Chap. VI.

Of sundry Tenets concerning Vegetables or Plants, which examined, prove either false or dubious.

1. MANY Mola's and false conceptions there are of Mandrakes, the first from great Antiquity, conceiveth the Root thereof resembleth the shape of Man; which is a conceit not to be made out by ordinary inspection, or any other eyes, then such as regarding the Clouds, behold them in shapes conformable to pre-apprehensions.

Now whatever encouraged the first invention, there have not been wanting many ways of its promotion. The first a Catachrestical and far derived similitude it holds with Man; that is, in a bifurcation or division of the Root into two parts, which some are content to call Thighs; whereas notwithstanding they are oft-times three, and when but two, commonly so complicated and crossed, that men for this deceit are fain to effect their design in other plants; And as fair a resemblance is often found in Carrots, Parsnips, Briony, and many others. There are, I confess, divers Plants which carry about them not only the shape of parts, but also of whole Animals, but surely not all thereof, unto whom this conformity is imputed. Whoever shall peruse the signatures of Crollius, or rather the Phytognomy of Porta, and strictly observe how vegetable Realities are commonly forced into Animal Representations, may easily perceive in very many, the semblance is but postulatory, and must have a more assimilating phansie then mine to make good many thereof.

Illiterate heads have been led on by the name, which in the first syllable expresseth its Representation; but others have better observed the Laws of Etymology, and deduced it from a word of the same language,1 because it delighteth to grow in obscure and shady places; which derivation, although we shall not stand to maintain, yet the other seemeth answerable unto the Etymologies of many Authors, who often confound such nominal Notations. Not to enquire beyond our own profession, the Latine Physitians which most adhered unto the Arabick way, have often failed herein; particularly Valescus de Tarranta, a received Physitian, in whose Philonium or Medical practice2 these may be observed: Diarhea, saith he, Quia pluries venit in die.[3] Herisepela, quasi hærens pilis, Emorrohis, ab emach sanguis & morrhois quod est cadere. Lithargia à Litos quod est oblivio, & Targus morbus, Scotomia à Scotus quod est videre, & mias musca. Opthalmia ab opus Græce quod est succus, & Talmon, quod est occulus. Paralisis, quasi læsio partis. Fistula à fos sonus & stolon quod est emissio, quasi emissio soni vel vocis. Which are derivations as strange indeed as the other, and hardly to be parallel'd elsewhere; confirming not only the words of one language with another, but creating such as were never yet in any.

The received distinction and common Notation by Sexes, hath also promoted the conceit; for true it is, that Herbalists from ancient times, have thus distinguished them; naming that the Male, whose leaves are lighter, and Fruit and Apples rounder; but this is properly no generative division, but rather some note of distinction in colour, figure or operation. For though Empedocles affirm, there is a mixt, and undivided Sex in Vegetables; and Scaliger upon Aristotle,4 doth favourably explain that opinion; yet will it not consist with the common and ordinary acception, nor yet with Aristotles definition. For if that be Male which generates in another, that Female which procreates in it self; if it be understood of Sexes conjoined, all Plants are Female; and if of disjoined and congressive generation, there is no Male or Female in them at all.[5]

But the Atlas or main Axis which supported this opinion, was dayly experience, and the visible testimony of sense. For many there are in several parts of Europe, who carry about Roots and sell them unto ignorant people, which handsomely make out the shape of Man or Woman. But these are not productions of Nature, but contrivances of Art, as divers have noted, and Mathiolus plainly detected, who learned this way of Trumpery from a vagabond cheater lying under his cure for the French disease. His words are these, and may determine the point, Sed profectò vanum & fabulosum, &c. But this is vain and fabulous, which ignorant people, and simple women believe; for the roots which are carried about by impostors to deceive unfruitful women, are made of the roots of Canes, Briony and other plants: for in these yet fresh and virent, they carve out the figures of men and women, first sticking therein the grains of Barley or Millet, where they intend the hair should grow; then bury them in sand until the grains shoot forth their roots, which at the longest will happen in twenty days; they afterward clip and trim those tender strings in the fashion of beards and other hairy tegument. All which like other impostures once discovered is easily effected, and in the root of white Briony may be practised every spring.

