Page images


withdraw credit from the operations by transmission Experiments in consort touching the transmission of spirits, and force of imagination, because the

and influx of immateriate virtues, and the force effects fail sometimes. For as in infection, and of imagination.

contagion from body to body, as the plague, and the The philosophy of Pythagoras, which was full of like, it is most certain that the infection is received, superstition, did first plant a monstrous imagination, many times, by the body passive, but yet is, by the which afterwards was, by the school of Plato and strength and good disposition thereof, repulsed and others, watered and nourished. It was, that the wrought out, before it be formed into a disease ; so world was one entire perfect living creature; inso-much more in impressions from mind to mind, or much as Apollonius of Tyana, a Pythagorean pro from spirit to spirit, the impression taketh, but is phet, affirmed, that the ebbing and flowing of the encountered and overcome by the mind and spirit, sea was the respiration of the world, drawing in which is passive, before it work any manifest effect. water as breath, and putting it forth again. They And therefore they work most upon weak minds went on, and inferred, that if the world were a living and spirits ; as those of women, sick persons, supercreature, it had a soul and spirit ; which also they stitious and fearful persons, children, and young held, calling it spiritus mundi, the spirit or soul of creatures : the world : by which they did not intend God, for

“ Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos :" they did admit of a Deity besides, but only the soul or essential form of the universe. This foundation The poet speaketh not of sheep, but of lambs. As being laid, they might build upon it what they for the weakness of the power of them upon kings would; for in a living creature, though never so and magistrates, it may be ascribed, besides the great, as for example, in a great whale, the sense main, which is the protection of God over those that and the affects of any one part of the body instantly execute his place, to the weakness of the imaginamake a transcursion throughout the whole body ; tion of the imaginant: for it is hard for a witch or so that by this they did insinuate, that no distance a sorcerer to put on a belief that they can hurt such of place, nor want of indisposition of matter, could persons. hinder magical operations; but that, for example, 902. Men are to be admonished, on the other we might here in Europe have sense and feeling of side, that they do not easily give place and credit to that which was done in China ; and likewise we these operations, because they succeed many times; might work any effect without and against matter; for the cause of this success is oft to be truly ascriband this not holpen by the co-operation of angels or ed unto the force of affection and imagination upon spirits, but only by the unity and harmony of nature. the body agent; and then by a secondary means it There were some also that staid not here; but went may work upon a diverse body : as for example, if farther, and held, that if the spirit of man, whom a man carry a planet's seal, or a ring, or some part they call the microcosm, do give a fit touch to the of a beast, believing strongly that it will help him spirit of the world, by strong imaginations and be to obtain his love ; or to keep him from danger of liefs, it might command nature ; for Paracelsus, and hurt in fight; or to prevail in a suit, &c. it may some darksome authors of magic, do ascribe to ima- make him more active and industrious: and again, gination exalted the power of miracle-working faith. more confident and persisting, than otherwise he With these yastand

bottomless follies men have would be. Now the great effects that may come of been in part entertained.

industry and perseverance, especially in civil busiBut we, that hold firm to the works of God, and ness, who knoweth not ? For we see audacity doth to the sense, which is God's lamp, “ lucerna Dei almost bind and mate the weaker sort of minds ; spiraculum hominis,” will inquire with all sobriety and the state of human actions is so variable, that and severity, whether there be to be found in the to try things oft, and never to give over, doth wonfootsteps of nature, any such transmission and influx ders: therefore it were a mere fallacy and mistakof immateriate virtues; and what the force of ima- ing to ascribe that to the force of imagination upon gination is; either upon the body imaginant, or upon another body which is but the force of imagination another body: wherein it will be like that labour upon the proper body; for there is no doubt but of Hercules, in purging the stable of Augeas, to that imagination and vehement affection work greatly separate from superstition and magical arts and upon the body of the imaginant; as we shall show observations, any thing that is clean and pure natu- in due place. ral; and not to be either contemned or condemned. 903. Men are to be admonished, that as they are And although we shall have occasion to speak of not to mistake the causes of these operations; 80 this in more places than one, yet we will now make much less they are to mistake the fact or effect; some entrance thereinto.

and rashly to take that for done which is not done.

