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Or more properly clear-eye.

Description. Our ordinary garden clary hath four square stalks, with broad, rough, wrinkled, whitish, or hoary green leaves, somewhat evenly cut in on the edges, and of a strong sweet scent, growing some near the ground, and some by couples upon stalks. The flowers grow at certain distances, with two small leaves at the joints under them, somewhat like the flowers of sage, but smaller, and of a whitish blue colour. The seed is brownish, and somewhat flat, or not so round as the wild. The roots are blackish, and spread not far, and perish after the seed time. It is usually sown, for it seldom rises of its own sowing.

Place. This groweth in gardens.

Time. It flowereth in June and July, some a little later than others, and their seed is ripe in August, or thereabouts.

Government and virtues. It is under the dominion of the Moon. The seed put into the eyes clears them from motes, and such like things gotten within the lids to offend them, as also clears them from white and red spots on them. The mucilage of the seed made with water, and applied to tumours, or swellings, disperseth and taketh them away; as also draweth forth splinters, thorns, or other things gotten into the flesh. The leaves used with vinegar, either by itself, or with a little honey, doth help boils, felons, and the hot inflammations that are gathered by their pains, if applied before it be grown too great. The powder of the dried root put into the nose, provoketh sneezing, and thereby purgeth the head and brain of much rheum and corruption. The seed or leaves taken in wine, provoketh to venery. It is of much use both for men and women that have weak backs, and helpeth to strengthen the reins: used either by itself, or with other herbs conducing to the same effect, and in tansies often. The fresh leaves dipped in a batter of flour, eggs, and a little milk, and fried in butter, and served to the table, is not unpleasant to any, but exceedingly profitable for those that are troubled with weak backs, and the effects thereof. The juice of the herb put into ale or beer, and drank, bringeth down women's courses, and expelleth the after-birth.

It is an usual course with many men, when they have gotten the running of the reins, or women the whites, they run to the bush of clary; maid, bring hither the frying-pan, fetch me some butter quickly, then for eating fried clary, just as hogs eat acorns; and this they think will cure their disease forsooth; whereas when they have devoured as much clary as will grow upon an acre of ground, their backs are as much the better as though they had pissed in their shoes; nay, perhaps much worse.

We will grant that clary strengthens the back; but this we deny, that the cause of the running of the reins in men, or the whites in women, lies in the back, (though the back may sometimes be weakened by them) and therefore the medicine is as proper, as for me when my toe is sore, to lay a plaister on my nose.

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