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dung; other in water mixed with pigeon-dung; other in urine of man; other in water mixed with chalk powdered; other in water mixed with soot; other in water mixed with ashes; other in water mixed with bay-salt; other in claret wine; other in malmsey; other in spirit of wine. The proportion of the mixture was a fourth part of the ingredients to the water; save that there was not of the salt above an eighth part. The urine, and wines, and spirit of wine, were simple without mixture of water. The time of the steeping was twelve hours. The time of the year October. There was also other wheat sown unsteep. ed, but watered twice a day with warm water. There was also other wheat sown simple, to compare it with the rest. The event was; that those that were in the mixture of dung, and urine, and soot, chalk, ashes, and salt, came up within six days: and those that afterwards proved the highest, thickest, and most lusty, were first the urine; and then the dungs; next the chalk; next the soot; next the ashes; next the salt; next the wheat simple of itself, unsteeped and unwatered; next the watered twice a day with warm water; next the claret wine. So that these three last were slower than the ordinary wheat of itself; and this culture did rather retard than advance. As for those that were steeped in malmsey, and spirit of wine, they came not up at all. This is a rich experiment for profit; for the most of the steepings are cheap things; and the goodness of the crop is a great matter of gain; if the goodness of the crop answer the earliness of the coming up; as it is like it will; both being from the vigour of the seed; which also partly appeared in the former experiments, as hath been said. This experiment would be tried in other grains, seeds, and kernels: for it may be some steeping will agree best with some seeds. It would be tried also with roots steeped as before, but for longer time. It would be tried also in several seasons of the year, especially the spring.
403. STRAWBERRIES watered now and then, as once in three days, with water wherein hath been
steeped sheeps-dung or pigeons-dung, will prevent and come early. And it is like the same effect would follow in other berries, herbs, flowers, grains, or trees. And therefore it is an experiment, though vulgar in strawberries, yet not brought into use generally: for it is usual to help the ground with muck; and likewise to recomfort it sometimes with muck put to the roots; but to water it with muck water, which is like to be more forcible, is not practised.
404. DUNG, or chalk, or blood, applied in substance, seasonably, to the roots of trees, doth set them forwards. But to do it unto herbs, without mixture of water or earth, it may be these helps are too hot.
405. THE former means of helping germination, are either by the goodness and strength of the nourishment; or by the comforting and exciting the spirits in the plant, to draw the nourishment better. And of this latter kind, concerning the comforting of the spirits of the plant, are also the experiments that follow; though they be not applications to the root or seed. The planting of trees warm upon a wall against the south, or south-east sun, doth hasten their coming on and ripening; and the south-east is found to be better than the south-west, though the southwest be the hotter coast. But the cause is chiefly, for that the heat of the morning succeedeth the cold of the night; and partly, because many times the south-west sun is too parching. So likewise the planting of them upon the back of a chimney where a fire is kept, doth hasten their coming on and ripening: nay more, the drawing of the boughs into the inside of a room where a fire is continually kept, worketh the same effect; which hath been tried with grapes; insomuch as they will come a month earlier than the grapes abroad.
406. BESIDES the two means of accelerating ger mination formerly described; that is to say, the mending of the nourishment; and comforting of the spirit of the plant; there is a third, which is the making way for the easy coming to the nourishment, and drawing it. And therefore gentle digging and loosening of the earth about the roots of trees; and the re
moving herbs and flowers into new earth once in two years, which is the same thing, for the new earth is ever looser, doth greatly further the prospering and earliness of plants.
407. BUT the most admirable acceleration by facilitating the nourishment is that of water. For a standard of a damask rose with the root on, was set in a chamber where no fire was, upright in an earthen pan, full of fair water, without any mixture, half a foot under the water, the standard being more than two foot high above the water: within the space of ten days the standard did put forth a fair green leaf, and some other little buds, which stood at a stay, without any shew of decay or withering, more than seven days. But afterwards that leaf faded, but the young buds did sprout on; which afterward opened into fair leaves in the space of three months; and continued so a while after, till upon removal we left the trial. But note, that the leaves were some what paler and lighter-coloured than the leaves used to be abroad, Note, that the first buds were in the end of October; and it is likely that if it had been in the spring time, it would have put forth with greater strength, and, it may be, to have grown on to bear flowers. By this means you may have, as it seemeth, roses set in the midst of a pool, being supported with some stay; which is matter of rareness and pleasure, though of small use. This is the more strange, for that the like rose-standard was put at the same time into water mixed with horse-dung, the horse-dung about the fourth part to the water, and in four months space, while it was observed, put not forth any leaf, though divers buds at the first, as the other.
