John Baptista Porta
(Giambattista della Porta)
"How to Adorn Women, and Make them Beautiful."
Chapter I - "How the hair may be dyed Yellow, or Gold color."
Chapter II - "How to dye the Hair Red."
Chapter III - "How the Hairs are dyed Black"
Chapter IV - "To make Hairs part smooth."
Chapter V - "How Hair May Grow Again."
Chapter VI - "To take away Sores and Worms that spoil the Hair."
Chapter VII - "How to make the Hair curl."
Chapter VIII - "Remedies to make the eyebrows black."
Chapter IX - "How to make the face white."
Chapter X - "How Women shall make their faces very clean to receive the
Chapter XI - "How the face may be made very soft."
Chapter XII - "How to make the face clear and shining like silver."
Chapter XIII - "How to dissolve talk for to beautify women."
Chapter XIV - "The preparation of Sublimate."
Chapter XV - "How white-lead is prepared for the face."
Chapter XVI - "The best Soaps for women."
Chapter XVII - "How to make the face Rose-colored."
Chapter XVIII - "To wash away the over-much redness of the Face."
Chapter XIX - "How to make a Sun Burned face white."
Chapter XX - "How spots may be taken from the face."
Chapter XXI - "How we may take off red Pimples."
Chapter XXII - "How Tetters may be taken from the face, or any other part of
Chapter XXIII - "How Warts may be taken away."
Chapter XXIV - "To take away wrinkles from the Body."
Chapter XXV - "Dentifrices."
Chapter XXVI - "To hinder the breasts from augmenting."
Chapter XXVII - "How the Hand may be made white."
Chapter XXVIII - "How to correct the ill scent of the Arm-pits."
Chapter XXIX - How the Matrix over widened by childbirth, may be made
Chapter XXX - "Some sports against women."
Since next to the art of Physick, follows the art of adorning ourselves, we
shall set down the art of painting, and how to beautify women from head to
foot, in many experiments. Yet, lest any man should think it superfluous,
to interpose those things that belong to the ornaments of women, I would
have them consider, that I did not write these things for to give occasion
to augment luxury, and to make people voluptuous. But when God, the author
of all things, would have the natures of all things to continue, he created
male and female that by fruitful procreation, they might never want
children. And to make man in love with his wife, he made her soft, delicate
and fair, to entice man to embrace her. We therefore, that women might be
pleasing to their husbands, and that their husbands might not be offended at
their deformities, and turn into other women's chambers, have taught women,
how, by the art of decking themselves and painting, if they be ashamed of
their foul and swart complexions, that may make themselves fair and
beautiful. Something that seemed best to me in the writings of the
Ancients, I have tried, and set down here. But those that are the best,
which I and others have of late invented, and were never before in print, I
shall set down last. And first I shall begin with the hair.
"How the hair may be dyed yellow, or gold color."
SInce it is the singular care of women to adorn their hair, and next their
faces, First, I will show you how to adorn the hair, and next the
countenance. For women hold the hair to be the greatest ornament of the
body, that if that be taken away, all the beauty is gone. And they think it
the more beautiful, the more yellow, shining and radiant it is. We shall
consider what things are fit for that purpose. What are the most yellow
things, and will not hurt the head, as there are many that will. But we
shall choose such things as will do it good. But before you dye them,
"Preparing of the hair,"
Must be used, to make them fit to receive a Tincture. Add to the Lees of
white Wine as much Honey that they may be soft, and some thin matter. Smear
your hair with this, let it be wet all night. Then Bruise the roots of
Celendine, and of the greater Clivers Madder, of each a like quality.
Mingle them, being Bruised, very well with Oil, wherein Cumin seed,
shavings of Box, and a little Saffron, are mingled, anoint your head, and
let it abide so for twenty hours. Then wash it with Lye made of Cabbage
stalks, ashes, and Barley Straw. But Rye Straw is the best. For this, as
women have often proved, will make the hair a bright yellow. But you shall
"A Lye to dye the hair."
Thus, put Barley Straw into an earthen pot with a great mouth, Feny-Graec.
and wild Cumin, mingle between them, Quicklime and Tobacco, made into
powder. Then put them upon the Straw before mentioned, and pour on the
powders again, I mean by course, one under, the other over, till the whole
vessel be full. And when they are thrust close, pour on cold water, and let
them stand a whole day. Then open a hole at the bottom, and let the Lye run
forth, and with Soap use it for your hair. I shall teach you,
To five glasses of Fountain water, add Alome-Foeces, one ounce, Soap, three
ounces, Barley Straw, one handful. Let them boil in earthen pots, till two
thirds be boiled away. Then let it settle. Strain the water with the
ashes, adding to every glass of water, pure Honey one ounce. Set it up for
your use. You shall prepare for your hair,
Thus, burn the Foeces of Wine, heaped up in a pit, as the manner is, so that
the fire may go round the pit. When it is burnt, pound it, and seirce it.
Mingle it well with Oil. Let the woman anoint her hair with it when she
goes to bed, and in the morning, let her wash it off with a Lye, wherein the
most bitter Lupines were boiled. Other women endeavour,
"To make their hair yellow,"
Thus, they put into a common Lye, the Citron Pills, Oranges, Quinces, Barley
Straw, dried Lupines, Feny-Graec, Broom flowers, and Tartar coloured, a
good quantity. And they let them there lie and Steep, to wash their hair
with. Others mingle two parts of Soap, to one part honey, adding Ox-gall
one half part. To which they mingle a twelfth part garden Cumin, and wild
Saffron. And setting them in the sun for six weeks, they stir it daily with
a wooden staff. And this they use. Also of Vinegar and Gold Litharge,
there is made a Decoction very good to dye the hair yellow as Gold. Some
there are, that draw out a strong water with fire, out of Saltpeter,
Vitriol, Salt Ammoniac, and Cinnaber, whereas the hairs dyed, will be
presently yellow. But this is often found to burn the hair. Thos that know
how to mingle it, will have good effects of it. But these are but ordinary,
the most famous way is,
"To Make the Hairs Yellow,"
Draw Oil from Honey by the art of Distillation, as we shall show. First,
there will come forth a clear water, then a Saffron colored. Use this to
anoint the hair with a Sponge, but let it touch the skin. For it will dye
it Saffron color, and it is not easily washed off. This is the principal
above others, because the Tincture will last many days. And it will dye
gray hairs, which few others will. Or make a Lye of Oak ashes, put in the
quantity of a Bean of Rhubarb, as much as Tobacco, a handful of Barley Straw
and Feny-Graec. Shells of Oranges, the Raspings of Guaiacum, a good deal of
wild Saffron and Liquorish. Put all these in an earthen pot, and boil them,
till the water sinks three fingers. The hairs will wash excellently with
this. Hold them in the sun, then cast Brimstone on the coals, and Fume the
hairs, and while it burns, receive the smoke with a little tunnel at the
bottom, and cover your head over with a cloth, that the smoke will fly not
"How to dye the hair red."
Because there are many men and women that have ruddy complexions, and have
the hair of their heads and beards red. Which, should they make yellow
colored, they would not agree with their complexions. To help those also, I
set down these remedies. The Ancients used the Decoction of the Lote Tree
rasp, which we call Melo Fiocco. And so they made their hair red. Or else,
by burning the Foeces of the old Wine, as I said, they added Oil of Mastick
thereto, which they provided thus to the purpose. The heaped up the ripe
berries of the Mastick tree for some some days, till they might wither.
Then they poured on water, and boiled them so long in brazen kettles until
they broke. They put them in bags, and pressed out the Oil with a press.
Which this Ointment, they kept their head anointed all the night, and so
made them red. But how we may,
"Dye the hair red."
