Page images

part under the wine, and you shall find, that which may seem strange, that the sugar above the wine will soften and dissolve sooner than that within the wine. The cause is, for that the wine entereth that part of the sugar which is under the wine, by simple infusion or spreading; but that part above the wine is likewise forced by sucking; for all spongy bodies expel the air and draw in liquor, if it be contiguous: as we see it also in sponges put part above the water. It is worthy the inquiry, to see how you may make more accurate infusions, by help of attraction.

Experiment solitary touching heat under earth. 885. Water in wells is warmer in winter than in summer; and so air in caves. The cause is, for that in the higher parts, under the earth, there is a degree of some heat, as appeareth in sulphureous veins, &c., which shut close in, as in winter, is the more; but if it perspire, as it doth in summer, it is the less.

Experiment solitary touching flying in the air. 886. It is reported, that amongst the Leucadians, in ancient time, upon a superstition they did use to precipitate a man from a high cliff into the sea, tying about him with strings, at some distance, many great fowls, and fixing unto his body divers feathers, spread, to break the fall. Certainly many birds of good wing, as kites, and the like, would bear up a good weight as they fly, and spreading of feathers thin and close, and in great breadth, will, likewise, bear up a great weight, being even laid, without tilting upon the sides. The farther extension of this experiment for flying may be thought upon.

Experiment solitary touching the dye of scarlet. 887. There is in some places, namely in Cephalonia, a little shrub which they call hollyoak, or dwarf-oak: upon the leaves whereof there riseth a tumour like a blister; which they gather, and rub out of it a certain red dust, that converteth, after a while, into worms, which they kill with wine, as is reported, when they begin to quicken: with this dust they dye scarlet.

Experiment solitary touching maleficiating. 888. In Zant it is very ordinary to make men impotent to accompany with their wives. The like is practised in Gascony; where it is called nouër l'eguillette. It is practised always upon the wedding-day. And in Zant the mothers themselves do it, by way of prevention; because thereby they hinder other charms, and can undo their own. It is a thing the civil law taketh knowledge of; and therefore is of no light regard. Experiment solitary touching the rise of water by means of flame.

889. It is a common experiment, but the cause is mistaken. Take a pot, or better a glass, be

cause therein you may see the motion, and set a candle lighted in the bottom of a bason of water, and turn the mouth of the pot or glass over the candle, and it will make the water rise. They ascribe it to the drawing of heat; which is not true: for it appeareth plainly to be but a motion of nexe, which they call ne detur vacuum; and it proceedeth thus. The flame of the candle, as soon as it is covered, being suffocated by the close air, lesseneth by little and little; during which time there is some little ascent of water, but not much for the flame occupying less and less room, as it lesseneth, the water succeedeth. But upon the instant of the candle's going out, there is a sudden rise of a great deal of water; for that the body of the flame filleth no more place, and so the air and the water succeed. It worketh the same effect, if instead of water you put flour or sand into the bason: which showeth, that it is not the flame's drawing the liquor as nourishment, as it is supposed; for all bodies are alike unto it, as it is ever in motion of nexe; in

somuch as I have seen the glass, being held by motion of nexe did so clasp the bottom of the the hand, hath lifted up the bason and all: the bason. That experiment, when the bason was lifted up, was made with oil, and not with water: nevertheless this is true, that at the very first setting of the mouth of the glass upon the bottom of then standeth at a stay, almost till the candle's the bason, it draweth up the water a little, and attraction at first: but of this we will speak more, going out, as was said. This may show some when we handle attractions by heat.

Experiments in consort touching the influences of the moon.

Of the power of the celestial bodies, and what more secret influences they have, besides the two manifest influences of heat and light, we shall speak when we handle experiments touching the celestial bodies; mean while we will give some directions for more certain trials of the virtue and influences of the moon, which is our nearest neighbour.

The influences of the moon, most observed, are four; the drawing forth of heat: the inducing of putrefaction; the increase of moisture; the exciting of the motions of spirits.

890. For the drawing forth of heat, we have formerly prescribed to take water warm, and to set part of it against the moon-beams, and part of it with a screen between; and to see whether that which standeth exposed to the beams will not cool sooner. But because this is but a small interposition, though in the sun we see a small shade doth much, it were good to try it when the moon shineth, and when the moon shineth not at all; and with water warm in a glass bottle, as well as in a dish; and with cinders; and with iron red-hot, &c.

