Diet rectified in substance.
Diet, Διαιτητικὴ, victus, or living, according to 2885 Fuchsius and others, comprehends those six non-natural things, which I have before specified, are especial causes, and being rectified, a sole or chief part of the cure. 2886Johannes Arculanus, cap. 16. in 9. Rhasis, accounts the rectifying of these six a sufficient cure. Guianerius, tract. 15, cap. 9. calls them, propriam et primam curam, the principal cure: so doth Montanus, Crato, Mercurialis, Altomarus, &c., first to be tried, Lemnius, instit. cap. 22, names them the hinges of our health, 2887no hope of recovery without them. Reinerus Solenander, in his seventh consultation for a Spanish young gentlewoman, that was so melancholy she abhorred all company, and would not sit at table with her familiar friends, prescribes this physic above the rest, 2888no good to be done without it. 2889Aretus, lib. 1. cap. 7. an old physician, is of opinion, that this is enough of itself, if the party be not too far gone in sickness. 2890Crato, in a consultation of his for a noble patient, tells him plainly, that if his highness will keep but a good diet, he will warrant him his former health. 2891Montanus, consil. 27. for a nobleman of France, admonisheth his lordship to be most circumspect in his diet, or else all his other physic will 2892be to small purpose. The same injunction I find verbatim in J. Caesar Claudinus, Respon. 34. Scoltzii, consil. 183. Trallianus, cap. 16. lib. 1. Laelius a Fonte Aeugubinus often brags, that he hath done more cures in this kind by rectification of diet, than all other physic besides. So that in a word I may say to most melancholy men, as the fox said to the weasel, that could not get out of the garner, Macra cavum repetes, quem macra subisti, 2893the six non-natural things caused it, and they must cure it. Which howsoever I treat of, as proper to the meridian of melancholy, yet nevertheless, that which is here said with him in 2894Tully, though writ especially for the good of his friends at Tarentum and Sicily, yet it will generally serve 2895most other diseases, and help them likewise, if it be observed.
Of these six non-natural things, the first is diet, properly so called, which consists in meat and drink, in which we must consider substance, quantity, quality, and that opposite to the precedent. In substance, such meats are generally commended, which are 2896“moist, easy of digestion, and not apt to engender wind, not fried, nor roasted, but sod” (saith Valescus, Altomarus, Piso, &c.) “hot and moist, and of good nourishment;” Crato, consil. 21. lib. 2. admits roast meat, 2897if the burned and scorched superficies, the brown we call it, be pared off. Salvianus, lib. 2. cap. 1. cries out on cold and dry meats; 2898young flesh and tender is approved, as of kid, rabbits, chickens, veal, mutton, capons, hens, partridge, pheasant, quails, and all mountain birds, which are so familiar in some parts of Africa, and in Italy, and as 2899Dublinius reports, the common food of boors and clowns in Palestine. Galen takes exception at mutton, but without question he means that rammy mutton, which is in Turkey and Asia Minor, which have those great fleshy tails, of forty-eight pounds weight, as Vertomannus witnesseth, navig. lib. 2. cap. 5. The lean of fat meat is best, and all manner of broths, and pottage, with borage, lettuce, and such wholesome herbs are excellent good, especially of a cock boiled; all spoon meat. Arabians commend brains, but 2900Laurentius, c. 8. excepts against them, and so do many others; 2901eggs are justified as a nutritive wholesome meat, butter and oil may pass, but with some limitation; so 2902Crato confines it, and “to some men sparingly at set times, or in sauce,” and so sugar and honey are approved. 2903All sharp and sour sauces must be avoided, and spices, or at least seldom used: and so saffron sometimes in broth may be tolerated; but these things may be more freely used, as the temperature of the party is hot or cold, or as he shall find inconvenience by them. The thinnest, whitest, smallest wine is best, not thick, nor strong; and so of beer, the middling is fittest. Bread of good wheat, pure, well purged from the bran is preferred; Laurentius, cap. 8. would have it kneaded with rain water, if it may be gotten.
