A Discourse of the Preservation of the Sight: of Melancholike diseases; of Rheumes, and of Old age. By Andre DuLaurens. Translated by Richard Surphlet. 1599.
A Discovrse of the Preservation of the Sight: of Melancholike diseases; of Rheumes, and of Old age. (i.e., A Discourse of the Preservation of the Sight…) By M. Andreas Laurentius. (Andre Du Laurens, Andre DuLaurens) Translated out of French into English, by Richard Svrphlet. (i.e. Richard Surphlet or Richard Surflet.) London : F. Kingston for R. Jacson, 1599.
Below we have transcribed first (ophthalmic) discourse within the aforementioned work.
This first discourse shows that DuLaurens is not only an anatomist, but also a philosopher. He first notes that the brain is the seat of the soul. He reviews the merits of the intromission versus the extramission theories of vision, and correctly concludes that the intromission theory (whereby vision occurs because light enters the eye, as opposed to light or energy leaving the eye) is the correct description. By word frequency analysis, we see that DuLaurens is concerned with the braine, the minde, and the soule. He cites (from most to least frequently) Aristotle, Auicen (Avicenna), Hippocrates, “Arabiens,” Galen, and Plato. Useful ingredients in medicines are: eyebright, fennel, wine, sugar, mace (derived from the nutmeg tree), and betonie (i.e. betony or Stachys). Useful medicines are given as a water or a powder. Although explaining medical observations in terms of a “humour”, he principally cites only two of the Galenic humors: blood and melancholike / melancholie. (He mentions fleagme (phlegm) and choler less often.)
A Discovrse of the Preservation of the Sight: of Melancholike diseases; of Rheumes, and of Old age.
Composed by M. Andreas Laurentius, ordinarie Phisition to the King, and publike professor of Phisicke in the Vniuersitie of Mompelier.
Translated out of French into English, according to the last Edition, by Richard Svrphlet, Practitioner in Phisicke.
To the right honorable Sir Thomas West Knight, Lord Laware, and the right virtuous Ladie Anne his wife.
It hath been vsuall and accustomed (Right Noble and worthie Sir) in all ages, and amongst all sorts of people (though otherwise neuer so rude and barbarous) to adorne and eternize the manners, liues, conuersation, gests, birth and sayings of their famous and renowmed, with monuments either openlie and in liuely sort containing and specifying the same: or more closely and secretly insinuating as much, that so the praise and fame thereof might remaine and liue throughout all ages. The course was good and commendable; for so the excellent and renowmed deceased had but his due: the excellent and renowmed liuing, a glorious and beautifull spectacle, to stirre them vp vnto courageous and vndaunted perseuerance in still making vsurie of their excellencie: and the base, vile, and abiect persons (the spots and blemishes, yea the puddle and mudpit) of actiue, pregnant, and nimble nature, might rouse themselues from the lolling bed of their continuall snorting and dead sleepe. I meane not to blazon and decipher particularly, and from point to point the original & antiquitie of your Nobilitie: The vprightnes, innocencie, mildness, humanitie, bountifulnes and loue, in matters concerning your owne priuate affayres and businesses, wherewith your Honorable condition is richly set and garnished. (The vehement suspition of vndermining flatterie, the discontenting of your affections leaning to the contrarie, and the stirring vp of aduersarie emulation and repining enuie vtterly disswading me). Neither yet doe I meane to proclaime and lay abroad your faithfulnes in the actions of luftice, your wisedome in the discerning of things necessarie, and swaying of matters most conueniently for the weale publique, or your prowes and valorousnes in warlike feates and Martiall affayres, howsoeuer the cause of God, your Prince and Countrie: your birth, Dignitie and leisure, hath (I doubt not) put both you and many other godly and religious Noble men within his Realme in minde thereof, and stirred you vp amongst other your godly cares and studies, to striue to become able and worthie, if her sacred Maiestie should at any time call you or them vnto the same. But leauing all these and whatsoeuer other praises, that might iustly be giuen to the manifold vertues, shining both in your selfe, as also in your Honorable Ladie, holding out the markes of a good profession in the loue of the trueth, with sobrietie, modestie, and a good conuersation (notwithstanding the seas of sinne roring round about, and ouerflowing almost all estates and persons) and that so cleerely in the eyes and minds of all such as doe not willingly winke, and couer the bright light of inward touch, with the vaile of wilfull sencelesnes: my onely indeuour and drift is to intreate your Honors to receiue with fauourable acceptation and good liking these first fruites of my publique labours, as vndertaken for the good of all: so especially dedicated and deuoted vnto your particular seruice and vse, not so much in respect of any your present necessities, through any infirmities that I am priuie vnto, as to make way for the shutting out of such, as hereafter might creepe vpon you to your vntimely annoyance, assuring my selfe that in the reading thereof you shal finde a well stored treasurie of rich and rare Iewels, and in the practicing of it, the comfort of health and contentation in satietie of daies. Which the Ancient of daies, with all increase of Honor, wealth, and pietie graunt and giue vnto you, and all your succeeding posteritie.
Your Honors most vnfeignedly affected: Richard Svrphlet.
To the Reader.
Considering (gentle Reader) the lamentable times and miserable daies, that are come vpon vs in this last and weakest age of the world, partly by reason of the commonnes and multitude of infirmities, partly by reason of the strangenes and rebelliousnes of diseases breaking out more tediously then heretofore: and considering herewithall how apt and prone the multitude and common people are to affect, nay (which is more) to dote vpon and runne after the painted crew of seeming Phisitions and pratling practisers both men and women, gathering their skill, honestiz and most precious secrets, from the rich mines of brasenfaced impudencie and bold blindnes: I could not but admonish thee, as thou tenderest thy health and wealth, to auoide such noisome vermine and deepe deceiuers. And on the contrarie, I can but exhort and stirre thee vp to buy and reade this and other such like treatises, that so thou maist be the better prepared, (though not to take vpon thee the cure of thine owne or others their sicke estate) to discerne betwixt the ignorant and the learned, and the skilfull in word only, and those which are skilfull in deede. As also that thou maist bee the better able to manifest and make knowne by word or writing the state and true condition of thy disease, vnto the profound and long studied in that profession, who for the keeping of a good conscience and thy welfare, haue not spared their bodies or goods, or refused any good meanes, whereby they might become fit to furnish thee with wholesome counsaile and due reliefe in the daies of thy distresse. Here shalt thou finde by serious suruay, great dimensions within small and narrow bounds. This volume shalt thou finde stuffed full of Phisicke, as teaching by the lesser, what is to bee conceiued of the greater: and by a few, what is to bee followed in many. Full of Philosophie, as not resting in the things of the bodie, but deeply and diuinely laying open the nature of the soule. Herein is contained not onely great plentie of precepts, but also many controuersies of great moment and difficultie, sharply and pithily decided: and that with such varietie of authoritie, as is not almost in any other to bee found. This treatise shalt thou finde full of pleasantnes, as both the store of histories, and meanes of dispelling the mournfull fantasies of melancholike moodes, doe giue thee to conceiue: full of delight as maintaining the fight, the conductor and conueier of delights vnto the minde: full of healthfulnes, as teaching the way to auoide the rheume, that pregnant mother of so many maladies. And finally full of instruction and reliefe for the mitigating of the annoyances and inconueniences of drouping old age, as shewing the maner how to square out and pitch downe the firme and durable props of the continuing and long inioying of strong and lustie years. Which if thou striue and seeke accordingly to ataine, then shalt thou be the better able to discharge the duties of thy calling whilest thou liuest, and purchase to thy selfe a million of good witnesses, to reioyce and glad thy hart withall in the day of thy death and dissolution.
To the noble ladie, madame, dvtchesse of vzez, and covntesse of tonnera.
Madame, since the houre that I had the hap to become knowne vnto you, you haue done me the honour as to commit your health altogether into my hands, and to vouchsafe me as great credit, as if I had been a second aesculapius. This affection and goodwill, which I acknowledge to proceede more of your kindnes and naturall inclination, then of any deserts of mine, haue so preuailed with me, that neither the loue of my country, nor the number of my friends, which was not small, nor the honourable place of publique Lecturer, which I discharged with sufficient commendation in one of the most famous Vniuersities of Europe, could stay or hinder me; but that passing ouer all dificulties, and breaking all these bonds, I haue intirely and wholly deuoted my selfe vnto you, and haue followed you, wheresoeuer it hath pleased you to commanund me. I haue wherein I may exceedingly praise my selfe, and as hitherto to rest contented with my fortune, which hath been so fauourable vnto me, asto make all my seruice profitable and well liked of, I am verely perswaded Madame, that it was Gods will to vse me as the meanes for the lengthening of your yeares, and making of your old age more blessed and happie. You haue had sufficient triall thereof within these two yeares: for being very forcibly assailed with three of the most violent and extraordinarie diseases that euer man hath seene, and which were strong enough to haue shaken the best complexion in the world, and to haue spilt the prosperous estate of a more flourishing age then yours, yet you haue not felt any eclipse of your vigour and lustines. This is of God alone, (which hath opened my vnderstanding to finde out fit remedies, and himselfe to giue good successe thereunto) to whom I am bound to render all glorie. There now remaineth in you onely your three ordinarie diseases, which I labor to vanquish day by day, by obseruation of good Diet, and such gentle medicines as are no way able any thing to alter and hurt the good disposition of your naturall constitution. In your right eye, you haue some small beginnings of a Cataract, but the other is perfectly sound. You feele at certaine times some touches of the windie melancholie, but so sleight, as that they vanish away like the smoke. The thing that is most tedious and troublesome vnto you, is those pettie distillations and fluxes of humours which fall down vpon your eyes, teeth, armes and legges. Your spirit, which is able to conceiue of any thing in the world, be it neuer so rare & strange, hath been very inquisitiue to vnderstand the causes, and to know from whence all these accidents should proceede, which I haue oftentimes spoken largely of, and that both in vulgar and common speeches, as also in the artificiall and plaine tearmes of Phisicke. In the end my reasons became so well liked of by you, that (when you had withdrawne your selfe to the Abbey of Marmonster, to sport your selfe with the beautie of the place and goodnes of the ayre) you commaunded me to set downe the same in writing, and to cause them to come to light, vnder the shield of your authoritie. I cannot with honestie denie it vnto you, howsoeuer yet it were meete, that so waightie a matter according to the desert, should bee garnished with infinite varietie of authorities and proofes from the learned, which my memorie could not affoord, through my want of bookes. I haue therefore fitted vp and made readie three discourses for you, touching your three diseases: the first is, Of the excellencie of the sight, and the meanes to preserue it: the second is, Of windie melancholie, and other melancholike diseases: the third is, Of Rheumes, and the meanes for to heale them. And vnto these in the ende I haue ioyned a little treatise of Olde age, which may bee for your vse against the time to come. For there is no shadow of reason why I should as yet call you old, seeing you are not incombred with any of the infirmities of old age. For is not this one of the miracles of our age, to heare your communication so wise and graue, to see your vnderstanding and iudgement so sound and vncorrupt, your memorie so fresh and plentifull, and your sences so absolute, as that on your sound eye you vse to reade a farre off the smallest letter that any man can bring vnto you, without spectacles? Your hearing also continueth very easie and quicke, and your taste also as exquisite and daintie as euer it was: your heart so couragious and lustie, as that notwithstanding all the assaults that euer your windie melancholie could giue vnto it, yet it hath not been able at any time so to shake it, as that it could make it alter his course: your liuer so liberall, as that it ministreth store of blood more then is needfull: in so much as that we are costrained to cause you to tame it once a yeare. I will say nothing of the goodnes of your stomack, you your selfe know it well enough, hauing an appetite at euery houre, and disgesting whatsoeuer you bestow vpon it. Seeing then the faculties of the soule doe euery one of them so well execute and perfomre their functions and offices, can a man call the instrument thereof ouerworne or old? I am perswaded (Madame) that no man can call you old in any respect, if it were not that you are past fiftie, and that custome in accounts hath designed the first degree of old age to this number. You haue great occasions to praise God: for this long and happie life is a certaine testimonie of his loue, because the most excellent reward which he promiseth vnto them whom he loueth in this world, is, that they shall liue long vpon the earth. Cheere vp your selfe then Madame, you are but yet on the first step of your old age, which is ouergrowne with flourishing greene, and affoording and vndaunted courage; you haue other two behinde and remaining. God who hath giuen this strength vnto your bodie, and which hath honoured you with so gracious and good a soule, vouchsafe to make them as happie, as your Ladiship can wish or desire them.
Your most humble and obedient seruant:
The Author to the Reader.
I Doubt not but that these reatises are in danger to be euill spoken of, and bitterlie inueighed against by an infinite number of persons, which are borne for nothing else but to carpe and finde fault, before they be well knowne. Some Phisitions will finde themselues grieued, for that I haue made vulgar the secrets of our Art, and they will be able to alleadge that the Egyptians (which were the first inuentors of Phisicke) to the end they might not make so diuine and sacred a gift of God profane and common, did write their medicines in enigmaticall and vnknowne letters: but I will answere them with Aristotle, that a good thing by how much it is the more common, by so mueh it is the better, and that the Phisitions of Greece came once euery yeare into the beautifull Temple of Aesculapius, which was erected in Epidaure, to write in the sight of all the people, what soeuer rare and strange thing they had obserued in their patients. The naturall Philosophers, will be offended for that I now and then grapple with that great interpreter of nature, Aristotle: but they shall haue no other replie of me, the that of Aristotle himself. Plato (saith he) is my friend, & Socrates also but yet the truth is more friendly vnto me. I shall haue more to doe to satisfie them, which busie themselues with nothing else but faire speeches and proper tearmes: for without doubt they shall finde an infinite number of rude words, which may offend their too daintie and delicate eares: but if they will not consider how that I make it not my profession to write in French, yet I would haue them to hold me excused, because I am of opinion, as all other wise men are, that such curious sifting and hunting of words is vnworthie of a Philosopher, and that therefore I am contented (auoyding barbarisme, whereof I know they shall neuer be able altogether to condemne me) so to speake, as that I may cause to bee vnderstood the thing whereof I intreate. And as concerning all those enuious and malicious persons which will not cease to barke at me though they know not how to bite me, I doe onely wish that they themselues would enter the lists and doe something themselues, that so I might see if they were as good in correcting as in carping. I am certainly perswaded that this my small worke will be accepted of all the Honorable: and it is to them that I frame and fashion my selfe, then boldly may I proceede vnder the shadow and couert of their wings.
DECASTICON IN ANGLICAM
The First Discovrse, wherein is intreated of the excellencie of the sight, and the meanes to preserue it.
That the braine is the true seate of the Soule, and that for this occasion all the instruments of the sences are lodged round about it.
The Soule of man (that most noble and perfect forme, that is vnder the face of heauen, bearing for a signe and token of his excellencie, the liuely and true image of the Creator) although it bee in all poynts like vnto it selfe, not consisting of matter, or subiect to any diuision, and by consequent whole in all the bodie, and wholie in euery part of the same: yet the case so standeth, that in respect of the diuersitie of his actions, of the difference of his instruments wherewith it serueth it selfe, and of the varietie of obiects set before it: that it may seeme and appeare to the common people (after a certaine maner) to consist of diuers parts. The Philosophers themselues seeing the noblest powers thereof to shine more in one place then in another, haue gone about to lodge, and (as it were) to bound the limits thereof within the compasse of one onely member: in life maner as the Diuines (carried away by the wonderfull things which more cleerely manifest themselues in the heauens, then in any other part of the world) doe say that the heauens are the throne of God, although his essence bee infinite, incomprehensible, and stretching it selfe through euery thing that is).
[sidenote: Diuers opinios of the seate of the soule.]
For Herophilus beleeued that the Soule was lodged onely in the lowest part of the braine: and Zenocrates (on the contrary) in the vppermost part therof: Erasistratus, in the two membranes couering the braine, called of the Arabians, Mothers: Strato, betwixt the browes: Empedocles, suborned by the Epicures and Egyptians, in the breast: Moschion, in the whole bodie: Diogenes, in the arteries: Heraclitus, onely in the circumference of the bodie: Herodotus, in the eares: Biemor an Arabian, and Syreneus a Phisition of Cypers, in the eyes, because that men in them as in a glasse. doe behold all the passions of the soule: but all these in my iudgement are nothing els but fantasies and meere fooleries.
[sidenote: Aristotle his opinion.]
There is a great deale more likelihood in the opinion of Aristotle, that great expounder of nature, who thought that the soule had his proper seate in the heart, because that naturall heate, the principall instrument of the soule, is found in the heart, and this (saith he) liueth first and dyeth last, the onely storehouse of spirit, the originall of veines, arteries and sinewes, the principal author of respiration, the fountaine and welspring of all heate, containing within the ventricles thereof a subtile and refined blood, which serueth as a burning cole to kindle and set on fire all the other inferiour and smaller sorts of heate, and to bee briefe, the onely Sunne of this little world.
[sidenote: The heauens and the heart finely compared together.]
And euen in like sort, as the heauens are the principals, whereon depend and rest all other elemental generations and alterations: so the hart is the first and principall originall of all the actions and motions of the bodie. The heauens bring forth their wonderfull effects, by their motions, heate and influence: the heart by his continuall mouing (which ought no lesse to rauish vs, then the flowing and ebbing of Euripus) and influence of his spirits, doth put life into all the other parts, endoweth them with this beautiful and vermillionlike colour, and maintaineth their naturall heate. The mouing and light which are in the superiour bodies, are the instruments of the intelligences and of the heauens: of the intelligences as being the first cause of mouing in others, being themselues immoueable: of the heauens, as first mouing the other, and being themselues moued. The mouing of the heart and vitall spirit, which distributeth it selfe like vnto light, throughout, and that as it were in the twinkling of an eye, are the instruments of the mind and heart: of the minde, which is a chiefe and principall mouer, and yet not moued: of the heart, as of a chiefe and principall mouer which is moued of the minde. It is therefore the heart, according to the doctrine of the Peripatetikes, which is y true mansion of the soule, the onely prince and gouernour, in this so excellent and admirable disposing of all things in the gouernment of the bodie. Chrysippus and all the Stoikes haue followed the same opinion, and doe beleeue that all that region which containeth the parts which wee call vitall, is named of the Grecians and Latines Thorax, because is keepeth within it, as it were vnder lock, this heauenly vnderstanding (so called of Anaxagoras): this burning heate, (so called of Zeno) replenished with a million of sciences: this admirable fire, which Prometheus stole out of heauen to put soule and life into mankinde: this altering spirit, whereof Theocritus made so great account. Behold how these Philosophers haue diuersly spoken of the seate of the soule. It is not my minde to bestow anytime in the particuler examination of all these opinions, neither is it mine intent in this place to enter into any dispute, intending to content my selfe with the simple deliuerie of the trueth.
[sidenote: That the brain is the principall seate of the soule.]
For I assure my selfe that it shall be strong enough to ouerthrow all these false foundations. I say then that the principall seate of the soule is in the braine, because the goodliest powers thereof doe lodge and lye there, and the most worthie actions of the same doe there most plainly appeare. All the instruments of motion, sence, imagination, discourse and memorie are found within the braine, or immediatly depending therevpon.
[sidenote: The reasons to proue the same.]
Anatomie manifesteth vnto our eyes, how that there issue out from the lower part of the braine seuen great paire of sinewes, which serue at a trice to conuey the animall spirit vnto the instrument of the sences, and doe not any of them passe out of the head except the sixt paire, which stretch out themselues to the mouth of the stomacke.
[sidenote: The first.]
We see also that from the hindermost part of the braine (where the great and little braine doe meete together) doth proceede the admirable taile, the beautifull and white spinall marrow, which the Wiseman in his booke of the Preacher calleth the siluer threed, how it is carefully preserued within a sacred chanell, as Lactantius calleth it. From the same, men see that there rise a million little sinewes, which conuey the powers of mouing and feeling, vnto all such members as are capable of the same.
