« AnteriorContinuar »
if the body of gold could be opened with these corrosive waters, or by these corrosive waters (so the venemous quality were wanting) well washed, we conceive it would be no unprofitable medicine.
were good for lengthening of life; such were though this secret be wholly suppressed. Now, those of Democritus, Philolaus, Xenophanes, the astrologians and stoics. Also those which had no profound speculation in them, but discoursed calmly on both sides, out of common sense and the received opinions, without any sharp inquisitions, were likewise good; such were those of Carneades and the academics, also of the rhetoricians and grammarians. But, contrary, philosophies conversant in perplexing subtilties, and which pronounced peremptorily, and which examined and wrested all things to the scale of principles. Lastly, which were thorny and narrow were evil; such were those commonly of the peripatetics, and of the schoolmen.
49. The country life also is well fitted for long 'life; it is much abroad, and in the open air; it is not slothful, but ever in employment; it feedeth upon fresh cates, and unbought; it is without cares and envy.
2. Pearls are taken either in a fine powder, or in a certain mass or dissolution, by the juice of four and new lemons, and they are given sometimes in aromatical confections, sometimes in liquor. The pearl, no doubt, hath some affinity with the shell in which it groweth, and may be of the same quality with the shells of crawfishes.
3. Amongst the transparent precious stones, two only are accounted cordial, the emerald and the jacinth, which are given under the same forms that the pearls are; save only, that the dissolutions of them, as far as we know, are not in use. But we suspect these glassy jewels, lest they should be cutting.
Of these which we have mentioned, how far and in what manner they are helpful, shall be
4. Bezoar stone is of approved virtue for refreshing the spirits and procuring a gentle sweat. As for the unicorn's horn, it hath lost the credit with us; yet so as it may keep rank with hartshorn, and the bone in the heart of a hart, and ivory, and such like.
50. For the military life, we have a good opinion of that whilst a man is young. Certainly many excellent warriors have been long-lived; Corvi-spoken hereafter. nus, Camillus, Xenophon, Agesilaus, with others, both ancient and modern. No doubt it furthereth long life, to have all things from our youth to our elder age mend, and grow to the better, that a youth full of crosses may minister sweetness to our old age. We conceive also, that military affections, inflamed with a desire of fighting, and hope of victory, do infuse such a heat into the spirits, as may be profitable for long life.
Medicines for Long Life.
To the tenth article.
Ambergris is one of the best to appease and comfort the spirits.
5. Hereafter, follow the names only of the simple cordials, seeing their virtues are sufficiently known.
Hot.-Saffron, folium indum, lignum aloes, citron pill or rind, balm, basil, clove-gilly flowers, orange flowers, rosemary, mint, betony, carduus benedictus.
The art of physic, which we now have, looks no further commonly than to conservation of health, and cure of diseases. As for those things which tend properly to long life, there is but Cold.-Nitre, roses, violets, strawberry leaves, slight mention, and by the way only. Notwith-strawberries, juice of sweet lemons, juice of standing, we will propound those medicines sweet oranges, juice of pearmains, borage, buwhich are notable in this kind, I mean those gloss, burnet, sanders, camphire. which are cordials. For it is consonant to reason, that those things which being taken in cures do defend and fortify the heart, or, more truly, the spirits, against poisons and diseases being transferred with judgment and choice into diet, should have a good effect, in some sort, towards the prolonging of life. This we will do, not heaping them promiscuously together, (as the manner is,) but selecting the best.
1. Gold is given in three forms, either in that which they call aurum potabile, or in wine wherein gold hath been quenched, or in gold in the substance, such as are leaf-gold, and the filings of gold. As for aurum potabile, it is used to be given in desperate or dangerous discases, and that not without good success. But we suppose that the spirits of the salt, by which the gold is dissolved, do rather minister that virtue which is found in it. than the gold itself,
Seeing our speech now is of those things which may be transferred into diet, all hot waters and chymical oils, (which, as a certain trifler saith, are under the planet Mars, and have a furious and destructive force,) as, also, all hot and biting spices are to be rejected, and a consideration to be had how waters and liquors may be made of the former simples; not those phlegmatic distilled waters, nor again those burning waters or spirits of wine, but such as may be more temperate, and yet lively, and sending forth a benign vapour.
6. I make some question touching the frequent letting of blood, whether it conduceth to long life or not; and I am rather in the opinion that it doth, if it be turned into a habit, and other things be well disposed, for it letteth out the old juice of the body and bringeth in new.
