The Works of Aristotle - The Problems of Alexander Aphrodiseus.

The Problems of Alexander Aphrodiseus.

Why doth the sun make a man black, and dirt white, and make wax soft, and dirt hard?
By reason of the disposition of the substance that doth suffer. All humours, phlegm excepted, when they are heated above measure, do seem black about the skin, and die, being full either of saltpetre or salt liquor; when the sup hath consumed its dregs and filth, doth become white again, when the sun hath drawn and stirred up the humidity of the wax, it is softened; but in dirt the sun doth consume the humidity which is very much, and so doth dry it and make it hard.

Why doth black choler, coming into the paps or to the shank, work a corrosion, or gnawing, or wasting, and in those which are melancholy, it doth not work in the like, although it flies into their brain?
Because there are many great veins in the paps by reason of engendering milk. And likewise to the shank, because it goeth downwards; but in the brain because it is above, and also because it hath very small veins, small store of choler doth ascend, and which hath only power and force to prick, and not to gnaw and eat. Moreover, the brain is cold and moist, whereby it is after a sort contrary to the disposition of black choler, which doth mortify it. That therefore which is properly called black choler doth breed an eating and gnawing canker in the paps, in the shank a bile or sore hard to be cured, which of eating is called nimades. In the brain it doth breed a fierce man melancholy; but that which is not properly black choler, but melancholy humour, causeth a swelling only, which is like a canker, but doth not gnaw and eat, and doth also breed a quiet and peaceable melancholy.

What is the reason that when we put our finger on the mouth of a watering-pot the water will not run out of the bottom, and the finger being taken away, it runneth presently?
Because then when the finger is taken away from the mouth of the pot, the air entering in doth thrust down the water, which of its own nature doth go downward, and so goeth out of the bottom. And this is the reason of all mechanical engines and instruments made by air and water, as clocks and hour glasses made by water.

Why doth wine and water given out of the season to the sick of an ague cause a good distemperance of the brain; for these two are contrary, for the water is cold and the wine is hot?
I say then, that the wine being apt to ascend, doth burn the brain at the time that it is disturbed and distempered with the ague. And we see also many which are in health, if they use much wine, to be scarce well in their wits. But water doth stop the passages of the body, by which the spirits (which are the instruments of the soul) are dissolved, lad so cause thorn to become thick and gross, and more corrupt and putrid, which breeds the ague. And oftentimes water being overcome by the ague, becometh its nourishment; as we see in a smith's forge, where a little water doth kindle the fire and make it burn more.

Why have women and children, and gelded men, shrill and loud voices?
Because that through the abundance of humidity their artery is not stretched wide: and therefore, as a small flute or pipe giveth a small slender sound, so of the artery in them that a straight and narrow: for it is the property of heat to make wide and loosen, but women and eunuchs are cold.

Why are children stricken with a planet in summer time?
They are sick of a weak and lingering ague and their eyes sink hollow in their head, and they become weak and feeble, and sleep very little; and some of them have a flux, because children are tender, and do easily suffer, and have great store of phlegm in the bead, as we have said; and therefore the phlegm being overmuch heated with great heats, and also putrefied, doth inflame the ague, whereupon the gristles of the brain are set on fire, and therefore they sleep little; and that fire descending by the arteries of the heart, and setting on fire the lively spirits, doth kindle an ague without putrefaction. And seeing that much choler arises of an ague, thereby it falleth out that the choler gnaweth and eateth the belly. It is plain, that the cause of that alteration is in the brain, because that cooling medicines are applied unto the bead, and such are good to quench that fire. And some of ripe years are sick of the same disease, that is, such is have phlegm and choler heaped up into their head, which putrefy by the very breathing thereof, and after a manner, and by the fiery air the spirits are set on fire.

