« AnteriorContinuar »
and in summer, by detaining the spirits within, and prohibiting the resolution of them, and keeping off the force of the air, which is then most predatory.
21. Seeing the anointing with oil is one of the most potent operations to long life, we have thought good to add some cautions, lest the health should be endangered; they are four, according to the four inconveniences which may follow thereupon.
22. The first inconvenience is, that by repressing sweats it may engender diseases from those excrementitious humours. To this a remedy must be given by purges and clysters, that evacuation may be duly performed. This is certain, that evacuation by sweats commonly advanceth health, and derogateth from long life, but gentle purges work upon the humours, not upon the spirits as sweat doth.
23. The second inconvenience is, that it may heat the body, and in time inflame it; for the spirits shut in, and not breathing forth, acquire heat. This inconvenience may be prevented, if the diet most usually incline to the colder part, and that at times some proper cooling medicines be taken, of which we shall straight speak in the operation upon the blood.
24. The third is, that it may annoy the head; for all oppletion from without strikes back the va
And therefore linen is to be preferred for delicacy and neatness, but to be suspected for our operation.
27. The wild Irish, as soon as they fall sick, the first thing they do is to take the sheets off their beds, and to wrap themselves in the woollen clothes.
28. Some report that they have found great benefit in the conservation of their health, by wearing scarlet waistcoats next their skin, and under their shirts, as well down to the nether parts as on the upper.
29. It is also to be observed, that air accustomed to the body doth less prey upon it than new air and often changed; and therefore poor people, in small cottages, who live always within the smell of the same chimney, and change not their seats, are commonly longest lived; notwithstanding, to other operations (especially for them whose spirits are not altogether dull) we judge change of air to be very profitable, but a mean must be used which may satisfy on both sides. This may be done by removing our habitation four times a year, at constant and set times, unto convenient seats, that so the body may neither be in too much peregrination, nor in too much station. And touching the operation upon the exclusion of air, and avoiding the predatory force thereof, thus much.
pours, and sends them up into the head. This III. The Operation upon the Blood, and the San inconvenience is remedied by purgers, especially elysters, and by shutting the mouth of the stomach strongly with styptics, and by combing and rubbing the head, and by washing it with convenient lees, that something may exhale, and by not omitting competent and good exercises, that something also may perspire by the skin.
25. The fourth inconvenience is a more subtile evil; namely, that the spirit being detained by the closing up of the pores, is likely to multiply itself too much; for when little issueth forth, and new spirit is continually engendered, the spirit increaseth too fast, and so preyeth upon the body more plentifully. But this is not altogether so; for all spirit closed up is dull, (for it is blown and excited with motion as flame is,) and therefore it is less active, and less generative of itself; indeed it is thereby increased in heat, (as flame is,) but slow in motion. And therefore the remedy to this inconvenience must be by cold things, being sometimes mixed with oil, such as are roses and myrtles, for we must altogether disclaim hot things, as we said of cassia.
26. Neither will it be unprofitable to wear next the body garments that have in them some unctuosity, or oleosity, not aquosity, for they will exhaust the body less; such as are those of woollen, rather than those of linen. Certainly it is manifest in the spirits of odours, that if you lay sweet powders amongst linen, they will much sooner lose their smell than amongst woollen.
1. The following operations answer to the two precedent, and are in the relation of passives and actives; for the two precedent intend this, that the spirits and air in their actions may be the less depredatory. But because the blood is an irrigation or watering of the juices and members, and a preparation to them, therefore we will put the operation upon the blood in the first place: concerning this operation we will propound certain counsels, few in number, but very powerful in virtue: they are three.
2. First, there is no doubt, but that if the blood be brought to a cold temper, it will be so much the less dissipable. But because the cold things which are taken by the mouth agree but ill with many other intentions, therefore it will be best to find out some such things as may be free from these inconveniences.
3. The first is this: let there be brought into use, especially in youth, clysters not purging at all, or absterging, but only cooling, and somewhat opening: those are approved which are made of the juices of lettuce, purslane, liverwort, house-leek, and the mucilage of the seed of fleawort, with some temperate opening decoction, and a little camphire; but in the declining age let the house-leek and purslane be left out, and the juices of borage and endive, and the like, be
put in their rooms. And let these clysters be re- malignant quality in the dissolutions of them, tained, if it may be for an hour or more.
4. The other is this, let there be in use, especially in summer, baths of fresh water, and but lukewarm, altogether without emollients, as mallows, mercury, milk, and the like; rather take new whey in some good quantity, and roses.
