Klinike, or The diet of the diseased Divided into three bookes. wherein is set downe at length the whole matter and nature of diet for those in health, but especially for the sicke; the aire, and other elements; meat and drinke, with divers other things; various controversies concerning this subject are discussed: besides many pleasant practicall and historicall relations, both of the authours owne and other mens, &c. as by the argument of each booke, the contents of the chapters, and a large table, may easily appeare. Colellected [sic] as well out of the writings of ancient philosophers, Greeke, Latine, and Arabian, and other moderne writers; as out of divers other authours. Newly published by Iames Hart, Doctor in Physicke
About this text
Klinike, or The diet of the diseased, (1633) by James Hart of Northampton is a pioneering work in the study of medical diet. It investigates questions of health, air and exercise, compiling a great deal of information from earlier sources. Hart is a strong proponent of professional medical treatment, and criticizes the intrusion of lay persons in the field, be they unlicensed quacks, village elders or, above all, meddlesome parsons. Among the passages used here there is an attack on dietary innovations, such as the eating of snails, frogs, oysters and mushrooms.
THE DIET OF THE
Divided into Three BOOKES.
Wherein is set downe at length the whole matter and nature of Diet for those in health, but especially for the sicke; the Aire, and other Elements; Meat and Drinke, with divers other things; various controversies concerning this Subject are discussed:
Besides many pleasant practicall and historicall relations, both of the Authours owne and other mens, &c. as by the Argument of each Booke, the Contents of the Chapters, and a large Table, may easily appeare.
Colellected as well out of the Writings of ancient Philosophers, Greeke, Latine, and Arabian, and other moderne Writers; as out of divers other Authours.
Newly published by JAMES HART, Doctor in Physicke.
Printed by JOHN BEALE, for ROBERT ALLOT, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the blacke Beare in Pauls Church-yard, 1633.
PUBLISHED BY John Beale
PUBLISHED FOR Robert Allot
In this first booke are conteined the natures and properties of the aire and other Elements, the winds and such other things thereunto belonging: All maner of food fit for the use of man; both bread and drinke, naturall and artificiall, together with the use thereof, and the various wayes of preparation: as also the nourishment afforded us by fourefooted beasts, both greater and lesser; of fowles of all sorts, and fishes; as also concerning all manner of potherbs, sallets, sauces, spices in most frequent and ordinary use. And by the way are here and there handled divers pleasant and profitable points not a little concerning the health of mankind: as namely concerning climactericall yeeres, concerning the period and prolongation of mans life; and whether by art it may be prolonged or no; and whether one may live any long time without food or no? Concerning the use of the Elements, especially aire and water, with the right use and election, and some other things concerning them. Some questions concerning the use of drinke at certaine times. Something also concerning gluttony and drunkennesse, being the abuses of the creatures, with the many mischiefes thereby insuing both to the party in private, and to the whole common-wealth in generall.
Of strange and uncoth Diet, which some people have in ordinarie use; as of Dogges, Cats, Horses, Mules, Asses, Rats, Locusts, Frogges, Snailes, and man flesh.
Before we enter upon our Fish, wee will say something of some strange and uncoth kinde of diet, especially flesh, as also some other things not usuall among us: that by this meanes wee may the more be induced to laud and magnifie the great and extraordinarie bountie of our great and gracious God, in affording us such plentie and varietie of good and wholesome food for susteining these fraile bodies, that by this meanes in all moderation and sobriety, and without excesse, we might the better be enabled for his service. And besides, that travellers, which shall by any occasioned necessity be cast upon any such places, may be somewhat acquainted with the nature and faculty of such uncoth food. It hath been already plainly proved how usefull & necessary a food bread is, and how agreable to the life of man, and without the which, all other food whatsoever giveth but small content: and yet there is a people (saith a late Writer) that live upon flesh only; and these be certaine Indians, under the command of the great Mogere, and bordering upon China; which also hold all manner of corne to be food for beasts, and not for man: and yet those people live 100 yeeres. I have seen with mine eies (saith Caesar Frederick) that the inhabitants of Pegu or Brama, have eaten Serpents, Scorpions, and all manner of herbs and grasse. This I meane (saith he) not of their extremity, or famine, but ordinarily. Mr Fitch saith the same, that they eat roots, herbs, leaves, Dogs, Cats, Rats & Snakes; they refuse almost nothing: and this is also the custom in Florida, where