[sidenote: The second.]
Men doe also perceiue the outward sences placed round about the braine, which are as the light horsemen and messengers of the vnderstanding, the principall part of the soule. Philo saith, that when men come within the view of a princes guard, they thinke himselfe not to bee farre off: we see all the guard and seruants of reason, as the eyes, the eares, the nose, the tongue, to bee situated in the head: whereupon by consequent we ought to iudge that this princesse is not farre off.
[sidenote: The third.]
Experience also giueth vs to vnderstand, that if the braine haue his temperature altered: as for example, if it be too hot, as it falleth out in such as are franticke: or ouer cold, as it falleth out in melancholick men; it corrupteth presently the imaginatiue facultie, troubleth the iudgement, weakeneth the memorie: which is not incident in the diseases of the heart, as namely, either in a hectick feuer, or when a man is poysoned.
[sidenote: The fourth.]
The soule (saith that diuine Philosopher Plato) doth not please and content it selfe with that braine which is too soft, too close and compact, or too hard: it requireth a good temperature. If the proportion of the head be but a little out of square, so that it be either too great or too little, or too coppeld, as that which men reade of Thersites in Homer: or altogether round and not flat on the sides, as naturally it ought to be: men may perceiue all the actions of the soule to be depraued, and thereupon doe call such heads, foolish, without iudgement, without wisedome: all which ought to make vs as well to beleeue that the braine is as much the organe and instrument of all these actions: as the eye is the instrument of sight.
[sidenote: The fift.]
Furthermore, this kind of round shape which is peculiar vnto mankinde, this head thus lifted vp to heauen, this great quantitie of braine (which is almost incredible) doth shew very well that man hath something in his head, more then other liuing creatures. The wise Sages of Egypt haue very well acknowledged the same: for they did not sweare by any other thing but by their head, they ratified all their couenants by the head, and forbad the eating of the braines of liuing creatures: for the honour and reuerence sake which they bare to this part. I thinke also that the falling sicknes was not for any other reason called sacred of the ancients, but because it did assaile the soueraigne and sacred part of the body. Let vs then acknowledge the braine to be the principall seate of the soule, the originall of mouing and feeling, and of all the other most noble functions of the same. I know well that some curious spirits will aske me, how it can bee the author of so many goodly actions, seeing it is cold, and that the soule can doe nothing without heate.
[sidenote: The cause why the braine feeleth not.]
But I answere, that the braine hath not any particular feeling, for that it being the seate of common sence, must iudge of all such obiects, as about which sence is occupied. But a good iudge ought to bee free from all passions, and euery organe (sayth Aristotle) must bee without qualitie, according whereunto agreeth that, the christalline humour hath no colour, the eare hath no particuler sound, nor the tongue any taste. But and if it come to passe, that any organicall part decline from his nature, as if the christalline become yellow, all whatsoeuer presenteth it selfe to the sight of that eye, will seeme to bee of the same colour. As then the braine neither seeth nor heareth, nor smelleth nor tasteth any thing, and yet notwithstanding iudgeth very rightly of colours, sounds, smels and tasts: so neither was it any reason, that it should haue any particuler sence of feeling, which should cause it to feele the excesse of those qualities, which are tearmed the obiects of feeling and handling; it is sufficient for it to haue the knowledge and discerning thereof. As touching the other poynt, I affirme that the braine is in very deede hot, and that it cannot be called cold, but as it is compared with the heart.
[sidenote: The causes why the braine is of such temperature.]
It behoued it of necessitie to bee of this temperature, that so it might temper the spirits which were of a fierie nature, thereby the better to continue the kindes of liuing creatures, and to preserue them long aliue. For and if the braine were as hot as the heart, there would day by day arise trouble and sedition amidst the noblest powers of the soule: all the sences would be straying and wandring, all the motions would bee out of square, all our discourses mixed with rash headines, and our memories very flote and fugitiue, euen as betideth vnto franticke ones. Let nothing then hinder vs from acknowledging the braine to bee the most noble part of the whole body. This is that magnificent and stately turret of the soule, this is that goodly royall palace, the consecrated house of Pallas, this is the impregnable fort, enuironed with bones, as with strong walles, wherein is lodged the soueraigne power of the soule, (I meane reason) which comprehendeth and compasseth as with imbracing armes, the whole vniuersall world in a moment, without touching of the same, which flieth through the ayre, soundeth the depths of the sea, and surmounteth at the same instant, the pauements of the heauens, and which walking vpon their stages, measuring their distances, and communicating with the Angels, pearceth in euen vnto the throne of God, and at such time as the body is asleepe, suffereth it self by a holy flight, or delectable and sweete rauishment, to be carried euen to the beholding of God, according to whole image it was first framed. To be short, it is all in all (as sayth Aristotle) for that by the power it hath, it possesseth all, as being the place wherein (I say) this great princesse would rest her self as within her castle, from thence to commaund the two inferiour regiments, to hold in subiection the two lower forces, (I meane the Irascible and concupiscible) which would euery day be ready to fall away and reuolt. And yet I dare be bold to adde further, and (in stead of hauing named it among the chief and principall) to say that there is not any other part of the body besides the braine, which can truly be called noble and soueraigne, and that because all the other parts are made for the braine, and pay tribute thereunto as to their king.
[sidenote: Most cleere and euident proofe of the excellencie of the braine.]
Behold here the strength of my arguement, which in my iudgement is as cleere as the Sunne in his brightest shine. Mankinde differeth not from beasts in any thing but reason: and the seate of reason is in the braine: It is requisite the more commendably to reason and discourse, that the imaginatiue part of the minde should set before the vnderstanding part of the same the obiects whereabout they be occupied altogether simple without mixture, without matter, and freed from all corporall qualities. The Imaginatiue part can not conceiue them of is selfe, if the outward sences (which are his trustie spyes and faithfull reportsmen) make not certificate of the same. Hence then rise the necessitie of framing the instruments of the sences, the eyes, the eares, the nose, tongue and membranes as well inward as outward. The sences the better to take acknowledgement of their obiects, haue need of a local motion. For man, if he should not stirre from one place, but abide immoueable like an image, should not be able to conuey any store of varietie vnto the imagination. It is necessary then for the benefit and perfecting of the sences, to haue certaine instruments of motion: these instruments are two, the sinewes and the muscles: the sinewes by reason of their continued coniunction and adherence vnto their originall, (being like vnto that of the Sunne beames with the Sun) doe conuey from the braine that mouing power, seated in a most subtile bodie, namely, the animall spirit: the muscles after the maner of good subiects obey vnto their commandement, and incontinently moue the member either by stretching it forth or bowing it in, as the appetite or imagination shall wish and desire. The braine then (as is manifest) commandeth: the sinewes carrie the embassage, and the muscles obeying thereunto, expresse the intent of the minde. And euen in like sort as the skilfull horserider manageth the horse with the bridle, causing him to turne on the right hand or on the left, as best pleaseth him: euen so the braine by the sinewes boweth or stretcheth the muscles. These two instruments of voluntarie motion, should not know either how to be, or vndergoe these their ofices, if they were not fixed vnto some solide and immoueable body. Therefore it was behouefull to raise vp pillers, such as are the bones and cartilages, from whence the muscles doe rise, and into which they do insert themselues againe: and for that the bones could not bee ioyned or fastned together without ligaments, it must needes follow that they should haue their membranouse coates to couer them withall. And all these parts for their preseruation, stoode in neede of naturall heate and nourishment: this heate and nourishment being deriued from elsewhere, must needes haue their passages prepared by certaine pipes, and those are the veines and arteries: the arteries draw their spirits from the hart, the fountaine of the same: the veines receiue their blood from the common storehouse of the same which is the liuer.
[sidenote: The conclusion.]
And thus returning by the same steps, by which wee came hither, wee shall well perceiue, that the heart and liuer were not made for any other thing, but to nourish the heate of all the parts: the bones and cartilages, for rests and props vnto the muscles and sinewes the instruments of voluntary motion: the muscles and nerues for the perfecting of the sences: the sences, to set before the imaginatiue power of the minde their outward obiects: the imagination to carrie along the formes of things voide of substance, to be more deeply weighed of reason, which thereupon commendeth them to the custodie of memorie her treasuresse. Thus euery thing yeelding obedience vnto reason, and the braine being the principall seate of reason, we must needs affirme, that all the parts of the body were made for the braine, and must therfore acknowledge it as their chiefe and Soueraigne.
I will yet adde one other plaine and euident argument (which in my iudgement is not common) to testifie the excellencie of this part: which is, that it giueth shape and perfection vnto all the rest. For it is most certaine, that of the shape and quantitie of the braine, dependeth the grosnes, greatnes, smalnes: and in a word, euery maner of proportion hapning to the head, forasmuch as euery containing thing doth conforme it selfe continually vnto the contained, as the thing for which it was created and made. Ioyntly after the head, followeth the backe bone, which is framed of foure and twentie vertebres, besides the bone called Sacrum, and maketh that which men call the truncke of the body. If that hole in the head through which the marrow of the backe falleth be great, then must also the vertebres bee large. Vpon this backe bone doe all the rest of the bones stay and rest themselues, as the vpper timbers doe vpon the keele of a ship. As by name vpon high the shoulder bones, (whereunto are fastned the armes aswell on the one side, as on the other) and the twelue ribs: and below the bones of the small guts and hips, into whose hollow cauities the heads of the bones of the thighes are inserted: so that if all their proportions be duly obserued, it will appeare that the greatnes and grosnes thereof is answerable to that of the head, and by consequence to that of the braine, as the chiefe and principall. Vnto the bones are fastned the muscles, the ligaments, and the most of the other parts of the body doe rest themselues thereupon, and within their circuite and compasse are shut and made sure the most noble parts and the bowels. In few words; the bones impart vnto the whole bodie the shape whichthemselues haue receiued from the braine. This is the same which diuine Hippocrates hath very well obserued in the second booke of this Epidemiques, saying that of the greatnes and grosnes of the head, a Phisition might iudge of the greatnes of all the other bones and parts also, as veines, arteries, and sinewes. Let vs therefore conclude with the trueth, that the braine hauing such aduantage against the other parts, ought to be esteemed the chiefe and principall seate of the soule.
How the outward sences, the proper messengers of the soule, are only fiue, and all placed without the braine.
Seeing it is most euident that the soule is shut vp within the bodie, as it were in a darke dungeon, and that it cannot discourse, neither yet comprehend any thing without the helpe of the sences, which are as the obedient seruants and faithfull messengers of the same: it was needfull to place the instruments of the sences very neere vnto the seate of reason, and round about her royal pallace.
[sidenote: Why there are but fiue sences.]
Now the sences which we call externall are onely fiue; the sight, the hearing, the smelling, the taste and handling, of which altogether dependeth our knowledge, and nothing (as saith the Philosopher) can enter into the vnderstanding part of our minde, except it passe through one of these fiue doores.
[sidenote: The first reason.]
Some men striuing to shew reason for this number, say that there are but fiue sences, because that whatsoeuer is in the whole world, is compounded and made of onely fiue simple bodies, as the foure elements and the firmament, which they call the fift simple nature, being much of the nature of the ayre, free from all impurities, and abounding with shining lights. The sight (say the Platonists) which hath for his instrument these two twinne-borne starres, all full of bright straines and heauenly fire, which giueth light and burneth not, representeth the skie, and hath the light for his obiect. The hearing, which is occupied about nothing but sounds, hath for his obiect the beaten ayre, and his principall instrument (if we beleeue Aristotle) is a certaine ayre shut vp within a little labyrinth. The smelling participateth the nature of fire: for smels haue their being only in a drie qualitie caused through heate, and we receiue it for a principle, that all sweete smelling things are hot. The taste hath moysture for his obiect. And handling the earth for his.
[sidenote: The second.]
Othersome say that there be but fiue sences, because that there are but fiue proper sorts of obiects, and that all the accidents which are to be found in any natural body, may be referred, either to colours, or sounds, or tasts, or to those qualities wherabout touching is occupied, whether they be those which are principall, or those that spring of them.
[sidenote: The third.]
Some there be which gather the number of the sences to bee such, from the consideration of their vses, which are their finall ends. The sences are made for benefit of man: man is compounded of two parts, the body and the soule: the sight and hearing serue more for the vse of the soule then of the body: the taste and touching more for the body then the soule: the smelling for both the twaine indifferently, refreshing and purging the spirits, which are the principall instruments of the soule. But of the fiue sences I say that there are two altogether necessary and required, to cause the being and life simply: and that the three other serue onely for a happie being and life. Those without which one can not be, are taste and touching. Touching (if we will giue credit to naturall Philosophers) is as the foundation of liuelihood (I will vse this word, because it expresseth the thing very excellently). The taste serueth for the preseruation of the life. The sight, hearing and smelling serue but for to liue well and pleasantly. For the creature may be and continue without them. The two first (for that they were altogether necessarie) haue their meane inward, and so ioyned to the member, as that it is (as a man would say) inseparable. For in tasting and touching, the Phisitions doe make the meane and the member all one. The other three haue their meane outward, and separated from the instrument, as the sight hath the ayre, the water, and euery such body as is through cleere, for his meane. Aristotle in the beginning of his third booke of the soule, hath plaid the Philosopher in more serious sort then any of all these, but yet so darkly, as that almost all his interpreters haue found themselues much busied to find out his meaning, in such maner, as that he may seeme to haue gone about to hide the secrets of nature and mysteries of his Philosophie, not with the vaile of fained fables, as doe the Poets; neither yet with any superstitious conceit of numbers, as Pithagoras his sect were wont to doe; but by an obscure breuitie: resembling the cuttle fish, which to the end that she may not fall into the hand of the fisher, casteth vp a blackish water and so hideth her selfe.
[sidenote: The fourth.]
The sences (sayth Aristotle) are but fiue, because the meanes by which they worke, cannot be altered any moe then fiue wayes.
[sidenote: Aristotle his proofe for the number of the sences.]
The meanes by which we haue the vse of our sences, are onely two, the one is outward, the other is inward: the outward is the ayre or the water: the inward is the flesh or the membranes. The ayre and water do receiue the obiects that are outward, either as they are transparent, and then they serue the sight; or as they are moueable and thin bodies, and then they serue the hearing; or as moist ones doe receiue and embrace that which is drie, and then they be the subiects of smelling. The flesh or membranes may be considered of two maner of wayes; either according to the temperature of the foure elementall qualities, and then they bee the subiects of feeling; or els according to the mixture of the qualities drie and moyst, and then they are the subiects of relishes for the taste. But howsoeuer the case standeth for the reason of this number, we see there are but fiue externall sences, which are all placed without the braine. These are the proper posts and messengers of the soule; these are the windowes by which wee see cleerely round about vs. These are the watch or doore keepers which make vs way into their most priuie closet: if they performe their faithfull seruice vnto reason, then do they set before her a million of delightsome obiects, whereof she frameth marueilous discourses. But (alas and woe is me) how oft doe they betray her? Oh how many dangers do they inwrap her in, and how subiect are they vnto corruption?
[sidenote: The sences become the cutthrotes of reason.]
It is not without cause that this thrice renowmed Mercurie doth call the sences tyrants, and the cutthrotes of reason: for oftentimes doe they make captiue the same vnto the two inferiour powers; they make her of a mistresse a seruant; and of a free woman, a drudge and thrall to all slauerie. She may well commaund, but she shall be obeyed all one, as lawes and Magistrates are in an estate troubled with ciuill dissentions.
[sidenote: How that the sences steale away and rob reason of her libertie.]
Yea tell me, how many soules haue lost their libertie through the sight of the eyes? Doe not men say that that little wanton, that blind archer doth enter into our hearts by this doore, and that loue is shaped by the glittering glimces which issue out of the eyes, or rather by certaine subtile and thin spirits, which passe from the heart to the eye through a straite and narrow way very secretly, and hauing deceiued this porter, doe place loue within, which by little and little doth make it selfe Lord of the house, and casteth reason out of the doores? How oft is reason bewitched by the eare? If thou glue thine eare to hearken vnto these craftie tongues and cogging speeches, vnto these cunning discourses full of honie, and a thousand other baits, doubt not, but that thy reason wil be surprised: for the scout watch being fallen asleepe, the enemie stealeth vpon them softly, and becommeth master of the fort. The wife Vlisses, did not he stop the eares of his companions, fearing least they should bee bewitched and besotted with the melodious tunes and sweete songs of the Syrens? The licorishnes of the taste, surfetting and drunkennes, haue they not spoyled many great personages? And the sence of feeling, (which nature hath giuen to liuing creatures, for the preseruation of their kinde) being the grossest and most earthly of all the rest, and so by consequent the most delicate of al the rest, doth it not oftentimes cause vs to become beasts? Reason then is neuer ouertaken, but through the false and treacherous dealing of these doore keepers: no man can at any time come within her pallace, but by the priuitie of these watchmen, for that (as I haue sayd in the beginning of this chapter) the soule being fast shut vp within the bodie, cannot doe any thing but by the aide and assistance of the sences.
That the sight is the noblest of all the rest of the sences.
Amongst all the sences, that of the sight, in the common iudgement of all the Philosophers, hath been accounted the most noble, perfect and admirable.
[sidenote: Foure things prouing the excellencie of the sight.]
The excellencie thereof is to be perceiued in an infinite sort of things: but most principally in foure: as first, in respect of the varietie of the obiects which it representeth vnto the soule: secondly, in respect of the meanes of his operation, which is (as it were) altogether spirituall: thirdly, in respect of his particular obiect, which is the light, which is the most noble and perfect qualitie that euer God created: and lastly, in respect of the certaintie of his action.
[sidenote: The first.]
First therefore it is out of all doubt, that the sight causeth vs to know greater varietie and more differences of things, then any of the rest of the sences. For all naturall bodies are visible and may bee seene, but all of them cannot bee felt, neither doe they all affoord smels, tasts or sounds: the heauen, the worlds ornament, and most noble substance amongst all the rest, will not suffer vs to touch the same; neither can we heare the sweete harmonie which proceedeth of the concords and agreements of so many diuerse motions. There is nothing but the sight which acquanteth vs therewithall: soft bodies make no sound; neither is there any taste in the earth or fire, and yet euery one of these may bee seene. The sight, besides his owne proper obiect, which is colour, hath an infinit sort of others, as greatnes, number, proportion, motion, rest, situation and distances. And this is the cause why the Philosopher in his Metaphysiques calleth it the sence of inuention, as for that by the meanes thereof, all the goodliest Sciences and Arts haue been inuented and found out. By the meanes of this noble sence, it came first to passe that man should begin to play the Philosopher: for Philosophie was not begot, but by admiring of things; and admiratió sprung not from elswhere, then from the sight of pleasant and beautifull things. Whereupon the minde raising it selfe on hie toward heauen, and rauished with the consideration of so many marueilous things, was desirous to know the cause of them, and thereupon began to play the Philosopher. And yet I will say further, that the sight is the sence of our blessednes. For the chiefe felicitie of man consisteth in the knowledge of God. But there is none of the other sences that giueth vs better directions for the same, then the sight. The inuisible things of God (saith the Apostle) are manifested and made knowne vnto vs by the visible. This first and principall cause, which is infinite and incomprehensible, cannot be knowne but by his effects. Moses neuer knew how to see God, otherwise then vpon the backe and hinder parts; for from his countenance proceeded such a shining brightnes, as that it did altogether dasle his sight.
[sidenote: A thing worthie to be considered of Atheists.]
