« AnteriorContinuar »
safely and conveniently be transferred into diets and regiment of life; for variety of medicines is the daughter of ignorance; and it is not more true, that many dishes have caused many diseases, as the proverb is, than this is true, that many medicines have caused few cures. And touching the operation upon the principal bowels for their extrusion of aliment, thus much.
or the like, but of plain meat and drink; yet that very light, and in moderate quantity.
7. Exercises used for the irrigation of the members, ought to be equal to all the members; not (as Socrates said) that the legs should move, and the arms should rest, or on the contrary; but that all the parts may participate of the motion. And it is altogether requisite to long life, that the body should never abide long in one posture, but
VI. The Operation upon the Outward Parts for that every half hour, at least, it change the postheir Attraction of Aliment.
1. Although a good concoction performed by the inward parts be the principal towards a perfect alimentation, yet the actions of the outward parts ought also to concur; that like as the inward faculty sendeth forth and extrudeth the aliment, so the faculty of the outward parts may call forth, and attract the same; and the more weak the faculty of concoction shall be, the more need is there of a concurring help of the attractive faculty.
2. A strong attraction of the outward parts is chiefly caused by the motion of the body, by which the parts being heated and comforted, do more cheerfully call forth and attract the aliment unto themselves.
3. But this is most of all to be foreseen and avoided, that the same motion and heat which calls the new juice to the members, doth not again despoil the member of that juice wherewith it had been before refreshed.
4. Frications used in the morning serve especially to this intention; but this must evermore accompany them, that after the frication, the part being lightly anointed with oil, lest the attrition of the outward parts make them by perspiration dry and juiceless.
5. The next is exercise, (by which the parts confricate and chafe themselves,) so it be moderate, and which (as was noted before) is not swift, nor to the utmost strength, nor unto weariness. But in exercise and frication there is the same reason and caution, that the body may not perspire, or exhale too much. Therefore exercise is better in the open air than in the house, and better in winter than in summer. And, again, exercise is not only to be concluded with unction, as frication is, but in vehement exercises unction is to be used both in the beginning and in the end, as it was anciently to champions.
ture, saving only in sleep.
8. Those things which are used to mortification, may be transferred to vivification; for both hair-shirts, and scourgings, and all vexations of the outward parts, do fortify the attractive force
9. Cardan commends nettling, even to let out melancholy; but of this we have no experience. And, besides, we have no good opinion of it, lest, through the venomous quality of the nettle, it may with often use breed itches, and other diseases of the skin. And touching the operation upon the outward parts for their attraction of aliment, thus much.
VII. The Operation upon the Aliment itself, for the Insinuation thereof.
1. The vulgar reproof touching many dishes, doth rather become a severe reformer, than a physician; or, howsoever it may be good for preservation of health, yet it is hurtful to length of life. by reason that a various mixture of aliments, and somewhat heterogeneous, finds a passage into the veins and juices of the body more lively and cheerfully, than a simple and homogeneous diet doth; besides, it is more forcible to stir up appetite, which is the spur of digestion. Therefore we allow both a full table, and a continual changing of dishes, according to the seasons of the year, or upon other occasions.
2. Also that opinion of the simplicity of meats without sauces, is but a simplicity of judgment: for good and well chosen sauces are the most wholesome preparation of meats, and conduce both to health and to long life.
3. It must be ordered, that with meats hard of digestion be conjoined strong liquors, and sauces that may penetrate and make way; but with meats more easy of digestion, smaller liquors, and fat sauces.
6. That exercise may resolve either the spirits 4. Whereas we advised before, that the first or the juices as little as may be, it is necessary draught at supper should be taken warm; now we that it be used when the stomach is not altogether add, that for the preparation of the stomach, a empty; and, therefore, that it may not be used good draught of that liquor (to which every man upon a full stomach, (which doth much concern is most accustomed) be taken warm half an hour health,) nor yet upon an empty stomach, (which before meat also, but a little spiced, to please the doth no less concern long life,) it is best to take a taste. breakfast in the morning, not of any physical drugs, or of any liquors, or of raisins, or of figs,
5. The preparation of meats, and bread, and drinks, that they may be rightly handled, and in
order to this intention, is of exceeding great mo- by land, or by hanging the vessels upon lines, ment, howsoever it may seem a mechanical thing, and savouring of the kitchen and buttery; yet it is of more consequence than those fables of gold, and precious stones, and the like.
