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652. It is reported, that fir and pine, especially if they be old and putrified, though they shine not as some rotten woods do, yet in the sudden breaking they will sparkle like hard sugar.
653. The roots of trees do some of them put downwards deep into the ground; as the oak, pine, fir, &c. Some spread more towards the surface of the earth; as the ash, cypress-tree, olive, &c. The cause of this latter may be, for that such trees as love the sun, do not willingly descend far into the earth; and therefore they are, commonly, trees that shoot up much; for in their body their desire to approach to the sun maketh them spread the less. And the same reason under ground to avoid recess from the sun, maketh them spread the more. And we see it cometh to pass in some trees which have been planted too deep in the ground, that for love of approach to the sun, they forsake their first root, and put out another more towards the top of the earth. And we see also, that the olive is full of oily juice; and ash maketh the best fire; and cypress it a hot tree. As for the oak, which is of the former sort, it loveth the earth; and therefore growth slowly. And for the pine and fir likewise, they have so much heat in thernselves, as they need less the heat of the sun. There be herbs also that have the same difference; as the herb they call morsus diaboli; which putteth the root down so low, as you cannot pull it up without breaking; which gave occasion to the name and fable; for that it was said, it was so wholesome a root, that the devil, when it was fathered, bit it for envy: and some of the ancients do report, that there was a goodly fir, which they desired to remove whole, that had a root under ground eight cubits deep; and so the root came up broken.
654. It hath been observed, that a branch of a tret; being unbarked some space at the bottom, and so set into the ground, hath grown; even of such trees, as if the branch were set with the bark on, they would not grow; yet contrariwise we see, that a tree pared round in the body above ground, will die. The cause may be, for that the unbarked part draweth the nourishment best, but the bark conhtmeth it only.
655. Grapes will continue fresh and moist all winter long, if you hang them cluster by cluster in the roof of a warm room; especially if when you gather the cluster, you take off with the cluster some of the stock.
656. The reed or cane is a watery plant, and groweth not but in water; it hath these properties; 'hat it is hollow; that it is knuckled both stalk and root; that being dry, it is more hard and fragile than other wood; that it putteth forth no boughs, though many stalks out of one root. It differeth ouch in greatness; the smallest being fit for thatchmg of houses, and stopping the chinks of ships, 'titer than glue or pitch. The second bigness is used for angle-rods and staves; and in China for heating of offenders upon the thighs. The differmg kinds of them are the common reed, the cassia fistula, and the sugar-reed. Of all plants it boweth the easiest, and riseth again. It seemeth, that amongst plants which are nourished with mixture
of earth and water, it draweth most nourishment from water; which maketh it the smoothest of all others in bark, and the hollowcst in body.
657. The sap of trees when they are let blood, is of differing natures. Some more watery and clear; as that of vines, of beeches, of pears: some thick, as apples: some gummy, as cherries: some frothy, as elms: some milky, as figs. In mulberries the sap seemeth to be almost towards the bark only; for if you cut the tree a little into the hark with a stone, it will come forth; if you pierce it deeper with a tool, it will be dry. The trees which have the moistest juices in their fruit, have commonly the moistest sap in their body; for the vines and pears are very moist; apples somewhat more spungy: the milk of the fig hath the quality of the rennet, to gather cheese; and so have certain sour herbs wherewith they make cheese in Lent.
658. The timber and wood are in some trees more clean, in some more knotty; and it is a good trial to try it by speaking at one end, and laying the ear at the other: for if it be knotty, the voice will not pass well. Some have the veins more varied and chambletted; as oak, whereof wainscot is made; maple, whereof frenchers are made: some more smooth, as fir and walnut: some do more easily breed worms and spiders; some more hardly, as it is said of Irish trees: besides there be a number of differences that concern their use; as oak, cedar, and chestnut, are the best builders; some are best for plough-timber, as ash; some for piers, that are sometimes wet and sometimes dry, as elm; some for planchers, as deal; some for tables, cupboards, and desks, as walnuts; some for ship-timber, as oaks that grow in moist grounds; for that maketh the timber tough, and not apt to rift with ordnance; wherein English and Irish timber are thought to excel: some for masts of ships, as fir and pine, because of their length, straightness, and lightness: some for pale, as oak; some for fuel, as ash; and so of the rest.
