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_On marriage and at what age young men and virgins are capable of
it: and why so much desire it. Also, how long men and women are
capable of it._

There are very few, except some professional debauchees, who will not
readily agree that "Marriage is honourable to all," being ordained by
Heaven in Paradise; and without which no man or woman can be in a
capacity, honestly, to yield obedience to the first law of the creation,
"Increase and Multiply." And since it is natural in young people to
desire the embraces, proper to the marriage bed, it behoves parents to
look after their children, and when they find them inclinable to
marriage, not violently to restrain their inclinations (which, instead
of allaying them, makes them but the more impetuous) but rather provide
such suitable matches for them, as may make their lives comfortable;
lest the crossing of those inclinations should precipitate them to
commit those follies that may bring an indelible stain upon their
families. The inclination of maids to marriage may be known by many
symptoms; for when they arrive at puberty, which is about the fourteenth
or fifteenth year of their age, then their natural purgations begin to
flow; and the blood, which is no longer to augment their bodies,
abounding, stirs up their minds to venery. External causes may also
incline them to it; for their spirits being brisk and inflamed, when
they arrive at that age, if they eat hard salt things and spices, the
body becomes more and more heated, whereby the desire to veneral
embraces is very great, and sometimes almost insuperable. And the use of
this so much desired enjoyment being denied to virgins, many times is
followed by dismal consequences; such as the green weesel colonet,
short-breathing, trembling of the heart, etc. But when they are married
and their veneral desires satisfied by the enjoyment of their husbands,
these distempers vanish, and they become more gay and lively than
before. Also, their eager staring at men, and affecting their company,
shows that nature pushes them upon coition; and their parents
neglecting to provide them with husbands, they break through modesty and
satisfy themselves in unlawful embraces. It is the same with brisk
widows, who cannot be satisfied without that benevolence to which they
were accustomed when they had their husbands.

At the age of 14, the menses, in virgins, begin to flow; then they are
capable of conceiving, and continue generally until 44, when they cease
bearing, unless their bodies are strong and healthful, which sometimes
enables them to bear at 65. But many times the menses proceed from some
violence done to nature, or some morbific matter, which often proves
fatal. And, hence, men who are desirous of issue ought to marry a woman
within the age aforesaid, or blame themselves if they meet with
disappointment; though, if an old man, if not worn out with diseases and
incontinency, marry a brisk, lively maiden, there is hope of him having
children to 70 or 80 years.

Hippocrates says, that a youth of 15, or between that and 17, having
much vital strength, is capable of begetting children; and also that the
force of the procreating matter increases till 45, 50, and 55, and then
begins to flag; the seed, by degrees, becoming unfruitful, the natural
spirits being extinguished, and the humours dried up. Thus, in general,
but as to individuals, it often falls out otherwise. Nay, it is
reported by a credible author, that in Swedland, a man was married at
100 years of age to a girl of 30 years, and had many children by her;
but his countenance was so fresh, that those who knew him not, imagined
him not to exceed 50. And in Campania, where the air is clear and
temperate, men of 80 marry young virgins, and have children by them;
which shows that age in them does not hinder procreation, unless they be
exhausted in their youths and their yards be shrivelled up.

If any would know why a woman is sooner barren than a man, they may be
assured that the natural heat, which is the cause of generation, is more
predominant in the man than in the woman; for since a woman is more
moist than a man, as her monthly purgations demonstrate, as also the
softness of her body; it is also apparent that he does not much exceed
her in natural heat, which is the chief thing that concocts the humours
in proper aliment, which the woman wanting grows fat; whereas a man,
through his native heat, melts his fat by degrees and his humours are
dissolved; and by the benefit thereof are converted into seed.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012335838
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 4/18/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 242 KB

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