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feelings should be tolerated. Purity of heart and life should be
maintained. The husband should do his part by supplying favorable
surroundings, suggesting cheerful thoughts, and aiding mental culture.
3. After birth, the mother still possesses a molding influence upon
the development of her child through the lacteal secretion. Every
mother knows how speedily the child will suffer if nursed when she is
exhausted by physical labor or when suffering from nervous excitement,
as anger or grief. These facts show the influence which the mental
states of the mother exert upon the child even when the act of nursing
is the only physical bond between them.
It would be a happy day for the race which should witness the recognition
of the fact that infants, even human beings in embryo, possess rights
which are as sacred as those of adult human beings.
Circumcision.--The fold of integument called the prepuce, which has
been previously described, has upon its inner surface a large number
of glands which produce a peculiar secretion. Under certain
circumstances, and from inattention to personal cleanliness, this
secretion may accumulate, and then often becomes the cause of
irritation and serious disease. To prevent such disorders, and to
insure cleanliness, the Jewish law required the removal of the prepuce,
which constituted the rite of circumcision. The same practice is
followed by several modern nations dwelling in tropical climates; and
it can scarcely be doubted that it is a very salutary one, and has
contributed very materially to the maintenance of that proverbial
national health for which the Jews are celebrated. Eminent physicians
have expressed the opinion that the practice would be a salutary one
for all men. The maintenance of scrupulous cleanliness, by daily
cleansing, is at least an imperative duty.
In some countries, females are also circumcised by removal of the
nymphae. The object is the same as that of circumcision in the male.
The same evils result from inattention to local cleanliness, and the
same measure of prevention, daily cleansing, is necessitated by a
similar secretion. Local cleanliness is greatly neglected by both sexes.
Daily washing should begin with infancy and continue through life, and
will prevent much disease.
Castration.--This operation consists in the removal of the testes of
the male. It does not at once obliterate the sexual sense, especially
if performed after puberty, but of course renders the individual
impotent, or incapable of reproduction. Persons upon whom it has been
performed are called eunuchs. It was a very common custom in ancient
times, being usually prompted by the jealousy of rulers, who allowed
no males but eunuchs to associate with their wives and concubines. The
effect upon the male is to render him effeminate in appearance and weak
in mind. If performed before puberty, the growth of the beard is scanty,
and the voice never acquires that deepness of tone natural to the
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