly comply with all the rules laid down for the cultivation of chastity and the maintenance of continence.

7. Above all, seek for grace and help from the Source of all spiritual strength in every time of temptation, relying upon the promise, "Seek, and ye shall find."

Hopeful Courage.—An individual who will earnestly set himself about the work of purifying his mind and redeeming his body, if he will conscientiously adopt, and perseveringly apply, the remedies pointed out, may be sure of success. There can be no possible chance for failure. Triumph is certain. Patience may be tried and faith tested, but unwavering trust in God and nature, and an executed determination to do all on his part, will bring to every such one certain recovery. There may be some scars left, a few traces of the injury wrought; but the deliverance will be none the less triumphant. Faith and perseverance will work wonders.

General Regimen and Treatment.—After long abuse of the sexual organs, and in many cases after a short course of sin, the whole system becomes deteriorated; digestion is impaired, the muscles are weakened, the circulation is unbalanced, the nerves are irritable, the brain—especially the back and lower portion of it—is congested, the skin is torpid, the bowels are inactive, the general health is deranged in almost every particular. All of these morbid conditions serve to keep up the very difficulty which has produced and is increasing them. Any curative effort, to be effective, then, must be directed to these as well as to local conditions; and it is pretty certainly established that local remedies or applications alone will rarely accomplish any appreciable good, at least of a permanent character.

Many of the observations on treatment are equally applicable to both sexes; but particular directions have been especially adapted to males, and chiefly with the cure of seminal emissions as the object in view. This remark will explain any seeming lack of completeness.

Mental and Moral Treatment.—The greatest impediment to recovery is usually found in the mind of the patient. His hopeless despair, melancholy, sullen apathy in many cases, want of energy, and fickleness of mind, thwart all attempts that are made for him. In other cases, the want of willpower, or neglect to exercise the will in controlling the thoughts, completely counteracts all that can be done for him. He must be made to understand this well, and then all possible means must be employed to attract his attention from himself, from brooding over his ills. Occupy him, interest him, or teach him to occupy and interest himself. The enthusiastic study of some one of the natural sciences is a most excellent auxiliary in effecting this.

The thing of first importance is that the patient should obtain command of his thoughts; by this means, he can do more for himself than all the doctors can do for him. "But I cannot control my thoughts," says the patient. A young man said to me, "O doctor, you don't know how I feel. I despise myself; I hate myself; I often feel inclined to kill myself. My mind is always full of abominable images; my thoughts run away with me and I cannot help myself." The tears ran down his face in streams as he told me of his slavery. He solemnly affirmed that he had never performed the act of self-pollution but once in his life: and yet for years he had been a constant sufferer from nocturnal emissions until his manhood was nearly lost, evidently the result of the mental onanism which he had practiced without imagining the possibility of harm.

But it is not true that control of the thoughts is impossible. Thoughts are the result of the action of the brain; and the action of the brain may be controlled as well as the movements of a voluntary muscle. It may be more difficult, especially when the resolution is weakened, as it is by this vice; but so long as there are left any remnants of will and reason, control is possible. To strengthen the will must be one of the objects of mental treatment, and exercise is the method by which it may be accomplished. The thing for a sufferer to say, is not, "I can't," but, "I can and I will control my thoughts." Suggestions which will aid in accomplishing this have already been given under the heading, "Cure of the Habit."

We cannot forbear to add a word further respecting the worth of religion in aiding these sufferers. If there is any living creature who needs the help of true religion, of faith in God, in Christ, and in the efficacy of prayer, it is one of these. If there is any poor mortal who can not afford to be deprived of the aid of a sympathizing Saviour, it is one who has enervated his will, degraded his soul, and depraved his body by the vile habit of self-abuse. A compassionate Redeemer will succor even these defiled ones, if they truly "hunger and thirst" after purity, and if they set about the work of reforming themselves in good earnest, and with right motives.

Exercise.—Physical exercise is a most powerful aid to pure thoughts. When unchaste ideas intrude, engage at once in something which will demand energetic muscular exercise. Pursue the effort until fatigued, if necessary, making, all the while, a powerful mental effort to control the mind. Of course, evil thoughts will not be expelled by thinking of them, but by displacing them by pure thoughts. Exercise aids this greatly.

Exercise is also essential to balance the circulation, and thus relieve congestion of internal organs. Sedentary persons especially need systematic exercise. No single form of exercise is so excellent as walking. Four or five miles a day are none too many to secure a proper amount of muscular exercise. Gymnastics, the "health-lift," "Indian clubs," "dumb-bells," rowing, and other forms of exercise are all good; but none of them should be carried to excess. Ball-playing is likely to be made a source of injury by exciting, in vigorous competition, too violent and spasmodic action.

Daily exercise should be taken to the extent of fatigue. It is better that those who are still strong enough should have some regular employment which will secure exercise. Those who prefer may secure exercise and recreation in the pursuit of some study that involves necessary physical exertion; as, botany, geology, or entomology. The collection of natural-history specimens is one of the most pleasant diversions, and may be made very useful as well.

Pleasant companionship is essential to the best progress of these patients, especially in their walks, as much more exercise may be taken without an unpleasant sense of fatigue with a cheerful companion than when alone. Solitude should be avoided at all times as much as possible.

Diet.—So much has already been said upon the relation of diet to chastity and its influence upon the sexual organs that it is unnecessary to add many remarks here. Nothing could be more untrue than the statement made by some authors that the nature of the diet is of no consequence.

The science of physiology teaches that our very thoughts are born of what we eat. A man that lives on pork, fine-flour bread, rich pies and cakes, and condiments, drinks tea and coffee and uses tobacco, might as well try to fly as to be chaste in thought. He will accomplish wonders if he remains physically chaste; but to be mentally virtuous would be impossible for him without a miracle of grace.

One whose thoughts have been so long trained in the filthy ruts of vice that they run there automatically, and naturally gravitate downward—such a one must exercise especial care to secure the most simple, pure, and unstimulating diet.

The following precautions are necessary to be observed in relation to diet:—

1. Never overeat. If too much food is taken at one meal, fast the next meal to give the system a chance to recover itself and to serve as a barrier against future transgressions of the same kind. Gluttony is fatal to chastity; and overeating will be certain to cause emissions, with other evils, in one whose organs are weakened by abuse.

2. Eat but twice a day, or, if supper is eaten, let it be very light, and of the most simple food, as fruit, or fruit and bread. Nothing should be eaten within four or five hours of bed-time, and it is much better to eat nothing after three o'clock. The ancients ate but two meals a day; why should moderns eat three or four? If the stomach contains undigested food, the sleep will be disturbed, dreams will be more abundant, and emissions will be frequent. A most imperative rule of life should be, "Never go to bed with a loaded stomach." The violation of this rule is the great cause of horrid dreams and nightmare.

3. Discard all stimulating food. Under this head must be included, spices, pepper, ginger, mustard, cinnamon, cloves, essences, all condiments, salt, pickles, etc., together with animal food of all kinds, not excepting fish, fowl, oysters, eggs, and milk. It is hardly to be expected that all who have been accustomed to use these articles all their lives will discard them wholly at once, nor, perhaps, that many will ever discard them entirely; but it would be better for them to do so, nevertheless. The only ones which should be tolerated under any circumstances should be lean beef or mutton, salt in very moderate quantities, and a moderate use of milk. Use as little of these as possible—the less the better.

4. Stimulating drinks should be abstained from with still greater strictness. Wine, beer, tea, and coffee should be taken under no circumstances. The influence of coffee in stimulating the genital organs is notorious. Chocolate should be discarded also. It is recommended by some who suppose it to be harmless, being ignorant of the fact that it contains a poison practically identical with that of tea and coffee.

Hot drinks of all kinds should be avoided.

Tobacco, another stimulant, though not a drink, should be totally abandoned at once.

5. In place of such articles as have been condemned, eat fruits, grains, and vegetables. There is a rich variety of these kinds of food, and they are wholesome and unstimulating. Graham flour, oatmeal, and ripe fruit are the indispensables of a dietary for those who are suffering from sexual excesses.

Further remarks upon diet, with a few useful recipes for preparing healthful food, will be found in works devoted to the subject of diet.[54] The patient must carefully comply with all the rules of a healthy diet if he would be sure of recovery.

54 See "Healthful Cookery," Good Health Publishing Company, Battle Creek, Mich.

Sleeping.—It is from accidents which happen during sleep that the great majority of sufferers complain; hence there is no little importance attaching to this subject. The following suggestions present in a very brief manner some of the more practical ideas connected with this part of the subject:—

1. From seven to nine hours' sleep are required by all persons. The rule should be, Retire early and sleep until rested; Early rising is not beneficial unless it has been preceded by abundant sleep.

2. Arise immediately upon waking in the morning if it is after four o'clock. A second nap is generally unrefreshing and is dangerous, for emissions most frequently occur at this time.

3. If insufficient sleep is taken at night, sleep a few minutes just before dinner. Half an hour's rest at this time is remarkably refreshing; and even fifteen minutes spent in sleep will be found very reviving. Do not sleep after dinner, as a pollution will be very likely to occur, and, as a rule, after-dinner naps are unrefreshing and productive of indigestion.

4. Never go to bed with the bowels or bladder loaded. The bladder should be emptied just before retiring. It is also a good plan to form the habit of rising once or twice during the night to urinate.

5. The position in sleeping is of some importance. Sleeping upon the back or upon the abdomen favors the occurrence of emissions; hence, it is preferable to sleep on one side. If supper has been taken, the right side is preferable, as that position will favor the passage of food from the stomach into the intestines in undergoing digestion.

Various devices are employed, sometimes with advantage, to prevent the patient from turning upon his back while asleep. The most simple is that recommended by Acton, and consists in tying a knot in the middle of a towel and then fastening the towel about the body in such a way that the knot will come upon the small of the back. The unpleasant sensations arising from pressure of the knot, if the sleeper turn upon his back, will often serve as a complete preventive. Others fasten a piece of wood upon the back for a similar purpose. Still others practice tying one hand to the bedpost. None of these remedies should be depended upon, but they may be tried in connection with other means of treatment.

6. Soft beds and pillows must be carefully avoided. Feather-beds should not be employed when possible to find a harder bed; the floor, with a single folded blanket beneath the sleeper, would be preferable. Soft pillows heat the head, as soft beds produce heat in other parts. A hair mattress, or a bed of corn husks, oat straw, or excelsior—covered with two or three blankets or a quilted cotton mattress—makes a very healthy and comfortable bed.

7. Too many covers should be avoided with equal care. The thinnest possible covering in summer, and the lightest consistent with comfort in winter, should be the rule. Sleeping too warm is a frequent exciting cause of nocturnal losses.

8. Thorough ventilation of the sleeping-room, both while occupied and during the day-time, must not be neglected. It should be located in a position to admit the sunshine during the morning hours. It is a good plan to keep in it a number of house plants, as they will help to purify the air, besides adding to its cheerfulness.

9. If wakeful at night, instead of lying in bed trying to go to sleep, get up at once, open the bed, air the sheets, remove the night clothing and walk about the room for a few minutes, rubbing the body briskly with the bare hand at the same time. A tepid sponge bath, followed by a vigorous rubbing kept up until really tired, will conduce to sleep in many cases. Sometimes a change of bed, or pulling the bed to pieces and arranging it again, is just the thing needed to bring sleep.

10. One of the most effectual panaceas for certain varieties of sleeplessness is going to bed at peace with all the world, and with a conscience void of offense toward God as well as man.

Dreams.—This is a subject of much interest to those suffering from nocturnal pollutions, for these occurrences are almost always connected with dreams of a lascivious nature.

In perfectly natural sleep, there are no dreams; consciousness is entirely suspended. In the ordinary stage of dreaming, there is a peculiar sort of consciousness, many of the faculties of the mind being more or less active while the power of volition is wholly dormant. Carpenter describes another stage of consciousness between that of ordinary dreaming and wakefulness, a condition "in which the dreamer has a consciousness that he is dreaming, being aware of the unreliability of the images which present themselves before his mind. He may even make a voluntary and successful effort to prolong them if agreeable, or to dissipate them if unpleasing; thus evincing a certain degree of that directing power, the entire want of which is characteristic of the true state of dreams."

Can Dreams Be Controlled?—Facts prove that they can be, and to a remarkable extent. A large share of emissions occur in the state described by Dr. Carpenter, in which a certain amount of control by the will is possible. This is the usual condition of the mind during morning naps; and if a person resolutely determines to combat unchaste thoughts whenever they come to him, whether asleep or awake, he will find it possible to control himself not only during this semi-conscious state, but even during more profound sleep.

The following case, related by an eminent London surgeon,[55] illustrates what may be done by strong resolution; the patient was an Italian gentleman of very great respectability.

55 Acton.

"He had been inconvenienced five years before with frequent emissions, which totally unnerved him. He determined resolutely that the very instant the image of a woman or any libidinous idea presented itself to his imagination, he would wake; and to insure his doing so, dwelt in his thoughts on his resolution for a long time before going to sleep. The remedy, applied by a vigorous will, had the most happy results. The idea, the remembrance of its being a danger, and the determination to wake, closely united the evening before, were never dissociated even in sleep, and he awoke in time; and this reiterated precaution, repeated during some evenings, absolutely cured the complaint."

Several other cases of the same kind have been recorded. Doubtless the plan would be found successful in many cases when coupled with a proper regimen.

A still greater control is exerted over the thoughts during sleep by their character during hours of wakefulness. By controlling the mind during entire consciousness, it will also be controlled during unconsciousness or semi-consciousness.

Dr. Acton makes the following very appropriate remarks on this subject:—

"Patients will tell you that they cannot control their dreams. This is not true. Those who have studied the connection between thoughts during waking hours and dreams during sleep know that they are closely connected. The character is the same sleeping or waking. It is not surprising that, if a man has allowed his thoughts during the day to rest upon libidinous subjects, he should find his mind at night full of lascivious dreams—the one is a consequence of the other, and the nocturnal pollution is a natural consequence, particularly when diurnal indulgence has produced an irritability of the generative organs. A will which in our waking hours we have not exercised in repressing sexual desires, will not, when we fall asleep, preserve us from carrying the sleeping echo of our waking thought farther than we dared to do in the day-time."

Bathing.—A daily bath is indispensable to health under almost all circumstances; for patients of this class, it is especially necessary. A general bath should be taken every morning immediately upon rising. General cold bathing is not good for any person, especially in the morning, though some may tolerate it remarkably well, being of exceptionally hardy constitutions; but the advice to try "cold bathing" often given to sufferers from seminal weakness, is very pernicious, for most of them have been reduced so low in vitality by their disease that they cannot endure such violent treatment.

Sun baths, electric baths, spray, plunge, and other forms of bath, are of greatest value to those suffering from the effects of indiscretions. These are described, with additional observations concerning temperature of baths, etc., etc., in works devoted to this subject.

Improvement of General Health.—Patients suffering from emissions and other forms of seminal weakness are almost always dyspeptic, and most of them present other constitutional affections which require careful and thorough treatment according to the particular indications of the case. The wise physician will not neglect these if he desires to cure his patient and make his recovery as complete as possible.

Prostitution as a Remedy.—Said a leading physician in New York to us when interrogated as to his special treatment of spermatorrhoea, "When a young man comes to me suffering from nocturnal emissions, I give him tonics and send him to a woman." That this is not an unusual method of treatment, even among regular physicians, is a fact as true as it is deplorable. There are hundreds of young men whose morals have been ruined by such advice. Having been educated to virtuous habits, at least so far as illicit intercourse is concerned, they resist all temptations in this direction, even though their inclinations are very strong; but when advised by a physician to commit fornication as a remedial measure, they yield their virtue, far too readily sometimes, and begin a life of sin from which they might have been prevented. There are good grounds for believing that many young men purposely seek advice from physicians whom they know are in the habit of prescribing this kind of remedy.

Few know how commonly this course is recommended, and not by quacks, but by members of the regular profession. A medical friend informed us that he knew a case in which a country physician advised a young man of continent habits to go to a neighboring large city and spend a year or so with prostitutes, which advice he followed. Of his subsequent history we know nothing; but it is most probable that, like most other young men who adopt this remedy, he soon contracted diseases which rendered his condition ten times worse than at first, without at all improving his former state. In pursuing this course, one form of emission is only substituted for another, at the best; but more than this, an involuntary result of disease is converted into a voluntary sin of the blackest character, a crime in which two participate, and which is not only an outrage upon nature, but against morality as well.

A final argument against this course is that it is not a remedy and does not effect a cure of the evil, as will be shown by the following medical testimonies:—

"The vexed question of connection is one which may be decided out of hand.... It has no power of curing bad spermatorrhoea; it may cause a diminution in the number of emissions, but this is only a delusion; the semen is still thrown off; the frame still continues to be exhausted; the genital organs and nervous system generally are still harassed by the incessant tax, and the patient is all the while laying the foundation of impotence."[56]

56 Milton.

"In all solemn earnestness I protest against such false treatment. It is better for a youth to live a continent life." "There is a terrible significance in the wise man's words, 'None that go to her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.'"[57] This hazardous and immoral mode of treatment is the result of the common opinion that emissions are necessary and natural, which we have previously shown to be a falsity.

