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hold, that the sewers must be kept so as the water may not stay too long in the spring till the weeds and sedge be grown up; for then the ground will be like a wood, which keepeth out the sun, and so continueth the wet; whereby it will never graze to
purpose that year. Thus much for irrigation. But for avoidances, and drainings of water, where there is too much, and the helps of ground in that kind, we shall speak of them in another place.
Experiments in consort toucking the affinities and differences between plants and inanimate bodies.
601. The differences between animate and inanimate bodies, we shall handle fully under the title of life, and living spirits, and powers. We shall therefore make but a brief mention of them in this place. The main differences are two. All bodies have spirits, and pneumatical parts within them; but the main differences betv/een animate and inanimate, are two: the first is, that the spirits of things animate are all continued within themselves, and are branched in veins, and secret canals, as blood is: and in living creatures, the spirits have not only branches, but certain cells or seats, where the principal spirits do reside, and whereunto the rest do resort: but the spirits in things inanimate are shut in, and cut off by the tangible parts, and are not pervious one to another, as air is in snow. The second main difference is, that the spirits of animate bodies are all in some degree, more or less, kindled and inflamed; and have a fine commixture of flame, and an aerial substance. But inanimate bodies have their spirits no whit inflamed or kindled. And this difference consisteth not in the heat or coolness of spirits; for cloves and other spices, naptha and petroleum, have exceeding hot spirits, hotter a great deal than oil, wax, or tallow, &c. but not inflamed. And when any of those weak and temperate bodies come to be inflamed, then they gather a much greater heat than others have uninllamed, besides their light and motion, &c.
602. The differences, which are secondary, and proceed from these two radical differences, are, first, plants are all figurate and determinate, which inanimate bodies are not: for look how far the spirit is able to spread and continue itself, so far goeth the shape or figure, and then is determined. Secondly, plants do nourish; inanimate bodies do not: they have an accretion, but no alimentation. Thirdly, plants have a period of life, which inanimate bodies have not. Fourthly, they have a succession and propagation of their kind, which is not in bodies inanimate.
603. The differences between plants, and metals or fossils, besides those four before mentioned, for metals I hold inanimate, are these: first, metals are more durable than plants: secondly, they are more solid and hard: thirdly, they are wholly subterrany; whereas plants are part above earth, and part under the earth.
604. There be very few creatures that participate
of the nature of plants and metals both; coral is one of the nearest of both kinds: another is vitriol, for that is aptest to sprout with moisture.
605. Another special affinity is between plants and mould or putrefaction: for all putrefaction, if it dissolve not in arefaction, will in the end issue into plants or living creatures bred of putrefaction. I account moss, and mushrooms, and agaric, and other of those kinds, to be but moulds of the ground, walls, and trees, and the like. As for flesh, and fish, and plants themselves, and a number of other things, after a mouldiness, or rottenness, or corrupting, they will fall to breed worms. These putrefactions, which have affinity with plants, have this difference from them; that they have no succession or propagation, though they nourish, and have a period of life, and have likewise some figure.
606. I left once by chance a citron cut, in a close room, for three summer months that I was absent; and at my return there were grown forth, out of the pith cut, tufts of hairs an inch long, with little black heads, as if they would have been some herb.
Experiments in consort touching the affinities and differences of plants and living creatures, and the confiners and participles of them.
607. The affinities and differences between plants and living creatures are these that follow. They have both of them spirits continued, and branched, and also inflamed. But first, in living creatures, the spirits have a cell or seat, which plants have not; as was also formerly said. And secondly,the spirits of living creatures hold more of flame than the spirits of plants do. And these two are the radical differences. For the secondary differences, they are as follow :—First, plants are all fixed to the earth, whereas all living creatures are severed, and of themselves. Secondly, living creatures have local motion, plants have not. Thirdly, living creatures nourish from their upper parts, by the mouth chiefly; plants nourish from below, namely, from the roots. Fourthly, plants have their seed and seminal parts uppermost; living creatures have them lowermost: and therefore it was said, not elegantly alone but philosophically: "Homo est planta inversa;" Man is like a plant turned upwards: for the root in plants is as the head in living creatures. Fifthly, living creatures have a more exact figure than plants. Sixthly, living creatures have more diversity of organs within their bodies, and, as it were, inward figures, than plants have. Seventhly, living creatures have sense, which plants have not. Eighthly, living creatures have voluntary motion, which plants hare not.