they eat such vermin; as also ants egs, wood, earth, [Page 84] and dung of wilde beasts; and keepe the bones of Serpents and fishes to grinde afterwards. The Guineans diet is strange, as raw flesh, handfalls of graine, large draughts of Aquavitae, Dogs, Cats, Buffles, Elephants (though stinking like carrion, and a thousand magots creeping in them:) and that Vipers flesh was in use to be eaten, appeareth by Dioscorides. And Pliny relateth, that the Aethiopians, and Indians, called Seres, and the inhabitants of the hill Athos, (called by Isigonus, Macrobii, or long lived) lived on the like food; and by reason thereof neither in their head, nor whole bodie, were bred any kinde of vermine whatsoever. And that Rats were in request, as an ordinary food among the antients, as also that they had warrens for this same purpose, is apparant; and therefore Pliny mentioneth, that Marcus Scaurus, in his Censorian law, abolished and banished from their tables, both Rats, Shelfish, and fowle fetcht from forraigne parts. But it may, perhaps, be asked, whether Horse, Cats and Dogges may not be eaten? I answer, that indeed, such creatures not being in ordinary use with us, and being supplied with other variety of usefull creatures, and exceeding any of them in bounty, good and wholesome aliment, I see no necessity of their use. But because in some staits and extremitie, as sieges of townes, and other occasions, there may be sometimes a necessitie of using such food; howsoever, not to be compared with our ordinary flesh; yet doe they not partake of any evill or venomous quality. Indeed, such creatures, as also Mules and Asses, especially old and leane, are hard of concoction, yeelding a bad and melancholicke nourishment to the body. The young ones that be fat, are of farre better use, nourish better, and are easilier digested. And as for Dogges and Cats, especially being young and fat, many have often fed upon them, and found them good food. In Italy, it is no uncoth thing to eat Cats; and even here among our selves Cats have beene sometimes eaten by some of purpose, and by others unawares, who never found any offence by this food. And this same last hard pinching yeere, 1630, some in this same towne, ate the flesh of Cats, and made good pottage thereof. Beside, even Hippocrates himselfe appointed whelps flesh to his sicke, as may in divers places of his works appeare: whereby it may plainly appeare, that such creatures may in time of need be eaten. But besides these, in divers places Locusts, which wee commonly call Caterpillers, (a creature whereby God often scourged the inhabitants of hot countries, and wherewith hee also often threatned the rebellious and stif-necked people of the Jewes) have beene, and yet are at this day much used for ordinary food among many Nations, especially the Africans. And this is both by Pliny, and many other Authors, witnessed. How the Aethiopians catch them with smoke, and salt them up, may be seene in Authours; this being their chiefe food whereon in these countries they most ordinarily feed. They use either to boile them, or else to dry them in the Sunne, and beat them to powder, and make meale of them. And that they were used of the inhabitants of Arabia Foelix, whereunto Judea adjoined, or was not, at least, farre distant from it, is apparent by John Baptist his diet. Now, by the way by occasion of mentioning John [Page 85] Bapttist, it is to be observed, that John did indeed feed upon such beasts; and not upon the buds of certaine herbs, as some would have him, drawing the Greeke word [ [...]]to their owne interpretation; which not-withstanding in any antient Author is not found in such a signification as they would have it. And it is againe reported by Epphanius, that some Jewes desirous to be lye the truth, [ [...]] read, [ [...]] signifying thereby certaine junkets made of hony or oile, whereof mention is made, Exod. 16. and Num. 11. But these, and many others which for brevity I passe by, are but frivolous and farre fetcht; and therefore let us rest upon this, that John Baptist did indeed feed upon such a food, contenting himselfe with this austere kind of diet, Locusts and wild hony. Now this same late alleged author tells us that this need not seeme so strange untous, since that even of late yeeres some Germane souldiors, even in so great an abundance of all manner of provision, yet used ordinarily to fry Silke-wormes, and eate them with no small delight; and that not without good reason: for such things as are indued with no noise smell or taste, depend onely upon opinion; which is a good rule to be observed in the use of uncouth food. And the Italians eat another worme, differing from the other but in colour to outward appearance, it being black, and the former of a reddish colour; and yet are such with them esteemed as greatest dainties, although ingendred of putrefaction, and not of Egges, as both the Locusts and Silkewormes are. Now that the Locust was a food, and used to be eaten, even among the Jewes themselves, at least some sorts, may by the 11. chap. of Levit. appeare, where foure sorts of Locusts were allowed to be eaten, and therefore called cleane, and other three