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Title: Aristotle’s works: - Containing the Master-piece, Directions for Midwives, and Counsel and Advice to Child-bearing Women with Various Useful Remedies
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Aristotle’s works: - Containing the Master-piece, Directions for Midwives, and Counsel and Advice to Child-bearing Women with Various Useful Remedies" ***

                           ARISTOTLE’S WORKS.




                              The Works of
                         THE FAMOUS PHILOSOPHER

                      PUBLISHED BY THE BOOKSELLERS

                           ARISTOTLE’S WORKS:
                           THE MASTER-PIECE,
                        DIRECTIONS FOR MIDWIVES,
                           COUNSEL AND ADVICE
                          CHILD-BEARING WOMEN.
                        VARIOUS USEFUL REMEDIES.



At the present time, when so many of the female sex, in the hour of
Nature’s extremity, depend solely upon the skill and practical
experience of the Midwife, we regard every attempt to assist the female
accoucheur in her difficult, and sometimes dangerous operation, as a
blessing conferred upon society.

This treatise enters fully into every department of Midwifery; and lays
down excellent rules, and proposes valuable suggestions for the guidance
of the female operator, which, if acted upon, will not only redound to
the credit of the practitioner, but will be of immense benefit to those
operated upon. Another valuable feature of this work is, that it
contains important directions for the guidance of child-bearing women
during the time of their pregnancy: how they should conduct themselves
with regard to regimen, medical treatment, and other matters, each
month, until the time of their delivery. In short, we venture to assert
that if the counsel and advice given in the Experienced Midwife be
strictly adhered to by all parties interested therein, the travail in
child-birth, instead of being many times difficult and dangerous, will
be safe, speedy, and comparatively easy.


                            THE MASTER-PIECE.
 The Matrimonial State considered                                      9
 CHAP.     I. —False Steps in Matrimonial Alliances                   10
   „      II. —The original appointment of Marriage                   14
   „     III. —The happy state of Matrimony                           20
   „      IV. —Precautionary Hints                                    29
   „       V. —The Vagaries of Nature in the birth of Monsters        34
   „      VI. —Of the Womb in general                                 41
   „     VII. —Of the retention of the Terms                          43
   „    VIII. —Of the overflowing of the Terms                        49
   „      IX. —Of the Weeping of the Womb                             53
   „       X. —Of the false Terms, or Whites                          54
   „      XI. —Of the Suffocation of the Mother                       57
   „     XII. —Falling of the Womb                                    62
   „    XIII. —Of the Inflammation of the Womb                        64
   „     XIV. —Of the Schirrosity or Hardness of the Womb             66
   „      XV. —Of the Dropsy of the Womb                              68
   „     XVI. —Of Moles and False Conceptions                         70
   „    XVII. —Of Conception, and how a woman may know whether she
                has conceived or not, and whether male or female      74
   „   XVIII. —Of untimely Births                                     76
   „     XIX. —Directions for Pregnant Women                          77
   „      XX. —Directions to be observed by women at the time of
                their falling in labour                               80
   „     XXI. —In cases of extremity, what ought to be done           82

                              THE MIDWIFE.

                               CHAPTER I.
 SECT. I. Of the Womb                                                 85
 SECT. II. Of the Difference between Ancient and Modern Physicians,
   touching the Woman’s contributing Seed for the formation of the
   Child                                                              90

                               CHAPTER II.
 SECT. I. What Conception is                                          93
 SECT. II. How a Woman ought to order herself after Conception       ib.

                              CHAPTER III.
 SECT. I. Of the Parts proper to a Child in the Womb. How it is
   formed there, and the Manner of its Situation therein             104
 Of the Secundine, or After-Birth                                    107
 SECT. II. Of the Formation of the Child in the Womb                 109
 SECT. III. Of the manner of the Child’s lying in the Womb           110

                               CHAPTER IV.
 A Guide for Women in Travail, shewing what is to be done when they
   Fall in Labour, in order to their Delivery                        113
 SECT. I. The Signs of the true Time of Woman’s Labour               114
 SECT. II. How a Woman ought to be ordered when the time of her
   Labour is come                                                    116

                               CHAPTER V.
 SECT. I. What Natural Labour is                                     123
 SECT. II. Of the Cutting of the Child’s Navel-String                128
 SECT. III. How to bring away the After-burden                       130
 SECT. IV. Of Laborious and Difficult Labours, and how the Midwife
   is to proceed therein                                             131
 SECT. V. Of Women Labouring with a dead Child                       138

                               CHAPTER VI.
 Of Unnatural Labour                                                 142
 SECT. I. How to deliver a woman of a Dead Child, by Manual
   Operation                                                         143
 SECT. II. How a Woman must be Delivered, when the Child’s Feet
   come first                                                        146
 SECT. III. How to bring away the Head of the Child, when separated
   from the Body, and left behind in the Womb                        149
 SECT. IV. How to deliver a Woman, when the Child’s Head is
   presented to the Birth                                            151
 SECT. V. How to deliver a Woman when the Child presents one or
   both Hands together with the Head                                 153
 SECT. VI. How a Woman ought to be delivered, when the Hands and
   Feet of the Infant come together                                  154
 SECT. VII. How a Woman should be delivered that has Twins, which
   present themselves in different Postures                          156

                              CHAPTER VII.
 SECT. I. How a Woman newly delivered ought to be ordered            160
 SECT. II. How to remedy those Accidents which a Lying-in Woman is
   subject to                                                        162

                              CHAPTER VIII.
 Directions for Nurses, in ordering Newly-born Children              168

                               CHAPTER IX.
 SECT. I. Of Gripes and Pains in the Bowels of young Children        171
 SECT. II. Of Weakness in newly-born Infants                         173
 SECT. III. Of the Fundament being closed up in a newly-born Infant  174
 SECT. IV. Of the Thrush, or Ulcers in the Mouth of the Infant       176
 SECT. V. Of Pains in the Ears, Inflammation, Moisture, &c.          177
 SECT. VI. Of Redness, or Inflammation of the Buttocks, Groin, and
   the thighs of the Young Child                                     178
 SECT. VII. Of Vomiting in young Children                            179
 SECT. VIII. Of breeding Teeth in young Children                     180
 SECT. IX. Of the Flux in the Belly, or Looseness in Infants         182
 SECT. X. Of the Epilepsy and Convulsions in Children                185
   PECULIAR TO THE FEMALE SEX                                        186
 ARISTOTLE’S BOOK OF PROBLEMS                                        202
 THE SECRETS RELATING TO PHYSIOGNOMY                                 275
 THE MIDWIFE’S VADE-MECUM                                            307
 THE VENEREAL DISEASE                                                317

                           ARISTOTLE’S WORKS.

                           THE MASTER-PIECE.


The subject of Matrimony is one of deep interest to both sexes: and it
behoves every one before marriage to study it with the most serious
attention, and ponder over it with an earnest desire to acquire a full
knowledge of its duties, responsibilities, and enjoyments. It is an
attractive subject to both male and female, except those who subscribe
to the principles of Malthus; and old bachelors and old maids are looked
upon with contempt and scorn by the generality of young people. Celibacy
is regarded now with different views from that with which it used to be
some centuries back; and this change is perceptible in some portions of
the Romish church. The celibacy of the priesthood is not now insisted on
with that strictness which was the case in former times. Marriage is
considered the legitimate and proper order of things: husband and wife
the relative condition of male and female, and celibacy ought to be, if
possible, avoided.

It is our intention to examine the subject in regard to the prejudicial
influence which arises from the false steps which are often taken in
matrimonial alliances; the original appointment of marriage; and the
happy state of matrimony when in strict accordance with that which was
originally appointed; with other subjects connected with Love and

                               CHAPTER I.

When we peruse the yearly returns which are furnished by the Registrar
General of the marriages which have taken place in our own country, we
are forcibly struck with the many false steps which have been taken by
both males and females, even in one year. Parties joined together of the
most unequal ages—May and December—plainly declare that there are other
motives actuating the one or the other, in the step taken, than the one
that should always be predominant at the hymeneal altar.

Another list in the Registrar’s Return will show us what numbers enter
the marriage state long before they have come to the age of maturity. In
Oriental countries the custom is to marry at an early age; but there the
climate, it is said, has an influence on the human frame which earlier
developes the state of puberty than is the case in our own northern
clime; and that in those countries human decay commences earlier than it
does in Europe. Still we hesitate not to say, that early marriages even
in hot climates, are injudicious. We are not advocating marriages taking
place between the sexes when the vigour and stamina have begun to decay;
on the other hand, we would say, that early marriages are preferable to
those contracted when the bloom of youth has passed away. But when those
are joined together who are not physiologically prepared for the
requirements and enjoyments of the matrimonial state, they attempt that
for which nature has not fitted them, and impair their physical organs,
debilitate their vital powers, and exhaust their strength. We would,
therefore, caution our readers not to marry too young.

Another false step taken by those who enter the marriage state is one
that requires great discrimination and judgment to avoid: we allude to
the bodily or mental disqualification of the one or the other for the
true enjoyment of that state. What misery has been experienced by
thousands for want of a thorough knowledge of each other bodily and
mentally before the knot was tied. The Divorce Court has been, and is,
crowded with applicants for redress, who are the victims of their own
folly, and who rushed into the connubial state without having a clear
and perfect understanding of each other’s qualifications for rendering
the marriage state one of enjoyment.

Again, much misery is often productive of the want of a thorough
knowledge of the temper and disposition of each other before the
consummation of marriage. The lover finds in the object adored, all
perfection; and neglects to view this object in its true light, until
the irrevocable vow is uttered, and wedded life reveals the unwholesome
truth that the temper and disposition of the one, or the other, or both,
are of such a nature as to render the domestic hearth any thing but

Again, a common error committed by those wishing to enter the marriage
state, is that of being dazzled and decoyed by the beauty of the object
sought. The beauty of the face is not among women one of universal
agreement, as is generally supposed. Voltaire has said, “Ask a toad what
is handsome, and he will answer, ‘My mate, with his big eyes and slimy
skin.’” The negro’s type of beauty, no doubt, consists in a blackness
equal to his own; but is there no specific and positive state of
perfection, regularity, harmony, organization, in each species? Have not
all their ideas of beauty, independent of the preferences or
prepossessions of others? The face of a woman is a mirror of the
affections of her soul, as has been often remarked, but the fact has not
yet been promulgated, that the different features of a face indicate a
particular species of affection.

Again, an error frequently committed by those anxious to enter the
matrimonial life is that of seeking for wealth, not the true enjoyment
of domestic happiness. Alas! what numbers have made fatal shipwreck by
being dashed to pieces, like Sinbad, on this loadstone rock! The man
that wishes to find the true enjoyment of married life should not look
for a large dower along with the partner of his life, but for a woman of
a virtuous, well-educated, and amiable disposition. Such a partner will
be of more value than all the gold that has been discovered in
California, Australia, and all the other El Dorados yet heard of. But
although the lover should not be actuated by an inordinate craving after
wealth, still there should be a due foresight exercised to provide for a
proper maintenance before entering the marriage state. Many couples get
united together before they have provided a home of their own wherein to
dwell, and are therefore compelled to be dependent upon others, for a
habitation. This is a sad state of things; and has frequently been the
cause of embittering the married life of those who would otherwise have
enjoyed much of its sweets.

Again, another error which is often committed by those entering the
married state, is that of an utter disregard for the tastes and
inclinations of each other. For want of due appreciation of the unity of
feeling on this subject much unhappiness has been experienced by husband
and wife. The husband, perhaps, has a taste for a particular class of
literature, and takes a delight in perusing his favourite authors,
whilst the wife takes a pleasure in reading works of quite a different
description altogether, and persists in maintaining her judgment in
opposition to that of her husband, hence unpleasant bickerings and
recriminations take place. And as their tastes disagree in regard to the
food for the mind, so also they disagree in regard to the food for the
body. What she likes, he dislikes, and what he likes, she dislikes. It
behoves every one, entering the matrimonial state to have a perfect
understanding, and a reciprocity in taste and inclination with each

Again, another error into which many fall who are entering the wedded
life, is a departure from that candour and uprightness which ought to
govern and actuate mankind in every transaction of daily life but more
especially in the important one now under consideration. What lamentable
consequences have resulted from the deception and subterfuge which have
been practised by both male and female, when about to be joined together
in the holy bands of wedlock! The man who would deceive the partner whom
he vows to cherish and comfort, or the woman who would practice
deception on him whom she vows to honour and obey, deserve to taste the
bitter fruit of their own sin and folly. It should ever be known by
those who are about to become man and wife, that every matter which they
are anxious to conceal before marriage, will, very probably, be
disclosed at one time or another; and perhaps disclosed in such a way so
as to make the secret appear of ten times more importance than it really
is. Unbosom every secret, confide in each other; and be assured that,
whatever may be the consequence, a clear conscience, truth, and
uprightness will comfort and sustain you in every trouble.

                              CHAPTER II.

The Author of our being, when he formed the first pair of human beings,
left them not to the mere instincts of nature, as he did in the case of
the inferior animals; but for them he especially instituted the contract
of marriage; so that marriage is a divine appointment. At the Almighty’s
command the waters brought forth in abundance; myriads of fishes swam in
the sea; innumerable birds of every description winged their way in the
firmament; animals of all kinds, from the gigantic elephant to the
smallest creature imaginable, wandered up and down on the earth, and
every kind of creeping thing; the largest of the feathered tribe built
nests on the inaccessible cliffs; the lion and the tiger, with other
ferocious beasts, prowled the forests; cattle and sheep and the mild
animals cropped the herbage; the dove chose her mate; the nightingale
warbled her song; the small insects, to which the leaf was a world, and
the minute animalcule, whose universe was a water-drop—all were formed
by the Almighty—and He commanded that they were to “Be fruitful, and
multiply, in the earth.”

It was different, however, with regard to the human family. As the
members of that family were formed with an elaboration not displayed in
other departments of creation, as their structure was different from
that of any other creature, as man was formed from the dust of the
earth, and God breathed into him the breath of life, as the woman was
made from a portion of the man—bone of his bone, and flesh of his
flesh,—consequently there was a difference in the way in which they were
directed to fulfil the great purpose of their creation, namely, to
replenish the earth.

The Almighty declared that it was not good for man to be alone,
therefore woman was formed for an helpmeet for him. Throughout the
teeming earth, the blue expanse, and the deep water, there was not a
creature but what had found a mate; our first parent stood alone,
without the society of one bearing his nature—isolated from the company
of one with whom he could hold converse, and who could share in the
enjoyments of the happy sphere in which he was at first placed. The
Great Creator made woman, brought them together, and instituted
marriage. Equal power and dominion over the inferior creatures was given
to the woman, as that exercised by the man; and it was not until the
disobedience and sin of our first parents, that the original order of
things was changed, and that anything was heard of the subjection of Eve
to Adam.

The institution of Marriage was a wise and judicious arrangement, and
peculiarly adapted to the position of the human race. It was of the
greatest consequence to man that he should have a companion, a friend, a
wife; and for this purpose it was ordained that a man should leave his
father and mother, and cleave unto his own wife, and they twain should
be one flesh.

In what emphatic language is the union of husband and wife enforced:
“they twain shall be one flesh.” For the future their joys and their
sorrows are to be identical. They are not separate individuals as two
male persons are considered, but male and female—wife and husband—one.
Alas! how frequently is this oneness marred and broken—a diversity of
interest and feeling appears to exist between many married couples, and
how often the adage of, “a house divided against itself cannot stand,”
is verified. It would be well if such couples would oftener remember the
solemn injunction—“they twain shall be one flesh.” It seems to an
observer, that if such couples ever loved one another, they lavished and
exhausted that love in the early days of marriage, and filled up the
void by feelings of enmity and strife. This ought not to be the state of
a domestic household; for though the wife may be possessed of the key of
every drawer and cupboard in the house, if she does not possess the key
of her husband’s heart, she is destitute of that which is of more value
to her than every other earthly treasure. The husband may be
affectionate, kind, and respectful to his wife, but if she is not
identical with himself, the depository and confidante of all his
feelings and aspirations, there is something amiss. It is an
impossibility for married people to love and trust each other too much,
and as impossible for them to feel a strong and deep affection for each
other, if they do not consider their interests to be identical.

[Illustration: _Conception. First Month. Second Month. Third Month.
Fourth Month._]

[Illustration: _Fifth Month. Sixth Month. Seventh Month. Eighth Month.
Ninth Month._]

[Illustration: _Position of a Child in the Womb just before delivery_]

[Illustration: _Process of Delivery_]

[Illustration: _The Action of Quickening._]

[Illustration: _Position of the Embryos in a plural Conception._]

When Adam awoke out of the deep sleep into which he had been cast by the
Almighty, and beheld the lovely being in his presence, he was told by
his and her maker, that the woman was given to be _with_ him, not given
_to_ him; for so we understand by the words of Adam, when he would have
framed an excuse for his sin—“The woman that thou gavest to be with me.”
Therefore the inference is plain that woman was not given to man to be
his slave, nor the victim of his caprice or violence, nor the plaything
of an hour, but a partner and confidante in all that concerned him; the
sharer of his joys and sorrows, of his prosperity and adversity. Woman
was not to be subjected to harsh and cruel treatment, but to be
cherished and protected; and to be on an equality in every way with man.
There is great force and truth in what was penned by an aged writer—“Man
and wife are equally concerned to avoid all offences to each other in
the beginning of their conversation; a very little thing can blast an
infant blossom; and the breath of the south can shake the little rings
of the vine, when first they begin to curl like the locks of a
new-weaned boy; but when by age and consolidation they stiffen into the
hardness of a stem, and have by the warm embraces of the sun, and the
kisses of heaven, brought forth their clusters they can endure the
storms of the north, and the loud noise of the tempest, and yet never be

Peculiar scope is given for the exercise of the highest qualities of the
heart, through the obligations which belong to the state of matrimony.
The presence of our Lord and Saviour at a marriage feast, and the
example of the early Christians, give force to the statement that
marriage is a divine institution. Marriage was held in great esteem by
the venerable fathers of ancient days, and considered highly honourable,
whilst celibacy was discountenanced by them.

Among the Jews, marriage was held in the greatest esteem and favour, and
it is said that the early Christians would never allow any one to
sustain the office of a magistrate except those who were married. Laws
were made by the Pagans to promote the institution of marriage. A
festival was instituted by the Lacedæmonians, at which those men, who
were unmarried, were reviled and scourged by the women, and deemed
unworthy to serve the republic. Among the Romans, those who had been
several times married were distinguished, and received great honour from
their fellow countrymen, crowns and wreaths, were placed on their heads,
and in their public rejoicings they appeared with palms in their hands,
signifying that they had been instrumental in adding to the glory of the
empire. It is related by St. Jerome, that they covered a man with bays,
and ordered him to accompany his wife’s corpse in funeral pomp, with a
crown on his head, and a palm branch in his hand, it being considered
highly necessary that he should be thus honoured and carried in triumph,
seeing that he had been married _twenty times_, and his wife

The marriage ceremony being solemnized in accordance with the rites of
the early Christian Church, the veil (a Pagan custom of former times)
was preserved, and from this observance of veiling the word nuptials is
derived. The use of the ring was also a matter of importance in the
ceremony; the solemn kiss was imparted, and the practice of joining
hands was observed. Usually, at the conclusion of the ceremony, the
bride was crowned—occasionally both the bride and the bridegroom—with
wreaths of myrtle.—The lace veil and the wreath of orange blossoms,
which is now such a necessary adornment in bridal attire, may be traced
to the practice pursued by bridal parties in former times.

The wedding ring is an emblem of many significant qualifications. Gold
being the noblest and purest, as well as the most enduring—it is made of
that metal.—Its circular form denotes that form to be the most perfect
of all figures, and the hieroglyphic of eternity. Its being entirely
free from ornament denotes the perfect simplicity and plainness of
wedded life. The ring is put on the left hand because of its being
nearest the heart; and on the fourth finger on account of some supposed
connection between that finger, more than the others, with the seat of
life. The ring is the acknowledged pledge of the bestowal of authority,
as in former times the giving of it was regarded as the delegation of
all the husband’s authority, and conferred upon the person receiving it,
entire supremacy over every thing in the husband’s possession.

It would be an easy task to continue this chapter much farther, by
attempting to pourtray the beauty and virtue of marriage, and
endeavouring to enforce the obligation of it on all who are proper
subjects to engage in it, but we will now close the chapter by saying,
that the instincts of nature yearn towards the opposite sex. We long to
love and be loved. We feel that within us which inclines us to seek the
society of the other sex; a monitor that warns us to refrain from
unhallowed love: and a voice which invites us to seek that state of
matrimony, which is sanctioned by human and divine law.

                              CHAPTER III.
                     THE HAPPY STATE OF MATRIMONY.

Without doubt the uniting of hearts in holy wedlock is of all conditions
the happiest; for then a man has a second self to whom he can reveal his
thoughts, as well as a sweet companion in his labours, toils, trials,
and difficulties. He has one in whose breast, as in a safe cabinet, he
can confide his inmost secrets, especially where reciprocal love and
inviolable faith is centred: for there no care, fear, jealousy,
mistrust, or hatred can ever interpose. For base is the man that hateth
his own flesh! And truly a wife if rightly considered, as Adam well
observed, is or ought to be esteemed of every honest man as “Bone of his
bone, and flesh of his flesh,” &c. Nor was it the least care of the
Almighty to ordain so near a union, and that for two causes; the first,
for the increase of posterity; the second, to restrain man’s wandering
desires and affections; nay, that they might be yet happier, when God
had joined them together, he “blessed them,” as in Gen. ii. An ancient
writer, contemplating this happy state, says, in the economy of
Zenophon, “that the marriage-bed is not only the most pleasant, but
profitable course of life, that may be entered on for the preservation
and increase of posterity. Wherefore since marriage is the most safe,
and delightful situation of man, he does in no ways provide amiss for
his own tranquillity who enters into it, especially when he comes to
maturity of years.”

Enviable is the state of that man who has fixed his choice upon a
virtuous, chaste wife, centring her entire love upon her husband, and
submitting to him as her head and king, by whose directions she ought to
steer in all lawful courses, will like a faithful companion, share
patiently with him in all his adversities, run with cheerfulness through
all difficulties and dangers, though ever so hazardous, to preserve or
assist him in poverty, sickness, or whatever misfortune may befall him,
acting according to her duty in all things.

“Marriage,” says one of our most gifted poets—who had experienced some
varieties of married life—“is a covenant, the very being whereof
consists not in a forced cohabitation and counterfeit performance of
duties, but in unfeigned love and peace. Matrimonial love, no doubt, was
chiefly meant, which by the ancient sages was thus parabled: Love, if it
be not twin-born, yet hath a brother wondrous like him, called Anteros;
whom, while he seeks all about, his chance is to meet with many false
and feigning desires, that wander singly up and down in his likeness: by
them, in their borrowed garb, Love though not wholly blind, as poets
wrong him, yet having but one eye—on being born an archer, aiming—and
that eye not the quickest in this region here below—which is not Love’s
proper sphere—partly out of the simplicity of credulity, which is native
to him, often deceived, embraces and consorts him with these obvious and
suborned striplings, as if they were her mother’s own sons; for so he
thinks them, while they subtly keep themselves most on his blind side.
But, after a while, as the manner is, when soaring up into the high
tower of his opqueum, above the shadow of the earth, he darts out the
direct rays of his then most piercing eye-sight upon the impostures and
trim disguises that were used with him, and discerns that this was not
his genuine brother, as he imagined. He has no longer the power to hold
fellowship with such a personated mate; for straight his arrows lose
their golden heads, and shed their purple feathers, his silken braids
entwine, and slip their knots, and that original and fiery virtue given
him by fate, all on a sudden goes out, and leaves him undeified and
despoiled of all his force; till, finding Anteros at last, he kindles
and repairs the almost faded ammunition of his deity, by the reflection
of a coequal and homogenial fire.”

This is a deep and serious verity, showing us that love in marriage
cannot live nor subsist unless it be mutual, and where love cannot be,
there can be left of wedlock nothing but the empty husk of an outside
matrimony, as undelightful and unpleasing to God, as any other kind of

Man experiences a feeling of want for some one to whom he can unbosom
himself of all his secrets, and tell the longings and aspirations of his
heart; and who so fit and proper to be trusted as the partner of his
joys and sorrows, and the wife of his bosom? In his boyish days he may
confide in some youthful companion, but as he verges towards manhood, he
hesitates to entrust the secrets of his heart to his equals in age,
fearful of a betrayal of confidence. Men are following the bent of their
inclinations and pursuits—seeking wealth, reputation, or pleasure—in
various ways; and if you told your dearest friend the secrets of your
heart, he would soon be wearied with your officiousness, however much he
might appreciate your friendship, and might be anxious for your success,
but your success, or even your friendship, are not of paramount
importance in his estimation. Very different, however is the case with a
wife. When you conducted her to the altar, and vowed to love and cherish
her so long as life should last, she became one with you—“no more twain
but one flesh.” To her you may safely confide all your wishes,
difficulties, and disappointments. Pleasure is all the more ecstatic
when there are two to partake of it; and every burden feels lighter,
when there are two to help to bear it. Pliny, speaking of his wife,
says,—“Her ingenuity is admirable; her frugality is extraordinary; she
reads my writings, studies them, and even gets them by heart. You would
smile to see the concern she is in when I have a cause to plead, and the
joy she shows when it is over. She finds means to have the first news
brought to her of the success I meet with in court, how I am heard, and
what decree is made. She feasts upon my applauses. Sometimes she sings
my verses, and accompanies them with the lute without any other master,
except love, the best of instructors.” Ecstatic and soul-cheering are
the delights which spring from a trusting, loving, and honourable
marriage. How the very presence of the loved wife is prized! For should
circumstances cause a short separation, with what anxiety does the fond
husband look for the return of her on whom his soul doats; and whose
returning presence throws a halo of sunshine over his domestic hearth,
which gladdens the heart of the loving husband. How the faithful husband
will seek to shield the loving wife from every harm; and how firmly he
relies on her faith and purity! What energy does the thought of her
sterling fidelity give him in life’s struggles! What a peculiar charm is
imparted to enjoyments when we can share them with one whom we fondly
love, and by whom we are fondly loved in return. Sympathy renders such
communion ecstatic, but if that is taken away, the remains are but the
hollow mockery of pleasure, vanity, and vexation of spirit.

A clever female writer thus speaks of marriage—“Many a marriage begins
like the rosy morning, and then falls away like a snow-wreath. And why?
Because the married pair neglect to be as well pleasing to each other
after marriage as before. Endeavour always to please one another; but at
the same time keep God in your thoughts.—Lavish not all your love on
to-day, for remember that marriage has its to-morrow, likewise, and its
day after to-morrow, too. Spare, as one may say, fuel for the
winter.—Deceive not one another in small things or in great. One little
lie has, before now, disturbed a whole married life.—A small cause has
often great consequences.—Fold not the hands together and sit idle.
‘Laziness is the devil’s cushion!’ Do not run much from home. ‘One’s own
hearth is gold-worth.’—The married woman is her husband’s domestic
faith; in her hands he must be able to confide house and family; be able
to entrust to her the key of his heart, as well as the key of his
eating-room. His honour and his home are under her keeping; his
well-being is in her hand. Think of this, oh wife!—Young men, be
faithful husbands and good fathers of families. Act so that your wives
shall esteem and love you. Read the word of God industriously; that will
conduct you through storm and calm, and safely bring you to the haven at

Much happiness may result from the state of matrimony. The good man
beholds his children rising around him, like olive branches; he feels
himself strengthened and encouraged to fulfil the responsibilities
devolving upon him; and he had before no idea of the fountain of joy
that was in the word “father.” It appears to him as if his boyish days
were returned, when he is surrounded by two or three of the pledges of
his affection, witnessing their youthful gambols, and listening to their
clear ringing shouts of glee and delight as they scamper up and down
before him. He takes a pride in his children. No toil or trial appears
harassing which is endured for their benefit. He indulges in bright
anticipations regarding their future career, and prays and hopes that
they will be a comfort and honour to his declining years; and he
endeavours to train them up in the way they should go, trusting that
when they are old, they will not depart from it. And this is not a
selfish feeling; he is well aware that the man who gives a brave son or
a virtuous daughter to society, has conferred an inestimable blessing on
society. When declining age approaches, and the partner of his joys and
sorrows manifests the effects of time’s corroding blight on the fair
structure which won his youthful affections,—still the flame of love
burns as pure if not as ardent, as when they stood before the hymeneal
altar. The aged pair are still happy in each other’s smile; and the
reflection that they have led their children in that good path which
shall make their memory blessed, sustains and comforts them in life’s
closing scene.

An old divine says, “They that enter into marriage, cast a die of the
greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world,
next to the last throw for eternity. Life or death, felicity or lasting
sorrow, are in the power of marriage.—A woman, indeed, ventures most;
for she hath no sanctuary to retire to.—The man can run from many hours
of sadness, yet he must return to it again, and when he sits among his
neighbours, he remembers the dejection that is in his bosom, and sighs
deeply.—After the hearts of the man and wife are endeared and
strengthened, by a mutual confidence and experience longer than artifice
and presence can last, there are a great many remembrances, and some
things present, that dash all little unkindnesses in pieces.—Let man and
wife be careful to stifle little things, that as fast as they spring
they be cast down and trod upon; for if they be suffered to grow, by
numbers, they make the spirits peevish, and the society troublesome, and
the affections loose and easy by an habitual aversion. Some men are more
vexed with a fly than with a wound; and when the gnats disturb our
sleep, and the reason is disquieted but not perfectly awakened, it is
often seen that he is fuller of trouble than if, in the day-light of his
reason he were to contest with a potent enemy. In the frequent little
accidents of a family a man’s reason cannot always be awake; and when
the discourses are imperfect, and a trifling trouble makes him yet more
restless, he is soon betrayed to the violence of passion.—Let them be
sure to abstain from all those things which by experience and
observation, they find to be contrary to each other.—Let the husband and
wife avoid a curious distinction of _mine_ and _thine_; for this hath
caused all the laws, and all the suits, and all the wars of the
world.—Let them who have but one purse, have but one interest.—There is
nothing that can please a man without love; for nothing can sweeten
felicity itself but love.—No man can tell, but he that loves his
children, how many delicious accents make a man’s heart dance in the
pretty conversations of those dear ones; their childishness, their
stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections,
their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to
him that delights in their persons and society.—A man should set a good
example to his wife.—Ulysses was a prudent man, and a wary counsellor,
sober and severe; and he formed his wife into such imagery as he
desired; and she was chaste as the snows upon the mountains; diligent as
the fatal sisters; always busy and always faithful, she had a lazy
tongue and a busy hand.—A husband’s chastity should be unspotted, his
faith inviolable, for this is the “Marriage Ring;” it ties two hearts by
an eternal band; it is like the cherubim’s flaming sword, set for the
guard of paradise.”

“Let a man love his wife even as himself,” and “be not bitter against
her.” Marcus Aurelius said, that “a wise man ought often to admonish his
wife, to reprove her seldom, but _never_ to lay his hands on her.” The
marital love is infinitely removed from all possibility of such
rudeness; it is a thing pure as light, sacred as a temple, lasting as
the world.

There is nothing can please a man without love; and if a man be weary of
the wise discourses of the Apostles, and of the innocency of an even and
private fortune, or hates peace or a fruitful year, he has reaped thorns
and thistles from the choicest flowers of paradise, “for nothing can
sweeten felicity itself, but love;” but when a man dwells in love, then
the breasts of his wife are pleasant as the droppings upon the hill of
Hermon, her eyes are fair as the light of heaven, she is a fountain
sealed, and he can quench his thirst, and ease his cares, and lay his
sorrow down in her lap, and can retire home to his sanctuary and
refectory, and his gardens of sweetness and chaste refreshment.

                              CHAPTER IV.
                          PRECAUTIONARY HINTS.

He that proposes to marry, and wishes to enjoy happiness in that state,
should choose a wife descended from honest parents, she being chaste,
well bred, and of good manners. For if a woman has good qualities, she
has portion enough. That of Alcmena, in Plautus, is much to the purpose,
where he brings in a young woman speaking thus:—

             “I take not that to be my dowry, which
               The vulgar sort do wealth and honour call:
             That all my wishes terminate in this,—
               I’ll obey my husband, and be chaste withal:
             To have God’s fear, and beauty, in my mind,
             To do those good who are virtuously inclined.”

And undoubtedly she was right, for such a wife is more precious than

It is assuredly the duty of parents to be very careful in training up
their children in the ways of virtue, and to have a due regard for their
honour and reputation: and more especially to young women, when grown up
to be marriageable. Parental authority in most cases ought to be obeyed
by children; but when an undue severity is exercised by parents in
attempting to thwart the affections of a son or daughter, and compel the
one or the other to violently snap asunder the tenderest ties, then that
authority becomes questionable; and except for the most weighty reasons,
ought not to be exercised. Alas! what numerous lamentable illustrations
of undue parental authority in regard to the affections of their
children are constantly occurring—sons leaving the parental abode,
rushing into the haunts of vice and dissipation, and wrecking their fair
prospects on the numerous shoals and quicksands which are so fatal to
the unwary—daughters flying from the domestic assylum, which ought to
shelter them from every storm, and subjecting themselves to perhaps a
far worse condition than that they are fleeing from, in being exposed to
the attacks of the human wolves who are nightly prowling in the streets
of our large cities, in search of the defenceless females who are
wandering about homeless and disconsolate. And when these victims of
parental severity have fallen into the pit which has been dug for them,
probably the parents, too late, repent of their severity, which has
brought an indelible stain upon their family. Parents, be cautious of
thwarting the affection of your children.

Vicious indulgence is certain to produce its legitimate results, and
bring down ruin upon the man or woman who is addicted to the same. Cast
your eyes upon the blighted wrecks of what was once female beauty, but
now loathsome to behold, notwithstanding the adventitious aid of paint,
and all the adjuncts of tawdry finery that may be put on to hide the
miserable wrecks of humanity. Traverse the streets in our large cities,
and though illuminated by the glare of gaslight, numbers with unblushing
fronts meet you at almost every step. These are the victims of vicious
indulgence. Ask any of these to tell you whether she feels herself happy
in the “gay” life she is pursuing; and if she is sincere, she will
answer you with a heart-breaking sigh that she is far from being
happy—that she is most miserable—that she remembers a happier
time—remembrances which she attempts to stifle by quaffing liquid slow
poison at the gin-palace. She had a home once—and she remembers her
mother—dead a long time ago—and oh, agony! she remembers the day when
her own foot first turned into the path of guilt. Peradventure she was
the victim of some base libertine, and was decoyed away from virtue’s
path by a deceptive tale; or, probably, she may have willingly swerved
from that chaste and virtuous life which is the brightest adornment in
female attire. Whatever was the cause there she is—a miserable wreck of
humanity! Better, far better, that she had died; that the grass had
grown rank over her corpse as it mouldered away in the portion of ground
allotted to the pauper dead. Thus it is with the wretched female who
gives way to vicious indulgence.—The once gay courtezan eventually is
bereft of all splendour; no devoted admirer rushes to her aid; she
coughs her way through life; and sinks into an early grave—perhaps a
watery grave. Beware, young women, of the siren tempter! Deviate not in
the least from the paths of virtue! Chastity is your brightest
adornment, and that once sullied, your fair fame is irretrievably

The baneful effects of giving way to vicious indulgence may probably
not, in every case, be so serious to the male portion of the creation as
to that of the female, yet there are numerous instances of the libertine
and debauchee having had to pay the penalty of their misdeeds by an
emaciated frame, a broken constitution, and an early death. How many
young men have commenced the struggle of life with fair fame and bright
prospects, with business habits which gave them buoyant hopes of gaining
an independence, who, giving way to vicious indulgence, have ruined
their health, blighted their fair fame, and become bankrupts in every
thing that belongs to the man of honour and integrity. Young man, beware
of giving way to vicious indulgence!

Love is a passion of the human soul; and when properly under control, it
is capable of affording the greatest amount of happiness; but, like
other passions of the heart, when uncontrolled, or wrongly directed, it
entails great misery on those who experience it. This may be the case
with that love which is called forth by family relationship and intimate
friendship, as well as that intense love which is felt by the opposite
sex, man for woman, woman for man.

Various are the means which the libertine and debauchee adopt to gratify
their sensual appetite. Some will follow the “strange woman”—the street
harlot to her den of infamy and shame; others will attempt to allure the
simple trusting maiden by promises, oaths as false and deceitful as ever
were uttered by the arch enemy of our souls:—and by these means the
trusting and confiding are lured to commit the sin which society
condemns in the female, but which is treated with lenity and forbearance
in regard to the male transgressor.

Examine the first of these two cases. “A young man deficient in
understanding,” seeks the company of unfortunate women, and exhausts his
precious vigour and stamina in criminal pleasure. The period of youth is
the heyday of nature, and the healthful development of all the resources
of strength in our nature is the glory of our youth. It is a most
lamentable spectacle to behold, in the streets of the metropolis, and
large towns, such numbers of men, young in years, but through sensual
gratification, broken down in strength, emaciated in body, and
apparently worn-out decrepid old men. And alas! how numerous are the
allurements spread to entrap the unwary, and cause them to enter on a
vicious course of life. “The lips of a strange woman drop as a
honey-comb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.” Every attraction which
beauty can borrow from art is employed; prostitution wears various kinds
of guises to accomplish its object, but is most dangerous when decked
out the fairest, and sports the best. And, therefore, the wise teacher
before quoted, very appropriately remarks, “Lust not after her beauty in
thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eye-lids.” The
disastrous consequences of such “pleasures,” are as certain as they are
terrible. The sweetness of the honey never provides an antidote for the
sting. Such a course most frequently ruins the prospects of success in
life—“a man is brought to a piece of bread;” “it ruins the health,”—“thy
flesh and thy body are consumed, till a dart strike through thy liver.”
And along with property and health goes the character, for “the name of
the wicked shall rot,” and their end is shrouded in gloom; their “feet
go down to death, and their steps take hold on hell.”

                               CHAPTER V.

The pleasing anticipations of the wedded pair are sometimes disappointed
and seriously blighted by the birth of a deformed and malformed
offspring. Sometimes the child is born with some one or more of the
usual members of the body deficient; at others there are births of
children possessed with more than the usual members of the body; and in
various ways the eccentricities of nature are displayed in the
production of the fruits of the womb contrary to the usual construction
of the human frame.

It would be presumptuous in any finite creature to attempt to give a
clear and uncontrovertible reason for these monstrous births. Suffice it
to say, that several have at various times been recorded in history; a
few of those we shall now introduce to the notice of the reader.

We are told by old historians of a monster which was born at Ravenna, in
Italy, about the year 1512, which had wings instead of arms; and some
peculiar marks on its body. We present the following figure of this
singular creature.



Another monster was born about the year 1603, which from the account
handed down to us, was from the navel upwards like a woman, and the
lower parts like those of a beast. The following figure of this curious
creature is taken from an ancient record of the subject. This monster
appears to approach nearer to the figure of the fabled satyrs than any
we have before seen, and may probably have given rise to those fabled


  Where children thus are born with hairy coats,
  Heaven’s wrath unto the kingdom it denotes.

Another monster was produced, representing a hairy child. It was all
covered with hair like a beast. That which rendered it more frightful,
was, that its navel was in the place where its nose should stand, and
its eyes placed where the mouth should have been; and its mouth placed
in the chin. It was of the male kind, and was born in France, in the
year 1597, at a town called Arles, in Provence, and lived a few days,
frightening all who beheld it. It was looked upon by the superstitious
as a forerunner of those desolations which soon afterwards happened to
that unhappy kingdom, where men to each other, were more like beasts
than human creatures. The foregoing engraving from an old print—with two
lines attached—give a clearer idea of the monster than any description
of ours.


In the year 1581, a monster was born at Nazara, which had four arms and
four legs, of a similar form to the figure above. Whether this monster
lived for any length of time after its birth, or whether it perished
soon after, we have no reliable account on which to rest our
conclusions. There is no doubt but that many such unnatural births would
be concealed: for the doctors of a former age would consider themselves
justified in putting an end to the existence of such monsters. With
regard to the formation of the child in this case, so far as can be
gathered from the account of it, there was nothing to prevent it living:
its vital organs were single, it was only the arms and legs that were


In the reign of Henry III. of England, there was a woman delivered of a
child, having two heads and four arms, and the bodies were joined at the
back; the heads were so placed, that they looked contrary ways; each had
two distinct arms and hands; they would both laugh, both speak, and both
cry, and be hungry together; sometimes the one would speak, and the
other would keep silent, and sometimes both speak together. It lived
several years, but one outlived the other three years, carrying the dead
one, (for there was no separating them), till it fainted with the
burden, and more with the stench of the dead carcase.


In Flanders, between Antwerp and Mechlin, in a village called Uthaton, a
child was born which had two heads and four arms, seeming like two girls
joined together, having two of her arms lifted up between and above
their heads: the thighs being placed as it were across one another,
according to the following figure. How long they lived is not known;
but, probably, life would not be sustained for any length of time; for,
even supposing the vital organs were unaffected, by the curious junction
of the two bodies, the singular position of the limbs would, to some
extent, interfere with the free actions of life, as well as produce
misery to the creature all its days. These vagaries of nature happily
seldom occur, and when they do, the friendly stroke of death gives

The following figure shows that though some of the members of the body
may be wanting, yet they are commonly supplied by others—by members
which serve the same purpose as those which are deficient.


Without doubt some of the stories of monsters are fabulous, but we
hesitate not to state that we believe many of them to be true. Nearly
every accoucheur has, at some time or other, had cases when they have
had to assist in bringing into the world specimens of the freaks of
nature, either deficient of their natural properties, or a
superabundance of them. It frequently happens that these prodigies exist
but for a short time—death speedily putting an end to what must
otherwise be a miserable existence, and little is said about them. The
surgical museums in our country contain sufficient proof of the birth of
monsters: and there is no denying the fact, that there are cases in
which people are born into the world, and from certain peculiarities in
their structure have been exhibited to the public as monsters.

                              CHAPTER VI.
                        OF THE WOMB IN GENERAL.

Herein I propose to treat of the womb, and the various maladies to which
it is subject. By the Grecians it is called metra, the mother; adelphos,
says Priscian, because it makes us all brothers.

It is placed in the hypogastrium, or lower part of the body, in the
cavity called pelvis, having the strait gut on one side, to keep it from
the other side of the backbone, and the bladder on the other side to
defend it from blows.

It is divided into the neck and the body. The neck consists of a hard
fleshy substance, much like cartilage, at the end whereof is a membrane
transversely placed, called hymen, or engion. Near to the neck there is
a prominent pinnacle, which is called by Montinus the door of the womb,
because it preserves the matrix from cold and dust; by the Grecians it
is called clytoris; by the Latins, præputium muliebre.

The body of the womb is that wherein the child is conceived; and this is
not altogether round, but dilates itself into two angles, the outward
part of it nervous and full of sinews, which are the cause of its
motion, but inwardly it is fleshy. In the cavity of the womb there are
two cells or receptacles for the seed, divided by a line running through
the midst of it. In the right side of the cavity, by reason of the heat
of the liver, males are conceived; and in the left side, by the coldness
of the spleen, females. Most of our moderns hold the above as an
infallible truth, yet Hippocrates holds it but in general: “For in whom
(saith he) the spermatic vessels on the right side come from the reins,
and the spermatic vessels on the left side from the hollow vein, in them
males are conceived in the left side, and females in the right.”
Empedocles, in giving his opinion, says, “Such sometimes is in the power
of the seed, that the male may be conceived in the left side, as well as
in the right.” In the bottom of the cavity, there are little holes
called the cotiledones, which are the ends of certain veins and
arteries, serving in breeding women to convey substance to the child
which is received by the umbilical veins; and others to carry their
courses into the matrix.

The menstruals are a monthly flux of excrementitious blood, which is to
be understood of the surplus or redundance of it. For it is an excrement
in quality, its quality being poor and corrupt, like unto the blood in
the veins. This is proved two ways; first, from the final cause of the
blood, which is the propagation and conservation of mankind, that man
might be conceived; and being begotten, he might be comforted and
preserved both in the womb and out of the womb. And all will grant it
for a truth, that a child, in the matrix, is nourished with the blood.
And being out of the womb, it is still nourished with the same; for the
milk is nothing but the menstruous blood made white in the breast.
Secondly, it is proved to be true, from the generation of it, it being
the superfluity of the last aliment of the fleshy part.

The natural end of man and woman’s being is to propagate; and this
injunction was imposed upon them by God at their first creation, and
again after the deluge. Now, in the act of conception, there must be an
agent and patient; for if they be both every way of one constitution,
they cannot propagate: man therefore is hot and dry, woman cold and
moist; he is the agent, she the patient or weaker vessel, that she
should be subject to the office of the man. It is necessary the woman
should be of a cold constitution, because in her is required a
redundancy of nature for the infant depending upon her; for otherwise,
if there were not a surplus of nourishment for the child, more than is
convenient for the mother, then would the infant detract and weaken the
principal parts of the mother, and like unto the viper, the generating
of the infant would be the destruction of the parent.

The monthly purgations continue from the 15th year to the 46th or 50th;
yet often there happens a suppression, which is either natural or
morbical: they are naturally suppressed in breeding women, and such as
give suck.

                              CHAPTER VII.
                    OF THE RETENTION OF THE MENSES.

The suppression of the terms is an interception of that accustomed
evacuation of blood which every month comes from the matrix, proceeding
from the instrument or matter vitiated. The part affected is the womb,
and that of itself or by consent.

_Cause._—The cause of this suppression is either external or internal.
The external cause may be heat, or dryness of air, immoderate watching,
great labour, vehement motion, &c. whereby the matter is so consumed and
the body so exhausted, that there is not a surplus remaining to be
expelled. Or it may be caused by cold, making the blood vicious and
gross, condensing and binding up the passages, that it cannot flow

The internal cause is either instrumental or material, in the womb or in
the blood. In the womb it may be divers ways; by imposthumes, humours,
ulcers, by the narrowness of the veins and passages, or by the omentum,
in fat bodies, pressing the neck of the matrix, but then they must have
hernia, zirthilis, for in mankind the caul reacheth not so low; by
overmuch cold or heat, the one vitiating the action, the other consuming
the matter by an evil composition of the uterine parts, by the neck of
the womb being turned aside, and sometimes, though rarely, by a membrane
or excrescence of the flesh growing about the mouth or neck of the womb.
The blood may be in fault two ways, in quantity or quality: in quantity,
when it is so consumed that there is not a superplus left, as in
viragos, or virile women, who, through their heat and strength of
nature, digest and consume all in their last nourishment. The blood
likewise may be consumed, and consequently the terms staid, by bleeding
at the nose, by a flux of the hemorrhoids, by a dysentery, or bloody
flux, by many other evacuations, and by continual and chronical
diseases. Secondly, the matter may be vicious in quality; and suppose it
to be sanguineous, phlegmatical, bilious, or melancholic; every one of
these, if they offend in grossness, will cause an obstruction in the

_Signs._—Pains in the head, neck, back, and loins; weariness of the
whole body, (but especially of the hips and legs, trembling of the
heart.) If the suppression proceed from cold, she is heavy, sluggish, of
a pale colour, and has a slow pulse; the urine curdles, the blood
becomes waterish and much in quantity, and the excrements are retained.
If of heat, the signs are contrary to those now recited. If the
retention come of conception, this may be known by drinking of water and
honey, after supper, going to bed, by the effect which it worketh; for
if, after taking of it, she feels a beating pain upon the stomach, and
the lower part of the belly, it is a sign she hath conceived, and that
the suppression is natural; if not, then it is vicious, and ought
medicinally to be taken away.

_Prognostics._—With the evil quality of the womb, the whole body stands
charged, but especially the heart, the liver, and the brain; and betwixt
the womb and these three principal parts there is a singular concert:
First, the womb communicates to the heart by those arteries which come
from the aorta. Hence, the terms being suppressed, will ensue faintings,
swoonings, intermission of pulse, cessation of breath. Secondly, it
communicates to the liver by the veins derived from the hollow vein.
Hence will follow obstructions, jaundice, dropsies, hardness of spleen.
Thirdly, it communicates to the brain by the nervous membrane of the
back: hence will arise epilepsies, frenzies, melancholy passion, pain in
the after parts of the head, fearfulness, and inability of speaking.
Hippocrates says, if the months be suppressed, many dangerous diseases
will follow.

_Cure._—The suppression is a plethoric effect, and must be taken away by
evacuation; and therefore we begin with the phlebotomy. In the midst of
the menstrual period open the liver vein; and for the reservation of the
humour, two days before the evacuation, open the saphena in both feet;
if the repletion be not great, apply cupping-glasses to the legs and
thighs, although there should be no hopes of removing the suppression.
As in some the cotiledones are so closed, it will be convenient, as much
as may be, to ease nature of her burden, by opening the hemorrhoid veins
with a leech. After bleeding, let the humours be prepared and made
flexible with syrup of calamint, betony, hyssop, mugwort, horehound,
fumitory, maiden-hair. Bathe with camomile, pennyroyal, savin,
bay-leaves, juniper-berries, rue, marjoram, feverfew. Take of the leaves
of maiden-hair, succory, and betony, of each a handful, make a
decoction; take thereof three ounces. Syrup of maiden-hair, mugwort, and
succory; mix of each half an ounce. After she comes out of the bath, let
her drink it off. Purge with pill de agarice, fley-bang, corb, feriæ.
Galen commends pilulæ de caberica, coloquintida; as they purge the
humour of offending, and open the womb, and strengthen the faculty by
their aromatical quality.

If the stomach be overcharged, let her take a vomit, such a one as may
work both ways, lest working only upward, it should too much turn back
the humour.

After the humour hath been purged, proceed to more proper and forcible
remedies. Take of troschisk of myrrh one drachm and a half; of musk ten
grains with the juice of smallage; make twelve pills; take six every
morning, or after supper going to bed. Take of cinnamon half an ounce,
smirutium, valerian aristolochia, of each two drachms; roots of
astrumone, drachm saffron, of each two scruples; spec. diambia, two
drachms; troschisk of myrrh, four scruples; make half into a powder;
with mugwort water and sugar a sufficient quantity, make lozenges, take
one drachm of them every morning; or mingle one drachm of the powder
with one drachm of the sugar, and take it in white wine. Take of
prepared steel, spec. hair, of each two drachms; borax, spec. of myrrh,
of each one scruple, with the juice of savin; make it up with the
lozenges, and take three every other day before dinner. Take of castor
one scruple, wild carrot seed half a drachm, with syrup of mugwort, make
four pills; take them in a morning fasting, for three days together,
before the wonted time of the purgation. Take of juice of horehound, of
each five drachms; rhubarb, spikenard, aniseed, galbanum, asafœtida,
marrow root, gentian, with honey, make an electuary, take of it three
drachms for a dose. In phlegmatic bodies nothing can be better given
than the decoction of the wood guiacum, taken in the morning fasting,
and so for twelve days together, without provoking of sweat.

Administer to the lower parts by suffumigations, pessaries, unctions,
injections: make suffumigations of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, bay
berries, mugwort, galbanum, molanthium, amber, &c. Make pessaries of
figs, and the leaves of mercury bruised, and rolled up with lint. Make
injections of the decoction of origane, mugwort, betony, and eggs;
inject it into the womb by an instrument for that purpose. Take of oil
of almonds, lilies, capers, camomile, of each an ounce; laudani, oil of
myrrh, of each two drachms; with wax make an unguent, with which let the
place be anointed; make infusions of fenugreek, camomile, melilot, dill,
marjoram, pennyroyal, feverfew, juniper-berries, and calamint; but if
the suppression comes by a defect of matter, then ought not the menses
to be provoked until the spirits be animated, and the blood again
increased; or, by proper effects of the womb, as dropsies,
inflammations, &c. then must particular care be used.

If the retention comes from repulsion or fulness, if the air be hot or
dry, use moderate exercise before meals, and your meat and drink
attenuating; use with your meat garden savory, thyme, origane, and cyche
peason: if from emptiness or defect of matter, if the air be moist and
moderately hot, shun exercise and watching; let your meat be nourishing
and of light digestion, as raw eggs, lamb, chickens, almonds, milk.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

I shall now treat on the overflowing of the menses, an effect no less
dangerous than the former. This immoderate flux is a sanguineous
excrement, proceeding from the womb, exceeding both in quantity and
time. First, it is sanguineous: the matter of the flux being only blood,
wherein it differs from that which is commonly called the false menses,
or the whites. Secondly, it proceeds from the womb: for there are two
ways from which the blood flows; one by the internal veins of the body
of the womb,—and this is called the monthly flux; the other is by those
veins which are terminated in the neck of the matrix,—and this is called
the hemorrhoids of the womb. Lastly, it is said to exceed both in
quantity and time. In quantity, saith Hippocrates, when they flow about
eighteen ounces: in time, when they flow about three days: but it is
inordinate flowing, when the faculties of the body are thereby weakened.
In bodies abounding with gross humours, this immoderate flux sometimes
unburdens nature of her load, and ought not to be staid without the
counsel of a physician.

_Cause._—The cause is internal or external. The internal cause is
threefold; in the matter, instrument, or faculty. The matter, which is
the blood, may be vicious, by the heat of constitution, climate, or
season, heating the blood, whereby the passages are dilated, and the
faculty weakened, that it cannot retain the blood; and, by falls, blows,
violent motion, breaking of the veins, &c. The external cause may be
lifting, carrying of heavy burdens, unnatural child-birth, &c.

