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of the herb.
sowing time, which with us breedeth much dearth, | coverture, that they take liking in, than the virtue insomuch as the corn never cometh up; and many times they are forced to re-sow summer corn where they sowed winter corn. Another ill accident is bitter frosts continued without snow, especially in the beginning of the winter, after the seed is new sown. Another disease is worms, which sometimes breed in the root, and happen upon hot suns and showers immediately after the sowing; and another worm breedeth in the ear itself, especially when hot suns break often out of clouds. Another disease is weeds; and they are such as either choke and overshadow the corn, and bear it down; or starve the corn, and deceive it of nourishment. Another disease is over-rankness of the corn; which they use to remedy by mowing it after it is come up; or putting sheep into it. Another ill accident is laying of corn with great rains, near or in harvest. Another ill accident is, if the seed happen to have touched oil, or any thing that is fat; for those substances have an antipathy with nourishment of water.
675. It were a matter of great profit, save that I doubt it is too conjectural to venture upon, if one could discern what corn, herbs, or fruits, are like to be in plenty or scarcity, by some signs and prognostics in the beginning of the year: for as for those that are like to be in plenty, they may be bargained for upon the ground; as the old relation was of Thales; who, to show how easy it was for a philosopher to be rich, when he foresaw a great plenty of olives, made a monopoly of them. And for scarcity, men may make profit in keeping better the old store. Long continuance of snow is believed to make a fruitful year of corn; an early winter, or a very late winter, a barren year of corn; an open and serene winter, an ill year of fruit these we have partly touched before; but other prognostics of like nature are diligently to be inquired.
670. The remedies of the diseases of corn have been observed as followeth. The steeping of the grain, before sowing, a little time in wine, is thought a preservative: the mingling of seed-corn with ashes is thought to be good: the sowing at the wane of the moon, is thought to make the corn sound: it hath not been practised, but it is thought to be of use to make some miscellane in corn; as if you sow a few beans with wheat, your wheat will be the better. It hath been observed, that the sowing of corn with houseleek doth good. Though grain that toucheth oil or fat, receiveth hurt, yet the steeping of it in the dregs of oil, when it beginneth to putrify, which they call amurca, is thought to assure it against worms. It is reported also, that if corn be mowed, it will make the grain longer, but emptier, and having more of the husk.
671. It hath been noted, that seed of a year old is the best; and of two or three years is worse; and that which is more old is quite barren; though, no doubt, some seed and grains last better than others. The corn which in the vanning lieth lowest is the best: and the corn which broken or bitten retaineth a little yellowness, is better than that which is very white.
672. It hath been observed, that of all roots of herbs, the root of sorrel goeth the farthest into the earth; insomuch that it hath been known to go three cubits deep and that it is the root that continueth fit longest to be set again, of any root that groweth. It is a cold and acid herb, that, as it teemeth, loveth the earth, and is not much drawn by the sun.
673. It hath been observed, that some herbs like best being watered with salt water; as radish, beet, rue, pennyroyal: this trial would be extended to ime other herbs; especially such as are strong, as tarragon, mustard-seed, rocket, and the like.
674. It is strange that is generally received, how some poisonous beasts affect odorate and wholesome herbs; as that the snake loveth fennel; that the toad will be much under sage; that frogs will be in conquefoil. It may be it is rather the shade, or other
676. There seem to be in some plants singularities, wherein they differ from all other; the olive hath the oily part only on the outside; whereas all other fruits have it in the nut or kernel. The fir hath, in effect, no stone, nut, nor kernel; except you will count the little grains kernels. The pomegranate and pine-apple have only amongst fruits grains distinct in several cells. No herbs have curled leaves but cabbage and cabbage-lettuce. None have doubled leaves, one belonging to the stalk, another to the fruit or seed, but the artichoke. No flower hath that kind of spread that the woodbine hath. This may be a large field of contemplation; for it showeth that in the frame of nature, there is, in the producing of some species, a composition of matter, which happeneth oft, and may be much diversified : in others, such as happeneth rarely, and admitteth little variety: for so it is likewise in beasts: dogs have a resemblance with wolves and foxes; horses with asses; kine with buffles; hares with coneys, &c. And so in birds: kites and kestrels have a resemblance with hawks; common doves with ringdoves and turtles; blackbirds with thrushes and mavises; crows with ravens, daws, and choughs, &c. But elephants and swine amongst beasts; and the bird of paradise and the peacock amongst birds; and some few others, have scarce any other species that have affinity with them.
