« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
we spake before, of binding of thoughts, less fail, | signed to work several effects. So much is true; if you tell one that such a one shall name one of that stones have in them fine spirits, as appeareth twenty men, than if it were one of twenty cards. The by their splendour; and therefore they may work by experiment of binding of thoughts would be diver- consent upon the spirits of men, to comfort and exsified and tried to the full and you are to note, hilarate them. Those that are the best, for that whether it hit for the most part, though not always. effect, are the diamond, the emerald, the hyacinth 957. It is good to consider, upon what things oriental, and the gold stone, which is the yellow imagination hath most force: and the rule, as I topaz. As for their particular proprieties, there is conceive, is, that it hath most force upon things that no credit to be given to them. But it is manifest, have the lightest and easiest motions. And there- that light, above all things, excelleth in comforting fore above all, upon the spirits of men and in them, the spirits of men: and it is very probable, that upon such affections as move lightest; as upon pro-light varied doth the same effect, with more novelty. curing of love; binding of lust, which is ever with And this is one of the causes why precious stones imagination; upon men in fear; or men in irreso- comfort. And therefore it were good to have tinctlation; and the like. Whatsoever is of this kind ed lanthorns, or tincted screens, of glass coloured would be throughly inquired. Trials likewise would into green, blue, carnation, crimson, purple, &c. and be made upon plants, and that diligently as if you to use them with candles in the light. So likewise should tell a man, that such a tree would die this to have round glasses, not only of glass coloured year; and will him at these and these times to go through, but with colours laid between crystals, unto it, to see how it thriveth. As for inanimate with handles to hold in one's hand. Prisms are things, it is true, that the motions of shuffling of also comfortable things. They have of Paris-work, cards, or casting of dice, are very light motions: looking-glasses, bordered with broad borders of small and there is a folly very usual, that gamesters ima- crystal, and great counterfeit precious stones, of all gine, that some that stand by them bring them ill colours, that are most glorious and pleasant to beluck. There would be trial also made, of holding a hold; especially in the night. The pictures of Inring by a thread in a glass, and telling him that dian feathers are likewise comfortable and pleasant holdeth it, before, that it shall strike so many times to behold. So also fair and clear pools do greatly against the side of the glass, and no more; or of comfort the eyes and spirits, especially when the holding a key between two men's fingers, without a sun is not glaring, but over-cast; or when the moon charm; and to tell those that hold it, that at such shineth. a name it shall go off their fingers: for these two are extreme light motions. And howsoever I have no opinion of these things, yet so much I conceive to be true; that strong imagination hath more force upon things living, or that have been living, than things merely inanimate and more force like wise upon light and subtile motions, than upon motions vehement or ponderous.
958. It is a usual observation, that if the body of one murdered be brought before the murderer, the wounds will bleed afresh. Some do affirm, that the dead body, upon the presence of the murderer, hath opened the eyes; and that there have been such like motions, as well where the parties murdered have been strangled or drowned, as where they have been killed by wounds. It may be, that this participateth of a miracle, by God's just judgment, who usually bringeth murders to light: but if it be natural, it must be referred to imagination.
959. The tying of the point upon the day of marriage, to make men impotent towards their wives, which, as we have formerly touched, is so frequent in Zant and Gascony, if it be natural, must be referred to the imagination of him that tieth the point. I conceive it to have the less affinity with witchcraft, because not peculiar persons only, such as witches are, but any body may do it. Experiments in consort touching the secret virtue of sympathy and antipathy.
960. There be many things that work upon the spirits of man by secret sympathy and antipathy: the virtues of precious stones worn, have been anciently and generally received, and curiously as
961. There be divers sorts of bracelets fit to comfort the spirits; and they be of three intentions; refrigerant, corroborant, and aperient. For refrigerant, I wish them to be of pearl, or of coral, as is used; and it hath been noted that coral, if the party that weareth it be indisposed, will wax pale; which I believe to be true, because otherwise distemper of heat will make coral lose colour. I commend also beads, or little plates of lapis lazuli; and beads of nitre, either alone, or with some cordial mixture.
