Tractatus de Hermaphroditis:
I. A Description of the several Sorts of HERMAPHRODITES, and how the Law regards them in respect to Matrimony.
II. Intrigues of HERMAPHRODITES and Masculine FEMALES, and of the outward Marks to distinguish them.
III. The material Cause and Generation of HERMAPHRODITES, of unnatural BIRTHS, Generation of MONSTERS, extraordinary CONCEPTIONS, &c.
Printed for E. CURLL Fleet-street.
Prefaces now a Days are rather Apologies for the Works to which they are prefix'd, than written for Instruction; and generally a ludicrous Scene is expected, if the Performance be of an airy Nature; or, if not, at least an introductory Specimen of what the Reader may hope for in the Body of the Work.
I shall make no Apology for my Subject, notwithstanding an impudent Libeller has endeavour'd to load Authors and Publishers of Works of this Nature with the utmost Infamy; and herein I admire at the Front of the Fellow, to pretend to Chastise others for Writing only, when he practises a great deal more Iniquity than any Book extant can prompt him to, every Day that comes over his Head.
MY Design in the following Sheets is meerly as an innocent Entertainment for all curious Persons, without any Views of inciting Masculine-Females to Amorous Tryals with their own Sex; and I am perswaded there will not be one single HERMAPHRODITE the more in the World, on account of the publishing this TREATISE.
IT may be expected by some faithless Persons, that I should produce an HERMAPHRODITE to publick View, as an incontestible Justification of there being Humane Creatures of this kind; but as I have no Authority to take up the Petticoats of any Female without her Consent, I hope to be excus'd from making such demonstrable Proofs; and if I had such a Power, the Sight might endanger the Welfare of some pregnant Female, whose Curiosity would spur her to a particular Examination.
The Intrigues of my HERMAPHRODITES are indeed very amazing, and as monstrous as their Natures, but that many Lascivious Females divert themselves one with another at this time in this City, is not to be doubted: And if any Persons shall presume to Censure my Accounts, grounded on a Probability of Truth, I shall be sufficiently reveng'd in proclaiming them, what my HERMAPHRODITES are found to be in the Conclusion—Old Women.
I confess, all Histories of extraordinary Conceptions from these Intrigues, or by Women without actual Copulation, are equally fabulous with those of the Engendring of Men: It would be as surprizing to find a Man with a teeming Belly, as to see a Woman increase there meerly by her own Applications.
I doubt not but this small TREATISE may put some Persons upon a previous Examination of Robust Females, that they may be at a certainty with respect to mutual Enjoyment; but I would not have them rashly conclude from large Appurtenances only, that they are unnatural, but, on the contrary, agreeable Companions.
To conclude, I fear not the Censure of HERMAPHRODITES, nor of those that would be such to satisfy their vicious Inclinations; neither am I under any apprehensions from the Censure of our Reforming Zealots.
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Tractatus de Hermaphroditis:
The Secrets of Nature have in all Ages been particularly examin'd by Anatomists and others, and this of Hermaphrodites is so very wonderful, that I am perfectly assur'd my present Enquiry will be entirely acceptable to all Lovers of curious Discoveries; and as it is my immediate Business to trace every Particular for an ample Dissertation on the Nature of Hermaphrodites, (which obliges me to a frequent Repetition of the Names of the Parts employ'd in the Business of Generation) so, I hope, I shall not be charg'd with Obscenity, since in all Treatises of this Kind it is impossible to finish any one Head compleatly, without pursuing the Methods of Anatomical Writings.
Though in Ovid's Metamorphosis, Salmacis's being in Love with Hermaphroditus, and not succeeding in her amorous Wishes, her praying to the Gods to join their Bodies in one, has no Weight in it; yet, that the Notions of Hermaphrodites are not entirely fictitious, I need only mention the Servant of Montuus, who took his Hermaphrodite to be a Male when he lay with his Maids, and for a Female when she lay with her Husband to propagate their Species, the two Hermaphrodites of Licetus, and the Story of Ausonius, which he relates of an Hermaphrodite of Bonavento in Italy; and Histories are full of Confirmations, that many Persons in the World have had the privy Parts of both Sexes.
For the Definition of the Word Sex, it is no other than a Distinction of Male and Female, in which this is most observable, that for the Parts of the Body, there is but little Difference between them; but the Females are colder than the Males, and abound with more superfluous Moisture; wherefore their spermatick Parts are more soft and humid, and all their natural Actions more vigorous than those of Men: But Hermaphrodites are a mixture of both Sexes, and to both incompleat.
In all Ages Hermaphrodites have been talk'd of, though particular Vouchers have been many times wanting, which is generally the Case where a Deficiency of the Secrets of Nature is to be detected; the amorous Parts are certainly more valuable than any other principal Parts of the Body, as they afford the greatest pleasure of Life; and there is always the greatest Difficulty attends the Discoveries of Impotency, (which is less obnoxious) and nothing but the Force of the Law executed by a lascivious Female, in the State of Matrimony, will occasion a Record of a want of Substance for the amorous Adventure.
It is natural to suppose, that these Persons of a mix'd Nature call'd Hermaphrodites, have had generally more Prudence and Conduct than to marry under such Incapacities, which would prevent an agreeable Consummation in the amorous Embrace, (however they may sport and dally with each other) as they must expect nothing but the greatest Resentment and highest Indignation from the Persons they have presumptuously espous'd, and must inevitably tend to their being expos'd to the World, as Prodigies and Monsters; and they have in Times past been the more effectually deterr'd from engaging in Matrimony, as they were immediately on their Discovery cast into the Sea or some large Rivers, or banish'd into some desolate Island, as presages of dire Events, and the worst of Calamities.
But the Civil Law does not regard Hermaphrodites as Monsters, it permits them to make a Choice of either of the two Sexes for the Business of Copulation, either in the Capacity of Men or Women; but if the Hermaphrodite does not perform his Part agreeable to Nature, the same Law inflicts the Punishment due to Sodomy, because he has abus'd one Part, contrary to Matures Laws. This must be determin'd by the Predominancy of the Parts, for there are some Hermaphrodites so very vigorous as to embrace Women, and others whose Parts are so dispos'd as to receive with pleasure the Caresses of Men; and where there is nothing to hinder the amorous Action, but that they are capable of enjoying mutual Pleasure, it would be a piece of injustice to prohibit their Nuptials.
Monsieur Venette[A] tells us, that there are five kinds of Hermaphrodites: The first have the privy Parts of a Man very entire; they make Water and Engender like other Men, but with this difference, that they have a pretty deep Slit between the Seat and the Cod, which is of no Use in Generation.
The second Sort have also the Parts of a Man very well proportion'd, that serve either the Functions of Life or Generation; but they have a Slit not so deep as the first Sort, which being in the midst of the Cods, presses the Testicles on each side.
The third Sort have no visible privy Parts of a Man, only a Slit, through which the Hermaphrodite makes Water. This Cavity is deeper or shallower, according to the plenty or default of Matter employ'd for the forming of it, yet one may easily find the Bottom of it with one's Finger. The Terms never flow by this way, and this kind of Hermaphrodite is a true Man as well as the two others above mention'd; for these sorts of Hermaphrodites become Boys, about the Age of fifteen, in an Instant, and are as valiant in the Adventures of Love as other Males, and this is oftentimes affected by some violent Action, as Mary Germain, mention'd by Paraeus, leaping over a Ditch, strain'd herself, and became instantly a Man, through the coming forth of the privy Parts.
This may be a sufficient Caution to young Gentlemen not to be too hasty in their Marriages, lest, in a vigorous Consummation with a very youthful Partner, the imaginary Female should at once appear an Hermaphrodite.
The fourth Sort of Hermaphrodites, are Women who have the Clitoris bigger and longer than others, and thereby impose upon the Vulgar, who know but little of the Parts they are compos'd of, and of these kinds of Hermaphrodites, Columbus says he examin'd all the Parts, and found no essential Difference from other Women; the only Sign that they are Women is, that they suffer the flowing of their Terms every Month.
The fifth Kind, are those that have neither the Use of the one nor the other Sex, and have their privy Parts confus'd, and the Temper of Man and Woman so inter-mix'd, that one can hardly say which is most predominant; but these sorts of Persons are rather a kind of Eunuchs than Hermaphrodites, their Penis being good for nothing, and their Terms never flowing. Of this Kind was the Bohemian Woman, that pray'd Columbus to cut off her Penis, and to enlarge her Vagina, that she might the more freely, as she alledg'd, join amorously with a Man.
