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eminence, would undertake this work, the public would cheerfully remunerate his toils by a liberal subscription.
As Mr. Baber has given a valuable descriptive " Wiclif's catalogue of works, in the introduction to his Life of Wiclif, a reference to that catalogue will satisfy your readers, that were they brought from their obscurity and placed before the public, they would find a place in every large library in Europe, and thus prove the most public, as well as the most imperishable monument of our great Reformer. THOS. FISHER.
MR. URBAN, Hartburn, June 9. ABOUT twenty years since, I procured several curious MSS. from a mass of papers which had belonged to Mr. William Pickering, an apparitor of the Consistory Court, at Durham; and among these was a neatly written folio book, with the title-page, "EDWARD POTTER. ijs. iiijd. HERE BEGINNETH A Booke of Phisicke and Chirurgery, with divers other things necessary to be knowne, collected out of sundry olde written bookes, and broughte into one order. The several things herein contayned may bee seene in the bookes and tables following. Written in the year of our Lorde God, 1610." The work commences with a list of the "thirty-three evil days" of the year, and a general calender; and on folio 2 has "A catalogue of all my books, and the prices they cost me, taken by me, Edward Potter, ye 30 of November 1594." This catalogue is in a different hand and ink to the rest of the book. Then follows seven folios, under the running title of "A Prognostication," which is a curious medley of rules about the weather, and astronomical calculations. "The first booke" begins on folio 11, a. and has this title " A coppye of all suche Medicines wherewt the noble Countisse of Oxenford most charitably, in her owne person, did manye great and notable Cures upon her poore Neighbours." "The second booke," beginning on folio 19, is entituled, "Here beginneth a true copye of such Medicines wherew Mris. Johan Ounsteade, daughter unto the worshipfull Mr. John Olliffe, Alder
man of London, hath cured and healed many forlorne and deadlye diseases." "The thirde booke" begins on folio 48, b. and consists of "prety conceates of Cookery, as baked meats, gellies, conserves, sugar-plates, and others." "The fourthe booke," on folio 60, is headed, Here followeth a booke which was founde in the Parson's study of Warlingham, written in the Roman hande, and it wanteth both the beginning and endinge." "The fifthe booke" contains "Certayne medicines which were taken out of the vicar of Warlingham's booke, beinge, as he sayde, taught him by the fayries ;" and as specimens of the whole, I have, Mr. Urban, made the following extracts, supposing that many of your readers, unacquainted with the practice of medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, may find amusement, in perusing and contrasting them with the science that guides the medical practitioners of the present day.
1. To staunche bloude.
There were three Maryes went over the floude;
The one bid stande, the other ftente bloude:
Then bespake Mary that Jesus Christ bore,
Defende gods forbod thou shouldeste bleede anye more.
The three Marys here named were probably the Virgin Mary, the Egyptian Mary, and Mary Magdalene. Whether this is to be spoken as an exorcism, or worn as a charm, is not mentioned. The custom of wearing charms was probably adopted by the Christians from the phylacterics of the Jews, which were little cubical boxes, or as the word means, conservatories, of a cubical form, sewed upon long fillets, at given distances, each made of parchment, and containing a roll with portions of the law written upon it. They were worn chiefly on the left arm, or wrist, and wound round and round it.
I formerly knew a Dutch Jew, who left his lodgings, and staying from them a more than usual time, his hostess sent for another Jew, his friend, who knowing that he had been dispirited on account of the embarrassed state of his circumstances, immediately began to dread, that in his despondency, he had destroyed himself, soon confirmed in the conjecture, from finding that he had left his philactery behind him—a thing a Jew
never does. His body was found a few days after in the river Wear. The philactery and his Bible I purchased, and found the former all made of parchment, as I have described. I loved the man for his most amiable, charitable disposition, as well as from his critical knowledge in the Hebrew language; but I will not mention his name, lest some one, consulting a disciple of the magicians of Egypt, take upon him to call upon his name, and disturb the repose of his soul.