57 Acton.

Marriage.—Another class of practitioners, with more apparent regard for morality, recommend matrimony as the sure panacea for all the ills of which the sufferers from self-abuse complain, with the possible exception of actual impotence. Against this course several objections may be urged; we offer the following:—

1. It is not a remedy, since, as in the case of illicit intercourse, "legalized prostitution" is only a substitution of one form of emissions for another, the ill effects of which do not differ appreciably.

2. If it were a remedy, it would not be a justifiable one, for its use would necessitate an abuse of the marriage relation, as elsewhere shown.

3. As another reason why the remedy would not be a proper, even if a good, one, it may well be asked, What right has a man to treat a wife as a vial of medicine? Well does Mr. Acton inquire, "What has the young girl, who is thus sacrificed to an egotistical calculation, done that she should be condemned to the existence that awaits her? Who has the right to regard her as a therapeutic agent, and to risk thus lightly her future prospects, her repose, and the happiness of the remainder of her life?"

In cases in which seminal emissions occur frequently, the most reliable writers upon this subject, Copland, Acton, Milton, and others, advise, with reference to marriage, "that the complaint should be removed before the married life is commenced." Independent of the considerations already presented, the individual affected in this manner and contemplating marriage should carefully consider the possible and probable effects upon offspring, the legitimate result of marriage; these have been already described, and need not be recapitulated.

Local Treatment.—While it is true that general treatment alone is occasionally successful in curing the diseases under consideration, and that local treatment alone is very rarely efficient, it is also true that in many cases skillful local treatment is required to supplement the general remedies employed. While there has been a tendency on the part of the profession generally to depend wholly upon general treatment, on the part of a less numerous body of specialists there has been an opposite tendency to depend wholly, or nearly so, upon local measures. Both extremes are evidently wrong.

The object of local treatment for the relief of emissions, especially, is to remove the local cause of irritation, which, as previously shown, is one of the most active exciting causes of seminal losses. To effect this, both internal and external applications are useful. We will now consider some of these agents.

Cool Sitz Bath.—The cool or cold sitz bath is one of the most efficacious of all remedies. It should be taken daily, and may often be repeated, with benefit, several times a day. Its effect is to relieve the local congestion, and thus allay the irritability of the affected parts. When but one bath is taken daily, it should be just before retiring at night. Full directions for this and other baths are given in works devoted to the subject of bathing.

Ascending Douche.—This is also a very useful means of allaying irritation, especially the reflex excitability which is often present in the muscles in the vicinity of the perineum and prostate gland, and when there is pain and fullness in these parts.

Abdominal Bandage.—This may be worn nights to very great advantage by most patients. It not only allays the irritability of the nerve centers which are closely connected with the genital apparatus, but serves to keep the bowels in a healthy condition. It should not be applied so continuously as to produce a very profuse eruption on the skin. If such a symptom should appear, discontinue the bandage for a time. When worn during the day-time, it should be changed once in three or four hours. It is generally best to wear it only nights.

Wet Compress.—This is an application to be made to the lower part of the spine for the purpose of allaying the excessive heat and irritation which often exist there. It may also be worn nights, as it in some degree prevents the danger arising from sleeping upon the back.

Hot and Cold Applications to the Spine.—These are powerful remedies under appropriate conditions. Hot applications relieve congestion of the genital organs and allay irritation. Cold applications are useful when a condition of debility and relaxation is present. Alternate applications of heat and cold are very valuable, when skillfully applied, as a means of allaying reflex excitability and promoting healthy action. These applications are especially useful in cases in which there is heat and pain in the lower portion of the back. Their effects are greatly enhanced by administering a foot or leg bath at the same time.

Local Fomentations.—When great local irritation exists, with considerable pain and spasmodic muscular action, the application of hot fomentations to the perineum will be found the most effectual means of giving relief. The hot douche and hot sitz bath are useful under the same circumstances.

In some cases, alternate hot and cold applications are more effectual in allaying local irritation than hot fomentations alone.

Local Cold Bathing.—The genital organs should be daily bathed in cold water just before retiring. Simply dashing water upon the parts for two or three minutes is insufficient; more prolonged bathing is necessary. A short application of cold occasions a strong and sudden reaction which increases local congestion; hence, the bath should be continued until the sedative effect is fully produced, which will require at least fifteen minutes. The water must be cold; about 60° is the best temperature. Ice should be used to cool the water in warm weather. It should be applied thoroughly, being squeezed from a sponge upon the lower part of the abdomen and allowed to run down.

Enemata.—The use of the enema is an important means of aiding recovery, but it has been much abused, and must be employed with caution. When the bowels are very costive, relieve them before retiring by a copious injection of tepid water. The "fountain syringe" is the best instrument to employ.

Useful as is the syringe when needed, nothing could be much worse than becoming dependent upon it. The bowels must be made to act for themselves without such artificial assistance, by the use of proper food, especially graham flour and oatmeal, and the avoidance of hot drinks, milk, sugar, and other clogging and constipating articles; by wearing the abdominal bandage; by thorough kneading and percussion of the abdomen several times daily for five minutes at a time; by taking one or two glasses of cold water half an hour before breakfast every morning; and by plenty of muscular exercise daily. The enema should be used occasionally, however, rather than allow the bowels to continue costive, and to avoid severe straining at stool.

A small, cold enema taken just before retiring, and retained, will often do much to allay local irritation.

Electricity.—Probably no single agent will accomplish more than this remedy when skillfully applied. It needs to be carefully used, and cannot be trusted in the hands of those not acquainted with the physical properties of the remedy and scientific methods of applying it.

Internal Applications.—Complete and rapid success greatly depends upon skillful internal treatment, in a large number of cases. We are aware that there is considerable prejudice, in certain quarters, against internal treatment; but having had the opportunity of observing the effects of careful treatment applied in this way, and having put to the test of practical experience this method, we feel justified in recommending that which is approved on both theoretical and practical grounds; for it is rational to suppose that proper treatment applied directly to the seat of disease must be at least equally efficacious with methods less direct.

As heretofore explained, in the more severe cases the urethra is found in a very irritable condition. It is hyper-sensitive, especially in that portion just in front of the bladder, where the ejaculatory ducts open into it. We have also seen how this condition is one of the chief exciting causes of emissions. The remedies described for allaying this irritation are all excellent and indispensable; but there is another method of great value. This consists in the passage of a suitable instrument, a sound or bougie of proper size, two or three times a week. By the aid of this means, the abnormal irritation will often diminish with magical rapidity. The passage of the instrument of course needs to be done with great delicacy, so as to avoid increasing the irritation; hence it should not be attempted by a novice. Lack of skill in catheterism is doubtless the reason why some have seemed to produce injury rather than benefit by this method of treatment, they not recognizing the fact asserted by Prof. Gross in his treatise on surgery, that skillful catheterism is one of the most delicate operations in surgery.

Use of Electricity.—The use of electricity in connection with that of the sound adds greatly to its utility. By means of the metallic instrument, also, electricity may be applied directly to the point of greatest irritation; and its soothing effect is sometimes really wonderful, as the following case will show:—

The patient, a man of unusual physical development, was suffering from nocturnal emissions and diminished sexual power, the result of early indiscretions and marital excesses. One of his most unpleasant symptoms was severe pain in the portion of the urethra near the openings of the ejaculatory ducts. After he had been suffering more than usual for a few days, we applied the faradaic electric current in the manner indicated above, for about fifteen minutes. At the end of that time the pain was entirely removed, though considerable suffering had been caused by the passage of the instrument, so sensitive was the congested membrane. The pain did not return again for two or three weeks, though treatment was necessarily suspended on account of absence.

In another case, that of a young man, a student, at the beginning of treatment emissions occurred nightly, and sometimes as many as four in a single night, according to his statement, which we had no reason to doubt. Under the influence of these local applications, combined with other measures of treatment and a measurably correct regimen, the number of emissions was in a few weeks reduced to one in two or three weeks.

Numerous other cases nearly as remarkable might be detailed if it were necessary to do so. In quite a considerable number of cases in which we have employed this plan of treatment, the results have been uniformly excellent. A very slight increase of irritation sometimes occurs at first, but this quickly subsides.

The galvanic as well as the faradaic current is to be used under proper circumstances. The application of electricity to the nerve centers by means of central galvanization, and also general and local external faradization, are necessary methods to be employed in electrical treatment.

Circumcision.—In cases of phimosis, in which irritation is produced by retained secretions, division of the prepuce, or circumcision, is the proper remedy. These cases are not infrequent, but the exciting cause of much of the difficulty is often overlooked. The same remedy is often useful in cases of long prepuce.

When the glans penis is unusually tender and sensitive, this condition will usually be removed by the daily washing with soap and water necessary for cleanliness. If this does not suffice, or if there are slight excoriations caused by acrid secretions, apply, in addition, a weak solution of tannin in glycerine once a day.

Impotence.—Loss of sexual power arising from any form of sexual excess, should be treated on the same general plan laid down for the treatment of emissions and other weaknesses. Cold to the spine, and short, but frequent, local cold applications, are among the most useful remedies; but, probably, electricity, discreetly used, is by far the most valuable of all remedies. It should be applied both internally and externally.

The use of cantharides and other aphrodisiac remedies to stimulate the sexual organs is a most pernicious practice. The inevitable result is still greater weakness. They should never be used under any circumstances whatever. On the contrary, everything of a stimulating character must be carefully avoided, even in diet.

Varicocele.—Patients suffering from this difficulty should wear a proper suspensory bag, as the continued pressure of the distended veins upon the testes, if unsupported, will ultimately cause degenerative changes and atrophy. A surgical operation, consisting of the removal of a portion of the skin of the scrotum, is proper if the patient desires an operation; no other operation is advisable.

The wearing of a suspensory bag is also advisable for those whose testicles are unusually pendulous.

Drugs, Rings, etc.—If drugs, per se, will cure invalids of any class, they are certainly worthless in this class of patients. The whole materia medica affords no root, herb, extract, or compound that alone will cure a person suffering from emissions. Thousands of unfortunates have been ruined by long-continued drugging. One physician will purge and salivate the patient. Another will dose him with phosphorus, quinine, or ergot. Another feeds him with iron. Another plies him with lupuline, camphor, and digitaline. Still another narcotizes him with opium, belladonna, and chloral. Purgatives and diuretics are given by another, and some will be found ready to empty the whole pharmacopoeia into the poor sufferer's stomach if he can be got to open his mouth wide enough.

The way that some of these poor fellows are blistered, and burned, and cauterized, and tortured in sundry other ways, is almost too horrible to think of; yet they endure it, often willingly, thinking it but just punishment for their sins, and perhaps hoping to expiate them by this cruel penance. By these procedures, the emissions are sometimes temporarily checked, but the patient is not cured, nevertheless, and the malady soon returns.

The employment of rings, pessaries, and numerous other mechanical devices for preventing emissions, is entirely futile. No dependence can be placed upon them. Some of these contrivances are very ingenious, but they are all worthless, and time and money spent upon them are thrown away.

Quacks.—The victims of self-abuse fall an easy prey to the hordes of harpies, fiends in human shape, who are ready at every turn to make capital out of their misfortunes. From no other class of persons do quacks and charlatans derive so rich a harvest as from these erring ones. It is not uncommon to find a man suffering from seminal weakness who has paid to sundry parties hundreds of dollars for "specifics" which they advertised as "sure cures." We have seen and treated scores of these patients, but never yet met a single case that had received benefit from patent medicines.

The newspapers are full of the advertisements of these heartless villains. They advertise under the guise of "clergymen," charitable institutions, "cured invalids," and similar pretenses. Usually they offer for sale some pill or mixture which will be a sure cure, in proof of which they cite the testimonials of numerous individuals who never lived, or, at least, never saw either them or their filthy compounds; or, they promise to send free a recipe which will be a certain cure. Here is a specimen recipe which was sent by a "reverend" gentleman who claims to be a returned missionary from South America so intent on doing good that he charges nothing for his invaluable information:—

Extract of Corrossa apimis,
Extract of Selarmo umbelifera,
Powdered Alkermes latifolia,
Extract of Carsadoc herbalis.

This remarkable recipe is warranted to cure all the evils arising from self-abuse, with no attention to diet and no inconvenience of any kind, to prevent consumption and insanity, and to cure venereal diseases. It is also declared to be a perfectly "safe" remedy for all female difficulties, which means that it will aid nefarious purposes.

Along with the recipe comes the suggestion that the druggist may not be able to furnish all the ingredients in a perfectly pure state, and so, for the accommodation of suffering humanity, this noble philanthropist has taken infinite pains to secure them direct from South America, and has them put up in neat little packages which he will send, post-paid, for the trifle of $3.50, just one cent less than actual cost. Then he tells what purports to be the history of his own nastiness, with a generous spicing of pious cant, and closes with a benediction on all who have fallen into the same slough, and especially those who will send for his fabulous foreign weeds to help them out.

A young man sees the advertisement of a book which will be sent free, postage paid, if he will only send his address. The title of the book being of some such character as "Manhood Regained," or "Nervous Debility," he imagines it may suit his case, and sends his name. Return mail brings the book, which is a wretched jargon of confused terms and appalling descriptions of the effects of self-abuse, with the most shameful exaggerations of the significance of the most trivial symptoms. The ignorant youth reads what he supposes to be a description of his own case, and is frightened nearly to death. He is most happily relieved, however, to find that the generous publishers of the book have a remedy which is just adapted to his case, but which is so precious that it cannot be afforded at less than $50.00 for a sufficient quantity to effect a cure. He willingly parts with his hard-earned dollars, and gets, in return, some filthy mixture that did not cost a shilling.

Another trap set is called an "Anatomical Museum." The anatomical part of the exhibition consists chiefly of models and figures calculated to excite the passions to the highest pitch. At stated intervals the proprietor, who is always a "doctor," and by preference a German, delivers lectures on the effects of masturbation, in which he resorts to every device to excite the fears and exaggerate the symptoms of his hearers, who are mostly young men and boys. Thus he prepares his victim, and when he once gets him within his clutches, he does not let him go until he has robbed him of his last dollar.

We might present almost any number of illustrations of the ways in which these human sharks pursue their villainy. If there were a dungeon deep, dark, and dismal enough for the punishment of such rascals, we should feel strongly inclined to petition to have them incarcerated in it. They defy all laws, civil as well as moral, but are cunning enough to keep outside of prison bars; and thus they wax rich by robbery, and thrive by deceit. A terrible recompense awaits them at the final settlement, though they escape so easily now.

Closing Advice.—We cannot finish this chapter without a few closing words of advice to those who are suffering in any way from the results of sexual transgression. We are especially anxious to call attention to a few points of practical and vital interest to all who are suffering in the manner indicated.

1. Give the matter prompt attention. Do not delay to adopt curative measures under the delusive idea that the difficulty will disappear of itself. Thousands have procrastinated in this way until their constitutions have been so hopelessly undermined as to make treatment of little value. The intrinsic tendency of this disease is to continue to increase. It progresses only in one direction. It never "gets well of itself," as some have imagined that it may do. Something must be done to effect a cure; and the longer treatment is delayed, the more difficult the case will become.

2. Set about the work of getting well with a fixed determination to persevere, and never to give over the struggle until success is attained, no matter how difficult may be the obstacles to be surmounted. Such an effort will rarely be unsuccessful. One of the greatest impediments to recovery from diseases of this class is the vacillating dispositions of nearly all patients suffering from disorders of this character. Make up your mind what course of treatment to pursue, then adhere to it rigidly until it has received a thorough trial. Do not despair if no very marked results are seen in a week, a month, or even a longer period. The best remedies are among those which operate the most slowly.

3. Avoid watching for symptoms. Ills are greatly exaggerated by dwelling upon them. One can easily imagine himself getting worse when he is really getting better. Indeed, one can make himself sick by dwelling upon insignificant symptoms. Fix upon a course to pursue for recovery, firmly resolve to comply with every requirement necessary to insure success, and then let the mind be entirely at rest respecting the result.

4. Never consult a quack. The newspapers abound with lying advertisements of remedies for diseases of this character. Do not waste time and money in corresponding with the ignorant, unprincipled charlatans who make such false pretensions. Do not consult traveling doctors. Physicians of real merit have plenty of business at home. They are not obliged to go abroad in order to secure practice. Persons who resort to this course are, without exception, pretentious quacks. Consult only some well-known and reliable physician in whom you have confidence. If your physician treats the matter lightly, and advises marriage as a means of cure, you will not judge him harshly if you decide that although he may be thoroughly competent to treat other diseases, he is ignorant of the nature and proper treatment of this. It is an unfortunate fact that there are many physicians who are not thoroughly acquainted with the nature of spermatorrhoea and the proper mode of treating the disease; hence the importance of making a judicious selection in choosing a medical adviser. If possible, employ one whom you know to have treated successfully numerous similar cases, and give him your entire confidence. It is far better to consult your family physician than to trust yourself in the hands of some one whom you do not know, and especially one who makes great pretensions to knowledge.

