Home Page || "Natural Magick" || The Author And His Work ||Editor/Producer || Glossary/Index
A Table Containing the General Heads of Natural Magick
"Preface To The
The Eighth Book of Natural Magick
"Of Physical Experiments"
Chapter I - "Of Medicines which cause sleep."
Chapter II - "To make a Man out of his senses for a day."
Chapter III - "To cause several kinds of dreams."
Chapter IV - "Excellent Remedies for the Eyes."
Chapter V - "To Fasten the Teeth."
Chapter VI - "For other infirmities of Man's Body."
Chapter VII - "That a Woman may conceive."
Chapter VIII - "Remedies against the Pox."
Chapter IX - "Antidotes against Poison."
Chapter X - "Antidotes and preservatives against the Plague."
Chapter XI - "Remedies for Wounds and Blows."
Chapter XII - "Of a Secret Medicine for Wounds."
Chapter XIII - "How to counterfeit infirmities."
- "Of Fascination, Preservatives against
I intended to pass by these following experiments in Physick, because I have everywhere mentioned them in my history of plants, and we have not omitted anything, that was certain and secret in them that we knew, unless is be such things as could not be brought into that rank. And though other things shall be described in my Book of Distillations, yet that this place of Physick be not left empty, I changed my opinion, and have set down some of them here.
"Of Medicines which cause sleep."
Hat we may in order set down those experiments, of which we intend to speak, we will begin with those diseases which happen in the head, and first with sleep. For Soporiferous receipts are very requisite to be placed among these Arcana, and are of very great esteem among physicians, who by sleep are desiresous to cheat their patients of pain. And not of less, among captains and generals, when they practice stratagems upon their enemies. Soporiferous medicines do consist for the most part of cold and moist things. Plutarch, in Simpos, says, that sleep is caused by cold, and therefore Dormitives have a cooling quality. We will teach first, how,
"To cause sleep with Mandrake ."
Dioscorides says, that men will presently fall asleep in the very same posture when they drink Mandrake, losing all their senses for three or four hours after, and that physicians do use it, when they would burn or cut off a member. And skillful men affirm, that Mandrake growing by a Vine, will transmit its Soporiferous quality into it, so that those that drink the Wine that is made thereof, shall more easily and readily fall asleep. Here we will relate the pleasant stories of the Mandrake out of authors of Stratagems. Junius Frontinus reports, that Hannibal being sent by the Charthagenians, against some rebels in Africa, and knowing they were a nation greedy of Wine, mixed a great quantity of Mandrake with his Wines. The quality of which, is between poisonous and sleepy. Then beginning a light skirmish, he retired on purpose, and in the middle of the night, counterfeited a flight, leaving some baggage in his camp, and all the infected Wine. Now when those barbarians had took his camp, and for joy, had liberally tasted of that treacherous Wine, he returned, and took and slew them all, as they lay dead as it were before. Polianus the same. And Caesar, sailing towards Nicomedia, was taken about Malea by some Cilician Pirates. And when they demanded a great ransom for his liberty, he promised them double what they asked. They arrived at Miletum. The people came out of the town to see them. Caesar sent his servant, being a Milesian, named Epicrates, to those of the town, desiring them to lend him some money, which they presently sent to him. Epicrates, according to Caesar's command, brought the money, and with it, a sumptuous banquet, a water-pot full of swords, and Wine mixed with mandrake. Caesar paid to the pirates the promised sum, and set the banquet before them, who, being exalted with their great riches, fell freely to it, and drinking the infected Wine, fell into a sleep. Caesar commanded them to be killed sleeping, and presently repaid the Milesians their own money. Demosthenes, intending to express those who are bitten as it were by a sleepy Dragon, and are slothful, and so deprived of senses that they cannot be awakened, says, they seem like men who have drunk Mandrake . Pliny affirms, that smelling to the leaves of it, provokes sleep.
"For the same, with Nightshade."
We may make the same of Nightshade, which is also called, Hypnoticon, from the effect of it. A Drachm of the rind, drank in Wine, causes sleep, but gently and kindly. This later age, seems to have lost the knowledge of Solanum Manicon. For in the very description of it, Dioscorides seems to be mad. But in my judgment, (as I have elsewhere said) he describes several plants in that place. Fuschius his Stramonium, and the herb commonly called Belladonna whose qualities are wonderfully Dormitive. For they infect water, without giving it either taste or scent. So that the deceit cannot be discovered, especially, considering it must be given in but a very small quantity. I prepared a water of it, and gave it to a friend for certain uses. Who instead of a Drachm, drank an ounce, and thereupon lay four days without meat or motion, so that he was thought dead by all, neither could he be awakened by any means, till at last, when all the vapors were digested, he arose. Although Dioscorides threatened nothing but death from the immoderate use of it. The same may be made also,
In a Lohoch. Take the heads of Poppy, and cut them crossways, with a tender hand, lest the knife enter too deep. Let your nail direct the issuing juice into a glass, where let it stand a while, and will congeal. The Thebane Poppy is best. You may do the same with Nightshade, Henbane. Of all these together, you may make,
"A Sleeping Apple,"
For it is made of Opium, Mandrake, juice of Hemlock, the seeds of Henbane, and adding a little Musk, to gain an easier reception of the smeller. These being made up into a ball, as big as a mans hand can hold, and often smelt to, gently closes the eyes and binds them with a deep sleep. Now shall be shown,
"A wonderful way to make one take a sleeping medicine in his sleep."
Those things which we have already spoken of, are easily discovered after sleep, and bring a suspicion along with them. But out of many of the forenamed Dormitive Menstrues, there may be extracted a Quintessence, which must be kept in lead vessels, very closely stopped, that it may not have the least vent, lest it should fly out. When you would use it, and hold it to a sleeping man's nostrils, whose breath will suck up this subtle essence, which will so besiege the castle of his senses, that he will be overwhelmed with a most profound sleep, not to be shook off without much labor. After sleep, no heaviness will remain in his head, nor any suspicion of art. These things are manifest to a wise physician, to a wicked one, obscure.
"To make a Man out
of his senses for a day."
After these medicines to cause sleep, we will speak of those which make men mad. The business is almost the same. For the same plants that induce sleep, if they are taken in a larger proportion, do cause madness. But we will not tell those things which breed it forever, only, which may make us sport for a day, and afterwards leave no harm. We will begin with,
"How to make men mad with Mandrake."
