Testi magici: Of Occult Philosophy – Book I. (part 3) – Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
Chapter XLVI Of naturall alligations, and suspensions.
When the soul of the world, by its vertue doth make all things that are naturally generated, or artificially made, fruitfull, by infusing into them Celestiall properties for the working of some wonderfull effects, then things themselves not only when applyed by suffumigations, or Collyries, or oyntments [ointments], or potions, or any other such like way, but also when they being conveniently wrapt [wrapped] up, are bound to, or hanged about the neck, or in any other way applyed, although by never so easy a contact, do impress their vertue upon us. By these alligations therefore, suspensions, wrappings up, applications, and contacts the Accidents of the body, and mind are changed into sickness, health, boldness, fear, sadness, and joy, and the like: They render them that carry them, gratious [gracious], or terrible, acceptable, or rejected, honoured, and beloved, or hatefull, and abominable. Now these kind of passions are conceived to be by the abovesaid, infused no otherwise, then is manifest in the graffing [grafting] of trees, where the vitall vertue is sent, and Communicated from the trunk to the twig graffed [grafted] into it, by way of contact and alligation; so in the female Palme tree, when she comes neer to the male, her boughs bend to the male, and are bowed: which the gardeners seeing, bind ropes from the male to the female, which becomes straight again, as if it had by this continuation of the rope received the vertue of the male. In like manner we see, that the cramp-fish being touched afar off with a long pole, doth presently stupify [stupefy] the hand of him that toucheth it. And if any shall touch the sea Hare with his hand or stick, doth presently run out of his wits. Also if the fish called Stella [starfish], as they say, being fastned [fastened] with the blood of a Fox and a brass nail to a gate, evill medicines can do no hurt. Also it is said, that if a woman take a needle, and beray it with dung, and then wrap it up in earth, in which the carkass carcass of a man was buryed [buried], and shall carry it about her in a cloth which was used at the funerall, that no man shall be able to ly [have sex] with her as long as she hath it about her. Now by these examples we see, how by certain alligations of certain things, as also suspensions, or by a simple contact, or the continuation of any thread, we may be able to receive some vertues thereby. It is necessary that we know the certain rule of alligation, and suspension, and the manner which the Art requires, viz. that they be done under a certain, and sutable [suitable] constellation, and that they be done with wyer [wire], or silken threads, with hair, or sinews of certain animals. And things that are to be wrapped up must be done in the leaves of hearbs [herbs], or the skins of animals, or fine cloths, and the like, according to the sutableness [suitability] of things: as if you would procure the solary vertue of any thing, this being wrapped up in bay leaves, or the skin of a Lion, hang it about thy neck with a golden thread, or a silken thread of a yallow [yellow] colour, whilest the Sun rules in the heaven: so thou shalt be endued with the Solary vertue of that thing. But if thou dost desire the vertue of any Saturnine thing, thou shalt in like maner take that thing whilest Saturn raignes, and wrap it up in the skin of an Ass, or in a cloth used at a funerall, especially if thou desirest it for sadness, and with a black thread hang it about thy neck. In like manner we must conceive of the rest.
Chapter XLVII Of Rings, and their compositions.
Rings also, which were alwaies much esteemed of by the Ancients, when they are opportunely made, do in like manner impress their vertue upon us, in as much as they do affect the spirit of him that carries them with gladness or sadness, and render him courteous, or terrible, bold, or fearfull, amiable, or hatefull; in as much as they do fortifie us against sickness, poisons, enemies, evill spirits, and all manner of hurtfull things, or, at least will not suffer us to be kept under them. Now the manner of making these kinds of Rings, is this, viz. when any Star ascends fortunately, with the fortunate aspect, or conjunction of the Moon, we must take a stone, and Hearb [herb] that is under that Star, and make a Ring of the Metall that is sutable [suitable] to this Star, and in it fasten the stone, putting the Hearb [herb], or root under it; not omitting the inscriptions of images, names, and Characters, as also the proper suffumigations, but we shall speak more of these in another place, where we shall treat of Images, and Characters. So we read in Philostratus Jarchus, that a wise Prince of the Indians bestowed seven Rings made after this manner, marked with the vertues, and names of the seven Planets, to Apollonius, of which he wore every day one, distinguishing them according to the names of the dayes, by the benefit of which he lived above one hundred and thirty years, as also alwaies retained the beauty of his youth. In like manner Moses the Law-giver, and ruler of the Hebrews, being skilled in the Egyptian Magick, is said by Josephus to have made Rings of love, and oblivion. There was also, as saith Aristotle, amongst the Cireneans a Ring of Battus, which could procure love and honour. We read also that Eudamus a cerain Philosopher made Rings against the bites of Serpents, bewitchings, and evil spirits. The same doth Josephus relate of Solomon. Also we read in Plato that Gygus, King of Lydia had a Ring of wonderfull, and strange vertues, the seal of which, when he turned it toward the palm of his hand, no body could see him, but he could see all things: by the opportunity of which Ring he ravished the Queen, and slew the King his Master, and killed whomsoever he thought stood in his way, and in these villanies no body could see him, and at length by the benefit of this Ring be became King of Lydia.
Chapter XLVIII Of the vertue of places, and what places are sutable to every Star.
There be wonderfull vertues of places accompanying them, either from things there placed, or by the influences of the Stars, or in any other way. For as Pliny relates of a Cuckow [cuckoo], in what place any one doth first hear him, if his right foot be marked about and, and that foot-step [footprint] digged up, there will no Fleas be bred in that place where it is scattered. So they say that the dust of the track of a Snake being gathered up, and scattered amongst Bees, makes them return to their hives. So also that the dust, in which a Mule hath rolled himself, being cast upon the Body, doth mitigate the heat of love, and that the dust wherein a Hawk hath rolled her self, if it be bound to the body in a bright red cloth, cures the quartane. So doth the stone taken out of the nest of a Swallow, as they say, presently relieve those that have the falling sickness [epilepsy], and being bound to the party, continually preserve them, especially if it be rolled in the blood, or heart of a Swallow. And it is reported That if any one shall cut a veine, and being fasting, shall go over a place where any one lately fell with the fit of a Falling sickness [epilepsy], that he shall fall into the same disease. And Pliny reports, that to fasten an Iron naile in that place where he that fell with a fit of the Falling sickness first pitched his head, will free him from his disease. So they say that an Hearb [herb] growing upon the head of any image, being gathered, and bound up in some part of ones garment with a red thread, shall presently allay the headach [headache]; and that any Hearb [herb] gathered out of the brooks or rivers before Sun rising, and no body see him that gathers it, shall cure the Tertian, if it be bound to the left arm, the sick party not knowing what is done. But amongst places that are appropriated to the Stars, all stinking places, dark, underground, religious, and monrnfull places, as Church-yards, tombes, and houses not inhabited by men, and old, tottering, obscure, dreadfull houses, and solitary dens, caves, and pits, also fish-ponds, standing pools, fennes, and such like are appropriated to Saturne. Unto Jupiter are ascribed all privileged places, Consistories of noble men, Tribunals, Chaires, places for Exercises, Schools, and all beautifull, and clean places, scattered, or sprinkled with divers odours. To Mars, fiery, and bloody places, furnaces, bake-houses, shambles, places of execution, and places where there have been great battailes [battles] fought, and slaughters made, and the like. To the Sun, light places, the Serene Aire, Kings Pallaces [palaces], and Princes Courts, Pulpits, Theators [theaters], Thrones, and all kingly, and Magnificent places. To Venus, pleasant fountains, green Meadows, flowrishing [flourishing] Gardens, garnished beds, stews (and according to Orpheus) the sea, the sea shore, baths, dancing-places, and all places belonging to women. To Mercury, shops, schools, ware-houses [warehouses], Exchange for Merchants, and the like. To the Moon, wildernesses, woods, rocks, hils [hills], mountains, forrests [forests], fountains, waters, rivers, seas, sea-shores, ships, groves, high-waies [highways], and granaries for Corn, and such like. Upon this account they that endeavor to procure love, are wont to bury for a certain time the instruments of their art, whether they be rings, images, looking-glasses, or any other, or hide them in a stew house, because in that place they will contract some venerall faculty, no otherwise then things that stand in stinking places, become stinking, and those in an Aromaticall place, become Aromaticall, and of a sweet savour. The four corners of the Earth also pertain to this matter. Hence they that are to gather a Saturnall, Martiall, or Joviall Hearb [herb], must look towards the East, or South, partly because they desire to be orientall from the Sun, and partly, because of their principall houses, viz.> Aquarius, Scorpius [Scorpio],Sagittarius are Southern signes, so also are Capricornus, and Pisces. But they that will gather a Venerall, Mercuriall. or Lunary Hearb [herb], must look towards the West, because they delight to be western, or else they must look Northward, because their principall houses, viz. Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Virgo are Northern signes, so in any Solary work we must look towards the Eas, or South, but rather towards the Solary body, and light.
Chapter XLIX Of Light, Colours, Candles, and Lamps, and to what Stars, Houses, and Elements severall colours are ascribed.
