¶The properties of Spittle. Chap. 12.
THe spittle is a flumatike humour, bread in the kindly vaines of the tongue, as sayth Constantine. Spittle is kindly moist and white in coulour, and by continuall mouing of the tongue, and the spirituall instruments it is fomie, wearish, and sauourlesse. For it is able to take all manner fauour. For if it had a certeine sauour of his owne, it shoulde not receiue other sauour. Also Constan∣tine saith, that the spittle is meane be∣twéene the skill of tast, & the thing that is tasted. For nothing is tasted by the wit of tast, but if the sauour thereof bée presented by the spittle in the limme of tast. Therefore the Spittle is chaunged and lykened by the sauour of the thing that is taasted. Constantine sayth, that Spittle is néedfull to moyst the mouth, that the mouth be moysted by the bene∣fit of the spittle: and also to prepare the first digestion. For drie meate taken in the mouth, may not be sent profitablye in the stomack, except it be wet first, and moysted by the spittle. For without help of spittle, a drie thing may not be easily swallowed. Also the Spittle is profita∣ble to either verding of superflu•tie of ye braine, and of the lungs. For such sni∣tings made hard or clawmie with heate or with colde: cannot so castlye be spit∣ted and pot out by the doore of ye mouth, but if they be first made able and supper to passe out by helpe of the humour of spittle.* Also the spittle of a man fasting: hath a manner strength of priuie infec∣tion. For it gréeueth and hurteth the bloud of a beast, if it come into a blee∣ding wound, & is medled with ye bloud, as in Tractatu de venenis the foresayd Authours tell. And that peraduenture is, as saith Auicen by the reason of rawnes. For rawe humour medled with bloud, that hath perfect digestion, is contrarye thereto in his qualitie, and disturbeth the temperance therof, as Authours say. And therefore it is that holy men tell. & Pli∣mus sayth. That the spittle of a fasting man slayeth Serpents and Adders, and is venim to venemous beasts, as sayth Basilius super illud verbum in exemo∣ron:* He shall bruse thine head, and thou shalt lie in a waite vpon his héeles and steppes Gen. 3. Also as Galenus super Aphotis. sayth, In the spitting of rawe humour & filth, is •isik and fluxe bread: And where the spittle is held and with∣drawen, men die, &c.
Tisike men alway cough because of the Botch, of the lungs. And by spitting they discharge themselues of the matter, of the botch of the lungs, as well as they may. But yet death followeth, when they may not spit. For spittle helde and kept in with matter, stoppeth the vaines of the holes within: and so men yt haue the Tisicke be stifled and die. Also as Galen sayth in li. Gil. betwéene. Sputum and Saliuam, there is difference. For spittle that is called Saliua in Latine, is the super fluitis of kindly féeding of the breast, and gendereth in good digestion. And the spittle that is called Sputum, commeth to the breast by diuerse kindly courses, and by courses that be not kind∣ly, and is not alwaie digested and defi∣ed. And therefore Sputum, that Spittle in sharpe Agues, and Postumes, if it passe easilye with tokens of digestion, Page 47 and without trauailous cough, it betoke∣neth strength of vertue, and failing of the euill: and it is sayde in Pronostre. and againe ward. Therefore Golen and other Commentours there tell, that in eyther spitting wée shall take héede generallye of thrée things: of Coulour, small, and Sauour: For if the spittle be blo• in co∣lour,* it betokeneth hurting and grieuing of the heart, and of the spirituall mem∣bers. And if it be redde, meddeled with rotten bloud, it betokeneth Botches of ye lungs. And if it be stinking in sauour it betokeneth corruption within. Also if it bée bitter either sowre in sauour, it betokeneth that corrupt humours haue mastery in the stomacke & in the lungs, or else in the substaunce of the tongue. Also much spittle is a token of flumatik complection: therefore in olde men is much great spittle and thicke, gleamye, and reaming, after the strength of colde, and wasting of the substanciall moy∣sture.