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begin to sprout in the fall of the leaf or autumn, and if not kept back by cold and outward causes, would leaf about the solstice. Now if it happen that any be so strongly constituted, as to make this good against the power of winter, they may produce their leaves or blossoms in that season; and perform that in some singles, which is observable in whole kinds; as in ivy, which blossoms and bears at least twice a year, and once in the winter; as also in furze, which flowereth in that season.
5. That ferrum equinum, or sferra cavallo, hath a virtue attractive of iron, a power to break locks and draw off the shoes of a horse that passeth over it; whether you take it for one kind of securidaca, or will also take in lunaria, we know it to be false, and cannot but wonder at Matthiolus, who upon a parallel in Pliny was staggered into suspension. Who notwithstanding in the imputed virtue to open things close and shut up, could
laugh himself at that promise from the herb Æthiopis or Æthiopian mullein, and condemn the judgment of Scipio, who having such a pick-lock, would spend so many years in battering the gates of Carthage; which strange and magical conceit seems to have no deeper root in reason than the figure of its seed; for therein indeed it somewhat resembles a horse-shoe: which, notwithstanding, Baptista Porta hath thought too low a signification, and raised the same unto a lunary representation.
6. That bays will protect from the mischief of lightning and thunder, is a quality ascribed thereto, common with the fig-tree, eagle, and skin of a seal. Against so famous a quality, Vicomercatus produceth experiment of a bay-tree blasted in Italy. And therefore, although Tiberius for this intent did wear a laurel upon his temples, yet did Augustus take a more probable course, who fled under arches and hollow vaults for protection. And though Porta conceive, because in a streperous eruption it riseth against fire, it doth therefore resist lightning, yet is that no emboldening illation. And if we consider the threefold effect of Jupiter's trisulk, to burn, discuss, and terebrate; and if that be true which celoto à sacris domesticis autónong tunc : et Carolo Regi patrono opt. monca [postea) ex auronoiq fidus assertor.
6 That ferrum equinum, &c.] Some species of Hippocrepis ? ? discuss.] Dissipate.— Wr.
is commonly delivered, that it will melt the blade, yet pass the scabbard, -kill the child, yet spare the mother,--dry up the wine, yet leave the hogshead entire,8—though it favour
8 that it will melt, &c.] This passage is strikingly illustrated by a very extraordinary case of lightning, related in the London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine, for Sept. 1832. Mr. and Mrs. Boddington, while seated in the barouche seat of their carriage, were struck senseless by a flash of lightning, which at the same time killed one of the horses, threw the post-boy to a considerable distance, and then entered the earth, making four large holes. The passage of the electric fluid is thus described :-“It struck Mrs. B'.s cotton umbrella, which was literally shivered to pieces, both the springs in the handle forced out, the wires that extended the whalebone broken, and the cotton covering rent into a thousand shreds. From the wires of the umbrella the fluid passed to the wire that was attached to the edge of her bonnet, the cotton-thread that was twisted round that wire, mark. ing the place of entrance over the left eye, by its being burnt off from that spot all round the right side, crossing the back of the head and down into the neck above the left shoulder: the hair that came in contact with it was singed : it here made a hole through the handkerchief that was round her throat, and zigzagged along the skin of her neck to the steel busk of her stays, leaving a painful, but not deep, wound, and also affecting the hearing of the left ear. It entered the external surface of the busk :- this is clearly proved by the brown paper case in which it was inclosed, being perforated on the outside, and the busk itself fused for about a quarter of an inch on the upper surface, presenting a blistered appearance. Its passage down the busk could not be traced in any way; there was no mark whatever on the steel, nor was the paper that covered it discoloured or altered in the slightest degree : its exit at the bottom, however, was as clearly indicated as its entrance at the top the steel was fused in the sa manner, and the paper was perforated in the same way, but on the opposite side.
“There were marks of burning on the gown and petticoat above the steel; and the inside of the stays, and the garments under the stays, were pierced by the passage of the fluid to her thighs, where it made wounds on both ; but that on the left so deep, and so near the femoral artery, that the astonishment is, that she escaped with life ;-even as it was, the hæmorrhage was very great. Every article on which she sat was perforated to the cushion of the seat, the cloth of which was torn in a much more extensive way than the clothes ; and the leather that covered the iron forced off in the same spot, clearly marking its egress at this place. In the case of Mr. B. the umbrella also was the conductor; it was made of silk, and was but little damaged; a small portion of the upper part only being torn where it joins the stick, and none of the springs or wires being displaced. The main force of the shock, however, appears to have passed down the handle to the left arm, though a portion of it made a hole through the brim of his hat, and burnt off all the hair that was below it together with the eye-brows and eye-lashes. The electric stream
the amulet, it may not spare us; it will be unsure to rely on
any preservative, it is no security to be dipped in Styx, or IrTe clad in the armour of Ceneus. Now that beer, wine, and 21 other liquors, are spoiled with lightning and thunder, we d be conceive it proceeds not only from noise and concussion of o the air, but also noxious spirits which mingle therewith, and is draw them to corruption; whereby they become not only
dead themselves, but sometimes deadly unto others, as that which Seneca mentioneth; whereof whosoever drank, either lost his life or else his wits upon it.
