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WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
The following exhibits the weights and measures, which every Physician should employ, so that he may know certainly what proportions to use, when necessary.
INFUSION. Pouring water or other
fluid in a boiling state upon herbs, or whatever other ingredient that may be required. DECOCTION. Boiling the herbs or ingredients in the water or fluid required. POTTAGE OR PORRIDGE. Pouring boiling or cold water, or other fluid such as may be required upon the herbs or other ingredients, leaving them to stand, then straining under a press. SOAKAGE. Pouring cold or boiling
water, or other fluid on any substance capable of being influenced thereby, so as to become incorporated with what is poured thereupon. CONFECTION. Fluids mixed with powders or other substances capable of being administered as a draught.
POTION. A draught or fluid prepared according to art.
of the body, so that the food, drink, blood or humors, cannot pass on as usual.
The following are things useful to be known by every Physician, and head of a family even :
iiij. A boil, carbuncle, or plague, and they are occasioned by the entrance of poison into the system. From these four proceed all fevers and diseases incident to the human body, and by the aid of active remedies are they cured.
This word (einaint) is improperly rendered "ointment in the Mabinogi
of Geraint ab Erbin.
THE ESSENTIALS OF A PHYSICIAN.
These things should be in the possession of a Physician: and then follow the characteristics which should distinguish him, which are called the Essentials of a Physician.
i. A lancet to bleed or open an abscess, also a knife somewhat larger.
ij. A steel or silver spatula to spread plaster.
iij. A pipe and bladder in order to inject to the urinary organs or
iiij. His plasters, his ointments, his pills, his powders, his potions, carefully preserved to meet any demand and occasion.
II. A garden of trees and herbs, where such herbs, shrubs, and trees, as do not everywhere grow naturally, may be kept cultivated, and where foreign trees and plants, which require shelter and culture before they will thrive in Wales, may be grown.
uj. He should also have his dry herbs, roots, seeds, and barks kept at hand, so that they may be had in winter, and other times when they are not to be obtained growing, or above ground.
uij. He should also have at hand, his honey, his wax, his pitch, his rosin, his gums, his oil, his tallow, his grease, his lard, his marble slab, his ale, his wine, his mead, his distillations, and other articles as may be required.
uiij. He should also have at hand his mortars, his strainer, his press, his stone ware, his glass ware, his wooden vessels, his fire utensils, and his vessels for keeping articles, whether of glass, earthen, or silver, with good covers, so that the drugs may not become inert, or poisonous from want of keeping, carelessness, or ignorance.
ir. He should also have weights and balances at hand, either of silver or tin, so that nothing deleterious might get into the drugs. All his liquid or fluid measures should also be made of silver or tin, for the same reason. Likewise his surgical instruments generally, with the exception of lancets, cutting scalpels, and probing needles.
r. All his weights and measures, whether of solids or of liquids, should be of warranted weight and capacity, that he may be certain of the proportions of all ingredients, so that he may neither exceed or come short of the quantity required, as this would render the remedy either inert or poisonous.
r. He should also have his warranted Books of Art authorized by a master, so that he may be cunning in the judgment and science of the wise and skilful Physicians who have preceded him, and who have written with authority in the Cymraeg, the Latin, and the Arabic.
rii. He should be also declared competent to practice by authority of the wise and learned masters of the art.
Tiij. He should be a kind man, gentle, mild, meek, intelligent, wise, and gentlemanly in act and deed, in word and conduct, being careful not to shame those whom he has to examine, particularly when he has to examine women.
riiij. He should be skilled in all professional acquirements, and should know the complexion and sign of every feminine disease. He should be able to examine the sick, whether man, woman, boy or girl, in regard to age, constitution, sex, and that in a mild, gentlemanly way, both as to address and voice.
I. He should carefully keep all professional secrets, nor should he divulge them on any account, to any man, nor on any consideration.
ruj. He should most carefully avoid intoxication, tippling, or incontinence in any shape, as there can be no trust or dependance upon those Physicians who are addicted to such evil deeds, nor can that respect, which learning and professional intelligence are entitled to be accorded them.
rnij. He should be a faithful subject, lest he should practice treachery or treason in the exercise of his profession, on native or foreigner, friend or foe; for the office of a Physician is not to slay, but to preserve from what would slay, and to be in accord with God and His peace, and not with the rage and enmity of man to his fellow man.
rniij. He should always have his case of instruments, his emetics and antidotes about him, in case of need.
rir. He should keep about home as much as he can, so that he may be found when wanted.
Tr. He should be constitutionally and habitually devotional, so that the blessing of God may be upon him, and what he does, and that he may be conscientious to do what is right and beneficial in the practice of his art.
And these things are called the Essentials of a Physician.*
* It will be interesting to compare these wise "essentials" with the oath of the Asclepiadæ, in old Greece, being a formula not unlike that in use among the Pythagoreans, and which was in the following words :
"I swear by Apollo, the Physician, by Esculapius, by Hygeia, Panacea, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and stipulation, to reckon him, who teaches me this art, equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substances with him, and relieve his necessities if required, to look upon his offspring in the same light as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction. I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, to those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that system of regimen, which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients; and abstain from what is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner, I will not give a woman a pessary to produce an abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life, and practice my art. I will not cut persons labouring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of the work. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption; and farther, from the seduction of males or females, of freemen or slaves. Whatever in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I see, or hear, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this oath inviolate, may it be granted me to enjoy life, and the practice of my art, respected by all men at all times. But should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot."
Adams' Hippocrates, Vol. II. p. 799.
And thus ends this Book of Medicine, and I, Howel the Physician, the son of Rhys, the son of Llywelyn, the son of Philip the Physician, have selected the same from the authorized old books of the original Physicians of Myddvai, even Rhiwallon the Physician, and his three sons, Cadwgan, Gruffudd, and Einion, and the other Physicians, their sons and descendants who succeeded them.
And I, Howel the Physician, am regularly descended in the male line from the said Einion, the son of Rhiwallon the Physician of Myddvai, being resident in Cilgwryd, in Gower. May the grace and blessing of God attend this Book, and him who studies it as a directory of the art, for the love of God, and the health of the diseased and mained. With God's help even so let it be.
I, William Bona have transcribed this Work from the Book of John Jones, the Physician, of Myddvai, who was the last of the descendants of the Physicians of Myddvai, Anno Christi, 1743.
And I, Iolo Morganwg have re-written the same carefully from the Book of the above William Bona, now in the possession of Thomas Bona, Physician, of the Parish of Llanfihangel Iorwerth, in the County of Carmarthen, in the year 1801; and with old Howel the Physician I say,
The grace of God attend it.
I, John Pughe, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, of Penhelyg House, near Aberdovey, Merionethshire, have finished translating the same into English, this 12th day of February, 1861.