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VII. So much for winds, healthy and unhealthy. I wish now to treat of waters, those that bring disease or very good health, and of the ill or good that is likely to arise from water. For the influence

[p. 85] of water upon health is very great. Such as are marshy, standing and stagnant must in summer be hot, thick and stinking, because there is no outflow ; and as fresh rain-water is always flowing in and the sun heats them, they must be of bad colour, unhealthy and bilious. In winter they must be frosty, cold and turbid through the snow and frosts, so as to be very conducive to phlegm and sore throats. Those who drink it have always large, stiff spleens, and hard, thin, hot stomachs, while their shoulders, collar-bones and faces are emaciated ; the fact is that their flesh dissolves to feed the spleen, so that they are lean. With such a constitution they eat and drink heavily. Their digestive organs, upper and lower, are very dry and very hot, so that they need more powerful drugs. This malady is endemic both in summer and in winter. In addition the dropsies that occur are very numerous and very fatal. For in the summer there are epidemics of dysentery, diarrhoea and long quartan fever, which diseases when prolonged cause constitutions such as I have described to develop dropsies that result in death. These are their maladies in summer. In winter young people suffer from pneumonia and illnesses attended by delirium, the older, through the hardness of their digestive organs, from ardent fever. Among the women occur swellings and leucophlegmasia ; they conceive hardly and are delivered with difficulty. The babies are big and swollen, and

[p. 87] then, as they are nursed, they oecome emaciated1 and miserable. The discharge after childbirth is bad. Children are very subject to hernia and men to enlarged veins and to ulcers on the legs, so that such constitutions cannot be long-lived but must grow prematurely old. Moreover, the women appear to be with child, yet, when the time of delivery comes, the fullness of the womb disappears, this being caused by dropsy in that organ. Such waters I hold to be absolutely bad. The next worst will be those whose springs are from rocks--for they must be hard--or from earth where there are hot waters, or iron is to be found, or copper, or silver, or gold, or sulphur, or alum, or bitumen, or soda. For all these result from the violence of the heat. So from such earth good waters cannot come, but hard, heating waters, difficult to pass and causing constipation. The best are those that flow from high places and earthy hills. By themselves they are sweet and clear, and the wine they can stand is but little. In winter they are warm, in summer cold. They would naturally be so, coming from very deep springs. I commend especially those whose flow breaks forth towards the rising--by preference the summer rising--of the sun. For they must be brighter, sweet-smelling and light ; while all that are salt, harsh and hard are not good to drink, though there are some constitutions and some diseases which are benefited by drinking such waters, concerning which I will speak

[p. 89] presently. Aspect affects spring waters thus. Those whose sources face the risings of the sun are the very best. Second in excellence come those between the summer risings and the summer settings, by preference in the direction of the risings. Third best are those between the summer and winter settings. The worst are those that face the south, and those between the winter rising and setting. These are very bad indeed when the winds are in the south, less bad when they are in the north. Spring waters should be used thus. A man in health and strength can drink any water that is at hand without distinction, but he who because of disease wishes to drink the most suitable can best attain health in the following way. Those whose digestive organs are hard and easily heated will gain benefit from the sweetest, lightest and most sparkling waters. But those whose bellies are soft, moist, and phlegmatic, benefit from the hardest, most harsh and saltish waters, for these are the best to dry them up. For waters that are best for cooking and most solvent naturally loosen the digestive organs the most and relax them ; but harsh waters, hard and very bad for cooking, contract most these organs and dry them up. In fact the public are mistaken about saline waters through inexperience, in that they are generally considered to be laxative. The truth is that they are just the reverse ; they are harsh and bad for cooking, so that the digestive organs too are stiffened by them rather than loosened.

[p. 91]

1 Or "consumptive."

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