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445. Take seed, or kernels of apples, pears, oranges; or a peach, or a plum-stone, &c. and put (hem into a squill, which is like a great onion, and they will come up much earlier than in the earth itself. This I conceive to be as a kind of grafting in the root; for as the stock of a graft yieldeth better prepared nourishment to the graft, than the crude earth; so the squill doth the like to the seed. And I suppose the same would be done, by putting kernels into a turnip, or the like: save that the squill is more vigorous and hot. It may be tried also, with putting onion seed into an onion head, which thereby, perhaps, will bring forth a larger and earlier onion.
446. The pricking of a fruit in several places, when it is almost at its bigness, and before it ripeneth, hath been practised with success, to ripen the fruit more suddenly. We see the example of the biting of wasps or worms upon fruit, whereby it manifestly ripeneth the sooner.
447. It is reported, that alga marina, sea-weed, put under the roots of coleworts, and, perhaps, of other plants, will farther their growth. The virtue, Do doubt, hath relation to salt, which is a great help to fertility.
448. It hath been practised, to cut off the stalks of cucumbers, immediately after their bearing, close by the earth; and then to cast a pretty quantity of earth upon the plant that remaineth, and they will l>ear the next year fruit long before the ordinary time. The cause may be, for that the sap goeth down the sooner, and is not spent in the stalk or leaf which remaineth after the fruit. Where note, that the dying in the winter of the roots of plants that are annual, seemeth to be partly caused by the over expense of the sap into stalk and leaves; which being prevented they will super-annuate, if they warm.
449. The pulling off many of the blossoms from a frait-tree doth make the fruit fairer. The cause is manifest; for that the sap hath the less to nourish. And it is a common experience, that if you do not pall off some blossoms the first time a tree Uoometh, it will blossom itself to death.
450. It were good to try, what would be the effect, if all the blossoms were pulled from a fruittree; or the acorns and chestnut-buds, &c. from a wild tree, for two years together. I suppose that the tree will either put forth the third year bigger and more plentiful fruit; or else the same years, larger leaves, because of the sap stored up.
451. It hath been generally received that a plant watered with warm water, will come up sooner and better, than with cold water or with showers. But onr experiment of watering wheat with warm water, as hath been said, succeeded not; which may be, because the trial was too late in the year, viz. in the end of October. For the cold then coming upon Ae seed, after it was made more tender by the warm water, might check it.
452. There is no doubt, but that grafting, for the most part, doth meliorate the fruit. The cause is manifest; for that the nourishment is better prepared in the stock, than in the crude earth: but yet
note well, that there be some trees that are said to come up more happily from the kernel than from the graft; as the peach and melocotone. The cause I suppose to be, for that those plants require a nourishment of great moisture: and though the nourishment of the stock be finer and better prepared, yet it is not so moist and plentiful as the nourishment of the earth. And indeed we see those fruits are very cold fruits in their nature.
453. It hath been received, that a smaller pear grafted upon a stock that beareth a greater pear, will become great. But I think it is as true as that of the prime fruit upon the late stock; and e converso; which we rejected before; for the cion will govern. Nevertheless, it is probable enough, that if you can get a cion to grow upon a stock of another kind, that is much moister than its own stock, it may make the fruit greater, because it will yield more plentiful nourishment; though it is like it will make the fruit baser. But generally the grafting is upon a drier stock; as the apple upon a crab; the pear upon a thorn, &c. Yet it is reported, that in the Low Countries they will graft an apple cion upon the stock of a colewort, and it will bear a great flaggy apple; the kernel of which, if it be set, will be a colewort, and not an apple. It were good to try whether an apple cion will prosper, if it be grafted upon a sallow, or upon a poplar, or upon an alder, or upon an elm, or upon a horse-plum, which are the moistest of trees. I have heard that it hath been tried upon an elm, and succeeded.
454. It is manifest by experience, that flowers removed wax greater, because the nourishment is more easily come by in the loose earth. It may be, that oft regrafting of the same cion may likewise make fruit greater; as if you take a cion, and graft it upon a stock the first year; and then cut] it off, and graft it upon another stock the second year; and so for a third or fourth year; and then let it rest, it will yield afterward, when it beareth, the greater fruit.
Of grafting there are many experiments worth the noting, but those we reserve to a proper place.
455. It maketh figs better, if a fig-tree, when it beginneth to put forth leaves, have his top cut off. The cause is plain, for that the sap hath the less to feed, and the less way to mount: but it may be the fig will come somewhat later, as was formerly touched. The same may be tried likewise in other trees.
