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Physiology and Hygiene 



R. T. TRALL, M.D. 






Since this work was first published, now nearly 
twenty years ago, it has had a sale of about 
60,000 copies, and the demand for it from every 
part of the globe where the English language is 
spoken seems to be on the increase. 

In order to embody in it whatever is of recent 
discovery, it has been most carefully revised and 
much new matter added. Indeed, it is safe to 
say that nearly two-thirds of the work has been 
entirely re-written. 

It claims to be, so far as anatomical and 
physiological problems are concerned, rigidly 
scientific, embracing all the discoveries of this 
rapidly advancing age, so far as they come 
within the scope of its plan and purpose. Its 
style, arrangement, and application are addressed 
to the popular rather than to the professional 



reader. Its sole object is to instruct the masses 
of the people on those subjects which have 
hitherto been to them, in great part, a sealed 

So far as the author is aware, this was the 
first attempt to popularise, in a scientific work, 
the subject of Sexual Physiology. The public 
has too long ignored as indelicate, or as too 
intricate and mysterious to be comprehended 
except by those who are educated in all the 
branches of the medical j)rofession, the subjects 
which lie at the very foundation of their earthly 
well-being. While the medical profession has 
wrapped its knowledge, vague and unsatisfactory 
as it is, in so many folds of technicalities, that 
the non-professional readers find little for them 
in the standard works. 

That this revised edition may be as kindly re- 
ceived as the earlier ones, is the desire of the 





Vital and Chemical Actions - - - 13 
The Properties of Living Matter - - - 15 
The Origin of Living Matter - - - 17 



Sexual Generation - - - - - 23 
The Sexual Organs of Plants - - - 32 



Physiology and Hygiene of Menstruation - 45 

Menstruation is Ovulation - 46 

Rationale of the Menses - 48 

Quantity of Menstrual Blood - - - 49 



The Contests between the Males of various 

Animals, and even Man, for the Female 53 







Contests for Females — (continued) - - 75 



The Nature of the Ovum - 93 

The Corpus Luteum of Menstruation - - 96 

The Corpus Luteum of Pregnancy - 98 

The Action of the Male - - - 99 

Action of the Female 102 

Vitality of the Spermatozoids and Ovum - 104 

The Mechanism of Fecundation - - - 105 

Where Impregnation Occurs - - - 106 

The Number of Spermatozoa Required to 

Impregnate an Ovum - - - - 107 


Signs of Pregnancy 
Duration of Pregnancy 
Viability of the Child 
The Decidua 



Development of the Germ - 
Segmentation of the Vitellus 
The Blastodermic Membrane 

Position of the Fetus - 






CHAPTER VIII.— Embryology— (continued), 

Fetal Dependencies - - 133 

Fetal Peculiarities - - - - - 138 

Circulation of the Fetus - - 142 

The Placenta .... - 143 



Rationale of Labour - - - - - 145 

Rationale of Labour Pains - - - - 148 

Natural Labour 150 



Secretion of Milk - - - - 153 

Constituents of Milk - - - 155 

Quantity and Quality of Milk - - 155 

Lactation and Pregnancy - - - 157 



The Law of Sex 161 

Inheritance Transferred to the Opposite Sex 184 

Can Sex be Produced at Will - - - 186 

The Explanation 188 


Effect of Previous Impregnation on the Female 191 






" Woman's Rights " - - - - - 199 

The Science of Propagation - 203 

Sound Germs and a Sound Progeny - - 205 

Regulation of Births 208 

Children a Necessity to a Perfect Life - 211 

The Number of Children 215 

Best Time for Parentage - - - - 216 



The Primary Question - - - 217 

The Social Vice ------ 222 

The Solitary Vice 224 

Shakerism - - - - - - - 224 

Mormonism - 226 

Celibacy - - 228 

Frequency of Sexual Intercourse - - - 232 

Pleasure of Sexual Intercourse - - - 234 



Rights of Offspring 237 

Beautiful Children - - - - - 244 

Good Children 247 

Woman's Dress 259 



Injurious Habits - - - - - 261 

Chastity 265 

Unchastity - 266 







Vital and Chemical Actions. — Organised or liv- 
ing beings are distinguished from the inorganic 
world by the nature or quality of the actions 
which they perforin. The actions which take 
place in masses of matter are mechanical — mere 
changes of place. Particles of matter combine 
and separate, according to innate and reciprocal 
affinities, constituting chemical actions or changes. 
But in the organic domain all actions are in 
obedience to more complex laws, and entirely 
different from chemical or mechanical changes. 

In the living system, elements are transformed 
and disintegrated. The vegetable kingdom trans- 
forms simple or primary elements into its own 

tissues, structures, and organs. But the animal 



kingdom can only employ, in the construction, 
development, and replenishment of its tissues, struct- 
ures, and organisms, with the exception of atmo- 
spheric gases and water, only the proximate ele- 
ments of the vegetable kingdom. While, therefore, 
the vegetable kingdom, so to speak, feeds on the 
animal kingdom, the animal kingdom, directly or 
indirectly, feeds on the vegetable kingdom. And 
this fact, which is but the statement of a law of 
Nature, points to important considerations in 
dietetics and agriculture. 

It is true that masses of inorganic matter may 
increase or decrease in bulk; but it is by the 
accretion or separation of particles. In chemistry, 
acids and alkalies, for example, combine and form 
salts — a third substance unlike either of the in- 
gredients, and the salts may be decomposed and 
the ingredients reproduced. There is nothing like 
nutrition, growth, development, and disintegration 
in inorganic matter. But living organisms change 
and transform other elements and substances with- 
out being themselves changed. They convert 
food into bone, muscle, nerve, etc., use them as 
force material, reduce them to ashes, and expel 
the ashes in the form of bile, sweat, feces, urine, 
and carbonic acid gas, through the emunctories — 
the liver, skin, bowels, kidneys, and lungs. No- 
thing analogous to these processes occurs in the 
organic world ; nor can the chemical laboratory 
either construct a vital organ or tissue, or analyse 



it so as to determine of what elements or materials 
it was composed. The chemist can only give us 
the product of his analysis, and he only analyses 
dead matter. 

The Properties of Living Matter. — The general 
properties of living matter are those of con- 
traction or motion and reproduction. These 
properties are seen in every moving and growing 
organism, be it animal or vegetable. We consider 
matter alive only so long as it exhibits, or can 
exhibit, these properties; when the power to 
move, to grow, and reproduce cease, we call it 

In speaking of motion we wish to convey a very 
different idea from what we understand by motion 
in other substances. The earth has its motions, 
and yet is not alive. Heat, light, and electricity 
are forms of motion as seen in non-living matter. 
The motions of living matter are properties which 
it possesses from its nature. A living body moves 
by virtue of these properties. Its tissues have 
contractibility and irritability of a very different 
kind from the crystal. Living matter can go 
against gravity. Its motion is spontaneous or 
automatic. It may change its shape, we call this 
amoeboid motion ; it may change its place, we call 
this locomotion; it may increase in size, we call 
this growth ; it may give birth to new individuals, 
we call this reproduction. When it ceases to grow, 


there is a period of action and reproduction, after 
which comes death. 

The living matter of plants and animals is 
essentially the same, and the boundary between 
the animal and vegetable world has gradually 
faded away, so that in the lowest organisms it is 
difficult to say which belongs to one and which 
to the other kingdom. It has been urged that 
vegetables live on inorganic matter and animals 
on organic, and that this distinguishes the one 
from the other. But we now know that animals 
of a high grade of organisation may appropri- 
ate inorganic matter to a small extent, and it is 
not known to what degree the lower forms of 
animal life may do this. We also know that 
there are plants which are carnivorous and 
capable of absorbing nourishment from flesh 

The chemical composition of living matter is 
complex. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, 
united with a large proportion of water, form its 
chief constituents, to which a small amount of 
sulphur may be added. No living matter has yet 
been found destitute of any of the first four of 
these elements. By virtue of its constant loss on 
account of its activity, new matter must as con- 
tinually be supplied, which can be converted into 
the same substance. If the living matter increases 
beyond the loss, there is growth ; if the loss is 
greater than the supply, then there is a diminu- 



tion of weight, and finally death. This happens 
in old age, when the living matter of the body is 
almost nothing. 

Living matter depends on moisture for its 
activities. A certain amount of drying arrests its 
property of motion. In the lower forms of life, 
however, it may become perfectly dry and dessi- 
cated and yet recover its life when moistened. It 
is also intimately related to heat. All vital activity, 
growth, and nutrition cease both above and below 
certain temperatures. The action of heat and 
cold destroy and coagulate the structure of the 
protoplasm, without which life is impossible. A 
mass of living matter is simply an organised 
machine of great complexity, the results of the 
working of which depend on its structure and 
upon the energy supplied to it from either within 
or without. 

Origin of Living Matter. — The origin of living 
matter is shrouded in mystery. There was a time 
when our globe was a fiery ball, like a huge glow- 
ing spark from the sun, careering through space, 
and for countless ages so hot that no life was 
possible upon its surface. Little by little it radi- 
ated its heat into space and became cool enough 
for low forms of organisms. When the earth was 
first fit for living beings there could have been no 
living thing upon it. There were rocks, solid and 

disintegrated ; water ; air rich in plant food ; a 



warm and brilliant sun — a world only waiting to 
become a garden — but no life. 

Living matter must have appeared at a very 
remote time, since we find its remains far down in 
ancient rocks. How did it make its appearance ? 
Numerous and very varied opinions have from time 
to time been advocated both by scientists and theo- 
logians. According to an opinion advanced by Sir 
William Thompson, it may have been by the acci- 
dental falling on our planet of a " moss-grown frag- 
ment from the ruins of another world." We know 
that the meteorites that fall on the earth contain 
fossil plants, dead, of course ; but at some time a 
fresh fragment may have come with living matter 
upon it. This theory, however, shirks the question 
of the origin of life, and gives the honour to some 
other globe — puts it back farther and farther, until 
it is lost in the darkness of the past. 

Darwin says, speaking of the probable commence- 
ment of life on the globe : a I believe that animals 
have descended from at most only four or five pro- 
genitors, and plants from an equal or less number. 
Analogy would lead me one step farther — namely, 
to the belief that all animals and plants have 
descended from some one prototype. There is 
grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers 
having been originally breathed by the Creator into 
a few forms or into one, and that whilst this planet 
has gone cycling on, according to the laws of 
gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms 



most beautiful and most wonderful have been and 
are being evolved." 

Herbert Spencer teaches distinctly that living 
matter must have been at first formless ; that mul- 
tiplication probably took place as in the lowest 
forms of living matter to-day ; and adds : " Every 
kind of being is conceived as a product of modifi- 
cations wrought by insensible gradations on a pre- 
existing kind of being, and this holds fully of the 
commencements of organic life, or of all subsequent 
developments." He also says " that the formation 
of living matter, and the evolution of life in its low- 
est forms, may go on on the globe in its present 
condition ; yet it is more likely that its first 
appearance took pla: e at a time when the heat of 
the earth's surface was falling through those ranges 
of temperature at which the higher forms of life are 

The opinions of Professor Huxley and Professor 
Tyndal do not differ much from that of Spencer. 
They teach that living matter came into being 
originally as the result of natural causes — that is, 
by the unhindered play of affinities operating on 
matter of a certain kind in solution, after it had 
acquired a certain degree of complexity, very 
similar to the way that crystalline matter comes 
into being at the present time ; but they insist that 
we have no evidence, as yet, that such processes 
occur to-day. 

Bastian, who, during the present century, has 


been the most able advocate of spontaneous gener- 
ation, believes that the lowest forms of life come 
into being spontaneously to-day as readily as in 
former times, whenever the proper material at the 
proper temperature is found in solution, as in the 
warm water of our brooks and pools in summer, 
when they are rich in vegetable infusions. He 
says : " Living matter is constantly being formed 
de novo in obedience to the same laws and tend- 
encies as those which determine all the more 
simple chemical combinations. The qualities which 
we summarise under the word 4 life ' are in all cases 
due to the combined molecular actions and pro- 
perties of the aggregate that displays them, just as 
the properties which we include under the word 
magnetism are due to particular modes of arrange- 
ment that have been assumed by the molecules of 
iron. Living matter is especially characterised by 
the complexity of its molecules and their state of 
continual internal movement, and it is this molec- 
ular inability which makes an aggregate of living 
matter, in the form of a simple organism, very 
prone to undergo changes in its intimate constitu- 
tion, either spontaneously or under the effect of 
external forces. Some new conditions may not 
visibly affect it ; others may cause its death and 
still bring about a modification of its constitution." 

For the purposes of this work, however, it makes 
little difference whether any or none of these 
theories prevail. We know that life originates 



from life, and that it has not yet been proved that 
it originates in any other way. If it should be 
proved at some future time, it will only add an- 
other glory to the world, and make the universe 
grander than we suppose it to be. On the other 
hand, it is quite sufficient to account for all the life 
on the globe ; that far back in its history living 
matter came into bein^ : and it matters little 
whether its first appearance was in a single minute 
speck in a favoured locality, or spontaneously over 
the entire earth, or in some other and more 
miraculous manner. 



Reproduction in plants and animals goes on by- 
two principal methods with many modifications. 
One method is called sexual and the other asexual. 
The former is by the conjunction of two individuals 
of different sexes ; the latter is without such con- 
junction, and will be explained first. 

The method by which the multiplication of in- 
dividuals takes place asexual! y proceeds in two 
ways : one is by the division of one organism into 
two parts ; each of these again dividing into two 
others, and so on. This method is termed repro- 
duction by fission. The other mode of increase 
consists in the formation of a bud at some part of 
the body of the plant or animal. The bud gradu- 
ally develops to the form of the parent from which 
it springs ; its i^etiole, or stem, slowly disappears, 
and the bud, finally liberated, becomes an inde- 
pendent being, resembling in every particular the 
parent from which it came. This is called repro- 
duction by gemmation. 

Reproduction by fission is next illustrated by 

what takes place in the infusoria. It may occur 



by longitudinal division, as in the vorticella, or by 
transverse, as in the stentor, or by both methods, 
as in the chilodon, paramedian, etc. The joints 
of the tapeworm multiply by division, and when 
sufficiently developed become free. Some of the 
worms have a modified form of reproducing by 
fission. Mtiller observed this first, and considered 
it accidental ; but more recent researches show it 
to have far more significance than he supposed. 
There are some animals which may be divided 
artificially, and each part will produce a head and 
tail, and enlarge until a perfect organism is the 
result. All are familiar with the reproduction of 
plants by artificial division, as, for instance, the 
willow, a branch of which removed from the parent 
tree and set in a moist place grows into an inde- 
pendent tree. Eeproduction b}^ buds is very com- 
mon in both the vegetable and animal kingdoms. 
There are modifications of these methods, as, for 
instance, when a plant reproduces by a bulb or a 
tuber, and also Avhere only a single cell is de- 
tached from the parent and develops into its like- 

Generation by fission and gemmation are not 
confined to the simplest forms of life, but both 
modes of multiplication are common, not only in 
plants, but among animals of considerable com- 
plexity of structure. 

In all these cases of reproduction by division 
-there is no influence from other living matter 


The segment does not need fructification, being 
perfect of itself. This method, common as it is in 
the lower forms of life, becomes more and more 
rare among the higher animals, and ceases alto- 
gether in the highest. 

Throughout almost the entire series of animal 
and vegetable beings we find, in connection with 
the process of asexual generation, another method, 
in which the development of the germ into an 
organism resembling the parent depends on the 
influence exerted by living matter different from 
the germ, and this brings us to the subject of 
sexual generation. In the lowest organisms sexual 
generation is absent, or at least it has not been ob- 
served. In the highest organisms asexual gener- 
ation is wanting. In many of the lower forms of 
life asexual generation is the predominant mode 
of reproduction, while sexual generation occasion- 
ally takes place. In many of the higher, on the 
contrary, sexual generation is most common, while 
asexual generation takes place exceptionally. 

The simplest form of sexual generation consists 
in the coalescence of two similar masses of living 
matter, derived from different parts of the same 
organism, or from two organisms of the same 
species. The reunited mass, after the fusion, de- 
velops into a new being. In most cases, however, 
there is a marked difference in the two factors in 
the process, and we call one factor the male and 
the other the female element. The female element 


is larger than the male, and undergoes but little 
change of form. In all the higher plants and 
animals it is a nucleated organised lump or mass 
of living protoplasm, to which a small amount of 
nutriment for the first stage of development — which 
we call the yelk — may be added. The male 
element, on the other hand, is comparatively small. 
It may be conveyed to the female element in vari- 
ous ways, as all who have observed carefully the 
structure of the flowers of plants, and the very 
interesting manner in which the male and female 
elements are brought in contact, know. 

In true sexual generation in the higher animals 
two special organs are required — a female organ 
for producing an ovum or egg, and a male organ 
for producing the spermatozoa. Each form of 
generative apparatus consists of two parts, of which 
one is a formative organ, — in the female termed the 
ovarium, and in the male the testes, — in which the 
reproductive cells are formed, and which are essen- 
tial, and an efficient duct by which the products 
of secretion are carried off. The male and female 
organs may exist in separate individuals or coexist 
in the same individual, giving rise to what is known 
as hermaphroditism. 

The following; brief outline of reproduction in 
the classes of the animal kingdom, beginning with 
the lowest, will be of interest. 

The protozoa reproduce by all three modes : 
fission, gemmation, and an impregnated ovum ; but 



fission is the principal method, and it is only in the 
infusoria that we have undoubted evidence of true 
sexual generation. 

In the echinoclermata, fission has been observed 
in some classes, which have at the same time 
sexual organs combined in the same individual. 
In the other classes the sexes are separate, and 
generation only takes place by the union of the 
germs or ova and spermatozoa. 

In the annelida, sexual generation occurs, and 
there is also sometimes multiplication by fission. 
In the lower mollusca, generation takes place by 
gemmation and true generation. In the higher 
mollusca, multiplication occurs only by true genera- 

In the articulata insects and crustaceans, genera- 
tion is sexual, and except in one class, the cirrho- 
poda, the sexes are separate. 

In the vertebrate we have the most complex 
form of generation, and except in a few genera 
of fishes, the sexes are always separate. The 
osseous and cartilaginous fishes present important 
differences in their reproductive organs and modes 
of reproduction. In the osseous fishes the essential 
female organ, the ovary or roe, consists of a large 
membraneous bag, usually in two lobes, but some- 
times single. When extended with ova this organ 
fills the greater part of the abdominal cavity. 
The lining membrane is arranged in folds to give 
greater surface, and make the retention of the 


ova, until sufficiently ripe for expulsion, more easy ; 
they then escape into the abdominal cavity, and 
are expelled in enormous numbers through an 
opening between the anus and urinary canal. In 
most cases the eggs of fishes are impregnated after 
their expulsion ; and in order that a sufficient num- 
ber of them may be impregnated, the male secretion, 
or milt, of fishes, which contains the spermatozoa, 
is very abundant, being nearly equal to the roe of 
the female. In a very few classes of fishes the 
young are hatched in the ovary, and are of con- 
siderable size before they are born, and in these 
cases impregnation must have taken place inter- 
nally. In the cartilaginous fishes, the sharks and 
rays, we have a higher type of generative organs. 
The eggs are always impregnated within the body 
of the female, the male having special organs by 
which sexual congress is effected. The ovaries of 
the female are in the form of two glandular bunches 
on either side of the spine. The eggs are of large 
size and few in number. As they escape from the 
ovary they pass into an oviduct, which secretes 
about them a horny shell, shaped like a pillow-case, 
with long tendrils at each corner, which entwine 
about the seaweed in the water and thus maintain 
their position. As remarked, the shell is horny ; 
were it brittle like an egg-shell it would soon be 
broken by the continuous beating of the waves. In 
order that the embryo may escape from this tough 
envelope there is an opening at one extremity, 



and the slightest exertion of the living embryo 
within separates this opening, when the young 
escapes by its own efforts — a form of parturition 
which gives no pain, and is full of simplicity as 
well as interest, and gives us a grand impression of 
the curious ways in which nature provides for 
every emergency, and triumphs over the greatest 

In the batrachia, or frogs, the sexes are more 
closely associated than in the osseous fishes, and 
the eggs are usually impregnated by the male as 
they escape from the female. In one batrachia, 
the saurian toad, the impregnated eggs are seized 
by the male and deposited in a sort of pouch in the 
skin on the back of the female, where they develop 
until of considerable size, when they escape. It 
was formerly supposed that this was a true case of 
viviparous birth, until a careful study resulted in 
this discovery. 

In the true reptiles the sexual organs are still 
more highly evolved, and the male has organs for 
the impregnation of the female by sexual congress, 
which now becomes essential to fecundation. 

All reptiles are oviparous, though a few species 
retain the egg in a sort of cavity formed by a 
dilatation of the oviduct, until they are considerably 
developed, when they are brought forth alive. 
The eggs of reptiles are quite large, and abund- 
antly supplied with nutriment for the young 
animal. The shell is somewhat like parchment — 


soft and flexible, but very tough, and contains a 
very small portion of lime-salts. The eggs are 
usually deposited in warm, dry places, where the 
heat of the sun or the heat of putrefactive matter — 
as, for instance, dunghills — will facilitate the de- 
velopment of the embryo. In a rough way, reptiles 
have forestalled the invention of the incubator, now 
so extensively used in the hatching of chickens 
and other birds. 

The reproductive power of different species of 
reptiles varies: Lizards lay from 8 to 12 eggs; 
serpents from 10 to 50 ; tortoises from 20 to 30 ; 
crocodiles from 20 to 60. 

The reptile has little maternal instinct ; but its 
dawn and slight development has been observed in 
crocodiles and lizards, which sometimes watch the 
places chosen for depositing the eggs, and the 
python in captivity surrounds its eggs and imparts 
to them such heat as its low temperature will 

In birds the generative organs present a clear 
analogy to the higher reptiles. There is only one 
ovary, and that is on the left side. There is, how- 
ever, a rudimentary ovary on the right side which 
is atrophied. This is a curious instance of the 
violation of symmetry. It would be exceedingly 
difficult for birds so constantly on the flight to 
give birth to living young, and so incubation with 
them has its most perfect development: sufficient 
nutriment is stored up in the egg to develop the 



young bird, so that all which is required from the 
mother is a warm nest and animal heat for a not 
very extended period. 

In mammals, a new organ for the first time 
appears for the secretion of milk to nourish the 
young, till they are sufficiently grown to live on 
the food of the adult. There is also a temporary 
placenta from which the fetus is nourished during 
its uterine existence. 

The sexual organs and their modifications, which 
we have been considering, are all primary or lead- 
ing sexual characters ; but there are secondary 
sexual characters in animals and in man which 
are necessary to reproduction, though not directly 
connected with it. For instance, the male possesses 
certain organs and instincts which the female is 
destitute of, or he has them developed in a higher 
degree in order that he may find her or maintain her 
securely. These instincts and organs vary in differ- 
ent animals, and are often complex, as is seen 
in the appendages at the apex of the abdomen 
of male insects. The female differs from the male 
in having an organ for nourishing its young. The 
marsupials have a sac in which to deposit them 
until sufficiently grown to go off by themselves. 
Some varieties of male fishes and frogs have a 
receptacle for receiving the ova of the female. The 
females of most bees have a special apparatus for 
collecting pollen, and their ovipositor is modified 
into a sting with which to defend itself, its larvas, 



and the colony to which it belongs. These dif- 
ferences, however, are of small account compared 
with others, as anyone may observe the greater 
size, strength, and ferocity of the male, his weapons 
with which to punish his rival, his gaudy colouring, 
beautiful ornaments, gift of song, and such other 
characters. The females of certain flies have an 
apparatus for sucking blood, which the male has 
not. The males of certain moths have closed 
mouths, and never feed. The female glow-worm 
has no wing;s, and this is also the case with some 

O 7 

moths which never leave their cocoons. In some 
birds the male differs from the female ; these differ- 
ences are not always directly connected with re- 
production, though they generally are. The male 
insect always requires more perfect wings and 
a better muscular development than the female, 
to secure and hold her, and the female requires 
better organs for securing food, as she must nourish 
her larvas ; the male dies after fecundating the 
female, and consequently organs for securing food 
which it never eats would be useless. 

The Sexual Organs of Plants. — The flowers 
of the vegetable kingdom, whose fragrance pleases 
and whose beauty charms us, are nothing more 
nor less than their generative apparatus. And the 
various fruits, which afford the animal kingdom 
and the human family so much substantial food 
and so many luxuries, are but the seeds which re- 



suit from sexual congress and subsequent growth — 
the pulp in which the seeds are nourished and 
protected. Some plants, however, do not produce 
seeds or flowers. They are called floiverless plants 
(cryptocjamid) . But they produce minute bodies 
termed spores, which answer the purpose of seeds. 
These bodies are of inconceivable minuteness, and 
in all probability, if our powers of vision, with 
microscopic assistance, were sufficient, we should 
be able to discover in them all the elements of the 
sexual organism which are so apparent in the 
flowering plant. Phenogamous, or flowering plants, 
produce blossoms and seeds, each seed consisting 
essentially of an embryo or germ, which has only 
to grow and unfold its parts to become a plant 
resembling its parent. 

The essential organs of the sexual apparatus of 
plants are the stamens and pistils. The stamens are 
the male organs, and the pistils the female organs. 
They are in all respects analogous to their corre- 
sponding organs in the animal kingdom ; and as 
reproduction from seeds and eggs is governed by 
the same laws, and involves the same vital pro- 
cesses, a brief analysis of the sexual organism of 
plants cannot fail to be interesting as well as in- 

The stamens commonly consist of two parts, a 
filament and an anther. The filament is the stalk 
or stem of the stamen ; and the anther is the small 

case or hollow body which surmounts the filament 



or is attached to its top. The anthers produce a 
powdery, dust-like substance (analogous to the 
semen) termed pollen. 

The pistils, which occupy the central part of the 
flower, generally consist of three parts : the ovary, 
which becomes the seed-vessel ; the style, which is 
the upward prolongation of the ovary into a slender 
structure ; and the stigma, which is the roughish, 
skinless upper extremity of the style. 

In many plants the filament and style are want- 
ing, but the anthers (corresponding to the testes of 
the male animal) and the ovary and stigma (cor- 
responding to the ovary and vulva of the female 
, animal) are always present. 

The specific function of the stamens and pistils is 
the fertilisation of the seed, which process is ac- 
complished in the following manner. At the pro- 
per season, when the sexual organs have arrived at 
the period of maturity, the anthers discharge their 
pollen into the air, some of which falls, or is wafted 
by the wind, upon the stigma, and, insinuating itself 
between the cells of the organ, passes down the 
lower areolar structure of the style to the 

Stamens and pistils vary much in number and 
in arrangement, with regard to the other parts of 
the flower. In the hawthorn there are four 
stamens and three pistils. In the cherry there 
is but a single pistil, while the stamens are 
numerous. In the case of the hawthorn, for 



example, the calyx grows fast to the ovary, and 
all other parts of the blossom appear to grow 
on it. In the cherry, the stamens and pistils are 
on the calyx. 

Nor is there less variety in the form and 
arrangement of the individual stamens and pistils ; 
in this respect again resembling the corresponding 
organs of the animal kingdom. 

It is curious to observe how both stamens and 
pistils answer to leaves folded and rolled to- 
gether. The stalk or filament of a stamen corre- 
sponds with the footstalk of a leaf, and the anther 
answers to the blade. The lower portion repre- 
sents a short filament bearing an anther, which 
has its upper half cut away and the summit of a 
leaf above it. Besides this, for comparison, is the 
whole stamen of a lily. The halves of the anther 
answer to the halves of the blades of the leaf, 
one on each side of the midrib ; the con- 
tinuation of the filament which connects the two 
cells corresponds to the midrib. The anther 
generally opens along that structure which corre- 
sponds to the margins of a leaf. 

The structural arrangement and development 
of the sexual organs of plants, and particularly 
the fact that both stamens and pistils seem equally 
to answer to folded leaves, have a curious interest 
in connection with certain theories which have 
been entertained with regard to the law of sex ; 
some physiologists supposing all human beings 


originally sexless, the sex being determined in 
some unknown manner in the process of growth ; 
but this is doubtless erroneous. 

A simple pistil, regarded botanically, is made 
by the folding up inwardly of the blade of a leaf 
the margins coming together and joining, so as to 
constitute a hollow closed sac, which is the ovary ; 
its tapering summit forms the style, and some 
portion of the margins of the leaf in this, destitute 
of skin, and of irregular rough surface, becomes 
the stigma. Here the ovules or seeds are attached 
to what answers to the united margins of the leaf. 
The particular part to which the ovules are at- 
tached is called the placenta. 

All the following plants except the pine family 
have their ovules and seeds produced in a seed- 
vessel of some sort, and are hence termed angio- 
spermous. In pines, spruces, cedars, etc. (gymno- 
spermous or naked-seeded), the pistil is an open leaf 
or scale, bearing ovules on its upper or inner 
surface. Each scale of a pine cone is an open 
pistil, and the ovules, instead of being inclosed in 
an ovary which forms a pod, are naked, and ex- 
posed to the pollen shed by the stamen-bearing 
flowers which fall directly upon them. 

In some classes of plants (the willow, poplar, 
hemp, etc.) the male and female organs are on 
separate plants, and in others there are separate male 
and female flowers on the same plant. These facts 
are familiar to most persons who will read this work. 



There are many curious and interesting facts 
relating to variations in the manner of reproduc- 
tion in different animals, and more especially in 
insects. Reproduction in bees is interesting and 
instructive. The article " Bees " in The Ency- 
clopaedia Britannica furnishes the following account. 

The impregnation of the queen-bee was formerly 
involved in the deepest obscurity, and has given 
rise to a multitude of very fanciful opinions. Some 
have denied that any intercourse with the male was 
necessary for the fecundation of the eggs. Swam- 
merdam supposed that the mere effluvia proceeding 
from the males, where they were collected in clus- 
ters, was sufficiently active to produce this effect by 
penetrating the body of the female. Huber proved 
by decisive experiment that no such consequence 
resulted from this effluvia. Maraldi imagined 
that the eggs were fecundated by the drones after 
being deposited in the cells, in the same way that 
the spawn of fishes is rendered prolific by the milt. 
Dr. Debraw of Cambridge gave an account, in a 
paper published in the Philosophical Transactions, 
of a milk-like fluid he had seen in the cells. But 
this appearance Huber showed to be a mere optical 
illusion arising from the reflection of light at the 
bottom of the cells. When the males are ex- 
cluded from the hive the queen is as fertile and 
the eggs as prolific as when they are present. 
Hattorff supposed the queen to be capable of im- 
pregnating herself, an opinion which was supported 


by Schirach and Wilhelmi, and was even favour- 
ably received by Bonnet, as it in some measure 
accorded with his discoveries concerning the aphis. 
Linnaeus was of opinion that an actual union be- 
tween the sexes took place, and Reaumur fancied 
he had seen this happen within the hive. There 
is, however, great reason to think he was mistaken. 

It has since been clearly proved that copulation 
takes place in the air during flight, and if the 
queen is confined to the hive, either by bad 
weather or malformation or mutilation of her 
wings, although she may be surrounded by drones, 
she never becomes impregnated ; and if she does 
not find a mate within three weeks of her birth, 
the power of sexual intercourse seems to become 
lost. If a hive containing a virgin queen be atten- 
tively watched on fine days, the queen will be 
observed preparing for her matrimonial flight, and 
after having attentively surveyed her home, so as 
to be able to recognise it again, she flies to a con- 
siderable height in the air ; and if her errand is 
successful, in half-an-hour she returns to the hive 
with unequivocal proofs of the intercourse that has 
taken place, for she has, in fact, robbed the drone 
of the organs concerned in this operation ; and the 
drone, thus mutilated, is left to perish on the 
ground. From its being necessary that the queen 
should fly to a distance in order to be impregnated, 
Huber infers the necessity of a great number of 
drones being attached to the hive, that there may 



be a sufficient chance of her meeting one of them 
during her aerial excursion. 

The phenomenon that sometimes occurs in a 
bee-hive, of the queen laying eggs that produced 
males only, had for ages puzzled philosophers 
without any satisfactory solution, and it was re- 
served for Dzierzon to promulgate a new and 
startling theory of reproduction, which, in the 
words of its distinguished author, is said to have 

explained all the phenomena of the bee-hive as 
perfectly as the Copernician hypothesis explains 
the phenomena of the heavens." Dzierzon first 
expressed his views upon the reproduction of bees 
in the year 1845. The principal points of this 
theory may be shortly expressed thus : 

1st. That the queen (female bee), to become 
good for anything (i.e. to breed workers), must be 
fertilised by a drone (the male), and the copulation 
takes place only out of doors ; that drone eggs do 
not require fecundation, but that the co-operation 
of the drone is absolutely necessary when worker- 
bees are to be produced ; that in copulation the 
ovaries are not fecundated, but the seminal re- 
ceptacle, or spermatheca, — a little vesicle or sac 
opening into the oviduct, — which, in the young 
queen, is filled with a limpid fluid, is saturated 
with semen, after which it is more clearly distin- 
guishable from its white colour, and that the 
supply of semen received during copulation is 
sufficient for her whole lifetime. The copulation 


takes place once for all, and, as already stated, 
only in the open air ; therefore no queen which 
has been lame in her wings from birth can ever 
be perfectly fertile, — that is, capable of producing 
both sexes, — as copulation never takes place in the 
interior of the hive. 

2d. All eggs which come into maturity in the 
ovaries of a queen-bee are only of one and the 
same kind, and when they are laid without coming 
in contact with the male semen, become developed 
into male bees. This theory of Dzierzon's has 
since been amply confirmed by numberless experi- 
ments, although what power the queen possesses, 
or how she exercises it, of determining what eggs 
shall receive fecundation and what not, is yet a 
mystery. Certain it is, that when the queen lays 
an egg in a drone-cell, a drone is produced ; and 
Von Siebold, who made many most skilful micro- 
scopical examinations of eggs, affirms that among 
52 eggs taken from worker-cells, examined by 
him with the greatest care and conscientiousness, 
34 furnished a positive result — namely, the existence 
of seminal filaments in which movements could 
easily be detected in three eggs ; and among 2 7 
eggs from drone-cells, examined with the same 
care and by the same method, he did not find one 
seminal filament in any single egg, either ex- 
ternally or internally. On the passage of the 
eggs from the ovary through the oviduct, they pass 
the opening of the sperm atheca, from which some 



eggs receive a portion of the seminal fluid — these 
produce workers ; other eggs pass without receiving 
the fluid — these produce drones. What it is that 
governs the disposition or non-disposition of the 
seminal fluid on the egg is unknown. It has been 
suggested that the smaller diameter of the worker- 
cells exerts some mechanical pressure on the queen's 
organs, which may cause the seminal fluid to be 
extruded as the egg passes, while the drone-cells, 
being larger, this pressure is not by them exerted, 
and the egg passes unfecundated. If the sper- 
matheca of an impregnated queen be examined 
under the microscope, its contents will be found 
to contain many thousands of spermatozoa, the 
characteristic movements of which are visible. 
The contents of the sperm atheca of a virgin or 
drone-breeding queen, if similarly examined, will 
be found to be a limpid fluid only, without a trace 
of spermatozoa. 

The fact that the eggs of an unimpregnated 
queen will hatch and produce drones may be 
easily verified, and is now undisputed. By de- 
priving a colony of its queen late in the year, a 
young queen will be reared ; and the drones hav- 
ing been killed long before, no impregnation can 
take place, yet the queen will infallibly lay eggs 
which hatch into drones. These eggs are laid in- 
discriminately in drone and worker-cells, the bees 
bred in the latter being stunted in their growth. 
If now the spermatheca be examined, no sper- 


matozoa will be found present ; the same result 
will take place in the summer if the virgin be 
deprived of her wings, and so made unable to 

If the impregnation of the queen be delayed be- 
yond, as elsewhere stated, the twenty-first day of 
her life, she becomes incapable of receiving im- 
pregnation, and begins soon after to lay the eggs 
of drones, and produces no other kind of eggs 
during her life. This very curious and unexpected 
fact was discovered by Huber, and has been satis- 
factorily established by his very numerous and 
varied experiments, although its explanation is 
perhaps attended with insuperable difficulties. 
The abdomen of a queen that is unimpregnated is 
much more slender than that of one which is com- 
pletely fertile ; but, on dissection, the ovaries are 
found expanded and full of ova. 

One of the most remarkable facts concerning the 
generation of bees is the existence, occasionally, of 
prolific workers, the discovery of which we owe 
to Reims. Although it was doubted by Bonnet, 
its reality has been fully confirmed by the re- 
searches of Huber and subsequent observers, and 
it explains what was before inexplicable — the pro- 
duction of eggs in hives absolutely destitute of a 
queen. It is also remarkable that the eggs thus 
produced are always those of drones ; but this is 
explained by the fact that these fertile workers 
have not received, and are unable to receive, im- 



pregnation from the drone. The origin of these 
abnormal egg layers is accounted for from their 
having passed the larva state in cells contiguous 
to the royal ones, and from their having at an 
early period devoured some portion of the stimu- 
lating jelly which was destined for the nourish- 
ment of the royal brood ; their ovaries thus re- 
ceived a partial development ; or, when a colony 
is deprived of its queen late in the autumn, and 
an attempt to raise a queen from some unknown 
cause has failed, a larva has sufficiently advanced 
to develop into a fertile worker. 



From the period of puberty, which, in this climate, 
may be reckoned at the age of fifteen in most 
cases, until the critical age, or turn of life, which 
occurs generally between the age of 45 and 50, 
varying several years according to constitutional 
vitality and habits of life, as the commencement 
of menstruation varies one, two, or three, or even 
more years, from the same causes, there is, with 
few exceptions, a periodical discharge of mucus 
and blood from the vagina. This discharge con- 
tinues in a great majority of cases from three to six 
days, and recurs very nearly once in twenty-eight 
days, or once in each lunar month, and continues as 
long as the female is capable of conceiving, or rather 
as long as ova are developed. This discharge is 
termed menses, catamenia, flowers, etc., and the 
process menstruation. Many errors, however, are 
entertained on this subject. By some physiologists 
the menstrual flow is regarded as a secretion ; and 
by others as a hemorrhage. The ancients re- 
garded it as an excretion or purifying process, and 

many absurd and superstitious notions and prac- 



tices resulted from this erroneous theory. A 
woman was regarded as "unclean" during men- 
struation ; and among other absurd vagaries of 
those who adopted this view of the process, a 
woman was regarded as a dangerous character dur- 
ing her u monthly periods." It was even said that 
if, at this time, she should sit under an apple-tree, 
all the fruit would be blasted, etc. We need not 
wonder at the exclusion of woman from "good 
society " on occasions, and the degradation which 
necessarily attached to the sex, because of this 
mistaken opinion of the nature of the process of 

Menstruation is Ovulation.— As we have al- 
ready seen, when the sexual apparatus is sufficiently 
developed, a germ-cell, egg, or ovum, is evolved 
from its ovarian bed, passed along the channel of 
the Fallopian tube into the uterine cavity, and 
unless impregnated in its course by meeting and 
mingling with the sperm-cell, or semen, of the 
male, and fixed upon the wall of the utero- 
Fallopian canal, it is expelled through the vaginal 
passage — a process to be repeated monthly. 

This process is usually, though not always, at- 
tended with a discharge of blood. Menstruation 
may occur without the discharge of a drop of 
blood. Manv cases are on record in which 
women are said to have conceived without men- 
struating. Some women are said to menstruate 


during pregnancy, and Dr. Good, in his Study of 
Medicine, relates the case of a woman who men- 
struated only during pregnancy, thus acting by the 
rule of contrary. Some women are supposed to 
have menstruation return years after the critical 
age, and very frequently it is stated in some 
medical journal that some female child men- 
struates. Women sometimes, while nursing an 
infant, find themselves pregnant, without having 
had any appearance of the menstrual flux since the 
birth of the last child. This happens in some 
cases in three, and in very rare cases in two, 
months after deliver}". At Barnum's baby show 
at the American museum several years ago, 
among the sights was a little girl not quite three 
years of age who regularly menstruated. 