559. The coming of trees and plants in certain regions, and not in others, is sometimes casual: for many have been translated, and have prospered well; as damask-roses, that have not been known in England above a hundred years, and now are so common. But the liking of plants in certain soils more than in others, is merely natural; as the fir and pine love the mountains; the poplar, willow, sallow, and alder, love rivers and moist places; the ash loveth coppices, but is best in standards alone; juniper loveth chalk; and so do most fruit trees; samphire groweth but upon rocks; reeds and osiers grow where they are washed with water; the vine loveth sides of hills, turning upon the south-east sun, &c.
660. The putting forth of certain herbs discovereth of what nature the ground where they put forth is; as wild thyme showeth good feeding-ground for cattle; betony and strawberries show grounds fit for wood; camomile showeth mellow grounds fit for wheat. Mustard-seed, growing after the plough, showeth a good strong ground also for wheat: burnet showeth good meadow, and the like.
661. There are found in divers countries some other plants that grow out of trees and plants, besides misseltoe: as in Syria there is an herb called cassytas, that groweth out of tall trees, and windeth itself about the same tree where it groweth, and sometimes about thorns. There is a kind of polypode that groweth out of trees, though it windeth not So likewise an herb called faunos, upon the wild olive. And an herb called hippopheeston upon the fullers thorn: which, they say, is good for the falling sickness.
662. It hath been observed by some of the ancients, that howsoever cold or easterly winds are thought to be great enemies of fruit, yet nevertheless south winds are also found to do hurt, especially in the blossoming time ; and the more if showers follow. It seemeth they call forth the moisture too fast. The west winds are the best. It hath been observed also, that green and open winters do hurt trees; insomuch as if two or three such winters come together, almond-trees, and some other trees, will die. The cause is the same with the former, because the lust of the earth overspendeth itself: howsoever some other of the ancients have commended warm winters.
663. Snows lying long cause a fruitful year; for first, they keep in the strength of the earth j secondly, they water the earth better than rain: for in snow, the earth doth, as it were, suck the water as out of the teat: thirdly, the moisture of snow is the finest moisture, for it is the froth of the cloudy waters.
664. Showers if they come a little before the ripening of fruits, do good to all succulent and moist fruits; as vines, olives, pomegranates; yet it is rather for plenty than for goodness; for the best vines are in the driest vintages: small showers are likewise good for corn, so as parching heats come not upon them. Generally night showers are better than day showers, for that the sun followeth not so fast upon them; and we see even in watering by the hand, it is best in summer time to water in the evening.
665. The differences of earths, and the trial of them, are worthy to be diligently inquired. The earth, that with showers doth easiliest soften, is commended; and yet some earth of that kind will be very dry and hard before the showers. The earth that casteth up from the plough a great clod, is not so good as that which casteth up a smaller clod. The earth that pntteth forth moss easily, and may be called mouldy, is not good. The earth that smelleth well upon the digging or ploughing is commended; as containing the juice of vegetables almost already prepared. It is thought by some, that the ends of low rainbows fall more upon one kind of earth than upon another; as it may well be; for that that earth is most roscid: and therefore it is commended for a sign of good earth. The poorness of the herbs, it is plain, show the poorness of the earth; and especially if they be in colour more dark: but if the herbs show withered, or blasted at the top, it showeth the earth to be very cold; and so doth the mossiness of trees. The earth,
whereof the grass is soon parched with the sun, and toasted, is commonly forced earth, and barren in its own nature. The tender, chessome, and mellow earth, is the best, being mere mould, between the two extremes of clay and sand, especially if it be not loamy and binding. The earth, that after rain will scarcely be ploughed, is commonly fruitful; for it is cleaving and full of juice.
666. It is strange, which is observed by some of the ancients, that dust helpeth the fruitfnlness of trees, and of vines by name; insomuch as they cast dust upon them of purpose. It should seem, that that powdering, when a shower cometh, maketh a kind of soiling to the tree, being earth and water finely laid on. And they note, that countries where the fields and ways are dusty bear the best vines.
