Apple





The term Apple was applied by the ancients indiscriminately to

almost every kind of round fleshy fruit, [27] such as the

thornapple, the pineapple, and the loveapple. Paris gave to Venus

a golden apple; Atalanta lost her classic race by staying to pick up

an apple; the fruit of the Hesperides, guarded by a sleepless

dragon, were golden apples; and through the same fruit befell

man's first disobedience, bringing death into the world and all

our woe (concerning which the old Hebrew myth runs that the

apple of Eden, as the first fermentable fruit known to mankind,

was the beginner of intoxicating drinks, which led to the

knowledge of good and evil).



Nothing need be said here about the Apple as an esculent; we have

only to deal with this eminently English, and most serviceable

fruit in its curative and remedial aspects. Chemically, the Apple is

composed of vegetable fibre, albumen, sugar, gum, chlorophyll,

malic acid, gallic acid, lime, and much water. Furthermore,

German analysts say that the Apple contains a larger percentage of

phosphorus than any other fruit or vegetable. This phosphorus is

specially adapted for renewing the essential nervous lethicin of

the brain and spinal cord. Old Scandinavian traditions represent

the Apple as the food of the gods, who, when they felt themselves

growing feeble and infirm, resorted to this fruit for renewing their

powers of mind and body. Also the acids of the Apple are of signal

use for men of sedentary habits, whose livers are sluggish of

action; they help to eliminate from the body noxious matters,

which, if retained, would make the brain heavy and dull, or

produce jaundice, or skin eruptions, or other allied troubles. Some

experience of this sort has led to the custom of our taking Apple

sauce with roast pork, roast goose, and similar rich dishes. The

malic acid of ripe Apples, raw or cooked, will neutralize the

chalky matter engendered in gouty subjects, particularly from [28]

an excess of meat eating. A good, ripe, raw Apple is one of the

easiest of vegetable substances for the stomach to deal with, the

whole process of its digestion being completed in eighty-five

minutes. Furthermore, a certain aromatic principle is possessed by

the Apple, on which its peculiar flavour depends, this being a

fragrant essential oil--the valerianate of amyl--in a small but

appreciable quantity. It can be made artificially by the chemist,

and used for imparting the flavour of apples to sweetmeats and

confectionery. Gerard found that the pulp of roasted Apples,

mixed in a wine quart of faire water, and laboured together until it

comes to be as Apples and ale--which we call lambswool (Celtic,

'the day of Apple fruit')--never faileth in certain diseases of the

raines, which myself hath often proved, and gained thereby both

crownes and credit. Also, The paring of an Apple cut somewhat

thick, and the inside whereof is laid to hot, burning or running

eyes at night when the party goes to bed, and is tied or bound to

the same, doth help the trouble very speedily, and, contrary to

expectation, an excellent secret. A poultice made of rotten Apples

is commonly used in Lincolnshire for the cure of weak, or

rheumatic eyes. Likewise in the Hotel des Invalides, at Paris, an

Apple poultice is employed for inflamed eyes, the apple being

roasted, and its pulp applied over the eyes without any intervening

substance To obviate constipation two or three Apples taken at

night, whether baked or raw, are admirably efficient. It was said

long ago: They do easily and speedily pass through the belly,

therefore they do mollify the belly, and for this reason a modern

maxim teaches that:--



To eat an Apple going to bed

Will make the doctor beg his bread.



[29] There was concocted in Gerard's day an ointment with the

pulpe of Apples, and swine's grease, and rosewater, which was

used to beautifie the face, and to take away the roughnesse of the

skin, and which was called in the shops pomatum, from the

apples, poma, whereof it was prepared. As varieties of the

Apple, mention is made in documents of the twelfth century, of

the pearmain, and the costard, from the latter of which has come

the word costardmonger, as at first a dealer in this fruit, and now

applied to our costermonger. Caracioli, an Italian writer, declared

that the only ripe fruit he met with in Britain was a baked apple.

The juices of Apples are matured and lose their rawness by

keeping the fruit a certain time. These juices, together with those

of the pear, the peach, the plum, and other such fruits, if taken

without adding cane sugar, diminish acidity in the stomach rather

than provoke it: they become converted chemically into alkaline

carbonates, which correct sour fermentation. It is said in

Devonshire that apples shrump up if picked when the moon is on

the wane. From the bark of the stem and root of the apple, pear

and plum trees, a glucoside is to be obtained in small crystals,

which possesses the peculiar property of producing artificial

diabetes in animals to whom it is given.



The juice of a sour Apple, if rubbed on warts first pared away to

the quick, will serve to cure them. The wild Scrab, or Crab

Apple, armed with thorns, grows in our fields and hedgerows,

furnishing verjuice, which is rich in tannin, and a most useful

application for old sprains. In the United States of America an

infusion of apple tree bark is given with benefit during

intermittent, remittent, and bilious fevers. We likewise prescribe

Apple water as a grateful cooling drink for [29] feverish patients.

Francatelli directs that it should be made thus: Slice up thinly

three or four Apples without peeling them, and boil them in a very

clean saucepan, with a quart of water and a little sugar until the

slices of apple become soft; the apple water must then be strained

through a piece of muslin, or clean rag, into a jug, and drank when

cold. If desired, a small piece of the yellow rind of a lemon may

be added, just enough to give it a flavour.



