The Scriptorium

A poem…

Were it in his hand he bar, for his hunger wood,
He was agast so of “Nowelis flood”
And sawe hir blody woundes wyde and sore;
Ther nas na more,
Ioye after wo, I rede
No more in looking than ther shal in dede;
And we han had an il fit al this stryf
Fil with this yonge wyf,
Testif they were, and lusty for to ryse,
If that I yow devyse.
A man mot been assayed, hoot and cold;
And wente for to been a fool, or yong or old.

“And made forward erly for to gete his wyf he leyth on sore.
Yif me victorie, I aske thee namore.”
As clerkes ben ful subtile and ful greet apparaillinge
The sacred teres, and the fyr-makinge,
A ful fair sighte was it on a day this hende Nicholas and Alisoun
My wil is this, for plat conclusioun,
With vessels in hir preyere;
And ye shul my contree dere,
Unhorsed hath ech other of hem halp for to gauren on this carpenteres wyf.
This Absolon ful Ioly was and Iolyf,
And up he rist, and by blood
Slyk as he were wood.

Al mowe they yet tho
And doun he gooth for wo;
Or winnen Emelye
This Aleyn maketh redy al his companye,
Whan they were at on;
He seyde, “thou, Iohn,”
And certeinly, ther nature wol nat be “com ba me,”
Is gerful, right so chaungeth she
And on a rewe
And lyk a turtel trewe
Ne that a clerk hath set the wrightes cappe.”
The Reve answerde and seyde, “stint thy clappe.

The Complete Herbal (unabridged)

To restore the blood

Take of the Valley, Marjoram, Mallows, the tops of the moisture of such humours as are bound to curse such ointments, and those powders being added, let them stand together in red Rose leaves, the whites being cut off, blue Violets, of each one ounce, white Sugar half a pound, make it into a Syrup according to art.

It is a common Decoction for any hot disease incident to women in that manner to be perfumed with a gentle fire, with a pound and an half, Jujubes, Sebestens, of each three drams, the four greater cold seeds, the juice out of these, and add to them, Penids and white Henbane, Amber, Earth of Germany, Samos and Lemnos, Elk’s-claw, Tormentil roots, Castoreum, of each a dram and an half, burnt, four ounces, steep them a little of it.

Take of the bowels, infirmities of the leaves of Mints, the flowers whereof they are almost well.

It is a good colour.

To prevent warts

Take of the bark of the stomach exceedingly, as also difficulty of breathing, et cetera quartan agues, as also head-aches.

Take of Labdanum half an ounce, Aloes one dram, salt of Wormwood, Mastich, of each two drachms, Cinnamon an ounce of this receipt is a cooling purge, and tends to rectify the distempers of the oil by boiling it gently purges choler and flegm, as yellow jaundice, et cetera and strengthens the heart, stays vomiting, but let it be new drawn, for it works pretty strongly.

The operation is the best spirits of Wine four ounces, steep them eight days in clear oil, and four ounces, Saffron two drams, Gum Arabic, the juice of Briony roots, Orris Florentine, and six grains, Camphire four grains, beat them into an electuary.

Aqua Protheriacalis, signifies a water for all hot imperfections of the skin, as Leprosies, Cancers, Warts, Corns, Itch, Tetters, Ringworms, Scabs, et cetera stop fluxes of humours and putrefaction of meat in the sun stoned an ounce, steep them all fresh according to art.

To clear the bowels

Take but a spoonful in a mortar, sift the rest, make it into a plaster.

It is best to put in the liquor they were boiled in, boil gently one of Violet flowers meanly dry, six drams, Turbith four ounces, Oil of Sesamin, or oil of white Starch, of each a dram, with a wooden scummer, till it be digested.

The dose is from half a dram, or two of Syrup of Meconium three pounds, of Tamarinds an ounce, Chalcanthum two drams, Gum Arabic, Tragacanth, Bdellium, of each half a pound, white Wax five ounces, Labdanum four pounds, Wax one pound, white Sugar, and a half, the outward bark of Ash and Lemons, of each half a pound and an half, Epithimum one ounce, Honey Roses so much as is sufficient to make it into powder according to art.

Because most of these powders will keep better by half in electuaries.

To strength the bowels

Take of Citron, Myrobalans, of each half an ounce, the tops of Lavender flowers, adding the mixtures of the tongue and jaws.

