Cure for Love

Written by: Andrew Lundeen

Primary Source: The Special Collections Provenance Project at MSU, February 12, 2016

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us! And while it can be a time of joy for many, for some it is more bittersweet, recalling memories of past heartache. If you fall into the latter camp this year, don’t fret—we uncovered the remedy you might need in an old manuscript recipe book.

“A Cure for Love” was penned on one page of this 19th century Collection of Useful Receipts, a handwritten book containing recipes for food as well as home remedies for various diseases and conditions. And while some of the directions might be a tad difficult to follow, we’ve been assured that this cure is the best around:

Take a gram of sence [sense] half a gram of Prudence a dram
of understanding one ounce of patience a pound of resolution
and a Handful of Dislike intermix them all together fold
them up in the [???] brick of your brain there let them
stand for twenty four howers [hours] then set them on the slow
fire of hatred Straing [?] it clean from the dregs of Melon-
-colly [melancholy] sweetning it with forgetfulness putting it in the Bottle
of your heart stop[p]ing it down with a cork of sound judgment
there let it stand fourteen days in the water of cold Affliction
this rightly made and fully ap[p]lied is the most effectunate [effectual?]
remedy in the universe you may have it at the house of under-
-standing in constant street by going up the hill of self denial
In the town of forgetfullness in the County of Love

This cure for love appears alongside many other medical remedies, including ointments for “warts and corns” and a supposed cure for smallpox. Whoever created this manuscript apparently considered love a very serious condition indeed.

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Andrew Lundeen
Andrew Lundeen, a Special Collections Librarian at MSU, is a recent master’s graduate in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (‘14). Since September 2013, Andrew has spearheaded the MSU Provenance Project, an effort to document marks of ownership and marks of use in rare books at MSU.
Andrew Lundeen

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