Or the whole Art of
Directing Childbearing Women
how to behave themſelves
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.
Midwifry above thirty years.
London, Printed for
Simon Miller, at the Star at the
Weſt End of St. Pauls, 16711671.
To Her Much Esteemed, and Ever Honoured Friend, The Lady Ellenour Talbutt,
Be These My Poor and Weak Endeavours Humbly Preſented By Madam An Admirer of Your Vertue and Piety,
To the Midwives of England.
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 x 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
The Mid-wives Book.
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, 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 002 B1v 2 wives 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 003 B2r 3 fection 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 004 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- midwives. 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 005 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 good.
A brief deſcription of the Generative parts in both ſexes; and firſt of the Veſſels in Men appropriated to procreation.
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.
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 Veſſels, caſts the ſeed prepared into the Matrix.
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 007 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 Vein, 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 Veſſels, 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 008 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 blood.
Of the Veſſels that make the change of red Blood into a white ſubſtance like Seed.
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 009 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 010 B5v 10 ately for the Stones to make Seed of.
Of the Cods, or rather the Stones contained therein.
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 011 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 012 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- 013 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 014 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 Warts.
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 015 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.
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- 017 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 018 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.
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 019 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 020 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 021 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 ſometimes.
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 022 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 023 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 Veſſels.
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 024 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 025 C5r 25 ſuddenly away, for ſhould they flee out, the Yard will ſtand no longer but preſently fall down.
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 026 C5v 26 newy 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 027 C6r 27 der 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.
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 028 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.
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 029 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 030 C7v 30 tains 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 ſtand.
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 031 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 032 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 033 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.
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 035 D2r 35 wards 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 036 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 water.
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 037 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 heat.
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 larger.
The place of the cut of the Matrix is betweenD3 tween 038 D3v 38 tween the Fundament and the ſhare-hbone, and the place between both Arteries, is called the Peritoneum.
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 039 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 October, 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 040 D4v 40 dinary 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.
Of the likeneſs of the Privities of both ſexes.
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 041 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 woman.
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 042 D5v 42 gates 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 043 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 044 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 045 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 046 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 047 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 048 D8v 48 ty 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 deflowred.
The Arabians thought this skin called Hymen was the joining of five Veins together as they are placed on both ſides; but that is rejected.
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 049 E1r 49 and Laurentius profeſſeth he never could find it.
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 050 E1v 50 ched 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 051 E2r 55 begotten during the time of ſeparation will be Leprous, and troubled with an incurable Itch and Scabs as long as they live.
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 052 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 053 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 forth.E3 It 054 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.
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 055 E4r 55 teries 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 more.
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 056 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 057 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 varicoſum, 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 058 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.
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- 059 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, 060 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.
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 Hippocrates.
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 061 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 Abdomen.
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 062 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 063 E8r 63 been ſo perfectly mingled together.
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 064 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: 065 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 066 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 067 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 068 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 069 F3r 69 ance 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 070 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 071 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 072 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 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 073 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.
Of the faſhion and greatneſs of the Womb, and of the parts it is made of.
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 074 F5v 74 fore 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 075 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 076 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 077 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 into
- 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 078 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 079 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 bottom.
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 080 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.
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 082 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 083 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 084 G2v 84 crement 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 085 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 086 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 087 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 convenie nt 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 088 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 089 G5r 89 growth and nouriſhment, but old age not near so much; ſick and healthful differ in the ſame kind.
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 090 G5v 90 fore 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 good.
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; 091 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 tranſp riiration 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- 092 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.
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 nouriſhment.
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 093 G7r 93 ture 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 094 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 095 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 096 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 097 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 eleventh’s 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 098 H1v 98 earneſtly pray unto God for his bleſſing of Procreation, and be thankful unto him for it: ſo 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 099 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 100 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 101 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 be.
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 pleaſeth.
Signs that a woman is conceived with Child, and whether it be a Son or a Daughter.
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 are.
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, 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, 104 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 down.
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 coloured.
To know whether the Infant conceived be male or female I refer you to Hippocrates, Aphor.phor 105 H5r 105 phor. 48. 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.
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 107 H6r 107 men 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 108 H6v 108 gendred 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 109 H7r 109 men 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 110 H7v 110 ceived 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 111 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 112 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 113 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 rack.
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 flatter.
The Mole cauſed from many humours doth I not 114 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 waſhed.
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 115 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 116 I2v 116 quent 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.
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 117 I3r 117 ſes, 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 procreation.
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 118 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 119 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 120 I4v 120 the firſt place, and thence it is that children are ſo like their Parents.
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 girl.
Thirdly, there is a likeneſs of forms and figures and other accidents, that the child by them 121 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, Auguſtusguſtus 122 I5v 122 guſtus’s 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 123 I6r 123 thing 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 child.
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 124 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.
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- 126 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 womb.This 127 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, 128 I8v 128 noyſome, 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- 129 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 130 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 131 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 132 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 Child.
How the Child grows in the Womb, and one part after the other ſucceſſively made.
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 133 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 134 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 135 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- 136 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, 137 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 138 K5v 138 the Matrix, makes it glib and ſlippery whereby the woman is more eaſily and more ſpeedily delivered.
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 139 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 140 K6v 140 fore 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 heart.
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 141 K7r 141 ries 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 142 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- birth.
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 143 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 child.
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 144 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 145 L1r 145 ters 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 146 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 147 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 148 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 149 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 other.
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 150 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 Copernicuspernicus 151 L4r 151 pernicus, 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 152 L4v 152 cauſe 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 152 facing L4v The Figure Explained:flawed-reproductionapproximately 4 linesfacing 153facing L5rA 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. 153 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.
Of the Poſture the Child holdeth in the Womb, and after what faſhion it lieth there.
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, Pſalm 139. My reins are thine 154 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 155 L6r 155 wards, 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 156 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 them.
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, 157 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 158 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 159 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 women.
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 160 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 161 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 before.
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 162 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.
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 164 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 165 M3r 165 nity 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 166 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.
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 167 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 168 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, 169 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, 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 170 M5v 170 poſe concerning hard labor, and that of Rachel, a good woman, wife to the Patriark Jacob, 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 171 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 one.
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 172 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 173 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 174 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 175 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 176 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 177 N1r 177 mulſions 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, 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 178 N1v 178 who hath withheld the fruit of the womb from thee? And again he makes the barren women to keep houſe and be a joyful mother of Children.
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 179 N2r 179 rate 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 180 N2v 180 not 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 181 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 ſufficiently.
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 182 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 183 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 184 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 185 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 186 N5v 186 cauſe 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.
Rules for Women that are come to their Labour.
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; 188 N6v 188 pen; 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 ſtronger.
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 189 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 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 wants.
The cauſes that ſome Children dye in the womb are.
1.Want of nutriment.
3.Gluttony and ſurfeiting, that choke the Infant.
4.The Cups are ſometimes broken by ſtrokes, ſudden fears, much ſneeſing, coughing, violent mo- 191 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 thus.
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 it.
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 192 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 pubis, 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 193 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 great.
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 194 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 nicle, 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 195 O2r 195 noint 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 196 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 dead.
2.The Child living and the Mother dead.
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 dead.
Roderigo de Carſtro ſaith, that a child cannot live in the womb when the Mother is dead, 197 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 198 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 198 facing O3v facing 199 facing O4r A chart showing eight possible fetal presentations. Place here the Picture of all ſorts of poſtures of Children. 199 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 200 O4v 200 ward 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 201 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 202 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 paſſage.
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 203 O6r 203 the Child back by the ſhoulders as formerly, till the hands hang down by the ſides of the Child.
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 firſt.
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 204 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 place.
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 205 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 downwards.
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 206 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 207 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 208 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, &c.
Outward means is good applied to the ſecrets; take Agrimony leaves and roots, but after 209 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 Feaver.
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.
What muſt be done after the woman is delivered.
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 a 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 211 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 212 P2v 212 of her purification that her husband muſt abſtain from her.
When and how to cut off the Childs navel-ſtring, and what is the Conſequent thereof.
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 213 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, 214 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, 215 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, 216 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 firſt.
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.
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 dead.
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 218 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 all.
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 219 P6r 219 bone 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.
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 220 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.
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 221 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.
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 222 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 223 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 224 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 225 Q1r 225 ral 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 226 Q1v 226 ſpoonful of it twice a week with a dram of Methridate.
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 broth.
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 pubis.
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 227 Q2r 227 lia moſcala 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.
How women after Child-birth muſt be governed.
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 229 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 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 230 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 bind.
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 231 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 it.
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 232 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 pains.
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 vein.
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 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 234 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 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.
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 237 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 238 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 239 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, 240 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 241 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 242 R1v 242 ly, 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 243 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.
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 244 R2v 244 gings 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 245 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 thicker.
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 246 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.
Of the looſeneſs of the belly in childbed Women.
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 247 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 248 R4v 248 en water four ounces, let her drink this at once.
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 Romanum 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 249 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 water.
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 250 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.
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 251 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 252 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 253 R7r 253 ſympathy and antipathy from ſweet or ſtinking ſmells.
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 254 R7v 254 livery 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 with.
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 255 R8r 255 der 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.
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 257 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 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; will be alwayes eating Oatmeal, ſcrapings of the wall, earth, or aſhes, or S chalk, 258 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 259 S2r 259 as purgatives to carry the ill humours forth.
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 him.
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 ſubſtance.S2 Secondly, 260 S2v 260
Secondly, Let blood in the arm firſt, though the courſes be ſtopt, and after that in the foot.
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 pleaſeth.
An Electuary made of the rob or pulp of Elder-berries boyl’d to a juſt ſubſtance four ounces 261 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 262 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 263 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 264 S4v 264 carry. 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 purging.
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 265 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 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 266 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 267 S6r 267 ed 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 268 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 269 S7r 269 caments, 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 270 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.
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 271 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 Myrtles.
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 272 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 273 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; groſs humours, eſpecially when the womb is cold and weak, ſtop the mouths of the veins and arteries.
Inflammations; or Swellings, or Scars, or Schirrhus, or the like, may be the cauſes; ſometimes Flegm abounds, if there were a wound or the after-burden were forcibly pulled out.T If 274 T1v 274
If the terms be ſtopt, from an old obſtruction of grown humors, the cure is hard; a Schirrhus, or humour that ſhuts up the veſſels, cannot be cured; what is to be cured, muſt firſt be done by general evacuations of purging and bleeding; then uſe means to provoke the terms: if the ſtraitneſs come from diſeaſes, firſt cure them.
Sometimes the Secrets of women are full of puſhes, and ſcurf, with itching and pain, wheals riſing in the neck of the womb: They are of two ſorts; ſome are gentle, but moſt commonly they are venemous, and come from the foul diſeaſe, and will impart it unto men: They proceed from burnt, ſharp, cholerick, malignant humours, hard to be cured; Sirrup of Fumitory is very good in ſuch caſes: it is alſo profitable to waſh the parts with wine and Salt-Peter.
Draw blood, if it abound, firſt in the arm then in the ancle: but firſt if it be the diſeaſe, drink the decoction of Sarſa and Guaicum for it: Avoid ſharp ſowr meats; it is good to purge with Confectio Hamech, or Fumitory Pills. You may ſee the cauſe of this great itching, and ſcurf, if you ſearch with Speculum Matricis, an inſtrument Chirurgeons uſe. Sometimes Tubercles grow in the neck of the womb, with heat and pain; you may ſee them 275 T2r 275 them them, for they are a kind of ſwelling wrinkles, like the wrinkles you ſee when you cloſe your Fiſt, but they are much larger; and when they ſwell they make theſe Tubercles: they are uſual in the ſecrets, or Fundament, and come from the ſame malignant cauſes with the former; and ſome are more enflamed, and painful, than others are: The ſwellings are hard, proceeding from thick burnt humours; Powder of egg-ſhels burnt is good to ſtrew upon them to dry them up, if they be new, and there be no inflammation; but if they be old and dry, they muſt firſt be ſoftened. Theſe wrinkled skins, when they are many, reſemble a bunch of Grapes: Cure the Pox firſt, for uſually that is the cauſe, and then they will vaniſh of themſelves.
If Medicaments prevail not, ſome old authors bid us to uſe an actual Cautery, and to burn them away. Likewiſe Warts in the ſecrets are bred by a groſs dreggy ill humour, and is of kind with the forementioned; Nature ſends it forth to the outward skin, and there it becomes Warts: if they be hard or blew, and painful, you may know what they are, the Pox is in them, and hard to be got out, and they lie where medicines can ſcarce be applied to them to remain: if you apply ſharp Topicals, uſe a defenſative of T2 Bole 276 T2v 276 Bole and Vinegar, that you hurt not the parts; and ſo you may touch them with Aqua fortis, or Spirit of Vitriol, or of Brimſtone. There are ſeveral ſorts of theſe Excreſcences; there are thoſe that are called Myrmeciæ, leave an U lcer; if you cut them off Thymi, & Clavi will grow again, but Acrocordanes leave no root, if they be once cut away.
The powder of Mulberries is good to cure Warts and ſwellings upon the privities of men; and I recommend it to women in the ſame caſes: Sometimes women have the piles of the womb, like thoſe in the Fundament; they proceed from groſs blood, that ſtaies about the ends of theſe veins, in the neck of the womb. Women that are thus troubled, look pale, and are very faint and weary: this may come from too long flowing of the courſes, and grow thick, and cannot get forth; they are painful, and bleed diſorderly; you may ſee them, by the help of Speculum Matricis, and touch them: The cure is by revulſion of the humour, by letting blood in the arm or heel; and by gentle applications if the pains be great: if nature open them and they bleed moderately, you may give way to nature; but if they run violently, open a vein in the arm two or three times: Purge with Rhubarb, Tamarinds, and Mirobolansbolans 277 T3r 277 bolans mingled: and uſe Topicals to ſtay the blood. The blind Piles bleed not at all: they are cured by letting young women bleed freely; and by ſoftening the parts with emollient Fomentations, to open the veins, and to diſpel the humour, made with mallows, Marſhmallows, Cammomile, Melilot, Mallius, Linſeed, Fenugreek: Anoint where the pain is, with butter, Populeon and Opium; if the pain be gone, and they bleed not, uſe Driers, of Bole, Ceruſs, Allum, burnt Lead, waſh’d; if the veins ſwell with blood rub them with Fig leaves, or with Horſe Leeches applied draw blood from them.
This diſeaſe of the Piles of the womb differs from the flowing of the courſes, becauſe this is with great pain; and moreover the courſes run from the veins of the womb, and the neck of it; but the Piles are cauſed when the blood runs too much to the veins that force the ſecrets, and either ſtops there, or comes forth ſometimes by them: but ſome ſay they differ from the courſes, namely, by their great pain; but that they make the body lean, if they laſt long, and the blood comes not forth ſo orderly, nor at certain periods, and ſet times, as the courſes uſe to do: Sometimes the womb hath Ulcers bred there, ſome are cleaner, and ſome again are ſordid T3 and 278 T3v 278 and malignant, all hard to be cured. They proceed generally from a virulent Gonorrhœa, or the Pox; but they may riſe from inflammation, by abundance of ſharp corroding humors, from abortion, or hard labour, or ſharp medicines, or when the after-birth is pulled out by force, and rends the womb.
The pain of Ulcers is biting, and increaſed by ſharp injections of Wine or Honey and Water: All Ulcers are hard to heal there, becauſe of the ſenſibility, and moiſtneſs of the part: and a light Excoriation, or rawneſs, will not eaſily be healed; but eating Ulcers never are cured there almoſt but by Death. Ulcers by Venery, if they be cured, you muſt firſt cure the Pox.
All Ulcers in the ſecrets of Wombs may be cured, if they be not Cankered: and the way to cure them is by Purging and bleeding, to cleanſe and carry away, and divert the ill Humours and moiſture from the Womb: if there be great pain, abait that with Mucilage of Fleabane, and whites of Eggs; or, an Emulſion of Poppey Seeds. Warm Injections into the Womb will help forward the Cure, made of Barley, Lentils, Beanes, Lupines, of each one Ounce; and two drams of Orris Roots; and of Horehound, Wormwood, and a little Centry, of each half a handful, boil all in Whey 279 T4r 279 Whey, ſtrain it, and put ſome Honey of Roſes, or Hydromel to it. Turpentine waſhed and with Liquoriſh ſwallowed is good: Drink Sheeps milk ſweetened with Sugar. Fumes made with Frankincence, Myrrh, Maſtich, Storax Calamita, Juniper Gum, received by a Tunnel do good; if there be a jealouſie of the Pox, add a little Cinnabar; but Peſſariers with Opium muſt not be held in above half an hour, for it will hurt the Nervous part of the womb: a ſcruple of the Pills of Bdellium, taken thrice a week, may be profitable: Vulnerary Potions drunk, and aſtringent powders caſt upon the Ulcers muſt not be neglected.
Sometimes there are long Ulcers in the neck of the womb, like to thoſe that eat the skin, and are ſeen upon ſome mens hands and feet in Winter; ſometimes they are bleeding, and ſometimes very dry, and have hard lips; much labour and ſharp humours to the parts may cauſe them: when they are new they are eaſier cured; use a good moiſtening diet: if ſharp humours cauſe them, purge them forth; and anoint the Ulcers with Oil of Linſeed and Roſes, mingle them in a Leaden Mortar with juice of Plantane, and the Yolk of an egg; when they are hard anoint them with deers Marrow, Turpentine, wax, and oil of T4 Lillies 280 T4v 280 Lillies; when they are malignant they are cured, as Fiſtulaes are; if they itch, or cauſe pain, make an unguent of Populeum and Diapompholix, of either one ounce; Camphire & Sugar of Lead of each a ſcruple: when there is a great itching of the womb it is ſomewhat like the rage of it, then eat Sallets of cooling herbs, Purſlain and Lettice, with a few Spearmints, & oil; and vinegar, or take conſerve of Mints, and of Water Lilly-Flowers, of each an ounce, Lettice candied ſix drams, Agnus Caſtus ſeeds one dram and a half, Coral one dram, Rue ſeeds half a dram, Camphire a ſcruple, with ſirrup of Purſlain, make an Electuary; annoint the Reins and ſecrets with Galen’s cold ointment, with a little Camphire.
As for the womb, it is ſoon ulcerated, becauſe the parts are ſoft, and eaſily corroded, and hard to be healed: and theſe ulcers are of many kinds; hollow, crooked or ſtrait; if the ſharp humors be retained, it makes furrows and divides the parts; which growing hard with a callous cannot join again; thus it degenerates into a Fiſtula; it may be without pain, with hard Lips, and an ill matter may be preſſed forth of it: ſometimes it corrodes the bladder, and then the water paſſeth forth by the Fiſtula, and ſometimes to the Fundament, and the Dung is voided by it: An 281 T5r 281 An old Fiſtula is harder to cure than a new; and a crooked than a ſtreight. General remedies, and a good Diet may do much; and ſo leave the reſt to nature to evacuate the excrements: but uſe a palliative cure by often Sweating, and purging twice a year; and by Injections and Corroboratives, laying on a Plaiſter of Diapalma: After general meanes, if it be not paſt hopes, Vulnerary Decoctions may help, made with Centaury, Bettony, Agrimony, Ladies mantle, and roots of male Fern. Topicks are uſeful, firſt dilating the Orifice with Gentian Roots, or with a Sponge; then make ſoft the Callous with Turpentine, wax, Deers Marrow, and Oyl of Lillies; then conſume the Callous, which may be effected: For a new narrow Fiſtula uſe black Hellebore, Egyptiac, or Vigo’s powder, carried to it with a Pencil, or Aqua Falopii; or take Roſe, and Plantane water, of each ſix ounces, put to it Sublimate half a ſcruple, ſet it on the Embers in a Glaſs; but if the Fiſtula be toward the womb, beware of violent means: if it be foul, and a hard Callous withall, a Potential Cauſtick may do good, but a Horrion is beſt; all theſe are ſafe in the outward part of the Neck of the womb, but in the inward there is greater danger.
A Cancer in the womb is ſeldome ſeen, nor can 282 T5v 282 can it be ever cured: but that which is in the Neck of the womb I ſhall inſtance in; which is either with an Ulcer, or without an Ulcer.
Firſt, It comes without an Ulcer; but when long Applications are uſed to them, hard ſchirrhus Tumours, which ſpring from burnt black humours, and Terms, that flow to thoſe parts, change to an Ulcerated Cancer.
Secondly, It may be in the part not Ulcerated a long time, and not be known, becauſe it is without pain; but at length there will be a pain felt in the Loins, and bottom of the belly: the ſwelling looks blew, and loathſome; when it becomes Ulcerated it is worſe, and a thin black ſtinking matter comes from it. If much blood flow from it, that is dangerous; there will be a ſoft Feaver, red cheeks and loathing, by reaſon of the vapours that riſe from it: Mild Remedies are not felt, and ſtrong meanes make it worſe; it growes harder daily: keep it from being Ulcerated, and you may live long with it. Prepare and Purge Melancholly, from whence it proceeds: Uſe no ſharp biting applications at firſt, but onely Diapompholyx, or juice of nightſhade, Plantane, or Purſlane. Give every day three or four Grains of a Powder made of Oriental Bezoar 283 T6r 283 Bezoar ſtone, Saphyrs and Emeralds, of each one dram, in waters of Scabius, or Carduus; take alſo juice of Nightſhade ſix ounces, burnt Lead waſht, and Tutty, of each two drams, Camphire half a dram, put Cray-fiſh powder to them, and ſtir them well in a leaden Mortar.
An Injection made with a Decoction of Cray-fiſh is held to be very good; and, make a Cataplaſm, and a Fomentation with milk, Saffron, water Lillies, Mallowes, Marſhmallowes, Coriander, Dill, and Fleabane ſeed. Arſenick and Antimony may be good in ſome remote parts, but are dangerous here.
There was a Noble woman who had a Cancer Ulcerated upon her Face, and ſought for help from all Countries; at laſt a Barber cut a Chicken in the midſt, and often applyed that, and it drew forth the Ulciome, and the Lady was cured.
The womb is very ſoon corrupted by the many ill humours that flow thither, and it will quickly Gangreen, and the parts mortifie, the natural heat being extinguiſhed; by reaſon of ſome preceding Ulcer, the neck of the womb will feel an unuſual heat, and a Feaver runs through the body; the part is diſcoloured, and neither beats nor feels any thing; 284 T6v 284 thing; prick it, or cut it, it ſtinks: The Party that hath it faints and decayes; wherefore ſtrengthen the heart with cordials, and the principal parts, leaſt the Spirits be infected; cut off the dead fleſh: ſtop the corruption by ſcrarifying it, if you can come at it, then waſh the part with a decoction of wormwood, and Lupines, and Egyptiac; apply Epithems to the heart: it is worſe when it goes to the womb, than when it comes outward. Some have had their womb fall out and yet recovered, as to life, wchwhich was before endangered.
