The Art of Physick
Section C. Of things Preternatural
3a. Of Symptoms
D. What is a Symptoms?
C. The word Symptom, taken in a large sense, signifies whatever happens to a living Creature preternaturally. And so it is used generally for every preternatural Affection: But properly taken, a Symptom is defined, An Affection against Nature, which follows the Body: And therefore some of the Grecian Physicians rather chose to call it the Succedent, then a Symptom, tho the Word Symptom exactly agree with it, as coming from a Greek Word, which signifies, to fall together; for no other reason, but because it accompanies the Disease.
D. How many are the kinds of Symptoms?
C. Three. Injury of Actions, Excretion and Retention deviating from the custom of Nature, and sensible Affections of the Body preternatural.
D. What are the differences of Actions injured?
C. The difference of injured Actions is to be gathered from the number of Actions safe and uninjured; for they are injuries done either to the Animal, Vital or Natural Actions.
D. By how many ways is every one of these injured?
C. Every Animal, Vital and Natural Action is injured two ways; either because it is not done, or ill done: And ill doing is twofold, either feebly, or not as it ought to be. So that there is a threefold annoyance of every Action.
D. What are the Annoyance of the Animal Functions?
C. The Annoyances of the principal Functions are, the debilitating, depraving and destruction of the Imagination, Memory and Ratiocination. Among which, Madness, Lunacy and Delirium are accounted chief. The common Injuries of the sensible Actions, are, deprivation of the Senses, and difficulty of Apprehension, which denotes a vitiated Sense. Restless waking, and drowsy Sleep are accounted Injuries of the inner Sense; but there are particular injuries of every outward Sense, as to the Eyes, are, Blindness, Dimness of Sight, or a depraved Sight; as to the Ears, Deafness, Thickness of Hearing, or a depraved Hearing. As to the rest, tho they want proper terms of expression, yet there is the same proportion. Feeling in its Function has one proper Symptoms above all the rest, which is Pain. The Annoyances of the moving Actions are Immobility, difficult Motion, or a depraved Motion, as Trembling, Convulsive or Panting. There is also privation of Speech, difficulty of Speech, and depraved Speech.
D. What are the Annoyances of the Vital Functions?
C. Among the Annoyances of the Vital Actions, are reckoned Privation of the Pulse, and a depraved Pulse; also stopping of the Breath, and difficulty Breathing.
D. What are the Injuries of the Natural Functions?
C. The Injuries of the Appetite are, loss of Stomach, a Canine Appetite, and a depraved Appetite.
The Injuries of concoction are crudity, slow concoction, and difficult concoction. As many are the Injuries of Retention and Expulsion, tho wanting proper terms. And indeed every action may be said to be injured three ways; if it be done feebly, or not as it ought to be, or not at all.
D. Why does a depraved Expulsion and Retention attend the Injuries of the Functions?
C. The due course of the excrements is impeded, in regard that the expulsive Faculty is excessively disordered; and the same reason for the retentive Faculty.
D. What is the Ametry or Disorder of the Excrements?
C. A vicious annoyance which the Excrements have contracted by receding from the due course of Nature.
D. Of how many sorts is it?
C. Threefold, in Substance, in Quantity, and in Quality; in regard that the Purgations of the Body are preternaturally detained therein, or else recede and deviate from the due course of Nature, either in their whole substance, or in quantity, or in quality. Thus says Galen. Lib.6. De Sympt.
D. What d’ye call the default of Substance?
C. When the Excrement is in its whole kind preternatural; as a Stone, Gravel, or Worms: Or else, when the many of purgation is preternatural, not the Excrement; as, Bleeding at Nose, Ears, Mouth, Yard, or Belly.
D. What is the fault of Quantity?
C. When the just measure of Nature is not observed in Purgation: but that the excrements come forth either in too great abundance, or too sparingly.
D. What is the Fault of Quality?
C. When the heat of the Excrements deviates from the custom of Nature, as if they be either black, livid or green; if the smell offend more than usually; if there be anything of unusual bitterness, saltness, or acrimony, if any clamminess, hardness or thinness more than ordinary.
D. Why is the Ametry of Excess of Excretion joined with that of Retention?
C. Because the Excrements no less deviate from the course of Nature, nor contract Corruption, when that which ought to come away, is retained, then when that which ought to be retained, comes away.
D. What symptoms relate to the Irregularity of Retention?
C. The suppression of the Flowers and Emroids, costiveness, retention of Sweat and other Excrements, the evacuation of which is necessary for health.
D. Why d’ye place the preternatural Affections of the body which are obvious to Sense, next after the Irregularity of the Excrements?
C. Because they are bred out of the corruption of Excrementitious Humors.
D. How many symptoms are there belonging to the sensible Affections of the Body?
C. They are said to be as many as there are Senses with which they want to be perceived; for some are visible, others audible, others to be smelled, others to be tasted, others tangible.
D. Which are the visible preternatural Affections of the Body?
C. Unseemly Colours, which arise from the Colours of the subject Humors; as, Yellow in the Jaundice, Pale in the Disease proceeding from Phlegm, called Leucophlegmasis; Black in the Leprosy; then the Shape, Bulk, and all the visible qualities of the Body changed.
D. Which are the Audible Affections?
C. Preternatural Sounds, as Tinkling in the Ears, Rattling in the Throat and Lungs, Gnashing of the Teeth, Belching and breaking Wind; as also raving and trembling Speech.
D. Which concern the Smell?
C. The noisome Smells which the Arm-pits, Ears, Nostrils, Mouth, Feet, and the whole Body exhales.
D. Which concern Taste?
C. Bitterness in the Mouth arising from yellow Choler, Acridness from Melancholy, and Saltness from Phlegm.
D. Which belong to the Feeling?
C. All the first Qualities, as hot, cold, moist and dry, and what derive themselves from these, as softness, Hardness, Roughness, Looseness, Ruggedness, and the like, which are perceived in the skin by feeling.
Actions here refers to the activities of the Faculties, performed by the Spirits.
The functions of the Faculties, which form Essence, Qi, and Spirit
Animal Functions, which are performed by the Animal Spirit are equated with the Mind, and the Spirit proper.
Privation means a loss or absence of quality.
The Vital Spirit is Qi.
The Natural Function is the digestive process, forming Natural Spirit, the Essence of the food we eat. This goes to the Lungs to form Vital Spirit, or Qi.
Retention and Expulsion are important for Health. The former helps absorption of that which is essential, and retains; the latter for the expulsion of all that is waste.