We have told you, that a small dose brings sleep, a little more madness, a larger, death. Dioscorides says, that a Drachm of Morion will make one foolish. we will easier do it with Wine, which is thus made. Take the roots of Mandrake, and but put them into new Wine, boiling and bubbling up. Cover it closed, and let them Infuse in a warm place for two months. When you would use it, give it to somebody to drink, and whosoever shall taste it after a deep sleep, will be distracted, and for a day shall rave. But after some sleep, will return to his senses again, without any harm. And it is very pleasant to behold. Pray make trial. We may do the same,
"With Stramonium, or Solanum Manicum."
The seeds of which, being dried and Macerated in Wine, the space of a night, and a Drachm of it drank in a glass of Wine, (but rightly given, lest it hurt the man) after a few hours will make one mad, and present strange visions, both pleasant and horrible. And of all other sorts. As the power of the Potion, so does the madness also cease, after some sleep, without any harm, as we said, if it were rightly administered. We may also infect any kind of meat with it, by strewing thereon. Three fingers full of the root reduced to powder, it causes a pleasant kind of madness for a day, but the poisoness quality is allayed by sleep, or by washing the temples and pulses with Vinegar, or juice of Lemon. We may also do the same with another kind of Solanum , called,
A Drachm of the root of which, among other properties, has this, that it will make men mad without any hurt. So that it is a most pleasant spectacle to behold such mad whimsies and visions, which is also cured by sleep. But sometimes they refuse to eat. Nevertheless, we give this precaution, that all those roots or seeds which cause the takers of them to see delightful visions, if their dose be increased, will continue this alienation of mind for three days. But if quadrupled, it brings death. Wherefore we must proceed cautiously with them. I had a friend, who, as often as he pleased, knew how
"To make a man believe he was changed into a bird or beast,"
and cause madness at his pleasure. For by drinking a certain Potion, the man would seem sometimes to be changed into a Fish, and flinging out his arms, would swim on the ground. Sometimes he would seem to skip up, and then to dive down again. Another would believe himself turned into a Goose, and would eat grass, and beat the ground with his teeth, like a Goose. Now and then sing, and endeavor to clap his wings. And this he did with the forenamed plants. Neither did he exclude Henbane among his ingredients, extracting the essences by their Menstruum, and mixing some of their brain, heart, limbs, and other parts with them. I remember when I was a young man, I tried these things on my chamber fellows. And their madness still fixed upon something they had eaten, and their fancy worked according to the quality of their meat. One, who had fed lustily upon beef, say nothing but the forms of Bulls in his imagination, and them running at him with their horns, and such like things. Another man also by drinking a Potion, flung himself upon the earth, and like one ready to be drowned, struck forth his legs and arms, endeavoring as it were to swim for life. But when the strength of the medicament began to decay, like a shipwrecked person, who had escaped out of the sea, he wrung his hair and his cloths to strain the water out of them, and drew his breath, as though he took such pains to escape the danger. These, and many other most pleasant things, the curious enquirer may find out. It is enough for me only to have hinted at the manner of doing them.
"To cause several kinds of dreams."
Now we will endeavor to show how to cause pleasant, sad, or true dreams. But that we may more certainly effect it, it will be good first to know the causes. The meat in concoction must be corrupted, (this must be taken for granted) and turned into vapors; which, being hot and light, will naturally ascend, and creep through the veins into the brain, which being always cold, condenses them into moisture, as we see clouds generated in the greater world. So by an inward reciprocation, they fall down again upon the heart, the principal seat of the senses. In the meanwhile, the head grows full and heavy, and is overwhelmed in a deep sleep. When it comes to pass, the species descending, meet and mix with other vapors, which make them appear preposterous and monstrous, especially, in the quiet of the night. But in the morning, when the excrement and foul blood is separated from the pure and good, and becomes cool and allayed, then pure, and unmixed, and pleasant visions appear. Wherefore I thought it not irrational, when a man is overcome with drink, that vapors should arise participating, as well of the nature of what he has drank or eaten, as of the humors which abound in his body, that in his sleep he should rejoice or be much troubled. That fires and darkness, hail and putrefactions, should proceed from choler, melancholy, cold and putrid humors. So to dream of killing anyone, or being besmeared with blood, shows an abundance of blood. And Hippocrates and Galen say, we may judge a man to be of a sanguine complexion by it. Therefore, those who eat windy meats, by reason thereof, have rough and monstrous dreams. Meats of thin and small vapors, exhilarate the mind with pleasant phantasms. So also the outward application of simples, does infect the species while they are going to the heart. For the arteries of the body, Galen says, while they are dilated, do attract into themselves anything that is next to them. It will much help too, to anoint the liver. For the blood passes from the liver to the heart. Thus the circulating vapors are infected, and represent species of the same color. That we may not please the sleepers only, but also the waking, behold,
"A way to cause merry dreams."
When you go to bed, to eat Balm, and you cannot desire more pleasant sights then will appear to you, fields, gardens, trees, flowers, meadows, and all the ground a pleasant green, and covered with shady bowers. Whosesoever you cast your eyes, the whole world will appear pleasant and green. Bugloss will do the same, and bows of Poplar, so also Oil of Poplar. But,
"To make dark and troublesome dreams,"
we eat Beans, and therefore they are abhorred by the Pythagoreans, because they cause such dreams. Phaseoli, or French Beans, cause the same. Lentils, Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Weedbine, Dorycnium, Picnocomum, new red Wine, these Infused dreams, wherein the Phantasms are broken, crooked, angry, troubled. The person dreaming will seem to be carried in the air, and to see the rivers and sea under him. He shall dream of misfortunes, falling, death, cruel tempests, showers of rain, and cloudy days, the sun darkened, and the heavens frowning, and nothing but fearful apparitions. So by anointing the aforesaid places with soot, or any dusty matter, and Oil, (which I add only to make the other enter the easier into the parts) fires, lightning's, flashings, and all things will appear in darkness. These are sufficient. For I have already shown in my book Phytognom, how to procure true dreams.
for the Eyes."
