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from the saline elements in the blood, is unknown.

The plasmic currents on the surface of the body, those which course through the broad expanse of integument, although they give off water freely, are quite powerless to take it up, or absorb it; as the skin is practically impervious to all aqueous elements, and but very few medicaments can enter the general circulation; the principal exception being mercurial ointment, which is composed of the pure metal and a fat.

But how this material, either in oil globules or as unchanged mercury, can pierce three layers of stratified epithelia and enter the capillaries, cannot be explained. It has been supposed that the saline secretion acts on the metal and forms a soluble chloride, but when mercury has been so applied on the skin of a dog lustrous particles of the metal have been found in the liver and kidneys. With the plasmic current of the peptic glands of the stomach, the mucous, and Lieberkuhn's of the pylorus and small intestine it is directly the contrary to what we witness in the skin; for the epilthelia, which line the intestinal canal, as far as the caput-coli at least, possess the dual function, in a large measure, of both discharging and resorbing fluids.

In conditions of acute thirst, when the stomach is empty, it is believed

that water after being swallowed is at once taken up before the pylorus is reached.

The pulmonary organs are third in order as excretory conduits of aqueous elements of the blood.

With every expiration a jet of vap or is sent out through the trachea, impalpable in warm weather or a temperature above 40 Fahrenheit.

We are only conscious of its volume when freezing is reached and condensation is perceptible.

We are not able to determine what the precise limit of the lungs is, in absorbing moisture, although, it is quite obvious from observation, under various conditions, that it is considerable.

All are aware that a damp, moist atmosphere will diminish thirst, and lessen bronchial irritation. We know that the lungs exhale other elements than carbonic acid, that the breath is offensive after certain substances are eaten, and that in various deranged conditions of health it is very offensive. It is clearly evident, then, that the epithelia which stud the alveoli of the air vessels can thus abundantly discharge fluids and gases, and are the centres of active oxidation. Water must enter them from without, as well as through the plasmic currents, which, in these structures, are less marked than in the skin or intestine.

(To Be Continued.)



Translated from the sixth edition by Dr. F. E. Chandler.


Definition, Synonyms, Origin, History.

The word onanism was introduced into France by Tissot, who took it from an English work, Onania, which was attributed to Dr. Beckers, of London. The expression onanism is the generalization of the proper

name Onan, whose story is found in Genesis xxxviii.

"Dixit ergo Judas ad Onam, filium suum: Ingredere ad uxorem fratris tui et sociare illi, ut suscites semen fratri tuo.

"Ille sciens non nasci sibi tilios, introiens ad uxorem fratris sui semen fundebat in terram, ne liberi fratris nomine nascerentur, et idcirco per

cussit eum Deus eo quod rem detestabilem faceret."

The word "onanism" was improperly used by Tissot; for this passage from the Hebrew historian and legislator is far from proving beyond doubt than Onan masturbated; it even proves the contrary to those who take the pains to seek the sense and not the words of a phrase.

In order to comprehend the pas sage which has given rise to the erroneous interpretation of Onan's act, it seems proper to give an abstract of the usages and customs of the Jews instead of relying wholly upon one verse of the Bible, different translations of which may have sensibly altered the meanings of certain words.

Here are some articles from Deuteronomy, chapter xxv, which will explain what we desire to know:

Verse 5.-If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

Verse 6.-And it shall be, that the first-born which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

Verse 7.-And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, "My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother."

Verse S.-Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him; and if he stand to it, and say, "I like not to take her;"

Verse 9.-Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say: "So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house," etc.

With these data it is easy for us to reconstruct the episode which concerns Onan, as Lallemand has also done. Her, the first-born of Judas, and husband of Thamar, died with

out issue; his brother Onan was then forced to marry his sister-in-law to escape the scandal mentioned in the fifth book of Moses. That is why Judas advised him to marry Her's widOw. Onan obeys his father. But,

by his brother's death he has become the eldest of the family, and, as the law authorized him to have other wives, he could hope for a son legally his own, to perpetuate his own race. So, instead of accomplishing normally the conjugal relations he "frauded," as Dr. Bergeret felicitiously expresses it, or, if you wish, "ejaculabat extra vas" as the casuists put it.

This act, as may easily be seen, does not constitute masturbation, and it is only necessary to glance at the book entitled "Des fraudes dans l'accomplissement des fonctions generatrices" to learn that many married people for what purpose is of no consequence to us-do identically the same thing as Onan. These people are given to onanism in the absolute, etymological sense of the term, but they are by no means addicted to what is commonly called masturbation.

Given these facts, we might be blamed for employing a misleading and vicious term for the title of our work. We hope that we shall be pardoned this defect when we explain that we have made use of this word as of a scarecrow, to keep away from our work the non-medical and ignorant public to whom this term is far less familiar than the word masturbation.

Al. Schwartz, of Strasburg, in his inaugural thesis, 1815, says: "Onanism is a deadly habit, followed by an unnatural evacuation of the spermatic fluid caused by handling or by an ardent imagination."

