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And, therefore, as strong wines, and spices, and the like, do burn the spirits and shorten life; so, on the contrary side, nitre doth compose and repress them, and furthereth to life.
52. Nitre may be used with meat, mixed with our salt, to the tenth part of the salt; in broths taken in the morning, for three grains to ten, also in beer; but howsoever it be used, with moderation, it is of prime force to long life.
53. As opium holds the pre-eminence in condensing the spirits, by putting them to flight, and hath withal his subordinates less potent, but more safe, which may be taken both in greater quantity and in more frequent use, of which we have formerly spoken; so also nitre, which condenseth the spirits by cold, and by a kind of frescour, (as we now-a-days speak,) hath also his subordinates. 54. Subordinates to nitre are, all those things which yield an odour somewhat earthy, like the smell of earth, pure and good, newly digged or turned up; of this sort the chief are, borage, buloss, langue de bœuf, burnet, strawberry leaves, and strawberries, frambois, or raspis, raw cucumbers, raw pearmains, vine leaves, and buds, also violets.
55. The next in order, are those which have a certain freshness of smell, but somewhat more inclined to heat, yet not altogether void of that virtue of refreshing by coolness; such as are balm, green citrons, green oranges, rosewater distilled, roasted wardens; also the damask, red, and musk roses.
56. This is to be noted, that subordinates to nitre do commonly confer more to this intension raw, than having passed the fire, because that the spirit of cooling is dissipated by the fire, therefore they are best taken either infused in some liquor,
57. As the condensation of the spirits by subordinates to opium is, in some sort, performed by odours, so also that which is by subordinates to nitre; therefore the smell of new and pure earth, taken either by following the plough, or by digging, or by weeding, excellently refresheth the spirits. Also the leaves of trees in woods, or hedges, falling towards the middle of autumn, yield a good refreshing to the spirits, but none so good as strawberry leaves dying. Likewise the smell of violets, or wallflowers, or beanflowers, or sweetbrier, or honeysuckles, taken as they grow, in passing by them only, is of the same nature.
58. Nay, and we know a certain great lord who lived long, that had every morning, immediately after sleep, a clod of fresh earth laid in a fair napkin under his nose, that he might take the smell thereof.
59. There is no doubt but the cooling and tempering of the blood by cool things, such as are endive, succory, leverwort, purslain, and the like, do also by consequent cool the spirits. But this is about, whereas vapours cool immediately.
60. And as touching the condensing of the spirits by cold, thus much. The third way of condensing the spirits we said to be by that which we call stroking the spirits. The fourth, by quieting the alacrity and unruliness of them.
61. Such things stroke the spirits as are pleasing and friendly to them, yet they allure them not to go abroad; but rather prevail, that the spirits, contented as it were in their own society, do enjoy themselves, and betake themselves into their proper centre.
61. For these, if you recollect those things which were formerly set down, as subordinates to opium and nitre, there will need no other inquisition.
62. As for the quieting of the unruliness of the spirits, we shall presently speak of that, when we inquire touching their motion. Now then, seeing we have spoken of that condensation of the spirits which pertaineth to their substance, we will come to the temper of heat in them.
63. The heat of the spirits, as we said, ought to be of that kind, that it may be robust, not eager, and may delight rather to master the tough and obstinate, than to carry away the thin and light humours.
64. We must beware of spices, wine, and strong drinks, that our use of them be very tem. perate, and sometimes discontinued. Also of savory, wild marjorum, pennyroyal, and all such as bite and heat the tongue; for they yield unto the spirits a heat not operative, but predatory.
65. These yield a robust heat, especially elecampane, garlick, carduus benedictus, watercresses, while they are young, germander, angelica, zedoary, vervin, valerian, myrrh, pepperwort, elder flowers, garden chervile. The use of these things, with choice and judgment, sometimes in salads, sometimes in medicines, will satisfy this ope ration.
66. It falls out well, that the grand opiates will also serve excellently for this operation, in respect that they yield such a heat by composition, which is wished, but not to be found in simples. For the mixing of those excessive hot things, (such as are euphorbium, pellitory of Spain, stavisacre, dragonwort, anacordi, castoreum, aristolochium, opponax, ammoniachum, galbanum, and the like, which of themselves cannot be taken inwardly,) to qualify and abate the stupefactive virtue of the opium, they do make such a constitution of a medicament as we now require; which is excellently seen in this, that treacle and mithridate, and the rest, are not sharp, nor bite the tongue, but are only somewhat bitter, and of strong scent, and at last manifest their heat when they come into the stomach, and in their subsequent operations.