These are the several Sorts of Hermaphrodites, mentioned by Monsieur Venette; and the four first of them, tho' they have the Name, yet Nature has not refus'd them the Advantage to make use of their Genital Parts, and to Engender as others. The Male Hermaphrodite may get Children, and the Female conceive; so that neither the one nor the other differ from Men or Women, but only by a superfluity or a deficiency of Parts, and such as does not disturb the business of Generation.
The fifth Sort are call'd perfect Hermaphrodites, because they are incapable of using either of the Sexes; but some Persons fancy there are a sort of Hermaphrodites which can make use of both Sexes, and Engender both ways, though this is easily confuted, when we consider that one of the privy Parts of an Hermaphrodite is generally useless, as being contrary to the Laws of Nature, and what confusion would it be, to find in one and the same Person a Man's and Woman's Testicles, a Womb and a Penis? A Woman's Genital Parts and a Man's are too different to admit of such an Union, and to change the Use upon any occasion.
Agreeable to the list mention'd Opinion, some Naturalists will have it, that an Hermaphrodite, which is very vigorous as to both Sexes, may Engender within himself, without the Company of another Person, having Matter to form a Child, a Place to conceive it, and proper Liquid for Nourishment: In the same manner as Jack Hares engender once in their Lives, and that Stags do the same, which is maintain'd by the learned Langius: But these Generations are both impossible and ridiculous, the Naturalists must certainly be deceiv'd, in taking some Parts of the Female for the Testicles of the Male; and what probability is there that the Seed should come out of one Part and into the other, without losing its Spirits, and altering considerably in changing of Place? And if such a Thing were possible, the Temperament that engenders Masculine Seed might as well engender Feminine, and produce the Terms at the same Time or something else in proportion to it.
Women having Beards, and being a large Masculine Size, have been sometimes, by the Ignorant, accounted Men, tho' they were true Women; and it cannot be said, that one Sex is chang'd into another, for we never heard of Men that became Women, and that their, privy Parts were abolish'd; or turn'd within, in order to form the Genital Parts of a Woman. The Hermaphrodites of Licetus, which conceiv'd and brought forth Children, were real Women taken for Men, by reason of the length and bigness of their Clitoris: And the Fisherman's Wife, mention'd by Antonius de Palma, was only a Male, call'd the third sort of Hermaphrodites undiscover'd, which was afterwards manifested in the coming out of the Parts of a Man, when she had been fourteen Years married. The Case was the same with Emilia, marry'd to Antonius Sperta, mention'd by Potanus who was accounted a Woman twelve Years, but was afterwards reputed a Man, and married again to a Woman.
For the Discovery of the Male and Female Hermaphrodite, these Observations will be serviceable: A Person that is bold and sprightly, having a strong Voice, much Hair on the Body, particularly on the Chin and privy Parts, with the rest of such Signs as discover Manhood, are certain Demonstrations that the Hermaphrodite has the privy Parts of a Man in a more predominant manner than those of the other Sex; and contrarywise, if an Hermaphrodite has good Breasts, Skin smooth and soft; if the Terms appear at their due Intervals; if there be a sparkling and agreeableness in the Eyes; and if other Signs are observ'd, that commonly distinguish a Woman from a Man, these are Arguments that the Hermaphrodite has the Privities of the Female Sex of a good Conformation; and if the Vagina is not too defective, such an Hermaphrodite ought to pass for a Woman.
I doubt not but there are many Persons in the World of both Species, particularly of the Female Sex, who would willingly assume to themselves the Parts belonging to Hermaphrodites, if they could have a vigorous Use of the Members of both Sexes, upon any lustful Inclination; a lascivious Female would be transported at the Thoughts of acting the Part of a Man in the amorous Adventure, and a lecherous Male would propose equal Pleasure in receiving the Embraces he use to bestow; but tho' most Persons agree that Women have the greatest Sense of Enjoyment in the Act of Copulation, (as without all question they must, by the Situation and Disposition of the Parts) yet they would be more forward in satisfying this brutal Curiosity than those of the opposite Sex. Men are more easy to be limited in the Pleasures of Venus than Women; as they are endu'd with more Reason, so they are generally easily satisfied in those Enjoyments, which were chiefly design'd for the propagating of their Species.
If two Persons, being Hermaphrodites, should Marry with an expectation of pleasing each other, as Male and Female by turns, they'll meet with a Disappointment, for the Reasons already mention'd, viz. That one of the Members of Hermaphrodites is most commonly useless, and if a Man should by chance be married to a Person of his own Sex, before the Parts are come down, (which, as I have observ'd before, sometimes happens, where Persons are wedded in an Age of Infancy) a great Disappointment will ensue to the Husband, when his Partner shall take the Constitution of a Man, and be ready to engage with him, instead of his encountering with her; and in respect of a masculine Woman's being taken by the Length of her Clitoris for a Man, Daniel de Bantin only sported with his Wife, but was got with Child himself by one of his Companions. The Clitoris not being perforated, the Hermaphrodite can furnish no Matter for Generation.
The Clitoris in Women suffers erection and falling in the same manner as the Penis in Men; and the Vagina likewise swells to make the Passage streight and easy, for the reception of the Penis in the Time of Enjoyment. Sometimes the Clitoris will grow out of the Body two or three Inches, but that happens not but upon extraordinary Occasions, upon violent Inclinations to Copulation, over much Heat of the Privities, &c. and by this means a Man will be hinder'd from knowing his Wife; but the larger it is, so as no way to prevent their mutual Embraces, the greater is the Pleasure, especially to the Female; and without this Part, the fair Sex would neither desire the Embraces of the Males, nor have any Pleasure in them, or Conceive by them.
Women well furnish'd in these Parts may divert themselves with their Companions, to whom for the most part they can give as much Pleasure as Men do, but cannot receive in any proportion the Pleasure themselves, for want of Ejaculation, the Crisis of Enjoyment to the Male in the Intrigues of Venus. I am inform'd that Diversions of this nature are frequently practis'd by robust and lustful Females, who cannot with any prospect of safety to their Reputations, venture upon the Embraces of a Man, though they are never so strongly enclin'd. The unnatural Pleasures of this kind are finely illustrated in the following Song, written by Mr. ROWE, which I take it will not be improperly inserted in this Place.
[Footnote A: Le Tableau de l'Amour Conjugal, par Monsieur Venette. Paris 1710.]
While SAPPHO, with harmonious Airs, Her dear PHILENIS charms, With equal joy the Nymph appears, Dissolving in her Arms.
Thus to themselves alone they are, What all Mankind can give; Alternately the happy Pair All grant, and all receive.
Like the Twin-Stars, so fam'd for Friends, Who set by Turns and rise; When one to THETIS Lap descends His Brother mounts the Skies.
With happier Fate, and kinder Care, These Nymphs by Turns do reign, While still the Falling, does prepare The Rising, to sustain.
The Joys of either Sex in Love; In each of them we read, Successive each, to each does prove, Fierce Youth and yielding Maid.
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Intrigues of Hermaphrodites and Masculine Females.
