« PreviousContinue »
pain, which he said was insupportable, in regard of the extram inflammation. I told him I would willingly serve him; but if haply he knew the manner how I would cure him, without touching or seeing him, it may be he would not expose himself to my manner of curing, because he would think it, peradventure, either ineffectual, or superstitious. He replied, The wonderfull things which many have related unto me of your way of medicinement, makes me nothing doubt at all of its efficacy: and all that I have to say unto you is comprehended in the Spanish proverb, Hagase el milagro y hagalo Mahoma, let the miracle be done, though Mahomet do it.'
"I asked him then for any thing that had the blood upon it; so he presently sent for his garter, wherewith his hand was first bound; and as I called for a bason of water, as if I would wash my hands, I took a handful of powder of vitriol, which I had in my study, and presently dissolved it As soon as the bloudy garter was brought me, I put it within the bason, observing,-iu the interim, what Mr Howel did, who stood talking with a gentleman in a corner of my chamber, not regarding at all what I was doing; but he started suddenly, as if he had found some strange alteration in himself. I asked him what he ailed ?' I know not what ailes me; but I fade that I feel no more pain. Methinks that a pleasing kinde of freshnesse, as it were a wet cold napkin, did spread over my hand, which hath taken away the inflammation that tormented me before.' 1 replyed, 'Since then that you feel already so good effect of my medicament, I advise you to cast away all your playsters; only keep the wound clean, and in a moderate temper betwixt heat and cold.' This was presently reported to the Duke of Buckingham, and a little after to the king, who were both very curious to know the circumstance of the businesse, which was, that after dinner I took the garter out of the water, and put it to dry before a great fire. It was scarce dry, but Mr Howel's servant came running, that his master felt as much burning as ever he had done, if not more; for the heat was such as if his hand were twixt coles of fire. I answered, although that had happened at present, yet he should find ease in a short time; for I knew the reason of this new accident, and would provide accordingly; for his master should be free from that inflammation, it may be, before hp could possibly return to him: but in case he found no ease, I wished him to come presently back again; if not, he might forbear coming. Thereupon he went; and at the instant I did put again the garter into the water, thereupon he found his master without any pain at all. To be brief, there was no sense of pain afterward; but within five or six dayes the wounds were cicatrized, and entirely healed." p. 6.
The king (James VI.) obtained from Sir Kenelm the disco, very of his secret, which he pretended had been tapght him by a Carmelite friar, who had learned it in Armenia, or Persia. Let not the age of animal magnetism and metallic tractors smile at the sympathetic powder of Sir Kenelm Digby. Reginald Scot mentions the same mode of cure in these terms: "And that which is more strange .... they can remedie anie stranger with that verie sword wherewith they are wounded. Yea, and that which is beyond all admiration, if they stroke the sword upward with their fingers, the partie shall feele no pain; whereas, if they draw their fingers downwards, thereupon the partie wounded shall feele intolerable pain." I presume that the success ascribed to the sympathetic mode of treatment might arise from the pains bestowed in washing the wound, and excluding the air, thus bringing on a cure by the first intention. It is introduced by Dryden in the Enchanted Island, a (very unnecessary) alteration of the Tempest:
Ariel. Anoint the sword which pierced him with this
Again, in scene 4th, Miranda enters with Hippolito's sword wrapt up.
Hip. O ray wound pains me. [She unwraps the sword.
Mir. I am come to ease you.
Hip. Alas, I feel the cold air come to me; My wound shoots worse than ever.
Mir. Does it still grieve you?
'. [She wipes and anoints the sword.
Hip. Now, methinks, there's something laid just upon it.
Mir. Do you find no ease?
Hip. Yes, yes; upon the sudden all this pain Is leaving me. Sweet heaven, how I am eased I On Petichryst glows a bale of fire,
And three are kindling on Priesthaughstoire.
St. XXVII. p. 93. The Border beacons, from their number and position, formed a sort of telegraphic communication with Edinburgh.—The act of parliament 1455, c. 48, directs that one bale or faggot shall be warning of the approach of the English in any manner; two bales, that they are coming indeed; four bales, blazing beside each other, that the enemy are in great force. * The same taikenings to be watched and maid at Eggerhope Castell, fra they se the fire of Hume, that they fire right swa. And in like manner on Sowtra Edge, sail se the fire of Eggerhope Castell, and inak taikening in like manner: 'And then may all I^outbiane be warned, and in special the Castell of Edinburgh; and their four fires to be maid in like mancr, that they in Fife, and fra Striviling east, and the east part of Louthiane, and' to Dunbar, all may se them, and come to the defense of the realme." These beacons (at least in latter times) were " a long and strong tree set up, with a long iron pole across the head of it, and an iron brander fixed on a stalk in the middle of it, for holding a tar-barrel."—Stevenson's History, Vol. II. p. roi.
Our kin and clan and friends to raise.
St. XXVII. p. 93. The speed with which the Borderers collected great bodies of horse, may be judged of from the following extract, when the subject of the rising was much less important than that supposed in the romance. It is taken from Carey's Memoirs:
"Upon the death of the old Lord Scroop, the queen gave the west wardenry to his son, that had married my sister. He, having received that office, came to me with great earnestness, and desired me to be his deputy, offering me that I should live with him in his house; that he would allow me half a dozen men, and as many horses, to be kept at his charge; and his fee being 1000 marks yearly, he would part it with me, and I should have the half. This his noble offer I accepted of, and went with him to Carlisle; where I was no sooner come, but I entered into my office. We had a stirring time of it; and few dayes past over my head but I was on horseback, either to prevent mischief, or take malefactors, and to bring the Border in better quiet than it had been in times past. One memorable thing, of God's mercy shewed unto me, was such as I have good cause still to remember it.
"I had private intelligence given me, that there were two Scottish men, that had killed a churchman in Scotland, and were by one of the Grames relieved. This Grame dwelt within five miles of Carlisle. He had a pretty house, and close by it a strong tower, for his own defence in time of need. About two o'clock in the morning, I took horse in Carlisle, and not above 25 in my company, thinking to surprise the house on a sudden. Before I could surround the house, the two Scotts were gotten in the strong tower, and I could see a boy riding from the house as fast as his horse could carry him;