Water. Pure, thin, light water by all means use, of good smell and taste, like to the air in sight, such as is soon hot, soon cold, and which Hippocrates so much approves, if at least it may be had. Rain water is purest, so that it fall not down in great drops, and be used forthwith, for it quickly putrefies. Next to it fountain water that riseth in the east, and runneth eastward, from a quick running spring, from flinty, chalky, gravelly grounds: and the longer a river runneth, it is commonly the purest, though many springs do yield the best water at their fountains. The waters in hotter countries, as in Turkey, Persia, India, within the tropics, are frequently purer than ours in the north, more subtile, thin, and lighter, as our merchants observe, by four ounces in a pound, pleasanter to drink, as good as our beer, and some of them, as Choaspis in Persia, preferred by the Persian kings, before wine itself.
2904Clitorio quicunque sitim de fonte levarit
Vina fugit gaudetque meris abstemius undis.
Many rivers I deny not are muddy still, white, thick, like those in China, Nile in Egypt, Tiber at Rome, but after they be settled two or three days, defecate and clear, very commodious, useful and good. Many make use of deep wells, as of old in the Holy Land, lakes, cisterns, when they cannot be better provided; to fetch it in carts or gondolas, as in Venice, or camels' backs, as at Cairo in Egypt, 2905Radzivilius observed 8000 camels daily there, employed about that business; some keep it in trunks, as in the East Indies, made four square with descending steps, and 'tis not amiss, for I would not have any one so nice as that Grecian Calis, sister to Nicephorus, emperor of Constantinople, and 2906married to Dominitus Silvius, duke of Venice, that out of incredible wantonness, communi aqua uti nolebat, would use no vulgar water; but she died tanta (saith mine author) foetidissimi puris copia, of so fulsome a disease, that no water could wash her clean. 2907Plato would not have a traveller lodge in a city that is not governed by laws, or hath not a quick stream running by it; illud enim animum, hoc corrumpit valetudinem, one corrupts the body, the other the mind. But this is more than needs, too much curiosity is naught, in time of necessity any water is allowed. Howsoever, pure water is best, and which (as Pindarus holds) is better than gold; an especial ornament it is, and “very commodious to a city” (according to 2908Vegetius) “when fresh springs are included within the walls,” as at Corinth, in the midst of the town almost, there was arx altissima scatens fontibus, a goodly mount full of fresh water springs: “if nature afford them not they must be had by art.” It is a wonder to read of those 2909stupend aqueducts, and infinite cost hath been bestowed in Rome of old, Constantinople, Carthage, Alexandria, and such populous cities, to convey good and wholesome waters: read 2910Frontinus, Lipsius de admir. 2911Plinius, lib. 3. cap. 11, Strabo in his Geogr. That aqueduct of Claudius was most eminent, fetched upon arches fifteen miles, every arch 109 feet high: they had fourteen such other aqueducts, besides lakes and cisterns, 700 as I take it; 2912every house had private pipes and channels to serve them for their use. Peter Gillius, in his accurate description of Constantinople, speaks of an old cistern which he went down to see, 336 feet long, 180 feet broad, built of marble, covered over with arch-work, and sustained by 336 pillars, 12 feet asunder, and in eleven rows, to contain sweet water. Infinite cost in channels and cisterns, from Nilus to Alexandria, hath been formerly bestowed, to the admiration of these times; 2913their cisterns so curiously cemented and composed, that a beholder would take them to be all of one stone: when the foundation is laid, and cistern made, their house is half built. That Segovian aqueduct in Spain, is much wondered at in these days, 2914upon three rows of pillars, one above another, conveying sweet water to every house: but each city almost is full of such aqueducts. Amongst the rest 2915he is eternally to be commended, that brought that new stream to the north side of London at his own charge: and Mr. Otho Nicholson, founder of our waterworks and elegant conduit in Oxford. So much have all times attributed to this element, to be conveniently provided of it: although Galen hath taken exceptions at such waters, which run through leaden pipes, ob cerussam quae in iis generatur, for that unctuous ceruse, which causeth dysenteries and fluxes; 2916yet as Alsarius Crucius of Genna well answers, it is opposite to common experience. If that were true, most of our Italian cities, Montpelier in France, with infinite others, would find this inconvenience, but there is no such matter. For private families, in what sort they should furnish themselves, let them consult with P. Crescentius, de Agric. l. 1. c. 4, Pamphilius Hirelacus, and the rest.