We leave the description of plants, and their virtues, to herbals, and other like books of natural history; wherein men's diligence hath been great, even to curiosity: for our experiments are only such as do ever ascend a degree to the deriving of causes, and extracting of axioms, which we are not ignorant but that some both of the ancient and modern writers have also laboured; but their causes and axioms are so full of imagination; and so infected with the old received theories, as they are mere inquinations of experience, and concoct it not.
Experiment solitary touching healing of wounds.
677. It hath been observed by some of the ancients, that skins, especially of rams, newly pulled off, and applied to the wounds of stripes, do keep them from swelling and exulcerating; and likewise
whereas beasts go, that is nothing; for by that reason swimming should be swifter than running: and that kind of carriage also is not without labour of the wing.
heal them and close them up; and that the whites | reason that some give, that they are partly carried, of eggs do the same. The cause is a temperate conglutination; for both bodies are clammy and viscous, and do bridle the deflux of humours to the hurts, without penning them in too much. Experiment solitary touching fat diffused in flesh.
Experiment solitary touching the different clearness of the sea.
682. The sea is clearer when the north wind
678. You may turn almost all flesh into a fatty substance, if you take flesh and cut it into pieces, and put the pieces into a glass covered with parch-bloweth, than when the south wind. The cause is, ment; and so let the glass stand six or seven hours for that salt water hath a little oiliness in the surface in boiling water. It may be an experiment of pro- thereof, as appeareth in very hot days: and again, for fit for making of fat or grease for many uses; but that the southern wind relaxeth the water somewhat; then it must be of such flesh as is not edible; as and no water boiling is so clear as cold water. horses, dogs, bears, foxes, badgers, &c. Experiment solitary touching the different heats of fire and boiling water.
Experiment solitary touching ripening of drink before the time.
679. It is reported by one of the ancients, that new wine put into vessels well stopped, and the vessels let down into the sea, will accelerate very much the making of them ripe and potable. The same would be tried in wort.
Experiment solitary touching pilosity and plumage. 680. Beasts are more hairy than men, and savage men more than civil; and the plumage of birds exceedeth the pilosity of beasts. The cause of the smoothness in men is not any abundance of heat and moisture, though that indeed causeth pilosity; but there is requisite to pilosity, not so much heat and moisture, as excrementitious heat and moisture; for whatsoever assimilateth, goeth not into the hair; and excrementitious moisture aboundeth most in beasts, and men that are more savage. Much the same reason is there of the plumage of birds; for birds assimilate less and excern more than beasts; for their excrements are ever liquid, and their flesh generally more dry: besides, they have not instruments for urine; and so all the excrementitious moisture goeth into the feathers: and therefore it is no marvel, though birds be commonly better meat than beasts, because their flesh doth assimilate more finely, and secerneth more subtilly. Again, the head of man hath hair upon the first birth, which no other part of the body hath. The cause may be want of perspiration; for much of the matter of hair, in the other parts of the body, goeth forth by insensible perspiration; and besides, the skull being of a more solid substance, nourisheth and assimilateth less, and excerneth more; and so likewise doth the chin. We see also, that hair cometh not upon the palms of the hands, nor soles of the feet; which are parts more perspirable. And children likewise are not hairy, for that their skins are more perspirable.
Experiment solitary touching the quickness of motion in birds.