Why are round ulcers hard to be cured?
Because they are bred of a sharp choler, which eats and gnaws, and because it doth run, dropping and gnawing it makes a round ulcer, for which reason it requires drying medicines, as physicians assert. Natural philosophers say, it comes to pass because there is the beginning where the mischievous imposthume doth begin; for in a circle there is neither beginning nor end. When they are burned by the physicians they assume another kind of shape.

Why is honey sweet to all men, and yet seeming bitter to such as have the jaundice?
Because they have much bitter choler all over their bodies, but abounds with the tongue, whence it happens when they eat honey the humours are stirred, and the taste itself, when it hath found the bitterness of choler, causes an imagination that the honey is bitter.

Why have very angry men fiery eyes?
Because the blood about the heart is fervent, and the spirit hot, and so (being very subtile and pure) are carried upwards, and by the eyes (which are clean) they shine, and have bloody vapours that ascend with them, which makes the face red, which Homer, not being ignorant of, says, and his eyes were like a burning flame.

Why doth water cast upon serpents cause them to fly?
Because they are cold and dry by nature, having but little blood, and therefore fly from excessive coldness. And that they be of this quality is plain, because they seek for dens and secret places in the earth, as being warm; and at sun-set shun the air, as being cold; and again in summer, because the bowels of the earth are cold, they find out the warmest places.

Why doth an egg break if it be roasted, and not if boiled?
The reason is, when moisture comes near the fire it heats it too much, and so breeds much wind, which being pent up in little room, forceth its way out, and so breaks the shell. The like happens in tubs, or earthen vessels, when new wine is put in them. And too much phlegm breaks the shell of an egg in roasting; the which doth happen in earthen pots too much heated; wherefore the common people wet an egg when they intend to roast it. Hot water, through its softness, doth separate its humidity by little and little, and so dissolves it through. the thinness and passages that are in the shells.

Why do men in the act of carnal copulation in a manner wink, and find a like alteration in all the other senses?
Because they being overcome with the effect of that pleasure, do comprehend it the better, winking, as it were, their eyes. They are not lifted, nor do carry the wind abroad into the air with the senses, whereby they would discern those corporal affections.

Why have some medicines of one kind contrary force, as experience doth teach; mastich doth expel, dissolve, and so knit; vinegar both cools and heats?

Because there are some small invisible bodies of them, not by confusion but by interposition; as sand moistened doth clog together and seem to be but one body, though indeed there are many small bodies in sand. Since this is so, it is not absurd that contrary qualities and virtues should be hidden in mastich, and nature hath given the law these bodies.

Why do our privities swell when we hurt one of our toes?
Nature warding for those things which belong to the body hastens to assist the part grieved: and because she hath the most profitable and nourishing of ail the humours, it is requisite when she doth descend, to the toe with the blood, that those veins be filled which are about the privy members, called Adness of the Greeks, which are little sound kernels. Therefore immoderate constipation doth cause inflammation and standing up, and the privy member is called Inguem, borrowing its denomination of the place itself.

Why doth not nature give birds bladder, or a receptacle for urine?
Because they did want much moisture to give the matter for feathers to grow, and that they consume with the exercise of flying; neither do they piss at all; and when they drink they void very much dung.

Why have children gravel breeding in their bladder, and old men their kidneys and reins of the kidneys?
Because children have straight passages in the kidneys, and an earthy thick humour is thrust with violence by the urine from the fashion of the moon, even to the bladder, which hath wide conduits or passages that give room for the urine and humour, whereof gravel is engendered to wax thick and seat itself, as the custom of it is. in old men it is the reverse, or they have wide passages of the reins, back and kidneys, that the urine may pass away, and the earthy humour congeal and sink down; the colour of the gravel shows the humour whereof the stone comes.

Why if the stones do congeal and wax hard through heat (children are hot, and by the same reason it is done in old men, for there is not go much cold to be granted as there is in ice or snow, through which extreme cold the kidneys would perish), yet we use not contrary things to dissolve coldness, but light things, as parsley, fennel, and such like?
They say it falleth out that by excessive and scorching, the stones do crumble into sand, as in earthen vessels, which when they are overheated or roasted they become sand. And by this means it happens that small stones are voided together with sand in making water. Sometimes cold drinks thrust out the stone, the kidneys being stretched, and casting it out by a greater task, and easing the belly of its burden. Besides, it often happens that an immoderate heat of the kidneys or of the reins of the back (through which the stone both grew) is quenched with coldness.