What is therefore delivered in favour thereof, by Authors ancient or modern, must have its root in tradition, imposture, far derived similitude, or casual and rare contingency. So may we admit of the Epithet of Pythagoras, who calls it Anthropomorphus, and that of Columella, who terms it Semihomo; more appliable unto the Man-Orchis,6 whose flower represents a Man. Thus is Albertus to be received when he affirmeth, that Mandrakes represent man-kind with the distinction of either Sex. Under these restrictions may those Authors be admitted, which for this opinion are introduced by Drusius;7 nor shall we need to question the monstrous root of Briony described in Aldrovandus.8

Thesecond assertion concerneth its production, That it naturally groweth under Gallowses and places of execution, arising from fat or urine that drops from the body of the dead; a story somewhat agreeable unto the fable of the Serpents teeth sowed in the earth by Cadmus; or rather the birth of Orion from the Urine of Jupiter, Mercury, and Neptune. Now this opinion seems grounded on the former, that is, a conceived similitude it hath with man; and therefore from him in some way they would make out its production: Which conceit is not only erroneous in the foundation, but injurious unto Philosophy in the superstruction. Making putrifactive generations, correspondent unto seminal productions, and conceiving in equivocal effects an univocal conformity unto the efficient. Which is so far from being verified of animals in their corruptive mutations into Plants, that they maintain not this similitude in their nearer translation into animals. So when the Oxe corrupteth into Bees, or the Horse into Hornets, they come not forth in the image of their originals. So the corrupt and excrementous humours in man are animated into Lice; and we may observe, that Hogs, Sheep, Goats, Hawks, Hens and others, have one peculiar and proper kind of vermine; not resembling themselves according to seminal conditions, yet carrying a setled and confined habitude unto their corruptive originals. And therefore come not forth in generations erratical, or different from each other; but seem specifically and in regular shapes to attend the corruption of their bodies, as do more perfect conceptions, the rule of seminal productions.

The third affirmeth the roots of Mandrakes do make a noise, or give a shriek upon eradication; which is indeed ridiculous, and false below confute; arising perhaps from a small and stridulous noise, which being firmly rooted, it maketh upon divulsion of parts. A slender foundation for such a vast conception: for such a noise we sometimes observe in other Plants, in Parsenips, Liquorish, Eringium, Flags, and others.

The last concerneth the danger ensuing, That there follows an hazard of life to them that pull it up, that some evil fate pursues them, and they live not very long after. Therefore the attempt hereof among the Ancients, was not in ordinary way, but as Pliny informeth, when they intended to take up the root of this Plant, they took the wind thereof, and with a sword describing three circles about it, they digged it up, looking toward the west. A conceit not only injurious unto truth, and confutable by daily experience, but somewhat derogatory unto the providence of God; that is, not only to impose so destructive a quality on any Plant, but to conceive a Vegetable, whose parts are useful unto many, should in the only taking up prove mortal unto any. To think he suffereth the poison of Nubia to be gathered,9 Napellus, Aconite, and Thora, to be eradicated, yet this not to be moved. That he permitteth Arsenick and mineral poisons to be forced from the bowels of the Earth, yet not this from the surface thereof. This were to introduce a second forbidden fruit, and inhance the first malediction, making it not only mortal for Adam to taste the one, but capital unto his posterity to eradicate or dig up the other.

Now what begot, at least promoted so strange conceptions, might be the magical opinion hereof; this being conceived the Plant so much in use with Circe, and therefore named Circea, as Dioscorides and Theophrastus have delivered,[10] which being the eminent Sorcerers of elder story, and by the magick of simples believed to have wrought many wonders: some men were apt to invent, others to believe any tradition or magical promise thereof.

Analogus relations concerning other plants, and such as are of near affinity unto this, have made its currant smooth, and pass more easily among us. For the same effect is also delivered by Josephus, concerning the root Baaras; by Ælian of Cynospastus; and we read in Homer the very same concerning Moly,

Μῶλυ δὲ μὶν καλέουσι θεοί, χαλεπὸν δέ τ᾽ὀρύσσειν
Ἀνδράσι γε θνητοῖσι· θεοὶ δέ τε πάντα δύνανται.

The Gods it Moly call, whose Root to dig away,
Is dangerous unto Man; but Gods, they all things may.

Now parallels or like relations alternately relieve each other, when neither will pass asunder, yet are they plausible together; their mutual concurrences supporting their solitary instabilities.

Signaturists have somewhat advanced it; who seldom omitting what Ancients delivered; drawing into inference received distinction of sex, not willing to examine its humane resemblance; and placing it in the form of strange and magical simples, have made men suspect there was more therein, then ordinary practice allowed; and so became apt to embrace whatever they heard or read conformable unto such conceptions.

