The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce
The Complete Herbalist
by Dr. O. Phelps Brown (1878)
    Admitting the delicacy of the subject, it is, however, eminently within the province of the medical writer to teach the scientific bearings of the marital prerogative of the sexes, inasmuch as health, as well as civilization, is greatly dependent upon the purity of that relation.  While I condemn such literature which is elementarily and purposely suggestive, I have but little sympathy with that prudish modesty which is outraged by everything appertaining to the special characteristics of sex.  The author shall, in the consideration of the subject, not attempt to offend healthy conservatism, yet, at the same time, the subject is too important to discuss it with undue reserve or by unintelligent circumlocution.  The essays are not written to gratify immoral curiosity, but to edify those who wish to learn and be governed by the correct principles of the philosophy appertaining to the marital union of the sexes.  And as this work is specially intended to educate the popular, and not the professional mind, it is proper and quite consonant with every moral consideration, that it should contain such general knowledge as all should know for proper guidance in matters pertaining to the organs of reproduction.

    It is quite important for all to know the anatomy of the genitalia of both sexes.  I shall, therefore, prepare this special part of this work with the anatomy of the organs of both sexes.


    These consist of the organ itself, seminal vesicles, prostate gland, testes and scrotum.

    The male organ conveys the urine from the bladder, and the seminal sections from the seminal vesicles.  Its anterior extremity is called the glans, and its posterior extremity is the root; the intervening part, the body, which consists sof two structures, the corpus cavernosum, or cavernous body, and the corpus spongiosum, or spongy body.  The skin is thin and delicate, studded with numerous sebaceous follicles.  Surrounding the glans is a loose doubling of skin called the prepuce, which is connected to the mouth of the urethra by a process called fraenum.  The thick rim or edge around the base of the glans is the crown, or corona glandis, behind which the organ is narrow, and this portion is known as the neck or collum.  The caseous secretion found here is known as smegma, which is the product of the glands of Tyson, numerous about the neck and crown.

    The cavernous body forms the largest part of the organ and in shape is a double cylinder.  At the root these cylinders are separate and pointed, and called the crura of the penis.  Each of these is firmly attached to the branches of the pubes and ischium, -- bones of the pelvis.  The cavernous body has a thick, elastic, fibrous coating externally; internally it consists of a spongy structure made up of cells, or little caverns, which readily communicate with the arteries and veins.  Those arteries that terminate in blind tufts are called helicine.  The cylinders are partially separated from each other by a partition whose fibres resemble the teeth of a comb, whence the name septum pectiniforme.

    The corpus spongiorum has the same fibrous covering as the cavernous body, and is also composed of cells, but which are larger than those of the cavernous body.  Its relative position to the corpus cavernosum is about the same as a ramrod to a double-barrelled gun.  Posteriorly it enlarges into what is called the bulb, lying between the crura of the organ.  Anteriorly it forms the glans.

    The urethra, or urinary canal from the bladder, perforates the spongy body.  Its mouth at the glans is called meatus urinarius.

    The seminal vesicles consist of two convoluted tubes placed at the posterior and inferior portion of the bladder.  They are oblong in shape, about two inches in length.  They act as a receptacle for the semen.  When secreted by the testicles, the semen is conveyed by a tube, called the vas deferens, into these vesicles, where it is mixed with a little mucus, and retained until discharged.

    The prostate gland is a dense hard structure, about the size of a horse-chestnut, surrounding the neck of the bladder, at the commencement of the urethra.  It is perforated by the urethra, and also by the ductus ejaculatorius, which is formed by the junction of the vas deferens and the seminal duct.  The semen is further liquefied by the secretion of the prostate, in its passage through the gland.  It also discharges a thick and white secretion into the urethra.  In front of the prostate are two glands (Cowper's), about the size of a pea, which also discharge a mucous secretion in to the urethra.

    The scrotum is the bag-like covering for the testicles.  Its skin is loose and thin, and of a dark color.  The transverse wrinkles which cold produces are due to a dense, reddish, contractile structure, intimately connected with the skin, and called the dartos.  The scrotum has a muscular covering, next to the dartos; its internal covering is called the tunica vaginalis.

    The testes or testicles are the glands for the secretion of semen.  They are two in number, oval in shape, and flattened laterally. They are suspended by the spermatic cord.  Each testicle is formed by lobules, consisting of a fine tube, very finely convoluted, which, if finely dissected and unravelled, is many feet in length.  The epididymus is a vermiform appendage encircling the posterior edge of the testicle, as a crest upon a helmet.

    The spermatic cord consists of an artery and vein, and nerves, together with the vas deferens.

    The erectile tissue of the organ consists essentially of intricate networks of veins, which communicate freely with each other, presenting a cellular appearance.

    These features constitute what is termed the regional anatomy of the organs -- the minute anatomy being much more complex.  The physiological functions of the male organs of generation are various, and inasmuch as they are associated very intimately with one of the most important of human passions, which if not properly controlled by the dictates of the moral sense, are exceedingly liable to derangement.  Anything tending to cause a departure from a healthy or normal standard of action of these physiological functions, will assuredly induce a faulty condition of the organs themselves, besides impairing the integrity of the general health.  Those interested in this subject may turn to page 350, and read the article on "Debility or Loss of Vitality."  No one should be neglectful in this respect, but strenuously endeavor by correct habits of life to maintain the physiological functions in full purity, vigor and integrity of action.


    This is a secretion formed by the testes, which anatomically we have seen are composed of lobules formed of convoluted seminiferous tubes.  The number of lobules is about 450 in each testis, and that of tubules about 840.  It is apparent, then, that each testis presents a vast extent of surface for the secretion of the spermatic fluid.  The testes originate in the lower part of what is called the Woolfian bodies in the embryo, while the kidneys spring from the upper part.  They do not descend into the scrotum until about the ninth month, and sometimes one or both remain in the abdomen, without, however, interfering with their function.

    The semen is a thick, tenacious, grayish fluid, having a peculiar odor called spermatic, probably dependent on the secretions mixed with it.  The semen as ejected is not the same as secreted by the testes, as it receives, in its passage out, the addition of the liquefying secretions of the prostate and Cowper's glands.  It is alkaline in reaction, and contains albumen and a peculiar principle called spermatin.  It also contains spermatazoids, very small bodies with a tail-like process to them.  They were formerly regarded as animalcules, but now known to possess no independent organic life.  As viewed under the microscope they are seen floating lively around the spermatic liquor; this is, most probably, due to ciliary vibrations.  The semen also contains other minute, granular bodies, called seminal granules.  These, in conjunction with the spermatozoids, constitute the formative agents furnished by the male in generation.  They are supposed to correspond with the pollen tubes of plants.  The vermicular motion of the spermatozoids evidently aids the passage of the semen, after its injection into the womb, to the ovaries of the female, and if they there meet the female elements of generation an ovule becomes impregnated, and pregnancy is the result.  The semen is a very vital element, and is only secreted in proportion to the vigor of the male.  It contains chlorides and phosphates, hence its waste preys upon the nervous tissue for its supply of phosphorus.  The secretion takes place about the fourteenth or fifteenth year, and continues till about sixty or sixty-five, and during the whole of this time is much under the influence of the nervous system.  Its presence in the seminal vesicles is required for the proper accomplishment of the virile act, and it is a well-known physiological fact that full procreative quality is only gained after it has been for some time lodged in the vesicles.  The involuntary expenditure of this vital fluid is therefore not only detrimental to the general health, but also seriously destructive of procreative capacity.


    The organs of generation in the female are generally divided into the external and internal.  The external consist of the mons veneris, labia externa, clitoris, lumphae, vestibule, meatus urinarius, hymen in virgins, and carunculae myrtiformes in matrons.  The internal are the vagina, uterus, and the uterine appendages, the latter consisting of the broad and round ligaments, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes.

    The mons veneria is placed at the lower part of the abdomen, and consists of dense fibro-cellular and fatty tissues, and is covered in the adult with hair.  The anatomical provision of this particular covering in combination with the fatty texture is to prevent chafing and pressure upon sensitive nerves at certain periods.

    The labia externa, or outer lips, are two folds of skin and mucous membrane, which commence in front of the pubic bones, and extend back to the perinaeum, where they again meet.  The superior junction is called the anterior commissure, the posterior is called the posterior commissure, or fourchette.  By vulva some mean the whole external organs; by others the longitudinal opening between the projecting part of the external organs.  The use of the external labia is to protect the organs situated between them.

    The nymphae or labia interna, or inner lips, arise from nearly the same point, at the anterior commissure, and run downwards and backwards, about an inch, to the middle of the vaginal orifice, where they disappear in the general lining of the labia externa.

    The clitoris is seated just below the point of the junction of the labia interna.  In structure it is the same as the male organ, with the exception that it has no spongy body or urethra.  It is erectile and extremely sensitive.  Its mucous covering is continuous with the vaginal lining.  Under exciting influences it distends and enlarges.  In exceptional instances and from certain causes, it becomes abnormally enlarged and elongated, and those females in whom this enlargement is observed, are the reputed hermaphrodites, especially when other congenital deficiencies are associated.  This must be regarded, however, as an anatomical vagary, as in animated nature there is nothing truly epicene.

    The triangular space between the sides of the labia interna and above the clitoris is known as the vestibule, at the lower portion of which is found the meatus urinarius, or orifice of the urethra.  The urethra is about an inch and a half long and very dilatable.

    The hymen is a fold of mucous membrane, generally of semilunar shape, with its concavity upwards, which is found just within the orifice of the vagina.  It is generally ruptured at the first carnal intercourse.  Its presence generally denotes the virgin; it is, however, not an infallible argumentum integritatis (one of its names), or evidence of virginal integrity.  Connubial infelicity has often arisen on account of its absence in the chosen one of a man who earnestly believed its presence absolutely necessary to establish virginity.  Many circumstances of an innocent character may occasion a rupture or destruction of this membrane, such as coughing, convulsive laughter, menstruation, etc.  It is often, indeed, found absent in children soon after birth, whilst it may remain entire even after copulation.  Cases of conception have been recorded, and yet the membrane was found intact.  Hence its presence does not absolutely prove virginity, nor does its absence prove incontinence, although its presence would be what is known in law as prima facie evidence of continence.

    Its remains after rupture form what is known as the carunculae myrtiformes, by reason of the resemblance to the leaves of the myrtle.  The space between the hymen and fourchette is called the fossa navicularis.

    The external organs in the aggregate are often called the pudendum.

    The vagina is that canal extending from its origin in the vulva obliquely through the cavity of the pelvis to the uterus.  Its usual length is about four or five inches and about three in circumference, though in a few females it may exceed that length, while in others it may be but a few inches long.  It is shorter and more capacious in those who have borne children.  It is well supplied with blood-vessels, and its mucous membrane is of a pink color, so arranged in various folds as to allow great extension.  Its orifice is surrounded by a collection of muscular fibres, called the sphincter vaginae.  It is not much under the control of the will, however, as is shown by the inability to retain injections.

    The uterus, or womb, is placed at the upper part of the vagina, and hangs in the centre of the pelvis, behind the bladder and before the rectum.  In shape it resembles the pear, rounder posteriorly than anteriorly, and is about two and a half to three inches long, two inches wide, and very nearly an inch thick.  Its upper part is called the fundus, the inferior cylindrical portion the cervix or neck, and the intervening portion the body.  It is held in place by the broad and lateral ligaments.  Its cavity is triangular, the base being directed upwards, and the superior angles corresponding to the points of entrance of the Fallopian tubes; in size it is about equal to a split almond, and the interior walls are nearly always in contact.  Its inferior angle communicates with the vagina through the canal of the neck, which is barrel-shaped, and from half to three-quarters of an inch long.  The contraction at the upper extremity of the canal is called the internal mouth or os uteri, whilst that of the lower extremity is called the os uteri or os tincae, the latter name from its supposed resemblance to the mouth of a tench.  In shape the os varies, in some being transverse, in others circular or ragged, the latter especially in women who have borne children.  The uterine cavity lodges the faetus from the commencement of conception until its birth.

    The Fallopian tubes are cylindrical canals about four inches long, arising from the superior angle of the uterus.  Externally they are equally thick throughout, except at their terminal extremity, where they expand into a trumpet-shaped enlargement, called fimbria or morsus diaboli, by which the ovaries are grasped.  They are the ducts for the passage of the ovules from the ovaries of the uterus.  The ovaries are the analogues of the male testes.  They are situated on each side of the uterus; three or four inches away from it.  They are oval in shape, and in removing the outer coats, the proper ovarian tissue appears, called the stroma.  The stroma is studded with numerous little bodies called Graafian vesicles.  These vary in size, the largest being found near the surface of the ovary, and are found early in life, but are more developed about the period of puberty.  These vesicles have two coats, the tunic of the ovisac, and the ovisac.  Within the cavity formed by these membranes is an albuminous fluid, in which is found floating the ovum or egg, which is exceedingly small, but which if impregnated becomes the faetus.  The human egg in all its details resembles the egg of the chick.  It contains a yolk, in the centre of which is a little vesicle called the germinal vesicle, and on the walls of the germinal vesicle is seen its nucleus, named the marula germinativa, or germinal spot.  As each Graafian vesicle rises to the surface of the ovary it bursts, and allows the contained ovum to escape, which is seized by the fimbriae of the Fallopian tube, and transmitted to the womb.  The scar left on the ovary after the discharge of the ovum is called the corpus luteum or yellow body.  This function in the female is named ovulation.

    There is no correspondenc between the number of yellow bodies found in the ovaries of a woman and the number of children she may have borne, as the ova are constantly discharged, irrespective of fecundation, and hence the corpus luteum is no evidence of previously existing pregnancy.


    We have now described the most important anatomical features of the genital organs with the same composure and desire to instruct, as when we described the anatomy of the other organs, and I am sure that all of my correct-minded readers have read the same with equal equanimity and desire to learn.  It is altogether owing to a false and foolish modesty that everything descriptive of the anatomical differences of the sexes is declared to be indelicate or obscene.  It is only obscene when used to awaken and excite the imagination to dwell on amatory objects, and not when used for the purposes of legitimate instructions as in these pages.  Extreme reticence with regard to matters referring to the genital part of the economy is not always indicative of a pure modesty or continence, nor is it healthy conservatism, but often the promoter of disease and imbecility.  Those who are diseased at this part of their anatomy, usually became so because they were ignorant of either the anatomy or physiology of the organs.  This fact leads me to have no sympathy with any prudish illiberality, but forcibly impresses me with the great necessity existing for instruction and enlightenment relative to this part of the economy.  I will therefore break loose from the trammels of prudery, and attempt, in a measure, to properly inform my readers, in a discreet manner, of all the bearings of philosophy relative to the economy of the genitalia.  Knowledge of this kind, in obeisance to a proscriptive spirit, is now isolated within a narrow precinct of intelligence, while the demands of the highest welfare of humanity are urgent for universal dissemination.  Medical men have long been aware of the necessity of popularizing intelligence relative to this subject, but lacked the wisdom to ignore the illiberal countenance that banished it within their own limits of intelligence.  If any medical knowledge is worthy of popular acceptance and guidance, it is that pertaining to the genital part of the economy; on no other subject are unprofessional people so ignorant, and no other species of ignorance is conducive to greater misfortunes.

    Discusssion of this subject in the decorous language of science in a popular work, will not lead to lewdness nor encourage lechery; on the contrary, my convictions are that such information as will be imparted will tend to give a healthy tone to modesty and encourage continence.  This is my purpose, all others I ignore and condemn.

