Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

The Hiſtory of Life and Death. thoſe principal Bowels be well diſpoſed, the reſt will commonly follow according to ones



And as for thoſe things which, according to the different ſtate of every man’s body
may be transferred into his Diet and the regiment of his life, he may collect them out
of the Books of Phyſicians, which have written of the comforting and preſerving the
four Principal Members: For conſervation of health hath commonly need of no more
than ſome ſhort courſes of Phyſick; but length of life cannot be hoped without an or-
derly diet, and a conſtant race of ſoveraign Medicines. But we will propound ſome few,
and thoſe the moſt ſelect and prime directions.



The Stomach (which, as they ſay, is the Maſter of the houſe, and whoſe ſtrength
and goodneſs is fundamental to the other concoctions) ought ſo to be guarded and
confirmed, that it may be without I [?] ntemperateneſs hot; next aſtricted or boúnd,
not looſe; furthermore clean, not ſurcharged with foul Humours, and
yet (in regard it is nouriſhed from it ſelf, not from the veins) not altogether
empty or hungry: laſtly, it is to be kept ever in appetite, becauſe appetite ſharpens



I wonder much how that ſame Calidum bibere, to drink warm drink, (which was in
uſe amongſt the Ancients) is laid down again. I knew a Phyſician that was very fa
mous, who in the beginning of dinner and ſupper, would uſually eat a few ſpoonfulls
of very warm broth with much greedineſs, and then would preſently wiſh that it were
out again, ſaying, He had no need of the broth, but only of the warmth.



I do verily conceive it good, that the firſt draught either of Wine, or Ale, or any
other drink, (to which a man is moſt accuſtomed) be taken at ſupper warm.



Wine in which Gold hath been quenched, I conceive, would be very good once in a
meal; not that I believe the Gold conferreth any vertue thereunto, but that I know
that the quen ching of all Metals in any kind of liquor doth leave a moſt potent Aſtri-
ction: Now I chuſe Gold, becauſe beſides that Aſtriction which I deſire, it leaveth
nothing elſe be [?] hind it of a metalline impreſſion.



I am of opinion, that the ſops of bread dipped in wine, taken at the midſt of the
meal, are better than wine it ſelf; eſpecially if there were infuſed into the wine in
which the ſops were dipped Roſemary and Citron-pill, and that with Sugar, that it
may not ſlip too faſt.



It is certain that the uſe of Quinces is good to ſtrengthen the ſtomach; but we
take them to be better if they be uſed in that which they call Quiddeny of Quinces,
than in the bodies of the Quinces themſelves, becauſe they lie heavy in the ſtomach. But thoſe Quiddenies are beſt taken after meals, alone; before meals, dipped in Vi-



Such things as are good for the ſtomach above other Simples are theſe, Roſemary,
Elecampane, Maſtick, Wormwood, Sage, Mint.



I allow Pills of Aloes, Maſtick and Saffron in Winter time, taken before dinner; but ſo, as the Aloes be not only oftentimes waſhed in Roſe water, but alſo in Vinegar in
which Tragac [?] anth hath been infuſed, and after that be macerated for a few hours in
Oil of ſweet Almonds new drawn, before it be made into Pills.



Wine or Ale wherein Wormwood hath been infuſed, with a little Elecampane and
yellow Sanders, will do well, taken at times, and that eſpecially in Winter.



But in Summer, a draught of White-wine allayed with Strawberry-water, in which
Wine Powder of Pearls and of the ſhells of cra-fiſhes exquiſitely beaten and (which
may perhaps ſeem ſtrange) a little Chalk have been infuſed, doth excellently refreſh
and ſtrengthen the ſtomach.



But generally, all Draughts in the morning (which are but too frequently uſed) of
cooling things, as of Juices, Decoctions, Whey, Barly-waters, and the like) are to be
avoided, and nothing is to be put into the ſtomach faſting which is purely cold. Theſe things are better given, if need require, either at five in the afternoon, or elſe an
hour after a light breakfaſt.



Often faſtings are bad for long life; beſides, all thirſt is to be avoided, and the ſto-
mach is to be kept clean, but al ways moiſt.



Oil of Olives new and good, in which a little Methridate hath been diſfolved,
anointed upon the back-bone, juſt againſt the mouth of the ſtomach, doth wonderfully
comfort the ſtomach.



A ſmall bag filled with locks of Scarlet-wool ſteeped in Red-wine, in which


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