_Signs._—The appetite is decayed, the conception is depraved, and the
actions weakened; the feet are swelled, the colour of the face is
changed, and a general feebleness of the body. If the flux comes by the
breaking of a vein, the body is sometimes cold, the blood flows forth in
heaps, and that suddenly, with great pain. If it comes through heat, the
orifice of the vein being dilated, then there is little or no pain, yet
the blood flows faster than it doth in an erosion, and not so fast as it
doth in a rupture. If by erosion, or sharpness of blood, she feels a
great heat scalding the passage; it differs from the other two, in that
it flows not so suddenly, nor so copiously as they do. Lastly, if it
proceeds from bad blood drop some of it on a cloth, and when it is dry,
you may judge of the quality by the colour. If it be choleric, it will
be yellow; if melancholy, black; if phlegmatic, waterish and whitish.

_Prognostics._—If with the flux be joined a convulsion, it is dangerous,
because it intimates the more noble parts are vitiated: and a convulsion
caused by emptiness is deadly. If it continues long, it will be cured
with great difficulty: for it was one of the miracles which our Saviour,
Christ, wrought, to cure this disease, when it had continued twelve
years. If the flux be inordinate, many diseases will ensue, and without
remedy; the blood, with the native heat, being consumed, either
cachetical, hydropical, or paralytical diseases will follow.

_Cure._—The cure is, first, in repelling and carrying away the blood:
Secondly, in correcting and taking away the fluxibility of the matter:
Thirdly, in incorporating the veins and faculties. For the first, open a
vein in the arm, and draw out so much blood as the strength of the
patient will permit; and at several times, for thereby the spirits are
less weakened, and the refraction so much the greater.

Apply cupping-glasses to the breasts, and also the liver, that the
reversion may be in the fountain.

To correct the fluxibility of the matter, cathartical means, moderated
with the astrictories, may be used.

If it be caused by erosion, or sharpness of blood, prepare with syrup of
violets, wormwood, roses, citron-pill, succory, &c.

If by adust choler, prepare the body with syrup of roses, myrtles,
sorrel, and purslain, mixed with water of plantain, knot-grass, and
endive. Then purge with rhubarb, one drachm, cinnamon fifteen grains;
infuse them one night in endive water; add to the straining, pulp of
tamarind, cassia, of each half an ounce; make a potion. If the blood be
waterish as it is in hydropical bodies, and flows forth by reason of
thinness, to draw off the water it will be profitable to purge with
agaric, coloquintida: sweating is proper, for thereby the matter
offending is taken away, and the blood carried to the other parts. To
procure sweat, use cardus water, with mithridate, or the decoction of
guaiacum, and sarsaparilla. The pills of sarsaparilla are commended.

Take of bole ammoniac one scruple, London treacle one drachm, old
conserve of roses half an ounce, with syrup of myrtle make an electuary:
or, if the flux hath continued long, take of mastic two drachms, olibani
troch de carbara, of each one drachm; balustium, one scruple; make a
powder;—with syrup of quinces make it into pills; take one before meals.
Take the juice of knot-grass, comfrey, and quinces, of each one ounce,
camphor, one drachm; dip silk or cotton therein, and apply it to the
place. Take of oil of mastic, myrtles, quinces, of each half an ounce;
fine bole, trock, decarda, of each one drachm; sanguis draconis a
sufficient quantity; make an unguent, and apply it before and behind.
Take the plantain, shepherd’s purse, red rose leaves, of each one
ounce:—boil all these in plantain water, and make of it two plasters;
apply one before and one behind. If the blood flow from those veins
which terminated in the neck of the matrix, then it is not the
overflowing of the terms, but the hemorrhoids of the womb; yet the same
cure will serve both, only the instrumental cure will a little differ:
for, in the uterine hemorrhoids, the ends of the veins hang over like
teats or bushes, which must be taken away by incision, and then the
veins closed up with aloes, fine bole, burnt alum, troch de terrs fiall;
myrrh, mastic, with the juice of comfrey and knot-grass, laid
plaster-ways thereto.

The air must be cold and dry. All motion of the body must be forbidden.
Let her meat be pheasant, partridge, mountain birds, coneys, calf-feet,

                              CHAPTER IX.
                      OF THE WEEPING OF THE WOMB.

The weeping of the womb is a flux of blood, unnaturally coming from
thence by drops, after the manner of tears, causing violent pains,
keeping neither period nor time. By some it is referred unto the
immoderate evacuation of the menses, yet they are distinguished in the
quantity and manner of overflowing, in that they flow copiously and
free; this is continual, by little and little, and with great pain and

The cause is in the faculty, by being enfeebled that it cannot expel the
blood resting there, makes that part of the womb grow hard, and
stretcheth the vessels; from whence proceeds the pain of the womb. It
may be the matter of the blood which may offend in too great a quantity;
or it may be so gross and thick as to flow by drops. The signs will be
pains in the head, stomach, and back, with inflammations, suffocations,
and excoriations of the matrix. If the strength of the patient will
permit, first open a vein in the arm, rub the upper parts, and let her
arm be corded, that the force of the blood may be carried backwards:
then apply such things as may laxate and mollify the strengthening of
the womb, and assuage the sharpness of the blood, as cataplasms made of
bran, linseed, and mallows. If the blood be vicious and gross, add
thereto mugwort, calamint, dictam, and betony; and let her take of
Venice treacle the size of a nutmeg, and the syrup of mugwort every
morning; make an injection of the decoction of mallows, linseed,
groundsel, mugwort, with oil of sweet almonds.

Sometimes it is caused by the wind, and then phlebotomy is to be
omitted, and instead, take syrup of feverfew one ounce; honey, roses,
syrup of roses, of each half an ounce; water of calamint, mugwort,
betony, and hyssop, of each an ounce; make a julep. If the pain
continues, employ this purgation: take of hieræ one drachm; syrup of
roses and luxative one ounce; with the decoction of mugwort make a
potion. If it come through the weakness of the faculty, let that be
corroborated. If through the grossness and sharpness of the blood, let
the quality of it be altered, as I have shown in the foregoing chapter.
Lastly, if the excrements be retained, provoke them by a clyster of the
decoction of camomile, betony, feverfew, mallows, linseed, juniper
berries, aniseed, adding thereto of diacatholicon, half an ounce; hiera
picra, two drachms; honey and oil, of each one ounce; nitre a drachm and
a half.

                               CHAPTER X.
                    OF THE FALSE MENSES, OR WHITES.

From the womb proceed not only menstruous blood, but a distillation of a
variety of corrupt humours through the womb, keeping neither courses nor
colour, but varying in both.

_Cause._—The cause is either promiscuously in the whole body, by a
cocochymia, or weakness of the same, or in some of the parts, as in the
liver, which causeth a generation of corrupt blood, and then the matter
is reddish; sometimes the gall being sluggish in its office, not drawing
away those choleric superfluities engendered in the liver, the matter is
yellowish; sometimes in the spleen, not deficiating and cleansing the
blood of the excrementitious parts. It may also come from the catarrh in
the head, or from any other corrupt member; but if the matter of the
flux be white, the cause is in the stomach by a crude matter there, and
vitiated through grief and melancholy, for, otherwise, if the matter
were only pituitous, crude phlegm, it might be converted into blood; for
phlegm in the ventrical is called nourishment half digested; but being
corrupt, though sent into the liver, yet it cannot be turned into
nutriment; for the second decoction cannot correct that which the first
hath corrupted; and therefore the liver sends it to the womb, which can
neither digest nor repel it, and so it is voided out with the same
colour it had in the ventricle. The cause also may be in the reins being
over-heated, whereby the spermatical causes may be moistness of air,
eating of corrupt meats, anger, grief, slothfulness, immoderate
sleeping, costiveness.

The signs are, extenuation of the body, shortness and stinking of the
breath, loathing of meat, pain in the head, swelling of the eyes and
feet, and melancholy: humidity from the womb of divers colours, as red,
black, green, yellow, and white. It differs from the menses, in that it
keeps no certain period, and is of many colours, all of which generate
from blood.

_Prognostics._—If the flux be phlegmatical, it will continue long and be
difficult to cure, yet if vomiting or diarrhœa happeneth, it diverts the
humour and cures the disease. If it be choleric, it is not so permanent,
yet more perilous, for it will cause a cliff in the neck of the womb,
and sometimes make an excoriation of the matrix; if melancholic, it must
be dangerous and contumacious. Yet the flux of the hemorrhoids
administer cure.

If the matter flowing forth be reddish, open a vein in the arm; if not,
apply ligatures to the arms and shoulders. Galen cured the wife of
Brutus, by rubbing the upper part with crude honey.

If it be caused by a distillation from the brain, take syrup of betony,
and marjoram; with sugar and betony water make lozenges, to be taken
every morning and evening; Auri Alexandria, half a drachm at night going
to bed. If these things help not, use the suffumigation and plaster, as
they are prescribed.

If the flux be melancholic, prepare with syrup of maiden-hair, borage,
buglos. Purges for melancholy are stamped prunes, two oz.; senna, one
drachm; fumitory, a drachm; sour dates, one ounce; with endive water,
make a decoction; take of it four ounces, add unto it confections,
hamesech three drachms, manna three drachms. Take conserves of borage,
violets, buglos, of each a drachm; citron peel candied one drachm;
sugar, seven ounces; with rose-water make lozenges.

Lastly, let the womb be cleansed from the corrupt matter. Make
injections of the decoction of betony, feverfew, spikenard, bistort,
mercury, and sage, adding thereto sugar, oil of sweet almonds, of each
two ounces; pessaries also may be made of silk or cotton, mollified in
the juice of the aforesaid herbs.

A dry diet is commended as the best, because in this effect the body
most commonly abounds with phlegmatical and crude humours. For this
cause Hippocrates counsels the patient to go to bed supperless. Let her
meat be partridge, pheasant, and mountain birds, rather roasted than
boiled. Immoderate sleep is forbidden, moderate exercise is commended.

                              CHAPTER XI.

This is called in English, “the suffocation of the mother;” because it
causeth the womb to be choked. It is a retraction of the womb towards
the midriff and the stomach, which so presseth and crusheth up the same,
that the instrumental cause of respiration, the midriff, is suffocated,
and causes the animating faculty, the efficient cause of respiration,
also to be intercepted, while the body being refrigerated, and the
action depraved, she falls to the ground as one dead. Many instances are
recorded of those who have been considered dead, even by the medical
men, in this disorder.

To distinguish the living from the dead the ancients prescribe three
experiments: the first is, to lay a light feather to the mouth, and by
its motion you may judge whether the patient be living or dead: the
second is to place, a glass of water on the breast, and if you perceive
it to move, it betokeneth life: third, to hold a looking-glass to the
mouth and nose; and if the glass appears thick, with a little dew upon
it, it betokens life. You ought not to depend upon these; for the motion
of the lungs, by which the respiration is made, may be taken away so
that she cannot breathe, yet the internal transpiration of the heat may
remain; which is not manifest by the motion of the breast or lungs, but
lies occult in the heart and inward arteries: examples whereof we have
in the fly and swallow, who, in cold winters, seem dead, and breathe not
at all; yet they live by the transpiration of that heat which is
reserved in the heart and inward arteries: therefore, when the summer
approacheth, the internal heat being revocated to the outer parts, they
revive out of their sleepy ecstacy.

Those women therefore, who seem to die suddenly, let them not be
committed unto the earth until the end of three days, lest the living be
buried for the dead.

_Cause._—The part affected is the womb, of which there is a twofold
motion—natural and symptomatical. The natural motion is, when the womb
attracteth the seed, or excludeth the infant or secundine. The
symptomatical motion, of which we are to speak, is a convulsive drawing
up of the womb.

The cause is the retention of the seed, or the suppression of the
menses, causing a repletion of the corrupt humours in the womb, from
whence proceeds a flatuous refrigeration, causing a convulsion of the
ligaments of the womb. And as it may come from humidity or repletion,
being a convulsion, it may be caused by emptiness or dryness. And by
abortion, or difficult child-birth.

_Signs._—At the approaching of the suffocation, there is a paleness in
the face, weakness of the legs, shortness of breath, frigidity of the
whole body, with a working in the throat, and then she falls down as one
void of sense and motion; the mouth of the womb is closed up, and being
touched with the fingers feels hard. The paroxysm of the fit being past,
she openeth her eyes, and feeling her stomach oppressed, she offers to

It differs from apoplexy, by reason it comes without shrieking out; also
in the hysterical passion the sense of feeling is not altogether
destroyed and lost, as it is in the apoplectic disease: and it differs
from the epilepsies in that the eyes are not wrested, neither doth any
spongy froth come from the mouth; and that convulsive motion, which
sometimes, is joined to suffocations, is not universal, and it is in the
epilepsies, only this or that matter is convulsed without vehement
agitation. In the syncope, both respiration and pulse are taken away,
and she swoons away suddenly; but in the hysterical passion, there is
both respiration and pulse, though it cannot be well perceived; her face
looks red, and she hath a fore-warning of her fit. Lastly, it is
distinguished from the lethargy by the pulse, which in one is great, and
the other little.

_Prognostics._—If the disease arises from the corruption of the seed, it
foretells more danger than if it proceed from the suppression of the
menses, because the seed is concocted, and of a purer quality than the
menstruous blood; and the more pure being corrupted becomes the more
foul. If it be accompanied with a syncope, it shows nature is weak, and
that the spirits are almost exhausted; but if sneezing follows, it shows
that the heat begins to return, and that nature will subdue the disease.

_Cure._—In the cure observe: first, that during the paroxysm, nature
must be provoked to expel those malignant vapours which stupify the
senses, that she may be called out of that sleepy ecstacy. Secondly,
that in the intermission of the fit, proper medicines may be applied to
take away the cause.

To stir up nature, fasten cupping-glasses to the hips and navel, apply
ligatures unto the thigh, rub the extreme parts with salt, vinegar, and
mustard: cause loud clamours and thundering in the ears. Apply to the
nose asafœtida, castor, and sal volatile; provoke her to sneeze by
blowing up into her nostrils the powder of castor, white pepper, and
hellebore; hold under her nose partridge feathers, hair, and burnt
leather. The brain is sometimes so oppressed, that there is a necessity
for burning the outward skin of the head with hot oil, or with a hot
iron. Sharp clysters are available. Take of sage, calamint, horehound,
feverfew, marjoram, betony, hyssop, of each one handful; aniseed, half
an ounce; coloquintida, white hellebore, of each two drachms; boil in
two pounds of water to the half; add the straining oil of castor two
ounces, hiera picra two drachms, and make a clyster of it. Hippocrates
writes of an hysterical woman, who could not be freed from the paroxysm
but by pouring cold water upon her; yet this cure is singular, and ought
to be administered only in the heat of summer.

If it be caused by the retention and corruption of the seed, let the
midwife take oil of lilies, marjoram, and bays, dissolving in the same
two grains of civet, and musk; let her dip her finger therein, and put
into the neck of the womb, tickling and rubbing the same.

If it arise from the suppression of the menses look to the cure in chap.
XVI. If from the retention of the seed, use such things as will dry up
and diminish the seed, as diacimina, diacalaminhes, &c. Amongst potions,
the seed of agnus is well esteemed, whether taken inwardly, applied
outwardly, or received as suffumigation. Make an issue on the inside of
her leg, a hand-breadth below the knee. Make trochisks of agaric, two
scruples, wild carrot seed, lign-aloes, of each half a scruple; washed
turpentine, three drachms; with conserve of anthos make a bolus. Castor
is of excellent use in this case, eight drachms of it taken in white
wine: or make pills of it with mithridate, and take them going to bed.
Take of white briony root, dried and cut after the manner of carrots,
one ounce put in a draught of wine, placing it by the fire, and when it
is warm, drink it. Take myrrh, castor, and asafœtida, of each one
scruple; saffron and rue-seed, of each four grains; make eight pills,
and take two every night going to bed.

Galen, by his own example, commends unto us agaric pulverized one
scruple in white wine. Lay to the navel, at bed-time, a head of garlic
bruised, fastening it with a swathed band. Make a girdle of galbanum for
the waist, and also a plaster for the belly, placing in one part of it
civet and musk, which must be laid upon the navel. Take pulveris,
benedict, trochisk of agaric, of each two drachms; of mithridate a
sufficient quantity; and so make two pessaries, and it will purge the
matrix of wind and phlegm; foment the natural part with salad oil, in
which hath been boiled rue, feverfew, and camomile. Take of rose leaves
a handful, cloves two scruples; quilt them in a little cloth, and boil
them in malmsey the eighth part of an hour, and apply them to the mouth
of the womb, as hot as may be endured, but let not the smell get to her
nose. A dry diet must still be observed. Let her bread be aniseed
biscuit, and her flesh meat roasted.

                              CHAPTER XII.
                          FALLING OF THE WOMB.

The falling down of the womb is a relaxation of the ligature, whereby
the matrix is carried backward, and in some hangs out the size of an
egg. The falling of the womb is, when it sinks down to the entrance of
the privities, and appears to the eye either very little or not at all.
The precipitation is, when the womb, like a purse is turned inside
outward, and hangs betwixt the thighs in the size of a cupping-glass.

_Cause._—The external cause is difficult child-birth, violent pulling
away of the secundine, rashness and inexperience in drawing away the
child, violent coughing, sneezing, falls, blows, and carrying heavy
burdens. The internal cause is overmuch humidity flowing into these
parts, hindering the operations of the womb, whereby the ligaments by
which the womb is supported are relaxed. The cause in particular is
referred to be in the retention of the seed, or in the suppression of
the monthly terms.

_Signs._—The intestines and bladder are oftentimes so crushed, that the
passage of the excrements is hindered; if the urine flows forth white
and thick, and the midriff moistened, the loins are grieved, the
privities pained, and the womb sinks down to the private parts, or else
comes clean out.

_Prognostics._—In an old woman it is cured with great difficulty;
because it weakens the faculty of the womb, and therefore, though it be
reduced to its proper place, yet upon very little illness it returns;
and so it is with the younger sort, if the disease be inveterate. If it
be caused by a putrefaction of the nerves, it is incurable.

_Cures._—The womb being naturally placed between the strait gut and the
bladder, and now fallen down, ought not to be put up again, until the
faculty, both of the gut and of the bladder, be stirred up. Nature being
unloaded of her burden, let the woman be laid on her back, her legs
higher than her head; let her feet be drawn up to her hinder parts, with
her knees spread; then mollify the swelling with oil of lilies and sweet
almonds, or with the decoction of mallows, beets, fenugreek, and
linseed; when the inflammation is dissipated, let the midwife anoint her
hand with oil of mastic, and reduce the womb into its place. The matrix
being up, the situation of the patient must be changed, let her legs be
put out at length, and laid together; six cupping-glasses to her breast
and navel; boil mugwort, feverfew, red roses, and comfrey in red wine;
make a suffumigation for the matrix; and at her coming out of the bath,
give her syrup of feverfew one ounce, with a drachm of mithridate. Take
laudani, mastic, of each three drachms, make a plaster of it for the
navel; then make pessaries of asafœtida, saffron, comfrey, and mastic,
adding thereto a little castor.

The matrix seated in its natural abode, the remote cause must be
removed. If the body be plethoric, open a vein; prepare with syrup of
betony, calamint, hyssop, and feverfew. Purge with pil. hierac, agaric,
pil. de colocin. If the stomach be oppressed with crudities, unburden it
by vomiting; sudorifical decoctions of lignum sanctum, and sassafras,
taken twenty days together, dry up the superfluous moisture, and
consequently suppress the cause of the disease.

Let the air be hot and dry, your diet hot and attenuating; abstain from
all motion, both of body and mind; eat sparingly, drink little, sleep

                             CHAPTER XIII.
                    OF THE INFLAMMATION OF THE WOMB.

The inflammation of the matrix, is a humour possessing the whole of the
womb, accompanied with unnatural heat, by obstructing, and gathering of
corrupt blood.

_Cause._—The cause of this effect is suppression of the menses,
repletion of the whole body, difficult child-birth, vehement agitation
of the body, falls, blows, &c.

_Signs._—Anguish, pain in the head and stomach; vomiting, coldness of
the knees, convulsion of the neck, trembling of the heart; a straitness
of breath, by reason of the heat which is communicated to the midriff,
the breasts sympathising with the womb, pained and swelled. If the fore
part of the matrix be inflamed, the privities are grieved, the urine is
suppressed, or flows forth with difficulty. If the after part, the loin
and back suffer, the excrements are retained on the right side, the
right hip suffers, the right leg is heavy and slow to motion; and so if
the left side of the womb be inflamed, the left hip is pained, and the
left leg is weaker than the right. If the neck of the womb be refreshed,
the midwife shall feel the mouth of it retracted, and closed up with a
hardness about it.

_Prognostics._—All inflammations of the womb are dangerous, if not
deadly; and especially if the total substance of the matrix be inflamed;
but they are very perilous if in the neck of the womb.

_Cure._—Let the humours flowing to the womb be repelled, for effecting
which, after cooling clysters, open a vein in the arm, if she be not
enceinte; the day after strike the saphena on both feet, fasten
ligatures and cupping-glasses to the arm, and rub the upper part. Purge
gently with cassia, rhubarb, and senna two drachms, aniseed one scruple,
barley-water a sufficient quantity; make a decoction. At the beginning
of the disease anoint the privities and reins with oil of roses and
quinces; make plasters of plantain, linseed, barley-meal, white of eggs,
and, if the pain be vehement, a little opium; ferment the genitals with
the decoction of poppy heads. In the declining of the disease, use
incisions of sage, linseed, mugwort, pennyroyal, horehound, and
fenugreek; anoint the lower part of the belly with the oil of camomile
and violets.

Take lily roots and mallow-roots, of each four ounces; mercury one
handful; mugwort, and feverfew, camomile flowers, and melilot, of each a
handful and a half; bruise the herbs and fruits, and boil them in a
sufficient quantity of milk; then add fresh butter, oil of camomile, and
lilies, of each two ounces; bean meal a sufficient quantity; make two
plasters,—one before, the other behind.

If the tumour cannot be removed, but tends to suppuration, take
fenugreek, mallow-roots, decocted figs, linseed, barley-meal,
turpentine, of each three drachms; deer’s suet, half a drachm, opium
half a scruple; with wax make a plaster.

Take wormwood and betony of each half a handful; white wine and milk, of
each half a pound; boil them until one part be confirmed; then take of
this decoction four ounces, honey of roses two ounces, and make an
injection. Yet beware that the humours are not brought down to the womb.
Take roasted figs and mercury bruised, of each three drachms; turpentine
and duck’s grease, of each three drachms; opium, two grains; with wax
make a pessary.

                              CHAPTER XIV.

Of phlegm neglected, or not perfectly cured, is generated a schirrus of
the matrix, which is a hard unnatural swelling, insensibly hindering the
operation of the womb, and disposing the whole body to slothfulness.

_Cause._—One cause of this disease may be ascribed to want of judgment
in the physician; as many empyrics ministering to an inflammation of the
womb, do overmuch refrigerate the humour, that it can neither pass
forward nor backward; hence the matter being condensed, degenerates into
a hard substance. Other causes may be the suppression or the menstruous
retention of the lochi, or after purging; eating of corrupt meats, &c.
It may proceed also from obstructions and ulcers in the matrix, or from
evil effects in the liver and spleen.

_Signs._—If the bottom of the womb be affected, she feels a heavy burden
representing a mole; yet differing in that the breasts are attenuated,
and that the whole body becomes less. If the neck of the womb be
affected, no outward humours will appear; the mouth of it is retracted,
and feels hard.

_Prognostics._—Schirrus confirmed is incurable, and will turn into a
cancer, or incurable dropsy, and ending in a cancer, proves deadly.

_Cure._—Where there is a repletion, bleeding is advisable; open the
medina on both arms, and the saphena on both feet, more especially if
the menses be suppressed. Prepare the humour with syrup of borage,
succory, and clarified whey: then take of the following pills according
to the strength of the patient:

Take of hiera picra six drachms, black helebore, polybody, of each two
drachms and a half; agaric, lapis lazuli, abluti salindiæ, coloquintida,
of each one drachm and a half; mix them and make pills. The body being
purged, proceed to mollify the hardness as follows: the privities and
neck of the womb with unguent, decalthea, and agrippa; or take opapanax,
bdellium, ammoniac, and myrrh, of each two drachms, saffron half a
drachm; dissolve the gum in oil of lilies and sweet almonds; with wax
and turpentine make an unguent; apply below the navel diacoon, ferelina;
make infusion of figs, mugwort, mallows, pennyroyal, althea, fennel
roots, melilot, fenugreek, boiled in water. Make an injection of
calamint, linseed, melilot, fenugreek, and the four mollifying herbs,
with oil of dill, camomile, and lilies dissolved in the same. Three
drachms of the gum bdellium; cast the stone pyrites on the coals, and
let her receive the fume into the womb. Foment the secret parts with the
decoction of the roots and leaves of danewort. Take gum galbanum,
opapanax, of each one drachm, juice of danewort, mucilage, fenugreek, of
each one drachm; calf’s marrow an ounce, wax a sufficient quantity; make
a pessary.

The air must be temperate; use no salt meats.

                              CHAPTER XV.
                       OF THE DROPSY IN THE WOMB.

The uterine dropsy is an unnatural swelling, by the gathering of the
wind and phlegm in the cavity, membranes, or substance of the womb, by
reason of the debility of the native heat and aliment received.

The causes are overmuch cold or moistness of the milt and liver,
immoderate drinking, eating of crude meats; all which, causing a
repletion, do suffocate the natural heat. It may be caused by the
overflowing of the menses, or by any other immoderate evacuation, and by
abortions, phlegmons and schirrosities of the womb.

_Signs._—The lower parts of the belly, with the genitals, are puffed up,
and pained; the feet swell, the natural colour of the face decays, and
the appetite is depraved. If she turns herself in the bed, a noise like
the flowing of water is heard. Water sometimes comes from the matrix. If
the swelling be caused by wind, the belly sounds like a drum; and the
wind breaks through the neck of the womb with a murmuring noise. It is
distinguished from a general dropsy, in that the lower parts of the
belly are most swelled.

_Prognostics._—This effect foretells the ruin of the natural functions,
by that singular consent the womb hath with the liver, and that
therefore general dropsy will follow.

_Cure._—Mitigate the pain with fomentation of melilot, mercury, mallows,
linseed, camomile, and althea; then let the womb be prepared with
hyssop, calamint, mugwort, with the decoction of elder, marjoram, sage,
pennyroyal, betony; purge with senna, agaric, and rhubarb. Take rhubarb,
and trochisks of agaric, of each one scruple: with juice of iros make

In diseases which have their rise from moisture, purge with pills. And
in these effects which are caused by emptiness or dryness, purge with a
potion. Fasten a cupping-glass to the belly, with a great fume, and also
the navel, especially if the swelling be flatulent: make an issue on the
inside of each leg, a hand-breadth below the knee. Apply to the bottom
of the belly, as hot as may be endured, a little bag of camomile,
cummin, and melilot, boiled in oil of rue; anoint the belly and secret
parts with unguent agrippa and unguent aragons; mingle therewith oil of
iros: cover the lower parts of the belly with the plaster of
bay-berries, or a cataplasm made of cummin, camomile, and briony roots.

Our moderns ascribe great virtues to tobacco-water distilled, and poured
into the womb by a metrenchyta. Take balm, southernwood, origen,
wormwood, calamint, bay-leaves, marjoram, of each one handful:
juniper-berries four drachms; with water make a decoction: of this may
be made fomentations and infusions: make pessaries of storax, aloes,
with the roots of dictau, aristolochia, and gentian.

The air must be hot and dry; moderate exercise. She may eat the flesh of
partridges, larks, chickens, mountain birds. Let her drink be thin wine.

                              CHAPTER XVI.

This disease is called by the Greeks mole; and is taken from the load or
heavy weight of it, it being a mole or great lump of hard flesh
burdening the womb.

It is an inarticulate piece of flesh without form, begotten in the
matrix as if it were a true conception. Note two things: first, a mole
is said to be inarticulate and without form, it differs from monsters,
which are both formate and articulate: secondly, it puts a difference
between a true conception and a mole; first, in the genus, in that a
mole cannot be said to be an animal: secondly, in the species, because
it hath no human figure, and bears not the character of a man: thirdly,
in the individual, for it hath no affinity with the parent, either in
the whole body or any particular part.

_Cause._—The true cause of this fleshy mole proceeds from both the man
and from the woman, from corrupt and barren seed in man, and from the
menstruous blood in the woman, both emitted together in the womb, where
nature finding herself weak, labours to bring forth a vicious conception
rather than none; and instead of a living creature, generates a lump of

_Signs._—The menses are suppressed, the appetite is depraved, the
breasts swell, and the belly is suddenly puffed up, and waxeth hard.
Thus the signs of a breeding woman, and one that breedeth a mole, are
one. The first sign of difference is in the motion of the mole; it may
be felt to move in the womb before the third month, which an infant
cannot; yet the motion cannot be understood of any intelligent power in
the mole, but the faculty of the womb and the animal spirits diffused
through the substance of the mole; for it hath not an animal but a
vegetative source of life, in manner of a plant: secondly, if a mole,
the belly is suddenly puffed up; but if a true conception, the belly is
suddenly retracted; and then riseth up by degrees: thirdly, the belly
being pressed with the hand, the mole gives way; and the hand being
taken away, it returns to the place again; but a child in the womb,
though pressed with the hand, moves not presently; and being removed,
returns slowly, or not at all: lastly, the child continues in the womb
not above ten months, but a mole continues sometimes four or five years,
more or less, according as it is fastened in the matrix. I have known a
mole to fall away in four or five months. If it remain until the
eleventh month, the legs wax feeble, and the whole body consumes.

_Prognostics._—If, at the delivery of a mole, the flux of the blood be
great, it shows the more danger, because nutrition, having been violated
by the flowing back of the superfluous humours, where the natural heat
is consumed; and parting with so much of her blood, the woman is so
weakened in all her faculties, that she cannot subsist without

_Cause._—We are taught by Hippocrates, that phlebotomy causeth abortion
by taking all that nourishment which should preserve the life of the
child: wherefore, open the liver vein and saphena in both feet, fasten
cupping-glasses to the loins and sides of the belly, let the uterine
parts be first mollified, and then the expulsive faculty provoked to
expel the burden.

To laxate the ligature of the mole, take mallows with the roots, three
handfuls; camomile, melilot, pelitory of the wall, violet leaves,
mercury, root of fennel, parsley, of each two handfuls; linseed,
fenugreek, each one pound; boil them in water, and let her sit therein
up to the navel. At her going out of the bath, anoint the privities and
reins with the following unguent. Take mercury and althea roots, of each
half a handful: flos, bracho, ursini, half a handful; linseed,
barley-meal, of each six ounces; boil all these with water and honey,
and make a plaster; make pessaries of the gum galbanum, bdellium,
antimoniacum, figs, hog’s suet, and honey.

After the ligaments of the moles are loosed, let the expulsive faculty
be stirred up to expel the moles. Take troch de myrrh, one ounce; castor
astrolochia, gentian, dictam, of each an ounce; make a powder; take one
drachm in four ounces of mugwort water. Take of hypericon, calamint,
pennyroyal, betony, hyssop, sage, horehound, valeria, madder, savine:
with water make a decoction; take three ounces of it, with one ounce and
a half of feverfew.

But if these things prove not available, then must the mole be drawn
away with an instrument put up into the womb, which may be performed by
a skilful surgeon. After the delivery of the mole let the flux of blood
be stayed as soon as may be. Fasten cupping-glasses to the shoulders and
ligatures of the arms. If this help not, open the liver vein in the
right arm.

                             CHAPTER XVII.
                    NOT, AND WHETHER MALE OR FEMALE.

The natural instinct that nature has implanted in men and women to
propagate their own species, puts them upon making use of those ways
that nature has ordained for that end, which, afterwards, the woman many
times, through ignorance of having conceived, is little better than a
murderer of her child: for, after conception, finding herself not well,
and not knowing what is the matter with her, goes to a doctor; and he,
not thinking of her being enceinte, gives cathartical potions, which
destroy conception. And some, out of a foolish coyness, though they know
they have conceived, will not confess it, that they might be instructed
how to order themselves.

_Signs._—If under the eye the vein be swelled, the veins in the eyes
appearing clearly, and the eyes sometimes discoloured, if the woman has
not the terms upon her, nor watched the night before, you may certainly
conclude her to be with child; the first two months I never knew this
sign to fail.

Keep the urine of the woman close in a glass three days, and then strain
it through a fine linen cloth; if you find small living creatures in it
she hath conceived.

A coldness and chillness of the outward parts, the heat being retired to
make conception. The veins of the breast are more clearly seen than
usual. The body is weakened, and the face discoloured. The belly waxeth
very flat, because the womb closeth itself together to nourish and
cherish the seed. If cold water be drank, a coldness is left in the
breasts. Loss of appetite to victuals, sour belchings, and exceeding
weakness of the stomach. The breasts swell and wax hard, not without
pain and soreness. Griping pains, like the cramp, in the belly about the
navel. Divers appetites and longings. The veins of the eyes are clearly
seen, and the eyes discoloured. The excrements of the guts are voided
painfully, because the womb swelling thrusteth the guts together. Take a
handsome green nettle, put it into the urine of the woman; cover it
close, and let it remain a whole night; if the woman be with child, it
will be full of red spots on the morrow; if she be not, it will be

_Signs of a Male Child._—The woman breeds a boy easier and with less
pain than a girl, and is more nimble. The child is first felt by her on
the right side; for male children lie on the right side of the womb. The
woman, when she riseth up from a chair doth sooner stay herself upon her
right hand than her left. The belly lies rounder and higher than when it
is a female. The right breast is more hard and plump than the left, and
the right nipple redder. The colour of a woman is not so swarthy as when
she conceives a girl. The contrary to these are signs of the conception
of a female.

If the circle under the eye is of a wan blue colour, be more apparent
and most discoloured, she is enceinte of a boy; if the marks be most
apparent in her left eye, of a girl.

Again, let a drop of her milk fall into a basin of fair water; if it
sinks to the bottom, as it drops in, round in a drop, it is a girl; but
if it be a boy, it will spread and swim on the top.

                             CHAPTER XVIII.
                          OF UNTIMELY BIRTHS.

When the fruit of the womb comes forth before the seventh month, before
it comes to maturity, it is abortive; and, in effect, the child proves
abortive in the eighth month. And why children born in the seventh and
ninth month may live, and not in the eighth month may seem strange, yet
it is true. Hippocrates gives a reason, viz. the infant being perfect in
the seventh month, desires more air and nutriment; and it labours for a
passage to get out; and if it has not strength sufficient to break the
membranes and come forth, it shall continue in the womb till the ninth
month, and in that time may again be strengthened; but if it strive
again in the eighth month, and be born, it cannot live, because the day
of its birth is either past or to come. For, in the eighth month, saith
Aven, he is weak and infirm; and, therefore, being then cast into the
cold air, his spirits cannot be supported.

_Cause._—Untimely births may be caused by cold; or by humidity weakening
the faculty; and the fruit cannot be retained till the due time; by
dryness or emptiness, defrauding the child of nourishment; by fluxes,
phlebotomy, and other evacuations; by inflammations of the womb.
Sometimes it is caused by laughter, joy, anger and fear. Abortion also
may be caused by corrupt air, filthy odours, and especially by the smell
of the snuff of a candle; also by falls, blows, violent exercise,
leaping, dancing, &c.

_Signs._—Signs of future abortion are, extenuation of the breasts, flux
of watery milk, pain in the womb, heaviness in the head, unusual
weariness in the hips and thighs, flowing of the menses. Signs
foretelling the fruit of the dead in the womb, are hollowness in the
eyes, pain in the head, anguish, horror, paleness of the face and lips,
gnawing of the stomach, no motion of the infant, coldness and looseness
of the mouth of the womb, and thickness of the belly, and watery and
bloody excrements come from the matrix.

                              CHAPTER XIX.

Before conception, if the body be over hot, dry, or moist, correct it
with the contraries; if couchmical, purge it; if plethoric, open the
liver vein; if too gross, attenuate it: if too lean, nourish it.

After conception, let the air be temperate; sleep not overmuch, avoid
watchings, much exercise, passions of the mind, filthy smells, and sweet
odours are hysterical. Abstain from things which provoke urine; from
salt and windy meats.

If the excrements be retained, lenify with clysters made of the
decoction of mallows, violets, with sugar and common oil. If with
looseness, let it not be stayed without the judgment of a physician; for
all the uterine fluxes have a malign quality in them, which must be
evacuated before the flux is stayed.

The cough of pregnant women puts them in danger of miscarrying. To
prevent which, shave away the hair on the coronal coiffure, and apply
thereon the following plaster: take of resinæ half an ounce, laudana one
drachm, citron peel, lign-aloes, olibani, of each a drachm; stirachis
liquidæ, and sicca, a sufficient quantity; dissolve the gums in vinegar,
and make a plaster; at night going to bed let her take the fumes of
these trochisks cast upon the coals. Also take of frankincense, storax
powder, and red roses, of each a drachm and a half, sandrich eight
drachms, mastic, benjamin, amber, of each one drachm; with turpentine
make trochisks, apply a cautery to the nape of the neck. Every night let
her take these pills following: take hypocistides, terriæ, sigillate,
fine bole, of each half an ounce; bistort, alcatia, styracis, calamint,
of each two drachms, cloves, one drachm; with syrup of myrtles make

In pregnant women there is often a flux which greatly distresses the
womb. To prevent this danger, the stomach must be corroborated as
follows: take lign-aloes and nutmeg, of each one drachm; mace, clove,
mastic, and laudanum, of each two scruples; oil of spike an ounce; musk,
two grains; oil of mastic, quinces, and wormwood, of each half an ounce;
make an unguent for the stomach to be applied before meals. Take a
conserve of borage, buglos, and atthos, of each half an ounce; confect.
de hyacinth, lemon-peel candied, specie-rum, dismarg. pulv. de gemnis,
of each two drachms; nutmeg and diambra, of each two scruples; peony
roots and diacorati, of each two drachms; with syrup of roses make an
electuary; of which she must take twice a day, two hours before meals. A
pregnant woman is subject to swelling of the legs, which happens the
first three months, by humours falling down from the stomach and liver:
for the cure, take oil of roses, two drachms, salt and vinegar, of each
one drachm; shake them together until the salt be dissolved, and anoint
the legs therewith hot, chafing it with the hand; it may be done without
danger in the fourth, fifth, or sixth months of pregnancy. And if the
body is in real need of purging, she may do it without danger in the
fourth, fifth or sixth months; but not before nor after, unless in some
sharp diseases, in which the mother and child are like to perish. Apply
plasters and unguents to strengthen the fruit of the womb. Take of gum
agaric, galagane, bistort, hypocostid, and storax, of each one drachm;
fine bole, nutmeg, mastic, bollust, sanguis draconis, and
myrtle-berries, a drachm and a half; wax and turpentine a sufficient
quantity; make a plaster. Apply to the reins in the winter time, and
remove it every twenty-four hours, lest the reins be over hot therewith.
In the interim anoint the privities and reins with unguent and
censitisssæ; but if it be summer time, and the reins hot, the following
plaster is more proper; take of red roses one pound, mastic and red
sanders of each two drachms; bole ammoniac, red coral and bistort, each
two drachms; pomegranate peel prepared, and coriander, of each two
drachms and a half; barberries, two scruples; oil of mastic and quinces,
of each an ounce; juice of planastic two drachms; with pitch make a
plaster; anoint the reins with unguentum sandal. Once every week wash
the reins with two parts of rose-water, and one part of white wine
mingled together and warmed at the fire.

                              CHAPTER XX.

The time of birth drawing near, let her send for a skilful medical man
or midwife; let her prepare a bed or couch, and place it near the fire,
that the midwife and assistants may pass round, and help on every side
as occasion requires, having a change of linen ready, and a stool to
rest her feet against, she having more force when they are bowed.

When the pain comes, let her walk about the room, resting by turns upon
the bed, and so expect the coming down of the water, which is a humour
contracted in the outward membranes, and flows thence when it is broke
by the struggling of the child. Motion causes the womb to open and
dilate itself, when from lying long in bed it is uneasy. If the patient
is weak, let her take some gentle cordial to refresh herself, if her
pain will admit.

If her travail be tedious, she may take chicken or mutton broth, or
poached egg.

In delivery, the midwife must wait with patience till the child bursts
the membrane; for if she tear the membrane with her nails, she endangers
both the woman and the child; for by lying dry, and wanting that
slipperiness that should make it easy, it comes forth with great pains.

When the head appears, the midwife must gently hold it between her
hands, and draw the child at such times as the woman’s pains are upon
her, and at no other, slipping by degrees her forefingers under its
arm-pits, not using a rough hand, lest the tender infant may receive any
deformation of the body. As soon as the child is taken forth, let it be
laid on its back, that it may freely receive external respiration; then
cut the navel-string about three inches from the body, tying that end
which adheres to the body with a silken string; as near as you can; then
cover the head and stomach of the child well.

Let the midwife regard the patient in drawing forth the secundine, by
wagging and stirring them up and down, afterwards with a gentle hand
drawing them forth; if the work be difficult, let the woman hold salt in
her hands, shut them close, breathe hard into them, and thereby she will
know whether the membrane be broken or not.

                              CHAPTER XXI.

The woman being across the bed, let the operator put up his or her hand,
if the neck of the womb be dilated, and remove the contracted blood that
obstructs the passage of the birth; and having by degrees gently made
way, let him tenderly move the infant, his hand being first anointed
with sweet butter or a harmless pomatum. And if the waters be not come
down, then without difficulty may they be let forth; when, if the infant
should attempt to break out with the head foremost or cross, he may
gently turn it to find the feet; which having done, let him draw forth
the one and fasten it to the riband, then put it up again, and by
degrees find the other, bringing them close and even, and let the woman
breathe, urging her to strain, in helping nature to perform the birth,
and that the hold may be surer, wrap a linen cloth about the child’s
thighs observing to bring it into the world with its face downwards.

In case of a flux of blood, if the neck of the womb be open, it must be
considered whether the infant or secundine come first, which the latter
sometimes happening to do, stops the mouth of the womb, and hinders the
birth, endangering both the woman and child; but in this case the
secundine must be removed by a swift turn; and they have by their so
coming down deceived many, who feeling their softness supposed the womb
was not dilated, and thus the woman and child have been lost. The
secundine moved, the child must be sought for, and drawn forth; and in
such a case if the woman or child die, the midwife or surgeon is
blameless, because they did their best.

If it appears upon inquiry that the secundine comes first, let the woman
be delivered with all convenient expedition, because a great flux of
blood will follow.

In drawing forth a dead child, let these directions be carefully
observed by the surgeon, viz. If the child be found dead, its head being
foremost, the delivery will be more difficult; for it is an apparent
sign, by the woman’s strength beginning to fail her that the child being
dead, and wanting its natural force, can be no ways assisting to its
delivery; wherefore the most safe way for the surgeon is to put up his
left hand, sliding it as hollow in the palm as he can into the neck of
the womb, and into the lower part thereof towards the feet, and then
between the head of the infant and the neck of the matrix; then having a
hook in the right hand couch it close, and slip it up above the left
hand, between the head of the child, and the flat of his hand, fixing it
in the bars of the temple towards the eye. For want of a convenient
coming at these in the occiputal bone, observe still to keep the left
hand in its place, and with it gently moving and stirring the head, and
so with the right hand and hook draw the child forward, admonish the
woman to put forth her utmost strength, still drawing when the woman’s
pangs are upon her. The head being drawn out, with all speed he must
slip his hand under the arm-holes of the child, and take it quite out;
giving these things to the woman, viz. a toast of fine wheaten bread in
a quarter of a pint of Ipocras wine.

                           ARISTOTLE’S WORKS.

                              THE MIDWIFE.
                     GUIDE TO CHILD-BEARING WOMEN.

                           BOOK I.—CHAPTER I.

                        SECT. I. _Of the Womb._

In this Chapter I am to treat of the womb, which the Latins call matrix.
Its parts are two; the mouth of the womb, and the bottom of it. The
mouth is an orifice at the entrance into it, which may be shut together
like a purse. When a woman is not pregnant, it is a little oblong, and
of substance very thick and close; but when she is pregnant it is
shortened, and its thickness diminisheth proportionably to its
distension: and therefore it is a mistake of anatomists, who affirm that
its substance waxeth thicker a little before a woman’s labour; for any
one’s reason will inform him, that the more distended it is, the thinner
it must be; and the nearer a woman is to the time of her delivery, the
shorter her womb must be extended.

The Author of Nature has placed the womb in the belly, that the heat
might always be maintained by the warmth of the parts surrounding it: it
is therefore seated in the middle of the hypogastrium (or lower part of
the belly,) between the bladder and the rectum (or right gut) by which
also it is defended from any hurt through the hardness of the bones: and
it is placed in the lower part of the belly for the conveniency of a
birth being thrust out at the full time.

It is of a figure almost round, inclining somewhat to an oblong, in part
resembling a pear; for, being broad at the bottom, it gradually
terminates in the point of the orifice, which is narrow.

The length, breadth, and thickness of the womb differ according to the
age and the disposition of the body. For in virgins not ripe it is very
small in all its dimensions; but, in women whose terms flow in great
quantities, it is much larger; and if they have had children, it is
larger in them than in such as have had none; but, in women of a good
stature, and well shaped, it is, (as I have said before), from the entry
of the privy parts to the bottom of the womb, usually about eight
inches; but the length of the body of the womb alone does not exceed
three; the breadth thereof is near about the same, and of the thickness
of the little finger, when the womb is not pregnant; but, when the woman
is pregnant, it becomes of a prodigious greatness, and the nearer she is
to her delivery the more is the womb extended.

It is not without reason, then, that nature (or the God of Nature) has
made the womb of a membranous substance; for thereby it does the easier
conceive, is gradually dilated by the growth of the fœtus, or young one,
and is afterwards contracted and closed again, to thrust forth both it
and the after-burden, and it is to retire to its primitive seat. Hence
also then enabled to expel any obnoxious humours which may sometimes
happen to be contained within it.

Before I have done with the womb, which is the field of generation, and
ought therefore to be the more particularly taken care of, I shall
proceed to a more particular description of its parts, and the uses for
which nature hath designed them.

The womb then is composed of various similar parts, that is, of
membranes, veins, arteries, and nerves. Its membranes are two, and they
compose the principal parts of the body; the outermost of which ariseth
from the peritoneum, or caul, and is very thin; without smooth, and
within equal, that it may the better cleave to the womb, as it is
fleshier and thicker than anything else we meet with in the body when
the woman is not pregnant, and is interwoven with all sorts of fibres
and small strings, that it may the better suffer the extension of the
child and the waters caused during pregnancy, and also that it may the
easier close again after delivery.

The veins and arteries proceed both from the hypogastrics and the
spermatic vessels, of which I shall speak by and by; all these are
inserted and terminated in the proper membrane of the womb. The arteries
supply it with food for nourishment, which, being brought together in
too great a quantity, sweats through the substance of it, and distils as
it were a dew at the bottom of the cavity; from hence do proceed both
the terms in ripe virgins, and the blood which nourisheth the embryo in
enceinte women. The branches which issue from the spermatic vessels are
inserted on each side of the bottom of the womb, and are much less than
those which proceed from the hypogastrics, those being greater, and
bedewing the whole substance of it. There are yet some other small
vessels, which, arising the one from the other, are conducted to the
internal orifice, and by these, those that are pregnant do purge away
the superfluity of the terms, when they happen to have more than is used
in the nourishment of the infant; by which means nature hath taken such
care of the womb, that during its pregnancy it shall not be obliged to
open itself for the passing away those excrementitious humours, which,
should it be forced to do, might often endanger abortion.

As touching the nerves, they proceed from the brain, which furnishes all
the inner parts of the lower belly with them, which is the true reason
it hath so great a sympathy with the stomach, which is likewise very
considerably furnished from the same, part; so that the womb cannot be
afflicted with any pain but the stomach is immediately sensible thereof,
which is the cause of those loathings or frequent vomitings which happen
to it.

But, besides all these parts which compose the womb, it hath yet four
ligaments, whose office is to keep it firm in its place, and prevent its
constant agitation, by the continual motion of the intestines which
surround it; two of which are above, and two below. Those above are
called the broad ligaments, because of their broad and membranous
figure, and are nothing else but the production of the peritoneum, which
growing out of the side of the loins, towards the reins, come to be
inserted in the sides of the bottom of the womb, to hinder the body from
bearing too much on the neck, and so from suffering a precipitation, as
will sometimes happen when the ligaments are too much relaxed; and do
also contain the testicles, and as well safely conduct the different
vessels as the ejaculatories to the womb. The lowermost are called round
ligaments, taking their original from the side of the womb near the
horn, from whence they pass the groin, together with the production of
the peritoneum, which accompanies them through the rings and holes of
the oblique and transverse muscles of the belly, by which they divide
themselves into many little branches, resembling the foot of a goose, of
which are some inserted into the os pubis, and the rest are lost and
confounded with the membranes that cover the upper and interior parts of
the thigh; and it is that which causeth the numbness which pregnant
women feel in their thighs. These two ligaments are long, round, and
nervous, and pretty big in their beginning, near the matrix, hollow in
their rise, and all along to the os pubis, where they are a little
smaller, and become flat, the better to be inserted in the manner
aforesaid. It is by their means the womb is hindered from rising too
high. Now, although the womb is held in its natural situation by these
four ligaments, it has liberty enough to extend itself when pregnant,
because they are very loose, and so easily yield to its distension. But
besides these ligaments, which keep the womb as it were in a poise, yet
it is fastened, for greater security, by its neck, both to the bladder
and rectum, between which it is situated.—Whence it comes to pass, that
if at any time the womb be inflamed, it communicates the inflammation to
the neighbouring parts.

Its use or proper action, in the work of generation, is to receive and
retain the seed, and deduce from its power and action, by its heat for
the generation of the infant; and is therefore absolutely necessary for
the conservation of the species. It also seems by accident to receive
and expel the impurities of the whole body, as when women have abundance
of whites; and to purge away, from time to time, the superfluity of the
blood, as when a woman is not pregnant.

SECT. II.—_Of the Difference between the Ancient and Modern Physicians,
 touching the Woman’s contributing Seed to the Formation of the Child._

Our modern anatomists and physicians are of different sentiments from
the ancients touching the woman’s contributing of seed for the formation
of the child, as well as the man; the ancients strongly affirming it,
but our modern authors being generally of another judgment. I will not
make myself a party in this controversy, but set down impartially, yet
briefly, the arguments on each side, and leave the judicious reader to
judge for himself.

Though it is apparent, say the ancients, that the seed of man is the
principal efficient and beginning of action, motion, and generation, yet
that the woman affords seed, and contributes to the procreation of the
child, it is evident from hence, that the woman has seminal vessels,
which had been given her in vain if she wanted seminal excrescence; but
since nature forms nothing in vain, it must be granted they were made
for use of seed and procreation, and fixed in their proper places, to
operate, and contribute virtue and efficiency to the seed.

But against all this, our modern authors affirm, that the ancients are
very erroneous, inasmuch as the testicles in woman do not afford seed,
but are two eggs, like those of fowls and other creatures; neither have
they any such offices as in men, but are indeed an ovarium, or
receptacle for eggs, wherein these eggs are nourished by the sanguinary
vessels dispersed through them; and from thence one or more, as they are
fecundated by the man’s seed, are conveyed into the womb by the
ovaducts. And the truth of this, say they, is so plain, that if you boil
them, the liquor will have the same taste, colour, and consistency, with
the taste of birds’ eggs. And if it be objected, that they have no
shells, the answer is easy; for the eggs of fowls, while they are in the
ovary, nay, after they have fallen into the uterus, have no shell; and
though they have one when they are laid, yet it is no more than a fence
which nature has provided for them against outward injuries, they being
hatched without the body; but those of women being hatched within the
body, have no need of any other fence than the womb to secure them.

They also further say, there are in the generation of the fœtus, or
young ones, two principles, _active_ and _passive_; the _active_ is the
man’s seed elaborated in the testicles, out of the arterial blood and
animal spirit; the _passive_ principle is the ovum, or egg, impregnated
by the man’s seed: for to say that women have true seed, say they, is
erroneous. But the manner of conception is this: the most spirituous
part of man’s seed, reaching up to the ovarium or testicles of the woman
(which contains divers eggs, sometimes more, sometimes fewer),
impregnates one of them; which being conveyed by the ovaducts to the
bottom of the womb, presently begins to swell bigger and bigger, and
drinks in the moisture that is plentifully sent thither, after the same
manner that the seeds in the ground suck in the fertile moisture
thereof, to make them sprout.

Having thus laid the foundation of this work. I will now proceed to
speak of conception, and of those things that are necessary to be
observed by women from the time of their conception to the time of their

                              CHAPTER II.

                     SECT. I. _What Conception is._

Conception is nothing else but an action of the womb, by which the
prolific seed is received and retained, that an infant may be engendered
and formed out of it. There are two sorts of conception: the one
according to nature, which is followed by the generation of the infant
in the womb; the other false, and wholly against nature, in which the
seed changes into water, and produces only false conceptions, moles, or
other strange matter.

