John Baptista Porta
(Giambattista della Porta)
The Second Book of Natural Magick
"Showing how living creatures of diverse kinds, may be mingled and coupled
together, that from them, new and yet profitable kinds of living creatures
may be generated."
Chapter I - "The first Chapter treats of Putrefaction, and of a strange
manner of producing living creatures."
Chapter II - "Of certain earthly Creatures, which are generated of
Chapter III - "Of certain Birds, which are generated of the Putrefaction of
Chapter IV - "Of Certain fishes which are generated of putrefaction."
Chapter V - "That new kinds of living creatures may be generated of diverse
beasts, by carnal copulation."
Chapter VI "How there may be dogs of great courage, and diverse rare
properties, generated of diverse kinds of beasts."
Chapter VII "How to generate pretty little dogs to play with."
Chapter VIII - "How to amend the defects and lacks that are in dogs, by
Chapter IX "How to bring forth diverse kinds of Mules."
Chapter X "How to mingle the Sheep and Goats together, by generation."
Chapter XI "How to bring forth diverse kinds of Mules."
Chapter XII - "Of sundry copulation's, whereby a man genders with sundry
kinds of beasts."
Chapter XIII - "That diverse kinds of birds may be generated of diverse
birds coupling together."
Chapter XIV - "Diverse commixtions of Hens with other Birds."
Chapter XV - "How to generate Hawks of diverse properties"
Chapter XVI - "Of the commixtion of diverse kinds of fishes"
Chapter XVII - "How we may produce new and Strange Monsters."
Chapter XVIII - "Of certain other ways how to produce monstrous births"
Chapter XIX - "Of the wonderful force of imagination; and how to produce
Chapter XX - "How it may be wrought, that Women should bring forth fair and
Chapter XXI - "How we may procure either males or females to be generated."
Chapter XXII - "Of diverse experiments that may be, and have been, practiced
upon diverse living creatures."
Having wandered beyond my bounds, in the considerations of causes and their
actions, which I thought fit to make the subject of my first book. It will
be time to speak of those operations, which we have often promised, that we
may not too long keep off from them those ingenious men that are very
desirous to know them. Since that we have said, That Natural Magick is the
top, and the complete faculty or Natural Science, in handling it, we will
conclude within the compass of this volume, whatsoever is high, noble,
choice, and notable, that is discovered in the large field of Natural
History. But that we may perform this, I shall reduce all those secrets into
their proper place, and that no thing may be thrust out of its own rank, I
shall follow the order of sciences. And I shall first divide them into
Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and I shall begin with the Natural, for I
hold that most convenient, that all may arise from those things that are
simple, and not so laborious, to Mathematical Sciences. I shall from animals
first proceed to plants, and so by steps to mineral, and other works of
nature. I shall briefly describe fountains, also whence flow springs, and I
shall annex thereto the reasons, and the causes, that industrious men made
acquainted with this, may find out more of themselves. And because there are
two generations of animals and plants, one of themselves, the other by
copulation. I shall first speak of such as are bred without copulation, and
next, of such as proceed from copulation one with another, that we may
produce new living creatures, such as the former ages never saw. I shall
begin therefore with Putrefaction, because that is the principle to produce
new creatures, not only from the variety of simples, but of mixed bodies. I
thought fit to leave none out, though they be of small account, since there
is nothing in nature, appear it never so small, wherein there is not
something to be admired.
"The first Chapter treats of Putrefaction, and of a strange manner of
producing living creatures."