67. There conduces also to the robust heat of the spirits, Venus often excited, rarely performed; and no less some of the affections, of which shall
he spoken hereafter. So touching the heat of the spirits, analogical to the prolongation of life, thus much.
68. Touching the quantity of the spirits, that they be not exuberant and boiling, but rather sparing, and within a mean, (seeing a small flame doth not devour so much as a great flame,) the inquisition will be short.
69. It seems to be approved by experience, that a spare diet, and almost a pythagorical, such as is either prescribed by the strict rules of a monastical life, or practised by hermits, which have necessity and poverty for their rule, rendereth a man long-lived.
70. Hitherto appertain drinking of water, a hard bed, abstinence from fire, a slender diet, (as, namely, of herbs, fruits, flesh, and fish, rather powdered and salted, than fresh and hot, a hair shirt, frequent fastings, frequent watchings, few sensual pleasures, and such like; for all these diminish the spirits, and reduce them to such a quantity as may be sufficient only for the functions of life, whereby the depredation is the less.
71. But if the diet shall not be altogether so rigorous and mortifying, yet, notwithstanding, shall be always equal and constant to itself, it worketh the same effect. We see it in flames, that a flame somewhat bigger (so it be always alike and quiet) consumeth less of the fuel, than a lesser flaine blown with bellows, and by gusts stronger or weaker. That which the regiment and diet of Cornarus, the Venetian, showed plainly, who did eat and drink so many years together by a just weight, whereby he exceeded a hundred years of age, strong in limbs, and entire in his senses.
72. Care also must be taken, that a body, plentifully nourished, and not emaciated by any of these aforesaid diets, omitteth not a seasonable use of Venus, lest the spirits increase too fast, and soften and destroy the body. So then, touching a moderate quantity of spirits, and (as we may say) frugal, thus much.
73. The inquisition, touching bridling the motions of the spirits, followeth next. Motion doth manifestly attenuate and inflame them. This bridling is done by three means; by sleep, by avoiding of vehement labours, immoderate exercise, and, in a word, all lassitude; and by refraining irksome affections. And, first, touching sleep.
74. The fable tells us, that Epimenides slept many years together in a cave, and all that time needed no meat, because the spirits waste not much in sleep.
75. Experience teacheth us that certain creatures, as dormice and bats, sleep in some close places a whole winter together; such is the force of sleep to restrain all vital consumption. That which bees or drones are also thought to do, though
sometimes destitute of honey, and likewise butterflies and other flies.
76. Sleep after dinner (the stomach sending up no unpleasing vapours to the head, as being the first dews of our meat) is good for the spirits, but derogatory and hurtful to all other points of health. Notwithstanding in extreme old age there is the same reason of meat and sleep, for both our meals and our sleeps should be then frequent, but short and little; nay, and towards the last period of old age, a mere rest, and, as it were, a perpetual reposing doth best, especially in winter-time.
77. But as moderate sleep conferreth to long life, so much more if it be quiet and not disturbed.
78. These procure quiet sleep, violets, lettuce, especially boiled, syrup of dried roses, saffron, balm, apples, at our going to bed; a sop of bread in malmsey, especially where musk-roses have been first infused; therefore it would not be amiss to make some pill or a small draught of these things, and to use it familiarly. Also those things which shut the mouth of the stomach close, as coriander seed prepared, quinces and wardens roasted, do induce sound sleep; but above all things in youth, and for those that have sufficient strong stomachs, it will be best to take a good draught of clear cold water when they go to bed.
Touching voluntary and procured trances, as also fixed and profound thoughts, so as they be without irksomeness, I have nothing certain; no doubt they make to this intention, and condense the spirits, and that more potently than sleep, seeing they lay asleep, and suspend the senses as much or more. Touching them, let further inquiry be made. So far touching sleep.
79. As for motion and exercise, lassitude hurteth, and so doth all motion and exercise which is too nimble and swift, as running, tennis, fencing, and the like; and, again, when our strength is extended and strained to the uttermost, as dancing, wrestling, and such like; for it is certain, that the spirits being driven into straits, either by the swiftness of the motion, or by the straining of the forces, do afterward become more eager and predatory. On the other side, exercises which stir up a good strong motion, but not over swift, or to our utmost strength, (such as are leaping, shooting, riding, bowling, and the like,) do not hurt, but rather benefit.
We must come now to the affections and passions of the mind, and see which of them are hurtful to long life, which profitable.
80. Great joys attenuate and diffuse the spirits, and shorten life; familiar cheerfulness strengthens the spirits, by calling them forth, and yet not resolving them.