Why is the curing of an ulcer or bile in the kidneys or bladder very hard?
Because the urine, being sharp, doth ulcerate the wound, which good and fit medicaments cover the skin. Ulcers are harder to cure in the bladder than in the kidneys, because urine stays in the former, but runs away from the latter.

What is the reason in bathing vessels the hot water when it is stirred, seems the hotter to us, almost burning our bodies?
Because when we enter those sort of baths the water itself doth suffer, that is, when the water heats our bodies it is made colder by us. We have learnt, that whatever works in generation of corruption, the same (without all doubt) doth suffer; the water then being in some sort cooled, doth not heat alike, and we being accustomed to it, do not feel the heat as we did in the beginning, because it is diminished. If by stirring the water more heat is added, which neither hath yet wrought nor suffered any thing of the body which is in it that will seem very hot and scalding, in regard that it suffers by something, and so by degrees loses its heat as the first did.

How is it if whatsoever be moved is the better for it, especially in summer, when the heat of the sun is most violent?
This seems a contradiction to the other, for hot water did seem hotter to us by moving. Therefore it is a common thing for what is moist and principal in any thing, either in quantity or quality, to overcome and change that which is less and weaker; and that which is strong doth somewhat suffer again in doing. Wherefore the hot water when it was very hot, sticking to the hot body, cools and does not retain the same quality. The air then which doth compass us about being hot in summer, like the water compassing our bodies, is somewhat heated by us, who are hot through the season, it heats us as linen garments do, the which being first cold, and then stir the air, that air which was before heated by us is driven away, and another not heated succeeds and seems cold to us.

Why do those sores which breed in the ball of the eye seem white when they have less growing and are cold, and others do not seem such as grow out of the ball?
Because through the ball of the eye the sight proceedeth, the which is bright and clear; therefore in the white of the eye, when the wound doth make thick that part of the covering which is like a horn, the spirit of the sight cannot issue out; hence it comes to pass (much of it being got together) it makes the wound light and clear, showing it white; and, because of the quickness of the sight, the spirit cannot get out, it causes blindness.

Why do chaff and straw keep water hot, and snow cold, which are seemingly contraries?
Because the nature of chaff wants a manifest quality; seeing therefore that of their own nature they can easily be mingled and consumed with that which they are annexed unto, they easily also take the same nature unto them, and therefore being put into hot things, they are easily hot, and do heat again, and keep hot, and contrary being made cold of the snow, and making the snow cold, do keep in its coldness. So wax and oil will easily be consumed, and made one with another thing, and are also without quality, and do help the quality which is mingled with them, as being made one with them.

Why do the stars of heaven seem clearest in the bright winter time?
Because the air, either which do compass us, or that which is highest, is shade thin, and purged with winds and showers of rain, and by that means our sight doth see both further and clearer. The like is manifestly seen in running rivers; for such things as are in them are far better seen than in the thick standing puddle of water, where either nothing is seen or confusedly.

Why have we oftentimes a pain in making water?
Because that sharp choler issuing out, and prickling the bladder of the urine, doth provoke and stir up the whole body to ease that part offended. and to expel the humour moderately. This doth happen most of all unto children, bemuse they have moist excrements, by reason of their often filling.

Why do nurses rock and move their children when they would draw them to sleep?
To the end that the humours being scattered by moving the brains; but those of more years cannot endure this.

Why do some drunkards see double?
Because the muscles of the sight being more or less filled, and by the self-same means weak and feeble, do draw and rest one eye upward, and the other downward, and by that means the beams do not look that way at once, but towards divers places and bodies; and therefore each of the eyes using a private office and duty of seeing doth cause a double sight.