891. For the inducing of putrefaction, it were | stronger and larger than those that are brought good to try it with flesh or fish exposed to the forth in the wane; and those also which are begotmoonbeams; and again exposed to the air when ten in the full of the moon: so that it might be the moon shineth not, for the like time: to see good husbandry to put rams and bulls to their whether will corrupt sooner: and try it also with females, somewhat before the full of the moon. capon, or some other fowl, laid abroad, to see It may be also, that the eggs laid in the full of whether it will mortify and become tender sooner; the moon breed the better birds; and a number try it also with dead flies, or dead worms, having of the like effects which may be brought into a little water cast upon them, to see whether will observation. Query also, whether great thunputrefy sooner. Try it also with an apple orders and earthquakes be not most in the full of orange, having holes made in their tops, to see whether will rot or mould sooner. Try it also with Holland cheese, having wine put into it, whether will breed mites sooner or greater.

892. For the increase of moisture, the opinion received is; that seeds will grow soonest; and hair, and nails, and hedges and herbs cut, &c., will grow soonest, if they be set or cut in the increase of the moon. Also that brains in rabbits, woodcocks, calves, &c., are fullest in the full of the moon and so of marrow in the bones; and 80 of oysters and cockles, which of all the rest are the easiest tried if you have them in pits.

893. Take some seeds, or roots, as onions, &c., and set some of them immediately after the change; and others of the same kind immediately after the full let them be as like as can be, the earth also the same as near as may be and therefore best in pots. Let the pots also stand where no rain or sun may come to them, lest the difference of the weather confound the experiment: and then see in what time the seeds set in the increase of the moon come to a certain height; and how they differ from those that are set in the decrease of the moon.

894. It is like, that the brain of man waxeth moister and fuller upon the full of the moon; and therefore it were good that those that have moist brains, and are great drinkers, to take fume of lignum aloes, rosemary, frankincense, &c., about the full of the moon. It is like also, that the humours in men's bodies increase and decrease as the moon doth; and therefore it were good to, purge some day or two after the full; for that then the humours will not replenish so soon again.

895. As for the exciting of the motion of the spirits, you must note that the growth of hedges, herbs, hair, &c., is caused from the moon, by exciting of the spirits, as well as by increase of the moisture. But for spirits in particular, the great instance is in lunacies.

896. There may be other secret effects of the influence of the moon, which are not yet brought into observation. It may be, that if it so fall out that the wind be north, or north-east, in the full of the moon, it increaseth cold; and if south, or south-west, it disposeth the air for a good while to warmth and rain; which would be observed.

897. It may be, that children, and young cattle, that are brought forth in the full of the moon, are

the moon.

Experiment solitary touching vinegar. 898. The turning of wine to vinegar is a kind of putrefaction: and in making of vinegar, they use to set vessels of wine over against the noon sun; which calleth out the more oily spirits, and leaveth the liquor more sour and hard. We also see, that burnt wine is more hard and astringent than wine unburnt. It is said, that cider in navigations under the line ripeneth, when wine or beer soureth. It were good to set a rundlet of verjuice over against the sun in summer, as they do vinegar, to see whether it will ripen and sweeten.

Experiment solitary touching creatures that sleep

all winter.

899. There be divers creatures that sleep all winter, as the bear, the hedgehog, the bat, the bee, &c. These all wax fat when they sleep, and egest not. The cause of their fattening during their sleeping time, may be the want of assimilating; for whatsoever assimilateth not to flesh turneth either to sweat or fat. These creatures, for part of their sleeping time, have been observed not to stir at all; and for the other part to stir, but not to remove. And they get warm and close places to sleep in. When the Flemings wintered in Nova Zembla, the bears about the middle of November, went to sleep; and then the foxes began to come forth, which durst not before. It is noted by some of the ancients, that the she-bear breedeth, and lieth in with her young, during that time of rest; and that a bear big with young hath seldom been seen.