I shall teach you. There is a powder brought to us from Africa, they
commonly call it Alchena. If we boil it in a Lye until it becomes colored,
and anoint our hair with it, it will dye them red for many days, that is
indelible. But while you handle it, take heed you wet not your nails
therewith, for they will be so dyed, you cannot easily make them clean. So
also we dye the tails and manes of white Horses red. But I can easily do it
with Oil of Honey, for when the clear and Saffron colored waters are drawn
off, increase the fire, and the Oil will come forth, the red. This is
excellent to make the hairs red, and it will dye white hairs for many days,
and when that Tincture is worn off, the hairs will shine of a golden color.
But when we anoint our heads with a Lye, we take a wet sponge with Nippers,
that we may not stain our hands or skin of our heads.
"With herbs a woman dye's her hoary head."
Arts Colors better'd Natures, as 'tis said."
"How the hairs are dyed black."
It is worth the while, to show such as are ashamed to seem old, how to dye
their Hoary hairs black, as if they might grow young again by it. And if we
provide for young women, we must do as much for aged Matrons, especially, if
it fall out that they grow Hoary too soon. Of old, they made a decoction of
Sage leaves, the green husks of Walnuts, Sumac, Myrtle berries,
Blackberries, Cypress nuts, Rinds of the roots of the Halm tree, and
such-like. For the Rind the root of Halm tree, boiled till it be soft, and
consumed, and then smeared on all night, blacks the hair, first made clean
with Fullers Earth. Learn therefore,
"How gray hairs are dyed black."
Anoint your hair in the sun with Leeches that have lain to corrupt in the
blackest Wine sixty days, and they will become very black. Or else, let a
Sextary of Leeches stand in two Sextaries of Vinegar in a leaden vessel to
corrupt for sixty days, and as I said, anoint your hair. Pliny says, it
will dye so strongly that unless they hold Oil in their mouths, when they
dye the hair, it will make their teeth black also. But if you would have,
"Long and black hair,"
Take a green Lizard and cutting off the head and tail, boil it in common
Oil, and anoint your head with it. You shall have also,
Yet you may thus dye your hair and beard handsomely, if they be grown gray.
Froth of Silver, burnt Brass, must be mingled with four times the quantity
of strong Lye. And when it bubbles on an easy fire, wash your hair with it,
and when they are dry, wash them with hot water. I used this as the
Ancients taught it. And I made a Lye of Quicklime and Oak ashes, that they
commonly call the Capitel. In that I boiled Litharge of Silver. Then I
tried it on white Wool, for if it be dyed black, as I would have it, then I
took it from the fire, or else, I boiled it longer. If it burnt the wool, I
put water into it, or else, dyed with it. Add Litharge. Wash your hair or
beard with this, and it will dye them with a shining black color, and it
will not be discerned. For the more you wash it, the better it will shine.
"To make hairs part smooth."
Because sometimes a part is deformed with abundance of hair, or for lack of
hair, I shall show how to make a smooth part thick with hair, and a hairy
part smooth by Depilatories.
"A common Depilatory,"
Which men use commonly in baths. It consists of Quicklime, four parts made
into powder, Orpiment one part. Boil them. Try with a Hen feather, when
that is made bare with it, it is boiled. Take heed you boil it not too
much, or that it stay not too long upon your skin, for it will burn. But if
it chance to burn your skin, take Populeum and Oil of Roses or Violets, and
anoint the place, and the pain will be gone. This must be done in a bath,
but if you cannot have one, let the woman be covered with cloths very well,
and let it be cast on burning stones or tiles, that she may receive the fume
of it, and sweat. After she has sweat, let her wash herself with water, and
wipe it off. Then let her anoint herself all over, for the parts anointed
such, will presently be smooth. And thus may all parts be kept free from
hair. The Ancients used these as Saferna, and as Varro reports and teaches
in his book of Husbandry. If, says he, you would make anyone smooth from
hair, cast a pale Frog into water, and boil it to a third part, and with
that anoint the body. By the pale Frog we must understand a Toad. For a
Frog has no such faculty. A Salamander soaked in Oil, will pull out the
hair. But it will be stronger, if you Steep it long in Oil and Dissolve it.
The filthy matter that is white as Milk, and is Vomited up at the mouth by
the Salamander , if it touch any part of the body, all the hair will fall
off. Dioscorides says, that the Sea-Scolopendra boiled in Oil, and smeared
on the part, will pluck off the hair by the roots. But,
"To make Hair grow slowly,"
If you press Oil out of Henbane seed with a press, or do often anoint the
places with the juice of it, they will grow again very slowly. The same is
done with the juice of Hemlock. Or to take off the hairs, men added to Ant
eggs, red Orpiment, and Ivy gum, with Vinegar, and they rubbed the place
where the hair was taken away. In former times, they rubbed the down parts
of children with the roots of Hyancinthus, and the hair would never grow
there. And therefore it is well known in trimming Medicament sold here and
there, that being smeared on with sweet Wine, keeps back the beard, and will
not let it break forth. But if you would,
"That hair should never grow again,"
In which business I have taken great pains, and tried many things that I
found to be false. First, Foment the part with hot water, and pull out the
hairs one by one with women's Nippers. Then Dissolve Saltpeter in water,
and anoint the holes where the hair grew. It will be better done with Oil
of Brimstone, or of Vitriol. And so they will never grow again, or if they
do, after one year, they will be very soft. Do then the same again, and the
parts will be bare always. So I have made women's foreheads longer, and
have taken off hair from parts hotter then the rest.
"How hair may grow again."
But for those that would have hair grow where it should, these remedies will
do it. Sometimes women's temples use to be deformed for want of hair. I
shall teach you how,
"Hair falling off before old age, may be held fast."
And if any hair has fallen off, to make it grow again, Torrify Pith upon
coals, when it is Torrified, powder it, sift it, and mingle it with water,
and anoint the head. The Ancients made their hair grow again with these
remedies. With the ashes of a land Hedgehog, or of burnt Bees or Flies, or
the powder of them dried, also with man's Dung burnt, and anointed on with
Honey, to which they added well the ashes of small Nuts, Walnuts, Chestnuts,
and other beanlike substances. For by all these mingled together, or by
them single, hair will be made to grow. But if you will,
"That hair shall grow quickly,"
I know that by often washing the place with that water that first Distils
from Honey by the fire, much hair will soon grow, or if you do but moisten
the place with wet cloths, and not wipe it, but let it always continue wet.
Also noble matrons may use this,
"To make the hair grow softer."
Augustus was wont to burn his legs with a burning Nut, that the hair might
grow softer. But,
"That hair may grow longer and quickly."
Bruise Marsh-Mallow roots with Hog Grease, and let them boil long in Wine.
Then add Cumin seed well Bruised, Mastick, and Yolks of Eggs, well boiled.
First, mingle them a little, and then boil them. Strain all through a Linen
clout, and let it stand and settle, then take the fat that swims on the top
and anoint the head, first wash. But to make them grow quickly, take Barley
bread with Salt, and Bear's Grease. Burn the Bread, and with such a mixture
anoint the place. Some smear a Glazed pot with the fat of a Horse's neck,
and they boil river Eel that is fat, and cut into pieces in it, till it
Dissolve into Oil, and they anoint the part with it.
"To take away sores and worms that spoil the hair."
There is a certain Plague of the hair that befalls them, and breaks,
cuts,and takes the hair quite off from the head. I will add the remedies
presently, whereby to take them away. It is healthful, in these diseases,
to apply bitter things to kill these Worms, called Tiners or Syrens. Take
the flowers of Myrtle trees, Broom-clary, boil them in Vinegar , till the
Vinegar is consumed, then rub the ends of the hair continually with it.
Also grind bitter Lupines into fine meal, boil them in Vinegar, and then rub
the hairs between the hands. For this will kill these Syrens, and drive
them away. But I used very hot Bread, newly taken forth of the oven, cut in
the middle, and putting the hair between them till they grow cold.
"How to make the hair curl."
