Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs  

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Aphrodisiacs and Antiaphrodisiacs is a book by English author John Davenport privately printed in London in 1869. Its motto was Ubi stimulus, ibi fluxusHippocrates.




The book mentions Tutunus:

The worship of Priapus among the Romans was derived from the Egyptians, who, under the form of Apis, the sacred Bull, worshipped the generative power of nature; and, as the syllable pri or pre signifies, in the Oriental tongue, principle, production, or natural or original source, the word Priapus may be translated principle of production or of fecundation of Apis. The same symbol also bore among the Romans the names of Tutunus, Mutinus, and Fascinum.

On round towers:

According to an ingenious writer, who is of opinion that the Indians sent, at a very remote period, colonists to Ireland, the round towers, so numerous in that island, are no other than ancient Phallic temples erected in honour of the fructifying power of nature emanating, as it was supposed to do, from the sun, under the name of Sol, Phœbus, Apollo, Abad, or Budh.
Alluding to these towers, Mr O'Brien observes, "the eastern votaries, suiting the action to the idea, and that their vivid imaginations might be still more enlivened by the very form of the temple, actually constructed its architecture after the model of the membrum virile, which, obscenity apart, is the divinity-formed and indispensable medium selected by God himself for human propagation and sexual prolificacy." There is every reason to believe that our May-pole is a relic of the ancient Phallic worship.

See also

Full text[1]

Title: Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction

Author: John Davenport

                    THREE ESSAYS ON THE POWERS
                         OF REPRODUCTION.
                  [Illustration: _Frontispiece._
                          VOTIVE COLUMNS
                      Of the Ancient Oscans.]
                Aphrodisiacs and Anti-Aphrodisiacs:
                   THREE ESSAYS ON THE POWERS OF
                       SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
                        BY JOHN DAVENPORT.

             _Ubi stimulus, ibi fluxus._--HIPPOCRATES.

                         PRIVATELY PRINTED.


The reproductive powers of Nature were regarded by the nations of remote antiquity with an awe and reverence so great, as to form an object of worship, under a symbol, of all others the most significant,--the _Phallus_; and thus was founded a religion, of which the traces exist to this day, not in Asia only, but even in Europe itself.

That scarcely any notices of this worship should appear in modern works, except in the erudite pages of a few antiquarians may be accounted for by considering the difference of opinion between the ancients and the moderns as to what constitutes--modesty; the former being unable to see any moral turpitude in actions they regarded was the designs of nature, while the latter, by their over-strained notions of delicacy, render themselves, in some degree at least, obnoxious to the charge that, in proportion as manners becomes corrupt, language becomes more guarded,--modesty, when banished from the heart, taking refuge on the lips.

To supply, to some extent, this lacuna in our popular literature has been the object of the present work, in which, it is hoped, may be found much curious and interesting physiological information, interspersed with _recherché_ and festivous anecdotes.

The text is illustrated by a few plates, drawn from antiquarian sources.

J. D.


NOTE.--_As it was found impossible always to insert the illustrations opposite the explanatory text, the following List will assist the reader to those pages which explain the objects represented_:--

Plate                                                Described on page
FRONTISPIECE, INSCRIBED VOTIVE COLUMNS                    Facing title
Of small size and of great antiquity; in use amongst
the Oscan people, who were finally subjugated by
the Sabines.
  I. _Figure_ 1, EGYPTIAN PHALLUS                              1, 2, 3
From "Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, &c., par
le Comte de Caylus."
       "      2, DO., different view                           1, 2, 3
       "      3, Two views of a double figure                  1, 2, 3
       "      4, ROMAN PRIAPUS over a baker's door at Pompeii       11
From "Musée secret de Naples."
 II. _Figure_ 1, LINGHAM                                       1, 2, 3
From M. Sonnerat's "Voyage aux Indes Orientales."
      "       2, PAN'S HEAD                                      9, 10
From the Collection of Antiquities at Pompeii, _vide_
  "Musée secret de Naples."
III. _Figure_ 1, LEADEN PHALLUS                                      5
From the "Forgeais Collection of Plombs Historiques."
      "       2, DITTO, a different view                             5
      "       3, DITTO ditto                                         5
      "       4, DITTO ditto                                         5
 IV. _Figure_ 1, ROUND TOWER                                   5, 6, 7
From O'Brien's "History of the Round Towers of
     "        2, THREE-HEADED OSIRIS                           7, 8, 9
From the Comte de Caylus' "Recueil d'Antiquités
  Egyptiennes," &c.
  V. _Figure_ 1, CROSS                                      12, 13, 14
From Higgin's "Anacalypsis."
      "       2, Another example                            12, 13, 14
From the same work.
      "       3, Another example                            12, 13, 14
From the same work.
      "       4, Another example                            12, 13, 14
From the same work.
 VI. _Figure_ 1, EX VOTO, in silver                         18, 19, 20
From the British Museum copy of R. Payne Knight's
  "History of the Worship of Priapus."
     "        2, DUDAÏM or MANDRAKE                     67, 70, 71, 74
From Dr. Kitto's "Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature."
VII. _Figure_ 1, FIBULA                                         142, 3
From Holyday's "Juvenal."
      "       2, Another example of a different construction    142, 3



Phallic Worship the most ancient and general                       1-2
Phallic Worship found to exist in America                            2
Indian Trimourti or Trinity                                          3
Lingham                                                              3
Yoni or Cteis, and Pulleiar                                          4
Taly, Anecdote of the                                                4
Leaden Phalli found in the river Rhône                               5
Round Towers in Ireland--Phallic temples                             6
The May-Pole a relic of phallic worship                              6
Phallus held in reverence by the Jews--King David                    6
Le prerogativi de' Testicoli (note)                                  6
An Egyptian Phallic Oath                                             8
Ancient Welsh Phallic Law                                            8
London Costermongers' Oath "By my taters"                            9
Bembo (Cardinal), his saying (note)                                 10
Priapus, derivation of the word                                     10
Priapus, how reverenced by Roman women                              10
Priapus, decline of his worship                                     11
The Cross [Symbol: Tau] known to the Buddhists and the Lama
  of Thibet                                                         12
Cross (the) regarded by the Ancients as the emblem of fruitfulness  12
    Rev. Mr. Maurice quoted                                         12
The Tau, Crux-Ansata, or triple Phallus                             14
Remains of Phallic Worship in Europe                                14
Lampsacus, the Birth-place of the deity Priapus (note)              14
Saint Foutin                                                        14
The Phallus of Foutin at Embrun--the holy vinegar                   16
Curious Phallic Customs                                          16-17
Godfrey de Bouillon and the Holy prepuce                            18
Il santo-membro                                                     18
Sir W. Hamilton's account of the Worship paid to Saints Cosmo
  and Damianus                                                      18
_Ex votos_                                                          18


Impotency, three kinds of, according to the Canon Law               21
Impotency, Causes of, proper to Men                                 21
Impotency, Causes of, proper to Women                               21
Sterility and its Causes                                            21
Morgagni quoted                                                     21
Clitoris, its length sometimes prevents the sexual
  union--case quoted by Sir Everard Home                         24-25
Columbus, Martial, Haller, Juvenal, and Ariosto quoted           25-26
Impotency, Moral Causes of                                       28-29
Montaigne's Advice                                                  32
Impotency caused by too great warmth of Clothing--Hunter's
  Opinion                                                           33
Point-Tying--Voltaire's Pucelle d'Orléans quoted                    35
Point-Tying known to the Ancients--instances quoted              37-38
Point-Tying among the Moderns recognised by James I.                40
Counter-Charm to Point-Tying                                        41
Agreeable Mode of curing such Enchantment                           42
Case of Point-Tying related by Venette                              43
Montaigne's curious Story                                           44
Judicial Congress in Cases of alleged Impotency                     47
Manner of conducting the Congress                                   48
Judicial Congress originated with the Church                        52
Judicial Congress practised in France during the 16th and
  17th Centuries--Forbidden in 1677                                 52
Boileau quoted                                                   55-56
Cases determined by the Judicial Congress                        54-58
Willick, Dr., his Remarks and Advice upon the Sexual
  Intercourse                                                    58-63


The Mandrake or Dudaïm the most ancient aphrodisiac                 66
Rachel and Leah                                                     66
Solomon's Song                                                      67
Pliny the Elder quoted                                              68
Sappho's love for Phaon accounted for                               66
Superstitious ideas respecting the mandrake during the
  Middle Ages                                                       69
The Knights Templars accused of adoring it                          69
Mandrake, Weir's description of it                                  70
Mandrake under the name of Mandragora used as a charm               70
Macchiavelli's Comedy of La Mandragora and Voltaire's
  account of it                                                     71
Love potions, Venetian law against them                             72
Richard III. accuses Lady Grey of witchcraft                        72
Maundrell's account of the Dudaïm                                   73
Singular Aphrodisiac used by the Amazons                            75
Philters, or love potions used by the ancients                      75
Hippomanes, wonderful powers of, as an aphrodisiac                  79
Recipes for love-potions                                            80
Fish an aphrodisiac--Hecquet's anecdote                             86
Mollusca, truffles and mushrooms used as aphrodisiacal              88
George IV.'s appreciation of truffles (note)                        88
Effect of truffles described by a lady                              89
Latin epigram on the vices of the monks                             90
_Naïveté_ of a monk on the score of adultery                        91
Curious Quatrain in the Church of St. Hyacinth                      91
Madame Du Barri's secret                                            93
Do., Do., description of (note)                                     93
Tablettes de _Magnanimité_--Poudre de joie--Seraglio
  Pastilles                                                         94
Musk, Cantharides--effects of the latter                            96
Cardinal Dubois' Account of a Love-Potion                           98
Caricature upon Dubois (note)                                       98
Indian Bang                                                        104
Stimulating Powers of Odours                                       106
Cabanis quoted                                                     107
D'Obsonville quoted                                                108
Portable Gold--Shakespeare quoted                              109-110
Bouchard's Account of Aphrodisiacal Charms                         111
Flagellation--Graham's Celestial Bed--Lady Hamilton--Lord
  Nelson, &c.                                                  121-126
Burton quoted                                                      126


Refrigerants--Recommendation of Plato and Aristotle            128-129
Sir Thos. Brown quoted                                             130
Origen                                                             130
Camphor an anti-aphrodisiac                                        134
Coffee an anti-aphrodisiac--Abernethey's saying (note)             137
Infibulation, Holyday quoted                                   141-144
Bernasco Padlocks                                                  144
Voltaire's poem of the Cadenas                                     146
Rabelais' anti-aphrodisiacal remedies                          147-154

[Illustration: PLATE I., EGYPTIAN PHALLI. AND Pompeian House--sign.]



From the investigations and researches of the learned, there appears to be no doubt but that the most ancient of all superstitions was that in which Nature was contemplated chiefly under the attribute or property of fecundity; the symbols of the reproductive power being those under which its prolific potencies were exhibited. It is not because modern fastidiousness affects to consider those symbols as indecent, and even obscene, that we should therefore suppose them to have been so regarded by the ancients: on the contrary, the view of them awakened no impure ideas in the minds of the latter, being regarded by them as the most sacred objects of worship. The ancients, indeed, did not look upon the pleasures of love with the same eye as the moderns do; the tender union of the sexes excited their veneration, because religion appeared to consecrate it, inasmuch as their mythology presented to them all Olympus as more occupied with amatory delights than with the government of the universe.

The reflecting men of those times, more simple, but, it must be confessed, more profound, than those of our own day, could not see any moral turpitude in actions regarded by them as the design of nature, and as the acme of felicity. For this reason it is that we find not only ancient writers expressing themselves freely upon subjects regarded by us as indecent, but even sculptors and painters equally unrestrained in this particular.

The statesman took advantage of these religious impressions: whatever tended to increase population being held in honour. Those images and Priapi so frequently found in the temples of the ancients, and even in their houses, and which we consider as objects of indecent lewdness, were, in their eyes, but so many sacred motives exciting them to propagate their species.

In order to represent by a physical object the reproductive power of the sun in spring-time, as well as the action of that power on all sentient beings, the ancients adopted that symbol of the male gender which the Greeks, who derive it from the Egyptians, called--Phallus.[1] This worship was so general as to have spread itself over a large portion of the habitable globe, for it flourished for many ages in Egypt and Syria, Persia, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy: it was, and still is, in vigour in India and many parts of Africa, and was even found in America on its discovery by the Spaniards. Thus Garcilaso de la Vega informs us[2] that, in the public squares of Panuco (a Mexican town), _bas-reliefs_ were found which, like those of India, represented, in various ways the sexual union; while at Tlascala, another town of that country, the reproductive act was worshipped under the joint symbol of the generative organs, male and female.

A more surprising fact is, that this worship has, as will be shewn hereafter, been perpetuated to a very late date, among the Christians of Europe.

In its origin, the Phallus or emblem of the generative and procreative powers of nature appears to have been of a very simple and inoffensive character--although it was afterwards made subservient to the grossest and most superstitious purposes.

In India this worship is everywhere to be found accompanying the triune God, called by the Hindoos, _Trimourti_ or _Trinity_, and the significant form of the single obelisk or pillar called the _Linga_ or _Lingham_;[3] and it should be observed, in justice to the Hindoos that it is some comparative and negative praise to them, that this emblem, under which they express the éléments and operations of nature is not externally indecorous. Unlike the abominable realities of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, we see this Indian phallic emblem in the Hindoo religious exhibitions, without offence, nor know, until information be extorted, that we are contemplating a symbol whose prototype is obscene.[4]

[Illustration: PLATE II., Fig 1. Lingham, Fig 2. Pan's head.]

Besides the Lingham, the equally significant _Yoni_ or _Cteis_ is to be seen, being the female organ of generation. It is sometimes single, often in conjunction, for the Indians, believing that the emblem of fecundity might be rendered more energetic by combining the organs of both sexes, did so unite them, giving to this double symbol the name of _Pulleiar_, confounded by some writers with the Lingham itself. This pulleiar is highly venerated by the sectarian worshippers of Siva (the third god of the Trimourti), who hang it round their neck, as a charm or amulet, or enclosing it in a small box, fasten it upon their arm. The Indians have also a little jewel called _taly_, worn, in like manner, by females round their necks as a charm. It is presented to them on their wedding day by their husbands, who receive it from the hands of the Brahmins. Upon these jewels is engraved the representation, either of the Lingham or of the Pulleiar. The following anecdote connected with this custom is given by M. Sonnerat.[5]

 "A Capuchin missionary had a serious dispute with the
 Jesuits residing at Pondicherry, which was referred for
 decision to the judicial courts. The disciples of Loyola,
 who can be toleration itself when toleration furthers their
 crafty and ambitious views, had declined all interference
 with the above custom. M. Tournon, the Pope's legate
 apostolic, who regarded the matter as one not to be trifled
 with, and with whom, moreover, the Jesuits were no
 favourites, strictly prohibited the _taly_, enjoining all
 female converts to substitute in its place either a cross or
 a medal of the Virgin. The Indian women, strongly attached
 to their ancient customs, refused obedience. The
 missionaries, apprehensive of losing the fruits of their
 zealous labours, and seeing the number of their neophytes
 daily diminishing, entered into a compromise by adopting a
 _mezzo-termine_ with the females in question, and it was
 agreed that a Cross should be engraved upon the _taly_, an
 arrangement by which the symbol of Christian salvation was
 coupled with that of the male and female _pudenda_."

The deep and enthusiastic veneration felt by the Hindoos for this worship is naturally explained by their intense anxiety and desire for having children who might perform those ceremonies to their _manes_ which they firmly and piously believe will have the effect of mitigating their punishment in the world to come. They worship the _Lingham_, therefore, for the sake of having progeny, and husbands, whose wives are barren, send them to adore that symbol, and, if report be true, the ladies take especial care not to disappoint the wish of their dear spouses.

It is probable that the introduction of this worship is due to the Indians who founded the sect of Siva, imagining, as they no doubt did, that the most effectual means of propagating it would be by presenting their deity under the form of that organ by which the reproduction of the human race is effected.

Nothing can be a greater proof of the high antiquity of the Indians than this worship, it being certain that the Egyptians did not establish it, as well as the dogma of the Metempsychosis, among themselves, until after they had travelled in India.

Phalli, usually in lead, have been even found in the river Rhône. These were most likely the signs and tokens belonging to some secret society probably of a licentious character. Similar ones are in the _Forgeais_ collection, and were engraved in the _Plombs Historiés_ of that antiquarian.[6]

[Illustration: PLATE III., Figs. 1-4, PHALLUS EMBLEM, found in the Rhône, From the Forgeais Collection.]

According to an ingenious writer,[7] who is of opinion that the Indians sent, at a very remote period, colonists to Ireland, the round towers, so numerous in that island, are no other than ancient Phallic temples erected in honour of the fructifying power of nature emanating, as it was supposed to do, from the sun, under the name of Sol, Phœbus, Apollo, Abad, or Budh.[8]

Alluding to these towers, Mr O'Brien observes, "the eastern votaries, suiting the action to the idea, and that their vivid imaginations might be still more enlivened by the very _form_ of the _temple_, actually constructed its architecture after the model of the _membrum virile_, which, obscenity apart, is the divinity-formed and indispensable medium selected by God himself for human propagation and sexual prolificacy." There is every reason to believe that our _May-pole_ is a relic of the ancient Phallic worship.


The manners of the ancient Hebrews seem to have differed little, if at all, in this respect, from those of the nations surrounding them: thus, David, dancing with all his might before the ark, lifted up his ephod and exhibited his nakedness to "the eyes of the handmaids of his servants." No blame is attached to the king for such gross indecency during a public and religious ceremony; while Michal, his wife, was punished with barrenness, for expressing her disapprobation of his conduct.[9]

This example attests the great respect entertained by the Hebrews for the organs of generation;[10] but we have a further proof of this reverence for them in the fact that, when taking a solemn oath, they placed their hand upon them in token of its inviolability: When Abraham, addressing "his oldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had," is made to say, "Put I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and I will make thee swear, by the Lord, the God of Heaven, and the God of the earth that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son, of the daughters of the Canaanites:"[11] and when Jacob, at the point of death, called his son Joseph, and said unto him, "If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt,"[12] the Hebrew text has been incorrectly translated in both these instances; for, according to learned commentators, it is not the _thigh_, but the _phallus_ that is meant; such tact having, in the opinion of the Rabbins, been introduced for the purpose of doing honour to circumcision.

This custom obtains in Egypt, even in our own day, for many travellers assert that the Arabs, when desirous of saluting or making a promise with great solemnity, place their hand upon the part in question. A case in point is related in a letter of the Adjutant-General Julian to a member of the Institute of Egypt.[13] An Egyptian, who had been arrested as a spy, and brought before the general, finding that all his asservations of innocence could not be understood "leva sa chemise bleue, et prenant son phallus à la poignée, resta un moment dans l'attitude théatrale d'un dieu jurant par le Styx. Sa physionomie semblait me dire: _Après la serment terrible que je fais pour vous prouver mon innocence, osez-vous en douter?_ Son geste me rappela que du tems d'Abraham on jurait vérité en portant la main aux organes de la génération." The vast antiquity of this custom among the ancient Egyptians is proved by figure 2, Plate IV. This figure, which is copied from Caylus, Vol. VI., Plate I., figure 4, represents Osiris grasping his phallus while taking an oath.

A custom greatly resembling this manner of swearing existed also in the north of Europe, as is proved by an ancient law still extant: thus, one of the articles of the Welsh laws enacted by _Hoel the Good_, provides that, in cases of rape, if the woman wishes to prosecute the offender, she must, when swearing to the identity of the criminal, lay her right hand upon the relics of the saints and grasp with her left one, the peccant member of the party accused.[14]

It may be mentioned, _en passant_, that the low Irish in Dublin, and the London costermongers, often make use of an expression which, whether connected or not with the custom above noted, offers for our consideration a curious coincidence at least. If extra force is to accompany an assertion, it is very common for the vulgar to say in conclusion: "_S'elp my taters!_" or "_So help me_ TESTES"--equal to saying, "_I swear by my member_." That the word "taters" is a corruption of, and vulgarism for, "_testes_" we see very readily in the expression "_strain my taters_"--_i.e._, to pass urine or make water.

The Greeks had consecrated the same symbols of universal fecundity in their mysteries, the phallus and the cteis being publicly exhibited in the sanctuary of Eleusis. The _membrum virile_ or _active_ principle of generation was carried to the temple of Bacchus and there crowned with a garland by one of the most respectable matrons of the town or city. The Egyptian Osiris, and the female _pudenda_, or symbol of the _passive_ principle of generation were, in like manner, carried in procession to the temple of Libera or Proserpine.

The worship of Priapus among the Romans was derived from the Egyptians, who, under the form of Apis, the sacred Bull, worshipped the generative power of nature; and, as the syllable _pri_ or _pre_ signifies, in the Oriental tongue, _principle_, production, or natural or original source, the word _Priapus_ may be translated _principle of production_ or of _fecundation of Apis_. The same symbol also bore among the Romans the names of _Tutunus_, _Mutinus_, and _Fascinum_. Among the many places where this divinity was worshipped, Lampsacus,[15] in Asia Minor, was the most noted on account of the obscene rites there practised. The Priapi were of different forms; some having only a human head and the Phallus; some with the head of Pan or of a faun--that is, with the head and ears of a goat.[16] Others, with their indecent attribute, were placed in the public roads, and were then confounded with the divinities _Mercury_ and _Terminus_, who presided over boundaries. Scaliger says that he saw at Rome, in the palace of a cardinal,[17] a similar statue, whose phallus had served as a sign post.[18] All the human part of these Priapi were invariably painted red.[19]

When furnished with arms, which he was when representing Terminus, Priapus held in one hand a reaping hook, and, like Osiris, grasped with the other the characteristic feature of his divinity, which was always of a monstrous size and in a state of energy.

In the towns, Priapus had public chapels, whither such devotees as were suffering from maladies connected with his attributes repaired for the purpose of offering to him _ex-votos_ representing the parts afflicted; these ex-votos being sometimes paintings and, at others, little figures made of wax or of wood, and occasionally, even of marble.

Females as superstitious, as they were lascivious, might be seen offering in public to Priapus, as many garlands as they had had lovers. These they would hang upon the enormous phallus of the idol, which was often hidden from sight by the number suspended by only one woman.

Others offered to the god as many phalli, made of the wood of the willow tree, as they had vanquished men in a single night.

St. Augustine informs us that it was considered by the Roman ladies as a very proper and pious custom to require young brides to seat themselves upon the monstrous and obscene member of Priapus: and Lactantius says, "Shall I speak of that _Mutinus_, upon the extremity of which brides are accustomed to seat themselves in order that the god may appear to have been the first to receive the sacrifice of their modesty?"[20]

These facts prove that the worship of Priapus had greatly degenerated with the Romans, since, losing sight altogether of the object typified, they attach themselves to the symbol alone, in which they could see only what was indecent; and hence religion became a pretext for libertinism.[21]

Respected so long as the Roman manners preserved their pristine simplicity, but degraded[22] and vilified in proportion as the morals of that people became corrupted, the very sanctuary itself of Priapus failed to protect him from obloquy and ridicule. Christian writers added their indignant invectives to the biting sarcasms of the poets, and the worship of Priapus would have been annihilated had not superstition and the force of habit, that most indestructible of all human affections, come to the rescue. These two powerful levers of mankind triumphed over reason and Christianity, and succeeded, notwithstanding the strenuous and continued efforts of the latter, in maintaining in some degree the worship of that filthy deity; for the Christian priests, while opposing _à l'outrance_, the superstitions and impure practices already adverted to, did not so do, as regarded the other customs equally repugnant to decency and true religion. Less austere to these, and consulting their own interests, they turned to their profit the ancient worship established by the Romans and strengthened by habit: they appropriated to themselves what they could not destroy, and, in order to attract to their side the votaries of Priapus, they made a Christian of him.

But besides the Lingham of the Indians, the Phallus of the Greeks, and the Priapus of the Romans, the Cross ([Symbol: Tau]), although generally thought to be exclusively emblematical of eternal life, has also an account of its fancied similarity to the _membrum virile_, been considered by many as typical of the reproductive powers of nature. It was known as such to the Indians, being as common in their country as in Egypt or in Europe.[23] "Let not the piety of the Catholic Christian," says the Rev. Mr. Maurice, "be offended at the preceding assertion that the Cross was one of the most usual symbols among the hieroglyphics of Egypt and India. Equally honoured in the Gentile and the world, this Christian emblem of universal nature, of that world to whose four corners its diverging radii pointed, decorated the hands of most of the sculptured images in the former country (Egypt), and the latter (India) stamped its form upon the most majestic of the shrines of their deities."

[Illustration: PLATE V., Figs. 1-3, THREE HEADED OSIRIS.]

It is well known that the cross was regarded by the ancient Egyptians as the emblem of fruitfulness. Thus the Rev. Mr. Maurice describes a statue bearing a kind, of cross in its hand as the symbol of fertility, or, in other words, of the procreative and generative powers.[24] The cross [Symbol: Tau] so common upon Egyptian monuments was known to the Buddhists and to the Lama of Thibet 700 years before Christ. The Lama takes his name from the _Lamah_, which is an object of profound veneration with his followers: "Cequi est remarquable," says M. Avril, "c'est que le grand prêtre des Tartares porte le nom de Lama, qui, en langue Tartare, désigne _la Croix_, et les Bogdoi qui conquirent la Chine en 1664, et qui sont soumis au Dulai-Lama dans les choses de la religion, ont toujours des croix sur eux, qu'ils appalent _lamas_."[25]

The letter _Tau_ [Symbol: Tau], being the last one of the ancient alphabets, was made to typify, not only the end, boundary, or terminus of districts, but also the generative power of the eternal transmigratory life, and was used indiscriminately with the Phallus; it was, in fact, the Phallus.[26] Speaking of this emblem, Payne Knight observes: "One of the most remarkable of those symbols of generation is a cross in the form of the letter [Symbol: Tau], which thus served as the emblem of _creation_ and _generation_ before the church adopted it as the sign of salvation, a lucky coincidence of ideas which, without doubt, facilitated the reception of it among the faithful."[27] And again, "the male organs of generation are sometimes represented by signs of the same sort, which might properly be called symbols of symbols. One of the most remarkable of these is the Cross in the form of the letter [Symbol: Tau], which thus served as the emblem of creation and generation."[28]

The famous _Crux ansata_[29] which may be seen on all the monuments of Egypt is what is alluded to by the Prophet Ezekiel,[30] and is affirmed by the learned L. A. Crozius to be nothing else than the triple Phallus mentioned by Plutarch.[31]

We shall now proceed to notice a few of the traces of the phallic worship as were still to be found lingering in some parts of Europe so late as the 18th century, a tenacity of existence by no means surprising if it be considered that of all the human affections none is more dangerous to oppose, none more difficult to eradicate, than habit. Accordingly it will be found that the above superstition has maintained itself in countries where Christianity was already established, and that, bidding defiance to the severe precepts of that pure faith, it successfully resisted for at least seventeen centuries every effort made to extirpate it by the Christian clergy backed by the civil power. Its triumph was, however, by no means complete, for this worship was constrained to yield to circumstances and to use a disguise by adopting the forms and designations peculiar to Christianity, a mask which on the other hand, favoured not a little, its preservation.

Hence it was that the names of certain legendary saints were given to the ancient God of Lampsacus,[32] the said names having some relation either to the act over which that deity presided, or to his most prominent attributes.

The first bishop of Lyon was honoured throughout Provence, Languedoc, and the Lyonnais as a saint, and as his name happened to be Pothin, Photin, or Fotin, commonly pronounced by the low orders _Foutin_, these people, who are very apt to judge of the nature of things by the sound of the words by which they are designated, thought St. Foutin worthy of replacing Saint Priapus, and accordingly conferred upon him the prerogatives of his predecessor.

Saint _Foutin de Varailles_ had particular reverence paid to him in Provence, nor is this to be wondered at, since the power was attributed to him of rendering barren women fruitful, stimulating flagging husbands, and curing their secret maladies. It was consequently the custom to lay upon his altar, as was formerly done on that of the god Priapus, small votive offerings, made of wax, and representing the weak or otherwise afflicted parts. Sanci says, "To this saint are offered waxen models of the _pudenda_ of both sexes. They are strewn in great numbers over the floor of the chapel, and should a gust of wind cause them to rustle against one another, it occasioned a serious interruption to the devotions paid to the saint. I was very much scandalized," continues he, "when, passing through the town, I found the name of _Foutin_ very common among the men. My landlord's daughter had for godmother a young lady whose name was _Foutine_."

The same saint was similarly honoured at Embrun. When the Protestants took that town in 1585, they found, among the relics of the principal church, the _Phallus_ of St. Foutin. The devotees of that town, in imitation of pagan ones, made libations to this obscene idol. They poured wine over the extremity of the Phallus, which was dyed red by it. This wine being afterwards collected and allowed to turn sour, was called _the holy vinegar_, and, according to the author from whom this account is taken,[33] was applied by women to a most extraordinary purpose; but what that purpose was we are not informed, and therefore can only guess it.

At Orange there was also a phallus much venerated by the inhabitants of that town. Larger than the one at Embrun, it was, moreover, covered with leather, and furnished with its appendages. When, in 1562, the protestants destroyed the church of St. Eutropius, in this town, they seized the enormous Phallus and burned it in the market place. Similar Phalli were to be found at Poligny, Vendre in the Bourbonnais, and at Auxerre.

The inhabitants of Puy-en-Velay even to this day speak of their St. _Foustin_ who, in times not far remote from our own, was invoked by barren women who, under the idea of giving greater efficacy to their prayers, scraped the phallus of the saint, and, mixing the particles so abraded in water, devoutly swallowed them, in the hope of thereby being rendered fruitful.

It is no doubt to one of these phallic saints that Count de Gebelin refers when, speaking of the goat _Mendés_, he says: "I have read somewhere that in the south of France there existed not long ago a custom resembling the one mentioned; the women of that part of the country devoutly frequented a temple containing a statue of the saint, and which statue they embraced, expecting that their barrenness would be removed by the operation."[34]

In the neighbourhood of Brest stood the chapel of the famous Saint Guignole, or Guingalais, whose Phallic symbol consisted of a long wooden beam which passed right through the body of the saint, and the fore-part of which was strikingly characteristic. The devotees of this place, like those of Puy-en-Velay, most devoutly rasped the extremity of this miraculous symbol for the purpose of drinking the scrapings mixed with water as an antidote against sterility, and when by the frequent repetition of this operation, the beam was worn away, a blow with a mallet in the rear of the saint propelled it immediately in front. Thus, although it was being continually scraped, it appeared never to diminish, a miracle due exclusively to the mallet.