    Excessive modesty is often the offspring of ignorance.  The physician who is fully acquainted with the anatomy and physiology of the generative organs, finds nothing suggestive in such knowledge; it is to him as common-place as the anatomy and physiology of other parts of the economy.  And should unprofessional people be possessed of proper knowledge of the anatomical features and physiological functions of the organs, any decent and necessary allusion to them would not be regarded as indelicate or offensive.  Such intelligence is not subversive of the moral nature, nor provocative of impure thought; the conventional illiberality deemed proper by certain people, is far more hurtful than judicious instruction.  Knowledge with reference to the human economy is capable of great injury if permitted to be buried, and this is as true of the organs in the pelvis as of those in the thoracic region.  We should all know, and not be ashamed to admit, when admission is proper and right, that Nature completed her work in case of our own persons; injudicious reservation in this respect, does a great deal of harm, as it often obliges the unfortunate to suffer in secret with serious affections, the locality of which makes them ashamed or unwilling to confide in those whose counsels may be of benefit.  Few parents have the wisdom to take their children in their confidence and teach them the evils consequent on solitary indulgence, and but few mothers acquaint their daughters with the phenomenon of womanhood before its appearance.  The son is unwilling to seek the counsel of his father, and the daughter does not avail herself of her mother's wisdom and experience.  It is the experience of every medical man whose practice extends largely among females, that questions concerning the integrity of the organs in the pelvic cavity are unwillingly answered.  What young female is willing to intrust to her medical attendant the knowledge of her disordered menstruation?  She refuses to answer his questions, and probably hides her chlorotic face under the bed clothes.  The doctor only gains the truth after he is taken to another room where the mother or nurse acquaints him with the fact.  This round-about way of imparting the required information, places the patient in an embarrassing attitude towards her physician, and it would be far better for her own welfare and individual independence did she herself state the fact, and freely and composedly answer the interrogations of her medical attendant.  Who can admire the sickly modesty of Dr. Abernethy's patient, who enveloped her wrist in a linen handkerchief before she would permit him to ascertain the condition of her pulse.  The Doctor, however, gave the proper rebuke, for he immediately put his hand in his coat-tail, and remarked that "a linen patient requires a woolen physician."  Those of the author's sex are also very often uncomfortable in the physician's presence, if questioned with regard to diseases of the generative organs.  This is radically wrong, for such timidity and unwillingness induces the patient to defer medical treatment until absolutely driven to it by the extreme gravity the affection assumes.  Modesty is an admirable virtue, as far as social intercourse is concerned, but under circumstances requiring medical aid or counsel, the re-establishment of the organs to healthy physiological action should not be embarrassed by a diseased modesty, or timid and foolish resrevation.  As this work is intended to bear a relation to the reader the same as the physician does to his patient, it is hoped that the knowledge contained in these essays, will receive commendation instead of condemnation, that they will be considerately read by all who have need of such intelligence; and that errors of habit may be abandoned and the proper observance of the laws of health respecting the generative organs be followed instead.

    In conclusion, I hope there are not many of my readers who are offended with Nature for making us distinct as to sex, and who endeavor to remedy her mistakes by hushing up the fact altogether.


    Complete health of the organs is necessary to the full vigor of the general economy, and it should be the aim and desire of all to maintain the vigor of the genitalia.  The male delights in the shapely figure of the person of the female, the full development of her bust, and the vivacity of her spirits, all indicative of a healthy genitalia; and the female takes pride in the male who presents the evidences of a vigorous manhood.  This is a natural selection, and no one is indifferent to it.

    The greatest requirement is cleanliness.  Ablutions of these parts should be more frequent than of the body in general.  We have seen that in the male the secretion of smegma constantly accumulates at the corona.  Besides, the scrotum is so situated that perspiration is at all times attendant.  Its surface is also studded with numerous sebaceous follicles, whose secretions become quickly very offensive.  If these secretions are not removed, they will impede the full development of the organ as well as abridge coitive power.  They should therefore be daily cleansed.  Cold water is preferable, as it is more stimulating, and possesses greater tonic properties than tepid or warm water.

    In the female the excessive secretions render cleanliness very important.  The vaginal secretions should not be allowed to accumulate at the vulva, as they soon become offensive, and if re-absorbed impair the general health.  On the pubic prominence are many sebaceous follicles, whose secretions should be frequently removed by ablutions.  Besides, the urine which passes through the external parts adds constantly to the uncleanly state.  It is therefore very important that the parts should be frequently washed, omitting, however, cold-water ablutions during the menstrual period.

    Nothing is capable of doing greater harm than excesses of any kind, and those organs should not be indulged by any unnatural means.  It is promotive of disease, destructive of manhood and healthy womanhood, and, if early engaged in, arrests the full development of the organs of either sex, and so reduces the strength of these organs that it renders them incapacitated for the purposes which were ordained to them by nature, besides wrecking the nervous system very materially.  It is well known that those who have thus been imprudent, having so long been accustomed to self-gratification, do not find subsequent and legitimate excitement so intense as those who have been continent.  They have so long been accustomed to the gratification induced by their own electricity that the magnetism of another body becomes more or less inert in the production of a complete orgasm.  The habit is morally and physically pernicious, and its prevalence should be abated by influence of a superior education in these matters.

    Undue excitement of the important passion is detrimental in the extreme.  Obscene literature and pictures do more harm than merely depraving the moral tastes -- they so stimulate the amative passions that the seminal vesicles, by the consequent nervous excitement, will allow the semen to ooze away, inducing hidden seminal waste or losses of semen with the urine, creating an intonicity of those organs and deprive them of natural vigor.  The same effect is produced by association of the sexes, where the mutual conduct is provocative of amative excitement, though modified by forbidden indulgence.  Those who have the welfare of the organs in view, are therefore counselled not to permit abnormal excitement of the passions to occur.  Females should, likewise, avoid reading obscene literature, from the fact that the constant expenditure of nervous force ensuing upon the engorged condition of her organs is very hurtful.  It is a well-known physiological fact, that undue excitement of any passion, such as anger, mirth, etc., is always followed by a certain weakness of the general organism, and the same holds true of the amative passion also.

    The occasional desire for congress is purely a natural one, and the most chaste or pure-minded person, sufficiently fortunate to possess healthy organs, cannot rise superior to the desire.  It is simply a manifestation of a function of the economy in perfect obedience to a physiological law.  It is readily explained.  We have seen that semen is the secretory product of a gland (the testes), afterward deposited in a vesicle; the urine is also secreted by a gland, and deposited likewise in a vesicle (the bladder).  When the bladder becomes filled the afferent nerves distributed to it convey intelligence of the fact to the brain, and a desire for urination arises, which continues as long as the bladder remains charged with urine.  This is a natural phenomenon of organic function.  In like manner the full seminal vesicles impart the sensation to the nerves distributed to them, which is also conveyed to the brain.  What is the result?  Naturally, a desire for cohabitation in order to evacuate the charged vesicles.  This fact is an unalterable condition of the economy, and it follows that a desire for the evacuation of the vesicles is as much a natural manifestation of functional action as that of relief of the bladder.  In the female the hyperaesthetic condition of the nerves distributed to the clitoris awakens the same desire, which remains as long as the nervous forces, are not equalized by the expenditure of a part.  It is, therefore, purely a nervous phenomenon in the female.  The amative passion is not a cultivated one; it is natural to the human being, and ineradicable by the greatest exercise of continent thought and behavior, and its gratification is unquestionably hygienic.  It is, of course, as subject to rational indulgence as in diet or drink.

    We have seen that desires are natural in a healthy condition of either sex, and that a rational indulgence is hygienic, but I earnestly caution every reader to guard against debauching the passion by unlicensed congress.  The indulgence can only be countenanced in marriage.  It is, therefore, the plain duty of every male and female to marry, and as early in life as contingencies will permit.  That marriage is hygienic is proven by the fact that married people live longer than the unmarried, a fact that demonstrates the marital privilege as a healthy relation between the sexes.  Nature did not design total continence, and such a condition is aversive to the physical and mental well-being of the sexes.  Nature, however, provides in this as she does in everything else.  The amative passions do not present themselves or become inconveniently strong in either sex until a full marriageable age is attained.


    This is, in law, the conjugal union of man with woman, and is the only state in which cohabitation is considered proper and irreprehensible.  The marriage relation exists in all Christian communities, and is considered the most solemn of contract, and, excepting in Protestant countries, it is regarded as a sacrament.  In some countries its celebration falls under the cognizance of ecclesiastical courts only, but in the United States it is regarded as merely a civil contract, magistrates having, equally with clergymen, the right to solemnize it, though it is usually the practice to have it performed by a clergyman, and attended with religious ceremonies.  Marriage, as a legalized custom, is of very ancient origin.  It is doubtful whether even the primitive man was not governed in the intercourse of the sexes by some recognition of the union being confined to one chosen one.  No greater promiscuity can certainly be supposed than occurs in the lower animals, where pairing is the law.  The nobler animals, as the lion, elephant, etc., never have but one mate; and even in case of death do not re-mate.  As man advanced, civil codes were inaugurated, and certain protection given to the choice of the parties.  The earliest civil code regulating marriage of which we have any account was that of Menes, who, Herodotus tells us, was the first of the Pharaohs or native Egyptian kings, and who lived about 3,500 years before Christ.  The nature of his code is not known.

    The Biblical account extends further back, but it does not appear that any laws existed regulating marriage, but each one was allowed to choose his wife and concubines, and it is supposed that common consent respected the selection.  Next Moses gave laws for the government of marriage among the Israelites.  The early Greeks followed the code of Cecrops, and the Romans were also governed in their marital relations by stringent laws.  In fact the necessity of some law regulating the intercourse between the sexes much have become very apparent to all nations or communities at a very early period.  It certainly antedates any legal regulations with regard to the possession of property.  It is very probable that every community did by common consent afford to each male one or more females, and the presumption is that such choice or assignment, as the case may have been, was respected by common agreement as inviolable.  It is doubtful if ever promiscuity was the law or privilege with any community of men, even in their primitive state.  The possession of reason is antagonistic to such a belief; and man was most probably elevated above the beast by the faculty of reason in this respect as in others.  Promiscuous indulgence is always evidence of debauchery, and a departure from that natural course which is prompted by an innate sense of propriety characterizing mankind.  The law is very indefinite with regard to what constitutes a legal marriage.  It is an unsettled question, both in England and in this country, whether a marriage solemnized by customary formalities alone is legal, or if one characterized by the mere consent of the parties is illegal.  The latter has been held as legal in some instances in both countries.  Kent, in his Commentaries, lays down the law that contracts made so that either party recognizes it from the moment of contract, and even not followed by cohabitation, amounts to a valid marriage; and also that a contract to be recognized at some future period, and followed by consummation, is equally valid.  It is unfortunate that the law is so undecided in this respect.  The decisions arrived at, for or against, were not dependent upon any recognized law, but seem to be influenced by the character of the cases, either for favor or discountenance.  As long as the law recognizes cohabitation legal only in marriage, it seems to me that if consummated under consent of the parties to bear marital relations with each other, or promise of marriage, the act should be unhesitatingly pronounced as the equivalent of a valid marriage in all instances.  If cohabitation is only a marital prerogative the law should not stultify itself by recognizing it as possible to occur in any other relation.  If either of the parties are married, the law defines it as adultery, and, very properly, defines the punishment.  It is necessary to the progress of the age that some such principle should be recognized in common law, so as not to subject the decision of the question to the individual opinion of any judge.  It would at once obviate the confusion of sentiment now held in regard to it, and besides arrest the decision in test cases from mere caprice of the tribunal.  It is certainly as correct a principle as any in common law, and would, in its operations as a statute law, be free from injustice, and capable of doing much good.


    This is a state in which a man has at the same time one or more wives, or a woman more than one husband.  The latter custom is more properly called polyandry, and prevails in Thibet and a few other places. Polygamy has existed from time immemorial, especially among the nations of the East.  In sacred history we find that it prevailed before the flood.  Lamech had two wives, and the patriarchs were nearly all polygamists.  The custom was tolerated by the laws of Moses, and, in fact, no positive injunctions against it is found in the whole of the Old Testament.  It is questionable whether more than one was recognized as the bona-fide wife, the other simply being wives by right of concubinage.  But if polygamy was in its strictest sense the legal custom, it soon grew unpopular, for no trace of it is met in the records of the New Testament, where all the passages referring to marriage imply monogamy as alone lawful.  The custom has been almost universal in the East, being sanctioned by all the religions existing there.  The religion of Mohammed allows four wives, but the permission is rarely exercised except by the rich.  The custom is accounted for on the ground of the premature old age of the female in those regions, and also on the ground of excess of the number of females, though the latter, by the authority of recent travellers, is probably not the truth.  The marriage code of Fu-hi, who primarily established civilizaton among the Chinese, gave most probably superiority to but one wife, but raised the concubine to the dignity of a wife to a certain extent.

    Among the Greeks, at least of later times, monogamy was the custom, though in the time of Homer polygamy prevailed to some extent.  It was not known in the republic of Rome, but during the existence of the empire the prevalence of divorce gave rise to a state almost analogous to it.  It prevailed among the barbarous nations of antiquity, excepting the Germans, who, according to Tacitus, "were content with a single wife."  In some countries more than one wife was allowable if the husband could extend the dowry; a wife without a dowry was considered only a concubine.  This was the case in Judea, when it became a dependency of Rome.

    In Christian countries polygamy was never tolerated, the tenets of the church forbidding it, though Charlemagne had two wives, and Sigibert and Chilperic also had a plurality.  John of Leyden, an Anabaptist leader, was the husband of seventeen wives, and he held that it was his moral right to marry as many as he chose.

    In England the punishment of polygamy was originally in the hands of the ecclesiatics.  It was considered a capital crime by a statute of Edward I., but it did not come entirely under the control of the temporal power until a statute of James I. made it a felony, punishable with death.  George III. made it punishable by imprisonment or transportation for seven years.  By the laws of ancient and modern Sweden the penalty is death.  The Prussian Code of 1794 subjected the criminal to confinement in a house of correction for not less than two years.  In the United States the second marriage is a nullity, and the punishment varies in the different States, though usually imprisonment for a certain period, or fine, or both, is the penalty.  The term bigamy is most in use, however, as the plurality seldom extends beyond two.  Polygamy has had some defenders even in modern times, most of whom have grounded their defence on the absence of an express prohibition in the Scriptures.  Bernard Ochinus, general of the Catholic Order of Capuchins, though afterwards a Protestant, wrote in the sixteenth century a work in which he advocated it.  It was also boldly defended by the Rev. M. Madan, in a treatise called Thelyphthoro, but limited the privilege to men.

    It is the offspring of licentiousness, and its advocates merely wish to give legal color to licentious habits.  Every student of history will find that as soon as a nation became morally depraved, polygamy was practised, and that monogamy was the rule in all countries truly civilized.  Monogamy is an element of civilization, and, as a true child, fosters and maintains its parent.

    Polygamy has of late years been most shamefully revived, and outrageously practised in face of law, by the Mormons.  They claim it as a religious duty, and defend the system by claiming that unmarried women can in the future life reach only the position of angels who occupy in the Mormon theocratic system a very subordinate rank, being simply ministering servants to those more worthy, thus proclaiming that it is a virtual necessity of the male to practise the vilest immorality in order to advance the female to the higheest place in Heaven.

    Mormonism is a religion founded by Joseph Smith, who was born in Sharon, Vt., December 23, 1805, and killed at Carthage, Ill., June 27, 1844.  The Smith family removed from Vermont to Palmyra, N. Y., in 1815, and, according to testimony, the reputation of the family was bad, and that Joseph was the worst of the lot.  They were untruthful, intemperate, and commonly suspected of vile practices, which were probably true in some cases, and false in others.  These statements are not contradicted even by the Mormons.  Joseph claims that in 1823 (Sept. 21), he had a vision, in which the angel Moroni appeared to him and made known that in a hill near Manchester, N. Y., he would find a record written on golden plates, giving an account of the ancient inhabitants of America, and the dealings of God with them, and with the record, two transparent stones in silver bows like spectacles, which were anciently called Urim and Thummim, on looking through which the golden plates would become intelligible.  These he claimed were placed in his hand September 22, 1827, by the angel of the Lord.  The language was called the reformed Egyptian, not then known on earth, and the contents of the plates formed the "Book of Mormon."  The book of Mormon has been proven to have been written by Solomon Spaulding.  It will thus be seen that Mormonism was the development of a stupendous fraud, and it is exceedingly singular, that a sect of such numbers as Mormonism is now, or has been, could have been formed, when everything connected with it is fraudulent and perniciously immoral.  Polygamy was not introduced among the Mormons until 1843, when Smith ordered it as a doctrine of the church by virtue of a revelation.  The Mormons also aim to prove its right by claiming that St. Paul's injunction that a bishop "should be the husband of one wife," implies that other men should have as many as they choose, and that if a bishop should be the husband of one wife at least the passage does not express a prohibition of his having more if he wishes.