Curled hair seems to be no small grace and ornament to the head. And women
that use painting do all they can to curl the hair. If you will know how,
"To curl the hair,"
Boil Maidenhair with Smallage seed in Wine, adding a good quantity of Oil.
for this will make the hair curled and thick. Pliny. Moreover, if you put
the root of Daffodils into Wine, and pour this often on the head, being
shaved, it will make the hair curl the more, as the same author says. Or
else, Bruise the root of Dwarf Elder, with the Oil, and anoint the head
therewith, and Bind the leaves of the same upon the head. Some say that
Camel's Dung will curl the hair. Or else, pound the ashes of a Ram's horn,
with Oil, and with that, anoint the head often, being first shaved. So
also, will the ashes of Chestnuts or Hedgehog do, if you with Honey smear
the head with it.
"Remedies to make the eyebrows black."
Before we leave of to speak of hair, I shall show how to make the eyebrows
black. Because women are desirous of this as the rest. The Greeks call
them Calliblephara, that is, fair eyebrows. Wherefore the Ancients used,
"To dye the eyebrows,"
with black earth like Birume or Sea-Cole. Being burned, it is a very fine
black. And it is added to those remedies that serve to dye the eyebrows and
the hair black. Or else with the Marrow of an Ox bone taken out of the
right leg before, and beaten with Soot is good to die the hair and faulty
eyebrows, and the corners of the eyes. Also, Soot is tempered for this
purpose, with the smoke of paper, and Oil of Sesama. The Soot being wiped
off of a new vessel with a Feather. The Kernels of Dates burned in a new
earthen pot, and the ashes washed, serve instead of Spodium. And they are
mingled with eye salves. And they make Calliblephara adding Spikenard
thereunto. And if they are not well burnt, burn them again. Also Rose
leaves are fit to burn for the same use. Also, you may amend your eyebrows
thus. Take Labdanum, and beat it with Wine, and mingle Oil of Myrtles with
it, and make a very thick Ointment. Or Infuse in Oil the black leaves of
the Myrtle tree, with a double quantity of Galls Bruised, and use that. I
use this. Galls are fried in Oil, and they are ground with a little
Salt-Ammoniac. And then mingled with Vinegar, wherein the Pills of the
Mulberry and Bramble have been boiled. With these anoint the eyebrows, and
let it abide on all night. Then wash it off with water. But if you would,
"Change the color of children's eyes."
You shall do it thus. Anoint the fore part of their heads with the ashes of
the shells of Hazelnuts and Oil. It will make the white eyes of children
black, if you do it twice. There are many experiments to make white and
gray eyes black, and to alter the colors. But I shall let them pass,
because those that want them will not to lightly endanger their eyes. Nor
do they answer the expectation, as some have tried them.
"How to make the Face White."
I taught formerly in my book of plants, that with white clear silver
colored Herbs, Shellfish, and stones, the face might be made white, polished
and silver colored. I shall now set down some examples, by which you may
invent many more. I shall first speak of Simples, then of Compounds.
Simples that are white, make the face white. The Lilly is a complete white
color. The bulbous tops of it, like Onions boiled in water, or the
Distilled water of them, will make the faces of maids white, if they wash
them therewith, morning and evening. Withywind bears a flower like to the
Lilly, without any smell. But within like Saffron. It is only white, and
is as it were the rudiments of nature, when she goes about to frame a Lilly.
The Distilled water from the flowers will wonderfully make the face whole.
Also with the Decoction of Ivory, one may make the face like Ivory.
Melanthium makes the face beautiful. Dioscorides. But it shows its
excellency when it is thus prepared. Pound it, and sift out the finest of
it, take the juice of Lemon, and let the meal of Gith lie wet in it
twentyfour hours. Take it out, and let it dry. Then break an Egg with the
shell, and mingle it with it. Then dry it in the shade. Let her put this
into a white Linen Clout, that is not too fine, and wet it with water or
Spittle. And let her rub her face with the Clout, that the moisture alone,
and not the meal, may come on the face. I you will have,
"Your face white,"
It may be made as white as Milk many ways, and chiefly with these that
follow. Let Litharge of Silver, half an ounce, boil in a Glazed earthen
pot, with strong Vinegar, until the thinner part be Evaporated. Set it up
for use. Then, in another pot, let half a pound of clear water boil. Then
mingle both these waters together and shake them. Then it will become like
Milk, and sink to the bottom. When it is settled, pour it off. Water being
plentifully poured in. And leaving it a while to settle, pour it off again.
Pour on fresh, shake it, and leave it to settle a short time, and so
forebear. That which is settled, set in the Sun. And when it is grown
stiff, as thick Pap, make small balls of it, and lay them up. You may use
these with water to make the face white. Or else powder Litharge of Silver,
eight ounces, very fine. Pour on the powder, of the strongest Vinegar five
pints.Distil them, and keep them for your use. Then take Allome de Plume,
Salt Gemma, one Drachm, Frankincense, one and a half, Camphire, two Drachms,
Oil of Tartar, six ounces, Rosewater, one pound. Powder what must be
powdered, and pour it in. Distil the water in chemical vessels, and set it
up. When you would use them, mingle a little of both waters in the palm of
your hand, and it will be like Milk. Rub your face with it and it will
become white. Or else take off the Pills of about twenty Citron Lemons.
Infuse the Pills in one pound of the best Wine, and one point and a half of
Rosewater, for six days. Then add one ounce of white Lilly and Mallow
roots, and let them stay as many days. Then add Rosin of Turpentine, four
ounces, white Mercury Sublimate, two ounces, Boxan, half an ounce, ten
whites of Eggs made hard at the fire. And mingle all these together. Let
them stay one night. The next day, put a cap upon the vessel, and luting
the joints well, that nothing may breath forth, let the water drop into a
vessel to receive it. Set it aside for use. I use this, that is easier to
make, and does the business completely. Take the white of an Egg, and stir
it so long with an Iron, that it froth well. Let it stand to turn to water.
Then take half an ounce of the best Honey, and beat with that water, and
mingle them until they unite. Add to them the quantity of two Corns of
Wheat, of Mercury Sublimate, finely powdered. When you go to bed, take some
of the water in the palm of your hand, and wash your face. And so let it
dry in, that it may not stick to the Linen. In the morning, wash it off
with Fountain water, and you shall find your face clear and white.
"How women shall make their faces very clean to receive the color."
Before anything be used to make the face beautiful, it must be made very
clean and fit to receive it. For often women have excellent waters and
remedies brought them, but they have no operation. Wherefore the matter is,
they must first prepare their face. This is the best,
"Preparation of the face."
Bind Barleymeal Bran in a Linen cloth, and let it down into a pot full of
water. Let it boil until a third part is remaining and press out the juice.
With this Decoction wash your face, and let it dry. Then Bruise Myrrh, and
mingle it with the white of an Egg, and burn it on hot Firesticks, or red
hot tiles, and receive the Fume by a Tunnel. Let the narrow part of it be
toward the face, and the broad to the fire. Cover the head with a Napkin,
that the smoke will not fly away. And when you have received sufficient of
the smoke, rub your face with a Linen cloth. Then use your remedy to anoint
your face. I shall show you,
"One that is stronger."
When the skin must be cleansed or made white, you must cleanse some parts of
your face from skins that will not let your painting Ointments stick.
Powder an ounce of Sublimate very finely. Put it into a pot that is Glazed,
and cast into it six whites of Eggs, so beaten, that they are turned into
water. Then boil them on hot embers until they grow thick. Put them into a
Linen cloth that is loosely woven. And press the water out of them with
your hands, and wash your face with it. Then mingle Honey, whites of Eggs,
and the aforesaid water together, equal parts. Put some in your palm, and
rub the place you would make white, with the palms of your hands. Then boil
Spelt. And when it is boiled, take the fume of it by a Tunnel. Then rub
your face with a course Linen cloth. Others wash their face with water,
wherein fine Flour is boiled.
"How the face may be made very soft."