Antwerp was the Lampsacus of Belgium, Priapus being the tutelary god of that city. _Ters_ was the name given to him by the inhabitants who held this divinity in the greatest veneration. Females were accustomed to invoke him on the most trivial occasions, a custom which Goropius informs us continued as late as the 16th century.[35]

So inveterate was this superstition that Godefrey de Bouillon, marquis of that city, the illustrious leader of the first crusade, in order to eradicate it, or to replace it by the ceremonies of the Christian church, sent to Antwerp, from Jerusalem, as a present of inestimable value, the _foreskin of Jesus Christ_.[36] This precious relic, however, found but little favour with the Belgian ladies, and utterly failed to supersede their beloved _Fascinum_.[37]

In the kingdom of Naples, in the town of Trani, the capital of the province of that name, there was carried in procession, during the Carnival, an old wooden statue representing an entire Priapus, in the ancient proportions; that is to say, that the distinguishing characteristic of that god was very disproportioned to the rest of the idol's body, reaching, as it did, to the height of his chin. The people called this figure _il Santo Membro_, the holy member. This ancient ceremony, evidently a remains of the feasts of Bacchus, called by the Greeks _Dyonysiacs_, and by the Romans _Liberalia_, existed as late as the commencement of the 18th century, when it was abolished by Joseph Davanzati, archbishop of that town.

Sir W. Hamilton's account of the worship paid to St. Cosmo and St. Damianus is very curious. "On the 27th September, at Isernia, one of the most ancient cities of the kingdom of Naples, situated in the province called the Contado di Molise, and adjoining the Aruzzo, an annual fair is held which lasts three days. On one of the days of the fair the relics of Sts. Cosmo and Damianus are exposed. In the city and at the fair, _ex-votos_ of wax representing the male parts of generation, of various dimensions, sometimes even of the length of a palm, are publicly exposed for sale. There was also waxen vows that represent other parts of the body mixed with them, but of those there are few in comparison of the number of the Priapi."

[Illustration: PLATE VI., Fig. 1, SILVER EX VOTO, Fig. 2. DUDAIM.]

The distributors of these vows carry a basket full of them in one hand, and hold a plate in the other, to receive the money, crying out, "Saints Cosmo and Damianus!" If you ask the price of one, the answer is, "_più ci metti, più meriti_;" the more you give, the more the merit. The vows are chiefly presented by the female sex, and they are seldom such as represent legs, arms, &c., but most commonly the male parts of generation. The person who was at the _féte_, in the year 1780, and who gave me this account (the authenticity of which has since been confirmed to me by the governer of Isernia) told me also that he heard a woman say, at the time she presented a vow, "_Santo Cosmo, benedetto, cosi lo voglio_." Blessed St. Cosmo, "let it be like this!" The vow is never presented without being accompanied by a piece of money, and is always kissed by the devotee at the moment of presentation.[38]

But, as might naturally be expected, this does not suffice to fructify barren women; and consequently another ceremony, one which is doubtless more efficacious, was required.

The parties who resort to this fair, slept for two nights, some in the church of the Capuchian friars and the others in that of the Cordeliers, and when these two churchs were found to be insufficient to contain the whole of such devotees, the church of the Hermitage of St. Cosmo received the surplus.

In the three edifices, the women were during the two nights, separated from the men, the latter lying under the vestibule, and the women, in the church, these, whether in the church of the Capuchins or in that of the Cordeliers, were under the protection of the Father guardian, the vicar, and a monk of merit. In the hermitage, it was the hermit himself who watched over them.

From this it may easily be imagined how the miracle was effected without troubling Saint Cosmo and Saint Damianus at all, in the matter, as well as that the virtue, possessed by those two saints was extended even to young maidens and widows.

Essay II.


A description of the symbols under which the _reproductive power_ was anciently worshipped, having been given in the preceding Essay, the present one will contain some account of the _negation_ or _absence_ of that faculty, whether total or partial, as known under the names of _Impotency_ and _Sterility_.

Potency or power, as regards the generative act, may be defined as--the aptitude or ability to beget; and Impotency, the negation or absence of such power.

The canon law distinguished three kinds of impotency--viz., that which proceeds from frigidity; that which is caused by sorcery (ligature or point-tying), and that which proceeding from some defect of conformation is properly designated as _impotentia coeundi_. The different lends of impotency may be thus classed--1. Those which are proper to men; 2. Those proper to women, and 3. Those common to both sexes.

The causes of impotency proper to man are natural frigidity; defect of conformation, and accident.

The causes of impotency proper to women are all such obstacles as arise _ex clausurâ uteri aut nimia arctitudine_.

The causes common both to men and women are the defect of puberty and imperfect conformation.[39]

Impotency may also be divided into natural and accidental; the former being that which a person is born with, or which proceeds _ex vitio naturalis temperamenti vel partium genitalium_; and the latter that which arises from some accident, as _ex casu vel morbo_.[40]

Another definition of impotency in man is the _non posse seminare in vase idoneo_; three things being considered as indispensable to his due performance of the generative act.--_Ut arriget_ or erection; 2, _Ut vas fœmineum resaret_, or intromission, and 3, _Ut in vase seminat_, or emission.

Sterility must not be confounded with impotency. Many women are barren, but very few are impotent; while, on the contrary, many men are impotent who ought not, on that account, to be regarded as barren. In either sex impotency is present when from whatever cause an individual cannot concur in the sexual contact. Sterility exists when the contact, after having been regularly accomplished, is followed by no productive result.

With the exception of those pathological cases in which deformities are sometimes, but very rarely, met with, it may be affirmed that woman is never impotent, for her organization opposes it. Radical impotence, in fact, results in the female from the complete absence, or the occlusion simply, of the vagina. Now, these cases are extremely rare, and may there fore be considered as exceptions or as real monstrosities.

As the causes of sterility in women are numerous and of various kinds, we shall briefly enumerate them.

The absence of ovaries or their deceased state are the radical cause of sterility. These causes may be suspected but not cured. When there is no uterus, still fecundation and pregnancy are not impossible, since extra-uterine pregnancies are occasionally observed, that is to say, cases in which the product of conception has escaped the uterus, end proceeded to establish itself in some point of the lower belly. Neither is the vagina indispensable, for cases are cited of the contraction of this organ accompanied by the rectovaginal fistula, in which fecundation is effected, although the fecundating fluid had been confined to the rectum.

Female masturbation is another rife cause of barrenness in women. If it be true that the number of eggs is limited, and that there are not more than from 15 to 20 in each ovary, it is evident that sterility must ensue when these 15 or 20 eggs have been detached without fecundation. If, on the contrary, new eggs are continually secreted by the ovaries, it is equally evident that the secretory action must, sooner or later, become exhausted by the over excitement caused by the indulgence above mentioned.

Another very great cause of sterility, and which must be of frequent occurrence, is found in the obstructed or choked-up state of the Fallopian tubes. These passages, which establish the communication between the ovary and the uterus, may be obstructed by inflammation, either acute or chronic, to which they must be subject in all diseases to the abdomen, as well as by frequent excitement.

Morgagni speaks of certain women of the town, with whom the Fallopian tubes were completely obliterated by the thickening of the parietes or sides, an evident consequence of the continual orgasm in which they were kept by immoderate indulgence in coition.

The absence of menstruation almost always induces barrenness. Cases are, notwithstanding, reported in which women have their menses during pregnancy, but these are exceptions which so far from invalidating the rule, confirm it.

Polypi, or the developement of fibrous bodies in the uterus, present an equal obstacle to fecundation, their presence having the effect of perverting the physiological functions of the uterus, nor does their removal always cause sterility to disappear.

Impotency in women can only result from the absence of the vagina, or from its excessive narrowness which does not allow of the approach of the male, although instances have occured of fecundation being effected without the introduction of the male organ. Thus cases have been found of women who have been fecundated, and have even arrived at the term of pregnancy, having been obliged to submit to a surgical operation for the removal of the Hymen, which membrane had not been broken in the acts which had nevertheless effected the fecundation. Lastly, the excessive length, when it does exist, of the clitoris, also opposes the conjugal act, by the difficulty it presents to the introduction of the fecundating organ; the only remedy to employed in this case consists in amputation, an operation which has been frequently performed. The organ in question is known to resemble, in a very great degree, the virile member, both in external form and internal structure, to be susceptible of erection and relaxation and endowned with exquisite sensibility. It has been seen equal to the penis in volume. A remarkable instance is given by Home.[41] It occured in a negress who was purchased by General Melville, in the island of Dominica, in the West Indies, about the year 1744. She was of the Mandango nation, 24 years of age, her breasts were very flat, she had a rough voice, and a masculine countenance. The clitoris was two inches long, and in thickness resembled a common sized thumb, when viewed at same distance the end appeared round and of a red colour, but upon closer examination was found to be more pointed than that of a penis, and having neither prepuce nor perforation; when handled it became half erected, and was in that state fully three inches long and much thicker than before: when she voided her urine she was obliged to lift it up, as it completely covered the orifice of the urethra. The other parts of the female organs were found to be in a natural state. Columbus quotes the existence of a woman who had a clitoris as long as the little finger. Haller speaks of another in whom this organ was seven inches in length. Some have even been said to be of the monstrous length of twelve inches. These are the enormous dimensions which sometimes deceive as to the real character of the sex, and which have occasioned a belief in the existence of real hermaphrodites. Women so formed have also a great disposition to usurp the virile functions; they preserve scarcely anything of their sex except their habits and manners. Their stature is in general tall, their limbs muscular, their face masculine, their voice deep, and their deportment bold and manly--in a word, they completely justify the words of Martial:

 "Mentiturque virum prodigiosa Venus."[42]

In the case of man's impotency it often happens, on the contrary, that, with organs to all appearance perfectly formed, he is, nevertheless, impotent.

If the woman be organized for receiving, the man is formed for imparting; now, in the majority, of cases, his impotency is such that, although he seems to be provided with abundant stores he is precluded from offering them.

                                 ... "Si
 Coneris, jacet exiguus cum ramice nervus
 Et quamvis tota palpetur nocte, jacebit."[43]

Such, in fact, is the great difficulty of those individuals who have abused their organs and destroyed their sensibility. The erectile tissue whose turgescence is indispensable, no longer admits into its vascular _plexus_ or network, a quantity of fluid sufficient to give the organ the power of penetrating--_jacet exiguus_--and, although it may be supposed that the seminal glands perform their functions perfectly well, and secrete abundantly the fluid peculiar to them, the copulative organ remains paralyzed. This is the impotence which is brought on by old age, and which Ariosto has so forcibly described in the following lines, wherein he relates the futile attempts made upon Angelica by the hermit:

 Egli l'abbraccia, ed a piacer la tocca:
 Ed ella dorme, e non più fare ischermo:
 Or le baccia il bel petto, ora la bocca,
 Non è, ch'l veggia, in quel loco aspro ed ermo.
 Ma nel incontro, it suo destrier trabocca
 Che al desio non risponde, it corpo infirmo:
 Tutte le vie, tutti i modi tenta,
 _Ma quel pigre rozzo non però salta_
 Indarno el fren gli scoute e li tormenta
 E non può far che tenga la testa alta.[44]

At other times the impotency of the man is independent of the secretion of the fecundating fluid and even of the erection, both of which are regular. In such case it is caused either by the gland not being properly perforated, or by a contraction of the urethral canal, which contraction arrests the seminal fluid at the moment of expulsion, causing it to flow back towards the bladder, or else intercepting the continuous stream and allowing it to run by dribblets only. The former of these imperfections technically called _Hypospsdiæos_ is a vice of conformation in which the penis, instead of being perforated at the summit of the gland, presents its opening at a greater or less distance from the gland, at the lower part of the urethra or at the _perinæum_.

As might be expected, impotency when precocious, influences, in no small degree, the moral character. Cabanis knew three men who, in the vigour of age, had suddenly became impotent, although in other respects they were in good health, much engaged in business, and had but little reason to be affected by the loss of pleasures in which they indulged but very rarely and with great moderation, yet their character became gloomy and irascible, and their mental powers appeared to diminish daily.[45] The celebrated Ribeiro Sanchez, a pupil of Boerhaave, observes in his "_Traité des maladies Vénériennes chroniques_," that these diseases particularly dispose those subject to them to superstitious terrors.

Impotency may, however, equally proceed from moral as from physical causes. In this case it consists in the total privation of the sensibility peculiar to the reproductive organs. This insensibility is by no means infrequent in persons whose mental powers are continually in action, as the following case will shew:--

A celebrated mathematician of a very robust constitution, having married a young and pretty woman, lived several years with her, but had not the happiness of becoming a father. Far from being insensible to the charms of his fair wife, he, on the contrary, felt frequently impelled to gratifying his passion, but the conjugal act, complete in every other respect, was never crowned by the emission of the seminal fluid. The interval of time which occurred between the commencement of his labour of love and the end was always sufficiently long to allow his mind, which had been for a moment abstracted by his pleasure, to be brought back to the constant objects of his meditation--that is, to geometrical problems or algebraical formula. At the very moment even of the orgasm, the intellectual powers resumed their empire and all genital sensation vanished. Peirible, his medical adviser, recommended Madame ---- never to suffer the attentions of her husband until he was _half-seas-over_, this appearing to him the only practicable means of withdrawing her learned spouse from influence of the divine Urania and subjecting him more immediately to that of the seductive goddess of Paphos. The advice proved judicious. Monsieur ---- became the father of several fine and healthy boys and girls, thus furnishing another proof of the truth of the maxim, "_Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus_."

But the impotency arising from the predominance of the intellect is the least formidable of all. The one most to be dreaded is that which results from the excessive and premature exercise of the reproductive functions, for, as has been well observed, "the too frequent indulgence of a natural propensity at first increases the concomitant desire and makes its gratification a part of the periodical circle of action; but by degrees the over excitement of the organs, abating their tone and vitality, unfits them for the discharge of their office, the accompanying pleasures are blunted, and give place to satiety and disgust."[46]

Such unfortunate persons as are the victims of this kind of anaphrodisia become old long before their natural time, and have all their generative apparatus blasted with impotency. Their testicles withered and dried up secrete nothing but a serous fluid void of all virtue; the erectile tissue no longer admits into its plexus the quantum of blood necessary for turgescence, the principal organ of the reproductive act remains in a state of flaccidity, insensible to the reiterated and most stimulating solicitations; the muscles destined to favour erection are stricken with paralysis, and the violence of their desires, joined to the want of power to gratify them, drives the unhappy victim to acts of the most revolting lubricity and thence to despair.

An instance of this kind occurred in the case of a young man, the son of an opulent family. He had arrived at puberty, but from the early age of ten had been accustomed to indulge in indecent familiarities with young girls, who had gratified him by lascivious manipulations; the consequence was an entire loss of the erectile power. Travelling being recommended, he proceeded to France, where he consulted, but without avail, several celebrated physicians. He then went to the waters of Spa, and there his case was attentively and anxiously considered by Van-Hers.

The sensibility and weakness of the genital member were so great that on the slightest touch, and without any sensation or desire to sexual intercourse the young man emitted a fluid similar to whey. This secretion continued night and day, every time that he made water, or upon the slightest friction of his linen. After various remedies being proposed, without any beneficial results, Van-Hers considered the disease as incurable; but, as the patient would not coincide in his opinion and was very rich, he continued his travels in Italy, France, and Germany, in the hope of recovering his powers of virility. He failed not, as usual, to meet with physicians who, from mercenary motives, held out to him the most illusory prospects of a perfect cure. At length, after six years passed in travelling and in vain attempts to regain the generative faculty, he returned to the candid and able physician from whom he had the truth, and whose opinion he was now convinced was but too well founded. As may be supposed, Van-Hers perceived no new circumstance to justify an alteration in his view of the case, and the unfortunate young man returned home, deeply deploring the advantages of a fortune which had made him the victim of the precocious abuse of pleasures to which he must now bid adieu for ever.[47] Too great warmth of passion may not only defeat its own object, but also produce a temporary impotency. A lover, after having, with all the ardour of affections, longed for the enjoyment of his mistress, finds himself at the moment of fruition incapable of consummating his happiness. The only remedy for this misfortune is to allay the over-excitement and to restrain the exuberance of the imagination. It would be madness to persist in endeavouring to obtain a victory which must be certain, as soon as the heat of the animal spirits being abated, a portion of them proceeds to animate the agents of voluptuous passion. The following are cases of this description.

 "A young man whose wife's relations had promised him a
 considerable estate as soon as she proved to be pregnant,
 fatigued himself to no purpose by continued devotions at the
 shrine of love; his over anxiety defeating the very object
 he so ardently desired to accomplish. In despair at the
 failure of his repeated efforts, he was, at length, on the
 point of believing his wife barren, when, following the
 advice of a judicious physician, he absented himself from
 home for a fortnight, and upon his return proved by the
 success which attended his amorous labours, that absence is
 sometimes the best doctor."
 "A noble Venetian, aged twenty years, was married to a very
 handsome lady, with whom he cohabited with a good deal of
 vigour, but never could emit semen in the coition, whereas
 in his dreams he could discharge very freely. This
 misfortune very much afflicted him and his family; and as no
 remedy could be found at home, the Venetian ambassadors
 residing at the different courts of Europe were desired to
 consult some of the most eminent physicians in the cities
 where they resided, to account for the causes, and to find a
 cure for this extraordinary complaint of the difference of
 the states when in sleep and when actually in coition.
 "I was of opinion that it consisted altogether in the
 urethra being closely shut by the vigour of the erection in
 coition which found so great a resistance that the powers
 that throw the seed out of the _vesiculæ seminals_ could not
 overcome it; whereas, in dreams, the pressure on the urethra
 being much less, an evacuation was affected."

The method of cure was not less successful than obvious from the foregoing account: for gentle evacuations and a slender diet brought about and fully completed their desires.[48]

Cabanis is of opinion that debility of the stomach almost always produces a similar state in the organs of generation. "L'énergie ou la débilité de l'éstomac produit, presque toujours, un état analogue dans ceux de la génération. J'ai soigné un jeune homme chez qui la paralysie accidentelle de ces derniers avait été produit par certains vices de la digestion stomachique; et qui reprit la vigueur de son âge, aussitôt qu'il eût récouvré la puissance de digérer."[49]

Old Montaigne's advice in cases similar to those above cited is worthy of notice. "As to what concerns married people," says he, "having the year before them, they ought never to compel, or so much as offer at the feat, if they do not find themselves very ready. And it is better indecently to fail of handling the nuptial sheets, and of paying the ceremony due to the wedding night, when man perceives himself full of agitation and trembling, expecting another opportunity at a better and more private leisure, when his fancy shall be better composed, than to make himself perpetually miserable for having misbehaved himself, and being baffled at the first result. Till possession be taken, a man that knows himself subject to this infirmity, should leisurely and by degrees make certain little trials and light offers, without attempting at once to force an absolute conquest over his own mutinous and indisposed faculties; such as know their members to be naturally obedient to their desires, need to take no other care but only to counterplot their fancy. The indocile and rude liberty of this scurvy member, is sufficiently remarkable by its importunate, unruly, and unseasonable tumidity and impatience at such times as we have nothing for it to do, and by its most unseasonable stupidity and disobedience when we stand most in need of its vigour, so imperiously contesting the authority of the will, and with so much obstinacy denying all solicitations of hand and fancy. And yet, though his rebellion is so universally complained of, and that proofs are not wanting to condemn him, if he had, nevertheless, feed me to plead his cause, I should, peradventure, bring the rest of his fellow-members into suspicion of complotting the mischief against him, out of pure envy of the importance and ravishing pleasure peculiar to his employment, so as to have, by confederacy, armed the whole world against him, by malevolently charging him alone with their common offence."[50]

Too great warmth of clothing round the parts of generation, or too great pressure upon them, may be reckoned as causes of impotency. The custom of wearing breeches was considered by Hippocrates[51] as a predisposing cause of the impotency so common among the ancient Scythians. Mr. Hunter was also of opinion that this article of dress by keeping the parts too warm, affording them a constant support, and allowing the muscles but little freedom of motion, may, at least, relax and cause them to become flaccid, if it do not totally incapacitate them for the due performance of their functions.

Equally disadvantageous, in this respect, is the practice of riding upon horseback, as the organs of generation are, of necessity, frequently compressed either against the saddle or the horse's back. Lalemant, in his Commentaries upon Hippocrates, adduces the case of bakers, upon whom, by their not wearing breeches, the contrary effect is produced. "We have often heard," says he, "that bakers and others whose parts of generation are not covered by clothing, but hang freely, have large, well-grown testicles."[52]

Another cause of impotency is the allowing the parts of generation to remain too long in a state of inaction. Those parts of the body which are most exercised are always found to be better grown, stronger, and more fitted for the discharge of their natural functions provided the exercise be neither too violent nor too frequent. The parts, on the contrary, which are condemned to rest and inactivity wither and gradually lose their tone, as well as the power of effecting the movements natural to them. Galen observes that the genital organs of the athletæ, as well as those of all such whose profession or calling compelled them to remain chaste, were generally shrunken and wrinkled like those of old men, and that the contrary is the case with those who use them to an excess. "All the athletæ," says he, "as well as those who for the sake of preserving or improving the voice, are, from their youth, debarred the pleasures of love, have their natural parts shrunken and wrinkled like those of old men, while, in such as have from an early age indulged in those delights to an excess, the vessel of those parts, by the habit of being dilated, cause the blood to flow there in great abundance, and the desire of coition to be proportionately increased, all which is a natural consequence of those general laws which all our faculties obey. Thus it is that the breasts of women who have never had children remain always small, while those of females who have been mothers, and who suckle their children, acquire a considerable volume, that they continue to give milk as long as they suckle their infants, and that their milk does not fail until they cease to nourish them."[53] So well, indeed, was this fact known to the ancients, that Aristophanes uses the expression, [Greek: _pôosthên mikran_], _penem exiguum_, as an attribute of a youth who has preserved his innocence and [Greek: _kôlên megalên_], _penem magnum_, as the sign of a dissolute one.

It will easily be supposed that superstition when brought to act upon weak and ignorant minds, is capable of producing temporary impotence. The pretended charm or witchery common in France as late as the close of the 17th century, and known by the name of _nouer l'aiguillette_ (point tying) is a proof of this:

 Ami lecteur, vous avez quelquefois
 Oui conter qu'on _nouait l'aiguillette_,
 C'est une étrange et terrible recette,
 Et dont un Saint ne doit jamais user,
 Que quand d'un autre il ne peut s'aviser.
 D'un pauvre amant, le feu se tourne en glance;
 Vif et perclus, sans rien faire, il se lasse;
 Dans ses efforts étonné de languir,
 Et consume sur le bord du plaisir.
 Telle une fleur des fear du jour séchée,
 La tête basse, et la tige penchée,
 Demande en vain les humides vapeurs
 Qui lui rendaient la vie et les couleurs.[54]

In olden times, prior to the invention of buttons, the femoral habiliments of men, or hose, as they were called, were fastened up by means of tags or points (Gallice) _aiguillettes_. Thus, Falstaff says, "Their points being cut, down fell their hose." From this French word _aiguillette_ was derived the term _nouer aiguillette_ (to tie up the points), equivalent to--button up the flap, to express the rendering, by enchantment, a husband incapable of performing the conjugal rite. The whole secret of this charm consisted in the impostor choosing for his victim an individual whose youth, inexperience, or superstition presented him with a fit subject to work upon. The imagination of the party being already predisposed for the trick, a look, a sign, a menace, either of the voice or of the hand, accompanied by some extraordinary gesture, was sufficient to produce the effect, and, as the mere apprehension of an evil frequently occasions its occurrence, it followed that, superstition having prepared the event, the latter, in his turn, fortified the superstition, a vicious circle which may justly be considered an opprobrium to a man's intelligence.

That such was the opinion entertained of it by sensible men when it was in vogue, will be seen by the following curious passage from an old and quaint French writer:

 "Quelques uns tiennent cela pour superstition, qui quand on
 dit la Messe des espousées, lorsque l'on prononce ce mot
 _Sara_, à la bénédiction nuptiale, si vous estrerignez une
 esguillette, que le marié ne pourra rien faire á son
 espousée la nuict suyuante, tant que la dite esguillette
 demeurera noüée. Ce que j'ay veu expérimenter faux infinies
 fois: car pourveuque l'esguillette du compagnon soit
 destachée, et qu'il siot bien roide et bien au point il ne
 faut point douter qu'il n'accoustre bien la besongne, comme
 il appartient. Aussi donne l'on vn folastre amulette et
 digne du subject: c'est à sçavoir que pour oster le sort, it
 faut pisser au travers d'une bague de laquelle on a esté
 espousé. Véritablement ie le croy: car c'est à dire, en bon
 Français que si on degoutte dans cet anneau de Hans Carvel,
 il n'y a charme qui puisse nuire. Aussi nouer l'esguillette
 ne signifie autre chose qu'vn coüard amant qui aura le
 mēbre aussi peu disposé, que si l'esguillette ne sa brayette
 estoit nouée."[55]

As to the mode itself of conjuration, Bodin, a writer upon these subjects, asserts that there are not less than fifty different ways of performing it: of all which the most efficacious one is to take a small strip or thong of leather, or silken or worsted thread, or cotton cord, and to make on it three knots successively, each knot, when made, being accompanied by the sign of the cross, the word _Ribald_ being pronounced upon making the first knot, _Nabal_ upon making the second one, and _Vanarbi_ upon making the third and last one; all which must be done during the celebration of the marriage ceremony. For the sake of change, one of the verses of the _Miserere mei, Deus!_ may be repeated backwards, the names of the bride and bridegroom being thrice pronounced. The first time, the knot must be drawn rather tight; the second time still more so, and the third time quite close. Vulgar operators content themselves with pronouncing some cabalistic words during the marriage rite, tracing, at the same time, some mysterious figures or diagrams on the earth with the left foot, and affixing to the dress of the bride or bridegroom small slips of paper having magical characters inscribed upon them. Further details may be found in the works of Sprenger, an inquisitor, Crespet of Sans, Debris, a Jesuit, Bodin, Wier, De Lancre, and other learned demonologists.

This species of enchantment was not unknown to the ancients. Accordingly to Herodotus[56] Amasis was prevented enjoying his wife Ladice by a sorcery of this description, nor was it till after the Queen had vowed a statue to Venus, "_si secum coiret Amasis_," that the king's wishes and her own were gratified.

Plato warns married persons against such sorceries.[57] Virgil speaks also of impotency effected by ligature.

 Terna tibi hæc primum, duplici diversa colore
 Licia circumdo.[58]

Ovid admits the power of such charms in the following lines:

 Carmine læsa, Ceres sterilem vanescit in herbam
 Deficiunt læsi carmine fontis aquæ:
 Ilicibus glandes, cantataque vitibus uva
 Decedit, et nulla forma movente, flexunt.
 Quid vetat et nervos
 Et juveni et Cupido, carmine abesse viro.[59]

Of that most detestable of all tyrants, Nero, it is said that, finding he could not enjoy a female whom he passionately desired, he complained of having been bewitched.

The fables of Apuleius are full of the enchantments of Pamphilus.[60]

Numantina, the first wife of Plautius Sylvanus, was accused of having rendered her husband impotent by means of sorcery "injecisse carminibus et veneficiis vecordium marito."[61]

Paulus (Julius) of Tyr states that the law of the Twelve Tables contained an express prohibition against the employment of ligatures; "qui, sacra, impia nocturnave fecerint, ut quem incantarent, obligarent," &c.[62]

Gregory of Tours relates[63] that Eulatius having taken a young woman from a monastery and married her, his concubines, actuated by jealousy, put such a spell upon him, that he could by no means consummate his nuptials. Paulus Æmilius, in his life of King Clovis says that Theodoric sent back his wife Herméberge to her father, the King of Spain, as he had received her, a pure virgin, the force of witchcraft having incapacitated him from taking her maidenhead; which sorcery Aimoinus Monachaus[64] asserts to have been effected by Queen Brunchante.

The practise of point tying was formerly so general that princes and princess made it one of their most amusing pastimes. Louis Sforza having seen the young Princess Isabella, daughter of Alphonso King of Arragon, and who was betrothed to Geleas, duke of Milan, was so enamoured of her beauty that he point-tyed Geleas for several months. Marie de Padille, concubine of Don Pedro King of Castille and Leon, point-tied him so effectually that he could not give the least marks of his fondness to his consort Queen Blanche.

That the church acknowledged the power of these point-tiers is proved by the fact of their having been publicly anathematized by the provincial Councils of Milan and Tours, the Synods of Mont-Cassin and Ferriare, and by the clergy of France assembled at Mélun in 1579. A great number of rituals specify the means to be employed as counter-charms to the sorceries of the point-tiers; and the Cardinal Cu Perron,[65] a very able and experienced prelate, has inserted in the ritual of Evreux very sage directions for this purpose. Similar precautions may be found in the synodal statues of Lyons, Tours, Sens, Narbonne, Bourges, Troyes, Orléans, and many other celebrated churches. St. Augustine, St. Thomas and Peter Lombard positively recognise the power of point-tying and of disturbing, in this manner, married persons in the enjoyment of their dearest privilege. "_Certum est_," says St. Augustine, "_corporis vires incantationibus vinciri_."

Our James I., who prided himself so much upon his skill in demonology, declares positively that sorcerers and witches possess the power of point-tying, "Or else by staying married folkes, to have naturally adoe with other, _by knitting knottes upon a point at the time of their marriage_."[66]

The old parliament of France have generally admitted the power of these sorcerers. In 1582 the Parliament of Paris condemned one Abel de la Rue to be hung and afterwards burnt for having wickedly and wilfully point-tied Jean Moreau de Contommiers. A singular sentence was pronounced in 1597 against M. Chamouillard for having so bewitched a young lady about to be married that her husband could not consummate the marriage. But the most singular instance of the kind upon record is that of R. F. Vidal de la Porte, who was condemned by the judges of Riom to make the _amende honorable_, and afterwards to be hung, and his lady to be burnt until reduced to ashes for having by sorceries and wicked and sacrilegious words point-tied, not only the young men of his town, but also all the dogs, cats and other domestic animals, so that the propagation of these species so useful to man was upon the point of being stopped. In 1718 the Parliament of Bordeaux ordered a famous point-tier to be burnt. This pretended sorcerer had been accused and convicted of having point-tied a nobleman of high family, his wife, and all the men and women servants in his establishment.

It must not be supposed that no counter-charms or amulets existed. The Curate Thiers, who has written at large upon this subject, enumerates twenty-two different ones, the most potent of which were the following:

1. To put salt in the pocket before proceeding to church; pennies marked with the cross and put into the shoes of the bride and bridegroom were equally efficacious.