456. It is reported, that mulberries will be fairer, and the trees more fruitful, if you bore the trunk of the tree through in several places, and thrust into the places bored wedges of some hot trees, as turpentine, mastic-tree, guaiacum, juniper, &c. The cause may be, for that adventive heat doth cheer up the native juice of the tree.
457. It is reported, that trees will grow greater, and bear better fruit, if you put salt, or lees of wine, or blood to the root. The cause may be the increasing the lust or spirit of the root; these things being more forcible than ordinary composts.
458. It is reported by one of the ancients, that artichokes will be less prickly, and more tender, if the seeds have their tops dulled, or grated off upon a stone.
459. Herbs will be tenderer and fairer, if you take them out of beds, when they are newly come up, and remove them into pots with better earth. The remove from bed to bed was spoken of before; but that was in several years; this is upon the sudden. The cause is the same with other removes formerly mentioned.
460. Coleworts are reported by one of the ancients to prosper exceedingly, and to be better tasted, if they be sometimes watered with salt water; and much more with water mixed with nitre; the spirit of which is less adurent than salt.
461. It is reported that cucumbers will prove more tender and dainty, if their seeds be steeped a little in milk; the cause may be, for that the seed being mollified with the milk, will be too weak to draw the grosser juice of the earth, but only the finer. The same experiment may be made in artichokes and Other seeds, when you would take away either their flashiness or bitterness. They speak also, that the like effect followeth of steeping in water mixed with honey; but that seemcth to me not so probable, because honey hath too quick a spirit.
462. It is reported, that cucumbers will be less watery, and more melon-like, if in the pit where you set them, you fill it, half-way up, with chaff or small sticks, and then pour earth upon them; for cucumbers, as it seemeth, do extremely affect moisture, and over-drink themselves; which the chaff or chips forbiddeth. Nay, it is farther reported, that if, when a cucumber is grown, you set a pot of water about five or six inches distance from it, it will, in twenty-four hours, shoot so much out as to touch the pot; which, if it be true, is an experiment of a higher nature than belongeth to this title: for it discovereth perception in plants, to move towards that which should help and comfort them, though it be at a distance. The ancient tradition of the vine is far more strange; it is, that if you set a stake or prop at some distance from it, it will grow that way; which is far stranger, as is said, than the other : for that water may work by a sympathy of attraction; but this of the stake seemeth to be a reasonable discourse.
463. It hath been touched before, that terebration of trees doth make them prosper better. But it is found also, that it maketh the fruit sweeter and better. The cause is, for that, notwithstanding the terebration, they may receive aliment sufficient, and yet no more than they can well turn and digest: and withal do sweat out the coarsest and unprofitablest juice; even as it is in living creatures, which by moderate feeding, and exercise, and sweat, attain the soundest habit of body.
464. As terebration doth meliorate fruit, so upon the like reason doth letting of plants blood; as pricking vines, or other trees, after they be of some growth; and thereby letting forth gum or tears; though this be not to continue, as it is in terebration, but at some seasons. And it is reported, that by this artifice bitter almonds have been turned into sweet.
465. The ancients for the dulcorating of fruit do commend swine's dung above all other dung; which may be because of the moisture of that beast, whereby the excrement hath less acrimony; for we see swine's and pig's flesh is the moistest of fleshes.
466. It is observed by some, that all herbs wax sweeter, both in smell and taste, if after they be grown up some reasonable time, they be cut, and so you take the latter sprout. The cause may be, for that the longer the juice stayeth in the root and stalk, the better it concocteth. For one of the chief causes why grains, seeds, and fruits, are more nourishing than leaves, is the length of time in which they grow to maturation. It were not amiss to keep back the sap of herbs, or the like, by some fit means, till the end of summer; whereby, it may be, they will be more nourishing.
467. As grafting doth generally advance and meliorate fruits, above that which they would be if they were set of kernels or stones, in regard the nourishment is better concocted; so, no doubt, even in grafting, for the same cause, the choice of the stock doth much; always provided, that it be somewhat inferior to the cion; for otherwise itdulletliit. They commend much the grafting of pears or apples upon a quince.
468. Besides the means of melioration of fruits before-mentioned, it is set down as tried, that a mixture of bran and swine's dung, or chaff and swine's dung, especially laid up together for a month to rot, is a very great nourisher and comforter to a fruit-tree.
469. It is delivered, that onions wax greater if they be taken out of the earth, and laid a drying twenty days, and then set again; and yet more, if the outermost pill be taken off all over.