    SECT. II. _How a Woman ought to order herself after Conception._

My design in this treatise being brevity, I shall bring forward a little
of what the learned have said of the causes of twins, and whether there
be any such things as superfœtations, or a second conception, in a
woman, (which is yet common enough) when I come to show you how the
midwife ought to proceed in the delivery of the women that are pregnant
with them. But, having already spoke of conception, I think it now
necessary to show how such as have conceived ought to order themselves
during their pregnancy, that they may avoid those inconveniences which
often endanger the life of the child, and many times their own.

A woman, after conception, during the time of her being pregnant, ought
to be looked upon as indisposed or sick, though in good health: for
child-bearing is a kind of nine months’ sickness, being all that time in
expectation of many inconveniences which such a condition usually causes
to those that are not well governed during that time; and therefore
ought to resemble a good pilot, who, when sailing on a rough sea, and
full of rocks, avoids and shuns the danger, if he steers with prudence;
but if not, it is a thousand to one but he suffers shipwreck. In like
manner, a pregnant woman is often in danger of miscarrying and losing
her life, if she is not very careful to prevent those accidents to which
she is subject all the time of her pregnancy: all which time her care
must be double, first of herself, and secondly, of the child she goes
with; for otherwise, a single error may produce a double mischief; for,
if she receives a prejudice, her child also suffers with her. Let a
woman, therefore, after conception, observe a good diet, suitable to her
temperament, custom, condition, and quality: and if she can, let the air
where she ordinarily dwells be clear and well tempered, free from
extremes either of heat or cold; for being too hot it dissipateth the
spirits too much, and causeth many weaknesses; and by being too cold and
foggy, it may bring down rheums and distillations on the lungs, and so
cause her to cough, which, by its impetuous motion, forcing downwards,
may make her miscarry. She ought always to avoid all nauseous and ill
smells; for sometimes the stench of a candle, not well put out, may
cause her to come before her time; and I have known the smell of
charcoal to have the same effect. Let her also avoid smelling of rue,
mint, pennyroyal, castor, brimstone, &c.

But, with respect to their diet, pregnant women have generally so great
loathings, and so many different longings, that it is very difficult to
prescribe an exact diet for them. Only this I think advisable, that they
may use those meats and drinks which are to them most desirable, though
perhaps not in themselves so wholesome as some others, and, it may be,
not so pleasant; but this liberty must be made use of with this caution,
that what they desire be not in itself unwholesome: and also, that in
every thing they take care of excess. But, if a pregnant woman finds
herself not troubled with such longings as we have spoken of, let her
take simple food, and in such quantity as may be sufficient for herself
and the child, which her appetite may in a great measure regulate; for
it is alike hurtful for her to fast too long, or eat too much; and,
therefore, rather let her eat a little and often; especially let her
avoid eating too much at night; because the stomach being too much
filled, compresseth the diaphragm, and thereby causeth difficulty of
breathing. Let her meat be easy of digestion, such as the tenderest
parts of beef, mutton, veal, sows, pullets, capons, pigeons, and
partridges, either boiled or roasted, as she likes best; new-laid eggs
are also very good for her; and let her put into her broth those herbs
that purify it, as sorrel, lettuce, succory, and burrage; for they will
purge and purify the blood. Let her avoid whatever is hot seasoned,
especially pies and baked meats, which, being of hot digestion,
overcharge the stomach. If she desires fish, let it be fresh, and such
as is taken out of rivers and running streams. Let her eat quinces of
marmalade, to strengthen her child; sweet almonds, honey, sweet apples,
and full ripe grapes, are also good. Let her abstain from all sharp,
sour, bitter, and salt things; and all things that tend to provoke the
terms—such as garlic, onions, mustard, fennel, pepper, and all spices
except cinnamon, which in the last two months is good for her. If at
first her diet be sparing, as she increases in bigness let her diet be
increased; for she ought to consider she has a child as well as herself
to nourish. Let her be moderate in her drinking; and if she drinks wine,
let it be rather claret than white, (which will make good blood, help
the digestion, and comfort the stomach, which is always weakly during
her pregnancy); but white wine being diuretic, or that which provokes
urine, ought to be avoided. Let her have a care of too much exercise;
let her avoid dancing, riding in a coach, or whatever else puts the body
into violent motion, especially in her first month. But to be more
particular, I shall here set down rules proper for every month for the
child-bearing woman to order herself, from the time she has first
conceived to the time of her delivery.

                   _Rules for the First Two Months._

As soon as a woman knows (or has reason to believe) she hath conceived,
she ought to abstain from all violent motions and exercises; whether she
walks on foot, or rides on horseback, or in a coach, it ought to be very
gently. Let her beware she lift not her arms too high, nor carry great
burdens, nor repose herself on hard and uneasy seats. Let her use
moderately good juicy meat, and of easy digestion; and let her wine be
neither too strong nor too sharp, but a little mingled with water; or if
she be very abstemious, she may use water wherein cinnamon is boiled.
Let her avoid fastings, thirst, watchings, mourning, sadness, anger, and
all other perturbations of the mind. Let none present any strange or
unwholesome thing to her, nor so much as name it, lest she should desire
it, and not be able to get it, and so either cause her to miscarry, or
the child to have some deformity on that account. Let her bowels be kept
loose with prunes, raisins, or manna, in her broth; and let her use the
following electuary, to strengthen the womb and the child:—

“Take conserve of burrage, buglos, and red roses, each two ounces; of
balm an ounce; citron peel and shreds, myrobalans candied, each an
ounce; extract of wood aloes, a scruple; pearl prepared, half a drachm;
red coral, ivory, each a drachm; candied nutmegs, two drachms; and with
syrup of apples and quinces make an electuary.”

                    _Let her observe the following._

“Take pearls prepared, a drachm; red coral prepared and ivory, each half
a drachm; yellow citron peel, mace, cinnamon, cloves, each half a
drachm; saffron, a scruple; wood aloes, half a scruple; ambergris, six
drachms; and with six ounces of sugar dissolved in rose-water, make
rolls.” Let her also apply strengtheners to the navel, of nutmeg, mace,
mastich, made up in bags, or a toast dipped in malmsey, sprinkled with
powder of mint. If she happens to desire clay, chalk, or coals, (as many
pregnant women do), give her beans boiled with sugar; and if she happens
to long for any thing she cannot obtain, let her drink a large draught
of pure cold water.

                      _Rules for the Third Month._

In this month and the next, be sure to keep from bleeding; for though it
may be safe and proper at other times, yet it will not be so to the end
of the fourth month; and yet if blood abound, or some incidental disease
happen, which requires evacuation, you may use a cupping-glass, with
scarification, and a little blood may be drawn from the shoulders and
arms, especially if she has been accustomed to bleed. Let her also take
care of lacing herself too straitly, but give herself more liberty than
she used to do; for, inclosing her abdomen in too strait a mould, she
hinders the infant from taking its free growth, and often makes it come
before its time.

                     _Rules for the Fourth Month._

In this month also you ought to keep the child-bearing woman from
bleeding, unless in extraordinary cases; but when the month is past,
bloodletting and physic may be permitted, if it be gentle and mild; and
perhaps it may be necessary to prevent abortion. In this month she may
purge, in the acute disease; but purging may be used only from the
beginning of this month to the end of the sixth: but let her take care
that in purging she use no vehement medicine, nor any bitter, as aloes,
which is disagreeable and hurtful to the child, and opens the mouth of
the vessels; neither let her use coloquintida, scammony, nor turbith;
she may use cassia, manna, rhubarb, agaric, and senna: but dyacidodium
purgans is best, with a little of electuary of the juice of roses.

           _Rules for the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Months._

In these months child-bearing women are troubled with coughs,
heart-beating, fainting, watching, pains in the loins and hips, and
bleeding. The cough is from a sharp vapour that comes to the jaws and
rough artery from the terms, or the thin part of that blood gotten into
the veins of the breast, or falling from the head to the breast; this
endangers abortion, and strength fails from watching; therefore purge
the humours that come to the breast with rhubarb and agaric, and
strengthen the head as in a catarrh, and give sweet lenitives, as in a
cough. Palpitation and fainting arise from vapours that go to it by the
arteries, or from blood that aboundeth, and cannot get out at the womb,
but ascends, and oppresseth the heart; and in this case, cordials,
should be used both inwardly and outwardly. Watching is from sharp dry
vapours that trouble the animal spirits, and in this case use frictions,
and let the woman wash her feet at bed-time, and let her take syrup of
poppies, dried roses, emulsions of sweet almonds, and white poppy seed.
If she be troubled with pains in her loins and hips, as in these months
she is subject to be, from the weight of her child, who is now grown big
and heavy, and so stretcheth the ligaments of the womb, and parts
adjacent, let her hold it up with swathing bands about her neck. About
this time also the woman often happens to have a flux of blood; either
at the nose, womb, or hemorrhoids, from plenty of blood, or from the
weakness of the child that takes it not in; or else from evil humour in
the blood, that stirs up nature to send it forth. And sometimes it
happens that the vessels of the womb may be broken, either by some
violent motion, fall, cough, or trouble of mind, (for any of these will
work that effect); and this is so dangerous, that in such a case the
child cannot be well; but if it be from blood only, the danger is less,
provided it flows by the veins of the neck of the womb; for then it
prevents plethory, and takes not away the nourishment of the child; but
if it proceeds from the weakness of the child, that draws it not in,
abortion of the child often follows, or hard travail, or else she goes
beyond her time. But if it flows by the inward veins of the womb, there
is more danger by the openness of the womb, if it come from evil blood;
the danger is alike from cacochimy, which is like to fall upon both. If
it arises from plethory, open a vein, but with great caution, and use
astringents, of which the following will do well:—Take pearls prepared,
a scruple; red coral, two scruples; mace, nutmeg, each a drachm;
cinnamon, half a drachm; make a powder: or, with sugar, make rolls. Or
give this powder in broth: “Take red coral, a drachm; red sander, half a
drachm; bole, a drachm; sealed earth, tormentil roots, each two
scruples, with sugar of roses, and manus Christa; with pearl, five
drachms; make a powder.” You may also strengthen the child at the navel;
and if there be a cacochimy, alter the humours; and if you may do it
safely, evacuate: you may likewise use amulets in her hands and about
her neck. In a flux of hemorrhoids wear off the pain; and let her drink
hot wine with a toasted nutmeg. In these months the bowels are also
subject to be bound; but if it be without any apparent disease, the
broth of a chicken, or veal sodden with oil, or with the decoction of
mallows, or of marshmallows, mercury, or linseed, put up in a clyster,
will not be amiss, but in less quantity than is given in other cases:
viz. of the decoction five ounces, of cassia fistula one ounce. But if
she will not take a clyster, one or two yolks of new-laid eggs, or a
little peaspottage warm, a little salt and sugar, supped a little before
meat, will be very convenient. But if her bowels be distended and
stretched out with wind, a little fennel seed and aniseed reduced into a
powder, and mingled with honey and sugar, made after the manner of an
electuary, will do very well. Also, if the thighs and feet swell, let
them be anointed with exphrodinum (which is a liquid medicine made with
vinegar and rose-water, mingled with salt.)

                     _Rules for the Eighth Month._

The eighth is commonly the most dangerous, therefore the greatest care
and caution ought to be used; the diet better in quality, but no more,
nor indeed so much in quantity as before; but she must abate her
exercise: and because then pregnant women, by reason that sharp humours
alter the belly, are accustomed to weaken their spirit and strength,
they may well take before meat an electuary of diarrhaden or aromaticum
rosatum, or diamagarton; and sometimes they may lick a little honey: as
they will loath and nauseate their meat, they may take green ginger
candied with sugar, or the rinds of citron and oranges candied; and let
them often use honey for the strengthening of the infant. When she is
not far from her labour, let her eat every day seven roasted figs before
her meat, and sometimes let her lick a little honey. But let her beware
of salt and powdered meat, for it is neither good for her nor the child.

                      _Rules for the Ninth Month._

In the ninth month let her refrain from lifting any great weight; but
let her move a little more, to dilate the parts and stir up natural
heat. Let her take heed of stooping, and neither sit too much, nor lie
on her sides; neither ought she to bend herself much, lest the child be
unfolded in the umbilical ligament, by which means it often perisheth.
Let her walk and stir often, and let her exercise be rather to go
upwards than downwards. Let her diet, now especially, be light and easy
of digestion; and damask prunes with sugar, or figs with raisins, before
meat; as also the yolks of eggs, flesh and broth of chickens, birds,
partridges and pheasants; astringent and roasted meats, with rice, hard
eggs, millet, and such like other things, are proper. Baths of sweet
water, with emollient herbs, ought to be used by her this month with
some intermission; and after the baths, let her belly be anointed with
oil of violets; but for her privy parts it is better to anoint them with
the fat of hens, geese, or ducks, or with oil of lilies, and the
decoction of linseed and fenugreek, boiled with oil of linseed and
marshmallows, or with the following liniment:—

“Take of mallows and marshmallows, cut and shred, of each an ounce; of
linseed one ounce; let them be boiled from twenty ounces of water to
ten; then let her take three ounces of the boiled broth; of oil of
almonds and oil of flower-de-luce, of each one ounce; of deer’s suet
three ounces.” Let her bathe with this, and anoint herself with it warm.

If for fourteen days before the birth she do every morning and evening
bathe and moisten her belly with muscadine and lavender water, the child
will be much strengthened thereby. And if every day she eat toasted
bread, it will hinder any thing from growing to the child. Her privy
parts may be gently stroked down with this fomentation.

“Take three ounces of linseed, and one handful each of mallows and
marshmallows sliced, then let them be put into a bag and immediately
boiled.” Let the pregnant woman, every morning and evening, take the
vapour of this decoction in a hollow stool, taking great heed that no
wind or air come to her in-parts, and then let her wipe the parts so
anointed with a linen cloth, and she may anoint the abdomen and groin as
at first.

When she is come so near her time as to be within ten or fourteen days
thereof, if she begins to feel any more than ordinary pain, let her use
every day the following:—“Take mallows and marshmallows, of each one
handful; camomile, hard mercury, maiden-hair, of each a handful; of
linseed, four ounces; let them be boiled in a sufficient quantity of
water as to make a bath therewith.” But let her not sit too hot upon the
seat, nor higher than a little above the navel; nor let her sit on it
longer than about half an hour, lest her strength languish and decay;
for it is better to use it often than to stay too long in it.

And thus have I shown how a child-bearing woman ought to govern herself
each month during her pregnancy. How she must order herself at her
delivery, shall be shown in another chapter, after I have first shown
the intended midwife how the child is first formed in the womb, and the
manner of its decumbiture there.

                              CHAPTER III.
_Of the Parts proper to a Child in the Womb. How it is formed there, and
                 the Manner of its Situation therein._

In the last chapter I treated of conception, showing what it was, how
accomplished, its signs, and how she who has conceived ought to order
herself during the time of her pregnancy. Now, before I come to speak of
her delivery, it is necessary that the midwife be first made acquainted
with the parts proper to a child in the womb, and also, that she be
shown how it is formed; and the manner of its situation and decumbiture
there; which are so necessary to her, that without the knowledge
thereof, no one can tell how to deliver a woman as she ought. This,
therefore, shall be the work of this chapter. I shall begin with the
first of these.

         SECT. I. _Of the Parts proper to a Child in the womb._

In this section I must first tell you what I mean by the parts proper to
a child in the womb; and they are only those that either help or nourish
it, whilst it is lodged in that dark repository of nature, and that help
to clothe and defend it there, and are cast away, as of no more use,
after it is born; and these are two: viz. the umbilicurs, or navel
vessels, and the secundinum. By the first it is nourished, and by the
second clothed and defended from wrong. Of each of these I shall speak
distinctly: and, first,

                 _Of the Umbilicurs, or Navel Vessels._

These are four in number: viz. one vein, two arteries, and the vessel
which is called the urachos.

1. The vein is that by which the infant is nourished, from the time of
its conception till the time of its delivery; till, being brought into
the light of this world it has the same way of concocting its food that
we have. This vein ariseth from the liver of the child, and is divided
into parts when it has passed the navel; and these two are divided and
subdivided, the branches being upheld by the skin called _chorion_ (of
which I shall speak by and by), and are joined to the veins of the
mother’s womb, from whence they have their blood for the nourishment of
the child.

2. The arteries are two on each side, which proceed from the back
branches of the great artery of the mother; and the vital blood is
carried by those to the child, being ready concocted by the mother.

3. A nervous or sinewy production is led from the bottom of the bladder
of the infant to the navel, and this is called _urachos_; and its use is
to convey the urine of the infant from the bladder to the alantois.
Anatomists do very much vary in their opinions concerning this; some
denying any such thing to be in the delivery of the woman; and others,
on the contrary, affirming it: but experience has testified there is
such a thing; for Bartholomew Carbrolius, the ordinary doctor of anatomy
to the College of Physicians at Montpelier, in France, records the
history of a maid, whose water, being a long time stopped, at last
issued out through the navel. And Johannes Fernelius speaks of the same
thing that happened to a man of thirty years of age, who, having a
stoppage at the neck of the bladder, his urine issued out of his navel
many months together, and that without any prejudice at all to his
health; which he ascribes to the ill lying of his navel whereby the
urachos was not well dried. And Volchier Coitas quotes such another
instance in a maid of thirty-four years of age, at Nuremberg, in
Germany. These instances, though they happen but seldom, are sufficient
to prove that there is such a thing as an urachos in men.

These four vessels before-mentioned, viz. one vein, two arteries, and
the urachos, do join near to the navel, and are united by a skin, which
they have from the chorion, and so become like a gut or rope, and are
altogether void of sense, and this is that which women call the
navel-string. The vessels are thus joined together, that so they may
neither be broken, severed nor entangled; and when the infant is born
are of no use, save only to make up the ligament which stops the hole of
the navel, and some other physical use, &c.

                 _Of the_ SECUNDINE, _or After-Birth_.

Setting aside the name given to this by the Greeks and Latins, it is
called in English by the name of secundine, after-birth, or
after-burden; which are held to be four in number.

I. The _first_ is called placentia, because it resembles the form of a
cake, and is knit both to the navel and chorion, and makes up the
greatest part of the secundine, or after-birth. The flesh of it is like
that of the melt, or spleen, soft, red, and tending something to
blackness, and hath many small veins and arteries in it; and certainly
the chief use of it is, for containing the child in the womb.

2. The _second_ is the chorion. This skin, and that called the amnios,
involve the child round, both above and underneath, and on both sides,
which the alantois doth not. This skin is that which is most commonly
called the secundine, as it is thick and white, garnished with many
small veins and arteries, ending in the placentia before named, being
very light and slippery. Its use is not only to cover the child round
about, but also to receive and safely bind up the roots of the veins and
arteries or navel vessels before described.

3. The _third_ thing which makes up the secundine is the alantois, of
which there is a great dispute among anatomists. Some say, there is such
a thing, and others that there is not. Those that will have it to be a
membrane, say it is white, soft, and exceeding thin, and just under the
placentia, where it is knit to the urachos, from whence it receives the
urine; and its office is to keep it separate from the sweat, that the
saltness may not offend the tender skin of the child.

4. The _fourth_ and last covering of the child is called amnios; and it
is white, soft, and transparent, being nourished by some very small
veins and arteries. Its use is not only to enwrap the child, but also to
retain the sweat of the child.

Having thus described the parts proper to a child in the womb, I will
next proceed to speak of the formation of the child therein, as soon as
I have explained the hard terms of this section, that those for whose
help it is designed, may understand what they read. A _vein_ is that
which receives blood from the liver, and distributes it in several
branches to all parts of the body. _Arteries_ proceed from the heart,
are in continual motion, and by their continual motion quicken the body.
_Nerve_ is the same with _sinew_, and is that by which the brain adds
sense and motion to the body. _Placentia_ properly signifies a _sugar
cake_; but in this section it is used to signify a spongy piece of
flesh, resembling a cake, full of veins and arteries, and is made to
receive the mother’s blood appointed for the infant’s nourishment in the
womb. The _chorion_ is the outward skin which compasseth the child in
the womb. The _alantois_ is the skin that holds the urine of the child
during the time that it abides in the womb. The _urachos_ is the vessel
that conveys the urine from the child in the womb to the _allantois_. I
now proceed to

         SECT. II. _Of the Formation of the Child in the Womb._

The woman having conceived, the first thing which is operative in the
conception is the spirit whereof the seed is full, which nature
quickening by the heat of the womb, stirs up to action. The internal
spirits therefore, separate the parts that are less pure, which are
thick, cold and clammy, from those that are more pure and noble. The
less pure are cast to the outside, and with these the seed is circled
round, and the membranes made, in which that seed which is most pure is
wrapped round, and kept close together, that it may be defended from
cold and other accidents, and operate the better.

The first thing that is formed is the amnios; the next the chorion; and
they enwrap the seed round like a curtain. Soon after this (for the seed
thus shut up in the woman lies not idle) the navel vein is bred, which
pierceth those skins, being yet very tender, and carries a drop of blood
from the veins of the mother’s womb to the seed: from which drop the
vena cava, or chief vein, proceeds, from which all the rest of the veins
which nourish the body spring; and now the seed hath something to
nourish it, whilst it performs the rest of nature’s work, also blood
administered to every part of it, to form flesh.

This vein being formed, the navel arteries are soon after formed; then
the great artery, of which all the others are but branches; and then the
heart; for the liver furnisheth the arteries with blood to form the
heart, the arteries being made of seed, but the heart and the flesh of
blood. After this the brain is formed, then the nerves to give sense and
motion to the infant. Afterwards the bones and flesh are formed; and of
the bones, first the vertebræ or chine bones, and then the skull, &c. As
to the time this curious part of workmanship is formed, having already
in the preceding Chapter, spoken distinctly and at large upon this
point, and also of the nourishment of the child in the womb, I shall
here only refer the reader thereto, and proceed to show the manner in
which the child lies in the womb.

      SECT. III. _Of the manner of the Child’s lying in the Womb._

This is a thing so essential for a midwife to know, that she can be no
midwife who is ignorant of it: and yet even about this, authors
extremely differ; for there are not two in ten that agree what is the
form that the child lies in the womb, or in what fashion it lies there;
and yet this may arise in a great measure from the different figures
that the child is found in, according to the different times of the
woman’s pregnancy; for near the time of its deliverance out of the
winding chambers of nature, it oftentimes changes the form in which it
lay before for another.

I will now show the several situations of the child in the mother’s
womb, according to the different times of pregnancy, by which those that
are contrary to nature, and are the chief cause of all ill labours, will
be more easily conceived by the understanding midwife. It ought,
therefore, in the first place, to be observed, that the infant, as well
male as female, is generally situated in the midst of the womb; for
though sometimes, to appearance, a woman’s belly seems higher on one
side than another, yet it is so with respect to the belly only, and not
to her womb, in the midst of which it is always placed.

But, in the second place, a woman’s great belly makes different figures,
according to the different times of pregnancy; for, when she is young
with child, the embryo is always found of a round figure, a little
oblong, having the spine moderately turned inwards, the thighs folded,
and a little raised, to which the legs are so raised, and her heels
touch the buttocks; the arms are bending, and the hands placed upon the
knees, towards which the head is inclining forwards, so that the chin
toucheth the breast; in which posture it resembles one sitting to ease
nature, and stooping down with the head to see what comes from him. The
spine of its back is at that time placed towards the mother’s, the head
uppermost, the face downwards; and proportionably to its growth, it
extends its members by a little and little, which were exactly folded in
the first month.

In this posture it usually keeps till the seventh or eighth month; and
then by a natural propensity and disposition of the upper part of the
body, the head is turned downwards toward the inward orifice of the
womb, tumbling as it were over its head, so that then the feet are
uppermost, and the face towards the mother’s great gut; and this turning
of the infant in this manner, with its head downwards, towards the
latter end of a woman’s reckoning, is so ordered by nature, that it may
be thereby the better disposed for its passage into the world at the
time of its mother’s labour, which is not then far off (and, indeed,
some children turn not at all until the very time of birth); for in this
posture all its joints are most easily extended in coming forth; for, by
this means the arms and legs cannot hinder its birth, because they
cannot be bended against the inward orifice of the womb; and the rest of
the body being very supple, passeth without any difficulty after the
head which is hard and big, being past the birth. It is true, there are
divers children that lie in the womb in another posture, and come to
birth with their feet downwards, especially if there be twins; for then
by the different motions they do disturb one another, that they seldom
come both in the same posture at the time of labour, but when one will
come with the head, and another with the feet, or perhaps lie across;
and sometimes neither of them will come right. But, however the child
may be situated in the womb, or in whatever posture it presents itself
at the time of birth, if it be not with its head forwards, as I have
before described, it is always against nature, and the delivery will
occasion the more pain and danger, and require greater care and skill
from the midwife, than when the labour is more natural.

                               CHAP. IV.
_A Guide to Women in Travail, showing what is to be done when they fall
                in Labour, in order to their Delivery._

The end of all that we have been treating of is, the bringing forth a
child into the world with safety both to the mother and infant, as the
whole time of a woman’s pregnancy may very well be termed a kind of
labour; for, from the time of her conception to the time of her
delivery, she labours under many difficulties, is subject to many
distempers, and in continual danger, from one effect or other, till the
time of birth comes; and when that comes, the great labour and travail
come along with it, insomuch that then all the other labours are
forgotten, and that only is called the time of her labour; and to
deliver her safely is the principal business of the midwife; and to
assist her therein, shall be the chief design of this chapter. The time
of the child’s being ready for its birth, when nature endeavours to ease
it forth, is that which is properly the time of a woman’s labour; nature
then labouring to be eased of its burden. And since many child-bearing
women (especially the first child) are often mistaken in their
reckoning, and so, when they draw near their time, take every pain they
meet with for their labour, which often proves prejudicial and
troublesome to them, when it is not so; I will in the first section of
this chapter, set down some signs, by which a woman may know when the
true time of her labour is come.

       SECT. I. _The Signs of the true Time of a Woman’s Labour._

When pregnant women, especially of their first, perceive any
extraordinary pain in the abdomen, they immediately send for their
midwife, as taking it for their labour; and then if the midwife be not a
skilful and experienced woman, to know the time of labour, but takes it
for granted without further inquiry (for some such there are), and so
goes about to put her into labour before nature is prepared for it, she
may endanger the lives of both mother and child by breaking the amnios
and chorion. These pains, which are often mistaken for labour, are
removed by warm cloths laid to the abdomen, and the application of a
clyster or two, by which those pains which precede a true labour are
rather furthered than hindered. There are also other pains incident to a
woman in that condition from a flux of the abdomen, which are easily
known by the frequent stools that follow them.

The signs, therefore, of labour, some few days before, are, that the
woman’s abdomen, which before lay high, sinks down, and hinders her from
walking so easily as she used to do; also there flows from the womb
slimy humours, which nature has appointed to moisten and smooth the
passage, that its inward orifice may be the more easily dilated when
there is occasion; which beginning to open at this time, suffers that
slime to fall away, which proceeds from the glandules, called
_prostata_. These are signs preceding the labour; but when she is
presently falling into labour, the signs are, great pains about the
region of the reins and loins, which, coming and retreating by
intervals, are answered in the bottom of the abdomen by congruous
throes, and sometimes the face is red and inflamed, the blood being much
heated by the endeavours a woman makes to bring forth her child; and
likewise, because during these strong throes her respiration is
intercepted, which causes the blood to have recourse to her face; also
her privy parts are swelled by the infant’s head lying in the birth,
which, by often thrusting, causes those parts to descend outwards. She
is much subject to vomiting, which is a sign of labour and speedy
delivery, though by ignorant people thought otherwise; for good pains
are thereby excited by the sympathy there is between the womb and the
stomach. Also when the birth is near, women are troubled with a
trembling in the thighs and legs, not with cold, like the beginning of
an ague fit, but with the heat of the whole body; though, it must be
granted, this does not happen always. Also, if the humours which then
flow from the womb are discoloured with blood, which the midwives call
_shows_, it is an infallible mark of the birth being near. And if then
the midwife puts up her fingers into the neck of the womb, she will find
the inner orifice dilated; at the opening of which, the membranes of the
infant, containing the water, present themselves, and are strongly
forced down with each pain she hath; at which time one may perceive them
sometimes to resist, and then again press forward the finger, being more
or less hard and extended, according as the pains are stronger or
weaker. These membranes, with the waters in them when they are before
the head of the child, which the midwives call _the gathering of the
waters_, resemble to the touch of the finger those eggs which have no
shell, but are covered only with a simple membrane. After this, the
pains still redoubling, the membranes are broken by a strong impulsion
of the waters, which flow away, and the head of the infant is presently
felt naked, and presents itself at the inward orifice of the womb. When
these waters come thus away, then the midwife may be assured the birth
is very near, this being the most certain sign there can be; for the
_amnios alantios_, which contained those waters, being broken by the
pressing forward of the birth, the child is no better able to subsist
long in the womb afterwards, than a naked man in a heap of snow. Now,
these waters, if the child comes presently after them, facilitate the
labour, by making the passage slippery; and, therefore, let no midwife
(as some have foolishly done) endeavour to force away the water, for
nature knows best when the true time of the birth is, and therefore
refrains the water till that time. But if by accident the water breaks
away too long before the birth, then such things as will hasten may be
safely administered, and what these are I will show in another section.

 SECT. II. _How a woman ought to be ordered when the Time if her Labour
                               is come._

When it is known that the true time of her labour is come by the signs
laid down in the foregoing section, of which those that are most to be
relied on are pains and strong throes in the abdomen, forcing downwards
towards the womb, and a dilation of the inward orifice, which may be
perceived by touching it with the finger, and the gathering of the
waters before the head of the child, and thrusting down of the membranes
which contain them; through which, between the pains, one may in some
manner with the finger discover the part which presents (as we said
before), especially if it be the head of the child, by its roundness and
hardness; I say, if these things concur and are evident, the midwife may
be sure it is the time of the woman’s labour; and care must be taken to
get all things necessary to comfort her in that time. And the better to
help her, be sure to see she be not strait-laced: you may also give her
one strong clyster or more, if there be occasion, provided it be done at
the beginning, and before the child be too forward; for it will be
difficult for her to receive them afterwards. The benefit accruing
thereby will be, that they excite her gut to discharge itself of its
excrements, that so, the rectum being emptied, there may be more space
for the dilation of the passage; likewise to cause the pains to bear the
more downward, through endeavours she makes when she is at stool; and in
the meantime, all other necessary things for her labour should be put in
order, both for the mother and the child. To this end, some get a
midwife’s stool; but a pallet-bed, girded, is much the best way, placed
near the fire, if the reason require; which pallet ought to be placed,
that there may be easy access to it on every side, that the woman may be
more readily assisted as there is occasion.

If the woman abounds with blood, to bleed her a little may not be
improper, for thereby she will both breathe better, and have her breasts
more at liberty, and likewise the more strength to bear down her pains;
and this may be done without danger, because the child being about that
time ready to be born, has no more need of the mother’s blood for its
nourishment: besides, this evacuation does many times prevent her having
a fever after delivery. Also, before her delivery, if her strength will
permit, let her walk up and down her chamber; and that she may have
strength so to do, it will be necessary to give her some good
strengthening things, such as jelly, broth, new-laid eggs, or some
spoonfuls of burnt wine; and let her by all means hold out her pains,
bearing them down as much as she can at the time when they take her; and
let the midwife from time to time touch the inward orifice with her
finger, to know whether the waters are ready to break, and whether the
birth will follow soon after. Let her also anoint the woman’s privities
with emollient oil, hog’s grease, and fresh butter, if she find they are
hard to be dilated. Let the midwife likewise be all the time near the
labouring woman, and diligently observe her gestures, complaints, and
pains; for by this she may guess pretty well how her labour advanceth,
because when she changes her ordinary groans into loud cries, it is a
sign the child is very near the birth; for at that time her pains are
greater and more frequent. Let the woman, likewise, by intervals rest
herself on the bed, to regain her strength, but not too long, especially
if she be little, short, and thick; for such women have always worse
labour, if they lie long on their beds in their travail. It is better,
therefore, that she walk about her chamber as much as she can, the woman
supporting her under the arms, if it be necessary; for by this means,
the weight of the child causeth the inward orifice of the womb to dilate
the sooner than in bed; and if her pains be stronger and more frequent,
her labour will not be near so long.

Let not the labouring women be concerned at those qualms and vomitings
which perhaps she may find come upon her, for they will be much for her
advantage in the issue, however uneasy she may be for the time, as they
further her throes and pains by provoking downwards.

When the waters of the child are ready and gathered (which may be
perceived through the membranes to present themselves to the inward
orifice) to the bigness of the whole dilation, the midwife ought to let
them break of themselves, and not, like some hasty midwives, who being
impatient of the woman’s long labour, break them, intending thereby to
hasten their business, when instead thereof they retard it; for, by the
too hasty breaking of these waters (which nature designed to cause the
infant to slide forth more easy) the passage remains dry, by which means
the pains and throes of the labouring woman are less efficacious to
bring forth than they would otherwise have been. It is therefore much
the better way to let the waters break of themselves; after which the
midwife may with ease feel the child by that part which first presents,
and thereby discerns whether it comes right, that is, with the head
foremost, for that is the most proper and natural way of its birth. If
the head comes right, she will find it round, big, hard, and equal; but
if it be any other part, she will find it unequal, rugged, and soft or
hard, according to the nature of the part it is. And this being the true
time when a woman ought to be delivered, if nature be not wanting to
perform its office; therefore, when the midwife finds the birth thus
coming forward, let her hasten to assist and deliver it, for it
ordinarily happens soon after, if it be natural.

But if it happens, as sometimes it may, that the waters break away too
long before the birth, in such a case those things that hasten nature
may be safely administered. For which purpose, make use of pennyroyal,
dittany, juniper-berries, betony, and feverfew, boiled in white wine,
and give a draught of it; or it would be much better to take the juice
of it when it is in its prime, which is in May, and having clarified it,
make it into syrup, with double its weight of sugar, and keep it all the
year, to use when occasion calls for it: mugwort used in the same
manner, is also good in this case; also, a drachm of cinnamon powder,
given inwardly, profits much in this case; and so does tansey, boiled,
and applied to the privities; or an oil of it, so made and used, as you
were taught before. The following prescriptions are very good to speedy
deliverance to women in travail.

1. A decoction of white wine made in savory, and drank.

2. Take wild tansey, or silver weed, bruise it, and apply it to the
woman’s nostrils.

3. Take date stones, and beat them to powder, and let her take half a
drachm of them in white wine at a time.

4. Take parsley and bruise it, and press out the juice, and dip a linen
cloth in it, and put it up so dipped into the mouth of the womb: it will
presently cause the child to come away, though it be dead, and will
bring away the after-burden. Also, the juice of parsley is a thing of so
great virtue (especially stone parsley) that being drunk by a pregnant
woman it cleanseth not only the womb, but also the child in the womb, of
all gross humours.

5. A scruple of castorum in powder, in any convenient liquor, is very
good to be taken in such a case; and so also is two or three drops of
spirit of castorum in any convenient liquor; also eight or nine drops of
spirit of myrrh, given in any convenient liquor, gives speedy

6. Give a woman in such a case another woman’s milk to drink: it will
cause speedy delivery, and almost without pain.

7. The juice of leeks, being drunk with warm water, highly operates to
cause speedy delivery.

8. Take peony seeds, and beat them into powder, and mix the powder with
oil, with which oil anoint the loins and privities of the woman and
child; it will give her deliverance speedily, and with less pain than
can be imagined.

9. Take a swallow’s nest, and dissolve it in water, strain it, and drink
it warm; it gives delivery with great speed and much ease.

Note this also in general, that all things that move the terms, are good
for making the delivery easy; such as myrrh, white amber in white wine,
or lily-water, two scruples or a drachm; or cassia lignea, dittany, each
a drachm; cinnamon half a drachm, saffron a scruple; give a drachm: or
take borax mineral a drachm; and give it in sack: or take cassia lignea
a drachm: dittany, amber, of each a drachm; cinnamon, borax, of each a
drachm and a half; saffron a scruple; and give her half a drachm: or
give her some drops of oil of hazel in convenient liquor; or two or
three drops of oil of cinnamon in vervain water. Some prepare the
secundine thus:—Take the navel-string and dry it in an oven, take two
drachms of the powder, cinnamon a drachm, saffron half a scruple, with
juice of savin make trochisks; give two drachms: or wash the secundine
in wine, and bake it in a pot; then wash it in endive water and wine;
take half a drachm of it: long pepper, galangal, of each half a drachm:
plantain and endive seed, of each half a drachm; lavender seed four
scruples; make a powder: or take laudanum two drachms; storax, calamile,
benzoin, of each half a drachm; musk ambergris, each six grains; make a
powder, or trochisks for a fume. Or use pessaries to provoke the birth;
take galbanum dissolved in vinegar, an ounce; myrrh two drachms; with
oil of oats make a pessary.

                      _An Ointment for the Navel._

Take oil of keir two ounces, juice of savin an ounce, of leeks and
mercury each half an ounce; boil them to the consumption of the juice;
add galbanum dissolved in vinegar half an ounce; myrrh two drachms,
storax liquid a drachm; round bistort, sowbread, cinnamon, saffron a
drachm; with wax make an ointment, and apply it.

If the birth be retarded through the weakness of the mother, refresh her
by applying wine and soap to the nose; confect. alkermas diamarg.

These things may be applied to help nature in her delivery, when the
child comes to the birth the right way, and yet the birth be retarded:
but if she finds the child comes the wrong way, and is not able to
deliver the woman as she ought to be, by helping nature, and saving both
mother and child (for it is not enough to lay a woman, if it might be
done any other way with more safety and ease, and less hazard both to
woman and child), then let her send speedily for better and more able
help; and not as I once knew a midwife do, who, when a woman she was to
deliver had hard labour, rather than a man-midwife should be sent for,
undertook to deliver the woman herself (though told it was a man’s
business), and in her attempting it brought away the child but left the
head in the mother’s womb; and had not a man-midwife been presently sent
for, the mother had lost her life as well as the child: such persons may
rather be termed butchers than midwives. But supposing the woman’s
labour be natural, I will next show what the midwife ought to do, in
order to her delivery.

                               CHAPTER V.

                   SECT. I. _What Natural Labour is._

There are four things which denominate a woman’s natural labour; the
first, that it be at the full time; for, if a woman comes before her
time, it cannot be termed natural labour; neither will it be easy as
though she had completed her nine months. The second thing is, that it
be speedy and without any ill accident: for, when the time of her birth
is come, nature is not dilatory in the bringing of it forth, without
some ill accident intervene which renders it unnatural. The third is,
that the child be alive; for all will grant that the being delivered of
a dead child is very unnatural. The fourth thing requisite to a natural
birth is, that the child come right: for if the position of the child in
the womb be contrary to what is natural, the event will prove it so, by
making that which should be a time of life, the death of both the mother
and the child.

Having thus told you what I mean by natural labour, I shall next show
how the midwife is to proceed therein, in order to the woman’s delivery.
When all the foregoing requisites concur, and after the waters be broke
of themselves, let there rather be a quilt upon the pallet bedstead than
a feather bed, having thereon linen, and cloths in many folds, with
other such things as are necessary, and that may be changed according to
the exigency requiring it, so that the woman may not be incommoded with
the blood, waters, and other filth which are voided in labour. The bed
ought so to be ordered, that the woman, being ready to be delivered,
should lie on her back upon it, having her body in a convenient posture;
that is, her head and breast a little raised, so that she be between
lying and sitting; for being so placed, she is best capable of
breathing, and likewise will have more strength to bear her pains than
if she lays otherwise, or sunk down in bed. Being so placed, she must
spread her thighs abroad, folding her legs a little towards her loins,
somewhat raised by a small pillow underneath, to the end her groin
should have more liberty to retire back; and let her feet be stayed
against some firm thing: besides this, let her take hold of some of the
good women attending her with her hands, that she may the better stay
herself during her pains. She being thus placed at the side of her bed,
having her midwife at hand the better to assist as nature requires, let
her take courage, and help her pains the best she can, bearing them down
when they take her, which she must do by holding her breath, and forcing
them as much as possible, in like manner as when she goes to stool; for
by such straining, the diaphragm, or midriff, being strongly thrust
downwards, necessarily forces down the womb and the child in it. In the
meantime, let the midwife endeavour to comfort her all she can,
exhorting her to bear her labour courageously, telling her it will be
quickly over, and that there is no fear but she will have a speedy
delivery. Let her midwife also, having no rings on her fingers, anoint
them with oil of fresh butter, and thereby dilate gently the inward
orifice of the womb, putting her finger ends into the entry thereof, and
then stretch them one from the other, when her pains take her; by this
means endeavouring to help forward the child, and thrusting, by little
and little, the sides of the orifice towards the hinder part of the
child’s head, anointing it with fresh butter, if it be necessary.

When the head of the infant is a little advanced into the inward
orifice, the midwife’s phrase is, “It is crowned;” because it girds and
surrounds it just as a crown; but when it is so far that the extremities
begin to appear without the privy parts, then they say, “The child is in
the passage;” and at this time the woman feels herself as it were
scratched, or pricked with pins, and is ready to imagine that the
midwife hurts her, when it is occasioned by the violent distention of
those parts, and the laceration which the sometimes bigness of the
child’s head causeth there. When things are in this posture, let the
midwife seat herself conveniently to receive the child, which will come
quickly, and with her finger ends (which she must be sure to keep close
pared) let her endeavour to thrust the crowning of the womb (of which I
have spoken before) back over the head of the child; and as soon as it
is advanced as far as the ears, or thereabouts, let her take hold of the
two sides with her two hands, that when a good pain comes she may
quickly draw forth the child, taking care that the navel-string be not
entangled about the neck, or any other part, as sometimes it is, lest
thereby the after-burden be pulled with violence, and perhaps the womb
also, to which it is fastened, and so either cause her to flood, or else
break the strings, both which are of bad consequence to the woman, whose
delivery may thereby be rendered the more difficult. It must also be
carefully observed, that the head should not be drawn forth straight,
but shaking it a little from one side to the other, that the shoulders
may sooner and easier take their place immediately after it is past,
without losing any time, lest the head being past, the child be stopped
there by the largeness of the shoulders, and so come in danger of being
suffocated and strangled in the passage, as it sometimes happens, for
the want of care therein. But as soon as the head is born, if there be
need, she may slide her fingers under the arm-pits, and the rest of the
body will follow without any difficulty.

As soon as the midwife hath in this manner drawn forth the child, let
her put it on one side, lest the blood and water which follow
immediately, should do it an injury, by running into its mouth and nose,
as they would do if it lay on its back, and so endanger the choaking of
it. The child being thus born, the next thing requisite is, to bring
away the after-burden: but before that, let the midwife be very careful
to examine whether there be more children in the womb; for sometimes a
woman may have twins that expected it not; which the midwife may easily
know, by the continuance of the pains after the child is born, and the
bigness of the mother’s abdomen. But the midwife may be sure of it, if
she puts her hand up the entry of the womb, and finds there another
watery gathering, and a child in it presenting to the passage; and if
she finds it so, she must have a care of going to fetch the after-birth,
till the woman be delivered of all the children she is pregnant with.
Wherefore the first string must be cut, being first tied with a thread
three or four double, and fasten the other end with a string to the
woman’s thighs; and then removing the child already born, she must take
care to deliver her of the rest, observing all the circumstances as with
the first; after which it will be necessary to fetch away the
after-birth or births. But of that I shall treat in another section; and
first show what is to be done to the new-born infant.

        SECT. II. _Of the Cutting of the Child’s Navel-String._

Though this is accounted by many but a trifle, yet great care is to be
taken about it; and it shows none of the least art and skill of a
midwife to do it as it should be; and that it may be so done, the
midwife ought to observe, 1. The time. 2. The place. 3. The manner. 4.
The event.

1. The time is, as soon as ever the infant comes out of the womb,
whether it brings part of the after-burden with it or not; for sometimes
the child brings into the world a piece of the amnios upon its head, and
is what midwives call the _caul_, and ignorantly, attribute some
extraordinary virtue to the child that is so born: but this opinion is
only the effect of their ignorance; for when the child is born with such
a crown (as some call it) upon its brows, it generally betokens
weakness, and denotes a short life. But to proceed to the matter in
hand. As soon as the child is come into the world, it should be
considered whether it is weak or strong; and if it be weak, let the
midwife gently put back part of the vital and natural blood into the
body of the child by its navel; for that recruits a weak child (the
vital and natural spirits being communicated by the mother to the child
by its navel-string); but if the child be strong, the operation is
needless. Only let me advise you, that many children that are born
seemingly dead, may be soon brought to life again, if you squeeze six or
seven drops of blood out of that part of the navel-string which is cut
off, and give it to the child inwardly.

2. As to the place in which it should be cut, that is, whether it should
be cut long or short, it is that which authors can scarcely agree in,
and which many midwives quarrel about; some prescribing it to be cut at
four fingers’ breadth, which is, at best, but an uncertain rule, unless
all fingers were of one size.

3. As to the manner in which it must be cut, let the midwife take a
brown thread, four or five times double, of an ell long or thereabouts,
tied with a single knot at each of the ends, to prevent their
entangling; and with this thread so accommodated (which the midwife must
have in readiness before the woman’s labour, as also a good pair of
scissors, that no time may be lost) let her tie the string within an
inch of the abdomen with a double knot, and, turning about the end of
the thread, let her tie two more on the other side of the string,
reiterating it again, if it be necessary; then let her cut off the navel
another inch below the ligatures, towards the after-birth, so that there
only remains but two inches of the string, in the midst of which will be
the knot we speak of, which must be so close knit as not to suffer a
drop of blood to squeeze out of the vessels; but care must be taken, not
to knit it so strait as to cut it in two, and therefore, the thread must
be pretty thick, and pretty strait cut, it being better too strait than
too loose; for some children have miserably lost their lives, with all
their blood, before it was discovered, because the navel-string was not
well tied; therefore great care must be taken that no blood squeeze
through; for if there do, a new knot must be made with the rest of the
string. You need not fear to bind the navel-string very hard, because it
is void of sense, and that part which you leave falls off in a very few
days, sometimes in six or seven, or sooner, but never tarries longer
than eight or nine.

4. The last thing I mentioned was the event or consequence, or what
follows cutting the navel-string. As soon as the navel-string is cut
off, apply a little cotton or lint to the place to keep it warm, lest
the cold enter into the body of the child, which it most certainly will
do, if you have not bound it hard enough. If the lint or cotton you
apply to it be dipped in the oil of roses, it will be the better; and
then put another small rag three or four times double upon the abdomen:
upon the top of all, put another small bolster; and then swathe it with
a linen swathe, four fingers broad, to keep it steady, lest by moving
too much, or by being continually stirred from side to side, it comes to
fall off before the navel-string which you left remaining is falling
off. It is the usual custom of midwives to put a piece of burnt rag to
it, which we commonly call tinder; but I would advise them to put a
little ammoniac to it, because of its drying quality.

            SECT. III. _How to bring away the After-burden._

A woman cannot be said to be fairly delivered, though the child be born,
till the after-burden be also taken from her; herein differing from most
animals, who, when they have brought forth their young cast forth
nothing else but some water, and the membranes which contained them. But
women have an after-labour, which sometimes proves more dangerous than
the first: and how to bring it safely away, without prejudice to her,
shall be my business to show in this section.

As soon as the child is born, before the midwife either ties or cuts the
navel-string, lest the womb should close, let her take the string and
wind it once or twice about one or two of the fingers of her left hand
joined together, the better to hold it, with which she may draw it
moderately, and with the right hand she may only take a single hold of
it above the left near the privities, drawing likewise with that very
gently, resting the while the fore-finger of the string towards the same
hand, extended and stretched forth along the entrance of the vagina,
always observing, for greater facility, to draw it from the side where
the burden cleaves least; for, in so doing, the rest will separate the
better: and special care must be taken that it be not drawn forth with
too much violence, lest by breaking the string near the burden the
midwife be obliged to put the whole hand into the womb to deliver the
woman; and she need to be a very skilful person that undertakes it, lest
the womb, to which this burden is sometimes very strongly fastened, be
drawn away with it, as it has sometimes happened. It is, therefore, best
to use such remedies as may assist nature. And here take notice, that
what brings away the birth, will also bring away the after-birth. And
therefore, for affecting this work, I will lay down the following rules.

1. Use the same means in bringing away the after-birth that you made use
of to bring away the birth; for the same care and circumspection are
needful now that were then.

2. Considering the labouring woman cannot but be much spent by what she
has already undergone in bringing forth the infant; be therefore sure to
give her something to comfort her. And in this case good jelly broths,
also a little wine and toast in it, and other comforting things, will be
very necessary.

3. A little hellebore in powder, to make her sneeze, is in this case
very proper.

4. Tansey and the stone ætites, applied as before directed, are also of
good use in this case.

5. If you take the herb vervain, and either boil it in wine, or make a
syrup with the juice of it, which you may do by adding to it double its
weight of sugar, (having clarified the juice before you boil it), a
spoonful of that given to the woman is very efficacious to bring away
the secundine; and featherfew and mugwort have the same operation, taken
as the former.

6. Alexander boiled in wine, and the wine drank, also sweet servile,
sweet cicily, angelica roots, and muster-wort, are excellent remedies in
this case.

7. Or, if this fail, the smoke of marigolds, received up a woman’s
privities by a funnel, has been known to bring away the after-birth,
even when the midwife let go her hand.

8. Boil mugwort in water till it be very soft; then take it out, and
apply it in the manner of a poultice to the navel of the labouring
woman, and it instantly brings away the birth and after-birth. But
special care must be taken to remove it as soon as they come away, lest
by its longer tarrying it should draw away the womb also.

SECT. IV. _Of Laborious and Difficult Labours, and how the Midwife is to
                           proceed therein._

There are three sorts of bad labours, all painful and difficult, but not
all properly unnatural. It will be necessary therefore to distinguish

The _first_ of these labours is that wherein the mother and child suffer
very much by extreme pain and difficulty, even though the child come
right; and this is distinguishably called the laborious labour.

The _second_ is that which is difficult, and differs not much from the
former, except that, besides those extraordinary pains, it is generally
attended with some unhappy accident, which by retarding the birth,
causes the difficulty: but these difficulties being removed, it
accelerates the birth, and hastens the delivery.

Some have asked, what is the reason that women bring forth their
children with so much pain? I answer, the sense of feeling is
distributed to the whole body by the nerves; and the mouth of the womb
being so strait that it must of necessity be dilated at the time of the
woman’s delivery, the dilating thereof stretches the nerves, and from
thence comes the pain. And therefore the reason why some women have more
pain in their labour than others, proceeds from their having the mouth
of the matrix more full of nerves than others. The best way to remove
those difficulties that occasion hard pains and labour, is to show first
from whence they proceed. Now the difficulty of labour proceeds either
from the mother, or child, or both.

From the mother, by reason of the indisposition of the body, or from
some particular part only, and chiefly the womb, as when the woman is
weak, and the mother is not active to expel the burden, or from weakness
or disease, or want of spirits; or it may be from some strong passion of
the mind with which she was once possessed; she may be too young, and so
may have the passage too strait; or too old, and then, if it be her
first child, because her pains are too dry and hard, and cannot easily
be dilated, as happens also to them which are too lean; likewise those
who are either small, short or deformed, as crooked women, who have not
breath enough to help their pains, and to bear them down, and persons
that are crooked having sometimes the bones of the passage not well
shaped. The cholic also hinders labour, by preventing the true pains;
and all great and active pains, as when the woman is taken with a
violent fever, a great flooding, frequent convulsions, bloody flux, or
any other great distemper. Also, excrements retained cause much
difficulty, and so does a stone in the bladder or when the bladder is
full of urine, without being able to void it; or when the woman is
troubled with great and painful piles. It may also be from the passages,
when the membranes are thick, the orifice too strait, and the neck of
the womb not sufficiently open, the passages pressed and strained by
tumours in the adjacent parts, or when the bones are too firm, and will
not open, which very much endangers the mother and child; or when the
passages are not slippery, by reason of the waters being broke too soon,
or the membranes being too thin. The womb may also be out of order with
respect to its bad situation, or conformation, having its neck too
strait, hard, and callous, which may easily be so naturally, or may come
by accident, being many times caused by a tumor, an imposthume, ulcer,
or superfluous flesh.

As to hard labour occasioned by the child it is when the child happens
to stick to a mole, or when it is so weak it cannot break the membranes;
or if it be too big all over, or at the head only, or if the natural
vessels are twisted about its neck; when the belly is hydropical; or
when it is monstrous, having two heads, or joined to another child;
also, when the child is dead, or so weak that it can contribute nothing
to its birth; likewise when it comes wrong; or when there are two or
more. And to all these various difficulties there is oftentimes one
more, and that is, the ignorance of the midwife, who, for want of
understanding in her business, hinders nature in her work instead of
helping her.

Having thus looked into the cases of hard labour, I will now show the
industrious midwife how she may minister some relief to the labouring
woman under these difficult circumstances. But it will require judgment
and understanding in the midwife, when she finds a woman in difficult
labour, to know the particular obstruction, or cause thereof, that so a
suitable remedy may be applied; as, for instance, when it happens by the
mother’s being too young or too strait, she must be gently treated, and
the passages anointed with oil, hog’s lard, or fresh butter, to relax
and dilate them the easier, lest there should happen a rupture of any
part when the child is born; for sometimes the peritoneum breaks, with
the skin from the privities of the fundament.