2. To pass three times under the crucifix without bowing to it.

3. For the bridegroom to wear upon the wedding day, two shirts, one turned inside out upon the other, and to hold, in the left hand, during the nuptial benédiction, a small wooden cross.

4. To lay the new married couple naked upon the ground; to cause the bridegroom to kiss the great toe of the bride's left foot, and the bride the great toe of the bridegroom's right foot: after which they must make the sign of the cross with the left hand and repeat the same with the right or left hand.

5. To take the bridegroom's point-hose and pass it through the wedding ring: knot the said point, holding the fingers in the ring, and afterwards cut the knot saying, "God loosens what the Devil fastens."

6. When the new-married couple are about to retire for the night to fasten upon the thigh of each a little slip of paper, inscribed with these words, _Domine, quis similis tibi?_

7. To broach a cask of white wine from which none has yet been drawn, and pour the first of the liquor which flows, through the wedding ring.

8. To rub with wolf's grease the door posts through which the married couple pass on their way to the nuptial bed.

9. To write upon virgin parchment before sunrise, and for nine days successively, the word _Arigazartor_.

10. To pronounce the word _Temon_ three times successively at sunrise, provided the day promises to be fine.

But the mode of procedure in which the learned curate Thiers appears to place the greatest confidence is that employed by a priest of his acquaintance. This person's plan was to tie the bride and bridegroom to a pillar and administer to them with his own hand the stimulus with which the pedagogue awakens the genius of idle and sluggish pupils; after this flagellation they are unbound and left together, amply provided with such restorative and stimulants as are proper to maintain the condition so favourable to Venus, in which he had placed them. The result was in the highest degree satisfactory.

Bodin informs us that he knew at Bordeaux, a woman of middle age, but still lively and fresh, who professed to cure radically all enchantments of this description. Nothing could be more natural than her _modus operandi_. She got into bed with her patients, and there by the resources of her amatory powers succeeded so well in arousing their flagged and sluggish desires that their domestic peace was never afterwards disturbed by the reproaches of their disappointed spouses. Upon her mother's death, the daughter embraced the same interesting profession and in addition to acquiring considerable reputation by her successful practise, realized a handsome fortune.

Ridiculous and contemptible as this quackery now appears, so great at one time was its power, that persons every way qualified for the generative act, have been seen suddenly reduced to a humiliating nullity, in consequence of an impudent charlatan, a village sorcerer or a fortune-teller having threatened them with point-tying. Saint André, a French physician, gives an account of a poor weaver, who having disappointed Madame André in not bringing home some work was threatened by that lady with being point-tied by her husband the doctor. The poor fellow was so alarmed that the charm had the same effect as a reality, nor was it until the work he had in hand was finished, and the lady had consented to restore him to his natural state, that he could resume the exercises of his conjugal duties.

Venette gives the case of one Pierre Buriel. "This man," to use Venette's own words, "was about thirty-five years of age, a cooper and brandy manufacturer by trade. Being at work one day for my father in one of his country houses, he offended me by some impertinent observations, to punish which I told him the next day that I would point-tie him when he married. It so happened that he had the intention of uniting himself with a servant girl who lived in the neighbourhood, and although I had threatened him merely in a jesting manner, it made so strong an impression upon him that although, when married, he felt the most ardent desire to enjoy his connubial rights, he found himself totally incapacitated for the work of love. Sometimes when he flattered himself with being on the point of accomplishing his wishes, the idea of the witchcraft obtruded itself, and rendered him for the time completely impotent. This incapacity alienated the affections of his wife, and produced on her part towards him the most repulsive coldness. I need not say what gain I felt on witnessing these effects, how I regretted having, I may truly say, unintentionally caused so unpleasant a state of things, and I did and said everything in my power to disabuse the man, and prove to him the folly of his impressions. But the more I did so, the more he testified his abhorrence of me, and his conviction that I had really bewitched him. At length the curate of Notre Dame, who had married them, interfered, and after some time succeeded, though with considerable difficulty, in freeing him from his imaginary bonds. They lived together for twenty-eight years, and several children, now citizens of Rochelle, were the issue of their union."

Montaigne gives us a curious story upon this subject, which he introduces thus: "I am not satisfied and make a very great question, whether those pleasant ligatures with which the age of ours is so fettered--and there is almost no other talk--are not mere voluntary impressions of apprehension and fear; for I know by experience, in the case of a particular friend of mine, one for whom I can be as responsible as for myself, and a man that cannot possibly fall under any manner of suspicion of sufficiency, and as little of being enchanted, who having heard a companion of his make a relation of an unusual frigidity that surprised him at a very unseasonable time, being afterwards himself engaged upon the same account, the horror of the former story so strangely possessed his imagination that he ran the same fortune the other had done; he from that time forward (the scurvy remembrance of his disaster running in his mind and tyrannizing over him) was extremely subject to relapse into the same misfortune. He found some remedy, however, for this inconvenience by himself frankly confessing and declaring beforehand to the party with whom he was to have to do, the subjection he lay under, and the infirmity he was subject to; by which means the contention of his soul was, in some sort, appeased; and knowing that now some such misbehaviour was expected from him, the restraint upon those faculties grew less, and he less suffered by it, and afterwards, at such times as he could be in no such apprehension as not being about any such act (his thoughts being then disengaged and free, and his body being in its true and natural state) by causing those parts to be handled and communicated to the knowledge of others, he was at last totally freed from that vexatious infirmity. After man has once done a woman right, he is never after in danger of misbehaving himself with that person, unless upon the account of a manifest and inexcusable weakness. Neither is this disaster to be feared but in adventures where the soul is over-extended with desire or respect, and especially where we meet with an unexpected opportunity that requires a sudden and quick despatch; and in these cases, there is no possible means for a man always to defend himself from such a surprise as shall put him damnably out of countenance. And yet I have known some who have secured themselves for this misfortune by coming half-sated elsewhere, purposely to abate the ardour of their fury, and others who being grown old, find themselves less impotent by being less able; and particularly one who found an advantage by being assured by a friend of his that had a countercharm against certain enchantments that would defend him from this disgrace. The story itself is not much amiss, and therefore you shall have it.--A count of a very great family, and with whom I had the honour to be familiarly intimate, being married to a very fair lady, who had formerly been pretended to and importunately courted by one who was invited to and present at the wedding. All his friends were in very great fear, but especially an old lady, his kinswoman, who had the ordering of the solemnity, and in whose house it was kept, suspecting his rival would, in revenge, offer foul play, and procure some of these kinds of sorceries to put a trick upon him, which fear she also communicated to me, who, to comfort her, bade her not trouble herself, but rely upon my care to prevent or frustrate any such designs. Now, I had, by chance, about me, a certain flat piece of gold, whereon were graven some celestial figures good to prevent frenzy occasioned by the heat of the sun, or for any pains of the head, being applied to the suture; where, that it might the better remain firm, it was sewed to a ribbon, to be tied under the chin. A foppery cousin-german to this of which I am speaking was Jacques Pelletier who lived in the house, presented to me for a singular rarity and a thing of sovereign virtue. I had a fancy to make some use of this quack, and therefore privately told the count that he might probably run the same fortune other bridegrooms had sometimes done, especially some persons being in the house who, no doubt, would be glad to do him such a courtesy; but let him boldly go to rest, for I would do him the office of a friend, and if need were, would not spare a miracle that it was in my power to do, provided he could engage to me, upon his honour, to keep it to himself, and only when they came to bring him his candle (a custom in France being to bring the bridegroom a candle in the middle of the night, on his wedding night) if matters had not gone well with him, to give such a sign, and leave the rest to me. Now, he had his ears so battered and his mind so prepossessed with the eternal tattle of this business, that when he came to it, he did really find himself tired with the trouble of his imagination, and accordingly, at the time appointed, gave me the sign. Whereupon I whispered him in the ear, that he should rise under pretence of putting us out of the room, and after a jesting manner, pull my night-gown from my shoulders, throw it over his own, and keep it there till he had performed what I appointed him to do, which was that when we were all gone out of the chamber, he should withdraw to make water, should three times repeat such and such words and as often do such and such actions; that at every of the three times be should tie the ribbon I put into his hand about his middle, and be sure to place the medal that was fastened to it (the figures in such a posture) exactly upon his reins; which being done, and having the last of the three times so well girt and fastened the ribbon that it could neither untie nor slip from its place, let him confidently return to his business, and withal not to forget to spread my gown upon the bed so that it might be sure to cover them both. These ridiculous circumstances are the main of the effect, our fancy being so far seduced as to believe that so strange and uncouth formalities must of necessity proceed from some abstruse science. Their inanity gives them reverence and weight. However, certain it is that my figures proved themselves more _Veneran_ than _Solar_, and the fair bride had no reason to complain."

Upon a due consideration of this singular superstition, it must be obvious to any person of sense that these pretended ligatures are, in fact, the consequence of an enfeebled constitution, weak intellects, and sometimes of an ardent imagination, an over-excited desire which carries the vitality to the head, and diverts it from its principal direction. Do away with these circumstances and imagine a man in full health, and gifted with a young and vigorous constitution, alike incapable of allowing himself to be acted upon by vain terrors, and of permitting his passions an uncontrolable course; and all the charms and incantation of these redoubted point-tiers would immediately cease. Who, for instance, could pretend to point-tie that hero of ancient Greece so famous for his twelve labours, of which by far the most brilliant was the transforming, in the course of one night, fifty young virgins into as many women![67]

The most singular circumstance, however, connected with impotency is, that for a long time there existed exclusively in France a particular kind of proof called--The Judicial Congress. In the old jurisprudence of that country but little value was attached to moral proofs; all was made to depend upon material ones, which were made by witnesses. The whole enquiry after truth was made to depend upon the establishment of the fact, and, too frequently, the administrators of the law were not over-scrupulous as to the nature of the testimony by which it was to be proved. Provided there were such testimony, no matter of whatever kind, no matter how contradictory to common sense, justice pronounced itself satisfied, for, relying upon this testimony it was enabled to pronounce its decision, and this was all it required. Hence all those personal examinations of litigants, so often practised formerly, and hence the judge, whatever might be the nature of the suit or complaint, ordered a report to be made by parties chosen to that effect, and who were called _experts_ or examiners. This mode of procedure was employed in cases in which a woman applied for a divorce from her husband on the ground of impotency: hence arose the _Congrés_, in which the justice of the application was to be proved in the presence of examiners appointed to give in a report upon the case to the court. "Ce qui est encore plus honteux," says a writer of the 17th century, "c'est qu'un quelques procés, les hommes ont visité la femme, et au contraire, les femmes ont été admises à visiter l'homme, qui a été cause d'une grande irrison et moquerie, que telles procédures ont servi de contes joyeux et plaisans discours en beaucoup d'endroits."[68] The whole was a most disgusting procedure, which, although greatly abused, was for a long time encouraged as offering a legal mode of dissolving a marriage which was incompatible with the happiness of both the parties, but which the law declared to be indissoluble. The judges who introduced or maintained the Congress, who, in fact, protected it, only contemplated it, but certainly most erroneously as a proper means of legalizing divorces.

All historians, and other writers who have treated of this disgraceful institution, pretty generally agree in giving it an origin not further back than the commencement of the 16th century; it is, however, but the extension of a custom almost as obscene which prevailed in the first ages of Christianity. This was nothing less than the subjecting a young girl, whether nun or otherwise, accused of fornication, to a rigorous personal examination, whence was to result the proof of her innocence or guilt. Siagrius, Bishop of Verona, and who lived towards the close of the fourth century, condemned a nun to undergo this disgusting and insulting examination. St. Ambroise, his metropolitan, disapproved of the Bishop's sentence, declared the examination as indecent, thus attesting its existence. The opinion, however of this prelate, supposed as it was by that of several others, did not prevent the continuance of this custom for a very long time. The ecclesiastical and civil tribunals frequently directed this proof to be made; and Venette[69] cites the procès-verbal of a similar examination made by order of the Mayor of Paris in 1672, in the case of a woman who complained of violence committed on her by a man of dissolute habits.

We prefer giving the following curious description of the manner of conducting the Congress in the original quaint and antiquated French:

 "La forme duquel Congrez est, qui le iour et heure prins, et
 les Expers connenus ou nommez (qui sont ordinairement ceux
 mêmes qui ont fait la visitation lesquels partant n'ont
 garde de se contrarier ny de rapporte que l'homme y a fait
 l'intromission ayant desia (déjà) rapporté sa partie vierge
 et non corrompüe) le juge prend le serment des parties,
 qu'elles tascheront de bonne foy et sans dissimulation
 d'accōplir l'œuvre de mariage sans y apporter
 empeschement de part ny d'autre: des Expers qu'ils ferōt
 fidelle rapport de ce qui se passera au Congrez; cela fait
 les parties et les expers se retirent en une chābre pour ce
 préparée, où l'homme et la femme sont de rechef visités,
 l'homme, afin de sçavoir s'il a point de mal, s'en estans
 trouué à aucuns l'ayans gaigné depuis avoir esté visité qui
 n'ont laissé d'estre séparés encore, qu'il parust assez par
 là qu'ils n'estoient impuissans, la femme pour considérer
 l'estat de se partie honteuse et, par ce moyen cognoistre la
 difference de son ouverture et dilatation, auant et après le
 Congrez, et si l'intromission y aura esté faicte, ou non:
 sans, toutefois, parler en leur rapport de la virginité ou
 corruption de la femme, reputée vierge, ayant vne fois
 esté rapportée telle, sans qu'on la visite plus pour cela.
 En quelques procès (comme en celuy de Bray, 1578) les
 parties sont visités nues depuis le sommet de la teste
 iusques à la plante des pieds, en toutes les parties des
 leurs corps, _etiam in podice_, pour sçavior s'il n y a rien
 sur elles qui puissent auancer ou empescher le congrez, les
 parties honteuses de l'homme lavées d'eau tiéde (c'est a
 sçavoir à quelle fin) et la femme mise en demy bain, où
 elle demeure quelque temps. Cela fait, l'homme et la
 femme se couchent en plein iour en un lict, Expers
 présens, qui demeurent en la chambre, ou se retirent (si les
 parties le requièrent on l'vne d'elles, en quelque
 garde-robe ou gallerie prochaine, l'huis (la porte)
 entreouvert toutefois, et quand aux matrones se tiennent
 proche du lict, et les rideaux estant tirez, c'est à l'homme
 à se mettre en devoir de faire preuve de sa puissance
 habitant charnellement avec sa partie et faisant
 intromission: ou souvent aduiennent des altercations
 honteuses et ridicules, l'homme se plaignant que sa partie
 ne le veut laisser faire et empesche l'intromission; elle le
 niant et disant qu'il veut mettre le doigt et la dilater, et
 ouvrir par ce moyen; de sorte qu'il faudroit qu'un homme
 fust sans apprehension et pire qu'aucunes bêstes, ou que
 _mentula velut digito uteretur_, s'il ne desbandsit
 cependant au cas qu'il fust en estat, et si nō obstant ces
 indignitez il passait autre iusques à faire intromission;
 encore ne sçauroit il, quelque érection qu'il face (fasse),
 si la partie veut l'empescher si on ne lui tenoit les mains
 et les genoux ce qui ne se fait pas. En fin, les parties
 ayās esté quelque tēps au lict, comme une heure ou deux, les
 Espers appellex, ou de leur propre mouvement, quand ils
 s'ennuyent en ayant de subject, _si sint viri_,
 s'approchent, et ouvrans les rideaux, s'informent de ce qui
 s'est passé entre elles, et visitent la femme derechef,
 pour sçavoir si elle est plus ouverte et dilatée que lorsqu'
 elle s'est mise au lict, et si intromission a été faicte
 aussi, _an facta sit emission, ubi, quid et quale emissio_.
 Ce qui ne se fait pas sans bougie et lunettes à gens qui
 s'en seruent pour leur vieil age, ni sans des recherches
 fort sales et odieuses: et font leur procès verbal de ce qui
 s'est passé au Congrez (ou pour mieux dire) de ce qu'ils
 veulent, qu'ils baillent au juge, estant au mesme logis vne
 salle, ou chambre à part, avec les procureurs et patriciens,
 en cour d'Eglise, attendant la fin de cet acte lequel
 rapporte est tousiours (toujours) au desaduantage des hommes
 à faute d'auoir fait intromission, sans laquelle, l'érection
 _etiam sufficiens ad coeundem_, ny l'émission n'empeschent
 la séparation, comme il se voit par les procès verbaux des
 Congrez de De Bray des onziesme et vingt unsiesme d'Apuril,
 1578. Auxquels Congrez, principalement au premier, il fit
 érection rapportée suffisante _ad copulem carnalem, et
 emisit extra vas, sed non intromisit_, et pour cela fut
 séparé; laquelle intromission ne peust aussi estre faite au
 Congrez par quelque homme que ce fut, si la femme n'y
 preste consentement, et empesche, comme il est tout

The first judicial sentence which ordered a Congress is said to have been caused by the shameless effrontery of a young man who, being accused of impotency, demanded permission to exhibit proof of his powers before witnesses, which demand being complied with, the practice was introduced into the jurisprudence of the country. But, as we have already shown, the custom of the Judicial Congress may be referred to a far earlier period, in fact, to the remotest times of the middle ages, and that it originated with the Church, when the public morals were far from being well ascertained, as is proved by many well-known privileges belonging to the Seigneur or Lord of the Manor. Pope Gregory the Great, who was raised to the Pontificate in 590, appears to have been the first who conferred upon bishops the right of deciding this description of questions. It was, doubtless, from considerations of tender regard for female modesty that the Church took upon itself the painful duty of investigating and deciding upon questions of this nature. Numerous instances prove this, especially the dissolution of the marriage of Alphonso VI. of Portugal and his Consort, pronounced in 1688, and mentioned by Bayle.[70] The great antiquity of this custom is proved by the 17th Art. of the Capitulars of Pepin, in the year 752, which bears a direct allusion to it: inasmuch as that article established as a principle that the impotency of a husband should be considered as a lawful cause for divorce, and that the proof of such impotency should be given, and the fact verified at the foot of the Cross--_exeant ad crucem, et si verum fuerit, separantur_.

That the Congress originated with the Church, who considered it as an efficacious means for deciding questions of impotency, is still further proved by the President Boutrier and by other writers, who assert that the ecclesiastical judges of other times were alone empowered (to the exclusion of all secular ones) to take cognizance of cases of impotency.

It is well attested that during the 16th and 17th centuries all the courts of law in France held the opinion that a marriage be anulled on the demand of a wife who claimed the Congress.

The fatal blow to this disgusting custom was given by a decree of the Parliament of Paris, under the presidency of the celebrated Lamoignon, dated Feb. 18, 1677, which decree forbids the practice by any other court whatsoever, ecclesiastical or civil. It is supposed that the ridicule cast upon it by the following lines of Boileau had no small share in causing its suppression.

 "Jamais la biche en rut, n'a pour fait d'impuissance
 Trainé du fond des bois, un cerf à l'audience;
 Et jamais juge, entre eux ordonnant le congrès,
 De ce burlesque mot n'a sali ses arrêts."[71]

Three causes were alleged for the abolition of the Congress--its obscenity, its inutility, and its inconveniences. Its obscenity; for what could be more infamous, more contrary to public decency and to the reverence due to an oath than the impurity of the proof, both in its preparation and execution? Its inutility; for what could be less certain and more defective? Can it be, for one moment, imagined that a conjunction ordered by judges between two persons embittered by a law-suit, agitated with hate and fury against each other, can operate in them? Experience has shown that, of ten men the most vigorous and powerful, hardly one was found that came out of this shameful combat with success; it is equally certain that he who had unjustly suffered dissolution of his marriage, for not having given a proof of his capacity in the infamous Congress, had given real and authentic evidences of it in a subsequent marriage. This degrading mode of proof, in short, far from discovering the truth, was but the cause and foundation for impotence and falsehood. Its inconveniences; these are--the declared nullity of a legitimate marriage--the dishonour cast upon the husband, and the unjust damages, oftentimes exorbitant, which he is condemned to pay--two marriages contracted upon the dissolution of the first--both of which, according to purity and strictness, are equally unlawful--the error or the malice discovered, _ex post facto_, and, nevertheless, by the authority of the law, became irreparable.

It was in the power of the magistrate, upon a complaint of impotency being alleged by a wife against her husband, to order examiners to make an inspection of the husband's parts of generation, and upon their report to decide whether there was just cause for a divorce; and this without proceeding to order the congress. The following are a few cases of this description, and are extracted from the reports and judgments of the Officialty at Paris in cases of impotency.

Case I. Jean de But, master fringe maker, was, in 1675, charged with impotency by Genevieve Helena Marcault, his wife; he being inspected by Renauolot, a physician, and Le Bel, a surgeon, by order of the official; they declared that, after a due and thorough examination of all the members and parts of the said De But, as well genital, as others which might throw a light upon the case and likewise his condition of body, his age, the just conformation and proportion of his limbs, but especially his penis, which was found to be of as proper a thickness, length and colour as could be wished: and likewise his testicles, which exhibited no perceptible viciousness or malformation, they are of opinion that from all these outward marks, which are the only ones they consider themselves justified in judging from, the said De But is capacitated to perform the matrimonial act. Signed by them at Paris, July 18, 1675, and attested by the Sieur de Combes. And on August 23, 1675, by the sentence of M. Benjamin, official, the said Marcault was non-suited and ordered to return to her husband and cohabit with him.

Case II. Inspection having been ordered by the official of Paris of the body of Joseph Le Page, who is taxed with impotency by Nicola de Loris, his wife, the said inspection was made by Deuxivoi and De Farci, physicians, and Paris and Du Fertre, surgeons; their report is as follows:--

 "We have found the exterior of his person to be like that of
 other men's, the penis of a good conformation and naturally
 situated, with the nut or glans bare, its adjoining parts
 fringed with soft, fine hair, the scrotum of an
 unexceptional thickness and extent, and in it vessels of
 good conformation and size, but terminating unequally; on
 the right side, they end in a small, flabby substance
 instead of a true testicle; and on the left side we observed
 a testicle fixed to the extremity of one of the vessels, as
 usual, invested in its tunicle, which left testicle we do
 not find to be at all flabby, but of a middling size: upon
 the whole, we are of opinion that the said Le Page is
 capable of the conjugal act but in a feeble manner. Signed
 and dated March 5, 1684. By the sentence of M. Cheron, the
 official, the said De Loris's petition is rejected, and she
 is enjoined to return to her husband."

Case IV. Peter Damour being accused of impotency by his wife Louisa Tillot an inspection was ordered to be made by Rainset and Afforti, physicians, and Franchet and Colignon, surgeons. They report as follows:--"We have proceeded to inspect Peter Damour, master saddler at Paris, and having attententively examined his parts of generation, we have found them well constituted and in good condition as to their size, conformation and situation for the conjugal act; according, however to the statement of the said Damour himself, the erection is imperfect, the penis not being sufficiently rigid for perforating the vagina; admitting this, however, to be the case, we are of opinion that the imperfection may be remedied, repaired, and rectified, in time, by proper remedies. Signed January 16, 1703." In consequence the official, M. Vivant, refused Villot's demand, and ordered her to go home to her husband and cohabit with him as her lawful spouse.

Case V. In the suit of Demoiselle Maris Louise Buchères accusing of impotence Antoine de Bret, an inspection was ordered and performed by Venage and Lita, physicians, Lombard and Delon, surgeons. They reported as follows: "We find the string of the foreskin shorter than it should be for giving the nut free scope to extend itself when turgid:--that the body of the left testicle is very diminutive and decayed, its tunicle separated, the spermatic vessels very much disordered by crooked swollen veins--that the right testicle is not of a due thickness, though thicker than the other: that it is somewhat withered and the spermatic vessels disordered by crooked swollen veins. On all which accounts we do not think that the natural parts of the said Sieur de Bret have all the disposition requisite for the well performing the functions they were designed for; yet we cannot say that he is impotent until we have inspected the wife. Paris July 11, 1703, Signed." On the 22d of July, 1703, the wife was inspected by the said physicians and surgeons and by two matrons; the result of which was that they observed no visciousness of conformation in her womb: the valvula were circular and the carunclæ myrtiformes, placed in the neck of the vagina, were soft, supple, flexible, entire, and did not seem to have suffered any violence or displacing, and the cavity of the womb-pipe was free and without any obstacle. Therefore they are of opinion that she is not capable of the conjugal act, and that there has been no intromission, consequently that she is a virgin, and that if the marriage had not been consummated, it is her husband's fault, because of his great debility and defective conformation of his parts of generation. Another inspection of the same parties was ordered Aug. 1, 1703. Bourges and Thuillier being the physicians, and Tranchet and Meri the surgeons, who declared that after due and careful examination they had found no defect which could hinder generation. Their report is dated Paris, Aug. 13, 1703. M. Chapelier ordered, in consequence, both parties,--viz., the Sieur De Bret and the said Buchères to acknowledge each other for man and wife.

Case VI. On the 2nd April, 1653, the Chevalier René de Cordovan, Marquis de Langey, aged 25 years, married Maria de Saint Simon de Courtomer between 13 and 14 years of age. The parties lived very happily for the first four years, that is to say, up to 1657, when the lady accused her husband of impotency. The complaint was heard before the _Lieutenant Civil_ of the _Chatelet_, who appointed a jury to examine the parties. The examination was made, and the report declared that both parties were duly and fully qualified for performing the conjugal act. In order to invalidate this report the lady affirmed that if she was not a virgin it was in consequence of the brutal efforts of one whose impotency rendered him callous as to the means he employed to satisfy himself. The Chevalier de Langey, much incensed at this imputation, demanded the _Congress_; the judge granted the petition, the wife appealed from the sentence, but it was confirmed by the superior courts.

For carrying the sentence into effect, the house of a person named Turpin, who kept baths, was chosen. Four physicians, five surgeons and five matrons were present. It is impossible to enter into the details of this disgusting prequisition; they are given in full detail in the _procès verbal_. Suffice it to say that the event being unfavourable to the chevalier, his marriage was declared void by a decree of the 8th of February, 1659.

By this decree the chevalier was not only condemned to pay back the dowry which he had had with his wife, but was prohibited from contracting another marriage--the lady, on the contrary, was allowed to enter into any other engagement she might think fit, as being considered entirely freed from her former bonds.

The next day after this decree the chevalier made his protest against it before two notaries, declaring that he did not acknowledge himself to be impotent, and that he would, in defiance of the prohibition imposed upon him, enter into wedlock again whenever he pleased.

The lady St. Simon contracted a marriage with Peter de Caumont, Marquis de Boèsle, and from this marriage were born three daughters. At the same time the Chevalier de Langley married Diana de Montault de Navaille, and their marriage was followed by the birth of seven children.

In 1670 the Marchioness de Boèsle, the ci-devant Countess de Langey, died.

It was in consequence of the ulterior proceedings in the law courts respecting the real paternity of the children of the marchioness that the government availed itself of the opportunity of abolishing, as we have seen, the useless and obscene ordeal of the congress.

We shall conclude the present Essay by transcribing Dr. Willick's judicious observations upon the sexual intercourse.

