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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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Page 47


mutual good feeling. Indeed, in the present state of things, this second gentleman is nearly as essential to the perpetuity of a family as is the husband himself.
   The 'Physician' speaks of the mutual attachment created between the practitioner and patient, by his attendance on her through "this scene of suffering and danger." The truth of this statement may be illustrated by an incident related in connection with the explosion and wreck of the steam-packet 'Pulaski,' on the coast of North Carolina, a few years since. The gentleman, concerned in the incident was a Mr. Ridge, of New Orleans, the lady a Miss Onslow, from one of the southern states.
    By the frightful explosion the vessel was shattered; many of the passengers and crew went down; others remained on the wreck or took to the boats and planks. Mr. R. had secured himself upon some floating body. He saw the young woman struggling in the waves, and instantly rescued her. Again the surge broke over and separated them; again his strength and intrepidity saved her from the devouring sea. Some days and nights they were together on their frail raft amid the perils of the deep. At length they drifted ashore, nearly exhausted by watching, and hunger, and exposure. He was an ordinary man, and the wreck had made him a beggar. She was an accomplished young lady, and an heiress to an immense fortune. Yet such was her feeling of gratitude, affection, love, for him, that she married him; though he protested against making his services any claim for such a favor.
   Now, take the parallel case of a woman rescued from a still more horrid death, by the physician's wonderful skill and devoted endeavors, as she naturally supposes. Perhaps, as in some of the cases given, he has constantly hung over her, or been by her, one, two, or three, days and nights; and at length, worn and exhausted with watching and suffering, "they all come safe to shore." Is there not deep gratitude, and, as the 'Physician' says, "affection," and if cherished by continued kindness and intimacy, may it not grow into love? It would be unnatural if it should not. Then farewell to domestic bliss!
   So in cases of protracted illness, where professional duty brings physician and patient together daily for weeks and months. Women, like men, when they are sick, are feeble, irresolute, sensitive, susceptible; and they appreciate kindess from whatever source it comes. The following sweet and truthful

sentence is taken from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, in which it stands as a quoted item: "There is, perhaps, no quality attached to a correct professional character, more fascinating to the gernerality of mankind, than a bland, gentle, humane mode of examining and prescribing for the sick. It steals like the sweetest notes of music into the bosom of the unhappy sufferer, and imparts a presentiment that all will go well."
   Now, this 'fascinating' attention does not "steal into the bosoms," and steal out of the hearts, of females alone. Men yield to the potent spell when it is exerted by the opposite sex. It is said that Howard, the philanthropist, under the influence of this fascination, married the nurse who had attended him through a season of sickness. To avoid harm, then, great prudence should be observed when either party is under previous contract!
   It is not to be supposed that, in a Christian community, every woman will allow herself to fall in love with every ill-looking doctor; or, if she should, that she will allow any symptoms of it to appear. But such is the tendency of the system, and the legitimate effects will appear, unless they are counteracted by stronger influences. Virtue and morality may regualte the conduct, but moral sentiments cannot restrain the spell-bound affections from going where they ought not. The Needle may not bolt form its pivot, but it will assuredly turn towards the object of attraction.
   These confidential and affectionate feelings are very proper to exist between the parturient woman and an assistant of her own sex; but it is contrary to reason and scripture that they should exist between one man's wife and another woman's husband. The Bible commands, "Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." Not the body alone, but the soul. These customary improprieties at home, doubtless, are to many a husband a plausible excuse for going abroad. Mrs. P., a midwife in East Boston, said she formerly resided in the city proper, and someties acted as an assistant to women attended by doctors; and, after the child was born and the woman comfortably in bed, she had in several instances seen physicians take leave of the lady by an affectionate kiss.
   Now, this was a very kind and innocent act in itself, but kisses have a language; and for that reason non-professional gentlemen are liable to heavy damages for kissing other people's wives. And if these ladies, who received

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