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interference. Excuse for their misconduct is out of the questions because it was morally incumbent on them to have abandoned a vocation which was at best indelicate, and which led them into actual contact with an evil passion, in such a case, nearly always more or less incontrollable. In the ordinary abuses of man-midwifery, medical men of the present day, however, are intitled to some palliation for their misconduct. Those of the present age did not originate the abusive system, but succeeded to the practice of their predecessors. They were brought up to the medical profession; and as surgeons were induced to enter it partly for the sake of the emoluments of man-midwifery; and the pecuniary means of many of them are so contracted through rivalship, that these have been stimulated to support the present system to avoid poverty. It is no palliation, however, that their practice of midwifery was not a subject of public complaint, because accoucheurs were conscious that the community in general were not aware of the various evils of it. The wife has always experienced some of these evils, and the husband sometimes has directly or consequentially experienced more or less of them: and though in some instances he may through unconsciousness have never actually felt, and through death never will feel a direct injury, and never received a consequential one, from the accoucheur's practice, yet the latter is still guilty of moral wrong to the husband, for the reason mentioned, when formerly alluding to wrongs unconsciously suffered in cases of surgical dissection. A change of system in the practice of midwifery will not be a permanent injury to the interests of medical men. If it is effected, there will in future be fewer students in the medical profession; so that the present members of the profession will share more of their proper business. There will be the same reduction in their numbers constantly operating by death or other incapacity, without a proportionate, yet with an adequate supply.




Men of all ages and ranks, whose opinions I have asked, or by other means been able to ascertain, except interested persons, have almost uniformly approved of the general purposes of this tract. Some of my readers will perhaps ask, how is a husband, who is averse to the present system of midwifery, to act, if he is united to a female who is disposed to have the assistance of an accoucheur, or, the firmness of whose resolution to the contrary he has reason to doubt? I will suppose, for the sake of example, that these circumstances should occur in the case of a young gentleman, who has been recently married to a young female of great personal beauty, and accomplishments, to whom he is ardently attached,, After perusing these pages, he will of course beware of the importunities and insinuating address of the medical men

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in his neighborhood; all of whom he will probably perceive to endeavor in an especial manner to court the acquaintance and favor of himself and his partner, as early after the marriage as opportunity may serve. Besides reasoning with his wife on the propriety of a midwife, he will caution her against the undue influence of monthly nurses, and most of all, of the mothers whose conduct I have reprehended. He will likewise act up to the suggestions furnished by the following excellent description and remarks thereon, taken from the tract from which I have before quoted.


Not many months after marriage the lady is attacked by the usual qualms from pregnancy; and the accoucheur, according to the most modern practice, is then commonly called in. Some of my readers, I expect, will immediately apply the following description. On being introduced, he assumes an ingenuous air and apparent candor, to impress his patient with a conviction of his honesty and zeal. After having once secured an inroad, the lady is put under his care,' as it is termed, and his visits of course are frequently repeated. The husband, having no suspicion of his wife's danger, is often absent, either on business or pleasure; and the patient (if a woman can be styled a patient merely because she is pregnant) finds relief from solitude in the society and conversation of the doctor. He commonly begins at each visit by kind inquiries respecting her health, made in a polite but earnest manner: he discovers a solicitude to amuse and please her, knowing that woman's gentler feelings are always deeply affected by kindness and attention. Accompanied by an apology on the necessity of the case, he asks her questions of a nature that the generality of men are not at all aware of. Nothing, of course, can be concealed from him; and though the patient, from her youth and inexperience, cannot judge how far his questions may be relevant, and therefore justifiable, she supposes that a gentleman, and one of an honorable and liberal profession, as it is termed, would not exceed his duty by asking any unnecessary and improper questions, which must of course be of a private nature. These conversations being frequently repeated, a confidential feeling is excited in the mind of the woman towards the accoucheur: that kind of discourse, she would once have shrunk from, by degrees becomes familiar to her; and she shortly habituates herself to talk to him as she would to her nurse; which is what women like,' at least so a gentleman of the same profession once declared to me to be the case. A pleasing reflection for husbands, and a handsome compliment to ladies. Such conversations, however, ought never to occur between a medical man and a youthful female; and if husbands possessed the least delicacy of sentiment themselves, or had the smallest regard for that of VOL. XXVIII. NO. LV. H


their wives, such conversations, if ever necessary, would always be carried on through the medium of a nurse or of themselves; unless female modesty is unworthy of preservation, and then let unlimited indulgence be openly and avowedly granted to all women. It is notorious that there are many accoucheurs who, under the pretence of asking the wife necessary questions of a private nature, do not hesitate to require the husband to withdraw, who com monly is wise enough to comply. This perhaps will remind the reader of the priest in the Decameron of Boccaccio, who sentenced the husband to perform a penance in a dark room at the bottom of the house, that he might be enabled to pass the time agreeably alone with the wife in another apartment. Unlike the husband, the accoucheur never complains, is never dissatisfied nor indifferent; he is always cheerful, polite, and invariably kind, showing the most devoted and subtle attentions, as he finds opportunities. And it is this system which excites generally, in the minds of women of all ranks, that feeling of partiality towards their medical attendants, which is found so frequently to prevail."