Light also is a quality that partakes much of form, and is a simple act, and a representation of the understanding: it is first diffused from the Mind of God into all things, but in God the Father, the Father of Light, it is the first true light; then in the Son a beautifull overflowing brightness, and in the Holy Ghost a burning brightness, exceeding all Intelligencies; yea, as Dyonisius saith, of Seraphins, In Angels therefore it is a shining intelligence diffused, an abundant joy beyond all bounds of reason yet received in divers degrees, according to the Nature of the intelligence that receives it; Then it descends into the Celestiall bodies, where it becomes a store of life, and an effectuall propagation, even a visible splendor. In the fire a certain naturall liveliness infused into it by the heavens. And lastly in men, it is a clear discourse of reason, an knowledge of divine things, and the whole rationall: but this is manifold, either by reason of the disposition of the body, as the Peripateticks will have it, or which is more true, by reason of the good pleasure of him that bestows it, who gives it to every one as he pleaseth. From thence it passeth to the fancy, yet above the sense, but only imaginable, and thence to the sence [senses], but especially to that of the eyes; In them it becomes a visible clearness, and is extended to other perspicuous bodies, in which it becomes a colour, and a shining beauty, but in dark bodies it is a certain beneficiall and generative vertue, and penetrates, to the very center, where the beames of it being collected into a narrow place, it becomes a dark heat, tormenting, and scorching, so that all things perceive the vigour of the light according to their capacity, all which joyning to it self with an enlivening heat, and passing through all things, doth convey its qualities, and vertues through all things. Therefore Magicians forbid the Urin [urine] of a sick man to be sprinkled in the shadow a sick man, or to be uncovered against the Sun or the Moon, because the rayes of the light penetrating, bringing suddenly with it the noxious qualities of the sick bodies, convey them into the opposite body, and affect that with a quality of the same kind. This is the reason why Enchanters have a care to cover their Enchantments with their shadow. So the Civet cat make all Dogs dumb with the very touch of her shadow. Also there are made artificially some Lights, by Lamps, Torches, Candles, and such like, of some certain thing, and liquors opportunely chosen, according to the rule of the Stars, and composed amongst themselves according to their congruity, which when they be lighted, and shine alone, are wont to produce some wonderfull, and Celestiall effects, which men many times wonder at, as Pliny reports out of Anaxilaus, of a poison of Mares after copulation, which being lighted in Torches, doth monstrously represent a sight of horse heads: the like may be done of Asses, and flies, which being tempered with wax, & lighted, make a strange sight of flies: and the skin of a Serpent lighted in a Lamp, maketh Serpents appear. And they say when Grapes are in their flower, if any one shall bind a Viall to them full of Oile, and shall let it alone till they be ripe, and then the Oile be lighted in a Lamp, it makes Grapes to be seen. And so in other fruits. If Centory be mixed with Honey, and the blood of a Lapwing, and be put in a Lamp, they that stand about will seem a great deal bigger then they are wont: and if it be lighted in a clear night, the Stars will seem to be scattered the one from the other. Such force also is in the inke of the Cuttle fish, that it being put into a Lamp, makes Black-mores [blackamoors] appear. It is also reported, that a Candle made of some certain Saturnine things, if being lighted, it be extinguished in the mouth of a man newly dead, will afterwards, as oft as it shines alone, bring great sadness, and fear upon them that stand about it. Of such like Torches, Lamps, doth Hermes speak more of, also Plato, and Chyrannides, and of the latter writers Albertus in a certain Treatise of this particular thing. Colours also are a kind of lights, which being mixed with things, are wont to expose them to those Stars, to which they are agreeable. And we shall afterwards speak of some colours, which are the lights of the Planets, by which even the natures of fixed Stars themselves are understood, which also may be applyed to the flames of Lamps, and Candles. But in this place we shall relate how the colours of inferiour mixt things are distributed to divers Planets. For all colours, black, lucid, earthy, leaden, brown, have relation to Saturne. Saphire [Sapphire], and airy colours, and those which are alwaies green, clear, purple, darkish, golden, mixed with Silver, belong to Jupiter. Red colours, and burning, fiery, flaming, violet, purple, bloody, and iron colours, resemble Mars. Golden, Saffron, purple, and bright colours, resemble the Sun. But all white, fair, curious, green, ruddy, betwixt saffron, and purple, resemble Venus, Mercury, and the Moon. Moreover amongst the houses of the heaven [signes of the zodiac], the first and seventh hath white colour: the second, and twelfth green: the third, and eleventh saffron: the fourth, and the tenth red: the fift, and ninth honey colour: the sixt, and eighth, black. The Elements also have their colours, by which Naturall Philosophers judge of the complexion and property of their nature; For an earthy colour, caused of coldness, and dryness is brown, and black, and manifests black Choller [choler], and a Saturnine nature; the blew [blue] tending towards whiteness, doth denote flegme [phlegm]: for cold makes white, moisture and dryness makes black: reddish colour shews blood, but fiery, flaming, burning hot, shew choller [choler], which by reason of its subtilty, and aptness to mix with others, doth cause divers colours more: for if it be mixed with blood, and blood be most predominant, it makes a florid red; if choller [choler] predominate, it makes a redish [reddish] colour; if there be an equall mixtion, it makes a sad red. But if adust choller [choler] be mixed with blood, it makes a Hempen colour, and red, if blood predominate, and somewhat red if choller [choler] prevaile; but if it be mixed with a melancholy humour, it makes a black colour, but with malancholy [melancholy], and flegme [phlegm] together, in an equall proportion, it makes a Hempen colour: If flegme [phlegm] abound, a mud colour, if melancholy, a blewish [bluish]; but if it be mixed with flegme [phlegm] alone, in an equall proportion, it makes a citrine [citron] colour; if unequally, a pale, or palish. Now all colours are more prevalent, when they be in silk, or in metals, or in perspicuous substances, or pretious [precious] stones; and in those things which resemble Celestiall bodies in colour, especially in living things.
Chapter L Of Fascination, and the Art thereof.
Fascination is a binding, which comes from the spirit of the Witch, through the eyes of him that is bewitched, entering to his heart. Now the instrument of Fascination is the spirit, viz. a certain pure, lucid, subtile vapour, generated of the purer blood, by the heat of the heart. This doth alwaies send forth, through the eyes, rayes like to it self; Those rayes being sent forth, do carry with them a spirituall vapour, and that vapour a blood, as it appears in bleer [bleary], and red eyes, whose raies [rays] being sent forth to the eyes of him that is opposite, and looks upon them, carries the vapour of the corrupt blood, together with it self, by the contagion of which, it doth infect the eyes of the beholder with the like disease. So the eye being opened, and intent upon any one with a strong imagination, doth dart its beams, which are the Vehiculum of the spirit into the eyes of him that is opposite to him, which tender spirit strikes the eyes of him that is bewitched, being stirred up from the heart of him that strikes, and possesseth the breast of him that is stricken, wounds his heart, and infects his spirit. Whence Apuleius saith, Thy eyes sliding down through my eyes, into mine inward breast, stir up a most vehement burning in my Marrow. Know therefore that men are most bewitched, when with often beholding they direct the edge of their sight to the edg [edge] of their sight that bewitch them, and when their eyes are reciprocally intent one upon the other, and when raies [rays] are joyned to raies, and lights to lights, for then the spirit of the one is joyned to the spirit of the other, and fixeth its sparks: So are strong ligations made, and so most vehement loves are inflamed with the only raies of the eyes, even with a certain sudden looking on, as if it were with a dart, or stroke penetrating the whole body, whence then the spirit, and amorous blood being thus wounded, are carried forth upon the lover, and enchanter, no otherwise then the blood, and spirit of the vengeance of him that is slain, are upon him that slayes him. Whence Lucretius sang concerning those amorous bewitchings.
The body smitten is, but yet the mind
Is wounded with the darts of Cupid blind.
All parts do Simpathize [sympathize] i’ th’ wound, but know
The blood appears in that which had the blow.
So great is the power of Fascination, especially when the vapours of the eyes are subservient to the affection. Therefore Witches use Collyries, ointments, alligations, and such like, to affect, and corroborate the spirit this or that manner. To procure love, they use venereall collyries, as Hippomanes, the blood of Doves, or Sparrows, and such like. To induce fear, they use Martiall Collyries, as of the eyes of Wolves, the Civet Cat, and the like. To procure misery or sickness, they use Saturnine, and so of the rest.
Chapter LI Of certain observations, producing wonderfull Vertues.
They say that certain acts, and observations have a certain power of naturall things, that they believe diseases may be expelled, or brought thus, and thus. So they say that quartanes may be driven away if the parings of the nails of the sick be bound to the neck of a live Eel in a linnen clout [linen cloth], and she be let go into the water. And Pliny saith, that the paring of a sick mans nailes of his feet, and hands being mixed with wax, cure the quartan, tertian, and quotidian Ague, and if they be before Sun rising fastened to another mans gate, will cure such like diseases. In like manner let all the parings of the nailes be put into Pismires caves [anthills], and they say that that which begun to draw the nailes first must be taken, and bound to the neck, and by this means will the disease be removed. They say that by Wood stricken with lightning, and cast behind the back with ones hands, any disease may be cured, and in quartanes a piece of a naile from a Gibbet, wrapt up in Wooll, and hanged about the neck, cures them; also a Rope doth the like, that is taken from a Gallows, and hid under ground, that the Sun cannot reach it. Also the throat of him that hath a hard swelling, or imposthume [aposteme, abscess], being touched with the hand of him that dyed [died] by an immature death, is cured thereby. Also they say, that a woman is presently eased of her hard travel [labor], if any one shall put into the bed, where the woman in travel [labor] is, a stone, or dart, with which either of these Animals, viz. a Man, a Boar, or a Bear were at one blow killed. The same also, as they say, doth a spear that is pulled out of the body of a man, if it shall not first touch the ground; also they say that Arrows pulled out of the body of a man, if they have not touched the Earth, and be put under any one lying down, will procure love; Also they say that the falling sickness is cured by meat made of the flesh of a wild beast, slain in the same manner as a man is slain. Also they say that a mans eyes that are washed three times with the water wherein he hath washed his feet, shall never be sore or bleer [bleary]. It is said that some do cure diseases of the groin with threed [thread] taken out of the Weavers Loom, being tyed [tied] in nine, or seven knots, the name of some Widow being named at every knot. Also the Spleen of Catle [cattle] extended upon pained Spleens, cures them, if he that applies it, saith that he is applying a medicine to the Spleen to cure, and ease it: After this, they say, the patient must be shut into a sleeping room, the dore [door] being sealed up with a Ring, and some verse be repeated over nineteen times. The Urine of a green Lizard cures the same disease, if it be hanged up in a pot before the patients bed-chamber, so that he may, as he comes in and out, touch it with his hand. Also a Lizard killed in the Urine of a Calf, as they say, retains his lust that put it in: but he that shall put his own Urine into a Dogs Urine, is said to be made thereby dull to venerous acts, and to feel a benummedness in his loins. They say, that if ones own Urine be dropped upon the foot in the morning, it is a remedy against all evil medicines. And a little Frog climbing up a tree, if any one shall spit in his mouth, and then let him escape, is said to cure the Cough. It is a wonderfull thing, but easy to experience, what Pliny speaks of, If any one shall be sorry for any blow that he hath given another afar off, or nigh at hand, if he shall presently spit into the middle of that hand with which he gave the blow, the party that was smitten shall presently be freed from pain. This hath been approved of in a four-footed beast that hath been sorely hurt. Some there are that aggravate the blow before they give it. In like maner spitle [spittle] carried in the hand, or to spit in the shooe [shoe] of the right foot before it be put on, is good when any one passeth through a dangerous place. They say that Wolves will not come to a field, if one of them be taken, and the blood let by little and little out of his legs, being unbroken, with a knife, and sprinkled about the outsides of the field, and he himself be buried in that place, from which he was first drawn. The Methanenses, Citizens of Trezenium, accounted it as a present remedy for preserving of Vines from the wrong of the Southern wind, having alwaies found it by most certain experience; if whilest the wind blows, a white Cock should be pulled to pieces in the middle by two men, both which keeping their part, must walk round the Vineyard, and both meeting in the place from whence they began their Circuit, must that place bury the pieces of the Cock. They say also that if any one shall hold a Viper over a vapour with a staffe, he shall prophecy, and that the staffe wherewith a Snake was beaten is good against diseases of breeding women. These things Pliny recites. It is said also in gathering roots and hearbs [herbs], we must draw three circles round about them, first with a sword, then dig them up, taking heed in the mean time of a contrary wind. Also they say, that if any one shall measure a dead man with a rope, first from the Elbow to the biggest finger, then from the shoulder to the same finger, and afterwards from the head to the feet, making thrice those mensurations, if any one afterward shall be measured with the same rope in the same maner, he shall not prosper, but be unfortunate, and fall into misery, and sadness. And Albertus out of Chyrannis saith, that if any woman hath enchanted thee to love her, take the sheet [gown] she lies in, and piss through her hood, and her right sleeve, out of doors, and the enchantment will be quitted. And Pliny saith, that to sit by women great with child [pregnant], or when a medicine is given to any one of them, the fingers being joyned [joined] together like the teeth of a Kemb [comb], is a charm. This was known by experience in Alcumena breeding Hercules: and so much the worse, if that be done about one, or both knees. Also to sit cross legged, is Sorcery, therefore it was forbiden [forbidden] to be done in the Counsels of Princes, and Rulers, as a thing which hindred all acts. And it is said, if any one standing before the door call the man by his name, that is lying with a woman, and he answer, if then he fasten a knife, or needle on the door, and break it, the edge being downward, he that is in the bed with the woman cannot couple with her as long as those things shall be there.
