Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

The Hiſtory of Life and Death. Executioner’s hand for high Treaſon, after his Heart was plucked out and in the Exe-
cutioner’s hand, was heard to utter three or four words of prayer: which therefore
we ſaid to be more credible than that of the Ox [?] in sacrifice, becauſe the friends of the
party ſuffering do uſually give a reward to the Executioner to diſpatch his office with
the more ſpeed, that they may the ſooner be rid of their pain; but in Sacrifices we
ſee no cauſe why the Prieſt ſhould be ſo ſpeedy in his office.



For reviving thoſe again which fall into ſudden Swooning and Catalepſes of aſtoniſh-
ments, (in which Fits many, without preſent help, would utterly expire) theſe things
are uſed; Putting into their mouths Water diſtilled of Wine, which they call Hot-
waters, and Cordial-Waters, bending the body forwards, ſtopping the mouth and noſtrils
hard, bending or wringing the fingers, pulling the hairs of the beard or head, rubbing
of the parts, eſpecially the face and legs, ſudden caſting of cold water upon the face,
ſhrieking out aloud and ſuddenly; putting Roſe-water to the noſtrills with Vinegar in
faintings; burning of Feathers or Cloth in the ſuffocation of the Mother: but eſpe-
cially a Frying-pan heated red hot is good in Apoplexies; alſo a cloſe embracing o [?] f the
body hath helped ſome.



There have been many examples of men in ſhew dead, either laid out upon the
cold floor, or carried forth to burial; nay, of ſome buried in the earth, which not-
withſtanding have lived again, which hath been found in thoſe that were buried (the
earth being afterwards opened) by the bruiſing and wounding of their head, through
the ſtrugling of the body within the Coffin; whereof the moſt recent and memo-
rable example was that of Foannes scotus, called the Subtil, and a School-man, who
being digged up again by his Servant, (unfortunately abſent at his burial, and who
knew his Maſters manner in ſuch fits) was found in that ſtate: And the like happened
in our days in the perſon of a Player, buried at Cambridge. I remember to have heard
of a certain Gentleman, that would needs make trial in curioſity what men did feel that
were hanged; ſo he faſtened the Cord about his neck, raiſing himſelf upon a ſtool, and
then letting himſelf fall, thinking it ſhould be in his power to recover the ſtool at
his pleaſure, which he failed in, but was helped by a friend then preſent. He was
asked aſterward what he felt. He ſaid he felt no pain, but firſt he thought he ſaw before
his eyes a great fire and burning; then he thought he ſaw all black and dark; laſtly
it turned to a pale blew, or Sea-water green; which colour is alſo often ſeen by them
which fall into Swoonings. I have heard alſo of a Phyſician, yet living, who reco-
vered a man to life which had hanged himſelf, and had hanged half an hour, by Fri-
cations and hot Baths: And the ſame Phyſician did profeſs, that he made no doubt to
recover any man that had hanged ſo long, ſo his Neck were not broken with the firſt



71. The Differences of Youth and Old Age.

THe Ladder of Man’s Body is this, To be conceived, to be quickned in the womb,
to be born, to ſuck, to be weaned, to feed upon Pap, to put forth Teeth the
firſt time about the ſecond year of age, to begin to go, to begin to ſpeak, to
put forth Teeth the ſecond time about ſeven years of age, to come to Puberty about
twelve or fourteen years of age, to be able for generation and the flowing of the Men-
ſtrua, to have hairs about the legs and arm-holes, to put forth a Beard; and thus long,
and ſometimes later, to grow in ſtature, to come to full years of ſtrength and agility, to
grow gray and bald; the Menſtrua ceaſing, and ability to generation, to grow decrepit
and a monſter with three legs, to die. Mean-while the Mind alſo hath certain periods,
but they cannot be deſcribed by years, as to decay in the Memory, and the like; of
which hereafter.


To the 16

The differences of Youth and old Age are theſe: A young man’s skin is ſmooth
and plain, an old man’s dry and wrinkled, eſpecially about the forehead and eyes; a
young man’s fleſh is tender and ſoft, an old man’s hard; a young man hath ſtrength
and agility, an old man feels decay in his ſtrength and is ſlow of motion; a young man


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