470. It is delivered by some, that if one take the bough of a low fruit-tree newly budded, and draw it gently, without hurting it, into an earthen pot perforate at the bottom to let in the plant, and then cover the pot with earth, it will yield a very large fruit within the ground. Which experiment is nothing but potting of plants without removing, and leaving the fruit in the earth. The like, they say, will be effected by an empty pot without earth in it put over a fruit, being propped up with a stake, as it hangeth upon the tree; and the better, if some few pcrtusions be made in the pot. Wherein, besides the defending of the fruit from extremity of sun or weather, some give a reason, that the fruit loving and coveting the open air and sun, is invited by those perfusions to spread and approach as near the open air as it can; and so enlargetli in magnitude.
471. All trees in high and sandy grounds are to be set deep; and in watery grounds more shallow. And in all trees, when they be removed, especially fruit-trees, care ought to be taken, that the sides of the trees be coasted, north and south, &c. as they stood before. The same is said also of stone out of the quarry, to make it more durable; though that seemeth to have less reason ; because the stone licth not so near the sun, as the tree groweth.
472. Timber trees in a coppice wood do grow better than in an open field; both because they offer not to spread so much, but shoot up still in height; and chiefly because they are defended from too much sun and wind, which do check the growth of all fruit; and so, no doubt, fruit-trees, or vines, set upon a wall against the sun, between elbows or buttresses of stone, ripen more than upon a plain wall.
473. It is said, that if potado-roots be set in a pot filled with earth, and then the pot with earth be set likewise within the ground some two or three inches, the roots will grow greater than ordinary. The cause may be, for that having earth enough within the pot to nourish them; and then being stopped by the bottom of the pot from putting strings downward, they must needs grow greater in breadth and thickness. And it may be, that all seeds or roots potted, and so set into the earth, will prosper the better.
474. The cutting off the leaves of radish, or other roots, in the beginning of winter, before they wither, and coTering again the root something high with earth, will preserve the root all winter, and make it bigger in the spring following, as hath been partly touched before. So that there is a double use of this cutting off the leaves; for in plants where the root is the esculent, as radish and parsnips, it will maie the root the greater; and so it will do to the beads of onions. And where the fruit is the esculent, Ly strengthening the root, it will make the fruit also the greater.
4/5. It is an experiment of great pleasure, to make the leaves of shady trees larger than ordinary. It hath been tried for certain that a cion of a weechebn, grafted upon the stock of an ordinary elm, will put forth leaves almost as broad as the brim of one's bat And it is very likely, that as in fruit-trees the graft maketh a greater fruit; so in trees that bear no fruit, it will make the greater leaves. It would be tried therefore in trees of that kind chiefly, is birch, asp, willow; and especially the shining willow, which they call swallow-tail, because of the pleasure of the leaf.
476. The barrenness of trees by accident, besides the weakness of the soil, seed, or root, and the injury of the weather, cometh either of their overgrowing with moss, or their being hide-bound, or their planting too deep, or by issuing of the sap too ouch into the leaves. For all these there are remedies mentioned before.
Eiptriments in consort touching compound fruits and flowers.
We see that in living creatures, that have male and female, there is copulation of several kinds; and so compound creatures; as the mule, that is generated betwixt the horse and the ass; and some other compounds which we call monsters, though more rare; and it is held that that proverb, " Africa semper aliquid monstri parit," cometh, for that the fountains of waters there being rare, divers sorts of beasts come from several parts to drink; and so being refreshed, fall to couple, and many times with feral kinds. The compounding or mixture of iinds in plants is not found out; which, neverthe
less, if it be possible, is more at command than that of living creatures; for that their lust requireth a voluntary motion; wherefore it were one of the most noble experiments touching plants to find it out: for so you may have great variety of new fruits and flowers yet unknown. Grafting doth it not; that mendeth the fruit, or doubleth the flowers, &c. but it hath not the power to make a new kind. For the cion ever overmleth the stock.
477- It hath been set down by one of the ancients, that if you take two twigs of several fruit-trees, and flat them on the sides, and then bind them close together and set them in the ground, they will come up in one stock; but yet they will put forth their several fruits without any commixture in the fruit. Wherein note, by the way, that unity of continuance is easier to procure than unity of species. It is reported also, that vines of red and white grapes being set in the ground, and the upper parts being flatted and bound close together, will put forth grapes of the several colours upon the same branch; and grape-stones of several colours within the same grape: but the more after a year or two; the unity, as it seemeth, growing more perfect. And this will likewise help, if from the first uniting they be often watered; for all moisture helpeth to union. And it is prescribed also to bind the bud as soon as it cometh forth, as well as the stock, at the least for a time.
