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portion of the vagina long after they have been emitted from the testes.

Nature has, however, not only given the adult animal these instincts, but provides in a most wonderful way for their gratification.

SEXUAL ATTRACTION.—The devices, so to speak, which nature employs to bring the sexes together, are among the most interesting facts of zoology. No one can fail to notice the wonderful design evinced in bringing the sexes together by means of a phosphorescent light, as is the case with luminous insects. “ The glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca) is an animal resembling a catepillar; its light proceeds from a pale-coloured patch, that terminates the under side of the abdomen. It is, indeed, the perfect female of a winged beetle, from which it is altogether so different that nothing but actual observation could have inferred the fact of their being the different sexes of the same insect. The object of the light appears to be to attract the male, since it is most brilliant in the female, and in some species, if not all, is present only in the season when the sexes are destined to meet, and strikingly more vivid at the very moment when the meeting takes place. The torch which the wingless female, doomed to crawl upon the grass, lights up at the approach of night, is a beacon which unerringly guides the vagrant male to her “lone illumined form,' however obscure the place of her abode.”'! The cause of this light is doubtless phosphorus, and we have reason to suppose that this is expended to a great extent in the act of copulation.

MARITAL DUTIES.-As I have advised continence, absolute and entire, for the young and the unmarried, so not the less urgently would I impress on the married the duty, for their own sakes, of moderation in sexual indulgence.

None, perhaps, but medical men can know at all (and they can know but a fraction of) the misery and suffering caused by illregulated desires and extravagant indulgences among married people. (See Marital Excesses, at page 148.) Antiquity was sensible of the expediency of regulating to some extent these indulgences. Many ordinances existed among ancient nations for the purpose, of which I give a few examples.

1 Kirby and Spence, vol. ii, p.


The following is a freely translated extract from the “Uxor Hebraica” of John Selden, lib. iii, cap. 6 (in his works, ed. 1646, vol. ii, pp. 717–720):

They would have the conjugal debt paid regularly by the husband in proportion to the energy unused in his avocation. According to the Misna, a man was allowed one or two weeks' leave of absence on the score of a religious vow of abstinence. Law students were exempt. A weekly debt was forced upon artificers, but a daily one upon vigorous young husbands having no occupation. Donkey-drivers (employed in transport of merchandize, &c.) were liable once a week; camel-drivers (a calling entailing much labor and travelling) once in thirty days; sailors once (at any time) in six months. This is according to the Rabbi Eliezer."

Solon required three payments a month, without reference to the husband's avocations.

Mottery states in his “ Travels,” vol. i, p. 250, that the Turkish law obliges husbands to cohabit with their wives once a week, and that if they neglect to do so, the wife can lodge a complaint before a magistrate.

My own opinion is that, taking hard-worked intellectual married men residing in London as the type, sexual congress ought not to take place more frequently than once in seven or ten days; and when my opinion is asked by patients whose natural desires are strong, I advise those wishing to control their passions to indulge in intercourse twice on the same night. I have noticed that in many persons a single intercourse does not effectually empty the vasa deferentia, and that within the next twenty-four hours strong sexual feelings again arise; whereas, if sexual intercourse is repeated on the same night, the patient is able to so restrain his feelings that ten days or a fortnight may elapse without the recurrence of desire. The advantage of a second emission may be further considered with reference to statements on page 209, where I notice the probability that one vas deferens is only emptied at each emission. I believe the non-observance of some such rule as this is a very frequent cause of sterility in the female, as the spermatozoa are not fully formed. The comments that have been made on these statements, as published in former editions, induce me to add the following observations. The reader will remark that I specially desire to confine my remarks to hard-worked intellectual married men residing in London, and I repeat, every years' experience teaches me that I have done well in thus limiting my remarks to the denizens of large cities. No one, perhaps, more than myself is aware that strong muscular countrymen, who have no occupation or mental drain on their systems, may and do follow out a very different course, without any apparent detriment to the system. On the other hand, I could point out many a married man, the sole cause of whose derangement of health has been dependent upon sexual excesses, the best proof of which is that the health was often restored as soon as the excesses were left off.

The advice given above that sexual intercourse should not be repeated more frequently than once a week has been objected to as giving an exaggerated idea of the exhausting nature of the act of coitus; and the admitted fact that much more frequent congress is frequently practised without injury, has been considered as conclusive against my view. It must, however, be remembered that I am speaking, not of exceptionally strong constitutions, but rather of those who come to consult us on account of an acknowledged sexual debility.

