Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/247

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Plague." "The quicksilver," she adds, "must be corked up fust and then sealed, for itt tis nitty for ones teth and eies." Further she recommends "Lente figs in readiness in case any of the family should have a swelling, for when roast and mashed together with a little mustard they will heal the sores." "Take the mistletoe which grows upon a oak-tree," advises another amateur, "dry it and beat it to powder and give as much of it as will lie upon a sixpence three mornings together."

This, at any rate, must be harmless. Very unpleasing is this cure against the infection: "Take of mummie (man's flesh hardened) cut small 4 ozs., spirit of wine 10 ozs. Put them into a glazed vessel and set in Horse dung to digest for the space of one month," or "Take the Brains of a young man that hath died a violent death together with its membranes, Arteries, Veins, Nerves and all the pith of the Back bone; bruise these in a stone mortar till they become a kind of pap, then put as much of the Spirits of wine as will cover three fingers' breadth, digest for half a year in Horse dung and take a drop or two in water once a day." The College of Physicians prescribed for the stricken people: "Take a great onion, hollow it and put