And therefore, as divers wise judges have preExperiments in consort, monitory, touching transmis

scribed and cautioned, men may not too rashly besion of spirits, and the force of imagination.

lieve the confessions of witches, nor yet the evidence 901. Men are to be admonished that they do not against them. For the witches themselves are



imaginative, and believe ofttimes they do that which at distance; and that of fire to naphtha; and that they do not: and people are credulous in that point, of some herbs to water, though at distance; and and ready to impute accidents and natural opera- divers others; we shall handle, but yet not under tions to witchcraft. It is worthy the observing, this present title, but under the title of attraction in that both in ancient and late times, as in the Thes- general. salian witches, and the meetings of witches that 907. The fourth is the emission of spirits, and have been recorded by so many late confessions, the immateriate powers and virtues, in those things great wonders which they tell, of carrying in the which work by the universal configuration and symair, transforming themselves into other bodies, &c. pathy of the world; not by forms, or celestial inare still reported to be wrought, not by incantations fluxes, as is vainly taught and received, but by the or ceremonies, but by ointments, and anointing them- primitive nature of matter, and the seeds of things. selves all over. This may justly move a man to Of this kind is, as we yet suppose, the working of think that these fables are the effects of imagination: the loadstone, which is by consent with the globe for it is certain that ointments do all, if they be laid of the earth : of this kind is the motion of gravity, on any thing thick, by stopping of the pores, shut which is by consent of dense bodies with the globe in the vapours, and send them to the head extremely of the earth: of this kind is some disposition of And for the particular ingredients of those magical bodies to rotation, and particularly from east to ointments, it is like they are opiate and soporifer- west: of which kind we conceive the main float ous. For anointing of the forehead, neck, feet, back and refloat of the sea is, which is by consent of bone, we know, is used for procuring dead sleeps : the universe, as part of the diurnal motion. These and if any man say that this effect would be better immateriate virtues have this property differing done by inward potions; answer may be made, that from others; that the diversity of the medium hinthe medicines which go to the ointments are so dereth them not; but they pass through all mediums, strong, that if they were used inwards, they would yet at determinate distances. And of these we shall kill those that use them: and therefore they work speak, as they are incident to several titles. potently, though outwards.

908. The fifth is the emission of spirits; and We will divide the several kinds of the operations this is the principal in our intention to handle now by transmission of spirits and imagination, which in this place ; namely, the operation of the spirits will give no small light to the experiments that of the mind of man upon other spirits : and this is follow. All operations by transmission of spirits of a double nature; the operations of the affecand imagination have this; that they work at dis- tions, if they be vehement; and the operation of the tance, and not at touch; and they are these being imagination, if it be strong. But these two are distinguished.

so coupled, as we shall handle them together; for 904. The first is the transmission or emission of when an envious or amorous aspect doth infect the the thinner and more airy parts of bodies; as in spirits of another, there is joined both affection and odours and infections: and this is, of all the rest, imagination. the most corporeal.

909. The sixth is, the influxes of the heavenly But you must remember withal, that there be a bodies, besides those two manifest ones, of heat and number of those emissions, both wholesome and un- light. But these we will handle where we handle wholesome, that give no smell at all: for the plague, the celestial bodies and motions. many times when it is taken, giveth no scent at all : 910. The seventh is the operations of sympathy, and there be many good and healthful airs that do which the writers of natural magic have brought appear by habitation and other proofs, that differ into an art or precept: and it is this ; that if you not in smell from other airs. And under this head desire to superinduce any virtue or disposition upon you may place all imbibitions of air, where the sub- a person, you should take the living creature, in stance is material, odour-like; whereof some never- which that virtue is most eminent, and in perfection ; theless are strange, and very suddenly diffused ; as of that creature you must take the parts wherein that the alteration which the air receiveth in Ægypt, virtue chiefly is collocate : again, you must take those almost immediately, upon the rising of the river of parts in the time and act when that virtue is most in Nilus, whereof we have spoken.

