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sweet. Now the tastes that do most offend in fruits, and herbs, and roots, are bitter, harsh, sour, and waterish, or flabby. It were good, therefore, to make the trials following.

484. Take wormwood, or rue, and set it near lettuce, or coleflory, or artichoke, and see whether the lettuce, or the coleflory, &c., become not the

sweeter.

485. Take a service-tree, or a cornelian-tree, or an elder-tree, which we know have fruits of harsh and binding juice, and set them near a vine, or fig-tree, and see whether the grapes or figs will not be the sweeter.

486. Take cucumbers or pumpions, and set them here and there, amongst musk-mellons, and see whether the melons will not be more winy, and better tasted. Set cucumbers, likewise, amongst radish, and see whether the radish will not be made the more biting.

487. Take sorrel, and set it amongst rasps, and see whether the rasps will not be the sweeter.

488. Take common brier, and set it amongst violets or wall-flowers, and see whether it will not make the violets or wall-flowers sweeter, and less earthy in their smell. So set lettuce or cucumbers amongst rosemary or bays, and see whether the rosemary or bays will not be the more odorate or aromatical.

489. Contrariwise, you must take heed how you set herbs together that draw much the like juice. And therefore I think rosemary will lose in sweetness, if it be set with lavender, or bays, or the like. But yet if you will correct the strength of an herb, you shall do well to set other like herbs by him to take him down; as if you should set tansey by angelica, it may be the angelica would be the weaker, and fitter for mixture in perfume. And if you should set rue by common wormwood, it may be the wormwood would turn to be liker Roman wormwood.

490. This axiom is of large extent; and therefore would be severed, and refined by trial. Neither must you expect to have a gross difference by this kind of culture, but only farther perfection.

491. Trial would be also made in herbs poisonous and purgative, whose ill quality, perhaps, may be discharged, or attempered, by setting stronger poisons or purgatives by them.

492. It is reported, that the shrub called our ladies seal, which is a kind of briony, and coleworts, set near together, one or both will die. The cause is, for that they be both great depredators of the earth, and one of them starveth the other. The like is said of a reed and a brake; both of which are succulent, and therefore the one deceiveth the other. And the like of hemlock and rue; both which draw strong juices.

493. Some of the ancients, and likewise divers of the modern writers that have laboured in natural magic, have noted a sympathy between

the sun, moon, and some principal stars, and certain herbs and plants. And so they have denominated some herbs solar, and some lunar; and such like toys put into great words. It is manifest that there are some flowers that have respect to the sun in two kinds, the one by opening and shutting, and the other by bowing and inclining the head. For marygolds, tulips, pimpernel, and indeed most flowers, do open and spread their leaves abroad when the sun shineth serene and fair: and again, in some part, close them, or gather them inward, either towards night, or when the sky is overcast. Of this there needeth no such solemn reason to be assigned, as to say, that they rejoice at the presence of the sun, and mourn at the absence thereof. For it is nothing else but a little loading of the leaves, and swelling them at the bottom, with the moisture of the air, whereas the dry air doth extend them; and they make it a piece of the wonder, that garden clover will hide the stalk when the sun showeth bright, which is nothing but a full expansion of the leaves. For the bowing and inclining the head, it is found in the great flower of the sun, in marygolds, wart-wort, mallow flowers, and others. The cause is somewhat more obscure than the former; but I take it to be no other, but that the part against which the sun beateth, waxeth more faint and flaccid in the stalk, and thereby less able to support the flower.

494. What a little moisture will do in vegetables, even though they be dead and severed from the earth, appeareth well in the experiment of jugglers. They take the beard of an oat, which, if you mark it well, is wreathed at the bottom, and one smooth entire straw at the top. They take only the part that is wreathed, and cut off the other, leaving the beard half the breadth of a finger in length. Then they make a little cross of a quill, longways of that part of the quill which hath the pith; and cross-ways of that piece of the quill without pith; the whole cross being the breadth of a finger high. Then they prick the bottom where the pith is, and thereinto they put the oaten beard, leaving half of it sticking forth of the quill: then they take a little white box of wood, to deceive men, as if somewhat in the box did work the feat, in which, with a pin, they make a little hole, enough to take the beard, but not to let the cross sink down, but to stick. Then likewise, by way of imposture, they make a question; as, Who is the fairest woman in the company? or, Who hath a glove or a card? and cause another to name divers persons; and upon every naming they stick the cross in the box, having first put it towards their mouth, as if they charmed it, and the cross stirreth not; but when they come to the person that they would take, as they hold the cross to their mouth, they touch the beard with the tip of their tongue and wet it, and so stick the eress in the box; and then

you shall see it turn finely and softly three or four turns, which is caused by the untwining of the beard by the moisture. You may see it more evidently, if you stick the cross between your fingers instead of the box; and therefore you may see, that this motion, which is effected by so little wet, is stronger than the closing or bending of the head of a marygold.