sorts forbidden, and called uncleane. Of these creatures I could make a long and large discourse, relating their severall names and natures, together with divers histories of their hurt done in severall Countries at several times, with many other things to them belonging, which I willingly passe by. Whoso desireth to know more concerning these creatures, Let him read Pliny and others, even our late alleged Author. But besides all the sorts of creatures usefull for mankind, as though this were not yet sufficient, and that our bountifull God had abridged us of necessary provision for the sustentation of this fraile life, mans boldnesse hath yet extended it selfe to strange and prodigious dishes. So that now we are not contented to feed on Sheep and Cattell, Hens and Capons, and other such creatures usefull for the maintaining of the life of man; and fit them for our tables: but prodigious gluttony hath now devised to feed upon the excrements of the earth, the slime and scum of the water, the superfluity of the woods, and putrefaction of the sea; to wit, to feed on frogs, snailes, mushroms, and oisters. And that this custome hath beene very antient, may by Pliny appeare; [Page 86] who writeth that they used to feed snailes in warrens, as they did other creatures. And it seemeth that such creatures were at the first used either as Physicke, or in the defect and want of better food. And it seemeth that some antient Physitians used frogs in Consumptions and wasting away of the bodie, as also in that oppilation of the pipes of the lungs called, isthma. But this was never their meaning that they should be either of them, or any other as an ordinary food, but rather Physicke, or at least physicall food, alimentum medicamentosum. But to speake the very truth, both frogs and snailes are now adaies rather used for wantonnesse, and to please our curious palats, than for any necessity, or defect of other food. And thus are they ordinarily used in France, and some other countries, although yet not in frequent use with us; howbeit, one of these daies these dishes may become as common as our new French fashions of apparell. To enter upon a large discourse of the nature, properties, and preparation of frogs, and the manner of using them, is not here my purpose; and therefore leave it to them that have more leisure, and purpose to feed upon them. If any have a purpose to use them, let them beware of those that are venomous. And my advice shall bee rather to abstaine from such things, wherein there may be either danger or doubt, and to make choice of that which is free from either, where there is such choice and variety. And this I would have also understood concerning mushroms (whereof some thing hath been said already) and the like. As concerning Snailes, they are used for food both in France, and other neighbouring countries: and for this purpose, as the ancient Romans fed them in their warrens, so doe some even at this day feed them in their gardens. Now some are of opinion that Snailes are of a very nourishing faculty; and for this cause, our women doe often ordinarily indifferently exhibit them in Consumptions of any kind whatsoever; sometimes in milke, and sometimes in broth, even as their owne fancie leadeth them. But by the way, if Snailes be so nourishing, I wonder why our Papists use them so ordinarily in the time of Lent, when as they will not allow so much as a bit of Porke or powdered beefe! They may well answer, they may as well be allowed as wine; and I thinke so too, and farre better, and nourish farre lesse, and with lesse speed, I am sure, than wine and divers other things they use. The reason why they are esteemed of so alimentall or nourishing a nature, is by reason (say som) that in Winter they are able to sustaine themselves with their owne substance: and that for this same cause, Galen appointeth them in Hecticke Fevers and consumptions. But the truth is, that these creatures, by reason of their viscidity, and glutinous tough substance, and the imbecillity and want of naturall hear, loose little or nothing of this their tough and glutinous substance, and by consequent need no reparation of the same. And as for the exhibition of them in Hecticke Fevers, it is rather by way of humectation and refrigeration, than for any strong alimentall quality hee acknowledgeth in them. And that they participate of such a slimie glutitinous substance, may from hence also evidently appeare (saith the late alleaged Author) in that by Chymicall art and industrie, this [Page 87] slimy substance may with small paines be converted into a stone. This might therefore in my opinion deterre any from the use of such an aliment, especially such as are of a weake stomacke, are troubled with the stone in the bladder or kidnies, arthritical infirmities; as gout, &c. As also any obstructions of the inward parts, liver, spleen, &c. I have somewhat the longer of set purpose insisted upon this kinde of food, because it is growne an ordinray custome here in the countrie, as I have said, in any consumption; nay in any supposed, and but surmised weakenesse, or frivolous feare thereof, indifferently to exhibit this dish in manner as I have