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An extract by the Lord BACON, for his own use, out of the book Of the prolongation of life, together with some new advices in order to health.

1. ONCE in the week, or at least in the fortnight, to take the water of mithridate distilled, with three parts to one, or strawberry-water to allay it; and some grains of nitre and saffron, in the morning between sleeps.

2. To continue my broth with nitre; but to interchange it every other two days, with the juice of pomegranates expressed, with a little cloves, and rind of citron.

3. To order the taking of the maceration* as followeth.

To add to the maceration six grains of cremor tartari, and as much enula.

To add to the oxymel some infusion of fennel-roots in the vinegar, and four grains of angelica-seed, and juice of lemons, a third part to the vinegar.

To take it not so immediately before supper, and to have the broth specially made with barley, rosemary, thyme, and cresses.

Sometimes to add to the maceration three grains of tartar, and two of enula, to cut the more heavy and viscous humours; lest rhubarb work only upon the lightest.

To take sometimes the oxymel before it, and sometimes the Spanish honey simple.

4. To take once in the month at least, and for two days together, a grain and a half of castor, in my broth, and breakfast.

5. A cooling clyster to be used once a month, after the working of the maceration is settled.

Take of barley-water, in which the roots of bugloss are boiled, three ounces, with two drams of red sanders, and two ounces of raisins of the sun, and one ounce of dactyles, and an ounce and a half of fat

* Viz. of rhubarb infused into a draught of white wine and beer, mingled together for the space of half an hour, once in six or seven days. See the Lord Bacon's Life, by Dr. Rawley, towards the end.

caricks; let it be strained, and add to it an ounce and a half of syrup of violets: let a clyster be made. Let this be taken, with veal, in the aforesaid decoction.

6. To take every morning the fume of lign-aloes, rosemary and bays dried, which I use; but once in a week to add a little tobacco, without otherwise taking it in a pipe.

7. To appoint every day an hour ad affectus intentionales et sanos. Qu. de particulari.

8. To remember masticatories for the mouth.

9. And orange-flower water to be smelt to or snuffed up.


10. In the third hour after the sun is risen, to take in air from some high and open place, with a ventilation of rosa moschata, and fresh violets; and to stir the earth, with infusion of wine and mint.

11. To use ale with a little enula campana, carduus, germander, sage, angelica-seed, cresses of a middle age, to beget a robust heat.

12. Mithridate thrice a year.

13. A bit of bread dipt in vino odorato, with syrup of dry roses, and a little amber, at going to bed.

14. Never to keep the body in the same posture above half an hour at a time.

15. Four precepts. To break off custom. To shake off spirits ill disposed. To meditate on youth. To do nothing against a man's genius.

16. Syrup of quinces for the mouth of the stomach. Inquire concerning other things useful in that kind.

17. To use once during supper time wine in which gold is quenched.

18. To use anointing in the morning lightly with oil of almonds, with salt and saffron, and a gentle rubbing.

19. Ale of the second infusion of the vine of oak. 20. Methusalem water, of pearls and shells of crabs, and a little chalk.

21. Ale of raisins, dactyles, potatoes, pistachios, honey, tragacanth, mastic.

22. Wine with swine's flesh or hart's flesh. 23. To drink the first cup at supper hot, and half

an hour before supper something hot and aromatised.

24. Chalybeates four times a year.

25. Pilula ex tribus, once in two months, but after the mass has been macerated in oil of almonds. 26. Heroic desires.

27. Bathing of the feet once in a month, with lye ex sale nigro, camomile, sweet marjoram, fennel, sage, and a little aqua vitæ.

28. To provide always an apt breakfast. 29. To beat the flesh before roasting of it. 30. Macerations in pickles.

31. Agitation of beer by ropes, or in wheel-bar


32. That diet is good which makes lean, and then renews. Consider of the ways to effect it.


His lordship's usual receipt for the gout. To which he refers, Nat. Hist. Cent. I. N. 60.

1. The poultis.

TAKE of manchet about three ounces, the crumb only, thin cut; let it be boiled in milk till it grow to a pulp. Add in the end a dram and a half of the powder of red roses; of saffron ten grains; of oil of roses an ounce; let it be spread upon a linen cloth, and applied lukewarm, and continued for three hours' space.

2. The bath or fomentation.

TAKE of sage leaves half a handful; of the root of hemlock sliced six drams; of briony roots half an ounce; of the leaves of red roses two pugils; let them be boiled in a pottle of water, wherein steel hath been quenched, till the liquor come to a quart. After the straining, put in half a handful of bay salt. Let it be used with scarlet cloth, or scarlet wool, dipped in the liquor hot, and so renewed seven times; all in the space of a quarter of an hour, or little more.



3. The plaister.

TAKE emplastrum diachalciteos, as much as is sufficient for the part you mean to cover. Let it be dissolved with oil of roses, in such a consistence as will stick; and spread upon a piece of holland, and applied.

His lordship's broth and fomentation for the stone. The broth.

TAKE one dram of eryngium roots, cleansed and sliced; and boil them together with a chicken. In the end, add of elder flowers, and marigold flowers together, one pugil; of angelica seed half a dram, of raisins of the sun stoned, fifteen ; of rosemary, thyme, mace, together, a little.

In six ounces of this broth, or thereabouts, let there be dissolved of white cremor tartari three grains.

Every third or fourth day take a small toast of manchet, dipped in oil of sweet almonds new drawn, and sprinkled with a little loaf sugar. You may make the broth for two days, and take the one half-every day.

If you find the stone to stir, forbear the toast for a course or two. The intention of this broth is, not to void, but to undermine the quarry of the stones in the kidneys.

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The fomentation.

Take of leaves of violets, mallows, pellitory of the wall, together, one handful; of flowers of camomile and melilot, together, one pugil; the root of marshmallows, one ounce; of anise and fennel seeds, together, one ounce and a half; of flax seed two drams. Make a decoction in spring water.

The second receipt, shewing the way of making a certain ointment, which his lordship called Unguentum fragrans, sive Romanum, the fragrant or Roman unguent.

Take of the fat of a deer half a pound; of oil of sweet almonds two ounces: let them be set upon a

very gentle fire, and stirred with a stick of juniper till they are melted. Add of root of flower-de-luce powdered, damask roses powdered, together, one dram; of myrrh dissolved in rose-water half a dram; of cloves half a scruple; of civet four grains; of musk six grains; of oil of mace expressed one drop; as much of rose-water as sufficeth to keep the unguent from being too thick. Let all these be put together in a glass, and set upon the embers for the space of an hour, and stirred with a stick of juniper.

Note, that in the confection of this ointment, there was not used above a quarter of a pound, and a tenth part of a quarter of deer's suet: and that all the ingredients, except the oil of almonds, were doubled when the ointment was half made, because the fat things seemed to be too predominant.

The third receipt. A manus Christi for the stomach.

TAKE of the best pearls, very finely pulverised, one dram; of sal nitre one scruple; of tartar two scruples; of ginger and galingal together, one ounce and a half; of calamus, root of enula campana, nutmeg, together, one scruple and a half; of amber sixteen grains; of the best musk ten grains; with rose-water and the finest sugar, let there be made a manus Christi.

The fourth receipt. A secret for the stomach.

TAKE lignum aloës in gross shavings, steep them in sack, or alicant, changed twice, half an hour at a time, till the bitterness be drawn forth. Then tak the shavings forth, and dry them in the shade, and beat them to an excellent powder. Of that powder, with the syrup of citrons, make a small pill, to be taken before supper.

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