608. For the difference of sexes in plants, they art oftentimes by name distinguished; as malepiony, female-piony; male-rosemary, female-rosemary; he-holly, she-holly, &c. but generation by copulation certainly extendeth not to plants. The nearest approach of it is between the he-palm and the she-palm, which as they report, if they grow near, incline the one to the other; insomuch as, that which is more strange, they doubt not to report, that to keep the trees upright from bending, they tie ropes or lines from the one to the other, that the contact might be enjoyed by the contact of a middle body. But this may be feigned, or at least amplified. Nevertheless I am apt enough to think, that this same binarium of a stronger and a weaker, lite unto masculine and feminine, doth hold in all living bodies. It is confounded sometimes; as in aome creatures of putrefaction, wherein no marks of distinction appear; and it is doubled sometimes, as in hermaphrodites; but generally there is a degree of strength in most species.
609. The participles or confiners between plants and living creatures, are such chiefly as are fixed, and have no local motion of remove, though they have a motion in their parts j such as nre oysters, cockles, and such like. There is a fabulous narration, that in the northern countries, there should be an herb that groweth in the likeness of a lamb, and feedeth upon the grass, in such sort as it will bare the grass round about. But I suppose that the figure maketh the fable; for so, we see, there be bee-flowers, &c. And as for the grass, it seemeth the plant having a great stalk and top doth prey upon the grass a good *ay about, by drawing the juice of the earth from it.
Experiments promiscuous touching plants.
610. The Indian fig boweth its roots down so low in one year, as of itself it taketh root again: and so mnltiplieth from root to root, making of one tree a Und of wood. The cause is the plenty of the sap, and the softness of the stalk, which maketh the hough, being over-loaden, and not stiffly upheld, *eigh down. It hath leaves as broad as a little 'arget, but the fruit no bigger than beans. The raose is, for that the continual shade increaseth the leaves, and abateth the fruit, which nevertheless is of a pleasant taste. And that no doubt is caused by the suppleness and gentleness of the juice of that plant, being that which maketh the boughs also so flexible.
611. It is reported by one of the ancients, that there is a certain Indian tree, having few but very great leaves, three cubits long and two broad; and that the fruit, being of good taste, groweth out of the bark. It may be, there be plants that pour out the sap so fast, as they have no leisure either to divide into many leaves, or to put forth stalks to the fruit With us, trees, generally, have small leaves in comparison. The fig hath the greatest; and next it the vine, mulberry, and sycamore; and the least are those of the willow, birch, and thorn. But
there be found herbs with far greater leaves than any tree; as the bur, gourd, cucumber, and colewort. The cause is, like to that of the Indian fig, the hasty and plentiful putting forth of the sap.
612. There be three things in use for sweetness; sugar, honey, manna. For sugar, to the ancients it was scarce known, and little used. It is found in canes: Query, whether to the first knuckle, or farther up? And whether the very bark of the cane itself do yield sugar or no? For honey, the bee maketh it, or gathereth it j but I have heard from one that was industrious in husbandry, that the labour of the bee is about the wax; and that he hath known in the beginning of May honeycombs empty of honey; and within a fortnight, when the sweet dews fall, filled like a cellar. It is reported also by some of the ancients, that there is a tree called occhus, in the Tallies of Hyrcania, that distilleth honey in the mornings. It is not unlike that the sap and tears of some trees may be sweet. It may be also, that some sweet juices, fit for many uses, may be concocted out of fruits, to the thickness of honey, or perhaps of sugar: the likeliest are raisins of the sun, figs, and currants; the means may be inquired.
613. The ancients report of a tree by the Persian sea, upon the shore sands, which is nourished with the salt water j and when the tide ebbeth, you shall see the roots as it were bare without bark, being as it seemeth corroded by the salt, and grasping the sands like a crab; which nevertheless beareth a fruit. It were good to try some hard trees, as a service-tree, or fir-tree, by setting them within the sands.
