Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; ſhould pray one for another, or ſhould put on a Ring or Tablet one for an-
others ſake; whether, if one of them ſhould break their Vow and Promiſe,
the other ſhould have any feeling of it in abſence.



If there be any force in Imaginations and Affections of ſingular Per-
ſons, it is probable the force is much more in the Joynt-Imaginations and
Affections of Multitudes; as if a victory ſhould be won or loſt in remote
parts, Whether is there not ſome ſenſe thereof in the people whom it con-
cerneth, becauſe of the great joy or grief that many men are poſſeſſed with
at once? Pius Quintus, at the very time when that memorable victory was
won by the Chriſtians againſt the Turks, at the Naval Battel of Lepanto, being
then hearing of Cauſes in the Conſiſtory, brake off ſuddenly, and ſaid to
thoſe about him, It is now more then time we ſhould give thanks to God for the great
Victory he hath granted us againſt the Turks. It is true, that Victory had a Sympa-
thy with his Spirit, for it was meerly his work to conclude the League: It
may be that Revelation was Divine. But what ſhall we ſay then to a number
of Examples amongſt the Grecians and Romans, where the People being in
Theatres at Plays, have had news of Victories and Overthrows ſome few
days, before any Meſſenger could come?



It is true, that that may hold in theſe things which is the general Root
of Superſtition; namely, that men obſerve when things hit, and not when
they miſs, and commit to Memory the one, and forget and paſs over the
other. But touching Divination and the miſgiving of Mindes, we ſhall
ſpeak more when we handle in general the Nature of Mindes, and Souls, and

We having given formerly ſome Rules of Imagination, and touching
the fortifying of the ſame; we have ſet down alſo ſome few Inſtances and
Directions of the force of Imagination upon Beaſts, Birds, & c. upon plants,
and upon Inanimate Bodies: Wherein you muſt ſtill obſerve, that your Tryals
be upon Subtil and Light Motions, and not the contrary; for you will
ſoonerby Imagination bind a Bird from Singing then from Eating or Flying; and I leave it to every man to chuſe Experiments which himſelf thinketh
moſt commodious, giving now but a few Examples of every of the three



Uſe ſome Imaginant (obſerving the Rules formerly preſcribed). for
binding of a Bird from ſinging, and the like of a Dog from barking. Try
alſo the Imagination of ſome, whom you ſhall accommodate with things to
fortifie it in Cock-fights, to make one Cock more hardy, and the other
more cowardly. It would be tried alſo in flying of Hawks, or in courſing
of a Deer or Hart with Grey-hounds, or in Horſe-races, and the like com-
parative Motions; for you may ſooner by Imagination, quicken or ſlack a
motion, then raiſe or ceaſe it; as it is eaſier to make a Dog go ſlower, then
to make him ſtand ſtill, that he may notrun.



In Plants alſo you may try the force of Imagination upon the lighter
ſort of Motions; as upon the ſudden fading or lively coming up of Herbs; or upon their bending one way or other, or upon their cloſing and open-
ing, & c.



For Inanimate things, you may try the force of Imagination upon ſtay-
ing the working of Beer, when the Barm is put in; or upon the coming of
Butter or Cheeſe, after the Churning, or the Rennet be put in.



It is an ancient Tradition, every where alleaged, for example of ſecret
Proprieties and Influxes, That the Torpedo Marina, if it be touched with a
long ſtick, doth ſtupefie the hand of him that touchethit. It is one degree of


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