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On the properties indicating coition.
One inquires further of the properties indicating coition. First, one asks whether in coition animals naturally have to be gentle or wrathful.
1. It seems that they have to be gentle. For one power draws another away from its operation. But in coition the concupiscent power is especially vigorous, and therefore the irascible power is drawn away from its operation. Therefore, then, they are hardly wrathful at all.
2. Moreover, contraries do not exist at the same time. But the concupiscent and the irascible are contraries and are divided by opposition; therefore, since the concupiscent is dominant in coition, the irascible will succumb.
The Philosopher says the opposite. Now it is clear in many animalsfor example, the camel, bull, boar, wolf, lion, and others of this sortthat during mating season they attack all those passing by and do not permit males of their species to approach the females.
Related to this, one asks why at the time of coition [tempus coitus] frenzy [furor] is more prevalent in males than in females.
Second, why humans are more liberal at this time.
Third, why they want less food at this time than at another time.
Fourth, why pigs move at this time to the north and not to the east or west.
To the first, one should respond that a well-ordered boldness arises out of strength of power, and this occurs in those confident in their own strength. But during mating season the spirits in the body are moved a great deal, and this is why they create a certain confidence in the animal with respect to their own strength. And this is why at this time they are bolder. But disordered boldness arises from a warm and dry complexion. This is why a choleric man sometimes attacks four men stronger than he. Thus one ought to respond briefly that the spirits and humors are in motion during mating season, and this is why animals then rely on their own powers and are bold.
1, 2. On to the arguments. To the first, one should say that a concupiscent power and an irascible one can be related to the same or to different things. If to the same, then they cannot exist at the same time. For no one desires something and at one and the same time wants to avoid that same thing. If they are related to different things, then they can exist at the same time, for one does not withdraw the other from its operation. For one who desires something has anger towards its contrary. And this is why, since at that time animals greatly desire coition, they have anger towards other animals who can prevent their coition. This response is clear for each argument.
To the second, one should respond that a male can impregnate more times than a female can conceive, because, among those generating live young, a female, after she has conceived, does not desire coitus again until she has given birth. But a male, on the same day that he has impregnated one female, can impregnate another. Therefore, during mating season, an uncontrollable frenzy [ furor] rages more in the males than in the females.
Besides this, males naturally have to do combat for the females, and this is why they are naturally more wrathful. Nevertheless, it should be understood that in every species the femaleexcept the human femalehas a diminished desire after conception. And the reason for this is that the seed [semen] is less abundant in females other than a woman. For in a woman there is an abundance of menses after conception just as there was before. But after conception the opening of the womb is closed, and the menses cannot exit, and for this reason the woman especially desires intercourse after conception, so that, as a result of intercourse, the menses can exit, because otherwise these sting and gnaw at the womb before they go forth.
To the next, one should say that customs are attendant upon the natural complexion. The movement of the hot is, however, from the center to the circumference, and the movement of the cold is the opposite. But a liberal substance pours forth from itself, and as a result it follows the motion of the hot, but an illiberal substance is retentive and does not release anything, and so it follows the motion of the cold, which constrains. This is why the elderly are naturally illiberal. Since, then, heat abounds at the time of coitus, this is why at that time every sensuous person is liberal, because his substance gives [of itself].
To the next, one should say that the generative power is comprised of the animal and natural powers. An example is the power of the stomach, for the stomach's power not only desires food, as a natural power, but also senses and perceives the mode of desiring, as an animal power, and so the generative power acts in much the same way. And this is why, when the generative power is extended, the appetite for food is diminished, because the one causes the other to depart by virtue of its operation.
To the next, one should say that the planets are moved from the east to the west by the movement of the firmament; but brute animals naturally and especially desire a temperate place, and because a place that tends away from the planets toward the north or toward the south is more temperate than a place that is positioned directly under the planets, this is why pigs and horses are distemperate and cannot rest during mating season, on account of the movement of their spirits, and they move to the north or south as if they were seeking a temperate place and not to the east or west, because they always hold themselves equidistant from the planets or the location of the planets.
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