In all of these cases hemorrhage has been mis- 
taken for menstruation. The menstrual blood 
was long regarded, and still is by some authors, 
as a secretion. Dr. Good, who regards it as a 
secretion, terms it "a species of blood thrown off 
from the common mass." This is not the manner 
in which secretions are effected. A secretion is 
a formation, not a mere separation. And be- 
sides, the blood of menstruation does not differ 
from ordinary venous blood in any essential 
particular. Its non-coagulability is owing to the 
partial decomposition it undergoes after being 
effused from its proper vessels ; and the more 
slowly it is discharged, and the longer it remains 



in the passages, the more will its coagulability be 
diminished or destroyed. 

Cases of menorrhagia, in which the hemorrhage 
occurs irregularly, or once in two or three weeks, 
are often miscalled excessive menstruation. They 
are cases of hemorrhage as much as is nose- 
bleeding or haemoptysis. Indeed, Madame Bovin 
of Paris, who had facilities for investigating this 
subject never enjoyed by her male contemporaries, 
has demonstrated conclusively that the catamenia 
is nothing more nor less than a discharge of 
ordinary blood. 

Rationale of the Menses.— Why should there be 
hemorrhage as an accompaniment or incident of 
menstruation ? A reference to the nature of the 
process will set this matter in its true light. All 
organs whose functions are performed periodically 
— for examples : the ovaries during ovulation, the 
male organs during coition, the breasts during 
lactation, and the stomach during digestion — have 
a special determination of blood and nervous 
influence to the part when the function is to be 
exercised. This is clearly for the purpose of 
supplying the part with the material requisite for the 
proper performance of its function. In the case 
of digestion the increased quantity of blood sent 
to the stomach is to supply the material more 
abundantly for the secretion of gastric juice. In 
sexual congress the blood is specially determined 



to the organs concerned in secreting the seminal 
fluid and conveying it within the sexual organism 
of the female. In lactation the determination of 
blood to the mammary glands is for the purpose 
of supplying the parts with the material from 
which the milk is formed. And in menstruation 
the special determination of blood and nerve- 
force, which are always coincident, is to furnish 
the elements for the evolution of the germ and its 
nourishment. A certain degree of distension, 
congestion, plethora, or erethism, is necessary to 
distend the capillary vessels, so that the fimbriated 
extremity of the Fallopian tube may grasp more 
completely the matured ovum, and insure its 
passage to the uterus ; and if the ovum in its 
passage becomes impregnated and fixed to the 
walls of any part of the reproductive channel, the 
unusual quantity of blood, or some portion of it, 
is needed to supply the elements for its nourish- 
ment and growth, and for the development of its 
appendages — the membranes and placenta. In 
some cases the blood, after imparting the nutrient 
materials required, is wholly returned to the 
general circulation, so that no hemorrhage occurs. 
But in most cases more or less of it is effused 
into the uterine cavity and expelled. 

Quantity of Menstrual Blood. — In civilised 
society, and to a great extent in uncivilised, the 

majority of females lose too much blood at the 



menstrual period. This results from a relaxed 
state of the vessels consequent on a weakened and 
relaxed condition. Indeed there are few females, 
except those who suffer from chlorosis or amenor- 
rhea, who do not have more or less inflammation 
of the reproductive organs, particularly of the 
vagina and neck of the uterus, with its necessary 
concomitants of relaxation and debility, excessive 
hemorrhage, leucorrhcea, ulceration, and displace- 
ment. But as this work is not intended to treat 
more than incidentally of morbid conditions, I 
must refer the reader who desires full informa- 
tion on the diseases of the sexual organs and their 
treatment to my work, Uterine Diseases and Dis- 
placements, illustrated with coloured engravings. 

Much observation and an extensive correspond- 
ence have enabled me to arrive at a general, if not 
a universal, rule, with regard to the amount of 
menstrual blood. It is this : other circumstances 
being equal, the less hemorrhage the better. 
Women who live a more simple life, and are less 
enervated by the luxuries and stimulants of arti- 
ficial society, even though they are exposed to 
excessive toil and many hardships and privations, 
have comparatively few of the sexual disorders 
common to women all over the civilised world, 
and they lose little blood during menstruation. 

The average quantity of menstrual fluid, which 
is blood largely admixed with mucus, in temperate 
climates is reckoned at six to eight ounces. Some 



women, however, lose twice that quantity, and 
others still more. I am of opinion that all beyond 
two to three ounces must be regarded as abnormal 
in quantity. Professor C. D. Meigs, whose ex- 
perience has been very extensive, states that he 
has met with many healthy women who never had 
occasion to employ a napkin ; hence the discharge 
of blood, in their cases, could not have exceeded 
the above quantity. I have known many similar 
cases, and some in which hardly an ounce of blood 
could have been lost ; and I have learned the 
particulars of the cases of a few females, some 
married and others single, who hardly stain their 
linen at the menstrual periods. All that is notice- 
able is a moderate discharge of a sero-mucous fluid 
for four or five days, with a very slight tinge of 
colour for a day or two. And all of these persons 
have enjoyed unusually robust health. 

I am satisfied, moreover, that, as a general rule, 
much more blood is lost during parturition than 
would be the case were women more vigorous 
and firm in their muscular tissue. I have known 
several cases in which but a mere trifle of blood 
was lost — no more, certainly, than is discharged 
on the average during menstruation — during the 
delivery of the child and afterbirth, or subse- 
quently. In all of these cases the mothers had an 
active, vigorous, and elastic state of the muscular 
system, and were more than commonly hygienic 
in their habits of living. And I have attended 


one case — an Irish woman of remarkable fineness, 
firmness, and tone of muscular tissue, who lost no 
blood at all during nor after parturition, the 
discharges producing no distinctly sanguineous 
stain on the sheets or cloths employed ; nor did 
the discharges even stain the hands employed in 
cutting and tying the umbilical cord or removing 
the afterbirth. 



Having now considered quite fully reproduction 
in its nature and general principles, I wish to 
enter into a branch of the subject full of interest, 
and one having a great influence on the main- 
taining of a high degree of physical and intel- 
lectual perfection, and contributing very largely 
to the improvement of every form of living thing 
within such limits as the conditions of life on our 
globe will permit. 

If animals and plants were not produced by 
sexual generation, but were manufactured like 
machines, or produced by chemical or other 
non- vital processes, there would be no reason 
why there should be any sexes or any differences 
in the structure or physical and mental char- 
acters of living creatures. But sexual repro- 
duction makes other characteristics essential. 
The male who seeks the female, who protects 
her, maintains her, must have a different struct- 
ure from the female ; for instance, the male 

possesses certain organs of sense and locomotion 



which are absent in the female, or less highly 
developed, in order that he may find her or 
reach her ; or the male has certain organs for 
holding her securely. These organs are of diver- 
sified kinds. Instances may be seen in the com- 
plex appendages on the apex of the abdomen 
of some male insects. The female, too, often 
differs from the male in having organs for the 
nourishing of her young, as the mammary gland, 
or the sac in which marsupials carry their young 
until they are old enough to be permitted to run 
about. There are instances in which the male 
and not the female has receptacles for receiving 
the ova, as in certain tribes of fishes in which the 
male hatches them in his mouth. In bees the 
female worker only has apparatus for collecting 
honey and gathering pollen ; her ovipositor, 
which, in the queen, is used for depositing eggs, 
in the worker becomes a sting for self-defence. 
In some animals the males are more powerful, 
more pugnacious and courageous ; in others there 
are gaudy, showy coats to attract the female, and 
in birds curious ornaments and power of song. 

Among insects there are many kinds in which 
the males, who live but a day, have no organs for 
procuring food; but their organs of locomotion are 
perfect, these being necessary to the finding and 
fertilising of the female. As a rule, the male is 
modified more than the female. Why this is we 
may not be able to decide ; but it is probably 



owing to his stronger passions. It is the rule in 
all nature, to which there are few exceptions, that 
the male pursues the female. This great eager- 
ness on his part develop in him characters which 
in her are wanting. The female, on the other hand, 
being obliged to nourish the embryo and guard 
her offspring, cannot afford to expend so much 
energy in contests, in song, or gaining possession 
of a mate ; and it is this contest which the males 
have with their own sex for the female which is, 
after all, the most remarkable and interesting 
feature of the reproductive nature, for there can 
be little doubt but among the males of most 
animals there is a constantly recurring struggle 
for the possession of the females. This contest 
is not always one of brute strength ; indeed it 
is often one of skill and cunning, a higher gift 
of song, a greater beauty, a love of display. In 
spiders, for instance, there is evinced much intelli- 
gence, and the females manifest great affection for 
their eggs. They guard them with tender care, and 
will carry them on their persons in a silken web 
to secure them against injury. I have watched 
with interest, and observed that a female field- 
spider will run for its eggs on there being any 
appearance of danger. The males have no such 
instinct; but they search eagerly and fight for 
the females. The male will mate with any 
female, but the female has often been observed 
to reject several males, and threaten them with 


open mandibles, before finding one she was willing 
to join. 

Among flies, of which, as all know, there are 
many varieties, some have been observed to fight 
with each other for the possession of the female. 
There are other species that apparently try to win 
her by their music. H. Mtiller once observed two 
males courting a female. They hovered around 
her, flew from side to side, and made a humming 
noise, as if trying to charm her. Mosquitoes seem 
to attract each other by that music which is so 
disagreeable to man. The nervous system of flies 
is quite highly developed, more so than that of 
most insects. 

In bugs, which are mainly unsocial in their 
habits, living by themselves, the vocal organs are 
supposed to be for the purpose of calling their 
mates to them. 

The male locust, which fills the air with a harsh 
sound that may be heard for a mile or more, evi- 
dently does it to call the female. She has no 
means of making a similar sound, being mute. 

O 7 O 

This is believed to be a love-song. Dr. Hartman, 
in speaking of the seventeen-year locusts which 
visited a part of the United States in 1851, says: 
" Standing in a thicket of chestnut sprouts as high 
as my head, where hundreds were around me, I 
observed the females approaching the drumming 
males. Several times, also, on a dwarf pear-tree I 
noticed the females alight near a male while he 



was sounding his clanging notes." Fritz Mtiller 
has seen what was evidently a musical contest 
between three males for a female. As soon as one 
had finished his song another immediately began, 
and after him another. This rivalry would have 
no meaning if the female was not excited and 
allured by what, to her, was the most musical and 
attractive voice. 

Crickets and grasshoppers are both remarkable 
for their musical genius. The music of the former 
is really quite agreeable to human ears. The 
katykid belongs to this order of insects. Mr. 
Bates has seen a male cricket place himself at 
eventide at his hole and sing a love-song until a 
female approached, when he sang in a more sub- 
dued, tender-toned voice, and caressed her with 
his antennae until he won her affections. 

Among bees and wasps, fights are frequent be- ■ 
tween the males for the possession of a particular 
female. She sits by, apparently unconcerned, and 
when the victory is won she flies away with the 
victor. Among some of the solitary bees there is 
a high appreciation of colour, and the males search 
eagerly for the females, and fight with each other 
for their possession. The mandibles of the males 
in certain species are much larger than in the 
females, to fit them for these contests. The females, 
on the other hand, sometimes appear to select the 
most beautiful male ; in other cases the males 
select the most beautiful females. 


Male beetles fight for the female. Mr. Wallace 
observed two male beetles contesting for a female 
which stood close by, busy at her boring. They 
pushed at each other, clawed and thumped, ap- 
pearing to be in a great rage. The smaller one 
was vanquished and ran away. Mr. A. H. Davis 
placed two males and one female in a box and 
watched the conflict. The stronger pinched the 
weaker one so hard that he gave up any pretended 
right he had to the female. 

The male butterflies which adorn the field and 
garden in warm weather, contend vigorously for 
the female. Several males may be seen pursuing 
one female at the same time. Male butterflies are 
quite pugnacious, and often break their wings in 
combat with each other. The wings of the male 
are generally the most beautiful, and the female 
has wit enough to admire them, and there is no 
doubt but much of the display of the male is made 
to attract her attention. Moths are, as a rule, less 
brilliantly coloured, and as they fly in the night, 
brilliancy of wings would be of no value in gaining 
a mate. 

"The males of fish," according to Darwin, 
u fight for the possession of the females. Thus the 
male stickleback has been described as ' mad with 
delight,' when the female comes out of her hiding- 
place and surveys the nest which he has made for 
her. He darts round her in every direction, then 
to his accumulated materials for the nest, then 



back again in an instant ; and if she does not ad- 
vance he endeavours to push her with his snout, 
and then tries to pull her by the tail and side-spine 
to the nest." The males are said to be poly- 
gam ists ; they are extraordinary bold and pugnaci- 
ous, whilst the " females are quite pacific." Their 
battles are at times desperate, " for these puny 
combatants fasten tight on each other, and fight 
until their strength appears completely exhausted.' 1 
With the rough-tailed stickleback, the males, whilst 
fighting, swim round and round each other, biting 
and endeavouring to pierce each other with their 
raised lateral spines. The same writer adds, u the 
bite of these little furies is very severe. They also 
use their lateral spines with such fatal effect that I 
have seen one during a battle absolutely rip his 
opponent quite open, so that he sank to the bottom 
and died." When a fish is conquered, "his gallant 
bearing forsakes him ; his gay colours fade away, 
and he hides his disgrace among his peaceable 
companions, but is for some time the constant 
object of his conqueror's persecution." 

The male salmon is as pugnacious as the little 
stickleback ; and so is the male trout. Mr. Shaw 
saw a violent contest between two male salmon 
which lasted the whole day; and Mr. R. Buist, 
Superintendent of Fisheries, informs me that he 
has often watched from the bridge at Perth the 
males driving away their rivals whilst the females 
were spawning. The males u are constantly fight- 


ing and tearing each other on the spawning-beds, 
and many so injure each other as to cause the 
death of numbers, many being seen swimming 
near the banks of the river in a state of exhaus- 
tion, and apparently in a dying state." Mr. Buist 
says, that in June 1868 the keeper of the 
Stormontfield breeding-ponds visited the north- 
ern Tyne and found about 300 dead salmon, all 
of which, with one exception, were males ; and 
he was convinced that they had lost their lives by 

The most curious point about the male salmon 
is, that during the breeding-season, besides a 
slight change in colour, "the lower jaw elongates, 
and a cartilaginous projection turns upwards from 
the point, which, when the jaws are closed, 
occupies a deep cavity between the intermaxillary 
bones of the upper jaw." In our salmon this 
change lasts only during the breeding season ; 
but in the salmo lycaodon of North-west America 
the change, as Mr. J. K. Lord believes, is per- 
manent, and best marked in the older males 
which have previously ascended the rivers. In 
those old males the jaw becomes developed into 
an immense hook-like projection, and the teeth 
grow into regular fangs, often more than half an 
inch in length. With the European salmon, 
according to Mr. Lloyd, the temporary hook-like 
structure serves to strengthen and protect the 
jaws, when one male charges another with 



wonderful violence ; but the greatly developed 
teeth of the male American salmon may be com- 
pared with the tusks of many male mammals, 
and they indicate an offensive rather than a 
protective purpose. 

In regard to size, M. Carbonnier maintains 
that the female of almost all fishes is larger than 
the male ; and Dr. Gunther does not know of a 
single instance in which the male is actually 
larger than the female. With some cyprinodonts 
the male is not even half as large. As in many 
kinds of fishes the males habitually fight together, 
it is surprising that they have not generally be- 
come larger and stronger than the females 
through the efforts of sexual selection. The 
males suffer from their small size ; for, according 
to M. Carbonnier, they are liable to be devoured 
by the females of their own species, when carni- 
vorous, and, no doubt, by other species. In- 
creased size must be in some manner of more 
importance to the females than strength and size 
are to the males for fighting with other males, 
and this is perhaps to allow of the production 
of a vast number of ova. 

Mr. W. S. Kent says that the male of the 
labrus mixtus, which, as we have seen, differs 
in colour from the female, " makes a deep 
hollow in the sand of the tank, and then en- 
deavours, in the most persuasive manner, to 
induce a female of the same species to share it 


with him, swimming backwards and forwards 
between her and the completed nest, and plainly 
exhibiting the greatest anxiety for her to 
follow." The males of the cantharus lineatus 
become, during the breeding-season, of a deep, 
leaden black ; then they retire from the shoal, and 
excavate a hollow for a nest. " Each male 
mounts vigilant guard over his respective hollow, 
and vigorously attacks and drives away any other 
fish of the same sex ; towards his companions 
of the opposite sex his conduct is far different. 
Many of the latter are now distended with spawn, 
and these he endeavours, by all the means in his 
power, to lure singly to his prepared hollow, 
there to deposit the myriad ova with which they 
are laden, which he then protects and guards 
with the greatest care." 

A more striking case of courtship, as well as 
of display, by the males of a Chinese marcropus 
has been given by M. Carbonnier, who carefully 
observed these fishes under confinement. The 
males are most beautifully coloured, more so 
than the females. During the breeding season 
they contend for the possession of the females, 
and in the act of courtship expand their fins, 
which are spotted and ornamented with brightly- 
coloured rays, in the same manner, according 
to M. Carbonnier, as the peacock* They then 
also bound about the females with much vivacity, 
" and appear by the flash of their brilliant colours 



to attract the attention of the females, who do 
not seem indifferent to this domestic arrange- 
ment ; they swim with a soft, floating movement 
towards the males, and seem to take pleasure in 
being near them or having them near by." After 
the male has won his bride, he makes a little 
disc of froth by blowing air and mucus out of 
his mouth. He then collects the fertilised ova, 
dropped by the female, in his mouth ; and this 
gave M. Carbonnier much alarm, as he thought 
they were going to be devoured. But the male 
soon deposits them in the disc of froth, after- 
wards guarding them, repairing the froth, and 
taking care of the young when hatched. I 
mention these particulars because, as we shall 
presently see, there are species of fish, the males 
of which hatch their eggs in their mouths. 

To return to our immediate subject. The 
case stands thus : " Female fishes, as far as I can 
learn, never willingly spawn except in the 
presence of the males, and the males never 
fertilise the ova except in the presence of the 
females. The males fight for the possession of 
the females. In many species, the males, while 
young, resemble the females in colour, but when 
adult, become much more brilliant, and retain 
their colours throughout life. In other species 
the males become brighter than the females, 
and otherwise more highly ornamented only 
during the season of love. The males sedu- 


lously court the females, and, in one case, 
as we have seen, take pains in displaying their 
beauty before them. Can it be believed that 
they would thus act to no purpose during their 
courtship? And this would be the case unless 
the females exert some choice, and select those 
males which please or excite them most. If 
the female exerts such choice, all the above facts 
on the ornamentation of the males become at 
once intelligible." 

Among crocodiles, the sexes apparently do not 
differ in colour ; nor is it known that the males 
fight together, though this is probable, for some 
kinds make a prodigious display before the 
females. Batram describes the male alligator as 
striving to win the female by splashing and 
roaring in the midst of a lagoon, " swollen to an 
extent ready to burst ; with his head and tail 
lifted up he spins or twirls round on the surface 
of the water, like an Indian chief rehearsing his 
feats of war." During the season of love a 
musky odour is emitted by the submaxillary gland 
of the crocodile, which pervades their haunts. 

With respect to the rattling of the rattlesnake, 
we have at least some definite information, for 
Professor Aughet states that on two occasions, 
being himself unseen, he watched from a little 
distance a rattlesnake coiled up with head erect, 
which continued to rattle at short intervals for 
half-an-hour, and at last he saw another snake 



approach, and when they met they paired. 
Hence, he is satisfied that one of the uses of the 
rattles is to bring the sexes together. 

The males of some, probably of many, kinds of 
lizards fight together from rivalry. Thus, the 
arboreal anolis cristatellus of South America is 
extremely pugnacious. " During the spring and 
early part of the summer two adult males rarely 
meet without a contest. On first seeing one 
another, they nod their heads up and down three 
or four times, and, at the same time, expand the 
frill or pouch beneath the throat; their eyes 
glisten with rage, and after waving their tails 
from side to side for a few seconds, as if to 
gather energy, they dart at each other furiously, 
rolling over and over, and holding firmly with 
their teeth. The conflict generally ends by one 
of the combatants losing his tail, which is often 
devoured by the victor." The male of this 
species is considerably larger than the female, 
and this, as far as Dr. Gunther has been able 
to ascertain, is the general rule with lizards of 
all kinds. 

Male birds sometimes, though rarely, possess 
special weapons for fighting with each other. 
They charm the female with vocal or instrumental 
music of the most varied kinds. They are 
ornamented by all sorts of combs, wattles, pro- 
tuberances, horns, air-distended sacs, top-knots ; 

naked shafts, plumes, and lengthened feathers 




gracefully springing from all parts of the body. 
The beak and naked skin about the head and 
the feathers are often gorgeously coloured. The 
males sometime pay their court by dancing, or 
by fantastic antics performed either on the ground 
or in the air. In one instance, at least, the male 
emits a musky odour^ which we may suppose 
serves to charm or excite the female ; for that 
excellent observer, Mr. Ramsay, says of the 
Australian musk-duck, that a the smell which the 
male emits during the summer months is confined 
to that sex, and in some individuals is retained 
throughout the year. I have never, even in the 
breeding-season, shot a female which had any 
smell of musk." So powerful is this odour during 
the pairing season that it can be detected long 
before the bird can be seen. On the whole, birds 
appear to be the most esthetic of all animals, 
except, of course, man, and they have nearly the 
same taste for the beautiful. 

Almost all male birds are extremely pugnacious, 
using their beaks, wings, and legs for fighting 
purposes. We see this every spring with our 
robins and sparrows. The smallest of ail birds, 
the humming-bird, is one of the most quarrelsome. 
Mr. Gosse describes a battle in which a pair 
seized hold of each other's beak, and whirled 
round and round till they almost fell to the 
ground ; and M. Montes de Oca, in speaking of 
another genus of humming-bird, says that two 



males rarely meet without a fierce aerial en- 
counter ; when kept in cages a their fighting has 
mostly ended in the splitting of the tongue of 
one of the two, which then surely dies from being 
unable to feed." With waders, the males of the 
common water-heron, "when pairing, fight violently 
for the females. They stand nearly upright in 
the water, and strike with their feet." Two were 
seen to be thus engaged for half-an-hour, until 
one got hold of the head of the other, which 
would have been killed had not the observer 
interfered. The female was all the time looking 
on as a quiet spectator. Mr. Blyth informs me 
that the males of an allied bird are a third larger 
than the females, and are so pugnacious during 
the breeding-season that they are kept by the 
natives of Eastern Bengal for the sake of fighting. 

The polygamous ruff is notorious for his ex- 
treme pugnacity. In the spring the males, 
which are considerably larger than the females, 
congregate day after day at a particular spot, 
where the females propose to lay their eggs. 
The fowlers discover these haunts by the turf 
being trampled somewhat bare. Here they fight 
very much like game-cocks, seizing each other with 
their beaks and striking with their wings. The great 
ruff of feathers around the neck is then erected, 
and, according to Colonel Montague, "sweeps 
the ground as a shield to defend the more tender 
parts." The ruff of feathers, however, from its 


varied and rich colours, probably serves in chief 
part as an ornament to attract a female. Like 
most pugnacious birds, they seem always ready 
to fight, and when closely confined, often kill 
each other ; but Montague observed that their 
pugnacity becomes greater during the spring, 
when the long feathers on their necks are fully 
developed, and at this period the least movement 
by any one bird provokes a general battle. 

In Guiana, ''bloody fights occur during the 
breeding-season between the males of the wild 
musk-duck, and when these fights have occurred 
the river is covered for some distance with 
feathers." Birds which seem ill-adapted for 
fighting engage in fierce conflicts ; thus the 
stronger males of the pelican drive away the 
weaker ones, snapping their huge beaks and 
giving heavy blows with their wings. Male snipe 
fight together, " tugging and pushing each other 
with their bills in the most curious manner 
imaginable." Some few birds are believed never 
to fight ; this is the case, according to Audubon, 
with one of the woodpeckers of the United 
States, although 1 ' the hens are followed by even 
half-a-dozen of their gay suitors." 

The males of many gallinaceous birds, especially 
of the polygamous kinds, are furnished with special 
weapons for fighting with their rivals — namely, 
spurs, which can be used with fearful effect. It 
has been recorded by a trustworthy writer that in 



Derbyshire, England, a kite struck at a game-hen, 
accompanied by her chickens, when the cock 
rushed to the rescue and drove his spur right 
through the eye and skull of the aggressor. The 
spur was with difficulty drawn from the skull, and 
as the kite, though dead, retained his grasp, the 
two birds were firmly locked together ; but the 
cock, when disentangled, was found to be very 
little injured. The invincible courage of the 
game-cock is notorious. A gentleman who long 
ago witnessed the brutal scene, told me that a bird 
had both its legs broken by some accident in the 
cockpit, and the owner laid a wager that if the 
legs could be spliced, so that the bird could stand 
upright, he would continue fighting. This was 
effected on the spot, and the bird fought with un- 
daunted courage until he received his death-stroke. 
In Ceylon, a closely allied wild species, the gallus 
stanleyi^ is known to fight desperately " in defence 
of her seraglio," so that one of the combatants is 
frequently found dead. An Indian partridge, the 
male of which is furnished with strong and sharp 
spurs, is so quarrelsome £< that the scars of former 
fights disfigure the breast of almost every bird you 

The males of almost all gallinaceous birds, even 
those which are not furnished with spurs, engage 
during the breeding-season in fierce conflicts. The 
capercailzie and blackcock, which are both poly- 
gamists, have regular appointed places where, dur- 


ing many weeks, they congregate in numbers to 
fight together and to display their charms before 
the females. Dr. W. Kovalevsky informs me that 
in Russia he has seen the snow all bloody on the 
arena where the capercailzie have fought ; and the 
blackcocks " make the feathers fly in every direc- 
tion " when several ''engage in royal battle." The 
elder Brehm gives a curious account of the "balz," 
as the love-dances and love-songs of the blackcock 
are called in Germany. " The bird utters almost 
continuously the strangest noises ; he holds his tail 
up and spreads it out like a fan ; he lifts up his 
head and neck with all the feathers erect, and 
stretches his wings from the body. Then he takes 
a few jumps in different directions, sometimes in a 
circle, and presses the underpart of his beak so 
hard against the ground that the chin feathers are 
rubbed off. During these movements he beats his 
wings and turns round and round. The more 
ardent he grows the more lively he becomes, until 
at last the bird appears like a frantic creature." 
At such times the blackcocks are so absorbed that 
they become almost blind and deaf, but less so 
than the capercailzie, hence bird after bird may be 
shot on the same spot, or even caught by the hand. 
After performing these antics the males begin to 
fight ; and the same blackcock, in order to prove 
his strength over several antagonists, will visit in 
the course of one morning several balz-places, 
which remain the same during successive years. 



The peacock with his long train appears more 
like a dandy than a warrior, but he sometimes en- 
gages in fierce conflicts. The Rev. W. Darwin 
Fox informs me that at some little distance from 
Chester two peacocks became so excited whilst 
fighting that they flew over the whole city, still 
engaged, until they alighted on the top of St. 
John's tower. 

The season of love is that of battle ; but the 
males of some birds, as of the game-fowl and ruff, 
and even the young males of the wild turkey and 
grouse, are ready to fight whenever they meet. 
The presence of the female is the continual cause 
of war. The Bengali baboos make the pretty little 
males of the amadavat fight together by placing 
three small cages in a row, with a female in the 
middle ; after a little time the males are turned 
loose, and a desperate battle immediately ensues. 
When many males congregate at the same ap- 
pointed spot and fight together, as in the case of 
grouse and various other birds, they are generally 
attended by the females, which afterwards pair 
with the victorious combatants. But in some cases 
the pairing precedes instead of succeeds the com- 
bat. Thus, according to Audubon, several males 
of the Virginia goat-sucker " court, in a highly 
interesting manner, the female, and no sooner has 
she made her choice than her approved gives chase 
to all intruders, and drives them beyond his 
dominions." Generally the males try to drive 


away or kill their rivals before they pair. It does 
not, however, appear that the females invariably 
prefer the victorious males. I have been assured 
by Dr. W. Kovalevsky that the female capercailzie 
sometimes steals away with a young male who has 
not dared to enter the arena with the older cocks, 
in the same manner as occasionally happens with 
the doe of the red-deer in Scotland. When two 
males contend in presence of a single female, the 
victor, no doubt, commonly gains his desires ; but 
some of these battles are caused by wandering 
males trying to distract the peace of an already 
mated pair. 

Even with the most pugnacious species it is pro- 
bable that the pairing does not depend exclusively 
on the mere strength and courage of the male ; for 
such males are decorated with various ornaments, 
which often become more brilliant during the 
breeding-season, and which are sedulously displayed 
before the females. The males also endeavour 
to charm or excite their mates by love-notes, songs, 
or antics ; and the courtship is, in many instances, 
a prolonged affair. Hence it is not likely that the 
females are indifferent to the charms of the op- 
posite sex, or that they are invariably compelled 
to yield to the victorious males. It is more pro- 
bable that the females are excited, either before or 
after the conflict, by certain males, and thus un- 
consciously prefer them. In the case of the tetrao 
umbellus, a good observer goes so far as to believe 



that the battles of the males " are all a sham, per- 
formed to show themselves to the greatest 
advantage before the admiring females who 
assemble around ; for I have never been able to 
find a maimed hero, and seldom more than a 
broken feather." I shall have to recur to this 
subject, but I may here add that with the tetrao 
cupido, about a score of males assemble at a 
particular spot, and, strutting about, make the whole 
air resound with their extraordinary noises. At 
the first answer from the female, the males begin 
to fight furiously, and the weaker give way ; then, 
according to Audubon, both the victors and the 
vanquished search for the female, so that the 
females must either then make a choice, or the 
battle must be renewed. So, again, with one of 
the field-starlings : the males engage in fierce con- 
flicts, " but at the sight of a female they all fly 
after her, as if mad." 


CONTESTS FOR FEMALES — (continued). 

Naturalists are much divided in opinion re- 
specting the object of the singing of birds. Few 
more careful observers ever lived than Montague, 
and he maintained that the " males of song-birds 
and of many others do not, in general, search for 
the female ; but, on the contrary, their business in 
the spring is to perch on some conspicuous spot, 
breathing out their full and amorous notes, which, 
by instinct, the female knows, and repairs to the 
spot to choose her mate." Mr. Jenner Weir in- 
forms me that this is certainly the case with the 
nightingale. Bechstein, who kept birds during 
his whole life, asserts that "the female canary 
always chooses the best singer, and that in a state 
of nature the female finch selects the male out of 
a hundred whose notes please her most." There 
can be no doubt that birds closely attend to each 
other's songs. Mr. Weir told me of the case of a 
bullfinch which had been taught to pipe a German 
waltz, and which was so good a performer that he 
cost ten guineas. When this bird was first intro- 
duced into a room where other birds were kept, 



and he began to sing, all the others, consisting of 
about twenty linnets and canaries, ranged them- 
selves on the nearest side of their cages and 
listened with the greatest interest to the new per- 
former. Many naturalists believe that the singing 
of birds is almost exclusively u the effect of rivalry 
and emulation," and not for the sake of charming 
their mates. This was the opinion of Daines 
Barrington, and White of Selborne, who both 
especially attended to the subject. Barrington 
admits, however, that " superiority in song gives to 
birds an amazing ascendency over others, as is 
well known to bird-catchers." 

The curious love-gestures of some birds have al- 
ready been incidentally noticed, so that little need 
here be added. In our own country, large 
numbers of grouse meet during the breeding-season 
on a selected level spot, and here they run round 
and round in a circle of about fifteen or twenty 
feet in diameter, so that the ground is worn quite 
bare, like a fairy-ring, In these partridge-dances, 
as they are called by the hunters, the birds assume 
the strangest attitudes, and run round, some to the 
left and some to the right. Audubon describes 
the males of the heron as walking about on their 
long legs, with great dignity, before the females, 
bidding defiance to their rivals. Of one of the 
disgusting carrion -vultures the same writer says, 
" the gesticulations and parade of the males at 
the beginning of the love-season are extremely 



ludicrous." Certain birds perform their love- 
antics on the wing, as with the black African 
weaver, instead of on the ground. During the 
spring, our little white-throat often rises a few 
feet in the air above some bush, and " flutters with 
a fitful and fantastic motion, singing all the while, 
and then drops to its perch." The great English 
bustard throws himself into indescribably odd 
attitudes whilst courting the female, as has been 
figured by Wolf. An allied Indian bustard at 
such times " rises perpendicularly into the air with 
a hurried flapping of his wings, raising his crest 
and puffing out the feathers of his neck and breast, 
and then drops to the ground." He repeats this 
manoeuvre several times, at the same time hum- 
ming in a peculiar tone. Such females as happen 
to be near " obey this saltatory summons," and 
when they approach he trails his wings and spreads 
his tail like a turkey-cock. 

But the most curious case is afforded by three 
allied genera of Australian birds, the famous 
bower-birds — no doubt the descendants of the 
same ancient species which first acquired the 
strange instinct of constructing bowers for per- 
forming their love-antics. The bowers which, as 
we shall hereafter see, are decorated with feathers, 
shells, bones, and leaves, are built on the ground 
for the sole purpose of courtship, for their nests 
are formed in trees. Both sexes assist in the 
erection of the bowers, but the male is the 


principal worker. So strong is this instinct that 
it is practised under confinement, and Mr. Strange 
has described the habits of some Satan bower- 
birds which he kept in an aviary in New South 
Wales. (i At times the male will chase the female 
all over the aviary, then go to the bower, pick up 
a gay feather or a large leaf, utter a curious kind 
of note, set all his feathers erect, run round the 
bower, and become so excited that his eyes appear 
ready to start from his head ; he continues opening 
first one wing and then the other, uttering a low, 
whistling note, and, like the domestic cock, seems 
to be picking up something from the ground, until 
at last the female goes gently towards him." 
Captain Stokes has described the habits and 
" play-houses " of another species, the great 
bower-bird, one of which was " amusing itself by 
flying backwards, taking a shell alternately from 
each side, and carrying it through the archway in 
its mouth." These curious structures, formed 
solely as halls of assemblage, where both sexes 
amuse themselves and pay their court, must 
cost the birds much labour. The bower, 
for instance, of the fawn-breasted species is 
nearly four feet in length, eighteen inches in 
height, and is raised on a thick platform of 

Dr. Jerdon thinks that the beautiful plumage of 
the male serves to "fascinate and attract the 
female." Mr. Bartlett of the Zoological Gardens, 



London, expressed himself to me in the strongest 
terms to the same effect. 

It must be a grand sight in the forests of India 
u to come suddenly upon twenty or thirty pea- 
fowl, the males displaying their gorgeous trains, and 
strutting about in all their pomp of pride before 
the gratified females." 

The male rupicola crocea is one of the most 
beautiful birds in the world, being of a splendid 
orange, with some of the feathers like curiously 
truncated plumes. The female is of a brownish- 
green, shaded with red, and has a much smaller 
crest. Sir R. Schomburgh has described their 
courtship ; he found one of their meeting- places, 
where ten males and two females were present. 
The space was from four to five feet in diameter, 
and appeared to have been cleared of every blade 
of grass, and smoothed as if by human hands. A 
male "was capering, to the apparent delight of 
several others. Now spreading its wings, throw- 
ing up its head, or opening its tail like a fan ; 
now strutting about with a hopping gait until tired, 
when it gabbled some kind of a note, and was re- 
lieved by another. Thus three of them successively 
took the field, and then, with self- approbation, 
withdrew to rest." 

With birds of paradise, a dozen or more full- 
plumaged males congregate in a tree to hold a 
dancing-party, as it is called by the natives, and 
here they fly about, raise their wings, elevate their 


exquisite plumes and make them vibrate, and the 
whole tree seems, as Mr. Wallace remarks, to be 
filled with waving plumes. 

The courtship of the wild turkey is fully de- 
scribed by Wilson the ornithologist. According 
to him, these birds pair early in March. For a 
short time previous the females separate from and 
shun their mates, though the latter pertinaciously 
follow them, uttering their gobbling note. The 
sexes roost apart, but at no great distance, so that 
when the female utters a call, every male within 
hearing responds, rolling note after note in rapid 
succession; not as when spreading the tail and 
strutting near the hen, but in a voice resembling 
that of the tame turkey when he hears any unusual 
or frequently repeated noise. When the turkeys 
are numerous, the woods from one end to the 
other, sometimes for hundreds of miles, resound 
with this remarkable voice of their wooing, uttered 
responsively from their roosting-places. This is 
continued for hour after hour, and, on the rising 
of the sun, the males begin to strut for the pur- 
pose of winning the admiration of the females. 

If the call be given from the ground the males 
in the vicinity fly towards the individual, and, 
whether they perceive her or not, erect and spread 
their tails, throw the head backward, distend the 
comb and wattles, strut pompously and rustle 
their wings and body-feathers, at the same time 
ejecting a puff of air from their lungs. While thus 



occupied, they occasionally halt to look out for 
the female, and then resume their strutting and 
puffing, moving with as much rapidity as the 
nature of their gait will admit. During this cere- 
monious approach the males often encounter each 
other, and desperate battles ensue, and the conflict 
is only terminated by the flight or death of the 

This pugnacious disposition is not to be re- 
garded as accidental, but as resulting from a wise 
and excellent law of Nature, which always studies 
the good of the species without regard to individ- 
uals. Did not females prefer the most perfect of 
their species, and were not the favours of beauty 
most willingly dispensed to the victorious, feeble- 
ness and degeneracy would soon mark the animal 
creation ; but, in consequence of this general rule, 
the various races of animals are propagated by 
those individuals who are not only most to be 
admired for external appearance, but most to be 
valued for intrinsic spirit and energy. 

When the object of the turkey's pursuit is dis- 
covered, if she be more than one year old, she also 
struts and even gobbles ; she turns proudly round 
the strutting male, and suddenly opening her 
wings she throws herself towards him, as if to ter- 
minate his procrastination, and, laying herself on 
the earth, receives his dilatory caresses. But 
should he meet a young hen, his strut becomes 

different, and his movements are violently rapid ; 



sometimes rising in the air, lie takes a short 
circular flight, and on alighting, drags his wings 
for a distance of eight or ten paces, running at full 
speed, occasionally approaching the timorous hen, 
and pressing her, until she yields to his solicita- 

Thus they mate for the season, though the male 
does not confine himself exclusively to one female, 
nor does he hesitate to bestow his attentions and 
endearments on several whenever the opportunity 
offers. One or more females thus associated fol- 
low their favourite, and roost in his immediate 
neighbourhood, if not on the same tree, until they 
begin to lay, when they change their mode of life 
in order to save their eggs, which the male uni- 
formly breaks if in his power, that the female may 
not be taken away from the gratification of his 
desires. At this time the females shun the males 
during the greater part of the day ; the latter be- 
come clumsy and careless, meet each other peace- 
fully, and so entirely cease to gobble that the hens 
are obliged to court their advances, calling loudly 
and almost continually for them. The female may 
then be observed caressing the male, imitating his 
peculiar gestures in order to excite his amorous- 

The cocks, even when on the roost, sometimes 
strut and gobble, but more generally merely 
elevate the tail and utter the puff, on which the 
tail and other feathers suddenly subside. On 



light or moonsliiny nights, near the termination of 
the breeding-season, they repeat this action, at 
intervals of a few minutes, for several hours to- 
gether, without rising from their perches. 