6. The moistening of the juices of the body by a moist preparation of the aliment, is a childish thing, it may be somewhat available against the fervours of diseases, but it is altogether averse to roscid alimentation. Therefore, boiling of meats, as concerning our intention, is far inferior to roasting, and baking, and the like.
7. Roasting ought to be with a quick fire, and soon despatched, not with a dull fire and in long time.
8. All solid fleshes ought to be served in not altogether fresh, but somewhat powdered or corned; the less salt may be spent at the table with them, or none at all; for salt incorporated with the meat before, is better distributed in the body than eaten with it at the table.
9. There would be brought into use several and good macerations and infusions of meats in convenient liquors, before the roasting of them, the like whereof are sometime in use before they bake them, and in the pickles of some fishes.
10. But beatings, and as it were scourgings, of flesh meats before they be boiled, would work no small matter. We see it is confessed, that partridges and pheasants killed with a hawk, also bucks and stags killed in hunting, if they stand not out too long, eat better even to the taste, and some fishes scourged and beaten become more tender and wholesome; also hard and sour pears, and some other fruits, grow sweet with rolling them. It were good to practise some such beating and bruising of the harder kinds of fleshes before they be brought to the fire, and this would be one of the best preparations of all.
11. Bread a little leavened and very little salted is best, and which is baked in an oven thoroughly heated, and not with a faint heat.
12. The preparation of drinks, in order to long life, shall not exceed one precept; and as touching water drinkers, we have nothing to say: such a diet (as we said before) may prolong life to an indifferent term, but to no eminent length; but in other drinks that are full of spirit, (such as are wine, ale, mead, and the like,) this one thing is to be observed and pursued as the sum of all, That the parts of the liquor may be exceeding thin and subtile, and the spirit exceeding mild. This is hard to be done by age alone, for that makes the parts a little more subtile, but the spirits much more sharp and eager; therefore, of the infusions in the vessels of some fat substance, which may restrain the acrimony of the spirits, counsel hath been given before. There is also another way without infusion or mixture; this is, that the liquor might be continually agitated, either by carriage upon the water, or by carriage VOL. III.-64
and daily stirring them, or some such other way; for it is certain, that this local motion doth both subtilize the parts, and doth so incorporate and compact the spirits with the parts, that they have no leisure to turn to sourness, which is a kind of putrefaction.
But in extreme old age such a preparation of meats is to be made, as may be almost in the middle way to chylous. And touching the distillations of meats, they are mere toys, for the nutritive part, at least the best of it, doth not ascend in vapours.
14. The incorporating of meat and drink before they meet in the stomach, is a degree to chylous; therefore let chickens, or partridges, or pheasants, or the like, be taken and boiled in water, with a little salt, then let them be cleansed and dried, afterward let them be infused in must or ale before it hath done working, with a little sugar.
Also grazies of meat, and the mincings of them small, well seasoned, are good for old persons; and the rather, for that they are destituted of the office of their teeth in chewing, which is a principal kind of preparation.
16. And as for the helps of that defect, (namely, of the strength of teeth to grind the meat,) there are three things which may conduce thereunto. First, that new teeth may put forth; that which seems altogether difficult, and cannot be accomplished without an inward and powerful restauration of the body. Secondly, that the jaws be so confirmed by due astringents, that they may in some sort supply the office of the teeth; which may possibly be effected. Thirdly, that the meat be so prepared, that there shall be no need of chewing, which remedy is at hand.
17. We have some thought also touching the quantity of the meat and drink, that the same taken in a larger quantity at some times, is good for the irrigation of the body; therefore both great feastings, and free drinkings, are not altogether to be inhibited. And touching the operation upon the aliments, and the preparation of them, thus much.
VIII. The Operation upon the last Act of Assimi
Touching the last act of assimilation, (unto which the three operations immediately preceding chiefly tend,) our advice shall be brief and single, and the thing itself rather needs explication than any various rules.
1. It is certain, that all bodies are endued with some desire of assimilating those things which are next them. This the rare and pneumatical bodies, as flame, spirit, air, perform generously and with alacrity; on the contrary, those that carry a gross and tangible bulk about them do bu. weakly, in regard that the desire of assimilating
other things is bound in by a stronger desire of rest, and containing themselves from motion.
