The Works of Aristotle - THE INTRODUCTION.



I have given this book the title of The Complete and Experienced Midwife, both because it is chiefly designed for those that profess midwifery, and contains whatever is necessary for them to know in the practice thereof, and also because it is the result of many years' experience, and that in the most difficult cases, and is therefore the more to be depended upon. A midwife is the most necessary and honourable office, being indeed a helper of nature; which therefore makes it necessary for her to be well acquainted with all the operations of nature in the work of generation, and instruments with which she works; for she that knows not the operations of nature, nor with what tools she works, must needs be at a loss how to assist therein. And seeing the instruments of operation both in men and women are those things by which mankind is produced, it is very necessary that all midwives should be well acquainted with them, that they may the better understand their business, and assist nature as there shall be occasion. The first thing then necessary as introductory to this treatise, is an ANATOMICAL DESCRIPTION of the several parts of generation both in men and women; and having designed throughout to comprehend much in a little room, I shall avoid all unnecessary and impertinent matters with which books of this nature are for the most part clogged, and which are more curious than needful. And though I shall be necessitated to speak plainly, that so I may be understood, yet I shall do it with that modesty that none shall have need to blush, unless it be from something in themselves, rather than from what they shall find here; having the motto of the royal garter for my defence, which is, "Honi soit qui mal y pense." Evil to him that evil thinks.


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