The sexes then separate ; the males, becoming 
emaciated, cease entirely to gobble, retire and 
conceal themselves by prostrate trees in secluded 
parts of the forest, or in the almost impenetrable 
privacy of a cane-brake. Rather than leave their 
hiding-places they suffer themselves to be ap- 
proached within a short distance, when they seek 
safety in speed of foot. At this season, however, 
they are of no value to the hunter, being meagre 
and covered with ticks. By thus retiring, using 
very little exercise, and feeding on peculiar grasses, 
they recover their flesh and strength, and when 
this object is attained, again congregate and re- 
commence their rambles. 

About the middle of April, when the weather 
is dry, the female selects a proper place in which 
to deposit her eggs, secured from the encroach- 
ment of water, and, as far as possible, concealed 
from the watchful eye of the crow. This crafty 
bird espies the hen going to her nest, and having 
discovered the precious deposit, waits for the 
absence of the parent and removes every one of 
the eggs from the spot, that he may devour them 
at his leisure. The nest is placed on the ground, 
either on a dry ridge, in the fallen top of a dead 
tree, under a thicket of sumach or briars, or by the 


side of a log. It is a very simple structure, being 
composed of a few dried leaves. In this receptacle 
the eggs are deposited, sometimes to the number 
of twenty, but more usually from nine to fifteen ; 
they are whitish, spotted with reddish brown, like 
those of the domestic bird. Their manner of 
building, number of eggs, period of incubation, 
etc., appear to correspond throughout the Union, 
as I have received exactly similar accounts from 
the northern limits of the turkey range to the most 
southern region of Florida, Louisiana, and the 
western wilds of Missouri. 

The female always approaches her nest with 
great caution, varying her course so as rarely to 
reach it twice by the same route ; and on leaving 
her charge she is very careful to cover the whole 
with dry leaves, with which she conceals it so art- 
fully as to make it extremely difficult, even for one 
who has watched her movements, to indicate the 
exact spot ; hence few nests are found, and these 
are discovered by fortuitously starting the females 
from them, or by the appearance of broken shells 
scattered around by some cunning lynx, fox, or 
crow. When laying or sitting, the turkey-hen is 
not readily driven from her post by the approach 
of apparent danger ; but if an enemy appears, she 
crouches as low as possible and suffers it to pass. 
A circumstance related by Audubon will show how 
much intelligence they display on such occasions. 
Having discovered a sitting hen, he noticed that 



by assuming a careless air, whistling and talking to 
himself, he was permitted to pass within five or six 
feet of her; but if he advanced cautiously she 
would not suffer him to come within twenty paces, 
but ran off twenty or thirty yards, with her tail ex- 
panded, when, assuming a stately gait, she paused 
on every step, occasionally uttering a cluck. They 
seldom abandon their nests on account of being 
discovered by man; but should a snake or any 
other animal suck one of the eggs, the parent 
leaves them altogether. If the eggs be removed, 
she again seeks the male and recommences laying ; 
otherwise she lays but one nest of eggs during the 
season. Several turkey-hens sometimes associate, 
perhaps for mutual safety, deposit their eggs in the 
same nest, and rear their broods together. Audu- 
bon once found three females sitting on forty-two 
eggs. In such cases the nest is constantly guarded 
by one of the parents, so that no crow, raven, or 
even polecat, dares approach it. 

The mother will not forsake her eggs when near 
hatching, while life remains ; she will suffer an en- 
closure to be made around her and imprison her 
rather than abandon her charge. Audubon wit- 
nessed the hatching of a brood while thus en- 
deavouring to secure the young and mother. 
"I have laid flat," says he, "within a very few 
feet, and seen her gently rise from the eggs, look 
anxiously towards them, cluck with a sound peculiar 
to the mother on such an occasion, remove care- 



fully each half-empty shell, and with her bill caress 
and dry the younglings that already stand tottering 
and attempting to force their way out of the shell." 

When the process of incubation is ended, and the 
mother is about to retire from the nest with her 
young, she shakes herself violently, picks and 
adjusts the feathers about the belly, and assumes a 
different aspect. Her eyes are alternately inclined 
obliquely upwards and sidewise ; she stretches forth 
her neck in every direction to discover birds of 
prey or other enemies; her wings are partially 
spread, and she softly clucks to keep her tender 
offspring close to her side. They proceed slowly, 
and, as the hatching generally occurs in the after- 
noon, they sometimes return to pass the first night 
in the nest. While very young, the mother leads 
them to elevated, dry places, as if aware that 
humidity, during the first few days of their life, 
would be very dangerous to them, they then having 
no other protection than a delicate, soft, hairy 
down. In very rainy seasons wild turkeys are 
scarce, because when completely wetted the young 
rarely survive. 

With mammals the males appear to win the 
females much more through the law of battle than 
through the display of their charms. The most 
timid animals, not provided with any special 
weapons for fighting, engage in desperate conflicts 
during the season of love. Two male hares have 
been seen to fight together until one was killed ; 



male moles often fight, sometimes with fatal results; 
male squirrels engage in frequent contests, " and 
often wound each other severely," as do male 
beavers, so that " hardly a skin is without scars." 
I observed the same facts with the hides of the 
guanacoes in Patagonia ; and on one occasion 
several were so absorbed in fighting that they fear- 
lessly rushed close by me. Livingstone speaks of 
the males of many animals in Southern Africa as 
almost invariably showing the scars received in 
former contests. 

The law of battle prevails with aquatic as with 
terrestrial mammals. It is notorious how desper- 
ately male seals fight, both with their teeth and 
claws, during the breeding-season, and their hides 
also are often covered with scars. Male sperm- 
whales are very jealous at this season, and in their 
battles " they often lock their jaws together and 
turn on their sides and twist about, so that their 
lower jaws often become distorted. 

The courage and the desperate conflicts of stags 
have often been described ; their skeletons have 
been found in various parts of the world, with the 
horns inextricably locked together, showing how 
miserably the victor and vanquished had perished. 

Lord Tankerville has given a graphic description 
of the battles between wild bulls in Chillingham 
Park, the descendants, degenerated in size but not 
in courage, of the gigantic bos primi genus. In 
1861 several contended for the mastery, and it was 


observed that two of the younger bulls attacked in 
concert the old leader of the herd, overthrew and 
disabled him, so that he was believed by the 
keepers to be lying mortally wounded in a neigh- 
bouring wood ; but a few days afterwards one of 
the young bulls approached the wood alone, and 
then the "monarch of the chase," who had been 
lashing himself up for vengeance, came out, and in 
a short time killed his antagonist. He then 
quietly joined the herd, and long held undisputed 

Phineas S. Koyce has sent me an interesting ac- 
count of some contests between the bulls for the 
possession of the cows, which he has witnessed on 
the plains of Colorado. He says: "The laws of 
the State require every person having cows run- 
ning at large, to turn with them one bull for every 
twenty-five cows. These bulls fight, whenever 
strange ones meet, with great ferocity ; and the 
occurrence is so common that, if I am in haste, I 
take no notice of them ; but if not hurried, I stay 
and see the battle to the end, which sometimes 
lasts several hours. The most severe fights are, of 
course, those between bulls nearly equally matched. 
They are more likely to meet when a cow or cows 
are in heat ; in that case the fight commences 
without any preliminaries, and with a vengeance ; 
and while two full-sized bulls are engaged in a 
desperate struggle, some yearling or scrub secures 
the females. When the bulls are not equally 



matched, the weaker one often cries, seemingly 
from grief and rage, ready all the time to pitch in 
for another trial of strength, while the stronger 
one will often merely stand his ground, not daring 
to be off his guard for a moment, and in such a 
case he will pay no attention to the cow or cows. 
The lighter one will frequently approach the 
females, relying upon his agility for safety. The 
conflict will be renewed from time to time if they 
are not too unequally matched. Bulls frequently 
form a strong attachment for each other, and will 
often run together without any cows. I could 
never see that they wished to form a herd, but 
they go from band to band without any regard for 
one set of cows more than another. 

" With horses," the same writer continues, " the 
case is different. A stallion will drive all other 
stallions and geldings out of his band, and some- 
times strange mares, especially if his band is large, 
and he is well acquainted with them. If he de- 
sires to increase his band, he will steal any mare 
he can find. He herds them as closely as though 
a man were on his back all the time, guiding him 
in the work. He either leads or drives them to 
and from water, and, as they are strung out, he 
will pass back and forth with his head near the 
ground ; if one is missing he will leave the band 
and search diligently and effectually, and bring her 
in, using teeth or heels for a whip. It is both 
difficult and dangerous to lead a mare from a 



band having a regular herder, as the stallion is 

"I have never seen a hard-fought battle between 
two stallions. ' Old Clyde,' a stallion I have long 
owned, once broke away from me and got into a 
band of mares, w T ith a young stallion as herder. 
Having no aid, I separated them by strategy, and 
when he found himself parted, his 4 angry passions ' 
arose to such a pitch that his eyes stood far out of 
their sockets, the white of them turned red, and 
his nostrils were extended beyond anything that I 
had ever imagined. I caught him and led him 
home, a distance of three-quarters of a mile ; but 
if I had not been highly excited I would not have 
attempted to do so, not even for all the stallions in 

Admiral Sir J. B. Sullivan informs me that, when 
he lived in the Falkland Islands, he imported a 
young English stallion, which frequented the hills 
near Port- William, with eight mares. On these 
hills were two wild stallions, each with a small 
band of mares, u and it is auite certain that these 
stallions would never have approached each other 
without fighting. Both had tried singly to fight 
the English horse and drive away his mares, but 
failed. One day they came in together and attacked 
him. This was seen by the captain who had charge 
of the horses, and who, on riding to the spot, found 
one of the two stallions engaged with the English 
horse, while the other was driving away the mares. 



The captain settled the matter by driving the whole 
party into the corral, for the wild stallions would 
not leave the mares." 

With savages, the women are the constant cause 
of war, both between members of the same tribe 
and between distant tribes. So, no doubt, it was 
in ancient times, " for before the time of Helen, 
women were the constant cause of war." With 
some of the North American Indians the contest 
is reduced to a system. That excellent observer, 
Hearne, says : 4 'It has ever been the custom among 
those people for the men to wrestle for any woman 
to whom they are attached, and of course the 
strongest party always carries off the prize. A 
weak man, unless he be a good hunter and well- 
beloved, is seldom permitted to keep a wife that a 
stronger man thinks worth his notice. This cus- 
tom prevails throughout all tribes, and causes a 
spirit of emulation among their youth, who are 
upon all occasions, from their childhood up, trying 
their strength and skill in wrestling." Of the 
Guachoes of South America, Azara says that the 
men rarely marry till twenty years old or more, as 
before that age they cannot conquer their rivals. 

Darwin says that in civilised life man is largely, 
but by no means exclusively, influenced in the 
choice of his wife by external appearances; but we 
are chiefly concerned with primeval times, and our 
only means of forming a judgment on this subject 
is to study the habits of existing semi-civilised and 


savage nations. If it can be shown that the men 
of different races prefer women having various 
characteristics, or conversely with the women, we 
have then to inquire whether such choice, con- 
tinued for many generations, would produce any 
sensible effect on the race, either on one sex or 
both, according to the form of inheritance which 
has prevailed. 



The Nature of the Ovum.— The physical char- 
acteristics of the spermatozoa have been fully 
given in a preceding chapter. The nature of the 
ovum, like that of the sperm, has been the subject 
of much investigation and microscopic analyses ; 
and as the egg of the fowl contains essentially the 
same parts as the ova in the mammals and in man, 
it has afforded the most convenient means for 
studying the elementary properties and constitu- 
ents of the vitalised germ. By keeping an egg 
one, two, three, or more days in an incubator, and 
then removing it from the shell to a microscope, 
one may observe the changes that have been going 
on. This study comes under the head of Em- 
bryology, and is very fascinating. 

In the egg of the fowl, the yelk membrane and 
its contents are the essential parts of the germ- 
cell. The albuminous portion, or " white," and 
the calcareous covering, do not exist in the ovum 
while it is in the ovary, but are formed during 
its passage through the oviduct. The yelk — 

vitellus — consists of albuminous granules and oil 



globules. Toward the centre the yelk is of a 
lighter colour, aud the granules have more the 
appearance of cells, within which are minute 
globules. The central portion is termed discus 
vitellinus. Imbedded in the vitellus is a trans- 
parent vesicle of a rounded form, termed germinal 
vesicle, measuring, in the human subject, one eight- 
hundredth to one five-hundredth of an inch in 
diameter, and upon its surface is a dark spot, or 
nucleus, termed the germinative sjiot. The fully- 
developed ovum in the human ovary, and of mam- 
mals, does not often exceed one-fifteenth to one- 
twentieth of a line in diameter. According to 
Bischoff, the ripened ova vary from one two- 
hundred -and -fortieth to one one -hundred -and- 
twentieth of an inch in diameter. The germ is 
always uppermost, and that the yelk floats in the 
upper portion of the white. 

Wagner regards the germinal vesicle as a pri- 
mary cell, of which the germinal spot forms the 
nucleus, and suggests the term of germinal nucleus 
be substituted for that of germinal spot. It is 
homologous with the " germ-cell " or " embryonic 
vesicle" of the vegetable ovule. 

Dunglison remarks (Human Physiology, vol. 
ii. p. 399) : "It was elsewhere remarked that the 
formation of the ovule by the Graafian follicle 
must be regarded as a true secretion — the yelk of 
which it is mainly composed, as well as the mera- 
brana granulosa, essentially resembling each other 



in histological and chemical character. When 
matured, the ovum, pressed forward probably by 
fresh depositions of the yellow matter which goes 
to the formation of the granular membrane and 
the yelk, is discharged from the ovary, and laid 
hold of by the Fallopian tube, which acts as an 
excretory duct, and conveys it into the interior 
of the uterus." 

The different conditions and appearances of the 
ova, in their various stages of progress toward 
maturation, can be advantageously studied in the 
ovary or yelk-bag of the common fowl. The 
blood-vessels (arteries and veins) of the ovaries 
belong to the spermatic. The arteries pass be- 
tween the layers of the broad ligament to the 
ovarium, where they have a beautiful convoluted 
arrangement, similar to the convolutions of the 
arteries of the testes. They traverse the ovary in 
parallel lines forming minute branches or twigs, 
which have an irregular knotty appearance, result- 
ing from their tortuous course. They are mainly 
distributed to the Graafian vesicles. 

The nerves of the ovaries, which are abundant 
and extremely delicate, are derived from the 
renal plexuses. Their lymphatics communicate 
with those of the kidneys. 

This section proves the fact that even *in the 
fetus the ovaries and primitive ova are developed, 
and that Nature begins, in early life, preparation 
for generation and reproduction. 


Before the rupture of the ovisac it undergoes 
material changes. Its walls become more vascular 
externally, and are thickened internally by the 
deposit of a fleshy-looking substance, which con- 
sists of an aggregation of cells. After the ovum 
has been matured and discharged, the Graafian 
vesicle gradually becomes atrophied and obliter- 
ated. In one stage of this process of retrogression 
it is converted into a solid globular body, termed 
the corpus luteum (yellow body). Its existence 
was formerly regarded as an evidence that im- 
pregnation had taken place ; but it is now known * 
to exist in virgins who have menstruated normally, 
and to be a consequence of ovulation simply. 
There is, however, such an altered appearance 
in this substance, in the cases where pregnancy 
has occurred, that we have to consider the 
corpora lutea as they appertain, repectively, to 
the non-pregnant and to the pregnant states, 
which have sometimes been contra- distinguished 
as the false and the true corpora lutea. 

The Corpus Luteum of Menstruation.— When 
the Graafian vesicle discharges its ovum at the 
menstrual period, the cavity is filled with blood, 
which soon coagulates, the coagulum being 
retained in the interior of the vesicle. This co- 
agulum or clot gradually becomes contracted and 
hardened from the absorption of its serum, as is 
the case with blood when extravasated within 



any part of the living body ; the colouring matter 
undergoes the changes usual in such circum- 
stances, and, with the serum, is partially removed 
by absorption ; at the same time the membrane 
of the vesicle becomes hypertrophied and con- 
voluted, by which it tends partially to fill the 
cavity. This process of enlargement of the mem- 
brane of the vesicle continues for about three 
weeks, at which time the ruptured vesicle has 
become so solidified that it receives the name of 
corpus luteum. It may then be felt as a rounded 
prominence on the surface of the ovary, measuring 
half-an-inch in thickness, and about three-quarters 
of an inch in length. On its surface is a very 
small scar or cicatrix, occupying the spot of the 
original rupture. 

After the third week the corpus luteum dimin- 
ishes in size, and at the end of the fourth week 
it is reduced to three-eights of an inch in its longest 
diameter, and at this time the entire body may 
be extracted from its ovarian bed. As the pro- 
cess of retrogression goes on, its rosy, or dull- 
yellowish hue, changes to a brighter yellow ; 
its surface becomes confounded with the central 
coagulum and surrounding tissues, and at the 
end of about two months it is reduced to a small 
yellowish spot or scar, and this disappears entirely 
in seven or eight months. The ovaries of a 
healthy female, who has menstruated regularly, 
but in whom pregnancy has never occurred, will 


often exhibit several corpora lutea in different 
stages of development and retrogradation. 

The Corpus Luteum of Pregnancy.— When im- 
pregnation has taken place, the corpus luteum sel- 
dom attains a size greater than that of a small 
pea, and is generally even smaller ; and it begins 
to diminish about the time for the next menstrual 
period. The difference between the false and 
the true corpora lutea is merely one of rapidity 
of development and decay, that of pregnancy 
going through the same changes, but more slowly ; 
hence it attains a larger size, a firmer organisa- 
tion, and disappears at a much later period. As 
pregnancy arrests the process of ovulation, no 
more ova are matured until after the period of 
gestation has been completed. Hence, in advanced 
pregnancy, the corpus luteum is not like that of 
menstruation, accompanied with unruptured vesicles 
in active process of development. After parturition 
it diminishes rapidly, though its characteristic struct- 
ure may be distinguished for months afterwards. 

In twin pregnancies, and in the case of triplets, 
etc., there are corpora lutea corresponding in 
number to that of the fetuses, all of which are 
precisely similar to each other ; but in some cases a 
single fetus is found in the uterus, while the ovaries 
contain two corpora lutea of similar appearance, one 
of which is supposed to belong to an embryo which 
was blighted in the early stage of pregnancy. 



We have seen that in the higher animals im- 
pregnation depends on the union of certain ele- 
ments furnished by male and female organs, each 
of which are necessary to the production of a 
human being. It requires but little knowledge 
of physical conditions, and a slight acquaintance 
with human history, to enable us to understand 
that the future being, with all its bodily, intel- 
lectual, and moral qualities, is dependent on the 
good condition of the germ and sperm elements 
furnished by the male and female parents. It is 
true that correct training and suitable circum- 
stances may enable a frail and imperfectly 
organised embryo to become a better adult person 
than one developed from perfect germs, but 
subjected to unfavourable conditions. But the 
principle is clear, and of very great practical im- 
portance, that the germ decides forever the general 
character of the child, the youth, and the adult. 
For this reason great responsibility will always rest 
upon parents. This subject will be more fully 
considered in future chapters. 

The Action of the Male.— Dr. Flint says on this 
subject : " Unlike certain of the lower animals, 
the human subject presents no distinct periodicity 
in the development of the spermatozoids ; but in 
reiterated connection, excitement and an orgasm 
may occur when the ejected fluid has no 
fecundating properties. Such frequently repeated 


sexual acts are abnormal ; but from a purely 
physiological point of view, prolonged continence 
is equally unnatural, and may react unfavourably on 
the nervous system. No absolute or even approxi- 
mate rule can be laid down with regard to the 
frequency with which intercourse may take place 
within physiological limits. We may assume that 
these conditions are fulfilled — first, when intercourse 
is confined within the limits of legitimacy, after 
the unusual excitement of novelty has passed ; 
second, when both the male and female are in 
perfect health, and no undue degree of lassitude 
follows coitus, after a proper period of repose ; 
third, when there is no marked diminution of 
sexual desire, except that which may be accounted 
for by age ; fourth, when pregnancy occurs at 
proper intervals, progresses normally, and is fol- 
lowed by the normal period of lactation ; fifth, 
when menstruation is regular, and when there is a 
period, usually after the cessation of the flow, 
during which there is some nervous excitement. 
It may be somewhat rare to find these conditions 
fulfilled in all respects, as so few men and women 
in civilised life are absolutely normal during adult 
age, and as the sources of unnatural sexual excite- 
ment are so numerous ; but they approximately 
represent the physiological performance of the 
generative functions in both sexes. It is true that 
the female can frequently endure sexual excesses 
better than the male, and may often not participate 



in the venereal excitement ; but if we assume that 
intercourse is physiologically confined within the 
limits fixed by social laws, the same rules as re- 
gards the frequency of the sexual act should apply 
to both. It is certain that intercourse is not nor- 
mal in the female during menstruation or during 
the greater part of the period of utero-gestation, 
and at these times it is physiological that the 
male should be continent. Taking our view 
chiefly from what appears to be the nature of the 
female, intercourse most properly takes place at 
the time following the menstrual flow, when there 
is usually a certain amount of nervous excitement, 
and this should not be immediately repeated, 
though it may be physiological after a few days. 
As sexual excitement diminishes, intercourse, as 
far as the desire of the female is concerned, is 
suspended, and it does not take place to any great 
extent during pregnancy. This seems to corre- 
spond with the normal progress of the generative 
functions as we have traced it in the female. It 
is evident that this is a subject of great delicacy, 
and one that is with difficulty brought to the re- 
quirements of rigid scientific inquiry; still, it can 
hardly be avoided in a full account of the physi- 
ology of generation, and it is a question often pre- 
sented to the practical physician." 1 

1 A Text-book of Human Physiology for Students of Medicine. 
By Austin Flint, M.D. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 


After the seminal fluid has been ejected dur- 
ing intercourse, the generative act, so far as the 
male is concerned, is accomplished. It now re- 
mains for us to study the action of the female, and 
the process by which the spermatozoids are brought 
in contact with the ovum. 

Action of the Female.— Dr. Flint remarks: "If 
we can credit the statements made to physicians in 
their professional intercourse, there are some fe- 
males in whom the generative function is performed, 
even to the extent of bearing children, who have 
no actual knowledge of a true venereal orgasm ; 
but there are those whose experiences are other- 
wise. There is, therefore, the important differ- 
ence in the sexes, that preliminary excitement and 
an orgasm are necessary to the performance of the 
generative act in the male, but are not essential in 
the female. Still, there can be scarcely a doubt 
but that excitement in the female facilitates con- 
ception, other conditions being favourable. 

" In considering the mechanism of the penetra- 
tion of spermatozoids into the uterus, it is also 
necessary to take into account the secretions, par- 
ticularly of the mucous glands at the neck. Most 
writers of the present day admit that, during the 
height of the orgasm, there is an ejection from 
the uterus of a small amount of alkaline mucus. 
That an erection of the cervix, followed by sudden 
relaxation and opening of the os, may occur, can- 



not be doubted, and there is no evidence of a mus- 
cular action in the uterus sufficient to project this 
fluid forcibly, as the semen is discharged by the 
male. Assuming that the views just stated be cor- 
rect, we can readily understand how the neck may 
be erected and hardened during the orgasm, ex- 
truding an alkaline mucus ; that the semen is 
ejected forcibly towards the uterus, and becomes 
mixed with the mucus ; and that the sudden relaxa- 
tion of the cervix and opening of the os may exert 
a force of aspiration, and thus draw in the fecun- 
dating elements. Certain it is that sperm atozoids 
may be found in the mucus of the cervix a very 
short time after coitus. It is possible, also, that a 
sexual connection may be occasionally even more 
intimate, and that a portion of the glans penis may 
be actually embraced by the dilated cervix, though 
this must be unusual. This latter idea of the 
establishment of a u continuous canal " during 
intercourse is one that was advanced by many of 
the older writers. 

" Quite a strong argument in favour of the view 
that the spermatozoids are imprisoned, as it were, 
in the cervical mucus soon after ejection, is the 
fact that vaginal injections immediately after inter- 
course, which are frequently resorted to to prevent 
conception, often fail to produce the desired result, 
even when they are so thorough as to wash out the 
vagina completely. 

" While we must accept as probable the view that 


the uterus may draw into the neck an alkaline 
mucus previously ejected, and with it a certain 
amount of seminal fluid, the fact that conception 
may take place without orgasm on the part of the 
female, and even without complete penetration of 
the male organ, shows that the action we have 
described is not absolutely essential, and that the 
semen may find its way into the uterus in some 
other manner, which it is certainly very difficult to 

Other writers and experimenters have thought 
that the alkaline mucus at the mouth of the uterus 
developed an electrical current, which flowed to- 
ward the uterine cavity, and that it, together with 
the power of movement in the spermatozoids, which 
enables them to move forward quite rapidly, is 
sufficient to explain their presence, soon after co- 
ition, in the uterine cavity and Fallopian tube ; but 
this is not satisfactorily determined. 

Vitality of the Spermatozoids and Ovum.— The 

question as to how long the spermatozoids may 
live after their passage into the uterus is an inter- 
esting one, and has an importance bearing on the 
time when conception is most likely to follow inter- 
course. It is doubtful if this question can be 
answered with absolute certainty. They may 
have greater vitality in some persons than in 
others ; their long or short life may depend on the 
healthy or diseased condition of the vaginal and 



uterine cavities. If there be any disease which 
would cause an acid condition of the secretions, 
instead of an alkaline one, the spermatozoids 
would not long survive, as acids are unfavourable 
to their life. There is no doubt but in perfect 
health of the female organs and great vigour in 
the spermatozoids themselves, they may retain 
their vitality for at least several days. 

There is an idea, based upon rather general and 
indefinite observation, that conception is most 
liable to follow an intercourse which occurs soon 
after a monthly period ; but it is certain that it 
may occur at any time. It is extremely probable 
that, during the unusual sexual excitement which 
the female generally experiences after a period, 
the action of the internal organs attending and 
following coitus present the most favourable con- 
ditions for the penetration of the fecundating 
elements, and this may explain the more frequent 
occurrence of conception as a consequence of 
intercourse at this particular period. 

The length of life of the ovum cannot be deter- 
mined, but it is not many days. If it does not 
meet in the generative passages the male elements, 
it soon dies and is cast off. This is a difficult 
subject for investigators. 

The Mechanism of Fecundation.— The mechan- 
ism of fecundation has been carefully studied in 
the lower animals, and we may be sure it consists 


in an actual union. The spermatozoids penetrate 
the vitellin membrane of the ovum. As soon 
as the spermatozoids have penetrated the ovum, 
segmentation begins at once. 

Where Impregnation Occurs.— The place of im- 
pregnation has been a question which has puzzled 
physiologists. The general belief has been that it 
occurs in a Fallopian tube soon after an ovum has 
made its entrance into one of them. A more pro- 
bable view is, that it may occur either in this 
tube or in the cavity of the uterus itself. So far 
as investigations have been made on rabbits, it has 
been found that the ovum has died if not impreg- 
nated before it reached the uterus ; but this animal 
is one whose constitution is poor, and conse- 
quently the egg will of necessity be short-lived. 
In man and in many animals their vitality is much 
greater, and this would give a longer life to them. 
In birds, also, impregnation always takes place in 
the Fallopian tubes. 

If the ova in the human female are impregnated 
in the Fallopian tube, then the spermatozoa must 
make a long journey, after being emitted by the 
male, to reach them. There would be one advan- 
tage in this — namely, that only the strongest would 
ever succeed in doing so, and in this way a more 
vigorous offspring would be insured. The sper- 
matozoa are not all of equal vigour. Like human 
beings, there is a great variety of them, and it 



must be an advantage to the ovum and the future 
child that only the most perfectly developed come 
together. The same may be said of the ova. 
They are not all equally vital, but most so during 
the prime of life, when the constitution is at its 
best. This perhaps explains why the most talented 
persons are, in most cases, born of mothers about 
thirty years old, and fathers four or five years 

The Number of Spermatozoa Required to Im- 
pregnate an Ovum. — It is not known how few 
spermatozoa will impregnate an ovum. Some have 
held that a single one is sufficient ; others, that 
several are required. So far as observations have 
been made, there have always been a number of 
them seen in an ova after impregnation. Nature 
is very lavish in her supply of material. If she 
were not, conception would be more difficult and 
uncertain than it is. In a single drop of the 
spermatic fluid there must exist many thousand 
spermatozoa ; of these only a few are ever re- 
quired ; the remainder die. 



Conception. — Impregnation is not conception. 
The ovum may be fecundated, by intermixing with 
the elements of the sperm-cell, without pregnancy 
resulting. We have seen that wherever, in the 
generative passages of the female, the living sper- 
matozoa come in contact with ripened ova, then 
impregnation occurs. But the impregnated ovum 
may be, nevertheless, expelled, as in the ordinary 
monthly process of ovulation. Many cases of 
sterility are attributable to the inability of the 
uterus to retain the ovum after its impregnation, 
in consequence of weakness, relaxation, leucorrhcea, 
etc. Violent exertions will also frequently excite 
uterine contraction sufficiently to occasion this ex- 
pulsion hours and even days after impregnation. 
If, however, the impregnated ovum becomes at- 
tached to the walls of the genital channel, the pro- 
cess of fetal development will then and there 
commence. This attachment or fixation is con- 
ception. How soon this fixation occurs after 
impregnation is a problem not very well settled. 

Doubtless the time varies much with different 



females, as do all functional processes concerned 
in menstruation or pregnancy. I have been col- 
lecting data bearing on this point for years, but 
cannot yet regard them as conclusive ; and there 
is no problem in sexual physiology respecting 
which the facts are more confused and contradic- 
tory. That this attachment or fixation may and 
does occasionally take place in the Fallopian tube, 
and even in the ovary, is proved by the cases of 
extra-uterine pregnancy which are recorded. But 
that the uterus is the place for normal conception 
is my full conviction, the reasons for which will 
be considered hereafter. 

Signs of Pregnancy. — The suppression of men- 
struation is ordinarily the first well-marked sign 
that pregnancy has occurred ; but this is not con- 
clusive, as pregnancy may occur with females 
who have never bled at the menstrual periods, 
and the monthly hemorrhage may continue during 
the whole period of pregnancy. Dr. Good re- 
lates the case of a woman who " menstruated only 
during pregnancy," but he mistook hemorrhage for 
menstruation. The cases, however, in which 
pregnancy is not attended with a suppression of 
the monthly period are very rare, so that we 
need not be surprised that this even has long been 
regarded as an unerring symptom. 

Nausea and vomiting, with capricious or depraved 
appetite, are among the usual symptoms of early 



pregnancy; but they are occasionally entirely 
absent ; and when present, they seem to depend 
much more on the morbid conditions or erroneous 
dietetic habits of the patient than on the incident 
of pregnancy. Dr. Bedford, who sometimes con- 
founds pathology and physiology, regards vomiting 
" as among the most constant accompaniments of 
pregnancy, and its relation to this, as a general 
rule, is based on sound physiology." We have 
known several cases in which women went through 
gestation without a moment's disturbance of the 
stomach ; and I am of opinion that if all women 
would live as hygienically as they did, few or none 
of them would be troubled with this " sign of 

Salivation, or a copious excretion from the sali- 
vary glands, affects some women during preg- 
nancy, but as a sign of pregnancy it is to be 
regarded as an exception rather than the rule. 

Enlargement of the breasts is a more uniform 
and reliable symptom. The mammse, very soon 
after conception, usually become more hard and 
movable, with a prickling sensation, while the 
nipple is more prominent, and frequently some- 
what painful or tender. The veins of the breast 
enlarge. These changes may occur in two or three 
weeks, or not until two or three months after 
conception. The general rule is, the more healthy 
and vigorous the woman, the sooner will they be 
manifested. As the breasts enlarge, the areola 


around the nipple becomes of a darker colour, 
with a development of small prominences or folli- 
cles. These are among the most reliable evidences 
of pregnancy, yet they are not infallible. I have 
known cases in which they occurred a few weeks 
after a suppressed menstruation. There are cases, 
also, in which the breasts evince no change what- 
ever till near the period of parturition. 

Milk in the breasts is one of the common ac- 
companiments of pregnancy ; but the secretion of 
this fluid takes place in many conditions of the 
system when pregnancy does not exist. The facts 
are well authenticated that milk has been found 
in the mammary glands of young virgins, and in 
their analogues of the male sex. Irritation of the 
breasts and ovarian diseases have occasioned the 
secretion of milk in non-pregnant females. 

Enlargement of the abdomen is apparent in the 
third month of pregnancy, but a similar appear- 
ance may result from dropsy, or from a tumour. 
When the uterus begins to increase in bulk, and 
sinks down a little in the pelvic cavity, it occasions, 
in most cases, some degree of tenesmus, with fre- 
quent urination, causing the abdomen to appear a 
little flattened in the hypogastric region. 

(Edema of the lower extremities frequently accom- 
panies pregnancy, and is usually attributed to ob- 
struction in the venous circulation from pressure 
of the impregnated uterus; but the essential, though 
more remote cause, is undoubtedly general plethora 



or local congestion. It rarely troubles those 
whose regimen is reasonably hygienic. 

Quickening, which occurs about the middle 
term of pregnancy, but may occur two or three 
weeks earlier or later, is commonly regarded as 
conclusive of the fact of pregnancy; but even this 
may be deceptive. The term is applied to the 
first consciousness of motion in the uterus on the 
part of the mother ; but spasmodic contractions 
may produce a similar sensation. In true quicken- 
ing, the motions of the fetus are for the first time 
recognised. The ancient doctrine was that at 
this period the fetus was endowed with life, and 
many absurd statutes in relation to wilful abortion 
have been predicted on this erroneous notion. 
The child has organic life progressively develop- 
ing in structural arrangements from the moment 
of conception to that of parturition, although it has 
no volition, no mental or soul life, until its lungs are 
expanded and " God breathes into its nostrils the 
breath of life." Then its organs of external rela- 
tion come into play, and it begins to ascertain 
its relation to external objects and to other beings. 

Although pregnancy may exist with none of the 
above-mentioned signs and symptoms, or with all 
of them, the cases in which the woman mistakes 
her condition in this respect are comparatively 
few ; and in cases where it is important that all 
doubt shall be removed, recourse must be had to 
examination per vaginam. 



Duration of Pregnancy.— That the period of 
human utero-gestation is, in a majority of cases, 
about nine calendar months, all are agreed. But 
there is much discrepancy of opinion with regard 
to the limits of the deviations from this period. 
This difference is owing, to some extent, no doubt, 
to the difficulty of fixing the exact time of con- 
ception. It is certainly hnpossible to determine 
how much beyond the ordinary or normal period 
gestation may extend in a given case. But it is 
safe to say that it seldom varies many days from 
thirty-nine or forty weeks. According to the 
F rench code, the legitimacy of a child born 300 
days after the dissolution of marriage may be con- 
tested ; but many authors think this period too 
limited. In the celebrated Gardner peerage case, 
referred to in most of the works on Medical Juris- 
prudence, the London physicians disagreed very 
greatly, as physicians usually do in medico-legal 
cases. While five of them maintained that the 
period of gestation hi woman was limited to 280 
days, twelve of them were of opinion that it 
might be protracted to 311 days. The Uni- 
versity of Heidelberg allowed the legitimacy of 
a child born thirteen months after the date of the 
last intercourse ; and the Supreme Court of 
Friesland decided in favour of the legitimacy of 
a child born 303 days after the husband's death, 
These may be examples of judicial philanthropy, 
but here, as everywhere where there is a doubt, 



the accused party is entitled to the benefit of 

In Pennsylvania two cases of gestation — one 
protracted to 813 and the other to 317 days — have 
been admitted as legitimate. This decision, how- 
ever, though it determined the legal action in their 
cases, does not settle the scientific problem. 

Viability of the Ohild.— The earliest period at 
which it is capable of carrying on an independent 
existence is involved in the same uncertainty as 
is the extreme limit of the period of utero- 
gestation. It is often an important question in 
medico-legal investigations, yet never admits of 
positive demonstration. The period generally 
assigned is the end of the seventh month ; and 
this is quite correct as a general rule, but there 
are many exceptions. On good authority cases 
are recorded in which children have lived for 
weeks and months, and in some instances have 
been reared to adult age, and distinguished them- 
selves by great physical and intellectual power, 
who were born at or near the end of the sixth 

The Decidua. — Soon after conception occurs, a 
flocculent exudation covers the inner surface of the 
uterus, constituting, in a few days thereafter, a 
soft, pulpy membrane termed the decidua. Its 
principal object is the protection of the embryon. 


Whether this decidua is a changed condition — a 
special development — of the mucous membrane, 
or a new formation, has been a point in dispute ; 
but it is now generally regarded as the former. 

The arrangement and structure of the decidua 
have not yet been fully determined by anatomists. 
Some of those who entertain the opinion that, 
normally, impregnation takes place in the ovary, 
believe that the decidua is formed prior to the 
arrival of the ovum in the uterus, and that the 
ovum, on passing into the uterine cavity, becomes in- 
volved in the secretion (which covers the surface of 
the uterus), and absorbs a portion of it for nutrient 
material, while the remainder is organised into 
a double membrane — one corresponding to the 
uterus, the other adhering to the ovum. When, 
according to this view, the ovum reaches the 
cornua of the uterus, it pushes the decidua before 
it, the projecting portion constituting the tunica 
decidua reflexa, which envelops the whole ovum, 
except the part where the decidua is detached 
from the uterus, which is the seat of the future 
placenta. MM. Velpeau, Wagner, Payet, Kirkes, 
and others adopt this view ; but other authors 
of equal reputation, after diligent investigation, 
have concluded that it is impossible for so small 
a body as the ovum to perform so difficult a task. 

Professor Sharpey, with Dr. William Hunter, re- 
gards the structures of the decidua and the decidua 
reflexa as different, and the decidua vera as a new 


production, the development of which is simul- 
taneous with that of the ovum. At the point of 
supposed reflection there is found a substance pre- 
cisely similar to the decidua reflexa, which attaches 
the ovum to the side of the uterus ; this has been 
termed the decidua serotina. 

Professor Dalton regards the decidua as the 
" uterine mucous membrane, developed and hyper- 
trophied," which " becomes exfoliated and thrown 
off at the same time that the egg itself is finally 
discharged." Perhaps this opinion is the result of 
confounding the " flocculent exudation" with the 
excretion which takes place in croup and similar 
diseases. The " exudation " of the mucous mem- 
brane of the impregnated uterus is undoubtedly a 
true formation. It is true that M. Velpeau speaks 
of the decidua as a " product of excretion " • but 
it seems to me to be a rule and a law, without any 
exception, that all formative products from the 
blood are secretions. 

Whatever the origin of the decidua, whether it 
is an excretion of coagulable lymph, a hypertrophy 
of the uterine mucous membrane, or a secretion 
from the blood, it is certain that during the forma- 
tion of the decidua reflexa both the ovum and the 
body of the uterus become considerably enlarged ; 
but after the third month all of the decidua, except 
that portion to which the ovum first became at- 
tached, gradually becomes thinner, and, in appear- 
ance, less glandular. The decidua uteri remains 



quite thick, especially around the placenta, until 
the end of gestation ; but the decidua reflexa is, at 
this time, extremely thin. Toward the third or 
fourth month they touch and press upon each other ; 
but, according to MM. Velpeau and BischofF, they 
are never confounded. 

M. Velpeau considered the use of the decidua to 
be to retain the impregnated ovum at a given point 
of the uterine cavity. M. Breschet affirms that it 
exists in all cases of extra-uterine pregnancy, and 
hence cannot belong to the ovum. Chaussier found 
it in cases of tubal gestation ; Evrat supposes that 
one is secreted after each act of sexual intercourse ; 
M. Pouch et thinks it is formed at each menstrual 
period; while Dr. Robert Lee declares that it is not 
found in all cases of extra-uterine pregnancy. 

