The following excerpt is Chapter X of the book The Histori of Bees, written by Charles Butler, published by William Turner, Oxford, 1634. It is STC 4194, and can be found on reel 658:2 on the Early English Text microfilms.
The book is a general work on beekeeping, going into enormous detail on all aspects of the subject. This excerpt is the final section, which concerns the use of the hive -- the making of wax, mead, preserves and medicines using honey.
This transcription has moderized spelling for practical reasons. The original was written in an early phonetic spelling, which is a bit tricky to read and impossible to reproduce using simple HTML. I am attempting to keep the wording identical to the original, but it should be noted that this is, as yet, unedited, so there may be typos. (Especially since the original is hard to read in places.)
The Latin stretches should be considered downright suspect -- while I know enough Latin to be sensitive to likely spellings, I'm far from fluent, and the Latin is mostly in hard-to-read Italic font, so you shouldn't assume that it is terribly accurate in this draft. Also, there are a lot of specialized terms that I don't know, so I am generally not modernizing their spelling, but just rendering the phonetic spelling as best I can.
The book is quite rich in footnotes of all sorts. In general, I've reproduced most of the major inline ones at this point. There are a lot more, both marginalia and references to other books. I'm a bit inconsistent about which ones have been reproduced and which not; in this pass, I'm mainly shooting to get the sense of the text. And the footnotes are uniformly much harder to read accurately.
This is far from a comprehensive index. Rather, it is pointers to some sections that I find particularly interesting or practical.
OR THE HISTORY
Their admirable Nature and Properties
Their Generation and Colonies
Their Government, Loyalty, Art, Industry,
Enemies, Wars, Magnanimity, etc.
With the right ordering of them from time to time:
and the sweet Profit arising thereof.
Written out of Experience
CHARLES BUTLER, Magd.
Plaut in Trucul. Act. 2. Sc. 6.
Pluris est oculatus testis unus, quam auriti decem.
Printed by WILLIAM TURNER, for the
Of the Fruit and profit of Bees.
Wherein is shewed, first the Vindemiation or taking of Combs: secondly, the trying of the Wax, with the making of Meth or Hydromel: and thirdly, the singular virtues of them, for the use and comfort of man.
The first part of this Chapter sheweth the taking of the Combs.
The most usual, and generally most useful manner of taking the Combs, is by killing the Bees. For which the natural and seasonable time is in Virgo, [from the end of the Dogdays unto Libra:] because till then the Combs are full of Skadons; which deceive the Honey-men, making the Hive heavier, and the Honey worse: (for the young Bees, as well as the Sandarak, corrupt the same: Pulli & rubra sordes sunt mali saporis, & succo suo mella corrumpunt) and after that time, the weather waxeth colder, not so fit for the running and working of the Honey: and the Honey is likely to decrease, either by the Bees own spending, or by the spoiling of Robbers. Except in the Heat countries, where their gathering lasteth longer: for there they defer their taking until Mid-Libra.
At this time therefore, consider with your self what Stalls you will kill. Swarms that may live, yearlings and two yearlings that are in proof, keep for store. Likewise those that rid their Drones betimes, and specially they that draw out their young Cepens.
Those of three or four years, which, by reason of their not swarming this last Summer, are full of Bees; lightly are fat, and therefore worth the taking: but they are also good for store, unless the frequent Honey-dews have made them over fat. But
those of that age which have cast twice (except they were very forward, and had beat away their Drones betimes) are not likely to continue: and therefore are to be taken.
Yearlings that (?never?) swarm, more are full of Bees the second
Summer, are cut off (???)
If you would have any such to stand an other year, and not to be weakened by his last casting; put it back into the flock again.
Likewise all poor Swarms unworthy to be fed, and all light Stocks, whose stocks are decayed: for they will surely die. Such are they that care not to carry out their dross, or to drive away their Drones in due time: and such are they that in Virgo, or after, make a general and continued murmuring above in the Hive: also those that the Robbers do eagerly assault are to be suspected: and if their Combs be once broken, delay not their taking. Moreover, all Stalls of three years old & upward, that have missed swarming two years together: (and specially those, that having lain for the Summer before, did not cast this last Summer) for such do seldom after prosper. It is therefore better to take them now wi?? they are good, than (in a vain hope of increase) to keep them till they perish. Neither is it safe to trust any, after they have stood five years, unless it be some special kind of Bees, which cast often, and yet (beating away their Drones betimes, do still keep themselves in hart: For such I have kept nine or ten years: and I have heard of some of a greater age. Likewise if you have any that are very fat and full of Honey (as some years some will be, even down to the Stool) those are ripe and ready to yield their Fruit. One such is worth three or four. Take them therefore in their season: For wanting some to breed in, (their Cells being full of Honey) they will decay by little and little, and consume to nothing. And therefore, as in a wet hungry year you must keep the best; so in a dry year, rich and plentiful in Honey-dews, the worst are like to prove best for store.
But generally take the best, and the worst: In medio virtus.
Having made ??is of your Stall to be taken: some two or three hours before Sun-set, dig a hole in the ground (as
near the Stool as may be) about eight or nine inches deep, and almost as wide as the Hive-skirts: laying the small (?earth?) round about the brims. Then having a little stick slit in one end, and (?stripped?) at the other, take a Brimstone-match five or six inches long, and about the bigness of your little finger, and making it fast in the slit, stick the stick in the middle of the bottom, or in the side of the hole; so that the top of the Match may stand even with the brim of the pit, or within one inch of it: and then set an other by him dressed after the same manner, if that be not sufficient. When you have fired these Matches at the upper ends, set over the Hive; and presently shut it close at the Shirts with the small (?earth?), that none of the smoke may come forth. So shall you have the Bees dead and down in less than a quarter of an hour.
But a moveable Pit is better, as being always ready, without any labor, for any Stall, in any place of the garden. Which is to be made of the round trunk of an Elm, or other tree: the length or depth whereof let be 10 inches: the diameter of the convexa superficies 18 inches, and of the concava 10 at the top, and 8 at the bottom: and so the Trunk will be five inches thick below, and 4 above: the tree inmost whereof must be sloped one inch deep. This Pit being placed, fasten the stick with the match or matches, into the ground, in the middle of the bottom: fire the Match, set over the Stall, and stop in the smoke with linen cloths.
?? may have the evening and morning to finish your work; while the
store-Bees be at rest: which otherwise will trouble you in handling
the Hoo?s, ? by any means they may come at you. But if the weather
be ?old enough to keep ???? in, or the (?house?) be close enough
to keep them out; you may take what time of the day you please.
Matches are made of linen rags and Brimstone, after the manner that maids make Slu??. First, melt pounded Brimstone: then take a linen rag, about an inch broad, and a foot long; and (?binding?) both the ends in one band, dip the rest in the melted Brimstone, turning it up and down with a stick: then taking one of the ends in the other hand, wind it a little; for hard winding makes it burn the worse. This cut in the middle makes twain.
Next unto Brimstone is the smoke of Bunt or great Pukfists, Touchwood, or (?Mushrooms?), used in like manner: but they are neither so quick, nor so sweet. And for a need, some smother
them with dank straw, or Hay: but then the Honey will smell of the smoke. And therefore some drown them in a Tub of water: but that hurteth the Honey, and doeth the Hive no good: and besides that, many of the Bees being not quite died, will sting them that handle the Honey.
The Bees being dead, carry the Hive into the house, &c. See part. 2.
If any Bees escape, they will die that night: but if you fear they will do any harm, you may kill them presently upon the stool.
Another way to take the Combs is by Driving the Bees. The manner of it is this. At Mid-summer, or within two or three days after, in a fair morning an hour before Sun-rising, lift the stall from the stool; and set it upright and fast on the ground in a Brake, with the bottom upward: and quickly cover it with an empty Hive; having first laid two (?spleets?) upon the full Hive's bottom, that the empty Hive may stand the faster. Then wrapping a mantle round about the Chink or meeting of both the Hives, and binding it fast with a small cord above and beneath, that a Bee may not get forth; clap the full Hive or Remoover round about a good many times (pausing now and then a little between) that the Bees may ascend into the void Hive. And when you think that most of them are Driven up (which will be about half an hour after) set the upper Hive or Receiver upon the old stool: BUT be sure &c. (as it followeth.n.15.
Provide always, before you go about this business, that all the stalls in your Garden be first shut up, lest they trouble you and your poor Bees.
This kind of taking is much applauded at the first, because men think thereby to save both Bees and Honey: but it falleth out with them as it is in the Proverb, All covet, all lose. For the Honey is neither so good, as being not yet in season, and to be corrupted with the Skadons, which can hardly be clean taken from it; neither so much by almost the one half, sith there remain yet six or seven weeks of Honey-gathering. And the Bees (as men forcibly driven from their goods and children)
are so discouraged, that they seldom strive after it: specially those that have swarmed: seeing their company is left but small, and the after-brood is destroyed, which should have supplied the rooms of them that are gone. And as for those that have not cast, they might after that time yield a swarm, which would be better than the whole stall being Driven: and if they did not swarm at all, they would be so much the better, either to take for Honey, or keep for store.