5. But (that which is the principal in this intention and new) we advise that before the bathing, the body be anointed with oil, with some thickness, whereby the quality of the cooling may be received, and the water excluded: yet let not the pores of the body be shut too close, for when the outward cold closeth up the body too strongly, it is so far from furthering coolness, that it rather forbids, and stirs up heat.
6. Like unto this is the use of bladders, with some decoctions and cooling juices, applied to the inferior region of the body, namely, from the ribs to the privy parts: for this also is a kind of bathing, where the body of the liquor is for the most part excluded, and the cooling quality admitted.
neither will they be beaten to that exquisite fineness that leaf-gold hath. As for all glassy and transparent jewels, we like them not, (as we said before,) for fear of corrosion.
11. But, in our judgment, the safer and more effectual way would be by the use of woods in infusions and decoctions; for there is in them sufficient to cause firmness of blood, and not the like danger for breeding obstructions; but especially, because they may be taken in meat and drink, whereby they will find the more easy entrance into the veins, and not be avoided in excrements.
12. The woods fit for this purpose are sanders, the oak, and vine. As for all hot woods or something rosiny, we reject them; notwithstanding, you may add the woody stalks of rosemary dried, for rosemary is a shrub, and exceedeth in age many trees, also the woody stalks of ivy, but in such quantity as they may not yield an unpleasing taste.
13. Let the woods be taken either boiled in 7. The third counsel remaineth, which belong-broths, or infused in must or ale before they leave eth not to the quality of the blood, but to the sub-working; but in broths (as the custom is for guaistance thereof, that it may be made more firm and acum and the like) they would be infused a good less dissipable, and such as the heat of the spirit while before the boiling, that the firmer part of the may have the less power over it. wood, and not that only which lieth loosely, may be drawn forth. As for ash, though it be used for cups, yet we like it not. And touching the operation upon the blood, thus much.
8. And as for the use of filings of gold, leaf-gold, powder of pearl, precious stones, coral, and the like, we have no opinion of them at this day, unless it be only as they may satisfy this present operation. Certainly, seeing the Arabians, Grecians, and modern physicians, have attributed such virtues to these things, it cannot be altogether nothing, which so great men have observed of then. And, therefore, omitting all fantastical opinions about them, we do verily believe, that if there could be some such things conveyed into the whole mass of the blood in minute and fine portions, over which the spirits and heat should have little or no power, absolutely it would not only resist putrefaction, but arefaction also, and be a most effectual means to the prolongation of life. Nevertheless, in this thing several cautions are to be given; first, that there be a most exact comminution: secondly, that such hard and solid things be void of all malignant qualities, lest while they be dispersed and lurk in the veins, they breed some illconvenience: thirdly, that they be never taken together with meats, nor in any such manner as they may stick long, lest they beget dangerous obstructions about the mesentery: lastly, that they be taken very rarely, that they may not coagulate and knot together in the veins.
9. Therefore, let the manner of taking them be fasting, in white wine, a little oil of almonds mingled therewith, exercise used immediately upon the taking of them.
10. The simples which may satisfy this operation are, instead of ail, gold, pearls, and coral; for all metals, except gold, are not without some
IV. The Operation upon the Juices of the Body.
1. There are two kinds of bodies (as was said before in the inquisition touching inanimates) which are hardly consumed, hard things and fat things, as is seen in metals and stones, and in oil and wax.
2. It must be ordered, therefore, that the juice of the body be somewhat hard, and that it be fat or subroscid.
3. As for hardness, it is caused three ways: by aliment of a firm nature, by cold condensing the skin and flesh, and by exercise, binding and compacting the juices of the body, that they be not soft and frothy.
4. As for the nature of the aliment, it ought to be such as is not easily dissipable, such as are beef, swine's flesh, deer, goat, kid, swan, goose, ringdove, especially if they be a little powdered; fish is likewise salted and dried, old cheese, and the like.
5. As for the bread, oaten bread or bread with some mixture of pease in it, or rye bread, or barley bread, are more solid than wheat bread, and in wheat bread, the coarse wheat bread is more solid than the pure manchet.
6. The inhabitants of the Orcades, which live upon salted fish, and generally all fish eaters, are long-lived.
7. The monks and hermits which fed sparingly.
and upon dry aliment, attained commonly to a great age.
