Page images


652. It is reported that fir and pine, especially if | of earth and water, it draweth most nourishment they be old and putrified, though they shine not as from water ; which maketh it the smoothest of all some rotten woods do, yet in the sudden breaking others in bark, and the hollowest in body. they will sparkle like hard sugar.

657. The sap of trees when they are let blood,
653. The roots of trees do some of them of differing natures. Some more watery and clear;
downwards deep into the ground; as the oak, pine, as that of vines, of beeches, of pears, some thick,
fir, &c. Some spread more towards the surface of as apples, some/gummy, as cherries : some frothy,
the earth; as the ash, cypress-tree, olive, &c. The as elms. some/milky, as figs. In mulberries the
cause of this latter may be, for that such trees as sap seeñeth to be almost towards the bark only ;
love the sun, do not willingly descend far into the for if you cut the tree a little into the bark with
earth; and therefore they are, commonly, trees that a stone, it will come forth; if you pierce it deeper
shoot up much ; for in their body their desire to with a tool, it will be dry. The trees which have
approach to the sun maketh them spread the less. the moistest juices in their fruit, have commonly the
And the same reason under ground to avoid recess moistest sap in their body ; for the vines and pears
from the sun, maketh them spread the more. And are very moist; apples somewhat more spungy :
we see it cometh to pass in some trees which have the milk of the fig hath the quality of the rennet,
been planted too deep in the ground, that for love of to gather cheese ; and so have certain sour herbs
approach to the sun, they forsake their first root, wherewith they make cheese in Lent.
and put out another more towards the top of the 658. The timber and wood are in some trees
earth. And we see also, that the olive is full of oily more clean, in some more knotty; and it is a good
juice; and ash maketh the best fire ; and cypress trial to try it by speaking at one end, and laying
is a hot tree. As for the oak, which is of the the ear at the other: for if it be knotty, the voice
former sort, it loveth the earth ; and therefore grow will not pass well. Some have the veins more varied
eth slowly. And for the pine and fir likewise, they and chambletted; as oak, whereof wainscot is made ;
have so much heat in themselves, as they need less maple, whereof trenchers are made : some more
the heat of the sun. There be herbs also that have smooth, as fir and walnut: some do more easily
the same difference; as the herb they call morsus breed worms and spiders ; some more hardly, as it
diaboli ; which putteth the root down so low, as you is said of Irish trees : besides there be a number of
cannot pull it up without breaking; which gave oc- differences that concern their use; as oak, cedar,
casion to the name and fable; for that it was said, it and chestnut, are the best builders ; some are best
was so wholesome a root, that the devil, when it was for plough-timber, as ash; some for piers, that are
gathered, bit it for envy : and some of the ancients sometimes wet and sometimes dry, as elm ; some
do report, that there was a goodly fir, which they de- for planchers, as deal; some for tables, cupboards,
sired to remove whole, that had a root under ground and desks, as walnuts ; some for ship-timber, as
eight cubits deep; and so the root came up broken. oaks that grow in moist grounds; for that maketh

654. It hath been observed, that a branch of a the timber tough, and not apt to rift with ordnance;
tree, being unbarked some space at the bottom, and wherein English and Irish timber are thought to
80 set into the ground, hath grown; even of such excel : some for masts of ships, as fir and pine, be-
trees, as if the branch were set with the bark on, cause of their length, straightness, and lightness :
they would not grow; yet contrariwise we see, that some for pale, as oak; some for fuel, as ash ; and
a tree pared round in the body above ground, will so of the rest.
die. The cause may be, for that the unbarked part 559. The coming of trees and plants in certain
draweth the nourishment best, but the bark con- regions, and not in others, is sometimes casual: for
tinueth it only.

many have been translated, and have prospered 655. Grapes will continue fresh and moist all well; as damask-roses, that have not been known winter long, if you hang them cluster by cluster in in England above a hundred years, and now are so the roof of a warm room; especially if when you

But the liking of plants in certain soils gather the cluster, you take off with the cluster more than in others, is merely natural; as the fir some of the stock.