Amongst fishes, those are most allowed of, that live in gravelly or sandy waters, pikes, perch, trout, gudgeon, smelts, flounders, &c. Hippolitus Salvianus takes exception at carp; but I dare boldly say with 2917 Dubravius, it is an excellent meat, if it come not from 2918muddy pools, that it retain not an unsavoury taste. Erinacius Marinus is much commended by Oribatius, Aetius, and most of our late writers.
2919Crato, consil. 21. lib. 2. censures all manner of fruits, as subject to putrefaction, yet tolerable at sometimes, after meals, at second course, they keep down vapours, and have their use. Sweet fruits are best, as sweet cherries, plums, sweet apples, pearmains, and pippins, which Laurentius extols, as having a peculiar property against this disease, and Plater magnifies, omnibus modis appropriata conveniunt, but they must be corrected for their windiness: ripe grapes are good, and raisins of the sun, musk-melons well corrected, and sparingly used. Figs are allowed, and almonds blanched. Trallianus discommends figs, 2920Salvianus olives and capers, which 2921others especially like of, and so of pistick nuts. Montanus and Mercurialis out of Avenzoar, admit peaches, 2922pears, and apples baked after meals, only corrected with sugar, and aniseed, or fennel-seed, and so they may be profitably taken, because they strengthen the stomach, and keep down vapours. The like may be said of preserved cherries, plums, marmalade of plums, quinces, &c., but not to drink after them. 2923Pomegranates, lemons, oranges are tolerated, if they be not too sharp.
2924Crato will admit of no herbs, but borage, bugloss, endive, fennel, aniseed, baum; Callenius and Arnoldus tolerate lettuce, spinach, beets, &c. The same Crato will allow no roots at all to be eaten. Some approve of potatoes, parsnips, but all corrected for wind. No raw salads; but as Laurentius prescribes, in broths; and so Crato commends many of them: or to use borage, hops, baum, steeped in their ordinary drink. 2925Avenzoar magnifies the juice of a pomegranate, if it be sweet, and especially rose water, which he would have to be used in every dish, which they put in practice in those hot countries, about Damascus, where (if we may believe the relations of Vertomannus) many hogsheads of rose water are to be sold in the market at once, it is in so great request with them.
2885. Instit. cap. 8. sect. 1. Victus nomine non tam cibus et potus, sed aer, exercitatio, somnus, vigilia, et reliquae res sex non-naturales contineritur.
2886. Sufficit plerumque regimen rerum sex non-naturalium.
2887. Et in his potissima sanitas consistit.
2888. Nihil hic agendum sine exquisita vivendi ratione, &c.
2889. Si recens malum sit ad pristinum habitum recuperandum, alia medela non est opus.
2890. Consil. 99. lib. 2. si celsitudo tua, rectam victus rationem, &c.
2891. Moneo Domine, ut sis prudens ad victum, sine quo caetera remedia frustra adhibentur.
2892. Omnia remedia irrita et vana sine his. Novistis me plerosque ita laborantes, victu potius quam medicamentis curasse.
2893. “When you are again lean, seek an exit through that hole by which lean you entered.”
2894. l. de finibus Tarentinis et Siculis.
2895. Modo non multum elongentur.
2896. Lib. 1. de melan. cap. 7. Calidus et humidus cibus concoctu, facilis, flatus exortes, elixi non assi, neque sibi frixi sint.
2897. Si interna tantum pulpa devoretur, non superficies torrida ab igne.
2898. Bene nutrientes cibi, tenella aetas multum valet, carnes non virosae, nec pingues.
2899. Hoedoper. peregr. Hierosol.
2900. Inimica stomacho.
2901. Not fried or buttered, but poached.
2902. Consil. 16. Non improbatur butyrum et oleum, si tamen plus quam par sit, non profundatur: sacchari et mellis usus, utiliter ad ciborum condimenta comprobatur.
2903. Mercurialis consil. 88. acerba omnia evitantur.
2904. Ovid. Met. lib. 15. “Whoever has allayed his thirst with the water of the Clitorius, avoids wine, and abstemious delights in pure water only.”
2905. Pregr. Hier.
2906. The Dukes of Venice were then permitted to marry.
2907. De Legibus.
2908. Lib. 4. cap. 10. Magna urbis utilitas cum perennes fontes muris includuntur, quod si natura non praestat, effondiendi, &c.
