Thursday, February 16, 2012

Merda Campanulata

Dr. S-----t, Human Ordure, Botanically Considered (London: F. Coggan, 1733), pp. 7-9:
There is no Man that ever was so humble as to observe Human Ordure, but must confess there is a wonderful variety in all productions of this nature. I intirely exclude the Faeces Colliquativae (called in English by the figure Onomatopoeia, Squitter,) being seldom the Sedes Sanorum, and therefore foreign to the Subject. For my part, I have found such a variety, that I have Trib'd and Class'd them, with as much pleasure and care as Botanists do Plants.

And the first of the Tribe that claims precedence, is the * Merda Campanulata sive Turbinata the Bell-form'd Excrements, or resembling a Boy's Top revers'd; the distinguishing Characteristick of this kind of Evacuation, is, that it rises with a broad Basis, and terminates with a nanow Apex; under this denomination is comprehended, those form'd like an Obelisk, Cheshire-Hat, Sugar-Loaf, inverted Pyramid, Portugal Pear, &c. These are always of a firm consistency, the product of a well concocted Aliment, and are always generated in a robust strong Body, and give us sure indications of a firm well-ton'd set of Intestines, with a salubrious attraction of the Lacteal Vessels; to be met with mostly in Plow'd Fields, High Roads, and sometimes in Meadows; I have seen some faint Icons of this Species about the suburbs of Cities; these generally belong to Farmers, Plowmen, Threshers, &c. I have hot had time to inquire into the Virtues or Vices of these, of any of the kinds I have met with; but that must be my next Work, according as this meets with Encouragement.

* Vid. Dr. Stephens's botanical Elements, pag. 13.

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