81. Impressions of joy in the sense are naught; ruminations of joy in the memory, or apprehensions of them in hope or fancy, are good.
82. Joy suppressed, or communicated sparingly,
doth more comfort the spirits, than joy poured | Isocrates, Seneca. And, certainly, as old men are forth and published.
83. Grief and sadness, if it be void of fear, and afflict not too much, doth rather prolong life; for it contracteth the spirits, and is a kind of condensation.
81. Great fears shorten the life; for though grief and fear do both strengthen the spirit, yet in grief there is a simple contraction; but in fear, by reason of the cares taken for the remedy, and hopes intermixed, there is a turmoil and vexing of the spirits.
85. Anger suppressed is also a kind of vexation, and causeth the spirit to feed upon the juices of the body; but let loose and breaking forth, it helpeth; as those medicines do, which induce a robust heat.
86. Envy is the worst of all passions, and feedeth upon the spirits, and they again upon the body, and so much the more, because it is perpetual, and, as it is said, keepeth no holidays.
87. Pity of another man's misfortune, which is not likely to befall ourselves, is good; but pity, which may reflect with some similitude upon the party pitying, is naught, because it exciteth fear. 88. Light shame hurteth not, seeing it contracteth the spirits a little, and then straight diffuseth them, insomuch that shamefaced persons commonly live long; but shame for some great ignominy, and which afflicteth the mind long, contracteth the spirits even to suffocation, and is pernicious.
89. Love, if it be not unfortunate, and too deeply wounding, is a kind of joy, and is subject to the same laws which we have set down touching joy.
90. Hope is the most beneficial of all the affections, and doth much to the prolongation of life, if it be not too often frustrated, but entertaineth the fancy with an expectation of good; therefore they which fix and propound to themselves some end, as the mark and scope of their life, and continually and by degrees go forward in the same, are, for the most part, long-lived; insomuch that when they are come to the top of their hope, and can go no higher therein, they commonly droop, and live not long after. So that hope is a leaf-joy, which may be beaten out to a great extension, like gold.
91. Admiration and light contemplation are very powerful to the prolonging of life; for they hold the spirits in such things as delight them, and suffer them not to tumultuate, or to carry themselves unquietly and waywardly. And, therefore, all the contemplators of natural things, which had so many and eminent objects to admire, (as Democritus, Plato, Parmenides, Apollonius,) were long-lived; also rhetoricians, which tasted but lightly of things, and studied rather exornation of speech than profundity of matters, were also long-lived; as Gorgias, Protagoras,
for the most part talkative, so talkative men do often grow very old: for it shows a light contemplation, and such as do not much strain the spirits, or vex them; but subtle, and acute, and eager inquisition shortens life, for it tireth the spirit, and wasteth it.
And as touching the motion of the spirits, by the affections of the mind, thus much. Now, we will add certain other general observations touching the spirits, besides the former, which fall not into the precedent distribution.
92. Especial care must be taken that the spirits be not too often resolved; for attenuation goeth before resolution, and the spirit once attenuated doth not very easily retire, or is condensed. Now, resolution is caused by over-great labours, overvehement affections of the mind, over-great sweats, over-great evacuation, hot baths, and an untemperate and unseasonable use of Venus; also by overgreat cares and carpings, and anxious expectations; lastly, by malignant diseases, and intolerable pains and torments of the body; all which, as much as may be, (which our vulgar physicians also advise,) must be avoided.
93. The spirits are delighted both with wonted things and with new. Now, it maketh wonderfully to the conservation of the spirits in vigour, that we neither use wonted things to a satiety and glutting; nor new things, before a quick and strong appetite. And, therefore, both customs are to be broken off with judgment and care, before they breed a fulness; and the appetite after new things to be restrained for a time until it grow more sharp and jocund; and, moreover, the life, as much as may be, so to be ordered, that it may have many renovations, and the spirits, by perpetual conversing in the same actions, may not wax dull. For though it were no ill saying of Seneca's, The fool doth ever begin to live; yet this folly, and many more such, are good for long life.
94. It is to be observed touching the spirits, (though the contrary used to be done,) that when men perceive their spirits to be in good, placid, and healthful state, (that which will be seen by the tranquillity of their mind, and cheerful disposition,) that they cherish them, and not change them; but when in a turbulent and untoward state, (which will also appear by their sadness, lumpishness, and other indisposition of their mind,) that then they straight overwhelm them, and alter them. Now, the spirits are contained in the same state, by a restraining of the affections, temperateness of diet, abstinence from Venus, moderation in labour, indifferent rest and repose. and the contrary to these do alter and overwhelm the spirits; as, namely, vehement affections, prefuse feastings, immoderate Venus, difficult labours. earnest studies, and prosecution of business. Yet men are wont, when they are merriest and best
disposed, then to apply themselves to feastings, Venus, labours, endeavours, business, whereas, if they have a regard to long life, (which may seem strange,) they should rather practise the contrary. For we ought to cherish and preserve good spirits; and for the evil disposed spirits to discharge and alter them.