Chapter LII Of the Countenance, and Gesture, the Habit, and Figure of the Body, and to what Stars any of these do answer; whence Physiognomy, and Metoposcopy, and Chyromancy [Chiromancy], Arts of divination, have their grounds.
The countenance, gesture, the motion, setting, and figure of the body, being accidentall to us, conduce to the receiving of Celestiall gifts, and expose us to the superiour bodies, and produce certain effects in us, no otherwise then in Hellebor, which when thou gatherest, if thou pullest the leaf upward, it draws the humors upward, and causeth vomiting; if downward, it causeth purging, by drawing the humor downward. How much also the countenauce, gesture, do affect the sight, imagination, and Animall spirit, no man is ignorant. So they that couple for generation, for the most part are wont to make an impression on the children that are then begotten, of that countenance which they themselves then form, or imagine: So a mild, and cheerfull countenance of a Prince in the City, makes the people joyfull: but fierce, and sad, terrifies them: so the gesture, and countenance of any one lamenting, doth easily move to pitty [pity]: So the shape of an amiable person, doth easily excite to love. Thou must know that such like gestures, and figures, as harmonies of the body do expose it no otherwise to the Celestials, then odours, and the spirit of a Medicine, and internall passions do the soul. For as Medicines, and passions of the mind are by certain dispositions of the Heaven increased so also the gesture, and motion of the body do get an efficacy by certain influences of the heavens. For there are gestures resembling Saturne, which are melancholy, and sad, as are beating of the breast, striking of the head: also such as are Religious, as the bowing of the knee, and a fixt look downwards, as of one praying, also weeping, and such like, as are used by an Austere, and Saturnine man, such an one as the Satyrist describes, saying,
With hang’d down head, with eyes fixed to the ground,
His raging words bites in, and muttering sound
He doth express with powting [pouting] lips —–
A cheerfull, and honest countenance, a worshipfull gesture, clapping of the hands, as of one rejoycing [rejoicing], and praising; also the bending of the knee, with the head lifted up, as of one that is worshiping, are ascribed to Jupiter. A sowre [sour], fierce, cruell, angry, rough countenance, and gesture, are ascribed to Mars. Solary are honourable, and couragious [courageous] gestures, and countenances: also walkings abroad, bending of the knee, as of one honoring a King with one knee. Venereal, are dances, embraces, laughters, amiable, and cheerfull countenances. Mercuriall are inconstant, quick, variable, and such like gestures, and countenances. Lunary are such as are moveable, poisonfull, and childish, and the like. And as we have spoke of gestures, so also are the shapes of men distinct. For Saturne bespeaks a man to be of a black, and yellowish colour, lean, crooked, of a rough skin, great veines, hairy all over his body, little eyes, of a frowning forehead, of a thin beard, great lips, eyes intent upon the ground, of a heavy gate [gait], striking his feet together as he walks, crafty, witty, a seducer, and murderous. Jupiter signifies a man to be of a pale colour, darkish red, a handsome body, good stature, bold, of great eyes, not black altogether, large pupill, short nostrils, not equall, great teeth before, curld hair, of good disposition, and manners. Mars makes a man red, of a red hair, round face, yellowish eyes, of a terrible, and sharp looks, bold, jocund, proud, crafty. The Sun makes a man of a tauny [tawny] colour, betwixt yellow and black, dasht [dashed] with red, of a short stature, yet of a handsome body, without much hair, and curld, of yellow eyes, wise, faithfull, desirous of praise. Venus signifies a man to be tending towards blackness, but more white, with mixture of red, of a handsome body, a fair, and round face, fair hair, fair eyes, the blackness whereof is more intense, of good manners, and honest love, also kind, patient, and jocund; Mercury signifies a man not much white, or black, of a long face, high forehead, fair eyes, not black, to have a streight [straight], and long nose, thin beard, long fingers, to he ingenious, a subtile inquisitor, turn-coat, and subject to many fortunes. The Moon signifies a man to be in colour white, mixed with a little red, of a fair stature, round face, with some marks in it, eyes not fully black, frowning forehead, also kind, gentle, sociable.
The Signes also, and faces of Signes have their figures, and shapes, which he that would know, must seek them out in books of Astrology. Lastly, upon these figures, and gestures, Physiognomy, and Metoposcopy, arts of divination do depend: Also Chyromancy [chiromancy], foretelling future events, not as causes, but as signes through like effects, caused by the same cause. And although these divers kinds of divinations may seem to be done by inferiour, and weak signes, yet the judgements of them are not to be slighted, or condemned, when prognostication is made by them, not out of superstition, but by reason of the harmoniacall correspondency of all the parts of the body. Whosoever therefore doth the more exactly imitate the Celestiall bodies, either in nature, study, action, motion, gesture, countenance, passions of the mind, and opportunity of the season, is so much the more like to the heavenly bodies, and can receive larger gifts from them.
Chapter LIII Of Divination, and its kinds.
There are some other kinds of divinations, depending upon naturall causes, which are known to every one in his art, and experience, to be in divers things; by which Physitians [physicians], husbandmen, shepheards [shepherds], Mariners, and every one of these out of probable signes do Prognosticate. Many of these kinds Aristotle made mention of in his Book of Times. Amongst which Auguria, and Auspicia are the chiefest, which were in former time in such esteem amongst the Romanes, that they would do nothing that did belong to private or publique [public] business without the counsell of the Augures: Cicero also in his Book of Divinations largely declares, that the people of Tuscia would do nothing without this art. Now there are divers kinds of Auspicia’s: for some are called Pedestria (i.e.) which are taken from four-footed beasts: Some are called Auguria, which are taken from birds: Some are Celestiall, which are taken from thundrings, and lightnings; some are called Caduca (i.e.) when any fell in the temple, or elsewhere; Some were sacred, which were taken from sacrifices. Some of these were called Piacula, and sad Auspicia, as when a sacrifice escaped from the Altar, or being smitten made a bellowing, or fell upon another part of his body then he should. To these is added Exauguration, viz., when the rod fell out of the hand of the Augure, with which it was the custome to view, and take notice of the Aupicium. Michael Scotus makes mention of twelve kinds of Auguria’s, viz. Six on the right hand, the names of which he saith are Fernova, Fervetus, Confert, Emponenthem, Sonnasarnova, Sonnasarvetus: and the other six on the left hand, the names of which are, Confernova, Confervetus, Viaram, Herrenam, Scassarnova, and Scassarvetus. Then expounding their names, he saith, Fernova is an Augurium; when thou goest out of thy house to do any business, and in going thou seest a man, or a bird going, or flying, so that either of them set himself before thee upon thy left hand, that is a good signification, in reference to thy business. Fervetus is an Augurium; when thou shalt go out of thy house for to do any business, and in going thou findest or seest a bird, or a man resting himself before thee on the left side of thee, that is an ill sign in reference to thy business: Viaram is an Augurium; when a man or a bird in his journey, or flying passeth before thee, coming from the right side of thee, and bending toward the left, goeth out of thy sight, that is a good sign concerning thy business. Confernova is an Augurium; when thou dost first find a man, or a bird going, or flying, and then he rest himself before thee on thy right side, thou seeing of it, that is a good sign concerning thy business; Confervetus is an Augurium; when first thou findest, or seest a man, or a bird bending from thy right side, it is an ill sign concerning thy business. Scimasarnova is an Augurium; when a man, or a bird comes behind thee, and outgoeth thee, but before he comes at thee, he rests, thou seeing of him on thy right side, it is to thee a good sign. Scimasarvetus is an Augurium; when thou seest a man, or bird behind thee, but before he comes to thee he rests in that place, thou seeing of it, is a good sign.
[Confert is an Augurium; when a man or bird in journeying, or flying shall pass behind thee, coming from the left side of thee, and bending toward thy right, pass out of thy sight, and is an evill sign concerning thy business.]
Scassarvetus is when thou seest a man, or a bird passing by thee, and resting in a place on thy left side, it is an evill sign to thee.
[Scassarnova is when thou seest a man, or a bird passing by thee, and resting in a place on thy right side, is an Augurium of good to thee.]
Emponenthem is when a man, or a bird, coming from thy left side, and passing to thy right, goeth out of thy sight without resting, it is a good sign. Hartena is an Augurium; if a man or a bird coming from thy right hand, passing behind thy back to thy left, and thou shall see him resting any where, this is an evill sign. Thus much Scotus. The Ancients did also prognosticate from sneesings [sneezings], of which Homer in the seventeenth book of his Odyssey makes mention, because they thought they proceeded from a sacred place, viz. the head, in which the intellect is vigourous, and operative. Whence also whatsoever speech came into the breast, or mind of a man rising in the morning unawares, is said to be some presage, and an Augurium.
Chapter LIV Of divers certain Animals, and other things which have a signification in Auguria’s [auguries].