5. Do not despair of ever recovering from the effects of past transgression, and plunge into greater depths of sin. Persevering, skillful treatment will cure almost every case. Even the worst cases can be greatly benefited if the earnest co-operation of the patient can be secured. This is indispensable, and the patient should be so instructed at the outset of a course of treatment.

6. Every sufferer from sexual disease must make up his mind to live, during the remainder of his life, as closely in accord with the laws of life and health as circumstances under his control will allow him to do. One who pursues this course, with a genuine regard for principle and a love for right, may confidently expect to receive the reward of obedience for his faithfulness. We would recommend such to obtain and study the best works upon hygiene, put in practice every new truth as soon as learned, and become missionaries of the saving truths of hygiene to others who are suffering from the same cause as themselves, or who may be in danger of falling into the same evil.


Boys, this chapter is for you. It is written and printed purposely for you. If you do not read another word in the book, read these few pages if you are old enough to do so. Read each line carefully and thoughtfully. You may not find anything to make you laugh—possibly you may: but you will be certain to find something of almost inestimable value to you in every line.

Who are Boys?—Boys are scarce now-a-days. In the days of Methuselah, male human beings were still boys when nearly a century old; twenty-five years ago boys were still such until well out of their "teens"; now the interval between infancy and the age at which the boy becomes a young man is so brief that boyhood is almost a thing of the past. The happy period of care-free, joyous innocence which formerly intervened between childhood and early manhood is now almost unobservable. Boys grow old too fast. They learn to imitate the vices and the manners of their seniors before they reach their teens, and are impatient to be counted as men, no matter how great may be their deficiencies, their unfitness for the important duties and responsibilities of life. The consequence of this inordinate haste and impatience to be old, is premature decay. Unfortunately the general tendency of the young members of the rising generation is to copy the vices of their elders, rather than the virtues of true manliness. A strong evidence of this fact, if there were no other, is the unnaturally old-looking faces which so many of our boys present. At the present time the average boy of twelve knows more of vice and sin than the youth of twenty of the past generation.

It is not so much for these human mushrooms, which may be not inaptly compared to toadstools which grow up in a single night and almost as speedily decay, that we write, but for the old-fashioned boys, the few such there may be, those who have not yet learned to love sin, those whose minds are still pure and uncontaminated. Those who have already begun a course of vice and wickedness we have little hope of reforming; but we are anxious to offer a few words of counsel and warning which may possibly help to save as brands plucked from a blazing fire, those whose moral sense is yet alive, who have quick and tender consciences, who aspire to be truly noble and good.

What are Boys for?—This question was answered with exact truthfulness by a little boy, who, when contemptuously accosted by a man with the remark, "What are you good for?" replied, "Men are made of such as we." Boys are the beginnings of men. They sustain the same relation to men that the buds do to full-blown flowers. They are still more like the small green apples which first appear when the blossoms drop from the branches, compared with the ripe, luscious fruit which in autumn bends the heavy-laden boughs almost to breaking. Often, like the young apples, boys are green; but this is only natural, and should be considered no disgrace to the boys. If they grow up naturally they will ripen with age, like the fruit, developing at each successive stage of life additional attractions and excellent qualities.

Boys the Hope of the World.—A nation's most valuable property is its boys. A nation which has poor, weakly, vicious boys will have still weaker, more vicious and untrustworthy men. A country with noble, virtuous, vigorous boys, is equally sure of having noble, pious, brave, and energetic men. Whatever debases, contaminates, or in any way injures the boys of a country, saps and undermines the very foundation of the nation's strength and greatness. Save the boys from vice and crime, give them good training, physically, mentally, and morally, and the prosperity of the nation is assured.

Man the Masterpiece.—When a skillful artist perfects a work of art, a painting, a drawing, a statue, or some other work requiring great talent and exceeding all his other efforts, it is called his masterpiece. So man is the noblest work of God, the masterpiece of the Almighty. Numerous anecdotes are told of the sagacity of dogs, horses, elephants and other animals, of their intelligence and ingenious devices in overcoming obstacles, avoiding difficulties, etc. Our admiration and wonder are often excited by the scarcely less than human wisdom shown by these lowly brothers of the human race. We call them noble animals; but they are only noble brutes, at best. Compared with man, even in his most humble form, as seen in the wild savage that hunts and devours his prey like a wild beast, a lion or a tiger, they are immeasurably inferior. And in his highest development, man civilized, cultivated, Christianized, learned, generous, pious, certainly stands at the head of all created things.

Boys, do you love what is noble, what is pure, what is grand, what is good? You may each, if you will, become such yourselves. Let us consider for a moment

How a Noble Character is Ruined.—A noble character is formed by the development of the good qualities of an individual. A bad character is formed by the development of bad traits, or evil propensities. In other words, sin is the cause of the demoralization of character, the debasing of the mind, the loss of nobility of which we see so much around us in the world. Sin is the transgression of some law. There are two kinds of sins: those which are transgressions of the moral law, and those which are transgressions of physical laws. Both classes of sins are followed by penalties. If a person violates the laws of health, he is just as certain to suffer as though he tells a falsehood, steals, murders, or commits any other crime. Perfect obedience to all of nature's laws, including of course all moral laws, is necessary to perfect health and perfect nobleness of character. The nature of these laws and the results of transgression will be understood after we have taken a hasty glance at

The Marvelous Human Machine which we call the body. All the inventions and devices ever constructed by the human hand or conceived by the human mind, no matter how delicate, how intricate and complicated, are simple, childish toys compared with that most marvelously wrought mechanism, the human body. Let us proceed to take this wonderful machine in pieces and study its various parts and the manner in which they are put together.

The Two Objects of Human Existence.—The objects of this wonderfully formed mechanism are two: 1. The maintenance of an individual life; 2. The production of similar individuals which shall also have the power of maintaining individual lives. The same may be said of every plant that grows, and every animal. Each tree, plant, and shrub has some useful service to perform while it lives, in addition to the production of seed from which other plants may grow. For example, the object of the majestic oak which towers high and broadly spreads its leafy branches is not to produce acorns merely, but to give place for birds to build their nests, to present an inviting shade for cattle, and to afford protection in a variety of ways to numerous living creatures which need such aid. The same may be said of all vegetable growths, each particular plant having its peculiar purposes to fulfill, and all together acting as purifiers of the air for the benefit of man and lower animals.

The principle is equally true as applied to lower animals, as is evidenced by the numerous ways in which domestic animals are utilized. Indeed, it seems that the prime purpose of life, not only with all lowly living creatures, as plants and animals, but with man as well, is to live and act as individuals. But the important function of reproduction, or producing other similar individuals, though incidental, is necessary to the perpetuation of the race or species.

In order that an individual human being may live and develop, it is necessary that he should eat, drink, digest, and assimilate, and that he should be able to move about, to perceive,—that is, to hear, see, feel, smell, taste, determine weight and distinguish temperature,—to think, and to express ideas in language. In order to keep his vital machinery in order, it is necessary that the body should also be able to repair injuries which may occur in consequence of wear or accident, and to remove out of the way wornout material which would otherwise obstruct the working of the delicate machinery of which his body is constructed. Each of these functions requires special organs and apparatuses to carry on the work; and these we will now briefly consider:—

The Nutritive Apparatus.—This consists of organs for the purpose of taking in food or nourishment, digesting it, and distributing it throughout the body wherever it is needed. These are chiefly the mouth and teeth for receiving and chewing the food, the stomach and intestines for digesting and absorbing it, and the heart and blood-vessels for distributing it to the body.

The Moving Apparatus.—For the purpose of producing motion, we have the muscles and the bones, by which the food is received, masticated, and swallowed, the blood circulated, the body moved about from place to place, and speech, expression, respiration, and many other important functions performed.

The Thinking and Feeling Apparatus.—The brain and nerves afford the means of thinking and feeling, also giving rise to all the activities of the body by the production of nerve force. To aid the brain and nerves, we have special organs provided, termed the organs of special sense; as the eye for sight, the ear for hearing, the nose for the detection of odors, the tongue for tasting, the skin and the mucous membrane for the sense of touch.

The Purifying Apparatus.—Waste matter accumulates in the body so rapidly that it is necessary to have abundant and efficient means to remove the same, and prevent death by obstruction. This work is performed by the lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, and mucous membrane.

Each organ and tissue possesses the power to repair itself. Animal heat, which is also necessary to life, is not produced by any special set of organs, but results incidentally from the various other processes named.

The Reproductive Apparatus.—As there is a stomach to digest, a brain to think, a pair of lungs to breathe, etc., so there are special organs for reproducing the species or producing new individuals. These organs have been carefully described in the preceding portion of this volume, so that we do not need to repeat the description here. Unlike all the other organs of the body, they are intended for use only after full development or manhood has been attained; consequently, they are only partially developed in childhood, becoming perfected as the person becomes older, especially after about the age of fourteen to eighteen, when puberty occurs. The lungs, the stomach, the muscles, and other organs must be used constantly from the earliest period of infancy, hence they are developed sufficiently for efficient use at birth. The fact that the sexual or reproductive organs are only fully developed later on in life, is sufficient evidence that they are intended for use only when the body has become fully mature and well developed.

How a Noble Character and a Sound Body Must Be Formed.—By obeying all the laws which relate to the healthy action of the body and the mind, a noble character and a healthy body may be formed. Any deviation from right will be sure to be followed by suffering. A boy who carefully heeds the advice of good and wise parents, who avoids bad company, who never indulges in bad habits of any sort, who cultivates purity, honesty, and manliness, is certain to grow up into a noble, lovely youth, and to become an intelligent, respected, virtuous man.

The Down-Hill Road.—In every large city, and in small ones too, even in little villages, we can scarcely step upon the street without being pained at meeting little boys who have perhaps scarcely learned to speak distinctly, but whose faces show very plainly that they have already taken several steps down the steep hillside of vice. All degrees of wickedness are pictured on the faces of a large proportion of the boys we meet upon the streets, loitering about the corners, loafing in hotels, groceries, and about bar-room doors. Everywhere we meet small faces upon which sin and vice are as clearly written as though the words were actually spelled out. Lying, swearing, smoking, petty stealing, and brazen impudence are among the vices which contaminate thousands and thousands of the boys who are by-and-by to become the men of this country, to constitute its legislators, its educators, its supporters, and its protectors. Is it possible that such boys can become good, useful, noble, trustworthy men? Scarcely. If the seeds of noxious weeds can be made to produce useful plants or beautiful flowers, or if a barren, worthless shrub can be made to bear luscious fruit, then may we expect to see these vicious boys grow up into virtuous, useful men.

But the vices mentioned are not the worst, the traces of which we see stamped upon the faces of hundreds of boys, some of whom, too, would scorn to commit any one of the sins named. There is another vice, still more terrible, more blighting in its effects, a vice which defiles, diseases, and destroys the body, enervates, degrades, and finally dethrones the mind, debases and ruins the soul. It is to this vice that we wish especially to call attention. It is known as

Self-Abuse.—Secret vice, masturbation, and self-pollution are other names applied to this same awful sin against nature and against God. We shall not explain here the exact nature of the sin, as very few boys are so ignorant or so innocent as to be unacquainted with it. To this sin and its awful consequences we now wish to call the attention of all who may read these lines.

A Dreadful Sin.—The sin of self-pollution is one of the vilest, the basest, and the most degrading that a human being can commit. It is worse than beastly. Those who commit it place themselves far below the meanest brute that breathes. The most loathsome reptile, rolling in the slush and slime of its stagnant pool, would not bemean itself thus. It is true that monkeys sometimes have the habit, but only when they have been taught it by vile men or boys. A boy who is thus guilty ought to be ashamed to look into the eyes of an honest dog. Such a boy naturally shuns the company of those who are pure and innocent. He cannot look with assurance into his mother's face. It is difficult for any one to catch his eye, even for a few seconds. He feels his guilt and acts it out, thus making it known to every one. Let such a boy think how he must appear in the eyes of the Almighty. Let him only think of the angels, pure, innocent, and holy, who are eye-witnesses of his shameful practices. Is not the thought appalling? Would he dare commit such a sin in the presence of his father, his mother, or his sisters? No, indeed. How, then, will he dare to defile himself in the presence of Him from whose all-seeing eye nothing is hid?

The Bible utters the most solemn warnings against sexual sins. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone for such transgressions. Onan was struck dead in the act of committing a vileness of this sort. For similar vices the wicked inhabitants of Palestine were destroyed, and their lands given to the Hebrews. For a single violation of the seventh commandment, one of the most notable Bible characters, David, suffered to the day of his death. Those who imagine that this sin is not a transgression of the seventh commandment may be assured that this most heinous, revolting, and unnatural vice is in every respect more pernicious, more debasing, and more immoral than what is generally considered as violation of the commandment which says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and is itself a most flagrant violation of the same commandment.

Those who imagine that they "have a right to do as they please with themselves," so long as no one else is immediately affected, must learn that we are not our own masters; we belong to our Creator, and are accountable to God not only for the manner in which we treat our fellow-men, but for how we treat ourselves, for the manner in which we use the bodies which he has given us. The man who commits suicide, who takes his own life, is a murderer as much as he who kills a fellow-man. So, also, he who pollutes himself in the manner we are considering, violates the seventh commandment, although the crime is in both cases committed against himself. Think of this, ye youth who defile yourselves in secret and seek to escape the punishment of sin. In Heaven a faithful record of your vile commandment-breaking is kept, and you must meet it by-and-by. You are fixing your fate for eternity; and each daily act in some degree determines what it shall be. Are you a victim of this fascinating vice, stop, repent, reform, before you are forever ruined, a mental, moral, and physical wreck.

Self-Murderers.—Of all the vices to which human beings are addicted, no other so rapidly undermines the constitution and so certainly makes a complete wreck of an individual as this, especially when the habit is begun at an early age. It wastes the most precious part of the blood, uses up the vital forces, and finally leaves the poor victim a most utterly ruined and loathsome object. If a boy should be deprived of both hands and feet and should lose his eyesight, he would still be infinitely better off than the boy who for years gives himself up to the gratification of lust in secret vice. For such a boy to become a strong, vigorous man is just as impossible as it would be to make a mammoth tree out of a currant bush. Such a man will necessarily be short-lived. He will always suffer from the effects of his folly, even though he shall marry. If he has children—he may become incapable—they will be quite certain to be puny, weak, scrofulous, consumptive, rickety, nervous, depraved in body and mind, or otherwise deprived of the happiness which grows out of the possession of "a sound mind in a sound body."

Let us notice a little more closely the terrible effects resulting from this most unnatural and abominable vice.

What Makes Boys Dwarfs.—How many times have we seen boys who were born with good constitutions, with force and stamina sufficient to develop them into large, vigorous men, become puny dwarfs. At the time when they ought to begin to grow and develop more rapidly than ever before, their growth is checked and they cease to develop. They are, in fact, stunted, dwarfed, like a plant which has a canker-worm eating away at its roots. Indeed, there is a veritable canker-worm sapping their vitality, undermining their constitutions, and destroying their prospects for time and for eternity. Anxious friends may attribute the unhappy change to overwork, overstudy, or some similar cause; but from a somewhat extended observation we are thoroughly convinced that the very vice which we are considering is the viper which blights the prospects and poisons the existence of many of these promising boys.

A boy who gives himself up to the practice of secret vice at an early age, say as early as seven to ten years of age, is certain to make himself a wreck. Instead of having a healthy, vigorous body, with strong muscles and a hardy constitution, he will be weak, scrawny, sickly, always complaining, never well, and will never know anything about that joyous exuberance of life and animal spirits which the young antelope feels as it bounds over the plain, or the vigorous young colt as it frisks about its pasture, and which every youth ought to feel.

Scrawny, Hollow-Eyed Boys.—Boys ought to be fresh and vigorous as little lambs. They ought to be plump, rosy, bright-eyed, and sprightly. A boy who is pale, scrawny, hollow-eyed, dull, listless, has something the matter with him. Self-abuse makes thousands of just such boys every year; and it is just such boys that make vicious, shiftless, haggard, unhappy men. This horrible vice steals away the health and vitality which are needed to develop the body and the mind; and the lad that ought to make his mark in the world, that ought to become a distinguished statesman, orator, clergyman, physician, or author, becomes little more than a living animal, a mere shadow of what he ought to have been.

Old Boys.—Often have we felt sad when we have heard fond mothers speaking in glowing terms of the old ways of their sons, and rather glorying that they looked so much older than they were. In nine cases out of ten these old-looking boys owe their appearance to this vile habit; for it is exceedingly common, and its dreadful effects in shriveling and dwarfing and destroying the human form are too plainly perceptible, when present, to be mistaken. Oh! this dreadful curse! Why will so many of our bright, innocent boys pollute themselves with it!

