Billeder på siden


Physicians of Alyddvai.


§ 1. HERE by the help of God, the supreme chief Sovereign, are shewn the most notable and principal methods of healing the human body, the persons who caused them to be written after this fashion being Rhiwallon the Physician, and his sons, even Kadwgan, Griffith, and Einion. For they were the ablest and most eminent of the physicians of their time, and of the time of Rhys Gryg1 their lord, and the lord of Dinevor, the nobleman who maintained their rights and privileges, in all integrity and honour, as was meet. The reason why they thus caused a record of their skill to be committed to writing was, lest no one should be found after them so endowed with the requisite knowledge as they were.


§ 2. The head is the first and the most important portion of man's body, which God formed, for therein are the five corporeal senses.

1 Rhys Gryg," arwr Dinefwr," was the son of Rhys ab Gruffydd, Prince of South Wales. He married the daughter of the Earl of Clare, A.D. 1219, died at Llandeilo Vawr in 1233, and was buried in the Cathedral of St. David's, where his monumental effigy still remains in a good state of preservation. Rhys Gryg was a distinguished warrior, and fought with various success in the wars which were carried on in Wales, almost without intermission, during his life. Several odes are preserved in the first volume of the Myvyrian Archaiology, which were addressed to him by the poets, Llywarch ab Llywelyn, Phylip Brydydd, and Dewi Mynyw, the two latter of whom also wrote elegies upon him.


§ 3. Diseases originate in three places in the head; one is the pericranium, the second is the cranium, and the third is the dura mater.


$ 4. By an incision in the scalp, extending to the cranium, and giving exit to the venom, is the cranium preserved. By phlebotomy and cauterization is the scalp preserved.


§ 5. By exposing the dura mater, taking two parts of wood betony, and three parts of the violet, with salt butter, pounded together, and applying them thereto, the venom is removed from the dura mater. It will extract any inflammation and pain existing therein.


§ 6. From the time the scalp is laid open to the end of nine days, shall this issue remain on the bone: that is to say, this plan should be followed in an old standing complaint of the head.


§ 7. As to a recent blow or fresh wound on the head, the sooner it is dressed the better, lest there should be extravasated blood upon the dura mater, and that it should become concocted there. When the bone and the dura mater are exposed, take the violet and fresh butter, and pound together. If the violet cannot be gotten, take the white of eggs and linseed, pounding them together; or fresh butter and linseed, and apply thereto till (the pain is) assuaged. Then an ointment should be prepared of herbs, butter and tallow,

and applied thereto until it is cured. A pound is the physician's fee for this treatment as regards the deed of mercy simply, without victuals: or nine score (pence) with victuals.1


§ 8. For pain in the eye. The actual cautery applied to the hollow of the eyebrow, and another in the nape of the neck, is beneficial for rheum of the head.


§ 9. For a red watery eye (ophthalmia tarsi cum epiphora) insert a seaton under the jaw, and apply the actual cautery in the nape of the neck, and this is beneficial for rheum of the head.


§ 10. For a dry scurfy condition of the eye (lids.) Take the Juice of the strawberry, a hen's fat, and May butter. Pound them well together, and keep in a horn (box.) When going to bed, anoint (about) thine eye and eyelids well, and they will be cured.


§ 11. There are three kinds of lung disease ;—simple pneumonia, white pneumonia, (bronchitis) and black pneumonia, (phthysis) which is marked by pain below the mammæ, under the armpit, and in the top of the shoulders, with (hectic) redness of the cheeks. And thus are they


1 The same fee is ordered in the Venedotian Code of Hywel Dda ;compensation for the medicaments is this. For each, [a stroke on the head unto the brain; a stroke in tae body unto the bowels; and the breaking of one of the four limbs,] the person wounded is to receive three pounds from the one who shall have so wounded him; the amount likewise due from the person who shall wound him, for his medical treatment, is a pound, without food; or nine score pence, with his food, and the bloody clothes."-Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales, v. i. p. 313. See also p. 391.

treated. Let (the patient) take, for three successive days, of the following herbs; hemlock, agrimony, herb Robert, and asarabacca, then let him undergo a three day's course of aperients. When the disease is thus removed from the bronchial tubes, an emetic should be given him (daily) to the end of nine days. Afterwards let a medicine be prepared, by digesting the following herbs in wheat ale or red wine : madder, sharp dock, anise, agrimony, daisy, round birthwort, meadow sweet, yellow goat's beard, heath, water avens, woodruff, crake berry, the corn cockle, caraway, and such other herbs as will seem good to the physician.

Thus is the blessed confection prepared. Take of May butter, a she-goat's suet or a doe's fat, the shepherd's needle, and as many as may be desired of such herbs as may be suitable for the purpose. A wounded lung is the physician's third difficulty, for he cannot controul it, but must wait for the will of God. By means of the herbs just mentioned, a medicine may be prepared for any one who has a pulmonary abcess (empyema.) He should let out (the matter) and support (the patient) as in the case of a wounded lung, till he is recovered. But most usually, he will have died within eleven years (al. one year.)


§ 12. There are four kinds of fevers, deriving their origin from the summer, viz. latent fever, intermittent fever, ephemeral fever, and inflammatory fever. The fifth fever is typhus, and this kind proceeds from the brain. A latent fever is relieved by an emetic, a cordial, and cauteries. Thus it originates; from the over generating of tough humor in the stomach, from which results a distaste for food, and lassitude during summer. The mugwort, madder, meadow sweet, milfoil, hemp, red cabbage, and the tutsan, all these seven herbs enter into the composition of the medicine re

« ForrigeFortsæt »