Imágenes de páginas

alike constant and strong; and if the success follow not speedily, it will faint and lose strength. To remedy this, you must pretend to him, whose imagination you use, several degrees of means, by which to operate as to prescribe him that every three days, if he find not the success apparent, he do use another root, or part of a beast, or ring, etc. as being of more force; and if that fail, another; and if that, another, till seven times. Also you must prescribe a good large time for the effect you promise; as if you should tell a servant of a sick man that his master shall recover, but it will be fourteen days ere he findeth it apparently, etc. All this to entertain the imagination that it waver less.

954. It is certain, that potions, or things taken into the body; incenses and perfumes taken at the nostrils; and ointments of some parts, do naturally work upon the imagination of him that taketh them. And therefore it must needs greatly co-operate with the imagination of him whom you use, if you prescribe him, before he do use the receipt, for the work which he desireth, that he do take such a pill, or a spoonful of liquor; or burn such an incense; or anoint his temples, or the soles of his feet, with such an ointment or oil and you must choose, for the composition of such pill, perfume, or ointment, such ingredients as do make the spirits a little more gross or muddy; whereby the imagination will fix the better.

955. THE body passive, and to be wrought upon, I mean not of the imaginant, is better wrought upon, as hath been partly touched, at some times than at others as if you should prescribe a servant about a sick person, whom you have possessed that his master shall recover, when his master is fast asleep, to use such a root, or such a root. For imagination is like to work better upon sleeping men, than men awake; as we shall shew when we handle dreams.

956. WE find in the art of memory, that images visible work better than other conceits: as if you would remember the word philosophy, you shall more


surely do it, by imagining, that such a man, for men are best places, is reading upon Aristotle's Physics ; than if you should imagine him to say, "I'll go study philosophy." And therefore this observation would be translated to the subject we now speak of: for the more lustrous the imagination is, it filleth and fixeth the better. And therefore I conceive, that you shall, in that experiment, whereof we spake before, of binding of thoughts, less fail, if you tell one that such an one shall name one of twenty men, than if it were one of twenty cards. The experiment of binding of thoughts would be diversified and tried to the full and you are to note, whether it hit for the most part, though not always.

957. IT is good to consider, upon what things imagination hath most force: and the rule, as I conceive, is, that it hath most force upon things that have the lightest and easiest motions. And therefore above all, upon the spirits of men: and in them, upon such affections as move lightest; as upon procuring of love; binding of lust, which is ever with imagination; upon men in fear; or men in irresolution; and the like. Whatsoever is of this kind would be throughly inquired. Trials likewise would be made upon plants, and that diligently: as if you should tell a man, that such a tree would die this year; and will him at these and these times to go unto it, to see how it thriveth. As for inanimate things, it is true, that the motions of shuffling of cards, or casting of dice, are very light motions: and there is a folly very usual, that gamesters imagine, that some that stand by them bring them ill luck. There would be trial also made, of holding a ring by a thread in a glass, and telling him that holdeth it, before, that it shall strike so many times against the side of the glass, and no more; or of holding a key between two mens fingers, without a charm; and to tell those that hold it, that at such a name it shall go off their fingers: for these two are extreme light motions. And howsoever I have no opinion of these things, yet so much I conceive to be true; That strong imagination hath more force

[ocr errors]

upon things living, or that have been living, than things merely inanimate: and more force likewise upon light and subtile motions, than upon motions vehement or ponderous..

958. It is an usual observation, that if the body of one murdered be brought before the murderer, the wounds will bleed afresh. Some do affirm, that the dead body, upon the presence of the murderer, hath opened the eyes; and that there have been such like motions, as well where the parties murdered have been strangled or drowned, as where they have been killed by wounds. It may be, that this participateth of a miracle, by God's just judgment, who usually bringeth murders to light: but if it be natural, it must be referred to imagination.

959. THE tying of the point upon the day of marriage, to make men impotent towards their wives, which, as we have formerly touched, is so frequent in Zant and Gascony, if it be natural, must be referred to the imagination of him that tieth the point. I conceive it to have the less affinity with witchcraft, because not peculiar persons only, such as witches are, but any body may do it.