The next beauty of the face and hands, is tenderness, which is procured by
fat things, and chiefly by Milk, and principally of Ass's. For it takes off
wrinkles, and makes the skin white and soft. And therefore, it was not for
nothing, that Poppae Sabina, Nero's wife, had always five hundred Asses with
her. And in a bath she soaked all her body with that Milk. Wherefore if
you would have,
"Your face made soft and white,"
Steep Crumbs of Bread in Whey or in Milk. Then press it out, and with that
water wash your face. For it will wonderfully white your face, and make the
skin fair. Or, take six glasses of Milk, Steep Crumbs of Bread in it five
hours. Take ten Lemons, make clean the Pills, and cut the body of them into
thin slices. Then shake ten whites of Eggs. Bruise an ounce of Camphire,
Allom Sauharinum, two ounces. Mingle them all, and Distil them. Set it in
a Glazed vessel close covered, in the Sun. And then set it up for your use.
Here is one stronger,
"For the same purpose."
Boil two Calf's feet in water. First make them clean. Then boil the water
until half be consumed. Put in it Rice, one pound, and boil it well. Let
Crumbs of Bread Steep in Ass's Milk or Goat's Milk, with ten whites of Eggs
Bruised with their shells. Distil all at a gentle fire. Add to the water
a little Camphire and Borax. Put into a Glazed vessel, two young naked
Pigeons, with their Guts taken forth. And put in as much Milk as will cover
them. And add one ounce of Borax. Turpentine, three ounces. Camphire, one
ounce. Five whites of Eggs. Put on the cover, and Distil them. For it is
fat things that make the face soft. I shall say more, when I come to speak
of making the hands white and soft. The reason is the same for both.
"How to make the face clear and shining like silver."
The face is not only make clear, but white as silver, by those things that a
I said were white as Silver. Yet not exactly as Silver, but they shine as
clear as Silver. There is an Herb commonly called Argentaria, or Argentina,
or Wild Tansey, whose leaves are green above, but on the backside they shine
of a silver color. The Distilled water of it is drank by women against
spots in their faces, and to make them white as Silver. The Snails that are
found in moist places, and leave behind them, as they creep, a silver cord
(Dioscorides says, will cure the spots in the face) women much desire them.
For they put them in a Still and draw out water from them, that polishes the
skin exceedingly, and makes it contract a silver gloss. And the sea shell
Fish, like an ear, whose shell is of a silver color within, or pearl color,
and many kinds of shells, that being Steeped in Vinegar, will grow pure,
casting off the outward crust. As the Oyster shell does that brings forth
the Pearl. There are also shells, we call the Mothers of Pearl, that
inwardly are shining, and of a silver color, like Pearls. All which women
use for their art of beautifying themselves. For they make the face smooth,
and to shine as white as Silver. But Pearls do it best of all things. When
they are Dissolved in sharp juices, and soaked in rotten Dung, till they
send forth a clear Oil, that is the best thing to beautify the face, as I
shall write elsewhere. For the same use, is a Glass stone used, that shines
like Silver. But no better water is prepared, then from Talk, or
Quicksilver, as I shall show in that which follows.
"How to Dissolve Talk for to beautify women."
Though I shall speak in a work, on purpose, more at large, how Talk may be
Dissolved into water or Oil. We shall here only set down, how it may be
fitted to women's use. Of all such ways are used, I shall set forth such as
I have tried to be good. Beat Talk in a Mortar of metal. Then put it into
a pot of the strongest Clay. Cover it, and Bind it with the strongest wire.
Lute it well all over, and stop the joints that nothing may breath out. And
set it in the Sun to dry. Then put this stone in an oven, that flames
strongly, or in some other place, where the fire is most vehement. When the
fire of the oven is out, take it forth and break the vessel. And if it be
well Calcined, it is enough. Otherwise do the same again, until the Calx of
it be as white as it ought to be. When the Calcined body of it, is white,
as it must be, grind it on a Porphyry Stone, and put it into a little bag,
or upon a Marble in a very moist place, or deep well, or Cistern. And let
it lie there long, and with such moisture it will drop forth at last. It
will more easily and perfectly Dissolve into water, and if it were burned
long enough, and turned into a Calx. For the parts being turned to Lime,
and made exceeding dry by force of fire, they attract moisture. It is also
that is good. Calcine the Talk, and put it in an earthen pot, and set it in
the hottest part of a Potters Oven, to stay there six days. When the Talk
is thus turned to a Calx, put it into a Gourd glass, which you shall first
make clean. And make a hole in it. And setting the vessel under it, you
shall have the moisture of it drop forth, and the Calx will resolve into
water. Put this into a Glass Vial, and let the water Evaporate in Balneo.
Take the Sediment out for your use. I use also,
Put Snails in an earthen vessel, in the open air, that they may be kept
hungry three days, and pine for want of meat, and be Purged. Then take a
silver Loadstone, or Talk, most finely powdered, mingle it with the white of
an Egg, and make an Ointment. Anoint the earthen vessel with it, and put
the Snails into it, for they will eat up all the Talk. When they have eaten
all, and voided their Excrements, Bruise the Snails with their shells. And
putting them into a Retort, draw out their moisture with a gentle fire. The
Humor that drops forth, will exceedingly adorn the face.
"The preparation of Sublimate."
I said, that there was nothing better then Quicksilver for women's paints,
and to cleanse their faces, and make them shine. Wherefore, I shall set
down many ways to prepare it, that you may have the use of it to your
desire. Take one ounce and half of pure Quicksilver, not falsified with
Lead. For if there is any Lead mingled with it, all your labor is lost.
How it must be Purged and known, I taught elsewhere. Mingle this with half
a pound of Mercury Sublimate, and put it into a Marble Mortar, and with a
new wooden Pestle, stir it well, turning it round about. First, it will be
black, in six hours it will grow white, if you cease not to beat it. Then
add one ounce and half of white Salt, always turning it about with the
Pestle. For the more you grind it, the more perfect it will be. When it is
very well ground, it must be washed. Sprinkle boiling clear water into the
Mortar, and stir it, and then stay awhile, until the muddy part may sink
down, and the filth that was lighter, and swims on the top. Laying the
vessel on one side, pour out the water gently, and pour in fresh. Do this
five or six times in the same manner, until the pure and only powder remains
without Dregs. Make little cakes of it, and dry it in the Sun. Some while
they Bruise it, sprinkle water on, lest the powder by grinding should be
made so small, that it should fly away into the air. The chief business is
to Purge it, and grind it well, that it be not troubled when it is strained
forth. That which is gone to the bottom, and so part of it be lost. Some
open a hole in the belly of a pot, that when it is settled, the hole being
opened, the water with the Dregs may run forth. Others to Sublimate, add a
third part of Quicksilver, and grind it in a wooden Mortar. And in the mean
while they chew four Grains of Mastick in their mouths, and they spit the
clammy Spittle out of their mouths into the Mortar, until it is white, as I
said. Then they boil it in one pound of the Distilled water, of Bryony root,
till it be consumed. Then they put a Linen cloth, to receive it at the
mouth of the vessel, and so they strain it forth, and set it in the Sun.
They make Trouches of it with Gum Traganth. Others to Sublimate, add a
sixth part of Quicksilver, Bruising it round about. Then they add Camphire,
Borax and Ceruse, half as much, and mingle all together. The principle
matter is, it is the best way to sprinkle it with water while you grind it,
lest by grinding it, the powder become so light, that it fly away. Also,
when the water is poured on, all the filth will come to the top, and more
easily be poured off. Then when the Sublimate is washed, it is left to
settle down. Then again pouring off the former water, they pour on fresh,
and they wash it often, till they see it is enough, and no black swims on
the top. But there is no better, as we said, than,
"Water of Quicksilver"
But some will not away with Quicksilver, by reason of the hurt it commonly
does to the teeth. But the use other water. Yet there is no better water,
then that which is extracted from Quicksilver. It is so clear and
transparent, and the face anointed with it, shines like Silver. It draws
the skin handsome, and makes it soft by and by. And I never saw a better.