This Driving of Bees into (?leer?) Hives being nother so profitable as it seemeth, I do rather commend unto you the Driving of one stall into an other: where the fruit of one is taken, and the lives of both are saved together.
And thus some are to be Driven in the latter part of Virgo, when they have done breeding; and some in Aquarius or Pisces, before they being to breed again.
In Virgo such stalls only are to be Driven, as are fit to be killed: and that into yearlings or two yearlings, which that year have cast twice and therefore have few Bees left in them; but yet have Honey enough. The manner of it is this. Having first placed these two stalls, the Remover (that is driven) & the Receiver, as near as may be one to another; and so let them stand together six or seven days, till they be well acquainted with their standings; when you see the weather fair and constant, late in an evening, about ten o'clock, set the Remover fast on the ground in a Brake, with his bottom upward, and the Receiver upon: and bind them close together, as in the former Driving. And then, by often clapping the Remover between your hands about the space of a quarter of an hour (now and then pausing between) having Driven most of the Bees into the Receiver, and so mingled them all together; let them so stand till the morning. In the morning about Sun-rising, (if the weather be fair, otherwise you must stay longer) do the like: having first shut and covered the other stalls.
[Footnotes:] If the weather fit not the next day, you may safely stay ???? do fit; so that no Bees get forth in the meanspace.
This done, set the Receiver upon the Removers stool: BUT,
be sure to bolster him up with three Tile-shards, that the Driven Bees may easily get into the Hive on every side. And then knock the Remover down upon a Table two or three foot square, set close to the forepart of the Stool: and, by clapping of the Hive, presently get as many Bees forth as you can. And forthwith carry the Remover a Perch from the Stool: and then laying him down, so that the Combs may lie edge-long; after a little while, clap him twice or thrice: which will make many of the Bees to fly away. Then remove him to an other place about the former distance, and there do likewise: and so to an other, until few or no Bees will come forth by this means. And ever when you be come to a new place, and there have got out some Bees; leave there the Remover, and go directly to the Receiver, and a little beyond: for the Bees will follow you, and thereby sooner recover the Hive.
After this, having removed the Remover again, and laid the Combs edge-long as before; stay till you see the Bees ascended to the highest part of the Combs in the skirt of the Hive: and then resting it on the edge of a Kiver, and turning the Bees toward your readiest hand; with two or three claps force them out into the Kiver, and then suddenly carry the Hive to an other place: and when you see more Bees ascended; have it back again to the Kiver, and there clap them out as before. This iterate as often as you see any store arise unto the upmost part of the Hive-skirt. Which when they cease to do, the Hive is well nigh rid of his Bees. Between wiles, carry the Kiver to the Stall, and knock out the Bees upon the Table. Then, having first loosed the Spleet's ends, take out the Combs, beginning at one side: and ever when you have taken out a Comb, wipe off the Bees with a feather of Goose-wing into the Kiver, and send it in, out of their sight. When the Combs are all gone, set the Hive and Kiver before the Receiver, that the Bees may take up your leavings. As soon as they begin to be quiet; take away the Bolsters, & cloom up the Hive very close, leaving the door no wider than must needs be. And when all is done, set open your other Stalls: and carry the Hive and Kiver from among the Bees.
If you think there be not sufficient provision for this double
Stall in that single Hive, bestow a full Comb or twain, as need requireth, of the Remover upon them: and thus will your Bees delight and prospect in one Wax, which in old corrupt Combs would decay.
In Aquarius or Pisces, when you have poised your Hives, those that you find, by their lightness, unlikely to endure the Spring for lack of food; you may in like manner Drive into such provided Stalls, as have fewest Bees: and so will those Receivers be much the better, and cast both the rather, and greater swarms. And if by chance, at any time after, you find a Stall decayed, thus may you save them. Otherwise, if he be fit to be fed, feed him.
If, the weather being not warm, you find some Bees chilled about the Hive; fill your warm hands full of them, and anon they will fly away to their fellows. And if haply any chance to prick you, (which they will seldom do) your hand will have the more virtue to revive the rest.
This Driving will not be so troublesome as the former, because the poor Bees will easily change their hungry home for a place of plenty.
Exsection or Castration, is a third kind of Taking: which is the cutting out of part of the Combs, part being left for the Bees provision. And this was to be done at two times in the year [In ortu, & occasu Vergiliarum.].
[Footnotes:] Vergilium ortus, after Columella is the eight and fortieth day from Aequinoctium vernum: after Varro the four and fortieth; but then you must understand that (?they?) accounted the Aequinoctium to be in the eight degree of Aries: (although Hipparchus, as Columellasayeth, had then found it to be in the first.) Within the Cosmical rising of Vergiliae or Pleiades, being seven stars in the neck of Taurus, and in the four and twentieth degree of that sign, is known to be in the third of May, the five and fiftieth day after the true Aequinoctium: which jumpeth with the account of Columella. And Vergiliarum occasus, being in the same degree of the opposite sign, is upon the fifth day of November.
But what part is to be taken, and what left, I find it not determined. Priore messe (sayeth Columella) dum adbuc rura pastionibus abundant, quinta pars favorum; posteriore, cum jam
metuitur hyems, tertia relinquenda est. But Varro requireth for their store two third parts: Ut ne plus tertia pars eximator mellis, reliquum hyemationi relinquatur. And Aristotle (because, as Columella granteth, hic modus non est in omnibus regionibus certus) doeth not prescribe any certain part, but leaving it to the discretion of the Bee-master, saith, Cum favos apiarii eximunt, cibi tantum reliquant, quantum per hyemem sufficiat: quod si satis sit, servatur examen: sin minus, vel moritur ibidem, (si ne discedat hyems obstet) vel descrit sedem, si seres num nanciscitur.
This way of taking, as appeareth, was anciently used in plentiful Countries: [as Greece, Sicily, Italy, &c.] But the former Exsection 9to wit, in the Spring] Aristotle no where mentioneth: and surely it must needs do more harm than good: seeing the Hives are then ful of Skadons, (which being spilt, do spill their swarming) and the store of Honey, which they seek for, is then well spent.
And that other in the Autumn (which yet is the fitter time) seemeth no less unprofitable than troublesome: because the Bees, in the Spring following, if they lack not Honey to live on, yet shall they lack Cells to lay their young in: whereby their breed will be hindered. And at neither time can it be done without much spoil of Bees.
But howsoever it (?fade?) with them, for our Country I take it to be very unfitting. And therefore I say the less of it: referring the curious Reader unto the fifteenth Chapter of the ninth Booke of Columella, and unto Georgius Pictorius, who in his forteenth Chapter writeth thereof at large.
The second part of this Chapter sheweth the trying of (1) Honey, and (3) Wax, with the (2) making of Meth or Hydromel.
The Hive being housed, squat it softly against the ground; upon the sides, not the edges, of the Combs: and loosing the ends of the Spleets with your fingers; and the edges of the Combs, where they stick to the sides of the Hive, with a wooden Slice; take them out one after an other.
Then having wiped off the half-dead Bees with the Feather of a Goose-wing, break the Combs presently, while they are warm, into three parts: the first (?share?) Honey and Wax, the second Honey and Wax with Sandarak, the third dry Wax without Honey. And that they may break right where you would have them, mark the place deeply with the edge of your knife.
But first provide necessary Instruments: as Pans, Kivers, Tongs, wide Sieves, or Wheat-ridders, a Slice, a Wax-grate, Knives, Straining-bags, a Tub or Kive, with a Tap, and (?Tapwaze?), a hairen Cleansieve, Honey-pots, Wax-molds, Meth-barrels, &c.
Like to a Dowg-grate: but with a longer Handle, so scrape off the
remnant of the Combs, that sticketh to the Hives.
(?Treen?) vessels, if they leak not, are better than earthern: which, if they break, not by some mischance, the very force of the Honey is able to crack.
These things provided, take out the first Comb: and setting the Honey-end in a Ridder, (resting upon Tongs over a clean Pan or Kiver that will not leak) mark and break off the first part for Honey, and leave it there: then going to the Kive fitted with a Tap and Tap-waze, mark and break off the second part for Meth or Hydromel, and leave it there: and lay the third part aside for Wax. Then taking out another Comb, do the like, &c. till the Ridder be full.
If you mean to make two shoots, and so two sorts of Honey; let your assistant presently cut the first part into thin slices, and, without any more ado, let the Honey run his first shoot. But this is to be understood of the darker part of the Combs: for the pure white Cells in the upper part, (which contain nothing but pure white, or yellowish Live-honey) you may as well crush between your hands: and this will be fine ordinary Honey.
