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Latins call anethum, and is properly Englished dill. Lastly, what meteor that was, that fed the Israelites so many years, they must rise again to inform us. Nor do they make it out,* who will have it the same with our manna; nor will any one kind thereof, or hardly all kinds we read of, be able to answer the qualities thereof, delivered in the Scripture; that is to fall upon the ground, to breed worms, to melt with the sun, to taste like fresh oil, to be ground in mills, to be like coriander seed, and of the colour of bdellium.* 5
Again, it is not deducible from the text or concurrent sentence of comments, that Rachel had any such intention, and most do rest in the determination of Austin, that she desired them for rarity, pulchritude, or suavity. Nor is it probable she would have resigned her bed unto Leah, when at the same time she had obtained a medicine to fructify herself. And therefore Drusius, who hath expressly and favourably treated hereof, is so far from conceding this intention, that he plainly concludeth, Hoc quo modo illis in mentem venerit, conjicere nequeo; "how this conceit fell into men's minds, it cannot fall into mine;" for the Scripture delivereth it not, nor can it be clearly deduced from the text.
Thirdly, if Rachel had any such intention, yet had they no such effect, for she conceived not many years after, of Joseph; whereas in the mean time Leah had three children, Issachar, Zebulon, and Dinah.
Lastly, although at that time they failed of this effect, yet is it mainly questionable whether they had any such virtue, either in the opinions of those times, or in their proper nature. That the opinion was popular in the land of Canaan, it is improbable; and had Leah understood thus much, she would not surely have parted with fruits of such a faculty; especially unto Rachel, who was no friend unto her. As for its proper nature, the ancients have generally esteemed it narcotick or stupefactive, and it is to be found in the list of poisons, set down by Dioscorides, Galen, Ætius, Ægineta, and several antidotes delivered by them against it. It was, I
* V. Doctissimum Chrysostom. Magnenum de Manna.
confess, from good antiquity, and in the days of Theophrastus, accounted a philter or plant that conciliates affection; and so delivered by Dioscorides. And this intent might seem most probable, had they not been the wives of holy Jacob; had Rachel presented them unto him, and not requested them for herself.
Now what Dioscorides affirmeth in favour of this effect, that the grains of the apples of mandrakes mundify the matrix, and applied with sulphur stop the fluxes of women, he overthrows again by qualities destructive unto conception; affirming also that the juice thereof purgeth upward like hellebore; and applied in pessaries 6 provokes the menstruous flows, and procures abortion. Petrus Hispanus, or Pope John the Twentieth, speaks more directly in his Thesaurus Pauperum : wherein among the receipts of fecundation, he experimentally commendeth the wine of mandrakes given with triphera magna. But the soul of the medicine may lie in triphera magna, an excellent composition, and for this effect commended by Nicolaus. And whereas Levinus Lemnius, that eminent physician, doth also concede this effect, it is from manifest causes and qualities elemental occasionally producing the same. For he imputeth the same unto the coldness of that simple, and is of opinion that in hot climates, and where the uterine parts exceed in heat, by the coldness hereof they may be reduced into a conceptive constitution, and crasis accommodable unto generation ; whereby indeed we will not deny the due and frequent use may proceed unto some effect; from whence, notwithstanding, we cannot infer a fertilitating condition or property of fecundation. For in this way all vegetables do make fruitful according unto the complexion of the matrix; if that excel in heat, plants exceeding in cold do rectify it; if it be cold, simples that are hot reduce it; if dry, moist; if moist, dry correct it; in which division all plants are comprehended. But to distinguish thus much is a point of art, and beyond the method of Rachel's or feminine physic. Again, whereas it may be thought that mandrakes may fecundate, since poppy bath obtained
pessaries.] Medicines made into an oblong shape.
the epithet of fruitful, and that fertility was hieroglyphically described by Venus with an head of poppy in her hand; the reason hereof was the multitude of seed within itself, and no such multiplying in human generation. And lastly, whereas they may seem to have this quality, (since opium itself is conceived to extimulate unto venery, and for that intent is sometimes used by Turks, Persians, and most oriental nations,) although Winclerus doth seem to favour the conceit, yet Amatus Lusitanus, and Rodericus à Castro, are against it; Garcias ab Horto refutes it from experiment; and they speak probably who affirm the intent and effect of eating opium is not so much to invigorate themselves in coition, as to prolong the act, and spin out the motions of carnality.
Of the Three Kings of Collein.?