8. Also, pure water usually drunk, makes the juices of the body less frothy; unto which if, for the dulness of the spirits, (which no doubt in water are but a little penetrative,) you shall add a little nitre, we conceive it would be very good. And touching the firmness of the aliment, thus much.
9. As for the condensation of the skin and flesh by cold: they are longer lived for the most part that live abroad in the open air, than they that live in houses; and the inhabitants of the cold countries, than the inhabitants of the hot.
10. Great store of clothes, either upon the bed or back, do resolve the body.
11. Washing the body in cold water is good for length of life; use of hot baths is naught: touching baths of astringent mineral waters, we have spoken before.
12. As for exercise, an idle life doth manifestly make the flesh soft and dissipable: robust exercise (so it be without overmuch sweating or weariness) maketh it hard and compact. Also exer cise within cold water, as swimming, is very good; and generally exercise abroad is better than that within houses.
13. Touching frications, (which are a kind of exercise,) because they do rather call forth the aliment that hardens the flesh, we will inquire hereafter in the due place.
suming than water, so in paper or linen, it sticketh longer, and is later dried, as we noted before.
18. To the irroration of the body, roasted meats or baked meats are more effectual than boiled meats, and all preparation of meat with water is inconvenient; besides oil is more plentifully extracted out of dried bodies than out of moist bodies.
19. Generally, to the irroration of the body much use of sweet things is profitable, as of sugar, honey, sweet almonds, pineapples, pistachios, dates, raisins of the sun, corans, figs, and the like. Contrarily, all sour, and very salt, and very biting things are opposite to the generation of roscid juice.
20. Neither would we be thought to favour the Maenichees, or their diet, though we commend the frequent use of all kinds of seeds, kernels, and roots in meats or sauces, considering all bread (and bread is that which maketh the meat firm) is made either of seeds or roots.
21. But there is nothing makes so much to the irroration of the body as the quality of the drink, which is the convoy of the meat; therefore, let there be in use such drinks as without all acrimony or sourness are notwithstanding subtile; such are those wines which are (as the old woman said in Plautus) vetustate edentula, toothless with age, and ale of the same kind.
22. Mead (as we suppose) would not be ill if it were strong and old; but because all honey hath in it some sharp parts, (as appears by that 14. Having now spoken of hardening the juices sharp water which the chymists extract out of of the body, we are to come next to the oleosity it, which will dissolve metals,) it were better to and fatness of them, which is a more perfect and take the same portion of sugar, not lightly inpotent intention than induration, because it hath fused into it, but so incorporated as honey useth no inconvenience or evil annexed. For all those to be in mead, and to keep it to the age of a year, things which pertain to the hardening of the or at least six months, whereby the water may juices are of that nature, that while they prohibit | lose the crudity, and the sugar acquire subtilty. the absumption of the aliment, they also hinder the operation of the same; whereby it happens, that the same things are both propitious and adverse to length of life; but those things which pertain to making the juices oily and roscid, help on both sides, for they render the aliment both less dissipable, and more reparable.
15. But, whereas we say that the juice of the body ought to be roscid and fat, it is to be noted that we mean it not of a visible fat, but of a dewiness dispersed, or (if you will call it) radical in the very substance of the body.
16. Neither again let any man think, that oil, or the fat of meat or marrow, do engender the like, and satisfy our intention: for those things which are once perfect are not brought back again; but the aliments ought to be such, which after digestion and maturation, do then in the end engender oleosity in the juices.
17. Neither again let any man think, that oil or fat by itself and simple is hard of dissipation; but in mixture it doth not retain the same nature: for as oil by itself is much more longer in con
23. Now, ancientness in wine or beer hath this in it, that it engenders subtilty in the parts of the liquor, and acrimony in the spirits, whereof the first is profitable, and the second hurtful. Now, to rectify this evil commixture, let there be put into the vessel, before the wine be separated from the must, swine's flesh or deer's flesh well boiled, that the spirits of the wine may have whereupon to ruminate and feed, and so lay aside their mordacity.
24. In like manner, if ale should be made not only with the grains of wheat, barley, oats, pease, and the like, but also should admit a part (suppose a third part to these grains) of some fat roots, such as are potado roots, pith of artichokes, burre roots, or some other sweet and esculent roots; we suppose it would be a more useful drink for long life than the ale made of grains only.
