A1r A1v A2r A2v A3r

Midwives Book.

Or the whole Art of

Directing Childbearing Women
how to behave themselves
In their

  • Conception,
  • Breeding,
  • Bearing,
  • Nursing

of Children.

In Six Books, Viz.

  • I. An Anatomical Description of the Parts of Men and
  • II. What is requisite for Procreation: Signes of a Womans being
    with Child, and whether it be Male or Female, and how the
    Child is formed in the womb.
  • III. The causes and hinderance of conception and Barrenness, and
    of the paines and difficulties of Childbearing with their causes,
    signes and cures.
  • IV. Rules to know when a woman is near her labour, and when she is
    near conception, and how to order the Child when born.
  • V. How to order women in Childbirth, and of several diseases and
    cures for women in that condition.
  • VI. Of Diseases incident to women after conception: Rules for the
    choice of a nurse; her office; with proper cures for all diseases Incident
    to young Children.

By Mrs. Jane Sharp Practitioner in the Art of
Midwifry above thirty years.

London, Printed for Simon Miller, at the Star at the
West End of St. Pauls, 16711671.

A3v A4r

To Her
Much Esteemed,
Ever Honoured Friend,
The Lady
Ellenour Talbutt

Be These
My Poor and Weak Endeavours
Humbly Presented
An Admirer of Your
Vertue and Piety,

Jane Sharp.

A4v A5r

To the


Ihave often sate down sad
in the Consideration of the
many Miseries Women endure
in the Hands of unskilful
Midwives; many professing
the Art (without any skill in
Anatomy, which is the Principal part
effectually necessary for a Midwife)
meerly for Lucres sake. I have been
at Great Cost in Translations for all Books A5v
Books, either French, Dutch, or Italian
of this kind. All which I offer
with my own Experience. Humbly
begging the assistance of Almighty God
to aid you in this Great Work, and am

Your Affectionate Friend

Jane Sharp.

The A6r
The B1r

Mid-wives Book.

Book. I.

The Introduction.

Of the necessity, and Usefulness of the
Art of Midwifry.

The Art of Midwifry is doubtless
one of the most useful and necessary
of all Arts, for the being and
well-being of Mankind, and therefore
it is extremely requisite that a Midwife,
be both fearing God, faithful, and exceeding
well experienced in that profession.
Her fidelity shall find not only a reward
here from man, but God hath given a
special example of it, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Exod. I. in the Midwives
of Israel, who were so faithful to their
trust, that the Command of a King could not
make them depart from it, viz. “But the MidwivesB wives B1v 2
feared God, and did not as the King of
Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children
alive. Therefore God dealt well with the
Midwives; and because they feared God, he
made them Houses.”

As for their knowledge it must be twofold,
Speculative; and Practical, she that
wants the knowledge of Speculation, is like
to one that is blind or wants her sight: she
that wants the Practice, is like one that is
lame and wants her legs, the lame may see
but they cannot walk, the blind may walk
but they cannot see. Such is the condition
of those Midwives that are not well versed
in both these. Some perhaps may think,
that then it is not proper for women to be
of this profession, because they cannot attain
so rarely to the knowledge of things as
men may, who are bred up in Universities,
Schools of learning, or serve their Apprentiships
for that end and purpose, where Anatomy
Lectures being frequently read, the situation
of the parts both of men and women
and other things of great consequence are
often made plain to them. But that Objection
is easily answered, by the former example
of the Midwives amongst the Israelites, for
though we women cannot deny, that men
in some things may come to a greater perfectionfection B2r 3
of knowledge than women ordinarily
can, by reason of the former helps that
women want; yet the holy Scriptures hath
recorded Midwives to the perpetual honour
of the female Sex. There being not so
much as one word concerning Men-midwives
mentioned there that we can find, it
being the natural propriety of women to be
much seeing into that Art: and though nature
be not alone sufficient to the perfection
of it, yet farther knowledge may be gain’d
by a long and diligent practice, and be
communicated to others of our own sex. I
cannot deny the honour due to able Physicians,
and Chyrurgions, when occasion is:
Yet we find even that amongst the Indians,
and all barbarous people, where there is no
Men of Learning, the women are sufficient
to perform this duty: and even in our own
Nation, that we need go no farther, the
poor Country people where there are none
but women to assist (unless it be those that
are exceeding poor and in a starving condition,
and then they have more need of
meat than Midwives) the women are as
fruitful, and as safe and well delivered, if
not much more fruitful, and better commonly
in Childbed than the greatest Ladies
of the Land. It is not hard words that B2 perform B2v 4
perform the work, as if none understood
the Art that cannot understand Greek.
Words are but the shell, that we ofttimes
break our Teeth with them to come at the
kernel, I mean our brains to know what
is the meaning of them; but to have the
same in our mother tongue would save us a
great deal of needless labour. It is commendable
for men to imploy their spare time
in some things of deeper Speculation than
is required of the female sex; but the Art
of Midwifry chiefly concern us, which, even
the best Learned men will grant, yielding
something of their own to us, when they are
forced to borrow from us the very name
they practise by, and to call themselves Men-
. But to avoid long preambles in a
matter so clear and evident, I shall proceed
to set down such rules, and method concerning
this Art as I think needful, and that as
plainly and briefly as possibly I can, and with
as much modesty in words as the matter
will bear: and because it is commonly
maintain’d, that the Masculine gender is
more worthy than the Feminine, though
perhaps when men have need of us they will
yield the priority to us; that I may not
forsake the ordinary method, I shall begin
with men, and treat last of my own sex, so B3r 5
so as to be understood by the meanest capacity,
desiring the Courteous Reader to use
as much modesty in the perusal of it, as I
have endeavoured to do in the writing of it,
considering that such an Art as this cannot be
set forth, but that young men and maids
will have much just cause to blush sometimes,
and be ashamed of their own follies,
as I wish they may if they shall chance to
read it, that they may not convert that into
evil that is really intended for a general

Chap. I.

A brief description of the Generative
parts in both sexes; and first of
the Vessels in Men appropriated to

There are six parts in Men that are fitted
for generation.

  • 1.

    The Vessels that prepare the matter to
    make the seed, called the preparing Vessels.
  • 2.

    There is that part or Vessel which
    works this matter, or transmutes the blood
    into the real desire for seed.
  • B3 3. The B3v 6
  • 3.

    The Stones that make the Seed fructifie.
  • 4.

    There are Vessels that conveigh the Seed
    back again from the Stones when they have
    concocted it.
  • 5.

    There are the seminal or Seed-Vessels
    that keep or retain the Seed concocted.
  • 6.

    The Yard, that from these containing
    , casts the seed prepared into the Matrix.

Chap. II.

Of the Seed-preparing Vessels.

I.The Vessels that prepare the matter to
make the Seed are four, two Veins and
two Arteries, which go down from the small
guts to the Stones; they have their names from
their office, which is to fit that matter for
the work, which the Stones turn into Seed
that is made fruitful by them, though it be a
kind of Seed or blood changed into a white
substance before it comes to the Stones.

It will be needful that you should know
that the fountain of blood is the Liver, and
not the Heart, as was anciently supposed,
and the Liver by the Veins disperse the blood B4r 7
blood through the Body. The two Arteries
that prepare the matter, arise both from the
great Artery or Trunk that is in the Hearts
and is the beginning of all the Arteries, for
the Arteries rise from the Heart, as the Vein,
do from the Liver; but the two Veins for
preparation of Seed, are one on the right
the other on the left side; the right Vein
proceeds from the great hollow Vein of the
Liver, a little below the beginning of the
Emulgent Vein; but the left Vein springs
commonly from the root of the Emulgent
, yet it hath been seen to have a branch
that comes to it from the Trunk of the hollow
Vein. Of these two Veins and Arteries
there is one Vein, and one Arterie of
each side; these two Veins in the middle
part, pass streight through the Loins, and
they repose upon the Lumbal Muscle, having
only a thin skin, that comes betwixt
them, and there they divide and scatter
themselves into the skinny parts that are
near adjoining. All these Veins and Arteries
so descending, are called Seed-preparing
, and they are covered with a
skin that comes from the Peritonæum, the
Vein lies uppermost, and the Artery under it.
The lower part of these two Veins goes beyond
the Midriff to the Stones, and descends B4 with B4v 8
with a little Nerve, and that Muscle which
holds up the Stones, through the doubling
of the Midriff, but they pass not through
the Peritonæum, and when it comes near the
Stones an Artery joins with it, and then are
these Vessels with that skin that comes
from the Peritonæum twisted together as the
young twigs of Vines are, and so pass they
to the end of the Stones. These two Arteries
have their beginning from the great Artery
a little below the Emulgent, and so
they go downwards till they join with the
two Veins formerly mentioned; the two
Veins they prepare and carry the natural
Blood to make Seed of; the two Arteries,
they carry the vital Spirits or vital

Chap. III.

Of the Vessels that make the change of
red Blood into a white substance like

These Vessels, as you heard before, are also
four, two Veins and two Arteries,
that at their first descending keep near one
to the other, carrying their different blood, one B5r 9
one from the Liver the other from the Heart,
as fit matter for the Stones to make Seed of;
but before they come at the Stones, they twist
one with the other, sometimes the Veins going
into the Arteries, and sometimes again the Arteries
going into the Veins, thus they joyn their
forces, the better to prepare the matter for the
use of the Stones, and after that they part again,
which things are full of delight for a
Man to behold, that he may the more admire
the excellency of the works of the great God
that hath so wonderfully made Man. The
two Veins and two Arteries, after they have
joyned with many ingraftings and twistings
together, appear but two Bodies crumpled like
the tendrels of a Vine, white and pyramidal,
and rest one upon the right, the other on the
left Stone, piercing the very tunicles of the
Stones with very small veins, and so disperse
themselves all through the bodies of the
Stones. The substance of these vessels is betwixt
that of the stones and that of the Veins
and Arteries, being neither wholly kernels,
nor wholly skinny; their office is, by their several
twistings, to mingle the vital and natural
blood together which they contain, and
by vertue they borrow from the Stones, to
change the colour of red blood into a
matter that is white, prepared immediatelyately B5v 10
for the Stones to make Seed of.

Chap. IV.

Of the Cods, or rather the Stones contained

The Cods is as it were a purse for the
Stones to be kept in with the seminary
Vessels, and this purse is divided in the middle
with a thin membrane, which some call the
seam, and may be seen on the outside of the
Cods, making a kind of wrinkle that runs all
along the length of it, and just in the middle:
This member suffers many kinds of diseases
and distempers, the property of it is to be dilated
and extended, by which means there arise
sundry Ruptures, the Watry Uly, the
windy, the Humoral, the Fleshy, and the watry
ruptures, and all this happens by reason of
too much repletion of the vessels of seed caused
by much grosse or watry bloud. Within
this pursy and sobbing and chaking of the
stones which are two whole kernels like to the
kernels of womens paps, their figure is Oval,
and therefore some call them Eggs.

The substance of the Stones hath neither blood B6r 11
blood in it nor feeling, yet they feel exquisitely
by reason of the pannicles, and each stone hath
two Muscles sticking to their pannicles, to
lift them up that they hang not too loose. They
are temperately hot and moist, but the bloud
that flowes to them is very hot, by which
means they draw as a Limbeck the matter of
seed from the whole Body. Physicians place
them amongst the Principal parts for the Generation
and the preservation of mankind.
They are fastned to all the Principal parts by
Veins, Arteries, and Pannicles, they are subject
to multiplicity of diseases and distempers.
They are wrapt up in three several Coats, the
outermost is the purse or Cod common to them
both, it differs from other skin that covers the
Body, because other skin is smooth, this is
wrinkled, that it may observe the motions of
the stones, to extend or shrink with them,
when they ascend, or descend: they ascend
in time of copulation, but in all violent heats,
or Feavers, or weakness, or in old age, the
stones hang down, which is alwayes a very
strong sign of much damage in sickness.
The second Coat wraps up the stones as the
first purse doth, but the second wraps them
nearer, and is not so wide as the first; and
though the fleshy pannicle from which it
springs be thinner here than any where else, yet B6v 12
yet it is full of small arteries and veins, that carry
in vital & natural bloud to keep the stones
warm, which are of themselves a very cold part.
The third Coat immediately wraps in the
Stones, and is white, thick, and strong to preserve
the soft and loose substance of the Stones.
Some persons there are, yet not many, and
those Monsters in nature, that have but one
stone, and some three stones, but one stone is oftener
than three; and unlesse it be some great
failing in Nature, I rather think that the other
stone lyeth up close within the Body, as sometimes
both stones do, and do not come down
into the Cod till such an age, or at certain
times as is proved by experience, where the
stones lie within, and come not down; such
persons are more prone to venery, because
the stones are kept warmer than when they appear;
yet the stones are tyed with strings that
are long and slender, which are Muscles that
hang by on both sides, to keep the stones from
being overstretched or oppressing the passage
of the the seminal Vessels; if any ill chance befall
the stones then these Muscles are exceeding
sensible of pain and subject to swell by reason
of it. The left stone is the biggest, and therefore
some think more femals are begotten than
males, and the right is the hotter and breeds
the stronger Seed, and therefore it is generally main- B7r 13
maintained, that Boyes are begotten from the
right stone, but Girles with the left. Those that
have hottest stones are most prone to Venery:
and their stones are longer and harder, and
they are more hairy about those parts especially.
The right stone is the hottest in all, because
it receives more pure and Vital blood
from the hollow Vein and the great Artery
than the left doth, which receives onely a watry
bloud from the Emulgent Vein. But both
of them have an innate quality to make Seed,
and without the Stones no procreation can be;
as we see that such as are gelded lose the faculty
of Generation, though they want nothing
else but their stones. The substance of the
stones is very like to the Seed it self, moist, white
and clammy. There is yet another Vessel, or
conduit belonging to the stones, which is called
the Vessel of ejecting, or casting forth of the
Seed, it comes from the head of the stones to
the root of the yard overthwart the stones in
a small body like a Silkworm, by one end the
carrying vessel elutes the stones, and carries
forth the seed, from the other end the casters
forth of the Seed passeth and descends to the
bottom of the stones, and bends back again and
is knit to the preparing Vessels, and returns to
the head of the stones, and so goes upward till
it touch the bone of the small guts, keeping close B7v 14
close to the preparing vessels, till it pierce the production
of the Hypogastrium or lower belly,
which is the upper part of the place where the
hair grows above the Privities; it reacheth
from the Navil to that hair, and so it runnes
from thence through the hollowness of the hip
and sides between the bladder and the straight
gut, till it come as far as the forestanders, and
so fixeth it self, where it ends at the root of the
Yard where it begins; so long as it remains amongst
the Coats of the stones, it is full of many
windings forward and backward, but near
the end it hath many little Bladders like

Chap. V.

Of the carrying Vessels.

The carrying Vessels on both sides, are certain
small bladders, united between the
Bladder and the right Gut, the last of them,
with the seminary Vessels, by a little pipe ends
in the forestanders: These carry and conveigh
the seed that is first fully concocted in the
stones, by the great heat of them by reason of
the vital blood that is brought to them, to the
seminary Vessels which are to hold the Seed, till B8r 15
till there is cause to cast it forth. They are but
two white nervous sinews, obscure, hollow
Pipes, they rise from the Stones to the Belly
not far from the preparing Vessels, from the
hollow of the belly they return and go to the
backside of the bladder; betwixt that and the
right gut, and near the neck of the bladder they
are joyned to the Vessels for Seed, which are
like a Honey-comb; these Honey-combs or
hollow Cells have an oyly matter in them, for
they attract the fatty substance from the Seed,
and that they send forth into the urinary
passage chiefly in the act of carnal copulation,
lest the thin skin of the Yard, which is very
quick of feeling should be hurt by the sharpness
of the Seed. The carrying Vessels fall at last into
the vessels ordain’d to the Seed till there is
use for it. The carriers strengthen the vessels
for the seed, and are storehouses for it, that the
whole store be not wasted in one act, you shall
find in some persons enough to serve for severall
acts of copulation. They are hollow and
round to contain the more Seed, and they are
full of membranes that they may be shortned
or lengthened as the Seed is more or less in
quantity, and are full of meanders and turnings,
that the seed pass not away without a
mans will.

Chap B8v 16

Chap. VI.

The Vessels for seed.

The Vessels for Seed are such as you call
kernels in your meat, we call them here
forestanders; they are two little stones seated
at the root of the Yard, a little above the sphyaster
of the bladder, they are wrapt up with
a skin that covers them, they seem to be round,
but they are flat behind, and before, they are
loose and spongy as kernels usually are, and
white, and hard, in some persons more or less,
they having a quick feeling to stir up delight
in Copulation; they have some small pipes
which open into the common pipes through
which the Seed passeth into the Yard: these
kernels or forestanders being pressed by the
lower muscles of the Yard, besides the oyly
fat substance they defend the urinary passage
by, they also defend the Vessels that carry the
seed to them, lest by much standing and
stretching of the Yard the carriers of seed
should be hurt; they have another use also, for
lying between the bladder and the right gut,
they serve for cushions for the vessels to rest
upon, to keep them from violent pressing, and
this is the cause why those that are costive and can- C1r 17
cannot easily go to stool, when they strain to
do their business, they press those kernels and
sometimes void some Seed, and also must needs
make some water, more or less when they go
to stool. These kernels compass the vessels
that carry the seed, and through the midst of
these passeth the water or Urine pipe, or common
passage both for seed and Urine, or conduit
of the Yard. At the mouth of this conduit
where the carrying vessels meet with it,
there is a thin skin that keeps the vessels for
seed that are like a spunge in nature, that they
shed not forth the seed against mens will. But
this skin is full of holes, which open by the
violent heat and motion in Copulation, and so
the seed finds its way out, for it is a thin spirit,
and the rather by reason of motion, and passes
like Quicksilver through a piece of leather;
there are no more holes to be seen in this
skin than in a piece of leather, unless it be
seen in some persons after death, who were
in their lifetime troubled with a great running
of the Reins as it is called, but properly an involuntary
shedding of the Seed, because these
holes are become so great, that the subtile seed
cannot be kept back by it; the reins are to
part the Urine from the blood, and to send
that to the bladder by the conduits of Urine,
but not to send forth seed or to provide it, C that C1v 18
that is the work of the stones as I said. Yet
by communication of parts, if the reins be much
offended, the seminary parts cannot perform
their office as they should, but an involuntary
shedding of Seed will follow, untill such time
as the reins be strengthened and cured. I shall
give onely one observation and so conclude
this Chapter: And that is a warning to all
that cut for the stone in the bladder, of what
age soever they be who are cut; oftentimes in
drawing forth the stone they so rend and tear
the seed vessels, that such persons are never
able to beget Children, they may hatch the
Cuckows Eggs, and keep other mens if they
please, but they shall never get any themselves;
these kernels are a hard and spungy substance
near as great as a Walnut.

Chap. VII.

Of a mans yard.

The Yard is as it were the Plow wherewith
the ground is tilled, and made fit for production
of Fruit: we see that some fruitful persons
have a Crop by it almost every year, only
plowing up their own ground, and live
more plentifully by it than the Countryman
can with all his toil and cost: & some there are
that plow up other mens ground, when they
can find such lascivious women that will pay them C2r 19
them well for their pains, to their shame be it
spoken, but commonly they pay dear for it in
the end, if timely they repent not. The
Yard is of a ligamental substance, sinewy and
hollow as a spunge, having some muscles to
help it in its several postures. The Yard and
the Tongue have more great Veins and Arteries
in them than any part of the Body for their
bigness; by these porosities, by help of Imagination
the Yard is sometimes raised, and
swels with a windy spirit only, for there is a
natural inclination and force by which it is
raised when men are moved to Copulation, as
the motion is natural in the Heart and Arteries;
true it is that in these motion is alwayes
necessary, but the Yard moves only at some
times, and riseth sometimes to small purpose.
It stands in the sharebone in the middle as all
know, being of a round and long fashion,
with a hollow passage within it, through
which passe both the Urine and Seed; the
top of it is called the Head or Nut of the
Yard, and there it is compact and hard, & not
very quick of feeling, lest it should suffer
pain in Copulation; there is a soft loose skin
called the foreskin which covers the head of it,
and will move forward and backward as it is
moved; this foreskin in the lower part only
in the middle, is fastned or tyed long ways C2 to C2v 20
to the greater part of the Head of the Yard
by a certain skinny part called the string or
bridle. It is of temperament hot and moist,
& it is joined to the middle of the share bone,
and with the Bladder by the Conduit pipe that
carrieth the Urine, & with the brain by Nerves
and Muscles that come to the skin of it, to
the Heart and Liver by Veins and Arteries
that come from them. The Yard hath three
holes or Pipes in it, one broad one and that is
common to the Urine and Seed, and two small
ones by which the Seed comes into the common
long Conduit pipe; these two Arteries or
Vessels enter into this pipe in the place called
the Perinæum, which in men is the place
between the root of the Yard and the Arsehole
or Fundament, but in a woman it is the
place between that and the cut of the neck of
the womb; from those holes to the Bladder,
that passage is called the neck of the Bladder,
and from thence to the head of the Yard
is the common pipe or channel of the Yard.
The Yard hath four Muscles, two towards
the lower part on both sides, one of them
near the channel or pipe of the Yard, and
these are extended in length, and they dilate
the Yard and raise it up, that the Seed may
with ease pass through it: two other muscles
there are that come from the root of it near C3r 21
near the share bone that comes slanting toward
the top of the Yard in the upper part of
it, when these are stretched the Yard riseth,
and when they slacken then it falls again, and
if one of these be bent and the other be not,
the Yard bends to that muscle that is stretched
or bent.

If the Yard be of a moderate size, not too
long, nor too short, it is good as the Tongue
is, but if the Yard be too long, the spirits in
the seed flee away; if it be too short, it
cannot carry the Seed home to the place it
should do.

The Yard also serveth to empty the Bladder
of the water in it, and that is easily proved
by a Louse put into the pipe of the Yard,
which by biting will cause one to make water
when the Urine is supprest. The foreskin
was made to defend the Yard that is tender,
and to cause delight in Copulation; the
Jews were commanded to cut it off. Many
diseases are incident to the Yard, but a priapisme
or standing of the Yard continually
by reason of a windy matter, is a disease that
properly belongs to this part, and is very dangerous

The Yard of a man is not bony, as in Dogs,
and Wolves, and Foxes; nor gristly, for then
it could not stand and fall as need is; it is C3 made C3v 22
make of Skins, Brawns, Tendons, Veins,
Arteries, Sinews, and great Ligaments;
yet not so full of Veins but it may be emptyed
and filled again, nor so full of Arteries as to
beat alwayes, yet you shall find it beat sometimes;
it consists not of Nerves for they are
not hollow enough for the passages, but it is
compounded of a peculiar substance that is
not found in any other part of the body; the
place of it, as I said, begins at the share-bone,
and it is fast knit to the Yard between the
Cods and the Fundament, so that there is a
seam that comes up along the Cods and parts
them in the midst between the Stones. The
Yard is not perfectly round, but is somewhat
broad on the back or upperside, it differs
a little in some from others; the situation
of it is so peculiar to Men, that they have
herein a preeminence above all other creatures.
Some men, but chiefly fools, have
Yards so long that they are useless for generation.
It is generally held, that the length
or proportion of the Yard depends upon cutting
the Navel string, if you cut it too short
and knit it too close in Infants it will be too
short, because of the string that comes from
the Navel to the bottom of the bladder,
which draws up the Bladder and shortneens
the Yard: and this beside the general opinion, stands C4r 23
stands with so much reason, that all Midwives
have cause to be careful to cut the Navel
string long enough, that when they tye
it, the Yard may have free liberty to move
and extend it self, alwayes remembring that
moderation is best, that it be not left too
long, which may be as bad as too short.
There are six parts to be observed of which
the Yard consists:

  • 1. Two sinewy bodies.

  • 2. A sinewy substance to hold up the two
    side Ligaments and the urinary passage.
  • 3.
    The Urinary passage it self.
  • 4. The Nut of
    the Yard.
  • 5. The four Muscles;
  • and 6. The

The two sinewy bodies are really two
though they are joined together, they are
long and hard, within they are spongy
and full of black blood, the spongy substance
within seems to be woven network, and is
made of numberless Veins and Arteries,
and the black blood that is contained in
them is full of spirits. Motion and leisure in
Copulation heats them, and makes the Yard
to stand, and so will imagination; the hollow
weaving of them together was to hold
the spirits as long as may be that the Yard
fall not down before it hath performed the
work of nature. These side ligaments of
the Yard where they are thick and round, C4 spring C4v 24
spring from the lower part of the sharebone,
and not the upper part as Galen supposed.
At the beginning they are parted
and resemble a pair of Horns or the Letter
Y, where the common pipe for Urine and
Seed goes between them. It is thus manifest
that the greatest part of the Yard is
made of two sinewy parts, one of them of
each side, and they both end at the top
of the head of the Yard, they come from
two beginnings and lean upon the hip
under the share-bone, and so run on to the
Nut of the Yard. Also their substance is
double, the outside is sinewy, hard and
thick, the inside black, soft, loose, spongy
and thin, they are joined by a thin and sinewy
skin, which is strengthened by some
slanting small Veins placed there like to a
Weavers Shuttle; they are parted at their
first rising to make way for the water pipe,
but they are joined about the middle of the
share-bone, and there they lose near a third
part of their sinewy substance.

The use of these two sinewy bodies that
make the yard, is for the vital spirits to
run through the thin parts of them and fill
the Yard with spirits, and they are so thick
and compact, and strong on the outside,
that they hinder these spirits from breaking suddenly C5r 25
suddenly away, for should they flee out, the
Yard will stand no longer but presently fall

In the inside of the substance of the Yard
which is wrapt about by the outward sinewy
substance there is seen a thin and tender artery
coming from the root of the Yard,
and runs quite through the whole loose substance
of it: Besides these there is a Conduit
pipe placed at the lower part of the Yard
that serves both for Seed and Urine to be
put forth by, as common to them both,
and it runs through the middle of the foresaid
two sinewy bodies, and is of the
same substance with them, and is loose
and thick, soft and tender, and runs equally
in all respects from the neck of the
bladder to the top of the Yard, only it is
something larger where it begins than where
it ends at the top of the Nut. This pipe
at first, as I said, hath three holes where
it riseth from the neck of the bladder,
that in the middle is wider than the other
two pipes or holes are which stand on both
sides of it, and which are derived from the
passage that comes from the Seed Vessels,
and they carry the Seed into this great pipe.
In this great pipe where it is fastened to
the Nut of the Yard, and with the two sinewynewy C5v 26
bodies, there is a little hollow place
wherein when a man is troubled with the
running of the Reins by reason of the Pox,
some corrupt Seed or sharp matter lyeth,
which occasions great pains and Ulcers, and
sometimes the Chirurgeon is forced to cut
off the top of the Yard; and sometimes
from these Ulcers there will grow a piece
of flesh in the Yards passage for Urine,
which hinders the Urine that it cannot come
forth till that piece of flesh be taken away
by conveighing something into that Urinary
passage that may eat it off. There is one
thing more worth taking notice of by Chirurgions,
concerning this pipe or Urinary
passage, that from the place where it begins
and goes forward from the neck of the
bladder to the spermatick Vessels and forestanders,
that there is a thin and very tender
skin which is of a most acute feeling, and
to stir up delight in the act of Venery, and
it will make the Yard stand upon any delightsome
thoughts or desires. If the Chirurgions
be not careful when they thrust the
springs in near that place, they will soon
break this skin and undoe their Patient. This
common pipe comes from the neck of the
bladder, that is, it begins there, but it doth
not take its being from it; for boyl the bladderder C6r 27
of any creature, and it will part from it
whereby it is plain, that it is only join’d to
it, and so runs on to the Nut of the Yard.

Chap. VIII.

The Nut of the Yard.

The Nut is a piece of soft thin brawny
flesh, that it may do no hurt to the Womb
when it enters; it is full of spirits and blood,
very quick and tender of feeling, yet will endure
to be touched; the skin of it is very
pure thin skin; and if it be broken or rub’d
off, it will soon grow again, but if the body
of it be hurt in the fleshy part, or once lost,
it will never grow again; it is a little sharp
at the end, and made like to a top, that it
may enter the better; it is fastened as I told
you, to the foreskin or the lower part with
a ligament or bridle, which is sometimes so
streight tied, and is so strong, that it will pull
the head of the Yard backwards when it
stands; but it is usually broken, or gives way
the first time that a man lyeth with a woman,
for the combate is then doubtless so furious,
that a man feels no pain of it by reason of the abundance C6v 28
abundance of pleasure that takes it off, otherwise
doubtless the part is so quick of feeling;
that no man were able to endure it.

Chap. IX.

The Muscles of the Yard.

A Muscle is an Instrument for voluntary
motion, for without that no part were
in a capacity to move it self. There is a little
Book lately set forth and is well worth the
reading, concerning the reason of the motion
of the Muscles. Of these Muscles the Yard
hath four, two on each side to give motion
to it. These Muscles are a fibrous flesh to
make up their body; they have sinews for
feeling, veins for nourishment, Arteries for
vital blood, a skin to cover them, and to
part one Muscle from another, and all of
them from the flesh, you may if you please
easily discern them in a leg of a Rabbit. On
each side of the Yard, one of these Muscles
is shorter and thicker than the others are,
and they serve to raise the Yard and to make
it stand, and are therefore called raisers or
erecters; the other two are longer and smaller,
and they open the lower part of the Urinary C7r 29
Urinary pipe both when men make water,
and when they cast forth the Seed, and
are therefore called hasteners, because
they dispatch and hasten the work; one pair
of these Muscles comes from a part of the
hip near the beginning of the Yard; besides
that they raise the Yard to make it stand,
they also bend the fore part of the Yard to
be thrust into the womb, so that all things
are so exactly fitted by nature, that a blind
man cannot miss it. The two longer Muscles
come from the sphincter of the Fundament,
and are of a more fleshy substance; and are
full as long as the Yard, under which they
go downward ending at the side of the water
pipe about the middle of the Yard; were it
not for these large Muscles to open the conduit
pipe, the passage would be stopt by repletion
of nervy bodies, both when men
should make water, or cast out the Seed:
They also hold the Yard firm, that it lean
not to either side, and serve farther to press
forth the Seed out of the forestanders, all
helping to the sudden and forceable casting
it out in time of Copulation, lest the spirits
fly away and the Seed prove unfruitful.

There are all manner of Vessels in the Yard,
as Veins, Nerves, Arteries, yet Columbus tells
us, that Vesalius a great Anatomist, maintainstains C7v 30
that there is neither Vein, nor Nerve in
it, which is very false, for there are some
Veins and Arteries to be seen in the outward
skin of the Yard, others are within,
and there the Arteries are far more than the
Veins, and are dispersed through the whole
body of the Yard. The right Artery runs
to the left side of it, and the left to the right
side, the veins that appear on the outside of
it, and on the foreskin, come from the
underbelly; and these Veins do swell with
a frothy blood when the Yard begins to

It hath also two sinews, the lesser of the
two goes upon the skin, the greater upon
the muscles and body of the Yard. These
sinews scatter themselves from the marrow
of that bone which is called the holy bone,
and they pass quite through the Yard, and
cause exceeding great delight when the Yard
stands, and they prick forward in the action
of Venery.

The Yard is stretched and made to swell
by reason of fulness of Seed and plenty of
wind, and therefore all windy meats, as
Pulse, Beans, and Pease and the like, will
make the Yard stand, and sometimes they
cause a priapisme or continual standing of
the Yard, which will be more troublesome than C8r 31
than if it should never stand at all. It is
not to be imagined what pains some have
undergone, who by indiscreet taking of Cantharides
have fallen into this grievous
distemper, wherefore I would wish men to
take heed lest they pay for it at last, for the
Proverb is commonly true, sweet meat must
have sour sawce. Sometimes the bladder is
full of Urine, and the veins are very hot
which make the Yard to rise.

The Yard is placed betwixt the thighs,
that it may stand the stronger to perform its
work with all the force a man is able, and at
the lower end of it to add more strength it
is more fleshy, and that flesh is musculous, and
besides that it hath two muscles as I said
on both sides to poise it equally when it stands,
they are indeed but small muscles yet they are
exceeding strong.

The skin of the Yard is long and loose
that it may swell or slack as the Yard doth,
and the foreskin of that skin sometimes covers
the head of the Yard, and sometimes
goes so far back that it will not come forward
again. This skin in time of the Venerious
action, keeps the mouth of the
womb close that no cold air get in, yet some
think the action might be better performed
without it; the Jews indeed were commanded to C8v 32
to be Circumcised, but now Circumcision avails
not & is forbidden by the Apostle. I hope
no man will be so void of reason and Religion,
as to be Circumcised to make trial which
of these two opinions is the best; but the world
was never without some mad men, who will
do any thing to be singular: were the foreskin
any hindrance to procreation or pleasure, nature
had never made it, who made all things
for these very ends and purposes.

The top of the Nut hath a hole for the Urine
and Seed to come forth by, and nature hath
made a little round circle at the bottom of the
Nut, with a fit jetting out from the body of
the Yard, and when the Yard casts the Seed
into the Womb, the neck of the womb with
her own slanting fibres lays hold of it and embraceth
it, and by this circle the Seed is kept
in the womb that it cannot fly out again. The
Nut of the Yard, when it is half covered with
the foreskin, looks like an Acorn in the Cup,
and therefore some call it Glans, which in Latin
signifies an Acorn, in this Acorn or Nut of
the Yard lyeth all the pleasure of Copulation,
so that if the Nut were gone, many think
there could be no more tickling or moving in
the Seed, but all fruitful Copulation would be
lost, or at least there would be no pleasure in
the act of Generation, though the Stones might D1r 33
might move a desire to it by transmitting of
the Seed which is made by them. Let men
be careful then how they enter too far, for it
will be hard to say which were the greater
loss, of the Stones or the Nut.

Chap. XI.

Of the Womb.

