Monday, 7 August 2017

The Blazing World's method for Rejuvenation

The Empress having thus declared her mind to the Ape-men, and given them better Instructions then perhaps they expected, not knowing that her Majesty had such great and able judgment in Natural Philosophy, had several conferences with them concerning Chymical Preperations, which for brevities sake, I'le forbear to reherse: Amongst the rest, she asked, how it came that the Imperial Race appear'd so young, and yet was reported to have lived so long; some of them two, some three, and some four hundred years? and whether it was by Nature, or a special Divine blessing? 

To which they answered, That there was a certain Rock in the parts of that World, which contained the Golden Sands, which Rock was hallow within, and did produce a Gum that was a hundred years before it came to its full strength and perfection; this Gum, said they, if it be held in a warm hand, will dissolve into an Oyl, the effects whereof are following: It being given every day for some certain time, to an old decayed man, in the bigness of a little Pea, will first make him spit for a week, or more; after this, it will cause Vomits of Flegm; and after that it will bring forth by vomits, humors of several colours; first of a pale yellow, then of a deep yellow, then of a green, and lastly of a black colour; and each of these humours have a several taste, some are fresh, some salt, some sower, some bitter, and so forth; neither do all these Vomits make them sick, but they come out on a sudden, and unawares, without any pain or trouble to the patient: And after it hath done all these mentioned effects, and clear'd both the Stomack and several other parts of the body, then it works upon the Brain, and brings forth of the Nose such kinds of humors as it did out of the Mouth, and much after the same manner; then it will purge by stool, then by urine, then by sweat, and lastly by bleeding at the Nose, and the Emeroids; all which effects it will perform within the space of six weeks, or a little more; for it does not work very strongly, but gently, and by degrees: Lastly, when it has done all this, it will make the body break out into a thick Scab, and cause both Hair, Teeth, and Nails to come off; which scab being arrived to its full maturity, opens first along the back, and comes off all in a piece like armour, and all this is done within the space of four months. 

After this the Patient is wrapt into a Cere- cloth, prepared of certain Gums and Juices, wherein he continues until the time of nine Months be expired from the first beginning of the cure, which is the time of a Childs formation in the Womb. In the mean while, his diet is nothing else but Eagles-eggs, and Hinds-milk; and after the Cere-cloth is taken away, he will appear of the age of Twenty, both in shape, and strength. The weaker sort of this Gum is soveraign in healing of wounds, and curing of slight distempers. But this is also to be observed, that none of the Imperial race does use any other drink but Lime-water, or water in which Lime-stone is immerged; their meat is nothing else but Fowl of several sorts, their recreations are many, but chiefly Hunting.

Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing World of 1666 announces the above method of immortality for its Emperors. The method has a certain 'Hard Science Fiction' quality to it - within a Seventeenth Century understanding of 'hardness'. It is time-consuming, messy, complex and difficult. Neither is it like a magical formula which is all those things and then suddenly produces the Philosopher's Stone (or similar) in a neat, easy-to-swallow bundle.

Why post this here? It has an eminent 'grit' to it, reminiscent of OSR elements. It has potential - for use as a lych alternative or for the messier kind of magic healing. Lamentations of the Flame Princess could probably swallow it whole. It fits with that kind of White Hot Sparks from the Crucible of the Enlightenment setting I should like to flesh out more thoroughly at some point.

No comments:

Post a Comment