667. It is commended by the ancients for an excellent help to trees, to lay the stalks and leaves of lupins about the roots, or to plough them into the ground where you will sow com. The burning also of the cuttings of vines, and casting them upon land, doth much good. And it was generally received of old, that dunging of grounds when the west wind bloweth, and in the decrease of the moon, doth greatly help; the earth, as it seemeth, being then more thirsty and open to receive the dung.
668. The grafting of vines upon vines, as I take it, is not now in use: the ancients had it, and that three ways: the first was incision, which is the ordinary manner of grafting: the second was terebration through the middle of the stock, and putting in the cions there: and the third was paring of two vines that grow together to the marrow, and binding them close.
669. The diseases and ill accidents of corn are worthy to be inquired: and would be more worthy to be inquired, if it were in men's power to help them; whereas many of them are not to be remedied. The mildew is one of the greatest, which, out of question, cometh by closeness of air; and therefore in hills, or large champain grounds, it seldom cometh; such as is with us York's woald. This cannot be remedied, otherwise than that in countries of small enclosure the grounds be turned into larger fields: which I have known to do good in some farms. Another disease is the putting forth of wild oats, whereinto corn oftentimes, especially barley, doth degenerate. It happeneth chiefly from the weakness of the grain that is sown; for if it be either too old or mouldy, it will bring forth wild oats. Another disease is the satiety of the ground; for if you sow one ground still with the same corn, I mean not the same corn that grew upon the same ground, but the same kind of grain, as wheat, barley, &c. it will prosper but poorly: therefore besides the resting of the ground you must vary the seed. Another ill accident is from the winds, which hurt at two times; at the flowering, by shaking off the flowers; and at the full ripening, by shaking out the com. Another ill accident is drought, at the spindling of the corn, which with us is rare, but in hotter countries common: insomuch as the word calamitas was first derived from calamus, when the corn could not get out of the stalk. Another ill accident is over-wet at sowing time, which with us breedelh much dearth, insomuch as the corn never cometh up; and many times they are forced to re-sow summer corn where they sowed winter com. Another ill accident is bitter frosts continued without snow, especially in the beginning of the winter, after the seed is new sown. Another disease is worms, which sometimes breed in the root, and happen upon hot suns and showers immediately after the sowing; and another worm brecdeth in the ear itself, especially when hot suns break often out of clouds. Another disease is weeds; and they are such as either choke and overshadow the corn, and bear it down; or starve the corn, and deceive it of nourishment. Another disease is over-rankncss of the com; which they use to remedy by mowing it after it is come up; or putting sheep into it. Another ill accident is laying of com with great rains, near or in harvest. Another ill accident is, if the seed happen to have touched oil, or any thing that is fat; for those substances have an antipathy with nourishment of water.
670. The remedies of the diseases of corn have been observed as followeth. The steeping of the grain, before sowing, a little time in wine, is thought a preservative: the mingling of seed-corn with ashes is thought to be good: the sowing at the wane of the moon, is thought to make the com sound: it hath not been practised, but it is thought to be of use to make some miscellane in corn; as if you sow a few beans with wheat, your wheat will be the better. It hath been observed, that the sowing of com with houseleek doth good. Though grain that toucheth oil or fat, receiveth hurt, yet the steeping of it in the dregs of oil, when it beginneth to putrify, which they call amurca, is thought to assure it against worms. It is reported also, that if corn be mowed, it will make the grain longer, but emptier, and having more of the husk.
671. It hath been noted, that seed of a year old »the best; and of two or three years is worse j and that which is more old is quite barren; though, no doobt, some seed and grains last better than others. The com which in the vanning lieth lowest is the best: and the corn which broken or bitten retaineth a little yellowness, is better than that which is very white.
672. It hath been observed, that of all roots of herbs, the root of sorrel goeth the farthest into the earth; insomuch that it hath been known to go three cubits deep: and that it is the root that conUnueth fit longest to be set again, of any root that groweth. It is a cold and acid herb, that, as it seemeth, loveth the earth, and is not much drawn by the sun.
