Endpapers from the Vienna Dioscurides.
Heuresis passes Dioscurides a mandrake root. First Author image on fol. 4 verso from the Vienna Dioscurides (or Vienna Dioscorides).
At Dioscurides’ feet lies a dying dog. According to legend, when the root is dug up, it screams and kills all who hear it. Literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. For example:
"A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must get away. The dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, but dies suddenly instead of his master. After this, the root can be handled without fear."
Mandrake from the Vienna Dioscurides (or Vienna Dioscorides)
European Bramble illustration from the Vienna Dioscurides.
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow."
— A Poison Tree by William Blake
But it’s still on the list."
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Futile - the winds -
To a Heart in port -
Done with the Compass -
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden -
Ah - the Sea!
Might I but moor - tonight -
— Wild nights - Wild nights! by Emily Dickinson
Dr. Charles D. Meigs was an influential obstetrician remembered for his opposition to
- obstetrical anesthesia - in 1856, warning against the morally “doubtful nature of any process that the physicians set up to contravene the operations of those natural and physiological forces that the Divinity has ordained us to enjoy or to suffer" -
- the idea that physicians’ hands could transmit disease to their patients - in what boiled own to the belief that “Doctors are gentlemen and a gentleman’s hands are clean”.
Compare Dr. Ignaz P. Semmelweis - “savior of mothers” - struggled against the establishment and died an ignoble death.
— The Poet at the Breakfast Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.