Excerpt from a description of the transmission and symptoms of ‘The Venereal Disease’ in London’s Medicinal Informer, 1710, a London Physician


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Of Giving and Receiving the Venereal Infection,

and of the Symptoms firſt diſcovering

the ſame.

                THE Eſſence of the Venereal Diſeaſe conſiſting

(as I have declar’d, and as its

Effects ſufficiently ſhew) of a malign Corroſive Acid,

by Heat eaſily volatiliz’d, I from thence infer,

(and Experience confirms the Inference) that its

Infection may infallibly be communicated, from

one Perſon to another, by any kind of Means, (five

immediate five mediate) by which the malign penetrative

Particles of this Infection may be tranſmitted

from any Part of an infected Perſon, into

(tho’ but) the Cuticular Pores of any Part of a

ſound Body; for ’tis no ſooner thro’ thoſe Pores,

but it meets with ſome of the Fluids of the Body,

which it viciates, renders viſcid, and (by farther

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Fermentations) colliquates and converts into a Virus

of its own Nature.

                And by that Means it happens, that this

Infection (by whatever Way receiv’d) firſt occaſions

a Local Diſeaſe, viz.  The principal Part, not

all, of the Infection (for ſome ſhort Time) adheres

to, or remains in the Part or Parts into

which it at firſt gain’d Admiſſion; and in thoſe

Parts, and thoſe thereto adjacent, uſually firſt diſcovers

it ſelf by its proper Symptoms.  That every

Perſon may have a clear and ſatisfactory Notion

of the Matter, I will ſubjoin a more particular

Account how, and by what Means, Perſons may

and do become infected with this Diſeaſe, and of

the Symptoms that do thereupon firſt enſue, viz.

                I. By the Venereal Enjoyment of an infected Companion;

and by this Means more Perſons receive

this Infection, than by all other Ways whatſoever.

                2. A Man may, as too many know by dear-bought

Experience, receive this Infection, by only

Luſtful Dalliance with the Obſcene Parts of an infected

Woman, (or, if he has a virulent Gonorrhaea,

Shankers, &c. may ſo give it to a ſound Woman)

altho’ he does not abſolutely enter her Body.

                3.Some have aſſur’d me, that they receiv’d the

Infection by only permitting their (pickt up) Ladies

to handle their Privy Members; but if ſo, the

Woman muſt firſt (deſignedly), have moiſten’d

her Hand with the infectious Filth of her own Body.

When the Infection ſhall have been receiv’d

by any of the Ways hitherto nam’d, it uſually induces

a Gonorrhaea, or ſome of the Symptoms of a

Clap; of which in the next Chapter.

                Her permit me to make one Remark, viz. That

when the Infection is reciv’d by Luſtful Dalliance,

without Penetration; by Penetration, without an

Emiſſion of Seed; or by ſuffering a Woman to

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beſmear the Yard with the infectious Filth of her

own Body, altho’ ſometimes a Gonorrhaea, Running,

Heat of Urin, &c. may inſue; yet, in my

Practice, I have obſerv’d (which no Author that

I know of has hitherto taken any Notice of) the

firſt Symptoms are more uſually only external,

viz. The Yard becomes inflam’d, ſwell’d, ſore; its

Foreskin ſo purs’d up, that its Nut can’t, without

Difficulty, be diſcover’d; or perhaps is ſo girt about

the Top of the Nut of the Yard, as that it

can’t, with Eaſe, be brought over it; or there happen

little Ulcers, Shankers, Warts, an Owzing of a

Matter from between the Foreskin and Nut of the

Yard, almoſt like that of a Running, &c. Sometimes

the one, and at other Times another of theſe

Symptoms begin to appear, a Week, two, or three,

ſometimes longer, after the Infection ſhall have been

receiv’d.  And in ſome Perſons (whether there

were or were not a Penetration, Emiſſion of Seed,

&c.) the Infection ſhall cauſe a Running, and moſt

of the other Symptoms too.  The Truth is, every

Perſon does in ſome Meaſure differ from any other

in Conſtitution and State of Health; and for

that Reaſon the Infection will produce different

Symptoms in one Perſon, from what it does in another.

                4. A Perſon may receive this Infection by laſciviouſly

kiſſing any one who has Venereal Ulcers

or Sores in his or her Mouth or Throat; in which

Caſe the Lips are apt to break out in Scabs, that

will not eaſily be remov’d; or, being remov’d,

will ſoon return the Mouth and Throat become

+sore, exu’cerated, &c.

                5.Lying eſpecially if it be often done) in the

ſame Bed with a Perſon (tho’ of the ſame Sex

that has the Venereal Diſeaſe in an high Degree,

will communicate the Infection to a ſound Perſon;

ſo will (ſometimes) a Bed or Garment conſtantly

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lain in, or worn, by a Perſon ſeverely Poxt.  And

when the Infection ſhall be receiv’d by either of theſe

Ways, the infectious Effluvia entering moſt Parts

of the Body, and fixing in the Miliary Glands,

the firſt Symptoms commonly are (unuſual) Itchings,

Tinglings, little Breakings-out on the Skin,

Pimples, Puſtules, Scabs, &c. that will not eaſily be


                6. Many Infants (their Parents being poxt) bring

this Diſeaſe into the World with them; and in

that Caſe, altho’ they are many Times born clear,

and ſeemingly ſound, yet they ſoon diſcover their

Diſeaſe, by unuſual Breakings-out, &c. Many ſuch

Children have I had under my Care, and happily

cur’d them.

