Three Wormwoods are familiar with us; one I shall not describe, another I shall describe, and the third be critical at; and I care not greatly if I begin with the last first.

Sea Wormwood hath gotten as many names as virtues, (and perhaps one more) Seriphian, Santomeon, Belchion, Narbinense, Hantonicon, Misneule, and a matter of twenty more which I shall not blot paper withal. A papist got the toy by the end, and he called it Holy Wormwood; and in truth I am opinion, their giving so much holiness to herbs, is the reason there remains so little in themselves. The seed of this Wormwood is that which women usually give their children for the worms. Of all Wormwoods that grow here, this is the weakest, but Doctors commend it, and apothecaries sell it; the one must keep his credit, and the other get money, and that is the key of the work. The herb is good for something, because God made nothing in vain. Will you give me leave to weigh things in the balance of reason, then thus: The seeds of the common Wormwood are far more prevalent than the seed of this, to expel worms in children, or people of ripe age; of both some are weak, some are strong. The Seriphian Wormwood is the weakest, and haply may prove to be fittest for the weak bodies, (for it is weak enough of all conscience.) Let such as are strong take the common Wormwood, for the others will do but little good. Again, near the sea many people live, and Seriphian grows near them, and therefore is more fitting for their bodies, because nourished by the same air; and this I had from Dr. Reason. In whose body Dr. Reason dwells not, dwells Dr. Madness, and he brings in his brethren, Dr. Ignorance, Dr. Folly, and Dr. Sickness, and these together make way for Death, and the latter end of that man is worse than the beginning. Pride was the cause of Adam's fall; pride begat a daughter, I do not know the father of it, unless the devil, but she christened it, and called it Appetite, and sent her daughter to taste these wormwoods, who finding this the least bitter, made the squeamish wench extol it to the skies, though the virtues of it never reached the middle region of the air. Its due praise is this: It is weakest, therefore fittest for weak bodies, and fitter for those bodies that dwell near it, than those that dwell far from it; my reason is, the sea (those that live far from it, know when they come near it) casts not such a smell as the land doth. The tender mercies of God being over all his works, hath by his eternal Providence, planted Seriphian by the seaside, as a fit medicine for the bodies of those that live near it. Lastly, it is known to all that know anything in the course of nature, that the liver delights in sweet things, if so, it abhors bitter; then if your liver be weak, it is none of the wisest courses to plague it with an enemy. If the liver be weak, a consumption follows; would you know the reason? It is this, A man's flesh is repaired by blood, by a third concoction, which transmutes the blood into flesh, it is well I said, (concoction) say I, if I had said (boiling) every cook would have understood me. The liver makes blood, and if it be weakened that if it makes not enough, the flesh wastes; and why must flesh always be renewed? Because the eternal God, when he made the creation, made one part of it in continual dependency upon another; and why did he so? Because himself only is permanent; to teach us, That we should not fix our affections upon what is transitory, but what endures for ever. The result of this is, if the liver be weak, and cannot make blood enough, I would have said, Sanguify, if I had written only to scholars, the Seriphian, which is the weakest of Wormwoods, is better than the best. I have been critical enough, if not too much.

Place : It grows familiarly in England, by the sea-side.

Descript : It starts up out of the earth, with many round, woody, hairy stalks from one root. Its height is four feet, or three at least. The leaves in longitude are long, in latitude narrow, in colour white, in form hoary, in similitude like Southernwood, only broader and longer; in taste rather salt than bitter, because it grows so near the salt-water; at the joints, with the leaves toward the tops it bears little yellow flowers; the root lies deep, and is woody.

Common Wormwood I shall not describe, for every boy that can eat an egg knows it.

Roman Wormwood; and why Roman, seeing it grows familiarly in England? It may be so called, because it is good for a stinking breath, which the Romans cannot be very free from, maintaining so many bad houses by authority of his Holiness.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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