De morbo Gallico·
Hutten, Ulrich von, 1488-1523., Paynell, Thomas.

¶The discription of Guaiacum and the fyndynge ther¦of, and name. Cap. vi.

Page  [unnumbered]IF we ought to giue thankes vpwarde vnto god, bothe for good and euylle: howe moche are we bounde for the gyfte of Guaiacum? ye howe moche doth the glad∣nes and ioye of his benignite towarde vs, passe the sorow and peyn of that infirmitie? The vse of this wod was brought to vs out of an ylond namyd Spagnola, this ylonde is in the west nigh to the contrey of Amerik set in that place where the length of Ame∣rike, stretchynge into the northe / doth ende: and was founde af late dayes amonge the newe londes, which were vnknowen by the olde tyme. All the inhabitauntes of that ylonde somtyme be diseased with the french pockes, lykewyse as we be with the mesels, & small pockes. Nor they haue no other re∣medy for it but this.

¶A certayne noble man of Spayne, being tresaurour in that prouince, was greuously troubled with that infyrmitie: And after the people of that londe hadde taught hym that medicine, he broughte the maner and vse therof into Spayn, shewing of what po¦wer & vertu it was in those partes. The phi¦sitiōs wold not alow it, {per}ceyuyng that theyr profyt wold decay therby / not withstanding Page  11 at lēgth they toke in hande to cure with the same wood, but with such arrogācie, attribu∣tyng so moch to theyr preceptes and order, that excepte they were obserued, they affir∣med / this woode shulde be spende in vayne. Whiche thinge I meruayle they coude per∣swade to any man, and make hym beleue it. seinge it is playnly knowen / that in that y∣lande were neuer phisitions. And yet hath this woode Guaiacum alwayes bene there vsed. But in this cure what besynes is mete for the phisition, I wyll here after declare. Nowe I wylle speke of the thynge inten∣ded. They haue gyuen it this name Guaia∣cum. For so the Spaniardes wryte it with latyne letters / folowynge theyr owne ma∣ner of sounde: whiche worde the people of that ylande pronounce with open mouthe Huiacum.

¶And Paulus Ritius shewed me at the ci∣tie of August / that he harde say of a Spa∣nyarde / whiche had ben in that yland, that the fyrste syllable Gua, of this name / was nat pronounced of the Spagnolenses with G, but that his owne tonge dydde requyre it so to be wryten. And they of that Ilonde sounde it with, V, puffed out, as though it were Huiacum, a worde of .iii. syllables Page  [unnumbered] with them / and not Guaiacum. We maye gyue vnto it some excellent name, callynge it lignum vite / as Philo the phisition called his dregges the handes of god: and thi daye the phisitions with great boste calle their cōfections manus Christi, apostolicū / gratia dei, Antidotum, Paulium, and many other such superstitious names. They say it groweth lyke an ashe with vs in height / & is rounde / bryngyng forth a nutte moche like a chesse nutte: his tymbre is oyle and fatte, in colour like boxe, but somwhat blackyshe. And they iudge that the best, that hath most blacke: but that whiche is lyke to boxe, differeth from that / whiche is blacke. For this is with in / and thother without: or to speake more playnely, the blacke is as hit were the harte and marowe. The wodde is meruaylous heuy / for the leest pece of hit, caste into the water, synkethe streyghte to the botome. There is no wodde so harde / as it. For hit is so harde, that hit wyll not cleue: nother hitherto haue we sene any, that was chyned. And they that selle it say, it wyll in no wyse yane or chappe. Whan hit bourneth and flameth / hit maketh a swete dour: and there foloweth fro hit / whan it burneth / a gōme, whiche we yet knowe not, Page  12 for what purpose it serueth: This gōme is somwhat black / & shortly after it is fallē a∣way, it is verye harde. The barke is not so thick, but is meruaylous hard. which tokens wel marked, I thynk he that shal coūterfete this woode / can not deceyue the byer. For be it a man may be deceyued in the coloure, howe is hit possible all these thinges to be in one / a fatnes, smellinge, somewhat like rosen / suche weyght as no wodde hath be∣side? Than the gōme that cometh from it / whā it flameth? such hardnes that may scāt¦ly be cut? And the lest pece cast into the wa¦ter wyl nat swym aboue? And the tast ones knowē wyl neuer suffer a mā to erre, which as it is to al men vnplesant, so is it to me ye very plesant. They say it cōtinueth not after it be sodden / but paulleth / in the sommer after .iij. dayes, & in the wynter somewhat later. And therfore we must chose the fat∣test and weyghtiest therof. For that which is olde / is lyght and leane. Vpon this de∣scription lette the phisitions, if hit please them, drawe out the causes of suche efficaci¦te by theyr longe disputations, as for me I more reioyce, that it is, than I serche what maner of thynge it is. Howe be it I graunt them worthy of moche thanke / that shall Page  [unnumbered] first shew vnto vs the nature therof through out knowen: But nowe there be some, that wey and esteme the strengthe and vertue of this tre bi these knowen makes as though they had suffred it in all poyntes whiche thynge is done, as me semeth, very hastily and tymely, thynkynge that the cause and reason of suche efficacie and power oughte to be serched for in this tre, after his nature and vse is knowen, lykewyse as it is done generally in all other medicines. But nowe of his vse, and how it ought to be prepared vnto medicine.