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unites all with all; which produces and purifies our souls, and thus renders them capable of magic arts. Many circumstances and changes can be explained by sympathy and antipathy; but which proceed from this world-spirit. Sympathy depends on the attraction of kindred things; and antipathy on the repulsion of dissimilar things. You find in Porta's work especially, fine observations on harmony, sympathy, etc.
Cardanus, also, that extraordinary eccentric, deserves to be mentioned, partly on account of opinions agreeing with magnetism, and partly as a remarkable magnetic phenomenon, because, through his dreams and visions, which he procured at will, he could put himself into the clearest state of ecstasy, in which, according to his own assurances, he saw and
heard things that lay far in futurity. His father, Facius Cardanus, had before had an ethereal familiar spirit, which showed him what he was to do (Cardanus de verum varietate, lib. v. c. 93.) His collected works were published
, at Lyons in 1663, in two folio volumes, and he himself was provided with a familiar spirit like Socrates, Plotinus, Sinesius, Dion, and Flavius Josephus.
Thomas Campenella has made himself very famous through his doctrines and through his book—“De sensu rerum et magia.” Whilst he undertook in these writings to teach magic, and explain it by natural causes and effects, he was accused of sorcery, and cast into prison, and brought to trial for suspected heresy.
The most celebrated of all was Father Kircher, a man of very sagacious spirit, of the most extensive learning, and comprehensive knowledge; who through his numberless experiments and enquiries in natural philosophy, through his many travels, through his impartiality, brought the spirit of his age into strong excitement, and endeavoured to purify the study of nature from superstition, credulity, and erroneous views.
Magnetism was in his time already a subject which en-gaged the attention of all the learned in an extraordinary
It must be confessed that it was still the enigmatical play of mineral magnetism more than any other, but which, through its phenomena, and the cures connected with it, led to futher enquiries, and men now began to attribute unknown causes and effects to magnetical powers. Every one endeavoured, in his own way, to explain the facts, and the theory of magnetism was continually more confirmed, while the most singular opinions for and against it were brought forward.
This occasioned also Father Kircher, as one of the most zealous and able natural philosophers of the time, to institute a number of experiments, and thereby to establish still more firmly the science of magnetism. He wrote a great work under the title, “Athanasii Kircheri Magnes, sive de arte magnetici, opus tripartitum, Coloniæ, 1643,” which is not merely a treatise and a master-piece of natural philosophy, but which also contains a vast deal of high importance to magnetism in its more extended sense.
I will quote some of the most remarkable passages.
In the introduction he declaims warmly against the exaggerations, the dreams, and extravagant fancies, by which some, without any personal experience, carried away by the marvels of magnetism, and supporting themselves on uncertain or false conclusions, unsettle all schools with intolerable and shocking fictions. This might perhaps lead to the supposition that Kircher was no especial friend of magnetism. But he exerted himself only to reconcile the wonders which had taken place, with the current ideas and the known laws of nature; and meant thereby to say, that we ought not to denounce unexplained, and for the most part, unknown things, with such loud outeries and with wide-open mouths. He meant also to say, that, if people would not or could not make clear and positive experiments themselves, they should be silent, that they might not propagate lies and false conclusions.
What just ideas Kircher had of magnetism, appears from his exposition of the philosophy of magnetism." Magnetism," he says,
“is thus named because all the wonderful operations of nature become more apparent in the radiations of the magnet; therefore, these effects are only so called from their resemblance to the magnetic radiations. That is to say, the
idea of the demonstration of activity, and the nature of the powers which operate upon each other through mutual emanations, is called magnetism."
According to Kircher all is magnetic, but not all a magnet; for he contested Gilbert's opinion, that the earth is a great magnet. By magnetism, a whole is to be understood, whose parts are bound together and conducted by the attractive and repulsive powers which resemble those of the magnet. He speaks of a magnetism of plants, of animals, of metals, of the elements, of the sun, the moon, and the sea.
Mineral magnetism he styled Zoomagnetism. He then speaks of the magnetism of particular fishes, and of electrical bodies; of the magnetism of medical substances; of the imagination, of music, and of love.
He then goes through the three principal kingdoms of nature, and presents many examples of magnetism, or sympathy and antipathy, amongst plants, animals, and even amongst minerals.
