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and a Tone of Severity, You confess then that about three Yejrs ago, you was guihy of Incontinency !—Tes, Sir, replied she, to be sure it would be a Folly to deny it to a Man os your Learning—to be sure 1 musl consess that about three Years ago—to be sure, Sir, I was not quite so good, Sir, as I should have been, Sir.—My lafl A'aster, Sir, ivbo was a Parson, Sir,—God sorgive him and me too, —Iam sure 1have repented it a hundred Times, and J hope he has done the same.—The Courteous Reader, I hope, will pardon my descending to such low Particulars, which, I confess, are beneath the Dignity of a Philosopher; but as it very much toncerns me, in an Affair of such Moment and Importance to the World, to shew how regularly .and cautiously I proceeded, it was necessary to describe the Girl's Simplicity as a Proof of her Honesty. Authors who write only for the Amusement of Mankind, may choose and omit Circum
sall out, .——-In ihort, the Fœtus was at length extracted Piece-meal at several difficult Operations. Now coinpniing all these Circumstances together, it seems reasonable to believe that this Fruit never was in the Cavity of the Womb, but that the impregnated Ovum was slope in its Pastage through one of the Falofian Tubes, where it grew and was detained so man/ Years. Nothing therefore can bi concluded from hence against the Cause 1 have assigned of my Maid's Pregnancy (as a certain learned Gentleman of the Royal Society, who communicated this Story to uie, seemed to imagine) for the Cases •are very different; and the uncommon Delay of this Finland Woman's Delivery was owing to the preternatural Situation of the Fœtus.
stances stances at their own Pleasure, according to the Rule of Horacet . , .. . . .
'.;:" " —-—Quœ besptres traSata nitcscere pose, rtlinquat.
But we who are unfortunately tied down to Truth, must write, as it were, in Fetters, and are obliged to keep on in the direct Road, without the Privilege of turning aside to entertain ourselves with Prospects. Be it sufficient, however,; to fay„ that at the nine Months End,' the Girl was delivered of a chopping Boy, whom I have ever since educated as my own, in spite of all the Calumny of the Neighbourhood; and I 'cannot doubt, but, in Time, he will rise to be a; Judge or an Alderman.
Thus, Gentlemen of the Royal Society, I hope I' have proved, in the mpst incontestable manner, that a Woman may Conceive without any Commerce with Man; that the World has been in an Error for six thoufand Years, and, probably, would have continued in it six thoufand more, if I had not been born on purpose to break through silly Prejudices of Education, and undeceiveMarw - kind.in.so material a Point. Material I must call it; for how-different is this from all the Discoveries of Isaac Newton the Star-gazer! His, all of themjs end in Speculation, but mine extend to' Practice ; his are only calculated for the Perufal of a few College-Pedant'?, but mine offer themselves to the World in general: And I shall fliortly publiih a large Volume to shew that this' is the most natural Way of being born; grounding my
DemonDemonstration on the following infallible Argu-» ment, which I have drawn up syilogistically, to prove my wonderful Talents in Logic.
[<-] Nature (fay certain Authors of great Erudition) is a very frugal old Lady, and a prodigious good Oeconomist: She is observed to give herself as little Trouble as she can, and to do every thing at the cheapest hand. But Animalcula may be hatched as completely in a Female Womr>, as when they take the more tedious Progress through the Loins of the Males also. Ergo, That is the right Road into Life, which
is the shortest Road. , And now—what shall I fay next? As it often happens that the Use and Practice of a Thing are known, before the Theory of it is discovered, (for Instance, Men of War could batter down Towns with Bombs, long before it was proved that Projectiles describe a parabolic Curve; and little Boys had amused themselves with the Shadows of a magic Lanthorn many a Day ere some great Philosophers undertook to explain the Mysteries of that wonderful Machine) so has it fallen out in the Subject now under our Consideration: History has here and there furnished an Example, and some Physicians of Antiquity have accidentally glanced upon the Subject; but still I think I may challenge to myself the Merit of an original In
\c\ This is a Method much practised by the learned Mr. l¥—rb — n, I suppose for the fame Reason, to (hew his Skill in chopping Logic.
vention j vention ; and it would be very hard is a few Hints loosely dropt in old unfashionable Authors, which too I never Taw till after I had established my Theory, should prevail so far as to fix upon me the odious Scandal of Plagiarism. There are, I know, a Sort of malevolent Readers, who take an infinite Pleasure in telling you that all Authors have stolen their Works since the Days of one Orpheus; and how lucky is it for that old French Poet, that we know not the Names of any of his Predecessors! but more especially they have recourse to this Device, whenever they find it not quite so easy to answer the Doctrine of a Book, and yet are determined to cry down its Reputation: Then we are sure to hear, Lord, Sir ! the Fellow stole it all; there is not a Page, nor a Line, nor a Word, nor a Syllable, nor a Letter, nor a Comma of it bis own; 1 can turn to the very Book and Place Jrom whence be pilfered it all. Now that I may anticipate this heavy Censure, and fave certain ingenious Critics the Trouble of turning back to the good old Writer (Peace unto his Manes, whoever he be) from whom I transcribed this little Treatise, I have determined to produce of my own accord what sew Passages I have accidentally met with upon this Subject, and afterwards I shall leave the World to decide, whether in spite of such occasional Hints, I may not still be allowed to be the sole Proprietor of this wonderful Hypothesis.
Galen, in his celebrated Treatise upon the Measles, wherein he endeavours to account for the Origin of that Distemper, delivers it as a common
Opinion, Opinion, that it was brought into the World by a Woman, born without the Assistance of a Father; but he seems to treat this as a vulgar Fable, and calls it a Notion os the Multitude.' s/ .y.
Hippocrates informs us, that his Mother used frequently to tell him, she had no carnal Intercourse with his Father for near two Years before his Birth, but that she found herself strangely influenced one "Evening, as she was walking in a Garden. His Father obtained a Divorce on this Occasion, and the good Woman fell. under the Reproach of all her Acquaintance: But I hope this Treatise will vindicate her Memory from the Infamy, which has ever since attended it through all succeeding Times. . .
If we look back to the fabulous Ages of the World, when every thing was aggrandized by poetic Ornament, we read of many ancient Ladies, got with Child by such impossible Methods, that I believe they must have owed their Pregnancy to what I have been describing, and I hope all Commentators and Mythologists will, for the future, fall in with my Explication. For what else are we to think of Juno's growing big-bellied only with eating a Piece of Cabbage [d], which Flora gathered for her in the Ohnian Fields? '.Tis plain she must have swallowed some Animalcula at the fame time, and thus became with Child of Mars. Mow else are we to account for
MI Quodpetis, Oleniis.inquam, mihi missusabarvis
. ' . :. Ovid. Fast. «