614. There be of plants which they use for garments, these that follow: hemp, flax, cotton, nettles, whereof they make nettle-cloth, sericum, which is a growing silk; they make also cables of the bark of lime-trees. It is the stalk that maketh the filaceous matter commonly; and sometimes the down that groweth above.
615. They have in some countries a plant of a rosy colour, which shutteth in the night, openeth in the morning, and openeth wide at noon; which the inhabitants of those countries say is a plant that sleepeth. There be sleepers enough then; for almost all flowers do the like.
616. Some plants there are, but rare, that have a mossy or downy root; and likewise that have a number of threads, like beards; as mandrakes; whereof witches and impostors make an ugly image, giving it the form of a face at the top of the root, and leaving those strings to make a broad beard down to the foot. Also there is a kind of nard in Crete, being a kind of phu, that hath a root hairy, like a rough-footed dove's foot. So as you may see, there are of roots, bulbous roots, fibrous roots, and hirsute roots. And, I take it, in the bulbous, the sap hasteneth most to the air and sun; in the fibrous, the sap delighteth more in the earth, and therefore putteth downward; and the hirsute is a' middle between both, that besides the putting forth upwards and downwards, putteth forth in round.
617. There are some tears of trees, which are combed from the beards of goats; for when the goats bite and crop them, especially in the mornings, the dew being on, the tear cometh forth, and hangeth upon their beards: of this sort is some kind of laudanum.
618. The irrigation of the plane-tree by wine, is reported by the ancients to make it fruitful. It would be tried likewise with roots; for upon seeds it worketh no great effects.
619. The way to carry foreign roots a long way, is to vessel them close in earthen vessels. But if the vessels be not very great, you must make some holes in the bottom, to give some refreshment to the roots; which otherwise, as it seemeth, will decay and suffocate.
620. The ancient cinnamon was, of all other plants, while it grew, the driest; and those things which are known to comfort other plants, did make that more steril j for in showers it prospered worst; it grew also amongst bushes of other kinds, where commonly plants do not thrive; neither did it love the sun. There might be one cause of all those effects; namely, the sparing nourishment which that plant required. Query, how far cassia, which is now the substitute of cinnamon, doth participate of these things?
621. It is reported by one of the ancients, that cassia, when it is gathered, is put into the skins of beasts newly flayed; and that the skins corrupting and breeding worms, the worms do devour the pith and marrow of it, and so make it hollow; but meddle not with the bark, because to them it is bitter.
622. There were in ancient time vines of far greater bodies than we know any; for there have been cups made of "them, and an image of Jupiter. But it is like they were wild vines; for the vines that they use for wine, are so often cut, and so much digged and dressed, that their sap spendeth into the grapes, and so the stalk cannot increase much in bulk. The wood of vines is very durable, without rotting. And that which is strange, though no tree hath the twigs, while they are green, so brittle, yet the wood dried is extreme tough; and was used by the captains of armies amongst the Romans for their cudgels.
623. It is reported, that in some places vines are suffered to grow like herbs, spreading upon the ground; and that the grapes of those vines are very great. It were good to make trial, whether plants that use to be borne up by props, will not put forth greater leaves and greater fruits if they be laid along the ground; as hops, ivy, woodbine, &c.
624. Quinces, or apples, &c. if you will keep them long, drown them in honey; but because honey, perhaps, will give them a taste over-luscious, it were good to make trial in powder of sugar, or in syrup of wine, only boiled to height. Both these would likewise be tried in oranges, lemons, and pomegranates; for the powder of sugar, and syrup of wine, will serve for more times than once.
625. The conservation of fruit would be also tried in vessels filled with fine sand, or with powder of chalk; or in meal and flour; or in dust of oak wood; or in mill.
626. Such fruits as you appoint for long keeping,
you must gather before they be full ripe: and in a fair and dry day towards noon; and when the wind bloweth not south; and when the moon is under the earth, and in decrease.
627. Take grapes, and hang them in an empty vessel well stopped; and set the vessel not in a cellar, but in some dry place; and it is said they will last long. But it is reported by some, they will keep better in a vessel half full of wine, so that the grapes touch not the wine.
628. It is reported that the preserving of the stalk helpeth to preserve the grape; especially if the stalk be put into the pith of elder, the elder not touching the fruit.