495. It is reported by some, that the herb called **rosa solis,” whereof they make strong waters, will, at the noon-day, when the sun shineth hot and bright, have a great dew upon it. And therefore that the right name is "ros solis," which they impute to a delight and sympathy that it hath with the sun. Men favour wonders. It were good first to be sure, that the dew that is found upon it be not the dew of the morning preserved, when the dew of other herbs is breathed away; for it hath a smooth and thick leaf, that doth not discharge the dew so soon as other herbs that are more spongy and porous. And it may be purslane, or some other herb, doth the like, and is not marked. But if it be so, that it hath more dew at noon than in the morning, then sure it seemeth to be an exudiation of the herb itself. As plums sweat when they are set in the oven: for you will not, I hope, think, that it is like Gideon's fleece of wool, that the dew should fall upon that and nowhere else.

thoroughly wet in water; and let it lie so some ten days, and see whether the seeds will sprout, and the earth become more moist, and the sponge more dry. The experiment formerly mentioned of the cucumber creeping to the pot of water is far stranger than this.

Experiments in consort touching the making herbs and fruits medicinable.

499. The altering of the scent, colour, or taste of fruit, by infusing, mixing, or letting into the bark, or root of the tree, herb, or flower, any coloured, aromatical, or medicinal substances, are but fancies. The cause is, for that those things have passed their period, and nourish not. And all alteration of vegetables in those qualities must be by somewhat that is apt to go into the nourishment of the plant. But this is true, that where kine feed upon wild garlic, their milk tasteth plainly of the garlic: and the flesh of muttons is better tasted where the sheep feedeth upon wild thyme, and other wholesome herbs. Galen also speaketh of the curing of the" scirrus" of the liver, by milk of a cow that feedeth but upon certain herbs; and honey in Spain smelleth apparently of the rosemary, or orange, from whence the bee gathereth it: and there is an old tradition of a maiden that was fed with "napellus;" which is counted the strongest poison of all vegetables, which with use did not hurt the maid, but poisoned some that had carnal company with her. So it is observed by some, that there is a virtuous bezoar, and another without virtue, which appear to the show alike: but the virtuous is taken from the beast that feedeth upon the mountains, where there are theriacal herbs, and that without virtue, from those that feed in the valleys where no such herbs are. Thus far I am of opinion; that as steeped wines and beers are very medicinal; and

496. It is certain, that the honey dews are found more upon oak leaves than upon ash, or beech, or the like: but whether any cause be from the leaf itself to concoct the dew, or whether it be only that the leaf is close and smooth, and therefore drinketh not in the dew, but preserveth it, may be doubted. It would be well inquired, whether manna, the drug, doth fall but upon certain herbs or leaves only. Flowers that have deep sockets, do gather in the bottom a kind of honey, as honey-suckles, both the woodbine and the tre-likewise bread tempered with divers powders; so foil, lilies, and the like. And in them certainly the flower beareth part with the dew.

497. The experience is, that the froth which they call woodseare, being like a kind of spittle, is found but upon certain herbs, and those hot ones: as lavender, lavender cotton, sage, hyssop, &c. Of the cause of this inquire further: for it seemeth a secret. There falleth also mildew upon corn, and smutteth it; but it may be, that the same falleth also upon other herbs and is not observed.

498. It were good trial were made, whether the great consent between plants and water, which is a principal nourishment of them, will make an attraction at a distance and not at touch only. Therefore take a vessel, and in the middle of it make a false bottom of a coarse canvass: fill it with earth above the canvass, and let not the earth be watered; then sow some good seeds in that earth; but under the canvass, some half a foot in the bottom of the vessel, lay a great sponge,

of meat also, as flesh, fish, milk and eggs, that they may be made of great use for medicine and diet, if the beasts, fowl, or fish, be fed with a special kind of food fit for the disease. It were a dangerous thing also for secret empoisonments. But whether it may be applied unto plants and herbs, I doubt more, because the nourishment of them is a more common juice; which is hardly capable of any special quality, until the plant do assimilate it.

