toadstone 1491

You shall knowe whether the Tode Stone
be the ryght and perfect stone or not.
Holde the stone before a tode,
so that he may see it:
and, if it be a right and true stone,
the tode will leape towarde it,
and make as though he would snatch it.
He envieth so much that man should have that stone.
-Thomas Lupton, A Thousand Notable Things, 1579 CE

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Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first ith’ the charmed pot.
~William Shakespeare’s, Three Witches
The Tragedy of Macbeth, 4.1.6-9 (1600 CE)

~

There is found in the heades of old
and great toades a stone,
which they call borax, or stolon:
it is most commonly found in the
head of a hee toade,
of power to repulse poisons,
and that it is a soveraigne medicine for the stone.
~William Shakespeare’s character Puck,
A Midsummer Nights Dream 2.39 (1590 CE)

~ ~ ~

pic: Johannes de Cuba illustration, 1497 CE,
extraction of a toadstone

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