There is no part of the practice of medicine or surgery, in which a reform is more loudly called for, than in that of midwifery. But few are fully conscious of the unnecessary suffering and destruction of human life, produced by the unnatural interference of male accoucheurs. Were the dictates of nature and the light of reason followed, instead of the false theories of those who profess to be learned and wise, the homes of many childless parents might now be made cheerful by the innocent merriment and fond caressing of their offspring. We do not charge upon the faculty a disregard for the sufferings of the female sex; we know them to be as humane, as benevolent as others, but a strong inducement is held out to them to retain this practice under their "exclusive jurisdiction," when they must know that females are fully competent and far better adapted to perform the office of midwife than males. That strong inducement is the fee. If this service was to be done gratuitously, the probability is, physicians would soon come to the conclusion that their presence was not necessary at the time of child-birth. No physician can have failed to notice that his introduction into the chamber of parturition produces an unfavorable change in the patient, that frequently is not entirely overcome. Do they argue that females are not competent to officiate as midwives? If we search the annals of history, we shall find that females were the only midwives until the seventeenth century. It is said that during the latter part of the sixteenth century, a physician in Hamburgh was publicly branded, because he was induced by curiosity to be present at a delivery, in female attire. Madame Boivin, the celebrated lecturer on midwifery, in Paris, has superintended the delivery of more than twenty thousand women. Many American women have devoted their time to the business, with a success seldom equaled by the other sex. Females who understand the Thomsonian system, and have given their attention to the practice of midwifery, have seldom met with any difficulty. My own experience and observation compel me to believe that ninety-nine in a hundred of the cases that are so very alarming and often fatal to mother or child, would be comparatively safe and expeditious under the management of such females. Mrs. Whitney, formerly of Nashua, has attended many cases with perfect success and satisfaction to all concerned. Any other woman may be equally successful, by obtaining a knowledge of the medicines and the management of such cases. If women cannot be obtained who will take the responsibility, let those husbands who are convinced of the impropriety of the present practice, inform themselves upon the subject, and attend upon their own wives. We know a Methodist minister in Maine, who has attended upon his wife with eight or nine children, without any trouble, and we know of many others who do the same. We hazard the assertion, unpopular as it may be, that the presence of a physician is no more necessary to the safe delivery of ninety-nine cases in a hundred in childbirth, than it is when a healthy woman is eating wholesome fruit.

"Females have been made to believe, says Dr. Beach, "that physicians only are competent to assist them in the hour of child-birth, and that midwives are incompetent; by which, this branch of medicine has been very unjustly and improperly wrested from them, and monopolized by the faculty. Did females know the ignorance, the untimely and rash interference with the unwieldy hands of doctors, the exposure, the rash attempts to accomplish delivery, the injury done by bleeding, minerals, ergot, and instruments,--I state, did they know all this, the serpentine charm which now unfortunately deludes them would be broken, and they would shrink with disgust and horror at the very thought of employing males in parturition or child-birth. Nothing but the grossest ignorance leads them to embrace a practice so unnatural and revolting. In nearly every case, nature is quite sufficient to expel the child; and when aid is required, females are in every respect calculated to render all the assistance required, except perhaps on some rare or extraordinary cases. A very little instruction and experience will enable any sensible female to become proficient in this branch of medicine; and I venture to affirm that her success will be far greater than that of male practitioners. In proof, I refer to the practice of Mrs. Ruth Stebbins, of Westfield, Mass., Mrs. Halsey, of New York, and hundreds of others, whose great success is ample evidence of their skill and competency. Also, Madame Boivin, and Lachapelle, of France, who have been present at the delivery of more than forty thousand cases, nearly all of which terminated favorably, even without aid; and observe also the great success of other midwives in Germany,

Denmark, and other parts of the world. So stupidly or willfully blind are many females, that they are ignorant that nature accomplishes the delivery, and that the doctors get the credit and the fee, while the worthy and skillful midwife is pronounced ignorant or incompetent. I cannot see why such a custom, so recent, unnatural, and novel in its character, should have prevailed and gained such an ascendancy, except in the same manner that every other foolish and absurd fashion prevails.

"I have practiced this branch of medicine ever since I began my profession; but so fully convinced have I been that it is wrong, and belongs to the other sex, that I have abandoned it to its rightful owners, the female midwives; and I am therefore as anxious to bring about a reformation in this department as in other branches of medicine. I trust that I shall have at least the enlightened portion of community to sustain me in a cause of such vital importance both to the moral and physical well-being of the female sex. The tales that are told by designing physicians of the hair breadth escape of numerous women, to whom they have been called just in time to save life, and of the danger of trusting to females, have filled those over whom they have an influence with awful apprehension, and thereby secured to themselves a branch of medicine that reason, experience, and the finer feelings of the female sex loudly proclaim, belongs only to females."

Says Mrs. Arnold, of Westfield, Mass., in a letter to the editor of the Botanic Medical Reformer, "It (man-midwifery) is contrary to every principle of delicacy and refinement, and disgusting to every feeling of our nature. It is an unheard of practice in most countries, except in some parts of E:Europe and enlightened America. It is degrading to our natures, and a reproach to any people who submit to the practice."