« AnteriorContinuar »
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 a 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 flame 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 fiame, 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
den death, the spirits being straitened within the ventricles of the brain.
7. Opium, and other strong stupefactives, do coagulate the spirit, and deprive it of the motion. 8. A venomous vapour, totally abhorred by the spirit, causeth sudden death; as in deadly poisons, which work (as they call it) by a special malignity; for they strike a loathing into the spirit, that the spirit will no more move itself, nor rise against a thing so much detested.
9. Also extreme drunkenness, or extreme feeding, sometimes cause sudden death, seeing the spirit is not only oppressed with over-much condensing, or the malignity of the vapour, (as in opium and malignant poisons,) but also with the abundance of the vapours.
10. Extreme grief or fear, especially if they be sudden, (as it is in a sad and unexpected message,) cause sudden death.
11. Not only over-much compression, but also over-much dilatation of the spirit, is deadly.
12. Joys excessive and sudden have bereft many of their lives.
13. In greater evacuations, as when they cut men for the dropsy, the waters flow forth abundantly, much more in great and sudden fluxes of blood, oftentimes present death followeth; and this happens by the mere flight of vacuum within the body, all the parts moving to fill the empty places; and, amongst the rest, the spirits themselves. For, as for slow fluxes of blood, this matter pertains to the indigence of nourishment, not to the diffusion of the spirits. And touching the motion of the spirit so far, either compressed or diffused, that it bringeth death, thus much.
14. We must come next to the want of refrigeration. Stopping of the breath causeth sudden death; as in all suffocation or strangling. Now, it seems this matter is not so much to be referred to the impediment of motion as to the impediment of refrigeration; for air over-hot, though attracted freely, doth no less suffocate than if breathing were hindered; as it is in them who have been sometimes suffocated with burning coals, or with charcoal, or with walls new plastered in close chambers where a fire is made; which kind of death is reported to have been the end of the Emperor Jovinian. The like happeneth from dry baths over-heated, which was practised in the killing of Fausta, wife to Constantine the Great. 15. It is a very small time which nature taketh to repeat the breathing, and in which she desireth to expel the foggy air drawn into the lungs, and to take in new, scarce the third part of a minute. 16. Again, the beating of the pulse, and the motion of the systole and diastole of the heart, are three times quicker than that of breathing; insomuch that if it were possible that that motion of the heart could be stopped without stopping the breath, death would follow more speedily thereupon than by strangling.
17. Notwithstanding, use and custom prevail much in this natural action of breathing; as it is in the Delian divers and fishers for pearl, who by long use can hold their breaths at least ten times longer than other men can do.
18. Amongst living creatures, even of those that have lungs, there are some that are able to hold their breaths a long time, and others that cannot hold them so long, according as they need more or less refrigeration.
19. Fishes need less refrigeration than terrestrial creatures, yet some they need, and take it by their gills. And as terrestrial creatures cannot bear the air that is too hot, or too close, so fishes are suffocated in waters if they be totally and long frozen.
20. If the spirit be assaulted by another heat greater than itself, it is dissipated and destroyed; for it cannot bear the proper heat without refrigeration, much less can it bear another heat which is far stronger. This is to be seen in burning fevers, where the heat of the putrefied humours doth exceed the native heat, even to extinction or dissipation.
21. The want also and use of sleep is referred to refrigeration; for motion doth attenuate and rarefy the spirit, and doth sharpen and increase the heat thereof: contrarily, sleep settleth and restraineth the motion and gadding of the same; for though sleep doth strengthen and advance the actions of the parts and of the lifeless spirits, and all that motion which is to the circumference of the body, yet it doth in great part quiet and still the proper motion of the living spirit. Now, sleep is regularly due unto human nature once within four-and-twenty hours, and that for six, or five hours at the least; though there are, even in this kind, sometimes miracles of nature; as it is recorded of Mæcenas, that he slept not for a long time before his death. And as touching the want of refrigeration for conserving of the spirit, thus much.
22. As concerning the third indigence, namely, of aliment, it seems to pertain rather to the parts, than to the living spirit; for a man may easily believe that the living spirit subsisteth in identity, not by succession or renovation. And as for the reasonable soul in men, it is above all question, that it is not engendered of the soul of the parents, nor is repaired, nor can die. They speak of the natural spirit of living creatures, and also of vegetables, which differs from that other soul essentially and formally; for out of the confusion of these, that same transmigration of souls, and innumerable other devices of heathens and heretics have proceeded.