6. A verye sure and perfect remedye to cure a man, &c. of the pestilence; and some there hath bene that have bene cured in a nighte; the same remedye is allso good for God's markes, boyles, carbuncles, blotches, &c. and such like, as St. Anthonye's fire, &c. Take the seed or berryes of ivye that groweth on trees or wails, and not of that which is founde lowe by the grounde: you must gather the sayde berryes very ripe, and of those
that growe towards the north, if it be possible; if not, then take them as you can get them, although they be not verye ripe; dry them in the shadowe, and keepe them in a boxe of wood, as you doe presious things; if any bee infected with the pestilence, take of the sayde berries, and beate them to powder in a fayre morter, and then give the sicke of the sayde powder in a glasse of white wine, so much as will lye on a groate or more; then rub him in his bed, and make him sweate well; this done, change his sheets, shirte, and other coverings of his bed, if it may bee; if not, let him at the leaste change his shirte and sheets. Some have taken of the sayd powder overnighte, and have founde themselves in the morninge very well, so that they rose up, and clothed themselves, and walked about the house, and finally were throughe cured.
To these wonder-working properties of ivy-berries, we may add some of the plant, from "Bartholome," a Franciscan friar, of the family of the Earls of Suffolk, who set forth his book "De Proprietatibus Rerum," in 1360; and he says that it is full wonderfull in know. ledge and assaieng of wine; for it is certain y if wine meddled with water be in a vessel of ivie, ye wine fleeteth over ye brink, and the water abideth." "And there is a manner-ivie, and deaw falleth on the leaves thereof, and waxeth gleymie, & turneth to glewe;" concerning which, Batman, in his additions to the text of our author, says, "the gum of ivy killeth lice and nits, and being laid to it, taketh away hair. It is unwholesome to sleepe under the iuie, or in an iuie-bush. It maketh the head light and dizzie." Malkin, in his South Wales, says that the stem of the ivy, on the north side of the castle of St. Anthan's,
is fire feet in girth, and in some years yields large quantities of gum; so that it may be certainly had of size sufficient to make vessels for assaying wine, and its gum, if of any use, obtained. Its berries have long held some repute as sudorifics; and I have seen it somewhere said that the powder of them was actually given with great success in vinegar, or white wine, in the great plague in Lon don; though it may be doubted whether the healing virtue was not more in the vehicle than in the powder of the ivyberries. Bartholomew's account of ivy. vessels being used for assaying wine, is
from Pliny, who says if the wine be mixed with water, the wine sokes through the wood, but the water remains.
8. To make a pretious water that Doctor Steuens did greate cures with, and kepte it secret tyll a little before his death, then taughte it to the Archbishop of Canterburye.-Take a gallon of white Gascoigne wine, ginger, gallingall, cynamon, nutmegs, graynes, cloves, annis seeds, fennel seedes, carraway seedes, of every of them like much, viz. a dram of each; then take sage, red mintes, red roses, time, pellitory of the wall, rosemarye, wilde time, and gromell, lavender (the flowers if you can get them), of every of them an handfull; then beate the spices small, and the hearbes allso; then put them all in ye wine, and let it stand therein twelve houres, stirringe it divers times; then still it in a lymbecke; and the first water being greene, put it by itselfe, for it is the best; the second water being white, is good, but not so good as the first; put that by itselfe; it is good for all manner of diseases, to drinke it fastinge, and at nighte laste, at every time a spoonefull; it is a presious and noble water, for a spoonefull is a preservative.
This, no doubt, was a precious cordial for the days it was in use. But we question whether water made of wine and spices, however skilfully combined, or slowly or coldly drawn, was half so exhilarating as ratafia or golden cordial, or eau-de-Cologne, or Geneva's famous water of juniper. We have never yet discovered the recipe for making the water of the gods, or seen a diagram of the "lymbecke" in which it was distilled; but we are certain that the Moors did no good to the beverage of Western Europe, when they brought with them into Spain the Egyptian art of distillation. Henry Earl of Cumberland, who was borne in 1517, and died in 1564, was, according to the Pembroke Memoirs, "much addicted to
alchemy and chemistry, and a great distiller of waters." Pindar was very right
when he said "Water is the best."
