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tory in their actions; so these secure the blood and juices of the body, and keep them indisposed to be preyed upon. But as the blood is the fountain that supplies the juices, waters the parts, and is the matter prepared for composing them, we assign the first place to the operation upon the blood ; with regard whereto we shall lay down three very
effectual directions. And first, no doubt if the blood be brought to a cooler temper, it will become less dissipable; but as refrigerants taken by the mouth, ill comport with many other intentions, it is most advisable to find out others, not subject to such inconveniencies : and there are two of them.
The one is, the use of glysters, in no respect purging or abstersive, but only cooling and somewhat opening; to be injected principally in youth: and those are best approved which consist of the juice of lettuce, purslane, liverwort, the greater houseleek, and the mucilage of fleawort-seed; with the addition of some moderately aperient decoction, and the admixture of a little camphire: but in declining age, let the houseleek and the purslane be omitted ; and the juices of borage, endive or the like be substituted for them. These glysters should be retained as long as possible, or for an hour or more.
The second is to use, especially in the summer, baths of sweet and scarce lukewarm water, without any emollient ingredients; such as' mallows, the herb mercury, milk, &c. but rather a moderate proportion of new whey and roses.
But what we take for the capital thing of all in this intention, though never mentioned till now, is, before bathing to anoint the body with oil, properly thickened like a paint; that the coolness of the water may be received, yet the water itself kept off; though without closing the pores of the body too much: for where external cold shuts up the body strongly, it is so far from procuring coolness, as rather to prevent it, and excite heat.
What bears some analogy to this, is, the use of bladders filled with refrigerating decoctions and juices, and applied to the lower region of the body, viz. the whole abdomen; thus making a kind of bath, where the substance of the liquor is excluded, and its coldness principally, or alone received.
The third direction regards not the quality, but the substance of the blood ; with design to render it less dissipable, closer of texture, and of such a disposition, that the heat of the spirit may the less affect it.
And for the use of gold, either in leaf or filings; the powder of pearls, coral, gems, and the like, we have no farther opinion thereof, than as they may possibly answer the present intention : and surely since not only the Arabians, but also the Greeks and the moderns have ascribed such great virtues to these medicines, there may seem to be somewhat in them, which so many persons declare they have experienced. To drop, therefore, all fanciful notions about them, we judge, that if there could be some such thing conveyed into the whole mass of blood, and intimately mixed therewith in the smallest particles, whilst the spirits and heat might have little or no effect upon
this matter; it would prevent, not only putrefaction, but dryness, and prove exceedingly efficacious in prolonging life. But this affair requires several cautions; as 1. That the substance be ground exceedingly fine; 2. That it be free from all malignity, lest coming into the veins, it should do mischief; 3. That it be never taken at meals, nor so as to lodge long by the way, for fear of producing dangerous obstructions about the mesentery; and 4. That it be used but seldom, to prevent its clodding in the veins. And therefore let it be taken in the morning fasting, in a glass of white wine, mixed with a little oil of almonds; and using some proper bodily exercise upon it.
The simples best conducive to this operation may be reduced to three, viz. gold, pearl, and coral; for all the other metals, except gold, have some malignant quality in their volatile part; nor can they be so exquisitely ground as leafgold. And for all the transparent gems, they are but a kind of glass; and therefore to be rejected for fear of wounding and tearing the finer vessels.
But, in our judgment it would be safer, and more effectual to use woods by way of infusion or decoction; as these may be sufficiently able to give strength and durability to the blood, without the danger of causing obstructions; especially as they may be taken along with the diet, and thence be the easier received into the veins, and not thrown off with the fæces,
The woods proper for this purpose are saunders, oak, and the vine; for we reject the hotter kinds, and such as are any way resinous. We might also add the dry and woody stalks of rosemary; this being a shrub as durable as many trees; and again the dry and woody stalks of ivy; to be used in such proportion as not to prove ungrateful to the taste.
Let these woods be taken either boiled in broths, or steeped in new wine or beer, before the liquor grows fine. When used in broths, let them be long infused before boiling, that the firmer part of the wood, and not only that which sticks but loosely in it, may be drawn out. And so much for the operation upon the blood.
THE HISTORY OF THE OPERATION UPON THE JUICES
OF THE BODY.
We before observed, in our enquiry into inanimate bodies, that there are two kinds of substances which consume with difficulty; viz. lard and fat ones ; as appears in metals and stones; oil and wax.
The intention therefore must be to render the juices of the body bardish and unctuous.
Hardness is procurable to them three ways, viz. 1. By aliment of a firm nature. 2. By cold, condensing the skin and flesh; and 3. By exercise, binding up and working the juices together, or preventing them from growing soft and frothy.
The aliment should be of the most substantial or undissipable kind; as beef, pork, venison, goat, kid, swan, goose, and ring-dove; especially when moderately salted : again, salt and dried fish, old cheese, &c.
As to bread; that of oats, or with a little mixture of pease, and that of rye or barley is more solid than that of wheat; and of wheat bread, that is the more solid which has somewhat more of the bran.