 _Of the_ SEXUAL INTERCOURSE _in particular; its physical
 consequences with respect to the Constitution of the
 Individual; under what circumstances it may be either
 conducive or detrimental to Health._
 A subject of such extensive importance, both to our
 physical and moral welfare, as the consequences resulting
 from either a too limited or extravagant intercourse between
 the sexes deserves the strictest enquiry, and the most
 serious attention of the philosopher.
 The inclination to this intercourse, and the evacuation
 connected with it, are no less inherent in human nature than
 other bodily functions. Yet, as the semen is the most subtle
 and spirituous part of the human frame, and as it
 contributes to the support of the nerves, this evacuation is
 by no means absolutely necessary; and it is besides attended
 with circumstances not common to any other. The emission of
 semen enfeebles the body more than the loss of twenty times
 the same quantity of blood; more than violent cathartics,
 emetics, &c.; hence excesses of this nature produce a
 debilitating effect on the whole nervous system, on both
 body and mind.
 It is founded on the observations of the ablest
 physiologists, that the greatest part of this refined fluid
 is re-absorbed and mixed with the blood, of which it
 constitutes the most rarified and volatile part; and that it
 imparts to the body singular sprightliness, vivacity, and
 vigour. These beneficial effects cannot be expected if the
 semen be wantonly and improvidently wasted. Besides the
 emission of it is accompanied with a peculiar species of
 tension and convulsion of the whole frame, which is always
 succeeded by relaxation. For the same reason, even
 libidinous thoughts, without any loss of semen, are
 debilitating, though in a less degree, by occasioning a
 propulsion of blood to the genitals.
 If this evacuation, however, took place only in a state of
 superfluity, and within proper bounds, it is not detrimental
 to health. Nature, indeed, spontaneously effects it in the
 most healthy individuals during sleep; and as long as we
 observe no difference in bodily and mental energy after
 such losses, there is no danger to be apprehended from them.
 It is well established and attested by the experience of
 eminent physicians, that certain indispositions, especially
 those of hypochondriasis and complete melancholy and
 incurable by any other means, have been happily removed in
 persons of both sexes, by exchanging a single state for
 There are a variety of circumstances by which the physical
 propriety of the sexual intercourse is in general to be
 determined. It is conductive to the well being of the
 individual, if the laws of nature and society (not an
 extravagant or disordered imagination) induce man to satisfy
 this inclination, especially under the following conditions:
 1. In young persons, that is, adults, or those of a middle
 age; as from the flexibility of their vessels, the strength
 of their muscles, and the abundance of their vital spirits,
 they can more easily sustain the loss thence occasioned.
 2. In robust persons, who lose no more than is speedily
 3. In sprightly individuals, and such as are particularly
 addicted to pleasure; for the stronger the natural and legal
 desire, the less hurtful is its gratification.
 4. In married persons who are accustomed to it; for nature
 pursues a different path, according as she is habituated to
 the reabsorption or the evacuation of this fluid.
 5. With a beloved object; as the power animating the nerves
 and muscular fibres is in proportion to the pleasure
 6. After a sound sleep, because then the body is more
 energetic; it is provided with a new stock of vital spirit,
 and the fluids are duly prepared;--hence the early morning
 appears to be designed by nature for the exercise of this
 function; as the body is then most vigorous, and being
 unemployed in any other pursuit, its natural propensity to
 this is the greater; besides, at this time a few hours sleep
 will, in a considerable degree restore the expended powers.
 7. With an empty stomach; for the office of digestion, so
 material to the attainment of bodily vigour, is then
 uninterrupted. Lastly.
 8. In the vernal months; as nature at this season in
 particular, incites all the lower animals to sexual
 intercourse, as we are then most energetic and sprightly;
 and as the spring is not only the safest, but likewise the
 most proper time with respect to the consequences resulting
 from that intercourse. It is well ascertained by experience
 that children begotten in spring are of more solid fibres,
 and consequently more vigorous and robust, than those
 generated in the heat of summer or cold of winter.
 It may be collected from the following circumstances,
 whether or not the gratification of the sexual intercourse
 has been conducive to the well-being of the body; namely, if
 it be not succeeded by a peculiar lassitude; if the body do
 not feel heavy, and the mind averse to reflection, these are
 favourable symptoms, indicating that the various powers have
 sustained no essential loss, and that superfluous matter
 only has been evacuated.
 Farther, the healthy appearance of the urine in this case,
 as well as cheerfulness and vivacity of mind, also prove a
 proper action of the fluids, and sufficiently evince an
 unimpaired state of the animal functions, a due
 perspiration, and a free circulation of the blood.
 There are times, however, in which the gratification is the
 more pernicious to health, when it has been immoderate, and
 without the impulse of nature, but particularly in the
 following situations.
 1. In all debilitated persons; as they do not possess
 sufficient vital spirits, and their strength after this
 venerating emission is consequently much exhausted. Their
 digestion necessarily suffers, perspiration is checked, and
 the body becomes languid and heavy.
 2. In the aged; whose vital heat is diminished, whose frame
 is enfeebled by the most moderate enjoyment, and whose
 vigour, already reduced, suffers a still greater diminution
 from every loss that is accompanied with a violent
 convulsion of the whole body.
 3. In persons not arrived at the age of maturity; by an easy
 intercourse with the other sex, they become enervated and
 emaciated, and inevitably shorten their lives.
 4. In dry, choleric and thin persons; these, even at a
 mature age, should seldom indulge in this passion, as their
 bodies are already in want of moisture and pliability, both
 of which are much diminished by the sexual intercourse,
 while the bile is violently agitated, to the great injury of
 the whole animal frame. Lean persons generally are of a hot
 temperament; and the more heat there is in the body the
 greater will be the subsequent dryness. Hence, likewise, to
 persons in a state of intoxication, this intercourse is
 extremely pernicious; because in such a state the increased
 circulation of the blood towards the head may be attended
 with dangerous consequences, such as bursting of
 blood-vessels, apoplexy, etc. The plethoric are particularly
 exposed to these dangers.
 5. Immediately after meals; as the powers requisite to the
 digestion of food are thus diverted, consequently the
 aliment remains too long unassimilated, and becomes
 burdensome to the stomach.
 6. After violent exercise; in which case it is still more
 hurtful than in the preceding, where muscular strength was
 not consumed, but only required to the aid of another
 function. After bodily fatigue, on the contrary, the
 necessary energy is in a manner exhausted, so that every
 additional exertion of the body must be peculiarly
 7. In the best of summer it is less to be indulged in than
 in spring and autumn; because the process of concoction and
 assimilation is effected less vigorously in summer than in
 the other seasons, and consequently the losses sustained are
 not so easily recovered. For a similar reason the sexual
 commerce is more debilitating, and the capacity for it
 sooner extinguished in hot than in temperate climates. The
 same remark is applicable to very warm temperature combined
 with moisture, which is extremely apt to debilitate the
 solid part. Hence hatters, dyers, bakers, brewers, and all
 those exposed to steam, generally have relaxed fibres.
 It is an unfavourable symptom if the rest after this
 intercourse be uneasy, which plainly indicates that more has
 been lost than could be repaired by sleep; but if, at the
 same time, it be productive of relaxation, so as to affect
 the insensible perspiration, it is a still stronger proof
 that it has been detrimental to the constitution.[72]



When it is considered how strongly the sexual desire is implanted in man, and how much his self-love is interested in preserving or in recovering the power of gratifying it, his endeavours to infuse fresh vigour into his organs when they are temporarily exhausted by over-indulgence, or debilitated by age cannot appear surprising.

This remark particularly applied to natives of southern and eastern climes, with whom the erotic ardour makes itself more intensely felt; since it is there that man's imagination, as burning as the sky beneath which he first drew breath, re-awakens desires his organs may have long lost the power of satisfying, and consequently it is there more especially that, notwithstanding the continual disappointment of his hopes, he still pertinaciously persists in searching for means whereby to stimulate his appetite for sexual delights. Accordingly it will be found that in the remotest ages, even the vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms have been ransacked for the purpose of discovering remedies capable of strengthening the genital apparatus, and exciting it to action.

But however eager men might be in the above enquiry, their helpmates were equally desirous of finding a means whereby they might escape the reproach of barrenness,--a reproach than which none was more dreaded by eastern women. Such means was at last discovered, or supposed to be so, in the mandrake,[73] a plant which thenceforth became, as the following quotation proves, of inestimable value in female eyes.

 "And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found
 mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother,
 Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy
 son's mandrakes.
 "And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast
 taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's
 mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with
 thee to-night for thy son's mandrakes.
 "And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah
 went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me,
 for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he
 lay with her that night.
 "And God harkened unto Leah, and she conceived and bare
 Jacob the fifth son."[74]

There is only one other passage in the Bible in which this plant is alluded to, and that is in Solomon's song:

"The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved."[75]

All that can be gathered from the former of the above quotations is that these plants were found in the fields during the wheat harvests and that, either for their rarity, flavour, or, more probably, for their supposed quality of removing barrenness in women, as well as for the stimulating powers attributed to them, were greatly valued by the female sex. In the quotation from Solomon's Song, the Hebrew word _Dudaim_ expresses some fruit or flowers exhaling a sweet and agreeable odour, and which were in great request among the male sex.[76]

According to Calmet, the word _Dudaim_ may be properly deduced from _Dudim_ (pleasures of love); and the translators of the Septuagint and the Vulgate render it by words equivalent to the English one--mandrake. The word _Dudaim_ is rendered in our authorized version by the word _mandrake_--a translation sanctioned by the Septuagint, which, in this place, translates _Dudaim_ by [Greek: mêla mandragorôn], _mandrake_--apples, and in Solomon's Song by [Greek: oi mandraorai] (_mandrakes_). With this, Onkelos[77] and the Syrian version agree; and this concurrence of authorities, with the fact that the mandrake (_atropa mandragora_) combines in itself all the circumstances and traditions required for the Dudaim, has given to the current interpretation, its present prevalence.

Pythagoras was the first (followed by Plutarch) who gave to this plant the name of [Greek: anthrôpomorphos] (man-likeness), an appellation which became very generally used; but why he gave it is not precisely known: Calmet, however, suggests as a reason the partial resemblance it bears to the human form, from the circumstance of its root being parted from the middle, downwards.

The opinion respecting the peculiar property of the mandrake was not confined to the Jews, but was also entertained by the Greeks and Romans, the former of whom called its fruit--love-apples, and bestowed the name of _Mandragorilis_ upon Venus. Dioscorides knew it by that of [Greek: Mandragoras], and remarks that the root is supposed to be used in philters or love-potions;[78] and another writer lauds it as exciting the amorous propensity, remedying female sterility, facilitating conception and prolificness, adding the singular fact that female elephants, after eating its leaves, are seized with so irresistible a desire for copulation, as to run eagerly, in every direction, in quest of the male.[79]

Speaking of the plant Eryngium, the elder Pliny says: "The whole variety of the Eryngium known in our (the Latin) language as the _centum capita_ has some marvellous facts recorded of it. It is said to bear a striking likeness to the organs of generation of either sex; it is rarely met with, but if a root resembling the male organ of the human species be found by a man, it will ensure him woman's love; hence it is that Phaon, the Lesbian, was so passionately beloved of Sappho."[80] If it be true, as is asserted by medical writers, that the above root contains an essential oil of peculiarly stimulating qualities, the fact would account, not only for Sappho's passion for Phaon, but also for the high value set upon it by the rival wives of Jacob.

For the same reason as that suggested by Calmet, Columella calls the mandrake _semihomo_:

 "Quamvis _semihominis_ vesano gramine fœta
  Mandragoræ pariat flores."[81]
 "Let it not vex thee if thy teeming field
  The half-man Mandrake's madd'ning seed should yield;"

and qualifies its seed by the epithet _vesanus_, because in his time (the first century after Christ) it was still supposed to form one of the ingredients of philters or love-potions. The superstitious ideas attached to the mandrake were indeed so current throughout Europe during the middle ages, that one of the accusations brought against the Knights Templars was that of adoring, in Palestine, an idol to which was given the name of Mandragora.[82] Even, comparatively, not very long ago, there might be seen in many of the continental towns quacks and mountebanks exhibiting little rudely-carved figures, which they declared to be genuine mandrakes, assuring their gaping auditors, at the same time, that they were produced from the urine of a gibbeted thief, and seriously warning those who might have to pull any out of the ground to stop their ears first, for otherwise the piercing shrieks of these plants would infallibly strike them with deafness. Wier thus describes the manufacture of these interesting little gentlemen: "Impostors carve upon these plants while yet green the male and female forms, inserting millet or barley seeds in such parts as they desire the likeness of human hair to grow on; then, digging a hole in the ground, they place the said plants therein, covering them with sand till such time as the little seeds have stricken root, which, it is said, would be perfectly effected within twenty days at furthest. After this, disinterring the plants, these impostors, with a sharp cutting knife, so dexterously carve, pare, and slip the little filaments of the seeds as to make them resemble the hair which grows upon the various parts of the human body."[83]

"I have seen," says the Abbé Rosier, "mandrakes tolerably well representing the male and female parts of generation, a resemblance which they owe, almost entirely, to manual dexterity. For the intended object, a mandrake is chosen having a strong root, which, at the end of a few inches, bifurcates into two branches. As the root is soft, it easily takes the desired form, which it preserves on becoming dry."[84] The author then describes the process of producing the resemblance of human hair, and which is similar to that given above.

In the year 1429, a Cordelier by name Brother Richard, fulminated from the pulpit a vigorous sermon against the amulette then much in vogue, and called "Mandragora." He convinced his auditors, both male and female, of its impiety and inutility, and caused hundreds of those pretended charms which, upon that occasion, were voluntarily delivered up to him, to be publicly burnt. It is no doubt, to these mandragoras that an old chronicler alludes in the following strophe:

 J'ai puis vu soudre en France
   Par grant dérision,
 La racine et la branche
   De toute abusion.
 Chef de l'orgueil du monde
   Et de lubricité;
 Femme où tel mal habonde
   Rend povre utilité.[85]

In the 15th century the mandrake enjoyed in Italy so great a reputation as an erotic stimulant, that the celebrated Macchiavelli wrote a much admired comedy upon it, called "_La Mandragora_." The subject of this piece, according to Voltaire, who asserts "qu'il vaut, peut être mieux que toutes les pièces d'Aristophane, est un jeune homme adroit qui veut coucher avec la femme de son voisin. Il engage, avec de l'argent, un moine, un _Fa tutto_ ou un _Fa molto_, à séduire sa maitresse et à faire tomber son mari dans un piège ridicule. On se moque tout le long de la pièce, de la religion que toute l'Europe professe, dont Rome est le centre et dont le siège papal est le trone."[86]

Callimaco, one of the dramatis-personæ of this comedy, thus eulogizes the plant in question, "Voi avete a intendere che non è cosa più certa a ingravidare, _d'una pozione fatta di Mandragola_. Questa è una cosi sperimentata da me due para di volte, e se non era questa, la Reina di Francia sarebbe sterile, ed infinite altre principesse in quello Stato."[87]

"You must know that nothing is so sure to make women conceive, as a draught composed of Mandragola. That is a fact which I have verified upon four occasions, and had it not been for the virtues of this plant, the queen of France, as well as many noble ladies of that kingdom, would have proved barren."

By the Venetian law the administering of love-potions was accounted highly criminal. Thus the law "_Dei maleficii et herbarie_." Cap. XVI. of the code, entitled "Della Commissione del maleficio" says, "Statuimo etiamdio che se alcun homo o femina harra fatto maleficii, iguali so dimandono volgarmente _amatorie_, o veramente alcuni altri maleficii, che alcun homo o femina se havesson in odio, sia frusta et bollade, et che hara consigliato, patisca simile pena."[88]

The notion of the efficacy of love powders was also so prevalent in the 15th century in our own country that in the Parliament summoned by King Richard III., on his usurping the throne, it was publicly urged as a charge against Lady Grey, that she had bewitched King Edward IV. by strange potions and amorous charms.

 "And here also we considered how that the said pretended
 marriage betwixt the abovenamed King Edward and Elizabeth
 Grey, was made of great presumption, without the knowing and
 assent of the Lords of this land, and also by sorcery and
 witchcraft committed by the said Elizabeth and her mother
 Jaquet Duchesse of Bedford, as the common opinion of the
 people and the public voice and fame is thorow all this
 land." (From the "Address of Parliament to the high and
 mightie Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.")[89]

Modern writers, as might be expected, have taken a very wide range in their inquiries as to what kind of plant the Dudaïm really was, some regarding it as lilies, roses, violets, snowdrops, and jasmine; others, as melons, plantain fruits, whirtleberries, dwarf brambles, the berries of the physalis or winter cherry, grapes of some peculiar kinds, or even underground fungi, as truffles, &c. Many have supposed the word to mean the ingredients, whatever they might have been, of a charm or love potion, and hence have recurred to the mandrake, celebrated, as already said, throughout antiquity, for its supposed virtues, and whose history has been tricked out with all the traditionary nonsense that might be imagined to confirm that report of such qualities.

Liebentantz,[90] in 1660; the younger Rudbeck,[91] in 1733, and Celsius,[92] in 1745, have displayed much erudition and research in their inquiries; but the first of these writers arrived at the conclusion that nothing certain could be come to on the subject; while the second proposed raspberries as the Dudaïm; and the third maintained that they were the fruit of the Zizyphus, the Spina Christi of the disciples of Linnæus.

Maundrell, who travelled in the East in the 17th century, informs us that, having asked the chief priest of Aleppo what sort of a plant or fruit the Dudaïm, or (as we translate it) the _mandrakes_, were which Leah gave to Rachel for the purchase of her husband's embraces, the holy man replied "that they were plants of a large leaf bearing a certain sort of fruit, in shape resembling an apple, growing ripe in harvest, but of an ill savour, and not wholesome. But the virtue of them was to _help conception_, being laid under the genial bed. That the women were wont to apply it at this day, out of an opinion of its prolific virtue."[93]

Some writers have supposed the Dudaïm to be neither more nor less than the truffle. Virey asserts it to be a species of Orchis; and, indeed, considering the remarkable conformation of the root of this plant,[94] the slightly spermatic odour of its farinaceous substance, as well as that of the flowers of another one belonging to the same family, an odour so similar to the emanations of an animal proverbial for its salaciousness, and to which its bearded spikes or ears give additional resemblance, the almost unbounded confidence which the ancients reposed in its aphrodisiacal virtues cannot appear surprising.

One of the most extraordinary aphrodisiacs upon record is that reported to have been employed by the Amazons. The "Amazons," says Eustathius,[95] "broke either a leg or an arm of the captives they took in battle, and this they did, not only to prevent their attempts at escape, or their plotting, but also, and this more especially, to render them more vigorous in the venereal conflict; for, as they themselves burnt away the right breast of their female children in order that the right arm might become stronger from receiving additional nutriment, so they imagined that, similarly, the genital member would be strengthened by the deprivation of one of the extremities, whether a leg or an arm." Hence, when reproached by the Scythians with the limping gait of her slaves, Queen Antianara replied, "[Greek: arista chôlos oiphei]," "the lame best perform the act of love."

Among the ancient Romans, it was impossible that philters, or love-potions, should not be introduced amid the general depravity so common in every class; and hence we meet with frequent allusions to them in their writers. Thus, the emperor Julian, surnamed the Apostate, writing to his friend Callixines, observes "At enim inquies, Penelopes etiam amor et fides erga virum tempore cognita est. Et quis, tandem, inquam, in muliere amorem conjugis sui religioni ac pietati anteponet _quam continuò mandragoræ bibesse judicitur_?"[96]

 "But you, Callixines, observe that Penelope's love to her
 husband was always thus manifested. To this I answer, who
 but he _that has habitually drunk Mandragora_ can prefer in
 a woman conjugal affection to piety?"

The over excitement caused in the nervous system by such potions frequently proved fatal. Such, according to Eusebius, was the fate of the poet Lucretius, who, having been driven to madness by an amatory potion, and having, during the intervals of his insanity, composed several books, which were afterwards corrected by Cicero, died by his own hand, in the 44th year of his age.[97] It should, however, be remembered that this account has been questioned by the poet's translator and annotator, the late Mr. Mason Good, in these words:

 "By whom the potion was administered is conjectured only
 from a passage in St. Jerome,[98] who says that a certain
 Lucilia killed her husband or her lover by giving him a
 philtre, which was intended to secure his love, but the
 effect of which was to make him insane. This Lucilia is
 supposed to have been the wife or the mistress of Lucretius,
 but by whom the supposition was first made, I am not able to
 discover."[99] Suetonius relates the same thing of Caius
 Caligula, who although, when he arrived at manhood, endured
 fatigue tolerably well, was still occasionally liable to
 faintness, owing to which he remained incapable of any
 effort. He was not insensible to this disorder of his mind,
 and sometimes had thoughts of retiring.[100] "Creditum," he
 continues, "potionatus a Cæsonia uxore, amatorio quodam
 medicamento, sed quod furorem verterit."[101]
 "It is thought that his wife Cæsonia administered to him a
 love-potion, which threw him into a phrensy." It is in
 allusion to this that Juvenal writes
               "Tamen hoc tolerabile, si non
   Et furere incipias, ut avunculus ille Neronis
   Cui totam tremuli frontem Cæsonia pulli
   "Some nimbler juice would make him foam and rave,
   Like that Cæsonia to her Caius gave,
   Who, plucking from the forehead of the foal
   The mother's love, infused it in the bowl:
   The boiling blood ran hissing through his veins,
   Till the mad vapour mounted to his brains."

These concoctions were publicly sold at Rome, their ingredients consisting of herbs of various kinds, in the culling and testing of which the shepherds were often employed. The remora, or sucking-fish, certain bones of the frog, the astroit, or star-fish, and the hippomanes were also used. Horace informs us that dried human marrow and liver were also had recourse to:

 "Exsucta uti medulla et aridum jecur
 Amoris esset poculum."[103]
 That his parch'd marrow might compose,
 Together with his liver dried, an amorous dose.

Del Rio[104] and Wallick[105] assert that to the above were likewise added nail-parings, sundry metals, reptiles, and the intestines of particular birds and fishes, and even _semen virile_ and _sanguis menstruus_.[106] During the concoction of these filthy, disgusting, and abominable compounds, the Infernal Deities were earnestly invoked.

Of all the above ingredients the most famous was the hippomanes, which, according to Wier, was a piece of flesh upon the forehead of a young colt, of a black or brown colour, in size and shape like a fig, which the mare is said to bite off as soon as she has foaled, the mare forsaking her offspring when prevented from so doing; hence the hippomanes, which was in reality nothing more than a caul or part of the omentum attached to the head of the foal, as it is also sometimes to that of infants, was thought to be particularly effective in conciliating love, especially when calcined or reduced to powder, and swallowed in some of the blood of the person beloved. This superstition is, however, in some degree excusable, if it be considered that, even in the present day, many persons in our own country firmly believe the human caul to have the power of saving its possessor from drowning; and that in the good old times, it was regarded as a visible indication that Providence had designed the infant so furnished for the service of religion, such children, whether male or female, being destined, in consequence, for the cloister.

Virgil thus mentions it as one of the ingredients of the philter that Dido caused to be made for her previously to her committing suicide:

 "Falcibus et messæ ad Lunam quæruntur alienis
 Pubentes herbæ, nigri cum lacte veneni.
 Quæritur _et nascentis equi in fronte revulsus_
 Et matri præruptus amor."[107]
 "Herbs are brought, by moonlight mow'd
 With brazen scythes, big, swol'n with milky juice
 Of curious poison, _and the fleshy knot
 Torn from the forehead of a new foal'd colt_
 To rob the mother's love."

The following curious account of the wonderful effects of the hippomanes, and which fully justifies the etymology of that word, is given by Pausanias:

 "Among these (offerings) you may behold those of Phormis
 Menalius.... His gifts in Olympia are two horses and two
 charioteers, one of which horses the Ælians assert to have
 been made by a magician, of brass, into which metal he had
 previously infused the _hippomanes_, and which, in
 consequence, possessed the power of exciting in horses a mad
 desire for coition. The horse so made by the magician was,
 both in size and shape inferior to many horses which are
 dedicated within Altis, and was rendered still more deformed
 by having no tail. Horses desire connection with this image
 not only in spring, but every day throughout the year, for,
 breaking their bridles or running away from their drivers,
 they rush into Altis and attack the horse in a manner much
 more furious than if it was the most beautiful mare, and one
 they were acquainted with. Their hoofs, indeed, slip from
 the side of the image, but nevertheless they never cease
 neighing vehemently and leaping furiously on the figure till
 they are driven off by the whip or by some other violent
 means, for till such methods are applied, it is impossible
 to disengage them from the brass."[108]

Many formula for love-potions may be found in the work of Albertus Magnus, who, among other things, particularly recommends "the brains of a partridge calcined into powder and swallowed in red wine," a remedy which is also much insisted upon by Platina, who, in praising the flesh of the partridge, says, "Perdicis caro bene ac facile concoquitur, multum in se nutrimenti habet, cerebri vim auget, _genituram facilitat ac demortuam Venerem excitat_."[109]

 "The flesh of the partridge, which is of good and easy
 digestion, is highly nutritious; it strengthens the brain,
 facilitates conception, and arouses the half-extinct desire
 for venereal pleasures." Mery[110] confidently prescribes,
 for the same purpose, the _partes genitales_ of a cock
 prepared and administered in like manner.

The following compositions enjoyed a vast reputation during the 17th century:

 FORTUNA VENERIS.--"Take of pismires or ants (the biggest,
 having a sourish smell, are the best) two handfuls, spirits
 of wine one gallon; digeste them in a glasse vessel, close
 shut, for the space of a month, in which time they will be
 dissolved into a liquor; then distil them in balneo till all
 be dry. Then put the same quantity of ants as before; do
 this three times, then aromatize the spirit with cinnamon.
 Note, that upon the spirit will float an oil which must be
 separated. This spirit (continues the inventor) is of
 excellent use to stir up the animal spirits insomuch that
 John Casimire, Palsgrave of the Rhine, and Seyfrie of
 Collen, general against the Turks, did always drink thereof
 when they went to fight, to increase magnanimity and
 courage, which it did even to admiration."
 "This spirit doth also _wonderfully irritate them that are
 slothful to venery_."[111]
 AQUA MAGNANIMITATIS.--Take of ants or pismires a handful of
 their eggs two hundred, of millepedes (wood-lice) two
 hundred, of bees two hundred and fifty; digeste them
 together, the space of a month, then pour off the clear
 spirit, and keep it safe. This water or spirit is of the
 same value as the former.[112]

But, quitting these "fond conceits," as honest old Burton[113] calls them, and investigating the subject upon acknowledged and recognised principles, it will be found that, as the ancient philosophers and naturalists regarded the semen as the purest and most perfect part of our blood, the flower of our blood and a portion of the brain, so the sole object of all aphrodisiacal preparations should be to promote its copious secretion.

Before, however, proceeding to indicate the means most conducive thereto, it may prove interesting to the reader to be informed what were the opinions of some of the most celebrated philosophers of antiquity, upon the semen. "Let us first," says Montaigne,[114] "know whether, at least, all they (physicians) agree about the matter whereof men produce one another.... Archesilaus, the physician, whose favourite and disciple Socrates was, said that men and beasts were formed of a lacteous slime, expressed by the heat of the earth. Pythagoras says that our seed is the foam or cream of our better blood. Plato, that it is the distillation of the marrow of the back-bones; and raises his argument from this: that that part is first sensible of being weary of the work. Alcmeon, that it is a part of the substance of the brain, and that it is so, says he, is proved by its causing weakness of the eyes in those who are over-immoderately addicted to that exercise. Democritus, that it is a substance extracted from soul and body. Aristotle, an excrement drawn from the aliment of the last blood which is diffused over all our members; others, that it is a blood concocted and digested by the heat of the genitals."

But, to return from this digression. Under whatever point of view the _semen verile_ be considered, whether as containing, according to some physicians, all the parts of the fœtus, under the name of organic molecules, or as being, in the opinion of others, merely destined to fecundate the female egg, it will be equally true that the semen is a fluid impregnated with a vivifying principle regarded as the most important (_validissimum_) of our humours, by Hippocrates, who, in support of this his opinion, adduces the fact of our becoming debilitated, however small the quantity we may lose of it in the venereal act.[115]

Zeno, the father of the Stoic philosophy, called the loss of semen the loss of part of the animating principle; and that sage's practice was conformable with his principles, for he is recorded to have embraced his wife but once in his life, and that out of mere courtesy.

Epicuras and Democritus were nearly of the same opinion as Zeno; and the Athletæ, that their strength might be unimpaired, never married. The Rabbis, in their anxiety to preserve their nation, are said to have ordered, with a view of preventing a loss of vigour, that a peasant should indulge but once a week, and a merchant but once a month, a sailor but twice a year, and a studious man but once in two years; and for the same reason, Moses forbade indulgence before battle.

 "Les êtres," says a writer in the Dictionnaire des Sciences
 Médicales,[116] "qui font le plus abus de leurs facultés
 intellectuelles et sensitives extérieures, sont les moins
 capables d'un coït fréquent, tandis que les idiots, les
 crétins, l'exercent bien davantage. De même, l'âne, le
 cochon se livrent plus stupidement à l'acte de propagation
 et repandent beaucoup plus de sperme que des espèces
 intelligentes; enfin les animaux à petit cerveau, tels que
 les poissons, montrent une extrême fécondité."

If now, it be asked what will best promote the secretion of the seminal fluid, or, in other words, which is the best aphrodisiac, it may be confidently answered, the use of a substantial nourishment, such as medical men designate as an analeptic diet. Food of this description, without fatiguing the gastric organs, furnishes an abundant chyle, from which is elaborated a rich blood, and in which the secretory organs find materials of an excellent quality, and in an almost constant proportion with the regular consumption of their products. All food of easy and quick digestion is an analeptic, whence it follows that the same substance which is an analeptic to one person, may prove indigestible and innutritious for another. The numerous treatises upon digestion render it unnecessary to specify here the different aliments most proper for convalescents, suffice it to say, generally, that those meats in which azezome is found are the most nutritious. This animal principle is that extractive matter of animal fibre which produces the red appearance of uncooked meat; it is also that which forms what is called the _brown_ of roasted meats, gives the flavour to broths and soups, the peculiar smell to boiled meat, and constitutes the much admired _gout_ of game and venison. It is not found in the flesh of young animals, which is said, with reason, to be, on that very account, less nutritious. It is only when they have attained the adult age that it appears in them; it is abundant in beef, mutton, kid, hare, pigeon, partridge, pheasant, woodcock, quail, duck, goose, and generally, in all animals having dark coloured flesh. Mushrooms and oysters also contain some, but in a very small proportion.

Food in which this principle exists appears to impress upon the membrane of the stomach an increase of activity; the digestion is easy, and from a small mass of alimentary substance an abundant chyle is obtained. The chyliferous vessels derive a very great proportion of reparative materials; there is found but little excrementitious residue, the blood is enriched and its course accelerated, while the impulsive force of the heart and arteries is strong and more lively. Under the influence of this regimen a greater quantity of heat is developed and, in a given time, there is a greater absorption of oxygen than during a vegetable one; the respiration is performed more freely, the organs increase in size, but it is then a genuine embonpoint; nutrition is, in reality, more active, it is not a deceptive turgidity; the energy of the secretions and exhalations is redoubled, cutaneous perspiration becomes more abundant, and the glandular apparatus fulfil their functions with greater facility. A man who adopts this food becomes consequently very well fitted to make the sacrifices exacted by the calls of love, to which he is then more frequently solicited.

The mollusca in general, and testaceous animals in particular, have been considered as endowed with aphrodisiac properties. Juvenal attributes this quality to oysters which, together with mussles, have in this respect become vulgarly proverbial.

         "Quis enim Venus ebria curat?
 Inguinis et capitis quæ sint discrimina nescit
 Grandia quæ mediis jam noctibus ostrea mordet."[117]
         "For what cares the drunken dame?
 (Take head or tail), to her 'tis much the same
 Who at deep midnight on fat oysters sups."

Wallich informs us that the ladies of his time had recourse, on such occasions, to the brains of the mustela piscis. The Sepia octopus was also in great repute, and Plautus, in his play of Cisina, introduces an old man who has just been purchasing some at the market.

Appuleius, the celebrated author of the _Metamorphoseon de Asino aureo_ (Metamorphoses of the Golden Ass), and who lived in the 2nd century, under the Antonines, having married a rich widow, was accused by her father Æmilian, before Claudius Maximus, pro-Consul of Asia, of having employed sorcery and charms in order to gain her affections (a parallel case with that of Shakspear's Othello). The love-potions alleged to have been administered were asserted to be chiefly composed of shell-fish, lobsters, sea hedge-hogs, spiced oysters, and cuttle-fish, the last of which was particularly famed for its stimulating qualities. Appuleius fulley exonerated himself in his admirable _Apologia ceu oratio de Magica_, so esteemed for the purity of its style as to have been pronounced by Saint Augustine (De Civitate Dei, lib. xviii. c. 20) as _copiosissima et disertissima oratio_. The reason adduced by Æmilian for believing that Appuleius had chiefly used fish for the purpose was, that they must necessarily have great efficacy in exciting women to venery, inasmuch as Venus herself was born of the sea.

Venette[118] supports this view when he says:

 "Nous avons l'expérience en France que ceux qui ne vivent
 presque que de coquillages et de poissons qui ne sont que de
 l'eau rassemblée, sont plus ardents à l'amour que les
 autres, en effet, nous nous y sentons bien plus y portés _en
 Caresme qu'en tout autre saison parce-qu'en ce temps là nous
 ne nous nourrissons que de poissons et d'herbes qui sont
 des aliments composés de beaucoup d'eau._"

Should this be true, the Infallible (?) Church must have committed an astounding blunder in thinking to mortify, for six weeks, the sinful lusts and affections of its dupes, by confining them, for the above period, to the exclusive use of such articles of food.