Experiments in consort touching the secret virtue of sympathy and antipathy.

960. THERE be many things that work upon the spirits of man by secret sympathy and antipathy: the virtues of precious stones worn, have been anciently and generally received, and curiously assigned to work several effects. So much is true; that stones have in them fine spirits, as appeareth by their splendor; and therefore they may work by consent upon the spirits of men, to comfort and exhilarate them. Those that are the best, for that effect, are the diamond, the emerald, the hyacinth oriental, and the gold stone, which is the yellow topaz. As for their particular proprieties, there is no credit to be given to them. But it is manifest, that light, above all things, excelleth in comforting the spirits of men and it is very probable, that light varied doth the same effect,



with more novelty. And this is one of the causes why precious stones comfort. And therefore it were good to have tincted lanthorns, or tincted screens, of glass coloured into green, blue, carnation, crimson, purple, etc. and to use them with candles in the night. So likewise to have round glasses, not only of glass coloured through, but with colours laid between crystals, with handles to hold in one's hand. Prisms are also comfortable things. They have of Pariswork, looking-glasses, bordered with broad borders of small crystal, and great counterfeit precious stones, of all colours, that are most glorious and pleasant to behold; especially in the night. The pictures of Indian feathers are likewise comfortable and pleasant to behold. So also fair and clear pools do greatly comfort the eyes and spirits, especially when the sun is not glaring, but over-cast; or when the moon shineth.

961. THERE be divers sorts of bracelets fit to comfort the spirits; and they be of three intentions; refrigerant, corroborant, and aperient. For refrigerant, I wish them to be of pearl, or of coral, as is used; and it hath been noted that coral, if the party that weareth it be indisposed, will wax pale; which I believe to be true, because otherwise distemper of heat will make coral lose colour. I commend also beads, or little plates of lapis lazuli; and beads of nitre, either alone, or with some cordial mixture.

962. FOR Corroboration and confortation, take such bodies as are of astringent quality, without manifest cold. I commend bead-amber, which is full of astriction, but yet is unctuous, and not cold; and is conceived to impinguate those that wear such beads; I commend also beads of hartshorn and ivory; which are of the like nature; also orange beads; also beads of lignum aloës, macerated first in rose-water, and dried.

963. FOR opening, I commend beads, or pieces of the roots of carduus benedictus: also of the roots of piony the male; and of orrice; and of calamus aromaticus; and of rue.


964. THE cramp, no doubt, cometh of contraction of sinews; which is manifest, in that it cometh either by cold or dryness; as after consumptions, and long agues; for cold and dryness do, both of them, contract and corrugate. We see also, that chafing a little above the place in pain, easeth the cramp; which is wrought by the dilatation of the contracted sinews by heat. There are in use, for the prevention of the cramp, two things; the one rings of sea-horse teeth worn upon the fingers; the other bands of green periwinkle, the herb, tied about the calf of the leg, or the thigh, etc. where the cramp useth to come. I do find this the more strange, because neither of these have any relaxing virtue, but rather the contrary. I judge therefore, that their working is rather upon the spirits, within the nerves, to make them strive less, than upon the bodily substance of the nerves.

965. I would have trial made of two other kinds of bracelets, for comforting the heart and spirits: the one of the trochisk of vipers, made into little pieces of beads; for since they do great good inwards, especially for pestilent agues, it is like they will be effectual outwards; where they may be applied in greater quantity. There would be trochisk likewise made of snakes; whose flesh dried is thought to have a very opening and cordial virtue. The other is, of beads made of the scarlet powder, which they call kermes; which is the principal ingredient in their cordial confection alkermes: the beads would be made up with ambergrease, and some pomander.

966. IT hath been long received, and confirmed by divers trials, that the root of the male-piony dried, tied to the neck, doth help the falling sickness; and likewise the incubus, which we call the mare. The cause of both these diseases, and especially of the epilepsy from the stomach, is the grossness of the vapours which rise and enter into the cells of the brain and therefore the working is by extreme and subtile attenuation; which that simple hath. I judge the like to be in castoreum, musk, rue-seed, agnus castus seed, etc.

« AnteriorContinuar »