From these examples take one of each kind: hostility, that is, antipathy, is apparent even amongst animals. Thus, for example, the vine has a decided hatred to cabbage, and where it perceives it in the neighbourhood, it turns itself away as from a mortal enemy, while, on the contrary, it bends itself towards the olive. The cabbage, again, hates the swinebread (Cyclamen) to such a degree that if they are brought together, they both wither. The sympathy of the two sexes in plants is very striking, so much so that the one is ruined without the other. The country people know very well that they must be placed together; and Pliny has beautifully described this—“Tunc osculo illa manum blande demulcens amorem confitetur, sese illis desiderio stimulatam, hujus vesaniæ remedio affert ; quo amor diluatur.". Thus the wild figs in Calabria never ripen, although they hang in great quantities, except the male and female trees unite, when they quickly ripen their fruit, and become so firmly attached to each other that they cannot again be separated. For the rest, the love of the ranunculus to the water-lily, of rue to the fig, of the vine to the elm and olive, are universally known.
Kircher farther enumerates a number of plants which have an especial sympathy for the sun and moon, and regularly turn towards them. The acacia, he says, in the vicinity of Rome, is so fond of the sun, that immediately on its rising it unfolds its leaves, and on its setting it closes them so firmly that you might put juniper prickles on them. Many flowers grow till the sun turns back again in Cancer; then continually decline in strength, and at its greatest distance, die.
Kircher (lib. iii. p. 643) speaks of a kind of wolfsmilk (Tithymallus) which the whole day follows the sun even when it is obscured by fog; and Prosper Albinus (De plantis Ægyptiacis, c. 10) relates the same of the Tamarind in the wilderness of St. Macarius, where no other plant grows. He gives many examples of the closing and unclosing of leaves by day and night.
Kircher also gives examples of plants which actually repel and attract, and especially that in Mexico there is a kind of plant very much resembling the pomegranate, the tender shoots of which, cut in pieces, repel each other with the greatest antipathy.
The sympathy amongst animals is very striking, for, in the first place, they will only live on certain spots ; in the second place, amongst certain animals; and thirdly, even amongst these have regard to certain qualities.
“The instinct of animals, by which they seek out the salutary and avoid the pernicious, is no other than the propensity amongst plants to good, and antipathy to evil, and whose immediate atmosphere operates beneficially or otherwise; so that from similarity, love, attraction, and sympathy, are produced, and from dissimilarity, hate, repulsion, and antipathy.
of the sympathy and antipathy of animals, he says further : “Who has taught the hare to fear the hound, and not the much larger stag ; who
the hen to fear the eagle, and not the peacock or ostrich ? Who has taught the parrot and the magpie the art of speaking ? Who the dogshead (Cynocephalus) music; bees the art of mensuration; the swallow the art of building, and the spider that of weaving? Who has instructed the hippopotamus in the art of phlebotomy? Who has made known to the swallow the liverwort against blindness; who the aperient quality of the anagallis to fowls and to various water-birds? Only that inspiration of nature, which is nothing else than the material, or rather the hidden understanding, or the operation of the imagination. If the animals thus know themselves and their circumstances, why should we deny to men the knowledge of powers and of effects from their causes ?”
Finally, he refers to an extraordinary kind of attraction amongst animals. The marten runs with the wildest howl. ing and outcries into the open mouth of the great poisonous toad (Bufo). The great American snake attracts by its breath the deer, as a magnet does iron, and crushes it, and licks it over with saliva, in order that he may more easily swallow it. He then alludes to the electrical fishes, as the torpedo, Rana piscatrix. The greenling (Galgulus sive Icterus) cures the jaundice merely by the patient looking at it.
Of the sympathy of the mineral kingdom, he relates, amongst other things, the observation of Alpinus (Prosper Alpinus de medicina Ægypt. lib. i. c. 6,) that a piece of earth taken out of the Nile, dried, and carefully kept, never changed during the whole year, till on the 17th of June it became all at once heavier; from which circumstances it was inferred that the Nile rose then.
He also speaks of Selenite (1. c. p. 946) which had a speck on its surface, which according to the changes of the moon increased or decreased. A similar stone was in the possession of Pope Leo X., which changed the blue colour into white according to the quarter of the moon. Also, Cardanus speaks of a stone which he calls a Helite gem, which belongs to the Pope Clemens VIII. This had a goldcoloured speck which changed its place according to the rise and setting of the sun.
Especially striking is the magnetism of music. Here we see how, through the instrumentality of the nerves, the soul and the passions are put in motion. The harmonicon is preferable for this purpose to all other instruments, of one of which he gives a description, which deserves now to be imitated. This consists of five simple glasses, supplied with different liquors,
which touch each other. In the one is brandy, in another wine, in another oil, and in another water. In order to play upon them you must wet the finger and rub it on the edge of the glasses. It is very remarkable that Mesmer used this very harmonicon for magnetic cures. In the mode