The Matrix or Womb hath two parts;
the great hollow part within, and the
neck that leads to it, and it is a member
made by Nature for pro pagation of children.
The substance of the concavity of it
is sinewy, mingled with flesh, so that it is not
very quick of feeling, it is covered with a
sinewy Coat that it may stretch in time of
Copulation, and may give way when the
Child is to be born; when it takes in the Seed
from Man the whole concavity moves towardswards D2r 35
the Center, and embraceth it, and
toucheth it with both its sides. The substance
of the neck of it is musculous and
gristly with some fat, and it hath one wrinkle
upon another, and these cause pleasure in the
time of Copulation; this part is very quick
of feeling. The concavity or hollow of it
is called the Womb, or house for the infant
to lie in. Between the neck and the Womb
there is a skinny fleshy substance within,
quick of feeling, hollow in the middle, that
will open and shut, called the Mouth of the
Womb and it is like the head of a Tench,
or of a young Kitten; it opens naturally in
Copulation, in voiding menstrous blood, and
in child-birth; but at other times, especially
when a woman is with Child, it shuts so
close, that the smallest needle cannot get in
but by force.

The neck is long, round, hollow, at first
it is no wider than a mans Yard makes it,
but in maids, much less. About the middle
of it is a Pannicle called the Virgin Pannicle,
made like a net with many fine ligaments and
Veins, but a woman loseth it in the first act,
for it is then broken. At the end of the neck
there are small skins which are called foreskins;
within the neck, a little toward the
share bone, there is a short entrance, whose D2 orifice D2v 36
orifice is shut with certain fleshy and skinny
additions, whereby, and by the aforesaid
foreskin, the air coming between,
they make a hissing noise when they make

The figure of the concavity of the Womb
is foursquare, with some roundness, and hollow
below like a bladder.

There is towards the neck of the Womb on
both sides a strong ligament near the hanches,
binding the womb to the back, they are like
a Snails horns, and therefore are called the
horns of the womb.

About these horns there is one Stone on
each side, harder and smaller than Mens stones,
and not perfectly round, but flat like an Almond;
Seed is bred in them, not thick and
hot as in Men, but cold Watry seed.

These Stones have not one purse to hold
them both as Mens stones have, but each of
them hath a covering of its own that springs
from the Peritoneum, binding them about, the
horns and each of them hath a small muscle to
move them by.

The foresaid Seed-Vessels are plainted in
these Stones, and are called preparing Vessels,
descending from the Liver Vein, the great Artery
and the Emulgent Veins; then there are
other Vessels called carriers, that continually dilate D3r 37
dilate themselves and proceed as far as the
concavity of the womb, where it is joyned to
the neck, and they carry the Seed to the hollow
of the Womb.

The many Orifices of these Vessels are called
Cups, the menstruous blood runs forth by them,
and the Infant suck’s its nutriment from them
by the Veins and Arteries of the Navel, that
are joyned to these Cups.

A Woman hath no forestanders, for a womans
Vessels are soft, and do not hurt the
stones as they would do in Men because they
are so hard.

The whole Matrix considered with the
stones and Seed Vessels, is like to a mans Yard
and privities, but Mens parts for Generation
are compleat and appear outwardly by reason
of heat, but womens are not so compleat, and
are made within by reason of their small

The Matrix is like the Yard turned inside
outward, for the neck of the womb is as the
Yard, and the hollow of it with its receivers,
and Vessels, and Stones, are like the
Cods, for the Cods turned in have a hollowness,
and within the womb lye the Stones and seed
Vessels, but Mens stones and Vessels are

The place of the cut of the Matrix is betweenD3 tween D3v 38
the Fundament and the share-hbone, and
the place between both Arteries, is called the

The neck from the cut by the belly goeth
upward as far as the womb, and the place of
it is between the right Gut and the bladder;
all these are placed at length in the cavity of
the belly.

The womb is small in Maids, and less than
their bladder, neither is the hollow compleat,
but groweth bigger as the body doth. In
Maids of ripe years it is not much bigger than
you can comprehend in your hand; unless
when they come to be with Child, yet it
grows by reason of their courses. The sides
of it are fleshy, hard, and thick, but when a
Woman is with Child it is stretched out and
made thin and seems more sinewy, and then
it riseth toward the Navel more or less accordding
as the Child is in bigness.

It hath but one hollow Cell, yet this at
the bottom is in some manner divided into
two, as if there were two wombs fastened to
one neck.

For the most part Boys are bred in the right
side of it, and Girles in the left.

It joyns to the Brain by Nerves, to the
Heart by Arteries, to the Liver and Lightes by
Veins, to the right Gut by Pannicles, to the bladder D4r 39
bladder by the neck of it; which neck is short,
and comes not forth as Mens do; it is joyned
to the hanches by the hornes, the concavity
of it is loose every way, and therefore it will
fall to the sides, and sometimes it will come
all forth of the body by the neck of it. Perhaps
it is no error to say the Wombs are two,
because there are two cavities like two hollow
hands touching one the other, both covered
with one Pannicle, and both end in one channel;
No Man that sees a womb can well discern
it unless he be well skiled in the Aspects,
concerning limbs, and shadows, whereby Physicians
are much helped in many practices as well
as other Artificers.

The womb by reason of that which flows to
it, is hot and moist. It is of great use to cleanse
the body from superfluous blood, but chiefly
to preserve the Child.

It is subject to all diseases, and the whole
womb may be taken forth when it is corrupted,
as I have seen, and yet the woman may
live in good health when it is all cut away. In
the year of our Lord 1520-10-051520, upon the 5th. of
, Domianus a Chirurgion, cut out a
whole womb from one called Gentil, the wife
of Christopher Briant of Millan, in the presence
of many Learned Doctors, and other Students:
and that woman did afterwards follow her ordinaryD4 dinary D4v 40
business, and as she and her Husband
confest and reported, she kept company with
her husband, and cast forth Seed in Copulation,
and had her monthly courses as she was
wont to have before.

Chap. XII.

Of the likeness of the Privities of both

But to handle these things more particularly,
Galen saith that women have all the
parts of Generation that Men have, but Mens
are outwardly, womens inwardly.

The womb is like to a mans Cod, turned
the inside outward, and thrust inward between
the bladder and the right Gut, for then
the stones which were in the Cod, will stick
on the outsides of it, so that what was a Cod
before will be a Matrix, so the neck of the
womb which is the passage for the Yard to enter,
resembleth a Yard turned inwards, for they
are both one length, onely they differ like a
pipe, and the case for it; so then it is plain, that
when the woman conceives, the same members
are made in both sexes, but the Child proves to be D5r 41
be a Boy or a Girle as the Seed is in temper;
and the parts are either thrust forth by heat,
or kept in for want of heat; so a woman is
not so perfect as a Man, because her heat is
weaker, but the Man can do nothing without
the woman to beget Children, though some
idle Coxcombs will needs undertake to shew
how Children may be had without use of the

Chap. XIII.

Of the secrets of the Female sex, and first
of the privy passage.

Seven things are here to be observed:

  • 1.
    The Lips.
  • 2. The Wings.
  • 3. The Clitoris.

  • 4. The passage for Urine.
  • 5. The four
    fleshy Knobs.
  • 6. The membrane, or sinewy
    skin that joynes these four fleshy knobs together.7.
  • The neck of the womb.

The Lips, or Laps of the Privities are outwardly
seen, and they are made of the common
coverings of the body, having some
spongy fat, both are to keep the inward parts
from cold, and that nothing get in to offend
the womb; some call this the womans modesty,
for they are a double door like Floodgatesgates D5v 42
to shut and open: the neck of the womb
ends in this, and it is as it were a skinny addition,
for covering of the neck, answering to
the foreskin of a Mans yard. These Lips which
make the fissure of the outward orifice, are
long, soft, of a skinny and fleshy substance;
in some kind spongy and like kernels, with a
hard brawny fat under them, and they are
covered with a thin skin; but in those women
that are married, they lye lower and smoother
than in maids; when maids are ripe they are
full of hair that grows upon them, but they
are more curled in women than the hair of
Maids. They that have much hair and very
young are much given to venery.

The wings appear when the Lips are parted,
and they are made of soft spongy flesh,
and the doubling of the skin, placed at the
sides of the neck, these compass the Clitoris,
and are like a Cocks Comb. These wings besides
the great pleasure they give women in
Copulation, are to defend the Matrix from
outward violence, and serve to the orifice of
the neck of the womb as the foreskin doth
to a mans Yard, for they shut the cleft with
lips as it were, and preserve the womb from
cold air and all injuries: and they direct the
Urine through the large passage, as between
two walls, receiving it from the bottom of the D6r 43
the cleft like a Tunnel, and so it runs forth in
a broad stream and a hissng noise, not so
much as wetting the wings of the Lap as it
goes along; and therefore these wings are
called Nymphs, because they joyn to the passage
of the Urine, and the neck of the womb, out
of which as out of Fountains, whereof the
Nymphs were called Goddesses, water and humours
do flow, & besides in them is all the joy
and delight of Venus. Those parts that are seen
without are the Lips, the slit, and the groin, but
so soon as the Lips are divided there are three
slits to be seen, the greatest is the outmost and
is first seen, and there are two less slits between
the wings, which serve to close up the
parts the more firmly. But that which is the
great and long slit, is made by the Lips, and
bends backward toward the Fundament from
the share-bone downward toward the slit of
of the buttocks, and the more backward it
goes the deeper and broader it is, and so it
makes a trench like a Boat, and ends in the
welt of the orifice of the neck of the womb.

The Clitoris is a sinewy hard body, full of
spongy and black matter within it, as it is in
the side ligaments of a mans Yard, and this
Clitoris will stand and fall as the Yard doth, &
make women lustfull and take delight in Copulation,
and were it not for this they would have D6v 44
have no desire nor delight, nor would they
ever conceive. Some think that Hermaphrodites
are only women that have their Clitoris
greater, and hanging out more than others
have, and so shew like a Mans Yard,
and it is so called, for it is a small exuberation
in the upper, forward, and middle
part of the share, in the top of the greater
slit where the wings end. It differs from
the Yard in length, the common pipe, and
the want of one pair of the muscles which
the Yard hath, but is the same in place and
substance; for it hath two sinewy bodies
round, without thick and hard, but inwardly
spongy and full of holes, or pores, that
when the spirits come into it, it may stretch,
and when the spirits are dissipated it grows
loose again; these sinews as in a Mans Yard,
are full of gross black vital blood, they come
from both the share-bones and join with the
bones of the Hip, they part at first, but join
about the joining of the share-bones, and so
they make a solid hard body of the Yard;
and the end is like the Nut, to which is joined
a small muscle on each side. The head
of this counterfeit Yard is called Tertigo,
and the Wings joining cover it with a fine
skin like the foreskin; it hath a hole, but it
goes not through, and Vessels run along the back D7r 45
back of it as upon a Mans Yard; commonly
it is but a small sprout, lying close hid under
the Wings, and not easily felt, yet sometimes
it grows so long that it hangs forth
at the slit like a Yard, and will swell and
stand stiff if it be provoked, and some lewd
women have endeavoured to use it as men
do theirs. In the Indies, and Egypt they are
frequent, but I never heard but of one in this
Country, if there be any they will do what
they can for shame to keep it close.

The Clitoris in Women as it is very small
in most, serves for the same purpose as the
bridle of the Yard doth, for the womans
stones lying far distant from the Mans Yard,
the imagination passeth to the spermatical
Vessels by the Clitoris moving and the lower
ligatures of the Womb, which are joyned to
the carrying Vessels of the Seed, so by the
stirring of the Clitoris the imagination causeth
the Vessels to cast out that Seed that lyeth
deep in the body, for in this and the ligaments
that are fastened in it, lies the chief pleasure
of loves delight in Copulation; and indeed
were not the pleasure transcendently ravishing
us, a man or woman would hardly ever
die for love.

I told you the Clitoris is so long in some
women that it is seen to hang forth at their Privities D7v 46
Privities and not only the Clitoris that lyeth
behind the wings but the Wings also, for
the Wings being two skinny Caruncles, on
each side one, joyn almost at first, arising from
a welt or gard of the skin, of a ligamental
substance in the back part the slit of the neck,
and they ly hid betwixt the two Lips of the
Lap: they alwayes almost touch one the other,
and they go up to the end where the share-
bone meets, and when they joyn they make a
fleshy rising and cover the Clitoris with a foreskin
and so they rise to the top of the great
cleft. They are longer from the middle upward,
and sometimes they will hang forth a
little at the great slit without the lips with
a blunt corner; yet they are threesquare,
like that part of a Cocks Comb that hangs
down under his throat both for form and
colour; they are soft and spongy, partly
fleshy, and partly skinny. In some Countries
they grow so long that the Chirurgion
cuts them off to avoid trouble and shame,
chiefly in Egypt; they will bleed much when
they are cut, and the blood is hardly stopt;
wherefore maids have them cut off betimes,
and before they marry, for it is a flux of humours
to them, and much motion that makes
them grow so long. Some Sea-memn say
that they have seen Negro Women go stark naked D8r 47
naked, and these wings hanging out.

Besides these, under the Clitoris and above
the neck is the passage of the womans water,
for the Woman makes not water through the
neck of the womb, nor is it a common passage
for Urine and Seed as in men, but it is
only for Urine, therefore they that will cast an
injection into the womans cleft to stop their
water from coming forth too much upon any
occasion concerns their bladder, must
take heed they thrust not the spring into the
mouth of the Matrix instead of the passage of
the bladder.

Near this are four Caruncles or fleshy
knobs, in form like to Mirtle berries, they
are round in maids, but they flag and hang
down as soon as their maidenhead is lost,
the uppermost of them is forked and largest,
that it may admit the neck of the urinary
passage; the other three are below this on the
sides; they all serve to keep off air or any
thing may offend the neck of the womb.

Maids have these fleshy knobs joyned together
by a sinewy skin interwoven with many
small veins, and with a hole in the middle,
and through that their Courses pass, it is
about the bigness of a mans little finger in
such as are grown up; this is that skin so
much talked of, and is the token of Virginityty D8v 48
wheresoever it is, for the first act of Copulation
breaks it; some think that it is not
found in all maids, but doubtless that is false,
else it could have been no proof of Virginity
to the Israelites. Yet certain it is that
it may be broken before Copulation, either
by defluxion of sharp humours, especially
in young maids, or by thrusting in of Pessaries
unskilfully to provoke the Terms, and
many other ways.

The four fleshy knobs with this are like
a Rose half blown when the bearded leaves
are taken away, or this production with the
Lap or privity is like a great Clove-gilleflower
new blown, thence came the word

The Arabians thought this skin called Hymen
was the joining of five Veins together
as they are placed on both sides; but that is

Termelius thought the sides of the womb
stuck together and were parted by Copulation;
there are many other opinions needless
to trouble the Reader with. Whatsoever
it is, there are certain Veins in it which
bleed in the breaking of it; and the Hebrew
maids were more careful to keep it unbroken,
than the French and Italian are; or else
Columbus would not say it is seldom found; and E1r 49
and Laurentius professeth he never could find

It lieth alwayes hid in the middle of the
great cleft, and is peculiar no doubt to all
maids, it is as long as the little finger and is
broad in the middle, and is compassed about
with a round hollowness, the fashion of it is
round, but it ends in a point that hath a
hole in it so long as the top of the little finger
may be put into it; it is partly fleshy
and partly skinny; there are also four skins,
like Mirtle berries, as I said, at every corner
of the bosome one, and there are also four
membranes or skins that tie these together,
and they go not slanting, but they run all
right downward, from the inside of the said
bosome, and are each of them placed in the
distance between the foresaid fleshy skins,
and with them they are almost equally
stretched out; but both these and they are
in several bodies shorter or larger, and
the orifice at the end of them, wider or
smaller, the hole is then straitest when the
fleshy skins are nearest joined together; for
this cause some maids suffer not so much pain
to lose their Maidenhead as others do; for
when the Yard first enters the neck of the
womb, the fleshy membranes and caruncles
are torn up, and the caruncles are so stretchedE ched E1v 50
that a man would think they were never
join’d together; some Vessels are opened
by this means, & by reason of the pain puts
maids to a squeek or two, but it is soon over;
the younger the maids are the greater the
pain, because of the dryness of the part,
but they lose less blood in the act because
of the smallness of the Vessels: the elder they
are, by reason of their courses that have often
flowed, the moisture is more and the pain
less, by reason of the wetness and looseness
of the Hymen, but the Flux of blood is greater,
because the Vessels are greater, and the
blood hath gotten a fuller passage thither;
some pain there will be for all this but not
much; yet if they have their Courses then
running, or have had them some three or four
daies before, the membranes are so dilated
by the moisture of those parts that the pain
is far less; which hath been a reason why
some persons have been jealous of their new
married Wives without a cause, thinking
they had lost their Maidenheads before. It
is best therefore for maids new married to
keep their honour, and not to suffer any man
to touch them during the time they have
their monthly Terms. Besides that it is forbidden
severely by the Law of God; and
Physicians know, that those Children that are begotten E2r 55
begotten during the time of separation will
be Leprous, and troubled with an incurable
Itch and Scabs as long as they

Also next to their caruncles lieth the outward
cleft of the neck, and is placed as it
were in the Trench of the great cleft, and is
full of wrinkles and like a narrow valley leads
the way by a round cavity into the inmost
parts, and causeth the outward orifice of the
neck of the womb, by which the Yard enters,
to provoke the womans parts to give
forth their Seed, and to cast in his own.
There is a skinny ligament also in the back
parts of the outward orifice of the neck
which is strait in Maids, and is covered
by the Trench, but in women that
have born Children it is large and loose, and
a certain sign, as well as the former, that
Virginity is lost.

The neck of the womb is the distance between
the Privy passage, and the mouth of
the womb; into this the mans Yard enters
in time of Copulation. It is eight inches
long if the Woman be of a reasonable stature.

The substance of the Matrix is fleshy without,
but skinny and all wrinkled within,
that it may be able to retain the Seed, & that it E2 may E2v 52
may stretch exceedingly in Childbirth.

The neck of it stands directly betwixt that
Urinary passage and the right Gut; which
are the two great sinks of the body, that
vain Man should not be over proud of his beginning.

It hath two membranes, and if you cut
them you shall see a spongy flesh between
them, such as is found in the five ligaments
of the Yard, and it contains vital spirits, and
causeth it to swell in the time of Copulation,
and is full of numberless twigs of small Veins
and Arteries.

The neck of the womb is the third part of
it, and into it, as I said, the mans yard passeth,
it is a passage within the passage of the
Peritoneum called the Bason or Laver, placed
between the right Gut and the bladder
and it is whiter than the superficies of the
bottom; the cavity is deep, but the mouth
or entrance is much narrower, it reacheth
from the inward mouth of the womb to the
outward mouth or lips of the Privities. It is
a fit sheath to receive the Yard, and is long
that by it the mans Seed may be carried to
the orifice of the Womb; it grows longer
or shorter in time of Copulation, and wider
and narrower, as the mans Yard is, so it
swells more or less, is more open and more E3r 53 shut
shut; the length and wideness cannot be limited,
because it is fit for any Yard: yet I
have heard a French man complain sadly,
that when he first married his Wife, it was
no bigger nor wider than would fit his turn,
but now it was grown as a Sack; Perhaps the
fault was not the womans but his own, his
weapon shrunk and was grown too little for
the scabbard.

The neck of the womb is continued with
the bottom of it, yet it hath a diverse substance
from it, for it is sinewy and skinny that it may
with more care be enlarged or contracted,
not become too hard nor too soft.

The substance of it is spongy and fungous,
like that of a mans Yard, that when there is
Copulation, it may close about the Yard, which
it doth by reason of many small Arteries which
fill up the passage with spirits and make it become
narrower. Wherefore in women that
are lustfull, it swels in that time of desire, and
the caruncles strut out, and the hole grows
very strait.

In young maids it is more soft and delicate,
but it grows every day harder as they grow
elder; after many Children, and in old women
it becomes hard like a gristle, by reason
it is so often worn and by the Courses flowing

E3 It E3v 54

It is smooth when you stretch it, and slippery,
but otherwise full of wrinkles, unless it
be where it ends in the Lap. In the entrance
of the passage and in the fore part, there are
many round folds and plaights, which cause
the more pleasure in Venus action, by the attraction
of the Nut of the Yard. In young
women these folds are smoother and narrower,
and the passage straiter, that it will
scarce admit a finger to go in, yet through
this do pass not onely the Menstruous blood,
but also corrupt humours in those that have
that disease is called the Whites.

Chap. XIV.

Of the Vessels preparing Seed in Women.

As in Men so in Women, the Seed vessels
are either preparing or carrying Vessels.
The Preparing vessels are neither more nor
less than they are in Men; for they are just
four, two Veins and two Arteries; and they
arise as they do in men, for the right Vein is
derived from the pipe of the great Liver vein
under the Emulgent, but the left comes from
the Emulgent on the left side: both the Arteriesteries E4r 55
come from the trunk of the great Artery,
yet I do not say that there is no difference between
these in men and women, for then it
had been needless to go over this subject any

The differences are chiefly two; 1. Because
womens passages are shorter, these vessels
are shorter in women than they are in
men, for womens stones lye in their bellies,
but mens hang without in their Cods, but
womens Vessels have by far more windings
and turnings, hither and thither, out and in,
than mens have, that the matter they bring
may be better prepared; their windings up
and down prove that they are not shorter, if
they had room to go any farther as they have
in Men.

It is worth observing, that you may know
that the Vessels of the womb have union and
communion one with the other, both the
Veins & the Arteries; for the vital and natural
blood are mingled to perform this great work,
and it is thus brought to pass. The spermatick
Veins passing by the side of the womb joyn
with the foresaid Arteries, and then they
make this mixture, and this is easily proved;
for if you blow up the Seed Vein with a hollow
pipe or quill, you shall see all the Vessels
of the womb to swell at the same time, and to E4 be E4v 56
be blown up with it; which is enough to confirm
that they are all mingled and united.

These four Vessels bring the Seed from all
parts of the body, that they may fit it & make it
ready for Natures use. The right vein comes
from the trunk of the hollow Liver vein, below
the Emulgent vein, nigh unto the great hollow
bone: but the left vein comes from the left Emulgent
vein, for the great Artery is seated on
this side by the hollow vein, and that Artery
beats & throbs continually; and if the left Seed
vein had come from the Trunk of the hollow
vein as the right doth, it must have past over
the great Artery, and then the never ceasing
beating of the Artery would have broken this
thin Vein, if nature had not provided the
foresaid remedy against it. The Arteries both
of them have the same beginning as they have
in men, for they come from the Trunk of
the great Artery, near the great bone under
the Emulgent vein, and they are filled with
vital blood, as the two Veins are with natural
blood. Yet they do not fall out of the Peritoneum
as the Arteries of men do, nor do they
reach the share-bone, because women have no
reason to cast their Seed out of themselvs, but
onely into their own womb, which is but a
short way; nor do these Arteries interweave or grow E5r 57
grow together till they come into their stones;
but with some variation again they are divided;
for in women they are supported with fat
membranes, & so brought to the Stones; yet by
the way as they come they inoculate the
Veins with the Arteries, and after that they
branch into two parts, and the one part makes
the Seed vessels, and that which is called Corpus
, affording to the Cods and stones
some small twigs for to feed them; but the
other part is carried to the skin that cleaves to
the bottom of the Matrix, and supplieth the
higher part of its bottom with nourishment,
and feeds the Infant in the womb also with
blood: and moreover by these Vessels the
monthly Terms are voided forth, especially
of such women that are not with Child; but
in Men they are all wrought up into one body
which is called Corpus varicosum.

The difference that they make in shortness
from the same Vessels in men, may be for this
reason also, because the womans Seed doth
not need so strong and great preparing as
mens Seed doth; nor could their Vessels have
been kept within the womans belly, had they
not been made shorter than mens. But it is
admirable to consider how strangely these
Vessels are infolded and wrapt up one within
the other to prepare the Seed: Yet because womens E5v 58
womens stones are but small their Seed vessels
needed not to be great; so that if they have
any Prostates, saith Galen, to keep the Seed in,
they are so small they can hardly be discerned.

Chap. XV.

Of the Seed-carrying Vessels in Women.

These vessels that carry the Seed come
from the lower part of the stones, they
are on each side one, and are propt up by the
ligaments of the womb, they are white and
sinewy, they do not go directly to the womb,
but with many windings, and turnings, because
the way is short, they are broad near the
stones, then they grow less, and again when
they come to the womb they are enlarged,
they go to the horns of the womb and there
they end, and by those horns they pass into the
womb, this may be plainly seen in other Female
creatures as well as in women though
with much difference.

These vessels in their twistings are like to the
Seed bladders as are in men; full of wrinkles, &
in the midst they have a hole or mouth like to a Trum- E6r 59
a Trumpets mouth, and it is curled up like
Vine tendrils, they are more folded together
than in Men, because they are not to pass
through the Peritoneum, for womens stones
do not hang forth as mens do. Also they do
not come from the stones presently to the
neck of the bladder as with men, but they
go from the stones to the womb, and when
they come to the sides of it, called the horns,
there they part, and one part which is larger
and shorter enters into the middle of the
horns of his own side, or very near it, and
there it delivers in, and so into the cavity
of the womb, Seed perfectly concocted; but
the other part which is longer though it be
narrower, passeth along by the sides of the
womb to the neck of it on both sides, and
below the innermost mouth of the womb they
are implanted under the neck of it into the
forestanders, which are not so plain to be
seen as they are with men, yet these hold the
Seed there till it is the time of Copulation,
and then they cast it forth, for thus women
great with Child do spend their Seed, and
not by opening the innermost mouth of the
womb as some falsely think; for so soon as a
woman conceives, the mouth of the womb
is most exactly shut close, yet they can lye with
men all that while; and some women before others, E6v 60
others, will take more pleasure, and are more
desirous of their Husbands company than before,
which is scarce seen in any other female
creatures besides, most of them being fully
satisfied after they have conceived; but it was
needful for man that it should be so, because
polygamy is forbidden by the Laws of God.

Chap. XVI.

Of Women stones.

Women have need of stones to concoct
and digest their Seed as well as men;
the use of stones in both sexes is to make Seed
fruitful, for if either the stones of the man or
woman be out of temper they must needs be
barren and unfruitful, nor is there any greater
sign of health than when the stones are well;
and of this Jugement was that great Physician

There are many differences betwixt the
stones of both sexes. 1. In place, because
women are colder than men, their stones are
kept within their lower belly to keep them
warm and to make them fruitful, and they lye
on either side of the womb, above the bottom,
when women are not with Child; but when
they are with Child, these stones lye near the place E7r 61
place where the hanch-bone, and the holybone
join, and they are contained in loose
skins coming from the Peritoneum, which
skins cover also half the Stones, and they lie
upon the Muscles of the Loins within the

2. Womans Stones have no Cod to hold
them as Mens have; they have but one skin
to cover them, for lying within the body
they need no more; but mens Stones have
four several skins to keep them warm because
they hang without their bellies. Also
the Cod or rather coat for the Stones, is softer,
and thinner than the mans, and cleaves
fast to them, that it seems to be the same body
with them; this coat also receives the
Vessels of blood, and wrapping them fast
keeps the blood from shedding forth.

3. Womens Stones are not so thick, nor
great, nor round, nor smooth, nor hard as
mens are; but they are small and uneven, and
broad and flat both before and behind;
whereas mens are oval, smooth, large, round
and equall; the upper side of womens Stones
are so unequal that they resemble small kernels
of the Kall joined together and they are
long and hollow with small textures in
them, and they are full of a watry humour
like very thick Whey when Women are in good E7v 62
good health, but when they are sickly they
seem like bladders full of a clear watry humour,
and sometimes of a yellow colour
like Saffron, and will stink, so that it oftentimes
causeth the strangling of the Mother,
which Midwives call fits of the Mother.

4. Their Stones are also colder and moister,
and so is their Seed, and therefore women
have no Beards on their faces because of
the coldness of their Stones.

5. They have no forestanders.
Mans Seed is the agent and womans Seed
the patient, or at least not so active as the
mans. Aristotle denyed that women had any
seed at all; and Jovianus Pontanus would
prove this by the Moon, which Aristotle likeneth
to women in act of Procreation, who
held that the Moon doth nothing but bring
moist matter for the Sun to work upon in
things below, but Hermetick Philosophy will
prove, that the moisture the Moon brings,
hath an active principle as well as the Sun:
and so doubtless women are not only passive
in Procreation, but active also as well as the
man though not in so high a degree of action:
her seed is more watry, and mans seed full
of vital spirits, more condensed, thick and
glutinous; for had the womans seed been as
thick as the mans, they could never have been E8r 63
been so perfectly mingled together.

Chap. XVII.

Of the Womb it self or Matrix.

The Womb is that Field of Nature into
which the Seed of man and woman is
cast, and it hath also an attractive faculty to
draw in a magnetique quality, as the Loadstone
draweth Iron, or Fire the light of the
Candle, and to this seed runs the Womans
blood also, to beget, nourish, encrease and
preserve the Infant till it is time for it to be
born; for the natural and vegetable Soul is
virtually in the Seed, and runs through the
whole mass, and is brought into act by the
Virtue and heat of the Woman that receives
the Seed, and by the forming faculty which
lies hid in the Seed of both Sexes, and in the
di sposition of the womb both Seeds are well
mingled together at the same time in all parts
of the body, I mean as to the parts made of
Seed, but as for the parts made with blood,
they are made at several times, as they can
sooner or later procure nourishment and spirits.
The parts therefore next the Liver are
sooner made than those that are far from it, and E8v 64
and those are first made that the mothers
blood first runs to, that is first the Navel
Vein, and that being first made, by that the
blood is carried to other parts.

The Womb is like a Bottle or Bladder
blown when the Infant is in it, and it lieth
in the lower belly, and in the last place amongst
the entrails by the water course, because
this is easily enlarged as the child grows
in the Womb; and the child is by this means
more easily begot, and the Woman delivered
of it; nor is it any hindrance to the parts
of nutrition while the woman continues
with Child; but had the Womb where the
Infant lieth, been seated in the middle or upper
belly, the child would have been soon
stifled, for the womb could not have stretched
wider according to the growth of the
Child, because the bones that compass the
upper belly would have hindered it.

The hollow part of the belly where the
Womb lieth is called the Bason, and it is placed
between the Bladder and the right Gut;
the bladder stands before it, and is a strong
membrane to defend it, and the right Gut
lieth behind it, as a pillow to keep off the hardness
of the backbone, so that the womb lieth
in the middle of the lowest belly to ballance
the body equally, and to contain the womb: F1r 65
Womb: the Bason is larger in women than
in men, as you may see by their larger buttocks.
As the child grows, the bottom of
the womb which lieth uppermost, lying at liberty
and not tyed, grows upward towards
the Navel, and so leans upon the small
Guts, and so fills all the hollow of the
flancks when women are near the time to
bring forth.

The Womb is fastened and tied partly by
the substance of it, and also by four ligaments,
two above, and two beneath, but the bottom
is not tied neither before, nor behind, nor above,
but is free and at liberty, that it can
stretch as need requires in Copulation, or
Child-bearing, and it hath a kind of animal
motion to satisfie its desire. Galen saith,
that the sides are fastened to the hanch-bone
by membranes, & ligaments, coming from the
muscles of the Loyns, and interwoven ofttimes
with fleshy fibres, and carried to other
parts of the womb to hold it fast.

The neck of the womb is tied, but not every
side, to the parts that lie near it; at the
sides it is loosely tied to the Peritoneum by
certain membranes that grow to it, and on
the back part it is fastened with thin fibres,
and a little fat to the right Gut and the holy-
bone, it lieth upon that fat all along that F passage F1v 66
passage, and it grows into one with the Fundament,
above the Lap, to which it is joined
before; if the Fundament chance to be ulcerated
within, the dung hath been seen to
fall out at the Lap.

The fore part is knit to the neck of the
bladder, and because the wombs neck is
broader than the neck of the bladder, some
part of it is fastened by membranes coming
from the Peritoneum to the share-bone; from
hence it happens that when the womb is inflamed,
the Woman hath a great desire to go
to stool and to make water, but cannot.

The lower strings that fasten the Womb
are two also, called the horns of the womb;
they are sinewy, round, reddish, and hollow,
chieflly at their ends, like to the husky
membrane; and sometimes this hollowness
is full of fat; these horns come from the sides
of the Womb, and at their first coming forth
they touch the Seed-carrying Vessels. When
these productions are stretched too much, as
they are ofttimes in hard labour in Childbirth,
there happens to women a rupture as
well as to men, but they may be cured by cutting
and strong ligatures.

Fleshy fibres are joined to these productions
after they come forth of the Abdomen,
and they are small Muscles called holders up, in F2r 67
in Women they belong not to the Stones as
they do in men, because they join in men to
the Seed Vessels. When these ligaments come
at the share-bone, they change into a broad
sinewy slenderness, mingled with a membrane
which toucheth and covers the fore-
part of the share-bone, and upon this the
Clitoris cleaveth and is tied, which being
nervous, and of pure feeling, when it is rubbed
and stirred it causeth lustful thoughts,
which being communicated to these ligaments,
is passeth to the Vessels that carry the
seed. Yet these holders up serve for other
uses, for as they are Muscles that hold up the
Stones in men, so they hold up the womb in
women that it may be kept fom falling out at
the Lap.

The parts then of the womb are two; The
neck or mouth, and the bottom: The neck
is the entrance into it, which will open and
shut like a purse; for in the act of Copulation
it receives the Yard into it, but after conception
the point of a Bodkin cannot pass;
yet when the time comes for the Child to
come forth, it will open and make room enough
for the greatest child that is conceived:
This made Galen wonder, and so should we
all, to consider how fearfully and wonderfully
God hath made us as the Psalmist saith; F2 The F2v 68
“The Works of the Lord are wonderful, to be
sought out of all those that take Pleasure therein.”

The form of the womb is exactly round,
and in maids it is no bigger than a walnut,
yet it will stretch so after conception, that
it will easily contain the child and all that belongs
to it; it is small at first to embrace the
Seed that is but little cast into it. It is made
of two skins, an outward, and an inward
skin, the outward is thick, smooth, and
slippery, excepting those parts where the Seed
Vessels come into the womb; the inward skin
is full of small holes.

It is far different from the Matrix of beasts,
which Galen knew not, for the Grecians in those
daies held it an abomination to dissect any
man or woman though they were dead; all
the knowledge of Anatomy they learned,
was by dissecting Apes and such Creatures
that were the most like to mankind, but the
inside of men or women they saw not, and
so were ignorant of the difference between
them. Whence it is confirmed, that they
knew not the seat of some diseases so well
as we do, and therefore must need fall short
of the cure; nor would they use the means
to find out what disease they died of, which
true Anatomy would have made known to
them, and would have been a great furtheranceance F3r 69
to preserve others that were sick of the
same diseases that others died of before.

