A Treatise concerning the Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed

A Treatise concerning the Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed  (1727) 
by Daniel Defoe
Title, Preface and Contents




The Use and Abuse


Marriage Bed :


I. The Nature of Matrimony, its Sacred Original, and the true Meaning of its Inſtitution.

II. The groſs Abuſe of Matrimonial Chaſtity, from the wrong Notions which have poſſeſſed the World, degenerating even to Whoredom.

III. The Diabolical Practice of attempting to prevent Child-bearing by Phyſical Preparations.

IV. The fatal Conſequences of clandeſtine or forced Marriages, thro' the Perſuaſion, Intereſt, or Influence of Parents and Relations, to wed the Perſon they have no Love for, but oftentimes an Averſion to.

V. Of unequal Matches, as to the Diſproportion of Age; and how ſuch, many ways, occaſion a Matrimonial Whoredom.

VI. How married Perſons may be guilty of Conjugal Lewdneſs, and that a Man may, in effect make a Whore of his own Wife.
Alſo, many other Particulars of Family Concern.

Looſe Thoughts, at firſt, like ſubterranean Fires,
Burn inward, smothering, with unchaſte Deſires;
But getting Vent, to Rage and Fury turn,
Burſt in Volcanoes, and like Ætna burn;
The Heat increaſes as the Flames aſpire,
And turns the ſolid Hills to liquid Fire.
So, ſenſual Flames, when raging in the Soul,
Firſt vitiate all the Parts, then fire the Whole ;
Burn up the Bright, the Beauteous, the Sublime,
And turn our lawful Pleaſures into Crime.

Printed for T. Warner, at the Black Boy in Pater-Noſter-Row. M.dcc.xxvii. Price 5 s.

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Am ſo ſenſible of the Nicety of the following Subject, and the Ill-nature of the Age, that tho' I have Introduc'd it with all the Proteſtations of a reſolv'd Caution, and of tying my ſelf down to all poſſible Modeſty in the whole Work; and tho' I have concluded it with due Explanations, and a free Appeal to the moſt impartial Judges, yet I cannot but add a Word of Preface.

THE juſtneſs of the Satyr, the loud Calls which the Crimes (here reproved) make for Juſtice and a due Cenſure, the dreadful Ruin of the People's Morals, and the apparent Contempt of Modeſty and Decency, which grows ſo viſibly upon us by the ſhameleſs Practice of what is here reprov'd, join all together to vindicate this Undertaking, and to ſhow not the Uſefulneſs only, but the Neceſſity of it.

IT is almoſt thirty Years ſince the Author began this Piece: He has all that Time heard, with a juſt Concern the Complaints of good Men upon the hateful Subject. The Grave and the Sober, the Lovers of Virtue and of Religion, have, with Grief, expreſs'd themſelves upon the growing Scandal; and they have often preſs'd him to finiſh and bring out this Reproof; and have join'd, with his Opinion of the Juſtice of it.

HITHERTO he has been reluctant as to the publiſhing it, and partly on Account of his Years, for it was long ſince finiſhed, and partly in hopes of Reformation; but now, deſpairing of Amendment, grown OLD, and out of the reach of Scandal, and of all the Pretences to it; Sincerely aiming at the Reformation of the Guilty, and deſpiſing all unjuſt Reproaches from a vitious Age, he cloſes his Days with this Satyr; which he is ſo far from ſeeing Cauſe to be aſhamed of, that he hopes he ſhall not, where he is going to, Account for it.

AT leaſt, he can Appeal to that Judge, who he is ſoon to come before, that as he has done it with an upright Intention, for the good of Mankind, ſo he has uſed his utmoſt Endeavour to perform it, in a Manner the leaſt liable to Reflection, and, in his Judgment, the moſt likely to anſwer the true End of it, (viz.) the Reformation of the Crime. And with this Satisfaction, he comfortably prays for its Succeſs.

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This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.