Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Century VII. doth cheriſh the Spirits, and calleth them forth, the Winter doth dull them. Furthermor@, the Abſtinence or Intermiſſion of the uſe of Venus, in moiſt and
well habituate Bodies, breedeth a number of Diſeaſes; and eſpecially danger-
ous impoſthumat ons. The reaſon is evident, for that it is a principal evacua-
tion, eſpecially of the Spirits; ſor of the Spirits, there is ſcarce any evacua-
tion, but in Venus and exerciſe. And therefore the omiſſion of either of them
breedeth all diſeaſes of Repletion.



THe nature of Vivification is very worthy the enquiry; and as the Nature
of things is commonly better perceived in ſmall then in great, and in
unperfect then in perfect, and in parts then in whole; ſo the Nature of Vi-
vification is beſt enquired in Creatures bred of Putrefaction. The contem-
plation whereof hath many excellent Fruits. Firſt, in diſcloſing the original
of Vivification. Secondly, in diſcloſing the original of Figuration. Thirdly,
in diſcloſing many things in the nature of perfect Creatures, which in them
lie more hidden. And fourthly, in traducing by way of operation, ſome
obſervations in the Inſecta, to work effects upon perfect Creatures. Note, that
the word Inſecta agreeth not with the matter, but we ever uſe it for brevities
ſake, intending by it Creatures bred of Putrefaction.


in Conſort,
touching the

The Inſecta are ſound to breed out of ſeveral matters: Some breed of
Mud or Dung; as the Earth-worms, Eels, Snakes, & c. For they are both
Putrefactions: For Water in Mud do putrefie, as not able to preſerve it ſelf; and for Dung, all Excrements are the refuſe and putrefactions of nouriſh-
ment. Some breed in Wood, both growing and cut down. Quære, in what
Woods moſt, and at what ſeaſons. We ſee that the Worms with many feet,
which round themſelves into Balls, are bred chiefly under Logs of Timber,
but not in the Timber, and they are ſaid to be found alſo (many times) in
Gardens where no Logs are. But it ſeemeth their Generation requireth a
coverture both from Sun, and Rain or Dew, as the Timber is; and therefore
they are not venemous, but (contrariwiſe) are held by the Phyſitians to
clarifie the Blood. It is obſerved, that Cimices are found in the holes of Bed-
ſides. Some breed in the Hair of Living Creatures; as Lice and Tikes, which
are bred by the ſweat cloſe kept, and ſomewhat airified by the Hair. The
Excrements of Living Creatures do not onely breed Inſecta when they are
excerned, but alſo while they are in the Body; as in Worms, whereto Chil-
dren are moſt ſubject, and are chiefly in the Guts. And it hath been lately
obſerved by Phyſitians, that in many Peſl [?] ilent Diſeaſes there are Worms
found in the upper parts of the Body, where Excrements are not, but onely
humors putrefied. Fleas breed principally of Straw or Mats, where there hath
been a little moiſture, or the Chamber and Bed-ſtraw kept cloſe, and not
aired. It is received, that they are killed by ſtrewing Worm wood in the Rooms. And it is truly obſerved, that bitter things are apt rather to kill then en-
gender Putrefaction, and they be things that are fat or ſweet that are apteſt
to putrefie. There is a Worm that breedeth in Meal of the ſhape of a large
white Maggot, which is given as a great dainty to Nightingales. The Moth
breedeth upon Cloth, and other Lanifices, eſpecially iſ they be laid up dankiſh
and wet. It delighteth to be about the flame of a Candle. There is a Worm
called a VVevil, bred under Ground, and that feedeth upon Roots, as Parſnips,
Carrots, & c. Some breed in Waters, eſpecially ſhaded, but they muſt be by
ſtanding Waters; as the Water-Spider that hath ſix Legs. The Fly called the
Gad flie breedeth of ſomewhat that ſwimeth upon the top of the Water, and


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