7. It hath much deceived the hopes of good fellows, what is commonly expected of bitter almonds; and though in
Plutarch confirmed from the practice of Claudius his phyo sician, that antidote against ebriety hath commonly failed. Thi Surely men much versed in the practice do err in the theory
of inebriation; conceiving in that disturbance the brain doth only suffer from exhalations and vaporous ascensions from the stomach, which fat and oily substances ‘may suppress; whereas the prevalent intoxication is from the spirits of drink dispersed into the veins and arteries; from whence by common conveyances they creep into the brain, insinuate into its ventricles, and beget those vertigoes accompanying
shattered the left hand, fused the gold shirt buttons, and tore the
that perversion. And therefore the same effect may be produced by a glister; the head may be intoxicated by a medicine at the heel. So the poisonous bites of serpents, although on parts at distance from the head, yet having entered the veins, disturb the animal faculties, and produce the effects of drink, or poison swallowed. And so, as the head may be disturbed by the skin, it may the same way be relieved; as is observable in balneations, washings, and fomentations, either of the whole body, or of that part alone.?
Of some insects, and the properties of several plants : of the death-watch;
the presages drawn from oak-apple insects ; whether all plants have seeds ; whether the sap of trees runs to the ground in winter ; of the effects of camphor ; with many others.
1. Few ears have escaped the noise of the death-watch, that is, the little clickling sound heard often in many rooms, somewhat resembling that of a watch ; and this is conceived to be of an evil omen or prediction of some person's death : wherein notwithstanding there is nothing of rational presage or just cause of terror unto melancholy and meticulous heads. For this noise is made by a little sheathwinged grey insect,4 found often in wainscot benches and
wood-work in the summer. We have taken many thereof, and kept them in thin boxes, wherein I have heard and seen them
9 by the skin.] Affections of the skin.-Wr.
that part alone.] The most present way of bringing the drunken to the use of his senses, is to apply large sponges dipt in strong white wine vinegar, which a Doctor of Physic, of prime note and name, does assure mee is, upon manifold experience, found most true ; yf they be for a while applied not to the head, but to the testicles.-Wr.
? Chap. vii.] A considerable portion of the contents of this chapter was added in the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th editions : the rest formed the conclusion of chap. vi. in the 1st edition, and was first made a separate chapter in the 2nd edition.
3 $ 1.) Added in the 6th edition, as also the 7th paragraph: the intervening five, and the four succeeding ones, appeared first in the 2nd edition.
* sheathwinged, &c.] Anobium tessellatum.
work and knock with a little proboscis or trunk against the side of the box, like a picus martius, or woodpecker against a tree. It worketh best in warm weather, and for the most part giveth not over under nine or eleven strokes at a time. He that could extinguish the terrifying apprehensions hereof, might prevent the passions of the heart, and many cold sweats in grandmothers and nurses, who, in the sickness of children, are so startled with these noises.
2. The presage of the year succeeding, which is commonly made from insects or little animals in oak-apples, according to the kinds thereof, either maggot, fly or spider; that is, of famine, war, or pestilence; whether we mean that woody excrescence, which shooteth from the branch about May, or that round and apple-like accretion which groweth under the leaf about the latter end of summer, is, I doubt, too distinct, nor verifiable from event.
For flies and maggots are found every year, very seldom spiders : and Helmont affirmeth, he could never find the spider and the fly upon the same trees, that is the signs of war and pestilence, which often go together: beside, that the flies found were at first maggots, experience hath in.formed
us ; for keeping these excrescences, we have observed their conversions, beholding in magnifying glasses the daily progression thereof. As may be also observed in other vegetable excretions, whose maggots do terminate in flies of constant shapes; as in the nut-galls of the outlandish oak, and the mossy tuft of the wild briar; which having gathered in November, we have found the little maggots, which lodged in wooden cells all winter, to turn into flies in June.5
We confess the opinion may hold some verity in the analogy, or emblematical fancy. For pestilence is properly signified by the spider, whereof, some kinds are of a very venomous nature; famine by maggots, which destroy the fruits of the earth; and war not improperly by the fly, if we rest in the fancy of Homer, who compares the valiant Grecian unto a fly.
Some verity it may also have in itself, as truly declaring the corruptive constitution in the present sap and nutrimental juice of the tree; and may consequently discover the
flies in June.] Of the genus Cynips.