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But, before I deliver my censure and opinion concerning the nature and use of this water, it is fitting that I declare unto you the matter from whence it receives its medicinal faculties, and that is (for I have twice made probation thereof) from sulphur and nitre, and from both, but in a small measure: For the water, at its issuing forth, carrieth with it an obscure at, ing scarcely lukewarm; and the reason thereof is, because the heat of the water and strength of the sulphurous vapours are qualified and abated in the passages thorough the earth ; or else it is, because this water issueth but from a small vein of sulphur. And the note that it hath but little nitre in it, besides the probation thereof, is, because it can hardly, or not at all, in the taste be discerned, but by a curious and skilful palate for the purpose.
that this water partakes of other good minerals. But I leave that for å farther search, or to such as shall hereafter live more conveniently for that purpose, than I do. But, whatsoever minerals shall lie hid in the passages of this water, it is sufficient, that it partakes of two so good as sulphur and nitre, and that in such a mixture, as it makes it to be of an excellent temper, and medicinal faculty, in potable uses for divers cases, as shall be hereafter shewed. It were to be wished, that the water issued forth in a more convenient place, as well for access unto it, as for conserving the heat thereof.
This water is frequented for no other use, but for the drinking of it against the stone: It hath also other excellent faculties; but, I suppose (such is the vanity of our time) that the fame thereof will not long hold, but will in a short time have an end, as some other waters, of good force and efficacy against sundry infirmities, in divers places of this kingdom have had, and that by reason of the absurd and preposterous use of it: For, upon notice and experience, that this water hath done some good against the stone, people of all sorts repair unto it, as well such as have not the stone, as those that have, or stand in fear thereof, and abundantly glutand fill themselves therewith, till they vomit and strout again, scarcely one of fifty, I dare say, having the opinion of a judicious physician for the taking of the same, or preparing their bodies for it as is meet; which cannot but bring á disgrace to the water: For admit, that a few chance to receive benefit thereby, some will not, but many much hurt. Neither can the water be good for all bodies that are troubled with the stone, or subject thereunto : And, therefore, I would have you to know, that the ill and preposterous use thereof will weaken the stomach, subvert the liver, annoy the head and breast, occasion cramps, pain in the joints, breed crudities, rheums, coughs, cachexies, the dropsy itself, and consumption.
But I will proceed to shew you the faculties and true use of the water. It notably cooleth the inflammations of all the inward parts, and yet, as I have said, not quickly offending the stomach, as other waters do; and is, withal, of a gentle mundifying faculty. It is, therefore, very effectual, against the burning heat of the stomach, inflammations of the liver and reins, and adustion of the humours, being taken with fine sugar in this proportion, as, half an ounce of sugar, or thereabouts, to a pint of the water. In such as have had hot livers, red pimpling faces, and adusted humours, I have caused a tincture of roses and violets to be taken therewith, and that with singular success. It may be given with other good convenient adjuncts, which will not only make it the more grateful to the stomach, but also more effectual for the cases aforesaid, which I leave to the physician to find out, and direct, as shall be best fitting for his patient's body. In inflammation and siccity of the intestines, it is good to give with this water syrup or Mel. Viol. Sol. In inflammation of the kidnies, with obstruction also in them, I have given it to such as had withal hot livers, with Crystallo Minerali, with wished effect: for the distemper of the kidnies was not only quickly allayed therewith, but also, abundance of sand, and other drossy matter, stopping in them, purged forth.
That this water is good against the stone, strangury, and purulent. ulcers of the kidnies, and bladder, it is evident, by reason of its mundifying and cleansing faculty, to be taken with sugar, as aforesaid, or with some good and effectual adjunct, for the speedier carriage of it to the affected places, &c. which, by reason of the diversity of bodies, I cannot here describe, but must leave you, therein, to the. advice and counsel, not of a vulgar, but of some learned, judicious, expert physician; and that with this caution, if you be not sure of the accurate judgment and skill of your physician, that you take the water only with sugar, without any other mixture with it. This water is also good in the ulcerations of the intestines, with this proviso, that it be taken with some convenient adjunct, as Mel Rosat. &c. to occasion the passage thereof through the belly, diverting it from the veins.
As concerning the use of this water, and first, forinward inflammations : The time of the year best for taking thereof, by way of cure or prevention, is, in the months of April, Nay, and June, and that in the morning fasting, the body being first prepared thereunto, that is, gently purged, according as the constitution thereof shall require; but, in case of necessity, it may be taken at any other time, respect being had to the season, age, and present state of the body. As for the quantity that is to be taken every morning, and how long to be continued, in that, because of the diversity of bodies, I must leave you to the discretion and judgment of your physician.
As for the taking of this water against the stone, ten rules are to be observed in the use thereof.
The first is, the preparation of the body, that is, that it be exquisitely purged, before you attempt the use thereof; for, the passages being cleared, and the ill matter diverted by stool, the water will the more freely, and with greater force, penetrate unto the reins.
The second is, that it be taken in the morning fasting, the excrements of the belly being first deposed, and that at divers draughts, allowing betwixt every draught or two draughts, taken the one after the other, the space of a quarter of an hour, or somewhat more, till you have taken the whole portion of water, that is intended to be taken each morning, walking and stirring gently your body between every taking;
for that will cause the water to be the sooner distributed through your body, refraining to go abroad in the air, between, and upon the takings thereof, if the weather shall be any thing cold; for cold will hinder the distribution of the water.
The third is, the quantity of the water that is to be taken every morning, which must be directed by your physician, that knows your age and state of body.
The fourth is, how many mornings together it is to be taken, as eight or ten more or less, according to the ability of the stomach, strength and state of body, wherein you must likewise be directed by your physician.