There are also some aliments which, although not included in the class of analeptics, are, nevertheless, reported to possess specific aphrodisiacal qualities; such are fish, truffles, and chocolate.

The following anecdote relative to this property in fish is related by Hecquet:[119]

 "Sultan Saladin, wishing to ascertain the extent of the
 continence of the dervishes, took two of them into his
 palace, and, during a certain space of time, had them fed
 upon the most succulent food. In a short time all traces of
 their self-inflicted severities were effaced, and their
 _embonpoint_ began to re-appear.
 "In this state he gave them two Odalisques[120] of
 surpassing beauty, but all whose blandishments and
 allurements proved ineffectual, for the two holy men came
 forth from the ordeal as pure as the diamond of
 "The Sultan still kept them in his palace, and, to celebrate
 their triumph, caused them to live upon a diet equally
 _recherché_, but consisting entirely of fish. A few days
 afterwards they were again subjected to the united powers of
 youth and beauty, but this time nature was too strong, and
 the too happy cenobites forgot, in the arms of
 voluptuousness, their vows of continence and chastity."

This peculiar property in fish has been attributed to the presence of phosphorus, which is known to exist somewhat plentifully in their substance, and has also been discovered in their roes in a simple state of combination. Now, phosphorus is one of the most powerful stimulants: it acts upon the generative organism in a manner to cause the most violent priapisms; but this principle does not act alone, and there must also be taken into account the different seasonings and condiments which form the basis of most culinary preparations to which fish are subjected, and which are all taken from the class of irritants.

The prolific virtues of fish have, no doubt, been greatly exaggerated, and it is certain that too much importance has been given to the observation made (rather upon slight grounds) by travellers as to the abundant population of ichthyophagic nations; nor would it be difficult to adduce facts to prove to the incredulous that the continuous use of fish excites lasciviousness in such persons only as are constitutionally inclined thereto.

The following instances sufficiently establish the aphrodisiacal qualities of phosphorus. A drake belonging to a chemist having drunk water out of a copper vessel which had contained phosphorus, ceased not gallanting his females till he died. An old man to whom a few drops only of phosphoric ether had been administered, experienced repeated and imperious venereal wants which he was compelled to satisfy. Leroy and Battatz, two celebrated French physicians of the last century, tried the effects of phosphorus upon themselves, with similar results. Sensations of the same kind are said to be experienced by persons whose occupation requires the frequent handling of this drug. It may thus be considered as satisfactorily proved that the above substance is essentially an energetic stimulant of the genital organs; but, should still further evidence be required, it may be found in the fact that the administration of it, even in small doses, has been productive of the most horrible and fatal results, instances of which are recorded in many medical works both foreign and English, but more particularly in those of Brera, Magendie, and others.

The erotic properties of truffles and mushrooms are considered by most writers as better established than those of fish. The ancient Romans were well acquainted with truffles, and obtained them from Greece and Africa, especially from the province of Libya, the fungi found there being particularly esteemed for their delicacy and flavour. In modern times, also, the truffle is regarded as the _diamond_ of the kitchen, being highly valued for its capability of exciting the genesiac sense, it being a positive aphrodisiac which disposes men to be exacting and women complying.[122]

The following instance of its effects is given by Brillat Savarin,[123] to whom the circumstances were communicated, in confidence, by the lady who was the subject of them:

 "Je soupai," says she, "un jour chez moi en trio avec mon
 mari et un de ses amis dont le nom était V----. C'était un
 beau garçon et ne manquant pas d'esprit et venait souvent
 chez moi, mais il ne m'avait jamais rien dit qui put le
 faire regarder comme mon amant, et s'il me fesait la cour,
 c'était d'une manière si enveloppée qu'il n'y avait qu'une
 sotte qui eut pû s'en fâcher. Il paraissait, ce jour là,
 destiné á me tenir compagnie pendant le reste de la soirée,
 car mon mari avait un rendezvous et devait nous quitter
 bientôt. Notre souper avait pour base une petite volaill
 truffée. Les truffes étaient délicieuses, et quoique je les
 aime beaucoup, je me contins, nonobstant; je ne bus aussi
 qu'un seul verre de Champagne, ayant quelque pressentiment
 que la soirée ne se passerait pas sans évènement. Bientôt
 mon mari partit et me laissa seule avec V---- qu'il
 regardait comme tout à fait sans consequence. La
 conversation roula d'abord sur des sujets indifférents, mais
 elle ne tarda pas à prendre une tournure plus sérieuse et
 plus intéressante. V---- fut successivement flatteur,
 expansif, affectueux, caressant, et voyant que je ne faisais
 que plaisanter de tant de belles choses, il devint si
 pressant que je ne pus plus me tromper de ses prétensions.
 Alors, je me reveillai comme d'une songe et me défendis avec
 autant plus de franchise que mon cœur ne me disait rien
 pour lui. Il persistait avec une action que pouvait devenir
 tout à fait offensante; j'eus beaucoup de peine de la
 remener, et j'avone, à ma honte, que toute espérance ne lui
 serait pas interdite. Enfin, il me quitta, j'allai me
 coucher et dormis tout d'un somme. Mais le lendemain fut le
 jour du jugement; j'examinai ma conduite de la veille, et je
 la trouvai repréhensible. J'aurais du arreter V---- dès les
 premières phrases, et ne pas me prêter à une conversation
 qui ne présageait rien de bon. Ma fierté aurait dû sonner,
 crier, me fâcher, faire, enfin, tout ce que je ne fis pas.
 Que vous dirai je, Monsieur, je mis tout cela sur le compte
 des truffes, et je suis réelement persuadée qu'elles
 m'avaient donne une prédisposition dangereuse, et si je n'y
 renonce pas (ce qui eut été trop rigoureux) du moins je n'en
 mange jamais sans que le plaisir qu'elles me causent ne soit
 mêlé d'un peu de defiance."

The mushroom was also equally well known as the truffle to the ancient Romans for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Thus, Martial says:

 "Quum sit anus conjux et sint tibi mortua membra,
 Nil aliud _bulbis_ quam sater esse potes."[124]
 "If envious age relax the nuptial knot,
 Thy food be mushrooms, and thy feast shalot."

This bulb was believed by the ancients to be so decided a stimulant, that it was always served up, together with pepper and pine-nuts, at the wedding dinner.

An immoderate use of chocolate was, in the 17th century, considered so powerful an aphrodisiac that Jean Franco Raucher strenuously enforced the necessity of forbidding the monks to drink it, adding that if such an interdiction had been laid upon it at an earlier period, the scandal with which that sacred order had been assailed would have been prevented. It is a singular fact that, fearful of losing their character, or, what, perhaps, was dearer to them, their chocolate, the worthy cenobites were so diligent in suppressing Raucher's work that four copies only of it are said to be in existence.

The history of the middle ages abounds with complaints of the lubricity, gluttony, and drunkenness of the monks, vices which are described as being their ruin, in the fallowing pithy distich:

 "Sunt tria nigrorum quæ vestant res monachorum,
 Renes et venter et pocula sumpta frequenter."[125]
 "Three things to ruin monks combine--
 Venery, gluttony, and wine."

A monk who was a great enemy to adultery, was one day preaching against it, and grew so warm in his argument, and took so much pains to convince his congregation of his own abhorrence of it, that at last he broke out in the following solemn declaration:

 "Yea, my brethren, I had rather, for the good of my soul,
 have to do with ten maids every month, than, in ten years,
 to touch one married woman!"

The celebrity they acquired in the field of Venus may readily be imagined from a quatrain that was affixed in a conspicuous part of the Church of St. Hyacinthe, and which runs thus:

 "Femmes qui désirez de devenir enceinte
  Addressez cy vos vœux au grand Saint Hyacinthe,
  Et tout ce que pour vous le Saint ne pourra faire
  _Les moines de céans pourront y satisfaire_.[126]
 "You ladies who for pregnancy do wish
  To great St. Hyacinthe your prayers apply,
  And what his Saintship cannot accomplish
 _The monks within will surely satisfy_."

It would have been well had these holy men been contented with these, comparatively, venial indulgences. The following macaronic epigram, however, shows that they were but too much addicted to the _Amour Socratique_:

 "Let a friar of some order tecum pernoctare
 Either thy wife or thy daughter hic vult violare,
 Or thy son he will prefer, sicut fortem fortis,
 God give such a friar pain in Inferni portis."[127]

But the open violation of their monastic vows, especially that of chastity, sometimes subjected monks to very severe punishment, a singular instance of which is recorded by Thevet,[128] who, on account of the inimitable quaintness of his language and style, must be allowed to tell his own story:

 "Phillippus Bourgoin, grād prieur de l'Abbaye de Cluny,
 voyant l'insolence, riblerïes et putasseries que menoient
 certains religieux de l'abbaye de Cluny les fist appeller
 particulièrement, leur demonstra le tort qu'ilz se faisoient
 et à la saincteté de leur ordre, et appercevant qu'ilz
 continuoient leur train, en pleine voute ou assemblée,
 qu'ils font en leur chapitre, leur denonça, pu'estāt en
 son oratoire Sainct Hugues s'estoit apparu à luy, le
 chargeant de leur fair entendre qu'ilz amendassent leur vie,
 ou autremēt, qu'ilz tomberoient en son indignation,
 les ayant en telle verdeure envoya querir des maistres
 opérateurs sécretment en son logis et māda querir une
 nuict tous les plus mauvais garçons de Moynes, les uns après
 les autres, qui n'estaient plutôt entrez au logis du Prieur
 qu'ō leur bādoit les yeux, et après _les maistres
 leurs nettòiét bragardement_ leurs _petites boursettes_ de
 ce qui les faisoit hennir après leurs voluptéz et après les
 renvoiet en leurs chambres, _plus legiers de deux grains
 qu'ilz n'etoiét auparavant, les ayant chappônez_. Après
 telle exécution le bruict courut qu'ō avoit veu Sainct
 Hugues se pourmêant près de l'enfermerie de l'abbaye, qui
 fist croire aux pauvres Moynes hongres, que par adresse
 autre qu'humaine, ils avoiêt _ainsi esté estropiez_ de leur

To these poor monks may, however, be applied the sly remark of Hume, upon a similar act of cruelty perpetuated, though for a far more innocent cause, by Geoffry, the father of Henry II., upon the prior and chapter of Seez in Normandy, viz., that "of the pain and danger they might justly complain, yet, since they had vowed chastity, he deprived them of a superfluous treasure."[129]

If the properties of ambergris be less potent than those of phosphorus, they are certainly less fatal. According to Boswell,[130] three grains of the former suffice to produce a marked acceleration of the pulse, a considerable development of muscular strength, a greater activity in the intellectual faculties, and a disposition to cheerfulness and venereal desires. The same author also says that it is a medicine which can, for a short time, restore an effete old man to juvenility.[131] The ancients reposed great confidence in the virtues of this drug, employing it as a renovator of the vital powers and of the organs, whose energy had been exhausted by age or by excess; and throughout the East this perfume still maintains a reputation for life-preserving qualities.

Madame Du Barry,[132] the infamous mistress of Louis XV., is reported to have availed herself of its aphrodisiacal qualities in order to stimulate the jaded appetites of her royal paramour. "L'attachement du roi pour Madame Du Barry[133] lui est venu des efforts prodigieux qu'elle lui fit faire au moyen d'un baptême (lavement) ambré dont elle se parfuma intérieurement tous les jours. On ajoute qu'elle joignit à cela un secret dont on ne se sert pas encore en bonne société."

Piquant as is this anecdote, the key to it is equally so. "Les mouches cantarides, i diabolini l'essence de giroflée, les baptêmes ambrés, etc., sont des inventions de notre siecle dont la débilité eut été incurable sans ces secours, l'auteur ne peut rendre le _secret de la mauvaise société_, dont se sert la Comtesse, sans blesser la bonne, tout ce qu'il peut dire décemment est que ce secret est un diminutif des erreurs philosophiques."[134]

The old pharmacopœia are amply furnished with formula of which amber constitutes the base. These recipes are generally designated by names which, to a certain extent, indicate the particular use to which they are destined by their makers; thus, France formerly boasted her "_Tablettes de Magnanimité_," or "_Electuaire Satyrion_," and "_Un poudre de joie_." Troches, or odoriferous lozenges, to which the ancients gave the pretty name of "_Avunculæ Cypriæ_," were, and perhaps are still, sold in Paris under that of "_Seraglio Pastilles_." Ambergris forms the basis of these, as it also does of the Indian pastilles called "Cachunde," and which were equally in repute. Zactus Lusitanus[135] states that they were composed of bole Tuccinum, musk, ambergris, aloes-wood, red and yellow sanders (pterocarpus santalinus) mastic, sweet-flag (calamus aromaticus) galanga, cinnamon, rhubarb, Indian myrobalon, absynth, and of some pounded precious stones, which, however, impart no additional quality to the composition. Speaking of this composition, the Encyclopœdia Perthensis describes it as "a medicine highly celebrated among the Chinese and Indians; it is composed of ambergris and several other aromatic ingredients, perfumes, medicinal earths, and precious stones. It imparts a sweetness to the breath, is a valuable medicine in all nervous complaints, and is esteemed as a prolonger of life and _an exciter to venery_."[136]

Rivière[137] gives us the following formula for a potion whose virtue is indisputable. "Take of amber, half a drachm; musk, two scruples; aloes, one drachm and a half; pound them all together, pour upon the mass a sufficient quantity of spirits of wine so that the liquor may cover it to the height of about five fingers' breadth; expose it to sand heat, filter and distil it, close it hermetically, and administer it in broth in the dose of three or five drops. This liquor is also advantageous when mixed with syrup, prepared as follows:--Take of cinnamon water, four ounces; orange and rose water, each six ounces, and sugar candy q.s.

Musk taken internally is said by many physicians to be almost equal to ambergris for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Externally applied, this substance produces very singular phenomena. Borelli details the case of a man "qui s'étant frotté le penis avec du musc avant de se livrer à l'exercise des fonctions genitales, resta uni avec sa femme sans pouvoir s'en séparer. Il fallait, dans cette position lui donner une quantité de lavements afin de ramoller les parties qui s'étaient extraordinairement tumifiées."[138] Diermerbreek and Schurigius gave similar instances. The effects of musk are, therefore, almost equal to those produced by certain plants, as recorded by Theophrastus: "Esse herbas quæ vel ad _sexagesimum coitum_ vim præstant sed at demum secernitur sanguis."[139] Weickard says that by means of this drug he resuscitated the genital power in a man who had nearly completed his eightieth year.

But, of all aphrodisiacs, the most certain and terrible in its effects are cantharides, commonly known as Spanish flies. That they exercise a powerful and energetic action upon the organization and stimulate, to the utmost, the venereal desire, is but too true. The effects, however, which these insects, when applied as a blister upon the skin, are known to produce, are insignificant when compared with their intense action upon the stomach when taken internally; nor is it the stomach only which is affected by them: the bladder experiences an irritation exceeding even that caused by the severest strangury. To these succeed perforation of the stomach, ulcers throughout the entire length of the intestinal canal, dysentery, and, lastly, death in the midst of intolerable agonies. Medical works abound with observations concerning the fatal effects of cantharides when unduly administered, whether from ignorance or for exciting the venereal appetite. The two following cases are recorded by Pabrol in his "Observations Anatomiques":

 "En 1752 nous fumes visiter un pauvre homme d'Organ en
 Provence atteint du plus horrible satyriasis qu'on saurait
 voir et penser. Le fait est tel. Il avait les quartes, pour
 en guérir prend conseil d'une sorcière, laquelle lui fait
 une potion d'une once de semences d'orties, de deux drachmes
 de cantharides, d'une drachme et demi de caboule et autres,
 ce qui le rendit si furieux à l'acte vénérien que sa femme
 nous jura son Dieu, _qu'il l'avait chevauchée, dans deux
 mois, quatre vingt sept fois, sans y comprendre plus de dix
 fois qu'il s'était_ corrompu lui-même. Dans le temps que
 nous consultions, le pauvre homme spermatisa trois fois à
 notre présence, embrassa le pied du lit, et agitant contre
 lui comme si c'eust été sa femme. Ce spectacle nous étonn et
 nous hâtâ à lui faire des remèdes pour abattre cette
 furieusse chaleur, mais quel remède qu'on lui eust faire, se
 passa-t-il le pas."
 "Un médecin à Orange, nommé Chauvel avait été appellé en
 1758 à Caderousse, petite ville proche de sa résidence, pour
 voir un homme atteint d'une maladie du même genre. A
 l'entrée de la maison il trouve la femme du dit malade,
 laquelle se plaignit à lui de la furieuse lubricité de son
 mari, _qui l'avait chevauchée quarante fois pour une nuit_,
 et avait toutes les parties gonflées, étant contrainte les
 lui montrer afin qu'il lui ordonnast les remèdes pour
 abattre l'inflammation. Le mal du mari étant venu d'un
 breuvage semblable à l'autre que lui fut donné par une femme
 qui gardait l'hôpital, pour guérir la fièvre tierce qui
 l'affligeoit, de laquelle il tomba dans une telle fureur
 qu'il fallait l'attacher comme s'il eust été possédé du
 diable. Le vicaire du lieu fut présent, pour l'exhorter à la
 présence même du Sieur Chauvel, lesquels il priait le
 laisser mourir avec le plaisir, les femmes le plièrent dans
 un linsseuil mouillé en eau et en vinaigre, où il fut lassé
 jusqu'au le lendemain qu'elles allaient le visiter, mais sa
 furieuse chaleur fut bien abattue et eteinte, car elles le
 trouvèrent roid mort, la bouche béante, montrant les dents,
 et son membre gangréne."

Paré also relates that a courtezan, having sprinkled the meat given by her to one of her lovers, with pounded cantharides, the wretched youth was seized with a violent priapism and loss of blood at the anus, of which he died.

Ferdinand the Catholic, of Castile, owed his death to the effects of a philter administered to him by his queen, Germaine de Foix, in the hope of enabling him to beget an heir to the crowns of Aragon, Navarre, and Naples. "Plusieurs dames," says Mignot,[140] "attachées à la Reine, lui indiquèrent un breuvage qu'il fallait, disoit on donner à Ferdinand pour ranimer ses forces. Cette princese fit composer ce reméde, sous ses yeux, et le présenta au roi qui désirait, plus qu'elle, d'avoir un fils. Depuis ce jour, la santé de Ferdinand s'affaiblit, au point qu'il ne la recouvra jamais."

The life of the celebrated Wallenstein, one of the heroes of the "Thirty Years' war," was far a long time endangered from the effects of a potion administered to him by his countess. "De retour dans sa patrie, il (Wallenstein) sut inspirer une vive passion à une riche veuve de la famille de Wiezkova, et eut l'adresse de se faire préféré à des rivaux d'un rang plus élevé; mais cette union fut troublée par l'extrême jalousie de sa femme; ou prétend même qu'elle fit usage de philtres que pensèrent compromettre le santé de son mari."[141]

Cardinal Dubois,[142] the favourite and minister of Philip Duke of Orleans, Regent of France, during the minority of Louis XV., gives the following amusing account of a love potion, to the powerful effects of which he considered himself indebted for his existence. "An old bachelor, of Brivas, had engaged to marry a young lady of only sixteen years of age. The night before the wedding he assembled the wise heads of his family for the purpose of consulting upon the best means of enabling him to perform his part creditably in the approaching amorous conflict. Opinions were divided; some maintained that nature was adequate to the occasion at any age, while others recommended a certain preparation in the Pharmacopeia, which would amply supply the defect of youth in a sexaginary husband. The old gentleman chose, without hesitation, the surest and speediest of these two chances of success. The prescription was sent to the shop of my worthy father, who was an apothecary in the town, and he accordingly immediately set to work, and made up a draught which would have awakened desire even in Methusaleh himself. This valuable philter was not to be sent to the party till the next day. It was late, and my mother," continues the Cardinal, "desired her husband to retire to rest and he, tired with his day's work, quickly undressed himself, blew out his candle, and deposited himself, like a loving husband, by the side of his dear spouse. Awakening in the middle of the night, he complained of being excessively thirsty, and his better half, roused from her slumbers, got up in the dark, and groping about for something wherewith to quench his thirst, her hand encountered the invigorating philter, which it truly proved to be, for I came into the world precisely nine months after that memorable night."[143]

Although love-potions and philters, as well as the other preparations had recourse to, for animating and arousing the organs for reproduction frequently owe, as we have shewn, their advantages to cantharides, and are, but too often productive of terrible effects, yet it cannot be denied that when administered by a skilful, cautious, and experienced physician, they have restored the desired vigour when all other means have failed.

The flesh of the Schinck (scincus), an amphibious animal of the lizard species, and sometimes of the land lizard, or crocodile, is said, when reduced to powder and drunk with sweet wine, to act miraculously in exciting the venereal action; it is also prepared for the same object in the form of the electuary known by the name of Diasatyrion. Ælius recommends that in order to cause the erection of the virile organ, the flesh of this animal should be taken from the vicinity of its genital apparatus.[144] It is a well known fact that the Egyptian peasants carried their lizards to Cairo, whence they were forwarded, _viâ_ Alexandria, to Venice and Marseilles. This species of lizard, which feeds upon aromatic plants, was also used as an aphrodisiac by the Arabs, and the well known anti-poisonous quality of its flesh had caused it, in more ancient times, to be employed as an ingredient in the far-famed Mithridates, or antidote to poison. Browne informs us[145] "that in Africa, no part of the Materia Medica is so much in requisition as those which stimulate to venereal pleasure. The _Lacerta scincus_ in powder, and a thousand other articles of the same kind, are in continual demand." The plant Chervri (_sandix ceropolium_) is also accounted as capable of exciting amorous propensities, so much so that Tiberius, the Roman emperor, the most lascivious, perhaps, of men, is said to have exacted a certain quantity of it from the Germans, by way of tribute, for the purpose of rendering himself vigorous with his women and catamites; and Venette says that the Swedish ladies give it to their husbands when they find them flag in their matrimonial duties.[146]

But it was upon the plant called Satyrion (_orchis mascula_) that those who required aphrodisiacal remedies rested their most sanguine hopes. This plant, Theophrastus assures us, possesses so wonderful a property of exciting venery that a mere application of it to the parts of generation will enable a man to accomplish the act of love twelve times successively. Speaking of this plant, Venette[147] says that the herb which the Indian King Androphyl sent to King Antiochus was that it was so efficacious in exciting men to amorous enjoyment as to surpass in that quality, all other plants, the Indian who was the bearer of it assuring the king "qu'elle lui avait donné de la vigueur pour soixante dix embrassements," but he owned "qu'aux derniers efforts ce qu'il rendait n'était plus de semence."

Matthoile, however, observing that those persons who made use of it did not appear much given to lasciviousness, concluded that we had lost the true satyrion of the ancients; but, it is nevertheless certain, notwithstanding so adverse an opinion, that this plant long preserved its reputation, and was recommended by all botanists for its aphrodisiac potency. Of all the species of this plant the one popularly known as dog-stones is reputed to possess the greatest virtue.

The Turks have also their Satyrion (_orchis morio_), which grows upon the mountains near Constantinople, and which they make use of to repair their strength, and stimulate them to the generative act. From this root is made the salep of which the inhabitants of Turkey, Persia, and Syria, are extremely fond, being looked upon as one of the greatest restoratives and provocatives to venery in the whole vegetable world. But besides the aphrodisiacal qualities attributed to this plant by the above people, they give it credit for other ones, which good opinion experience has confirmed, and therefore whenever they undertake a long voyage, they never omit to carry it with them as a specific against all diseases. Modern practitioners likewise commend its restorative, mucilaginous and demulcent qualities as rendering it of considerable utility, particularly in sea scurvy, diarrhœa, dysentery, and stone or gravel. In addition to this property, salep also possesses the very singular one of concealing the taste of sea water, hence to prevent the dreadful calamity of perishing by thirst at sea it has been proposed that the powder of this plant should form part of the provisions of every ship's company.

Borax is likewise considered to possess peculiar aphrodisiacal qualities. "Il pénètre," says Venette, "toutes les parties de notre corps et ouvre tous les vaisseaux, et par la ténuité de sa substance, _il conduit aux parties génitales_ tout ce qui est capable de nous servir de matière à la semence."[148]

The plant Rocket (_Brasica eruca_) has likewise been especially celebrated by the ancient poets for possessing the virtue of restoring vigour to the sexual organs, on which account it was consecrated to and sown around, the statue of Priapus; thus Columella says:--

 "Et quæ frugifero seritur vicina Priapo
  Excitet ut veneri tardos eruca maritos."[149]
 "Th' eruca, Priapus, near thee we sow
  To rouse to duty husbands who are slow."

Virgil attributes to it the same quality, designing it as--

 "... Et venerem revocans eruca morantem."[150]
 "Th'eruca, plant which gives to jaded appetite the spur."

Lobel[151] gives an amusing account of the effects of this plant upon certain monks in the garden of whose monastery it was sown, an infusion of it being daily doled out to them under the impression that its cheering and exhilarating qualities would rouse them from the state of inactivity and sluggishness so common to the inmates of such establishments. But, alas! the continual use of it produced an effect far more powerful than had been contemplated by the worthy itinerant monk who had recommended it, for the poor cenobites were so stimulated by its aphrodisiacal virtues that, transgressing alike their monastic wall and vows, they sought relief for their amorous desires in the fond embraces of the women residing in the neighbourhood.

Salt, mala Bacchica[152] Cubebs, Surag,[153] and radix Chinæ (bark), were also regarded by ancient physicians as powerful aphrodisiacs. Gomez[154] asserts of the first of these substances, that women who much indulge in it are thereby rendered more salacious, and that, for this reason, Venus is said to have arisen from the sea; whence the epigram:

 "Unde tot in Veneta scortorum millia cur sunt?
  In promptu causa est. Venus orta mari."
 "In Venice why so many punks abound?
  The reason sure is easy to be found:
  Because, as learned sages all agree,
  Fair Venus' birth-place was the _salt, salt sea_."

To the last of the above-mentioned plants, Baptista Porta ascribes the most wonderful powers, his words being: Planta quæ non solum edentibus, sed et genitale languentibus tantum valet, ut coire summe desiderant, quoties fere velint, possint; alios _duodecies_ profecisse, alios ad _sexaginta vices_ pervenisse, refert.[155]

Certain condiments are also aphrodisiacal, acting as they undoubtedly do, as powerful stimulants. Thus Tourtelle and Peyrible assure us that pepper is a provocative to venereal pleasures, while Gesner and Chappel cured an atony of the virile member of three or four years' duration, by repeated immersions of that organ in a strong infusion of mustard seed.

The principal ingredient of the _Bang_ so much used by the Indians, as well as of the _Maslac_ of the Turks is a species of the hemp plant. The Indians, says Acosta,[156] masticate the seeds and leaves of several species of that plant, in order to increase their vigour in the venereal congress, and very frequently combine with it, ambergris, musk, and sugar, preparing it in the form of an electuary. It has been remarked, moreover, that even in our own climate, the caged birds that are fed with hemp seed are the most amorously inclined.

According to Browne[157] whole fields are in Africa sown with _hashish_, the _bang_ of the East Indies, for the purpose of being used as a stimulant to amorous dalliance. It is used in a variety of forms, but in none, it is supposed, more effectually than what in Arabic, is called Maijûn, a kind of electuary, in which both men and women indulge to excess.

It is said that the Chinese, domesticated at Batavia, avail themselves of a certain electuary for the purpose of stimulating their appetite for sexual intercourse. This preparation, called by them Affion, is chiefly composed of opium, and it is asserted that its effect is so violent that a brutal passion supervenes and continues throughout the night, the female being obliged to flee from the too energetic embraces of her lover.[158]

Narcotics, in general, and especially, opium, have been considered as direct aphrodisiacs, an opinion which, if well founded, would enable us to account more easily far those agreeable sensations by which the use of these substances is followed.

But it is very probable that narcotics act upon the genital organs in no other way than they do upon the other ones, that is to say, they certainly do simulate them, but only proportionately to the increase of force in the circulation of the blood and to the power or tone of the muscular fibre. It is also very probable that the voluptuous impressions superinduced by them depend upon the circumstances under which those persons are, who habitually indulge in them, and that they are connected with other impressions or with particular ideas which awaken them. If, for instance, in a Sultan reclining upon his sofa, the intoxication of opium is accompanied by images of the most ravishing delight, and if it occasions in him that sweet and lively emotion which the anticipation of those delights awakens throughout the whole nervous system, the same inebriation is associated in the mind of a Janizary or a Spahi with ideas of blood and carnage, with paroxysms, the brutal fury of which has certainly, nothing in common with the tender emotions of love. It is in vain to allege in proof of the aphrodisiacal qualities of opium the state of erection in which the genital members of Turks are found when lying dead on a field of battle,[159] for this state depends upon, or is caused by, the violent spasm or universal convulsive movements with which the body is seized in the moment of death: the same phenomenon frequently appears in persons who suffer hanging. In warm countries, it is the concomitant of death from convulsive diseases, and in our own climate, it has been observed in persons who have died from apoplectic attacks.

The power which certain odours possess of exciting venereal desires admits not the slightest doubt, at least as far as the inferior animals are concerned. Nearly all the mammifera exhale or emit, in the rutting season, peculiar emanations serving to announce from afar to the male the presence of the female and to excite in him the sexual desire. Facts have been observed with respect to insects even, which cannot be otherwise accounted for than by odorous effluvia. If, for instance, the female of the bombyx butterfly, be placed in a box accurately closed, it will not be long before several males will be seen flying around the prison, and which could not possibly have known, by means of their visual organs, the presence of their captive Dulcinea. Now the question is, does anything analogous take place in our own species? Many authors assert that there does, and among them Virey, who, speaking of such exhalations, says: "L'extrême propreté des hommes et des femmes, l'habitude de se baigner et de changer souvent de linge _font disparaïtre_ les odeurs génitales.[160] ... On doit aussi remarquer que la haire des Cénobites, la robe des Capucins, le froc des moines, les vêtements rudes et mal-propres de diverses corporations religieuses exposent ceux qui les portent à de fortes tentations, à cause de la qualité stimulante et de la sueur fétide dont étaient bientôt empreintes toutes ces sortes d'habillements."[161] "Odours," observes Cabanis[162] "act powerfully upon the nervous system, they prepare it for all the pleasurable sensations; they communicate to it that slight disturbance or commotion which appears as if inseperable from emotions of delight, all which may be accounted for by their exercising a special action upon those organs whence originate the most rapturous pleasure of which our nature is susceptible. In infancy its influence is almost nothing, in old age it is weak, its true epoch being that of youth, that of love."

