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Among the remedies common to living creatures, fat is the substance held in the next highest esteem, that of swine in particular, which was employed by the ancients for certain religious purposes even: at all events, it is still the usage for the newly-wedded bride, when entering her husband's house, to touch the door-posts with it. There are two methods of keeping hogs' lard, either salted or fresh; indeed, the older it is, the better. The Greek writers have now given it the name of "axungia,"1 or axle-grease, in their works. Nor, in fact, is it any secret, why swine's fat should be possessed of such marked properties, seeing that the animal feeds to such a great extent upon the roots of plants—owing too, to which, its dung is applied to such a vast number of purposes. It will be as well, therefore, to premise, that I shall here speak only of the hog that feeds in the open field, and no other; of which kind it is the female that is much the most useful-if she has never farrowed, more particularly. But it is the fat of the wild boar that is held in by far the highest esteem of all.

The distinguishing properties, then, of swine's-grease, are emollient, calorific, resolvent, and detergent. Some physicians recommend it as an ointment for the gout, mixed with goose grease, bull-suet, and wool-grease: in cases, however, where the pain is persistent, it should be used in combination with wax, myrtle, resin, and pitch. Hogs' lard is used fresh for the cure of burns, and of blains, too, caused by snow: with ashes of burnt barley and nutgalls, in equal proportions, it is employed for the cure of chilblains. It is good also for excoriations of the limbs, and for dispelling weariness and lassitude arising from long journeys. For the cure of chronic cough, new lard is boiled down, in the proportion of three ounces to three cyathi of wine, some honey being added to the mixture. Old lard too, if it has been kept without salt, made up into pills and taken internally, is a cure for phthisis: but it is a general rule not to use it salted in any cases except where detergents are required, or where there are no symptoms of ulceration. For the cure of phthisis, some persons boil down three ounces of hogs' lard and honied wine, in three cyathi of ordinary wine; and after swathing the sides, chest, and shoulders of the patient with compresses steeped in the preparation, administer to him, every four days, some tar with an egg: indeed, so potent is this composition, that if it is only attached to the knees even, the flavour of it will ascend to the mouth, and the patient will appear to spit it out,2 as it were.

The grease of a sow that has never farrowed, is the most useful of all cosmetics for the skin of females; but in all cases, hogs' lard is good for the cure of itch-scab, mixed with pitch and beef-suet in the proportion of one-third, the whole being made lukewarm for the purpose. Fresh hogs' lard, applied as a pessary, imparts nutriment to the infant in the womb, and prevents abortion. Mixed with white lead or litharge, it restores scars to their natural colour; and, in combination with sulphur, it rectifies malformed nails. It prevents the hair also from falling off; and, applied with a quarter of a nutgall, it heals ulcers upon the head in females. When well smoked, it strengthens the eyelashes. Lard is recommended also for phthisis, boiled down with old wine, in the proportion of one ounce to a semisextarius, till only three ounces are left; some persons add a little honey to the composition. Mixed with lime, it is used as a liniment for inflamed tumours, boils, and indurations of the mamillæ: it is curative also of ruptures, convulsions, cramps, and sprains. Used with white hellebore, it is good for corns, chaps, and callosities; and, with pounded earthen- ware3 which has held salted provisions, for imposthumes of the parotid glands and scrofulous sores. Employed as a friction in the bath, it removes itching sensations and pimples: but for the treatment of gout there is another method of preparing it, by mixing it with old oil, and adding pounded sarcophagus4 stone and cinquefoil bruised in wine, or else with lime or ashes. A peculiar kind of plaster is also made of it for the cure of inflammatory ulcers, seventy-five denarii of hogs' lard being mixed with one hundred of litharge.

It is reckoned a very good plan also to anoint ulcers with boars' grease, and, if they are of a serpiginous nature, to add resin to the liniment. The ancients used to employ hogs' lard in particular for greasing the axles of their vehicles, that the wheels might revolve the more easily, and to this, in fact, it owes its name of "axungia." When hogs' lard has been used for this purpose, incorporated as it is with the rust of the iron upon the wheels, it is remarkably useful as an application for diseases of the rectum and of the generative organs. The ancient physicians, too, set a high value upon the medicinal properties of hogs' lard in an unmixed state: separating it from the kidneys, and carefully removing the veins, they used to wash and rub it well in rain water, after which they boiled it several times in a new earthen vessel, and then put it by for keeping. It is generally agreed that it is more emollient, calorific, and resolvent, when salted; and that it is still more useful when it has been rinsed in wine.

Massurius informs us, that the ancients set the highest' value of all upon the fat of the wolf: and that it was for this reason that the newly-wedded bride used to anoint the doorposts of her husband's house with it, in order that no noxious spells might find admittance.

1 From the Latin "axis," an "axle," and ungo," "to anoint."

2 Hence it was a notion in the sixteenth century, that pitch and hogs' lard is a cure for syphilis, by promoting salivation.

3 "Farina salsamentariæ testæ."

4 See B. xxxvi. c. 27.

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