I suppose also, that some emaciating diseases, well cured, do profit to long life, for they yield
new juice, the old being consumed, and as (he prehensions. But mine intentions do both come saith) to recover a sickness, is to renew youth. Therefore it were good to make some artificial diseases, which is done by strict and emaciating diets, of which I shall speak hereafter.
To the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth articles.
Having finished the inquisition according to the subjects, as, namely, of inanimate bodies, vegetables, living creatures, man, I will come now nearer to the matter, and order mine inquisitions by certain intentions, such as are true and proper (as I am wholly persuaded,) and which are the very paths to mortal life. For in this part, nothing that is of worth hath hitherto been inquired, but the contemplations of men have been but simple and non-proficients. For when I hear men on the one side speak of comforting natural heat, and the radical moisture, and of meats which breed good blood, such as may neither be burnt nor phlegmatic, and of the cheering and recreating the spirits, I suppose them to be no bad men which speak these things; but none of these worketh effectually towards the end. But when, on the other side, I hear several discourses touching medicines made of gold, because gold is not subject to corruption; and touching precious stones, to refresh the spirits by their hidden properties and lustre, and that if they could be taken and retained in vessels, the balsams and quintessences of living creatures would make men conceive a proud hope of immortality. And that the flesh of serpents and harts, by a certain consent, are powerful to the renovation of life, because the one casteth his skin, the other his horns; (they should also have added the flesh of eagles, because the eagle changes his bill.) And that a certain man, when he had found an ointment hidden under the ground, and had anointed himself there with from head to foot, (excepting only the soles of his feet) did, by his anointing, live three hundred years without any disease, save only some tumours in the soles of his feet. And of Artesius, who, when he found his spirit ready to depart, drew into his body the spirit of a certain young man, and thereby made him breathless, but himself lived many years by another man's spirit. And of fortunate hours, according to the figures of heaven, in which medicines are to be gathered and compounded for the prolongation of life; and of the seals of planets, by which virtues may be drawn and fetched down from heaven to prolong life; and such like fabulous and superstitious vanities. I wonder exceedingly that men should so much dote as to suffer themselves to be deluded with these things. And, again, I do pity mankind that they should have the hard fortune to be besieged with such frivolous and senseless apVOL. III.-62
home to the matter, and are far from vain and credulous imaginations; being also such, as 1 conceive, posterity may add much to the matters which satisfy these intentions; but to the intentions themselves, but a little. Notwithstanding there are a few things, and those of very great moment, of which I would have men to be forewarned.
First, We are of that opinion, that we esteem the offices of life to be more worthy than life itself. Therefore, if there be any thing of that kind that may indeed exactly answer our intentions, yet so that the offices and duties of life be thereby hindered, whatsoever it be of this kind, we reject it. Perhaps we may make some light mention of some things, but we insist not upon them. For we make no serious nor diligent discourse, either of leading the life in caves, where the sunbeams and several changes of the air pierce not, like Epimenides his cave; or of perpetual baths, made of liquors prepared; or of shirts and searcloths, so applied, that the body should be always, as it were, in a box; or of thick paintings of the body, after the manner of some barbarous nations; or of an exact ordering of our life and diet, which aimeth only at this, and mindeth nothing else but that a man live, (as was that of Herodicus amongst the ancients, and of Cornarus the Venetian in our days, but with greater moderation,) or of any such prodigy, tediousness, or inconvenience; but we propound such remedies and precepts, by which the offices of life may neither be deserted nor receive any great interruptions or molestations.
Secondly, On the other side, we denounce unto men that they will give over trifling, and not imagine that so great a work as the stopping and turning back the powerful course of nature can be brought to pass by some morning draught, or the taking of some precious drug, but that they would be assured that it must needs be, that this is a work of labour, and consisteth of many remedies, and a fit connexion of them amongst themselves; for no man can be so stupid as to imagine that what was never yet done can be done, but by such ways as were never yet attempted.
Thirdly, We ingeniously profess that some of those things which we shall propound, have not been tried by us by way of experiment, (for our course of life doth not permit that,) but are derived (as we suppose) upon good reasons, out of our principles and grounds, (of which some we set down, others we reserve in our mind,) and are, as it were, cut and digged out of the rock and mine of nature herself. Nevertheless, we have been careful, and that with all providence and circumspection, (seeing the Scripture saith of the body of man, that it is more worth than raiment,) to propound such remedies as may at least be safe, if peradventure they be not fruitful.