What Makes Idiots.—Reader, have you ever seen an idiot? If you have, the hideous picture will never be dissipated from your memory. The vacant stare, the drooping, drooling mouth, the unsteady gait, the sensual look, the emptiness of mind,—all these you will well remember. Did you ever stop to think how idiots are made? It is by this very vice that the ranks of these poor daft mortals are being recruited every day. Every visitor to an insane asylum sees scores of them; ruined in mind and body, only the semblance of a human being, bereft of sense, lower than a beast in many respects, a human being hopelessly lost to himself and to the world!—oh, most terrible thought!—yet once pure, intelligent, active, perhaps the hope of a fond mother, the pride of a doting father, and possibly possessed of natural ability to become greatly distinguished in some of the many noble and useful walks of life; now sunk below the brute through the degrading, destroying influence of a lustful gratification.

Boys, are you guilty of this terrible sin? have you even once in this way yielded to the tempter's voice? Stop, consider, think of the awful results, repent, confess to God, reform. Another step in that direction and you may be lost, soul and body. You cannot dally with the tempter. You must escape now or never. Don't delay.

Young Dyspeptics.—If we leave out of the consideration the effects of bad food and worse cookery, there is in our estimation no other cause so active in occasioning the early breaking down of the digestive organs of our American boys. A boy of ten or twelve years of age ought to have a stomach capable of digesting anything not absolutely indigestible; but there are to-day thousands and thousands of boys of that age whose stomachs are so impaired as to be incapable of digesting any but the most simple food. The digestion being ruined, the teeth soon follow suit. Hardly one boy in a dozen has perfectly sound teeth. With a bad stomach and bad teeth, a foundation for disease is laid which is sure to result in early decay of the whole body.

In this awful vice do we find a cause, too, for the thousands of cases of consumption in young men. At the very time when they ought to be in their prime, they break down in health and become helpless invalids for life, or speedily sink into an early grave.

Upon their tombstones might justly be graven, "Here lies a self-murderer." Providence is not to blame; nor is climate, weather, overwork, overstudy, or any other even seemingly plausible cause, to be blamed. Their own sins have sunk them in mental, moral, and physical perdition. Such a victim literally dies by his own hand, a veritable suicide. Appalling thought! It is a grand thing to die for one's principles, a martyr to his love of right and truth. One may die blameless who is the victim of some dire contagious malady which he could not avoid; even the poor, downcast misanthrope whose hopes are blighted and whose sorrows multiplied, may possibly be in some degree excused for wishing to end his misery with his life; but the wretched being who sheds his life-blood by the disgusting maneuvers of self-pollution—what can be said to extenuate his guilt? His is a double crime. Let him pass from the memory of his fellow-men. He will perish, overwhelmed with his own vileness. Let him die, and return to the dust from which he sprang.

The Race Ruined by Boys.—The human race is growing steadily weaker year by year. The boys of to-day would be no match in physical strength for the sturdy youths of a century ago who are now their grandparents. An immense amount of skillful training enables now and then one to accomplish some wonderful feat of walking, rowing, or swimming, but we hear very little of remarkable feats of labor accomplished by our modern boys. Even the country boys of to-day cannot endure the hard work which their fathers accomplished at the same age; and we doubt not that this growing physical weakness is one of the reasons why so large a share of the boys whose fathers are farmers, and who have been reared on farms, are unwilling to follow the occupation of their fathers for a livelihood. They are too weakly to do the work required by an agricultural life, even by the aid of the numerous labor-saving inventions of the age.

What is it that is undermining the health of the race and sapping the constitutions of our American men? No doubt much may be attributed to the unnatural refinements of civilization in several directions; but there can be no doubt that vice is the most active cause of all. Secret sin and its kindred vices yearly ruin more constitutions than hard work, severe study, hunger, cold, privation, and disease combined.

Boys, the destiny of the race is in your hands. You can do more than all the doctors, all the scientists and most eminent political men in the world, to secure the prosperity and future greatness of the nation, by taking care of yourselves, by being pure, noble, true to yourselves and to the demands of high moral principle.

Cases Illustrating the Effects of Self-Abuse.—The land is full of poor human wrecks who have dashed in pieces their hopes for this world, and too often for the next also, against this hideous rock which lies hidden in the pathway of every young man who starts out upon life's stormy voyage. Gladly would we draw the veil and cover them with all their dreadful deformities with the mantle of charity from the gaze of their fellow-beings; but their number is so great that this could scarcely be done, and the lesson to be learned from their sad fate is such a grave one, and so needful for the good of the generation of young men who are just encountering the same dangers, that we cannot resist the promptings of duty to present a few examples of the effects of vice in men and boys that have fallen under our own observation. We have seen hundreds of cases of this sort; have treated many scores of persons for the effects of the terrible crime which we are seeking to sound a warning against, and the number of cases we might describe would fill a volume; but we will select only a very few.

Two Young Wrecks.—Charles and Oscar B—— were the sons of a farmer in a Western State, aged respectively ten and twelve years. They possessed well-formed heads, and once had beautiful faces, and were as bright and sprightly as any little boys of their age to be found anywhere. Their father was proud of them, and their fond mother took great pleasure in building bright prospects for her darling sons when they should attain maturity and become competent to fill useful and honorable positions in the world. Living in a rapidly-growing Western community, they had every prospect of growing up to honorable usefulness, a comfort to their parents, a blessing to the world, and capable of enjoying life in the highest degree.

But suddenly certain manifestations appeared which gave rise to grave apprehensions on the part of the parents. It was observed that the elder of the little boys no longer played about with that nimbleness which he had formerly shown, but seemed slow and stiff in his movements. Sometimes, indeed, he would stagger a little when he walked. Soon, also, his speech became affected in some degree; he mumbled his words and could not speak distinctly. In spite of all that could be done, the disease continued, increasing slowly in all its symptoms from week to week. Soon the hands, also, became affected, so that the little boy could not feed himself. The mind now began to fail. The bright eyes became vacant and expressionless. Instead of the merry light which used to shine in them, there was a blank, idiotic stare.

Imagine the grief and anguish of the poor mother! No one but a mother who has been called to pass through a similar trial could know how to sympathize with such a one. Her darling son she saw daily becoming a prey to a strange, incurable malady, with no power even to stay the progress of the terrible disease.

But there was still greater grief in store for her. Within a year or two the younger son began to show symptoms of the same character, and in spite of all that was done, rapidly sank into the same helpless state as his brother. As a last resort, the mother took her boys and came a long journey to place her sons under our care. At that time they were both nearly helpless. Neither could walk but a few steps. They reeled and staggered about like drunken men, falling down upon each other and going through the most agonizing contortions in their attempts to work their way from one chair to another and thus about the room. Their heads were no longer erect, but drooped like wilted flowers. On their faces was a blank, imbecile expression, with a few traces of former intelligence still left. The mouth was open, from the drooping of the lower jaw, and the saliva constantly dribbled upon the clothing. Altogether, it was a spectacle which one does not care to meet every day; the impression made was too harrowing to be pleasant even from its interest from a scientific point of view.

We at once set to work to discover the cause of this dreadful condition, saying to ourselves that such an awful punishment should certainly be the result of some gross violation of nature's laws somewhere. The most careful scrutiny of the history of the parents of the unfortunate lads gave us no clue to anything of an hereditary character, both parents having come of good families, and having been always of sober, temperate habits. The father had used neither liquor nor tobacco in any form. The mother could give no light on the matter, and we were obliged to rest for the time being upon the conviction which fastened itself upon us that the cases before us were most marked illustrations of the results of self-abuse begun at a very early age. The mother thought it impossible that our suspicions could be correct, saying that she had watched her sons with jealous care from earliest infancy and had seen no indications of any error of the sort. But we had not long to wait for confirmation of our view of the case, as they were soon caught in the act, to which it was found that they were greatly addicted, and the mystery was wholly solved.

Every possible remedy was used to check the terrible disease which was preying upon the unfortunate boys, but in vain. At times the symptoms would be somewhat mitigated, and the most sanguine hopes of the fond, watching mother would be excited, but in vain. The improvement always proved to be but temporary, and the poor sufferers would speedily relapse into the same dreadful condition again, and gradually grew worse. At last, the poor mother was obliged to give up all hope, in utter despair watching the daily advances of the awful malady which inch by inch destroyed the life, the humanity, the very mind and soul of her once promising sons. Sadly she took them back to her Western home, there to see them suffer, perhaps for years before death should kindly release them, the terrible penalty of sin committed almost before they had arrived at years of responsibility.

How these mere infants learned the vice we were never able to determine. We have no doubt that opportunities sufficient were presented them, as the parents seemed to have very little appreciation of danger from this source. Had greater vigilance been exercised, we doubt not that the discovery of the vice at the beginning would have resulted in the salvation of these two beautiful boys, who were sacrificed upon the altar of concupiscence. Two or three years after we first saw the cases, we heard from them, and though still alive, their condition was almost too horrible for description. Three or four similar cases have come to our knowledge.

Boys, are you guilty? Think of the fearful fate of these boys, once as joyous and healthy as you. When you are tempted to sin, think of the fearful picture of the effects of sin which they present. Have you ever once dared to commit this awful sin? Stop, never dare to do the thing again. Take a solemn vow before God to be pure. Your fate may be as sad, your punishment as terrible. No one can tell what the results may be. Absolute purity is the only safe course.

A Prodigal Youth.—A. M., son of a gentleman of wealth in Ohio, early acquired the evil practice which has ruined so many bright lads. He was naturally an intelligent and prepossessing lad, and his father gave him as good an education as he could be induced to acquire, affording him most excellent opportunities for study and improvement. But the vile habit which had been acquired at an early age speedily began its blighting influence. It destroyed his taste for study and culture. His mind dwelt upon low and vile subjects. He grew restless of home restraint and surroundings, and finally left the parental roof. Wandering from city to city he grew rapidly worse, sinking into deeper depths of vice, until finally he became a base, besotted, wretched creature. Broken down in health by his sins, he could no longer enjoy even the worst sensual pleasures, and with no taste for or capability of appreciating anything higher he was most wretched indeed. The poor fellow now fell into the hands of quacks. His kind father sent him money in answer to his pitiful appeals for help, and he went anxiously from one to another of the wretched villains who promise relief to such sufferers but only rob them of their money and leave them worse than before.

At last, in total despair of everything else, the poor fellow came to us. He seemed quite broken-hearted and penitent for his sins, and really appeared to want to lead a better life if he could only be made well again. We faithfully pointed out to him the dreadful wickedness of his course, and the fact that a cure could only be effected by the most implicit obedience to all of nature's laws during his whole future life. Indeed, we were obliged to inform him of the sad fact that he could never be as well as before, that he must always suffer in consequence of his dreadful course of transgression. We gave him a most earnest exhortation to begin the work of reform where alone it could be effectual, by reforming his heart, and the tears which coursed down his sin-scarred cheeks seemed to indicate true penitence and a real desire to return to the paths of purity and peace.

Earnestly we labored for this young man, for months, employing every means in our power to lift him from the slough of sin and vice upon the solid pathway of virtue and purity again. Gradually the hard lines on his face seemed to lessen in intensity. The traces of vice and crime seemed to be fading out by degrees. We began to entertain hopes of his ultimate recovery. But alas! in an evil moment, through the influence of bad companions, he fell, and for some time we lost sight of him. A long time afterward we caught a glimpse of his bloated, sin-stained face, just as he was turning to skulk away to avoid recognition. Where this poor human wreck is now leading his miserable existence we cannot say, but have no doubt he is haunting the dens of iniquity and sin in the cities, seeking to find a little momentary pleasure in the gratification of his appetites and passions. A hopeless wreck, with the lines of vice and crime drawn all over his tell-tale countenance, he dares not go home, for he fears to meet the reproachful glance of his doting mother, and the scornful looks of his brothers and sisters. We never saw a more thoroughly unhappy creature. He is fully conscious of his condition; he sees himself to be a wreck, in mind, in body, and knows that he is doomed to suffer still more in consequence of his vices. He has no hope for this world or the next. His mother gave him earnest, pious instructions, which he has never forgotten, though he has long tried to smother them. He now looks forward with terror to the fate which he well knows awaits all evil-doers, and shudders at the thought, but seems powerless to enter the only avenue which affords a chance of escape. He is so tormented with the pains and diseased conditions which he has brought upon himself by vice that he often looks to self-destruction as a grateful means of escape; but then comes the awful foreboding of future punishment, and his hand is stayed. Ashamed to meet his friends, afraid to meet his Maker, he wanders about, an exile, an outcast, a hopeless wreck.

Young man, youth, have you taken the first step on this evil road? If so, take warning by the fate of this young man. At once "cease to do evil and learn to do well," before, like him, you lose the power to do right, before your will is paralyzed by sin so that when you desire to do right, to reform, your will and power to execute your good determinations will fail to support your effort.

Barely Escaped.—L. R. of H——, a young man of about twenty-five years of age, presented himself for treatment, a few years ago, for the consequence of self-abuse. Having been taught the habit by evil companions when just emerging into manhood, he had indulged his passions without restraint for several years, not knowing the evil consequences until he began to suffer the effects of sin. Then, being warned by his own experience and by the fortunate thoughtfulness of an intelligent friend who surmised his condition and told him faithfully of the terrible results of the vile habit, he made a manly effort to reform and claimed to have wholly broken the habit. To his great grief he found, however, that the years in which he had devoted himself to sin had wrought sad havoc in his system. In many ways his health was greatly deranged and his once powerful constitution was broken down. The sexual organs themselves were greatly diseased, so much so that a serious and painful surgical operation was necessary. With shame and mortification he looked upon his past life and saw what a hideous work of evil he had wrought. His vileness stood out before him in a vivid light, and he felt ashamed to meet the gaze of his fellows.

After performing the necessary surgical operation upon this poor unfortunate, we dealt faithfully with him, pointing out to him the way by which he might with proper effort in some degree redeem himself by a life-long struggle against every form of impurity. He felt, and rightly, that the task was a most severe one. He well knew that the stamp of sin was on his countenance, and in his mind. Thoughts long allowed to run upon vile subjects, forming filthy pictures in the imagination, are not easily brought back to the channel of purity and virtue. The mind that has learned to love to riot in impure dreams, does not readily acquire a love for the opposite. But he determined to make a brave and earnest effort, and we have every reason to believe that he has, in a measure at least, succeeded. But, if so, he has made a narrow escape. A few more years of sin, and his rescue would have been impossible; both mind and body would have been sunk so deep in the mire of concupiscence that none but Almighty power could have saved him from utter destruction. Thousands of boys and young men are to-day standing on the slippery brink of that awful precipice from which but very few are snatched away. Soon they will plunge headlong over into the abyss of debasement and corruption from whence they will never escape. Oh that we had the power to reach each one of these unfortunate youth before it is too late, and to utter in their ears such warnings, to portray before them such pictures of the sure results of a course of sin, that they might be turned back to the paths of chastity and virtue before they have become such mental, moral, and physical wrecks as we every day encounter in the walks of life. But not one in a thousand can be reached when they have gone so far in sin. When they have ventured once, they can rarely be checked in their downward course until great harm has been wrought which it will require the work of years to undo. The young man we have referred to made indeed a narrow escape, but no one can safely run such a risk. Even he must suffer all his life the consequences of a few years of sin.

A Lost Soul.—M. M., of ——, was the son of a mechanic in humble circumstances. He was an only child, and his parents spared no pains to do all in their power to insure his becoming a good and useful man. Good school advantages were given him, and at a proper age he was put to learn a trade. He succeeded fairly, and their hopes of his becoming all that they could desire were great, when he suddenly began to manifest peculiar symptoms. He had attended a religious revival and seemed much affected, professing religion and becoming a member of a church. To the exercises of his mind on the subject of religion his friends attributed his peculiar actions, which soon became so strange as to excite grave fears that his mind was seriously affected. At times he was wild, showing such unmistakable evidences of insanity that even his poor mother, who was loth to believe the sad truth, was forced to admit that he was deranged.

After a few months a change came over him which encouraged his friends to think that he was recovering. He became quiet and tractable, never manifesting the furious symptoms before observed. But the deception was only temporary, for it was soon evident that the change was simply the result of the progress of the disease and denoted the failure of the mental powers and the approach of imbecility. In this condition was the young man when he came under our care. We felt strongly impressed from our first examination of the case that it was one of sexual abuse; but we were assured by his friends in the most emphatic manner that such was an impossibility. It was claimed that the most scrupulous care had been bestowed upon him, and that he had been so closely watched that it was impossible that he should have been guilty of so gross a vice. His friends were disposed to attribute his sad condition to excessive exercise of mind upon religious subjects.

Not satisfied with this view of the case, we set a close watch upon him, and within a week his nurse reported that he had detected him in the act of self-pollution, when he confessed the truth, not yet being so utterly devoid of sense as to have lost his appreciation of the sinfulness of the act. When discovered, he exclaimed, "I know I have made myself a fool," which was the exact truth. At this time the once bright and intelligent youth had become so obtuse and stupid that he appeared almost senseless. His face wore an idiotic expression which was rarely lighted up by a look of intelligence. It was only by the greatest exertion that he could be made to understand or to respond when spoken to. In whatever position he was placed, whether lying, sitting, or standing, no matter how constrained or painful, he would remain for hours, staring vacantly, and fixed and immovable as a statue. His countenance was blank and expressionless except at rare intervals. His lips were always parted, and the saliva ran from the corners of his mouth down upon his clothing. The calls of nature were responded to involuntarily, soiling constantly his clothing and bedding in a most disgusting manner, and requiring the constant attention of a nurse to keep him in anything like a wholesome condition.

