tively a trifle, after the steps already taken. And if it does not result
in any overt act of impropriety, it leaves a mental depreciation, an easiness
of soul, which shows itself in the jovial conversations among some of
the merry members of the profession, in the subsequent interviews between
practitioner and patient, and sometimes in the social circles and pleasant
chit-chats of the better part of creation.
Dr. Ewell says, 'Many of these modest-looking doctors have been driven
to adultery and madness.' Not many years since, a physician in Lynn, having,
in the way of professional duty, become too well acquainted with a lady,
(a clergyman's wife,) presumed upon too great a freedom to be endured.
The woman exposed him. This doctor, by way of palliation, said to a gentleman,
from whom I have the fact, 'I'm nothing but human natur', and human natur'
can't stand every thing.'
'Lead us not into temptation,' clergymen pray and admonish others to pray.
Yet, at the same fime, they thrust their wives and daughters, their medical
attendants, and, so far as their example goes, the whole medical profession,
and the wole female portion of the community, right into temptation! From
such inconsistencey between preaching and practice, we should with all
solemnity pray, 'Good Lord, deliver us.'
Another important thought in Dr. Ewell's remarks: If a man raises his
voice against this unnecessary evil, there are some ready to cry out,
'O, you are a suspicious, a jealous fellow, "a jealousy man;"'
and perhaps his idol at home is one of these accusers---'La, you
are very particular; always getting hold of something new, some new kink
into your noddle; I would'nt be jealous.' So the poor husband, dreading
to be thought 'a jealously man,' yields and travels on, though he may
have now and then an instinctive premonition that he is travelling that
unfortunate road spoken of by the philosophical Voltaire.
But what says Dr. Ewell on this point? 'No man possessed [not of a spirit
of jealousy]---no man possessed of a correct and delicate regard
for his wife, would subject her to any exposure to a doctor, that could
be avoided without danger.'
As to the rule, which Dr. Ewell lays down, to employ midwives on ordinary
occasions, and call in physicians in extraordinary difficulties,---which
is precisely the course advocated in this pamphlet,---he says, he will
venture to add that there is not a disin-
terested physician, of sound sense, who would not approve of the rule.
Now, that the profession should be desirous to retain the practice is
perfectly natural. 'Human nature,' says Tristram Shandy, 'is the same
in all professions.' But to their honor be it spoken, there are many physicians
in the country and the city, who would be glad to see the practice in
the hands of midwives. One, in this city, said he disapproved of it, and
should be glad to get out of it, but he was actually 'pressed into the
service, by families in which he attended.' Another doctor steps out of
the back door, and is 'not at home,' when they call on that business.
Another sends his wife. Another remarked to me, that when called for by
any one, he referred him to a midwife, saying,if they could not get along
then, he would come.
Lectures in Boston.
OPINIONS OF EDITORS,
In September last, the writer gave a number of lectures,
in this city, on this subject of man-midwifery, which created some sensation,
and called forth some opinions as to the matter.
'THE BOSTON MEDICAL
AND SURGICAL JOURNAL.'
Its editor, Dr. J. V .C. Smith, it appears, honored the lecturer, by hearing
'a part of one of his discourses;' which part of a discourse he makes
the topic of a very spirited editorial, prepared in his happy vein of
sarcastic humor, with a mixture of serious apprehension for the interests
of the public, but with no allusion to the interests of the profession.
'No subject,' says the editor, 'is neglected, in these days of agitation,
which promises to produce a remunerating degree of excitement when presented
to the open ear of the great irresponsible public.'
So this is got up for a money-making business. Well, the author is frank
enough to acknowledge, that when he labors, for what he considers the
good of the public he expects the public will be willing to pay his expenses
and give him a 'remuneration.'
'Quid pro quo,' as the lawyers say, 'something for la consideration,'
is a principle on which the public, colectively and individually, act---unless
doctors are exceptions. And the question is respectfully submitted, whether
the editor looks after the health of the 'Port,' and the public, without