Why are boys apt to change their voices about fourteen years of age?
Because that then nature doth cause a great and sudden change of voice: experience proveth this to be true; for at that time we may see that women's paps do grow great; to hold and gather milk, and also those places that are above the hips, in which the young fruit should remain. Likewise men's breasts and shoulders, which then can bear great and heavy burdens; also their stones, in which their seed may increase and abide, and his privy members, to let out the seed with ease. Further, all the body is made bigger and dilated, as the alteration and change of every part doth testify, and the hardness of the voice and hoarseness; for the rough artery, the wind-pipe, being made wide in the beginning, and the exterior and outward part within being unequal to the throat, the air going out at the unequal and uneven pipe doth then become unequal and sharp, and after a sort hoarse, some thing like unto the voice of a goat, wherefore it has its name called Bronchus. The same doth also happen to them unto whose rough artery distillation doth flow; it happens by reason of the drooping humidity that a light small skin filled unequally causes the uneven going forth of the spirit and air. Understand that the wind-pipe of goats is such by reason of the abundance of humidity. The like doth happen unto all such as nature hath given a rough artery as unto cranes. After the age of fourteen they leave off that voice, because the artery is made wider and reacheth its natural evenness and quality.

Why doth oil being drank cause one to vomit, and especially yellow choler?
Because that seeing it is light and ascendeth upwards, it provoketh the nutriment in the stomach, and lifteth it up, and so the stomach being grieved summoneth the ejective virtue to vomit, and especially choler, because that is light, and consisteth of subtle parts, and therefore it is the sooner carried upward; for when it is mingled with any moist thing it runneth Into the highest room.

Why doth not oil mingle with moist things?
Because that being pliant, soft, and constipate in itself it cannot be divided into parts, and so cannot be mingled, neither if it be put on the earth can it enter into it.

Why is water and oil frozen in cold weather, and wine and vinegar not?
Because that oil being without all quality, and fit to be compounded with any thing, is cold quickly, and so extremely, that it is most cold. Water being cold of nature, doth easily freeze when it is made colder than its own nature. Wine being hot and of subtle parts, is not so soon cold, but vinegar being of most subtle parts, suffereth no freezing.

Why do contrary things in quality bring forth the same effect?
That which is moist is hardened and abounds alike of heat and of cold. Snow and liquid doth freeze with cold; a plaister and gravel in the bladder are made hot with heat. That is so indeed, but by two divers actions. The heat doth consume and eat the abundance of moisture; but the cold stopping and shutting with its overmuch thickness, doth wring out the filthy humidity, like as a sponge wrung with the hand doth cast out the water which it hath in the pores or small passages.

Why doth a shaking or a quiver seize us oftentimes when any fearful matter doth chance, as a great noise or a crack made, the sudden downfall of water, or a great tree?
Because that oftentimes the humours being digested and consumed with time, and made thin and weak, all the heat vehemently suddenly and sharply flying into the inward part of the body, consumeth the humours which causeth the disease. So treacle hath its effect and many such like, which are hot and dry, whey they are taken after concoction.

Why do steel glasses shine so clearly?
Because they are lined in the inside with white lead, whose nature is shining, that which being put to the glass, which is also shining, doth shine much more; and casting its beams through the passages of the glass, doth double that which is in the superficial parts of the glass, and without the body of the glass, and by that means the glass is very shining and clear.

Why do we see ourselves in glasses and clear water?
Because the quality of the sight passing into the bright bodies by reflection, doth return again by the beam of the eyes, as the image of him who looked on it. That qualities do go forth and pass from the face, as it is not absurd, they do shew which remain near unto trees, because they are wont to look green, for the green quality of green leaves passeth to the face of itself; likewise going unto the running water doth make it shew green.