    It is a most singular fact that a sect like the Mormons could have been established in a country peopled with such law-abiding people as of the United States, and maintain a system of marriage antagonistic to the law and religion of the land.  Neither could they have done so, if they had not possessed two great virtues, temperance and industry.  It is to be hoped that the legal process now instituted for its abolition will effectually remove the blot from the national escutcheon.

    The "Oneida Communists" are essentially polygamic, although they have no marriage system.  They do not marry, and ignore all marriage codes.  Cohabitation is under no restrictions between the sexes.  Marriage is also not observed among the Shakers.


    This is the conjugal union of a male with one female only.  We have seen that monogamy was co-equal with the dawn of civilization, and that most probably the majority of the males had but one wife, even among polygamic nations.  Universal polygamy is practically impossible, the scarcity of females and the poverty of the males forbidding it.  The excess of females is not so great in any county as to allow to each male more than one wife, except the male portion is depleted by long and disastrous wars.  Monogamy has done more for the elevation of the female than any other custom of civilization.  The rich could only afford to practise polygamy, and should the poor imitate the example, it would necessarily subject the wives to a state of serfdom.  In the economy of nature it is designed that the male should be the protector of the female, and that by his exertions the provision of food and raiment should be secured   In polygamous nations the female has not attained that social state that she has reached in countries where the male is entitled to but one female as his wife.  Woman's highest sphere is not in the Harem or the Zenani, but in that dignified state in which she is the sole connubial companion of but one man.  It is debasing to her nature, and subversive of his dignity in the rank of humanity, to make her the equal only with others in the marital union with one male.  She becomes only the true, noble, and affectionate being when she is conscious of a superiority to others in the connubial companionship with her accepted one.  The female of birds chirps but for her single mate, and she is pugnaciously monogamic as well as virtuous, allowing neither male nor female at or near her home.  The spirit of independence she gains by being the mate of but one male gains for her the victory over the intruders.

    The physical and mental welfare of the female is also dependent upon monogamic marriage.  I have demonstrated that temperate indulgence is conducive to the sanitary condition of the sexes, and that absolute abstinence is opposed to the designs of nature.  It is also evident that the male is not endowed with greater power, vigor or capacity than the female; therefore, confinement or limitation of the congress to the companionship of one male with one female, as in monogamic marriage, gives the healthy balance to the marital union.  The polygamic husband must either suffer from the consequences of excessive indulgence, or his wives from poverty of uxorial gratification; probably both would be the case.  Polyandry is equally as proper as polygamy, yet it never in the history of man obtained a foothold.  The female is equally capable, if not more so, to capacitate more husbands than one as the male more than one wife, and the physical deterioration would not be greater.  The system is more logical than polygamy, because her dependence would be distributed between two or more husbands, in which case she would be better insured against poverty, and her support would be guaranteed by greater probability.

    We have now described the history and aspect of the two customs, and will conclude this subject by remarking that a man is morally and physically entitled to but one wife, and that a plurality is a great wrong to to the female, and in total opposition to the ordinance of Nature.  Wherever polygamy is the custom the female is held in slavish subjection.  It only prospers in proportion to the ignorance of the sex.  Intelligent and civilized woman will always rebel against such uxorial debasement and servitude.


    It would probably be interesting to many to describe the marriage ceremonies observed by different nations, but to enter into a descriptive detail would occupy too much space.  It is sufficient to say that while some wives are wooed and won, others are bought and sold; while in some countries the husband brings the wife to his home, in others, as in Formosa, the daughter brings her husband to her father's house, and is considered one of the family, while the sons, upon marriage, leave the family forever.  In civilized countries the ceremonies are either ministerial or magisterial, and are more or less religious in character, while in others less civilized the gaining of a wife depends upon a foot-race, in which the female has the start of one-third the distance of the course, as is the custom in Lapland.  In Caffraria the lover must first fight himself into the affections of his lady-love, and if he defeats all his rivals she becomes his wife without further ceremony.  Among the Congo tribes a wife is taken upon trial for a year, and if not suited to the standard of taste of the husband he returns her to her parents.  In Persia the wife's status depends upon her fruitfulness: if she be barren she can be put aside.  In the same country they have also permanent marriages, and marriages for a certain period only--the latter never allowed to exceed ninety years.

    In fact the marriage ceremonies differ nearly in all countries.  To us some may appear very absurd, and yet our customs may be just as amazing to them.  It matters but little how a conjugal union is effected as long as sanctioned by law or custom, and obligates the parties, by common opinion, to observe the duties pertaining to married life.


    The state of conjugal union should be the happiest in the whole of the existence of either man or woman, and is such in a congenial marriage.  Yet in the history of very many marriages contentment or happiness is palpably absent, and an almost insufferable misery is the heritage of both parties.  It is therefore important that previous to the marital union the parties should take everything in consideration that foreshadows happiness after marriage, as well as everything calculated to despoil conjugal felicity.

    The first requisite of congenial marriage is love.  Without being cemented by this element the conjugal union is sure to be uncongenial.  It is the strongest bond, the firmest cord, uniting two hearts inseparably together.  Love for the opposite sex has always been a controlling influence with mankind.  It is the most elevating of all the emotions, and the purest and tenderest of all sentiments.  It exerts a wonderful power, and by its influence the grandest human actions have been achieved.  Of what infinite worth it is to either sex to be compensated with a worthy and satisfying love, and how ennobling to the impulses and actions it is to bestow the sentiment upon one worthy to receive and willing to return.

    Love is only given to that which we admire and esteem.  The man who admires the shapely hand, the comely figure, the pretty foot, the handsome features, the well-formed waist, etc., will naturally love the woman possessing such attractions.  The woman will love the man who favorably approaches her standard of conception as to manly excellence and beauty.  Others admire moral purity, vivacity of disposition, superior talents, genius, etc., and hence naturally will love the possessors.  In fact, this proposition is founded upon a law of mind; love cannot be generated by forces that antagonize our ideals of esteem and admiration.  The love that engenders matrimonial happiness must be reciprocal.  Reciprocity of love will naturally induce matrimonial alliance.  It should not be inspired by a passional nature only, nor should it be platonic entirely, but the two intimately blended together will render the love one of adaptation, and secure conjugal placidity.  The love that is created in us by the Venus-like form of the female, or Appollo-like character of the male, is not that love that alone insures happiness, the moral and mental nature must also be congenial.  Candidates for marriage should carefully consult themselves, and without ulterior motives ascertain if the love they have for the one to be chosen or accepted is adequate to compensate the yearning of this sentiment.  If the one selected has all the characteristics that inspire love, that will be the proper one to marry.  Love is the main spring that regulates the harmony of conjugal life, and without it there is a void in the machinery, productive only of jars, convulsive movement, and a grating and inharmonious action.  The soul yearns for love and to love, and unless the desire is compensated, human life is a blank, and becomes a purposeless existence.  Love ever stimulates the good and suppresses the bad, if kept in a proper channel, and guided by pure affections.

    Another requisite of a happy marriage is health.  No person has a moral right to engage in wedlock who cannot bring to his partner the offering of good health.  It may be apparently a cruelty to the consumptive to deny to him the gratification of his affections or passions, but it would be a greater cruelty to encourage him or her in a step the consequences of which would engender anything but happiness.  Is it a pleasing thing to contemplate that you throw upon the bosom of your spouse but the body of an invalid, and one that will be the constant object of care and solicitaiton on the part of either husband or wife?  Is it consoling to your justness that you can but offer a limited period of your life to the one of your choice, and that the inevitable consequences of your affection will at an early period leave but one at the hearthstone?  Is it encouraging to know that the offspring of your union will in all probability be equally tainted as yourself, and that on those upon whom you conjointly place your hopes and pride are destined to perhaps an early grave?  It is intrinsically wrong for those in whom the taint of consumption, scrofula, syphilis, insanity, etc., to marry, unless they feel convinced that by proper medical treatment they have been or can be thoroughly cured.  Intermarriage of the cachectic would be far more judicious than the union of the healthy to the diseased.  Vigor and debility are constitutional opposites, and cannot exist together in the physical economy, and the marital union of the physically healthy to the physically unhealthy does also produces nothing but discord in the economy of marital existence.

    A very important consideration is the knowledge of what marriage really implies.  It obliges the encountering of duties and circumstances which press considerations and plans of life upon the most careless minds.  The change in the habit and manner of life, the divided responsibility, the inexorable demands of marital duties to be complied with, and various other matters incident to wedded association should be fully pre-considered, and the relation assumed only after thorough deliberation and satisfactory self-examination.  It is the duty of the eligible of either sex to marry, but a marital alliance should be consumated intelligently, not thoughtlessly or ignorantly.  "Look before you leap," is an adage that has profound significance in its application to candidates for connubial association.  If an error is made in selection, scarcely another error that may be committed by man or woman is so difficult of rectification, and none will result in greater misery, mental anguish, and destruction of all the joys of life.  If, on the contrary, the selection or acceptance is wisely and discreetly made on both sides, the conjugal pair will be blest with all the earthly joys capable of attainment.

    It is invariably those who thoughtlessly entered into marital companionship that make mistakes.  They shrink before the realities incident to married life on their first presentation, simply because they never dreamed, much less thought, that such exigencies are inevitable to the marital sphere.  They are ignorant of the duties incumbent upon either husband or wife, hence they leave them unperformed; opportunities for advancement are not improved; neglect becomes the basis of action with only one possible result -- marital infelicity.  If we trace the cause, we find that in the majority of cases, infelicity is owing to neglect in the performance of marital duty; and this disregard is ascribable to utter ignorance previous to marriage of the duties inherent to the marital sphere; consequently, as soon as they confront the wedded pair they are not met with a fixed determination to discharge them satisfactorily as emergencies will admit, but are shirked and postponed, and finally, when the necessity for action becomes absolute, they are inadequately performed; a fault which is sure to engender dissatisfaction, petulance, or reproach on the part of either husband or wife.

    Marriage implies the utter abandonment of the interests and advancement of self to the exclusion of the other marital companion.  If circumspect, by noting marital conduct in others, a fair conception of marriage and its consequences will soon be known.  Then, the individual must ask himself, or herself: Am I capable and willing to do my duty?  Could I rise superior to all the trials, vexations, and perplexities that present themselves to those in marrige?  Would I never weary of doing the best under all circumstances?  If you can satisfactorily answer these and others, you can enter fitly and nobly into the marital sphere.

    Another consideration is evenness of temper.  In the wooing days every one is a lamb, and only becomes the howling wolf after marriage.  Circumstances that ruffle the temper in the presence of the intended are but like the harmless squib, but would become like the explosive torpedo in his or her absence, or in after-marriage.  Quarrelling caused by matrimonial differences is the most frequent cause of infelicity, and most of them are caused by an innate irate temper of either the husband or wife.  Differences that would be amicably adjusted by the exercise of a little reason and temperance in argument or judgment, are to the irascible the subject for the most vehement and angry logic, and the solution is inevitably discord.  It is difficult, I acknowledge , to ascertain previously the mental disposition of persons, when they have occasion to conceal the defect in order to enhance their own interest.  It is quite possible that Socrates, when he wooed the lovely Xanthippe, deemed her perfection, called her his "darling," his "pet," his "angel," if philosophers ever make use of such endearing expressions.  Her conduct evidently deceived him as to her real nature, for the poor old philosopher was egregiously deceived and inexpressibly tortured in his married life by the historically renowned virago and termagant.  "Love is blind," but its eyes should not be blindly closed against any such inperfection as naturally tends to destroy wedded bliss.  Careful observation in a variety of circumstances will often disclose the real disposition, and the mask is sometimes unwittingly let fall, so that you may gain a cursory glance of the features, which if uncomely, should be enough.

    The tastes should not be dissimilar.   Some of them may be unimportant, but others are a fruitful source of disagreement.  The social wife will never be contented with the unsocial husband, and the gay husband, though his gayety may not be commendable, will always accuse his wife if she lacks a social disposition to a great extent.  The religious wife will never excuse a tendency to irreligion in her husband, and though he may be far from being immoral, she is unhappy if he does not participate in her devotions.  The one devoted to children will never be happy with one having a natural repugnance for them.  In this way we might multiply facts illustrative of the importance of an investigation into the similarity of taste, previous to marriage.  Great love, however, overcomes almost every obstacle.

    The parties should be nearly of one age, the husband should be the older.  The union of the old husband to the young wife, or the reverse, is seldom a happy one.  There is seldom that such a marriage occurs in which the incentive is not the wealth of either of the parties.  The young graft on the old tree does not thrive well, the vitality required by the one is not afforded by the other.  The magnetism of the old is not suited to the young, and there never can be a concord in their union.  It is a law of nature that animals of like age should only mate together.  The old male bird does not mate with the young female bird, but mating always occurs between those of the same year's brood.  It is only in their domestication that they lose this law of instinct, and it is only through a vice of civilization that marriages between the old and young are contracted, in opposition to the original design of marital union.  Such marriages are but seldom the result of a mutual love; one of the party is sure to be actuated by motives other than the one of conjugal happiness, and the union is usually enforced by the opportune chance of enhancement in respect to wealth or station in society.  The progeny of such a union is very seldom endowed with either physical or mental vigor, which is easily accounted for.  The physiologist knows that the mental emotions of the mother, during the period of pregnancy, is very apt to affect development of the child in utero, either favorably or unfavorably.  How, then, can a young mother be actually comfortable, how can her emotions be elevated, how can she have that solicitude which is prompted by love, if she bears but little more than respect for her elderly or old husband?  She has not that intense solicitude or hope that her child shall be all that is excellent; she has not that incentive of love that prompts her to a revery of desire that her child shall be all that she deems noble and beautiful; her conjugal relation is not calculated to inspire her highest and purest emotions, and the pride of her husband is not great enough for her to yearn for the day when she can present, with all the joys of maternity, an heir to her lord.  It is, therefore, a union not calculated to promote domestic contentment, and there must be in the heart of either a husband or wife, an aching void and a longing for other than a senile embrace.

    There are other considerations to be viewed before a union is effected.  No one should neglect the moral character, the habits of frugality and industry, etc., etc.  A marriage should only be consummated when both of the parties are morally certain that they are necessary to each other's existence; that life would be a dreary waste without the oasis of the loved one; that the intended one possesses all you admire and esteem; and that the journey of life in his or her companionship will be one of serenity and happiness; -- the union will then, by the endeavors of both, be attended by all the joy, contentment, and happiness that it is in the power of mortals to obtain here below.

    I cannot more appropriately close this subject than by quoting an abstract from a well-known author, who presents his case in full color, but it exposes the undercurrent that leads to the marriage-tie only too truthfully.  He asks: "Who dared first to say that marriages are made in heaven?  We know that there are not only blunders but roguery in the marriage-office.  Do not mistakes occur every day, and are not the wrong people coupled?  Had heaven anything to do with the bargain by which young Miss Blushrose was sold to old Mr. Hoarfront?  Did heaven order young Miss Fripper to throw over poor Tom Spooner, and marry the wealthy Mr. Bung?  You may as well say that horses are sold in heaven, which, as you know, are groomed, are doctored, are chanted on the market, and warranted by dexterous horse-venders as possessing every quality of blood, pace, temper, and age.  Against these Mr. Greenhorn has his remedy sometimes: but against a mother who sells a warranted daughter what remedy is there?  You have been jockeyed by false representations into bidding for the Cecilia, and the animal is yours for life.  She shys, kicks, stumbles, has an infernal temper, is a crib-biter, and she is warranted to you by her mother as the most perfect, good-tempered creature, who the most timid could manage!  You have bought her.  She is yours.  Heaven bless you!  Take her home, and be miserable for the rest of your days.  You have no redress. You have done the deed.  Marriages were made in heaven, you know; and in yours you were as much sold as Moses Primrose was when he bought the gross of green spectacles.

