Imágenes de páginas
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strengthen it. Imagination, in this place, I understand to be, the representation of an individual thought. Imagination is of three kinds: the first joined with belief of that which is to come: the second joined with memory of that which is past; and the third is of things present, or as if they were present; for I comprehend in this, imaginations feigned, and at pleasure; as if one should imagine such a man to be in the vestments of a Pope; or to have wings. I single out, for this time, that which is with faith or belief of that which is to come. The inquisition of this subject in our way, which is by induction, is wonderful hard for the things that are reported are full of fables; and new experiments can hardly be made, but with extreme caution; for the reason which we will hereafter declare.

The power of imagination is of three kinds; the first upon the body of the imaginant, including likewise the child in the mother's womb; the second is, the power of it upon dead bodies, as plants, wood, stone, metal, etc. the third is, the power of it upon the spirits of men and living creatures: and with this last we will only meddle.

The problem therefore is, whether a man constantly and strongly believing that such a thing shall be, as that such an one will love him; or that such an one will grant him his request; or that such an one shall recover a sickness; or the like; it doth help any thing to the effecting of the thing itself. And here again we must warily distinguish; for it is not meant, as hath been partly said before, that it should help by making a man more stout, or more industrious, in which kind a constant belief doth much, but merely by a secret operation, or binding, or changing the spirit of another: and in this it is hard, as we began to say, to make any new experiment ; for I cannot command myself to believe what I will, and so no trial can be made. Nav, it is worse; for whatsoever a man imagineth doubtingly, or with fear, must needs do hurt, if imagination have any power at all; for a man representeth that oftener that he fear eth, than the contrary.

The help therefore is, for a man to work by another, in whom he may create belief, and not by himself; until himself have found by experience, that imagination doth prevail; for then experience worketh in himself belief; if the belief that such a thing shall be, be joined with a belief that his imagination may procure it.

946. FOR example; I related one time to a man that was curious and vain enough in these things, that I saw a kind of juggler, that had a pair of cards, and would tell a man what card he thought. This pretended learned man told me, it was a mistaking in me; "for, said he, it was not the knowledge of the "man's thought, for that is proper to God, but it "was the inforcing of a thought upon him, and "binding his imagination by a stronger, that he could "think no other card." And thereupon he asked me a question or two, which I thought he did but cunningly, knowing before what used to be the feats of the juggler. "Sir, said he, do you remember "whether he told the card the man thought, himself, "or bade another to tell it?" I answered, as was true, that he bade another tell it. Whereunto he said, "So I thought: for, said he, himself could not "have put on so strong an imagination; but by tel

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ling the other the card, who believed that the juggler "was some strange man, and could do strange things, "that other man caught a strong imagination." I hearkened unto him, thinking for a vanity he spoke prettily. Then he asked me another question: saith he, "Do you remember, whether he bade the man think the card first, and afterwards told the "other man in his ear what he should think; or else "that he did whisper first in the man's ear that "should tell the card, telling that such a man should "think such a card, and after bade the man think a "card?" I told him, as was true; that he did first whisper the man in the ear, that such a man should think such a card: upon this the learned man did much exult and please himself, saying; "Lo, you may see that my opinion is right: for if the man

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"had thought first, his thought had been fixed; but "the other imagining first, bound his thought." Which though it did somewhat sink with me, yet I made it lighter than I thought, and said; I thought it was confederacy between the juggler and the two servants: though, indeed, I had no reason so to think, for they were both my father's servants; and he had never played in the house before. The jug

gler also did cause a garter to be held up; and took upon him to know, that such an one should point in such a place of the garter; as it should be near so many inches to the longer end, and so many to the shorter; and still he did it, by first telling the imaginer, and after bidding the actor think.

Having told this relation, not for the weight thereof, but because it doth handsomely open the nature of the question, I return to that I said; that experiments of imagination must be practised by others, and not by a man's self. For there be three means to fortify belief: the first is experience; the second is reason; and the third is authority: and that of these which is far the most potent, is authority; for belief upon reason, or experience, will stagger.

