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The flower of phisicke VVherein is perfectlie comprehended a true introduction and method for mans assured health: with three bookes of philosophie for the due temperature of mans life. In which easily may be perceiued the high & wonderfull workes of God in the gouernance of all thinges. Written by W.C. as a glasse of true knowledge for the better direction of al willing [et] vertuous practitioners.
Clever, William, writer on physic.
STC 5412; ESTC S105107
saith further that single medicines cannot be changed beyond their owne nature The which wrongfull opinion and iudgement hee seemeth to consent with Paracelsus who affirmeth that euerie thing is borne and brought foorth into this world to aduouch his owne propertie in the actuall accomplishing of some effectuall vertue for the helpe or hinderance of an other thing And yet this nothing proueth why any qualitie either of heate or bloud should be aduaunced beyond his own nature except by some inforced extremitie or except only because the maner of dyet is more stronger in one body then another or except some bodies are disposed to feede vpon grosser sustenance then another for that body doth inioy and obtaine greatest health which feedeth vppon the purest cleerest and most choyse sustenance Surely as the body begetteth his portion of heate after the greatnesse maner and meetnesse of sustenance so warmenesse of bloud equallie either by tenuitie indifferencie or fulnesse is matched and aduaunced with the bodie but the office of the liuer is not herewith compared hauing no naturall indowment of heate from the affluence of heate and bloud in the body There is a constitution of variable humours by the same temperance of the liuer vnder which one is more colder then the liuer it selfe and the other more hotter after the condition of some materiall cause from whence the heate of the liuer is deriued especially for that nothing is so single in nature but that it is variably altered by the heate of the sunne so that some bodies in the variable disposition of man are like vnto waxe molified or clay hardned by the vertue and strength of the sunne Dyoscorides reporteth that the complexion of euerie man draweth vpon the sunne and the grace of the sunne hath a differing action vpon all seuerall thinges variable being comprehended in it selfe and that euerie man is disposed alter the foure orders of the elementes So that some men are white some men blacke some men red some of one colour some of another thereby Galen saith that herein may be perceiued that all heates feede vpon the sunne And furthermore doth say that like as fire is stroke from the hardnesse and secret vaynes of the flint so the liuer is fed and nourished by an intentiue hote humour inforced from the sunne For which cause and after this maner nourishment subtilly and moste secretly passeth into the naturall heate of mans body chiefly when nature ioyneth in propertie therewith So nourishment nothing disagreeth from wood ioyned vnto fire which first standeth at a state then presently altereth into the nature of fire and becommeth into one perfect substance therewith And as heate is more weake in one body then another so heate according to the copiousnesse of sustenance increaseth throoughout the whole body And heat also more speedily flameth out after the constitution of a hot high and strong sustenance then by a cold thinne and weake dyet And therfore foode ought with care and diligence to be wayed and regarded both for the preseruation of mans life as also for that some bodies are thorow euill regiment easier corrupted and ouertaken then others Then haue we iust cause to thinke that heate is not properly nourished of anie propertie in it selfe but either violently drawn from some other inferiour and naturall causes of fire or els from the supernaturall comfort of the sunne which is the onely restauration of all inferiour causes to become with them of one parmanent and firme operation Surely then nourishment is receiued into the body by three maner of meanes as first when an excesse quantitie of dyet is receiued into the body bringeth forth some monsirous or vnnaturall disposition in it selfe And such strange dispositions will not consent euer after to follow the right direction of perfect nourishment As wine although it be of excellent qualitie and most easily retayned and digested downe into the body yet being receiued by excesse quantitie oftentimes doth benumme and ouercoole naturall temperance and doth of it selfe conuert into cold humours by some strange alteration for that not onely the aboundance therof confoundeth heat and the verdour being ouer charged by a surfetting distemperance oppresseth both the power of heate and nourishment and altogether therewithall surpriseth bodily constitution There may be also wayed a consideration in the second degree how nourishment altereth and transferreth it selfe For while it continueth the stomacke hath the onely effect of foode but being digested from the stomacke passeth from one office to another vntill the substance strength and power thereof be distilled conuerted and altered to become of one vnion in mans body and when the body is vnapt to intertaine perfect nourishment both sheweth a degeneration of nature and the distemperance of the body reclined to some forraine contagion There is an absolute comprehension in the third degree which is moste perfect both to health long