Text of 17 Hover Notes for Roses digital edition of “The History of a Tumor in the Lower Part of the Belly, Related by Mr. Giles, Sworn Surgeon at St. Come; Being the Second Art. of the Second Journal of Brunet’s Progress de la Medicine” (1697)

#1 (of 17)

two of which — The third article selected by Sloane from Brunet’s Le Progrès de la Médecine (Paris, 1695–1709) gave an account of the autopsy performed on the London Society’s friend and scientific colleague, Marcello Malpighi (1628–1694), the Italian embryologist known for his microscopic plant studies and studies in human anatomy. Every printed work by Malpighi after 1669 was published by the Royal Society, since Malpighi could not get his scientific treatises past Italian censors. In particular, Robert Hooke and Henry Oldenburg encouraged Malpighi’s scientific studies, solicited his contributions, furnished him with technical literature, and oversaw his publications (e.g., Malpighi’s history of the silkworm) “in splendid style.”
  Sloane’s English translation of Brunet’s published account of “the circumstances” of Malpighi’s death, “and what was found remarkable at the opening of his body,” was printed in No. 226 (March 1697) of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London::

#2 (of 17)

February 1697 N.S. — Or “February, 1696/7,” as printed on the title-page for Issue No. 225 of the Philosophical Transactions.
  Until 1752, the British calendar year legally began on March 25, rather than January 1. The period between December 31 and March 25 is thus styled 1696–7 or 1696/7 in some early-modern MSS. and publications. Alternately, the abbreviation N.S. is used to indicate “new style” calendar dating, and O.S., to indicate “old style” calendar dating. ::

#3 (of 17)

the Matrix — I.e., the womb, or uterus. ::

#4 (of 17)

Fluoralbus — I.e., fluor albus, “the whites,” or leucorrhœa, referring to “a mucous or mucopurulent discharge from the lining membrane of the female genital organs.” (Oxford English Dictionary) Physicians such as Walter Charleton (1620–1707) believed that English women were particularly “troubled with the Fluor albus, all the time of their Gravidation [pregnancy]” because they lived “in this our moist Iland.”
  Comfrey was traditionally prescribed to treat the condition, as was a syrup or powder of Red Coral. ::

#5 (of 17)

a scirrhus — A hard, firm, and almost painless swelling or tumor; a hard cancer. (Oxford English Dictionary)
  A mid-17th-century dictionary followed Sir Thomas Browne in attributing this kind of cancer to an imbalance in 2 of the 4 humours (hot and dry “choler” or cold and moist “phlegm”): “SCIRRHOUS (from schirrhus) pertaining to a hard swelling without pain, grown in the flesh within the skin, caused through choller, or through thick, cold or clammy fleam.” (Thomas Blount, Glossographia, or, A Dictionary, Interpreting ... Hard Words, 1656, s.v. Scirrhous). ::

#6 (of 17)

the Epiploon — I.e., epiploön, “The caul or omentum, a fatty membrane enwrapping the intestines.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#7 (of 17)

the Mesentery — “Originally: the folded sheet of peritoneum in which the jejunum and ileum are suspended from the dorsal abdominal wall. Later also: any of several other folds of peritoneum serving a similar function for other organs; the embryonic precursor of these structures, a double layer of splanchnic mesoderm attached to both the dorsal and ventral walls of the body, which also temporarily supports the organs of the chest.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#8 (of 17)

Emetiques — I.e., emetic, “a medicine that excites vomiting.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#9 (of 17)

Purgatives — “A medicine that causes purgation; spec. that causes emptying of the bowels, (strongly) laxative.” (Oxford English Dictionary)
  Popular purgatives included imported Chinese rhubarb, tamarinds, senna (Cassia or medicinal cinnamon, also used as an emetic), and makinboy (Irish spurge or Euphorbia hyberna), an herb believed to be so powerful that it could “purge the body meerly by external touch.”
  As early as 1652, the medical reformer Samuel Hartlib asked for confirmation of makinboy’s efficacy, and in 1698, Hans Sloane published proof that word-of-mouth claims about the herb’s action from a distance were, indeed, over-blown: “Dr. Mullen tryed lately an Experiment upon the famous Irish Herb called, Mackenboy, or Tithimalus Hibernicus, which is by the Natives reported to be so strong a Purge, that even the carrying it about one in their Cloaths is sufficient to produce the Effect: this fabulous Story which has long prevail’d, [Dr. Mullen] proved false, by carrying its Roots for Three Days in his Pocket, without any Alteration of that sort.” (St. George Ashe, “Part of a Letter from Dr. Ashe, Lord Bishop of Cloyne, Dated March the 26th 1687…,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 20.243, Aug. 1698, 294)
  To the satirist William King, investigating such folklore was a pseudo-scientific pursuit which trivialized the Royal Society’s brand, and King ridiculed Sloane for publishing Ashe’s testimony and other “useless” philosophical news relayed by Sloane’s network of citizen-scientists, especially those reporting from rural and foreign regions (see W. King, The Transactioneer, with Some of his Philosophical Fancies: in Two Dialogues, 1700, esp. 38–9). ::

#10 (of 17)

Diureticks — I.e., diuretic, “Having the quality of exciting (excessive) excretion or discharge of urine.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#11 (of 17)

Emollients — A softening application, with the power to soften or relax the living animal textures. (Oxford English Dictionary::

#12 (of 17)

Resolvents — “Causing or promoting the dispersal or softening of humours or morbid material, or the resolution of a disease or pathological process. Also: bringing about solution, dissolving. Now rare.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#13 (of 17)

Clysters — Also clister, glyster, glister. “A medicine injected into the rectum, to empty or cleanse the bowels, to afford nutrition, etc.; an injection, enema; sometimes, a suppository.” (Oxford English Dictionary)
  Early-modern medical texts taught that humankind learned the use of clysters from the Sacred Ibis of Egypt (a large grallatorial bird of the family Ibididæ, allied to the stork and heron); it was believed that when constipated, she administered clysters to herself with the aid of her long slender decurved bill. ::

#14 (of 17)

Deobstruents — A deobstruent medicine or substance that removes obstructions by opening the natural passages or pores of the body. (Oxford English Dictionary::

#15 (of 17)

the Caecum — “The blind-gut; the first part of the large intestine, so called because it is prolonged behind the opening of the ilium into a cul-de-sac. It is present in humans, most mammals and birds, and in many reptiles.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#16 (of 17)

the Ileon — I.e., Ileum. “The third portion of the small intestine, succeeding the jejunum and opening into the cæcum.” (Oxford English Dictionary::

#17 (of 17)

the Chyle — “The white milky fluid formed by the action of the pancreatic juice and the bile on the chyme, and contained in the lymphatics of the intestines, which are hence called lacteals. ‘The term has been used to designate the fluid in the intestines just before absorption.’” (Oxford English Dictionary::