But if the woman be in years with her first child, let her lower parts
be anointed to mollify the inward orifice, which, in such a case being
more hard and callous, does not easily yield to the distention of
labour, which is the true cause why such women are longer in labour, and
also why their children, being forced against the inward orifice of the
womb (which, as I have said, is a little callous) are born with great
humps and bruises on their heads.

Those women that are very small and misshapen, should not be put to bed,
at least, till their waters are broke, but rather kept upright, and
assisted to walk about the chamber, by being supported under the arms;
for, by that means, they will breathe more freely, and mend their pains
better than on the bed, because there they lie on a heap. As for those
that are very lean, and have hard labour from that cause, let them
moisten the parts with oil and ointments, to make them more smooth and
slippery, that the head of the infant and the womb be not so compressed
and bruised by the hardness of the mother’s bones which forms the
passage. If the cause be weakness, she ought to be strengthened, the
better to support her pains; to which end give her good jelly broths,
and a little wine with a toast in it. If she fears her pains, let her be
comforted, assuring her that she will not endure many more, but be
delivered in a little time. But if her pains be slow and small, or none
at all, they must be provoked by frequent and pretty strong clysters;
let her walk about the chamber, that so the weight of child may help
them forwards. If she flood, or have strong convulsions, she must be
then helped by a speedy delivery; the operation I shall relate in the
section of unnatural labours. If she be costive, let her use clysters
which may also help to dispel the cholic, at those times very injurious,
because attended with useless pains, and because such bear not downward,
and so help not to forward the birth. If she find an obstruction or
stoppage of the urine, by reason the womb bears too much on the bladder,
let her lift up her abdomen a little with her hand, and try if she
receives any benefit; if she finds she does not, it will be necessary to
introduce a catheter into her bladder, and thereby draw forth her urine.
If the difficulty be from the ill posture of the woman, let her be
placed otherwise, in a posture more suitable and convenient for her;
also if it proceed from the indisposition of the womb, as from its
oblique situation, &c. it must be remedied, as well as it can, by
placing her body accordingly; or, if it be a vicious conformation,
having the neck too hard, too callous, and too strait, it must be
anointed with oils and ointments, as before directed. If the membranes
be so strong as that the waters do not break in due time, they may be
broken with the fingers, if the midwife be first well assured that the
child is forward in the passage, or else, by breaking the waters too
soon, the child may remain in danger of remaining dry a long time; to
supply which defect, you may moisten the parts with fomentations,
decoctions, and emollient oils: which yet is not half so well as when
nature does her work in her own time, with the ordinary slime and water.
These membranes sometimes do press forth with the waters three or four
fingers’ breadth out of the body before the child, resembling a bladder
full of water; but there is then no great danger to break them, if they
be not already broken; for when the case is so, the child is always in
readiness to follow, being in the passage; but let the midwife be very
careful not to pull it with her hand, lest the after-burden be thereby
loosened before its time, for it adheres thereto very strongly. If the
navel-string happen to come first, it must presently be put in again,
and kept so, if possible, or otherwise the woman must be immediately
delivered. But if the after-burden should come first, it must not be put
up again by any means; for the infant having no further occasion for it,
it would be but an obstacle if it were put up; in this case it must be
cut off, having tied the navel-string, and afterwards draw forth the
child with all the speed that may be, lest it be suffocated.

            SECT. V. _Of Women labouring with a dead Child._

When the difficulty of labour arises from a dead child, it is a case of
great danger to the mother, and great care ought to be taken therein;
but before any thing be done, the midwife ought to be well assured the
child is dead indeed, which may be known by these signs.

1. The breast suddenly slacks, or falls flat, or bags down. 2. A great
coldness, possesses the abdomen of the mother, especially about the
navel. 3. Her urine is thick, and a filthy stinking settles at the
bottom. 4. No motion of the child can be perceived; for the trial
whereof, let the midwife put her hand in warm water, and lay it upon the
abdomen; for that, if it is alive, will make it stir. 5. She is very
subject to dream of dead men, and be affrighted therewith. 6. She has
extravagant longings to eat such things as are contrary to nature. 7.
Her breath stinks, though not used so to do. 8. When she turns herself
in bed, the child sways that way like a lump of lead.

These things being carefully observed, the midwife may make a judgment
whether the child be alive or dead, especially if the woman take the
following prescription: “Take half a pint of white wine and burn it, and
add thereto half an ounce of cinnamon, but no other spice whatever; and
when she has drank it, if her travailing pains come upon her the child
is certainly dead; but if not, the child may possibly be either weak or
sick, but not dead; this will bring her pains upon her, if it be dead,
and will refresh the child, if it be living; for cinnamon refresheth and
strengtheneth the child.”

Now, if upon trial, it be found that the child is dead, let the mother
do all she can to forward the delivery, because a dead child can be
nowise helpful therein. It will be necessary, therefore, that she make
some comfortable things to prevent her fainting, by reason of the putrid
vapours ascending from the dead child. And in order to her delivery, let
her take the following herbs boiled in white wine, (or at least as many
of them as you can get), viz. dittany, betony, pennyroyal, sage,
featherfew, centuary, ivy leaves, and berries. Let her also take sweet
basil, in powder, and half a drachm at a time, in white wine; let her
privities be also anointed with the juice of the garden-tansey. Or take
the tansey in the summer, when it can be most plentifully had, and
before it runs up to the flower, and having bruised it well, boil it in
oil till the juice of it be consumed. If you set it in the sun, after
you have mixed it with oil, it will be more effectual. This an
industrious midwife, who would be prepared against all events, ought to
have always by her. As to the manner of her delivery, the same methods
must be used as are mentioned in the section of natural labour. And here
again I cannot but commend the stone ætites, held near the privities,
whose magnetic virtue renders it exceedingly necessary on this occasion,
for it draws the child any way, with the same facility that the
loadstone draws iron.

Let the midwife also make a strong decoction of hyssop with water, and
let the woman drink it very hot, and it will in a little time bring away
the dead child.

If, as soon as she is delivered of the dead child, you are in doubt that
part of the after-birth is left behind in the body (for in such cases as
these, many times, it rots, and comes away piecemeal), let her continue
drinking the same decoction till her body be cleansed.

A decoction made of the herb muster-wort, used as you did the decoction
of hyssop, works the same effect. Let the midwife also take roots of
pollodum, and stamp them well; warm them a little, and bind them on the
soles of her feet, and it will soon bring away the child, either dead or

The following medicines likewise are such as stir up the expulsive
faculty; but in this case they must be stronger, because the motion of
the child ceaseth.

Take savin, round birthwort, trochisks of myrrh, afaran roots, cinnamon,
saffron, each half a drachm; make a powder, give a drachm.

Or she may purge first, and then apply an emollient, anointing her about
the womb with oil of lilies, sweet almonds, camomile, hen and goose
grease. Also foment, to get out the child with a decoction of mercury,
orris, wild cucumbers, sæcus, broom flowers. Then anoint the privities
and loins with ointment of sowbread. Or, take coloquintida, birthwort,
of each a drachm; make a powder; add ammoniacum dissolved in wine,
ox-gall, each two drachms; with oil of keir make an ointment. Or this

Take birthwort, orris, black hellebore, coloquintida, myrrh, each a
drachm; powdered ammoniacum dissolved in wine, ox-gall, each two
drachms. Or make a fume with an ass’s hoof burnt, or gallianum, or
castor, and let it be taken in with a funnel.

To take away pains, and strengthen the parts, foment with the decoction
of mugwort, mallows, rosemary, with wood myrtle, St. John’s wort, each
half an ounce, spermatic two drachms; deer’s suet an ounce; with wax
make anointment. Or,

Take wax six ounces, spermaceti an ounce; melt them, dip flax therein,
and lay it all over her abdomen.

If none of these things will do, the last remedy is to use surgery, and
then the midwife ought without delay to send for an expert and able
man-midwife, to deliver her by manual operation; of which I shall treat
more in the next chapter.

                              CHAPTER VI.
                         _Of unnatural Labour._

In showing the duty of a midwife, when the child-bearing woman’s labour
is unnatural, it will be requisite to show, in the first place, what I
mean by unnatural labour; for that women do bring forth children in pain
and sorrow is natural and common to all. Therefore that which I call
unnatural is, when the child comes to the birth in a contrary posture to
that which nature ordained, and in which the generality of children come
into the world.

The right and natural birth is, when the child comes with its head
first; and yet this is too short a definition of a natural birth: for if
any part of the head but the crown comes first, so that the body follows
not in a straight line, it is a wrong and difficult birth, even though
the head comes first. Therefore, if the child comes with its feet first,
or with the side across, it is quite contrary to nature, or, to speak
more plainly, that which I call unnatural.

Now, there are four general ways a child may come wrong. 1. When any of
the fore parts of the body first present themselves. 2. When, by an
unhappy transportation, any of the hinder parts of the body first
present themselves. 3. When either of the sides, or, 4. the feet present
themselves first. To these the different wrong postures that a child can
present itself may be reduced.

SECT. I. _How to deliver a Woman of a Dead Child, by Manual Operation._

When manual operation is necessary, let the operator acquaint the woman
of the absolute necessity there is for such an operation; and that, as
the child has already lost its life, there is no other way left for the
saving of hers. Let him also inform her, for her encouragement, that he
doubts not, with the divine blessing, to deliver her safely; and that
the pain arising thereby will not to be so great as she fears. Then let
him stir up the woman’s pains by giving her some sharp clyster, to
excite her throes to bear down and bring forth the child. And if this
prevail not, let him proceed with the manual operation.

First, therefore, let her be placed across the bed that he may operate
the easier, and let her lie on her back, with her hips a little higher
than her head, or at least the body equally placed, when it is necessary
to put back or turn the infant to give it a better posture. Being thus
situated, she must fold her legs so as her heels be towards her body,
and her thighs spread, and held so by a couple of strong persons: there
must be others also to support her under her arms, that the body may not
slide down when the child is drawn forth; for which, sometimes, a great
strength is required. Let the sheets and blankets cover her thighs, for
decency’s sake, and with respect to the assistance, and also to prevent
her catching cold; the operator herein governing himself as well with
respect to his convenience, and the facility and surety of the
operation, as to other things. Then let him anoint the entrance of the
womb with oil or fresh butter, if necessary, that so with more ease he
may introduce his hand, which must also be anointed; and having, by the
signs before-mentioned, received satisfaction that the child is dead, he
must do his endeavours to fetch it away as soon as he possibly can. If
the child offer the head first, he must gently put it back, until he
hath liberty to introduce his hand quite into the womb; then sliding it
along to find the feet, let him draw it forth by them, being very
careful to keep the head from being locked into the passage, and that it
be not separated from the body; which may be effected the more easily,
because the child being very rotten and putrefied, the operator needs
not be so mindful to keep the breast and face downwards as he is in
living births. But if, notwithstanding all these precautions, by reason
of the child’s putrefaction, the head should be separated and left
behind in the womb, it must be drawn forth according to the directions
which have been given in the third section of this chapter. But when the
head, coming first, is so far advanced that it cannot well be put back,
it is better to draw it forth so, than to torment the woman too much by
putting it back to turn it and bring it by the feet: but the head being
a part round and slippery, it may so happen that the operator cannot
take hold of it by reason of its moisture, nor put them up to the side
of it, because of its bigness; he must therefore take a proper
instrument, and put it up as far as he can, without violence, between
the womb and the child’s head, observing to keep the point of it towards
the head (for the child being dead before, there can be no danger in the
operation,) and let him fasten it there, giving it hold of the bones of
the skull, that it may not slide; and after it is well fixed in the
head, he may therewith draw it forth, keeping the ends of his left hand
flat upon the opposite side, the better to help to disengage it, and by
wagging it a little, to conduct it directly out of the passage, until
the head be quite born; and then taking hold of it with the hands only,
the shoulders may be drawn into the passage, and so sliding the fingers
of both hands under the arm-pits, the child may be quite delivered; and
then the after-burden fetched, to finish the operation, being careful
not to pluck the navel-string too hard, lest it break, as often happens,
when it is corrupt.

If the dead child comes with the arms up to the shoulder so extremely
swelled that the woman must suffer too great violence to have it put
back, it is then (being first well assured that the child is dead) best
to take it off by the shoulder points, by twisting three or four times
about, which is very easily done by reason of the softness and
tenderness of the body. After the arm is so separated, and no longer
possesses the passage, the operator will have more room to put up his
hand into the womb, to fetch the child by the feet and bring it away.

But although the operator be sure the child is dead in the womb, yet he
must not therefore presently use instruments, because they are never to
be used but when hands are not sufficient, and there is no other remedy
to prevent the woman’s danger, or to bring forth the child any other
way; and the judicious operator will choose that way which is the least
hazardous and most safe.

  SECT. II. _How a Woman must be Delivered, when the Child’s Feet come

There is nothing more obvious to those whose business it is to assist
labouring women, than that the several unnatural postures in which
children present themselves at their birth, are the occasion of most of
the bad labour and ill accidents that happen unto them in that

And since midwives are very often obliged, because of the unnatural
situations, to draw the children forth by the feet, I conceive it to be
most proper first to show how a child must be brought forth that
presents itself in that posture, because it will be a guide to several
of the rest.

I know indeed in this case it is the advice of several authors to change
the figure, and place the head so that it may present to the birth; and
this counsel I should be very inclinable to follow, could they but also
show how it may be done. But it will appear very difficult, if not
impossible, to be performed, if we would avoid the danger that by such
violent agitations both the mother and the child must be put into; and
therefore my opinion is, that it is better to draw forth by the feet,
when it presents itself in that posture, than to venture a worse
accident by turning it.

As soon, therefore, as the waters are broken, and it is known that the
child comes thus, and that the womb is open enough to admit the
midwife’s or operator’s hand into it, or else by anointing the passage
with oil or hog’s grease, to endeavour to dilate it by degrees, using
her fingers to this purpose, spreading them one from the other, after
they are together entered, and continuing to do so till they be
sufficiently dilated, then, taking care that her nails be well pared, no
rings on her fingers, and her hands well anointed with oil or fresh
butter, and the woman placed in the manner directed in the former
section, let her gently introduce her hand into the entrance of the
womb, where, finding the child’s feet, let her draw it forth in the
manner I shall presently direct; only let her first see whether it
presents one foot or both; and if but one foot, she ought to consider
whether it be the right foot or left, and also in what fashion it comes:
for, by that means, she will soon come to know where to find the other,
which, as soon as she knows and finds, let her gently draw it forth with
the other; but of this she must be especially careful, viz. that the
second be not the foot of another child; for, if so, it may be of the
utmost consequence, for she may sooner split both mother and child, than
draw them forth: but this may be easily prevented, if she but slide the
hand up by the first leg and thigh to the twist, and there find both
thighs joined together, and descending from one and the same body. And
this is also the best means to find the other foot, when it comes but
with one.

As soon as the midwife has found both the child’s feet, she may draw
them forth, and holding them together, may bring them by little in this
manner; taking afterwards hold of the arms and thighs, as soon as she
can come at them, drawing them so till the hips come forth. While this
is doing, let her observe to wrap the parts in a single cloth, that so
her hands, being always greasy, slide not on the infant’s body, which is
very slippery, because of the vicious humours which are all over it;
which being done, she may take hold under the hips, so as to draw it
forth to the beginning of the breast; and let her on both sides with her
hand bring down the child’s hand along its body, which she may easily
find; and then let her take care that the belly and face of the child be
downwards: for, if they should be upwards, there would be some danger of
its being stopped by the chin, over the share-bone; and therefore, if it
be not so, she must turn it to the posture; which may easily be done, if
she takes proper hold of the body when the breast and arms are forth, in
the manner as we have said, and draws it, turning it in proportion on
that side which it most inclines to, till it be turned with the face
downwards; and so, having brought it to the shoulders, let her lose no
time, desiring the woman at the same time to bear down, that so drawing
the head at that instant may take its place, and not be stopped in the
passage. Some children there are whose heads are so big, that when the
whole body is born, yet that stops the passage, though the midwife takes
all possible care to prevent it. And when this happens, she must
endeavour to draw forth the child by the shoulders, taking care that she
separate not the body from the head, (as I have known it done by the
midwife,) discharging it by little and little from the bones in the
passage with the fingers of each hand, sliding them on each side
opposite the other, sometimes above and sometimes under, till the work
be ended; endeavouring to despatch it as soon as possible, lest the
child be suffocated, as it will unavoidably be, if it remain long in
that posture; and this being well and carefully effected, she may soon
after fetch away the after-birth, as I have before directed.

SECT. III. _How to bring away the Head of the Child, when separated from
                the Body, and left behind in the Womb._

Though the utmost care be taken in bringing away the child by the feet,
yet if it happen to be dead, it is sometimes so putrefied and corrupt,
that with the least pull the head separates from the body, and remains
alone in the womb, and cannot be brought away but with a manual
operation and great difficulty, it being extremely slippery, by reason
of the place where it is, and from the roundness of its figure, on which
no hold can be taken; and so very great is the difficulty in this case,
that sometimes two or three able practitioners of midwifery have, one
after the other, left the operation unfinished, as not able to effect
it, after the utmost industry, skill and strength; so that the woman,
not being able to be delivered, perished. To prevent which fatal
accident, let the following operation be observed.

When the infant’s head separates from the body, and is left alone
behind, whether through putrefaction or otherwise, let the operator
immediately, without any delay, whilst the womb is still open, direct up
his right hand to the mouth of the head (for no other hole can there be
had), and having found it, let him put one or two of his fingers into
it, and the thumb under its chin; then let him draw it by little and
little, holding it by the jaws: but if that fails, as sometimes it will,
when putrefied, then let him pull out the right hand, and slide up his
left with which he must support the head, and with the right let him
take a narrow instrument called a _crotchet_, but let it be strong, and
with a single branch, which he must guide along the inside of his hand,
with the point of it towards it, for fear of hurting the womb; and
having thus introduced it, let him turn it towards the head, to strike
either in an eye-hole, or the hole of an ear, or behind the head, or
else between the sutures, as he finds it most convenient and easy; and
then draw forth the head so fastened with the said instrument, still
helping to conduct it with his left hand; but when he hath it brought
near the passage, being strongly fastened to the instrument, let him
remember to draw forth his hand, that the passage, not being filled with
it, may be larger and easier, keeping still a finger or two on the side
of the head, the better to disengage it.

There is also another method, with more ease and less hardship than the
former: let the operator take a soft fillet or linen slip, of about four
fingers’ breadth, and the length of three quarters of an ell, or
thereabouts, taking the two ends with the left hand, and the middle with
the right, and let him so put it up with his right as that it may be
beyond the head, to embrace it as a sling doth a stone, and afterwards
draw forth the fillet by the two ends together; it will thus be easily
drawn forth, the fillet not hindering the least passage, because it
takes up little or no space.

When the head is fetched out of the womb, care must be taken that not
the least part of it be left behind, and likewise to cleanse the womb of
the after-burden, if yet remaining. If the burden be wholly separated
from the side of the womb, that ought to be first brought away, because
it may also hinder the taking hold of the head. But if it still adheres
to the womb, it must not be meddled with till the head be brought away;
for if one should endeavour to separate it from the womb, it might then
cause a flooding, which would be augmented by the violence of the
operation; the vessels to which it is joined remaining for the most part
open as long as the womb is distended, which the head causeth while it
is retained in it, and cannot be closed till this strange body be
voided, and this it doth by contracting and compressing itself together,
as has been more fully before explained. Besides, the after-birth
remaining thus cleaving to the womb during the operation prevents it
from receiving easily either bruise or hurt.

SECT. IV. _How to deliver a Woman when the Child’s Head is presented to
                              the Birth._

Though some may think it a natural labour, when the child’s head comes
first; yet, if the child’s head present not the right way, even that is
an unnatural labour; and therefore, though the head comes first, yet if
it be the side of the head instead of the crown, it is very dangerous
both to the mother and child, for the child’s neck would be broken, if
born in that manner; and by how much the mother’s pains continue to bear
the child, which is impossible unless the head be rightly placed, the
more the passages are stopped. Therefore, as soon as the position of the
child is known, the woman must be laid with all speed, lest the child
should advance further into this vicious posture, and thereby render it
more difficult to thrust it back, which must be done, in order to place
the head right in the passage, as it ought to be.

To this purpose, therefore, place the woman so that her thighs may be a
little higher than her head and shoulders, causing her to lean a little
upon the opposite side to the child’s ill posture; then let the operator
slide up his hand, well anointed with oil, by the side of the child’s
head, to bring it right gently with his fingers between the head and the
womb; but if the head be so engaged that it cannot be done that way, he
must put his hand up to the shoulders, that so by thrusting them back a
little into the womb, sometimes on the one side and sometimes on the
other, he may, by little and little, give a natural position. I confess
it would be better, if the operator could put back the child by its
shoulders with both hands: but the head takes up so much room, that he
can only make use of his fingers, with which he must perform this
operation, and with the help of the finger ends of the other hand put
forward the child’s birth, as in natural labour.

Some children present their face first, having their hands turned back,
in which posture it is extremely difficult for a child to be born; and
if it continues so long, the face will be swelled, and become black and
blue, so that it will at first appear monstrous, which is occasioned as
well by the compression of it in that place, as by the midwife’s fingers
in handling it, in order to place it in a better posture. But this
blackness will wear away in three or four days’ time, by anointing it
often with oil of sweet almonds. To deliver the birth, the same
operation must be used as in the former, when the child comes first with
the side of the head; only let the midwife or operator work very gently,
to avoid as much as possible the bruising the face.

  SECT. V. _How to Deliver a Woman when the Child presents one or both
                     Hands together with the Head._

Sometimes the infant will present some other part together with its
head; which if it does, it is usually with one or both its hands; and
this hinders the birth, because the hands take up part of that passage
which is little enough for the head alone: besides when this happens,
they generally cause the head to lean on one side; and therefore this
position may be well styled unnatural. When the child presents thus, the
first thing to be done, after it is perceived, must be to prevent it
from coming down more, or engaging further in the passage; and therefore
the operator having placed the woman on the bed, with her head lower
than her thighs, must guide and put back the infant’s hand with his own
as much as may be, or both of them, if they both come down, to give way
to the child’s head; and this being done, if the head be on one side, it
must be brought into its natural posture, in the middle of the passage,
that it may come in a straight line, and then proceed as directed in the
foregoing section.

SECT. VI. _How a Woman ought to be delivered, when the Hands and Feet of
                       the Infant come together._

There are none but will readily grant, that when the hands and feet of
an infant present together, the labour must be unnatural; because it is
possible a child can be born in that manner. In this case therefore,
when the midwife guides her hand to the orifice of the womb, she will
perceive only many fingers close together; and if it be not sufficiently
dilated, it will be a good while before the hands and feet be
sufficiently distinguished; for they are sometimes so shut and pressed
together, that they seem to be all of one and the same shape: but where
the womb is open enough to introduce the hand into it, she will easily
know which are the hands and which are the feet; and having taken
particular notice thereof, let her slide up her hand, and presently
direct it towards the infant’s breast, which she will find very near,
and then let her very gently thrust back the body towards the bottom of
the womb leaving the feet in the same place where she found them: and
then, having placed the woman in a convenient posture, that is to say,
her thighs a little raised above her breast, and (which situation ought
also to be observed when the child is to be put back into the womb), let
the midwife afterwards take hold of the child by the feet, and draw it
forth, as is directed in the second section.

This labour, though somewhat troublesome, yet is much better than when
the child presents only its hands; for then the child must be quite
turned round before it can be drawn forth; but in this they are ready,
presenting themselves, and there is little to do but to lift and thrust
back the upper part of the body, which is almost done of itself, by
drawing by the feet alone.

I confess there are many authors that have written of labours, who would
have all wrong births reduced to a natural figure; which is, to turn it
that it may come with the head first. But those that have written thus
are such as never understood the practical part; for if they had the
least experience therein, they would know that it is impossible; at
least, if it were to be done, that violence must necessarily be used in
doing it, that would very probably be the death of both mother and child
in the operation.

I would therefore lay down, as a general rule, that whensoever a child
presents itself wrong to the birth, in what posture soever, from the
shoulders to the feet, it is the best way, and the soonest done, to draw
it out by the feet; and that it is better to search for them, if they do
not present themselves, than to try to put them into their natural
posture, and place the head foremost; for the great endeavours necessary
to be used in turning the child in the womb, do so much weaken both the
mother and the child, that there remains not afterwards strength enough
to commit the operation to the work of nature; for, usually, the woman
hath no more throes or pains fit for labour after she has been so
wrought upon: for which reason it would be difficult, and tedious at
best; and the child by such an operation made very weak, would be in
extreme danger of perishing before it could be born. It is therefore
much better in these cases to bring it away immediately by the feet;
searching for them, as I have already directed, when they do not present
themselves; by which the mother will be prevented a tedious labour, and
the child be often brought alive into the world, who otherwise could
hardly escape death.

   SECT. VII. _How a Woman should be delivered that has Twins, which
               present themselves in different Postures._

We have already spoken something of the birth of twins in the chapter of
natural labour; for it is not an unnatural labour barely to have twins,
provided they come in a right position to the birth. But when they
present themselves in different postures, they come properly under the
denomination of unnatural labours; and if when one child presents itself
in a wrong figure, it makes the labour dangerous and unnatural, it must
needs make it much more so when there are several, and render it not
only more painful to the mother and children, but to the operator also;
for they often trouble each other, and hinder both their births. Besides
which, the womb is so filled with them, that the operator can hardly
introduce his hand without much violence, which he must do, if they are
to be turned or thrust back to give them a better position.

When a woman is pregnant with two children, they rarely present to the
birth together, the one generally being more forward than the other; and
that is the reason that but one is felt, and that many times the midwife
knows not that there are twins till the first is born, and that she is
going to fetch away the after-birth. In the first chapter, wherein I
treated of natural labour, I have showed how a woman should be delivered
of twins, presenting themselves both right; and therefore, before I
close the chapter of unnatural labour, it only remains that I show what
ought to be done when they either both come wrong, or one of them only,
as for the most part it happens; the first generally coming right, and
the second with the feet forward, or in some worse posture. In such a
case, the birth of the first must be hastened as much as possible, to
make way for the second, which is best brought away by the feet, without
endeavouring to place it right, because it has been, as well as its
mother, already tired and weakened by the birth of the first, and there
would be greater danger of its death than likelihood of its coming out
of the womb that way.

But if, when the first is born naturally, the second should likewise
offer its head to the birth, it would be then best to leave nature to
finish what she has so well begun; and if nature should be too slow in
her work, some of those things mentioned in the fourth chapter, to
accelerate the birth, may be properly enough applied: and if, after
that, the second birth should be yet delayed, let a manual operation be
deferred no longer; but the woman being properly placed, as has been
before directed, let the operator direct his hand gently into the womb
to find the feet, and so draw forth the second child, which will be the
more easily effected, because there is a way made sufficiently by the
birth of the first; and if the waters of this second child be not broke,
as it often happens, yet, intending to bring it by the feet, he need not
scruple to break the membranes with his fingers; for though, when the
birth of a child is left to the operation of nature, it is necessary
that the waters should break of themselves, yet when the child is
brought out of the womb by art, there is no danger of breaking them;
nay, on the contrary, it becomes necessary; for without the waters are
broken, it would be impossible to turn the child.

But herein principally lies the cares of the operator, that he be not
deceived, when either the hands or feet of both children offer
themselves together to the birth; in this case he ought well to consider
the operation, as, whether they be not joined together, or any way
monstrous; and which part belongs to one child, and which to the other;
that so they may be fetched one after the other, and not both together,
as may be, if it were not duly considered; taking the right foot of the
one and the left of the other, and so drawing them together, as if they
belonged to one body, because there is a left and a right, by which
means it would be impossible ever to deliver them. But a skilful
operator will easily prevent this, if, having found two or three of
several children presenting together in the passage, and taking aside
two of the forwardest, a right and a left, and sliding his arm along the
legs and thighs up to the wrist, he finds they both belong to one body;
of which being thus assured, he may begin to draw forth the nearest,
without regarding which is the strongest or weakest, bigger or less,
living or dead, having first put aside that part of the other child
which offers to have the more way, and so dispatch the first as soon as
may be, observing the same rules as if there were but one, that is
keeping the breast and face downwards, with every circumstance directed
in that section where the child comes with its feet first, and not fetch
the burden till the second child is born. And therefore, when the
operator hath drawn forth one child, he must separate it from the
burden, having tied and cut the navel-string, and then fetch the other
by the feet in the same manner, and afterwards bring away the
after-burden with the two strings as hath been before showed. If the
children present any other part but the feet, the operator may follow
the same method as directed in the foregoing section where the several
unnatural positions are fully treated of.

                              CHAPTER VII.

      SECT. I. _How a Woman newly Delivered ought to be ordered._

As soon as she is laid in her bed, let her be placed in it conveniently
for ease and rest, which she stands in great need of, to recover herself
of the great fatigue she underwent during her travail; and that she may
lie the more easily let her hands and body be a little raised, that she
may breathe more freely, and cleanse the better, especially of that
blood which then comes away, that so it may not clot, which being
restrained causeth great pain.

Having thus placed her in bed, let her take a draught of burnt white
wine, having a drachm of spermaceti melted therein. The herb vervain is
also singularly good for a woman in this condition, boiling it in what
she either eats or drinks, fortifying the womb so exceedingly, that it
will do more good in two days, than any other thing does in double that
time, having no offensive taste. And this is no more than what she
stands in need of; for her lower parts being greatly distended till the
birth of the infant, it is good to endeavour the prevention of an
inflammation there. Let there also be outwardly applied, all over the
bottom of her abdomen and privities, the following anodyne and
cataplasm: Take two ounces of oil of sweet almonds, and two or three
new-laid eggs, yolks and whites, stirring them together in an earthen
pipkin over hot embers, till they come to the consistence of a poultice;
which being spread upon a cloth, must be applied to those parts,
indifferently warm, having first taken away the closure (which was put
to her presently after her delivery,) and likewise such clots of blood
as were then left. Let this lie on five or six hours, and then renew it
again as you see cause.

Great care ought to be taken at first, that if her body be very weak,
she be not kept too hot, for extremity of heat weakens nature and
dissolves the strength; and whether she be weak or strong, be sure that
no cold air comes near her first; for cold is an enemy to the spermatic
parts, and if it get into the womb, it increases the after-pains, causes
swelling in the womb, and hurts the nerves. As to her diet, let it be
hot, and let her eat but a little at a time. Let her avoid the light for
the first three days, and longer if she be weak, for her labour weakens
her eyes exceedingly, by a harmony between the womb and them. Let her
also avoid great noise, sadness, and trouble of mind.

If the womb be foul, which may be easily perceived by the impurity of
the blood (which will then easily come away in clots or stinking, of if
you suspect any of the after-burden to be left behind, which may
sometimes happen,) make her drink of featherfew, mugwort, pennyroyal,
and mother of thyme, boiled in white wine and sweetened with sugar.

Panado and new-laid eggs are the best meat for her at first; of which
she may eat often but not too much at a time. And let her nurse use
cinnamon in all her meats and drinks, for it generally strengthens the

Let her stir as little as may be, till after the fifth, sixth, or
seventh day of her delivery, if she be weak; and let her take as little
meat as possible, for that tends to weaken her very much.

If she goes not well to stool, give a clyster made only with the
decoction of mallows and a little brown sugar.

When she hath lain-in a week or more, let her use such things as close
the womb, of which knot-grass and comfrey are very good; and to them you
may add a little polypodium, for it will do her good, both leaves and
root being bruised.

   SECT. II. _How to remedy those Accidents which a Lying-in Woman is
                              subject to._

I. The first common and usual accident that troubles women in their
lying-in, is after-pains. They proceed from cold and wind contained in
the bowels, with which they are easily filled after labour, because then
they have more room to dilate than when the child was in the womb, by
which they were compressed; and also because nourishment and matter,
contained as well in them as in the stomach, have been so confusedly
agitated from side to side during the pains of labour, by the throes
which always must compress the belly, that they could not be well
digested, whence the wind is afterwards generated, and by consequence
the gripes which the woman feels running in her bowels from side to
side, according as the wind moves more or less, and sometimes likewise
from the womb, because of the compression and commotion which the bowels
make. These being generally the case, let us now apply a suitable

1. Boil an egg soft, and pour out the yolk of it: with which mix a
spoonful of cinnamon-water, and let her drink it; and if you mix in it
two grains of ambergris, it will be better; and yet vervain taken in any
thing she drinks, will be as effectual as the other.

2. Give the lying-in woman, immediately after delivery, oil of sweet
almonds and syrup of maiden-hair mixed together. Some prefer oil of
walnuts, provided it be made of nuts that are very good; but it tastes
worse than the other at best. This will lenify the inside of the
intestines by unctuousness, and by that means bring away that which is
contained in them more easily.

3. Take and boil onions well in water, then stamp them with oil of
cinnamon, spread them on a cloth, and apply them to the region of the

4. Let her be careful to keep her body warm, and not to drink too cold;
and if the pain prove violent, hot cloths, from time to time, must be
laid on her abdomen, or a pancake fried in walnut oil may be applied to
it, without swathing her body too strait. And for the better evacuating
the wind out of the intestines, give her a clyster, which may be
repeated as often as necessity requires.

5. Take bay-berries, beat them to powder, put the powder upon a
chafing-dish of coals, and let her receive the smoke of them up her

6. Take tar and bear’s grease, of each an equal quantity, boil them
together, and whilst it is boiling, add a little pigeon’s dung to it.
Spread some of this upon a linen cloth, and apply it to the reins of the
back of her that is troubled with after-pains, and it will give her
speedy ease.

Lastly, Let her take half a drachm of bay-berries beaten into a powder
in a draught of muscadel or tent.

II. Another accident to which women in child-bed are subject is the
hemorrhoids, or piles, occasioned through the great straining in
bringing the child into the world. To cure this,

1. Let her be let blood in the saphæna vein.

2. Let her use polypodium in her meat and drink, bruised and boiled.

3. Take an onion, and having made a hole in the middle of it, fill it
full of oil, roast it, and having bruised it all together, apply it to
the fundament.

4. Take a dozen of snails, without shells if you can get them, or else
so many shell snails, and pull them out, and having bruised them with a
little oil, apply them warm as before.

5. If she go not well to stool, let her take an ounce of cassia fistula
drawn at night going to bed; she needs no change of diet after.

III. Retention of the menses is another accident happening to women in
child-bed; and which is of so dangerous a consequence, that, if not
timely remedied, it proves mortal. When this happens,

1. Let the woman take such medicines as strongly provoke the terms, such
as dittany, betony, pennyroyal, featherfew, centuary, juniper-berries,
peony roots.

2. Let her take two or three spoonfuls of briony water each morning.

3. Gentian roots beaten into a powder, and a drachm of it taken every
morning in wine, are an extraordinary remedy.

4. The root of birthwort, either long or round, so used and taken as the
former, are very good.

5. Take twelve peony seeds, and beat them into a very fine powder, and
let her drink them in a draught of hot cardus posset, and let her sweat
after. And if this last medicine do not bring them down the first time
she takes it, let her take as much more three hours after, and it seldom

IV. Overflowing of the menses is another accident incidental to
child-bearing women. For which,

1. Take shepherd’s purse, either boiled in any convenient liquor, or
dried and beaten into a powder, and it will be an admirable remedy to
stop them, this being especially appropriated to the privities.

2. The flower and leaves of brambles, or either of them, being dried and
beaten into a powder, and a drachm of them taken every morning in a
spoonful of red wine, or in a decoction of leaves of the same (which
perhaps is much better,) is an admirable remedy for the immoderate
flowing of the terms in women.

V. Excoriations, bruises, and rents of the lower part of the womb are
often occasioned by that violent distention and separation of the four
carbuncles in a woman’s labour. For the healing whereof, as soon as the
woman is laid, if there be only simple contusions and excoriations, then
let the anodyne cataplasms, formerly directed, be applied to the lower
parts to ease the pain, made of the yolks and whites of new-laid egg and
oil of roses, boiled a little over warm embers, continually stirring it
till it is mixed, and then spread on a fine cloth; it must be applied
very warm to the bearing-place for five or six hours, and when it is
taken away, lay some fine rags, dipped in oil of St. John’s wort twice
or thrice a day; also foment the parts with barley-water and honey of
roses, to cleanse them from the excrements which pass.

VI. The curding and clotting of the milk is another accident which
happens to women in child-bed; for, in the beginning of child-bed, the
woman’s milk is not purified, because of the great commotions her body
suffered during her labour, which affected all the parts, and it is then
moved with many humours. Now this clotting of the milk does, for the
most part, proceed from the breasts not being fully drawn, and that
either because she has too much milk, and that the infant is too small
and weak to suck all, or because she does not desire to be a nurse; for
the milk, in those cases remaining in the breast after concoction,
without being drawn, loseth the sweetness and the balsamic quality it
had, and by reason of the heat it acquires, and the too long stay it
makes there, it sours, curds, and clots, in like manner as we see runnet
put into ordinary milk turn it into curds. The curding of the milk may
be also caused by having taken a great cold, and not keeping the breast
well covered.

But from what cause soever this curding of the milk proceeds, the most
certain remedy is, speedily to draw the breasts until it is emitted and
dried. But in regard that the infant, by reason of weakness, cannot draw
strong enough, the woman being hard marked when her milk is curded, it
will be most proper to get another woman to draw her breasts until the
milk comes freely, and then she may give her child suck. And that she
may not afterwards be troubled with a surplus of milk, she must eat such
diet as gives but little nourishment, and keep her body open.

But if the case be such, that the woman neither can nor will be a nurse,
it is necessary to apply other remedies for the curing of this
distemper: for then it will be best not to draw the breasts: for that
will be the way to bring more milk into them. For which purpose, it will
be necessary to empty the body, by bleeding the arm: besides which, let
the humours be drawn by strong clysters and bleeding in the feet: nor
will it be amiss to purge gently; and to digest, dissolve, and dissipate
the curded milk, apply a cataplasm of pure honey, or that of the four
brains dissolved in a decoction of sage, milk, smallage, and fennel,
mixing with it oil of camomile, with which oil let the breasts be well
anointed. The following liniment is also good to scatter and dissipate
the milk.

            _A Liniment to Scatter and Dissipate the Milk._

That the milk flowing back to the breast may without offence be
dissipated, you must use this ointment; “Take pure wax two ounces,
linseed half a pound; when the wax is melted, let the liniment be made,
wherein linen cloths must be dipped, and, according to their largeness,
be laid upon the breast; and when it shall be dispersed, and pains no
more, let other linen cloths be dipped in the distilled water of acorns,
and put them upon them.”

_Note._ That the cloths dipped into distilled water of acorns must be
used only by those who cannot nurse their own children: but if a
swelling in the breast of her who gives suck do arise from abundance of
milk, and threatens an inflammation, let her use the former ointment,
but abstain from using the distilled water of acorns.

                             CHAPTER VIII.
     _Directions for the Nurses, in ordering Newly-born Children._

When the child’s navel-string hath been cut, according to the rules
prescribed, let the midwife presently cleanse it from the excrements and
filth it brings with it; of which some are within the body, as the urine
in the bladder, and the excrements found in the guts; and others
without, which are thick, whitish, and clammy, proceeding from the
sliminess of the waters. There are children sometimes covered all over
with this, that one would think they were rubbed over with soft cheese;
and some women are of so easy a belief, that they really think it so,
because they had eaten some while they were enceinte. From these
excrements let the child be cleansed with wine and water a little
warmed, washing every part therewith, but chiefly the head, because of
the hair, also on the folds of the groin, arm-pits, and privities; which
parts must be gently cleansed with a linen rag, or a soft sponge, dipped
in lukewarm wine. If this clammy or viscous excrement stick so close
that it will not easily be washed off from those places, it may be
fetched off with oil of sweet almonds, or a little fresh butter melted
with wine, and afterwards well dried off; also make tents of fine rags,
and wetting them in this liquor, clear the ears and nostrils; but for
the eyes, wipe them only with a dry soft rag, and dipping it in the
wine, lest it should make them smart.

The child being thus washed, and cleansed from the native blood and
impurities which attend it into the world, it must in the next place be
searched, to see whether all things be right about it, and that there is
no fault or dislocation; whether it has suffered any violence by its
birth, in any part of its body; and whether all the parts be well and
duly shaped; that suitable remedies may be applied, if any thing be
found not right. Nor is it enough to see that all be right without, and
that the outside of the body be cleansed, but she must chiefly observe
whether it dischargeth the excrements contained within, and whether the
passage be open; for some have been born without having been perforated.
Therefore, let her examine whether the conduits of the urine and stool
be clear, for want of which some have died, not being able to void their
excrements, because timely care was not taken at first. As to the urine,
all children, as well males as females, do make water as soon as they
are born, if they can, especially if they feel the heat of the fire, and
sometimes also void the excrements, but not so soon as the urine. If the
infant does not ordure the first day, then put up into its fundament a
small suppository, to stir it up to be discharged, that it may not cause
painful gripes by remaining so long in the belly. A sugar almond may be
proper for this purpose, anointed over with a little boiled honey; or
else a small piece of Castile-soap rubbed over with fresh butter; also
give the child for this purpose a little syrup of roses or violets at
the mouth, mixed with some oil of sweet almonds drawn without a fire,
anointing the belly also with the same oil or fresh butter.

The midwife having thus washed and cleansed the child, according to the
before-mentioned directions, let her begin to swaddle it in swathing
clothes, and when she dresses the head, let her put small rags behind
the ears to dry up the filth which usually engenders there, and so let
her do also in the folds of the arm-pits and groin, and so swathe it;
then wrap it up warm in a bed with blankets, which there is scarcely any
woman so ignorant but knows well enough how to do: only let me give them
this caution, that they swathe not the child too strait in its blankets,
especially about the breast and stomach, that it may breathe the more
freely, and not be forced to vomit up the milk it sucks, because the
stomach cannot be sufficiently extended to contain it; therefore let its
arms and legs be wrapped in its bed stretched and straight, and swathed
to keep them so, viz, the arms along its sides, and its legs equally
both together, with a little of the bed between them, that they may not
be galled by rubbing each other; then let the head be kept steady and
straight, with a stay fastened on each side of the blanket; and then
wrap the child up in a mantle and blankets to keep it warm. Let none
think this of swathing the infant is needless to set down, for it is
necessary it should be thus swaddled, to give its little body a straight
figure, which is most decent and proper for a man, and to accustom him
to keep upon his feet, who otherwise would go upon all fours, as most
other animals do.

                              CHAPTER IX.

    SECT. I. _Of Gripes and Pains in the Bellies of young Children._

This I mention first, as it is often the first and most common distemper
which happens to little infants after their birth; many children being
so troubled therewith, that it causes them to cry night and day, and at
last die of it. The cause of it for the most part comes from the sudden
change of their nourishment, for having always received it from the
umbilical vessel whilst in the mother’s womb, they come on a sudden not
only to change the manner of receiving it, but the nature and quality of
what they receive, as soon as they are born; for instead of purified
blood only, which is conveyed to them by means of the umbilical vein
only, they are now obliged to be nourished by their mother’s milk, which
they suck with their mouths, and from which are engendered many
excrements, causing gripes and pains; and not only because it is not so
pure as the blood with which it was nourished in the womb, because the
stomach and the intestines cannot make a good digestion, being
unaccustomed to it. It is also caused sometimes by a rough phlegm, and
sometimes by worms; for physicians affirm, that worms have been bred in
children even in their mother’s womb.

_Cure._—If it proceed from the too sudden change of nourishment, the
remedy must be to forbear giving the child suck for some days, lest the
milk be mixed with phlegm, which is then in the stomach corrupt: and at
first it must suck but little, until it is accustomed to digest it. If
it be the excrements in the intestines, which, by their long stay,
increase these pains, give it at the mouth a little oil of sweet almonds
and syrup of roses: if it be worms, lay a cloth dipped in oil of
wormwood, mixed with ox-gall upon the belly, or a small cataplasm mixed
with the powder of rue, wormwood, coloquintida, aloes, and the seeds of
citron incorporated with ox-gall and the powder of lupines. Or give it
oil of sweet almonds, with sugar-candy, and a scruple of aniseed: it
purgeth new-born babes from green choler and stinking phlegm; and, if it
be given with sugar-pap, it allays the griping pains of the belly. Also,
anoint the belly with oil of dill, or pelitory stamp, with oil of

             SECT. II. _Of Weakness in newly-born Infants._

Weakness is an accident that many children bring into the world along
with them, and is often occasioned by the labour of the mother; by the
violence and length whereof they suffer so much, that they are born with
great weakness, and many times it is difficult to know whether they are
alive or dead, their body appearing so senseless and their face so blue
and livid, that they seem to be quite choked; and even after some hours,
their showing any signs of life is attained with weakness, that it looks
like a return from death, and that they are still in a dying condition.

_Cure._—Lay the infant speedily in a warm blanket, and carry it to the
fire, and then let the midwife take a little wine in her mouth and spout
it into its mouth, repeating it often, if there be occasion. Let her
apply linen to the breast and belly dipped in wine, and let the face be
uncovered, that it may breathe the more freely; also, let the midwife
keep its mouth a little open, cleanse the nostrils with small linen
tents dipped in white wine, that it may receive the smell of it; and let
her chafe every part of its body well with warm cloths, to bring back
its blood and spirits, which, being retired inwards, through weakness,
often puts it in danger of being choked. By the application of these
means, the infant will gradually recover strength, and begin to stir its
limbs by degrees, and at length to cry; and though it be but weakly at
first, yet afterwards, as it breathes more freely, its cry will become

 SECT. III. _Of the Fundament being closed up in a newly-born Infant._

Another defect that new-born infants are liable to is, to have their
fundaments closed up; by which they can never evacuate the new
excrements engendered by the milk they suck, nor that which was amassed
in their intestines before birth, which is certainly mortal without a
speedy remedy. There have been some female children who have had their
fundaments quite closed, and yet have voided the excrements of the guts
by an orifice, which nature, to supply that defect, had made within the
neck of the womb.

_Cure._—Here we must take notice, that the fundament is closed two ways:
either by a single skin, through which one may discover some black and
blue marks, proceeding from the excrements retained, which, if one touch
with the finger, there is a softness felt within, and thereabout it
ought to be pierced; or else it is quite stopped by a thick fleshy
substance, in such sort that there appears nothing without by which its
true situation may be known. When there is nothing but the single skin
which makes the closure, the operation is very easy, and the children
may do very well; for then an aperture or opening may be made with a
small incision-knife, cross ways, that it may the better receive a round
form, and that the place may not afterwards grow together, taking care
not to prejudice the sphincter or muscles of the rectum. The incision
being thus made, the excrements will certainly have issue. But if, by
reason of their long stay in the belly, they become so dry that the
infant cannot void them, then let a clyster be given to moisten and
bring them away; afterwards put a linen tent into the new-made
fundament, which, at first, had best be anointed with honey of roses,
and towards the end, with a drying cicatrizing ointment, such as
unguentum album, or ponphilex, observing to cleanse the infant of its
excrements, and dry it again as soon and as often as it evacuates them,
that so the aperture may be prevented from turning into a malignant

But if the fundament be stopped up in such a manner, that neither mark
nor appearance of it can be seen or felt, then the operation is much
more difficult; and even when it is done, the danger is much greater,
that the infant will not survive it. Then if it be a female, and it
sends forth its excrements by the way I have mentioned before, it is
better not to meddle, than, by endeavouring to remedy an inconvenience,
run an extreme hazard of the infant’s death. But when there is no vent
for the excrements, without which death is unavoidable, then the
operation is justifiable.

_Operation._—Let the operator, with a small incision-knife that hath but
one edge, enter into the void place, and turning the back of it upwards,
within half a finger’s breadth from the child’s anus, which is the place
where he will certainly find the intestine; let him thrust it forward,
that it may be open enough to give free vent to the matter there
contained, being especially careful of the sphincter; after which, let
the wound be dressed according to the method directed.

    SECT. IV. _Of the Thrush, or Ulcers in the Mouth of the Infant._

This thrush is a distemper that children are very subject to, and it
arises from bad milk, or from foul humour in the stomach; for sometimes,
though there be not ill humour in the milk itself, yet it may corrupt
the child’s stomach because of its weakness, or some other
indisposition; in which, acquiring an acrimony instead of being well
digested, there arise from thence biting vapours, which, forming a thick
viscosity, do thereby produce this distemper.

_Cure._—It is often difficult, as physicians tell us, because it is
seated in hot and moist places, where the putrefaction is easily
augmented; and because the remedies applied cannot lodge there, being
soon washed with spittle. But if it arises from too hot quality in the
nurse’s milk, care must be taken to temper and cool, prescribing her
cool diet, bleeding and purging her also, if there be occasion.

Take lentiles husked, powder them, and lay a little of them upon the
child’s gums. Or take bdellium flower half an ounce, and with oil of
roses make a liniment. Also wash the child’s mouth with barley and
plantain water, and honey of roses, or syrup of dry roses, mixing with
them a little verjuice of lemons, as well to loosen and cleanse the
vicious humours which cleave to the inside of the child’s mouth, as to
cool those parts which are already over-heated. This may be done by
means of a small fine rag fastened to the end of a little stick, and
dipped therein, whereby the ulcers may be gently rubbed, being careful
not to put the child in too much pain, lest an inflammation make the
distemper worse. The child’s body must also be kept open, that the
humours being carried to the lower parts, the vapours may not ascend, as
it is usual for them to do when the body is costive, and the excrements
too long retained.

If the ulcers appear malignant, let such remedies be used to do their
work speedily, that the evil qualities that cause them being thereby
instantly corrected, their malignity may be prevented; and in this case
touch the ulcers with plantain water, sharpened with the spirits of
vitriol; for the remedy must be made sharp according to the malignity of
the distemper. It will be necessary to purge these ill humours out of
the whole habit of the child, by giving half an ounce of succory with

      SECT. V. _Of Pains in the Ears, Inflammation, Moisture, &c._

The brain in infants is very moist, and hath many excrements which
nature cannot send out at the proper passages; they get often to the
ears, and there cause pains, flux of blood, with inflammation, and
matter with pain; this in children is hard to be known, as they have no
other way to make it known but by constant crying; you will perceive
them ready to feel their ears themselves, but will not let others touch
them if they can prevent it; and sometimes you may discern the parts
above the ears to be very red.

These pains, if let alone, are of dangerous consequences, because they
may bring forth watchings and epilepsy; for the moisture breeds worms
there, and fouls the spongy bones, and by degrees causes incurable

_Cure._—Allay the pain with convenient speed, but have a care of using
strong remedies. Therefore only use warm milk about the ears, with the
decoction of poppy tops, or oil of violets: to take away the moisture,
use honey of roses, and let aquamollis be dropped into the ears; or take
virgin honey, half an ounce; red wine two ounces; alum, saffron,
saltpetre, each a drachm; mix them at the fire; or drop in hemp seed oil
with a little wine.

SECT. VI. _Of Redness, and Inflammation of the Buttocks, Groin, and the
                       Thighs of a Young Child._

If there be no care taken to change and wash the child’s bed as soon as
it is fouled with the excrements, and to keep the child very clean, the
acrimony will be sure to cause redness, and beget a smarting in the
buttocks, groin, and thighs of the child, which, by reason of the pain
will afterwards be subject to inflammations, which follow the sooner,
through the delicacy and tenderness of their skin, from which the
outward skin of the body is in a short time separated and worn away.

_Cure._—First, keep the child cleanly: and, secondly, take off the
sharpness of its urine. As to keeping it cleanly, she must be a sorry
nurse that needs to be taught how to do it; for if she lets it have but
dry, clean, and warm beds, and clothes, as often and as soon as it has
fouled and wet them, either by its urine or excrements, it will be
sufficient. And as to taking off the sharpness of the child’s urine,
that must be done by the nurse’s taking a cool diet, that her milk may
have the same quality; and therefore she ought to abstain from all
things that may tend to heat it.

But besides these cooling and drying remedies are requisite to be
applied to the inflamed parts; therefore let the parts be bathed with
plantain water, with a fourth of lime-water added to it, each time the
child’s excrements are wiped off; and if the pain be very great, let it
only be fomented with lukewarm milk. Some kind of drying powder, or a
little milldust strewed upon the parts affected, may be proper enough,
and is used by many women. Also, unguentum album, or diapampholigos,
spread upon a small piece of leather, in form of a plaster, will not be

But the chief thing must be the nurse’s taking great care to wrap the
inflamed parts with fine rags when she opens the child, that those parts
may not gather and be pained by rubbing together.

              SECT. VII. _Of Vomiting in young Children._

Vomiting in children proceeds sometimes from too much milk, and
sometimes from bad milk, and as often from a moist loose stomach; for as
dryness retains, so looseness lets go. This is, for the most part,
without danger in children; and they that vomit from their birth are the
lustiest; for the stomach not being used to meat, and milk being taken
too much, crudities are easily bred, or the milk is corrupted; and it is
better to vomit these up than to keep them in; but if vomiting last
long, it will cause an atrophy, or consumption, for want of nourishment.