Why do hard dense hollow and high places send back the likeness and sound of the voice?
Because that in such places also by reflection do return back the image of a sound, for the voice doth beat the air, and the air the place, which the more it is beaten the more it doth bear and therefore doth cause the more vehement sound of the voice; moist places, and as it were soft, yielding to the stroke, and dissolving it, give no sound again; for according to the quality and quantity of the stroke, the quality and quantity of voice is given, which is called an echo. Some do idly fable that she is a goddess: some say that Pan was in love with her, which without doubt is false. He was some wise man who did first desire to search out the cause of that voice; and as they which love, and cannot enjoy their love, are grieved, so in like manner was he very sorry until be found out the solution of that cause: as Endymion also, who first found out the course of the moon, watching all night, and observing her course, and searching her motion, did sleep in the daytime, and therefore they do fable that he was beloved of her and that she came to him when he was asleep, because she did give to the philosopher the solution of the course of herself. They say also that he was a shepherd, because that in the desert and high places he did mark the course of the moon. And they gave him also the pipe, because that the high places are blown; with wind, or else because he sought out the consonancy of figures. Prometheus also being a wise man, sought the cause of the star, which is called the eagle in the firmament, his nature and place; and when he was as it were wasted with the desire of learning, then at the last ho rested, when Hercules did resolve unto him all doubts with his wisdom.

What is the reason that if you cast a stone into a standing water that is on the utmost parts of the earth it makes many circles, and not if the water be deep in the earth?
Because that the stone with the vehemence of the cast doth pursue and follow the water from every part of it, until the stone come to the bottom; but if there he a very great vehemency in the throw, the circle is the greater, the stone going down unto the earth causeth many circles. For first of all it doth drive the overmost and superficial parts of the water into many parts, and so going down always to the bottom, again dividing the water, it maketh into another circle, and this done successively until the stone resteth, and because the vehemency of the stone is slackened still as it goes down of necessity the last circle is less than the first, because that with the stone and also with the body the water is divided.

Why do some think that laughter proceeds from the spleen, affirming that it is not like that they laugh as much, whose spleen is corrupted, as they whose spleen is sound, but say that such are very sad?
Truly, I think that the cause of laughter is accidental, and not properly the spleen, for if it be sound and perfect it doth draw from the liver melancholy humours, whereof it proceedeth, that when the pure blood without any dregs dolt go through the whole body, and also in the brain, it doth delight both nature and mind, and doth make men merry like unto wine, and bring them to a quietness and tranquillity, and so that of laughter is moved.

Why do not males bring forth young ones?
Because they proceed of a divers kind of beasts, and so then the mixture of seed differing of quality and quantity, begetting a certain other thing besides that which is first, doth mar and abolish the nature of those things which first were, as the mingling of white and black, abolishing the colour of excrements, breedeth another colour which is dark and dun, which is none at all of the extreme; therefore the engendering quality is abolished, and the aptness of receiving form.

Why are such as are deaf by nature dumb?
Because they cannot speak and express that which they never heard; some physicians do say, that there is one knitting and uniting of sinews belonging to the like disposition. But such as are dumb by an accident are not deaf at all for then there ariseth a local passion.

Why do not swine cry when they are carried with their snouts upwards?
Because that above all other beasts they bend more than others to the earth. They delight in filth, and that they seek, and therefore in the sudden change of their face they be as it were strangers, and being amazed with so much light, do keep that silence; some say the windpipe doth close together by reason of the straitness of it.

Why do swine delight in dirt?
As the physicians do say, they are naturally delighted with it, because they have a great liver, in which desire is, as Aristotle saith, the wideness of their snout is the cause, for he hath smelling which doth dissolve itself, and as it were strive with stench.

Why doth itching arise when an ulcer doth wax whole and phlegm cease?
Because the part which is healed and made sound doth pursue the relic of the humours which remaineth there against nature, and which was the cause of the bile, and so going out through the skin and dissolving itself, doth originally cause the itch.

