Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  21 / 148 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 21 / 148 Next Page
Page Background

“There is no tongue that moves”


her discharge: “S appeared and confessed that she had given a

purge and ointment to Mr Neeme. She admitted that she could

not read and had no knowledge of the theory or practice of

medicine. But she utterly refused to abstain from practice, or

to give any bond.” Thus Scarlett confessed but made no

attempt to desist from her medical practice. She was

imprisoned again on another charge on August 4, 1598, and

the entry reads:

S was accused by Caldwell, an official of the Bridewell,

and by Mrs Heyborne, whose husband she had treated

for ulcerated knee with an ointment made of mercury.

She confessed to having given antimony in white wine.

H became paralysed. She also admitted treating a man

in Thyckin's house in Redcross Street, and to having

frequently given stibium, even to children.

Scarlett would openly oppose the patriarchal college, even

though she was jailed for using such well-known chemicals as

mercury, stibium, and antimony in her remedies. Thus she

persisted and was a successful practitioner, one who sometimes

used the same purges and chemical ointments as her accusers.

Like Scarlett, then, Paulina remains defiant, and she is forced

to confront Leontes directly when she senses his unrelenting

anger. Her biting tongue is often in accord, in this first stage of

her cure, with the king’s sudden bursts of anger

a therapeutic

process and practice known as homeopathic medicine



“curing with the like” which was a familiar part of Paracelsian




However, Maurice Hunt, though she also agrees with Paulina’s

“homeopathic reproof” (1990: 88), considers that it “fails to transform

Leontes” (1990: 88), contrary to my analysis. However, Hunt does not

elaborate on this particular therapy, while sources and details are provided

here and in the following note.


Paracelsus says in his


(1529-1530) that, while ordinary

medicines fight disease by confronting it with ‘opposite’ qualities, arcana