Heretofore, being much troubled with sore eyes, and becoming almost blind, when I was given over by physicians of best account, a certain Empyrick undertook me, who, putting this water into my eye, cured me the very same day. I might almost say, the very same hour. By gifts, entreaties, cunnings and money, I gained the secret, which I will not think much to set down, that every one may use it at their pleasure. It is good for inflammations, bleariness, mists, fistulas, and such like, and cures them certainly the second day, if not the first. If I should set down all those whom I have cured by it, I should be too tedious. Take two bottles of Greek Wine, half a pint of white Rosewater, of Celendine, two ounces, of Fennel, Rue, Eye-Bright, as much, of Tutty, half an ounce, of Cloves as much, Sugar-Candy of Roses, one Drachm, Camphire, half a Drachm , and as much Aloes. Tutty is prepared after this manner. Let it be heated and extinguished six times in Rose Water, mixed with Greek Wine, but let the water at last be left out. Powder what are to be powdered finely, and mix them with the waters. Aloes is incorporated with water thus. Because it will not be powdered, let it be put into a mortar with a little of the aforementioned waters, and beat together until it turns to water, and swim about in ropings, and covered, and waxed up that it does not exhale abroad in the sun and dew for forty days, still shaking them four times in a day. At last, when it is well sunned, set it up and reserve it for your use. It must be applied thus,
"In inflammations, blood-shots and Fistulula's,"
Let the patient lie flat on his back. And when a drop of this water is put upon his eye, let him open and shut his eyelids, that the water may run through all the cavities of the eye. Do this twice or thrice a day, and he shall be cured. But thus it must be used for,
"A Pearl in the eye."
If the Pearl be above or beneath the cornea, make a powder of Sugar-Candy of Roses, burnt Allome, and the bone of a Cuttle Fish, very finely beat and searched exactly, and the patient goes to bed, sprinkle a little of this powder upon his eye, and by and by drop some of this water into it, and let him shut his eyes and sleep. For he will be quickly cured.
"To Fasten the
I could find not any thing in all this physical tract of greater value then this remedy for the teeth. For the water gets in through the gums, even to the very nerves of the teeth, and strengthens and fastens them. Yes, if they are eaten away, it fills them with flesh, and new cloths them. Moreover, it makes them clean and white, and shining like pearls. I know a man, who by this only recipe, gained great riches. Take therefore three handfuls of Sage, Nettles, Rosemary, Mallows, and the rind of the roots of Walnut. Wash them well, and beat them. Also as much of the Flowers of Sage, Rosemary, Olive and Plantain leaves, two handfuls of Hypocistis, Horehound, and the tops of Bramble, one pound of the Flower of Myrtle, half a pound of the seed, two handfuls of Rosebuds, with their stalks, two Drachms of Saunders, Coriander prepared, and Citron Pill. Three Drachms of Cinnamon in powder, ten of Cypress Nuts, five green Pineapples, two Drachms of Bole-Armenick and Mastick. Powder them all, and Infuse them in sharp black Wine, and let them Macerate three days. Then slightly pressing the Wine out, put them into an Alembick, and still them with a gentle fire. Then boil the distilled water, with two ounces of Allome till it be dissolved, in a vessel close stopped. When you would use it, suck up some of the water, and stir it up and down your mouth until it turns to froth. Then spit it out, and rub your teeth with a linen cloth. It will perform what I have promised. For it fastens the teeth, and restores the gums that are eroded. Now we will deliver other experiments,
"To fasten the teeth,"
Macerate the leaves of Mastick, Sage, Rosemary, and Bramble, in Greek-Wine. Then Distill it with a gentle fire through a Retort. Take a mouthful of this, and stir about, till it turns to spittle. It fastens the teeth, makes them white, and restores the gums. The root of Pellitory bruised, and put into the teeth, takes away the pain. So does the root of Henbane. For the bleeding of teeth, I have often made trial of Purslaine, so much commended.
"For the Swelling of the gums,"
Beat the roots and leaves of Plantain, and lay them to the swelling when you go to bed, and in the morning you will find your gums well.
"For other infirmities
of Man's Body."
I will heap together in this chapter, some remedies not to be passed over, which I know to be certain, by continual experience made. And although some of them are common, yet are they true. And first,
"For the headache,"
There is a certain essence, of the color of blood, extracted out of Roses, of a wonderful sweetness and great strength. Wet a cloth in this Liquor, and lay it to your forehead and temple. And if sometimes it dos not quite take away a pain of long continuance, yet it will mollify it. If the cloth is dried before your pain ceases, wet it again. I have often know the Ophites, or Serpentine Marble applied to the head, both take away, and mollify the pain. The Vertigo, I have seen it cured also, by applying the hoof of an Elk, and by a ring of it worn on the finger.
"Against the chapping of the lips."
The seeds of Henbane are good. For being cast upon live coals, if you receive the rising vapor through a paper tunnel, upon the chapping of your lips, as hot as you can endure, it appeases the swelling presently, and heals the clefts, that they will never more trouble you.
"Against the clefts of the fingers."
It is a most admirable experiment, which learned of Paracelsus. But I have often practiced it myself. For it takes away the swelling and pain, and cures the nail. Take a Worm, which creeps out of the earth. Especially, in moist grounds. For if you search and dig there, you may easily find them. Wind him being alive, about your finger, and there hold him till he is dead, which will be within an hour. The pain will presently cease, the matter dry away, and in a short time will be cured. Indeed I do not know a more admirable remedy.
"For a Pleurisy."
I found out a most powerful remedy made of the flowers of wild Poppy. Gather them in the month of May, before the rising of the Sun, and their opening. For, being thin leaves, they are easily dried with a little heat, and shade. Dry them in the shade, and lay them up for your use. Or else, still the flowers, and keep the water. If any one takes a Drachm of the powder in Wine, and some of the water, or in the water alone. Or shall apply a plaster of the powder to the place, the pain will presently cease, to the admiration of the beholders. Mistletoe of the Oak, Infused in Wine, and drunk, does the same. There is a stone also brought out of the West Indies, called in Spanish, Della Hijada. Much like an Emerald. Which being worn in Silver, upon the arm, is accounted a preservative against this disease.
"Against the Colick."
Civet is most excellent in this disease. For the quantity of a Pea, applied to the navel, and a hot loaf out of the oven clapped over it, presently eases the pain. The patient must lie on his belly upon the bread before it becomes cold.
"Against Crab Lice."
The dust which falls from the Curry combs, while the Ostler dresses Horses, or such kind of beasts, cures them without any pain. Or the powder of Lithargy, Aloes, Frankincense, Verdigrease, and Alome, beaten and mixed together with Oil of Mastick, and anointing the place. The powder of Mercury precipitate, is best by far being applied.