478. They report, that divers seeds put into a clout, and laid in earth well dunged, will put up plants contiguous; which, afterwards, being bound in, their shoots will incorporate. The like is said of kernels put into a bottle with a narrow mouth filled with earth.
479. It is reported, that young trees of several kinds set contiguous without any binding, and very often watered, in a fruitful ground, with the very luxury of the trees will incorporate and grow together. Which seemeth to me the likeliest means that hath been propounded; for that the binding doth hinder the natural swelling of the tree; which, while it is in motion, doth better unite.
Experiments in consort touching the sympathy and antipathy of plants.
There are many ancient and received traditions and observations touching the sympathy and antipathy of plants; for that some will thrive best growing near others, which they impute to sympathy; and some worse, which they impute to antipathy. But these are idle and ignorant conceits, and forsake the true indication of the causes, as the most part of experiments that concern sympathies and antipathies do. For as to plants, neither is there any such secret friendship or hatred as they imagine; and if we should be content to call it sympathy and antipathy, it is utterly mistaken; for their sympathy is an antipathy, and their antipathy is a sympathy: for it is thus; Wheresoever one plant draweth a particular juice out of the earth, as it qiialifieth the earth, so that juice which remaineth is fit for the other plant; there the neighbourhood doth good, because the nourishments are contrary or several: but where two plants draw much the same juice, there the neighbourhood hurteth, for the one deceiveth the other.
480. First therefore, all plants that do draw much nourishment from the earth, and so soak the earth and exhaust it, hurt all things that grow by them; as great trees, especially ashes, and such trees as spread their roots near the top of the ground. So the colewort is not an enemy, though that were anciently received, to the vine only; but it is an enemy to any other plant, because it draweth strongly the fattest juice of the earth. And if it be true, that the vine when it creepeth near the colewort will turn away, this may be, because there it findeth worse nourishment; for though the root be where it was, yet, I doubt, the plant will bend as it nourisheth.
481. Where plants are of several natures, and draw several juices out of the earth, there, as hath been said, the one set by the other helpeth: as it is set down by divers of the ancients, that rue doth prosper much, and becometh stronger, if it be set by a fig-tree; which, we conceive, is caused not by reason of friendship, but by extraction of a contrary juice: the one drawing juice fit to result sweet, the other bitter. So they have set down likewise, that a rose set by garlic is sweeter: which likewise may be, because the more fetid juice of the earth goeth into the garlic, and the more odorate into the rose.
482. This we see manifestly, that there be certain corn-flowers which come seldom or never in other places, unless thay be set, but only amongst corn; as the blue bottle, a kind of yellow marygold, wild poppy, and fumitory. Neither can this be, by reason of the culture of the ground, by ploughing or furrowing: as some herbs and flowers will grow but in ditches new cast; for if the ground lie fallow and unsown, they will not come: so as it should seem to be the corn that qualifieth the earth, and prepareth it for their growth.
483. This observation, if it holdeth, as it is very probable, is of great use for the meliorating of taste in fruits and esculent herbs, and of the scent of flowers. For I do not doubt, but if the fig-tree do make the rue more strong and bitter, as the ancients have noted, good store of rue planted about the figtree will make the fig more sweet. Now the tastes that do most offend in fruits, and herbs, and roots, are bitter, harsh, sour, and waterish, or flashy. It were good therefore to make the trials following:
484. Take wormwood, or me, and set it near lettuce, or the 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 figtree, 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-melons, 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 briar, 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 Hromatical.
489. Contrariwise, you must take heed how you set herbs together, that draw much the like juice. And therefore I think rosemary will lose the 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 coleworls, 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 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 over-cast. Of this there necdeth 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 of the head, it is found in the great flower of the sun, in marygolds, wartwort, 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, Lnt not to let the cross sink down, but to stick. Then likewise, by way of imposture, they make a question j 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 pot 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 cross 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 j 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 spungy 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 exudation 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 no where else.
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 trefoil, 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 j as lavender, lavender-cotton, sage, hyssop, &c. Of the cause of this inquire farther; 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 distance, and not at touch only. Therefore take a vessel, and in the middle of it make a false bottom of coarse canvas: fill it with earth above the canvas, and let not the earth be watered ; then sow some good seeds in that earth ; but under the canvas, some half a foot in the bottom of the vessel, lay a great spunge 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 spunge 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 substance, 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 feed 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