said. Besides, this is done without any consideration of circumstances, either of age, strength, time of the disease, &c. And therefore I leave it to the understanding and judicious Reader to judge, whether this be a legall and laudable course or no. And withall, let the judicious and ingenious Reader judge of the necessity and utility of handling the diet of the diseased. Besides all the former sorts of diet, there hath a barbarous and inhumane custome of killing and eating mans flesh, not of late onely; but even many yeeres agoe, crept into the world; in somuch that wee know for a truth, that now there are divers of those Anthropophagi, or meneaters in divers places of the world. And truely, I thinke, there is scare any among us that would easily have beleeved, that any that bare ingraven the stamp and image of his Maker, could ever have harboured so barbarous a thought within his breast; farre lesse to have acted so tragicall and inhumane a crueltie, unlesse it had been by divers true histories testified unto us, and related by word of mouth by those, who, to their great griefe, have been spectators of so barbarous and inhumane a cruell custome. The late histories of such as have travelled of late yeeres into those parts of the Westerne world doe evidently witnesse the truth thereof. And it is yet further recorded, that in some of those places they keepe ordinarily shambles of mens flesh, as we doe of beefe and mutton and other flesh: and besides, if they thinke their Slaves will yeeld them more mony, cut out by the joint than sold alive (if there were but a halfe penny saved) they will bee sure to send him to the shambles. I doubt not but that the very reading of these things will strike a certaine horror and amazement in the minds of many men, with an horresco legens, when they consider of the customes of these cruellest Caniballs of all others; and justly so they may. But have we no such devouring Caniballs here at home among ourselves? The law would take hold of so barbarous a fact. But if there be not as bad, if not worse Caniballs among ourselves, let the world judge. I could instance in many several sorts of extortioners, and daily grinders of the faces of the poore, if this were a theme befitting my person & profession. But there is one particular kind, which not in my private opinion alone, but of many both of the most judicious and honest, hath beene alwayes accounted and reputed as horrible and cruell an oppression, as any other whatsoever; if not far crueller. My meaning is of depopulating inclosure, wherby many wealthy townes, who before maintained a number of able people, and fit in time of need to doe their country good service, have [Page 88] now for the most part left only a sheepherd and his dog. But the judgements of God upon their Persons, or at least upon their posterity (most of them I meane) are yet so recent in the memories of most now living, that I need say no more, but wish that others may take warning.
The residue of the sixe things called not naturall, and such things as thereunto belong, are here in this last booke handled, the first whereof is repletion and inanition; and in the first place of repletion in generall, and the division thereof, as likewise of inanition or evacuation, and the divers kinds thereof: afterwards is phlebotomy handled in particular, and the diversity thereof, where is set downe the utility therof, the persons fit to be phlebotomised, the veins to be opened, the quantity, quality, convenient time, together with the preparation before, and the ordering after phlebotomy are plainly and largely set down, where something concerning the signe, whether in phlebotomy to be observed, with a confutation of that and some other points of judiciall astrology: after follow purgations, whether or no we ought to purge? what persons are to be purged, of the nature of the humors to be purged, and concerning their preparation. Of purging medicines, reiteration of them, their quantity, quality, time of exhibition both generall and particular. Of vomits, glisters, and suppositories. Severall formes in which medicines are exhibited, together with the manner of governing the sicke, in and after physicke. Of sweating, and meanes to further the same. Of bathing and baths, both naturall and artificiall: of the nature and properties of divers minerall waters, both in this Iland, and other parts of Europe, and in what infirmities most effectuall. Also concerning urines, the fecall excrements or ordure: of spittle, spitting, or salivation, and of Tabacco, and the use therof, as also of snot or snevell, and of rheumes & distillations descending upon the nether parts, the lungs especially, and how remedies are for this to be used. Of carnall copulation, the right use and abuse thereof: of watching and sleeping, and dreames in sicknesse & in health: of the soule and the chiefe passions thereof: of love, and love potions, and whether they can procure love or no? of effascination, and something concerning Mandrakes, and the erronious opinion of some concerning this simple: of anger, joy, sadnesse or griefe, and the effects that follow thereupon. The conclusion of this whole discourse.