629. It is reported by some of the ancients, that fruit put in bottles, and the bottles let down into wells under water, will keep long.
630. Of herbs and plants, some are good to eat raw; as lettuce, endive, purslane, tarragon, cresses, cucumbers, musk-melons, radish, &c.; others only after they are boiled, or have passed the fire; as parsley, clary, sage, parsnips, turnips, asparagus, artichokes, though they also being young are eaten raw : but a number of herbs are not esculent at all; as wormwood, grass, green corn, centuary, hyssop, lavender, balm, &c. The causes are, for that the herbs that are not esculent, do want the two tastes in which nourishment resteth; which are fat and sweet; and have, contrariwise, bitter and over-strong tastes, or a juice so crude as cannot be ripened to the degree of nourishment. Herbs and plants that are esculent raw, have fatness, or sweetness, as all esculent fruits; such are onions, lettuce, &c. But then it must be such a fatness, (for as for sweet things, they are in effect always esculent,) as is not over-gross, and loading of the stomach; for parsnips and leeks have fatness; but it is too gross and heavy without boiling. It must be also in a substance somewhat tender; for we see wheat, barley, artichokes, are no good nourishment till they have passed the fire; but the fire doth ripen, and maketh them soft and tender, and so they become esculent. As for radish and tarragon, and the like, they are for condiments, and not for nourishment. And even some of those herbs which are not esculent, are notwithstanding poculent; as hops, broom, &c. Query, what herbs are goods for drinks besides the two aforenamed; for that it may perhaps ease the charge of brewing, if they make beer to require less malt, or make it last longer.
631. Parts fit for the nourishment of man in plants are, seeds, roots, and fruits; but chiefly seeds and roots. For leaves, they give no nourishment at all, or very little: no more do flowers, or blossoms, or stalks. The reason is, for that roots, and seeds, and fruits, inasmuch as all plants consist of an oily and watery substance commixed, have more of the oily substance; and leaves, flowers, &c. of the watery. And secondly, they are more concocted; for the root which continueth ever in the earth, is still concocted by the earth; and fruits and grains we see are half a year or more in concocting; whereas leaves are out and perfect in a month.
632. Plants, for the most part, are more strong both in taste and smell in the seed, than in the leaf and root. The cause is, for that in plants that are not of a fierce and eager spirit, the virtue is increased by concoction and maturation, which is ever most in the seed; but in plants that are of a fierce and eager spirit, they are stronger whilst the spirit is enclosed in the root; and the spirits do but weaken and dissipate when they come to the air and son; as we see it in onions, garlick, dragon, &c. Xay, there be plants that have their roots very hot and aromatical, and their seeds rather insipid; as ginger. The cause is, as was touched before, for that the heat of those plants is very dissipable; which under the earth is contained and held in; but when it cometh to the air it exhaleth.
633. The juices of fruits are either watery or oOy. I reckon among the watery, all the fruits out of which drink is expressed; as the grape, the apple, the pear, the cherry, the pomegranate, &c. And there are some others which, though they be not in use for drink, yet they appear to be of the same nature; as plums, services, mulberries, rasps, oranges, lemons, &c. and for those juices that are so fleshy, as they cannot make drink by expression, yet, perhaps, they may make drink by mixture of water:
Poculaquc admistis imitantur vitea sorbis.
And it maybe hips and brier-berries would do the like. Those that have oily juices, are olives, almonds, nuts of all sorts, pine-apples, &c. and their juices are all inflammable. And you must observe also, that some of the watery juices, after they have gathered spirit, will burn and inflame; as wine. There is a third kind of fruit that is sweet, without either sharpness or oiliness: such as is the fig and the dnte.
634. It hath been noted, that most trees, and specially those that bear most, are fruitful but once in two years. The cause, no doubt, is the expense of sap; for many orchard trees, well cultured, will bear divers years together.
635. There is no tree, which besides the natural fruit doth bear so many bastard fruits as the oak doth: for besides the acorn, it beareth galls, oak apples, and certain oak nuts, which are inflammable; and certain oak berries, sticking close to the body of the tree without stalk. It beareth also misseltoe, 'hough rarely. The cause of all these may be the closeness and solidness of the wood, and pith of the *k, which maketh several juices find several eruphons. And therefore if you will devise to make any snper-plants, you must ever give the sap plentiful rising and hard issue.