"To bring away the Stone,"
Take Saxifrage, Maidenhair, Pellitory of the wall, Parsley, Pimpernel and Ceterach. Distill them in Balneo Mariae, and let the patient drink of it every other day. For it corrodes and eats away the Stone, though never so great. And by daily experience, you will see in his Urine, gravel and fragments of the Stone voided out. Moreover, the fruit and leaves of the Mulberry gathered before Sun rising, and distilled or dried in the shade, if it be drank in Wine, or a proper water, early in the morning, does wonderfully remove the Stone. Mushrooms growing on a rock, reduced into powder, or dried in the shade, or a warm oven, and drunk with Wine in the morning, is very effective against the Stone. The Hedge Sparrow, which Aetius mentions, I know to be good against the Stone in the kidney or bladder. It is the least of all birds, and lives in the hedges and carries his tail upright. On the top of his wings, there are some streaks of ash color. He is of short flight and lastly, much like a Wren. He has a virtue against the Stone beyond all the rest, eaten either raw or boiled, or dried or salted, or taken anyway. Also reduced into powder, being made up close in a pot covered and clayed up, that the virtue may not expire. And so set over the fire. I have also tried a water against this disease, running out of a certain vein, described by Vitruvius. Which when I had diligently sought after, and found out, made me exceedingly rejoice. The words of Vitruvius are these. There are also some veins of acid springs, as at Lyncestum, which being drunk, have a virtue to dissolve Stones which breed in the bladders of men. And this seems to be naturally done, because there lies a sharp and acid juice under the Earth, through which. these veins passing, receive a Tincture of sharpness. And so when they come into the bodies of men, they dissolve whatever they find there congealed or settled. But wherefore Acid should dissolve them, we may thus guess the reason. An Egg laid in any Vinegar some time, will wax soft, and his shell will dissolve. Also Lead, which is the toughest and heaviest, if it is laid in a vessel of Vinegar, and closed up, will dissolve, and become Ceruse. By the same means, Copper, which is of a more solid nature, if it be ordered as the former, will melt, and become Verdigrease. Likewise Pearl, as hard as Flint, which neither Iron or fire can dissolve of themselves, when they are heat by fire, and things done before our eyes, we may infer by the same reasons, that the Stone may naturally be dissolved by acid things, through the sharpness of their juice. Thus says Vitruvius. The place where the vein is now to be found, is called commonly Francolise, about a mile form Theano, and runs along the way towards Rome.
"To strengthen the Stomach."
We will not omit a wonderful Oil, which helps concoction, and takes away the inclinations to vomit. It is thus made. Pour half a pint of the best Oil into a Brass pot, tinned within, and of a wide mouth. Then take fifteen pounds of Romane Mint, and beat it in a Marble Mortar, with a wooden Pestle, until it comes to the form of an ointment. Add as much more Mint and Wormwood, and put them into the Oil. Mingle them and stir them well. But cover the pot lest any dirt should fall in. And let them stand for three days, and Infuse. Then set them on a gentle fire, and boil them five hours for fifteen days together, until the Oil has extracted all the virtue of the Infused Herbs. Then strain them through a Linen cloth in a press, or with your hands, until the Oil has run clear out. Then take new Herbs, beat them, and put them into the strained Oil. Boil it again, and strain it again. Do the same a third time. And as often as you renew it, observe the same course until the Oil has contracted a green color. But you must separate the juice from the Oil very carefully. For it the least drop does remain in it, the Oil will have but small operation, and the whole intent is lost. A certain sign of perfect Decoction, and of the juice being consumed, will be, if a drop of it, being cast upon a plate of Iron red-hot, does not hiss. At last, take a pound of Cinnamon, half a pound of Nutmegs, as much Mastick and Spikenard, and a third part of Cloves. Pound them severally, and being well Seirced, put them into the Oil, and mix them with a wooden stick. Then pour it all into an earthen vessel glazed within, with a long neck, that it may be easily shut, and stopped close. But let it be of so great a capacity, that the third part of it may remain empty. Let it stand fifteen days in the Sun, always moving and shaking it three or four times in a day. So set it up for your use.
"That a woman may conceive."
There are many medicines to cause conception spread abroad because they are much desired by great persons. The Ancients did applaud Sage very much for this purpose. And in Coptus after great Plagues, the Egyptians that survived, forced the women to drink the juice of it, to make them conceive, and bring forth often. Salt also helps generation. For it does not only heighten the pleasures of Venus, but also causes fruitfulness. The Egyptians, when their Dogs are backward in Copulation, make them more eager by giving them Salt-meats. It is an argument also of it, that ships in the sea, as Plutarch witnesses, are always full of an innumerable company of Mice. And some affirm, that female Mice will conceive without a male, only by licking Salt. And Fishwives are insatiably lecherous, and always full of children. Hence the poets assigned Venus to be born of Salt or the sea. The Egyptian priests (says the same author) did most religiously abstain from Salt and Salt-meats, because they did excite to lust, and cause erection.
"A remedy to procure conception."
This I have tried and have found to be the best. When a woman's courses are just past, let here take a new laid Egg. Boil it, and mix a grain of Musk with it, and sup it up when she goes to bed. The next morning take some old Beans, as least five years old, and boil them for a good space in a new Pipkin. And let the woman when she arises out of her bed, receive the fume into her privities, as it were through a tunnel, for the space of an hour. The let her sup up two Eggs, and go to bed again, and wipe off the moisture with warm clothes. Then let her enjoy her husband, and rest a while. Afterwards, take the whites of two Eggs, and mix them with Bole-armenick and Sanguis-draconis, and dip some Flax into it, and apply it to the Reins. But because it will hardly stick on, swathe it on from falling. Awhile after, let her arise, and at night renew the plaster. But when she goes to sleep, let her hold Ginger in her mouth. This she must do nine days.
"Remedies against the Pox."