Weber and Sharpey do not regard the decidua 
as a new formation, and M. Coste says : " The only 
modifications of which the uterus becomes the seat 
consist in the turgescence or etherism of its tissue, 
and more especially in a considerable thickening of 
its mucous membrane — a thickening which results 
especially from congestion of the blood-vessels, and 
an extreme development of the glands that enter 
into its composition, and, in certain subjects, plait 
them into more or less numerous convolutions." 
He adds : "In the normal state neither the openmg 
of the cervix uteri, nor that of the Fallopian tubes, 
is closed by membrane. They are always free, 
permeable, and consequently permit the ovum to 



pass into the cavity of the uterus ; and the folds of 
the mucous membrane, by coming in contact, are 
sufficient to arrest it." 

Mr. Goodwin states that the interfollicular 
spaces, in which the network of capillaries are 
situated, are occupied by a texture consisting wholly 
of nucleated particles, " a tissue represented by Baer 
and Wagner as surrounding what they supposed to 
be uterine papilla?, and regarded by them as decidua." 

Dalton, as well as other late authors, regard the 
decidual membrane as intended to supply the 
fecundated ovum with the requisite materials for 
its nourishment — a proposition which its structure 
and manner and time of development seems to 
render almost self-evident. He remarks : 4 ' The 
uterine mucous membrane is developed, during the 
process of gestation, in such a way as to provide 
for the nourishment of the fetus in the different 
stages of its growth. At first the whole of it is 
uniformly increased in thickness (decidua vera). 
Next, a portion of it grows upward around the egg 
and covers its projecting surface (decidua reflexa). 
Afterward, both the decidua reflexa and the greater 
part of the decidua vera diminish in the activity 
of their growth, and lose their importance as a 
means of nourishment for the egg; while that 
part which is in contact with the vascular tufts of 
the chorion continues to grow, becoming exceed- 
ingly developed, and taking an active part in the 
formation of the placenta," 



Development of the Germ. — As the process of 
development between the egg of a fowl and the 
human ovum is analogous, and as the changes 
which occur in the fecundated egg are more con- 
veniently traced than those which take place in the 
impregnated ovum, it will be profitable to examine 
the data which have been furnished by the ob- 
servations made with respect to both. 

When the ovum of the mammalia leaves the 
ovary it consists of the yelk or vitellus contained 
in its membrane, the germinal vesicle and the 
germinal spot. The yelk, as we have seen, serves 
the same purpose for the animal as the oily and 
starchy matters in the seeds serve for the plant. 
It is the nutriment of the embryo. In its passage 
through the oviduct, the yelk is gradually ex- 
hausted, and the albumen, or white, supplies its 
place. Carpenter says : " Our knowledge of the 
first stages of the developmental process in the 
mammalian ovum is, in many respects, incomplete ; 
and it is requisite to interpret what has been ob- 
scurely seen in the ova of this class, by the clearer 


views derived from observation of those of the 
lower animals. As already stated, the germinal 
vesicle disappears at or about the time of fecunda- 
tion ; but its disappearance is not a result of 
fecundation, since it also takes place in the un- 
impregnated egg, in consequence, it may be pre- 
sumed, of the completion of its term of life, and 
of those operations which it was developed to 
perform. Its place is seen to be occupied, at an 
early period after fecundation, by a new and 
peculiar cell, the origin of which is obscure, but 
the destination of which is most important ; for it 
is by the duplicative sub -division of this cell, first 
into two, then into four, then into eight, and so 
on, and by the metamorphoses which its progeny 
undergo, that the whole embryonic fabric is 
gradually evolved ; hence this cell may be termed 
the embryo-cell. At the same time, a peculiar 
change begins to take place in the yelk, the whole 
sphere of which is just marked out by a furrow 
into two hemispheres, and is at last completely 
divided by the extension of this centre ; each half 
is again furrowed and then cleft in the same 
manner, and thus the entire yelk is broken up into 
a mass of segments." 

Segmentation of the Vitellus.— This process of 
duplication of cells, which Kolliker and Bagge 
have depicted as seen in the ova of certain parasitic 
worms, in which it presents itself in the least 



complex form, continues, the cells becoming pro- 
gressively smaller, until a large mass of cells are 
produced, the whole assuming the form of the 

In some entozoa the embryonic portion is em- 
bedded in the interior of the vitellus, and as the 
cells multiply, they appropriate the surrounding 
nutrient matter, until the whole yelk is exhausted, 
and the original yelk membrane is filled with a 
mulberry-like mass of cells. But more commonly 
each cell formed by the cleaving of the embryonic 
vesicle appropriates a certain portion of the yelk. 

" These changes/' says Carpenter, u take place 
in the mammalian ovum during its transit along 
the Fallopian tube to the uterus, so that, by the 
time of its arrival there, the whole cavity of the 
vena pellucida is occupied by minute sphericles of 
yelk, each containing a transparent vesicle, the 
aggregation of which gives it a mulberry-like 
aspect ; and by a continuance of the same process 
of sub-division, the component segments becoming 
more and more minute, the mass comes to present 
a fine granular aspect." 

The Blastodermic Membrane— By the time that 
the " vitellin spheres " have become sub-divided 
into the " mulberry-shaped mass," they are sup- 
posed to be transformed into true animal cells, 
which, adhering by adjacent edges, form a con- 
tinuous organised membrane. This is the blasto- 


dermic membrane, also called the germinal mem- 
brane. This membrane soon divides into two 
layers termed the external and internal layers. Says 
Dalton : " They are both still composed exclu- 
sively of cells ; but those of the external layer are 
usually smaller and more compact, while those of 
the internal layer are rather larger and looser in 
texture. The egg then presents the appearance 
of a globular sac, the walls of which consist of 
three concentric layers, lying in contact with and 
inclosing each other — viz., (1) The structureless 
vitellin membrane on the outside ; (2) The ex- 
ternal layer of the blastodermic membrane, com- 
posed of cells ; (3) The internal layer of the 
blastodermic membrane, also covered with cells. 
The cavity of the egg is occupied by a transparent 
fluid, as above mentioned. 

u This entire process of the segmentation of the 
vitellus, and the formation of the blastodermic 
membrane, is one of the most remarkable and im- 
portant of all changes which take place during the 
development of the egg. It is by this process that 
the simple globular mass of the vitellus, composed 
of an albuminous matter and oily globules, is con- 
verted into an organised structure. The blasto- 
dermic membrane, though consisting only of cells 
nearly uniform in size and shape, is nevertheless a 
truly organised membrane, made up of fully- 
formed anatomical elements. It is, moreover, the 
first sign of distinct organisation which makes its 


appearance in the egg ; and as soon as it is com- 
pleted, the body of the new fetus is formed. The 
blastodermic membrane is, in fact, the body of the 

The development of the egg commences in the 
same way in all classes of animals. All of the 
organs of the fetus commence their development 
with the two layers of the blastodermic membrane, 
the spinal column and all the organs of universal 
life — the cerebro -spinal system — being developed 
by the external layer, while the intestinal canal 
and all the organs of vegetative life — the organic 
system — are developed by the internal layer. The 
external layer has also been termed serous or 
animal, while the internal has been called mucous 
or vegetative. 

The area germinativa changes from a rounded 
form to that of an oval, and then becomes pyri- 
form in shape, during which changes a clear space 
is seen in the centre. This is the area pellucida, 
bounded externally by an opaque circle which sub- 
sequently becomes the area vasculosa, in which 
blood-vessels are first developed. The embryo 
first appears in the serous, external, or animal 
layer of the blastodermic or germinal membrane, 
in the centre of the area pellucida, consisting of a 
trace or streak termed primitive groove, with two 
oval marks (laminse dorsales) on each side. As 
these become more raised, the elevated points ap- 
proach each other, and ultimately convert the 


groove into a tube, which is the seat of the future 
great central organs of the nervous system — the 
brain and spinal cord. At the same time, the 
rudiments of the vertebral column, termed chorda 
dorsalis, are seen in a row of cells on a line parallel 
with the primitive groove. 

While the dorsal laminae are closing the primi- 
tive groove by an approximation of their raised 
portions, prolongations of the internal layer of the 
germinal membrane extend from the lower margin 
of each. The prolongations are termed visceral or 
ventral laminae — lamina? ventrales seu viscerates. 
The ventral laminae, extending downward and in- 
ward toward the cavity of the yelk, unite and form 
the interior wall of the trunk. At the same time, 
an accumulation of cells between the external and 
internal layers of the germinal membranes become 
arranged into a distinct structure or layer, termed 
the vascular. In this vascular membrane the first 
vessels of the embryo are developed. 

Incubation.— As the vascular layer develops, the 
insula? sanguinus, or blood dots, appear at the cir- 
cumference of the vascular area, and, gradually 
uniting, form vessels which have a circular shape 
and retiform appearance, and are filled with blood. 
These vessels have been termed venous circle (cir- 
cidus venosus), and terminal vein or sinus {vena seu 
sinus terminalis). These vessels, constituting the 
vascular area, or figura venosus, are generally ex- 



tended over the whole surface of the membrane 
that contains the yelk. 

When the parieties of the abdomen are formed, 
which takes place at an early period of embryonic 
life, by a constriction in the fold of the germinal 
membrane, the yelk-sac becomes the umbilical vesi- 
cle (vesicula umbilicus). 

As the umbilical vesicle, whose walls are formed 
of the several layers of the blastodermic mem- 
brane, develops, another vesicle extends from the 
caudal extremity of the embryo. This is the 
allantois, or allantoid vesicle, which is seen in 
several stages of development, both in the egg of 
the hen and in the human ovum. 

The walls of the allantois, when developed, be- 
come very vascular, and contain the ramifications 
of the subsequent umbilical arteries and umbilical 
vein. It is regarded as a temporary organ of re- 
spiration, by bringing the vessels of the chick in 
relation with atmospheric air, and, in the mam- 
malia, conveying the embryonic vessels to and 
from the chorion. 

The allantois is divided at the umbilicus by a 
closing of the visceral laminae in the abdominal 
cavity into two partitions, the larger of which pro- 
ceeds with the umbilical vessels to the chorion, 
while the smaller is retained in the abdomen and 
converted into the urinary bladder, the two 
portions being connected by the urachus. 

While the changes above mentioned are taking 


place, the cephalic, caudal, and lateral edges of 
the internal layer of the blastodermic membrane 
are elevated in the form of two folds, extended 
over the body of the embryon, and, meeting on 
its dorsal aspect, inclose it in a double envelope, 
the inner layer of which forms the sac of the 
amnion, while the external layer lines the inner 
surface of the chorion. 

The weight of the embryon at the end of the 
second week is, as near as has been ascertained, 
about one grain, and its length about one-twelfth 
of an inch. At the end of the third week its size 
and shape have been compared to a large ant or 
a grain of barley. On the thirtieth day the situa- 
tion of the upper and lower extremities become 
visible ; the length has increased to one- third of an 
inch, and the rudiments of the principal organs are 
apparent. About the fortieth day the shape of the 
child may be recognised, when, in anatomical 
parlance, it ceases to be the embryon and becomes 
the fetus. Some anatomists, however, do not apply 
the term fetus to the embryon until after the be- 
ginning of the fourth month, when its motions in 
utero are noticed by the mother. This is called the 
period of quickening. 

The head is very large in proportion to the body ; 
the trunk is elongated and pointed; the limbs 
resemble the shoots of vegetables ; dark points or 
lines indicate the existence of the eyes, mouth, and 
nose, and parallel points indicate the situation of 



tlie vertebras. The length is nearly one inch, or 
about ten lines. 

In the second month nearly all of the parts are 
apparent. The eyelids are well defined and ex- 
tremely transparent ; the nose projects ; the mouth 
enlarges and opens; the fingers and toes are dis- 

In the third month the eyelids are more 
developed and firmly closed ; the meatus auditorius 
is indicated by an opening in the pavilion of the 
ear; the sides of the nose — a la nasi — are dis- 
tinguishable ; the lips are distinct, and the mouth 
shut. During this month the genital organs are 
rapidly developed. The penis is long ; the scrotum 
frequently contains a little water, but the testes are 
absent. The vulva is apparent, and the clitoris 
very prominent. The brain is considerably devel- 
oped, though still pulpy, as is the spinal cord. The 
lungs are insignificant, but the liver is large. The 
heart's action is easily detected. The upper and 
lower limbs are fully developed. The fetus is now 
three-and-a-half inches in length, and weighs two- 
and-a-half ounces. 

During the fourth month the head and liver in- 
crease less in proportion than the other parts ; the 
muscular system becomes distinct, and slight move- 
ments are manifested. At the end of four months 
and a half the length of the fetus has increased to 
five or six inches, and the weight to four or five 



During the fifth month the muscular system be- 
comes well marked, and the movements of the 
fetus active and unequivocal. The head is still 
disproportionately large, and begins to be covered 
with small, silvery hairs. The length is seven to 
nine inches ; weight, six to eight ounces. 

In the sixth month the derma or true skin be- 
gins to be distinguishable from the epidermis or 
cuticle. The skin is of a purple colour, smooth 
and delicate, and, owing to the absence of adipose 
matter in the subcutaneous areolar tissue, seems 
plaited or wrinkled. The scrotum is small and of 
a deep-red colour ; the vulva prominent, its lips 
separated, and the clitoris projecting ; the nails are 
formed. The length is ten or twelve inches, and 
the weight nearly two pounds. Fetuses born at 
this period usually breathe and cry for a short 
time, but are rarely viable. 

During the seventh month all parts of the body 
very nearly attain their permanent proportions. 
The head occupies the lower portion of the uterine 
cavity, and is directed toward its mouth or orifice 
— os uteri. The finger passed into the vagina 
readily detects it as a rounded, firm, but movable 
body. The eyelids begin to separate, and the 
membrana pupillaris, which previously closed the 
pupil, begins to disappear ; the whole form be- 
comes more rotund from the increase of fat ; the 
skin is redder, and its sebaceous follicles excrete 
a white cheesy substance termed vernix caseosa. 



The length at seven months is about fourteen 
inches, and its weight nearly three pounds. 

In the eighth month the fetus develops propor- 
tionally more in breadth than in length, and the 
child at this period is regarded as capable of main- 
taining an independent existence. The testicles, 
which were formed within the abdominal parieties, 
descend into the scrotum ; the ossification of the 
bones of the skull, ribs, and limbs is nearly com- 
pleted ; the nails are also completely formed 
The length is sixteen inches, and the weight up- 
ward of four pounds. 

At the end of nine months the length of the 
fetus is ordinarily eighteen or twenty inches, and 
the average weight six to eight pounds. It is 
then fully matured — the normal period of preg- 
nancy, or full term, being generally reckoned at 
about 280 days. 

Numerous cases are, however, on record in which 
the measurement and weight greatly exceed the 
above calculations. In some well authenticated 
cases the child at birth has measured twenty-four 
inches in length ; and obstetricians of character 
and experience have published cases of children 
weighing at birth from ten to fifteen pounds. One 
or two cases are recorded in which the weight 
exceeded seventeen pounds. In the case of twins 
the weight of each is usually somewhat less than 
in uniparous cases, but their united weight is 
greater. M. Duges of Paris ascertained the 


average weight of 144 twins to be four pounds, 
the extreme weights being three and eight pounds. 
It should be remarked, however, that the tables 
furnished by authors, on the length and weight of 
fetuses at different periods of gestation and at 
birth, are considerably discordant, as all observa- 
tions must be when the subjects of them are suffer- 
ing under a great number and variety of abnormal 
conditions ; and this difficulty is further compli- 
cated by the ignorance or uncertainty that exists 
respecting the changes which the embryo under- 
goes during the early period of its existence. 

Position of the Fetus.— The cause of the posi- 
tion of the fetus in utero, during the various 
periods of gestation, has not been very clearly 
explained. The " law of gravitation " which, it is 
assumed, draws the more weighty head to the 
lowest part of the uterine cavity, is more the ex- 
pression of a theory than of a fact. Professor 
Simpson and others are of opinion that, until about 
the sixth month, the normal position of the head is 
uppermost, and that the change of position is then 
a vital act, dependent on the motions of the fetus. 
Certain it is, that the position with the head down- 
ward — which is the usual and only strictly normal 
position — is best adapted to the process of de- 
livery. The body is bent forward ; the chin 
rests on the breast; the back of the head, 
occiput, toward the brim of the pelvis • one or 



both arms lying upon the face, and both approxi- 
mated in front ; the thighs flexed upon the 
abdomen ; the knees apart ; the legs drawn up 
and crossed ; the feet bent upon the anterior 
surface of the legs — the whole body forming an 
oval, whose diameter is about ten inches. 

Fetal Dependencies— These are : (1) The two 

membranes which constitute the parieties of the 
ovule, the external of which is called chorion, and 
the interna], which contains a fluid in which the 
fetus floats, is called amnion or amnios ; (2) The 
placenta, a spongy, vascular body, external to the 
chorion, covering about one-fourth of the ovule, 
and connecting it with the uterus ; (3) The umbili- 
cal cord or navel string, containing the blood-vessels 
which maintain the circulation between the pla- 
centa and the fetus ; (4) The umbilical and allantoid 

The chorion, according to M. Velpeau, becomes 
thick, opaque, resisting, and flocculent at both sur- 
faces, about the twelfth day after conception ; but 
as the normal place for impregnation is yet a dis- 
puted problem, the authors do not agree where the 
ovum receives the chorion. Some think it is re- 
ceived as the ovum passes along the Fallopian tube ; 
others maintain that it is formed in the ovary ; 
while others, taking the opposite extreme, contend 
that it is produced in the uterus. The inner surface 
of the chorion corresponds to the amnion; and 


the two membranes, in early fetal life, are separ- 
ated by an albuminous fluid. At the end of about 
three months this fluid disappears, when the mem- 
branes are in contact. By some anatomists the 
chorion is regarded as consisting of two layers, the 
external of which is called exochorion, and the in- 
ternal enclochorion. 

The amnion, which lines the inner surface of the 
chorion, contains the fetus, and is filled with a 
serous fluid. In the early period of fetal existence 
it adheres to the chorion only by a point, which 
corresponds to the abdomen of the fetus. The 
other parts of the membranes are separated by the 
serous fluid above mentioned, which is termed false 
liquor amnii. The membranes subsequently coal- 
esce; but the adhesion, except at the placenta and 
umbilical cord, is very feeble. As pregnancy ad- 
vances this membrane becomes thicker, and at full 
term is much tougher and more tenacious than the 
chorion. Both the amnion and the chorion cover 
the fetal surface of the placenta, envelop the um- 
bilical cord, and, extending to the umbilicus of the 
fetus, there become blended with the skin. The 
serous fluid — liquor amnii — contained within the 
amnion is transparent in early fetal life, but at 
full term the flocci of an albuminous substance 
give it a milky appearance. It has a saline taste, 
a spermatic odour, and a viscid and gelatinous con- 
sistence. According to the analysis of Vauquelin 
and Buniva its solid constituents — albumen, 



chloride of sodium, soda, phosphate of lime, and 
lime — amount to only 1 *2 parts in 100, the re- 
mainder 98*8 being water. The analysis, how- 
ever, by no means proves that all of these ingredi- 
ents are normal constituents, nor that they exist 
normally in the above quantities or proportions. 

The quantity of fluid contained in the amnion is 
in inverse ratio to the size of the fetus. The source 
of this fluid is not yet well ascertained, some phy- 
siologists ascribing it to the mother, others to the 
fetus. Its quantity varies from a few ounces to 
three or four pints. 

The placenta, or afterbirth, is a soft, flat, spongy, 
highly vascular body, in most cases of a circular 
shape, but sometimes assuming the oval form. It 
is the medium of communication between the 
mother and child, its office being to supply nutrient 
material to the fetus. It is usually from six to 
eight inches in diameter, and from an inch to an 
inch and a half in thickness at its centre, gradu- 
ally becoming thinner towards its circumference. 
Its average weight is about one pound. One of its 
surfaces corresponds to the fetus, the other to the 

The distribution of the umbilical arteries and 
veins give to the fetal surface an arborescent ap- 
pearance resembling the branches of a tree ; it has 
also been called membraneous, because both the 
chorion and amnion pass over it. The fetal sur- 
face is smooth and glistening. The maternal or 


uterine surface is in contact with the uterus, and 
after its detachment it exhibits an irregular, broken 

There is, probably, no direct vascular connection 
between the mother and fetus, the blood-vessels of 
the maternal portion of the placenta not being con- 
tinuous with those of the fetal portion. The con- 
trary opinion has long been held; but it seems now 
to be well established that physiologically the pla- 
centa consists of two distinct parts, each having a 
circulation independent of that of the other. The 
circulating vessels on the fetal surface are those of 
the umbilical cord, while utero-placental vessels 
maintain the circulation on the maternal surface. 
It is stated also, as a further evidence, that these 
circulations are distinct, that the size and relative 
number of the red corpuscles which are found in 
the blood of the parent differ from those found in 
the blood of the fetus, and that there is also a 
difference in the relative amount of fibrine and 

The fact that madder administered to a pregnant 
female will readily colour the bones of the fetus, 
.only proves the permeability of the two sets of 
vessels in the placenta. The formation of the pla- 
centa does not commence until the second month 
of pregnancy. 

The umbilical cord {funis umbilicus) is the 
channel of communication between the fetus and 
the placenta. It is composed of two arteries and 



one vein, and its length, at all periods of fetal 
development, is generally about equal to that 
of the body of the fetus. The arteries convey the 
impure blood of the fetus to the placenta, while 
the vein carries arterial blood from the placenta to 
the fetus. This may seem like a contradiction of 
terms ; but it must be recollected that, in the lan- 
guage of anatomy, a vein is a blood-vessel going 
toward the heart, while an artery is a blood-vessel 
proceeding from the heart, this organ being re- 
garded as the centre of circulation. 

At the end of five or six weeks after conception 
the cord is straight, shut, and very large, owing to 
its containing a portion of the intestinal canal, 
presenting, also, three or four enlargements or 
dilatations, which gradually disappear, after which 
the cord lengthens and becomes smaller. It is 
frequently knotted and twisted. After the fifth 
week the umbilical cord contains, in addition to 
the duct of the umbilical vesicle, the omphalo- 
mesenteric vessels and a portion of the allantoid 
vesicle and intestines. 

The umbilical vesicle, termed also vesicula alba 
and intestinal vesicle, was unknown to the ancients, 
and some of the modern authors are disposed 
to regard it as an abnormal product. It seems 
to be situate between the chorion and amnion, 
and to disappear about the sixth or seventh 



Fetal Peculiarities. — The head is disproportion- 
ately large, and the bones of the skull are united 
by membranes — a circumstance which allows 
the bones to approach, and even to overlap, each 
other, in the process of parturition, thus facilitating 
greatly the delivery of the head. These membrane- 
ous or unossified portions are important guides to 
the midwife in determining the position or "pre- 
sentation " of the head. In the anterior superior 
portion of the skull is a soft depression, having 
four angles, termed the anterior fontanelle, and in 
the posterior superior portion having three angles, 
termed the posterior fontanelle. "When the head 
presents in the best possible position for delivery, 
the finger of the accoucheur, on being passed 
into the uterus, readily comes in contact with 
the posterior fontanelle, which is found near the 
symphysis pubis, while the anterior fontanelle 
will be toward the sacrum, on the opposite side 
of the pelvic cavity. 

In the upper part of the thorax, situate in the 
superior mediastinum over the upper portion of 
the pericardium, is a large glandular structure 
termed thymus. Its greatest bulk is usually at- 
tained near the end of embryonic life, although 
in some cases it is said to have increased slightly 
after birth. But in most cases it rapidly dimin- 
ishes after birth, becoming very small at adult age, 
and almost or quite indistinguishable in old age. 
Its average weight at birth is about half an ounce 



It lias no excretory duct, is well supplied with 
nerves, and contains a fluid resembling chyle or 
cream. Its function is unknown; but I have no 
doubt it is one of the appendages of the organic 
nervous system, serving as an additional source of 
nervous power to the nutrient system, especially in 
developing the pulmonary apparatus. Its struct- 
ure and location are certainly in harmony with 
this view, as are the changes it undergoes before 
and after birth. Dunglison says "it is one of 
the most obscure, in its physiology, of any organ 
of the body." 

The thyroid gland has a similar history and 
structure, and undoubtedly a similar function. 

The lungs are collapsed and dense, of a dark 
colour, like liver, and do not fill the cavity of the 
chest, and, having a greater specific gravity than 
water, readily sink when immersed in that fluid. 
The mean weight of the lungs compared with the 
body of a full-grown fetus which has never 
breathed, has been calculated by M. Ploucquet as 
1 to 70. 

The digestive organs exhibit nothing remarkable 
except the presence in the bowels, at full term, of 
a quantity of dark or greenish feces, termed me- 
conium, from its resemblance to the inspissated 
juice of the poppy. It consists mainly of the ex- 
cretions of the liver and intestinal canal, and 
generally passes off without difficulty soon after 
the child begins to nurse. The common practice 


of giving purgative or even laxative medicines, 
whether it be castor oil or sweetened urine, to 
expel the meconium, is exceedingly pernicious. 

The liver is very large, and rapidly diminishes 
after birth, a part of its decarbonising function be- 
ing then transferred to the lungs. 

The bladder is large and elongated, and seems 
to possess more proportionate power than in adult 
life. From the fundus of the bladder a conical 
ligament, called the urachus, ascends between the 
umbilical arteries to the umbilicus, forming a kind 
of suspensory ligament to the bladder. 

The development of the genital organs has oc- 
casioned many fauciful speculations with regard to 
the cause of sex. The sexual organs are not per- 
ceptible until near the commencement of the sixth 
week, when a small cleft eminence appears — the 
rudiment of the scrotum or vulva. Soon after, an 
aperture becomes perceptible, which is common to 
the genital organs and anus. In front of this aper- 
ture is a projecting tubercle which, a week or two 
later, manifests a glans, and is grooved on its 
under surface by a channel which extends to the 
anus. At about the twelfth week the perineum, 
which separates the anus and genital organs, is 
formed. The sex becomes distinctly apparent 
about the fourteenth week ; but there remains for 
some time a groove beneath the penis or clitoris, 
which is soon formed into a canal in the former 
case, or closed in the latter. 


The descent of the testes deserves a brief ex- 
planation in this place. In the early months of 
embryonic life the testicles are situate below the 
kidneys in the abdominal cavity. At about the 
seventh month they are in a state of progression 
toward the scrotum. About the middle of the 
third month a sheath of peritoneum extends from 
the abdominal ring to the lower part of the tes- 
ticle ; it also contains a ligament which is termed 
c/ubernaculum testis ; surrounding this is a thin 
layer of muscular fibre, known as the creamaster, 
by whose contraction the testicle is moved. Dur- 
ing the descent the cream aster muscle is gradually 
everted, and when the transition is completed, it 
constitutes a covering or envelope external to the 
peritoneal sheath which immediately surrounds the 

In its descent the testicle passes successively 
from one portion of the peritoneum behind an- 
other immediately below ; and the lowest part of 
the pouch formed around the testicle becomes the 
tunica vaginalis testis, while that portion of the 
peritoneum which descended before the testicle 
eventually becomes the tunica vaginalis, or second 

When the neck of the pouch does not com- 
pletely close, after the testicle has reached the 
lower part of the scrotum, the intestines pass 
down, constituting congenital hernia. 

The descent of the testicles is not always com- 


pleted at birth : in some instances one or both will 
remain for weeks or months in the abdomen ; and 
in rare cases one or both remain in the abdominal 
cavity during life, creating a suspicion of defect or 
deformity, but not materially interfering with the 
normal function. I have known several cases in 
which one testicle remained in the abdomen, and 
the parties were supposed to have but one 

Circulation of the Fetus.— As the blood can- 
not circulate through the lungs of the fetus, an 
opening exists between the right and left auricle, 
called the foramen ovale, through which the circu- 
lating current passes from the venous to the 
arterial system. This foramen has a valve which 
allows part of the blood of the right auricle to 
pass through the opening into the left auricle, but 
prevents its return. 

The umbilical arteries arise from the internal 
iliacs, and passing by the sides of the bladder, on 
the outside of the peritoneum, perforate the um- 
bilicus, and proceed to the umbilical cord and pla- 
centa. The umbilical vein, which conveys the 
blood from the placenta to the fetus, arises from 
the radicles in the substance of the placenta. It 
enters the umbilicus, and passing toward the in- 
ferior surface of the liver, unites with the left 
branch of the vena porta hepatica, where is a ves- 
sel called the ductus venosus, opening into the vena 



cava inferior. Only a part of the blood of the 
umbilical vein is emptied into the liver. 

The Placenta. — The placenta is the sole means 
of communication between mother and child ; in 
fact it represents, physiologically, both the respir- 
atory and digestive organs of the adult. The im- 
pure blood is brought from the system of the fetus 
to the placenta through the umbilical arteries, as 
already explained. Although there is supposed to 
be no direct communication between the vessels 
of the two surfaces of the placenta, the umbilical 
arteries ramify and anastomose with the radicles 
of the umbilical vein on the fetal surface : indeed 
as in all parts of the capillary system, the arteries 
and veins become so intimately blended as to al- 
most baffle the researches of the anatomist, even 
when aided by the microscope. But although the 
structural arrangement of capillary vessels cannot 
be very satisfactorily traced, there is no question 
concerning the changes which the blood undergoes 
in them. In the lungs of the adult the blood ex- 
pels its carbonic acid gas, and probably receives 
more or less oxygen from the atmosphere. The 
fetal blood imparts its accumulated carbonic acid 
gas, and receives oxygen or vital air. Bedford re- 
gards this interchange of elements as an " endos- 
motic process." The effete material passes into 
the vessels of the mother, to be purified from her 
system through the usual channels, while her own 


arterial blood supplies the elements necessary for 
the sustenance and growth of the fetus. 

This view of the connection of the circulation of 
mother and child, and of the dependence of the 
fetus on the mother for oxygenation and purifica- 
tion, suggests an important practical consideration. 
If the mother does not breathe sufficiently, the child 
must suffer. Many a mother gives birth to a frail, 
scrofulous child for no reason except that during 
the period of gestation she is too sedentary and 
plethoric. I have known women of vigorous con- 
stitutions, who had given birth to several healthy 
children, become the mothers of children so puny 
and scrofulous that it was impossible for them to 
be raised to adult age. In many such cases the 
child has not vitality enough to survive but a few 
weeks, days, or hours. The reason was that the 
mother had changed her active habits to passive 
ones, was breathing too little, and did not inhale 
oxygen enough to supply the needs of the intra- 
uterine being. Every woman who changes her 
habits from those of a very active to a very seden- 
tary life, or who becomes suddenly fat or plethoric, 
is liable, if she becomes pregnant, to produce sickly 
and malformed offspring. 



Rationale of Labour. — Why the uterus expels its 
contents at or near the completion of nine calendar 
months from the date of conception may be as 
difficult to explain as would be the problem why 
the average height of human beings is a little more 
than five feet, or why the earth revolves on its axis 
in just twenty-four hours. For all practical pur- 
poses it is enough to know that such is the law of 
reproduction. At that time the fetus is capable of 
independent existence, and at that time the uterus 
has acquired the organic development and sensi- 
bilities which enable it to perform the momentous 
work of ushering into this breathing world another 
immortal being " made in the image of God," and 
partaking more or less of the peculiar qualities of 
its earthly parents, its muscular fibres contract, its 
cavity is diminished, and its contents are expelled. 

So true, so admirable, and so energetic are the 
manifestations of the vital instincts of the uterus 
on this occasion, that they seem almost like intelli- 
gences. But as the majority of women in civilised 

life are sadly disordered in the sexual organism, 

H5 10 



childbirth is usually attended with great pain, and 
often with excruciating agony. 

When the fetus is expelled from its uterine cavity 
before the period of viability, the process is termed 
abortion or miscarriage — the term abortion being 
usually limited to the period preceding quickening. 
When the expulsion occurs during the seventh or 
eighth month it is termed premature labour. 

Says Dunglison : " With respect to the causes 
that give rise to the extrusion, we are in utter 
darkness. It is in truth as inexplicable as any of 
the other instinctive operations of the living 
machine. Our knowledge appears to be limited to 
the fact that when the fetus has undergone a 
certain degree of development, and the uterus a 
corresponding distention and organic changes, its 
contractility is called into action, and the uterine 
contents are beautifully and systematically ex- 

Dr. Flint says: u The cause of the first contraction 
of the uterus in normal parturition is undoubtedly 
referable to some change in the attachment of its 
contents, which causes the fetus and its membranes 
to act as a foreign body. When for any reason it 
is advisable to cause the uterus to expel its contents 
before the full term of pregnancy, the most physio- 
logical method of bringing on the contractions of 
this organ is to cautiously separate a portion of the 
membranes, as is often done by introducing an 
elastic catheter between the ovum and the uterine 



wall; A certain time after this operation, the 
uterus contracts to expel the ovum, which then acts 
as a foreign body. 

In the normal state, toward the end of preg- 
nancy, the cells of the decidua vera, and of that 
portion of the placenta which is attached to the 
uterus, undergo fatty degeneration, and in this 
way there is a gradual separation of the outer 
membrane, so that the contents of the uterus 
gradually lose their anatomical connection with the 
mother. When this change has progressed to a 
certain extent, the uterus begins to contract ; each 
contraction then separates the membranes more 
and more, the most dependent part pressing upon 
the os internum ; and the subsequent contractions 
are probably due to reflex action. The first i pain ' 
is induced by the presence of the fetus and its mem- 
branes as a foreign body, a mechanism similar to 
that which obtains when premature labour has 
been brought on by separation of the membranes." 

The action of the uterus in expelling the fetus is 
quite analogous to that of the alimentary canal in 
expelling its contents. Jn each case the abdominal 
muscles powerfully co-operate with the peristaltic 
contractions of the organ. It is true that uterine 
contractions, when once established, may continue — 
vigorously too — with little action of the respiratory 
muscles of the mother ; but ordinarily the force of 
one of these actions is measured very precisely by 
that of the other. When ether, which occasions a 


greatly diminished action of the respiratory system, 
is administered to diminish pain or produce relaxa- 
tion of the sphincter muscles, the uterine contrac- 
tions are generally but little disturbed, and in some 
instances considerably intensified. Ergot and 
many other drugs, as is well known to accoucheurs, 
if administered at any time after the occurrence of 
u true labour pains," will generally occasion in- 
creased force of uterine contraction, and thus 
expedite the process of delivery. 

Rationale of Labour Pains.— By the term labour 
pain, the obstetrician understands a single con- 
traction of the muscular fibres of the body of the 
uterus. The pains of labour, other circumstances 
being equal, in length and severity correspond to 
the force and duration of each contractile effort. 
The muscular fibres of the uterus are so arranged 
that, while each contraction diminishes the cavity 
of the organ, it at the same time dilates its mouth. 
Each contraction or pain continues but a short 
time, usually only a few seconds, and is followed by 
an equal or longer period of relaxation or repose- 
By these repeated contractions the fetus is gradually 
pressed against the os uteri, which continually en- 
larges until the dilatation is sufficient to admit of 
the passage of the fetus into the world. 

In true labour pains the longitudinal fibres of the 
muscular coat of the uterus contract from above 
downward, while the respiratory and abdominal 



muscles co-operate, inducing a pressure upon the 
whole abdominal and pelvic viscera, attended with 
a sense of u bearing down." The patient is often 
directed to u help the pains," by which is meant 
that she should hold her breath during the uterine 
contraction and make a bearing-down effort. It is 
rarely in the power of the woman to suspend or 
materially abate the "pains " by any effort of will, 
although narcotic drugs, mental shocks, bleeding, 
opiates, etc., will frequently suspend them for a 
time. When the pains are not of the bearing-down 
kind, but irregular and spasmodic, at full term 
they are called false labour pains. The first con- 
tractions of the uterus are generally feeble and the 
pains slight, when they are termed preparatory. 

Although the pains attending childbirth are, with 
the daughters of civilisation, usually very great, 
often terrible, the process is not necessarily attended 
with any feelings or symptoms to which the term 
pain will properly apply. In the normal condition 
the experience is that of labour or travail rather 
than pain. And there is certainly no reason, ex- 
cept in abnormal habits and conditions, why 
parturition should be painful. In the ruder states 
of society females suffer little ; and I have attended 
several cases in which the pain was insignificant — 
the patients refusing to acknowledge that they 
suffered actual pain at all. These women had 
lived rationally as to diet and exercise for months 
before conception occurred. 



Many interpret the Scripture expression, u In 
sorrow shalt thou bring forth," as meaning the 
arbitrary infliction of pain in childbirth as a penalty 
for disobedience. But a more rational interpreta- 
tion, and the only one which harmonises with the 
experience of all nations and all ages, is the con- 
sciousness of bringing children into a world of 
wickedness, rendered such by transgression, in- 
heriting dispositions to vice and predispositions to 
disease from their parents. 

There are very few adult females in civilised 
society not to a greater or less extent the subjects 
of uterine disease. There are very few married 
women who do not suffer more or less from conges- 
tion and inflammation of the sexual organs, and a 
large proportion, which is constantly increasing, 
are affected with ulcerations or displacements. 
And when to these causes we add the dyspeptic 
stomachs, constipated bowels, and weak abdominal 
muscles, we have a sufficient explanation of the 
dreaded sufferings of gestation, and the dreadful 
pains and perils of parturition. 

Natural Labour.— In the works on midwifery all 
labours are termed natural when the head, face, or 
breech presents, because in all of these positions 
the delivery may be accomplished without assis- 
tance ; while all other presentations require manual 
or instrumental aid, and are termed preternatural. 
But with Nature, normal and best are synonymous 



terms, and hence the position in which the posterior 
fontanelle, or back part of the crown of the head, 
occupies the anterior portion of the pelvic cavity is 
the only one that can be regarded as strictly 

Preceding labour for a day or two, there is 
generally a discharge of a mucous fluid from the 
vagina, often streaked with blood. This is called 
the show, and indicates more or less dilatation of 
the mouth of the womb — the precursor of labour. 
At this time the os uteri will be found, on exam- 
ination, to enlarge more or less with every pain, 
and its edges to be gradually becoming thinner. 
At first the pains are apt to be grinding or scattered, 
and to affect more especially the loins and ab- 
domen. After a longer or shorter period they 
commence in the loins and bear down towards the 
os uteri. In due time the membranes which in- 
close the fetus, with their contained fluid, protrude 
through the os uteri, the pouch thus formed being 
termed the bag of ivaters. The uterine contrac- 
tions soon rupture the protruding membranes ; the 
waters are discharged ; the uterus then contracts 
firmly upon the body of the fetus, and labour 
usually progresses rapidly to completion. 

The pulsations of the umbilical cord can be felt 
for a few seconds, sometimes for a few minutes, 
after birth, but as soon as the lungs are duly ex- 
panded — usually indicated by a lusty cry, which 
every mother and midwife is so fond of hearing — 


the circulation of the cord ceases entirely, when it 
may be severed, and the child wrapped in a soft 
blanket, and put in a safe place to enjoy the thing 
it most needs after its first crying spell — sleep. 

After the birth of the child the mother has an 
interval of repose — usually from ten to thirty 
minutes, but in some cases extending to several 
hours — when slight bearing-down pains recur ; the 
uterine contractions are resumed and continued 
until the placenta and membranes, termed the 
secundines or afterbirth, are expelled. 

In the cases of twins, both fetuses may present 
by the head, or both by the feet, or one by the 
head and another by the breech. 



