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Of The Winter

February 27, 2013

In Thomas Buckminster’s Almanack and Prognostication for 1598, much advice is given — on what weather to expect, when to set out different plants, when to be bled (melancholic persons should be bled when the moon is in Libra or Aquarius) and when to bathe (“If any will enter into Bath for clenlines sake, let it be done in Libra or Pisces”). He also includes a description “of the foure quarters of the yeere” telling the reader what illnesses to expect during different kinds of weather, and how to guard against them. The cures and preventatives described by Buckminster were not especially exotic or expensive; no powdered unicorn horn or saffron-filled philosopher’s eggs here. These things were beyond the means of his target demographic. Here is part of what he says “Of The Winter”:

In the Winter quarter, Rewmes and other humidities do increase in mens bodyes till the Spring or Equinoctiall: wherefore it is good to eate hotte meates, and now and then to drinke warme Wines, and to put in the brothes of Porredge the powder of dryed Sage or Margerom, or Garden Myntes: and to smell Muske, Cloues, Lauender, Amber Grece, or such like.

Sadly, Rewmes and other humidities have taken over the entire household and I don’t think all the ambergris in the world could help me write a proper post right now. Lavender and Garden Myntes sound more promising, though (as do the warme Wines) and with their assistance I hope to resume posting on Saturday. Stay dry, everyone!

From → Essays

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