Also, such things as have very thin parts, yet, notwithstanding, are without all acrimony or mordacity, are very good salads; which virtue we find to be in some few of the flowers, namely,
flowers of ivy, which, infused in vinegar, are pleasant even to the taste, marigold leaves, which are used in broths, and flowers of betony. And, touching the operation upon the juices of the body, thus much.
V. The Operation upon the Bowels of their Extrusion of Aliment.
that it were out again, saying, he had no need of the broth, but only of the warmth.
6. I do verily conceive it good that the first draught either of wine, or ale, or any other drink (to which a man is most accustomed) be taken at supper warm.
7. Wine in which gold hath been quenched, I conceive, would be very good once in a meal; not that I believe the gold conferreth any virtue thereunto, but that I know that the quenching of all metals in any kind of liquor doth leave a most potent astriction. Now, I choose gold, because, besides that astriction which I desire, it leaveth nothing behind it of a metalline impression.
1. What those things are which comfort the principal bowels, which are the fountains of concoctions, namely, the stomach, liver, heart, and brain, to perform their functions well, (whereby aliment is distributed into the parts, spirits are dispersed, and the reparation of the whole body is accomplished,) may be derived from physi-ped in wine, taken at the midst of the meal, are cians, and from their prescripts and advices.
2. Touching the spleen, gall, kidneys, mesenteries, guts, and lungs, we speak not, for these are members ministering to the principal, and whereas speech is made touching health, they require sometimes a most special consideration, because each of these have their diseases, which, unless they be cured, will have influence upon the principal members. But, as touching the prolongation of life, and reparation by aliments, and retardation of the incoction of old age; if the concoctions and those principal bowels be well disposed, the rest will commonly follow according to one's wish.
8. I am of opinion that the sops of bread dip
better than wine itself, especially if there were infused into the wine in which the sops were dipped, rosemary and citron pill, and that with sugar, that it may not slip too fast.
9. It is certain that the use of quinces is good to strengthen the stomach, but we take them to be better if they be used in that which they call quiddeny of quinces, than in the bodies of the quinces themselves, because they lie heavy in the stomach. But those quiddenies are best taken, after meals, alone; before meals, dipped in vinegar.
10. Such things as are good for the stomach above other simples are these, rosemary, elecampane, mastic, wormwood, sage, mint.
3. And as for those things which, according to the different state of every man's body, may 11. I allow pills of aloes, mastic, and saffron, be transferred into his diet, and the regiment winter-time, taken before dinner, but so as the of his life, he may collect them out of the aloes be not only oftentimes washed in rose-water. books of physicians, which have written of but also in vinegar in which tragacanth hath been the comforting and preserving the four prin-infused, and after that be macerated for a few hours cipal members; for conservation of health hath in oil of sweet almonds new drawn, before it be commonly need of no more than some short made into pills. courses of physic, but length of life cannot be hoped without an orderly diet, and a constant race of sovereign medicines. But we will propound some few, and those the most select and prime directions.
12. Wine or ale, wherein wormwood has been infused, with a little elecampane and yellow sanders, will do well, taken at times, and that especially in winter.
13. But in summer, a draught of white wine allayed with strawberry water, in which wine, powder of pearls, and of the shells of crawfishes exquisitely beaten, and (which may, perhaps, seem strange) a little chalk have been infused, doth excellently refresh and strengthen the
4. The stomach (which, as they say, is the master of the house, and whose strength and goodness is fundamental to the other concoctions) ought so to be guarded and confirmed that it may be without intemperateness hot; next, astricted or bound, not loose; furthermore, clean, not sur-stomach. charged with foul humours, and yet (in regard it 14. But, generally, all draughts in the morn is nourished from itself, and not from the veins) ing (which are but too frequently used) of cool not altogether empty or hungry; lastly, it is to being things, as of juices, decoctions, whey, barley kept ever in appetite, because appetite sharpens digestion.
5. I wonder much how that same calidum bibere, to drink warm drink, (which was in use amongst the ancients,) is laid down' again. I knew a physician that was very famous, who, in the beginning of dinner and supper, would usually eat a few spoonfuls of very warm broth with much greediness, and then would presently wish
waters, and the like, are to be avoided, and no. thing is to be put into the stomach fasting which is purely cold. These things are better given, if need require, either at five in the afternoon, oi else an hour after a light breakfast.
15. Often fastings are bad for long life; besides, all thirst is to be avoided, and the stomach is to be kept clean, but always moist.