We did what we could to relieve this poor victim of unhallowed lust, but soon became convinced that no human arm could save from utter ruin this self-destroyed soul. At our suggestion the young man was removed to be placed in an institution devoted to the care of imbeciles and lunatics. The last we heard of the poor fellow he was still sinking into lower depths of physical and mental degradation,—a soul utterly lost and ruined. How many thousands of young men who might have been useful members of society, lawyers, clergymen, statesmen, scientists, have thus sunk into the foul depths of the quagmire of vice, to rise no more forever! Oh, awful fate! The human eye never rests upon a sadder sight than a ruined soul, a mind shattered and debased by vice.

The Results of One Transgression.—The following case is a good illustration of the fact that a long course of transgression is not necessary to occasion the most serious results. A young man from an Eastern State who visited us for treatment was suffering with the usual consequences of self-abuse, but he asserted in the most emphatic manner that he had never committed the act of self-pollution but once in his life. He had, however, after that one vile act, allowed his mind to run upon vile thoughts, giving loose rein to his imagination, and in consequence he found himself as badly off, suffering with the very same disorders, as those who had practiced the vice for some time.

Not the slightest dallying with sin is safe. The maintenance of perfect purity and chastity of body and mind is the only right and safe course. By a few months' treatment the young man recovered his health in a great measure, and, marrying an estimable young lady, settled down happily in life. Many tears of remorse and repentance did he shed over that one sinful act, and bitterly did he reproach the evil companion who taught him to sin; but he was fortunate enough to escape without suffering the worst effects of sin, and is now living happily.

A Hospital Case.—One of the most wretched creatures we ever saw among the many sufferers from sexual excesses whom we have met, was a man of about thirty years of age whom we found in the large Charity Hospital on Blackwell's Island, New York City. In consequence of long indulgence in the soul-and-body destroying habit, he had brought upon himself not only the most serious and painful disease of the sexual organs themselves, but disease of the bladder and other adjacent organs. He was under severe and painful treatment for a long time without benefit, and finally a surgical operation was performed, but with the result of affording only partial relief.

An Old Offender.—Never were we more astonished than at the depth of depravity revealed to us by the confessions of a patient from a distant country who was upwards of sixty years of age and was yet a victim of the vile habit to which he had become addicted when a youth. The stamp of vice was on his face, and was not hidden by the lines made by advancing age. The sufferings which this ancient sinner endured daily in consequence of his long course of sin were sometimes fearful to behold; and yet he continued the habit in spite of all warnings, advice, and every influence which could be brought to bear upon him. So long had he transgressed, he had lost his sense of shame and his appreciation of the vileness of sin, and it was impossible to reform him by any means which could be brought to bear upon him. He left us still a sufferer, though somewhat relieved, and, we have every reason to believe, as vile a sinner as ever. Undoubtedly, before this time his worthless life is ended, and he has gone down into a sinner's grave, hoary with vice. A terrible end.

The Sad End of a Young Victim.—C. L., a young man residing in a large Southern city, was the youngest son of parents who were in moderate circumstances, but appreciated the value of education, and were anxious to give their children every advantage possible for them to receive. With this end in view, the young man was sent to college, where he did well for a time, being naturally studious and intelligent; but after a brief period he began to drop behind his classes. He seemed moody and obtuse. He could not complete his tasks even by the most severe application. It seemed impossible for him to apply himself. The power of concentration appeared to be lost. Soon he was seized by fits of gloominess from which he did not seem to have power to free himself. His strength began to fail to such a degree that he could hardly drag himself to his meals, and at last he was almost confined to his room. He became greatly emaciated. The failure of his mental powers seemed to keep pace with the wasting of his body, so that it was soon evident that he must abandon all hope of pursuing his studies for some time at least. His case being brought to our notice, we gave him every attention possible, and spared no effort to rescue him from his condition. We readily perceived the cause of his troubles, but for a long time he did not acknowledge the truth. At last he confessed that he had sinned for years in the manner suspected, and was suffering the consequences. A knowledge of his guilt weighed upon him and haunted him day and night. He promised to reform; but if he did, it was too late, for the wasting disease which was fastened upon him continued. At his mother's request he returned to his home, and a few weeks later we received the awful intelligence that he had ended his miserable life by blowing out his brains with a pistol. Thus tragically ended the career of this young man, who might, with the advantages afforded him, have become a useful member of society. In total despair of this life or the next, he rashly ended his probation, and with his own hand finished the work of destruction which he had himself begun. No words can tell the grief of his stricken mother; but, fortunately, she was spared the knowledge of the whole truth, else would her sorrow have been too great to bear.

From Bad to Worse.—C. E., a young man from the West, was sent to us by his father with the request that we would do what we could to save him. His father's letter intimated that the son had been a source of grief to him, but he hoped that he had repented of his prodigal course, and was really determined to reform. Though scarcely more than twenty years of age, the young man's face wore an aspect of hardness, from familiarity with vice, that we have rarely seen. He was reduced to a mere skeleton by the vice which he made no secret of, and was so weak that he could scarcely walk a rod. It seemed as if every organ in his body was diseased, and that he had so squandered his vital resources that he had no power to rally from his wretched condition even should he carry out the determination to reform which he announced. However, we gave him the best counsel and advice within our power, and placed him under treatment. After a few weeks it was evident that nature was still willing to respond to his endeavors to reform, by vigorous efforts to restore him to a condition of comparative health. Thus he was snatched, as it appeared, from the very jaws of death. Under these circumstances it would seem that the most hardened criminal would reform, at least for a season, and lead a life of rectitude; but so utterly depraved was this poor wretch that no sooner did he find that he was not liable to die immediately than he began at once again his career of sin. By long indulgence his moral sense had become, apparently, obliterated. He seemed to be utterly without the restraint imposed by conscience. In less than a month he was detected in the crime of theft, having stolen a watch from a fellow-patient. Upon his arrest, stimulated by the hope of in some degree mitigating his punishment, he confessed to have been carrying on a series of petty thieving for weeks before he was finally detected, having scores of stolen articles in his possession. The last time we saw the wretched fellow he was being led away in irons to prison. We have since heard that he continues in his downward career, having served out his time in prison, and will undoubtedly end his life in a felon's cell unless he is shrewd enough to escape his just deserts. Having lost all desire to do right, to be noble, pure, and good, all efforts to reform and restore him to the path of rectitude were fruitless. It was only the fear of impending death that caused him to pause for a few days in his criminal course. Young man, take warning by this sad case; enter not the pathway of vice. A course of vice once entered upon is not easily left. A youth who once gives himself up to sin, rarely escapes from going headlong to destruction.

An Indignant Father.—A case came to our knowledge through a gentleman who brought his daughter to us for treatment for the effects of self-abuse, of a father who adopted a summary method of curing his son of the evil practice. Having discovered that the lad was a victim of the vile habit, and having done all in his power by punishment, threats, and representations of its terrible effects, but without inducing him to reform, the father, in a fit of desperation, seized the sinful boy and with his own hand performed upon him the operation of castration as he would have done upon a colt. The boy recovered from the operation, and was of course effectually cured of his vile habit. The remedy was efficient, though scarcely justifiable. Even a father has no right thus to mutilate his own son, though we must confess that the lad's chances for becoming a useful man are fully as good as they would have been had he continued his course of sin.

Disgusted with Life.—T. A. was a young man of promise, the son of ambitious parents, proud-spirited, and without respect for religion. While still quite young he enlisted in the service of the government, and after a time rose to the position of an officer in the U. S. army. Having in boyhood acquired the habit of self-abuse, he had stimulated his passions without restraint, and was readily led still farther astray by the evil companions with whom he was surrounded. He indulged his passions in every way and on every occasion when he found opportunity, and speedily began to feel the effects of his vices. Before he was fully aware of his condition, he found himself being literally devoured by the vilest of all diseases, which only those who transgress in this manner suffer. The disease made rapid advances and speedily reduced him to a condition of almost absolute helplessness. He was obliged to obtain a furlough; but his vital forces were so nearly exhausted that he did not rally even under skillful treatment; and when his furlough expired, he was still in the same pitiable condition. Getting it extended for a time, he by accident came under our care, and by the aid of very thorough treatment he was in a measure improved, though the progress of the disease was simply stayed. When apprized of his real condition, he exhibited much agitation, walking nervously about his room, and finally exclaimed that he was utterly disgusted with life anyway, and after a few weeks or months more of suffering he should blow his brains out and end his misery. He had no fears of death, he said, and we presume that he could not imagine it possible that there was any greater suffering in store for him than he already endured. We pitied the poor fellow from the bottom of our heart. He had natural qualities which ought to have made him distinguished. He might have risen high in the world of usefulness. Now he was compelled to look back upon a short life of squandered opportunities, a pathway stained with vice, memories of vile debaucheries which had wasted his youth and broken his constitution. Wretched was he indeed. Notwithstanding his vileness he was not lost to shame, for his greatest fear was that his friends might ascertain the real cause of his sufferings, to conceal which he was obliged to resort to all sorts of subterfuges. As soon as he was able to travel he left us, being obliged to report to his superior officers, and we have heard nothing of him since.

Scores of similar cases we might recount in detail, but we have not here the space. These will suffice to give to the young reader an idea of the terrible results of this awful vice which are suffered by its victims. We have not dared to portray on these pages one-half the misery and wretchedness which we have seen as the results of self-abuse and the vices to which it leads. The picture is too terrible for young eyes to behold. We most sincerely hope that none of our readers will ever have to suffer as we have seen boys and young men do, languishing in misery as the result of their own transgressions of the laws of chastity. We will now devote the remaining pages of this chapter to the consideration of some of the causes of the vice, the avenues that lead to the awful sin which we are considering, and the terrible consequences which attend it.

Bad Company.—The influence of evil companionship is one of the most powerful agents for evil against which those who love purity and are seeking to elevate and benefit their fellow-men have to contend. A bad boy can do more harm in a community than can be counteracted by all the clergymen, Sabbath-school teachers, tract-distributers, and other Christian workers combined. An evil boy is a pest compared with which the cholera, small-pox, and even the plague, are nothing. The damage which would be done by a terrific hurricane sweeping with destructive force through a thickly settled district is insignificant compared with the evil work which may be accomplished by one vicious lad.

No community is free from these vipers, these agents of the arch-fiend. Every school, no matter how select it may be, contains a greater or less number of these young moral lepers. Often they pursue their work unsuspected by the good and pure, who do not dream of the vileness pent up in the young brains which have not yet learned the multiplication table and scarcely learned to read. We have known instances in which a boy of seven or eight years of age has implanted the venom of vice in the hearts and minds of half a score of pure-minded lads within a few days of his first association with them. This vice spreads like wild-fire. It is more "catching" than the most contagious disease, and more tenacious, when once implanted, than the leprosy.

Boys are easily influenced either for right or for wrong, but especially for the wrong; hence it is the duty of parents to select good companions for their children, and it is the duty of children to avoid bad company as they would avoid carrion or the most loathsome object. A boy with a match box in a powder magazine would be in no greater danger than in the company of most of the lads who attend our public schools and play upon the streets. It is astonishing how early children, especially boys, will sometimes learn the hideous, shameless tricks of vice which yearly lead thousands down to everlasting death. Often children begin their course of sin while yet cradled in their mother's arms, thus early taught by some vile nurse. Boys that fight and swear, that play upon the streets and disobey their parents, may be wisely shunned as unfit for associates. In many instances, too, boys whose conduct is in other respects wholly faultless sometimes indulge in vice, ignorant of its real nature and consequences. At the first intimation of evil on the part of a companion, a boy who is yet pure should flee away as from a deadly serpent or a voracious beast. Do not let the desire to gratify a craving curiosity deter you from fleeing at once from the source of contamination. Under such circumstances do not hesitate a moment to escape from danger. If an evil word is spoken or an indecent act of any sort indulged in by a companion, cut the acquaintance of such a boy at once. Never allow yourself to be alone with him a moment. On no account be induced to associate with him. He will as surely soil and besmear with sin your moral garments as would contact with the most filthy object imaginable your outer garments.

It were better for a boy never to see or associate with a lad of his own age than to run any risk of being corrupted before he is old enough to appreciate the terrible enormity of sin and the awful consequences of transgression. It should be recollected also that not only young boys but vicious youths and young men are frequently the instructors in vice. It is unsafe to trust any but those who are known to be pure.

Bad Language.—We have often been astonished at the facility with which children acquire the language of vice. Often we have been astounded to hear little boys scarcely out of their cradles, lisping the most horrible oaths and the vilest epithets. The streets and alleys in our large cities, and in smaller ones too in a less degree, are nurseries of vice, in which are reared the criminals that fill our jails, prisons, work-houses, school-ships, and houses of correction. Many a lad begins his criminal education by learning the language of vice and sin. At first he simply imitates the evil utterances of others; but soon he learns the full significance of the obscene and filthy language which he hears and repeats, and then he rapidly progresses in the downward road.

A boy that indulges in the use of foul language will not long be chaste in acts. It is a safe rule to be followed by those who wish to grow up pure and unsullied by sin, untainted by vice, that those who use bad language are persons to avoid, to keep away from. Even those who are well fortified against vice, who have been faithfully warned of its consequences and fully appreciate its dangers, cannot be safely trusted to associate with vile talkers. The use of bad language by old and young is an evil which is of the very greatest moment. It is too often ignored; too little is said about it; far too often it is disregarded as of little consequence, and persons who are really not bad at heart thoughtlessly encourage the evil by listening to and laughing at obscene and ribald jokes, and impure language which ought to make a virtuous man blush with shame to hear.

Boys, if you want to be pure, if you wish to be loved by a pure mother, an innocent sister, and when you are grown to manhood to be worthy of the confidence of a pure, virtuous wife, keep your lips pure; never let a vile word or an indecent allusion pass them. Never, under any circumstances, give utterance to language that you would blush to have your mother overhear. If you find yourself in the company of persons whose language will not bear this test, escape as soon as possible, for you are in danger; your sense of what is right and proper in speech is being vitiated; you are being damaged in a variety of ways.

Bad Books.—A bad book is as bad as an evil companion. In some respects it is even worse than a living teacher of vice, since it may cling to an individual at all times. It may follow him to the secrecy of his bed-chamber, and there poison his mind with the venom of evil. The influence of bad books in making bad boys and men is little appreciated. Few are aware how much evil seed is being sown among the young everywhere through the medium of vile books. It is not only the wretched volumes of obscenity of which so many thousands have been seized and destroyed by Mr. Comstock which are included under the head of bad books, and which corrupt the morals of the young and lead them to enter the road to infamy, but the evil literature which is sold in "dime and nickel novels," and which constitutes the principal part of the contents of such papers as the Police Gazette, the Police News, and a large proportion of the sensational story books which flood the land, and too many of which find their way into town and circulating libraries and even Sunday-school libraries, which are rarely selected with the care that ought to be exercised in the selection of reading matter for the young.

Bad books often find their way even where evil companions would not intrude; and undoubtedly effect a work of evil almost as great as is wrought by bad associations.

Look out, boys, for the tempter in this guise. If a companion offers you a book the character of which is suspicious, take it home to your father, your mother, or some reliable older friend, for examination. If it is handed you with an air of secrecy, or if a promise to keep it hidden from others is required, have nothing to do with it. You might better place a coal of fire or a live viper in your bosom than to allow yourself to read such a book. The thoughts that are implanted in the mind in youth will stick there through life, in spite of all efforts to dislodge them. Hundreds of men who have been thus injured when young, but have by some providence escaped a life of vice and shame, look back with most intense regret to the early days of childhood, and earnestly wish that the pictures then made in the mind by bad books might be effaced. Evil impressions thus formed often torture minds during a whole lifetime. In the most inopportune moments they will intrude themselves. When the individual desires to place his mind undividedly upon sacred and elevated themes, even at the most solemn moments of life, these lewd pictures will sometimes intrude themselves in spite of his efforts to avoid them. It is an awful thing to allow the mind to be thus contaminated; and many a man would give the world, if he possessed it, to be free from the horrible incubus of a defiled imagination.

Vile Pictures.—Obscene and lascivious pictures are influences which lead boys astray too important to be unnoticed. Evil men, agents of the arch-fiend, have adopted all sorts of devices for putting into the hands of the boys and youths of the rising generation pictures calculated to excite the passions, to lead to vice. Thousands of these vile pictures are in circulation throughout the country in spite of the worthy efforts of such philanthropists as Mr. Anthony Comstock and his co-laborers. In almost every large school there are boys who have a supply of these infamous designs and act as agents in scattering the evil contagion among all who come under their influence.

