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Minds to be interrupted with Pity; but though had been long used to the Sight of Misery, and had acquired a sufficient Constancy of Features, there was something in the Scene before me too powerful for Custom; and I really found myself inclining to Compassion. But the good old Lady soon put a Stop to these Womanish Emotions of my Spirit, falling upon me with the most outrageous Abuse, for daring to asperse her Daughter's Reputation in that wicked ruffianly Manner, vowing it -was a Lie, a damn'd Lie; and she wondered her Husband could bear it without Resentment. To all which I replied, with some Acrimony, that I was not used to be treated with such Language, that I knew very well how difagreeable a Truth it must be to a Parent's Ear; but since my Office could not protect me from Abuse, my Honour obliged me to take my Leave; and so making a Bow, I left the Family to grow calm at leisure; not doubting but I should have a second Summons, when they had reasoned themselves into Temper. Accordingly a Chariot came to fetch me the next Morning; and though the Mother could hardly bridle in her Passion, and the young Lady protested every Moment she was innocent, Asfairs were now too far advanced to be concealed; and about Five in the Afternoon, I conducted into the World the little malicious Witness, whose Evidence was so fatal to the young Lady's Character, and so necessary to the Vindication of mine. Yet still, after this seemingly conclusive Conviction, she continued to make the fame earnest E>eclarations to all who visited her; and one Day, as I

was was sitting alone with her, after she was pretty well recovered from the Shock of her Delivery, she caught me hastily by the Hand, and with. many Tears, and many Asseverations of Innocence, begged of Heaven to blast her immediately with Lightning, if ever she had known a Man. Such earnest Protestations, delivered with such an Air os Truth, and accompanied with so many moving Tears, wrought upon me so strongly, that, I knew not how, I found myself strangely inclined to believe her, even against the Remonstrances of Reason and Experience. Full of what she had faid, I returned Home in a very thoughtful Mood, and continued uneasy and perplexed for a great while; till one Day happening to take up Mr. Woollaflon's Religion os Nature delineated, I fell accidentally upon a Passage, which struck such a sudden Light on my Imagination, that I shall beg Leave to quote it at large, as the Groundwork and Foundation of my whole System.

That great Philosopher disputing whether human Souls are traduced from Parents to their children, or supernaturally conveyed into the Foetus at the Time of its Birth (which is a very worthy Subject of philosophic Enquiry, because impossible to be determined, and much a-kin to that learned Disquisition of old, [a] whether Eggs or

[a] Cenfirinus fays, many of the old Philosophers asserted the Eternity of the World upon this excellent invincible Argument, "quod negent omnino posse reperi"ri, avesne ante an ova gencrata sint; cum et ovum "sine ave, et avis sine ovo gigni non posfit" Th's interesting Question was once much agitated, as may be seen by Macrobius and Plutarch, who calls it To iu-oso■ Kj veoTMt i7sa7sta!» Toft Cviitixoiv GWsfpjM wf>€^if*«

Vol. I. * G the the Chicken in them are first created) in the fifth Section of his incomparable Work, has the following remarkable Passage: "If then the Se"mina, out of which Animals are produced, arc "(as I doubt not) Animalcula already formed; '* which being distributed about, especially in "some opportune Places, are taken in with Ali. •* ment, or perhaps the very Air ; being separa"ted in the Bodies of Males, by Strainers proper ** to every Kind, and then lodged: in their semir ** nal Vessels, do there receive, some kind of Ad** dition and Influence; and then being transfer"red into the Wombs of the Females, arc there "nouriihed more plentifully, and grow too big ** to be longer confined: I lay, if this be the * Case, We." And again, " I cannot but con** elude that there are Animalcula of every Tribe ** originally formed by the Almighty Parent, to "be the Seed of all future Generations; and it is "certain the Analogy of Nature in other Instan"ces, and microscopical Observations, do strong

"ly abet what I have faid." These are the

Words of the great and learned Mr. Woollaston; which I had no sooner read, than I was instantly thrown into a Reverie, and began to reflect with myself, that if such little Embryos or Animalcula are so dispersed about, and taken in at the Mouth with Air or Aliment; and if nothing more is required than a certain hot Bed for them to dilate and expand themselves, till they grow too big to be longer confined, after the Manner of Seeds in a Cucumber-Frame: I fay, if this be the whole 'Mystery Mystery of Generation (and Experiment has since fully convinced me that it is so) I began to question, why might not the Foetus be as completely hatched in the seminal Vessels of the Woman, as when it pastes through.the Organs of both Sexes? Why should the Animalculum, or little Animal, go such a tedious Progress, make such a roundabout Tour, when'there is so much nearer a Road, so much shorter a Cut into Day-sight? As to what the great Philosoper mentions of Strainers in she Bodies of Males, that was plainly owing to his Want of Skill in Anatomy; and the only Doubt now remaining with rhe was,. whether Animalcula did really float about in the Air, and Aide down the Throat as he described? for I had been used ta.think they were. originally lodged irr the Loins of the Males: But if Mr. W'oollasion,s Hypothesis could be proved, the Consequence," I thought, would then be easy and undeniable; Here again I was at 3 Stand; all before me was Darkness and Doubt; I knew not if there were any such Animalcula, or, if there were, I supposed them too small to be discovered by the naked Eye; and though perhaps they might be' discernible with the Help of a Microscope,. yet I knew not where to seek for those upporfune' Places, hinted at by the great Metaphysician.^, ..

In this second Perplexity, Fortune again slept in to my Assistance, and my Doubts were.unridled by the following Passage in Fijgsl's'Geor^icJii >",

Ore omnes verse in Zephyrtisttint ritpilttrnltis,' 1
ExceplAntque levies auras ;' et fief esne ullii

Conjugiis VMM gravid* {mirahile di3u)
Saxa per tt scop u/os et depreffas convalles
Diffugiunt; non, Eure, tuos, neque Sol is ad or t us,
In Boream Caurumque, aut unde nigerrimus Aufter
Nascitur, et pluvio contrislatsrigore cerium.

Thus translated by Mr. Dryden;

The Mares to Cliffs os rugged Rocks repair,
And, with wide Nostrils,snuff the Western Air:
When (wondrous to relate) the Parent Wind,
Without the Stallion, propagates the Kind.
Thenstrd with amorous Rnge, they take their Flight
Thro' Plains, and mount the HUFs unequal Height.
Nor to the North, nor to the rising Sun;
Nor Southward to the rainy Regions run;
But boring to the West, and hov'ring there,
With gaping Mouths they draw prolific Air,

Now it is well known, that this fame Virgil was a great Natural Philosopher, as well as a Poet and a Farrier; and here we fee he confidently asserts, that it was very common for Mares to become pregnant, without any Coition, only by turning their Faces to the West, and snusfing up the Wind iirthat Quarter: But all Naturalists being agree4*hat there is a great Analogy and Similitude in the generation of all Animals, whether Bipeds or Quadrupeds, it occurred to me, that' what had happened-to a Mare, might", for this very Reason, happen to a Woman.

Thus was I got successfully through two Steps of my Pifcovery: The great Woollaston has told me, that Animalcula were dispersed about in opportune Places, to be the Seed of all Generations;


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