The hotter the Climate, the stronger are the Inclinations to Venery. When I was formerly in Italy; there happened a notable Adventure in the Neighbourhood of Rome, between a certain Lady call'd Margureta, one of a noble Family in the Papal Dominions, and a Lady of France, whose Name was Barbarissa: These two Females were in their Statures very near equal to the largest siz'd Male; they had full and rough Faces, large Shoulders, Hands and Feet; and but slender Hips, and small breasts: In short, they resembled Men in all respects, but their Dresses, their Gates and Voices, and indeed they were suspected to be Hermaphrodites. These Ladies, I am inform'd, paid frequent Visits to each other, and 'twas always observ'd, that no Body was admitted to their splendid Entertainments, which heighten'd the Curiosity of a Servant in the Family of Margureta, to attempt a Discovery of their Intrigues, they always locking themselves in, the moment they had dispatch'd their Suppers: In order to this, on a Time, this Servant, call'd Nicolini, with a piercing Instrument of Iron, and the Assistance of an Artificer, ingeniously made a Communication for the Sight into the next Room, by working a small Hole through the Wainscot, opposite to the Bed, in the Chamber wherein the two Masculine Ladies accustom'd to solace themselves. At the next Meeting, Nicolini, to his no small surprise, had a Prospect of the two Females embracing each other, with a succession of Kisses of no short Duration. After this they both drew up their Petticoat, and exposing their Thighs to view, they mutually employ'd their Hands with each other, in the same Manner, and with the same force of Inclination, as a juvenile Gallant would make his Approaches to what he most admires in a beautiful Belinda, at the same Time continuing the closest Salutations; at last one of the Females threw herself down upon the Bed, and displaying her self commodiously, the other immediately begun the amorous Adventure, covering her Companion so effectually, that Nicolini could not possibly discover any farther Particulars: They had not continu'd their Sportings long before Margureta, which officiated now instead of the Man, arose from Barbarissa, and turning towards the Window with her Cloaths up in her Arms, Nicolini immediately discover'd something hang down from her Body of a reddish Colour, and which was very unusual: They both panting, and almost breathless, retir'd from the Bed to a Table, where they sat down and refresh'd themselves with sufficient Quantities of generous Wine. About an Hour after this, they began to renew their Frolicks, and it being Barbarissa's turn to caress, who was not so Masculine as Margureta, to incite the falling down and erection of her Female Member, she turn'd over a large Book, amply stor'd with obscene Portraitures, wherein the amorous Combat was curiously describ'd in the utmost variety of Postures which were ever practic'd, or the Head of a youthful and ingenious Painter could invent; but this not having the Effect expected, Margureta strip'd her self naked, as did likewise Barbarissa, and both dancing about the Room, they gave each other repeated Strokes with their Hands on their white Posteriors; and this likewise failing to move Barbarissa, Margureta open'd a Cabinet, and taking from thence a large Birchen Rod, she flogg'd Barbarissa lustily, her Buttocks seeming to yield to that amorous Discipline; upon this, something appear'd from the Privities of Barbarissa, like unto what Nicolini had observ'd of Margureta, and they instantly put on their loose Gowns, and ran to the Bed, where Barbarissa embracing her Companion, did her Work effectually. After their Sportings were over, that each had return'd the Favours receiv'd, they decently dress'd themselves, and sat them down again to the Table, where, after drinking a Bottle or two of the richest Italian Wines, they kiss'd each other in the most loving manner, and Margureta rang the Bell for Nicolini to light Barbarissa down Stairs, who immediately taking leave of Margureta, was carried in a Chair to her Place of Residence.
This Story sufficiently shews the unnatural Intrigues of some Masculine Females, where by the falling down and largeness of the Clitoris, they have been taken for Men, as mention'd in my Description of Hermaphrodites, and are capable of every Action belonging to a Man, but that of Ejaculation. I next insert an Intrigue between two Females more extraordinary than the former, by reason in this, Art was only employ'd, and in the other there was something of Nature in it, tho' viciously apply'd: I shall introduce it with several Adventures which happen'd in this Cafe before the Scene was accomplish'd, and which I doubt not will be acceptable. In the City of Ferara, 'tis reported, there some time since liv'd two Damsels who were of reputable Descent, and their Education was equal to that of the greatest Quality in the Territories of Italy; the Name of one of them was Theodora, and of the other Amaryllis: Theodora was the Daughter of an eminent Courtier, and in her Person most beautiful; her Shape was form'd according to the nicest Rules of Symetry; her Waste was slender, her Breasts were full and round, and for Whiteness equall'd the falling Snow; her Face was exactly compos'd, the Features strong and yet beautiful; her Cheeks more lively than the Rose and Lilly; her Eyes sparkled beyond the most shining Planets; her Teeth excell'd the best polish'd Ivory; soft as Velvet were her Lips, and redder than Vermillion; her Hand and Arm more white than Milk; her Feet small, and her Gate stately, and on her Shoulders were display'd her auborn Tresses, hanging in Ringlets to her Waste; in short, every Part that was visible invited to hidden Charms; her Looks were languishing, and her Eye-Balls large, which, perpetually rowling, cast a thousand Darts at all Beholders. Amaryllis the Daughter of a wealthy Merchant and no less admir'd for her Beauty than the lovely Theodora; she was made up of Perfections, and whomsoever she saw unguarded, she was sure to captivate: These two Ladies were both of them cross'd in their amorous Inclinations; Theodora, before she was thirteen Years of Age, had made a powerful Conquest over the Affections of a Youth of Gallantry, his Name was Leander, and he was the eldest Son of a Nobleman of Naples; but Theodora's Father having no regard to the Happiness of his Daughter, after Leander had made his Addresses, he forbad him his House, not approving the Circumstances or the Character of the young Gentleman; for the Father of Theodora was a mercenary Courtier, having no regard to any but such as were in their Nature Misers and sanctified Hypocrites, and Leander being a Gentleman inclin'd to Extravagancy. Leander setting a greater value upon his Education, Manners and good Nature than his Fortune, was oblig'd to desist in his Pretensions and to sink under the oppression of Avarice: He determin'd to leave Ferara, since he was there to see his Happiness, no more, however, he resolv'd to send his Fair One, a moving Billet Doux before his Departure, which he did, and it was as follows.
To the GODDESS of Ferara, the Beautiful THEODORA.
It is not to be admir'd that I, the meanest of your Servants, should be rejected by your wealthy Parents, and that Heaven should deny me a Happiness which it self only ought to enjoy; Why did Nature make you so Beautiful and Deserving, and me so unworthy of your Affection? My misery increases with your Happiness, unless you participate my Pains; you are in the Bud of your Beauty, which when full blown, will be like the Sun in the midst of the Horizon, Illuminating the whole World, but its penetrating Rays not to be gaz'd upon. You are the Lilly and I am the Thorn; you beautify the rich fertile Vale, whilst I retire to the barren Mountains. I will pass the Alps 'till I approach the most aspiring Mount, and there, in view of_ Ferara, _I will lay me down and bid the World Adieu. When I am gone, remember that you had once a Lover who could sacrifice every thing for our Service, and without you he could enjoy nothing. I have not only concerted my Journey from_ Ferara, _but likewise to the_ Elysian Groves; _if my grizly Ghost should terrify that sordid Wretch your Father, 'tis no more than he deserves, and if my Shade appears to you, look on that unconcern'd which cannot injure you. My last Request to you is to take care of your self, who am_
Your despairing Lover,
Theodora receiv'd this moving Letter with a Concern proportion'd to the melancholly Occasion; she communicated it to an intimate Acquaintance, who likewise express'd the utmost Uneasiness; the thoughts of the Catastrophe of the Loves of Theodora and Leander presented a lively Idea to Theodora's Companion, of the Miseries and Misfortunes attending Mankind. "Hard is the Case (says she) that Leander, one of the finest young Gentlemen of Naples, should be sacrific'd to a mercenary Wretch, a Wretch, that in the midst of plenty is poor and miserable, and who, tho' he has all Things to compleat his Happiness, his avaricious Temper will not permit him to enjoy the common Necessaries of Life: The Pleasures of living he's a Stranger to, he lives despis'd, and will die unpitied: But such is the inequality of Fortune's Favours, that Merit must stoop and Ideots be advanc'd to the highest Pomp and Magnificence. It is entirely out of your Power to give the pitied Leander the least Relief; your Father's House is a Nunnery, he has his Locks and Keys to secure you, and his Spies for Intelligence; but I advise you to send the unfortunate Youth an Answer to his mournful Epistle." Upon this, Theodora immediately call'd for Pen, Ink and Paper, and wrote the following Answer.
To the unfortunate LEANDER.
I am sorry that you had the Misfortune ever to see me, and the more for that in vain I seek your Relief; it is not in my Power to forward either your Happiness or my own, which I confess I should think compleat, if my mercenary Father would consent to my Espousals; but it is so far from this, that I am to see for the future, so that the Lilly you admire now droops its Head, and the whole Vale's enclouded at my sorrowful Fate; I would willingly accompany the Briar to the Mountains. Impute not to me your approaching Calamities, which only increase with Theodora's. Think me no longer handsome, who have so many Imperfections to sully those Trifles you call Beauties; No, range me with Deformity, since other Ideas may increase your Pain. I desire you to forget me, of I am oblig'd to endeavour not to remember you.