exercise; and then you must apply it to that part 905. The second is the transmission or emission of man wherein that virtue chiefly consisteth. As of those things that we call spiritual species : as if you would superinduce courage and fortitude, take visibles and sounds; the one whereof we have a lion or a cock; and take the heart, tooth, or paw handled, and the other we shall handle in due place. of the lion; or the heart or spur of the cock: take These move swiftly, and at great distance; but then those parts immediately after the lion or the cock they require a medium well disposed, and their have been in fight; and let them be worn upon a transmission is easily stopped.

man's heart or wrist. Of these and such like sym906. The third is the emissions, which cause at pathies, we shall speak under this present title. traction of certain bodies at distance; wherein though 911. The eighth and last is, an emission of imthe loadstone be commonly placed in the first rank, materiate virtues ; such as we are a little doubtful yet we think good to except it, and refer it to another to propound, it is so prodigious; but that it is so head: but the drawing of amber and jet, and other constantly avouched by many: and we have set it electric bodies, and the attraction in gold of the spirit down as a law to ourselves, to examine things to the of quick-silver at distance; and the attraction of heat | bottom; and not to receive upon credit, or reject


[ocr errors]

upon improbabilities, until there hath passed a due feared, it were good those public places were perexamination. This is the sympathy of individuals; fumed, before the assemblies. for as there is a sympathy of species, so it may be 916. The empoisonment of particular persons by there is a sympathy of individuals : that is, that in odours, hath been reported to be in perfumed gloves, things, or the parts of things that have been once or the like: and it is like, they mingle the poison contiguous or entire, there should remain a trans- that is deadly, with some smells that are sweet, mission of virtue from the one to the other : as be- which also maketh it the sooner received. Plagues tween the weapon and the wound. Whereupon is also have been raised by anointings of the chinks of blazed abroad the operation of unguentum teli : and doors, and the like ; not so much by the touch, as so of a piece of lard, or stick of elder, &c. that if for that it is common for men, when they find any part of it be consumed or putrified, it will work thing wet upon their fingers, to put them to their upon the other part severed. Now we will pursue nose ; which men therefore should take heed how the instances themselves.

they do. The best is, that these compositions of in

fectious airs cannot be made without danger of death Experiments in consort touching emission of spirits to them that make them. But then again, they may in vapour or exhalation, odour-like.

have some antidotes to save themselves; so that 912. The plague is many times taken without men ought not to be secure of it. manifest sense, as hath been said. And they report, 917. There have been in divers countries great that where it is found, it hath a scent of the smell of plagues by the putrefaction of great swarms of grassa mellow apple; and, as some say, of May-flowers: hoppers and locusts, when they have been dead and and it is also received, that smells of flowers that cast upon heaps. are mellow and luscious, are ill for the plague; as 918. It happeneth often in mines, that there are white lilies, cowslips, and hyacinths.

damps which kill, either by suffocation, or by the 913. The plague is not easily received by such poisonous nature of the mineral: and those that deal as continually are about them that have the plague; much in refining, or other works about metals and as keepers of the sick, and physicians ; nor again minerals, have their brains hurt and stupified by by such as take antidotes, either inward, as mithri- the metalline vapours. Amongst which it is noted, date, juniper-berries, rue, leaf and seed, &c. or out that the spirits of quicksilver either fly to the skull, ward, as angelica, zedoary, and the like, in the teeth, or bones; insomuch as gilders use to have a mouth; tar, galbanum, and the like in perfume ; nor piece of gold in their mouth, to draw the spirits of again by old people, and such as are of a dry and the quicksilver ; which gold afterwards they find to cold complexion. On the other side, the plague be whitened. There are also certain lakes and pits, taketh soonest hold of those that come out of a such as that of Avernus, that poison birds, as is fresh air, and of those that are fasting, and of chil said, which fly over them, or men that stay too long dren; and it is likewise noted to go in a blood, more about them. than to a stranger.