Secretion of Milk.— The nutriment of the fetus 
is derived directly from the mother's blood ; but 
after birth the child is intended to subsist on its 
mother's milk until its masticatory organs are 
developed. The milk is a secretion prepared from 
the elements of the blood in the mamma3 or breasts. 
Each mammary gland is formed of several lobes 
united by areolar tissue ; each lobe is composed of 
smaller lobules, and each lobule of still smaller 
bodies, termed acini. These acini are about the 
size of poppy seeds, and of a rosy-white colour ; 
they are lined with cells, which secrete the milk. 
In the virgin the acini are not distinguishable. 
The excretory ducts (tubuli lactiferi) arise from the 
acini, and, enlarging and uniting with each other, 
terminate in reservoirs or sinuses near the base of 
the nipple. These sinuses are fifteen to twenty in 
number, and open on the nipple distinct from each 

In some instances milk is secreted and flows from 

the breasts during the later period of pregnancy ; 

and instances are recorded in which young girls, 



old women, and even men, have had a copious 
formation of milk, and have successfully nursed 
and nourished the young child. The nursing 
period of woman varies greatly, according to ac- 
cidental circumstances and habits of life. There 
can be no doubt that the normal period for nursing 
the offspring at the breast is as fixed and deter- 
minate, in the order of Nature, with the human 
being as it is with the animals. But the more 
artificial life of woman has produced more and 
greater irregularities in this respect. The develop- 
ment of the teeth seems to point to a period of 
about one year, or a little less, as the proper limit 
of the function of lactation ; yet it is not very un- 
common for women to nurse their children for two 
or three years ; and instances have been known in 
which two or three children, of different births, 
were nursing at the same breast. The persistent 
application of the child to the breast would, of 
course, greatly prolong the formation of milk, as 
the excitement of the mammary gland of the cow, 
in the process of milking, causes milk to be secreted 
even up to the moment of giving birth to another 
offspring ; but this is most objectionable, injuring 
both mother and unborn child. It is a great error 
to bring children into the world with no interval 
between the weaning of one and the birth of an- 
other. If we wish to improve the race we must 
take the greatest care of the mother, so that she is 
not deteriorated physically. 



The first milk is termed colustrum, and is sup- 
posed to contain more cream and butter and less 
casein than that which is produced subsequently. 

Constituents of Milk.— The following analysis 
made from milk obtained on the twelfth day after 
delivery shows, as far as chemistry can determine 
the fact, that the difference in the essential quali- 
ties of the milk of woman and of other mammals 
is inconsiderable : 

Water . . 

Butter . . 

Casein . 

Sugar of' 
Milk and 

Fixed Salts 















6-8 j 







Quantity and Quality of Milk.— The amount 
and character of the mammary secretion are in- 
fluenced by the quantity and quality of the food, 
by many conditions of disease, by drugs, medi- 
cines, poisons, or impurities of any kind taken into 
the system, and indeed by all the habits of life. 
As the milk is formed from the elements of the 
blood, and these are derived from the elements of 
the food, it follows, as a logical sequence, that the 



welfare of the child is greatly dependent on the 
dietetic habits of the mother. Every stimulant, 
narcotic, or condiment — alcohol, opium, tea, coffee, 
pepper, vinegar, saleratus, etc. — which the mother 
swallows, irritates her stomach, inflames her blood, 
and to some extent depraves or poisons her milk 
and injures her child. Mental shocks, anger, 
melancholy, and all disagreeable or abnormal 
mental conditions, render all the secretions more 
or less morbid — the milk as well as the rest — and 
correspondingly damage the child which partakes 
of the vitiated aliment. Very few children are so 
fortunate as to pass through the nursing period 
without being poisoned by the drug medicines 
which are administered to the mother ; and when 
we take into account the dietetic abominations 
which constitute three-fourths of what is termed 
food and drink, we need not wonder that nearly 
one-half of the children that are born die in in- 
fancy ; nor that nearly one-half of the remaining 
half die in childhood and youth ; nor that very 
few of those who grow up to manhood and 
womanhood possess sound and vigorous constitu- 

There is one consideration which, if the atten- 
tion of mothers and nurses could be properly di- 
rected to it, would, I am sure, have a wholesome in- 
fluence on their personal habits. During the nurs- 
ing period the breasts are ready channels through 
which poisons and impurities are eliminated from 



the system. Poisons, as opium, alcohol, antimony, 
calomel, quinine, etc., which do not very seriously 
affect the mother, or which occasion only what is 
called their medicinal operation, may be mingled 
with the milk, or so change its qualities as to ruin 
the health and constitution of the child. 

Dunglison says : " The milk is apt to be impreg- 
nated with heterogeneous matters taken up from 
the digestive canal. The milk and butter of cows 
indicate unequivocally the character of their 
pasturage, especially if they have fed on turnip, 
wild onion, etc. Medicine given to the mother 
may in this way act upon the infant. Serious, 
almost fatal, narcotism was induced in the infant 
of a professional friend of the author by a dose of 
morphia administered to his wife." 

Lactation and Pregnancy.— Although the female 
is much less liable to conceive during lactation, 
yet a free secretion of milk is not a perfect pro- 
tection against pregnancy. The recurrence of the 
menstrual flux is regarded as a sign that the repro- 
ductive system is again in a condition for the per- 
formance of its function. But as menstruation 
may occur during lactation as well as at other 
times without hemorrhage, and as hemorrhage 
may occur without menstruation, this rule is liable 
to exceptions. Several persons have written me 
that their wives became pregnant while nursing, 
and before there had been any appearance of 


menstruation, which " phenomenon " they desired 
me to account for. The explanation is self-evident, 
when we consider that menstruation is simply 
ovulation. In these cases the menstruation was 
unattended with the usual hemorrhage. 


Whether the child should be weaned when the 
menstrual flux occurs is a subject that has been 
much discussed by medical writers. The question 
is one of a choice of evils, and must be decided in 
view of all the existing circumstances. 

In the purely normal condition the cessation of 
the mammary secretion, the resumption of the 
process of ovulation, and the development of the 
masticatory organs of the child, so that it can 
partake of solid food, are coincident in time. But 
it happens that abnormal conditions are the rule, 
and normal the exceptions ; hence mothers and 
infants must do the best they can. The flux may 
be a mere hemorrhage, or menstruation itself may 
not very greatly change the quality of the milk, in 
which cases it would be better to continue the 
child at the breast. But if at this time the milk 
undergoes any appreciable change in quality, or is 
suddenly greatly diminished in quantity, or if 
the mother's health declines, the child should be 

Analyses of the milk of nursing women when 
menstruation had returned have been made, but 
with no very satisfactory results. In 1863 M. 
Raciborski presented a paper on this subject to the 



French Academy of Medicine, in which he stated, 
as the result of chemical investigation, " that the 
milk of nurses who menstruate during suckling 
does not sensibly differ in physical, chemical, or 
microscopic characters from that of nurses whose 
catamenia was suspended." He admits, however, 
that in most cases the milk of menstruating nurses 
contains less cream during the menstrual period. 

In England, women of the working classes are 
in the habit of nursing their children on the aver- 
age about fifteen months, and Mr. Robertson 
has expressed the opinion that in seven-eighths of 
these cases there will be an interval of fifteen 
months between parturition and subsequent preg- 
nancy, and that, in most cases when suckling is 
prolonged to twenty months, pregnancy does not 
take place till after weaning. Dr. Loudon, in a 
work on the theory of population, advances the 
opinion that the laws of Nature require lactation 
to be prolonged for three years ; and he thinks 
that the " antagonism " between the uterus and 
breast is so great as usually to prevent conception 
in nursing mothers. But, on the contrary, Drs. 
Robertson and Laycock have shown by abundant 
statistics that in about one-third of the cases, con- 
ception occurs during lactation. 

That conception should not occur during lactation 
is very clear. It is certainly not in accordance 
with physiological law. Nor is it probable that a 
woman, while nursing one child, will develop 


so perfectly the ovum for another. Whether she 
ought to be exposed to conception during the nurs- 
ing period — whether sexual intercourse during the 
entire period of lactation is not an abuse, and hence 
abnormal and injurious — I shall consider in a sub- 
sequent chapter. 

Certain it is that many diseases on the part of 
the mother, and numerous infirmities and eccen- 
tricities, not to say deformities and monstrosities, 
on the part of the offspring, are attributable to the 
ordinary habits of free and almost unrestrained 
sexual indulgence at the very time when all of the 
surplus vital force of the mother ought to be appro- 
priated wholly to the nourishment and develop- 
ment of the new being. And it is not a little sur- 
prising that works professing to teach Physiology 
and Hygiene, and especially works on the Diseases 
of Women and Children, of which the medical press 
is quite prolific, do not give any instruction on this 
important subject. Perhaps it is ignored on the 
score of delicacy, as though it could be indelicate 
or in any sense improper to teach human beings all 
things which concern their happiness and welfare. 



A study of the law of sex naturally comes within 
the scope of this work. Most writers have ap- 
proached it with such a narrow and imperfect 
knowledge of the subject that their contributions 

have little value. It is not a question to be mas- 
tered in a day, nor one to be thought out in the 

study with no knowledge of facts. Theorising and 
speculation may be very useful, but they must 
afterwards be submitted to inexorable crucial tests, 
which alone can decide their value. It is for a lack 
of scientific thoroughness that most of the literature 
on this subject is little valued. 

It is interesting to note that the constant average 
proportion of the sexes of all animals and plants is 
that which seems best adapted to their conditions 
of life. The law by which this proportion is main- 
tained must be one acting on the parent organism 
at the time of fertilisation ; but I am aware that 
the highest authorities on this subject hold that it 
may act both before and after this period. Mr. 
Carl During has, perhaps, made the most exhaustive 
study of this subject which has yet been published, 


a brief summary of which has been made by 
Professor Brooks of Johns Hopkins University for 
the Popular Science Monthly, as follows : 

" He treats, in the first part of his paper, of those 
conditions which act upon the two parents in 
opposite ways, and he summarises his conclusions 
as follows : 4 Each species has acquired, through 
natural selection, the useful property, in virtue of 
which any deviation from the average ratio between 
the sexes is corrected by an increased number of 
births of the deficient sex, or a decreased number 
of births of the sex which is in excess.' 

4 'As the result of nearly a million observations 
of the birth of colts, he shows that, as the number 
of mares put to a stallion in a year is increased, 
there is a corresponding and regular increase in 
the number of male colts as compared with the 
female colts, and he gives the following summary : 

Number of Mares 
to one Stallion. 

Number of Colts. 

Number of Male 
to each one hundred 
Female Colts. 

20 to 34 . . 
35 to 39 . . 
40 to 44 . . 
45 to 49 . . 
50 to 54 . . 
55 to 59 . . 
60 or more 






96- 81 

97- 92 

100- 77 

101- 19 

Total . . 






"In three cases where the power of partheno- 
genetic reproduction has been acquired as a com- 
pensation for the absence of males, the partheno- 
genetic eggs give rise, either universally or in the 
vast majority of cases, to males. 

u For instance, as bees destroy the males after 
they have been rendered unnecessary by the fertil- 
isation of the queen, they are exposed to the danger 
that when males are needed none may exist, and 
there can be no doubt that the power of partheno- 
genetic reproduction has been acquired by bees as 
a compensating adjustment. 

" When the nuptial flight of the queen is delayed 
by accident, or by the intervention of the breeder, 
the effect is, of course, equivalent to a scarcity of 
males, and in such a case more male larvae than 
usual are produced ; while early fertilisation, which 
is a sign of the abundance of males, results, accord- 
ing to Huber, in an excess of female births. 

4 'Any influence which is equivalent to a lack of 
individuals of one sex acts, according to During, to 
produce an excess of births of that sex, although 
there may be an actual deficiency. 

" Thus, when the queen-bee is restrained by con- 
finement, or by the lack of wings, from the nuptial 
flight, or when the seminal receptacle has been re- 
moved by accident or by an operation, or when 
the contained semen has been killed by frost or 
exhausted, only males are produced. 

" Something of the same kind has been observed 


in man, and the fact that a war, which carries most 
of the men away from their homes, is followed by 
an unusually great number of male births, has been 
recorded by in any observers. 

a The second part of the paper treats of those in- 
fluences which act in the same way upon both 
parents, and the author's conclusion may be sum- 
marised as follows : 

u 'The power to regulate fertility according to 
the means of subsistence would be of use to the 
organism, and since the female has gradually* ac- 
quired, through division of labour, the function of 
providing the material for the growth of the young, 
an excess of females is a condition of rapid multi- 
plication. We might therefore expect, what we actu- 
ally find to be the case, that organisms have gradually 
acquired, through natural selection, the power to pro- 
duce an excess of females in time of plenty, and in 
a season of scarcity of food an excess of males.' 

<4 I think, however, that careful examination of 
the evidence which During has brought together 
will show that he has stated his generalisation in 
too narrow terms, and I think his facts will prove 
the following : A favourable environment causes an 
excess of female births, and an unfavourable en- 
vironment an excess of male births. 

u It is true that abundance or scarcity of food is 
one of the most important elements of that whole 
which makes up the environment of an organism, 
and in most of the cases which During quotes it is 



the controlling factor ; but he gives many cases, some 
of which will be noted further on, where a variation in 
other conditions of life has produced the same effect, 
causing an excess of male births when unfavourable, 
and an excess of female births when favourable. 

" In the case of man, the conditions of life are so 
much under control that it is difficult to state just 
what constitutes a favourable environment ; but I 
think we may conclude that, as a general rule, an 
environment which produces a high birth-rate is 
favourable, and vice versa. Now, During gives 
many tables to show that, among mankind, the num- 
ber of female births, as compared with the number 
of male births, increases as the birth-rate increases. 

" At the Cape of Good Hope the Boers are very 
prolific — six or seven is a small family, and from 
twelve to twenty children are not unusual, while 
the badly-nourished and overworked Hottentots 
seldom have more than three children, and many 
of the women are barren ; and Queteletsays that, in 
1813-20, the free whites gave birth to 6,604 boys 
and 6,789 girls, or 97*2 boys to every 100 girls ; 
while during the same time the Hottentot slaves 
produced 2,936 boys and 2,826 girls, or 103*9 boys 
to each 100 girls. 

" The birth-rate is higher in towns than in the 
country, and more boys are born for each hundred 
girls in the country than in the towns. 

"Thus, in Prussia, in 1881, the number of boy- 
births for each 100 sirls was 106*36. 


In Berlin it was 

In large towns it was 

In middle towns it was 


105- 44 

106- 62 

In small towns it was 
In the country it was 

"This table shows that in all the towns the ratio 
of boys was below the average for the whole of 
Prussia, and that in Berlin it was very much below 
the average. 

" PI oss was the first to point out that there is an 
excess of female births in time of prosperity, and 
he found that in Saxony the ratio of boy-births rose 
and fell with the price of food, and that the varia- 
tion was most marked in the country. 

" It is well known that the number of conceptions 
among mankind is greater at some seasons of the 
year than at others, and from a record of nearly 
10,000,000 births, During has compiled a table (see 
next page) which shows that the ratio of boy-births 
is greatest in three months when the birth-rate is 

" From this table it will be seen that in June, the 
month when the birth-rate was smallest, the ratio 
of boys to each one hundred girls was highest, and 
very much above the average for the whole year ; 
while in March, the month when the birth-rate 
was greatest, the ratio of boys was smallest. 

" More than 6,000,000 births took place in the 
seven months when the ratio of boys was below the 
average for the year, and only 4,000,000 in the five 



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months when it was above the average ; and the 
table shows clearly that an increase in prosperity, 
as measured by the birth-rate, is accompanied by a 
decrease in the ratio of boy-births, and vice versa. 

*' Among the lower animals, satisfactory statistics 
are wanting ; but During states that, while domes- 
ticated animals are much more prolific than their 
wild allies, there is also a much greater preponder- 
ance of female births ; that when animals are taken 
from a warm to a cold climate, the ratio of male 
births increases ; and that leather-dealers say that 
they obtain most female skins from fertile countries 
where the pastures are rich, and most male skins 
from more barren regions ; and he thinks we may 
safely conclude that the lower animals, as well as 
man, give birth to the greatest number of females 
when placed in a favourable environment, and to 
most males in an unfavourable environment. 

" An extreme instance is furnished by those 
animals which, during the seasons when food is 
abundant, lose the power to copulate, and multiply 
parthenogenetically at a marvellous rate of increase, 
giving birth to generation after generation of par • 
thenogenetic females so long as the environment 
remains favourable, but giving birth, as soon as the 
conditions of life become less favourable, to males 
and to females which require fertilisation. 

" The cladocera and aphides furnish the most 
striking instances of this kind of parthenogenesis, 
which has apparently been acquired, not to secure 



fertilisation, but to enable the animals to utilise to 
the utmost the conditions which are most favourable 
to them, and to expand and contract their numbers 
in conformity to changes in their environment. 

" Among the parthenogenetic cladoceras both 
males and females are to be found in the fall, and 
a few males are found in the early spring ; but 
during the warm months of spring and summer 
only females are found. These multiply very ra- 
pidly through the summer by parthenogenesis, gen- 
eration after generation, and they differ from the 
females which are fertilised by a male in many feat- 
ures, all of which are of such a character as to render 
the parthenogenetic females unusually fertile. 

" They produce small eggs, which are discharged 
from the ovary while immature, and are nourished 
in a broad vascular pouch. They have little or no 
yelk ; they are not protected by a hard shell, and 
they develop immediately into parthenogenetic 
females, which mature very rapidly, and in some 
cases, as in evadne, produce eggs before they them- 
selves are born. All their peculiarities are of such a 
character as to secure the greatest possible fertility ; 
and thus to enable the animals to avail themselves 
to the utmost of the abundant supply of food. 

" Ramdohr found that a single isolated female 
daphnia produced 190 young in nineteen days, and 
he computed the number of descendants, at the 
end of sixty days, to be 1,291,370,075. 

" As the supply of food begins to fail in the fall, 


males are born, and the females produce the so- 
called winter eggs, which do not develop unless 
they are fertilised. These are few in number, 
much larger than the summer eggs, and they are 
incased in protecting shells. Their purpose is not 
to multiply the race, but to carry a few individuals 
through the winter and over to the next season of 
plenty. They are slowly matured in the ovary, and 
contain an abundant supply of food-yelk. They 
are not nourished in a broad chamber, and in many 
cases they have, in addition to the proper shell, an 
extra covering or ephipium, formed out of part of 
the integument of the parent. In daphnella three 
summer eggs are matured at one time in each 
ovary ; but the animal produces only one winter egg, 
which is seven-tenths as long as the whole body. 

u While the abundance or lack of food is a very 
important factor in determining the absence or 
presence of males, it is not the only one. Kurg 
found a few males in midsummer, but only in pools 
which were nearly dried up ; and he was thus in- 
duced to attempt the artificial production of males. 
He was so successful that he obtained the males 
of forty species, in all of which the males had 
previously been unknown. He proved that any 
unfavourable change in the water causes the pro- 
duction of males, which appear as it dries up, as 
its chemical constitution changes, when it acquires 
an unfavourable temperature, or in general when 
there is a decrease in prosperity. 



"From these observations, and from many others 
quoted by During, I think we may safely conclude 
that among animals and plants, as well as in man- 
kind, a favourable environment causes an excess of 
female births, and an unfavourable environment an 
excess of male births. 

" Now, what is the reason for this law ? If the 
welfare of the species can be secured under a 
favourable environment by females alone, why are 
males needed when the environment becomes un- 
favourable ? 

" I have tried to show, in another place, from 
evidence of another kind, that the female is the 
conservative factor in reproduction, and that new 
variations are caused by the influence of the male. 
While the environment remains favourable no 
change is needed, but as the conditions of life 
become unfavourable, variation becomes necessary 
to restore the adjustment, and I believe that we 
have, in Diiring's results, an exhibition of one of the 
most wonderful and far-reaching of all the adapta- 
tions of Nature — an adaptation in virtue of which 
each organism tends to remain stationary as long 
as no change is needed, and to vary when variation 
is demanded. 

" That this is the true view is shown, I think, by 
the contrast between domesticated animals and 
captive animals. The fact that an animal has be- 
come domesticated shows that it finds in captivity 
a favourable environment, and During says that 


domesticated animals are unusually fertile, and that 
they produce an excess of females. Animals which 
are kept as captives in menageries and gardens 
have, as a rule, no fitness for domestication, and 
their conditions of life are unfavourable. Geoffroy 
Saint-Hilaire says that individuals born in men- 
ageries are usunlly male, while skins sent to 
museums are usually female, and that the attempt 
to domesticate a wild animal increases the number 
of male births. During states that captive birds of 
prey and carnivorous mammals are very infertile, 
and that the young are nearly always males. 

" The wild races of Oceania and America have 
been suddenly brought into contact with the civil- 
isation which has been, in Europe, the slow growth 
of thousands of years. Food and climate have not 
changed, but a new element has been introduced 
into their environment. The New Zealanders are 
very infertile, and nearly all the children are boys, 
and the census of 1872 for the Sandwich Islands 
gave a ratio of 125 male births to 100 female 

This is all extremely interesting; but, after all, it 
does not settle the physiological law of sex. Even 
admitting that, in a general way, favourable con- 
ditions increase the number of female births and 
unfavourable ones the male births, still there must 
be a law for each of these which admits of varia- 
tion, so that conditions may favour the production 
of one sex at one time, and the other sex at an- 



other. It is this physiological law that we should 
try to discover. We may be sure it will never be 
found by only studying the question of the amount 
of food, the season of the year, whether there is 
war or peace, or anything which relates to environ- 
ment. But the facts which have been collected by 
these studies will be an immense help in testing 
various theories concerning the law of sex, and 
these facts will also aid us in forming new theories 
and estimating their value. Let us now look at 
this subject still deeper and see what we can 
make of it. 

We find that in the lowest forms of life multipli- 
cation takes place asexually. That is, the body 
simply divides itself into two or more parts, each 
of which grows to the same size and assumes the 
same form as the parent ; and this process goes 
on indefinitely, or as long as external conditions 
are favourable. In these forms of life we may say 
there is no such thing as sex. In the higher forms 
of life this is all changed, and multiplication takes 
place sexually, and instead of it being by division 
it is by the formation of an egg or ovum, which is, 
after all, but a bud from the female parent. Before 
it can be developed, however, it must be united 
with a portion of the male parent, as was fully 
described in the chapter on Impregnation. In 
other words, two forces come together, and they 
produce a male or a female. Now, why is some- 
times a male and sometimes a female the result ? 


In my opinion it depends on which is the stronger 
force. If the female germ has the greater vitality, 
is more richly endowed with protoplasm, has more 
living matter in a higher degree of activity, then 
the ovum will develop after the female form, more 
or less modified, according to the amount of living 
matter or protoplasm or force in the germ element 
which has united with the ovum. It is simply a 
question of force — not the force of the whole parent, 
but of the minute particles of it, which have been 
detached from the parent and united to form a 
new individual. It is the same law that we find 
all through Nature. If two unequal forces come 
together they modify each other, but the stronger 
one always produces the greatest effect, and the 
result is the new force is more in the line of the 
stronger than in the line of the weaker one. Now 
how does this harmonise with the facts that favour- 
able conditions of life cause the production of more 
females and unfavourable ones of more males ? 
Let us see. Where the conditions of life are most 
favourable, woman, without doubt, is most favour- 
ably affected by it. She is better fed, more 
tenderly cared for, and maintains a higher degree 
of physical health. The effect on the ova, pro- 
duced under such improved conditions, will be a 
more abundant endowment with living matter, and 
the chances will be that more of them will develop 
as females. On the other hand, if the conditions 
of life become less ^favourable, woman suffers most. 



Among barbarous races, if the food is scarce, the 
woman gets least of it, partly from the greater 
selfishness of man, and partly on account of the 
greater tendency of woman's nature to sacrifice 
herself for the welfare of others. Of course there 
will be a large class of persons who will not be 
so greatly affected by the slight changes in environ- 
ment, but the number who will be affected will 
be sufficient to account for all the difference we 
have in the ratio of the sexes. 

This theory agrees with another class of facts. 
If the male is older and stronger than the female, 
the offspring will be more of males than females. 
If the females are most vigorous the offspring will 
contain more females. 

Dr. Manly Miles, in his most excellent work en- 
titled Stock-Breeding, has collected an array of 
facts bearing on this point, some of which are 
given below : 

"At a meeting of the Agricultural Society of 
Severac, on the 3d of July 1826, M. Charles 
Girou de Buzareingues proposed £ to divide a flock 
of sheep in two equal parts, so that the greater 
number of males or females, at the choice of the 
proprietor, should be produced from each of them. 
Two of the members of the society offered their 
flocks to become the subjects of his experiments,' 
the results of which are given in the following 

" The principle of division was to place young 


rams with strong, well-fed ewes for ewe-lambs, 
and a matured, vigorous ram with weaker ewes 
for ram-lambs. 

" The first experiment gave the following results: 

Flock for Female Lambs served 
by two Rams, one fifteen 
months and the other near- 
ly two years. 

Flock for Male Lambs served 
by two strong Rams, one 
four and the other five years 

Age of Mothers. 

Sex of Lambs. 

Age of Mothers. 

Sex of Lambs. 





Two years . 
Three years 
Four years . 




Two years 
Three years 
Four years 





Total . . 
Five years 
and over . 




Total . . 
Five years 
and over 




Total . . 



Total . . 



There were three twin- 
births in this flock. 

No twin-births in this flock. 

u In the second experiment the ewes were 
divided into three sections. 

" The first section included the strongest ewes 
from four to five years old, which were better fed 



than the others. It was served by four ram-lambs 
about six months old. 

" In the second section were the weaker ewes 
under four or above five years old. They were 
served by 1 two strong rams ' more than three years 

"The third section consisted of ewes belonging 
to the shepherds, 'which are in general stronger 
and better fed than those of the master, because 
their owners are not always particular in prevent- 
ing them from trespassing on the cultivated lands 
that are not inclosed.' These ewes were served by 
the same rams as section two. 

Males. Females. 

The first section gave .15 25 
,, second ,, . 26 14 

„ third „ .10 12 

" In the first section were two twin-births — four 
females. In the second and third there were also 
two — three males and one female. 

" These experiments were considered almost con- 
clusive; but it will be observed that the results are 
not more remarkable for the range of variations 
presented in the relative numbers of each sex than 
were obtained in my experience in different years 
with animals under the same management. 

" The number of animals in observation in 

these experiments is too small to give the results 

any value as a basis of generalisation, and the 




same objection may be made to the cases collected 
by Hofacker and Sadler, which we quote from 

£ ''The following table expresses the average 
results obtained by M. Hofacker in Germany, and 
by M. Sadler in Britain, between which it will 
be seen that there is a manifest correspondence, 
although both were drawn from a too limited 
series of observations. The numbers indicate the 
proportion of male births to a hundred females, 
under the several conditions mentioned in the first 
column ' : 

Father younger than mother 

and mother of equal age 
older by 1 to 6 years 
6 „ 9 „ 







9 „ 18 „ 
18 and more 



Father younger than mother 

and mother of equal age 
older by 1 to 6 years 
6 „11 
11 „ 16 
16 and more 

5 5 






" ' From the statistics recorded in the peerages 
and baronetages of the United Kingdom, the pro- 



portion of male to a hundred female births is stated 
by Napier to be as below ' : 

390 parents of equal age . 
276 fathers 1 year older than mothers 


1 1 

2- 3 



4- 6 








> 1 

















1 1 


' 1 
1 1 


(mother under 25) 115 "4 
(mother over 25) 91-6 




1 1 


88 mothers from 1- 3 years older 
77 „ „ 3- 5 
66 „ „ 5-10 
43 „ „ 10-15 
17 „ „ 15-22 


1 1 






This theory receives confirmation also from the 
facts which are disclosed by a study of the subject 
of inheritance. Fathers transmit more to their 
sons than to their daughters, and mothers more to 
their daughters than to their sons. Is the woman- 
ly form, with broader hips, narrower shoulders, 
greater beauty, and all those peculiarities which 
constitute the female, inherited from the father? 


Is the greater physical strength, the broader shoul- 
ders, narrower hips, larger muscles and brain, and 
all those traits which go to make up the male, in- 
herited from the mother? Mr. Darwin devotes 
some space to this subject in his work on Animals 
and Plants under Domestication, from which we 
extract a few paragraphs : 

" Dr. P. Lucas, who has collected many facts on 
this subject, shows that when a peculiarity, in no 
manner connected with the reproductive organs, 
appears in either parent, it is often transmitted 
exclusively to the offspring of the same sex, or to 
a much greater number of them than of the oppo- 
site sex. Thus, in the family of Lambert, the 
horn-like projections on the skin were transmitted 
from the father to his sons and grandsons alone ; 
so it has been with other cases of ichthyosis, with 
supernumerary digits, with a deficiency of digits 
and phalanges, and in a lesser degree with various 
diseases, especially with colour-blindness, and a 
hemorrhagic diathesis — that is, an extreme liability 
to profuse and uncontrollable bleeding from trifling 
wounds. On the other hand, mothers have trans- 
mitted, during several generations, to their daugh- 
ters alone, supernumerary and deficient digits, 
colour-blindness, and other peculiarities. So that 
we see that the very same peculiarity may become 
attached to either sex, and be long inherited by 
that sex alone ; but the attachment in certain cases 
is much more frequent to one than the other sex. 



The same peculiarities also may be promiscuously 
transmitted to either sex. Dr. Lucas gives other 
cases, showing that the male occasionally transmits 
his peculiarities to his daughters alone, and the 
mother to her sons alone ; but even in this case we 
see that inheritance is, to a certain extent, though 
inversely, regulated by sex. Dr. Lucas, after 
weighing the whole evidence, comes to the con- 
clusion that every peculiarity, according to the 
sex in which it first appears, tends to be trans- 
mitted in a greater or lesser degree to that sex. 

u A few details from the many cases collected 
by Mr. Sedgwick may be here given. Colour- 
blindness, from some unknown cause, shows itself 
much oftener in males than in females. In upwards 
of two hundred cases collected by Mr. Sedgwick, 
nine-tenths related to men ; but it is eminently 
liable to be transmitted through women. In the 
case given by Dr. Earle, members of eight related 
families were affected during five generations ; 
these families consisted of sixty-one individuals — 
namely, of thirty-two males, of whom nine- 
sixteenths were incapable of distinguishing colour, 
and of twenty-nine females, of whom only one- 
fifteenth were thus affected. Although colour- 
blindness thus generally clings to the male sex, 
nevertheless, in one instance, in which it first ap- 
peared in a female, it was transmitted during five 
generations to thirteen individuals, all of whom 
were females. A hemorrhagic diathesis, often ac- 


companied by rheumatism, has been known to 
affect the males alone during five generations, being 
transmitted, however, through the females. It is 
said that deficient phalanges in the fingers have 
been inherited by the females alone during ten 
generations. In another case, a man thus deficient 
in both hands and feet transmitted the peculiarity 
to his two sons and one daughter ; but in the 
third generation, out of nineteen grandchildren, 
twelve sons had the family defect, whilst the seven 
daughters were free. In ordinary cases of sexual 
limitation, the sons or daughters inherit the peculi- 
arity, whatever it may be, from their father or 
mother, and transmit it to their children of the 
same sex ; but generally with the hemorrhagic 
diathesis, and often with colour-blindness, and in 
some other cases, the sons never inherit the peculi- 
arity directly from their fathers, but the daughters, 
and the daughters alone, transmit the latent ten- 
dency, so that the sons of the daughters alone 
exhibit it. Thus, the father, grandson, and great- 
great-grandson will exhibit a peculiarity — the 
grandmother, daughter, and great-grand-daughter 
having transmitted it in a latent state. Hence we 
have, as Mr. Sedgwick remarks, a double kind of 
atavism or reversion : each grandson apparently 
receiving and developing the peculiarity from his 
grandfather, and each daughter apparently re- 
ceiving the latent tendency from her grand- 



" From the various facts recorded by Dr. 
Prosper Lucas, Mr. Sedgwick, and others, there 
can be no doubt that peculiarities first appearing in 
either sex, though not in any way necessarily or 
invariably connected with that sex, strongly tend 
to be inherited by the offspring of the same sex, 
but are often transmitted in a latent state through 
the opposite sex. 

" Turning now to domesticated animals we find 
that certain characters not proper to the parent- 
species are often confined to, and inherited by, 
one sex alone ; but we do not know the history of 
the first appearance of such characters. In the 
chapter on sheep, we have seen that the males of 
certain races differ greatly from the females in the 
shape of their horns, these being absent in the ewes 
of some breeds, in the development of fat in the 
tail in certain fat-tailed breeds, and in the outline 
of the forehead. These differences, judging from 
the character of the allied wild species, cannot be 
accounted for by supposing that they have been 
derived from distinct parent-forms. There is also 
a great difference between the horns of the two 
sexes in one Indian breed of goats. The bull 
zebu is said to have a larger hump than the cow. 
In the Scotch deer-hound the two sexes differ in 
size more than in any other variety of the dog, 
and, judging from analogy, more than in the 
aboriginal parent-species. The peculiar colour 
called tortoise-shell is very rarely seen in a male 


cat ; the males of this variety being of a rusty tint. 
A tendency to baldness in man before the advent 
of old age is certainly inherited ; and in the 
European, or at least in the Englishman, is an 
attribute of the male sex, and may almost be 
ranked as an incipient secondary sexual character." 

Inheritance Transferred to the Opposite Sex. — 

It is not to be denied that fathers transmit many 
qualities and peculiarities to their daughters, and 
mothers to their sons. An interesting and un- 
published case of this is shown in the descendants 
of the Wadsworth family of Mantua, Ohio. The 
father was born in Connecticut about the year 1800- 
He was badly deformed, being hare-lipped, and 
both his hands and feet were defective. The 
three fingers between the thumb and little finger 
on each hand, including the whole palm of the 
hand that belonged to these fingers, were wanting. 
The same defect was found in that of the feet. 
The consequence was that the thumb and little 
finger on the hands, and the large and small toes 
on the feet, approached each other, but they were 
not attached by adhesion. This man married a 
woman not deformed, and had three children — 
Seth, William, and a daughter who did not live. 
The boys grew up to manhood. Seth's hands and 
feet were somewhat different from the father's. 
He had double fingers on each hand. The feet 
had a large and small toe spread apart, so that it 



required a shoe six inches broad ; but the middle of 
the foot, including three toes on each foot, was 
absent. This son married, but left no children. 
William, the younger son, was deformed nearly the 
same as his father in both hands and feet, and he 
was also hare-lipped. He married, and had five 
children. The eldest is a son, and is not deformed. 
He resembles his mother in feature and complexion. 
The second child, a daughter, was deformed like 
the father, only worse, and lived but a few months. 
The third child, a daughter, is deformed in the 
hands and feet like the father. The fourth child, 
a daughter, is not deformed. The fifth one, 
also a daughter, was deformed in its hands and 
feet, and the mouth was still worse than its 

Here we have in the first instance two sons and 
a daughter inheriting the father's deformities, and in 
the second case, the children of William, — five chil- 
dren, — one son and one daughter not deformed, and 
three daughters inheriting their father's physical 
defects. Cases of this kind seem to cast doubt on 
the theory that the father transmits his own sex and 
the mother hers, and that the question is decided 
by preponderating force stored up in the germ and 
sperm elements which go to make the embryo. 
But we know when two forces meet to form a third, 
the latter has characteristics from each of the first, 
and this is necessarily the case in offspring the 
result of sexual generation. It may be asked, are 


the two elements so unlike as to be considered two 
forces? I answer ves. The female element is 
larger, and its predominant tendencv is to develop 
nutritively. The sperm element is quite different. 
It is small, formed bv the division of certain cells 
in the male organs, and has a tendency of develop- 
ment unfavourable to nutrition. The female element 
favours cell-srrowth. the male element cell-division. 
From this fact, is i: not fair to infer that the female 
sex is determined bv the relative predominance of 
nutrition or cell-orrowth over the conditions of cell- 
division, and that must depend on the relative 
amount of each element comprising the embryo at 
the st a ere of impregnation. 

Can Sex be Produced at Will.— I: the law of sex 
be known, can it be applied ? This is the first 
question which will naturally be suggested to every- 
one. ^Ve must not be too enthusiastic in this mat- 
ter ; if we are, we sh all be dis attv oi l t e i . S t ill, m a v 
not something be done? But, in the first place, does 
not Nature manage this matter better than man 
can. Yet there niav be times, however, when it will 
be desirable to control the sex in animals and in 
man. If it be true that the matter is decided bv the 
preponderance of the genu or sperm element, then 
we mav be asked can this be done without iniurv 
to the offspring. If we make the environment of 
the female unfavourable, and of the male favourable, 
we mav do her and the offspring harm, and vice 



versa. We must not do this. In the present con- 
dition of our knowledge Ave have but one resource 
left, and that is as far as we can to control the 
time of impregnation. While the facts collected 
from experiments on this point are conflicting, the 
weight of testimony goes to show that an early 
impregnation favours the development of females, 
and a late impregnation the development of males. 
" Starting from this idea, and supposing that the 
complete maturity of an ovum might be very favour- 
able to the production of the male sex, and in- 
versely, If. Thury of Geneva caused cows to be 
impregnated, sometimes at the beginning, sometimes 
at the end, of the rutting period. In the first case 
he obtained female calves ; in the second, male 
calves. The experiment was repeated by a Swiss 
agriculturist, M. Cornaz, who, twenty-nine times in 
twenty-nine cases, succeeded in producing at will 
such or such a sex." Experiments on the effect of 
late fertilisation of the eggs of birds had previously 
been made by Knight, "which," he states, "to 
have been frequently repeated," and which gave 
shnilar results. " When the female was kept 
without intercourse with the male up to nearly 
the time for laying, so that the eggs had ad- 
vanced very far in their development at the 
time of fertilisation, the proportion of males 
among the offspring was very large, commonly 
about six out of seven. 


The Explanation.— There are two theories by 
which to explain the fact that an early impregna- 
tion favours the production of females, and a late 
impregnation the production of males. One is 
simple and easily understood. It is, that if the 
impregnation is very soon after the ovum is 
matured, it is far up in the Fallopian tubes, and 
consequently a less number of spermatozoa reach 
it. The result will be that the germ element will 
be most likely to prevail and the offspring be a 
female. On the other hand, if the impregnation 
takes place at a later period, the ovum will be 
farther down, and consequently more spermatozoa 
will be capable of reaching it, and the probability 
will be that the sperm element will preponderate, 
and a male be the result. 

The other explanation is more complex, and has 
its foundation in microscopical and embryological 
studies, and the changes that go on in the ovum 
before and after impregnation takes place. It was 
previously stated that the germ or ovum, and the 
sperm or male element, have two very different 
tendencies. Mature germs result from the extra- 
ordinary growth, without division, of certain 
primitive germinal cells of the ovary, by the aid 
of the smaller cells by which they are surrounded. 
In animals, the sperm elements are formed by an 
entirely opposite process, or the division or break- 
ing up of the male germinal cells. The tendency 
of the one is to develop in size, and consequently 



the eggs of all animals are larger than the sperm 
elements of the male. In the germ-cells, growth 
without division predominates ; in the sperm-cells, 
division without growth predominates. But the 
germ element has another property, that of segmen- 
tation, which may take place before impregnation. 
Now, if impregnation occurs very early, and before 
the segmentation is fairly begun, the ovum has 
greater power to transform the sperm and develop 
it after its own kind. There is a relative prepon- 
derance of cell-growth and a deficiency of cell- 
division. If the impregnation is delayed exactly 
the reverse happens : the male pronucleus, so-called, 
never becomes so large; but its tendency to develop, 
after the manner of the sperm, by rapid division, is 
greater, and so a male is the result. 