Your most disconsolate
Upon receipt of this Letter, Leander quitted Ferara with a Grief inexpressible, but however had Resolution to finish his Journey to the Place of his Nativity without self Violence, but soon after, resign'd a miserable life.
I come now to the Story of Amaryllis. Amaryllis was formerly deeply in Love with a Gentleman of France, (she being originally of that Kingdom) whose Name was Sempronius; his Person was stately and very well proportion'd; his Face was ruddy and inclining to be large; his Eyes full and lively, with Eye-Brows and Beard pretty thick; of a dark brown Colour; and his Skin was clear, his Shoulders were strong and well set, and Limbs rather large than small, but exactly shap'd: He was perfectly good natur'd, complaisant in his Behaviour, and gallant in his Amours, his Dress was easy and genteel, his Approaches sprightly, and his Conversation the most endearing. Amaryllis was extremly fond of Sempronius and Sempronius was fond of Amaryllis, without each other they were equally unhappy; repeated Visits introduc'd each coming Day, and innocent Embraces crown'd the Night: Love and Liberty were their constant Themes, and nothing was wanting but the Marriage Ceremony to compleat their Felicity; but it so fell out, that after a Day was appointed for celebrating their Nuptials, that a young Gentleman of Spain call'd Richardo, envying the Happiness of Sempronius, made several Attempts to disconcert his Measures; and one Night, taking with him an Officer of Justice, whom he brib'd to his Interest, he repair'd to the House of Amaryllis; and knocking with great Violence, Amaryllis was very much alarm'd; but she sent down her Servant to enquire into the Occasion of this uncommon Approach. The Servant no sooner open'd the Door, but Richardo and the Officer of Justice enter'd the House, (beating down the Servant) and immediately ascended the Stairs in pursuit of Sempronius; during this Bustle, Amaryllis suspecting a Design against Sempronius, (Richardo having formerly offer'd his Service to her, and Revenge being the common Consequence of a Disappointment with a Spaniard) lock'd him into a private Closet, which was no sooner done, but Richardo enter'd the Room with his Sword drawn, Amaryllis having but just Time to secure her Lover. Richardo demanded of Amaryllis the gay Sempronius as a Criminal, telling her he had committed a Rape on the Body of the virtuous Maria a Lady celebrated for Beauty, and to whom all Italy could not produce an Equal, the Officer ran about the Room, crying, "Justice, Justice, where is the Villain Sempronius." They search'd the Room very diligently, and not finding Sempronius at last Richardo address'd himself to Amaryllis in these Words: "Madam, I hope you have more Virtue and Honour than to shelter a Criminal, especially where one of your most beautiful Sex is concern'd, and the greatest Innocence has been violated: If you allow your House to to be a Sanctuary for Offenders of this Nature, Justice will require Satisfaction at your Door; you may your self expect the same Injury to your Person, and I am now prepar'd to shew a Resentment that will not be pleasing to Amaryllis, either comply with my Desires in producing the Criminal, or expect to fall my Victim." This Speech very much confounded Amaryllis; the Designs of Richardo she could not easily penetrate, whether against her self or Sempronius the Plot was laid, or whether it extended to both, she could not determine: But at last she summon'd her Courage and her Reason, and with a look of Indignation peculiar to her Sex, she answer'd thus the malicious and designing Richardo: "What Crimes Sempronius has been guilty of, is to me a Secret, but that Richardo deserves the Character now given of Sempronius is very obvious, and needs no Difficulty for me to affirm; your brutal Inclinations are not easily satisfied: When you made your Addresses to me, your Designs were base and dishonourable; you more than once attempted with force to violate my Chastity, and for ought I know you are now come upon the same Errand: What could make you approach me in this hostile manner, but to Ravish Amaryllis, or to Murder Sempronius, under a pretence of Justice? But let the Event be what it will, I'll not deliver up him who is dearer to me than Life, but dare a Villain to his worst." This heroick Speech made by Amaryllis dash'd Richardo for the present; but he being resolv'd to prosecute his Intentions (which indeed were both to Murder Sempronius and ravish Amaryllis, as she had guess'd) he advanc'd nearer to Amaryllis, and took her in his Arms, upon which she cry'd out with violence, whereupon Sempronius, who had heard every thing that had pass'd, open'd the Closet Door, and sallying out Sword in Hand to defend himself and his Mistress, Richardo rush'd from Amaryllis and attack'd Sempronius; they fought sometime without any seeming Advantage on either Side, 'til at length the Officer belonging to Richardo knock'd down Sempronius and Richardo ran him to the Heart, Amaryllis, through the Negligence of the Officer, had an opportunity of escaping to a neighbouring House, where, he acquainted the Inhabitants with the dismal Tragedy; upon this Warrants were issu'd from the next Magistrates for Apprehension of Richard, but took Post for Germany, where secur'd himsef: in a famous Monastery. In great despair and confusion Amaryllis left the Kingdom of France and travell'd into Italy, to to forget this barbarous Treatment of her unfortunate Lover. At first she propos'd to retire to some Country Village, and spend the remainder of her Life in Sighs and Groans, and complaining Sonnets; for this purpose she compos'd the following Lines.
Since gay SEMPRONIUS now is gone, What Comfort yields my Life? I shall Unhappy be alone, My Breast is fill'd with Strife.
The Sun is set e'er Noon arrived, Sad Glooms around me spread, No flowing Joys the Lad surviv'd, He's now rang'd with the Dead.
SEMPRONIUS Dear, where are ye stole? Could I but find thee strait, I'd cut the Thread of Life my Soul On thy bless'd Shade would wait.
If to th' infernal Regions, Woe, SEMPRONIUS is confin'd; His Ghost I'll trace, persue below To ease my tortur'd Mind.
I still in vain, alas! prepare In vain I strive to sleep; My Breast is fill'd with deadly Care I'll lay me down and weep.
All worldly Joys I bid adieu, All Pleasures I forsake; SEMPRONIUS still I'll sleep with you; I'll with the Touth awake.
Amaryllis did not long continue her Resolution of going into the Country, fearing an invincible Despair would ensue; and upon advising with a Bosom Friend, she was disuaded from it: Her Intimate thought it might be a Diversion to her Melancholly to repair to some popular City, where a variety of Conversation and airy Entertainments, might, if possible, eraze the Memory of her deceas'd Lover. Accordingly Amaryllis immediately set out for Ferara, where she had been but an inconsiderable Time, before she accidentally fell into the Company of Theodora, whose Disappointment, already related, was little inferior to hers, and both repeating their Stories, they found so near a Resemblance in their Misfortunes, that they resolv'd to live together as Sisters or inseperable Companions, and to use their utmost Artifices for the Relief of each other. I have been led into this seeming Romance, to shew particularly the fatal Disappointments attending these two beautiful Females, which were very extraordinary, especially those of the Latter; and to shew, in a particular manner, how these two Ladies first became acquainted, as an Introduction to what follows. I come now to their Female Intrigues, which were no less uncommon than their Misfortunes.
Theodora and Amaryllis liv'd together some Time, and at last by the constant perusal of airy Books, and a few entertaining Companions, they had in some, measure forgot their unfortunate Lovers, but they resolv'd never for the future to fix their Affections upon any Man living; and living in Luxury, in the prime of their Years, in a hot inciting Climate, they at length were naturally inclin'd to the most abominable Pollution: They provided artificial Penis's of the largest Dimensions, and with Ribbons they fasten'd the Root of the Instrument, in the same Situation as Nature has plac'd the Substance in Man; they frequently embrac'd one another by turns, as Man and woman in the amorous Adventure; and when their Vigour was so much abated, that they were no longer able to struggle, the Female uppermost withdrew, and taking another Instrument in her Hand, she us'd it on her Companion with an Injection of Moisture, which, with the rubbing, occasion'd such a tickling, as to force a discharge of Matter and facilitate the Pleasure. This was their daily Practice for a considerable space, 'till at last a Confident of Theodora's who was sometimes admitted as variety in these Brutal Enjoyments, for a large Sum of Money reveal'd their Intrigues to Philetus, a Youth of a very comly Person, but a little Effeminate, who passionately admir'd the beautiful Theodora, and who had made several Attempts on her in vain.