919. The vapour of charcoal, or sea-coal, in a 914. The most pernicious infection, next the close room, hath killed many; and it is the more plague, is the smell of the jail, when prisoners have dangerous, because it cometh without any ill smell, been long, and close, and nastily kept; whereof we but stealeth on by little and little, inducing only a have had in our time experience twice or thrice; faintness, without any manifest strangling. When when both the judges that set upon the jail, and the Dutchmen wintered at Nova Zembla, and that numbers of those that attended the business or were they could gather no more sticks, they fell to make present, sickened upon it, and died. Therefore it fire of some sea-coal they had, wherewith, at first, were good wisdom, that in such cases the jail were they were much refreshed; but a little after they aired before they be brought forth.

had set about the fire, there grew a general silence 915. Out of question, if such foul smells be made and lothness to speak amongst them; and immeby art, and by the hand, they consist chiefly of diately after, one of the weakest of the company fell man’s flesh or sweat putrified; for they are not down in a swoon ; whereupon they doubting what it those stinks which the nostrils straight abhor and was, opened their door to let in air, and so saved expel, that are most pernicious; but such airs as themselves. The effect, no doubt, is wrought by have some similitude with man's body; and so in the inspissation of the air ; and so of the breath and sinuate themselves, and betray the spirits. There spirits. The like ensueth in rooms newly plaistermay be great danger in using such compositions, in ed, if a fire be made in them; whereof no less man great meetings of people within houses; as in than the emperor Jovinianus died. churches, at arraignments, at plays and solemnities, 920. Vide the experiment 803, touching the inand the like: for poisoning of air is no less dan- fectious nature of the air, upon the first showers, gerous than poisoning of water, which hath been after a long drought. used by the Turks in the wars, and was used by 921. It hath come to pass, that some apothecaries, Emmanuel Comnenus towards the christians, when upon stamping of colloquintida, have been put into they passed through his country to the Holy Land. a great scouring by the vapour only. And these impoisonments of air are the more dan- 922. It hath been a practice to burn a pepper they gerous in meetings of people, because the much call Guinea-pepper, which hath such a strong spirit, breath of people doth farther the reception of the that it provoketh a continual sneezing in those that infection; and therefore, where any such thing is are in the room.


[ocr errors]

and fall away.

[ocr errors]

923. It is an ancient tradition, that blear-eyes there be divers things that breathe better of theminfect sound eyes ; and that a menstruous woman, selves, than when they come to the fire; as nigella looking upon a glass, doth rust it: nay, they have romana, the seed of melanthium, amomum, &c. an opinion which seemeth fabulous, that menstruous 930. There be two things which, inwardly used, women going over a field or garden, do corn and do cool and condense the spirits; and I wish the herbs good by killing the worms.

same to be tried outwardly in vapours. The one is 924. The tradition is no less ancient, that the nitre, which I would have dissolved in Malmsey, or basilisk killeth by aspect; and that the wolf, if he | Greek wine, and so the smell of the wine taken ; or see a man first, by aspect striketh a man hoarse. if you would have it more forcible, pour of it upon a

925. Perfumes convenient do dry and strengthen firepan, well heated, as they do rose-water and the brain, and stay rheums and deflusions, as we vinegar. The other is the distilled water of wild find in fome of rosemary dried, and lignum aloes; poppy, which I wish to be mingled, at half, with and calamus taken at the mouth and nostrils : and rose-water, and so taken with some mixture of a no doubt there be other perfumes that do moisten few cloves in a perfuming-pan. The like would be and refresh, and are fit to be used in burning agues, done with the distilled water of saffron flowers. consumptions, and too much wakefulness; such as 931. Smells of musk, and amber, and civet, are are rose-water, vinegar, lemon-peels, violets, the thought to farther venereous appetite ; which they leaves of vines sprinkled with a little rose-water, &c. may do by the refreshing and calling forth of the