But

947. FOR authority, it is of two kinds; belief in an art; and belief in a man. And for things of belief in an art, a man may exercise them by himself; but for belief in a man, it must be by another. Therefore if a man believe in astrology, and find a figure prosperous; or believe in natural magic, and that a ring with such a stone, or such a piece of a living creature, carried, will do good; it may help his imagination: but the belief in a man is far the more active. howsoever, all authority must be out of a man's self, turned, as was said, either upon an art, or upon a man and where authority is from one man to another, there the second must be ignorant, and not learned, or full of thoughts; and such are, for the most part, all witches and superstitious persons; whose beliefs, tied to their teachers and traditions, are no whit controlled either by reason or experience; and upon the same reason, in magic, they use for the

most part boys and young people, whose spirits easiliest take belief and imagination.

Now to fortify imagination, there be three ways: the authority whence the belief is derived; means to quicken and corroborate the imagination; and means to repeat it and refresh it.

948. For the authority, we have already spoken: as for the second, namely, the means to quicken and corroborate the imagination; we see what hath been used in magic, if there be in those practices any thing that is purely natural, as vestments, characters, words, seals; some parts of plants, or living creatures; stones; choice of the hour; gestures and motions; also incenses and odours; choice of society, which increaseth imagination; diets and preparations for some time before. And for words, there have been ever used, either barbarous words, of no sense, lest they should disturb the imagination; or words of similitude, that may second and feed the imagination; and this was ever as well in heathen charms, as in charms of latter times. There are used also Scripture words; for that the belief that religious texts and words have power, may strengthen the imagination. And for the same reason, Hebrew words, which amongst us is counted the holy tongue, and the words more mystical, are often used.

949. FOR the refreshing of the imagination, which was the third means of exalting it, we see the practices of magic, as in images of wax, and the like, that should melt by little and little; or some other things buried in muck, that should putrify by little and little; or the like: for so oft as the imaginant doth think of those things, so oft doth he represent to his imagination the effect of that he desireth.

950. Ir there be any power in imagination, it is less credible that it should be so incorporeal, and immateriate a virtue, as to work at great distances, or through all mediums, or upon all bodies: but that the distance must be competent, the medium not adverse, and the body apt and proportionate. Therefore if there be any operation upon bodies in absence by na-

ture, it is like to be conveyed from man to man, as fame is; as if a witch, by imagination, should hurt any afar off, it cannot be naturally; but by working upon the spirit of some that cometh to the witch; and from that party upon the imagination of another; and so upon another; till it come to one that hath resort to the party intended; and so by him to the party intended himself. And although they speak, that it sufficeth to take a point, or a piece of the garment, or the name of the party, or the like; yet there is less credit to be given to those things, except it be by working of evil spirits.

The experiments, which may certainly demonstrate the power of imagination upon other bodies, are few or none: for the experiments of witchcraft are no clear proofs; for that they may be by a tacit operation of malign spirits: we shall therefore be forced, in this inquiry, to resort to new experiments; wherein we can give only directions of trials, and not any positive experiments. And if any man think that we ought to have stayed till we had made experiment of some of them ourselves, as we do commonly in other titles, the truth is, that these effects of imagination upon other bodies have so little credit with us, as we shall try them at leisure; but in the mean time we will lead others the way.

951. WHEN you work by the imagination of another, it is necessary that he, by whom you work, have a precedent opinion of you that you can do strange things; or that you are a man of art, as they call it ; for else the simple affirmation to another, that this or that shall be, can work but a weak impression in his imagination.

952. IT were good, because you cannot discern fully of the strength of imagination in one man more than another, that you did use the imagination of more than one, that so you may light upon a strong one. As if a physician should tell three or four of his patient's servants, that their master shall surely recover.

953. THE imagination of one that you shall use, such is the variety of mens minds, cannot be always

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