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Munafa ebook

Munafa ebook

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Words: 34513 in 11 pages

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If the following Sheets are not thought so methodically digested, as some Criticks would require, yet, it is to be hoped, they may conduce, in some Measure, to the reforming of an Opinion, which, in general, is the Result of Doctrines, founded by the Ancients upon the most absurd Principles; and though "I do not promise methodical and finished Treatises, but only some short Hints of Natural History, and rude Strokes of Reasoning;" yet I have this for my Plea, that the Expulsion of superstitious Mysteries and Errors, occult Causes, and, in fine, the Promotion of Truth, in some Parts of Natural Knowledge, to the utmost of my Power, are my sole Intention.

Some, perhaps, may ask what I have said in this Treatise, that they did not already know? or may pretend, they did not believe there were Hermaphrodites in the World; to this I answer, that tho' there are some who will give their Reason leave to interfere when a mysterious Matter comes before them, yet of those few who may be called the learned among Men, how many are there that follow the Path of vulgar Errors, rather than take the Trouble of thinking seriously about such a Subject? and, consequently, how few must they be, that ever had a Notion of what appears, in the following Introduction, to have been transacted concerning Hermaphrodites in all Ages and Nations, by the wisest and most learned among them? so far therefore this Undertaking cannot be quite useless.

The Introduction sufficiently points out the Necessity of exhausting this Subject, in the Conviction of those erroneous Notions, propagated from Time to Time, and so long entertained in the World; and the best Manner that occurred to me of proceeding in it, in Hopes to succeed, was, after exhibiting such Reasons as seemed best to deny the Existence of Hermaphrodites in human Nature, to bring together the Opinions of several Authors, and make comparative Animadversions on them; by which Means, I hope, it will not be doubted, but that the Truth, which hitherto has been so clouded and obscured on this Head, may be said at least to begin to dawn, and by abler Hands may hereafter be brought to a clearer Light.

To judge alone of any Performance is somewhat less difficult, than to perform and judge together; it is therefore that the World in general are better Judges than Performers, the Majority of whom will snarl at a Word or Sentence, as the Standers-by often do at a Gamester's Manner of playing a Cast, they would have played themselves another Way, though perhaps not so well; and, therefore, however imperfect this little Work may be, as it means only to search for Truth, I hope the Reader will be so kind as to make some Allowance for it's Imperfection; for if it should meet with Censure, that can amount to no more than a Condemnation of some particular Thing, in a Work which in general is, at least, well intended.


An indolent Person is always the most credulous of Novelty, at the same Time that his Supineness hinders him from examining into the Truth of any Rumour whatsoever. And this Kind of Passion is of the meanest Class, not only as it argues some Contempt or Neglect of Truth, but also as it is productive of a very great Evil, in setting a Limit or Bar to the Progress of Knowledge, and is therefore a vast Disadvantage to Society in general; from such a one as this, not the least publick Good, no more than private Benefit to himself, can flow; and the Man who has not a Desire to cultivate that innate Curiosity, which is every one's Property, is unmindful of one of the greatest Duties incumbent on him; but when it is duly and honourably modified, and employed in the Search of useful Affairs only, it qualifies him for social Life, and renders him capable of being of Service in his Generation.

All these are the Stars directing to the Haven of Science here, whom, if observed with Attention, it is no wonder if their Followers emulate to overturn Errors, and undeceive the Crowd that is hurried along through Mazes and Labyrinths of Misrepresentations, to hunt out the Truth, which is often very intricately environed round with dark Veils of Ignorance or Superstition.

Some time after the Law was made, the River began to flow freely, and swelled again over the Banks, as before. The Superstition of the Inhabitants was gratified, who, no doubt, owed the Restoration of the Waters to the cruel Law made against those miserable human Creatures.

'Androgyni are in their Natures to be esteemed partly as Men, partly as Women; partly as both Man and Woman; and partly as neither Man nor Woman, but as they appear in their proper Persons.

'Whosoever would know more of the Laws concerning Hermaphrodites, may consult the Doctors and Expounders of the Law; these being sufficient concerning them.'

'Every Heir is either a Male, or Female, or an Hermaphrodite, that is, both Male and Female. And an Hermaphrodite, which is also called an Androgynus, shall be Heir, either as Male or Female, according to that Kind of the Sex which doth prevail, and accordingly ought to be baptized.'

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