Experiment solitary touching the generating of

creatures by copulation and putrefaction. 900. Some living creatures are procreated by copulation between male and female: some by putrefaction: and of those which come by putrefaction, many do, nevertheless, afterwards procreate by copulation. For the cause of both generations: first, it is most certain, that the cause of all vivification is à gentle and proportionable heat, working upon a glutinous and yielding substance: for the heat doth bring forth spirit in that substance: and the substance being glutinous produceth two effects; the one, that the spirit is detained, and cannot break forth: the other,

that the matter being gentle and yielding, is driven forwards by the motion of the spirits, after some swelling, into shape and members. Therefore all sperm, all menstruous substance, all matter whereof creatures are produced by putrefaction, have evermore a closeness, lentor, and sequacity. It seemeth, therefore, that the generation by sperm only, and by putrefaction, have two different causes. The first is, for that creatures which have a definite and exact shape, as those have which are procreated by copulation, cannot be produced by a weak and casual heat; nor out of matter which is not exactly prepared according to the species. The second is, for that there is a greater time required for maturation of perfect creatures; for if the time required in vivification be of any length, then the spirit will exhale before the creature be mature; except it be

enclosed in a place where it may have continuance of the heat, access of some nourishment to maintain it, and closeness that may keep it from exhaling: and such places are the wombs and matrices of the females. And therefore all creatures made of putrefaction are of more uncertain shape; and are made in shorter time; and need not so perfect an enclosure, though some closeness be commonly required. As for the heathen opinion, which was, that upon great mutations of the world, perfect creatures were first engendered of concretion; as well as frogs, and worms, and flies, and such like, are now; we know it to be vain: but if any such thing should be admitted, discoursing according to sense, it cannot be, except you admit a chaos first, and commixture of heaven and earth. For the frame of the world, once in order, cannot affect it by any excess or casualty.


Experiments in consort touching the transmission and influx of immateriate virtues, and the force of imagination.

THE philosophy of Pythagoras, which was full of superstition, did first plant a monstrous imagination, which afterwards was, by the school of Plato and others, watered and nourished. It was, that the world was one entire perfect living creature; insomuch as Apollonius of Tyana, a Pythagorean prophet, affirmed, that the ebbing and flowing of the sea was the respiration of the world, drawing in water as breath, and putting it forth again. They went on, and inferred, that if the world were a living creature, it had a soul and spirit; which also they held, calling it spiritus mundi, the spirit or soul of the world: by which they did not intend God, for they did admit of a Deity besides, but only the soul or essential form of the universe. This foundation being laid, they might build upon it what they would; for in a living creature, though never so great, as for example, in a great whale, the sense and the effects of any one part of the body instantly make a transcursion throughout the whole body so that by this they did insinuate, that no distance of place, nor want of indisposition of matter, could hinder magical operations; but that, for example, we might here in Europe have sense and feeling of that which was done in China; and likewise we might work any effect without and against matter; and this not holpen by the co-operation of angels or spirits, but only by the unity and harmony of nature. There were some also that stayed not here; but went farther, and held, that if the spirit of man, whom they call the inicrocosm, do give a fit touch to the spirit of

the world, by strong imaginations and beliefs, it might command nature; for Paracelsus, and some darksome authors of magic, do ascribe to imgination exalted, the power of miracle-working faith. With these vast and bottomless follies men have been in part entertained.

But we, that hold firm to the works of God, and to the sense, which is God's lamp, lucerna Dei spiraculum hominis, will inquire with all sobriety and severity, whether there be to be found in the footsteps of nature, any such transmission and influx of immateriate virtues; and what the force of imagination is; either upon the body imaginant, or upon another body: wherein it will be like that labour of Hercules, in purging the stable of Augeas, to separate from superstitious and magical arts and observations, any thing that is clean and pure natural; and not to be either contemned or condemned. And although we shall have occasion to speak of this in more places than one, yet we will now make some entrance thereinto.

Experiments in consort, monitory, touching transmission of spirits, and the force of imagination. 901. Men are to admonished that they do not withdraw credit from operations by transmission of spirits, and force of imaginations, because the effects fail sometimes. For as in infection, and contagion from body to body, as the plague, and the like, it is most certain that the infection is received, many times, by the body passive, but yet is, by the strength and good disposition thereof, repulsed and wrought out, before it be formed into a disease; so much more in impressions from mind to mind, or from spirit to spirit, the impres sion taketh, but is encountered and overcome by

the mind and spirit, which is passive, before it | ments, and anointing themselves all over.
work any manifest effect. And therefore they
work most upon weak minds and spirits; as those
of women, sick persons, superstitious and fearful
persons, children, and young creatures:

"Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos:" The poet speaketh not of sheep, but of lambs. As for the weakness of the power of them upon kings and magistrates, it may be ascribed, besides the main, which is the protection of God over those that execute his place, to the weakness of the imagination of the imaginant: for it is hard for a witch or a sorcerer to put on a belief that they can hurt such persons.


may justly move a man to think that these fables are the effects of imagination: for it is certain that ointments do all, if they be laid on any thing thick, by stopping of the pores, shut in the vapours, and send them to the head extremely. And for the particular ingredients of those magical ointments, it is like they are opiate and soporiferous. For anointing of the forehead, neck, feet, back-bone, we know, is used for procuring dead sleeps: and if any man say that this effect would be better done by inward potions; answer may be made, that the medicines which go to the ointments are so strong, that if they were used inwards, they would kill those that use them: and therefore they work potently, though outwards.

We will divide the several kinds of the operations by transmission of spirits and imaginations, which will give no small light to the experiments that follow. All operations by transmission of spirits and imagination, have this; that they work at distance, and not at touch; and they are these being distinguished.

902. Men are to be admonished, on the other side, that they do not easily give place and credit to these operations, because they succeed many times; for the cause of this success is oft to be truly ascribed unto the force of affection and imagination upon the body agent: and then by a secondary means it may work upon a diverse body as for example, if a man carry a planet's seal, or a ring, or some part of a beast, believing strongly that it will help him to obtain his love; or to keep him from danger of hurt in fight; or to prevail in suit, &c., it may make him more active and industrious: and again, more confident and persisting, than otherwise he would be. Now the great effects that may come of industry and perseverance, especially in civil business, who knoweth not? For we see audacity doth almost bind and mate the weaker sort of minds; and the state of human actions is so variable, that to try things oft, and never to give over, doth wonders: therefore it were a mere fallacy and mistaking to ascribe that to the force of ima-theless are strange, and very suddenly diffused; gination upon another body which is but the force of imagination upon the proper body; for there is no doubt but that imagination and vehement affection work greatly upon the body of the imaginant; as we shall show in due place.

903. Men are to be admonished, that as they are not to mistake the causes of these operations; so much less they are to mistake the fact or effect; and rashly to take that for done which is not done. And therefore, as divers wise judges have prescribed and cautioned, men may not too rashly believe the confessions of witches, nor yet the evidence against them. For the witches themselves are imaginative, and believe oft-times they do that which they do not: and people are credulous in that point, and ready to impute accidents and natural operations to witchcraft. It is worthy the observing, that both in ancient and late times, as in the Thessalian witches, and the meetings of witches that have been recorded by so many late confessions, the great wonders which they tell, of carrying in the air, transforming themselves into other bodies, &c., are still reported to be wrought, not by incantations or ceremonies, but by oint

904. The first is the transmission or emission of the thinner and more airy parts of bodies; as in odours and infections; and this is, of all the rest, the most corporeal. But you must remember withal, that there be a number of those emissions, both wholesome and unwholesome, that give no smell at all: for the plague, many times when it is taken, giveth no scent at all: and there be many good and healthful airs that do appear by habitation and other proofs, that differ not in smell from other airs. And under this head you may place all imbibitions of air, where the substance is material, odour-like, whereof some never

as the alteration which the air receiveth in Egypt, almost immediately, upon the rising of the river of Nilus, whereof we have spoken.

905. The second is the transmission or emission of those things that we call spiritual species; as visibles and sounds: the one whereof we have handled, and the other we shall handle in due place. These move swiftly and at great distance, but then they require a medium well disposed, and their transmission is easily stopped.

906. The third is the emissions which cause attraction of certain bodies at distance, wherein, though the loadstone be commonly placed in the first rank, yet we think good to except it and refer it to another head; but the drawing of amber and jet, and other electric bodies, and the attraction in gold of the spirit of quicksilver at distance; and the attraction of heat at distance; and that of fire to naphtha; and that of some herbs to water, though at distance; and divers others; we shall handle, but yet not under the present title, but under the title of attraction in general.