2909. Opera gigantum dicit aliquis.
2910. De aquaeduct.
2911. Curtius Fons a quadragesimo lapide in urbem opere arcuato perductus. Plin. 36. 15.
2912. Quaeque domus Romae fistulas habebat et canales, &c.
2913. Lib. 2. ca. 20. Jod. a Meggen. cap. 15. pereg. Hier. Bellonius.
2914. Cypr. Echovius delit. Hisp. Aqua profluens inde in omnes fere domos ducitur, in puteis quoque aestivo tempore frigidissima conservatur.
2915. Sir Hugh Middleton, Baronet.
2916. De quaesitis med. cent. fol. 354.
2917. De piscibus lib. habent omnes in lautitiis, modo non sint e caenoso loco.
2918. De pisc. c. 2. l. 7. Plurimum praestat ad utilitatem et jucunditatem. Idem Trallianus lib. 1. c. 16. pisces petrosi, et molles carne.
2919. Etsi omnes putredini sunt obnoxii, ubi secundis mensis, incepto jam priore, devorentur, commodi succi prosunt, qui dulcedine sunt praediti. Ut dulcia cerasa, poma, &c.
2920. Lib. 2. cap. 1.
2921. Montanus consil. 24.
2922. Pyra quae grato sunt sapore, cocta mala, poma tosta, et saccliaro, vel anisi semine conspersa, utiliter statim a prandio vel a caena sumi possunt, eo quod ventriculum roborent et vapores caput petentes reprimant. Mont.
2923. Punica mala aurantia commode permittuntur modo non sint austera et acida.
2924. Olera omnia praeter boraginem, buglossum, intybum, feniculum, anisum, melissum vitari debent.
2925. Mercurialis pract. Med.
Diet rectified in quantity.
Man alone, saith 2926Cardan, eats and drinks without appetite, and useth all his pleasure without necessity, animae vitio, and thence come many inconveniences unto him. For there is no meat whatsoever, though otherwise wholesome and good, but if unseasonably taken, or immoderately used, more than the stomach can well bear, it will engender crudity, and do much harm. Therefore 2927Crato adviseth his patient to eat but twice a day, and that at his set meals, by no means to eat without an appetite, or upon a full stomach, and to put seven hours' difference between dinner and supper. Which rule if we did observe in our colleges, it would be much better for our healths: but custom, that tyrant, so prevails, that contrary to all good order and rules of physic, we scarce admit of five. If after seven hours' tarrying he shall have no stomach, let him defer his meal, or eat very little at his ordinary time of repast. This very counsel was given by Prosper Calenus to Cardinal Caesius, labouring of this disease; and 2928 Platerus prescribes it to a patient of his, to be most severely kept. Guianerius admits of three meals a day, but Montanus, consil. 23. pro. Ab. Italo, ties him precisely to two. And as he must not eat overmuch, so he may not absolutely fast; for as Celsus contends, lib. 1. Jacchinus 15. in 9. Rhasis, 2929repletion and inanition may both do harm in two contrary extremes. Moreover, that which he doth eat, must be well 2930chewed, and not hastily gobbled, for that causeth crudity and wind; and by all means to eat no more than he can well digest. “Some think” (saith 2931 Trincavelius, lib. 11. cap. 29. de curand. part. hum.) “the more they eat the more they nourish themselves:” eat and live, as the proverb is, “not knowing that only repairs man, which is well concocted, not that which is devoured.” Melancholy men most part have good 2932appetites, but ill digestion, and for that cause they must be sure to rise with an appetite; and that which Socrates and Disarius the physicians in 2933Macrobius so much require, St. Hierom enjoins Rusticus to eat and drink no more than, will 2934satisfy hunger and thirst. 2935Lessius, the Jesuit, holds twelve, thirteen, or fourteen ounces, or in our northern countries, sixteen at most, (for all students, weaklings, and such as lead an idle sedentary life) of meat, bread, &c., a fit proportion for a whole day, and as much or little more of drink. Nothing pesters the body and mind sooner than to be still fed, to eat and ingurgitate beyond all measure, as many do. 2936 “By overmuch eating and continual feasts they stifle nature, and choke up themselves; which, had they lived coarsely, or like galley slaves been tied to an oar, might have happily prolonged many fair years.”