life and the naturall substance of man that is when meate most sufficiently brooketh mans body and the body taketh good liking and relishe of the meate are foorthwith resembled into one similitude together And yet there are foure degrees which are called second humidities besides foure humours which participate vpon the liuer The first cause is contained vnder the subtile vaines and arteries and therefore because heate is not onely degenerated but setled and concocted in a corrupt bloud there is a plaine digression of nature and all moystnesse doe waxe thinne thereby The second degree of these Humidities is when a dispersed due interfloweth from sustenance into all the partes of the bodie the which if by alteration of strange humours it falleth into corruption is the onely efficient cause of a third humiditie and no nourishment is fauourable vnto the body and all gluttonous Exanguit that is without bloud causes are quite separated from the body by meanes it is exanguit consumpted and quite deuoyded from heat yet it cannot be denied but that there is some clammie matter impendent vpon the loonges which gnaweth vpon the desire of sustenance alwayes belonging to such humid diseases The fourth humidity representeth a hungrie nourishment Galen in his sixt booke in the causes of Symptomatickes doth say that although they haue diuers names yet are they of one sharpe hurtfull operation in nourishment except that which maketh some delay either in the stomach or in the maw that the vaines may extract a mouing comfort therefrom And also we must vnderstand that this nourishment extendeth to the extreame partes Otherwise truelie in my opinion other parts need not to contract nor trauell with the stomach and lyuer for moysture to their better nourishment Al which perfectly sheweth that nature draweth a potentiall substance for the strength of nourishment and the more nearer there is a communion of substance in all the partes of the bodie the more easier is there a returne of nourishment except it otherwise happereth by meanes of any forraine accidence For sowes flesh although it hath great
these naturall causes to be no other thing theÌ an indicible All indicible thinges haue a indicible temperance temperature hauing some indicible propertie and forme is no other thing then a temperance in his owne nature or the immediate and extraordinarie reason from the celestiall influence therefore the naturall philosophers haue not spoken in vaine that Man and the sonne did beget man Then surely the starres are nothing at all occupied in the generation of mixt things rather doe they claime a most great part to themselues of that which appertaineth to these immixt properties and powers And it is no maruell but that these vertues powers and strength are so opposite and manifest to our feeling and perceiuing that heate and colde should also haue a singular prehemmence in the stars Theophrastus Paracelsus sayth that all these medicineable hearbes are not elementarily ingendred But brought forth of some deuine power from the pure celestiall estate aboue But yet these elementall qualities so highly doe beare their force in the countenance of all inferiour thinges and their powers are so full and large in all medicineable effectes that no furtherance or meanes preuayleth eyther to confirme them or els bring them backe to any other strange act or vnusuall alteration Dyoscorides sayth that the deuine power moueth the elementes to become eyther naturall or vnnaturall to the earth And the earth withall the bountifull creatures therein do take their essence increase or decrease from the due course or alteration of the said elementes The chiefe Philosophers doe say that the high fruitfull scituation of the sunne worketh vpon all liuing creatures that all naturall causes greatly preuayle thereby Then it is no maruell that single medicines haue an appropriat inclination in themselues but artificially qualified from their owne nature haue a more clearer and peaceable effect And although the sunne doth in euery place east her seasonable power and strength yet not with one indifferent qualitie of warmenesse and heate to be intertained into all thinges alike not for that there is any defect in the primarie propertie of the sunne but because there is a seuerall propertie from the complexion of elements For as no phisitian can frame one medicine to be indifferently receiued and intertained into euerie seuerall constitution So the sunne is shewed forth in one force and potentiall estate alike although the action vpon all inferiour causes vnlike for that euery thing followeth the propertie of nature from the complexion of elements in generation and the propertie of the sunne in augmentation The vnseasonable elementes doe oftentimes darken the sun and thereby distemper and disseason the inferiour causes of the earth So also the confused courses and running together of the flââs ãâ¦ã oursing by an vnsingled and variable power within themselues is the onely cause why all the hearbes and fruits of the stelde are of medicionable and saluing condition ouer one and nothing at all profiting but rather hurting vnto another Therefore the power of all these thinges are distinguished three maner of waies As firste their possibilitie hath one ordinarie power in themselues Secondlie that a supreame naturall substance coagulateth in the power of all inferiour causes Thirdlie dooth in the same power obtaine and accomplish some effectuall