Medical snippets #17: Three or four fine pills, of white bread

‘A Physitian of your acquaintance and mine, in the country in the beginning of his practice there; being suddenly carryed to a Gentlevvoman, that had been for some time sick of a feavour, and she living at some distance, from his place of aboad, or from any Apothecaries, found as soon as ever he came, that though she appeared just then worse than in the vvhole precedent time of her sickness, and consequently despaired of by her friends, yet that her sickness vvas very neer determining, and as he thought he had reason to believe to health, he vvas unwilling in his beginning, in a family of great relations in the Countrey, to lose the credit of a great cure, and therefore thought it necessary to seem to do some thing in it, yet something that might not at all impede, vvhat nature vvas so vvell in doing, and vvhich he did believe, before he could send home or to an Apothecaries, she vvould have done vvithout him: vvhilest he vvas considering this he had at a Table vvhere he vvas leaning, made up three or four fine pills, of white bread, and conveying them into a little box in his pocket, by and by calls for a spoon, and in some liquor, vvith due formality gave them, giving direction for her careful attendance, with confident assurance of her speedy recovery, which accordingly happened, for in very few houres, she fell into a most profuse sweat, and soon recovered perfectly: the Gentleman was not only famous for his great cure, but his greater cordial, and forced indeed to make a good one up into that form, to satisfie the importunity of his patients for it, you may see by this Sir, how easie it is for any one, to whom some lucky chance hath given credit, if he will but pretend to secrets, of secret, and particular preparation, to impose upon the not considering part of the World …’

Christopher Terne, Some papers writ in the year 1664. In answer to a letter, concerning the practice of physick in England (1670)

Balliol College Library shelfmark: 905 h 4 (5)