Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; and a number of others. Generally, divers Creatures bred of Putrefaction,
though they be ſomewhat loathſome to take, are of this kinde; as Earth-
worms, Timber-ſows, Snails, & c. And I conceive, that the Trochiſcs of Vipers,
(which are ſo much magnified) and the fleſh of Snakes ſome ways condited
and corrected (which of late are grown into ſome credit) are of the ſame
nature. So the parts of Beaſts putrefied (as Caſtoreum and Musk, which have
extream ſubtil parts) are to be placed amongſt them. We ſee alſo, that
putrefaction of Plants (as Agarick and Jews-Ear) are of greateſt vertue. The cauſe is, for that putrefaction is the ſubtileſt of all motions in the parts
of Bodies, And ſince we cannot take down the lives of Living Creatures
(which ſome of the Paracelſians ſay, if they could be taken down, would
make us Immortal,) the next is, for ſubtilty of operation to take Bodies
putreſied, ſuch as may be ſafely taken.


Special Sim-
ples for Medi-

IT hath been obſerved by the Ancients, that much uſe of Venus doth dim the
ſight, and yet Eunuchs, which are unable to generate, are (nevertheleſs)
alſo dim-ſighted. The cauſe of dimneſs of ſight in the former, is the ex
pence of Spirits; in the latter, the over-moiſture of the Brain; for the over-
moiſture of the Brain doth thicken the Spirits viſual, and obſtructeth their
paſſages, as we ſee by the decay in the ſight in Age, where alſo the dimi-
nution of the Spirits concurreth as another cauſe. We ſee alſo, that blind-
neſs cometh by Rheums and Cataracts Now in Eunuchs there are all the
notes of moiſture; as the ſwelling of their Thighs, the looſneſs of their
Belly, the ſmoothneſs of their skin, & c.


in Conſort,

The pleaſure in the Act of Venus, is the greateſt of the pleaſures of the
Senſes: the matching of it with Itch is improper, though that alſo be plea-
ſing to the touch, but the cauſes are profound. Firſt, all the Organs of the
Senſes qualifie the motions of the Spirits, and make ſo many ſeveral ſpecies
of motions, and pleaſures or diſpleaſures thereupon, as there be diverſities
of Organs. The Inſtruments of Sight, Hearing, Taſte, and Smell, are of ſeveral
frame, and ſo are the parts for Generation; therefore Scaliger doth well to
make the pleaſure of Generation a ſixth Senſe. And if there were any other
differing Organs, and qualified Perforations for the Spirits to paſs, there
would be more then the Five Senſes: Neither do we well know, whether ſome
Beaſts and Birds have not Senſes that we know not, and the very Sent of
Dogs is almoſt a ſenſe by it ſelf. Secondly, the Pleaſures of the Touch are
greater and deeper then thoſe of the other Senſes, as we ſee in Warming up-
on Cold, or Refrigeration upon Heat: For as the Pains of the Touch are greater
then the offences of other Senſes, ſo like wiſe are the Pleaſures. It is true,
that the affecting of the Spirits immediately, and (as it were) without an
Organ, is of the greateſt pleaſure; which is but in two things, Sweet ſmells
and Wine and the like Sweet vapors. For Smells, weſee their great and ſudden
effectin fetching Men again when they ſwown; for Drink, it is certain, that
the pleaſure of Drunkenneſs is next the pleaſure of Venus; and great Joyes
(likewiſe) make the Spirits move and touch themſelves; and the pleaſure
of Venus is ſomewhat of the ſame kinde.



It hath been always obſerved, that Men are more inclined to Venus in
the Winter, and Women in the Summer. The cauſe is, for that the Spirits in
a Body more hot and dry, (as the Spirits of Men are) by the Summer are
more exhaled and diſſipated, and in the Winter more condenſed and kept
entire; but in Bodies that are cold and moiſt, (as Womens are) the Summer


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