The Neck of the womb is onely ſubject to Ulcers: yet ſometimes the ſubſtance of the womb hath been Ulcerated, and rotted away. A dead child in the womb may cauſe an Ulcer; but all theſe Ulcers and Rottenneſs are to be dealt withal as I have ſhewed before: Sometimes there may be a Rupture of the womb; I never ſaw but one, and that was exceeding rare, it happens ſo ſeldome.
The womb is ſo fenced by the adjacent parts, that it is ſeldom wounded, unleſs the Chirurgeon chance to do it, in cutting the Child forth of the womb. There is more pain in the neck of the womb, than in the bottom of it: but this cutting may be cured by Injections and Gliſters for the womb, made with Decoctions of round Birthwort, Cypreſs Nuts 285 T7r 285 Nuts, boiled in Steel water, and Aſtringent Wine, and a little Honyed water, and Agrimony, Mugwort, Plantane, Roſes, Camels Hay, Horehound; If the pain be great uſe Anodynes, or Peſſaries, made with a wax candle dipt in Vulnerary Oyntments; as, take Turpentine, Gooſe Greaſe, wax and Butter, of each a dram; Bulls Greaſe, Deers Marrow, Honey, Oyl of Roſes, of each two drams.
I have refer’d all the foreſaid Diſeaſes to a natural, or Accidental ſtraitneſs of the mouth, or neck, or Middle of the womb; all of them being a hinderance to Copulation, and making compreſſion upon the parts.
Of the Largeneſs of the womb.
The oppoſite to ſtraitneſs of the womb is the largeneſs of the Orifice; and ſometimes more Cuts than nature makes; which may proceed from Copulation, or bearing of Children.
By the largeneſs of the Orifice women are often barren, and ſometimes the womb falls out, 286 T7v 286 out, as Hippocrates ſaith: Nor do men deſire to keep company with ſuch women.
The cure after Child-birth is with Aſtringent Fomentations, and Bathes of Allum water; binding things of Bole, Dragons blood, Comfrey Roots, Pomegranat Flowers, Maſtick, Allum, Galls, of each half a dram; powder all, and make a Peſſary to thruſt into the Orifice, dipt in this Mixture, made fit with ſteel’d water.
Hard Labour doth ſometimes cleave the Privy parts as low as the Fundament; whereby the rent is made ſo wide, that it goeth from one to the other hole; a long piece of Allum (put into the cleft) may do good to help it: but if there be many paſſages in the ſecret parts, it comes from an error in nature, there being a paſſage open from the womb to the ſtraight gut.
There are ſome diſeaſes whereby Phyſicians are much deceived, thinking the cauſe to lye in the womb when it doth not; for womens ſtones, and Veſſels of procreation, may be ſorely diſtempered, and their womb be no wayes affected with it.
Gaster Bauhin, and John Scenkius, tell us of a Maid whoſe belly was ſwoln, as though ſhe had been with child; but when ſhe died, ſhe deſired to be opened, to let the World know 287 T8r 287 know her innocency, and it did ſo appear; for her ſtones were ſwelled as big as a white penny Loafe, they were blew, and ſpungy, and full of water.
The womb is ſometimes ſubject to great paines, beſides what proceed from the former Diſeaſes, for there is that which is called the Cholick of the womb; it is uſual to women with child, as the Inflammation of the womb is, it binds the belly and ſtops the veins; all women are ſubject to it, either from ſharp humours, or from clotted blood, that ſticks to the hollow of the womb; Drinking of cold drink may cauſe it: ſometimes it comes from retention, and corruption of the ſeed, that is cured as fits of the Mother; If it come from ill humours that lye there, purge them forth; if from windy vapours, that riſe from the heat of ill humours, theſe muſt be diſcuſſed; give a Gliſter of Maligo wine, and Nut oyl, of each three ounces, Aquavitæ one ounce, oyl of Juniper and Rue diſtiled, of each two drams, apply it warm: lay on a plaiſter to the Navel, of Tacamahac, and Gum Caranna.
Of the Termes.
The Monthly courſes of women are called Termes; in Latin Menſtrua: quaſi Monſtrua, for it is a Monſtrous thing, that no creature but a women hath them; or elſe Menſtrua becauſe they ſhould flow every Moneth: and they are named Flowers becauſe Fruit follows; and ſo would theirs if they came down orderly: they are then a ſign that ſuch people are capable of Children; it preſerves health to have them naturally, but if they be ſtopt there muſt be danger; when the woman is conceived, then they ſtop: they begin commonly at fourteen years old, and ſtop at fifty, or in ſome at sixty years old; they are of no ill quality naturally, but are onely ſuperfluous moiſture and blood the Female ſex abounds withal; for when they ſtop, the Child in the womb is ſupplied by them. The Termes run longer two or three dayes with ſome women than with others, for they differ as women do, according to plenty, or leſs plenty of good diet, and labour, or idleneſs, or the like,
Hippocrates ſaith, They ſhould bleed in all but 289 V1r 289 but two pints at moſt, or a pint and a half, the colour of the blood and ſubſtance differs, according to divers tempers; it ſhould not be too thick nor too thin, without any ill ſcent, and of a red or reddiſh colour: and the veins of the womb are the paſſages, which are double from the Spermatick and Hypogaſtrick double branch on both ſides, to ſend forth ſuperfluous menſtrual blood from all parts of the body; ſome ſay this blood is venomous, and will poiſon plants it falls upon, diſcolour a fair looking glaſs by the breath of her that hath her courſes, and comes but near to breath upon the Glaſs; that Ivory will be obſcured by it: It hath ſtrong qualities indeed, when it is mixed with ill humours. But were the blood venomous it ſelf, it could not remain a full month in the womans body, and not hurt her; nor yet the Infant, after conceprtion, ion, for then it flows not forth, but ſerves for the childs nutriment.
We read of a child but five years old, that had her monthly purgations: and John Fernelius writes of one that was but eight years old that had them; but certainly it muſt be a ſign of a laſcivious diſpoſition, and of a ſhort life.
Some womens courſes ſtop not only by conception, but from other cauſes, that have V come 290 V1v 290 come again very well ſeven or eight months after; but if the terms fail, there is either want of blood, or the blood is ſtopt: but ſome refer the cauſes of ſtopping the courſes to four heads. viz.
1.Corruption of the blood.
2.The Womb ill diſpoſed.
3.An ill habit of the body.
4.An ill Cuſtome of the faculties of the Body.
1.If the Womb be diſeaſed, as it is ſubject; to many, the Terms will increaſe or diminiſh wherefore the womb muſt be firſt healed.
2.If the blood be corrupt, it will be too thick, or too thin, by reaſon of ill humours and ill diet.
3.If the body be ill diſpoſed, it ſends not blood as it ſhould do: ſome laborious Country Women become ſo hot and dry like Men, that they have hardly any courſes at all; as the Indian women have none: but they are barren, if they abound with no more blood than will nouriſh their body: Blood is wanting either because it is not made, or not diſperſed where it ſhould, but turned to other uſes. Old age, cold conſtitutions, diſeaſed bodies will not make blood; alſo often bleeding of the 291 V2r 291 the great veſſels, and much loſs of blood, or from Iſſues to make diverſions, the womb is not ſupplied with it. Nature ſpends the blood in Nurſes that give ſuck for an other end; and fat women wear it on their backs: ſadneſs and fear not only waſt, but cool and corrupt the blood.
4.The weakneſs of the woman hinders the courſes; and ſo long as ſhe continues weak, ſhe will have none.
But all theſe things muſt be judged of by the relation of the party, whether the whole body be diſeaſed, or the defect be in the womb or veſſels, or the mouth of the womb turned aſide: If the cauſe be from heat that her courſes are ſtopt, her Pulſes are ſwift and ſtrong, ſhe is very thirſty, and her head aketh, and ſuch like ſigns of heat: If from cold, the woman is drowſie and ſleepy, her Pulſe beats ſlow, annd ſhe is not thirſty, the Veins are ill coloured; if the woman be fat or lean that will diſcover the inward cauſe of it.
The uſual cauſe of obſtruction of the courſes is thick ſlimy humours; or from thick groſs melancholly blood proceeding from a cold diſtemper of the Spleen and Liver, by drinking cold Water, or eating groſs Food.V2 The 292 V2v 292
The Roman women drank ſnow water, and that was the reaſon (ſaid Galen) that they had few or no courſes; but in ſuch caſes they could not be very fruitful: It will ſeem ſtrange, that ſome women are ſo hot of conſtitution, that they have conceived, yet never had their courſes at all.
Courſes ſtopt in maids, are not the ſame as they are in women, for the effects are very different; Maids, they preſently fall into the Green ſickneſs by it, the blood going to and fro all the body over, and is corrupted: but in women, it runs to the womb commonly, and cauſes them to vomit, and to loath their meat, or to deſire unnatural things: You ſhall know a woman with child, when her courſes are ſtopt, from a maid that hath hers ſtopt; for the one looks wan and pale, the other lively and well: the one is ſad, the other merry: the womans pains daily decreaſe, and the others increaſe. This obſtruction cauſeth not only barrenneſs, but ſtrange diſtempers, Suffocations, Swellings, Impoſthumes, Coffing, Dropſies, difficulty of breathings, urine ſuppreſt, Coſtiveneſs, Heavineſs, Megrims, Vertigoes, Head ach, and many more fearful diſtempers.
Hippocrates tells us, that when the terms are long ſtopt, the Womb is diſeaſed, with humours,mours 293 V3r 293 mours, impoſthumes, ulcers, barrenneſs, Leucophlegmacy, vomiting of blood, heart-ach and head-ach, if the ſymptomes be great there is danger of death.
The beſt way to move the courſes in weak women is to forbear Phyſick, and to feed them high with nouriſhing meats and drinks; this is where the Woman is lean, her Liver weak, and blood is wanting: but if blood abound, then give a gentle purge, or Gliſter: then open a vein to draw down the blood to the womb; open a vein in the foot, or ancle, one day, one leg, and another day the other, four or five daies before the time the courſes ſhould come down: uſe Frictions and binding of the parts below, but Iſſues, and opening of the Emrods do hurt, and draw from the womb: you may firſt looſen the belly with Hiera Picra, or Pills de tribus. For Phlegmatick bodies uſe the Decoction of Guaicum, or Sarſa and Saſſafras, and Dittany fifteen drops, without ſweating: purge with Agarick, Mechoachan, Turbith, and Scamony; or drink wine of their infuſions: if the ſtomach be foul, give a vomit, leſt it get into the Reins.
Things that provoke the terms are hot and thin: take ſirrup of Mugwort, and of the Fierwort of each one ounce and a half; OximelV3 imel 294 V3v 294 imel ſimple, one ounce; Water of Motherwort and Mugwort, of each two ounces; Pennyroyal and Nip, of each one ounce, ſweeten it with a ſpoonful or two of Cinnamon water, make a Julip to drink at thrice. Peſſaries are not fit for maids, but Fumes may be uſed; if ſhe be no maid bruiſe Mercury, with Centaury Flowers put in a bag for a peſſary; begin with the mildeſt remedies: if it be from a humour provoke not the Terms, but cure the ſwelling. Some ſay that the blood going to other parts cauſe the Terms to ſtop; but that is contrary, for the blood goes to other parts becauſe the Terms are ſtopt.
Authors agree not what veins muſt be opened to move the Terms; Galen thinks the Ancle Vein, and moſt men conclude the ſame becauſe it opens obſtructions, and brings down the blood; open the ancle twice or thrice rather than the arm once: but in other diſeaſes of the womb it is beſt to open a vein in the arm; as when the Termsa a re too many, or drop, or the womb, is inflamed.
The Saphæna is opened by putting the foot into warm water, few terms flowing, if the blood be but little there is no harm: Diſeaſes grow when they are ſtopt by thick blood, as the Cancer, Schirrhus, and Eriſipelas; when the time is near, then uſe the ſtronger remedies 295 V4r 295 remedies, the weaker having made a way for them. Tender natures (as maids) muſt have but gentle remedies; as Aloes one dram and a half, Agarick and Rhubarb of each one dram; Myrrh, Gum Ammoniack diſſolved in Vinegar, Gentian Root, Aſarum, of each half a dram; Cinnamon, Maſtich, Spikenard, of each one ſcruple; five grains of Saffron, make a maſs of the fine powder, with ſirrup of Mugwort, the Doſe is one dram.
To urge the terms in ſtrong Country people, take pills Aureæ and Aggregativæ, of each two drams; pill Felid and Hiera, of each four ſcruples, at the Apothecaries, Diagrid one ſcruple, Trochiſchi Alhandal half a ſcruple, with a hot peſtle mix them well in a Mortar; adding ſirrup of Damask Roſes, one dram, oil of Anniſeed olympical half a ſcruple; diſſolve Gum Dragant in Cinnamon water and make your pills, and let the woman take two ſcruples every morning, before the time of their terms, at leaſt three or four drops.
Ointments and Plaiſters are good alſo, and peſſaries made of Aromatical things, and ſweet ſmells, and Fumes; as take Benzoin, Storax Calamita, Bdellium, Myrrh, what you pleaſe; mingle them, and ſtrew ſome on a pan of Coles; the woman ſo placed, that ſhe may receive the Fume by a Tunnel, broad at the V4 lower 296 V4v 296 lower end, to keep the ſmoke in: but leſt theſe Fumes cauſe the head-ach, keep the Fumes down with clothes about the woman, that they come not to her head: But do none of theſe things to women with child, for that will be Murder: give your remedy a little before the Full Moon, or between the New and the full, for then blood increaſeth: but never in the Wane of the Moon, for it doth no good: Sometimes, but ſeldome the courſes ſtop with Fulneſs; ſuch muſt, ſaith Riolanus, be let blood in the arm, but with great care.
Of the overflowing of the Courſes, or immoderate flux thereof.
This diſtemper is contrary to the former, and Women are often ſubject to it; and it brings many diſeaſes, great weakneſs, loſs of appetite, ill digeſtion, dropſies, conſumptions, pains in the back and ſtomach: Their ordinary continuance ſhould be two or three daies, or four or five daies in large People; but 297 V5r 297 but if they ſtay longer it is not good; or if they come oftener than once a month, I mean the Moons Month, paſſing through the twelve Signs, that is twenty ſeven daies and odd minutes.
The cauſes may be falls, or blows, or ſtrains, or hard labour, over-heating the body, which makes the blood thin; or from weakneſs of the retentive faculty, and too much ſtrength of the expulſive faculty; or from crude raw blood and weakneſs, or too much moiſture: and this is the cauſe that ſome women have their terms by drops, and it laſts long, and there is pain, and the ſecrets are alwaies wet; if this be not remedied it may cauſe Ulcers and inflammations: if the blood be ſuperfluous open the arm, not the ancle vein; if it be Cacochymical correct it; if too thin and ſharp, correct and amend it, by coolers and thickeners; and ſtrengthen the wombs retentive faculty by aſtringents, and convenient driers.
Many think that the overflowing of the Terms and Iſſues in women are the ſame diſeaſes, but that is not ſo (as Galen ſhews) for by ſuperfluous Flux of the courſes only blood is voided, but in too great a meaſure: But womens continual Iſſues ſend forth not only blood, at certain periods, but various hu- 298 V5v 298 humours, that cauſe the diſeaſe.
The Terms exceed when they flow in too great abundance in a ſhort time or continue longer than is needful; the one reſembles violent rain, the other ſlow rain, but laſts long: If too much blood be the cauſe of this ſuperfluity, the blood will be whitiſh and pale; if choller, the terms will be yellow: if melancholly, they will be dark coloured, black or blew: it weakeneth all the body, and the Liver and Bowels; dip a clout in the blood, and dry it in the ſhade, and then the colour of the blood will ſhew the humour that offendeth, and accordingly prepare your remedies: Sometimes it cauſeth ſwounding, paleneſs, the whites or the dropſie: If fulneſs be the cauſe, abate blood, opening the Liver vein of the right arm; repel, cool, bind, bleed little, but often; uſe cuppings to the back and breaſt againſt the Liver, below the paps, to draw the blood back; but ſcarifie not under the breaſts: upon the Salvatella, bind and rub the arms and ſhoulders. Waters of Plantane, Purſlain, Shepherds Purſe., Sorrel, ſirrup of Pomegranates or dried Roſes, will cool and thicken the blood; and ſo will Bole or Sealed Earth, ſirrup of Poppeys, Philonium, Laudanum are good. If it proceed from choller, purge with ſirrup of Roſes, of Rhubarb, or with Senna, or Manna:na 299 V6r 299 na: if watry blood be the cauſe, the Reins and Liver are out of temper, ſweat with China, and ſtrengthen thoſe parts.
Do not force veins, but uſe aſtringents; take the juice of aſs dung, ſirrup of Myrtles, of each half an ounce, with an ounce of Plantane water, let the woman drink it and not know what ſhe takes, leſt it offend her; or give every day a dram of the powder of Mulberry tree roots. When you uſe cold aſtringents temper them ſo, that you ſtop not the Veins; uſe no Peſſaries; except the Veins of the neck of the womb be open. Cold and binding fomentations are better than baths, for baths make the humours to flow more: waſh the legs and hips in cold water. If choller perſiſt, Rhubarb powder in conſerve of Roſes is very good. The principal cauſes of this overflowing are but four; viz.
1.Some of the Veſſels broken, or much dilated.
4.Hard travel in Childbed, or the Midwives unkind handling.
Firſt, if the Veſſels be broken, the blood guſheth forth in heaps; if flowing of humors they 300 V6v 300 they come with much pain, though the quantity be ſmall.
Secondly, All Phyſicians almoſt wiſh to ſtop the Courſes firſt that are too many, before you ſtrengthen the woman: But I think it more reaſonable to ſtrengthen nature firſt, and nature will help her ſelf with leſs means; but ſtrengthen the womb, and annoint the reins and back with oils of roſes, Myrtles, Quinces; do this every night, lay a piece of white bays then next your reins, upon the bare skin, and keep it there conſtantly; inject the juice of Plantane into the Matrix, it ſeldome fails: You may drink of the decoctions of Sage, Biſtort, Tormentil, Knotgraſs, Sannicle, Ladies-mantle, Golden Rod, Looſſtrife, Meadow Sweet, Archangel, Solomons Seal, Purſlane, Shepherds Purſe, red Beets, Bark, and Cups of Oak and Acorns: But I commend this medicine; take of Comfry leaves or roots, of either a handful, and of Clowns all-heal the ſame, bruiſe them and boil them well in Ale, drink a good draught when you pleaſe, and it will help you, though the mouths of the Veſſels be open. Too much blood is loſt in the overflowing of the courſes when the faculty is hurt by it, otherwiſe the quantity cannot be defined. The immediate cauſes are the opening of the Veſſels; but the mediate 301 V7r 301 mediate cauſe is the blood offending in quantity or quality: Veſſels are opened three or four wayes by Anaſtomoſis, when the mouthes lye open, by reaſon of a moiſt diſtemper, or uſe of Aloes or hot and moiſt bathes; or from Diapedeſis, when the blood ſweats through the Coats, this is not often; or from Diæreſis, when the ſharpneſs of the blood eates the Veſſels in ſunder; if a Vein be broken, Coral, Bole, Myrtles, Comfrey, are good to bind; or a Poultis with aſtringent powders, and the White of an Egg.
Thirdly, If a veſſel be Corroded, a dram of the roots of Dropwort in a new Egg will glutinate: Sleep long, uſe little Exerciſe, nor Venery; but eat little: if it come from Plethory, uſe thin Nutriment, beware of hot things, alwayes purge the humour that offends; vomits are good to ſtay, and turn the courſe of the humours: Take Conſerve of Roſes two ounces, of water Lillies one ounce, prepared Pearls and burnt Harts-horn, of each half an ounce, Bole Armoniac, and Terra Lemnia, of each half a ſcruple, make an Electuary with ſirrup of Plantane, this is cooling, thickning and binding: or, in caſe of great neceſſity take a Bolus made with old conſerve of Roſes, half an ounce, Philonium, or Requies Nicolai two ſcruples, or but a ſcrupleple 302 V7v 302 ple of each; let them drink Red Wine, or quench ſteel in their drink, or bloil Plantane Seeds, Leaves and Roots in their drink.
Of the whites, or Womens Diſeaſe, from corruption of humors.
When the body grows Cacochymical, womens Courſes ſtop, or run very ſlowly, and ſometimes they abound; ſometimes all humours run thither to a general vent, and the whole body is purged by it: but the womb is not affected, it is a filthy diſorderly Evacuation, either before or after Terms, or when they are wholly ſtopt, the colour of the matter is blew, or green, or reddiſh, few maids have this Diſeaſe, women with child may: it is not the running of the Reins, for that is in leſs quantity, whiter and thicker; nor from nightly Pollutions, which come onely in ſleep: The cauſe is ſome excrementitious humor, ſometimes like watry blood; a cold and moiſt womb breeds this Diſeaſe: or, when ill humors are gathered in 303 V8r 303 in the whole body, or Liver, Spleen or ſtomach, they are ſometimes thus voided; nature, that uſeth to ſend forth good blood by the Veins, caſts forth theſe ill humours by them; they are of divers colours, and ſtink: If it be from a Phlegmatick humor, the Ligaments of womb grow looſe, and the womb falls out in time; they make thick veins, and they are diſcoloured in their Faces, ſhort breathed: if the humor be not bred in the womb, it comes from a Cacochymy of the whole body; if it comes from the whole, it is more in quantity; if onely from the womb it is but little: Many have had this Diſeaſe long, and found no great hurt, but if it be not timely looked to, it will do miſchief; cauſing Conſumptions, Faintings, and Convulſions, when the matter is ſent to the nerves and brain: You muſt not ſtop it ſuddenly, for ſo it will find a way to the nobler parts. Bleeding is naught in this caſe: general Evacuations, are good; and after particulars, according to the part diſeaſed: The whites, and over-flowing of the Terms, I ſay, are a diſeaſe; and although it reſemble the Gonorrhæa, it is not the ſame; it is alſo like the matter that flows from an Ulcer of the womb, but it is not that neither.