    Marriages are usually contracted to gratify varioius desires, as love, fortune, or position.  The results are most truthfully stated by an eminent divine in the following passages: --

    "Who marries for love, takes a wife; who marries for fortune, takes a mistress; who marries for position, takes a lady.  You are loved by your wife, regarded by your mistress, tolerated by your lady.  You have a wife for yourself, a mistress for your house and friends, a lady for the world and society.  Your wife will agree with you, your mistress will rule you, your lady will manage you.  Your wife will take care of your household, your mistress of your house, your lady of your appearances.  If you are sick, your wife will nurse you, your mistress will visit you, your lady will inquire after your health.  You take a walk with your wife, a ride with your mistress, and go to a party with your lady.  Your wife will share your grief, your mistress your money, and your lady your debts.  If you die, your wife will weep, your mistress lament, and your lady wear mourning.  Which will you have?

    To man there is but one choice that he can rationally make, a marriage of love.  My female readers, I hope, will also decide rather to wed a husband than the master or the elegant gentleman.

    A little foresight, a little prudence, and a little caution, will prevent in most cases the entrance into a marriage which, by the very nature of the alliance, is certain to be an unhappy and improper one.

    The physician, in his advices as to the conduct that should be observed by the husband and wife, is more properly confined to physiological aspects, but as the behavior in every respect is so intimately blended, it is not amiss, in a medical work, to state what the conduct should be in general.  Unhappiness in wedded life is the result frequently of a couple being joined who should not on any account have been thrown into marital companionship.  It is found that they are uncongenial in every respect, and hence the natural and inevitable result is dissension and a mutual regret of marriage.  The pharmaceutist knows that if a chemical element is incompatible in a mixture that no amount of shaking, trituration, or commotion that he may produce will make the contrary element act affinitively; on the contrary, the more violent his endeavors the more the incompatibility is manifested.  It is precisely so in the union of the man and woman who are by nature and purposes of life incompatible.  Discord is evident at the first contact, which in time increases to ebullitions and explosions of temper, and the more they attempt to reconcile their differences the greater they become; the affections are destroyed, and each one becomes conscious that they have made the greatest mistake of their lives.  Each blames their misfortune to the other when both are to blame, not so much on account of their combativeness, as that is but a law of their nature, but because neither of them had the wisdom to abstain from entering into the marital relation.  It is, of course, commendable that both should be desirous of making the best of their union, and that each should display prudence in their conduct, but in the face of all their endeavors the galling fact of incompatibility is ever present, and no amount of the best efforts will make the union a happy one.  If children are born to them they will in all probability be of a vicious nature, lacking in all the noble qualities, and who, born with the innate disposition, and reared and schooled in the midst of family discord, will almost inevitably "go to the bad," thus adding materially to the general misery of the parents, both of whom are ready and honest in their belief and averment that the disposition of the chidren is the heritage from the other.  It is unfortunate that such marriages are consummated, for the diversity in all the actions and purposes of life naturally manifested by both is too great to be reconciled by the most earnest exercise of either prudence or forbearance.  Such a union has always been, and will always be, an unhappy one, and the best endeavors will scarcely make it tolerable.  It may be poetical to say that such a man and woman are one, but they are decidedly two on all subjects and conditions of married life.

    It is not to be supposed, however, that every infelicitous episode in married life is to be ascribed to incompatibility.  The turbulence in many cases is owing to decided misconduct on the part of either husband or wife.  Many unions would be very happy if but a generous effort would be made to render it so; but if either one is actuated by a spirit in opposition to mutual confidence, mutual welfare, and mutual enjoyment, it will either create a slavish submission on the part of one, or the assertion of mutual equality.  In both cases the result is detrimental to conjugal bliss.  A tame submission begets disrespect, and the assertion of the right generates the "family jar."  In the social and commercial intercourse of man and wife, mutual confidence, mutual endeavor, and mutual benefit should be the objective point.  Concealment of purpose is as wrong as deception in action, and neither should be for a moment entertained.  The wife should be the possessor of the husband's secrets, and the husband the custodian of the wife's confidences.  To be actuated by secrecy either in intent or action is nothing more than duplicity, and an attitude in entire opposition to the spirit of wedded life; but, while the author in every instance advocates an open and candid intercourse between the husband and wife, he can only hurl anathemas upon the one who betrays the confidence.  To be worthy of confidence, and to be entrusted with secrets, demands the fidelity that will not betray the one or divulge the other.  Deception on the part of either husband or wife will, in spite of all attempts at concealment, often be detected, causing justly indignation and loss of respect.  It is an evidence that the one to whom everything should be confided is deemed unworthy of trust, and it puts at an end that harmony and confidence that should exist.

    Married couples should most carefully husband their affections for each other.  It is a most deplorable fact, that the love between many too soon loses its fervor.  This loss is not due to familiarity, nor is it a natural result of daily association; but decidedly the effect of a reprehensible disregard of a mutual endeavor to maintain it.  We love only that which is lovely; and the person who makes himself lovely will be loved.  It is more frequently the case that the wife loses her husband's affections than the reverse.  This is not so much the result of the inferior affectionate nature of man as it is of neglect and imprudence on the part of a woman.  Women, if they would rule men's hearts, must deserve and unwittingly exact the approval and admiration of their minds.  Her variability of temper is most unfortunate.  It goes up like a rocket and comes down like an aerolite; a miracle of smiles or weeping Niobe, a driving tempest or a flashing sunbeam.  A never-varying, bland, lullaby sort of temperament is most deplorable; sparkle, buoyancy, and even an irrepressible dash of fun, now and then, are most healthful and appetizing; but more feminine diplomacy should forbid the not unfrequent dovetailing of winsome caresses and childish poutings on the part of the wife, and so should the whimsical interplay of foolish indulgences and churlish neglect on the part of the husband be abandoned.  Principle, not caprice, should be the energizing and controlling motive.  The most charming views of wedded life are to be taken from the higher mounts of vision -- those of settled design and steady purpose.  There must, of course, be mutual concessions and mutual agreements to disagree.  There is a way to win by commanding, and a way to command by winning.  By the wise interblending of self-centered strength, and a prodigal wifely affection, she may achieve marvels of wifely management.  The husband may unconsciously lead: but never essay to drive.  At the same time, we are frank enough to confess that there are too many women who need the flaming sword of an archangel to awe and repress them.  There is no such thing as conquering them by love; as well prate of love to a blackbird.  But if kindness fails, severity will fail all the more surely.  Flies still continue to take more kindly to molasses than to vinegar.  If they but knew how a cheerful temper, joined with innocence, will make their beauty more attractive, knowledge more delightful, and wit more good-natured, they surely would endeavor to cultivate and cherish it.  It is an unquestioned fact that too many wives neglect the most important elements of wifely conduct.

    To her is entrusted the care and management of the home -- if it is agreeable, it is her work, if it is attractive, it is to her credit alone that it should be ascribed.  If the home is not a cheery place, it is because she does not render it so.  It is not requisite that elegance and luxury -- that only wealth can procure -- should characterize it; cleanliness, order, and, above all, her bright, sunny smiles, and cheerful company, adorn it more than the richest household furniture.  The atmosphere of the home must not be darkened by the clouds of discontent, perplexity or anger, but lit up by the effulgence of social conviviality, good nature, and buoyancy of spirit.  The husband coming from his daily task must, in return for the bright smiles of the wife and children that welcome him home, throw aside all cares of business, and devote himself to their enjoyment.  It will put a new life in him as well as in his wife and children.  If exhausted and fatigued, or if his mental energies have been overtaxed, he must not thrust the fact too forcibly upon his family, but on the contrary bring freshness and buoyancy of spirit into the family circle.  He must not recuperate his energies at the expense of the vitality of his wife and little ones.  The wife should also as early as possible dispense with household duties, and, until the retiring hour,  be ever ready to engage in that social comunion, which is so healthful, and so conducive to happiness of married life.  But how frequently is it the case that the weary husband, who would gladly engage in that relaxation afforded by domestic conference in play, reading, etc., is only beguiled by the din of pots and kettles, the clatter of dishes, the music of a wash-tub, etc., in the kitchen, which often is incessant, until the poor husband, desirous of social comforts, but weary of waiting for them, goes to bed with nothing to lull him to sleep but the confused noises that come from the kitchen, made by his busy and industrious, but indiscreet spouse.  We would not deprecate industry on the part of the wife.  We well know that many a wife, whose household duties and personal attention to the children absorb most of her time, can find but little opportunity to engage in recreation or social enjoyment, but while we admire thrift, coupled with industrious habits, we cannot but deplore the state which rubs from her the best energies, instead of applying some, at least, upon the effort to render the atmosphere of the home, not one of incessant labor only, but also one that is brightened and rendered cheerful by the relaxation afforded by an occasional leisure hour, in which the man, wife, and children are brought in contact, and stimulated and refreshed by social concourse.  As well might the husband file his saws, grind his axes, and chop his wood at the same time, as the wife to be continuously drawn from his presence by the labor of the home.  It is, we know, not a pleasing contrast, to compare a thrifty and industrious wife with one who is indolent and careless, but we only argue for a limit, as we know that matrimonial happiness, health, and noble qualities of children are dependent in a great measure upon enlivened social intercourse in the family.  We would have no wife merit the exclamation of "How shiftless!" from an Aunt Priscilla, but they must not be so busy either, that her husband has in her no social companion.  Such wives cannot much blame their husbands if they seek social pasttime in the club, in the inn, or even in his neighbor's house, where Mrs. Sparkle makes everything so pleasant.  It is the duty of the husband, whenever possible, to give his leisure hours to the companionship of his wife and children, but it is also a duty that the wife so arranges everything that they can not only be passed tolerably but agreeably.  It should be the effort of both husband and wife to make the home the dearest place on earth to them, and when that is accomplished, connubial happiness is certainly achieved.  It is often that the best-meant efforts are fruitless, simply because they are driven in the wrong direction, and the disappointment occurring in consequence of misapplied energy is full hard to bear; but if the married man or woman would study the wants and desires of their consorts a little more, and make earnest effort to supply them, the apple of discord would not be eaten in so many instances.
    I cannot too strongly impress the importance of fidelity.  Could I have but one word of advice to give to the conjugal pair, I would say: -- "Be true to each other."  Disloyalty in the marriage bond is the cause of infinite trouble, misery, and ruin.  It is the rock upon whose ugly and jagged contour lie the wrecks of numberless matrimonial vessels.  Fidelity is the rudder that guides the bark safely through the course, let adversity and all else assail her, as long as not without her rudder, she will out-ride the storms, and glide triumphantly and peacefully along in smooth water.  Disloyalty pitches her at once into the breakers, where she will pitch and toss, heave and thump, and should she even escape, it is only at the expense of important appendages, and most frequently the best directed efforts will not save her from utter ruin.

    It is not only the duty of physicians, but of every one who has the welfare of society at heart, to put their voices against the doctrine of "free love," which has of late been promulgated and defended by certain persons who wish to make it a matter of creed or principle of society.  It is to the shame of the sex that the majority of its adherents are women, in whom virtue is supposed to have its staunchest defenders and supporters.  It is not ostensibly advanced in advocacy of unrestraint in cohabitation, but if thoroughly analyzed, its objective principle amounts to the same.  It is a scortatory love at best, and its tendency is to give still greater laxity to the morals of society.  It is veiled under the sophistical dogma that every woman, if she desires to become a mother, should be privileged to select her own male to be the father, and that every man should be licensed to choose the woman he desires to be the mother of his progeny.  This, they advocate, would insure higher development of the race, and that mankind would soon be superior in intellectual, moral, and physical qualifications.  The fact is undeniable that a superior offspring would be the result, if the most eligible individuals would copulatively unite, but it could never be accomplished by licensed libertinism.  It can only be gained by judicious marriage, and in no other way.  If the doctrine of unrestraint they promulgate is best adapted to promote higher development of offspring, it would naturally be exemplified in the issue of those who "loved not wisely, but too well," or in those of the lowest grades of society or savage races where chastity is unknown as a virtue. All the principles of free love characterize such an intercourse; but it has yet to be ascertained whether such progeny are in any respect superior; on the contrary, it is quite probable that they are in many respects inferior.  This may be, however, accounted for by the mental emotions of the mother, which are naturally caused by grief, fear, shame, etc.  If, even, such unfavorable mental emotions could be removed by sanction from society for such issue, the case would not be modified to a more favorable extent than is now possible by legitimization of offspring by marriage.  They also prate of "affinities" and spiritual attraction; but let the candid and virtuous mind investigate the full import of these cohesions, he will find that the spirit of attraction is the cohesive power of gratification of the animal passions.  The hideous form of lechery is veiled with but the thinnest gauze; and disguise it as they will, they cannot hide the fact that it is lewdness, and not virtue, which they attempt to honor.  The doctrine, if philosophically reviewed, presents no advantages over marriage, but is one pregnant with defects and immoralities, and if carried into effect would unmistakably prove itself to be the death blow to morality and civilization.  The barrier to promiscuity is to be made even more impregnable, and the sacred precinct of the prerogative legitimatized by marriage is not to be over-stepped by the husband or suffered to be invaded by the wife.  Lechery has never been, nor can never become a standard principle of moral philosophy, and "free love" is but its synonym.

    Is it a consoling picture to those with whom moral rectitude is a cardinal principle to see disloyalty to the marriage-tie openly and shamelessly displayed?  Is it ennobling to man's moral nature to cut loose the shackles put upon him by a well-organized society with regard to his conduct in amorous matters?  Can it be justified by the most liberal views of right and wrong?  Unalterably, no; the man who comes to the abode of his wife, with his lips tainted by contact with others, and yet excited by an unlawful orgasm, commits the greatest offence against his wife, against nature, and against high heaven.  The wife who receives the embraces of an unsuspecting husband, while at the same time she is guilty of illicit dealings with others, is worse than the lowest prostitute, and is entitled to no sympathy or condonement.  It is only by the most scrupulous adherence to the loyalty that should be observed by man and wife, that marital happiness is to be gained or maintained; infringement is the element of its decay and destruction.

    Jealousy is one of the most common visitors at the hearth of a family and is a great destroyer of its peace.  Entertained to a moderate degree it is quite natural, but when it becomes a morbid feeling, it is worthy of severe denunciation.  The exhibition of slight jealousy is an unerring manifestation of love, and should be accepted as such by either man or wife.  We are jealous of what we love, and unconcerned only about that which we do not appreciate, therefore a certain degree of jealousy entertained by the husband or wife in respect to each other should be elevating to their pride, respectively, and not condemned as a sickly sentimentality.  It is only when it becomes a ruling passion that it exerts mischief and discord.  When it is so morbid that it becomes a matter of dislike and reproach for the husband to bestow but the ordinary civilities of social intercourse to the opposite sex, or for the wife to receive them, it amounts to but little more than insanity.  If the wife is so jealous as to impugn all the motives of the husband, that he dare not even look askance at any other woman, that to speak with other women subject him to one of those infinitely pleasant curtain-lectures, and his personal liberty denied to him with regard to social intercourse, it is then that it becomes disruptive to marital felicity; for the husband, if erring though he be, will surely chafe under the injustice which she will be sure to commit.  On the other hand, the jealous husband is just as extravagant in his folly, and instead of guarding his wife's love, takes the best means of repelling it.  Confidence, not suspicion, should be the controlling motive, and its mutual entertainment should not be disregarded until the most indubitable proofs are presented to guarantee a disbelief of the partner's honor.  Then, if you have bombshells, set them off; but even then, I think, it would comport more with reason and dignity, if the error could be calmly adjudicated, and if that is impossible, a quiet and dignified separation is unquestionably the best course.  Reproach, recrimination, and parade of the cause of disruption before the public are by no means a philosophic action, or part of an honorable conduct.  It is so with all matrimonial differences, they should not be made public property, for they will surely become disgusting scandal before the scandal-loving people, to be found in every community, are done with them.  It will receive such additions, and will be so manipulated and distorted, that, which at its fountain-head was but a peccadillo, will at its terminus be magnified into the greatest crime.  What was at first but a slight immorality, is sure to become at the end the grossest violation of decency.  If Mr. John Smith in a playful moment is found to kiss Mrs. Sarah Jones, the critics of society will wink and blink, they will hem and haw, look wise, toss their heads superciliously, and before they have ceased their comments, there will be no doubt in their minds but that Mr. Smith and Mrs. Jones were found in flagrante delicto.