962. For corroboration and confortation, take such bodies as are of astringent quality, without manifest cold. I commend bead-amber, which is full of astriction, but yet is unctuous, and not cold; and is conceived to impinguate those that wear such beads; I commend also beads of hartshorn and ivory; which are of the like nature; also orange beads; also beads of lignum aloës, macerated first in rose-water, and dried.
963. For opening, I commend beads, or pieces of the roots of carduus benedictus: also the roots of piony the male; and of orrice; and of calamus aromaticus; and of rue.
964. The cramp no doubt cometh of contraction of sinews; which is manifest, in that it cometh either by cold or dryness; as after consumptions, and long agues; for cold and dryness do, both of them, contract and corrugate. We see also, that chafing a little above the place in pain, easeth the cramp ; which is wrought by the dilatation of the contracted sinews by heat. There are in use for the prevention of the cramp, two things; the one, rings of seahorse teeth worn upon the fingers; the other, bands of green periwinkle, the herb, tied about the calf of the
leg, or the thigh, &c. where the cramp useth to | snake is thought to renew her youth, by casting her come. I do find this the more strange, because nei- spoil. They might as well take the beak of an ther of these have any relaxing virtue, but rather eagle, or a piece of a hart's horn, because those the contrary. I judge therefore, that their working renew. is rather upon the spirits, within the nerves, to make them strive less, than upon the bodily substance of the nerves.
965. I would have trial made of two other kinds of bracelets, for comforting the heart and spirits: the one of the trochisk of vipers, made into little pieces of beads; for since they do great good inwards, especially for pestilent agues, it is like they will be effectual outwards; where they may be applied in greater quantity. There would be trochisk likewise made of snakes; whose flesh dried is thought to have a very opening and cordial virtue. The other is, of beads made of the scarlet powder, which they call kermes; which is the principal ingredient in their cordial confection alkermes: the beads would be made up with ambergrease, and some pomander.
966. It hath been long received and confirmed by divers trials, that the root of the male piony dried, tied to the neck, doth help the falling sickness; and likewise the incubus, which we call the mare. The cause of both these diseases, and especially of the epilepsy from the stomach, is the grossness of the vapours which rise and enter into the cells of the brain and therefore the working is by extreme and subtile attenuation; which that simple hath. I judge the like to be in castoreum, musk, rue seed, agnus castus seed, &c.
967. There is a stone which they call the bloodstone, which worn is thought to be good for them that bleed at the nose: which, no doubt, is by astriction and cooling of the spirits. Query, if the stone taken out of the toad's head, be not of the like virtue; for the toad loveth shade and coolness.
970. It hath been anciently received, for Pericles the Athenian used it, and it is yet in use, to wear little bladders of quicksilver, or tablets of arsenic, as preservatives against the plague: not as they conceive for any comfort they yield to the spirits, but for that being poisons themselves, they draw the venom to them from the spirits.
971. Vide the experiments 95, 96, and 97, touching the several sympathies and antipathies for medicinal use.
972. It is said, that the guts or skin of a wolf, being applied to the belly, do cure the colic. It is true, that the wolf is a beast of great edacity and digestion; and so it may be the parts of him comfort the bowels.
973. We see scare-crows are set up to keep birds from corn and fruit; it is reported by some, that the head of a wolf, whole, dried, and hanged up in a dove-house, will scare away vermin; such as are weasels, pole-cats, and the like. It may be the head of a dog will do as much; for those vermin with us know dogs better than wolves.
974. The brains of some creatures, when their heads are roasted, taken in wine, are said to strengthen the memory; as the brains of hares, brains of hens, brains of deers, &c. And it seemeth to be incident to the brains of those creatures that are fearful.
