Wednesday, September 25, 2019

How to Cure Your Cough, 1558

BnF, MS Lat. 9471 (15th c.)

A most beautiful and pleasant secret for curing a cough by greasing the soles of the feet. An extremely true thing, and very easy. 
Take two or three heads of garlic and peel them, and crush them very well, and then add pork fat, and crush it together well again. Then, in the evening when you want to go to bed, take your socks off and put the soles of your feet toward the fire, and grease the soles with the mixture of garlic and fat. And keeping the feet always to the fire so that it almost burns you, or as hot as you can endure, let the ointment stay on for a while. Then put on warm socks and go to bed, and in bed have your back massaged a little with the ointment. And after three evenings you will be miraculously cured from any cough.
De’ segreti del reverendo donno Alessio Piemontese
It's cold season and all you really want is a miraculous cure for your cough, succulent feet, and the odor of roasted garlic and bacon wherever you go. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

How to Interpret Forehead Wrinkles, 1562

“Well-positioned and advantageous lines are those that are either straight or a little bent, continuous, clear, not divided, not interrupted, not crossed or like an asterisk, or merging into each other… Lines that are crossed by other little lines, or intersect in the form of a cross, signify dangers, obstacles, and losses… if they are angled, bent, or twisted in some way, they indicate a character that is inconstant, sly, deceitful and frankly bad. Lines that are nice and large and conspicuous signify great and notable fates; small and obscure lines signify small and obscure fates… Great winding in the length of the lines is very bad. It identifies the most terrible and wicked people. Slightly bent lines signify wealth.”  
Hagecius ab Hajek, Aphorismorum metoposcopicorum libellus unus  
Listen, wrinkles are nothing to worry about. They just tell your story! Which is that you are a fraud and bad with money.

"Happy and fortunate."                      "Winding lines like this signify                        "Dangers in the water."
a terrible character."