Recent investigations have shown that the act 
of impregnation consists in the formation of a 
male pronucleus, derived from the impregnating 
sperm-cell, which fuses with the female pronu- 
cleus of the germ-cell to constitute the single 
nucleus of the fertile ovum. And Her twig points 
out "that considerable difference may be observed 
in the occurrences which succeed impregnation, 
according to the relative period at which this takes 
place. When, in asterias, the impregnation is 
effected about an hour after the egg is laid, and 
previously to the formation of polar-cells, the 
male pronucleus appears at first to exert but little 
influence on the protoplasm ; but after the formation 


of the second polar-cell, the radial striae around it 
become very marked, and the pronucleus rapidly 
grows in size. When it finally unites with the fe- 
male pronucleus it is equal to the latter in size. 
In cases where impregnation is deferred for four 
hours, the male pronucleus never becomes so large 
as the female pronucleus." 

With reference to the effect of the time at which 
impregnation takes place, asterias would seem to 
serve as a type. Girou found that if the female 
flowers of dioecious plants be fertilised as soon as 
they are fit to receive the pollen, the seed resulting 
produced mainly female plants ; and that if the 
fertilisation be deferred to as late a period as 
possible, the seeds resulting produce mainly male 




One of the most wonderful phenomena of genera- 
tion is the effect of one impregnation of the female 
on the offspring by succeeding males. This has 
been observed in animals and plants, and the law 
is known to extend to man also. A few facts will 
make the matter clear. 

Mr. George T. Allnian of Tennessee bred a bay- 
mare, with black points, to Watson, a son of Lex- 
ington, who is a golden chestnut, having a large 
star, and both hind and near front ankles white. 
After dropping her foal he bred the same mare to 
his saddle-stallion, Prince Pulaski, a very dark 
chestnut, with no white save a very small star ; 
this produce was a fac-simile of Watson in every 

Alexander Morrison, Esq. of Bognie, had a very 
fine Clydesdale mare which, in 1843, was served 
by a Spanish ass, and produced a mule. She after- 
ward had a colt by a horse, which bore a very 
marked likeness to a mule ; seen at a distance, 

everyone set it down as a mule. The ears were 



nine-and-a-half inches long, the girth not quite six 
feet, and he stood above sixteen hands high. The 
hoofs were so long and narrow that there was 
difficulty in shoeing them, and the tail was thin 
and scanty. He was a beast of indomitable energy 
and durability, and was highly prized by his 

A similar case is recorded bv Dr. Burgess of 
Dedham, Massachusetts, who says, — " From a mare 
which had once been served by a jack, I have seen 
a colt so long-eared, sharp-backed, and rat-tailed, 
that I stopped a second time to see if he were not 
a mule." 

Dr. H. B. Shank of Lansing, Michigan, in- 
formed Dr. Miles that a mare belonging to himself 
having produced a mule, was afterward bred to a 
Morgan stallion with remarkably fine ears ; the 
ears of the colt were large and coarse, presenting a 
close resemblance to those of a mule. A second 
colt produced by the mare to the same stallion had. 
the head and ears of its sire. 

A pure Aberdeenshire heifer was served with a 
pure Teeswater bull, by which she had a first-cross 
calf. The following season the same cow was 
served with a pure Aberdeenshire bull ; the pro- 
duce was a cross-calf, which, when two years old, 
had very long horns, the parents being both polled. 

A small flock of ewes, belonging to Dr. W. 
Wells, in the island of Grenada, were served by a 
ram procured for the purpose ; the ewes were all 


white and woolly, the ram being quite different, of 
a chocolate colour, and hairy, like a goat. The 
progeny were, of course, crosses, but bore a strong 
resemblance to the male parent. The next season 
Dr. Wells obtained a ram of precisely the same 
breed as the ewes, but the progeny showed distinct 
marks of resemblance to the former ram in colour 
and covering. 

Mr. Darwin cites the following case from the 
Philosophical Transactions, 1821: "Mr. Giles put 
a sow of Lord Western's black-and-tan Essex 
breed to a wild boar of a deep chestnut colour, 
and the pigs partook in appearance of both boar 
and sow, but in some the chestnut colour of the 
boar strongly prevailed. After this boar had long 
been dead the sow was put to a boar of her own 
black-and-white breed, a kind which is well 
known to breed very true, and never to show any 
chestnut colour ; yet from this union the sow pro- 
duced some young pigs which were plainly marked 
with the same chestnut tint as the first litter." 

Dr. Miles writes: "In July 1877, in company 
with my friend, Dr. H. B. Shank of Lansing, 
Michigan, I visited the farm of Mr. A. N. Gillett, 
in the town of Delta, Ingham County, where we 
saw a litter of pigs out of a pure Berkshire sow, 
and got by a pure Berkshire boar. 

u More than one-half of the pigs were appar- 
ently Poland-China in the form of the head, and 

their bodies were spotted with sandy-white. We 



were informed by Mr. Gillett that the preceding 
year the dam of these pigs had produced a litter 
of pigs, by a Poland-China boar, that were marked 
in the same manner with sand-white spots. The 
sow was bred, under my direction, at the Michigan 
Agricultural College, three years ago, and the 
stock from which she had descended had not 
shown any variations from the pure Berkshire 

Mr. Darwin, on the authority of Dr. Bowerbank, 
gives the following striking case : " A black, hair- 
less, Barbary bitch was first impregnated by a 
mongrel spaniel, with long brown hair, and she 
produced five puppies, three of which were hairless 
and two covered with short brown hair. The 
next time, she was put to a full black, hairless 
Barbary dog; but the mischief had been implanted 
in the mother, and again about half the litter 
looked like pure Barbaries, and the other half like 
the short-haired progeny of the first father." 

Professor Agassiz states that he had " experi- 
mented with a Newfoundland bitch by coupling 
her with a water-dog, and the progeny were partly 
water-dog, partly Newfoundland, and the remain- 
der a mixture of both. Future connections of the 
same bitch with a greyhound produced a similar 
litter, with hardly a trace of the greyhound. He 
had bred rabbits with the laws established by this 
experiment, and at last had so impregnated a white 
rabbit with the grey rabbit that connection of this 


white rabbit with a black male invariably pro- 
duced grey." 

A celebrated breeder of short-horns, of my ac- 
quaintance, bred the females of a light-coloured 
family to a red bull, and afterwards to a bull of 
their own family ; he succeeded in this manner in 
producing the desired shades of colour in the off- 
spring of the light-coloured females. 

The same influence has been observed in the hu- 
man family. A woman may have, by a second 
husband, children who resemble a former husband, 
and this is particularly well marked in certain in- 
stances by the colour of the hair and eyes. 

A white woman who has had children by a negro 
may subsequently bear children to a white man, 
these children presenting some of the unmistakable 
peculiarities of the negro race. 

In a lecture, in speaking of the influence of a 
previous impregnation upon offspring at a later 
period, Agassiz said : "It therefore shows, what I 
have satisfied myself to be the truth among other 
animals by numerous experiments, that the act 
of fecundation is not an act which is limited in its 
effect, but that it is an act which affects the whole 
system, the sexual system especially ; and in the 
sexual system the ovary to be impregnated here- 
after is so modified bv the first act, that later im- 
pregnations do not efface that first impression." 

Mr. Darwin cites a number of instances in the 
vegetable kingdom to show the lt direct action of 


the male element on the mother-form," and he 
comes to the conclusion that "the male element 
not only affects, in accordance with its proper 
function, the germ, but the surrounding tissues of 
the mother-plant." 

After citing some of the cases that have already 
been presented of the influence upon offspring of 
a previous impregnation of the mother, Mr. Dar- 
win says : " The analogy from the direct action of 
foreign pollen on the ovarium and seed-coats of the 
mother-plant strongly supports the belief that the 
male element acts directly on the reproductive or- 
gans of the female, wonderful as is this action, 
and not through the intervention of the crossed 

It hardly seems necessary to give further illus- 
trations on this subject. In answering the ques- 
tion why this is so, we are met by difficulties which 
only future study can clear up. The theories ad- 
vanced by Agassiz and Darwin, which are really 
the same, may perhaps be accepted for the 

Dr. Manly Miles, in Principles of Stock-Breed- 
ing, says : "It was formerly claimed that the 
peculiar influence of the male was limited to the 
first impregnation of the female only, but there 
is good reason to believe that every impregnation 
may leave its impress upon partly-developed germs, 
and be thus transmitted with the characters of a 
subsequent fecundation. 


"The intensity of the influence of the male may 
be impaired by an excessive use of the procreative 
organs ; it has been observed in fowls that when 
the male is ' over-mated ' the eggs are sometimes 
imperfectly impregnated." 

Thus do we find that the subject of generation is 
full of mysteries ; and this is partly to be accounted 
for by the fact that it has been, and still is to some 
extent, a subject given over too much to sensuality, 
and too little to science. As we tread on this almost 
new world, let us be reverent and thoughtful, and 
let not unholy thoughts fill our minds to the ex- 
clusion of deeper truths. 



"Woman's Rights."— No truth is more self-evi- 
dent, no rule of right more plain, no law of Nature 
more demonstrable, than the right of a woman to 
her own person. Nor can this right be alienated 
by marriage. " Life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
happiness," and also health — without which life 
and liberty are of little account, and the pursuit of 
happiness impossible — are God-given prerogatives, 
and inhere in the person; and all statutes, cere- 
monies, creeds, institutions, or usages which in any 
respect contravene the fundamental law of absolute 
personal freedom in all the relations of life, are 
in derogation of the laws of Nature, and in oppo- 
sition to the best good of the human family. The 
great want of the age — of humanity — the great need 
of man as well as of woman— is the recognition of 
woman's equality. Would it not excite the just 
indignation of a man to be told by any person, 
even though that person were his " lawful wedded" 
wife, that he must beget children when he did not 
desire them ? or that he must submit to the sexual 

excitement when ill or otherwise employed ? Cer- 



tainly he would never submit to such tyranny, nor 
should he. And why should woman ? It ought to 
be understood by all men and women that the sex- 
ual embrace, when either party is averse to it — 
when both parties are not inclined to it — is wrong. 
And whether the consequences are sexual diseases 
of one or both parties, or personal alienation or 
depraved offspring, or all, there is no possible es- 
cape from the penalties. 

A more pernicious doctrine was never taught 
than that of absolution from the penalties of our 
misdeeds. Causes and consequences are as unalter- 
ably related in the organic as in the inorganic 
world. Nature punishes always, and pardons 
never, when her laws are violated or disregarded. 
In the vital domain, as in the moral, " no good 
deed is ever lost," nor any wrong act performed 
without evil effects. When this great primary 
truth is recognised in practice, when it is taught 
in our schools and exemplified in our lives, we 
shall have the true basis on which to prosecute our 
physiological redemption. " Cease to do evil " is 
the first and greatest lesson to be learned. This is 
emphatically true as applied to the sexual rela- 
tions, for the reason that the organic laws are more 
disregarded in these relations than in any other. 
And this disobedience, with its train of untold 
miseries and its wide-spread sensuality and de- 
gradation, is, like other evils, attributable mainly 
to ignorance. People are ignorant on this subject 



because they have not studied it at all, or have 
studied it from the wrong stand-point. Woman's 
equality in all the relations of life implies her 
equality in the sexual relation. It is for her to 
nourish and sustain the new being ; it is her health 
and life that are directly imperiled by bearing 
children when she is unfitted and unwilling for the 
sacred office ; it is her happiness that is more 
especially destroyed when forced to bring into the 
world sickly and deformed children, who can be 
nothing but a torment to themselves, of no use to 
the world, and nothing but a shame to their 

In the sensuous world around us, habit and feel- 
ing rule in the matter of sexual intercourse as much 
as they do in the matter of eating or drinking or 
dressing. The why or wherefore is never thought 
of, and in dietetic habits the masses of people 
follow no law except that of perverted appetency. 
They eat and drink to gratify alimentiveness, re- 
gardless of all physiological considerations, and 
without knowing or thinking whether their ap- 
petites are normal or morbid, or whether the food 
is wholesome or not. 

And as no propensity is more abused and abnor- 
mal, as the world is now constituted, than that of 
amativeness, and as sexual intercourse has become 
in married life, with most persons, a habit to be 
indulged whenever the man feels the inclination, 
it follows that woman must be degraded to a mere 


machine in all that pertains to her highest interest 
and holiest aspirations. 

In the lower animal kingdom the female does 
exercise her supremacy in this respect. No male 
animal offers violence to the female ; but when she 
is in proper condition for his embrace, and desires 
it, she solicits it, and he invariably responds. So 
it should be ; so it is in the order of Nature with 
man and woman; and when her supremacy is 
fully recognised, there will soon be an end of still- 
births, and of frail and malformed offspring who 
can seldom be reared to adult age, or, if they can, 
are only curses to themselves and to the world. 

It may be objected that to leave this great and 
important question of having children entirely with 
woman would endanger the extinction of the race. 
Such an objection implies little knowledge of wo- 
man and less of Nature. The desire for offspring, 
with all women who are in normal conditions, is 
the strongest of their natures. It is all-absorbing, 
all-controlling. It is only in diseased conditions 
that the pains and perils of childbirth and the 
cares of maternity are dreaded. It is well under- 
stood by physicians that the health of a majority 
of women in civilised society is seriously impaired 
and their lives greatly abbreviated by too frequent 
pregnancies. Thousands are brought to their 
graves in five, ten, or fifteen years after marriage, 
and rendered miserable while they do live, for this 
reason. And so general has this conviction be- 



come, that women all over the civilised world, and 
in all classes of society, are more and more resort- 
ing to numerous expedients, more or less injurious, 
to prevent pregnancy or produce abortion. Nor 
does it avail for the moralist to declaim against the 
practice as wicked. All laws are equally sacred in 
the sight of the Lawgiver, and woman's instincts 
can recognise no higher law, — whatever she may as- 
sent to intellectually, — than that of self-preservation, 
and no duty greater than that of bringing into the 
world children of sound and vigorous constitutions, 
or none at all. 

Restore woman to health, and give her what God 
has ordained as her birthright — the control of her 
own person — and the trade of the abortionist will 
soon cease ; but until then not only will the abor- 
tionist flourish, but the larger race of empirics in 
every city, who sell useless or injurious specifics 
for the prevention of pregnancy, will drive a profit- 
able trade. 

The Science of Propagation. — Certain modern 
writers have suggested the idea that, as the propa- 
gation of human beings, like that of animals, is 
governed by laws which can be understood and in- 
fluenced by conditions within human control, the 
subject ought to be studied as an a exact science," 
and its principles applied as a "true art." Why 
not? This subject has been studied as a science 
and practised as an art for centuries — in fact, more 


or less in all ages — as applied to domestic animals 
and plants ; indeed, as applied to all living things 
with which man has to deal, with the single excep- 
tion of his oavii offspring. 

What intelligent breeder would be willing to 
have his cattle begotten, born, and bred under cir- 
cumstances as unphysiological as are his children? 
The art of raising domestic animals — horses, cattle, 
sheep, and even swine — has attained a great degree 
of perfection. The success which has attended this 
art is due to the recognition of certain principles in 
physiology which constitute the theory of the sci- 
ence. The laws of life, the conditions of health, 
and the rules for normal development are precisely 
the same in all living organisms. Certainly it is 
of as much more importance that they should be 
recognised and applied in relation to the propaga- 
tion of human beings, as human beings are more 
important than animals. 

But it happens, unfortunately, that while the 
whole subject is most assiduously investigated in 
relation to the animal kingdom, and, to a great ex- 
tent, the vegetable kingdom also, it is too much 
ignored in its application to human beings. The 
subject is not alluded to in our text-books on Physi- 
ology ; it is not taught in medical schools ; it has 
no place in the current medical literature of the 
world ; it is too rarely mentioned in the family cir- 
cle ; the good minister never hints at it, and, with 
the exception of a few of the more progressive of 



sanitarians, nobody tries to disturb the unthinking 
tranquillity of the public mind. Yet it lies at the 
foundation of all human improvement and all 
enduring progress, and is intrinsically the most 
important problem that can occupy the human 

Since the publication of the first edition of this 
work, Dr. M. L. Holbrook has published a most 
exhaustive work, entitled Marriage and Parent- 
age, in which every branch of the subject has 
received calm, wise, and judicious consideration. 
Every unmarried person and every parent should 
read it. 1 

Sound Germs and a Sound Progeny— I cannot 
help, in connection with this subject, making an 
extract from an address delivered by the Hon. 
George F. Talbot : 

" Inveterate habits, rooted social, ethical, and 
religious ideas, fenced in by passionate prejudices, 
time-honoured customs, and hardly repealable laws, 
insure for the caprices and dominant appetites of 
men such a scope as leaves the result of their oper- 
ations their hap-hazard chances of good or evil 
fortune. We imprison the thief and we point the 
fixed finger of shame at the prostitute ; but when 
they come together in the holy bonds of matrimony, 

1 Marriage and Parentage and the Sanitary and Physio- 
logical Laws for the Production of Children of Finer Health 
and A bility. New York : M. L. Holbrook & Co. 


the minister of religion pronounces it an ordinance 
of God, and society stands helpless before the teem- 
ing swarms of vicious progeny that are to be the 
fruit of such a marriage. 

" Nearly all the cases of insanity and alcoholism, 
the outbreak of which inflict such unspeakable suf- 
fering upon our domestic life, are due to hereditary 
taint. Is it too extravagant a hope to cherish that 
the time may come when increased intelligence 
and a more sensitive moral feeling will deter from 
marriage those who have inherited a scrofulous 
constitution, an uncontrollable appetite for alcohol, 
insanity, causeless and excessive melancholy, or 
liability to furious paroxysms of anger ? Is it past 
the ingenuity of man to insure that of such un- 
promising parentage the children of the future shall 
not be born ? 

u But this is not enough. There are no absolutely 
healthy families. No blood is entirely pure. Go 
far enough back in the ancestry of the soundest of 
us, and you will find nearly all the ills, mental and 
physical, to which flesh is heir. Unless we can 
induce or compel the apparently sound whom we 
permit to marry to observe the laws of life in pro- 
creation, the weakness that will result will show 
itself in some reversion to a more or less ancient 
type of physical or moral disease. 

"Nature is willing to help, — does help, — man in 
his effort to better himself. That is to say, to state 
what seems to be one of the vital laws : Healthy 



parents who do not observe the most favourable con- 
ditions for procreation may produce healthy off- 
spring. Unhealthy parents, carefully observing 
the most favourable conditions for procreation, may 
produce healthy offspring. In the former case 
there will be sound children deriving vigour from 
parents in spite of slight violations of the laws of 
life. In the latter case there will be sound chil- 
dren, because the parents, though not themselves 
sound, carried forward their progeny one degree 
by carefully observing the laws of life. But if 
only healthy parents produce the children of a 
people, and that, too, with a strict compliance with 
the conditions of procreation, the result will be a 
steady improvement in the quality of the human 
race, and the gradual breeding out of physical 
and moral corruption. 

tt We keep up the average health, slightly im- 
prove it now, though the few healthy parents 
do not observe the laws of life, and though the 
parentage is largely itself unhealthy, because 
half the human race perishes before it attains 
the age of ten years. That is to say, Nature 
comes along and looks at our puny progeny, 
and, saying, ' Misbegotten things ! ' blots them 
out with diphtheria, scarlatina, and cholera in- 

" In the earlier stages of human life, by ruth- 
lessly destroying all the weaklings Nature insured 
the increasing vigour of the human animal. When 


man got his large brain, the most intelligent be- 
came more than a match for the most strong, and 
the best intellect had the best chance to survive. 
Now, at last, that our moral faculties are coming 
to dominate our intellectual, as these once domin- 
ated the physical, our very humanity and sym- 
pathy, the tenderness with which we cherish and 
try to cure and perpetuate not only the feeble- 
minded but the vicious-hearted, will tend to arrest 
the evolution of humanity, unless an intelligent 
will takes the place of a blind force in insuring the 
survival of the fittest." 

Regulation of Births.— Continuing, the honour- 
able gentleman said : 

" If we should give the races of rats access to 
all our stores of food, destroying our traps and 
whistling off the cats, and open to every rodent a 
career of unlimited bread and cheese for himself 
and his progeny, how long would it be before the 
rats would be in force to eat us ? 

" The human animal has not powers of repro- 
duction to vie with the rats ; and yet if mankind 
were relieved of their chronic apprehension of 
poverty, if an office and a salary awaited every 
child that was reared — especially if early marriages 
became a usage, as they inevitably would under 
such a society — the number of candidates would 
speedily exhaust all the places, and the great 
surplus army of men to be detailed to till the 



ground would soon raise such a surplus of food 
that it would not pay to harvest it. 

"See what checks restrain the prodigality of 
human reproduction. Few sensible men dare place 
themselves under obligations to support a family 
until there is a reasonable prospect of some just 
and honourable provision for its maintenance. If 
the consideration does not influence the passions 
of young men, it does influence the cooler judg- 
ment of young women ; and it is sure to be con- 
sidered by parents and friends, whose influence is 
always potent. So that, as our business grows 
more complicated, and the chances of fortune 
more precarious, marriage gets postponed to the 
wise years when more and more find how much 
easier and wiser it is to forego it altogether. But 
with all these checks, the contribution to popula- 
tion in nearly all civilised States seems to be in 
excess of the demands of Nature, in excess of the 
means to provide for them by nearly one hundred 
per cent. ; for what are these diseases of infancy 
that destroy half the human race before they are 
ten years old but Nature's interference with 
redundant births? What if we should find out 
how to isolate or destroy whooping-cough, measles, 
and scarlatina ? What safeguard have we against 
new disorders that would take their place ? 

tl The human race will never attain the con- 
dition of health which is best defined in the terse 

language of Horace, — a sound mind in a sound 



body, — till it has learned how to breed healthy 
children. We have interposed a wise control over 
the procreation of horses, cattle, swine, sheep. We 
have neither found how nor dared apply the same 
intelligence to the procreation of men. 

" When the best wisdom of the race, expressing 
and enforcing itself in a rational way, shall be able 
to stand at the entrance frontier of human life, and 
say who shall pass, it will have the key to open 
for mankind the better era, the good time coming 
of the popular thought, the Republic of which 
Plato speculated, the Utopia of Sir Thomas More, 
the Arcadia of Sir Philip Sidney, the Kingdom of 
Heaven of Jesus of Nazareth, the New Jerusalem 
coming down from Heaven adorned as a bride for 
her husband of the Apocalyptic vision. With the 
abolition of poverty by keeping the numbers of the 
human race balanced to the supply of the means of 
subsistence produced in greatest abundance and 
justly distributed, it will solve at the same time the 
problem of sickness and of crime by bringing in 
a progeny in whom the primeval taint of lust and 
passion, of insanity and sickness, has been reduced 
to its minimum. 

"It is necessary, however, to stipulate that for 
the accomplishment of his high destiny man needs 
the hope and patience of God. The world- 
bettering went on in those early ages, when there 
was no sympathetic heart of man to long for it, no 
helping hand of man to aid it. If there be not 



at the heart of the universe some principle or 
power of good, how vain are human toils, sacri- 
fices, and prayers ! It is the faith of Democracy 
that the good purpose we have found in the bosom 
of Nature expresses itself also in the mind of man, 
the consummate product of Nature. 

" The thing to do is to patiently bear the ills of 
our condition that are irremediable, and to con- 
tribute our brief strength to lessen or remove such 
as are the result of our ignorance or misdoing. 
Not by dynamite or the dagger, not by revolution 
or secession, not necessarily by forming a new 
party or propagating a new faith, but by watching 
the trend of things toward good, and by aiding 
with voice and vote the specific reform, that the 
apparently blind but really guided impulse of the 
time has made opportune and feasible, shall we 
best bring nearer the poet's dream ' of the highest, 
justest, happiest, and so most perfect, condition of 
human life on this planet.' " 

Children a Necessity to a Perfect Life.— The 

possession of healthy children is necessary to 
render life morally complete. I admit that there 
are many happy marriages which are not crowned 
by offspring ; but they are not of the highest order 
of happiness. I do not believe that the purpose of 
marriage is only, as is sometimes coarsely put, to 
continue the race. Husband and wife can be a 
great deal to each other, and can be very happy 


indeed with one another, even apart from the 
existence of children. The partners of the wedded 
life should reciprocally supplement the defects of 
the one by the excellence of the other ; should 
love one another always and wholly, whatever feel- 
ings they may have for their children ; should lift 
the duality of sex into a unity of a harmonious life. 
This is the first purpose of marriage. But it is the 
peculiar nature of these unities of human life that 
each opens into a larger unity. Thus, the life of 
the single man and woman enters into the dual life 
of matrimony, the life of the pair become one, 
open into the multiple life of the family, and this 
again will open and broaden into the vaster life of 
the community. And though the presence of 
children is not absolutely necessary, yet those 
whose marriage is not crowned by offspring do, in 
so far, lead incomplete lives. Fatherhood and 
motherhood are not only sacred names, but they 
imply new and sacred experiences ; they impose 
new responsibilities ; they deepen the moral insight 
in a new direction ; they bring into view whole 
ranges of spiritual facts unknown before. 

In Catholic countries one sometimes sees erected 
along the highways the so-called Stations of the 
Cross. At each Station the devout believer stops 
and prays and tries to recall the peculiar suffering 
which this Station suggests. Each Station points 
to the succeeding one; and when he has passed 
through all, then the believer is made more perfect 



in faith. So there are stations on the high road to 
perfection, stations not of suffering merely, but of 
mingled joy and pain — stations that open larger 
and ever larger fields of duty. The station of 
single existence is the first ; the station of married 
life is the second ; the station of the family life is 
the third ; the professional, the national, the inter- 
national life come next ; the life in the ideal com- 
monwealth of reason is the last. Through all these 
stations we must pass ; the discipline of each we 
must receive ; to the refining and expanding influ- 
ences of each we must subject our souls in order to 
reach the goal to which we are all tending — per- 
fection by the full development of the manliness 
and womanliness that is in us. 

Felix Adler, in one of his matchless discourses, 
says : "I have read in my boyhood of the pious 
iEneas, who bore his father, Anchises, on his 
sturdy shoulders out of burning Troy. I never 
knew then why Virgil persisted in calling him the 
pious iEneas. I see it now. Because the root of 
all piety that exists in the world is to be found in 
the filial relations. I read in my boyhood, in the 
legendary lore of the Talmud, the story of young 
Dama, to whom came one day the elders of Israel to 
purchase some precious jewels, which he alone 
possessed, for the robe of the high priest. And as 
they offered him a fabulous price, far exceeding 
his utmost expectations, he accepted their offer 
with delight. But when they added the condition 


that the - jewels must be delivered at once, he be- 
came grave and silent, and declined to effect the 
sale. And when they pressed him to give his 
reason, he said at last that his aged father was 
sleeping in the room in which the gems were 
stored, and not for all the treasures of Israel would 
he break his slumbers. I read this week of a 
brave young fireman who was swept from a ladder 
near the fourth storey of a burning building. 
Thrice he turned in the air, and as he reached the 
ground he was heard to exclaim, 1 Oh, my poor 
mother ! ' And I have asked myself, is there any 
word in human speech by which we can express 
the depth and tenderness of filial love? Reverence 
is one word, gratitude is another. Oh, but it is a 
peculiar gratitude which the child feels for its 
parent. Gratitude of the ordinary description 
seeks to return in kind what it has received; but 
the gratitude which children feel for their parents 
is marked by the fact that they can never hope to 
return what they have received; it is a longing 
which can never be satisfied; it implies the recog- 
nition of an endless indebtedness which we can 
never, never cancel. The conjugal relations on 
the one hand, the parental and filial relations on 
the other, stand out well-defined and conspicuous 
above all other human relations. In them the tie 
of unity is the closest, and in proportion to the 
closeness of the unity is the sacredness of the 
relation. The true spouses recognise in each the 



entire counterpart of the other; the child recog- 
nises in its parents the founders of its entire 
existence, both physical and moral. 

"Therefore the names of father and mother are 
the holiest which human lips can pronounce; there- 
fore our endless indebtedness to them does not lie 
like a load upon our souls, but rather like a blessed 
influence, chastening and exalting us. Therefore, 
even after years and years have elapsed, and we 
have long been separated from the home of our 
childhood, even after we have grown grey and 
weary in the struggle, our thoughts still go back 
with ineffable reverence and love to the father who 
guarded our first timid steps on the thorny path- 
way of life, to the sweet mother who cared for us 
as no one ever will care again." 

The Number of Children.— The number of chil- 
dren required to fill up the life of a parent in all 
its completeness is not a matter requiring much 
discussion. Many are satisfied with a single one, 
but it seems to me this is not enough. Happy in- 
deed may be the parents of one noble boy or girl ; 
happier still if there are one of each. And if there 
are more, strong and healthy, there certainly can be 
no objection. It is the rearing of feeble, imperfect 
children that is to be deprecated — children who 
cannot receive good constitutions and a good start 
in life, 


Best Time for Parentage.— There are many 
married couples who delay parentage till they are 
more favourably situated. Sometimes there may 
be wisdom in this; but the most suitable age is 
when the physical and mental powers are at their 
best; if parentage is delayed beyond this time the 
offspring willjbe less favourably endowed. 



The Primary Question.— In considering the sub- 
ject to which this chapter will be devoted, the first 
important question to settle is the object of sexual 
intercourse. What does Nature intend to accom- 
plish by it ? So far as the animal kingdom, or the 
lower animals, as some prefer to term the brute 
creation, is concerned, the problem presents no 
difficulty. To propagate the species is the whole 
of it. With all animals, sexual intercourse is a 
mere generative act. But is it so with man? 
This is a question that will be, must be, and should 
be investigated; for whatever is the law estab- 
lished in the constitution of human beings, it is for 
their highest good to understand and obey it. 

There are those who, reasoning from the 
premises that vital laws are essentially the same in 
all living organism, have arrived at the conclusion 
that whatever is the law of sexual intercourse in 
relation to animals must also apply to human 
beings. So far as the individual functions are 
concerned, and indeed so far as all of the vital 

functions merely are concerned, this conclusion is 



incontrovertible; but in applying it to human 
beings we cannot ignore its moral and religious 
bearings. Hence others who have examined the 
subject with an equally truth-seeking spirit have 
come to the opinion that sexual intercourse is, with 
human beings, intended as a love act as well as a 
generative act. The question has fairly two sides ; 
and the data which apply to its solution are ex- 
tremely difficult to be found, because of the 
abnormal habits and perverted instincts of nearly 
the whole family of mankind. 

Whatever views may be entertained with regard 
to the philosophy of the theory of population, all 
physiologists will doubtless agree that, in a higher 
and better condition of society, the number of 
children born will be diminished, while their 
quality will be correspondingly improved. It is 
equally evident, also, that when the physiology of 
menstruation is perfectly understood, including the 
knowledge of the times when the woman is or is 
not liable to impregnation, a single act of coition 
will suffice to beget a single child; and that, there- 
fore, on the theory that sexual intercourse is 
intended by Nature merely for the purpose of re- 
production, it follows that the acts of intercourse 
should be limited to the number of offspring. 
Such is the legitimate result of the theory carried 
to its ultimatum. That we shall eventually, if not 
soon, arrive at this knowledge is not only possible 
but probable. With regard to domestic animals 


whose sexual instincts are less depraved, our know- 
ledge on this subject is well-nigh perfect — certainly 
sufficient for all practical purposes. It rarely hap- 
pens that the breeders of domestic animals do not 
know when to bring the sexes together for fruitful 

But admitting that we should never make any 
further advancement in knowledge with regard to 
the time and conditions for fruitful coition, and 
that women continue to the end of the world to 
have as many children as heretofore, on the theory 
that sexual intercourse has normally no purpose or 
object except to fecundate the ovum, the exercise 
of the sexual organs of the male would be, com- 
pared with present customs, extremely limited. 
Pregnancy very frequently results from the first 
sexual embrace with married couples, and in the 
case of those who are not married. Of course 
there should be, in these cases, no repetition of the 
sexual act until after the periods of gestation and 
lactation are completed — nearly two years from 
the date of conception — and then again a single 
coitus might result in another pregnancy, and so 
on. JS T o doubt such a doctrine, or rather such a 
practice, would be abhorrent to the majority of 
people, who have been educated to regard it more 
in the light of a lust-indulgence than of love. 

Whether human beings would be satisfied with, 
or submit to, a life of such continence and utili- 
tarianism, is not here to be discussed, If the prin- 


ciple is true it should be taught, let human beings 
do what they will. 

We cannot refer the decision of this question to 
the desires of the human instincts or propensities? 
as we can with regard to animals, for the reason 
that those instincts are depraved and perverted, 
while these are normal. 1 have no doubt that, in 
a perfectly normal condition, the instincts of 
human beings, the sexual propensity not excepted, 
are infallible guides, just as they are with un- 
perverted animals. The greater includes the less. 
Man has all the instincts of all the creatures below 
him with other powers superadded. And if he 
were in all respects possessed of "a sound mind in 
a sound body," he would never desire sexual inter- 
course more than he would food or drink, — except 
when it was best both for himself and the woman 
to whose desire he would respond. But as we 
have no such persons to serve as models of what 
men should be, we must do the best we can with 
such data as the disordered world affords us. 

Animals are not voluntarily progressive. They 
do improve from generation to generation, not of 
their own accord, but by a law of Nature which 
promotes the survival of the fittest. 

Human beings are progressive. They are ever 
altering — sometimes for the worse, perhaps — 
changing, the object being to improve and perfect. 
This object obviously implies society, traffic, 
schools, moral culture, religious influences, and pro- 


vision for the future; all of these necessitate 
the family relation ; the family relation implies 
one man and one woman as its source and 

Man, by looking forward to an eternity of exist- 
ence, provides the means which are to benefit him- 
self or his successors for generations, centuries, and 
ages to come. In a great measure he controls the 
elements. To a great extent he is superior to cir- 
cumstances. And while spring-time and harvest 
enable him to lay up stores of food from the well- 
tilled earth, the winter season affords him the best 
opportunity for moral and intellectual culture ; 
and, by means of houses rendered comfortable at 
all seasons, his sexual desires and relations seem 
to be placed on a very different plane from those 
of the animal kingdom. 

There can be no question that the most perfect 
organisation of the offspring requires the most 
complete commingling of elements, or magnetism, 
or whatever else the parents impart or contribute 
in the sexual embrace, and that there should be 
the most perfect harmony with each other. They 
should be as much at-one-ment as possible, so that 
at the moment of conferring life upon a new being, 
each should almost lose the consciousness of in- 
dividual or independent existence. I cannot 
understand how this condition can be so well 
acquired and maintained as by temperate sexual 
indulgence, even when offspring are not desirable 


nor proper. But what is temperate indulgence 
may not be so easily determined. 

The Social Vice.— Between love and lust it may 
not always be easy to draw the line of demarc- 
ation. It would not be difficult to give those who 
need none a rule for sexual indulgence. They, 
being in a normal condition, are a law unto them- 
selves. They may safely follow their inclinations 
in this respect as in all others. But with the great 
masses of the people the only rule of conduct is 
appetite, and this is to a great extent morbid. 
Hence sexual intercourse, in the homes of the 
married and respectable, as well as in the dens of 
prostitution, is indulged in more to appease a 
morbid craving than to gratify a normal instinct, as 
gluttony, tobacco, and alcoholic liquors are in- 
dulged more to stifle for the moment an insatiate 
and intolerable irritation, than for any pleasure or 
gratification resulting from them. 

The fearful and increasing prevalence of the 
Social Vice, especially in all large cities of the 
world, is one of the problems whose existence our 
philanthropists deplore, while they see no way to 
deal with it practically. It has recently been pro- 
posed that, as the evil cannot be removed, it should 
be mitigated and regulated by the licence system 
as it is in Paris; and one of our leading city dailies 
lately suggested the same plan to apply to the city 
of Washington. It has too long been the custom 


of statesmen, when they find it difficult to suppress 
evils, to make a compromise with conscience, and 
derive a revenue by " regulating" them. The re- 
sult has always been a temporary alleviation of 
some of the evils resulting from the unlicenced 
vice, while fastening the licenced vice more firmly 
on society. This has been the case with the liquor 
traffic and the tobacco trade, and may be with the 
traffic in character and chastity. 

In all of these cases the remedy lies farther back. 
It should be directed to the causes rather than to 
the effects. If young women were allowed equal 
opportunities with young men for education and 
occupation, one-half of the sum total of the causes 
of prostitution would be removed at once ; and if 
the young of both sexes were educated and trained 
hygienically — taught to eat, drink, dress, and exer- 
cise properly — the remaining moiety would be very 
nearly done away. It is possible to educate peo- 
ple into sensuality or the reverse. Feed men on 
highly spiced foods, give them wine and beer as 
drinks, and sensuality will increase. Feed them on 
natural, plain, rich, nutritious, but unstimulating 
food, and give all culture and enough to do, and 
the Social Vice will gradually disappear. Society 
has no moral right to regulate or licence anything 
that is intrinsically wrong, nor has it any moral 
right to punish its debauchees and vagabonds until 
it removes temptation from them, and provides the 
means by which they can secure a comfortable 


livelihood by honest labour. Until this is done, I 
have no faith whatever in regulations or licences 
on the one hand, nor in pains and penalties on the 

The Solitary Vice.— Terrible as are the bodily 
diseases and moral ruin which result from the 
Social Vice, it may be questioned whether the in- 
firmity and degradation of the human race from 
the Solitary Vice is not the greatest of the two 

The manner in which the great majority of chil- 
dren are fed, if it does not ruin their digestive or- 
gans and render them dyspeptics or consumptives, 
is sure to produce permanent congestion, with con- 
stant irritation in the pelvic viscera, resulting in 
a precocious development and morbid intensity of 
amativeness. Tea, coffee, flesh meats, to say 
nothing of the abominations of the baker and 
confectioner, are sufficient to account for the early 
tendency to sexual dissipation and debauchery 
manifested by a large portion of the children in 
primary schools. Many a parent, now confiding 
in the purity and safety of his own son or daughter, 
might be appalled if he should investigate this sub- 

Shakerism.— In view of the prevalence of vice, 
crime, disease, and degradation resulting from per- 
verted amativeness, and the miseries and discoi> 


tent so rife in married life, one can hardly wonder 
at the u extreme measures " which have been pro- 
posed as a remedy for these evils. The Shakers 
have certainly gone to the root of the matter, and 
I fear a little beyond. There is such a thing in 
jurisprudence as u proving too much"; and while 
our Shaker friends, who are excellent people, and 
generally more intelligent with regard to the con- 
ditions of health, and certainly more observant, 
than most religious denominations, have adopted a 
system which will, if universally accepted, as- 
suredly prevent all the evils which have their 
origin in sexual abuses, it must be at the expense 
of existence itself. It is like " curing the disease 
by killing the patient." It is true that the Shakers 
base their creed on the " Bible argument," as do 
the Mormons, whose male members appropriate to 
themselves an unlimited number of females ; but 
in these days of enlightenment it behooves the 
teachers of all religious systems to square the 
teachings of the Bible with the Book of Nature and 
the Laws of the Universe. 

Sexual intercourse is condemned by the Shakers 
because of its sensuality, its degrading and un- 
spiritualising tendency. It was the means for per- 
petuating the species under the u old Adamic " dis- 
pensation, which Christ, the " new Adam," came 
to destroy or supersede. Such logic is very like 
declaring eating and drinking (and who has better 

victuals and drink than the Shakers ?) depraving 




and demoralising, because a majority of the hu- 
man race have made themselves dyspeptics or 
gluttons by eating and drinking improperly. 
True physiology teaches that there is no- 
thing low, nothing base, nothing degrading, no- 
thing demoralising, nothing sensualising, nothing 
impure in the normal exercise of any faculty 
or propensity with which human beings are en- 

The phrases, u animal passions," " lower propen- 
sities," " brutal lusts," etc., have been so frequently 
applied to the perversions of amativeness, that 
many persons have acquired the habit of associat- 
ing the idea of vulgarity with it. Nothing can be 
more vulgar, indecent, and degrading than its ab- 
normal or merely lustful indulgence ; but normally 
exercised, no act of an intelligent being is more 
holy, more humanising, more ennobling. Per- 
verted conscientiousness — conscientiousness misled 
by an erring intellect — has tortured human beings 
at the Inquisition, burned them at the stake, and de- 
stroyed them in all the cruel methods that human 
ingenuity could contrive. Yet no one terms con- 
scientiousness a base or brutal propensity; nor 
would they apply such an epithet to any mental 
power if they justly discriminated between its use 
and abuse. 