500. But lest our incredulity may prejudice any profitable operations in this kind, especially since many of the ancients have set them down, we think good briefly to propound the four means which they have devised of making plants medicinable. The first is, by slitting of the root, and infusing into it the medicine; as hellebore, opium, scammony, treacle, &c., and then binding it up again. This seemeth to me the least probable; because the root draweth immediately from the earth; and so the nourishment is the more common

and less qualified: and besides, it is a long time in going up ere it come to the fruit. The second way is to perforate the body of the tree, and there to infuse the medicine; which is somewhat better: for if any virtue be received from the medicine, it hath the less way, and the less time to go up. The third is, the steeping of the seed or kernel in some liquor wherein the medicine is infused: which I have little opinion of, because the seed, I doubt, will not draw the parts of the matter which have the propriety; but it will be far the more likely, if you mingle the medicine with dung; for that the seed naturally drawing the moisture of the dung, may call in withal some of the propriety. The fourth is, the watering of the plant oft

with an infusion of the medicine. This, in one respect, may have more force than the rest, because the medication is oft renewed; whereas the rest are applied but at one time; and therefore the virtue may the sooner vanish. But still I doubt, that the root is somewhat too stubborn to receive those fine impressions; and besides, as I said before, they have a great hill to go up. I judge therefore the likeliest way to be the perforation of the body of the tree in several places one above the other; and the filling of the holes with dung mingled with the medicine; and the watering of those lumps of dung with squirts of an infusion of the medicine in dunged water, once in three or four days.

CENTURY VI.

Experiments in consort touching curiosities about | but there is ordinary experience of fruit that grow-.

fruits and plants.

OUR experiments we take care to be, as we have often said, either "experimenta fructifera," or "lucifera ;" either of use, or of discovery: for we hate impostures, and despise curiosities. Yet because we must apply ourselves somewhat to others, we will set down some curiosities touching plants.

eth covered. Query, also, whether some small holes may not be made in the wood to let in the sun. And note, that it were best to make the moulds partible, glued or cemented together that you may open them when you take out the fruit.

503. It is a curiosity to have inscriptions, or engravings, in fruit or trees. This is easily performed, by writing with a needle, or bodkin, or knife, or the like, when the fruit or trees are young; for as they grow, so the letters will grow more large and graphical,

-Tenerisque meos incidere amores
Arboribus crescent illæ, crescetis amores.

501. It is a curiosity to have several fruits upon one tree; and the more, when some of them come early, and some come late, so that you may have upon the same tree ripe fruits all summer. This is easily done by grafting of several cions upon several boughs of a stock, in a good ground plentifully fed. So you may have all kinds of cher- 504. You may have trees apparelled with flowries, and all kinds of plums, and peaches, anders or herbs, by boring holes in the bodies of them, apricots, upon one tree; but I conceive the diversity of fruits must be such as will graft upon the same stock. And, therefore, I doubt, whether you can have apples, or pears, or oranges, upon the same stock upon which you graft plums.

502. It is a curiosity to have fruits of divers shapes and figures. This is easily performed, by moulding them when the fruit is young, with moulds of earth or wood. So you may have cucumbers, &c., as long as a cane or as round as a sphere; or formed like a cross. You may have also apples in the form of pears or lemons. You may have also fruit in more accurate figures, as we said of men, beasts, or birds, according as you make the moulds. Wherein you must understand, that you make the mould big enough to contain the whole fruit when it is grown to the greatest for else you will choke the spreading of the fruit; which otherwise would spread itself, and fill the concave, and so be turned into the shape desired; as it is in mould works of liquid things. Some doubt may be conceived, that the keeping of the sun from the fruit may hurt it:

and putting into them earth holpen with muck, and setting seeds or slips of violets, strawberries, wild thyme, camomile, and such like, in the earth. Wherein they do but grow in the tree, as they do in pots though, perhaps, with some feeding from the trees. It would be tried also with shoots of vines, and roots of red roses; for it may be they being of a more ligneus nature, will incorporate with the tree itself.

505. It is an ordinary curiosity to form trees and shrubs, as rosemary, juniper, and the like, into sundry shapes; which is done by moulding them within, and cutting them without. But they are but lame things, being too small to keep figure; great castles made of trees upon frames of timber, with turrets and arches, were anciently matters of magnificence.

506. Amongst curiosities I shall place coloration, though it be somewhat better; for beauty in flowers is their pre-eminence. It is observed by some, that gillyflowers, sweetwilliams, violets, that are coloured, if they be neglected, and neither watered, nor new moulded, nor transplanted, wil

turn white. And it is probable, that the white with much culture may turn coloured. For this is certain, that the white colour cometh of scarcity of nourishment; except in flowers that are only white, and admit no other colours.