681. Birds are of swifter motion than beasts; for the flight of many birds is swifter than the race of any beasts. The cause is, for that the spirits in birds are in greater proportion, in comparison of the bulk of their body, than in beasts: for as for the
683. Fire burneth wood, making it first luminous; then black and brittle; and lastly, broken and incine rate; scalding water doth none of these. The cause is, for that by fire the spirit of the body is first refined, and then emitted; whereof the refining or attenuation causeth the light; and the emission, first the fragility, and after, the dissolution into ashes; neither doth any other body enter: but in water the spirit of the body is not refined so much; and besides part of the water entereth, which doth increase the spirit, and in a degree extinguish it: therefore we see that hot water will quench fire. And again we see, that in bodies wherein the water doth not much enter, but only the heat passeth, hot water worketh the effects of fire; as in eggs boiled and roasted, into which the water entereth not at all, there is scarce difference to be discerned: but in fruit, and flesh, whereinto the water entereth in some part, there is much more difference.
Experiment solitary touching the qualification of heat by moisture.
684. The bottom of a vessel of boiling water, as hath been observed, is not very much heated, so as men may put their hand under the vessel and remove it. The cause is, for that the moisture of water as it quencheth coals where it entereth, so it doth allay heat where it toucheth: and therefore note well, that moisture, although it doth not pass through bodies, without communication of some substance, as heat and cold do, yet it worketh manifest effects; not by entrance of the body, but by qualifying of the heat and cold; as we see in this instance; and we see, likewise, that the water of things distilled in water, which they call the bath, differeth not much from the water of things distilled by fire. We see also, that pewter dishes with water in them will not melt easily, but without it they will; nay we see more, that butter, or oil, which in themselves are inflammable, yet by virtue of their moisture will do the like.
Experiment solitary touching yawning.
685. It hath been noted by the ancients, that it is dangerous to pick one's ear whilst he yawneth. The cause is, for that in yawning the inner parchment of the ear is extended, by the drawing in of
the spirit and breath; for in yawning, and sighing | ceiveth more easily all alterations, than any other both, the spirit is first strongly drawn in, and then parts of the flesh. strongly expelled.
Experiment solitary touching the hiccough. 686. It hath been observed by the ancients, that sneezing doth cease the hiccough. The cause is, for that the motion of the hiccough is a lifting up of the stomach, which sneezing doth somewhat depress, and divert the motion another way. For first we see that the hiccough cometh of fulness of meat, especially in children, which causeth an extension of the stomach: we see also it is caused by acid meats, or drinks, which is by the pricking of the stomach; and this motion is ceased either by diversion, or by detention of the spirits; diversion, as in sneezing; detention, as we see holding of the breath doth help somewhat to cease the hiccough; and putting a man into an earnest study doth the like, as is commonly used: and vinegar put to the nostrils, or gargarised, doth it also; for that it is astringent, and inhibiteth the motion of the spirits.
Experiment solitary touching sneezing.
687. Looking against the sun doth induce sneezing. The cause is not the heating of the nostrils, for then the holding up of the nostrils against the sun, though one wink, would do it; but the drawing down of the moisture of the brain: for it will make the eyes run with water; and the drawing of moisture to the eyes, doth draw it to the nostrils by motion of consent; and so followeth sneezing: as contrariwise, the tickling of the nostrils within, doth draw the moisture to the nostrils, and to the eyes by consent; for they also will water. But yet it hath been observed, that if one be about to sneeze, the rubbing of the eyes till they run with water will prevent it. Whereof the cause is, for that the humour which was descending to the nostrils, is diverted to the eyes.
Experiment solitary touching the tenderness of the teeth.
688. The teeth are more by cold drink, or the like, affected than the other parts. The cause is louble; the one, for that the resistance of bone to old is greater than of flesh, for that the flesh shrinketh, but the bone resisteth, whereby the cold becometh more eager: the other is, for that the teeth are parts without blood; whereas blood helpeth to qualify the cold; and therefore we see that the shews are much affected with cold, for that they are parts without blood; so the bones in sharp colds wax brittle and therefore it hath been seen, that all contusions of bones in hard weather are more difficult to cure.
Experiment solitary touching the tongue.
