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maltreatment as well? or, at least, why may she not refuse to lend
herself to beastly lust? She remains the proprietor of her own body,
though married; and who is so lost to all sense of justice, equity,
and even morality, as to claim that she is under any moral obligation
to allow her body to be abused?
Since the first edition of this work was published, we have many times
been appealed to by suffering wives in the most pathetic terms. In many
instances the poor wife was suffering with local disease of a serious
character, making sexual approaches in the highest degree painful as
well as repugnant; yet notwithstanding this, the demands of the husband
for the gratification of his bestial passions were, in many instances,
in no degree lessened by a knowledge of the facts in the case.
In cases like these it is often a very delicate and exceedingly
difficult task to point out the duty of the suffering wife and mother.
The duty of the husband is very plain, and to him the wise physician
will appeal in a manner which cannot fail to arouse him to a sense of
his duty if there is yet left unconsumed by the fires of lust even a
vestige of genuine manhood.
What to Do.--Now to the question as asked by the first parties--married
people who together seek for a solution of the difficulties arising
from an abandonment of all protectives against fecundation. The true
remedy, and the natural one, is doubtless to be found in the suggestion
made under the heads of "Continence" and "Marital Excesses." By a course
of life in accordance with the principles there indicated, all of these
evils and a thousand more would be avoided. There would be less sensual
enjoyment, but more elevated joy. There would be less animal love, but
more spiritual communion; less grossness, more purity; less
development of the animal, and a more fruitful soil for the culture
of virtue, holiness, and all the Christian graces.
"But such a life would be impossible this side of Heaven." A few who
claim to have tried the experiment think not. The Shakers claim to
practice, as well as teach, such principles; and with the potent aids
to continence previously specified, it might be found less difficult
in realization than in thought.
A Compromise.--There will be many, the vast majority, perhaps, who will
not bring their minds to accept the truth which nature seems to teach,
which would confine sexual acts to reproduction wholly. Others,
acknowledging the truth, declare "the spirit willing" though "the flesh
is weak." Such will inquire, "Is there not some compromise by means
of which we may escape the greater evils of our present mode of life?"
Such may find in the following facts suggestions for a "better way,"
if not the _best_ way, though it cannot be recommended as wholly free
from dangers, and though it cannot be said of it that it is not an
"Menstruation in woman indicates an aptitude for impregnation, and this
condition remains for a period of six or eight days after the entire
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