Come hither then thou Atheist whosoeuer thou art; set on worke this noble sence thoroughly to view, this excellent and perfect workemanship of God, this huge masse which containeth all things. Lift vp thy sight vp on high from whence thou hast taken thy beginning. Behold the throne of his Maiestie, which is heauen, the most complet and fully furnished of all his corporall and sensible workes: looke vpon ths infinite number of burning fires in the same, and among the rest, those two great flames which shew vs light, the one by day, and the other by night. Marke the gloriousnes of the Sunne when it ariseth, how it stretcheth forth his beames in a moment, from the one end of the world vnto the other and how at night it sinketh his chariot in the Ocean Sea. Consider the variable disposition of the Moone in changing her face and shape, the diuerse motions of the Planets, which moue continuallie with an incredible swiftnes and equalnes, and that in such sort as that they neuer strike one vpon another. If thou be ashamed to looke vp to Heauen, for feare of being constrained to confesse a Deitie, then cast downe thine eyes vpon the waters or earth: see and marke in the Sea a great wonder, how continually it threatneth the earth, and yet neuer ouerfloweth it: how it swalloweth vp all the riuers of the world, and swelleth neuer a whit the more, neither hath it been seene thereby to passe his limits. Weigh with thy selfe how the earth hangeth in the ayre, and so beareth vp it selfe, notwithstanding the huge massines of the same. Call to minde the differences of liuing creatures, which are all most perfect in their kindes; the beautie of stones; the infinite number of plants, the which are not lesse variable, then admirable for their properties. If all this cannot stir thee vp to the acknowledgement of this first and principall cause; if thy delight draw thee away, and steale from thee that time which thou oughtest to spend in the due consideration of such a manifold varietie, then come hither, I will shew thee in lesse then nothing, the summe and briefe of the great world; the head and chiefe of all that euer God wroght; the pourtraiture of the vniuersall world: that then being rauished with so merueilous and cunning a peece of worke, thou mayst be constrained to crie out with the great Magician Zoroaster, O man, thou wonder and vttermost endeuour of nature. I will not at this time set before thine eyes any more then the head, in as much as the cleere signes and markes of the diuine nature doe shine therein most euidently. View well this royall palace within, without, and throughout; behold the cunning workemanship of the braine, the three pillars which beare vp the roofe of this magnificent building, as an Atlas supporting the Heauens with his shoulders: beholde also his foure closets or cels, wherein the principall powers of the mind (if we will beleeue the Arabians) are lodged, as for example, the imagination in the two formost, the reason in the middlemost, and the memorie in that which is hindermost: obserue moreouer his christallike cleere looking glasse, his admirable net, which like to an intricate labyrinth is wouen of a million of small arteries, interlaced and wrought one within another, in which the spirits are prepared and refined; the originall of sinews, the siluer thred, and his incredible fecunditie in the bringing forth of sinewes; the chanels and water pipes, through which the excrements of the braine are purged. But and if thou will not be kept vp within this royall pallace, come forth and thou shalt see in the forepart of the head these two bright shining Starres, the two looking glasses of the Soule, as those that shadow out vnto vs all the passions of the same: thou wilt admire their beautifull christalline humor, which is more cleere and pure, then any orientall pearles; the pollished and exquisite garnish of the coats, the marueilous nimblenes of the muscle, but especially of the amourous pulley. On the sides thou shalt see the eares, which will no lesse astonish thee: for is it not a wittie exploite of nature to close vp in so small a hole, a drumme hard laced, hauing on the hinder part two small strings, and three little bones, resembling a forge, a hammer and a stirrop, three small muscles, and a labyrinth contayning the inward ayre; two windowes, round, after the fashion of an egge, one nerue, and one gristlie vessell, which stretching it selfe to the roofe of the mouth, causeth that goodly sympathie or mutuall suffering, which is betwixt the instruments of hearing and speaking? And what wilt thou say to that little peece of flesh which moueth it selfe a hundred thousand waies, like vnto an Eele, I meane the tongue, which is the reuealer of all our conceits, the principall messenger of the minde, which singeth (as saith the Apostle) praise vnto his Creatour, and oftentimes curseth men, which rauisheth, bendeth, thundreth, encourageth the generous minde to fight, which hath power to destroy and ouerturne most florishing Empyres, and to set them againe in their former state. To be short, O thou Atheist consider at once, and all together (if thou be not disposed to take the paines with euery part by it selfe) the beautie and maiestie shining in such sort in the face, as that it causeth all other liuing things to tremble thereat: shalt thou not finde therein some sparkles, or rather I know not what bright beames of the Deitie? Shalt thou not therein also finde the markes and engrauen forme of the Creator? And hauing viewed the whole proportion of the same, shalt thou not, whether thou wilt or no, be constrayned to crie with the kingly Prophet: Thy hands O Lord haue fashioned me, I will magnifie thee as long as I liue. How surpassing excellent then is the sight, seeing that in acquanting vs with so many wonderfull things, and such diuersitie of obiects, it leadeth vs as it were by the hand vnto the knowledge of God?
[sidenote: The second proofe of the excellencie of the sight.]
The second poynt, declaring vnto vs the excellencie of the sight, is the meanes of his operation, which is altogether liuely: for the sight performeth his office at an instant, and that in places farre remoued and distant, without mouing it selfe from place to place. I intend (to the end that euery one may know the perfection of this sence) to compare the same, and make it like vnto the vnderstanding.
[sidenote: A comparing of the sight and vnderstanding together.]
Euen as the vnderstanding part of the minde receiueth from the imaginatiue the formes of things naked and voide of substance: euen so the sight is the subiect of formes without bodie, which the Philosophers call intentionals. The vnderstanding comprehendeth the vniuersall world, no place or roome in the vnderstanding taken vp, or any whit more pestered thereby, it containeth Heauen and earth, without any maner of incumbrance from the one to the other so contained therein: the sight comprehendeth also the Heauen, without admitting of any place thereto; the hugest mountaines in the world doe enter all at once, and that vndiminished through the apple of the eye, without any maner of offence through straines of entrance. The vnderstanding iudgeth at one and the very same time of two contraries, as of right and wrong, placeth them indifferently in it selfe, attaineth to the knowledge of the one by the other, and bandeth them vnder one and the same science. The eye at one instant receiueth and is occupied about blacke and white, and distinguisheth them perfectly, the knowledge of the one being no maner of impeachment to the knowledge of the other, being y which the other sences are not capable of. For if a má haue tasted any bitter thing, his knowledge to iudge aright at y very same instant of that which is sweet will faile, & deceiue him. The vnderstanding in a moment whirleth round about the world: the sight likewise receiueth at one instance of time the whole widenes of heauen. All the other sences doe moue by intercourse of time. And this is the reason why men see the lightning, before they heare the thunder, although that neither of them bee made before or after other. The vnderstanding is free of it own nature, and hath a will either to discourse or not to discourse: The sight in his function hath as it were a certaine kinde of libertie, which nature hath denied vnto the other sences. The eares are alwaies open, so as the nose is also, the skinne is alwaies subiect vnto cold and heate, and other the iniuries of the ayre: but the eyes haue eyelides which open and shut when wee will, for the furtherance or staying of our sight, as best shall please our selues.
The third thing which I haue to testifie the excellencie of the sight, is the certaintie of the function. For it is out of all doubt that this is the most infalliable sence, and that which least deceiueth: according to that which mé are wont to say, when they wil assuredly auouch any thing, namely, that they see it with their owne eyes. And the prouerbe vsed amongst men of olde time, is most true, that it is better to haue a witnes which hath seene the thing, then ten which speake but by hearesay. Thales the Milesian Philosopher said, that there was as much difference betwixt sight and hearing, as betwixt true and false. The Prophets themselues to confirme the trueth of their prophesies, called them by the name of visions, as being most true and certaine things.
[sidenote: The third proofe of the excellencie of the sight.]
Finally, the excellencie of the sight appeareth in his particular obiect, which is the most noble, common and best knowne of all others: I call it the most noble, because it is endowed with the goodliest qualitie that is in the whole world (that is to say) the light, which is of an heauenly ofspring, and which the Poets call the eldest daughter of God. I call it the commonest, because indifferently it communicateth it selfe vnto all. And I call it the best knowne of vs, in as much as all other naturall bodies do more or lesse consist of mixt colour: and for that there cannot be any part therof in the world, but that it will be attained and gotten by sight. Let vs then say with Theophrastus, that the sight is as it were the forme and perfection of man: with the Stoikes, that the sight maketh vs to draw neere vnto the diuine nature: and with the Philosopher Anaxagoras, that it seemeth that we were borne onely to see.
Of the excellencie of the eye, the proper instrument of sight.
If the sence of sight be wonderfull, the member or instrument seruing for the same can not but goe beyond all wonder: for it is framed so cunningly, and of such beautifull parts, as that there cannot be the man, which is not rauished with the consideration of the same: and for my selfe, I know not whether with Plotine and Sinesius I should call nature some magicall inchauntresse or iuglar, for hauing inclosed in so small a starre so manifold gracious influences, and made a worke so farre surpassing all other her common and ordinary ones. The Egyptians haue worshipped the Sunne, and called it the visible Sonne of the inuisible God: and wherefore shall not we admire the eye, which (as the ancient Poet Orpheus affirmeth) is the Sun of this little world, more notable without comparison, then that the great world?
[sidenote: A comparing of the Sun and the eye together.]
The great Sunne by the stretching forth of his beames doth enlighten the whole world, but it reapeth neither profit nor pleasure by this his ministerie, neither doth it selfe see any thing of all that, which it causeth vs to see: The eye that pettie Sunne, in representing vnto vs whatsoeuer coloured bodies that there are, doth therewithall see and acknowledge them all it selfe, yea it pleasantly delighteth it selfe therein together with the minde, and also perceiueth the fashion, greatnes, and distances of the things about which it is occupied, which no other of the instruments of sence can doe. Plato for the honour he bare vnto this diuine part, called it celestiall and heauenly; he beleeueth that the eye is all full of such straines and fire as the starres haue, which shineth and burneth not.
[sidenote: The eyes are the looking glasses of the minde.]
Orpheus called the eyes, the looking glasses of nature: Hesichius, the doores for the Sunne to enter in by: Alexander the Peripatecian, the windowes of the mind, because that by the eyes we doe cleerely see what is in the same, we pearce into the deepe thoughts thereof, and enter into the priuities of his secret chamber. And as the face doth shadow out vnto vs the liuely and true image of the minde, so the eyes doe lay open vnto vs all the perturbations of the same: the eyes doe admire, loue, and are full of lust. In the eyes, thou maist spie out loue and hatred, sorrow and mirth, resolution and timorousnes, compassion and mercilesnes, hope and despayre, health and sicknes, life and death.
[sidenote: All the passions of the minde are to be espied and seene in the eye.]
Marke I pray thee, how in the feates of loue the eyes can craftely flatter thee, how they become courteous, kinde, full of fauour, craftie, alluring, rowling, and strangely enchaunting thee: in hatred how they looke fierce and sterne; in bold attempts, loftie and continually glistening; in feare cast downe, and as it were set fast in the head; in ioy, pleasant and cleere; in pensiuenes, all heauie, mournfull and darke. To be short, they be wholly giuen to follow the motions of the minde, they doe change themselues in a moment, they doe alter and conforme themselues vnto it in such maner, as that Blemor the Arabian, and Syreneus the Phisition of Cypres, thought it no absurditie to affirme that the soule dwelt in the eyes: and the common people thereabout, think so vntil this day, for in kissing the eyes they thinke they kisse the soule.
[sidenote: Momus condemned.]
See here thy selfe condemned, O shameles findfault, and vtterterly ouerthrowne in thine action, and delay not but come and make condigne satisfaction, by honorably recompencing of nature, whom thou hast so maliciously and falsely accused of follie, in the framing of mans bodie, for that she did not set two windowes, next neighbours to the heart, through them to spie all the passions of the same. Canst thou wish more goodly windowes then these of the eyes? Doest thou not see therein as in a glasse, the most hidden things of the mind? The poore man, at the barre doth he not reade written in the eyes of his iudge his sentence either of condemnation or absolution? There is (saith Theocritus) a broad trodden way betwixt the eye and the heart: a man can not so dissemble the matter, but that such will be the passion of the eye, as is the passion of the heart. It grieueth me that euer I should finde so vaine a discourse, as should containe the eger desire of any man to haue the breast framed of christalline cleerenes, to the end he might see what is within the heart, seeing we are alreadie possessed of this round christalline humour within our eyes, which casteth forth most liuely light, much like the glittering beames comming from a shining glasse moued in the Sun. But if it may be granted me to mixe one dram of Phisick amongst the large masse of these Philosophicall and Poeticall sentences, I dare auouch that in the eyes wee perceiue and discerne, the whole estate of the health of the bodie.
[sidenote: That the eyes doe shew the whole estate of mans health.]
Hippocrates that sacred Oracle of Greece (which all the world as yet euen to this day hath in singular reuerence and rare admiration) hath obserued the same very well in his Epidemickes, and in his treatise of Prognostications he commandeth the Phisition, when he goeth to see the sicke partie, to behold and looke well vpon the face, but chiefly vpon the eyes, because that in thé as in a glasse, is easily espied the strength or weaknes of the animal powers: if the eye be cleere and bright, it maketh vs well to hope: but and if it bee darke, withered, and clowdie, it presageth death. Galen calleth the eye a diuine méber, & that part of euery liuing thing which most resembleth the Sun, and there withall doth so highlye steeme of it, as that he verely beleeueth that the braine was made onely for the eyes. The Lawyers doe hold it as a Maxime, that a blind man cannot plead or handle a case well, because he cannot see the maiestie of the Iudge. Aristotle that light of nature, in his second booke of the generation of liuing things, sayth, that from the eyes men take infallible signes of fruitfulnes, as, if in dropping some bitter water into a womans eye, she by and by feele the taste thereof vpon her tongue, it is a signe of her aptnes to conceiue. The eyes (sayth the same Philosopher) are full of spirit and seede: and this is the reason, why in new married persons, they bee so much the lesser and as it were languishing. But what neede I to alleadge so many proofes concerning the excellencie of these two Sunnes, seeing that nature her selfe doth sufficiently demonstrate the same vnto vs?
[sidenote: Natures care for the preseruation of the eyes.]
Let vs reade in the booke of nature, and see how carefull she hath been to preserue the eyes, as her most deare and trustie messengers: let vs admire the arte and skill she hath vsed in working their safetie and defence, wee shall finde her not to haue forgotten or left out any thing, but so to haue bestirred her selfe, as those men which haue a purpose to fortifie a place, and make it impregnable.
[sidenote: The fortifications seruing for the safetie of the eye.]
First she hath lodged them, as in a bottome or little valley, that so they might not be subiect to the assaults of manifold dangers and hurts: and to the end that nothing might commaund this little valley, she hath raised vp foure notable bulwarkes all fortified with bones, as hard as any stone, which in such sort doe swell and bunch out, as though they were little hillockes made to receiue the blowes, and beare off the violence of euery enemy that might assaile them. Aboue them is the brow bone, vnderneath them the cheek bone: on the right and left hand the two corners, the one of them somewhat greater then the other, and is that which is next the nose; the lesser one being that which is set right ouer against it. And for as much as the forepart of this place lay wide open without any couer, (for feare that the prince commanding the same (which is the eye) should be ouertaken or offended with too much winde, cold or smoke) nature hath made as it were a draw-bridge, to be pulled vp and let downe as the gouernour shall commaund, and this is the eye lid, which openeth and shutteth as best pleaseth vs. The chaines by which this bridge is drawne & let fall, are the muscles, the instruments of voluntary motion. It appeareth then plainly enough, by this great care which nature hath for the preseruation and defence of the eyes, how excellent they are, and therewithall we haue our lesson taught vs, how carefull we ought to bee for the preseruation thereof.
Of the composition of the eye: in generall.
Seeing it is now time to lay open the skilfull workmanship of these bright starres appearing and rising together, I purpose to describe them in such liuely sort and perfect maner, as that the most curious, and such as are borne onely to carpe (it may be) will content and hold themselues satisfied therwithall, letting passe all those notable obiections and questions, which might bee made about the parts of the eye, for that I haue at large handled them in the fourth booke of my Anatomicall workes. And euen as Cosmographers and those which trauailing applie themselues curiously to obserue and marke things, do first inquire of the names of the prouinces, view and consider the situation, beauty, largenes, strength and entrances of cities, together with whatsoeuer els may be seene without, before they enter into them: so will I describe the forme, situation, fortresses, largenes, vse, and number of the eyes, with whatsoeuer els may bee marked in generall, before I enter into any particular search of the particular and pettie parts of the same.
[sidenote: The names of the eye.]
The Grecians call the eyes [non-Roman alphabet], because they make vs see, and the Poets affirme that they are the children of the Nymph Thea. The Hebrewes haue called them by the name of High, to put vs in minde from whence we sprung, as also to teach vs, that our eyes must serue vs to behold the things which are high. The Latines call them Oculi, because they are as it were hidden and inclosed within a hollow valley.
[sidenote: The forme of the eye.]
The shape and figure of the eye is round, but not euery way: for it is somewhat long and steeple fashioned, hauing his foundation outward, and his top inward towards the sinew of sight.
[sidenote: The cause of the roundnes of the eye.]
This figure was most agreeable vnto it, to the end it might containe much, moue nimbly, and free it selfe of offered iniuries. The Mathematicians doe maintaine, that the sphericall figure is of all other most apt to containe much: and Ophthalmists do confidently affirme, that if the eye had not been round, it could neuer haue comprehended the hugenes of great bodies, neither yet could euer haue seene at one time many obiects, because that no man can see but by a direct line. On what side soeuer then that the eye turneth it selfe, many lines doe offer themselues at once to the apple of the eye which is round: but this could not by any meanes come to passe if it were flat or fouresquare. This circular shape doth also serue the eye, that it may moue the more nimbly and easily, whether it bee vpward or downward, to the right hand, or to the left, or circularly: for sphericall bodies doe moue as it were of themselues, being stayed and resting onely vpon a narrow poynt. And I conceiue this roundnes not to bee vnprofitable for the defence of the eye: for amongst all the sorts of figures the sphericall or round figure is the strongest, and withstandeth the assaults of outward hurts and harmes, because it is all alike, and hath no vneuenes in it: therein a man shall neither finde corner nor poynt, which may work the ruine and dissolution of the same.
[sidenote: The situation of the eye.]
The eyes are seated vpon high in the body, in the forepart thereof, and as it were in a valley. Vpon high, to discouer from afarre, and to keepe that nothing may assaile vs at vnwares: they serue the creature for spies and watches, and are oftentimes called Phares in the holie Scripture.
[sidenote: The cause why they be situated on high.]
But watchmen are vsually wont to bee placed in such plots as doe ouerlooke all the rest: and no man assigneth any other place to the lanterne, but the top of the tower and highest place of the ship.
[sidenote: And the cause why before.]
They are set in the forepart of euery creature rather then behinde, because that euery liuing thing moueth forward: by which meanes it hath the oportunitie to spie out whatsoeuer might offend it: and indeede it is not at any time permitted the watch, to stand with their backs or blind sides toward the enemie. Such as write of Anatomie, say that it was necessary to place the eyes forward: for that the sight had great need of a verie soft and marrowish sinew, that by it vpon the sudden there might great store of spirits bee brought vnto the eyes: and that such sinewes cannot possibly bee found to put forth backward, seeing that way there is none that spread themselues, but such as are too hard and drie. I my selfe haue elsewhere approued this reason, but hauing afterward obserued, that all the nerues doe rise from the hinder part of the braine, and hauing seene the optickes to rise also from thence as well as the rest, I was enforced to chaunge mine opinion.
[sidenote: The cause why they be set in a hollow place.]
