Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Firſt, therefore you muſt make account, that if you will have one Plant
change into another, you muſt have the Nouriſhment over rule the Seed: And therefore you are to practi@e it by Nouriſhments as contraty as may be,
to the Nature of the Herb; ſonevertheleſs as the Herb may grow, and like-
wiſe with Seeds that are of the weakeſt ſort, and have leaſt vigor. You ſhall
do well therefore to take Marſh Herbs, and plant them upon tops of Hills
and Champaigns; and ſuch Plants as require much moiſture, upon Sandy
and very dry grounds. As for example, Marſh Mallows, and Sedge upon
Hills, Cucumber and Lettuce Seeds, and Coleworts upon a Sandy Plat; ſo
contrariwiſe plant Buſhes, Heath, Ling, and Brakes upon a Wet or Marſh
Ground. This I conceive alſo, that all Eſculent and Garden Herbs, ſet upon
the tops of Hills, will prove more Medicinal, though leſs Eſculent, than they
were before. And it may be like wiſe, ſome Wilde Herbs you may make
Salet Herbs. This is the firſt Rule for Tranſmutation of Plants.



The ſecond Rule ſhould be to bury ſome few Seeds of the Herb you
would change amongſt other Seeds; and then you ſhall ſee whether the Juyce
of thoſe other Seeds do not ſo qualifie the Earth, as it will alter the Seed
whereupon you work. As for example, Put Parſly. ſeed amongſt Onion-ſeed,
or Lettuce-ſeed amongſt Parſly ſeed, or Baſil-ſeed amongſt Thyme-ſeed,
and ſee the change of taſte or otherwiſe. But you ſhall do well to put the
Seed you would change into a little Linnen Cloth, that it mingle not with
the Foreign Seed.



The third Rule ſhall be the making of ſome medly, or mixture of Earth,
with ſome other Plants bruiſed, or ſhaved, either in Leaf or Root: As for ex-
ample make Earth, with a mixture of Colewort Leaves ſtamped, and ſet in
it Artichoaks, or Parſnips: So take Earth made with Majoram, or Origannum,
or Wilde Thyme, bruiſed, or ſtamped, and ſet in it Fennel-ſeed, & c. In which
operation, the Proces of Nature ſtill will be, (as I conceive,) not that the Herb
you work upon, ſhould draw the Juyce of the Foreign Herb; (for that
opinion we have formerly rejected) but there will be a new confection
of mould, which perhaps will alter the Seed, and yet not to the kinde of the
former Herb.



The fourth Rule ſhall be to mark what Herbs ſome Earths do put ſorth
of themſelves, and to take that Earth, and to Pot it, or to Veſſel it; and into
that, ſet the Seed you would change: As for Example, take from under
Walls, or the like; where Nettles put forth in abundance, the Earth which
you ſhall there finde, without any String or Root of the Nettles; and pot
that Earth, and ſet in it Stock-Gilly-flowers, or Wall-flowers, & c. Or ſow
in the Seeds of them, and ſee what the event will be; or take Earth, that you
have prepared to put forth Muſhrooms of it ſelf, (where of you ſhall finde
ſome inſtances following,) and ſow it in Purſlane-ſeed, or Lettuce. ſeed; for
in theſe Experiments, it is likely enough, that the Earth being accuſtomed to
ſend forth one kinde of Nouriſhment, will alter the new Seed.



The fifth Rule ſhall be, to make the Herb grow contrary to his nature, as
to make Ground Herbs riſe in height: As for example. Carry Camomile, or
Wilde Thyme, or the Green Strawberry, upon ſticks, as you do Hops upon
Poles, and ſee what the event will be.



The ſixth Rule ſhall be to make Plants grow out of the Sun, or open
Air; for that is a great mutation in Nature, and may induce a change in the
Seed: As barrel up Earth, and ſow ſome Seed in it, and put in the bottom
of a Pond, or put it in ſome great hollow Tree; try alſo the ſowing


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