408. A DUTCH flower that had a bulbous root, was likewise put at the same time all under water, some two or three fingers deep; and within seven days sprouted, and continued long after further grow. ing. There were also put in, a beet-root; a borageroot, and a radish-root, which had all their leaves cut almost close to the roots; and within six weeks had fair leaves; and so continued till the end of November.
409. NOTE, that if roots, or peas, or flowers, may
be accelerated in their coming and ripening, there is a double profit; the one in the high price that those things bear when they come early: the other in the swiftness of their returns: for in some grounds which are strong, you shall have a radish, etc. come in a month, that in other grounds will not come in two, and so make double returns.
410. WHEAT also was put into the water, and came not forth at all; so as it seemeth there must be some strength and bulk in the body put into the water, as it is in roots; for grains, or seeds, the cold of the water will mortify. But casually some wheat lay under the pan, which was somewhat moistened by the suing of the pan; which in six weeks, as aforesaid, looked mouldy to the eye, but it was sprouted forth half a finger's length.
411. IT seemeth by these instances of water, that for nourishment the water is almost all in all, and that the earth doth but keep the plant upright, and save it from over-heat and over-cold; and therefore is a comfortable experiment for good drinkers. It proveth also that our former opinion, that drink incorporate with flesh or roots, as in capon-beer, etc. will nourish more easily, than meat and drink taken severally.
412. THE housing of plants, I conceive, will both accelerate germination, and bring forth flowers and plants in the colder seasons: and as we house hotcountry plants, as lemons, oranges, myrtles, to save them; so we may house our own country plants, to forward them, and make them come in the cold seasons; in such sort, that you may have, violets, strawberries, peas, all winter: so that you sow or remove them at fit times. This experiment is to be referred unto the comforting of the spirit of the plant by warmth, as well as housing their boughs, etc. So then the means to accelerate germination, are in particular eight, in general three.
Experiments in consort touching the putting back or retardation of germination.
413. To make roses, or other flowers come late, it is an experiment of pleasure. For the ancients
396. SIXTHLY, you may make a judgment of waters according to the place whence they spring or come the rain-water is, by the physicians, esteemed the finest and the best; but yet it is said to putrify soonest; which is likely, because of the fineness of the spirit and in conservatories of rain-water, such as they have in Venice, etc. they are found not so choice waters; the worse, perhaps, because they are covered aloft, and kept from the sun. Snow-water is held unwholesome; insomuch as the people that dwell at the foot of the snow mountains, or otherwise upon the ascent, especially the women, by drinking of snowwater, have great bags hanging under their throats. Well-water, except it be upon chalk, or a very plentiful spring, maketh meat red; which is an ill sign. Springs on the tops of high hills are the best: for both they seem to have a lightness and appetite of mounting; and besides, they are most pure and unmingled; and again, are more percolated through a great space of earth. For waters in valleys join in effect under ground with all waters of the same level; whereas springs on the tops of hills pass through a great deal of pure earth with less mixture of other
397. SEVENTHLY, judgment may be made of waters by the soil whereupon the water runneth; as pebble is the cleanest and best tasted; and next to that, clay-water; and thirdly, water upon chalk; fourthly, that upon sand; and worst of all upon mud. Neither may you trust waters that taste sweet; for they are commonly found in rising grounds of great cities; which must needs take in a great deal of filth.
Experiment solitary touching the temperate heat under the equinoctial.
398. IN Peru, and divers parts of the West Indies, though under the line, the heats are not so intolerable as they be in Barbary, and the skirts of the torrid zone. The causes are, first the great breezes which the motion of the air in great circles, such as are under the girdle of the world, produceth; which do refrige