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tion. In order to satisfy myself that these affections of the heart were not organic, I have met in consultation most of the ablest men in London, and we have come to the conclusion that these patients are suffering from functional diseases of the heart, and consequently the prognosis becomes much less serious, provided, as I stated in the preceding chapter, the patients will forego these excesses, and treatment is prescribed calculated to enable the patient to gain mastery of his will and to exert self-control. As soon as this power of exercising self-restraint is gained, the usual tonics, stimulants, and sedatives will exert the beneficial influence proper to them, though they may have been taken previously without any benefit. It is in this that the advantages of the modern treatment for diseases of the heart consist, and the results achieved fully bear out my favorable prognosis of such
THIRD PERIOD-ADULT AGE.
THE FUNCTIONS AND DISORDERS OF THE REPRO
DUCTIVE ORGANS IN THE ADULT.
The following pages will, for the purpose of greater clearness and conciseness, be divided into two parts. In the first I propose to enter on general considerations relating to the sexual condition of the adult, and in the second, to refer, with rather more minuteness, to the special constituent parts and necessary requisites of the sexual act, viz., erection, ejaculation, and emitted
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE SEXUAL
CONDITION OF THE ADULT.
The commencement of adult life is a period in human existence less marked, perhaps, but not less real, and hardly less critical, than that of puberty. The general growth of the body is complete. The immature limbs of youth are hardened into the firm and elastic frame of the man. The mental powers should be at their highest. The will and judgment should command, and yet be enlivened by the remains of youthful energy and enthusiasm. And, which is more to our present purpose, the virile powers, whose existence commenced at puberty, now at last matured, should be fit and ready to be exercised in obedience to the Creator's command to “be fruitful and multiply.”
At a period differing in every man's life—but occurring generally somewhere between twenty-five and thirty-he is conscious, if he have lived on the whole a chaste life, of a great change in those sexual tendencies of which he has been frequently conscious before. They are no longer the fitful fancies of a boy, but are capable, he feels, of ripening at once into the steady rational passion, or rather purpose, of the full-grown man.
The natural longing is there still, but it is no longer towards mere sensual indulgence (it will be remembered that I am speaking of the continent man) but is deeply tinctured with the craving for wife and home and children.
Still, it is not to be denied, that however purified and fortified by these additional elements, the sex-passion in a healthy continent adult is very powerful; very different from the sickly cravings of the voluptuary, or the mad half-poetical desires of a boy, but requiring his utmost efforts to control, and his best wisdom to guide, when he is able at last lawfully to indulge it.
My object, at present, will be to discuss these sexual desires in the adult with a view to furnish, if I can, some hints and suggestions which may be not without their use, in enabling him to judge wisely, and decide rightly in some of the most important crises of his life.
First let us recall the real physical character of the sexual desires. “They are,” says Carpenter, “in man, prompted by instinct, which he shares with the lower animals. This instinct, like the other propensities is excited by sensations, and these may either originate in the sexual organs themselves, or may be excited through the organs of special sense. Thus, in man it is most powerfully aroused by impressions conveyed through the sight or touch; but in many other animals, the auditory and olfactory organs communicate impressions which have an equal power; and it is not improbable that in certain morbidly excited states of feeling, the same may be the case in ourselves. Localized sensations have also a powerful effect in exciting sexual desires, as must have been within the experience of almost every one; the fact is most remarkable, however, in cases of satyriasis, which disease is generally found to be connected with some obvious cause of irritation of the general system, such as pruritus, active congestion, &c. The seat of this sexual sensation is no longer supposed to be in the cerebellum' generally, but probably in its central portion, or some part of the medulla oblongata.”
Roubaud considers that as venereal desires are instinctive in animals at the rutting season, so also are they in young human males, at puberty, after long periods of continence, or after intervals of healthy rural repose. Later in life these desires, he thinks, answer to no appeals but those of sensation or imagination. It is the sense of smell which principally affects the lower animals, the odour of the sexual organs of the female possessing an extraordinary attraction for the males of the breed; but all the senses have power to influence the desires of man. “There is no doubt,” adds this author, “that mere volition, without the aid of the senses, is adequate to engender venereal desires. Such is the force of the imagination that, without reference to instinct and sensation, it is competent by itself to produce not only venereal erethism, but even the very act of ejaculation."
1 M. Flourens removed the cerebellum from cocks, yet they exhibited sexual desire—but were incapable of gratifying it. Among animals, there is no proportion to be observed between the size of the cerebellum and the development of the sexual passion. On the contrary, many instances may be mentioned in which a larger sexual appetite co-exists with a smaller cerebellum; e. g., rays and eels, which are among the fish that copulate, have no laminä on their rudimental cerebella ; and codfish, which do not copulate, but deposit their generative fluids in the water, have comparatively well-developed cerebella. Among Amphibia, the sexual passion is apparently very strong in frogs and toads; yet the cerebellum is only a narrow bar of nervous substance. Among birds there is no enlargement of the cerebellum in the males that are polygamous; the domestic cock's cerebellum is not larger than the hen's, though his sexual passion must be estimated at many times greater than hers. Among Mammalia the same rule holds ; and in this class the experiments of M. Sassaigne have plainly shown that the abolition of the sexual passion by removal of the testes in early life is not followed by any diminution of the cerebellum; for in mares and stallions the average absolute weight of the cerebellum is 61 grains, and in geldings 70 grains, and its proportionate weight compared with that of the cerebum is on an average as 1 : 6.59 in mares, as 1 : 5.97 in geldings, and only as 1 : 7.07 in stallions. On the whole, therefore, it appears advisable to wait for more evidence before concluding that there is any peculiar and direct connection between the cerebellum and the sexual instinct or sexual passion.—Kirkes' Handbook of Physiology, 7th edition, by M. Baker, p. 530.
It is to be expected that, at the time when the man is physically in the fittest state to procreate his species, nature should provide him with a natural and earnest desire, a stimulus, as it were to the commission of the act which he is now fully competent to perform, not only without injury, but often with positive advantage to himself. This physical condition is thus described in the ‘Encyclopædia of Anatomy :'
“During the period of excitement, spermatozoa are becoming rapidly adult, the testicles and the ducts are full of semen, the individual is in the condition of a fish with a full milt, or a bird or stag with enlarged testes. He now instinctively seeks the society of women. Intercourse with females increases his excitement, and all is ready for the copulative act.” (“Encyclopædia of Anatomy,” Art. “ Vesiculæ Seminales.”)
These, then, are the physiological conditions of the adult male. He feels that MANHOOD has been attained, he experiences all those mysterious sensations which make up what we call VIRILITY.
Lallemand thus describes the normal condition of the healthy adult.—“Virility, derived from the Latin word vir, a man, is the distinctive characteristic of the male; it is the condition upon which essentially depends the preservation of the species. Is this deep and moral sentiment the artificial result of education, of social convenance, of institutions, &c. ? Certainly not! for it is identical in all men, among all people, it is even more energetic, or at least more potent among the least educated, and the least civilized. It depends then evidently on the instinct of propagation, the most powerful feeling of all, after that of selfpreservation.” (Vol. iii, p. 124.)
This feeling of virility is much more developed in man than is that of maternity in woman. Its existence, indeed, seems neces