All the Auspicia [auspices] which first happen in the beginning of any enterprise are to be taken notice of: as, if in the beginning of thy work thou shalt perceive that Rats have gnawn thy garments, desist from thy undertakings; If going forth thou shalt stumble at the threshold, or if in the way thou shalt dash thy foot against any thing, forbear thy journey; If any ill omen happen in the beginning of thy business, put off thy undertakings, least thy intentions be wholly frustrated, or accomplished to no purpose; but expect and wait for a fortunate hour for the dispatching of thy affairs with a better omen. We see that many Animals are, by a naturall power imbred in them, propheticall. Doth not the Cock by his crowing diligently tell you the hours of the night, and morning, and with his wings spread forth chase away the Lion; and many birds with their singing, and chattering, and flies by their sharp pricking foretell rain, and Dolphins by their often leaping above the water, fore-run [forwarn of] tempests. It would be too long to relate all the passages, which the Phrygians, Cilicians, Arabians, Umbrians, Tuscians, and other peoples, which follow the Auguria’s, learned by birds. These they have proved by many experiments, and examples. For in all things the Oracles of things to come are hid: but those are the chiefest which Ominall [omenal] birds shall foretell. These are those which the Poets relate were turned from men into birds. Therefore what the Daw declares, hearken, and mark, observing her setting as she sits, and her manner of flying, whether on the right hand, or left, whether clamorous, or silent, whether she goes before, or follows after, whether she waits for the approach of him that passeth by, or flies from him, and which way she goes; all these things must be diligently observed. Orus Apollo saith in his Hyeroglyphicks [Hieroglyphics], Daws that are twins signifie marriage, because this Animall brings forth two eggs, out of which male, and female must be brought forth: But if (which seldom happens) two males be generated, or two females, the males will not couple with any other females, nor females with any other males, but will alwaies live without a mate; and solitary. Therefore they that meet a single Daw, divine thereby that they shall live a single life. The same also doth a black Hen Pigeon betoken; for after the death of her mate, she alwaies lives single. Thou shalt as carefully observe Crows, which are as significant as Daws, yea, and in greater matters. It was Epictetus the Stoicks Philosophers judgment, who was a Sage Author, that if a Crow did croke [croak] over against any one, it did betoken some evill, either to his body, fortune, honour, wife, or children. Then thou shall take heed to Swans, who foreknow the secrets of the waters, for their cheerfulness doth presage happy events not only to Marriners [mariners], but all other travellers, unless they be overcome by the coming over of a stronger [bird], as of an Eagle, who by the most potent Majesty of her soveraignty [sovereignty] makes null the predictions of all other birds, if she speaks to the contrary; for she flies higher then all other birds, and is of more acute sight, and is never excluded from the secrets of Jupiter: She portends advancement, and victory, but by blood; because she drinks no water but blood. An Eagle flying over the Locrensians, fighting against the Crotoniensians gave them victory. An Eagle setting her self unawares upon the Target of Hiero, going forth to the first War, betokened that he should be King. Two Eagles sitting all day upon the house at the birth of Alexander of Macedonia, did portend to him an omen of two Kingdomes, viz. Asia, and Europe. An Eagle also taking off the hat of Lucias Tarquinius Priscus, Son to Demarathus the Corinthian (flying from home by reason of some discord, and being come into Hetraria, and going to Rome) and then flying high with it, and afterwards putting it upon his head again, did portend to him the Kingdome of the Romans. Vulturs [Vultures] signifie difficulty, hardness, ravenousness, which was verified in the beginning of building of Cities. Also they foretell the places of slaughter, coming seven dayes before hand; and because they have most respect to that place where the greatest slaughter shall be, as if they gaped after the greatest number of the slain; therefore the ancient Kings were wont to send out spies to take notice what place the Vulturs [vultures] had most respect to. The Phoenix promiseth singular good success, which being seen anew, Rome was built very auspiciously. The Pellican [pelican], because she hazards her self for her young, signifies that a man should out of the zeal of his love undergo much hardship. The painted bird gave the name to the City of Pictavia, and foreshewed the lenity of that people by its colour, and voice. The Heron is an Augurium of hard things. The Stork is a bird of concord, and makes concord. Cranes gives us notice of the trechery [treachery] of enemies. The bird Cacupha betokens gratitude, for she alone doth express love to her Dam [mother], being spent with old age. On the contrary, Hippopotamus that kils [kills] his Dam [mother], doth betoken ingratitude for good turn, also injustice. The bird Origis is most envious, and betokens envy. Amongst the smaller birds, the Pie is talkative, and foretels [foretells] guests. The bird Albanellus flying by any one, if from the left to the right, betokens cheerfulness of entertainment, if contrarywise, betokens the contrary. The scritch [screech] Owl is alwaies unlucky, so also is the horn Owl, who because she goes to her young by night unawares, as death comes unawares, is therefore said to foretell death: yet sometimes, because she is not blind in the dark of the night, doth betoken diligence, and watchfulness, which she made good, when she sate upon the spear of Hiero. Dido, when she sees the unlucky Owl, pittied [pitied] Æneas, whence the Poet sang,
The Owl sitting on top of th’ house alone,
Sends forth her sad complaints with mournfull tone.
And in another place,
The slothfull Owl by mortals is esteem’d
A fatall omen —–
The same same bird sang in the Capitoll when the Romane affaires were low at Numantia, and when Fregelia was pulled down for a conspiracy made against the Romans. Almadel saith, that Owls, and night-ravens, when they turn aside to strange countries, or houses, betoken the death of the men of that country, and those houses; for those birds are delighted with dead Carkases [carcasses], and perceive them before hand. For men that are dying have a neer affinity with dead Carkases [carcasses]. The Hawk also is a foreteller of contention, as Naso sings.
We hate the Hawk, because that arms amongst
She alwaies lives —–
Lelius the Embassadour of Pompey was slain in Spain amongst the Purveyours, which misfortune, a Hawk flying over the head, is said to foretell. And Almadel saith, that these kind of birds fighting amongst themselves, signifie the change of a Kingdome; but if birds of another kind shall fight with them, and are never seen to come together again, it portends a new condition, and state of that Country. Also little birds by their coming to, or departing from, foreshew that a family shall be inlarged [enlarged], or lessened, and their flight, by how much the more serene it is, by so much the more laudable. Whence Melampus the Augure conjectured at the slaughter of the Greeks by the flight of little birds, when he saith, Thou seest that no bird taketh his flight in fair weather. Swallows, because when they are dying they provide a place of safety for their young, do portend a great patrimony, or Legacy after the death of friends. A Bat meeting any one running away, signifies an evasion: for although she have no wings, yet she flies. A Sparrow is a bad omen to one that runs away, for she flies from the Hawk, and makes hast [haste] to the Owl, where she is in as great danger: yet in love she is fortunate, for being stirred up with lust, couples seven times in an hour. Bees are a good omen to Kings, for they signifie an obsequious people. Flies signifie importunity, and impudency, because being oftentimes driven away, they do yet continually return. Also domestick birds are not without some Auguria’s, for Cocks by their crowing promote hope, and the journey of him that is undertaking it. Moreover Livia the mother of Tiberius, when she was great with him, took a Hen-Egg and hatched it in her bosome, and at length came forth a Cock chick with a great comb, which the Augures interpreted that the child that should be born of her should be King. And Cicero writes that at Thebais Cocks, by their crowing all night, did presage that the Bætians would obtain victory against the Lacedæmonians: and the reason is according to the Augures interpretations, because that bird when he is beaten is silent, but when he himself hath overcome, crows. In like manner also omens of events are taken from beasts. For the meeting of a Weesel [weasel] is ominous, also meeting of a Hare is an ill omen to a traveller, unless she be taken. A Mule also is bad, because barren. A Hog is pernicious, for such is his nature, and therefore signifies pernicious men. A Horse betokens quarrellings, and fightings: whence Anchises seeing of white Horses, cries out in Virgil,
With War are Horses arm’d, yea threaten War.
But when they are joyned together in a Chariot, because they draw with an equall yoke, they signifie that peace is to be hoped for. An Asse is an unprofitable creature, yet did Marius good, who when he was pronounced an enemy to his country, saw an Asse disdaining provender that was offered to him, and running to the water, by which Augury, he supposing he saw a way of safety shewed to him, intreated the aid of his friends, that they would convey him to the Sea; which being granted, he was set into a little ship, and so escaped the threats of Silla the Conqueror. If the Foal of an Asse meet any one going to an Augury, he signifies labor, patience, and hinderances. A Wolf meeting any one is a good sign, the effect whereof was seen in Hiero of Sicilia, from whom a Wolf snatching away a book whilest he was at school, confirmed to him the success of the Kingdom: but yet the Wolf makes him speechless whom he sees first. A Wolf rent in pieces a Watchman of P. Africanus, and C. Fulvius at Minturn, when the Romane Army was overcome by the fugitives in Sicilia. Also he signifies perfidious men, such as you can give no credit to: which was known in the progeny of Romanes. For the faith which they long since sucked from their mother the Wolf, and kept to themselves from the beginning, as by a certain law of nature, passed over to their posterity. To meet a Lion, seeing she is amongst Animals the strongest, and striking terrour into all the rest, is good. But for a woman to meet a Lionesse, is bad, because she hinders conception, for a Lionesse brings forth but once. To meet Sheep, and Goats is good. It is read also in the Ostentarian of the Tuscians, if this Animall shall wear any unusuall colour, it portends to the Emperour plenty of all things, together with much happiness. Whence Virgil to Pollio sings thus,
But in the Meadows Rams shall Skarlet [scarlet] bear,
And changing, sometimes golden Fleeces wear.
It is good also to meet Oxen treading out Corn, but better to meet them plowing, which although breaking the way hinder thy journey, yet by the favour of their Auspicium will recompence thee again. A Dog in a journey is fortunate, because Cyrus being cast into the woods was nourished by a Dog till he came to the Kingdom, which also the Angel, companion of Tobit did not scorn as a companion. The Castor, because he bites off his Testicles, and leaves them to the Hunters, is an ill omen, and portends that a man will injure himself. Also amongst small Animals, Mice signifie danger. For the same day that they did gnaw Gold in the Capitoll, both the Consuls were intercepted by Hannibal by way of ambush neer Tarentum. The Locust making a stand in any place, or burning the place, hinders one from their wishes, and is an ill omen; on the contrary the Grass-hoppers [grasshoppers] promote a journey, and foretell a good event of things. The Spider weaving a line downwards, is said to signifie hope of money to come. Also the Pismires [ants], because they know how to provide for themselves, and to prepare safe nests for themselves, portend security, and riches, a great Army. Hence, when the Pismires [ants] had devoured a tame Dragon of Tiberius Caesar, it was advised, that he should take heed of the tumult of a multitude. If a Snake meet thee, take heed of an ill tongued enemy; For this Animall hath no power but in his mouth. A Snake creeping into Tiberius his pallace [palace], portended his fall. Two Snakes were found in the bed of Sempronius Gracchus, wherefore a Soothsayer told him, if he would let the male, or the female escape, either he or his wife would shortly dye [die]; he preferring the life of his wife, killed the male, and let the female escape, and within a few dayes he dyed [died]. So a Viper signifies lewd women, and wicked children; and an Eel signifies a man displeased with every body: For she lives apart from all other fishes, nor is ever found in the company of any. But amongst all Auspicia’s [auguries] and omens, there is none more effectuall, and potent then man, none that doth signifie the truth more cleerly. Thou shalt therefore diligently note, and observe the condition of the man that meeteth thee, his age, profession, station, gesture, motion, exercise, complexion, habit, name, words, speech, and all such like things. For seeing there are in all other Animals so many discoveries of presages, without all question these are more efficacious, and cleer, which are infused into mans soul; which Tully [Cicero] himself testifies, saying, that there is a certain Auspicium naturally in mens souls of their eternity, for the knowing of all the courses, and causes of things. In the foundation of the City of Rome the head of a man was found with his whole face, which did presage the greatness of the Empire, and gave the name to the Mountain of the Capitoll. The Brutian souldiers [soldiers] fighting against Octavius, and M. Antonius, found an Aethiopian [Ethiopian] in the gate of their Castle; whom though they did slay as a presage of ill success, yet they were unfortunate in the batle [battle], and Brutus, and Cassius both Generals, were slain. Meeting of Monks is commonly accounted an ill omen, and so much the rather, if it be early in the morning, because these kind of men live for the most by the sudden death of men, as Vulturs [vultures] do by slaughters.
