MS - the miraculous cure
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A cure for all diseases:

Filet of a fenny snake
in the caldron boil and bake;
eye of newt and toe of frog;
wool of bat and tongue of dog;
adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting;
lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing.
For a charm of powerful trouble
like a hell-broth boil and bouble.

Double, double, toil and trouble,
fire burn and caldron bobble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf;
witches’ mummy, maw and gulf;
of the ravin’d salt-sea shark
root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark;
liver of blaspheming jew;
gall of goat and slips of yew
sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
nose of turk and tartar’s lips;
finger of birth-strangled babe,
ditch-deliver’d by a drap,
make the gruel thick and slap.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron
for the ingredients of our caldron.

Double, double, toil and trouble,
fire burn and caldron bobble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood
then the charm is firm and good.

From W. Shakespeare: Mac Beth, Act IV (1606-7) – recipe for whiches brew.

The ingredients are a bit stronger than found in most miraculous cures, but the claim for universal usefulness are the same. Typically, the adverse effects are much more pronounced than the effects – in most miraculous cures, the adverse effects are entirely economical whereas the desired ones depends upon, what you can and want to believe.

Inserted November 17, 2002

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