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though he changes his mind at the third, turns out after all to be a feeble instrument, quite a "contemptible auxiliary.”
We think that the generous nature of the Protestant Tory must have recoiled within him ere he overwhelmed so unresisting a foe. Did he feel no qualms of conscience, no compunctious visitings when, with uplifted foot, he stood about to crush the little trembler? But it is no matter! regret would now come too late-the blow has been struck-the authority of newspapers is at an end, and the light of truth henceforth is to be shed over the country from the pamphlets of Protestant Tories.
We cannot pass unnoticed the seven consecutive questions on the subject of Portugal. The burden of them is, that the Portuguese did not want a constitution; that if they did, we had no right to give them one; that if we had, we ought not to have sent soldiers to support it; and that if we ought, Mr. Canning should not have made such a speech as he did on that occasion.
We could have given a pretty shrewd guess at the author's opinion on this subject, although he had not said one word about it. High Tories are usually much more curious to uphold kingly governments, than to promote the blessings of free constitutions; and no discord is so hateful in their ears, as the impassioned bursts. of honest eloquence which breathe the voice of freedom.
A more splendid effort to accomplish a noble object than the speech of Mr. Canning on that memorable occasion, the annals of no time or country afford; but, although, as a masterpiece of brilliant oratory it electrified the House, and must have been listened to with delight by all who heard it, yet do we believe that in its political effect it was much more worthy of admiration. As a consummate stroke of policy we look on it as quite unrivalled; we are firmly of opinion, that that speech alone prevented the immediate interference of France with the affairs of Spain and Portugal; that it arrested all Europe who were about to fall on the Peninsula; and that none dared to face its thunders.
Men who can do such things are statesmen. Such are the men formed to wield the destinies of great empires; not those who please Protestant Tories, and can do no more than give simple explanations; but those who can fulminate-who in the cabinet can call new nations into existence, and shed the light of liberty over distant realms; who, in the senate, can rouse or still kingdoms with their voice! Is our author angry that a speech does the work of an army? that millions are averted by a word?
But we hasten to lay aside our pen, already employed too long in this service. The uncalled-for and unjustifiable insinuations thrown out against Lord Lansdowne, " that he will probably soon be induced to share in the Treasury plunder;"
he vows, and protests, and pities the poor Catholics, whom he would be too happy to serve if he could by the sacrifice of every thing except place," we pass by in silence; nor shall even pause to condole with Lord Harrowby on being " a fallen angel." It must be consolatory to his Lordship, at least, to find, that notwithstanding his fall, he is still "an angel of light."
And here we conclude our task, having no counter-rhapsody at hand at all worthy of being placed in opposition to that which occupies the last fifteen pages of our author's work: yet would we fain give him, in all humility, a word or two of advice ere we part. He has now established his reputation as a pamphleteer, and we suppose has it in view to burst on the town, ere long, in some new capacity. If he has not yet decided in what character to appear, we beg respectfully to recommend that of a minstrel: his figures of "Peel, Eldon, and Wellington, revolving round the Sun;"" of high-bred noblemen, vicars of Bray, and wise men of the East, uniting to adore the same idol;" and many others, seem to us not only highly poetical, but eminently adapted to music, and would, we think, if well arranged, prove a valuable acquisition to our stock of popular ballads. As reciters of poetry, we do not pretend to put ourselves in competition with him; but when we came to that passage in which he likens Mr. Canning to the rising sun, we were struck with the following lines, which we thought, as a motto for his pamphlet, would not have been unappropriate :
Oh thou, that with surpassing glory crowned,
Peace and prosperity to our author!
If the grey goose-quill is still his delight, we hope he will employ it to his heart's content. We e can with truth assure him, that from us at least he need fear no farther castigation; we have other occupations more worthy of our attention, than to reply to the frantic effusions of party petulance, which can excite no feeling but those of mirth or pity.
That ignorance and bigotry have at length shrunk before the progress of improvement, we most unfeignedly rejoice. By the side of the enlightened and truly patriotic spirits of the age we take our stand. With them we will strive to uphold our glorious Constitution; with them we venerate our King, confide in the Minister of his choice, and laugh at the Protestant Tory.
ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC
ON THE PROPRIETY OF
MIDWIVES, INSTEAD OF SURGEONS,
BY J. R. PICKMERE.
'Nothing ought to be held laudable or becoming, but what nature itself should prompt us to think so."-STEELE. Spectator, Vol. 1. No. 6.
The Fourth Edition, intended for the PAMPHLETEER, with considerable additions.