By attending to the remarks and suggestions I have mentioned, as far as they may be requisite, the husband's efforts and vigilance will most probably prove successful, and his young wife will most cordially join in his sentiments. However, should she, on the contrary, be disposed through evil influence to sacrifice delicacy, honor, and virtue, and perhaps her health or even life; and also to sacrifice the feelings of her husband, and in a considerable degree the mutual peace and happiness of both, to her perverseness and wayward prejudice; let him then act with the firmness and decision becoming his situation, and the exigencies of the occasion. A proper midwife being engaged, he ought to insist, at all hazards, on her assistance being exclusively adopted, if the case is one of usual occurrence; and as the midwives of the present day are not competent to cases of difficulty, it will be proper to have some one in readiness to procure an accoucheur, lest it should perchance become requisite, which is extremely unlikely; or if the husband's residence is not in a large town, or if his wife desire it, the accou cheur should be previously appointed to be near at hand.

I will not occupy the reader's time with reasons in support of the conduct I am now recommending; for it is so palpably just and proper, that it would be trifling with his patience to do so. Should the husband, however, be weak, enough to compromise his rights and his duty, he will in addition to his wounded feelings, and himself and his wife encountering the certain, and perhaps some of the possible, bad consequences of an abusive system,. ultimately incur the secret contempt of the accoucheur whom he has indulged; who, if he has been informed of the husband's

unsuccessful efforts, will privately laugh, or perhaps, in a way not to be misunderstood, openly and exultingly smile at his puerility; pluming himself on the manner in which he and the wife have managed the good-natured and docile husband. It is not unlikely that such a husband, instead of magnanimously retrieving his past indecision by openly expressing his indignation at man-midwifery, will endeavor to conceal his uneasiness from the world, and will inwardly increase it by aiming at a foolish consistency, in pursuing the quiet and tractable course he has already taken; and for this purpose will manifest á studied complaisance towards his cunning guest the accoucheur, whose triumph will then be complete. The husband may try to find solace and repose in an unqualified assumption of the Christian doctrines of "meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another;" but reason, if he possess a moderate capacity, and exercise it, will tell him, that a wise, a prudent, and a virtuous man, without entertaining revengeful feelings in his heart, will adopt all fair means and precaution to prevent the occurrence of temporal injury; and to prevent its recurrence, will, as far as he is able, discipline by lawful means the evil aggressor in the manner and to the extent the case warrants, not in a spirit of retribution, but (resigning that to Providence) as the necessities of himself and society require. Such conduct is expected of him by his Creator, not only for his own individual protection, but as a member of society, for the protection of his fellow-creatures, to reform if possible the evil-doer, and, as an example to others, to prevent the repetition of offence.

In the present habits of society in this nation, men generally occupy all the lucrative employments, including those that might with equal propriety and effect be supplied by women. Thousands of young females of respectable parents who have been decently brought up and educated, and who are therefore unfitted for the drudgery of common service, are necessitated by the pecuniary misfortunes of their parents to earn a livelihood by needlework. All other female occupations equally suitable for them, or of a superior kind, require comparatively few individuals to supply them; and it is notorious that such is the rivalship amongst females in this business, that employment is generally exceedingly precarious, and the profit very small. Many of such young females having in vain sought for a slender pittance, their parents being either dead or through misfortunes unable to provide for them, therefore without a home and pressed by poverty, in a moment of despair, resort to prostitution and its concomitants, misery, disease, and death! The police reports of the metropolis show that many young prostituted females from the polish of their manners, and

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from the history they relate, must have had a respectable origin and that they have become a prey to this vice through their inabi lity to procure an employment suited to their capabilities, and through the impulses of sheer want. Hence the great extent of prostitution, and of the consequent contamination of the youth of both sexes. What an important collateral advantage would it therefore be to society, as it respects the youth of both sexes, if the practice of midwifery were encouraged in young females, of good education and character. Another class of females, whom Sir Anthony Carlisle in his Letter from which I have quoted very properly recommends for midwives, are the wives, widows, or female kindred of medical practitioners; by whose introduction to midwifery, says he, "every surgeon or apothecary may secure his female patients against the inroads of his competitors, and establish a respectable maintenance for such female in the event of his premature death; while his consequent freedom from unnecessary confinement among gossips will allow him more time to follow his proper vocations."

I will mention another important collateral advantage which would result from the abolition of man-midwifery. Of all worldly advantages, health of mind and body are of the first necessity and importance. For this reason a superfluity of practitioners, and their consequent inexperience, are more injurious to society, by their errors or inefficiency, in the medical than in any other profession. Let the practice of midwifery be exclusively adopted by women, and medical men would be gradually reduced from the present unnatural superabundance of them to a number more accordant with the wants of society, and their experience would be proportionably increased. They would equally well supply the accidental coincidence sometimes happening, of numerous pressing occasions for their immediate assistance in the same neighborhood at the same time, by reason of their reduction in number being compensated by an abridgment of their duties; an abridgment considerable, as well in point of number of attendances as of the great length of time occupied in them.

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Many of the sentiments I have expressed are from the nature of the subject open to the shafts of silly ridicule, and have to combat with the prejudice of inveterate habit, and the sophistry, mistatements, and sneers of petty interest. It is very likely that many medical men, without directly adverting to the present subject, will in the course of their frequent professional interviews with the other sex throw out hints of danger, and allude to some solitary cases of death in childbirth. But let the female reflect that such cases are exceedingly uncommon; that they have happened during the attendance of the accoucheurs themselves, and

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