and pine love the mountains ; the poplar, willow, 656. The reed or cane is a watery plant, and sallow, and alder, love rivers and moist places; the groweth not but in water; it hath these properties; ash loveth coppices, but is best in standards alone ; that it is hollow; that it is knuckled both stalk and juniper loveth chalk ; and so do most fruit trees ; root; that being dry, it is more hard and fragile samphire groweth but upon rocks; reeds and osiers than other wood; that it putteth forth no boughs, grow where they are washed with water; the vine though many stalks out of one root. It differeth loveth sides of hills, turning upon the south-east much in greatness; the smallest being fit for thatch. sun, &c. ing of houses, and stopping the chinks of ships, 660. The putting forth of certain herbs discoverbetter than glue or pitch. The second bigness is eth of what nature the ground where they put forth used for angle-rods and staves; and in China for is; as wild thyme showeth good feeding-ground for beating of offenders upon the thighs. The differ- cattle ; betony and strawberries show grounds fit ing kinds of them are the common reed, the cassia for wood; camomile showeth mellow grounds fit for fistula, and the sugar-reed. Of all plants it bow wheat. Mustard-seed, growing after the plough, eth the easiest, and riseth again. It seemeth, that showeth a good strong ground also for wheat: buramongst plants which are nourished with mixture net showeth good meadow, and the like.



661. There are found in divers countries some whereof the grass is soon parched with the sun, and other plants that grow out of trees and plants, be- toasted, is commonly forced earth, and barren in its sides misseltoe : as in Syria there is an herb called own nature. The tender, chessome, and mellow cassytas, that groweth out of tall trees, and windeth earth, is the best, being mere mould, between the itself about the same tree where it groweth, and two extremes of clay and sand, especially if it be sometimes about thorns. There is a kind of poly- not loamy and binding. The earth, that after rain pode that groweth out of trees, though it windeth will scarcely be ploughed, is commonly fruitful; for not. So likewise an herb called faunos, upon the it is cleaving and full of juice. wild olive. And an herb called hippophæston upon 666. It is strange, which is observed by some of the fullers thorn: which, they say, is good for the the ancients, that dust helpeth the fruitfulness of falling sickness.

trees, and of vines by name ; insomuch as they cast 662. It hath been observed by some of the an- dust upon them of purpose. It should seem, that cients, that howsoever cold or easterly winds are that powdering, when a shower cometh, maketh a thought to be great enemies of fruit, yet neverthe kind of soiling to the tree, being earth and water less south winds are also found to do hurt, especial-finely laid on. And they note, that countries where ly in the blossoming time ; and the more if showers the fields and ways are dusty bear the best vines. follow. It seemeth they call forth the moisture too 667. It is commended by the ancients for an exfast. The west winds are the best. It hath been cellent help to trees, to lay the stalks and leaves of observed also, that green and open winters do hurt lupins about the roots, or to plough them into the trees; insomuch as if two or three such winters ground where you will sow corn. The burning also come together, almond-trees, and some other trees, of the cuttings of vines, and casting them upon land, will die. The cause is the same with the former, doth much good. And it was generally received of because the lust of the earth overspendeth itself: old, that dunging of grounds when the west wind howsoever some other of the ancients have com- bloweth, and in the decrease of the moon, doth mended warm winters.

greatly help; the earth, as it seemeth, being then 663. Snows lying long cause a fruitful year ;

for more thirsty and open to receive the dung. first, they keep in the strength of the earth; se- 668. The grafting of vines upon vines, as I take condly, they water the earth better than rain : for it, is not now in use : the ancients had it, and that in snow, the earth doth, as it were, suck the water three ways: the first was incision, which is the oras out of the teat: thirdly, the moisture of snow is dinary manner of grafting: the second was terebrathe finest moisture, for it is the froth of the cloudy tion through the middle of the stock, and putting in waters.

