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a train of morbid symptoms too long to mention in detail, attend these
_Consumption_.--It is well recognized by the medical profession that
this vice is one of the most frequent causes of consumption. At least
such would seem to be the declaration of experience, and the following
statistical fact adds weight to the conclusion:--
"Dr. Smith read a paper before a learned medical association a few years
since in which he pointed out the startling fact that in one thousand
cases of consumption five hundred and eighteen had suffered from some
form of sexual abuse, and more than four hundred had been addicted to
masturbation or suffered from nocturnal emissions."
[Footnote 49: Acton.]
"Most of those who early become addicted to self-pollution are soon
afterward the subjects, not merely of one or more of the ailments
already noticed, but also of enlargements of the lymphatic and other
glands, ultimately of _tubercular deposits in the lungs_ and other
viscera, or of scrofulous disease of the vertebrae or bones, or of other
structures, more especially of the joints."
[Footnote 50: Copland.]
Many young men waste away and die of symptoms resembling consumption
which are solely the result of the loathsome practice of self-abuse.
The real number of consumptives whose disease originates in this manner
can never be known.
_Dyspepsia_.--Indigestion is frequently one of the first results.
Nervous exhaustion is always felt by the stomach very promptly. When
dyspepsia is once really established, it reacts upon the genital organs,
increasing their irritability as well as that of all the rest of the
nervous system. Now there is no end to the ills which may be suffered;
for an impaired digestion lays the system open to the inroads of almost
any and every malady.
_Heart Disease_.--Functional disease of the heart, indicated by
excessive palpitation on the slightest exertion, is a very frequent
symptom. Though it unfits the individual for labor, and causes him much
suffering, he would be fortunate if he escaped with no disease of a
more dangerous character.
_Throat Affections_.--There is no doubt that many of the affections
of the throat in young men and older ones which pass under the name
of "clergyman's sore throat" are the direct results of masturbation
Dr. Acton cites several cases in proof of this, and quotes the following
letter from a young clergyman:--
"When I began the practice of masturbation, at the age of sixteen, I
was in the habit of exercising my voice regularly. The first part in
which I felt the bad effects of that habit was in the organs of
articulation. After the act, the voice wanted tone, and there was a
disagreeable feeling about the throat which made speaking a source of
no pleasure to me as it had been. By-and-by, it became painful to speak
after the act. This arose from a feeling as if a morbid matter was being
secreted in the throat, so acrid that it sent tears to the eyes when
speaking, and would have taken away the breath if not swallowed. This,
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