A great inconvenience comes by variety of dishes, which causeth the precedent distemperature, 2937“than which” (saith Avicenna) “nothing is worse; to feed on diversity of meats, or overmuch,” Sertorius-like, in lucem caenare, and as commonly they do in Muscovy and Iceland, to prolong their meals all day long, or all night. Our northern countries offend especially in this, and we in this island (ampliter viventes in prandiis et caenis, as 2938Polydore notes) are most liberal feeders, but to our own hurt. 2939Persicos odi puer apparatus: “Excess of meat breedeth sickness, and gluttony causeth choleric diseases: by surfeiting many perish, but he that dieteth himself prolongeth his life,” Ecclus. xxxvii. 29, 30. We account it a great glory for a man to have his table daily furnished with variety of meats: but hear the physician, he pulls thee by the ear as thou sittest, and telleth thee, 2940“that nothing can be more noxious to thy health than such variety and plenty.” Temperance is a bridle of gold, and he that can use it aright, 2941ego non summis viris comparo, sed simillimum Deo judico, is liker a God than a man: for as it will transform a beast to a man again, so will it make a man a God. To preserve thine honour, health, and to avoid therefore all those inflations, torments, obstructions, crudities, and diseases that come by a full diet, the best way is to 2942feed sparingly of one or two dishes at most, to have ventrem bene moratum, as Seneca calls it, 2943“to choose one of many, and to feed on that alone,” as Crato adviseth his patient. The same counsel 2944Prosper Calenus gives to Cardinal Caesius, to use a moderate and simple diet: and though his table be jovially furnished by reason of his state and guests, yet for his own part to single out some one savoury dish and feed on it. The same is inculcated by 2945Crato, consil. 9. l. 2. to a noble personage affected with this grievance, he would have his highness to dine or sup alone, without all his honourable attendance and courtly company, with a private friend or so, 2946a dish or two, a cup of Rhenish wine, &c. Montanus, consil. 24. for a noble matron enjoins her one dish, and by no means to drink between meals. The like, consil. 229. or not to eat till he be an hungry, which rule Berengarius did most strictly observe, as Hilbertus, Cenomecensis Episc. writes in his life,
——— cui non fuit unquam
Ante sitim potus, nec cibus ante famem,
and which all temperate men do constantly keep. It is a frequent solemnity still used with us, when friends meet, to go to the alehouse or tavern, they are not sociable otherwise: and if they visit one another's houses, they must both eat and drink. I reprehend it not moderately used; but to some men nothing can be more offensive; they had better, I speak it with Saint 2947Ambrose, pour so much water in their shoes.
It much avails likewise to keep good order in our diet, 2948“to eat liquid things first, broths, fish, and such meats as are sooner corrupted in the stomach; harder meats of digestion must come last.” Crato would have the supper less than the dinner, which Cardan, Contradict. lib. 1. tract. 5. contradict. 18. disallows, and that by the authority of Galen. 7. art. curat. cap. 6. and for four reasons he will have the supper biggest: I have read many treatises to this purpose, I know not how it may concern some few sick men, but for my part generally for all, I should subscribe to that custom of the Romans, to make a sparing dinner, and a liberal supper; all their preparation and invitation was still at supper, no mention of dinner. Many reasons I could give, but when all is said pro and con, 2949Cardan's rule is best, to keep that we are accustomed unto, though it be naught, and to follow our disposition and appetite in some things is not amiss; to eat sometimes of a dish which is hurtful, if we have an extraordinary liking to it. Alexander Severus loved hares and apples above all other meats, as 2950Lampridius relates in his life: one pope pork, another peacock, &c.; what harm came of it? I conclude our own experience is the best physician; that diet which is most propitious to one, is often pernicious to another, such is the variety of palates, humours, and temperatures, let every man observe, and be a law unto himself. Tiberius, in 2951Tacitus, did laugh at all such, that thirty years of age would ask counsel of others concerning matters of diet; I say the same.