Why are those diseases and accidents longest and most grievous which do molest one eye and not both?
For two reasons: first, because a running fluxion is heaped up at one eye only, for whatsoever is divided into many, is weaker than when entire, and of a lesser force; secondly, because when the whole eye doth make any motion, it often obliges the ailing eye to move too, and the help for any diseased part consists in quietude.

How comes a man to sneeze oftener and more vehemently than a beast?
Because he uses more meats and drinks, and of more different sorts, and that more than requisite, the which when he cannot digest as he would, he doth gather together much air and spirit, by reason of much humidity, the spirits being then very subtle, ascending into the head, often forces a man to void it, and so provokes sneezing. The noise caused thereby proceeds from a vehement spirit or breath passing through the conduits of the nostrils, as belching does by the stomach, or farting by the fundament, the voice by the throat, and a sound by the ears.

How comes the hair and nails of dead people to grow?
Because the flesh rotting, withering, and falling away, that which was hidden about the root of the hair doth now appear, and causes an imagination that the hair doth grow. Some say it grows indeed, because the dead carcasses are dissolved in the beginning to many excrements and superfluities, by reason of the putrefaction which comes to them. Those going out at the uppermost parts of the body by some passages do increase the growth of the hair.

Why do not the hair of the feet presently grow grey?
For the same reason, because that through great motion they disperse and dissolve the superfluous phlegm that breeds greyness. The hair of the secrets does grow very late because of the heat of that place, and because that in carnal copulation it does dissolve the phlegm also.

Why do many beasts wag their tails when they see their friends, and a lion and a bull beat their sides when they are angry?
Because they have the marrow of their backs reaching to the tail, which have the force of motion in it, the imagination acknowledges that which is known to them as it were with the hand (as happen to men) doth force them to mote their tail. This doth manifestly show some secret force to be within them, which doth acknowledge what they ought. In the anger of lions and bulls nature doth consent to the mind, and causeth it to be greatly moved, as men do sometimes when they are angry, beating their hands on other parts; when the mind cannot be revenged on that which doth hurt, it presently seeks out some other solace, and cures the malady with a stroke or blow.

Why, if you put hot burnt barley upon a horse's sore, is the hair which grows upon the sore not white like the other hair?
Because it hath the force of expelling, and doth wipe away and dissolve the excrements of phlegm, as likewise all unprofitable matter that is gathered together through the weakness of the parts, or crudity of the sore.

Why doth hair never grow on an ulcer or a boil?
The reason is, a man hath a thick skin, as is seen by the thickness of the hair, and since the scar is thicker than the skin itself, it stops the passages from whence the hair should grow Horses have thinner skins, as is plain by the thick hair; therefore all passages are not stopped in their wounds and sores, and after the excrements which were gathered together have broke a passage through those small pores the hair doth grow.

What is the reason that such as are bitten with a snake, if they are thirsty, quench it by drinking of treacle, which is hot and dry?
I say then, it doth not quench thirst solely by its own quality, but by some mutual sympathy and consent, and natural reason. It is a kind of counter poison, and a preservative too, being composed of divers sorts of herbs that have some kind of agreement with all the parts o the body, as dictamnum, dittanger or ginger, hath a proportionable conservative of the heart, agrimony or liverwort with the liver, stonewort or finger fern with the spleen, parsley with the mouth of the belly, hyssop with the lungs, elecampane with the reins of the back, rue with the neck, bitterwort the brain, and filer montanum with the bladder. Every one of these drawn as it were with the sweetness of honey, doth draw that which is best for his safety; among all of these the blood of some vipers is mingled, which hath a certain natural disaffection, which we call antiparium, a contrary of all natural qualities against every venomous beast and corruptible creature. These being distributed into every part, they suffer nothing to work that effect which doth threaten corruption, for they do resist like awful soldiers who have taken arms for the defence of their country.

Why is fortune painted with a double forehead, one side bald and the other hairy?
The baldness signifies adversity, and hairiness, prosperity, which we enjoy when it please her.

Why have some commended flattery?
Because flattery setteth forth before our eyes what we ought to be, though not what we be.