It hath been much and long disputed how
many Cells are in the womb: Mundinus and
Galen say there are seven several Cells, and
that a woman may, by reason of so many
places distinct one from the other, have seven
Children at a birth, and many midwives are of
this opinion, but none that ever saw the
womb can think so; for there is but one
hollow place, unless Men will say that those
holes where the seed vessels come into the
womb are places for Children to be conceived
in. They that maintain seven Cells in the
womb, say a woman may have seven Children
at a birth, three Boys, three Girls, and
one Hermaphrodite; others say a woman can
have but two Children at once because nature
hath given her but two breasts, she may as
well go but two Miles because she hath but
two legs, but it is usual for women to have
three at one birth: In Egypt the place is so
fruitful they have sometimes five or six at a
birth. Aristotle tells us of one woman, that at
four births brought forth twenty perfect living
Children: but Albertus Magnus tells us of
one woman who miscarryed of two and twenty
perfect Children at once, and of another
that had one hundred and fifty at once, and F3 every F3v 70
every one of them as big as a Mans little finger,
but believe him that will: yet the story
of Margaret Countess of Holsteed, whose Tomb
is said to be in a Monastery in Holland, is much
lowder, to have had three hundred and sixty
four living Infants born at a birth all living,
& Christned. But to let this pass, and come to
what we know.

How comes it to pass that Twins are conceived
at the same time, if the womb have no
more but one Cell?

Empedocles saith, the cause is plenty of seed
that is sufficient to make more than one Child:
Asclepiades ascribes it to the strength of the
seed ejected: And Ptolomy to the position of
the Starrs when Children are begot.

That twins are begot at the same act of Copulation
is held by all Antient and modern
Writers, for the seed say they being not cast
into the womb all at once, divides in the
womb, and makes more Children; another
reason they give is, that the womb, when it
hath received the Seed, shuts so close that no
more Seed can enter.

I answer to the first question, That the beginning
of conception is not so soon as the
Seed is cast into the womb, for then a woman
would conceive every time she receives
it. But the perfect mixing of the seed of both sexes F4r 71
sexes is the beginning of conception, and it is
hard to believe, that the womb that is so
small at first, that it will hardly hold a Bean,
and having but one Cell, can mingle the man
and womans seed together exactly in two
places at the same time, and it is certain it
shuts so close that no place is left for the air
to enter in.

Second Answer, The womb doth not shut
so close presently but that superfluous seed
may come forth, and after conception the
pleasures of Venus will open the womb at any
time, for it opens the Muscles willingly in
such cases; nor do all Authors agree that
Twins are begotten at the same time, for all
the Stoick Philosophers hold that they are begotten
at several times, and if you read the
Treatise of Hermes, he will tell you, that
Twins are not conceived at the same minute
of time; for if they were conceived at once,
they must be born at once, which is impossible.
Some may object, that the Treatise of Hermes
speaks not to a minute, but if it be true to
a Sign ascending, it must be true to a Degree,
and to a minute, and Second.

All Authors allow of a superfetation, that is,
the woman may conceive again when she hath
conceiv’d of one Child before she be delivered
of that. So Alcumena in Plautus Amphitrio, is F4 said F4v 72
said to have brought forth Hercules at seven
Moneths, and Iphyclus three moneths after.
Hippocrates tells us of a woman of Larista who
was delivered of two perfect living Children
at forty days distance one from the other.
Avicenna holds, that all women that have
their Terms after conception, may conceive
again before the first be born; and if they can
conceive so long after again before the first be
delivered, much rather sooner when the womb
is not filled with the growth of the first. But
to end this dispute we read INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. 4.2. That
“Eve conceived again and bare his brother Abel;”;
the Original signifies, she conceived upon conception,
and bare his brother Abel. And in the
Treatise of Hermes you shall find a reason why
two Children may be conceived a moneth asunder
and yet born about the same time, and a
woman may miscarry of one of them, and yet
go her full time with the other, as Hippocrates
shews in his Book De natura Pueri: Nay he
relates of women that brought forth two
Children at one birth, and a third fifteen
weeks after. Let then Midwives take heed
that they do not force the second Child before
its time especially if there be no great
flux of bloud nor signs of labour appearing.

Question. Why do women desire Copulation
when they have already conceived, and
beasts do not?

Pappea F5r 73

Pappea the Daughter of Agrippa a Roman, a
lustful lass answered, because they are beasts.
Some say it is a vertue and prerogative given
to women, but they are those that call Vice
Vertue. The truth is that Adam’s first sin lyeth
heavy upon his posterity, more than upon
beasts, & for this the curse of God follows them,
and inordinate lust is a great part of this curse,
& the propagation of many Children at once is
an effect of this intemperance. Hippocrates forbids
women to use Copulation after conception;
but I may not wrong the Man so much.
But these are the fruits of Original sin, for
which we ought to humble our selves in the
presence of God, and pray earnestly for his
assistance against the effects of it.

Chap. XVIII.

Of the fashion and greatness of the
Womb, and of the parts it is made

The womb is of the form of a Pear, round
toward the bottom and large, but narrow
by degrees to the neck, the roundness of
it makes it fit to contain much, and it is thereforefore F5v 74
less subject to be hurt. When women are
wthwith Child the bottom is broad like a bladder,
& the neck narrow; but where they are not wth
Child the bottom is no broader than the neck.
Some womens wombs are larger than others,
according to the age, stature, and burden
that they bear; Maids wombs are small and
less than their bladders; but womens are greater,
especially after they have once had a
Child, and so it will continue. It stretcheth
after they have conceived, and the larger it
extends the thicker it grows.

It hath parts of two kinds; The simple parts
it is made of, are Membranes, Veins, Nerves,
and Arteries.

The compound parts are four; the mouth,
the bottom, the neck, and the Lap or lips.
The membranes are two as I said, one outward
and the other inward, that it may open
and shut at pleasure; the outward membrane
is sinewy, and the thickest of all the membranes
that come from the Peritoneum; it is
strong and doubled, and cloaths the womb to
make it more strong, and grows to it on both
sides: The inward membrane is double also,
but can scarce be seen but in exulcerations of
the womb. When the woman conceives it is
thick and soft, but it grows thicker daily,
and is thickest when the time of birth is. Fibres of F6r 75
of all kinds run between these membranes, to
draw and keep the Seed, and to thrust forth
the burthen; and the flesh of the womb is chiefly
made up of fleshy Fibres.

The three sorts of Fibres for Seed do plainly
appear after women have gone long with
Child, those that draw the seed are inward,
and are not many, because the Seed is most
cast into the womb by the Yard, the thwart
Fibres are strongest, and most, and they are in
the middle, but the Fibres that lye transverse
are strong also, and lye outward, because
it is great force that is required in time
of delivery.

The Veins & Arteries that pass through the
membranes of the womb come from divers
places, for two Veins and two Arteries come
from the Seed Vessels, and two veins and two
Arteries from the vessels in the lower belly,
and run upward, that from all the body, both
from above and under, blood of all sorts might
be conveighed, to bring nourishment for the
womb, and for the infant in it; also they
serve as Scavengers to purge out the Terms
every moneth. The twigs of the Vein that is in
the lower belly, mingle in the womb with
the branches of the Seed veins, and the mouths
of them reach into the hollow of the womb,
and they are called cups; through these comes more F6v 76
more blood alwaies than the infants needs, that
the Child may never want nutriment in the
womb, and there may be some to spare when
the time comes for the Child to be born; but
after the birth, this blood comes not hither
but goes to the Breasts to make Milk; but at all
other times it is cast out monethly what is
superfluous, and if it be not it corrupts and
causeth fits of the Mother; yet they come
oftner from the Seed corrupted, and staying
there than they do from blood.

It is not onely blood is voided by the
Terms, but multitude of humours and excrements,
and these purgations last sometimes
three or four days, sometimes a week, and
young folk have them when the Moon changeth,
but women in years at the full of the
Moon; which is to be observed, that we
may know when to give remedies to Maids
whose Terms come not down, for we must do
it in the time when the Moon is new or ready
to change, and to elder women about the
time that Nature useth to send them forth,
because a Physician is but a helper to nature,
and if he observe not natures rules he will sooner
kill than cure.

The sinews of the womb are small but many,
and interwoven like Net-work, which
makes it quick of feeling; they come to the upper F7r 77
upper part of the bottom from the branches
of the Nerves of the sixth Conjugation,
which go to the root of the ribs,
and to the lower part of the bottom, and
to the neck of the Womb from the marrow
of the Loins, and the great bone.
Thus they by their quick feeling cause pleasure
in Copulation, and Expulsion of what
offends the part; they are most plentiful at
the bottom of the Womb, to quicken and
strengthen it in attracting and embracing the
seed of man.

There is but one continued passage from
the top or Lap to the bottom of the Womb;
yet some divide it into four parts; namely

  • the upper part, or bottom, for
    that lieth uppermost in the body.
  • 2.
    The mouth or inward orifice of the neck.

  • 3. The neck.
  • 4. The outward Lap, Lips,
    or Privity.

The chief part of these, which is properly
the Womb or Matrix, is the bottom;
here is the Infant conceived, kept,
formed, and fed until the rational Soul
be infused from above, and the Child born;
The broader part or bottom is set above
the share-bone that it may be dilated as the
Child grows, the outside is smooth and overlaid F7v 78
overlaid with a watry moisture: there is
a corner on each side above, and when
Women are not with Child the seed is poured
out into these, for the carrying Vessels
for seed are planted into them: They
are to make more room for the Child,
and at first it is so small that the Parents
seed fills it full, for it embraceth it, be it
never so little, as close as ’tis possible;
the bottom is full of pores, but they are
but the mouths of the Cups by which the
blood in Child-bearing comes out of the
Veins of the womb into the cavity. The
corners of the wombs bottom are wrinkled,
the bottom is softer than the neck of
it; yet harder than the Lap and more thick.
From the lower part of the bottom comes
a piece an inch long like the Nut of the
mans Yard, but small as ones little finger,
and a Pins point will but enter into it, but
it is rough to keep the Seed from recoiling
after it is once attracted, for when
the parts are overslippery the humours are
peccant, and those women are barren. Hippocrates
saith, that sometimes part of the
kall falls between the bladder and the womb
and makes women fruitless.

This part may well be reckoned for another
part of the womb, for it lieth between the F8r 79
the beginning of the bottom and the mouth, &
there is a clear passage in it. The womb hath
two mouths, the inward mouth and the outward,
by the inward mouth the bottom opens
directly into the neck, this mouth lyeth
overthwart like the mouth of a Place, or
the passage of the Nut of the Yard; the
whole Orifice with the slit transverse is
like the Greek Letter Theta Θ: it is so little
and narrow that the Seed once in can scarce
come back, nor any offensive thing enter into
the hollow of the womb. The mouth lies
directly against the bottom, for the Seed
goeth in a streight line from the neck to the

The womb is alwayes shut but in time of
generation, and then the bottom draws in
the Seed, and it presently shuts so close that
no needle, as I said, can find an entrance, and
thus it continues till the time of delivery, unless
some ill accident, or disease force it to open;
for when women with child are in
Copulation with men, they do give seed
forth, but that seed comes not from the bottom,
as some think, but by the neck of the
womb. It must open when a child is born so
wide as to give passage for it by degrees, because
the neck of the womb is of a compact
thick substance, and thicker when the birth is F8v 80
is nigh; wherefore there cleaves to it a body
like glew, and by that means the mouth
opens safely without danger of being torn or
broken, and as often as the passage is open it
comes away like a round crown, and Midwives
call it the Rose, the Garland, or the
Crown. If this mouth be too often and unreasonably
opened by too frequent coition, or
in over moist bodies, or by the whites, it
makes women barren, and therefore Whores
have seldom any Children; it is the
same reason if it grow too hard, or thick, or
fat, also the Cancer and the Schirrhus, two
diseases incurable, which happen but seldom
till the courses fail, are bred here.

Thus I have as briefly and as plainly as I
could, laid down a description of the parts of
generation of both sexes, purposely omitting
hard names, that I might have no cause to
enlarge my work, by giving you the meaning
of them where there is no need, unless it
be for such persons who desire rather to know
Words than Things.

Book G1r 81

Book II.

Chap. I.

What things are required for the procreation
of Children.

Ihave in the former part made a short explanation
of the parts of both sexes,
that are needful for this use, but yet
some think that there is no need of describing
the parts of them both, because
some have written that the Generative parts
in men, differ not from those in women, but
in respect of place and situation in the body;
and that a woman may become a man, and
that one Tyresias was a man for many years,
and after that was strangely metamorphos’d
into a woman, and again from a woman
to a man, and that in regard he had been of
both sexes, he was chosen as the most fit G Judge G1v 82
Judge to determine that great question, which
of the two Male or Female find most pleasure
in time of Copulation. Some again hold that
man may be changed into a woman, but a
woman can never become a man; but let every
man abound in his own opinion, certain
it is, that neither of these opinions is true:
for the parts in men and women are different
in number, and likeness, substance, and proportion;
the Cod of a man turned inside outward
is like the womb, yet the difference is
so great that they can never be the same; for
the Cod is a thin wrinkled skin, but the womb
at the bottom is a thick membrane all fleshy
within, and woven with many small fibres,
and the Seed-Vessels are implanted so that
they can never change their place; and moreover
their Stones are for shape, magnitude,
and composition too different to suffer a
change of the sex; so that of necessity there
must be a conjunction of Male and Female for
the begetting of children. Insects and imperfect
creatures are bred sundry wayes,
without conjunction; but it is not so with
mankind, but both sexes must concur, by
mutual embracements, and there must be a
perfect mixture of Seed issueing from them
both, which vertually contain the Infant
that must be formed from them. God made all things G2r 83
things of nothing but man must have some
matter to work upon or he can produce nothing.

The two principles then that are necessary
in this case are the seed of both sexes,
and the mothers blood; the seed of the Male
is more active than that of the Female in forming
the creature, though both be fruitful,
but the female adds blood as well as seed out
of which the fleshy parts are made, & both the
fleshy and spermatick parts are maintain’d and
preserv’d. What Hippocrates speaks of two
sorts of Seed in both kinds, strong and weak
seed, hot and cold, is to be understood only
of strong and weak people, and as the seed
is mingled, so are Boys and Girls begotten.

The Mothers blood is another principle of
Children to be made; but the blood hath no
active quality in this great work, but the seed
works upon it, and of this blood are the chief
parts of the bowels and the flesh of the
muscles formed, and with this both the
spermatical and fleshy parts are fed; this blood
and the menstrual blood, or monthly Terms
are the same, which is a blood ordained by
Nature for the procreation and feeding of the
Infant in the Womb, and is at set times purged
forth what is superfluous; and it is an excrementG2 crement G2v 84
of the last nutriment of the fleshy
parts, for what is too much for natures use
she casts it forth; for women have soft loose
flesh and small heat, and cannot concoct all
the blood she provides, nor discuss it but by
this way of purgation. The efficient cause
of this purging, are the Veins that are burdened
with this superfluity of the remaining
blood, and desire to be discharged of it.
Yet nature keeps an exact method and order
in all her works; and therefore she doth
not send this blood out but at certain periods
of time, viz. once every month, and that only
in some persons: generally maids have
their terms at fourteen years old, and they
cease at about fifty years, for they want heat
and cannot breed much good blood nor expel
what is too much; yet those that are weak
sometimes have no courses till eighteen or
twenty, some that are strong have them till
almost sixty years old, fulness of blood and
plenty of nutriment in diet brings them
down sometimes at twelve years old: but
commonly in Climacterical or twice seven
years they break forth, heat and strength making
way for them, and then maids will not
be easily ruled, for their passages grow larger,
the humours flow, and they find a way by
their own thinness of parts, being helped by the G3r 85
the expulsive faculty. Men about the same
age begin to change their faces and to grow
downy with hair, and to change their notes
and voices; Maids breasts swell; lustful
thoughts draw away their minds, and some
fall into Consumptions, others rage and grow
almost mad with love.

The time of the courses is not so exact that
it can be certainly determined by us who are
not of Natures Cabinet counsel. Sometimes
sharp corroding humours force the passage before
it is time, and sometimes the blood is so
thick that it cannot break forth. Lusty and
Menlike women send them forth in three
days, but idle persons and such as are always
feeding will be seven or eight days about
it; but there is a mean between them both
that proportions the time accordingly, four
dayes will be sufficient; but the quantity of
blood that is cast out is more or less, considering
the circumstance of age, temperament,
diet, and nature of the blood, and that different
according to the seasons of the year: the
places by which it comes forth are the Veins,
and the bottom of the womb, for the veins
come from under the belly, and feed branches
to the bottom and to the neck of the womb,
and when women are with Child, the superfluous
blood runs out by the veins of the neck; G3 but G3v 86
but maids and such as are not with Child, send
this blood forth by the womb it self; by this
blood the seed conceived increaseth, and
when the Child is delivered, then it returns
to the breasts for to make Milk as we hinted
at before. Though the blood be a necessary
cause, and nothing will be done without it
that comes to perfection, yet the seed is the
Principal cause in this building; for the seed
is the workmaster that makes the Infant, and
therefore the stones that make this seed must
needs be Principal parts, though some exclude
them, making only the Heart, the Brain,
and the Liver, to be of the first rank; but the
stones may in some sort be put in the first rank,
not onely to make the body fruitful, but to
work a change in the whole; Take away a
Mans stones and he is no more the same man,
but growes cold of constitution though he
were never so hot before, and is subject to
Convulsion fits, also their voice grows shrill
and Feminine, and their manners and dispositions
are commonly naught. Eunuchs may
live without them, and it hath been an approved
cure for the Leprosy in former times;
but Hippocrates tells us, that the stones are the
strength and vigour of Manhood, and that a
convulsion of the stones threatneth Death, and
the firmness or looseness of them is a great sign G4r 87
sign of good or evil, and that applications
to the stones are very effectual to the strengthning
of the body. It is then very needful for all
to keep the Organs of procreation pure, and
clean, that they may send forth good seed to
make the work perfect, and that Children
may be long lived, which they cannot well
be, nor of sound constitutions, if they are begotten
from corrupt Seed or unnatural blood.
Alchymists lay the cause of all Childrens diseases
on the Seed of the Parents; as plants
have not the causes of their destruction from
the Elements, but from their own Seed; as also
we see, that when the Plague or any Epidemical
disease rageth, all are not infected,
because they have not that matter in them
that will so soon take as it doth with others.
That therefore the matter may be fit for the
work of nature, there are two things very
useful, good diet moderately taken, and convenient
labour and exercise of body. Ill diet
causeth ill blood, and excess in meat or drink
choakes the natural heat, causeth raw, crude
humours, which will never make good blood,
and ill blood will never make good seed, for
every part hath its natural propriety to change
the nutriment into its own likeness, as the
Breasts change blood into Milk, the stones
change it into seed alwayes supposing such- G4 pre G4v 88
previous preparations that are needful, or it
cannot be done as it should be.

Temperance in eating and drinking will
make both Parents and Children to be long
lived, and there is as much difference between
good and bad nourishment, as there is
between pure Fountain water, and ditch water;
but temperance is not to be understood
as if there were a set proportion for all alike,
for it is according to every ones constitution,
what is too much for one Man or woman may
be too little for another; it is then such a
quantity of meat or drink that the stomach can
well master and digest for the feeding of the
body. Those that work hard must eat more
than Schollars that follow their studies, for
the work of the stomach is called off by the intention
of the mind, their meat must be less,
and of easier digestion.

They that live in hot climates or near the
Sun have not so strong stomachs, as in colder
regions, nor is it with us all one in Summer
and winter, but every man or woman of
years, by good observation may know his
own temper, and what quantity will best agree
with him, and so if he be not a fool he may
be his own Physician.

Youth and age cannot feed alike, Children
are often feeding because they want both for growth G5r 89
growth and nourishment, but old age not near
so much; sick and healthful differ in the same

I never could endure that preposterous
way that most persons observe to the destruction
of their Friends, that when they are sick
they will never let them alone but provoke
them to eat, whereas fasting is the better
Doctor, so it be not out of measure.

The causes of great eating and drinking beyond
the bounds of nature, are a liquorish
appetite, and a fancy beyond reason: But having
found out the causes, I shall prescribe some
remedies withal. It is easy to know when
you have eat or drank too much, or what agrees
not with you; when you find nature
charged with it, and is not able to digest it,
vapours rising from the stomach that is glutted
will choak the brain, and cause defluxions
and multitudes of diseases: if you be
sleepy after meat and drink, you have taken
too much, for moderation makes a Man cheerful
and not sleepy. Also refrain from all
meats and drinks that agree not with your
constitution, for they will never breed good
blood, but if you have done amiss in surfeiting
your self, or over eating, or using any thing
that agrees not with you; remember that nature
abhors all sudden changes; and thereforefore G5v 90
you must not withdraw all at once but
by degrees till you can bring your selves safely
to a moderation. This intemperance of Parents
is the cause that many Children die before
their time; for what is too much can never
be well concocted, but turns to ill and
raw humours, and if the stomach turn the
food into crude juyce, or chyle, the Liver
that makes the second concoction can never
mend it, to make good blood; nor can the
third concoction of the stones to turn that
blood into seed, make good seed of ill blood;
for what is bad in the first concoction, the second
concoction, nor third can ever rectify,
but if the chyle be good, blood and seed will be

But you must know that nothing furthers
good concoction more than moderate labour,
for it stirs up natural heat; whereas idle persons
breed crude humours. And therefore
Lycurgus the Lacedemonian Law-giver commanded
Maids to work, for saith he, this
keeps their bodies in good temper, and free
from crudities, and when they come to marry,
their Children will be strong. There’s
as much difference between labour and sloth,
as between the earth in Summer and Winter;
in Summer the Sun by its heat makes it fruitful,
in Winter it is chill for want of the Suns,’s heat; G6r 91
heat; Convenient labour sends the spirits to
all parts of the body; when the Elements are
unequally divided, death follows, so the better
the spirits are distrubuted to the seed, the
better will the seed be, and your Children the
stronger, which is no small effect of moderate
exercise, when sloth is the cause of their hasty
dissolution: moderate labour open the pores
of the body, and by sweat or insensible transpriiration
sends forth all fuliginous, and smoky
vapours that choke the spirits and cause divers
maladies; we find all this to be true in reason,
and experience confirms it, for Countrey people
that work hard digest what they eat, and
their Children are usually strong and long
liv’d. But Citizens and such as refuse to labour
and live idle lives, I do not say all, I hope
there will be the fewer, for what I have taken
the pains to write now for their better instruction
and reformation: then will Men wonder
no longer what becomes of so many Children
as are born in the City? one can hardly
find as many living as are born in half a years
time; I am perswaded not so many can be
found to have lived to seven years of age. They
that love their Children will take my advice,
and they and their Children will have
good cause to thank me for it; and besides
the avoiding the mischiefs of intemperance to them- G6v 92
themselves and posterity, they shall find the
blessing of God upon them, as a great reward
of this vertue of moderation, and the poor
will have just cause to pray for me and them,
for what is wastfully spent by the riotous, may
be charitably bestowed upon their poor neighbours
that stand in need of it.

Chap. II.

Of true conception.

True Conception is then, when the seed of
both sexes is good, and duly prepared
and cast into the womb as into fruitful ground,
and is there so fitly and equally mingled, the
Man’s seed with the womans, that a perfect
Child is by degrees framed; for first small
threads as it were of the solid and substantial
parts are formed out, and the womans blood
flowes to them, to make the bowels and to
supply all parts of the infant with food and

Conception is the proper action of the
womb after fruitful seed cast in by both sexes,
and this Conception is performed in less than
seven hours after the seed is mingled, for natureture G7r 93
is not a minute idle in her work, but
acts to the utmost of her power; it is not copulation,
but the mixture of both seeds is
called conception, when the heat of the
womb fastens them; if the woman conceives
not, the seed will fall out of the womb in seven
daies, and abortion and conception are
reckoned upon the same time.

The Seeds of both must be first perfectly
mixed, and when that is done, the Matrix
contracts it self and so closely embraceth it,
being greedy to perfect this work, that by
succession of time she stirs up the formative
faculty which lieth hid in the seed and brings
it into act, which was before but in possibility,
this is the natural property of the womb to
make prolifick Seed fruitful, it is not all the
art of man that setting the womb aside can
form a living child.

To conceive with child is the earnest desire
if not of all yet of most women, Nature
having put into all a will to effect and produce
their like. Some there are who hold conception
to be a curse, because God laid it upon
Eve for tasting of the forbidden fruit, “I
will greatly multiply thy conception”
: but forasmuch
as encrease and multiply, was the blessing
of God, it is not the conception, but the
sorrow to bring forth that was laid as a curse. We G7v 94
We see that there is in women so great a
longing to conceive with child, that ofttimes
for want of it the womb falls into convulsions
and distracts the whole body.

The womb as I said is fast tied at the neck
and about the middle, but the bottom hangs
lose, so that it doth ofttimes fall into strange
motions. The natural motion of it comes
from the moving faculty, but the unnatural
motions from some unhealthful and convulsive
cause; which is most commonly bred in
it for want of conception, and not bearing
of children; we see no women ordinarily that
are better in health than those that often conceive
with child, and some are so fruitful that
they conceive with many children about the
same time; so that considering his magnitude,
surely no creature multiplies more than man,
for he hath a priority in this blessing above
the beasts. Twins are frequent, and sometimes
two or three children at one birth, are
not the same thing with superfetation,
when children are got again before the first
be delivered; you must not think divers Cells
in the womb to be the cause of this multiplicity
of children; for there is no such thing in
the womb to be the cause of this multiplicity
of children; for there is no such thing in the
womb, but only one line that parts one side from G8r 95
from the other, but such women have larger
wombs than others, and so the seed divided
finds place to form more children than one, if
their be sufficient strength in the several parts
of the seed to do it. Yet when Twins are begotten,
they have no more than one cake called
Placenta, that both their Navel vessels are
received by; though they have different Secundines
or Coats that cover them. It may
be discerned but with some difficulty, that a
woman will have more than one child, by
their heavy burden and slow motion, also by
the unevenness of their bellies; and that there
is a kind of separation made by certain
wrinkles and seams to shew the children are
parted in the womb; and if she be not very
strong to go through with it in her Travel,
she is in danger both she and her children. If
the twins be both boys or both girls they will
fare the better. Yet one is found by frequent
examples to be more lusty & longer liv’d than
the other, be they both of one sex, or one a boy
the other a girl, that which is strongest encreaseth,
but the weaker decayes or fails by
reason of the prevailing force of the other.

Sometimes the woman conceives again a
long time after her conception, the womb opening
it self by reason of great delight in
the action; though it were shut so close as no G8v 96
no air could enter: for the Matrix attracts
and makes room for it. And this may fall
out not only for once but at a third Copulation,
that a woman may have one mischance
and two children yet no twins. It may be discerned
by the several motions of the Infants,
but the mother is in great danger of her life
by losing of so great a quantity of blood as
she must needs lose at two births in so short a
compass of time. It is most dangerous to
spurr nature to delivery before her period,
wherefore in such cases leave it to the work of
nature, using only Corroboratives and some
such remedies as may facilitate her progress
therein. But women may avoid this mischief
that often happens, if they will rest
themselves content when they have once conceived.

But that Story which I touched before,
seems to me to be but a meer Romance, of
Margaret Countess of Hennenberge, and sister to
William King of the Romans, as some writers
record; that when she was forty years old,
she was delivered at one birth successively of
as many children as there are daies in the
year, namely three hundred sixty five, the
one half boys and the other half girls, and
the odd child was divided to both sexes, an
Hermaphrodite, partly male, partly female: and H1r 97
and that the cause of this miracle was from a
curse of her sister, some say a poor beggar
woman at her door, laid upon her for her
causeless jealousie; and farther it is constantly
reported, that these children were all baptized
living at the Church of Lardune in Holland
near the Hague, and the boys were all
called Johns, the girls Elizabeths; there were
two Silver Basons that they were Christned in,
and Guido the Suffragan of Utrecht keeps
them for to shew to strangers, and one of these
Basons, as it is reported, was brought for a
present to King Charles the second, before he
came from thence; and they say farther,
that presently after they were baptized, the
mother and all her children died. Some
write of another Countess in Frederick the
daies, who had five hundred boys at
one birth.

But to leave this and to proceed to the causes
of Conception: Notwithstanding that
God gave the blessing generally to our
first Parent, and so by consequent to all her succeeding
generations, yet we find that some
women are exceeding fruitful to conceive;
and others barren that they conceive not at
all; God reserving to himself a prerogative of
furthering and hindering Conception where
he pleaseth, that men and women may more H earnestly H1v 98
earnestly pray unto God for his blessing of
Procreation, and be thankful unto him for it:
so INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psal. 127.3. the Psalmist tells us, “Loe Children,
and the fruit of the Womb are an heritage
and gift that cometh from the Lord.”
So Hannah
pray’d in the first of Samuel, and gave thanks
when God had heard her prayer. Some women
are by nature barren, though both they
themselves and their husbands are no way deficient
to perform the acts of Generation, and
are in all parts, as perfect as the most fruitful
persons can be: Some think the cause is too
much likeness and similitude in their complexions,
for God having framed an Harmonious
world, by due disposing of contraries,
they that are too like of constitution can never
beget any thing; this I confess is hard to
find, that they should agree in all respects, no
difference of complexion at all; yet sometimes
Physicians judge barrenness proceeds
from too great similitude of persons; but I
should rather think from some disproportion
of the Organs, or some impediment not easily
perceived; else how comes it to pass that
some that have continued barren many years,
at last have proved fruitful. I remember a
story that I heard of a Watch-maker, who had
an excellent Watch that was out of tune,
and he could never make it go true, what the fault H2r 99
fault was he could not find, at length he grew
so angry that he threw the watch against the
wall, and took it up again, and then he found
it goe exceeding true, and by that means he
came also to know the cause of the former defect,
for indeed it proved to be nothing else
but some inequality in the Case of the watch,
which by throwing it against the wall, accidentally
was amended; wherefore a small matter
sometimes will remove the impediment if
we can but find what it is.

Some say again the cause of barrenness is
want of love in man and wife, whose Seed
never mixeth as it should to Procreation of
children, their hatred is so great; as it is recorded
of Eleocles and Polynices two Theban Princes
who killed each other, and when their
bodies were afterwards burn’d, (as the manner
of burial was in their daies, to preserve
only their ashes in a pot,) as if the hatred still
continued in their dead bodies, the flames
parted in the midst and ascended with two
points; and this extream hatred is the reason
why women seldom or never conceive when
they are ravished, and it proves as ineffectual
as Onan’s Seed when he spilt it upon the
ground. The cause of this hatred in married
people, is commonly when they are contracted
and married by unkind Parents for H2 some H2v 100
some sinister ends against their wills, which
makes some children complain of their Parents
cruelty herein all the daies of
their lives; but as Parent do ill to compel
their children in such cases, so children should
not be drawn away by their own foolish fansies,
but take their Parents counsel along with
them when they go about such a great work
as marriage is, wherein consists their greatest
woe or welfare so long as they live upon
the earth.

Another cause that women prove barren is
when they are let blood in the arm before
their courses come down, whereas to provoke
the Terms when they flow not as they
should, Women or Maids ought rather to be
let blood in the foot, for that draws them
down to the place nature hath provided, but
to let blood in the arm keeps them from falling
down, and is as great a mischief as can
be to hinder them; wherefore let the Terms
first come naturally before you venture to
draw blood in the arm, unless the cause be
so great that there is no help for it otherwise.
The time of the courses to appear for maids
is fourteen or thirteen, or the soonest at
twelve years old; yet I remember that in
France I saw a child but of nine years old that
was very sickly until such time as she was let blood H3r 101
blood in the arm, and then she recovered immediately;
but this is no president for others,
especially in our climate, blood-letting being
the ordinary remedy in those parts when
the Patient is charged with fulness of
blood, of what age almost soever they

There is besides this natural barrenness of
women, another barrenness by accident, by
the ill disposition of the body and generative
parts, when the courses are either more or
fewer than stands with the state of the womans
body, when humours fall down to
the womb, and have found a passage that
way and will hardly be brought to keep
their natural rode; or when the womb is
disaffected, either by any preternatural quality
that exceeds the bounds of nature, as heat
or cold, or dryness, or moisture, or windy vapours.

Lastly, Tthere is barrenness by inchantment,
when a man cannot lye with his wife
by reason of some charm that hath disabled
him; the French in such a case advise a man
to thred the needle Nouer C’eguilliette, as
much as to say, to piss through his wives Wedding
ring and not to spill a drop and then he
shall be perfectly cured. Let him try it that

H3 Chap. H3v 102

Chap. III.

Signs that a woman is conceived with
Child, and whether it be a Son or a

Young women especially of their first
Child, are so ignorant commonly, that
they cannot tell whether they have conceived
or not, and not one of twenty almost keeps a
just account, else they would be better provided
against the time of their lying in, and
not so suddenly be surprised as many of them

Wherefore divers Physicians have laid down
rules whereby to know when a woman hath
conceived with Child, and these rules
are drawn from almost all parts of the body.
The rules are too general to be certainly proved
in all women, yet some of them seldom
fail in any.

  • First, if when the seed is cast into the womb,
    she feel the womb shut close, and a shivering
    or trembling to run through every part of
    her body, and that is by reason of the heat
    that draws inward to keep the conception,
    and so leaves the outward parts cold & chill.

  • Secondly H4r 103
  • Secondly, The pleasure she takes at that
    time is extraordinary, and the mans seed
    comes not forth again, for the womb closely
    embraceth it, and will shut as fast as possibly
    may be.

  • Thirdly, The womb sinks down to cherish
    the seed, and so the belly grows flatter than it
    was before.

  • Fourthly, She finds pain that goes about
    her belly, chiefly about her Navel and
    lower belly, which some call the Watercourse.

  • Fifthly, Her stomach becomes very weak;
    she hath no desire to eat her meat, but is troubled
    with sowr belchings.

  • Sixthly, Her monthly terms stop at some
    unseasonable time that she lookt not for.

  • Seventhly, She hath a preternatural desire
    to something not fit to eat nor drink, as
    some women with child have longed to
    bite off a piece of their Husbands Buttocks.

  • Eighthly, Her Brests swell and grow round,
    and hard, and painful.

  • Ninthly, She hath no great desire to copulation,
    for some time she will be merry, or
    sad suddenly upon no manifest cause.

  • Tenthly, She so much loatheth her victuals,
    that let her but exercise her body a little in H4 motion, H4v 104
    motion, and she will cast off what lieth upon
    her stomack.