There is yet another erroneous opinion crept in, not onely among the meaner and more ignorant; but even among some of the more judicious sort, that love may be procured by effascination or bewitching: and by this meanes some have been strongly perswaded that affections might be forced; and the affection of one by effascination (as before they conceived of philtra) to be procured to another: the truth whereof would be a little inquired into. That there is such a thing as fascination, or effascination, cannot be denied, as by the antient Poets, both Greeke and Latine may appeare; but what it is would be considered. In this fascination therefore, there must needes be an effluxe of something from some body, and received againe into some other body. In this businesse then wee are to consider the body transmitting, the body receiving that which is transmitted, the medium, or middle space betwixt them, and that which is transmitted. That which transmitteth, is most commonly the eye or mouth, the party receiving, some tender body, apt to receive such an evill impression, as children especially: the medium, or middle space, the aire: and the thing transmitted, a vapour, called by the Greekes [ [...]]. Now, certaine it is, that there is no member of the body that doth so abound in spirits as the eye, nor that sendeth out more resplendent beames than the ball or apple thereof. And it is reported of Augustus Caesar, that on whomsoever he had firmely fixt his eyesight, they were forced after a while to winke, as in the bright shining of the Sunne beames, so cleare and bright shining were his eyes. And of Tiberius Caesar it is also written, that when he rose in the night time, he saw as clearely as any cat. And it is reported, that in the country of Albania, the inhabitants before they atteine to mans age, [Page 355] are white haired, and that they see better in the night than in the day time. These lucid spirits then, the carriers of this fascination, slowing in that abundance, towards the eyes, and ejaculated upon the object; if these spirits proceed from uncleane blood, it is no marvell, that some most obnoxious to receive this venomous impression, be therewith surprized: and such vapors our Authors affirme often to proceed from bleareeyed persons, whereby they may infect others with the same infirmities: as likewise that a menstruous woman infecteth the glasse shee looketh into. And some write of certaine families among the Triballians and Illyrians, who, if they looke earnesty, especially if angrily, upon any one, they presently kill them by their bare aspect onely; and they likewise write of some women of Scythia, and of others living neere unto Pontus, having in one of their eyes a double bale, and in the other the shape of a horse, being very terrible to behold, and who being throwne into the water, clothes and all, could not be drowned. Now, this fascination among the antients was so frequent, that the very brutes were not freed therefrom; as may by the Poet appeare. Nescio quis teneros, &c. Many other things might here out of antient Authors be alleged, but that I hasten to that which followeth. Besides this fascination by sight, antient Authors mention yet another kind by meanes of speech and tongue. And Gellius maketh mention of whole families in Africke, bewitching with their speech and tongue: who if they praised much either young children, trees, corne, cattell, or any thing else, all died, and withered away presently. Hence have wee this custome derived from antiquity, that when wee praise any thing in a high manner, wee use a kinde of prayer, desiring God to blesse it, lest, perhaps, our tongue hurt it. And there is yet another phrase in use among the vulgar especially, when any thing prospereth not according to our intents and wishes, to say it is forespoken. But whatsoever credulous antiquity hath beleeved concerning this matter, yet in truth there is no such efficacie in either of these as was supposed. I beleeve no such strange effects produced by bare beholding of any. If any children or weake natures received any such venomous impressions from such eyes, it was but rare, and seldome came to passe. And as I said before, so here againe: why might not God sometimes suffer the divell to inflict some hurt upon children or other, after some such particular persons intent fixing their eyes upon them, which that archenemy of mankinde might afterwards make them beleeve came to passe by reason of their intent aspect; as he does ordinarily make our deluded witches beleeve that by meanes of certaine words, spells, or other creatures, such effects are produced, howbeit most falsely, as shall presently appeare. And that which some relate, that if a Wolfe see a man first, it bereaveth him of his speech, is but a mere fiction. And so is that which Pliny writeth concerning that Serpent called Catoblepas and the Basilik , which hee, beleeving others, saith, doe kill any man on whom they looke. All this a late Writer confuteth as fabulous, proving the varieties of opinions concerning this Serpent, the last especially, called by us a Cocatrice, which our vulgar erroneously beleeve to be hatched by a Toad sitting on a Cocks egge. This, as some say killeth by sight: some againe, [Page 356] affirme onely by the bite, and some by the sound or hissing of it. The history of it therefore is very doubtfull, and divers waies related. As for the other sort of bewitching by words, there is as little, if not lesse probability of producing such strange stupendious effects. And if I should grant that sometimes there might proceed out at the mouth some virulent vapours which might annoy a tender infant, especially by neere approaching, yet tell mee, I pray thee, what so forcible vapours can come forth at the mouth of any mortall man to infect forrests of trees, and whole comefields.