But if, for some special use, you would have some Honey, yet more fine and pure; then only slice the purer part of the Combs, (being yet warm with the temperate heat of the Bees) and so let the pure Live-honey run through a clean Cleansieve. For, In omni melle quod per se flust, (ut mustum oleumque) ap, pellaturque, Acoeton, maxime laudabile est. Of all Honey that
which runneth of itself, (as new Wine and Oil) and is called Acoeton, is most commendable.
This Acoeton or finest Nectar, for his incorrupted purity, is called Virgin-honey. Quod favis sponte primum defluit, virgineum mel vulgo appellatur.
Whereof there are two sorts. The right Virgin-honey is of a swarm: that which is of an old stall, though it run first and of it self, and were gathered the same year; yet, being partly mixed with other, and laid up in corrupter vessels, not in the pure Virgin-cels, is but a second or bastard Virgin-honey: rather to be called the finest Ordinary.
[Footnotes:] Acoeton [without Dross or Dregs.] For [greek omitted] doeth properly signify (?Cubile?), a Rea, and in here used for Dregs, because the Dregs of Wine and Oil and such Liquors, are as a Bed or Ground whereon they lie; in which respect which also call them Lees or Grounds. But the ??? to the Dregs of Honey is somewhat Catacrostical: because the Honey beareth his Dross, and not the Dross his Honey.
But the hard Corn-honey, in the top of the Combs (specially if there be any store) because it will not run, you must either wash into the Meth-liquor; or melt it with the Cels on a soft fire, or in a hot oven, or in Balneo Maria: and so shall you have the Honey by itself, and the Wax swimming above it: which you may take away when it is cold. But so, this good Honey will become but coarse: and therefore put it to the second shoot.
Having now taken so many Stalls as you can dress this evening, take the rest as soon after as you may: & let the Honey be all tried out, before you soke the second part.
The Hives being rid, carry them into your Garden, (a Perch at least from any stall, for the Bees to take up your leavings. And have still by you a Pail of fair water, to wash your hands in: which water must be for the Meth.
When the Honey hath run what it will; put this first shoot (whether it be Ordinary or Virgin-honey) into a picked bag, to strain it into his Pot by it self. And let the remainder be crushed with warm hands, that it may run again for a second sort: which is likewise to be strained. That which is left at the last,
in the Bags, Ridders, and else-where, wash into the second shoot of the Must, to give it his just strength.
The weather being not warm, set the Honey by the fire, to help the running.
Otherwise, if you be in haste, and mean to make but one sort of Honey; first slice off the upper part of the Comb (even as much as you find void of Sandarak) for Honey: and presently let your assistant work all together with warm hands: & so make but one shoot: which afterward is to be strained. Then (going to the Kive) slice off the second part (even all that hath Honey) for Meth. And set aside the dry part for Wax. And thus will your Honey be good enough: and such as (compared with vulgar Honey) may well go for fine.
For the Honey-men (because thus to cut each Comb into diverse parts, and diversely to dress each part, would be too tedious to them that have much to do) do use to make but one work of all; with a thin light shovel, pounding and compounding the Honey, and Wax, and Bees, and Skadons, and Sandarak, all together. And then (putting this confused stuff into a strong hairen Bag) do with a Press or (?Wrenge?) violently wring out all that will run. And this, (having first his season of heat over the fire) they put up into barrels or other vessels to work: whereby, though it be much purged, yet can it not choose but participate the nature and taste of those things wherewith it was so thoroughly infected. This done, the (?Puls?) or Net remaining in the Bag, they slice with a shredding-knife into a Trough or other vessel, and all to wash it and mash it in fair water for Mead: which, when the sweetness is all washed out, being crushed dry; the balls they try for Wax.
Honey being put up warm into Pots, will in two or three days work up a skum of Wax, coarse Honey, and Dross together: which being taken off with a spoon, put to the second part. In cold weather the Honey will not work well without the heat of the fire. The best way is to put it into an oven after the batch is (?foorte?), but not before you can abide to hold your hand upon the bottom, for fear of over-heating the Honey. The next way is to stir it in Balneo Maria, till it be all warm.
The differences and degrees of Honey in goodness, are as well Natural as artificial. For as it is made better or worse by the ordering and handling of it; so is it in it self better or worse, according to the different condition of the soil where it is gathered. The Campian-honey is accounted almost twice as good as the Heath-honey, although they be ordered both alike. For when the vulgar Campian is sold for nine pound the Barrel, the like Heath-honey will scarce yield five. And generally the finer the Wheat and Wool is, the finer is the Honey of the same Region: and therefore no marvel that the coarse Heath, hath as coarse Honey, as Wool.
Good Honey, when it hath wrought, hath these properties whereby it is known: It is clear, odoriferous, yellow like pale gold, (but right Virgin-honey is more crystalline at the first) sharp, sweet, and pleasant to the taste, of a mean consistency between thick and thin, so clammy, that being taken up upon your fingers end, in falling it will not part; but hang together like a long string, as that (?useth?) to do which is clarified. So doeth Jacobus Sylvius describe the best Honey: Mel optimem sit purum adeo ut totum perluceat, odorum, flavum, acerrimum, dulcissimumque, gustanti, & jucundissimum, consistentia nec crassa nec liquida, sed tam sibi coharens ut continuitatem suam, quasi linea longissima, non intercisum servet, si digito actollitur: idem conquendo pancam spumam emittit. And Guil. Plantius. Mel probum est, quod inter crassissimum & tenuissimum sit mediocre, sapore dulcissimum, & acerrimum, simulque, dulcedinis sensum inferens, & vellicatu pungens linguam, colore pallidum aut subrutilum, & pellucidum, odoratissimum, & recentissimum, quodque, sublantum non facile ob sequacem lentorem abrumpatur, pondere grave, & inter coquendum spuma parum emittens. In Fern. l.7 de Oxymelite.
This good Honey, specially that part which is in the bottom, will in time grow (like unto Corn-honey, in the uppermost part of the Combs) hard and white: such as is the Honey of Spain and Narbona in France: which is accounted the chiefest, and compared with that of Hymettus and Hybla. But this is to be understood of ordinary Honey: for the pure Virgin-honey will be neither hard nor white; but changeth his liquidity
[Page 161]and crystalline clearness into a thick softness, and bright yellow colour.
And always the best part of all Honey is that which is lowest in the vessel. For as the best Oil is in the top, and the best Wine in the middle; so the best Honey is in the bottom. Mellu exilior pars fluitat, qua eximenda est: pure vero & valida subsidit. Arist. Hist. ani. 1. 9. c. 40. In imo vase quod sidit supernatante pretiosius Plan in Pern. l. 7 de Oxymel.
[Footnotes:] As among ??? Oil excellent in lightness, and Honey in heaviness; so in both, that part is best, which excelleth in his excelling quality: and Wine being of a middling weight, is best in the middle.
The weight of these three, one to an other, hath this proportion. Oil is not so heavy as Wine by one tenth part: for it you fill a Measure with Wine, and divide it into ten parts; the same Measure of Oil is no heavier than nine of them. And Honey is heavier than Wine by the half: for it you fill a measure with Wine, the same Measure of Honey will weigh that and half so much more. Quoniam Oleum levius est Vino parte nona, Mel vero gravius Vino parte dimidia; quaecunque mensura capit Mellis uncias quindecim, capit Vini uncias decem, & Olei novem. Fern. Meth. l. 4. c. 6.
The second part of the Combs, appointed for Hydromel or Meth, you must first rid of the Sandarak as near as you can: cutting off that which is by itself, and picking out that which is among the Honey: all which Refuse (because of the Wax that is with it) cast to the third part.
[Footnotes:] If ??? to part the Honey and the Dross shall seem but a tedious piece of work, you may leave it unto them that are expert in it. (V. c. 8. n. 12.) And make your Meth of more mere Honey.
And then, when the Honey is all strained, and put up; lay this second part asoak in mild-warm fair water, (that which cometh from heaven is counted best) in the Kive or Tub with
his Tap and Tap-waze. But first wash the dry Combs therein, if any Honey chance to stick unto them in the handling: then scrape and wash the Spleetes, and lay them aside, out of the way: and lastly, crush all the Puls well between your hands, specially that which lyeth lowest, and stirring it about all-to-wash it: and so let it steep all that night.
In the morning, let this first shoot of the Must or Wort, (being made of his just strength) run through the Tap-waze. The Puls which remaineth, (when you have squeezed out the liquor) break and wash in fresh warm water in the Kive, for a second shoot. When it hath lyen a while in soak, first take those parcels that swim, and squeezing out the liquor between your hands, lay the balls aside to the third part: (but let your Bees have the perusing of them) then take up those that lie in the bottom, and so likewise: which (because they have most Honey) you must take most pains in washing and crushing them. And while this is doing, let this small liquor run into a vessel by itself. When it is out, wash into it all the remainders of Honey, adding some coarse Honey, if need be, to make it of his just strength: and then let both shoots run together through a Cleansieve into the Kive again. And thus shall you lose none of your Honey.