Lastly, The conceit promoteth it self: for concerning an effect whose trial must cost so dear, it fortifies it self in that invention; and few there are whose experiment it need to fear. For (what is most contemptible) although not only the reason of any head, but experience of every hand may well convict it, yet will it not by divers be rejected; for prepossessed heads will ever doubt it, and timorous beliefs will never dare to trie it. So these Traditions how low and ridiculous soever, will find suspition in some, doubt in others, and serve as tests or trials of Melancholy and superstitious tempers for ever.

2. That Cinamon, Ginger, Clove, Mace, and Nutmeg, are but the several parts and fruits of the same tree, is the common belief of those which daily use them. Whereof to speak distinctly, Ginger is the root of neither Tree nor Shrub, but of an herbaceous Plant, resembling the Water Flower-De-luce, as Garcias first described; or rather the common Reed, as Lobelius since affirmed. Very common in many parts of India, growing either from Root or Seed, which in December and January they take up, and gently dried, roll it up in earth, whereby occluding the pores, they conserve the natural humidity, and so prevent corruption.

Cinamon is the inward bark of a Cinamon Tree, whereof the best is brought from Zeilan; this freed from the outward bark, and exposed unto the Sun, contracts into those folds wherein we commonly receive it. If it have not a sufficient insolation it looketh pale, and attains not its laudable colour; if it be sunned too long, it suffereth a torrefaction, and descendeth somewhat below it.

Clove seems to be either the rudiment of a fruit, or the fruit it self growing upon the Clove tree, to be found but in a few Countries. The most commendable is that of the Isles of Molucca; it is first white, afterward green, which beaten down, and dried in the Sun, becometh black, and in the complexion we receive it.

Nutmeg is the fruit of a Tree differing from all these, and as Garcias describeth it, somewhat like a Peach; growing in divers places, but fructifying in the Isle of Banda. The fruit hereof consisteth of four parts; the first or outward part is a thick and carnous covering like that of a Wal-nut. The second a dry and flosculous coat, commonly called Mace. The third a harder tegument or shell, which lieth under the Mace. The fourth a Kernel included in the shell, which is the same we call Nutmeg. All which both in their parts and order of disposure, are easily discerned in those fruits, which are brought in preserves unto us.

Now if because Mace and Nutmeg proceed from one Tree, the rest must bear them company; or because they are all from the East Indies, they are all from one Plant: the Inference is precipitous, nor will there such a Plant be found in the Herbal of Nature.

3. That Viscous Arboreus or Misseltoe is bred upon Trees, from seeds which Birds, especially Thrushes and Ring-doves let fall thereon, was the Creed of the Ancients, and is still believed among us, is the account of its production, set down by Pliny, delivered by Virgil, and subscribed by many more. If so, some reason must be assigned, why it groweth onely upon certain Trees, and not upon many whereon these Birds do light. For as Exotick observers deliver, it groweth upon Almond-trees, Chesnut, Apples, Oaks, and Pine-trees.[11] As we observe in England very commonly upon Apple, Crabs, and White-thorn; sometimes upon Sallow, Hazel, and Oak: rarely upon Ash, Limetree, and Maple; never, that I could observe, upon Holly, Elm, and many more. Why it groweth not in all Countries and places where these Birds are found; for so Brassavolus affirmeth, it is not to be found in the Territory of Ferrara, and was fain to supply himself from other parts of Italy. Why if it ariseth from a seed, if sown it will not grow again, as Pliny affirmeth, and as by setting the Berries thereof, we have in vain attempted its production; why if it cometh from seed that falleth upon the tree, it groweth often downwards, and puts forth under the bough, where seed can neither fall nor yet remain.[12] Hereof beside some others, the Lord Verulam hath taken notice. And they surely speak probably who make it an arboreous excrescence,[13] or rather super plant, bred of a viscous and superfluous sap which the tree it self cannot assimilate. And therefore sprouteth not forth in boughs and surcles of the same shape, and similary unto the Tree that beareth it; but in a different form, and secondary unto its specifical intention, wherein once failing, another form succeedeth: and in the first place that of Misseltoe, in Plants and Trees disposed to its production. And therefore also where ever it groweth, it is of constant shape, and maintains a regular figure; like other supercrescences, and such as living upon the stock of others, are termed parasitical Plants, as Polypody, Moss, the smaller Capillaries, and many more: So that several regions produce several Misseltoes; India one, America another, according to the law and rule of their degenerations.