Fourthly, We would have men rightly to ob- | I. The Operation upon the Spirits, that they may
serve and distinguish that those things which are good for a healthful life, are not always good for a long life; for there are some things which do further the alacrity of the spirits, and the strength and vigour of the functions, which, notwithstanding, do cut off from the sum of life: and there are other things which are profitable to prolongation of life, which, are not without some peril of health, unless this matter be salved by fit remedies; of which, notwithstanding, as occasion shall be offered, we will not omit to give some cautions and monitions.
Lastly, We have thought good to propound sundry remedies according to the several intentions, but the choice of those remedies, and the order of them, to leave to discretion; for to set down exactly which of them agreeth best, with which constitution of body, which with the several courses of life, which with each man's particular age, and how they are to be taken one after another, and how the whole practique of these things is to be administered and governed, would be too long, neither is it fit to be published.
remain youthful, and renew their Vigour.
1. The spirits are the master workmen of all effects in the body. This is manifest by consent, and by infinite instances.
2. If any man could procure that a young man's spirit could be conveyed into an old man's body, it is not unlikely but this great wheel of the spirits might turn about the lesser wheels of the parts, and so the course of nature become retrograde.
3. In every consumption, whether it be by fire or by age, the more the spirit of the body, or the heat, preyeth upon the moisture, the lesser is the duration of that thing. This occurs everywhere, and is manifest.
4. The spirits are to be put into such a temperament and degree of activity, that they should not (as he saith) drink and guzzle the juices of the body, but sip them only.
5. There are two kinds of flames, the one eager and weak, which consumes slight substances, but hath little power over the harder, as the flame of straw or small sticks: the other strong and constant, which converts hard and obstinate substances; as the flame of hard wood, and such
In the topics we propounded three intentions; the prohibiting of consumption, the perfecting of reparation, and the renewing of oldness. But seeing those things which shall be said are no-like. thing less than words, we will deduce these three intentions to ten operations.
6. The eager flames, and yet less robust, do dry bodies, and render them exhaust and sapless;
1. The first is the operation upon the spirits, but the stronger flames do intenerate and melt that they may renew their vigour.
2. The second operation is upon the exclusion of the air.
7. Also in dissipating medicines, some vapour forth the thin part of the tumours or swellings,
3. The third operation is upon the blood, and and these harden the tumour; others potently disthe sanguifying heat.
4. The fourth operation is upon the juices of the body.
5. The fifth operation is upon the bowels, for their extrusion of aliment.
cuss, and these soften it.
8. Also in purging and absterging medicines, some carry away the fluid humours violently, others draw the more obstinate and viscous.
9. The spirits ought to be invested and armed 6. The sixth operation is upon the outer parts, with such a heat, that they may choose rather to for their attraction of aliment. stir and undermine hard and obstinate matters,
7 The seventh operation is upon the aliment than to discharge and carry away the thin and itself, for the insinuation thereof. prepared for by that means the body becomes
8. The eighth operation is upon the last act of green and solid. assimilation.
9. The ninth operation is upon the inteneration of the parts, after they begin to be dried.
10. The tenth operation is upon the purging away of old juice, and supplying of new juice. Of these operations, the four first belong to the first intention, the four next to the second intention, and the two last to the third intention.
But because this part touching the intentions doth tend to practice, under the name of history, we will not only comprise experiments and observations, but also counsels, remedies, explications of causes, assumptions, and whatsoever hath reference hereunto.
10. The spirits are so to be wrought and tempered, that they may be in substance dense, not rare; in heat strong, not eager; in quantity sufficient for the offices of life, not redundant or turgid; in motion appeased, not dancing or unequal.
11. That vapours work powerfully upon the spirits it is manifest by sleep, by drunkenness, by melancholic passions, by letificant medicines, by odours, calling the spirits back again in swoonings and faintings.
12. The spirits are condensed four ways; either by putting them to flight, or by refrigerating and cooling them, or by stroking them, or by quieting them. And first of their condensation, by putting them to flight.
13. Whatsoever putteth to flight on all parts little sharpen them both in their courage and in driveth the body into his centre, and so con- their wits; notwithstanding, if it be taken in a denseth. large quantity, it affects and disturbs the mind; whereby it is manifest, that it is of the same nature with opiates.
14. To the condensation of the spirits by flight, the most powerful and effectual is opium, and next opiates, and generally all soporiferous things.