If there be (?none?) Puls, use a Press, when the liquor hath run
what it will.
The Cleansieve is unto the Tap-waze for Meth, as the Strainer to the Ridder for Honey.
Meth or Hydromel is of two sorts: the weaker and the stronger, [Mead and Metheglen.]
For the making of Mead, If the Must, when it is all together, be not strong enough to bear an Egg the breadth of a two-pence above it, then put so much of your coarse Honey into it, as will give it that strength: which is sufficient for Ordinary Mead. And afterward until night, ever now and then stir it well about the Kive.
If you would make a greater quantity, then must you add a proportionate measure of water and Honey: namely six of that for one of this. The learned Physician Matthias de Lobel requireth the proportion of six to one, to be boiled unto four.
His Receipt of Spices is Cinnamon, Ginger, Pepper, Grains, Cloves, ana two drams. The second morning put to the Must the scum of the Honey, stir all together, and stoop the Kive a little backward. When it hath settled an hour or two, draw it out to be boiled. And when you see the grounds begin to come, stay; and let the rest (save the very thick grounds, which cast to your Bees) run into some vessel by it self: which, when it is settled, peer out into the boiling-vessel through the Cleansieve, and cast out these grounds also into your Garden.
This Must being set over a gentle fire, when you see the Scum, gathered thick all over, and the bubbles at the side begin to break it; having slacked the fire, to cease the boiling, skim it clean. Then presently make a fresh fire to it: and when you see the second scum ready; having slacked the fire again, take it quickly away: then make to it the third fire, and let it boil only at one side of the wasting of a fourth part, if it be made of the washing of Combs; and to the wasting of one fifth or sixth part, if it be made of clean Honey: not ceasing in the mean space to take off the Scum as clean as you can. One hours boiling may suffice: but if the Meth be of clean Honey, it may as well be done in half the time.
[Footnotes:] In (?steed?) of (?twice?) slacking the fire, you may twice cook the boiling Must with cold Must reserved or else be sure that it do boil (all the while) only at one side, and not all over.
After all this, put in the Spices: viz. to a dozen Gallons of the skimmed Must, Ginger one ounce, Cinnamon half an ounce, Cloves and Pepper ana two drams: (all gross-beaten) the one half of each being sowed in a bag, the other loose: and so let it boil a quarter of an hour more.
The end of boiling is thoroughly to incorporate the Born and the Honey, and to purge out the Dross: which being once done, any longer boiling is unprofitable, as diminishing more the quantity, than increasing the strength and goodness of the Hydromel.
As soon as it is boiled enough, take it from the fire, and set it a cooling: the next day, when it is settled; pour it out, through a Hair-sieve or linen bag, into the Kive: (reserving still the
Lees for the Bees) and there let it stand covered, three or four days till it work; and let it work two days. Then draw it through the Tap-waze, and tun it into a Barrel scalded with Bay-leaves, making the Spice-bag fast at the Tap: If there remain much grounds, you may purify them by boiling & skimming again as before: but this will never be so good as the first: and therefore you may put it by itself, or, with some remainder of the best, into a small vessel to spend-first, before it be four. If the Meth be not much, you may tun it the next day, and let it work in the Barrel. Being tunned, it will in time be covered with a (?Mooder?): which if (by jogging the vessel, or by other means) it be broken, the Meth will turn sour. But so will it make excellent Vinegar; and the sooner, if it be set in the Sun: which the longer you keep, the better it will be.
METHAEGLEN is the more generous or stronger Hydromel: being unto Mead as Vinum to Lora. For it beareth as Egg the breadth of a groat or sixpence: and is usually made of finer honey, with a less proportion of water: [namely, four measures for one:] receiving also in the composition as well certain sweet & wholesome herbs, as also a larger quantity of Spices: namely, to every half Barrel or sixteen Gallons of the skimmed Must, Thyme one ounce, Eglantine, Majoram, Rosemary, ana half an ounce; and Ginger two ounces, Cinnamon one ounce, Cloves and Pepper ana half an ounce: all gross beaten: the one half of each being bagged, the other boiled loose. So that whereas the ordinary Mead will scarce last half a year; good Metheglen the longer it is kept, the more delicate and wholesome it will be: and withall the clearer and brighter: according to the Etymon of the name. in p. 3 n. 23
He that listeth to know the many and sundry makings of this wholesome drink, must learn it of the ancient Brittains: who therein do pass all other people. One excellent Receipt I will here recite: and it is of that which our renowned Queen Elizabeth, of happy memory, did so well like, that she would every year have a vessel of it.
First, gather a bushel of Sweet-briar-leaves, and a bushel of Thyme, half a bushel of Rosemary, and a peck of Bay-leaves. Seeth all these (being well washed) in a Furnace of fair water:
let them boil the space of half an hour, or better: and then pour out all the water and herbs into a Vat, and let it stand till it be but milk-warm: then strain the water from the herbs, and take to every six Gallons of water one Gallon of the finest Honey, and put it into the Born, and labor it together half an hour: then let it stand two days, stirring it well twice or thrice each day. Then take the Liquor and boil it anew: and when it doeth (?seed?), skim it as long as there remaineth any Dross. When it is clear, put it into the Vat as before, and there let it be cooled. You must then have in a readiness a Kive of new Ale or Beer, which as soon as you have emptied, suddenly whelm it upside down, and set it up again, and presently put in the Metheglen, and let it stand three days a working. And then tun it up in Barrels, tying at every Tap-hole (by a Pack-thread) a little bag of beaten Cloves and Mace, to the value of an ounce. It must stand half a year before it be drunk.
[Footnotes:] If you marvel that so great a quantity of water is required; it is party because of the goodness of the Honey, which being pure and fine, goeth further than ordinary: and partly that it may have the longer time in boiling, before it come to his strength. And therefore some will have eight parts of water to one of Honey: then the they boil it so much the longer.
The third Part consisting of Wax and Dross, set over the fire, in a Kettle or Cauldron that may easily contain it: & pour into it so much water as will make the wax to swim, that it may boil without burning: and for this cause, while it is seeding with a soft fire, stir it often. When it hath sod a while, and is throughly melted, take it off the fire, and presently pour it out of the Kettle into a Strainer of thin strong Linen, or of twisted hair, ready placed upon a Wrenge or Press: and then winding and doubling the neck of the Bag, lay on the Cover, and press out the liquor (as long as any Wax cometh) into a Kiver of cold water: but first wet therewith both the Bag and the Press, to keep the Wax from sticking. At the first cometh forth most Water, at the last most Dross, in the middle most Wax.
[Footnotes:] The Dross remaining in the Strainer cast out to the Bees.
The Wax waxing hard, make into Balls, squeezing out the water with your hands. When you have thus done, (1) presently, while they are warm, break all the Balls in (2) small Crumlets, into a Skillet or Kettle set over a (3) soft fire. While it is melting, stir it and skim it with a spoon, (4) wet in cold water: and as (5) soon as it is melted and skimmed clean, take it off. And having provided the (6)mold, first (7) warm the bottom, specially if the cake be small, and (8) besmear the sides with Honey; and then instantly pour in the wax (9) (being as cool as it may run) through a linen straining-bag. When you come near the bottom, peer it gently till you see the Dross coming: which strain into some other mold by itself. And when it is cold, either trie it again; or (having pared away the bottom) reserve it, as it is, for some use.
When the Wax is in the mold, if any froth yet remain upon it, blow it together at one side, & skim it off lightly with a wet spoon.
This done, set not the cake abroad, or where it may cool hastily upon, but in the warm house: and if it be great, cover the mold with a Platter, as close as you can, (to keep the top from cooling) till the (10) inward heat be allayed: and so let it stand: not moving the mold till the cake be cold. If it stick, a little warming of the vessel or mold will presently loose it: so that it will slip out.
[Footnotes:] (1)So will the break the smaller with less labour. (2)That the wax may melt the sooner, and all together. (3) For a ??? fire will burn it, and change both color and quality. (4) That the skum stick not. (5) For over heating will discolor the Wax, turning the bright yellow into a dark or reddish color, not so commendable in Wax: for thereby it is known to have lost of his fatness and sweetness, and to be the worse for all uses. (6) Which may be a (?Bason?) or other vessel of metal or earth, bigger upward than in the bottom. (7) Lest the Wax first poured in (which is the best) being presently cooled, lie beneath the Dross. (8) To keep the Wax from sticking to the sides of the mold, and consequently to help save the Cake from cracking. For Wax shrinketh in cooling, as new walls on drying: and therefore if the Cake stick not, it shrinketh together from the sides, and so in less than the mold, and whole: but if it stick fast to the sides, so must it needs crack, one part shrinking from another, (specially if it cool hastily upon) as it happeneth commonly in great Cakes: For small ones, whose inward heat is allayed lie that time the upper part beginneth to harden, are not so subject to cracking.
