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the Wanderling


De Miraculis Rerum Naturalium


BOOK II

Insomnia clara, & iucunda, obscura, meticulosaque inducere.
CAPVT XXVI



Lamiarum Vnguenta


Quæ quanquam ipsæ superstitionis plurimum admiscent, naturali tamen vi euenire patet intuenti: quæque ab eis acceperim, referam. Puerorum pinguedinem ahæno vase decoquendo ex aqua capiunt, inspissando quod ex elixatione vltimum, nouissimumque subsidet, inde condunt, continuoque inseruiunt vsui: cum hac immiscent eleoselinum, aconitum, frondes populneas, & fuliginem. Vel ALITER sic: Sium, acorum vulgare, pentaphyllon, vespertilionis sanguinem, solanum somniferum, & oleum, & si diuersa commiscent, ab iis non parum dissidebunt, simul conficiunt, partes omnes perungunt, eas antea perfricando, vt rubescant, & reuocetur calor, rarumque fiat, quod erat frigore concretum: Vt relaxetur caro, aperiantur pori, adipem adiungunt, vel oleum ipsius vicem subiens, vt succorum vis intro descendat, & fiat potior, vegetiorque: id esse in causam non dubium reor. Sic non illuni nocte per aera deferri videntur, conuiuia, sonos, tripudia, & formosorum iuuenum concubitus, quos maximè exoptant: tanta est imaginationis vis, impressionum habitus, vt ferè cerebri pars ea, quæ memoratiua dicitur, huiusmodi sit plena: cumque valdè sint ipsæ ad credendum naturæ pronitate faciles, sic impressiones capessunt, vt spiritus immutentur, nil noctu, diuque aliud cogitantes, & ad hoc adiuuantur, cum non vescantur nisi betis, radicibus, castaneis, & leguminibus. Dum hæc pensiculatius perquirendo operam nauarem: ancipiti enim immorabar iudicio, incidit mihi in manus vetula quædam, quas à strigis auis nocturnæ similitudine striges vocant, quæque noctu puerulorum sanguinem è cunis absorbent: sponte pollicita breuis mihi temporis spatio allaturam responsa: iubet omnes foras egredi, qui mecum erant acciti testes, spoliis nudata tota se vnguento quodam valdè perfricuit, nobis è portæ rimulis conspicua: sic soporiferorum vi succorum cecidit, profundoque occubuit somno, foris ipsi patefacimus, multum vapulat, tantaque vis soporis fuit, vt sensum eriperet, ad locum foras reddimus, iam medelæ vires fatiscunt, flaccescuntque, à somno seuocata, multa incipit fari deliria, se maria: montesque transmeasse, falsaque depromens responsa, negamus, instat liuorem ostendimus, pertinaciter resistit magis. Sed quid de eis sentiam, dabitur alias narrandi locus: ad institutum nostra reddeat oratio: satis enim prolixiusculi fuimus. Hoc præterea præmonendum censeo, ne facilè experientes dilabantur, non hæc æquè omnibus euentura: sed inter cæteros melancholicis, cum natura præalgida, algiosaque sint, eorumque vaporatio multa non sit: rectè enim quæ vident, percipiunt, & referre possunt.


LAMIA: -- a witch. Lamia is derived from the tale of Lamia, Queen of Libya whose children were killed by Hera in a jealous rage at Lamia's closeness to Zeus. Lamia, in revenge, walks the earth sucking the blood of children and babies.




Lamiarum Unguenta (Witches Unguent):


ENGLISH TRANSLATION (ABRIDGED)

Although they mix in a great deal of superstition, it is apparent nonetheless to the observer that these things can result from a natural force. I shall repeat what I have been told by them. By boiling children's fat in a copper vessel, they get rid of its water, thickening what is left after boiling and remains last. Then they store it, and afterwards boil it again before use: with this, they mix celery, aconite, poplar leaves and soot. Or, in alternative: sium, acorus, cinquefoil, the blood of a bat, nightshade (Solanum) and oil; and if they mix in other substances they don’t differ from these very much. Then they smear all the parts of the body, first rubbing them to make them ruddy and warm and to rarify whatever had been condensed because of cold. When the flesh is relaxed and the pores opened up, they add the fat (or the oil that is substituted for it) - so that the power of the juices can penetrate further and become stronger and more active, no doubt. And so they think that they are borne through the air on a moonlit night to banquets, music, dances and the embrace of handsome young men of their choice.



FOR A MODERN DAY ACCOUNT PLEASE VISIT:


THE WANDERLING'S JOURNEY



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