careful observer, would cause the 'passer by' to read the prodigious
sum of 13000.
Now, the author is, of course, in favor of giving midwives whatever credit
is their due; but he wishes no exaggerated testimonials in their behalf,
nor against those who have usurped their office; and this sacrilegious
scamp, this 'cub of Satan,' as Lord Timothy Dexter would call him, deserves
to have his head pulled off with a pair of Dr. Slop's forceps, and to
have it forever perched on the stone he has desecrated.
In order to give the public the highest degreee of confidence
in the correctness of the views advocated in this pamphlet, the testimony
of some of the greatest physicians has been, and will continue to be presented---testimony
which cannot be overthrown by argument, or invalidated by any counter
evidence of physicians.
Here is an important fact to be borne in mind: It is notoriously for the
interest of the medical profession to retain this branch of practice in
their hands; therefore, when one of their number condemns man-midwifery,
it is evident that he considers it wrong, and that he is wiling
to sacrifice the interest of his profession for the public good. I will
not say that there are not physicians who honestly believe that they are
the most proper midwives; but the fact that they say so, is not proof
positive that they so believe. The authority now to be presented is that
of the late
of Virginia; 'Honorary member of the Philadelphia Medical
Society, and former Surgeon in the Navy Hospital, Washington City.' Dr.
Ewell was a learned physician, of thirty years' practice,
and of high standing in the estimation of the profession.
In his 'LETTERS TO LADIES,
detailing important information concerning Themselves and Infants,' published
in Philadelphia, in the Introduction to the work, he speaks and argues
'The serious object of my present solicitude is, to wrest the practice
of midwifery from the hands of men and transfer it to women, as it was
in the beginning and ever should be. I have seldom felt a more ardent
desire to succeed in any undertaking, because I view the present practice
of calling on men,
in ordinary births, as a source of serious evils to childbearing; as
an imposition upon the credulity of women, and upon the fears of their
husbands; as a means of sacrificing delicacy, and consequently virtue;
and as a robbery of many good women of their proper employment and support.
'Truly it shows as extraordinary a revolution in practice as any afforded
by a survey of all the arts. That all females bring forth their young
without assistance except the human in a state of civilization; and that
women should call for the assistance of men, while the human species is
the only one tormented by jealousy, is a fact that will scarcely be credited
in a Turkish harem, or by the Christians of some future and purer age.
Should the strangers to the practice inquire if our men have large, unwieldy
hands, great curiosity about women; should they ask if our females had
the requisites for useful services---small hands, nice sense of touch,
the patience in attendance---they will absolutely deny this monstrous
perversion of nature.
'From the peaceful and retired occupations of women, they are generally
more numerous in the comunity than men.* Nevertheless, the men have assumed
several offices properly belonging to the weaker sex. The natural consequence
is, that many women, as men in similar circumstances, wanting proper occupation,
seek the employments of the vicious. Inasmuch, therefore, as these men-midwives
have meddled with this proper business of women, they have been instrumental
in the depravity of many. Indeed, it is owing to their acting where they
are not required, that female practitioners are often so ignorant---not
having the opportunity or means to qualify themselves for attendance on
'Several observing moralists have remarked that the practice of employing
men-midwives has increased the corruption among married women. Even among
the French, so prone to set aside the ceremonies between the sexes, the
immorality of such exposures has been noticed. in an anecdote of Voltaire,
it is related that when a gentlman boasted to him of the birth of a son,
he asked who assisted at the delivery; to the answer, "A man-midwife,"
he replied, "Then you are travelling the road to cuckoldom."
The acutely-observing historian of nature, Count Buffon, (on puberty,)
observes, "Virginity is a moral
*According to the census of 1840, there are in New England
15,000 more females than males.