23. The body of man doth regularly require renovation by aliment every day, and a body in health can scarce endure fasting three days toge ther; notwithstanding, use and custom will do much, even in this case; but in sickness fasting
is less grievous to the body. Also, sleep doth supply somewhat to nourishment; and on the other side, exercise doth require it more abundantly. Likewise there have some been found who sustained themselves (almost to a miracle in nature) a very long time without meat or drink.
death; destitution of the spirit in the motion, in the refrigeration, in the aliment.
It is an error to think that the living spirit is perpetually generated and extinguished as flame is, and abideth not any notable time; for even flame itself is not thus out of its own proper nature, but because it liveth amongst enemies; for flame within flame endureth. Now, the living spirit liveth amongst friends, and all due obsequiousness. So then, as, flame is a momentary substance, air is a fixed substance, the living spirit is betwixt both.
Touching the extinguishing of the spirit by the
24. Dead bodies, if they be not intercepted by putrefaction, will subsist a long time without any notable absumption; but living bodies, not above three days, (as we said,) unless they be repaired by nourishment; which showeth that quick absumption to be the work of the living spirit, which either repairs itself, or puts the parts into a neces-destruction of the organs (which is caused by sity of being repaired, or both. This is testified by that also which was noted a little before, namely, that living creatures may subsist somewhat the longer without aliment, if they sleep: now, sleep is nothing else but a reception and retirement of the living spirit into itself.
diseases and violence) we inquire not now, as we foretold in the beginning, although that also endeth in the same three porches. And touching the form of death itself, thus much.
29. There are two great forerunners of death, the one sent from the head, the other from the 25. An abundant and continual effluxion of heart; convulsion, and the extreme labour of the blood, which sometimes happeneth in the hæmorr-pulse: for as for the deadly hiccough, it is a kind hoids, sometimes in vomiting of blood, the in- of convulsion. But the deadly labour of the ward veins being unlocked or broken, sometimes pulse hath that unusual swiftness, because the by wounds, causeth sudden death, in regard that heart at the point of death doth so tremble, that the blood of the veins ministereth to the arteries, the systole and diastole thereof are almost conand the blood of the arteries to the spirit. founded. There is also conjoined in the pulse a weakness and lowness, and oftentimes a great intermission, because the motion of the heart faileth, and is not able to rise against the assault stoutly or constantly.
26. The quantity of meat and drink which a man, eating two meals a day, receiveth into his body, is not small; much more than he voideth again either by stool, or by urine, or by sweating. You will say, no marvel, seeing the remainder goeth into the juices and substance of the body. It is true; but consider, then, that this addition is made twice a day, and yet the body aboundeth not much. In like manner, though the spirit be repaired, yet it grows not excessively in the quantity.
27. It doth no good to have the aliment ready, in a degree removed, but to have it of that kind, and so prepared and supplied, that the spirit may work upon it; for the staff of a torch alone will not maintain the flame, unless it be fed with wax, neither can men live upon herbs alone. And from thence comes the inconcoction of old age, that though there be flesh and blood, yet the spirit is become so penurious and thin, and the juices and blood so heartless and obstinate, that they hold no proportion to alimentation.
28. Let us now cast up the accounts of the needs and indigences according to the ordinary and usual course of nature. The spirit hath need of opening and moving itself in the ventricles of the brain and nerves even continually, of the motion of the heart every third part of a moment, of breathing every moment, of sleep and nourishment once within three days, of the power of nourishment commonly till eighty years be past; and if any of these indigences be neglected, death ensueth. So there are plainly three porches of
30. The immediate preceding signs of death are, great unquietness and tossing in the bed, fumbling with the hands, catching and grasping hard, gnashing with the teeth, speaking hollow. trembling of the nether lip, paleness of the face the memory confused, speechless, cold sweats, the body shooting in length, lifting up the white of the eye, changing of the whole visage, (as the nose sharp, eyes hollow, cheeks fallen,) contraction and doubling of the coldness in the extreme parts of the body, in some, shedding of blood, or sperm, shrieking, breathing thick and short, falling of the nether chap, and such like.
31. There follow death a privation of all sense and motion, as well of the heart and arteries, as of the nerves and joints, an inability of the body to support itself upright, stiffness of the nerves and parts, extreme coldness of the whole body after a little while putrefaction and stinking.