The running of the Reins in Men & women is 304 V8v 304 is not the ſame diſeaſe with this; the running of the Reins is peculiar to unchaſt women: but this flux of whites may proceed from too much cold, or too much heat, and hath many differences, as will appear by the colour of the matter ſent forth; the colour ſhews the peccant humor; it is neceſſary for the cure to ſearch whether it be a Gonorrhæa or involuntary flux of ſeed, which both women and Men are ſubject to, and the remedies are the ſame, as the cauſes are in both. Women commonly call the whites the running of the Reins; but the running of the Reins comes moſt commonly by unlawful Venery, or exceſs in that Act: but the proper cauſe of the whites is too much ſuperfluity of Excrement; but where thoſe Excrements are bred, is doubted: Some ſay theſe corrupt humours are daily bred in the principal parts; others ſay they come onely from the womb, and ſeed Veſſels; others ſay from the Reins onely, and the womb is unaffected: But Galen plainly ſhews that the whole body is affected, that diſchargeth it ſelf by the womb, and therefore weak and flegmatick women are moſt ſubject to have the whites.
To cure it, firſt obſerve a ſtrict Diet; cleanſe the whole body by purging, letting blood, Sweating, and Diureticks: in very moiſt 305 X1r 305 moiſt bodies prepare the humours three or four dayes before purging; or take Caſſia new drawn one ounce, powder of Rhubarb one dram, with ſirrup of water Lillies or Violets, take it in the morning, diſſolve it if you pleaſe in Poſſet drink, and about two hours after take ſome broth: You may take every day a dram of Trochiſci de Carabe in Plantane water; or give every ſecond or third day a dram of the filings of Ivory in Plantane water, a very laudable remedy. To ſweat alſo is very laudable in this caſe; take Barley water three ounces, ſtrong wine two ounces, drink it warm, and lie and ſweat. Conſerve of Roſes and Marmalade are excellent for this diſeaſe: drink the decoction of Comfrey Roots, with Sugar to ſweeten it, take three or four ounces at a draught. Whites of eggs well beaten with red Roſe water, and made with Cotton, or Linnen into a Peſſary, and put into the Matrix, with a ſtring tied to it to pull it out again, is commended.
Diureticks are not good till the body be well purged, and then they will help to drive the ill humour forth by Urine: Leſt the womb be hurt with ill humours, inject a decoction of Barley, Honey of Roſes, and Whey with ſirrup of dried Roſes. Take red Saunders two drams and a half, yellow Saunders one dram X and 306 X1v 3056 and a halfe, red Roſes three drams, fine Bole a quarter of an ounce, burnt Ivory one dram, Camphire half a dram, white wax one ounce, oil of Roſes three ounces, make an ointment: This is not only good to anoint the ſecrets, but alſo to cool the inflammation of the kidneys, ſtomach, liver and other parts.
If the Whites flow from abundance of ſuperfluous humours, you may evacuate much through the skin, by often rubbing of the body; but firſt rub eaſily, and by degrees rub harder.
Of theſe fluxes there are three ſorts, White, Red and Yellow; and there are three kinds of Archangel, or dead nettles to cure them.
Firſt, The White Flowers helps the Whites.
Secondly, The Red are to cure the Reds.
Third ly, And the Yellow flux is cured by the Yellow.
Half a dram of Myrrh taken every morning is commended, or a ſcruple of the Pills of Amber at night, often taken; they will not work till the day following.
Many ſtrange things are oftentimes voided by the Womb, as Stones and Gravel: And Peter Diverſas relates, that a Nun voided a rugged Stone as large as a Ducks Egg, and it 307 X2r 3067 it gave her ſome eaſe; but there followed a foule flux of the Womb that killed her.
Garcias Lopius ſaw a Woman that voided many Aſcarides, or ſmall Worms, by the Womb.
When ſtinking humors are caſt forth this way it is not properly the Running of the reins, for both ſexes have ſometimes the running of the reins; and moſt commonly it comes from a foul courſe, whereas the whites come from a corruption of humours: if it run white, and little, and thick, it is a true flux of ſeed; if it laſt, and be not cured, it brings a waſting of body and barrenneſs: if this flux grow from fulneſs of Seed, the buds of willow ſteept in wine will cure it: if it proceed from a weak retention, give half a ſcruple of Caſtor, and uſe aſtringents to the reins and belly; or a bath of willow leaves, Myrtles, Quinces, each two handfuls; red Roſes, Roſemary each a handful, Cypreſs Nuts three ounces; let her ſit up to the Navel, apply bags of the ſame to the Loins and Privities, and anoint the ſaid parts with oil of Maſtich and Myrtles.
Of the Swelling and Puffing up of the Body, eſpecially the Belly and the Feet of Women after Delivery.
The Swellings of theſe parts in Childbed women come either from a depraved diet, uſed whileſt they were with child, or elſe drinking immoderately after delivery; or it may be they abound with more blood than the child could retain, or her purgations diſcharge; wherefore it grows crude, being ſuperfluous, and makes the parts ſwell ſo much that a man would think ſhe were with child again: but it commonly ceaſeth if the woman be once largely purged, either by the womb or the belly. Hyſterical, or Mother fomentations are ſufficient oftentimes to cure it; or take a Sheeps-skin of a Sheep new killed, and wet it with ſharp Wine, and lay it on.
If in travel they keep ill diet, the humours turn to Wind, and they fall down to the legs, and make them ſwell: take heed of drink; and when the purgations are over, uſe things that expel wind: take wormwood, Betony, Southernwood, Origanum, Cammomile Flowers 309 X3r 309 Flowers, Calamint, Annis-ſeed, Rue, Carroway ſeeds, boil them, and make a fomentation for the feet.
If too much drinking be the cauſe, let her abſtain from that; Medicaments that heat and reſolve, and are good for Dropſies, are very good in this diſtemper: the infuſion of Rhubarb is much commended, eſpecially if the humour proceed from ill habit and courſe of life. Hippocrates preſcribes a Goats or Sheeps Liver made into powder and taken with wine of the infuſion of Elecampane; alſo Treacle taken with Fumitory and Fennel waters: and to abate the ſwelling of the Feet, make a decoction of Roſe ſtalks and Cammomile Flowers, excellent to bath them in: and for her belly ſwelled, lay on a Plaiſter of Bay berries, or of Melilot; or take Bay berries and Juniper berries, of each one handful, Goats Dung four ounces, Cammomile Flowers powdered half a handful, Cummin ſeed two drams, pour ſpirit of wine upon them as you bruiſe them in a Mortar, make a Plaiſter with a little oil of Spike added, and lay it over the womans belly.
For the ſwellings of the Bellies of maids, if it come not by a maſculine blow, take Dittany root, and Cubebs, bruiſe them, and Cummin ſeeds, and Cow Dung, and lay it to their X3 bellies 310 X3v 30910 bellies as hot as can be endured. Women after Delivery, are alſo ſubject to have their Wombs inflamed, when the birth is very great, and their labour hard, and the mouth of their Womb narrow, ſo that great violence ſtretcheth it wider than they can ſuffer; and ſometimes there is great loſs of blood, and the womb is torn by putting forth of the child; it muſt be cured by ſuch things as eaſe pains, as Baths and Fomentations, and ſuch ſoftening things as are proper for the belly: This following Anodyne is very effectual; take Flowers of Mallows, Marſhmallows, Vervain, and Rue of each a handful, Self heal, Agrimony, Cammomile Flowers, Melilot tops, red Roſes, of each a handful; cut them very ſmall, ſew them up in fine linnen bags, boil them in Goats milk, or equal parts of Plantane water and Wine, preſs them well between two Trenchers, and make application of one after the other hot to the place affected; but firſt anoint the part with Poplar ointments, or with oil of Roſes: after this cleanſe all the ſecret parts with a ſpunge dipt in water of Oaken Leaves, Self Heal, and of Plantane made luke warm, and injections put up with a Syring, are effectual alſo, of Mel Paſsarum, and Plantane water mingled, and caſt in warm; or take Galls, Lentils, Flowersers 311 X4r 31011 ers of Pomegranates, Seeds of Kneeholm, Saunders and Roſes, of each a like quantity; boil all in water, and ſtrain it, and with a Syring inject the decoction, and it will cleanſe the Womb. When the Mother is cleanſed it will be proper to make the fleſh incarnate, if it be corroded; as take Centaury ſix ounces, Orris, Comfrey Roots, Agrimony, of each three handfuls, Gum Tragant, Sarcocolla, Dragons Blood, Frankincence, Hypociſtis, Mummy, of each a dram, boil all in a ſufficient quantity of water to the conſumption of half; then put to it Iron refuſe prepared one ounce and a quarter, boil it a while longer, and bath the part with it.
If the womb be too hard, and ſhe feel pain between the Navel and the Matrix, then take Ducks greaſe, Deers, or Ox marrow, Neats Foot oil, Yolks of eggs, Bdellium, of each a like proportion; two drams of Saffron, diſſolve all in wine, and mix oil of Lillies with them, and dip a tent of Linnen or Cotten in this, and thruſt it up into the place; uſe this often, for this will eaſe it and take away the pain.
And if the womb be foul with Ulcers, or the like, take half an ounce of Oxymel of Squils, ſirrup of Vinegar and Bizantine of each three quarters of an ounce, Agrimony and X4 Lovage 312 X4v 312 Lovage Waters of each one ounce, water of Cichory two ounces, let her drink this every morning early, and ſleep upon it, and faſt four hour after it; the Urine will in a weeks time, or ſomewhat longer, become clean, and well cleanſed, and the party cured.
Womens bellies uſe to be mightily ſtretched in Child-bearing, in ſo much that they will be plaighted, and full of wrinkles ever after, that were plain and ſmooth before, growing lank when they are delivered; but if it be but four months paſt it may be helped by laying a linnen cloth over the belly dipt in oils of ſweet Almonds, Lillies, Jeſſamine; and if the belly be already wrinkled, then take Goats and Sheeps Suet, and oil of ſweet Almonds, of each one ounce, Sperma Ceti two drams, and with a little wax make an ointment: when the Flux is paſt you may lay on the Cataplaſie of Ætius, or anoint with oils of Maſtich and of Roſes.
Of Cold, Moiſt, Hot, Dry, and of all the ſeveral Diſtempers of the Womb.
The wombs of Women ſhould be alwaies kept temperate, that they exceed not in any preternatural quality; if they do, the mans Seed will be like corn ſowed upon ſand, and will prove unfruitful, if the womb be too hot, or cold or moiſt, or dry.
Thoſe that have hot wombs have but few courſes, and thoſe are either yellow, or black, or burnt, and fiery, that come diſorderly; and ſuch perſons will fall into Hypochondriacal Melancholly, and rage of the womb; if this be from their birth, it will be hard to cure: yet it may, by good Diet, and proper means be much mended by Medicaments, that cool and aſſswage Choler; but take heed you do not cool too faſt, and ſtop the courſes: you may ſafely uſe conſerve of Succory, Violets, Water Lillies, Borage of each one Ounce, Conſerve of Roſes half an ounce, Diamargariton Frigidum, and Diatrion Santalon, of each half a dram, with ſirrup of Lemmons or Oranges, or juice of Citrons; take a Nutmeg in quantity at once, twice or thrice in a day: and anoint the back and loins with Poplar 314 X5v 3134 Poplar Unguent, or oyl of water Lillies, Roſes, Venus Navel wort. Let her wear thin cloaths and uſe the cold Air; let her avoid hot and ſalt meats, Wine, and ſtrong drink; eat Lettice, and Endive, and cooling herbs, that ſhe may ſleep well.
The contrary to this is a cold womb; and theſe are not fruitful, they are too cold to nouriſh the ſeed of Man: it is from the birth in ſome, but in others by accident; from cold Air, cold Diet and Medicaments, or from too much idleneſs: the ſigns are quite contrary to the former, for the other are extreme deſirous of Venery; and, theſe abhor it, and take no pleaſure in it: they have few or no hairs about their Secrets; and their ſeed is watry and Slimy, their wombs are windy, and they are ſubject to Gonorrhæas, and the Whites: The Cure is long, and hard to be done; but, they muſt uſe ſuch things as warm the womb, with drinking good wine, and ſometimes Cordial Waters, and good warm nouriſhing Meats, and of eaſie digeſtion; with Anniſeed, Fennel ſeed, and Time: And Fumigations are good, of Myrrh, Frankincence, Maſtick, Bay berries, of each a dram; Labdanum two drams, Storax and Cloves of each a dram, Gum Arabick and wine, make Troches; put one or two upon a Pan of coles, and 315 X6r 3145 and let her receive the Fume at the Matrix.
Then take Labdanum two ounces, Frankincence, Maſtick, Liquid Storax, of each half an ounce, oyl of Cloves and of Nutmegs of each half a ſcruple, oyl of Lillies and Rue of each one ounce, Wax ſufficient, make a Plaiſter, and lay it over the Region of the womb. But if the womb be moiſt (and this is commonly joyned with a cold diſtemper) it drowns the ſeed, like as if a Man ſhould ſow Corn in a quagmire. The cauſes are almoſt the ſame as of cold; for it is Idleneſs that is the cauſe in moſt women that are troubled with it, and ſuch women have abundance of Courſes, but they are thin and wateriſh, and the whites also; their Secrets are alwayes wet: they cannot retain the mans ſeed, but it ſlips out again. This muſt be cured as the cold diſtemper, by a heating and drying Diet, and Medicaments, Baths, Injections, Fomentations, wherein Brimſtone is mingled; but take heed of Aſtringents, for they will make the Diſeaſe worſe, by ſtopping the ill humours in.
The fourth is a dry Diſtemper of the womb, this is natural to ſome, but to moſt it comes when they are old, and paſt childing, when the womb grows hard; if it be from any other drying cauſes, ſuch women will be barrenren 316 X6v 316 ren before they be old: It may proceed from diſeaſes, as Feavers, Inflammations, Obſtructions, when the blood goes not to the Matrix to moiſten it; ſo that if they void any blood, it comes from the Veins in the neck of the womb, and not from the bottom; they have but few courſes, little ſeed, they are of a lean, dry Conſtitution; their lower Lip is of a blackiſh red, and commonly chapt: This Diſtemper, if it be long, is ſeldom cured; moiſtning things muſt do it, as Borage, Bugloſs, Almonds, Dates, Figs, Raiſins: Moiſtning and nouriſhing Diet is good, and to forbear ſalt and dry meats; avoid anger, ſadneſs, faſting, and uſe to ſleep long, and labour but little: rub the parts with oyl of ſweet Almonds, Lillies, Linſeed, ſweet Butter, Jeſamine, Hens or Ducks Greaſe.
Beſides theſe four, there are compound diſtempers, as cold and moiſt wombs, and hot and dry; but I preſume I need not in particular ſpeak of them, becauſe I have given ſufficient remedies in the ſeveral qualitis already, which will be eaſie to apply: I confeſs a compound diſtemper is harder to be cured than a ſimple; therefore I ſhall add one or two remedies more.
Firſt, If then the Womb be cold and moiſt, cure this with ſurrup of Mugwort, Bettony, Mints, 317 X7r 317 Mints, or Hyſſop; then purge the cold humor with Agarick, Mechoachan, Turbith and Sena: Sudorificks of Guaicum, Sarſa, and China are very good.
Secondly, If the womb be ſubject to a hot and dry diſtemper, you muſt put away choler from the Liver, and from the whole body: thoſe things that will do it are Manna, and Tamarinds, ſirrup of Roſes, Rhubarb, Senna, Caſſia, and the like, which are very ſafe, gentle, and effectual Remedies.
Of the Strangling of the womb, and the effects of it, with the Cauſes and Cure.
The womb, by its conſent with other parts of the Body, as well as by its own nature, is ſubject to multitudes of diſeaſes; and it is not to be uttered almoſt what Miſeries women in general, by meanes thereof, be they Maids, Wives, or widowes, are affected with: But amongſt all diſeaſes, thoſe that are, called Hyſterical Paſſions, or ſtrangling of the womb, are held to be the moſt grievous: Swounding and Falling Sickneſs are from hence, by the conſent the womb hath with the heart and brain; and ſometimes this comes to paſs by ſtopping of the Terms, which load the heart, the brain and womb 319 X8r 3189 Womb with evil humors: and ſometimes it ariſeth from the ſtopping in of the ſeed of Generation, as is ſeen in Antient Maids and widowes; for by reaſon hereof, ill vapors and wind rise up from the womb to the Midriff, and ſo ſtops their breath: it is moſt commonly the widowes diſeaſe, who were wont to uſe Copulation, and are now conſtrained to live without it; when the ſeed is thus retained it corrupts, and ſends up filthy vapours to the brain, whereby the Animal Spirits are clouded, and many ill conſequents proceed from it, as Falling Sickneſſes, Megrims, Dulneſs, Giddineſs, Drowſineſs, Shortneſs of breath, Head-ache, beating of the Heart, Frenzy and Madneſs, and indeed what not. The same woman may be tormented with ſeveral of theſe at the ſame time, when the ſeed and the Courſes are mingled with ill humours, being once corrupted. The Menſtrual blood and ſeed are noble parts, but the beſt things once corrupted, become the worſt, and degenerate into a venemous nature, and are little better than Poyſon.
When the Veſſels of the womb lye near the Veſſels of other parts of the body, or there is near affinity of one part with the womb; then, by conſent, are many grievous Diſeaſes produced.The 320 X8v 320
The womb is of a membranous nature; and for that reaſon it conſents exceedingly with the nerves and membranes, and ſo the parts that are near are ſoon offended by it; and it conveys its ill qualities to the whole body, by Nerves, Veins and Arteries, the Brain hath it by the membranes of the marrow of the Back, and by Nerves; the arteries they carry it to the Heart, and the veins to the Liver, and theſe are large in the womb; and by them all the noxious blood, and poiſonous vapours return.
The Veins of the Meſentery give it a conſent with the ſtomach; and ſo do the arteries carry all to the Spleen, which is the cauſe that ſome women in age grow hypochondriacal by heat of their blood, becauſe their courſes did not flow ſufficient when they were young: It will be hard to diſtinguiſh theſe two diſeaſes in women, or to cure the one, and not cure the other,.
The Breaſts they conſent with the womb by Nerves and Veins, that go from it to them: ſo then it is clear that it holds a correſpondence with the heart, the Midriff, the Brain and Head, and all the inſtruments of motion and ſenſe; likewiſe with the Stomach, Liver, Spleen, Bladder, Belly, Meſentery, Hips, Back, ſtraight Gut, Legs and arms, and is the cauſe 321 Y1r 321 cauſe of ſtrange ſymptomes in them all. For Galen ſaith well, the ſtrangling of the Mother, or Hyſterical Paſſion, is but one by name but the ſymptomes are ſcarce to be numbered. It alters womens complexions, & they grow ſandy, or pale and yellow, or ſwarthy, and now and then their eyes and faces ſhew red, and very ſanguine.
When this ſtrange affection falls upon them, they will gnaſh theitr teeth, and become ſpeechleſs, for their breath is ſtopt: and it hath been often obſerved that they have been ſuppoſed to be dead; neither breath, nor Pulſe, nor Life, to be found for that time: and ſometimes their breath is ſtopt ſo cloſe and it holds ſo long, that they have died of it.
The cauſes of this diſeaſe are very many; for a ſudden fear, a bad news related, hath caſt divers women into theſe fits; for by this Melancholly gets the maſtery of them: it were but reaſon therefore for men to forbear relating any ſad accident to them, but with great proviſo.
When the womb is ſtrangled, no one diſeaſe can determine it; for that ſeldome comes alone: ſometimes only the breath is ſtopt, ſometimes the ſpeech and animal actions of the brain fail, and the whole body is chill, Y and 322 Y1v 322 and almoſt dead by ill vapors that choke it riſing from the womb.
The Malignant Vapors then ſent from thence by the Nerves, Veins and arteries, are the immediate cauſes of all the hurt that is done; and theſe vapors are much like the wind, very powerful, and almoſt unperceived; they are ſo ſubtil and thin, that they paſs in a moment of time through the whole body: it will choke the Patient when they flie to the Throat, as people are that eat White Hellebore, or venemous muſhromes. Ofttimes you ſhall ſee the woman to loth and vomit, and draw her breath ſhort, and her heart akes; if the vapour ſtrike the heart firſt, it will ceaſe from moving, and ſhe falls into a ſwound: but if it flie to the brain, ſhe is void of all ſenſe and motion.
There is nothing worſe than corrupt ſeed to offend the Body, Women with Child are not free from this diſeaſe when corrupt humours riſe from an unclean womb.
The chief ſeat of this ill humour lieth in the Trumpet of the womb, and in her ſtones; for the ſubſtance of it is looſe and hollow, and the Stones lie in bladders full of water; and women that have ſtrangling of the womb, have this water of a yellow colour, and groſſer than it ſhould be.Many 323 Y2r 323
Many Phyſicians have miſtook the ſtones and the Trumpet for the womb it ſelf, when putrified rotten ſeed makes them ſwell, and windy humours cauſe them to riſe as far as the Navel; but I ſpoke of this before, when I ſhewed the reaſon how the womb is thought to aſcend higher than nature hath placed it: It hath ſometimes a long time to breed in, and ſometimes it comes ſuddenly, according as the corruption of the humours is, which ſometimes alſo lie ſtill; and ſo ſoon as they are but moved they evacuate, and ſend a poiſonous fume into other parts of the body: And nothing will ſooner ſtir theſe vapours and humours in women (who are ſubject to this diſeaſe) than anger, or fear, or ſuch like paſſions; or ſweet ſcents, and ſmells applied to their noſes, which is an argument that the womb is delighted with ſweet ſcents, but cannot away with ſtinking things; for let Musk or Civet be held to ſuch womens noſes, they are preſently ſick till they be taken away.
What Diſtemper this ſtrangling of the womb is, Phyſicians agree not; ſome ſay it is a cold diſtemper: but coldneſs is not the chief ſymptome, though cold be great; others ſay it is a convulſion, or Syncope, or breathing ſtopt: but it cannot be ſet forth by any one ſymptome; for though the venomous vapor be Y2 ſmall 324 Y2v 324 ſmall that breeds it, it goes many waies, and ſpreads through all the body. But the true cauſes of this Diſeaſe are the poiſonous vapours that riſe from the womb: it is not an apparent quality that this vapour works by, but a ſecret quality; as the Torpedo or Scorpion ſmall creatures prevail with to do great miſchief, as they are enemies to the natural heat and vital ſpirits: and when the heart ſuffers, there can be no good animal ſpirits bred, becauſe the vital are corrupted; but blood and ſeed, whileſt they are in their own proper veſſels, hurt not, unleſs they are mingled with ill humors.