Now what begot this conceit, might be the enlargement of some part of truth contained in its story. For certain it is, that some Birds do feed upon the berries of this Vegetable, and we meet in Aristotle with one kind of Trush called the Missel Trush, or feeder upon Misseltoe.14 But that which hath most promoted it, is a received proverb, Turdus sibi malum cacat; appliable unto such men as are authors of their own misfortune. For according unto ancient tradition and Plinies relation, the Bird not able to digest the fruit whereon she feedeth; from her inconverted muting ariseth this Plant, of the Berries whereof Birdlime is made, wherewith she is after entangled. But although Proverbs be popular principles, yet is not all true that is proverbial; and in many thereof, there being one thing delivered, and another intended; though the verbal expression be false, the Proverb is true enough in the verity of its intention.

As for the Magical vertues in this Plant, and conceived efficacy unto veneficial intentions, it seemeth a Pagan relique derived from the ancient Druides, the great admirers of the Oak, especially the Misseltoe that grew thereon; which according unto the particular of Pliny, they gathered with great solemnity. For after sacrifice the Priest in a white garment ascended the tree, cut down the Misseltoe with a golden hook, and received it in a white coat; the vertue whereof was to resist all poisons, and make fruitful any that used it. Vertues not expected from Classical practice; and did they fully answer their promise which are so commended, in Epileptical intentions, we would abate these qualities. Country practice hath added another, to provoke the after-birth, and in that case the decoction is given unto Cows. That the Berries are poison as some conceive, we are so far from averring, that we have safely given them inwardly; and can confirm the experiment of Brassavolus, that they have some purgative quality.

4. The Rose of Jericho, that flourishes every year just about Christmas Eve, is famous in Christian reports; which notwithstanding we have some reason to doubt, and are plainly informed by Bellonius, it is but a Monastical imposture, as he hath delivered in his observations, concerning the Plants in Jericho. That which promoted the conceit, or perhaps begot its continuance, was a propriety in this Plant. For though it be dry, yet will it upon imbibition of moisture dilate its leaves, and explicate its flowers contracted, and seemingly dried up. And this is to be effected not only in the Plant yet growing, but in some manner also in that which is brought exuccous and dry unto us. Which quality being observed, the subtilty of contrivers did commonly play this shew upon the Eve of our Saviours Nativity, when by drying the Plant again, it closed the next day, and so pretended a double mystery: referring unto the opening and closing of the womb of Mary.

There wanted not a specious confirmation from a text in Ecclesiasticus,15 Quasi palma exaltata sum in Cades, & quasi plantatio Rosæ in Jericho; I was exalted like a Palm-tree in Engaddi, and as a Rose in Jericho. The sound whereof in common ears, begat an extraordinary opinion of the Rose of that denomination. But herein there seemeth a mistake: for by the Rose in the Text, is implied the true and proper Rose, as first the Greek,16 and ours accordingly rendreth it. But that which passeth under this name, and by us is commonly called the Rose of Jericho, is properly no Rose, but a small thorny shrub or kind of Heath, bearing little white flowers, far differing from the Rose; whereof Bellonius a very inquisitive Herbalist, could not find any in his travels thorow Jericho. A Plant so unlike a Rose, it hath been mistaken by some good Simplist for Amomum; which truly understood is so unlike a Rose, that as Dioscorides delivers, the flowers thereof are like the white Violet, and its leaves resemble Briony.

Suitable unto this relation almost in all points is that of the Thorn at Glassenbury,[17] and perhaps the daughter hereof; herein our endeavours as yet have not attained satisfaction, and cannot therefore enlarge. Thus much in general we may observe, that strange effects, are naturally taken for miracles by weaker heads, and artificially improved to that apprehension by wiser. Certainly many precocious Trees, and such as spring in the Winter, may be found in most parts of Europe, and divers also in England. For most Trees do begin to sprout in the Fall of the leaf or Autumn, and if not kept back by cold and outward causes, would leaf about the Solstice. Now if it happen that any be so strongly constituted, as to make this good against the power of Winter, they may produce their leaves or blossoms in that season. And perform that in some singles, which is observable in whole kinds; as in Ivy, which blossoms and bears at least twice a year, and once in the Winter; as also in Furz, which flowereth in that season.