The manner was shown before.
"How white-lead is prepared for the face."
Because Sublimate is so dangerous, there is a private way to do it with
Ceruse. But not the usual way, that women may have their desire, without
hurting their skin or their teeth. I am now come to the business of Ceruse.
Take of Swine's Grease, well washed and cleansed in common water, at least
ten times. Put into a Lye of sweet water, and after fifteen days, into a
pot, or earthen vessel, with a broad mouth. Pouring in the sharpest
Vinegar, put in your Swine's grease, that the Vinegar may swim three fingers
above it. Then fasten a plate of Lead on the mouth of the pot, well Luting
the joints with Linen cloths, that the Vinegar may not Evaporate. Every
fifteen days take off the cover, and see how it is. If the Lead is
Dissolved, and scrape the cover of all that hangs upon it, and put in the
cover. Anoint it all about, and let it stand so long, till all the rest be
performed, as I said before, and the whole Lead be turned into Ceruse.
Ceruse must be washed thus. Pour water into a vessel, put the Ceruse into
it. Stir it up and down, that what the dregs there is may swim on the top.
The Ceruse is heavy, and will sink to the bottom. Pour forth what swims
above in the vessel, and pour on fresh water. And do this often, until the
pure Ceruse is found without dregs. Dry it, and lay it up. If you will do
Take two handfuls of cleansed Barley. Let it Steep all night in fair water.
Then dry it on a Linen cloth, spread abroad in the Sun. When it is dried,
pound it on a Marble Mortar. When it is Bruised, put it into a Glazed
vessel, which is full of Vinegar, and cast upon this four whole Eggs, with
their shells. The stop the vessel with a plate of Lead, that is arched, or
not very even, and let there be no place that gives vent. Set in half in
the sand, and let it stand in the open Sun. After ten days, take off the
covering of the vessel, that you stopped it with. Strike down the Ceruse
that is in it with a Feather, and scrape it off. Then take the Eggs out,
and put in new, and do as you did. And after so many days scrape it off,
until the whole plate is consumed. Let down the Ceruse you have stricken
off, into a vessel full of water, bound up in a Linen cloth that is clean,
and moderately fine. And stir in the water, carrying it about here and
there, until the muddy part of it runs forth, and the sediment remains in
the cloth. Let the water settle, and strain it, and pour it forth, changing
the water so long, until no dregs remain. Lastly, strain forth the water,
and lay up the powder when it is dry. This alone with Fountain water, will
make the face white, mingled with the white of an Egg, and will make it
Wash Ceruse, and make it pure. Mingle Hards of Hemp, with whites of Eggs
well stirred. Roll up the Ceruse in the middle of it. And wrapping a cloth
about it, boil it one hour in a new earthen pot, putting water to it. As it
boils, take off the scum. Then take it from the fire. And if any Lead be
sunk down, cast it forth. Afterwards make Trouches of it with Gum Traganth,
that it may keep the better. Some bid boil in water of white Lilies, Ceruse
very finely powdered, tied up in a skin, and fastened in Linen cloth over it
to the handle of the vessel. The manner of boiling is the same I first
showed. Then pour it forth into an earthen dish, and strain it gently from
all its moisture. Dry it fifteen days in the Sun, and keep it.
"The best Soaps for women."
I have shown in particulars how you might procure whiteness, luster, and
softness to the face. Now shall I speak of waters made of these, that will
at the same time make, if it be first rubbed clean,
"The face white, clear, ruddy and soft."
These I speak of can do it, being composed together, and Distilled . Take
Ceruse ready washed, one ounce. Half a much Mercury Sublimate, Gum Traganth
as much, Tartar, one ounce. Powder all these, and put them into a young
Pigeon washed and unbowelled, and sow them in. Put it into a new earthen
pot full of water, Distilled by a Retort. Boil it till the flesh parts from
the bones. Then Distil it. When you go to bed, wash your face. And in the
morning wash it with Fountain water so you shall have it white, clear, soft,
and well colored. Also you may do it,
Bruise three pounds of Bean Cods, the shells. Add two pounds of Honey, and
one of Rosin of Turpentine. Put them into a vessel, and close it that
nothing vents forth. And let it Ferment eight days in Dung. Then add four
pounds of Asses Milk. And in the vessel draw forth Oil at the fire. Use
this water morning and evening. If you will have another way,
do it thus. Distil all these severally. Elder flowers, and flowers of wild
Roses, Broom, Honeysuckles, Solomon's Seal, and Briony roots, sour Grapes,
and Sarcocolla. Mingle equal parts of each, or Distil them again, and set
them in the Sun. This will be the best. I shall show,
"Another for the same."
Pull of Hen Feathers without water. Take out her Entrails, cut her in
pieces, Infuse one night in white Wine. In the morning wash her in it, and
press her between your hands that no Wine remains. And then adding two cups
of white Wine, Distil her in a chemical vessel. Then Distil the flowers of
Bindeweed, Citrons, Oranges together. And keep this water by itself. Then
open Lemons, and press out the juice. And, also take the water out of Bean
flowers. Then Distil six cups of Asses Milk, and as many of Cow Milk. You
shall do the same with water of Gourds, and of Milk well boiled, and the
water of Bean flowers, and of Rosin of Turpentine. Then provide a Glazed
vessel, put into it, Camphire two Drachms, four ounces of Ceruse finely
powdered. Mingle them with the aforesaid waters, and se it in a soft vessel
in the open air fifteen days and nights. When you would use it, wet a Linen
rag in it, and wash your face.
"How to make the face rose-colored."
I have made the face white, now I will make it red, that the wife may be
made wholly beautiful for her husband. And first,
"To make a pale face purple colored."
And to adorn one that wants color, use this remedy. Take Vinegar twice
Distilled, and cast into it the Raspings of red Sanders, as much as you
please. Boil it at a gentle fire, adding a little Allom, and you shall have
a red color most perfect to dye the face. If you would have it sweet
smelling, add a little Musk, Civet, Cloves, or any Spices. Now,
Take flowers of Clove-gilliflowers, Bruise the ends of the Sprigs, and draw
forth the juice. If they be so ripe that they are black, add juice of
Lemons, that they may shine with a more clear red. With this paint your
face, and you shall have a pleasant red color without any stinking smell.
Or wet the Sprigs of Clove-gilliflowers in juice of Lemons, and set them in
the Sun. Take away the old, and put in fresh, until it is as red as you
would have it. Let the juice dry, and the color will be most glorious. But
I draw a Quintessence from Clove-gilliflowers, Roses, Flower-gentle, with
Spirit of Wine. Then I add Allom, and the juice of Citron, and I made an
excellent color to beautify the face. Take,
If you add to the best Wine one tenth part of Honey, and one ounce of
Frankincense and then Distil it, and Steep in it the Raspings of red Sanders
until it is colored to your mind. And then wash your face with it. It will
make your face white and well colored. Also,
"A Fucus that cannot be detected."
And it is so cunningly made, that it will delude all men. For a clear water
makes the cheeks purple colored, and it will last long. And the clearer the
part will be, the more your wash it with it, and rub it with a cloth of
Wool. You shall draw out a water from the seeds of Cardamom, (which
Apothecaries call Grains of Paradise) Cubebs, Indian Cloves, Raspings of
Brasil and Spirit of Wine Distilled. When they have been Infused some time,
draw forth the water with a gentle fire, or corrupt Dung, and wet your face
often with this. There are also experiments,
"To Color the Body."
If you boil Nettles in water, and wash your body with it, it will make it
red colored, if you continue it long. If you Distil Strawberries, and wash
yourself with the water, you shall make your face red as a Rose. But the
Ancients dyed their bodies of diverse colors. Partly, for ornament, partly,
for terror. As Caesar writes of the Britons going to war. For they pained
themselves with wood. Theophrastus calls it Isatis, and we call it Guado.