Fernelius ſaith, that the womb and ſeed, the place and matter of life, are the breeding of the moſt deadly poiſons.
Hippocrates, in theſe fits, bids give them wine to refreſh their weakneſs: Avicenna bids give them no wine, but water, and forbids eating fleſh, becauſe they ingender more ſeed and blood: but when ſhe is in the fit, wine is beſt; for a little wine will not preſently get to the womb.
Sometimes both maids and widdows, from ſuch like cauſes, are troubled with the rage of the womb, that they will grow even mad with carnal deſire, and entice men to lie with them; they are hot, but not feaveriſh, and they 325 Y3r 325 they are inclined to madneſs.
Modeſt women will die of conſumptions, when they have this rage of the womb, rather than declare their deſire, but ſome women are ſhameleſs.
The cauſe is great ſtore of ſharp hot ſeed, that is not natural, but the next degree to it, that bites, and ſwells, and provokes nature to expulſion: the brain ſuffers by conſent; the womb in the Nymphe is moſt affected, which ſwells with heat, but the Clitoris, and not the Nymphe is the ſeat of luſt: hot blood and humours in the womb breed this, and they are increaſed by hot ſpiced meats and drinks, idleneneſs and bawdy acts and objects; at firſt it may be cured, but the end of it is frenzy and madneſs if it be neglected.
Maids muſt marry that cannot live chaſt, or draw blood to abate the heat and ſharpneſs of it; let them purge theſe humours gently, and uſe cooling and moiſtening meats and drinks, and all with moderation. Lettice, Violets, and water Lillies, and Purſlain are good coolers, and take away the windineſs of the parts: the ſeed, leaves and flowers of Agnus Caſtus ſtrewed in their beds, or Camphire ſmelt unto are very good in ſuch caſes.
Let them uſe this Electuary; take conſerve of water Lillies, Violets, tops of Agnus CaſtusY3 us 326 Y3v 326 us, of each one ounce; of red Roſes half an ounce; of red Coral, and emralds in powder, of each half a dram; of Coleworts, and Lettice candid, of each one ounce, with ſirrup of Violets and water-Lillies, make an Electuary: lay a plate of lead to their backs.
Nuns, and ſuch as cannot marry, may uſe things, that by a hidden quality diminiſh ſeed, but they cauſe barrenneſs: let them eat no eggs, nor much nouriſhing meats, and ſleep little.
Camphire, that is ſo much commended againſt this preternatural deſire, is hot and ſharp, and bitter, it will burn and flame, and being of thin parts penetrates deep; but it hath cold operations, for it will cure burns and hot ſwellings, and head-ach that comes of heat, by a likeneſs and affinity it hath to draw hot vapours to it; ſo Linſeed oil is good againſt burnings.
Scaliger affirms that Camphire increaſeth Venery; it may do ſo if it be uſed ſeldome, but often uſed, it is certain that it will deſtroy it.
There is moreover (from ill tempered ſeed, and melancholly blood, in the veſſels near the Heart, which contaminates the Vital and Animal Spirits) a melancholy diſtemper, that eſpecially Maids and Widows are often troubled 327 Y4r 327 troubled with, and they grow exceeding penſive and ſad: for melancholy black blood abounding in the Veſſels of the Matrix, runs ſometimes back by the great arteries to the heart, and infects all the ſpirits: when this blood lieth ſtill, they are well; but if it be ſtirred, or urged, then preſently they fall into this diſtemper, they know not why: and the arteries of the ſpleen and back beat ſtrongly, and melancholly vapours fly up. They are ſorely troubled, and weary of all things; they can take no reſt, their pain lieth moſt on their left ſide, and ſometimes on the left breaſt: in time they will grow mad, and their former great ſilence turns to prating exceedingly, crying out that they ſee fearful ſpirits, and dead men; when it is gone ſo far, it is hard to cure: it is vain then to try to make them merry, they deſpair and wiſh to die; and when they find an opportunity, they will kill, or drown, or hang themſelves: At firſt when the blood is hot and fiery, open a vein in the arm, if they have their courſes; if not, in the foot or ancle to bring the courſes down. Cooling, moiſtening cordials, and ſuch things as revive the ſpirits, and conquer melancholy, wil do much; driers are naught, for melancholly is dry. Confectio Alkermes is commended for thoſe that can away with it; but Confectio de Y4 Hyacintho 328 Y4v 328 Hyacintho is better: uſe a moiſtening diet. To breed mirth, give her waters of Balm and Borage, of each three ounces; ſirrup of the juices of Borage and Bugloſs of each one ounce and a half; take this at twice, and uſe it often.
To purge melancholly, take ſix drams of Senna, Agarick one dram and a half; Borage and violet flowers of each a ſmall handful, two drams of Citron peels; infuſe all ſix hours in good Rheniſh wine, ſtrain them, and put to them ſirrup of Violets one ounce. #rule
Of the Falling Sickneſs.
When Women, by reaſon of the ill affections of the womb, fall into Epilepſies, and Falling ſickneſs, it is worſe than any other cauſe, as the ſymptomes prove: for the poiſonous vapor is not only in the Nerves as when it is from the brain, but alſo in the membranes, veins, and arteries.
The ſame foul vapour that cauſeth ſtrangling of the womb, produceth this; for it cauſeth divers diſeaſes, according to the parts it takes 329 Y5r 329 takes hold on: but when it lights forcibly on the Nerves, then it cauſeth the Falling- ſickneſs.
Sometimes there is a convulſion of the whole body, and ſometimes but of ſome parts; as of the head, or tongue, hands, or legs, eyes, or ears; ſome cannot hear, others cannot ſee, all loſe the ſenſe of feeling: ſome cry out, but know not wherefore. They that fall, if the vapour be not too ſtrong, when they riſe, they go to their work again, as if they had no harm: but here is not only convulſions, as in thoſe that have the Falling- ſickneſs from other parts, but ſtopping the breath, as in the ſtrangling of the womb; but theſe ſeldome fome at the mouth, as thoſe do, for the brain is entire, or not much offended; nor is their hearing taken away quite by the vapour faſtening upon the roots of the Nerves of the ears.
Rue and Caſtor that cure fits of the Mother, are good here; the cure is almoſt the ſame, only you muſt add ſome things that reſpect the nerves and the Brain: Uſe theſe Pills twice in a week, before ſupper one hour, and take a ſcruple, or half a dram; Take Senna and Peony root, of each half an ounce, Mugwort, Rue, Betony, Yarrow, half a handful of each; boil them, & then clarifie the decoction; put 330 Y5v 330 put to it Aloes one ounce and a half, of juice of the herb Mercury one ounce let it ſtand and ſettle, pour off the clear liquor, then add two drams of Rhubarb, ſprinkled with water of Cinnamon, Agarick half an ounce, Maſtick and Epileptick powder, of each half a dram, make the pills with ſirrup of Mugwort.
To mend the diſtemper of the head and Womb, take conſerve of Roſemary flowers, and of the Tile tree, of Balm and Lillies of the valley, of the root Scorzonera Candied, of each one ounce, Diamoſchu dulce one dram with two drams of the roots of Peony, and ſeeds of Agnus Caſtus, and ſirrup of Stœchas, make an Electuary to take at your pleaſure.
Nor are theſe all the ill conſequences of the wombs diſtempers, but ſometimes violent head-ach ſprings from it, which is the greateſt pain of all the reſt; and ſometimes it is all over the head, or but upon one ſide, or in the eyes, the ill vapours riſing by the veins and arteries of the Womb to the membranes and films of the brain; when the veſſels are full of a thin sharp blood, that is carried from the womb to the membranes, it ſtretcheth and rends them, and corrodes and bites ſo, that the pain is intollerable: the cure is to purge away 331 Y6r 331 away the peccant humour that lieth in the Womb; for this is not as other head-ach is, that comes from other cauſes: the pain runs alſo to the Loins and the Membranes there, by ſome capillary veins from the womb. The pain of the head by affection with the womb, is in all the head commonly, but is chiefly in the hinder part of the head, becauſe the womb being Nervous conſents with the membranes of the brain, by the membrane of the Marrow of the back: & hence it is that women are more ſubject to the head-ach than men are, becauſe of the womb that holds ſuch affinity with the Nerves of the head.
The violent beating of the heart and Arteries both in the Sides and Back, is by conſent from the womb, when evil humors therein contained, paſs by the Arteries, and Poyſonous vapours ariſe to thoſe parts; Cordials are good, as Cinnamon Water, and Aqua Monefardi, or Mathiolas his water: the Diſeaſe ſeems ſmall, but it is not ſafe, becauſe the cauſe of it is very ill.
In this Diſeaſe the Artery that beats in the Back beats ſtrongly, becauſe it is part of the great Artery; but the Arteries that beat in the Hypochondrion beat not ſo ſtrongly, for they are ſmaller branches from the Spleen and Meſentery, but the cauſe is the ſame. The Arteries 332 Y6v 332 Arteries are inflamed by the ill vapours and humours ſent from the womb, and the heart is exceedingly heated by them: but this hot humor ſometimes beats by reaſon of the great Artery quite over the whole body, but it laſts not long, for there is little corruption of the humors. Some ſay the blood in the Veins is too hot, and over-heats the Artery; but if this heat of the Artery affect the Brain, the Patient will be mad; if it go over the whole body ſhe falls into a Conſumption: lay your hand on the left ſide, and you ſhall feel the Arteries beat much. So then, this Diſeaſe hath ſeveral conſiderations, and muſt be cured partly as hypochondriacal Melancholy, partly as in the cure for ſtopping of the Courſes, and partly as Melancholy, ariſing from the womb.
Phyſicians can hardly tell which way to proceed oftentimes in theſe Diſtempers, becauſe it is hard to ſay what Diſeaſe the woman is ſick of, when the Spleen and left Hypochondry are afflicted from the womb.
The womb hath two Arteries, the one from the Hypogaſtrick Artery, and another from the preparing Arteries; that which comes from the Hypogaſtrick runs almoſt through the whole Abdomen: when the foul corrupt blood in the womb runs backwardward 333 Y7r 333 ward to the Hypogaſtrick Artery, it paſſeth to the Cæliac Artery, and ſo to the Spleen, and the parts near it: and it is Natures preſent way to thruſt ill humors to the ignoble parts. When the courſes are ſtopt, theſe ill humors are thought to be onely in the Veins, but the veins and Arteries mouthes are so joyned, that they paſs from the Veins to the Arteries, and that is the reaſon that elderly women, whoſe courſes were ſtopt when they were young, are troubled oftentimes with the Spleen, & hypochondriack Melancholy; Theſe cannot endure to ſmell to ſweet Scents: they are ſhort breathed, Coſtive, and Belch often; they have pain in the left ſide, and are very ſad, when the thin part of the blood is inflamed they grow very hot, and red in the Face, but that laſts not long; the diſeaſe it will produce (if not cured) is chiefly a Schirrhus of the Spleen; open a Vein, if the blood be hot, and the Courſes ſtopt, uſe Leeches to the hæmorroids; and Purge often, but very gently, with Quercetan’s Pill of Tartar, or Fernelius his Cum Ammoniaco, and Birth-wort; or prepared Steel to open the Courſes, and to cure Melancholy that ariſeth from the womb.
When the liver is hurt by the groſs blood running back to the holow vein from the womb, as if often doth if the courſes be ſtopt, & blood abound 334 Y7v 334 abound; it breeds raw flegmatick blood, and cauſeth the Green-ſickneſs: for there are many more great veins in the womb than in any other part of the body, and they are often obſtructed: and ſometimes, by this ſtopping, not onely ſundry Diſeaſes, but Hair will grow over the whole body; for hairs grow from the Excrementitious part of the blood, and if that Excrement be ſent over the body, it will produce hair: So Hippocrates tells us of a woman with a great beard; and it is not long ſince there was a woman to be ſeen here in England which had not onely a long beard, but her whole Body covered with hair.
It is alſo by reaſon of the womb, or by conſent from it, that many women have no ſtomach, others have a very large Appetite; and ſometimes a deſire to eat ſtrange things, not fit for Food: they Vomit, and have the Hiccough, & many ſuch ill ſymptomes: as the vapors are, ſo are the Diſeaſes; if Cold, then they breed cold diſeaſes; if hot, ſuch diſeaſes as proceed of heat: For theſe filthy vapors, when the way is large, eaſily aſcend from the Arteries of the womb, and get into the Hypogaſtrick, and Cæliac Arteries: hot vapors cauſe Thirſt, cold vapors deſtroy concoction, and are the cauſe of many cruel diſeaſes by their Malignity. When the ſtomach is hurt by 335 Y8r 335 by the womb, it is eaſily perceived, for the ſignes of it go away ſometimes, and come again, onely when the Fumes fly to the ſtomach: There is no cure for this, but by firſt curing the womb; for this diſeaſe is worſe than if the ſtomach were originally the cauſe of the diſtemper: Cure the womb, and if there be no other cauſe, the ſtomach is cured; firſt give a vomit to cleanſe the ſtomach, and uſe often to take pills of Aloes and Maſtick, for theſe fortifie the ſtomach.
If one womb in a woman be the cauſe of ſo many ſtrong and violent diſeaſes, ſhe may be thought a happy woman of our ſex that was born without a womb: Columbus reports that he ſaw ſuch a woman, and that her ſecrets were as the ſecrets of other women; and part of the neck out.
It will be needleſs to tell you what ſome have written, that it hath been often ſeen, that worms, and Hair, and Fat, and Stones, and many other ſtrange things have been found in womens wombs; but what a miſerable caſe is ſhe in that was born with two wombs? Such a woman Julius Obſequeus related that he ſaw: and Bauhinus ſpeaks of a maid who had a Matrix like that of a Bitch divided in two parts: But ſome perhaps may think theſe things fabulous; I confeſs they are monſtrous, and 336 Y8v 336 and out of the ordinary courſe of nature; and I know no cure for them, if ſuch things ſhould happen: I forbear therefore to ſpeak any more of them, and ſhall proceed to ſome things more material to be known, and ſuch things as few women living but have frequent occaſion to be provided with remedies for.
Of Womens Breaſts and Nipples.
Nature, within ſome convenient time after the Child is conceived in the womb, begins to provide nouriſhment for it ſo ſoon as it ſhall be born. The breaſts are two in number, leſt by accident one Breast ſhould fail, and ſometimes women have Twins, and more children than one to give ſuck to.
Some women ſaith Gardan, have been ſeen with more than two breaſts for they have had two breaſts on each ſide, but that is very rare. The form of the breaſt is round, and sharp at the Nipple; yet theſe differ in many women, for ſome have breaſts no bigger than men, and ſome have huge overgrown ſwoln breaſts, by 337 Z1r 337 by reaſon of much blood abounding, and ſtrong heat to draw and to concoct it.
The breaſts ſhould be of a moderate ſize, neither too great nor too ſmall; not too ſoft nor too hard; it is not neceſſary to have them over-big; though they can hold but little milk, theey may hold ſufficient: but large breaſts are in danger to be cancerated and inflamed; beſides that the milk is not ſo good, becauſe their wants a moderate heat. The immediate cauſes of great Breaſts is partly natural by birth, the paſſages being looſe and large; and ſleep and idleneſs furthers it, and much handling of them heats and draws the blood thither: their cauſes are not many. It is beſt to prevent their growing too big at firſt, for it is not eaſily done afterward: Cooling Diet, and drying and aſtringent repercuſſive Topical means are the beſt. Binding things help looſe breaſts, and make them hard; all cold Narcotick ſtupefying Medicaments are forbidden, they will bind the Veſſels, but they abate Natural heat, and will let no milk breed.
When children are weaned, Diſcuſſers and Driers will do well to conſume the Moiſture that is ſuperfluous. Take the Meal of Beans and Orobus, of each two ounces and a half; Powder of Comfrey roots half an ounce, Z Mints 338 Z1v 338 Mints three drams; Wormwood, Cammomile Flowers, Roſes, of each two drams; when they are boiled with two ounces of oil of Maſtick, make a Cataplaſme: or take red Roſes, Myrtle leaves, Horſtail, Mints, Plantain, a handful of each; Flowers of ſowr Pomegranates two Pugils, boil all in Vinegar and red wine, and with a ſpunge lay it warm to the breaſts, and let it dry on.
If Milk be too much in the breaſts after the child is born, and the child be not able to ſuck it all, the breaſts will very frequently inflame, or Impoſthumes breed in them; they ſwell and grow red, and are painful, being overſtretched, whence hard tumours grow: too much blood is the cauſe of it, or the child is too weak, and cannot draw it forth. Sometimes it goeth away without any remedies, but if you need help then hinder the breeding of more milk, and try to conſume that which is bred; if the child cannot draw it forth, Glaſſes are made to ſuck it forth. The woman muſt eat and drink with moderation, and uſe a drying diet: if ſhe nurſe not the child her ſelf, or if the child be weaned, to dry up the milk, take a good quantity of Rozin, mingle it with Cream, and being lukewarm lay it all over the breaſts; or make a plaiſter to dry up the Milk, with Bean meal, red 339 Z2r 339 red Vinegar, and oil of Roſes, lay it on warm.
If the Breaſts be inflamed, keep a good reaſonable cooling Diet, moiſtening and comfortable; it is blood and not milk that cauſeth inflamation: for milk, when it grows hot, makes pain; and thereby the blood that ſtaies in the ſmall capillar veins, being out of the veſſels is inflamed and corrupt: it may alſo come from Falls or bruiſes, or ſtrait lacing of the breaſts; if there be a Feaver and a throbbing pain, and a red hard ſwelling, the breaſts are inflamed. Inflammations may be without danger, but the breaſts that are looſe and full of Kernels, will soon turn to a Schirrhus, or a Cancer: If the body then be full of blood open a vein, but if the Courſes be ſtopt open a vein in the Ancle, and after that in the arm. You may purge bad humors eaſily with Manna or Senna: if the blood be over hot, eat Endive, Lettice, Water-Lillies, Plantane, Purſlain, uſe repercuſſives, and moderate cooling things.
Apply a cloth dipt in oil of Roſes, with Honey and Water; when the ſtrength of the inflammation is paſt use Diſcuſſers as well as repercuſſives; as, take white-bread Crumbs, Barley-flour, of each one ounce and a half; Flour of Beans, and Fenugreek of each half an ounce; Powder of Cammomile Flowers, Z2 and 340 Z2v 340 and red Roſes, of each towwo drams, boil them, then mingle Roſe Vinegar one ounce, and as much of oyle of Roſes and Camomil, lay it over the breaſts; then uſe onely Diſcutients, as take Bean Meal, Lupines, Fenugreek, Linſeed, and Powder of Camomil Flowers, each an ounce, make a Cataplaſme; if the Matter begin to grow hard, uſe things that ſoften and attenuate; as take a handful of Mallowes and boil them ſoft, Powder of Linſeed, Marſhmallows and Camomil Flowers each one ounce, boil all again, and with an ounce of oyl of Jeſſamine make a Cataplaſme: If you find that it will come to ſuppuration, lay on a Plaiſter of Diachylon, if it turn to Matter, and the Impoſtume break; otherwiſe open it with a Lancet, and let out the Matter, then cleanſe it thus; Take Turpentine, and Honey of Roſes, of each one ounce, Myrrh a ſcruple; it will be hard to cure the Ulcer unleſs you dry the Milk in the other breaſt, becauſe much blood will run thither to breed Milk.
An Eriſipelas of the breaſts comes from great Anger, or ſome Fright, which turns to an inflammation, and is cured as the former: apply no fat things nor cold repercuſſives to diſcuſs the thin blood that makes the inflammation; lay on a clout dipt in Elder-water, and give her Harts-horn, Terra Sigillata, and Carduus,duus, 341 Z3r 341 duus, with Elder-water to make her ſweat.
Some womens breaſts are too ſmall, when the blood cannot find a way to the breaſts, but is repelled, and forced ſome other way; or when the Liver is dry, and the woman Feaveriſh, toils over-much, or watcheth, or from ſome cauſe that waſts the body: Therefore feed well, and foment the breaſts with Warm water and white-wine, wherein ſoftning things have been boiled, then anoint them with oyl of ſweet Almonds, and rub the Breaſts often to attract the blood.
Sometimes hard cold ſwellings will breed in womens breaſts, and Phlegmatick ſwellings, as we ſee in perſons that have the Green- ſickneſs, their breaſts will pill, for the part is looſe and ſpungy; it is larger when the terms are like to flow, and when they are gone it abateth for a while: If it come from an ill habit of the body, derived from the womb, it is to be feared; otherwiſe it may be diſcuſt, or diſſolved: dry, and hot meats and means are beſt. If the Courſes be ſtopt open them, and cure the ill habit, then uſe Topicks to diſcuſs, and ſtrengthen the part; they muſt be temperately hot, otherwiſe you will cauſe a Schirrhus by reſolving the thin parts, and leave the thick to grow harder. Make a ly of Colewort and vine Aſhes, and brimſtone; Z3 or 342 Z3v 342 or a decoction with Hyſſop, Sage, Origanum, and Camomile Flowers, then anoint with oyl of Lillies, Bays, and Camomile; or take four ounces of Barley Meal, and half an ounce of Linſeed, and of Fenugreek, Dill and Camomile Flowers as much,: one ounce of Marſhmallow Roots, with oyl of Dill and Camomile, make an application. Theſe Phlegmatick ſwellings muſt be diſcuſt at firſt, or they may turn into Cancers: She muſt eat Bread well baked, parched Almonds, dryed Raiſins; let her drink a decoction of China Roots, Saſſafras and Sarſa; forbear Milkmeats, unleavened Bread and Sleeping preſently after meat.
Beſides watry and Hydropick humours, there are Kernels growing in the breaſts, which are ſmall round ſpungy bodies, and ſometimes ſwell by humors flowing thither: there grow ſometimes other hard ſwellings cauſed by that they call the Kings-evil; it is engendred of groſs Phlegm, or thick mattery blood, and grows hard under the skin; the ſtopping of the Courſes is the ordinary cauſe, when the Menſtrual blood runs back to the breaſts, this will ſoon become a Cancer, if it be not prevented by ſoftning means, and a moderate thin Diet, keeping her ſelf warm, and uſing good exerciſe before Meats; avoid idleneſs, and 343 Z4r 343 and meats of hard digeſtion; Baths of Brimſtone are good to be preſcribed againſt windy and watry ſwellings.