It is certain that among most nations, and from the remotest antiquity, voluptuous women strengthened their amorous propensities by the use of various perfumes, but particularly of musk, to which has been attributed the power of exciting nocturnal emissions. The great Henry IV., of France, no novice in love affairs, was opposed to the use of odours, maintaining that the parts of generation should be allowed to retain their natural scent, which, in his opinion, was more effectual than all the perfumes ever manufactured by art.

Another aphrodisiacal remedy, which for a long time enjoyed a great reputation was the penis of the stag, which was supposed to possess the virtue of furnishing a man with an abundance of seminal fluid. Perhaps the reason why the ancients attributed this property to the genital member of that animal was from the supposition that it was the receptacle of the bile; that the abundance and acrid quality of this fluid caused lasciviousness, and that the stag being transported by an erotic furor during the rutting season, he was the most salacious of animals, and consequently that the genital organ of this quadruped would, when applied to man's generative apparatus, impart thereto considerable heat and irritation. A somewhat similar opinion respecting the horse appears to have obtained among the Tartars, if we may judge from the following account given by Foucher d'Obsonville:[163] "Les palefreniers aménent un cheval de sept à huit ans, mais nerveux, bien nourri et en bon état. On lui présente une jument comme pour la saillir, et cependant on le retient de façon à bien irriter ses idées. Enfin, dans le moment où il semble qu'il va lui être libre de s'élancer dessus, l'on fait adroitment passer la verge dans un cordon dont le nœud coulant est rapproché au ventre, ensuite, saisissant à l'instant où l'animal parait dans sa plus forte érection, deux hommes qui tiennent les extrémités du cordon le tirent avec force et, sur le champ, le membre est séparé du corps au dessus le nœud coulant. Par ce moyen, les esprits sont retenus et fixés dane cette partie laquelle rests gonflée; aussitôt on la lave et la fait cuire avec divers aromatiques et épiceries aphrodisiaques."

The means of procuring the vigour necessary for sexual delights has also been sought for in certain preparations celebrated by the alchymists. Struck by the splendour of gold, its incorruptibility, and other rare qualities, some physicians imagined that this metal might introduce into the animal economy an inexhaustible source of strength and vitality; while empirics, abusing the credulity of the wealthy and the voluptuous made them pay exorbitantly for aphrodisiacal preparations in which they assured their dupes that gold, under different forms, was an ingredient. Among innumerable other instances, is that of a French lady who, to procure herself an heir, strove to reanimate an exhausted constitution by taking daily in soup what she was made to believe was potable gold, to the value of 50 francs, a fraud to expose which it suffices to say that the largest dose of perchloride of gold that can be safely administered is 1/6th of a grain. The tincture of gold known by the name of _Mademoiselle Grimaldi's potable gold_ enjoyed a wonderful reputation towards the close of the 18th century as an efficacious restorative and stimulant; and numerous instances of its all but miraculous powers were confidently adduced. Dr. Samuel Johnson, indeed, in a note upon a well-known passage in Shakespeare,[164] denies the possibility of making gold potable: "There has long," he observes, "prevailed an opinion that a solution of gold has great medicinal virtues, and that the incorruptibility of gold might be communicated to the body impregnated with it. Some have pretended to make gold _potable_ among other frauds practised upon credulity." So far back, however, as the 17th century the Abbé Guence shewed that it was feasible, and even described the process minutely; and it is now known to every chemist that gold is susceptible of entering into immediate combination with chlorine by the agency of heat, that it may even be dissolved in water charged with chlorine, and that various methods exist of obtaining chlorate of gold, a combination which is often successfully employed in the treatment of syphilitic cases. Ether, naptha, and essential oils take gold from its solvent, and form liquors which have been called _potable_ gold.

Even the Christian Church itself possessed, in its early times, aphrodisiacs peculiarly its own. "On trouve," says Voltaire,[165] "dans la lettre à Maitre Acacius Lampirius (Literæ virorum obscurorum) une raillerie assez forte sur la conjuration qu'on employait pair se faire aimer des filles. Le secret consistoit à prendre un cheveu be la fille, on le plaçoit d'abord dans son haut-de-chausses; on faisoit une confession générale et on fesoit dire trois messes, pendant les quelles on mettoit le cheveu autour de son col; on allumait un cièrge béni au dernier Evangile en on prononcait cette formule. 'O Vierge! je te conjure par la vertu du Dieu tout-puissant, par des neuf chœurs des anges, par la vertu gosdrienne, amène moi icelle fille, en chair et en os, afin que _je la saboule_ à mon plaisir.'"

Bourchard, Bishop of Worms, has transmitted to us[166] an account of certain aphrodisiacal charms practised by women of his time, the disgusting obscenity of which is such that we cannot venture upon translating the passage:

 "Fecisti quod quædam mulieres facere solent? Tollunt
 menstruum suum sanguinem et immiscunt cibo vel potui et dant
 viris suis ad manducandum vel ad bibendum ut plus diligantur
 ab eis. Si fecisti, quinque annos per legitimas ferias
 "Gustasti de semine viri tui ut propter tua diabolica facta
 plus in amorem exardisceret? Si fecisti, septem annos per
 legitimas ferias pœnitere debeas.
 "Fecisti quod quædam mulieres facere solent? Prosternunt se
 in faciem et discoopertis natibus, jubent ut supra nudas
 nates conficirtur panis, ut eo decocto tradunt maritis suis
 ad comedendum. Hoc ideo faciunt ut plus exardescant in
 amorem suum. Si fecisti, duos annos per legitimas ferias
 "Fecisti quad quædam mulieres facere solent? Tollunt piscem
 vivum et mittunt eum in puerperium suum, et tamdiu ibi
 tenent, donec mortuus fuerit, et decocto pisce vel assato,
 maritis suis ad comedendum tradunt. Ideo faciunt ut plus in
 amorem suum exardescant. Si fecisti, duos annos per
 legitimas ferias pœniteas."

Remedies taken internally are not the only ones which stimulate man to sexual intercourse. External applications materially contribute to that end, and liniments have been composed wherewith to anoint the parts of generation. These washes are made of honey, liquid storax, oil and fresh butter, or the fat of the wild goose, together with a small quantity of spurge, pyrethrum, ginger or pepper to insure the remedy's penetrating: a few grains of ambergris, musk, or cinnamon are to be added by way of perfume.

Remedies for the same purpose may also be applied to men's testicles especially; as according to the opinion of Galen, those parts are the second source of heat, which they communicate to the whole of the body; for, besides the power of engendering, they also elaborate a spirituous humour or fluid which renders man robust, hardy, and courageous. The best application of this kind is that composed of cinnamon powder, gilliflower, ginger and rose water, together with theriac, the crumb of bread, and red wine.

In addition to the means already mentioned for restoring vigour to the generative organs, two others may be reckoned which have been successfully resorted to for bracing them in such persons whose reproductive faculties lie dormant rather than extinct: these two methods are known as _flagellation_ and _urtication_.[167]

Flagellation was recommended by several of the ancient physicians as an effectual remedy in many disorders, and this upon the physiological axiom of Hippocrates--_ubi stimulus, ibi affluxus_. Seneca considers it as able to remove the quartan ague. Jerome Mercurialis speaks of it as employed by many physicians in order to impart embonpoint to thin, meagre persons; and Galen informs us that slave merchants used it as a means of clearing the complexion of their slaves and plumping them up. Alædeus of Padua, recommends flagellation with green nettles, that is, urtication, to be performed on the limbs of young children for the purpose of hastening the eruption of the small pox. Thomas Campanella[168] attributes to flagellation the virtue of curing intestinal obstructions, and adduces in proof to his assertion, the case of the Prince of Venosa, one of the best musicians of his time, who could not go to stool, without being previously flogged by a valet kept expressly for that purpose.

Even at a later period the same opinion obtained as to the efficacy of flagellation, it being supposed by many physicians to reanimate the torpid circulation of the capillary and cutaneous vessels, to increase muscular energy, to promote absorption, and to favour the necessary secretions of our nature.[169] As an erotic stimulant, more particularly it may be observed that, considering the many intimate and sympathetic relations existing between the nervous branches of the extremity of the spinal marrow, it is impossible to doubt that flagellation exercised upon the buttocks and the adjacent parts, has a powerful effect upon the organs of generation.

Meibomius,[170] the great advocate for the use of this remedy, remarks, that stripes inflicted upon the back and loins are of great utility in exciting the venereal appetite, because they create warmth in those parts whose office it is to elaborate the semen and to convey it to the generative organs. He, therefore, considered it by no means wonderful that the miserable victims of debauchery and lasciviousness, as well as those whose powers have been exhausted by age or excess, should have recourse to flagellation as a remedy. He observes that its effect is very likely to be that of renewing warmth in the now frigid parts, and of furnishing heat to the semen, an effect in producing which the pain itself materially contributes by the blood and heat which is thereby drawn down to the part until they are communicated to the reproductive organs, the erotic passion being thus raised, even in spite of nature herself, beyond her powers. A similar view is taken by a modern writer, whose opinion is "that the effect of flagellation may be easily referred to the powerful sympathy which exists between the nerves of the lower part of the spinal marrow and other organs. Artificial excitement appears in some degree natural; it is observed in several animals, especially in the feline race. Even snails plunge into each other a bony, prickly spur, that arises from their throats, and which, like the sting of the wasp, frequently breaks off, and is left in the wound."[171]

After the appearance of the Abbé Boileau's _Histoire de la Flagellation_, the Jesuits condemned several propositions found either in that work or in others approved by him. The following is one:

 "Necesse est cum musculi lumbares virgis aut flagellis
 diverberantur, spiritus vitales revelli, adeoque salaces
 motus ob vicinam partium genitalium et testium excitari,
 qui venereis ac illecebris cerebrum mentemque fascinant ac
 virtutem castitatis ad extremas augustias redigunt."

From out of almost innumerable instances of the efficacy of flagellation as an aphrodisiac, the following are selected.

Cornelius Gallus, the friend of Virgil, Horace, Tibullus, and Catullus, and who, according to Pliny, died the most delightful of deaths by expiring in the embraces of the fondest object of his affections,[172] was solely indebted for the delicious transports he enjoyed with her to the scourge with which her severe father chastised her for the faults that originated in too warm a temperament, a punishment which, instead of counteracting, furthered the wishes of the voluptuous Roman.

Jean Pic de Mirandole relates[173] the case of a person known to him who, being a great libertine, could not consummate the act of love without being flagellated until the blood came, and that, therefore, providing himself for the occasion with a whip steeped in vinegar, he presented it to his _inamorata_, begging her not to spare him, for "plus on le fouettait, plus il y trouvait des délices, la douleur et la volupté marchant, dans cet homme, d'un pas egal."

Meibomius mentions the case of a citizen of Lubeck who, being accused and convicted of adultery, was sentenced to be banished. A woman of pleasure with whom this man had been for a long time intimate, appeared before the judges as a witness on his behalf. This woman swore that the man was never able to consummate the act of love with her unless he had been previously flogged,--an operation which it was also necessary to repeat before each successive indulgence.

That this was a means employed by Abelard in his commerce with Heloisa, appears from the following passages in two of his letters to her;

 "Verbera quandoque dabat amor non furor, gratia non ira quæ
 omnium unguentorum suavitatem transcenderent."[174]
 "Stripes which, whenever inflicted by love, not by fury but
 affection, transcended, in sweetness, every unguent."
 "Nosti quantis turpitudinibus immoderata mea libido corpora
 nostra addixerat et nulla honestatis vel Dei reverentia in
 ipsis diebus Dominicæ passionis vel quantarumque
 solemnitatem ut hujus luti volutabro me revocavit. Sed et te
 nolentem aut dissuadentem quæ natura infirmior eras, ut
 sæpius minis ac flagellis ad consensum trahebam.[175]"
 "Thou knowest to what shameful excesses my unbridled lust
 had delivered up our bodies, so that no sense of decency, no
 reverence for God, could, even in the season of our Lord's
 passion, or during any other holy festival, drag me forth
 from out that cesspool of filthy mire; but that even with
 threats and scourges I often compelled thee who wast, by
 nature, the weaker vessel, to comply, notwithstanding thy
 unwillingness and remonstrances."

The renowned Tamerlane, the mighty conqueror of Asia, required a like stimulus,[176] the more so perhaps from the circumstance of his being a monorchis.[177]

The Abbé Boileau, in his well known and entertaining "Histoire des Flagellants," partly attributes the gross licentiousness of that period to the strange practice then in vogue of doing penance by being scourged in public; and his brother the celebrated poet and critic, defending the Abbé against the animadversions of the Jesuits, remarks very forcibly:

 "Non, le livre des Flagellans
 N'a jamais condamné, lisez le bien, mes pères,
   Ces rigidités salutaires
   Qui, pour ravir le Ciel, saintement violens,
 Exercent sur leurs corps, tant de Chrétiens austères;
   Il blâme seulement ces abus odieux
   D'étaler et d'offrir aux yeux
 Ce que leur doit toujours cacher la bienveillance,
   Et combat vivement la fausse piété,
 _Qui sous couleur d'eteindre en nous la volupté
 Par l'austérité méme, et par la pénitence
   Sait allumer le feu de la lubricité_.[178]"

Flagellation, indeed, as well as the custom of wearing the hair-shirt, so common with the monks, and even with religious lay catholics, was, by the stimulus it imparted to the skin, and hence to the internal viscera, much more likely to increase the energy of the physiological functions, and _thus excite the commission of the very acts they are intended to suppress_.

The Abbé Chuppe d'Auteroche, member of the Académie des Sciences, and who died in California a few days after the observation of the Transit of Venus in 1760, remarks that the stripes given to persons frequenting the vapour baths in Russia impart activity to the fluids and elasticity to the organs and gives additional stimulus to the venereal appetite.[179]

M. Serrurier records the following curious case. "One of my schoolfellows, who found an indescribable pleasure in being flogged, purposely and wilfully neglected his duty in order to draw upon himself the correction, which never failed to produce an emission of semen. As may easily be imagined he soon began the practice of masturbation, in which he indulged to so frightful an extent that rapid consumption ensued, and he died, a most horrible and disgusting object, affording a melancholy example of that fatal vice."[180]

The case of Jean Jacques Rousseau is well known. When a child he was by no means displeased with the corrections administered to him by a lady considerably his elder, he even frequently sought for a whipping at her hands, especially after he perceived that the flagellation developed in him the manifest token of virility. But he must be allowed to give his own account of it. "Assez long temps," says he, "Madame Lambercier s'entint à la menace, et cette menace d'un châtiment tout nouveau pour moi me semblait très effrayante, mais après l'exécution, je la trouvai moins terrible à l'épreuve que l'attente ne l'avait été, et ce qu'il y a de plus bizarre est qui ce châtiment m'affectionna davantage d'elle qui me l'avoit imposé. Il fallait même toute la vérité de cette affection et toute ma douceur naturelle pour m'empêcher de chercher le retour du même traitement en le méritant, car j'avais trouvé dans la douleur, dans la honte même, un mélange de sensualité qui m'avait laissé plus de désir que de crainte de l'éprouver derechef, par la même main. Il est vrai que comme il se mêlait, sans doute, à cela quelque instinct précoce du sexe, le même châtiment reçu de son frère, ne m'eut point du tout, parut plaisant."[181]

As flagellation is practised by striking the skin with a rod formed of twigs, until the heat and redness become more intense, so if the twigs be replaced by fresh nettles, the operation will become,--_urtication_.

The employment of urtication is of great antiquity, for Celsus as well as Aretæus mentions the use of it, it being in those times, a popular remedy. That the Romans had frequent recourse to it in order to arouse the sexual appetite, is proved by the following passage from Petronius Arbiter, which for obvious reasons, we shall content ourselves with giving in the original only. "Oenothea semiebria ad me respiciens;--Perficienda sunt, inquit, mysteria _ut recipas nervos_.

"Simulque profert scorteum fascinum quod, ut olio et minuto pipere, atque _urticæ_ trito circumdedit semine, paulatim cœpit inserere ano meo. Hoc crudelissima anus spargit subinde femina mea Nasturcii[182] succum cum abrotono miscet, perfusis que inguinibus meis, viridis urticæ fascem comprehendit omnes que infra umbilicum cœpit lenta manu cædere."[183]

Menghus Faventinus assures us that nettles have "une propriété merveilleuse pour allonger, tendre, grossir et ériger le membre viril, qui, par une parsimonie de la nature, feroit craindre la stérilité."[184]

Urtication appears to have been well known in France during the time of Rabelais, who alluding to this mode of procuring the vigour necessary for the amorous conflict, says, "se frotter le cul au panicaut (a species of thistle) vrai moyen d'avoir au cul passion."

 Une femme en mélancholie
 Pour faute d'occupation,
 Frottez moi le cul d'ortie
 Elle aura au cul passion.[185]

The irritation caused by nettles produces effects analogous to those which are observed in persons afflicted with the itch, the ring-worm and leprosy. The lubricity of those unfortunates is sometimes uncontrolable; they suffer violent priapisms, which are followed by ejaculation, whenever a severe itching forces them to scratch themselves with a kind of furor or madness.

 "In a medical point of view," observes Dr. Milligen,
 "urtication, or stinging with nettles, is a practice not
 sufficiently appreciated. In many instances, especially in
 cases of paralysis it is more efficacious than blistering or
 stimulating frictions. Its effects, though perhaps less
 permanent, are general and diffused over the limb. This
 process has been found effectual in restoring _heat to the
 lower extremities_, and a case of obstinate lethargy was
 cured by Corvisart by a repeated urtication of the whole
 body. During the action of the stimulus, the patient, who
 was a young man, would open his eyes and laugh, but then
 sink again into a profound sleep. In three weeks, however,
 his perfect cure was effected."[186]

In 1783, Dr. James Graham, an humble imitator of the celebrated Cagliostro, commenced giving his sanatary lectures, which he illustrated by the dazzling presence of his Goddess of Health, a character which, for a short time, was sustained by Emma Harte, afterwards the celebrated Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton, English Ambassador at the Court of Naples, and the _chère amie_ of the immortal Nelson.

After describing various aphrodisiacal remedies, the lecturer thus proceeds: "But, gentlemen, if all the above means and methods, which I have thus faithfully, ingenuously, and with the frankest and most unreserved liberality, recommended, fail, suffer me, with great cordiality, and assurance of success, to recommend my celestial, or medico, magnetico, musico, electrical bed, which I have, with so much study and at so vast an expense, constructed, not alone to insure the removal of barrenness, when conception is at all in the nature of things possible, but likewise to improve, exalt, and invigorate the bodily, and through them, the mental faculties of the human species. This bed, whose seemingly _magical_ influences are now celebrated from pole to pole and from the rising to the setting sun! is indeed an _unique_ in science! and unquestionably the first and the only one that ever was mentioned, erected, or even, perhaps, thought of, in the world; and I will now conclude the lecture with giving you a slight descriptive sketch of the structure of the bed, and the nature of those influences with which it glows--which it breathes forth, and with which it animates, regenerates, and transports those happy, happy persons who have the honour and the paradisiacal blessedness of reposing on it.

 "The Grand Celestial State Bed! then, gentlemen, which is
 twelve feet long by nine wide, is supported by forty pillars
 of brilliant glass, of great strength and of the most
 exquisite workmanship, in regard to shape, cutting, and
 engravings; sweetly delicate and richly variegated colours,
 and the most brilliant polish! They are, moreover, invisibly
 incrusted with a certain transparent varnish in order to
 render the insulation still more complete; and that
 otherwise, properly assisted, we may have, in even the most
 unfavourable weather, abundance of the electrical fire.
 "The sublime, the magnificent, and, I may say, the
 super-celestial dome of the bed, which contains the
 odoriferous, balmy, and ethereal spices, odours, and
 essences, and which is the grand magazine or reservoir of
 those vivifying and invigorating influences which are
 exhaled and dispersed by the breathing of the music, and by
 the attenuating, repelling, and accelerating force of the
 electrical fire,--is very curiously inlaid or wholly covered
 on the under side with brilliant plates of looking-glass, so
 disposed as to reflect the various attractive charms of the
 happy recumbent couple, in the most flattering, most
 agreeable and most enchanting style.
 "On the top or summit of the dome, are placed, in the most
 loving attitudes, two exquisite figures, representing the
 marriage of Cupid and Psyche, with a fine figure of Hymen
 behind, and over them, with his torch flaming with
 electrical fire in one hand and, with the other, supporting
 a celestial crown, sparkling, likewise, with the effulgent
 fire over a pair of real living turtle-doves, who, on a
 little bed of roses, coo and bill under the super-animating
 impulses of the genial fire! The other elegant groups of
 figures which sport on the top of the dome--the Cupids, the
 Loves, and the Graces!--besides festoons of the freshest and
 most beautiful flowers, have each of them musical
 instruments in their hands, which by the exquisite and most
 expensive mechanism, are made to breathe forth sounds
 corresponding with the appearance of the several
 instruments,--flutes, guitars, violins, clarionets,
 trumpets, horns, oboes, kettle-drums, &c. On the posts or
 pillars, too, which support the grand dome are groups of
 figures, musical instruments, organ-pipes, &c., which, in
 sweet concert with the other instruments, at the
 commencement of the tender dalliance of the happy pair,
 breathe forth celestial sounds! lulling them in visions of
 elysian joys! opening new sources of pleasure, and
 "untwisting all the chains which tie the hidden soul of
 harmony!" At the head of the bed, in the full centre front,
 appears, sparkling with electrical fire, through a glory of
 burnished and effulgent gold, the great, first,
 ever-operating commandment, BE FRUITFUL, MULTIPLY, AND
 REPLENISH THE EARTH! under this is a most elegant and
 sweet-toned organ, in the front of which is a fine landscape
 of moving figures on the earth, birds flying, swans, &c.,
 gliding on the waters, a fine procession, too, is seen,
 village nymphs strewing flowers before priests, brides,
 bridegrooms, and their attendants, who, all entering into
 the temple of Hymen, disappear from the delightful eye. The
 painting and embellishment of this front are most masterly,
 and reflect the highest honour on the artists by whom they
 were executed; and the whole view is terminated with
 fountains, waterfalls, shepherds, shepherdesses, and other
 peasants, as pastoral sports and rural employment, and by a
 little church, the dial of which points out truly and
 distinctly the hour.
 "In the celestial bed no feather bed is employed; sometimes
 mattresses filled with sweet new wheat or cut straw, with
 the grain in the ears, and mingled with balm, rose leaves,
 lavender flowers, and oriental spices, and, at other times,
 springy hair mattresses are used. Neither will you find upon
 the celestial bed linen sheets; our sheets are of the
 richest and softest silk or satin; of various colours suited
 to the complexion of the lady who is to repose on them. Pale
 green, for example, rose colour, sky blue, black, white,
 purple, azure, mazarin blue, &c., and they are sweetly
 perfumed in the oriental manner, with otto and odour of
 roses, jessamine, tuberose, rich gums, fragrant balsams,
 oriental spices, &c.; in short, everything is done to assist
 the ethereal, magnetic, musical and electric influences, and
 to make the lady look as lovely as possible in the eyes of
 her husband and he, in hers. But to return, in order that I
 might have for the important purposes, the strongest and
 most springy hair, I procured, at a vast expense, the tails
 of English stallions, which when twisted, baked and then
 untwisted and properly prepared, is elastic to the highest
 "But the chief elastic principle of my celestial bed is
 produced by artificial loadstones. About fifteen hundred
 pounds' weight of artificial and compound magnets are so
 disposed and arranged as to be continually pouring forth in
 an ever-flowing circle inconceivable and irrestibly powerful
 tides of the magnetic effluxion, which is well known to have
 a very strong affinity with the electric fire.
 "Such is a slight and inadequate sketch of the grand
 celestial bed, which, being thus completely
 insulated,--highly saturated with the most genial floods or
 electrical fire!--fully impregnated moreover, with the balmy
 vivifying effluvia of restorative balsamic medicines and of
 soft, fragrant, oriental gums, balsams and quintescence, and
 pervaded at the same times with full springing tides of the
 invigorating influences of music and magnets both real and
 artificial, gives such elastic vigour to the nerves, on the
 one hand, of the male, and on the other, such retentive
 firmness to the female; and, moreover, all the faculties of
 the soul being so fully expanded, and so highly illuminated,
 that it is impossible, in the nature of things, but that
 strong, beautiful, brilliant, nay, double-distilled
 children, if I may use the expression, must infallibly be

A digression may, perhaps, be here pardonable, in order to give some notice of the latter and last days of the beautiful, highly accomplished and fascinating woman mentioned above.

She had been presented to Nelson by her husband, who had previously told her that he was about to introduce her to a little _thread-paper_ of a man, who could not boast of being very handsome, but who would become, some day, one of the greatest men that England ever produced. After the battle of the Nile he again visited Naples, and was now little better than a perfect wreck. At Calvi, in 1794, he had lost an eye. At Teneriffe his right arm was shattered and amputated close to the shoulder. At the battle of the Nile he was severely wounded in the head. Incessant anxiety and watchfulness for his country's honour and welfare had blanched his brow, and shattered the "little thread-paper of a man" at the outset, till, on his return in triumph to his mistress, he seemed to be on the verge of an early grave.

Yet she proved herself a true woman, if an erring one, in her reception of the man she loved, and unhesitatingly and unequivocally forsook her all, to attend upon and worship him.

Not far from Merton turnpike stood the house of Nelson and his mistress. It was left with all its liabilities to Lady Hamilton, but she was obliged to take a hasty departure, and, harassed by creditors, in sickness of heart and without funds, the unhappy woman escaped to Calais.

Now for the sad, sad finale. From the portal of a house, as cheerless and dreary as can be imagined, in the month of January, with a black silk petticoat stretched on a white curtain thrown over her coffin for a pall, and an half-day Irish dragoon to act as chaplain over the grave, which was in a timber-yard, were the remains of Nelson's much-adored friend removed to their final resting place, under the escort of a _sergent de ville_.

She died without the common necessaries of life, and was buried at the expense of the town, notwithstanding Nelson's last words, "_Blackwood, take care of my poor Lady Hamilton!_"

"Whatever the errors of Lady Hamilton may have been," says Doran, "let us not forget that without her aid, as Nelson said, the battle of the Nile would never have been fought, and that in spite of her sacrifices and services, England left her to starve, because the government was too virtuous to acknowledge the benefits rendered to her country by a lady with too loose a zone."

The remarks of honest old Burton[187] upon Aphrodisiacs, though quaint, are so judicious and pertinent, that we cannot better conclude this part of our essay than by quoting them:--

 "The last battering engines," says he, "are philters,
 amulets, charms, images, and such unlawful meanes: if they
 cannot prevail of themselves by the help of bawds, panders,
 and their adherents, they will fly for succour to the devil
 himself. I know there be those that denye the devil can do
 any such thing, and that there is no other fascination than
 that which comes by the eyes. It was given out, of old, that
 a Thessalian wench had bewitched King Philip to dote on her,
 and by philters enforced his love, but when Olympia, his
 queen, saw the maid of an excellent beauty well brought up
 and qualified: these, quoth she, were the philters which
 enveagled King Philip, these the true charms as Henry to
   "One accent from thy lips the blood more warmes
    Than all their philters, exorcismes, and charms."

With that alone Lucretia brags, in Aretine, she could do more than all philosophers, astrologers, alychmists, necromancers, witches, and the rest of the crew. As for herbs and philters I could never skill of them. _The sole philter I ever used was kissing and embracing, by which alone I made men rave like beasts, stupefied and compelled them to worship me like an idol._[189]


The means best calculated to produce effects contrary to those just treated of are of several kinds, but such as are derived from hygiene are entitled to be considered as the most powerful. Previously, however, to describing the medicinal substances that may be efficaciously employed in moderating, or rather checking, too violent a propensity to venery, some notice must be taken of the diet adapted to insure such a result.

The use of milk, vegetables, such as lettuce, water-purslain, cucumbers, &c., and especially of fruit in which the acid principle predominates, slackens the movement of the heart and of the sanguineous system; it diminishes the animal heat, the chief source of which is in the activity of the circulation; it produces a feeling of tranquillity and of coolness; the respiration being more slow, occasions the absorption of a less quantity of oxygen, add to which, as a less quantity of reparative materials is contained in this description of aliments, there result a less active nutrition, the loss of embonpoint and the complete prostration of every principle of irritability; in short, it is of all diets the one least capable of furnishing fuel to the passions. For common drink mere water, and, if the impulse of passion should increase, a small quantify of nitre, vinegar, or vitrolic acid, may, occasionally be added to the water to make it more cooling.

Other means conducive to the same end are a laborious life, much bodily exercise, little sleep, and a spare diet, so that the fluids may be more easily conducted to other parts, and that there may not be produced a greater quantity than is requisite for the support of the body. Equally valuable

 "When there's a young and sweating devil
  That commonly rebels,"

will be found what Shakespeare recommends--

 "A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
  Much castigation, exercise devout."[190]

Should the desire of committing excesses rise to any height, immediate recourse must be had to some serious and mind-absorbing occupation, less nutritious food and drink should be taken, all dishes peculiarly stimulating to the palate avoided, as well as the use of wine and other spirituous liquors.

A cool regimen in every respect was particularly insisted upon by the ancients: hence Plato and Aristotle recommended the custom of going barefoot as a means of checking the stimulus to carnal desire, a suggestion which appears to have been acted upon by some of the monkish orders. The cold bath was considered equally efficacious, while some, among whom may be reckoned Pliny and Galen, advised thin sheets of lead to be worn on the calves of the legs and near the kidneys.

The first and most important of the hygienic means consists in shunning every species of excitement and in having little or no communication with the sex, and the earlier such restraint is imposed, the better. "He that is chaste and continent, not to impair his strength, or terrified by contagion, will hardly be heroically virtuous. Adjourn not that virtue until those years when Cato could lend out his wife, and impotent satyrs write satires against lust--but be chaste in thy flaming days, when Alexander dared not trust his eyes upon the fair sisters of Darius, and when so many men think that there is no other way than that of Origen."[191][192]

The next means is that of carefully abstaining from the perusal of all publications calculated to inflame the passions, by which publications are meant, not obscene books only. With respect to these, indeed, a great error obtains, for the persons most anxious to peruse them are, for the most part, old, worn-out debauchees, men whose generative powers are, comparatively, feeble, if not altogether destroyed, and who, unfortunately for themselves, require this unnatural and detestable kind of stimulus, while, on the contrary, young men and those in middle life, who had not drawn too largely upon their constitution, and for whom the allurements of nature are themselves a sufficient provocative, regard such publications with horror and disgust. It is not, therefore, we repeat, works of this description which we allude to, but those the perusal of which is more dangerous during the period of the passions--novels, more especially such as, under the pretext of describing the working of the human heart, draw the most seducing and inflammatory pictures of illicit love, and throw the veil of sentimental philosophy over the orgies of debauchery and licentiousness. Nothing is more perilous to youth, especially of the female sex, than this description of books. Their style is chaste, not one word is found that can offend the ear, while the mind of the unsuspecting reader is often tainted and corrupted by the most impure ideas and descriptions clothed in the most elegant phraseology. How admirably does Voltaire stigmatise this attention to a mere superficial (if the epitaph be allowed) purity! "Plus," says he "les mœurs sont dépravés, plus les expressions deviennent mésurées: on croit de gagner en langage ce qu'on a perdu en vertu. La pudeur s'est enfuite des cœurs et s'est refugiée sur les lèvres."