    Finally, when the scandal has assumed its worst aspect, some order-loving Christian (!) will with considerable embellishment acquaint Mrs. Smith of her husband's crime, and Mrs. Jones of his wife's sins, and then comes the sequel.  The fact would scarcely produce a ruffle, at best but a gentle breeze, but the monster created by scandal producs the commotion of a tornado.  Then these vampires who feed upon the peace and reputation of society are satisfied, but they at all times go round like "roaring lions seeking whom they may devour."  It is to these scandal-mongers that matrimonial infelicity is often due, from the fact that a husband or a wife may be guided by their opinion rather than to rely implicitly upon each other's honor.  If respect is shown to scandal connubial peace is at a discount.  The only way to circumvent it, is to isolate adjustment of differences to the family circle, and not allow it to be the property of the unconcerned.  The advice of disinterested and honorable people may at times be very serviceable, and not to be disregarded, but to array any or every matrimonial variance before the public for their comments is reprehensibly imprudent and foolish.

    It is, however, not to be understood that selfishness should extend to social intercourse with the neighbors, for next to an affectionate family an agreeable neighborhood and good society become objects of desire, because calculated to create happiness.  As far as friendship is not abused it should be freely given to the neighbors, and it should be the endeavor of every one to make the relations of a neighborhood of a most friendly and accommodating character.  How consoling it is to the bride, who leaves the bosom of her own family and accompanies her husband to a locality where all are strangers, to find in her new home neighbors who manifest a friendly spirit, and are willing to extend cordial greetings to the stranger.  She is at once set at ease.  The duty that families owe to society is only second in importance to the duty that husband and wife owe to each other, and domestic happiness is not complete unless its social surroundings are congenial and agreeable.  An ascetic married life is abusive of the order of nature.
    The conjugal pair should in reality be helpmates.   They should (to use a homely phrase) pull in one direction, and, if the direction is proper and right, pull together.  The combination of similar forces has a two-fold effect, but forces opposed to each other weakens one and annuls the other, or brings them both to a quietus.  This simple law of physics is peculiarly applicable to the behavior of the married pair.  A harmonious progress requires a combination of purpose and exertion.  If the husband is devoted to literature or science, the wife should manifest interest in the same, but if her taste is not for either, she should by no means show displeasure at her husband's devotion to them.  It is her duty, in case of improvidence on his part in consequence of his studies, to ask him to improve his negligence, but never in a tone of anger or reproach.  The husband should, in like manner, never frown upon any of his wife's delights.  If she is devoted to flowers, to music, to painting, etc., it should be he that should stimulate by approval.  In case the husband is desirous to accumulate a fortune, and exerts himself to that effect, the wife should not dispirit him, or render his efforts abortive by extravagance.  If he is not successful, or fails in business, she should be his comforter and stimulate him to further exertion; and in case the manner of living will in consequence be rendered less luxurious, she should exhibit such a contentment and willingness as to rob the misfortune of half its bitterness.  The noble wife is one who does not sink under the crucial test of her husband's misfortunes, but rises to a higher mount of greatness and action by her cheerful resignation to the loss, and encouragement to her husband's drooping spirits.  The husband should ever be ready with his approving smiles to cheer his wife's labors, even if to him it appears but a trivial affair.  Woman only thrives under the approbation of man, and if that is withheld, especially from the one whom she values most, she soon becomes purposeless and fretful.  How many a good wife's heart has been wounded by her husband's indifference with regard to matters which she in her simplicity of heart hoped would delight her companion?  It may be but a trifle, but so exceedingly tender is the plant of connubial love, and so susceptible of being lacerated, that "trifles light as air" often impede its growth and embitter its fruit.  It is the "little foxes that spoil the vines."  A single tart remark or unkind tone of voice will penetrate the inner recesses of the heart of the wife who loves, and render her most wretched.  Oneness should be particularly exhibited in purpose and design, the respective action should be one of accord and the faculties of each other should be mutually gratified.  It is only by such a concert that love is perpetuated and wedlock made an Elysium.

    If the husband or wife have vices, the conduct to be pursued is peculiarly delicate.  If it is judicious, the vice may be corrected; if otherwise, the habit may become intensified.  If the husband is intemperate, the wife should address his highest sentiments, and not attempt to bring about repentance and reform by angry reproach, unkind remarks, or undignified aspersions.  No one has a keener sense of his depravity than the drunkard, and he is by no means dead to the finer sensibilities, hence any inhumane treatment, or reproof insulting to inherent dignity, is not calculated to achieve reformation.  He is to be approached as a man, his nobility is to be addressed, and his better feelings excited.  He is to be shown that he is none the less loved for his noble qualities, that aside from his folly he is still the being who possesses his wife's affections, and that only his vice and not he himself is abhorred.  It is only by such a procedure that vices, or a disposition to vice, can be cured.  It is the mild and gentle force that works reform, revolutions scarcely ever do.

    We have now in many aspects considered the prudent course for the conjugal pair to pursue in search of wedded bliss.  We have confined ourselves merely to their social relation, there yet remains for us to discuss a not less important subject, namely, that of connubial commerce.  From what we have already written the inference is plain, that we advocate a dignified conduct, benignity of temper, subjection of anger, co-operation of purpose, etc., etc., and though there may be, nay, are, many other rocks upon which the matrimonial bark will impinge, the reflective mind will be guided in his behavior in every possible contingency by what we have more lengthily dwelt upon.  The indices to marital happiness are reason, prudence, justice, and equality, and they who shape their course by them must attain the object.  It shall now be our purpose to consider a subject that is not less important, and much less understood.  In its discussion we will confine ourselves to particulars which married people mostly inquire after, and in which they need the most enlightenment.

    The discussison of this delicate relation between the married pair is necessary, inasmuch as the unprofessional have access to scarcely any work of standard value and excellence from which they may gather the knowledge so indispensable, unless they are fortunate enough to have the privilege of reading the works of an extensive medical library.  Even if this opportunity is afforded, the truth is not clearly presented to them, as such works are intended usually for the professional reader.  I, therefore, am confident that I discharge an important duty, especially as I write particularly for the instruction of the popular mind, in presenting to my many readers the philosophy of that relation legitimatized by marriage.  In consideration of the subject, I shall employ plain but decorous language, and attempt to present the facts so that they may be intelligible to all, and yet not wound any of the finer sensibilities of my readers.  I have previously stated my aim to be merely to afford instruction to the masses relative to such medical subjects as have never been capably popularized, but have been , and are yet a theme on which incompetent charlatans have so ignorantly dwelt upon, and disseminated so much offensive literature.  The medical profession is to blame for this.  If they had not neglected to teach the popular mind the physiology of cohabitation, empirics would have found no market for their offensive and pernicious works, excepting, perhaps, among the morally depraved.

    The married, which I positively know from the many opportunities afforded me in my professional career, are extremely ignorant of the philosophy and physiology appertaining to the special connubial relation, and absolutely know nothing of the hygienic limit or period.  I know also that every married man and woman is extremely anxious to possess proper knowledge.  As the access to works of scientific authority is extremely limited, they are led to accept the teachings of ignorant empirics, and thus unwittingly do much that is wrong and hurtful.  The diffidence characterizing the marital pair to interrogate the family physician as to the proper course to pursue, also tends to keep them in ignorance.  It is only when the abuse of the marital privilege becomes painfully apparent that the physician feels warranted to interpose his cautions, and counsel reform and moderation.  This, however, occurs only in exceptional instances, the great majority are uninformed and unadvised, controlled only by self-interpretation of the right or wrong of their conduct, or by such information as is commonly possessed by the heads of families, which is often traditional, and usually faulty in its conclusions.

    To supply, then, in a medical work for general circulation, the proper instruction as regards the important marital relation alluded to, needs no further justification, but every person actuated by a catholic spirit will, I am sure, deem the discussion eminently appropriate.  The underlying purpose of wedded association is of greater importance than half who assume the relation are aware of.  Marriage implies much more than a mere association of the sexes--it is rather an institution devised by society to regulate cohabitation and the propogation of species in the best manner.  This is the only legitimate purpose of marriage, as aside from this relation between the sexes, every other one could be secured and maintained without matrimonial ties or obligations.  Any system of rules or regulations subserving the purpose of controlling this particular marital relation so as to accord with the best known laws of physiology and hygiene, and best adapted for the requirements of propogation of the species, so that offspring will not be recklessly brought into the world, but calculated to secure to it the highest possible endowment of all the nobler human qualities, is decidedly the best marriage code.  As an institution, marriage should be governed more by the physiological laws than by statute regulations, and the time may yet come when wilful disregard of physiological laws applicable to the matrimonial association of the sexes will be regarded as reprehensible or criminal as the violation of the statute laws governing the instutution.  It is then quite important that those in marriage as well as those who contemplate matrimonial alliance, should possess adequate knowledge of the incumbent duties, contemplate the dignity and importance of wedlock, endeavor to promote the grand interests and welfare which the marital pair have at stake, avoid animalization and debasement of the connubial repast, endeavor to fitly endow their offspring, and so conduct themselves throughout the whole course of wedded association, that they may be rewarded with all the manifold blessings that should be gained by the grandest and closest association of human interests, purposes, and hearts.

    It should never be forgotten by the married that our passions can be over-indulged precisely the same as our appetites.  Hygiene requires that our appetites for food or drink should only be appeased to such an extent as will not create a loathing for that which was eaten or drunk, upon quitting the repast.  If indulgence is carried to such a extent it amounts to intemperance and will be followed by the usual consequences of violation of hygienic law.  It is precisely so with the marital repast: if the relation is assumed too frequently the temperate limit will be over-reached and hurtful consequences ensue.  Excess is not only deleterious because destructive of the natural tone of the excitement, generative of nervous disorder, and other hurtful consequences; it is extremely apt to engender indifference after a certain period on the part of either or both of the conjugal pair.  By indifference I mean to express that feeling of insatiety after indulgence, that want of mutual accord, or sense of unsatisfactory awakening of the emotions, which is sure to follow excesses.  The desires are present but cannot be satisfactorily appeased, precisely as an appetite for a certain article or kind of food remains unsatiated if not within reach to be partaken of.  This condition, directly a sequal to immoderation, is one of the greatest incentives to adultery.  I am well satisfied that this unpardonable violation of matrimonial trust and fidelity is, in the majority of instances, due to neglect of observing temperance in the early years of marriage.  The results of coitive intemperance should thus be strongly impressed upon the minds of every one married or contemplating marriage, as by moderation they will surely attain a higher altitude of connubial enjoyment, besides avoiding the violation of the highest and purest of all human trusts which if committed, is irreparably destructive of the integrity of matrimonial alliance.

    The married pair should carefully guard against all excesses. Excess of connubial commerce is a severe tax to the nervous system, and very detrimental to health.  The class of diseases met with by the physician, of which the remote cause is immoderation, is scarcely second to none in frequency.  Besides, the orgasm is less profound if the banquet is too freely partaken of.  The physician is frequently asked the question how often intercourse may be indulged in without injury.  To this no answer can be given with numerical preciseness; but both sexes possess an unerring monitor, whose voice they should promptly heed.  Whenever a sense of exhaustion is felt, after copulation, the violation of a physiological law is made manifest.  No coitive act should be complete when it requires fatiguing efforts to accomplish it.  It is sure to be followed by exhaustion, and the orgasm is neither elevating or satisfactory, and apt to generate an inharmony quite antagonistic to the designs of nature.

    Frequency of indulgence does not only deteriorate the moral tone of the coitive act, but it often provides the germinal agencies of serious diseases.  The remote cause of insanity and consumption is not infrequently intemperance in marital union.  The children who are the products of the earlier periods of married life, at which time coitive intemperance is most frequently indulged, are more mentally imbecile, and more pallid in hue and attenuated in form than those born at a later period.  This is in consequence, that, sooner or later, the parents are forced to abstain from excess by the ensuing ruination of health, allowing nature to gather up the shattered powers and assert anew the control of the organism.  In the early years of marriage excesses should therefore, by no means transpire.

    During the period of the catamenial presence, strict continence must be observed by the conjugal pair.  I should not give this caution were I not aware that in many instances the marital prerogative is thus grievously abused.  Propriety and privilege in this respect are particularly at variance, and duty demands observance of propriety.

    During the period of pregnancy the husband's conduct should be characterized by kindness, forbearance, and encouragement.  While the germ of an immortal being is in her loins, that husband is no more than a brute, who would in any way neglect her wishes, or refuse to join with her in the solicitude for its welfare.  The expectant mother must also control every appetite or mental passion that might injure the precious trust committed to her.  The best and noblest thoughts should occupy her mind, and the purest sentiments prevail in her heart, while the babe is hid beneath it, so that her shortcomings and caprices may not be communicated to the product of her conception.  She should be, and her husband should assist her to be, patient under any weariness or sorrow belonging to her condition.  She should strengthen her heart against the hour of her labor with the thoughts of joy she shall feel, when her child shall see the light, and the process of maternity fulfilled.  It is she who bore and in agony gave birth to the link that unites the parents all the more closely together, and that strengthens the hymeneal compact.  To her the husband owes devotion, allegiance, and comforting encouragement.  He must make her feel that the joys of maternity are not to be centered entirely in the little helpless babe nestling in her arms, but also her heart is to be rejoiced in witnessing the paternal pride of the product of connubial union--the jewel of their conjoint love.  The component parts of the family are then complete, the husband, the wife, and the child, nothing is wanting but the coupling of energy and intent, to procure the highest share of human bliss to abe obtained on this side of the grave.

    The author is prompted, but space will not allow, to give at length his views upon the management of children. On this point husband and wife frequently disagree, and the result of the disagreement is manifested in the child.  It is more usually the case that the father is sterner and firmer than the mother, in whose heart the tender elements of humanity prevail.  It is, however, not necessary to be stern in the management of children, but an unflinching firmness is at all times essential, and absolutely necessary in both parents to gain a healthy control over their children.  Firmness must, however, be exhibited in the same direction, and that direction the right one.
    There is a tendency, we think, at the present day to put children too forward, not so much for the sake of showing off their extraordinary merits to an admiring world, as from the better motive of early accustoming them to the conversation of grown people and the usages of society, and of inspiring them with confidence, ease, and self-possession.  No doubt these results are very valuable, but the mistake which many people make is in forgetting that children are something like dogs, which require to be very well trained before they can safely be recommended to the familiarity of strangers.  And it is to be remembered that the moment children cease to respect any of the grown-up people with whom they associate, not only is the whole benefit of the intercourse lost at once, but real injury is inflicted on the moral tone of the child.  For this reason children should be brought as little as possible into the society of men and women who cannot command their respect; while those who can, the influence should be hedged round by all the numerous impalpable barriers which judicious parents know perfectly well how to interpose between children and the most popular and careless of their adult play-fellows.  The confidences which well-bred children at once repose in an eligible stranger, without being rude or troublesome, is charming to everybody, who has any natural taste for their society.  It is not pleasant, on the other hand, to see children who are shy, timid, and sheepishly speechless in the presence of strangers, but a confidence and unobtrusive case of manners can be inspired without thrusting them constantly into the society of elders.

    Closely allied with the mistaken license allowed to children in matters like the above, is the disposition to laugh at, and thereby to encourage, all traits of singularity, oddness or affectation, which children may exhibit, as marks of genius which ought not to be repressed.  Of all the dangerous errors into which parents can fall, this, in our opinion, is the worst.  For nothing so soon hardens into second nature as juvenile eccentricity; and few things are more injurious to success in life than marked oddities of manner and gesture when they reach the point of grotesqueness.  The fond parents dote upon the eccentric child as an original, but the author in this respect agrees perfectly with Mr. Peter Magnus; he does not see the necessity of originals.  And what is more, so many "originals" are only sham ones after all.  That is to say, their singularity is merely a bad habit which they can't shake off, and is only very partially innate.  When parents see their child doing anything unlike other children, anything queer, surprising, or uncouth, however comic or however clever it may seem, they should never laugh at or applaud it.  Children naturally self-willed, and with real natural peculiarities, can soon be broken of such tricks, if treated with absolute indifference.  But soon let the idea find its way into their brains that such sallies, naughty though they be, are regarded as marks of genius, and the mischief is done.  It is not necessary that parents should engage harsh reproof or exhibit anger to correct such pertness or disposition to oddity, but if approbation is withheld, and probably displeasure shown, the mischief will soon be corrected.  Children, like their elders, delight in approbation, and if they can only secure it by doing what is right and proper, the inclination to do that which is wrong or displeasing, is robbed of its greatest incentive.