Philetus being let into the Secret of Theodora's Intrigues, by the Assistance of the Confident, resolv'd to personate a Lady of the first Figure at Rome: In order to this, he furnish'd himself with a very rich and costly Female Habit, and by the Use of Paint, which alter'd his Eye-Brows, Cheeks, Hair, &c. and shaving every Day, he was sufficiently disguis'd; all Things being now concerted with Theodora's Confident, Philetus was admitted to wait upon Theodora and Amaryllis, with a feign'd Message from a Lady of their Acquaintance at Rome, and was entertain'd with the utmost Respect and Grandeur, with occasion'd frequent Visits between Philetus and Theodora, and at length there was such an Intimacy contracted, by the Management of Philetus and the Confident, that Philetus was permitted to be present in their Frolicks, and at last offering his Service to Theodora; she with a great deal of difficulty accepted his Embraces having not the least suspicion of the Design; so that Philetus taking the artificial Penis in his Hand, went to the Window from the Ladies, and pulling up his Petticoats, pretended he had fix'd it round his Waste, and putting the Instrument in a Furbelow of his Gown, he advanc'd to the Bed where Theodora was laid in an airy Manner to receive him; the Sight of the beautiful Theodora, in this captivating Posture, caus'd an immediate Erection with Philetus, and fill'd his Breast with amorous Fire; he approach'd his Charmer with a Lover's' vigour, and Theodora was still a Stranger to the Intrigue, 'till the moment of Ejaculation, which was not usual with the same Instrument in her Embraces with Amaryllis: When this happen'd she was prodigiously surpriz'd, and endeavouring to disengage her self from Philetus, he folded her more closely in his Arms; and in the greatest Transport told her, he was her constant Admirer Philetus: She upbraided him for this perfidious Method of bringing about his Designs; however, upon his telling her, That her strict way of Living made an uncommon Stratagem absolutely necessary, that he hop'd she would excuse what Love had prompted him to, and that notwithstanding what had past, his Designs were honourable; Theodora considering, what had happen'd, and experiencing a material Difference between Art and Nature, agreed, on his humble Request, to Marry him; and a Priest was immediately sent for, who solemniz'd their Nuptials. When the Ceremony was over, Theodora sung this Stanza.
The Shadow I'll no longer try Or use the pleasing Toy A sprightly Youth I can't defy, The Substance I'll enjoy.
After these Adventures were over, Amaryllis likewise submitted to Matrimony with a Gentleman of Ferara; and they both enjoy'd the greatest Happiness, making no difficulty to forget all Sorrows past. The next Intrigues I shall mention, are of two famous Hermaphrodites, who were more vigorous than common in their Parts, at Urbino. It is not many Years ago (as the Story relates) that there liv'd at Urbino two Hermaphrodites, famous for their Intrigues, and indeed they were arriv'd to that consummate pitch of Impudence, that they were not asham'd to own their Bestiality, they not only frolick'd with each other, but with both Sexes in general; their Names were Diana and Isabella, both of reputable Birth, and well Educated. Diana on a Time being invited to the Nuptials of a certain Nobleman of Urbino, accompanied him to the House of a noted Clergyman, some distance from the Residence of Diana, to be a Witness to the solemnization of the Marriage, and being arriv'd there, every thing was instantly provided for the Ceremony; the Bride was attir'd in the richest Brocade Silks, with the finest Linnen that could be purchas'd; her Neck and Breasts were exposed very low, and heav'd with Desire, filling the Bridegroom with amorous Imaginations, her Hair was adorn'd with the most beautiful and odorous Flowers, which surrounded her heavenly Face, and made it appear like a Rose in its bloom, in a delightful Garden, just ready to be gathered. The Bridegroom was dress'd in Cloth of Gold, and Linnen of Flanders lac'd; on his Head was a flaxen Peruke reaching to his Waste of very great Value, and by his Side a Sword, whose Hilt was set with Diamonds.
The Parson by this time being ready to perform his Office, the Bride and Bridegroom, and Diana were usher'd into a great Hall, hung round with Scripture Paintings, particularly of our Saviour, illustrating his whole Life from his Birth, and being laid in the Manger to the Time of his Crucifixion. When the Service was over, and the wedded Couple had join'd their Hands and Hearts, a splendid Entertainment was provided by the Parson to refresh them after the Fatigue of their Journey, which continuing 'till it was late in the Evening, the Bride and Bridegroom, and Diana had not time for their Return to Urbino, whereupon the Parson, in good Manners, first took Notice of it, and withal offer'd them the Use of his House, which they accepted, considering it would at least be hazardous, if not impossible to reach Urbino that Night.
The Bride and Bridegroom, and all the Company, were as merry as was possible, and after Supper, Directions were given by the Parson for preparing the Beds; but before the usual Time of retiring to Rest, his Brother coming accidentally from Bonona, there arose some Difficulty with the Parson in the disposal of his Guests, he having no more Beds than two at liberty: At last they agreed that Diana should lye with the Parson's Wife, who was a very handsom Woman, and the Parson and his Brother were to pig together, whereby there would be a Bed at the Service of the Bride and Bridegroom. Several Bottles of Champaign and Burgundy, and of fine Italian Wines being drank, the Bride and Bridegroom were put to Bed with a great deal of Solemnity; afterwards Diana and the Parson's Wife were lighted to their Apartment, and he and his Brother repair'd to theirs.
Diana observing the Parson's Wife to be a beautiful Woman, particularly as she undress'd her self, had a very strong Inclination for her usual Sportings; and in order to carry on an Intrigue with safety, she softly bolted the Chamber Door, which being done, they both went to Bed, the Parson's Wife putting out the Candle. They had not been long in Bed before Diana began to kiss the Parson's Wife with Freedom, but she not suspecting any thing farther, and supposing it might proceed more from Wine than any thing else was pretty easy, 'till at last Diana threw her self upon her, and began an Adventure, very displeasing, which surpriz'd her to that degree, that she cried out vehemently.
The Family, which had not been long at rest, alarm'd at this unseasonable Noise, arose; the Parson came to his Wife's Chamber Door, and finding it bolted within, he call'd to her to know the occasion of this Disturbance; she answer'd, "That she had a Man or a Monster in Bed with her, one that was then violating her Person." The Parson supposing this to be a Design to Cuckold him, order'd his Servants to break open the Chamber Door, which being instantly effected, he rescu'd his Wife from the Power of Diana. After this he seiz'd Diana, and upon Examination, finding her to be an Hermaphrodite, having the Members of both Sexes, he order'd his Servants to carry her to the Garret, and tye her hands and Legs together, and then to put her into the Bed of the Maid-Servant. This being done, the Parson went to Bed again, as did likewise his Wife, and the Family was at rest the whole Night; and the Noise, though it was great, did not disturb the Bride and Bridegroom after their Enjoyments of Wine and Love.
The next Morning the Parson arose early, and going to the Bride and Bridegroom, acquainted them with what had happen'd relating to his Wife and Diana, who expressing a very great Concern, and withal protesting, that the Injury was offer'd without the least Design on their Parts, the Parson was reconcil'd to them, but turn'd Diana out of Door with the Indignity she deserv'd. Diana immediately return'd to Urbino, as did likewise the Bride and Bridegroom some Hours after, having first made the Parson a Present of a Purse of Gold for his Service and very great Civility.
It was not long after this, that Isabella walking in the Streets of Urbino, in the close of the Evening, a Foreign Count, of luscious Inclinations passing by her, gave her an amorous Look, and addressing her with a great deal of Complaisance, she seem'd for his Purpose, and indeed she long'd for a pleasing Variety, having met with no uncommon Adventure for a considerable Time.
The Count observing her inclin'd to Pleasure, invited her to his House, which she at first rejected, but after a great deal of Intreaty and Persuasion she condescended, not rightly apprehending the Consequence, with a Gentleman that was a perfect Stranger to her. When they were arriv'd at the House of the Count Isabella was handed through several Rooms of State to an Anti-Chamber, where he was desir'd to sit down, the Count calling for his Servants to prepare a costly Supper; while the Supper was dressing, he kiss'd and dally'd with Isabella, but she was unexpectedly shy, behaving her self with a great deal of gravity; at length the Supper was brought, consisting of Fish, Fowl, Ragooes, Soops, &c. dress'd to the heighth of the Mode; they both eat heartily and drank very freely of noble Wines. After the Supper was over, the Count renew'd his Addresses to Isabella, who seem'd a little more compliable, but would not allow him the Fredom he desir'd, which had the usual Consequences of encreasing his Inclinations: It growing late, he carry'd her, to his Chamber, where after some Time, she, was oblig'd to go to Bed with him.