_Cure._—If this be from too much milk, that which is emitted is yellow
and green, or otherwise ill-coloured and stinking; in this case, mend
the milk, as has been shown before; cleanse the child with honey of
roses, and strengthen its stomach with syrup of milk and quinces made
into an electuary. If the humours be hot and sharp, give the syrup of
pomegranates, currants, and coral; and apply to the bowels the plaster
of bread, the stomach cerate, or bread dipped in hot wine; or oil of
mastich, quinces, mint, wormwood, each half an ounce; of nutmegs, by
expression, half a drachm; chemical oil of mint, three drops. Coral hath
an occult property to prevent vomiting, and is therefore hung about the

           SECT. VIII. _Of breeding Teeth in young Children._

This is a very great yet necessary evil in all children, having a
variety of symptoms joined with it. They begin to come forth, not all at
once, but one after the other, about the sixth or seventh month; the
fore-teeth coming first, then the eye-teeth, and, last of all, the
grinders. The eye-teeth cause more pain to the child than any of the
rest, because they have a deep root, and a small nerve which hath
communication with that which makes the eye move.

In the breeding of the teeth, first they feel an itching in their gums,
then they are pierced as with a needle, and pricked by the sharp bones,
whence proceed great pains, watching, inflammation of the gums, fever,
looseness, and convulsions, especially when they breed their eye-teeth.

The signs when children breed their teeth are these.

1. It is known by the time, which is usually about the seventh month.

2. Their gums are swelled, and they feel a great heat there, with an
itching, which makes them put their fingers into their mouths to rub
them, a moisture also distils from the gums into the mouth, because of
the pains they feel there.

3. They hold the nipple faster than before.

4. The gums are white when the teeth begin to come; and the nurse, in
giving them suck, finds the mouth hotter, and that they are much
changed, crying every moment, and cannot sleep, or but very little at a

The fever that follows breeding of teeth comes from choleric humours,
inflamed by watching, pain, and heat. And the longer teeth are breeding,
the more dangerous it is; so that many, in the breeding of them, die of
fevers and convulsions.

_Cure._—Two things are to be regarded:—one is, to preserve the child
from the evil accidents that may happen to it by reason of the great
pain; the other, to assist, as much as may be, the cutting of the teeth,
when they can hardly cut the gums themselves.

For the first of these, viz. the preventing those accidents of the
child, the nurse ought to take great care to keep a good diet and to use
all things that may cool and temper milk, that so a fever may not follow
the pain of the teeth. And to prevent the humour from falling too much
upon the inflamed gums, let the child’s belly be kept always loose by
gentle clysters, if it be bound; though oftentimes there is no need of
them, because they are at those times usually troubled with a looseness;
and yet, for all that, clysters may not be improper.

As to the other, which is to assist in cutting the teeth; that the nurse
must do from time to time by mollifying and loosening them, and by
rubbing them with the fingers dipped in butter or honey; or let the
child have a virgin-wax candle to chew upon; or anoint the gums with the
mucilage of quince made with mallow-waters, or with the brains of a
hare; also foment the cheeks with the decoction of althœa, and camomile
flower and dill, or with the juice of mallows and fresh butter. If the
gums are inflamed, add juice of nightshade and lettuce. I have already
said, the nurse ought to take a temperate diet: I shall now only add,
that barley-broth, water-gruel, raw eggs, prunes, lettuce, and endive,
are good for her; but let her avoid salt, sharp, biting, and peppered
meats and wine.

     SECT. IX. _Of the Flux of the Belly, or Looseness in Infants._

It is very common for infants to have the flux of the belly, or
looseness, especially upon the least indisposition: nor is it to be
wondered at, seeing their natural moistness contributes so much thereto;
and even if it be so extraordinary violent, such are in a better state
of health than those that are bound. The flux, if violent, proceeds from
divers causes: as, 1. From breeding of the teeth, and it is then
commonly attended with a fever, in which the concoction is hindered, and
the nourishment corrupted. 2. From watching. 3. From pain. 4. From
stirring up the humours by a fever. 5. When they suck or drink too much
in a fever. Sometimes they have a flux without breeding of teeth, from
inward cold in the guts or stomach that obstructs concoction. If it be
from the teeth, it is easily known; for the signs in breeding of teeth
will discover it. If it be from external cold, there are signs of other
causes. If from a humour flowing from the head, there are signs of a
catarrh, and the excrements are frothy. If crude and raw humours are
voided, and there be wind, belching, and phlegmatic excrements; or if
they be yellow, green, and stink, the flux is from a hot sharp humour.
It is best in breeding of teeth when the belly is loose, as I have said
before: but if it be too violent, and you are afraid it may end in a
consumption, it must be stopped; and if the excrements that are voided
be black, and attended with a fever, it is very bad.

_Cure._—The remedy in this case is principally with respect to the
nurse, and the condition of the milk must be chiefly observed; the nurse
must be cautioned that she eat no green fruit, nor things of hard
concoction. If the child suck not, remove the flux with such purges as
leave the cooling quality behind them, as syrup of honey or roses, or a
clyster. Take the decoction of millium, myrobalans, of each two or three
ounces, with an ounce or two of syrup of roses, and make a clyster.
After cleansing, if it proceed from a hot cause, give syrup of dried
roses, quinces, myrtles, with a little sanguis draconis. Also anoint
with oil of roses, myrtles, mastich, each two drachms; with oil of
myrtles and wax make an ointment. Or take red roses and moulin, of each
a handful; cypress roots two drachms; make a bag, boil it in red wine,
and apply it to the belly. Or, use the plaster of bread, or stomach
ointment. If the cause be cold, and the excrements white, give syrup of
mastich and quinces, with mint-water. Use outwardly mint, mastich,
cummin; or take rose seeds an ounce; cummin, aniseeds, each two drachms;
with oil of mastich, wormwood, and wax, make an ointment.

        SECT. X. _Of the Epilepsy and Convulsions in Children._

This is a distemper that is often fatal to young children, and
frequently proceeds from the brain, as when the humours that cause it
are bred in the brain, originating either from the parents, or from
vapours and bad humours that twitch the membranes of the brain: it is
also sometimes caused by other distempers, and by bad diet: likewise the
toothache, when the brain consents, causes it, and so does a sudden
fright. As to the distemper itself, it is as manifest and well enough
known where it is; and as to the cause whence it comes, you may know by
the signs of the disease whether it come from bad milk, or worms, or
teeth; if these are all absent, it is certain that the brain is first
affected; if it comes from the small-pox or measles, it ceaseth when
they come forth, if nature be strong enough.

_Cure._—For the remedy of this grievous and often mortal distemper, give
the following powder, to prevent it, to a child as soon as it is born:
take male peony roots, gathered in the decrease of the moon, a scruple;
with leaf gold make a powder; take peony roots a drachm; peony seeds,
misteltoe of the oak, elk’s hoofs, amber, each a scruple; musk, two
grains; make a powder. The best part of the cure is taking care of the
nurse’s diet, which must be regular, by all means. If it be from corrupt
milk provoke a vomit; to do which, hold down the tongue, and put a
quill, dipped in sweet almonds, down the throat. If it come from the
worms, give such things as will kill the worms. If there be a fever,
with respect to that also, give coral smaraged with elk’s hoof. In the
fit, give epileptic water, as lavender water, and rub with oil of amber,
or hang a peony root, and elk’s hoof smaraged, about the child’s neck.

As to a convulsion, it is when the brain labours to cast out that which
troubles it: the manner is in the narrow of the back, and fountain of
the nerves; it is a stubborn disease, and often kills.

Wash the body, when in the fit, with decoction of althea, lily roots,
peony and camomile flowerets, and anoint it with goose grease, orris,
lilies, foxes, turpentine, mastich, storax, and calamint. The sun-flower
is also very good, boiled in water, to wash the child.

                        PROPER AND SAFE REMEDIES
                      CURING ALL THOSE DISTEMPERS
                           THAT ARE PECULIAR
                           TO THE FEMALE SEX.

                               CHAPTER I.
                      _The Diseases of the Womb._

I have already said, that the womb is the field of generation; and if
this field be corrupted, it is vain to expect any fruit, though it be
ever so well sown. It is therefore not without reason that I intend in
this chapter to set down the several distempers to which the womb is
obnoxious, with proper and safe remedies against them.

              SECT. I. _Of the Hot Distemper of the Womb._

This distemper consists in excess of heat; for as heat of the womb is
necessary for conception, so if it be too much, it nourisheth not the
seed, but disperseth its heat and hinders the conception. This
preternatural heat is sometimes from the birth, and causes barrenness;
but if it be accidental, it is from hot causes, that bring the heat and
the blood to the womb; it arises from internal and external medicines,
and from too much hot meat, drink, and exercise. Those that are troubled
with this distemper have but few menses, and those are yellow, black,
burnt, or sharp; are subject to headache, and abound with choler; and
when the distemper is strong upon them, they have but few terms, which
are out of order, being bad and hard to flow, and in time they become
hypochondriacs, and for the most part barren, having sometimes a frenzy
of the womb.

_Cure._—The remedy is to use coolers, so that they offend not the
vessels that must open the flux of the terms. Therefore, take the
following inwardly, succory, endive, violets, water lilies, sorrel,
lettuce, saunders, and syrups and conserve made thereof. Also take
conserve of succory, violets, water lilies, burrage, each an ounce;
conserve of roses, half an ounce, diamargation frigid, diatriascancal,
each half a drachm; and with syrup of violets, or juice of citrons, make
an electuary. For outward applications, make use of ointment of roses,
violets, water lilies, gourd, venus, narvel, applied to the back and

Let the air be cool, her garments thin, and her food endive, lettuce,
succory, and barley. Give her no hot meats, nor strong wine, unless
mixed with water. Rest is good for her, she may sleep as long as she

             SECT. II. _Of the Cold Distemper of the Womb._

This distemper is the reverse of the foregoing, and equally an enemy to
generation, being caused by a cold quality abounding to excess, and
proceeds from a too cold air, rest, idleness, and cooling medicines. The
terms are phlegmatic, thick, and slimy, and do not flow as they should;
the womb is windy, and the seed crude and waterish. It is the cause of
obstructions, and barrenness, and hard to be cured.

_Cure._—Take galengal, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, each two drachms;
ginger, cubebs, nedory, cardamum, each an ounce; grains of paradise,
long pepper, each half an ounce; beat them, and put them into six quarts
of wine for eight days; then add sage, mint, balm, mother-wort, of each
three handfuls: let them stand eight days more, then pour off the wine,
and beat the herbs and the spice, and then pour off the wine again, and
distil them. Or you may use this: take cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace,
ginger, cubebs, cardamum, grains of paradise, each an ounce and a half;
galengal six drachms, long pepper half an ounce, zedoary five drachms,
bruise them, and add six quarts of wine; put them into a cellar nine
days, daily stirring them; then add of mint two handfuls, and let them
stand fourteen days; pour off the wine, and bruise them, and then pour
on the wine again, and distil them. Also anoint with oil of lilies, rue,
angelica, bays, cinnamon, cloves, mace, and nutmeg. Let her diet and air
be warm, her meat of easy concoction, seasoned with aniseed, fennel, and
thyme; and let her avoid raw fruits and milk diet.

               SECT. III. _Of the Inflation of the Womb._

The inflation of the womb is a stretching of it by wind, called by some
a windy mole; the wind proceeds from a cold matter, whether thick or
thin, contained in the veins of the womb by which the heat thereof is
overcome, and which either flows thither from other parts, or is
gathered there by cold meats and drinks. Cold air may be a producing
cause of it also, as women that lie-in are exposed to it. The wind is
contained either in the cavity of the vessels of the womb, or between
the tunicles, and may be known by a swelling in the region of the womb,
which sometimes reaches to the navel, loins, and diaphragm, and rises
and abates as the wind increaseth or decreaseth. It differs from the
dropsy, in that it never swells so high. That neither physician nor
midwife may take it for conception, let them observe the signs of the
pregnant woman laid down in a former part of this work; and if any sign
be wanting, they may suspect it to be an inflation; of which this is a
further sign, that in conception the swelling is invariable; also if you
strike upon the belly, in an inflation, there will be a noise, but not
so in case there be a conception. It also differs from a mole, because
in that there is a weight and hardness in the abdomen, and when the
patient moves from one side to the other she feels a great weight which
moveth; but not so in this. If the inflation continue without the cavity
of the womb, the pain is greater and more extensive, nor is there any
noise, because the wind is more pent up.

_Cure._—This distemper is neither of a long continuance, nor dangerous,
if looked after in time; and if it be in the cavity of the womb, is more
easily expelled. To which purpose give her diaphnicon, with a little
castor, and sharp clysters that expel the wind. If this distemper happen
to a woman in travail, let her not purge after delivery, nor bleed,
because it is from a cold matter; but if it come after child-bearing,
and her terms come down sufficiently, and she has fulness of blood, let
the saphæna vein be opened; after which let her take the following
electuary: take conserve of betony and rosemary, of each an ounce and a
half; candied eringoes, citron peel candied, each half an ounce;
diacinium, diaganel, each a drachm; oil of aniseed six drops; and with
syrup of citrons make an electuary. For outward application make a
cataplasm of rue, mugwort, camomile, dill, calamint, new pennyroyal,
thyme, with oil of rue, keir, and camomile. And let the following
clyster, to expel the wind, be put into the womb; take angus castus,
cinnamon, each two drachms; boil them in wine to half a pint. She may
likewise use sulphur, Bath and Spa waters, both inward and outward,
because they expel wind.

      SECT. IV. _Of the Straitness of the Womb, and its Vessels._

This is another effect of the womb, which is a very great obstruction to
the bearing of children, hindering both the flow of the menses and
conception, and is seated in the vessels of the womb, and the neck
thereof. The causes of this straitness are thick and rough humours, that
stop the mouth of the veins and arteries. These humours are bred either
by gross or too much nourishment, when the heat of the womb is so weak
that it cannot attenuate the humours, which, by reason thereof, either
flow from the whole body, or are gathered into the womb. Now, the
vessels are made straiter or closer several ways: sometimes by
inflammation, schirrous, or other tumours; sometimes by compressions,
scars, or by flesh and membranes that grow after a wound. The signs by
which this is known are, the stoppage of the terms, not conceiving, and
crudities abounding in the body, which are all shown by particular
signs; for if there is a wound, or the secundine pulled out by force,
phlegm comes from the wound; if stoppage of the terms be from an old
obstruction by humours, it is hard to be cured; if it be only from the
disorderly use of astringents, it is more curable; if it be from a
schirrous, or other tumours, that compress or close the vessel, the
disease is incurable.

_Cure._—For the cure of that which is curable, obstructions must be
taken away, phlegm must be purged, and she may be let blood, as will be
hereafter directed in the stoppage of the terms. Then use the following
medicine: take of aniseed and fennel seed, each a drachm; rosemary,
pennyroyal, calamint, betony flowers, each an ounce; saffron, half a
drachm, with wine. Or take asparagus roots, parsley roots, each an
ounce; pennyroyal, calamint, each a handful; wall-flowers,
gilly-flowers, each two handfuls; boil, strain, and add syrup of mugwort
an ounce and a half. For a fomentation, take pennyroyal, mercury,
calamint, marjoram, mugwort, each two handfuls; rosemary, bays,
camomile-flowers, each a handful; boil them in water, and foment the
groin and bottom of the abdomen; or let her sit up to the navel in a
bath, and then anoint about the groin with oil of rue, lilies, dill, &c.

                 SECT. V. _Of the Falling of the Womb._

This is another evil effect of the womb, which is both very troublesome,
and also an hinderance to conception. Sometimes the womb falleth to the
middle of the thighs, nay, almost to the knees, and may be known then by
its hanging out. Now, that which causeth the womb to change its place
is, that the ligaments, by which it is bound to the other parts, are not
in order; for there are four ligaments, two above, broad and membranous,
that come from the peritoneum, and two below, that are nervous, round
and hollow; it is also bound to the great vessels by veins and arteries,
and to the back by nerves; but the place is changed when it is drawn
another way, or when the ligaments are loose, and it falls down by its
own weight. It is drawn on one side when the menses are hindered from
flowing, and the veins and arteries are full, namely, those that go to
the womb. If it be a mole on one side, the liver and spleen cause it; by
the liver veins on the right side, and the spleen on the left, as they
are more or less filled. Others are of opinion, it comes from the
solution of the connection of the fibrous neck and parts adjacent; and
that it is from the weight of the womb descending; this we deny not; but
the ligaments must be loose or broken. But women in a dropsy could not
be said to have the womb fallen down, if it came only from looseness;
but in them it is caused by the saltness of the water, which dries more
than it moistens. Now, if there be a little tumour, within or without
the privities, like a skin stretched, or a weight felt upon the
privities, it is nothing else but a descent of the womb; but if there be
a tumour like a goose’s egg, and a hole at the bottom, and there is at
first a great pain in the parts to which the womb is fastened, as the
loins, the bottom of the abdomen, and the os sacrum, it proceeds from
the breaking or stretching of the ligaments; and a little after, the
pain is abated, and there is an impediment in walking, and sometimes
blood comes from the breach of the vessels, and the excrements and urine
are stopped, and then a fever and convulsion ensueth, oftentime proving
mortal, especially if it happen to pregnant women.

_Cure._—For the cure of this distemper, first put up the womb, before
the air alter it, or it be swollen or inflamed: and for this purpose
give a clyster to remove the excrements, and lay her upon her back, with
her legs abroad, and her thighs lifted up, and head down; then take the
tumour in your hand, and thrust it in without violence; if it be swelled
by alteration and cold, foment it with a decoction of mallows, althæa,
lime, fenugreek, camomile flowers, bay berries, and anoint it with oil
of lilies, and hen’s grease. If there be an inflammation, do not put it
up, but fright it in, by putting a red hot iron before it and making a
show as if you intended to burn it; but first sprinkle upon it the
powder of mastich, frankincense, and the like; thus, take frankincense,
mastich, each two drachms; sarcocol, steeped in milk, a drachm;
pomegranate flowers, sanguis draconis, each half a drachm. When it is
put up, let her lie with her legs stretched, and one upon the other, for
eight or ten days and make a pessary in the form of a pear, with cork or
sponge, and put it into the womb, dipped in sharp wine, or juice of
acacia, with powder of sanguis, with galbanum and bdellium. Apply also a
cupping-glass, with a great flame, under the navel or paps, or to both
kidneys, and lay this plaster to the back: take opoponax, two ounces;
storax liquid, half an ounce; mastich, frankincense, pitch, bole, each
two drachms; then with wax make a plaster; or, take laudanum, a drachm
and a half; mastich, and frankincense, each half a drachm; wood aloes,
cloves, spike, each half a drachm; ash-coloured ambergris, four grains;
musk, half a scruple; make two round plasters to be laid on each side of
the navel: make a fume of snails’ skins salted, or of garlic, and let it
be taken in by the funnel. Use also astringent fomentations of bramble
leaves, plantain, horse tails, myrtles, each two handfuls; worm-seed,
two handfuls; pomegranate flowers, half an ounce; boil them in wine and
water. For an injection take comfrey root an ounce; rupture work, two
drachms; yarrow, mugwort, each half an ounce; boil them in red wine, and
inject with a syringe. To strengthen the womb, take hartshorn, bays, of
each a drachm; myrrh, half a drachm; make a powder for two doses, and
give it with sharp wine. Or, you may take zedoary, parsnip seed, crabs’
eyes prepared, each a drachm; nutmeg, half a drachm; and give a drachm
in powder; but astringents must be used with great caution, lest by
stopping the menses, a worse mischief follow. To keep it in its place,
make rollers and ligatures as for a rupture; and put pessaries into the
bottom of the womb, that may force it to remain. Let the diet be such as
has drying, astringent, and glueing qualities, as rice, starch, quinces,
pears, and green cheese; but let the summer fruits be avoided; and let
her wine be astringent and red.

                              CHAPTER II.

            SECT. I. _Of Women’s Monthly Terms in General._

That divine Providence, which with a wisdom peculiar to itself has
appointed woman to conceive, and to bear and bring forth children, has
provided for the nourishment of children during their recess in the womb
of their mother, by that redundancy of the blood which is natural to all
women; and which, flowing out at certain periods of time (when they are
not pregnant), are from thence called _terms_ and _menses_, from their
monthly flux of excrementitious and unprofitable blood. Now, that the
matter flowing forth is excrementitious, is to be understood only with
respect to the redundancy and overplus thereof, being an excrement only
with respect to its quality; for as to its quality, it is as pure and
incorrupt as any blood in the veins; and this appears from the final
cause of it, which is the propagation and conservation of mankind; and
also, from the generation of it, being the superfluity of the last
aliment of the fleshy parts. If any ask, if the menses be not of a
hurtful quality, how can they cause such venomous effects? If they fall
upon trees and herbs, they make one barren and mortify the other. I
answer, this malignity is contracted in the womb; for the woman wanting
native heat to digest the superfluity, sends it to the matrix, where
seating itself till the mouth of the womb be dilated, it becomes corrupt
and mortified; which may easily be, considering the heat and moistness
of the place; and so this blood being out of its proper vessels, offends
in quality.

  SECT. II. _Of Terms coming out of order, either before or after the
                              usual Time._

Having, in the former part of this work, treated of the suppression and
overflow of the monthly terms, I shall content myself with referring the
reader thereto, and proceed to speak of their coming out of order,
either before or after the usual time.

Both these proceed from an ill constitution of body. Every thing is
beautiful in its order, in nature, as well as in mortality; and if the
order of nature be broke it shows the body to be out of order. Of each
of these effects briefly.

When the monthly terms come before their time, showing a depraved
excretion, and flowing sometimes twice a month, the cause is in the
blood, which stirs up the expulsive faculty of the womb, or else in the
whole body, and is frequently occasioned by the person’s diet, which
increases the blood too much, making it too sharp or too hot. If the
retentive faculty of the womb be weak, and the expulsive faculty strong,
and of a quick sense, it brings them forth the sooner. Sometimes they
flow sooner by reason of a fall, stroke, or some violent passion, which
the parties themselves can best relate. If it be from heat, thin and
sharp humours, it is known by the distemper of the whole body. The
looseness of the vessels, and weakness of the retentive faculty, is
known from a moist and loose habit of the body. It is more troublesome
than dangerous. If it proceed from a sharp blood, let her temper it by a
good diet and medicines. To which purpose, let her use baths of iron
water, that correct the distemper of the bowels, and then evacuate. If
it proceed from the retentive faculty, and looseness of the vessels, it
is to be corrected with gentle astringents.

As to the menses flowing after the usual time, the causes are, thickness
of the blood and the smallness of its quantity, with the straitness of
the passage, and the weakness of the expulsive faculties. Either of
these singly may stop the menses, but if they all concur, they render
the distemper worse. If the blood abounds not in such a quantity as may
stir up nature to expel it, its purging must necessarily be deferred
till there be enough. And if the blood be thick, the passage stopped,
and the expulsive faculty weak, the menses must needs be out of order,
and the purging of them retarded.

For the cure of this, if the quantity of blood be small, let her use a
larger diet, and very little exercise. If the blood be thick and foul,
let it be made thin, and the humours mixed therewith be evacuated. It is
good to purge after the menses have done flowing, and to use calamint;
and indeed the oftener she purges the better. She may also use fumes and
pessaries, apply cupping-glasses without scarification to the inside of
the thighs, and rub the legs and scarify the ancles, and hold the feet
in warm water four or five days before the menses come down. Let her
also anoint the bottom part of her abdomen with things proper to provoke
the terms.

               _Remedies for Disorders in Women’s Paps._

Make a cataplasm of bean meal and salad oil, and lay it to the place
affected. Or anoint with the juice of papilaris. This must be done when
the paps are very sore.

If the paps be hard and swelled, take a handful of rue, colewort roots,
horehound and mint; if you cannot get all these conveniently, any two
will do; pound the handful in honey, and apply it once every day till

If the nipples be stiff and sore, anoint twice a day with Florence oil
till healed.

If the paps be flappy and hanging, bruise a little hemlock, and apply it
to the breast for three days; but let it not stand above seven hours.
Or, which is safer, rusæ juice well boiled, with a little smapios added
thereto, and anoint.

If the paps be hard and dead, make a plate of lead pretty thin, to
answer the breasts; let this stand nine hours each day, for three days.
Or sassafras bruised, and used in like manner.

                     _Receipt for Procuring Milk._

Drink arpleni, drawn as tea, for twenty-one days. Or eat aniseeds. Also
the juice of arbor vitæ, a glassful once a day for eleven days, is very
good, for it quickens the memory, strengthens the body, and causeth milk
to flow in abundance.

                   _Directions for Drawing of Blood._

Drawing of blood was at first invented for good and salutary purposes,
although often abused and misapplied. To bleed in the left arm removes
long-continued pains and head-aches. It is also good for those who have
got falls and bruises.

Bleeding is good for many disorders, and generally proves a cure, except
in some very extraordinary cases; and in these cases bleeding is

If a woman be pregnant, to draw a little blood will give her ease, good
health and a lusty child.

Bleeding is a most certain cure for no less than twenty-one disorders,
without any outward or inward applications; and for many more, with
application of drugs, herbs and flowers.

When the moon is on the increase, you may let blood at any time, day or
night; but when she is on the decline, you must bleed only in the

Bleeding may be performed from the month of March to November. No
bleeding in December, January, or February, unless an occasion require
it. The months of March, April, and November, are the three chief months
of the year for bleeding in; but it may be performed with safety from
the 9th of March to the 19th of November.

To prevent the dangers that may arise from the unskilful drawing of
blood, let none open a vein but a person of experience and practice.
There are three sorts of people you must not let draw blood: first,
ignorant and inexperienced pretenders. Secondly, those who have bad
sight and trembling hands, whether skilled or unskilled. For when the
hand trembles, the lancet is apt to startle from the vein, and the flesh
be thereby damaged, which may hurt, canker, and very much torment the
patient. Thirdly, let no woman bleed you, but such as has gone through a
course of midwifery at college; for those who are unskilful may cut an
artery, to the great damage of the patient. Besides, what is still
worse, those pretended bleeders, who take it up at their own hand,
generally keep unedged and rusty lancets, which will prove hurtful even
in a skilful hand. Accordingly, you ought to be cautious in choosing
your physician: a man of learning knows what vein to open for each
disorder; he knows how much blood to take as soon as he sees the
patient; and he can give you suitable advice concerning your disorder.




  A The uterus, as stretched to near its full extent, containing the
    _fœtus_ entangled in the _funis_.—B. B. The superior part of the
    _ossa ilium_.—C. C. The _actebula_. D. D. The remaining posterior
    parts of the _ossa ischium_.—E. The _coccyx_.—F. The inferior part
    of the _rectum_.—G. G. The _vagina_ stretched on each side.—H. The
    _os uteri_, stretching to its full extent.—I. I. Part of the _vesica
    urinaria_.—K. K. The _placenta_ at the superior and posterior parts
    of the _uterus_.—L. The _Membranes_.—M. The _funis umbilicalis_.

                     ARISTOTLE’S BOOK OF PROBLEMS,
                               WITH OTHER
                        THE STATE OF MAN’S BODY.

Q. Among all living creatures, why hath man only his countenance lifted
up towards heaven? A. 1. From the will of the Creator. But, although
this answer be true, yet it seemeth not to be of force, because that so
all questions might be easily resolved. Therefore, 2. I answer, that,
for the most part, every workman doth make his first work worse, and
then his second better; so God creating all other animals before man
gave them their face looking down to the earth; and then secondly, he
created man, unto whom he gave an upright shape, lifted unto heaven,
because it is drawn from divinity, and is derived from the goodness of
God, who maketh all his works both perfect and good. 3. Man only among
all living creatures, is ordained to the kingdom of heaven and therefore
hath his face elevated and lifted up to heaven, because that, despising
earthly and worldly things, he ought often to contemplate on heavenly
things. 4. That the reasonable man is like unto angels, and finally
ordained towards God; and therefore he hath a figure looking upward. 5.
Man is a microcosm, that is, a little world, and therefore he doth
command all other living creatures, and they obey him. 6. Naturally
there is unto every thing and every work that form and figure given
which is fit and proper for its motion; as unto the heavens roundness,
to the fire a pyramidical form, that is, broad beneath and sharp towards
the top, which form is most apt to ascend; and so man has his face
towards heaven, to behold the wonders of God’s works.

Q. Why are the heads of men hairy? A. The hair is the ornament of the
head, and the brain is purged of gross humours by the growing of the
hair, from the highest to the lowest, which pass through the pores of
the exterior flesh, become dry, and converted into hair. This appears to
be the case from the circumstance that in all man’s body there is
nothing drier than the hair, for it is drier than the bones; and it is
well known that some beasts are nourished with bones, as dogs, but they
cannot digest feathers or hair, but void them undigested, being too hot
for nourishment. 2. It is answered, that the brain is purged in three
different ways; of superfluous watery humours by the eyes, of choler by
the nose, and of phlegm by the hair; which is the opinion of the best

Q. Why have men longer hair on their heads than any other living
creatures? A. Arist. de. Generat. Anim. says, that men have the moistest
brains of all living creatures, from which the seed proceedeth which is
converted into the long hair of the head. 2. The humours of men are fat,
and do not become dry easily; and therefore the hair groweth long on
them. In beasts, the humours easily dry, and therefore the hair groweth
not so long.

Q. Why doth the hair take deeper root in man’s skin than in that of any
other living creatures? A. Because it has greater store of nourishment
in man, and therefore grows more in the inward parts of man. And this is
the reason why in other creatures the hair doth alter and change with
the skin, and not in man, unless by a scar or wound.

Q. Why have women longer hair than men? A. 1. Because women are moister
and more phlegmatic than men; and therefore there is more matter for
hair in them, and, by consequence, the length also of their hair. And,
furthermore, this matter is more increased in women than men from their
interior parts, and especially in the time of their monthly terms,
because the matter doth then ascend, whereby the humour which breedeth
the hair doth increase. 2. Because women want beards; so the matter of
the beard doth go into that of the hair.

Q. Why have some women soft hair and some hard? A. 1. The hair hath
proportion with the skin; of which some is hard, some thick, some subtle
and soft, and some gross; therefore the hair which grows out of a thick
gross skin, is thick and gross; that which groweth out of a subtle and
fine skin is fine and soft; when the pores are open, then cometh forth
much humour, and therefore hard hair is engendered; and when the pores
are strait, then there doth grow soft and fine hair. This doth evidently
appear in men, because women have softer hair than they; for in women
the pores are shut and strait, by reason of their coldness. 2. Because
for the most part, choleric men have harder and thicker hair than
others, by reason of their heat, and because their pores are always
open, and therefore they have beards sooner than others. For this reason
also, those beasts which have hard hair are the boldest, because such
have proceeded from heat and choler, examples of which we have in the
bear and boar; and contrariwise, those beasts that have soft hair are
fearful, because they are cold, as the hare and the hart. 3. From the
climate where a man is born; because in hot regions hard and gross hair
is engendered, as appears in the Ethiopians, and the contrary is the
case in cold countries towards the north.

Q. Why have some men curled hair and some smooth? A. From the superior
degree of heat in some men, which makes the hair curl and grow upward:
this is proved by a man’s having smooth hair when he goes into a hot
bath, and it afterwards becomes curled. Therefore, keepers of baths have
often curled hair, as also Ethiopians and choleric men. But the cause of
the smoothness is the abundance of moist humours.

Q. Why have not women beards? A. Because they want heat; which is the
case with some effeminate men, who are beardless from the same cause,
and have complexions like women.

Q. Why doth the hair grow on those who are hanged? A. Because their
bodies are exposed to the sun, which by its heat doth dissolve all
moisture into the fume or vapour of which the hair doth grow.

Q. Why is the hair of the beard thicker and grosser than elsewhere; and
the more men are shaven, the harder and thicker it groweth? A. Because
by so much as the humours or vapours of any liquid are dissolved and
taken away, so much the more doth the humour remaining draw to the same;
and therefore, the more the hair is shaven, the thicker the humours
gather which engenders the hair, and cause it to wax hard.

Q. Why are women smoother and fairer than men? A. Because in women much
of the humidity and superfluity, which are the matter and cause of the
hair of the body, is expelled with their monthly terms; which
superfluity, remaining in men, through vapours passes into hair.

Q. Why doth man, above all other creatures, wax hoary and gray? A.
Because man hath the hottest heart of all living creatures; and,
therefore, nature being most wise, lest a man should be suffocated
through the heat of his heart, hath placed the heart which is most hot,
under the brain, which is most cold; to the end that the heat of the
heart may be tempered by the coldness of the brain; and contrariwise,
that the coldness of the brain may be qualified by the heat of the
heart; and thereby there might be a temperature in both. A proof of this
is, that of all living creatures man hath the worst breath when he comes
to full age. Furthermore, man doth consume nearly half his time in
sleep, which doth proceed from the great excess of coldness and moisture
in the brain, and from his wanting natural heat to digest and consume
that moisture, which heat he hath in his youth, and therefore in that
age it is not gray, but in old age when heat faileth; because then the
vapours ascending from the stomach remain undigested and unconsumed for
want of natural heat, and thus putrefy, of which putrefaction of humours
the whiteness doth follow which is called grayness or hoariness. Whereby
it doth appear, that hoariness is nothing else but a whiteness of hair,
caused by a putrefaction of the humours about the roots of the hair,
through the want of natural heat in old age. Sometimes all grayness is
caused by the naughtiness of the complexion, which may happen in youth;
sometimes through over great fear and care, as appeareth in merchants,
sailors, and thieves.

Q. Why doth red hair grow white sooner than hair of any other colour? A.
Because redness is an infirmity of the hair; for it is engendered of a
weak and infirm matter, that is of matter corrupted with the flowers of
the woman; and therefore it waxes white sooner than any other.

Q. Why do wolves grow grisly? A. To understand this question, note the
difference between grayness and grisliness: grayness is caused through
defect of natural heat, but grisliness through devouring and heat. The
wolf being a devouring animal beast, he eateth gluttonously without
chewing, and enough at once for three days; in consequence of which,
gross vapours are engendered in the wolfs body, which cause grisliness.
Grayness and grisliness have this difference; grayness is only in the
head, but grisliness all over the body.

Q. Why do horses grow grisly and gray? A. Because they are for the most
part in the sun, and heat naturally causes putrefaction; therefore the
matter of air doth putrefy, and in consequence they are quickly peeled.

Q. Why are not women bald? A. Because they are cold and moist, which are
the causes that the hair remaineth; for moistness doth give nutriment to
the hair, and coldness doth bind the pores.

Q. Why are not blind men naturally bald? A. Because the eye hath
moisture in it, and that moisture which should pass through by the
substance of the eyes doth become a sufficient nutriment for the hair,
and therefore they are seldom bald.

Q. Why doth the hair stand on end when men are afraid? A. Because in
time of fear the heat doth go from the outward parts of the body into
the inward to help the heart, and so the pores in which the hair is
fastened are shut up; after which stopping and shutting up of the pores,
the standing up of the hair doth follow.

                             _Of the Head._

Q. Why is a man’s head round? A. Because it contains in it the moistest
parts of the living creature; and also that the brain may be defended
thereby, as with a shield.

Q. Why is the head not absolutely long, but somewhat round? A. To the
end that the three creeks and cells of the brain might the better be
distinguished: that is, the fancy in the forehead, the discoursing or
reasonable part in the middle, and memory in the hindermost part.

Q. Why doth a man lift up his head towards the heavens when he doth
imagine? A. Because the imagination is the fore part of the head or
brain, and therefore it lifteth up itself, that the creeks or cells of
the imagination may be opened, and that the spirits which help the
imagination, and are fit for that purpose, having their concourse
thither, may help the imagination.

Q. Why doth a man, when he museth or thinketh of things past, look
towards the earth? A. Because the cell or creek which is behind, is the
creek or chamber of the memory; and therefore that looketh towards the
heavens when the head is bowed down, and so that cell is open, to the
end that the spirits which perfect the memory should enter in.

Q. Why is not the head fleshy, like other parts of the body? A. Because
the head would be too heavy, and would not stand steadily. Also, a head
loaded with flesh betokens an evil complexion.

Q. Why is the head subject to aches and griefs? A. By reason that evil
humours, which proceed from the stomach, ascend up to the head and
disturb the brain, and so cause pain in the head: sometimes it proceeds
from overmuch filling the stomach, because two great sinews pass from
the brain to the mouth of the stomach, and therefore these two parts do
always suffer grief together.

Q. Why have women the headache oftener than man? A. By reason of their
monthly terms, which men are not troubled with; and by which a moist,
unclean, and venomous fume is produced, that seeks passage upwards, and
so causes the headache.

Q. Why is the brain white? A. 1. Because it is cold, and coldness is the
mother of white. 2. Because it may receive the similitude and likeness
of all colours, which the white colour can best do, because it is most

Q. Why are all the senses in the head? A. Because the brain is there, on
which all the senses depend, and are directed by it; and consequently,
it maketh all the spirits to feel, and governeth all the membranes.

Q. Why cannot a person escape death if the brain or heart be hurt? A.
Because the brain and heart are the two principal parts which concern
life; and, therefore, if they be hurt, there is no remedy left for cure.

Q. Why is the brain moist? A. Because it may easily receive an
impression, which moisture can best do, as it appeareth in wax, which
doth easily receive the print of the seal when soft.

Q. Why is the brain cold? A. 1. Because that by this coldness it may
clear the understanding of man, and make it subtle. 2. That by the
coldness of the brain the heat of the heart may be tempered.

                             _Of the Eyes._

Q. Why have you one nose and two eyes? A. Because light is more
necessary for us than smelling; and therefore it doth proceed from the
goodness of Nature, that if we receive any hurt or loss of one eye, the
other may remain.

Q. Why have children great eyes in their youth, which become small as
they grow up? A. It proceeds from the want of fire, and from the
assemblage and meeting together of the light and humour; the eyes being
lightened by the sun, which doth lighten the easy humour thereof and
purge them; and, in the absence of the sun, those humours become dark
and black, and the sight not so good.

Q. Why does the blueish gray eye see badly in the day-time, and well in
the night? A. Because grayness is light and shining of itself, and the
spirits with which we see are weakened in the day-time and strengthened
in the night.

Q. Why are men’s eyes of divers colours? A. By reason of diversity of
humours. The eye hath four coverings and three humours. The first
covering is called consolidative, which is the outermost, strong and
fat. The second is called a horny skin or covering, of the likeness of a
horn; which is a clear covering. The third, uvea, of the likeness of a
black grape. The fourth is called a cobweb. The first humour is called
_abungines_, from its likeness unto the white of an egg. The second
_glarial_; that is, clear, like unto crystalline. The third, _vitreous_;
that is, clear as glass. And the diversity of humours causeth the
diversity of the eye.

Q. Why are men who have but one eye good archers? and why do good
archers commonly shut one eye? And why do such as behold the stars look
through a trunk with one eye? A. This matter is handled in the
perspective arts; and the reason is, as it doth appear in _The Book of
Causes_, because that every virtue and strength united and knit together
is stronger than when dispersed and scattered. Therefore all the force
of seeing dispersed in two eyes, the one being shut, is gathered into
the other; and so the light is fortified in him; and by consequence he
doth see better and more certainly with one eye being shut, than when
both are open.

Q. Why do those that drink and laugh much shed most tears? A. Because
that while they drink and laugh without measure, the air which is drawn
in doth not pass out through the wind-pipe, and so with force is
directed and sent to the eyes, and by their pores passing out, doth
expel the humours of the eyes; which humour being so expelled brings

Q. Why do such as weep much, urine but little? A. Because the radical
humidity of a tear and of urine are of one and the same nature; and
therefore, where weeping doth increase, urine diminishes. And that they
are of one nature is plain to the taste, because they are both salt.

Q. Why do some that have clear eyes see nothing? A. By reason of the
oppilation and naughtiness of the sinews with which we see; for the
temples being destroyed, the strength of the light cannot be carried
from the brain to the eye.

Q. Why is the eye clear and smooth like glass? A. 1. Because the things
which may be seen are better beaten back from a smooth thing than
otherwise, that thereby the sight should strengthen. 2. Because the eye
is moist above all parts of the body, and of a waterish nature; and as
the water is clear and smooth, so likewise is the eye.

Q. Why do men and beasts who have their eyes deep in their head see best
far off? A. Because the force and power by which we see is not dispersed
in them, and doth go directly to the thing which is seen. Thus, when a
man doth stand in a deep ditch or well, he doth see in the day-time the
stars of the firmament; because then the power of the sight and of the
beams are not scattered.

Q. Wherefore do those men who have eyes far out in their head not see
far distant? A. Because the beams of the sight which pass from the eye
are scattered on every side, and go not directly unto the thing that is
seen, and therefore the sight is weakened.

Q. Why are many beasts born blind, as lions’ whelps and dogs’ whelps? A.
Because such beasts are not yet of perfect ripeness and maturity, and
the course of nutriment doth not work in them. Thus, the swallow, whose
eyes, if they were taken out when they are young in their nest, would
grow in again. And this is the case in many beasts who are brought forth
before their time, as it were dead, as bears’ whelps.

Q. Why do the eyes of a woman that hath her flowers stain new glass? And
why doth a basilisk kill a man with his sight? A. 1. When the flowers do
run from a woman, then a most venomous air is distilled from them, which
doth ascend into the woman’s head; and she having pain in her head, doth
wrap it up with a cloth or handkerchief; and, because the eyes are full
of insensible holes, which are called pores, there the air seeketh a
passage and infects the eyes, which are full of blood. The eyes also
appear dropping and full of tears, by reason of the evil vapour that is
in them; and these vapours are incorporated and multiplied till they
come to the glass before them; and by reason that such a glass is round,
clear, and smooth, it doth easily receive that which is unclean. 2. The
basilisk is a very venomous and infectious animal, and there pass from
his eyes venomous vapours, which are multiplied upon the thing which is
seen by him, and even unto the eye of man; the which venomous vapours or
humours entering into the body do infect him, and so in the end the man
dieth. And this is also the reason why the basilisk, looking upon a
shield perfectly well made with fast clammy pitch, or any hard smooth
thing, doth kill itself, because the humours are beaten back from the
hard smooth thing unto the basilisk, by which beating back he is killed.

Q. Why is the sparkling in cats’ eyes and wolves’ eyes seen in the dark
and not in the light? A. Because that the greater light doth darken the
lesser; and therefore in a greater light the sparkling cannot be seen;
but the greater the darkness, the easier it is seen, and is made more
strong and shining.

Q. Why is the sight retreated and refreshed by a green colour? A.
Because green doth merely move the sight, and therefore doth comfort it;
but this doth not black nor white colours, because these colours do
vehemently stir and alter the organ and instrument of the sight, and
therefore make the greater violence; and by how much the more violent
the thing is which is felt or seen, the more it doth destroy and weaken
the sense.

                             _Of the Nose._

Q. Why doth the nose stand out farther than any other part of the body?
A. 1. Because the nose is as it were, the sink of the brain, by which
the phlegm of the brain is purged; and therefore it doth stand forth,
lest the other parts should be defiled. 2. Because the nose is the
beauty of the face, and doth smell.

Q. Why hath man the worst smell of all creatures? A. Because man hath
most brains of all creatures; and, therefore, by exceeding coldness and
moisture, the brain wanteth a good disposition, and by consequence, the
smelling instrument is not good; yea, some men have no smell.

Q. Why have vultures and comorants a keen smell? A. Because they have a
very dry brain; and therefore, the air carrying the smell is not
hindered by the humidity of the brain, but doth presently touch its
instrument; and, therefore, vultures, tigers, and other ravenous beasts,
have been known to come five hundred miles after dead bodies.

Q. Why did nature make the nostrils? A. 1. Because, the mouth being
shut, we draw breath in by the nostrils to refresh the heart. 2. Because
the air which proceedeth from the mouth doth savour badly, because of
the vapours which rise from the stomach, but that which we breathe from
the nose is not noisome. 3. Because the phlegm which doth proceed from
the brain is purged by them.

Q. Why do men sneeze? A. That the expulsive virtue and power of the
sight should thereby be purged, and the brain also, from superfluities:
because, as the lungs are purged by coughing, so is the sight and brain
by sneezing; and therefore physicians give sneezing medicaments to purge
the brain; and thus it is, such sick persons that cannot sneeze die
quickly, because it is a sign their brain is wholly stuffed with evil
humours, which cannot be purged.

Q. Why do not such as are apoplectic sneeze; that is, such as are
subject easily to bleed? A. Because the passages or ventricles of the
brain are stopped; and if they could sneeze, their apoplexy would be

Q. Why does the heat of the sun provoke sneezing, and not the heat of
the fire? A. Because the heat of the sun doth dissolve, but not consume,
and therefore the vapour dissolved is expelled by sneezing; but the heat
of the fire doth dissolve and consume, and therefore doth rather hinder
sneezing than provoke it.

                             _Of the Ears_

Q. Why do beasts move their ears, and not men? A. Because there is a
certain muscle near the under-jaw which doth cause motion in the ear;
and therefore that muscle being extended and stretched, men do not move
their ears, as it hath been seen in divers men; but all beasts do use
that muscle or fleshy sinew, and therefore do move their ears.

Q. Why is rain prognosticated by the pricking up of asses’ ears? A.
Because the ass is of a melancholic constitution, and the approach of
rain produceth that effect upon such a constitution. In the time of rain
all beasts prick up their ears, but the ass before it comes.

Q. Why have some animals no ears? A. Nature giveth unto every thing that
which is fit for it; but if she had given birds ears, their flying would
have been hindered by them. Likewise fish want ears, because they would
hinder their swimming, and have only certain little holes through which
they hear.

Q. Why have bats ears, although of the bird kind? A. Because they are
partly birds in nature, in that they fly, by reason whereof they have
wings; and partly they are hairy, and seem to be of the nature of mice,
therefore nature hath given them ears.

Q. Why have men only round ears? A. Because the shape of the whole and
of the parts should be proportionable, and especially in all things of
one nature; for as a drop of water is round, so the whole water; and so,
because a man’s head is round, the ear inclines towards the same figure;
but the heads of beasts are somewhat long, and so the ears are drawn
into length likewise.

Q. Why hath nature given all living creatures ears? A. 1. Because with
them they should hear. 2. Because by the ear choleric superfluity is
purged; for as the head is purged of phlegmatic superfluity by the nose,
so from choleric by the ears.

                            _Of the Mouth._

Q. Why hath the mouth lips to compass it? A. Because the lips cover and
defend the teeth; for it would be unseemly if the teeth were always
seen. Also, the teeth being of a cold nature, would soon be hurt if they
were not covered with lips.

Q. Why has a man two eyes, two ears, and but one mouth? A. Because a man
should speak but little, and hear and see much. And by hearing and the
light we see the difference of things.

Q. Why hath a man a mouth? A. 1. Because the mouth is the gate or door
of the stomach. 2. Because the meat is chewed in the mouth, and prepared
and made ready for the first digestion. 3. Because the air drawn into
the hollow of the mouth for the refreshing of the heart is made pure and

Q. Why are the lips moveable? A. For the purpose of forming the voice
and words, which cannot be perfectly done without them. For, as without
_a_, _b_, _c_, there is no writing, so without the lips no voice can be
well formed.

Q. What causes man to yawn or gape? A. It proceeds from the thick fume
and vapours that fill the jaws; by the expulsion of which is caused the
stretching out and expansion of the jaws, and opening of the mouth.

Q. Why doth a man gape when he seeth another doing the same? A. It
proceeds from the imagination. And this is proved by the similitude of
the ass, who, by reason of his melancholy, doth retain his superfluity
for a long time, and would neither eat nor make water unless he should
hear another doing the like.

                            _Of the Teeth._

Q. Why do the teeth only, amongst all other bones, experience the sense
of feeling? A. That they may discern heat and cold, that hurt them,
which other bones need not.

Q. Why have men more teeth than women? A. By reason of the abundance of
heat and blood, which is more in men than women.

Q. Why do the teeth grow to the end of our life, and not the other
bones? A. Because otherwise they would be consumed with chewing and

Q. Why do the teeth only come again when they fail, or be taken out, and
other bones being taken away grow no more? A. Because all other bones
are engendered of the humidity which is called radical, and so they
breed in the womb of the mother; but the teeth are engendered of
nutritive humidity, which is renewed and increased from day to day.

Q. Why do the fore-teeth fall in youth, and grow again, and not the
cheek teeth? A. From the defect of matter, and from the figure; because
the fore-teeth are sharp, and the others broad. Also, it is the office
of the fore-teeth to cut the meat, and therefore they are sharp; and the
office of the other to chew the meat, and therefore they are broad in
fashion, which is fittest for that purpose.

Q. Why do the fore-teeth grow soonest? A. Because we want them sooner in
cutting than the others in chewing.

Q. Why do the teeth grow black in human creatures in their old age? A.
It is occasioned by the corruption of the meat, and the corruption of
phlegm, with a choleric humour.

Q. Why are colt’s teeth yellow, and of the colour of saffron, when they
are young, and become white when they grow up? A. Because horses have
abundance of watery humours in them, which in their youth are digested
and converted into grossness; but in old age heat diminishes, and the
watery humours remain, whose proper colour is white.

Q. Why did nature give living creatures teeth? A. To some to fight with,
and for defence of their lives, as unto wolves and bats; unto some to
eat with, as unto horses; unto some for the forming of voice, as unto

Q. Why do horned beasts want their upper teeth? A. Horns and teeth are
caused by the same matter, that is, nutrimental humidity, and therefore
the matter which passeth into horns turneth not into teeth, consequently
they want the upper teeth. And beasts cannot chew well; therefore, to
supply the want of teeth, they have two stomachs, from whence it
returns, and they chew it again; then it goes into the other to be

Q. Why are some creatures brought forth, with teeth, as kids and lambs;
and some without, as men? A. Nature doth not want unnecessary things,
nor abound in superfluous; and therefore because these beasts, not long
after they are fallen, do need teeth, they are fallen with teeth; but
men, being nourished by their mother, for a long time, do not stand in
need of teeth.

                            _Of the Tongue._

Q. Why is the tongue full of pores? A. Because the tongue is the means
whereby we taste; and through the mouth, in the pores of the tongue,
doth proceed the sense of tasting. Again, it is observed, that frothy
spittle is sent into the mouth by the tongue from the lungs, moistening
the meat, and making it ready for digestion.

Q. Why do the tongues of such as are sick of agues judge all things
bitter? A. Because the stomachs of such people are filled with choleric
humours; and choler is very bitter, as appeareth by the gall; therefore,
this bitter fume doth infect their tongues; and so the tongue being full
of those tastes, doth judge every thing bitter.

Q. Why doth the tongue water when we hear sour and sharp things spoken
of? A. Because the imaginative virtue or power is of greater force than
the power and faculty of tasting; and when we imagine a taste, we
conceive the power of tasting as a means; there is nothing felt by the
taste, but by means of the spittle the tongue doth water.

Q. Why do some persons stammer and lisp? A. Sometimes through the
moistness of the tongue and brain, as in children, who cannot speak
plainly nor pronounce many letters. Sometimes it happeneth by reason of
the shrinking of certain sinews which go to the tongue, which are
corrupted with phlegm.

Q. Why are the tongues of serpents and mad dogs venomous? A. Because of
the malignity and tumosity of the venomous humour which predominates in

Q. Why is a dog’s tongue good for medicine, and a horse’s tongue
pestiferous? A. By reason of some secret property, or that the tongue of
a dog is full of pores, and so doth draw and take the viscosity of a
wound. It is observed that a dog hath some humour in his tongue, with
which, by licking, he doth heal; but the contrary effect is in a horse’s

Q. Why is spittle white? A. By reason of the continual movement of the
tongue, whereof heat is engendered, which doth make this superfluity
white; that is seen on the froth of water.

Q. Why is spittle unsavoury and without taste? A. If it had a certain
determinate taste, then the tongue would not taste at all, but only give
the taste of spittle, and could not distinguish others.

Q. Why does the spittle of one that is fasting heal an imposthume? A.
Because it is well digested, and made subtle.

Q. Why do some abound in spittle more than others? A. This doth proceed
of a phlegmatic complexion, which doth predominate in them; and such are
liable to a quotidian ague, which ariseth from the predominance of
phlegm: the contrary, in those that spit little, because heat abounds in
them, which consumes the humidity of the spittle; and so the defect of
spittle is the sign of fever.

Q. Why is the spittle of a man who is fasting more subtle than of one
who is full? A. Because the spittle is without the viscosity of meat,
which is wont to make the spittle of one who is full, gross and thick.

Q. From whence proceedeth the spittle of man? A. From the froth of the
lungs, which, according to the physicians, is the seat of the phlegm.

Q. Why have not birds spittle? A. Because they have very dry lungs.

Q. Why doth the tongue sometimes lose the use of speaking? A. It is
occasioned by a palsy or apoplexy, which is a sudden effusion of blood,
and by gross humours; and sometimes also by infection of _spiritus
animalis_ in the middle cell of the brain, which hinders the spirits
from being carried to the tongue.

                      _Of the Roof of the Mouth._

Q. Why are fruits, before they are ripe, of a bitter or sour relish, and
afterwards sweet? A. A sour relish or taste proceeds from coldness and
want of heat in gross and thick humidity; but a sweet taste is produced
by sufficient heat; therefore, in the ripe fruit humidity is subtle
through the heat of the sun, and such fruit is commonly sweet; but
before it is ripe, as humidity is gross or subtle for want of heat, the
fruit is bitter or sour.