It is then a cleare case, that when any such accidents come to passe, they are effected by Satan himselfe, GOD in his hid and secret wisedome, and for causes best knowne to himselfe, suffering some persons themselves, or their goods, to be in this enemies power: and many times such persons as are by the vulgar suspected of performing such ill offices, are ignorant wicked people, filled with envie and malice, often wishing such harmes to their neighbours, which Satan by his power from above, putting presently in execution, these wicked malicious people are often beleeved to be the actors; and sometimes God in his justice suffereth such to be punished by the sword of the Magistrate, although free from any compact with Satan; God sometimes thus justly punishing their envie and malice, and other sinnes. And therefore it behooves those in authoritie to be carefull of the lives of such people, where there is no evident and apparent proofe to convince them. And it commeth often to passe, that as old age is peevish and froward; so sometimes some poore melancholicke woman in the countrie falling out with some of her neighbours, useth froward speeches, and, perhaps, some imprecations also; and then, if any hurt or harme suddenly befall this neighbour, with whom this woman wrangled, be it that any of the cattell miscarry, or any of the family fall sicke; especially if any thing by this poore woman imprecated come to passe: this poore woman then is presently accused for a witch; and if it lay in their power (so ignorant, envious and malicious are some of those people) merely upon this preconceived opinion, they would hang this accused party: in which cases, if the reverend Judges and the Justices of the countrie were not more judicious and mercifull than the accusers, we should have many an innocent person condemned to death. I have here a large field offered mee to expatiat upon, but not willing to dwell too long upon it, I must contract my matter. The cure used against such fascination doth yet argue the truth of that which hath beene said: as to hang some things about their neckes, for the which, corall is commended: although I cannot see what vertue can proceed out of so sollid a body, to encounter with so subtile and venomous a vapor, as proceedeth either from the eyes or other part. And what great vertue can proceed out of herbes hung up in the roofe of the house? and what extraordinary vertue was there in a Wolfes head nailed upon the entry of great mens gates, as is yet the custome in divers places of Germanie, although now I thinke they have no such intention? and in divers places in Switzerland they use Boares heads after [Page 357] the same manner. It is farre more probable that Aristotle writeth concerning Rue, which being eaten, is good against fascination: for being good against poisons, it might also resist maligne and venomous vapours proceeding from any part of the body. Now, that both ordinary spells, barbarous words, and many other such trash used by Satan and his imps, have no such power not efficacy in them either to bewitch, or yet to cure the bewitched, I could makes it by evident arguments appeare, but that I may not now too long insist, howbeit I will relate a story our of a late Writer, who hath of set purpose confuted this foolerie, where he prooveth the force of a strong confidence. A Knave upon a time, saith hee, went to visit a woman much vexed with a paine in her eyes, whom this fellow promised to cure, onely by hanging a billet about her necke, wherein were written some few words, which shee was to weare constantly, and never to open or one looke what was within it. This foolish woman, accustomed continually to weepe and cry, (the chiefe cause of all her misery) conceiving now such a confidence in this cure, gave over her weeping, and became now as cheerefull as ever before, and so her eyes mended. After a pretty while, her eyes being now reasonable well, shee was somewhat carelesse of her billet, so that at length shee quite lost it. But bethinking her selfe what shee had lost, and fearing lest shee should be againe troubled with her former infirmity, fell a weeping and crying as before shee had beene accustomed, and so fell as ill in her eyes as ever before. This note or billet was found by a stranger, who opening it, found written in it these words in high dutch: Der teuffel kat zedir die augen auff, und scheisse dir in die loocher: that is in English, The Divell scratch out thy eyes, and fill up the holes with his ordure. Now, if there had beene any vertue in these words, this good woman had lost her eyes: for they had beene pulled out and filled with the divells ordure. It behooveth then all honest, carefull, and conscionable Physitians, to shunne all such unwarranted and suspected waies of curing the sicke. And I advise sicke people to seeke for remedy by lawfull and allowed meanes, and not to Wizards, Witches, Spell-mongers, and the like forbidden