There are two kinds of study particularly adapted to preserve the mind and the affections from the assaults of vice and libidinousness. The first of these is the _Mathematics_, whose efficacy in this respect has been proved by frequent experience. The Venetian lady mentioned by Rousseau in his "Confessions" was not ignorant of this their power, when, seeing the singular effect which her charms had produced upon the, as yet, youthful philosopher, said to him, "_Gianetto, lascia le donne e studia la matimatica_." "James, give up the ladies, and apply yourself to mathematics." It will, indeed, be found that, in all ages, mathematicians have been but little disposed or addicted to love, and the most celebrated among them, Sir Isaac Newton, is reputed to have lived without ever having had sexual intercourse. The intense mental application required by philosophical abstraction forcibly determines the nervous fluid towards the intellectual organs, and hinders it from being directed towards those of reproduction.

After the study of the Mathematics comes that of _Natural History_, which will be found to be almost equally beneficial, requiring as it does, the unremitting attention of the student, his perambulation of the open country, and the personal observation of all animated objects.

This peculiar influence of the above-mentioned studies ought particularly to engage the attention of persons who superintend the education of youth; there being no doubt that the effervescence of youthful passions may, to a great extent, be allayed by directing the juvenile mind to either of those studies, according as the constitution exhibits greater or less ardour and precocity. Sometimes, however, there are found idiosyncrasies which bid defiance to remedies of this description, but, nevertheless, yield to the force of medicine: of such, the following is an instance:

 "A man, by profession a musician, of an athletic figure and
 sanguine complexion, with red hair, and a very warm
 temperament, was so tormented with erotic desires that the
 venereal act, repeated several times in the course of a few
 hours, failed to satisfy him. Disgusted with himself, and
 fearing, as a religious man, the punishment with which
 concupiscence is threatened in the Gospel, he applied to a
 medical practitioner, who prescribed bleeding and the use of
 sedatives and refrigerants, together with a light diet.
 Having found no relief from this course of treatment, he was
 then recommended to have recourse to wedlock, and, in
 consequence, married a robust and healthy young woman, the
 daughter of a farmer. At first, the change appeared to
 benefit him, but, in a short time, he tired his wife out by
 his excessive lubricity, and relapsed into his former
 satyriasis. His medical friend now recommended frequent
 fasting, together with prayer, but these also failing of
 effect, the unhappy man proposed to submit to castration, an
 operation which was judged to be highly improper,
 considering the great risks the patient must necessarily
 incur. The latter, however, still persisted that his wish
 should be complied with, when, fortunately, a case having
 occurred in Paris, in which a person afflicted with
 nephritic pains occasioned by the presence of a calculus,
 was cured by a preparation of nitre, at the expense,
 however, of being for ever incapacitated for the pleasures
 of love, the hint was taken, and doses of nitre dissolved in
 _aqua nymphæ_ were given, night and morning, during the
 space of eight days, and with such success that, at the end
 of that time, he could scarcely satisfy the moderate claims
 of his wife."[193]

Some physicians place great confidence in the medicines called refrigerants. The most favourite of these are infusions from the leaves or flowers of the white water-lily (_nymphea alba_), sorrel, lettuce, perhaps also from mallows, violets, and endive (cichorium), oily seeds, and waters distilled from lettuce, water lily, cucumbers, purslain, and endives. In equal esteem are the syrups of orgeat, lemons, and vinegar, to which may be added cherry-laurel water, when given in proper and gradually-increasing doses. Hemlock, camphor, and agnus-castus, have likewise been much recommended as moderators of the sexual appetite.

According to Pliny,[194] the nymphea alba was considered so powerful that these who take it for twelve days successively will then find themselves incapable of propagating their species, and if it be used for forty days, the amorous propensity will be entirely extinguished.

With respect to hemlock, it is too dangerous a medicine to repose confidence in.

The ancients had a high opinion of camphor, a reputation which this drug preserved until, comparatively, a late period, for Scaliger informs that, in the 17th century, monks were compelled to smell and masticate it for the purpose of extinguishing concupiscence; and it was a favourite maxim of the medical school of Salernum[195] that--

 "Camphora per nares castrat odore mares."
  Camphor if smell'd
  A man will geld.

This fatal property, however, has been denied by modern medical authorities, and apparently with reason, if the fact be true that such workmen as are employed in extracting this useful vegetable product, and who may be said to live constantly in a highly camphorated atmosphere, do not find themselves in the leash degree incapacitated for gratifying the calls of _l'amour physique_.

There is no doubt, on the other hand, that camphor has been successfully employed in cases of nymphomania, and that several medical writers have asserted its efficacy in neutralising the properties of cantharides, adducing instances which would appear to prove its sedative power: the following one is related by Groenvelt:--[196]

A young man who had taken a large dose of cantharides in some wine, felt at first, a sort of violent itching, accompanied by great irritation in the bladder, and soon after he suffered greatly from extreme heat, together with an intolerable strangury. Bleeding, emulsions, injections, and opium preparations afforded not the slightest relief. Groenvelt prescribed two scruples of camphor in two boluses. The first dose partly mitigated the pains, and the second one removed them entirely. The remedies which were first administered had, no doubt, weakened the inflammation, and the strangury being no longer kept up by the spasmodic state of the urinary apparatus, camphor sufficed to effect a cure. Burton asserts the value of camphor as an anti-aphrodisiac, and says that when fastened to the parts of generation, or carried in the breeches, it renders the virile member flaccid.

Agnus castus, so called from the down on its surface resembling that upon the skin of a lamb, and from its supposed anti-aphrodisiacal qualities, was in great repute among the Athenians, whose women, during the celebration of the Thesmophoria, or feasts and sacrifices in honour of Ceres or Thesmophoria, the legislatress, abstained for some days from all the pleasures of love, separating themselves entirely for that time from the men. It was also usual with them during the solemnities to strew their beds with agnus castus, fleabane, and other herbs as were supposed to have the power of expelling amorous inclinations. Arnaud de Villeneuve[197] exaggerates, almost to a ridiculous degree, the virtue of the agnus castus, asserting as he does, that the surest way to preserve chastity, is to carry about the person, a knife with a handle made of its wood. It was also, and perhaps is still, much used by the monks, who made an emulsion of its seeds steeped in Nenuphar water, and of which they daily drank a portion, wearing at the same time round their loins a girdle made of its branches. Lettuce has also the reputation of being anti-aphrodisiacal. Lobel instances the case of an English nobleman who had long been desirous of having an heir to his estates, but all in vain. Being, however, at length advised to discontinue eating lettuces, of which he was particularly fond, his wishes were gratified by his being blessed with a numerous offspring.

The desire for coition was also supposed to be diminished by drinking a decoction of the pounded leaves of the willow. Vervain, dried coriander, and also mustard, drunk in a fluid state, are also said to prevent the erection of the penis. Alexander Benedictus declares that a topaz having been previously rubbed against the right testicle of a wolf, then steeped in oil or in rose water and worn as a ring, induces a disgust for venereal pleasures, as does also, if we may credit the same sapient physiologist, a powder made of dried frog. The two following prescriptions are also said to be of great efficacy:--

 "Da verbena in potu, et non erigitur virga sex diebus. Utere
 menthâ siccâ cum aceto: genitalia illinita succo hyoscyami
 aut cicutæ coitûs appetitum sedant."

It has even been asserted that coffee possesses the same property. In the year 1695 it was maintained, in a thesis at the Ecole de Médicine at Paris, that the daily use of coffee deprived both man and woman of the generative power. M. Hecquet[198] relates the following anecdote as a proof of such effect:--

A Queen of Persia seeing some grooms using all their efforts to throw a horse upon the ground, enquired the reason of the trouble they were thus taking. Her attendants gave her to understand as delicately as they could, that it was far the purpose of castrating him.

 "How unnecessary is so much trouble," said her majesty,
 "they have only to give him coffee, and their object will be
 fully and easily attained."[199]

Most probably the queen spoke from her own experience of its anti-aphrodisiacal effects upon her royal consort.

There are some diseases which are considered as anti-aphrodisiacal, on account of the decided aversion which the patient who is afflicted with them feels for the pleasures of the sexual union. Thus a species of epidemic leprosy is common among the Cossacks of the Jaik, which is attended by pains in the joints and a disgust for copulation, a disgust the more extraordinary, not only because exanthematous diseases, in general excite a desire for the above act, but also inasmuch as this malady, in particular usually attacks persons in the prime of their youth. Another disease analogous to the one just mentioned, the Plica-Polonica, rages, during the autumnal season, in Poland, Lithuania, and Tartary. It is said to have been introduced into the first of these countries by the Tartars, who had it originally from India. One of the most singular phenomena attending this disorder, and which evidently proves the close sympathy existing between the head and the organs of generation, is that when the patient is bald, the Plica not unfrequently fastens upon the sexual parts, and acquires such a length as to descend below the calves of the legs. The mode of treatment, that of mercury and sudorifics, proves the mucous character of the disorder, and, consequently, accounts for its well known tendency to strike the whole animal economy with that prostration of strength which produces a total indifference to the sex.

Continual exercise on horseback was considered by Hippocrates[200] as anti-aphrodisiacal and Van Sweiten commenting upon that opinion, justly observes that the continual joltings caused by so violent an exercise, added to the compression produced upon the parts of generation by the weight of the body, was by no means unlikely to produce a focal relaxation of those organs to such an extent as to prevent erection altogether.

If whatever opposes an obstacle to the gratification of the sexual appetite may be considered as having a place among the anti-aphrodisiacs, certain mechanical processes may be ranked as such. Of these, _fibulation_, from the Latin word _fibula_ (a buckle or ring) was the very reverse of circumcision, since the operation consisted in drawing the prepuce over the glans, and preventing its return, by the insertion of the ring.[201]

The _Fibula_ (buckle) is so called, because it serves to fix together and to re-unite parts which are separated. It was, formerly a surgical instrument which, besides the use now particularly in question, served also to keep closed the lips of any extensive wounds. It is mentioned as being so applied by Oribuse,[202] and by Scribonius Largus.[203] Employed, therefore, as it was for various uses, the _fibula_ appears to have different shapes, now but little known to us. Rhodius[204] has treated of all those mentioned in the writings of antiquity.

Meinsius thinks that the custom of infibulating may be traced back to the time of the siege of Troy, for the singer Demodocus, who was left with Clytemnestra by Agamemnon,[205] appears to that critic, to have been a eunuch, or, at least, to here been infibulated.[206]

Among the ancients, as well as among many modern nations, the laws of chastity and the restraints of honour appeared scarcely sufficient to hinder the sexes from uniting, in spite of all the obstacles opposed by a vigilant watch and strict seclusion.[207] Indeed, what Roman virgin could entertain very strict ideas of modesty while she saw the goddess of love honoured in the temple, or the amours of Venus and Mars celebrated, while the poor cuckolded Vulcan, after seizing the amorous couple in his net, way only thereby exposed to the ridicule of the Olympic Divinities. There can be little doubt but that excess of this description bastardized and corrupted the ancient Greeks and Romans, and that recourse was necessarily had to the _fibula_ when the deities themselves set the example. Of what use, indeed, could be the moral lessons of a Plato or a Socrates, even when enforced by infibulation, if vice was thus sanctioned by divine example? The only aim of such a state of things was to vanquish obstacles. The art of eluding nature was studied, marriage was despised, notwithstanding the edicts of Augustus against bachelors; the depopulated republic wallowed in the most abandoned lust, and, as a natural consequence, the individual members of it became corrupted and enervated from their very infancy.

The infibulation of boys, sometimes on account of their voice, and not unfrequently, to prevent masturbation, was performed by having the prepuce drawn over the glans; it was then pierced, and a thick thread was passed through it, remaining there until the cicatrizing of the hole; when that took place, a rather large ring was then substituted, which was not removed but with the permission of the party ordering the operation.[208] The Romans infibulated their singers in order to preserve their voice:

   "Si gaudet cantu; _nullius fibula_ durat
    Vocem vendentis prætoribus."[209]
 "But should the dame in music take delight,
  The public singer is disabled quite;
  In vain the prætor guards him all he can,
  She slips the buckle (_fibula_) and enjoys her man."

They even subjected to the same operation most of their actors:

 "Solvitur his magno comœdi fibula. Sunt, quæ
  Chrysogonum cantare vetent."[210]
 "Take from Chrysogonus the power to sing,
  Loose, at vast prices, the comedian's ring."
 "Dic mihi, simpliciter, comœdis et citharœdis,
  Fibula, quod præstat?... carius ut futuunt."[211]

"Tell me, clasp! frankly, of what advantage are you to actresses and lute-players? To enhance their favours."

 "Menophili, penem tam grandis fibula vestit
  Ut sit comœdis omnibus, una satis
  Hunc ego credideram (nam sæpe lavamur in unum)
  Sollicitum voci parcere, Flacce, suæ;
  Dum ludit media populo spectante palæstra,
  Delapsa est misero, fibula; verpus erat."[212]
 "Una si gran fibula copre il membro di Menofila, che sola
  basterebbe a tutti i commenianti. Io O Flacco, avevo creduto
  (imperocche si siamo sovente lavati insiême) che esso
  sollecito avesse cura delle sua voce; lotta in mezzo la
  palestra a vista del popolo, la fibula cascó sventvrato; era
  un' inciso."

Nor were dancers and gladiators exempted from the same operation, especially the latter, in order that they might preserve all the vigour required in their horrible and degrading occupation.

The best description of the _fibula_ is that given by Holiday: "The fibula," says he, "does not strictly signifie a button, but also a buckle or clasp, or such like stay. In this place, the poet expresses by it the instrument of servilitie applied to those that were employed to sing upon the stage; the Prætor who set forth playes for the delight of the people, buying youths for that purpose, and that they might not, by lust, spoil their voice, their overseers closed their shame with a case of metal having a sharp spike of the same metal passing by the side of it, and sometimes used one of another form; or by a nearer crueltie, they thrust a brazen or silver wire thought that part which the Jew did lose in circumcision.

"The form of the first, and also another fashion, the curious reader may here see (being without any immodestie) as they are represented by Pignerius, _de servis_, p. 82. But whatsoever the fashion or invention was, the trust was but fond that was committed to them, seeing that the art of lust and gold could make them as vain as the Italian engines of jealousy in this day. Thus, 'O Lentulus,' says the poet, speaking figuratively to some nobleman, 'it is that thou art married; but it is some musician's or fencer's bastard that is born under thy lordly canopie.'"[213]

[Illustration: PLATE VII., Figs. 1-2, PHALLIC FIBULÆ.]

Winkleman furnishes us with a description of an infibulated musician,[214] it being a small bronze statue representing a naked deformed individual, as thin as a skeleton, and carrying a ring in his _enormi mentula_. Martial, who laughs at everything, speaks of these singers sometimes breaking their ring, and says that it becomes necessary to send them to the fibula-makers in order to have the damage repaired:[215]

 "Et cujus refibulavit turgidum, faber, penem,
  Il di cui turgido membro abbia fabro fibbiato."

The practice of infibulation was very common in India, from religious motives. As a proof of their sanctity, many of the Santons, or Mohammedan saints, as well as other devout persons, bonzes, fakirs, and the like, devoted themselves to perpetual virginity. Whether it was with the intention of placing themselves beyond the possibility of breaking their vow, or of giving evidence of their constancy, certain it is that they loaded their prepuce with an enormous fibula, or ring; and, in their warm climate, where nudity does not shock ideas of propriety or decency, devout women not unfrequently repaired to these _soi-disant_ saints, to admire and venerate such efforts of virtue and self-denial; they are even reported to have knelt down, and, in that humiliating posture, to have kissed the preputial ring, no doubt with the vain hope of thereby obtaining indulgences. In some places, these martyrs fasten their fibula with a lock, the key which they deposit with the magistrate of the town or village. But, nature insisting upon her rights, is often too strong for this self-violence, nor can desire, or the not-to-be-mistaken symptom of it, be opposed, or even prevented, from being gratified; and since the lock, which obstructs the extremity of the prepuce only, cannot hinder a kind of erection, nor, indeed, of effusion of the seminal fluid, it cannot do more than oppose the introduction of the male organ into the receptacle destined for it.

Another description of fakirs were formerly to be seen in India, and, especially, in its southern peninsula, whose custom it was to traverse the country in a state of nudity, and who had been rendered impotent by the following regimen. The children destined for this penitential state are taken away from their parents at the age of six or seven years, and made to eat, daily, a quantity of the young leaves of a tree called _Mairkousie_. At first, the dose given them is not larger than a filbert. This regimen must be persisted in until the party reaches the age of five-and-twenty years, the dose being increased till, at the maximum, it is as large as a duck's egg. During all this time, the devotee is subjected to no other regimen, except a light purge, once in six months, by means of _Kadoukaie_, or the black mirobolan. Although rendered completely impotent by this mode of treatment, so far from their physical strength and beauty of form being diminished or deteriorated thereby, they are, on the contrary, improved by it; the enjoyment of constant good health is likewise almost an invariable consequence.

Infibulation is not confined to the male sex exclusively, for it is practised on girls and women in India, Persia, and the East, generally, and most commonly consists in joining together the female sexual organ, or closing the labia of the vagina by a suture made with waxed thread, a small aperture being left for the egress of the urine and the menstrua.

Linschet witnessed the operation at Pegu, as did also Schultz, Brown saw it performed, at Darfour, on females from eleven to twelve years of age.[216] At the time of marriage, a cut of the bistouri dissevers the parts which have been closed by the effects of the suture. Sometimes jealousy contents itself by passing a ring through the parts. Women, as well as girls, are subjected to this disgusting operation, the only difference being that the ring of the latter cannot be removed, while that of the former has a kind of lock, the key of which is in the husband's possession. Pallas informs us that the beautiful nation of the Tcherkesses, or Circassians carefully preserve the virginity of their girls by means of a leathern girdle, or rather corslet made of skin, and sewn immediately upon the naked body. The husband alone has the right of severing this corslet, which he does, on the nuptial night.

When the violation of virgin chastity and conjugal fidelity became more frequent, fathers and husbands had recourse, even in Europe, to a mechanical contrivance for the purpose of preserving intact the honour of the family. This was a kind of padlock, which shut up all access to the seat of voluptuousness. The invention is attributed to one Francesco di Carrera, an imperial judge of Padua, who lived about the close of the 15th century. The machine itself was called the _Girdle of Chastity_. Francesco's acts of cruelty brought him to the scaffold, where he was strangled in 1405, by a decree of the Senate of Venice. One of the principal accusations brought against him was the employment of the _Girdle of Chastity_, for his mistresses, and it is said by Misson[217] that a box filled with these articles was for a long time preserved in the palace of St. Mark, at Venice. Rabelais speaks of these girdles, which he calls _Ceintures_ á la Bergamasque, "Nay," says he, Pantagruel, "may that Nick in the dark cellar, who hath no white in his eye, carry me quiet away with him, if, in that case, whenever I go abroad from the palace of my domestic residence, I do not, with as much circumspection as they use to ring mares in our country, to keep them from being saillied by stoned horses, clap a Bergamesco lock upon my wife." Brantome has the following notice of these chastity preservers. "Des temps du roi Henri il yeut un certain Quinquallier qui apporte une douzaine de certains engins à la foire de St. Germain pour brider le cas des femmes. Ces sortes de cadenas estoient en usage à Venise dès devant l'année 1522, estoient faites de fer et centuroient comme une ceinture, et venoient à se prendre par le bas, et se fermer à clef, si subtilement faites, qu'il n'estoit pas possible que la femme en estant bridée und fois, s'en peust jamais prévaloir pour ce doux plaisir, n'ayant que quelques petits trous menus pour servir à pisser."[218]

An endeavour was made to introduce these Bernasco padlocks into France during the reign of Henry II., and a shop was opened by an Italian at the fair of St. Germain, where they were publicly sold, and in such numbers, that the French gallants, becoming alarmed, threatened to throw the vendor into the Seine, if he did not pack up his merchandise and decamp, which he immediately did for fear that the menace might be put in execution.

Voltaire describes the Cadenas as originating with Pluto, who, jealous of his wife Proserpine, was advised:

 Qu'un cadenas, de la structure nouvelle
 Fut le garant de sa fidélité,
 A la vertu par la force asservie,
 Plus ne sera l'amant favorisé.
 En un moment, feux, enclumes, fourneaux
 Sont préparés aux gouffres infernaux;
 Tisiphone, de ces lieux, serrurière,
 Au cadenas met la main, la première,
 Elle l'achève et des mains de Pluton
 Proserpine reçut ce triste don,
 Or ce secret aux enfers inventé
 Chez les humains tôt après fut porté
 Et depuis ce temps dans Venise et dans Rome
 Il n'est pédant, bourgeois, ou gentilhomme
 Qui pour garder l'honneur de sa maison
 De cadenas n'ait sa provision.[219]
 This sage advice, a loud applause
 From all the damned assembly draws;
 And straight, by order of the State,
 Was registered on brass by fate;
 That moment, in the shades below,
 They anvils beat and bellows blow.
 Tisiphoned, the blacksmith's trade
 Well understood; the locks she made:
 Proserpina, from Pluto's hand
 Receiving, wore it by command.
 This lock, which hell could frame alone,
 Soon to the human race was known;
 In Venice, Rome, and all about it,
 No gentlemen or cit's without it.[220]

We shall close this our third essay with the amusing summary of anti-aphrodisiacal remedies, as given by Rabelais.

 "You say," said the physician Rondibilis to Panurge, "that
 you feel in you the pricking stings of sensuality, by which
 you are stirred up to venery. I find in our faculty of
 medicine, and we have founded our opinion therein upon the
 deliberate resolution and final decision of the ancient
 Platonics, that carnal concupiscence is cooled and quelled
 five several ways:--
 "_Firstly_. By the means of wine. I shall easily believe
 that quoth Friar John, for when I am well whittled with the
 juice of the grape, I care for nothing else, so I may sleep.
 When I say, quoth Rondibilis, that wine abateth lust, my
 meaning is, wine immoderately taken; for by intemperance,
 proceeding from the excessive drinking of strong liquor,
 there is brought upon the body of such a swill-down bouser,
 a chillness in the blood, a slackening in the sinews, a
 dissipation of the generative seed, a numbness and
 hebetation of the senses, with a perversive wryness and
 convulsion of the muscles, all which are great lets and
 impediments to the act of generation. Hence it is that
 Bacchus, the god of bibbers, tipplers, and drunkards, is
 most commonly painted beardless and clad in a woman's habit,
 as a person altogether effeminate, or like a libbed eunuch.
 Wine, nevertheless, taken moderately worketh quite contrary
 effects, as is implied by the old proverb, which
 saith,--That Venus taketh cold, when not accompanied by
 Ceres and Bacchus.[221] This opinion is of great antiquity
 as appeareth by the testimony of Diodorus the Sicilian, and
 confirmed by Pausanias, and it is usually held among the
 Lampsacians, that Don Priapus was the son of Bacchus and
 "_Secondly_. The fervency of lust is abated by certain
 drugs, plants herbs and roots, which make the taker cold,
 maleficiated, unfit for, and unable to perform the act of
 generation; as hath often been experimented by the
 water-lily, Heraclea, Agnus-Castus, willow-twigs,
 hemp-stalks, woodbine, honeysuckle, tamarisk, chastetree,
 mandrake, bennet keebugloss, the skin of a hippopotamus, and
 many other such, which, by convenient doses proportioned to
 the peccant humour and constitution of the patient, being
 duly and seasonably received within the body--what by their
 elementary virtues on the one side, and peculiar properties
 on the other, do either benumb, mortify and beclumpse with
 cold, the prolific semence, or scatter and disperse the
 spirits which ought to have gone along with, and conducted
 the sperm to the places destined and appointed for its
 reception,--or lastly, shut up, stop and obstruct the way,
 passages, and conduits, through which the seed should have
 expelled, evacuated, and ejected. We have, nevertheless, of
 those ingredients, which, being of a contrary operation,
 heat the blood, bind the nerves, unite the spirits, quicken
 the senses, strengthen the muscles, and thereby rouse up,
 provoke, excite and enable a man to the vigorous
 accomplishment of the feat of amorous dalliance. I have no
 need of those, quoth Panurge, God be thanked and you, my
 good master. Howsoever, I pray you, take no exception or
 offence at these my words; for what I have said was not out
 of any ill-will I did hear to you, the Lord, he knows.
 "_Thirdly_. The ardour of lechery is very much subdued and
 mated by frequent labour and continual toiling. For by
 painful exercises and laborous working so great a
 dissolution is brought upon the whole body, that the blood
 which runneth alongst the channels of the vein thereof for
 the nourishment and alimentation of each of its members, had
 neither time, leisure, nor power to afford the seminal
 resudation or superfluity of the third concoction, which
 nature most carefully reserves for the conservation of the
 individual, whose preservation she more heedfully regardeth
 than the propagation of the species and the multiplication
 of human kind. Whence it is that Diana is said to be chaste,
 because she is never idle, but always busied about hunting.
 For the same reason was a camp, or leaguer of old
 called--Castrum,[222] as if they would have said--Castum;
 because the soldiers, wrestlers, runners, throwers of the
 bar, and other such like athletic champions, as are usually
 seen in a military circumvallation, do incessantly travail
 and turmoil, and are in a perpetual stir and agitation. To
 this purpose, also, Hippocrates writeth in his book, _De
 Aere, Aqua et Locis_:--That in his time there were people
 in Scythia as impotent as eunuchs in the discharge of a
 venerean exploit; because that, without any cessation, pause
 or respite, they were never from off horseback, or
 otherwise, assiduously employed in some troublesome and
 molesting drudgery.
 "On the other part, in opposition and repugnancy hereto, the
 philosophers say, that idleness is the mother of luxury.
 When it was asked Ovid, why Ægisthus became an adulterer? he
 made no other answer than this, Because he was idle.[223]
 Who were able to rid the world of loitering and idleness
 might easily disappoint Cupid[224] of all his designes,
 aims, engines and devices and so disable and appal him, that
 his bow, quiver, and darts should from thenceforth be a mere
 needless load and burthen to him; for that it could not then
 lie in his power to strike or wound any of either sex with
 all the arms he had. He is not, I believe so expert an
 archer as that he can hit the cranes flying in the air, or
 yet the young stags skipping through the thicket, as the
 Parthians knew well how to do; that is to say, people
 moiling, stirring, and hurrying up and down, restless and
 without repose. He must have those hushed, still, quiet,
 lying at a stay, lither and full of ease, whom he is able to
 pierce with all his arrows. In conformation thereof,
 Theophrastus being asked on a time, What kind of beast or
 thing he judged a toyish, wanton love to be? he made answer,
 That it was a passion of idle and sluggish spirits.[224]
 From which pretty description of tickling-tricks, that of
 Diogenes, the Cynic, was not very discrepant when he defined
 lechery--The occupation of folk destitute of all other
 occupation. For this cause the Sicyonian sculptor
 Canachus,[225] being desirous to give us to understand that
 slowth drowsiness, negligence, and laziness, were the prime
 guardians and governesses of ribaldry, made the statue of
 Venus, not standing, as other stone-cutters had used to do,
 but sitting.
 "_Fourthly_. The tickling pricks of incontinency are blunted
 by an eager study; for from thence proceedeth an incredible
 resolution of the spirits, that oftentimes there do not
 remain so many behind as may suffice to push and thrust
 forwards the generative resudation to the places thereto
 appropriated, and therewithal inflate the cavernous nerve,
 whose office is to ejaculate the moisture for the
 propagation of human progeny. Lest you should think it is
 not so, be pleased but to contemplate a little the form,
 fashion, and carriage of a man exceeding earnestly set upon
 some learned meditation and deeply plunged therein, and you
 shall see how all the arteries of his brains are stretched
 forth, and bent like the string of a cross-bow, the more
 promptly, dexterously and copiously to suppeditate, furnish
 and supply him with store of spirits, sufficient to
 replenish and fill up the ventricles, seats, tunnels,
 mansions, receptacles and cellules of common sense--of the
 imagination apprehension, and fancy--of the ratiocination,
 arguing, and resolution--as likewise, of the memory,
 recordation, and remembrance; and with great alacrity,
 nimbleness, and agility, to run, pass and course from one to
 the other, through those pipes, windings, and conduits,
 which to skilful anatomists are perceivable at the end of
 the wonderful net, where all the arteries close in a
 terminating point; which arteries taking their rise and
 origin from the left capsule of the heart, bring, through
 several circuits, ambages, and anfractuosities, the vital
 spirits, to subtilize and refine them in the ætherial purity
 of animal spirits. Nay, in such a studiously meditating,
 musing person, you may espy so extravagant raptures of one,
 as it were out of himself, that all his natural faculties
 for that time will seem to lie suspended from each their
 proper charge and office, and his exterior senses to be at a
 stand. In a word, you cannot choose than think, that he is
 by an extraordinary ecstasy quite transported out of what he
 was or should be; and that Socrates did not speak improperly
 when he said, That philosophy was nothing else but a
 meditation upon death. This possibly is the reason why
 Democritus[226] deprived himself of the sense of seeing,
 prizing, at a much lower rate, the loss of his sight, than
 the diminution of his contemplation which he had frequently
 found disturbed by the vagrant flying-out strayings of his
 unsettled and roving eyes.[227] Therefore is it that Pallas,
 the goddess of wisdom, tutoress and guardianess of such as
 are diligently studious and painfully industrious, is and
 hath been still accounted a virgin. The Muses upon the same
 consideration are esteemed perpetual maids: and the Graces,
 for the same reason, have been held to continue in a
 sempiternal pudicity.
 "I remember to have read that Cupid,[227] on a time, being
 asked by his mother Venus, why he did not assault and set
 upon the Muses, his answer was, that he found them so fair,
 so neat, so wise, so learned, so modest, so discreet, so
 courteous, so virtuous, and so continually busied and
 employed,--one in the speculation of the stars,--another in
 the supputation of numbers,--the third in the dimension of
 geometrical quantities,--the fourth in the composition of
 heroic poems,--the fifth in the jovial interludes of a comic
 strain,--the sixth in the stately gravity of the tragic
 vein,--the seventh in the melodious disposition of musical
 airs,--the eighth in the completest manner of writing
 histories and books on all sorts of subjects, and--the ninth
 in the mysteries, secrets, and curiosities of all sciences,
 faculties, disciplines and arts whatsoever, whether liberal
 or mechanic,--that approaching near unto them he unbent his
 bow, shut his quiver, and extinguished his torch, through
 mere shame and fear that by mischance he might do them any
 hurt or prejudice. Which done, he thereafter put off the
 fillet wherewith his eyes were bound, to look them in the
 face, and to hear their melody and poetic odes. There took
 he the greatest pleasure in the world, that many times he
 was transported with their beauty and pretty behaviour, and
 charmed asleep by their harmony, so far was he from
 assaulting them or interrupting their studies. Under this
 article may be comprised what Hippocrates wrote in the
 afore-cited treatise concerning the Scythians, as also that
 in a book of his intituled, Of Breeding and Production,
 where he hath affirmed all such men to be unfit for
 generation as have their parotid arteries cut--whose
 situation is behind the ears--for the reason given already,
 when I was speaking of the resolution of the spirits, and of
 that spiritual blood, whereof the arteries are the sole and
 proper receptacles; and that likewise he doth maintain a
 large portion of the parastatic liquor to issue and descend
 from the brains and backbone.
 "_Fifthly_. By the too frequent reiteration of the act of
 venery. There did I wait for you, quoth Panurge, and shall
 willingly apply it to myself, whilst any one that pleaseth
 may, for me, make use of any of the four preceding. That is
 the very same thing, quoth Friar John, which Father
 Scyllion,[228] Prior of St. Victor, at Marseilles, calleth
 maceration and taming of the flesh. I am of the same
 opinion, and so was the hermit of Saint Radegonde, a little
 above Chinon; for, quoth he, the hermits of Thebaïde can no
 way more aptly or expediently macerate and bring down the
 pride of their bodies, daunt and mortify their lecherous
 sensuality, or depress and overcome the stubbornness and
 rebellion of the flesh, than by dufling and fanfreluching
 five and twenty or thirty times a day."