IN presenting to the public a new edition of my tract, intitled as above, I will compress the preface, the address, and the postscript into one view; and will introduce some elementary discussions confirmatory of the subject, which, since the last edition was published, have occurred to me as being requisite ; at the same time, adding a brief notice of some relative circumstances which have since transpired, and adapting the whole to the exigencies of the present period. I have, in this edition, expatiated on the nature of delicacy, as connected with midwifery and the marriage-state. In taking a philosophical view of delicacy thus related, and partly in some other respects, I have been passing through a region, which from the general novelty of the subject of this tract in print, has not, I believe, been before attempted to be fully explored. I may therefore by inadvertency have committed some errors in expression, or left some points incomplete; defects which my friends will oblige by notifying to me, and which I hope the readers' candor will prompt them to excuse.
In again declaring my sentiments publicly, I am aware that I am still contending against a phalanx of men, who are united by their profession, in one common feeling and interest, to support the present accustomed practice of midwifery; nevertheless, I am emboldened by a consciousness that my efforts are founded on
a due sense of religion, virtue, and decency; and it affords me pleasure to find, that since I first commenced an open attack, able coadjutors have renewed it with increased vigor. Let it be understood, however, that my censures are general: for I am informed that many respectable and disinterested members of the profession are disposed for a change; and I do not intend to question the great worth and usefulness of medical men, when they apply themselves with skill and integrity to an attentive discharge of the duties properly belonging to their vocation.
It is an incontrovertible axiom, that a mere custom, however ancient and prevalent, which is not founded on natural necessity, and which is intrinsically bad in its principle and effects as respects society, ought to be suppressed by all prudent and justifiable means. Such a custom is man-midwifery, when contrasted with the practice of midwives, as I shall plainly show. It will be readily admitted by all well-disposed persons, that, naturally, the fair sex have a greater sensibility to modesty, and especially as respects personal delicacy, than the other; that their natural modesty possesses, in the estimation of both sexes, an ideal excellence, the preservation of which materially contributes to the innocent enjoyments allotted to our temporal state by Providence, and that the moral purity of women forms a part of their religious obligations. Modesty, in its most extensive sense, is peculiarly graceful in the fair sex: their eternal welfare, and even their worldly reputation, are not the only points in which its preservation concerns them. Besides its ideal excellence, it imparts a winning and uniform decency to general behavior. There is, generally, that habitual loveliness in the aspect and manner of a lady of genuine modesty, contracted from the sympathy of the mind with the exterior person, which confers an additional grace on virtue and mental accomplishments, and adds an indispensable lustre to beauty and every personal attraction. Being enjoined in the exercise of our social duties to be active in doing good, besides refraining from the commission of unjustifiable harm, I am solely urged in this Address, by a sincere wish to defend some of the most amiable properties and shining ornaments of the sex from the plausible attacks of the ensnarer, to expose and deter the gross abuses and various great evils irremediably incidental to a continuance of the present system of midwifery, and to recommend, in their stead, innocent and effectual means of alleviating one of the many distresses to which human life is subject, in our present fleeting and probationary state of existence,
Childbirth, like the parturition of females in every kind of viviparous animals, is purely a natural process, equally as remote from an artificial operation as the pulsation of the heart. In
ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the labors of women are perfectly regular; and were they in such situations left each to herself, quite alone, without indelicate intrusion, or other accident to protract or disorder the process, nature would nearly always successfully accomplish its own purposes. Numerous have been the instances eventually discovered in our country, in modern times, of poor females having been intentionally alone during labor, for the purpose of concealing the birth of illegitimate children. Civilisation has the general effect of strengthening the bodily powers in some classes of individuals, by means of constant hard exercise, and an ample supply of wholesome provisions; and, on the other hand, by producing the poor manufacturing and the inactive classes, it has the effect of weakening these powers: but, whether the bodily powers be strong or comparatively weak, so long as there is no disease, nor extreme debility, peculiarly affecting the organisation of nature, with reference to the involuntary corporeal actions in childbirth, the organisation is perfect; and the respective forces of the various actions are so modified and tempered together, as to suit the natural strength and occasion of the individual. Such particular disease, or extreme debility, is not more prevalent in civilised, than rude nations; therefore civilisation has not the effect of altering the nature of women, in respect of childbirth. In a state of rude nature, as well as in that of civilisation, mankind are social beings, mutually assisting each other; and therefore, in both these states, it is natural and proper that women should be attended, with a view to assistance or convenience, during childbirth. In a state of civilisation, such attention is not more essentially necessary, but it is more expected, on account of the refinements consequently introduced into habits and manners. Even, if civilisation had tended to create a necessity for more frequent essential assistance, and whether it does or not, the interests of society demand that those persons should be exclusively encouraged in the practice of midwifery, who are by nature adequate to administer this assistance most advantageously for mothers, and most congenially to the inclinations of husbands. I
now, therefore, come to the immediate discussion of the present subject; to prove by comparison that women alone are the proper persons to render this assistance; and then to recommend the general adoption of midwives, and the consequent subversion of man-midwifery.
In our nation medical men rarely interfered in accouchements till within the last seventy or eighty years. The subsequent prevalence of man-midwifery never having become requisite, it must have had its origin in the lust and avarice of medical men of the NO. LV.