Volltext: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; deal much in Refining, or other works about Metals and Minerals, have
their Brains hurt and itupefied by the Metalline Vapors. Amongſt which, it
is noted, that the Spirits of Quick-ſilver ever flie to the Skull, Teeth, or
Bones; inſomuch, as Gilders uſe to have a piece of Gold in their Mouth to
draw the Spirits of [?] Quick-ſilver; which Gold aſterwards they finde to be
whitned. There are alſo certain Lakes and Pits, ſuch as that of Avernus, that
poyſon Birds (as is ſaid) which flie over them, or Men that ſtay too long
about them.



The Vapor of Char-coal or Sea-coal in a cloſe room, hath killed
many; and it is the more dangerous, becauſe it cometh without any ill ſmell,
but ſtealeth on by little and little, inducing onely faintneſs, without any
manifeſt ſtrangling. When the Dutchmen wintred at Nova Zembla, and
that they could gather no more ſticks, they fell to make fire of ſome Sea-
coal they had, wherewith (at firſt) they were much refreſhed; but a little
after they had ſat about the fire, there grew a general ſilence and lothneſ,
to ſpeak amongſt them; and immediately after, one of the weakeſt of
the Company fell down in a ſwoon: Whereupon, they doubting what it
was, opened their door to let in Air, and ſo ſaved themſelves. The effect
(no doubt) is wrought by the inſpiffition of the Air, and ſo of the
Breath and Spirits. The like enſueth in Rooms newly Plaiſtred, if a fire
be made in them; whereof no leſs Min then the Emperor Jovinianus



Vide the Experiment 803. Touching the Infectious Nature of the Air upon
the firſt Showers aſter long Drought.



It hath come to paſs, that ſome Apothecaries. upon ſtamping of Colo-
quintida, have been put into a great Scouring by the Vapor onely.



It hath been a practice to burn a Pepper they call Guinny-Pepper, which
hath ſuch a ſtrong Spirit, that it provoketh a continual SneeZing in thoſe that
are in the Room.



It is an Ancient Tradition, that Blear Eyes infect Sound Eyes; and that a
Menſtruous Woman looking in a Glaſs doth ruſt it: Nay, they have an opinion,
which ſeemeth fabulous, That Menſtruous Women going over a Field or Garden,
do Corn and Herbs good by killing the Worms.



The Tradition is no leſs ancient, that the Baſilisk killeth by aſpect; and
that the Woolf, if he ſeeth a Man firſt, by aſpect ſtriketh a Man hoarſe.



Perfumes convenient do dry and ſtrengthen the Brain, and ſtay Rheums
and Defluxions; as we finde in Fume of Roſemary dried, and Lignum Aloes,
and Calamus taken at the Mouth and Noſtrils. And no doubt, there be other
Petfumes that do moiſten and refreſh, and are fit to be uſed in Burning Agues,
Conſumptions, and too much wakefulneſs; ſuch as are Roſe-Water, Vinegar,
Lemmon-pills, Violets, the Leaves of Vines ſprinkled with a little Roſe-water,
& c.



They do uſe in ſudden Faintings and Swoonings, to put a Handkerchief
with Roſe-water, or a little Vinegar to the Noſe, which gathereth together
again the Spirits, which are upon point to reſolve and fall away.



Tobacco comforteth the Spirits, and diſchargeth wearineſs; which it
worketh, partly by opening, but chiefly by the opiate virtue, which con-
denſeth the Spirits. It were good therefore to try the taking of Fumes by
Pipes (as they do in Tobacco) of other things, as well to dry and comfort, as
for other intentions. I wiſh tryal be made of the drying Fume of Roſemary
and Lignum Aloes, before mentioned in Pipe; and ſo of Nutmegs and Folium
indum, & c.




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