    To come back to the point from which we started -- the management, namely, of young children--there is one thing to be laid down: let there be no divided rule in a house.  Do not let children see that the father means one thing and the mother another in their bringing up.  They see the difference in a moment, and when they do, farewell to all wholesome parental influence.  The starting-point of ruined manhood or womanhood, in many cases, is just this diversity of parental control.  That mother urges her child towards destruction who offers condolence to it, after reproof or correction by the father, no matter how harsh or cruel it may have been.  Such matters must be corrected by conference, at which the children are not present.  She is not to show any displeasure at the exercise of authority by the father in the presence of the child; if she does, the child's self-will is gratified by a mother's alliance, and a certain importance is given to the improper conduct of the child, which, in accordance with the human liability to err, is hard to resist.  The parents in this respect must be the allies, not the children with the father and mother.

    Husbands and mothers may talk too freely before their children, forgetful of their rising intelligence.  And, indeed, nothing is more common than to get a wink from the head of the house, implying that you are to be on your guard before Johnny or Tommy, Kitty or Lucy, who are listening open-mouthed to your witty narrative, while they themselves in the next moment will offend against their own precautions in the most barefaced manner by plunging headlong into your domesetic controversy, in which, to speak metaphorically, knives are freely used on both sides.  Again, parents should be extremely careful in commenting upon the conduct of their neighbors in the society of their children, or that self-same Tom will at the first opportunity acquaint neighbor Jones that, in the opinion of his father, "he is a confounded old fool;" or the same little Kitty will tell Mrs. Robinson that her mother says she is a "lazy, good-for-nothing woman."  Trouncing Tommy or Kitty for such imprudence is hardly fair, when the fault lies at the door of the parents.  At best, it gives children but a poor example, and instills within them a disrespect of the neighbors, which, probably, they do not deserve, and which may in later years possibly stand in the way of individual advancement.  Parents, in rearing their children, have a greater trust than is commonly supposed, and they owe a double duty -- one to the child, and the other to society in general.  If the child is inclined to vice, the fault lies in many cases with the parents, and the right to thrust upon society either a son or daughter who will constitute but a useless or vicious member thereof, is not properly one of the privileges of humanity.  No man has the right to set at large a lot of ferocious animals, who, in the exercise of their ferocity, may do harm to his fellow-men; neither has that parent a moral right to send adrift in the world sons and daughters, who, in the exercise of the vicious culture they have received, prove annoying and harmful to their fellow-beings.  There is no deeper stratum of thought in moral economy than this, and none that receives less attention.

    It is to mothers that society and mankind are indebted for its morality and uprightness.  By her efforts the only real work of reformation can be achieved.  The training of children is mainly intrusted to her hands; if her duty is properly performed, the moral tone of society is to be placed to her credit; if carelessly and imprudently attended to, she is the one that is mainly accountable for its vices.  It may seem a cruelty to add to the travails of maternity and to her household duties the further responsibility of rearing the moral structure of society; but who is to assume it, if she be not the proper person?  The child is, to a certain age, mainly in her presence alone, and this association cannot be shirked or changed; for it is true to a natural law that the mother is to be the closest companion of her children.  It is during this period of companionship that the foundation of the moral superstructure is to be laid, and the mother must be the artisan.  She may be aided by her husband and others; but the chief duty to form and direct is her own, and the structure she rears, whether good or bad, is her work.

    Her duty to her offspring commences at the moment of conception.  While the product is yet hidden within the confines of her womb she must have its future welfare at heart, and lend her thoughts only upon that which is good and noble.  She should in her mind select the career of the child, and that such a one that is characterized by all the noble qualities, and freedom from vices.  Who can gainsay the fact that when the babe is assuming its physical character, while yet in the mysterious depth of the gravid womb, that the mother is not enabled by the purity of her thoughts and exalted character of her emotions to give it also the endowment of its moral character?  Who will deny that the transmission of hereditary qualities give the original bias, which subsequent to birth is hard to overcome?  The law of transmitting talent and virtue from mother to child is based on physiological principles, as demonstrable as material matter.  I would then say to every expectant mother: Let your thoughts be good, your emotions pure, your imaginations morally exalted; be brave, be strong, be good, and centre all and only the purest feelings upon that helpless atom of humanity reposing in your womb, so that at the hour of your labor you are fortified against its agony by the consciousness that the babe you usher into the world is endowed with qualities, which, by subsequent development and culture, will enable it, when of proper years, to take its place among the good and noble of this earth.

    Subsequent to birth the mother must continue her efforts.  She must impose barriers against everything that has an unwholesome influence on the moral tone of her child.  She must not intrust the training of her precious darlings to nurses or governesses.  A mother who reposes the development of character of her children to salaried persons is prostituting the high estate of maternity, and sins against Nature and her God.  It is she who must take the hand of the child while yet in the innocence, and lead it in the path of virtue and truth; her hand must remove all the lures and seductive temptations that beset its path, and she alone must assume the cultivation of its moral nature.

    Men may build prisons, asylums, reformatories, create midnight missions, etc., but reformation by these means is uncertain, expensive, and at best very ineffectual.  It is the hardened criminal they deal with -- one in whom vice has become the second nature.  No real reformation is accomplished by any such means, none will ever ensue; and as long as mothers are not alive to the importance of properly training the pliant child, vice will increase and baffle every other mode of reformation.  One wiser than myself has said -- "Train up a child in a way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."  The truth of this is self-evident, and is supported by another, whose figurative language is equally truthful --

     "As the twig is bent the tree's inclined."

    It is, therefore, the mother who must nourish the truth in her arms, so that when it leaves them it will walk strongly forth alone, blessing and blest of all men.


    The most impressive words in the whole range of language are Father and Mother.  Their fill significance is only realized and understood when the prattling babe stretches out its tiny arms and first lispingly pronounces the tender words.  The heart must, indeed, be dead to all emotion, which at that moment does not pulsate with pride and exalted love.  The first words taught to it, and the first words learned, are those tender names, and the proudest moment of the whole of parentage is when the lesson is learned by, and let fall from, the lips of the smiling babe.  The soul is elevated above material things, the tenderest chords of love are vibrated, the joys of the world but this one are forgotten, and the whole heart embraces but the innocent babe that sprung from their loins.  The entity of the family is incomplete without children, and the action of its machinery is unharmonious without those little wheels.  The integrity is faulty in the absence of offspring; it is like the pillar of which the capital and pedestal exist, but the shaft is wanting to give it dignity.  The childless family is not a pleaseant one to contemplate; the husband and wife grow old, but there is no young life to inspirit them, or to give cheer to their existence. Childless longevity is at best but a dismal life -- there is always an aching void -- a palpable evidence of a lacking integer.  Barrenness is a condition from which every woman instinctively recoils.  The desire for children may or may not be entertained, yet to know that she is incapable of motherhood is to know that she is lacking in the most important element of womanhood.  It is a physical condition abhorrent to every female, because she feels that she is beneath the dignity that distinctively characterizes her sex.  Motherhood is the ideal state of womanhood, and the yearning for maternity is one born of nature.  The woman in whose bosom such a desire makes no response is unworthy of her sex, and she deserves none of the elevated joys and honor which woman is sent here to achieve, and she will reap none.  It is the highest honor her sex can reach, as productiveness entitles her to the proud position of one of the prime factors in the propagation of species.

    None but physicians know how great the desire for children is in those whose married life has been passed for some time without issue.  To them the secret yearnings of their hearts is intrusted, and to their confidence is reposed the animated impulse that is ceaselessly throbbing in the bosom of those whose hearth-stone is desolate, and around which gathers not a child.  The outside world may not know of the painful vacancy that is ever confronting them, nor the despair that has possession of their hearts; but the physician, to whose skill they so earnestly appeal to accomplish the realization of their hope, is ever, and probably the only confidante.  He alone knows the elevation of spirits, the fulness of pride, and the intensity of satisfaction that is manifested if he has removed the barrier to productiveness, and that the process of maternity is in progress.  But let him say that the barriers to conception are insuperable, it causes a painful despondency, and that exquisite anguish resulting from unappeased yearnings of the soul.  It is, however, a providential ordination that few women are hopelessly barren, and but few men unprocreative.  Circumstances may for a certain time make them practically unproductive, but such a physical condition can in almost every case be removed by consistent treatment, and by observing such measures and precautions tending to promote fruitfulness.  The causes of childlessness with certain married parties are various.  It may be due to deformities of the womb, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries of the female; or testes, spermatic cord, and of the male organ.  The pathological conditions are many, which occur in both sexes, that produce barrenness, while in some cases the anatomy of the parts render conception and child-bearing utterly impossible.  It may be caused by stricture of the womb and Fallopian tubes, misplacement of the tubes, adhesions of the uterine walls, etc., ete, or through malformation, as occlusion of the vagina, etc.  It may also be due to degeneracy of the testes of the male, epispadias, hypospadias, etc.  Conception may also temporarily be prevented by uterine and ovarian diseases, or to a diseased condition of the spermatozoids of the male semen.  Unproductiveness is frequently due to a devitalized condition of those animalculoids, in which state they have no fecundating properties.  Sterility, dependent upon some vicious conformation of the genital organs of either sex, apparent or concealed, is called absolute.  Infecundity, due to the conditions already enumerated, are absolute causes of sterility, and can only be removed by medical treatment, which in most cases, if of a rational and appropriate character, can effectually be accomplished.  When a female does not conceive with one individual, but has or may with another, the condition is called relative sterility.  Relative infecundity is frequently met with, and in many cases presents such features that the atociac condition cannot be overcome without calling to aid artificial means.  It is often observed that a woman in her second marriage is sterile who in her first marriage was prolific in offspring; again, the widower in his first marriage gave evidence of fecundating power, but in his second alliance no impregnation ensures.  Absolute and relative sterility may exist at the same time, thus a female may be married to a man who is physically incapable of impregnating her, yet at the same time the conformation of her genital organs may be such as to render her absolutely sterile.  It is therefore necessary in all cases of sterility to fully investigate the causes, both absolute and relative.  Sterility in some females is often dependent upon a condition of the womb characterized by membranous menstruation.  Conception is prevented in such cases by devitalization of the semen by the vitiated secretion and discharges from the uterine surface.  In all cases of absolute sterility, medical treatment offers the only hope of obliteration of the causes.  The diseases of the female genitalia which are causative of infecundity must be treated as required by their pathological character; and it is necessary that such treatment should be admirably adapted to the conditions of the case, and most carefully instituted.  Such cases should only be intrusted to physicians who by skill and experience have the requisite ability, and who are conversant with the precautions that studiously are to be observed.  Improper treatment is exceedingly apt to render sterility an irremediable condition, which under rational treatment would have resulted in the removal of all the barrier to impregnation.  If the cause lies in the male, whose formative material is devitalized by a diseased condition of the fabricating organs, seminiferous ducts, or seminal vesicles, medical treatment likewise is the only means of making the patient procreative.  The male often renders himself powerless to procreate by imprudence or various excesses, in which case the semen is not fully organized and deficient in procreative elements.  All these varied conditions of husband and wife contributing to childlessness are mainly remediable, so that under the care of an intelligent physician parentage to them is not always a forlorn hope.  The prospect for issue is favorable in most cases under rational treatment, hence the gloom of the childless need not be perpetual if they but employ the counsel and aid of the competent physician.  Neglect of so important a duty is very common, the conjugal pair stolidly agreeing that their childless state is owing to Divine ordinance, little dreaming that their unproductive union is in opposition to the requirements of the Deity, and that the fault of non-conception is due to incapacity and not to dispensation.

    Relative sterility is not amenable to medical treatment.  The most common cause of infecundity of this character is the want of adaptation or fitness of the genital organs of the conjugal pair to each other.  This want of adaptation is a very frequent cause of sterility, and should receive proper attention by the medical man to whom is intrusted the rectification of an unproductive union.  Of itself, inadaptation may not be the cause of the atociac condition, but when associated with an atomic condition of the uterus, procreation rarely, if ever, ensues.  It will not be necessary for me to detail the various forms of inadaptation, as the consideration of such causes of sterility more immediately concerns the medical attendant, but it is quite appropriate to make allusion to such causes, as the childless very properly desire information relative to all possible conditions hindering fructification.  Self-treatment is not to be thought of; but a proper knowledge of all the physiological or anatomical causes of sterility should be possessed by all in conjugal association, especially by those who have not as yet attained the full measure of matrimonial enjoyment, by reason of an exceptional provision of fate by which their union is left without the graces and endearments of childhood.

    One of the most common causes of barrenness is unquestionably what has been already alluded to, atony of the womb or appendages; in fact some pathological condition of the reproductive organs of the female is, in the large majority of cases, the sole cause.  Uterine atony, or intonicity of the womb, may be of every degree of intensity -- ranging from a slight feebleness to complete exhaustion -- the latter condition being known as paralysis of the womb.  This atonic state is owing not to any structural or organic disease of the womb itself, but is merely a secondary pathological condition, the actual seat of the disorder being in the sacral plexus, or that nervous net-work situated near the sacrum, from which the genital organs receive their nervous supply.   A paralyzed condition of the womb is aptly illustrated by a paralyzed arm or leg; the loss of natural power, motion, or functions resulting from a diseased condition of some cerebral or spinal nerve-centre, and not from any morbid condition of the part affected.  In all cases, therefore, where the cause of sterility has been ascertained to be uterine paralysis, the proper treatment is to restore the tonic powers of the sacral plexus.  This is best accomplished by the intelligent application of the electric or galvanic current, or by the employment of the appropriate cerebro-spinal tonics and other medicinal agents.  The treatment is, however, to be intrusted to careful, able, and experienced physicians.

    The physiological function of the womb, favoring the transmission of the male formative material from the os uteri to the ovarium, is a certain suction power or intro-staltic motion.  This is accompllished by short and wave-like contractions upward of the uterine muscles.  In a paralyzed condition of the womb, which is usually of a chronic character, there is a complete absence of this uterine motion, and consequently the respective formative materials necessary for procreation never come in contact.

    Membranous menstruation has already been stated as one of the causes of sterility.  This painful affection is characterized by either partial or complete denudation of the uterine cavity of its mucous covering at each menstrual period, leaving the uterine walls in an abraded condition, entirely unfitted for the purposes of gestation.  Conception may, however, take place in these cases, but at the arrival of the first period for the occurrence of the menstrual exacerbation, the placenta and membranes are dislodged with the mucous membrane.

    The childless wife will note that a pathological or abnormal condition of her pelvic organs is relatively the most frequent cause of sterility, all of the affections being characterized by more or less gravity and requiring the most appropriate and energetic treatment in order to restore the organs to health, and at the same time establish functional integrity and maternal capacity.  As most of these uterine affections result from a wilful disregard of the laws of health, slavish obedience to the behests of fashion, and bad habits in general, the author hopes that all females, married or unmarried, who properly appreciate the grandeur of womanhood and motherhood will not wilfully violate physiological law, but strenuously endeavor to preserve uterine health and integrity of the maternal capacity.

    Congenital phymosis is a condition of the male organ depriving him of procreative power in nearly every instance.  The intervention of the prepuce in this case arrests the ejaculatory force of the seminal expenditure, preventing impulsion into the womb.  This deformity is easily obliterated by a surgical operation, which is very frequently performed in my office.  It causes but little pain, no inconvenience, and heals rapidly.  Circumcision among the Jews is a custom having for its object the removal of this frequent obstacle to multiplication, as existing in the male.  Infecundity, especially in the earlier years of marriage, is often a consequence of exhaustion, induced by improper excesses.  Intemperate indulgence often renders both husband and wife, sterile.  The semen must, in order to have procreative perfection, necessarily remain in the seminal vesicles for a certain time, where its procreatiave qualities are fully developed.  After its escape from the vesicles, it further receives the intermixture of prostatic fluid, liquefying it to the proper consistence for easy propulsion into the uterine cavity.  Marital excess is therefore preventive of full procreative quality of the semen.  Excessive indulgence on the part of the wife causes a feebleness of peristaltic motion of the uterine muscles, or, as it may be otherwise termed, the suction power of the womb.  Feebleness of the upward propelling forces of the womb and Fallopian tubes is caused by the excesses alluded to, and hence, if even the semen is introduced within the uterine embrace, the absence of retentive power allows its escape through the mouth of the womb.  Sterility from such cause can only be overcome by the observance of moderation by the conjugal pair, and in most cases restorative medical treatment becomes also a necessity.

