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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pertinent to a discussion about herb gardens: Take heede therefore ye smellers of Basil

I'm a firm believer in the principle that old ways are always the best:

"An Italian, through the oft smelling of an hearb called Basil, had a Scorpion bred in his braine, which did not only a long time grieve him, but also at the last killed him... Take heede therefore ye smellers of Basil."

Thomas Lupton, A Thousand Notable Things (1595)

There's also this set of instructions for growing an all-purpose herb which, although it contains basil, doesn't carry any brain scorpion warnings:

"To make an hearb to growe which shall have many savours and tastes. And to doo this: firste take one seede of the Lettice, one seede of Endive, one of Smallage, one of the Bassill, one of the Leeke, & of the parslie, al these put togither in a hole in such sort, that one seede may touch an other: but this remember that you plant these together in the dung of an Horsse or an Oxe without any earthe at all with them. And then after of these seedes shall growe up one proper hearbe, which will have so many savours and tastes, as there were seedes sowne together." 

A Briefe and Pleasaunt Treatise, Intituled: Naturall and Artificiall Conclusions (1586)

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