Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; ſtrangeſt and hardeſt to come by, are the Moſs upon the Skull of a dead Man
unburied, and the Fats of a Boar, and a Bear killed in the act of generation. Theſe two laſt I could eaſily ſuſpect to be preſeribed as a ſtartling hole, that
if the Experiment proved not, it might be pretended, that the Beaſts were not
killed in the due time; for as for the Moſs, it is certain there is great quan-
tity of it in Ireland, upon ſlain Bodies laid on heaps unburied. The other In-
gredients are the Blood-ſtone in Powder, and ſome other things which ſeem
to have a virtue to ſtanch blood, as alſo the Moſs hath. And the deſcription
of the whole Oyntment is to be found in the Chymical Diſpenſatory of Crollius. Secondly, The ſame kinde of Oynment applied to the hurt it ſelf, worketh
not the effect, but onely applied to the weapon. Thirdly, (which I like well)
they do not obſerve the confecting of the Oyntment under any certain Con-
ſtellation; which commonly is the excuſe of Magical Medicines when they
fail, that they were not made under a fit figure of Heaven. Fourthly, it may
be applied to the Weapon, though the party hurt be at great diſtance. Fiſth-
ly, it ſeemeth the Imagination of the party to be cured is not needſul to con-
cur, for it may be done without the knowledge of the party wounded: And thus much hath been tried, that the Oyntment (for Experiments ſake)
hath been wiped off the Weapon without the knowledge of the party hurt,
and preſently the party hurt hath been in great rage of pain, till the weapon
was reanointed. Sixthly, it is affirmed, That if you cannot get the weapon,
yet if you put an Inſtrument of Iron or Wood, reſembling the weapon
into the Wound, whereby it bleedeth, the anointing of that Inſtrument will
ſerve and work the effect. This I doubt ſhould be a device to keep this
ſtrange form of Cure in requeſt and uſe, becauſe many times you cannot
comeby the Weapon it ſelf. Seventhly, the Wound muſt be at firſt waſhed
clean with White-wine, or the parties own Water, and then bound up cloſe
in fine Linnen, and no more dreſſing renewed till it be whole. Eighthly, the
Sword it ſelf muſt be wrapped up cloſe as far as the Oyntment goeth, that it
take no wind. Ninthly, the Oyntment, if you wipe it off from the Sword
and keep it, wil ſerve again, and rather increaſe in vertue then diminiſh. Tenth-
ly, it will cure in far ſhorter time, then Oyntments of Wounds commonly do. Laſtly, it will cure a Beaſt as well as a Man; which I like beſt of all the reſt,
becauſe it ſubjecteth the matter to an eaſie tryal.



IWould have Men know, that though Ireprehend the eaſie paſſing over of
the cauſes of things, by aſcribing them to ſecret and hidden virtues and
proprieties (for this hath arreſted and laid aſleep all true Inquiry and Indica-
tions;) yet I do not underſtand, but that in the practical part of knowledge
much will be left to Experience and Probation, whereunto Indication cannot
ſo ſully reach; and this is not onely in Specie, but in Individuo. So in Phyſick,
if you will cure the Faundies, it is not enough to ſay, that the Medicine muſt
not be cooling, forthat will hinder the opening which the diſeaſe requireth; that it muſt not be hot, for that will exaſperate Choler; that it muſt go to
the Gall, for there is the obſtruction which cauſeth the diſeaſe, & c. But you
muſt receive from Experience, that Powder of Chamæpytis, or the like, drunk
in Beer, is good for the Faundies. So again, a wiſe Phyſician doth not continue
ſtill the ſame Medicine to a Patient, but he will vary, if the firſt Medicine
doth not apparently ſucceed; ſor of thoſe Remedies that are good for the
Faundies, Stone, Agues, & c. that will do good in one Body, which will not
do good in another, according to the correſpondence the Medicine hath to
the Individual Body.


Secret Proprie-

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