    The most susceptible period for the occurrence of conception is immediately after the complete cessation of the menstrual flow.  This susceptibility continues for eight or ten days, but is necessarily greatest at an early period after the menstrual discharge.  The menstrual flow in its discharge carries away all obstructions that exist in the mouth of the womb, thus facilitating intro-propulsion of the semen, and the womb at that period has also its greatest tonic power.  It is, however, not to be supposed that conception will not take place at the period just preceding the menstrual flow; on the contrary, it may occur at any period between the cessation and onset of the catamenial discharge.

    It will thus be seen that many causes, both absolute and relative, tend to sterility.  In but few cases, however, is sterility a fixed fact, or an irremediable condition.  The greatest triumphs achieved by the medical profession were in the study of the causes of sterility, and the best means for their removal.  No physician, alive to the importance and exalted character of his calling, should neglect the study of the subject; on the contrary, he should be conversant with all the pathological features sterility presents, and be able to intelligently ascertain the causes.  An important trust is confided to his professional care; the intensest longing capable of the human  heart depends upon his skill, either to be appeased or unrequited.  Professional acumen is in no respect more essential than in this, and the medical counsellor, unworthy of the trust by reason of imperfect knowledge of the subject, does a grievous wrong by attempting treatment, or venturing decisive advice.  The childless pair should at all times seek the most intelligent counsel and most competent treatment, and not allow themselves to become victims of despondency before they have made such a definite attempt.

    The author has devoted much time and study upon this subject, feeling that no greater field of usefulness is presented to the physician for the exercise of his skill and professional attainments.  The success attained in this sphere of professional activity has only been gained at the expense of laborious study and by the advantages conferred by extensive practice.  Competence can only gained by study and experience in every subject of intelligence -- proficiency being only the reward of intellectual labor and opportunity for exercise of the secured knowledge.

    The author will gladly give advice to those to whom this chapter refers, being justified by previous success and long professional experience to give proper and definite advice and appropriate treatment.  Those desiring to avail themselves of such an opportunity are referred to page 390 for guidance as to the proper information to submit for my consideration.

    By this is generally considered the inability to engage in the virile act.  It essentially signifies a loss of the virile powers.  Impotency may be either partial or complete, and, like sterility, absolute, and relative.  The term impotence is frequently used synonomously with sterility, but, as sterility has been considered in another place, we shall discuss the subject in this place only in the sense implying loss of capacity.

    The loss of virile power is owing to a variety of causes.  The process of loss in idiopathic cases is usually slow, though in some cases invirility ensues quite rapidly.  When due to traumatic causes virile power is lost synchronously with the occurrence of the injury.  Impotence usually follows injuries received by the spine and base of the brain, but in these cases the loss is not of itself a pathological disorder, but essentially symptomatic of the injury.

    The most common cause of impotence is nervous debility, apparent or concealed and unsuspected.  It is the usual sequel to that disease, if it is allowed an unchecked career, manifesting itself at first by a slight incapacity, but which gradually progresses until finally the virile power is completely lost.  That impotence is the inevitable result to nervous debility is quite natural, the ceaseless waste of such a vital element of the male economy as semen can have no other finality.  The general disturbance of the nervous system caused by involuntary spermatic losses is manifested first in the virile organs, as the erectile property of the organ, purely a nervous phenomenon, and consequently any function so directly under the control of nervous power as the erectile quality is the one first to succumb to nervous disorganization.  Impotence in such cases is, therefore, due to feebleness or insufficiency of the nervous stimuli necessary to provoke a copulative aspect of the male organ.  This condition of invirility is also caused by immoderate indulgence, the pathological disorder produced being in all respects the same as that following seminal incontinence, though as a general thing masculine power is lost less rapidly.

    Spinal and cerebral diseases are usually associated with a low condition of the virile power.  This manifestation is quite in accordance with the physiological laws governing the virile functions, as it will be remembered that the nervous supply that the organs of generation receive is the pudental nerve, which arises from the sacral plexus.  The nerve and branches afford the requisite stimuli necessary to promote congestion of the organ, which phenomenon constitutes an erection.  The brain gives the necessary sensory stimulus, without which the nerves are not excited to action.  Phrenologists place amativeness in the lower lobe of the cerebellum, but it is quite probable that its locality, though most evidently in the base of the brain, is not in that situation, as analogy will not comport with such a view.  Observation teaches that the chanticleer is the most amorous of animals, yet anatomists find no lower lobe of the cerebellum in the brain of the fowl.  External violence, however, upon the sacral and occipital regions usually cause virile imbecility, and hence we know that a healthy condition of the base of the brain and sacral plexus is necesssary to the existence of virility.  Diseases, excessive study, intemperate use of tobacco, violent and prolonged grief, etc., are therefore causes of impotency, from the fact that the cerebral disorganization which follows produces inertia of the nervous stimuli.  Apoplexy is also a cause of temporary impotence, in consequence of the paralysis of the sacral plexus ensuing.  It is therefore vitally important that in the consideration of any case of impotence every predisposing cause should receive attention, so that restorative efforts are based upon correct principles.  No pathological condition requires such nicety of treatment as impotence, and none that will so readily be remedied if the medication is thoroughly adapted to the case.  Although impotence is the usual concomitant to long-continued seminal losses, my experience teaches me that a fair proportion of impotent cases are the results of habits and practices which are perfectly legitimate, and to which no shadow of blame or disgrace can be properly attached.  It is a well-established fact that too much mental application, also constant confinement within doors in a vitiated atmosphere, or habitual or sudden exposure to heats and colds, or the destroying influences of extreme grief and care, will produce all the evil effects upon the mental and physical organization that are caused by and attributed to solitary habits.  Nervous debility, which is quite a common and comprehensive name for all failures of the intellectual or physical organs or faculties to perform their functions properly, is originated and nurtured, in both sexes, by a variety of causes as countless as the leaves of the forest.  Consequently, people should not be backward about making their deficiencies of mind or body known to physicians in such a clear and confidential way as to secure to them the full restoration of their normal health and vigor.  Any course of life which is inordinately irksome or, involves heavy tasks, is liable to cause the loss of virile power, or especially in middle age, IMPOTENCY, which is the aggravated form of the same difficulty.  Thus we find that clergymen, merchants, bookkeepers, literary workers, men who are overtaxed by care and labor, lawyers, judges, boys confined too closely at school, young men who seldom take out-of-door exercise, clerks, heads of public departments, and all others who are constantly wearing and tearing both mind and body without seeking the neutralizing aid of rest, amusement, and change of scene, are subjected to some of the numerous ills developed in disabilities and incapabilities which impose untold suffering.  These ills are the inheritance of everybody physically and mentally over-worked, no matter in what capacity they may labor.  It is to be lamented that many of these innocent individuals, from the fear of being charged with guilt, suffer long years in silence when the truly judicious course is to engage medical aid as soon as the fact becomes known.  The old-class physicians have used the most powerful minerals within their reach, and with the earnest and honest desire to do good, have accomplished much that has been of temporary benefit.  But the reaction from the use of these minerals has been, in all instances, of a non-curative character, the patient purchasing for temporary enjoyment many after-years of incapacity and local weakness.

    There is nothing so discomforting to man as the loss of virile power.  He may not be a sensual being, yet manhood is a pride to him, the possession of which is always a gratifying knowledge.  Impotence implies more than mere virile imbecility, it signifies also a loss of vigor and elasticity of the whole organism, and a gloomy state and impairment of the mental faculties.  It has elsewhere been observed that the well-being of the whole economy is greatly dependent upon healthy genitalia; and mental composure, vitality and acuteness of intellect, graceful and easy manners, etc., are no less independent of the virile faculties.  Impotency is, therefore, always a deplorable condition, and he who permits himself to be long without the legacy of virility, commits a great injury upon his own personal welfare, and places but a poor value upon the choice powers of manhood.  Man without virile power is an anomaly; he has lost his status of sex, and is practically a eunuch as long as the unmanly condition is tolerated.  There is a higher motive in posssession of virile power than the ability to gratify amorous passion.  If that alone gave chief value to virility, its loss would be but inconsiderate, but as we have seen that vigorous manhood is consonant to vitality of the mental and physical economies, it gains a value not to be despised, but greatly cherished, even by the most continent and virtuous men.  Healthy functions of the genital organs are as requisite to the integrity of the whole organism as healthy functional action of the thoracic and abdominal organs, and any derangement of the pelvic organs is capable of precisely as much, if not more, disorganization of the general health as a disordered digestive or circulatory apparatus.  I will close the consideration of this subject by inviting all those who are deficient in masculine tone or capacity to call on me in person or consult me by letter.  (See page 385.)


    The greatness, importance, and responsibility of the marital relation are but improperly appreciated and understood by the majority of males and females who enter into that relation.  There is a momentous duty to be performed, far more important than those generally supposed to be incumbent upon husband and wife.  We have in other places considered the more general duties devolving upon husband and wife to be discharged; we will in this place dwell upon a subject which of all others pertaining to the conjugal association of the sexes is the most important, and which as a duty is more universally neglected and improperly performed because the principles and laws governing generations are but imperfectly understood or not at all.  The precise question relative to generation which we purpose to discuss is the transmission to children of the best possible mental, physical and moral attainments.

    We have in another part of this work stated that the legitimate object of marriage is to legalize the sexual covenant, and to confine it within a healthful and moral atmosphere.  This is not only the legitimate, but technically it is the only aspect of which the law takes cognizance.  Such a congress is, therefore, legal between a male and female who have been bound together in wedlock.  This is all right and proper; but not by mere legalized association can the welfare of the race be best advanced or secured.  The distinguishment of animal creation into two sexes was only designed by Nature for one purpose--the multiplication of species; but it never was the purpose of Nature that the sexes should indiscrimately associate, or that the intent and design of multiplication would be fitly subserved in all cases by merely allowing any male to covenant with any female, irrespective of selection.  In the lower animals this is avoided by instinct, but in man the restraint is given by the higher impulses of reason.  Yet, notwithstanding this high quality in man, the purpose of Nature is often defeated or controverted by wilful disregard of the promptings of an innate intelligence or disobedience to what is known as physiological law.

    The first requisite is circumspect marriage.  Without the marital union of eligible parties human progress would be slow, or unpromising.  A circumspect marriage tends, however, to bring into conjugal union the more highly endowed male with the more highly endowed female; or, in other words, the best man would marry only the best woman.  The man having highly developed physical, mental, and moral, faculties would only be content in marrying a woman with similarly developed faculties, and in such a union we have the basis for highly endowed offspring.  In another essay are given the precautions candidates should observe prior to consummating marriage, and if the instructions therein given should be heeded, ufit marriages would be of rarer occurrence.

    But in marriage, proper or improper, a duty has to be performed, neglect of which is sinning against the welfare of the whole race.  The aim of all married people should be the bringing into the world of healthy children, not physically only, but mentally and morally also.  The greatest achievement and proudest monument of parentage is in giving to the world such offspring as will act well their part in the great drama of life.  How is it done?  Can parents so regulate the gestatory process as to give their children at birth the heritage of physical excellence, large mental capacity, and superior moral disposition?  Assuredly they can; it requires but willingness and effort in the right direction.  The mother who imparts to the being hid away in her loins her personal features, her disposition, etc., can impart much more by proper effort.  The father, from whoim the male formative material is received, can do much for the welfare of that being evolved from that material.  For all that it is, the child is indebted to either one of the parents; from them is received the human qualities it possesses or exhibits.  Subsequent care, training, and education may do much, but the original bias is received within the confines of the womb.

    Not much need be said as to the transmission of mental superiority to children.  If the parents are intelligent and educated, the children will also have large mental capacity.  Subsequent mental training will serve to give offspring that mental culture which in the present progressive period of the human race each individual being should possess.  Intelligence, not ignorance, now holds sway; and no one can harmoniously glide along with the current of human progress without a cultivated mind.  If mothers, therefore, have tastes for the intellectual pursuits, let them not abandon them while another life is developing.

    The transmission of moral qualities is more readily accomplished.  To what extent they can be transmitted is not readily definable, but it is a well-settled fact in psychology that the moral habit readily descends from parent to child.  This fact is exemplified in the history of nearly every family, for in nearly every case the moral tone of the children represents that of the parents, at least as far as disposition is concerned.  Vicious association may destroy the moral tone, even if the disposition is unfavorable; but when the disposition is favorable to moral excellence the inclination to vice is strongly curbed, and moral degeneration is not so easily effected, even if the child is surrounded by all the allurement of vice.  On the mother, then, a high duty rests -- she is chargeable with the moral tone of society, not by neglecting the supervision of the moral faculties of her born children so much as by indifference when a human soul is undergoing intro-uterine development.  Motherhood comes to many most unwelcomely; the trials and cares incident to it are not favorably regarded; but there are few women in whom the maternal instinct is so deficient that they would, with sheer malice, endeavor to give birth to a babe so weighted with the destiny of a bad organization, as to make them through life utterly insensible to all the moral relations of life.  Yet such a legacy is completely within the power of a mother to give.  If she is not elevated by purity of thought and of action, if not ennobled by intensity of maternal feeling, and if not actuated by constant solicitude for the welfare of her unborn babe, the organization of the child will be unquestionably vicious.  She should remember that the child in uterine life has no blood but that of the mother; all that courses through its veins and arteries also courses through the blood-vessels of the mother.  How important it is then for mothers to guard against everything calculated to disturb the harmony and regularity of the vascular current!

    The child in utero is technically but an appendage or parasite, over which the maternal mind and body exerts a marked influence; consequently, if mothers in the pregnant state pay heed to the moral relations of life, curb for the time any evil disposition they may have, take pleasure only in that which is pure and upright -- in short, lead a blameless moral life--they will most surely be blest with offspring in whom the disposition will be kind and the moral tone exalted.  Let me then say to expectant mothers: enlighten and elevate the moral sentiments, exercise desirable talents, cultivate beautiful qualities; for if you do, they will certainly bloom in great brilliancy in your children and children's children.  So, too, if there exists among the subtleties of your character any dark spot, exert all your moral strength in order to eradicate it.  Surround the growing soul with good influences; cultivate all noble impulses, all holy aspirations; breathe into the opening flower, by the magic power of a mother's love, such knowledge and moral legacy as will prepare it for the world in all its antagonisms; and you will see in the final fruit the reward for all your care, self-denial, and self-abnegation.  Husbands must learn to recognize this supreme power of their wives over the ante-natal life (both mental and physical), and they must observe such a line of conduct as not to frustrate any endeavor to exercise it rightly, but should give them the best possible conditions to improve it.

    How can parents have healthy children?  This is a question of such significant importance to married people that it should engage their most earnest thought and liveliest interest, for parents can by judicious care and careful practice endow their offspring with most excellent physical vigor.  To effect this it is only necessary that they should themselves be healthy, or to render inert by proper medication the tendency of transmission of any infirmity or disease with which they may themselves be afflicted.  The most potential cause of degenerate health in offspring is the ruinous effect of nervous debility.  Any male who previous to marriage practised self-abuse, and who married while suffering form the effects of such a pernicious habit, cannot furnish for the purposes of generation such perfection of formative material as will insure full health in the being that evolves therefrom.  The seminal liquid is diseased, and carries with it the germs of low vitality and poverty of physical endurance or capacity.  For this reason the author discountenances marriage in those who by youthful errors induced the involuntary expenditure of semen, because that affection destroys the instinct of propagation, and renders the sufferer incapable or unfit to afford such formative material as will result in healthy products of conception.  I therefore adjure all these suffering from this infirmity not to marry until by proper and skilful treatment a healthy integrity of the organs is fully re-established.  If those who are married suffer from the unmanly losses of semen, they should by all means make early endeavors to have their manhood restored in all its fulness.  Those who are partially impotent should not neglect to secure the required treatment -- such as well restore virile vigor and healthy procreating power.  Medical treatment is of the greatest importance, and, assuredly, it is only those who have full manly vigor and integrity that can hope for healthy offspring.  It is scarcely an allowable exercise of privilege for any male to marry if suffering from the effects of indiscretions, as it is well known to every physiologist that procreative capacity is lessened thereby, and offspring usually of feeble mind and body and low moral tone.  Let all such sufferers then fully appreciate the responsibility of the married state, and only enter its portals with healthy genital organs and proper virile capacity.  This advice should be heeded by all who properly estimate marital eligibility.  Their first duty is to engage the services of a competent physician, who will by proper treatment restore the proper integrity of the organs, impart the required vigor, and secure the necessary conditions for healthy propagation.