No one can deny that an enormous expenditure of semen can take place in men as well as in animals, but I believe medical men themselves have only recently become aware of the amount of ill health and debility which follows the lavish waste of the seminal fluid in those who, so to speak, cannot afford it. In my own experience I have met with many persons who, as they look back to their past career, regret that ignorance of nature's laws induced them to overstep the bounds of prudence, and now attrib

of their ailments to sexual excesses continued for a long period in ignorance that they were excesses at all."

It should not be forgotten that excess, even among married people, should be guarded against from higher motives than mere prudence. On this view of the subject I will quote from Bishop Jeremy Taylor's “Rule and Exercises of Holy Living;” in the

See chapter on Marital Excesses at p. 155.

ute many

chapter entitled “Rules for Married Persons, or Matrimonial Chastity,” he says:

“In their permissions and license, they must be sure to observe the order of nature and the ends of God. He is an ill husband that uses his wife as a man treats a harlot, having no other end but pleasure. Concerning which our best rule is, that although in this, as in eating and drinking, there is an appetite to be satisfied, which cannot be done without pleasing that desire, yet since that desire and satisfaction was intended by nature for other ends, they should never be separate from those ends, but always be joined with all or one of these ends, with a desire of children, or to avoid fornication, or to lighten and ease the cares and sadnesses of household affairs, or to endear each other ; but never with a purpose, either in act or desire, to separate the sensuality from these ends which hallow it.

“ Married persons must keep such modesty and decency of treating each other that they never force themselves into high and violent lusts with arts and misbecoming devices; always remembering that those mixtures are most innocent which are most simple and most natural, most orderly and most safe. It is the duty of matrimonial chastity to be restrained and temperate in the use of their lawful pleasures ; concerning which, although no universal rule can antecedently be given to all persons, any more than to all bodies one proportion of meat and drink, yet married persons are to estimate the degree of their license according to the following proportions.-1. That it be moderate, so as to consist with health. 2. That it be so ordered as not to be too expensive of time, that precious opportunity of working out our salvation. 3. That when duty is demanded, it be always paid (so far as in our powers and election) according to the foregoing measures. 4. That it be with a temperate affection, without violent transporting desires or too sensual applications. Concerning which a man is to make judgment by proportion to other actions and the severities of his religion, and the sentences of sober and wise persons, always remembering that marriage is a provision for supply of the natural necessities of the body, not for the artificial and procured appetites of the mind. And it is a sad truth that many married persons, thinking that the floodgates of liberty are set wide open, without measures or restraints (so they sail in the channel), have felt the final rewards of intemperance and lust by their unlawful using of lawful permissions. Only let each of them be temperate, and both of them be modest. Socrates was wont to say that those women to whom nature hath not been indulgent in good features and colors should make it up themselves with excellent manners, and those who were beautiful and comely should be careful that so fair a body be not polluted with unhandsome usages. To which Plutarch adds, that a wife, if she be unhandsome, should consider how extremely ugly she should be if she wanted modesty ; but if she be handsome, let her think how gracious that beauty would be if she superadds chastity.” (P. 70, Bell and Daldy edition, 1857.)

Let me add the advice of a still older writer, who, on these subjects, amid much quaintness has many most sound and excellent remarks-Chaucer.

"And for that many a man,” he says, “weeneth he may not sinne for no lecherousness that he doth with his wife, certes that opinion is false; God wot a man may slay himself with his own knife, and make himself drunk with his own tun. Man should love his wife by discretion-patiently and temperately..

" Then shall man understand that for three things a man and his wife may fleshly assemble (come together). The first is in intent of engendure of children to the service of God-for certes that is the cause final of matrimony, for neither of them has power of his own body. The second cause is to yield every of them his debt unto other of his body. The third is to eschew lechery and villany. The fourth forsooth is deadly sin. .... Understand that if they assemble only for amorous love, and for none of the foresaid causes, but for to accomplish that burning delight, they reck never how oft, soothly, it is deadly sin; and yet, with sorrow, some folk will more pain them for to do, than to their appetite sufficeth.” (“Chaucer's Canterbury Tales,” “The Parson’s Tale.”)




It is a common notion among the public, and even among professional men, that the word excess chiefly applies to illicit sexual connection. Of course, whether extravagant in degree or not, all such connection is, from one point of view, an excess. But any warning against sexual dangers would be very incomplete if it did not extend to the excesses too often committed by married persons in ignorance of their ill effects. Too frequent emissions of the life-giving fluid, and too frequent sexual excitement of the nervous system are, as we have seen, in themselves most destructive. The result is the same within the marriage bond as without it. The married man who thinks that, because he is a married man, he can commit no excess, however often the act of sexual congress is repeated, will suffer as certainly and as seriously as the unmarried debauchee who acts on the same

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