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houses, with windows towards the east and oil, keep long, much more in honey or spirit north, is very commodious. Some, also, make of wine, but most of all, as some say, in quick. two sollars, an upper and a lower, and the upper silver.

sollar hath a hole in it, through which the grain 20. Fruits enclosed in wax, pitch, plaster, continually descendeth, like sand in an hour-paste, or any the like case or covering, keep green glass, and after a few days they throw it up again | very long.

with shovels, that so it may be in continual mo- 21. It is manifest that flies, spiders, ants, or the tion. Now, it is to be noted that this doth not like small creatures, falling by chance into amber, only prevent the fustiness, but conserveth the or the gums of trees, and so finding a burial in greenness, and slacketh the desiccation of it. them, do never after corrupt or rot, although they The cause is that which we noted before; that be soft and tender bodies. the discharging of the watery humour, which is quickened by the motion and the winds, preserves the oily humour in his being, which otherwise would fly out together with the watery humour. Also, in some mountains, where the air is very pure, dead carcasses may be kept for a good while without any great decay.

13. Fruits, as pomegranates, citrons, apples, pears, and the like; also, flowers, as roses and lilies, may be kept a long time in earthen vessels close stopped; howsoever, they are not free from the injuries of the outward air, which will affect them with his unequal temper through the sides of the vessel, as it is manifest in heat and cold. Therefore, it will be good to stop the mouths of the vessels carefully, and to bury them within the earth; and it will be as good not to bury them in the earth, but to sink them in the water, so as the place be shady, as in wells or cisterns placed within doors; but those that be sunk in water will do better in glass vessels than in earthen.

14. Generally, those things which are kept in the earth, or in vaults under ground, or in the bottom of a well, will preserve their freshness longer than those things that are kept above ground.

15. They say it hath been observed, that in conservatories of snow, (whether they were in mountains, in natural pits, or in wells made by art for that purpose,) an apple, or chestnut, or nut, by chance falling in, after many months, when the snow hath melted, hath been found in the snow as fresh and fair as if it had been gathered the day before.

16. Country people keep clusters of grapes in meal, which, though it makes them less pleasant to the taste, yet it preserves their moisture and freshness. Also the harder sort of fruits may be kept long, not only in meal, but also in sawdust and in heaps of corn.

17. There is an opinion held, bodies may be preserved fresh in liquors of their own kind, as in their proper menstrua, as to keep grapes in wine, olives in oil.

18. Pomegranates and quinces are kept long, being lightly dipped in sea water or salt water, and some after taken out again, and then dried in the open air, so it be in the shade.

22. Grapes are kept long by being hanged up in bunches; the same is of other fruits. For there is a twofold commodity of this thing; the one, that they are kept without pressing or bruising, which they must needs suffer, if they were laid upon any hard substance; the other, that the air doth encompass them on every side alike.

23. It is observed that putrefaction, no less than desiccation in vegetables, doth not begin in every part alike, but chiefly in that part where, being alive, it did attract nourishment. Therefore some advise to cover the stalks of apples or other fruits with wax or pitch.

24. Great wicks of candles or lamps do sooner consume the tallow or oil than lesser wicks; also wicks of cotton sooner than those of rush or straw, or small twigs; and in staves of torches. those of juniper or fir sooner than those of ash; likewise flame moved and fanned with the wind sooner than that which is still. And, therefore, candles set in a lantern will last longer than in the open air. There is a tradition, that lamps set in sepulchres will last an incredible time.

25. The nature also and preparation of the nourishment conduceth no less to the lasting of lamps and candles, than the nature of the flame; for wax will last longer than tallow, and tallow a little wet longer than tallow dry, and wax candles old made longer than wax candles new made.

26. Trees, if you stir the earth about their root every year, will continue less time; if once in four or perhaps in ten years, much longer; also cutting off the suckers and young shoots will make them live the longer; but dunging them, or laying of marl about their roots, or much watering them, adds to their fertility, but cuts off from their long lasting. And thus much touching the prohibiting of desiccation or consumption.

27. The inteneration or making tender of that which is dried (which is the chief matter) affords but a small number of experiments. And therefore some few experiments which are found in living creatures, and also in man, shall be joined together.

28. Bands of willow, wherewith they use to bind trees, laid in water, grow more flexible; likewise they put boughs of birch (the ends of 19. Bodies put in wine, oil, or the lees of them) in earthen pots filled with water, to keep VOL. III.-60

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them from withering; and bowls cleft with dry- lessened in their weight, and become hollow. ness steeped in water close again.

