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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/251

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Bullein
Bullein
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same: to this ende to haue had me died shamefully: that with the couetous Ahab he might haue through false witnesse and periurie obtained by the counsaill of Jezabell a vine yard by the price of blood. But … his wicked practise was wisely espied, his folie derided, his bloodie purpose letted, and finally I was with iustice deliuered.’ Bullein afterwards married Sir Thomas Hilton's widow, and was in London with her in 1561, as we learn from a letter (dated 13 Oct. 1561), preserved among the ‘State Papers,’ of Bishop Pilkington to Cecil. The persecution was continued with much malignity, for his enemy contrived to have him arrested for debt and thrown into prison, where he employed himself in writing his ‘Bulwarke.’ The treatise is divided into four parts: (1) ‘Booke of Simples,’ (2) ‘Dialogue betwene Sorenes and Chyrurgi,’ (3) ‘Booke of Compounds,’ (4) ‘Booke of the Vse of sicke men and medicens.’ Parts 1 to 3 have a separate pagination, that of part 4 is continuous from part 3. There is a full-length woodcut portrait, presumably of the author, on aaa. The ‘Booke of Simples’ is of considerable interest, as being one of the earliest of English herbals. Bullein travelled much and made minute observations wherever he went; but his descriptions of what he observed are more valuable than his explanations. He garnishes his pages freely with precepts and homilies, and shows a naïve anxiety to impress his readers with the fact that he is pursuing his investigations with a view to promoting the practical welfare of the community. In the ‘Dialogue betwene Sorenes and Chyrurgi’ he inveighs vehemently against the race of quacksalvers; elsewhere in the same dialogue he gives a long list of eminent English chirurgeons, mentioning the achievements of each. From the ‘Bulwarke’ we learn some personal facts about Bullein. Speaking, in the ‘Booke of Simples’ (fol. lxxv), of the salt made in England, he tells us that he had a share in the salt-pans at ‘the Shiles’ (Shields) by Tynemouth Castle. When he is discoursing of the virtues of the daisy (ib. fol. xxxix b), the Latin name of the flower, ‘bellis,’ gives him occasion to relate how he ‘did recouer one Bellises [of Jarowe in the Bishopricke, marg. note], not onely from a spice of the palsie, but also from the quarten. And afterwards the same Bellises, more vnnaturall than a viper, sought divers ways to haue murthered me: taking parte against me with my mortall enemies.’ In fol. ii b of the ‘Booke of Simples’ he explains how he cured Sir Thomas Hilton's wife of a tympany; in fol. xl he relates a cure that he had worked on Sir Richard Alie, a knight famed for skill in fortifications; in fol. lx he speaks of some Suffolk witches that he had known; from fol. lxxv b we learn that he was for some time under the patronage of Sir John Delaval. In 1564–5 Bullein published a very remarkable book entitled ‘A Dialogue bothe pleasaunte and pietifull, wherein is a goodly regimente against the fever Pestilence, with a consolacion and comfort against death. Newly corrected by Willyam Bulleyn, the autour thereof. Imprinted at London by Ihon Kingston. Marcii, Anno salutis m.d.lxiiii.,’ small 8vo, black letter. Of this edition only one copy (in the Britwell collection) is known. The words on the title-page, ‘newly corrected,’ do not necessarily show that there had been an earlier edition; for there is evidence to prove that such announcements were sometimes made by publishers (to promote the sale) in the first edition of a book. Other editions appeared in 1573 and 1578. The ‘Dialogue’ combines passages of exalted eloquence with humorous anecdotes and sharp strokes of satire. The writer's purpose was not merely to prescribe remedies against the sweating-sickness (imported from Havre in 1564), but to encourage his countrymen in their affliction. The ‘Dialogue’ consists of a number of separate scenes or colloquies. The second colloquy is between a rich usurer, Antonius, and Medicus, who in the 1564 edition is styled Antonius Capistrinus, but who in later editions bears the name Dr. Tocrub, probably intended for a Dr. Burcot, mentioned in the ‘State Papers.’ He is satirised in succeeding dialogues. The ‘Dialogue’ kept its popularity for several years. In the ‘Address to the Reader,’ prefixed to ‘Haue with you to Saffron Walden,’ 1596, Nashe says: ‘I frame my whole Booke in the nature of a Dialogue, much like Bullein and his Doctor Tocrub.’ Bullein died on 7 Jan. 1575–6, and was buried on 9 Jan. at St. Giles's, Cripplegate. In the same grave lie buried his brother Richard, the divine, and John Foxe, the martyrologist. Over the tomb is a plated stone with a Latin inscription, commemorating the virtues of all three.

In addition to the works already mentioned, Bullein wrote: 1. ‘A comfortable Regiment and a very wholsome order against the moste perilous Pleurisie, whereof many doe daily die within this Citee of London and other places …,’ London, 1562, 12mo, black letter. Dedicated to Sir Robert Wingfield of Lethringham, knight. 2. ‘A briefe and short discourse of the Vertue and Operation of Balsame. With an instruction for those that haue their health to preserue the same. Whereunto is added Doctor Bullin's Diet