The Count, after he was in Bed, being inspir'd with Love, began the amorous Adventure with Isabella, before he had thoroughly examin'd the Secrets of Nature; and after a short Space, finding an Uneasiness in his amorous Struggles, he put down his Hand to discover what it was, and feeling something like the Testicles of a Man, he rose from her in the greatest Confusion, and calling to his Servant for a Candle, in his passion he pull'd out a sharp Pen-knife and cut off the external Members of Isabella, highly resenting the Affront, and very much displeas'd with himself, that he should embrace a Monster. Isabella made a hideous Outcry, which disturb'd the whole Neighbourhood, but the Count sending for an experienc'd Surgeon, to prevent the Effusion of too great a Quantity of Blood, it issuing out with great violence, kept her at his House all Night, and sent her the next Morning in a Chair to her Companion.
Isabella was a considerable Time before she recover'd of this great Wound, but at length growing well, and Diana having very much suffer'd by her extravagant Frolicks, they liv'd together as Man and Wife (being now better qualified for it) a considerable Space, 'till on a Time they had a very great Quarrel, which occasion'd a Separation; and Diana reviving her former Diversions, met at last with the same Fate as Isabella, her masculine Instrument being likewise sever'd from her Privities, after which, both of them liv'd to be harmless old Women. These Intrigues being very remarkable, I thought fit to insert them for the Entertainment of the curious Reader; I now proceed to the Nature and Generation of Hermaphrodites.
* * * * *
Of the material Cause and Generation of Hermaphrodites
There are several Reasons assign'd by Naturalists for the Cause and Production of Hermaphrodites. Some are of Opinion that Hermaphrodites are form'd whilst the Terms are upon Women, which being always impure, they can produce nothing but Monsters; but to this it may be answer'd, that when Children are conceived during the Sowing of the Terms, there is a greater probability of their being born with the Itch, or other scorbutick Distempers, than of their being Hermaphrodites.
Others believe, that the Man and the Woman having equally contributed to Generation, the forming Power which endeavours to render the Matter whereon it works like unto those it came from, imprints the Characters of Man and Woman upon it: And that some have been able to engender in a double Capacity, as to have a Child with one Breast resembling that of a Woman, and the other that of a Man; but this Opinion is very fabulous, for the uniting Faculty, which is the Effect of the Soul, is not capable of making such very great Differences; and Generation being accomplish'd, thro' the Fermentation of the Seed only, it cannot separate their Actions after they are mix'd.
Some Naturalists tell us, that where Nature design'd Seed in the Womb for a Male only, (as working up for the best, and aiming at the highest Perfection of its Workmanship) too much Cold and Moisture accidentally falling into the Work, before it is perfected in the Womb, at the same time there being too great a quantity of Seed and menstrous Blood, what was intended for Man in part degenerates, and renders the Infant of a double Sex or Nature, placing it in the middle of both Sexes, as seeming to participate of Male and Female.
Others say. That Nature having always a particular care of the Propagation of Mankind, endeavours for the most part to produce Females: And thus we may observe, the Number of Men Hermaphrodites to exceed the Women ones, Nature having chalk'd out to the first the Lines of a Woman's privy Parts. To this Opinion it is objected, that Nature being nothing but the Power of God in the production of Creatures, it never works but according to his Orders upon the Matter that is given the Female; and of consequence Hermaphrodites depend more upon the Disposition of the Matter for Generation, than upon any previous Design of Nature.
Some are of Opinion, that God having created Man and Woman, we have essentially within us a Faculty to become either the one Sex or the other; for which Reason it is no wonder if an Hermaphrodite is sometimes produc'd, since we are potentially so. This Notion is drawn from Plato; and though some part of the Scripture may at first seem to favour it, yet, strictly consider'd, one may find a quite different Sense; and this Opinion was condemn'd by Pope Innocent III.
The Ancients were of Opinion, that there is a certain Cell in the Womb of some Women, into which the Seed falling, when Mercury and Venus, or Mercury and Luna are in Conjunction, an Hermaphrodite is engender'd; or that the Conjunction of Mars and Venus disposes the Matter that serves for the forming of the Child so confusedly in the Mother's Womb, that it becomes the Cause of the Birth of an Hermaphrodite. In answer to this, those Planets are too remote from us to be the proximate Causes, and to have an absolute Influence on the Body of the Child that is forming in its Mother's Womb; and admitting such a Conjunction might cause a Deformity, it would not appear however in two Hermaphrodites born at different Seasons: But in Turkey, and other Eastern Countries, where these Planets have the greatest Influence, Hermaphrodites are more numerous than in the Western Parts of the World, and they are oblig'd to go in different Habits from other People (viz. with Cloaths partly belonging to Men and partly Women) to prevent their lying with any; and if they go without these Habits they are punish'd severely.
These are the various Opinions of curious Naturalists; but to proceed to other Particulars which are more probable, we must more nicely examine the Nature of the Seed to find out the cause of the Confusion of Sexes. The Seed is for the most part indifferent as to the two Sexes, and if it happens to meet with a Ball or Egg in the Horns of the Womb that is full of Spirits, and includes a hot, dry, and close Matter, it will impregnate so as to produce a Boy; but if the Seed meets with a Ball or Egg, not hot nor dry or fill'd with Spirits, tho' it will animate it, yet 'tis with less strength, so as a Girl will be produc'd. And if the Matter contain'd in another Ball, is exactly temper'd in its Quantities, and equal in its parts, so as there is no Predominancy, the Seed of the Man by its superior Power will determine this matter for a Boy or a Girl: But if a Man's Seed dispos'd to determine the temperate Seed of a Woman to one of the two Sexes has not a sufficient quantity of Spirits to effect it, and the Seed of the Woman prevails for the contrary Sex, then an Hermaphrodite is form'd, who has relation to one and the other according to the different Endeavours of the animated Seed of the Man or Woman.
The Intelligence whose Business it is to compose the little Body of Hermaphrodites, is very much disturb'd to meet with a Matter that is intractable for the regular forming of the Genital Parts. On one side the Matter is moist and loose, on the other close and dry; here 'tis hot and there 'tis cold. This Matter is so different and consists of such rebellious Particles, that 'tis impossible to manage it, and the quantity of Matter is so small that it is destitute of Heat, without which the Intelligence cannot perfectly form all parts of the Body. If the Matter turns to a Male, he will be too dull and too cold to Engender, and will be imperfect in his privy Parts; if it proves a Female, she will in time be of too hot and dry a Nature, and will be Deficient of Organs for the Seed and menstruous Blood, in order to Form and Nourish a Child.
This Intelligence, or the immortal Soul that works from the Beginning, in all probability about the thirty fifth Day begins to be employ'd in making the privy Parts of a Boy, for which purpose it lays hold on the Matter at first Elected for that end, and which it put in the first place, where the privy Parts ought to be. This being done, it works continually, but wanting Matter to perfect the privy Parts, it borrows of the Neighbouring Parts, chusing rather to render others Disfigur'd, than to be wanting in the compleat Forming of the Parts that must serve for Generation.
But when there is not Matter enough to Form the genital Parts of a Boy, the oeconomy of the Intelligence Husbands it and places and disposes all things so well for the perfect forming of the Parts that 'tis not to be express'd, but the situation is inward, as wanting Heat and Strength of Matter to push them out, after this the Intelligence proceeds in the Forming of the privy Parts of those Hermaphrodites who are counted Girls, but are really Boys. These seem to Change Sexes, and in time come to be Men, and Marry, and get Children. The natural and genital Heat increasing daily, pushes out the privy Parts about the Age of fifteen, twenty, or twenty five, 'till which time they lie hidden. These must be at full Age before they are able to Caress a Woman; and where after the coming out or the privy Parts they Copulate, it will be a hard matter for them to Engender, being in their Nature Cold.
As the Intelligence wants Matter for the Forming of the privy Parts of the three first sorts of Hermaphrodites, so there is more than there is occasion for in the fourth. About the forty fifth Day, the Intelligence being at a loss how to place the Matter it has receiv'd for the Amorous Parts, determines at last to make the Clotoris bigger and longer than ordinary, and to leave to the inward genital Parts of a Girl a natural Figure, that they may one Day serve for Generation. These sorts of Hermaphrodites as I have already observ'd, have frequently pass'd for Men, being in reality nothing but Women.