Efore we come to show that new living creatures are generated of
Putrefaction, it is necessary to rehearse the opinions of ancient
philosophers concerning the matter whereof though we have spoken elsewhere,
in the description of plants, yet for the readers ease, we will here
rehearse some of them, to show that not only imperfect, but perfect living
creatures too, are generated of Putrefaction. Porphyry thought that living
creatures were begotten of the bowels of the earth soaked in water, and
quickened by the heat of the Sun. Of the same mind were Archelaus, the
Athenian, Anaxagoras, Clazomensus, and Euripides his scholar. Cleodemus,
and after him Theophrastus, thought that they came of putrefied water mixed
with earth, and the colder and fouler the water was, the worse it was for
their generation. Diodorus, and many other good philosophers hold, that all
living creatures did arise of Putrefaction. For whereas in the beginning of
the world, the heavens, and earth, and Elements were settled in their
natural places, the earth being left slimy and soft in many places, and then
dried and stricken with the heat of the Sun, brought forth certain tumors
and swellings in the surface and uppermost parts. In these tumors were
contained and cherished many Putrefactions and rotten clods, covered over
with certain small skins, this putrefied stuff, being moistened with dew by
night, and the Sun heating it by day, after a certain season became ripe,
and the skins being broken, thence issued all kinds of living creatures,
whereof, they that had quickest heat, became Birds, the earthy ones became
creeping beasts, the waterish ones became Fishes in the sea, and they which
were mean, as it were, between all these, became walking-creatures. But the
heat of the Sun still working upon the earth, hindered it from begetting and
bringing forth any more such creatures, but then, the creatures before
generated coupled together, and brought forth others like themselves. Avicen
na, in that work of his which he made of deluges and floods, holds, that
after the great floods that drowned the earth, there was no mans seed, but
then, man, and all living creatures else, were generated of rotten
carcasses, only by the virtue of the Sun. And therefore he supposes, that
the womb, and such needful places framed by nature, for the better
fashioning of the infant, are not needful to the procreation of man. He
proves his assertion by this, that Mice, which arise of Putrefaction, do
couple together, and beget store of young, yes, and serpents are generated
chiefly of woman's hair. And is his book of living creatures, he tells of a
friend of his, that brought forth scorpions after a strange manner, and
those did beget others. Averroes held, that the stars were sufficient to
generate imperfect creatures, as mice, bats, moles, and such like, but not
to generate men, or Lions. And daily experience teaches us, that many living
creatures come of the putrefied matter of the earth. And all the Ancients
supposing all things to be produced out of the earth, called it the mother
of all, the Greeks called it Dimitera. Ovid has very elegantly set down
this generation of Putrefaction, under the fable of Pytho, that the earth
brought forth of its own accord, many living creatures of diverse forms, the
heat of the Sun enlivening those moistures that lay in the tumors of the
earth, like fertile seeds in the belly of the mother, for heat and moisture
being tempered together, causes generation. So then, after the deluge, the
earth being now moist, the Sun working upon it, diverse kinds of creatures
were brought forth, some like the former, and some of a new shape.
"Of certain earthly Creatures, which are generated of Putrefaction."
Plants and living creatures agree both in this, that some of them are
generated of seed, and some of them nature brings forth of her own accord,
without any seed of the same kind, some out of putrefied earth and plants,
as those creatures that are divided between the head and the belly, some out
of the dew that lies upon leaves, as Canker-worms, some out of mud, as
shell-creatures, and some out of living creatures themselves, and the
excrement's of their parts as Lice. We will only rehearse some which the
Ancients have set down, that so we may also learn how to procreate new
creatures. And first let us see how:
"Mice are generated of Putrefaction."
Diodorus says, that near to the city Thebais in Egypt, when Nilus
overflowing is past, the Sun heating the wet ground, the chaps of the earth
send forth great store of Mice in many places, which astonishes men to see,
that the fore-part of the mice should live and be moved, whereas their
hinder parts are not yet shaped. Pliny says, that after the swaging of
Nilus, there are found little Mice begun to be made of earth and water,
their fore-parts living, and their hinder parts being nothing but earth.
Aelianus says, that a little rain in Egypt, engenders many Mice , which
being scattered everywhere in their fields, eat down their Corn, and devour
it. And so it is in Pontus, but by their prayers to God, they are consumed.
