Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

IN the Sea, upon the South-Weſt of Sicily, much Coral is found. It is a Sub-
marine Plant, it hath no leaves, it brancheth onely when it is under Wa-
ter; it is ſoft, and green of colour; but being brought into the Air, it be-
cometh hard, and ſhining red, as we ſee. It is ſaid alſo to have a white
Berry, but we finde it not brought over with the Coral: Belike it is caſt away
as nothing worth. Idquire better of it, for the diſcovery of the Nature of
the Plant.


touching the
Growth of

THe Manna of Calahria is the beſt, and in moſt plenty. They gather it
from the Leaf of the Mulberry-tree; but not of ſuch Mulberry-trees as
grow in the Valleys: And Manna fa@leth upon the Leaves by night, as other
Dews do. It ſhould ſeem, that before thoſe Dews come upon Trees in the
Valleys, they diſſipate and cannot hold out. It ſhould ſeem alſo, the Mul-
berry-leaf it ſelf hath ſome coagulating virtue, which inſpiſſateth the Dew,
for that it is not found upon other Trees: And we ſee by the Silk worm,
which feedeth upon that Leaf, what a dainty ſmooth Juice it hath; and the
Leaves alſo (eſpecially of the Black Mulberry) are ſome what briſtly, which
may help to preſerve the Dew. Certainly, it were not amiſs to obſerve a lit-
tle better the Dews that fall upon Trees or Herbs growing on Mountains; for
it may be, many Dews fall that ſpend before they come to the Valleys. And
I ſuppoſe, that he that would gather the beſt May Dew for Medicine, ſhould
gather it from the Hills.


touching the
Gathering of

IT is ſaid, they have a manner to prepare their Greek Wines, to keep them
from Fuming and Inebriating, by adding ſome Sulphur or Allum; where of
the one is Unctuous, and the other is Aſtringent. And certain it is, that
thoſe two Natures do repreſs the Fumes. This Experiment would be tranſ-
ferred unto other Wine and Strong-Beer, by putting in ſome like Subſtances
while they work; which may make them both to Fume leſs, and to inflame


touching the
Correcting of

IT is conceived by ſome, (not improbably) that the reaſon why Wild-
fires (where of the principal ingredient is Bitumen) do not quench with
Water, is, for that the firſt concretion of Bitumen, is a mixture of a fiery and
watry ſubſtance; ſo is not Sulphur. This appeareth, for that in the place near
Puteoli, which they call the Court of Vulcan, you ſhall hear under the
Earth a horrible thundring of Fire and Water conflicting together; and
there break forth alſo Spouts of boiling Water. Now that place yield-
eth great quantities of Bitumen; whereas c [?] Ætna, and Veſuvius, and the like,
which conſiſt upon Sulphur, ſhoot forth Smoak, and Aſhes, and Pumice,
but no Water. It is reported alſo, that Bitumen mingled with Lime, and put
under Water, will make, as it were, an artificial Rock, the ſubſtance be cometh
ſo hard.


touching the
Materials of

THere is a Cement compounded of Flower, Whites of Eggs, and Stone
powdred, that becometh hard as Marble, where with Piſcina Mirabilis,
near Cuma, is ſaid to have the Walls plaiſtered. And it is certain, and tried,
that the Powder of Load-ſtone and Flint, by the addition of Whites of Eggs
and Gum-dragon, made into Paſte, will in a few days harden to the hardneſs
of a Stone.


Plaiſter grow-
ing as hard as

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