Q. Why are we better delighted with sweet tastes than with bitter or any
other? A. Because a sweet thing is hot and moist, and through its heat
dissolves and consumes superfluous humidities, and by this humidity
immundicity is washed away; but a sharp eager taste, by reason of the
cold which predominates in it, doth bind overmuch, and prick and offend
the parts of the body in purging, and therefore we do not delight in
that taste.

Q. Why doth a sharp taste, as that of vinegar, provoke appetite rather
than any other? A. Because it is cold, and doth cool. For it is the
nature of cold to desire and draw, and therefore it is the cause of

Q. Why do we draw in more air than we breathe out? A. Because much air
is drawn in that is converted into nutriment, and with the vital spirits
is contained in the lungs. Therefore a beast is not suffocated so long
as it receives air with its lungs, in which some part of the air
remaineth also.

Q. Why doth the air seem to be expelled and put forth, seeing the air is
invisible, by reason of its variety and thinness? A. Because the air
which is received in us, is mingled with vapours and fumes from the
heart, by reason whereof it is made thick, and so is seen. And this is
proved by experience, because that in winter we see our breath; for the
coldness of the air doth bind the breath mixed with fume, and so it is
thickened and made gross, and by consequence is seen.

Q. Why have some persons stinking breath? A. Because of evil fumes that
arise from the stomach. And sometimes it doth proceed from the
corruption of the airy parts of the body, as the lungs. The breath of
lepers is so infected, that it would poison birds if near them, because
the inward parts are very corrupt.

Q. Why are lepers hoarse? A. Because the vocal instruments are
corrupted, that is, the lights.

Q. Why do persons become hoarse? A. Because of the rheum descending from
the brain filling the conduit of the lights: and sometimes through
imposthumes of the throat, or rheum gathering in the neck.

Q. Why have the females of all living creatures the shrillest voice, the
crow only excepted, and a woman a shriller and smaller voice than a man?
A. By reason of the composition of the veins the vocal arteries of voice
are formed, as appears by this similitude, that a small pipe sounds
shriller than a great. Also in women, because the passage where the
voice is formed is made narrow and strait, by reason of cold, it being
the nature of cold to bind; but in men, the passage is open and wider
through heat, because it is the property of heat to open and dissolve.
It proceedeth in women through the moistness of the lungs, and weakness
of the heat. Young and diseased men have sharp and shrill voices from
the same cause.

Q. Why doth the voice change in men at fourteen, and in women at twelve?
A. Because then the beginning of the voice is slackened and loosened;
and this is proved by the similitude of the string of an instrument let
down or loosened which gives a great sound; and also because eunuchs,
capons, &c. have softer and slenderer voices than others, in consequence
of the absence of generating powers.

Q. Why do small birds sing more and louder than great ones, as appears
in the lark and nightingale? A. Because the spirits of small birds are
subtle and soft, and the organ conduit strait, as appeareth in a pipe;
therefore their notes following easily at desire they sing very soft.

Q. Why do bees, wasps, locusts, and many other such like insects, make a
noise, seeing they have no lungs, nor instruments of voice? A. Because
in them there is a certain small skin, which, when struck by the air,
causeth a sound.

Q. Why do not fish make a sound? A. Because they have no lungs, but only
gills, nor yet a heart; and therefore they need not the drawing in of
the air, and by consequence they make no noise, because a noise is the
percussion of the air which is drawn.

                             _Of the Neck._

Q. Why hath a living creature a neck? A. Because the neck is the
supporter of the head, and therefore the neck is in the middle between
the head and the body, to the intent that by it and by its sinews,
motion and sense of the body might be conveyed through all the body; and
that by means of the neck, the heart, which is very hot, might be
separated from the brain.

Q. Why do some creatures want necks, as serpents and fishes? A. Because
they want hearts, and therefore want that assistance which we have
spoken of; or else they have a neck in some inward part of them, which
is not distinguished outwardly.

Q. Why is the neck full of bones and joints? A. That it may bear and
sustain the head the better. Also, because the backbone is joined to the
brain in the neck, and from thence it receives marrow, which is of the
substance of the brain.

Q. Why have some creatures long necks, as cranes, storks, and such like?
A. Because such birds seek their food at the bottom of waters. And some
creatures have short necks, as sparrows, hawks, &c. because such are
ravenous, and therefore for strength have short necks; as appeareth in
the ox, which has a short neck and strong.

Q. Why is the neck hollow, and especially before, about the tongue? A.
Because there are two passages, whereof the one doth carry the meat to
the nutritive instrument, or stomach and liver, which is called by the
Greeks _Œsophagus_; and the other is the wind-pipe.

Q. Why is the artery made with rings and circle? A. The better to bow
and give a good sounding.

                      _Of the Shoulders and Arms._

Q, Why hath a man shoulders and arms? A. To lift and carry burdens.

Q. Why are the arms round? A. For the swifter and speedier work.

Q. Why are the arms thick? A. That they may be strong to lift and bear
burdens, and thrust and give a strong blow; so their bones are thick,
because they contain much marrow, or they would be easily corrupted and

Q. Why do the arms become small and slender in some diseases, as in mad
men and such as are sick of the dropsy? A. Because all the parts of the
body do suffer the one with the other; and therefore one member being in
grief, all the humours do concur and run thither to give succour and
help to the aforesaid grief.

Q. Why have brute beasts no arms? A. Their fore feet are instead of
arms, and in their place.

                            _Of the Hands._

Q. For what use hath a man hands, and an ape also like unto a man? A.
The hand is an instrument that a man doth especially make use of,
because many things are done by the hands and not by any other part.

Q. Why are some men ambo-dexter, that is, they use the left hand as the
right? A. By reason of the great heat of the heart, and for the hot
bowing of the same; for it is that which makes a man as nimble of the
left hand as of the right.

Q. Why are the fingers full of joints? A. To be more fit and apt to
receive and keep what are put in them.

Q. Why hath every finger three joints, and the thumb but two? A. The
thumb hath three, but the third is joined to the arm, therefore is
stronger than the other, fingers; and is called pollox, or polico, that
is to excel in strength.

Q. Why are the fingers of the right hand nimbler than the fingers of the
left? A. It proceedeth from the heat that predominates in those parts,
and causeth greater agility.

                            _Of the Nails._

Q. From whence do nails proceed? A. Of the tumosity and humours, which
are resolved and go into the extremities of the fingers, and they are
dried through the power of the external air, and brought to the hardness
of horn.

Q. Why do the nails of old men grow black and pale? A. Because the heat
of the heart decaying, causeth their beauty to decay also.

Q. Why are men judged to be good or evil complexioned by the colour of
their nails? A. Because they give witness of the goodness or badness of
the heart, and therefore of the complexion; for if they be somewhat red,
they betoken choler well tempered; but if they be yellowish or black,
they signify melancholy.

Q. Why do white spots appear in the nails? A. Through mixture of phlegm
with the nutriment.

                        _Of the Paps and Dugs._

Q. Why are the paps placed upon the breasts? A. Because the breast is
the seat of the heart, which is most hot; and therefore the paps grow
there, to the end that the menses being conveyed thither, as being near
to the heat of the heart, should the sooner be digested, perfected, and
converted into the matter and substance of the milk.

Q. Why are the paps below the breasts in beasts, and above the breasts
in woman? A. Because woman goes upright, and has two legs only: and
therefore if her paps were below her breasts, they would hinder her
going; but beasts having four feet prevents that inconveniency.

Q. Why have not men as great paps and breasts as women? A. Because men
have not monthly terms, and therefore have no vessel deputed for them.

Q. Whether are great, small or middle-sized paps best for children to
suck? A. In great ones the heat is dispersed, and there is no good
digestion of the milk; but in small ones the power and force is strong,
because a virtue united is strongest, and by consequence there is a good
digestion of the milk.

Q. Why do the paps of young women begin to grow about 13 or 15 years of
age? A. Because then the flowers have no course to the teats, by which
the young one is nourished, but follow their ordinary course, and
therefore wax soft.

Q. Why hath a woman who is pregnant of a boy, the right pap harder than
the left? A. Because the male child is conceived in the right side of
the mother: and therefore the flowers do run to the right pap and make
it hard.

Q. Why doth it show weakness of the child, when the milk doth drop out
of the paps before the woman is delivered? A. Because the milk is the
proper nutriment of the child in the womb of the mother; therefore if
the milk run out, it is a token that the child is not nourished, and
consequently is weak.

Q. Why doth the hardness of the paps betoken the health of the child in
the womb? A. Because the flowers are converted into milk, and that milk
doth sufficiently nourish the child, and thereby strength is signified.

Q. Why are women’s paps hard when they be pregnant, and soft at other
times? A. Because they swell then, and are puffed up; and the great
moisture which proceeds from the flowers doth run into the paps, which
at other seasons remaineth in the matrix or womb, and is expelled by the
place deputed for that end.

Q. By what means doth the milk of the paps come to the matrix or womb?
A. There is a certain knitting and coupling of the paps with the womb,
and there are certain veins which the midwives do cut in the time of the
birth of the child, and by those veins the milk flows in at the navel of
the child, and so it receives nourishment by the navel.

Q. Why is it a sign of a male child in the womb, when the milk that
runneth out of a woman’s breast is thick, and not much, and of a female
when it is thin? A. Because a woman that goeth with a boy, hath a great
heat in her, which doth perfect the milk and make it thick; but she who
goes with a girl hath not so much heat, and therefore the milk is
undigested, imperfect, watery, and thin, and will swim above the water
if it be put into it.

Q. Why is the milk white, seeing the flowers are red, of which it is
engendered? A. Because blood which is well purged and concocted becomes
white, as appeareth in flesh whose proper colour is red, and being
boiled is white. Also, because every humour which is engendered of the
body, is made like unto that part in colour where it is engendered, as
near as it can be; but because the flesh of the paps is white, therefore
the colour of the milk is white.

Q. Why doth a cow give milk more abundantly than other beasts? A.
Because she is a great eating beast, and where there is much monthly
superfluity engendered, there is much milk; because it is nothing else
but that blood purged and tried.

Q. Why is not milk wholesome? A. 1. Because it curdeth in the stomach,
whereof an evil breath is bred. 2. Because the milk doth grow sour in
the stomach, where evil humours are bred, and infect the breath.

Q. Why is milk bad for such as have the headache? A. Because it is
easily turned into great fumosities, and hath much terrestrial substance
in it, the which ascending doth cause the headache.

Q. Why is milk fit nutriment for infants? A. Because it is a natural and
usual food, and they were nourished by the same in the womb.

Q. Why are the white-meats made of a new-milked cow good? A. Because
milk at that time is very spongy, expels many fumosities, and, as it
were, purges at that time.

Q. Why do physicians forbid the eating of fish and milk at the same
time? A. Because they produce a leprosy, and because they are

Q. Why have not birds and fish milk and paps? A. Because paps would
hinder the flight of birds. And although fish have neither paps nor
milk, the females cast much spawn, which the male touches with a small
gut, and causes their kind to continue in succession.

                             _Of the Back._

Q. Why have beasts backs? A. 1. Because the back is the way and mien of
the body, from which are extended and spread throughout all the sinews
of the backbone. 2. Because it should be a guard and defence for the
soft parts of the body, as for the stomach, liver, lights and such like.
3. Because it is the foundation of all the bones, as the ribs, fastened
to the backbone.

Q. Why hath the backbone so many joints or knots, called _spondelia_? A.
Because the moving and bending it, without such joints, could not be
done; and therefore they are wrong who say that elephants have no such
joints, for without them they could not move.

Q. Why do fish die after their backbones are broken? A. Because in fish
the backbone is instead of the heart; now the heart is the first thing
that lives, and the last that dies; and when that bone is broken, fish
can live no longer.

Q. Why doth a man die soon after the marrow is hurt or perished? A.
Because the marrow proceeds from the brain, which is the principal part
of a man.

Q. Why have some men the piles? A. Those men are cold and melancholy,
which melancholy first passes to the spleen, its proper seat, but there
cannot be retained, for the abundance of blood; for which reason it is
conveyed to the backbone, where there are certain veins which terminate
in the back, and receive the blood. When those veins are full of the
melancholy blood, then the conduits of nature are opened, and the blood
issues out once a month, like women’s terms. Those men who have this
course of blood, are kept from many infirmities, such as the dropsy,
plague, &c.

Q. Why are the Jews much subject to this disease? A. Because they eat
much phlegmatic and cold meats, which breed melancholy blood, which is
purged with the flux. Another reason is, motion causes heat, and heat
digestion; but strict Jews never move, labour, nor converse much, which
breeds a coldness in them, and hinders digestion, causing melancholic
blood, which is by this means purged out.

                            _Of the Heart._

Q. Why are the lungs light, spongy, and full of holes? A. That the air
may be received into them for cooling the heart, and expelling humours,
because the lungs are the fan of the heart; and as a pair of bellows are
raised up by taking in the air, and shrunk by blowing it out, so
likewise the lungs draw the air to cool the heart, and cast it out, lest
through too much air drawn in, the heart should be suffocated.

Q. Why is the flesh of the lungs white? A. Because they are in continual

Q. Why have those beasts only lungs that have hearts? A. Because the
lungs are no part for themselves, but for the heart; and therefore it
were superfluous for those creatures to have lungs that have no hearts.

Q. Why do such creatures as have no lungs want a bladder? A. Because
such drink no water to make their meat digest, and need no bladder for
urine; as appears in such birds who do not drink at all, viz. the falcon
and sparrow-hawk.

Q. Why is the heart in the midst of the body? A. That it may impart life
to all parts of the body; and therefore it is compared to the sun, which
is placed in the midst of the planets, to give light to them all.

Q. Why only in men is the heart on the left side? A. To the end that the
heat of the heart may mitigate the coldness of the spleen; for the
spleen is the seat of melancholy, which is on the left side also.

Q. Why is the heart first engendered; for the heart doth live and die
last? A. Because the heart is the beginning and original of life, and
without it no part can live. For of the seed retained in the matrix,
there is engendered a little small skin, which compasses the seed;
whereof the heart is made of the purest blood; then of blood not so
pure, the liver; and of thick and cold blood the marrow and brain.

Q. Why are beasts bold that have little hearts? A. Because in a little
heart the heat is well united and vehement, and the blood touching it
doth quickly heat it, and is speedily carried to the other parts of the
body, which gives courage and boldness.

Q. Why are creatures with a large heart timorous, as the hare? A. The
heart is dispersed in such a one, and not able to heat the blood which
cometh to it; by which means fear is bred.

Q. How is it that the heart is continually moving? A. Because in it
there is a certain spirit which is more subtle than air, and by reason
of its thickness and rarefaction seeks a larger space, filling the
hollow room of the heart, hence the dilating and opening of the heart;
and because the heart is earthly, the thrusting and moving ceasing, its
parts are at rest, tending downwards. As a proof of this, take an acorn,
which, if put into the fire, the heat dissolves its humidity, therefore
it occupies a greater space, so that the rind cannot contain it, but
puffs up and throws it into the fire. The like of the heart. Therefore
the heart of a living creature is triangular, having its least part
towards its left side, and the greater towards the right; and doth also
open and shut in the least part, by which means it is in continual
motion; the first motion is called _diastole_, that is, extending the
breast or heart; the other _systole_, that is, shutting of the heart;
and from these all the motions of the body proceed, and that of the
pulse which physicians feel.

Q. How comes it that the flesh of the heart is so compact and knit
together? A. Because in thick compacted substances heat is strongly
received and united. And because the heart with its heat should moderate
the coldness of the brain, it is made of that fat flesh apt to keep a
strong heat.

Q. How comes the heart to be the hottest part of all living creatures?
A. It is so compacted as to receive heat best, and because it should
mitigate the coldness of the brain.

Q. Why is the heart the beginning of life? A. It is plain that in it the
vital spark is bred, which is the seat of life; and therefore the heart
having two receptacles, viz. the right and the left, the right hath more
blood than spirits; which spirit is engendered to give life and vivify
the body.

Q. Why is the heart long and sharp like a pyramid? A. The round figure
hath an angle, therefore the heart is round, for fear any poison or
hurtful matter should be retained in it; and because that figure is
fittest for motion.

Q. How comes the blood chiefly to be in the heart? A. The blood in the
heart has its proper or efficient place, which some attribute to the
liver; and therefore the heart doth not receive blood from any other
parts, but all other parts from it.

Q. How comes it that some creatures want a heart? A. Although they have
no heart, yet they have somewhat that answers for it, as appears in eels
and fish that have the backbone instead of the heart.

Q. Why does the heart beat in some creatures when the head is off, as in
birds and hens? A. Because the heart lives first and dies last, and
therefore beats longer than other parts.

Q. Why doth the heat of the heart sometimes fail of a sudden, as in
those who have the falling sickness? A. This proceeds from the defect of
the heart itself, and of certain small sinks with which it is covered,
which being infected and corrupted, the heart faileth on a sudden:
sometimes only by reason of the parts adjoining; and therefore, when any
venomous humour goes out of the stomach, that turns the heart and parts
adjoining, that causeth the fainting.

                           _Of the Stomach._

Q. For what reason is the stomach large and wide? A. Because in it the
food is first concocted or digested as it were in a pot, to the end that
that which is pure should be separated from that which is not; and
therefore, according to the quantity of food, the stomach is enlarged.

Q. How comes it that the stomach is round? A. Because if it had angles
and corners, food would remain in them, and breed ill humours, so that a
man would never want agues, which humours are evacuated and consumed,
and not hid in any such corners, by the roundness of the stomach.

Q. How comes the stomach to be full of sinews? A. Because the sinews can
be extended and enlarged; and so is the stomach when it is full; but
when empty it is drawn together; and therefore nature provides those

Q. How comes the stomach to digest? A. Because of the heat which is in
it, and comes from the parts adjoining, that is, the liver and the
heart. For as we see in metals, the heat of the fire takes away the rust
and dross from iron, the silver from tin, and gold from copper; so also
by digestion the pure is separated from the impure.

Q. For what reason doth the stomach join the liver? A. Because the liver
is very hot, and with its heat helps digestion, and provokes appetite.

Q. Why are we commonly cold after dinner? A. Because then the heat goes
to the stomach to further digestion, and so the other parts grow cold.

Q. Why is it hurtful to study soon after dinner? A. Because when the
heat labours to help the imagination in study, it ceases from digesting
the food, which remains undigested; therefore people should walk some
time after meals.

Q. How cometh the stomach slowly to digest meat? A. Because it swims in
the stomach. Now, the best digestion is in the bottom of the stomach,
because the fat descends not there: such as eat fat meat are very
sleepy, by reason that digestion is hindered.

Q. Why is all the body wrong, when the stomach is uneasy? A. Because the
stomach is knit with the brain, heart, and liver, which are the
principal parts in man; and when it is not well the others are
indisposed. Again, if the first digestion be hindered, the others are
also hindered; for in the first digestion is the beginning of the
infirmity of the stomach.

Q. Why are young men sooner hungry than old men? A. Young men do digest
for three causes; 1. For growing: 2. For restoring of life: and, 3. For
conservation of life. Also, young men are hot and dry, and therefore the
heat doth digest more, and by consequence they desire more.

Q. Why do physicians prescribe that men should eat when they have an
appetite? A. Because much hunger and emptiness will fill the stomach
with naughty rotten humours, which are drawn in instead of meat; for, if
we fast over night, we have an appetite to meat, but none in the
morning; as then the stomach is filled with naughty humours, and
especially its mouth, which is no true filling, but a deceitful one. And
therefore, after we have eaten a little, our stomach comes to us again;
for the first morsel, having made clean the mouth of the stomach, doth
provoke the appetite.

Q. Why do physicians prescribe that we should not eat too much at a
time, but by little and little? A. Because when the stomach is full, the
meat doth swim in it, which is a dangerous thing. Another reason is,
that very green wood doth put out the fire, so much meat chokes the
natural heat and puts it out; and therefore the best physic is to use
temperance in eating and drinking.

Q. Why do we desire change of meats according to the change of times; as
in winter, beef, pork, mutton; in summer, light meats, as veal, lamb,
&c.? A. Because the complexion of the body is altered and changed
according to the time of the year. Another reason is, that this proceeds
from the quality of the season; because the cold in winter doth cause a
better digestion.

Q. Why should not the meat we eat be as hot as pepper and ginger? A.
Because as hot meat doth inflame the blood, and dispose it to a leprosy;
so, on the contrary, meat too cold doth mortify and chill the blood. Our
meat should not be over sharp, because it wastes the constitution; too
much sauce doth burn the entrails, and inclineth to often drinking; raw
meat doth the same; and over sweet meats to constipate and cling the
veins together.

Q. Why is it a good custom to eat cheese after dinner, and pears after
all meat? A. Because by reason of its earthliness and thickness it
tendeth down towards the bottom of the stomach, and so putteth down the
meat; and the like of pears. Note, that new cheese is better than old;
and that old soft cheese is very bad, and causeth the headache and
stopping of the liver; and the older the worse. Whereof it is said, that
cheese digesteth all things but itself.

Q. Why are nuts good after cheese, as the proverb is, After fish nuts,
and after flesh cheese? A. Because fish is of hard digestion, and doth
easily putrefy and corrupt; and nuts are a remedy against poison.

Q. Why is it unwholesome to wait long for one dish after another, and to
eat of divers kinds of meat? A. Because the first begins to digest when
the last is eaten, and so digestion is not equally made. But yet this
rule is to be noted, dishes light of digestion, as chickens, kids, veal,
soft eggs, and such like, should be first eaten: because, if they should
be first served and eaten, and were digested, they would hinder the
digestion of the others; and the light meats not digested would be
corrupted in the stomach, and kept in the stomach violently, whereof
would follow belching, loathing, headache, bellyache, and great thirst.
It is very hurtful too, at the same meal, to drink wine and milk because
they are productive of leprosy.

Q. Whether is meat or drink best for the stomach? A. Drink is sooner
digested than meat, because meat is of great substance, and more
material than drink, and therefore meat is harder to digest.

Q. Why is it good to drink after dinner? A. Because the drink will make
the meat readier to digest. The stomach is like unto a pot which doth
boil meat, and therefore physicians do counsel to drink at meals.

Q. Why is it good to forbear a late supper? A. Because there is little
moving or stirring after supper, and so the meat is not sent down to the
bottom of the stomach, but remaineth undigested, and so breeds hurts;
therefore a light supper is best.

                            _Of the Blood._

Q. Why is it necessary that every living thing that hath blood have also
a liver? A. Because the blood is first made in the liver, its seat,
being drawn from the stomach by certain principal veins, and so

Q. Why is the blood red? A. 1. It is like the part in which it is made,
viz. the liver, which is red. 2. It is likewise sweet, because it is
well digested and concocted; but if it hath a little earthy matter mixed
with it, that makes it somewhat salt.

Q. How is women’s blood thicker than men’s? A. Their coldness thickens,
binds, congeals, and joins together.

Q. How comes the blood to all parts of the body through the liver, and
by what means? A. Through the principal veins, as the veins of the head,
liver, &c. to nourish all the body.

                            _Of the Urine._

Q. How doth the urine come into the bladder, seeing the bladder is shut?
A. Some say by sweating; others, by a small skin in the bladder, which
opens and lets in the urine. Urine is a certain and not deceitful
messenger of the health and infirmity of man. Men make white urine in
the morning, and before dinner red, but after dinner pale, and also
after supper.

Q. Why is it hurtful to drink much cold water? A. Because one contrary
doth hinder and expel another; water is very cold, and lying so in the
stomach hinders digestion.

Q. Why is it unwholesome to drink new wine? A. 1. It cannot be digested;
therefore it causes the belly to swell, and a kind of bloody flux. 2. It
hinders making water.

Q. Why do physicians forbid us to labour presently after dinner? A. 1.
Because motion hinders the virtue and power of digestion. 2. Because
stirring immediately after dinner causes the different parts of the body
to draw the meat to them, which often breeds sickness. 3. Because motion
makes the food descend before it is digested. But after supper it is
good to walk a little, that the food may go to the bottom of the

Q. Why is it good to walk after dinner? A. Because it makes a man well
disposed, and fortifies and strengthens the natural heat, causing the
superfluities of the stomach to descend.

Q. Why is it wholesome to vomit? A. It purges the stomach of all naughty
humours, expelling them, which would breed agues if they should remain
in it; and purges the eyes and head, clearing the brain.

Q. How comes sleep to strengthen the stomach and digestive faculty? A.
Because in sleep the heat draws inwards, and helps digestion: but when
awake, the heat returns, and is dispersed through the body.

                       _Of the Gall and Spleen._

Q. How come living creatures to have a gall? A. Because choleric humours
are received into it, which through their acidity helps the guts to
expel superfluities, also it helps digestion.

Q. How comes the jaundice to proceed from the gall? A. The humour of the
guts is blueish and yellow; therefore when its pores are stopped, the
humours cannot go into the sack thereof, but are mingled with the blood,
wandering throughout all the body, and infecting the skin.

Q. Why hath a horse, mule, ass, or cow, no gall? A. Those creatures have
no gall in one place, as in a purse or vessel, yet they have one
dispersed in small veins.

Q. How comes the spleen to be black? A. It is occasioned by terrestrial
and earthy matter of a black colour. According to physicians, the spleen
is the receptacle of melancholy, and that is black.

Q. Why is he lean who hath a large spleen? A. Because the spleen draws
much water to itself, which would turn to fat; therefore, men that have
a small spleen are fat.

Q. Why does the spleen cause men to laugh, as says Isidorus: “We laugh
with the spleen, we are angry with the gall, we are wise with the heart,
we love with the liver, we feel with the brain, and speak with the
lungs.” A. The reason is, the spleen draws much melancholy to it, being
its proper seat, the which melancholy proceeds from sadness, and is
there consumed; and the cause failing, the effect doth so likewise. And
by the same reason the gall causes anger, for choleric men are often
angry, because they have much gall.

                             _Of Monsters._

Q. Doth nature make any monsters? A. She doth; if she did not, then
would she be deprived of her end. For of things possible, she doth
always propose to bring forth that which is most perfect and best; but
in the end, through the evil disposition of the matter, not being able
to bring forth that which she intended, she brings forth that which she
can. As it happened in Albertus’s time, when, in a certain village, a
cow brought forth a calf, half a man; then the countrymen suspecting a
shepherd, would have burnt him with the cow; but Albertus, being skilful
in astronomy, said, that this did proceed from a special constellation,
and so delivered the shepherd from their hands.

Q. Are there one or two? A. To find out, you must look into the heart;
if there are two hearts, there are two men.

                             _Of Infants._

Q. Why are some children like their father, some like their mother, some
to both, and some to neither? A. If the seed of the father wholly
overcome that of the mother, the child doth resemble the father; but if
the mother’s predominate, then it is like the mother; but if it be like
neither, that doth happen sometimes through the four qualities,
sometimes through the influence of some heavenly constellation.

Q. Why are children oftener like the father than the mother? A. It
proceeds from the imagination of the mother, as appeared in a queen who
had her imagination on a blackamoor; and in an Ethiopian queen, who
brought forth a white child, because her imagination was upon a white
colour; as is seen in Jacob’s skill in casting rods of divers colours
into the water when his sheep went to ram.

Q. Why do children born in the eighth month for the most part die
quickly; and why are they called the children of the moon? A. Because
the moon is a cold planet, which has dominion over the child, and
therefore doth bind it with its coldness, which is the cause of its

Q. Why doth a child cry as soon as it is born? Because of the sudden
change from heat to cold; which cold doth affect its tenderness. Another
reason is, because the child’s soft and tender body is wringed and put
together coming out of the narrow and strait passage of the matrix; and
especially, the brain being moist, and the head being pressed and
wrinkled together, is the cause that some humours distil by the eyes,
which are the cause of tears and weeping.

Q. Why doth the child put its fingers into its mouth as soon as it
cometh into the world? A. Because that coming out of the womb it cometh
out of a hot bath, and entering into the cold, puts its fingers into its
mouth for want of heat.

                      _Of the Child in the Womb._

Q. How is the child engendered in the womb? A. The first six days the
seed hath the colour of milk; but in the six following a red colour,
which is near unto the disposition of flesh; and then it is changed into
a thick substance of blood. But in the twelve days following, this
substance becomes so thick and round, that it is capable of receiving
shape and form.

Q. Doth the child in the womb void excrements or make water? A. No;
because it hath not the first digestion which is in the stomach. It
receives no food by the mouth, but by the navel; therefore, makes no
urine, but sweats, which is but little, and is received in a skin in the
matrix, which at the birth is cast out.

                    Of Abortion and Untimely Birth.

Q. Why do women that eat unwholesome meats easily miscarry? A. Because
they breed putrefied seed, which, the mind abhorring, doth cast it out
of the womb, as unfit for the most noble shape which is adapted to
receive the soul.

Q. Why doth wrestling and leaping cause the casting of the child, as
some subtle women do on purpose? A. The vapour is burning, and doth
easily hurt the tender substance of the child, entering at the pores of
the matrix.

Q. Why doth much joy cause a woman to miscarry? A. Because in a time of
joy woman is destitute of heat, and so miscarriage doth follow.

Q. Why do women easily miscarry when they are first with child, viz. the
first, second, or third month? A. As apples and pears easily fall at
first, because the knots or ligaments are weak, so it is with a child in
the womb.

Q. Why is it hard to miscarry in the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth
months? A. Because the ligaments are stronger a nd well fortified.

                          _Of Divers Matters._

Q. Why has not a man a tail like a beast? A. Because a man is a noble
creature, whose property it is to sit; which a beast, having a tail,

Q. Why does hot water freeze sooner than cold? A. Hot water is thinner,
and gives better entrance to the frost.

Q. Why cannot drunken men judge of taste as well as sober men? A.
Because the tongue being full of pores and spongy, receives great
moisture into it, and more in drunken men than in sober; therefore the
tongue, through often drinking, is full of bad humours; and so the
faculty of tasting is rendered out of order: also, through the
thickening of the taste itself, drink taken by drunkards is not
presently felt. And by this may be also understood why drunkards have
not a perfect speech.

Q. Why have melancholy beasts long ears? A. The ears proceed from a cold
and dry substance, called a gristle, which is apt to become bone; and
because melancholy beasts do abound with this kind of substance, they
have long ears.

Q. Why do hares sleep with their eyes open? A. 1. They have their eyes
standing out, and their eye-lids short, therefore never quite shut. 2.
They are timorous, and, as a safeguard to themselves, sleep with their
eyes open.

Q. Why do not crows feed their young till they be nine days old? A.
Because seeing them of another colour, they think they are of another

Q. Why are sheep and pigeons mild? A. They want gall, the cause of

Q. How comes it that birds do not make water? A. Because that
superfluity which would be converted in urine, is turned into feathers.

Q. How do we hear better by night than by day? A. Because there is a
greater quietness in the night than in the day, for the sun doth not
exhale the vapours by night, but it doth in the day: therefore the mean
is more fit than in the day; and the mean being fit, the motion is
better received, which is said to be caused by a sound.

Q. For what reason doth a man laugh sooner when touched in the arm-pits
than in the other parts of the body? A. Because there is in that place a
meeting of many sinews, and the mean we touch, which is the flesh, is
more subtle than in other parts, and therefore of finer feeling. When a
man is moderately and gently touched there, the spirits that are
dispersed, run into the face, and cause laughter.

Q. Why do some women love white men and some black men? A. 1. Some have
a weak sight, and such delight in black, because white doth hurt the
sight more than black. 2. Because like delight in like; but some women
are of a hot nature, and such are delighted with black, because
blackness followeth heat; and others are of a cold nature, and those are
delighted with white, because cold produces white.

Q. Why do men incline to sleep after labour? A. Because, through
continual moving, the heat is dispersed to the external parts of the
body, which, after labour, is gathered together to the internal parts,
there to digest; and from digestion vapours arise from the heart to the
brain, which stop the passage by which the natural heat should be
dispersed to the external parts: and then, the external parts being cold
and thick, by reason of the coldness of the brain, sleep is easily
procured. By this it appeareth, that such as eat and drink too much, do
sleep much and long, because there are great store of humours and
vapours bred in such persons, which cannot be digested and consumed by
the natural heat.

Q. Why are such as sleep much evil disposed and ill-coloured? A. Because
in too much sleep moisture is gathered together which cannot be
consumed, and so it doth covet to go out through the superficial parts
of the body, and especially it resorts to the face, and therefore is the
cause of bad colour, as appeareth in such as are phlegmatic, and who
desire more sleep than others.

Q. Why do some imagine in their sleep that they eat and drink sweet
things? A. Because the phlegm drawn up by the jaws doth distil and drop
to the throat; and this phlegm is sweet after a sore sweat, and that
seemeth so to them.

Q. Why do some dream in their sleep that they are in the water and
drowned, and some that they are in the water and not drowned; especially
such as are phlegmatic? A. Because when the phlegmatic substance doth
turn to the high parts of the body, then they think they are in the
water and drowned; but when that substance draweth into the internal
parts, then they think they escape. Another reason may be, overmuch
repletion and drunkenness; and therefore, when men are overmuch filled
with meat, the fumes and vapours ascend and gather together, and they
are drowned and strangled; but if they cannot ascend so high, then they
seem to escape.

Q. May a man procure a dream, by an external cause? A. It may be done.
If a man speak softly at another’s ear and awake him not, then of this
stirring of the spirits there are thunderings and buzzings in the head,
which cause dreaming.

Q. How many humours are there in a man’s body? A. Four; whereof every
one hath its proper place. The first is choler, called by physicians
_stava bilis_, which is placed in the liver. The second is melancholy,
called _atra bilis_, whose seat is in the spleen. The third is phlegm,
whose place is in the head. The fourth is blood, whose place is in the

Q. What condition and quality hath a man of a sanguine complexion? A. He
is fair and beautiful; hath his hair for the most part smooth; is bold;
retaineth that which he hath conceived; is shame-faced, given to music,
a lover of sciences, liberal, courteous, and not desirous of revenge.

Q. What properties do follow those of a phlegmatic complexion? A. They
are dull of wit, their hair never curls, they are seldom very thirsty,
much given to sleep, dream of things belonging to water, are fearful,
covetous, and given to heap up riches.

Q. What are the properties of a choleric man? A. He is soon angry,
furious, and quarrelsome, given to war, pale coloured, and unquiet,
drinks much, sleeps little, and desires women’s company much.

Q. What are the properties of a melancholy man? A. He is brown in
complexion, unquiet, his veins hidden, eateth little, and digesteth
less, dreameth of dark and confused things, is sad, fearful, exceeding
covetous, and incontinent.

Q. What dreams do follow these complexions? A. Pleasant merry dreams do
follow the sanguine; fearful dreams the melancholic; the choleric dream
of children, fighting, and fire; the phlegmatic dream of water. This is
the reason why a man’s complexion is said to be known by his dreams.

Q. What is the reason that if you cover an egg over with salt, and let
it lie in it a few days, all the meat within is consumed? A. The great
dryness of the salt consumes the substance of the egg.

Q. Why is the melancholic complexion the worst? A. Because it proceeds
from the dregs of blood, is an enemy to mirth, and bringeth on an aged
appearance and death, being cold and dry.

Q. What is the cause that some men die joyful, and some in extreme
grief? A. Over great joy doth overmuch heat the internal parts of the
body; and overmuch grief doth drown and suffocate the heart, which
failing, a man dieth.

Q. Why hath a man so much hair on his head? A. The hair of the head
proceeds from the vapours which arise from the stomach, and ascend to
the head, and also from the superfluities which are in the brain; and
those two passing through the pores of the head are converted into hair,
by reason of the heat and dryness of the head. And because man’s body is
full of humours, and he hath more brains that any other creature, and
also more superfluities in the brains, which the heat expelleth: hence
it followeth that he hath more hair than any other living creature.

Q. How many ways is the brain purged, and other hidden places of the
body? A. Four; the watery and gross humours are purged by the eyes,
melancholy by the ears, choler by the nose, and phlegm by the hair.

Q. What is the reason that such as are very fat in their youth are in
danger of dying on a sudden? A. Such have very small and close veins, by
reason of their fatness, so that the air and the breath can hardly have
free course in them; and thereupon the natural heat, wanting the
refreshment of air, is put out, and as it were, quenched.

Q. Why do garlic and onions grow after they are gathered? A. It
proceedeth from the humidity that is in them.

Q. Why do men feel cool sooner than women? A. Because men, being more
hot than women, have their pores more open, and therefore it doth sooner
enter into them than women.

Q. Why are not old men subject to the plague like young men and
children? A. They are cold, and their pores are not so open as in youth:
and therefore the infecting air doth not penetrate so soon by reason of
their coldness.

Q. Why do we cast water in a man’s face when he swooneth? A. Because
that through the coldness of water the heat may run to the heart, and so
give strength.

Q. Why are those waters best and most delicate which run towards the
rising sun? A. Because they are the soonest stricken with the sun-beams,
and made pure and subtle, the sun having them under it, and by that
means taking off the coldness and gross vapours which they gather from
the ground they run through.

Q. Why have women such weak and small voices? A. Because their
instruments and organs of speaking, by reason of their coldness, are
small and narrow; and therefore, receiving but little air, causes the
voice to be effeminate.

Q. Wherefore doth it proceed that want of sleep doth weaken the brain
and the body? A. Much watching doth engender choler, the which being hot
doth dry up and lessen the humours which serve the brain, the head, and
other parts of the body.

Q. Wherefore doth vinegar so readily staunch the blood? A. From its cold
virtue; for all cold is naturally binding, and vinegar being cold, hath
the like property.

Q. Why is sea-water saltier in summer than in winter? A. From the heat
of the sun, seeing by experience that a salt thing being heated becometh
more salt.

Q. Why do men live longer in hot regions than in cold? A. Because they
may be more dry, and by that means the natural heat is better preserved
in them than in cold countries.

Q. Why is well-water seldom or ever good? A. All water which standeth
still in the spring, and is never heated by the sun-beams, is very
heavy, and hath much earthy matter in it; and therefore, wanting the
heat of the sun, is naught.

Q, Why do men sleep better and more at ease on the right side than on
the left? A. Because when they lie on the left side, the lungs do lie
upon and cover the heart, which is on that side under the pap; now the
heart, the fountain of life, being thus occupied and hindered with the
lungs, cannot exercise its own proper operation, as being overmuch
heated with the lungs lying upon it, and therefore wanting the
refreshment of the air which the lungs do give it, like the blowing of a
pair of bellows, is choked and suffocated; but by lying on the right
side, these inconveniences are avoided.

Q. What is the reason that old men sneeze with great difficulty? A.
Because that through their coldness their arteries are very narrow and
close, and therefore the heat is not of force to expel the cold.

Q. Why doth a drunken man think that all things about him do turn round?
A. Because the spirits which serve the sight are mingled with vapours
and fumes, arising from the liquors he has drunk: the overmuch heat
causeth the eye to be in continual motion; and the eye being round
causeth all things about it to seem to go round.

Q. Wherefore doth it proceed, that bread which is made with salt, is
lighter than that which is made without it, considering salt is very
heavy of itself? A. Although bread is heavy of itself, yet the salt
dries it, and makes it light, by reason of the heat which it hath; and
the more heat there is in it, the better the bread is, and the lighter
and more wholesome for the body.

Q. Why is not new bread good for the stomach? A. Because it is full of
moistness, and thick hot vapours, which do corrupt the blood; and hot
bread is blacker than cold, because heat is the mother of blackness, and
because the vapours are not gone out of it.

Q. Why do lettuces make a man sleep? A. Because they engender gross

Q. Why do the dregs of wine and oil go to the bottom, and those of honey
swim uppermost? A. Because the dregs of wine and oil are earthly, and
therefore go to the bottom; but honey is a liquid that cometh from the
stomach and belly of the bee, and is there in some sort purified and
made subtle; on which account the dregs are most light and hot, and
therefore go uppermost.

Q. Why do cats’ and wolves’ eyes shine in the night, and not in the day?
A. The eyes of these beasts are by nature more crystalline than the eyes
of other beasts, and therefore do shine in darkness; but the brightness
of the sun doth hinder them from being seen in the day-time.

Q. What is the reason that some men, when they see others dance, do the
like with their hands and feet, or by other gestures of the body? A.
Because the sight having carried the represented unto the mind that
action, and judging the same to be pleasant and delightful, therefore
the imagination draweth the like of it in conceit, and stirs up the body
by the gestures.

Q. Why does much sleep cause some to grow fat and some lean? A. Those
who are of ill complexion, when they sleep, do consume and digest the
superfluities of what they have eaten, and therefore become fat. But
such as are of good complexion, when they sleep, are more cold and
digest less.

Q. How and from what cause do we suffer hunger better that thirst? A.
When the stomach has nothing else to consume, it consumeth the phlegm
and humours which it findeth most ready and most at hand; and therefore
we suffer hunger better than thirst, because the heat hath nothing to
refresh itself with.

Q. Why doth the hair fall after a great sickness? A. Where the sickness
is long, as in an ague, the humours of the head are dried up through
over much heat, and, therefore, wanting nourishment, the hair falls.

Q. Why doth the hair of the eye-brows grow long in old men? A. Because
through their age the bones of the eye-lids are thin for want of heat,
and therefore the hair doth grow there, by reason of the rheum of the

Q. Whereof proceedeth gaping? A. Of gross vapours, which occupy the
vital spirits of the head, and of the coldness of the senses, causing

Q. What is the reason that some flowers do open with the sun rising, and
shut with the setting? A. Cold doth close and shut, as hath been said,
but the heat of the sun doth open and enlarge. Some compare the sun to
the soul of the body; for as the soul giveth life, so the sun doth give
life, and vivicate all things; but cold bringeth death, withering and
decaying all things.

Q. Why doth grief cause men to grow old and gray? A. Age is nothing else
but dryness and want of humours of the body; grief then causeth
alteration, and heat dryness; age and greyness follow immediately.

Q. Why are gelded beasts weaker than such as are not gelded? A. Because
they have less heat, and by that means less force and strength.

                              THE PROBLEMS

Q. Why is it esteemed in the judgement of the most wise, the hardest
thing to know a man’s self? A. Because nothing can be known that is of
so great importance to man, for the regulation of his conduct in life.
Without this knowledge, man is like the ship which has neither compass
nor rudder to conduct her to port, and is tossed by every passion and
prejudice to which his natural constitution is subjected. To know the
form and natural perfection of man’s self, according to the
philosophers, is a task too hard; and a man, says Plato, is nothing, or
if he be any thing, he is nothing but his soul.

Q. Why is a man, though endowed with reason, the most unjust of all
living creatures? A. Because only man is desirous of honour; and so it
happens that every one covets to seem good, and yet naturally shuns
labour, though he attain no virtue by it.

Q. Why is man the proudest of all living creatures? A. By reason of his
great knowledge; or as philosophers say, all intelligent beings have
understanding, nothing remains that escapes man’s knowledge in
particular; or it is because he hath rule over all earthly creatures,
and all things seem to be brought under his dominion.

Q. Why have beasts their hearts in the middle of their breasts, and man
his inclining to the left side? A. To moderate the cold on that side.

Q. What is the cause that the suffocation of the matrix, which happens
to women through strife and contention, is more dangerous than the
detaining of the flowers? A. Because the more perfect an excrement is,
in its natural disposition, the worse it is when it is altered from that
disposition, and drawn to the contrary quality; as is seen in vinegar,
which is sharpest when it is made of the best wine. And so it happens
that the more men love one another, the more they fall into variance and

Q. How come women’s bodies to be looser, softer, and less than men’s;
and why do they want hair? A. By reason of their menses; for with them
their superfluities go away, which would produce hair; and thereby the
flesh is filled, consequently the veins are more hid in women than in

Q. What is the reason that when we think upon a horrible thing, we are
stricken with fear? A. Because the conceit or imagination of things has
force and virtue. For Plato saith, the fancy of things has some affinity
with the things themselves; for the image and representation of cold and
heat is such as the nature of things are. Or it is, because when we
comprehend any dreadful matter, the blood runneth to the internal parts;
and therefore the external parts are cold, and shake with fear.

Q. Why doth a radish root help digestion, and yet itself remaineth
undigested? A. Because the substance consisteth of divers parts; for
there are some thin parts in it, which are fit to digest meat, the which
being dissolved, there doth remain some thick and close substance in it,
which the heat cannot digest.

Q. Why do such as cleave wood cleave it easier in the length than
athwart? A. Because in the wood there is a grain, whereby if it be cut
in length, in the very cutting, one part naturally separateth from

Q. What is the reason, that if a spear be stricken on the end, the sound
cometh sooner to one which standeth near, than to him who striketh? A.
Because, as hath been said, there is a certain long grain in wood,
directly forward filled with air, but on the other side there is none,
and therefore a beam or spear being stricken on the end, the air which
is hidden receiveth a sound in the aforesaid grain, which serveth for
its passage; and seeing the sound cannot go easily out, it is carried
unto the ear of him who is opposite; as those passages do not go from
side to side, a sound cannot be distinctly heard there.

Q. Why are the thighs and calves of the legs of men fleshy, seeing the
legs of beasts are not so? A. Because men only go upright; and therefore
nature hath given the lower parts corpulency, and taken it away from the
upper; and thus she has made the buttocks, the thighs, and calves of the
legs fleshy.

Q. Why are the sensible powers in the heart; yet, if the hinder part of
the brain be hurt, the memory suffereth by it; if the fore part, the
imagination; if the middle, the cogitative part? A. It is because the
brain is appointed by Nature to cool the heat of the heart; whereof it
is, that in divers parts it serveth the powers and instruments with
their heat, for every action of the soul doth not proceed from one
measure of heat.

                              THE PROBLEMS
                         ALEXANDER APHRODISEUS.

Q. Why doth the sun make a man black, and dirt white, wax soft, and dirt
hard? A. By reason of the disposition of the substance that doth suffer.
All humours, phlegm excepted, when heated above measure, do seem black
about the skin; and dirt, being full either of saltpetre, or salt
liquor, when the sun hath consumed its dregs and filth, doth become
white again; when the sun hath drawn and stirred up the humidity of wax,
it is softened; but in dirt the sun doth consume the humidity, which is
very much, and makes it hard.

Q. Why are round ulcers hard to be cured? A. Because they are bred of a
sharp choler, which eats and gnaws; and because it doth run, dropping
and gnawing, it makes a round ulcer; for which reason it requires drying
medicines, as physicians assert.

Q. Why is honey sweet to all men but such as have the jaundice? A.
Because they have much bitter choler all over their bodies, which
abounds in the tongue; whence it happens, when they eat honey the
humours are stirred, and the taste itself, by the bitterness, of choler,
causes an imagination that the honey is bitter.

Q. Why doth water cast on serpents cause them to fly? A. Because they
are dry and cold by nature, having but little blood, and therefore fly
from excessive coldness.

Q, Why doth an egg break if it be roasted and not if boiled? A. When
moisture comes near the fire, it is heated very much, and so breeds
wind, which being put up in little room, forces its way out, and breaks
the shell: the like happens to tubs, and earthen vessels, when new wine
is put into them: too much phlegm breaks the shell of an egg in
roasting; it is the same with earthen pots too much heated; wherefore
some people wet an egg when they intend to roast it. Hot water, by its
softness, doth dissipate its humidity by little and little, and
dissolves it through the thinness and passages of the shell.

Q. Why have children gravel breeding in their bladders, and old men in
their kidneys and reins? A. Because children have strait passages in
their kidneys, and an earthy thick humour is thrust with violence by the
urine to the bladder, which hath wide conduits and passages, that give
room for the urine and humour whereof gravel is engendered, which waxes
thick, and seats itself, in the manner it is. In old men it is the
reverse, for they have wide passages of the veins, back, and kidneys,
that the urine may pass away, and the earthy humour congeal and sink
down; the colour of the gravel shows the humour whereof the stone comes.

Q. Why is it, if the stone do congeal and wax hard through heat, we use
not contrary things to dissolve it by coldness, but light things, as
parsley, fennel, and the like? A. It is thought to fall out by an
excessive scorching heat, by which the stones do crumble into sand, as
in the manner of earthen vessels, which, when they are over-heated or
roasted, turn to sand. And by this means it happens that small stones
are voided, together with sand, in making water. Sometimes cold drink
thrusts out the stone, the kidneys being stretched, and casting it out
by a great effort, thus easing the belly of its burden. Besides, it
often happens that immoderate heat of the kidneys, or reins of the back
(through which the stone doth grow) is quenched with coldness.

Q. Why is the curing of an ulcer or bile in the kidney or bladder very
hard? A. Because the urine, being sharp, doth ulcerate the sore. Ulcers
are worse to cure in the bladder than in the kidneys, because the urine
stays in the former, but runs away from the latter.

Q. Why do chaff and straw keep water hot, but make snow cold? A. Because
the nature of chaff wants a manifest quality; seeing, therefore, that of
its own nature it can be easily mingled, and consumed by that which it
is annexed unto, it easily assumes the same nature, and being put into
hot things, it is easily hot, heats again, and keeps hot; and, on the
contrary, being made cold by the snow, and making the snow cold, it
keeps it in its coldness.

Q. Why have we oftentime a pain in making water? A. Because sharp choler
issuing out, and pricking the bladder of the urine, doth provoke and
stir up the whole body to ease the part offended and to expel the humour
moderately. This doth happen most of all unto children, because they
have moist excrements, by reason of their often filling.

Q. Why have some medicines of one kind contrary effects, as experience
proves; for mastich doth expel, dissolve, and also knit; and vinegar
cools and heats? A. Because there are some invisible bodies in them, not
by confusion, but by interposition; as sand moistened doth clog together
and seem to be but one body, though indeed there are many small bodies
in sand. And since this is so, it is not absurd that contrary qualities
and virtues should be hidden in mastich, and that nature hath given that
virtue to these bodies.

Q. Why do nurses rock and move their children when they would draw them
to sleep? A. To the end that the humours being scattered by moving, may
move the brains; but those of more years cannot endure this.

Q. Why doth oil, being drank, cause one to vomit, and especially yellow
choler? A. Because, being light, and ascending upwards, it provoketh the
nutriment in the stomach, and lifteth it up, and so the stomach being
grieved, summoneth the ejective virtue to vomit, and especially choler,
because that is light, and consisteth of subtle parts, and therefore the
sooner carried upward; for when it is mingled with any moist thing, it
runneth into the highest room.

Q. Why doth not oil mingle with moist things? A. Because, being pliant,
soft, and thick in itself, it cannot be divided into parts, and so
cannot be mingled; neither if it be put on earth can it enter into it.

Q. Why are water and oil frozen in cold weather, and wine and vinegar
are not? A. Because that oil, being without quality, and fit to be
compounded with any thing, is cold quickly, and so extremely, that it is
most cold. Water, being cold of nature, doth easily freeze when it is
made colder than its own nature. Wine being hot, and of subtle parts,
suffereth no freezing.

Q. Why do contrary things in quality bring forth the same effect? A.
That which is moist is hardened and bound alike by heat and cold. Snow
and liquid do freeze with cold; a plaster, and gravel in the bladder,
are made dry with heat. The effect indeed is the same, but by two divers
actions; the heat doth consume and eat the abundance of moisture; but
the cold stopping and shutting with its overmuch thickness, doth wring
out the filthy humidity, like as a sponge wrung with the hand doth cast
out the water which it hath in the pores or small passages.

Q. Why doth a shaking or quivering seize us oftentimes when any fearful
matter doth happen, as a great noise or crack made, the sudden downfall
of water, or the fall of a large tree? A. Because that oftentimes the
humours being digested and consumed by time, and made thin and weak, all
the heat, vehemently, suddenly, and sharply flying into the inward part
of the body, consumeth the humours which cause the disease.

Q. Why do steel glasses shine so clearly? A. Because they are lined in
the inside with white lead, whose nature is shining, and being put to
glass, which is lucid and transparent, doth shine much more; and casts
its beams through its passages, and without the body of the glass; and
by that means the glass is very shining and clear.

Q. Why do we see ourselves in glasses and clear water? A. Because the
quality of the sight, passing into the bright bodies by reflection, doth
return again on the beam of the eyes, as the image of him who looketh on

Q. What is the reason, that if you cast a stone into standing water
which is near the surface of the earth it causes many circles, and not
if the water be deep in the earth? A. Because that the stone with the
vehemence of the cast, doth agitate the water in every part of it, until
it come to the bottom; and if there be a very great vehemence in the
throw, the circle is still greater, the stone going down to the bottom
causing many circles. For, first of all, it doth divide the outermost
and superficial parts of the water in many parts, and so always going
down to the bottom, again dividing the water, it maketh another circle,
and this is done successively until the stone resteth; and because the
vehemence of the stone is slackened still as it goes down, of necessity
the last circle is less than the first, because by that and also by its
force the water is divided.

Q. Why are such as are deaf by nature dumb? A. Because they cannot speak
and express that which they never heard. Some physicians do say, that
there is one knitting and uniting of sinews belonging to the like
disposition. But such as are dumb by accident are not deaf at all, for
then there ariseth a local passion.

Q. Why doth itching arise when an ulcer doth wax whole and phlegm cease?
A. Because the part which is healed and made sound doth pursue the relic
of the humours which remained there against nature, and which was the
cause of the bile, and so going out through the skin, and dissolving
itself, doth originally cause the itch.

Q. How comes a man to sneeze oftener and more vehemently than a beast?
A. Because he uses more meats and drinks, and of more different sorts,
and that more than requisite; the which, when he cannot digest as he
would, he doth gather together much air and spirit, by reason of much
humidity; the spirits then very subtle, ascending into the head, often
force a man to void them, and so provoke sneezing. The noise caused
thereby proceeds from a vehement spirit or breath passing through the
conduits of the nostrils, as belching doth the stomach, or breaking wind
by the fundament, the voice by the throat, and a sound by the ear.