907. The fourth is the emission of spirits, and immateriate powers and virtues, in those things

which work by the universal configuration and | credit or reject upon improbabilities, until there sympathy of the world; not by forms, or celestial hath passed a due examination. This is the syminfluxes, as is vainly taught and received, but by pathy of individuals; for as there is a sympathy the primitive nature of matter, and the seeds of of species, so it may be there is a sympathy of things. Of this kind is, as we yet suppose, the individuals: that is, that in things, or the parts working of the loadstone, which is by consent of things that have been once contiguous or with the globe of the earth; of this kind is the entire, there should remain a transmission of motion of gravity, which is by consent of dense virtue from the one to the other: as between the bodies with the globe of the earth of this weapon and the wound. Whereupon is blazed kind is some disposition of bodies to rotation, abroad the operation of unguentem teli: and so and particularly from east to west: of which of a piece of lard, or stick of elder, &c., that if kind we conceive the main float and refloat part of it be consumed or putrefied, it will work of the sea is, which is by consent of the uni- upon the other part severed. Now we will purverse, as part of the diurnal motion. These im- sue the instances themselves. materiate virtues have this property differing from others; that the diversity of the medium hindereth them not; but they pass through all mediums, yet at determinate distances. And of these we shall speak, as they are incident to several titles.

908. The fifth is, the emission of spirits; and this is the principal in our intention to handle now in this place; namely, the operation of the spirits of the mind of man upon other spirits: and this is of a double nature, the operations of the affections, if they be vehement, and the operation of the imagination, if it be strong. But these two are so coupled, as we shall handle them together; for when an envious or amorous aspect doth infect the spirits of another, there is joined both affection and imagination.

909. The sixth is, the influxes of the heavenly bodies, besides these two manifest ones, of heat and light. But these we will handle where we handle the celestial bodies and motions.

Experiments in consort touching emission of spirits

in vapour or exhalation, odour-like.

912. The plague is many times taken without manifest sense, as hath been said. And they report, that where it is found, it hath a scent of the smell of a mellow apple; and, as some say, of May-flowers: and it is also received, that smells of flowers that are mellow and luscious, are ill for the plague, as white lilies, cowslips, and hy~ acinths.

913. The plague is not easily received by such as continually are about them that have the plague; as keepers of the sick, and physicians; nor again by such as take antidotes, either inward, as mithridate, juniper-berries, rue, leaf and seed, &c., or outward, as angelica, zedoary, and the like, in the mouth; tar, galbanum, and the like, in perfume; nor again by old people, and such as are of a dry and cold complexion. On the other side, the plague taketh soonest hold of those that come out of a fresh air, and of those that are fasting, and of children; and it is likewise noted to go in a blood, more than to a stranger.

910. The seventh is, the operations of sympathy, which the writers of natural magic have brought into an art or precept: and it is this; that if you desire to superinduce any virtue or 914. The most pernicious infection, next the disposition upon a person, you should take the plague, is the smell of the jail, when prisoners living creature in which that virtue is most emi- have been long, and close, and nastily kept; nent, and in perfection; of that creature you whereof we have had in our time experience twice must take the parts wherein that virtue chiefly is or thrice; when both the judges that sat upon the collocated: again, you must take those parts in the jail, and numbers of those that attended the busitime and act when that virtue is most in exer-ness or were present, sickened upon it, and died. cise and then you must apply it to that part of Therefore it were good wisdom, that in such man wherein that virtue chiefly consisteth. As cases the jail were aired before they be brought if you would superinduce courage and fortitude, take a lion or a cock; and take the heart, tooth, or paw of the lion; or the heart or spur of the cock: take those parts immediately after the lion or the cock have been in fight, and let them be worn upon a man's heart or wrist. Of these, and such like sympathies, we shall speak under this present title.


915. Out of question, if such foul smells be made by art, and by the hand, they consist chiefly of man's flesh or sweat putrefied; for they are not those stinks which the nostrils straight abhor and expel, that are most pernicious; but such airs as have some similitude with man's body: and so insinuate themselves, and betray the spirits. 911. The eighth and last is, an emission of There may be great danger in using such compoimmateriate virtues, such as we are a little doubt- sitions, in great meetings of people within ful to propound, it is so prodigious; but that it is houses; as in churches, at arraignments, at plays so constantly avouched by many; and we have and solemnities, and the like: for poisoning of set it down as a law to ourselves, to examine air is no less dangerous than poisoning of water, things to the bottom; and not to receive upon which hath been used by the Turks in the wars

« PreviousContinue »