Thursday, December 7, 2023

"And Remedies Against Said Plague"

Contaminated air, poisoned ground,
Infected bodies in the cemetery, and the dead
Scattered in the fields in grievous wars,
Latrines piled with infectious dung,
Stench from garbage dumped
In fields, towns, and castles,
Great filth and heaps of excrement,
Refuse which is foolhardy to make,
Stale, polluted air, and swine:
All of these cause plague in many places.

To have a gluttonous mouth, scurrilous life,
To drink and eat without appetite,
To sit long at table is dangerous to do,
And likewise to eat too many courses.
Eating overly salted venison, beef, oxen, and pork,
Tench, eel, conger, all beasts,
Ocean fish, dairy products, fruit, leeks,
Onions and garlic, cheap wine with murky dregs,
Hard bread and unleavened cakes:
All of these cause plague in many places.

To live on water from swampy ground,
To be in heavy air when fog is thick,
Waking too early, leading a lewd life,
And to be stiff with anger are death.
To be too hot or too cold when doors are open,
To partake of spas and baths among those
Who are infected, putrid, and depressed
Engenders many similar diseases,
And such matters as in these prime examples:
All of these cause plague in many places.

Prince, one would do well in these special cases
And scurrilous circumstances, for one’s health,
To flee from them all, or at least some.
One should purge the body and keep warm,
Since without protection from such defects,
All of these cause plague in many places.

Translated by Anne M. Dropick


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