Macrobious and Avicenna say, that the Mice so generated, do increase
exceedingly by coupling together. Aristotle found out, that a kind of
field-mice increases wonderfully, so that in some places they did suddenly
eat up whole fields of Corn. Inasmuch that many husbandmen appointing to
reap their corn on the morrow, when they came with their reapers, found all
their Corn wasted. And as these mice are generated suddenly, so they are
suddenly consumed, in a few days, the reason whereof cannot be so well
assigned. Pliny could not find how it should be, for neither could be they
be found dead in the fields, neither alive within the earth in the winter
time. Diodorus and Aelianus write, that these field-mice have driven many
people of Italy out of their own country. They destroyed Cosas, a city of
Herturia. Many came to Troas, and thence drove out the inhabitants.
Theophrastus and Varro write, "that mice also made the inhabitants of the
island Gyarus to forsake their country," and the like is reported of
Heraclea in Pontus, and of other places.
"Frogs are wonderfully generated of rotten dust and rain."
Likewise also for a summer shower lighting upon the putrefied sands of the
shore, and dust of the highways, engenders Frogs. Aelianus, going from
Naples to Italy, to Puteoli, saw certain Frogs, that their fore-parts moved
and went upon two feet, while yet their hinder parts were unfashioned, and
drawn after like a clot of dirt. And Ovid, says, one part live, the other is
earth still. And again, mud engenders Frogs that sometimes lack feet. The
generation of them is so easy, and sudden, that some write it has rained
Frogs, as if they were gendered in the air. Phylarchus in Athenaus writes
so, and Heraclides Lembus writes, `that it rained Frogs about Dardany and
Poeonia, so plentifully, that the very ways and houses were full of them.
And therefore the inhabitants, though for a few days at the first they
endured it, started killing the Frogs and shutting up their houses, yet
afterward when they saw it to no purpose, but they could neither use water,
nor boil meat, but Frogs would be in it, nor so much as tread upon the
ground for them, they quite forsook their countries, as Diodorus and
Eustathius write. The people Autharidae in Thespratia, were driven out of
their country, by certain imperfect Frogs that fell from heaven. But it is a
strange thing that;
"Red Toads are generated of dirt, and of women's flowers."
In Dariene, a Province of the new world, the air is most unwholesome, the
place being muddy and full of stinking marshes, nay, the village is itself a
marsh, where Toads are presently gendered of the drops wherewith they water
their houses, as Peter Martyr writes. A Toad is likewise generated of a Duck
that has lain rotting under the mud, as the verse shows which is ascribed to
the Duck , "When I am rotten in the earth, I bring forth Toads. Happily
because they and I both, are moist and foul creatures." Neither is it hard
to generate Toads of women's putrefied flowers, for women do breed this kind
of cattle, together with their children, as Celius Aurelianus and Platearius
call them, Frogs, Toads , Lizards, and such like. And the women of Salerium,
in times past, were wont to use the juice of Parsley and Leeks, at the
beginning of their conception, and especially about the time of their
quickening, thereby to destroy this kind of vermin with them. A certain
woman lately married, being in all men's judgment great with child, brought
forth instead of a child, four creatures like to Frogs, and after had her
perfect health. But this was a kind of a Moon-Calf, Paracletes said, that if
you cut a Serpent in pieces, and hide him in a vessel of Glass, under the
mud, there will be gendered many Worms, which being nourished by the mud,
will grow every one as big as a Serpent, so that of one Serpent may be a
hundred generated. And the like holds of other creatures. I will not gainsay
it, but only thus, that they do not gender the same Serpents. And so, he
said, you may make them of a woman's flowers, and so, he says, you may
generate a Basilisk, that all shall die which look upon him. But this is a
stark lie. It is evident also, that;
"Serpents may be generated of mans Marrow, of the hairs of a menstrual woman
and of a Horse-tail, or mane."