6/3. It hath been observed, that some herbs like out being watered with salt water; as radish, beet, me, pennyroyal: this trial would be extended to wme other herbs; especially such as are strong, as tarragon, mustard-seed, rocket, and the like.
674. It is strange that is generally received, how some poisonous beasts affect odorate and wholesome herbs; as that the snake loveth fennel; that the load will be much under sage; that frogs will be in nnquefoil. It may be it is rather the shade, or other
coverture, that they take liking in, than the virtue of the herb.
675. It were a matter of great profit, save that I doubt it is too conjectural to venture upon, if one could discern what corn, herbs, or fruits, are like to be in plenty or scarcity, by some signs and prognostics in the beginning of the year: for as for those that are like to be in plenty, they may be bargained for upon the ground; as the old relation was of Thales; who, to show how easy it was for a philosopher to be rich, when he foresaw a great plenty of olives, made a monopoly of them. And for scarcity, men may make profit in keeping better the old store. Long continuance of snow is believed to make a fruitful year of corn; an early winter, or a very late winter, a barren year of corn; an open and serene winter, an ill year of fruit: these we have partly touched before; but other prognostics of like nature are diligently to be inquired.
676. There seem to be in some plants singularities, wherein they differ from all other; the olive hath the oily part only on the outside; whereas all other fruits have it in the nut or kernel. The fir hath, in effect, no stone, nut, nor kernel; except you will count the little grains kernels. The pomegranate and pine-apple have only amongst fruits grains distinct in several cells. No herbs have curled leaves but cabbage and cabbage-lettuce. None have doubled leaves, one belonging to the stalk, another to the fruit or seed, but the artichoke. No flower hath that kind of spread that the woodbine hath. This may be a large field of contemplation; for it showeth that in the frame of nature, there is, in the producing of some species, a composition of matter, which happeneth oft, and may be much diversified: in others, such as happeneth rarely, and admittcth little variety: for so it is likewise in beasts: dogs have a resemblance with wolves and foxes; horses with asses; kine with buffles; hares with coneys, &c. And so in birds: kites and kestrels have a resemblance with hawks; common doves with ringdoves and turtles; blackbirds with thrushes and mavises; crows with ravens, daws, and choughs, &c. But elephants and swine amongst beasts; and the bird of paradise and the peacock amongst birds; and some few others, have scarce any other species that have affinity with them.
We leave the description of plants, and their virtues, to herbals, and other like books of natural history; wherein men's diligence hath been great, even to curiosity: for our experiments are only such as do ever ascend a degree to the deriving of causes, and extracting of axioms, which we are not ignorant but that some both of the ancient and modem writers have also laboured; but their causes and axioms are so full of imagination, and so infected with the old received theories, as they are mere inclinations of experience, and concoct it not.
Experiment solitary touching healing of wounds.
677. It hath been observed by some of the ancients, that skins, especially of rams, newly pulled off, and applied to the wounds of stripes, do keep them from swelling and exulcerating; and likewise heal them and close them up; and that the whites of eggs do the same. The cause is a temperate conglutination; for both bodies are clammy and viscous, and do bridle the deflux of humours to the hurts, without penning them in too much.
Experiment solitary touching fat diffused in flesh.
678. You may turn almost all flesh into a fatty substance, if you take flesh and cut it into pieces, and put the pieces into a glass covered with parchment; and so let the glass stand six or seven hours in boiling water. It may be an experiment of profit for making of fat or grease for many uses; but then it must be of such flesh as is not edible; as horses, dogs, bears, foxes, badgers, &c.
Experiment solitary touching ripening of drink before the time.
679. It is reported by one of the ancients, that new wine put into vessels well stopped, and the vessels let down into the sea, will accelerate very much the making of them ripe and potable. The same would be tried in wort.
Experiment solitary touching pilosily and plumage.
