The Works of Aristotle - Of the Paps and Dugs.

Of the Paps and Dugs.

Why are paps placed upon the breasts?
Because the breast is the seat of the heart, which is most hot, and therefore the paps grow there, to the end that the menses being conveyed thither, as being near to the heat of the hearts

should the sooner be digested, and perfected, and converted into the matter and substances of milk.

Why are the paps below the breasts in beasts, and above the breasts in women?
Because a woman goes upright, and has two legs only; and therefore, if her paps should be below her breasts they would hinder her going; but beasts have four feet, and therefore they are not hindered in their going.

Why have not men as great paps and breasts as women?
Because a man hath no monthly terms, and therefore hath no vessel deputed for them. And yet Aristotle saith, that men have small paps, and women have little small stones.

Which paps are best for children to suck, great ones or little ones, or the mean between both?
In great ones the heat is dispersed and there is no good digestion of milk; but in small ones the power and force is strong, because a virtue united is strongest, and by consequence there is good working and digestion of the milk, and therefore the small are better than the great ones; but yet the mean ones are best of all, because every mean is best.

Why do the paps of young women begin to grow about 13 or 15 years of age, as Albertus saith?
Because then the flowers have no course to the teats, by which the young one is nourished, but follow their ordinary course, and therefore wax soft.

Why hath a woman, which is with child of a boy, the right pap harder than the left?
Because the male child is conceived in the right side of the mother, as Hippocrates saith, and therefore the flowers do run to the right pap and make it hard.

Why doth it show weakness of the child when the milk doth drop out of the paps before the woman be delivered?
According to Aristotle, because the milk is the proper nourishment of the child in the womb of the mother; and, therefore, if the milk run out, it is a token that the child is not nourished, and therefore is weak.

Why doth the hardness of the paps betoken the health of the child in the womb?
Because the flowers are converted into milk, and that milk doth sufficiently nourish the child, and thereby the strength is signified.

Why hath a woman but two paps, and some brute beasts ten or more?
Because for the most part a woman hath but one child, either boy or girl, and therefore one pap is sufficient, or two; but beasts have many young ones, and therefore so many teats.

But why are women's paps hard where they be with child, and not at other times?
They swell then, and are puffed up, because the great moisture which proceeds from the flowers doth run into the paps, which at other seasons remaineth in the matrix or womb, and it is expelled by the place deputed for that end.

By what means doth the milk of the paps come to the matrix or womb?
According to Hippocrates, because there is a certain knitting and coupling of the pap with the womb, and there are certain veins which the midwives do cut in the time of the birth of the child, and by those veins the milk do flow in at the navel of the child, and so it receives nutriment by the navel. Some say the child in the womb is nourished at the mouth but it is false, because that so he should void excrements also; but that is false, because if is not seen where.

Why is it as sign of a male child in the womb when the milk that runneth out of the woman's breasts is thick and not much, and of a female when it is thin?
Because a woman that goeth with a boy hath great heat in her, which doth perfect the milk and make it thicker; but such as go with a girl hath not so much heat, and therefore the milk is undigested, and unperfected, and watery, and thin, and will swim above the water if it be put into it.

Why is the milk white, seeing the flowers are red which it is engendered of?
Because blood which is well purged and concocted becometh white, as appeareth in flesh, whose proper colour is red, and being boiled is white. Another answer is, because every humour which is engendered of such part of the body is made like unto that part in colour where it is engendered as near as it can be; but because the flesh of the paps is white therefore the colour of the milk is white.

Why doth a cow give milk more abundantly than other beasts?
Because she is a great eating beast; and where is much monthly superfluity engendered there is much milk, because it is nothing else but that blood purged and tried; and because a cow has much of this monthly blood, she has much milk.

Why is not milk wholesome, Hippocrates saith, Par. 2, Aphor?

According to the opinion of Galen, for divers reasons: First, because it doth curdle in the stomach, whereof an evil breath is bred. But to this Hippocrates gives this remedy; saying if the third part of it be mingled with running water, then it is not hurtful. Another reason is, because the milk doth grow sour in the stomach where evil humours are bred, which infect the breath.

Why is milk bad for such as have the headache?
Because it is easily turned into great fumosities, and hath much terrestrial substance in it, the which ascending doth cause the headache.

Why is milk fit nutriment for infants?
Because it is a natural and useful food, and they were nourished by the same in the womb.

For what reason are the white meats made of a new milked cow good?
Because milk at that time is very spungy, expel many fumosities, and doth as it were purge at that time.

Why is the milk naught for the child if the woman uses carnal copulation?
Because in time of carnal copulation the best part of the milk goes to the seed vessels, and to the womb, and the worst remains in the paps, which doth hurt to the child.

Why is the milk of brown women better than that of white?
Because brown women are hotter than others, and heat purges the milk, and so it is better.

Why do physicians forbid the eating of fish and milk at the same time?
Because they produce a leprosy, and because they are both phlegmatic.

Why have not birds and fish milk and paps?
Because paps would hinder the flight of birds: the fish also have neither paps nor milk, as Aristotle saith, but the females cast much spawn, on which the male touches with a small gut, which causes their kind to be infinite in succession.


Previous Next