2. Again, it is certain that the desire of assimilating being bound, as we said, in a gross body, and made ineffectual, is somewhat freed and stirred up by the heat and neighbouring spirit, so that it is then actuated; which is the only cause why inanimates assimilate not, and animates assimilate.
3. This also is certain, that the harder the consistence of the body is, the more doth that body stand in need of a greater heat to prick forward the assimilation; which falls out ill for old men, because in them the parts are more obstinate, and the heat weaker, and therefore either the obstinacy of their parts is to be softened or their heat increased. And, as touching the malacissation or mollifying of the members, we shall speak afterward, having also formerly propounded many things which pertain to the prohibiting and preventing of this kind of hardness. For the other, touching the increasing of the heat, we will now deliver a single precept, after we have first assumed this axiom.
4. The act of assimilation (which, as we said, is excited by the heat circumfused) is a motion exceeding accurate, subtile, and in little; now, all such motions do then come to their vigour, when the local motion wholly ceaseth which disturbeth it. For the motion of separation into homogeneal parts, which is in milk, that the cream should swim above, and the whey sink to the bottom, will never work, if the milk be never so little agitated; neither will any putrefaction proceed in water or mixed bodies, if the same be in continual local motion. So, then, from this assumption we will conclude this for the present inquisition.
5. The act itself of assimilation, is chiefly accomplished in sleep and rest, especially towards the morning, the distribution being finished. Therefore, we have nothing else to advise but that men keep themselves hot in their sleep; and further, that towards the morning there be used some anointing, or shirt tincted with oil, such as may gently stir up heat, and after that to fall asleep again. And, touching the last act of assimilation, thus much.
IX. The Operation upon the Inteneration of that which begins to be arefied, or the Malacissation of the Body.
We have inquired formerly touching the inteneration from within, which is done by many windings and circuits, as well of alimentation as of detaining the spirit from issuing forth, and, therefore, is accomplished slowly. Now, we are to inquire touching that inteneration which is from without, and is affected, as it were, suddenly; or touching the malacissation and supplying of the
1. In the fable of restoring Pelias to youth again, Medea, when she feigned to do it, propounded this way of accomplishing the same; that the old man's body should be cut into several pieces, and then boiled in a caldron with certain medicaments. There may, perhaps, some boiling be required to this matter, but the cutting into pieces is not needful.
2. Notwithstanding, this cutting into pieces seems in some sort to be used, not with a knife, but with judgment. For, whereas the consistence of the bowels and parts is very diverse, it is needful that the inteneration of them both be not effected the same way, but that there be a cure designed of each in particular, besides those things which pertain to the inteneration of the whole mass of the body; of which, notwithstanding, in the first place.
3. This operation (if, perhaps, it be within our power) is most likely to be done by baths, unctions, and the like, concerning which, these things that follow are to be observed.
4. We must not be too forward in hoping to accomplish this matter, from the examples of those things which we see done in the imbibitions and macerations of inanimates, by which they are intenerated, whereof we introduced some instances before: for this kind of operation is more easy upon inanimates, because they attract and suck in the liquor; but upon the bodies of living creatures it is harder, because in them the motion rather tendeth outward, and to the circumference.
5. Therefore, the emollient baths which are in use do little good, but on the contrary hurt, because they rather draw forth than make entrance, and resolve the structure of the body, rather than consolidate it.
6. The baths and unctions which may serve to the present operation, (namely, of intenerating the body truly and really,) ought to have three properties.
7. The first and principal is, that they consist of those things which, in their whole substance, are like unto the body and flesh of man, and which have a feeding and nursing virtue from without.
8. The second is, that they be mixed with such
things as, through the subtilty of their parts, may
make entrance, and so insinuate and convey their nourishing virtue into the body.
9. The third is, that they receive some mixture (though much inferior to the rest) of such things as are astringent; I mean not sour or tart things, but unctuous and comforting, that while the other two do operate, the exhaling out of the body, which destroyeth the virtue of the things intenerating, may, as much as possible, be prohibited; and the motion to the inward parts, by the astriction of the skin, and closing of the passages, may be promoted and furthered.