Finally, the eyes are fastned within a little hollow pit (which the common people call a collet) for their better safetie, and to preuent the prodigall expence of spirits. This little valley is fortified and entrenched on euery side, either with the brow bone, or with the bone of the nose, or the cheeke-bone, all which are raised round about the same in maner of little hillockes: and and for that the forepart was without any thing to couer it, nature hath shut it in with a lid, which openeth and shutteth at our pleasure, for feare that the eye should bee corrupted and turned from his nature, either by the offence of too much light; or least that it being alwaies open, his spirits should spend and quite vanish away; or least in sleeping, it might bee hurt by outward causes. To which causes I will yet adde one other of mine owne, which is, that if the eye should neuer shut, and thereby the spirits vncessantly be gazing vpon the light, it would come to passe that they would bee vnable to withdraw themselues so speedily into their center, and our sleepe would neuer be so peaceable: for the Philosophers are of opinion, that sleepe is caused by the retraction of the spirits into their secret and inner roomes.
[sidenote: The substance of the eye.]
The nature of the eye, which men call in anatomicall tearmes the substance of the eye, is altogether soft, bright and shining cleere, thicke and waterish: soft, that so it may readily admit and receiue the formes of things: shining and through cleere, that so the light may pearce it through, as also that thereby the instrument may haue some correspondencie with his obiect: thicke, to the end that his obiects may haue, wherin the better to rest themselues. Now it is the water alone, that can haue all these properties: whereupon it commeth to passe that the eye is of a waterish substance, and not of a fierie substance, as Plato sayd: which thing I shall handle more largely in the 10. chapter.
[sidenote: The vse.]
The vse of the eye is double: the one is to serue as a guide and watch to discouer whatsoeuer might annoy, and this is common to all liuing creatures: the other is proper to man alone, being, to teach him the knowledge of God by the things that are visible, to perfect his vnderstanding, and thirdly to consummate his happines: for by the sight man is made partaker of the beautie of the heauen, by which meanes his vnderstanding part is much beautified and inriched, and he himselfe made as it were like vnto his Creator.
[sidenote: The number.]
The eyes are two, and that because of the excellencie and necessitie of this sence, that thereby the one might serue, if that the other were either diseased or vtterly lost. They be also two in respect of the better perfecting of the sight, for by that meanes a man may see many things at once: for if that man had but one eye, and that placed in the middest of the forehead, as the Poets faine of the Cyclops, wee should onely see the things right afore vs, and not those which should be on either side.
[sidenote: That they can not moue the one without the other.]
These two eyes, although they bee farre enough separated the one from the other, haue such a fellow-feeling, and doe so well agree the one with the other in their actions, as that the one of them cannot moue without, or otherwise then the other: for it is not in our abilitie, to looke vp with the one and downe with the other, or els to stir the one and hold the other still.
[sidenote: Aristotle his error.]
Aristotle imputeth this to the coniunction of the sinewes of sight, and is perswaded that the eyes doe moue together, because they haue the originall and principal cause of their motion, which is found to be in the coniunction of the sinew of sight: common. But this worthie man deceiueth himself in this, as he is ouertaken almost in al other things, wherein he hath to doe concerning Anatomie. The nerue optick medleth not at all with the motion of the eye, it onely bringeth the spirit of sight: for being stopped in the disease called Gutta Serena, the sight is quite lost, and yet the motion thereof abideth stil. It behoueth vs therefore to attribute the cause thereof, to the end and perfection of this sence. The eyes must moue together, that so the obiects thereof may not seeme double. For if wee could looke vp with the one and downe with the other, at one and the same time, this sence which is the worthiest of all the rest, should euermore delude it selfe and become most imperfect, in as much as euery single thing that it shuld behold, would appeare double: the proofe whereof may easily be had, if with thy finger thou force the one of thine eyes either higher or lower then the other.
[sidenote: The temperature.]
The temperature of the eye is cold and moist.
[sidenote: Their feeling.]
It feeleth most exquisitely, and hath a merueilous fellow-suffering with the braine.
[sidenote: The colours of the eyes.]
Man alone hath his eyes of sundry colours: and this varietie commeth either of the humors, or of the grape coloured coate, or of the spirits. The variation by humors, is because they alter three waies, as either in their situation and placing in the eye, which is sometimes more deepe and inward, and sometimes more superficiall and outward; or else in their substance, as that which may be grosse or subtile, cleere or dim: or lastly in their quantitie. If the christalline humor be very bright, cleere and subtile, if also it be large, and placed forward in the eye, the eye will seeme fierie and sparkeling; if contrariwise it be duskish, grosse, and set very much inwardly, the eye will shew blacke or browne: the grape-like tunicle, being oftentimes of diuerse colours, is also a cause of this varietie, and the spirits doe not a little further and serue to procure the same.
A very particular description of all the parts of the Eye, and chiefely of the sixe muscles of the same.
Is it not one of the wonders of the world, that this little member (which seemeth as though it were nothing) shall be made of more then twentie seuer all parts, all differing one from another, and yet so decently ioyned, and incorporated one with another, as that all the wit of man is not able to blame the same, either of want or surplussage? I purpose to describe one after another, and that in such order, as is to be obserued, if one should goe about to dissect or anatomise the same.
[sidenote: A briefe rehearsall of the parts of the eye.]
The eye then is framed of sixe fleshie strings, which men call muscles, and these cause it to moue vpward, downeward, to the right side, to the left, and circularlie, of sixe coates or tunicles, which inwrap all the parts together, nourishing and contayning the humors euery one of them, within their owne precincts and bounds; of three humors, all cleere and thorough-shining, which doe receiue, alter and keepe all the obiects of sight; of two sinewes which conuey the animall spirit, the one seruing the sight, and is therefore called the nerue opticke, the other seruing for the motion of the eye, of many small veynes which serue for victualers; and of as many arteries to prolong the life thereof; of much fat, by his slipperines to make it nimble, and of two little glandules or kernels, which keepe it moist and fresh, least by his continuall motion it might be ouer heat, and so ouer drie.
[sidenote: The description of the muscles.]
The muscles were of necessitie prouided and giuen to the eye, that so it might moue on euery side: for if the eye stoode fast, and immoueable, we should be constrained to turne our head and necke (being all of one peece) for to see: but by these muscles it now moueth it selfe with such swiftnes and nimblenes, without stirring of the head, as is almost incredible, and this is the cause why they are tearmed of the Poet rolling.
[sidenote: The foure streight muscles.]
The muscles of the eye are onely sixe, foure direct or streight, and two oblique or crooked ones; the direct serue for direct motion, as the first of them draweth the eye vp, the second downe, the third towards the nose, and the fourth from the nose.
[sidenote: The error of the olde writers.]
The olde writers being groslie conceited in matters of Anatomie, haue thought that these foure muscles sprung from within, from the membrane called Duramater, but they were foulie deceiued, for so they ought not, and much lesse could they. They ought not, because the said membrane is a very sensible part, and couereth the sinewes of sight, in such maner, as that the muscles performing their offices, and mouing backeward toward their roote and originall, should presse the sinew, hinder the passage that should be at libertie, for the spirit to passe through, and for the exquisite sensiblenes that is in Duramater, their motion should be alwaies ioyned with much paine. They cannot rise from thence, because their foundation and stay would not be firme and fast enough, their piller would haue been to weake, for it is a poynt of necessitie, that the drawing part should euer be stronger then that which is drawn. We must therefore beleeue and hold, that these foure muscles doe take their begininng from within the collet, from some part of the bone, called Sphenoides, and holding diuerse courses, doe fasten themselues vnto the white coate:
[sidenote: The two oblique muscles.]
the two other muscles called oblique, doe stirre the eye in his oblique, and as it were circular motion, the one aboue, and the other below, alwaies outwardly, and neuer inwardly, because the eye hath nothing within to beholde or looke vpon.
[sidenote: The amorous pulley.]
The first of the obliques springeth from the place of the foure direct ones, and as it commeth neere vnto the great corner, it maketh a round and white string, which passing through a little pipe or cartilagenous ring in forme of a pulley, maketh a semicircular motion, and inserteth it selfe in oblique maner into the membrane coniunctiue, or white coate before spoken of. This skilfull peece of worke hath laine secret vntill this age, wherein an ingenious Anatomist, named Fallopius, hath detected the same. The other springeth from the great corner, and fastneth it selfe in the little, drawing the eye in oblique maner towards the eare.
[sidenote: Pleasant deuised names for euery one of the sixe muscles.]
We will giue for sport sake, vnto euery muscle his proper name, and so that which draweth the eye vpward, shalle be called proude and haughtie: and that which moueth it downeward, humble and lowly: that which moueth it toward the nose, reader, or drinker, because in reading or drinking, we turne our eyes toward our nose: the fourth which moueth the eye toward the lesse corner, disdainefull or angrie, for that it maketh vs looke awrie: the two oblique or circular ones shall be called rowling and amarous, because they make the eye to moue priuilie, and to cast out wanton glaunces.
[sidenote: The error of the old writers, about a seuenth muscle.]
All Anatomists doe adde a seuenth muscle, which should couer the nerue opticke, keepe it firme, and stay the eye that it goe not out of his place: but they are deceiued, for there is no such found, but in fourefooted beasts, which haue their eyes so much hanging downe toward the earth; but man ordinarilie carying his face lifted vp to Heauen, had not neede of any such. Some there be which thinke this muscle to be as necessarie for men as beasts, to the making of a setled and direct motion, and such as should resemble the musicall rest, as also to keepe the eye staied and stedfast, when we doe earnestlie behold any thing: but I assure you, that such direct and bent motion is made, when all the sixe muscles together indifferently doe stretch their fibres, as in like sort, when they slacke themselues, the eye standeth not still but moueth incessantly. If these assertions doe not satisfie them, then let them shew me this seuenth muscle, that I may beholde it with mine eye, and I will beleeue them.
Of the sixe coates of the eye.
The eye being christallike cleere, and of a waterish substance within, required necessarilie, some staying holde by bodies more stable and stedfast, for otherwise the humours would tumble as storme-beaten ships, neuer being at rest.
[sidenote: The necessitie of the coats of the eye.]
Therefore nature to preuent this mischiefe, hath framed certaine little filmes or skins (which are called of some tunicles or coates) which vnite and fasten together the whole eye, cause the seuerall humors to abide within their proper bounds, and therewith all, conuey their nourishment vnto them. The certaine number of these tunicles is not throughly concluded of: for some make moe, and some fewer. Hippocrates doth acknowledge but foure,
[sidenote: That there are but fiue tunicles or coats.]
Galen hath obserued fiue, and the Anatomists of our time make vp the number of nine. As for my selfe, hauing with all carefulnes perused the leaues of this booke of nature, I cannot finde any more then sixe, which are, the white, the hornie, the grape-like, cobweb-like net-like and glassie coate. For whereas some doe count of one that should be like vnto the eye-bries; it is nothing else but an appendant part of the vitreous: as that which they call the hard coate, is a parcell of the hornie. As concerning the ninth, which is made of the endes of the muscles, there is no shew of reason, why it should be called a tunicle proper to the eye. For if this were graunted it would also follow, that the common membrane which couereth the muscles of the eye, should be graced with the same priuiledge.
[sidenote: That the white tunicle is the first.]
The first therefore and largest of all the rest, is called the white coate, or the white of the eye, or otherwise the coniunctiue membrane: I say nothing in this place of the greeke and latine names, for that a man may see them in mine Anatomie. This tunicle is very strong, and riseth from the edges of Pericranium: it compasseth not the eye round about, or euery where: for it endeth at the circle called Iris, by reason of the varietie of the colours thereof.
[sidenote: The threefold vse of the same.]
I confesse that there are three vses of this coate. The first whereof is, that it letteth all annoyance which might happen to the eye, by the hardnes of the bones about it. The second, to hold the eye firme, least that either by some maner of excesse, or els some ouer violent motion, it should fall out of his place. The third and last, is to stand fast vnto al the sixe muscles, as whereupon they should not faile to finde sure footing.
[sidenote: The hornie membrane.]
The second membrane is called Cornea, or hornie, because it is cleere & polished, as the hornes of lanternes be: or because it may be diuided into many little skins or thinne membranes: it is also called hard, because of his hardnes, and for that it commeth from the thicke membrane compassing the braine, called Dura mater. The substance thereof is thicke, for the better withstanding of outward iniuries: it is also transparent or through cleere, that thereby the light may quickly passe through it: it is smooth, polished and without all colour, because that seruing as a glasse or spectacle vnto the christialline humour, it would haue made euery thing which wee should haue looked vpon, to haue been of the same colour with it selfe, if it had been of any colour at all: this is also the cause, why there are not any veines or arteries to bee seene in it. But if it happen that this skinne grow white, as sometimes it doth through vlcers in the same, or by hauing been scorched by some hot thing, (in such sort as the Turkes vse them which will see Mahomet his sepulcher) the sight is lost, the glasse being darkned.
[sidenote: The threefold vse of this coat.]
This tunicle serueth for three purposes. For first it serueth to defend the humours: secondly, to compasse and keepe them in: and thirdly, to bee in stead of a spectacle vnto the christalline humour.
[sidenote: The grapelike coate.]
The third tunicle is called Vuea, being like vnto the skinne of a black grape: it is also called Choroides, because it containeth all the vessels which serue for the nourishing of the other coates: or because it commeth from the thin and tender skin compassing the braine called Pia mater, which is of Galen oftentimes called Choroides.
This skinne compasseth the eye round about, except before onely, where being bored through, it maketh a little round hole, which is called the apple, and is the principall window of the eye, which being shut in by chataracts, causeth vs to liue in continuall darknes: and this is the onely coate that is partie-coloured. On the foreside it is as it were blacke, thereby to hold together the forme of obiects: on the innermost or hinder side it is blew, greene, and of many other colours, thereby to refresh the christalline humour when it is wearied. This skinne doth notable good seruice to the christalline humour, and other parts of the eye.
[sidenote: The grapelike coate.]
For first it is the meanes to hinder that the hardnes of the hornie membrane should not hurt the christall: then it refresheth the same with the varietie of his colours: thirdly, it keepeth together and hemmeth in the spirits, which otherwise would spend and disperse themselues abroad: and lastly, doth store with nourishment, the hornie and netlike membranes, as also the humours: and this is the cause why nature hath made it soft and full of vessels.
[sidenote: The cobweb-like coate.]
The fourth membrane is called Aranoides, because it is very fine, and resembleth the ciper web, or threeds which the Spider draweth out with her feete: it couereth and lyeth close vnto the christalline humour, and serueth to vnite and retaine the formes of things, as the lead doth in looking glasses.
[sidenote: The netlike coate.]
The fift is the netlike tunicle, ouercast with a million of little threeds, after the fashion of a net. It groweth from the softest part of the sinew of sight, which naturally is giuen to dilate and widen it selfe: and this is the cause why when it is cast into water one shall perceiue it to be all white, soft, and as it were marrowlike.
[sidenote: The vse thereof.]
The vse thereof is to conuey the inward light, which is the animall spirit, vnto the christalline humour, and to carrie backe againe whatsoeuer receiued formes first vnto the nerue optick, and from thence to the braine to iudge thereof.
[sidenote: The glassie tunicle.]
The last is called the vitreous or glassie tunicle, because it couereth and containeth the glassie humour. The learned of ancient time haue not knowne it. There is to be seene in the midst thereof a round circle like vnto the eyebrie: I suppose it to be a number of small veines, which conuey blood vnto the said vitreous humour, that there being laboured, it may be made white and fit for the christalline humour.
Generally of the three humours of the eyes: but more specially of the beautie and excellencie of the christalline humour.
[sidenote: The excellency of the christalline humour.]
Loe thus all vailes, shadowes and couert being taken away, it is now time to make a plaine and open shew of the most precious iewell of the eye, that rich diamond, that beautifull christall, which is of more worth then all the pearles of the East. This is that icelike humour, which is the principall instrument of the sight, the soule of the eye, the inward spectacle: this is that humour which alone is altered by colours, & receiueth whatsoeuer formes of the things that are to be seene.
[sidenote: That all the parts of the eye are seruants to the christalline.]
This is that christalline humour, which in more hardie wise then Hercules, dares to encounter two at once, namely, the outward and inward light. This is that onely christalline humour, which all the other parts of the eye acknowledge their soueraigne, and themselues the vassals thereof: for the hornie tunicle doth the office of the glasse vnto it: the apple, the office of a window: the grapelike coate is as a fayre flowring garden, to cheare and reioyce the same after wearisome labour: the cobweblike coate serueth as lead to retaine such formes as are offered: the waterish humour as a warlike foreward, to intercept and breake off the first charge of the obiects thereof, assaying all vpon the sudden, and with headlong violence to make breach and entrance: The vitreous humour is his cooke, dressing and setting forth in most fit sort his daily repast: The nerue optick, one of his ordinary messenger, carrying from the braine thereto, commandement and power to see, and conueying back againe with all speed whatsoeuer hath been seene: The muscles are his loftie steedes and couragious coursers, whereupon being mounted it aduanceth it selfe aloft, casteth it selfe alow, turneth it selfe on the right and left hand: and finally in euery such sort, as seemeth best vnto it selfe. In briefe, this is the principall part of the eye, which I intend to describe, when I shall haue shewed you that which is before it, I meane the waterish humour. All the Anatomists agree that there are three humours in the eyes: the waterish, the christalline, and the glassie.
[sidenote: The descriptió of the waterish humour.]
The waterish, called also the white humour, hath this name, because it is of the consistence of water, and is (as it were) like vnto the white of an egge.
[sidenote: Why the watrie humour is set before the christalline.]
Nature hath placed it before the christalline to be in stead of a rampier, to the end it might not be hurt by the hardnes of the membranes, and that the first and fierce assaults of obiects, might bee somewhat rebated: and in such maner, as that it may seeme to be an inward meane to conuey the formes of obiects vnto the christalline humour. And looke how the lungs vndertaketh the first encounter of the ayre, and maketh it true fauourite vnto the heart: euen so the waterish humour altereth the light which commeth from without, and reconcileth it to that which is within. This humour serueth also to water the christalline and to keepe it moyst: for being drie it can not admit the formes of things. It manageth also the spirits, which otherwise of their owne nature would alwaies be mounting aloft and wandring abroade, and will not suffer them in such sort to spend themselues, being set before them as a barre to keepe them in. It also keepeth asunder the grapelike coate and the christalline humour, and stretcheth foorth and filleth continually the hornie membrane, that so by the withering and shrinking thereof the sight may not bee lost.
[sidenote: That the watrie humour is a part of the eye.]
This humour hauing all these goodly vertues: it is not very like that it should bee an excrement of the christalline humour, as Auicen the prince of Arabia for Phisicke hath seemed to affirme. And I am so farre from being of his minde, as that I take it for a spermaticke part, not yeelding anything in title of eldership vnto the christalline, as hauing ouer and besides his limited proportion or permanent quantitie, his constant abiding place, and his double partition-wall of two membranes, keeping it and the christalline asunder: whereunto may bee added, that (contrary to the nature of an excrement) if it be once lost or spilt, it can neuer be recouered againe, but causeth vs to lose our sight.
[sidenote: The descriptió of the christalline.]
The next in sequence is the christalline humour, which is bright and icelike, as is the christall which is pure and well polished. This is the steele-glasse of the minde, by which it looketh vpon the formes and faces of things, and combineth the lights which before were seuerall and asunder. Some men are of iudgement, that the inuention and vse of spectacles was taken from the christalline humour, because that if it be laid vpon a written paper, it causeth the letters to shew twice so great as they are.
[sidenote: The substance thereof.]
The substance thereof is waterish, but it runneth not abroad as the others doe; it is faster and more solide, to the end that the formes of obiects, may settle themselues therein; it is also through-cleere, and full of light, to the end it may haue some correspondencie with his obiect, which is lightsome; it is of no colour, that so it may receiue all maner of colours the more indifferently: for if the christalline humour should be tainted either with greene, or red, or yellow, all the obiects thereof would appeare and seeme to be of the same colour.