975. The ointment that witches use, is reported to be made of the fat of children digged out of their graves; of the juices of smallage, wolf-bane, and cinque-foil, mingled with the meal of fine wheat. But I suppose, that the soporiferous medicines are likest to do it; which are henbane, hemlock, mandrake, moonshade, tobacco, opium, saffron, poplar leaves, &c.
976. It is reported by some, that the affections of beasts when they are in strength do add some virtue unto inanimate things; as that the skin of a sheep devoured by a wolf, moveth itching; that a stone bitten by a dog in anger, being thrown at him, drunk in powder, provoketh choler.
968. Light may be taken from the experiment of the horse-tooth ring, and the garland of periwinkle, how that those things which assuage the strife of the spirits, do help diseases contrary to the intention desired for in the curing of the cramp, the intention is to relax the sinews; but the contraction of the spirits that they strive less, is the best help so to procure easy travails of women, the intention is to bring down the child; but the best help 977. It hath been observed, that the diet of is, to stay the coming down too fast: whereunto women with child doth work much upon the infant; they say, the toad-stone likewise helpeth. So in as if the mother eat quinces much, and corianderpestilent fevers, the intention is to expel the infec- seed, the nature of both which is to repress and stay tion by sweat and evaporation but the best means vapours that ascend to the brain, it will make the to do it is by nitre, diascordium, and other cool child ingenious; and on the contrary side, if the things, which do for a time arrest the expulsion, mother eat much onions or beans, or such vaporous till nature can do it more quietly. For as one saith food; or drink wine or strong drink immodeprettily; "In the quenching of the flame of a pesti-rately; or fast much; or be given to much musing; lent ague, nature is like people that come to quench the fire of a house; which are so busy, as one of them letteth another." Surely it is an excellent axiom, and of manifold use, that whatsoever appeaseth the contention of the spirits, farthereth their action.
969. The writers of natural magic commend the wwearing of the spoil of a snake, for preserving of
th. I doubt it is but a conceit: for that the
all which send or draw vapours to the head; it endangereth the child to become lunatic, or of imperfect memory: and I make the same judgment of tobacco often taken by the mother.
978. The writers of natural magic report, that the heart of an ape, worn near the heart, comforteth the heart, and increaseth audacity. It is true that the ape is a merry and bold beast. And that the same heart likewise of an ape, applied to the neck
or head, helpeth the wit; and is good for the falling | petty fellow is sent out to kill the dogs; and that sickness: the ape also is a witty beast, and hath a though they have never seen him before, yet they dry brain; which may be some cause of attenuation will all come forth, and bark and fly at him. of vapours in the head. Yet it is said to move dreams also. It may be the heart of a man would do more, but that it is more against men's minds to use it; except it be in such as wear the reliques of saints.
979. The flesh of a hedge-hog, dressed and eaten, is said to be a great drier: it is true that the juice of a hedge-hog must needs be harsh and dry, because it putteth forth so many prickles: for plants also that are full of prickles are generally dry; as briers, thorns, berberries; and therefore the ashes of an hedge-hog are said to be a great desiccative of fistulas.
980. Mummy hath great force in stanching of blood; which, as it may be ascribed to the mixture of balms that are glutinous; so it may also partake of a secret propriety, in that the blood draweth man's flesh. And it is approved that the moss which groweth upon the skull of a dead man unburied, will stanch blood potently and so do the dregs or powder of blood, severed from the water, and dried.
981. It hath been practised, to make white swallows, by anointing of the eggs with oil. Which effect may be produced, by the stopping of the pores of the shell, and making the juice that putteth forth the feathers afterwards more penurious. And it may be, the anointing of the eggs will be as effectual as the anointing of the body; of which vide the experiment 93.
982. It is reported, that the white of an egg, or blood mingled with salt-water, doth gather the saltness, and maketh the water sweeter. This may be by adhesion; as in the sixth experiment of clarification it may be also, that blood, and the white of an egg, which is the matter of a living creature, have some sympathy with salt: for all life hath a sympathy with salt. We see that salt laid to a cut finger healeth it; so as it seemeth salt draweth blood, as well as blood draweth salt.