  • Eleventhly, Her Nipples will look more red
    at the ends than they usually do.

  • Twelfthly, the veins of her breasts will swell
    and shew themselves very plain to be seen.

  • Thirteenthly, Likewise the veins about the
    eyes will be more apparent.

  • Fourteenthly, The womb pressing the right
    gut, it is painful for her to go to stool, she is
    weaker than she was & her visage discoloured.

These are the common rules that are laid

But if a womans courses be stopt, and the
Veins under her lowest Eylid swell, and
the colour be changed, and she hath not
broken her rest by watching the night
before; these signs seldom or never fail
of Conception for the first two months.

If you keep her water three dayes close
stopt in a glass, and then strain it through a
fine linnen cloth, you will find live worms in
the cloth.

Also a needle laid twenty four hours in her
Urine, will be full of red spots if she have conceived,
or otherwise it will be black or dark

To know whether the Infant conceived be
male or female I refer you to Hippocrates, Aphor.phor H5r 105
for it is a very hard thing to discover.

  • 1. If it be a boy she is better coloured, her
    right Breast will swell more, for males lye
    most on the right side, and her belly especially
    on that side lieth rounder and more tumified,
    and the Child will be first felt to move
    on that side, the woman is more cheerful and
    in better health, her pains are not so often
    nor so great, the right breast is harder and
    more plump, the nipple a more clear red, and
    the whole visage clear not swarthy.

  • 2. If the marks before mentioned be more
    apparent on the left side it is a Girle that she
    goes with all.

  • 3. If when she riseth from the place she sits
    on, she move her right foot first, and is more
    ready to lean on her right hand when she reposeth,
    all signifies a boy.

  • Lastly, Drop some drops of breast Milk into
    a Bason of water, if it swim on the top it is a
    Boy, if it sink in round drops judge the contrary.

Chap. H5v 106

Chap. IV.

Of false Conception, and of the Mole or
Moon Calf.

Many women themselves have thought
that they had conceived with Child
because their bellies were swoln so great, and
their courses were staid and came not down
according to natures custome; whereas this
swelling of the belly more and more, and
stopping of the Termes proceeded from nothing
else but an ill shaped lump of flesh which
grows greater every day in the womb, and is
fed by the Terms that flow to it; and this is
that Midwives call a Mole or Moon-Calf;
and these are of two sorts, one the true, the other
the false Mole.

The true Mole is a mishapen piece of flesh
without figure or order, it is full of Veins and
Vessels with discoloured veins or membranes
of almost all colours, without any entrails or
bones, or motion; it is bred in the wombs
hollowness, and cleaves fast to the sides of it
but takes no substance from it, sometimes it
hath a skin to cover it and is empty within,
sometimes it is long or round, and some womenmen H6r 107
have cast forth three at a time like the
Yard of a man: sometimes these Moles are
without sense, sometimes they have an obscure
feeling; sometimes they are bred with
the Child, and then is the Child in great danger
to be opprest by them; sometimes they
are voided when the Child is delivered, or before
or after. Widows have been known to
have had these Moles formed in their wombs
by their own seed and blood that flows thither.
But ordinarily I think this comes not
to pass, but it proceeds from a fault in the
forming faculty, when the mans seed in Copulation
is weak or defective and too little, so
that it is overcome by the much quantity of
the womans blood, the faculty begins to
work but cannot perfect, and so onely Veins
and Membranes are made but the Child is not
made, yet this Mole is of so different kinds
that it is not possible to set them down according
to their several varieties; but doubtless
a Mole is sooner formed if Men and Women
ly together when they have their courses,
and the blood is not fit for formation by reason
of impurity, so that neither heat nor cold
are the chief cause of this error, but the uncleanness
of the matter that is not endued
with a forming faculty; from corrupt seed
or menstruous blood bad humours are ingendredgendred H6v 108
and nature works in vain.

Some are called false Moles, and of those
are four sorts, as their causes are; for either
they proceed from wind and are called windy
swellings, or from water flowing to the
womb, and called watry swellings, or else
diverse humours cause this swelling, and
sometimes it is nothing but a bag full of
blood. If the Child be conceived with a
Mole, it draws the nourishment from the
Child. Both sexes doubtless contribute to
the making of most Moles, the seed of the
Man being choakt with the blood of the woman,
and wrapt both in a caule, Nature
will make something of it though nothing to
the purpose. If it be true that some widows
have had them, they were neither of
the same shape nor substance, but voided will
consume into water, and this can be supposed
only of dead Moles, for living Moles
that have some sense or feeling or true motion
in them can never be produced but mans
seed must be a part of their beginning; as for
Maids they cannot breed any true Mole, because
a true Mole must be made of the greatest
part of the womans blood coming into
the womb, but the vessels & passages in maids
are too narrow, so that there is no flux of blood
thither to make this Mole of, as it is in womenmen H7r 109
that have had the use of man: but without
dispute, the principal cause is womens
carnally knowing their Husbands when their
Terms are purging forth, from whence Moles,
and Monsters, distorted, imperfect, ill qualified
Childredn are begotten. Let such as fear God,
or love themselves, or their posterity beware
of it.

The windy Mole proceeds from an over-
cold womb, Spleen and Liver, which breeds
wind that fastneth in the hollow of the part.
Sometimes the womb is weak and cannot
transmute the blood for nourishment, but it
turns to water which cannot be all sent forth,
but part of it remains in the womb; also the
womb ofttimes receives a great confluence of
water from the spleen or from some parts
nigh unto it.

The Mole made of many humors flowing
to the womb, proceeds from the Whites, or
ill purgations coming from the menstruous
Veins. The fourth Mole is a skin full of
blood with many white diaphanous vessels, if
you cast it into the water, the skin coagulates
like a clod of seed; and the blood runs away.

It is very hard to know a false conception
from a true until four moneths be past, and
then the motion of the body of the thing conceivedceived H7v 110
will shew it; for if it be a living Child,
that moves quick and lively; but the false conception
falls from one side to another like a
stone as the woman turns her self in her bed, if
it stir at all it is but like a sponge, trembling
and beating, and contracts and dilates it self
like the beating of the pulse almost.

This false conception hath many signes
whereby it personates and shews like a true
Conception; for the Terms stop, their stomachs
fail, they loath their meat, they vomit
and belch sowrly, their breasts and belly
swell, cunning Midwives and women themselves
that have them are deceived taking one
for the other.

There are many other things bred in the
womb sometimes besides these Moles; Two
famous Physicians of Senon, tell us of a woman
that had a Child in her womb, that did not
corrupt, nor stink, though it lay long dead
there untill it was turned into a stone; cold,
and heat, and driness might keep the child
from corrupting, but there was also a petrifying
humour mixt with the seed and blood,
or it could never have been turned into a stone;
there, is but this single History that I ever read
of this kind, and Authors say the mother
lived twenty eight years after she was delivered
of it; but it is no great wonder why it did not H8r 111
not stink nor corrupt in the womb, for many
aged women live many years with a Mole in
the body, yet it never stinks nor corrupts
though they keep it in them till they dye.

As for Monsters of all sorts to be formed in
the womb all nations can bring some examples;
Worms, Toades, Mice, Serpents, Gordonius
saith, are common in Lumbardy, and so are
those they call Soole kints in the Low Countries,
which are certainly caused by the heat of their
stones and menstrual blood to work upon in
women that have had company with men;
and these are sometimes alive with the infant,
and when the Child is brought forth these
stay behind, and the woman is sometimes
thought to be with Child again; as I knew
one there my self, which was after her childbirth
delivered of two like Serpents, and both
run away into the Burg wall as the women
supposed, but it was at least three moneths after
she was delivered of a Child, and they
came forth without any loss of blood, for
there was no after burden. Again in time of
Copulation, Imagination ofttimes also produceth
Monstrous births, when women look
too much on strange objects.

To distinguish then false conceptions from
true, but if there be both true and false at once
that is very hard to know.

False H8v 112

False Conceptions cause the greatest pains
in their Backs, and Groins, and Loyns, and
Head; their Bellies swell sooner, they faint
more, their Faces, and Feet, and Legs swell,
their Bellies grow hard like a Dropsie, they
have such pain in their Bellies that they cannot
sleep because they carry such a dead weight
within them; and though their Faces and
breasts swell, they grow daily soft and lank,
and no milk in their Breasts but what is like
water, or very little; whereas women with
Child about the fourth moneth have their
Breasts swoln with milk. Some women look
well with these false Conceptions, but most of
them look pale, and wan, and ill favoured:
If it be a boy that is conceived he will stir at
the beginning of the third Moneth, and a
Girle at the beginning of the third or fourth
moneth, and so soon as the infant moves there
is Milk bred in the Breasts as any one may
prove that will. The Child that is alive
moves to all sides, and upward and downward
without any help, but oftenest to the
right flanck. A false conception may have a
motion from the expulsive faculty, but not
from it self, and being not tied by ligaments
as a living Child is, it tumbles to one side or
other, and if she lye on her back and one
press it down with his hand gently, there it will I1r 113
will stay and not remove up again of it self.
If she go with a Mole nine months compleat
her belly will swell more and more, but she
will wax lean and wan, and never offer to be
delivered. Yet a woman may go ten or eleven
months with child before her time be
perfect to bring forth, but this depends upon
the time when the child was begotten, and
some women ordinarily go longer or shorter
before they come to bring forth.

Those that have Moles are usually barren,
or their Privities are ulcerated, for it hurts
the womb and the whole fabrick of their bodies.

The windy Mole will swell the belly like
a Bladder, and it will sound like a Drum, but
it is softer than the fleshy Mole or the watry,
it grows sooner, and sooner disappears, and
she will feel her self lighter when it abates,
but sometimes it will heat the belly with
such violence as if she were upon the

The watry Mole is a fluctuation of water
from one side to another, as the woman turns
her self when she lieth, and then that lside
will be higher where the water falls, and the
other side will sink down the more and grow

The Mole caused from many humours doth I not I1v 114
not make the belly swell so much as the watry
Mole doth, because the water comes
more in quantity, and is clear, whereas the
humours are reddish and stink when they
come forth, like water wherein flesh hath been

There is one observation more concerning
false conceptions, that when they happen the
Flowers stop presently and never come down,
whereas they do sometimes the first two
monnths in true conceptions, because they
are superfluous in strong full fed persons
before the child comes to want more nutriment,
also the Navel of the woman doth
not rise higher in false conceptions, but in true
it doth.

Some women have their Terms well, and
their wombs well disposed, yet their bellies
have swoln and the cause not discerned till
they were dead, for being opened, one or
both corners of the womb have had little bags
of water, or else clusters of kernels and strange
flesh growing in them. Some women have
also a piece of flesh hanging within the inward
neck of the womb, fastned about a finger
broad at the root, and growing dayly
downward in form like a bell, and sometimes
fills all the privy members orifice, and may
be seen hanging forth, all these make the belly swell I2r 115
swell round, but are not properly Moles as
they are before spoken of.

Amongst false conceptions all monstrous
births may be reckoned, for a monster saith Aristotle
is an error of nature failing of the
end she works for, by some corrupted principle;
sometimes this happens when the sex is
imperfect, that you cannot know a boy from
a girl; they call these Hermaphrodites: there
is but one kind of Women Hermaphrodites,
when a thing like a Yard stands in the place
of the Clitoris above the top of the genital,
and bears out in the bottom of the share-
bone; sometimes in boys there is seen a small
privy part of the woman above the root of
the Yard, and in girls a Yard is seen at the
Lesk or in the Peritoneum. But three ways a
boy may be of doubtful sex.

  • 1. When there
    is seen a womans member between the Cods
    and the Fundament.
  • 2. When it is seen in the
    Cod, but no excrement coming forth by it.

  • 3. When they piss through it.

But Monsters
most ordinarily falling out, are when the child
born is of some strange feature, or like a dog,
or any other creature, as the Tartar lately
captivated by the Germans in their last war against
the Turks; if the relation be true, he
had a head and neck like a horse, some think
he was begotten of a beast, a custom too frequentI2 quent I2v 116
amongst those miscreants. Some are
monsters in magnitude, when one part, as the
head, is too great for the body; or a Gyant or
a Pigmy is brought forth. Sometimes in
place, when the parts are displaced, as when
the eyes stand in the forehead, or the ears
behind in the poll; many such strange
births have been in the world, and
sometime children have been born with six
fingers on a hand, and six toes, like those Gyants
the Scripture speaks of, and others there
are born with but one eye, or one hand, one
ear, and the like.

Chap. V.

Of the causes of Monstrous Conceptions.

What should be the causes of Monstrous
Conceptions hath troubled many great
Learned men. Alcabitius saith, if the Moon
be in some Degrees when the child is conceived,
it will be a Monster. Astrologers they
seek the cause in the stars, but Ministers refer
it to the just judgements of God, they do not
condemn the Parent or the Child in such cases,ses I3r 117
but take our blessed Saviours answer
to his Disciples, who askt him, “who sinned the
Parent or the Child, that he was born blind?”

our Saviour replyed, “neither he nor his Parents,
but that the Judgments of God might be made
manifest in him.”
In all such cases we must not
exclude the Divine vengeance, nor his Instruments,
the stars influence; yet all these errors
of Nature as to the Instrumental causes, are
either from the material or efficient cause of

The matter is the seed, which may fail three
several wayes, either when it is too much,
and then the members are larger, or more
than they should be, or too little, and then
there will be some part or the whole too little,
or else the seed of both sexes is ill mixed, as
of men or women with beasts; & certainly it is
likely that no such creatures are born but by
unnatural mixtures, yet God can punish the
world with such grievous punishments, and
that justly for our sins. Aristotle tells us that
in Africa so many monsters are bred amongst
beasts, because going far together to water,
they that are of different kinds ingender there,
and so dayly new Monsters are begotten. But
the efficient cause of Monsters, is either from
the forming faculty in the Seed, or else the
strength of imagination joyned with it; add I3 to I3v 118
to these the menstruous blood and the disposition
of the Matrix; sometimes the mother
is frighted or conceives wonders, or longs
strangely for things not to be had, and the
child is markt accordingly by it. The unfitness
of the matter hinders formation, for an
agent cannot produce the effect where the patient
is not fit to receive it. Imagination can
do much, as a woman that lookt on a Blackmore
brought forth a child like to a Blackmore;
and one I knew, that seeing a boy
with two thumbs on one hand, brought forth
such another; but ordinarily the spirits and humours
are disturbed by the passions of the
mind, and so the forming faculty is hindered
and overcome with too great plenty of humours
that flow to the matrix, or the spirits
are called off and gone another way. But the
imagination is so strong in some persons with
child, that they produce such real effects
that can proceed from nothing else; as that
woman who brought forth a child all hairy
like a Camel, because she usually said prayers
kneeling before the image of St. John Baptist
who was clothed with camels hair: How
the imagination can work such wonders is
hard to say, but there must be some strength
of mind that can convey the species from the
external senses to the formative faculty, for by this I4r 119
this means there is a consent between the faculties
superior and inferior. The Soul is all
in all, and all in every part of the body, yet
it works in several parts as occasions serves.
The child in the Mothers womb hath a soul
of its own, yet it is a part of the mother untill
she be delivered, as a branch is part of a
Tree while it grows there, and so the mothers
imagination makes an impression upon
the child, but it must be a strong imagination
at that very time when the forming faculty
is at work or else it will not do, but since
the child takes part of the mothers life whilst
he is in the womb, as the fruit doth of the
tree, whatsoever moves the faculties of the
mothers soul may do the like in the child. So
the parts of the infant will be hairy where no
hair should grow, or Strawberries or Mulberries,
or the like be fashioned upon them,
or have lips or parts divided or joined together
according as the imagination transported
by violent passions may sometimes be the
cause of it.

The Arabians say, a strange imagination can
do as much as the Heavens can to make plants
and mettals in the earth.

The second cause is the heat or place of
conception, which molds the matter quickly
into sundry forms. But imagination holds I4 the I4v 120
the first place, and thence it is that children
are so like their Parents.

Chap. VI.

Of the resemblance or likeness of Children
and Parents.

There are according to Philosophers and
Physicians, three forms or likenesses in
every living creature.

  • First, Likeness of kind, as when a creature of
    the same kind is produced, a man from a man,
    a horse from a horse; and herein the likeness
    proceeds commonly from the matter; and
    because the female usually brings more matter
    than the male, more children are like the Mother
    than the Father. So a she-Goat with a
    Ram breed a Kid, but a he-Goat and a Sheep
    beget a Lamb.

  • Secondly, there is a likeness of sex, and the
    cause why the child is a boy or a girl is the heat
    of the seed, if the mans seed prevail in mixing
    above the womans it will be a boy, else a

  • Thirdly, there is a likeness of forms and
    figures and other accidents, that the child by them I5r 121
    them more resembles, the father or the mother,
    as these accidents, are found in it more
    like to either of the two; this, saith Galen,
    comes from the difference of parts and conformation
    of the members.

Hence one is black, another white, one
with a high forehead or a Roman nose, the other
not. Sometimes the child is very like
the father, sometimes the mother, and ofttimes
like them both in many respects, sometimes
like neither, but the grandfather or
grandmother: and there are many examples
where children have been like to those who
have had no part in the work; but a strong
fansie of the mother hath been the reason of
it. Authors and Travellers say, that the
Chineses children are like their Sires in many
limbs and parts of their faces, as the forehead,
nose, beard, and eyes. In some Countries
where they have Wives in common, as a
people called Cammate have, Men make
choice of their children by the likeness to
themselves. There are also childrens marks,
proper to some Families, that are visible upon
their bodies, Thyestes had the likeness of a
Crab, some of a star. The Thebans and
Spartans a Lance: Delemus and his offspring
had their thighs crooked and like to an anchor,
and that lascivious strumpet Julia, Augustus’sgustus I5v 122
daughter, had no children but resembled
her self, for she was so cunning, that she
would admit of none besides her husband till
she had conceived.

Some are of that opinion, that all this proceeds
from the strength of imagination, so
Empedocles, so Paracelsus determine it, and the
last thought the Plague to be infectious only
to those that phansie made it so. But the
Arabians ascribe so much power to imagination,
that it can change the very works of
nature, heal diseases, work wonders, command
all kind of matter, and they impute as
much or more to that, than Divines do to
having Faith, to which nothing is impossible;
but I cannot be altogether of their opinion.

Imagination is powerful in all living creatures,
for by it Jacob’s Ewes conceived spotted,
and grisled, the peeled rods being set before
them when they were in conjunction.

Galen taught an Æthiopian to get a white
child, setting a picture before him for his
wife to look on.

Their opinions also are not wide, who say
the cause of this likeness lieth much in the motion
of the Seed and the forming faculty, this
was Aristotles’s judgment. We deny not but
both may be true, for imagination can do nothingthing I6r 123
without it, and by the forming faculty
Imagination works this similitude, yet so that
they both concur to the business. The Soul
lyeth in the Seed which makes its own house,
for all confess a forming faculty, and this faculty
must come from some substance that lyeth
close in the seed, though it appear not in
the first act for want of fit organs to work
with. Three things are requisite to form a

  • 1. Fruitful seed from both sexes wherein
    the Soul rests with its forming faculty.

  • 2. The mothers blood to nourish it.

  • 3. A good constitution of the matrix to
    work it to perfection; if any of these be wanting
    you must not expect a perfect child: But
    as for the marks, or likeness to the Parents,
    sometimes this vertue lyeth hid some ages in
    the seed, and appears not, and then the child
    comes to be like those from whom it was descended
    by many succeeding generations, for
    Helin had a white daughter by a Black, but
    that daughter had a black son born of her, the
    forming faculty still continuing in the seed
    when it hath been stirred up by new imagination.

Plants being grafted, experience shews will
bear fruit of the nature of the graft, but the kernels I6v 124
kernels of that fruit sowed will bring fruit
like the stock it was grafted on. Graft an
Apricock on a Pear stock you shall have Apricocks,
but a stone of those Apricocks set
grows a Pear stock. If the forming faculty
be free, children will be like their
Parents, but if it be overpowred or wrested
by imagination, the form will follow the
stronger faculty; if the mother long for figs, or
roses, or such things, the child is sometimes
markt with them. Avicen gives this reason for
it, that the aery spirits that are nimble of
themselves, are soon moved by the phansie, and
these mingle with the nutrimental blood of
the child and imprint this likeness from imagination.
This is a deep speculation, but it may
be compared and represented to our understanding
by those equivocal generations made
in the air of frogs, and flies and the like by the
forming faculties of the Heavens, so are the
forms imagination sends forth engraven on
the light spirits, for the quick spirits receive
all forms from the imagination, and the seed
that passeth through all parts and is derived
from the whole body retains the images
of them all.

Chap. I7r 125

Chap. VII.

Of the sympathy between the womb and
other parts, and how it is wrought
upon by them.

It is strange to consider that the womb
should discern between sweet and stinking
scents, and to be so diversly affected with these
smels that some have miscarryed by smelling
the snuff of a Candle, insomuch that some
have thought the womb to be a creature of a
discerning quality, and it receives this judgement
from every part of the body, it is delighted
with sweet scents, and displeased with the
contrary. Wise Men have been at a stand to
give a reason for it. Some refer it to a hidden
quality, but that is still the last refuge for
ignorance. There are indeed many things
in nature secret to us, of which we can give no
certain reason, as for the Loadstone to draw
Iron; we see it is so but we cannot say how it
comes to pass. In fits of the Mother sweet
smels are good, for they disperse the ill qualities
and venenosities of the Air, and so by
a peculiar quality strengthen the womb, by draw- I7v 126
drawing down the spirits, and humours, but
the different way of applying them will do
good or harm. For the sweetest things that
are, as Musk, or Civet, will cause fits of the
Mother, if you apply them to the womans
nose, for the womb consents or dissents by
sympathy and antipathy, and sweet things
applied to the privities profit in such cases,
and stinking things to the nose, as burnt leather,
feathers, or the like. There is a great
agreement between the womb and the brain,
as Hippocrates proves by a smoke to try barrenness
by, and there is the like between the
womb and the Heart by Nerves and Arteries.
Sweet scents are pleasing to all womens
wombs, and ill savours offend, but not in all
women alike, for where the Matrix is well
disposed and not disaffected by reason of ill
humours that it is charged with, those Women
are much delighted with sweet smels,
but it is not so with others who are unclean,
for they cannot away with sweet smels, for no
sooner do they begin to scent them, but they
fall into those fits, for while the womb resents
those sweet swmels, the ill humours that lye
hid in the womb, especially where the seed is
corrupted, fly up with the spirits and carry
the bad humours with them to the Heart, and
to the brain, and so cause these stiflings of the

This I8r 127

This is general for all sweet things, that the
Matrix is pleased with them rightly applied;
for apply any sweet thing to the Privities, the
womb is quiet and well refresht by them, and
so the humours are still, or else they move
downward, but contrarily stinking things
by Antipathy with the womb are thrust out
by the spirits when we apply such stinks to the
nose, for the spirits fly downwards, and often
there is an abortion thereby.

The womb cannot smell scents no more than
it can hear sounds or see objects, for scents belong
to the nose which is the Organ of smelling,
as colours to the eyes that are the instruments
of seeing, & the ears of hearing, but the
womb partakes with these scents by reason of a
thin vapour or spirit that comes from any
strong smell, for the womb is affected as our
senses are, very suddenly as it feels exactly, wchwhich
is in some kind a general sense, and is common
to every part of the body, our spirits
are refresht with sweet vapours, not discerning
them but as they are placed and
strengthened by them. But how doth the
womb chuse sweet smels and refuse the contrary
if she cannot discern? I know not why
it is so, unless the reason be, because of the
impurity of those vapours that arise from
stinking things, for all such things are noynoysome,some, I8v 128
and not well concocted, and defile
the spirts contained in the parts of Generation,
and so cause faintings, and swoundings,
whereas sweet smels are pleasant, and refresh
the spirits. But why then doth Ambergreece
and Musk cause suffocations being so extreamely
sweet scented; and Assafetida and
Castoreum, two stinking cure it? The Answer
is, that all women are not so affected,
but onely they whose wombs, as I said, are
charged with ill humours, and then quick spirits
arising from sweet smels presently move
the brain and the membranes of it; and so
the membranous womb is soon drawn into
consent, the bad vapours that lay still before
being stirred and raised by the Arteries, flee to
the heart and the brain, and by secret passages
cause such fits, but noysome smels being raw
and ill tempered, stop the pores of the brain,
and come not to the inward membranes to
prevent them. Also Nature being offended
with destructive ill qualified scents, raiseth up
all her forces as against an open enemy to oppose
them, and so casts out of the womb with
the ill vapours the ill humours also from which
these vapours rise, so comes a crisis in acute
diseases, if Nature be strong she casts them
forth; and when a man takes a purge, Nature
helps her self against the ill qualities of the Medica- K1r 129
Medicament, which she can no way conquer
but by casting it forth, and so what humours
were peccant are cast forth with it.

It was the judgment of Hippocrates, that
womens wombs are the cause of all their diseases;
for let the womb be offended, all the
faculties Animal, Vital, and natural; all the
parts, the Brain, Heart, Liver, Kidneys,
Bladder, Entrails, and bones, especially the
share-bone partake with it: but no part is so
much of consent with the womb as the Breasts
are. The agreement between the womb and
the Brain comes from the Nerves and membranes
of the marrow of the back, some see
great pains in the hinder part of the head,
some are frantick, others so silent they canInot
speak. Some have dimness of sight, dulness
of hearing, noyse in their ears, strange
passions and Convulsions.

It agrees with the Heart by the Arteries of
the Seed and lower belly, and if these be stopt
or choked by a venemous air, the hearts natural
heat is dissolved, & faintings, and swoondings,
and intermission of pulse follow with
stopping of their breath, so that you cannot
perceive them to breath unless you apply a
clear looking-glass to their mouth, and if they
breath at all there will be left a dewy vapor
upon the Glass, if not they are dead; for some K of K1v 130
of these women draw in no more air than
what comes in by the pores of the skin into the
Arteries and so goes to the Heart; annd such
persons sometimes lye in such fits twenty four
hours at least, and many of them have lain
so long that their Friends have thought them
to be dead and have caused them to be unhappily
buried when they were alive, and would
no doubt have revived when the fit had been
over. I speak this for a warning to others, to
beware what they do upon such occasions, and
to give at least two or three dayes time before
they put them into the ground; some have
been taken alive out of their Coffins long after
they were thought to be dead.

The womb and Liver agree by Veins running
from the Liver to the womb, which is
the cause of Jaundies, Dropsies, and Greensickness,
if the blood be naught that comes to
it. And that the Kidnies by the Seed-veins
consents with the womb, is manifest by the
pains of the loins women suffer when they
have their Courses; for the left Seed-Vein
comes from the left emulgent or kidney-vein
on the same side. So the womb, the bladder,
and the right gut agree, for if the womb be
inflamed, presently follows a desire to go to
stool, and to make water, by reason of the
nearness and communion these parts have one with K2r 131
with the other, by the membranes of the Peritoneum,
that tye the womb and these parts together,
and by common Vessels running betwixt,
for from the same branch of the vein of
the under belly run small Fibres to these three
parts: but the consent of the womb with the
breasts is most observable, the humours passing
ordinarily from one to the other, whereby we
may know the affections of the womb, and
how to cure them, and of the state of the
Child contained in it. Lusitanus tells us that
he saw two women that voided monethly
blood by their Nipples when their Courses
were stopt. Hippocrates confirms this, affirming
that women are in danger to run mad
when blood comes forth at their Nipples.
Brassavolus tells us of womens milk that came
like blood, but it was raw unconcocted
blood, and that might be, for Nurses Courses
are alwayes stopt because the blood runs to
their breasts to make Milk. By the colour of
the nipples the state of the womb is perceived;
if the Paps look pale or yellow that should
look red, the womb is not well. Also if
you will stop the Terms that run too much, set
a great cupping glass under the Breasts, for
that will turn the course of the blood backward.

Farther you may know the Child if it be a K2 Boy K2v 132
Boy to be three moneths old, and if a Girle to
be about four moneths old, if you find Milk in
the Mothers breasts, for at those times the
Child first moves, and then is there Milk found
in the breasts of the Mother.

If the right breast swell and strut out the
Boy is well, if it flag it is a sign of miscarriage,
judge the same of the Girle by the left breast,
when it is sunk, or round and hard, the first
signifies abortion to be near, the other health
and safety both of the Mother and the

Chap. VIII.

How the Child grows in the Womb, and
one part after the other successively

Men are of several minds concerning the
time when each part is made; I think
they are in the right, who maintain that the
membranes are first made which wrap the
Child, with the Navel-vessels by which the
Child is fastned to the Mothers womb, and
draws nutriment from her, and all parts are
made sooner or later, as dignity and necessity of K3r 133
of the parts require, but this is thought to be
the hardest piece of Anatomy, because it is seldome
to be observed, because if women dye
in child-bed they first miscarry and dye afterward.
Some follow Galen herein, who never
saw a woman Anatomized; others Columbus,
some Vesalius, but few or none know the
truth. The stones of a woman for generation
of seed, are white, thick and well concocted,
for I have seen one, and but one
and that is more by one than many Men have
seen. In the act of Copulation both eject
their seed, which is united in the womb; and
Boys or Girls are begotten as the seed is that
prevails stronger or weaker, so the greater
light puts out the lesser, the Sun the light of
a Candle. Nature desires to beget its like in
all things, a Man a Man-child, a woman one
of her own sex; but we follow desire not
nature when we wish the contrary. If
the Horse or Mare trot, it were strange that
the Filly should amble.

The seed of both persons being joyn’d, the
Matrix presently shuts as close as may be, to
keep in, and to fasten the seed by its native
heat, and so womens bellies seem lank at
their first conception. The first thing that
works is the spirit of which the seed is full,
this is stir’d up to action by heat of the womb, K3 and K3v 134
and though the seed seems to be homogeneous
and all one substance, yet it consists of very
different parts, some pure and some impure;
the spirit then in the seed divides between
these parts, and makes a separation of the
earthy, cold, clammy, grosser parts, from
the more aerial, pure, and noble parts. The
impure are cast to the outside, to circle in and
keep close the seed which is pure, and of the
outside are the Membranes made, by which
the seed inclosed is kept from danger of cold
and other ill accidents; just as it is in Trees
so it is here, the cold winter congeals the vital
spirits of the Tree, but the Suns heat revives
it in the Spring, and opens the pores of the
Tree, and separates the clean from that which
is unclean, making of the pure juyce flowers,
of the impure and gross juyce leaves and bark.

The first thing Nature makes for the child,
is the Amnios or inward skin that surrounds
the Child in the womb, as the Pia Mater doth
the brain: next is the Chorion or outward
skin made, which compasseth the Child, as
the dura mater the brain; this is soon done by
nature, for God and nature hate idleness, and
no sooner are these two coats made, but
presently the Navel-Vein is bred, piercing
both these skins whilest they are exceeding
tender; and conveighs a drop of blood from the K4r 135
the mothers womb-veins to the seed; of this
one drop is formed the Childs Liver, from the
Liver is bred the hollow Vein, and this Vein
is the fountain of all other Veins of the body,
so this being done, the seed hath blood sufficient
to feed it and to form the rest of the
parts by. It is a vain fancy that some hold,
how that all the parts are formed together,
others that the heart is first framed; it must
receive a right construction what Aristotle
saith, that the Heart lives first and dyeth last, for
the Liver is made much before the Heart. Nor
is that if it be well understood to be found fault
with, that a Man lives successively, first the life
of a Plant, then of a Beast, and lastly of a Man.
For first the Child grows, then it begins to
move, last of all it becomes a reasonable Soul.
Next to the hollow Vein of the Liver being
made, are the arteries of the navel made, then
the great Artery which is the Tree, and all the
small Arteries are but branches coming from
it; & last of all the Heart is framed, as Columbus
proves upōon very sufficient reason, for all the arteries
are made before it, for the Body receives
its life by Arteries, and the Navel arteries are
bred from the Mothers arteries, and therefore
are made next to the Veins, to give vital
blood to the Seed, as the Liver feeds it with
natural blood to build a frail house for poor K4 mor- K4v 136
mortals. Next in order, so far as reason and
Anatomy can guide us, the Liver sends blood
to the Arteries to make the Heart, for the arteries
are made of seed, but the heart and all
fleshy parts are made of blood; last of all the
brain, and then the Nerves to give feeling
and motion are produced. If the most noble
parts were first framed, as the Peripateticks
suppose, then the brain and heart should be
first made, which is not agreeing to reason
and observation. As for the forming of the
bones in order, I think Aristotle said true, that
the whirl bones and the skull are first made. I
confess all these things have been questioned
by some, but I love not impertinent disputes, as
it was the quality of the Grecians, who have
made a large dispute, whether the Elephants
Tusks be Horns or Teeth. Hippocrates divides
the forming of the infant into four divisions:

First the seed of both sexes mixed have not
lost their own form, but resemble curdled
milk covered with a film or cream: the
next form is a rude draught of the parts, or a
chaos like a lump of flesh. And next in order
there is a more curious draught, wherein the
three chief parts, the Brain, the Heart, and
the Liver, may be seen together with the
first three, and as it were the warp of all the
seed parts, and this is called Embrion: But fourthly, K5r 137
fourthly, To perfect the whole work, all the
parts are set in order and perfected, so that
Nature hath nothing to do but to hasten to
delivery, that this work of hers may be brought
forth into the world. When the spirit in the
seed begins to work, it parts the more noble
from the base, and the pure from the impure,
so that the thick, cold, clammy parts are kept
out to cover the more thin and pure parts, and
to defend and preserve them. Nature begins
her conformation with the cold clammy parts
of the seed, and makes skins and membranes
of them to cover the rest, and stretcheth them
out as need requires. Men have only two
membranes, the outward or Chorion which is
strong and nervous, and wraps the infant
round, and this membrane is like a soft pillow
for the Veins and Navel-arteries of the Child
to lean upon, for it had been dangerous for
the Childs Vessels coming from its Navel to
pass far unguarded: but the inward Coat
which is wonderful soft and thin, called the
Amnios or Lamb-skin is loose on each side except
it be at the cake, where it growes so fast
to the skin that it cannot easily be parted;
this skin receives the sweat and Urine, and
from thence the Child is much helped, for it
swims in these waters like as in a bath, and
time is for delivery, it moistneth the orifice of the K5v 138
the Matrix, makes it glib and slippery whereby
the woman is more easily and more speedily

These two Coats grow so close together
that they seem to be but one garment, and it
is called the Secundine or after-burthen, because
it comes forth after the Child is born, for
the Child first breaks through it, & sometimes
brings along with it a piece of the said Lamb-
skin upon the face and head, which is called
by Midwives the Caule, and strange reports
they give of it.