Chapter LV How Auspica’s are verified by the light of Naturall instinct, and of some rules of finding of it out.
Auspicia, and Auguria, which foretell things to come by Animals, & birds, Orpheus the divine himself (as we read) did teach and shew first of all, which afterwards were had in great esteem with all Nations. Now they are verified by the light of naturall instinct, as if from this, some lights of divination may descend upon four-footed beasts, winged, and other Animals, by which they are able to presage to us of the events of things: which Virgil seems to be sensible of, when he sings,
Nor think I Heaven on them such knowledge states,
Nor that their prudence is above the fates.
Now this Instinct of nature, as saith William of Paris, is more sublime then all humane apprehension, and very neer, and most like to prophecy. By this instinct there is a certain wonderfull light of divination in some Animals naturally, as it manifestly appears in some Dogs, who know by this instinct theeves [thieves], and men, and finde them out, and apprehend them, falling upon them with a full mouth. By the like instinct Vulturs [vultures] foresee future slaughters in batles [battles], and gather together into places where they shall be, as if they fore-saw the flesh of dead Carkases [carcasses]. By the same instinct Partridges [partridges] know their Dam, whichm they never saw and leave the Partridge which stole away her Dams Eggs, & sate upon them. By the same instinct also certain hurtful and terrible things are perceived (the soul of the men being altogether ignorant of them) whence terror, and horror ceaseth much upon men when they think nothing of these things. So a thief lying hid in any house, although no body knows, or thinks of his being there, strikes fear, and terror, and a troublesomeness of mind into the inhabitants of that house, although haply not of all, because the brightness of this instinct is not in all men; yet of some of them. So a harlot being hid in some very large house, is sometimes perceived to be there by some one that is altogether ignorant of her being there. It is mentioned in Histories that Heraiscus a certain Egyptian, a man of a divine nature, could discern unclean women, not only by his eyes, but by their voice, being heard afar off, and thereupon did fall into a most grievous headach [headache]. William of Paris also makes mention of a certain woman in his time, that by the same instinct perceived a man whom she loved, coming two miles off. Also he relates that in his time was a certain Stork convicted of unchastity by the smell of the male, who being judged guilty by a multitude of Storks whom the male gathered together, discovering to them the fault of his mate, was, her feathers being pulled off, torn in pieces by them. He also makes mention of a certain horse, who not knowing his dam [mother], and leaping of [copulating with] her, when afterwards he understood what he had done, bit off his own Stones [testicles] by way of revenge upon himself for his incest. The same doth Varro, Aristotle, and Pliny relate concerning horses. And Pliny makes mention of a certain Serpent, called the Asp, that did such a like thing, for she coming to a certain mans table in Egypt, was there daily fed, and she having brought forth some young, by one of which a son of her hosts was killed, after she knew of it, killed that young one, and would never return to that house any more. Now by these examples you see, how the lights of presage may descend upon some Animals, as signs, or marks of things, & are set in their gesture, motion, voice, flying, going, meat, colour, and such like. For according to the doctrine of the Platonists, there is a certain power put into inferiour things, by which for the most part they agree with the superiours; whence also the tacid consents of Animals seem to agree with divine bodies, and their bodies and affections to be affected with their powers, by the name of which they are ascribed to the Dieties [Deities]. We must consider therefore what Animals are Saturnall, what are Joviall, and what Martiall, and so of the rest, and according to their properties to draw forth their presages: so those birds which resemble Saturn, and Mars, are all of them called terrible, and deadly, as the Scritch [screech] Owl, the Hawlet, and others which we have mentioned before, also the horn Owl, because she is a Saturnall Solitary bird, also nightly, and is reputed to be most unfortunately ominous, of which the Poet saith,
The ugly Owl, which no bird well resents,
Fortels [foretells] misfortunes, and most sad events.
But the Swan is a delicious bird, Venereall, and Dedicated to Phoebus, and is said to be most happy in her presages, especially in the Auspicia’s of Mariners, because she is never drowned in water, whence Ovid sings,
Most happy is the cheerfull, singing Swan
In her presages —– —– —–
There are also some birds that presage with their mouth, and singing, as the Crow, Pie, Daw, whence Virgil,
—– —– This did fore-show
Oft from the hollow holm that ominous Crow.
Now the birds that portend future things by their flying are, viz. Buzzards, the bone-Breakers, Eagles, Vulturs [vultures], Cranes, Swans, and the like: for they are to be considered in their flying, whether they fly slowly, or swiftly, whether to the right hand, or to the left, how many fly together: upon this account if Cranes fly apace, they signifie a tempest: when slowly, fair weather. Also when two Eagles fly together, they are said to portend evill, because that is a number of confusion. In like manner thou shalt enquire into the reason of the rest, as this is shewed of number. Moreover it belongs to an artist to observe a similitude in these conjectures, as in Virgil, Venus dissembling, teacheth her son Aeneas in these verses.
———- All this is not for naught,
Else we in vain my parents Augury taught,
Lo! twice six Swans in a glad company
Joves bird pursued through the etheriall Skie [sky]
In Heavens broad tracks: now earth in a long train
They seem to take, or taken to disdain;
As they return with sounding wings, they sport,
And Heaven surrounding in a long consort.
Just so, I say, thy friends and fleet have gain’d
The port, or with full sailes the Bay obtain’d.
Most wonderful is that kind of Auguring of theirs, who hear, & understand the speeches of Animals, in which as amongst the Ancients, Melampus, and Tiresias, and Thales, and Apollonius the Tyanean [Apollonius of Tyana], who as we read, excelled, and whom they report had excellent skill in the language of birds: of whom Philostratus, and Porphyrius [Porphyry] speak, saying, that of old when Apollonius sate in company amongst his friends, seeing Sparrows sitting upon a tree, and one Sparrow coming from elsewhere unto them, making a great chattering and noise, and then flying away, all the rest following him, he said to his companions, that that Sparrow told the rest that an Asse being burdened with wheat fell down in a hole neer the City, and that the wheat was scattered upon the ground: many being much moved with these words, went to see, and so it was, as Apollonius said, at which they much wondered. Also Porphyrius [Porphyry] the Platonist in his third book of Sacrifices, saith, that there was a Swallow: for it was certain, because every voice of any Animall is significative of some passion of its soul, as joy, sadness, or anger, or the like, which voices it is not so wonderfull a thing should be understood by men conversant about them. But Democritus himself declared this art, as saith Pliny, by naming the birds, of whose blood mixed together was produced a Serpent, of which whosoever did eat, should understand the voices of birds. And Hermes saith, if any one shall go forth to catch birds on a certain day of the Kalends of November, and shall boil the first bird which he catcheth, with the heart of a Fox, that all that shall eat of this bird, shall understand the voices of birds, and all other Animals. Also the Arabians say, that they can understand the meaning of bruits [brutes], who shall eat the heart, and liver of Dragons. Proclus also the Platonist believed, and wrote, that the heart of a Mole conduceth to presages. There were also divinations, and Auspicia’s which were taken from the inwards of sacrifices, the inventor whereof was Tages, of whom Lucan sang,
And if the Inwards have no credit gained,
And if this Art by Tages was but feigned.
The Romane Religion thought that the liver was the head of the inwards. Hence the Sooth-sayers [soothsayers] enquiring after future things in the inwards, did first look into the liver, in which were two heads, whereof the one was called the head for the City, the other for the enemy; and the heads of this, or another part being compared together, they pronounced Victory, as we read in Lucan, that the inwards did signifie the slaughter of Pompeys men, and the Victory of Caesars, according to these verses,
I’ th’ inwards all defects are ominous
On part, and branch of th’ entrals [entrails] doth increase,
Another part is weak, and flagging lies,
Beats, and moves with quick pulse the arteries.
Then the bowels being finished, they search the heart. Now if there were a sacrifice found without an heart, or a head was wanting in the Liver, these were deadly presages, and were called piacularia. Also if a sacrifice fled from the Altar, or being smitten, made a lowing, or fell upon any part of his body then he ought to do, it was the like ominous. We read that when Julius Caesar on a day went forth to procession with his purple Robe, and sitting in a golden chair, and sacrificing, there was twice a Heart wanting; And when C. Marius Utica was sacrificing, there was wanting a Liver. Also when Caius the prince, and M. Marcellus, C. Claudius, and L. Petellius Coss: were offering sacrifices, that the Liver was consumed away suddenly: and not long after, one of them dyed [died] of a disease, another was slain by men of Lyguria, the entrals [entrails] foretelling so much: which was thought to be done by the power of the Gods, or help of the divell [devil]: Hence it was accounted a thing of great concernment amongst the Ancients as oft as any thing unusuall was found in the inwards: as when Sylla was sacrificing at Laurentum, the figure of a Crown appeared in the head of the Liver: which Posthumius the Soothsayer interpreted to portend a Victory with a Kingdome, and therefore advised that Sylla should eat those entrals [entrails] himself. The colour also of the inwards is to be considered. Of these Lucan made mention.
Struck at the colour Prophets were with fear,
For with foul spots pale entrals [entrails] tinged were.
Both black, and blew [blue], with specks of sprinkled blood
They were —————
There was in times past such a venerable esteem of these arts, that the most potent, and wise men sought after them, yea the Senate, and Kings did nothing without the Counsell of the Augures. But all these in these dayes, partly by the negligence of men, and partly by the authority of the Fathers, are abolished.
Chapter LVI Of the Sooth sayings of Flashes, and Lightenings, and how Monstrous, and prodigious things are to be interpreted.