29. Boots grown hard and obstinate with age, by greasing them before the fire with tallow, wax soft, or being only held before the fire, get some softness. Bladders and parchments hardened also become tender with warm water mixed with tallow or any fat thing, but much the better if they be a little chafed.

30. Trees grown very old, that have stood long without any culture, by digging and opening the earth about the roots of them, seem to grow young again, and put forth young branches.

31. Old draught oxen worn out with labour, being taken from the yoke, and put into fresh pasture, will get young and tender flesh again; insomuch that they will eat as fresh and tender

as a steer.

32. A strict emaciating diet of guiacum, biscuit, and the like, (wherewith they use to cure the French pox, old catarrhs, and some kind of dropsies,) doth first bring men to great poverty and leanness, by wasting the juices and humours of the body, which after they begin to be repaired again seem manifestly more vigorous and young. Nay, and I am of opinion, that emaciating diseases afterwards well cured have advanced many in the way of long life.


1. Men see clearly, like owls, in the night of their own notions, but in experience, as in the daylight, they wink, and are but half-sighted. They speak much of the elementary quality of siccity or dryness, and of things desiccating, and of the natural periods of bodies in which they are corrupted and consumed; but meanwhile, either in the beginnings, or middle passages, or last acts of desiccation and consumption, they observe nothing that is of moment.

2. Desiccation or consumption in the process thereof is finished by three actions; and all these (as was said before) have their original from the native spirit of bodies.

3. The first action is the attenuation of the moisture into spirit; the second is, the issuing forth or flight of the spirit; the third is, the contraction of the grosser parts of the body immediately after the spirit issued forth. And this last is, that desiccation and induration, which we chiefly handle, the former two consume only.

4. Touching attenuation, the matter is manifest: for the spirit which is enclosed in every tangible body forgets not its nature, but whatsoever it meets withal in the body (in which it is enclosed) that it can digest and master, and turn into itself, that it plainly alters and subdues, and multiplies itself upon it, and begets new spirit. And this evicted by one proof, instead of many; for that those things which are thoroughly dried are

porous, and resounding from within. Now it is most certain, that the inward spirit of any thing confers nothing to the weight, but rather lightens it; and therefore it must needs be, that the same spirit hath turned into it the moisture and juice of the body which weighed before, by which means the weight is lessened. And this is the first action, the attenuation of the moisture and converting it into spirit.

5. The second action, which is the issuing forth or fight of the spirit, is as manifest also. For that issuing forth, when it is in throngs, is apparent even to the sense, in vapours to the sight, in odours to the smelling; but if it issueth forth slowly, (as when a thing is decayed by age,) then it is not apparent to the sense, but the matter is the same. Again, where composure of the body is either so strait, or so tenacious, that the spirit can find no pores or passages by which to depart, then in the striving to get out, it drives before it the grosser parts of the body, and protrudes them beyond the superfices or surface of the body; as it is in the rust of metals, and inould of all fat things. And this is the second action, the issuing forth or flight of the spirit.

6. The third action is somewhat more obscure, but full as certain; that is, the contraction of the grosser parts after the spirit issued forth. And this appears, first, in that bodies after the spirit issued forth do manifestly shrink, and fill a less room, as it is in the kernels of nuts, which after they are dried, are too little for the shells: and in beams and planchers of houses, which at first lay close together, but after they are dried give, and likewise in bowls, which through drought grow full of crannies, the parts of the bowl contracting themselves together, and after contraction must needs be empty spaces. Secondly, it appears by the wrinkles of bodies dried; for the endeavour of contracting itself is such, that by the contraction it brings the parts nearer together, and so lifts them up; for whatsoever is contracted on the sides, is lifted up in the midst: and this is to be seen in papers and old parchments, and in the skins of living creatures, and in the coats of soft cheeses, all which with age gather wrinkles. Thirdly, this contraction shows itself most in those things which by heat are not only wrinkled, but ruffled and plighted, and, as it were, rolled together, as it is in papers, and parchments, and leaves, brought near the fire; for contraction by age, which is more slow, com monly causeth wrinkles, but contraction by the fire, which is more speedy, causeth plighting. Now in most things where it comes not to wrinkling or plighting, there is simple contraction, and angustiation or straitening, and indura. tion or hardening, and desiccation, as was showed in the first place. But if the issuing forth of the spirit, and absumption or waste of the moisture

be so great that there is not left body sufficient to unite and contract itself, then of necessity contraction must cease, and the body become putrid, and nothing else but a little dust cleaving together, which with a light touch is dispersed, and falleth asunder; as it is in bodies that are rotten, and in paper burnt, and linen made into tinder, and carcasses embalmed after many ages. And this is the third action, the contraction of the grosser parts after the spirit issueth forth.