Mormonism.— The Mormons of Utah profess to 
derive Jhe principles of their creed from the Bible. 


Polygamy was practised in ancient times by good 
men ; the fact is recorded in that Book — ergo the 
Bible teaches polygamy ! Such is about the sub- 
stance of all the logic we have on the subject. But 
the question that especially concerns us in the dis- 
cussion is the physiological bearings of polygamy 
as practised by the Mormons. 

The argument derived from the polygamous 
practices of the lower animals proves too much. 
In some instances one male will cohabit with 
several females, and in other instances one female 
cohabits with several males. If the Mormons who 
quote natural history to sustain their peculiar 
institution would give us all the facts in the case, 
the argument would be conclusive against them. 
How would it suit them to permit the women to 
choose their husbands, one or more, as fancy, 
interest, caprice, ambition or passion dictated ? 
There is no better test of the righteousness of any 
principle or system than its working both ways, so 
far as the sexual relations are concerned. An 
institution which degrades man or woman, or which 
places them in society, or before the law, on 
unequal terms, cannot be right, unless humanity 
itself is wrong. I only introduce the subject of 
Mormonism into this chapter for the purpose of 
indicating the remedy for its polygamous feature, a 
remedy which our politicians have been seeking 
for several years in vain. This remedy is the 
recognition, by the Constitution of the United 


States, of woman's absolute and unconditional 
political equality. 

Celibacy.— The question has often been discussed 
whether a married or single life is most conducive 
to longevity. It is argued on the one side that, as 
man imparts more or less of his unreplenishable 
fund of vitality at each sexual embrace, a life of 
entire abstinence would be most conducive to a 
long life and a " green old age." I do not regard 
the question as very important. For all practical 
purposes the best life is the longest. The object of 
living in this earthly tenement, and all the object 
that I can discover, is to develop our own inherent 
and God-given powers, and assist others to do so. 
This development implies the use of bodily organs 
as the instruments of the mind or soul ; and it con- 
sists in ascertaining the existence of beings and 
objects external to ourselves, and our relations to 
them. From the cradle to the grave this process 
should go on. Even in the decline of life, when 
the bodily structures are consolidating, and the 
vital spark expiring, many persons possess the 
ability to think and feel and reason ; they continue 
to develop almost until the last breath. Others 
become demented in middle life ; while many in 
youth acquire such morbid conditions that further 
development in this life is impossible. They have 
then lived long enough. Who, in the exercise of 
his reason, would desire to live, even if he had the 


power to make provision therefor, for one moment 
beyond the period of usefulness ? Who could 
desire to remain in this earthly tenement for an 
hour after the capacity to do good or receive 
good was lost? It is then that Death, the 
4 ' Angel of Mercy " rather than the ' ' King of 
Terrors," translates him to another sphere, 
" to the abodes of more than mortal freedom," 
where the development of the powers of the 
soul, commenced on the earth, as we hope, go on 
for ever and ever. 

Perhaps the " law of compensation " that per- 
vades the universe is in nothing more beneficently 
manifested than in the relations and fortunes, the 
joys and sorrows, of married and single persons. 
Marriage is to a great extent "a lottery," simply 
because boys and girls are taught the isolated fact 
that they must a get married," without being in- 
structed in the duties or responsibilities of married 
life. The result is many unhappy marriages. The 
same ignorance or miseducation which renders so 
many marriages miserable, induces or causes many 
to live unmarried. Each may envy the other ; but 
really there is little to choose. No one will doubt 
that a true marriage is the happiest condition of an 
earthly existence. But even this is qualified and 
modified by the disorderly elements of an artificial 
state of society all around. The unmarried, while 
they do not share in the highest joys which human 
nature is capable of experiencing, are free from 


many of the cares, trials, and afflictions which per- 
tain to married life. 

One of the most deplorable signs of the times is 
the increasing indisposition of the young men of 
our country, especially in the large cities, to marry. 
Society must demoralise, both sexes must deterior- 
ate, under such circumstances. It is easy to point 
out the causes of this and to indicate the remedy, 
but it is not so easy to apply the remedy. It is 
natural for young men to desire a companion for 
life as soon as they arrive at maturity. If they do 
not seek such a companion it is because of power- 
ful counter influences. One glance at the con- 
dition of young women tells the whole story. 
They are generally infirm in health. They are 
extravagant in dress. And these evils are increas- 
ing from generation to generation. The young 
men whose salaries are small, or whose occupations 
are uncertain, prefer to " endure the ills they have, 
rather than fly to others they know not of." Who 
can say they do not act wisely ? It is not in 
human nature, though it may be in human passion, 
to marry a woman for the sake of nursing an 
invalid, hiring Bridgets, employing doctors, feeing 
apothecaries, listening to constant complainings, 
and dancing attendance on the whims and caprices 
almost inseparably connected with constitutional 
infirmity and morbid feelings. 

It is true that young men dress vainly and fool- 
ishly to some extent, and that they are very gener- 



ally addicted to degrading and ruinous habits in 
which very few women indulge — for example, 
tobacco-using. I blame the young women very 
much for this filthy and detestable habit on the 
part of the young men. I am of opinion that a 
man who uses tobacco is not fit to be husband or 
father. He has no right to make himself indecent 
and disgusting in the presence of his wife ; and he 
has no right to curse his offspring with the legacy 
of a depraved organisation. 

But if woman was as she should be, she would 
have a power to lead man in the way he should go, 
of which she now little dreams. It is, to a great 
extent, because he does not find in her the qualities 
which engage his heart and satisfy his judgment, 
while they please his eye and charm his fancy, 
that he seeks other associations and other pleasures. 
He is apt to take her for what she advertises her- 
self to be — a thing of vanity and show, and to 
seek her company for mere pastime or lust, instead 
of for refined conversation, elevating sentiments, 
and substantial happiness. 

I have no manner of doubt, that if the young 
women of our country would raise themselves 
above the sphere of fashionable frivolity, they 
would soon draw the young men after them and 
away from the low and degrading vices of liquor- 
drinking and tobacco-using. There would then be 
few " old maids " among us ; but until they do this 
there ought to be many. 


Frequency of Sexual Intercourse— On this 
question there is as much diversity of opinion as on 
any other that can be named. The only data on 
which a philosophical answer can be predicated is 
normal instincts, and these, unfortunately, we do 
not know where to look for. It is easy to lay down 
a rule by which all may approximate as nearly 
as possible to physiological propriety, — a life in 
obedience to the laws of life. The more nearly the 
parties live in accordance with physiological habits, 
especially in the matters of food, clothing, and ex- 
ercise, the more nearly normal will be their sexual 
inclinations, and the less need have they of sub- 
jecting their desires to the restraints or control of 
reason. For those who live riotously, who are 
constantly goading their sexual passions into abnor- 
mal intensity by means of gross food, stimulating 
viands, and obscene associations, no better rule can 
be given than the less indulgence the better. 

The majority of young persons unite in matri- 
mony with no education whatever on this subject ; 
and habits, right or wrong, are soon formed, which 
are apt to be continued through life. 

Married men are not always as sensual in char- 
acter, nor as cruel in disposition, as they seem. 
With many, sexual intercourse becomes a habit, 
like eating, working, and sleeping ; and they in- 
dulge in it with nearly the same regularity that 
they do in their other habits, reckless and thought- 
less of its consequences to themselves or to their 


wives. It is no uncommon thing for the physician 
to attend an invalid woman for years whose ail- 
ments are chiefly attributable to this habit on the 
part of her husband. Almost every physician of 
large practice has a circle of patients whom he 
visits and prescribes for once a week, on the aver- 
age, for years ; who never get much better at 
home, but usually improve at once when removed 
to a proper distance from it. I do not charge their 
physicians with remissness in duty in not instruct- 
ing both parties how to avoid the necessity of em- 
ploying him professionally, for generally physi- 
cians are as ignorant as others upon this subject. 

One of the reasons why uterine diseases are treated 
so much more successfully at Health Institutions, 
watering-places, or at any place except home, is 
because the husband is not continually thwarting 
what the doctor or Nature is doing for the patient. 

The frequency with which sexual intercourse can 
be indulged, without serious damage to one or both 
parties, depends, of course, on a variety of circum- 
stances — constitutional stamina, temperament, oc- 
cupation, habits of exercise, period of life, etc. Few 
should exceed the limit of once a week ; while 
many cannot safely indulge oftener than once a 
month. But as temperance is always the safer rule 
of conduct, if there must be any deviation from the 
strictest law of physiology, let the error be on that 


Pleasure of Sexual Intercourse.— Whatever may 
be the object of sexual intercourse, whether 
intended as a love embrace merely, or as a gener- 
ative act, it is very clear that it should be as 
agreeable as possible to both parties. Indeed, 
when it is otherwise to either party, it is a cruelty. 
Nor can the offspring be as perfect as it should be 
unless the act is both desired and enjoyed by both 
parties. This rule or law, for it is a law of Nature? 
at once suggests the conditions that are necessary 
to insure this result. There must be mental har- 
mony and congeniality between the parties. Each 
must be able to respond to the whole nature of the 
other — bodily, morally, and intellectually, to that 
extent that there shall be no sense of discord, no 
feeling of repugnance. 

But let not sexual love be confounded with sex- 
ual lust. The former is always gratified and 
completely satisfied with legitimate indulgence. 
The latter is like the appetite of the glutton or the 
drunkard, — each indulgence aggravating but never 

Those who study this subject in the light of phy- 
siology, and who practice conscientiously according 
to the light that is in them, will have no occasion 
to envy the libertine and debauchee. They will 
not fail to be convinced that here, as everywhere, 
" the ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and 
all her paths are peace. " Those persons whose lives 
are more simple and pure, who are temperate in all 


sensuous gratifications, and who indulge the sexual 
passion moderately, will find the happiness result- 
ing unalloyed, and, in the course of a lifetime, cor- 
respondingly more pleasurable and satisfactory. 
And besides, such persons maintain the integrity 
of the sexual instincts, with the capacity to enjoy, 
at a much later period of life, than do those whose 
indulgences are premature or excessive. Many per- 
sons are, sexually, as young at sixty years of age 
as others are at thirty. Some maintain their viril- 
ity beyond the age of three-score years and ten, 
while others exhaust it in half the time. 

Here it may be proper, because of its intrinsic 
importance, to repeat the law already alluded to : 
" Intensive life cannot be extensive." One may so 
live as to keep all of his " lower propensities " — I 
mean self-relative — in a state of preternatural ex- 
citement, and, mistaking the insatiate cravings of 
morbid instinct for a " natural necessity," soon ex- 
haust the powers of life by inordinate indulgence. 
Such has been the history of thousands who have 
applied to me for professional advice. Had they 
been properly instructed in early life, their history 
would have been very different. Had such a book 
as this been placed in their hands in the days of 
their youth, it would have been their earthly 
salvation. How emphatically can the words of the 
wise man, " Train up a child in the way he should 
go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," 
be applied to this subject ! 


Sexual intercourse should never, under any cir- 
cumstances, be indulged in when either party is in 
a condition of great mental excitement or depres- 
sion, nor when in a condition of great bodily 
fatigue, nor soon after a full meal, nor when the 
mind is intensely preoccupied; but always when 
the whole system is in its best condition, and most 
free from all disturbing influences. 

There is good sense and sound philosophy in the 
words which Sterne causes his hero, Tristram 
Shandy, to utter : "I wish my father or my 
mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in 
duty both equally bound to, had minded what they 
were about when they begot me ; had they duly 
considered how much depended upon what they 
were then doing, that not only the production of 
a rational being was concerned in it. but that 
possibly the happy formation and temperature of 
his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of 
his mind, and perhaps the fortunes of his whole 
house, might take the humours and dispositions 
then uppermost. Had they duly weighed and 
considered all this, and proceeded accordingly, I 
am verily persuaded I should have made a quite 
different figure in the world from what the reader 
is likely to see me. Believe me, good folks, this 
is not so inconsiderable a thing as many of you 
think it." 



" To avoid the pains, 
The disappointment, and disgusts of those 
Who have an offspring scrofulous and rickety, 
The precepts here of a divine old man 
I could recite," 

Rights of Offspring. — Every child that is bora 
into the world has the birthright inheritance of a 
sound organisation. It has, too, as one of the 
human family, an inherent right to sustenance and 
education. If despoiled of the former by the ig- 
norance or perversity of its parents, it will surely 
be revenged ; and if robbed of the latter by the 
errors or imperfections of society, society will as- 
suredly suffer. This is one of the unpardonable 
sins. There is no forgiveness — certainly not in 
this life. A vicious, malformed, or diseased or 
perverted child cannot exist in the family without 
" rendering evil for evil," any more than a vagrant 
or imbecile person can exist in society without, to 
some extent, contaminating the whole social at- 
mosphere. This may seem a hard doctrine in its 
bearings on individuals ; but it is true in Nature, 


and beneficent in its application to the whole 
human race. 

Says Dr. Porter, in an entertaining and instruc- 
tive work entitled Men, Women, and Babies, which 
I commend to the reader : " There is to-clay 
no better established fact than that all progeny, 
vegetable or animal, takes its physical, mental, and 
moral qualities from those which predominate in 
the parents during the period of conception and 
gestation. The form, face, temper, disposition, and 
constitution are stamped at these periods on the 
offspring by parents. It is well known that all the 
secretions partake of both the general and particu- 
lar states of body and mind ; and physicians often 
judge by them, and so prescribe. It is also by 
closely observing this law of animated nature that 
agriculturists preserve the health and improve the 
breed of their animals. Passing strange is it, how- 
ever, that this observation was never made applic- 
able to the human species, where its application is 
most wanted ! Yet so it is ; we see every day very 
sensible people, who are anxiously attentive to pre- 
serve or improve the health and breed of their 
horses and cattle, at the same time entailing on 
their children not only tainted blood and loath- 
some diseases, but madness, folly, and unworthy 
dispositions. Even those children so born are not 
trained and developed so as to counteract the en- 
tailment, but left to grow as they can. 

" Dr. Gregory thus graphically describes the in- 



fluence of the parental stock : ' Parents frequently- 
live over again in their offspring; for children 
certainly resemble their parents, not merely in 
countenance and bodily conformation, but in gen- 
eral features of their minds, and in both virtues 
and vices. Thus the imperious Claudian family 
long flourished at Kome, unrelenting, cruel, and 
despotic ; it produced the merciless and detestable 
tyrant, Tiberius, and at length ended, after a course 
of six hundred years, in the bloody Caligula, 
Claudius, and Agrippina, and then in the infamous 
monster Nero.' " 

The principle that the best good of one is the 
highest interest of all, and vice versa, that true 
benevolence is enlightened selfishness, can have no 
better illustration than in its application to the 
rearing of children. When this principle is 
generally understood, legislation will be more 
directed to the prevention of crime and less to its 
punishment. The time, talent, and money which 
the civilised world now expends on its courts, jails, 
prisons, penitentiaries, asylums, pauper-houses, 
inebriate homes, and reform schools, if applied to 
the proper training and education of children, 
would soon do away with the necessity for their 
existence. And more : war, with its infernal 
enginery and unutterable horrors, would never 
again accurse the earth. It is only because the 
children are not reared normally and educated 
physiologically — taught their rights, duties, rela- 


tions, and responsibilities, and cared for by society 
as a whole — that they grow up to manhood with 
the spirit of selfishness and violence " growing with 
their growth and strengthening with their 
strength," more ready to quarrel than to reason, 
more disposed to grab the thing in dispute than to 
arbitrate, and more prone to rob and murder than 
to give and forgive. 

There are, for example, in the city of New York, 
many thousand vagrant children. Their parents 
cannot or do not provide for them, and society will 
not ; hence they take care of themselves, doing the 
best they can or the worst they can, for it is all the 
same. They receive but little else than abuse from 
parents or society, and find little sympathy except 
among their congenial co-vagabonds. They are 
compelled to beg or forced to steal ; they suffer 
keenly from the pangs of hunger and the want of 
clothing and shelter ; they know nothing of home 
as distinct from a prison-den, and they find more 
comfort and equal respectability in the almshouse 
or penitentiary. The sense of self-debasement 
overshadows their spirit continually as with the 
pall of night, while the consciousness of social 
degradation, with no hope in the future, weighs 
down their soul like an incubus. Should anybody 
wonder that, as they grow up to manhood, they 
become criminals and debauchees? It would in- 
deed be miraculous if they did not. 

But rich parents, with few exceptions, do not like 



to pay for the care and education of any children 
except their own ; and those who have no children 
often object to "taxation without representation" 
when asked to contribute to the " nurture and 
admonition " of their neighbours' little ones. Both 
are shortsighted — penny wise and pound foolish. 
Both pay indirectly for the restraint and punish- 
ment of their neighbours' children twice as much 
as their education would have cost. They act as 
wisely as they would if they should all retire with- 
in their pleasant domiciles and beautiful parlours 
to escape the evil consequences of the filthy gutters 
when our streets have not been cleaned since " no- 
body knows when." If the elements of infection 
and contagion are in the gutters they will pervade 
the atmosphere and penetrate the mansions of the 
wealthy as well as the abodes of the poor. And so 
long as human beings are permitted and com- 
pelled to congregate and breed and rot in dank 
cellars, stifling garrets, or in those pestilential 
structures called tenement houses, where every 
particle of air is loaded with the germs of disease, 
where sickening stenches are ever present, where 
cleanliness and decency are as impossible as they 
were at the murderous Drison-house called An- 
dersonville, and where scrofula and venereal 
disease and typhoid fevers and consumption are 
never absent, all of the people of the great city must 
partake more or less of the poisonous materials and 

demoralising influences which emanate therefrom. 



It is true that the " upper classes," who do not 
occupy houses in the immediate neighbourhood of 
these "plague-spots," suffer less than those who 
reside in close proximity to them. But they do 
suffer, nevertheless ; and their diseases, sometimes 
terminating in death, are more frequently attribut- 
able to the malaria generated at places where 
rotting organic matters and animal excretions are 
accumulated than is generally supposed. A cur- 
rent of air may, for days together, carry a stream 
of infection from these places to the splendid 
palaces of the rich, occasioning disease and death, 
and causing their favoured inhabitants to wonder 
at the u mysterious Providence " that permits the 
" King of Terrors " to invade their homes ! 

It is just as clear that all disease, all uncleanli- 
ness, all infections and contagions that exist per- 
manently in one part of a city, affect all parts 
of it injuriously, as it is that smoking tobacco not 
only poisons the smoker but the atmosphere 

It is the duty of Government to protect persons 
and property ; and it is the duty of municipalities 
to protect citizens from all local nuisances ; and it 
is the duty of society to protect every child which 
it compels or permits to reside within its proper 
jurisdiction from all external ^influences which tend 
to vitiate its body and corrupt its mind. 

I go still farther. It is the moral duty of 
society to protect every child from obscenity and 



profanity. These are poisons to the mind as 
much as miasms are poisons to the body. What 
right has anyone to use obscene language or 
utter profane oaths in the presence of my child 
or your child or any child ? No one will pretend 
that he has or can have any right to mar, mutilate, 
deform, or maim anyone's child in the body. 
Why is he allowed to mar and deform its spiritual 
nature ? A person who is profane or obscene in 
his daily walk or conversation is a moral leper in 
society. His touch is degradation ; his breath is 
contamination. He should no more be allowed to 
associate with children than the animal suffering 
with the u rinderpest " should be permitted to 
remain in the pasture with the rest of the herd. 

The following extract from a lecture by the late 
noble champion of education and reform, Hon. 
Horace Mann, may properly conclude this branch 
of our subject : " I hold it to be morally impossible 
for God to have created, in the beginning, such 
men and women as we find the human race, in 
their physical condition, now to be. Examine the 
book of Genesis, which contains the earliest annals 
of the human family. As is commonly supposed, 
it comprises the first twenty-three hundred and 
sixty-nine years of human history. With child- 
like simplicity this book describes the infancy of 
mankind* Unlike modern histories, it details the 
minutest circumstances of social and individual life. 
Indeed it is rather a series of biographies than a 


history. The false delicacy of modern times did not 
forbid the mention of whatever was done or suf- 
fered. And yet, over all that expanse of time, for 
more than one-third part of the duration of the hu- 
man race, not a single instance is recorded of a 
child born blind or deaf or dumb or idiotic or 
malformed in any way ! During the whole period 
not a single case of a natural death in infancy or 
childhood or early manhood, or even of middle 
manhood, is to be found. The simple record is, 
c and he died,' or he died ' in a good old age, and 
full of years,' or he was 6 old and full of days.' 
No epidemic nor even endemic disease prevailed, 
showing that they died the natural death of healthy 
men, and not the unnatural death of distempered 
ones. Through all this time, except in the single 
case of Jacob in his old age, and then only a day 
or two before his death, it does not appear that any 
man was ill, or that any old lady or young lady 
ever fainted. Bodily pain from disease is nowhere 

14 111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey. 
Where wealth accumulates and men decay. 

Beautiful Children.— 

" And shall the worm come forth, renewed in life 
And clothed in beauty, and not man 1 

" Beauty was lent to Nature as the type 
Of heaven's unspeakable and holy joy, 
Where all perfection makes the sum of bliss." 



Every child that is born has the rightful inheri- 
tance of a perfect body. This is implied in the 
phrase, " a sound organisation." A perfectly 
sound organisation is perfectly healthy, and a 
perfectly healthy person is perfectly beautiful. 
The conditions, therefore, for the propagation of 
beautiful children are very simple, so far as the 
theory is concerned. All that is required is good 
health and correct habits on the part of the 

Parents who are in comparatively good condition 
when they cohabit for reproduction will frequently 
have children more beautiful than themselves ; 
while, on the other hand, parents who are in their 
worst condition when they beget children are re- 
presented in the next generation by specimens of 
the genus homo more ill-looking than they are 
themselves. The rationale must be obvious, in 
the light of the principles we have heretofore con- 

Especially important is it for those who would 
have beautiful children to be in their best bodily 
and mental condition when the fruitful orgasm is 
experienced. A perfectly symmetrical body implies 
an equal and balanced, so to speak, contribution 
from every organ and structure ; and to secure this 
result, the person should be free from all local con- 
gestions or irritations. The stomach should not be 
loaded, the liver should not be obstructed, the lungs 
should not be congested, the skin should not be 


clogged, and the brain should not be oppressed. In 
short, there should be "the normal play of all the 

Nor is the place and its surroundings to be over- 
looked in this matter. It should be, in its furnish- 
ing and ornamentation, as pleasant as possible, 
nothing disturbing or offensive should be permitted. 
" The influence of imagination," as the phrase is, 
has a powerful effect in moulding the qualities and 
stamping the character of the offspring, A sudden 
shock, an extraordinary emotion, a strange sight, or 
a striking object may, at the critical moment, 
modify for good or evil some organ, function, faculty, 
propensity, or structure of the new being forever. 

The late eccentric but talented Lola Montez de- 
livered a lecture in this city a few years since on 
" Beautiful Women." She had travelled much ; she 
had been received into the society of many of the 
royal families and nobility of Europe. She had 
made the personal acquaintance of Lady Blessing- 
ton, the Empress Eugenie, and other beauties of 
world-wide celebrity, and she had taken special 
pains to investigate the " Art of Beauty " as under- 
stood and practised by them. In every case she 
learned that the beauty practiced the same recipe : 
active exercise in the open air, tepid bathing once 
or twice a week, plain and simple food, temper- 
ance and regularity in eating and drinking, and 
moderation in all respects. In short, they main- 
tained good health by proper personal habits. 



Good Children.— 

" What is it, man, prevents thy God 
From making thee His blest abode 1 
He says He loves thee, wills thee Heaven, 
And from thy good has blessings given." 

Every child that is born has the rightful inheri- 
tance of a sound mind as well as a sound body. This 
means simply a healthy condition and normal 
quality of the brain-nervous tissue — the organ of 
the mind. 

However theologians may understand the doc- 
trine of u total depravity," no one in this enlight- 
ened age will deny that moral character and vital 
conditions have a close and inseparable relation. 
The most eminent and eloquent of modern clergy- 
men do not hesitate to affirm that "good digestion 
is eminently promotive of all the Christian graces," 
a principle not only physiologically orthodox, but 
susceptible of a very wide application. If any man 
or woman can be a good Christian with a wretched 
body and miserable health, he or she can be a better 
Christian with a comfortable body and excellent 
health. Many a person, too, who could be a very 
good Christian in comfortable circumstances and in 
the absence of temptation, might be a very wicked 
sinner under opposite circumstances and conditions. 
The practical method, therefore, of converting, re- 
forming, or improving the world — and I believe the 
theory is both physiological and Scriptural — is to 


place around it and before it the circumstances and 
conditions which" influence it in the right direction. 

While the child is in its mother's womb it is lia- 
ble to be affected favourably or injuriously by all the 
causes which affect her in one way or the other. 
If she is disordered or defective in her vital func- 
tions — in digestion, respiration, circulation, ex- 
cretion, etc. — its vital structures must suffer ; and 
if she is disturbed in her mental functions — 
angered, grieved, depressed, etc. — its mental powers 
must be damaged. 

Drunken husbands have begotten children when 
their brains were so deranged with the effects of 
intoxicating drink that congenital dementation has 
been the consequence to the offspring. The pre- 
cocious depravity and sensuality of many children 
whose parents were " gluttonous persons or wine- 
bibbers," and the inherited fondness for liquor, to- 
bacco, and other abominations, whose fathers were 
besotted slaves to them, are sufficiently familiar 
illustrations of the law of hereditarv transmission 
of qualities. I have known a family in which the 
parents possessed good constitutions and enjoyed 
fair health, who were regular and temperate in 
their lives, and whose children, with the exception 
of the firstborn, were quite as intelligent as the 
average of children. But the firstborn was an idiot. 
Why ? Perhaps because of the feastings and dissi- 
pations of the wedding occasion. 

This extreme effect, however, rarely happens ; 



but minor degrees of imbecility and innumerable 
forms of eccentricity are rather the rule than the 
exception. I never witness a wedding at which 
the "happy pair" partake freely of the indigestible 
cake and the disordering wine that I do not pity 
the firstborn, should pregnancy unfortunately occur 
within a few days. 

After conception the father's condition or habits 
can have no further good or evil influence on the 
offspring during its embryonic life, except indirectly 
through the wise or unwise care he gives the mother. 
The mother, however, may, and must, affect its 
character and destiny through all of her varying 
conditions during the whole period of gestation and 

So, too, with mental influences. A fit of passion, 
a frightful narrative, a terrible sight, a grievous 
misfortune, an unhappy home, an unkind husband, 
a suffering child to care for, etc., are each and all 
causes of abnormal condition on the part of the 
mother, and consequent deterioration on the part 
of the child. 

Dr. Thomas Bull makes some judicious remarks 
in an excellent work entitled Hints to Mothers, 
which may here be quoted : 

" Many women suppose that the condition of the 
mind of the mother has no influence upon the phy- 
sical or mental constitution of the unborn child, 
and that violent passion, long-continued anxiety, 
sudden fear, and the like, are in no way productive 


of serious consequences. Others, running into an 
opposite extreme, firmly believe that the imagina- 
tion of the parent is capable, not merely of affect- 
ing the general constitution of the child, but of 
exercising a direct and extraordinary influence upon 
its structure and symmetry. I think it may prove 
useful to say a few words upon both of these errors, 
as I have known much mischief to arise out of 

" Tranquillity and cheerfulness of mind are at all 
times highly favourable to the healthy and regular 
operations of the animal economy. Observation 
and daily experience prove the fact that any seri- 
ous mental disturbance, to which the mother may 
be exposed during the pregnant state, will tell upon 
the future constitutional vigour and mental health 
of her offspring. A sudden gust of passion, or 
indeed any violent mental emotion, will sometimes 
be followed by an immediate effect upon the system; 
and convulsion, hemorrhage, or a miscarriage may 
ensue. But where there is habitual indulgence in 
a life of excitement, or some cause of a depressing 
character constantly operating upon the system of 
the mother, the constitution of the child, both mental 
and physical, will almost invariably suffer. The 
predisposition which some children manifest to con- 
vulsions and head affections, during infancy and 
childhood, very frequently has its origin in the 
foregoing causes; and such cases are continually 
coming under our eyes, These facts point out the 


great importance of protecting the pregnant woman 
from all circumstances likely to create disturbance 
of her nervous system, and ought also to make her 
doubly careful that she does not incur any risk or 
hazard that might be productive of consequences of 
a similar description. A life of courage, cheerful- 
ness, and active duty are most conducive not only 
to the health of the parent, but to that of the off- 
spring also. This cannot be too strongly borne in 

u I may here just mention, as an instance very 
much to the point, that very recently I was 
consulted by a respectable woman about an 
unhealthy-looking child that she brought to me, 
born prematurely between the seventh and. eighth 
months. The mother's mind was greatly depressed 
during her pregnancy from the ' worry ' of her 
husband — a man of kind disposition naturally, but 
whose mind was so taken hold of by the idea that 
if he had so many children he should not be able 
to support them, that his wife had no peace day or 
night from this cause — a feeling on the part of 
the husband entirely morbid in its character, since 
his circumstances were above want. In conse- 
quence of this mental distress she was confined 
shortly after the completion of the seventh month. 
The child born was puny and fretful, and con- 
tinues so. It is now eight months old, a wasted, 
miserable-looking object, the picture of woe. Its 
mother says it never smiled until it was four 


months old, and rarely smiles now. The head is 
large, much larger than it ought to be, even mak- 
ing allowance for the wasted condition of the 
frame generally. Having carefully investigated 
this case, I felt convinced that the whole mischief 
was clearly traceable to the mental disturbance to 
which the parent had been subjected. Her pre- 
vious children were vigorous and healthy. 

« Pregnancy occasions in some women, in the 
early months, a very excitable state of their nerv- 
ous system, yet without disease. In consequence 
of this continued irritation, the temper of such 
persons is sometimes rendered less gentle and 
patient than is consistent with their usual char- 
acter. One of the most naturally amiable and 
sweet-tempered women that I am acquainted with 
is always thus affected when pregnant ; and long 
before there is any visible or outward sign, by her 
alteration of manner and morbid irritability of 
temper, I can always assure myself that pregnancy 
has taken place. This claims a kindly regard and 
forbearance from a husband and friends ; and it 
is right, therefore, that they should be made ac- 
quainted with the true cause of it. I have known 
much domestic disquietude to arise from an ignor- 
ance of this fact. 

" The supposed influence of the imagination of 
the mother upon the child in the womb is an error 
still extensively current; and though reason and 
experience concur to refute the notion of any 


direct influence, it is received by many as an estab- 
lished truth, and tends more than any other 
delusion of the mind, during the pregnancy, to 
render the female wretched. Should a woman 
have an ungratified longing for some particular 
article of food, should she have been suddenly 
and seriously frightened, or accidentally the wit- 
ness of some miserably deformed object, she at 
once becomes possessed with the belief that her 
unborn babe will receive some mark, blemish, or 
deformity, something similar to the thing longed- 
for, or which has caused her alarm or excited her 
aversion. From the time of this occurrence the 
idea haunts her imagination night and day : a 
victim to an influence called into existence by her 
own fancy, she is wretched and miserable. 
Ashamed of her own weakness, she imparts her 
secret to none ; she will hardly confess it to her- 
self; yet its impression deepens upon her mind, 
and she looks forward to the period of her con- 
finement with the greatest apprehension. Thus 
the whole period of pregnancy is made a season of 
needless trial and suffering; and nothing pacifies 
her mind, or can remove her fears, but the birth 
of an unblemished and healthy child. 

" The origin of this belief is coeval with our 
earliest records ; and the multitude of instances 
handed down to us, in which its influence was sup- 
posed to be exerted, would fill volumes. 

" The deformities said to be produced in the 


body of the infant by this agent are the following : 
It is affirmed to impose upon its skin certain re- 
semblances to things on which the fancy has been 
busily occupied, such as fruit, wine, insects, or 
animals ; to produce an additional part, as an 
increased number of limbs, toes, or fingers ; to 
destroy certain parts of the child's body, as a leg 
or arm, or both ; and to cause what is called hare- 

u The most common of these deformities are 
marks and moles on the skin. The former, gener- 
ally of a red or purplish colour, are said to re- 
semble different sorts of fruit, such as raspberries, 
strawberries, mulberries, and cherries ; and if a 
child is born with such a discolouration on the 
surface of its body, it is frequently ascribed to the 
disappointed longings of the woman, during her 
pregnancy, for the particular fruit which the mark 
is declared to resemble. The latter — the moles — 
being covered with a downy hair, are compared to 
the skin of a mouse or some other animal, and 
their presence is referred to some agitation of mind 
occasioned by one of these objects running in sight 
of or against the individual while pregnant. 

" It would be easy to cite very many cases that 
are on record of these ' discolourings of the skin, 
such as redness, from women longing for claret, or 
having it suddenly spilt upon them ' ; of marks i of 
foods desired but not obtained'; of 4 excrescences 
which, like the fruits they resemble, have their 



times of bloom, ripening and languishing, though 
never quite dying or falling off themselves.' Here 
too, might be adduced a variety of the most extra- 
ordinary cases of deformity which have been very 
gravely related by our forefathers, and believed in 
by a few authors even of our own day. 

" Take the evidence of one who was the first 
physiologist, anatomist, and physician-accoucheur 
of his day, the late Dr. William Hunter, who in- 
vestigated the subject at the lying-in hospital to 
which he was attached. In every one of 2,000 
cases of labour, as soon as the woman was de- 
livered, he inquired of her whether she had been 
disappointed in any object of her longing, and if 
she replied in the affirmative, what it was ; whether 
she had been surprised by any circumstance that 
had given her any unusual shock, and what that 
consisted of; whether she had been alarmed by any 
object of an unsightly kind, and what that was. 
Then, after making a note of the declarations of 
each woman, either in the affirmative or negative, 
he carefully examined the child; and he affirms 
that he never in a single instance of the 2,000 met 
with a coincidence. He met with blemishes when 
no cause was acknowledged, and found none when 
it had been insisted on. 

" The result shown by this patient and searching 
investigation by Dr. Hunter must surely satisfy 
any reasonable mind, and it must be unnecessary 
to add more. In conclusion, however, I would 


ask, why should we be surprised at some irregu- 
larities on the skin and other parts of the human 
body, since we see the same thing taking place 
dailv throughout the animal and vegetable world? 
They have their moles, their cliscolourations, their 
excrescences, their unnatural shapes, which it cer- 
tainly would not be very philosophical to ascribe 
to any effort of the imagination ! An eminent and 
clever man thus writes to his patient, a married 
lady: 'Those who have been attentive to their 
poultry will inform you that chickens are as liable 
to a preternatural structure of their organs as chil- 
dren. Now, the egg, in order to be hatched, is 
placed under the hen, the heat of whose body gives 
motion to the fluids which nourish the chick till it 
becomes sufficiently strong to break the shell, when 
it is produced with a claw extraordinary, or any 
other preternatural appearances to which chickens 
are liable. Now, in this case, the extraordinary 
claw, if we take this instance for our argument, 
must either have been formed in the moment of 
conception, or have been added at some period 
afterwards, when we suppose the hen to have been 
under the influence of some powerful imagination. 
If you grant that the chick was originally formed 
in. this shape, it follows from the rule of analogy 
that all preternatural births have the same cause. 
If not, the fancy of the hen must have operated 
through the shell to work the effect. I flatter my- 
self that this is too marvellous and absurd a notion 


to gain much credit from a woman of good sense. 
If, however, you still have a secret persuasion that 
the hen may, in some wonderful manner, you 
know not how, while she is sitting, affect the chick 
or the egg, so as to alter its frame — know for 
a certainty that eggs hatched in dunghills, 
stoves, and ovens produce more monstrous births 
than those which are hatched by hens. This, 
I should imagine, proves irrefragably that the 
chick is produced in the very shape in which it 
was formed.' 

" This illustration at least seems to show how 
entirely unphilosophical and absurd are the views 
entertained on the subject before us." 

The rule, then, for the production of good chil- 
dren is exceedingly simple : keep the mother 
healthy and happy. The rule extends through the 
entire period of gestation and lactation, and it 
may be extended as much beyond as "whom it 
may concern " may please, and " the world will be 
the better for it." 

It often happens that in a large family of 
brothers and sisters there will be decided varieties 
and very great extremes of character. A good 
reader of human nature can usually find sufficient 
diversity in an interesting and instructive observa- 
tion of the differences in almost any family of 
eight or ten children. Some will be precocious, 
others "behind the age"; one will be of the active 

or irritable temperament, another of the torpid or 



phlegmatic; one will manifest a highly moral 
organisation, another just the opposite ; one will 
be kind and confiding, another cruel and sus- 
picious. Why these differences? All have the 
same parents; all have had the same care and 
education ; all have been subjected to very nearly 
the same surrounding circumstances. 

The explanation is not difficult. Their parents 
cohabited just as it happened, without rule or 
reason. They knew no law and observed none. 
Though wise on a thousand less important subjects, 
they were as ignorant of the laws of reproduction 
as they were of the problem — 

" Why Heaven has made us as we are." 

Sexual intercourse was practised according to in- 
clination, with no regard to bodily or mental con- 
ditions. The question of offspring was left to 
chance, as the accidents or incidents, the blessings 
or afflictions of married life, ordained by a mys- 
terious Providence or a more mysterious fate. 
Thus children were begotten in various conditions 
of vigour, and under different circumstances of 
unbalanced bodily and mental activity, and some- 
times while labouring under actual disease ; the 
result is seen in the different bodily and mental 
endowments of the offspring. 

The children of this generation are rapidly be- 
coming wise on this subject. The teachings of the 


sanitarians have awakened a spirit of inquiry all 
over the civilised world, which is destined at no 
distant day to work the desired revolution. The 
risen and rising generations cannot help their mal- 
inheritance ; but they can observe the organic laws 
better than their parents did, and so reverse the 
downward tendency of the race. Almost daily I 
read letters from young men and young women 
who are blaming, sometimes almost cursing, their 
parents, or rather the ignorance of their parents, 
because of the misfortunes of an inherited frail, 
scrofulous, dyspeptic, or consumptive constitution. 
They fee], and indeed they know, that they are 
stamped for life with an imperfect organisation, 
and with morbid inclinations which they must for- 
ever struggle against, because their parents had 
" eaten sour grapes." 

Woman's Dress.— If the fashionable dress injures 
the whole nature of the mother, the whole consti- 
tution of the child must suffer. That it does not 
do this no one will pretend. But its most serious 
injury is experienced at the most vital point. The 
mother, as we have seen, must breathe for her 
child during its embryonic life ; it is on her respir- 
ation that it depends for oxygen or vital air. 
The fashionable dress diminishes her capacity to 
breathe ; even when she is not laced so tightly 
around the chest as the fashion is, the heavy skirts, 
and their being supported around the hips, weaken 


the abdominal muscles, compress the viscera, de- 
press the uterus and pelvic organs, interrupt loco- 
motion, and thus render the respiratory function 
feeble and imperfect, and childbirth more painful 
and difficult. 



Injurious Habits.— The healthy guidance of the 
sexual organism is of so much importance that we 
give a few thoughts on the subject in this chapter. 
They have been takeu mainly from Dr. Elizabeth 
Blackwell's essay on the Human Element of Sex. 