But Celſus ſaith, That the Scrofula of the Breaſts is ſeldome ſeen, for that muſt proceed from a thick Phlegmatick humor, mixt with a melancholy humor; it is ſometimes painful, and ſomewhat like a Cancer, or will ſoon be turned to one, but ſtands often times at the ſame paſs for many years: It comes from diſorder, or ſtopping of the Terms, there being ſo great conſent betwixt the breaſts and the womb; you may feel the ſmall kernels of the breaſt, but that I ſpeak of now is one unmoveable humor, but the other are ſmall: If it lye near the skin it is soon diſſolved, but if it lye deep it will hardly be diſſolved, becauſe the ſubſtance of it is ſo earthy: firſt Purge, then bleed, after that apply ſoftning and diſcuſſing remedies that are ſtrong, as you muſt do for a Schirrhus humor; Take Orris Roots and boil them in Oxynel, and ſtamp them, mix them with Oyntment of Marſhmallowes and Turpentine, of each three ounces, and one ounce of Mucilage of the ſeed of Fenugreek; If you cannot diſcuſs it, ripen it, or cut it open, but take heed how you do it for this is troubleſome and dangerous.
All theſe humors, if they be unskilfully Z4 handled 344 Z4v 344 handled will ſoon turn to a Schirrhus, from melancholy in the veins flowing to the breaſts, and it is thick flegm dried; there are two kinds of it, one is bred of Melancholy blood, which is groſs & feculent, or thick flegm mixed with it, and this feels no pain: but the other is not ſo hard, for it is not yet fully come to its perfection; and it is probable that it is mingled with other humors.
A perfect Schirrhus grows from the ſtoppings of the Spleen, whereby the Melancholy blood is retained, and being in great quantity falls upon the Breaſts, or elſe the courſes ſtopt fly thither.
There is a double intention for the cure:
Firſt, Uſe emollient means to ſoften all that is hard and knotty in the breaſts, then keep a good Diet; and beware of ſalt Meats, and ſuch as are ſmoak’d, and hard of digeſtion, and moreover all things of a ſharp corroding faculty; uſe moderate Exerciſe and Mirth, provoke the courſes if they be ſtopt, and ſet on Leeches, or bleed in the foot.
Sena and Rhubarb are good to purge the body well; and when you have purged, do ſo no more till you have uſed ſome Cordials, as Conſerve of Bugloſs, and Orange Flowers, Confectio Alkermes, Electuarium Degemus, and Triaſantules. Sometimes flegm and melancholycholy 345 Z5r 345 choly are mingled to cauſe this Schirrhus; but then it is but a baſtard Schirrhus; if burnt humors abound moſt it will be a Schirrhus, if Melancholy a cancer.
Secondly, The perfect ſigns of a Schirrhus are, that it is very hard, and feels no pain; if it feel any it is not yet fixed: it is coloured according to the humor, white, or black, or blew; a baſtard Schirrhus is hot and painful, if it go on it will be a Cancer, and the Veins will ſwell and look blew: if hairs once grow upon it there is no hopes of cure; and the bigger and harder it is the more incurable. Let general medicaments proceed, and cure the cauſe from the Matrix and from the whole body: ſoften, attenuate, and diſcuſs the hardneſs, but take heed of hot things that will diſcuſs the thin parts, and leave the thick behind; neither uſe too many moiſtning ſoftning means, for that will ferment the matter, and change the Schirrhus to a Cancer, that is far worſe; but either ſoften, and moiſten, and digeſt together, or by turns: A Fomentation of Mallows, Marſhmallows, brank Urſine, Camomile Flowers, Linſeed and Fenugreek are good; anoint afterwards with oyl of ſweet Almonds, Hens greaſe, Marrow of a Calf, oyntment of Marſhmallowes, lay on the great Diachylon, or the Plaiſter of Frogs, take the 346 Z5v 346 the Fume of a hot ſtone, ſprinkling wine upon it; lay on a Plaiſter of Gum Ammoniacum diſſolved in Vinegar of Squills, a baſtard Schirrhus will ſoon Cancerate. Bleed, & purge away the humor that breeds black blood; to hinder humors from flowing to it, anoint with oyl of Roſes, and juyce of Plantane if it be hot, beat them well in a mortar of Lead till they ſhew another colour; then mix Ceruſs, and Litharge of ſilver one ounce, with wax make an oyntment: or take one ounce of Mallow Roots, boil & bruiſe them, let Sheeps Suet, and Capons greeſe, of each two ounces, be added to it, with wax ſufficient to make an Oyntment.
But the diſeaſe (worſe than a Schirrhus) is a Cancer of the breaſts: and William Fabricius ſaith, that if it be not an Ulcerated Cancer, the woman may live above forty years with it, and no pain moleſt her; but if you lay on any thing to ſoften and ripen theſe ſwellings, ſhe will dye in half a year. Many orderly women have lived long with Cancers as if they ailed nothing.
Hippocrates bids not to cure an occult Cancer. if you do, the perſon will dye of the cure: becauſe the breaſts are looſe and ſpungy, Cancers are ſoon bred there. Burnt blood flowing from the womb of one who is of a hot and dry 347 Z6r 347 dry Conſtitution, and the Terms ſtopping, after a Tumor, they make an Internal or External Cancer.
A Cancer that comes naturally undiſcerned, is hardly known at firſt, being no greater than a Peaſe, and daily increaſeth with roots ſpreading, and Veins about it; when the skin is eaten through it becomes a loathſome Ulcer: the Matter is black, and the lips are hard; it is ſcarce curable, becauſe it is bred of black burnt blood that is malign: and the Veſſels are looſned and relapſed by ſoftners and ripeners miſapplyed to it; ſo that the paſſage is made for the humors to paſs to and fro, and ſerve to infect the reſt.
Purge melancholy, and draw blood, but uſe no Topicks to ripen or rot the part; onely Anodynes that will take away pain; as oyl of Frogs and Snails. with Frogs aſhes made to an oyntment, with Nightſhade water. Aſhes of Crayfiſh, or of the herb Robert, or the inward Rind of an Aſh-Tree.
Arcias ſhewes the way to cut them forth, and to burn the part if the Ulcer be deep. Fabricius bids burn the roots firſt, and afterwards to conſume the Reliques, and to ſtop the blood when the root is cut up.
You muſt often Purge away melancholy humors, and provoke the Courses, or the Cancer 348 Z6v 348 Cancer will return. Mithridate and Treacle, with juyces of Sorrel and Borrage, and Crayfiſh Broth, and Aſſes milk are approved good to palliate the Cure, and to keep it from going farther, and eaſe pain.
This water is commended; Take Scrofularia roots and herb Robert, of each one handful, Lambs Tongue, Nightſhade, Bugloſs, Borage, Purſlane, Bettony, Eybright, of each half a handful, one Frog, two whites of Eggs, with Quince ſeeds, and Fenugreeck, each one ounce, a pint of roſe water, & as much of Eybright water, diſtil them in a Leaden ſtill.
Cancers muſt not be handled like other Ulcers, for ſoftners, Drawers and healers exaſperate, and kill the woman with great dolour.
Fichſius his bleſſed powder againſt a Cancer is this; take white arſenick that ſhineth like Glaſs one ounce, pour on Aquavitæ on the powder of it, pour it off again, and put on freſh Aquavitæ every third day, for fifteen dayes together; then take roots of great Dragon gathered in Auguſt or July, ſlice them, and dry them in the wind, two ounces; and take three drams of clear Chimney Soot, make a powder, keep it cloſe ſtopt in a glaſs, to uſe after one year, and not before.
For the cure of any other Ulcers, or Fiſtulaeslaes 349 Z7r 349 laes of the breaſts, firſt try to dry up the milk, and when the breaſts hang down bind them up, that the humours fall not down to them; cleanſe them with a decoction of Rhapontick, Agrimony, and Zedoary, to heal take ſix quarts of ſtrong wine, and boil in it Rhus Obſoniox, Cypreſs Nuts, of each four ounces, and two ounces of Green Galls, to the thickneſs of Honey: If the Fiſtula be Callous, and hard about the edges, open the Orifice with a Gentian root, and take the redneſs away, then cleanſe and heal as ordinary Ulcers.
Sometimes ſtones, hair, or worms are bred in the breaſts from corrupt blood, or milk, and ſo they may breed in the back, or Navel, Sometimes the Veins and Arteries of the breaſts are ſo ſtreight that they can contain no blood to make milk; it is either groſs humors that ſtop them, as they do the Veſſels of the womb, or they are made ſo by the wombs veſſels being ſtopt, or from hard humors bred there.
Sometimes the Nipple hath no hold for the child to draw forth the milk by, and it was ſo made at firſt; or elſe it is from a wound or ulcer that leaves a ſcar that ſtops it: The breaſts then muſt needs pine away; but if the milk cannot be ſuck’d forth, & the breaſts are ſwoln, the reaſon is that the Paps, or veins for the 350 Z7v 350 the milk are not as they ſhould be.
When groſs humours only obſtruct, that may be cured, but a Nipple naturally without a hole, or the hole ſtopt by a Schirrhus, or Scar, after an ulcer is cured, cannot be healed; often rubbing of the breaſts will open the veins for milk: but the Nipples for the child to ſuck by are oftentimes deficient or lie tied, either one or both, that women can hardly give ſuck; if an ulcer have eaten away the Nipple, or it was not made at her birth, it will never be otherwiſe; if the hole be never ſo ſmall, ſo there be a hole, often ſucking will make it larger, especially by a ſucking inſtrument
Clefts and Chaps of the breaſts are troubleſome, and uſual to Nurſes; and in time thoſe Chaps grow to foul Ulcers, and hinder giving of ſuck: You may prevent this miſchief if in the two laſt months they go with child you lay two cups of wax made up with a little Rozin, to cover the Nipples.
To cure the Nipples take oil of Myrtles, of wax, ointment of Lead and Tutty, or take Tutty prepared one ſcruple, and half a dram of Allum, Camphire ſix grains, with ointment of Roſes, and Capons greaſe make it up or take Pomatum one ounce and a half, Maſtick a ſcruple, Powder of red roſes, and Gum Traganth 351 Z8r 351 Traganth of each half a ſcruple; before the child ſucks waſh the breaſts with Roſe water and White-wine; and that it may ſuck without pain, cover the ſore pap with a ſilver Nipple covered with the pap of a Cow new killed: You may take what quantity you pleaſe of Mutton Suet, or Lambs Suet, and waſh it in Roſe water, when it is melted and clarified, and annoint the paps with it.
Directions for Nurſes.
But there is one conſideration more for the Nurſe before I leave this; and that is, that ſhe may not want good milk in her breaſts, for if ſhe do, the child will ſuffer more than the Nurſe, becauſe he draws it from her to feed him: Thoſe that are fretful, lean, or ſickly, have bad Livers and Stomachs, and ill digeſtion, that they can have neither much, nor yet good milk, and bad diet hinders much.
Such as want milk ſhould drink milk wherein Fennel Seed hath been ſoked, and feed on good nouriſhment, and drink good drink, Barley Water and 352 Z8v 352 and Almond milk are good for hot cholerick people; let her eat Lettice, Borrage, Spuriache, and Lamb ſodden, and eaten with Vervine, Calves or Goats milk nouriſh and breed milk in the breaſts; the eating of Anniſeeds, Cummin ſeeds, Carraway ſeeds or their decoction drank will help well, all things that increaſe ſeed ripen milk: when you go to bed drink two drams and a half of bruiſed Anniſeeds in the decoction of Coleworts. Uſe this Plaiſter, take Deers ſuet half an ounce, Parſley herb and root the like quantity, barley meal one ounce and a half, red Storax three drams, boil the roots and herbs well, and beat them to Pap, and incorporate all with three ounces of oyl of ſweet Almonds, and lay them to the breaſts and nipple.
There are many things hinder milk, either little blood to breed it, or the faculty of the breaſts is deficient and cannot do it, or the Organs are not right as they ſhould be; alſo much watching, & faſting, & labour, & ſweating, and great evacuations by ſtool or Urine, ſtrong paſſions, or great pains, ſorrows, cares, or ſtrong Feavers, and other diſcuſſers may deſtroy or hinder milk in the breaſts, ſo may alſo the childs great weakneſs who cannot draw it thither; it is eaſily known by any of theſe 353 Aa1r 353 theſe cauſes; when the breaſts ſwell not but flag, and lie wrinkled, you know there is no great ſtore of milk in them: if the fault be in the Liver, that it breeds not good blood, you muſt rectify the Liver; yet ſhe may be in good health, ſufficient as to other things, but then the infant will be ruined by it: and it is for that end that nature provides milk that the child may be fed.
The uſual way for rich people is to put forth their children to nurſe, but that is a remedy that needs a remedy, if it might be had; becauſe it changeth the natural diſpoſition of the child, and oftentimes expoſeth the infant to many hazards, if great care be not taken in the choice of the nurſe.
There are not many Women that want milk to ſuckle their own children; ſo there are ſome that may well be excuſed, becauſe of their weakneſs, that they cannot give ſuck to their own childrene but multitudes pretend weakneſs when they have no cauſe for it, becauſe they have not ſo much love for their own, as Dumb creatures have.
Nature indeed hath provided ſome helps where milk is wanting for the child, but thoſe are not many; to ſhew women that nature commonly doth her part with moſt mothers, to furnish them with milk without farther Aa means 354 Aa1v 354 means than by good wholeſome meats and drinks: but there are abundance of things that will hinder milk, or deſtroy it. For all things that are cold, or elſe hot and dry, are enemies to womens milk; but none will breed it but ſuch things as are hot and moiſt, or not very dry, and of ſuch things there are no great plenty.
Alſo they muſt be of eaſie digeſtion, and that will breed good blood, that the milk that is bred may have no ſtrong qualities with it to offend the infant. You may lay a plaiſter of Muſtard all over the breaſts, and change it often, and lay on another; all ſuch things as being eaten (breed milk) will do the like if you lay them on outwardly: or foment the breaſts with this decoction, as Fennel, Smallage, Mints, pound them, and lay them on with Barley meal half an ounce, the seeds of Gith one dram, and with two drams of Storax Calamita, and two ounces of the oil of Lillies to make a Poultis.
Some ſay that by ſympathy a Cows Udder dried in an oven, firſt cut into pieces, and then powdered, half a pound of this powder to an ounce of Anniſeed, and as much of ſweet Fennel-ſeed, with two ounces of Cummin ſeed, and four ounces of Sugar, will make milk increaſe exceedingly; or boil a handful 355 Aa2r 355 handful of Green Parſly, and a handful of Fennel, with a ſmall handful of Barley, and half an ounce of red Peaſe in chicken broth, or ſweeten the former decoction with fine Sugar, and ſo drink it: Dill, and Baſil, and Rochet, and Chryſtal alſo, but this muſt be warily taken, not too often nor too much, are good to cauſe milk in the breaſts: ſome preſcribe the hoofs of a Cows forefeet dried and powdered, and a dram taken every morning in Ale; I think it ſhould be the hoofs of the hinder feet, for they ſtand neareſt the Udder, where milk is bred. I miſlike not the experiment, but our Ladies thiſtle is by Signature, and (the white milky veins it hath) well known to be a very good help to women that want milk.
A woman may be of a good complexion, and yet want milk in her breaſts: and there is a Royal Perſon now living, that I will not be ſo bold to name here, that when his Nurſe wanted milk, the Phyſicians, Doctor Mayhern and others, were deſirous to put her off from being nurſe, becauſe (they ſaid) ſhe had not milk ſuufficient to ſupply the child with; but his Sacred Majeſty of Bleſſed and Glorious Memory ſpoke in the womans behalf: when the Phyſicians confeſt, That the milk ſhe had was very good; What ſaith his Majeſty; is Aa2 not 356 Aa2v 356 not a pint of Cream as good as a quart of Milk?
Some women there are that are full of blood, luſty, and ſtrong, and ſo well tempered to increaſe milk, that they can ſuckle a child of their own, and another for a friend; and it will not be amiſs for them when they have too great plenty to do ſo, if they be poor, for it will help them with food, and not hurt their own child: for if a child ſuck too much milk, it will ſoon fall into Convulſion fits, if the children be full bodied; and if milk be too much in the breaſts, it will clodder and corrupt, and inflame the blood if it be not drawn forth.
When blood firſt comes to the breaſts to make milk, though it come in great plenty we may not ſtop it, but afterwards labour to diminiſh it by a ſlender diet, and eating things that breed ſmall nouriſhment; or elſe lay repercuſſive medicaments to the veins under the arms, and above the breaſts, to drive the blood back; you may alſo open a vein: Calamints and Agnus Caſtus, Coriander ſeed and Hemlock are enemies to breeding of milk.
When you ſuſpect that the blood will be inflamed by too great plenty of milk, then make a Poultiſs of Houſleek, Lettice, Poppies, and Water- 357 Aa3r 357 Water Lillies, this will drive it back.
They that are deſirous to put forth their Children to Nurſe may uſe this decoction; of Bays, Mallows, Fennel, Smallage, Parſley, Mints, half a handful of each, to foment the breaſts, and afterwards they muſt anoint them with oyl Omphacine made of ſowr grapes; then take Turpentine waſht with Wine and Roſe-water three ounces, and two or three Eggs, with one ſcruple of Saffron, and a ſufficient quantity of wax to make a Plaiſter; lay this on upon the breaſts freſh every day before Supper, but leave a hole in the middle of the Plaiſter for the Nipple to come forth.
If the milk be much, and ſtay long in the breaſts, it does curdle, when the thinner part evaporates, and the thick ſtayes behind and turns into kernels and hard ſwellings, which being the Cheeſy part of the milk will ſoon grow hard, and this will eaſily inflame and impoſtumate; beſides the plenty, it may be ſalt or ſharp, or exceed in many other ill qualities: when milk is too much it will cauſe pain in the breaſts, and clefts; but to hinder it from clotting and congealing, make a pap of grated white bread, new milk, and oyl of Roſes, ſeethe them all together, and lay it warm over the breaſts; let her uſe to eat Aa3 Saffron, 358 Aa3v 358 Saffron, Cinnamon, and Mints with her Meats, and obſerve a moderate Diet with moiſt Meats, which breed but thin milk: but if the milk be clodded and inflamed, pound Chickweed and lay it warm over the breaſts, or annoint them with the mucilage of Fleawort, Purſlane ſeeds, and Fenugreek, made up with wax to an ointment.
But ſometimes the woman takes cold, and falls into an Ague, then lay on a Poultis to the breaſts made with Melilot, Camomile, Fennel ſeeds, Anniſeeds, Dill ſeeds, Linſeeds, Fenugreek, Southernwood, Baſil, and Ginger, with oyl of Camomile; to hinder the curdling, take two ounces of Coriander ſeed, and as much of Mints, and one ounce of oyl of Dill made to a Livint, with a little wax: and to diſſolve what is already curdled, take an ounce of each of theſe roots, Fennel, and Eringos, and half a handful of green Fennel tops, and one dram of Anniſeeds, boil all to a pint, add Oxymel Simple two ounces, and as much of the ſirrup of the two opening roots at the Apothecaries.
It is a thing to be wondered at, how Nature ſometimes will find ſtrange conveniences & paſſages that are not ordinary in ſome women; for ſome have voided their breaſts milk by their Urine, and ſometimes by the womb; and 359 Aa4r 359 and it hath been a great Diſpute by which of the two the milk came forth: the ſhorteſt way for the milk to return, is the way the blood came to the breaſts to make the milk, not from the veins of the breaſts to the hypogaſtrick Veins, and next to the womb, but from the breaſt veins to the epigaſtrick veins, and from them to the hypogaſtrick, and ſo to the womb; but this is ſeldome ſeen or heard of: but ſtrange things have come forth of the breaſts, and sometimes the menſtrual blood unchanged runs forth this way at certain ſeaſons.
Hippocrates Writes that when the blood comes out of the Nipples, thoſe women are Mad: yet Amatus Luſitanus tells us, of his own experience, that he ſaw two women at whose Paps their Monthly Terms came forth and yet neither of them was Mad. But we muſt rightly underſtand Hippocrates meaning, for he doth mean of her fiery blood that flies up and enflames the party; whereof part goes to the breaſts, and much to the the brain, cauſing pain and inflammations, and that is a forerunner of Madneſs: but it is not menſtrual blood will do this, unleſs it be endued with ſome extraordinary malignant quality; for that is ordained to go to the breaſts to make milk, which is the reaſon that Nurſes have Aa4 few 360 Aa4v 360 few or no Courſes, becauſe the blood goes to the breaſts to make milk, as I ſaid.
But if this accident fall out, that the blood runs forth at the breaſts undigeſted, not changed by the faculty of the breaſts into Milk, as it ought to be, then open the Saphæna vein in the Foot, and that will pull it back again; and cure this Diſtemper.
There is ſo near agreement between the breaſts and womb, that any diſtemper of the womb will change the very colour of the Nipples; and therefore it is not well to prejudicate, and to think they are not Maids when their Nipples change colour, when it is onely a ſign that their wombs are diſtempered.
The Nipples are red after Copulation, red (I ſay) as a Strawberry, & that is their natural colour: but Nurſes Nipples, when they give Suck, are blew, and they grow black when they are old.
If there be pain in the breaſts from abundance of milk onely, the pain is not very great, it is onely by overſtretching them; but if the milk be ſowr, or ſharp, or ſalt, or corroding, the pain is more, and will be greater if there be inflammation; but when there is an Ulcer, or a Cancer, the pains are out of meaſure great: you may know the cauſe of the pain by the great- 361 Aa5r 361 greatneſs of it; and you have ſufficient directions before how to cure them.
But having made way for it, I ſhall now proceed to ſpeak a few words of Nurſes, and Nurſing of Children.
How to Chuſe a Nurſe.
This diſpute about Nurſes, who are fit for it, and who are not, is much handled by Phyſicians; and ſome there be that will tye every woman to Nurſe her own Child, becauſe Sarah, the wife to ſo great a Man as Abraham was, nurſed Iſaac: And indeed if there be no other obſtacle the Argument may carry ſome weight with it; for doubtleſs the mothers milk is commonly beſt agreeing with the child; and if the mother do not Nurſe her own Child, it is a queſtion whether ſhe will ever love it ſo well as ſhe doth that proves the Nurſe to it as well as Mother: and without doubt the child will be much alienated in his affections by ſucking of ſtrange Milk, and that may be one great cauſe of Childrens proving ſo undutiful to their Parents.