95. Ficinus saith not unwisely, that old men, for the comforting of their spirits, ought often to remember and ruminate upon the acts of their childhood and youth; certainly such a remembrance is a kind of peculiar recreation to every old man: and, therefore, it is a delight to men to enjoy the society of them which have been brought up together with them, and to visit the places of their education. Vespasian did attribute so much to this matter, that when he was emperor, he would by no means be persuaded to leave his father's house, though but mean, lest he should lose the wonted object of his eyes, and the memory of his childhood. And besides, he would drink in a wooden cup tipped with silver, which was his grandmother's, upon festival days.
greater dominion over the affections, especially the daily affections, than either the heart or brain, only those things excepted which are wrought by potent vapours, as in drunkenness and melancholy.
99. Touching the operation upon the spirits, that they may remain youthful, and renew their vigour thus much, which we have done more accurately, for that there is for the most part amongst physicians, and other authors, touching these operations, a deep silence; but especially, because the operation upon the spirits, and their waxing green again, is the most ready and compendious way to long life, and that for a twofold compendiousness; one, because the spirits work compendiously upon the body; the other, because vapours and the affections work compendiously upon the spirits, so as these attain the end, as it were, in a right line, other things rather in lines circular.
II. The Operation upon the Exclusion of the Air.
1. The exclusion of the air ambient tendeth to length of life two ways; first, for that the external air, next unto the native spirits, howsoever the air may be said to animate the spirit of man, and conferreth not a little to health, doth most of all prey upon the juices of the body, and hasten the desiccation thereof; and therefore the exclusion of it is effectual to length of life.
2. Another effect which followeth the exclusion of air is much more subtile and profound: namely, that the body closed up, and not perspiring by the pores, detaineth the spirits within, and turneth it upon the harder parts of the body, whereby the spirit mollifies and intenerates them.
96. One thing above all is grateful to the spirits, that there be a continual progress to the more benign; therefore we should lead such a youth and manhood, that our old age should find new solaces, whereof the chief is moderate ease: and, therefore, old men in honourable places lay violent hands upon themselves, who retire not to their ease; whereof may be found an eminent example in Cassiodorus, who was of that reputation amongst the gothish Kings of Italy, that he was as the soul of their affairs; afterwards, being near eighty years of age, he betook himself to a monastery, where he ended not his days before he was a hundred years old. But this thing doth require two cautions: one, that they drive not off till their bodies be utterly worn out and diseased; for in such bodies all mutation, though to the more benign, hasteneth death; the other, that they sur-intenerateth them. And it is further to be assuined, render not themselves to a sluggish ease, but that they embrace something which may entertain their thoughts and mind with contentation; in which kind, the chief delights are reading and contemplation, and then the desires of building and planting.
97. Lastly the same action, endeavour, and labour, undertaken cheerfully and with a good will, doth refresh the spirits, but with an aversation and unwillingness, doth fret and deject them; and therefore it conferreth to long life, either that a man hath the art to institute his life so as it may be free and suitable to his own humour, or else to Jay such a command upon his mind, that whatsoever is imposed by fortune, it may rather lead him than drag him.
98. Neither is that to be omitted towards the government of the affections, that especial care be taken of the mouth of the stomach, especially that it be not too much relaxed; for that part hath a
3. Of this thing, the reason is explained in the desiccation of inanimate bodies, and it is an axiom almost infallible, that the spirit discharged and issuing forth, drieth bodies; detained, melteth and
that all heat doth properly attenuate and moisten, and contracteth and drieth only by accident.
4. Leading the life in dens and caves, where the air receives not the sunbeams, may be effectual to long life. For the air of itself doth not much towards the depredation of the body, unless it be stirred up by heat. Certainly, if a man shall recall things past to his memory, it will appear that the statures of men have been anciently much greater than those that succeeded, as in Sicily, and some other places: but this kind of men led their lives, for the most part, in caves. Now, length of life, and largeness of limbs, have some affinity; the cave also of Epimenides walks among the fables. I suppose likewise, that the life of columnar anchorites was a thing resembling the life in caves, in respect the sunbeams could not much pierce thither, nor the air receive any great changes or inequalities. This is certain, both the Simeon Stelitas, as well Daniel as Saba, and
other columnar anchorites, have been exceeding long-lived; likewise the anchorites in our days, closed up and immured either within walls or pillars, are often found to be long-lived.
