Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; the Olive is full of Oily Juyce, and Aſh maketh the beſt Fire, and
Cypreſs is an hot Tree. As for the Oak, which is of the former ſort, it
loveth the Earth, and thereſore groweth ſlowly. And for the Pine, and
Firr likewiſe, they have ſo much heat in themſelves, as they need leſs the
heat oſ the Sun. There be Herbs alſo, that have the ſame difference; as
the Herb they call Morſus Diaboli, which putteth the Root down ſo low, as
you cannot pull it up without breaking; which gave occaſion to the name
and fable, ſor that it was ſaid it was ſo wholeſome a Root, That the Devil
when it was gathered, bit it for envy. And ſome of the Ancients do report,
that there was a goodly Firr (which they deſired to remove whole)
that had a Root under ground eight cubits deep, and ſo the Root came up



It hath been obſerved, that a Branch of a Tree being unbarked ſome
ſpace at the bottom, and ſo ſet into the Ground, hath grown even of ſuch
Trees, as if the Branch were ſet with the Bark on, they would not grow; yet
contrariwiſe we ſee, that a Tree pared round in the Body above Ground will
die. The cauſe may be, for that the unbarkt part dra weth the nouriſhment
beſt, but the Bark continueth it onely.



Grapes will continue freſh and moiſt all Winter long, if you hang them
cluſter by cluſter in the Roof of a warm Room, eſpecially, iſ when you ga-
ther the cluſter, you take off with the cluſter ſome of the ſtock.



The Reed or Cane is a watry Plant, and groweth not but in the Water. It hath theſe properties, That it is hollow, that it is knuckled, both Stalk
and Root, that being dry it is more hard and fragile then other Wood, that
it putteth forth no Boughs, though many Stalks out of one Root, It differ-
eth much in greatneſ, the ſmalleſt being fit for thatching of Houſes, and
ſtopping the chinks of Ships better then Glew or Pitch. The ſecond bigneſs
is uſed ſor Angle rods and Staves, and in China for beating of offenders upon
the Thighs. The differing kindes of them are, the common Reed, the
Caßia Fiſ [?] tula, and the Sugar-Reed. Of all Plants it boweth the eaſieſt, and
riſeth again. It ſeemeth, that amongſt Plants which are nouriſhed with
mixture of Earth and Water, it dra weth moſt nouriſhment from Water; which maketh it the ſmootheſt of all others in Bark, and the holloweſt in



The Sap of Trees, when they are let Blood, is of differing Natures. Some
more watry and clear, as that of Vines, of Beeches, of Pears; ſome thick,
as Apples; ſome Gummy, as Cherries; ſome frothy, as Elms; ſome milky,
as Figs. In Mulberries, the Sap ſeemeth to be (almoſt) towards the Bark
onely; for if you cut the Tree a little into the Bark with a Stone, it will come
forth, if you pierce it deeper with a tool, it will be dry. The Trees which
have the moiſteſt Juyces in their Fruit, have commonly the moiſteſt Sap in
their Body; for the Vines and Pears are very moiſt, Apples ſome what
more ſpongy: the Milk of the Fig hath the quality of the Rennet, to ga-
ther Cheeſe, and ſo have certain ſour Herbs where with they make Cheeſe
in Lent.



The Timber and Wood are in ſome Trees more clean, in ſome more knotty; and it is a good tryal, to try it by ſpeaking at one end, and laying the
Ear at the other: For if it be knotty, the voice will not paſs well. Some
have the Veins more varied and Chamloted; as Oak, whereof Wainſcot
is made; Maple, whereof Trenchers are made: Some more ſmooth, as
Firr and VValnut; ſome do more eaſily breed Worms and Spiders; ſome
more hardly, as it is ſaid of Iriſh Trees. Beſides, there be a number of


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