The Lacedemonians choſe the youngeſt ſon after 362 Aa5v 362 after his Father to ſucceed in the Kingdom, & rejected all the reſt; becauſe the mother gave ſuck onely to the youngeſt.
Tacitus gives a reaſon why the Germans are ſo exceeding ſtrong; becauſe (ſaith he) they are commonly ſucked by their own Mothers.
Yet Alcibiades, a ſtrong and valiant Captain, was thought to have come to his great ſtrength, by ſucking the breaſts of a Spartan woman: for they are great, vigorous, and uſually very ſtrong women.
I cannot think it alwayes neceſſary for the mother to give her own Child ſuck; ſhe may have ſore breaſts, and many infirmities, that ſhe cannot do it.
Moreover a Nurſe ought to be of a good Complexion and Conſtitution; and if the Mother be not ſo, it will be good to change the milk by choſing a good wholeſome nurſe, that may correct the natural humors of the Child drawn from the ill complexion of the Mother.
Many children dye whileſt they are ſucking the breaſts, or elſe get ſuch Diſeaſes (if the milk be naught) that they can hardly ever be cured, and the chief cauſe is the Nurſes milk. If a Nurſe be well complexioned her milk cannot be ill; for a Fig-Tree bears not Thiſtles; 363 Aa6r 363 Thiſtles: a good Tree will bring forth good Fruit.
But few can tell, when they ſee a Nurſe, whether her complexion be good or not: wherefore I ſhall give you ſuch Rules whereby you may be able to know that; and I have gained moſt of it by my own experience.
Many Phyſicians have troubled themſelves and others with unneceſſary directions, but the chifeſt is to chooſe a nurſe of a ſanguine complexion, for that is moſt predominant in children; and therefore that is moſt agreeing to their age: but beware you chooſe not a woman that is crooked, or ſquint-eyed, nor with a miſhapen Noſe, or body, or with black ill-favoured Teeth, or with ſtinking breath, or with any notable depravation; for theſe are ſigns of ill manners that the child will partake of by ſucking ſuch ill qualified milk as ſuch people yield; and the child will ſoon be ſquint-eyed by imitation, for that age is ſubject to repreſent, and take impreſion upon every occaſion: but a ſanguine complexioned woman is commonly free from all theſe diſtempers, unleſs by accident it fall out otherwiſe; and her milk will be good, and her breaſts and nipples handſome, and well proportioned; ſhe is of a mean ſtature, not too tall, nor too low; not fat, 364 Aa6v 364 fat, but well fleſht; of a ruddy, merry, cheerful, delightſome countenance, and clear skin’d that her Veins appear through it; her hair is in a mean between black, and white and red, neither in the extream, but a light brown, that partakes ſomewhat of them all: Such a woman is ſociable, not ſubject to melancholy, nor to be angry and fretful; nor peeviſh and paſſionate; but jovial, and will Sing and Dance, taking great delight in children; and therefore is the moſt fit to Nurſe them: whereas all the other tempers, except ſanguine, as Flegm, or Choler, or melancholy, breed milk that will agree well with no child; and their own conſtitutions are not agreeable to the nurſing of children: though her complexion then be not exactly ſanguine, for that is ſeldom found, let it ſuffice if blood be predominant above the reſt. Moreover, be her temper naturally never ſo good, yet if ſhe be diſeaſed ſhe is not for your turn; or if ſhe be above fourty years old, or under eighteen years: ſhe muſt be of ability to live well, that there be no want; and one that hath had good Education to inſtruct her; for if ſhe be not well bred, ſhe will never breed the child well: ſhe muſt have prudence and care to ſee to it. But there is one rule from the Sex; That a female Child muſt ſuck the breaſts of a 365 Aa7r 365 a Nurſe that had a Girl the laſt child ſhe had, and a Boy muſt ſuck her that lately had a boy. But the Nurſe muſt not company with Man ſo long as ſhe gives ſuck to the child, for if ſhe conceive, the child will ſuffer by it: ſhe muſt live in a well-tempered pure, Air, ſhe muſt ſleep well when ſhe is ſleepy, that ſhe may ſoon wake if the child cry. She muſt uſe moderate exerciſe, and indeed the Dancing and Rocking of the child will hardly ſuffer her to be idle: and therefore all ſuch as put their children to Nurſe, ſhould do well to conſider the great care and pains of the Nurſe, by well rewarding them, when they have made a good choice: for, if the Nurſe be not good, they had better be without them.
Nor is it onely a preſent Gratification from the Parents that is anſwerable to the Nurſes pains: But children ſhould remember, when they come to years, to be thankful to their Nurſes that bred them up, and to requite their great care and pains, having them in little leſs eſteem than their own Mothers that bore them.
The Nurſe on the other ſide muſt not neglect her Duty, and doubtleſs ſome nurſes are as fond of their nurſe Children as if they were their own.
If the nurſe uſe good Diet and Exerciſe, it will 366 Aa7v 366 will breed good blood, and good blood makes good milk: but let her forbear all ſharp, ſowr, fiery, melancholy meats; of Muſtard, and Onyons, or Leeks and Garlick: and let her not drink much ſtrong drink, for that will enflame the Child, and make it cholerick: all Cheeſe breeds melancholy, and Fiſh is Flegmatick. Groſs and thick air make groſs blood, and heavy bodies, and dull wits. Places that are near the Sea ſide, and Bogs, are very ſickly and unwholsome; but a clear air, that is pure, is as needful as Meat and Drink, it makes the body ſprightful, and the reaſon and underſtanding ready, good vital and animal ſpirits are bred by it, whereby all things to reaſon become more ſubſervient; opinion, fancy, judgement, reſolution, apprehenſion, imagination, memory, knowledge, mirth, hope, truſt, joy, urbanity, and what can be ſaid almoſt are produced: Meats and Drinks feed the body, but the air guides the mind in almoſt all its actions; and life and health, ſickneſs and death depend moſt upon it.
If the nurſes milk be too hot, Succory, Purſlain are good herbs for her to eat; and if it be too cold, then Vervain, and Mother of time, Cinnamon, Borrage and Bugloſs, and all wholeſome Herbs and Meats and Drinks, that 367 Aa8r 367 that a little exceed in heat mend her milk.
If the child be ill the Nurſes milk is commonly the cauſe of it; if wind oppreſs the child, let the Nurſe but put Fennel ſeed, and Anniſeed into her meats or broths, and the child will be well; but of that more by and by, as I paſs on to ſpeak of the diſeaſes and infirmities of children: but before I part with the Nurſe it will be but reaſon to enquire when the Nurſe ſhould part with her child, and wean it from the breaſts.
I know there can be no general rule for all, becauſe ſome children are weak, and muſt ſtay longer before they be weaned.
Avicenna ſaith two years is the time children ſhould ſuck: I have ſeen ſome in England that have kept their children ſucking near four years, who would carry their ſtool after their Nurſes to ſit down on to give them ſuck; but a year old is ſufficient to moſt children; yet they are loth to leave the Dug till they be driven from it.
Breaſt milk is very ſweet, & of good digeſtion and therefore ſome that are fallen into conſumptions in their riper years, are cured by ſucking a wholeſome womans breaſts: but ſucking is not proper for children ſo ſoon as they can concoct other nutriment. Milk is for Babes, but ſtrong meat for men.I have 368 Aa8v 368
I have known ſome women ſo fond of their children, that they would never wean them by their good will: But when children ſuck ſo over-long, as three or four years, I ſeldome hear of any of them that ever come to good; inſomuch that many women have repented of their folly when it was too late. Their children by overcockering, growing ſo ſtuborn and unnatural, that they have proved a great grief to their parents.
It ſeems God ſometimes thus puniſhes women for their folly; and the children thus tenderly bred, for want of ſtronger meat than breaſt milk in their child-hood, grow lame, and weak, and ſick of the Rickets.
Some women will not be contented with ſuch children as God ſends them, but they will be mending the feature of their noſes, and their bodies, till they make them very ill favoured, that would have grown in good ſhape: and ſome though they have Daughters, will not be contented unleſs they may have a ſon.
God ſometimes hears their prayers, and ſends them a Boy, it may be a Fool, that will be a boy as long as he lives.
I have ſhewed you that children, be they Boys or Girls, unleſs they be weak, ſhould not ſuck the breaſt above a year; and if it be a nurſes 369 Bb1r 369 a nurſes breaſts, and not the own mother that they ſuck, it is the ſame thing for time; yet the Nurſe ſhould be choſen as near to the conſtitution of the mother as poſſibly you can, for then there will not be ſo great alteration in the conſtitution and manners of the child; a Nurſe is beſt after her ſecond child, if ſhe be but between twenty and thirty years of age, her milk muſt not be above ten months old when you chuſe her; not under two months old, for that will be too new.
If the nurſes milk prove ill, ſhe muſt take a gentle purgation; but if it be to purge the child, it muſt be very gentle indeed, for that purging quality of the Medicament paſſeth to the milk, and will operate upon the Child, which cannot otherwiſe be purged by Phyſick.
It hath been much argued whether the mother or ſome other women be beſt to nurſe the child; ſurely I ſhould think the mother, in all reſpects, if ſhe be ſound and well, becauſe it agrees better with the childs temper; for the milk of the mother is the ſame with that nutriment the child drew in, in the Womb. But yet it will do good ſometimes to change the nurſe, if the mothers milk contract any ill qualities, or be too ſharp, or ſalt, or otherwiſe offenſive to the child; for if the Bb child 370 Bb1v 370 child do not take reſt well, or cry and complain, doubtleſs the milk it feeds on is diſtempered: Good milk is neither too thick nor too thin; too thin is raw and breeds crudities; too thick is hardly concocted by the infant: it muſt be white and ſweet ſcented; if it ſmell ſowr, or burnt, it will corrupt in the ſtomach; and ſo it will if it taſte ſalt, or ſowr, or bitter, or have any ill taſt: drop a drop of breaſt milk on your nail, or upon a Glaſs, and if it ſhew very white, and neither ſtick like glew nor run off like water, but be off a middle nature, you may conclude that it is good.
When the blood is too full of Whey it breeds thin milk, which gives little nouriſhment, and the children by ſucking of it fall into Fluxes, and looſeneſs of the belly; and ſharp milk makes them ſcabby: purge away the whey of the blood if it be too hot & cholerick with Rhubarb, otherwiſe with Mechoachan, or ſirrup of Roſes: cold and moiſt breaſts are mended by the contraries, that is by hot and dry things. If wheyiſh humours come from the Liver, that muſt be mended: hot and dry things (that profit) are bread, well baked with Anniſeed, and Fennel ſeed; Roaſt-meat, Rice, ſweet Almonds: but broth, and Fiſh and Sallets, and Summer fruits muſt be avoided: good exerciſe breeds good blood 371 Bb2r 371 blood; groſs diet makes thick and groſs milk; and ſometimes a hot and dry diſtemper of the breaſts will burn up the thin part of the milk: purge away thick humours from the blood, & eat meats of good digeſtion, as Veal, Chickens, Kids fleſh; and uſe a moiſtening and attenuating Diet; Fryed Onions, and all ſowr ſpiced meats, will communicate their qualities to the milk, that you may find both by ſmell and taſt.
Strong paſſions of anger, or fear will cauſe chollerick and melancholly milk, which makes the child lean, that it cannnot thrive: Hence come gripings, and wringing pains in the belly, Thruſh in the mouth, and Falling-ſickneſs; good wine moderately drank ſometimes, will help the ill ſmell and taſte of the milk. Let the Nurſe be ſure to obſerve a Diet that is moſt proper for her milk, and may not corrupt it; and alſo to avoid all paſſions and venereous actions during the time ſhe is a nurſe; and if for all this the milk prove ill, ſhe muſt purge away evil qualities, according to my former preſcriptions.
Of the Child.
Children that look white and pale when they are born, are weak and ſickly, and ſeldome live long; but if it be of a reddiſh colour all over the body, when it is firſt born, and this colour change by degrees to a Roſe colour, there is no doubt of the child but it may do well: if it cry ſtrongly and clear, it argues a great ſtrength of the breaſt. Take notice of all the parts of it, and ſee all be right; and the Midwife muſt handle it very tenderly and waſh the body with warm wine, then when it is dry roul it up with ſoft cloths, and lay it into the Cradle: but in the ſwadling of it be ſure that all parts be bound up in their due place and order gently, without any crookedneſs, or rugged foldings; for infants are tender twigs, and as you uſe them, ſo they will grow ſtraight or crooked: wipe the childs eyes often, to make them clean, with a piece of ſoft linnen, or ſilk; and lay the arms right down by the ſides, that they may grow right, and ſometimes with your hand ſtroke down the belly of the child toward the neck of 373 Bb3r 373 of the bladder, to provoke it to make water: But the firſt work to be done, ſo ſoon as it is born, is to cut the Navel-ſtring, and to bind that up right; I ſhewed you how to do it before; when the Navel-ſtring is cut off, ſtrew upon it a powder of Bole, Sarcocolla, Dragons blood, Cummin and Myrrh, of each the ſame quantity, and bind a piece of Cotton, or Wool over it, to keep it from falling off again; and if the child be weak after this, anoint the childs body over with oil of Acorns, for that will comfort and ſtrengthen it, and keep away the cold; waſh the child next with warm water; pare your nails, and pick out the filth from the childs noſtrils; open the Fundament that it may encline to go to ſtool, and keep it neither too hot nor too cold, nor in a place that is too light; let not the beams of the Sun or Moon dart upon it as it lieth in the Cradle eſpecially, but let the cradle ſtand in a darkiſh and ſhadowy place, and let the head lie a little higher than the body; for a child that is very young to look upon the light of a candle will make them pore blind, or ſquint-eyed: ſo will the light of the Sun; ſet not a candle behind the head of it, for the child will turn its eyes to the light. Take heed the child be not frighted, for it will ſoon be fearful if you let it ſleep alone, so ſoon as it B3 awakes 374 Bb3v 374 awakes and miſſeth the Nurſe; keep it not waking longer than it will, but uſe means to provoke it to ſleep, by rocking it in the cradle, and ſinging Lullabies to it; carry it often in the arms, and dance it, to keep it from the Rickets and other diſeaſes: let it not ſuck too much at once, but often ſuckle it as it can digeſt it.
After four months let looſe the arms, but ſtill roul the breaſt, and belly, and feet to keep out cold air for a year, till the child have gained more ſtrength. Shift the childs clouts often, for the Piſs and Dung, if they lie long in it, will fetch off the skin, and put the child to great pain: you may ſuffer the child to cry a little, for it is better for the brain and lungs, that are thus opened and diſcharged of ſuperfluous humours, and natural heat is raiſed by it, it doth moſt good before they ſuck, and when the former ſuck is digeſted; but too much crying will cauſe rheums to fall, and oftentimes the child will be broken bellied by its overſtraining: change the breaſts as you give ſuck; ſometimes let it draw one, ſometimes another; and for the firſt month let it ſuck as much as it can, ſo the ſtomach be not too full. Give it ſome pap of barley bread ſteeped a while in water, and then boiled in milk; children that are luſty may be fed with this 375 Bb4r 375 this betimes, but they muſt not ſuck till it be a full hour after it, and thus they ſhould be dieted till they breed teeth. So ſoon as the teeth come forth, let it eat more ſubſtantial meat, that is eaſily chewed and of quick digeſtion; alſo give it Cows milk and broths: let not the child reſt too ſoon upon its legs, for if the legs be weak they will grow crooked, by reaſon of the weight of their bodies. When the child is ſeven months old you may (if you pleaſe) waſh the body of it twice a week with warm water till it be weaned. Let the teeth come forth moſt part, eſpecially the eye-teeth, before the child be weaned, for thoſe teeth cauſe great pains when they are breeding, and Feavers, and grievous aking of their Gums proceed from them: the ſtronger the child is, the ſooner he is ready to be weaned; ſome at twelve months old, and ſome not till fifteen or eighteen months old; you may ſtay two years if you pleaſe, but uſe the child to other Food by degrees, till it be acquainted with it. Let the child drink but little wine, that it do not over-heat the blood: the beſt time to wean the child is either the Spring or the Fall of the Leaf, the Moon increaſing.
For ſeven years give the child nouriſhing meats and an indifferent plentiful diet to make Bb4 it 376 Bb4v 376 it grow; cocker them not over much, nor provoke them to paſſions: I cannot tell which may do moſt hurt. Too much play, as children are prone to, will over-heat the blood; and want of play and idleneſs will make them dull: Some Parents are too fond of their children, and leave them to their own wills: ſome are too froward, and diſhearten their children; the mean is beſt for them both, and ſo they ſhall be ſure to find it.
I have as briefly as I could, touched upon all occaſions for women and their children; and ſome things may ſeem to be needleſs to to tell thoſe that knew them before: but by their leave, they that know ſome things may be ignorant of other things: what one knew before, it may be another knew not: and what ſhe knew not, another might know.
There are many things here that moſt women deſire to know: the reaſon is the ſame why all meats are eaten, and all Maids may be married: for it we all were taken with the ſame thing, there could be no living in the world.
Of the Diſeaſes that Infants and children are often troubled with.
1.Sometimes the child, ſo ſoon almoſt as it is but new born, will fall into ſtrange throws and convulſions.
Hippocrates divides childrens diſeaſes according to their ſeveral ages: Children (new born) are ſubject to inflammation of the navel after it is cut, to moiſtneſs of the Eares, to Coughs and Vomitings, and Ulcers in the mouth; to Feares and watchings. When the Teeth begin to breed, there are Feavers, Convulſions, and Fluxes of the Belly, chiefly when the Eye-Teeth breed: when they grow older the Tonſils are enflamed, the Turnbones of the neck are laxated inwardly, they have ſhort breath, and are troubled with the ſtone in the bladder, round wormes, and Aſcarides, Strangury, Kings-evil, and ſtanding Yards; as they grow, ſtill new diſeaſes come on: as the Meaſels, Small-pox; ſome are Tongue-tyed until the Ligament be cut that is too ſhort, and hinders their Speech. Uſe no ſtrong Vomitings, or purgings, or Gliſtersſters 378 Bb5v 378 ſters to children, nor bleed them; but give them gentle means, ſuch are Suppoſitories, and mild Gliſters, with a little Sugar and Milk: give ſtronger Phyſick to the Nurſe, if need require, to purge the child: ſtrong medicaments given to the nurſe may endanger the child that ſucks the breaſts; but weak purges are ſufficient to do it good. You may give the child a Gliſter thus; take Mallows, and violet leaves, of each one handful, flowers of violets and camomile of each a ſmall handful, boil them, and take four or five ounces of the decoction, and with four or ſix drams of ſirrup of roſes, and half an ounce of oyl of Violets, make it ready to give luke-warm, or ſomething more hot, as it may well endure.
II. If a Child be troubled with flegme, lay it not on the back, for you may ſoon choak it; but turn it to lie on one ſide or the other. Keep the belly looſe; thruſt up a ſuppoſitory of Caſtle ſope, rubbed over with freſh butter, to make it more ſmooth & gentle to paſs into the body; a ſpoonful of ſirrup of Violets afterwards will force down the flegme: you may, if the child be temperate in heat, mingle half the quantity of ſweet Almond oyl, with half ſo much ſirrup of Violets; but rub the 379 Bb6r 379 the belly down with ſweet butter, as often as it is undreſſed.
III. If the childs Codds be ſwoln, obſerve whether wind or water be the cauſe of it; the water will ſweat out if you chafe the part with freſh butter: if it be wind ſwing the child well and dance it, and put the decoction of Anniſeeds in their drink: but there may be many cauſes of the ſwelling of the Codds; if wind be the cauſe, the Codds will ſhew thin as a horn, and be as ſtiff as a Drums head: too much crying may cauſe an inflammation, or burſting. If the ſwelling ariſe from heat, cooling herbs will cure it; but for wind, boil a handful of bay leaves, of Dill, Camomile, and Fennel, of each a handful, Rue half a handful boil all in a quart of Beer wort to a pint: ſtrain it out hard, and with the liquor boil as much Bean meal as will make a poultis, putting to it two or three ſpoonfuls of oyl of Camomile, apply it hot to the Codds.
IV. If the childs Fundament ſlip forth, as it will oftentimes in many children, when they are bound, and ſtrain to go to ſtool, or have taken cold, or the Muſcles are relaxed by moiſture, when there is a looſeneſs of the Belly, and a Teneſmus or Needing, then the Muſcle 380 Bb6v 380 Muſcle that bindes up the hole will come forth; if it come from ſtraining it is eaſily cured at firſt; but too much moiſture cauſing it, will be hard to overcome, eſpecially when the belly is looſe, for then the Medicaments are driven off.
For the cure then; if it be ſwoln, and will not be put in, bath it firſt with a decoction of Mallows, and Marſhmallows; or annoint it with oyl of Lillies, then try to put it up, having caſt ſome aſtringents upon it; or take Galls, Acorn cups, Myrtle berries, dryed red Roſes, burnt Harts-horn, burnt Allum, and flowers of ſowr Pomegranates, of each a like quantity; make a ſtrong decoction in water, and whileſt it is warm bath the Gut with it, and put it into its place: and, to make it flag up, ſpread a little melted wax, Frankincenſe and Maſtick together, upon a Linnen Clout, and lay it to the Fundament, ſo bind it on, and take it off onely when the child goes to ſtool: ſprinkle the Gut with this following powder: Of red roſes and ſowr Pomegranate flowers, of each half a dram; Frankincenſe and maſtick of each one dram.