10. That which is most consubstantial to the body of man is warm blood, either of man, or of some other living creature. But the device of Ficinus, touching the sucking of blood out of the arm of a wholesome young man, for the restoration of strength, in old men, is very frivolous; for that which nourisheth from within, ought no way to be equal or homogeneal to the body nourished, but in some sort inferior and subordinate, that it may be converted. But in things applied outwardly, by how much the substance is liker, by so much the consent is better.
11. It hath been anciently received, that a bath made of the blood of infants will cure the leprosy, and heal the flesh already putrefied; insomuch that this thing hath begot envy towards some kings from the common people.
12. It is reported that Heraclitus, for cure of the dropsy, was put into the warm belly of an ox newly slain.
13. They use the blood of kitlings warm to cure the disease called St. Anthony's Fire, and to restore the flesh and skin.
14. An arm, or other member newly cut off, or that, upon some other occasion, will not leave bleeding, is with good success put into the belly of some creatures newly ripped up, for it worketh potently to stanch the blood; the blood of the member cut off, by consent sucking in, and vehemently drawing to itself the warm blood of the creature slain, whereby itself is stopped, and retireth.
15. It is much used in extreme and desperate diseases to cut in two young pigeons yet living, and apply them to the soles of the feet, and to shift them one after another, whereby sometimes there followeth a wonderful ease. This is imputed vulgarly, as if they should draw down the malignity of the disease: but, howsoever, this application goeth to the head, and comforteth the animal spirit.
16. But these bloody baths and unctions seem to us sluttish and odious: let us search out some others, which perhaps have less loathsomeness in them, and yet no less benefit.
17. Next unto warm blood, things alike in substance to the body of a man are nutritives; fat fleshes of oxen, swine, deer, oysters amongst fishes, milk, butter, yolks of eggs, flower of wheat, sweet wine, either sugared, or before it be fined.
18. Such things as we would have mixed to make impression, are instead of all salts, especially bay-salt: also wine (when it is full of spirit) maketh entrance, and is an excellent convoy.
19. Astringents of that kind which we described, namely, unctuous and comfortable things, are saffron, mastic, myrrh, and myrtleberries.
20. Of these parts, in our judgment, may very well be made such a bath as we design: phy
sicians and posterity will find out better things hereafter.
21. But the operation will be much better, and more powerful, if such a bath as we have propounded (which we hold to be the principal matter) be attended with a fourfold course and order.
22. First, that there go before the bath a frication of the body, and an anointing with oil, with some thickening substance, that the virtue and moistening heat of the bath may pierce the body, and not the watery part of the liquor; then let the bath follow, for the space of some two hours. After the bath, let the body be emplastered with mastick, myrrhe, tragacanth, diapalma, and saffron, that the perspiration of the body may (as much as possible) be inhibited, till the supple matter be by degrees turned into solid. This to be continued for the space of twenty-four hours, or more. Lastly, the emplastering being removed, let there be an anointing with oil mixed with salt and saffron, and let this bath, together with the emplastering and unction (as before) be renewed every fifth day. This malacissation, or supplying of the body, be continued for one whole month.
23. Also during the time of this malacissation, we hold it useful and proper, and according to our intention, that men nourish their bodies well, and keep out of the cold air, and drink nothing but warm drink.
24. Now, this is one of those things (as we warned in general in the beginning) whereof we have made no trial by experiment, but only set it down out of our aiming and leveling at the end. For having set up the mark, we deliver the light to others.
25. Neither ought the warmths and cherishing of living bodies to be nglected. Ficinus saith, and that seriously enough, That the laying of the young maid in David's bosom was wholesome for him, but it came too late. He should also have added, that the young maid, after the manner of the Persian virgins, ought to have been anointed with myrrh, and such like, not for deliciousness, but to increase the virtue of this cherishing by a living body.
26. Barbarossa, in his extreme old age, by the advice of a physician, a Jew, did continually apply young boys to his stomach and belly, for warmth and cherishing. Also some old men lay whelps (creatures of the hottest kind) close to their stomachs every night.