The fifth thing to be observed in the taking of the water is, to take it, as near as you can, in the same temper of heat as it issueth forth, or else so hot as you shall be well able to drink it; and herein every one may gratify his own stomach. But seeing that the place is unfit for the taking of it, and that the water seems, by reason of the rawishness of the place, to be colder at its issuing forth, than it is otherwise ; for, being taken into a stone jug, it warmeth the same; I advise that the water be taken into stone jugs, or other convenient bottles, and the jugs or bottles to be immediately stopped, to keep in the vapours, and so the water to be taken, while it reserveth its heat; but, if the water should wax cold before you take it, you may heat the jug in a kettle of hot water, till it shall be so hot as you shall like to take it, keeping the jug close stopped all the while; and so you may do such mornings, when you cannot have the water, it being all overcovered by that Severn, that floweth to the city. If you demand of me, whether the water loseth any thing of its virtue, being so kept? I must answer you, that it is like by that it looseth somewhat of its sulphurous, but not any thing of its nitrous qaality, and therefore it may be well reserved, and used in manner as aforesaid,
The sixth is the time of the year, that is best for the taking of this water, and that in a season that is not cold or rainy; but hot, or inclining thereunto, as from the beginning of May, to the middle of September; but after that, in regard of the alterations of the air, and winter approaching, this water is not good to be taken, because it will weaken the stomach and liver, annoy the breast, breed crudities, coughs, &c. as I have already shewed.
The seventh is the diet, that is to be observed all the time of the taking of the water, which is, that it must be but slender, and that of meats of good juice, and easy digestion; the dinner not to be taken, till the greater part of the water be avoided, and the supper must be always less than the dinner, that the stomach
be the next morning empty for receiving of the water again.
The eighth is, that the body be purged immediately after the taking of the water, that is, when an end is made of taking it, for avoiding some relicks thereof, which perhaps may abide in the body after the use of it, which the physician must be careful to do with a fit medicine, Afterwards a moderation in and all other things, is to be observed. The ninth is, that it be not given to children that are subject to the stone, under twelve years of age, unless they shall be naturally of a very hot constitution, and that, to them in quantities proportionable to their age. Neither is it to be admitted to them, that are entered within the limits of old age, because it will abbreviate their life, calorem innatum extinguendo'.
The tenth and last thing to be considered in the use of this water, is, that it be not given to such, as, by reason of the smalness and streightness of the veins, cannot extreat and pass it away by urine, though the infirmities of the stone, stranguries, &c. may otherwise require the use thereof. Neither is it to be given to such, as have cold stomachs, weak livers, feeble brains, and subject unto rheums; in a word, not to phlegmatick, not to any that abound with crudities, or have a cold and moist habit of body : for in all such it will soon infringe the natural heat, breed rheums, annoy the breast, occasion cramps, and divers other infirmities, as I have afore shewed.
The same observations must be kept in taking of this water against the strangury and ulcerations of the bladder and kidnies, as is directed in taking thereof, against the stone. In which affects it is good to give therewith some lubrifying, cleansing extract, or the like. And here note, that, if the water in all the aforesaid cases be given, with a fit and convenient adjunct, it will not only be the more effectual, and sooner conveighed to the affected parts, but less quantities also may serve to be taken; and then the stomach will not be so overpressed and charged therewith, as it is in the common manner of taking it. But, if it be at any time fit to overcharge and press the stomach therewith, it is in cases of the strangury and purulent ulcers of the bladder and kidnies.
I may not omit to give you notice, that divers symptoms or perillous accidents may happen oftentimes in the use of this water, which, because they cannot be well rectified or prevented without the presence of a physician, I here omit to nominate or treat of, and instead thereof, as also for divers reasons afore nominated, do advise you not to adventure the drinking thereof, without the advice and presence of a judicious physician; which if you do, you may haply, instead of the good you expect thereby, receive much hurt. As for outward uses, this water may sometimes asswage the itch, mundify and pallitate old sores; but no matter of moment is to be expected from it this way. And thus much concerning the nature and use of this water, whose vertues will be better known, if people make a right and good use thereof.
1 By extinguishing the innate heat.
The following letter, though it did not appear for many years after, it has been deemed advisable to be annexed to the preceding essay, being on the same interesting subject.
OBSERVATIONS LATELY MADE AT BATH.
Written to his much honoured Friend,
SIR E. G. KNIGHT AND BARONET, M. D. IN LONDON.
BY THOMAS GUIDOTT, M. B.
Facilius ducimur, quam trahimur. Senec.
London, printed in 1674. Quarto, containing twenty pages.
KNOW I you (as well as other ingenious and inquisitive persons) are
somewhat concerned, and desirous to understand what success my late enquiries have had into one of the grand mysteries of nature, I mean the baths of this city; considering especially that you were pleased the last summer to afford me the honour of your company and particular acquaintance, and to express a more than ordinary desire of my proceeding in this thing. Concerning which I must tell you, that as I have not been wanting, either to pains or pay, in my proceedings hitherto; so I have had the good hap (which hath been my encouragement) to meet with many considerable discoveries. And though the main body of the matter, collected touching this affair, be not yet ripe for the lancet, but will require a longer time to digest; yet some observations I shall now communicate, which will give a little satisfaction to an earnest desire, and make, in some measure, appear that we have been lame and defective hitherto, in a rational account and true understanding of the nature of these waters.
It hath been indeed the ill fortune of these baths (which, I may truly say, are as good if not better than any baths in the world) to lie a long time in obscurity, and not so much as to be mentioned among the baths of Europe, by any foreign writer, till about the year 1570, when that excellent person, Sir Edward Carne, sent ambassador by Queen Elisabeth, to Pope Julius the Third, and Paul the Fourth, made some relation of them to that famous writer, Andreas Baccius, then at Rome; and writing his elaborate book de Thermis,