983. It hath been anciently received, that the sea-air hath an antipathy with the lungs, if it cometh near the body, and erodeth them. Whereof the cause is conceived to be, a quality it hath of heating the breath and spirits; as cantharides have upon the watery parts of the body, as urine and hydropical water. And it is a good rule, that whatsoever hath an operation upon certain kinds of matters, that, in man's body, worketh most upon those parts wherein that kind of matter aboundeth.
984. Generally that which is dead, or corrupted, or excerned, hath antipathy with the same thing when it is alive, and when it is sound; and with those parts which do excern: as a carcass of man is most infectious and odious to man; a carrion of a horse to a horse, &c.; purulent matter of wounds, and ulcers, carbuncles, pocks, scabs, leprosy, to sound flesh; and the excrement of every species to that creature that excerneth them: but the excrements are less pernicious than the corruptions.
985. It is a common experience, that dogs know the dog-killer; when, as in times of infection, some
986. The relations touching the force of imagination, and the secret instincts of nature, are so uncertain, as they require a great deal of examination ere we conclude upon them. I would have it first throughly inquired, whether there be any secret passages of sympathy between persons of near blood; as parents, children, brothers, sisters, nurse-children, husbands, wives, &c. There be many reports in history, that upon the death of persons of such nearness, men have had an inward feeling of it. I myself remember, that being in Paris, and my father dying in London, two or three days before my father's death, I had a dream, which I told to divers English gentlemen, that my father's house in the country was plastered all over with black mortar. There is an opinion abroad, whether idle or no I cannot say, that loving and kind husbands have a sense of their wives breeding children, by some accident in their own body.
987. Next to those that are near in blood, there may be the like passage, and instincts of nature, between great friends and enemies and sometimes the revealing is unto another person, and not to the party himself. I remember Philippus Commineus, a grave writer, reporteth, that the archbishop of Vienna, a reverend prelate, said one day after mass to king Lewis the eleventh of France: "Sir, your mortal enemy is dead;" what time duke Charles of Burgundy was slain at the battle of Granson against the Switzers. Some trial also would be made, whether pact or agreement do any thing; as if two friends should agree, that such a day in every week, they, being in far distant places, should pray one for another; or should put on a ring or tablet one for another's sake; whether if one of them should break their vow and promise, the other should have any feeling of it in absence.
988. If there be any force in imaginations and affections of singular persons, it is probable the force is much more in the joint imaginations and affections of multitudes: as if a victory should be won or lost in remote parts, whether is there not some sense thereof in the people whom it concerneth; because of the great joy or grief that many men are possessed with at once? Pius Quintus, at the very time when that memorable victory was won by the christians against the Turks, at the naval battle of Lepanto, being then hearing of causes in consistory, brake off suddenly, and said to those about him, "It is now more time we should give thanks to God for the great victory he hath granted us against the Turks :" it is true, that victory had a sympathy with his spirit; for it was merely his work to conclude that league. It may be that revelation was divine; but what shall we say then to a number of examples amongst the Grecians and Romans? where the people being in theatres at plays, have had news of victories and overthrows, some few days before any messenger could come.
It is true, that that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition: namely,
that men observe when things hit, and not when tail or leg of a dog or a cat, and lay it to putrify, they miss; and commit to memory the one, and for- and so see whether it will fester, or keep from healget and pass over the other. But touching divina-ing, the part which remaineth. tion, and the misgiving of minds, we shall speak more when we handle in general the nature of minds, and souls, and spirits.