Eels, serpents, and the insecta, will move s long time in every part after they are cut asunder. insomuch that country people think that the parts strive to join together again. Also birds will flutter a great while after their heads are pulled off; and the hearts of living creatures will pant a long time after they are plucked out. I remember I have seen the heart of one that was bowelled, as suffering for high treason, that being cast into the fire, leaped at the first at least a foot and half
life which had hanged himself, and had hanged half an hour, by frications and hot baths; and the same physician did profess, that he made no doubt to recover any man that had hanged so long, so his neck were not broken with the first swing.
in height, and after, by degrees, lower and lower, | which fall into swoonings. I have heard also of for the space, as I remember, of seven or eight a physician, yet living, who recovered a man to minutes. There is also an ancient and credible tradition of an ox lowing after his bowels were plucked out. But there is a more certain tradition of a man, who being under the executioner's hand for high treason, after his heart was plucked out, and in the executioner's hand, was heard to utter three or four words of prayer; which therefore we said to be more credible than that of the ox in sacrifice, because the friends of the party suffering do usually give a reward to the executioner to despatch his office with the more speed, that they may the sooner be rid of their pain; but in sacrifices, we see no cause why the priest should be so speedy in his office.
The Difference of Youth and Old Age.
To the sixteenth article.
1. The ladder of man's body is this, to be conceived, to be quickened in the womb, to be born, to suck, to be weaned, to feed upon pap, to put forth teeth the first time about the second year of age, to begin to go, to begin to speak, to put forth teeth the second time about seven years of 33. For reviving those again which fall into age, to come to puberty about twelve or fourteen sudden swoonings and catalepsies of astonish-years of age, to be able for generation, and the ments, (in which fits many, without help, would utterly expire,) these things are used, putting into their mouths water distilled of wine, which they call hot waters, and cordial waters, bending the body forward, stopping the mouth and nostrils hard, bending or wringing the fingers, pulling the hairs of the beard or head, rubbing of the parts, especially the face and legs, sudden casting of cold water upon the face, shrieking out aloud and suddenly, putting rose-water to the nostrils, with vinegar in faintings; burning of feathers, or cloth, in the suffocation of the mother; but especially a frying-pan heated red-hot, is good in apoplexies; also a close embracing of the body hath helped
34. There have been many examples of men in show dead, either laid out upon the cold floor, or carried forth to burial; nay, of some buried in the earth; which notwithstanding have lived again, which hath been found in those that were buried (the earth being afterwards opened) by the bruising and wounding of their head, through the struggling of the body within the coffin; whereof the most recent and memorable example was that of Joannes Scotus, called the subtile, and a schoolman, who being digged up again by his servant, (unfortunately absent at his burial, and who knew his master's manner in such fits,) was found in that state and the like happened in our days in the person of a player, buried at Cambridge. I remember to have heard of a certain gentleman that would needs make trial, in curiosity, what men did feel that were hanged; so he fastened the cord about his neck, raising himself upon a stool, and then letting himself fall, thinking it should be in his power to recover the stool at his pleasure, which he failed in, but was helped by a friend then present. He was asked afterward what he felt; he said he felt no pain, but first he thought he saw before his eyes a great fire, and burning; then he thought he saw all black, and dark; lastly, it turned to a pale blue, or sea-water green; which colour is also often seen by them
flowing of the menstrua, to have hairs about the legs and arm-holes, to put forth a beard; and thus long, and sometimes later, to grow in stature, or to come to full years of strength and agility, to grow gray and bald; the menstrua ceasing, and ability to generation, to grow decrepit, and a monster with three legs, to die. Meanwhile, the mind also hath certain periods, but they cannot be described by years, as to decay in the memory, and the like, of which hereafter.