propertie in it selfe which by any forraine accidents can neither be interuented nor altered except inforced from one propertte to an other to some supreame excesse within their owne naturall essence Therefore these medicines whose vertues are determined hot in the second degree are most easily made hot in their action and also most easily are they conuerted to fire in open extremitie exceeding their natures as vnflaken lune rosenne or gumme which yssueth from the excesse vapours of trees But the greatest danger happeneth in colde medicines especially if nature hath determined their operation hotte and their action colde as the Hemlock which of Dyoscorides is called Cicuta a most poisonsome practise in the fourth degree hath not onely a hot propertie and troublesome effect but an impressiue action of a colde benumming the sences which cannot bee afterwards rased out And yet many times some strong forcible complections will rather alter and subdue such strong medicines to become inclinable to the body then indure themselues to be altered or subdued af the body Theophrastus Paracelsus saith it is no perfect opinion neither of the olde nor new writers that medicines ought to bee first drawen into actuall preheminence before the corruption bee styrred and prepared by some preparatiue or gentle mollefaceion the easier the power of of purgation is extended to mortifie and slay the disease Alwaies prouided that medicines be matched with the nature of the bodie aswel in sicknesse as in health Like as clear water contemperated with pure wine doth much profite and season a hot and inflammatiue bodie to become ttmperate After the same manner weake medicines gentely are framed to doo their effect then those medicines which are of high and grosse operation For the more weaker medicines are composed for slender bodies the easier their strength is euidently knowne their limits and bounds discouered and therby lesse feared Whereas grosse hot and strong medicines are subtill fierce easily doo insinuate and winde themselues into all the partes of man and although they be most charily regarded yet will they many times exceed art wherefore medicine ought to be framed and drawen after the measure of bodyly heate otherwise it is no equall instrument of nature neither can nature be vsed in her potentiall measure for the speedy ouerthrowe of the disease For as medicine ought to be framed most like vnto nature so the disease from time to time is directed by nature Therefore medicine ought to bee receiued into the body vnder the warmnesse of newe milke or mans blood although Galen counselleth that medicines in sommer season bee proffered vnto some bodilie constitutions vnder the coldnesse of fountaine water But touching medicines outwardly applyed some high and singular practise must be attained for healing and curing such outwarde sores First by rubbing and searching the grieued place of the patient whereupon sometimes the inflammatiue infection of the furious and hot humour increaseth and far surpasseth the boundes both of medicine and nature except peraduenture it be corrected by some drieng drinke or purgatiue potion inwardlye taken or that the outwarde medicine bee of some very colde and slender power in operation which sensibly is perceiued For and if medicines be vnapt they will contrarile wrastle both against nature and the afflicted sore as swiftlie vncertainlie and groslie winde in their power and strength But if colde medicines be slowe they may be remedied and preferred after the skill of the Chirurgian to a more fuller and larger estate and degree Yet hot searching and inflammatiue medicines are necessarilie required in fulsome putrified and corâsiue sores eyther for searching searing scowring and fadoming the deepenesse thereof as for the staying and stopping of some further
Paracelsus geueth counsell and therewithall assureth that no good scarchâr of mans disposition after fourtie and sixe yeares of age inderdealeth with the excrementes Arnoldus de noua villa geueth more larger libertie in perfect bodies vntill fyftie and fiue yeares bee accomplished For as many old men haue a hot drie bodies so manye others haue yearthly and waterie bodies vnder which seuerall dispositions in old age falleth out Last of all it is a doubtfull and vncertaine thing to discerne the temperature of euerie olde man in age and sicnesse Rasis holdeth in opinion that in age nothing is to be gathered neither from excrementes neither from fourme nor shape nor scarse from operation for operation of some part by occasion of variable disposition may be confounded in an other part I doo let passe the opionins and iudgmentes of manye Writers how the signes of diuers ages differ in sicknesse neither thorow out the whole ages of man doo they obtaine or continue any one perfect significatiue agreement Therefore whosoeuer traueileth in the variable temperances of man let his best direction bee taken from the pulses as feeling euery office of the bodie in his proper worke Yet surelye whatsoeuer is spoken against the view of excrementes in the sicknes of old men Ruellius saith that excrementes are not altogether to be reiected or dispised but according to the straungenesse of the sicknesse and accidentes of the disease duely to bee considered vpon To conclude euerie practitioner hath a large field to trauell in in the time of sickenesse As first to vnderstand the disease by feeling the pulses Nexte to consider whether euerie office