The Grecian women painted themselves with wood, as Zenophon writes. And in
our days the West Indians crush out in harvest time a blood-red juice from
the roots of wild Bugloss. Which the women know well enough, whereby they
cover their pale color with a pleasant red. And so change their over white
color with this experiment.
"To wash away the over-much redness of the Face."
I have shown you how to color the face, now I shall show how to uncolor it.
When the face is too red, and women that are very red desire this. The way
"To wash away the too much redness of the face,"
Take four ounces of Peach Kernels, and Gourd seed two ounces. Pound them,
and crush them out strongly, that you may draw forth an oily Liquor. With
this, morning and evening, anoint the red Carbuncles of your face, and by
degrees they will vanish and be gone.
Take purple Violets, Eggshells, Saunders, Camphire mingled with water. Set
the water in open air, and wash the redness therein. Also, I know that the
distilled water of white Lilies will take away the redness.
"How to make a Sun Burned face white."
When women travel in the open air, and take journeys in summer, the Sun in
one day will burn them so black, that it is hard to take it off. I found
Beat about ten whites of Eggs till they come to water. Put them in a Glazed
vessel, adding one ounce of Sugar-Candy to them. And when you go to bed,
anoint your face, and in the morning wash it off with Fountain water. Pliny
also says thus,
If the face is smeared with the white of an Egg, it will not be sun-burnt.
With us, women that have to do in the Sun, to defend their faces from the
heat of it, that that may not be black, they defend it with the white of an
Egg beaten with a little Starch, and mingled. And when the voyage is done,
they wash off this covering with Barly-water. Some do it,
rubbing their foul skin with Melon Rinds and so they easily rub off
sun-burnings, and all other spots outwardly on the skin. The seed also
Bruised and rubbed on, will do it better. Also a Liquor found in little
bladders of the Elm tree, when the buds first come forth, makes the face
clear and shining, and takes away sun-burnings.
"How spots may be taken from the face."
Often fair women are disgraced by spots in on their faces. But the remedy
for it, is this. To use Abstergents and Detergents in whiting of their
"To take off spots from the face,"
anoint the face with Oil of Tartar, and let it dry on, and wash it not at
all. Do this for ten days. Then wash it with a Lixivium, and you shall see
the spots no more. If the part be not yet clean enough, do it once more.
If this please you not, take,
Put Quicklime into hot water. Mingle them, and stir them for ten days.
After two days, pour forth the clear water into a Brazen vessel. Then take
Salt Ammoniac between your fingertips, and rub it so long at the bottom of
the vessel, until you see the water become of a blue color. And the more
you rub it, the better color it will have. And it will turn into a sky
color or purple color, very pleasant to behold. Wet Linen cloths into this
water, and lay them on the spots, till they are dry. And wet them again,
until the spots are gone.
Take two ounces of Rosin of Turpentine, Ceruse as much. Mingle them with
the white of an Egg. And stirring them well, smear Linen cloths with them.
And when you go to bed, let them stick to the spots. In the morning wash
the place, and do the same again, till all the spots are gone. If you
please, here is,
The Distilled water of Pimpernel, mingled with Camphire and laid to the
face, will make women that desire to be beautiful have a clear skin, very
sightly to behold. And will take off the spots. Distil Mulberry leaves.
Let the water stand ten days in the Sun. Add to this, Mercury Sublimate,
Verdigrease, artificial Chrysocolla, called Borax, and a good quantity of
the powder of sea Cockle shells finely beaten. Set it so many days in the
Sun, and then use it. If you will,
"Rub off the Wan color of your cheeks,"
Do thus, especially, for women when they are in their courses. anoint the
place with Ceruse, and Bean flower mingled with Vinegar, or yolks of Eggs,
mingled with Honey. Then same may be done with Bean meal and Feny-Greek,
smeared on with Honey. But we wipe away,
"Black and blue marks,"
Thus. If you wash the black and blue places with the juice of the leaves
and roots of Thapsia made into cakes in the Sun, but one night, they will be
taken away. Nero Caesar made his face white from the strokes he had
received in his Nightwalks, with Wax and Frankincense. And the next day his
face was clear against all reports. Or Oil pressed from the seeds of
flowers, when it is thick, will do it rarely. Or the root mingled with
equal quantities of Frankincense and Wax, (but let it stay on but two hours
at most) then Foment the place with Sea-water hot. Also Walnuts Bruised or
smeared on, will take away black and blue spots. Vinegar or Honey anointed
will take away the same. So does Garlic rubbed on. And brings black and
blue to the right color. Or the ashes of it burnt, smeared on the same. Or
it is anointed on with Honey, or Suet, or a Cerate. If a Briony root be
made hollow, and oil put into it, and be boiled in hot embers. If that be
anointed on, it will blot out the black and blue spots. Marks that are
noted upon children by women great with child, when they long exceedingly,
are taken away thus. Let her first eat of that flesh or fruit her belly
full. Then let her Bind on that flesh alive, or the green fruit to the
part, till it die or corrupt. And they will be gone. Or else, let her wash
the place with Aquafortis, or Regia, and the skin grows very black. So it
will take the marks away. Do it again.
"For spots and beauty,"
I will not omit Aelian's experiment of a Lion, which is kind of a Locust.
For in some Membranes, where the Testes are bound together, under which
there are some soft Carbuncles, and tender, that are called Lions Fat. This
will help people to make ill faces look comely, mingled with Oil of Roses.
And made into an Ointment, it will make the face look fair and shining.
"How we may take off red Pimples."
Because red Pimples use to deform the faces. And specially the whitest.
Therefore to take the off, use these remedies. I often, to take off,
Used Oil of Paper. Namely, extracting it from burnt Paper. I shall show
the way elsewhere, because I will not disturb the order. Where I shall
speak of the Extraction of oils and waters. Wherefore anointing that on the
red spots, will soon blot them out.
"For the same,"
Rear Eggs are good. Twenty of them boiled hard cut in the middle, and the
Yolks taken forth. Fill up the hollow places in the whites, with Oil of
sweet Almonds and Rosin of Turpentine. Extract the Liquor in a Glass
vessel. Use it.
Beat two Eggs well together, add as much juice of Lemons, and as much
Mercury Sublimate Set it in the Sun, and use it.
Take Sowbread roots, three parts. Cleansed Barley, six parts. Tartar
Calcined, one part. Roots of wild Cucumbers powdered, two parts. Wheat Br
an, two handfuls. Let them all boil in water, till a third part is
consumed. Then wash your face with it.
"How Tetters may be taken from the face, or any other part of the Body."
Ringworms will so deform the face, that nothing can do it more. Sometimes,
they run upon other parts of the body, as the armpits and thighs. There
drops forth of them, a stinking water that will foul the cloths. I found
Distil water from the roots of Sowredock, and add to every pound of these,
of Pompions and Saltpeter, half an ounce. Tartar of White Wine, two ounces.
Let them soak for some days. Then Distil them, and wash your face in the
morning therewith. And at night, smear it with Oil of Tartar and of
Almonds, mingled Oil of Eggs is good also to anoint them with. Yet
sometimes these Tetters are so fierce, that no remedies can cure them. I
shall set down,
That I have used with admirable success, when they were Inveterate. In a
Glass of sharp Red Wine, boil a Drachm of Mercury Sublimate. Then wash the
place with it morning and evening. Let it dry of itself. Do this three or
four times, and the Tetters will go away and never come again.
Take Saltpeter, three ounces, Oil of bitter Almonds, two pounds, of Squils,
half a pound. One Lemon without the Pills. Mingle them, and let them
Ferment three days. Then, with chemical instruments, extract the Oil, and
anoint your Tetters therewith, and they will be gone, though they seem to
turn to a Leprosy.
"How Warts may be taken away."
Warts use to possess the forehead, nose, hands, and other open places. So
does hard flesh, and other foulness of the skin. Women cannot endure them.