2. The differences of youth and old age are these: a young man's skin is smooth and plain, an old man's dry and wrinkled, especially about the forehead and eyes; a young man's flesh is tender and soft, an old man's hard; a young man hath strength and agility, an old man feels decay in his strength, and is slow of motion; a young man hath good digestion, an old man bad; a young man's bowels are soft and succulent, an old man's salt and parched; a young man's body is erect and straight, an old man's bowing and crooked; a young man's limbs are steady, an old man's weak and trembling; the humours in a young man are choleric, and his blood inclined to heat, in an old man phlegmatic and melancholic, and his blood inclined to coldness; a young man ready for the act of Venus, an old man slow unto it; in a young man the juices of his body are more roscid, in an old man more crude and waterish; the spirit in a young man plentiful and boiling, in an old man scarce and jejune; a young man's spirit is dense and vigorous, an old man's eager and rare; a young man his senses quick and entire, an old man dull and decayed; a young man's teeth are strong and entire, an old man's weak, worn, and fallen out; a young man's hair is coloured, an old man's (of what colour soever it were) gray; a young man hath hair, an old man baldness; a young man's pulse is stronger and quicker, an old man's more confused and slower; the diseases of young men are more acute and curable, of old men longer, and hard
to cure; a young man's wounds soon close, an old man's later; a young man's cheeks are of a fresh colour, an old man's pale, or with a black blood; a young man is less troubled with rheums, an old man more. Neither do we know in what things old men do improve, as touching their body, save only sometimes in fatness; whereof the reason is soon given, because old men's bodies do neither perspire well nor assimilate well. Now, fatness is nothing else but exuberance of nourishment above that which is voided by excrement, or which is perfectly assimilated. Also, some old men improve in the appetite of feeding, by reason of the acid humours, though old men digest worst. And all these things which we have said, physicians negligently enough will refer to the diminution of the natural heat and radical moisture, which are things of no worth for use. This is certain, dryness in the coming on of years doth forego coldness; and bodies, when they come to the top and strength of heat, do decline in dryness, and after that follows coldness.
3. Now we are to consider the affections of the mind. I remember when I was a young man. at Poictiers in France, I conversed familiarly with a certain Frenchman, a witty young man, but something talkative, who afterwards grew to
man more grave and constant; a young man is given to liberality, and beneficence, and humanity, an old man to covetousness, wisdom for his own self, and seeking his own ends; a young man is confident and full of hope, an old man diffident, and given to suspect most things; a young man is gentle and obsequious, an old man froward and disdainful; a young man is sincere and openhearted, an old man cautelous and close; a young man is given to desire great things, an old man to regard things necessary; a young man thinks well of the present times, an old man preferreth times past before them; a young man reverenceth his superiors, an old man is more forward to tax them; and many other things, which pertain rather to manners than the present inquisition. Notwithstanding, old men, as in some things they improve in their bodies, so also in their minds, unless they be altogether out of date; namely, that as they are less apt for invention, so they excel in judgment, and prefer safe things, and sound things, before specious. Also, they improve in garrulity and ostentation, for they seek the fruit of speech while they are less able for action. So as it was not absurd that the poets feigned old Tython to be turned into a grasshopper.
OF LIFE AND FORM OF DEATH.
Consumption is not caused, unless that which is departed with by one body passeth into another.
There is in nature no annihilating, or reducing to nothing. Therefore, that which is consumed is either resolved into air, or turned into some body adjacent. So we see a spider, or fly, or ant in amber, entombed in a more stately monument than kings are; to be laid up for eternity, although they be but tender things, and soon dissipated. But the matter is this, that there is no
be a very eminent man; he was wont to inveigh MOVABLE CANONS OF THE DURATION against the manners of old men, and would say, that if their minds could be seen as their bodies are, they would appear no less deformed. Besides, being in love with his own wit, he would maintain, that the vices of old men's minds have some correspondence, and were parallel to the putrefactions of their bodies: for the dryness of their skin, he would bring in impudence; for the hardness of their bowels, unmercifulness; for the lippitude of their eyes, an evil eye, and envy; for the casting down of their eyes, and bowing their body towards the earth, atheism; (for, saith he, they look no more up to heaven as they are wont ;) for the trembling of their members, irresolutions of their decrees and light inconstancy; for the bending of their fingers, as it were to catch, rapa-air by, into which they should be resolved, and city and covetousness; for the buckling of their knees, fearfulness; for their wrinkles, craftiness and obliquity; and other things which I have forgotten. But, to be serious, a young man is modest and shamefaced, an old man's forehead is hardened; a young man is full of bounty and mercy, an old man's heart is brawny; a young mian is affected with a laudable emulation, an old man with a malignant envy; a young man is inclined to religion and devotion, by reason of his fervency and inexperience of evil, an old man cooleth in piety through the coldness of his charity, and long conversation in evil, and likewise through the difficulty of his belief; a young man's desires are vehement, an old man's mode- No body known unto us here in the upper part rate; a young man is light and movable, an old of the earth is without a spirit, either by attenua
the substance of the amber is so heterogeneous, that it receives nothing of them. The like we conceive would be if a stick, or root, or some such thing were buried in quicksilver; also wax, and honey, and gums, have the same operation, but in part only.
There is in every tangible body a spirit, covered and encompassed with the grosser parts of the body, and from it all consumption and dissolution hath the beginning.