7. It is to be noted, that fire and heat dry only by accident, for their proper work is to attenuate and dilate the spirit and moisture, and then it follows by accident that the other parts should contract themselves, either for the flying of vacuum alone, or for some other motion withal, whereof we now speak not.

8. It is certain that putrefaction taketh its original from the native spirit, no less than arefaction, but it goeth on a far different way; for in putrefaction, the spirit is not simply vapoured forth, but being detained in part, works strange garboils, and the grosser parts are not so much locally contracted, as they congregate themselves to parts of the same nature.


not so certain, for that may be caused by their strong breath.

4. The bear is a great sleeper, a dull beast, and given to ease, and yet not noted for long life; nay, he has this sign of short life, that his bearing in the womb is but short, scarce full forty days.

5. The fox seems to be well disposed in many things for long life; he is well skinned, feeds on flesh, lives in dens, and yet he is noted not to have that property. Certainly he is a kind of dog, and that kind is but short-lived.

6. The camel is a long liver, a lean creature, and sinewy; so that he doth ordinarily attain to fifty, and sometimes to a hundred years.

7. The horse lives but to a moderate age, scarce to forty years, his ordinary period is twenty years. but, perhaps, he is beholden for this shortness of life to man; for we have now no horses of the sun that live freely, and at pleasure, in good pastures; notwithstanding, the horse grows till he be six years old, and is able for generation in his old age. Besides, the mare goeth longer with her young one than a woman, and brings forth two at a burden more rarely. The ass lives commonly to the horse's age, but the mule out

Length and Shortness of Life in living Creatures. lives them both.

To the first article. The history.

Touching the length and shortness of life in living creatures, the information which may be had is but slender, observation is negligent, and tradition fabulous. In tame creatures their degenerate life corrupteth them, in wild creatures their exposing to all weathers often intercepteth them; neither do those things which may seem concomitants give any furtherance to this information, (the greatness of their bodies, their time of bearing in the womb, the number of their young ones, the time of their growth, and the rest,) in regard that these things are intermixed, and sometimes they concur, sometimes they sever.

1. Man's age (as far as can be gathered by any certain narration) doth exceed the age of all other living creatures, except it be of a very few only, and the concomitants in him are very equally disposed, his stature and proportion large, his bearing in the womb nine months, his fruit commonly one at a birth, his puberty at the age of fourteen years, his time of growing till twenty.

2. The elephant, by undoubted relation, exceeds the ordinary race of man's life, but his bearing in the womb the space of ten years is fabulous; of two years, or at least above one, is certain. Now, his bulk is great, his time of growth until the thirtieth year, his teeth exceeding hard, neither hath it been observed that his blood is the coldest of all creatures; his age hath sometimes reached to two hundred years.

3. Lions are accounted long livers, because many of them have been found toothless, a sign

8. The hart is famous amongst men for long life, yet not upon any relation that is undoubted. They tell of a certain hart that was found with a collar about his neck, and that collar hidden with fat. The long life of the hart is the less credible. because he comes to his perfection at the fifth year, and not long after his horns (which he sheds and renews yearly) grow more narrow at the root, and less branched.

9. The dog is but a short liver, he exceeds not the age of twenty years, and, for the most part, lives not to fourteen years; a creature of the hottest temper, and living in extremes, for he is commonly either in vehement motion, or sleeping; besides, the bitch bringeth forth many at a burden, and goeth nine weeks.

10. The ox likewise, for the greatness of his body and strength, is but a short liver, about some sixteen years, and the males live longer than the females: notwithstanding, they bear usually but one at a burden, and go nine months; a creature dull, fleshy, and soon fatted, and living only upon herby substances, without grain.

11. The sheep seldom lives to ten years, though he be a creature of a moderate size, and excellently clad; and, that which may seem a wonder, being a creature with so little a gall, yet he hath the most curled coat of any other, for the hair of no creature is so much curled as wool is. The rams generate not before the third year, and continue able for generation until the eighth. The ewes bear young as long as they live. The sheep is a diseased creature, and rarely lives to his full age.