But in short, the Intelligence must accomplish its Work, of what Matter soever it be; it begins to work, and will without doubt make Parts in some measure determin'd to either Sex, provided the matter be not so unequal, and of such a different Complexion as to make it impossible to effect it, when it Forms an Hermaphrodite, and sometimes a Monster that is neither Man nor Woman, as having no privy Parts, either of the one or the other.
* * * * *
Of unnatural Births; Monsters, and extraordinary Conceptions.
Hermaphrodites being Monsters in Nature, it is no more than what may be reasonably expected that my Account of their Generation, should be follow'd with some very extraordinary unnatural Births, monstrous Productions of another Kind, and wonderful Conceptions.
The Heathen Philosophers, were so prejudic'd to the Opinion of Woman's being an imperfect Animal, (alledging that Nature always propos'd to herself the Generation of Males as being the most accomplish'd piece of Workmanship;) that they look'd upon Woman as a Monster in Nature; but the Scriptures teach us, that Man and Woman are equally perfect in their Kind, and Nature cannot be suppos'd to produce more Monsters than perfect Beings, which must be the Case, if this Opinion were allow'd, Women being more numerous than the Men.
Monsters are deprav'd Conceptions, defin'd by the Ancients to be excursions of Nature, and are always Vicious, either in Figure, Situation, Magnitude, or Number. When they bear the resemblance of a Beast, they are said to be vicious in Figure; when the Parts are disproportion'd, as that one Part is too big for the other; (which is a thing very common by reason of some Excrescence) they are vicious in Magnitude; if the Ears were on the Face, or the Eyes on the Breast, &c. as was seen in a Monster born at Revanna in Italy, in the Year 1570, They are vicious in Situation, and when having two Heads or four Hands, and two Bodies join'd, as had a Monster born at Zarzara in the Year 1540, they are vicious in Number.
In the Reign of Henry the 3d, there was a Woman deliver'd of a Child, having two Heads, four Arms, and two Bodies which were join'd down to the Navel. The Heads were so plac'd that they look'd contrary ways. It was the Female Sex, and both Heads would speak, laugh and cry; and both Eat and be Hungry together, but there was but one Fundament to disburden Nature; sometimes one would Speak, and the other would keep silence, and sometimes both speak at the same time. It liv'd several Years, but one of them surviving the other, it carried the Dead one so long, that at last it fainted with the Burden. And at a Village call'd Ubaten in Flanders, a Child was Born which had two Heads and four Arms, appearing like two Maids joyn'd together, having two Arms lifted up between and above the Heads, the Thighs being plac'd as it were cross one another.
In the Year 1579, A Monster was Born in France, cover'd all over with Hair like a Beast, its Navel being in the place where his Nose should have been, his Eyes plac'd in the Situation of the Mouth; and its Mouth was in the Chin. It was of the Male-kind, and liv'd but a few Days, affrighting all that beheld it. And near Elselling in Germany, in the Year 1529, there was a Boy Born with one Head and one Body, having four Ears, four Arms, and four Feet, and but two Thighs, and two Legs: This Birth, in the Opinion of the Learned, proceeded from a Redundancy of Seed beyond what was sufficient for one Child, but not enough for Twins, wherefore Nature Form'd what she could. There might be many other particular Instances given of Monstrous Births, as some sticking together by the Bellies, others by the Breech; some Born without Arms or Legs others without Heads, yet have they liv'd for some time, till want of Sustenance made them pine away and Die, as having no place to receive it, and others with Heads like Dogs, Wolves, Bears, and other Beasts. But I shall proceed to the cause of their Generation.
The Natural Cause of Generation of Monsters, according to the Ancients, is either in the Matter, or in the Agent; in the Seed or in the Womb: The Matter may be unable to perform its Office two ways; by Defect, or by Excess: By Defect, when a Child hath but one Arm, or one Leg, &c. and by Excess, when it hath three Hands or two Heads. The Agent or Womb may be in Fault several ways, as in the forming Faculty, which may be too strong or too weak, by which a deprav'd Figure is oftentimes produc'd, the ill Conformation of the place of Conception will cause a Monstrous Birth; and the imaginative Power at the time of Conception, is so forcible, that it stamps a Character of the thing upon the Child; so that the Child of an Adulteress, by the strength of Imagination may have a nearer resemblance of her Husband, than of the Person who begat it. And some Histories mention, that through this Imaginative Faculty, a Woman at the time of Conception, beholding the Picture of a Blackamoor, produc'd a Child resembling an AEthiopian.
Monsters are sometimes Engender'd by unseasonable amorous Embraces, as when a Man enters on the Pleasures of Venus at a time as the monthly Flowings are upon his Wife; For this being against Nature, it is no wonder that it should produce an unnatural Offspring. If therefore a Man's desire be never so great for Copulation at such a time, yet the Woman ought not to admit of his Embraces; the issue of those unclean Embraces proving often Monstrous, or dull and heavy, and Defective in their Understandings.
Sometimes by a corruption of Seed, Monstrous Shapes are form'd, which by some is ascrib'd to the bad Influence of the Planets, that were predominant at the time of Conception; and sometimes the straightness of the Womb is attended with many Inconveniencies, for Nature not having sufficient room to frame her Work in, the Child is rumpled up, which occasions some to have hump'd Backs, crooked Arms, and Legs, round Shoulders, Wry Necks, and the like.
The divine Cause of these Monstrous Generations, proceeds from the permissive Will of our Great Creator, who many times suffers Parents to bring forth such Deform'd Creatures as a Punishment for their Lust: And some Authors are of Opinion, that outward deformity of Body is generally a Sign of the Pollution of the Heart, as a Curse upon the Child for the Incontinency of the Parents.
In the Writings of some Authors mention is made of Monsters engender'd by infernal Spirits; and as the Scriptures give us to understand that the Angels being taken with the Beauty of the Daughters of Men, went in unto them, and that from such a Conjunction, Giants were Born, so we may infer that if Angels can mix Amorously with Women, and engender Children, the Devils who only differ from Angels by their Fall, may also draw Women into immodest Pleasures, and Defile them with their Embraces: But it is highly inconsistent to suppose that our Creator who is all Purity, would permit the worst of Spirits to propogate his diabolical Offspring.
Devils assuming to themselves Human Shapes, in the opinion of Ancient Writers, may abuse both Men and Women, and with wicked People use carnal Copulation. St. Austin yields to this Notion, and that Generation may thereby be effected; but his Opinion was grounded more upon the depositions of Melancholly superstitious Persons, than from any demonstrable Proofs; and 'tis impossible that such an unnatural Conjunction can produce a humane Creature, though some will have it that it may, and that his Malice shall be a Sign of his Extraction.
The Rabbins beleived that the Silvani, Pans and Fauni, call'd Incubus's and the Tutelar Gods, were Creatures left imperfect the first Friday Evening, and not finish'd by God, as being prevented by the ensuing Sabbath; for this reason they alledg'd, these Spirits love Mountains and dark Places only, and never appear but in the Night time: And the Incubus's not only Court and desire to Caress Women, but have actually Caress'd them.
Hierenimus Cardanus writes of a Maid which was got with Child by a Devil, she thinking it had been a fair young Man who had Enjoy'd her; and some Witches fancy they have been at the Sabbath, and Caress'd by the Devil, whose Privy Parts were full of Bristles, Scaly, and the Seed cold as Ice; but this has proceeded only from a distracted Brain: Besides we learn from Scripture that Devils being pure Spirits, are quite different Substances from those of Men. That they have neither Flesh nor Blood, nor Privities, and consequently no Seed for Generation. That though they sometimes assume Bodies, these Bodies are only form'd of Air, and do not Live, neither can they exercise the Operations of Life: That having no occasion to hope for Posterity, as being Eternal and Unhappy, they cannot be suppos'd to be desirous of perpetuating their Species or to take pleasure in the Embraces of Women.