926. They do use in sudden faintings and swoon- spirits. ings to put a handkerchief with rose-water or a 932. Incense and nidorous smells, such as were litile vinegar to the nose; which gathereth together of sacrifices, were thought to intoxicate the brain, again the spirits, which are upon point to resolve and to dispose men to devotion : which they may do

by a kind of sadness, and contristation of the spirits : 927. Tobacco comforteth the spirits, and dis- and partly also by heating and exalting them. We chargeth weariness, which it worketh partly by see that amongst the Jews the principal perfume of opening, but chiefly by the opiate virtue, which the sanctuary was forbidden all common uses. condenseth the spirits. It were good therefore to 933. There be some perfumes prescribed by the try the taking of fumes by pipes, as they do in writers of natural magic, which procure pleasant tobacco, of other things; as well to dry and comfort, dreams : and some others, as they say, that

procure as for other intentions. I wish trial be made of the prophetical dreams; as the seeds of flax, flea-wort, &c. drying fume of rosemary, and lignum aloes, before- 934. It is certain, that odours do, in a small dementioned, in pipe; and so of nutmeg, and folium gree, nourish ; especially the odour of wine : and indum, c.

we see men an hungered do love to smell hot bread. 928. The following of the plough hath been ap. It is related that Democritus, when he lay a dying, proved or refreshing the spirits and procuring heard a woman in the house complain, that she appetite, but to do it in the ploughing for wheat or should be kept from being at a feast and solemnity, rre, is not so good, because the earth has spent her which she much desired to see, because there would sweet breath in vegetables put forth in summer. It be a corpse in the house; whereupon he caused is better therefore to do it when you sow barley. loaves of new bread to be sent for, and opened them, But because ploughing is tied to seasons, it is best and poured a little wine into them ; and so kept to take the air of the earth new turned up, by dig. himself alive with the odour of them, till the feast ging with the spade, or standing by him that dig- was past. I knew a gentleman that would fast, geth. Gentlewomen may do themselves much good sometimes three or four, yea, five days, without meat, ly kneeling upon a cushion, and weeding. And bread, or drink ; but the same man used to have these things you may practise in the best seasons; continually a great wisp of herbs that he smelled on: which is ever the early spring, before the earth put- and amongst those herbs, some esculent herbs of teth forth the vegetables, and in the sweetest earth strong scent; as onions, garlic, leeks, and the like. you can choose. It would be done also when the 935. They do use, for the accident of the mother, dew is a little off the ground, lest the vapour be too to burn feathers and other things of ill odour : and moist

. I knew a great man that lived long, who by those ill smells the rising of the mother is put had a clean clod of earth brought to him every down. morning as he sat in his bed; and he would hold 936. There be airs which the physicians advise his head over it a good pretty while. I commend their patients to remove unto, in consumptions or also, sometimes, in digging of new earth, to pour in upon recovery of long sicknesses: which, commonly, some Malmsey or Greek wine, that the vapour of are plain champains, but grazing, and not over-grown the earth and wine together may comfort the spirits with heath or the like; or else timber-shades, as in the more; provided always it be not taken for a forests, and the like. It is noted also, that groves heathen sacrifice, or libation to the earth.

of bays do forbid pestilent airs; which was account29. They have in physic use of pomanders, and ed a great cause of the wholesome air of Antiochia. knots of powders, for drying of rheums, comforting There be also some soils that put forth odorate of the heart, provoking of sleep, &c. For though herbs of themselves ; as wild thyme, wild marjoram, those things be not so strong as perfumes, yet you pennyroyal, camomile ; and in which the bricr roses may have them continually in your hand; whereas smell almost like musk-roses ; which, no doubt, are farfumes you can take but at times: and besides, signs that do discover an excellent air.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

937. It were good for men to think of having to be kept company with and employed : and others healthful air in their houses; which will never be unlucky. Certainly, it is agreeable to reason, that if the rooms be low roofed, or full of windows and there are at the least some light effluxions from doors; for the one maketh the air close, and not spirit to spirit, when men are in presence one with fresh, and the other maketh it exceeding unequal ; another, as well as from body to body. which is a great enemy to health. The windows 942. It hath been observed, that old men who also should not be high up to the roof, which is in have loved young company, and been conversant use for beauty and magnificence, but low. Also stone- continually with them, have been of long life ; their walls are not wholesome ; but timber is more whole-spirits, as it seemeth, being recreated by such comsome ; and especially brick: nay, it hath been used pany. Such were the ancient sophists and rhetoby some with great success to make their walls ricians; which ever had young auditors and disthick ; and to put a lay of chalk between the bricks, ciples; as Gorgias, Protagoras, Isocrates, &c. who to take away all dampishness.

lived till they were a hundred years old. And so Experiment solitary touching the emission of spiritual masters ; such as was Orbilius, &c.

likewise did many of the grammarians and schoolspecies which affect the senses.