[sidenote: Why the christalline humor is not nourished wih blood.]
Here we cannot but wonder at the prouidentnes of nature, which would not haue this christalline to be nourished with blood, as all the other parts of the bodie are, for feare that the blood should make it red, but for the better assurance hath dedicated vnto it the vitreous humour, to turne his nutriment into a white colour, and play the part of a cooke, according as the neede thereof should require.
[sidenote: His shape.]
The shape is round, and yet not altogether and exactly sphericall, but somewhat flat on the two sides as is a fetch, or the end of a pestell: and this is the reason why the Grecians haue called it [non-Roman alphabet]. I conceiue that it was thus shaped, that so it might abide more firme, and not to be thrust out of his place vpon euery violent motion of the eye. For such things as be exquisitely round, doe moue (as it were) of themselues, and haue no stay, resting themselues but vpon a poynt.
[sidenote: His situation.]
It is placed in the middest of the eye, as in his center, to the end it may equally and indifferently intertaine and admit of both the lights. On the hinder part it is vnderlaid with the vitreous humour, and seemeth (as it were) to swimme vpon the top of the same: on the forepart it hath the waterish humour, and round about is wrapped in his proper coate called Aranoides.
[sidenote: The glassie humour.]
The third and last humour is called glassie, because it resembleth in colour and consistence the moulten glasse. The chiefe vse thereof is to prepare nourishment for the christalline humour, not that the christalline humour should feed vpon it owne substance, as Auicen hath thought. For one part is neuer nourished or fed of the substance of another: but this doth blanch or turne white the blood, and serue for cooke to the christalline. It preserueth also the christalline from all annoyance that might happen by the hardnes of the membranes, and keepeth in the spirits.
The quantitie thereof is in greater abundance then any of the rest: it is clothed with his owne coate, which is more then the ancient learned in this profession did euer attaine vnto to know.
Of the sinewes, veines, arteries, and other parts of the eye.
[sidenote: The sinew of sight.]
There are as yet remaining vntouched, though necessarie helpes to the sight, two paire of nerues, and certaine other small arteries. The first paire is called opticke, and it bringeth the animall spirit and inward light vnto the christalline humour.
[sidenote: From whence it springeth.]
This paire springeth not from the first ventricle of the braine, as the Arabians would haue it, neither yet from out of the midst of the lowest part of the braine, as the Grecians haue perswaded themselues, and as all anatomists of our time doe as yet beleeue; but from the hinderpart of the braine, where the great and little braine doe ioyne together. This obseruation is new, but most true, and I receiue it, because I haue often seene it.
[sidenote: Why the sinewes of sight doe grow into one.]
The opticke therefore comming from the hinder part, and hauing finished more then halfe his course, incorporateth it selfe the one with the other and so becommeth one, not growing one vnto another only, as the cómon sort doth thinke, much lesse onely touching one another, as the mullet doth the milstone, but (as hath been sayd before) they doe in such sort incorporate themselues the one with the other, as that no man is able by any cunning skill to separate them.
[sidenote: The first reason.]
This incorporation was needfull for that they being very soft, and hauing such a large peece of ground to trauerse, might haue bended and becomming crooked, could neuer haue carried directly forward their spirit, if they had not by this their combination, one strengthened the other.
[sidenote: The second.]
It was meete and conuenient that these two nerues should applie themselues wholly to the seruice of the christalline, and that they should bee drawne along, as in the same leuell or direct line with the eyes, otherwise the sight would haue bin continually false, for euery simple obiect would haue appeared double. But in very deede it had not been possible for them to haue continued their leuell, being so long and so tender if they had not been thus vnited in the middest.
[sidenote: The third.]
I will yet adde vnto these fomer a third benefit by this vnion, and it is to shew that by this meanes the perfection of the sight is greatly furthered and aduanced: for by this meanes euen in a moment the spirit may passe from one eye to the other, and then the one eye being stopt, the other will become fuller of spirit, and so more strong and able to see a farre off: for so are wee accustomed to doe, namely, to shut the one of our eyes, if we striue to behold anything a farre off.
[sidenote: The insertion of the sinewes of sight.]
The opticke nerues after this their vnion, doe againe diuide themselues, and march on forward, either of them grafting himselfe into his proper eye: the inward part of the sinew being marrowish, doth inlarge if selfe and maketh the netlike tunicle: the outward part doth make the mébranes called Cornea and Vuea. Herophilus, Galen, and almost al other Anathomists, haue supposed this sinew to bee hollow, but it is only spungie: for it is not possible for any man to finde any cauitie in the same.
[sidenote: The sinewes of the eye, seruing for motion.]
The other couple of sinewes march on vnto the muscles of the eyes, and serue to help their motion: their diuiding of themselues is pretie, full of kindnes, for they send to euery muscle as it were a little fine thred.
[sidenote: The veines and arteries.]
There are in the eye many pretie small veines and arteries, which bring life and nourishment to the same: they all spring from the branches of the veines and arteries called Iugulares and Carotides.
[sidenote: The fat.]
The fat that lieth about the eye doth keepe it moyst, thereby keeping it from withering: it keepeth it also from the iniurie of the cold, perseruing his naturall heate: which is the cause that the eye is neuer tainted with a shiuering or quaking cold.
[sidenote: The glandules.]
There are belonging to the eye certaine glandules or kernels which water the eye, as also drinke vp like a spunge, the moysture falling vpon them from the braine.
How we see, as namely whether it be by the sending foorth of spirits, or by taking in of the formes of things.
I thinke my selfe by this time to haue deciphered exactly enough the whole workemanship of the eye, and of all his parts, let vs now looke about and see how it dischargeth his function, which is sight, and how it is accomplished.
[sidenote: The things necessarie to make vs see.]
All Philosophers haue well agreed in this one poynt, that there are three things necessary for to make the sight perfect: that is to say, the instrument which is the eye; the obiect, which is the colour; and the meanes inlightned, which is the aire, or the water, or some other thorough-cleare and christal-like thing: but when it should come to passe that they should ioyne these three together, and shew the maner of this action, (which is the liueliest and briefest of all the other sences) they iarre among themselues and cannot agree. Some of them would haue that there should issue out of the eye bright beames or a certaine light which should reach vnto the obiect, and thereby cause vs to see it: other some would haue it, that the obiect commeth vnto the eye, and that nothing goeth out of the eye: the first doe hold that we see by emission or hauing something going forth of the eye, the latter by reception or receiuing of the obiect into the eye.
[sidenote: Plato his opinion, how that we see sending forth of some thing.]
The former sect doe ordinarily alleage Plato as their prince and chiefe pillar: one of his principall foundations standeth vpon this, that the eye is all full of light, and of the nature of fire, not such as vseth to burne and giue light together, neither yet that which burneth but giueth no light, but such as giueth light and burneth not, like vnto the celestiall fire.
[sidenote: The foundation of this opinion.]
This foundation seemeth to rest vpon some shew of trueth, for the eye being rubbed, (yea though it be when it is most darke) doth cast forth some bright streames: and commonly wee see the eyes of such as are angrie, all fierce and fierie.
[sidenote: Reasons to proue the eye to be of the nature of fire.]
Plinie hath obserued that Tyberius Casar did make afraid many souldiers with his onely looke, it was so quicke and full of light. Aristotle reporteth that one Antipho, a yong man, did alwaies see his owne image by the reflexe of the bright straines which came forth of his eyes. Galen telleth of the souldier, who becomming blinde by little and little, perceiued euery day as it were a light to come forth of his eyes, and returned not againe. And doe we not in the night perceiue the Cat, the Woolfe, and many other liuing creatures to haue shining eyes. Moreouer, the more then credible readines and nimblenes of the eye, the performance of his actions in a moment, and without local motion, his steeple-like shape, doe all euidently testifie, that it is of a subtile nature, and full of fire: the eye also is neuer seene to quake through colde, although it be in the colde, because it selfe is all on a flame. Finally, it cannot bee denied but that the instrument must bee sutable to his obiect, the obiect of sight is colour, and auncient writers haue defined colour to bee a flame going out of bodies: it is of necessitie therefore, that the instrument should be of the same nature. If this be true (I meane that the eye is full of fire and sparkling streames) we shalbe forced to beleeue, that the eye seeth by emission. This is also the most common receiued opinion, and that which hath drawen manie great learned Clerkes after it, as Pithagoras, Empedocles, Hipparcus, Democritus, Leucippus, Epicurus, Chrysippus, Plato, and in a maner all others which haue written of the eyes. And now take a viewe of their principal reasons.
[sidenote: Reasons to proue that we see, by sending foorth something.]
[sidenote: The first.] The Basiliske by his sight poysoneth all them which looke vpon him; women hauing their natural courses, infect the looking glasses vpon which they cast their eyes. Some report, that if a Woolfe doe first see a man, that then such a man will become hoarse. Men of olde time haue thought, that with the looke one might be bewitched and inchanted, according to the complaint of the Poet: I know not what eye hath bewitched my tender lambes. [sidenote: The second.] If a man come neere to one that hath enflamed eyes, and behold him earnestly which hath red eyes, without all peraduenture he shall bee troubled with the same disease: all which sheweth that there commeth something out of the eye. Whereupon is it that a great whitenes doth hurt the sight, but onely for that it wasteth the spirits which come forth of the eye? [sidenote: The third.] Wherefore should the eye grow weake with looking, but because there commeth out of it too much light, and that all the spirits vanish and fade away? [sidenote: The fourth.] Whence commeth it that such as would see a very little thing a far off, do claspe their eyes, & halfe close their eyelids? It is not that so they may vnite the beames, and ioyne together the spirits, to the end that afterward they may cast them out more forcibly and directly? [sidenote: The fift.] Go not the Cats on hunting in the night? and then do they cast out some glittering streames. [sidenote: The sixt.] Furthermore, if we should not see by sending something foorth of the eye, it should seeme vnnecessary that the eye should turne it selfe vnto his obiect, the forme thereof should offer it selfe sufficiently to vs, yea, we should see in not seeing. [sidenote: The seuenth.] If we should see onely by taking and receiuing something into our eyes, then great eyes should see better then small ones, because they are the more capable: and so also such eyes as haue large apples should see better then those which haue small ones, which is quite contrary to trueth: [sidenote: The eight.] a small thing should be assoone seene as a great, and it would be as easie to see a farre off as neere, if the formes be al in the aire. Looke wel (say they which write of the eyes) vpon a small needle which hath his point standing vp, yet at the first cast thou shalt not discerne the point: but afterward hauing turned thine eye on the one side and the other, thou shalt see it, because that by such turning, some one bright straine or other, will haue met with it: of the same reason and nature is that which happeneth in smal things that are on the earth, a man cannot tell how to behaue himselfe to see them at the first dash. [sidenote: The ninth.] Finally, if we see by taking something into the eye, the eye should containe at one and the same instant two contrarie things, which is against the lawes of nature, neither could it being so smal containe the greatnes, no nor yet the shape of great mountaines: whereupon we must needes conclude, that we see by sending forth something. Behold here all the faire and goodly forces on this side, which I am now about to pitch and plant in the plaine field: and now let vs goe to view the squadrons on the contrary side.
Chiefe captaine and generall of the same is Aristotle, whose followers be the whole band of the Peripatetikes, as also Auerrhoes, Alexander, Themistius, and an infinite number of others. [sidenote: The contrary opinions of such as hold that we see by taking in something.] All these hold that wee see by receiuing something into the eye, and that there doth nothing goe out of the eye which may helpe vs to see, but that either the obiect or the forme thereof doth come vnto the eye. The foundation and maine reason is cleane contrary vnto that of the Platonists: for Plato was verilie perswaded, that the eye was all full of fire, and Aristotle maintaineth that the eye is all full of water, and this he demonstrateth most excellently, and therefore accordingly I will doe my endeuour to set it out most plainely. [sidenote: A cleere and plaine proofe, that the eye is all of water.] The instrument of the sight must be thorough cleere, and transparent, that is to say cleere as christal, to the end there may be some likenes betwixt the obiect and the instrument, and that there may be some equality betwixt the thing doing, and the thing suffering. This principle is cleerely agreed vpon in naturall Philosophie. But of the things which are christal-like cleere, some are of subtile and thin bodies, and othersome are more compact and thicke. The eye was not to be made christal-like cleere and thin, because y so it could not haue retained his formes, they would haue speedely past away, not finding any resting place, as doe the bodies which are in the ayre: and the glasse it selfe which is in looking glasses, would neuer make shew of any picture or resemblance, if it were not steeled or leaded on the backeside? Whereupon it followeth that the eye must be christallike cleere and thicke. Now of all the elements there is no one that is so cleare and thicke besides the water, for the ayre and fire are in deede cleere, but therewithall thin: it followeth therefore, that the eye is of the nature of the water. This firme and demonstratiue argument is vnderpropped by another which cannot be gainesayd. [sidenote: Another plaine and strong proofe.] The chiefe part of the eye is the christallike humor, which is nothing else, but a congealed water, which hath before it the waterish humor, and behinde it the vitreous which doth feede and nourish it: if you pearce the eye, you shall not perceiue any other thing to come forth but water, so that we must rather beleeue that the eye is of the nature of water, then of fire. [sidenote: Reasons prouing that we see by taking in something.] This foundation thus laid, it will be easie to make sure the rest of the building, and to maintaine that we see by receiuing of some thing into the eye; and the rather, because it is the propertie of moist things to receiue and take in. Loe here the chiefest reasons of this sect as they follow. The action of euery sence is a suffering, and to doe the office of any of the sences, is nothing else but to suffer: [sidenote: The first.] euery action therefore of the sences is accomplished by receiuing, and not by sending forth of anything, which is an action; as for example the eare heareth by receiuing of sounds; smelling, by receiuing of odours; taste, by receiuing of tastes; and feeling, by receiuing of such qualities as may be felt: and then why should the eye be debarred of this receite? [sidenote: The second.] Aristotle saith, that they which haue their eyes very moyst, doe seeme to see things biger then in deed they bee, which argueth that the formes of things are receiued into , and as it were, grauen in the christalline humor: for bodies seeme alwaies to exceede themselues in greatnes, being within the water. [sidenote: The third.] Euery obiect exceeding in his qualitie, doth desroy his sence, as an exceeding great whitenes doth dimme and dasle the sight: then it must follow, that it is violently receiued.
[sidenote: The fourth.]
Aristotle in his Problemes moueth a question, which may be of some force in this place: as, wherefore the right hand is ordinarilie more nimble and strong then the left, and not one eare giuen to heare more readilie then the other? Whose answer is, that the facultie which causeth sight and hearing is set on worke: in such sort as that the eyes and eares may equally receiue and suffer.
[sidenote: The fift.]
Olde men commonly doe see things a farre off, better then those which are at hand, and this cannot happen of any fierie streames or light, going out of the eye, because that those in them are of small quantitie, and greatly delayed with darkenes; the cause must needes be referred to the forme, which comming from a thing farre remoued, becommeth more fine and subtile, and lesse participating of materiall substance, and by consequent no more fit to be receiued.
[sidenote: The sixt.]
In winter if the weather be calme and faire, the Starres are often seene at midday; which neuer hapneth in summer; which is, because in winter the ayre being more grosse and thicke, the formes thereof doe consist and abide more permanently, as also in greater number in the ayre: but in summer by reason of the thinnes and subtilenes of the ayre, their saide formes, haue no staide abode or meanes to multiplie: and this sheweth, that we see by receiuing in, and not sending forth of any thing.
[sidenote: The seuenth.]
Finally, the eye is like vnto the looking glasse, and this receiueth all such shapes as are brought vnto it, without sending any thing of it owne vnto the obiect. They differ onely in this, that the looking glasse hath no power to recommend his formes and shapes vnto their iudge, as the eye doth vnto the common sence by the nerue opticke. Loe here the two battels orderly in array, and right ouer one against the other, I could wish my selfe able to agree them, being the same that Galen hath attempted, but in deede there is little likeliehoode. For the trueth cannot vphold and defend two things, contrary one to the other.
[sidenote: The Author his opinon.]
I will therefore set in foote with the stronger side, and maintaine with Aristotle, that wee see by receiuing only, and that there goeth nothing out of the eye, which may serue for the making of vs to see. I will vse for my first incounter this reason, which as it seemeth me is sharpe enough.
[sidenote: Arguments plainly conuincing the Platonists.]
If there goe any thing out of the eye, it is either some fine and subtile bodie, as the animall spirit, or els some streame onely. If it be a bodie, how can it bee carried forthwith and in a moment as high as heauen, seeing that euery bodily substance requireth time to moue in, but the sight is finished at one instant? This bodily substance shal it not be beaten, scattered and deceiued by the winds, before it come to the obiect? This bodie thus going forth of the eye, shal it pearce the ayre? or shal the ayre giue place to it? pearce it cannot, because that nature can no more abide the pearcing of bodies, then she can abide that there should bee a place wherein should bee no bodie: if the ayre make way for it, then there will neuer be any sight: for so the coherence and continuitie of straines would bee interrupted, because the ayre would follow it hard at the heeles, and thrust it selfe betwixt the two.
[sidenote: That it cannot bee any bright beame which goeth out of the eye.]
If to auoyde the push of these pikes, which yet are sharpe enough, thou wouldest say, that that which goeth out of the eye is a bright beame or light, which pearceth the ayre, and communicateth it selfe in a moment with all that which is the meane, as doth the shine of the Sunne, which enlighteneth the whole ayre without any motion; I will vrge thee more neerely, and will cause thee to see that there is not light enough in the eye to reach vp to heauen. Marke well and consider, that a flame of fire casteth not his streames any further then the proportion of the bignes thereof will beare it out: one candle cannot giue light enough to one whole parlour, and how canst thou imagine that this little member should bee able in a moment to reach heauen with his bright beames? It is no difficultie for the Sunne, because it is as great as the whole earth, to cast forth his beames, and to spread them ouer the whole world, but it cannot bee so sayd of the eye. Therefore there can nothing goe forth of the eye, that can reach to the things to be seene. Furthermore, if the streames going foorth of the eye should bee the cause of sight, then they should returne vnto the eye againe, or els stay by the way: if they come not backe againe, neither can they make returne of such bodies as they touch; if they do come back againe, yet there is nothing but bright glittering bodies, which can bee seene, because no other then these giue any reflexion, and so it should follow, that huge and great hils should not bee seene. Let vs say more, that if these streames serue to cause vs to see, that then of necessitie, they must either returne emptie or laden with their backes full of bodies: if they come emptie, there will be nothing to see: if they bring formes or semblances of things with them, then haue wee our desire, that is, that wee see by receiuing something into the eye.
[sidenote: The ground-proofes of the Platonists.]
As concerning the foundations of the Platonists, it is easie to ouerthrow them all. I confesse that the eye hath great quantitie of brightnes in it, but it proceedeth not from fire, it commeth of the christalline humour, and of the shining of the tunicles: for all polished substances, being after the maner of the hornie membrane, doe shine in the darke. The action of the eye performed on the sudden, and the great quicknes of the same, cannot compell me to thinke that it is full of fire. For, the action is sudden, because the eye receiueth but the bare shapes or likenesses of things without matter and bodie. For the nimblenes and dexteritie thereof, we may conceiue that it is no great peece of worke for sixe muscles readily to moue so small a member. The eyes doe not at any time quiuer with colde, because (as Aristotle sayth in his Problemes) they bee full of fat, which accidentarilie doth keepe them warme, as our garments doe vs: or because they be in continual motion. There is not fire then within the eyes, there is nothing to be found but water, christall and glasse.
[sidenote: Answere to the reasons of the Platonists.]
