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Man-Midwifery Exposed and Corrected
Gregory, Samuel
Published by George Gregory, New York
Location of original: Countway Rare Books, Harvard University
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cult and fatal labors have never been so rife or so frequent as since their intermeddling.'
This is the case among us, some proofs of which will be presented in the course of this exposition.
From the following paragraph it would seem that midwifery in those days was not a very difficult or dear-bought science.
We are told, in Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopedia, that 'Dr. Smellie gained deserved reputation as a practitioner and a teacher. In his class he made considerable use of machines, and, if we may credit his enemy, Dr. Douglass, he endeavored to condense his information so as to suit all purses as well as capacities; for he is said to have hung out a paper lantern with these words; "Midwifery taught here for five shillings."'
The employment of instruments was considered such a wonderfrul improvement upon nature, that almost every doctor, old and young, was for trying his hand at it, (as too many are now;) and to such a pitch did this preposterous manoeuvring proceed, that the friends of midwives and of nature opposed it by argument, invective, and ridicule.
In 1759, Sterne employed his satirical pen against the instrumental performers, in 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.' In this, his autobiography, Tristram tells us he was born in 1718; and gives the particulars of his advent into the world, as he received them from his 'Uncle Toby.' The obstetric artist on this occasion was the illustrious Dr. Slop, consecrated to immortality. It appears that he was a 'scientific operator, who had expressly written a five shillings book upon the subject of midwifery, in which he had exposed not only the bunders of the sisterhood itself, but had also superadded many curious improvements for the quicker extraction of the foetus.' The result of the doctor's experiment with his 'new-invented forceps,' in the case of Mrs. Shandy, was such irreparable damage to Tristram's physiognomy as to bring upon him, in every period of his earthly existence, a train of vexatious disappointments and misfortunes; all of which he relates in his 'Life and Opinions.' That part of his autobiography which relates to his nativity -- the writings, and indentures, and the warm discussions, between his father and mother, Mrs. Shandy, on the one hand, in favor of the old midwife and nature, and Mr. Shandy, on the other, for the 'scientific operator,' and the 'improvements' -- the persons who figure, Obadiah, Uncle Toby, and Cor-

poral Trim---the character and exploits of the redoubtable Dr. Slop, the man-midwife, &c.,---this portion of the 'Life and Opinions,' I say, is so exceedingly applicable to the present times, so transcendently amusing and instructive withal, that I have some idea of selecting and arranging it in a pamphlet form, that the public may compare man-midwifery as it was with man-midwifery as it is.
Nothwithstanding Dr. Slop's obstetric prowess and astonishing improvements, midwives in his day continued in good repute, and received their commissions from the highest sources, as appears forom the following notice on one, who came to this country the same year Tristram Shandy was born.

A Successful Midwife.

The following inscription I took from a gravestone, a cheap slab of slate, somewhat bedimmed by time, and standing much out of perpendicular, in the 'Old Burying-Ground' in our neighboring city of Charlestown.
'Here lyes Interred the Body of Mrs. Elizabeth Philips, wife to Mr. John Philips, who was Born in Westminster, in Great Britain, & Commissioned by John, Lord Bishop of London, in the year 1718, to the office of a Midwife, and came to this country in the Year 1719, & by the blessing of God, has Brought into this world above 3000 children. Died May 6th, 1761, aged 76 Years.'
A very respectable number. There is, I an informed, a similar record in a burying-ground in Dorchester.
The graveyard contains myriads of proofs of the bad success, nay, of the ignorant and cruel barbarity of male artists--as Professor Bedford, of New York exclaims, 'If the grave could speak, how fearful would be its warnings on this topic, how monstrous the guilt of those who revel in innocent blood!' It is therefore pleasant to meet with these venerable records of the ability and success of midwives, in this their proper office. Those were the days when women made themselves useful, and aided and patronized each other; they would have blushed at the thought and scorned the idea of being dependent on male assistants.
In regard to the stone in Charlestown, lest any one should be deceived, as the writer came near being, on looking at it, it is proper to state that some graceless fellow has wantonly cut a figure 1 before the 3, which, though too unskilfully done to deceive the

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