943. Audacity and confidence doth, in civil busi938. These emissions, as we said before, are ness, so great effects, as a man may reasonably handled, and ought to be handled by themselves doubt, that besides the very daring, and earnestness, under their proper titles : that is, visibles and audi. and persisting, and importunity, there should be bles, each a part: in this place it shall suffice to give some secret binding, and stooping of other men's some general observations common to both. First, spirits to such persons. they seem to be incorporeal. Secondly, they work 944. The affections, no doubt, do make the spirits swiftly. Thirdly, they work at large distances. more powerful and active; and especially those Fourthly, in curious varieties. Fifthly, they are affections which draw the spirits into the eyes : not effective of any thing; nor leave no work be- which are two; love, and envy, which is called hind them; but are energies merely : for their oculus malus. As for love, the Platonists, some of working upon mirrors and places of echo doth not them, go so far as to hold that the spirit of the lover alter any thing in those bodies; but it is the same doth pass into the spirits of the person loved; action with the original, only repercussed. And as which causeth the desire of return into the body for the shaking of windows, or rarifying the air by whence it was emitted: whereupon followeth that great noises; and the heat caused by burning appetite of contact and conjunction which is in glasses, they are rather concomitants of the audible lovers. And this is observed likewise, that the and visible species, than the effects of them. Sixthly, aspects which procure love, are not gazings, but they seem to be of so tender and weak a nature, as sudden glances and dartings of the eye. As for they affect only such a rare and attenuate substance, envy, that emitteth some malign and poisonous as is the spirit of living creatures.

spirit, which taketh hold of the spirit of another;

and is likewise of greatest force when the cast of Erperiments in consort touching the emission of im

the eye is oblique. It hath been noted also, that it materiute virtues from the minds and spirits of is most dangerous when an envious eye is cast upon men, either by affections, or by imaginations, or by other impressions.

persons in glory, and triumph, and joy. The reason

whereof is, for that at such times the spirits come 939. It is mentioned in some stories, that where forth most into the outward parts, and so meet the children have been exposed, or taken away young percussion of the envious eye more at hand: and from their parents; and that afterwards they have therefore it hath been noted, that after great approached to their parents' presence, the parents, triumphs, men have been ill-disposed for some days though they have not known them, have had a following. We see the opinion of fascination is secret joy or other alteration thereupon.

ancient, for both effects; of procuring love ; and 940. There was an Ægyptian soothsayer, that sickness caused by envy: and fascination is ever by made Antonius believe, that his genius, which other the eye. But yet if there be any such infection from wise was brave and confident, was in the presence spirit to spirit, there is no doubt but that it worketh of Octavianus Cæsar, poor and cowardly : and there by presence, and not by the eye alone ; yet most fore he advised him to absent himself as much as forcibly by the eye. he could, and remove far from him. This sooth- 945. Fear and shame are likewise infective; for sayer was thought to be suborned by Cleopatra, to we see that the starting of one will make another make him live in Ægypt, and other remote places ready to start: and when one man is out of coun. from Rome. Howsoever the conceit of a predomi- tenance in a company, others do likewise blush in nant or mastering spirit of one man over another, is his behalf. ancient, and received still, even in vulgar opinion.

941. There are conceits, that some men that are Now we will speak of the force of imagination of an ill and melancholy nature, do incline the upon other bodies; and of the means to exalt company into which they come to be sad and ill- and strengthen it. Imagination, in this place, I disposed; and contrariwise, that others that are of understand to be, the representation of an individual a jovial nature, do dispose the company to be merry thought. Imagination is of three kinds: the first and cheerful. And again, that some men are lucky I joined with belief of that which is to corne; the


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »