Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

The differences between Plants, and Metals, or Foßiles beſides thoſe four
beforementioned, (for Metals I hold inanimate) are theſe: Firſt, Metals
are more durable than Plants: Secondly, they are more ſolid and hard: Thirdly, they are wholly ſubterrany; whereas Plants are part above Earth,
and part under Earth.



There be very few Creatures that participate of the Nature of Plants, and
Metals both; Coral is one of the neareſt of both kindes; another is Vitriol,
for that is apteſt to ſprout with moiſture.



Another ſpecial Affinity is between Plants and Mould, or Purrefaction: For all Putrefaction, (if it diſſolve notin Arefaction) will in the end iſſue in-
to Plants or Living Creatures bred of Putrefaction. I account Moß, and Muſh-
romes, and Agarick, and other of thoſe kindes, to be but Moulds of the Ground,
Walls, and Trees, and the like. As for Flesh, and Fish, and Plants themſelves,
and a number of other things, after a Mouldineß, or Rottenneß, or Corrupting,
they will fall to breed Worms. Theſe Putrefactions, which have Affinity with
Plants, have this difference from them; that they have no ſucceſſion or pro-
pagation, though they nouriſh, and have a period of Life, and have like wiſe
ſome Figure.



I left once, by chance, a Citron cut in a cloſe room, ſor three Summer-
moneths, that I was abſent; and at my return, there were grown forth out
of the Pith cut, Tufts of Hairs, an inch long, with little black Heads, as if they
would have been ſome Herb.



THe Affinities and Differences between Plants and Living Creatures, and
theſe that follow. They have both of them Spirits continued and
branched, and alſo inflamed. But firſtin Living Creatures the Spirits have a Cell
or Seat, which Plants have not, as was alſo formerly ſaid. And ſecondly, the
Spirits of Living Creatures hold more of Flame, than the Spirits of Plants do; and theſe two are the Radical difterences. For the Secondary differences,
they are as follow. Firſt, Plants are all fixed to the Earth; where as all Living
Creatures are ſevered, and of themſelves. Secondly, Living Creatureshave
Local Motion, Plants have not. Thirdly, Living Creatures nouriſh from
their upper parts by the Mouth chiefly; Plants nouriſh from below, namely
from the Roots. Fourthly, Plants have their Seed and Seminal parts upper-
moſt, Living Creatures have them lowermoſt; and therefore it was ſaid,
not Elegantly alone, but Philoſophically: Home eſt Planta inverſa. Man is like
a Plant turned upwards; For the Root in Plants, is as the Head in Living Crea-
tures. Fiſthly, Living Creatures have a more exact Figure than Plants. Sixthly,
Living Creatures have more diverſity of Organs within their Bodies and (as
it were) in ward Figures than Plants have. Seventhly, Living Creatures have
Senſe, which Plants have not. Eightly, Living Creatures have Voluntary
Motion, which Plants have not.


in Conſort,
touching the
Affinities and
Differences of
Plants, and
Living Crea-
tures: And
the Confines
and Participles
of them.

For the difference of Sexes in Plants, they are oftentimes by name diſtin-
guiſhed; as Male-Piony, Female. Piony; Male-Roſemary, Female-Roſemary; He-
Holly, She-Holly, & c. But Generation by Copulation (certainly) extendeth
not to Plants. The neareſt approach of it, is between the He-Palm, and the
She-Palm, which (as they report) if they grow near, incline the one to the
other; inſomuch as, (that which is more ſtrange) they doubt not to report,
that to keep the Trees upright from bending, they tye Ropes or Lines from
the one to the other, that the contact might be enjoyned by the contact of a
middle Body. But this may be feigned, or at leaſt amplified. Nevertheleſs, I


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