V. If the Infant be too looſe bellyed, and cannot contain its Excrements; this proceeds either from breeding of Teeth, and that 381 Bb7r 381 that is uſually with a feaver, or from concoction depraved, and the nouriſhment corrupted, or from much waking, or great pain, or Feaveriſh humors ſtirring in the body: or when they drink or ſuck too much, being over-hot: taking cold may alſo bring a Looſeneſs; if the Excrements be yellow, and green, and ſtink, ſome ſharp humor is the cauſe of it: When children breed teeth it is good to have the belly ſomewhat looſe; but if it exceed it muſt be ſtopt, for the child will conſume. If the Excrements be black, and the child feaveriſh, it is an ill ſign. But a Sucking child needs not be cured ſo much as the Nurſe; mend her milk, or get another Nurſe; and let her avoid green fruit, and Meats of hard digeſtion. When the child is paſt ſucking, then purge, things that leave a binding quality behind will do it; ſuch are ſirrup or honey of red Roſes: You may give a Gliſter of two or three ounces of the decoction of Milium and Myrobolans, with an ounce or two of ſirrup of dried red Roſes. If it proceed from a hot cauſe, cleanſe firſt, then give ſirrup of dried roſes, Quinces, Myrtles, Currants, Coral, Maſtick, Harts-horn, or powder of Myrtles, with a little Dragons blood, and annoint the belly with oyl of roſes, of Maſtick, of Myrtles. In a cold cauſe the Excrementsments 382 Bb7v 382 ments will be white; then give ſirrup of maſtick and Quinces, with mint water; and take half a ſcruple of Frankincenſe, and of Nutmeg as much, temper it with the juyce of a Quince, and give it the child: Lay a plaiſter to the childs belly made with the ſeeds of red Roſes, Cummin, Anniſeed, and Smallage, Barley meal, and juyce of Plantane, with a little Vinegar, boil all together: When the ſtools are red, or yellow, a ſpoonful or two of red Roſe ſirrup, or of Pomegranates, with Mint water, may do much good; or beat ſome Sorrel-ſeeds to powder, and give it to eat with the yolk of a roaſted Egg; or bruiſe the ſeed, and boil it in fountain water, and let the child drink of it twice a day.
If the child be coſtive and cannot go to ſtool, this comes oftentimes from a cold and dry diſtemper of the Guts, from the birth, or forrom ſlimy flegme that ſticks to the Guts, and wraps up the Dung: this laſt comes from the milk, when the Nurſe drinks little, or eates hard meats, or aſtringent diet; or elſe it may come from a hot diſtemper of the Kidneys and Liver, that drieth the excrements; or want of choler to provoke expulſion.
A dry diſtemper of the Guts is not eaſily helped: when there wants choler the body looks yellow, and the dung is white, becauſe the choller is gone ſome other way. When the 383 Bb8r 383 the child is bound, the Head will ache, and there is pain in the belly: wherefore it is more healthful if the belly be looſe, ſo it be moderate.
A hot diſtemper is remedied by bathing it often in a bath of boiled Lettice and Succory, to moiſten and cool it: In a hot cauſe uſe coolers, in a moiſt drying things; let the nurſe abſtain from binding meats in dry cauſes, as from Quinces, Medlars, Peaſe, Beans; and annoint the ſtomach and belly of the child with freſh butter, oyl of Lillies, hens greaſe; if the child be grown give it the decoction of red Coleworts, with a little Honey and ſalt: Flegme is cured with ſirrup of Roſes, or with Honey; and to cool, ſirrup of Violets is effectual, or emulſions of the four cold ſeeds: When choler will not come from the Gall to the guts, to move the expulſive faculty, let it drink a decoction of Graſs roots, Maidenhair, Fennel, and Sparagus; if it will not yet void the Excrements, make a ſuppoſitory of Honey boiled hard, let it be as big as a date ſtone, or a little bigger, and as long as your little finger, or you may make it of the ſtalks, or roots of Beets, or flower de Luce, dip them in oyl, and thruſt it up into the Fundament; lay a piece of wool dipt in oyl to the childes navel, and give it the quantity of a Peaſe of good honey: When the child ſucks give the Nurſe a gentle purge to looſen the belly, 384 Bb8v 384 belly, if ſoluble meats will not do it; you may ſafely lay a plaiſter over the childes belly, made of Mallowes and Marſhmallowes, of each one handful, Holyhocks two ounces, ten Figs, Fenugreek and Linſeed of each one ounce, boil all in water and then ſtamp them in a mortar, make it up with butter and hens- greaſe, of each two ounces, Saffron one ſcruple, ſpread it on a Linnen Cloath; or apply to the navel a walnut ſhell full of hens-greaſe and Oxe Gall, and anoint the belly with ſoftning things, as with oyl of ſweet Almonds and of Linſeed; bran, with the juyce of Dwarf Elder will make a looſning Poultis for the belly.
VI. The child may be troubled with worms that breed in their Guts, ſome like mites of Cheeſe, and ſome like earth worms; and ſome children have been obſerved to have them in their Mothers bellies, for they have voided them ſo ſoon almoſt as they were born: but the chief cauſe is by mingling milk with other meats, when the conſtitution is hot and moiſt; or from Summer Fruits, and ſweet Meats that worms love. Theſe worms are broad and ſmall, or round and long: you may know when they have worms, when their Mouthes water much, and their breath ſtinks, 385 Cc1r 385 ſtinks when they gnaſh their teeth, and ſtart in their ſleep, and cry, when they have a dry cough, loath their meat, are very thirſty, when they vomit and hicket, when their bellies ſwell, and they are much bound, or very looſe, when they make thick white water with pain: when their belly is empty, and the worms want meat, their face is covered with a cold ſweat, and their cheeks fluſh with red colour, and ſuddenly become pale; by this you may know what worms they are, for theſe ſigns ſhew round worms commonly rather than flat: ſometimes children have no great hurt by it when they have worms, till the worms grow too ſtrong, and then dangerous ſymptomes follow. Long round worms are worſt, for they will eat quite through the belly; and when there is a Feaver the danger is greater: Thoſe that do leaſt hurt are white; but the fewer and ſmaller the worms are, the leſs is the danger.
It is beſt to eat meats of good juice, with Oranges and Pomegranates, forbearing all ſlimy ſweet fat meats, Fiſh, and milk, and Summer fruits; and to take ſome powder of harts- horn, and drink thin wine mingled with Graſs and Sorrel waters; theſe will keep worms that they breed not, which is better Cc than 386 Cc1v 386 than to let them breed, and drive them out afterwards.
Keep the childs belly looſe with Gliſters, when you know they have worms; or give them the decoction of Sebeſtens before meat; Scordium and Wormwood are good, but children will not be perſwaded to take bitter medicaments; wherefore you may give them Graſs water, with juice of Lemmons, or one or two drops of Spirit of Vitriol.
Theſe things following will kill Worms, and caſt them forth; eight grains of Mercurius Dulcis ſteept all night in Couch-graſs water, ſtrain it finely, and give nothing but the water: Wormſeed, Harts-horn, or Coralline are good; lay Peach-leaves bruiſed to the Navel, or a little Ox Gall, Saint Johns wort, and Wormwood; Knot-graſs water drank with milk; Ox Gall and Cummin-ſeed laid to the Navel are good againſt great worms; mingle with your juice, of Wormwood, and Ox Gall of each two ounces, of Coloquintida one ounce, made into a Cataplaſme with Wheat meal, lay it over the Belly and Navel. If there be a Feaver withal uſe ſuch cooling remedies as are here preſcribed againſt a Feaver; you muſt uſe ſeveral medicaments, for the worms will quickly grow familiar with any medicament, and will not ſtir for it: the beſt time to adminiſterminiſter 387 Cc2r 387 miniſter your remedies is about the new, or full of the Moon, for then they will ſooner move than in the quarters; let the child be faſting, and go to ſtool first if he can, and give the medicament to deſtroy the Worms when they are hungry, , and the time the child (that is of age) is wont to eat his breakfaſt, for the worms will look for it.
VII. Sometimes children have Convulſion Fits, and the Falling-ſickneſs; it is natural to ſome from their birth, but others have it by accident; the nurſes ill milk may breed it, let her cleanſe her body, and not uſe too much moiſt and cooling diet; nor let the child ſuck too much at one time, to over-charge the ſtomach. The Male-Peony root hanged about the childs neck, and a ſmall quantity of the powder of the ſame given to the child (in any convenient way) with milk, or pap, or broth, or drink is much commended, and ſo is the ſeed: it is good for the child to ſmell to Rue, and Aſſafætida, and ſometimes rub the Noſtrils with a drop of oil of Caſtor, or of Coſtus; it may proceed from ill milk in the childs ſtomach, or by conſent from other parts, or from worms in the Guts, or from ill vapours that aſcend where bad humours abound: Theſe prick the Films of the brain, and cauſe the childs diſtemper; it may be originallyCc2 nally 388 Cc2v 388 nally bred in the brain, or ariſe from ſome ſudden fright, or from breeding of teeth; this laſt will be gone when the pain of the teeth is over.
Many young children die of this diſeaſe: it may come with the Small Pox or Meaſles, and when they come forth it will be cured, if nature be ſtrong; the Nurſes good diet is a great furtherer to the cure: in the fit you may give Peony or Lavender Water, and rub the Nape of the neck with a drop of oil of Amber, and touch the Noſe with it; an Elks hoof, or an Emrald are uſeful to hang about the neck, and may be given inwardly.
If it proceed from corrupt milk in the ſtomach, dip a feather in oil of Almonds, and thruſt it down the Throat to cauſe vomit.
The Florentines with a hot Iron burn the child in the nape of the neck to dry the brain; and Celſus maintains it to be the very laſt remedy.
But Paulus Æquineta ſaith, It would be ſure to kill him with waking pain; he would ſcarce be able to ſleep after it.
To prevent this miſchief, ſo ſoon as the child is born give him this following powder; male-Peony roots, one ſcruple, gathered in the Moons decreaſing, magiſtery of Coral half a ſcruple, with Leaf God.VIII. 389 Cc3r 389
VIII. Convulſion Fits come when the brain labours to caſt off what offends it; many die of it, for the cauſe lieth in the nerves and marrow of the back; wherefore waſh the body and back with a decoction of Marſhmallows, Lilly roots, Peony and Cammomile flowers: The Sun-flower boiled in water is good to waſh the Infant with, and annoint the back with mans greaſe, or Gooſe greaſe, or with oils of Foxes, or of worms, or of Lillies, or of Maſtick, or Turpentine: This diſeaſe comes either of indigeſtion, or of weakneſs of the attractive faculty, eſpecially in ſuch children as are fat and moiſt; the back may be anointed with oils of Rue, or of Flower de Luce; or bath the Limbs with a decoction of Primroſes, or of Cowſlips, or Cammomile flowers; if you find great heat then mingle oil of Violets, and oil of ſweet Almonds, and anoint with that.
IX. Sometimes the childs navel ſwells, and ſticks out, that ſhould lie in; the reaſon may be becauſe the navel-ſtring was not well tied, and too much of it was left behind which ſticks forth, ſometimes it may come from the childs crying, or coughing, and that looſeneth the Peritonæum, it is without inflamm mation: but ſometimes the navel hath Cc3 an 390 Cc3v 390 an Ulcer, and the Guts fall into it. It falls out often ſo ſoon as the ſtring is cut, wherefore take Spike and ſeeth it in oil of ſweet Almonds, mingle a little Turpentine with it, dip in a piece of Wool, and bind it on the part: but if crying, or coughing, or bruiſe, or fall, be the cauſe of it, then use bitter Lupines mingled with the powder of an old Linnen cloth burnt to aſhes, mingle all with red wine, dip in Cotton and apply it to the Navel: if the navel be inflamed the Navel feels hard, elſe it will feel ſoft, and is neither hot nor red, but will laſt longer than when it is enflamed: if the Peritonæum be looſe only, and not broken, it will be no bigger when he cryeth, nor doth the Navel come forth much; but it will increaſe if it be broken, if he either cry or ſtir much, but it will not be ſeen when he lieth on his back: ill cutting of the Navel ſtring is not ſo much dangerous, as it is troubleſome to the child; it may be cured at firſt, though it be too long, or hath an Ulcer: but in time, if it be neglected, the guts will fall into it, and cauſe inflammation, and an Iliack paſſion, which will kill the child: wind puffs up the Navel when the Peritonæum is looſe; then take the powder of Cummin-ſeed, Bay berries and Lupines, with red wine; or a bag of Spike and Cummin-ſeeds boiled in red wine for 391 Cc4r 391 for a Cataplaſme, and roul it on.
If the Peritonæum be broken, let the gut be firſt put in, then lay on aſtringent Powders of Cypreſs-nuts, Mirrh, Frankincenſe, Sarcocolla, Maſtick, Allum, and Iſinglaſs, of each a like quantity, and make a Poultiſs of it with Whites of eggs: give the child inwardly ſuch remedies as are good againſt Ruptures. When the Navel is inflamed, it looks red, and is hard, hot and pants much; this ſhews it was not well tied, for the pain draws the blood to it: If it turns to an Impoſthume and break, the guts will come out, and kill the child. To eaſe the pain take two ounces of Mallows boiled and ſtampt, Barley meal half an ounce, with two drams of Lupines and Fenugreek, make a Cataplaſme of them with oil of Roſes; drive back the blood with an application, made of one dram of Frankincenſe, with Fleabane ſeed, and Acacia of each half a dram, incorporated with the white of an egg: Keep it if poſſible, from impoſthumation: but if it cannot be kept, then take half an ounce of Turpentine, two ounces of oil of Roſes, and with the Yolk of an Egg lay it on.
X. If the child be burſt, as young children often are, it may be eaſily cured at firſt, the Cc4 Peritonæum 392 Cc4v 392 Peritonæum is either looſe or broken, and the ſmall guts fall into the Cods; when the child coughs much, or cries, or by ſome violent fall or ſtraining to go to ſtool; elder people are not ſo eaſily cured of this: ſometimes it is only a rupture which falls out of the belly into the Cods, and the Peritonæum is well.
If a Gut be fallen, it is but of one ſide the right or left Groin, and you may ſee it and feel it, and the hole too through which the Gut fell: but the watry rupture is all over, even alike; this will vaniſh of it ſelf ſo ſoon as the water is conſumed. Keep the child looſe, and from crying and violent motion; lay it upon the back, and thruſt up the gut gently, the head lying low, and the heels up; then take Emplaſtrum ad Herniam, or an ointment made of Comfrey roots, with a thick bolſter ſteeped in Smiths water, and lay it on: keep the child quiet, and ſee the Bolſter come not off; never unbind it, ſo in time the hole will grow narrow, and the gut larger, and will ſtay in its place.
You may lay on a Plaiſter made of Gum Elemi ſteept in vinegar, till there be a cream on the top, with that and oil of eggs make it up; or take Frankincenſe one dram, Aloes, Acacia, Cypreſs nuts of each two drams, with a dram of Myrrh and Iſinglaſs make a Plaiſter. The 393 Cc5r 393 The watry rupture is cured with oil of Elder, of Bays and of Rue; or elſe make a Cataplaſme of Bean-flower, Fenugreek, Linſeed, Cummin ſeed, Cammomile flowers, and the oils aforeſaid.
XI. Sometimes children are weak, that they are long before they can go; wherefore it is good to ſtrengthen their legs and thighs, that they may be able to go betimes; and that may be done thus, take the juice of Marjoram, of Sage, and of Danewort an equal quantity of each; fill a glaſs viol with theſe juices, and with Paſt lute it round; and when you ſet in houſhold bread in the oven then ſet in your glaſs, when you draw it forth break the glaſs, and ſave the ointment you ſhall find in it; melt this with ſome Neats-foot oil, and rub the Childs Legs and Thighs with it on the hinder parts.
XII. Children have many diſeaſes, that chiefly happen about the head outwardly; as many ulcerous riſings and puſhes, which come chiefly from the Nurſes ill milk; wherefore purge the nurſe, and give the child ſome ſirrup of Borrage, or of Fumitory; bath the Scabs with ſoftening decoctions, then dry them with Allum Camphoratum.If 394 Cc5v 394
If theſe milky Scabs called Achores and Favi be not well cured, they turn to a Scald, or ſcabby ſtinking Ulcer, called Tinea a moth, becauſe like a moth it will fret as they eat Garments.
The milk ſcab comes at the firſt ſucking, and after that the Achores, which are ſcabs that are not white, and are only upon the head; but the white ſcabs run over all the face and the body: Thoſe Ulcers in the head eſpecially ſtill run with matter; they are of ſeveral colours, as white, red, yellow, black; but they all come from excrementitious, watery, ſalt, thick, and thin humours, that itch, and make them to ſcratch; they were gathered in the womb, and bad milk increaſeth them, in time they cure themſelves, if the cause be not too bad, but if the matter be too fierce, it will pierce the Scull; when it runs it doth children good, if it ſtink it may cauſe the Falling ſickneſs.
Carduus and Scabius water, and good cordials, will drive them out; coolers and binders are naught, for they ſtrike them in.
The nurſe muſt keep a good diet, and prepare her ſelf with Bugloſs, Borrage, Fumitory, Succory, Hops, Polypody, and Dock roots; then purge with Senna, Epithymum and Rhubarb; forbear ſalt, ſpiced, and ſharp meats 395 Cc6r 395 meats: Conſerve of Succory roots and Citrons candied of each half an ounce; of Borrage, Bugloſs, Violets, Fumitory, and Succory, of each one ounce; Harts-horn, Diarrhodon, Diamargariton frigid, of each a ſcruple, make an Electuary with ſirrup of Gilliflowers, let the nurſe take daily two drams.
Purge the child with Manna, waſh the Head with a decoction of Mallowes, Barley, Wormwood, Celandine, Marſhmallow roots boiled in barley water, and boys piſs; make an ointment to uſe after it with oyl of bitter Almonds, oyl of Roſes, and ſome Litharge: or waſh the head with Soap, if you fear it may turn to a Scald head, or eat into the skull; and then with the former decoction: or take Ceruſs, Litharge of each two drams; of Agarick and Pomegranate flowers of each one dram, oyl of Roſes and Vinegar make an oyntment.
If it come to be a Scald head, it is a dry Ulcer in the head onely, called Tinea; but Achores are moiſt Ulcers in the head and body ſometimes.
A Scald head is infectious, it proceeds from a ſalt ſharp melancholick humor, from the Mothers blood, or from corrupt Milk: Theſe Scabs are like bran ſometimes, or Scurf, with Scales, ſometimes ſlimy; and when the Scab 396 Cc6v 396 Scab comes off you ſhall ſee red quick knobs of fleſh, like the in-ſide of a fig, ſome of them are malignant; they run but little, but that which comes forth ſtinks much. An old black or aſh-coloured ſcab is hard to cure; the other is not ſo when it is new, and yellow matter comes from it: The hair will ſcarce ever come again when it is cured, the skin is ſo exceeding hard; rub the skin and if it will not ſeem red, there is no hopes of hair. The ſalt humours make the skin thick and dry, wherefore it will be good to moiſten with laying on a Beet, or a Colewort leaf ſpread with Hogs greaſe, and remove the ſcab with ſuch things as cleanſe and are ſomewhat ſharp.
When the child comes to age, and is able to bear it, purge with Senna, Rhubarb, and Agarick, then take Brimſtone two drams, Muſtard half a dram, Briony roots, and Staves-acre, of each one dram, Vinegar one ounce, Turpentine and Bears greaſe of each half an ounce; this ointment will make the ſcab fall: or if you beat Hogs-greaſe, and Water-creſes together, and lay it on the scab, it will fall off in four and twenty hours: when the ſcab is fallen uſe a pitcht Cap to pull out the hair by the roots; then uſe ſofteners to correct the dry diſtemper.
Apply things that will conſume the excrementsments 397 Cc7r 397 ments that lie deep in the skin; as take one ounce of each of theſe following roots, of Docks, Lillies, and Marſhmallows; of Mallows, Fumitory, Sage, of each two handfuls, and boil all in vinegar, and Ly, and waſh the head daily with it: Then make a Cerot of Tar and Wax; or take ſalt-Peter one ounce, Oxymel one ounce and a half; or mingle with Hogs greaſe live Brimſtone one ounce, with Hellebore, and Staves-acre, of each two drams; but beware of poiſons, ſuch as are Arſenick, or Pigment, or Mercury, for they are dangerous to corrode the part that lieth ſo near the brain.
XIII. Sometimes childrens heads ſwell with water, and are very big; the water is either without the skul, or within the skul; for this water lieth either between the skin, and the pericranium, or between the bone and the pericranium, or between the bone and the membranes, called the Dura and Pia Mater. Sometimes abundance of vapours get between the bones and skin of the head, & make the head ſo great, that they kill the child; if it be water the child will be giddy, and have Epileptick fits, nor can it reſt. If it be only, wind between the skin and the pericranium a decoction of Sage, Betony, Calamint,lamint, 398 Cc7v 398 lamint, and Origanum, of each one handful; of Anniſeeds and Fennel ſeeds of each two drams, with a handful of Cammomile flowers, and of Melilot and red roſes the like quantity boiled in water with ſome wine will cure it. The watry humour is hardly cured: A humour from water within the brain is ſmaller and harder than when it is out of the skull, but it is more hard to cure, and almoſt incurable. A humour of wind is ſeldome without water that breeds it; apply diſcuſſers that make the humours thin, to the head, the noſe, and the ears; as Cammomile, Rue, and Origanum. Take thirty ſnails in their ſhells, of Mugwort, and Marjoram of each one handful, ſtamp them, then put to them Saffron half a dram, and a ſcruple of Camphire, and make a poultiſs with oil of Cammomile: Alſo take Nutmegs, Cubebs, Cloves of each one ſcruple; Frankincenſe Bark, Calamus, of each half a dram; Marjoram water three ounces, ſnuff up this water often, and drop hot oils into the ears. If the water be not diſſipated in twenty daies, you muſt open the skull, and let out the water by degrees; and beware that the child take no cold: If ſuch means as are outwardly applied will not help it, the laſt remedy is by the Chirurgion.XIV. 399 Cc8r 399
XIV. Sometimes children are much vexed with the Hiccough, or Hickets, or Huckets as they call it, it comes commonly from too much repletion, and fulneſs; wherefore dip a feather in oil, and put it down the childs Throat and make it vomit: It may come from a cold ſtomach, then anoint the ſtomach with oil of Cammomile, of Wormwood, of Maſtick and Quinces, and diſſolve a ſcruple of the Troches of Diarrhodon in the Nurſes Milk, and give it the child.
If this diſeaſe come from too much Milk, the belly ſwells, and the child vomits: if the Nurſes Milk be bad it comes from thence: and the Excrements will ſmell of ſtinking Milk.
This is no dangerous diſeaſe unleſs the cauſe be violent, for then it will flie to the Nerves, and cauſe a Convulſion, Falling ſickneſs and death.
Give the child ſirrups of Mints and Betony, to ſtrengthen the ſtomach, and anoint it with oil of Mints, of Maſtick, and of Dill.
There is a diſeaſe like the Hickets in children, from grief, or anger, when the ſpirits flie from the Heart to the Midriff, and ſtop the breath, but it is ſoon over.XV. Chil- 400 Cc8v 400
XV. Children are ſometimes ſubject to vomiting from too much, or from ill milk, or from flegm that falls from the head to the ſtomach; a moiſt looſe ſtomach is the immediate cauſe; if they vomit milk they are better for it: if the milk be naught, the matter that comes forth will ſhew that, for it is yellow, green, or filthy coloured, and it ſtinks.