Under the guise of art, the genius of some of our finest artists is turned to pandering to this base desire for sensuous gratification. The pictures which hang in many of our art galleries that are visited by old and young of both sexes often number in the list views which to those whose thoughts are not well trained to rigid chastity can be only means of evil. A plea may be made for these paintings in the name of art; but we see no necessity for the development of art in this particular direction, when nature presents so many and such varied scenes of loveliness in landscapes, flowers, beautiful birds, and graceful animals, to say nothing of the human form protected by sufficient covering to satisfy the demands of modesty.

Many of the papers and magazines sold at our news-stands and eagerly sought after by young men and boys are better suited for the parlors of a house of ill-repute than for the eyes of pure-minded youth. A news-dealer who will distribute such vile sheets ought to be dealt with as an educator in vice and crime, an agent of evil, and a recruiting officer for hell and perdition.

Evil Thoughts.—No one can succeed long in keeping himself from vicious acts whose thoughts dwell upon unchaste subjects. Only those who are pure in heart will be pure and chaste in action. The mind must be educated to love and dwell upon pure subjects in early life, as by this means only can the foundation be laid for that purity of character which alone will insure purity of life. When the mind once becomes contaminated with evil thoughts, it requires the work of years of earnest effort to purge it from uncleanness. Vile thoughts leave scars which even time will not always efface. They soil and deprave the soul, as vile acts do the body. God knows them, if no human being does, and if harbored and cherished they will tell against the character in the day of Judgment as surely as will evil words and deeds.

Influence of Other Bad Habits.—Evil practices of any sort which lower the moral tone of an individual, which lessen his appreciation of and love for right and purity and true nobility of soul, encourage the development of vice. A boy who loves purity, who has a keen sense of what is true and right, can never become a vicious man. Profanity, falsehood, and deception of every sort, have a tendency in the direction of vice.

The use of highly seasoned food, of rich sauces, spices and condiments, sweetmeats, and in fact all kinds of stimulating foods, has an undoubted influence upon the sexual nature of boys, stimulating those organs into too early activity, and occasioning temptations to sin which otherwise would not occur. The use of mustard, pepper, pepper-sauce, spices, rich gravies, and all similar kinds of food, should be carefully avoided by young persons. They are not wholesome for either old or young; but for the young they are absolutely dangerous.

The use of beer, wine, hard cider, and tobacco, is especially damaging to boys on this account. These stimulants excite the passions and produce a clamoring for sensual gratification which few boys or young men have the will power or moral courage to resist. Tobacco is an especially detrimental agent. The early age at which boys now begin the use of tobacco may be one of the reasons why the practice of secret vice is becoming so terribly common among boys and young men. We never think a boy or young man who uses tobacco safe from the commission of some vile act.

The use of tea and coffee by boys is also a practice which should be interdicted. All wise physicians forbid the use of these narcotic drinks, together with that of tobacco, and always with benefit to those who abstain. In France the government has made a law forbidding the use of tobacco by students in the public schools. In Germany a still more stringent law has been made, which forbids the use of tobacco by boys and young men. These laws have been made on account of the serious injury which was evidently resulting from the use of the filthy weed to both the health and the morals of the young men of those countries. There is certainly an equal need for such a law in this country.

Closing Advice to Boys and Young Men.—One word more and we must close this chapter, which we hope has been read with care by those for whom it is especially written. Let every boy who peruses these pages remember that the facts here stated are true. Every word we have verified, and we have not written one-half that might be said upon this subject. Let the boy who is still pure, who has never defiled himself with vice, firmly resolve that with the help of God he will maintain a pure and virtuous character. It is much easier to preserve purity than to get free from the taint of sin after having been once defiled. Let the boy who has already fallen into evil ways, who has been taught the vile practice the consequences of which we have endeavored to describe, and who is already in the downward road,—let him resolve now to break the chain of sin, to reform at once, and to renounce his evil practice forever. The least hesitancy, the slightest dalliance with the demon vice, and the poor victim will be lost. Now, this moment, is the time to reform. Seek purity of mind and heart. Banish evil thoughts and shun evil companions; then with earnest prayer to God wage a determined battle for purity and chastity until the victory is wholly won.

One of the greatest safeguards for a boy is implicit trust and confidence in his parents. Let him go to them with all his queries instead of to some older boyish friend. If all boys would do this, an immense amount of evil would be prevented. When tempted to sin, boys, think first of the vileness and wickedness of the act; think that God and pure angels behold every act, and even know every thought. Nothing is hid from their eyes. Think then of the awful results of this terrible sin, and fly from temptation as from a burning house. Send up a prayer to God to deliver you from temptation, and you will not fall. Every battle manfully and successfully fought will add new strength to your resolution and force to your character. Gaining such victories from day to day you will grow up to be a pure, noble, useful man, the grandest work of God, and will live a happy, virtuous life yourself, and add to the happiness of those around you.


We have written this chapter especially for girls, and we sincerely hope that many will read it with an earnest desire to be benefited by so doing. The subject of which we have to write is a delicate one, and one which, we regret exceedingly, needs to be written about. But our experience as a physician has proven to us again and again that it is of the utmost importance that something be said, that words of warning should be addressed particularly to the girls and maidens just emerging into womanhood, on a subject which vitally concerns not only their own future health and happiness, but the prosperity and destiny of the race. Probably no one can be better fitted to speak on this subject than the physician. A physician who has given careful attention to the health and the causes of ill-health of ladies, and who has had opportunities for observing the baneful influence exerted upon the bodies and minds of girls and young women by the evil practices of which it is our purpose here to speak, can better appreciate than can others the magnitude of the evil, and is better prepared to speak upon the subject understandingly and authoritatively. Gladly would we shun the task which has been pressed upon us, but which we have long avoided, were it not for the sense of the urgent need of its performance of which our professional experience has thoroughly convinced us. We cannot keep our lips closed when our eyes are witnesses to the fact that thousands of the fairest and best of our girls and maidens are being beguiled into everlasting ruin by a soul-destroying vice which works unseen, and often so insidiously that its results are unperceived until the work of ruin is complete.

The nature of our subject necessitates that we should speak plainly, though delicately, and we shall endeavor to make our language comprehensible by any one old enough to be benefited by the perusal of this chapter. We desire that all who read these pages may receive lasting benefit by so doing. The subject is one upon which every girl ought to be informed, and to which she should give serious attention, at least sufficiently long to become intelligent concerning the evils and dangers to which girls are exposed from this source.

Girlhood.—Nothing is so suggestive of innocence and purity as the simple beauty of girlhood when seen in its natural freshness, though too seldom, now-a-days, is it possible to find in our young girls the natural grace and healthy beauty which were common among the little maidens of a quarter of a century ago. The ruddy cheeks and bright eyes and red lips which are indicative of a high degree of healthy vigor are not so often seen to-day among the small girls in our public schools and passing to and fro upon the streets. The pale cheeks, languid eyes, and almost colorless lips which we more often see, indicate weakly constitutions and delicate health, and prophesy a short and suffering life to many. Various causes are at work to produce this unfortunate decline; and while we hope that in the larger share of cases, bad diet, improper clothing, confinement in poorly ventilated rooms with too little exercise, and similar causes, are the active agents, we are obliged to recognize the fact that there is in far too many cases another cause, the very mention of which makes us blush with shame that its existence should be possible. But of this we shall speak again presently.

Real girls are like the just opening buds of beautiful flowers. The beauty and fragrance of the full-blossomed rose scarcely exceed the delicate loveliness of the swelling bud which shows between the sections of its bursting calyx the crimson petals tightly folded beneath. So the true girl possesses in her sphere as high a degree of attractive beauty as she can hope to attain in after-years, though of a different character. But genuine girls are scarce. Really natural little girls are almost as scarce as real boys. Too many girls begin at a very early age to attempt to imitate the pride and vanity manifested by older girls and young ladies. It is by many supposed that to be ladylike should be the height of the ambition of girls as soon as they are old enough to be taught respecting propriety of behavior, which is understood to mean that they must appear as unnatural as possible in attempting to act like grown-up ladies. Many mothers who wish their daughters to be models of perfection, but whose ideas of perfect deportment are exceedingly superficial in character, dress up their little daughters in fine clothing, beautiful to look at, but very far from what is required for health and comfort, and then continually admonish the little ones that they must keep very quiet and "act like little ladies." Such a course is a most pernicious one. It fosters pride and vanity, and inculcates an entirely wrong idea of what it is to be ladylike,—to be a true lady, to be true to nature as a girl. Such artificial training is damaging alike to mind and body; and it induces a condition of mind and of the physical system which is very conducive to the encouragement of dangerous tendencies.

How to Develop Beauty and Loveliness.—All little girls want to be beautiful. Girls in general care much more for their appearance than do boys. They have finer tastes, and greater love for whatever is lovely and beautiful. It is a natural desire, and should be encouraged. A pure, innocent, beautiful little girl is the most lovely of all God's creatures. All are not equally beautiful, however, and cannot be; but all may be beautiful to a degree that will render them attractive. Let all little girls who want to be pretty, handsome, or good-looking, give attention and we will tell them how. Those who are homely should listen especially, for all may become good-looking, though all cannot become remarkably beautiful. First of all, it is necessary that the girl who wishes to be handsome, to be admired, should be good. She must learn to love what is right and true. She must be pure in mind and act. She must be simple in her manners, modest in her deportment, and kind in her ways.

Second in importance, though scarcely so, is the necessity of health. No girl can long be beautiful without health; and no girl who enjoys perfect health can be really ugly in appearance. A healthy countenance is always attractive. Disease wastes the rounded features, bleaches out the roses from the cheeks and the vermilion from the lips. It destroys the luster of the eye and the elasticity of the step. Health is essential to beauty. In fact, if we consider goodness as a state of moral health, then health is the one great requisite of beauty.

Health is obtained and preserved by the observance of those natural laws which the Creator has appointed for the government of our bodies. The structure of these bodies we may do well to study for a few moments.

The Human Form Divine.—Go with us to one of the large cities, and we will show you one of the most marvelous pieces of mechanism ever invented, a triumph of ingenuity, skill, and patient, persevering labor for many years. This wonderful device is a clock which will run more than one hundred years. It is so constructed that it indicates not only the time of day, the day of the month and year, itself making all the necessary changes for leap year, but shows the motions of the earth around the sun, together with the movements and positions of all the other planets, and many other marvelous things. When it strikes at the end of each hour, groups of figures go through a variety of curious movements most closely resembling the appearance and actions of human beings.

The maker of this remarkable clock well deserves the almost endless praise which he receives for his skill and patience; for his work is certainly wonderful; but the great clock, with its curious and complicated mechanism, is a coarse and bungling affair when compared with the human body. The clock doubtless contains thousands of delicate wheels and springs, and is constructed with all the skill imaginable; and yet the structure of the human body is infinitely more delicate. The clock has no intelligence; but a human being can hear, see, feel, taste, touch, and think. The clock does only what its maker designed to have it do, and can do nothing else. The human machine is a living mechanism; it can control its own movements, can do as it will, within certain limits. What is very curious indeed, the human machine has the power to mend itself, so that when it needs repairs it is not necessary to send it to a shop for the purpose, but all that is required is to give nature an opportunity and the system repairs itself.

A Wonderful Process.—We have not space to describe all the wonderful mechanism of this human machine, but must notice particularly one of its most curious features, a provision by which other human beings, living machines like itself, are produced. All living creatures possess this power. A single potato placed in the ground becomes a dozen or more, by a process of multiplying. A little seed planted in the earth grows up to be a plant, produces flowers, and from the flowers come other seeds, not one, but often a great many, sometimes hundreds from a single seed. Insects, fishes, birds, and all other animals, thus multiply. So do human beings, and in a similar manner. The organs by which this most marvelous process is carried on in plants and animals, including also human beings, are called sexual organs. Flowers are the sexual organs of plants. And flowers are always the most fragrant and the most beautiful when they are engaged in this wonderful and curious work.

Human Buds.—A curious animal which lives near the seashore, in shallow water, attached to a rock like a water plant, puts out little buds which grow awhile and then drop off, and after a time become large individuals like the parent, each in turn producing buds like the one from which it grew. Human beings are formed by a similar process. Human buds are formed by an organ for the purpose possessed only by the female sex, and these, under proper circumstances, develop into infant human beings. The process, though so simply stated, is a marvelously complicated one, which cannot be fully explained here; indeed, it is one of the mysteries which it is beyond the power of human wisdom fully to explain.

The production of these human buds is one of the most important and sacred duties of woman. It is through this means that she becomes a mother, which is one of the grandest and noblest functions of womanhood. It is the motherly instinct that causes little girls to show such a fondness for dolls, a perfectly natural feeling which may be encouraged to a moderate degree without injury.

How Beauty is Marred.—As already remarked, mental, moral, and physical health are the requisites for true beauty, and to secure these, obedience to all the laws of health is required. The most beautiful face is soon marred when disease begins its ravages in the body. The most beautiful character is as speedily spoiled by the touch of moral disease, or sin. The face is a mirror of the mind, the character; and a mind full of evil, impure thoughts is certain to show itself in the face in spite of rosy cheeks and dimples, ruby lips and bewitching smiles. The character is written on the face as plainly as the face may be pictured by an artist on canvas.

To be more explicit, the girl who disregards the laws of health, who eats bad food, eats at all hours or at unseasonable hours, sits up late at night, attends fashionable parties and indulges in the usual means of dissipation there afforded, dancing, wine, rich suppers, etc., who carefully follows the fashions in her dress, lacing her waist to attain the fashionable degree of slenderness, wearing thin, narrow-toed gaiters with French heels, and insufficiently clothing the limbs in cold weather, and who in like manner neglects to comply with the requirements of health in other important particulars, may be certain that sooner or later, certainly at no distant day, she will become as unattractive and homely as she can wish not to be. Girls and young ladies who eat largely of fat meat, rich cakes and pies, confectionery, iced creams, and other dietetic abominations, cannot avoid becoming sallow and hollow-eyed. The cheeks may be ever so plump and rosy, they will certainly lose their freshness and become hollow and thin. Chalk and rouge will not hide the defect, for everybody will discover the fraud, and will of course know the reason why it is practiced.

A Beauty-Destroying Vice.—But by far the worst enemy of beauty and health of body, mind, and soul, we have not yet mentioned. It is a sin concerning which we would gladly keep silence; but we cannot see so many of our most beautiful and promising girls and young ladies annually being ruined, often for this world and the next alike, without uttering the word of warning needed.

As before remarked, the function of maternity, which is the object of the sexual system in woman, when rightly exercised is the most sacred and elevated office which a woman can perform for the world. The woman who is a true mother has an opportunity of doing for the race more than all other human agencies combined. The mother's influence is the controlling influence in the world. The mother molds the character of her children. She can make of their plastic minds almost what she will if she is herself prepared for the work. On the other hand, misuse or abuse of the sexual organism is visited in girls and women, as in boys and men, with the most fearful penalties. Nothing will sooner deprive a girl or young lady of the maidenly grace and freshness with which nature blesses woman in her early years than secret vice. We have the greatest difficulty in making ourself believe that it is possible for beings designed by nature to be pure and innocent, in all respects free from impurity of any sort, to become so depraved by sin as to be willing to devote themselves to so vile and filthy a practice. Yet the frequency with which cases have come under our observation which clearly indicate the alarming prevalence of the practice, even among girls and young women who would naturally be least suspected, compels us to recognize the fact. The testimony of many eminent physicians whose opportunities for observation have been very extensive shows that the evil is enormously greater than people generally are aware. Instructors of the youth, of large experience, assert the same. Nor is the evil greater in America than in some other countries. One writer declares that the vice is almost universal among the girls of Russia, which may be due to the low condition in which the women of that country are kept.

Terrible Effects of Secret Vice.—The awful effects of this sin against God and nature, this soul-and-body-destroying vice, become speedily visible in those who are guilty of it. The experienced eye needs no confession on the part of the victim to read the whole story of sinful indulgence and consequent disease. The vice stamps its insignia upon the countenance; it shows itself in the walk, in the changed disposition and the loss of healthy vigor. It is not only impossible for a victim of this sinful practice to hide from the all-seeing eye of God the vileness perpetrated in secret, but it is also useless to attempt to hide from human eyes the awful truth.

Headache, side-ache, back-ache, pains in the chest, and wandering pains in various parts of the body,—these are but a few of the painful ailments from which girls who are guilty of this sin suffer. Many of the tender spines which cause great solicitude on the part of parents and physicians, who fear that disease of the spine is threatening the life of a loved daughter, not infrequently originate in this way. Much of the hysteria which renders wretched the lives of thousands of young ladies and the fond friends who are obliged to care for and attend them, arises from sexual transgression of the kind of which we are speaking. The blanched cheeks, hollow, expressionless eyes, and rough, pimply skins of many school-girls are due to this cause alone. We do not mean by this to intimate that every girl who has pimples upon her face is guilty of secret vice; but this sin is undoubtedly a very frequent cause of the unpleasant eruption which so often appears upon the foreheads of both sexes. It would be very unjust, however, to charge a person with the sin unless some further evidence than that of an eruption on the face was afforded.