Since this disease has raged so cruelly among men, there have been invented a multitude of most excellent remedies to oppose it. And although many have set out several of them, yet I will be contented with this one only, which we may use. Not only for this disease, but almost in all other. And I have seen many experiences of it. It is easily made and as easily taken. Take a pound of Lingnum Guaiacum, half a pound of Sarsaperilla beaten small, five ounces of the stalks and leaves of Sena, one handful of Agrimony and Horsetail, a Drachm of Cinnamon, and as much Cloves, and one Nutmeg. Pound them all, and put them into a vessel which contains twenty gallons of Greek Wine. Let it stand a day, and then let the patient drink it at meals, and at his pleasure. For it purges away by degrees all maladies, beside the French Pox. If the patient grows weak with purging, let him intermit some days. In the summertime leave out the Cinnamon, and the Nutmeg. I have used it against continual headaches, deafness, hoarseness, and many other diseases.
"A preservation against the Pox,"
Which a man may use after unclean women. Take a Drachm of Hartwort and Gentian, two Scruples of Sanders and Lingnum Aloes, half a Drachm of Powder of Coral, Spodium, and Harts Horn burned, a handful of Sowthistle, Scordium, Betony, Scabious, and a half of Mercury precipitate. A pint of Malmetry, a quart of the waters of Sowthistle, and Scabious. Mix the Wine and waters, and lay the Guaiacum in it a day, and then the rest. Then boil them till half be consumed. Strain them, and lay a Linen cloth soaking in the Expression a whole night. Then dry it in the shade. Do this thrice, and after copulation, wash your Yard in it, and lay some of the Linen on and keep it close.
"Antidotes against Poison."
It is the common opinion of all Physicians, that those Herbs, stones, or any other thing, which being put into a Serpent's mouth, does kill him, is an Antidote against his Poison. We read in Dioscorides of the herb Alkanet, which is very efficacious against the Poison of Serpents. And being chewed and spit out upon a Serpent, kills him. Upon this, I thrust half a Drachm of Treacle, or Mithridate, mixed with Aqua Vitae, into a Viper's mouth, and she died within half an hour. I made a water Serpent swallow the same, but she received no hurt by it. Only lay a small time stupefied. Wherefore I pressed some Oil out of the seeds of Citron, and Orange or Lemons, and dropped it into the Serpent's mouth, and she died presently. Moreover, a Drachm of the juice of Angelica root will kill a Serpent. The Balsame, as they call it, which is brought from the West Indies, is excellent against them. For when I anointed their mouth and jaws with it, they died in half an hour. Balsame of the east, is a present remedy against Poison by ointments, or the biting of a Serpent, says Aetius. In Arabia, where it grows, there is no fear of Poison, neither does any one die of their bitings, for the fury of this deadly Poison, is allayed by the feeding of the Serpent upon this Balsame. But I have found nothing more excellent then the earth which is brought from the Isle of Malta. For the least dirt of it put into their mouths, kills them presently. I have tried the same virtue in Lithoxylon, which physicians use for the Worms in children. There is a stone called Chelonites, the French name it Crapodina, which they report to be found in the head of a great old Toad. And if it can be gotten from him, while he is alive, it is sovereign against Poison. They say it is taken from living Toad, in a red cloth, in which color they are much delighted. For while they sport and open themselves upon the scarlet, the stone drops out of their head, and falls through a hole made in the middle, into a box set under for the purpose. Else they will suck it up again. But I never met with a faithful person, who said that he found it. Nor could I ever find stones which are pretended to be taken out of Toads are minerals. For I remember at Rome I saw a broken piece of stone, which was compacted of many of those stones, some bigger, some less, which suck on the back of it like Limpins on a rock. But the virtue is certain. If any swallow it down with Poison, it will preserve him from the malignity of it. For it runs about with the Poison, and assuages the power of it, that it becomes vain and of no force.
"A most perfect Oil against Poison."
Often tried in repressing the violence of it. Take three pounds of old Oil, put into it two handfuls of the flower of St. Johns Wort, and let them Macerate in it for two months in the Sun. Then strain out the flowers, and put into the Oil two ounces of the flowers of the same herb, and set it to boil in Balneo Mariae a quarter of a day. Stop the bottle close, and it may have no vent, and set it a sunning for fifteen days. In the month of July, take three ounces of the seed, stamp it gently, and steep it in two glasses of the best white Wine, with Gentian, Tormentil, white Dittany, Zedoary, and Carline gathered in August. Red Sanders, long Aristolochie, of each two Drams. Let the all these Macerate in the Wine for three days. Then take them out, and put them in the Oil, and boil them gently in Balneo for six hours. Then strain them in a press. Add to the Expression an ounce of Saffron, Myrrhe, Aloes, Spikenard, and Rhubarb, all bruised. And let them boil in it for a day in B.M. at last Treacle and Mithridate, of each two ounces. And let them also boil in it six hours as before. Then set it forty days in the Sun. It must be used thus. In the Plague time, or upon suspicion of Poison, anoint the stomach and wrists, and the place about the heart, and drink three drops of it in Wine. It will work wonders.
"Antidotes and preservatives against the Plague."
I have spoken of Poisons, now I will of the Plague, being of the same nature, and cured almost by the same medicines. I will set down only them, which in our time have been experimented by the Neapolitans, Sicilians, and Venetians (while the Plague was spread among them) to resist the contagion of that epidemical Plague, and preserve their bodies from infection.
"A confection of Gillyflowers against the Plague, of wonderful operation,"
Gather some Clove Gillyflowers in the month of May, of a red and lively color. Because they are of the greater virtue. Pull them out of their husks and clip off the green end. Then beat them in a Marble Mortar with a wooden Pestle, until they become so fine as they may hardly be felt. In the mean while, take three pounds of Sugar for one of the flowers. Melt it in a Brass skillet, and boil it with a little Orange flower water, that may quickly be consumed. When it is boiled sufficiently, put in some whites of Eggs beaten, enough to froth and clarify it, still stirring it, and skimming off the froth with a spoon until all the dregs be taken out. Then put it the due weight of flowers, and stir it with a wooden slice, until it turns red. When it is almost boiled, add into it two Drachms of Cloves beaten with a little Musk. The mixture of which will both add and excite a sweet sent and pleasantness in the flowers. Then put it into earthen pots, and set it up. If you add a little juice of Lemon, it will make it of a more lively blood color. We may also make Lozenges and round cakes of it, by pouring it on a cold Marble. If any would do it after the best manner, they must extract the color of the flowers, and boil the sugar in that Infusion, for so will smell sweeter. Some never bruise the flowers, but cut them very small with scissors, and Candy them with Sugar. But they are not very pleasant to eat. This confection is most grateful to the taste, as I have found by experience. It is good for all diseases of the heart, as fainting, and trembling thereof. For the Megrum and Poison, and the bitings of venomous creatures, and especially against the infection of the Plague. There may be made a Vinegar, or Infusion of it, which being rubbed about the nostrils, is good against contagious air, and night dews, and all effects of Melancholy.