26. There is a root much renowned in all the eastern parts which they call betel, which the In15. The force of opium to the condensation of dians and others use to carry in their mouths, and the spirits is exceeding strong, when as perhaps to champ it, and by that champing they are wonthree grains thereof will in a short time so coagu-derfully enabled both to endure labours, and to late the spirits, that they return no more, but are overcome sicknesses, and to the act of carnal extinguished, and become immovable. copulation: it seems to be a kind of stupefactive, because it exceedingly blacks the teeth.
16. Opium, and the like, put not the spirits to flight by their coldness, for they have parts manifestly hot, but on the contrary cool by their putting the spirits to flight.
17. The flight of the spirits by opium and opiate medicines is best seen by applying the same outwardly, for the spirits straight withdraw themselves, and will return no more, but the part is mortified, and turns to a gangrene.
18. Opiates in grievous pains, as in the stone, or the cutting off of a limb, mitigate pains most of all, by putting the spirits to flight.
19. Opiates obtain a good effect from a bad cause; for the flight of the spirits is evil, but the condensation of them through their flight is good. 20. The Grecians attributed much both for health and for prolongation of life, as opiates, but the Arabians much more, insomuch that their grand medicines (which they called the god's hands) had opium for their basis and principal ingredient, other things being mixed to abate and correct the noxious qualities thereof; such were treacle, mithridate, and the rest.
21. Whatsoever is given with good success in the curing of pestilential and malignant diseases, to stop and bridle the spirits, lest they grow turbulent and tumultuous, may very happily be transferred to the prolongation of life; for one thing is effectual unto both, namely, the condensation of the spirits: now, there is nothing better for that than opiates.
22. The Turks find opium, even in a reasonable good quantity, harmless and comfortable, insomuch that they take it before their battle to excite courage; but to us, unless it be in a very small quantity, and with good correctives, it is mortal. 23. Opium and opiates are manifestly found to excite Venus; which shows them to have force to corroborate the spirits.
21. Distilled water out of wild poppy is given with good success in surfeits, agues, and divers diseases; which, no doubt, is a temperate kind of opiate. Neither let any man wonder at the various use of it, for that is familiar to opiates, in regard that the spirits, corroborated and condensed, will rise up against any disease.
25. The Turks use a kind of herb which they call caphe, which they dry and powder, and then drink in warm water, which they say doth not a
27. Tobacco in our age is immoderately grown into use, and it affects men with a secret kind of delight, insomuch that they who have once inured themselves unto it, can hardly afterwards leave it; and no doubt it hath power to lighten the body, and to shake off weariness. Now, the virtue of it is commonly thought to be, because it opens the passages, and voids humours; but it may more rightly be referred to the condensation of the spirits, for it is a kind of henbane, and manifestly troubles the head as opiates do.
28. There are sometimes humours engendered in the body, which are as it were opiate themselves; as it is in some kind of melancholies, with which if a man be affected it is a sign of very long life.
29. The simple opiates (which are also called stupefactives) are these; opium itself, which is the juice of poppy, both the poppies as well in the herb as in the seed, henbane, mandrake, hemlock, tobacco, nightshade.
30. The compound opiates are, treacle, mithridate, trifera, laudanum, paracelsi, diaconium, diascordium, philonium, pills of houndstongue.
31. From this which hath been said, certain designations or counsels may be deduced for the prolongation of life, according to the present intention, namely, of condensing the spirits by opiates.
32. Let there be, therefore, every year, from adult years of youth, an opiate diet; let it be taken about the end of May, because the spirits in the summer are more loose and attenuated, and there are less dangers from cold humours; let it be some magistral opiate, weaker than those that are commonly in use, both in respect of a smaller quantity of opium, and of a more sparing mixture of extreme hot things; let it be taken in the morning betwixt sleeps. The fare for that time would be more simple and sparing than ordinary, without wine, or spices, or vaporous things. This medicine to be taken only each other day, and to be continued for a fortnight. This designation in our judgment comes home to the intention.
33. Opiates also may be taken not only by the mouth, but also by fumes; but the fumes must be such as may not move the expulsive faculty too strongly, nor force down humours, but only taken
in a weft, may work upon the spirits within the brain. And, therefore, a suffumigation of tobacco, lignum aloes, rosemary leaves dried, and a little myrrh snuffed up in the morning at the mouth and nostrils, would be very good.
