Of the mouth. chap. 19.
THE mouth is called Os in Latine, for that thereby we put in meate, as it were by a doors, and put out spittle and breath: either for that out of the mouth words come, as it were but at a doore, as sayth Isidore. And also Isidore sayth, That the mouth is the messenger of the soule.* For we tell out by the mouth, what we conceiue beforeth soule and in thought. Gregorie sayth, That the mouth is closed & compact with ma∣ny kéepings and wardes, as with téeth, and lippes, that by so many meanes the witte and the soule may determine and abuise first what to speake, ere that anye word be spoken, that the word may ra∣ther passe by the lim then by the tongue. Constantine saith, That the instru∣ment of the mouth is néedfull to receiue feeding and nourishing. For no member in a beast is nourished, but it receiue first nourishing at the mouth. For the mouth first receiueth meate, and chew∣eth and seasoneth it, and maketh it able to digestion, and sendeth it to the sto∣macke, and therefore kinde maketh the mouth moyst within, to temper and chaunge the easilyer the drynesse of the meate by moysture of the mouth. Also kinde maketh the mouth sinewie and meanelye harde and hollowe. Sinewie to féele the easilyer the sauour of the meate: Hard, that it be not grieued and hurt with roughnesse of the meate: And neuerthelesse it is not made too hard, but meanelye harde: least the sense of taast shoulde be lost by too greate hardnesse. The mouth is hollowe and round with∣in, that the meate taken may moue the easilyer hether and thether, and that breath may passe by the téeth without let. Also the mouth is néedfull to drawe the aire and breath. For the aire and breath drawen in by the mouth is chan∣ged, purified, and made subtile in the hollownesse thereof.
Page [unnumbered]And is so sent by the organe of ye lungs, to coole the heart: without coolyng wher∣of, the heart shuld be burnt and destroy∣ed by too great heate. Also the mouth is néedfull to shape the voyce, and for that intent the roofe of the mouth is hollow, that the doubling of the tongue, maye moue the easelyer to shape the voyce, & moue vp and downe. Also it is profitable to put out and east off the great super∣fluities, that come of the braine to the lunges: the which superfluities, when they be cast out by the dore of ye mouth, in the heart and the braine of the beast, the spirite vitall, doth his office more spéedelye. Also it is profitable to dis∣charge the féeding members of superflu∣itie: for when the stomacke is charged with rawe humours, kinde working by the vertue of out putting, cleanseth the stomacke by the office of the mouth, as saith Constantine and Galen super il∣lud Aphoris, saith: In spewings & pur∣gations that be hastely made, if they be made as they should, they profit & helpe: and the contrary falleth, if they are not made as they shoulde. Constantine in viatico saith, that the mouth is grieued sometime by forenesse and sicknesse of the lymmes that be nigh thereto, and is grieued with pimples & blaynes, and with whelkes and botches, and with such other, and with corrupt humours that fall to the mouth from other places. And if the mouth be red and some deale browne, and hot, and aking, and burn∣ing: the matter is of bloud and Chole∣ra. And if it be much blacke, it is the worse and the more grieueus, and the more to dread least it bréede a canker. It happeneth that totches bréede in the mouths of sucking children: the which totches come of sharpnesse of milke and of corruption thereof. Hetherto speaketh Constantinus in viatico, &c.