27. There hath gone a report, almost undoubted, and that under several names, of certain men that had great noses, who, being weary of the derision of people, have cut off the bunches or gillocks of their noses, and then making a wide gash in their arms, have held their noses in the place for a certain time, and so brought forth fair and comely noses; which, if it be true, it shows
plainly the consent of flesh and flesh, especially | purges (unless they be very immoderate) it is not in live fleshes.
28. Touching the particular inteneration of the principal bowels, the stomach, lungs, liver, heart, brain, marrow of the backbone, guts, reins, gall, veins, arteries, nerves, cartilages, bones, the inquisition and direction would be too long, seeing we now set not forth a practice, but certain indications to the practice.
X. The Operation upon the purging away of old Juice, and supplying of new Juice; or of Renovation by Turns.
Although those things which we shall here set down have been, for the most part, spoken of before; yet because this operation is one of the principal, we will handle them over again more at large.
1. It is certain, that draught oxen, which have been worn out with working, being put into fresh and rich pastures, will gather tender and young flesh again; and this will appear even to the taste and palate; so that the inteneration of flesh is no hard matter. Now, it is likely that this inteneration of the flesh being often repeated, will in time reach to the inteneration of the bones and membranes, and like parts of the body.
2. It is certain, that diets which are now much in use, principally of guaiacum, and of sarsaparilla, china, and sassafras, if they be continued for any time, and according to strict rules, do first attenuate the whole juice of the body, and after consume it, and drink it up. Which is most manifest, because that by these diets the French pox, when it is grown even to a hardness, and hath eaten up and corrupted the very marrow of the body, may be effectually cured. And, further, because it is manifest, that men who, by these diets, are brought to be extreme lean, pale, and, as it were, ghosts, will soon after become fat, well coloured, and apparently young again. Wherefore we are absolutely of opinion, that such kind of diets in the decline of age, being used every year, would be very useful to our intention; like the old skin or spoil of serpents.
3. We do confidently affirm (neither let any man reckon us among those heretics which were called Cathari) that often purges, and made even familiar to the body, are more available to long life than exercises and sweats. And this must needs be so, if that be held which is already laid for a ground, that unctions of the body, and oppletion of the passages from without, and exclusion of air, and detaining of the spirit within the mass of the body, do much conduce to long life. For it is most certain, that by sweats and outward perspirations, not only the humours and excrementitious vapours are exhaled and consumed, but together with them the juices also, and good spirits, which are not so easily repaired; but in
so, seeing they work principally upon the humours. But, the best purges for this intention are those which are taken immediately before meat, because they dry the body less; and, therefore, they must be of those purges which do least trouble the belly.
These intentions of the operations which we have propounded (as we conceive) are most true, the remedies faithful to the intentions. Neither is it credible to be told (although not a few of these remedies may seem but vulgar) with what care and choice they have been examined by us, that they might be (the intention not at all impeached) both safe and effectual. Experience, no doubt, will both verify and promote these matters. And such, in all things, are the works of every prudent counsel, that they are admirable in their effects, excellent also in their order, but seeming vulgar in the way and means.
The Porches of Death.
We are now to inquire touching the porches of death, that is, touching those things which happen unto men at the point of death, both little before and after; that seeing there are many paths which lead to death, it may be understood in what common way they all end, especially in those deaths which are caused by indigence of nature, rather than by violence; although something of this latter also must be inserted, because of the connexion of things.
1. The living spirit stands in need of three things that it may subsist; convenient motion, temperate refrigeration, and fit aliment. Flame seems to stand in need but of two of these, namely, motion and aliment, because flame is a simple substance, the spirit a compounded, insomuch that if it approach somewhat too near to a flamy nature, it overthroweth itself.
2. Also flame by a greater and stronger fiame is extinguished and slain, as Aristotle well noted, much more the spirit.
3. Flame, if it be much compressed and straitened, is extinguished; as we may see in a candle having a glass cast over it, for the air being dilated by the heat doth contrude and thrust together the flame, and so lesseneth it, and in the end extinguisheth it; and fires on hearths will not flame, if the fuel be thrust close together, without any space for the flame to break forth.
4. Also things fired are extinguished with compression; as if you press a burning coal hard with the tongs, or the foot, it is straight extinguished.
5. But to come to the spirit; if blood or phlegm get into the ventricles of the brain, it causeth sudden death, because the spirit hath no room to move itself.
6. Also a great blow on the head induceth sud