5. Next unto the life in caves, is the life on mountains: for as the beams of the sun do not penetrate into caves, so on the tops of mountains, being destitute of reflection, they are of small force. But this is to be understood of mountains where the air is clear and pure; namely, whether by reason of the dryness of the valleys, clouds and vapours do not ascend, as it is in the mountains which encompass Barbary, where, even at this day, they live many times to a hundred and fifty years, as hath been noted before.
6. And this kind of air of caves and mountains, of its own proper nature, is little or nothing predatory; but air, such as ours is, which is predatory through the heat of the sun, ought as much as is possible to be excluded from the body.
7. But the air is prohibited and excluded two ways: first, by closing the pores: secondly, by filling them
8. To the closing of the pores, help coldness of the air, going naked, whereby the skin is made hard, washing in cold water, astringents applied to the skin, such as are mastick, myrrhe, myrtle. 9. But much more may we satisfy this operation by baths, yet those rarely used, (especially in summer,) which are made of astringent mineral waters, such as may safely be used, as waters participating of steel and copperas, for these do potently contract the skin.
10. As for filling up the pores, paintings, and such like unctuous daubings, and (which may most commodiously be used) oil and fat things, do no less conserve the substance of the body, than oil colours and varnish do preserve wood.
11. The ancient Britons painted their bodies with woad, and were exceeding long-lived; the Picts also used paintings, and are thought by some to have derived their name from thence.
12. The Brazilians and Virginians paint themselves at this day, who are (especially the former) very long-lived; insomuch that five years ago, the French Jesuites had speech with some who remembered the building of Fernambuck, which was done a hundred and twenty years since, and they were then at man's estate.
13. Joannes de Temporibus, who is reported to have extended his life to three hundred years, being asked how he preserved himself so long, is said to have answered, By oil without, and by honey within.
15. The same Irish used to wear saffroned linen and shirts, which, though it were at first devised to prevent vermin, yet howsoever I take it to be very useful for lengthening of life; for saffron, of all things that I know, is the best thing for the skin, and the comforting of the flesh, seeing it is both notably astringent, and hath besides an oleosity and subtile heat without any acrimony. I remember a certain Englishman who when he went to sea carried a bag of saffron next his stomach, that he might conceal it, and so escape custom; and whereas he was wont to be always exceeding seasick, at that time he continued very well, and felt no provocation to vomit.
16. Hippocrates adviseth in winter to wear clean linen, and in summer foul linen, and besmeared with oil: the reason may seem to be, because in summer the spirits exhale most, therefore the pores of the skin would be filled up.
17. Hereupon we are of opinion that the use of oil, either of olives or sweet almonds, to anoint the skin therewith, would principally conduce to long life. The anointing would be done every morn ing when we rise out of bed with oil, in which a little bay-salt and saffron is mixed. But this anointing must be lightly done with wool, or some soft sponge, not laying it on thick, but gently touching and wetting the skin.
18. It is certain that liquors, even the oily themselves, in great quantities draw somewhat from the body; but, contrarily, in small quantities are drunk in by the body; therefore the anointing would be but light as we said, or rather the shirt itself would be besmeared with oil.
19. It may happily be objected that this anointing with oil which we commend (though it were never in use with us, and amongst the Italians is cast off again) was anciently very familiar amongst the Grecians and Romans, and a part of their diet, and yet men were not longer lived in those days than now. But it may rightly be answered, oil was in use only after baths, unless it were perhaps amongst champions; now hot baths are as much contrary to our operation as anointings are congruous, seeing the one opens the passages, the other stops them up; therefore the bath without the anointing following is utterly bad, the anointing without the bath is best of all. Besides, the anointing amongst them was used only for delicacy, or (if you take it at the best) for health, but by no means in order to long life; and therefore they used them with all precious ointments, which were good for deliciousness, but hurtful to our intention, in regard of their heat; so that Virgil seemeth not to have said amiss,
-Nec casiâ liquidi corrumpitur usus olivi.
14. The Irish, especially the wild Irish, even at this day live very long; certainly they report, that within these few years, the Countess of Desmon lived to a hundred and forty years of age, That odoriferous cassia hath not supplanted the use of neat and red teeth three times. Now the Irish have¦ a fhion to chafe, and, as it were, to baste themSees with old salt butter against the fire. VOL. III.-63
20. Anointing with oil conduceth to health, both in winter, by the exclusion of the cold air,