Now the Sooth-sayings of Flashes, and Lightenings, and of wonders, and how monstrous, and prodigious things are to be interpreted, the Prophets, and Priests of Hetruscus have taught the Art. For they have ordained sixteen Regions of the Heavens, and have ascribed Gods to every one of them; and besides eleven kinds of Lightenings, and nine Gods, which should dart them forth, by shewing rules for understanding the signification of them. But as often as Monstrous, prodigious, and wondrous things happen, they do presage, as is most certain, some great matter. Now their interpreter must be some excellent conjecturer of similitudes, as also some curious searcher, and of them who at that time are employed about the affairs of Princes, and Provinces. For the Celestials take such care only for Princes, peoples, and provinces, that before the rest they might be prefigured, and admonished, by Stars, by Constellations, by wonders, and by prodigies. Now if the same thing, or the like hath been seen in former Ages, we must consider that very thing, and what happened after that, and according to these, to fortell the same, or the like, because the same signs are for the same things, and the like for like. So prodigies have come before the birth, and death of many eminent men and Kings; as Cicero makes mention of Midas a boy, into whose mouth, whilest he was sleeping, the Pismire [ant] put corns of Wheat, which was an omen of great riches. So Bees sate upon the mouth of Plato when he was sleeping in the Cradle, by which was foretold the sweetness of his speech. Hecuba, when she was bringing forth Paris, saw a burning Torch, which should set on fire Troy, and all Asia. There appeared unto the mother of Phalaris the image of Mercury pouring forth blood upon the earth, with which the whole house was over-flowed. The mother of Dionysius dreamed she brought forth a Satyr, which prodigious dreams the event that followed made good. The wife of Tarquinius Priscus seeing a flame lick the head of Servius Tullius, foretold that he should have the Kingdom. In like manner after Troy was taken, Aeneas disputing with Anchises his father concerning a flight [?], there appeared a flame licking the Crown of Ascanius his head, and doing of him no hurt: which thing, seeing it did portend the Kingdom to Ascanius, perswaded him to depart, for monstrous prodigies did fore-run great and eminent destruction. So we read in Pliny, that M. Attilius, and C. Portius being Consuls, it rained Milk, and Blood, which did presage that a very great Pestilence should the next yeer 2021 over-spread Rome. Also in Lucania it rained spongious [spongeous] Iron, & in the yeer before Marcus Crassus was slain in Parthia; with which also all the souldiers [soldiers] of Lucania, being a very numerous Army, were slain. Also L. Paulus, and C. Marcellus being Consuls, it rained Wool about the Castle of Corisanum, neer which place a yeer 2021 after T. Annius was slain by Milus. And in the wars of Denmark, the noise of Arms, and sound of a Trumpet was heard in the Aire. And Livie [Livy] concerning the Macedonian wars, saith, in the yeer when Annibil [Annibal] dyed [died] it rained blood for two dayes. Also concerning the second punick war, he saith, that water mixed with blood came down from Heaven like rain, at that time when Annibal did spoil Italy. A little before the destruction of Leuctra the Lacedemonians heard a noise of Arms in the temple of Hercules, and at the same time in the temple of Hercules the doors that were shut with bars, opened themselves, and the arms that were hanged on the wall, were found on the ground. The like events may be prognosticated of other like things, as oftentimes in times past something hath been foretold of them. But concerning these also, the judgements of the Celestial influencies must not be neglected, of which we shall more largely treat in the following Chapters.
Chapter LVII Of Geomancy, Hydromancy, Aeromancy, Pyromancy, four Divinations of Elements.
Moreover the Elements themselves teach us fatall events; whence those four famous kinds of Divinations, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Aeromancy, and Pyromancy, have got their names, of which the Sorceress in Lucan seems to boast her self, when she saith,
The Earth, the Aire, the Chaos, and the Skie,
The Seas, the Fields, the Rocks, and Mountains high
Foretell the truth —–
The first therefore is Geomancy, whicb foresheweth future things by the motions of the earth, as also the noise, the swelling, the trembling, the chops, the pits, and exhalation, and other impressions, the art of which Almadel the Arabian sets forth. But there is another kind of Geomancy, which Divines by points written upon the earth, by a certain power in the fall of it, which is not of present speculation; but of that we shall speak hereafter.
Now Hydromancy doth perform its presages by the impressions of water, their ebbing and flowing, their increases, and depressions, their tempests, and colours, and the like; to which also are added visions, which are made in the waters. A kind of Divination found by the Persians, as Varro reports, a boy saw in the water the effigies of Mercury, which foretold in an hundred and fifty verses all the events of Mithridates his War. We read also that Numa Pompilius practiced Hydromancy; for in the water he called up the gods, and learned of them things to come. Which art also Pythagoras, a long time after Numa practised. There was of old a kind of Hydromancy, had in great esteem amongst the Assyrians, and it was called Lecanomancy, from a skin full of water, upon which they put plates of Gold, and Silver, and pretious [precious] Stones, written upon with certain images, names, and characters. To this may be referred that art, by which Lead, and Wax being melted, and cast into the water, do express manifest marks of images, what we desire to know. There were also in former years Fountains that did foretell things to come, as the Fathers-Fountain at Achaia, and that which was called the water of Juno in Epidaurus; but of these more in the following Chapters, where we shall speak of Oracles.
Hither also may be referred the divination of Fishes, of which kind there was use made by the Lycians in a certain place, which was called Dina, neer the Sea, in a Wood dedicated to Apollo, made hollow in the dry sand, into which, he that went to consult of future things, let down roasted meat, and presently that place was filled with waters, and a great multitude of Fish, and of strange shapes, unknown to men, did appear, by the forms of which the Prophet foretold what should come to pass. These things doth Atheneus more at large relate out of Polycharmus, in the History of the Lycians.
After the same maner doth Aeromancy divine by airy impressions, by the blowing of the Winds, by Rainbows, by Circles about the Moon and Stars, by Mists, and Clouds, and by imaginations in Clouds, and visions in the Aire.
So also Pyromancy divines by fiery impressions, and by Stars with long Tailes, by fiery Colours, by visions, and imaginations in the fire. So the wife of Cicero foretold that he would be Consul the next year, because when a certain man after the Sacrifice was ended, would look in the ashes, there suddenly broke forth a flame. Of this kind are those that Pliny speaks of, that terrene, pale, and buzzing fires presage tempests, Circles about the snuffs of Candles betoken rain; if the flame fly turning, and winding, it portends wind. Also Torches when they strike the fire before them, and are not kindled. Also when a Coal sticks to Pots taken off from the fire, and when the fire casts off the ashes, and sparkles, or when ashes are hard grown together on the hearth, and when a Coal is very bright.
To these is added Capnomancy, so called from smoak [smoke], because it searcheth into the flame, and smoak [smoke], and thin colours, sounds, and motions, when they are carryed upright, or on one side, or round, which we read in these Verses in Statius.
Let Piety be bound, and on th’ Altar laid,
Let us implore the Gods for divine aid.
She makes acute, red, towring flames, and bright,
Increas’d by th’ aire, the middle being white;
And then she makes the flames without all bound,
For to wind in and out, and to run round
Like to a Serpent —–
Also in the Aethnean Caves, and Fields of the Nymphs in Apollonia, Auguries were taken from fires, and flames; joyful, if they did receive what was cast into them, and sad, if they did reject them. But of these things we shall speak in the following Chapters, amongst the answers of the Oracles.
Chapter LVIII Of the reviving of the dead, and of sleeping, and wanting victuals many years together.
The Arabian Philosophers agree, that some men may elevate themselves above the powers of their body, and above their sensitive powers; and those being surmounted, receive into themselves by the perfection of the Heavens, and Intelligencies, a divine vigour. Seeing therefore all the souls of men are perpetuall, and also all the spirits obey the perfect souls; Magicians think that perfect men may by the powers of their soul repair their dying bodies with other inferiour souls newly separated, and inspire them again; As a Weesell [weasel] that is killed, is made alive again by the breath, and cry of his Dam [mother]; And Lions make alive their dead Whelps by breathing upon them. And because, as they say, all like things being applyed to their like, are made of the same natures; and every patient, and thing that receives into it self the act of any agent, is endowed with the nature of that agent, and made con-naturall. Hence they think, that to this vivification, or making alive, some Hearbs [herbs], and Magicall confections, such as they say are made of the ashes of the Phoenix, and the cast skin of a Snake do much conduce, which indeed to many seems fabulous, and to some impossible, unless it could be accounted approved by an Historicall faith. For we read of some that have been drowned in water, others cast into the fire, and put upon the fire, others slain in war, others otherwise tryed, and after a few dayes were alive again, as Pliny testifies of Aviola, a man pertaining to the Consull, of L. Lamia, Cæius, Tubero, Corfidius, Gabienus, and many others. Also we read that Aesop the Tale-maker, Tindoreus, Hercules, and Palicy, the sons of Jupiter, and Thalia being dead, were raised to life again; also that many were by Physitians [physicians], and Magicians raised from death again, as the Historians relate of Aesculapius; and we have above mentioned out of Juba, and Xanthus, and Philostratus concerning Tillo, and a certain Arabian, and Apollonius the Tyanean. Also we read that Glaucus, a certain man that was dead, whom they say, beyond all expectation, the Physitians [physicians] coming to see it, the hearb [herb] Dragon-wort restored to life. Some say that he revived by the puting into his body a medicine made of Honey, whence the proverb, Glaucus was raised from death by taking in Honey into his body. Apuleius also relating the manner of these kinds of restorings to life, saith of Zachla the Egyptian prophet: The prophet being thus favourable, layes a certain Hearb [herb] upon the mouth of the body of a young man being dead, and another upon his brest [breast], then turning towards the East, or rising of the propitious Sun, praying silently (a great assembly of people striving to see it) in the first place heaved up his brest [breast], then makes a beating in his veines [CPR!?], then his body to be filled with breath [mouth-to-mouth?], after which the Carkase ariseth, and the young man speaks. If these things are true, the dying souls must, sometimes lying hid in their bodies, be oppressed with vehement extasies [ecstasies], and be freed from all bodily action: So that the life, sense, motion, forsake the body, and so, that the man is not yet truly dead, but lies astonied [dazed], and as it were dead for a certain time. And this is often found, that in times of Pestilence many that are carried for dead to the graves to be buryed [buried], revive again. The same also hath often befeln women, by reason of fits of the Mother. And Rabbi Moises out of the book of Galen, which Patriarcha translated, makes mention of a man, who was suffocated for six dayes, and did neither eat nor drink, and his arteries became hard. And it is said in the same book, that a certain man by being filled with Water, lost the pulse of his whole body, so that the heart was not perceived to move, and he lay like a dead man. Also it is said that a man by reason of a fal [fall] from a high place, or great noise, or long staying under the Water, may fall into a swoun [swoon], which may continue fourty eight [forty-eight] hours, and so lye as if he were dead, his face being very green. And in the same place there is mention made of a man that buried a man that seemed to be dead seventy two hours after his seeming decease, and so killed him, because he buried him alive, and there are given signs whereby it may be known who are alive; although they seem to be dead, and indeed will dye [die], unless there be some means used to recover them, as Phlebotomy, or some other cure. And these are such as very seldom happen. This is the manner, by which we understand Magicians, and Physitians [physicians] do raise dead men to life, as they that were tryed by the stinging of Serpents, were by the Nation of the Marsi, and the Psilli restored to life. Now we may conceive that such kind of extasies [ecstasies] may continue a long time, although a man be not truly dead, as it is in Dor-mice [dormice], and Crocodiles, and many other Serpents, which sleep all Winter, and are in such a dead sleep, that they can scarce be awakened with fire. And I have often seen a Dormouse dissected, and continue immovable, as if she were dead, untill she was boyled [boiled], and when presently in boyling [boiling] the water the dissected members did shew life. Also, although it be hard to be believed, we read in some approved Historians, that some men have slept for many yeers together, and in the time of sleep, untill they awaked, there was no alteration in them, as to make them seem older: The same doth Pliny testifie of a certain boy, whom he saith, being wearied with heat, and his journey, slept fifty seven yeers in a Cave. We read also that Epimenides Gnosius slept fifty seven yeers in a Cave. Hence the proverb arose, To outsleep Epimenides. M. Damascenus tels, that in his time a certain country man being wearied in Germany, slept for the space of a whole Autumn, and the Winter following, under a heap of hay, untill the Summer, when the hay began to be eaten up, then he was found awakened as a man halfe dead, and out of his wits. Eclesiasticall [Ecclesiastical] Histories confirm this opinion concerning the seven sleepers, whom they say slept 196 yeers. There was in Norvegia a Cave in a high Sea shore, where, as Paulus Diaconus, and Methodius the Martyr write, seven men lay sleeping a long time without corruption, and the people that went in to disturb them were contracted, or drawn together, so that after a while, being forewarned by that punishment, they durst not hurt them. Now Xenocrates, a man of no mean repute amongst Philosophers was of opinion, that this long sleeping was appointed by God as a punishment for some certain sins. But Marcus Damascenus proves it by many reasons to be possible, and naturall, neither doth he think it irrationall, that some should without meat, and drink, and avoyding excrements, without consuming, or corruption, sleep many moneths. And this may befall a man by reason of some poisonous potion, or sleepy disease, or such like causes, for certain dayes, moneths, or years, according to the intention, or remission of the power of the medicine, or of the passions of their mind. And Physitians [physicians] say that there are some Antidotes, of which they that take too great a potion, shall be able to endure hunger a long time, as Elias in former time being fed with a certain food by an Angell, walked, and fasted in the strength of that meat, fourty [forty] dayes. And John Bocatius makes mention of a man in his time, in Venice, who would every yeer fast four dayes without any meat. But that was a greater wonder, that there was a woman in lower Germany at the same time, who took no food till the thirteenth yeer of her age, which to us may seem incredible, but that he lately confirmed it; as also he tels of a Miracle of our Age, that his brother Nicolaus Stone, an Helvetian by Nation, who lived twenty yeers in the wilderness without meat, till he dyed [died]. That also is wonderfull which Theophrastus mentions concerning a certain man, called Philinus, who used no meat, or drink, besides Milk. And there are grave Authors who describe a certain hearb [herb] of Sparta, with which they say the Scythians can endure twelve dayes hunger, without meat or drink, if they do but tast [taste] it, or hold it in their mouth.
