Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.

22. Of Outward Remedies.

REmedies, which are applied outwardly, may be very beneficial; by reason the bodies of Animal Cratures are full of Pores, which serve to attract nou∣rishment, or foreign matter into the body, and to vent superfluities. Besides, the interior parts of those bo∣dies, to which outward Remedies are applied, may i∣mitate the qualities or motions of the remedies, by the help of their own sensitive motions, and therefore the application of outward remedies is not altogether to be rejected. But yet I do not believe, that they do al∣ways Page  84 or in all persons, work the like effects; or that they are so sure and soveraign as those that are taken inwardly. The truth is, as Remedies properly and seasonably applied, can work good effects; so they may also produce ill effects, if they be used improperly and unseasonably; and therefore wise Physicians and Surgeons know by experience, as well as by learning and reason, what is best for their Patients in all kind of distempers: Onely this I will add concerning diseases, that in the productions of diseases, there must of neces∣sity be a conjunction of the Agent and Patient, as is e∣vident even in those diseases that are caused by conceit; for if a man should hear of an infectious disease, and be apprehensive of it; both the discourse of him that tells it, and the mind of him that apprehends it, are A∣gents or causes of that disease, in the body of the Pa∣tient, and concur in the production of the disease; the difference is onely, that the discourse may be called a remoter cause, and the rational motions, or the mind of the Patient, a nearer or immediate cause; for as soon as the mind doth figure such a disease, the sensitive, corporeal motions, immediately take the figure from the mind, and figure the disease in the substance or parts of the body of the Patient; the Rational proving the Fa∣ther, the Sensitive the Mother; both working by con∣sent. Whereby we may also conclude, that diseases, as well as other sorts of Creatures, are made by Na∣tures corporeal, figurative motions; and those parts that Page  85 occasion others to alter their natural motions, are most predominant; for although Nature is free, and all her parts self-moving; yet not every part is free to move as it pleases, by reason some parts over-power others, ei∣ther through number, strength, slight, shape, oppor∣tunity, or the like advantages; and natural Philosophy is the onely study that teaches men to know the parti∣cular natures, figures and motions of the several com∣posed parts of Nature, and the rational perception is more intelligent then the sensitive.