"Against the Plague."
Gather Ivy berries in May and wild Poppies before the sunrise, lest they open. In April gather Goats Rue. Dry them in the shade, and make them into powder. One Drachm of it being drank in Wine, is excellent against infectious diseases. The Bezoar Stone, brought from the West Indies, being hung about the neck nigh to the heart, or four grains of it in powder, taken in Wine, is good against the Plague, and the infection of all pestilential fevers, as I can testify. And taken away soundings, and exhilarates the heart. The water or Oil, extracted from the seeds of Citron, is a very strong Antidote against the Plague. Apparitius Hispanus, his Oil is also approved against the same.
"Remedies for wounds and blows."
There are some remedies for wounds and blows, which shall not be omitted. For I have found some of them to be of wonderful virtue.
"The Oil of Hispanus for wounds and other things."
Take two pounds of new Wax, four ounces of Wax, as many of Linseed, two ounces of Rosemary flowers, and Bay berries, as many of Betony. Of Chamomil flowers or the Oil of it, three ounces. Of Cinnamon an ounce and a half, as much of St. Johns Wort, or the Oil of it, two ounces of old Oil . Dry the flowers and herbs in the shade. And when they are withered, beat them, and Seirce them through a Sieve. Melt the Wax on the fire, then pour in the oils, next the powders. Still stirring them with a stick. At length, pour it on a Marble, and cut it into small slices, and put it into a glass Retort. Stop it close with a straw Mortar, and set it on the fire with his Receiver. Stop the joints, and give the enclosed no vent, lest the virtue fly out and vanish away. First, by a gentle fire draw out a water. Then increasing it, and changing the glass, draw a red Oil. Stop them close, and keep them for use. The qualities of it are heating. By anointing the neck, it cures all Creeks that are bred by cold. It heals wounds, helps the contraction of the nerves caused by cold. It mollifies cold Gouts, and takes away the trembling of the hands. It may be drunk for Sciatica, taken in Wine. It helps the Quinsie. By anointing the Reins of the back and the belly, or by drinking the water or Oil in Wine, it will break the Stone and bring it down, and assuages Poison. For deafness, you must steep some Wool in it, and stop the ears with it. Anoint the belly and back in any pain there. Being drunk in Vinegar, it cures the Falling Sickness, and restores lost memory. It provokes the Menstrues in women, by anointing their privities with it, or by drinking some drops of it in Wine. Taken in the same manner, it provokes appetite, being taken early in the morning. And is good against the bitings of the Scorpions. Drink it going to bed, or when you arise in the morning, and it will cure a stinking breath.
"For cold aches."
Oil of Herns is excellent to allay and remove all cold aches. The Gout, Sciatica, Griefs of the sinews, Convulsions, pain in the joints, cold Defluctions, and other diseases of moisture and cold. In the Diomedian Isles, now called Tremity, in the Adriatique Sea, there are birds, commonly called Hearns. Who breed there, and continue there, and are to be found nowhere else. They are a kind of Duck, feeding on Fish, which they catch in the night. They are not to be eaten, though they are very fat, because they favor of the rankness of Fish. Kill these birds, and pluck off their feathers. Draw them, and hang them up by the feet. There will drop from them a certain black yellowish Oil, very offensive to the nose, being of a noisome fishy smell. This Oil being applied to any place, as much as you can endure, will do the effects before mentioned, and more. But it is very hurtful for any hot maladies. There is a water also,
"For old sores."
Take Lime unkilled, and dissolve it in water. Stir in three or four times a day. Then when it is settled and cleared, strain it and keep it. Wet a Linen cloth in it, and apply it to a wound or sore, and it cures them. I will not omit,
"The virtues of Tobacco."
Out of the seeds of it is expressed an Oil, three ounces of a pound, which allays the cruel tortures of the Gout. The juice clarified and boiled into a syrup, and taken in the morning, makes the voice tunable, clear and loud. Very convenient for singing masters. If you bruise the leaves, and extract the juice, it kills Lice in children's heads, being rubbed thereon. The leaves cure rotten sores and ulcers, running on the legs, being applied unto them. The juice of this herb does also presently take away and assuage the pain in Colds, which happen to them who swimming do chance to touch their Cods.
"Of a Secret Medicine for wounds."
There are certain Potions called Vulnerary Potionss, because, being drunk, they cure wounds. And it seems an admirable thing, how those Potions should penetrate to the wounds. These are
Take Pirole, Comfrey, Aristolochy, Featherfew of each a handful. Of Agrimony two. Boil them in the best new Wine. Digest them in Horse Dung. Or take two handfuls of Pirole, of Sanicle, of Sowbread one. Of Ladies Mantel half one. Boil them in two measures of Wine, and drink it morning and evening. Bind the herbs, which you have boiled, upon the wound, having mixed a little Salt with them. And in the meanwhile use no other medicine.
"The Weapon Salve."
Given heretofore to Maximilian the Emperor, by Paracelsus, experimented by him, and was always very much accounted of by him while he lived. It was given to me by a noble man of his court. If the weapon that wounded him, or any stick dipped in his blood be brought, it will cure the wound, though the patient be never so far off. Take of the Moss growing upon a dead mans skull, which has laid unburied, two ounces. As much of the fat of a man. Half an ounce of Mummy, and man his blood. Of Linseed Oil, Turpentine, and Bole-armenick, an ounce. Bray them all together in a Mortar, and keep them in a long straight glass. Dip the weapon into the ointment, and so leave it. Let the patient in the morning, wash the wound with his own water. And without adding anything else, tie it up close, and he shall be cured without any pain.
"How to counterfeit infirmities."
It has been no small advantage to some, to have counterfeited sicknesses, that they might escape the hands of their enemies, or redeem themselves for a small ransom, or avoid tortures. Invented by former ages, and used by these latter. I will first teach you,
"How to counterfeit a bloody Flux."