And as for y reasons which they alleage, they be very light:
[sidenote: The first.]
for the Basilisk and the inflamed eye do not infect vs by the bright beames which come from them, but by a naturall substance, which is very subtile, that is to say by a vapour insensible breathing out of the whole bodie, which infecting the ayre, is by it transported to vs.
[sidenote: The second.]
That which is alleaged of the wolfe, is no better worth then to bee derided. And as for any inchantment proceeding from the eye, we hold, that natrually there can no such thing bee. Exceeding much whitenes doth ouerthrow the sight, because it draweth out all the spirits, which ought to keepe within the eye, to enable it the more vnto the performance of his office.
[sidenote: The third.]
The eye groweth weake and wearie with looking, as euery other part will doe, which is, for that the naturall heate and spirits (which labour and take paines in the motion of the eye, as also in the holding of the same still) doe spend and waste themselues.
[sidenote: The fourth.]
Wee doe halfe shut our eyes, when we would see a farre off, not to the end to vnite the shining straines of the eye, but rather that the outward light should not suddenly rush in and scatter the inward.
[sidenote: The fift.]
The eye must needes turne it selfe towards his obiect, because sight doth neuer act but by a direct line.
[sidenote: The sixt.]
Great eyes, and those apples of eyes which are broad, see not so well as the contrary, because the inward spirits are thereby lost, being very necessary in the receiuing of those formes which are to enter into the eye.
[sidenote: The seventh.]
As concerning the needle, I answere, that at the first wee see not the poynt, because it is not proportionable.
[sidenote: The eight.]
The receiuing of two contraries and of the most huge mountains, is no absurditie, seeing the eye in all cases medleth with nothing but the formes of the things, which are without all matter and substance. Wherfore let nothing let vs to conclude, that the sight is effected by the receiuing in of some thing. But the maner of this receiuing is a very difficult thing, and vnderstood of a very few.
[sidenote: A plainer declaring of the maner of receiuing in something.]
To make plaine therefore the same, I will doe my indeuour to search out, what it is that the eye receiueth; in what part it receiueth the same; when it receiueth in any thing and how.
[sidenote: What it is that the sight receiueth or taketh in.]
Concerning the first poynt, I finde great oddes in opinions. Democritus and Leucippus doe firmely hold, that wee receiue in bodies more small then that they will suffer any diuision. Epicurus thinketh that we receiue in the only beames of the obiect. Alexander the Peripaterick, the image of the obiect, and that not as in his proper subiect, but as it were in a looking-glasse. Aristotle maintaineth, that we receiue in nothing but the forme which is produced of the obiect, and multiplied or continued in an vnseparable continuitie in and by the ayre, as the bodie maketh and produceth the shadow, and the Sunne the light.
[sidenote: That the eye receiueth nothing but the formes of things.]
And this is the soundest iudgement of all the rest, but such as needeth a plainer declaration: for euery man is not able at the first blush, to vnderstand what is meant by the forme of the obiect. We affirme then that this forme hath not his seate and place in the vnderstanding, as also that it is not the same which schoolemen call Ensrationis,
[sidenote: What this forme is.]
but that it is a certaine reall thing seated in the ayre and eye. Now whatsoeuer hath a reall being, is either a substance or an accident. This forme cannot be a substance, because that thereby it should be more noble and perfect then his obiect which is colour. Then it is an accident. But what kinde a one? Shall we call it a quantitie? No, for then it would haue the allowance either of height, bredth or depth: and we dare not call it a relation, because relation hath not the force to doe any thing, but this forme causeth vs to see. And least of all may wee reduce and bring it vnto the predicament of Action: It must then needes bee a qualitie without matter or bodie, and vncapable of all maner of diuision: such a forme is called of the Philosophers intentionall, which hath respect vnto the obiect, and is immediatly produced and made shew of, as the shadow of the bodie. This forme doth multiplie it selfe throughout the ayre: for the ayre being subtile & moyst, is apt to receiue all the formes: and receiuing one part of the obiect, representeth the whole obiect. This forme is not seene, but maketh vs to see, for there is nothing but the obiects which can be seene.
Someman may demaund, how this forme altereth the sight in vniting or dispersing of the spirits, it selfe being voyd of al matter? for whitenes disperseth the spirits, and blacknes keepeth them together.
I answere, that this alteration commeth not of the forme, but of the light which commeth of the colours. And it is most certaine that a great light wasteth the sight, because our spirits which are very subtile and light, come foorth to ioyne themselues vnto this outward light: on the contrary, they beholding darknes and a blacke colour, withdraw themselues, shunning their enemie. There is nothing then but a forme without matter which is receiued, and hence it is that we see a thing in a moment, and not by intermission of time, as al the other sences haue their operations and actions.
[sidenote: In what part of the eye this receipt is made.]
Now let vs see in what place, that is, whereabout or in what part of the eye this forme is receiued. Some there are which thinke it to be receiued in the braine, because it is the seate of common sence, and for that there is none of the sences which hath not his originall from the braine. Auicen did verely thinke, that this receipt was where the nerues optickes doe ioyne together, and that the obiect doth not appeare double, because the formes are vnited in this coniunction of the sinewes. Others are of minde, that this receipt is accomplished in the cobweb-like tunicle, which is more cleere and bright then any looking-glasse. But we hold with Aristotle, Galen, and the trueth also, that this receipt is effected in the christalline humour, because this is the most noble part of the eye, hauing such a substance as none other hath, and the same seated in the middest of the instrument, as in his center, where the two lights doe meete each other; the outward, which entreth at the apple of the eye, as at a window; and the inward, which is brought thither by the nerue optick.
[sidenote: The true and proper meanes by which we haue sight.]
Notwithstanding, if thou bee disposed to reconcile all these seuerall opinions, thou maist say that the receipt is made in the christalline humour, the rebating of their violence in the tunicles, the perfect consummation in the coniunction of the nerues optickes, the knowledge, triall, or discerning of the same in the substance of the braine. Of all this long discourse these are the fruites which we shall reape; that the sight is effected onely by receiuing of some thing into the eye, and not by sending any thing out of it; that the christalline humour (being the chiefe instrument of sight) receiueth nothing but formes, which are as the shadowes of things that may bee seene; that these formes being produced and multiplied along throughout the ayre, are by a direct line and not else receiued, and that at an instant. I am constrained to adde this disputation in this small treatise of the eye, as hauing been vrgently pressed, or rather expressely commanded to doe the same.
How many waies the sight may be endamaged and hurt.
The whole discourse, which I haue gone about to make concerning the excellencie of the sight, the cunning wotkemanship of the eye, and of all his partes, (besides the delight which it will bring to such as are curious) will not (in my iudgement) be vnprofitable vnto them, which shall earnestly desire to know the diseases of the eyes, and would vndertake to heale and cure the same. For we holde it for a principle in phisicke, that no man can know that which happeneth contrarie to nature in any part, if he doe not first know that which is naturall vnto the same part. The direct (saith Aristotle in his first booke of the soule) or straightline, is a rule both to iudge it selfe and the crooked by. It behooueth then that the Phisition should know the naturall state of the eye, and whatsoeuer is needefull for the execution of his office, if so be he be desirous to know how many waies it may be hurt.
[sidenote: How many waies a function may be hurt.]
Euery action (as Galen obserueth in many places) may be hurt three waies, for either it is wholie lost, or else greatly impayred, or else corrupted and depraued. These three faults may happen to the sight, the impeachment or weakenes thereof is ordinarie with olde folkes; the sight is then depraued, when the obiect sheweth other then it is, the vtter losse thereof is called blindenes.
[sidenote: How the sight is weakened.]
The sight groweth weake, either through default of his faculties, or through the euill disposition of the instrument. The facultie which is that power of the soule, which maketh vs see, hath his seate in the braine: if then the brain be altered in his temperature, (as whé it falleth out to be too hote, cold, moyst or drie; or when it is not fashioned well & commendablie) then all the sences will bewray a great impeachment in their actions, but aboue all the rest the sight, because the eye being next neighbour vnto the braine, and of a merueilous simpathy with the same, will suffer first of all. The euill disposition of the eye, weakeneth the sight very oft, although that the facultie be intire and strong. Such disposition is found sometimes in the whole eye, as when it is too fat and great, or too small and leane, sometimes in some speciall parts thereof, as in the tunicle, humors, muscles, spirits, sinewes, veines and arteries, vnto euery of which doe happen their particular diseases, which I will runne through in the chapter following.
[sidenote: The sight depraued and falsified.]
The corrupting or falsifying of the sight falleth out; when the obiect sheweth it selfe to be of another colour, forme, quantitie or situation then it is; as for example, if a white thing should shew yellow or red, because the instrument of sight is tainted with some colour: this it is which maketh them that haue the yellow Iaundise, to see euery thing yellow: when the thing which standeth fast, seemeth to moue, as it falleth out in them which haue the disease, called Vertigo, through the disordered and extraordinarie mouing of the spirits; and when one single thing seemeth two, and this falleth out, either through default of the instrument, or through the euill situation of the obiect, or of the eyebeames. If both the eyes be not in one and the same leuell, but that the one be high, and the other low, out of doubt euery thing which they behold will shew double: the causes hereof are oftentimes a palsie in the one, and a conuulsion in the other. The nerue opticke also being relaxed and mollified on the one side, causeth all things that are looked vpon to seeme double, as it happeneth to such as are drunke. If you presse and beare downe the one eye with your finger, not touching the other, you shall see euery thing double, of which missight the situation of the instrument is the principall cause: and the situation of the obiect is the next. As if you whirle a staffe round about, you would thinke that it were a circle, and if long wise, you would iudge it to be nothing but a long stretched line; which happeneth by the swift mouing of the obiect out of his place, for so, before the first figure be worne out, a second commeth into his place. The last cause consisteth in the diuerse situation of the eye beames; as if you looke your selfe in a crackt looking glasse, your face will seeme two faces vnto you.
[sidenote: The losse of the sight.]
The vtter losse and depriuation of the sight, which we call blindnes, commeth either of the drinesse of the humors, or of the hindring of the two lights, that they cannot meete and ioyne together in the christalline humour. The inward which is the animall spirit, is hindred by the obstruction of the nerue opticke, and this disease is called gutta serena; the outward is hindred by the cataract, which shutteth the apple of the eye, the window of the christalline humour. Therefore the sight cannot be hurt, but by one of these three waies.
A briefe rehearsall of all the diseases of the eye.
I doe not intend here to trouble my mind in drawing forth an exquisite description of all the diseases of the eye, the attempt would be too great, and I could not make so few as twentie chapters of the same, seeing there are so many particular diseases of the eye. I will content my selfe to lay out the way and best ordered course thereunto, for the benefite of young Phisitions and Chirurgeons, for whose sake I haue made choice of this chapter.
[sidenote: The diuision of the diseases of the eye.]
Now then as concerning the diseases of the eye, some of them are common to the whole member, some others are proper vnto some particular part of the same. Those which concerne the whole eye, are either similar or instrumentall, or common.
[sidenote: The diseases to be referred to the whole eye.]
The similar ones, are the moyst, the drie, the hote, the colde distemperature, as also the simple, the compound, the distemperature without matter, and that which is accompanied with matter. The instrumentall doe shew themselues in the euill shape of the eye, as when it is ouer great or ouer little, or not so situate as were requisite for comelines and vse.
[sidenote: The greatnes of the eye.]
The diseses comming of the bignes of it, are when the eye is either too great or too little; the great eye is called the oxe eye, it hindereth the action of the eye, for the sight is not so quicke, by reason of the excessiue expence of spirits, neither is it so readie in motion. The cause of this greatnes is either the error of the first forme and shape committed by nature, or else some accident whether flegmatike humor, or inflammation, or else some great fluxe of humours falling down vpon the same.
[sidenote: The smalnes of the eye.]
The disease contrarie to this, is the smalnes of the eye, which either is the worke of nature, and is called the Pigges eye, or else happeneth by some other meanes, as by wasting of the naturall heate, by suffering of intollerable paines, much watchings, sharpe rhewmes, and continuall agues: in such cases the whole eye being weakened, it attracteth not his naurall nourishment, or though it doe, yet it cannot concoct it, and this disease is called pining away, or leanenes of the eye.
[sidenote: The eye bolted out.]
The diseases of situation is when the eye is out of his place, as when it commeth out, and when it falleth quite downe; if it come forth, it is called a falling out of the eye, in greeke [non-Roman alphabet]. Auicen obserueth, that it happeneth either of an outward cause, as of a blowe, a fall or straine in coughing, vomiting, blowing, or of an inward cause, as of some suddaine falling down of humors, which looseth all the muscles and whole bodie of the eye, or of a great inflammation or other humor.
[sidenote: Solution of continuitie.]
The common disease is called the solution of continuitie, which happeneth when the eye is burst, or when all the humours thereof are mingled and iumbled together.
Loe these be the diseases which may be referred to the whole bodie of the eye: for the diseases called Nictalopia, Myopiasis, and Amblyopia, are Symptomes, touching onely the spirits or humors, and not the whole eye.
[sidenote: The particular diseases of the eye.]
The particular diseases differ according to the parts of the eye. Now we haue alreadie obserued for parts of the eye, the humors, coates, sinews, and muscles of the same: so then there are diseases proper vnto euery one of these parts. I will begin to describe those which happen to the humours, as being the noblest parts of the eye, as also because Galen in his booke of the causes of accidents hath taken the same course.
[sidenote: The disease of the christalline humour.]
The christalline humour is subiect to all maner of disease, but the most vsuall is a drie distemperature, and his going out of his place.
His drie distemperature is the cause of an accident, which the Grecians call [non-Roman alphabet], which is a shrinking together, and drienes of the christalline humour, thereby becomming as it were white. Hippocrates in his third booke of Aphorismes obserueth that this disease doth seldome happen but to olde folke, and wee iudge it incurable. The christalline may shift out of his place many waies: for either it may shift to either side, or rise higher or fall lower, or it may shrinke further into the eye, or come forward toward the forepart of the eye.
[sidenote: The accidents that fall out when the christalline humor is remoued out of his place.]
Howsoeuer it remoue and shift, it hurteth the sight very much: if it bee sunke farre backe into the eye, it causeth that wee cannot behold things which are neere at hand: if it be set too forward, it letteth from seeing a farre off: if it be more to the one side or to the other, we see a squint: and when it is too high or too low, euery thing seemeth two, because they are not leuell.
[sidenote: The diseases of the watrie humour.]
The waterish humour being also a part as well as the others, hath his particular diseases. If it be too much dried, as it falleth out very oft in cataracts, it taketh the sight cleane away. If his store be greatly diminished, the christalline humour drieth, the grape-like coate withereth, the hornie membrane shrinketh and the outward light is not rebated. As concerning the glassie humour, writers haue not noted any diseases properly belonging thereto: but, in my iudgement, it is subiect to the same affects that the waterish, both in his temperature, substance, and quantitie.
[sidenote: The diseases of the coates.]
The tunicles of the eye are sixe, but there are not any moe then three, which haue been noted to haue particular diseases, that is to say, the coniunctiue, the hornie, and the grape like: for no man hath designed any vnto the cobweb like, net-like or glassie one.
[sidenote: The diseases of the white coate.]
The diseases proper vnto the coniunctiue are three; inflammation, the naile called in Latine Pterigium, and mortification.
The inflammation of this membrane is sometime so sleight, as that it healeth of it self, and then it is called of the Grecians [non-Roman alphabet]. The cause thereof is for the most part outward, as smoke, winde, the Sunne, dust, open ayre the smell of onyons: if this inflammation be greater, it is absolutely called Ophthalmia: if it bee very great, in so much as that it causeth the white to be very much puffed vp, and thereby the apple of the eye to seeme to stand in a hollow, the Greekes doe call it [non-Roman alphabet].
[sidenote: The differences of the inflammation of the the eye.]
There are inflammations proceeding of blood, others proceeding of choler, others of fleagme, and some of melancholie: Galen speaketh both of moyst & drie ones; Hippocrates of symptomatical and criticall ones; Tralliun of such as are accompanied with a consnmption, and such as are not of maligne ones, such as are vsuall in the plague time, & such as are not maligne; of continuall ones, and such as keepe ordinary returnes.
[sidenote: The naile.]
The second kind of disease is called Pterigium. This is a sinewy flesh, which beginneth to grow most commonly at the great corner of the eye, and from thence spreadeth it selfe like a wing vnto the apple of the eye: it is also sometime like vnto a naile, it followeth very often the inflammations that are not orderly cured, it is accompanied with some itching, as also with a little rednes and with some teares.
[sidenote: The seuerall sorts of it.]
There are many kindes of it, which are all distinguished either by their colour, or manner of fastning of themselues, or by their substance, or greatnes. As for the difference of colour, there are white, red, and yellowish ones. They differ in respect of their fastning, because some sticke fast and close to, whereas others doe suffer themselues to bee easily separated. They differ in substance, because some are thicke, and some thin, some soft, some hard, some membranous like skinnes, some fatty and like vnto grease, and some varicous, which are like vnto a net, knit and made of many small veines and arteries. The bignes maketh the last difference: for some are so small that they passe not the white: othersome so great, as that they reach vnto the apple of the eye, and doe greatly hinder the sight.
The third and last disease proper to the white tunicle, is called [non-Roman alphabet] blacknes, or the mortification of the eye. Paulus Ægineta and Ætius, had defined it a bursting of the veines of the eye, which causeth the blood to settle it selfe all vnder the white tunicle, and the hornie also, making all things seeme red vnto the eye. The cause hereof is ordinarily outward; as some blow or fall: sometimes it is inward, as the fulnes of the veines and the thinnesse of the blood. There are some other diseases of the white tunicle; as pustules and white spots in maner of a skarre, but they are common with this vnto the hornie membrane.
[sidenote: The diseases of the hornie membrane.]
The diseases of the hornie membrane are, pustules; common, maligne, and cankerous vlcers; the retention of purulent matter called [non-Roman alphabet]: the skarre and the rupture.
The pustules are called [non-Roman alphabet] of the Grecians, and Bothor of the Arabians. These are like vnto little bladders, proceeding of a thin and waterish humour, which gathereth amongst the small skinnes of the hornie membrane, and setteth them vpon the stretch.
[sidenote: The diuers sorts of pustules.]
Their differences are knowne by their colour: for some are blacke, and therefore growing betwixt the first and second leafe: and some are white, and do grow betwixt the third and fourth leafe. They differ in situation, because some are more superficiall, and others more deepe. They differ in respect of matter, because some doe rise of a cholerick humour, others of a cleere and thinne water.
[sidenote: Vlcers commonly happening in the hornie membrane.]
If the purulet matter continue long after that the pustules bee broken, it maketh an vlcer in the hornie membrane. The Phisitions both Greeke and Arabian make seuen sorts of vlcers, three inward, and foure outward:
[sidenote: Three vlcers within the hornie membrane.]
the first of the inward is called [non-Roman alphabet], of Paulus Ægineta and Auicen annulus, of others Fossula: that is to say, a small, streite, hollow vlcer, hauing no matter in it: the second is wider and not so deepe, Paulus calleth it [non-Roman alphabet], Auicen, lilimie: the third is very filthie and croustie, the Grecians call it [non-Roman alphabet], the Arabians Alficume.
[sidenote: The foure vlcers in the vtter part of the horny membrane.]
The outward vlcers are foure: the first is like vnto a grosse smoke, and maketh the apple of the eye blacke, they call it [non-Roman alphabet]: the second is more white and deepe, and is called [non-Roman alphabet]: the third is round, and appeareth in the circle of the eye; this is Paulus his [non-Roman alphabet]: the fourth and last is very filthie, of the colour of ashes, much like to a locke of wooll, which is the cause that Auicen calleth it the woollie vlcer. Galen was the first that obserued all these differences, in a little treatise of the eyes, but hee gaue not particular names to euery of them:
[sidenote: The correcting of a peece of text in Galen.]
and throughout this whole treatise there is one notorious fault to be found, which is, that this word inward is alwaies put for the word outward, and contrariwise. Manardus hath gone about to carpe at Auicen, for notes of difference which hee hath set downe about these vlcers, but hee hath no iust reason so to doe.