the cions there: and the third was paring of two 664. Showers if they come a little before the vines that grow together to the marrow, and bindripening of fruits, do good to all succulent and moisting them close. fruits ; as vines, olives, pomegranates; yet it is rather 669. The diseases and ill accidents of corn are for plenty than for goodness; for the best vines are worthy to be inquired: and would be more worthy in the driest vintages: small showers are likewise to be inquired, if it were in men's power to help good for corn, so as parching heats come not upon them ; whereas many of them are not to be remedied. them. Generally night showers are better than the mildew is one of the greatest, which, out of day showers, for that the sun followeth not so fast question, cometh by closeness of air; and therefore upon them; and we see even in watering by the in hills, or large champain grounds, it seldom cometh; hand, it is best in summer time to water in the such as is with us York's woald. This cannot be evening.

remedied, otherwise than that in countries of small 665. The differences of earths, and the trial of enclosure the grounds be turned into larger fields : them, are worthy to be diligently inquired. The which I have known to do good in some farms. earth, that with showers doth easiliest soften, is Another disease is the putting forth of wild oats, commended; and yet some earth of that kind will whereinto corn oftentimes, especially barley, doth debe very dry and hard before the showers.

The generate.

It happeneth chiefly from the weakness earth that casteth up from the plough a great clod, of the grain that is sown; for if it be either too old is not so good as that which casteth up a smaller or mouldy, it will bring forth wild oats. Another clod. The earth that putteth forth moss easily, and disease is the satiety of the ground; for if you sow may be called mouldy, is not good. The earth that one ground still with the same corn, I mean not the smelleth well upon the digging or ploughing is com- same corn that grew upon the same ground, but the mended; as containing the juice of vegetables almost same kind of grain, as wheat, barley, &c. it will already prepared. It is thought by some, that the prosper but poorly: therefore besides the resting of ends of low rainbows fall more upon one kind of the ground you must vary the seed. Another ill earth than upon another; as it may well be ; for accident is from the winds, which hurt at two times; that that earth is most roscid : and therefore it is at the flowering, by shaking off the flowers; and at commended for a sign of good earth. The poor- the full ripening, by shaking out the corn. Another ness of the herbs, it is plain, show the poorness of ill accident is drought, at the spindling of the corn, the earth ; and especially if they be in colour more which with us is rare, but in hotter countries comdark: but if the herbs show withered, or blasted mon: insomuch as the word calamitas was first deat the top, it showeth the earth to be very cold; rived from calamus, when the corn could not get out and so doth the mossiness of trees. The earth, of the stalk. Another ill accident is over-wet at

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]


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 of the herb. times they are forced to re-sow summer corn where 675. It were a matter of great profit, save that I they sowed winter corn. Another ill accident is doubt it is too conjectural to venture upon, if one bitter frosts continued without snow, especially in could discern what corn, herbs, or fruits, are like to the beginning of the winter, after the seed is new be in plenty or scarcity, by some signs and progsown. Another disease is worms, which sometimes nostics in the beginning of the year: for as for those breed in the root, and happen upon hot suns and that are like to be in plenty, they may be bargained showers immediately after the sowing; and another for upon the ground; as the old relation was of worm breedeth in the ear itself, especially when hot Thales; who, to show how easy it was for a phisuns break often out of clouds. Another disease is losopher to be rich, when he foresaw a great plenty weeds; and they are such as either choke and over- of olives, made a monopoly of them.

And for scarshadow the corn, and bear it down; or starve the city, men may make profit in keeping better the old corn, and deceive it of nourishment.

Another Long continuance of snow is believed to ease is over-rankness of the corn; which they use make a fruitful year of corn; an early winter, or a to remedy by mowing it after it is come up; or put- very late winter, a barren year of corn ; an open ting sheep into it. Another ill accident is laying of and serene winter, an ill year of fruit : these we corn with great rains, near or in harvest. Another have partly touched before; but other prognostics ill accident is, if the seed happen to have touched of like nature are diligently to be inquired. oil, or any thing that is fat; for those substances 676. There seem to be in some plants singularihave an antipathy with nourishment of water. ties, wherein they differ from all other; the olive