680. Beasts are more hairy than men, and savage men more than civil; and the plumage of birds exceedeth the pilosity of beasts. The cause of the smoothness in men is not any abundance of heat and moisture, though that indeed causeth pilosity; but there is requisite to pilosity, not so much heat and moisture, as excrementitious heat and moisture; for whatsoever assimilateth, goeth not into the hair; and excrementitious moisture aboundeth most in beasts, and men that arc more savage. Much the same reason is there of the plumage of birds; for birds assimilate less and excern more than beasts; for their excrements are ever liquid, and their flesh generally more dry: besides, they have not instruments for urine; and so all the excrementitious moisture goeth into the feathers: and therefore it is no marvel, though birds be commonly better meat than beasts, because their flesh doth assimilate more finely, and secerneth more subtilly. Again, the head of man hath hair upon the first birth, which no other part of the body hath. The cause may be want of perspiration; for much of the matter of hair, in the other parts of the body, goeth forth by insensible perspiration; and besides, the skull being of a more solid substance, nourisheth and assimilateth less, and excerneth more; and so likewise doth the chin. We see also, that hair cometh not upon the palms of the hands, nor soles of the feet; which are parts more perspirable. And children likewise are not hairy, for that their skins are more perspirable.
Experiment solitary touching the quickness of motion in birds.
681. Birds are of swifter motion than beasts; for the flight of many birds is swifter than the race of any beasts. The cause is, for that the spirits in birds are in greater proportion, in comparison of the bulk of their body, than in beasts: for as for the
reason that some give, that they are partly carried, whereas beasts go, that is nothing; for by that reason swimming should be swifter than running: and that kind of carriage also is not without labour of the wing.
Experiment solitary touching the different clearness of the sea.
682. The sea is clearer when the north wind bloweth, than when the south wind. The cause is, for that salt water hath a little oiliness in the surface thereof, as appeareth in very hot days: and again, for that the southern wind relaxeth the water somewhat; and no water boiling is so clear as cold water.
Experiment solitary touching the different heats of ftre and boiling water.
683. Fire bumeth wood, making it first luminous; then black and brittle; and lastly, broken and incinerate; scalding water doth none of these. The cause is, for that by fire the spirit of the body is first refined, and then emitted; whereof the refining or attenuation causeth the light; and the emission, first the fragility, and after, the dissolution into ashes; neither doth any other body enter: but in water the spirit of the body is not refined so much; and besides part of the water entereth, which doth increase the spirit, and in a degree extinguish it: therefore we see that hot water will quench fire. And again we see, that in bodies wherein the water doth not much enter, but only the heat passed), hot water worketh the effects of fire; as in eggs boiled and roasted, into which the water enteiteth not at all, there is scarce difference to be discerned: but in fruit, and flesh, whereinto the water entereth in some part, there is much more difference.
Experiment solitary touching the qualification of heat by moisture.
684. The bottom of a vessel of boiling water, as hath been observed, is not very much heated, so as men may put their hand under the vessel and remove it. The cause is, for that the moisture of water as it quencheth coals where it entereth, so it doth allay heat where it toucheth: and therefore note well, that moisture, although it doth not pass through bodies, without communication of some substance, as heat and cold do, yet it worketh manifest effects; not by entrance of the body, but by qualifying of the heat and cold; as we see in this instance: and v* e see, likewise, that the water of things distilled in water, which they call the bath, differeth not much from the water of things distilled by fire. We see also, that pewter dishes with water in them will not melt easily, but without it they will; nay we see more, that butter, or oil, which in themselves are inflammable, yet by virtue of their moisture will do the like.
Experiment solitary touching yawning.
685. It hath been noted by the ancients, that it is dangerous to pick one's ear whilst he yawneth. The cause is, for that in yawning the inner parchment of the ear is extended, by the drawing in of the spirit and breath; for in yawning, and sighing both, the spirit is first strongly drawn in, and then strongly expelled.
Experiment solitary touching the hiccough.
686. It hath been observed by the ancients, that sneezing doth cease the hiccough. The cause is, for that the motion of the hiccough is a lifting up of the stomach, which sneezing doth somewhat depress, and divert the motion another way. For first we see that the hiccough cometh of fulness of meat, especially in children, which causeth an extension of the stomach: we see also it is caused by acid meats, or drinks, which is by the pricking of the stomach; and this motion is censed either by diversion, or by detention of the spirits ; diversion, as in sneering; detention, as we see holding of the breath doth help somewhat to cease the hiccough; and patting a man into an earnest study doth the like, ts is commonly used: and vinegar put to the nostrils, or gargarised, doth it also; for that it is astringent, and inhibiteth the motion of the spirits.
Experiment solitary touching sneezing.
687. Looking against the sun doth induce sneezing. The cause is not the heating of the nostrils, for then the holding up of the nostrils against the son, though one wink, would do it; but the drawing down of the moisture of the brain; for it will make the eyes run with water; and the drawing of moisture to the eyes, doth draw it to the nostrils bymotion of consent; and so followeth sneezing: as contrariwise, the tickling of the nostrils within, doth draw (he moisture to the nostrils, and to the eyes by consent; for they also will water. But yet it hath been observed, that if one be about to sneeze, the robbing of the eyes till they run with water will prevent it. Whereof the cause is, for that the tumour which was descending to the nostrils, is diverted to the eyes.
Experiment solitary touching the tenderness of the teeth.
688. The teeth are more by cold drink, or the tie, affected than the other parts. The cause is doable; the one, for that the resistance of bone to cold is greater than of flesh, for that the flesh shrinked!, but the bone resisteth, whereby the cold becometh more eager: the other is, for that the teeth «e parts without blood; whereas blood helpeth to qualify the cold; and therefore we see that the sinews are much affected with cold, for that they are parts without blood; so the bones in sharp colds *U brittle: and therefore it hath been seen, that all contusions of bones in hard weather are more difficult to cure.
Experiment solitary touching the tongue.
689. It hath been noted, that the tongue received! more easily tokens of diseases than the «her parts; as of heats within, which appear most ■ the blackness of the tongue. Again, pyed cattle sre spotted in their tongues, &c. The cause is, no doubt, the tenderness of the part, which thereby re
ceiveth more easily all alterations, than any other parts of the flesh.
Experiment solitary touching the taste.
690. When the mouth is out of taste, it maketh things taste sometimes salt, chiefly bitter; and sometime loathsome, but never sweet. The cause is, the corrupting of the moisture about the tongue, which many times turneth bitter, and salt, and loathsome; but sweet never; for the rest are degrees of corruption.
Experiment solitary touching some prognostics of pestilential seasons.
691. It was observed in the great plague of the last year, that there were seen in divers ditches and low grounds about London, many toads that had tails two or three inches long at the least; whereas toads usually have no tails at all. Which argueth a great disposition to putrefaction in the soil and air. It is reported likewise, that roots, such as carrots and parsnips, are more sweet and luscious in infectious years than in other years.
Experiment solitary touching special simples for medicines.
692. Wise physicians should with all diligence inquire, what simples nature yieldeth that have extreme subtile parts, without any mordication or acrimony: for they undermine that which is hard; they open that which is stopped and shut; and they expel that which is offensive, gently, without too much perturbation. Of this kind are elder-flowers; which therefore are proper for the stone: of this kind is the dwarf-pine; which is proper for the jaundice: of this kind is hartshorn; which is proper for agues and infections: of this kind is piony ; which is proper for stoppings in the head: of this kind is fumitory; which is proper for the spleen : and a number of others. Generally, divers creatures bred of putrefaction, though they be somewhat loathsome to take, are of this kind; as earth-worms, timber-sows, snails, &c. And I conceive that the trochisks of vipers, which are so much magnified, and the flesh of snakes some ways condited, and corrected, which of late are grown into some credit, are of the same nature. So the parts of beasts putrified, as castcreum and musk, which have extreme subtile parts, are to be placed amongst them. We see also, that putrefactions of plants, as agaric and Jew's ear, are of greatest virtue. The cause is, for that putrefaction is the subtilest of all motions in the parts of bodies: and since we cannot take down the lives of living creatures, which some of the Faracelsians say, if they could be taken down, would make us immortal; the next is for subtilty of operation, to take bodies putrified; such as may be safely taken.
Experiments in consort touching Venus.
693. It hath been observed by the ancients, that much use of Venus doth dim the sight; and yet eunuchs, which are unable to generate, are nevertheless also dim-sighted. The cause of dimness of sight in the former, is the expense of spirits; in the latter, the over-moisture of the brain: for the over-moisture