689. It hath been noted, that the tongue recerveth more easily tokens of diseases than the other parts; as of heats within, which appear most the blackness of the tongue. Again, pyed cattle are spotted in their tongues, &c. The cause is, no doubt, the tenderness of the part, which thereby re
Experiment solitary touching the taste.
690. When the mouth is out of taste, it maketh things taste sometimes salt, chiefly bitter; and sometime loathsome, but never sweet. The cause is, the corrupting of the moisture about the tongue, which many times turneth bitter, and salt, and loathsome; but sweet never; for the rest are degrees of corruption. Experiment solitary touching some prognostics of pestilential seasons.
691. It was observed in the great plague of the last year, that there were seen in divers ditches and low grounds about London, many toads that had tails two or three inches long at the least; whereas toads usually have no tails at all. Which argueth a great disposition to putrefaction in the soil and air. It is reported likewise, that roots, such as carrots and parsnips, are more sweet and luscious in infectious years than in other years.
Experiment solitary touching special simples for
692. Wise physicians should with all diligence. inquire, what simples nature yieldeth that have extreme subtile parts, without any mordication or acrimony: for they undermine that which is hard; they open that which is stopped and shut; and they expel that which is offensive, gently, without too much perturbation. Of this kind are elder-flowers; which therefore are proper for the stone: of this kind is the dwarf-pine; which is proper for the jaundice: of this kind is hartshorn; which is proper for agues and infections: of this kind is piony; which is proper for stoppings in the head: of this kind is fumitory; which is proper for the spleen and a number of others. Generally, divers creatures bred of putrefaction, though they be somewhat loathsome to take, are of this kind; as earth-worms, timber-sows, snails, &c. And I conceive that the trochisks of vipers, which are so much magnified, and the flesh of snakes some ways condited, and corrected, which of late are grown into some credit, are of the same nature. So the parts of beasts putrified, as castoreum and musk, which have extreme subtile parts, are to be placed amongst them. We see also, that putrefactions of plants, as agaric and Jew's ear, are of greatest virtue. The cause is, for that putrefaction is the subtilest of all motions in the parts of bodies and since we cannot take down the lives of living creatures, which some of the Paracelsians say, if they could be taken down, would make us immortal; the next is for subtilty of operation, to take bodies putrified; such as may be safely taken.
Experiments in consort touching Venus.
693. It hath been observed by the ancients, that much use of Venus doth dim the sight; and yet eunuchs, which are unable to generate, are nevertheless also dim-sighted. The cause of dimness of sight in the former, is the expense of spirits; in the latter, the over-moisture of the brain: for the over-moisture
of the brain doth thicken the spirits visual, and obstructeth their passages; as we see by the decay in the sight in age; where also the diminution of the spirits concurreth as another cause: we see also that blindness cometh by rheums and cataracts. Now in eunuchs there are all the notes of moisture; as the swelling of their thighs, the looseness of their belly, the smoothness of their skin, &c.
creatures bred of putrefaction. The contemplation whereof hath many excellent fruits. First, in disclosing the original of vivification. Secondly, in disclosing the original of figuration. Thirdly, in disclosing many things in the nature of perfect creatures, which in them lie more hidden. And fourthly, in traducing, by way of operation, some observations on the insecta, to work effects upon perfect creatures. Note, that the word insecta agreeth not with the matter, but we ever use it for brevity's sake, intending by it creatures bred of putrefaction.