12. The goat lives to the same age with the | comes that old proverb, the old age of an eagle. sheep, and is not much unlike in other things, Notwithstanding, perchance, the matter may be though he be a creature more nimble, and of thus, that the renewing of the eagle doth not cast somewhat a firmer flesh, and so should be longer his bill, but the casting of his bill is the renewing lived; but then he is much more lascivious, and of the eagle; for, after that his bill is drawn to a that shortens his life. great crookedness, the eagle feeds with much difficulty.

13. The sow lives to fifteen years, sometimes to twenty; and though it be a creature of the moistest flesh, yet that seems to make nothing to length of life. Of the wild boar, or sow, we have nothing certain.

14. The cat's age is betwixt six and ten years; a creature nimble and full of spirit, whose seed (as Elian reports) burneth the female; whereupon, it is said, that the cat conceives with pain, and brings forth with ease. A creature ravenous in eating, rather swallowing down his meat whole than feeding.

15. Hares and coneys attain scarce to seven years, being both creatures generative, and with young ones of several conceptions in their bellies. In this they are unlike, that the coney lives under ground, and the hare above ground. And, again, that the hare is of a more duskish flesh.

16. Birds, for the size of their bodies, are much lesser than beasts; for an eagle or swan is but a small thing in comparison of an ox or horse, and so is an ostrich to an elephant.

17. Birds are excellently well clad, for feathers, for warmth and close sitting to the body, exceed wool and hairs.

18. Birds, though they hatch many young ones together, yet they bear them not all in their bodies at once, but lay their eggs by turns, whereby their fruit hath the more plentiful nourishment whilst it is in their bodies.

19. Birds chew little or nothing, but their meat is found whole in their crops, notwithstanding, they will break the shells of fruit and pick out the kernels; they are thought to be of a very hot and strong concoction.

20. The motion of birds in their flying, is a mixed motion, consisting of a moving of the limbs, and of a kind of carriage, which is the most wholesome kind of exercise.

24. Vultures are also affirmed to be long livers, insomuch that they extend their life well near to a hundred years. Kites likewise, and so all birds that feed upon flesh, and birds of prey, live long. As for hawks, because they lead a degenerate and servile life, for the delight of men, the term of their natural life is not certainly known; notwithstanding, amongst mewed hawks, some have been found to have lived thirty years, and amongst wild hawks, forty years.

25. The raven, likewise, is reported to live long, sometimes to a hundred years. He feeds on carrion, and flies not often, but rather is a sedentary and melancholic bird, and hath very black flesh. But the crow, like unto him in most things, (except in greatness and voice,) lives not altogether so long, and yet is reckoned amongst the long livers.

26. The swan is certainly found to be a long liver, and exceeds not unfrequently a hundred years. He is a bird excellently plumed, a feeder upon fish, and is always carried, and that in running waters.

27. The goose also may pass amongst the long livers, though his food be commonly grass, and such kind of nourishment, especially the wild goose; whereupon this proverb grew amongst the Germans, Magis senex quam anser nivalis; older than a wild goose.

28. Storks must needs be long livers, if that be true which was anciently observed of them, that they never came to Thebes, because that city was often sacked. This, if it were so, then either they must have the knowledge of more ages than one, or else the old ones must tell their young the history. But there is nothing more frequent than fables.

29. For fables do so abound touching the pho21. Aristotle noted well touching the genera- nix, that the truth is utterly lost, if any such bird tion of birds, (but he transferred it ill to other there be. As for that which was so much adliving creatures,) that the seed of the male con-mired, that she was ever seen abroad with a great fers less to generation than the female, but that it troop of birds about her, it is no such wonder; rather affords activity than matter; so that fruit- for the same is usually seen about an owl flying ful eggs and unfruitful eggs are hardly distin- in the daytime, or a parrot let out of a cage. guished.

22. Birds (almost all of them) come to their full growth the first year, or a little after. It is true, that their feathers, in some kinds, and their bills, in others, show their years; but, for the growth of their bodies, it is not so.

23. The eagle is accounted a long liver, yet his years are not set down; and, it is alleged, as a sign of his long life, that he casts his bill, whereby he grows young again; from whence

30. The parrot hath been certainly known to have lived threescore years in England, how old soever he was before he was brought over; a bird eating almost all kinds of meats, chewing his meat, and renewing his bill likewise curst and mischievous, and of a black flesh.