Q. How come the hair and nails of dead people to grow? A. Because the
flesh rotting, withering, and falling away, that which was hidden about
the root of the hair doth now appear as growing. Some say that it grows
indeed, because carcases are dissolved in the beginning to many
excrements and superfluities by putrefaction. These going out at the
uppermost parts of the body by some passages, do increase the growth of
the hair.

Q. Why does not the hair of the feet soon grow grey? A. For this reason,
because that through great motion they disperse and dissolve the
superfluous phlegm that breeds grayness.

Q. Why, if you put hot burnt barley upon a horse’s sore, is the hair
which grows upon the sore not white but like the other hair? A. Because
it hath the force of expelling, and doth drive away and dissolve the
phlegm, as well as all other unprofitable matter that is gathered
together through the weakness of the parts, or crudity of the sore.

Q. Why doth hair never grow on an ulcer or bile? A. Because man hath a
thick skin, as is seen by the thickness of his hair; and if the scar be
thicker than the skin itself, it stops the passages from whence the hair
should grow. Horses have thinner skins, as is plain by their thick hair;
therefore all passages are not stopped in their wounds and sores; and
after the excrements which were gathered together have broken a passage
through those small pores, the hair doth grow.

Q. Why is Fortune painted with a double forehead, the one side bald and
the other hairy? A. The baldness signifies adversity; and hairiness
prosperity, which we enjoy when it pleaseth her.

Q. Why have some commended flattery? A. Because flattery setteth forth
before our eyes what we ought to be, though not what we are.

Q. Wherefore should virtue be painted girded? A. To show that virtuous
men should not be slothful, but diligent, and always in action.

Q. Why did the ancients say it was better to fall into the hands of a
raven than a flatterer? A. Because ravens do not eat us till we are
dead, but flatterers devour us alive.

Q. Why have choleric men beards before others? A. Because they are hot,
and their pores large.

Q. How comes it that such as have the hiccough do ease themselves by
holding their breath? A. The breath retained doth heat the interior
parts of the body and the hiccough proceeds from cold.

Q. How comes it that old men remember well what they have seen and done
in their youth, and forget such things as they see and do in their old
age? A. Things learned in youth take deep root and habitude in a person,
but those learned in age are forgotten, because the senses are weakened.

Q. What kind of covetousness is best? A. That of time, when employed as
it ought to be.

Q. Why is our life compared to a play? A. Because the dishonest do
occupy the place of the honest, and the worst sort the room of the good.

Q. Why do dolphins, when they appear above the water, denote a storm or
tempest approaching? A. Because at the beginning of a tempest there do
arise from the bottom of the sea certain hot exhalations and vapours
which heat the dolphins, causing them to rise up for cold air.

Q. Why did the Romans call Fabius Maximus the target of the people, and
Marcellus the sword? A. Because the one adapted himself to the service
of the commonwealth, and the other was very eager to revenge the
injuries of his country; and yet they were in the senate joined
together, because the gravity of the one would moderate the courage and
boldness of the other.

Q. Why doth the shining of the moon hurt the head? A. Because it moves
the humours of the brain, and cannot afterwards dissolve them.

Q. If water do not nourish, why do men drink it? A. Because water causes
the nutriment to spread through the body.

Q. Why is sneezing good? A. Because it purgeth the brain, as milk is
purged by the cough.

Q. Why is hot water lighter than cold? A. Because boiling water has less
ventosity, and is more light and subtle, the earthy and heavy substance
being separated from it.

Q. How comes marsh and pond water to be bad? A. By reason they are
phlegmatic, and do corrupt in summer; the fineness of the water is
turned into vapours, and the earthiness doth remain.

Q. Why are studious and learned men soonest bald? A. It proceeds from a
weakness of the spirits, or because warmth of digestion causes phlegm to
abound in them.

Q. Why doth much watching make the brain feeble? A. Because it increases
choler, which dries and extenuates the body.

Q. Why are boys apt to change their voices about fourteen years of age?
A. Because that then nature doth cause a great and sudden change of
voice, experience proves this to be true; for at that time we may say
that women’s paps do grow great, do hold and gather milk, and also those
places that are above the hips, in which the young fruit would remain.
Likewise men’s breasts and shoulders, which then can bear great and
heavy burdens. The body is bigger and dilated, as the alternation and
change of every part doth testify, and the harshness of the voice and
hoarseness; for the rough artery, the wind-pipe, being made wide in the
beginning, and the exterior and outward part within being unequal to the
throat, the air going out the rough uneven pipe doth then become unequal
and sharp, and after hoarse, something like unto the voice of a goat,
wherefore it has its name called Bronchus. The same doth also happen to
them unto whose rough artery distillation doth flow; it happens by
reason of the drooping humidity that a light small skin filled unequally
causes the uneven going forth of the spirit and air. Understand that the
wind-pipe of goats is such by reason of the abundance of humidity. The
like doth happen unto all such as nature hath given a rough artery, as
unto cranes. After the age of fourteen they leave off that voice,
because the artery is made wider and reacheth its natural evenness and

Q. Why do hard dens, hollow and high places, send back the likeness and
sound of the voice? A. Because that in such places also by reflection do
return back the image of a sound, for the voice doth beat the air, and
the air the place, which the more it is beaten the more it doth bear,
and therefore doth cause the more vehement sound of the voice; moist
places, and as it were soft, yielding to the stroke, and dissolving it,
give no sound; for according to the quantity of the stroke, the quality
and quantity of the voice is given, which is called an echo. Some do
idly fable that she is a goddess; some say that Pan was in love with
her, which without doubt is false. He was some wise man, who did first
desire to search out the cause of that voice; and as they who love, and
cannot enjoy that love, are grieved, so in like manner was he very sorry
until he found out the solution of that cause: as Endymion also, who
first found out the course of the moon, watching all night, and
observing her course, and searching her motion, did sleep in the
day-time, and therefore they do fable that he was beloved of her, and
that she came to him when he was asleep, because she did give the
philosopher the solution of the course of herself. They say also that he
was a shepherd, because that in the desert and high places he did mark
the course of the moon. And they gave him also the pipe, because that
the high places are blown with wind, or else because he sought out the
consonancy of figures. Prometheus, also, being a wise man, sought the
course of the star, which is called the eagle in the firmament, his
nature and place; and when he was as it were wasted with the desire of
learning, then at last he rested, when Hercules did resolve unto him all
doubts with his wisdom.

Q. Why do not swine cry when they are carried with their snouts upwards?
A. Because that above all other beasts they bend more to the earth. They
delight in filth, and that they seek, and therefore in the sudden change
of their face, they be as it were strangers, and being amazed with so
much light do keep that silence; some say the wind-pipe doth close
together by reason of the straitness of it.

Q. Why do swine delight in dirt? A. As the physicians do say, they are
naturally delighted with it, because they have a great liver, in which
desire is, as Aristotle saith; the wideness of the snout is the cause,
for he hath smelling which doth dissolve itself, and as it were strive
with stench.

Q. Why do many beasts wag their tails when they see their friends, and a
lion and a bull beat their sides when they are angry? A. Because they
have the marrow of their backs reaching to the tail, which hath the
force of motion in it, the imagination acknowledging that which is known
to them as it were with the hand, as happens to men, doth force them to
move their tails. This doth manifestly show some secret force to be
within them, which doth acknowledge what they ought. In the anger of
lions and bulls nature doth consent to the mind, and causeth it to be
gently moved, as men do sometimes when they are angry, beating their
hands on other parts; when the mind cannot be revenged on that which
doth hurt, it presently seeks out some other source, and cures the
malady with a stroke or blow.

Q. How come steel glasses to be better for the sight than any other
kind? A. Because steel is hard, and doth present unto us more
substantially the air that receiveth the light.

Q. How doth love show its greater force; by making the fool to become
wise, or the wise to become a fool? A. In attributing wisdom to him that
hath it not; for it is harder to build than to pull down; and ordinarily
love and folly are but an alteration of the mind.

Q. How comes much labour and fatigue to be bad for the sight? A. Because
it dries the blood too much.

Q. Why is goat’s milk reckoned best for the stomach? A. Because it is
thick, not slimy; and they feed on wood and boughs rather than grass.

Q. Why do grief and vexation bring gray hairs? A. Because they dry,
which bringeth on grayness.

Q. How come those to be most merry who have the thickest blood? A.
Because the blood which is fat and thick makes the spirits firm and
constant, wherein consists the force of all creatures.

Q. Whether is it hardest to obtain a person’s love, or to keep it when
obtained? A. It is hardest to keep it, by reason of the inconstancy of
man, who is quickly angry, and soon weary of a thing; hard to be gained,
and slippery to keep.

Q. Why do serpents shun the herb rue? A. Because they are very cold,
dry, and full of sinews, and that herb is of a contrary nature.

Q. Why is a capon better to eat than a cock? A. Because a capon loses
not his moisture by treading the hens.

Q. Why is our smell less in winter than summer? A. Because the air is
thick, and less moveable.

Q. Why does hair burn so quickly? A. Because it is dry and cold.

Q. Why is love compared to a labyrinth? A. Because the entry and coming
in is easy, and the going out impossible, or very hard.

                         THE SECRETS OF NATURE,
                              RELATING TO

                               CHAPTER I.

   SECT. _I Of Physiognomy, showing what it is, and from whence it is

Physiognomy is an ingenious science, or knowledge of nature, by. which
the inclinations and dispositions of every creature are understood, and
because some of the members are uncompounded and entire of themselves,
as the tongue, the heart, &c. and some are of a mixed nature, as the
eyes, the nose, and others; we therefore say that there are signs which
agree and live together, which inform a wise man how to make his
judgment before he be too rash to deliver it to the world.

Nor is it to be esteemed a foolish or idle art, seeing it is derived
from superior bodies; for there is no part of the face of man but what
is under the peculiar influence or government not only of the seven
planets, but also of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and the
dispositions, vices, virtues, and fatility, either of a man or woman,
are plainly foretold, if the person pretending to the knowledge thereof
be an artist, which, that my reader may hereby attain to, I shall set
these things in a clearer light.

The reader should remember that the forehead is governed by Mars; the
right eye is under the dominion of Sol; the left is ruled by the Moon;
the right ear is under Jupiter; the left Saturn; the rule of the nose is
claimed by Venus; and nimble Mercury, the significator of eloquence,
claims the dominion of the mouth, and that very justly.


Thus have the seven planets divided the face among them, but not with so
absolute a sway, but that the twelve signs of the Zodiac do also come in
with a part, (See the engraving): And therefore the sign Cancer presides
in the upper part of the forehead, and Leo attends upon the right
eye-brow, as Sagittarius does upon the right eye, and Libra upon the
right ear: upon the left eye-brow you will find Aquarius: and Gemini and
Aries taking care of the left ear: Taurus rules in the middle of the
forehead, and Capricorn the chin: Scorpio takes upon him the protection
of the nose: Virgo claims the precedence of the right cheek, Pisces the
left. And thus the face of man is cantoned out amongst the signs and
planets; which being carefully attended to, will sufficiently inform the
artist how to pass a judgment. For according to the sign or planet
ruling, so also is the judgment to be of the part ruled, which all those
that have understanding know easily how to apply.

In the judgment that is to be made from physiognomy, there is a great
difference betwixt a man and a woman; the reason is, because in respect
of the whole composition, men more fully comprehend it than women do, as
may evidently appear in the manner and method we shall give. Wherefore
the judgments which we shall pass in every chapter, do properly concern
a man, as comprehending the whole species, and but improperly the woman,
as being but a part thereof, and derived from the man; and therefore
whoever is called to give judgment on such and such a face, ought to be
wary about all the lines and marks that belong to it, respect being also
had to the sex: for when we behold a man whose face is like unto a
woman’s, and we pass a judgment upon it, having diligently observed it,
and not on the face only but on the other parts of the body, as his
hands, &c. in like manner we also behold the face of a woman, who in
respect of her flesh and blood is like unto a man, and in the disposure
also of the greatest parts of the body. But does physiognomy give the
same judgment on her, as it does of a man that is like unto her? By no
means, but far otherwise; in regard that the conception of the woman is
much different from that of a man, even in those respects which are said
to be common. Now in those common respects two parts are attributed to a
man, a third part to a woman.

Wherefore it being our intention to give you an exact account, according
to the rule of physiognomy, of all and every part of the members of the
body, we will begin with the head, as it hath relation only to man and
woman, and not to any other creature, that the work may be more obvious
to every reader.

                              CHAPTER II.
                   _Of the Judgment of Physiognomy._

Hair that hangs down without curling, if it be of a fair complexion,
thin and soft withal, signifies a man to be naturally faint-hearted, and
of a weak body, but of a quiet and harmless disposition. Hair that is
big, and thick, and short withal, denotes a man to be of a strong
constitution, secure, bold, deceitful, and for the most part, unquiet
and vain, lusting after beauty, and more foolish than wise, though
fortune may favour him. He whose hair is partly curled and partly
hanging down, is commonly wise, or a very great fool, or else as very a
knave as he is a fool. He whose hair grows thick on his temples and his
brow, one may at the first sight certainly conclude that such a man is
by nature simple, vain, luxurious, lustful, credulous, clownish in his
speech and conversation, and dull in his apprehension. He whose hair not
only curls very much, but bushes out, and stands on end, if the hair be
white, or of a yellowish colour, he is by nature proud and bold, dull of
apprehension, soon angry, given to lying, malicious, and ready to do any
mischief. He whose hair rises in the corner of his temples, and is gross
and rough withal, is a man highly conceited of himself, inclined to
malice, but cunningly conceals it, is very courtly, and a lover of new
fashions. He who hath much hair, that is to say, whose hair is thick all
over his head, is naturally vain and very luxurious, of a good
digestion, easy of belief, and slow of performance, of a weak memory,
and for the most part unfortunate. He whose hair is of a reddish
complexion, is for the most part, if not always, proud, deceitful,
detracting, and full of envy. He whose hair is extraordinary fair, is
for the most part a man fit for all praiseworthy enterprises, a lover of
honours, and much more inclined to do good than evil; laborious and
careful to perform whatsoever is committed to his care, secret in
carrying on any business, and fortunate. Hair of a yellowish colour
shows a man to be good-conditioned, and willing to do any thing,
fearful, shame-faced, and weak of body, but strong in the abilities of
the mind, and more apt to remember than to revenge an injury. He whose
hair is of a brownish colour, and curled not too much nor too little, is
a well disposed man, inclined to that which is good, a lover of peace,
cleanliness, and good manners. He whose hair turns gray or hoary in the
time of his youth, is generally given to women, vain, false, unstable,
and talkative. Note. That whatever signification the hair has in men, it
has the same in women also.

The forehead that riseth in a round, signifies a man liberally merry, of
a good understanding, and generally inclined to virtue. He whose
forehead is fleshy, and the bone of the brow jutting out, and without
wrinkles, is a man much inclined to suits of law, contentious, vain,
deceitful, and addicted to follow ill courses. He whose forehead is very
low and little, is of a good understanding, magnanimous, but extremely
bold and confident, and a great pretender to love and honour. He whose
forehead seems sharp, and pointed up in the corners of his temples, so
that the bone seems to jut forth a little, is a man naturally weak and
fickle, and weak in the intellectuals. He whose brow upon the temples is
full of flesh, is a man of a great spirit, proud, watchful, and of a
gross understanding. He whose brow is full of wrinkles, and has as it
were a seam coming down the middle of the forehead, so that a man may
think he hath two foreheads, is one that is of a great spirit, a great
wit, void of deceit, and yet of a hard fortune. He who has a full large
forehead, and a little round withal, destitute of hair, or at least that
has little on it, is bold, malicious, high-spirited, full of choler, and
apt to transgress beyond all bounds, and yet of a good wit, and very
apprehensive. He whose forehead is long and high, and jutting forth, and
whose face is figured, almost sharp and picked towards the chin, is one
reasonably honest, but weak and simple, and of a hard fortune.

Those eye-brows that are much arched, whether in man or woman, and which
by frequent motion elevate themselves, show the person to be proud,
high-spirited, vain-glorious, bold and threatening, a lover of beauty,
and indifferently inclined to either good or evil. He whose eye-lids
bend downwards when he speaks to another, or when he looks upon him, and
who has a kind of skulking look, is by nature a penurious wretch, close
in all his actions, of a very few words, but full of malice in his
heart. He whose eye-brows are thick, and have but little hair upon them,
is but weak in his intellectuals, and too credulous, very sincere,
sociable, and desirous of good company. He whose eye-brows are folded,
and the hair thick, and bending downwards, is one that is clownish and
unlearned, heavy, suspicious, miserable, envious, and one that will
cheat and cozen you if he can, and is only to be kept honest by good
looking to. He whose eye-brows have but short hair and of a whitish
colour, is fearful, and very easy of belief, and apt to undertake any
thing. Those on the other side whose eye-brows are black, and the hair
of them but thin, will do nothing without great consideration, and are
bold and confident of the performance of what they undertake: neither
are they apt to believe any thing without reason for so doing.

If the space between the eye-brows be of more than ordinary distance, it
shows the person to be hard-hearted, envious, close, cunning,
apprehensive, greedy of novelties, of a vain fortune, addicted to
cruelty more than love. But those men whose eye-brows are at lesser
distance from each other, are for the most part of a dull understanding;
yet subtle enough in their dealings, and of an uncommon boldness, which
is often attended with great felicity; but that which is most
commendable in them is, that they are most sure and constant in their

Great and full eyes in either man or woman, show the person to be for
the most part slothful, bold, envious, a bad concealer of secrets,
miserable, vain, given to lying, and yet of a bad memory, slow in
invention, weak in his intellectuals, and yet very much conceited of
that little knack of wisdom he thinks himself master of. He whose eyes
are hollow in his head, and therefore discerns excellently well at a
great distance, is one that is suspicious, malicious, furious, perverse
in his conversation, of an extraordinary memory, bold, cruel and false
both in words and deeds, threatening, vicious, luxurious, proud,
envious, and treacherous; but he whose eyes are as it were starting out
of his head, is a simple foolish person, shameless, very fertile, and
easy to be persuaded either to vice or virtue. He who looks studiously
and acutely with his eyes and eye-lids downwards, denotes thereby to be
of a malicious nature, very treacherous, false, unfaithful, envious,
miserable, impious towards God, and dishonest towards men. He whose eyes
are small and conveniently round, is bashful and weak, very credulous,
liberal to others, and even in his conversation. He whose eyes look
asquint, is thereby denoted to be a deceitful person, unjust, envious,
furious, a great liar, and as the effect of all this, miserable. He who
hath a wandering eye, and which is rolling up and down, is for the most
part a vain, simple, deceitful man, lustful, treacherous, or
high-minded, an admirer of the fair sex, and one easy to be persuaded to
virtue or vice. He or she whose eyes are twinkling, and which move
forward or backward, shows the person to be luxurious, unfaithful, and
treacherous, presumptuous, and hard to believe any thing that is spoken.
If a person has any greenness mingled in the white of his eyes, such is
commonly silly, and often very false, vain and deceitful, unkind to his
friends, a great concealer of his own secrets, and very choleric. Those
whose eyes are every way rolling up and down, or they who seldom move
their eyes, and when they do, do as it were draw their eyes inwardly,
and accurately fasten them upon some object, such are by their
inclinations very malicious, vain-glorious, slothful, unfaithful,
envious, false and contentious. They whose eyes are addicted to
blood-shot, are naturally choleric, proud, disdainful, cruel without
shame, perfidious, and much inclined to superstition. They that have
eyes like oxen, are persons of good nutriment, but of a weak memory, are
dull of understanding, and silly in their conversation. But he whose
eyes are neither too little nor too big, and inclined to black, do
signify a man mild, peaceable, honest, witty, and of a good
understanding: and one that, when need requires, will be serviceable to
his friend.

A long and thin nose denotes a man bold, furious, angry, vain, easy to
be persuaded either to good or evil, weak and credulous. A long nose
extended, the tip of it bending downwards, shows the person to be wise,
discreet, secret and officious, honest, faithful, and one who will not
be over-reached in bargaining.

A bottle-nose is what denotes a man to be impetuous in obtaining his
desires, also vain, false, luxurious, weak, and an uncertain man, apt to
believe, and easy to be persuaded. A nose broad in the middle, and less
towards the end, denotes a vain talkative person, a liar, and one of a
hard fortune. He who hath a long and great nose, is an admirer of the
fair sex, but ignorant of the knowledge of any thing that is good,
extremely addicted to vice; assiduous in obtaining what he desires, and
very secret in the prosecution of it; and though very ignorant, would
fain be thought very knowing.

A nose very sharp on the tip of it, and neither too long nor too short,
too thick nor too thin, denotes the person, if a man, to be of a fretful
disposition, always pining and peevish; and if a woman, a scold, or
contentious, wedded to her own humours; of a morose and dogged carriage,
and if married, a plague to her husband. A nose very round at the end of
it, and having but little nostrils, shows the person to be munificent,
and liberal, true to his trust, but withal very proud, credulous and
vain. A nose very long and thin at the end of it, and something round
withal, signifies one bold in his discourse, honest in his dealings,
patient in receiving, and slow in offering injuries, but yet privately
malicious. He whose nose is naturally more red than any other part of
his face, is thereby denoted to be covetous, impious, luxurious, and an
enemy to goodness. A nose that turns up again, and is long and full on
the tip of it, shows the person that has it to be bold, proud, covetous,
envious, luxurious, a liar and deceiver, vain-glorious, unfortunate and
contentious. He whose nose riseth high in the middle, is prudent and
polite, and of great courage, honourable in his actions, and true to his
word. A nose big at the end shows a person to be of a peaceable
disposition, industrious and faithful, and of a good understanding. A
very wide nose, with wide nostrils, denotes a man dull of apprehension,
and inclined more to simplicity than wisdom, and withal contentious,
vain-glorious, and a liar.

A great and wide mouth shows a man to be bold, warlike, shameless and
stout, a great liar, and as great a talker, also a great eater; but as
to his intellectuals he is very dull, being for the most part very
simple. A little mouth shows the person to be of a quiet and pacific
temper, somewhat fearful, but faithful, secret, modest, bountiful, and
but a little eater.

He whose mouth smells of a bad breath, is one of a corrupted liver or
lungs, is oftentimes vain, wanton, deceitful, of indifferent intellects,
envious, covetous, and a promise-breaker. He that has a sweet breath, is
the contrary.

The lips, when they are very big and blubbering, show a person to be
credulous, foolish, dull, and stupid, and apt to be enticed to any
thing. Lips of a different size denote a person to be discreet, secret
in all things, judicious and of good wit, but somewhat hasty. To have
lips well coloured, and more thin than thick, shows a person to be
good-humoured in all things, and more easily persuaded to good than
evil. To have one lip bigger than the other shows variety of fortunes,
and denotes the party to be of a dull, sluggish temper, and but of a
very indifferent understanding, as being much addicted to folly.

When the teeth are small, and but weak in performing their office, and
especially if they are short and few, though they show the person to be
of a weak constitution, yet they denote him to be of a meek disposition,
honest, faithful, and secret in whatsoever he is intrusted with. To have
some teeth longer and shorter than others, denotes a person to be of a
good apprehension, but bold, disdainful, envious and proud. To have
teeth very long and growing sharp towards the end, if they are long in
chewing, and thin, denotes the person to be envious, gluttonous, bold,
shameless, unfaithful, and suspicious. When the teeth look very brown or
yellowish, whether they be long or short, it shows the person to be of a
suspicious temper, envious, deceitful and turbulant. To have teeth
strong and close together, shows the person to be of a long life, a
desirer of novelties, and things that are fair and beautiful, but of a
high spirit, and one that will have his humour in all things; he loves
to hear news, and repeat it afterwards, and is apt to entertain any
thing to his behalf. To have teeth thin and weak, shows a weak feeble
man, and one of short life, and of a weak apprehension; but chaste,
shame-faced, tractable and honest.

A tongue to be too swift of speech shows a man to be downright foolish,
or at best but a very vain wit. A stammering tongue, or one that
stumbles in the mouth, signifies a man of a weak understanding, and of a
wavering mind, quickly in rage, and soon pacified. A very thick and
rough tongue denotes a man to be apprehensive, subtle, and full of
compliments, yet vain and deceitful, treacherous, and prone to impiety.
A thin tongue shows a man of wisdom and sound judgment, very ingenious,
and of an affable disposition, yet sometimes timorous, and too

A great and full voice in either sex shows them to be of a great spirit,
confident, proud, and wilful. A faint and weak voice, attended with but
little breath, show a person to be of a good understanding, a nimble
fancy, a little eater, but weak of body, and of a timorous disposition.
A loud and shrill voice which sounds clearly, denotes a person
provident, sagacious, true, and ingenious, but withal capricious,
vain-glorious, and too credulous. A strong voice when a man sings,
denotes him to be of a strong constitution, and of a good understanding,
neither too penurious nor too prodigal, also ingenious, and an admirer
of the fair sex. A weak and trembling voice shows the owner of it to be
envious, suspicious, slow in business, feeble and fearful. A loud,
shrill, and unpleasant voice signifies one bold and valiant, but
quarrelsome and injurious, and altogether wedded to his own humours, and
governed by his own counsels. A rough and hoarse voice, whether in
speaking or singing, declares one to be a dull and heavy person, of much
guts and little brain. A full and yet mild voice and pleasing to the
hearer, shows the person to be of a quiet and peaceable disposition,
(which is a great virtue, and rare to be found in a woman) and also very
thrifty and secret, not prone to anger, but of a yielding temper. A
voice beginning low or in the bass, and ending high in the treble,
denotes a person to be violent, angry, bold and secure.

A thick and full chin abounding with too much flesh, shows a man
inclined to peace, honest and true to his trust, but slow in invention,
and easy to be drawn either to good or evil. A peaked chin and
reasonably full of flesh, shows a person to be of a good understanding,
a high spirit, and laudable conversation. A double chin shows a
peaceable disposition, but dull of apprehension, vain, credulous, a
great supplanter, and secret in all his actions. A crooked chin, bending
upwards and peaked for want of flesh, is by the rules of physiognomy,
according to nature a very bad man, being proud, impudent, envious,
threatening, deceitful, prone to anger and treachery, and a great thief.

The hair of young men usually begins to grow down upon their chins at 15
years of age, and sometimes sooner. These hairs proceed from the
superfluity of heat; the fumes whereof ascend to their chin, like smoke
to the funnel of a chimney; and because it cannot find an open passage
by which it may ascend higher, it vents itself forth in the hairs which
are called the beard. There are very few, are almost no women at all
that have hairs on their cheeks; and the reason is, those humours which
cause hair to grow on the cheeks of a man are by a woman evacuated in
the monthly terms, which they have more or less, according to the heat
or coldness of their constitution, and the age and motion of the moon.
Yet sometimes women of a hot constitution have hair to be seen on their
cheeks, but more commonly on their lips, or near unto their mouths,
where the heat most aboundeth. And where this happens, such women are
much addicted to the company of men, and of a strong and manly
constitution. A woman who hath little hair on her cheeks, or about her
mouth and lips, is of a good complexion, weak constitution, shame-faced,
mild and obedient; whereas a woman of more hot constitution is quite
otherwise. But in a man, a beard well composed and thick of hair,
signifies a man of good nature, honest, loving, sociable, and full of
humanity: on the contrary he that hath but a little beard, is for the
most part proud, pining, peevish, and unsociable. They who have no
beards, have always shrill and strange kind of squeaking voices, and are
of a weak constitution, which is apparent in the case of eunuchs, who,
after they are deprived of their virility, are transformed from the
nature of men into the condition of women.

Great and thick ears are a certain sign of a foolish person, or a bad
memory and worse understanding. But small and thin ears show a person to
be of a good wit, grave, secret, thrifty, modest, resolute, of a good
memory, and one willing to serve his friend. He whose ears are longer
than ordinary, is thereby signified to be a bold man, uncivil, vain,
foolish, serviceable to another more than himself, and a man of small
industry, but of a great stomach.

A face apt to sweat at every motion, shows the person to be of a hot
constitution, vain and luxurious, of a good stomach, but a bad
understanding, and a worse conversation. A very fleshy face shows the
person to be of a fearful disposition, but a merry heart, and withal
bountiful and discreet, easy to be entreated, and apt to believe every
thing. A lean face, by the rules of physiognomy, denotes the person to
be of a good understanding, but somewhat capricious and disdainful in
his conversation. A little and round face shows a person to be simple,
very fearful, of a bad memory, and a clownish disposition. A plump face
full of carbuncles, shows a man to be a great drinker of wine, vain,
daring, and soon intoxicated. A face red or high-coloured, shows a man
to be much inclined to choler, and one that will be soon angry and not
easily pacified. A long and lean face shows a man to be both bold,
injurious and deceitful. A face every way of a due proportion, denotes
an ingenious person, one fit for any thing, and very much inclined to
what is good. One of a broad full flat face is, by the rules of
physiognomy, of a dull, lumpish, heavy constitution, and that for one
virtue has three vices. A plain flat face, without any rising, shows a
person to be very wise, loving and courtly in his carriage, faithful to
his friend, and patient in adversity. A face sinking down a little, with
crosses in it, inclining to leanness, denotes a person to be very
laborious, but envious, deceitful, false, quarrelsome, vain, and silly,
of a dull and clownish behaviour. A face of a handsome proportion, and
more inclining to fat than lean, shows a person just in Ills actions,
true to his word, civil and respectful in his behaviour, of an
indifferent understanding, and of an extraordinary memory. A crooked
face, long and lean, denotes a man endued with as bad qualities as the
face is with ill features. A face broad about the brows, and sharper and
less as it grows towards the chin, shows a man simple and foolish in
managing his affairs, vain in his discourse, envious in his nature,
deceitful, quarrelsome, and rude in his conversation. A face well
coloured, full of good features, and of an exact symmetry, and a just
proportion in all its parts, and which is delightful to look upon, is
commonly the index of a fairer mind, and shows a person to be well
disposed; but withal declares that virtue is not so impregnably seated
there, but that by strong temptations (especially by the fair sex) it
may be supplanted and overcome by vice. A pale complexion shows the
person not only to be very fickle but very malicious, treacherous,
false, proud, presumptuous, and extremely unfaithful. A face well
coloured shows the person to be of a praiseworthy disposition, and a
sound complexion, easy of belief, and respectful to his friend, ready to
do a courtsey, and very easy to be drawn to any thing.

A great head and round withal, denotes the person to be secret, and of
great application in carrying on business, and also ingenious, and of a
large imaginative faculty and invention; and likewise laborious,
constant and honest. The head whose gullet stands forth, and inclines
towards the earth, signifies a person thrifty, wise, peaceable, secret,
of a retired temper, and constant in the management of his affairs. A
long head and face, and great, withal, denotes a vain, foolish, idle,
and weak person, credulous and very envious. To have one’s head always
shaking, and moving from side to side, denotes a shallow, weak person,
unstable in all his actions, given to lying, a great deceiver, a great
talker, and prodigal in all his fortunes. A big head and broad face show
a man to be very courageous, a great hunter after women, very
suspicious, bold and shameless. He who hath a very big head, but not so
proportionate as it ought to the body, if he hath a short neck and
crooked gullet, is generally a man of apprehension, wise, secret,
ingenious, of sound judgment, faithful, true and courteous to all. He
who hath a little head, and long slender throat, is for the most part a
man very weak, yet apt to learn, but unfortunate in his actions. And so
much shall suffice with respect to the head and face.

                              CHAPTER III.
      _Of Judgments drawn from several other parts of Man’s Body._

In the body of man, the head and face are the principal parts, being the
index which heaven has laid open to every one’s view to make a judgment
therefrom, therefore I have been the larger in my judgment from the
several parts thereof. But to the other parts, I shall be much more
brief, as not being so obvious to the eyes of men: yet I would proceed
in order.

The throat, if it be white, whether it be fat or lean, shows a man to be
vain-glorious, timorous, wanton, and very subject to choler. If the
throat be so thin and lean that the veins appear, it shows a man to be
weak, slow, and of a dull and heavy constitution.

A long neck shows one to have a long and slender foot, and that the
person is stiff and inflexible either to good or evil. A short neck
shows one to be witty and ingenious, but deceitful and inconstant, well
skilled in the use of arms, and yet cares not to use them, but is a
great lover of peace and quietness.

A lean shoulder bone signifies a man to be weak, timorous, peaceful, not
laborious, and yet fit for any employment. He whose shoulder-bones are
of a great bigness is commonly, by the rule of physiognomy, a strong
man, faithful, but unfortunate; somewhat dull of understanding, very
laborious, a great eater and drinker, and one equally contented in all
conditions. He whose shoulder bone seems to be smooth, is by the rule of
nature modest in his look, and temperate in all his actions, both at bed
and board. He whose shoulder bone bends and is crooked inwardly, is
commonly a dull person and deceitful.

Long arms hanging down and touching the knees, though such arms are
rarely seen, denotes a man liberal, but withal vain-glorious, proud, and
inconstant. He whose arms are very short in respect to the stature of
his body, is thereby signified to be a man of high and gallant spirit,
of a graceful temper bold and warlike. He whose arms are full of bones,
sinews and flesh, is a great desirer of novelties and beauties, and one
that is very credulous and apt to believe every thing. He whose arms are
very hairy, whether they be lean or fat, is for the most part a
luxurious person, weak in body and mind, very suspicious, and malicious
withal. He whose arms have no hair on them at all, is of a weak
judgment, very angry, vain, wanton, credulous, easily deceived himself,
yet a great deceiver of others, no fighter, and very apt to betray his
dearest friends.

                              CHAPTER IV.
   _Of Palmistry, showing the various Judgments drawn from the Hand._

Being engaged in this part of the work to show what judgment may be
drawn according to physiognomy, from the several parts of the body, and
coming in order to speak of the hands, it has put me under the necessity
of saying something about palmistry, which is judgment made of the
conditions, inclinations, and fortunes of men and women, from the
various lines and characters nature has imprinted in their hands, which
are almost as various as the hands that have them.

The reader should remember, that one of the lines of the hand, and which
indeed is reckoned the principal, is called the line of life; this line
incloses the thumb, separating it from the hollow of the hand. The next
to it, which is called the natural line, takes its beginning from the
rising of the fore-finger, near the line of life, and reaches to the
table-line, and generally makes a triangle. The table line, commonly
called the line of fortune, begins under the little finger, and ends
under the middle finger. The girdle of Venus, which is another line so
called, begins near the first-joint in the little finger, and ends
between the fore-finger and the middle finger. The line of death is that
which plainly appears in a counter line to that of life, and is called
the sister line, ending usually as the other ends; for when the line of
life is ended, death comes, and it can go no further. There are lines in
the fleshy parts, as in the ball of the thumb, which is called the mount
of Venus; under each of the fingers are also mounts, which are each
governed by several planets; and the hollow of the hand is called the
plain of Mars.

I proceed to give judgment from these several lines. In palmistry, the
left hand is chiefly to be regarded, because therein the lines are most
visible, and have the strictest communication with the heart and brain.
In the next place, observe the line of life, and if it be fair, extended
to its full length, and not broken with an intermixture of cross lines,
it shows long life and health, and it is the same if a double line
appears, as there sometimes does. When the stars appear in this line, it
is a signification of great losses and calamities; if on it there be the
figures of two O’s or a Y, it threatens the person with blindness; if it
wraps itself about the table-line, then does it promise wealth and
honour to be attended by prudence and industry. If the line be cut and
jagged at the upper end, it denotes much sickness; if this line be cut
by any line coming from the mount of Venus, it declares the person to be
unfortunate in love and business also, and threatens him with sudden
death. A cross between the line of life and the table-line, shows the
person to be very liberal and charitable, one of a noble spirit. Let us
see the signification of the table-line.

The table-line, when broad and of a lively colour, shows a healthful
constitution, and a quiet contented mind, and of a courageous spirit:
but if it has crosses towards the little finger, it threatens the party
with much affliction by sickness. If the line be double, or divided into
three parts at any of the extremities, it shows the person to be of a
generous temper, and of a good fortune to support it; but if this line
be forked at the end, it threatens the person shall suffer by
jealousies, and doubts, and loss of riches gotten by deceit. If three
points such as these ∴ are found in it, they denote the person prudent
and liberal, a lover of learning, and of a good temper; if it spreads
towards the fore and middle finger and ends blunt, it denotes
preferment. Let us now see what is signified by the middle-line. This
line has in it oftentimes (for there is scarce a hand in which it varies
not) divers very significant characters. Many small lines between this
and the table-line threaten the party with sickness, and also give him
hopes of recovery. A half cross branching into this line declares the
person shall have honour, riches, and good success in all his
undertakings. A half moon denotes cold and watery distempers; but a sun
or star upon this line, denotes prosperity and riches: this line, double
in a woman, shows she will have several husbands, but no children.

The line of Venus, if it happens to be cut or divided near the
fore-finger, threatens ruin to the party, and that it shall befall him
by means of lascivious women, and bad company. Two crosses upon this
line, one being on the fore-finger and the other bending towards the
little finger, shows the part to be weak, and inclined to modesty and
virtue; indeed it generally denotes modesty in women; and therefore
those who desire such, usually choose them by this standard.

The liver line, if it be straight and crossed by other lines, shows the
person to be of a sound judgment, and a piercing understanding; but if
it be winding, crooked, and bending outward, it shows deceit and
flattery, and the party is not to be trusted. If it makes a triangle, or
quadrangle, it shows the person to be of a noble descent, and ambitious
of honour and promotion. If it happens that this line and the middle
line begin near each other, it denotes a person to be weak in his
judgment, if a man; but if a woman, in danger by hard labour.

The plain of Mars being in the hollow of the hand, most of the lines
pass through it, which renders it very significant. This plain being
hollow, and the lines being crooked and distorted, threatens the party
to fall by his enemies. When the lines beginning at the wrist are long
within the plain, reaching to the brawn of the hand, that shows the
person to be much given to quarrelling, often in broils, and of a hot
and fiery spirit, by which he shall suffer much damage. If deep and
large crosses be in the middle of the plain, it shows the party shall
obtain honour by martial exploits; but if it be a woman, she shall have
several husbands, and easy labour with her children.

The line of Death is fatal, when crosses or broken lines appear in it;
for they threaten the person with sickness and a short life. A clouded
moon appearing therein, threatens a child-bed woman with death. A bloody
spot in the line, denotes a violent death. A star like a comet, threaten
ruin by war, and death by pestilence. But if a bright sun appears
therein, it promises long life and prosperity.

As for the lines of the wrist being fair, they denote good fortune; but
if crossed and broken, the contrary.

                               CHAPTER V.
 _Judgments according to Physiognomy, drawn from the different parts of
                 the Body, from the Hands to the Feet._

A large and full breast shows a man valiant and courageous, but withal
proud and hard to deal with, quickly angry, and very apprehensive of an
injury: he whose breast is narrow, and which riseth a little in the
middle of it, is, by the best rules of physiognomy, of a clear spirit,
of a great understanding, good in counsel, very faithful, clean both in
mind and body, yet as an enemy to this, he is soon angry, inclined long
to keep it. He whose breast is somewhat hairy is very luxurious, and
serviceable to another. He who hath no hair upon his breast, is a man
weak by nature, of a slender capacity, and very timorous, but of a
laudable life and conversation, inclined to peace, and much retired to

The back of the chine bone, if the flesh be any thing hairy and lean,
and higher than any other part that is behind, signifies a man
shameless, beastly, and withal malicious. He whose back is large, big,
and fat, is thereby denoted to be a strong and stout man, but of a heavy
disposition, vain, slow, and full of deceit.

He or she whose belly is soft all over the body, is weak, lustful, and
fearful upon little or no occasion, of a good understanding, and an
excellent invention, but a little eater, faithful, but of various
fortune, and meets with more adversity that prosperity. He whose flesh
is rough and hard, is a man of strong constitution, and very bold, but
vain, proud, and of a cruel temper. A person whose skin is smooth, fat,
and white, is curious, vain-glorious, timorous, shame-faced, malicious,
false, and too wise to believe all he hears.

The legs of both men and women have a fleshy substance behind, which are
called calves, which nature hath given them (as in our book of living
creatures we have observed) in lieu of those long tails which most other
creatures have pendent behind. Now a great calf, and he whose legs are
of a great bone, and hairy withal, denotes the person to be strong,
bold, secure, dull in understanding, and slow in business, inclined to
procreation, and for the most part fortunate in his undertakings. Little
legs, and but little hair on them, show the person to be weak, fearful,
of a quick understanding, and neither luxurious at bed nor board.

The feet of either men or women, if broad and thick with flesh, and long
in figure, especially if the skin feels hard, they are by nature of a
strong constitution, and gross nutriment, but of a weak intellect, which
renders the understanding vain. But feet that are thin and lean, and of
a soft skin, show the person to be weak of body, but of a strong
understanding, and of an excellent wit.

The soles of the feet do administer plain and evident signs, whereby the
disposition and constitution of men and women may be known, as do the
palms of their hands, as being full of lines, by which lines all the
fortunes or the misfortunes of men and women may be known, and their
manners and inclinations made plainly to appear. But this in general we
may take notice, as that many long lines and strokes do presage great
affliction, and a very troublesome life, attended with much grief and
toil, care, poverty, and misery; but short lines, if they are thick and
full of cross lines, are yet worse in every degree. Those, the skin of
whose soles are very thick and gross, are for the most part able,
strong, and venturous. Whereas, on the contrary, those, the skin of
whose soles of their feet is thin, are generally weak and timorous.

I shall now, before I conclude, (having given an account of what
judgments may be made by observing the several parts of the body, from
the crown of the head to the soles of the feet) give an account of what
judgments may be drawn by the rule of physiognomy from things extraneous
which are found upon many, and which indeed to them are parts of the
body, but are so far from being necessary parts that they are the
deformity and burden of it and speak of the habits of the body, as they
distinguished persons.

                   _Of Crooked and Deformed Persons._

A crooked breast or shoulder, or the exuberance of flesh in the body
either of man or woman, signifies the person to be extremely
parsimonious and ingenious, and of a great understanding, but very
covetous, and scraping after the things of the world, attended also with
a very bad memory, being also very deceitful and malicious: they are
seldom in a medium, but either virtuous or extremely vicious. But if the
person deformed hath an excrescence on his breast instead of the back,
he is for the most part of a double heart and very mischievous.

_Of the divers Manners of going, and particular Posture both of Men and

He or she who goes slowly, making great steps as they go, are generally
persons of bad memory, and dull of apprehension, given to loitering, and
not apt to believe what is told them. He who goes apace, and makes short
steps, is most successful in all his undertakings, swift in his
imagination, and humble in the disposition of his affairs. He who walks
wide and uneven steps, and sidelong withal, is one of a greedy, sordid
nature, subtle, malicious, and willing to do evil.

                _Of the Gait or Motion in Men or Women._

Every man hath a certain gait or motion, and so in like manner hath
every woman; for a man to be shaking his head, or using any light motion
with his hands or feet, whether he stands or sits, or speaks, is always
accompanied with an extravagant motion, unnecessary, superfluous and
unhandsome. Such a man, by the rule of physiognomy, is vain, unwise,
unchaste, a detractor, unstable, and unfaithful. He or she whose motion
is not much when discoursing with any one, is for the most part wise and
well bred, and fit for any employment, ingenious and apprehensive,
frugal, faithful, and industrious in business. He whose posture is
forwards and backwards, or, as it were whisking up and down, mimical, is
thereby denoted to be a vain silly person, of a heavy and dull wit, and
very malicious. He whose motion is lame and limping, or otherwise
imperfect, or that counterfeits an imperfection, is denoted to be
envious, malicious, false, and detracting.

               _Judgments drawn from the Stature of Man._

Physiognomy draws several judgments also from the stature of man, which
take as followeth: if a man be upright and straight, inclined rather to
leanness than fat, it shows him to be bold, cruel, proud, clamorous,
hard to please, and harder to be reconciled when displeased, very
frugal, deceitful, and in many things malicious. To be tall of stature,
and corpulent with it, denotes him to be not only handsome but valiant
also, but of no extraordinary understanding, and which is worst of all,
ungrateful and trepanning. He who is extremely tall, and very lean and
thin, is a projecting man, that designs no good to himself, importunate
to obtain what he desires, and extremely wedded to his own humour. He
who is thick and short, is vain, envious, suspicious, and very shallow
of apprehension, easy of belief, but very long before he will forget an
injury. He who is lean and short, but upright withal, is, by the rule of
physiognomy, wise and ingenious, bold and confident, and of a good
understanding, but of a deceitful heart. He who stoops as he goes, not
so much by age as custom, is very laborious, a retainer of secrets, but
very incredulous, and not easy to believe every vain report he hears. He
that goes with his belly stretching forth, is sociable, merry, and easy
to be persuaded.

                              CHAPTER IV.
         _Of the Power of Celestial Bodies over Men and Women._

Having spoken thus largely of Physiognomy, and the judgments given
thereby concerning the dispositions and inclinations of men and women,
drawn by the said art, from every part of the bodies of men and women,
it will be convenient here to show how all these things come to pass;
and how it is that the secret inclinations and future fate of men and
women may be known from the consideration of the several parts of the
bodies. They arise from the power and dominion of superior powers over
bodies inferior; by superior powers I understand the 12 Signs of the
Zodiac, whose signs, characters, and significations are as follow.


_Aris_, the Ram, which governs the head and face.

_Taurus_, the Bull, which governs the neck.

_Gemini_, the Twins, governs the hands and arms.

_Cancer_, the Crab, governs the breast and stomach.

_Leo_, the Lion, governs the back and heart.

_Virgo_, the Virgin, governs the belly and bowels.

_Libra_, the Balances, governs the reins and loins.

_Scorpio_, the Scorpion, governs the secret parts.

_Sagittary_, the Centaur, governs the thighs.

_Capricorn_, the Goat, governs the knees.

_Aquarius_, the Water-Bearer, governs the legs and ancles.

_Pisces_, the Fish, governs the feet.

It is here furthermore necessary to let the reader know, that the
ancients have divided the Celestial Sphere into twelve parts, according
to the number of these signs, which are termed houses; and have placed
the twelve signs in their houses, as in the first house Aries, in the
second Taurus, in the third Gemini, &c. And besides their assigning the
twelve signs to the twelves houses, they allot to each house its proper

To the first house they give the signification of life.

The second house has the signification of wealth, substance, or riches.

The third is the mansion of brethren.

The fourth is the house of parentage. _

The fifth is the house of children.

The sixth is the house of sickness or disease.

The seventh is the house of wedlock, and also of enemies, because
oftentimes a wife or husband proves the worst enemy.

The eighth is the house of death.

The ninth is the house of religion.

The tenth is the signification of honour.

The eleventh of friendship.

The twelfth is the house of affliction and woe.

Now, astrologically speaking, a house is a certain space in the heaven
or firmament, divided by certain degrees, through which the planets have
their motion, and in which they have their residence, and are situated.
And these houses are divided by thirty degrees, for every sign has so
many degrees. And these signs or houses are called the houses of such
and such planets as make their residence therein, and are such as
delight in them, and as they are deposited in such and such houses are
said to be either dignified or debilitated. For though the planets in
their several revolutions go through all the houses, yet there are some
houses which they are more properly said to delight in: As, for
instance, Aries and Scorpio are the houses of Mars; Taurus and Libra, of
Venus; Gemini and Virgo, of Mercury; Sagittarius and Pisces are the
houses of Jupiter; Capricorn and Aquarius are the houses of Saturn; Leo
is the house of the Sun; and Cancer is the house of the Moon.

Now to sum up the whole, and show how this concerns physiognomy, is
thus: as the body of man, as we have shown, is not only governed by the
signs and planets, but every part is appropriated to one or another of
them, so according to the particular influence of each sign or planet,
so governing, is the disposition, inclination, and nature of the person
governed. For such and such tokens and marks do show a person to be born
under such and such a planet; so according to the nature, power, and
influences of the planets, is the judgment to be made of that person. By
which the reader may see that the judgments drawn from physiognomy are
grounded upon a certain veracity.

                       THE MIDWIFE’S VADE-MECUM;

Those that take upon them the office of midwives, ought to take care to
fit themselves for that employment by the knowledge of those things that
are necessary for the discharge thereof. And such persons ought to be of
the middle age, neither too young nor too old; and of a good habit of
body, not subject to disease, fears, or sudden frights. Nor are the
qualifications assigned to a good surgeon improper for a midwife, viz, a
lady’s hand, a hawk’s eye, a lion’s heart; to which may be added,
activity of body, and a convenient strength, with caution and diligence;
not subject to drowsiness or impatience. She ought also to be sober,
affable, courteous, chaste, not coveteous, or subject to passion, but
bountiful and compassionate; and, above all, she ought to be qualified
as the Egyptian midwives of old, that is, to have the fear of God, which
is the principal thing in every state and condition, and will furnish
her, on all occasions, both with wisdom and discretion.

When the time of birth draws near and the good woman finds her
travailing pains begin to come upon her, let her send for her midwife in
time, better too soon than too late, and get those things ready which
are necessary upon such occasions. When the midwife comes, let her first
find whether the true time of the birth be come; for by not properly
observing this, many a child hath been spoiled, and the life of the
mother endangered; or at least given her double the pain needful. For
unskilful midwives, not minding this, have given things to force down
the child, and thereby disturb the course of her natural labour; whereas
nature works best in her own time and way. I do confess, it is somewhat
difficult to know the true time of a woman’s labour, they being troubled
with pains long before their true labour comes, even some weeks before;
the reason of which I conceive to be the heat of their reins; and this
may be readily known by the swelling of their legs; and therefore, when
women with child find their legs swell overmuch, they may be assured
that their reins are too hot. For the cure whereof, let them cool the
reins, before the time of their labour, with oil of poppies, and oil of
violets, or water-lillies, by anointing the reins of their backs with
them; for such women whose reins are very hot, have usually hard
labours. But in this case, above all the remedies that I know, I prefer
the decoction of them in water; and then having strained and clarified
it with the white of an egg, boil it into a syrup with its equal weight
of sugar, and keep it for use.

There are two skins that compass the child in the womb; the one is the
_amnios_, and this is the inner skin; the other is the _allantois_, and
this is the skin that holds the urine of the child during the time that
it abides in the womb. Both these skins, by the violent stirring of the
child near the time of its birth, are broken; and then the urine and
sweat of the child contained in them fall down to the neck of the womb;
and this is that which the midwives call _the waters_, and is an
infallible sign that the birth is very near; for the child is no more
able to subsist in the womb after those skins are broken, than a naked
man is in the cold air. These waters, if the child come presently after
them, facilitate the labour, by making the passage slippery; and
therefore the midwife must have a care that she force not the waters
away, for nature knows better the true time of the birth than she, and
usually retains the waters till that time.


A loadstone held in the travailing woman’s hand. Take wild tansy, bruise
and apply it to the woman’s nostrils. Take also date stones, and beat
them to powder, and let her take a drachm of them in white wine at a

Take parsley, bruise it, and press out the juice, and put it up (being
so dipped) into the mouth of the womb, and it will presently cause the
child to come away, though it be dead, and the after-burden also;
besides it cleanseth the womb, and also the child in the womb, of all
gross humours.

Let no midwife ever force away a child, unless she is sure it is dead. I
once was where a woman was in labour, which being very hard, her midwife
sent for another midwife to assist her, which midwife sending the first
down stairs, and designing to have the honour of delivering the woman
herself, forced away the body of the child, and left the head behind; of
which the woman was forced afterwards to be delivered by a man-midwife.

After the child is born, great care is to be taken by the midwife in
cutting the navel-string, which, though by some is accounted but a
trifle, yet it requires none of the least skill of a midwife, to do it
with that prudence and judgment that are requisite. And that it may be
done so, you must consider, as soon as the child is free from its
mother, whether it is weak or strong; if the child be weak, put back
gently part of the vital and natural blood in the body of the child by
its navel (for both the vital and natural spirits are communicated by
the mother to the child by its navel-string); for that doth much recruit
a weak child; but if the child be strong, you may forbear.

As to the manner of cutting the child’s navel-string, let the ligature
or binding be very strong; and be sure not to cut it off very near the
binding, lest the binding unloose. You need not fear to bind the
navel-string very hard, because it is void of sense; and that part of
the navel-string which you leave on falls off of its own accord in a few
days; the whole course of nature being now changed in the child, it
having another way ordained to nourish it. It is no matter with what
instrument you cut it off, so it be sharp and you do it cleverly. The
piece of the navel-string that falls off, be sure you keep it from
touching the ground; remember what I have before told you concerning
this matter, and if you keep it by you it may be of use. The
navel-string being cut off, put a little cotton or lint to the place, to
keep it warm, lest the cold enter the body of the child, which it will
be apt to do if it be not bound up hard enough.

The next thing to be done, is to bring away the after-birth, or
secundine, else it will be very dangerous for the woman. But this must
be done by gentle means, and without delay, for in this case especially
delays are dangerous; and also in what I have set down before, as good
to cause speedy delivery, and bring away the after-birth. And after the
birth and after-birth are brought away, if the woman’s body be very
weak, keep her not too warm; for extremity of heat doth weaken nature
and dissolve the strength; but whether she be weak or strong, let no
cold air come near her at first; for cold is an enemy to the spermatic
parts. If cold goes into the womb, it increases the after-pains, causes
swelling in the womb, and does great hurt to the nerves.

If what I have written be carefully observed by midwives, and such
nurses as keep women in their lying-in, by God’s blessing, the child-bed
woman may do very well, and both midwife and nurse gain credit and
reputation. For though these directions may in some things thwart the
common practice, yet they are grounded upon experience, and will
infallibly answer the end.

But there are several accidents that lying-in women are subject unto
which must be provided against; and these I will speak of next.

The first I shall mention are after-pains, about the cause of which,
authors very much differ; some think they are caused by the thinness,
some by the sliminess, and others by the sharpness of the blood; but my
own opinion is, they proceed from cold and water. But whatever the cause
may be, this I know, that if my foregoing directions be observed, they
will be very much abated, if not quite taken away. But in case they do
happen, boil an egg, and pour out the yoke of it, with which mix a
spoonful of cinnamon-water, and let her drink of it; and if you mix it
with two grains of ambergris, it will better.

The second accident lying-in women are subject to is excoriation in the
lower part of the womb. To help this, use oil of sweet almonds, or
rather oil of St. John’s wort, to anoint the part with.

Another accident is, that sometimes, through very hard labour, and the
great straining to bring the child into the world, the lying-in woman
comes to be troubled with the hemorrhoids or piles. To cure this, let
her use polypodium bruised, and boiled in her meat and drink.

A fourth thing that often follows is, the retention of the menses; this
is very dangerous, and, if not remedied, proves mortal. But for this,
let her take such medicines as strongly provoke the terms; and such are
peony roots, dittany, juniper-berries, betony, centaury, sage, savory,
pennyroyal, feverfew.

The last thing I shall mention is, the overflowing of the menses. This
happens not so often as the foregoing, but yet sometimes it does; and in
such cases take shepherd’s purse, either boiled in any convenient
liquor, or dried and beaten to powder, and you will find it very good to
stop them.

Having thus finished the Vade-Mecum for Midwives, before I conclude I
will add something of the choice and qualifications of good nurses; that
those who have occasion for them, may know how to order themselves, for
the good of the children whom they nurse.

1. Let her age be between 20 and 30, for then she is in her prime.

2. Let her be in health, for her sickness infects the milk, and the milk
the child.

3. Let her be a prudent woman, for such a one will be careful of the

4. Let her be not too poor; for if she wants, the child must want too.

5. Let her be well bred; for ill bred nurses corrupt good nature.

6. If it be a boy that is to be nursed, let the nurse be such a one
whose last child was a boy, and so it will be the more agreeable; but if
it be a girl, let the nurse be one whose last child was a girl.

7. If the nurse has a husband, see that he be a good likely man, and not
given to debauchery; for that may have an influence upon the child.

8. In the last place, let the nurse take care that she be not pregnant
herself; for, if so, she must of necessity either spoil her own, or
yours, or both.

To the nurse thus qualified, you may put your child without danger. And
let such a nurse take the following directions, for the better governing
and ordering herself in that station.

                    _Approved Directions to Nurses._

1. Let her use her body to exercise. If she hath nothing else to do, let
her exercise herself by dancing the child; for moderate exercise causeth
good digestion; and I am sure good blood must needs make good milk, and
good milk cannot fail making a thriving child.

2. Let her live in good air; there is nothing more natural than this. It
is the want of this makes so many children die in London; and even those
few that live are not of the best constitutions, for gross and thick air
makes unwieldy bodies and dull wits.

3. Let her be careful of her diet, and avoid all salt meats, garlics,
leeks, onions, and mustard, excessive drinking wine, strong beer, or
ale, for they trouble the child’s body with choler: cheese, both new and
old, afflicts it with melancholy, and all fish with phlegm.

4. Let her never deny herself sleep when she is drowsy, for by that
means she will be more wakeful when the child cries.

5. Let her avoid all disquiets of mind, anger, vexation, sorrow, and
grief; for these things very much disorder a woman, and therefore must
needs be hurtful to her milk.

6. If the nurse’s milk happen to be corrupted by an accident, as
sometimes it may be, being either too hot or too cold, in such cases let
her diet be good, and let her observe the cautions which have already
been given her. And then, if her milk be too hot, let her cool it with
endive, succory, lettuce, sorrel, purslain, and plantain; if it be too
cold, let her use burorage, vervain, buglos, mother of thyme, and
cinnamon; and let her observe this general rule, that whatsoever
strengthens the child in the womb, the same attends the milk.

7. If the nurse wants milk, the thistle, commonly called the lady’s
thistle, is an excellent thing for the breeding of milk, there being few
things growing (if any) that breeds more and better milk than that doth;
also the hoofs of the forefeet of the cow, dried and beaten to powder,
and a drachm of the powder taken every morning in any convenient liquor,
increases milk.

                 _Choice Remedies for increasing Milk._

If any nurse be given to much fretting, it makes her lean, and hinders
digestion; and she can never have store of milk, nor what she hath be
good. Bad meats and drinks also hinder the increase of milk, and
therefore ought to be forborne. A woman that would increase her milk,
should eat the best of food, (that is if she can get it,) and let her
drink milk wherein fennel seeds have been steeped. Let her take
barley-water, and burrage, and spinach; also goat’s milk, and lamb
sodden with verjuice. Let her also comfort the stomach with confection
of aniseed, carraway, and cummin seeds, and also use those seeds sodden
in water; also take barley-water, and boil therein green fennel and
dill, and sweeten it with sugar, and drink it at pleasure.

Hot fomentations open the breasts, and attract the blood, as decoction
of fennel, smallage, or stamped mint applied. Or, take fennel and
parsley, green, each a handful, boil and stamp them, and barley-meal
half an ounce, with seed drachm, storax, calamint, two drachms, oil of
lilies two ounces, and make a poultice.

Lastly, take half an ounce of deer’s suet, and as much parsley roots, an
ounce and a half of barley-meal, three drachms of red storax, and three
ounces of oil of sweet almonds; boil the roots well, and beat them to
pap, then mingle the other amongst them, and put it warm to the nipples,
and it will increase the milk.

And thus, courteous reader, I have at length finished what I have
designed; and can truly affirm, that thou hast here those recipes,
remedies, and directions given unto thee with respect to child-bearing
women, midwives and nurses, that are worth their weight in gold, and
will assuredly answer the end, whenever thou hast occasion to make use
of them, they not being things taken on trust from tradition or hearsay,
but the result and dictates of sound judgment and experience.

                         THE VENEREAL DISEASE.

In a former edition of this book the venereal disease was omitted. The
reasons, however, which at that time induced me to leave it out, have,
upon more mature consideration, vanished. Bad consequences, no doubt,
may arise from ignorant persons tampering with medicine in this
disorder; but the danger from that quarter seems to be more than
balanced by the great and solid advantages which must arise to the
patient from an early knowledge of his case, and an attention to a plan
of regimen, which, if it does not cure the disease, will be sure to
render it more mild, and less hurtful to the constitution.

It is peculiarly unfortunate for the unhappy person who contracts this
disease, that it lies under a sort of disgrace. This renders disguise
necessary, and makes the patient either conceal his disorder altogether,
or apply to those who promise a sudden and secret cure; but who, in
fact, only remove the symptoms for a time, while they fix the disease
deeper in the habit. By this means a slight infection, which might have
been easily removed, is often converted into an obstinate, and sometimes
incurable malady.

Another unfavourable circumstance attending this disease is, that it
assumes a variety of different shapes, and may with more propriety be
called an assemblage of diseases, than a single one. No two diseases can
require a more different mode of treatment than this does in its
different stages. Hence the folly and danger of trusting to any
particular nostrum for the cure of it. Such nostrums are, however,
generally administered in the same manner to all who apply for them,
without the least regard to the state of the disease, the constitution
of the patient, the degree of infection, and a thousand other
circumstances of the utmost importance.

Though the venereal disease is generally the fruit of unlawful embraces,
yet it may be communicated to the innocent as well as the guilty.
Infants, nurses, midwives, and married women whose husbands lead
dissolute lives, are often affected with it, and frequently lose their
lives by not being aware of their danger in due time. The unhappy
condition of such persons will certainly plead our excuse, if any excuse
be necessary, for endeavouring to point out the symptoms and cure of
this too common disease.

To enumerate all its different symptoms, however, and to trace the
disease minutely through its various stages, would require a much larger
space than falls to this part of my subject; I shall therefore confine
my observations chiefly to circumstances of importance, omitting such as
are either trifling, or which occur but seldom. I shall likewise pass
over the history of the disease, with the different methods of treatment
which it has undergone, since it was first introduced into Europe, and
many other circumstances of a similar nature; all of which, though they
might tend to amuse the reader, yet could afford him little or no useful

                       OF THE VIRULENT GONORRHŒA.

The Virulent Gonorrhœa is an involuntary discharge of infectious mucus
from the parts of generation in either sex. It generally makes its
appearance within eight or ten days after the infection has been
received; sometimes it appears in two or three days, and at other times
not before the end of four or five weeks. Previous to the discharge, the
patient feels an itching, with a small degree of pain in the genitals.
Afterwards a thin glary matter begins to distil from the urinary
passage, which stains the linen, and occasions a small degree of
titillation, particularly at the time of making water; this gradually
increasing, arises at length to a degree of heat and pain, which are
chiefly perceived about the extremity of the urinary passage, where a
slight degree of redness and inflammation likewise begins to appear.

As the disorder advances, the pain, heat of the urine, and running,
increase, while fresh symptoms daily ensue. In men the erections become
painful and involuntary, and are more frequent and lasting than when
natural. This symptom is most troublesome when the patient is warm in

The pain which was at first only perceived towards the extremity, now
begins to reach up all the urinary passage, and is more intense just
after the patient has done making water. The running gradually recedes
from the colour of semen, grows yellow, and at length puts on the
appearance of mucus.

When the disorder has arrived at its height, all the symptoms are more
intense; the heat of the urine is so great, that the patient dreads the
making water; and though he feels a constant inclination this way, yet
it is rendered with the greatest difficulty, and often only by drops;
the involuntary erections now become extremely painful and frequent;
there is also a pain, heat, and sense of fulness about the seat, and the
running is plentiful and sharp, of a brown, greenish, and sometimes of a
bloody colour.

By a proper treatment, the violence of the symptoms gradually abates;
the heat and urine goes off, the involuntary and painful erections, and
the heat and pain about the seat, become easier; and the running also
gradually decreases, grows whiter and thicker, till at last it entirely

By attending to these symptoms, the gonorrhœa may be generally
distinguished from any other disease. There are, however, some few
disorders for which it may be mistaken, as an ulcer of the kidneys or
bladder, the _fluor albus_, or whites in women, &c. But in the former of
these, the matter comes away only with the urine, or when the sphincter
of the bladder is open; whereas in a gonorrhœa the discharge is
constant. The latter is more difficult to distinguish, and must be known
chiefly from its effects; as pain, communicating the infection, &c.

REGIMEN.—When a person has reason to suspect that he has caught the
venereal infection, he ought most strictly to observe a cooling regimen,
to avoid everything of a heating nature, as wines, spiritous liquors,
rich sauces, spices, salted, high seasoned, and smoke dried provisions,
particularly salt itself in every shape; as also all aromatic and
stimulating vegetables, as onions, garlic, shalot, nutmeg, mustard,
cinnamon, mace, ginger, and such like. His food ought chiefly to consist
of mild vegetables, milk, broths, light puddings, panado, gruels, &c.
His drink may be barley-water, milk and water, decoctions of
marshmallows and liquorice, linseed tea, or clear whey. Of these he
ought to drink plentifully. Violent exercise of all kinds, especially
riding on horseback, and venereal pleasures, are to be avoided. The
patient must beware of cold, and when the inflammation is violent, he
ought to keep his bed.

MEDICINE.—A virulent gonorrhœa can rarely be cured speedily and
effectually at the same time. The patient ought, therefore, not to
expect nor the physician to promise it. It will often continue for two
or three weeks, and sometimes for five or six, even where the treatment
has been very proper.

Sometimes, indeed, a slight infection may be carried off in a few days,
by bathing the parts in warm milk and water, and injecting frequently up
the urethra a little sweet oil, or linseed tea, about the warmth of new
milk. Should these not succeed in carrying off the infection, they will
at least have a tendency to lessen its virulence.

To effect a cure, however, astringent injections will generally be found
necessary. There may be various ways prepared, but I think those made
with the white vitriol are both more safe and efficacious. They can be
made stronger or weaker as circumstances may require; but it is best to
begin with the more gentle, and increase their power if necessary. I
generally ordered a dram of white vitriol to be dissolved in eight or
nine ounces of common or rose-water, and an ordinary syringe full of it
to be thrown up three or four times a day. If this quantity does not
perform a cure, it may be repeated, and the dose increased.

Whether injections be used or not, cooling purges are always proper in
the gonorrhœa. They ought not, however, to be of the strong or drastic
kind. Whatever raises a violent commotion in the body increases the
danger, and tends to drive the disease deeper into the habit. Procuring
two or three stools every second or third day for the first fortnight,
and the same number every fourth or fifth day for the second, will
generally be sufficient to remove the inflammatory symptoms, to diminish
the running, and to change its colour and consistence. It gradually
becomes more white and ropy as the virulence abates.[1]

Footnote 1:

  If the patient can swallow a solution of salts and manna, he may take
  six drams; or, if his constitution requires it, an ounce of the
  former, with half an ounce of the latter. These may be dissolved in an
  English pint of boiling water, whey, or thin water-gruel, and taken
  early in the morning. If an infusion of senna and tamarinds be more
  agreeable, two drams of the former, and an ounce of the latter, may be
  infused all night in an English pint of boiling water. The infusion
  may be strained next morning, and half an ounce of Glauber’s salts
  dissolved in it. A tea-cupful of this infusion may be taken every half
  hour till it operates. Should the patient prefer an electuary, the
  following will be found to answer very well. Take of the lenitive
  electuary, four ounces, cream of tartar two ounces, jalap in powder
  two drams, rhubarb one dram, and as much of the syrup Of pale roses as
  will serve to make up the whole into a soft electuary. Two or three
  tea-spoonfuls of this may be taken over night, and about the same
  quantity next morning, every day that the patient chooses to take a
  purge. The doses of the above medicines may be increased or
  diminished, according as the patient finds it necessary. We have
  ordered the salts to be dissolved in a large quantity of water,
  because, it renders their operation more mild.

When the inflammatory symptoms run high, bleeding is always necessary at
the beginning. This operation, as in other topical inflammations, must
be repeated according to the strength and constitution of the patient,
and the vehemence and urgency of the symptoms.

Medicines which promote the secretion of urine are likewise proper in
this stage of the disorder. For this purpose an ounce of nitre and two
ounces of gum-arabic, pounded together, may be divided into twenty-four
doses, one of which may be taken frequently in a cup of the patient’s
drink. If these should make him pass his urine so often as to become
troublesome to him, he may either take them less frequently, or leave
out the nitre altogether, and take equal parts of gum-arabic and cream
of tartar. These may be pounded together, and a tea-spoonful taken in a
cup of the patient’s drink four or five times a day. I have generally
found this answer extremely well, both as a diuretic, and for keeping
the body gently open.

When the pain and inflammation are seated high, towards the neck of the
bladder, it will be proper frequently to throw up an emollient clyster,
which, besides the benefit of procuring stools will serve as a
fomentation to the inflamed parts.

Soft poultices, when they can conveniently be applied to the parts, are
of great service. They may be made of the flour of linseed, or of
wheat-bread and milk softened with fresh butter or sweet oil. When
poultices cannot be conveniently used, cloths wrung out of warm water,
or bladders filled with warm milk and water, may be applied. I have
often known the most excruciating pains, during the inflammatory state
of the gonorrhœa, relieved by one of these applications.

Few things tend more to keep off inflammation in the spermatic vessels,
than a proper suspensory for the scrotum. It ought to be so contrived as
to support the testicles, and should be worn from the first appearance
of the disease, till it has ceased some weeks.

The above treatment will sometimes remove the gonorrhœa so quickly, that
the person will be in doubt whether he really laboured under that
disease. This, however, is too favourable a turn to be often expected.
It more frequently happens, that we are able to procure an abatement or
remission of the inflammatory symptoms, so far as to make it safe to
have recourse to the great antidote _mercury_.

Many people, on the first appearance of a gonorrhœa, fly to the use of
mercury. This is a bad plan. Mercury is often not at all necessary in a
gonorrhœa; and when taken too early, it does mischief. It may be
necessary to complete the cure, but can never be proper at the
commencement of it.

When bleeding, purging, fomentations, and the other things recommended
above, have eased the pain, softened the pulse, relieved the heat of
urine, and rendered the involuntary ejections less frequent, the patient
may begin to use mercury in any form that is least disagreeable to him.

If he takes the common mercurial pill, two at night and one in the
morning will be a sufficient dose at first. Should they affect the mouth
too much, the dose must be lessened; if not at all, it may be increased
to five or six pills in the day. If calomel be thought preferable, two
or three grains of it, formed into a bolus, with a little of the
conserve of hips, may be taken at bed-time, and the dose gradually
increased to eight or ten grains. One of the most common preparations of
mercury now in use is the corrosive sublimate. This may be taken in the
manner afterwards recommended under the confirmed lues or pox. I have
always found it one of the most safe and efficacious medicines when
properly used.

The foregoing medicines may either be taken every day, or every other
day, as the patient is able to bear them. They ought never to be taken
in such quantity as to raise a salivation, unless in a very slight
degree. This disease may be more safely, and as certainly, cured without
a salivation as with it. When the mercury runs off by the mouth, it is
not so successful in carrying off the disease, as when it continues
longer in the body, and is discharged gradually.

Should the patient be purged or griped in the night by the mercury, he
may take half a dram of the opiate confection dissolved in an ounce of
cinnamon-water, to prevent bloody stools, which are apt to happen should
the patient catch cold, or if the mercury has not been duly prepared.
When the bowels are weak, and the mercury is apt to gripe or purge,
these disagreeable consequences may be prevented by taking, with the
foregoing pills or bolus, half a dram or two scruples of diascordium, or
of the Japonic confection.

To prevent the disagreeable circumstance of the mercury’s affecting the
mouth too much, or bringing on a salivation, it may be combined with
purgatives. With this view the laxative mercurial pill has been
contrived, the usual dose of which is half a dram, or three pills night
and morning, to be repeated every other day; but the safer way is for
the patient to begin with two, or even with one pill, gradually
increasing the dose.

To such persons as can neither swallow a bolus nor a pill, mercury may
be given in a liquid form, as it can be suspended even in a watery
vehicle, by means of gum-arabic, which not only serves this purpose, but
likewise prevents the mercury from affecting the mouth, and renders it
in many respects a better medicine.[2]

Footnote 2:

  Take quicksilver one dram, gum-arabic reduced to a mucilage two drams;
  let the quicksilver be rubbed with the mucilage, in a marble mortar,
  until the globules of mercury entirely disappear; afterwards and
  gradually, still continuing the trituration, add half an ounce of
  balsamic syrup, and eight ounces of simply cinnamon-water. Two
  table-spoonfuls of this solution may be taken night and morning. Some
  reckon this the best form in which quicksilver can be exhibited for
  the cure of gonorrhœa.

It happens very fortunately for those who cannot be brought to take
mercury inwardly, and likewise for persons whose bowels are too tender
to bear it, that an external application of it will answer equally well,
and in some respects better. It must be acknowledged, that mercury,
taken inwardly for any length of time, greatly weakens and disorders the
bowels; for which reason, when a plentiful use of it becomes necessary,
we would prefer rubbing in to the mercurial pills. The common mercurial,
or blue ointment, will answer very well. Of that which is made by
rubbing together equal quantities of hogslard and quicksilver, about a
dram may be used at a time. The best time for rubbing it in is at night,
and the most proper place the inner side of the thighs. The patient
should sit beside the fire when he rubs, and should wear flannel drawers
next his skin at the time he is using the ointment. If ointment of a
weaker or stronger kind be used, the quantity must be increased or
diminished in proportion.

If, during the use of the ointment, the inflammation of the genital
parts, together with the heat and feverishness, should return, or if the
mouth should grow sore, the gums tender, and the breath becomes
offensive, a dose or two of Glauber’s salts, or some other cooling
purge, may be taken, and the rubbing intermitted for a few days. As
soon, however, as the signs of spitting are gone off, if the virulency
be not quite corrected, the ointment must be repeated, but in smaller
quantities, and at longer intervals than before. Whatever way mercury is
administered, its use must be persisted in as long as any virulency is
suspected to remain.

During this, which may be called the second stage of the disorder,
though so strict a regimen is not necessary as in the first or
inflammatory state, yet intemperance of every kind ought to be avoided.
The food must be light, plain, and of easy digestion; and the greatest
indulgence that may be allowed, with respect to drink, is a little wine
diluted with a sufficient quantity of water. Spiritous liquors are to be
avoided in every shape. I have often known the inflammatory symptoms
renewed and heightened, the running increased, and the cure rendered
extremely difficult and tedious, by one fit of excessive drinking.

When the above treatment has removed the heat of urine, and soreness of
the genital parts; when the quantity of running is lessened, without any
pain or swelling in the groin or testicle supervening; when the patient
is free from involuntary erections; and lastly, when the running becomes
pale, whitish, void of ill smell, and tenacious or ropy; when all or
most of these symptoms appear, the gonorrhœa is arrived at its last
stage, and we may gradually proceed to treat it as a gleet with
astringent and agglutinating medicines.

                               OF GLEETS.

A gonorrhœa frequently repeated, or improperly treated, often ends in a
gleet, which may either proceed from a relaxation, or from some remains
of the disease. It is, however, of the greatest importance in the cure
of the gleet, to know from which of these causes it proceeds. When the
discharge proves very obstinate, and receives little or no check from
astringent remedies, there is ground to suspect that it is owing to the
latter; but if the drain is constant, and is chiefly observable when the
patient is stimulated by lascivious ideas, or upon straining to go to
stool, we may reasonably conclude that it is chiefly owing to the

In the cure of a gleet proceeding from relaxation, the principal design
is to brace and restore a proper degree of tension to the debilitated
and relaxed vessels. For this purpose, besides the medicines recommended
in the gonorrhœa, the patient may have recourse to stronger and more
powerful astringents, as the Peruvian bark,[3] alum, vitriol, galls,
tormentil, bistort, ballustines, tincture of gum kino, &c. The
injections may be rendered more astringent by the addition of a few
grains of alum, or increasing the quantity of vitriol as far as the
parts are able to bear it.

Footnote 3:

  The Peruvian bark may be combined with other astringents, and prepared
  in the following manner:—Take of Peruvian bark bruised six drams, of
  fresh galls bruised two drams, boil them in a pound and a half of
  water to a pound; to the strained liquor add three ounces of the
  simple tincture of the bark. A small tea-cupful of this may be taken
  three times a day, adding to each cup fifteen or twenty drops of the
  acid elixir of vitriol.

The last remedy which we shall mention, in this case, is the cold bath,
than which there is not a more powerful bracer in the whole compass of
medicine. It ought never to be omitted in this species of gleet, unless
there be something in the constitution of the patient which renders the
use of it unsafe. The chief objections to the use of the cold bath are a
full habit, and an unsound state of the viscera. The danger of the
former may always be lessened, if not removed, by purging and bleeding;
but the latter is an insurmountable obstacle, as the pressure of the
water, and the sudden contraction of the external vessels, by throwing
the blood with too much force upon the internal parts are apt to
occasion ruptures of the vessels, or a flux of humours upon the diseased
organs. But where no objections of this kind prevail, the patient ought
to plunge over head in water every morning fasting, for three or four
weeks together. He should not, however, stay long in the water, and
should take care to have his skin dried as soon as he comes out.

The regimen proper in this case is the same as was mentioned in the last
stage of the gonorrhœa: the diet must be drying and astringent, and the
drink Spa, Pyrmont, or Bristol waters with which a little claret or red
wine may sometimes be mixed.

When the gleet does not in the smallest degree yield to these medicines,
there is reason to suspect that it proceeds from ulcers. In this case
recourse must be had to mercury, and such medicines as tend to correct
any predominant acrimony with which the juices may be affected, as the
decoction of China, sarsaparilla, sassafras, or the like.

Mr. Fordyce says, he has seen many obstinate gleets, of two, three, or
four years standing, effectually cured by a mercurial inunction, when
almost every other medicine has been tried in vain. Dr. Chapman seems to
be of the same opinion; but says, he has always found the mercury
succeed best in this case when joined with terebinthinate and other
agglutinating medicines. For which reason the Doctor recommends pills
made of calomel and Venice turpentine;[4] and desires that their use may
be accompanied with a decoction of guaiacum or sarsaparilla.

Footnote 4:

  Take Venice turpentine, boiled to a sufficient degree of hardness,
  half an ounce, calomel half a dram. Let these be mixed and formed into
  sixty pills, of which five or six may be taken night and morning. If,
  during the use of these pills, the mouth should grow sore, or the
  breath become offensive, they must be discontinued till these symptoms

The last kind of remedy which we shall mention for the cure of ulcers in
the urinary passage, are the supperating candles or bougies. As these
are prepared various ways, and are generally to be bought ready made, it
is needless to spend time in enumerating the different ingredients of
which they are composed, or teaching the manner of preparing them.
Before a bougie be introduced into the urethra, however, it should be
smeared all over with sweet oil, to prevent it from stimulating too
suddenly. It may be suffered to continue in from one to seven hours,
according as the patient can bear it. Obstinate ulcers are not only
often healed, but tumours or excrescences in the urinary passages taken
away, and an obstruction of urine removed, by means of bougies.
Obstinate gleets may be removed by the use of bougies.

                        OF THE SWELLED TESTICLE.

The swelled testicle may either proceed from infection lately
contracted, or from the venereal poison lurking in the body; the latter
indeed is not very common, but the former frequently happens both in the
first and second stages of a gonorrhœa; particularly when the running is
unseasonably checked, by cold, hard drinking, strong drastic purges,
violent exercise, the too early use of astringent medicines, or the

In the inflammatory stage, bleeding is necessary, which must be repeated
according to the urgency of the symptoms.[5] The food must be light, and
the drink diluting. High-seasoned food, flesh, wines, and every thing of
a heating nature, are to be avoided. Fomentations are of singular
service. Poultices of bread and milk, softened with fresh butter or oil,
are likewise very proper, and ought constantly to be applied when the
patient is in bed; when he is up the testicles should be kept warm, and
supported by a suspensory, which may easily be contrived in such a
manner as to prevent the weight of the testicle from having any effect.

Footnote 5:

  I have been accustomed for some time past to apply leeches to inflamed
  testicles, which practice has always been followed with the most happy

If it should be found impracticable to clear the testicle by the cooling
regimen now pointed out, and extended according to circumstances, it
will be necessary to lead the patient through such a complete
antivenereal course as shall ensure him against any future uneasiness.
For this purpose, besides rubbing the mercurial ointment on the thighs
as directed in the gonorrhœa, the patient must be confined to bed, if
necessary, for five or six weeks, suspending the testicle, all the
while, with a bag or truss, and plying him inwardly with strong
decoctions of sarsaparilla.

When these means do not succeed, and there is reason to suspect a
scrofulous or cancerous habit, either of which may support a schirrous
induration, after a venereal poison is corrected, the parts should be
fomented daily with a decoction of hemlock, the bruised leaves of which
may likewise be added to the poultice, and the extract at the same time
taken inwardly.[6] This practice is strongly recommended by Dr. Storck
in schirrous and cancerous cases; and Mr. Fordyce assures us, that by
this method he has cured diseased testicles of two or three years
standing, even when ulcerated, and when the schirrous had begun to be
affected with pricking and lancing pains.

Footnote 6:

  The extract of hemlock may be made into pills, and taken in the manner
  directed under the article Cancer.

                               OF BUBOES.

Venereal buboes are hard tumours seated in the groin, occasioned by the
venereal poison lodged in this part. They are of two kinds, viz. such as
proceed from a recent infection, and such as accompany a confirmed lues.

The cure of recent buboes, that is, such as appear soon after impure
coition, may be first attempted by _dispersion_; and, if that should not
succeed, by _suppuration_. To promote the dispersion of a buboe, the
same regimen must be observed as was directed in the first stage of a
gonorrhœa. The patient must likewise be bled, and take some cooling
purges, as the decoction of tamarinds and senna, Glauber’s salts, and
the like. If by this course the swelling and other inflammatory symptoms
abate, we may safely proceed to use the mercury, which must be continued
till the venereal virus is quite subdued.[7]

Footnote 7:

  For the dispersion of a Bubo, a number of leeches applied to the part
  affected will be found equally efficacious as in the inflamed

But if the buboe should, from the beginning, be attended with great
heat, pain, and pulsation, it will be proper to promote its suppuration.
For this purpose the patient may be allowed to use his ordinary diet,
and to take now and then a glass of wine. Emollient cataplasms,
consisting of bread and milk softened with oil or fresh butter, may be
applied to the part; and, in cold constitutions, where the tumour
advances slowly, white lily roots boiled, or sliced onions raw, and a
sufficient quantity of yellow basilicon, may be added to the poultice.

When the tumour is ripe, which may be known by its conical figure, the
softness of the skin, and a fluctuation of the matter plainly to be felt
under the finger, it may be opened either by a caustic or a lancet, and
afterwards dressed with digestive ointment.

It sometimes, however, happens that buboes can neither be dispersed nor
brought to a suppuration, but remain hard indolent tumours. In this case
the indurated glands must be consumed by caustic; if they should become
schirrous, they must be dissolved by the application of hemlock, both
externally and internally, as directed in the schirrous testicle.

                              OF CHANCRES.

Chancres are superficial, callous, eating ulcers, which may happen
either with or without gonorrhœa. They are commonly seated about the
glands, and make their appearance in the following manner:—First a
little red pimple arises, which soon becomes pointed at top, and is
filled with a whitish matter inclining to yellow. This pimple is hot,
and itches generally before it breaks; afterwards it degenerates into an
obstinate ulcer, the bottom of which is usually covered with a viscid
mucus, and whose edges gradually become hard and callous. Sometimes the
first appearance resembles a simple excoriation of the cuticle; which,
however, if the cause be venereal, soon becomes a true chancre.

A chancre is sometimes a primary affection, but it is much oftener
symptomatic, and is the mark of a confirmed lues. Primary chancres
discover themselves soon after the coition, and are generally seated in
parts covered with a thin cuticle, as the lips, the nipples of women,
the _glens penis_ of men, &c.[8]

Footnote 8:

  When the venereal ulcers are seated in the lips, the infection may be
  communicated by kissing. I have seen very obstinate venereal ulcers in
  the lips, which I have all the reason in the world to believe were
  communicated in this manner. Nurses ought to beware of suckling
  infected children, or having their breasts drawn by persons tainted
  with the venereal disease. This caution is peculiarly necessary for
  nurses who reside in the neighbourhood of great towns.

When the chancre appears soon after impure coition, its treatment is
nearly similar to that of the virulent gonorrhœa. The patient must
observe the cooling regimen, lose a little blood, and take some gentle
doses of salts and manna. The parts affected ought frequently to be
bathed or rather soaked in warm milk and water, and if the inflammation
be great, an emollient poultice or cataplasm may be applied to them.
This course will, in most cases, be sufficient to abate the
inflammation, and prepare the patient for the use of mercury.

Symptomatic chancres are commonly accompanied with ulcers in the throat,
nocturnal pains, scabby eruptions about the roots of the hair, and other
symptoms of a confirmed lues. Though they may be seated in any of the
parts mentioned above, they commonly appear upon the private parts, or
the inside of the thigh. They are less painful, but frequently much
larger and harder than primary chancres. As their cure must depend upon
that of the pox, of which they are only a symptom, we shall take no
further notice of them till we come to treat of a confirmed lues.[9]

Footnote 9:

  I have found it answer extremely well to sprinkle chancres twice a day
  with calomel. This will often perform a cure without any other
  application whatever. If the chancres are upon the _glans_, they may
  be washed with milk and water a little warm, and afterwards the
  calomel may be applied as above.

Thus we have related most of the symptoms which accompany or succeed a
violent gonorrhœa, and have also given a short view of their proper
treatment; there are, however, several others which sometimes attend
this disease, as a _strangury_ or obstruction of urine, _a phymosis_,
_paraphymosis_, &c.

A strangury may be occasioned either by a spasmodic constriction, or an
inflammation of the urethra and parts about the neck of the bladder. In
the former case the patient begins to void his urine with tolerable
ease; but, as soon as it touches the galled or inflamed urethra, a
sudden constriction takes place, and the urine is voided by spurts,
sometimes by drops only. When the strangury is owing to an inflammation
about the neck of the bladder, there is a constant heat and uneasiness
of the part, a perpetual desire to make water, while the patient can
only render a few drops, and a troublesome _tenesmus_, or constant
inclination to go to stool.

When the strangury is owing to spasm, such medicines as tend to dilute
and blunt the salts of the urine will be proper. For this purpose,
besides the common diluting liquors, soft and cooling emulsions,
sweetened with the syrup of poppies, may be used. Should these not have
the desired effect, bleeding and emollient fomentations will be

When the complaint is evidently owing to an inflammation about the neck
of the bladder, bleeding must be more liberally performed, and repeated
according to the urgency of the symptoms. After bleeding, if the
strangury still continues, soft clysters, with a proper quantity of
laudanum in them, may be administered, and emollient fomentations
applied to the region of the bladder. At the same time, the patient may
take every four hours a tea-cupful of barley-water, to an English pint
of which six ounces of the syrup of marshmallows, and four ounces of the
oil of sweet almonds, and half an ounce of nitre may be added. If these
remedies should not relieve the complaint, and a total suppression of
urine should come on, bleeding must be repeated, and the patient set in
a warm bath up to the middle. It will be proper in this case to
discontinue the diuretics, and to draw off the water with a catheter;
but as the patient is seldom able to bear its being introduced, we would
rather recommend the use of mild bougies. These often lubricate the
passage, and greatly facilitate the discharge of urine. Whenever they
begin to stimulate or give any uneasiness, they may be withdrawn.

The _phymosis_ is such a constriction of the prepuce over the glans, as
hinders it from being drawn backwards; the _paraphymosis_, on the
contrary, is such a constriction of the prepuce behind the glans, as
hinders it from being brought forward.

The treatment of these symptoms is so nearly the same with that of the
virulent gonorrhœa, that we have no occasion to enlarge upon it. In
general, bleeding, purging, poultices, and emollient fomentations, are
sufficient. Should these, however, fail of removing the stricture, and
the parts be threatened with a mortification, twenty or thirty grains of
ipecacuana, and one grain of emetic tartar may be given for a vomit, and
may be worked off with warm water or thin gruel.

It sometimes happens, that in spite of all endeavours to the contrary,
the inflammation goes on, and symptoms of a beginning mortification
appear. When this is the case, the prepuce must be scarified with a
lancet, and, if necessary, divided, in order to prevent a strangulation,
and set the imprisoned glans at liberty. We shall not describe the
manner of performing this operation, as it ought always to be done by a
surgeon. When a mortification has actually taken place, it will be
necessary, besides the above operations, to foment the parts frequently
with cloths wrung out of a strong decoction of camomile-flowers and
bark, and to give the patient a dram of the bark in powder every two or
three hours.

With regard to the _priapism_, _chordee_, and other distortions of the
_penis_, their treatment is no way different from that of the gonorrhœa.
When they prove very troublesome, the patient may take a few drops of
laudanum at night, especially after the operation of a purgative through
the day.

                          OF A CONFIRMED LUES.

We have hitherto treated of those affections in which the venereal
poison is supposed to be confined chiefly to the particular part by
which it was received, and shall next take a view of the lues in its
confirmed state: that is, when the poison is actually received into the
blood, and circulating with it through every part of the body, mixes
with the several secretions, and renders the whole habit tainted.

The symptoms of a confirmed lues are, buboes in the groin, pains of the
head and joints, which are peculiarly troublesome in the night, or when
the patient is warm in bed; scabs and scurfs on various parts of the
body, especially on the head, of a yellowish colour, resembling a
honey-comb; corroding ulcers in various parts of the body, which
generally begin about the throat, from whence they creep gradually, by
the palate, towards the cartilage of the nose, which they destroy;
excrescences or exostoses arise in the middle of the bones, and their
spongy ends become brittle and break upon the least accident; at other
times they are soft, and bend like wax: the conglobate glands become
hard and callous, and form in the neck, arm-pits, groin, and mesentery,
hard moveable tumours, like the king’s-evil; tumours of different kinds
are likewise formed in the lymphatic vessels, tendons, ligaments, and
nerves, as the _gummata_, _ganglia_, _nodes_, _tophs_, &c.; the eyes are
affected with itching, pain, redness, and sometimes with total
blindness, and the ears with a singing noise, pain, and deafness, while
their internal substance is exulcerated and rendered carious; at length
all the animal, vital, and natural functions are depraved; the face
becomes pale and livid; the body emaciated and unfit for motion, and the
miserable patient falls into an atrophy or wasting consumption.

Women have symptoms peculiar to the sex; as cancers of the breast; a
suppression or overflowing of the menses; the whites; hysteric
affections; an inflammation, abscess, schirrus, gangrene, cancer, or
ulcer of the womb: they are generally either barren or subject to
abortion; or if they bring children into the world, they have universal
erysipelas, are half rotten, and covered with ulcers.

Such is the catalogue of symptoms attending this dreadful disease in its
confirmed state. Indeed, they are seldom all to be met with in the same
person, or at the same time; so many of them, however, are generally
present as are sufficient to alarm the patient; and if he has reason to
suspect the infection is lurking in his body, he ought immediately to
set about the expulsion of it, otherwise the most tragical consequence
will ensue.

The only certain remedy hitherto known in Europe for the cure of this
disease, is mercury, which may be used in a great variety of forms, with
nearly the same success. Some time ago it was reckoned impossible to
cure a confirmed lues without a salivation. This method is now, however,
pretty generally laid aside, and mercury is found to be as efficacious,
or rather more so, in expelling the venereal poison, when administered
in such a manner as not to run off the salivatory glands.

Though many are of opinion that the mercurial ointment is as efficacious
as any other preparation of that mineral; yet experience has taught me
to think otherwise. I have often seen the most obstinate venereal cases,
where great quantities of mercurial ointment had been used in vain,
yield to the saline preparations of mercury. Nor am I so singular in
this opinion. Mr. Clare, a very eminent surgeon, assured me, that for
some time past he had employed in venereal cases a saline preparation of
mercury with most happy success. This preparation, rubbed with a
sufficient quantity of any mild powder, he applied, in small portions,
to the tongue, where, with a gentle degree of friction, it was
immediately absorbed, and produced its full effect upon the system,
without doing the least injury to the stomach or bowels; a matter of
greater importance in the application of this most active and powerful

It is impossible to ascertain either the exact quantity of medicines
that must be taken, or the time they ought to be continued in order to
perform a cure. These will ever vary according to the constitution of
the patient, the season of the year, the degree of infection, the time
it has lodged in the body, &c. But though it is difficult, as Astruc
observes, to determine a priori, what quantity of mercury will, in the
whole, be necessary to cure this distemper completely, yet it may be
judged of a posteriori, from the abatement and ceasing of the symptoms.
The same author adds, that commonly not less than two ounces of the
strong mercurial ointment is sufficient, and not more than three or four
ounces necessary.

The only chemical preparation of mercury which we shall take notice of,
is the corrosive sublimate. This was some time ago brought into use for
the venereal disease in Germany, by the illustrious Baron Van Swieten;
and was soon after introduced into Britain by the learned Sir John
Pringle, at that time a physician to the army. The method of giving it
is as follows: One grain of corrosive sublimate is dissolved in two
ounces of French brandy or malt spirits; and of this solution an
ordinary table-spoonful, or the quantity of half an ounce, is to be
taken twice a day, and to be continued as long as any symptoms of the
disorder remain. To those whose stomachs cannot bear the solution, the
sublimate may be given in form of a pill.[10]

Footnote 10:

  The sublimate may be given in distilled water, or any other liquid
  that the patient chooses. I commonly order ten grains to be dissolved
  in an ounce of the spirit of wine, for the convenience of carriage,
  and let the patient take twenty or thirty drops of it night and
  morning, in half a glass of brandy or other spirits.

Several roots, woods, and barks, have been recommended for curing the
venereal disease; but none of them have been found, upon experience, to
answer the high encomiums which had been bestowed upon them. Though no
one of these is to be depended upon alone, yet, when joined with
mercury, some of them are found to be very beneficial in promoting a
cure. One of the best we know yet is sarsaparilla.

The mezereon-root is likewise found to be a powerful assistant to the
sublimate, or any other mercurial. It may either be used along with the
sarsaparilla, or by itself. Those who choose to use the mezereon by
itself, may boil an ounce of the fresh bark, taken from the root, in
twelve English pints of water, to eight, adding towards the end an ounce
of liquorice. The dose of this is the same as of the decoction of

We have been told, that the natives of America cure the venereal
disease, in every stage, by a decoction of the root of a plant called
the Lobelia. It is used either fresh or dried; but we have no certain
accounts with regard to the proportion. Sometimes they mix other roots
with it, as those of the ranunculus, the ceanothus, &c.; but whether
they are designed to disguise or assist it, is doubtful. The patient
takes a large draught of the decoction early in the morning, and
continues to use it for his ordinary drink throughout the day.[11]

Footnote 11:

  Though we are still very much in the dark with regard to the method of
  curing this disease among the natives of America, yet it is generally
  affirmed that they do cure it with speed, safety, and success, and
  that without the least knowledge of mercury. Hence it becomes an
  object of considerable importance to discover their method of cure.
  This might surely be done by making trials of the various plants which
  are found in those parts, and particularly of such as the natives are
  known to make use of. All people in a rude state take their medicines
  chiefly from the vegetable kingdom, and are often possessed of
  valuable secrets with regard to the virtues of plants, of which more
  enlightened nations are ignorant. Indeed, we make no doubt but some
  plants of our own growth, were proper pains taken to discover them,
  would be found as efficacious in curing the venereal disease as those
  in America. It must, however, be remembered, that what will cure the
  venereal disease in one country, will not always be found to have
  equal success in another.

Many other roots and woods might be mentioned which have been extolled
for curing the venereal disease, as the china roots, the roots of
soap-wart, burdock, &c., as also the wood of guaiacum and sassafras; but
as none of these have been found to possess virtues superior to those
already mentioned, we shall, for the sake of brevity, pass them over,
and shall conclude our observations on this disease, with a few general
remarks concerning the proper management of the patient and the nature
of the infection.

                         GENERAL OBSERVATIONS.

The condition of the patient ought always to be considered previous to
his entering upon a course of mercury in any form. It would be equally
rash and dangerous to administer mercury to a person labouring under any
violent acute disease, as a putrid fever, pleurisy, peripnuemony, or the
like. It would likewise be dangerous in some chronic cases; as a slow
hectic fever, or the last stage of a consumption. Sometimes, however,
these diseases proceed from a confirmed lues; in which case it will be
necessary to give mercury. In chronic diseases of a less dangerous
nature, as the asthma, the gravel, and such like, mercury, if necessary,
may be safely administered. If the patient’s strength has been greatly
exhausted by sickness, labour, abstinence, or any other cause, the use
of mercury must be postponed, till by time, rest, and a nourishing diet,
it can be sufficiently restored.

Mercury ought not to be administered to women during the menstrual flux,
or when the period is near at hand. Neither should it be given in the
last stage of pregnancy. If, however, the woman be not near the time of
her delivery, and circumstances render it necessary, mercury may be
given, but in smaller doses, and at greater intervals than usual; with
these precautions, both the mother and child may be cured at the same
time, if not, the disorder will at least be kept from growing worse,
till the woman be brought to bed, and sufficiently recovered, when a
more effectual method may be pursued, which, if she suckles her child,
will in all probability be sufficient for the cure of both.

Mercury ought always to be administered to infants with the greatest
caution. Their tender condition unfits them for supporting a salivation,
and makes it necessary to administer even the mildest preparations of
mercury to them with a sparing hand. A similar conduct is recommended in
the treatment of old persons, who have the misfortune to labour under a
confirmed lues. No doubt the infirmities of age must render people less
able to undergo the fatigues of a salivation; but this, as was formerly
observed, is never necessary; besides, we have generally found that
mercury had much less effect upon very old persons, than on those who
were younger.

Hysteric and hypochondriac persons, and such as are subject to an
habitual diarrhœa or dysentery, or to frequent and violent attacks of
epilepsy, or who are afflicted with the scrofula or the scurvy, ought to
be cautious in the use of mercury. Where any one of these disorders
prevails it ought either, if possible, to be cured, or at least
palliated, before the patient enters upon a course of mercury. When this
cannot be done, the mercury must be administered in smaller doses, and
at longer intervals than usual. The most proper seasons for entering
upon a course of mercury, are the spring and autumn, when the air is of
a moderate warmth. If the circumstances of the case, however, will not
admit of delay, we must not defer the cure on account of the season, but
must administer the mercury; taking care, at the same time, to keep the
patient’s chamber warmer or cooler according as the season of the year

The next thing to be considered is the preparation necessary to be
observed before we proceed to administer a course of mercury. Some lay
great stress upon this circumstance, observing that by previously
relaxing the vessels, and correcting any disorder which may happen to
prevail in the blood, not only the mercury will be disposed to act more
kindly, but many other inconveniencies will be prevented.

We have already recommended bleeding and gentle purges, previous to the
administration of mercury, and shall only now add, that these are always
to be repeated according to the age, strength, constitution, and other
circumstances of the patient. Afterwards, if it can be conveniently
done, the patient ought to bathe once or twice a day, for a few days, in
lukewarm water. His diet, in the meantime, must be light, moist, and
cooling. Wine and all heating liquors, also violent bodily exercise, and
all great exertions of the mind, are carefully to be avoided.

A proper regimen is likewise to be observed by such as are under a
course of mercury. Inattention to this not only endangers the patient’s
life, but often also disappoints him of a cure. A much smaller quantity
of mercury will be sufficient for the cure of a person who lives low,
keeps warm, and avoids all manner of excess, than of one who cannot
endure to put the smallest restraint upon his appetites; indeed, it but
rarely happens that such are thoroughly cured.

There is hardly any thing of more importance, either for preventing or
removing venereal infection than cleanliness. By an early attention to
this, the infection might often be prevented from entering the body; and
where it has already taken place, its effects may be greatly mitigated.
The moment any person has reason to suspect that he has received the
infection, he ought to wash the parts with water and spirits, sweet oil,
or milk and water; a small quantity of the last may likewise be injected
up the urethra, if it can be conveniently done. Whether this disease at
first took its rise from dirtiness is hard to say; but wherever that
prevails the infection is found in its greatest virulence, which gives
ground to believe that a strict attention to cleanliness would go far
towards extirpating it altogether.[12]

Footnote 12:

  I have not only seen a recent infection carried off in a few days by
  means of cleanliness, _viz._, bathing, fomentations, injections, &c.,
  but have likewise found it of the greatest advantage in the more
  advanced stages of the disease. Of this I had lately a very remarkable
  instance in a man whose penis was almost wholly consumed by venereal
  ulcers; the matter had been allowed to continue on the sores without
  any care having been taken to clean them, till, notwithstanding the
  use of mercury and other medicines, it had produced the effects
  mentioned. I ordered warm milk and water to be injected three or four
  times a day into all the sinuous ulcers, in order to wash out the
  matter; after which they were stuffed with dry lint to absorb the
  fresh matter as it was generated. The patient at the same time took
  every day half a grain of the corrosive sublimate of mercury,
  dissolved in an ounce of brandy, and drank an English quart of the
  decoction of sarsaparilla. By this treatment, in about six weeks, he
  was perfectly cured; and, what was very remarkable, a part of the
  penis was actually regenerated.

  Dr. Gilchrist has given an account of a species of the _lues venerea_
  which prevails in the west of Scotland, to which the natives give the
  name of _Sibbins_ or _Sivvins_. The doctor observes, that the
  spreading of this disease is chiefly owing to a neglect of
  cleanliness, and seems to think, that by due attention to this
  _virtue_, it might be extirpated. The treatment of this disease is
  similar to that of a confirmed lues or pox. The _yaws_, a disease
  which is now very common both in America and the West India Islands,
  may also be cured in the same manner.

When the venereal disease has been neglected, or improperly treated, it
often becomes a disorder of the habit. In this case the cure must be
attempted by restoratives, as milk diet, the decoction of sarsaparilla,
and such like, to which mercury may be added. It is a common practice in
North Britain to send such patients to drink goat-whey. This is a very
proper plan, providing the infection has been totally eradicated
beforehand; but when that is not the case, and the patient trusts to the
whey for finishing his cure, he will be often disappointed. I have
frequently known the disease return with all its virulence after a
course of goat-whey, even when that course had been thought quite
sufficient for completing the cure.

One of the most unfortunate circumstances attending patients in this
disease, is the necessity they are often laid under of hurrying the
cure. This induces them to take medicine too fast, and to leave it off
too soon. A few grains more of medicine, or a few days longer
confinement, would often be sufficient to perform the cure; whereas, by
neglect of these, a small degree of virulence is still left in the
system, which gradually vitiates, and at length contaminates the whole
mass. To avoid this, we would advise, that the patient should never
leave off taking medicine immediately upon the disappearing of the
symptoms, but continue it for some time after, gradually lessening the
quantity, till there is reason to believe the disease is entirely

It is not only difficult, but absolutely impossible, to ascertain the
exact degree of virulence that may attend the disease; for which reason
it will always be a much safer rule to continue the use of medicine too
long, than to leave it off too soon. This seems to be the leading maxim
of a modern practitioner of some note for the venereal disease, who
always orders his patients to perform a quarantine of forty days, during
which time he takes forty bottles of, I suppose, a strong decoction of
sarsaparilla, or some other antivenereal simple. Whoever takes this
method, and adds a sufficient quantity of corrosive sublimate, or some
other active preparation of mercury to the decoction, will seldom fail
to cure a confirmed lues.

It is peculiarly unfortunate for the cure of this disease, that not one
in ten of those who contract it, are either able or willing to submit to
a proper plan of regimen. The patient is willing to take medicine; but
he must follow his business, and to prevent suspicions, must eat and
drink like the rest of the family. This is the true source of
nine-tenths, of all the mischief arising from venereal disease. I never
knew the cure attended with any great difficulty or danger where the
patient strictly followed the physician’s advice; but a volume would not
be sufficient to point out the dreadful consequences which proceed from
an opposite conduct. Schirrous testicles, ulcerous sore throats,
madness, consumptions, carious bones, and a rotten progeny, are a few of
the blessings derived from this source.

There is a species of false reasoning, with regard to this disease,
which proves fatal to many. A person of a sound constitution contracts a
slight degree of the disorder. He gets well without taking any great
care, or using much medicine, and hence concludes, that this will always
be the case. The next time the disease occurs, though ten times more
virulent, he pursues the same course, and his constitution is ruined.
Indeed, the different degrees of virulence in the small-pox are not
greater than in this disease, though, as the learned Sydenham observes,
in some cases the most skilful physicians cannot cure, and in others the
most ignorant old women cannot kill the patient in that disorder. Though
a good constitution is always in favour of the patient, yet too great
stress may be laid upon it. It does not appear from observation, that
the most robust constitution is able to overcome the virulence of the
venereal contagion, after it has got into the habit. In this case, a
proper course of medicine is always indispensably necessary.

Although it is impossible, on account of the different degrees of
virulence, &c., to lay down fixed and certain rules, for the cure of
this disease, yet the following general plan will always be found safe,
and often successful, viz.: to bleed and administer gentle purges with
diuretics during the inflammatory state, and, as soon as the symptoms of
inflammation are abated, to administer mercury, in any form that may be
most agreeable to the patient. The same medicine, assisted by the
decoction of sarsaparilla, and a proper regimen, will not only secure
the constitution against the further progress of a confirmed pox, but
will generally perform a complete cure.

Although the venereal disease may not be a proper subject of discussion
for regular families and the nursery, yet there are many individuals to
whom the observations here made may be of service in that complaint.
There is no disease which opens so wide a field for the quack, none in
which he so completely picks the pocket and ruins the constitution of
the ignorant and unwary. Mercury, though looked upon as a certain cure
in every species of this disease, is only proper in one; and though
every apothecary’s boy pretends to cure the venereal disease by it,
there is no medicine oftener misapplied. Though mercury is a certain
cure for the _lues venerea_, it is a medicine of so very active a nature
that it cannot be administered with too much care; it is the chief
ingredient in all the nostrums daily advertised for the cure of this
disease, and those who value their health or their life, should beware
of allowing themselves to become, in a matter so serious, the dupes of


                           COURTEOUS READER,

In the Works of the renowned and famous philosopher, ARISTOTLE, you have
got laid before you a Collection of the best Observations on the Secrets
of Nature, that ever the world was favoured with on the subject. Let me
now entreat you, who have read them, and all those who may hereafter do
so, to mark well what is therein contained, and thereby direct your
future conduct, which you will find to your advantage. Whatever young
and inconsiderate persons may think or say of what is herein contained,
it is absolutely necessary to be known; and, when reduced to practice,
may prove the happy means of preventing many fatal and lamentable
consequences, which ignorance and inconsideration produce. Farewell.

                                THE END.

                   JOHN SMITH, TOOLY STREET, LONDON.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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