Amphiretus Acantius, being taken by Pirates, and carried to Lemnos, was kept in chains, in hope that his ransom would bring them a great sum of money. He abstained from meat, and drank Minimum with Saltwater. Therefore, when he went to stool, the Pirates thought he was fallen in a bloody Flux, and took off his irons lest he should die. And with him, their hopes for a ransom. He being loose, escaped in the night, got into a fisher boat, and arrived safe at Acantum. So says Polianus. Indian Figs, which stain the hands like ripe Mulberries, if they are eaten, cause the Urine to be like blood. Which has put many into a fright, fearing they should die presently. The fruit of Mulberry, or Hog's blood boiled and eaten me the excrements seem bloody. Red Madder makes the Urine red, says Dioscorides. We may read also, that if you hold it long in your hand, it will color your Urine. I will teach you also,
"To make anyone look pale."
Cumine taken in drink causes paleness. So it is reported, that the followers of Portius Latro, that famous maser of rhetoric, endeavored to imitate that color which he had contracted by study. And Julius Vindex, that asserter of liberty from Nero, made this the only bawd to procure him and executor ship. They smoke themselves with Cumine, who disfigure their faces, to counterfeit holiness and mortification of their body. There is an experiment also, whereby anyone may know how,
"To cause sores to arise."
Take Perwincle, an herb of an intolerable sharpness, that is worthily named Flammula; bruise it, and make it into a plaster, and it will in a short space ulcerate, and make blisters arise. Cantharides beaten with strong water, do also raise watery blisters, and cause ruptures.
"Of fascination, and preservatives against Enchantments."
Now I will discourse of Enchantment. Neither will I pass over in silence, who they are whom we call Enchanters. For if we please to look over the monuments of antiquity, we shall find a great many things of that kind delivered down to posterity. And the trial of later ages does not altogether explode the fame of them. Neither do I think that it diminishes from the truth of the stories, that we cannot draw the true causes of the things, into the straight bonds of our reasons, because there are many things that altogether impede the enquiry. But what I myself judge of others opinions, I thought fit here to explicate. You may find many things in Theocritus and Virgil, of this kind. Whence that verse arose,
There's some, I know not whose unlucky eye
Bewitcheth my young Lambs, and makes them die.
Isigonus and Memphodorus say, there are some families in Africa, that Bewitch with their tongue the very woods. Which if they do but admire somewhat earnestly, or if they praise fair trees, growing corn, lusty children, good horses, or fat sheep, they presently wither, and die of a sudden, from no other cause or harm. Which thing also Solinus affirms. The same Isigonus says, there are among Lriballians and Illyrians, certain men, who have two pupils in each eye, and do Bewitch most deadly with them. And kill whatever they look earnestly on, especially with angry eyes, so pernicious are they. And young children are most subject to their mischief. There are such women in Scythia, called Bithiae, says Appollonides. Philarchus reports of another kind, called Thibians in Pontus, who had two pupils in one eye, and in the other the picture of a Horse. Of which Didymus also makes mention. Damon relates of a Poison in Ethiopia, whose sweat would bring a Consumption in all bodies it touched. And it is manifest, that all women which have two pupils in one eye, can Bewitch with it. Cicero writes of them. So does Plutarch and Philarchus mention the Paletheobri, a nation inhabiting in part of the Pontic Sea, where are Enchanters who are hurtful, not only to children that are tender and weak, but not men of full growth, who are of a strong and firm body. And that they kill with their looks, making the persons languish and consume away as in a consumption. Neither do they commerce with them. So great is the power of Witchcraft of their eyes. For though the mischief be often caught in copulation with them, yet it is the eyes that work. For they send forth spirits, which are presently conveyed to the heart of the Bewitched, and so infect him. Thus it comes to pass, that a young man, being full of thin clear, hot, and sweet blood, sends forth spirits of the same nature. For they are made of the purest blood, by the heat of the heart. And being light, get into the uppermost parts of the body, and fly out by the eyes. And wound those who are most porous, which are fair persons, and the most soft bodies. With the spirits there is sent out also a certain fiery quality, as red and blear eyes do, who make those that look on them, fall into the same disease. I suffered by such an accident myself. For the eye infects the air. Which being infected, infects another. Carrying along with itself the vapors of corrupted blood, by the contagion of which the eyes of the beholders are overcast with the like redness. So the Wolf makes a man dumb. So the Cockatrice kills, who poisons with looking on, and gives venomous wounds with the beams of his eyes. Which being reflexed upon himself, by a Looking-glass, kills the author of them. So a bright Mirror will dread the eyes of an unclean woman, says Aristotle, and grows cloudy and dull, when she looks on it. By reason that the sanguine vapor is contracted by the smoothness of the glass into one place, so that it is spotted with a kind of little mist, which is plainly seen. And if it is newly gathered there, will be hardly wiped off. Which thing never happens on a cloth or stone. Because it penetrates and sinks into the one, and is dispersed by the inequality of parts in the other. But a Mirror being hard and smooth, collects them entirely. And being cold, condenses them into a dew. In like manner of spittle, which condensing will drop down. So this efflux of beams out of the eyes, being the conveyers of spirits, strike through the eyes of those they meet, and fly to the heart, their proper region. From whence they rise. And there being condensed into the blood, infect all his inward parts. This stranger blood, being quite repugnant to the nature of man, infects the rest of him, and makes him sick. And there this contagion will continue, as long as he has any warm blood in his body. For being a Distemper in the blood, it will cast him into a continual fever. Whereas, if it had been a Distemper of Choler or Phlegm, it would have afflicted him by intervals. But that all things may be more distinctly explained, you must know first, that there are two kind of Fascinations mentioned by the authors. One of Love, the other of envy or malice. If a person be ensnared with the desire of a fair and beautiful woman, although he is caught at a distance, yet he takes the Poison in at his eyes, and the image of her beauty settles in the heart of this lover, kindles a flame there, which will never cease to torment him. For the soft blood of the beloved, being strayed thither, makes continual representations of her. She is present there in her own blood. But it cannot settle or rest there, for it continually endeavors to fly homeward, as the blood of the wounded person spirits out on him that gives the blow. Lucretius describes this excellently:
He seeks that body, whence his grief be found;
For humors always flow unto a wound.
As bruised blood still runs unto the part
That's struck and gathers where it feels the smart:
So when the murtheress of his heart's in place,
Blushes arise, and red ore spreads his face.