[Footnotes:] (9) & (10) For the great heat of the Wax doeth cast up the watry vapours mingled with it: Which so long as the upper part of the Cake (?cometh?) liquid, do easily ???: but when it is hardened, and the Wax yet fervent (?hath?) (?beneath?); the vapours being violent through the inward heat, must needs render crack the Cake, or heave it and make it hollow, or both; specially if it be very great; for then will the heat be both stronger and longer: but this is helped by not sticking. ante Num. 8.
The properties or tokens of good Wax, are (1) Most yellow, sweet, fat, (2) fast or close, (3) light, (4) pure, and void of all other matter. Cera sit flavissima, odorata, pinguis, coacta, levis, pura, & aliena omni materia carens. Sylv. de med. simpl. delectu lib. 1.
[Footnotes:] (1)That is, Most light-yellow: [farthest from red and nearest to white:] for as in gold the deepest, so in Wax and Honey (v.n.13) the palest yellow is best: yea the pure Virgin-wax at the first is white. v.c.6.n.??? (2) not hollow as the froth is. (3) For Wax, like Oil is best in the top, as Honey in the bottom. (v.n.15) except the hollow froth, which is to be skimmed away. v.n.30. (4)and therefore the bottom, unto which the Dross doeth descend, is not good.
The third part of this Chapter sheweth the singular virtues of (1) Honey, (2) Meth, and (3) Wax, for the use and comfort of man.
HONEY is (1) hot and dry in the second degree: it is of (2) subtle parts, and therefore doeth perce as Oil, and (3) easily pass into the parts of the body: it hath (4) a power to cleanse, and some sharpness withall, and therefore it (5) openeth obstructions: it (6) cleareth the breast and lights of those humors, which fall from the head to those parts: it (7) looseth the belly, (8) purgeth the foulness of the body, and (9) provoketh Urine: it (10) cutteth and casteth up Phlegmatic matter, and therefore sharpeneth the stomachs of them, which, by reason thereof, have little appetite: (11) it purgeth those things which hurt the clearness of the eyes: (12) it nourisheth very much: (13) it breedeth good blood: (14) it stirreth up and preserveth natural heat, and prolongeth old age: (Read the Note) (15) it keepeth all things uncorrupt, which are put into it: and therefore (16) Physicians do temper therewith, such medicines as they mean to keep long: (17) yea the bodies of the dead, being embalmed with Honey, have been thereby preserved from putrefaction.
(18) It is a sovereign medicament both for outward and inward maladies; (read the note.) (19) It helpeth the griefs of the jaws, (20) the kernels growing within the mouth, (21) and the squinancie or inflammation of the muscle of the inner gargil, for which purpose it is gargarized, and the mouth washed therewith: (22) it is drunk against the biting of a Serpent, (23) or mad Dog: and (24) it is good for them which have eaten Mushrooms, (25) or drunk Poppy; against which evil yet, Rosed-honey is taken warm. (26) It is also good for the falling sickness, and better than Wine, because it cannot arise to the head, as the Wine doeth. (27) Lastly, it is a remedy against a surfeit: for (?them that?) are skillful in physick, when they perceive any mans stomach to be over-come; they first ease it by vomit: and then (to settle his brain, and to stay the noisome fume from ascending to his head) they give him Honey upon bread. In respect of which great virtues (28) they right composition of those great Antidotes. [Treacle and Mithradate] (although they consist, the one of more than fifty, the other of more than sixty Ingredients) requireth thrice so much Honey, as of all the rest. All which premises considered, no marvel though the wise King said My son eat Honey, for it is good. Prov. 24. 13. that the holy Land is so often and so much commended for flowing therewith: Exod. 3.8 13,5. 33.3 Levit. 20,24. Num. 13,27. Deut. 8,8. and that the Eternal Emanuel did use it for his food. Isa. 7,15. Luke 24,43. Yea Honey, if it be pure and fine, is so good in it self; that it must needs be good, even for them whose queasy stomachs are against it. But indeed the vulgar Honey may well be disliked; as being sluttishly handled, and much corrupted with Stopping, and Bees, both young and old: and some with other mixtures also.
[Footnotes:] (1) Galen de Simpl. med. facult. lib 7. (2) tenuium partium. Simeon Seth (3) facile distribustur Matthias de Lobel. (4) detergendi vim. Galen & Seth. (5) Lobel. (6) Wikerus, & Freitagius. (7) Seth. & Freitagius, & Plantius in Fernelium de syrupis. (8) Seth. (9) Seth. & Pictorius. (10) (11) Lobel. (12) (13) Freitagius. (14) calorem nativum suscitat & tuetur, & longam proregat senectam. Plant. loco supra citato. Exempla citat Francisom Valersola Medicus, Locorum com lib. 3. cap. 13. Antich?? Medicam, & Telephus Grammaticus annosi senes Attico melle ex pane alicave excepto plurimum intebantur. Quos Galen?? l.5. de Savis tuenda,
[Footnotes:] (ceu exempla??ita senum, quibus esset optima victus ratione illasa senecta) proponit. Melle itaque senibus plurimum intendum consulo, si modo sua ipsorum valetudinis rationem habere reliut. Et l.3.c.19. Melle vim proferenda vita, senectaque longava agenda, authores affirmant. Democritus ? holosophus (qui mesle oblectatus assidue, in annum c?mesimum n???que fatidiem distulet) interrogatus, ?? scribit Athen??, qu?modo quis?iam sa?? vivere possit, Si exteriora oleo, inquit, interiora melle irrigot. Erat etiam pythagoricorum cibus panis cum melle. Aristoxenus eoa sina m?rbo vivete posse asserit, qui ea semper in prandiis comedant, Lic?? multum Cyrnio: vivere scribit, quia, apud Sardonem habitantes, melle semper ?esen?tur. Nec immorato, quum alimentum sit familiare, & natura amicum, dulcedine quam possidet jucundum: obstructione insuper eximat, infartuque liberet, ventrem molliat, corporis habitum calefaciat, urinam ci?at, thoracem pulmonesque juvet, tonsillis & uva medeatur. Qua, cum tanta possit, vel Dioscoridis & Galeni testimonio ?aud immerito producenda atati vitaque proroganda idoneum esse medicamentum asseri??. (15) Seth. & Plin. hist. l.7.c.3. (16) Pictorius. (17) Claudius Caesar scribit hyppocentaurum in Thessalia natum codem die interisse. Et nos principatu illius allatum illi ex AEgypto in melle vidimus. Plin. hist. l.7 c.3. (18) Mel calidum siccumque ordine secundo aperit, putredins obsistit, siccat, deterget, expurgatque meatus & ulcera. Fern. Method. l.6 c.12. Item, Mel & saccharum, possonibus admista, vires naturales in morbis sopitas & languentes exuscitant & e??gunt: nat??umque calorem (qui solus morbis concoquit & mitificat) recreant: c?assaque extenuando, viscasa extergendo, & obstructa expediendo purgationes quam facillimas prastant. Plannus in Fern. de Syrupis. Item, Mel abstergendi vim habet, ora vasorum aperit, humores ev?cat: qua ratione in serdida ulcera sinusque commode infunditur, decoctum atque impositum abscedentem car??? glutinat, medetur lichenibus, impetigini, coctum cum liquido alumine & illitum. Item, aurium sonitus & dolori cum ?ossili sale ???? tepidum instillatur, lendes & fada capitis animalia illitum necat, oculorum caliginem discutit, fa?cibus tonsillis a?gma collutum gargar?z itumque medetur, ur?am ????, auxiliatur tussi; contra haustum meconsum, cum rosaceo, calidum assumitur, adversus venena fungorum & ra??osi canis morsus linctum aut potum proficit: crudum tamen al?um inflat, tussim lacessit: & ea de re dispumato utendum. Dioscorid. lib.2, cap.101. (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) Pictorius. Mellis natura talis est, ut putrescere corpora non sinat; Fancibus, tonsilli?, angina, omnibusque or? desideriis utilissimum, arescentique in febribus lingua. Plin hist. lib.22. cap 24. (26) Lobel. (27) Pict. (28) Fernel. Method. lib. 7.