13. To make an akeing tooth fall out. Take wheate meale, and mixe therewith the milke of the hearbe called spurge, and make thereof past or doughe, with which ye shall fill the hollowe of the tooth, and let it be there a certayne time, and the tooth GENT. MAG. VOL. IV.
will fall out of it selfe. Allso, if you washe your mouth and teethe once a month with wine wherein the roote of this hearbe hath bene sodden, you shall never have payne in your teethe.
There can be no doubt but the caustic
quality of the juice of almost every species of spurge, especially of Euphorbia peplus, applied to the human teeth, will corrode them rapidly. From its likeness to cream, and its severely acrid nature, the Irish call the plant that produces it, the "devil's churn." In England, from its being used to destroy warts, it is called wart-wort. Turner, the father of English botany, uses the name under peplis, and speaks of the burning taste of the seawart-wort which he saw growing in an island near Venice. Gerard also, who built his Herbal on foundations laid by Turner, tells of the horribly acrid quality of sea-spurge, which he experienced in company with Turner's ancient friend, Master Rich, in a walk along the seacoast, near Lee, in Essex.
15. For him that hath naturally a red face.-Take foure ownces of the kyrnells of peaches, and three ownces of gorde seedes, and make thereof an oyle, wherewith you shall anoynte his face morninge and eveninge; this will kill and destroye all redness. A thinge founde true by experience.
This recipe, if it was intended for the benefit of the fair sex, as well as of the gentlemen, might be found to furnish a very acceptable cosmetic for the toilettes of the blooming beauties of the country, who long to exchange the rosy hues of Hebe for the wan enchantments that lighten in the smiles of loveliness in fashionable life. We doubt its efficacy in removing the roseate hues that the liquor of cogniac suffuses over the face, much less in dimming the splendour of the crops of jewels that brandy produces on certain promontories, and, as their name implies, "shine in the dark, like a lighted coal."
19. To make the face fayre.-Take the blossomes of beanes, and distill them, and wash the face in that water, and it will be fair.
'The blossoms of beans!' Who that is
enamoured of the fields and nature, has not inhaled their delicious Persian perblackness of the beauty-spot on their cofume; and has not been struck with the rolle? We certainly recommend a place
on the toilette of the fair for this delicious
water, as the perfumer, on distillation, will really find that it retains the fragrance F
of the flower; which we, however, do not suspect of yielding an essential oil, and consequently are not sanguine in our hopes of seeing the water of bean-flowers rivaling the ottar of roses.
21 To take away wartes.-When you kill a pigge, take the hot bloude, and washe the wartes, and let it drye on them; then presentlye after wash them, and they shall be whole.
Whoever practised this receipt with success, mixed the pig's blood with some matter, which he kept a secret; for, though we never tried the experiment, we are sure that blood, as it flows warm and unadulterated from an animal, can have no manner of effect in removing warts, or any other schirrhus tumour; but warm blood is a convenient vehicle for a quack to use in working medical
22. To remedye baldnes of the heade.-Take a quantitye of Suthernwoode, and put it upon kindled coales to burne; and being made into powder, mix it with the oyle of radishes and anoynte the balde place, and you shall see great experiences.
What is here meant by experiences?" Changes? A new growth of hair, or a natural wig? Johnson is not quite right when he says that whey is one of the meanings of whig. He should have said sour whey; for till within the last forty years we remember a very agreeable summer beverage called whey-whig, being used by the people of Westmoreland, and made of whey with savoury herbs, such as mint, balm, and time, steeped in it, till it became slightly sour, and impregnated with the essential oil of the herbs. Of milk and whey they also said that it was gone, wented, whiyyed, or changed when it had turned sour. The word rig, as applied to an artificial covering of hair, has also that application, from a wig being a substitute or change for natural hair. And wig and wigh, in composition in the names of towns, means new or changed, and in some instances, as in its application to the Godmundingaham of Bede, Wighton means the idol's town, because idols were substitutes. If ointment of the oil of radishes, and the ashes of southern, should be found still to possess the virtue of covering bald heads with a crop of natural hair, how many elderly gentlemen, dear Mr. Urban, will be congratulating themselves with its delightful ' experiences,' after you kindly communicate to them this charming prescription!