of the bodie laboureth alike or no. And thirdlie whether the Accidentes doo stay in any one parte of the body more then an other And last of all whether the duetie of the excrementes be perfourmed in a naturall course or no. Thus endeth the second booke of the Temperamentes The Lord made heauen and earth and all thinges therein blessed bee the wâorkes of his handes HERE BEGINNETH THE THIRD booke of the Temperaments IN these former bookes there is set open the differences significations and accidentes of cold hote moyst and drie thinges in their actiue natures and to finde out the reason not only why they should be approued in action as also why they should obtaine their equall qualities to be comprehended and easily perceiued by touching I will not much herein trauell For as one of them hath no powerfull nor perfect constitution without the equall trauell and furtherance of one another So one constitution doth still appeale vnto another vntill the occasion which before was obscure and vnperfect be drawne vnto manifestation power strength and agreement which as Galen sayth doth confirme all medicinable confections And there must be hereunto also annexed not onely the sensible vnderstanding of these naturall causes but a iust coÌsenting of their forcible power and vertue to haue one successe Also there must be a very high regard had that medicines do nothing in nature digresse from the assenting inclination of suche bodyes vnto which they owe their defence helpe and succour For contrary medicines dangerously doe imprint their malice power inforcing the griefe to become more outragious inflammatiue and vnsetled Experience may instruct heerein that a powerfull medicine in the fourth degree hote cannot escape or be driuen backe from Causticke iâ burning some verie dangerous action For these putrifactiue or corosiue playsters which in their causticke nature doe worke vpon outward sores although they be sodainly taken away from that place ouer which they did worke power and effect yet their impression or action of heate cannot sodainly or vnawares be taken away for the deepenesse of the sore hath comprehended the power thereof And therefore these inflammatiue actions without more larger libertie and skill cannot bee extinguished The same thing by colde medicines is more clearely perceiued and vnderstoode For blacke popy cannot in the fourth degree vnawares be intertained into the body but that by the same meanes doth oftentimes forthwith alter the body and the actiue mouinges sensible hindered in the vnnaturall course and action thereof It is otherwise with hote medicines which although they exceede from vs in common course of heat yet the power thereof many either be mitigated or vtterly put out As touching cold medicines the reason and vnderstanding is not heereunto alike because coldnesse not onely deepely lurketh in the vaines but stoppeth the vegetation and quickenesse of nature hauing once ouercome the sensible partes of man that although warme thinges be proffered for restoring quickning and lifting vp of that sleepie and deadly inuasion either shal it nothing at all preuaile or els the sensible and naturall partes cannot be recouered to a perfect and due estate and disposition as before For if colde water by a secret potentiall estate be intertained into a warme body and the body by a variable disposition therof altereth into a more higher degree of coldnesse doth extenuate nature and decayeth the power of bloud although the strength of the body exhausteth the sensible coldnesse thereof yet there remaineth a sharpe impression for many discases to insue Furthermore warme water being receiued into a hote bodie although it be possessed with the body for a whole dayes space as it hath nourished vnder some naturall warmth by the strength of the body so can it not be otherwise knowne or perceiued but that the body is made more colder thereby although vnder naturall warmnesse it passeth from the bleather againe So doe we beholde the power of a cataplasma which although it hath a naturall power of coldnesse yet if it be remoued and the place touched all inflammations shall sensibly appeare more subdued moderated and seasoned for inducement of a more higher and excellenter practise in the worke thereof which as some holde in opinion is contrarie in powdred medicines whose power is onely to purge drie and excoriat Yet no doubt there are some powdred medicines which in reuealing an imagination of drinesse in substance are in propertie altogether moyst And except the body be of a drie chollericke disposition shall nothing preuaile to accomplishe any drie action to become perfect and sound Some will maruell why the qualitie of elementes shoulde minister health ease and safegard to one And shewe no potentiall act but rather offence in another Certainely as all inferiour causes are subiect to the alteration of celestiall dispositions so celestiall bodies are stable firme and perfect and in their properties are voyd from alterations Then no scruple herein neede to arise whether this potentiall estate be ingendered or giuen to medicineable hearbs from nature or from celestiall bodies I doe thinke not onely power but all indicible properties inioy a metaphisicall effect And surely forme or bodily shape which heerewith is adioyned hath an indifferent participation from the complexion of elementes and the condition of celestial thinges Yet the iudgement of olde writers is that the propertie of