Honey is most fit for (1) old men, for women & children, for such as are rheumatic and phlegmatic: and generally for all that are of a cold temperature. (2) To young men, and those that are of a hot constitution it is not so good; because it is easily turned into choler: and yet Lobel saith, we know that
Honey taken fasting doeth much good unto some natures, which have hot livers: and in this point he prefereth our English Honey. Minus (saith he) speciosum ac delicatum Anglum: sed quibusdam prasertim saltibus & pascuis, ubi lana commendatior, lectum, bilsosa excrementa inferius extergendo pellis, & aciei oculorum prodesse putatur. So that he see meth to say, that our Honey is hurtful to none; because it purgeth that evil humor, which other Honey, in some bodies, is thought to breed: But the Proverb said, Too much of one thung is good for nothing: and the wise man in his Proverbs, It is not good to eat much Honey. Prov. 25,7. and in 16,6. Hast thou found Honey? eat so much as is sufficient, for thee: &. For all Honey often and immoderately taken (3) causeth obstruction; (4) (contrary to his natural quality) and so in time (5) breedeth the scab.
[Footnotes:] (1) (2) Galen Simpl med f?c?l? l.4.c.17. Item Seth. Pictorius. & Freitag. (3) Wik??us & Freitagius (4) Vide ? & (18) Supra (5) Lobel.
Raw Honey doeth (1) more loose the belly, (2) causeth the cough, and (3) filleth the entrails with wind: specially if it be of the coo?ler sort. Being boiled, it is (4) more nourishing, (5) lighter of digestion, and (6) less laxitive; also (7) less sharp and abster?ory: for which cause they use it (8) to knit together hollow and crooked ulcers, and likewise (9) to close other disjoined flesh. It is also good against the (10) pleuresy, against the (11) (?pthisis?), and all other diseases of the lungs.
[Footnotes:] (1) (2) (3) Freitag P???? & Wikerus (4) Freitag. & Wiker (5) Wiker??us. (6) Pictorius (7) Gal & Seth & ?ein?ius Method .lib.6.cap 12. ??udum cocto & dispum ?? detergentius quid?m multo est & morda tu?: ??? eo m?un? agglutinat (8) ???num glutinat?ones, Seth. sinuosorum ???crum. Galen. (9) (10) (11) Pictorius.
Honey is clarified by boiling: and that either by itself, or else with a fourth part of water or other liquor. But always in boiling skim it, that it may be pure.
By itself, you must boil it until it will yield no more * skum: (which will be about half an hour) and that with a very soft fire, or in a † double vessel; lest, by over-heating, it get a bitter taste, and lest it suddenly run over and flame.
* The right scum, which is Dross, is fort and brittle: which when it
is clean taken away, the force of the fire will cause the very Honey
to rise up like a skum: but that will then be tougher and more clammy
than the dross skum; and so will all the rest be, when it is (?colae?),
as being overboiled: therefore be sure to take it off in time.
† A vessel set in a vessel of boiling water. [called Balneum Mariae:] which is best.
With water it is to be boiled an hour at the least, even until the water be evaporated: which thing is known by the Bubbles that rise from the bottom: then (to make it more pure) put into every pound of Honey the * white of one Egg, and afterward skim it again in the boiling. The fire may be more fervent at the first; but toward the end it must be slack: for this Honey is then apt to be set on fire (as the mere Honey) & to become bitter with violent heat.
The coarse Honey, being boiled and clarified, hath a pleasant taste; and is comparable, for most uses, to the purest bottom-honey being raw.
Which pure Honey, if you be disposed to boil it, will ask less time to be clarified; (as yielding little or no scum at all) and in taste and virtue it is more excellent.
When your Honey is boiled enough, take it from the fire; and rather too soon, than too late: for it there be any Dross remaining, you shall find it in the top, when it is cold: but overmuch boiling consumeth the spirituous parts of the Honey, and turneth the sweet taste into bitter.
And such is Honey in his own kind, both raw and boiled. It is also altered by distillation into a water, which Raimundus Lustius [that excellent Chemist] calleth the Quintessence of Honey. This Quintessence dissolveth Gold, and maketh it potable: likewise, any sort of precious stone that is put therein. It is of such virtue, that, if any be dying, and drink two or three drams thereof, presently he will revive. If you wash any wound therewith, or other sore; it will heal quickly. It is also good against the Cough, Catar, and pains of the Melt, and against many other diseases. Being given, for the space of six and forty days together, to one that hath the Palsy, it helpeth him. Which thing John Hester a Practicall
Chemist, in his Key of Philosophy, professeth himself to have proved. It helpeth also the falling sickness, and preserveth the body from putrefaction. Of so marvelous efficacy is this water.
The making of it is after this manner. Take two pound of perfect pure Honey; and put it into a great Glass, that four parts of five may remain empty: * Lute it well with a Head and Receiver, and give it † fire until there appeareth certain white Fumes: which, by laying wet clothes on the Receiver and Head, and changing them when they are warm, will turn into a water of a red colour like blood. When it is all distilled, keep the Receiver close shut, and let it stand till it be clear, and of the color of a Ruby. Then distill it in Balneo Maria seven times: and so it will lose this reddish color, and become yellow as Gold: having an exceeding pleasant smell.
* The Lute may be made of Clay, (?Flake?), and Salt-water,
tempered together; or of (?Meal?) and white of Eggs.
† The Lute being first tried on the Sun, or by the fire.
Now as Honey is good by itself, either altered or in his own kind; so is it also being mixed with many other Simples: which here to declare would seem but tedious and impertinent. Notwithstanding, it shall not be amiss, in two or three instances, to give you a taste of such Confections: and first of those that are inwardly, than of those that are outwardly, received.
Of the first sort are Marmalade, and Marchpane, preserved Fruits, as Plums, and Cherries, &c. Conserves of Roses, Violets, &c. with Syrups of the like matter.
Marmalade is thus made. First boil your Quinces in their skins till they be soft: then, having pared and strained them, mix therewith the like quantity of clarified Honey: and boil this together till it be so thick, that in stirring (for you must continually stir it for fear of burning) you may see the bottom; or, being cooled on a Trencher, it be thick enough to slice: then take it up and box it speedily. You may also add a quantity of Almonds, and Nut-kernels: also Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and Mace, of each a like quantity, pounded small, and
put into the Honey with the Quinces, and in boiling to be stirred together. This is very good to comfort and strengthen the stomach. For want of Quinces you may take Wardens, Pears, or Apples, and specially the Pear-main, Gilliflour, Pippin, and Royal.
Marchpane may be made after this manner. Boil and clarify by it self, so much Honey as you think meet: when it is cold; take to every pound of Honey the white of an Egg, and beat them together in a Basin, till they be incorporate together, and wax white: and when you have boiled it again two or three walms upon a fire of coals, continually stirring it: then put to it such quantity of * blanched Almonds or Nut-kernels stamped, as shall make it of a just consistency: and after a walm or two two more, when it is well mixed, pour it out upon a Table, and make up your Marchpane. Afterward you may ice it with Rose-water and Sugar. This is good for the Consumption.
[Footnotes:] Steep them a night in cold water, and the peels will come off.
Preserve Fruits after this manner.
The Damascenes, or other Fruit, being gathering fresh from the tree, fair, and in their prime, [neither green or sour, nor over-ripe or sweet] with their stalks, but cut short; weigh them, & take their weight in raw fine Honey: & putting to the Honey the like quantity of fair water, boil it some half quarter of an hour, or till it will yield no skum: then having slit the Damascenes in the dented side, (for fear of breaking) boil them in this liquor with a soft fire, continually skimming and turning them, till the meat cometh clean from the stone: and then take them up. If the liquor be then too thin, boil it more: if in the boiling it be too thick, put in more fair water, or Rose-water, if you like it. The liquor being of a fit consistency, lay up and preserve therein your Fruits.
If they be greater Fruits, as Quinces, Pippins or the like; then shall it be expedient (when you have bored them through the middle, or have otherwise cored them to put them in, as soon as the liquor is first skimmed: and then to let them boil till they be as tender as Quadlings.
Conserves of Roses is thus to be made: Take of the juice
of fresh Red Roses one ounce, of fine Honey * clarified ten ounces: boil this together: when it beginneth to boil, add of the leaves of fresh red Roses (clipped with Scissors in little pieces) four ounces: boil them to the consumption of the juice, and presently put up the Conserves into some earthen vessel. Keep it long therein: for in time it waxeth better and better. Sylv. l. 3. de med. simp. mist.
After the same manner is made Conserves of Violets.
Syrup of Roses make thus: Steep fresh Roses in hot water over the Embers. (the vessel being covered) until the Roses wax pale: then strain out the Roses, and put fresh in their places, until they also are pale: this do ten times, or until the water be red. And this being purged with whites of Eggs, (to every pint of liquor one) boil it gently with like quantity of fine Honey, until it be of convenient thickness. If you prepare it for present uses, the less boiling will serve: if you mean to keep it, it requireth more: for which purpose the Sunning of it is good. This purgeth a little, specially being new. Sylv. Med. Simplicium. Mist. lib. 3.