636. There are two excrescences which grow upon trees; both of them in the nature of mushrooms: the one the Romans call boletus; which groweth upon the roots of oaks; and was one of the dainties of their table; the other is medicinal, that is called agaric, whereof we have spoken before, which groweth upon the tops of oaks; though it be affirmed by some, that it groweth also at the roots. 'do conceive, that many excrescences of trees grow chiefly where the tree is dead or faded ; for that the
natural sap of the tree corrupteth into some preternatural substance.
637. The greater part of trees bear most and best on the lower boughs; as oaks, figs, walnuts, pears, &c. but some bear best on the top boughs; as crabs, &c. Those that bear best below, are such as shade doth more good to than hurt. For generally all fruits bear best lowest; because the sap tireth not, having but a short way: and therefore in fruits spread upon walls, the lowest are the greatest, as was formerly said: so it is the shade that hindereth the lower boughs ; except it be in such trees as delight in shade, or at least bear it well. And therefore they are either strong trees, as the oak; or else they have large leaves, as the walnut and fig; or else they grow in pyramis, as the pear. But if they require very much sun, they bear best on the top; as it is in crabs, apples, plums, &c.
638. There be trees that bear best when they begin to be old; as almonds, pears, vines, and all trees that give mast. The cause is, for that all trees that bear mast have an oily fruit; and young trees have a more watery juice, and less concocted; and of the same kind also is the almond. The pear likewise, though it be not oily, yet it requireth much sap, and well concocted; for we see it is a heavy fruit and solid; much more than apples, plums, &c. As for the vine, it is noted, that it beareth more grapes when it is young; but grapes that make better wine when it is old; for that the juice is better concocted: and we see that wine is inflammable; so as it hath a kind of oiliness. But the most part of trees, amongst which are apples, plums, &c. bear best when they are young.
639. There be plants that have a milk in them when they are cut; as figs, old lettuce, sow-thistles, spurge, &c. The cause may be an inception of putrefaction: for those milks have all an acrimony: though one would think they should be lenitive. For if you write upon paper with the milk of a fig, the letters will not be seen, until you hold the paper before the fire, and then they wax brown: which showeth that it is a sharp or fretting juice: lettuce is thought poisonous, when it is so old as to have milk; spurge is a kind of poison in itself; and as for sow-thistles, though coneys eat them, yet sheep and cattle will not touch them: and besides, the milk of them rubbed upon warts, in short time weareth them away; which showeth the milk of them to be corrosive. We see also that wheat and other corn, sown, if you take them forth of the ground before they sprout, are full of milk; and the beginning of germination is ever a kind of putrefaction of the seed. Euphorbium also hath a milk, though not very white, which is of a great acrimony: and saladine hath a yellow milk, which hath likewise much acrimony; for it cleanseth the eyes. It is good also for cataracts.
640. Mushrooms are reported to grow, as well upon the bodies of trees, as upon their roots, or upon the earth; and especially upon the oak. The cause is, for that strong trees are towards such excrescences in the nature of earth; and therefore put forth moss, mushrooms, and the like.
641. There is hardly found a plant that yieldeth a red juice in the blade or ear; except it be the tree that beareth sanguis draconis; which groweth chiefly in the island Socotra: the herb amaranthus indeed is red all over; and brazil is red in the wood; and so is red sanders. The tree of the sanguis draconis groweth in the form of a sugar-loaf. It is like the sap of that plant concocteth in the body of the tree. For we see that grapes and pomegranates are red in the juice, but are green in the tear: and this maketh the tree of sanguis draconis lesser towards the top; because the juice hasteneth not up; and besides, it is very astringent; and therefore of slow motion.
642. It is reported, that sweet moss, besides that upon the apple-trees, groweth likewise sometimes upon poplars; and yet generally the poplar is a smooth tree of bark, and hath little moss. The moss of the larix-tree burnetii also sweet, and sparkleth in the burning. Query of the mosses of odorate trees; as cedar, cypress, lignum aloes, &c.
