Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; creaſing the Luſt or Spirit of the Root: Theſe things being more forcible
than ordinary compoſts.



It is reported by one of the Ancients, that Artichoaks will be leſs prick-
ly, and more tender, if the Seeds have their tops dulled or grated off upon
a Stone.



Herbs will be tenderer, and fairer, if you take them out of Beds when
they are newly come up, and remove them into Pots with better Earth. The
remove from Bed to Bed was ſpoken of before; but that was in ſeveral
years, this is upon the ſudden. The cauſe is the ſame with other removes,
ſormerly mentioned.



Coleworts are reported by one of the Ancients, to proſper exceedingly,
and to be better taſted, if they be ſometimes watred with Salt-water, and
much more with Water mixed with Nitre; the Spirit of which is leſs Adu-
rent than Salt.



It is reported, That Cucumbers will prove more tender and dainty, if
their Seeds be ſteeped (little) in Milk; the cauſe may be, for that the Seed
being mollified with the Milk, will be too weak to draw the groſſer Juyce of
the Earth, but onely the finer. The ſame Experiment may be made in Arti-
choaks, and other Seeds, when you would take away, either their Flaſhi-
neſs or Bitterneſs. They ſpeak alſo, that the like effect followeth of ſteep-
ing in Water mixed with Honey; but that ſeemeth to me not ſo probable,
becauſe Honey hath too quick a Spirit.



It is reported, That Cucumbers will be leſs Watry, and more Melon-
like, if in the Pit where you ſet them, you fill it (half way up) with Chaff, or
ſmall Sticks, and then power Earth upon them; for Cucumbers, as it ſeemeth,
do extreamly affect moiſture, and over-drink themſelves; which this Chaff,
or Chips forbiddeth. Nay it is further reported, That if when a Cucumber
is grown, you ſet a Pot of water about five or ſix inches diſtance from it,
it will in Four and twenty hours ſhoot ſo much out as to touch the Pot; which if it be true, it is an Experiment of an higher nature than belongeth
to this Title: Forit diſcovereth Perception in Plants to move towards that
which ſhould help and comfort them, though it be at a diſtance. The ancient
Tradition of the Vine is far more ſtrange: It is, that if you ſet a ſtake, or
prop, ſome diſtance from it, it will grow that way, which is far ſtranger (as
is ſaid) than the other: For that Water may work by a Sympathy of At-
traction: But this of the Stake ſeemeth to be a reaſonable diſcourſe.



It hath been touched before, that Terebration of Trees doth make them
proſper better. But it is found alſo, that it maketh the Fruit ſweeter, and
better. The cauſe is, for that not withſtanding the Terebration, they may
receive Aliment ſufficient, and yet no more than they can well turn, and
diſgeſt; and withal do ſweat out the courſeſt and unprofitableſt Juyce, even
as it is in Living Creatures; which, by moderate feeding, and exerciſe, and
ſweat, attain the ſound eſt habit of Body.



As Terebration doth meliorate Fruit, ſo, upon the like reaſon, doth
Letting of Plants Blood; as Pricking Vines, or other Trees, aſ [?] ter they be of
ſome growth, and thereby letting forth Gum or Tears, though this be not to
continue, as it is in Terebration, but at ſome Seaſons. And it is reported,
that by [?] this artifice, Bitter Almonds have been turned into ſweet.



The Ancients for the Dulcorating of Fruit, do commend Swines dung
above all other Dung, which may be, becauſe of the moiſture of that Beaſt,
whereby the Excrement hath leſs Acrimony, for we ſee Swines and Pigs
Fleſh is the moiſteſt of fleſhes.



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