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On The Generation Of Animals   


conception takes place nearly at the same season and there is no great
difference in the of the animals), the first cross has a common
resemblance to both parents, as the hybrid between fox and dog,
partridge and domestic fowl, but as time goes on and one generation
springs from another, the final result resembles the female in form,
just as foreign seeds produce plants varying in accordance with the
country in which they are sown. For it is the soil that gives to the
seeds the material and the body of the plant. And hence the part of
the female which receives the semen is not a mere passage, but the
uterus has a considerable width, whereas the males that emit semen
have only passages for this purpose, and these are bloodless.

Each of the secretions becomes such at the moment when it is in
its proper place; before that there is nothing of the sort unless with
much violence and contrary to nature.

We have thus stated the reason for which the generative secretions
are formed in animals. But when the semen from the male (in those
animals which emit semen) has entered, it puts into form the purest
part of the female secretion (for the greater part of the catamenia
also is useless and fluid, as is the most fluid part of the male
secretion, i.e. in a single emission, the earlier discharge being in
most cases apt to be infertile rather than the later, having less
vital heat through want of concoction, whereas that which is concocted
is thick and of a more material nature).

If there is no external discharge, either in women or other animals,
on account of there not being much useless and superfluous matter in
the secretion, then the quantity forming within the female
altogether is as much as what is retained within those animals which
have an external discharge; this is put into form by the power of
the male residing in the semen secreted by him, or, as is clearly seen
to happen in some insects, by the part in the female analogous to
the uterus being inserted into the male.

It has been previously stated that the discharge accompanying sexual
pleasure in the female contributes nothing to the embryo. The chief
argument for the opposite view is that what are called bad dreams
occur by night with women as with men; but this is no proof, for the
same thing happens to young men also who do not yet emit semen, and to
those who do emit semen but whose semen is infertile.

It is impossible to conceive without the emission of the male in
union and without the secretion of the corresponding female
material, whether it be discharged externally or whether there is only
enough within the body. Women conceive, however, without
experiencing the pleasure usual in such intercourse, if the part
chance to be in heat and the uterus to have descended. But generally
speaking the opposite is the case, because the os uteri is not
closed when the discharge takes place which is usually accompanied
by pleasure in women as well as men, and when this is so there is a
readier way for the semen of the male to be drawn into the uterus.

The actual discharge does not take place within the uterus as some
think, the os uteri being too narrow, but it is in the region in front
of this, where the female discharges the moisture found in some cases,
that the male emits the semen. Sometimes it remains in this place;
at other times, if the uterus chance to be conveniently placed and hot
on account of the purgation of the catamenia, it draws it within
itself. A proof of this is that pessaries, though wet when applied,
are removed dry. Moreover, in all those animals which have the
uterus near the hypozoma, as birds and viviparous fishes, it is
impossible that the semen should be so discharged as to enter it; it
must be drawn into it. This region, on account of the heat which is in

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