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from the history they relate, must have had a respectable origin and that, they have become a prey to this vice through their inabi+ lity to procure an employment suited to their capabilities, and through the impulses of sheer want. Hence the great extent of prostitution, and of the consequent contamination of the youth of both sexes. What an important collateral advantage would it therefore be to society, as it respects the youth of both sexes, if the practice of midwifery were encouraged in young females, of good education and character. Another class of females, whom Sir Anthony Carlisle in his Letter from which I have quoted very properly recommends for midwives, are the wives, widows, or female kindred of medical practitioners; by whose introduction to midwifery, says he, "every surgeon or apothecary may secure his female patients against the inroads of his competitors, and establish a respectable maintenance for such female in the event of his premature death; while his consequent freedom from unnecessary confinement among gossips will allow him more time to follow his proper vocations."
I will mention another important collateral advantage which would result from the abolition of man-midwifery. Of all worldly advantages, health of mind and body are of the first necessity and importance. For this reason a superfluity of practitioners, and their consequent inexperience, are more injurious to society, by their errors or inefficiency, in the medical than in any other profession. Let the practice of midwifery be exclusively adopted by women, and medical men would be gradually reduced from the present unnatural superabundance of them to a number more accordant with the wants of society, and their experience would be proportionably increased.. They would equally well supply the accidental coincidence sometimes happening, of numerous pressing occasions for their immediate assistance in the same neighborhood at the same time, by reason of their reduction in number being compensated by an abridgment of their duties; an abridgment considerable, as well in point of number of attendances as of the great length of time occupied in them.
Many of the sentiments I have expressed are from the nature of the subject open to the shafts of silly ridicule, and have to combat with the prejudice of inveterate habit, and the sophistry, mistatements, and sneers of petty interest. It is very likely that many medical men, without directly adverting to the present subject, will in the course of their frequent professional interviews with the other sex throw out hints of danger, and allude to some solitary cases of death in childbirth. But let the female reflect that such cases are exceedingly uncommon; that they have happened during the attendance of the accoucheurs themselves, and
have not unfrequently been occasioned by their interference. Let her consider what has been observed in the beginning of this tract as to the general regularity of labors. Let her remember too, that persons of her own sex are able to acquire equal skill with men to avert danger in these cases; and that until there are women of adequate skill, a common midwife of the present time may be adopted without the risks and other evils superinduced by the accoucheur's presence: that the midwife will probably be able, should it become necessary, to obviate, as many can, small irregularities in the progress of labor, which are very uncommon; and that an accoucheur may be conditionally substituted in the manner before recommended. Perhaps the medical men will in future cunningly observe silence on the present question; for having an unsolid foundation whereon to stand, they know that the more they were to plunge, the more they would sink. They may now quietly, or even gracefully, walk off the surface, as I hope they all will, and as I have reason to believe that many will, instead of perversely and uncharitably maintaining their ground till it gives way, and they become immersed with it in the gulf of popular disesteem.
As an individual, my humble yet earnest exertions are necessarily of a limited nature. As a husband and a parent, I have written with confidence; and I am so thoroughly convinced of the propriety of the proposed reformation, that I confidently trust. my sentiments to the consideration of the judicious and candid reader. The subject is unquestionably of great and lasting importance, and I wish that I could have expressed these sentiments with correspondent energy. It is for every individual in society approving of my general purposes to contribute his own aid and influence in promoting them. With all due respect to which the members of the medical profession may be fairly intitled, while acting in their proper sphere, I sincerely hope that a free and enlightened British public will not compromise the national honor; will not allow the united and persevering influence and insinuating address of medical men, and the machinations of them and their supporters, to stifle and triumph over the cause as well of decency and good taste, as of innocence, humanity, connubial happiness, and virtue.
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ADDRESSED TO THE
RIGHT HON. GEORGE CANNING,
FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY, &c. &c.
AN HUMBLE VINDICATION OF THE PRESENT
By A. S. WADE, D.D.,
OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE; VICAR OF ST. NICHOLAS, WARWICK;
AND CHAPLAIN TO LORD GLENLYON.
"Here is a field open for talent-here merit will have certain favor, and
DEVOTEDLY attached to the welfare of my country and of mankind, I am far from being an indifferent spectator of those political events which are passing in the civilised world, but more especially in my native land. The recent political changes which have taken place in the administration of the country, have, as might naturally be expected, excited the hopes and passions of men in a very high degree. The breaking up of a Ministry who seemed fixed as the pillars of the State itself; who ruled as by prescriptive right; who held their seats, as it were, from father to son; who monopolised all the influence and honors and emoluments in the power of the State to bestow-could not but lead to the expression of regrets and resentments both loud and violent. This angry feeling has shown itself in both Houses of Parliament; and, to its credit but partially, by the public press. Various pamphlets, however, have made their appearance, some of them written not merely by politicians, but by reverend divines and doctors in the Church; designed chiefly, as it would appear, if not to raise the senseless cry of "No Popery," at least to arouse the fears of the simple and more unreflecting part of the community on the threatened dangers of Catholic ascendency. To those who have honest fears and scruples on this subject, and many such there are, candor requires
that all due allowance should be made; but where this is not the case, and difference of opinion is resorted to only as a convenient political handle to excite prejudice against public men and mea sures, such writers deserve no quarter, and merit an appellation with which I will not soil my paper. They are neither sparing in invective, nor wanting in insinuation. We have strong assertions without proof, declamation without argument, and censures without dignity or moderation; and, from the present tone of mind, as little fairness in their compositions as judgment in their design. But men with disappointed hopes fall into strange confusion. Time
will minister to their disease.
I have lived long enough in the world, Sir, to know something of the tricks of parties. I have long considered myself honored by having been intimately connected with a band of liberal and enlightened men, who were distinguished in their day as much for their learning and private worth as for their patriotic principles, ("I speak that I do know, and testify that I have seen,") and who, had they lived to see this day, would have been glad. They found by experience that public virtue is not always the surest road to court-fayor, though by their great talents they would have adorned the highest stations. Many of them passed their lives in obscurity, in useful labors, and in vain expectations. They are now gone to their reward; and, were it possible, their hallowed influence would still aid our patriotic exertions. Though neglected and kept in the shade, their deaths were not without honor, nor will their names be soon forgotten. Their works survive them. My late much-revered friend, Dr. Parr, once said to me in conversation
"You may live to see the day, though I shall not, when toryism, bigotry, and intolerance, shall give place to enlightened sentiments both in politics and religion, and when men in power will see the necessity of keeping pace with the progress of knowlege and the march of mind: as there can be no greater folly than for governments or statesmen to waste a nation's strength by unprofitable dissensions about religion, or to degrade it by making it the watch word of a party; which, indeed, is only to pollute it, and to hide its lustre. It was graciously given and intended by Heaven to enlighten our minds, to teach us our duty, and to produce in us unity and order, peace and confidence, brotherly kindness and good-will. But how has the fine gold become dim,' when the best of Heaven's gifts is made a bone of contention,' and, by bad governments, is made to yield only the bitter fruits of envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness !" in warf
It is, Sir, to vindicate such worthies of the patriotic band to which I have alluded, and their principles, that I venture to obtrude myself on your notice, and to assure you and the public that, to my knowlege, the most learned, liberal, and enlightened of the