" The intense physical pleasure which attends 
the caresses of love is a rich endowment of human- 
ity, granted by a beneficent Creative Power. 
There is nothing necessarily evil in physical plea- 
sure. It is a legitimate part of our nature, though 
inferior in rank to mental pleasure. The satis- 
faction which all our senses derive from lovely 
objects adapted to the special sense is a gift of 
beneficence to our present earthly life. The 
sexual act itself, rightly understood, so far from 
being necessarily evil, is really a divinely created 
and altogether righteous fulfillment of the con- 
dition of life. But this act, like all others, is 
subjected to the inexorable rule of moral law. 
Righteous use brings renewed and increasing 
satisfaction to the two made one in harmonious 
union. Unrighteous use produces satiety, coldness? 


repulsion, and misery to the two remaining apart, 
through the abuse of a Divine gift. 

" The dangerous habit of voluntarily produced 
excitement, to which alone the term masturbation 
is due, may be formed by both the male and the 
female, and also by the child as well as the adult. 

" In the child, however — it being immature in 
body — it is the dependencies of the brain — the 
nervous system — which come more exclusively into 
play in this evil habit. The production of ova or 
sperm, which mark the adult age, has not taken 
place; in the child there are none of those oc- 
casional congestions of the organs which mark the 
growth or effects of reproductive substance in the 
adult. In the ignorant child this habit springs 
from a nervous sensation. The portion of the 
brain which takes cognisance of these sensations 
has been excited, and the child, in innocent ab- 
sence of impure thought, yields to the mental 
suggestion supplied from the physical organs. 
This mental suggestion may be produced by the 
irritation of worms, by some local eruption, by the 
wickedness of the nurse, occasionally, though 
rarely, by malformation or unnatural development 
of the parts themselves. There is also grave 
reason for believing that transmitted sensuality 
may blight the innocent offspring. 

" A careful mother, who had observed this habit 
as occurring in one only of a large group of chil- 
dren, attributed it to the practice of lulling the 



child to sleep by laying it face downward over the 
lap, and thus, with continued movement of hand 
and knee producing unconsciously a long-continued 
pressure upon the genital organs. 

"It is a fact, also, which deserves serious 
consideration, that many ignorant women resort to 
vicious sexual manipulation to soothe their frac- 
tious infants. The superintendent of a large prison 
for women informed me that this was a common 
practice, and one most difficult, even impossible, 
entirely to break up. 

" That this habit of self-abuse in early child- 
hood, or indeed at any age, is a dangerous one, 
capable of undermining the health from its ten- 
dency to increase, is a very serious fact. A little 
girl was lately brought to me, whose physical and 
mental strength were both failing, from the nervous 
exhaustion of a habit so inveterate that she fell 
into convulsions if physically restrained. Indeed, 
cases of injury to childhood from self-abuse are so 
common in the physician's experience that no 
further illustration is necessary. 

" Now, it is quite true that this habit, when ob- 
served in children, may often, and I believe gener- 
ally, be broken up. It is the mother who must do 
this by sympathy and wise oversight. When a 
child is known in any way to be producing pressure 
or excitement in these parts, the watchful observa- 
tion of the mother must be at once aroused. If no 
physical cause of irritation, such as worms, appears 


to be present, the dangerous habit may be broken 
up entirely ; but no punishment must ever be re- 
sorted to. The little innocent child, to whom the 
sentiment of sex is an unknown thing, will confide 
in its mother if encouraged to do so. 

" The tact of a mother will never suggest 
evil to her child ; but her quick perception 
of danger will enable her to detect its signs and 
avert it. 

il The very frequent practice of self-abuse occur- 
ring in little children from the age of two years 
old, clearly illustrates the fallacy of endeavouring to 
separate mind and body in educational arrange- 
ments or systems of medical treatment. In the 
very young child those essential elements of repro- 
duction, sperm and ova, which give such mighty 
stimulus to passion in the adult, are entirely latent. 
Yet we observe a distinct mental impression pro- 
duced, leading to unnatural excitement of the geni- 
tal organs. This mental impression, growing with 
the growth of the child, produces an undue sensi- 
tiveness to all surrounding circumstances which 
tend to excite this mental impression. Touch, sight, 
and hearing become avenues to the brain, prema- 
turely opened to this kind of stimulus. The acts of 
the lower animals, indecent pictures and. talk, which 
glide over the surface of the mind of a naturally 
healthy child, excite self-conscious attention when 
habits of self-abuse have grown up unchecked. 
The mind is thus rendered impure, and the grow- 



ing lad or girl develops into a precocious sexual 

14 At school a new danger arises to children from 
corrupt communication of companions, or in the 
boy from an intense desire to become a man, with 
a false idea what manliness means. The brain, 
precociously stimulated in one direction, receives 
fresh impulse from evil companionship and litera- 
ture, and even hitherto innocent children of ten 
and twelve are often drawn into the temptation. 

" From the age when the organs of reproduction 
are beginning slowly to unfold themselves for their 
future work, the temptation to yield to physical 
sensation or mental impression increases. 

4 'The inseparable relation of our moral and phy- 
sical structure is seen in full force at the age ot 
twelve or fourteen. Confirmed habits of mental im- 
purity may at any age destroy the body from the 
physical results of such habits." 

Chastity. — Happily in all civilised countries there 
is a natural reserve in relation to sexual matters 
which indicates the reverence with which this high 
social power of our human nature should be re- 
garded. It is a sign of something wrong in educa- 
tion or in the social state when matters which 
concern the subject of sex are discussed with the 
same freedom and boldness as other matters. This 
subject should neither be a topic of idle gossip, un- 
reserved publicity, or cynical display. This natural 


instinct of reserve, springing from unconscious 
reverence, renders it difficult for one sex to measure 
and judge the vital power of the other. The in- 
dependent thought and large observation of each 
sex is needed in order to arrive at truth. 

Unchastity.— In conclusion it may be said that 
unchastity, and the enormous and unnatural devel- 
opment of the sexual passions are largely the effect 
of highly-stimulating foods and drinks. Alcohol 
and tobacco no doubt goad this instinct into such a 
fever that it is almost uncontrollable. Highly-sea- 
soned foods do the same for those who do not use 
alcohol. Parents are responsible for this. The 
young need abundant food to develop a strong 
body, but they do not need highly-spiced food, tea, 
or coffee, all of which develop preternaturally the 
sexual passion. A whole work might be written 
on this subject alone. Neither do men in the 
prime of life need these things ; and if they are 
needed at all, it is in old age, when the bodily 
powers are on the wane. I do not doubt that 
prostitution and sensuality would almost entirely 
disappear if proper attention were paid to the 
physiological education of the young. 




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Lowering the Flame 
St. Vitus' Dance. 

Swelling of the Knee. 


From Knee to Ankle. 

The Throat. 

Saving a Limb. 

Scarlet Fever. 

Swollen Glands. 


A Bran Poultice. 


The Stomach a Trouble. 
Swelling after Fever. 
Bathing the Feet. 
Wasting Bone. 


Repairing Bone, 
Rheumatic Fever. 
Cancer in One Aspect. 
Nervous Attacks. 
Severer Nervous Attacks. 
The Soapy Blanket. 
Bleeding from the Lunga. 
Swollen Veins. 
St. Anthony's Fire. 
Hooping Cough. 
Subject to Croup. 
More Serious Croup. 
Inflamed Eyes. 
The Eyes again. 
Danger to Sight. 
Accidents to the Eyes. 




Water and Disease. 

Chan pine a Remedv 

V-^ USB U£ Aw X wf vl t 





^ v. W 1 lift 1 *pL » 

Nieht Sweats. 

Teethinc A pain. 

Fatal Illness. 

Teething Still. 


Teething yet Again. 

Preventing Infection. 

Teething once More. 

More about Infection. 




Worn and Weary. 

Giddiness and Trembling. 

General Weakness. 

Blind and Bleeding Piles. 

Mustard and Cayenne. 



Distressing Breasts. 

rhe Arm Chair Fomen- 



The Glands of the Bowels. 


Olive Oil. 

Loss of Heart. 

A Twisted Neck. 

Stomach Cramp. 


The Distress from Bile. 

Loss of Balance. 

Cold in the Head. 

Inflammation on the 

Scalding or Burning. 


Undergoing Remedies. 

Inflammation on the Br am , 

The Circulation. 




Inflammation on the Lungs 

Cold Sitting Down. 
Explanation of the Douche. 

Narcotics in Asthma. 
The Feet in Asthma. 
The Skin in Asthma. 
Another Headache. 
Muscular Pains. 
The Nostrils. 
A Refractory Knee. 
Simple Remedies. 
Changing Treatment. 
A Warning. 
Case of a Child. 
Elastic Stockings. 
School Troubles. 
The Weary Brow. 
Worn-out Eyes. 
The Hazy Eye. 
Young Swellings. 

Sensible ! 

Nettle Rash. 
Chest Pains, 
Smallpox Again. 
Smallpox Still. 
Smallpox Outatrike*. 
Consumption Again. 
Consumption Still. 

Consumptive Fever. 
Delirium in Fever. 

St. Vitus' Dance Agafc - 
Eye Treatment. 
Fluid Beef. 
Injecting Morphia. 
Restlessness yet Again* 
A Special Cough. 




A Fright. 

A Declining Limb. 

Locking of the Bowels. 

Suppressed Perspiration, 


Nourishment Again. 

Nourishment Still. 

Nourishment and Lime. 


Heat in Nourishment. 

Gold in Nourishment. 

Water in Nourishment. 

Water and Food. 

Air and Appetite. 

Tea in Disease. 

Rest in Disease. 

Rest in Care. 


Exercise and the Brain. 
Exercise and the Voice. 
Cold and Prejudice. 
Hot Breath. 

Deep Seated 


Sprains Again. 



After Measles. 

Contraction of Sinews, 

Contractions Again. 

Cutting Open. 



The Face. 

The Head's Skin. 

Running Ears. 

Singing in the Ears. 

Soaping the Head. 

The Cold Sitting Bath. 

The Root of Illness. 


Failing Nerve Centres* 
Barilla Soap. 
Hard Hearing. 
A Mistake. 




Deeply -Seated Inflamma- 
Puro Nerve Pain. 
Health and Money. 
Blood Purifying. 
Santolina Anew. 
Suiting our Circumstances. 
Breast Cancer. 
Night Pains. 
Heating Fn Cooling, 
Night Fever. 

Remaining Weakness, 
Delirium in Jaundice. 
Persisting in Cure. 
Night Coughs. 
Treating Boils. 
Barilla Ash Soap. 

A SpraL 

Feet Giving Way. 
Infant Limbs. 
Finding a Remedy. 
Vaccination Trouble. 
A Difficult Limb. 

Inflammatory Outbreaks* 
Troubled Nerves. 
A Frequent Trouble. 
Mind in Disease. 
Aiding Circulation, 
Tempering Treatment. 
Drawn up Limbs. 
Flannel Bands. 
Rubbing the Head. 
Biscuits and W ater. 
Epileptic Attacks. 
The Mind Depressed.. 
Hot Flushings. 
Cold Feet. 
:d Heel 




Sciatica Again, 
Cold Water Enem&j. 
Saving our Eyes. 
Only for the Time. 
Paralysis of the Eye. 
Counting the Pulse. 
Internal Heat. 
Timing Treatment. 
Growing W orae. 
H;?ut and Weakness. 
The Soap Story. 
Air-Tight Coverings, 
The Nightmare. 
Soil and Climate. 
Changing Treatment. 
Hands and Feet. 
Soothing Wounds. 
Hope in Healing. 
Doubtful Belief. 


Rest of Brain. 
Railway Draughts. 
The Cold Cloth in Fife. 

Balance of Action. 
Nerve Chills. 
Syringing Wounds. 
Blood Supply. 

Seataill Sanatorium. 
Booka and Sanatorium, 
Certain Prejudices. 
Intermitting Fever, 
Spota on the Eye. 
British Cholera. 
Sweating Feet. 
Purple Spots. 
The Liver. 
- Taking Cold. 
Sanatorium Again. 




Acid and Acid. 

Spinal Congestion. 


An Incorrigible Sore, 

Back Failures. 

Tight Lacing. 

Light Food. 

A Shaken Nerve System, 


Head Sounding. 

Cold Water. 


Turnip Poulticing. 

Weariness Again. 

Ideal Trouble. 

Face Troubles. 

Infant Nursing. 



Digestion Again. 

Seamill Sanatorium Still. 

Digestion Still. 


Digestion yet Again. 

Saving from Drugs. 


Piles Again. 

Indigestion Again. 

Uphill Breathing. 



Assimilation Again. 

Narcotic Disease. 

Uncontrollable Limba 

Piles Still. 

Assimilation Still. 

Right Rubbing. 


Common Sense. 

Squeezing Again, 

The Spine. 


The Spine Agaia. 

Refreshing Drinks, 

Sick Headaches. 







Hair Coming Off. 
Low Diet. 
Spinal Trouble. 
Spinal Muscles. 
The Spinal Cord. 
Spinal Nerves. 
Spinal Nerves Again. 
Spinal Nerves Still. 
Organic Nerves. 
A Twisted Neck. 
Refractory Eyes. 
Breath and Blood. 
Breath and Nerve. 
Breath and Muscles. 
The Breath and the Skin. 
The Breath and the Heart. 
Breathing and Bronchia, 
Disease and Din. 
A Nerve Shock. 
Cold Feet 
True Resting. 

A Singer's Trouble 
Cauliflower Growths. 

Why a Sore will not Heal. 
Cold Weather. 
Chest Protectors. 
Sleepless Infants. 
Chilling the Skin. 
A Tumour. - 
Medical Advice. 
General Stiffness. 
Pimples on the Face. 
Stomach Ulcers. 
A Wintry Skin. 
Urinary Troubles. 
An Ankle Bone. 
A Trying Breast. 

Urinary Troubles Again. 

A Case for Inquiry. 

Child Bearing. 

Child Bearing Again. 



Comfort in Childbirth, 

Food in Child -Bearing. 

Drink in Child-Bearing, 




Atter- Pains. 

Snake Bites. 

Blood Poisoning. 

Needless Amputations. 


Nervous Prostration. 

Depressing Ideas. 

A Fresh Start in Life. 

Selp in Healing. 

An Encouragement, 

Unsound Mind. 



Head Baths, 


Cure of Scrofula. 


Mistaken Spinal Treat- 
Chronic Rheumatism. 
A Word on True Rest. 
Another Word on Rest. 

Rest for the Veins. 
The Sanatorium Re- 
Smelling Wounds. 
Another Encouragement. 
Hay Fever. 
Soft Bones. 
Mixed Trouble. 
Armpit Swelling. 

Cures Losing their Effect. 

Pleurisy Again. 



In Lodgings. 

A Tumour Again, 

Strong Neuralgia. 

Trouble and the Tele- 

Neuralgia Still Further. 




The Windpipe. 
A Fall. 

Seamill Experiences. 


A Throat Trouble. 

More on Soap. 

A Question on Water 

Ringworm Again. 

Buttermilk Again. 

Losing a Knee. 

Pain Across the Chest 

and Choking. 
Infants' Food. 
Infants' Food Again. 
Infant Strength. 
Infant Swellings. 
Infants' Clothing. 
Children in Fever. 
Children's Nerves. 
Children's Treatment 
Children's Dangers. 


Children's Dangers Still. 
Children and Teachers. 
Children's Sleep. 
Children's Feet. 
Children Squinting. 
Rheumatic Fever Again, 
Spring Trouble. 
A Damp Bed. 
Bowels Reversed and 

Sea Sickness. 
* e Cancerous Gangrene " 

in the Foot. 
Urinary Troubles yet 


Children and Bronchitis. 
A Swelling in the Foot. 
A Stiff Neck. 






How to save Lives and 

Cutting into Diseased 


Giving Temporary Relief. 
Cutting out the Elbow. 
Dangerous Weakness. 
Hip- Joint Disease. 
A Terrible Remedy. 
Splints in Hip-Joint Dis- 
Plaster Jackets. 
Curing Bone. 
Water in the Head. 
Words of Cheer. 
Water on the Chest. 

Different kinds of Bread. 

Effect of a Fall. 
Memory Again. 
Food and Memory. 
Destroying an Arm. 
Internal Relaxation. 
The Legs — a Curious 

Black Bile. 

A Rapid Pulse. 
Influenza Fever. 
Half Dead. 

The Spine and Bronchitis 
Racks in Lifting. 
Lack of Good Blood. 
A Complication. 
Inflammation of the Arm 


Quinine and Iron. 
Business Headaches. 
Weak Muscular Action. 
Evening Sickness. 
Angina Pectoris. 
A Case of Decline. 
Thoughts on Sleep. 
More on Sleep. 
Still more on Sleep. 
Starting in Sleep. 
Mistaken St. Vitus. 
Fibrous Tumours. 
Dressing and Bathing. 
Effects of Rheumatic Fever, 

Typhoid — An Instance, 
Trouble in Hearing. 






Hydropathic Processes — Damp Compress — Tonic Compress — Tonic 
Spine Compress — Hot Fomentation— Sitting Bath — Foot and Hand 
Baths— Pouring on the Head— Tonic Pack to Head — Packing to 
the Feet — Warm Foot Bath in Bed— Hot Pouring on Diseased 
Joints— SpineBaths— Cold and Heat to the Spine— The Wet Sheet 
Packing — Damp Friction — Shallow Bath — Damp Rubbing Sheet 
—Hot Blanket Rubbing— Enemas — Water Drinking— Combina- 
tion of the "Acid Cure" with Hydropathy — Indigestion or 
Ordinary Bad Stomach — Fever — Scarlatina — Measles and Small- 
pox — Typhus or Typhoid Fever — Gastric Fever — Croup — 
Haemorrhage from the Lungs — Bronchitis — Inflammation of the 
Lungs — Diphtheria — Convulsions and other Fits — Asthma — 
Whooping Cough — Common Cold — Constipation — Biliousness, not 
accompanied with Diarrhoea — Diarrhoea — Rheumatism — Tic, 
Toothache, Sciatica, Lumbago, and Spasmodic Cough — Gout- 
Swelling and Disease of Joints— Incipient Consumption, or other 
Chest Affections — Pleurisy — Chronic Skin Complaints — Surface 
Sores and Painful Skin Eruptions — Abscesses— Boils — Corpulency 
— Emaciation — Dropsy — Swollen Glands — Dysentery and other 
loss of blood from the Viscera — Bleeding from the Nose — 
Erysipelas or Rose —Water in the Head — Piles — Cold Sick Head- 
ache, with or without Neuralgic Pains — Distressing Nervous 
Sen sibility — Change — Harmony — Cure — Harmonious Develop- 
ment — Science of Cure — Eating — Proper Distribution of Blood— 
The Science of Diet — Regular Seasons of Rest. 




Introduction — Secretion — Menstruation, or Monthly Periods- 
Treatment of Deferred or Deficient Menstruation, whether 
accompanied by pain or not — Falling of the Womb — Leucorrhcea, 
or Whites — Disorders of the Urinary Organs — Piles — Pregnancy— 
Toothache, and Neuralgic Pains — Abortion — Child-birth — Treat- 
ment of the Mother after Delivery — Cases — Frequency of 
Pregnancy— Sore Nipples and Nursing— Weaning— Sterility. 


PRICE 5s. 6d. 






Nature and Cause of the Disease. 

Chapter I. The Disease. 

„ II. The Causes of Consumption. 

„ III. Micro-Organisms as the Immediate Cause of Con- 


Prevention and Treatment of Consumption in its Earlier Stages. 

Chapter I. Prevention. 

„ II. Preventing Colds. 

„ III. Enlarging the Chest. 

„ IV. Indian Club Exercise. 

V. Rowing. 
„ VI. Vocal Gymnastics. 

„ VII. Special Vocal Exercises. 
„ VIII. Scientific Physical Culture. 
„ IX. Horseback Exercise. 

X. Toughening the Constitution. 
„ XI. Clothing. 

„ XII. The House and Home. 
„ XIII. Climate. 
„ XIV. Baths and Bathing. 
„ XV. The Sun Bath. 
„ XVI. Food and Drink. 
„ XVII. Physic Forces— The Will, 
XVIII. Other Physic Forces. 


Treatment in more Advanced Cans. 

Chapter I. Open Air, Rest, and Light — Cures. 

,, II. Enlarging the Chest. 

„ III. Self Help. 

„ IV. Difficulties in the Way — Cautions. 


PRICE 8«. 6d. 



Chapter I. My Method of Treating the Sick. — II. What is Disease. 
—III. The True Materia Medica.- IV. Air.— V. Pood.— VI. Water. 
—VII. Time for taking Baths.— VIII. Sunlight.— IX. Dress.— 
X. Exercise. — XI. Sleep and its Reeuperativeness. — XII. The 
Sick Chamber and its surroundings — XIII. Children and their 
Diseases, Constitutional Peculiarities. — XIV. Teething, Teething 
Diarrhoea, Summer Complaints, Fits. — XV. Skin Eruptions, Scald 
Head, Common Itch.— XVI. Measles.— XVII. Croup.— XVIII. 
Diphtheria.— XIX. Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough.— XX. 
Summer Complaint, Dysentery. — XXI. Baldness, Deafness, 
Blindness, Inflammation of the Eyes. — XXII. Nasal Catarrh, 
Nose-bleeding. — XXIII. Apoplexy, Inflammation of the Brain, 
Dropsy of the Brain. — XXIV. Paralysis, Local Palsy. — XXV. 
Epilepsy.— XXVI. Insanity.— XXVII Drunkenness.— XXVIII. 
Hysteria.— XXIX. St. Vitus' Dance.— XXX. Mumps.— XXXI. 
Quinsy, Bronchitis, Inflammation of the Lungs. —XXXII. Pul- 
monary Consumption, Pleurisy, Spitting of Blood, Asthma. — 
XXXIII. The Heart and its Diseases. — XXXIV. Dyspepsia. — 
XXXV. Colic. — XXXVI. Cancerous Condition of the Stomach. — 
XXXVII. Diseases of the Spleen.— XXXVIII. Diseases of the 
Liver. — XXXIX. Stony Deposits in Liver and Bladder, Jaundice. 
— XL. Diseases of the Intestines, Duodenitis, Bowel-Colic. — 
XLI. Inflammation of the Bowels, Peritonitis. — XLII. Dropsy of 
the Peritoneum. — XLIII. Lead Colic. — XLIV. Inflammation of 
the Mesenteric Glands. — XLV. Diseases of the Kidneys, Con- 
gestion, Inflammation, Diabetes, Gravel.— XLVI. Blight's Disease 
of the Kidneys, Urinary Diseases. XLVII. Neuralgia of the 
Bladder, Paralysis of the Bladder, Inflammation of the Bladder. — 
XLVIII. Worms.— XLIX. Piles.— L. Sexual Organs.— LI. Rheu- 
matism.— LI1. Intermittent Fever, or Fever and Ague. — LIII. 
Remittent Fever, Congestive Chills. — LIV. Typhus and Typhoid 
Fevers.— LV. Erysipelas, Purpura Hemorrhagica, Acne. — LVI. 
Ulcers, Irritable Ulcers, Indolent Ulcers, Varicose Ulcers, Specific 
Ulcers, Boils. — LVII. Burns, Scalds, Tumours. — LVIII. Varicose 
Veins. Baths, and How to Take them. 


PRICE 3a. 6d. 


An Exposition Practical, Scientific, Moral, and 
Popular of some of the Fundamental 
Problems of Sociology 

By E. T. TRALL, M.D. 

Chap. I— The Origin of Life. 

„ II. — Sexual Generation. 

„ III. —Physiology and Hy- 
giene of Menstruation. 

„ IV.— The Contests for 

V. — The Contests for 
Females — continued. 

VI. — Impregnation. 
,, VII. — Pregnancy. 

,, VIII.— Embryology. 
,, IX. — Parturition. 

Chap. X.— Lactation. 

„ XL— The Law of Sex. 

„ XII.— Effect of Previous 
Impregnation on the 
XIII. — Regulation of the 
Number of Offspring. 

„ XIV. —The Law of Sexual 

,, XV. — Hereditary Trans- 

„ XVI. — Sexual Hygiene. 








Qualifications of a Nurse — Instructions for Nurses — Sick-Room 
Management — Beds and Bedding — Ventilation and Temperature 
— Prevention of the Spread of Contagious Diseases — On Observing 
the Sick — Dressing Patients — Feeding Patients— Special Cases — 
Passive Exercise — Administration of Medicines — Enemata — Hot, 
Cold, and other Applications — Poultices — The Dressing of Wounds 
— Kinds of Dressings — Bandages — Surgical Operations — Fever 
Cases — Bed-Sores — Emergencies — Insensible Patients — Delirious 
Patients— Faintness— Burns — Stings and Bites — Lodgment of 
ForeignBodies — Sunstroke — Poisons — MonthlyNursing — Nursing 
of Sick Children — Hygiene of Children — Cooking for the Sick — 
Table of Weights and Measures. 




PRICE 3s. 6d. 





About Three Thousand Counsels, Alphabetically Arranged, 
regarding the Cure of Diseases, the Maintenance 
of Health and the Increase of Strength. 
By W. W. HALL, M.D. 

Among hundreds of subjects the following may be given at 
random. But, without seeing the volume, it is utterly impossible 
to form any conception of this wonderful book : — 







Acids and Food. 





Nauseous Odours. 

Avoidable Diseases. 



Baths and Bathing. 

Eating and Pain. 





Burns and Scalds. 



Brain, and Muscle. 



Brown Bread. 




Food Rules. 



Gastric Juice. 

Rising Early. 


Gouty Pains. 



Grapes and Health. Summer Diet. 





Heart Disease. 





Cold Feet. 

Healthy Old Age. 

Sleep and Sleeplessness 
Soothing Syrups. 




Infant Suffering. 





■Children's Clothing. 



Children's Medicines. 




Infant's Diet. 

Sores and Wounds. 



Throat Complaints. 






Visiting Invalids. 



Wines and Spirits. 

Duration of Life. 

Mouth Shut. 

Winter Diet. 

Etc., etc., etc. 


PRICE 2s. U. 






Chapter I. — General View of the Liver and its work. 
II. — Functions of the Liver. 
III. — The Bile : Its Quantity and Use. 
„ IV. — Derangements of the Liver. 
V. — Torpid Livers. 

VI. — Relation of the Liver and Kidneys. 
VII. — Diseases caused by Uric Acid. 
„ VIII. — Diseases caused by Deranged Liver. 

IX. — Effect of a Deranged Liver on the Nerves. 
„ X. — Effects of a Diseased Liver on the Heart. 

XI. — Causes of Liver Complaint. 
„ XII. — The Home Cure of Diseases of the Liver. 
„ XIII. — Miscellaneous questions regarding the Liver 








CHAP. I— Baby's Bath— When 

and how to give it. 
CHAP. II.— When, where, and 

how Baby should Sleep. 
CHAP. III.— Babv's Day Nap. 
CHAP. IV.— Baby's Nurse. 
CHAP. V.— Baby at Homo in 


CHAP. VI.— Baby Abroad In 

CHAP. VII. Tho Precocious Baby 

CHAP. VIII. Photographing Baby 

CHAP. IX.— The Baby that must 
go to the country. 

CHAP. X.— The Baby that must 
stay in town. 

CHAP. XI.— A Sabbath Twilight 
Talk with Mamma. 

CHAP. XII. How do you feed him? 

CHAP. XIII.— Artificial Foods. 

When to Feed Hm- Oatmeal 
Porridge — Hominy and Milk. 

The Arrowroot Family — Ar- 
rowroot Milk Porridge — Ar- 
rowroot Jelly — Arrowroot 


The Porridge Family — Corn 
Starch Porridge — Rice Flour 
Porridge — Indian Meal Por- 
ridge — Ground Rice Porridge 
— Frothed Porridge — Wheaten 
Grits — Mush and Milk — Pan- 


Preparations tor Delicate 
Children — Rice Jelly — Sago 
Jelly — Barley Water — Toast 
Water — Dried Flour Porridge 
-— Beef Tea — Barley Milk — 
Goat's Milk— Peptonized Milk 
— Lime Water in Milk. 

Nursery Desserts — Sago Pud- 
ding — Rice Pudding — Brown 
Pudding — Graham Brewis. 



A Menu for Bioger Babies-Rico 
Soup — Poached Eggs on Cream 
Toast — Baked Potatoes — Apple 
Sauce— Custard Pudding, 

Fruits — Apples — Baked Apples 
— Steamc*d Apples — Peaches — 
Pears — Blackberries — Grapes. 

Meats — Beef — Mutton — Veal — 
Pork— Poultry— Fried Meats. 

Outfits — Baby's First Clothes — 
Short Clothes. 


Mothers' Half-Minutes — Medi- 
cine Bottles — Pure Air — Baby's 
Bed — Whims of appetite — 
Napkins — On rainy days — 
Frightening Children — Afraid 
of the Nurse — A cniid wno cries 
by the hour without cause — 
The newest Baby — The very fat 
Baby — Green (colour) in the 
Nursery — Teething Rings — 
Scurf on the Scalp — The 
Nurse's Gown — Soothing Syruj 
— Baby's natural heat — Hold- 
ing the Baby— Street Corners 
— Travelling Basket — Baby 


Mothers' Half-Minutes (con- 
tinued) — Baby's Prayers — He 
will play with Fire— Alcohol 
hurtful — The summer-day nap 
— Sea-water bath — Ravelbelt 
— Care of Baby's first Teeth- 
Flattering Baby — When to be- 
gin with Farinaceous Food — 
Romping with Baby — Plenty 
of Light and Air — Lift th« 
Carriage over rough places- 
Painted ToyB — Treating Baby 
— Rumps and bruises — Forcing 
the Mind — Nursery ventilation 
— Bassinette Perambulator. 


PRICE 3s. 6d. 




Chapter I.— The Necessity of Sleep. 

„ II. — The Causes of Sleep. 

„ III.— The Physical Phenomena of Sleep. 

M IV.— The State of the Mind during Sleep. 

„ V.— The Physiology of Dreams. 

„ VI. — Morbid Dreams. 

VII.— Somnambulism. 

„ VIII.— The Pathology of Wakefulness. 

„ IX. — The Exciting Causes of Wakefulness. 

„ X. — The Treatment of Wakefulness. 

„ XI. — Somnolence. 

„ XII.— Somnolentia, or Sleep Drunkenness. 

,, XIII. — Appendix. 

PRICE 3s. 6d. 




Being a Popular and Hygienic Account of the Human System and 

its Workings. 


Glossary and Physiological Terms and Meanings. 


Chapter I. — Introduction. 

„ II. — The Bony Framework. 

„ III.— The Muscles. 

„ IV.— Food aud Drink. 

„ V. — Digestion. 

VI. — The Blood and its Circulation. 

„ VII. — Breathing. 

„ VIII.— The Skin. 

„ IX. — The Nervous System. 

,, X. — The Special Senses. 

„ XI. — Excretion. 

„ XII.— The Throat and Voice. 

„ XIII. — Matters of Every Day Health and Emergencies. 

.,, XIV. — Glossary of Physiological Terms and Means. 


PRICE 3s. 6d. 



Personal Health and Hereditary Well-Being 



Professor of Midwifery in New York College. 

Chapter I. — The Modern Woman's Physical Deterioration. 
IT. — Local Disease in Children and its Causes. 
III. — At what Age should one Marry? 
„ IV. — Is Continence Physically Injurious? 
,, V. — Personal Pollution. 

VI. — The Injurious Results of Physical Excess. 
„ VII. — Methods Used to Prevent Conception and their 

„ VIII. — Infanticide Morally and Historically Considered. 
„ IX. — Conjugal Relations during the Period of Menstrua- 

X. — Conjugal Relations between the Old. 
,, XI. — Marriage between Old Men and Young Girls. 

XII.— What May be Done with Health in View and the 
Fear of God before Us. 



By W. W. HALL, M.D. 

Chapter L What is Indigestion ?— IT. Evils of Exercise before 
Breakfast, Fagged Out, Night Air. — III. Evils of Cold Feet.— IV. 
Regulating the Bowels, Taking Cold, Checking Perspiration. — 
V. Baths and Bathing, Perils of Cold Water.— VI. Indigestion 
causing Bad Blood, Eating Too Much and Too Often. — VII. Con- 
sequences of Indigestion.— VJ I. The Philosophy of Indigestion. 
— IX. Digestibility of Foou, Fundamental Principles. — X. Dys- 
peptics grow Worse. — XI. Mental and Physical Work soon after 
Eating.— XII. Nutritive Value of Different Foods.— XIII. How 
Much to Eat. — XIV. Imperfect Digestion, Imperfect Blood. — XV. 
Various Cures. — XVI. Various Cures, continued, Causes of Failure. 
—XVII. Things to be Avoided in Daily Life.— XVIII. Philosophy 
of Exercise— Sleep and Rest. 


PRICE 3s. 6d. 





By W. W. HALL, M.D. 

Chapter I. The Objects of Eating, We Eat to Grow, We Eat for 
Repair, And to have Power to Work. — II. When to Eat, Breakfast, 
Evils of Early Drinking, Why an Early Breakfast., Breakfast in 
Winter, The best Supper Time, Dinner Time, Lunch. — III. Eating 
down Town, The Insidious Enemy, Stock Exchange Sensibility, 
What shall Business Men do?— IV. Cure of a Surfeit, How Walk- 
ing promotes Health, A cheerful Mind, A proper Lunch, A 
delightful Sandwich, The fatal Glass, Lunch and Health, City 
Dinners.— V. What to Eat, Appetite, What Fat shall we Eat, The 
Acquisition of Leanness, How to get Fat. — VI. How much to Eat, 
Bad Blood, Light Suppers, City Health, Leave off Hungry, 
Eating by Weight and Measure, How much to Eat in a Day, 
Prison Fare. — VII. Diet for the Sick, How much must I Eat, The 
Case of Lewis Cornora, Summer Diet, Spring Diseases, Keeping 
Lent, The Digestive Organs, The Diseases of Digestion.— VIII. 
Regularity of Children's Eating, Forcing Children to Eat, A 
Crying Parental Folly, Young Ladies' Eating, A Sick Wife, Evils 
of Boarding Schools, Novel Reading, Fine Dresses, Talking about 
Men, Broken Ties, Maiden Purity, The Girl at Home, Consumption, 
Errors in Eating. — IX. Regularity in Eating, Nature's Habits, 
An Infallible Remedy, A Bad Family Habit, Act from Principle, 
Perils of Eating, Irregular and Frequent Eating. — X. How to Eat, 
Chew Food deliberately, and don't Wash it Down, Let the Chil- 
dren Alone, Healthful Feeding of Children, Cold Feet, Headache. 
— XI. Biliousness, A Lazy Liver, Want of Appetite, Mischievous 
Tonics, Dull Pains, Cure for Biliousness, Insensible Perspiration. 
— XII. Dyspepsia, Its Physical Symptoms, Its Mental Symptoms, 
Why are we Dyspeptic? Ulterior Results, Bad Blood, Food does 
not Strengthen, On Medicines. — XIII. The Cure of Dyspepsia, 
Exercise, Recuperative Power,A Hard-Earned Victory, Weightand 
Measure Again, Hurry in Eating, Feeling of " Goneness," Whetting 
the Appetite.— XIV. "Meeting the Difficulty, What shall we Eat? 
What shall we Drink? Hunger, "Eating does Me no Good," Cole 
Slaw, Other Plans. — XV. Neuralgia, Its Nature and Cause, Its 
Certain Cure.— XVL Nervousness, What is it ? How to be Treated, 

[Contents continued on next page. 


Cases in Point, Helping Nature, Nervous Debility.— XVII. Ner- 
vous ness Still, A Remedy, Physical Nervousness, Hysterics, 
Mental and Physical Exercise and Duties.— XVIII. — The Unity 
of Disease, Biliousness, Dyspepsia, Neuralgia, Nervousness. — 
XIX. Air and Exercise, New Style of Hospital Life, Cases in Point, 
Dyspepsia and Liver Complaint Again, The Effects of Physic and 
Medicine. — XX. Spitting Blood, Epilepsy, Diarrhoea, Dysentery, 
Nervous Dyspepsia, Bloody Flux. 

[For Remainder of Contents of this most instructive 
Work, see the Volume itself.] 

PRICE 3s. 6c?. 






Chap. I. The Human Body, Its Composition and Require- 
ments.— II. What is Food, Its Origin and Chemical Com- 
position? — IH. Varieties of Bread and Bread Making in 
Relation to Health and Strength. — IV. Farina, Rye, Maize, 
Buckwheat, Oats, Rice, Beans, Peas, Lentils, in Relation 
to Health and Strength. — V. Starch, Arrowroot, Tapioca, 
Sago, Moss, Sugar, in Relation to Health and Strength. — 
VI. Potatoes, Parsnips, Turnips, Carrots, Animal Food, 
Fish, in Relation to Health, Strength, and Activity. — VII. 
Mental as well as Physical Health, Strength, and Activity, 
can be regulated by, as it is to a great extent dependent 
on, Diet. — VIH. Food for the Brain and Nerves, Food for 

[Contents continued on next page. 


Muscular Activity, Daily amount required. — IX. The Daily 
Amount of Food necessary, and the right proportion of 
Muscle-Making and Heat-Producing Elements. — X. Tables 
giving the Amount of Nutriments in various articles. — XI. 
Illustrations of the effect of different modes of Diet. — XII. 
Tables giving an analysis of vaiious articles of food in a 
dried state, and in their natural state. — XIII. Fish, Reptiles, 
Turtle, Crustacea, Molluscus Animals, Lobsters, Oysters as 
food in relation to Health. — XIV. Classification of Foods 
in common use. — XV. Food for Out-of-Door Work with 
the Thermometer below Zero, Food for Warm Weather. — 
XVI. Food for Old People, Food for Children, Food for 
Children Deficient in Vital Energy. — XVII. How the Blood 
becomes Impure, How to Purify the Blood. — XVIII. The 
Organization of Foods. — XIX. On Water. — XX. Use of 
Water in the Human System, Demand for Water in the 
Human System. — XXI. Importance of using Pure Water, 
Snow Water, Spring Water, River Water, Hard Water. — 
XXII. Substitutes for Water, Tea, Coffee, Beer, Cider, 
Wine, Cocoa, Chocolate. — XXIII. Alcohol, Various Theo- 
ries and Examples. — XXIV. Wine, Beer, Ale, Vinegar, 
Acidulous Drinks. — XXV. Elements of Food lost in Cook- 
ing, Extract of Beef, Acidulous Drinks again, Fermentation. 
—XXVI. Diet in Sickness.— XXVII. Adaptation of Food 
to Different Diseases. — XXVIII. The Laws of Nutrition. — 
XXIX. What is the Natural Food for Man ?— XXX. Con- 
diments, Salt, Cinnamon, Cassia, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, 
Pepper, Capsicum, Vanilla, in relation to Health. — XXXI. 
Gout : Its Cause and Cure. — XXXII. Food for Thinking 
Men.— XXXIII. Food for Labouring Men.— XXXIV. Food 
for Labouring Men, continued, The Varieties and Combina- 
tions required, What should be avoided. — XXXV. Natural 
Food affords the highest gustatory enjoyment, The Re- 
sponsibility of Parents.— XXXVI. Food for Sedentary 
People.— XXXVII. Foodfor Winter.— XXXVIII. Chronic 
Diseases cured by Diet. — XXXIX. Food for Summer. — 
XL. Prevention and Cure of Dyspepsia. — XLI. Con- 
sumption of the Blood. — XLII. How to Prevent Apoplexy, 
Neuralgia, and Nervous Diseases. — XLIII. The Cause and 
Prevention of Defective Teeth. — XLIV. How to Prevent 
Diseases of Heart. — XLV. How to Cure Corpulence. — 
XL VI. Lean-ness : Its Cause and Cure. — XLVII. How to 
Secure a Good Appetite and a Good Digestion.