507. It is good, therefore, to see what natures do accompany what colours; for by that you shall have light how to induce colours, by producing those natures. Whites are more inodorate, for the most part, than flowers of the same kind coloured; as is found in single white violets, white roses, white gillyflowers, white stockgilly flowers, &c. We find also that blossoms of trees, that are white, are commonly inodorate, as cherries, pears, plums; whereas those of apples, crabs, almonds, and peaches, are blushy, and smell sweet. The cause is, for that the substance that maketh the flower is of the thinnest and finest of the plant, which also maketh flowers to be of so dainty colours. And if it be too sparing and thin, it attaineth no strength of odour, except it be in such plants as are very succulent; whereby they need rather to be scanted in their nourishment than replenished, to have them sweet. As we see in white satyrion, which is of a dainty smell; and in bean-flowers, &c. And again, if the plant be of nature to put forth white flowers only, and those not thin or dry, they are commonly of rank and fulsome smell; as may-flowers, and white lilies.

508. Contrariwise, in berries, the white is commonly more delicate and sweet in taste than the coloured, as we see in white grapes, in white rasps, in white strawberries, in white currants, &c. The cause is, for that the coloured are more juiced, and coarser juiced, and therefore not so well and equally concocted; but the white are better proportioned to the digestion of the plant.

509. But in fruits the white commonly is meaner: as in pear-plums, damascenes, &c., and the choicest plums are black; the mulberry, which, though they call it a berry, is a fruit, is better the black than the white. The harvest white plum is a base plum; and the verdoccio, and white date-plum are no very good plums. The cause is, for that they are all over-watery; whereas a higher concoction is required for sweetness, or pleasure of taste; and therefore all your dainty plums are a little dry, and come from the stone; as the muscle-plum, the damascene-plum, the peach, the apricot, &c., yet some fruits, which grow not to be black, are of the nature of berries, sweetest such as are paler; as the cœur-cherry, which inclineth more to white, is sweeter than the red; but the egriot is more sour.

510. Take gillyflower seed, of one kind of gillyflower, as of the clove-gilly flower, which is the most common, and sow it, and there will come up gillyflowers some of one colour, and some of another, casually, as the seed meeteth with nourishment in the earth; so that the gar

deners find, that they may have two of three roots amongst a hundred that are rare and of great price; as purple, carnation of several stripes: the cause is, no doubt, that in earth, though it be contiguous, and in one bed, there are very several juices; and as the seed doth casually meet with them, so it cometh forth. And it is noted especially, that those which do come up purple, do always come up single: the juice, as it seemeth, not being able to suffice a succulent colour, and a double leaf. This experiment of several colours coming up from one seed, would be tried also in larks-foot, monks-hood, poppy, and holyoak.

511. Few fruits are coloured red within: the queen-apple is; and another apple, called the rose-apple: mulberries, likewise, and grapes, though most towards the skin. There is a peach also that hath a circle of red towards the stone: and the egriot cherry is somewhat red within; but no pear, nor warden, nor plum, nor apricot, although they have many times red sides, are coloured red within. The cause may be inquired.

512. The general colour of plants is green, which is a colour that no flower is of. There is a greenish primrose, but it is pale and scarce a green. The leaves of some trees turn a little murry or reddish, and they be commonly young leaves that do so; as it is in oaks, and vines, and bazel. Leaves rot into a yellow, and some hollies have part of their leaves yellow, that are, to all seeming, as fresh and shining as the green. I suppose also, that yellow is a less succulent colour than green, and a degree nearer white. For it hath been noted, that those yellow leaves of holly stand ever towards the north or northeast. Some roots are yellow, as carrots; and some plants blood-red, stalk and leaf, and all, as amaranthus. Some herbs incline to purple and red; as a kind of sage doth, and a kind of mint, and rosa solis, &c. And some have white leaves, as another kind of sage, and another kind of mint; but azure and a fair purple are never found in leaves. This showeth, that flowers are made of a refined juice of the earth, and so are fruits; but leaves of a more coarse and common.

513. It is a curiosity also to make flowers double, which is effected by often removing them into new earth: as on the contrary part, double flowers, by neglecting and not removing, prove single. And the way to do it speedily, is to sow or set seeds or slips of flowers; and as soon as they come up, to remove them into new ground that is good. Inquire also, whether inoculating of flowers, as stockgillyflowers, roses, musk-roses, &c. doth not make them double. There is a cherry-tree that hath double blossoms; but that tree beareth no fruit: and it may be, that the same means which, applied to the tree, doth extremely accelerate the sap to rise and break forth, would make the tree spend itself in flowers, and those to become double: which were a great

pleasure to see, especially in apple-trees, peachtrees, and almond-trees, that have blossoms blushcoloured.