About the year 1562 a certain rector of St. Ives, in Cornwall, the

Rev. Mr. Attwell, practised physic with milk and Apples so

successfully in many diseases, and so spread his reputation, that

numerous sufferers came to him from all the neighbouring

counties. In Germany ripe Apples are applied to warts for

removing them, by reason of the earthy salts, particularly the

magnesia, of the fruit. It is a fact, though not generally known, that

magnesia, as occurring in ordinary Epsom salts, will cure obstinate

warts, and the disposition thereto. Just a few grains, from three to

six, not enough to produce any sensible medicinal effect, taken

once a day for three or four weeks, will surely dispel a crop of

warts. Old cheese ameliorates Apples if eaten when crude,

probably by reason of the volatile alkali, or ammonia of the cheese

neutralizing the acids of the Apple. Many persons make a practice

of eating cheese with Apple pie. The core of an Apple is so

named from the French word, coeur, heart.



The juice of the cultivated Apple made by fermentation into cider,

which means literally strong drink, was pronounced by John

Evelyn, in his Pomona, 1729, to be in a word the most

wholesome drink in Europe, as specially sovereign against the

scorbute, the stone, spleen, and what not. This beverage [31]

contains alcohol (on the average a little over five per cent.), gum,

sugar, mineral matters, and several acids, among which the malic

predominates. As an habitual drink, if sweet, it is apt to provoke

acid fermentation with a gouty subject, and to develop rheumatism.

Nevertheless, Dr. Nash, of Worcester, attributed to cider

great virtues in leading to longevity; and a Herefordshire

vicar bears witness to its superlative merits thus:--



All the Gallic wines are not so boon

As hearty cider;--that strong son of wood

In fullest tides refines and purges blood;

Becomes a known Bethesda, whence arise

Full certain cures for spit tall maladies:

Death slowly can the citadel invade;

A draught of this bedulls his scythe, and spade.



Medical testimony goes to show that in countries where cider--not

of the sweet sort--is the common beverage, stone, or calculus,

is unknown; and a series of enquiries among the doctors of

Normandy, a great Apple country, where cider is the principal, if

not the sole drink, brought to light the fact that not a single case

had been met with there in forty years. Cider Apples were

introduced by the Normans; and the beverage began to be brewed

in 1284. The Hereford orchards were first planted tempore

Charles I.



A chance case of stone in the bladder if admitted into a

Devonshire or a Herefordshire Hospital, is regarded by the

surgeons there as a sort of professional curiosity, probably

imported from a distance. So that it may be fairly surmised that the

habitual use of natural unsweetened cider keeps held in solution

materials which are otherwise liable to be separated in a solid form

by the kidneys.



Pippins are apples which have been raised from pips; [32] a

codling is an apple which requires to be coddled, stewed, or

lightly boiled, being yet sour and unfit for eating whilst raw. The

John Apple, or Apple John, ripens on St. John's Day, December

27th. It keeps sound for two years, but becomes very shrunken. Sir

John Falstaff says (Henry IV., iii. 3) Withered like an old

Apple John. The squab pie, famous in Cornwall, contains apples

and onions allied with mutton.



Of wheaten walls erect your paste:

Let the round mass extend its breast;

Next slice your apples picked so fresh;

Let the fat sheep supply its flesh:

Then add an onion's pungent juice--

A sprinkling--be not too profuse!

Well mixt, these nice ingredients--sure!

May gratify an epicure.



In America, Apple Slump is a pie consisting of apples, molasses,

and bread crumbs baked in a tin pan. This is known to New

Englanders as Pan Dowdy. An agreeable bread was at one time

made by an ingenious Frenchman which consisted of one third of

apples boiled, and two-thirds of wheaten flour.



It was through the falling of an apple in the garden of Mrs.

Conduitt at Woolthorpe, near Grantham, Sir Isaac Newton was led

to discover the great law of gravitation which regulates the whole

universe. Again, it was an apple the patriot William Tell shot from

the head of his own bright boy with one arrow, whilst reserving a

second for the heart of a tyrant. Dr. Prior says the word Apple took

its origin from the Sanskrit, Ap,--water, and Phal,--fruit,

meaning water fruit, or juice fruit; and with this the Latin

name Pomum--from Poto, to drink--precisely agrees; if

which be so, our apple must have come originally from the East

long ages back.



[33] The term Apple-pie order is derived from the French

phrase, a plis, in plaits, folded in regular plaits; or, perhaps,

from cap a pied, armed from head to foot, in perfect order.

Likewise the Apple-pie bed is so called from the French a

plis, or it may be from the Apple turnover of Devon and

Cornwall, as made with the paste turned over on itself.



The botanical name of an apple tree is Pyrus Malus, of which

schoolboys are wont to make ingenious uses by playing on the

latter word. Malo, I had rather be; Malo, in an Apple tree; Malo,

than a wicked man; Malo, in adversity. Or, again, Mea mater

mala est sus, which bears the easy translation, My mother is a

wicked old sow; but the intentional reading of which signifies

Run, mother! the sow is eating the apples. The term Adam's

Apple, which is applied to the most prominent part of a person's

throat in front is based on the superstition that a piece of the

forbidden fruit stuck in Adam's throat, and caused this lump to

remain.





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