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If we dcfcend from thcfe allegoric Ages to fucceeding Times, when Hiftory had learnt a more fober Style, and was Contented to tell Truth without Difguife, we fhall find fome few Examples here alfo to our Purpofe. Diodorus Siculus informs us, in an old Edition of his Works, communicated to me by my learned and induftrious Friend the Rev. Dr. T — rt that a certain Sorcerefs of Egypt. pretended, among other fupernatural Claims, to be. able to breed without the Help of Man; and under Colour of thefe Pretences, would have perfuaded People to believe her the celebrated I/is, returned to vifit her native Country; but at laft a Prieft of Taautus, or Mercury, was found in Bed with her, and fo the Affair was at an End.
Polylius has a Story more explicitly to ouf Purpofe; but he fpeaks of it with fo much Diftruft himfelf, that I will not venture to produce it, left it fhould give an Air of Romance to this Performance [/].
Among the Roman Hiftorians, I can only produce an Example from Livyt of a Woman who was re» ported to have been delivered of Twins in a defolate uninhabited Ifland, where fhe was caft away, and had not feen a human Face for the Space of Nine Years before her Labour. He tells us fhe was brought to Rome, and examined' before the Roman Senate; but the Particulars of this Story are fo very prolix and
tediousj that I choofe to refer the Reader to the Original, in the fiftieth Book of that incomparable Hiftorian.
This is all I have been able to meet with in my reading, which I was willing to produce, as it may give fome Light and Confirmation to my Hypothefis; but I appeal to the illuftrious Mr. W—rb—», that great Decider of old Problems and modern Controverfies, who well knows the Zaal of Authors to have their Works thought original, whether notwithftanding any thing here quoted, the Merit of this great drcanum does not of right belong to me? I mention that Gentleman's Name, who now unqueftionably ftands foremoft in the Catalogue of Britijh Writers, with the moft profound Rcfpefi; and it would afford me infinite Pleafure, if he would give this Subject a Difcuition in the next Volume of the Divine L—g—», whenever he pleafes to oblige the World with that long-expected Work: Or if, by Chance, he fhould happen not to have room for it, being already furnifhed with his Complement of Digreflions (and to be fure one Book can hardly contain every thing) ftill I have the Vanity to expect a Letter from him by the firft Poft, to thank me, according to Cuftom, for the honourable Mention I have made of him, and with fome Compliments on my Performance, to make an Overtuj&oihis Acquaintance.
It now remains, before 1 conclude, to explain the
great Advantages that will flow froni the Publication
<if this Treatifej for this it is, which muft redeem
Mi me me from the reproachful Name of a Proje&or, and rank me in the Number of thofe illuftrious Worthies, who have invented ufeful Arts for the better Accommodation and Happinefs of human Life [g].
/'X And, in the firft Place, I hope I fhall merit untverfally the Thanks of all the Fair Sex, for difabufing Mankind on the Subject of Conception, and teaching them how a Woman may be with Child in a fmgle State, confiftently with the pureft Virtue.
Cur ego defyerem fien fine Conjuge Mater,
But before this was known, when the World was 'foolifh enough to fuppofe Coition always previous to Conception, how many Ladies have innocently loft their Reputation? How many unhappy Creatures have fallen under the Cenfures of a malicious World, been excluded from Vifits, left out of Card-Parties, and pointed at by Prudes, only for the flight Inconvenience of happening to be brought to Bed before Marriage? Whereas, when once this Difcovery is fpread, it will be eafy fora young Lady to lofe her Maidenhead without loftng her Character, and to take the Air without any Oread of Calumny and Repro ich in Confequence of fo innocent a Gratification
Jam redit et "Virgo, redtunt Saturma regna,
Another great Benefit refulting from this Difcovery, .will be the utter Abolition of Matrimony, which has long been complained of by all the polite Worl4, as a Nufance grievous and intolerable, inconfiftent with all the Articles of modern Pleafure, and deftructiveof that Freedom, which of Right belongs to Gentlemen. In confequence whereof, we fee Dukes and Dutchefles, Lords and Ladies, and all the Great, whoring, divorcing, poifoning one another, ftarving one another, cutting one another's Throats, and practifing every other genteel fafhionable Art to break loofe from their Fetters, and refcue themfelves from this worfe than Egyptian Bondagev Now as I am a moft devoted Admirer of the Great, apt to efteem every thing wife, lawful and right, that comes from the Mouth of a Nobleman, I account myfelf happy to be Author of a Scheme, that falls in fo naturally with their Defires, and will deliver them from that moft pernicious Inftitution, fupported by no other Authority than that of the Scriptures, an Authority long obfolete and out of Date with the politer Part of Mankind! And as I cannot doubt but all Women for the future will choofe to propagate the Species upon the Plan here recommended, I can affure them for their Comfort, that their Satiffaction will be as great in this Way, as in the ordinary and coarfer Communication with Man; which indeed the Fondnefs that Ladies have always expreffed for Zephyrs, abundantly proves, though hitherto they have been ignorant of the Caufe of the agreeable Senfations excited by that amorous Wind.
j>] hvtntat aut jui lutam excclucre far arta, Vlie. Quocmd i'or the S .ik« of a QupUtioa.
-i'V .'«:•:" .
But the moft capital Advantage of all remains yetto be told, and in defcribing of this I muft exalt my^ Style:
M 3 -- M»jf
• • Major rerum mihi nafcitur ordo,
/ There is a certain Diftemper moft fatally epidemic, which has much employed the Speculation, and more the Practice, of Mankind. Whether with Phyficians we call it the Lues Vtnerea, with 'Pothecaries the Venereal Dlfeafe, with Ladies the French Diftemper, or with fine Gentlemen the P — *•; it is known by all thefe Denominations, befides an infinite Number of inferior Titles, that mark the feveral Stages of this puiflant, deftroying Peftilence.
• Nomina mille,
Mills nocendi artes,
Some tell you that Columbus brought it over from his new American World in a Ban-box; and that it is nothing more than the Yaws operating differently upon European Conftitutions [/>]. Others are contented to go no farther for it than France; and very confidently affure us, that it was imported hither among other elegant Accomplifhments, for which we have been indebted to that Land of Luxury and Refinement. But though its Origin be doubtful and uncertain, its Atchievements are unqueftionably fure; and, oh, that I had the Pen of Pracaftorius to defcribe
[i] However feme People may contend for the modern Introduction of this Diftemper, I am perfuaded it is as old as the Days of Hercults, and that this ilkiftrious Giant-killer was infeifted with it. The enveliomed Shirt of Neffui, and the Torments he fuffered by putting it on, are plainly a Poetic Allegory, which I interpret in the following ea/jr Manner,— tfej/iu p«*'d his Whore, and flie p--x'd Htreula.