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A Treatise on the Art of Midwifery, Setting Forth Various Abuses Therein, Especially as to the Practice with Instruments
Nihell, Elizabeth
Published by Printed for A. Morley, London
Location of original: Countway Rare Books, Harvard University
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Page 71


on M I D W I F E R Y 71

   IF on the contrary, and what the most frequently happens, you fall into the hands of one of the common men-midwives, either of that multitude of disciples of Dr. Smellie, trained up at the feet of his artificial doll, or in short of those self-constituted men-midwives made out of broken barbers, tailors, or even pork-butchers (I know myself one of this last trade, who, after passing half his life in stuffing sausages, is turned an intrepid physician and man-midwife) must not, I say, practitioners of this stamp be admirably fitted, as well for the manual operation, as for the prescriptions? If then it is from thrift they are employed, by way of sparing fees to a real physician, I own, I think this is pushing savingness too far ; as I should be almost as much afraid of the prescriptions of these mock-doctors as of their operation. I should have more confidence in the advice of a discreet matron, or of a skilful midwife, who, by habit and a long experience of seeing ladies in their lyings-in attended by the best physicians, is in the most common cases of the labor-pains,

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