670. The remedies of the diseases of corn have hath the oily part only on the outside ; whereas all been observed as followeth. The steeping of the other fruits have it in the nut or kernel. The fir grain, before sowing, a little time in wine, is thought hath, in effect, no stone, nut, nor kernel; except you a preservative: the mingling of seed-corn with ashes will count the little grains kernels. The pomegrais thought to be good : the sowing at the wane of nate and pine-apple have only amongst fruits grains the moon, is thought to make the corn sound: it distinct in several cells. No herbs have curled hath not been practised, but it is thought to be of leaves but cabbage and cabbage-lettuce. None have use to make some miscellane in corn; as if you sow doubled leaves, one belonging to the stalk, another a few beans with wheat, your wheat will be the to the fruit or seed, but the artichoke. No flower better. It hath been observed, that the sowing of hath that kind of spread that the woodbine hath. corn with houseleek doth good. Though grain that This may be a large field of contemplation ; for it toucheth oil or fat, receiveth hurt, yet the steeping showeth that in the frame of nature, there is, in the of it in the dress of oil, when it beginneth to putrify, producing of some species, a composition of matter, which they call amurca, is thought to assure it which happeneth oft, and may be much diversified : against worms. It is reported also, that if corn be in others, such as happeneth rarely, and admitteth mowed, it will make the grain longer, but emptier, little variety: for so it is likewise in beasts : dogs and having more of the husk.

have a resemblance with wolves and foxes; horses 671. It hath been noted, that seed of a year old with asses; kine with buffles ; hares with coneys, is the best; and of two or three years is worse ; and &c. And so in birds : kites and kestrels have a that which is more old is quite barren ; though, no resemblance with hawks; common doves with ringdoubt, some seed and grains last better than others. doves and turtles ; blackbirds with thrushes and The corn which in the vanning lieth lowest is the mavises; crows with ravens, daws, and choughs, &c. best: and the corn which broken or bitten retaineth But elephants and swine amongst beasts ; and the a little yellowness, is better than that which is very bird of paradise and the peacock amongst birds; and white.

some few others, have scarce any other species that 672. It hath been observed, that of all roots of have affinity with them. herbs, the root of sorrel goeth the farthest into the We leave the description of plants, and their earth; insomuch that it hath been known to go virtues, to herbals, and other like books of natural three cubits deep : and that it is the root that con- history ; wherein men's diligence hath been great, tinueth fit longest to be set again, of any root that even to curiosity: for our experiments are only such groweth. It is a cold and acid herb, that, as it as do ever ascend a degree to the deriving of causes, seemeth, loveth the earth, and is not much drawn and extracting of axioms, which we are not ignorant by the sun.

but that some both of the ancient and modern 673. It hath been observed, that some herbs like writers have also laboured; but their causes and best being watered with salt water ; as radish, beet, axioms are so full of imagination, and so infected rue, pennyroyal : this trial would be extended to with the old received theories, as they are mere some other herbs; especially such as are strong, as inquinations of experience, and concoct it not. tarragon, mustard-seed, rocket, and the like. 674. It is strange that is generally received, how

Experiment solitary touching healing of wounds. some poisonous beasts affect odorate and wholesome 677. It hath been observed by some of the herbs; as that the snake loveth fennel ; that the ancients, that skins, especially of rams, newly pulled toad will be much under sage ; that frogs will be in off, and applied to the wounds of stripes, do keep cinquefoil. It may be it is rather the shade, or other them from swelling and exulcerating; and likewise


[ocr errors]

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 whereas beasts go, that is nothing; for by that conglutination ; for both bodies are clammy and reason swimming should be swifter than running: viscous, and do bridle the deflux of humours to the and that kind of carriage also is not without labour hurts, without penning them in too much.

of the wing. Experiment solitary touching fat diffused in flesh. Experiment solitary touching the different clearness 678. You may turn almost all flesh into a fatty

of the sea. substance, if you take flesh and cut it into pieces, 682. The sea is clearer when the north wind 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 Experiment solitary touching ripening of drink

fire and boiling water. before the time.