But if it be a Fascination of envy or malice, that has infected any person, it is very dangerous, and is found most often in old women. Neither can anyone deny, but that the diseases of the mind do Distemper the body. And that the good disposition of it, does strengthen and corroborate the same. And it does not work this alteration only in its own body, but on others also, by how much it stirs up in the heart inward desires of Love and revenge. Does not covetousness, grief, or Love, change the color and disposition? Does not envy cause paleness and meagerness in the body? Does not the longing of the mother, imprint the mark of what she desired upon the tender embryo? So when envy bends her fierce and flaming eyes, and the desire of mischief bursts out, a vehement heat proceeds from them, which infects those that stand high. Especially the beautiful. They strike them through as with a sword, set their entrails on fire, and make them waste into a leanness, especially if they are of a Cholerick or Sanguine complexion. For the disease is easily fed, where the pores are open, and the humors thin. Nor is it that passions of the mind only, that affects the body thus. But the body itself, as Avicenna proves, may be endued with venomous qualities. Many are so by Nature. So that it cannot seem a wonder, if sometimes some are made so by art. The Queen of India sent to Alexander a very beautiful maid. Anointed and fed with the poison of Serpents, as Aristotle says, and Avicenna from the testimony of Rufus. Galen writes of another, who eat Henbane without any harm. And another, Wolfbane, so that a Hen would not come near her. And Mithridates (as old histories deliver it to us) King of Pontus, had so strengthened himself against Poison, that when he would have poisoned himself, lest he should fall into the hands of the Romans, nothing could do him any hurt. If you give a Hawk a Hen fed with Snake or Lizard's flesh, or with Barley boiled in the broth of them, it will make him Mew his feathers betimes. And many other such things are done which are too long to be recounted. So many men are of such a nature, that they will cure some diseases only with their stroking. Many eat Spiders and wild Olives and care not for the biting of Serpents, nor suffer any Wasting or Consumption, if they be of such a nature, that their looks or breath will not only blast men, but plants and herbs, and any other thing, and make them wither away. And often, where such kind of creatures are, you may find blasted corn, poisoned and withered, merely by the contagion of their eyes, the breath that comes from them. Do not women in the time of their Courses, infect Cucumbers and Melons, by touching or looking on them, so that they wither? Are not children handled with less prejudice by men then women? And you will find more women then men Witches, by reason of their complexion. For they are farther distant from a right temper, and eat more unwholesome food. So that every month they are filled with superfluities, and purge forth melancholy blood. From whence vapors arise, and fly out through their eyes, poisoning those that stand near them, and filling them with the same kind of blood. Hence Sanguine complexioned men, and somewhat Cholerick, who have large, shining gray eyes, and live chastely (for too often copulation exhausts the moisture) who by frequent glances and continual imagination, encounter point to point, beams to beams, eyes to eyes, do generally stir up Love. But why a man is taken by this Fascination with one, and not another, appears by the former, and this reason. For it happens from the intention of the Enchanter, who by those spirits or vapors, is transmitted into the bewitched person. And he receiving them, is made like unto him. For the infection seizing on his mind, and fixing in his imagination, becomes a permanent habit, and makes the spirits and blood obedient to it. And so binds the imagination, and inflames them with the thing beloved. Although the mind (which opinion is fathered upon, Avicenna, neither does it want his authority) can of its own will and power, produce such passions. Musaus will have the eyes to lay the foundation of Love, and to the chief allurement of it. And Diogenianus says, that Love is begotten by looks, affirming that it is impossible for a man to fall in Love unawares. So Juvenal places that lover among prodigies,
"Who burnt with Love of her he never saw"
For the bright glances of the eyes, drives the object into a kind of madness, and teach the rudiments of Love. The other parts are scarce any cause of Love, but provoke and entice the beholder to stay, and gaze a while upon their beauty, while the eyes wound him. For there they say, Cupid lies in ambush with his bow, ready to shoot his arrows into the beholder's eyes, and set his heart on fire. For thy eyes slide in through my eyes (says Apuleius) and raise a cruel fire within my heart. Now I have discovered the original of it unto you. Unless you are quite mad, you may many ways fortify yourself against it. But many one may well wonder, considering those diseases which come by infection, as the itch, scabbiness, blear eyes, the Plague, do infect by sight, touching or speaking, and presently cause putrefaction, why love's contagion, which is the greatest of all, does not presently seize upon men, and quite consume them. Neither does it infect others only. But sometimes it returns upon itself. And the persons will be ensnared by their own charms. It is reported by the Ancients of Eutelides, that he bewitched himself by reflection in the water, Looking-glasses, or fountains, which returned his own shadow upon him. So that he seemed so beautiful unto himself, that falling in love with that wherewith he used to entrap others, he lost his former complexion, and died a sacrifice to his own beauty. So children often attract themselves, when their parents attribute it to Haggards and Witches. Now take,
"Some preservatives against Love."
There are many prescribed by wise antiquity. If you would endeavor to remove the charms of Love, thus you may expel them. Turn your face away, that she may not fasten her eyes on yours, nor couple rays with you. For you must remove the cause from the place, where it uses to make its impression. Forsake her company, avoid idleness, employ your mind in business of concernment. Evacuate blood, sweat, and other excrements in a large quantity, that the infection may also be voided with them.
"A preservative against envy."
If it be the Witchcraft of envy, you may know it thus. The infected loses his color, hardly opens his eyes, always hangs his head down, sights often, his heart is ready to break, and sheds Salt and bitter tears without any occasion or sign of evil. To remove the charm from him, because the air is corrupted and infected, burn sweet perfume to purify the air again. And sprinkle him with waters sweetened with Cinnamon, Cloves, Cypress, Lignum Aloes, Musk, and Amber. Therefore the old custom is continued until this day, and observed by our women. To smoke their children, and roll them about in Frankincense. Keep him in an open air, and hang Carbuncles, Jacinths, or Sapphires about his neck. Dioscorides accounts Christs Thorn, wild Hemp, and Valerian, hung up in the house, an Amulet against Witchcraft. Smell also Hyssop, and the sweet Lily. Wear a ring made of the hoof of a time or wild Ass. Also Satyrion, the male and female, are thought alike. Aristotle recommends Rue, being smelled also. All these do abate the power of Witchcraft.
Home Page || "Natural Magick" || The Author And His Work ||Editor/Producer || Glossary/Index
A Table Containing the General Heads of Natural Magick
"Preface To The Reader"