694. The pleasure in the act of Venus is the greatest of the pleasures of the senses: the matching of it with itch is improper, though that also be pleasing to the touch. But the causes are profound. 696. The insecta are found to breed out of several First, all the organs of the senses qualify the motions matters: some breed of mud or dung; as the earthof the spirits; and make so many several species of worms, eels, snakes, &c. For they are both putremotions, and pleasures or displeasures thereupon, as factions for water in mud doth putrify, as not able there be diversities of organs. The instruments of to preserve itself: and for dung, all excrements are sight, hearing, taste, and smell, are of several frame; the refuse and putrefactions of nourishment. Some and so are the parts for generation. Therefore Sca- breed in wood, both growing and cut down. Query liger doth well to make the pleasure of generation a in what woods most, and at what seasons? We see sixth sense; and if there were any other differing that the worms with many feet, which round themorgans, and qualified perforations for the spirits to selves into balls, are bred chiefly under logs of timber, pass, there would be more than the five senses: but not in the timber; and they are said to be found neither do we well know, whether some beasts and also many times in gardens, where no logs are. birds have not senses that we know not, and the But it seemeth their generation requireth a coververy scent of dogs is almost a sense by itself. Se- ture, both from sun and rain or dew, as the timber condly, the pleasures of the touch are greater and is; and therefore they are not venomous, but condeeper than those of the other senses: as we see in trariwise are held by the physicians to clarify the warming upon cold; or refrigeration upon heat: blood. It is observed also, that cimices are found for as the pains of the touch are greater than the in the holes of bedsides. Some breed in the hair of offences of other senses; so likewise are the pleasures. living creatures, as lice and tikes; which are bred It is true, that the affecting of the spirits immedi- by the sweat close kept, and somewhat arefied by ately, and, as it were, without an organ, is of the the hair. The excrements of living creatures do greatest pleasure; which is but in two things: not only breed insecta when they are excerned, sweet smells, and wine, and the like sweet vapours. but also while they are in the body: as in worms, For smells, we see their great and sudden effect in whereto children are most subject, and are chiefly fetching men again when they swoon: for drink, in the guts. And it hath been lately observed by it is certain that the pleasure of drunkenness is next physicians, that in many pestilent diseases, there the pleasure of Venus; and great joys, likewise, are worms found in the upper parts of the body, make the spirits move and touch themselves: and where excrements are not, but only humours putrithe pleasure of Venus is somewhat of the same kind. fied. Fleas breed principally of straw or mats, 695. It hath been always observed, that men are where there hath been a little moisture; or the more inclined to Venus in the winter, and women chamber and bed-straw kept close and not aired. It in the summer. The cause is, for that the spirits, is in a body more hot and dry, as the spirits of men are, by the summer are more exhaled and dissipated; and in the winter more condensed and kept entire; but in bodies that are cold and moist, as women's are, the summer doth cherish the spirits, and calleth them forth; the winter doth dull them. Furthermore, the abstinence, or intermission of the use of Venus in moist and well habituate bodies, breedeth a number of diseases and especially dangerous imposthumations. The reason is evident; for that it is a principal evacuation, especially of the spirits: for of the spirits there is scarce any evacuation but in Venus and exercise. And therefore the omission of either of them breedeth all diseases of repletion.
received, that they are killed by strewing wormwood in the rooms, And it is truly observed, that bitter things are apt rather to kill, than engender putrefaction; and they be things that are fat or sweet that are aptest to putrify. There is a worm that breedeth in meal, of the shape of a large white maggot, which is given as a great dainty to nightingales. The moth breedeth upon cloth and other lanifices; especially if they be laid up dankish and wet. It delighteth to be about the flame of a candle. There is a worm called a wevil, bred under ground, and that feedeth upon roots; as parsnips, carrots, &c. Some breed in waters, especially shaded, but they must be standing waters; as the waterspider that hath six legs. The fly called the gad fly, breedeth of somewhat that swimmeth upon the top of the water, and is most about ponds. There is a worm that breedeth of the dregs of wine decayed; which afterwards, as is observed by some of the ancients, turneth into a gnat. It hath been observed by the ancients, that there is a worm that breedeth in old snow, and is of colour reddish, and dull of
spirits are more diffused throughout all their parts, and less confined to organs than in perfect creatures. 698. The insecta have voluntary motion, and therefore imagination; and whereas some of the ancients have said, that their motion is indeterminate, and their imagination indefinite, it is negligently observed; for ants go right forwards to their hills; and bees do admirably know the way from a flowery heath two or three miles off to their hives. It may be, gnats and flies have their imagination more mutable and giddy, as small birds likewise have. It is said by some of the ancients, that they have only the sense of feeling, which is manifestly untrue; for if they go forth-right to a place, they must needs have sight; besides, they delight more in one flower or herb than in another, and therefore have taste: and bees are called with sound upon brass, and therefore they have hearing; which showeth likewise, that though their spirit be dif fused, yet there is a seat of their senses in their head.