16. Oil of olives new and good, in which a
Jittle mithridate hath been dissolved, anointed | dried figs, dates, parsnips, potatoes, and the like, upon the backbone, just against the mouth of the stomach, doth wonderfully comfort the stomach. 17. A small bag filled with locks of scarlet wool steeped in red wine, in which myrtle, and citron pill, and a little saffron have been infused, may be always worn upon the stomach. And touching those things which comfort the stomach, thus much, seeing many of those things also which serve for other operations are helpful to
18. The liver, if it be preserved from torrefaction or desiccation, and from obstruction, it needeth no more; for that looseness of it which begets aquosities is plainly a disease, but the other two, old age approaching induceth.
19. Hereunto appertain most especially those things which are set down in the operation upon the blood; we will add a very few things more, but those selected.
20. Principally, let there be in use the wine of sweet pomegranates; or, if that cannot be had, the juice of them newly pressed; let it be taken in the morning with a little sugar, and into the glass into which the expression is made put a small piece of citron pill, green, and three or four whole cloves; let this be taken from February till the end of April.
21. Bring also into use, above all other herbs, water-cresses, but young, not old; they may be used either raw in sallets, or in broths, or in drinks; and after that take spoonwort.
22. Aloes, however washed or corrected, is hurtful for the liver, and therefore it is never to be taken ordinarily. Contrariwise, rhubarb is sovereign for the liver, so that these three cautions be interposed: First, that it be taken before meat, lest it dry the body too much, or leave some impressions of the stypicity thereof. Secondly, that it be macerated an hour or two in oil of sweet almonds new drawn, with rosewater, before it be infused in liquor, or given in the proper substance. Thirdly, that it be taken by turns, one while simple, another while with tartar, or a little baysalt, that it carry not away the lighter parts only, and make the mass of the humours the more ob
23. I allow wine, or some decoction with steel, to be taken three or four times in the year, to open the more strong obstructions; yet so that a draught of two or three spoonfuls of oil of sweet almonds, new drawn, ever go before, and the motion of the body, especially of the arms and sides, constantly follow.
24 Sweetened liquors, and that with some fatness, are principally, and not a little effectual to prevent the arefaction, and saltness, and torrefaction; and, in a word, the oldness of the liver, especially if they be well incorporated with age. They are made of sweet fruits and roots; as, namely, the wines and julips of raisins of the sun new, jujubes,
with the mixture of liquorice sometimes. Also, a julip of the Indian grain; (which they call maize,) with the mixture of some sweet things, doth much to the same end. But it is to be noted, that the intention of preserving the liver in a kind of softness and fatness, is much more powerful than that other which pertains to the opening of the liver, which rather tendeth to health, than to length of life, saving that obstruction which induceth torrefaction, is as opposite to long life as those other arefactions.
25. I commend the roots of succory, spinage, and beets cleared of their piths, and boiled till they be tender in water, with a third part of white wine, for ordinary sallets, to be eaten with oil and vinegar. Also asparagus, pith of artichokes, and burroots boiled and served in after the same manner. Also broths in the spring-time of vinebuds, and the green blades of wheat. And touching the preserving of the liver, thus much.
26. The heart receiveth benefit or harm most from the air which we breathe, from vapours, and from the affections. Now, many of those things which have been formerly spoken, touching the spirits, may be transferred hither; but that undigested mass of cordials collected by physicians avails little to our intention; notwithstanding, those things which are found to be good against poisons, may, with good judgment, be given to strengthen and fortify the heart, especially if they be of that kind, that they do not so much resist the particular poisons, as arm the heart and spirits against poison in general. And touching these several cordials, you may repair to the table already set down.
27. The goodness of the air is better known by experience than by signs. We hold that air to be best where the country is level and plain, and that lieth open on all sides, so that the soil be dry, and yet not barren or sandy; which puts forth wild thyme, and eyebright, and a kind of marjoram, and here and there stalks of calamint; which is not altogether void of wood, but conve niently set with some trees for shade, where the sweetbrier-rose smelleth something musky and aromatically. If there be rivers, we suppose them rather hurtful than good, unless they be very small, and clear, and gravelly.
28. It is certain, that the morning air is more lively and refreshing than the evening air, though the latter be preferred out of delicacy.
29. We conceive also, that the air stirred with a gentle wind, is more wholesome than the air of a serene and calm sky; but the best is, the wind blowing from the west in the morning, and from the north in the afternoon.
30. Odours are especially profitable for the comforting of the heart, yet not so, as though a good odour were the prerogative of a good air; for it is certain, that as there are some pestilential