30. A good drinke for them that are bewitched or forespoken.-Take rosemary three braunches, two leaves of comfiye, halfe a handfull of succorve, half a handfull of tyme, three braunches of hearbegrace, a quarte of running water, and seeth it tyll it be half consumed, and then strayne it. And then take one nutmegge, and one race of ginger, one pennyworth of mace, and them into the water, and drinke thereof two pennyworth of suger, and put first and laste a quantity at a time. warme; and eate five almondes everye time after you have drunke of the water.
Fasting, they say, makes men acquainted with the unseen world; and no necromancer can have communication with the spirit of the dead, or do his unearthly works of witchery, without both he and the persons who employ him have spent how the wizzards do, but many believe a long time in fasting. We cannot tell that no man will see ghost or spirit, or think himself bewitched or forespoken, who is in health to eat and drink as he ought; and as the stomachic here recommended may have the effect of producing a healthy digestion and sound sleep, it is possible that it may be good for persons who think themselves possessed and bound in the spells of witchery. The accounts we hear of the command that the magicians of Egypt have over the spirits of the dead, and the communion that the fasting seers of Thebes enjoy with good spirits, will, we hope, be soon given to the world through the press. We will, however, briefly tell some few particulars, which we have heard respecting a magician at Cairo, and he and many others in that ancient country are now well known to many travellers both from England and from France. He came to any place he was sent for, and performed his feats in a private room, or in the open air, as he might be requested. He had no machinery or apparatus of any kind with him, except a fire and incense. His first request was that you would bring him a boy of twelve or thirteen years old-any that you chose; and he poured upon the palm of the boy's hand a blotch of common black writing ink. He then muttered certain prayers, and threw perfumes into the fire; and said to the boy "Call the seven flags," which being done, he asked, "Now how many do you see?" Perhaps "None," was the answer. Look again. "Oh, I see one, two, th "What is their colour: &c." "Now I see one,
This preparatory ceremony being com-
54. A medicine against all manner of infirmitys. Take and drink a cupfull of the juice of betonye, the first Thursday in May, and he shall be delivered from all manner of diseases for that yeare.
An annotator, on the margin, calls this a piece of foolish witchcraft."
63. A confection for one that cannot eate well.-Take the juice of fennell two partes, and the third of honye, and seeth them together tyll it be as thicke as honye, and put pepper to it, and take everye day fasting two or three spoonefulls thereof, &c.
71. For to get a stomache. Take rosa solis halfe a pinte, rose water halfe a pinte, a quarter of a pinte of dragon water, and two spoonefulls of sallet oyle, and halfe a piute of wormewood water, and one nut megge beaten to powder; boyle all these together a little while, and after that take five leaves of liverworte, of lungworte three leaves, and two races of ginger beaten to powder, and put these to the foresayde and drinke of it, eveninge and morninge, twoe spoonefulls at a time, five dayes together.
Indolence and sickly constitutions, gave people bad appetites formerly as well as now. The prescriptions for getting a good appetite abound in the manuscript we are quoting from. But beside the indolent who will not take exercise to create a desire for food, and the sickly, to whom nature has denied the pleasure of eating, how many gourmonds are there who, instead of eating to live, live to eat, and are constantly exciting the rapacity of medical avarice by fees for tonics, stimulants, and dinner pills.
78. For one that is or will be dronken. Take swallowes and burne them, and make a powder of them; and give the dronken man thereof to drinke, and he shall never be dronken hereafter.
We recommend this recipe to the consideration and patronage of the Temperance Societies. What the appearance, the constituent parts, or the taste of the ashes of a swallow may be, we know not, for we have neither seen, analysed, nor tasted a specimen of them. But if they would cure drunkenness, the swallowers of drink would certainly decrease, however gnats might increase in the fens of England, or midges in the moors of Scotland, by the increased demand for swallows. Man settles in marshes, and takes drams and tobacco to correct the effects of the bad air he lives in; and swallows haunt fens and water sides for the winged insects they produce, so that for a considerable part of the year, from the latter end of April to some time in September, the sois that inhabit straths, and moors, and marshy sea-side countries, may easily