34. In grand opiates, such as are treacle, mithridate, and the rest, it would not be amiss (especially in youth) to take rather the distilled waters of them, than themselves in their bodies; for the vapour in distilling doth rise, but the heat of the medicine commonly settleth. Now, distilled waters are good in those virtues which are conveyed by vapours, in other things but weak.
35. There are medicines which have a certain weak and hidden degree, and therefore safe to an opiate virtue; these send forth a slow and copious vapour, but not malignant as opiates do; therefore they put not the spirits to flight, notwithstanding they congregate them, and somewhat thicken them.
the tops of dry mountains, or in champaigns open to the wind, and yet not without some shade.
41. As for the refrigeration and condensation of the spirits by vapours, the root of this operation we place in nitre, as a creature purposely made and chosen for this end, being thereunto led and persuaded by these arguments.
42. Nitre is a kind of cool spice; this is apparent to the sense itself, for it bites the tongue and palate with cold, as spices do with heat, and it is the only thing, as far as we know, that hath this property.
43. Almost all cold things (which are cold properly and not by accident, as opium is) are poor and jejune of spirit; contrarily, things full of spirit are almost all hot, only nitre is found amongst vegetables, which aboundeth with spirit and yet is cold. As for camphire, which is full of spirit, and yet performeth the actions of cold, it cooleth by accident only, as namely, for that by the thin
36. Medicines, in order to opiates, are princi-ness thereof, without acrimony, it helpeth perspipally saffron, next folium indum, ambergris, ration and inflammations. coriander seed prepared, amomum, pseuda momum, lignum rhodium, orange-flower water, and much more the infusion of the same flowers new gathered in the oil of almonds, nutmegs pricked full of holes and macerated in rosewater.
37. As opiates are to be taken very sparingly, and at certain times, as was said, so these secondaries may be taken familiarly, and in our daily diet, and they will be very effectual to prolongation of life. Certainly an apothecary of Calecute, by the use of amber, is said to have lived a hundred and sixty years, and the noblemen of Barbary through the use thereof are certified to be very long-lived, whereas the mean people are but of short life. And our ancestors, who were longer lived than we, did use saffron much in their cakes, broths, and the like. And touching the first way of condensing the spirits of opiates, and the subordinates thereto, thus much.
38. Now we will inquire of the second way of condensing the spirits by cold, for the proper work of cold is condensation, and it is done without any malignity, or adverse quality; and therefore it is a safer operation than by opiates, though somewhat less powerful, if it be done by turns only as opiates are. But then again, because it may be used familiarly, and in our daily diet with moderation, it is much more powerful for the prolongation of life than by opiates.
39. The refrigeration of the spirits is effected three ways, either by respiration, or by vapours, or by aliment. The first is the best, but, in a sort, out of our power; the second is potent, but vet ready and at hand; the third is weak and somewhat about.
40. Air clear and pure, and which hath no fogginess in it before it be received into the lungs, and which is least exposed to the sunbeams, condenseth the spirits best. Such is found either on
44. In congealing and freezing of liquors (which is lately grown into use) by laying snow and ice on the outside of the vessel, nitre is also added, and no doubt it exciteth and fortifieth the congelation. It is true, that they use also for this work ordinary bay-salt, which doth rather give activity to the coldness of the snow, than cool by itself; but, as I have heard, in the hotter regions, where snow falls not, the congealing is wrought by nitre alone; but this I cannot certainly affirm.
45. It is affirmed that gunpowder, which consisteth principally of nitre, being taken in drink doth conduce to valour, and that it is used oftentimes by mariners and soldiers before they begin their battles, as the Turks do opium.
46. Nitre is given with good success in burning agues, and pestilential fevers, to mitigate and bridle their pernicious heats.
47. It is manifest, that nitre in gunpowder doth mightily abhor the flame, from whence is caused that horrible crack and puffing.
48. Nitre is found to be, as it were, the spirit of the earth; for this is most certain, that any earth, though pure and unmixed with nitrous matter, if it be so laid up and covered, that it be free from the sunbeams, and putteth forth no vegetable, will gather nitre, even in good abundance. By which it is clear, that the spirit of nitre is not only inferior to the spirit of living creatures, but also to the spirit of vegetables.
49. Cattle, which drink of nitrous water, do manifestly grow fat, which is a sign of the cold in nitre.
50. The manuring of the soil is chiefly by nitrous substances; for all dung is nitrous, and this is a sign of the spirit in nitre.
51. From hence it appears, that the spirits of man may be cooled and condensed by the spirit of nitre, and be made more crude and less eager.