Chapter LIX Of Divination by Dreams.
There is also a certain kind of Divination by Dreams, confirmed by the traditions of Philosophers, the authorities of Divines, the examples of Histories, and daily experience. A Dreams I call here, not vain Dreams, or idle imaginations: for those are vain, and have no Divination in them, but arise from the remains of watchings, and disturbance of the body. For as the mind is taken up about, and wearied with cares, it suggests it self to him that is asleep. I call that a Dream here, which is caused by the Celestiall influences in the phantastick spirit, mind, or body, being all well disposed. The rule of interpreting this is found amongst Astrologers, in that part which is wrote concerning questions; but yet that is not sufficient, because these kind of Dreams come by use to divers men after a divers manner, and according to the divers quality, and dispositions of the phantastick spirit: wherefore there cannot be given one common rule to all for the interpretation of Dreams. But according to the opinion of Synesius, seeing there are the same accidents to things, and like befall like; so be which hath often fallen upon the same visible thing, hath assigned to himself the same opinion, passion, fortune, action, event, and as Aristotle saith, the memory is confirmed by sence [sense], and by keeping in memory the same thing knowledge is obtained, as also by the knowledge of many experiences, by little, & little, arts, and sciences are obtained. After the same account you must conceive of Dreams. Whence Synesius commands that every one should observe his Dreams, and their events, and such like rules, viz. to commit to memory all things that are seen, and accidents that befall, as well in sleep, as in watching, and with a diligent observation consider with himself the rules by which these are to be examined, for by this means shall a Diviner be able by little, and little to interpret his Dreams, if so be nothing slip out of his memory. Now Dreams are more efficacious, when the Moon over-runs that Sign, which was in the ninth number of tbe Nativity, or revolution of that yeer, or in the ninth Sign from the Sign of perfection. For it is a most true, and certain divination, neither doth it proceed from nature or humane Arts, but from purified minds, by divine inspiration. We shall now discuss, and examine that which belongs to prophecyings, and oracles.
Chapter LX Of Madness, and Divinations which are made when men are awake, and of the power of a Melancholy humor, by which Spirits are sometimes induced into mens bodies.
It happens also sometimes, that not only they that are asleep, but also they that are watchfull do with a kind of instigation of minde, Divine, which Divination Aristotle cals ravishment, or a kind of madness, and teacheth that it proceeds from a melancholy humor, saying in his Treatise of divination: Melancholy men, by reason of their earnestness, do far better conjecture, and quickly conceive a habit, and most easily receive an impression of the Celestials. And in his Problemes saith, that the Sibyls, and the Bacchides, and Niceratus the Syracusan, and Amon, were by their naturall Melancholy complexion Prophets, and Poets. The cause therefore of this madness, if it be any thing within the body, is a melancholy humor, not that which they call black choller [choler], which is so obstinate, and terrible a thing, that the violence of it is said by Physitians [physicians], and Naturall Phylosophers [philosophers], besides madness, which it doth induce, also to entice evill spirits to seize upon mens bodies. Therefore we understand a melancholy humor here, to be a naturall, and white choller [choler]. For this, when it is stirred up, burns, and stirs up a madness conducing to knowledge, and divination, especially if it be helped by any Celestiall influx, especially of Saturn, who seeing he is cold, and dry, as is a melancholy humor, hath his influence upon it, increaseth, and preserveth it. Besides, seeing he is the Author of secret contemplation, and estranged from all publike [public] affairs, and the highest of all the planets, doth alwaies as with call his mind from outward businesses, so also makes it ascend higher, and bestows upon him the knowledge, and passages of future things. And this is Aristotles meaning in his book of Problemes. By Melancholy, saith he, some men are made as it were divine, foretelling things to come, and some men are made Poets. He saith also, that all men that were excellent in any Science, were for the most part melancholy. Democritus, and Plato attest the same, saying, that there were some melancholy men, that had such excellent wits, that they were thought, and seemed to be more divine then humane. So also there have been many melancholy men at first rude, ignorant, and untractable, as they say Hesiod, Ion, Tynnichus, Calcinenses, Homer, and Lucretius were, who on a suddain were taken with a madness, and became Poets, and prophecied wonderfull, and divine things, which they themselves scarce understood. Whence divine Plato in Ion saith, many Prophets, after the violence of their madness was abated, do not well understand what they wrote, yet treated acurately [accurately] of each Art in their madness, as all Artists by reading of them judge. So great also they say the power of melancholy is of, that by its force, Celestiall spirits also are sometimes drawn into mens bodies, by whose presence, and instinct, antiquity testifies men have been made drunk, and spake most wonderful things. And that they think happens under a threefold [three-fold] difference, according to a threefold apprehension of the soul, viz. imaginative, rationall, and mentall. They say therefore, when the mind is forced with a melancholy humor, nothing moderating the power of the body, and passing beyond the bonds of the members, is wholly carried into imagination, and doth suddenly become a seat for inferior spirits, by whom it oftentimes receives wonderfull wayes, and forms of manuall Arts. So we see that any most ignorant man doth presently become an excellent painter, or contrivers of building, and to become a master in any such Art. But when these kinds of spirits portend to us future things, they shew those things which belong to the disturbing of the Elements, and changes of times, as rain, tempests, innundations, earthquakes, great mortality, famine, slaughter, and the like. As we read in Aulus Gelius, that Cornelius Patarus his Priest did at the time, when Cesar, and Pompey were to fight in Thessalia, being taken with a madness, foretell the time, order, and issue of the battell [battle]. But when the mind is turned wholly into reason, it becomes a receptacle for midle [middle] spirits. Hence it obtains the knowledge, and understanding of natural, and humane things. So we see that a man sometimes doth on a suddain become a Philosopher, Physitian [physician], or an excellent Orator, and foretels [foretells] mutations of Kingdomes, and restitutions of Ages, and such things as belong to them, as the Sybill [Sibyl] did to the Romanes; but when the mind is wholly elevated into the understanding, then it becomes a receptacle of sublime spirits, and learns of them the secrets of divine things, such as the Law of God, the orders of Angels, and such things as belong to the knowledge of things eternall, and salvation of souls. It foresees things which are appointed by Gods speciall predestination, as future prodigies, or miracles, the prophet to come, and the changing of the law. So the Sybills [Sibyls] Prophecyed of Christ a long time before his coming. So Virgil understanding that Christ was at hand, and remembring what the Sybill [Sibyl] Cumaea had said, sang thus to Pollio.
Last times are come, Cumæa’s prophesie
Now from high heaven springs a new progenie,
And times great order now again is born,
The Maid returns, Saturnian Realms return.
And a little after intimating that originall sin shall be of no effect, saith,
If any prints of our old vice remain’d
By thee they’r voyd, and fear shall leave the Land;
He a Gods life shall take, with Gods shall see
Mixt Heroes, and himself their object be,
Rule with paternall power th’ appeased earth
He shall ———-
Then he adds, that thence the fall of the Serpent, and the poison of the tree of death, or of the knowledge of good, and evill shall be nulled, saying,
———- The Serpent shall
And the deceitfull hearb [herb] of venome fall.
Yet he intimates that some sparks of originall sin shall remain, when he saith,
Some steps of ancient fraud shall yet be found.
And at last with a most great hyperbole cryes out to his child, as the off-spring [offspring] of God, adoring him in these words,
Dear race of Gods, great stock of Jupiter,
Behold! the world shakes on its ponderous axe,
See earth, and heavens immense, and th’ Ocean tracts,
How all things at th’ approaching Age rejoyce!
Oh! that my life would last so long, and voyce,
As would suffice thy actions to rehearse.
There are also some prognosticks, which are in the midle [middle], betwixt naturall, and supernaturall divination, as in those who are neer to death, and being weakened with old Age, do sometimes foresee things to come, because as saith Plato, by how much the more men are less hindred by their sence, so much the more acurately they understand, and because they are neerer to the place whither they must go, and their bonds being as it were a little loosed, seeing they are no more subject to the body, easily perceive the light of divine revelation.
Chapter LXI Of the forming of Man, of the external Senses, and also the Inward, and the Mind: of the threefold appetite of the Soul, and passions of the Will.
