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

23. Of several sorts of Drink, and Meat.

SOme Physicians, when they discourse of several sorts of Drinks, and Meats, do relate several won∣derful Cures which some Drinks have effected: And truly, I am of opinion, that they may be both bene∣ficial, and hurtful, according as they are used properly, and temperately; or improperly, and excessively: but I find there are more several sorts for curiosity and luxury, then for health and necessity: Small Ale, or Beer, is a soveraign remedy to quench drought; and one Glass of Wine, proves a Cordial; but many Glasses may prove a kind of poyson, putting men oftentimes into Feavers, and the like diseases. And for Diet-drinks, I believe they are very good in some sorts of diseases; and so may Tea, and Coffee, and the water of Birches, for any thing I know, for I never had any experience Page  86 of them; but I observe; that these latter drinks, Tea, and Coffee, are now become mode-drinks, and their chief effects are to make good fellowship, rather then to perform great cures; for I can hardly believe, that such weak liquors, can have such strong effects. Con∣cerning several sorts of Meats, I leave them to experi∣enced Physicians, for they know best what is fit for the bodies of their Patients; Onely, as for the preserva∣tion, or keeping of several sorts of meats from putre∣faction, I will say this; That I have observed, that what will keep dead Flesh, and Fish, as also Vegeta∣bles, from putrefaction; will destroy living Animals; for if living Animals should, like dead flesh, be pick∣led up, and kept from air, they would soon be smo∣ther'd to death; and so would Fire, which yet is no A∣nimal. Neither can Ladies and Gentlewomen pre∣serve their lives, as they do several sorts of fruit: Ne∣vertheless, both this, and several other Arts, are very necessary and profitable for the use of man, if they be but fitly and properly imployed; but we may ob∣serve, that when as other Creatures have no more then what is necessary for their preservation, Man troubles himself with things that are needless; nay, many times, hurtful: Which is the cause there are so many unpro∣fitable Arts, which breed confusion, instead of pro∣ving beneficial and instructive.