We read, that in Hungary, by the river Theisa, Serpents and Lizards did
breed in men's bodies, so that three thousand men died of it. Pliny writes,
that about the beginning of the wars against the Marsi, a maid-servant
brought forth a Serpent. Avicenna in his book of deluges, Serpents, that
Serpents are gendered of women's hairs especially, because they are
naturally moister and longer then men's. We have experienced also, that the
hair of Horse's mane laid in the waters, will become Serpents. And our
friends have tried the same. No man denies but that Serpents are easily
gendered of mans flesh, especially of his marrow. Aelianus says, that a dead
mans back-marrow being putrefied, becomes a Serpent. And so of the meekest
living creature arises the most savage. And that evil men's backbones do
breed such monsters after death, Ovid shows, that many hold it for a truth.
Pliny received it of many reports, that Snakes gendered of the Marrow of
men's backs. Writers also show;
"How a Scorpion may be generated of Basil."
Florentinus the Grecian says, that Basil chewed and laid in the Sun, will
engender Serpents. Pliny adds, that if you rub it, and cover it with a
stone, it will become a Scorpion, and if you chew it, and lay it in the Sun,
it will bring forth Worms. And some say, that if you stamp a handful of
Basil, together with ten Crabs or Crevices, all the Scorpions thereabouts
will come unto it. Avicenna tells of a strange kind of producing a Scorpion,
but Galen denies it to be true. But the body of a Crab-fish is strangely
turned into a Scorpion. Pliny says, that while the Sun is in the sign
Cancer, if the bodies of those Fishes lie dead upon the land, they will be
turned into Scorpions. Ovid says, if you take off the Crab's arms, and hide
the rest in the ground, it will be a Scorpion. There is also a;
"Creature that live but one day, bred in Vinegar."
day, they are called Homerobion, a Daysbird. So the;
"Pyrigones be generated in the fire,"
Certain little flying beasts, so called, because they live and are nourished
in the fire, and yet they fly up and down in the air. This is strange, but
that is more strange, that as soon as ever they come out of the fire, into
any cold air, presently they die. Likewise,
"The Salamander is gendered of the water,"
For the Salamander itself genders nothing, neither is there any male or
female among them, nor yet among Eels, nor any kind else, which does not
generate of themselves either egg or young, as Pliny notes. But now we will
speak of a most excellent generation, namely, how;
"Bees are generated of an Ox."
Aelianus writes, that Oxen are commodious many ways, among the rest, this is
one excellent commodity, that being dead, there may be generated of them a
very profitable kind of creatures, namely Bees. Ovid says it, that as all
putrefied bodies are turned into some small living creatures, so Oxen
putrefied do generate bees. Florentinus the Grecian says, that Jubas King of
Africa, taught how to make Bees in a wooden Ark. Democritus and Varro show a
cruel manner of making Bees in a house. But it is a very ready way. Chose a
house ten cubits high, and ten cubits broad, square every way. But let there
be but one entrance into it, and four windows, on each side one. But in this
room an Ox, about two or three years old, let him be fat and fleshy. Then
set to him a company of lusty fellow, to beat him so cruelly, that they kill
him with their cudgels, and break his bones withal. But they must take great
heed that they draw no blood of him, neither must they strike him too
fiercely at the first. After this, stop up all the passages of the Ox his
nostrils, eyes, mouth, and necessary places of evacuation, with fine Linen
Clouts besmeared with Pitch. Then cast a great deal of Honey under him,
being laid with his face upwards, and let them all go forth, and daub up the
door and the windows with thick Loam, so that no wind, nor air can get in.
Three weeks after, open the room, and the light and air come in, except
there where the wind would blow in too violently. And when you see that the
matter is through cold, and has taken air enough, then shut up the door and
windows as before. About eleven days after, open it again, and you shall
find the room full of Bees clotted together, and nothing of the Ox
remaining, beside the horns, the bones and the hair. They say that the kings
of the companies are generated of the brain, the other of the flesh, but the
chief kings of all, of the Marrow, yet those that come of the brain, are
most of them greater, handsomer, and better-colored then the rest. When you
open the room first, you shall find the flesh turned into small, white and
unperfected creatures, all of the same shape, but as yet only growing, and
not moving. Afterward, at the second opening, you may see their wings grown,
the right color of Bees in them, and how they fit about their kings, and
flutter about, especially toward the windows, where they would enjoy their
desired light. But it is best to let them light by the windows every other
day. This same experiment, Virgil has very elegantly set down in the same
manner. Now as the best kind of Bees are generated of a young Ox, so a more
base kind of them is brought forth of the dead flesh of baser creatures.