[sidenote: Maligne vlcers.]
There grow other vlcers in the hornie membrane which are maligne, and are tearmed [non-Roman alphabet], and these fret and spread vnto the muscles and eyelides.
[sidenote: There are also in the horny membrane cankerous vlcers accompanied with pricking paines; these are bred of a sharpe and melancholike humour, being of the nature of a canker.]
There are also in the horny membrane cankerous vlcers accompanied with pricking paines; these are bred of a sharpe and melancholike humour, being of the nature of a canker.
[sidenote: A skarre in the hornie membrane.]
The skar is a disease of the horny membrane: for it taketh from it his colour and cleerenes, making it altogether white, it is called [non-Roman alphabet], or Albugo.
Hipopion commeth very neere vnto it, for it is a collection of purulent water, possessing the blacke of the eye.
[sidenote: Rupture in the hornie membrane.]
Lastly, the hornie membrane is sometimes bursten, and then it causeth a disease, which is proper vnto the grape-like coate, which we will describe hereafter.
[sidenote: The diseases of the grape-like coate.]
In the grape-like tunicle we are to consider a bodie and a hole, which is the apple of the eye: the body or substance of it hath a particular disease, which is the falling downe of the same: the apple of the eye is subiect vnto three notable diseases, which are the excessiue widenes and narrownes of the same, and the cataract.
[sidenote: The falling downe of Vuea.]
The falling down of Vuea is called of the Greekes [non-Roman alphabet], which cannot happen without the bursting or fretting asunder of the hornie membrane which is made to serue in stead of a barre vnto it: the rupture of Cornea is almost alwaies of an outward cause, but the fretting a sunder of the same is of an inward.
[sidenote: Foure kinds of the foresaid disease.]
There are ordinarily made foure kindes of this falling downe of Vuea, which differ only in greatnes: for if it doe fall downe but a very little, it is called [non-Roman alphabet] the head of a flie, but of Auicen, Formicalis, if yet it fall downe more, and as it were to the greatnes of the skin of a grape, it is called [non-Roman alphabet]: if yet it fal down further and hang as it were a little apple, it is called [non-Roman alphabet]: if vnto all this it grow hard and becnme brawnie, it shalbe called [non-Roman alphabet], Clauus.
[sidenote: The diseases of the apple of the eie.]
The apple of the eye hath three diseases, for either it becommeth too broade or too narrow, or else altogether shut vp.
[sidenote: The disease Mydriasis.]
The ouer much broadnes called of the Greeks [non-Roman alphabet], is a disease of the instrument, because that the hollownes thereof is greater then it ought. Galen maketh two kinde of this dilatation, the one naturall, the other accidental, both of them doe hurt and hinder the sight very greatly, because the inward light doth spend it selfe too fast, and as Auicen sayth the formes of things are not receiued so quickely and sharpely as they should:
[sidenote: The causes of such dilatiation.]
This dilatation commeth of too much narrownes of the grape like tunicle, and it is made narrower, either by being swelled vp by too much moysture, or drawne together by extreame drinesse: moisture if it bee without mixture paraliseth the membrane, but if it bee ioyned with matter, as it is in the tumours, abscesses, and other fluxes falling vpon the eye, then it trusseth it vp (as it were) into a narrower roome. Drynesse doth pull in the edges of Vuea making larger the hole, as we see parchment that is very drie. The disease contrary to this is called of the Greekes [non-Roman alphabet],
[sidenote: The diminution of the apple of the eye.]
the consumption or straitnes of y apple of the eye, that which is according to nature, is very auaileable for the sight, but that which is accidentary, doth no good, but hurteth alwaies: the cause hereof is the falling together of the edges of the grape-like coate: it shrinketh together through great store of moisture, which is no where else, but on the side of the hole; or else by reason of the wasting of the waterish humor, which filled all this space.
[sidenote: The Cataract.]
The last disease of the apple of the eye, is called of the Grecians [non-Roman alphabet], of the Arabians a drop or water, of the common people a Cataract or a pinne and a web. We define it to be an obstruction of the apple of the eye, caused of an vnnaturall humour, which hauing fallen downe thither, groweth thicker by little and little, betwixt the hornie membrane, and the christalline humour.
[sidenote: The cause of the Cataract.]
The next cause thereof (called the continent cause) is an vnnaturall humour, and herein it differeth from Glaucoma, which happeneth through the congelation of the naturall humors of the eye; this humour at the first floweth like water, but in the end it thickneth and resembleth more an earthie substance. This is the cause why Paulus in his third booke defineth a Cataract or suffusion by this word effusion, and in his sixt booke by this word concretion, or congelation, in the first place, speaking of that which was the beginning of the disease, and in the second, of that whereunto it was growne.
[sidenote: The place where the humour causing the Cataract is setled.]
This humour, if we will beleeue Halyabbas, Haly, and Azarauius, is gathered betwixt the grape-like coate, and the christalline humour; but if we had rather beleeue Auicen, Mesue, and Albucasis, wee must thinke that it gathereth betwixt the hornie and grape-like tunicle. As for my selfe, I thinke it may abide in all that space, which is from the inner part of the hornie coate, euen vnto the christalline humour, and that it oftentimes mixeth it selfe with the waterish humour. This web or spot doth hinder the sight many waies: for if it stop all the apple of the eye, which is the window of the eye, the sight is cleere lost: if there be but one part of the window shut, as the right or left, the vpper or nether, the eye will then see the obiects that shall be set before it, but it cannot see any more then one at a time: if the obstruction be euen in the middest of the apple of the eye, all the things which it beholdeth, will seeme to be deuided, and as it were clouen, and withall it is not possible for such persons to see the middest of the obiect: if the water be not as yet gathered close together, but that it be scatteringly dispersed here and there, one shall see it were flies to flie in the ayre.
[sidenote: The differences of Cataracts.]
The differences of Cataracts are gathered from their greatnes, substance, colour, fastning, situation and maner of growing. For there are some great, and some small, some thicke, and some thin, some white, some of colour like ashes or chalke, some red, some blacke, and some of a citrine colour.
[sidenote: Their inward causes.]
The inward causes are the humours and vapours which grow thicke, the humours come either from the braine, by the sinewes, veines and arteries, or else are ingendred in the member it self, by reason of the weakenes of the concocting and expelling facultie.
[sidenote: The imaginations going before Cataracts.]
Cataracts haue alwaies for their forerunners, certaine false visions, which men call imaginations: for men thinke they see flies, haires, or threeds of a spider web in the ayre, which yet are not there. The cause of these visions is a darke shadowie vapour, got betwixt the hornie membrane and christalline humour. This vapour sheweth not it selfe in his proper forme: for then the grape-like coate should as well be seene, but in one of those formes which are in the ayre: it is true that the christalline humour iudgeth these vapours to be without the eye, because it is so accustomed to see outward obiects, that it thinketh that which is within the eye to be without it. These vapours rise sometimes from below, sometimes from the humours which are in the braine, or in the eye it selfe.
[sidenote: The diseases of the muscles of the eye.]
The diseases of the muscles of the eye, are principally three, the wrested or wrie eye, the shaking eye, and the astonished eye.
[sidenote: The wrested eye.]
The wrested eye is called [non-Roman alphabet] or [non-Roman alphabet], and is caused either of a Palsey, affecting some of the muscles, and then the part diseased, yeeldeth vnto the sound part: as it happeneth in all other parts that haue the Palsey and opposite muscles: or else it is caused of a conuulsion, affecting some of the muscles, and then the sound part of the eye yeeldeth vnto the diseased. Whatsoeuer it is, this disease is caused either of drynes, or of superfluous moisture:
[sidenote: The diuerse sorts thereof.]
now in this disease the eye is wrested and set awrie many waies, as on high, a low, and then there is nothing seene but the white of the eye: Hippocrates calleth it [non-Roman alphabet], where the eye is wrested to either side, and maketh the squint eye.
[sidenote: The shaking eye.]
The shaking eye, called [non-Roman alphabet] is a fault in the muscles of the eye, being so much weakened, that they cannot holde the eye still.
[sidenote: The error of the ancient writers.]
All the auncient writers haue beleeued, that this shaking of the eye did proceede of a seuenth muscle, which doth imbrace the nerue opticke, but they deceiued themselues: for it is not found in men as I haue shewed in the historie of the eye. I beleeue then that as the pausing motion, which naturallie holdeth the eye firme and immoueable is then accomplished, when all the sixe muscles draw equally: that euen so this shaking is caused, when the said muscles loose their fibers, not drawing or beinding the same at all.
[sidenote: The fixed eye.]
There is a disease cleane contrary to this, as when the eyes are set in the head, and cannot moue. Hippocrates calleth it [non-Roman alphabet] and [non-Roman alphabet], and it happeneth then when the muscles haue lost all their power of mouing, either by obstruction or Palsiie possessing the sinew that bringeth motion.
[sidenote: The diseases of the sinew of sight.]
The diseases of the nerue opticke, are obstruction, compression, the Palsie, the falling and bursting therof, a hard and melancholike humour, inflammation.
Obstruction is suddainlie caused through a cold & grosse humour, in as much as the hollownes of the sinew is very smal:
It is pressed together through some blowe:
the Palsey taketh it, by reason of some thin and waterish humour, which doth mollifie and soften it.
[sidenote: The falling of it together.]
The falling thereof is called in Greeke, [non-Roman alphabet], when the membranouse endes thereof fall together, not leauing any space for the marrowie substance which should be betwixt them:
[sidenote: The breaking of it.]
the bursting thereof commeth of a blow, after which the eye first starteth out, and after sinking in againe, pineth away. All these diseases of the sinew of sight, doe make one common disease, which the Greekes call [non-Roman alphabet], and the Arabians, Gutta Serena.
[sidenote: Gutta Serena.]
This as Ætius doth well define it, is a blindenes and vtter losse of the sight, without any fault or let appearing in the eye: this blindenes commeth by hindering of the course of the inward light.
[sidenote: The disease of the spirits.]
The best learned Phisitions doe number the spirits among the parts of the eye, and assigne them their diseases, as [non-Roman alphabet], and [non-Roman alphabet].
[sidenote: Day blindnes.]
In the first, one cannot see but in the darke, as in the dawning of the day, and twylight, for at midday this disease will not let a man reade.
[sidenote: Night blindnes.]
In the other it falleth out cleane contrarie, for it causeth that a man cannot see, except he be in a very cleere light; some impute this vnto the spirits: those which haue subtile and thin spirits cannot see in a great light, because such spirits are therby scattered: such as haue grosse spirits haue neede of a cleere and bright light to enlighten them.
Loe here in a short briefe, the principall diseases of the eye, I meddle not with those of the eye-lids, of the corners of the eye, or the bordering parts, because I feare me I haue wandred too farre out of my way alreadie, hauing purposed with my selfe onely to shew the excellencie of the sight, and how men may learne the waie to preserue the same: I will therefore returne againe into my way.
A generall and most exquisite regiment for the preseruation of the sight, in which is handled very particularlie, whatsoeuer may hurt the eyes, as also whatsoeuer is profitable for them.
It is now hightime to mixe some profitable thing with the pleasant and delightsome: whosoeuer they bee that feele some impairing of their sight, or feare some future weakenes of the same, shall see in these two chapters whatsoeuer precious and excellent thing that is to be found in the gardens of the Greeke, Arabian, or Latine Phisitions, for the preseruation thereof, seeing I haue sometimes delighted my selfe to crop and picke out thereof, whatsoeuer I could finde or see to be faire and for profit. But for as much as one of the principall causes of the weakenes of the sight (yea I dare be bolde to say, that it is more common then any of the rest) doth proceede of a superfluous moisture of the eye, and the impurenes of the spirits: I will ordaine an exquisite order for the same, which shall serue for a patterne and scantling the better, to aime at the curing of all the rest of the diseases of the eye. The art which teacheth to heale diseases, called by one word of the Grecians [non-Roman alphabet], is ordinarily performed by three instruments, as Diet, or the manner of liuing, Chirurgerie, and Medicine.
[sidenote: Good diet hath the first place in the curing of whatsoeuer diseases.]
The maner of liuing is alwaies set in the forefront, and hath bin iudged of the ancient learned to bee the chiefe and most noble part, because it is most fauourable and familiar to nature, not disturbing her any maner of way, or molesting her in any respect, so, as medicines and manuall operations doe. This maner of liuing doth not consist onely in meate and drinke, as the common people imagine, but in the ordering of the sixe things which the Phisitions call not naturall; and these are the ayre, meate and drinke, sleepe and watching, labour and rest, emptines and fulnes, and the passions of the minde.
[sidenote: The power of the ayre.]
I will begin my order of diet at the ayre, in as much as no man can want it the least minute, and for that it hath a marueilous force to alter and change our bodies on the sudden: The direct passages thereof is through the nose to the braine, and through the mouth to the hart, by the pores of the skinne and mouing of the arteries it goeth throughout the whole bodie: it prouideth matter and nourishment for our spirits. This is the cause why that famous Hippocrates did note very well, that of the constitution of the aire doth wholly depend the good and ill dispositon of our humours and spirits.
[sidenote: The qualities of the arye.]
In the ayre wee must looke vnto his first and second qualities: his first are heate, colde, moysture and drines, of which the two first are called actiue, and the two latter passiue: the second qualities are when the ayre is grosse, thicke, subtile, pure, darke, light: but let vs now make our profit of all this.
[sidenote: What ayre is good for the sight.]
It behoueth vs for the better preseruation of our sight to chuse an ayre which is temperate in his first qualities, as being neither too hot, too cold, too moyst or drie. It is not good to abide in the heate of the Sunne, neither in the beames of the Moone, or in the open aire.
[sidenote: The windes that are bad for the sight.]
The Southerne and Northerne windes are hurtfull to the eyes. Reade that which Hipposcrates writeth in his third section of Aphorismes. The South winde (saith he) maketh a troubled sight, hardnes of hearing, a heauie head, dull sences, and all the body lazie and lither, because it begeteth grosse spirits. The North winde is very sharpe, and therefore (as saith the same author) it stingeth and pricketh the eyes. The places that are low, waterish, moyst and full of marishes, are altogether contrary to the welfare of the sight. It is better a great deale to dwell in drie places, and such as are somewhat rising.
[sidenote: How to correct the ayre by art.]
If a man be forced to dwell in moyst places, his helpe is to alter and rectifie the ayre with artificiall fires, made of the wood of Lawrel, Iuniper, Rosemary and Tamariske: or otherwise to very good purpose hee may make the perfume inuented of the Arabians, and vse it in the chamber where hee keepeth most.
[sidenote: A perfume.]
Take of the leaues of Eyebright, Fennell, and Margerome of euery one an ounce of Zyloaloe finely powdred a dramme, of Frankinsence three drammes: mingle them altogether, and perfume your chamber oftentimes therewith.
[sidenote: How the ayre must be affected in his second qualities.]
As concerning the second qualities, a grosse, thicke, and foggie ayre is contrary to the sight, wee must choose such a one as is pure and cleane, purged from all waterish, earthie, nitrous, sulphurous, and othersuch like mettallike vapours, especially those of quicksiluer: the dust, fire, and smoke do wonderfull harme to the eye: and this is the reason why such as haue a weake sight should neuer intermeddle with Alchimy, for so at once they should consume both their sight and their purse: the vapours arising out of standing waters and from dead bodies are very noysome. Neither yet must the ayre bee too lightsome:
[sidenote: What light is bad for the sight.]
for an excessiue light doth scatter the spirits, and causeth the sight oftentimes to be lost. Wee reade that Zenophanes his souldiers hauing passed the snow, became all of them as it were blind: and Dionisius the tyrant of Sicile, did after the same maner put out the eyes of all his prisoners: for hauing shut them vp in a very darke hole, caused them to bee led forth on the sudden into a very bright light, so that they al therby lost their sight.
[sidenote: What colours doe comfort the sight.]
Vnto the light wee will adioyne colours. All colours are not profitable for the sight; the white colour scattereth the spirits, drawing them to it; the blacke maketh them too grosse: there is not any but the greene, blew and violet, which doe much comfort it. And this hath nature taught vs in the framing of the eye: for she hath died the grape-like coate with greene and blew, on that side which is next vnto the christalline humour. The colour of the Saphire and Emerauld is very commodious for the sight. If you desire often to looke vpon these two colours mixed together I wil shew you to attaine therunto very easily. Take of the flowers of Borage, & of the leaues of Burnet, and when you are disposed to drinke cast them into the glasse: and this will serue you for two purposes. The colour will comfort your eyes, and the hearbes by their propertie will represse the vaporousnes of the wine. And thus much let bee sayd of the ayre.
[sidenote: Of meates and drinkes.]
The second poynt of ordering thy diet aright, consisteth in meate and drinke. It behoueth therefore to know what victuals are good, and what they be which can hurt the sight. A man must altogether refraine such victuals as are of grosse nourishment, as also slimie, vaporous, salt, windie, sweete, and sharpe meates, and such as make many excrements, there must also bee made a more spare supper then dinner.
[sidenote: Of bread.]
The bread must be made of cleane wheate, well leauened and somewhat salted, wherein may bee put Fennell or Anise-seede: it must not bee eaten new, nor after it is about three daies old. Vnleauened bread doth hurt the sight extremely, especially if there be any darnell therein: for some are of opinion that the vse of darnell doth destroy the sight. I haue sometimes read in Plautus a pleasant treatise of a page, who not daring to call his companion blinkard or blind-beetle, mocked him with hauing eaten of darnell.
[sidenote: Of flesh.]
All flesh that is easily disgested, and doth not abound with superfluous moysture, is most fit to bee eaten, as Chicken, Capon, Henne, Partridge, Feasant, Pigeon, Larkes, Turtles, and other mountaine birds, which may bee stuffed with sage or mountaine hissope.. There are certaine sorts of flesh which haue a certaine speciall propertie for to strengthen and cleere the sight, as the flesh of the Pye, the Swallow, the Goose, of Vipers well prepared, of the Wolfe, of the he-gote, and other rauenous birds. The Arabian Phisitions haue obserued, that the eyes of liuing creatures, doe (I know not by what propertie or simpathie) comfort the sight. They doe often vse the flesh of Swallowes and Pyes dried in an ouen to pepper their meates withall. They forbid vs the vse of grosse flesh, as of Porke, Hare and Hart.
[sidenote: Of fish.]
Fish (if we credit Auicen) is enemie vnto the eyes: but I thinke hee vnderstandeth it of such as liue in standing waters, which haue a slimie substance and flesh, or such as bee salted: for such as haue a fast flesh, as Troutes, Rochets, and such like, are not against the eyes. New and soft egges with a little sugar and Cinamon, doe marueilously cleere the sight: but if they be fried with butter, they hurt exceedingly.
All meates made of paste, all baked, and milke meates do hurt the eyes.
As concerning salt meates, spices and sauces, all of them are not forbidden: wee vse to make artificiall salts, which serue marueilouslie to cleere the sight: and therewithall must ordinarily meates bee salted.
[sidenote: Of artificiall salts.]
The salt of treacle is most excellent, whereto may be added some Nutmeg, Mace, Cloues and Fennell seede. There is likewise made salt of Eyebright, after this maner: Take of common salt one ounce, of Eyebright two drammes, of Cinamom and Mace the waight of halfe a crowne, mixe them altogether, and vse it as salt vnto your meate. There be some which adde vnto these salts, the powder of the flesh of a Pye dried in the ouen.