                7.Pocky-Infants oftentimes give this Diſeaſe to

their Nurſes, as well by ſucking, as by being

kiſs’d and fondl’d by them.  Several Nurſes have I

known thus almoſt ruin’d, they not preſently imagining

what was the Matter with their Breaſts,

Lips, Mouth, &c. which are attended with Breakings-out,

Soreneſs, Ulcers, &c. that reſiſt the Force

of all ordinary Remedies.

                8. A great Number of ſound and healthful Infants

and young Children are ſpoil’d, and even

murder’d by pocky Nurſes.  If a wet Nurſe has the

foul Diſeaſe, the Infant receives it of her by ſucking;

and the Infection ſhews it ſelf firſt in the

Child’s Mouth, but ſoon after in the other Parts of

its tender Body.  If either wet or dry Nurſe has

Venereal Ulcers in her Mouth, ſhe moſt certainly

gives the Diſeaſe to the Child, by kiſſing and fondling

of it.  If ſhe has pocky Sores, Ulcers, or Breakings-out

on her Body, ſhe infects the Child by the

venomous Steems of her diſea+ed Body when in

Bed.  By all this ’tis apparent, that ſound Nurſes

ought to be very cautious what Infants they take

to nurſe, and the Parents of ſound Children no leſs

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ſolicitous to what Nurſes and Nurſery-Maids they

commit the Care of their tender Infants.

                S. 3. There are divers other more ſcandalous

Ways by which ſome profligate Wretches become infected

with this Diſeaſe; but I ſhall paſs them by,

as not fit to be nam’d; beſides, they are effectually

comprehended by the general Rule laid down

at the Beginning of this Chapter.

                s. 4. It may not be improper here to remark,

that altho’ my Antivenereal-Pills, Specifick Electuary,

&c. being taken as hereafter directeed, are proper

and effectual Remedies for carrying off a Venereal

Infection, by whatever Way receiv’d; yet External

Remedies ought not (in many Caſes) to be (by

any Means) neglected; and amongſt thoſe my

                Medicinal Liquor,

is one of the moſt effectual (if not the very beſt)

yet known in the World.  I do not recommend

it as an infallible Preſervative from Infection, (there

being no ſuch Thing in Nature;) yet I know, by

mainifold Experience, that if the External Parts

(of either Sex) pertaining to Generation, &c. be

waſh’d and bath’d therewith hot preſently (or indeed

within ſome Days) after an impure Coition,

and that three or four times a Day for ſome Days,

it ſeldom fails effectually to prevent and preſerve

from many of the moſt troubleſome Symptoms of a

Clap, viz. Swelling, and Purſing up of the Foreskin

of the Yard, an Owzing of Matter from under it,

Sores, Breakings-out, Shankers, Venereal Warts, &c.

and will alſo very much help forwards an effectual

Cure to be perform’d by proper Internal Remedies.

And indeed, thoſe Infections receiv’d by Luſtful

Dalliance, without Penetration, by Penetration without

Emiſſion of Seed, or by ſuffering a Woman to

beſmear the Yard with the in+fectious Filth of her

own Body, (and the Truth is, where a Man ſhall

firſt laſciviouſly handle the Privy Parts of an infected

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Womah, and after that, whilſt his Hand

ſhall be moiſt with the Filth of her Body, ſhall handle,

rub, and chaff his own Privy Members, he

will thereby effectually Pox himſelf.) In any of

theſe Caſes, the Infection being chiefly lodg’d in the

Pores of the External Skin, the Cure can’t be ſpeedily

and well perform’d, without the Uſe of this,

or ſome ſuch External Remedy; for in all ſuch Caſes

thoſe Parts ought to be often and well bath’d

therewith, and ſome (either of that weaken’d with

Water, or ſome) other proper Liquor may alſo be

injected into the Paſſage of the Yard, and the Vagina

Uteri, to cleanſe them.  Women, who ſhall

(by ſuckling Pocky children) have their Breaſts infected,

ought often to bathe their Breaſts therewith.

Thoſe Perſons alſo, (and eſpecially young Children,

injur’d by the Steem of the Bodies of Pocky Nurſes)

who ſhall (by Lying in the ſame Bed, &c.) have

receiv’d the Infection by the Cuticular Pores of moſt

Parts of their Bodies, ought to be often bath’d

therewith all over, eſpecially whereever they ſhall

find any Pimples, Puſtules, Breakings-out, &c. They

who ſhall have Sores, Ulcers, & c. in their Mouths,

Throats, &c. ought to mix ſome Honey of Roſes

therewith, and uſe it hot as an excellent (nay, the

beſt of) Gargles, in all Venereal Caſes; and indeed,

as an External Lotion, it has not (that I know of)

its Equal (in Venereal Caſes) on Earth.  And that

it will do great Service (us’d as before directed) to

prevent the ill Effects of a Venereal Infection, is evident

from its effectually curing (as it uſually will)

Veneral Pimples, Puſtules, Scabs, Breakings-out, &c.

in any Part of the Body, even when come to Perfection,

and of long ſtanding, by their being only

waſh’d and bath’d therewith hot.  I ſhall take

farther Notice of it hereafter.