643. The death that is most without pain, hath been noted to be upon the taking of the potion of hemlock; which in humanity was the form of execution of capital offenders in Athens. The poison of the asp, that Cleopatra used, hath some affinity with it. The cause is, for that the torments of death are chiefly raised by the strife of the spirits; and these vapours quench the spirits by degrees; like to the death of an extreme old man. I conceive it is Jess painful than opium, because opium hath parts of heat mixed.
644. There be fruits that are sweet before they be ripe, as myrobalanes: so fennel seeds are sweet before they ripen, and after grow spicy. And some never ripen to be sweet; as tamarinds, barberries, crabs, sloes, &c. The cause is, for that the former kind have much and subtle heat, which causeth early sweetness; the latter have a cold and acid juice, which no heat of the sun can sweeten. But as for the myrobalane, it hath parts of contrary natures; for it is sweet and yet astringent.
645. There be few herbs that have a salt taste; and contrariwise all blood of living creatures hath a saltness. The cause may be, for that salt, though it be the rudiment of life, yet in plants the original taste remaineth not; for you shall have them bitter, sour, sweet, biting, but seldom salt; but in living creatures, all those high tastes may happen to be sometimes in the humours, but are seldom in the flesh or substance, because it is of a more oily nature: which is not very susceptible of those tastes; and the saltness itself of blood is but a light and secret saltness: and even among plants, some do participate of saltness, as alga marina, samphire, scurvy grass, &c. And they report, there is in some of the Indian seas a swimming plant, which they call salgazus, spreading over the sea in such sort, as one would think it were a meadow. It is certain, that out of the ashes of all plants they extract a salt which they use in medicines.
646. It is reported by one of the ancients, that there is an herb growing in the water, called lincostis, which is full of prickles: this herb pntteth forth
another small herb out of the leaf; which is imputed to some moisture that is gathered between the prickles, which putrified by the sun germinateth. But I remember also I have seen, for a great rarity, one rose grow out of another like honeysuckles, that they call top and top-gallants.
647. Barley, as appeareth in the malting, being steeped in water three days, and afterwards the water drained from it, and the barley turned upon a dry floor, will sprout half an inch long at least: and if it be let alone, and not turned, much more; until the heart be out. Wheat will do the same. Try it also with peas and beans. This experiment is not like that of the orpine and semper-vive: for there it is of the old store, for no water is added; but here it is nourished from the water. The experiment would be farther driven: for it appeareth already, by that which hath been said, that earth is not necessary to the first sprouting of plants; and we see that rose-buds set in water will blow: therefore try whether the sprouts of such grains may not be raised to a farther degree, as to an herb, or flower, with water only, or some small commixture of earth: for if they will, it should seem by the experiments before, both of the malt and of the roses, that they will come far faster on in water than in earth; for the nourishment is easilier drawn out of water than out of earth. It may give some light also, that drink infused with flesh, as that with the capon, &c. will nourish faster and easilier than meat and drink together. Try the same experiment with roots as well as with grains; as for example, take a turnip, and steep it awhile, and then dry it, and see whether it will sprout.
648. Malt in the drenching will swell; and that in such a manner, as after the putting forth in sprouts, and the drying upon the kiln, there will be gained at least a bushel in eight, and yet the sprouts are rubbed off; and there will be a bushel of dust besides the malt; which I suppose to be, not only by the loose and open lying of the parts, but by some addition of substance drawn from the water in which it was steeped.
649. Malt gathereth a sweetness to the taste, which appeareth yet more in the wort. The dulcoration of things is worthy to be tried to the full; for that dulcoration importeth a degree to nourishment: and the making of things inalimental to become alimental, may be an experiment of great profit for making new victual.
650. Most seeds in the growing, leave their husk or rind about the root; but the onion will carry it up, that it will be like a cap upon the top of the young onion. The cause may be, for that the skin or husk is not easy to break; as we see by the pilling of onions, what a holding substance the skin is.
651. Plants that have curled leaves, do all abound with moisture; which cometh so fast on, as they cannot spread themselves plain, but must needs gather together. The weakest kind of curling is roughness; as in clary and burr. The second is curling on the sides; as in lettuce, and young cabbage: and the third is folding into a head; as in cabbage full grown, and cabbage-lettuce.