Some think it ridiculous and fabulous, but
as all extraordinary things signifie something
more than is usual, so I am subject to believe
that this Caule doth foreshew something notable
which is like to befall them in the course of
their lives.

But notwithstanding all that hath been said,
some Anatomists do a little vary from it, for
they maintain, that within the first seven
days wherein the generative seed is mingled
and curdled in the Mothers womb by the heats
motion, many small fibres are bred, in which
shortly the Liver and his principal Organs
are formed first, and through these Organs
the vital spirits coming to the seed in ten
days makes all the distinction of parts, and
through some small Veins in the Secundine the blood K6r 139
blood runs, and of that is the Navel made, and
there appears at the same time three clods of
seed or white lumps like curdled Milk, & these
are the foundation of three principal parts,
viz. the Brain, the Liver, and the Heart. But the
Liver is confest to be first made of a blood gathered
by one branch of this Vein, for the Liver
it self is nothing else but a lump of clotted
blood full of Veins which serve to attract and
to expell; but immediately before the Liver is
made, there is a two-forked Vein formed
through the navel, to suck away the grosser
part of the blood that rests in the seed. In the
other branch of this vein more veins are made
for the spleen and lower belly, and all of them
coming to one root meet in the upper part of
the Liver in the hollow Vein, & from hence other
Veins are sent out of the Midriff to the
thighs below, & to the upper part of the backbone;
next this the heart is made with its veins,
for these veins draw the hottest part of the
blood & that which is most subtil, & so make
the heart: within the membrane called the Pericardium
or skin that covers the heart, the
hollow Vein runs through the inward part of
the right side of the heart carrying blood to
it to feed it: from the same branch of this
vein and the same part of the heart is there
another vein that beats but faintly, thereforefore K6v 140
called the still Vein, amongst the pulsative
Veins, and this is provided to send the more
pure blood by from the heart to the Lungs,
they are covered with a double Coat as the
Arteries are.

The Artery called Aorta, that conveighs the
vital spirits through the whole body from the
heart by the beating Veins or arteries, is bred
in the hollow of the left Vein of the heart,
and under this artery in the same hollow place
of the heart is another Vein bred which is
called the vein-artery, that brings the cold
air from the Lungs to cool the heart, for the
Lungs are made by many Veins that run from
the hollow of the heart, and come thither
to frame the Lungs; and they have their substance
from a very thin subtil blood that is
brought thither from the right hollow of the

The breast is first framed by the great Veins
of the Liver, and after that the outmost parts,
the legs and arms.

But last of all the Brain is made in the third
little skin I speak of, for the seed being full of
vital spirits, the vital spirits draw much of the
natural moisture, into one hollow place where
the brain is made, and covered with a Coat
which heat drieth and bakes into a skull.

The Veins come all from the Liver, Arteriesries K7r 141
from the Heart, Nerves from the brain,
of a soft gentle nature, yet not hollow as
Veins are, but solid; the Brain retains and
changes the vital spirits, from hence are the
beginnings of sense and reason.

After the Nerves the pith of the back-bone
is bred which cannot be called Marrow, for
Marrow is a superfluous substance made of
blood to moisten and strengthen the bones,
but the pith of the back and brain are made
of seed, not to serve other parts, but to be also
parts of themselves, for sense and motion,
that all the Nerves might grow originally
from thence; also Bones Gristles, Coats, and
Membranes are bred from the seed, Veins for
the Liver, Arteries for the Heart, Nerves for
the Brain, besides all other pannicles and coverings
the child is wrapped in. But all fleshy
substance as the Heart it self, Liver, and Lungs,
are made of the proper blood of the birth;
this is all ended in eighteen days of the first
month, and all that time it carrieth the name
of seed, and afterwards is called the birth;
and this birth so long as it is in the womb is
fed with blood received through the Navel,
and therefore when women are with child the
courses cease; for after conception this blood
is severed into three parts, the best and finest
serves for the childs nourishment, the next in K7v 142
in pureness though not so pure as the first, riseth
to the breasts to make milk, and the
grossest part of the three stays in the womb
and comes away with the birth and after-

But this is a long dispute how the child
comes to be fed in the womb. Alcmeon
thought the childs body being soft like a
sponge did draw nourishment by all parts of
its body, as a sponge sucks water, not only
drinking from the mothers veins but from the
womb also. Hippocrates as well as Democritus
or Epicurus seems to say, that the child
sucks both nourishment and breath at the
mouth, from the mother when she breaths,
for these two causes.

  • 1. Because it could not suck so soon as it is
    born were it not used to it before.

  • 2. There are excrements found in the Guts of
    a new born child; but all creatures that suck
    will do it presently by instinct of nature; as
    Chickins that never fed before, will presently
    pick up their food; and as for the excrements
    found in the Guts they are not excrements
    of the first concoction, for they stink
    not, but are gross blood that came from the
    Vessels of the spleen to the Guts and are dried
    there; but now it is agreed by all since the
    truth is found out, that the child in the womb is K8r 143
    is fed by its Navel, only they differ about the
    food it lives on, the Peripateticks say it is fed
    by menstrual blood which is the excrement of
    the last nutriment of the fleshy parts, which at
    certain times is purged forth by the womb in
    a moderate quantity, but primarily ordained
    for the generation and nutriment of the

But Fernelius, Pliny, Columella, and Columbus
deny this, because such blood is impure,
and will, where it falls, destroy Plants,
and Trees, Dogs will run mad that eat it,
and ofttimes hurts the women themselves,
causing swimmings of the head, pains, swellings,
and suffocations, this then were ill food
for a tender infant.

But to answer all: If the woman be in
good health, her monthly courses are no bad
blood for quality though they hurt in quantity
being more than she can concoct; and
therefore she sends forth what is too much;
but if her body be ill affected, the blood that
stays in the womb is naught as well as that
she voids by her terms, but when the courses
are not duly voided but stay, in being stopt
beyond their time of evacuation, then they
cause those ill effects formerly mentioned, else
not: but women have not these courses the
greatest part of the time they are with child, nor K8v 144
nor yet when they give suck, for the most
part; if the child be not fed with this blood
what becomes of this blood when women are
with child? certain it is it turns into milk,
when time serves, to suckle the infant with.
Yet Hippocrates was mistaken, who says, that
the last part of the time the child lieth in the
womb after it is quick, its fed partly by the
mother milk; but this is certain that the infant
in the womb is fed with pure blood conveyed
in the Liver by the Navel-vein which is a
branch of the great vein, and spreads to the
small veins of the Liver. And here this blood
is more refined, the thick, gross, crude part
goes to the Spleen and Kidneys, and the
gross excrement of it to the Guts, and that is it
is found in the Guts as soon as they are born.
The most pure part goes into the hollow vein,
and from thence through the whole body by
small branches; this blood hath a watry substance
with it, as all blood hath, to make it
run and keep it from clodding, and this water
in men and women breaths forth by sweat, &
so it doth in a child, and is contain’d in the
Lamb-skin, as I told you. This watry substance
that is joined with the blood, when
the blood comes to the kidneys, parts
from the blood, and is sent by the kidneys,
that make their separation, by the Uretersters L1r 145
to the bladder; nor doth the infant piss
as he lieth in the womb by the Yard, but the
Urine is carryed by the Urachos, a vessel to
carry it, which is long and without blood, to
the Allantois, or skin that is made to hold
the childs water in, so long as it remains in the
womb; this Urachos or passage goeth from
the bottom of the bladder to the Allantois, and
hath no muscle belongs unto it, that the child
may void the Urine when nature requires,
but when the child is born it hath muscles
at the root of the bladder, to shut and open
that we may make it not a meer natural, but
partly a mixed action, to follow our business,
and make water, not alwayes but when we
please; but this is not the course with the
child continually, for the first month the childs
Urine comes out through the passage of the
Navel, but in the last month by the Yard, but
it never goes to stool in the womb because it
takes no nutriment by the mouth. After forty
five days, the child lives, but moves not,
commonly he moves in double the time he
was formed, and is born in thrice the time after
he began to move. If the child be fully
formed in forty days, he will move in ninety
days, and be born in the ninth month, but he
receives daily more food after the third and
fourth month to the day of his birth. A child L born L1v 146
born in six months is not perfect and must die,
but one born in seven months is perfect, but
one born in the eight month cannot live, because
in the seventh month the child useth
all its force to come out, and if it cannot, it
must stay two months longer to recover the
strength lost upon the former attempt that
had made it too feeble to get forth in the
eighth month, for if it come not forth at the
seventh month it removes its station and
changeth it self to some other place in the
womb; these two motions have so weakened
it, that it must stay behind a month
longer, for if it come forth before, it is almost
impossible for it to live. But Astrologers determine
this business another way, for they affirm,
that children born in the seventh month
do live by reason of the compleating of the
motion of the seven planets, allowing one
month to each of them, beginning with Saturn
thus; Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus,
Mercury, Luna. Now if the child come not
forth at the seventh month, but stay till the
eighth month, the Planets having ruled every
one his month, Saturn begins to rule again,
who is an enemy to conception in all his qualities,
and so the child born in the eighth
month will be born dead, or live a very short
time; yet other Philosophers maintain, that Saturn L2r 147
Saturn is no enemy to conception, but ruling
in the first month, by his influence and retentive
faculty, the child is fixed in the womb;
but as the celestial bodies have their influence
upon the terrestial and upon all the elements,
they cause all the changes here below, and are
not changed themselves: for that the Heavens,
and the fixed Stars, and the Planets are still
the same they were in the first creation, and
that the twelve Signs and Planets do rule over
the bodies of men and women; and how
that Scorpio which is the house of Mars, rules
over the womb and makes it fruitful; and
that Leo is a barren Sign, because Lions seldom
bring forth young, and so is Virgo for
they are no maids that conceive with child.
But then why should not Taurus be a barren
but a fruitful Sign, when Bulls never bring
forth any. But not to trouble the reader with
Astrological dreams. I think it is not the seven
Planets that by this complement of seven
make the child to live, but I should rather
impute it to the perfection of the number seven,
which is easily proved by Scripture to be
the most perfect number, and will appear so
to be by the Sabbath the seventh day of the
week commanded for rest; also the Sabbatical
or every seventh year, and the year of Jubilee
seven times seven. So that Hippocrates L2 was L2v 148
was out in three books, where he endeavours
to prove that a child born in the eighth month
cannot live; Aristotle, Plutarch, Galen, and others
were of the same judgement. But to
oppose them, the writers of Spain, Egypt, and
of Nanas prove the contrary by divers examples:
Hippocrates might be also misunderstood,
whether he meant Solar months that consist
of thirty one days a piece, or very near, being
the time the Sun is passing through the
Zodiack, or Lunar months, the time the
moon is in any Sign of the twelve, and her
stay there which is but twenty seven days,
with some few hours and minutes; besides all
this, the woman, Hippocrates mentions, might
not make her reckoning right; for if you trust
to womens account you can be at no certainty,
scarce one of a hundred can tell you true.
And as for Saturn, who is so much blamed for
playing the ill Midwife in the eighth month,
he is as much commended for his good office
in the first month; but there is no man,
or Planet that can alwayes have every mans
good word; yet I am of opinion they do him
wrong: but Astrologers may say what
they please without reason, for they never
prove any thing but one dream by another.
Aries forsooth is not fruitful because it
is the House of Mars, and is not Scorpio which they L3r 149
they praise for fructifying the house of Mars
too? Every Planet is maintained by them to
rule the several parts of mans body, and that
by degrees according to their signs and several
Houses they are in. I have found no Table
concerning this business to have any truth in
it, wherefore I have drawn forth one exactly
which you may safely rely upon, if upon any
Table at all, and by this Table you shall find
that every Planet when he is in Scorpio, which
signifies fruitfulness of the womb, rules those
parts of the body which are under the same
Sign: the two great Luminaries, I mean the
Sun and Moon, excepted, which do it by reception;
a clear proof that they have a great
influence in framing the child in the womb,
and that the two Luminaries in that
work; mingle their influence one with the

The Table.

The first month Authors give to Saturn to
retain the conception, for he, say they, fixes
the seed. The Second month to Jupiter, and
upon him they lay the foundation of encreasing,
of sense and reason, but the true foundation
is then laid, when the Seed of both
man and woman are well mingled. Mars L3 rules L3v 150
rules the third month to give heat and motion
to the infant. Any Tooth good Barber.
The Sun governs the fourth month to give
the child vital spirits, yet Mars gave it motion
a month before without any spirits at all: I
cannot understand there can be voluntary
motion and no vital spirits. Venus in the fifth
month adds beauty; the body we all know
is fashioned in thirty or forty days, but beauty
must not come till three months after. As
for the sixth month that is Mercuries part, to
distinguish the parts of the child, which Venus
it seems could never do with all her beauty,
as if the child were but a Chaos, and a
rude mass till the sixth month, yet it was very
beautiful a month before. As for the seventh
and last month in the Planetary revolution,
that is the Moons part, to make the child complete.
Here is much ado to small purpose. It
is no error I confess to impute much to the
operation of the Planets; But they are much
mistaken about the times that such and such
Planets do work, for doubtless the Planets
do not operate by succession as some would
have it, so that when one rules, all the rest
are idle and lie still, but they cooperate and
work altogether and that continually. Their
motion causes mutation, for the motion of
the Sun, saith Potolomy, of the Earth, saith Copernicus,pernicus L4r 151
distinguisheth night from day. The
Sun gives heat to all things here below, the
Moon moisture, and our life consists in heat
and moisture. The Sun is the Sire of all living
creatures, and is first active in the seed of
both sexes, in the very middle of the seed,
and so he enlivens and moves every part to its
proper action. That which Aristotle speaks
of the Heart, the Microcosmical Sun in man’s
production, is partly true both in and after
conception, to frame vital spirits and cause
motion & action. For as the earth is preserved
by the element of water from being scorched
and burnt up by the beams of the Sun, so the
Microcosmical Sun, the Heart; but which is the
Moon, the brain or the Liver is hard to say, adds
moisture to this conception from first to last,
I mean as long as the child lives, and thus the
radical moisture is preserved. Aristotle thought
the brain by its coldness tempered the
heat of the heart, and for my part I think
he said very true, I see no man give a sufficient
reason to the contrary. There must yet
be something to ballance the heat and moisture
of the Sun and Moon, and that they say
is Saturn by his coldness, for he fixeth them
both in the work of conception, and the dry
bones are his work which are the Pillars
and supports of this frail building. But becauseL4 cause L4v 152
there is no Generation but first there
must be corruption, for the corruption of one
is the generation of an other, whereby it comes
to pass that there is not a total decay in the
world: the beams of the Sun & Moon working
upon the seed of both sexes fixed by Saturn are
purified and concocted by the equal temperament
of heat and moisture that the Planet
Jupiter lets fall amongst them; but then comes
Mars with his heat and dryness, and what is
overplus in the conception, as there must
needs be some superfluities, that Mars draws
forth and turns to excrements, and hardens
into Coverings and Coats for the child by his
calcining heat, what is bred by moisture and
heat, is fixed by cold and dryness. Mars heats
with a fiery calcination, but Venus she tempers
the heat of Mars by her moisture, for she
is a cold moist Planet, and fitly added to abate
the courage and violent heat of warlike Mars:
there is a great sympathy between Mars and
Venus, and therefore surely the Poets speak so
much of their conjunction, for they are eminent
in this of mans generation.

You may by this find out the causes of sympathy
and antipathy in natural things; and
seeing all things are made up of such contrary
qualities, what is generated must in time be
corrupted, nothing is eternal in this world; but facing L4v The Figure Explained:Being a Dissection of the Womb, with the usual
manner how the Child lies therein near the time
of its Birth.
B B. The inner parts of the Chorion extended and
branched out.
C. The Amnios extended.D D. The Membrane of the Womb extended and
E. The Fleshy substance call’d the Cake or Placenta,
which nourishes the Infant, it is full of Vessels.
flawed-reproductionapproximately 4 linesfacing L5r A naked female figure with exploded view of womb showing the fetus with accompanying explanatory text. This illustration is referenced in a printer’s note on page 155.
L5r 153
but a perpetual motion breeds mutation, and
not man nor any thing else can continue in the
same stay. Mars and Venus do here play their
parts in mans production, for they are the
nearest of the five Planets to the earth, but
next to them is Mercury, of a changeable disposition,
and applieth himself to the rest of
the Planets with several aspects, and he causeth
the desire of knowledge in man; sense
and reason also some maintain to be the work
of Mercury by his influence upon the child in
the womb. It is not denied but a piercing acute
humour proceeds from him, which is
most likely to effect not alone the sensible but
the rational part in man.

Chap. IX.

Of the Posture the Child holdeth in the
Womb, and after what fashion it lieth

Here Physicians are at a stand and are never
like to agree about it, not two in
twenty that can set their horses together; the
speculation is very curious, insomuch that the
Prophet David ascribes this knowledge as
more peculiar to God, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Psalm 139. “My reins are thine L5v 154
thine, thou hast covered me in my mothers womb:
I will give thanks unto thee for I am fearfully
and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works,
and that my soul knoweth right well; my bones
are not hid from thee, though I be made secretly
and fashioned beneath in the earth; thine eyes did
see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in thy
Book were all my members written, which day
by day were fashioned, whenas yet there was none
of them.”

Yet Anatomists have narrowly enquired into
this secret Cabinet of nature, and Hippocrates
that great Physician tells us in his
Book De natura Pueri, that the infant lieth in
the womb with his head, his hands, and his
knees bending downward, towards his feet:
so that he is bended round together, his hands
lying upon both his knees, the thumbs of his
hands, & his eyes meeting each with other, &
so saith Bartholinus the younger of the two.
Likewise Columbus’s opinion is, that the child
lieth round in the womb with the right arm
bended, and the fingers of the right hand lying
under the ear of it, above the neck, the
head bowed so low that the chin meets and
toucheth the breast, and the left arm bowed
lying above the breast and the face, and the
right elbow bended serves to underprop the
left arm lying upon it; the legs are lying upwards,wards L6r 155
and the right leg is lifted so high that
the infants thigh toucheth its belly, the knees
touch the Navel, and the heel toucheth the
left buttock, and the foot is turned backward
and hides the privy members; as for the left
thigh, that toucheth the belly, and the left leg
is lifted up to the breast; the stomach lyeth
inward. But the expert Spigelius hath the fashion
of a child near the birth, whose figure
I have here laid down, and I believe it is very
proper, for, as well as I am able to judge by
the figure, it is the very same with that of a
child that I had once the chance to see when
I was performing my office of Midwifry.

Here insert the Figure of the Child
near its Birth.

This is a general observation, that the Male
Child most commonly lyeth on the right
side in the womb, and the Female on the left
side; but Hippocrates layeth it down as the
most universal way, to have his hands, knees,
and head bending down toward the feet, his
nose betwixt his knees, his hands upon both
knees, and his face between them, each eye
touching each thumb; but he is wrapt as he
lieth in two mantles or garments, as I said, for L6v 156
for a boy hath no more; that which immediately
covers him and lieth next to his skin,
is called Amnios the skirt or Lamb-skin, it is
wonderful soft and thin, and is loose on all
sides, only it grows so fast to the Cake, that it
can hardly be parted from it; the use of it
farther is to receive the Childs sweat and Urine,
which moisteneth the mouth of the Matrix
also and makes the birth more easie, but
the outward coat called Chorion, is very strong
and sinewy, and encloseth the child round about,
and like a soft pillow or bed bears up
all the veins and Arteries of the Navel, which
would have been in danger, to have been
carried so far, without some soft bolster to sustain

These coats growing fast together seem to
be but one coat, or one to be the beginning of
the other, and this altogether taken is called
the after-burden or Secundine, for when the
Child is grown strong enough to come out of
the womb, and the time of his birth is at
hand, he breaks through these coverings,
and the coverings come forth after the child
is born: yet sometimes a piece of the Amnios
covers the childs face and head when he is
born and women call it the caule, and hold it
to be a Sign of some great happiness that will
befall the child in the following part of his life, L7r 157
life, but some think it is neither here nor
there, one born without this caule may be as
happy as he that is born with it. There belong
to the child whilest it lieth in the womb
some things that are proper for it, some to
cloath it, and are only for that time that it
lieth in that place, and afterwards of no
known use, though some have tried to make
use of them in Physick and Chirurgery, but
commonly they cast it away. Some things again
serve to nourish and feed it in the womb,
and those are the Navel-vessels which are four
in number, two arteries, one vein, and that
vessel which is called Urachos, which carrieth
away the childs water in the womb to that
skin that is prepared to hold that water so
long as the child staies in the womb and it is
called Allantois. The vein I speak of comes
from the Infants Liver, and when it is passed
the navel, it brancheth into two branches;
and these again divide and subdivide, the skin
called Chorion supporting the branches of it,
and these are joined to the Veins of the mothers
womb, and serve to suck and to carry
the mothers blood from thence to feed the infant
with, whilest it stays there.

This Vein is for that end that the infant
may be fed from the first time of conception
untill it be born, and then its use is over as to the L7v 158
the first intention, when the child comes to
feed it self, for then it hath no need to suck
blood from the mother as it did before.

The Arteries are two on each side, and
these spring from the branches of the great
artery of the mother that comes from the small
Guts and these serve to carry vital blood to
feed the Infant with, when it is first well prepared
and concocted by the mother.

The next part for servile use, is a Nervous
production called Urachos, and it comes from
the bottom of the bladder of the child to its
Navel, and it serves, as the name also implies,
to carry the childs Urine to the Allantois or
skin that must retain it. But Anatomists are
not all of one mind about it, for some say
there is no such thing to be found in the after-
burden of women, but in beasts it is. Let
their ignorance or disputes be what they will
to no purpose, I shall satisfie all by true experience,
which cannot be contradicted; he
that reads the Anatomy Lecture of Montpelion
in France, Bartholomew Cabrolius a skilful Chirurgion
professeth that he saw a maid whose
Urine came forth at her Navel, the ordinary
passage of her water being obstructed: and
Dr. John Fernelius tells the same story, of a
man who was thirty years old, who had a
stopping in the neck of his bladder so that for many L8r 159
many months continually his water came
forth by his Navel, yet he found no hurt at
all by it but was very well in health, and Fernelius
saith, the reason was, because his Navel-string
was not well tied, and the passage
of the Urachos gave way because it was not
well dried. And there is another example
that Valchier Coiler lays down of a German
maid of Noremberge, she was thirty four years
of age. These distempers are not frequent,
because she must be a very unskilful Midwife
that knows not how to tie and cut the Navel
string, yet these accidents are sufficient
in such a dark matter to prove that there is
such a thing as a Urachos or Urine-carrier
from the Navel in both sexes, men as well as

These four vessels, as I said, namely one
Vein, two Arteries, and the Urachos, join together
near the Navel, and they are tyed by a
skin they have from the Chorion or outward
coat of the Secundine, and so they seem to be a
Chord or Gut without any feeling, this is that
that all People call the Navel-string, if woman
or man doubt of the truth of this relation,
let him only take the childs Navel-string
when it is cut off, and untwist it, and open it
and so they shall be able to satisfie themselves.
These Vessels are so joined for to strengthen them L8v 160
them that they will not be broken, nor yet
are they entangled together; when the child is
born into the world then these Vessels as they
hang without from the Navel serve for no other
use but to be knit fast and to make a
strong band to cover the Navel-hole. Yet
experience hath found a way to make a Physical
use of them, that what is spar’d from tying
and to be cut off, may not be thrown away;
as for the Secundine and the parts of
it, the parts of it are held to be four. I
shall shew you a little more concerning the
description and use of them. The first part is
that which is commonly called a Sugar cake
in Latine Placenta, and indeed it is very like a
cake in the form of it, it is tied both to the
Navel and to the strong outward, sinewy Coat
of the Child in the womb called Chorion; and
this is that which makes the greater part of
the after-burden or Secundine; the flesh hereof
is soft and of a red colour, much like the spleen
or milt, tending somewhat to black, there are
abundance of small Veins and Arteries in it,
and it should be probable that the chief use
it serves for, is to cloath and keep the infant in
the womb. Columbus a very good Anatomist,
yet was much deceived when he affirms the
Chorion or strongest and outward membrane
that wraps the Child in the womb to be no skin M1r 161
skin. It is undoubtedly known, that the Chorion
and Amnios do compass the child round,
above, beneath, and on all sides, but the Allantois
that contains the childs Urine doth not
so. Columbus he mistook this skin for the Placenta
or cake, but Hippocrates gives this name
Secundine as general to the whole, in that
book he hath written of womens diseases: for
the Chorion is a skin very white, and thick,
light and slippery, and it is laced, and adorned,
and branched with a great many small
Veins and Arteries, and we must not think
that it serves only for a covering of the child
in the womb, for it serves farther to receive
and to bind fast the roots of the Veins, and
Arteries or Navel-Vessels which I spake of

The Allantois or skin to contain the childs
Urine in the womb is denied by many that
there is any such Vessel to be found in
mans body, I must confess reason must help
us to discern it, for we can hardly see it or
find it. It is said that in Holland men are wont
to be present at their wives labours as well as
women, and that few of the women use stools,
but they sit in their Husbands laps when they
are delivered; and they say there is such a
a thing. Galen maintains, that there is as much
reason and experience for it in men as in M beasts M1v 162
beasts, good women as well as my self have
done, may look for it, and find it too if they
please, a very fine, white, soft, exceeding thin
skin and it lieth just under the cake or Placenta,
and there it is tied to the Urachos from
which it takes in the Urine, and its office is
to keep the Urine apart from the sweat, that
the saltness of the Urine may not hurt the
tender Infant, which it must needs do, were it
not kept up in a place by its self. The Amnios
is the last and inmost skin, and it is wonderful
fine, soft, white, transparent, fed and interwoven
with many Veins and Arteries; this
skin not only infolds the Infant, but also
holds the sweat that comes from it whilest it
lieth in the womb.

Book. M2r 163

Book. III.

Chap. I.

What it is that hinders Conception and
may be the causes that some women
are barren.

Barrenness, as I said, is either by
Nature, and that may be when
two persons are joined in marriage,
that either both are deficient
by reason of ill conformity
of the generative parts, or
but one of them; for if both be
not perfect to all respects, as to that work
of copulation, they shall never have any
children, and such marriages are not lawful
by the Laws of God or man, because that
procreating and bearing children is one of M2 the M2v 164
the chief ends of marriage; but accidental
barrenness may happen to them by reason of
some curable infirmity, and when that is removed
they may be as fruitful as others that
are naturally so. Physicians and Midwives have
tried many ways to discover when man and
wife cannot fructifie, where the fault lieth,
whether the hinderance be from the man or
from his wife, or from both; the best experiment
that ever I could find, was to take some
small quantity of Barley, or any other Corn
that will soon grow, and soak part of it in
the mans Urine, and part in the womans Urine,
for a whole day and a night; then take
the Corn out of both their Urines and lay
them apart upon some floor, or in parts
where it may dry, and in every morning water
them both with their own Urine, and so
continue; that Corn that grows first is the
most fruitful, and so is the person whose Urine
was the cause of it; if one or neither
part of these grains grow, they are one or
both of them barren: almost all men and
women desire to be fruitful naturally, and it
is a kind of self-destroying not to be willing
to leave some succession after us; nay it
seems to be more general and to tend to the
ruine of the world, which cannot be continued
without fruitfulness in copulation; Virnityginity M3r 165
and single life in some cases, is preferred
before Matrimony, because it is a singular
blessing and gift of God, which all people are
not capable of: But for men or women to mutilate
themselves on purpose, or use destructive
means to cause barrenness, besides the
means prescribed of Prayer and fasting, I cannot
think to be justifiable, though some persons
have presumptuously ventured upon it.
Let the Votaries of the Roman Church look
to it, when they make vows of chastity,
which the greatest part of them doubtless
are never able to keep but by using unlawful
means. I much doubt whether they pray
and fast so much as they pretend to. The
principal cause of barrenness in man or woman
lieth in the generative parts, and if children
be born defective it is not we that
are Midwives can cure it, what Nature
wants, Art can hardly make perfect. It is
not my design so much to speak of unfruitfulness
in men, but of women in relation to
their Conception, and Child-bearing; and I
conceive the chiefest cause of womens barrenness
to be from the womb of them that is
ill formed, or ill disposed, and not as naturally
it should be in those that may have children.
There are many infirmities that we
women especially are made unfruitful by, M3 but M3v 166
but God hath appointed several remedies for
most accidents, that none need to despair of
help: true it is that the Scripture relates of
a woman that had an issue of blood twelve
years and could find no cure, but had spent
all upon Physicians, yet at last she was cured
by touching the hem of Christ’s Garment: it
is probable God would not have her cured by
man, that her faith might be confirmed by
the surpassing vertue she found in Christ. But
before I come to speak of this, I shall speak of
the things that are most proper to follow in
order, namely concerning delivery of women
with child.

Chap. II.

Of great pain and difficulty in Childbearing,
with the Signs, and causes,
and cures.

Ihave done with that part of Anatomy, that
concerns principally us Midwives to know,
that we may be able to help and give directions
to such women as send for us in their extremities,
and had we not some competent
insight into the Theory, we could never know how M4r 167
how to proceed to practice, that we may be
able to give a handsome account of what we
come for.

The accidents and hazards that women lye
under when they bring their Children into
the world are not few, hard labour attends
most of them, it was that curse that God laid
upon our sex to bring forth in sorrow, that is
the general cause and common to all as we
descended from the same great Mother Eve,
who first tasted the forbidden fruit; but the
particular causes are diverse according to several
ages, and constitutions, and conformations,
or infirmities. For sometimes Maids are
married very young at twelve or fourteen
years of age, and prove so soon with Child,
when the passage is very little dilated, but is
very strait and narrow; in such a case the labour
in Child-bearing must needs be great for
the infant to find passage, and for the Mother
to endure it; and it must of necessity be much
greater if some diseases go along with it,
which happens oft in those parts, as Pushes,
and Pyles, and Aposthumes, that Nature can
hardly give way for the Child to be born.
Sometimes the Bladder or near parts are offended,
and the womb is a sufferer by consent,
and this will hinder delivery: And so if her
body be bound that she cannot go to stool, the M4 belly M4v 168
belly stopt with excrement will make the pain
in travel the greater, because the womb hath
not room to enlarge it self. So if women be
too old as well as too young, or if they be
weak by accident, or naturally of feeble constitutions,
if they be fearful, & cannot well endure
pain: be they too lean or too spare bodies,
too gross or too fat, or if they be unruly & will
not be governed, they will suffer the greater
pain in Child-birth; and it is not without
reason maintained also, that a Boy is sooner
and easier brought forth than a Girle; the
reasons are many, but they serve also for the
whole time she goes with Child, for women
are lustier that are with Child with Boys, and
therefore they will be better able to run
through with it: the weaker they are the
greater the pain, because they are less able to
endure it; and the strength of the Child is
much, for it will sooner break forth, than
when it is weak though it be of the same sex;
if the Child be large, and the passage strait, as
it is alwayes, though not alike in all, she must
look for a great deal of pain when the time of
delivery comes; but none more painful and
dangerous than Monstrous births. Sometimes
the Child doth not come at the time appointed
by Nature, or it offers not it self in
such a posture as that it may find a passage forth, M5r 169
forth, as when the feet first present themselves
to the neck of the womb, either both feet together,
or else but one foot, and both hands
upwards, or both knees together, or else
more dangerous yet, lying all upon one side
thwart the womb, or else backward or arselong;
or two Children offer themselves at
once with their feet first, or one foot and one
head; the postures are so many and strange,
that no woman Midwife, nor man whatsoever
hath seen them all. We have an example
in Scripture of two Children that Judah
got incestuously upon his Daughter in Law
Tamar, who offered themselves to the Birth
at the same time, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. 38. 26. “And it came
to pass in the time of her travel, that behold Twins
were in her womb, and when she travelled, one of
them put forth his hand, & the Midwife took and
bound upon his hand a scarlet thred, saying, this
came out first; and it came to pass, that as he
drew his hand again back, his brother came out,
and she said, how hast thou broken forth? this
breach be upon thee, therefore his name was called
Pharez. And after him came his brother that
had the Scarlet thred upon his hand, and his name
was called Zerah.”
We do not read but that she
was safely delivered of them both, and neither
Mother nor Child died in the Birth. But
we find an example that will serve to our purposepose M5v 170
concerning hard labor, and that of
Rachel, a good woman, wife to the Patriark
Jacob, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. 35. 17, 18. “Rachel travelled,
and she had hard labor, and when she was in
travel the Midwife said to her, fear not, thou
shalt have this Son also, but her soul was departing,
for she died,”
&c. A single birth, and
a Boy, which is easier labour as I said, than of
a Girle, and a young woman who had born
one child before; yet Child-bearing is so dangerous
that the pain must needs be great, and
if any feel but a little pain it is commonly harlots
who are so used to it that they make little
reckoning of it, and are wont to fare better
at present than vertuous persons do, but
they will one day give an account for it if they
continue impenitent, and be condemned to a
torment of hell which far surpasses all pains in
Child birth, yet these doubtless are the
greatest of all pains women usually undergo
upon Earth.

There are many more causes of great pains
in travel than have been yet spoken of; for if
a woman miscarry before the due time of
Child birth, if she come in three, or four, or
five Moneths after she hath conceived, the
womb at that time is close shut by the course
of nature, and must be forced to open, which,
if the Child come at the just time it should come M6r 171
come, opens it self, but Abortion makes the
woman that she ofttimes never can conceive
again, for she can hardly ever retain the mans
Seed any more, there is such a weakness caused
in the retentive faculty, or else she will
hardly ever conceive again. And I have
heard some women complain that have miscarryed,
of the great pains they have endured
at such a time, and to profess that they
have found less pain in bearing ten Children
than when they have miscarryed with

But there is yet something worse than all
this, when a Child comes to be dead in the
womb, and is of full age to be born; for then
it cannot help the woman because it stirs not,
nor can it be turned that it may be brought
forth but with great difficulty; and if the woman
have been long sick her self, the infant
cannot be strong in her womb, if she have
by some accident had her courses come down
much, after she is conceived with Child, or
had some extraordinary flux, or looseness,
and if the Child do not stir, as a living and
healthful Child will; these are signes of imbecillity.