"That Wasps are generated of an Horse,"
When his carcass is putrefied, the Marrow of him brings forth Wasps. A swift
kind of fowl, from a swift kind of beast. Ovid says, that Hornets are thence
generated, and Isiodore derives crabronem a' cabo, id est caballo, a Hornet
of a Horse, because they are brought forth of Horse. Pliny and Virgil say,
that Wasps and Hornets both, are generated of the flesh of dead Horses. In
"Drones come of Mules,"
As Isiodore affirms. And the Drone is called Fucus quafi Fagos, because he
eats that which he never labored for. But others hold that the Locusts, and
not Drones, are generated of Mule's flesh. So also, of the basest beast
comes the basest fowl.
"The Beetle is generated of the Ass,"
As Pliny writes. Isiodore says, they come of swift Dogs. Aelianus says, they
have no female, but lay their feed in a clot of earth for 28 days, and then
bring forth young out of it.
"Of certain Birds, which are generated of the Putrefaction of Plants."
Olaus Magnus, in the description of the north countries of Europe, reports
that about Scotland, there be certain Birds generated of the fruit of a
tree. Munster says, there are certain trees which bring forth a fruit
covered over with leaves, which, if it fall into the water under it, at the
right season, it lives, and becomes a quick bird, which is called Avis
arborea. Neither is this any new tale, for the ancient Cosmographers,
especially Saxo Grammaticus, mentions the same tree. Late writers report,
that not only in Scotland, but in the River of Thames also by London, there
is a kind of shellfish in a two-leafed shell, that has a foot full of plaits
and wrinkles. These Fish are little, round, and outwardly white, smooth and
brittle shelled, like an almond shell, inwardly they are great bellied, bred
as it were of moss and mud. They commonly stick on the keel of some old
ship, where they hang together like mushroom stalks, as if there were
thereby nourished. Some say, they come of Worms, some of the boughs and
branches of trees which fall into the sea, if any of these be cast upon
shore, they die; but they which are swallowed still into the sea, live, and
get out of their shell, and grow to be Ducks or such like Birds. Gesner
says, that in the islands of Hebrides, the same;
"Birds are generated of putrefied wood."
If you cast wood into the sea, first after a while there will certain Worms
breed in it, which by little and little become like Ducks , in the head,
feet, wings and feathers, and at length grow to be a big as Geese. And when
they are come to their full growth, they fly about in the air, as other
birds do. As soon as the wood begins first to be putrefied, there appears a
great many Worms, some unshaped, others being in some parts perfect, some
having feathers, and some none. Paracelsus says, As the yolk and white of an
Egg, becomes a chick by the heat of a Hen, so a bird burnt to ashes, and
shut up in a vessel of Glass, and so laid under the mixture, will become a
filmy humor, and then, if it be laid under a Hen, is enliven by her heat,
and restored to herself like a Phoenix. Ficinus reports, and he had it out
of Albertus, that there is a certain bird, much like a Blackbird, which is
generated of the Putrefaction of Sage, which receives her life and
quickening from the general life of the whole world.
"Of Certain Fishes which are generated of Putrefaction."
Having first spoken of earthly creatures, and then of fowls, now we will
speak of Fishes so generated. And first how;
"Eels are generated."
Among them there is neither male or female, nor Eggs, nor any copulation,
neither there was there ever seen in any of them, any passage fit to be a
womb. They have bred often in certain muddy pools, even after all the water
and mud has been gone, only by rain-water. Neither indeed do they ever breed
without rain, though they have never so much water otherwise, or it is the
rain, both that begets and nourishes them, as Aristotle writes. They are
also generated of putrefied things. Experience that proved, that a dead
Horse thrown into a standing pool, has brought forth a great store of Eels,
and the like has been done by the carcasses of other creatures. Aristotle
says, they are generated of the garbage of the earth, which he says, arises
in the sea, in rivers, and in pools, by reason chiefly of Putrefaction, but
it arises in the sea by reason of Reeds, in pool and rivers, it arises by
the bank side, for there the heat is more forcible to cause Putrefaction.