5. That ferrum Equinum, or Sferra Cavallo[18] hath a vertue attractive of Iron, a power to break locks, and draw off the shoes of a Horse that passeth over it: whether you take it for one kind of Securdiaca, or will also take in Lunaria, we know it to be false; and cannot but wonder at Mathiolus, who upon a parallel in Pliny was staggered into suspension.[19] Who notwithstanding in the imputed vertue to open things, close and shut up, could laugh himself at that promise from the herb Æthiopis or Æthiopian mullen; and condemn the judgment of Scipio, who having such a picklock, would spend so many years in battering the Gates of Carthage. Which strange and Magical conceit, seems to have no deeper root in reason, then the figure of its seed; for therein indeed it somewhat resembles a Horse-shoe; which notwithstanding Baptista Porta hath thought too low a signification, and raised the same unto a Lunary representation.[20]

6. That Bayes will protect from the mischief or Lightning and Thunder, is a quality ascribed thereto, common with the Fig-tree, Eagle, and skin of a Seal. Against so famous a quality, Vicomercatus produceth experiment of a Bay-tree blasted in Italy. And therefore although Tiberius for this intent, did wear a Lawrel upon his Temples;[21] yet did Augustus take a more probable course, who fled under arches and hollow vaults for protection. And though Porta conceive, because in a streperous eruption, it riseth against fire, it doth therefore resist lightning, yet is that no emboldning Illation. And if we consider the threefold effect of Jupiters Trisulk, to burn, discuss, and terebrate;[22] and if that be true which is commonly delivered, that it will melt the blade, yet pass the scabbard; kill the child, yet spare the mother; dry up the wine, yet leave the hogshead entire:[23] though it favour the amulet, it may not spare us; it will be unsure to rely on any preservative, 'tis no security to be dipped in Styx, or clad in the armour of Ceneus. Now that Beer, Wine, and other Liquors, are spoiled with lightning and thunder, we conceive it proceeds not onely from noise and concussion of the air, but also noxious spirits, which mingle therewith, and draw them to corruption; whereby they become not only dead themselves, but sometime deadly unto others, as that which Seneca mentioneth; whereof whosoever drank, either lost his life, or else his wits upon it.

7. It hath much deceived the hope of good fellows, what is commonly expected of bitter Almonds, and though in Plutarch confirmed from the practice of Claudius his Physitian, that Antidote against ebriety hath commonly failed. Surely men much versed in the practice do err in the theory of inebriation; conceiving in that disturbance the brain doth only suffer from exhalations and vaporous ascensions from the stomack, which fat and oyly substances may suppress. Whereas the prevalent intoxication is from the spirits of drink dispersed into the veins and arteries; from whence by common conveyances they creep into the brain, insinuate into its ventricles, and beget those vertigoes, accompanying that perversion. And therefore the same effect may be produced by a Glister, the Head may be intoxicated by a medicine at the Heel. So the poisonous bites of Serpents, although on parts at distance from the head, yet having entered the veins, disturb the animal faculties, and produce the effects of drink, or poison swallowed. And so as the Head may be disturbed by the skin, it may the same way be relieved; as is observable in balneations, washings, and fomentations, either of the whole body, or of that part alone.


* [My or others' notes are in square brackets]; Browne's marginalia is unmarked; {passages or notes from unpublished material by Browne is in curly braces}. Ross deals with some points of this chapter in Arcana Microcosmi, II.19.2.

1 Μάνδρα, Spelunca. [Mandrake from mandragora, from the Greek, which may ultimately derive from a Persian phrase meaning, oddly enough, man-plant. The seed doesn't fall far from the bush, if we may use the phrase here.]

2 In the old Edition.

3[Wren: Not unlike to that of εἰσαγωγὴ, which a wise man derived from (εἰσος and γωγους) or, as Calepin derives aqua from à quà, or as Minshew, prospero from porro and spero, where the long quantityes in the originals discover the follye of the derivations.]

4 De Plantis.

5 [The sex-life of plants is a very odd affair and much more complicated than even the modern grammar-school-science "pollen=sperm" model. Wren notes, "the name of male and female in plants is onlye tralatitious and similitudinarye, that which beares fruite beeing for distinction sake called female, and that which beares none the male."]

6 Orchis Anthropomorphus cujus Icon in Kircheri Magia parastatica.

7 De mandragora.

8 De monstris.

9 Granum Nubiæ.

10 [And following them, Pliny NH XXV (9).]

11 [1646 reads "never upon bays, holly, ashes, elms, and many others"; the phrase is shortened and hedged in 1672 and moved further down. This section is a very rare instance of Browne's flying against both authority and reason based on his own inaccurate and incomplete observations.]

12[Wren considered this objection insuperable: "This one objection is soe vigorous and clever, as cuts off the foolish assertion forever."