I found remedies against these deformities of the skin.
The Ancients used the greater Spurge, whose juice, anointed on with Salt,
takes them away. And therefore they called it Warts-Herb. There is also a
kind of Succory, called Verrucaria from the effect. For if one eats it but
once in Sallets, all the Warts will be gone from any part of the body. Or
if you swallow one Drachm of the seeds.
This one, and so no more. There is a kind of Beetle that is oily, in summer
you shall find it in dust and sand in the way. If you rub that on the
Warts, they will be presently gone, and not be seen. You may find these,
and keep them for your use.
"To Take away Wrinkles from the Body."
Many parts of the body use to be wrinkled, as the hands, face, belly after
childbearing, and the like. To contract the skin do thus;
"For a wrinkled forehead,"
The Dregs of Linseed Oil is good. Or Lees of Oil in Olives. Putting unto
it a little Gum Arabick, Mastick and Champire. It is good also for Flagging
"For a wrinkled face."
When Eggs are boiled hard in water, cut them in the middle, fill the holes
where the Yolks were, with powder of Myrrh. Then cover one with the other
half, and Bind them with a thread, that they come not asunder. Then take a
Glazed earthen vessel, with a broad mouth, and lay sticks across it, that
the Eggs may lie upon them hanging near the bottom. Let the cleft of the
Eggs hang toward the bottom. Put the earthen vessel into a chest of Osiers,
and set it in a well. Let it hang one foot from the water. By the moisture
whereof, the Myrrh will Dissolve into Oil of Water. Anoint your face with
it. The juice of the green Canes of the Pine tree, but is weaker then the
Distilled water, being applied to the face, with a Linen cloth wet therein,
will take away all wrinkles from the face excellently well, you have,
Steep Kidney Beans in Malmsey, one day. Then take away the black whence
they sprout, and Distil them with Lemons and Honey. Take a quantity of old
Cow beef, and Distil that also. Mingle the waters, and set them in the open
air in a Glass vessel in the Sun for fifteen days, and wash your face
morning and evening therewith.
Crop in the morning the flowers of Mullens, and Steep them in Greek Wine,
with the roots of Solomon's Seal. Then receive the water Distilled in Glass
Stills. And if a woman, when she rises out of her bed, wash her face with
this, she will be very fair. And if you would take off the wrinkles with
the same water, add Distilled water of Lemons into it. It will make you
glad to see the effect. But this is the best,
"Water to whiten, plain, and beautify the face."
Take equal parts of the root of Solomon's Seal, greater Dragon and lesser,
Sparagrass, Briony, and white Lilies, as much as you please. Bruise them a
little, and cast them into an earthen pot with a large mouth. Let it be
Glazed. Pour on Greek Wine that may cover all. Add to these juice of
Lemons a fourth part, ten new Eggs Bruised with their shells, and land
Snails without shells. Let them Infuse a while. The Distill them at a
gentle fire, and keep the first water a part. Then augment the fire, and
keep the second. That will be stronger. For this wipes all spots and red
Pimples from the face. Some mingle with this water of Bean flowers, Elder,
Poppy, Honeysuckles, and the like. So do they take away all wrinkles and
spots coming from the Sun, and all the rest. But you may thus take off,
"The wrinkles of the belly after child birth."
Unripe Services are long boiled in water. With these mingle whites of Eggs,
and water wherein Gum-Arabick is Dissolved. Wet a Linen cloth in such
water, and lay on the belly. Or mingle the Powders of Harts Horn burnt, the
stone Amiantus, Salt Ammoniac, Myrrh, Frankincense, Mastick, with Honey.
And it takes away all wrinkles.
Dentifrices are used among things to beautify women. For there is nothing
held more ugly then for a woman to laugh or speak, and thereby to show their
rugged, rusty, and spotted teeth. For they all almost, by using Mercury
Sublimate, have their teeth black or yellow. And because they stand in the
Sun when they would make their hair yellow, their teeth are hurt thereby,
and grow loose, ready to fall out, and do often. I shall show first how to
make black teeth white as Pearls. Then how to make flesh grow about such as
are weak and bare of gums, and to make them strong. But of old were made,
of the shells of Purples, and others like Trumpets burnt. The Arabian-Stone
is like the spotted Ivory. Burned, it is good for Dentifrices. Also of
Pumex-Stone very profitable Dentifrices were made. Pliny. So with the
powder of Ivory rubbed on, the teeth were made as white as Ivory. Ovid.
That Teeth may not grow black forborn,
With Fountain-water wash them every morn.
I shall add,
that I use. The crumbs of Barley bread burned with Salt sprinkled on, and
Honey, will not only make the teeth white, but make the breath sweet. Also,
with red Coral, Cuttle Bone, Harts Horn, and such like, whereof everyone
will well polish and wipe the teeth clean. So does also the grains of
Cochinele. Also, there is made a water of Allom and Salt Distilled, that
whitens the teeth exceedingly, and confirms them. But the Oil of Sulphur
does it best. For it smooths them and wipes away all spots. And if anyone
think it too strong, it may be qualified with the water of Myrtle flowers.
Make a tooth scraper after the fashion of a tooth, and pour on Oil and rub
the spots therewith. But be careful to touch not the gums, for it will
whiten and burn them. Rub so long till the spots are gone, and they be very
white. I have now described the most perfect remedy.
"To hinder the breasts from augmenting."
Among the ornaments of women, this is the chief, to have after childbearing,
round, small, solid, and not flagging or wrinkled breasts. So we may,
"Hinder the augmenting of the breasts,"
if we will. Bruise Hemlock, and lay a Caraplasm thereof with Vinegar to
women's breasts, and it will stay them that they shall not increase,
especially in Virgins. Yet this will hinder Milk, when it should be
seasonable. But if you will,
"Curb soft and loose breasts,"
Powder white earth, the white of an Egg, sour Galls, Mastick, Frankincense,
and mingle them in hot Vinegar. Smear the breasts therewith. Let it stay
on all night. If it does not effect it, do the same again. The stones of
Medlars are good for this also. As are unripe Services, Sloes, Acacia,
Pomegranate Pills, Balanstia, unripe Pine nuts, wild Pears, and Plantain,
if they all boil in Vinegar, and be laid to the breasts, or some of them.
The Ancients commended for this purpose a Whetstone of Cypress, that we
sharpen Iron upon, to restrain Virgin's breasts, and not let them grow big.
Dioscorides. But Galen says, that it not only stops the increase of the
breasts, but will hinder children's testicles from growing. But I use the
juice of Ladies Mantel from the leaves of it. And I wet Linen in it and lay
it on the breasts, and renew it. For it will not only hinder Virgin's
breasts from increasing, but will fasten the loose breasts of matrons, and
make them firm. It is more effectual to use the Decoction of the herb
therewith, as Hypocistis, Pills of Pomegranate, and the like. so water
Distilled from green Pineapples, will draw in loose breasts, and make them
like the round hard, solid breasts of Virgins.
"How the Hand may be made white."
The hands must not be forgotten, but we must make them white also, smooth,
and soft. These are the ornaments of the hands to be desired. But now
whiteness and smoothness may be obtained, I have shown already. Softness
remains, which is only given to fat hands.
"To make the hands as white as Milk."
