“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
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