Wilkin adds a long note giving particulars of the germination and growth of mistletoe, adding the pertinent information that ivy can be very difficult to germinate as well unless its seed has first passed through the stomach of a bird.]

13[Dean Wren, in a note that makes the reader appreciate the state of 17th century botany, writes "Arboreous excrescences of the oake are soe many as may raise the greatest wonder. Besides the gall, which is high proper fruite [!!], hee shootes out oakerns i.e. ut nunc vocamus (acornes) and oakes apples, and polypodye, and moss; five several sorts of excrescences."]


15 Cap. 24

16 Φυτά τοῦ ῥόδου.

17[Wilkin: A variety of the cratægus oxyacanthæ, whose usual period of flowering is May, whence its common name, May-blossom. "Gilpin mentions that 'one of its progeny, which grew in the gardens at Bulstrode, had its flower-buds perfectly formed so early as the 21st of December.' In the arboretum of the royal gardens, Kew, a similar thorn flowers at the same season. The belief that certain trees put forth their flowers on Christmas-day, was not confined to the Glastonbury thorn. In the new forest, at Cadenham, near Lyndhurst, an oak used to bud about that period; but the people, for two centuries, believed that it never budded all the year, except on Old Christmas-day. The superstition was destroyed by careful investigation; and the circumstance is thus recorded in the Salisbury newspaper of January 10th, 1786: — 'In consequence of a report that has prevailed in this county for upwards of two centuries, and which, by many, has been considered as a matter of faith, that the oak at Cadenham, in the new forest, shoots forth leaves on every Old Christmas-day, and that no leaf is ever to be seen on it either before or after that day, during the winter, a lady, who is now on a visit in this city, and who is attentively curious in every thing relative to art or nature, made a journey to Cadenham, on Monday the 3rd instant, purposely to enquire on the spot about the production of this famous tree. On her arrival near it, the usual guide was ready to attend her; but, on his being desired to climb the oak, and to search whether there were any leaves then on it, he said it would be to no purpose; but that if she would come on the Wednesday following (Christmas-day), she might certainly see thousands. However, he was prevailed upon to ascend, and on the first branch which he gathered appeared several fair new leaves, sprouted from the buds, and nearly an inch and a half in length. It may be imagined that the guide was more amazed at this premature production than the lady, for, so strong was his belief in the truth of the whole tradition, that he would have pledged his life that not a leaf was to have been discovered on any part of the tree before the usual hour.'"

The preceding passage affords a good contrast to the following note, by Dean Wren, on the "Glastonbury thorn".

"---- And the oake in the new forest, King James could not bee induced to beleeve the το οτι of this, till Bishop Andrewes, in whose diocese the tree grew, caused one of his own chaplaines, a man of known integritye, to give a true information of itt, which he did: for upon the eve of the nativitye, he gathered about a [100] slips, with the leaves newly opened, which he stuck in claye in the bottom of long white boxes, and soe sent them post to the courte, where they deservedly raised not only admiration, but stopt the mouth of infidelitye and contradiction for ever. Of this I was both an eye-witness, and did distribute many of them to the great persons of bothe sexes in court and others, ecclesiastical persons. But in these last troublesome times, a divelish fellow (of Herostratus humour) having hewen itt round at the roote, made his last stroke on his own legg, whereof hee died, together with the old wondrous tree: which now sprowtes up againe, and may renew his oakye age againe, yf some such envious chance doe not hinder or prevent itt: from which the example of the former villane may perchance deterr the attempte. This I thought to testifie to all future times, and therefore subscribe with the same hand through which those little oakye slips past." Ita testor Chr. Wren, Duo Lanceloto à sacris domesticis αυτοπτυς tunc: et Carolo Regi patrono opt. maxo [postea] ex αυτοπσια fidus assertor.]

18 [Hippocrepis comosa]

19 [Pliny N.H. XXVI.ix(18)]

20 [Horse vetch is a legume with bean-like seed-pods that curl significantly, so that they look like a shaggy C (or a horseshoe, or a traditional representation of the waxing or waning Moon)]

21 [See Suetonius, Life of Tiberiuschap. 69, and cf. Pliny N.H. II.lvi(146) and XV(134) (englished by Holland:,]

22 [discuss retains its etymological meaning: to shake to pieces, disperse; terebrate, bore through, perforate. Jovis telum trisulcum Ovid.]

23 [See this note from Wilkin on a, shall we say, striking instance of lightning.]

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