The Stories of Women having Commerce with Devils, are very Fabulous, and proceed chiefly from Dreams and Nocturnal Illusions; a Lecherous and Melancholly Woman seiz'd with the Night Mare, may verily beleive that the Devil Caresses her; especially if her Fancy is taken up with Tales of Witches. Leo Africanus tells us, That what is attributed to Devils, is committed by Lascivious Men, and Lecherous Women, who perswade others, that they are Caress'd by Devils. The Witches of the Kingdom of Fez, according to History, are very desirous that People should beleive them to be familiar with Devils, and for that Reason endeavour to tell surprizing Stories to those that consult them; they do not require any Fees from handsome Women that come to see them, but only intimate the Desire their Master has to Caress them for a Night. The Husbands take these Impostures for Truth, and surrender their Wives to the Gods and the Winds. Night being come, the brawny Sorcerer (who Employs the Persons abovemention'd, to ensnare fine Women to his Caresses) Embraces the fair one closely, and Enjoys her instead of the Devil. If this Ignorance and Superstition prevail'd in this Kingdom, I doubt not but it would very much Pleasure the frolicking Libertines.
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Before I begin to trace any Particulars of extraordinary Conceptions, I shall insert a surprizing Account of a Woman that went Twenty five Years with Child, from the Writings of Monsieur Baile, which contains a great deal of Variety relating to untimely Generations.
Margaret Matthieu a Cloth-worker's Wife at Tholouse in France, in the Year 1653, and towards the Ninth Month of her Reckoning, had the Pains of Woman's Labour upon her at Church; and some part of the Waters being already voided, she acquainted the People about her, that she fear'd she should be Deliver'd in the Church. Immediately she was carried to a Neighbouring House, and her Pains abating upon the Relief she there met with, she was afterwards convey'd Home, where her Pains return'd with more Violence than before. Upon this, Doctor Cartier, and Doctor Mulatier two famous Physicians, and Mr. Cortade a very skilful Surgeon were sent for, and endeavour'd, tho' in vain, to give her Relief. She continued for two Months under the torture of these violent Pains, and voided Clots of Blood without Fibres or any carnous Matter. Afterwards she voided a white Humour, that was sometimes tinctur'd with Blood; and her Breasts were fill'd with an extraordinary quantity of Milk. About the Fifth Month the Flux of the Blood ceas'd, and she recover'd her Strength by Degrees, being still incommoded with a troublesome Load in Her Belly, and never easy but when she lay upon her Reins.
From the Year 1653 till the Year 1678, she suffer'd now and then as violent Pains as those of Child-birth. When they attack'd her most severely, she entreated the Surgeon to rip up her Belly, and so put an end to her Misery. She was troubled with frequent Swoonings, and unaccountable Longings for certain sorts of Aliment. Some of the Women about her affirm'd, that they saw the Child move several times; but the Surgeon and the Apothecary, who observ'd her very narrowly, and were frequently call'd, could never perceive any other Motion than that which attended the Mother's turning from one side to the other; for then the Lump fell to the side upon which she lay.
During this space of time, which was Twenty five Years and some Months, this Woman had several fits of Sickness, and at last died of a continual Fever, in January 1678, being in the Sixty second Year of her Age.
The next Day after she was Dead, Mr. Cortade, open'd her Corps, in the presence of Monsieurs Gaillart, Baile, Laborde and Grangeron all famous Physicians; and of Mr. Labat and Corboneau, two noted Anatomists. Having cut up the Muscles, and the Peritonaeum, they found the Cawl schirous, and somewhat carnous, and about two Fingers breadth thick. 'Twas stretched over the Mass they sought for and adher'd to it. When they lifted it up, they turn'd over the whole Heap, towards the Breast of the Deceas'd Person, and then they had some Apprehension that the shapeless Mass was a Child: At first View they doubted it, because 'twas found out of the Womb, but their Doubts were quickly dispell'd, when they put a Knife into it and felt the Bones, and saw Nails and Toes upon one of the Feet, that they separated from the Mass.
Before they meddled further with the Mass, they had a mind to see what Condition the parts of the Abdomen were in, and particularly the Womb, upon which they found a Body, which being hard like a Stone, enclos'd a great Ulcer that spread its self over the Bottom of the Womb. Upon the Womb side it had a Cavity full of white and thick Pus, without any noisome Smell. On the Opposite Side 'twas hollow, and resembled the convex Side of an Oister. The rest of the Womb was in its Natural State, and they met with no considerable Accident in the Neighbouring parts.
They cut out the Mass, and carried it to the Surgeon's House, to be view'd at their leisure. The whole Mass was encompass'd with a callous Matter, under which they found all the Parts of a Child harden'd and half putrified; and these weigh'd Eight Pound. They cut up all the Viscera in the three Cavities, the particulars whereof may be read in Mr. Baile's Book of Anatomy. This is the Account given by Mr. Baile. I come now to extraordinary Conceptions.
Some Authors affirm, that a young Man having spilt some Seed in a Bath, a Girl afterwards Bathing in the same Water, the Seed was suck'd in by the Girls Womb, and she became with Child. But Monsieur Dionis is not of this Opinion: He will not allow the Womb an attractive Faculty, so as to suck up from the outer Extremity of the Neck, and oblige it to repair to its Cavity. And the Seed being a Liquor, would be so blended with the Water, that 'tis impossible all its particles should rally, and continue their Activity and prolifick Quality, till their Arrival in the Womb.
And the History reported by Riolanus favours the Opinion against those who maintain that Generation may be perform'd by shedding of the Seed on the Cabia of a Woman's Privities. The Vagina of the Woman mention'd by this Writer, was shut up with Scars after a troublesome Child-birth, to such a Degree as only to leave a small Hole for the passage of the Terms and Urine, through which also pass'd the Husband's Seed that got her with Child; this might not hinder these two Persons from Copulating strictly; nay, there must have been a strict Alliance and the Womb, by contracting of the Passage, must in this Case have drawn the Seed as greedily as an hungry Stomach attracts the Victuals by the Mouth.
Some Persons have believ'd that a Woman may Engender, without the Application of a Man's Privities. They tell us of a Woman that was got with Child in the Embraces of her She-Companion, who but a little before came from her Husband's Arms: And of a young Woman that was found Breeding by no other Cause than her Father's having by chance Polluted himself in the same Bed where she was: But these Stories seem to be contriv'd to cover the Lasciviousness of Women, and conceal the Vice of an impure Love.
There is a Story in some Authors, that having put Human Seed into a Viol close stopp'd, and plac'd it for some time in a Dunghill that was moderately hot; they observ'd that the Particles drew up themselves in such Order, as to assume the Form of a Child. This (say they) comes to pass after the same manner as the Forming of a Chick in an Egg, which requires only a temperate Heat to Hatch it. But they agree, that 'twas impossible to Nourish this Infant, which according to them, perish'd before 'twas intirely Form'd. If this Observation were true, it would make us believe that the whole Matter of which the Child is Form'd proceeds from the Man. But this Story wants Confirmation, as does likewise the following Relation Communicated in a Letter by Mr. Donat Surgeon to the Army in Italy, relating to a Man's Conception.
I am at this very time employ'd in tending a Person of Quality that's come a great way off. In the right Side of his Scrotum he had a great Lump, bigger than the Head of a Child; which I cut off, and afterwards ty'd up the Spermatick Artery. This Lump was a Mass of Flesh, all over Spermatick, and very Solid, with very hard Bones in every part. 'Twas contain'd in an After-birth with a great deal of Water. The Spermatick Vessels which perform'd the Office of those we call Umbilical, were overgrown much beyond their Natural size. The Circumstances that occasion'd this Generation, confirms the Effect that follow'd. In June last, the Gentleman us'd a great deal of Liberty with a certain Lady, without coming to actual Enjoyment; upon which he was seiz'd with a cutting pain in the right Testicle, which after two Hours became insensible. In process of time a Tumour rose by degrees, which was joined to the Testicle, and was as big as a Turkey'Egg. The 8th of December last, this Gentleman came hither incognito; but put off the Operation 'till this time, by reason of the cold Season. In the mean time the Swelling increas'd so much, that the Scrotum being uncapable of a greater Extension; it reach'd all over the Groin, and I had a great deal of trouble in tying the Spermatick Vessels at Rings of the Abdomen. This is an Experiment that shews, that the whole Substance of Man is contain'd in the Male Seed; and that Women furnish only the Vessel, and the Substance of Growth and Nourishment. I have preserv'd this Production to justify the Truth of my Assertion.
Sisteron, May the 3d. 1697.