Moreover the Secundine which covers the
Child in the womb, of which I gave you the
description before, that it is the Membranes, and M6v 172
and Coats, Chorion and Amnios; and these are
ofttimes so strong that they will not break to
make passage for the Child to come forth, & it
may cause hard labour; also if the Secundine be
too thin and weak so that it cleaves asunder
before the child be turned, or fitted to come
to the birth, for by this means all the moisture
and humours run forth of the womb and leave
the after-birth dry, and the Birth can hardly
pass because the womb is not slippery wanting
due moisture. Cold also shuts the womb
closer, and heat causeth the woman to faint,
if either of them exceed, so that she must be
kept in a due temper or her delivery will not
be so easy as it might be otherwise. Besides
these, Diet is to be taken into consideration;
for sower and binding things will straiten the
Orifice of the Matrix; as Quinces, and
Chesnuts, and Services, and Medlars, and
Pears, all these and such like cause dolour by
contracting the womb; sweet scents cause
hard delivery, because they draw the matrix
upward; too much hunger or thirst, weariness,
or watching extraordinarily, and to use cold
baths after the fifth moneth, or astringent mineral
baths of Alum, Salts, or Iron, or of
vegetables that bind much, will produce the
like painful effects. The woman may be assured
also by the pains she feels before travel, if M7r 173
if they be above the Navel and in the back only,
and not below as they should be in time
of delivery, that all is not so well as not to
put her to more than ordinary pain: the
signes of easie Birth are contrary to these; for
then the pains bear downwards and not upwards
and so they are not so violent, if she
have usually been delivered with ease; if the
woman have cold fainting sweats and she
swoon away, and her Pulse beat out of measure,
there is much danger, but if she be
strong and lusty, and the Child tumbles and
strives much to come forth, and the pains fall
to the bottom of the belly there is no fear; but
know this, all women are most in danger to
miscarry in the first, and second moneth after
they have conceived, for then the ligaments
and all parts of it are weak and easily
spoiled and torn in sunder, and about the end
of her going with Child, the Child is heavy
and the womb begins to open, and so causeth
danger of abortion; but in about four, five,
or six moneths there is least danger in taking
Physick, or letting blood if the women be oppressed
with it, for then she will not easily
miscarry. I told you before, that women
are all ready to be brought a bed at seven
moneths end, for that number of seven is the
perfection of all numbers; Pythagoras saith, that M7v 174
that seven is the knot that binds Mans life,
and Hippocrates, lib. de Principiis, saith, that
the time of all men is determined by seven,
every climatericall or seven years breeding a
new alteration in the body of Man: Children
cast their Teeth at seven, and Maids courses
begin to flow at fourteen. Seven times seven
is of great danger to Mans life; and the great
Climaterical which few escape is seven times
nine, which makes sixty three. But the
signes of miscarriage in Childbirth are, if the
Child be faln lower toward the wombs mouth
and so out of its true place; also if the woman
have blackish courses, chiefly if she be far
gone with child, she is in danger to lose the
Child; many women have their Terms in the
first moneths, but they are but watry, pale
coloured, not fitting for the nourishment of
the infant, and they are also superfluous, so
that nature at first sends them out as being
useful neither for nutriment for the Mother
nor the Child. I said before, that the breasts
will shew danger, and of Twins which is
most likely to suffer, if the right breast flag she
will miscarry of a Boy, if the left of a Girle,
and the head shaking as with a Palsie, the body
trembling, the face flushing with red,
the eyes pain ed inwardly, if the body be afflicted
with wind, there is fear of miscariage in M8r 175
in child birth, but if she travel when she is
sick of a sharp Feaver, or some such dangerous
disease, seldom doth either Mother or
the child escape death: but the ordinary causes
of Abortion are, when the womb is too
weak, or corrupted by phlegmatick, slippery,
slimy, or watry humours, so that it cannot retain
the Child, the pains of inflammation and
Imposthumes hinder delivery, extream Costiveness
of the body by straining to go to stool
forceth the child downwards, and the dung
staying in the right gut, when the woman is
bound, oppresseth the child; if she fall into a
Tenesmus which is a great desire to go to stool
and can do nothing, Hippocrates saith, Abortion
is like to follow: Piles and Hemorrhoids
cause pain and miscarriage, fat women have
slippery wombs, and lean women have as dry
and want nourishment for the child, neither
are fit for child-bearing. Bleeding is bad for
childing women, unless there be great need;
purging, especially in the first, or second, or
about the last months, and vomiting is far
worse; too much fasting starves the child, too
much eating and drinking will stifle it; great
heats or baths, or stoves, force the child to
press for a more free air, and great cold is not
good for it, all immoderate exercises, passions,
desires, longings, falls, strokes, and all violent running M8v 176
running, leaping, coughing, lifting and such
like will bring on this misfortune.

There being then so many causes, and accidents
whereby women usually fall into such
mishaps, ’twill be profitable for women with
child to observe some good rules beforehand,
that when her time of delivery is at hand,
she may more easily undergo it, and not so
soon miscarry. But as there are diverse causes
of miscarriage, so the times are diverse that
we are to provide for, either before or after
conception. And before she be conceived
with child, let her use means both by diet
and physick to strengthen her womb, and to
further conception: Drink wine that is first
well boyled with the mother of Tyme, for it is
a pretious thing. If the womb be too windy,
eat ten Juniper berries every morning, if too
moist, the woman must exercise, or sweat in
a Stove, or Hot-house, or else take half a dram
of Galingal and as much Cinnamon mingled
in powder and drink it in Muskadel every
morning, but if she use moderate labour, perhaps
she may have no need of this: but the most
frequent cause of barrenness in young lusty
women that are of a cholerick complexion, is
driness of the Matrix, and this is easily
known by their great desire of copulation.
It is to be corrected by cooling drinks, and emulsionsmulsions N1r 177
made of barley-water, blanched Almonds,
white poppy seeds, Cucumbers, Citrons,
Melons, and Gourds, and to drink
frequently of this; all violent exercise, drinking
of wine, or strong waters must be forborn.
The Oyl of Nightshade is good to annoint the
Reins; some report, that the seeds of Mandrakes
are very useful to cool and purge a
hot and foul womb, such diseases are common
to salt complexions, and the dose of half a
dram of Mandrake seed bruised and drunk at
once in a cup of white wine cannot be dangerous,
for though the leaves be cold, yet the
seeds have a vital spirit in them to beget their
like; cold begets nothing; but heat is an active
quality for production. There are many conjectures
concerning those Mandrakes that
Reuben found, and that Rachel so much desired
because she was then barren, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. 30. it may
be she knew that they were fit to cure her barrenness.
I grant that sometimes God is the
cause of barrenness, who shuts up the womb,
and will not suffer some women to conceive;
we have multitudes of examples in Scripture
for it, Rachel doubtless was not barren of her
self, and she was angry with Jacob, that she
said unto him, “Give me Children or else I die,”
but he acknowledgeth God to be the chief
cause of it, “And he said unto her, Am I God, N who N1v 178
who hath withheld the fruit of the womb from
And again he makes the barren women
to keep house and be a joyful mother of

Prayer is then the chief remedy of their
barrenness, not neglecting such natural means,
to further conception and to remove impediments
that God hath appointed, and those
means are chiefly, either by a well ordering
of the body and mind, or else when need requires
by taking of Physick. The good order
of the body consists in seasonable moderate
eating and drinking of wholsome meats and
drinks, moderate exercise, for idleness is a
great enemy to conception, and that may be
the reason that so many City Dames have so
few children, & if they have any, they are commonly
sickly and short lived; it is not so with
Country women who are always working,
they usually have many children, and they are
lusty and strong, for moderate labour raiseth
natural heat, revives the spirits, helps digestion,
opens the pores, and wasts excrements,
comforts all the parts, and strengtheneth
the senses and spirits, helps nature in all her
faculties, and that is the way to have strong
and many children. As for working too
much, it wasts and destroys nature, but I think
few women are guilty of this fault. Moderaterate N2r 179
rest refresheth nature, as well as moderate
work, but there is a large difference between
moderate rest and extreme idleness, which
dulls both mind and body, and hastens old
age; and therefore Lycurgus commanded
all the Spartans to work at least four hours in
a day. If women will be fair let them work,
as it is with the body so it is with the mind,
the mind must alwayes be intent upon something
that is good, yet this also admits of
some relaxation and rest, or else we are never
able to endure; but above all we must take
heed of discontent, for that wonderfully hinders
conception, whereas content of mind dilates
the Heart and Arteries and distributes
the vital blood and spirits through the body,
which exceedingly recreates nature in all her
operations. Much might be said in Divinity
against discontent, sullenness, and murmuring,
which many women, especially, are too
much guilty of; for it troubles the imagination,
which should be pure in the act of conception;
it stirs up ill affections and draws away
vital heat from the Circumference to the
Center, consuming the vital spirits; Discontent
hinders People from what they desire,
denies God’s Providence, and shews that our
spirits are too much fastened to the World;
yet sometimes the best woman of us all cannotN2 not N2v 180
avoid it. But it is the Physical part that I
pretend to: And therefore let such as desire
to have children, look to it that their
courses come down orderly, and be well coloured,
for then there is no fear but such women
will be easie to conceive, but they must be
sparing in the act of Copulation, else one act
will destroy another, like Penelopes web, what
she spun in the day, she unreathed at night;
too frequent use makes the womb slippery,
and therefore whores have but few children,
and some honest women conceive presently
when their Husbands return after a long absence;
women will soonest conceive two or
three dayes after their Terms be staid; she
must avoid all meats and drinks that hinder
conception, as drinking of sweet Wine the
Hollanders call Stum, that keeps women from
conceiving, or eating Ivy berries, wearing
Saphyre, or Emerald stones about them; but
a Laooadstone carryed causeth concord and
fruitfulness, and so doth the heart of a male
Quale, for a man, of a female for a woman;
to eat Eringo root, or Ctyrions; take Castorium
half a dram in Malmsey, spread a plaister of
Lahdanum and lay to the womb; take a scruple
of Galingal in White Wine every morning,
or a dram of Fox or Boars stones in Sheeps
Milk, or a dram of a Bulls pisle; eat the brains of N3r 181
of Sparrows and Pidgeons, and the flesh too
if you please.

But to leave this which is concerning
means before women have conceived, that
they may more easily prove with child, and
retain it their full time, and be afterwards
in due time happily delivered of it.

I come in the next place to shew what the
woman must do that is gone with child; and
first let her drink every morning a good
draught of Sage Ale, for though Sage
do provoke the courses yet it will not do so
here, but it strengthens the womb; many
things by sundry qualities they abound with,
will cause contrary effects; so Cinnamon a
great binder for a loosness, will stop the courses
when they flow too much, and make them
come down when they are stopt. I have proved
that Aurum Potabile will stay the bloody flux,
yet if a body be full of ill humours, it wil purge

Garden Tansie Ale made and drank like
Sage Ale is good if the woman fear to miscarry;
if you bruise the Tansie and sprinkle
it with Muskadel and apply it to her Navel,
it is more effectual than a toast of bread that
some dip in the said wine and apply the same
way. Let women that are in the said danger
alwayes keep the sirrup of this Tansie by N3 them N3v 182
them, it is made with the juice of the herb,
clarified and boiled up with a double weight
of sugar, give a spoonful or two to the labouring
woman, it may save many a womans life,
and her childs. Let her abstain from all binding
diet, let her boyl Mallows when she comes
near the time of her delivery, or Holyhocks
in fair spring water, and with Honey, or Sugar
enough to sweeten it, and add half a
spoonful of white salt, for a Glister. Let her
eat meats and drink such things as nourish
well, but take heed of surfeiting or excess,
and let her keep her body loose, roasted Apples
eat with Sugar in the morning will do it,
or let her take a bolus of Cassia Fistula, called
Pudding pipe, about an hour or less before
dinner, there is no danger in it and it opens
gently, she may make a Glister with Chicken
or tender flesh broth, adding course Sugar or
Honey, and half a spoonful of white salt, or
let her boyl Mercury in her broth to make a
suppository with Castle sope or Lard.

The Eagle stone, I have seen abundance of
them every day to be sold in Hamburgh, and
they are to be had in London; but they are of
four kinds, the best is brought from Africa,
and is taken out of an Eagles nest, for the Eagle
some write, cannot lay her eggs if she want
these stones by her; it hath the name from hence N4r 183
hence, and it is called from the likeness it hath
with it, a stone with child: it is but a small
stone with another stone that shakes and
sounds within it, it is but of a small body and
easily beaten to powder; some say there is a
male Eagle stone and this is a female, I think
there is both male and female in stones and
Plants. There is a second and that is called
the male Eagle stone and it comes from Arabia,
it is as hard as a gall, of a dark red colour,
and hard to be powdered; the third is
brought from Cyprus, not unlike that of Africa,
but it is much bigger. The fourth brought
from a place called Taphimsius, is so denominated
also, it is round and white, and another
stone within it, it is found in Rivers, this
is held to be the worst, but in some respects
very good, and the best of all the four as it is
used for some occasions: but herein must we
needs admire the works of God, for I have proved
it to be true, that this stone hanged about
a womans neck, and so as touch her skin,
when she is with child, will preserve her
safe from Abortion, and will cause her to be
safe delivered when the time comes; but since
the fall of our first Parents it is hard to find
the vertues and secret qualities of the creatures.
But when I give these and the like
rules, I know poor women are not able to N4 provide N4v 184
provide in such cases, but their rich neighbours
should do it for them; for I do not
question but that all women will be glad to
eat and drink well, and to take all things
that may do them good if they knew but
what, and can procure them.

A Bath for a woman great with child, and
near her time to be delivered, is very good
for her to sit in, and it may be thus made:
Holyhocks leaves and roots two handfuls;
Betony, Mallows, of each one handful; Mugwort,
Marjerome, Mints, Camomile, of each
half a handful; Linseed, Pursly, Pursly bruised
two handful; put all in Bags together,
and boil all in well-water sufficient for the
woman to sit up to the Navel in; when it is
warm to sit in, hold one bag to her Navel,
and let her sit upon another, after this done,
warm this Ointment following and annoint
her back, her belly, and secrets. Take Oil of
sweet Almonds, of Lillies, of Violets of each
half an ounce, Ducks grease, and Hens grease,
of each 3 drams, Wax a little to make the Ointment;
you may add if you please to this Ointment
in compounding it Holyhock roots, Fenugreekseed,
Butter, of each a quarter of an
ounce, Quince kernels, Gum traganth, of each
an ounce; stamp the seeds, slice the roots, boil
all in Rain water, take out the mucilage and mix N5r 185
mix it with the foresaid Oyles, then let the
pounded Gum traganth, and hens grease
boil so long till the mucilage come to a Salve.
Use this annoynting every day for five or six
weeks before she lye in. But before I come
to her time of delivery, I shall speak a word
of one frequent cause of womens miscarriage,
and that is their longings, and sometimes of
their unnatural and unreasonable desires after
they have conceived with Child: You must
know, that to exceed in the things not natural
as Philosophers call eating and drinking, fullness,
emptiness, sleep and watchings, exercise
and rest, and too great intention of the mind,
may hasten the birth, and cause abortion,.
Those women that use moderation in the
foresaid things, are not so often longing for
what they can not easily attain to. Nay
sometimes you have Ladies at Court, and Citizens
Wives, and Country women too will
long to eat sand and dirt; but their Children
seldome live long that are begun thus. That
some women with child will desire to steal
things from others, this is no small argument
that the Child she goes withal will be a Thief;
wherefore she must take care to give it good
education, and to bring it up in the fear of
God. When nature is thus perverted in what she
desires, she is forced to leave the conception becausecause N5v 186
she cannot attain what she looks for.
This may be prevented by a decoction of vine
leaves frequently taken; it may be provided
by preparing a decoction strong of it at time
of the year, and to boil that into a sirrup, to
use when need requires, for it is said to be
very proper for this distemper, though I cannot
call it a disease.

There is another cause not far unlike in the
effects to womens longings, and that is suddain
fears, for many a woman brings forth
a Child with a hare lip, being suddenly
frighted when she conceived by the starting of
a Hare, or by longing after a piece of a Hare;
Miraldus thought so and many women cannot
deny it to be true; but he was a notable
conceited old Philosopher, and he bethought
himself how he might find out a remedy to do
poor women good, and it is this, which is
easily proved; let a woman slit her smock like
her husbands shirt, and that he saith upon his
knowledge will do it.

Book. N6r 187

Book. IV.

Chap. I.

Rules for Women that are come to their

All Women, Midwives especially
should be well seen against
this time of necessity, and all
things provided that may
cause them to be easily delivered,
and Childbed linnen at
hand, having first invoked the Divine assistance
by whom we live and move and have
our being.

When the Patient feels her Throws coming
she should walk easily in her Chamber, and
then again lye down, keep her self warm,
rest her self and then stir again, till she feels
the waters coming down and the womb to open;pen; N6v 188
let her not lye long a bed, yet she may
lye sometimes and sleep to strengthen her,
and to abate pain, the Child will be the

  • Sometimes the Child is dead in the womb
    before, and you may know it to be dead, when
    the Breasts suddenly hang down slack, Nature
    makes no Milk or provision for them, for
    there is no reason she should.

  • Secondly, she is cold all the belly over,
    chiefly the Navel.

  • Thirdly, Her water is thick, and hath a
    stinking substance that falls to the bottom.

  • Fourthly, The Child moves not though
    you wet your hand in warm water and rub it
    over her belly which is a true trial, and it will
    stir if it be alive.

  • Fifthly, She dreams of dead people, and is
    frightned with it.

  • Sixthly, Her breath smels filthily.

  • Seventhly, She longs to eat strange things
    unfit for to eat.

  • Eightly, She looks ill favouredly, and sorrowfully.

  • Ninethly, The Child falls to the side she lyeth
    on like a lump of lead: But Garden Tansey
    or the Eagle stone will bring the Child to
    its right place if it be weak onely; but if it
    be dead there is no way to help that but to hasten N7r 189
    hasten delivery as fast as may be, for it is a
    misery beyond expression for a woman to go
    with a dead child in her womb; as for two
    Twins to be born that grow together and one
    of them dead, the living Child cannot long
    endure. Virgil tells us of Mezenius a Tyrant,

  • “Dead bodies to the living he did place,Joyning them hand to hand and face to face.”
  • Tenthly, Corrupt stinking humours run
    from the womb, chiefly if she have had some
    ill disease.

  • Eleventhly, Her eyes look hollow, and her
    nose strangely, her lips wan and pale.

  • Twelfthly, Her breath stinks if the Child
    have been dead two or three dayes.

The more of these signs appear at once the
more certainty of the death of the Child.
Wherefore presently use medicines to expel it
forth, or Manual and Chirurgical operations
with all care to save the Mothers life, for she is
in great danger of death also. The signs of
greater danger to her are.

  • 1.

    If she swoond in labor, or be in a trance
    and memory be gone.
  • 2.

    If she be extream weak.
  • 3.

    If she will not answer when you call, or
    very hardly.
  • 4. If N7v 190
  • 4.

    If she hath Convulsion fits or shrinking
    together in travel.
  • 5.

    If she loath meat.
  • 6.

    If her pulse beat high and quick.

But if none of these signes appear, there is
not so great danger; wherefore presently
hasten by medicaments to provoke the expulsive
faculty to cast it forth, but the physick
must be stronger than for a live Child, for a
dead Child makes no way, wanting motion,
but a living Child doth.

The vertue of the Eagle stone in such cases
some commend, but I fear it is but a fansie of
Miraldus, for I never saw it tried.

There must be no delay at such times especially
to drive the dead Child forth before it be
corrupted, for then the Mother can scarcely
escape, Nature is sometimes strong and able
to cast forth a dead Birth without helps,
but then the danger is the more when help

The causes that some Children dye in the
womb are.

  • 1.

    Want of nutriment.
  • 2.

    Corrupt diet.
  • 3.

    Gluttony and surfeiting, that choke the
  • 4.

    The Cups are sometimes broken by strokes,
    sudden fears, much sneesing, coughing, violent mo- N8r 191
    motion, extream joy, sorrow, or trouble of
    mind; or by medicaments that corrode, or
    bitter drinks the infant loaths, or things that
    provoke the courses, or by acute diseases, or
    laslty by hard labor or difficulty in bearing of
    Children. These following Medicaments
    will, God willing, cause her to be delivered of
    the dead Child, and her self escape death by
    them; make her sneeze with powder of Pepper
    and white Hellebore snuft up into her nostrils,
    drink a dram of Basil powdered, with
    white wine, it makes the delivery easy, &c.

But if it fall out that these medicaments prevail
not, as sometimes they do not, that disease
is beyond the power of medicine or ordinary
Midwifry, then we must come to chirurgery,
and the method how to perform it is

  • 1.

    Lay the woman along upright, the
    middle of her body lying highest, and let
    sufficient help keep her down, that when
    the Child is drawn forth she rise not with
  • 2.

    The midwife must first annoint her
    hands with Oyl of white Lillies, Butter, or
    Ducks grease, then holding down her fingers
    let her shut her hand and thrust it up into the
    womb to feel how the Child lyeth, for sometimes
    it may be drawn forth with the hand, but N8v 192
    but if it cannot be done so, then use Chirurgeons
    Instruments, having first found with
    your hand the posture of the Child.
  • 1.

    If the head come forward, fasten a hook
    to one eye of it, or under the chin, or to the
    roof of the mouth, or upon one of the shoulders,
    which of these you find best, and then
    draw the Child out gently that you do the
    woman no hurt.
  • 2.

    If the feet come first fasten the hook upon
    the bone above the privy parts, called os
    , or by some rib or back bones, or breast
    bones; then draw it not forth, but hold the
    Instrument in your left hand, and then fasten
    another hook upon some other part of the
    Child right against the first, and draw gently
    both together that the Child may come equally,
    moving it from one side to another until
    you have drawn it forth altogether; but often
    guide it with your fore-finger well annointed;
    if it stick or stop any where, take
    higher hold still with your hooks upon the
    dead child.
  • 3.

    If but one arm come forth and you cannot
    well put it back again, the passage being
    too narrow, or for some other reason, then
    tye it with a linnen cloth that it slip not up again,
    and draw it down gently till the who le
    arm come forth, and then cut it off with a sharp O1r 193
    sharp knife from the body, do so also if both
    hands appear together, or one leg, or both,
    if you cannot easily put them back or take
    them forth with the body; as you cut the
    arms from the shoulders, so you must cut the
    legs from the thighs, your instruments being
    very sharp for quick dispatch; when some
    parts are cut off from the body, then turn the
    rest to draw it out the better.
  • 4.

    If the childs head be swollen with watry
    humours, that it be too great to come
    forth at so narrow a passage, then put in your
    hand, holding a sharp incision knife between
    your fingers, and so cut open the head, that
    the humours contained in it may come forth
    and the head abate; but if it be too great of
    it self and not by disease, you must divide the
    skull and take it out by pieces with instruments
    for that purpose; if when the head is
    come out the breast be too large to follow,
    then cut that asunder also, and bring it forth
    in pieces, and so must you do with the whole
    body, or any parts that are swollen too
  • 5.

    If the child come sidelong, then annoint
    your hand and her secrets, and turn the
    child to the best posture you can; the womb
    and all the Privities must also be perfumed
    with such things as may dilate the place and O make O1v 194
    make it slippery; there are many medicaments
    prescribed in this book will be very proper
    for it, but when all fails you must cut the
    child asunder and draw it out by pieces.
  • 6.

    If the womb be diseased or hurt so that
    it be ulcerated, whereby the parts are made
    dryer and narrower, it must be dilated by
    oyls, unguents, baths and fumes, such you
    will find set down to help delivery for a living
    child, and you must use them for a child that
    is dead.

You must observe in this work, that if by
violent drawing forth the child, the Privy
parts and Genitals of the mother be so torn
that her Urine and excrements come out against
her will, which often happens in such
cases, the cure will be the same as for the Palsie,
and wounds of these parts, with a general
evacuation of her body; also make a Bath
of all these herbs and roots following, or as
many as you can get, viz. of the decoction
of Bay-leaves, Sage, Betony, Brank, or some
Hogs-Fennel, Origanum, Penni-Royal, Tans
, Tormentil, Plantane, Rupture-wort, Mugwort,
Mouseeare, Lady-Mantle, St. Johnswort,
Cammomile flowers, Oaken leaves, Camphire-roots.
The woman must sit in this Bath,
and presently after her bathing, she must annointnoint O2r 195
her Privities and Fundament with this
following Unguent.

Take Oyl of worms, of Foxes, and of the
Lillies of the Vallies, each alike, boyl a young
blind Puppey in them, so long that his flesh
part from the bones; then press forth all
strongly, and add to the straining, Styrax,
Calamint, Benzoin, Opopanax, Frankincense,
Mastick, of each one dram, a little Aqua Vitæ,
a little wax; mix them and make of them
an Ointment; then let her drink often of this
Potion following.

Take Penniroyal, Balm, Motherwort,
Mousear, Ladies Mantle, of each one handful,
Mace one dram, boyl all in a Pottle of the
best wine, strain it and drink a little draught
morning and evening, or boil nothing but Ladies
Mantle in her broth; drink a pint of it
every morning fasting; or if her stomach will
not bear it, take but four or five Ounces at
a draught.

The Cesarian Birth is the drawing forth of
the child either dead or alive, by cutting open
the Mothers womb, it was so called because
Julius Cæsar the first Roman Emperor was so
brought into the world. Physicians and Chirurgeons
say it may be safely done without killing
the Mother, by cutting in the Abdomen
to take out the child; but I shall wish no man O2 to O2v 196
to do it whilest the Mother is alive; but if
the Mother dye in child-bearing, and the child
be alive, then you must keep the womans
Mouth and Privities open that the child may
receive air to breath, or it will be presently
stifled, then turn the woman on her left side,
and there cut her open and take out the Infant.
This is also a Cesarian Birth, but it is
not like that which is used whilest the Mother
is alive. It is used three ways.

  • 1.

    The Mother living and the Child
  • 2.

    The Child living and the Mother
  • 3.

    When both are living.

Mathias Cornax relates of a woman that
carried a dead Child in her womb four years,
it was cut out of the belly and womb, and
the Mother lived and conceived with child again;
she fainted not when her belly and
womb were cut, and they grew well again
without stitching; but she had hard labour
the second child, and the Chirurgeon offered
to cut her again, but the womean would not
suffer it, so she fainted, but the Chirurgeon delivered
her of a second boy, but this last was

Roderigo de Carstro saith, that a child cannot
live in the womb when the Mother is dead, O3r 197
dead, if it be not presently taken forth so soon
as her breath is gone, or vital spirits last, because
when the Mothers life and motion cease,
the childs must needs cease that depends upon
it; but it is an error, for the child hath a
Soul and life of its own, and may live a while
without the Mother; but the Midwife must
keep the womb open that it be not stifled till
the Chirurgeon cuts it out; you shall feel the
Child leap when the Mother is dead.

Charles Stephen shews how to cut out a dead
Child. And Francis Ruset saith, a live Child
may be cut out of the womb & both child &
Mother do well; it is possible and sometimes
necessary to be done, and it stands by reason,
for women receive sometimes wounds in the
Peritoneum and the Muscles of the lower belly,
more dangerous than the Cesarian cut, and
yet escape well enough.

A Child may be sometimes very weak, yet
not dead, take heed you do not force delivery
in such occasions till you be sure it is time, for
children may be sick and faint in their Mothers
bellies. But to prevent danger, burn
half a pint of white-wine adding no Spice to
it, but half an ounce of Cinnamon and drink
it off: if your Travel and throws come upon
you, be sure it is dead; but if it be but sick
and weak, it will refresh it and strengthen it.

O3 If O3v 198

If the Child be dead in the womb, the
juyce of Garden Tansey annointed on the secrets,
or an oyl made in Summer with the
herbs before it run to flower, and boil’d in oyl
till the juyce be wasted, and set in the Sun a
moneth before you boil it, is an especial oyl
for Midwives.

The Eagle-stone held near the privy parts
will draw forth the Child, as the Loadstone
draws Iron, but be sure so soon as the Child
and afterburthen are come away, that you hold
the stone no longer, for fear of danger.

Any of these herbs half a dram in powder
drunk in white-wine will do much, viz of
Bettony, or Sage, or Penny-Royal, Fetherfew
or Centory, Ivy-berries and leaves, or
drink a strong decoction of Master-wort, or
of Hysop in hot water, it soon will bring the
dead Child forth; because the afterbirth is
corrupted in such cases and comes forth by
pieces, it is fit to drink of the same drink till
all be come away, or the roots of Polipody
stamped and warm’d laid to the soles of her
feet presently works the effect.

The same things almost all are proper when
the Child is living and comes to be born, but
if her Travel be long, the Midwife must refresh
her with some Chickens broth of the
Yolk of a potched Egg, with a little bread, or facing O3v facing O4r A chart showing eight possible fetal presentations. Place here the Picture of all sorts of postures
of Children.
O4r 199
or some wine, or strong water, but moderately
taken, and withal to cheer her up
with good words, & stroaking down her belly
above her Navel gently with her hand, for
that makes the Child move downwards. She
must bid her hold in her breath as much as
she can, for that will cause more force to bring
out the Child.

Place here the Picture of all sorts of postures
of Children.

Take notice that all women do not keep
the same posture in their delivery; some lye
in their beds, being very weak, some sit in a
stool or chair, or rest upon the side of the bed,
held by other women that come to the Labor.

If the Woman that lyeth in be very fat,
fleshly, or gross, let her ly groveling on the
place, for that opens the womb, and thrusts it
downwards. The Midwife must annoint her
hands with Oyl of Lillies, and the Womans
Secrets, or with Oyl of Almonds, and so with
her hands handle and unloose the parts, and
observe how the Child lyeth, and stirreth, and
so help as time and occasion direct. But above
all take heed you force not the birth till
the time be come, and the Child come forwardO4 ward O4v 200
and appears ready to come forth.

Now the danger were much to force delivery,
because when the woman hath laboured
sore, if she rest not a while, she will not
be able presently to endure it, her strength being
spent before.

Also when you see the after-burthen, then
be sure the Birth is at hand; but if the coats
be so strong that they will not break to make
way for the Child to come forth, the Midwife
must gently and prudently break and
rend it with her nails, if she can raise it, she
may cut a piece of it with a knife or pair of
Scissers, but beware of the infant.

Then follows presently a flux of humours
and the Child after that, but if all the humours
that should make the place slippery
chance to run forth by this means before the
child come, the parts within and without
must be annointed with Oyl of Almonds or
Lillies, and a whole Egg Yelk and white
beaten, and poured into the privy passage to
to make it glib, instead of the waters that are
run forth too soon.

If the child have a great head and stick by
the way, the Midwife must annoint the place
with Oyl as before, and enlarge the part as
much as may be; the like must be done when
Twins offer themselves; if the head comes first, the O5r 201
the birth is natural, but if it come any other
way, the Midwife must do what she can to
bring it to this posture.

Sometimes the infant comes with the legs
forwards, and both arms downwards close to
the sides, this way the Midwife may endeavour
to take it forth if it continue the same
posture, by annointing and gently handling
the place; but it is safer if she can, to turn the
Legs upward again by the Belly, that the head
may first come down by the back of the womb
for that is the natural way.

If the child come forth with both legs and
feet first, and the Childs hands both lifted above
the head, this is the worst for danger of
all the rest; she must strive to turn the Child,
and if she cannot she must try to bring the
hands down to the sides, and to keep the legs
close that it may come forth, or else to bind
the feet as they come out with some linnen
Cloath, and tenderly to help delivery, but it
will be hard to it.

Sometimes the Child will come forth with
one foot, and the other lifted upward. Then let
the woman in Child-bed be laid upright on
her back & hold up her thighs and belly, that
her head be lower than her body; then let the
Midwife with her hand gently put back the
leg that is come forth into the womb again, and O5v 202
and bid the labouring woman to stir and
move her self, that by her stirring the birth
may offer it self the head downward, and if
so, you may then set her in a Chair as she was
at first that she may have a natural delivery,
but if this cannot be done, then the Midwife
with her hand must discreetly bring forth
that leg that is not yet come forth; but beware
she put not the Childs hands that lye
close down by its sides out of their place; if
the side of the child come towards the passage,
she must turn the child to its natural posture,
but if it come the feet forward and the legs abroad,
she must joyn the legs and feet together,
taking care that she remove not the hands
from the place they should hang down close
by the side.

If the infant with one or both the knees first
strive to come forth, she must put them back
that both feet may first come down to the

If the child come headlong with one hand
thrust out, then she must put the Child back
with her hand upon the shoulders, that the
hand may goe to its natural place; if this
will not prevail, lay the woman upright with
her thighs and belly upwards that it may pass
forth as it should do.

If both hands come out first, she must thrust the O6r 203
the Child back by the shoulders as formerly,
till the hands hang down by the sides of the

If it would come forth arsewards, the buttocks
first, she must return it back with her
hands till the legs and feet may present themselves,
or the head first if it be possible, which
is most natural.

If the infant present both hands and both
feet together to come forth so all at once, she
must take the Child carefully by the head and
put the legs upward to take it forth.

If the shoulders come first, she must put it
back by the shoulders that the head may come

If it come the breast forward, the legs and
hands lying behind, she must take it by the feet
or by the head as she finds it to be most easy,
putting the other part upward that it may
come forth right.

If a Woman have two Children at once
that come together headlong, she must take
forth one after the other, but beware the other
retreat not back in the mean time; so also
must she receive them both that come together
with the feet forward, taking them out
one after the other.

If they come one with his feet, the other
with the head forward at the same time, she must O6v 204
must receive that first which is most likely, and
next the passage, and that which cometh with
the feet first, if she can, receive last, taking heed
that they do not hurt one the other.

But let this general rule be observed, still
to annoint the passage with Ducks grease, or
Oyle of Lillies, or sweet Almonds, or such
things as may smooth the passage and ease womans
labour, and likewise when she toucheth
any part of the infant, this will help much
if there should be any aposthume in the

Particular helps to delivery, are to lay the
woman first all along on her back, her head a
little raised with a Pillow, and a pillow under
her back; and another pillow larger than the
other to raise her buttocks and rump; lay her
thighs and knees wide open asunder, her legs
must be bowed backwards toward her buttocks
and drawn upwards, her heels and soles
of her feet must be fixed against a board to
that purpose laid cross her bed. Some woman
must have a swathe-band above a foot
broad four double, this must be put under her
Reins, and two women standing on each side
of her must hold it up straight, and these two
persons must lift up the swathe-band equally,
just when her throws come, or else they may
do her hurt, and two more of the standers by must O7r 205
must lay hold on the upper part of her shoulders,
that she may with more ease force the
child forth. The woman must hold her
breath in and strive to be delivered, and the
Midwife must stroke down the birth from above
the Navel easily with her hand, for that
will, as I said before, make the Infant move

Chap. II.

