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and the greater Virgil had told me, that certain Mares of his Acquaintance were impregnated by a West Wind, which, therefore I concluded to be one of those opportune Placet, and considered it as the proper Vehicle of these floating Embryos.
But not willing to rely on Hypothesis only, or presume on the Authority of great Names, especially in this enlightened Age, where experimental Philosophy is so triumphant, and nothing goes down that is not made obvious to our Senses, I resolved to have Demonstration before I ventured to publish my Thoughts to the World. There are, I know, a droll Sett of Gentlemen, who think themselves authorised to tell any Lies in Print, and afterwards to quarrel with the World for not believing them : But for my Part, I write purely and simply for the Love of Truth, for the. Use and Emolument of my Countrymen; and I should esteem myself the most unworthy of all Beings, if I presumed to amuse them with Fables, or abuse them with Forgeries.
Accordingly, after much Exercise of my Invention, I contrived a wonderful cylindrical, catoptrical, rotundo-concavo-convex Machine (whereof a very exact Print will speedily be published for the Satisfaction of the Curious, designed by Mr. H—y—n, and engraved by Mr. V—rtu) which being hermetically sealed at one End, and electrified according to the nicest Laws of Electricity, I erected it in a convenient Attitude to the West, as a kind of Trap to intercept the floating Animalcula tn that prolific Quarter of the Heavens. The G 3 , Event
Event answered my Expectation; and when I had caught a sufficient Number of these small, original, unexpended Minims of Existence, I spread them out carefully like Sills-worms Eggs, upon white Paper; and then applying my best Microscope, plainly discerned them to be little Men and omen, exact in all their Limbs and Lineaments, and ready to offer themselves little Candidates for Life, whenever they should happen to be imbibed with Air or Nutriment, and conveyed down into the Vessels of Generation.
After this first Success in my Undertaking, I continued to make Experiments of various Kinds, too tedious to be related, for a whole Year, till I had at length- fully established the Doctrine of Winds and Embryos; and I find that as other Insects ire usually brought by an Easterly Wind, your-'Human Infefls are always wafted from the opposirc Quarter 5 the Swarms of both appear like Eligltts to the naked Eye; ajid both seem destined to roach the fame End of Existence, fty get ennfw.itere nail, born to consume the Fruits of the Ground. •
Oftentimes, while I was viewing them through my Glass, my Imagination would turn romantic' upon the Subject; and represent to me the great Variety of Fortune these Insects might go through, whenever they should happen to be called out into Day-light. I faid in my Mind,' this little Reptile may be an Alexander, that a Faustina, another a Tully, and another a Mountebank; and I was struck with Admiration to consider
der how many Heroes, and Patriots, and Legifla■tars, and Monarchs, were. now contained on a , Sheet of Paper, wfobfe gneat Souls, in Time to come, may make them esteem the whole World too confined a Scene for their Ambition. I remembered the Sarcasm os Juvenal, as true before Life as after Death, Expends Annibalem, &c. and I repeated, with.akind of Enthusiasm, those excellent Lines in Dr. Garth's Dispensary; .jVcwfhe unsolds the saintand dawning Strise - Os insant Atoms kindling into Lise; Ho'iu the dim Speck os Entity began 7' extend its recent Form, andfretch to Man; lo hov) minute an Origin vie-owe : Young Ammon, Cæfar-, and the great Nassau.
'But now the great Trial of all was come, which, I'believe, would have puzzled a whole College of Thy'sicians, and set at nought "all the consulting Powers of W—rw—k Lane. The preparatory Points were established to my entire Satisfaction, but whether Animalcula could be ripened into Existence, by passing through the seminal Vessels of a Woman only, was still a Question; and how to make the Experiment, hlr labor, illud cpus. Very hard it was to know when a Woman had imbibed the necessary Seed; and harder still to restrain her from all Commerce with Man, till the Experiment had Time to take Effect. If I made Choice of a married Woman, there the Difficulties were Innumerablej or if I madeChoice of a'Maiden, Virginity has, in all Ages, been esteemed a.very brittle Ware; and, I preG 4 fume, sume, has not greatly mended its Nature of later Days. Sometimes I thought of taking a Wife, over whom I could usurp an absolute-Authority, and lock her up till the Day of her Labour; but fearing she might grow desperate, when she mould find I had only married her to try an Experiment upon her; and at the fame Time grievously mistrusting the Continuance of my own Asfection, after I had accomplished my Ends, I dismissed that Project, and resolved, after much Perplexity, to hazard all upon a Chambermaid. Accordingly, having first persuaded the Girl she was ill, I read 'Jacob Bebmen five Times over; and then mixing up some Animalcula in a Chymical Preparation, I administered them to her as a Dose of Physick. After which I discarded my Footman, and suffered no Male Creature, in human Shape, to approach my Doors j nay, so great was my Caution to'havemy Stratagem succeed, that I hardly permitted a Dog of the masculine Gender to enter my House.
In about Six Months it was very visible the Medicine had taken Effect; and let the Reader imagine, if he can, the Joy I felt, when first I perceived her begin to bourgeon: At the fame Time too a little Circumstance happened, which heightened my Joy, and put the manner of her Conception beyond all Possibility of Doubt. As I was "fitting alone one Morning in my Study, ruminating on this great Event, the Girl came in to me with Tears in her Eyes, and having obtained my Leave to ask a Question, entreated me earnestly to tell her, ;/ it was possible to breed after three
Tears? Years? Though I guessed the Drift of her Question, yet, affecting an Air of Ignorance, and putting on a grave Physician's Aspect, I ordered her to be more explicit; whereupon she proceeded, with frequent Breaks of Crying, to tell me howmuch she was astonished at some Symptoms; that Heaven above knew what was the Matter with her, but she verily believed hersels a breeding, and yet jl,e could take per Bible Oath, jbe had not been— been—been touched by a Man sor these three Tears [p]. So then, faid I, with a sterner Countenance, G 5 and
[bJ When I wrote this, I had not seen a remarkable Case published in the Philosophical Iransaflions of September, of a Woman, from whom a Foetus was extracted, that had been lodged thirteen Yesrs in the Fallopian Tubes, sent from Riga by Dr. James Mounfcy, Physician to the Czarina's Army, together with the Bones of the faid Foetus, as a Present to the Royal Society of Loucon. The Woman, as we are told in that ingenious Treatise, was a Soldier's Wise of Abo in Finland, os a middle Stature, who, being pregnant for the third Time in the Year 1730, was afflicted with violent Pains and Twistings of the Bowels, &c. and continued sickly for ten Years asterwards. In the Month of September 1741, she pierced her Navel with an Awl, out of which ran a yellow-coloured Water, &c. In the Month of June two small Bones came out, tfc and in OSober 1742, (he was taken in band by Dr. Mounsey, and Mr. Geitle, Surrgeon, who thrust a grooved Probe into the FiJlula, and made an Incision with a History, upwards and obliquely, from the Linea alba, into the Cavity of the Abdomen; but the Woman being unruly (as well she might) and the Operation not going on according to the Doctor's liking, he proceeded no fuither till the next Day, (S'c. At the next Operation the Incision was canitd downwards; but care taken not to mike the external Wound larger than needful, lest the Omentum and Gut? should