This definition is bad. It is neither precise, general nor exact. It cannot be applied to women who have no spermatic fluid unless one commit the heresy to regard as such the liquid secreted by the vulvo-vaginal glands.

Besides, an ardent imagination may possibly, in certain cases of absolute continence, of atony of the genital organs or of cerebral disease, provoke the venereal spasm; but

would we be justified in treating as masturbators a continent man or a woman afflicted with nymphomania.

This definition, with all its defects, may be pardoned to an author of 1815, but to see an author of our day reproduce this ancient definition, word for word (and without giving Dr. Schwartz credit), is rather remarkable.

In the twelfth edition of Nysten, by MM. Littre & Robin, we find "Masturbation, manustupration (manu hand and stuprare to soil); excitation of the genital organs with the hand, called also onanism. It is the more dangerous because of the numerous opportunities to practice it."

This second definition is better than the first, but still so incomplete that I propose the following: "Onanism in women is an act against nature done with a living organ (hand, tongue, etc.), with some sort of instrument (cologne bottle, dildoes, etc., etc.), or with special movements, partial or general, with the intention of provoking the venereal spasm. may either be solitary or performed in common."


Besides the words onanism and masturbation, the following are sometimes employed: "Manusturbation, cheiromania or chiromania, manustupration, Onan's crime, mastupration, solitary libertinage, manual defilement, unnatural passion, solitary passion, manual vice, solitary manenver, genital vice, and many others. (I).

Starting from the fact that not only in the human race is this vice met with, but that dogs, turkeys, etc., and especially monkeys, give themselves up to it furiously, I do not intend to discuss whether or no masturbation is natural, but leave that to others more clever and learned than myself. I will only say that onanism seems to have existed in both sexes from the earliest times.

I will not, as many authors have done, insist upon the story of Onan; I have shown above that their interpretation of the passage was erroneous, and besides I do not intend to tonch upon this vice in the male;

I. Some authors have used the term nymphomania as synonymous with masturbation, thus creating a regrettable confusion without any plausible reason.

neither shall I descant on this verse of Ezekiel "et fecisti tibi imagines masculinas et fornicata es in eis." Chapter xvi, 17.

If, when separated from its context the above quoted passage seems to leave no doubt as to the maneuvers of the Jewish women, it is by no means so clear when taken as a whole.

"Verse 16.-And of thy garments thou didst take and deckedest thy high places with divers colors, and played the harlot thereupon, the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.

"Verse 17.-Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them.

"Verse 18.-And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredest them, and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.

"Verse 19.-My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savor, and thus it was saith the Lord God."

Do not let us forget that Ezekiel was addressing not a woman, but a whole people, Jerusalem, of which he synthetises the abominations, and by images of men he means the statues of strange gods in human forin, idols to which the Jews offered sacrifice in spite of the express and terrible prohibition in Deuteronomy.

"Cursed be the man who maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place."-Chap ter xxvii, v. 15.

Thus by confining ourselves to the words and not the spirit of the text we wrongly get the idea that by images of men is meant instruments of masturbation for the use of women; and Dr. Jeannel (I) has erroneously underscored the words of the Prophet Ezekiel by the following note: "Images of men are publicly sold at Tien-Tsin. They are made in Canton, of a gummc-resinous mass which has a certain elasticity. They are

I. De la prostitution dans les grandes villes au xiv siecle.-J. B. Balliere, Paris, 1868, p. 75-76.

rose or flesh-colored. Some albums offered freely for sale represent naked women using these instruments, which are attached to their heels. They are also made in porcelain for objects of art and adornment." The existence of phallus and the use made of them by the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire are incontestable, and Captain Wattremey has confirmed these facts while adding that they were not openly exposed for sale. (II).

Nowhere in the Bible is the vice of masturbation clearly described, and if we have stated that this vice has probably existed in all ages it is because we know that it is often the consequences of causes which are essentially organic, inherent in human nature, causes which must have acted, formerly as to-day, identically and produced the same results.

Among the Greeks, Sappho the erotic, and the young Lesbian girls, had the reputation of despising men and of sacrificing to Venus alone; they were surnamed "Tribades." Tribadism (tribein, to rub) was then as now mutual masturbation, unless we believe in a strange endemic of clitorism among the women of Lesbos (III).

II. Five years ago every Cheap John of the Parisian boulevard had them for sale.

(III.) At the time when Parent-Duchatelet was compiling his great work on prostitution, he made an investigation of the development of the clitoris and found that in the whole city of Paris there were but three prostitutes where it was of unusual dimensions.

The largest of these was three inches long and equalled in size the penis of a boy from 12 o 14 years, which it exactly resembled.