The inability to study, to apply themselves in any way except when stimulated by something of a very exciting character, which many girls exhibit, is in a large proportion of cases due to the practice of which we are writing. Often enough the effects which are attributed to overstudy are properly due to this debasing habit. We have little faith in the great outcry made in certain quarters about the damaging effects of study upon the health of young ladies. A far less worthy cause is in many cases the true one, to which is attributable the decline in health at a critical period when all the vital forces of the system are necessarily called into action to introduce the activity of a new function.

Hundreds of girls break down in health just as they are entering womanhood. At from twelve to eighteen years of age the change naturally occurs which transforms the girl into a woman by the development of functions previously latent. This critical period is one through which every girl in health ought to pass with scarcely any noticeable disturbance; and if during the previous years of life the laws of health were observed, there would seldom be any unusual degree of suffering at this time. Those who have before this period been addicted to the vile habit of which we are writing, will almost invariably show at this time evidences of the injury which has been wrought. The unnatural excitement of the organs before the period of puberty, lays the foundation for life-long disease. When that critical epoch arrives, the organs are found in a state of congestion often bordering on inflammation. The increased congestion which naturally occurs at this time in many cases is sufficient to excite most serious disease. Here is the beginning of a great many of the special diseases which are the bane and shame of the sex. Displacements of various sorts, congestions, neuralgia of the ovaries, leucorrhoea, or whites, and a great variety of kindred maladies, are certain to make their appearance at this period or soon after in those who have previously been guilty of self-abuse. If the evil influences already at work are augmented by tight lacing, improper dressing of the extremities, hanging heavy skirts upon the hips, and fashionable dissipation generally, the worst results are sure to follow, and the individual is certain to be a subject for the doctors for a good portion of her life.

A talented writer some time since contributed to a popular magazine an article entitled, "The Little Health of Women," which contained many excellent hints respecting the influences at work to undermine the health and destroy the constitutions of American women; but he did not even hint at this potent cause, which, we firmly believe, is responsible for a far greater share of the local disease and general poor health of girls, young women, and married ladies, than has been generally recognized. These are startling facts, but we are prepared to substantiate them.

Remote Effects.—Not all of the effects of the vice appear in girlhood, nor even during early life. Not infrequently it is not until the girl has grown up to be a wife and mother that she begins to appreciate fully the harm that has been wrought. At this time, when new demands are made upon the sexual organism, when its proper duties are to be performed, there is a sudden failure; new weaknesses and diseases make their appearance, new pains and sufferings are felt, which no woman who has not in some way seriously transgressed the laws of health will suffer. In not a few instances it is discovered that the individual is wholly unfitted for the duties of maternity. Often, indeed, maternity is impossible, the injury resulting from the sins committed being so great as to render the diseased organism incapable of the functions required.

In the great majority of cases these peculiar difficulties, morbid conditions, and incapacities are attributed to overwork, overstudy, "taking cold," "getting the feet wet," or some other cause wholly inadequate to account for the diseased conditions present, although in many instances it may be true that some such unfortunate circumstance may be the means of precipitating the effects of previous sin upon organs already relaxed, debilitated, and thus prepared readily to take on disease.

Causes which Lead Girls Astray.—The predisposing causes of sexual vices have already been dwelt upon so fully in this volume that we shall devote little space to the subject here. We may, however, mention a few of the causes which seem to be most active in leading to the formation of evil habits among girls.

Vicious Companions.—Girls are remarkably susceptible to influence by those of their own age. A vicious girl who makes herself agreeable to those with whom she associates can exert more influence over many of her companions than can any number of older persons. Even a mother rarely has that influence over her daughter that is maintained by the girl whom she holds as her bosom friend. The close friendships which are often formed between girls of the same age are often highly detrimental in character. Each makes a confidant of the other, and thus becomes estranged from the only one competent to give counsel and advice, and the one who of all others is worthy of a young girl's confidence,—her mother.

From these unfortunate alliances often arise most deplorable evils. Vicious companions not infrequently sow the seeds of evil habits far and wide, contaminating all who come within their influence.

Whom to Avoid.—A girl will always do well to avoid a companion who is vain, idle, silly, or frivolous. Girls who have these evil characteristics are very likely to have others also which are worse. A girl who is rude in her manners, careless in her habits, irreverent and disobedient to parents and teachers, is always an unsafe companion. No matter how pretty, witty, stylish, or aristocratic she may be, she should be shunned. Her influence will be withering, debasing, wherever felt. A girl may be gay and thoughtless without being vicious; but the chances are ten to one that she will become sinful unless she changes her ways.

Sentimental Books.—The majority of girls love to read, but, unfortunately, the kind of literature of which they are chiefly fond is not of a character which will elevate, refine, or in any way benefit them. Story books, romances, love tales, and religious novels constitute the chief part of the reading matter which American young ladies greedily devour. We have known young ladies still in their teens who had read whole libraries of the most exciting novels.

The taste for novel-reading is like that for liquor or opium. It is never satiated. It grows with gratification. A confirmed novel-reader is almost as difficult to reform as a confirmed inebriate or opium-eater. The influence upon the mind is most damaging and pernicious. It not only destroys the love for solid, useful reading, but excites the emotions, and in many cases keeps the passions in a perfect fever of excitement. The confessions of young women who were to all appearance the most circumspect in every particular, and whom no one mistrusted to be capable of vile thoughts, have convinced us that this evil is more prevalent than many, even of those who are quite well informed, would be willing to admit.

By reading of this kind, many are led to resort to self-abuse for the gratification of passions which over-stimulation has made almost uncontrollable. Some have thus been induced to sin who had never been injured by other influences, but discovered the fatal secret themselves. Mothers cannot be too careful of the character of the books which their daughters read. Every book, magazine, and paper should be carefully scrutinized, unless its character is already well known, before it is allowed to be read. In our opinion, some of the literature which passes as standard, which is often found on parlor center-tables and in family and school libraries, such as Chaucer's poems, and other writings of a kindred character, is unfit for perusal by inexperienced and unsophisticated young ladies. Some of this literature is actually too vile for any one to read, and if written to-day by any poet of note would cause his works to be committed to the stove and the rag-bag in spite of his reputation.

Various Causes.—Bad diet, the use of stimulating and exciting articles of food, late suppers, confectionery and dainties,—all these have a very powerful influence in the wrong direction by exciting functions which ought to be kept as nearly latent as possible. The use of tea and coffee by young ladies cannot be too strongly condemned. Improper dress, by causing local congestion, often predisposes to secret vice by occasioning local excitement. Probably a greater cause than any of those last mentioned is too great familiarity with the opposite sex. The silly letters which girls sometimes allow themselves to receive from the boys and young men of their acquaintance, and which they encourage by letters of a similar character, must be condemned in the most thorough manner. Upon receiving such a letter a pure-minded girl will consider herself insulted; and has just reason for so doing. The childish flirtations which girls and boys sometimes indulge in often lead to evils of a most revolting character.

Modesty Woman's Safeguard.—True modesty and maidenly reserve are the best guardians of virtue. The girl who is truly modest, who encourages and allows no improper advances, need have no fear of annoyance from this source. She is equally safe from temptation to sin which may come to her in secret, when no human eye can behold. Maidenly modesty is one of the best qualities which any young lady can possess. A young woman who lacks modesty, who manifests boldness of manner and carelessness in deportment, is not only liable to have her virtue assailed by designing and unscrupulous men, but is herself likely to fall before the temptation to indulge in secret sin, which is certain to present itself in some way sooner or later.

This invaluable protection is speedily lost by the girl who abandons herself to secret vice. The chances are very great, also, that by degrees her respect for and love of virtue and chastity will diminish until she is open to temptations to indulge in less secret sin; and thus she travels down the road of vice until she finds herself at last an inmate of a brothel or an outcast wanderer, rejected by friends, and lost to virtue, purity, and all that a true woman holds most dear.

A Few Sad Cases.—Although we do not believe it right to harrow the feelings of those who have sinned and suffered with a rehearsal of sad cases when no good can be accomplished by such accounts, we deem it but just that those who are not yet entangled in the meshes of vice should have an opportunity of knowing the actual results of sin, and profiting by the sad experience of others. It is for this purpose that we shall mention a few cases which have come under our observation, taking care to avoid mentioning any facts which might lead to identification, as the facts we shall use were, many of them, received in strict confidence from those who were glad to unburden their hearts to some one, but had never dared to do so, even to their friends.

A Pitiful Case.—Several years ago we received a letter from a young woman in an Eastern State in which she described her case as that of an individual who had early become addicted to secret vice and had continued the vile habit until that time, when she was about thirty-two years of age. In spite of the most solemn vows to reform, she still continued the habit, and had become reduced to such a miserable condition that she would almost rather die than live. She sent with her letter photographs representing herself at twenty and at that time, so that we might see the contrast. It was indeed appalling to see what changes sin had wrought. Her face, once fair and comely, had become actually haggard with vice. Purity, innocence, grace, and modesty were no longer visible there. The hard lines of sin had obliterated every trace of beauty, and produced a most repulsive countenance. Though greatly depraved and shattered by sin and consequent disease in body and mind, she still had some desire to be cured, if possible, and made a most pitiful appeal for help to escape from her loathsome condition. We gave her the best counsel we could under the circumstances, and did all in our power to rescue her from her living death; but whether in any degree successful we cannot tell, as we have never heard from the poor creature since.

We have often wished since that we might but show those two pictures to every girl who has been tempted to sin in this way, to all who have ever yielded to this awful vice. The terrible contrast would certainly produce an impression which no words can do. We sent them back to their wretched original, however, by her request, and so cannot show the actual pictures; but when any who read these lines are tempted thus to sin we beg them to think of these two pictures, and by forming a vivid image of them in the mind drive away the disposition to do wrong.

A Mind Dethroned.—A young lady who had received every advantage which could be given her by indulgent parents, and who naturally possessed most excellent talents, being a fine musician, and naturally so bright and witty as to be the life of every company in which she moved, suddenly began to show strange symptoms of mental unsoundness. She would sometimes be seized with fits of violence during which it was with great difficulty that she could be controlled. Several times she threatened the lives of her nurses, and even on one occasion attempted to execute her threat, the person's life being saved by mere accident. Everything was done for her that could be done, but the mania increased to such a degree of violence that she was sent to an asylum for the insane. Here she remained for months before she became sufficiently tractable to be taken to her home and cared for by friends. Too close application to study was the cause at first assigned for her mental disorder, but a careful investigation of the case revealed the fact that the terrible sin which has ruined the minds of so many promising young men and brilliant young women was the cause that led to the sad result in this case also. The punishment of sin, especially of sexual sins, is indeed terrible; but the sin is a fearful one, and the penalty must be equal to the enormity of the crime. Not all young women who indulge thus will become insane, but any one who thus transgresses may be thus punished. There is no safety but in absolute purity.

A Penitent Victim.—A young woman who had been ill for years, and whose physicians had sought in vain to cure her various ailments, until her parents almost despaired of her ever being anything but a helpless invalid, came to us for treatment, resolved upon making a last effort for health. She had grown up in utter ignorance of the laws of health and of the results of the vice of which we are writing; and having been early taught the sin, she had indulged it for a number of years with the result of producing a most terribly diseased condition of the sexual organs, which had baffled the skill of all the physicians who had attended her, none of whom had ever been made acquainted with the true cause of the difficulties. When apprized of the real facts in the case, that she was alone responsible for the sad condition into which she had fallen, her eyes were opened to see the wickedness and vileness of her course. She bitterly bemoaned her past life, and heartily repented of her sins. Of the sincerity of her repentance she gave evidence in the earnest efforts which she put forth to help herself. She spared no pains to do well all required on her part, and was soon rewarded by feeling that her diseases were being removed and health was returning. Still, she was constantly reminded of her former sins. When the will was off its guard, during sleep, the mind, long indulged in sin, would revert to the old channels and riot in vileness. Unchaste dreams made her often dread to sleep, as she awoke from these unconscious lapses enervated, weak, and prostrated as though she had actually transgressed. But though often thus almost disheartened she continued the struggle, and was finally rewarded by gaining a perfect victory over her mind, sleeping as well as waking, and recovering her health sufficiently to enable her to enjoy life and make herself very useful.

Not a few similar cases have come under our observation; and it seems to us that the pain, anguish, and remorse suffered by these poor victims, ought to be a warning to those who have never entered the sinful road. What a terrible thing it is for a pure and lovely being, designed by God to fulfill a high, holy, and sacred mission in the world, to become a victim to such a filthy vice! No girl of sense would in her right mind raise her hand to dash in pieces a beautiful vase, to destroy a lovely painting, or a beautiful piece of statuary. A girl who would do such a thing would be considered insane and a fit subject for a mad-house. Yet is not the human body, a girl's own beautiful, symmetrical form, infinitely better, more valuable and more sacred, than any object produced by human art? There can be but one answer. How, then, is it possible for her thus to defile and destroy herself? Is it not a fearful thing? a terrible vice?

A Ruined Girl.—One of the most remarkable cases of disease resulting from self-abuse which ever came under our observation was that of a young lady from a distant Western State whose adopted parents, after consulting many different physicians for a peculiar disease of the breast, placed her under our care. We found her a good-looking young woman about seventeen years of age, rather pale and considerably emaciated, very nervous and hysterical, and suffering with severe pain in the left breast, which was swollen to nearly double the natural size, hot, tense, pulsating, and extremely tender to the touch. Occasionally she would experience paroxysms in which she apparently suffered extremely, being sometimes semi-conscious, and scarcely breathing for hours. We suspected the cause of these peculiar manifestations at the outset, but every suggestion of the possibility of the suspected cause was met with a stout denial and a very deceptive appearance of innocent ignorance on the subject. All treatment was unavailing to check the disease. Though sometimes the symptoms seemed to be controlled, a speedy relapse occurred, so that no progress toward a cure was made. Finally our conviction that our first impression respecting the case was correct became so strong that we hesitated no longer to treat it as such. By most vigilant observation we detected evidences of the soul-corrupting vice which we considered unmistakable, and then the young woman who had pretended such profound ignorance of the matter confessed to an extent of wickedness which was perfectly appalling. Every paroxysm was traced to an unusual excess of sinful indulgence. So hardened was she by her evil practices that she seemed to feel no remorse, and only promised to reform when threatened with exposure to her parents unless she immediately ceased the vile practice. In less than ten days the mysterious symptoms which had puzzled many physicians disappeared altogether. The swollen, tender breast was no larger than the other, and was so entirely restored that she was able to strike it a full blow without pain.

So great was the depravity of this girl, however, that she had no notion of making a permanent reform. She even boasted of her wickedness to a companion, and announced her intention to continue the practice. We sent her home, and apprized her parents of the full facts in the case, for which we received their deepest gratitude, though their hearts were nearly broken with grief at the sad revelation made to them. Notwithstanding their most earnest efforts in her behalf, the wretched girl continued her downward career, and a year or two after we learned that she had sunk to the very lowest depths of shame.

Once this now wretched, disgraced creature was an attractive, pure, innocent little girl. Her adopted father lavished upon her numerous presents, and spent hundreds of dollars to obtain her recovery to health. Yet through this awful vice she was ruined utterly, and rendered so wholly perverse and bad that she had no desire to be better, no disposition to reform. God only knows what will be her sad end. May none who read these lines ever follow in her footsteps.

The Danger of Boarding-Schools.—Some years ago a young lady came under our medical care who had suffered for some time from a serious nervous difficulty which had baffled the skill of all the physicians who had had charge of her case, and which occasioned her a great amount of suffering, making it necessary that she should be confined to her bed most of the time, the disease being aggravated by exercise, and the patient having been much weakened by its long continuance.

All the remedies usually successful in such cases were employed with little or no effect, and we were feeling somewhat perplexed concerning the case, when the young lady sent for us one day and upon our going to her room in answer to her call she immediately burst into tears and acknowledged that she had been addicted to the habit of self-abuse and that she was still suffering from involuntary excitement during sleep. Having been placed in a boarding-school when quite young, she had there learned the vile habit, and had practiced it without knowing anything of the ill effects or really appreciating its sinfulness. When she learned, some years after, that the habit was a most pernicious vice and of a character to bring destruction to both soul and body of one addicted to it, she endeavored to free herself from its shackles; but she found herself too securely bound for escape. It seemed, indeed, an utter impossibility. Her thoughts had long been allowed to run in sentimental channels, and now they would do so in spite of the most earnest efforts to the contrary, during her waking hours; and in sleep, while the will power was not active, the imagination would run riot uncontrolled, leaving her, upon awaking, exhausted, enervated, and almost desperate with chagrin. Knowing that she was daily suffering for her transgressions, she was filled with remorse and regret, and would have given all to undo the past; but, alas! she could not, and could only suffer with patience until relief could be secured. Her love for sentimental literature occasioned another battle for her to fight; for she could scarcely resist the temptation daily offered her to while away some of the weary hours with such stories of love and sentiment as she had been accustomed to enjoy. But she fought the battle earnestly, and finally succeeded in conquering the evil tendencies of her mind both while awake and when asleep; and from that time she began to make slow progress toward recovery. The last we saw of her she was doing well, and hoped in time to arrive at a very comfortable state of health.