683. Fire burneth wood, making it first luminous; 679. It is reported by one of the ancients, that then black and brittle; and lastly, broken and incinenew wine put into vessels well stopped, and the rate; scalding water doth none of these. The cause vessels let down into the sea, will accelerate very is, for that by fire the spirit of the body is first refined, much the making of them ripe and potable. The and then emitted ; whereof the refining or attenusame would be tried in wort.

ation causeth the light; and the emission, first the

fragility, and after, the dissolution into ashes; Experiment solitary touching pilosity and plumage. neither doth any other body enter : but in water the

680. Beasts are more hairy than men, and sayage spirit of the body is not refined so much; and bemen more than civil; and the plumage of birds ex- sides part of the water entereth, which doth increase ceedeth the pilosity of beasts. The cause of the the spirit, and in a degree extinguish it: therefore smoothness in men is not any abundance of heat and we see that hot water will quench fire. And again moisture, though that indeed causeth pilosity; but we see, that in bodies wherein the water doth not there is requisite to pilosity, not so much heat and much enter, but only the heat passeth, hot water moisture, as excrementitious heat and moisture; for worketh the effects of fire; as in eggs boiled and whatsoever assimilateth, goeth not into the hair; roasted, into which the water entereth not at all, and excrementitious moisture aboundeth most in there is scarce difference to be discerned: but in fruit, beasts, and men that are more savage. Much the and flesh, whereinto the water entereth in some same reason is there of the plumage of birds; for part, there is much more difference. birds assimilate less and excern more than beasts; for their excrements are ever liquid, and their flesh

Experiment solitary touching the qualification of generally more dry: besides, they have not instru

heat by moisture. ments for urine; and so all the excrementitious 684. The bottom of a vessel of boiling water, as moisture goeth into the feathers : and therefore it is hath been observed, is not very much heated, so as no marvel, though birds be commonly better meat men may put their hand under the vessel and remove than beasts, because their flesh doth assimilate more it. The cause is, for that the moisture of water as finely, and secerneth more subtilly. Again, the it quencheth coals where it entereth, so it doth allay head of man hath hair upon the first birth, which heat where it toucheth: and therefore note well, no other part of the body hath. The cause may be that moisture, although it doth not pass through want of perspiration; for much of the matter of hair, bodies, without communication of some substance, in the other parts of the body, goeth forth by in- as heat and cold do, yet it worketh manifest effects ; sensible perspiration ; and besides, the skull being not by entrance of the body, but by qualifying of the of a more solid substance, nourisheth and assimilat- heat and cold; as we see in this instance: and we eth less, and excerneth more; and so likewise doth see, likewise, that the water of things distilled in the chin. We see also, that hair cometh not upon water, which they call the bath, differeth not much the palms of the hands, nor soles of the feet; from the water of things distilled by fire. We see which are parts more perspirable. And children also, that pewter dishes with water in them will not likewise are not hairy, for that their skins are more melt easily, but without it they will; nay we see perspirable.

more, that butter, or oil, which in themselves are Experiment solitary touching the quickness of

inflammable, yet by virtue of their moisture will do

the like. motion in birds. 681. Birds are of swifter motion than beasts ;

Experiment solitary touching yawning. for the flight of many birds is swifter than the race 685. It hath been noted by the ancients, that it of any beasts. The cause is, for that the spirits in is dangerous to pick one's ear whilst he yawneth. birds are in greater proportion, in comparison of the The cause is, for that in yawning the inner parchbulk of their body, than in beasts: for as for the ment of the ear is extended, by the drawing in of


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

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 taste. Experiment solitary touching the hiccough.