It is the opinion of some Divines, That God did not immediately creat [create] the body of man, but by the assistance of the heavenly Spirits compound, and frame him; which opinion Alchinous, and Plato favor; thinking that God is the chief Creator of the whole world, of spirits both good and bad, and therefore immortalized them: but that all kinds of mortall animals were made at the command of God; for if he should have created them, they must have been immortall. The spirits therefore mixing Earth, Fire, Aire, and Water together, made of them all, put together, one body, which they subjected to the service of the soul, assigning in it severall Provinces to each power thereof, to the meaner of them, mean and low places: as to Anger the Midriff, to Lust the Womb, but to the more noble senses the Head, as the Tower of the whole body, and then the manifold Organs of Speech. They divide the Sense into External, and Internall. The externall are divided into five, known to every one, to which there are allotted five Organs, or subjects, as it were Foundations; being so ordered, that they which are placed in the more eminent part of the body, have a greater degree of purity. For the Eyes placed in the uppermost place, are the most pure, and have an affinity with the Nature of Fire, and Light: then the Ears have the second order of place, and purity, and are compared to the Aire: the Nostrils have the third order, and have a middle nature betwixt the Aire, and the Water; then the Organ of tasting, which is grosser and most like to the nature of Water: Last of all, the touching is diffused through the whole body, and is compared to the grossness of Earth. The more pure senses are those which perceive their Objects farthest off, as Seeing, and Hearing, then the Smelling, then the Tast [taste], which doth not perceive but those that are nigh. But the touch perceives both wayes, for it perceives bodies nigh; and as Sight discerns by the medium of the Aire, so the touch perceives by the medium of a stick or pole, bodies Hard, Soft, and Moist. Now the touch only is common to all animals. For it is most certain that man hath this sense, and in this, and tast [taste] he excels all other animals, but in the other three he is excelled by some animals, as by a Dog, who Hears, Sees, and Smels [smells] more acutely then Man, and the Linx [lynx], and Eagles see more acutely then all other Animals, & Man. Now the interior senses are, according to Averrois, divided into four, whereof the first is called Common sence [sense], because it doth first collect, and perfect all the representations which are drawn in by the outward senses. The second is the imaginative power, whose office is, seeing it represents nothing, to retain those representations which are received by the former senses, and to present them to the third faculty of inward sense, which is the phantasie, or power of judging, whose work is also to perceive, and judge by the representations received, what or what kind of thing that is of which the representations are, and to commit those things which are thus discerned, and adjudged, to the memory to be kept. For the vertues thereof in generall, are discourse, dispositions, persecutions, and flights, and stirrings up to action: but in particular, the understanding of intellectuals, vertues, the manner of Discipline, Counsel, Election. And this is that which shews us future things by dreams: whence the Fancy is sometimes named the Phantasticall Intellect. For it is the last impression of the understanding; which, as saith Iamblicus, is belonging to all the powers of the mind, and forms all figures, resemblances of species, and operations, and things seen, and sends forth the impressions of other powers unto others: And those things which appear by sence [sense], it stirs up into an opinion, but those things which appear by the Intellect, in the second place it offers to opinion, but of it self it receives images from all, and by its property, doth properly assign them, according to their assimilation, forms all the actions of the soul, and accommodates the externall to the internall, and impresses the body with its impression. Now these senses have their Organs in the head, for the Common sence [sense], and imagination take up the two former Cels [cells] of the brain, although Aristotle placeth the Organ of the Common sence [sense] in the heart, but the cogitative power possesseth the highest, and middle part of the head; and lastly, the memory the hinmost part thereof. Moreover, the Organs of Voice, and Speech are many, as the inward muscles of the breast betwixt the ribs, the breasts, the lungs, the arteries, the windpipe, the bowing of the Tongue, and all those parts and muscles that serve for breathing. But the proper Organ of Speech is the Mouth, in which are framed words, and speeches, the Tongue, the Teeth, the Lips, the Palate, &c. Above the sensible soul, which expresseth its powers by the Organs of the body, the incorporeall mind possesseth the highest place, and it hath a double nature, the one, which inquireth into the causes, properties, and progress of those things which are contained in the order of nature, and is content in the contemplation of the truth, which is therefore called the contemplative intellect. The other is a power of the mind, which discerning by consulting what things are to be done, and what things to be shunned, is wholly taken up in consultation, and action, and is therefore ealled the Active Intellect. This Order of powers therefore nature ordained in man, that by the externall sences [senses] we might know corporeall things, by the internall the representations of bodies, as also things abstracted by the mind and intellect, which are neither bodies, nor any thing like them. And according to this threefold order of the powers of the soul, there are three appetites in the soul: The first is naturall, which is an inclination of nature into its end, as of a stone downward, which is in all stones: another is animal, which the sense follows, and it is divided into irascible, and concupiscible: the third is intellective, which is called the will, differing from the sensitive, in this, the sensitive is of it self, of those things, which may be presented to the senses, desiring, nothing unless in some manner comprehended. But the will, although it be of it self, of all things that are possible, yet because it is free by its essence, it may be also of things that are impossible, as it was in the Devil, desiring himself to be equall with God, and therefore is altered and depraved with pleasure and continuall anguish, whilest it assents to the inferiour powers. Whence from its depraved appetite there arise four passions in it, with which in like manner the body is affected sometimes. Whereof the first is called Oblectation, which is a certain quietness or assentation of the mind or will, because it obeys, and not willingly consents to that pleasantness which the senses hold forth; which is therefore defined to be an inclination of the mind to an effeminate pleasure. The second is called effusion, which is a remission of, or dissolution of the power, viz. when beyond the oblectation the whole power of the mind, and intention of the present good is melted, and diffuseth it self to enjoy it. The third is vaunting, and loftiness, thinking it self to have attained to some great good, in the enjoyment of which it prides it self and glorieth. The fourth and the last is Envy, or a certain kind of pleasure or delight at another mans harm, without any advantage to it self. It is said to be without any advantage to it self, because if any one should for his own profit rejoyce at an other mans harm, this would be rather out of love to himself, then out of ill wil [will] to another. And these four passions arising from a depraved appetite for pleasure, the grief or perplexity it self doth also beget so many contrary passions, as Horror, Sadness, Fear, and Sorrow at anothers good, without his own hurt, which we call Envy, i.e. Sadness at anothers prosperity, as pity is a certain kind of sadness at anothers misery.
Chapter LXII Of the Passions of the Mind, their Original [origin], difference, and kinds.
The passions of the mind are nothing else but certain motions or inclinations proceeding from the apprehension of any thing, as of good or evill, convenient or inconvenient. Now these kind of apprehensions are of three sorts, viz., Sensual, Rationall, and Intellectuall. And according to these three, are three sorts of passions in the Soul; For when they follow the sensitive apprehension, then they respect a temporall good or evill, under the notion of profitable, or unprofitable, delightfull and offensive, and are called naturall, or animall passions. When they follow the rational apprehension, and so respect good or bad, under the notions of Vertue or Vice, praise or disgrace, profitable or unprofitable, honest or dishonest, they are called rationall, or voluntary passions. When they follow the Intellectuall apprehension, and respect good or bad, under the notion of just or unjust, true or false, they are called intellectuall passions, or synderesis. Now the subject of the passions of the soul, is the concupitive power of the soul, and is divided into concupiscible, and irascible, and both respect good and bad, but under a different notion. For when the concupiscible power respects good, and evil absolutely; Love or Lust, or on the contrary, hatred is caused: When it respects good, as absent, so desire is caused; or evill, as absent, or at hand, and so is caused horror, flying from, or loathing: or if it respect good, as present, then there is caused delight, mirth, or pleasure; but if evill, as present, then sadness, anxiety, grief. But the irascible power respects good or bad, under the notion of some difficulty; to obtain the one, or avoid the other, and this sometimes with confidence: and so there is caused Hope or Boldness; but when with diffidency, then Despair, and Fear. But when that irascible power riseth into revenge, and this be onely about some evill past, as it were of injury or hurt offered, there is caused Anger. And so we find eleven passions in the mind, which are, Love, Hatred, Desire, Horror, Joy, Grief, Hope, Despair, Boldness, Fear, and Anger.
Chapter LXIII How the passions of the mind change the proper body, by changing the Accidents, and moving the spirit.
The Phantasie, or imaginative power hath a ruling power over the passions of the soul, when they follow the sensuall apprehension. For this doth of its own power, according to the diversity of the Passions, First of all change the proper body with a sensible transmutation, by changing the Accidents in the body, and by moving the spirit upward or downward, inward, or outward, and by producing divers qualities in the members. So in joy, the spirits are driven outward, in fear, drawn back, in bashfulness, are moved to the brain. So in joy, the heart is dilated outward, by little and little, in sadness, is constringed by little, and little inward. After the same manner in anger or fear, but suddenly. Again anger, or desire of revenge produceth heat, redness, a bitter tast [taste], and a looseness. Fear induceth cold, trembling of the heart, speechlessness, and paleness. Sadness causeth sweat, and a blewish [bluish] whiteness. Pitty [pity], which is a kind of sadness, doth often ill affect the body of him that takes pitty [pity], that it seems to be the body of another man affected. Also it is manifest, that amongst some lovers there is such a strong tye [tie] of love, that what the one suffers, the other suffers. Anxiety induceth dryness, and blackness. And how great heats love stirs up in the Liver, and pulse, Physitians [physicians] know, discerning by that kind of judgement the name of her that is beloved, in an Heroick Passion. So Naustratus knew that Antiochus was taken with the love of Stratonica. It is also manifest that such like Passions, when they are most vehement, may cause death. And this is manifest to all men, that with too much joy, sadness, love, hatred, men many times dye [die], and are sometimes freed from a disease. So we read, that Sophocles, and Dionysius the Sicilian Tyrant, did both suddenly dye [die] at the news of a Tragicall victory. So a certain woman seeing her son returning from the Canensian battle, dyed [died] suddenly. Now what sadness can do, is known to all. We know that Dogs oftentimes dye [die] with sadness for the death of their masters. Sometimes also by reason of these like Passions, long diseases follow, and are sometimes cured. So also some men looking from an high place, by reason of great fear, tremble, are dim-sighted, and weakened, and sometimes loose their senses. So fears, and falling-sickness, sometimes follow sobbing. Sometimes wonderfull effects are produced, as in the son of Cræsus, whom his mother brought forth dumb, yet a vehement fear, and ardent affection made him speak, which naturally he could never do. So with a suddain fall oftentimes life, sense, or motion on a suddain leave the members, and presently again are sometimes returned. And how much vehement anger, joyned with great audacity, can do, Alexander the great shews, who being circumvented with a battle in India, was seen to send forth from himself lightening [lightning] and fire. The Father of Theodoricus is said to have sent forth out of his body, sparks of fire; so that sparkling flames did leap out with a noyse [noise]. And such like things sometimes appear in beasts, as in Tiberius his horse, which is said to send forth a flame out of his mouth.
cliccare qui e compilare il modulo contatti,
un metodo veloce ed efficace.