A COMMON conceit there is of the three kings of Collein, conceived to be the wise men that travelled unto our Saviour by the direction of the star. Wherein, (omitting the large discourses of Baronius, Pineda, and Montacutius,) that they might be kings, beside the ancient tradition and authority of many fathers, the Scripture implieth ; "The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. The kings of Tharsis and the Isles, the kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts." Which places most Christians and many rabbins interpret of the Messiah. Not that they are to be conceived potent monarchs, or mighty kings, but toparchs, kings of cities or narrow territories; such as were the kings of Sodom and Gomorrha, the kings of Jericho and Ai, the one and thirty which Joshua subdued, and such as some conceive the friends of Job to have been.
But although we grant they were kings, yet can we not be assured they were three. For the Scripture maketh no
7 Three kings of Collein.] Cologne on the Rhine.
mention of any number; and the number of their presents, gold, myrrh, and frankincense, concludeth not the number of their persons;
for these were the commodities of their country, and such as probably the queen of Sheba in one person had brought before unto Solomon. So did not the sons of Jacob divide the present unto Joseph, but are conceived to carry one for them all, according to the expression of their father; “Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present.” And therefore their number being uncertain, what credit is to be given unto their names, Gasper, Melchior, Balthazar, what to the charm thereof against the falling sickness, or what unto their habits, complexions, and corporal accidents, we must rely on their uncertain story, and received portraits of Collein.
Lastly, although we grant them kings, and three in number, yet could we not conceive that they were kings of Collein. For although Collein were the chief city of the Ubii, then called Ubiopolis, and afterwards Agrippina, yet will no history inform us there were three kings thereof. Beside, these being rulers in their countries, and returning home, would have probably converted their subjects; but according unto Munster, their conversion was not wrought until seventy years after, by Maternus, a disciple of Peter. And lastly, it is said that the wise men came from the east; but Collein is seated westward from Jerusalem ; for Collein hath of longitude thirty-four degrees, but Jerusalem seventy-two.
The ground of all was this. These wise men or kings were probably of Arabia, and descended from Abraham by Keturah, who apprehending the mystery of this star, either by the Spirit of God, the prophecy of Balaam, the prophecy
Gasper, fc.] According to the fol- -A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, lowing distich in Festa Anglo-Romana, however, vol. xxxiv, p. 599, refers the
twelfth night cake to the Roman custom
of casting dice to decide who should be Tres reges regi regum tria dona ferebant ; Myrrham homini, uncto aurum, thura dedere rex convivii.
It appears from Gentleman's MagaSelden says, that “ our chusing kings zine, that on twelfth day, 1736, the king and queens, on twelfth night, has refer- and the prince, at the chapel-royal, St. ence to the three kings.”—Table Talk, James's, made their offerings of gold,
See also Universal Magazine, frankincense, and myrrh. These con1774.—Sir H. Piers's Westmeath, 1682, tinue to be annually made-by proxy.in Vallancey's Collectan. i, No. 1, p. 124. Hone's Every-day Book, vol. i, p. 59.
which Suetonius mentions, received and constantly believed through all the east, that out of Jewry one should come that should rule the whole world, or the divulged expectation of the Jews from the expiring prediction of Daniel, were by the same conducted unto Judea, returned into their country, and were after baptized by Thomas. From whence about three hundred years after, by Helena, the empress, their bodies were translated to Constantinople. From thence by Eustatius unto Milan, and at last by Renatus, the bishop, unto Collein, where they are believed at present to remain, their monuments shewn unto strangers, and having lost their Arabian titles, are crowned kings of Collein.
Of the food of John Baptist, Locusts and Wild Honey.
CONCERNING the food of John Baptist in the wilderness, locusts and wild honey, less popular opiniatrity should arise, we will deliver the chief opinions. The first conceived the locusts here mentioned to be that fruit which the Greeks name regátrov, mentioned by Luke in the diet of the prodigal son, the Latins siliqua, and some panis sancti Johannis, included in a broad pod, and indeed a taste almost as pleasant as honey. But this opinion doth not so truly impugn that of the locusts, and might rather call unto controversy the meaning of wild honey.
The second affirmeth that they were the tops or tender crops of trees; for so locusta also signifieth. Which conceit is plausible in Latin, but will not hold in Greek, wherein the word is ακρίσι; except for ακρίδες, we read ακρόδρυα, or άκρέμονες, which signify the extremities of trees, of which belief have divers been; more confidently Isidore Pelusiota, who in his epistles plainly affirmeth they think unlearnedly who are of another belief. And this so wrought upon Baronius, that he