Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; which is nouriſhed with the Salt-water; and when the Tide ebbeth, you ſhall
ſee the Roots, as it were, bare without Bark (being, as it ſeemeth, corroded by
the Salt) and graſping the Sands like a Crab, which nevertheleſs beareth a
Fruit. It were good to try ſome hard Trees, as a Service-Tree or Fit- Tree,
by ſetting them within the Sands.



There be of Plants which they uſe for Garments, theſe that follow,
Hemp, Flax, Cotton, Nettles, (whereof they make Nettle Cloth) Sericum, which
is a growing Silk; they make alſo Cables of the Bark of Lime-Trees. It is the
Stalk that maketh the Filaceous matter commonly, and ſometimes the Down
that groweth above.



They have in ſome Countreys, a Plant of a Roſie-colour, which ſhurteth
in the Night, openeth in the Morning, and openeth wide at Noon; which the
Inhabitants of thoſe Countreys ſay, is a Plant that ſleepeth. There be Sleep-
ers enough then; for almoſt all Flowers do the like.



Some Plants there are, but rare, that have a Moſſie or Downy Root, and
likewiſe that have a number of Threds like Beards, as Mandrakes; whereof
Witches and Impoſtors make an ugly Image, giving it the form of a face at the
top of the Root, and leave thoſe ſtrings to make a broad Beard down to the
foot. Alſo there is a kinde of Nard in Creet (being a kinde of Phu) that hath
a Root hairy, like a Rough-footed Doves foot. So as you may ſee, there are
of Roots, Bulbous Roots, Fibrous Roots, and Hirſute Roots. And, I take it, in the
Bulbous, the Sap haſtneth moſt to the Air and Sun: In the Fibrous, the Sap de-
lighteth more in the Earth, and thereſore putteth downward; and the Hir-
ſute is a middle between both, that beſides the putting forth upwards and
downwards, putteth forth in round.



There are ſome Tears of Trees, which are kembed from the Beards of
Goats; for when the Goats bite and crop them, eſpecially in the Mornings,
the Dew being on, the Tear cometh forth, and hangeth upon their Beards: Of this ſort is ſome kinde of Ladanum.



The irrigation of the Plane-tree by Wine, is reported by the Ancients,
to make it fruitſul. It would be tryed likewiſe with Roots; ſor upon Seeds
it worketh no great effect.



The way to carry Foreign Roots, a long way, is to veſſel them cloſe in
Earthen veſſels; but if the Veſſels be not very great, you muſt make ſome
holes in the bottom, to give ſome refreſhment to the Roots; which other-
wiſe (as it ſeemeth) will decay, and ſuffocate.



The ancient Cinnamon, was, of all other Plants, while it grew, the diyeſt; and thoſe things which are known to comfort other Plants, did make
that more ſteril; for in ſhowers it proſpered worſt: It grew alſo amongſt
Buſhes of other kindes, where commonly Plants do not thrive, neither did
it love the Sun. There might be one cauſe of all thoſe effects, namely,
the ſparing nouriſhment, which that Plant required. Quære, how far
Caßia, which is now the ſubſtitute of Cinnamon, doth participate of theſe



It is reported by one of the Ancients, that Caßia, when it is gathered, is
put into the Skins of Beaſts newly fleyed; and that the Skins corrupting,
and breeding Worms, the Worms do devour the Pith and Marrow of it,
and ſo make it hollow, but meddle not with the Bark, becauſe to them it is



There were in ancient time, Vines of far greater Bodies, then we know
any; forthere have been Cups made of them, and an Image of Fupiter. But
it is like they were wilde Vines; for the Vines that they uſe for Wine, are ſo


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