Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

Self-Abuse and Gleets

17 February 1719
A Rational Account of the Cause, Nature, Seat, and Cure of Gleets [discharges], and other such WEAKNESSES, usually attending Persons after former Cures, Over-strainings, Self-Abuses [masturbation], hard Labours, Miscarriages, &c. Wherein is fully explicated the horrid nature, and most miserable consequences of self-abuses in particular; the ruin and bane of the more flourishing part of mankind, punished in the person of Onan, Gen. ch. 38. ver. 10. And therefore the Lord slew him because he had done a DETESTABLE thing. This book (as also the Practical Scheme of the Secret Disease [venereal disease] and the Gout System) is given gratis up one pair of stairs at the sign of the Anodyne NECKLACE, without Temple-Bar: At Mrs. Garway’s the sign of the Practical Scheme at the Royal-Exchange Gate; and at Mr. Cooper’s at the corner of Charles-Court in the Strand. [Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer]

12 June 1725
A new edition is just published, of
THE Practical Scheme of the SECRET DISEASE, a GLEET, and a Broken Constitution by fast Living, former Cures, Salivations, Mercury, &c. teaching persons to understand rightly their own case, and to cure themselves without making their condition known to any one. Dedicated to Dr. Chamberlen. This highly useful and instructive little book is given gratis up one pair of stairs, at the celebrated Anodyne NECKLACE, recommended by Dr. Chamberlen for children’s teeth, next to the Rose Tavern without Temple-Bar. and at Mr. Jeremiah Pain’s the sign of the Bunch of Grapes, the first toyshop at right hand just within Pope’s Head-Ally from Cornhill, right over against the Royal-Exchange. Where are to be had the famous Anodyne NECKLACES for children’s teeth sealed up along with the liquid coral to make the gums give way for the teeth to come but without pain. Price both together 5s. and the famous pectoral LOZENGES for that uneasiness at stomack called the HEART-BURN, six-pence a paper. [Mist’s Weekly Journal]

26 February 1726
ONANIA, Or the Heinous Sin
of Self-Pollution [i.e. masturbation], and all its frightful Consequences in both Sexes consider’d, with Spiritual and Physical Advice to those who have already injur’d themselves by that abominable Practice. In which are many very remarkable, and some of them even astonishing letters from persons of both sexes, young and old, single and married, concerning their self abuses, &c. Also letters from clergymen, physicians, schoolmasters, &c. some of them casuistical, of cases of conscience, &c. with answers to them, and one from a lady very curious concerning the lawful use and sinful abuse of the marriage bed, with histories of cases and cures, &c. And one from another young married lady, who by that detestable practice became barren and diseas’d. A learned divine and physician has recommended this book in these words: ‘This little book ought to be read by all sorts of people, of both sexes, of what age, degree, profession, or condition soever, guilty or not guilty of the sin declaim’d against in it.’ Sold by T. Crouch at the Bell in Pater-Noster Row near Cheapside, and J. Isted at the Golden-Ball by St. Dunstan’t Church, Fleet-street, booksellers. Price stitch’d two shillings.
   Where also may be had, the Supplement to the above Onania, Price stitch’d 1s. 6d. Printed on the same letter and paper, to be bound up with either the 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th editions of that book, containing many further and more surprizing Instances of the health being impar’d, and genitals spoil’d, by that filthy, sinful commerce with one’s self, which is notoriously practis’d, as well by adults as youth, women as men, married as single, to the dishonour of god, wrong to soul and body, and defrauding one the other, as their letters, which are inserted, lamenting the disquietudes and mischiefs thereby, shew. Also a curious piece, (as promis’d) translated out of the Latin, from L. Sckmeider [sic], as it is inserted in the Acta Lipsiensia, concerning the return of the semen into the mass of blood, well worth the perusal of physicians, surgeons, anatomists, and all others of art and curiosity. And which with an answer to a late scurrilous libel, call’d, Onania Examin’d and Derected, clearing up the charges agianst the Onania, and those especially relating to the ladies, as several letters from them shew, compleats all what the Author has to say on this subject. [Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Self-Abuse and Gleets", 15 February 2002 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/onania.htm>

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