These few rules of diet he that keeps, shall surely find great ease and speedy remedy by it. It is a wonder to relate that prodigious temperance of some hermits, anchorites, and fathers of the church: he that shall but read their lives, written by Hierom, Athanasius, &c., how abstemious heathens have been in this kind, those Curii and Fabritii, those old philosophers, as Pliny records, lib. 11. Xenophon, lib. 1. de vit. Socrat. Emperors and kings, as Nicephorus relates, Eccles. hist. lib. 18. cap. 8. of Mauritius, Ludovicus Pius, &c., and that admirable 2952example of Ludovicus Cornarus, a patrician of Venice, cannot but admire them. This have they done voluntarily and in health; what shall these private men do that are visited with sickness, and necessarily 2953enjoined to recover, and continue their health? It is a hard thing to observe a strict diet, et qui medice vivit, misere vivit, 2954as the saying is, quale hoc ipsum erit vivere, his si privatus fueris? as good be buried, as so much debarred of his appetite; excessit medicina malum, the physic is more troublesome than the disease, so he complained in the poet, so thou thinkest: yet he that loves himself will easily endure this little misery, to avoid a greater inconvenience; e malis minimum better do this than do worse. And as 2955Tully holds, “better be a temperate old man than a lascivious youth.” 'Tis the only sweet thing (which he adviseth) so to moderate ourselves, that we may have senectutem in juventute, et in juventute senectutem, be youthful in our old age, staid in our youth, discreet and temperate in both.
2926. Lib. 2. de com. Solus homo edit bibitque, &c.
2927. Consil. 21. 18. si plus ingerata quam par est, et ventriculus tolerare posset, nocet, et cruditates generat &c.
2928. Observat. lib. 1. Assuescat bis in die cibos, sumere, certa semper hora.
2929. Ne plus ingerat cavendum quam ventriculus ferre potest, semperque surgat a mensa non satur.
2930. Siquidem qui semimansum velociter ingerunt cibum, ventriculo laborem inferunt, et flatus maximos promovent, Crato.
2931. Quidam maxime comedere nituntur, putantes ea ratione se vires refecturos; ignorantes, non ea quae ingerunt posse vires reficere, sed quae probe concoquunt.
2932. Multa appetunt, pauca digerunt.
2933. Saturnal. lib. 7. cap. 4.
2934. Modicus et temperatus cibus et carni et animae utilis est.
2935. Hygiasticon reg. 14. 16. unciae per diem sufficiant, computato pane, carne ovis, vel aliis obsoniis, et totidem vel paulo plures unciae protus.
2936. Idem reg. 27. Plures in domibus suis brevi tempore pascentes extinguuntur, qui si triremibus vincti fuissent, aut gregario pane pasti, sani et incolumes in longam aetatem vitam prorogassent.
2937. Nihil deterius quam diversa nutrientia simul adjungere, et comedendi tempus prorogare.
2938. Lib. 1. hist.
2939. Hor. ad lib. 5. ode ult.
2940. Ciborum varietate et copia in eadem mensa nihil nocentius homini ad lutem, Fr. Valleriola, observ. l. 2. cap. 6.
2941. Tul. orat. pro M. Marcel.
2942. Nullus cibum sumere debet, nisi stomachus sit vacuus. Gordon, lib. med. l. 1. c. 11.
2943. E multis eduliis unum elige, relictisque caeteris, ex eo comede.
2944. L. de atra bile. Simplex sit cibus et non varius: quod licet dignitati tuae ob convivas difficile videatur, &c.
2945. Celsitudo tua prandeat sola, absque apparatu aulico, contentus sit illustrissimus princeps duobus tantum ferculis, vinoque Rhenano solum in mensa utatur.
2946. Semper intra satietatem a mensa recedat, uno ferculo, contentus.
2947. Lib. de Hel. et Jejunio. Multo melius in terram vina fudisses.
2948. Crato. Multum refert non ignorare qui cibi priores, &c. liquida precedant carnium jura, pisces, fructus, &c. Coena brevior sit prandio.
2949. Tract. 6. contradict. 1. Lib. 1.
2950. Super omnia quotidianum leporem habuit, et pomis indulsit.
2951. Annal. 6. Ridere solebat eos, qui post 30. aetatis annum, ad cognoscenda corpori suo noxia vel utilia, alicujus consilii indigerent.
2952. A Lessio edit. 1614.
2953. Aegyptii olim omnes morbos curabant vomitu et jejunio. Bohemus lib. 1. cap. 5.
2954. “He who lives medically lives miserably.”
2955. Cat. Major: Melior conditio senis viventis ex praescripto artis medicae, quam adolescentis luxuriosi.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:48