crash. What? in the time of the Gospell must wee needes goe to Beelzebub? Is there never a God in Israel? No balme in Gilead? If this be scandalous for common Christians, what shall it be for one of the tribe of Levi, anointed with sacred oile? It is not unknowne to the country, how that some of that profession, besides their lawlesse intrusion upon another profession, if they doe no evill, yet I am sure, doe that which is evill like. I speake nothing here of their practising of Judiciall Astrology, calculating nativities and the like: but I heare by relation round about the countrie, that some remedies they use, which have beene by the most judicious accounted to savour of superstition. And although I have heard much, yet will I instance but in one particular, and of mine owne knowledge, and related to mee by a Clergie man, and therefore, I hope, the credit of the story lesse liable to exception. This sale last yeere there came to mee a Minister, desiring to know mine opinion concerning a doubt whereof hee was desirous to be satisfied: A maide (saith hee) being obnoxious to Epilepticall fits, [Page 358] were written certaine barbarous words, such as are commonly used by those who use unlawfull arts. This the young woman for a while continued, and was so long as shee wore the amulet free from her former sits: afterward being by some put in doubt of the lawfulnesse of this manner of medicine she left it off, and still after that was haunted with her old fits, as before. But being againe by some perswaded, if I remember right, shee made againe tryall of the same medicine with a like effect following as before. But after a while being without the use of this ring, whether it was lost, or whether shee left it off of purpose. I rememember not well, but shee was seized with her fits as before. Now, this Minister demanded of me, whether I thought this to be a regular cure, and warranted by the rules of our art, and by us ordinarily practised; my reply was, that cures were all either supernaturall, or naturall: the former proper to almighty God, and practised both in the old and new Testament. As for natural means, the Physitian makes use of them, as medicus est naturae minister, the Physitian being an assistant and helper of nature in time of neede. And thus Physitians make use of severall sorts of simples of all sorts, variously prepared, and exhibited often inwardly, sometimes applied but outwardly, according to severall circumstances, and such simples as the Physitian knowes to be indued with such vertues and qualities, or else he meddleth not with them at all. As for this ring made of a solid metall, although our Chymists attribute some antepilepticall quality to silver; yet neither use they this not gold it selfe (of the medicines whereof they tell us such wonders) without a laborious and artificiall preparation, and then exhibit it inwardly, most commonly in a potable forme; and yet are many times, yea, for the most part frustrat of her expected effects. And as I said then, so I say now, that I see no naturall cause of this cure: the silver being so solid a substance, can send out no such forcible vapors as might produce so strange an effect. Now, then, it resteth it must either be effected by vertue of these barbarous words of the ring, or force of the imaginating faculty, and her strong conceit of the excellency of the medicine: the former of the which I have already proved to be false, and that words have no vertue either to hurt or heale. It resteth then, if by any meanes, it was by vertue of her strong imagination, by reason of the high conceit shee had of this medicinall ring. But this is false: for howsover shee might at first have some high conceit hereof, yet afterwards her minde was quite altered, and what shee then did, it was rather against her judgement, and with feare, as not being perswaded of the lawfulnesse thereof. But now I appeale to the ingenuous and judicious unpartiall reader, whether this be fit and comely for a Churchman to make use of such meanes, which, suppose they be not unlawfull, yet at least are they suspicious. And the Apostle wisheth us to absteine from all appearance of evill; if this precept my be extended to all Clergie men. And whether there be not here at least an appearance of evill, that I say no further, let the learned and judicious judge. I cannot dwell longer upon this point, but wish master parson now in his old age, being now capularis senex, to leave these vanities, and betake himselfe to doe what good he can in his owne ministeriall function, not meddling [Page 359] with such things especially, as have bin by the honestest and most judicious of all ages condemned; and so may he at that great day of account give up a good reckoning. Now, because in this point of fascination there is often much use made of imagination, and having beene lately also mentioned, it shall not be impertinent, ere wee proceed further, to say something thereof.
