Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Stay of Flukes, Freedom from Dishonest Belchings and The Clearing and Draining of Ill Humours

The historic quotation in praise of thrift for the day comes from an 1899 reprinting of a 1634 translation of a 1534 writing (they "modernized" the spelling)entitled "Hygiasticon," a treatise on dietetics: "A discourse translated out of Italian that a spare diet is better than a splendid and sumptuous."

"And to speak freely it would seem to me very uncouth that any man that makes a profession of more understanding than a beast should open his mouth to the contrary or make any scruple at all of readily subscribing to the truth and evidence of this position that a frugal and simple diet is much better than a full and dainty. Tell me you that seem to demur on the business whether a sober and austere diet serves not without further help to chase away that racking humour of the gout which by all other helps that can be used scarce receives any mitigation at all but do what can be done lies tormenting the body till it have spent itself. Tell me whether this holy medicine serve not to the driving away of headache to the cure of dizziness to the stopping of rheums to the stay of flukes to the getting away of loathsome diseases to the freedom from dishonest belchings to the prevention of agues and in a word to the clearing and draining of all ill humours whatsoever in the body Nor do the benefits thereof stay only in the body but ascend likewise to the perfecting of the soul itself for how manifest is it that through a sober and strict diet the mind and all the faculties thereof become waking quick and cheerful how is the wit sharpened the understanding solidated the affections tempered and in a word the whole soul and spirit of a man freed from encumbrances and made apt and expedite for the apprehension of wisdom and the embracement of virtue?"

You can read the entire book at Google Books.