To know the fit time when the Child is
ready to be born.

Ishall desire all Midwives to take heed how
they give any thing inwardly to hasten the
Birth, unless they are sure the Birth is at hand,
many a child hath been lost for want of this
knowledge, and the mother put to more pain
than she would have been. Let not therefore
the child be forced out, unless there fall down
an extreme flux of blood, for in such cases it
is best to save the Mothers life to drive forth
the Child, but there is great skill and care
to be used, or the woman were as good be set
upon the Rack. It is hard to know when the
true time of her travel is near, because many women O7v 206
women have great pains many weeks before
the time of delivery comes. But I think the
heat of their Reins is the cause of these pains,
but you may know whether the heat of their
reins be the cause of it or not, for if their legs
swell their reins are too hot, and the cure will
be to annoint their backs, to cool the reins
with Oyl of Poppies, water Lillies, or Violets:
women whose reins are hot have alwaies hard
labour. A strong decoction of Plantane leaves
and roots in water, then strained and clarified
with the white of an egg, boil’d then to a sirrup
with its weight in Sugar is excellent,
take a spoonful or two when you please, or
drink often the water and sirrups of Violets
and water Lillies.

But if the birth be at hand, you shall know
when the skins Amnios and Allantois, which as
I told you serve to hold the sweat and urine of
the child in the womb, and by the means of
which skins the infant is also supported in the
Matrix, do break by the violent motion of the
child, so that these excrements fall down to
the neck of the womb, Midwives call it the
water, and when that runs forth then the
Birth is near; this is the truest sign that is, for
when those skins are broken, the Infant can
no longer stay there than a naked man in a
heap of snow.

These O8r 207

These waters make the parts slippery and
the birth easie, if the child come presently
with them, but if it stay longer till the parts
grow dry it will be hard, therefore Midwives
do ill to rend these skins open with their
nails to make way for the water to come, nature
will make it come forth only when she
needs it and not before; but if the water
break away long before the birth, it is safe to
give medicaments to drive the birth after the
water. But there are other signs of the birth
approaching, let the Midwife look well on
the womans belly, for if the upper part of it
be sunk and hollow, and the lower part big
and full, it is certain the child is sunk down;
again, if the womans Throws be quick and
strong, coming from the reins downward
all along the belly and not staying at the Navel
but falling still lower to the groins, and inwardly
to the bottom of the belly, where lieth
the inmost neck of the womb, this is another
sure sign.

Then let the Midwife, her hand annointed
with fresh butter or with oyl of sweet Almonds,
put up her hand, and if she feel the
inward neck of the womb open, or any substance
to push forward, the child is coming;
but if the skin break and the waters come
down, that is the last and surest sign, as I said, when O8v 208
when the waters precede and the child doth
not follow presently in some reasonable time,
these things following hasten and ease delivery.

Featherfew or Mugwort boil’d in white
wine, let her drink a draught of the decoction,
the sirrups of either may be made in summer
with their juice clarified and boyled to a sirrup
with twice as much Sugar, a spoonful at a
time to be taken; or drink a dram of the powder
of Cinnamon in wine or the distill’d water
of Mugwort, Betony, Dittander, Peniroyal,
or Featherfew.

Tansie bruised and applyed, or the Oyl of
it, as I said, will do it, but the Eagle stone
held to the secrets, draws out both Child
and Secundine, hold it to no longer for it will
draw forth Womb and all; Miraldus tells of
many more pretty ways.

But for more assurance take this powder
made of Dittany, of Crele, Penni-royal,
Roundbirthwort, of each ten grains, Cinnamon
and Saffron of each twelve grains; beat
them to fine powder, and let her drink it in
wine, or some fit liquor, in the decoction or
distill’d waters of red Pease, Penniroyal, Parsly,

Outward means is good applied to the secrets;
take Agrimony leaves and roots, but after P1r 209
after cast it away lest it draw forth the Matrix;
Henbane, Polypody, or Bistort roots are
commended for the same use. But let all hot
and violent remedies be avoided, for many
times they bring the woman into a dangerous

Also too much fasting, or too much eating
breed peril to women in travel, a woman that
is with child cannot so well digest her meat as
they can that are not with child; Midwives
therefore must ask how long it was since that
the woman did eat, and what and how much,
that upon occasion she may give her something
to strengthen her in her labour if need
be, as warm broth, or a potched egg; and if
her delivery be long in doing, give her an
ounce of Cinnamon water to comfort her, or
else a dram of Confectio Alkernies at twice
in two spoonfuls of Claret wine, but give
her but one of these three things, for you may
soon cast her into a feaver by too much hot administrations,
and that may stop her purgations,
and breed many mischiefs.

P Chap. P1v 210

Chap. III.

What must be done after the woman is

It will be profitable when a woman hath
had sore travel, to wrap her back with a
sheep-skin newly flead off, and let her ly in it,
and to lay a Hare-skin, rub’d over with Hares
blood newly prepared, to her belly; let these
things be worn two hours in winter, and but
one hour in Summer, for these will close up
the parts too much dilated by the childs birth,
and will expel all ill melancholly blood from
those parts.

This being done, swathe the woman with
a Napkin about nine inches broad, but annoint
her belly with Oyl of St. Johns wort,
and then raise up the womb with a linnen
cloth many times folded, cover her flanks,
with a little pillow about a quarter of a Yard
long, then swathe her, beginning a little
above the hanches, rather higher than lower,
winding it even; lay warm cloths to her
breasts, forbearing those that repulse the milk
till longer time, and the body be setled, lest
repercussives should do her hurt, let then her
blood be first setled ten or twelve hours, and that P2r 211
that the blood which was cast upon the lungs
by violent labour may return to its own place;
but you may ease the pains of her breasts and
comfort them, laying a linnen cloth doubled
and not warm’d, dipt in Oil of St. Johns wort
and of Roses, with the yolk and white of
an egg beat together, of each an ounce, with
an ounce of Rose-water, and as much of
Plantan-water. Let her not sleep till about
four hours after she is delivered, but first give
her some nourishing broth or Cawdle to comfort
her; let her eat no flesh till two dayes at
least be over, for she may not use a full diet
after so great loss of blood suddenly, as she
grows stronger she may begin with meats of
easie digestion, as Chickens, or Pullets; she
may drink small wines with a little Saffron,
Mace and Cloves infused, equal parts, all tied
in a piece of linnen, and let them lie in the
wine so close stopt, she may drink a small
draught of it at dinner and supper for the
whole month, and besides her ordinary food
she may if she will take nourishing broths and
Aleberries; with bread, butter, and Sugar.
Let her drink her Beer or Ale with a tost, she
may drink a decoction of Liquorish, Raisins
of the Sun and a little Cinnamon: if the child
be a boy she must lye in thirty dayes, if a girl
forty daies, and remember that it is the time P2 of P2v 212
of her purification that her husband must abstain
from her.

Chap. IV.

When and how to cut off the Childs navel-string,
and what is the Consequent

The Navel-string is twisted that it might
be the stronger, and that the blood by
that delay might be better prepared: had the
Vein in the Navel, or the Arteries, or Urachos
that carrye the piss being single, the different
postures of the child in the womb, or the difference
of the womans standing, sitting, or
lying, might press a single vessel, and stop the
passage of the blood in the Vein, spirit in the
Arteries, or water in the Urachos, but the
twisting hath prevented that.

The cutting of the Navel-string helps
much, for it keeps the blood and spirits in after
the Child is born. A Midwives skill
is seen much if she can perform this rightly.

The time to do it is so soon as ever the
Child is born, whether he bring a part of the Secundine P3r 213
Secundine out with him or not, for sometimes
the infant brings a piece of the Coat Amnios
upon his head, and that they name the caule.
I know no wonders this Caule will work, but
if you find this Caule on the childs head you
shall miss it in the after-birth, if it be in the
after-birth it will not be on his head. The
reason why some Children bring it with them
on their head into the world is weakness, and
it signifies a short life, and proves seldome otherwise:
But if it come with it or without
it, so soon as it is come forth, consider whether
the Child be strong or weak, for by the
Navel-string the Mother gives both vital and
natural blood to the Child; wherefore if the
Child be weak, you must gently put back part
of the vital and natural blood into the childs
body by the Navel, for that will refresh a
weak child; if the child be strong you need not
do it. Many children seem to be born dead
that recover by this meanes, as very weak
children often do; but you must crush out six
or seven drops of blood out of the navel-string,
I mean that part which is cut off, & give it the
child by the mouth to drink.

But in what place this string must be cut,
Midwives and Physicians can scarce agree.
Elias lib. 4. c. 3. saith, it must be cut four
fingers breadth from the body, but what is P3 this, P3v 214
this, Midwives fingers are not equal, I suppose
he means four inches, for that was the
opinion of the Antients. Miraldus was critical
in this point, and from him some errors
were begotten about it in late writers, and
Midwives. Hence it is, if Spigelius speak
truth, that Midwives cut the Females Navel-
string shorter than they doe the Males, for
Boys privy parts must be longer than womens,
but if Females are cut short they say it will
make them modest, and their secrets narrower.
Spigelius and others laugh at this conceit, for if
Midwives by cutting their Navel-strings can
make their secrets wider, all women that
have hard labour have good reason to complain
of their Midwives for cutting their Navel-string
so short. Miraldus bids cut the navel-
string long in both sexes, for that the Instruments
of Generation in both follow this proportion,
if womens Navel-strings be cut too
short, it will hinder their Childbearing. Taisner
an excellent Astrologer was of this mind.
If Nature framed the child by the Navel-
string in the womb, there is no small use of
it afterward. Miraldus saith, that if a childs
Navel-string be cut off and let fall to touch the
ground, that child shall never hold its water
sleeping nor waking. Also if you carry a
piece of a Childs Navel-string about you, you may, P4r 215
may, saith Miraldus, wear it for a foil in a
Ring, you shall never be troubled with convulsion
fits, nor the Falling sickness. I have
known all this tried, but he saith farther that
it will defend those that carry it from Devils
and Witch-crafts, and one may try this if
they please.

If the Child be very weak when it is born,
put back gently the natural blood by the Navel
vein, and the vital by the Navel arteries
and you shall see the child almost dead before,
to revive like one awak’d out of sleep; if the
child seem full of life and spirits, then stop the
navel-string near the Navel that no blood nor
vital spirits go back, and that will keep the
child strong as it is; having done this bind
the Navel-string with a strong ligature, and
cut it not off too near to the string, least it
unloose; you need not fear to bind the
Navel-string very hard, because it feels not,
and that piece of the Navel-string you leave
on will fall off in a very few days; for the
whole course of Nature is soon changed in
the Child, and another way ordain’d to feed
it. It is no matter what you cut it off
with, so it be sharp to do it neatly. The
reason of so many nodes or knots in the childs
Navel-string is, that the blood and vital spirits
might not come in too fast to choke the P4 child, P4v 216
child, Nature is a careful Nurse, but Midwives
say, these knots in number signifie so
many Children, the reddish boys, the whitish
Girls, and the long distance between knot
and knot, long time between child and
child; but all false, for all women almost
have equal knots, and more knots
with their last Children than with their

When the Navel-string is cut off, apply a
little Cotten or lint to the place to keep it
warm, least the cold get in, and that it will
do if it be not hard enough bound, and if it
do you cannot think of a greater mischief for
the Child; when part of the Navel-string
left is fallen off, Midwives use to burn a rag
to tinder and to apply to the place, a little
powder of Bolearmoniack were better, because
it drieth; Beasts can lick the Navel-string
round enough to keep out the air, but the
curse lyeth heavier on women for our GrandMothers
first sin, than it doth upon beasts.

Chap. P5r 217

Chap. V.

What is best to bring away the Secundine,
or after-burden.

Women are in as great danger if not
more, after the young is born, but
Beasts are not; the Caule or inward chamber
of the womb the child did lye in, stayeth ofttimes
long after the child is born, wchwhich should
presently follow it, & when it so happens, if it
begins especially to corrupt as it will soon do,
it causeth grievous pains and ofttimes death,
wherefore make hast to drive it forth, but
be sure the means you use be very gentle, for
the woman is now grown weak and her
womb is quick of feeling but the Secundine is
dead, let the quick then cast forth the

Midwives long nails may do mischief, I
grant delays are dangerous, for if it be retain’d
till it corrupt, it will cause Feavers, Imposthumes,
Convulsions, and such like; know
this, that what brings away the birth, will
also do good to cast forth the after-birth; then
comfort the woman, let her snuff up a little
white Hellebore in powder to make her sneese; but P5v 218
but put the woman to as little trouble as you
can, for she hath endured pain enough already.

The herb Vervain boil’d in wine, or a sirrup
made with the clarified juice, as I told you,
of Tansie, Featherfew, and mugwort do the
same but hardly so forcibly; Alexanders boiled
in wine, and the wine drunk is excellent,
Sweet-Cecely, Angelica roots, or Master-wort
doe the same so used.

The smoke of Mary-Gold Flowers taken in
by a Tunnel at the secrets, will easily bring
forth the Secundine though the Midwife have
let go her hold. Mugwort boil’d soft in
water & applied like a Poultess to the Navel,
brings birth, and after-birth away, but then
remove it least it bring the womb after

Women suffer great pains in Child-birth,
because the womb that hath many Nerves and
Sinews, by which the body feels, is strait till
time of delivery, and then it is stretched,
which causeth great pain; and some women
have more pain in bearing than others have,
because some womens passages are narrower,
and their wombs more full of Nerves as Anatomy
will shew; and some think the reason
of the great soreness of some women is,
because the share-bone and os sacrum, or holybonebone P6r 219
do part or give way in hard travel; it
was that excellent Anatomist Doctor Reads
opinion, and I believe it to be true; for nature
strives to the utmost in such times. Crook,
and Columbus deny this, but the bones are
joyned with Cartilages and Ligaments, which
being wet with much moisture may give way
though the bones open not, but in all labour,
the Nerves that carrry feeling through the
whole body, are then stretcht and cause soreness
till they have rest and be settled again.

Chap. VI.

Of the great pains and throws some
Women suffer after they are delivered.

Sometimes a woman delivered shall for
two ofr three days after, and now and
then longer, feel such bitter pains in her belly
and above the Groin as if she should be delivered
again, these pains are not in the body
and bottom of the womb, but in the Vessels
and Ligatures by which the womb hangs, and P6v 220
and so it passeth to the sides and belly. The
causes are, the cold air that is got in by
her sore travel in child-birth, or sharp or
clotted blood sticking in the womb and pricking
for expulsion; these pains make the woman
weak and very troublesome, wherefore
you must strive to abate them.

Some women are so hardy, that to hinder
this, they will drink cold water so soon as
they are delivered; if the woman be cholerick
she may do it with a crust of tosted bread,
otherwise it is dangerous.

Chap. VII.

Of the Chollick some women are afflicted
within the time of their travel.

Some women have the Chollick at the
time they should bring forth a child,
which hinders the delivery, and the pains
surpass the pain of their travel, you can
scarce distinguish one of these pains from the
other, but whilst the chollick lasts the birth
comes not forward at all, the causes of this
disease are, great crudities, and indigestions
of the stomach.

Let P7r 221

Let her take Cinnamon water one ounce,
with two ounces of Oyl of sweet Almonds
newly drawn; if this do it not, then give her
a Glister against wind, or use fomentations
against wind, both are good in this cases.
More remedies there are against wind for
Child-bed Women, but these may suffice.

Chap. VIII.

Of Womens Miscarriage or Abortment
with the Signs thereof.

There are abundance of causes whereby
women are driven to abort, or miscarry,
and I have spoken somewhat of this before;
I shall add a little more to it, the better to
know the signs, causes, and remedies against
it; it is the bringing forth an untimely birth
or fruit before it be ripe, if it happen in seven
daies after conception it is but an effluxion,
but if in fourteen daies after it is an untimely
birth; sometimes an untimely birth may be
alive, but it is very seldom that it continues,
the elder and stronger it is the more hopes
for life; some women have such large wombs, or P7v 222
or slippery, & full of slimy humours that the
Seed cannot be contain’d but slips away;
sometimes it is an imposthumation causing
pain, that hinders retention, but this is rather
effluxion than abortment. But sometimes
the Cups or Veins whereby the conception is
tied to the womb, through which also nourishment
passeth to it, as we said before, are
stopt with viscous ill humours, and so swollen
with wind, or inflamed that the Cups
break and the fruit is lost for want of food;
this happens commonly in the second or
third month; so Hippocrates tells us, that this is
the certain cause, if the woman that miscarries
be of a good state of body, not too fat nor
too lean. Sometimes the right Gut or the
womb may have an Ulcer, or Piles, or the
Bladder or Ureters swollen with the Stone or
Strangury, and the pains thereof may break
the Cups; or if she have a Tenasmus, great
provocation to stool and can do nothing, she
brings forth her birth by straining downward,
and that before she should. Also great
coughs make the woman feeble and consumptive,
and the child consumes within her,
great bleeding at the nose, or any great loss of
blood, or too great flux of her courses after
conception cause miscarriage, if they flow in
in the third month, else not. Also opening of a vein P8r 223
a vein may cause it if the woman want blood,
but such as are sanguine may let blood after
the fourth month and before the seventh
month, but it is good to see there be cause
for it, else not. Violent purging before the
fourth month, or after the seventh causes abortment.
But gentle purging between the
fourth and the seventh month are safe. Violent
fluxing, or vomiting make women strain
too much, especially lean folks, and may perish
the child and break the Cups. If the woman
hunger much for want of food, Nature
hath nothing to spare to keep the child alive;
it is the same thing with Beasts, and Plants,
that want nutriment, and too much will
choak it. Sharp diseases or Pestilential Feavers,
Imposthumes in the breast, Palsies, falling-sicknes
kill the child, and sometimes the
child is sick in the womb. Also change of
weather may cause miscarriage, saith Hippocrates,
when the winter is hot and moist,
and the Spring cold and dry that follows it,
the women that conceive in that Spring will
easily abort, and if they do not, they will suffer
hard labour in child-birth, and the child
will be weak and short liv’d; the reason may
be because the body is opened and made more
tender by the foregoing heat and moist weather,
and then the succeeding cold makes it more P8v 224
more dangerouus. Great labour, as dancing,
leaping, falls or bruises, great passions suddenly
coming not lookt for, may make a woman
miscarry; let all women beware of it
for it is more painful than a true delivery, because
one is natural and the other against nature,
nature helps the one but not the other.
Signs of Abortment I have spoken of in part,
but commonly about the third and fourth
month womens bodies that will swell and
puff up with hardness and stiffness, stitches
and windiness running about her, yet she feels
no more weight in her body, this is a sign of
miscarriage if it be not prevented.

There is nothing better after conception,
to prevent abortment than good natural food
moderately taken, and to use all things with
moderation, to avoid violent passions, as care,
and anger, joy, fear, or whatsoever may too
much stir the blood; use not Phlebotomy without
great cause, nor yet violent purgatives.

If the Matrix be too much dilated, use
things that contract and fasten, as Baths prepared,
Unguents, Ointments, Fumes, Odours,
Plaisters. Some remedies are specifical againnst
miscarriage, and if the woman be in danger
she may use them, and that in divers ways
that she may take them; as thus, take red Coralral Q1r 225
in powder two drams, shavings of Ivory
one dram and a half, Mastick half a dram, and
one Nutmeg in powder, give half a dram in
a rear egg, &c.

A Powder to hinder Abortion.

Take Bistort-roots one scruple, Kermes
berries, Plantane, and Purslain seeds, of each
one dram, Coriander prepared two scruples,
Sugar all their weight, take every day one
scruple with a little Maligo Wine if the body
be not costive.

For an Ague.

Sometimes women with Child fall into an
Ague, then take Barley meal, juice of Sloes,
and of Housleek a sufficient quantity, and with
Vinegar make a Cataplasme, and lay it upon a
double cloth, and lay it often upon the womans
belly, and this will preserve the child
from it.

For the wind.

Some are much troubled with wind that
will cause them to miscarry, then take Cumminseed
and boyl it in water, give her four Q spoonfuls Q1v 226
spoonful of it twice a week with a dram of

Against sudden frights.

Take Mastick, Frankincence, of each one
dram, Dragons blood, Myrtles, Bolearmoniak,
Hermes berries, of each half a scruple,
make them into powder and give half a
dram at once with White Wine or Chicken

To strengthen the Child in the Womb.

Take two pound of the crumbs of the inward
part of white Bread, Cammomile
flowers one handful, Mastick two drams,
Cloves half a dram, bruise them and mingle
them well with some Maligo Wine and two
ounces of rose Vinegar, boil them to a Pultiss
and lay it on a double Cloth to the Os

Purgations may not be used unless the belly
be bound, and then a gentle Glister, or
some Manna or Cassia about half an ounce is
safe to give by Potion.

Slipperiness of the womb is cured by an injection
made of Pomegranate pills boil’d in
Oyl of Lillies. Or take Mastick, Myrtle, Gallialia Q2r 227
of each half a dram, mix them
with Goose-grease, and Sheeps-Wool, and
sew them in a linnen cloth and make a pastry
and tye a string to it to pull it out again when
you have put it up into the place.

To strengthen the Matrix.

Take four ounces of the Oyl of Nuts, Barrows-grease
one ounce and half, Cypress-nuts,
Mastich of each one dram and half, boyl them
all about five hours, and with this annoint her
belly, womb, and reins of her back.

Q2 Book
Q2v 228

Book. V.

Chap. I.

How women after Child-birth must be

There is great differences in Womens
constitutions and education;
you may kill one with
that which will preserve the other;
tender women that are bred delicately
must not be governed after the same manner
that hardy Country women must, for one is
commonly weak stomach’d, but the other is
strong, if you should give the weak woman
presently after delivery strong broth, or Eggs,
or milk, it will cast her into a Feaver, but the
other that is strong will bear it, but tender
women must be tenderly fed, and nothing given
them that is of hard digestion nor yet what Q3r 229
what they have no mind to, provided that
what she desires be not offensive; but for the
first week she lies in, let her have boil’d and
not roast, Jellies, and Juice of Veal, or Capon,
but no mutton broth for that may make
her Feaverish, let her drink barley water, or
boyl one dram of Cinnamon in a pint of water,
dissolving two ounces of fine Sugar in it,
if she will drink wine, mingle twice as much
water or two third parts with it, but let it be
white wine in the morning, and Claret in the
after-noon; she may sometimes drink Almond-milk,
but beware of crudities.

Some women when they lie in are still
sleeping, some cannot sleep; if she cannot
sleep let her drink barley water well boyled
not straining it at all, but let her forbear it
after the first week, lest it nourish too much,
and stop the Liver.

Baths for Child-bed Women.

For the first week let her Womb and Privities
be bathed with a decoction of Chervil,
a good handful boiled in a good quantity of
water, adding to it after it is boiled one ounce
of Honey of Roses, this will draw away the
purgations, and cleanse and heal the parts;
and it will take away all inflammations.

Q3 For Q3v 230

For the second week boil Province Roses,
put in Bays, Wine, and Water, and with this
decoction bath her secrets.

Keep her not too hot, for that weakens nature,
and dissolves her strength, nor too cold,
for cold getting in will cause torments, hurt
the Nerves, and make the womb swell. Let
her diet be hot, and eat but little at once; some
Nurses perswade them to eat apace because
they have lost much blood, but they are simple
that say so, for the blood voided doth not
weaken but unburden nature, for if it had
not come away, long diseases, or death would
have succeeded; some say Oat-meal Caudles
are good for them, but oat-meal makes people
troubled with the green sickness by its binding
quality, boyling will never make a binding
thing to purge ill humours as they
say it doth Child-bed Women, but purging
things by boyling may sometimes be made to

Let her for three daies keep the room dark,
for her eyes are weak and light offends them;
let all great noises be forborn, and all unquietness,
remembering to be praising God for
her safe delivery.

First then, so soon as she is laid, give her a
draught of white wine burnt, with a dram of
Sperma-cety melted in it.

Vervain Q4r 231

Vervain is an herb that fortifies the womb,
it is fit to gather in May and June; you may
dry it in the Sun, and keep it to boil with her
meat, and drinks; you shall profit more in
two daies with it than in two weeks without

If the woman be Feaverish, boil Plantane
leaves and roots with it, and if she be not, yet
they will do well together, for the heat of the
one is tempered by the coldness of the other.
But if her purgations stop, for Plantane take
Mother of tyme.

If her purgations be clotted, and smell filthily,
or the after-burden be not quite come away,
boyl Featherfew, Mugwort, Penniroyal,
Mother of time in white wine sweetened
with Sugar, let her drink that; new laid
eggs and Sugar Penides are best for her to eat
often of moderately, and boyl Cinnamon in
all her meats and drinks. Let her talk little,
nor stir much, especially if she be weak, for
six or seven dayes after she is delivered; a decoction
of Mallows with a little red Sugar is
a good Glister if she be too costive. Crato prescribes
Coleworts, and Chrysippus makes them
to be a universal remedy for all diseases, but
they are too windy for women in Childbed.

After the first week if she be near clean of Q4 her Q4v 232
her purgations, she may use Comfry and knotgrass
in broths to close the womb that hath
been so much opened, you may use a little
purging with them. Therefore put in some
Polypody, of the Oak that is best, leaves and
roots both being bruised, the quantities are almost
at your discretion.

Sometimes pains encrease after delivery,
Hippocrates saith, women are most subject to
them after the birth of their first child; some
Physicians think it is by reason of the thinness
and sharpness, others from the thickness and
sliminess of the blood, but if you use the former
directions these pains may be prevented.
What I said of Vervain before is a good remedy,
or else boil an egg soft, and mingle the
yelk with a spoonful of water of Cinnamon
and let her drink it; also a fume of the powder
of bay-berries cast on a chafing dish of
coals received at her secrets is a great help.
And for present ease boyl an equal quantity of
tar and barrows grease together; when it boyls
put in a little pidgeons dung to it, spread it
on a linnen cloth and lay it hot to her reins: she
may drink half a dram of Bay-berries in powder
in a quarter of a pint of Muskadel; you
may see by this that cold and wind cause these

For Q5r 233

For Excoriation of the Privities.

Annoint them with Oyl of sweet Almonds,
or Oyl of St. John’s-wort, which is better.

Against the Piles or Hemorrhoids.

Take Polypody bruised and boyl it with
your drinks or meats.

Let her be let blood in the Saphena

Cut a great hole in an onion, fill the hole
with Oyl, roast it and stamp it and lay it
warm to the Fundament.

Also take snails without or with shells, I
mean either kind, and bruise them with some
Oyl, warm it and lay it to the place; Sows
or wood-lice called Hog-lice so bruised with
Oyl are as effectual.

The Menstrual blood stopt.

We read INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Levit. 12. that a woman delivered
of a Boy, must continue in her purification
thirty three dayes, and for a girl sixty
six dayes. Hippocrates de Natura pueri, saith, a
woman must continue purging her blood forth so Q5v 234
so long as the child was forming in the womb
that is thirty dayes for a Male and forty two
dayes for a Female. Hippocrates rules may be
calculated chiefly for his own Country of
Greece, and the Levitical Law most concerns
the seed of Abraham; but this is to be observed
though not so precisely to a day by all women
after delivery, for women that give their own
children suck, have their purgations not so
long as those that do not. It is not good for a
woman presently to suckle her child because
those unclean purgations cannot make good
milk, the first milk is naught, for even the
first Milk of a Cow is salt and brackish and
will turn to curds and whey.

You shall know if a woman be well cleansed
by her health, for if she be not, she cannot
be well and lusty. I shewed you before
what herbs will bring her purgations down.
She may if she please take every morning two
or three spoonfuls of Briony water to be had
at the Apothecaries; or a dram of the powder
of Gentian roots every morning in a cup
of Wine; the roots of Birth-wort are as
good, or take twelve Peony seeds powdered
in a little Carduus posset drink to sweat, and
if it cures not do it again three hours after.

Against Q6r 235

Against the too great running down of the
Menstrual blood.

This disease seldom troubles women after
delivery, if it should, Comfrey, and Knotgrass
are good remedies; or else take Shepherds-pouch
boyled in drink and powdered, or
bramble leaves, a dram of either every morning
in a little wine, or a decoction made of
the same.

Women when they ly in use to be costive
because they keep their bed, and some foolish
Nurses are so bold as to purge them with Sena
before nature be setled, whereby many sad accidents
have followed, but neither loosning
broths, nor Prune broths, nor bak’d Apples
are then good, but rather gentle Glisters and
suppositories taken twice a week will prevent
mischief and make the breasts abound with
good milk.

Chap. Q6v 236

Chap. II.

Of looseness of the Womb.

This may proceed from sundry causes, as
when great fluxes of humours take the
ligaments and relax them; falls or great burdens
carried in the womb will unloosen
them; or chiefly when women travel before
their time, they overstrein themselves because
the passage is then shut, but unskilful Midwives
often make it so, when they thrust in
their hand to pull forth the Secundine, they
tear part of the womb away with it, for the
Secundine is fastened to its bottom; sometimes
they cause the woman to cast out the Secundine
by strong vomit, or by holding Bay salt in her
mouth. All causes, except those that
come from strong defluxions which must first
be removed, will be cured by the same remedies.

Take Nuts of Cypress, and Galls, and flowers
of Pomegranates, and Roch Allum two
ounces of each, Province Roses four ounces,
Scarlet, Grains, Rinds of Pomegranates, and
Cassia Rinds of each three ounces, waters of
Myrtles, of Sloes, an ounce and half, Smiths
water & wine of each 4 ounces and a half, then boil Q7r 237
boil two little bags, each a quarter of a yard
long, in the said waters in a new pot, then
hold the womans head and Reins low, and
apply these bags first one and then the other
upon the os pubis, and chafe her often. Let
her take in the morning a little Mastick in an
egg or some Plantan seed; but if the disease
be long confirmed, then make a Pessary half
round and half oval of a thick Cork with a
great hole in the middle for her Terms and ill
vapours to come out by, tye a pack threed to
the end of it to pull it out by, cover it over
with white wax that it may not be offensive,
dip it in sallet Oyl to make it go in, it must be
strait that it may not quickly fall out, when
she doth her need let her hold it with her
hand, take it not away till her purgations be
over; the thickness of the Cork makes the
Matrix mount higher; if she be in Child-bed,
the Midwife or Nurse must not suffer the woman
to strain, but must keep her with her
hand or finger to keep back the Matrix, laying
her head low and her Reins high with a
pillow under her hips.

Women that are troubled with this disease
must not lace themselves too strait for that
thrusts down the womb, makes the woman
gor-bellied, makes her carry her Child upon
her hips, hinders it from lying as it should in the Q7v 238
the womb, and though the womans wast may
be made slender by it, her belly is as great and
ill favoured. But somtimes there happens a
relaxation of the skin that covers the right
gut, when the head of the child, when the
woman begins to travel, falls downward and
draws it low; lacing Childing women too
hard is a frequent cause of it also, for this
makes so much wind fly to those parts, that
some are deceived and think it is the head of
the child, and the women can hardly stand or
go; let her then be kept soluble and eat Annis,
& Coriander seed to dispell wind, a fume of
Sage, Agrimony, Balm, Motherwort, wormwood,
Rue, Marjoram, a little Time, and
Cammomile, pick out the stalks, cut the
herbs small, mingled, put them into a maple
platter, put hot cinders upon them and another
handful of herbs upon them, cover the
platter close with a cloth, and let her take the
fume beneath.

The womb falls out of its place when the
ligaments by which it is bound to other parts
of the body are by any means relaxed; it is
bound with four ligaments, two broad membraces
and above, that spring from the Peritoneum,
and two round hollow nervous productions
below; also it is tied to the great
vessels by veins and Arteries, and to the back by Q8r 239
by Sinews, but the Bottom of the womb is
not tied, the ligaments being onely upon the
sides of it; sometimes it falls forward quite
out of the Privities, but whether it can ascend
and go upward is doubted by some; Physicians
say it will if sweet things be held to the nose,
if to the secrets it will fall downward; if
stinking things be put to them it flyes from
them, it may be discerned by their breathing
and by some meats the womb greedily accepts.
But Galen saith, it is very little that the womb
can go upward, it cannot reach the stomach
the ligaments are so strong that tye it down,
and the falling of it down is onely by reason of
moisture that relax the ligaments, but that
will not make it ascend; and though it be enlarged
in conception, that is not presently
but by degrees, nor are the ligaments always
much relaxed in Childbearing; but what is
that if it be not, the womb that may sometimes
be felt to move above the womans navel
as round as a Ball, that round ball is the
womans stones together with that blind Vessel
Fallopius found out, like to the great end of a
Trumpet, and is therefore called Fallopius his
Trumpet: the stones they hang, and the body
of the Trumpet is like a pipe that is loose and
moving, and when they are full swoln with
vapours and corrupt seed, they stir to and fro, Q8v 240
fro, and come up to the navel; and Riolanus
saith, this Trumpet and the stones make this
great round Ball. Whatsoever fills them
with corrupt seed and venemous windy vapours
causeth this moving, and from thence
suffocation of the womb; when these poysonous
vapours are freely carried by the Nerves,
veins, and arteries to all the principal parts,
the Brain, the Heart, the Liver, and the rest,
it is not extream dangerous, yet it may turn
to the strangling of the womb if means be not
used; such as are good against suffocations of
the womb, when they seem to be strangled,
but of that afterwards. Sometimes it falls as
low as the middle of the thighs, and sometimes
near the knees, when the ligaments are
loose; it falls by its own weight, when the
Terms are stopt, and the Veins and arteries
are full that go to the womb; it is drawn on
one side, if there be a Mole on one side, the
Liver veins too full on the right side, or the
spleen on the left, are the cause of it. But
how it comes to be loose is questioned, Hippocrates
saith, great heat, or cold of the feet or
loyns, violent causes external, leaping or dancing
may do it, for these moisten and soke the
ligaments, if the woman take cold after she
is delivered and the Terms flow. Platerus ascribes
it to the loosening of the fibrous neck from R1r 241
from the adjacent parts by the weight of the Matrix
falling down, but then the ligatures must
be loose or broken; but when a woman is so
in a dropsie, it is the salt water that causeth it
and that drieth more than it moisteneth. The
signs to know it are, that the womb is only
fallen down, if there be a little swelling within
or without the privities, like a skin stretched,
but if the swelling be like a Goose egg,
and a hole at the bottom, there is then a
great pain in the Os sacrum, the bottom of the
belly, the loyns and secrets to which the womb
is tied, because the ligaments are relaxed or
broken, but the pain will abate soon and the
woman can hardly go, sometimes the vessels
breaking blood comes forth, the woman falls
into Convulsions and a Feaver, and cannot
void her excrements by stool nor Urine; at
first it may be easily helpt, but hardly afterwards,
yet it is not mortal, though it be filthy
and troublesome, if it come with a Feaver or
convulsion it is mortal in women with child,
if the ligaments be corroded the danger is the
more. The cure is; thrust it up gently before
the air change it or it swell and inflame; first
administer a gentle Glister to void the excrements,
then lay the woman on her back, her
head downwards, her legs abroad and thighs
lifted up and with your hand thrust it in gently,R ly R1v 242
remove the humours with a decoction
of Mallows, Marsh-mallows, Cammomileflowers,
Bay berries, Linseed, and Fenugreek,
and annoint it with Oil of Lillies
and Hens-grease; if it be inflamed, stay a
while before you put it up; you may fright it
in with a hot Iron presented near it as if you
would burn it, sprinkle on it the powder of
Mastick, Frankincense, and the like; when
it is put up, let her ly stretcht out with her
legs, and one leg upon the other for eight or
ten dayes, and a Pessary with a Sponge or Cork
dipt in astringent wine, with powder of Dragons-blood,
Bole, or the ointment called the
Caunlesses at the Apothecaries; apply a large
cupping glass to the Navel or breasts, or both
kidneys; use astringent Plaisters to her back, &
fomentations, baths, & injections; if evil humors
cause it to fall out, purge them first away because
they sob the ligaments, and then use drying
drinks of Guaicum, China, Forta, use Pessaries
and ligaments, as for the Rupture to
keep it in its place, of which see Francis Rauset;
you may use circles or balls in place of Pessaries,
made of Briony roots cut round, or of
Virgins wax, with white Rosin and Turpentine
when they are dried, if it gangrene cut it
off, or bind it fast that it may fall off it self.
Rauset shews when you may ty it or cut it R2r 243
it off without danger: her diet must be drying
and astringent, and astringent red wine
to drink. If it encline to either side, apply
Cupping Glasses to the other side, and the
Midwife may annoint her finger with the oyl
of sweet Almonds, and by degrees draw it to
its place.