514. The making of fruits without core or stone, is likewise a curiosity, and somewhat better; because whatsoever maketh them so, is like to make them more tender and delicate. If a cion or shoot, fit to be set in the ground, have the pith finely taken forth, and not altogether, but some of it left, the better to save the life, it will bear a fruit with little or no core or stone. And the like is said to be of dividing a quick tree down to the ground, and taking out the pith, and then binding it up again.

515. It is reported also, that a citron grafted upon a quince will have small or no seeds: and it is very probable that any sour fruit grafted upon a stock that beareth a sweeter fruit, may both make the fruit sweeter, and more void of the harsh matter of kernels or seeds.

though it giveth a finer nourishment, yet it giveth a scanter than the earth at large.

520. Seeds, if they be very old, and yet have strength enough to bring forth a plant, make the plant degenerate. And therefore skilful gardeners make trial of the seeds before they buy them, whether they be good or no, by putting them into water gently boiled; and if they be good, they will sprout within half an hour.

521. It is strange which is reported, that basil, too much exposed to the sun doth turn into wild thyme; although those two herbs seem to have small affinity; but basil is almost the only hot herb that hath fat and succulent leaves, which oiliness, if it be drawn forth by the sun, it is like it will make a very great change.

522. There is an old tradition, that boughs of oak put into the earth will put forth wild vines: which, if it be true, no doubt it is not the oak that turneth into a vine, but the oak-bough putrefying, qualifieth the earth to put forth a vine of itself. 523. It is not impossible, and I have heard it verified, that upon cutting down of an old timber tree, the stub hath put out sometimes a tree of another kind; as the beech hath put forth birch; which, if it be true, the cause may be, for that the

516. It is reported, that not only the taking out of the pith, but the stopping of the juice of the pith from rising in the midst, and turning it to rise on the outside, will make the fruit without core or stone: as if you should bore a tree clean through, and put a wedge in. It is true, there is some affinity between the pith and the kernel, be-old stub is too scant of juice to put forth the forcause they are both of a harsh substance, and both placed in the midst.

517. It is reported, that trees watered perpetually with warm water, will make a fruit with little or no core or stone. And the rule is general, that whatsoever will make a wild tree a garden tree, will make a garden tree to have less core

or stone.

Experiments in consort touching the degenerating of plants, and of the transmutation of them into one another.

mer tree; and therefore putteth forth a tree of a smaller kind, that needeth less nourishment.

524. There is an opinion in the country, that if the same ground be oft sown with the grain that grew upon it, it will in the end grow to be of a baser kind.

525. It is certain, that in very sterile years corn
sown will
grow to another kind.

"Grandia sæpe quibus mandavimus hordea sulci
Infelix lolium, et steriles dominantur avena."

And generally it is a rule, that plants that are
brought forth by culture, as corn, will sooner
change into other species than those that come
of themselves; for that culture giveth but an ad-
ventitious nature, which is more easily put off.

518. The rule is certain, that plants for want of culture degenerate to be baser in the same kind; and sometimes so far as to change into another kind, 1. The standing long, and not being reThis work of the transmutation of plants one moved, maketh them degenerate. 2. Drought, into another, is "inter magnalia naturæ:" for the unless the earth of itself be moist, doth the like. transmutation of species is, in the vulgar philo3. So doth removing into worse earth, or forbear-sophy, pronounced impossible, and certainly it is a ing to compost the earth; as we see that water-thing of difficulty, and requireth deep search into mint turneth into field-mint, and the colewort into nature; but seeing there appear some manifest rape, by neglect, &c.

instances of it, the opinion of impossibility is to 519. Whatsoever fruit useth to be set upon a root be rejected, and the means thereof to be found or a slip, if it be sown, will degenerate. Grapes out. We see, that in living creatures, that come sown, figs, almonds, pomegranate kernels sown, of putrefaction, there is much transmutation of make the fruits degenerate and become wild. one into another, as caterpillars turn into flies, And again, most of those fruits that use to be &c. And it should seem probable, that whatsografted, if they be set of kernels, or stones, dege-ever creature, having life, is generated without nerate. It is true that peaches, as hath been seed, that creature will change out of one species touched before, do better upon stones set than into another. For it is the seed, and the nature upon grafting; and the rule of exception should of it, which locketh and boundeth in the creature, seem to be this: that whatsoever plant requireth that it doth not expatiate. So as we may well much moisture, prospereth better upon the stone conclude, that seeing the earth of itself doth put or kernel than upon the graft. For the stock, forth plants without seed, therefore plants may

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