I purpose not here to enter into any exquisite and accurate Philosophicall discourse, concerning this subject, nor yet the strange effects thereby produced, but to demonstrate the erroneous opinion of some concerning the same. The phansie, then called phantasia, is an internall sense, reteining and examining such species as have beene by the commonsense apprehended, or yet by it selfe framed. Of the strange effects of this phansie, called also imagination, both in melancholicke persons, in women with child, and divers others, the mouthes of every one are so full, that I shall not neede to insist thereon. But all these strange effects are yet immanent, and confined within the body imagining, not transient or working upon any outward object. For although wee ofte gape or make water when we see some others doe such things, yet is this but by way of remembrance, and being excited by their example, and not forced thereunto by their imagination. But here ariseth now the question, whether the phansie can worke without that body whereunto it belongeth: or whether it can worke without its owne body for a great distance. This hath beene alwaies by an unanimous consent as well of Physitians as Philosophers ever denied, the which I could prove by a cloud of witnesses, which were but to small purpose, it being a confessed truth. Notwithstanding the premisses, some have taught us another lesson, and that imagination not onely within the same individuall body, but in others also may produce strange effects. And this hath been by our Arabians strongly mainteined, that the soule approached neerest to the celestiall understandings, and by that meanes was indued with extraordinary vertues and powers, and among the rest, to command inferiour natures. But to confute this opinion, many ar+guments might be produced. In the first place, these supreme intelligences, by meanes of naturall causes interceding, produce raine, stormes, and faire weather, &c. Besides, that if by this strong imagination any thing might be without the body produced, then mad men, who are very strong in their imagination, should in this farre excell others. Besides, if by strong imagination any man could alter any remote object without touching, it might thus doe infinitly, there being nothing in any distance to hinder it. Besides, if this were true, then the wisest and most vertuous men should performe best such actions. But the case stands farre otherwise: for these impostors are of opinion, that the most wretched and unskilfull knaves and drunkards, whose soules were never indued with any excellency or vertue, produce such operations. But besides that which hath beene said, our Paracelsists have well improved this doctrine of imagination. So strange [Page 360] things they tell us of this imagination, that it will draw health from a whole man; whereas, saith mine author, in reason the contrary should rather come to passe, and the stronger draw the weaker, in somuch, that the sound party should rather draw sickenesse from the former. And as concerning that sympatheticall operation, saith the same Author, as that of Persicaria, the weaponsalve, and the like, they have no sound reason for them: if any thing come to passe, it is but casuall and accidentall, and often deceiveth us. By the same imagination they tell us, that wee may inflict any sicknesse upon our neighbour: and the stronger be our imagination, and the more our cogitations that way intended, the greater shall be the mischiefe: by reason that by intent cogitation the spirits are directed, the which holdeth as well in doing good as harme. This will sute well with the Popish doctrine, whereas the consecration of the hoste dependeth upon the Priests intention; insomuch that any Sir Iean may gull his people, and give them a bare wafer for the body of Christ. But now, if imagination do all, our witches & wizards are mere ignorant fooles, let them but turn Paracelsists, and by their strong imagination they may bring any mischiefe to passe which they had purposed, and not be liable to the law. What neede they be so much beholden to the divell, as to sell themselves to be his slaves, if these operations may so easily be effected. But if this should come to passe, then the Divell would have nothing to doe. This Crollius tells us yet strange things of this imagination; to wit, it dependeth wholly upon the starres, yea, that it is all one with them, as also, that the firmament it selfe is indued with imagination, howbeit it be void of reason; as man hath imagination with reason. And that the whole heaven is nothing else but mere imagination, sending downe upon this inferiour world, fevers, pestilences, and the like, without any corporeall instrument. And this imagination, saith he, is as a loadstone, yea, farre exceeding the same, working beyond thousands of miles: yea, saith be, in its exaltation it attracteth from the elements whatsoever it pleaseth. So that these wise men can attract the power and vertues of the starres into any image, metall, or any other thing whatsoever; insomuch, that the power and efficacy therof may therin plainly and conspicuously be seen. Many more such things may there be seen, the confutation of the which fooleries may in the forenamed Libavius at great length be seene: where the same Authour justly taxeth the other, that if hee can attract any thing from the [Page 361] elements, as hee seemeth to have both heaven and earth at command, why then doth not he and his fellowes help the publike in time of need? And why did he not, saith hee, in the yeere 1613. draw downe some warmth, to qualifie the extreme cold of that nipping winter: and if he can doe good to the publike, and be so envious, it is a pitty, saith he, but he had beene buried in the snow. I adde yet, where were all our imaginationmongers this last yeere 1630. where drouth, and by consequence famine and scarcity prevailed through the most parts of Christendome? It was a very malicious minde, that had no pitty of the publike. If they would not helpe their enemies, yet they might have helpt their friends. But I am sure for all their strong imaginations, if our poore people had not found more reall comfort by the charity of well disposed people, they might often have dined with Duke Humphrey, and gone supperlesse to bed. But concerning this imagination, this shall for this present suffice, howbeit I could yet have inlarged my selfe very much upon this point.