    Eligibility for motherhood requires full integrity of womanhood.  No healthy babe can be born if its ante-natal life is passed in a diseased uterine cavity.  Women suffering from inflammation or ulceration of the mucous membrane lining the uterine cavity cannot possibly give birth to a healthy child.  It is then a high duty for all wives to make all possible effort to  become sexually healthy, and if they have the prudence to engage the proper herbal they will certainly regain the required feminine vigor and motherhood will be blessing instead of a curse.

    Proper treatment will even avert the transmission of scrofula, epilepsy, consumption, and other diseases capable of hereditation.  This must be given while the child is developing within the uterine cavity.  The disease in the parent may not be cured, but rational treatment, under the guidance of a skillful physician, can so modify the gestatory process as to effectually prevent the child from being born with a similar diasthesis.

    This subject is one of the most important within the whole range of medicine, and should engage the interest of all; it concerns not only individual welfare, but the health and the mental and moral well-being of the whole human race.

    The author gladly gives advice to those who may need counsel or treatment.  Parents who submit their cases for my consideration will be fully advised what course should be pursued.  All communications held inviolably secret.  (See page 385 for guidance as to consultation.)


    This implies the separation of the married pair, by legal dissolution of the matrimonial bonds.  Divorces are most commonly given by the courts for causes occurring after marriage; but jurists, in treating upon this subject, also include those causes by which a marriage may be rendered null upon antecedent grounds; as where a marriage was accomplished by forcible or fraudulent means, or where, in consequence of near consanguinity, the act of cohabitation between the pair is by law considered incestuous.  Where a physical incapacity for marriage prevails in one of the parties, divorces are usually granted by nearly all courts, provided such an incapacity existed previous to marriage.

    It is not our purpose, however, to discuss the subject in its legal aspect, however interesting it might be, but to consider it rather in its popular sense.  It is not within the province of the medical writer to consider the subject relative to its legal bearings, though he may with propriety give the subject the attention it claims with reference to abuse of the marital privilege.  There are practically many divorces between husbands and wives, of which the law takes no cognisance, and for causes for which no court would grant a dispensation.  The author is fully aware that the divorce laws are not any too stringent, and probably too facile in many commonwealths; but, while he is by no means in favor of easy divorce laws, he is ready to admit that the strong hand of the law sometimes is not waved to the side of justice, but inflicts intolerable anguish by enforcing a matrimonial existence which in its very nature is adverse to the very spirit and essence of matrimony.

    It is practically divorcing the marriage tie when mutual love no longer characterizes the union.  The only bond that unites and that makes the union an inseparable one is love, and not the mere formal ceremony of espousal.  The law, however, does not and cannot recognize anything but the vinculum matrimonii as binding, but the philosopher delves deeper, and while he does not dispute the necessity of legal ceremonies, he nevertheless knows that marriage is in its very essence not such a union as defined by law, but a linking of affections, a union of souls and hearts.  Marriage is practically annulled when love is no longer the cord of union; without mutual affection the association becomes intolerable, the higher purposes of the tie are defeated, and the sacred precinct is invaded by elements foreign to the psychical character of the marital atmosphere.  Law can, however, not remedy this; the candidates for marriage must, as before advised, exercise such precautions, that they may not decieve themselves, and only form a matrimonial alliance that augurs a congenial wedded life.  Divorces cannot be granted for uncongeniality, provided no actual infringement of the marriage bond has been committed, and cannot extend a dispensation because married life is loveless.  Abuse of its privileges would follow, and divorce laws should therefore of necessity be stringent, so that marriages be not recklessly contracted, and obliging intended union to be the result of guarded and careful deliberation, as it is easier to prevent mistakes than to rectify them.  Negligence of consulting the better knowledge brings its own reward, and, however intolerable the punishment, a separation cannot ensue by virtue of law.  Humanity would grant the dissolution of the tie, but the purity and purpose of law must be protected.  Stringency must shield it from disgrace, or the possible chance of its becoming the agent whereby injury may be done, or flagrant violations of matrimonial duty may be prompted by its laxity.  Every candidate should lose sight of every consideration except that of happiness in married life, and see that no one can exclaim

    "She (or he) whom the law calls yours,
    Is by her (or his) love made mine."
    In nearly all courts, adultery is sufficient cause for divorce, and very properly so.  It is the most heinous violation of the duty and trust attached to a conjugal union.  Everything besides pales in comparison with adultery in the enormity of its malfeasance in the marital sphere.  It is such a flagrant abuse of duty and fidelity that the conjugal pair owe to each other, that it has even been recognized by divine law as sufficient cause for divorce, and as long as civilization has a foothold, and morality considered a virtue, so long will adultery be regarded subversive to the integrity of the conjugal union.  It is a crime admitting of no extenuation, and incapable of condonement by the morally upright or the virtuous pure.  It is the brand that inflames the worst passions in the one who has thus been injured and disgraced by his or her conjugal associate, surely engendering hate and detestation if the proper value is placed upon marital loyalty.  The bubble that has just burst is as easily reconstructed as to again establish confidence, peace and happiness in that family, of which either the husband or wife has sinned.  The wound is incurable, and prolongation of the wedded association only aggravates.  Therefore, the only remedy is a legal separation from the one who has proved so unworthy of marital trust.  It is not enough that the husband and wife should be guiltless of adultery, but their conduct must be such as to arouse no suspicion of neighbors or others.  The conduct must be so guarded that loyalty is not doubted, but manifested even under circumstances where the liability to err is great, so that fidelity is established and suspicion disarmed.

    That wife, who, by her conduct in society, or in her social intercourse with other men, brings upon her mistrust, and who provokes public scandal by her vagaries and lax conduct, actually debauches her husband's good name, and does him as much injury as she would were she guilty of adultery.  She may never have committed the act, and probably never would, but her deportment is such as to lead observers to the opinion that she would prove disloyal if circumstances favored, thereby committing a grievous wrong, and staining the honor and good name of her husband to an unwarrantable extent.  The man that brings to his bride the legacy of honor and respectability is greatly injured if she by her immoral conduct begets the suspicion as to loyalty of his friends and neighbors, and she is unworthy of his love and protection if she so far forgets her duty as bring a stain upon his character by her own imprudence.  She is guilty of adulterous proclivities, which should be considered sufficient cause for divorce, even if adultery cannot be proven.  On the other hand, the husband, who by improper behavior in company is so unguarded as to be suspected for his loyalty and attachment to his wife, is unworthy of her, and cannot justify his conduct by even the most liberal interpretaton of the marriage contract.  It would, unquestionably, be well if the law would recognize conduct that suggests an adulterous proclivity as sufficient for divorce, even if adultery per se could not be proven, as it would most probably have a salutary effect in counteracting the tendency to the degeneracy of modern free-loveism.

    The cry of many wives of the present day, who think that their duty to society is paramount to the duty they owe to their husbands is -- Would you exclude us from society?  Am I to be imprisoned in the home you afford me and not be allowed to receive my friends, or to mingle again with society?  No, not at all; the seclusivism of the harem is not calculated to promote the best interests of conjugal life; but it is to be insisted upon that when wives are in society their conduct should be so dignified, so hedged in with propriety, that their reputation remains unsullied, that the most suspicious need not suspect, and that the libertine is given no opportunity to make his offensive proposals, nor his heart gratified by a passive submission to his lascivious conversation, looks, and hints.  Caesar claimed not too much in his requirements of a wife -- she should in all respects be above suspicion.  The wife's greatest pride should be the observance of such a line of conduct as meets her husband's approval.  All her actions should be characterized by purity and fidelity, and no cause should be given for unpleasant comment.  Such noble wives are denominated the oppressed, the slaves of men, etc., etc., by the Women's Rights women; but they are not, -- they and they only are the idols of men, at least of those whose affections are pure and worth having.  The angelic quality of women, so often the theme of poets and lovers, is surely only manifested by the virtuous and in the faithful.  The very existence of civilization is dependent upon virtuous women and faithful wives; men may become depraved, but as long as women remain pure, civilization, morality, and religion will be fostered and propagated.  If women live the truth and act the truth, humanity will ever be blessed with the benefits of civilization.

    To the sterner sex the mantle of virtue is no less becoming; and fidelity is as much of an adornment and requirement to them as of the gentler sex.  The libertine is a despicable creature; and the adulterer is so lost to honor and nobility of characters, that his presence in the society of the pure and good should be considered an outrage upon decency and propriety.  Chastity is a superior virtue, and loyalty in wedlock a noble attribute; and whichever one of the conjugal pair proves reckless to these connubial trusts is unworthy of marital companionship and defiles a sacred institution.


    "Some essays have been written on the barbarisms of civilization; many more might be.  Many of the habits prevailing in what ought to be our most refined society are at variance with almost elementary ideas of decency.  Others are equally marked in their injurious physical tendencies.  It is not surprising that clergymen, even when not of the strictest sect, and philosophers of no particular sect at all, have declaimed against fashionable dresses and dances at late hours.  But there are other customs against which no church has fulminated its anathemas, the dangers and absurdities of which no fidgety reformer has perceived or noticed.  One of these conspicuously is the Bridal Tour.
    "Let us illustrate by a typical case.  During one of the earliest and coldest 'cold snaps' there comes off a wedding, which, from the official standing of the parties, naturally attracts some attention.  We are soon told that the 'happy couple' are off on their wedding trip to -- well,  not exactly Alaska or Greenland, but a territory nearly as frigid, and that part of the journey is to be made in stages or sleighs.  The intense excitement in appropriateness of the proceeding, the wonderful pains taken by these people to make themselves uncomfortable on what is supposed to be the most festive occasion in their lives, would move one to Homeric laughter, did not events disastrous to the health of the conjugal pair usually follow so closely on the heels of bridal tours."  If the parties are not as high in the social scale and less wealthy, the mischief done is as great, if not greater, for in their tour they may lack substantial comforts which the wealthy alone can afford.  To all married couples a bridal tour seems to be considered as absolutely essential to give the marital union an importance, without which it would, in their opinion, be an unromantic and but partial marriage.

    Looking at the custom from an aesthetic and sentimental point of view, nothing can be more repulsive.  An American marriage is theoretically a love match, and it is generally so in practice.  Now two persons in love want to see as much as possible of each other, and as little as possible of other people.  It is to that we find exceptions; there are individuals whose diseased vanity desires to give publicity to every act of their life.  It is a misfortune that these vulgarians are not rarer in every class.  An instinct of seclusion and modesty should be the general rule, but this absurd custom forces a new-married couple to put on an unnatural restraint on their legitimate affection, or to make themselves ridiculous before the public.  Love, both emotional and passionate, is usually most exuberant to those recently joined in wedlock, and philosophy would suggest the exercise to be confined more to seclusion than the sporadic opportunities afforded in a wedding tour.

    Now, in the common-sense, practical, man-of-the-world point of view, the fashionable practice is equally objectionable.  It is notorious that nothing, except marriage itself, tries the temper more than joint travel.  Therefore, at the very outset of their life-partnership, the quality on which the happiness of that union principally depends is put to the rudest strain.  The happy couple expose themselves to the insolence of hackmen and hotel-clerks, the discomforts of rail and hotel, irregular hours and uncertain meals.  The Irishman, in the song, married a wife to make him "unaisy."  A wedding tour on one of our great thoroughfares of travel is admirably contrived to accomplish this result for both parties.

    All this, however, it may be suggested, is matter of taste.  We cannot expect to shape the caprices of fashion or custom by the dictates of deliberate philosophy.  But what follows is not a questionable point of taste or comfort; it is a matter of downright fact, as certain as if it could be mathematically demonstrated.

    The consummation of marriage is, with the exception of child-birth, the most critical period, physically, of the woman's life.  After the moral and physical excitement which attends it, her system demands rest, repose, quiet, regular and good living, a supporting and restorative way of life.  If these can be secured for some weeks, so much the better, but at any rate they are necessary for some days. Her emotional nature attains the highest state of excitement, in consequence of assisting in a repast which is approached only by intense agitation, no matter how much she may feel it to be a legitimate incident to marriage.  This makes it doubly exhaustive, and not only her health for the rest of her mortal existence, but the health and strength of her offspring may be, and often are, materially affected by the want of proper care at this time. Instead of which, the bridal tour piles on additional excitement and fatigue, makes regularity of life impossible -- in short, the act involves the reverse of all that the rules of health and physiology require.  There is an underlying sense of modesty which may urge the bride on to a journey immediately after marriage.  The new condition of life exacts changes which she rather would fulfil among strangers then in her own or husband's domicile.  It may confuse the modest and retiring woman to assume the conjugal associations in presence of her parents, brothers and sisters; but as this is one of the modesties not really commendable, however natural it may be, it does not afford sufficient inducement for encountering all the vicissitudes of a wedding tour.

    For man, too, at this time, repose and calm, though not so necessary, are highly desirable.  It constantly happens, in the case of both sexes, that a slight indisposition, which passed unnoticed in the hurry of preparation, is aggravated to a serious and even fatal extent by the excitement, exposure, and neglect consequent on the wedding tour.  No man, for instance, would think of postponing his marriage on account of a slight cold.  If he stayed quietly at home afterward, and took care of himself, it would pass away like other slight colds; but he goes off on a bridal tour in the depth of winter, and the malady develops into a chronic pulmonary complaint.  Nor would a young woman put off her marriage because she felt a little extra lassitude and want of appetite, with an occasional headache, which, however, may be premonitory symptoms of typhoid fever. If you take typhoid fever in time, there is nothing specially dangerous abaout it; care, patience, and slight treatment are only necessary, and it runs its course.  But, if neglected at first, it is almost inevitably fatal.  Many cases of brides and bridegrooms, in my professional experience, came under my observation, dying of typhoid fever just after a wedding trip, which had caused the early symptoms to be misunderstood and neglected.  And I have known things worse than death to happen -- insanity, temporary or permanent, brought on by the extra fatigue and excitement of the wedding journey.

    One old New York custom, and probably to some extent prevailing in other places, was infinitely more rational.  The new-married couple took up their quarters at the house of the bride's father, and remained there in seclusion for a week.  The only fault about this arrangement was the shortness of time, but for a week, at any rate, they had absolute repose and quiet, and enjoyed all the comforts of a home without the trouble of housekeeping.  For one week, at least, the inter-communion of the conjugal pair was unhampered, and secured against the criticism and gaze of the public.

    The present fashion of bridal tours is an unmeaning and unreasonable imitation of the European, especially the English practice.  The original English theory of a wedding trip is, driving in a comfortable carriage, at a rate of speed just sufficient to exhilarate without fatiguing, over good roads, in weather which may be pleasant or unpleasant, but is never dangerously cold or dangerously hot, to some secluded country-place or seaside village, and resting there a month.  The new mode of continental tours is in some respects just as absurd as ours, though the advantage of climate lessens the fatigue and physical risk to some extent.  The notorious mutability of our climate is in itself reason enough why a bride should not be exposed to the accidents of travel.

    It will thus be seen that the medical aspect of a bridal tour is sufficiently important, and the risk incurred sufficiently great, to cause the wedded pair, if they wish to be actuated with impulses of reason and prudence, rather than by the dictates of custom, to pause before they undergo the trials of a wedding journey.  It would certainly be more conducive to their health and happiness if they were guided by a better reason in this respect, and leave wedding trips to be indulged in by those who would rather run the risk of injuring their health and general well-being than offend a fashionable practice.  It is a fashionable vulgarity, and not prompted by the behests of good-breeding and social dignity.

Home | Purpose | People | Projects | Library | Resources

 Copyright © 2006 Meridian Institute