Philters, Magical and Pútical Cures

Philters, Magical and Pútical Cures

Where persuasions and other remedies will not take place, many fly to unlawful means, philters, amulets, magic spells, ligatures, characters, charms, which as a wound with the spear of Achilles, if so made and caused, must so be cured. If forced by spells and philters, saith Paracelsus, it must be eased by characters, Mag. lib. 2. cap 28. and by incantations. Fernelius Path. lib. 6. cap. 13. Skenkius lib. 4. observ. med. hath some examples of such as have been so magically caused, and magically cured, and by witchcraft: so saith Baptista Codronchus, lib. 3. cap. 9. de mor. ven. Malleus malef. cap. 6. 'Tis not permitted to be done, I confess; yet often attempted: see more in Wierus lib. 3. cap. 18. de præstig. de remediis per philtra. Delrio tom. 2. lib. 2. quæst. 3. sect. 3. disquisit. magic. Cardan lib. 16. cap. 90. reckons up many magnetical medicines, as to piss through a ring, &c. Mizaldus cent. 3. 30, Baptista Porta, Jason Pratensis, Lobelius pag. 87, Matthiolus, &c., prescribe many absurd remedies. Radix mandragora ebibitæ, Annuli ex ungulis Asini, Stercus amatæ sub cervical positum, illa nesciente, &c., quum odorem fúditatis sentit, amor solvitur. Noctuæ ocum abstemios facit comestum, ex consilio Jarthæ Indorum gymnosophistæ apud Philostratum lib. 3. Sanguis amasiæ, ebibitus omnem amoris sensum tollit: Faustinam Marci Aurelii uxorem, gladiatoris amore captam, ita penitus consilio Chaldæorum liberatam, refert Julius Capitolinus. Some of our astrologers will effect as much by characteristical images, ex sigillis Hermetis, Salomonis, Chælis, &c. mulieris imago habentis crines sparsos, &c. Our old poets and fantastical writers have many fabulous remedies for such as are lovesick, as that of Protesilaus' tomb in Philostratus, in his dialogue between Phoenix and Vinitor: Vinitor, upon occasion discoursing of the rare virtues of that shrine, telleth him that Protesilaus' altar and tomb "cures almost all manner of diseases, consumptions, dropsies, quartan-agues, sore eyes: and amongst the rest, such as are lovesick shall there be helped." But the most famous is Leucata Petra, that renowned rock in Greece, of which Strabo writes, Geog. lib. 10. not far from St. Maures, saith Sands, lib. 1. from which rock if any lover flung himself down headlong, he was instantly cured. Venus after the death of Adonis, "when she could take no rest for love," Cum vesana suas torreret flamma medullas, came to the temple of Apollo to know what she should do to be eased of her pain: Apollo sent her to Leucata Petra, where she precipitated herself, and was forthwith freed; and when she would needs know of him a reason of it, he told her again, that he had often observed Jupiter, when he was enamoured on Juno, thither go to ease and wash himself, and after him divers others. Cephalus for the love of Protela, Degonetus' daughter, leaped down here, that Lesbian Sappho for Phaon, on whom she miserably doted. Cupidinis ústro percita e summo præceps ruit, (Menander. "Stricken by the gad-fly of love, rushed headlong from the summit.") hoping thus to ease herself, and to be freed of her love pangs.

"Hic se Deucalion Pyrrhæ suecensus amore
Mersit, et illæso corpore pressit aquas.
Nec mora, fugit amor," &c.--

"Hither Deucalion came, when Pyrrha's love
Tormented him, and leapt down to the sea,
And had no harm at all, but by and by
His love was gone and chased quite away."

This medicine Jos. Scaliger speaks of, Ausoniarum lectionum lib. 18. Salmutz in Pancirol. de 7. mundi mirac. and other writers. Pliny reports, that amongst the Cyzeni, there is a well consecrated to Cupid, of which if any lover taste, his passion is mitigated: and Anthony Verdurius Imag. deorum de Cupid. saith, that amongst the ancients there was Amor Lethes, "he took burning torches, and extinguished them in the river; his statute was to be seen in the temple of Venus Eleusina," of which Ovid makes mention, and saith "that all lovers of old went thither on pilgrimage, that would be rid of their love-pangs." Pausanias, in Phocicis, writes of a temple dedicated Veneri in spelunca, to Venus in the vault, at Naupactus in Achaia (now Lepanto) in which your widows that would have second husbands, made their supplications to the goddess; all manner of suits concerning lovers were commenced, and their grievances helped. The same author, in Achaicis, tells as much of the river Senelus in Greece; if any lover washed himself in it, by a secret virtue of that water, (by reason of the extreme coldness belike) he was healed, of love's torments, Amoris vulnus idem qui sanat facit; (Seneca. "The rise and remedy of love the same.") which if it be so, that water, as he holds, is omni auro pretiosior, better than any gold. Where none of all these remedies will take place, I know no other but that all lovers must make a head and rebel, as they did in Ausonius, and crucify Cupid till he grant their request, or satisfy their desires.

 

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