motion, and dieth soon after it cometh out of snow. | pieces; which is caused also, for that their vital Which should show, that snow hath in it a secret warmth; for else it could hardly vivify. And the reason of the dying of the worm, may be the sudden exhaling of that little spirit, as soon as it cometh out of the cold, which had shut it in. For as butterflies quicken with heat, which were benumbed with cold; so spirits may exhale with heat, which were preserved in cold. It is affirmed both by the ancient and modern observation, that in furnaces of copper and brass, where chalcites, which is vitriol, is often cast in to mend the working, there riseth suddenly a fly, which sometimes moveth as if it took hold of the walls of the furnace; sometimes is seen moving in the fire below; and dieth presently as soon as it is out of the furnace which is a noble instance and worthy to be weighed; for it showeth, that as well violent heat of fire, as the gentle heat of living creatures, will vivify if it have matter proportionable. Now the great axiom of vivification 18, that there must be heat to dilate the spirit of the body; an active spirit to be dilated; matter viscous or tenacious to hold in the spirit; and that matter to be put forth and figured. Now a spirit dilated by so ardent a fire as that of the furnace, as soon as ever it cooleth never so little, congealeth presently. And, no doubt, this action is farthered by the chalcites, which hath a spirit that will put forth and germinate, as we see in chemical trials. Briefly, most things putrified bring forth insecta of several names; but we will not take upon us now to enumerate them all.
Other observations concerning the insecta, together with the enumeration of them, we refer to that place, where we mean to handle the title of animals in general.
Experiment solitary touching leaping.
699. A man leapeth better with weights in his hands than without. The cause is, for that the weight, if it be proportionable, strengtheneth the sinews by contracting them. For otherwise, where no contraction is needful, weight hindereth. As we 697. The insecta have been noted by the ancients see in horse-races, men are curious to foresee, that to feed little but this hath not been diligently ob- there be not the least weight upon the one horse served; for grasshoppers eat up the green of whole more than upon the other. In leaping with weights countries; and silk-worms devour leaves swiftly; the arms are first cast backwards, and then forwards, and ants make great provision. It is true, that with so much the greater force; for the hands go creatures that sleep and rest much, eat little; as backward before they take their rise. Query, if dormice and bats, &c. They are all without blood: the contrary motion of the spirits immediately bewhich may be, for that the juice of their bodies is fore the motion we intend, doth not cause the spirits almost all one; not blood, and flesh, and skin, and as it were to break forth with more force; as breath bone, as in perfect creatures; the integral parts also, drawn and kept in, cometh forth more forcibly; have extreme variety, but the similar parts little. and in casting of any thing, the arms, to make a It is true, that they have, some of them, a diaphragm greater swing, are first cast backward. and an intestine; and they have all skins; which in most of the insecta are cast often. They are not, Experiment solitary touching the pleasures and displeasures of the senses, especially of hearing. generally, of long life; yet bees have been known to live seven years: and snakes are thought, the 700. Of musical tones and unequal sounds we rather for the casting of their spoil, to live till have spoken before; but touching the pleasure and they be old and eels, which many times breed of displeasure of the senses, not so fully. :: putrefaction, will live and grow very long and those that interchange from worms to flies in the Aummer, and from flies to worms in the winter, have been kept in boxes four years at the least. Yet there are certain flies that are called ephemera that live but a day. The cause is the exility of the pirit, or perhaps the absence of the sun; for that if they were brought in, or kept close, they might live longer. Many of the insecta, as butterflies and other flies, revive easily when they seem dead, being brought to the sun or fire. The cause whereof is the diffusion of the vital spirit, and the easy dilating of it by a little heat. They stir a good while after their heads are off, or that they be cut in
sounds, as of a saw when it is sharpened; grinding