690. When the mouth is out of taste, it maketh 686. It hath been observed by the ancients, that things taste sometimes salt, chiefly bitter; and somesneezing doth cease the hiccough. The cause is, time loathsome, but never sweet. The cause is, the for that the motion of the hiccough is a lifting up of corrupting of the moisture about the tongue, which the stomach, which sneezing doth somewhat depress, many times turneth bitter, and salt, and loathsome; but and divert the motion another way. For first we sweet never; for the rest are degrees of corruption. see that the hiccough cometh of fulness of meat, especially in children, which causeth an extension

Experiment solitary touching some prognostics of of the stomach : we see also it is caused by acid

pestilential seasons. meats, or drinks, which is by the pricking of the 691. It was observed in the great plague of the stomach; and this motion is ceased either by diver- last year, that there were seen in divers ditches and sion, or by detention of the spirits ; diversion, as in low grounds about London, many toads that had sneezing; detention, as we see holding of the breath tails two or three inches long at the least; whereas doth help somewhat to cease the hiccough; and toads usually have no tails at all. Which argueth putting a man into an earnest study doth the like, a great disposition to putrefaction in the soil and as is commonly used: and vinegar put to the nos- air. It is reported likewise, that roots, such as trils, or gargarised, doth it also ; for that it is carrots and parsnips, are more sweet and luscious in astringent, and inhibiteth the motion of the spirits. infectious years than in other years. Experiment solitary touching sneezing. Experiment solitary touching special simples for

medicines. 687. Looking against the sun doth induce sneezing. The cause is not the heating of the nostrils, 692. Wise physicians should with all diligence for then the holding up of the nostrils against the inquire, what simples nature yieldeth that have exsun, though one wink, would do it; but the drawing treme subtile parts, without any mordication or down of the moisture of the brain: for it will make acrimony : for they undermine that which is hard ; the eyes run with water ; and the drawing of they open that which is stopped and shut; and they moisture to the eyes, doth draw it to the nostrils by expel that which is offensive, gently, without too motion of consent; and so followeth sneezing: as much perturbation. Of this kind are elder-flowers ; contrariwise, the tickling of the nostrils within, doth which therefore are proper for the stone: of this kind draw the moisture to the nostrils, and to the eyes by is the dwarf-pine; which is proper for the jaundice: consent; for they also will water. But yet it hath of this kind is hartshorn ; which is proper for agues been observed, that if one be about to sneeze, the and infections: of this kind is piony ; which is prorubbing of the eyes till they run with water will per for stoppings in the head: of this kind is fumiprevent it. Whereof the cause is, for that the tory; which is proper for the spleen: and a number humour which was descending to the nostrils, is of others. Generally, divers creatures bred of diverted to the eyes.

putrefaction, though they be somewhat loathsome to

take, are of this kind; as earth-worms, timber-sows, Experiment solitary touching the tenderness of

snails, &c. And I conceive that the trochisks of the teeth.

vipers, which are so much magnified, and the flesh 688. The teeth are more by cold drink, or the of snakes some ways condited, and corrected, which like, affected than the other parts. The cause is of late are grown into some credit, are of the same double; the one, for that the resistance of bone to nature. So the parts of beasts putrified, as castocold is greater than of flesh, for that the flesh shrink- reum and musk, which have extreme subtile parts, eth, but the bone resisteth, whereb the cold be- are to be placed amongst them. We see also, that cometh more eager: the other is, for that the teeth putrefactions of plants, as agaric and Jew's ear, are are parts without blood; whereas blood helpeth to of greatest virtue. The cause is, for that putrefacqualify the cold; and therefore we see that the tion is the subtilest of all motions in the parts of sinews are much affected with cold, for that they bodies: and since we cannot take down the lives of are parts without blood; so the bones in sharp colds living creatures, which some of the Paracelsians say, wax brittle: and therefore it hath been seen, that if they could be taken down, would make us immorall contusions of bones in hard weather are more tal; the next is for subtilty of operation, to take difficult to cure.

bodies putrified; such as may be safely taken. Experiment solitary touching the tongue.

Experiments in consort touching Venus. 689. It hath been noted, that the tongue re

693. It hath been observed by the ancients, that ceiveth more easily tokens of diseases than the much use of Venus doth dim the sight; and yet other parts; as of heats within, which appear most eunuchs, which are unable to generate, are neverthein the blackness of the tongue. Again, pyed cattle less also dim-sighted. The cause of dimness of sight are spotted in their tongues, &c. The cause is, no in the former, is the expense of spirits; in the latter, doubt, the tenderness of the part, which thereby re- I the over-moisture of the brain : for the over-moisture

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »