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women may do themselves much good by kneeling upon a cushion, and weeding. And these things you may practise in the best seasons; which is ever the early spring, before the earth putteth forth the vegetables, and in the sweetest earth you can choose. It would be done also when the dew is a little off the ground, lest the vapour be too moist. I knew a great man that lived long, who had a clean clod of earth brought to him every morning as he sat in his bed; and he would hold his head over it a good pretty while. I commend also, sometimes, in digging of new earth, to pour in some Malmsey or Greek wine, that the vapour of the earth and wine together may comfort the spirits the more; provided always it be not taken for a heathen sacrifice, or libation to the earth.
929. THEY have in physic use of pomanders, and knots of powders, for drying of rheums, comforting of the heart, provoking of sleep, etc. For though those things be not so strong as perfumes, yet you may have them continually in your hand; whereas perfumes you can take but at times: and besides, there be divers things that breathe better of themselves, than when they come to the fire; as nigella romana, the seed of melanthium, amomum, etc.
930. THERE be two things which, inwardly used, do cool and condense the spirits; and I wish the same to be tried outwardly in vapours. The one is nitre, which I would have dissolved in Malmsey, or Greek wine, and so the smell of the wine taken; or if you would have it more forcible, pour of it upon a firepan, well heated, as they do rose-water and vinegar. The other is the distilled water of wild poppy, which I wish to be mingled, at half, with rose-water, and so taken with some mixture of a few cloves in a perfuming-pan. The like would be done with the distilled water of saffron flowers.
931. SMELLS of musk, and amber, and civet, are thought to further venereous appetite; which they may do by the refreshing and calling forth of the spirits.
932. INCENSE and nidorous smells, such as were of sacrifices, were thought to intoxicate the brain, and
to dispose men to devotion: which they may do by a kind of sadness, and contristation of the spirits; and partly also by heating and exalting them. We see that amongst the Jews the principal perfume of the sanctuary was forbidden all common uses.
933. THERE be some perfumes prescribed by the writers of natural magic, which procure pleasant dreams and some others, as they say, that procure prophetical dreams; as the seeds of flax, fleawort, etc.
934. IT is certain, that odours do, in a small degree, nourish; especially the odour of wine: and we see men an hungered do love to smell hot bread. It is related that Democritus, when he lay a dying, heard a woman in the house complain, that she should be kept from being at a feast and solemnity, which she much desired to see, because there would be a corpse in the house; whereupon he caused loaves of new bread to be sent for, and opened them, and poured a little wine into them; and so kept himself alive with the odour of them, till the feast was past. I knew a gentleman that would fast, sometimes three or four, yea, five days, without meat, bread, or drink; but the same man used to have continually a great wisp of herbs that he smelled on: and amongst those herbs, some esculent herbs of strong scent; as onions, garlic, leeks, and the like.
935. THEY do use, for the accident of the mother, to burn feathers and other things of ill odour: and by those ill smells the rising of the mother is put down.
936. THERE be airs which the physicians advise their patients to remove unto, in consumptions or upon recovery of long sicknesses: which, commonly, are plain champains, but grasing, and not over-grown with heath or the like; or else timber-shades, as in forests, and the like. It is noted also, that groves of bays do forbid pestilent airs; which was accounted a great cause of the wholesome air of Antiochia. There be also some soils that put forth odorate herbs of themselves; as wild thyme, wild marjoram, pennyroyal, camomile; and in which the brier roses smell
almost like musk-roses; which, no doubt, are signs that do discover an excellent air.
937. IT were good for men to think of having healthful air in their houses; which will never be if the rooms be low-roofed, or full of windows and doors; for the one maketh the air close, and not fresh, and the other maketh it exceeding unequal; which is a great enemy to health. The windows also should not be high up to the roof, which is in use for beauty and magnificence, but low. Also stone-walls are not wholesome; but timber is more wholesome; and especially brick: nay, it hath been used by some with great success to make their walls thick; and to put a lay of chalk between the bricks, to take away all dampishness.
Experiment solitary touching the emissions of spiritual species which affect the senses.
938. THESE emissions, as we said before, are handled, and ought to be handled by themselves under their proper titles: that is, visibles and audibles, each apart in this place it shall suffice to give some general observations common to both. First, they seem to be incorporeal. Secondly, they work swiftly. Thirdly, they work at large distances. Fourthly, in curious varieties. Fifthly, they are not effective of any thing; nor leave no work behind them; but are energies merely for their working upon mirrours and places of echo doth not alter any thing in those bodies; but it is the same action with the original, only repercussed. And as for the shaking of windows, or rarifying the air by great noises; and the heat caused by burning-glasses; they are rather concomitants of the audible and visible species, than the effects of them. Sixthly, they seem to be of so tender and weak a nature, as they effect only such a rare and attenuate substance, as is the spirit of living
Experiments in consort touching the emission of immateriate virtues from the minds and spirits of men, either by affections, or by imaginations, or by other impressions.
939. IT is mentioned in some stories, that where children have been exposed, or taken away young from their parents; and that afterwards they have approached to their parents presence, the parents, though they have not known them, have had a secret joy or other alteration thereupon.
940. THERE was an Egyptian soothsayer, that made Antonius believe, that his genius, which otherwise was brave and confident, was, in the presence of Octavianus Cæsar, poor and cowardly: and therefore he advised him, to absent himself as much as he could, and remove far from him. This soothsayer was thought to be suborned by Cleopatra, to make him live in Egypt, and other remote places from Rome. Howsoever the conceit of a predominant or mastering spirit of one man over another, is ancient, and received still, even in vulgar opinion.
941. THERE are conceits, that some men that are of an ill and melancholy nature, do incline the company into which they come to be sad and ill-disposed; and contrariwise, that others that are of a jovial nature, do dispose the company to be merry and cheerful. And again, that some men are lucky to be kept company with and employed; and others unlucky. Certainly, it is agreeable to reason, that there are at the least some light effluxions from spirit to spirit, when men are in presence one with another, as well as from body to body.
942. IT hath been observed, that old men who have loved young company, and been conversant continually with them, have been of long life; their spirits, as it seemeth, being recreated by such company. Such were the ancient sophists and rhetoricians; which ever had young auditors and disciples; as Gorgias, Protagoras, Isocrates, etc. who lived till they were an hundred years old. And so likewise did many of the grammarians and school-masters; such as was Orbilius, etc.
943. AUDACITY and confidence doth, in civil business, so great effects, as a man may reasonably doubt, that besides the very daring, and earnestness, and persisting, and importunity, there should be some secret binding, and stooping of other mens spirits to such persons.
944. THE affections, no doubt, do make the spirits more powerful and active; and especially those affections which draw the spirits into the eyes: which are two; love, and envy, which is called oculus malus. As for love, the Platonists, some of them, go so far as to hold that the spirit of the lover doth pass into the spirits of the person loved; which causeth the desire of return into the body whence it was emitted: whereupon followeth that appetite of contact and conjunction which is in lovers. And this is observed likewise, that the aspects which procure love, are not gazings, but sudden glances and dartings of the eye. As for envy, that emitteth some malign and poisonous spirit, which taketh hold of the spirit of another; and is likewise of greatest force when the cast of the eye is oblique. It hath been noted also, that it is most dangerous when an envious eye is cast upon persons in glory, and triumph, and joy. The reason whereof is, for that at such times the spirits come forth most into the outward parts, and so meet the percussion of the envious eye more at hand: and therefore it hath been noted, that after great triumphs, men have been ill-disposed for some days following. We see the opinion of fascination is ancient, for both effects; of procuring love; and sickness caused by envy: and fascination is ever by the eye. But yet if there be any such infection from spirit to spirit, there is no doubt but that it worketh by presence, and not by the eye alone; yet most forcibly by the eye.
945. FEAR and shame are likewise infective; for we see that the starting of one will make another ready to start and when one man is out of countenance in a company, others do likewise blush in his behalf.
Now we will speak of the force of imagination upon other bodies; and of the means to exalt and