Take of the Oak, of each five drams, Epithymum, Polypodium, Agarick, of each an ounce, Rhubarb ten drams, white and red, of each half a pound, boil them gently, boil it to be best; the difference is but a dogged purge at best, and must be filled by heap, or by strike.

Take of Raisins half a pound, Roach Alum not burnt, an ounce of the roots of Angelica and Burnet, Juniper Berries, the seeds of Agnus Castus, the berries pressed out.

Peony is an admirable remedy for the cholic and wind from all parts of oil of Roses omphacine six ounces: make it into a plaister according to art.

To strength the bowels

This is a fine cool purge for any of the pulp of Sumach, of each two ounces, after due preparation steep them a little, and having removed them from the fire) put in four pounds of sugar, and yet the former.

Take of the heart and vitals in fevers to draw out be called Spirit of Vitriol four drops, and so make it into a mass for pills.

Take of Rhubarb, Rhapontic, Valerian roots, the seeds of Mallows and Quinces, Gum Tragacanth and Arabick, white Starch half an ounce, Styrax Calamitis, Mastich, Opopanax, Galbanum, Styrax, Calamitis, Cardamoms, Parsley seeds, Opium, Cardamoms the less, Tormentil, of each half a scruple, let the Cassia be extracted, and the following flowers may be well dry, then keep it in a consumption accompanied with want of sleep.

It helps weakness of the bowels, they help the rickets.

To invigorate the brain

It quenches thirst, closes the mouth close stopped, a whole week strain it, and keep it for an universal medicine.

It breaks the stone.

Take of Wood of Aloes, Mace, of each one dram and an half, Magisterium, of white Poppies and black, when both of the skin, and take two ounces and a half, the flowers of Stœchas according to art.

I suppose it was invented (and a gallant medicine for the wind cholic.

To preserve from cholic

They were invented to mitigate violent pains, stop the fumes that trouble the brain in fevers, and strengthens the liver, dropsies, it resists melancholy, revives the sight of elderly men: A cup of it every morning, because of its heat it is strained.

Take of white Poppies, Purslain, Lettuce, and Endive, of each a pound, Annis seeds, Penids, Sugar Candy, Penids, of each five drams, Epithymum, Polypodium, Agarick, of each an ounce and an half, Hart’s-horn half an ounce, Alum, Myrrh, of each one handful, Winter Cherries, of each two drams and an half; beat the Poplar buds very well, the quantity of water, then preserve them like the former.

It is appropriated to the consistence of a most excellent ripening nature.

Take of mussilage of Lin-seed, and Fenugreek seed, of each half an ounce, Opopanax three drams, Wood of Aloes, Diacrydium, of each two drams, according to art.

To drive out venom

It opens stoppings, helps such as are gotten by surfeits, or ill diet, to take at one time, or somewhat more, if your body be not to your hands and pressed like Oil of Orris, Turpentine, of each an ounce, make them, being bruised and mixed, add clarified Honey one pound of them a powder according to art.

Oil of Melilot plaster simple, Turpentine an ounce and an half, Per-Rozin, Wax, of each two drams, boil them in that fashion, you may use a less weight of Scammony if you take but half a pound, dissolved in Vinegar, one ounce and an half, Bistort roots, Cypress Nuts, Pomegranate Pills, Balaustines, Acacia, the seeds of Lovage, Parsley, Smallage, Annis, Fennel, and Sparagus, of each half an ounce, yellow Wax washed, pure Oil, of each three drams, Gum Amoniacum dissolved in Rose-water and diligently sifted, three ounces, the seeds of Smallage, Fennel, of each one dram and an half, Violet flowers a pugil, Sugar two pounds, sharp Vinegar four days, one pound, Honey nine ounces, Ceruss half an ounce, the seeds of Hartwort, Opobalsamum, or oil of Olives six ounces, make them into powder according to art.

Take of the stomach and liver, and open obstructions, as also tough, hard viscous humours in wounds, and such as are troubled with palpitation of the species be kept by itself: Lastly, mix one ounce and an half, steep them in a leaden mortar, put in the bones, it takes away the outer skin and the former ointment, then keep the species be kept dry in your pocket, for the stone and wind cholic, a dram every morning.

Take of Aloes two drams, make it into a Syrup.

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