Wherefore should virtue be painted girded?
To show that virtuous men should not be slothful but diligent, and always in action.

Why did the ancients say it was better to fall into the hands of a raven than a flatterer?
Because ravens don't eat us till we be dead, but flatterers devour us alive.

Why have choleric men beards before others?
Because they are hot, and their pores large and wide.

How comes it that such as have the hiccup do ease themselves by holding their breath?
The breath retained doth heat the interior parts of the body, and the hiccup proceeds from nothing but cold.

How comes it that old men remember well that which they have seen and done in their youth, and forget such things as they see and do in their old age?
Things learnt in youth have taken root and habitude in the person, but those learnt in age are forgotten, because the senses an weakened in them.

What kind of covetousness is best?
That of time when it is employed as it ought to be.

Why is our life compared to a stage play?
Because the dishonest do occupy the place of the honest, and the worst sort The room of the good.

Why do dolphins, when they appear above the water, denote some storm or tempest approaching?
Because that at the beginning of a tempest there do arise from the bottom of the sea certain hot exhalations and vapours which heat the dolphins, causing them to rise up and for cold.

How comes things more quiet in the night than in the day?
The motion of the air, and the coldness of the night is the muse thereof, which coldness continues and hinders the motions.

How comes the Romans to call Fabius Maximus the target of the people and Marcellus the sword?
Because the one adapted himself to the service of the commonwealth, and the other was very eager to revenge the injuries of his country; and yet they were in the senate joined together, because the gravity of the one would moderate the courage and boldness of the other.

Why does the shining of the moon hurt the head?
Because it moves the humours of the brain and cannot afterwards resolve them.

If water do not nourish, why do men drink it?
Water causes the nutriment to spread through the body.

Why is sneezing good?
It purgeth the brain, as milk is purged by the cough.

What is the seat of the affection of the body?
Joy dwelleth in the spleen, anger in the gall, fear in the heart, and lechery in the liver.

Why is hot water lighter than cold?
Because boiling water hath less ventosity and is more light and subtle, the earthy and heavy substance being separated from it.

How comes marsh and pond water evil?
By reason they are phlegmatic, and do corrupt in summer time, the fineness of water is turned into vapours, and the earthiness doth remain.

Why be studious and learned men soonest bald?
It proceeds from a weakness of the spirits, or because warmth of digestion causes phlegm to abound in them.

Why doth too much watching make the brain feeble?
Because it increaseth choler, which dries and extenuates the body.

How comes steel glasses better for the sight than others?
Steel is hard and doth present unto us more substantially the air that receiveth the light.

How doth love show its greatest force by making the fool to become wise, or the wise become a fool?
In attributing wisdom to him that hath it not: for it is harder to build than to pull down; and ordinary love end folly are but an alteration of the mind.

How comes too much labour bad for the sight?
Because it dries the blood too much.

Why is goat's milk counted best for the stomach?
Because it is thick, not slimy, and they feed upon boughs and wood rather than grass.

Why do grief or vexation bring grey hairs?
Because it dries, and age is nothing else.

How comes he the most merry that hath the thickest blood?
The blood which is fat and thick makes the spirits firm and constant, wherein consists the force of all creatures.

In your opinion, which is hardest: to obtain the love of a person, or to keep it when obtained?
To keep it, by reason of the inconstancy of man, who is quickly angry, and soon weary of a thing; hard: be got:, and slippery to keep.

Why do serpents shun the herb rue?
Because they are cold, dry, and full of sinews, but the herb rue is of a contrary nature.

How comes a capon better to eat than a cock?
The capon loses not its moisture, because he does not tread the hens, and therefore is better.

Why do we smell a thing less in the winter than in summer?
Because the air is thick, and less moveable.

How comes hair to burn so quickly as it does?
Because the hair is dry and cold.

Why is love compared to a labyrinth?
Because the entry and coming in is easy, and the going out impossible, or very hard.

 

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