989. We have given formerly some rules of imagination; and touching the fortifying of the same. We have set down also some few instances and directions, of the force of imagination upon beasts, &c. upon plants, and upon inanimate bodies: wherein you must still observe, that your trials be upon subtle and light motions, and not the contrary; for you will sooner by imagination bind a bird from singing than from eating or flying: and I leave it to every man to choose experiments which himself thinketh most commodious; giving now but a few examples of every of the three kinds.
990. Use some imaginant, observing the rules formerly prescribed, for binding of a bird from singing; and the like of a dog from barking. Try also the imagination of some, whom you shall accommodate with things to fortify it, in cock-fights, to make one cock more hardy, and the other more cowardly. It would be tried also in flying of hawks, or in coursing of a deer, or hare, with grey-hounds: or in horse races; and the like comparative motions for you may sooner by imagination quicken or slack a motion, than raise or cease it; as it is easier to make a dog go slower, than to make him stand still, that he may not run.
991. In plants also you may try the force of imagination upon. the lighter sort of motions: as upon the sudden fading, or lively coming up of herbs; or upon their bending one way or other; or upon their closing and opening, &c.
992. For inanimate things, you may try the force of imagination, upon staying the working of beer when the barm is put in; or upon the coming of butter or cheese, after the churning, or the rennet be put in.
993. It is an ancient tradition every where alleged, for example of secret proprieties and influxes, that the torpedo marina, if it be touched with a long stick, doth stupify the hand of him that toucheth it. It is one degree of working at a distance, to work by the continuance of a fit medium; as sound will be conveyed to the ear by striking upon a bowstring, if the horn of the bow be held to the ear.
994. The writers of natural magic do attribute much to the virtues that come from the parts of living creatures; so as they be taken from them, the creatures remaining still alive as if the creatures still living did infuse some immateriate virtue and vigour into the part severed. So much may be true; that any part taken from a living creature newly slain, may be of greater force than if it were taken from the like creature dying of itself, because it is fuller of spirit.
995. Trial would be made of the like parts of individuals in plants and living creatures; as to cut off a stock of a tree, and to lay that which you cut off to putrify, to see whether it will decay the rest of the stock or if you should cut off part of the
996. It is received, that it helpeth to continue love, if one wear a ring, or a bracelet, of the hair of the party beloved. But that may be by the exciting of the imagination: and perhaps a glove, or other like favour, may as well do it.
997. The sympathy of individuals, that have been entire, or have touched, is of all others the most incredible; yet according unto our faithful manner of examination of nature, we will make some little mention of it. The taking away of warts by rubbing them with somewhat that afterwards is put to waste and consume, is a common experiment; and I do apprehend it the rather because of my own experience. I had from my childhood a wart upon one of my fingers: afterwards, when I was about sixteen years old, being then at Paris, there grew upon both my hands a number of warts, at the least a hundred, in a month's space. The English ambassador's lady, who was a woman far from superstition, told me one day, she would help me away with my warts: whereupon she got a piece of lard with the skin on, and rubbed the warts all over with the fat side; and amongst the rest, that wart which I had had from my childhood: then she nailed the piece of lard, with the fat towards the sun, upon a post of her chamber window, which was to the south. The success was, that within five weeks space all the warts went quite away: and that wart which I had so long endured, for company. But at the rest I did little marvel, because they came in a short time, and might go away in a short time again: but the going away of that which had stayed so long doth yet stick with me. They say the like is done by the rubbing of warts with a green elder stick, and then burying the stick to rot in muck. It would be tried with corns and wens, and such other excrescences. I would have it also tried with some parts of living creatures that are nearest the nature of excrescences; as the combs of cocks, the spurs of cocks, the horns of beasts, &c. And I would have it tried both ways; both by rubbing those parts with lard, or elder, as before; and by cutting off some piece of those parts, and laying it to consume to see whether it will work any effect towards the consumption of that part which was once joined with it.