Chap. III.

Of Feavers after Child-bearing.

This disease frequently follows when she is
not well purged of her burden or the purgations
are corrupt that stay behind, about the
third or fourth day they will be Feaverish also
by the turning of the blood from the womb
to the breasts to make milk, but this lasts not
long, nor is it any danger: but you may mistake
a putrid Feaver for a Feaver that comes
from the milk; for the humours may be inflamed
from her labour in travel, and corrupt,
though they appear not presently to be so, the
next day after she is delivered, but from thence
you must reckon the beginning of the Feaver;
it is probable then that this Feaver comes
from some other cause, especially if her purggingsR2 ings R2v 244
be stopt, it may proceed from ill humours
gathered in her body whilst she went
with child, and are only stirred by her labour;
if she be not well purged after travel, the
blood and ill humours retreat to the Liver by
the great veins and cause a putrid Feaver, but
if they flow too much the Feaver may come
long after. A feaver from milk will come
on the fourth day with pains in the shoulders
and the back, and the terms may flow
well; if she kept an ill diet when she was big
with child, the Feaver comes from ill humours
if it come not from milk, if it do it
will end about eight or ten dayes after; but
if it come from stoppage of purgations, if she
have not a loosness it is very dangerous; if
black and ill favouring matter purge by the
womb it is safe. But if the Feaver come from
ill humours and the body be Cacochymical it
is worse, for that shews the ill humours are
many which nature cannot send forth by the
after-purgings, and the woman is weak already
by her travel. Good diet and gentle
sweating cure a Milk-Feaver, but there must
be purging and many remedies used for the other,
as bleeding in the foot, cupping of the
thighs to provoke the after-purgations; but
if the time of after-purging be over, if she be
strong then open a vein in the Arm.

Ift R3r 245

It is dangerous to purge the woman after
the seventh day as some do, when she hath a
Pleurisie, because of her weakness after travel,
and because purges hinder the after-flux;
but you may if the flux of blood cease, if
need be, give a gentle purge with Cassia or
Manna, sirrup of roses or Sena or Rhubarb.
Too cold and sharp things are naught, take
heed of cold drink, or too much drink; let
her diet by degrees increase from thin to

If the Feaver came from too much milk or
terms stopt, open a vein in her foot, then
purge away the gross humours with sirrup of
Maidenhair, Endive of each one ounce, waters
of Succory and Fennel an ounce and half
a piece.

Sharp and putrified humours must be purged
away with proper medicaments, as water
of Succory, and violets, of each two
ounces, sirrup of the same of each one ounce;
cooling Glisters are good here; if there be
need you may purge stronger, but this is not
usual. I shall give you one example, take
two drams of Rhubarb in powder, Diagridium
four grains, let them infuse all night in Succory
and Anniseed water, two ounces and half
of each, and one ounce of Borrage flower
water, warm them gently in the morning, R3 and R3v 246
and strain them well through a linnen cloth;
add to the strained liquor one ounce of sirrup
of Succory, Cinnnamon water two spoonfuls,
drink it warm.

Then after you have well purged away the
ill humours you may gently sweat her to open
the passages of the body and womb, you
will find examples of them in the Treatise of
the Courses stopt.

Chap. IV.

Of the looseness of the belly in childbed

This may be thought a small matter in respect
of other infirmities, yet this is one
of the most dangerous distempers and hardest
to help in child-bed women, for stop the flux
& you will stop her purgations; if you stop it
not she will perish by weakness, nothing almost
is safely given. Physicians are at a stand
in such a case, but it is good be wary and
moderate in what is done, and it may be helpt
God willing. It is not safe to stop it presently,
and if it continue it may cause a Tenesmus
or a dysentury, if it come from ill diet let her mend R4r 247
mend that, and strengthen her stomach outwardly
if yet it continue, use inward remedies
that corroborate the stomach yet hurt not
the womb, as Barley water, Honey and
sirrup of roses, cleansing Glisters are good and
to temper sharp cholerick humours. But the
best way is, to observe what loosenes of the
belly she is molested with, for if it be that
they call Diarrhœa, that will only discharge
her body of ill humours, therefore do nothing
in that case but let her take strengthening
food, for when nature hath eased her
self sufficiently she will stay both the looseness
of the belly and her purgations from the
womb, and so no ill accidents will come; but if
the flux be Lienteria that the food comes away
with the stools undigested, annoint her belly
with Oil of Mastick and of Myrtles, and
give her some sirrup of dried Roses, pulp of
Tamarinds, or some torrified Rhubarb, to
purge the belly and not hurt the womb: But
if it rise to a Dysentery called the bloody flux,
then so soon as her Terms are purged away,
try to stay it.

  • 1. By purging, as take half a dram of bark of
    yellow Mirobolans, & of rosted Rubarb as much,
    finely powdered, sirrup of Roses, or of Quinces
    one ounce, pulp of Cass or of Tamarinds
    with Sugar half an ounce, Plantane or OakenR4 en R4v 248
    water four ounces, let her drink this at

  • 2. Abstersives are good, as of whey, or barley
    water, or Glisters of Mallows, Mellilot,
    Wheat-bran and Oyl of sweet Almonds.

  • 3. Narcoticks to ease great pains, Philonium
    two scruples, Rose water two
    ounces, Maligo wine one ounce, give it when
    she goes to sleep, this is excellent.

In this case astringents are to be used but
not in the former distempers, here they profit,
there they are dangerous.

Of Womens vomiting in Child-Bed.

Women both before they fall in labour,
and at the time of their travel, and also afterwards
will sometimes fall to vomiting, and
it may proceed from ill diet or raw humors,
or from weakness of their stomach, or consent
of the womb when the after flux is stopt,
and sometimes they will vomit blood, for the
blood that is stopped below, runs back to
the great veins and liver, and being much and
sharp finds a way into the stomach and so
comes forth at the mouth. It is ill after childbirth;
especially the food being vomited
there will be nothing to make milk for the
child, and sometimes in hard labour a Vein is broken R5r 249
broken and this may cause a dropsie; if ill diet
cause vomit, rectifie that; if ill humours,
stop it not presently but purge gently; if blood
come, pull back by rubbing, or cupping, or
bleeding, opening a Vein in the foot, ham, or
ankle, and urging the after flux. Sometimes
the woman is costive, then give her a suppository,
with Castle sope or Honey, and then stay
four or five days till you may give a Glister
with Manna or, Cassia. If her Urine run away
against her will, bath her parts with a decoction
of Betony, Bays, Sage, Rosemary, Origanum,
Stœchas, and Penni-royal; for her vomiting
give her three spoonfuls of Cinnamon
water, one ounce and half of juice of Quinces,
about a spoonful at a time. The leaves of
Rosemary dried and brought into powder,
and so drank about a scruple or half a dram at
a time in a cup of wine will stay vomiting;
preserve or Marmalade of Quinces, or Medlars
eaten, or Pears or sowr Apples do
strengthen the stomach, juice of Barberries, or
of Pomegranates or sowr Cherries with Mint

There are many topical applications to be
made to the pit of the stomach, which being
laid on and so continued prevail much, as thus;
take the crum of the inside of a white loaf,
and tost it and steep it in good Maligo Wine, and R5v 250
and strew it lightly over with the powder of
Cloves and Nutmegs, or sirrup of Roses,
Rhubarb, or pulp of Tamarinds, and astringents,
of Roses, Plantane, Coral, Tormentil,
if the Terms flow not at all the belly must be
kept loose, but vomiting is so perillous that it
ought to be stopt, alwaies provided it be
done no sooner than it is needful annd with
good provisoes.

Chap. V.

Of Womens diseases in general.

Whosoever rightly considers it will presently
find, that the Female sex are
subject to more diseases by odds than the
Male kind are, and therefore it is reason that
great care should be had for the cure of that
sex that is the weaker and most subject to in­
infirmities in some respects above the other.

The Female sex then that it may be more
nearly provided for wheresoever it is deficient
must be considered under three several considerations,
that is, as maids, as wives, as
widows, and their several distempers that befall
them almost commonly respect either the womb R6r 251
womb or their breasts or both, and many of
these diseases and distempers are common to
all the Female sex, I mean they sometimes
happen to them in any of the foresaid three estates
of life, but Virgins, or Maids diseases
that are more peculiar to them, though not
essential, because many of them are incident
to the rest, the causes may be the same; they are
that wich is called the white Feaver, or green
Sickness, fits of the Mother, strangling of the
Womb, Rage of the Matrix, extreme Melancholly,
Falling-sickness, Head-ach, beating
of the arteries in the back and sides, great
palpitations of the heart, Hypochondriacal diseases
from the Spleen, stoppings of the Liver,
and ill affections of the stomach by consent
from the womb. But that I may make as
perfect an enumeration as may be of all diseases
incident to our sex, & give you some of the
best remedies that are prescribed by the most
Authentick authors, or what I my self have
proved by long experience.

Know then that there are some diseases
that happen about the secrets of women, as
when the mouth of the Matrix is too narrow,
or too great, when there is a Yard in the
womb like a mans Yard, when the secrets
are full of Pimples or very rugged, when
there are swellings or small excrescenses in the R6v 252
the Womb, or else Warts in the neck of it, or
the Piles or Chaps, Ulcers, or Fistulaes, or
Cancers, or Gangreens, and Sphacelus, or
Mortification: all these and more that may
be reduced to these heads, are found in the entrance
or mouth of the womb.

2. As to the womb it self it is frequently
offended with ill distempers, being either
too hot or too cold, too dry, or too moist,
and of these are many more compounded, as
too hot and too dry, too moist and too cold;
these are all to be cured by their contraries,
cold by heat, moist by driers.

Or the womb is sometimes ill shaped and
strange things are found in it, some women
have two wombs, and some again have none
at all. Again the vessels of the womb sometimes
will open preternaturally, and blood
run forth in abundance, sometimes the womb
swells and grows bigger than it should be: It
may be troubled with a Dropsie, with swelling
of its veins from too much blood, also it
may be inflamed, displaced, broken, and it
may fall out of the body.

It may be rotten, or else cancerated, and
sometimes womens stones and vessels for generation
are diseased.

Further the womb may be troubled with an
itch, it may be weak or painful, or suffer by sympathy R7r 253
sympathy and antipathy from sweet or stinking

Moreover the terms sometimes flow too
soon, sometimes too late, they are too many
or too few, or are quite stopt that they flow
not at all. Sometimes they fall by drops, and
again sometimes they overflow; sometimes
they cause pain, sometimes they are of an evil
colour and not according to nature; sometimes
they are voided not by the womb but
some other way; sometimes strange things are
sent forth by the womb, and sometimes they
are troubled with flux of seed or the whites.

As for women with child they are subject to
miscarry, to hard labour, to disorderly
births of their children; sometimes the child
is dead in the womb; sometimes alive, but
must be taken forth by cutting or the woman
cannot be delivered; sometimes she is troubled
with false conceptions, with ill formations
of the child, with superfetations, another
child begot before she is delivered of her
first; with monsters or Moles, and many more
such like infirmities.

And as for women in child-bed, sometimes
the Secundine or after-birth will not follow,
their purgations are too few or too many,
they are in great pains in their belly,
their privities are rended by hard deliveliveryry R7v 254
as far as their Fundament, also they
are inflamed many times and ulcerated and
cannot go to stool but their fundament will
fall forth. They have swoonding and epileptick
fits, watching and dotings; their whole
body swels, especially their belly, legs and
feet: they are subject to hot sharp Feavers
and acute diseases, to vomiting and costiveness,
to fluxes, to incontinence of Urine, that
they cannot hold their water.

As for their breasts that hold the greatest
consent with the womb of all the parts of the
body, they are sometimes exceeding great
or swelled with milk, or increased in number,
more breasts than there should be by nature;
sometimes the breasts are inflamed and trouble
with an Erisipelas, or hard swellings, or
Scirrhus, or full of kernels, or tumors called
the Kings evil, or strange things may be bred
in the breasts; besides this some breasts are
diseased with Ulcers, and Fustulaes or Cankers,
and some have no nipples, or are chopt
or Ulcerated, and sometimes women have
breasts will breed no milk to suckle the child

To speak then particularly to all these diseases
that belong to our sex might be thought
to be over tedious; however I shall so handle
the matter, that I may not troubled the Readerder R8r 255
with impertinences, that I shall apply
my self to what is most needful for the knowledge
and cure of them all; but because many
diseases may be refered to the chief in that
kind, and the remedies that will cure one may
be sufficient to cure the rest, the judicious
Reader may, according as he shall have occasion,
make a more special application.

For it is in vain for any one to make use of
what is written if they have no Judgement in
the things they use, in such cases it will be
best for them to ask counsel of others first, till
they may attain to some farther insight
themselves, and then no doubt but when they
shall meet with sufficient remedies to cure the
greatest distempers, they will be able to make
use of the same without farther direction in
the cure of those diseases that are lesse; not
that I intend to omit any thing that is material
in the whole, but that I may not trouble
the Reader with needless repetitions of the
same things, as too many authours doe, which
breeds tediousness, and can give little or no satisfaction
at all.

Chap. R8v 256

Chap. VI.

Of the Green-sickness, some call it Leucophlegmatia,
or Cachexia, an ill
habit or white Feaver.

Though both wives and widows are
sometimes troubled with this disease,
yet it is more common to maids of ripe years
when they are in love and desirous to keep
company with a man.

It comes from obstruction of the vessels of
the womb, when the humours corrupt the
whole mass of blood and over cool it, running
back into the great veins. For so soon
as Maids are ripe, their courses begin to flow,
Nature sending the menstrual blood from the
Liver to the veins about the womb, but those
veins and vessels being very narrow, and not
yet open, if the blood be stopt, in that it
cannot break forth, it will corrupt, and
runs back again by the passages of the hollow
vein and great Artery, to the Liver, the heart
and the Midriff, and stops the whole body,
which may be easily known, for their faces
will look green and pale, and wan; they have
trembling of the heart, pains of the head, short breathing S1r 257
breathing, the arteries in the back, the neck,
and the Temples will beat very thick; and
though not alwayes, yet sometimes they will
fall into a Feaver by reason of these corrupt
humours, but it is alwayes almost attended
with disgust and loathing of good nutriment,
and longing after hurtful things.

The whole Body especially the Belly, legs,
and thighs swelling with abundance of naughty
humours, the Hypocondriacal parts are extended
by reason of the menstrual blood runing
back to the greater vessels, and they are
much given to vomit; but all these signs are
not found in all persons alike, but they are
common to most, and in some you shall find
all these meet. The cause is the Terms stopt,
and from thence ill humours abound, for
when the natural channel is stopt, the blood
must needs return to the great vessels whence it
came and choak them up, and so spoil the
making of blood, nothing but raw and corrupt
humors are bred which can never turn to
good nutriment, or be ever perfectly joyned
to the parts of the body; the blood is
flegmatick slimy stuff, and sometimes it is
bred from corrupt meats and drink that
maids will long after as well as Childing women;
they will be alwayes eating Oatmeal,
scrapings of the wall, earth, or ashes, or S chalk, S1v 258
chalk, and will drink Vinegar: they are strangly
affected with an inordinate desire to eat
what is not fit for food, whereupon their natural
heat is choaked, and their blood turns
to water, their body grows loose and spongy,
and they grow lazy, and idle, and will
hardly stir; their pulse beats little and faint,
as the vapours fly to several parts so they are
ill affected by them; the heart faints, the
head is dried and pained, and the animal actions
are hurt when melancholy is mixed with
the humours in too great proportion.

Sometimes this white Feaver turns to a
Dropsie, or the liver grows hard like a stone
that it can make no blood; some fall dead
suddenly when the heart is choaked by ill vapours
and humours flying to it; if the stomach
be affected the danger is the greater, but
if onely the womb be out of frame the remedy
is much more easy.

The best time of the year to cure Maids and
those that are sick of the green sickness is the
spring, and the way of cure is, to heat the
cold humours, and make the thick gross
blood thin, and this cannot be all performed
by one work, to draw away and to correct
the whole mass of humours at once; wherefore
you must purge gently and often, mingling
things that heat and attenuate, as well as S2r 259
as purgatives to carry the ill humours

But first it will be good to give a Glister,
and next to open a Vein in the foot or ancle.

Moreover your physick must vary according
to the parts of the body that are most
stopt, and where the humors float.

If they lye above the stomach and mesentery,
then vomit, if you find the Person fitted
for vomit; likewise the Spleen, or liver, or
womb must be respected in their several
kinds with Physick accordingly; and to save
you the labour of much reading, and me of
writing too often of the same thing, under
several heads, you may find what is to be
done almost in all respects, where I write of
the stopping of the Terms, and by this rule
I wish the Reader to apply the rest when he
stands in need, which he can never well do,
as I said, till he have some judgement in it,
and then it will become familiar to

But in this Disease principally for the cure
respect the Liver, the Spleen, and the Mesentery,
or Midriff, for these are certainly obstructed
and must be opened; and above all
be sure to keep a sparing diet and of a thin

S2 Secondly, S2v 260

Secondly, Let blood in the arm first, though
the courses be stopt, and after that in the

If the disease be of long standing, you shall
do well to give a gentle Purge.

First of all to purge the humours; as

Take powdered Rhubarb two drams, Chicory
and Anniseed-water three ounces apiece;
Infuse the Rhubarb all night, then let them
boyl one walm onely, and then strain it forth,
and in the strained liquor, dissolve sirrup of
Damask Roses one ounce and a half, Diacassia
half an ounce, Cinnamon-water half an ounce,
five grains of Diagridium, let her drink it in
the morning.

Next after this use opening decoction of
Succory and Madder, and Liquorish roots of
each half an handful, Anniseeds and Fennel
seeds two drams a piece, a handful of Hartstongue
Leaves, Borrage Flowers and pale
Roses of each half a handful, one ounce of
the roots of Sassafras, stoned Rasins one ounce
and a half, and half a dram of Cinnamon.

Boyl all these in Fountain water to a third
part onely wasted, and then sweeten it with
sirrup of Lemmons, she may drink it when she

An Electuary made of the rob or pulp of
Elder-berries boyl’d to a just substance four ounces S3r 261
ounces with one ounce of bay berries dried
and powdered, two Nutmegs, and one dram
of burnt-hartshorn, half a scruple of Amber,
and four scruples of species Diarrhoda, mingled
all with sirrup of Succory one ounce and half,
is excellent.

And finally, it will not be from the purpose,
but very useful, to anoint the womb
and Liver with such Oyntments, as will open
their obstructions, made with Oyl of
Spike, and bitter Almonds, of each two
ounces; and juyces of Rue and Mugwort half
as much, and Vinegar a fourth part; waste the
watery part of these by boiling: then add
Spikenard, Camels Hay, Roots of Asarum, of
each one dram; Cypress half a dram, Wax,
sufficient to make an Unguent.

To provoke the Termes.

And that is effected with one ounce of the
Five opening Roots, and with Madder, Elecampane,
Orris Roots, Eryngo, dried Citron
Pills, and Sarsa, of each half an ounce;
Germander, Mugwort, Agrimony, of each a
handful; two small handfuls of Savin, an
ounce of wilde Saffron seeds, two ounces of
Senna; Agarick and Mechoachan, of each
half an ounce; two Pugils of Stœchas Flowers; S3 of S3v 262
of Galingal, Anniseeds, and Fennel, of each
two drams: Boil all this to a Pint and half,
sweeten it for your Pallat, and add to it a
spoonful of Cinnamon water.

Quercetans Pills of Tartar, and Gum Amoniacum
are commended; Take of each half a
dram, Spike a scruple, three drops of Cinnamon,
Extract of wormwood half a scruple;
take a scruple, or twenty grain weight in pills
an hour before Meat: Conserve of Marigold
Flowers is very good. Some, after good
preparatives, use Steel powder to much effect;
giving first a vomit, if need require.
This Medicament is good for all stoppings;
but, if the Liver be stopt, let the Steel be finely
powdered. Take prepared steel two
ounces, Agarick, Species Diacrocuma, and
Darrhodon of each a dram; two drams of
Carthamus seed; Cloves one dram, Carrot
seed, and red Dock Roots of each one dram
and a half.

If the woman vomit, stop it not: but I
approve not so well of steel taken in substance,
as by infusion, I am sure it must needs
be the safest way. Take steel (in powder)
three ounces; three pints of white wine, and
half an ounce of Cinnamon, let all stand in
the sun eight dayes, stopt close in a Glass;
and. every day stir them well: the Dose is six S4r 263
six or eight ounces for twenty daies together,
four hours before dinner.

Steel is best used in the Spring and in the
Fall: but alwaies you must purge the body,
and exercise both before and after the use of it;
and you must change the form of your Medicaments,
or the Patient will loath, and grow
weary of it: Sweating and bathing are good.
Either Baths (by Nature, or Art) made with
Mugwort, Calamints, Niss, Danewort, Rosemary,
Sage, Bays, Elecampane, Mercury,
Briony Roots, Ivy: When the Obstructions
are opened, and the body purged, you shall
see all the former symptomes flie away: But
let the diet be meats of good digestion, and
good nourishment; The air must be temperately
hot; all crude raw things must be avoided:
as green fruit, Lettice, Milk, watry
Fish: Wine is good drink: Sage and Cinnamon
are good Sawce: put Fennel seed into
your bread, and let it be well leavened:
Sleep moderately: Marriage is a Soveraign
Cure for those that cannot abstain. Maids
must not be suffered to eat Oatmeal, or ashes,
or such ill trumpery, though they desire
them never so much; for they will breed
and increase the disease: but Child-bearing
women, if they cannot be perswaded, must
have what they long for, or they will miscarry.S4 carry S4v 264
Exercise, I say, is alwayes good to
keep maids from this disease, and to cure it
when it is come: For idleness causeth crudities;
but motion makes heat, and helps to distribute
the Nutriment through the body:
Yet moderation must be used; for it will
weaken faint people if it be too much.

First, therefore onely rub and chafe the
body, then by degrees, keep them from sleeping
too much; then increasing the labour, after
that the body hath been well cleansed by

Hippocrates commends marriage, as the
chiefest remedy for Virgins sick of this disease,
if they once conceive, that is their cure: or
as saith Johannes Langius, for this disease
never comes till they are fit for Copulation,
and then commonly it hasteneth; and it is cured
by opening of Obstructions, and heating
the womb; which nothing can so soon, and
well perform, as the Venereal acts, to make the
courses come down; but yet it is very dangerous,
when these people are grown weak
with this disease, and their bodies are full of
corrupt humours; therefore they must purge
them away before they marry: for I have
known some that have been so far from being
cured, that they died by it; perhaps sooner
than they would have done otherwise: It may S5r 265
may be good sometimes, when the disease is
new, and the blood plentiful, to open a vein,
when the courses are stopt; and are not changed
into some corrupt humour, you may then
b leed freely; this was the right judgment of
Hippocrates: but when the passages are stopt,
and the whole body is chilled with raw slimy
humours, there is no time to bleed then; for
that will augment the disease.

And because we are now upon this remedy
of marriage, for the cure of this infirmity;
though I touch’d it before, I shall a little further
discusse the matter: Whether all maids
have that sign of their Maiden-head, which
by Moses’s Law INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Deut. 22.. was so much to
be taken notice of, and Physicians call Hymen,
which signifies a Membrane, some do absolutely
deny, that there is any such Membrane,
or skin; and maintain also, that if any maid
have it, it is only the closeness of the womb,
a disease in the Organ, and not common to
all: And some of the best Anatomists maintain
the contrary; affirming that there is a
skin in all, or should be, that is wrinkled with
Caruncles, like Myrtle-berries, or a rose half
blown: and this makes the difference between
maids and wives: but it is broken at the first
encounter with man, and it makes a great
alteration; it is painful, and bleeds when it is S5v 266
is broken: but what it is, is not certainly
known. Some think it is a nervous Membrane
interwoven with small veins, that bleed, at
the first opening of the Matrix by copulation:
Some think they are four Caruncles fastened
together with small Membranes: Some observe
a Circle that is fleshy about the Nimphe,
with little dark veins; so that the skin is rather
fleshy than nervous. Doubtless there is a
main difference between Virgins and Wives,
as to this very thing, though Anatomists agree
not about it; because, though all have it, yet
there may be causes whereby it may be broken
before marriage, as I instanced formerly:
and sometimes it is broken by the Midwives.

Leo Africanus writes that the African custome
was, whilest the wedding dinner was
preparing, to shut the married Pair into
a room by themselves and there was
some old woman appointed to stand at the
Door to take the bloody sheet from the Bridegroom,
to shew it to the Guests; and if no
blood appeared, the Bride was sent home to
her friends with disgrace, and the Guests dismissed
without their dinner. But the sign of
bleeding perhaps is not so generally sure; it is
not so much in maids that are elderly, as when
they are very young; bleeding is an undoubteded S6r 267
token of Virginity: But young wenches
(that are lascivious) may lose this, by unchast
actions, though they never knew man; which
is not much inferior, if not worse than the act
it self.

Amongst those signs of Maidenhead preserved,
is the straightness of the privy passage;
which differs according to several ages, Habit
of body, and such like circumstances:
But it can be no infallible sign, because unchast
women will (by astringent medicaments)
so contract the parts, that they will
seem to be maids again; as she did, who being
married, used a bath of Comfrey roots.

Some judge (but falsely) that if a maid
have milk in her breasts, she hath lost her
Maidenhead: There can be no milk, say they,
till she hath conceived with child. Maids
want both the cause, and the end, for which
nature sends milk; namely to provide food
for the child to be born: If a maids courses
stop, they corrupt, and turn not to milk. The
Breasts have a natural quality to make milk;
but they do it not, unless convenient matter
be sent to make it of; and that is not done, but
for the foresaid end.

Hippocrates, Galen, & there followers say, that
maids may have milk in their brests: True it
is, that it is a certain sign of a living child in the S6v 268
the womb, when there is milk in the Breasts;
and of a mole or false conception, when there
is no milk: But that milk that maids
sometimes have in their breasts, is only a watry
humour, when their courses are stopt, and
cannot get forth of the womb; then the
Breasts by their faculty make whey, but cannot
make milk, without there be first carnal
copulation: it is white as milk is; but not so
white, nor so thick: neither comes it to the
breasts by the same veins that that blood
that makes Milk comes into them by; for this
breeds in the veins of maids from the superfluous
nutriment of their breasts. But to enlarge
a little more concerning that distinction
of Maids from Wives, by the straitness of the
Orifice of the womb: There are three diseases
in this part of the secrets; either the mouth
is too strait, or too wide, or sometimes there
hangs forth the Yard of a woman. The Privity
is too strait when there is not room for
the Fore-man to enter; Such persons seldom
child, and are delivered with great danger
and difficulty: and if this come from ill conformation,
that nature hath made them so,
it will be hard to cure them by any thing but
copulation, and bringing forth of Children,
to enlarge the place: yet sometimes this straitness
comes from the use of astringent Medicaments,caments S7r 269
when whores desire to appear to be
maids; sometimes the passage is so close shut
up on the outside, that nothing can come
forth but water and the courses, and sometimes
neither of them; because they are attracted
not bored nor pierced by nature. This
disease is threefold; it is either in the mouth,
neck, or middle body of the womb; it is never
good for copulation, conception, or for
the courses to be voided by: I remember I
saw a woman that had the Orifice of the matrix
so little, that nothing but the Urine and
her courses could pass through; yet she conceived
with child, no man can suppose how
she received the mans seed, but by attraction
of the Matrix: the midwives (when she was
to be delivered) discovered the difficulty; and
a Chirurgeon made the Orifice wider, and she
was by that means happily brought a bed of
a Son: The cleft may be also close stopt, by
reason of some wound or Ulcer cured in that
part. I saw a woman which by the French
disease, had been much eaten off, yet when it
was healed, it grew close together, that there
was no passage left, but for her Urine to come
forth by: either proud flesh, in foul diseases,
or else some membrane, by evil conformation
may stop the passage: if it be in the mouth
of the secrets, it is visible, but if in the neck it lieth S7v 270
lieth concealed; Unless it be when the courses
are flowing, or Copulation is used, it is not
painful: and maids are supposed to be with
child; for the belly tumifies, and the body is
discoloured. The Terms cannot well come
forth of the neck, or the Veins of the womb,
if there be an Ulcer or inflammation, you may
know almost whence it came; but if a membrane
stop it, the place is white: if the flesh
be red, and you touch it, the touch will discover
it; for a membrane is harder than the
Flesh: the hazards are great for childing women.

Chap. VII.

Of the Straitness of the womb.

Sometimes there are superfluous Excrescences,
that fill up the Privites, and are
like a tail: I spoke something before of a
Clitoris; but these are not that: for a Clitoris,
if it be rubbed, increases pleasure in copulation;
but these fleshy excrescensces are painful
to be touched, and hinder copulation:
you may safely cut them off, if you can
come at them, because they are redundant.

There S8r 271

There are a kind of wings in a womans secrets,
much like to the comb of a cock for
colour and shape; it swells like a Yard sometimes
(in lust it is full of spirits) and is hard
and Nervous at the top of it; sometimes it is
no less than the Yard of a man, and some women
by it have been suspected to be men; it
proceeds from much nutriment, and frequent
handling of the part that is loose. To cure
it you must first discuss, and dry it with easie
astringents; then you may go on to Causticks,
that are not dangerous; as burnt Allum,
or Egyptiac: if these cure it not, then you
may at last cut it off; or tie it with a horse
hair, or piece of Silk, till it fall off; but cut
it not at first for fear of pain and inflammation:
The way to cut it off is taught by Ætius,
to cut it neatly between both the wings, causing
as little pain as possible may be; and after
that, foment the place with an astringent
Decoction of wine with Pomegranate Flowers,
Cypress nuts, Bay Berries, Roses and

Some call this disease Tentigro, when the
Clitoris grows bigger by odds than it should
be; it is a nervous piece of flesh, which is
lapt in by the lips of the Privitie, and it riseth
in the act of Copulation; it hangs below
the Privy parts, outwardly, like a Gooses Neck S8v 272
Neck in bigness; and it comes from a great
Flux of humours to the part, being loose, and
often handled: The way to cure it, is to
purge superfluous humours forth, and to draw
blood, and use a spare diet, and very cooling,
and to discuss with the leaves of Mastich tree,
or of the Olive: You may take away the excrescence
by Sope, being boiled with Roman
Vitriol; and last of all, add a little Opium,
make some Troches, and sprinkle the powder
upon the superfluous part; and after that
cut it off, or cure it by ligature as I said before.

There is another fleshy substance, that
sometimes fills up the privy parts, coming
from the mouth of the womb, and hangs oftentimes
out, like a Tail; it may be easier taken
away than the former, by the same means
of cutting or binding with a thread, or silk
dipt in sublimate water.

There are many other infirmities that stop up
the secrets of the womb, of which I shall
briefly speak; but the straitness of the neck
of the womb it self is not so usual, as too
much wideness is; you may know when it is
too strait, by the stopping of the Courses, and
a weighty pain bearing down: It proceeds
partly from ill conformation by nature, and
partly from Diseases; sometimes it is so shut up outwardly T1r 273
outwardly, that neither the courses can come
forth, nor the mans Yard enter in; that it is
not possible for her to be with child: if the
straitness be in the inward Orifice, the courses
run back again for want of passage, and hinder
conception. It may happen when the
caule lieth to that, and presseth upon the neck
of the womb; the stone in the bladder, or
swelling in the straight Gut, may cause it also;
if the parts cling together naturally, either
soft red flesh, or a white hard skin causes this
straitness as I said: But the straitness of the
womb it self, and its vessels are sometimes
natural by ill conformation; and such women
will miscarry in the fourth or fifth month, because
the womb that naturally stretcheth, as
the child grows in bigness, & will after the woman
is delivered, shrink as small as it was before,
in some women will not be extended.
But if the straitness be in the vessels or neck
of the womb, Conception is hindered, because
the terms cannot flow; gro<