« PreviousContinue »
PRÆCIPUE QUOAD USUS HUMANOS.
THE prolongation of life: the restitution of youth in some degree: the retardation of age: the curing of diseases counted incurable: the mitigation of pain: more easy and less loathsome purgings: the increasing of strength and activity: the increasing of ability to suffer torture or pain: the altering of complexions, and fatness and leanness: the altering of statures: the altering of features: the increasing and exalting of the intellectual parts: versions of bodies into other bodies: making of new species: transplanting of one species into another: instruments of destruction, as of war and poison: exhilaration of the spirits, and putting them in good disposition: force of the imagination, either upon another body, or upon the body itself: acceleration of time in maturations: acceleration of time in clarifications: acceleration of putrefaction: acceleration of decoction: acceleration of germination: making rich composts for the earth: impressions of the air, and raising of tempests: great alteration; as in induration, emollition, etc. turning crude and watery substances into oily and unctuous substances: drawing of new foods out of substances not now in use: making new threads for apparel; and new stuffs, such as a repaper, glass, etc.: natural divinations: deceptions of the senses: greater pleasures of the senses: artificial minerals and cements.
HAVING had the honour to be continually with my lord in compiling of this work, and to be employed therein, I have thought it not amiss, with his lordship's good leave and liking, for the better satisfaction of those that shall read it, to make known somewhat of his lordship's intentions touching the ordering, and publishing of the same. I have heard his lordship often say, that, if he should have served the glory of his own name, he had been better not to have published this Natural History: for it may seem an indigested heap of particulars, and cannot have that lustre, which books cast into methods have; but that he resolved to prefer the good of men, and that which might best secure it, before any thing that might have relation to himself. And he knew well, that there was no other way open to unloose men's minds, being bound, and, as it were, maleficiate, by the charms of deceiving notions and theories, and thereby made impotent for generation of works, but only no where to depart from the sense, and clear experience, but to keep close to it, especially in the beginning besides, this Natural History was a debt of his, being designed and set down for a third part of the Instauration. I have also heard his lordship discourse that men, no doubt, will think many of the experiments, contained in this collection, to be vulgar and trivial, mean and sordid, curious and fruitless: and there