998. It is constantly received and avouched, that the anointing of the weapon that maketh the wound, will heal the wound itself. In this experiment, upon the relation of men of credit, though myself, as yet, am not fully inclined to believe it, you shall note the points following: first, the ointment wherewith this is done is made of divers ingredients; whereof the strangest and hardest to come by, are the moss upon the skull of a dead man unburied; and the fats of a boar and a bear killed in the act of generation. These two last I could easily suspect to be prescribed as a starting-hole; that if the experiment proved not, it might be pretended that the beasts were not killed in the due time; for as for the moss, it is certain there is great quantity of it in Ireland,
upon slain bodies, laid on heaps unburied. The other ingredients are, the blood-stone in powder and some other things, which seem to have a virtue to stanch blood; as also the moss hath. And the description of the whole ointment is to be found in the chemical dispensatory of Crollius. Secondly, the same kind of ointment applied to the hurt itself worketh not the effect; but only applied to the weapon. Thirdly, which I like well, they do not observe the confecting of the ointment under any certain constellation; which commonly is the excuse of magical medicines when they fail, that they were not made under a fit figure of heaven. Fourthly, it may be applied to the weapon, though the party hurt be at great distance. Fifthly, it seemeth the imagination of the party to be cured is not needful to concur; for it may be done without the knowledge of the party wounded: and thus much has been tried, that the ointment, for experiment's sake, ❘ hath been wiped off the weapon, without the knowledge of the party hurt, and presently the party hurt has been in great rage of pain, till the weapon was re-anointed. Sixthly, it is affirmed, that if you cannot get the weapon, yet if you put an instrument of iron or wood, resembling the weapon, into the wound, whereby it bleedeth, the anointing of that instru
ment will serve and work the effect. This I doubt should be a device to keep this strange form of cure in request and use because many times you cannot come by the weapon itself. Seventhly, the wound must be at first washed clean with white wine, or the party's own water; and then bound up close in fine linen, and no more dressing renewed till it be whole. Eighthly, the sword itself must be wrapped up close, as far as the ointment goeth, that it taketh no wind. Ninthly, the ointment, if you wipe it off from the sword and keep it, will serve again; and rather increase in virtue than diminish. Tenthly, it will cure in far shorter time than ointments of Wounds commonly do. Lastly, it will cure a beast as well as a man; which I like best of all the rest, because it subjecteth the matter to an easy trial. Experiment solitary touching secret proprieties. 999. I would have men know, that though I re
prehend the easy passing over the causes of things, by ascribing them to secret and hidden virtues, and proprieties, for this hath arrested and laid asleep all true inquiry and indications, yet I do not understand, but that in the practical part of knowledge, much will be left to experience and probation, whereunto indication cannot so fully reach: and this not only in specie, but in individuo. So in physic; if you will cure the jaundice, it is not enough to say, that the medicine must not be cooling; for that will hinder the opening which the disease requireth: that it must not be hot; for that will exasperate choler: that it must go to the gall; for there is the obstruction which causeth the disease, &c. But you must receive from experience that powder of Chamæpytis, or the like, drunk in beer, is good for the jaundice. So again, a wise physician doth not continue still the same medicine to a patient; but he will vary, if the first medicine doth not apparently succeed: for of those remedies that are good for the jaundice, stone, agues, &c. that will do good in one body which will not do good in another; according to the correspondence the medicine hath to the individual body.
Experiment solitary touching the general sympathy of men's spirits.
1000. The delight which men have in popularity, fame, honour, submission and subjection of other men's minds, wills, or affections, although these things may be desired for other ends, seemeth to be a thing in itself, without contemplation of consequence, grateful and agreeable to the nature of man. This thing, surely, is not without some signification, as if all spirits and souls of men came forth out of one divine limbus; else why should men be so much affected with that which others think or say? The best temper of minds desireth good name and true honour: the lighter, popularity and applause: the more depraved, subjection and tyranny; as is seen in great conquerors and troublers of the world: and yet more in arch-heretics; for the introducing of new doctrines is likewise an affectation of tyranny over the understandings and beliefs of men.