Or thus. Steep one pound of red Rose leaves in four pound of water, four and twenty hours. When the water is strained, put unto it two pound of fine Honey, and boil it to the thickness of a Syrup, taking off the scum as it riseth. It tempereth the hot affections of the brain, it quencheth thirst, it strengtheneth the stomach, it procureth sleep, and stayeth thin rheums. Fern. Meth. lib. 7.
The Syrup of Violets is made (after the same manner) of fragrant Violets, and steeped until the liquor be blue. Being well boiled, it may be kept a year without finnewing or corruption. It tempereth and purgeth hot and sharp humors; and therefore is good in a pleuresy: it expelleth melancholy, and the effects thereof, as headache, waking, dreaming, and heaviness of heart: it is fit to be used before, and after, purging. Plantius in Fernel. meth. lib. 7.
If any man like better to make these Confections with Sugar, let him take the like quantity as of Honey: for Sugar also hath, with his sweetness, a power * to preserve; as being a † kind of Honey.
[Page 175]* Condiuntur fructus aut melle, aut Saccharo. Fernel. Mel.l.4.c.17 & Sylv. simpl. med. mist. l. 2.
But in respect of the marvellous efficacy, which fine and pure Honey hath in preserving health; that gross and earthy stuff is no whit comparable to this Celestial Nectar. Although some quaint and Lady-like palates (whom nothing but that which is far fought and dear bought can please) unhappily neglect it. In preserving Fruits it hath more power through the viscosity thereof. Also Conserves, and Syrups being made with Honey * continue longer, and do more kindly work their effects. So that we may conclude with Ecclesiastiens, cap. 11. 3. The Bee is little among such as fly: but her fruit is the chief of sweet things.
[Footnotes:] * Ex melle confectus Syrupus diutius asservatur; is quoque magis incidit, ac detergit. Ex Saccharo suavior, sed non aque efficas. Fern. Met. lic. 4 cap 12.
Honey is used in ourward Medicines for diverse purposes: * not only to contain the other ingredients in form of a Plaister; but also to open, to cleanse, to dry, to digest, and to resist putrefaction. And therefore it hath the predominance in that excellent Salve, called † Unguentum AEgyptiatum: which serveth to cleanse & mundify old sores, & to take away both dead and proud flesh. The Receipt whereof is this. Of Vertdegreece five ounces, of strong Vinegar seven ounces, and of Honey fourteen: boil first the Honey and Vinegar, and stir them together: after a little while put in the Vertdegreece, being pounded to powder: and then (stirring all together) let them boil until the Ointment have his just thickness, and Purple color.
[Footnotes:] * Mel ??anacca & aliis quibusdam emplastris mis cetur, ut corpus prabeat emplasticum; & praterea siccet, tergeat, digerat, a putredine vindicet. Sylv. de med. simpl. mist. l. 3. Mel c??d??? fl???que ??dine secundo
aperit, putredini obsistit, siccat, deterget, expurgatque meatus
& ulcera; nec, ut sal, corporum substantiam c?arctat. Fern. Meth.
l. 6. c. 12.
† Sylv. de Med. simp. mist. l. 3. sect. 10, & Fern. Meth. l.7.
An other of like virtue, but not so much corrosive.
Boil a quart of good Ale in a Skiller to half a pint, skimming off the froth as it ariseth: then put in a spoonful of good Honey: and skimming still as need is, let it boil to the half; or till it be so clammy, that being taken up upon a sticks end, it will not drop, but string down like clarified Honey.
What are the virtues and properties of Meth or Hydromel, may partly be known by that which hath been said of Honey. For seeing Honey is the chief matter whereof it is made; it must needs, together with the substance of Honey, participate the natural qualities thereof. The which, by the purifying in boiling, together with the access of sundry wholesome ingredients, are rather confirmed and increased, than any way extenuated or diminished. Therefore saith Lobel, Mulsum (ubi aque plurimum, mellis non multum) diuturna intestinaque, mellis ebullitione in vinum longe, utilissimum abit. And Pictorius, Hydromel longa vetustate transit in vinum stomacho convenientissimum. Meth, when it is old, is a Wine most agreeable to the stomach: it recovereth (1) the Appetite being lost: it (2) openeth the passage for the Spirit or breath: it (3) softeneth the belly: it (4) is good for them that have the cough. (5) If a man take it (not as his ordinary drink, but as Physick) now and then; he shall receive much benefit by it against Quartan agues, against Cathexis, and against the diseases of the brain, [as the Epilepsy, or the falling evil:] for which Wine is pernicious: it (6) cureth the Yellow Jaundice: it (7) is also good against Hen-bane, with Milk, & against the Winter-cherry: it (8) nourisheth the body. (9) So that many have attained to long old age, only by the use thereof. And therefore no marvel that Pollio Romulus (who was an hundred years old) imputed the greatest cause of his long continued health to this sovereign Drink. (10) For being asked of Augustus the Emperor, by what means especially he had so long preserved that vigour both of mind and body; his answer was Lutus mulso, foris oleo.
[Footnotes:] (1.2 3.4.) Pictorius, & Plin. hist. l.22.c.24. (5) Lobel. (6.7 8.8.10.) Plin hist. l.22.c. 24.
The same thing is more manifested by the general example of the ancient Britains: who (above all other Nations) have ever been addicted to Meth and Methglen. For under Heaven there is no fairer people of complexion, nor of more sound and dutiful bodies. Of whose Methglen Lobel writeth thus: Cambricus ille potus Methagla, (non patrio, usi putant illi, sed * Graco nomine dict??) est altera liquida & limpida Septentrionis theriaca.
[Footnotes:] * Hydromel Borealibus, quibus vineta desunt, pro vino est. Ideoque Cambris, a [greek] dicitur. Pro qua voce Germani (quibus, Teutonico idiomate, solenne est D pro Th. usurpare; ut in Ding, Distel, Dunder; pro Thing, Thistle, Thunder) adeoque Angli etiam, allique populi Boreales a Germanis oriundi, corrupte dicunt Mede. Medonis plurimum bibunt Poloni & Lituani, quod Melle abundent : inquit Andreas Mathsolus, Methaglen veno, (quod Hydromel est praestantius) a [greek] sive contracte [greek], [id est, vinum spelendidum] denominatur : quod (modo vetus sit & tite confectum) non minus colore succino, quam sapore & virtute, prae vinis vinaceis splendeat. De hoc Mercator in Translylvania: Ex melle incola delicatum potem confi?unt: qui etiam verum per??tis, vinum Creticum ceu Malvaticum opinantibus, facile ??ponat. Et Ulysses Aldrovander de mulso: Fit praterea ex melle potus genus, toti nunc Sarmatia, vicinisque Moscovitis familiare. Unde etiam per t?tam Europam fere, pracipue per Germantam, dev?hitur. Decoquitut multipliciter aromate addiso: (Modonom vocant) tam (side-note: Methaeglen) nobile sape, ut lautiorum tantum mensarum sit, & primates solum bibant. Item Mercator in Bohemia de civitate Egra: Claret hodie hac civitas, ob Medonem [potionem ex melle] qui nulla paratur quam in hac civitate excellentior.
And as good and old Methaglen excelleth all Wines, as well for pleasantness in taste as for health; so being burnt, it is better than any burnt Wine, for comforting and settling of a weak and sick stomach, and for recreating the natural heat.
The manner of burning it (if you know not) may be this: First set on the fire a * deep Skillet or Kettle, almost full of water: when it boileth, put in a Pewter pot full of Methaglen: before that beginneth to boil, skim it, and put in two or three bruised Cloves, and a branch of Rosemary: then beat the yolk of an Egg in a dish: put unto it a spoonful of the Meth cold: and stir them together, to keep the yolk from curdling: then
put to that, a spoonful of the hot Meth; and after that an other, and an other, always beating them together: and then, some and some, put all into the pot, still stirring it about. Then, as soon as it boileth, take up the pot: and (saving your hands harmless) pour it into an other warm pot of like capacity, firing it as it runneth: and so brue it till it burn no more. A Methaglen- posset is of the like virtue.
[Footnotes:] * The deeper the pot standeth, the sooner it boileth. You may (for a need) set the pot on the Hearth in the midst of hot Embers: but take heed the flame melt not the pewter.
Wax hath no certain elementar quality: but is a mean between (1) hot and cold, and between dry and moist. It (2) mollifyeth the sinews: it (3) ripeneth and resolveth Ulcers. (4) The quantity of a Pease in Wax, being swallowed down of Nurses, doeth dissolve the Milk curdled in the paps: & (5) ten round pieces of Wax, of the bigness of so many grains of Millet or Hemp-seed, will not suffer the Milk to curdle in the stomach.
Moreover, it maketh the most excellent light, fit for deuces of the most Excellent; for clearness, sweetness, neatness, to be preferred before all other: Which Scaliger in his AEnigmata, (giving it the precedence) doeth intimate.