 [1] For a representation of the Egyptian "Phallus" see Plate
     I., figures 1, 2, and 3. These are taken from the
     "_Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes_" by the Comte De
     Caylus, who, speaking of the first of them, observes:
     "Cette figure représente le plus terrible Phallus qu'on
     ait vû, proportion gardée, sur aucun ouvrage. On
     n'ignore point la vénération que les Egyptiens avaient
     pour cet emblême, il est vrai; mais je doute que cette
     nation sage et peu outrée dans sa conduite eût consacré
     dans les premiers siécles, c'est a dire, avant le régne
     des Ptolemées, une pareille figure."
 [2] Historia de los Incas. Cap. VI.
 [3] In the church of St. Peter's at Rome, is kept, _en
     secret_, a large stone emblem of the creative power, of
     a very peculiar shape, on which are engraved [Greek:
     Zeus Sôtêr]. Only persons who have great interest can
     get a sight of it. Is it from this stone having some
     peculiar virtue that those _preux chevaliers_, the
     cardinals, keep it so closely? Perhaps they choose to
     monopolize the use of it? I never saw it, but I know
     that it was at St Peter's.--HIGGINS.
 [4] See Plate II., figure 1. This figure of the Lingham
     presents a kind of Trinity, the vase represents Vishnu,
     from the middle of which rises a column rounded at the
     top representing Siva, and the whole rests upon a
     pedestal typifying Brahma. From the _Voyage aux Indes
     Orientales et à la Chine_, par M. Sonnerat, depuis 1774
     jusqu'en 1781. Tom. I., p. 179.
 [5] _Voyage aux Indes et à la Chine_, par Sonnerat, depuis
     1774 jusqu'en 1781; Tom. I. liv. 2.
 [6] See plate III., figures 1, 2, 3, and 4.
 [7] Henry O'Brien, Round Towers of Ireland. London, 1834.
     Chapter viii.
 [8] See Plate IV., figure 1.
 [9] Samuel II., chap. vi., v. 20, 21, 22, 23.
 [10] The indispensable and inseparable appendages to the
      male organ have thus been eulogized by Giov. Francesco
      Lazzarelli in his poem entitled, La Cicceide, p. 120.
        Gran sostegni dei mondo, almi C ......
        Del celeste Fattor, opre ingegnose;
        Da caricare i piccoli cannoni,
        Ond' armata va l'uom, Palle focose:
        Robusti, anchorè teneri Palloni,
        Con cui guiocan tra lor, mariti e spose;
        Del corpo uman spermatici Embrioni;
        De' venerei piacer fonti amorose;
        Magazzini vitali, ove Natura
        L'uman seme riposto, a' figli suoi
        D' assicurar la succession procura! etc.
 [11] Genesis, chap. xxiv. v. 2, 3.
 [12] Genesis, chap. xlvii. v. 29.
 [13] Mémoires sur l'Egypte, publiés pendant les Campagne de
      _Bonaparte_, Partie, 2, p. 193.
 [14] The Latin text of the law is as follows:--"Si mulier
      stuprata lege cum illo agere velit, membro virili
      _sinistra prehenso et dextra reliquos sanctorum
      imposita, juret, super illas quod is per vim se, isto
      membro, vitiaverit_."--Voyage dans le Département du
      Finisterre, Tom. iii., p. 233.
 [15] Hunc locum tibi dedico consacroque, Priape,
      Quæ domus tua, Lampsaei est, quaque silva, Priape.
      Nam te præcipue in suis urbibus colit, ora
      Hellespontia, cæteris ostreosior oris.--Catullus, Carm. xviii.
 [16] See Plate II., figure 2.
 [17] From possessing such an article of VIRTU, his Eminence
      must surely have been of the opinion of Cardinal
      Bembo--_that there is no sin below the navel_.
 [18] Falce minax et parte tui majore, Priape,
      Ad fontem quæso, dic mihi, qua sit iter.--Priapeia
 [19] See note [21], p. 11.
 [20] See S. Augustine, Civ. Dei., lib. 6, cap. 9, and
      Lactantius _De falsa religione_. lib. I.
 [21] See Plate I., figure 4. This phallus was found at
      Pompeii over a baker's door.
 [22] Thus his statue was placed in orchards as a scare-crow
      to drive away superstitious thieves, as well as
      children and birds.
         Pomarii tutela, diligens _rubro_
         Priape, furibus minare mutino.--Priapeia Carm. 73.
 [23] Ind. Antiq. ii., p, 361.
 [24] Ind. Antiq., vol. I., p. 247.
 [25] Voyage dans la Chine par Avril, Liv. iii., p. 194.
 [26] Higgins, Anacalypsis, vol. i., p. 269.
 [27] Worship of Priapus.
 [28] _Ibid._, p 48.
 [29] For some ingenious and learned observations on the Tau
      or Crux Ansata see Classical Journal, No. 39, p. 182.
 [30] Chap. ix., v. 3. "And the Lord said unto him: Go
      through the midst of the city, through the midst of
      Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the forehead of the men
      that sigh and cry for the abominations that be done in
      the midst thereof."
 [31] For a description of some of the above-mentioned
      Crosses, see Plate V., also "_Voyage dans la basse et
      la haute-Egypte pendant les campagnes de Bonaparte_,
      1802 et 1829," par Denon--Planches 48, 78.
 [32] This city was the birth place of the deity Priapus,
      whose orgies were there constantly celebrated.
      Alexander the Great, in his Persian expedition,
      resolved to destroy Lampsacus on account of its many
      vices, or rather from a jealousy of its adherence to
      Persia; but it was saved by the artifice of the
      philosopher Anaxamenes, who, having heard that the king
      had sworn to refuse whatever he should ask him, begged
      him to destroy the city.
 [33] Journal d'Henri III. par l'Etoile. Tom. 5.
 [34] Historie Religieuse du Calendrier, p. 420.
 [35] Johannis Goropii Becani, Origines Antwerpianæ, 1569,
      lib. i., p.p. 26 and 101.
 [36] The foreskins, still extant, of the Saviour, are
      reckoned to be twelve in number. One was in the
      possession of the monks of Coulombs; another at the
      Abbey of Charroux; a third at Hildesheim, in Germany; a
      fourth at Rome, in the Church of St. Jean-de-Latran; a
      fifth at Antwerp; a sixth at Puy-en-Velay, in the
      Church of Notre Dame, &c., &c. So much for relics!
 [37] Dulaure, Singularités Historiques de l'Historie de
      Paris, p. 77. Paris, 1825.
 [38] Letter of Sir W. Hamilton prefixed to Payne Knight's
      "Worship of Priapus."
      For a representation of the ancient, _Ex voto_, in
      silver, the size of the original see Plate VI., figure
      1. It is copied from an additional plate inserted by M.
      Panizzi, late librarian of the British Museum, in the
      fly-leaf of Payne Knight's "_Worship of Phallus_."
 [39] To these the canon law adds sorcery, ligature or
 [40] Zachais, Quæst. medico. leg. lib. II., tit. I, quæst.
 [41] See _Lectures on Comparative Anatomy_ by Sir Everard
      Home, Bart. Vol. III., p. 166. London 1823.
 [42] Lib. I., Epigram. 91.
 [43] Juvenal Sat. I., vv. 204, 105.
 [44] Orlando Furioso, Can. I, stanz. 49, 60.
 [45] Rapport, Tom. I., p. 335.
 [46] Sir Charles Morgan, Philos. of Morals, p. 25.
 [47] Nosographie philosophique.
 [48] Medical Essays published by a society in Edinburgh,
      vol. I., p. 270. Case reported by W. Cockburn, M.D.
 [49] Rapport, tome II., p. 422.
 [50] Essays, Book I., chap. xx. Cotton's translation.
 [51] Hippocrates de Aer: aqua et loco, 210.
 [52] Treatise on the Venereal Disease.
 [53] Comment. de Aer: aqua et loco, 210.
 [54] Voltaire, Pucelle d'Orléans, Chant. xii.
 [55] Bigarrures du Seigneur des Accords.
 [56] Herodotus Enterpe clxxxii.
 [57] De Legibus, lib. ii.
 [58] Ecologa viii.
 [59] Amor., lib. iii., Eleg. 6.
 [60] De Asino Aureo, lib. ii., v. 3.
 [61] Tacitus Annal., lib. iv., 22.
 [62] Lib. v., Sentent, tit. 23.
 [63] De rebus gestis Francorum, lib. 4. cap. 94.
 [64] Histoire des Français.
 [65] Nominated to the Bishopric of Evreux by Henry IV. of
      France. His favourite authors were Rabelais and
 [66] Demonologie, 1603, Book I., Chap. III., p. 12.
 [67] "Hercules, puer, L. Virgines, una nocte, gravidus
      reddit."--Cœlius, lib. 14, cap. 8.
 [68] Traité premier de la dissolution de Mariage pour
      l'impuissance et froideur de l'homme, ou de la Femme,
      par Antoine Hotman, p. 63.
 [69] Tableau de l'Amour considéré dans l'état du Mariage,
      par II., chap. 2, art. 3.
 [70] Art. Portugal. rem. F.
 [71] Boileau Despréaux, Satires, Satire VIII.
 [72] Willick's Lectures on Diet and Regimen, p. 538, et seq.
 [73] From [Greek: mandra], relating to cattle, and [Greek:
      agaron], baneful, injurious.
 [74] Genesis, Chap. xxx., v. 14, 15, 16, 17. The last verse must
      be considered as decisive of the efficacy of the mandrake.
 [75] Solomon's Song, chap. vii. v. 13.
 [76] See the word _Dudaïm_, in Dr. Kitto's Cyclopædia
      of Biblical Literature. The learned doctor has given a
      sketch of the plant Mandragora, a copy of which the
      reader will find in plate VI.
 [77] Onkelos was a celebrated rabbin contemporary with St.
      Paul, and to whom the Targum, that is, a translation or
      paraphrase of the Holy Scriptures, is attributed.
 [78] Lib. IV., cap. 76.
 [79] Quoted by Oct. Celsius in his "_Hierobotanicon_," Part
      I., par. 5. art. _Dudaim_, from Epiphan: Physiolog. c. 4.
 [80] Pliny's "Natural History," Vol. IV., p. 397 (Bohn's
      Classical Library).
 [81] Columella _De hortorum Cultu._, v. 19, 20.
 [82] See a manuscript Interrogatory still preserved in the
      "Bibliothèque Nationale," Fonds de Baluze, Rouleau 5.
 [83] See "_De l'imposture des Diables_," par Jacques Grévin,
      Tom. IV., p. 359.
 [84] From Weir "De Mag: demonia:" Cours Complet
      d'agriculture par l'Abbé Rosier, Tom. VI., p. 401.
 [85] Récollections des choses merveilleuses Advenues en
      notre temps par George Chastelain, Edition de
      Coustelier, p. 150.
 [86] Lettres d'Amabed, Vol. XXXIV., p. 261. Edition Beuchot,
 [87] Mandragola, Atto II. Scena 6. See also La Fontaine's
      tale of "La Mandragore," founded upon the above comedy.
 [88] See Warburton on Shakespear's Othello, Act I.,
      Scene 8.
        "_By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks._"
 [89] See Speed's Historie of Great Britaine. Richard III.
      Book II., page 913 folio edition, 1632.
 [90] Exercitatio de Rachelis Deliciis, 420, 1678.
 [91] Atlantica illustrata, 1733.
 [92] Hierobotanicon, 1745.
 [93] "Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D.,
 [94] _Orchis_ is a Greek word signifying _testicle_, a name
      given by the ancients to this plant on account of the
      supposed resemblance of its root to that organ.
 [95] Eustathii Commentarii ad Homerum, Vol. I., p. 325,
      403-9. Editio Lipsiæ, 1827.
 [96] Juliani Calixenæ Epistola.
 [97] "Amatorio poculo furorem versus, quum aliquot libros
      per intervalla conscripserat."
 [98] Epist. dissuas: ad Rufinum C. 22. Tom XII. p.
      245, ad Varon.
 [99] Remarks on the life and poems of Lucretius, p. vi.
      (Bohn's Classical Library).
 [100] Probably to Anticyra, a Greek town situated at the
       mouth of the river Sperchius, and reputed to produce
       the genuine hellebore, recommended by the ancient
       physicians as a cure for insanity, whence the well
       known adage, "Naviget Anticyram."
 [101] Sueton. Calig. 50.
 [102] Juvenal. Sat. vi. v. 614.
 [103] Hor. Epod Lib. Carm. V. 1703. See also the admirable
       notes of Dacier and Sanadon upon the above ode.
 [104] Disquisitionum Magicarum, Lib. III. Quæstio III. De
       Amatorio Malaficio, page 7.
 [105] Cinq livres de l'imposture et tromperie des diables.
       Lib. II., p. 216, 1569.
 [106] De Margarum Daemonomania. Lib. I., Cap. III., p.
 [107] Æneid, Lib. IV., v. 13, 14, 15, and 16.
 [108] Pausanias, Græciæ Descriptio, Lib. V., c. 27.
 [109] In his work "De valetudine tuendâ."
 [110] Traité universel des drogues simples.
 [111] The Holy Guide by John Heyden, Gent., [Greek:
       Philonomos] a servant of God and a Secretary of
       Nature, Lib. v. p. 61.
 [112] Ibid., p. 62.
 [113] Anatomy of Melancholy.
 [114] Essays, Vol. II., p. 262-3. Translated by Cotton.
       London, 1743.
 [115] "Cujus rei istud est argumentum, quod ubi rem veneream
       exercemus, tantillo emisse, imbecilles evadimus."--_De
 [116] Tome 52, p. 286, et seq.
 [117] Juvenal, Sat. 6, v. 302. "Ad venerem," says Lubinus in
       a note on this passage, "miris modis instigant
       (_i.e._, ostreæ), inde turpissimæ illæ bestiæ (feminæ)
       ostrea comedebant, _ut ad Venerem promptiores
 [118] De la génération de l'homme, p. 272.
 [119] Traité des dispenses et de Carême, Paris, 1709, en
       12mo, réimprimé trois fois.
 [120] Names given to the female slaves or concubines in the
       harem of the Sultan.
 [121] A large province of the Deccan, said to have been
       famous, in ancient times, for its diamond mines.
 [122] That Coryphæus of voluptuaries, George IV., so highly
       appreciated this quality in truffles, that his
       Ministers at the courts of Turin, Naples, Florence,
       &c., were specially instructed to forward by a state
       messenger to the Royal Kitchen any of those fungi that
       might be found superior in size, delicacy or flavour.
 [123] Physiologie du Gout, par Brillat Savarin, Paris, 1859.
 [124] Martial, Epigram, lib. xiii. epig. 34.
 [125] Ducange, Glossaire.
 [126] J. H. Meibomius de flagrorum usu in Re medica et
       Venerea, Paris, 1792, p. 125.
 [127] See Macaronéana, par M. Octave Delepierre, Paris,
       1852, p. 3.
 [128] Thevet, Portraits des Vies des Hommes Illustres, Vol.
       I., p. 13, fol. edit., Paris, 1584.
 [129] Hume's Hist. of England, Vol. I., p. 348.
 [130] Dissertatio Inauguralis de Ambra, § iv. p. 36.
 [131] Medicamentum quod non solum potenter stimulat, sed vel
       effœtum senem, pro brevi tempore, ad
       juventutem iterum restituit. _Ibid._ § viii., p. 44.
 [132] Née dans une condition obscure, vouée au libertinage
       dés sa plus tendre jeunesse, autant par goût que par
       état, Made. Du Barry ne put offrir à son auguste
       amant, malgré la fleur de la jeunesse et les brillants
       appas dont elle étoit encore pourvue, que les restes
       de la plus vile canaille, de la prostitution." Vie
       privée des maîtresses de Louis XV., p. 153.--"You are
       no doubt curious to hear an opinion of Madame Du
       Barri's beauty from the lips of one who has seen her
       both in her days of prosperity and after her downfall.
       She was a person of small, almost diminutive stature,
       extremely frail and delicate in feature, which saved
       her from being vulgar; but even from the first, she
       always wore that peculiarly _fane_ look which she owed
       to a youth of dissipation, a maturity of unbounded
       indulgence. At the period of my visit she was about
       thirty-six years of age, but, from her child-like form
       and delicacy of countenance, appeared much younger,
       and her _gambades_ and unrestrained gestures of
       supreme delight on having, as she said, _quelqu'un à
       qui parler_, did not seem displaced. Although alone,
       and evidently not in expectation of visitors, her
       toilet was brilliant and _recherché_, the result of
       the necessity of killing time."--"Talleyrand Papers."
 [133] Espion de la Cour.
 [134] Gazetier Cuirassé, ou Anecdotes Scandaleuses de la
       Cour de France.
 [135] In his "_Praxis Medica Admiranda_," wherein he also
       gives the formula of an electuary _ad excitandum
       tentiginem nulli secundum_, p, 295, Observ. XCI., as
       well as a recipe for pills ad _Coitûs ignaviam_,
       CXIII., p. 297.
 [136] Encyclopœdia Parthensis, Article Cachunde.
 [137] See his Premier Traité de l'homme et de son
       essentielle anatomie, avec les éléments et ce qui est
       en eux, de ses maladies, médicine et absolus remèdes,
       etc., Paris, 1588.
 [138] Cent. 2.
 [139] See Celius, lib. xiv., cap. 3.
 [140] Histoire de Ferdinand et Isabelle, Tom. II., 326.
       Paris, 1766.
 [141] Biographie Universelle, Art. Wallenstein.
 [142] Detested by the Parisians, Dubois was the object of
       innumerable caricatures, of which the most _sanglante_
       was one representing him "à genoux aux pieds d'une
       fille de joie qui prenait de ce sale écoulement qui
       afflige les femmes, tous les mois, pour lui en rougir
       sa calotte et le faire Cardinal." See Erotika Biblion.
       Paris, 1792, p. 52.
 [143] Mémoires du Cardinal Dubois, vol. I., p. 3.
 [144] Ælius Tetrabilis, I., Disc. Chap. 32 and 33.
 [145] Browne's Travels in Africa, etc., p. 343.
 [146] La génération de l'homme, ou tableau de l'amour
       conjugal. Tom. 1., p. 276.
 [147] Ibid., p. 232.
 [148] Venette, Génération de l'homme, Tom. I., p. 279.
 [149] De cultu hortorum, v. 108.
 [150] Moretum, v. 85.
 [151] Mag. Nat., Lib. vii.
 [152] Mala Bacchica tanta olim in amoribus prævalerunt, ut
       coronæ ex illis statuæ Bacchi ponerentur.
 [153] Surag radis ad coitum summe facit: _si quis comedat
       aut infusionem bibat, membrum subite erigitur_.
       Leo Afric., Lib, IX., cap. ult., p. 302.
 [154] Gomez (Ferdinand) of Ciudad Real, a celebrated
       physician, born 1388, died 1457.
 [155] Mag. Nat. Lib. VII., c. 16.
 [156] Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de las Indias
       Orientales chap. LXI., p. 360, Burgos, 1578.
 [157] Travels in Africa, &c., p. 341.
 [158] Lignac. A physical view of man and woman in a state of
       marriage. Vol. I., p. 190.
 [159] Turcæ ad Levenzinum contra Comitem Ludovicum Souches
       pugnantes, opio exaltati turpiter cæsi, et octo mille
       numero occisi, _mentulas rigidas_ tulere. Christen.
       Opium Hist.
 [160] It was, perhaps, the knowledge of this fact that
       suggested to La Fontaine the lines:--
        "Un muletier à ce jeu
         Vaut trois rois."
        "To play at which game, I'm sure it is clear,
         Three kings are no match for one muleteer."
 [161] Histoire Naturelle du Genre Humain. Tom. II., p. 123.
 [162] Cabanis, Rapport, &c., Tom. II., p. 89.
 [163] Essais philosophiques sur les mœurs de divers
       animaux étrangers.
 [164]                  "The care on thee depending
       Hath fed upon the body of my father,
       Therefore, thou best of gold art worst of gold;
       Other less fine in carat is more precious,
       Preserving life in _medicine potable_."
         _Henry IV._, sec. part, act iv. sc. v.
 [165] Lettres sur François Rabelais. Let. II.
 [166] De Pœnitentiâ Decretorum, lib. xix.
 [167] See Millengen's "Curiosities of Medical Experience,"
       art. Flagellation Vol. II., p. 47 et seq.
 [168] Medic., Lib. III., art. 12.
 [169] See Richter, Opuscula medica Col. I., p. 273, "Qui
       novit ex stimulantium fonte, cardiaca, _aphrodisiaca_,
       diaphoretica, diuretica aliaque non infirmi ordinis
       medicamenta peti, perspicit plenius quam larga
       _verberibus_ bene merendi sit, uti præsertim in
       torpore nervorum, paralysi, _impotentia ad Venerem_ et
       naturalium excretionum eluxit."
 [170] Author of the work entitled, "_De flagrorum usu in re
       venerea_," Lug. Bat., 1639, with the motto:
        "Delicias pariunt Veneri crudelia flagra,
         Dum nocet, illa juvat, dum juvat, ecce nocet.
        "Lo! cruel stripes the sweets of love ensure,
         And painful pleasures pleasing pains procure."
 [171] Millingen, "Curiosities of Medical Experience." Vol.
       II., p. 52.
 [172] To this personage may justly be applied the French
       epitaph upon one who died under similar circumstances:
         "Je suis mort de l'amour enterpris
          Entre les jambes d'une dame,
          Bien heureux d'avoir rendu l'âme,
          Au même lieu où je l'ai pris."
 [173] See his work, _contra Astrologos_, Lib. III., cap. 27.
 [174] Petri Abœlardi Abbatis Rugensis et Heloissæ
       Abbatissæ Paracletensis Epistolæ. Epist. I., p. 10.
 [175] Ibid., Epist. III., p. 81.
 [176] See Meibomius, p. 43, note a. Edit. Paris, 1792, 12mo.
 [177] Name given to persons having only one testicle.
 [178] Œuvres, Tom. I, p. 283. Ed. 1714.
 [179] Travels in Siberia in 1661, Tom. I., p. 319.
 [180] Dictionnaire des Sciences Médicales. Art. Pollution.
 [181] Confessions, Tom. I.
 [182] De Nasturcio mira refert Dioscoridas I., 2, c. 185.
 [183] Satyricon, Caput xxxviii.
 [184] Pract. part. ii. cap. de passioni membré-génital.
 [185] Ducatiana ii., b. 505.
 [186] Curiosities of Medical Experience, vol. II., p. 55.
 [187] Anatomy of Melancholy, Part 3, memb. 3, subj. 5.
 [188] Pornodidascalus seu Colloquium Muliebre Petri Aretini
       _ingeniossimi et ferè incomparabilis virtutum et
       vitiorum demonstratoris_: De Astu nefario,
       horrendisque dolis, quibus impudicæ mulieres juventuti
       incautæ insidiantur.--Francofurti. Anno 1623.
 [189] Verum omni istâ sciencâ (magica) (says Lucretia)
       nunquam potui movere cor hominis solâ vero salivâ mea
       (id est ampleux et basiis) inungens tam furiosè furere
       tam bestialiter obstupefieri plurimos coegi ut instar
       idoil me Amoresque meos adorarint.--p. 47-8.
 [190] Othello, Act iii. Sc. 10.
 [191] Sir Thos. Browne's Works, Vol. III., p. 89. Bohn's
 [192] Origen, one of the Fathers of the Church, born in A.D.
       185, is a melancholy proof how far the reason may be
       perverted by erroneous views in religious matters; for
       according to Fulgos, "ut corpus ab omni venerea labe
       mundum servaret, omnique suspicione careret, sectis
       genitalibus membris, eunuchum se fecit." He, however,
       lived long enough to condemn his error. See his 15th
       sermon upon St. Matthew, cap. 19, v. 12; his work
       against Celsus, lib. 7; and his 7th Treatise upon the
       18th and 19th Chapters of St. Matthew.
 [193] Baldassar Timœus Cas. med. Lib. XIX., Salacitas
       nitro curata.
 [194] Historie Mundi, Lib. XXVI., c. 7.
 [195] The medical school of Salerno (_latine_ Salernum) was
       founded by Robert Guiscard at the end of the 11th
       century; and about the year 1100 a collection of
       medical aphorisms, was composed in Latin verse by a
       certain John of Milan, and published under the title
       of _Medicina Salertina_. Of this poem, which
       originally consisted of 1239 verses, only 373, or
       about a third, are extant. These were published at
       Paris in 1625 by Réné Moreau; in 1653 it was
       travestied by L. Martin; paraphrased by Bruzen de la
       Martinière in 1743, and by Dr. Levacher de la Feuverie
       in 1782.
 [196] De tuto cantharidum in medicinâ usu interno.
 [197] Arnaud de Villeneuve was one of the luminaries of the
       13th century, being distinguished for his profound
       knowledge of medicine, chemistry, astrology, and
       theology. He discovered the sulphuric, muriatic and
       nitric acids, and was the first to compose alcohol and
       the essence of terebinth or turpentine.
 [198] Traité des dispenses du carême.
 [199] "Any man," said Abernethy, the celebrated and
       eccentric surgeon, "that drinks coffee and soda water,
       and smokes cigars, may lie with my wife."
 [200] De Aer: Aquā et Locis. Liber, caput x.
 [201] Comment. in Boerh. Aphor. sec. 1063, Vol. III.
 [202] _De Machinis_, C. IV.
 [203] No. 206.
 [204] _Exercitatio de aciá_, Cap. 4, _et seq._
 [205] Odyssey VIII. line 477.
 [206] Introd. to Hesiod, cap. VI. p. 14. Edit. Plautin,
       1603, in voce [Greek: aoidos].
 [207] Annals of Gallantry.
 [208] Celsus has described the operation, in detail.
       Medicina, lib. VII. c. 25.
 [209] Juvenal, Sat. VI. v. 379-80.
 [210] Ibid., v. 73-74.
 [211] Martialis, lib. XIV. Ep. 215.
 [212] Martialis, lib. VII. Ep. 81.
 [213] Holiday's Juvenal, Sat. VI., illustr. 11, note
       "_Unbutton a Comedian_." For a copy see plate VII.,
       fig. 1. and 2.
 [214] Monumenti Antichi inediti. Rome, 1767, fol., p. IV. c.
       8, p. 247, fig. 188.
 [215] Martial, Lib. IX. Epig. 28, v. 12.
 [216] Travels in Africa and Egypt.
 [217] "There (in the arsenal) are also various whimsical
       bolts and locks with which he (Carrera) used to keep
       his concubines confined." Travels in Italy. See _The
       World_, vol. 18, p. 154.
 [218] Brantome, Dames Galantes, tom. iii., p. 138.
 [219] Le Cadenas. This poem was composed by the author when
       he was only eighteen years of age, and it was
       occasioned by a lady who was in the circumstances here
       spoken of.
 [220] Dr Smollett's translation, Vol. XXXII.
 [221] Sine Baccho et Cerere friget Venus.
 [222] "_Castrum quasi Castum, Castra_," says Isidorus in his
       _Etymologies_, Lib. IX., "sunt ubi miles steterit:
       dicta autem, castra, quasi casta, eo quod ibi
       castraretur libido." _A castle_ from _castrating of
 [223] Quæritur Ægystus quare sit factus adulter
       In promptu causa est: desidiosus.--De Remed. Amoris.
 [224] "Otia si tollas, periere Cupidinis artes."
 [225] See Pausanias's "Corinthians."
 [226] Vide Cicero, lib. V., Tusc. Questions and Plutarch's
       Treatise of Curiosity. It must, however, be observed,
       that this story is wholly incredible, inasmuch as the
       same writers affirm that Democritus employed his
       leisure in writing books and in dissecting the bodies
       of animals, neither of which could very well be
       effected without the eyes.
 [227] In Lucian, in the Dialogue entitled--"Venus and
 [228] The story itself is the same as that related by Poggio
       (Bracciolini) of a hermit of Pisa. "Eremita," says he,
       "qui Pisis morabatur, tempore Petri Gambacurtæ,
       meretricem noctu in suam ce lulan deduxit, vigesiesque
       ea nocte mulierem cognovit; semper cum moveret clunes,
       ut crimen fugeret luxuriæ vulgaribus verbis dicens:
       'domati, carne cattizella;' hoc est, doma te,
       miserrima caro!"


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