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1 Some of the "simiæ " are subject to a periodical discharge, analogous to that of the human female; but, according to Cuvier, it is in smaller quantity, and not at stated periods. The females of various other animals, when in a state to receive the male, have a discharge from the same parts, but totally different in its properties, and the mode in which it makes its appearance. Virgil, Geor. B. iii. 1. 280, et seq., refers to this subject.—B.
2 Pliny makes some further remarks on these substances in a subsequent place, see B. x. c. 84; where he says they are produced without the intercourse of the male; this point has been much discussed, and is perhaps scarcely yet decided.—B.
3 There is no actual resemblance between moles and schirri; they are produced by different causes, and exist in different parts of the body. Moles are always formed in the womb, and probably have some connection with the generative functions; while schirri are morbid indurations, which make their appearance in various parts of the body. Hippocrates gives some account of moles, in his work on the Diseases of Women. They are also noticed by Aristotle.—B.
4 All the poisonous and noxious effects which were attributed by the ancients to the menstrual discharge, are without the slightest foundation. The opinions entertained on this point by the Jews, may be collected from Leviticus, c. xv. ver. 19, et seq. Pliny enlarges upon this subject in a subsequent place. See B. xxviii. c. 23.—B.
5 Both Josephus, Bell. Jud. B. iv. c. 9, and Tacitus, Hist. B. v. c. 6, give an account of this supposed action of this fluid on the bitumen of Lake Asphaltites; the statement is no doubt entirely unfounded, but it is a curious instance of popular credulity.—B.
6 There are still somewhat similar superstitions in existence, even in this country among others; it is not uncommonly believed that meat will not take salt from the hands of a female during the discharge of the catamenia.
7 This statement is without foundation.—B.
8 The fact is true, that females in whom the menstrual discharge does not take place, are seldom, if ever, capable of conception; but it does not depend on the cause here assigned. See the remarks of Cuvier, Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 82, and Ajasson, vol. vi. p. 173.—B.
9 Pliny clearly alludes to an opinion expressed by Galen, in which he says, "that if women while giving suck, have sexual intercourse, the milk becomes tainted." Hardouin remarks, that Pliny shows considerable caution here in bringing forward Nigidius as the propounder of these opinions, the truth of which he himself seems to have doubted.
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