Aut Apis, aut Hircus, vel pinguia viscera Pini
Ostendere diem, post, simul ante, diem.
The Bee, the Goat, and the Cone-bearing Tree,
Make day, before and after day, to be.
[Footnotes:] (1) Galen de simp. med. facul. l.7. (2, 3, 4, 5.) Georgius Pictorius. Cera flava magi? emollit, relaxat, dolorem solvat: coque illa utimur ad abscessus calefaciendus, emolliendos, concoquendos, & maturandos. Johannes Guintherius Andernacus. Omnes cera m?ll?t, ?alefacit, explet corpora: vectus melior. Datu? in sorbitione dysentericis, favique ipsi in pulse alica prius tos?a: adversatur lactu naturas ac milii magnitudine decem grana cera ?ansta, non patiuntur coagular? ??c in stomach? S?nguen tumeat, albam ceram in pube fixisse remedeo est. Nec hu?us usus, quos mixta al??s prastas, enumera?e medicina potest. Plin.nat.hist. l.22.c.24.
This natural yellow Wax is by Art, (for certain purposes) made with, red, and green.
Wax is whited after this manner: Take the whitest and purest Wax: which, being cut into small pieces, put into an earthen vessel, and pour Sea-water or Brine into it, as much as may suffice to boil it. And cast in also a little bitter; all this ??? over a soft fire. When it hath boiled up twice or thrice, lift the vessel from the fire: and the Wax being presently cooled with cold water, take it out: and, when you have scraped off the Dross, (if any such hang on) and put it into other Salt water, seed it again. And having up twice or thrice, as before, lift it from the fire again. And then take the bottom of an other earthen pot, or a little round board, with a handle in the middle like a Churn-staff, but without holes: and, having first wetted the bottom of it in cold water, dip it into the hot vessel: and assoon as this wet bottom toucheth the Wax, pull it out again, and you shall have sticking to the bottom a thin Cake: which when you have taken off, wet the bottom again, and dip it as before: and thus do till you have taken up all the Wax in Cakes. These Cakes hang in the open Air upon a Line drawn through them, so that they may not touch one an other, besprinkling them with water in the Sun-Shine, until they be white. If any man would have Wax whiter, let him boil it oftener, and do all other things in like manner as before.
Hanc dealbanda cerae rationem docuit Dioscorides, l.2.c.105.
To make red Wax, Take to one pount of Wax, in Summer, three ounces of clear Turpentine, in Winter, four. These dissolve over a soft fire, and by and by take it off to cool a little. Afterward mix therewith the red Root of Anchusa, or * Vermilion, (well ground on a Marble or Glass) and sweet Oil, of each one ounce: stir all these, and mix them well together. For want of Vermilion, they take three times so much red Lead, but that is not so good.
To make Wax green, Take in stead of Vermilion, the like quantity of Vert-degreece.
And such is Wax in his kind, both Natural and Artificial. Natural Wax is altered, by distillation, into an Oil of marvelous virtue. Raymon Lully greatly commendeth it, proving it to be rather a celestial or divine Medicine, than
human, because in wounds it worketh miraculously: which therefore is not so well allowed of the common Chirurgeons. For it healeth a wound, be the same never so wide and big, being afore wide-stiched up, in the space of eleven days or 12 at the most. But those that are small, this Oil healeth in three or four days, by annointing only the wound therewith, and laying on a cloth wet in the same. It stayeth the shedding of the hair, either on the head or beard, by annointing the place therewith.
Also for inward diseases, this Oil worketh miracles: if you give one drachm at a time to drink with white Wine: for it is excellent in provoking urine which is stopped; it helpeth stitches and pains in the loins; it helpeth the cold Gout, or Sciatica, and all other griefs coming of cold.
The making or drawing of this Oil is on this wise: Take of pure new yellow Wax so much as will half fill your Retort or Body of Glass: melt it on the fire, and then pour it into sweet Wine, wherein let it soak: wash it often, and wring it between your hands: then melt it again, and pour it into fresh Wine, wherein soak it, wash it, and wring it, as before: and this do seven times, every time putting it into fresh Wine. When thus you have purified the Wax, to every pound thereof adding four ounces of the powder of red Brick finely bruised; put it all together into your Retort of Glass well luted: then set the Retort into an Earthen pot, filling it round about and beneath with fine sifted ashes or Sand; and set the pot with the Body in it on a Furnace, and so distill it with a soft fire. And there will come forth a fair yellow Oil, the which will congeal in the Receiver like Pap when it is cold. If you should rectify this Oil, or distill it often, until it will congeal no more; then stall you make it over hot to take inwardly, and so quick in the mouth, that you cannot drink it down. In the coming forth of this Oil, shall appear, in the Receiver, the four Elements, [the Fire, the Air, the Water, & the Earth:] right marvelous to see.
So virtuous is Wax by it self; both in his own kind, and altered by distillation. It is moreover of great use mixed with others; and is the ground and foundation of Cere-clothes and Salves: whereof to set down two or three examples shall not be amiss.
A Cere-cloth or Geratum (so called of Cera) doeth consist chiefly of Wax and Oil, mixed in such proportion, as may make the Ointment of just consistency: and therefore (1) being made in Summer, (or compounded with Turpentine, Lard, Gum, Marrow or any liquid thing) a greater quantity of Wax is required: and being made in Winter, (or compounded with Rosin, Pitch, Metals, dried Herbs, Powders or any dry thing) a less quantity of Wax, than Oil is convenient.
The Ingredients being prepared, first melt the Wax, and whatsoever else of like nature [as Pitch, Suet, &c] in the Oil, over a gentle fire, or in a double vessel, for fear of burning: when they are melted together; put in the Powders and other like Ingredients: (if there be any) and as soon as you have stirred them well together, (before the liquor be very hot) set it a cooling, and make your Cerecloth.
A Cerecloth, to refresh the wearied Sinews and tired Muscles, is thus to be made: Take (2) Oil and Wax ana two ounces, Turpentine two drams, and Honey half an ounce.
To comfort the stomach, and help concoction, make a Cerat thus: Take (3) Oil of Mastick, of Mint, of Wormwood, of Nutmeg, and [side-note: Nardinum] Speeke, or any of these, and a convenient quantity of Wax.
For the Worms in the belly of a child or other, Take Wax and Rosin ana one ounce, Treacle one spoonful, Aloes two drams: Melt and mingle the Wax and Rosin together in a Pewter-dish, upon a Chafing-dish and Coals: being melted, skim in clean: then (taking it off) put in the Treacle, and stir it among: then having pounded the Aloes to powder, strew it upon, and stir it in, so that it may not clot. And if, by this time, it be too cold to come from the dish; warm it a little upon the Chafing-dish again: then having wet the Table with Butter, pour it thereon, and work it together with your knife: and so make it up in a Rowl. To make the Dish clean, warm it, and wipe it with a woollen cloth.
This Cerat is to be applied to the Breast, and to the Navel. For the Navel, spread it upon a round piece of Leather three inches over, with a hole in the middle; that, the Navel coming through, the plaster may lie both closer and faster: and for
the Breast, spread it upon a square piece, three inches broad, and twice so long: and lay it athurt the Breast; close under the Paps.
This do twice together, and let the Plasters remain each time upon the place, until the heat of the stomach have dried them, and made them loose: which, in some that are much troubled with the worms, will be within four and twenty hours: although in some they will stick a whole week together.
[Footnotes:] (1) Fern. Meth lib. 4.c.10. & 20. (2) Fern. Meth. l.4. c. 19. (3)Fern. Meth.l.8.c.22.
For example of a Salve, take Emplastrum de janua, marvelous effectual in curing green wounds, and new ulcers. It assuageth inflammation, it cleanseth, it closeth, and filleth with flesh, and maketh whole. It is thus made: * Take the juice of Parsley, Plantani, and Betoni, ana one pound: Wax, Pitch, Rosin, and Turpentine, ana half a pound: boil the Wax, Pitch and Rosin in the Juices; softly stirring all together, until the quantity of the Juices be wasted: and then taking them off the fire, put in the Turpentine, and mix it with the rest.
An other of like effect.
Take Deer or Mutton-Suet, Wax, Rosin, ana two ounces: Turpentine one ounce: boil these together, and skim them: then take this liquor from the fire, and (when it is somewhat cooled) put in two handfuls of the Tops of unset Hyssop, and stir it about: and setting it over the fire again, boil it softly about a quarter of an hour, till it be green: and then strain it, and let it cool. This is chiefly to be made in May, because then the Hyssop is in his prime.
[Footnotes:] * Sylv??? de Medicam. simpl. mist. lib.3 & Fern. Meth. lib. 7.
PSAL. III. V. 2.
Magna opera JEHOVAE, exquisita ab omnibus
qui delectantur in illis.