31. The peacock lives twenty years, but he comes not forth with his argus eyes before he be three years old; a bird slow of pace, having whitish flesh.

32. The dunghill cock is venereous, martial, and but of a short life; a crank bird, having also white flesh.

33. The Indian cock, commonly called the turkey cock, lives not much longer than the dunghill cock; an angry bird, and hath exceeding white flesh.

34. The ringdoves are of the longest sort of livers, insomuch that they attain sometimes to fifty years of age; an airy bird, and both builds and sits on high. But doves and turtles are but short-lived, not exceeding eight years.

35. But pheasants and partridges may live to sixteen years. They are great breeders, but not

so white of flesh as the ordinary pullen.

36. The blackbird is reported to be, amongst the lesser birds, one of the longest livers; an unhappy bird, and a good singer.

water, is found to last longest, sometimes to forty years; he is a ravener, of a flesh somewhat dry and firm.

46. But the carp, bream, trench, eel, and the like, are not held to live above ten years.

47. Salmons are quick of growth, short of life; so are trouts; but the perch is slow of growth, long of life.

48. Touching that monstrous bulk of the whale or ork, how long it is weiled by vital spirit, we have received nothing certain; neither yet touching the sea-calf, and sea-hog, and other innume rable fishes.

49. Crocodiles are reported to be exceeding long-lived, and are famous for the times of their growth, for that they, amongst all other creatures, are thought to grow during their whole life. They are of those creatures that lay eggs, raven37. The sparrow is noted to be of a very short ous, cruel, and well fenced against the waters. life; and it is imputed in the males to their lasci-Touching the other kinds of shell-fish, we find viousness. But the linnet, no bigger in body nothing certain how long they live. than the sparrow, hath been observed to have

lived twenty years.


38. Of the ostrich we have nothing certain; To find out a rule touching length and shortthose that were kept here have been so unfortu-ness of life in living creatures is very difficult, by nate, but no long life appeared by them. Of the reason of the negligence of observations, and the bird ibis we find only that he liveth long, but his intermixing of causes. A few things we will set years are not recorded. down.

39. The age of fishes is more uncertain than that of terrestrial creatures, because living under the water they are the less observed; many of them breathe not, by which means their vital spirit is more closed in; and, therefore, though they receive some refrigeration by their gills, yet that refrigeration is not so continual as when it is by breathing.

40. They are free from the desiccation and depredation of the air ambient, because they live in the water, yet there is no doubt but the water, ambient, and piercing, and received into the pores of the body, doth more hurt to long life than the air doth.

41. It is affirmed, too, that their blood is not warm. Some of them are great devourers, even of their own kind. Their flesh is softer and more tender than that of terrestrial creatures; they grow exceedingly fat, insomuch that an incredible quantity of oil will be extracted out of one whale. 42. Dolphins are reported to live about thirty years; of which thing a trial was taken in some of them by cutting off their tails: they grow until ten years of age.

43. That which they report of some fishes is strange, that after a certain age their bodies will waste and grow very slender, only their head and tail retaining their former greatness.

44. There were found in Caesar's fishponds lampreys to have lived threescore years; they were grown so familiar with long use, that Crassus, the orator, solemnly lamented one of them.

45. The pike, amongst fishes living in fresh

1. There are more kinds of birds found to be long-lived than of beasts; as the eagle, the vulture, the kite, the pelican, the raven, the crow, the swan, the goose, the stork, the crane, the bird called the ibis, the parrot, the ringdove, with the rest, though they come to their full growth within a year, and are less of bodies; surely their clothing is excellent good against the distemperatures of the weather; and, besides, living for the most part in the open air, they are like the inhabitants of pure mountains, which are long-lived. Again, their motion, which (as I elsewhere said) is a mixed motion, compounded of a moving of their limbs and of a carriage in the air, doth less weary and wear them, and it is more wholesome. Neither do they suffer any compression or want of nourishment in their mother's bellies, because the eggs are laid by turns. But the chiefest cause of all I take to be is this, that birds are made more of the substance of the mother than of the father, whereby their spirits are not so eager and hot.

2. It may be a position, that creatures which partake more of the substance of their mother than of their father, are long-lived, as birds are, which was said before. Also, that those which have a longer time of bearing in the womb, do partake more of the substance of their mother, less of the father, and so are longer lived; insomuchat I am of opinion, that even amongst men, (which I have noted in some,) those that resemble their mothers most are longest lived: and so are the children of old men begotten of young wives, if the fathers be sound, not diseased.

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