Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Culpeper, you crack me the heck up!

Who says Jacobean botanists don't have a sense of humor?

"Having gathered the herb, would you preserve the juice of it, when it is very dry (for otherwise the juice will not be worth a button) bruise it very well in a stone mortar with a wooden pestle, then having put it into a canvas bag, the herb I mean, not the mortar, for that will give but little juice, press it hard in a press, then take the juice and clarify it."


"Conserves of herbs and flowers, are thus made: if you make your conserves of herbs, as of scurvy- grass, wormwood, rue, and the like, take only the leaves and tender tops (for you may beat your heart out before you can beat the stalks small) and having beaten them, weigh them, and to every pound of them add three pounds of sugar, you cannot beat them too much."

"Therefore, if you set an apple-kernel in the Spring, you shall find the root to grow to a pretty bigness in the Summer, and be not a whit bigger next Spring. What doth the sap do in the root all that while? Pick straws? 'Tis as rotten as a rotten post."

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