Piquant as is this anecdote, the key to it is equally so. "Les mouches cantarides, i diabolini l'essence de giroflee, les bap-temes ambres, etc., sont des inventions de notre siecle dont la debilite eut ete incurable sans ces secours, l'auteur ne peut rendre le secret de la mauvaise societe, dont se sert la Comtesse, sans blesser la bonne, tout ce qu'il peut dire decemment est que ce secret est un diminutif des erreurs philosophiques." †

The old pharmacopoeia are amply furnished with formula of which amber constitutes the base. These recipes are generally designated by names which, to a certain extent, indicate the particular use to which they are destined by their makers; thus, France formerly boasted her "Tablettes de Magnanimite," or "Electuaire Satyrion," and "Un poudre de joie." Troches, or odoriferous lozenges, to which the ancients gave the pretty name of "Avuncula Cypria," were, and perhaps are still, sold in Paris under that of "Seraglio Pastilles." Ambergris forms the basis of these, as it also does of the Indian pastilles called "Cachunde," and which were equally in repute. Zactus Lusitanus ‡ states that they were composed of bole Tuccinum, musk, ambergris, aloes-wood, red and yellow sanders (pterocarpus santalinus) mastic, sweet-flag (calamus aromaticus) galanga, cinnamon, rhubarb, Indian myrobalon, absynth, and of some pounded precious stones, which, however, impart no additional quality to the composition. Speaking of this composition, the Encyclopaedia Perthensis describes it as "a medicine highly celebrated among the Chinese and Indians; it is composed of ambergris and several other aromatic ingredients, perfumes, medicinal earths, and precious stones.

It imparts a sweetness to the breath, is a valuable medicine in all nervous complaints, and is esteemed as a prolonger of life and an exciter to venery*

* Espion de la Cour.

† Gazetier Cuirasse, ou Anecdotes Scandaleuses de la Cour de France.

‡ In his "Praxis Medica Admiranda" wherein he also gives the formula of an electuary ad excitandum tentiginem nulli secundum, p. 295, Observ. XCI., as well as a recipe for pills ad Coitus ignaviam, CXIII, p. 297.

Riviere † gives us the following formula for a potion whose virtue is indisputable."Take of amber, half a drachm; musk, two scruples; aloes, one drachm and a half; pound them all together, pour upon the mass a sufficient quantity of spirits of wine so that the liquor may cover it to the height of about five fingers' breadth; expose it to sand heat, filter and distil it, close it hermetically, and administer it in broth in the dose of three or five drops. This liquor is also advantageous when mixed with syrup, prepared as follows:- Take of cinnamon water, four ounces: orange and rose water, each six ounces, and sugar candy q.s.

Musk taken internally is said by many physicians to be almost equal to ambergris for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Externally applied, this substance produces very singular phenomena. Borelli details the case of a man "qui s'etant frotte le penis avec du muse avant de se livrer a l'exercise des fonctions genitales, resta uni avec sa femme sans pouvoir s'en separer.

"Encyclopedia Parthensis, Article Cachunde II fallait, dans cette position lui donner une quantite de lavements arm de ramoller les parties qui s'etaient extraordinaire-ment tumifiees."* Diermerbreek and Schurigius gave similar instances. The effects of musk are, therefore, almost equal to those produced by certain plants, as recorded by Theophrastus: "Esse herbas quae vel ad sexagesimum coitum vim praestant sed at demum secernitur sanguis."† Weickard says that by means of this drug he resuscitated the genital power in a man who had nearly completed his eightieth year.

† See his Premier Traite de l'homme et de son essentielle anatomie, avec les elements et ce qui est en eux, de ses maladies, medicine et absolus remedes, etc., Paris, 1588.

But, of all aphrodisiacs, the most certain and terrible in its effects are cantharides, commonly known as Spanish flies. That they exercise a powerful and energetic action upon the organization and stimulate, to the utmost, the venereal desire, is but too true. The effects, however, which these insects, when applied as a blister upon the skin, are known to produce, are insignificant when compared with their intense action upon the stomach when taken internally; nor is it the stomach only which is affected by them: the bladder experiences an irritation exceeding even that caused by the severest strangury. To these succeed perforation of the stomach, ulcers throughout the entire length of the intestinal canal, dysentery, and, lastly, death in the midst of intolerable agonies. Medical works abound with observations concerning the fatal effects of cantharides when unduly administered) whether from ignorance or for exciting the venereal appetite. The two following cases are recorded by Pabrol in his "Observations Anatomiques":

En 1752 nous fumes visiter un pauvre homme d'Organ en Provence atteint du plus horrible satyriasis qu'on saurait voir et penser. Le fait est tel. II avail les quartes, pour en guerir prend conseil d'une sorciere, laquelle liu fait une potion d'une once de semences d'orties, de deux dachmes de cantharides, d'une drachme et demi de caboule et autres, ce qui le rendit si furieux a l'acte venerien que sa femme nous jura son Dieu, qu'il l'avait chevauchee, dans denx mois, quatre vingl sept fois, sans y comprendre plus de dix fois qu'il s'etait corrompu lui-meme. Dans le temps que nous consultions, le pauvre homme spermatisa trois fois a notre presence, embrassa le pied du lit, et agitant contre lui comme si c'eust ete sa femme. Ce spectacle nous etonn et nous hata a lui faire des remedes pour abattre cette furieusse chaleur, mais quel remede qu'on lui eust faire, se passa-t-il le pas".

* Cent. 2. † See Celius, lib. xiv., cap. 3.

"Un medecin a Orange, nomme Chauvel avait ete appelle en 1758 a Caderousse, petite ville proche de sa residence, pour voir un homme atteint d'une maladie du meme genre. A 1'entree de la maison il trouve la femme du dit malade, laquelle se plaignit a lui de la furieuse lubricite de son mari, qui l'avait chevauchee quarante fois pour une unit, et avait toutes les parties gonflees, etant contrainte les lui montrer afin qu'il lui ordonnast les remedes pour abattre l'inflammation. Le mal du man etant venu d'un breuvage semblable a l'autre que lui fut donne par une femme qui gardait l'hopital, pour guerir la fievre tierce qui l'affligeoit, de laquelle il tomba dans une telle fureur qu'il fallait l'attacher comme s'il eust ete pos-sede du diable. Le vicaire du lieu fut present, pour l'exhorter a la presence meme du Sieur Chauvel, lesquels il priait le laisser mourir avec le plaisir, les femmes le plierent dans un linsseuil mouille en eau et en vinaigre, ou il fut laisse jusqu'au le lende-main qu'elles allaient le visiter, mais sa furieuse chaleur fut bien abattue et eteinte, car elles le trouverent roid mort, la bouche beante, montrant les dents, et son membre gangrene".