It is a matter of general belief that among those women who seek each other's society for tribadism, those who are equipped with a voluminous clitoris are the most inciting and the sought after. It is by no means so. The three prostitutes of whom I have just spoken were of the utmost indifference towards their own sex and had no great liking for men, so that their peculiar configuration, far from predisposing to lasciviousness would, on the contrary, seem to have tended to enfeeble it.

It has often been observed, that those girls who do seek each other's society and in whom this perverse instinct has the firmest hold, are noticeable for their grace, their sweetness and their youth, in short for all those qualities which render them attractive to men. Giraudeau, Traite des Maladies Syphilitiques, p. 550-551.

In Rome, under the emperors, manualization was much enjoyed by the "sometimes tired but never satiated matrons," as Juvenal has it. At this epoch women used chiefly the priapus or phallus-(phallos, penis)either of wood or of precious metals.

"Antique phallus found at Herculaneum and Pompeii are numerous in the Naples museum. The most of them are in bronze or gold, etc.

(Musee de Naples, edit Ledoux, p. 29).

Tribadism was also extremely common at this period if the satirists are to be believed.

It will be sufficient to quote the following verses from Martial and Juvenal, to show that the Roman women were fully as licentious those of Lesbos:

Lenonum ancillas posita Laufella corona Provocat, et tollit pendentis praemia

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There is nothing so very remarkable in this when we think what powerful genital excitants many of the religious festivals of these times were; some of them being simply luxurious orgies and incentives to debauchery.

Finally, it must be acknowledged the matrons preferred solitary pleasures and tribadism to sexual connection, because they found there a means of calming their erotic passion without having to fear pregnancy and its sequelae.

This is so true that the Latin women, when they could, gave themselves to eunuchs who procured them physical enjoyment without imperil ing their beauty, that child-bearing would have ruined.

Here is what Juvenal has to say on the subject:

Sunt quas eunuchi imbelles, ac mollia


Oscula delectent, et desperatio barbae,

Et quod abortio non est opus, Illa voluptas

Summa tatum, quod jam calida matura juventa

Inguina traduntur medicis, jam pectine nigro:

Ergo expectatos, ac Jussos crescere primum

Testiculos postquam coeperunt esse bilibres

Tonsoris damno tautum rapit Heliodorus (Juvenal, vi, 36f.)

In the Middle Ages debauchery and that promiscuousness of the sexes dependent upon poverty were at their height, and possibly a part of the causes of those epidemics of nervous diseases: epilepsy, hysteria, chorea, catalepsy, ecstacy, uterine furor, etc., then called crimes of sorcery, which attacked many at a time and which the canonical judges cured so merrily by burning the victims at the stake, could have been referred to manualization.

In our day, onanism has passed, so to speak, into the customs; it may even be more widespread than formerly, but it is less visible. It is concealed, and with justice, as a shameful vice.

We have not to occupy ourselves with the men; as to the women, if there are many who give up manualization after marriage there are many who keep up this deadly habit during conjugal life and widowhood, or only take it up at this period; we shall endeavor further on to give the reason for this state of things.

Those who will persistently deny this have only to examine the literature of the times. Two novels, Mademoiselle de Maupin, by Th. Gautier, and Mademoiselle Giraud, Ma Femme, by A. Belot, have tribadism or mutual masturbation as their point of departure, and of the shorter stories dealing with this subject, their name is legion. Now novels are by no means, as is too often thought, mere creatures of the imagination; they are also the reflection of the times which see their birth. Novelists rarely invent passions or vices; they only present them in an agreeable and attractive form.

If that is not enough for the incredulous, let them frequent, as a last resort, the stages of the minor theatres or, still better, of the concert gardens, and what they will see

and hear there will not leave any doubt as to the frequency of masturbation, both solitary and in common.



As I have already hinted, there are several forms of masturbation in women. I shall review them rapidly while classifying them.

We will first make the following grand divisions according to the anatomical configuration of the genital organs: A, vaginal masturbation; B, clitoridian masturbation; C, urethral masturbation.

A. Vaginal Masturbation.

This form is rarely extraneous or in common, but is generally personal and solitary, and less frequent than clitoridian masturbation. It consists in maneuvers made with candles, ends of broom handles, phallus, different vegetables, cologne bottles, needle cases, etc.

More than one surgeon in his practice has met with young women who, while masturbating with some one of the objects named, had the bad luck to see the instrument escape them and penetrate into the vagina so that they were unable, to their great shame, to withdraw it themselves.

Medical literature contains many observations of this kind, as well as of the loss of different foreign bodies in the urinary passages.

Although unusual in children, vaginal masturbation is especially common both in young girls and in adults, either widowed or single. Before arriving at this form of genital excitement the woman is generally basee on the other methods of procedure.

It is an erotic refinement which finds its cause in a more complete knowledge of genital pleasures, since it is a rude imitation of coitus.

A. Schwartz (loc. cit.) reports the following case: "A woman, aged from 25 to 26 years, of vigorous temperament, defiled her self while her husband was on duty. The instrument she was using (sausage) broke, the efforts she made to remove it were in vain.

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