A Desperate Case.—A little girl about ten years of age was brought to us by her father, who came with his daughter to have her broken of the vile habit of self-abuse into which she had fallen, having been taught it by a German servant girl. Having read an early copy of this work, the father had speedily detected the habit, and had adopted every measure which he could devise to break his child of the destructive vice which she had acquired, but in vain. After applying various other measures without success, it finally became necessary to resort to a surgical operation, by which it is hoped that she was permanently cured, as we have heard nothing to the contrary since, and as the remedy seemed to be effectual. It was a severe remedy, and may seem a harsh one, but every other means utterly failed, and the father insisted upon the performance of the operation as a trial. This little girl, naturally truthful and honest, had, through the influence of this blighting vice, been made crafty and deceptive. She would tell the most astonishing falsehoods to free herself from the charge of guilt or to avoid punishment. The gentleman, her father, felt so deeply upon the subject and was so thoroughly awake to the consequences of the sin, that he declared he would take his daughter away into the wilderness and leave her to die, if need be, rather than allow her to grow up to womanhood with this vile blight upon her, and run the risk of her contaminating with the same vice his other, younger children. He felt so deeply that the tears coursed down his cheeks as he talked, and we were most happy to be of service to him in aiding his daughter to overcome the fascinating vice. She seemed willing to try to help herself, but was unable to break the bonds of sin without the extraordinary help which she received.

We might continue this rehearsal of cases to an almost indefinite length, but we must soon bring this chapter to a close. Those described are only a few examples of the many we are constantly meeting. None have been overdrawn; much has been omitted for the sake of delicacy which the exposure of the whole truth would have required us to present. We sincerely hope that these examples may be a warning to those who have never marred their purity of character by an unchaste act. To those who may have already sinned in this manner let the words come with double force and meaning. Do you value life, health, beauty, honor, virtue, purity? Then for the sake of all these, abandon the evil practice at once. Do not hesitate for a moment to decide, and do not turn back after deciding to reform.

A Last Word.—Girls, as one who has only your best interests in view, and who would do you good, we beg of you to give heed one moment to the important matter which we have been presenting before you. It is of no frivolous character. It is one of the most important subjects to which your attention can be called. Only those who are utterly ignorant of the dangers which surround them in the world, or who are already hardened in sin, will treat this matter lightly or scornfully. If you are still pure and possess a character unsoiled by sin, thank God that you have been preserved until now, and humbly petition him to enable you to remain as pure and unsullied as you now are. Cultivate all of the heavenly graces. Make your dear mother your confidant in all your perplexities and trials. Go to her for information on all subjects upon which you find yourself ignorant. Let no foreign influence beguile away your confidence from her who is most worthy of your love and respect, and who is best prepared to instruct you on all subjects, no matter how delicate. Trust in God for help to resist evil under every guise. Flee from temptation under whatever form it may appear. Thus may you escape the suffering, the sorrow, and the remorse, which is endured sooner or later by all who enter the road of sin, no matter how short a time they may travel therein.

To those who have already fallen, who have been led astray either ignorantly or through weakness in yielding to temptation, we will say, Turn from your evil way at once. Misery, sorrow, anguish, and everlasting ruin stare you in the face. Perdition is before you. You need not think to escape the punishment that others suffer, for there is no way of escape. The penalty will surely come. Make haste to return to the paths of purity before it is too late to mend the past. It may take years of pure and upright living to repair the evil already done; but do not hesitate to begin at once. With the help of God, resolve to become pure again. God can cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He can enable you to chase from your mind and heart every impure thought and unclean desire. Through his grace you can successfully battle with temptation and redeem the black record of the past.


Of the last two preceding chapters one was devoted exclusively to advice and instruction to boys, the other being written expressly for girls. Now we have a few words in conclusion for boys and girls together. It is of the greatest importance that our boys and girls should be in every way improved as much as possible. They are to become the men and women of the next generation, when their fathers and mothers have retired from active life. Twenty years from to-day the world will be just what the present boys and girls shall make it. Boys who are chaste, honest, obedient, and industrious, will become useful and noble men, husbands, and fathers. Girls who are pure, innocent, and dutiful, will become honored and lovely women, wives, and mothers.

Boys and girls are placed in families together, and thus are evidently designed by nature to associate together, to obtain their education and preparation for life together. When secluded wholly from each other's society, both suffer a loss. But while this is true, it is also true that certain evils may and often do grow out of the association of the two sexes of young people, so serious in character that many wise and good men and women have felt that the sexes should be reared and educated apart as much as possible. These evils are the result of too intimate and improper associations of boys and girls. Associations of this sort must be most sedulously avoided. Boys and girls who are in school together must be extremely careful to avoid too close associations. On all occasions a modest reserve should be maintained in the deportment of the young of both sexes toward each other. Too early friendships formed often lead to hasty marriages, before either party is prepared to enter into the married state, and before the judgment has been sufficiently developed to make either capable of selecting a suitable partner for life. These facts are usually learned when it is too late for the information to be of any value.

Parents and teachers are especially responsible for guarding these early associations and giving timely warning when needed. The youth should always be ready to take advice on this subject, for with their inexperience they cannot know their wants so well as do their elders. Nothing is more disgusting to persons of sound sense than youthful flirtations. Those misguided persons who encourage these indiscretions in young people do an immense amount of injury to those whom they ought to be prepared to benefit by wise counsel. We have seen promising young people made wretched for life through the influence of one of these mischief-makers, being most unhappily mated, and repenting too late of a hasty marriage for which they were utterly unprepared.

Young persons often labor under the erroneous impression that in order to be agreeable they must talk "small talk;" this literally means, "silly twaddle," which disgusts everybody, and yet which all seek to imitate. Whenever the two sexes meet in society or elsewhere, as at all other times, the conversation should be turned upon subjects of real interest, which admit of the exercise of sound sense and will be a means of culture. Such associations do not result in injury to any one, and may be the means of much profit; but nothing is more execrable than the frivolous, silly, often absolutely senseless observations which make up the great bulk of the conversation of young people in fashionable society.

The most ready means of disclosing the superficial character of the minds of a large share of the young persons who move in fashionable circles is to introduce some topic requiring depth of thought and sound judgment. Such a subject will usually produce either an instant lull in the conversation or a display of ignorance which cannot fail to reveal the shallowness of the speaker's intellect. It is this superficial class of minds that most easily fall victims to a sickly sentimentalism, which readily leads to digressions from the pathway of rigid virtue.

A boy who has the elements of true manliness in him will carry a gentlemanly bearing wherever he goes. In all his deportment, and especially in his conduct toward the opposite sex, he will act the gentleman; and the boy whose gentility is genuine will manifest the same kind deference toward his mother and sisters as toward other ladies and girls. So also the young lady who is a lady at heart, will never allow herself to forget the rules of propriety, whether she is in the company of her father and brothers, or that of other gentlemen.

All the rules of etiquette are worth little compared with the one simple rule which is applicable to both sexes and all ages,—"Have the heart right, and then act natural." One so governed will not go very far astray under any circumstances; but it is of the greatest importance that the heart be right. To make it such is, indeed, the great business of life.



Abortion, results of,280
Accidental pregnancy,236
Adaptation to marriage,127
Advice to boys,468
Advice to girls,499
Advice to boys and girls,501
Ante-natal influences,105
Antediluvian wickedness,286
Bad language,461
Bad company,458
Bad books,462
Bad books, influence of,463
Bad books, effects of,486
Balls, demoralizing effect of,204
Beauty, how to develop,473
Beer-drinking by nursing mothers,71
Beer, evil effects of,467
Betrothal of infants,138
Birth, changes at,69
Bladder, irritation of,203
Boarding-schools, danger of,495
Books, bad,186
Books, obscene,187
Brain, male and female,42
Breasts, atrophy of the,374
Breath, causes of foul,89
Cancer, cause of,253
Cancer, of the womb,374
Causes of unchastity,181
Cells, development of,104
Chlorosis,95, 343
Cider, evil effects of,467
Circumcision,113, 410
Civilization, perverting influence of,181
Classification of living creatures,27
Clitoris,57, 73
Colds, how to prevent,84
Conception, prevention of,250
Condiments,210, 292
Conjugal onanism,250
Consumption, cause of,230, 435
Continence, male,256
Continence, not injurious,205
Continence, difficulty of,208
Continence, helps to,209
Conversation, trifling,503
Courtship, evils of,137
Courtships, long,140
Crime, source of,107
Crime, cause of,454
Criminality hereditary,107
Critical period, a,482
Desirable qualities, how to produce,113
Development,59, 477
Development, premature,78
Development in higher animals,61
Diet, influence on chastity,182
Disease, obscure causes of,376
Diurnal emissions,359
Divorce, loose laws of,153
Dozing, danger of,212
Dreams, how to control,397
Dress and sensuality,190
Dressing unhealthfully,89
Dress reform,193
Drinks, stimulating,392
Dyspepsia, cause of,434
Early associations,314
Early marriage,126
Early training,310
Early training, lack of,295
Early decline, cause of,481
Egypt a hot-bed of vice,286
Embryo, simple structure of,64
Embryo, stages of growth of,65
Emissions, effect of,356
Emissions, internal,361
Emissions, nocturnal,353
Endurance of women,43
Epilepsy, cause of,244
Evil habits,427
Excesses, marital,216
Excesses, results of,225
Excesses, effects of on wives,231
Excesses, effects of on husbands,226
Extra-uterine pregnancy,97
Eyes, weakness of,369
Fallopian tube,74
False delicacy,92
False training,473
Fashion, and vice,192
Fashionable dissipation,478
Fecundation, in flowers,53
Fecundation, modes of,55
Fecundation, in fishes,56
Fecundation, in reptiles,56
Fecundation, in higher animals,56
Fecundation, in hermaphrodites,59
Feeling apparatus,425
Females, imperfect,58
Female organs,73
Female organs of flowers,48
Fetus, respiration of,67
Fetus, influenced through the blood,67
Fishes, development in,60
Fishes, fecundation in,56
Filthy dreams,179
Filthy talkers,180
Flirtation, evils of,143
Flirtation, youthful,144
Flirtation, childish,487
Flowers, polygamous,47
Flowers, female organs of,48
Flowers, fecundation in,53
Foods, stimulating,392
Force, life,29
Functions of life,30
General debility,365
Generation, laws of,219
Generation, physiological,112
Generation, spontaneous,31
Generation, ancient theory of,32
Gestation, duration of,66
Girls, a chapter for,470
Girls, causes which lead astray,484
Girls, how ruined,493
Habit, power of,496
Health essential to beauty,474
Health hints,88, 93
Heart disease,367
Heredity, laws of,243
Heredity, of disease,109
Heredity, of crime,107
Hermaphrodites, fecundation in,59
Hip bath,93
Human machine, the,423
Human wrecks,437
Human form,474
Human buds,476
Husbands, improvident,170
Hysteria,95, 343
Hysteria, causes of,96, 375
Idiocy, cause of,433
Ill-health of girls, causes of,472
Illustrative cases,437
Impotence,363, 410
Impotence, not produced by continence,207
Infanticide, among various nations,273
Infant intoxication,70
Infants, betrothal of,138
Insanity, cause of,447, 490
Instinct, lessons from,220
Instinct, a safe guide,224
Internal emissions,361
Intestinal worms,202
Juke family, the,108
Labia, the,73
Law of heredity applied,126
Law of sex,101
Legalized murder,233
Legalized vice,309
Libidinous blood,290
Licentious worship,287
Licentiousness, results of,302
Life, beginning of,52
Life, force,29
Life, origin of,33
Life, modern modes of,203
Life, when it begins,262
Life, uterine,66
Literature, poisonous,189
Living beings,25
Love, perverted,178
Lust, effect upon child,111
Male organs,71
Male continence,256
Mammary glands,70
Marriage,124, 402
Marriage, evils of ill-mated,131
Marriage, effect of late,132
Marriage, experimental,141
Marriage, forbidden,155
Marriage, of cousins,163
Marriage, of criminals,164
Marriage, of paupers,167
Marriage, but not love,235
Marriage, customs of different nations,125
Marital excesses,216
Marital rights,234
Masturbation,315, 428
Masturbation, treatment of,378
Masturbation, prevention of,378
Masturbation, effects in females,373
Masturbation, effects on offspring,376
Masturbation, self-helps to cure,385
Menopause, the,82
Menstrual period, duration of,82
Menstruation, nature of,83
Mental unchastity,174
Mental culture,313
Milk, influence of upon children,70
Mind, cause of unbalanced,129
Mock piety,338
Mothers, a warning to,201
Mothers, their work,479
Moral contagion,459
Moving apparatus,425
Multiple births,98
Navel, the,68
Nervous diseases,368
Nervous debility, treatment of,378
Nocturnal emissions,353
Nutritive apparatus,425
Nymphæ, the,73
Objects of life,423
Obscene books,187
Oneida community, the,258
Organized beings,28
Ovum, discharge of,83
Ovum, size of,52
Ovum, expulsion of from ovary,74
Ovum, union of the, with the zoösperm,57
Pangenesis, doctrine of,103
Parturition, painless,68
Passion, inherited,121
Passions, how excited,183
Pernicious books, influence of,297
Penis, the,56, 71
Physical differences in sex,39
Plants, sex of,37
Pictures, vile,464
Poisonous literature,189
Polygamous flowers,47
Polygamy, defense of,148
Polygamy, exposed,149
Polygamy, of great men,152
Precocity, sexual,117
Precocity, indications of,119
Pregnancy, duration of,66
Pregnancy, extra-uterine,97
Pregnancy, indulgence during,241
Premature development,78
Premature decay,419
Prevention of conception,250
Prostate gland,72
Prostate gland, enlargement of the,349
Prostitution, in Greece,287
Puberty, premature,75
Puberty, influence of diet on,76
Puberty, changes at,79
Puberty, influence of climate on,75
Pudenda, the,73
Purifying apparatus,425
Quacks,362, 412
Race degeneration, cause of,436
Religion, help of,213
Religious novels,297
Religious insanity,371
Reproduction,31, 424, 476
Reproduction, elements of,45
Reproduction, in polyps,58
Reproduction, anatomy of,71
Reproduction, curious modes of,57
Reproduction, in the honey bee,58
Reproduction, in lower animals,218
Reproductive organs,71
Reproductive functions,217
Reproductive apparatus,426
Reproductive elements, union of,57
Reptiles, fecundation in,56
Reptiles, development in,60
Respiration in woman,44
Respiration of the fetus,67
Results of abortion,280
Roman emperors, licentiousness of,288
Scrotum, the,71
Secret vice,428
Secret vice, evidences of,481
Secret vice, prevalence of,480
Secret vice, terrible effects of,480
Self-abuse,315, 428
Self-abuse, causes of,321, 487
Self-abuse, effects of,437
Self-abuse, the signs of,331
Self-abuse, results of,347
Self-abuse, treatment of,378
Self-abuse, not a modern vice,319
Self-abuse, physical causes of,329
Self-abuse, how to cure the habit of,382
Seminal fluid, the,51, 72
Senile children,134
Senile sexuality,123
Sentimental books,485
Sentimental young women,190
Sentimental literature, influence of,296
Sex, in plants,37
Sex, in animals,38
Sex, law of,101
Sex, of fetus,102
Sexual differences,38
Sexual organs of plants,46
Sexual organs of animals,48
Sexual relations, the,116
Sexual precocity,117
Sexual precocity, causes of,122
Sexual activity, the limit of,124
Shaker views,258
Social lepers,146
Social evil, the,284
Social evil, causes of the,290
Social evil, cure of the,308
Solitary vice,315
Solitary vice, alarming prevalence of,316
Solitary vice, unsuspected cause of,318
Spermatozoa, size of,50
Spinal irritation,369
Stimulants the cause of self-abuse,330
Suicide, cause of,453
Tea and coffee,292
Tea and coffee, bad effects of,467
Testicles, position of,48
Testicles, wasting of,352
Thinking apparatus,425
Thoughts, evil,465
Throat disease, cause of,229
Time to marry,125
Tobacco, evil effects of,467
Tobacco, grave charges against,185
Umbilical cord,67
Unchaste conversation,179
Unchastity, causes of,181
Unchastity, of the ancients,274
Unchastity, physical causes of,201
Unconsidered murders,260
Uterine life,66
Uterine douche,93
Uterine disease,233, 373
Uterine gestation,62
Urinary diseases,349
Urethra, the,72
Vagina, the,56, 74
Vegetable husbands,47
Vice legalized,309
Vicious companions,484
Vital force, definition of,29
Vital organs of man and woman,43
Vision, dimness of,369
Vulva, the,73
Waltz, the, its sensuality,199
Weak backs,339
Wine, evil effects of,467
Wives, on trial,139
Wives, sale of, among the Russians,138
Woman, servitude of,263
Woman, her responsibility,270
Woman's rights,264
Women, Indian,86
Women, Hebrew,87
Womb, cancer of the,374


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