Strong spices, as Ginger, Pepper, and mustard do hurt the eyes: it is meete to rest contented with Nutmegs, Cloues, Cinamom and a little Saffron.
All pulse is mightily against the sight, except it bee Lupines, which strengthen and helpe them by a certaine propertie.
As for hearbes that are good for the eyes, these are commended; Fennell, Sage, Margerome, Rosemary, Betonie, Mints, Mountaine time, Asparagus, Burnet, Succorie, and Parselie: On the contrary side these are forbidden; Lettise, Cresses, Dill, Basill, Purselane, Leekes, Coleworts, Garlike, Onions, and all bulbouse rootes, as also Waterchestnuts, and Toadstooles. The Arabians, which were more addicted to dishmeate then the Greekes, doe commend Turneps: but with all these it is very certaine that wee must mixe Fennell or Aniseede, because they be very windie.
Raw fruites, and such as abound with much moysture, doe hurt the sight: before meate presently, one may vse stewed Prunes and presently after meate a Peare or Quince well preserued, to close the mouth of the stomacke, and to hinder vapours from ascending vp into the head. It will not be amisse after meate to take a little Fennell or Annise seede comfits, a morsell fo Cidoniatum, or of preserued Mirobalanes or Nutmegs. Figges and Raisins are not forbidden, but nuts, Chesnuts, and Oliues that are very ripe, are well forbidden. And thus much for meates.
As for drinke, we are to obserue two things therein, the quantitie and qualitie.
[sidenote: What quantitie is to be vsed.]
Archigenes the great Phisition, speaking of the quantitie saith, that in all diseases of the eyes, it is very hurtfull to drinke much.
[sidenote: What qualitie it must be of.]
Aristotle in his Problemes speaking of the qualitie saith, that they which drinke water haue their sight more subtile: notwithstanding Auicen and Rhases doe condemne the vse of water, and I am verely perswaded that they doe not displease the sect of good fellowship, which had rather loose their eyes then their wine. To graunt the same which they affirme, I holde it needfull to alay the wine well with water, and to make choise of some small wine, so that it be not sharpe or vaporouse: sweete and new wines are very fuming, thicke wines stay too long in the stomacke, and send too great a quantitie of vapours vnto the braine.
[sidenote: Artificiall wines.]
We vse to make an artificiall wine of Eyebright, which is very singular for the preseruation of the sight. Arnaldus de Villanoua, a famous Phisition doth confidently affirme, that he cured an olde man almost quite blinde, by the onely vse of wine of eyebright. Also it will doe well to cast a bunch of Eyebright in the wine which one drinketh ordinarilie, or otherwise, as I haue alreadie said, some Burnet with the flowers of Borage; for besides that they comfort the sight with their colour, they will helpe to purge the spirits, and to represse vapours. The hearbes are common enough, and to be come by at all seasons.
Such as will not vse wine, shal drinke a simple honied water, or else compound one in maner as followeth. Take of cesterne or fountaine water fifteene pounds, of good honie one pound, mingle them both together in a pot, adding thereto some Fennell, Eyebright, and Mace, made vp in a little bagge, the waight of a French crowne, boyle all together, vnto the consumption of the third part, euermore looking well to the taking off of the scum of the honey.
[sidenote: Of watching and sleeping.]
In watching and sleeping, it behoueth to keepe a meane: to sleepe very long hurteth the sight, and to sleepe at noones maketh a blowne paire of cheekes, troubleth the sight, and maketh all the body lither and lazie: it is best to sleepe vpon the side, hauing the head raised high enough. Immoderate watching doe spend the spirits, coole the braine, and hurt the sight infinitely.
It is good to goe to bed three or foure houres after supper, and to rise very earlie, to walke vp and downe the chamber, to hake and spet, to cleanse the eares, to emptie the bodie of his ordinarie excrements, and after that to combe the head, and that alwaies against the hayre, keeping it very cleane, and not to accustome to washe the face and eyes with colde water, as is ordinarilie accustomed; for colde is an enemie to the eyes and braine: it were better to vse in steede thereof, a little white wine warme, with some Fenell and Eyebright water.
[sidenote: Of the exercising of the whole bodie.]
The moderate exercise of the whole bodie, is good in a morning, neither in deede can any man liue in health (as Hippocrates noteth) if hee labour not, to waste the superfluities of the third digestion.
Particular exercises also, as the rubbing of the thighes and legs, will be of good vse, to diuert and turne away the vapours which rise vp to the eyes.
[sidenote: The particular exercises of the eyes.]
The eyes haue their particular exercise: to moue them very suddainely and circularlie, doth weaken them: as also to keepe them fixed a long time in one place, and as it were immoueable, doth yet wearie them more, for that in this pawsing motion, all the fibres of the sixe muscles are equallie stretched, as we see in birdes which houer in the ayre, not stirring out of their place. It is better therefore to keepe them in a moderate motion, for that the muscles performing their actions successiuely, doe comfort and relieue one another. It is not good to reade much, especially after meate, nor yet to trouble himselfe with too small a letter, or any other curious and choise peece of worke, because that both the facultie or power, and instrument are put to great paines, being occupied about these little things. It is not good to beholde things that moue swiftlie nor yet such as turne round.
[sidenote: Of the passions of the minde.]
All passions of the minde doe much hurt the sight, but aboue the rest, melancholike dumpes and much weeping.
[sidenote: The bellie must be kept soluble.]
The belly must be soluble alwaies in all the disease of the eyes: which Hippocrates obserued by the example of them, which haue blood-shotten eyes, as also such as are vapour-eyed. But and if it be costiue, it must be helped by all meanes that are gentle and easie, as laxatiue brothes, Prunes and Raisins laxatiue, lenitiue clisters and such others. Some cause damaske Prunes to be stewed in a syrope, with Sene, Agaricke, and Sugar, whereof foure or fiue are to be taken in the morning before breakefast or dinner.
Select and choise remedies for the preseruation of the sight, and the order that is to be kept in the application of them.
Seeing that the weakenes of sight commeth ordinarilie, either of the distemperature of the braine, or of the euill disposition of the eye: the rationall and methodicall Phisition ought alwaies to haue regard vnto these two poynts. The braine if it bee too moist, must be dried; and the eye if it be weake, must be strengthened. Plato in a dialogue of his, doth counsaile vs, neuer to attempt the drying or strengthening of the eye by outward remedies, without hauing first purged the head.
[sidenote: The purging of the whole bodie and of the braine.]
We will therefore take our beginning at the purging of the head; and for as much as it is hard to purge the same well, if the whole bodie (which doth ordinarile send great stoare of excrements thither) be not very cleane, it will be requisite to chuse a remedie, which in purging the braine, may gentlie emptie the whole bodie also, and therewithall somewhat respect the eye. That forme which is proper to pills, is most fit for this purpose. The Arabians commend the pilles, called Elephangine, the pilles of Agaricke, and pillula lucis maiores and minores: Wee may prepare a masse of this mixture.
[sidenote: A description of such pils as are to be vsed.]
Take of Aloes well washed in Fennel and Eyebright water, three drams, of good Agaricke one dram and a halfe, of Rubarbe, a dramme, of the flesh of Citrine mirobalanes, chafed in the oyle of sweete Almonds, foure scruples; of Sene of the East well powdred a dramme; of Masticke, Ginger, and Cinnamome, of each halfe a scruple, of Trocisks alandhall fiue or sixe graines to acuate it withall, infuse all these in the iuyce of Fenel, and sirope of Stechados, and make vp a masse, thereof take a dramme twise euery moneth, either at euening or morning. Or else,
Take of the powder of Hiera two drammes, of good Agaricke foure scruples, of Anise seede, Fennel seede, and Seseli seede, of each halfe a scruple, of Maces, Cinnamome, and Mirrhe, of each fiue graines, with honie of Roses, Rosemarie flowers and the water of Fennel; make these vp in a masse, and take thereof a dram euery weeke: they which cannot swallow pils, shall vse this magistrall sirop.
[sidenote: A magistrall sirope.]
Take of the roote of Fennel, Acorus, and Elecampane, of euery one an ounce, of the leaues of Eyebright, Betonie, Fumitorie, Mercurie, Succorie, Germander, and Veruaine, of euery one a handfull, a dozen of damaske Raisins, and as many Prunes, of Anise and Fennel seede two drammes, of the flowers of Sage, Stecados, Rosemarie, and eyebright, of euery one a pugil: boyle them all in faire water, and when you haue strained it, adde thereto the expression of three ounces of Sene which haue bin infused a good while in the foresaid decoction warme: as also the expression of an ounce of Agaricke, with a dramme of cloues and as much Cinnamome: boyle them all together againe with a sufficient quantitie of Sugar vnil it haue the consistence of a sirope that is well boyled, aromatize it with halfe a dramme of Nutmegs and as much of the powder of Diarrhodon. If in the ende and shutting vp of this sirope there be put thereto the infusion of the weight of halfe an ounce of Rubarbe strongly pressed out, it cannot chuse but be a great deale better. Hereof one shall take euerie fiue daies the quantitie of two ounces, more or lesse according to the working, and that in some broth or decoction appropriate vnto the head and eyes.
The often vse of Clisters is requisite in all the diseases of the eyes, eares, and head.
[sidenote: Decoctions prouoking sweate.]
If the braine should be very moist, and that the temperature of the bodie doe not withstand, the vse of the roote China, or of Zarza, Perilla, putting thereto of the leaues of Eyebright, and of the seede of Fennell, would be of very good effect. For together with the consuming of the superfluous moisture of the whole body, it would strengthen the braine and the eye: and yet I beleeue that the vse of Sassafras hauing the smell of Anise seede, would be a great deale more fit.
The bodie being purged by these vniuersall remedies, the braine may afterward with greater securitie be euacuated by the mouth and nostrels, which are the ordinarie draines that nature hath ordayned for the cleansing thereof;
I should better allow of Masticatories then Irrhines, because the nose is seated very neere vnto the eyes, and communicateth greatly therewith, by the hole which goeth through them to the great corner of the eye, in such sort as that there being any forcible attracting of any humour through the nose, it might be the occasion of drawing the same vnto the eye, which is the part that is diseased. This is also the appoyntment, of that great Phisiton Hippocrates, in the second section of his sixt booke of Epidemicall diseases. It is meete and necesarie (saith he) that humours falling vpon the eyes, should be diuerted vnto the palate and mouth. It were better therefore to chawe and masticate something as damaske reasons, sprinkeled with a drop or two of the essence of Fennell, or else to rub the palate with the said essence alone, whose vapour ascending vp to the braine and eye, will strengthen them, and not suffer them to attract any vicious humours.
[sidenote: Rubbing of the head.]
Fricasies and rubbings of the head, made against the hayre with bags, perfumes, and artificiall coifes, such as we will prescribe in the capter of rheume, will euacuate the braine by insensible transpiration.
Hippocrates in the diseases of the eyes, applieth cupping glasses vnto the necke, and hinder part of the head, to the shoulders and thighes.
We must not forget among the particular euacuations of the head, to speake of cauteries: it is very true in deede that Phisitions doe not accord of the place where they are to bee applied. Some there be that applie them vpon the top of the head: but I am iealous of that place, for that I haue seene fearefull accidents to happen by reason of Pericranium, when the causticke hath searched to deepe: and I could like it better, that it should be applied behinde: for such reuulsion would worke more effectually, and further, it is very certaine that the rising of all the sinewes lyeth behinde.
[sidenote: A worthie obseruation of the originall of the sinewes.]
This is a worthie thing to bee noted, and that which but a few men haue marked, I haue oftentimes shewed the same both in my publique and priuate dissections. There is a certaine Italian Phisition, which boasteth himselfe to haue been the first founder and finder of this matter: but I haue long since read the same obserued of Hippocrates in his booke of the nature of bones. This cauterie is not to be applied vpon that part of the head called Occiput, because that thence there would issue nothing,
[sidenote: The fittest place for the application of cauteries.]
but ouer against the space which is betwixt the first and second Vertebre: being the very place, where Setons also are ordinarily set. In old and inueterate diseases of the eyes, I could approue of that deriuation made by cauterie behinde the eares, because the branches of the veines and arteries called Carotides and Iugulares, (from which the eye hath all his outward store of veines and arteries) do passe along that way. And these are the most proper & fit meanes (in my iudgement) to euacuate as well sensibly as insensibly the whole bodie, the head and the eyes.
I haue not spoken of blood-letting, because there is not any place for it here: and it is so farre off from profiting them which are weake sighted, that it weakeneth them more, taking away blood, which is the storehouse of nature, and that iuyce, whereby it is most cherished. And yet in great paines, inflammations and sudden fluxes of humours, it may doe good.
After euacuation, we must thinke how to strengthen the braine and the eye, to which vse and purpose there are opiates, lozenges and powders, which haue propertie to cleere and strengthen the sight, as Treacle and Mithridate are greatly commended and commanded, for such as haue their braine and eyes very rheumatike and moyst.
[sidenote: Medicines to strengthen and sharpen the sight.]
The conserues also of the flowers of Betonie, Sage, Rosemary and Eyebright, there may bee framed a composition or Opiate in maner as followeth. Take of the conserues of the flowers of Eyebright, Betonie, and Rosemary, of each an ounce, of olde Treacle three drammes, of conserue of Roses halfe an ounce, of the powder of Diarrhodon a dramme and a halfe, of Maces two scruples: make an Opiate hereof with the syrope of Citrons, and take thereof oftentimes in the morning when you rise.
[sidenote: A confection.]
One may also make a confection, with two ounces of rosed Sugar, and as much of the sugar of Borage flowers, with two drams of the powder of Diarrhodon, and halfe a dram of the powder of Eyebright, Betonie and Fennell, which may be taken in the morning.
[sidenote: A powder to be taken at night.]
At night going to bed, there are certaine powders to bee vsed and taken inward, that so the vertues thereof may bee conueied, together with the vapours of the meate. Take of Eyebright three drammes, of Fennell two drammes, of Anise and of Seseli a dram, of Mace two scruples, and of Cinamome and Cloues as much, of the seede of Rew and Germander halfe a dramme, of the seede of Pionie a dram, of rosed Sugar so much as needeth: make them into very fine powder, and take thereof a spoonefull at your going to bed.
[sidenote: A powder helping concoction.]
After meate also one may vse digestiue powders, with Coriander, Fenell, red Roses, Corall, Pearle, Eyebright, Mace, and rosed Sugar: or els vse this condite.
[sidenote: A condite.]
Take of Fennell and Coriander Comfits, of each halfe an ounce, of the rindes of Citrons and Mirobalanes condited, of each two drammes, of dried Eyebright one dram, of Mace halfe a dram, of rosed Sugar so much as needeth: make thereof a condite, whereof take a spoonefull after euery meale.
The Arabians doe highly commend this powder to bee taken aftermeate. Take of the Trociskes of Vipers a dram, of the powder of Eyebright foure scruples, of sweete Fennell two scruples, of the stones which are found in the eyes of a Pike, one scruple, of rosed Sugar foure ounces: and make thereof a powder.
And hitherto concerning inward medicines, which serue for the cleering and strengthening of the sight: and now wee are to lay out the outward, which are waters, colliries, and oyntments.
[sidenote: Outward remedies.]
There are an infinite number of receipts, but I will put downe three or foure of the most exquisite and best approued. As for to wash the eyes in the morning vse these distilled waters.
[sidenote: A distilled water.]
Take of the crops of Fennell, Rew, Eyebright, Veruaine, Tormentil, Betonie, wilde Roses of male Pimpernell, Burnet, Clarie, Agrimonie, Cheruile, mountaine Hissope, and mountaine Siler, of euery one two good handfuls: shred all these hearbes very small, and infuse them first in white wine, and afterward in the vrine of a young boy that is in perfect health, and thirdly in a womans milk: and lastly in good honey: after which distill the whole, and keep this water carefully, putting euery morning a drop therof into the eye.
[sidenote: Another water.]
You may also euery morning wash your eyes with wine, wherein hath been boyled Fennell, Eyebright, and a little of Chebule Mirobalanes. Some make a water of the iuyces of male Pimpernell, Germander, Clarie and Rew: putting thereto afterward of Cloues, Mace, and Nutmeg two or three drams, and haue infused them all together in white wine, to distill them with good honey.
[sidenote: A very good medicine for the eyes.]
I finde the remedie which I now set downe, to be very good for the preseruation and strength of the eyes. Take of the water of Eyebright and Roses well distilled, foure ounces: afterward prouide two or three small bags in which is contained a dram and a halfe of Tutia well prepared, and of good Aloes a scruple: hang these bagges in the waters aforesaid, and wash your eyes therewith euery night.
[sidenote: An excellent water of bread.]
The water of bread (so called) is very excellent. You must make paste with flower grossely sifted, and the powder of Rew, Fennel and Clarie, which they call great Celondine: of this paste you must make a loafe and bake in the ouen, which so soone as it is baked must be clouen in two, and put betwixt two siluer plates, or peauter dishes, made very close in such sort as that there may nothing breath out: and so you shall thence gather a water, which must bee kept for the eyes. Some also doe much commend the extraction of Fennegreek with Honey. The water of blew flowers called Blew bottles and growing in the corne, distilled, is excellent good for the preseruation of the sight. Some also take the stalke of Fennell a little aboue the roote, and cutting it, fill it with the powder of Sugar candie: whereupon commeth forth a licour which is singular for the eyes. I cannot but hightly praise this water, which I am about to describe.
[sidenote: A water.]
Take of White wine a pound and a halfe and as much of good Rosewater, of Tutia well prepared an ounce, of the rinde of Nutmeg called Mace, half an ounce: put all these together in a glasse violl close stopped, and set it in the heate of the Sunne twenty daies, stirring it euery day till it become very cleere.
[sidenote: An oyntment for the eyes.]
There is a singuler oyntment for the preseruation of the eyes. Take of Hogs grease very new, two ounces: steepe it in Rosewater sixe houres: after wash it againe twelue seuerall times in the best White wine that may bee got, by the space of fiue or sixe houres more, adde afterward vnto this grease of Tutia well prepared and finely powdred one ounce, of the stone Hematites well washed a scruple, of Aloes well washed and made into powder twelue graines, of powder of Pearle tree graines: mixe all together with a little of the water of Fennell, and make them vp in an oyntment, whereof ye may put a very little in both the corners of your eyes. There is great store euery where of other outward remedies which may serue for the eyes, as Colliries, or Eyesalues and powders, which are blowne into the eyes: but I finde them not so fit for the purpose as waters.
[sidenote: Washing of the head.]
The Arabians vse washing of the head, the better to preserue the sight: but it is not very good in the weakenes of the eyes to trouble the braine: but if there be any such thing vsed, it may bee done in this sort. Take the lye that is made of the Vine ashes, of the leaues of Stechados, Betonie, Eyebright, Celandine and Camomill, of each a handfull, of Agarick and Chebule Miroblanes tied in a cloute, of each two drammes: boyle all together till the fourth part be conformed, and therewith wash your head. Or else take dried Eyebright, and make it into ashes: then adde thereto the water of Eyebright, and make thereof a lye.
Loe these be the meanes whereby we shall be able to preserue the sight, especially if the diminution thereof come by some great moysture of the braine and eyes, as is that of my Ladies the Dutchesse of Vzez to whom this whole discourse is particularly dedicated. I do not set downe the remedies, which are proper to the seuerall diseases of the eyes, for so I should spend too much time. It was my purpose onely to perpare this generall regiment, which might serue as a patterne for the curing of all the rest. Monsieur Guillemean the kings Surgeon, hath put forth a very learned treatise, wherein are to bee found, the most exquisite remedies set downe and vsed by the old and new writers. Vnto his booke I referre the reader, seeing it is extant in our common language.
An end of the first discourse.