The art of longevity, or, A diæteticall instition written by Edmund Gayton.
Gayton, Edmund, 1608-1666.
Page  48

CHAP. XXV. Of Eggs and their proprieties.

AS at Creation, so our book proceeds,
Hens before Eggs, perfection's in the deeds
Of the best best Opificer; he made
Nothing potentiall, perfect 'twas when said,
That Protoplastes the first species fram'd
Entire, nothing was impotent or maim'd
In its own essence, then he vertues gave,
Prolifick and conservative, to save
And propagate, which hid in seminall power,
Traduces the first work unto this hour;
The parent, not the chick, oviparous,
The mothers labour hatch'd in feather'd house
Of her own body, yet 't doth safer dwell,
And hath a cottage of its own, a shell:
Our subject is this Embrion in's cradle,
Both possible to live and to be adle,
Or damn'd to be devour'd before a tast
Of life, and into various coquery cast▪
Bred of (a) contagion of Sir Chanticlers,
Upon the bag prolifick, the case cleer,
And setled now in plain Anatomy,
'A spiritiz'd flavour gets, and egge, and me,
So that the cock-tread and the grosser sperm
(Which our old Philosophy affirm
Did generation raise) are onely here
The conduct and the warm conveyancer
Of this brave Monsieur, and Grand Signiour spright,
Whose warm Afflation does the work o'th' night:
This Egge I set before you, (Madam) sloth
Makes this poor Book Trencher and Table-cloth,
Page  49Not set in salt (unless of slender wit)
And though but small, yet a most dainty bit,
Of such vicinity with humane blood,
It strait incorporates, and i quick food;
Especially the golden part, the * Argent is
Frigid and viscous, of Activities
Unequal much; so that in thi white shell,
The Sun and Moon may be affirm'd to dwell:
The yolk's spermatick, like the gendring Sun,
The Eggs in watery efficacies run.
The Eggs of Hens and Partridges incite,
And those of Ducks are servient o delight
(Though fouler nourishment.) The lay of Geese▪
Of odour bad, doth loathsomnes increase,
Yet are prvocative; of Turkeys more,
Although the waddling treade's long, before
He act (the fubler of the Fowls) but mounted▪
This cobbling ame••e is a *Signiour counted.
But hear what Rasis saith, and Avicen,
Most temperate the ly's of the press'd Hen,
And Partidges, so little losse i'th' food,
That weight for weight, the yolks convert to blood:
Boyl'd raely, they digest aace: but hard,
They do digestion and themselves retard:
Tane when the cackling Hen Alarum gives
Of her delivery, Restoraives:
Immixt with Honey good for throats are sore;
And in Consumtion we their aid implore:
No flesh so nourishing and temperate:
Let those forbear them who are over fat;
Butter'd with Ambergriss a lusty meat,
V••ellius (le grosse) did often eat;
A Prince of a short reign, which amply shows,
Gluttons no fighters are, but for night blows.