Worms may make them vomit, but that will be known by the ſigns: children that vomit often are beſt in health, and thrive beſt, becauſe their ſtomach is kept clean of ill humours; but to vomit too much will make them waſt away: cleanſe the ſtomach with honey of Roſes, and ſtrengthen it with ſirrup of Quinces, and of Mints.
When the humour is too ſharp and hot, give the ſirrup of Pomegranates, or of Coral, or of Currants: Coral hath a hidden vertue, and ſome hang it about their necks.
Anoint the ſtomach with oils of Maſtick, Mints, Quinces, Wormwood, of each half an ounce; oil of Nutmegs (by expreſſion) half a dram; oil of Mints chymically extracted three drops, or dip bread in hot Wine, and lay it to the mouth of the Stomach.XVI. If 401 Dd1r 401
XVI. If the child be griped, and pained in the belly, you ſhall know it by the great unquietneſs, and crying, and turning it ſelf from ſide to ſide; it is oft with a ſcowring, and from bad milk, that breeds ſharp windy humours; it gets to the guts and gnaws them; and ſometimes it is from worms: if it be wind it will ceaſe when they break wind; but ill humours cauſe a conſtant pain. Tough flegm binds the belly, and the Dung is ſlimy: ſharp humours cauſe a green and yellow flux; if this pain laſt long, it caſts them into convulſions, and falling-ſickneſſeſ, and is dangerous: Foment the belly with a decoction of Lavender, Fennel, and Cummin ſeed; or take oil of Olives, and Dill ſeed, and dip a piece of Wool in it, and lay it over the belly warm.
Give the child ſome oil of ſweet Almonds, with Sugar-Candy, and a ſcruple of Anniſeeds, and purge it with Honey of Roſes, which is good alſo when the body is ſwoln with wind, or too much milk not digeſted: and uſe a decoction of Cardiaca, Cammomile flowers, and Cummin ſeed; or boil the top of dwarf-Elder, and of Elder in white wine, and bath the parts that are ſwoln with it.
If the griping pain comes from the ſharp Dd milk 402 Dd1v 402 milk, ſirrup of Succory with Rhubarb, or ſirrup, or Honey of Roſes; or a Gliſter of the decoction of bran, and Pellitory of the wall, with ſirrup of Roſes is very good, uſing an outward Ointment of oil of Dill, and Cammomile.
XVII. Sometimes children will ſneeze mightily, it may come from an impoſthume in the head; then cooling oils and ointments are commended; but if any other cauſe produce it, put the powder of Bazil into the noſtrils: If heat cause it the childs eyes will ſink in; then bruiſe Purſlain leaves, and with oil of Roſes, Barley meal, and the yolk of an egg mingled, make an Application to the Head.
XVIII. When the child is Feaveriſh and hot, the nurſe muſt eat cooling and moiſtening things; and anoint all the parts of the child with oil of Roſes, and Unguent Populeon; and lay to the breaſts clarified juice of Wormwood, Plantane, Mallows, Seagreen, made to a Cataplaſme of Barley meal.
XIX. It falls oftentimes out that children are ſquint-eyed, and that comes when they lie in their Cradle, and the Candle, or light ſtands 403 Dd2r 403 ſtands behind them, or on one ſide. It may come from the Falling ſickneſs, or by birth, but that is ſeldome and not curable: if ill cuſtom have bred it, put your candle on the other ſide, or a Picture, till the childs eyes come to look right; but you may prevent all if you ſet the candle before the child, and not on either ſide, for the child will ſtare after the light; you may when you find the childs eyes diſtorted, hang cloths of all colours on the other ſide, to make the child to turn the eyes the contrary way, to gaze on them till it be cured.
XX. Sometimes children have ſore eyes with great pain with Ulcers, and Worms, and inflammations; for childrens brains are very moiſt, and there are many excrements which nature caſts forth at other places, becauſe the natural Emunctories will not carry them all out; much of this goes to their ears, which will be very ſore, that they will cry, and not ſuffer them to be touched; it is dangerous, for it will not let them ſleep, the heat and pain is ſo great; it cauſeth the Falling- ſickneſs, and fouls the ſpongy bones, and breeds Worms, and ſometimes makes children deaf ſo long as they live; you cannot uſe ſtrong remedies to children, drop a little hemp ſeed oil with Dd2 Wine 404 Dd2v 404 Wine into their ears; to allay the pain, uſe warm milk about their ears, or oil of Violets, or the decoction of Poppey tops: to dry up the moiſture uſe honey of Roſes, or water of honey to drop in their ears.
XXI. The uſual painful diſeaſe of all children is the breeding of their teeth; it is very dangerous to ſome: about the ſeventh month, firſt come forth the fore teeth, then the ey- teeth, laſtly the grinders: firſt the Gums itch, then they prick like needles, by reaſon of the ſharp bones, which cauſeth watchings, and inflammations of the Gums, Feavers, Convulſions, Scourings; eſpecially when they breed their eye-teeth. The beginning of the ſeventh month is the time that diſcovers it, and the childs putting his finger into his mouth, and holding the nipple faſter than they were wont; when the tooth is coming forth, the Gum is whiter than in other parts: the watching breeds cholerick humours, and inflames the body, and brings a Feaver.
If the teeth be long before they can come forth, children commonly will die of Feavers, and Convulſion fits: they that ſcowr have ſeldome any Convulſion.
When the gums are thick, the teeth can ſcarce get forth; wherefore ſoften the Gum with 405 Dd3r 405 with rubbing it with Honey and Freſh Butter; or let the child chew a candle of Virgins Wax: Let the Nurſe keep a moderate Diet, inclining to cold, as Barley Broths, Water- Gruel, Lettice, Endive, Rear-eggs: take heed of ſalt ſpiced meats, and wine, but anoint the childs Gum with a Mucilage of Quinces, made with Mallows water, or with the brains of an Hare.
XXII. If the Gums be ulcerated, let the Nurſe rub the childs gums, and Wheals, and Puſhes with her finger, and anoint them with Hens greaſe, Hares brains, oil of Cammomile, and Mel Roſarum, or ſirrup of violets, with Plantane water; and if the inflammation be great, boil Pomegranate flowers, Roſes, and Sanders of each two drams, Allum half a dram, in water, ſtrain out three ounces, and diſſolve in it the ſirrup of Mulberries half an ounce. If the Puſhes and Wheals be white, take Pomegranate flowers, Amber, Cypreſs nuts of each two drams, Roſes, and Myrtle flowers of each half a handful, boil them in water, add to the decoction one ounce and a half of honey of Roſes. Sometimes there riſeth between the Gums, and the great teeth a little fleſhy ſubſtance, to conſume that waſh it with a deccoction of the roots of Plantain,Dd3 tain 406 Dd3v 406 tain, Bugloſs, Agrimony of each a handful; Barley a ſmall handful, and red Roſes a handful; four Dates, Flowers of Pomegranates two drams, Liquoriſh one dram and a half.
XXIII. Children are very much moleſted with deſtillations, Coughs and Catarrhs: If the humour be ſharp and hot that falls from the brain, the child will look red in the face; if it be a cold humour much matter will run forth at the noſe and mouth; then keep the child reſonably warm, and give it Sugar-candy, with oil of ſweet Almonds: waſh the childs feet with Ale boiled with Betony, Marjoram, Roſemary, then anoint the ſoles of the feet with Gooſe greaſe: rub the breaſt with freſh butter, and oil of ſweet Almonds, and lay on warm linnen cloths; for ſlimy humours give it a ſpoonful of ſirrup of Maiden-hair, or of Liquoriſh and Hyſſop mingled, Take alſo Gum Traganth, Arabick, Quince ſeeds, juice of Liquoriſh, and Sugar Pelets, mingle them, and in new milk let the child take of it every day. Where the cauſe is cold that makes the Cough; beat a little Myrrh to powder and give it the child, with oil of ſweet Almonds, and a little honey: when it comes from heat, make a decoction of Raiſins in water, and with white poppey seed, and Gum Dragant each 407 Dd4r 407 each two drams; ſeeds of Gourds four drams, beat all together, and give the child a four penny weight in the foreſaid decoction.
XXIV. If the breath be ſhort let it take an Electuary of Honey and Linſeed, and anoint the ears and parts about them with Olive oil.
XXV. If the childs noſe be ſtopt, put a little Ointment of Roſes, and good Pomatum into the Noſtrils to ſoften the hard matter.
Waſh the inflamed, or Gummy eyes, that will not open, with breaſt milk, or Plantain and Roſe Water: Childrens moiſt brains breed moiſt humours that run to their ears; make them clean with a rag, and drop in Honey of Roſes mingled with oil of bitter Almonds.
XXVI. If the child new born be in great pain, then rub it with Pellitory of the wall and freſh Butter, or with Spinach and Hogs- greaſe, and lay it to the Navel, take care it be not too hot; or make a cake of oils of eggs and of Nuts for the Navel; give it a Gliſter if it need with Milk, Sugar, and the yolk of an Egg.Dd4 XXVI. Chil- 408 Dd4v 408
XXVII. Children are ſubject to all ſorts of Feavers, but chiefly to Feavers from corrupt milk, and Feavers with breeding of teeth.
They have epidemical Feavers ſometimes that caſt forth the Meazles, or ſmall Pox; the mothers menſtrual blood is the original cauſe, but the corrupt air ſtirs it up; for as the air is pure, or impure, ſo theſe diſeaſes are more raging, or leſs: It is oftentimes infectious, and the humours ſo corrupt, that worms breed under the ſcabs, and corrode the bones and inward parts, as hath been proved by opening ſome that died. If it be a Feaveriſh time, that it ſpreads much, give good Antidotes, and change the air; but all children almoſt will have them firſt or laſt: Before there is a Feaver you may fortifie nature, and give a a gentle purge; but for my part I approve not of purging, or bleeding in theſe diſtempers, unleſs it be long before: So ſoon as you ſee the feaver, drive them out by Cordials, and prefer the eyes and throat, and prevent deformity.
The firſt ſigns of this diſeaſe (for they are both from one cauſe) are pains of the head, redneſs in the eyes, a dry Cough with a feaver, then little pimples break forth all the body over, but chiefly they aim at the throat and face.The 409 Dd5r 409
The ſmall Pox is dangerous to all, but moſt to thoſe that are of an ill habit of body; and if they come forth in heaps and not orderly; or if they look blew, black, or ill coloured, they are exceeding dangerouus. If the child ſuck, the nurſe muſt uſe a moderate diet; ſhe may eat Hen broth, with herbs of Succory, Borrage, Bugloſs, and Endive boiled in it: Let her drink this drink following to make them come eaſily and quickly forth; take peeled Lentils half an ounce, fat figs two ounces, Gum Lac two drams, Gum Traganth and Fennel ſeed of each two drams and a half: boil this in fountain water, ſtrain it, and ſweeten two pints of it with Sugar, and ſirrup of Maiden-hair, let her drink half a pint faſting. If the child be weaned give it a Julep of cordial waters two ounces and a half, ſirrup of Lemmons one ounce, uſe this often; and four or five hours after, give it some Unicorns horn and Oriental Bezoar in powder.
To preſerve the eyes anoint the Eye-lids with Plantane and Roſe water, and a little Saffron. To preſerve the noſe take Roſe water, and Betony of each one ounce, Vinegar half an ounce, and as much powder of peels of Citrons, add to it Saffron ſix grains, let the child ſmell to it often; dip ſome cotton in it, and ſtop the ears to keep the Small Pox from 410 Dd5v 410 from thence. You may preſerve the mouth, the tongue, and the throat with a handful of barley, and leaves of Plantain, Sorrel, Agrimony, and of Vervain, of each a handful, all boiled in water to ſix ounces, diſſolve in it ſirrup of Pomegranates, and of Roſes of each half an ounce, Saffron half a ſcruple, make a Gargariſme: ſirrup of Juniper, of Violets, and of water-Lillies preſerve the Lungs.
When the Pox are fully out, then to make them die quickly rub the face with freſh hogsgreaſe, old Lard melted, and ſtrained, and mingled with water, or with oil of ſweet Almonds.
When the Pox are dead, and begin to fall away, to keep them from Pock-holes anoint the face with a feather dipt in an Ointment made of Chalk and Cream, uſe this two or three daies, it will ſmooth the skin handſomely, and take away the ſpots.
XXVIII. Children are exceedingly prone to breed Lice more than men of age, though all people are troubled with them: They breed from the Excrements of the head and body; it is not only filth that breeds Lice, but a certain matter fit for them; for fleas will not breed of the ſame that lice are bred of. Children and women that are hot and moiſt have many 411 Dd6r 411 many excrements to breed ſuch things withall. Some meats breed Lice, as figs by their groſs juice, which naturally tends to the skin, and variety of meat. Lice breed moſt in Childrens heads, and ſtick faſt to the skin, and roots of the hair; ſome have died of Lice: and Lice will leave ſome when they are dying. To prevent Lice comb and keep childrens heads clean, let them eat no figs, but meats of good juice, and purge them with hot drying, thin medicaments: Uſe no Mercury, nor Arſenick to childrens heads, but uſe this Lotion, take parts alike, of round Birthwort, Lupines, Pine and Cypreſs leaves, boil them in water, then anoint the head with powder of Staves-acre three drams, of Lupines half an ounce, of Agarick two drams, quick brimſtone one dram and half, Ox Gall half an ounce, all made up wirth oil of Wormwood.
XXIX. If the child fright in the ſleep, give it good breaſt milk, but not too much; let it not ſleep preſently, but carry it about till the milk deſcend to the bottom of the ſtomack: give it ſometimes the oil of ſweet Almonds, or honey of Roſes two ſpoonfuls. To cleanſe the ſtomack ſtrengthen it with magiſtery of Coral, or Confection of Jacinths with milk 412 Dd6v 412 milk; anoint the ſtomach with oil of Wormwood, Nard, Mints, Maſtick, Nutmegs; if it be from worms, you have the remedies before: It is for the moſt part ill vapours that aſcend by the Weaſand and veins to the head, when children cannot concoct what they have in their ſtomachs.
XXX. Sometimes children cannot ſleep, it is by reaſon of corrupt milk that diſturbs the animal ſpirits; hence ariſe Catarrhs, Convulſions, Feavers, drineſs; let better milk be given it; the Nurſe muſt eat Lettice, ſweet Almonds, Poppey ſeeds, but ſleeping medicaments are not good for infants. Waſh the feet with a decoction of Dill tops, Cammomile flowers,, Sage, Oſiers, Vine leaves, Poppy heads: to the Temples uſe oil of Dill, or oil of Roſes, with oil of Nutmegs, with Poppey ſeeds, Breaſt milk, Roſe, or Nightſhade water, with Saffron. If the Childs brain be very dry, moiſten the covering of the Cradle.
XXXI. Bad and ſharp milk hurts the childs ſtomach, for it cannot endure it, for it breeds bad humours: all theſe diſeaſes ſpring from it, the Thruſh, Bladders in the Gums, and inflammation of the Tonſils.Bladders 413 Dd7r 413
Bladders in the Gums are cured with powder of Lentils husked, and ſtrewed upon them; or with a Liviment of the flour of Milian, and oil of Roſes.
The inflammation of the Tonſils (I ſuppoſe) it is that diſeaſe in children called the Mumps, that commonly comes between eleven and thirteen years old; the parts being then ſo hard, that the humour cannot breath forth: alwaies keep the belly looſe, and anoint outwardly with oil of ſweet Almonds, or Cammomile, or St. John’s wort inwardly; firſt repel, ſecondly mix reſolvers with repellers, and laſtly only reſolvers, but not too hot; in age Gargariſmes are beſt. Infants may take Diamoron, Honey of Roſes, ſirrup of Myrtles and Pomegranates.
XXXII. Sometimes childrens ſtring of the tongue is ſo ſhort that they cannot ſuck, a skilful Chirurgeon muſt help it: or uſe this Liviment, boil clarified honey till you can powder it, then dry yolks of eggs in a Glaſs in an Oven, powder them, take a dram weight, Maſtick and Frankincenſe, of each one ſcruple, burnt Allum ſix grains, make it up with honey of roſes. The Frog is, when the veins under the tongue ſwell with groſs black blood; and if the flegm ſweat forth, and ſtick in the paſſages 414 Dd7v 414 paſſages, the ſwelling is like Muſhromes, and make them ſtammer; take Cuttlebone, Salgem, Pepper of each one dram, burnt Spunge three drams, make a powder; or of Honey of Beſome; rub it under the tongue, and lay a plaiſter of Gooſe dung, and Honey boiled in Wine till the Wine be conſumed, under the Chin.
XXXIII. Some children grow lean, and pine away, and the cauſe is not known; if it be from Witchcraft, good prayers to God are the beſt remedy: yet some hang Amber, and Coral about the childs neck, as a Soveraign Amulet. But leanneſs may proceed from a dry diſtemper of the whole body, then it is beſt to bath it in a decoction of Mallows, Marſhmallows, Branc-Urſine, Sheeps heads, and anoint with oil of ſweet Almonds; if it be hot and dry add Roſes, Violets, Lettice, Poppey-heads, and afterwards anoint with oils of Violets, and Roſes. The child may be lean from want of milk, or bad milk from the nurſe, remedy that, or change the nurſe, for little, or bad milk will breed no good blood, and the children cannot thrive by it: ſometimes worms in the body draw away the nouriſhment, ſometimes very ſmall worms breed without the body, all over, and in the Muſculouslous 415 Dd8r 415 lous parts, and ſtick in the skin, and will not come quite forth; but after you rub the child in a Bath they will put forth their heads like black hairs, and run in again when they feel the cold air; they breed of ſlimy humours, ſhut up in the Capillary veins, which turn to worms for want of tranſpiration; if you rub the child with Yarhound on the back, and eſpecially with Honey and Bread, you ſhall ſee their black heads; when you ſee the heads come forth, run over them with a Raſor, do it often.
XXXIV. Children uſed to be galled with lying in piſſ’d clouts, and the ſcarf skin comes from the true skin; the skin looks red, change the clouts often, and keep the child clean by waſhing it, then anoint the ſore with Diapompholix, or caſt on this powder finely ſprinkled, of burnt Allum, Frankincenſe, Litharge of Silver, and ſeeds and leaves of Roſes.
XXXV. Some children cannot hold their water, but piſs the bed when they ſleep, the bladder-cloſing muſcle being weak; ſo when piſs pricks it, it comes forth. The ſtone in the bladder may hurt the Muſcle; the cauſe of weakneſs is a cold moiſt humour, from ſuperfluity, or from tough and groſs meats; in Age 416 Dd8v 416 Age it will be hard to be cured, but in infants it eaſily may. The nurſe muſt uſe a hot drying diet, with Sage, Hyſsop, Marjoram; the child muſt drink little, anoint the region of the bladder outwardly with oil of Coſtus, or Flower de luce, and other like driers; uſe Sulphur and Allum Baths, with oaken leaves: And give it this powder, take burnt Hogsbladders, Stones of a Hare roaſted, and Cocks throats roaſted, of each half a dram, and two ſcruples of Acorns, Mace and Nip of each a ſcruple, give half a dram with Oaken leave Water.
XXXVI. Childrens Urine is ſometimes ſtopt, either by groſs matter, or the ſtone, you may try with the Catheter; you muſt purge the humours with honey of Roſes, Caſſia, Turpentine, with a decoction of red Peaſe, alſo Graſs-water, and Reſtharrow, and Dropwort water are good; take Hares blood one ounce, Saxifrage roots ſix drams, calcine them, the Doſe is a ſcruple, or half a dram, with White Wine, and Saxifrage Water. The Stone in the bladder is as common with children as the Stone of the Kidneys with men and women, crude groſs meats and unclean milk breed it; there is alſo a weakneſs in the Liver and ſtomach when they do not well part 417 Ee1r 417 part groſs blood from the pure, but much earthy juice remains in the child; ſometimes it is natural from the Parents, they piſs by drops; and what comes forth is like clear water, or whey, or milk, and ſometimes blood comes forth; it grows daily, and at laſt they muſt be cut if they be not cured in time. Let then the belly be alwaies kept looſe, and the nurſe eat no ſlimy groſs meats; anoint the bladder with oil of Lillies, and of Scorpions, and lay on a Cataplaſme of Pellitory of the Wall boild in oil of Lillies, or give two drops of Spirit of Vitriol, with half a dram of Cypreſs Turpentine. Take Magiſtery, or Crabs eyes, white Amber prepared, Goats blood of each a ſcruple, give it frequently, with water of Parſley.
XXXVII. There is one diſeaſe more I ſhall end with, and that is called Siriaſis, an inflammation of the membranes of the brain; it is from phlegmatick blood putrified, and grows hot and cholerick; hot weather, windy milk, and nurſes ill diet may cauſe it: The forehead grows hot & hollow the face is red, they are dry & Feaveriſh, want an appetite. The fore part of the head is hollow, where the ſagittal and Coronal Sutures meet, for there the bones are membranouus, and harden in time; it is Ee dangerous 418 Ee1v 418 dangerous and ſome ſay deadly. When this bone or membrane falls there is a pit and the brain falls down, they commonly die in three daies. Give a gliſter of ſirrup of Roſes, or Violets, lay on coolers of the juice of Lettice, Gourd, Melons, or ſplit a Pompion in two pieces, and lay it on, but cool not the brain too much, anoint it with oil of Roſes, let the Nurſes diet be cooling, or change her for a better. Take oil of Roſes half an ounce, Populeon one ounce, the white of an egg, and an emulſion of the cold ſeeds drawn with Roſe water two drams; after the inflammation is abated, and the flux ſtopt, lay on oil of Cammomile one ounce and a half, of Dill hal half an ounce, with the yolk of an egg.
Thus by the bleſſing of Almighty God, I have with great pains and endeavour run through all the parts of the Midwives Duty; and what is required both for the Mother, the Nurſe, and the Infant; deſiring that it may be as uſeful for the end I have written it, to profit others, as I have found it beneficial to Me in my long Practice of Midwifery. To God alone be all Praiſe and Glory, Amen.
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The Moral Practice of the Jeſuites Demonſtrated by many Remarkable Hiſtories of their Actions in all parts of the World, Collected either from Books of the Greateſt Authority, or moſt certain and unqueſtionable Records and Memorials by the Doctors of the Sorbonne.
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