Take things that are milk white, as Almonds, Pine Kernels, Melon and Gourd
seeds, and the like. Therefore Bruise bitter Almonds, Pine Kernels, and
Crumbs of Bread. Then make cakes of them with Barley Water, wherein Gum
Traganth has been soaked. You may use this for Soap when you wash your
hands. For they scour them, and make them white. I,
"For the same,"
Use often bitter Almonds, half a pound. Put them in hot water to Blanch
them. Then beat them in a Marble Mortar. Afterwards, take the lesser
Dragon, two ounces, Deer Suet and Honey, of each as much. Mingle them all
in an earthen pot with a large mouth. Set them at the fire, and let them be
stirred gently with a wooden stick that they mingle well. Put it up in
boxes for your use. If you will have,
"Your hands white,"
Wash fresh Butter nine times in sweet water, and last of all, in sweet
scented Rosewater, to take off the ill smell, and that it may look as white
as snow, then mingle white Wax with it, and a good quantity of Oil of sweet
Almonds. Then wash you gloves in Greek Wine, as the manner is, and smear on
the foresaid mixture. Put on these when you go to bed, that all night they
may grow soft by the help of fat things. Then take Peach Kernels, with the
skins picked off. Seeds of Gourds, Melons, white Poppy, Barleymeal, of each
one ounce and half. The juice of two Lemons, rested in the embers. Mingle
these with as much Honey as will make them thick as an Ointment. And to
make them smell well, you may add a little Musk or Civet, when you go to
bed. But in the morning wash them with Fountain water. And for Soap, use
the Lees of Oil of Nuts well pressed forth, or Lees of Olive Oil. Other use
this Liniment only. Press the Cream out of Lemon seeds. With two ounces of
it, mingle one ounce of Oil of Tartar, and as much Oil of Almonds. When at
night you go to bed, wash your hands in Fountain water. Dry them, and
anoint them with this Liniment, and put on your gloves. Take,
For one week's time, Infuse the Marrow of Ox bones in cold water. But
change the water four or five times a day. And for every pound of Marrow,
take six excellent Apples, and cut them in the middle, and cast forth the
seeds and core. Then beat them small in a Marble Mortar, and put them into
a new Mortar, that they may smell sweeter. Adding a few Cloves, Cinnamon,
Spikenard, let them boil in Rosewater. When they are all very soft, take
them forth and strain them and again add a sharp Lixivium, and let them
boil at a gentle fire, until all the water is washed. Then set them up in a
Glass vessel for your use, or make them into morsels. That which follows is
"For the same,"
Make a hole in a Lemon, and put into it Sugar-Candy and Butter, and cover it
with the cover. Wet Hards of Hemp, and wrap it up in, and boil it in hot
embers. That it may grow soft by roasting. When you go to bed, anoint your
hands with it, and put on your gloves.
"How to correct the ill scent of the Armpits."
The stink of the Armholes makes some women very hateful. Especially those
that are fat and fleshy. To cure this, we may use such kind of experiments.
The Ancients, against the stink of armpits, used liquid Allome with Myrrh to
anoint them. Or the Secrets and Armholes were strewed with the dry leaves
of Myrtles in powder. The roots of Artichokes smeared on, does not only
cure the ill scent of armpits, but of the whole body also. But Zenocrates
promises by experiment, that the faultiness of the armpits will pass forth
by Urine. If you take one ounce of the Pith of the root boiled in three
Lemina's of Muskadel to thirds. And after bathing, fasting, or after meat,
drink a cup thereof. But I am content with this. I Dissolve in water, and
I wash the feet and armpits with it, and let them dry. So in some days we
shall correct the strong smell of those parts. But it will be done more
effectually thus. Pound Litharge of Gold or Silver, and boil it in Vinegar.
And if you wash those parts well with it, you shall keep them a long time
sweet. And it is a remedy, that there is none better.
"How the Matrix over widened by childbirth, may be made narrower."
Trotula says, we may honestly speak of this, because Conception is sometimes
hindered by it, if the Matrix be too open. And therefore it is fist to lend
help for such an impediment. For some women have it stand wide open by
reason of their hard labor in childbirth. And if their husbands be not
content with it, that the men may not abhor th women, it is thus remedied.
Take Dragon's blood, Bole-Armeniac, Pomegranate shells, white of an Egg,
Mastick, Galls, of each one ounce. Powder them, and make them all up with
hot water. Put some of this Confection into the hole that goes into the
Matrix. Or, Galls, Sumach, Plantain, great Comfrey, Allome, Chamaelaea.
Take equal parts of them all, and boil them in Rainwater, and Foment the
Privities. Or beat sour Galls very finely. Mingle a little of the powder
of Cloves with them. Let them boil in sharp red Wine. Wet a woolen cloth
in it, and apply it to the part. Or thus may you restrain that part of
common Whores, with Galls, Gums, whites of Eggs, Dragon's blood, Acacia,
Plantain, Hypocistis, Balanstia, Mastick, Cypress nuts, Grape skins, Acorn
cups. Or in that hollow part where the Glans breaks forth, and gaping,
shows the Nucleus, with Mastick and Terra Lemnia. If all these are boiled
in red Wine or Vinegar, and the Matrix be often wet therewith, it will come
very close, and be much straighter. Or else powder all these, and cast them
in through a Reed, or make a Fume under them. Great Comfrey will be
excellent for this purpose. For flesh boiled with it will grow together.
And the the other also, if it is boiled, will very well glue together fresh
wounds. The Decoction of Ladies Mantel, or the juice, or distilled water of
it cast into the Matrix, will so contract it, that Whores can scarce be
known from maids. Or, if they sit in a Decoction of it, especially, if we
mingle other Astringent things with it, and wet the Secrets therewith. The
Distilled water of Starwort, being often injected into the Matrix, will make
one scarce know which is corrupted, and which is not. But if you will have,
"A woman deflowered made a Virgin again,"
Make little Pills thus. Of burnt Allome, Mastick, with a little Vitriol and
Orpiment. Make them into very fine powder, that you can scarce feel them.
When you have made them Pills with Rainwater. Press them close with your
fingers. And let them dry, being pressed thin, and lay them on the mouth of
the Matrix, where it was first broken open. Change it every six hours,
always Fomenting the place with rain or Cistern water. And that for
twentyfour hours, and it will here and there make little Bladders, which
being touched, will bleed much blood, that she can hardly be known from a
maid. Midwives that take care of this, do it another way. They contract
the place with the Decoction of the forementioned things, then they set a
Leech fast on upon the place, and so they make a crusty matter or Scab.
Which being rubbed will bleed. Others when they have straightened the part,
inject the dried blood of a Hare or Pigeon. Which being moistened by the
moisture of the Matrix, shows like live fresh blood. I found out this noble
way. I powder Litharge very finely, and boil it in Vinegar, till the
Vinegar be thick. I strain out that, and put in more, till that be colored
also. Then I exhale the Vinegar at an easy fire, and resolve it into smoke.
"Some sports against women."
Thus far I have shown how to beautify women. Now I shall attempt some
things against their decking of themselves, and make some merriment after
those things that I seriously discovered to adorn them.
"To make a painted face look pale."
If you would know a painted face, do thus. Chew Saffron between your teeth,
and stand near to a woman with your mouth. When you talk with her, your
breath will foul her face, and make it yellowish. But if she is not
painted, the natural color will continue. Or burn Brimstone in the room
where she is. For it there be Ceruse or Mercury Sublimate on her face, the
smoke will make her brown, or black. The painted women that walk at
Puteoli, in the mountains of Phlegra, are made so black, as Silver money is,
shut up in bags. We may also know thus,
"Whether she be painted with red."
Chew grains of Cummin, or a clove of Garlic, and speak close by her. If it
is natural, it will remain. But Counterfeit with Ceruse or Quicksilver, it
"To make a woman full of red Pimples."
Of a Stellio is made an ill Medicament. For when he is dead in Wine, all
the faces of those that drink of it, will be red spotted. Wherefore, they
that would disfigure Whores, kill him in an Ointment. The remedy is, the
Yolk of an Egg, Honey and Glass. Pliny.
"To make the face green."
Avicenna says, that the Decoction of Chamaelion put into a bath, will make
him green colored that stays long in that bath. And then by degrees he will
recover his former color.
"To make the hair fall of the head and beard."
Touch any part of a mans body with a matter white as Milk, that the
Salamander Vomits up out of its mouth, and the hairs will fall off. And
what is touched is changed into the Leprosy. Pliny.
The End of the Ninth Book of Natural Magick