And a friend of mine filled certain wooden vessels with water, and Reeds,
and some other water-herbs, and set them in the open air, having first
covered them with a weighty stone, and so in short time generated Eels. Such
is the generation of,
"Groundlings out of foam and froth,"
Which Fish the Greeks call Aphya, because rain breeds it. Many of them breed
of the foam that rises out of the sandy channel, that still goes and comes
at all times, till at last it is dissolved, so that this kind of Fish breeds
all times of the year, in shadowy and warm places, when the soil is heated,
as in Attica, near to Salamnia, and in Marathon, where Themistocles got his
famous victory. In some places, this Fish breeds of some by the help of the
rain, and swims on the top of the water in the foam, as you see little worms
creep on the top of the mud. Athenaus says, this Fish is consecrated to
Venus, because she also comes of the froth of the sea, whence she is called
Aphrodite. Aelianus says, these Fish neither do beget, nor are begotten,
but only come of the mud. For when dirt is clotted together in the sea, it
waxes very black and filmy, and then receives heat and life after a
wonderful manner, and so is changed into very many living creatures, and
namely into Groundlings . When the waves are too boisterous for him, he
hides himself in the cleft of some rock, neither does he need any food. And
Oppianus makes the very same description of him, and of their generation.
There is a kind of these Fishes, called Mullet-Groundlings, which is
generated of mud and sand, as has been tried in many marsh places, among the
rest in Hindus, where in the Dog-days, the lakes, being dried up, so that
the mud was hard, as soon as ever they began to be full of rain water again,
were generated little Fishes, a kind of Mullet, about the bigness of little
Cackrels, which had neither seed nor egg in them. And in some parts of Asia,
at the mouth of the Rivers into the sea, some of a bigger size are
generated. And as the Mullet-Groundlings comes of mud, or a sandy loam, as
Aristotle writes, so it is to be thought, that the Cackrel-groundling comes
thereof also. It seems too, that,
"A Carp is generated of Putrefaction,"
Especially of the putrefied mud of sweet water. For it is experienced, that
in certain lakes, compassed about with hills, where there is no well, nor
river, to moisten it, but only the rain, after some few showers, there has
been great store of Fish, especially carp. But there are some of this kind
generated by copulation. There are also in certain particular lakes,
particular kinds of Fishes, as in the Lemane, and the Benacian lakes, there
be diverse kind of Carp, and other such Fish. Likewise are certain,
"Earthly Fishes generated of Putrefaction."
Pliny reports, that in Paphlagonia, they dig out of deep ditches, certain
earthly Fishes very good to be eaten, and it is so in places where there is
no standing water, and he wonders that they should be generated without copu
lation. But surely it is by virtue of some moisture, which he ascribes to
the wells, because in some of them Fishes are found. Likewise,
"Shellfish are generated of the frothy mud,"
Or else merely of the Saltwater, for they have neither seed, nor male, nor
female, the hardness and closeness of their shells, hindering all things
from touching or rubbing their inward parts, which might be fit for
generation. Aristotle says, they breed all of themselves, which appears by
this, that often they breed in ships, of a frothy mud putrefied. And in many
places, where no such thing was before, many shellfishes have bred, when
once the place waxed muddy, for lack of moisture. And that these Fishes emit
no seed or generative matter, it appears, because that when the men of
Chios, had brought out of Lesbos many oysters, and cast them into lakes near
the sea, there were found no more then were cast in. Only they were somewhat
greater. So then Oysters are generated in the sea, in rivers and in lakes,
and therefore are called Limnoslrea, because they breed in muddy places.
Oppianus writes also, that they have neither male nor female, but are
generated of themselves and their own accord, without the help of any
copulation. So the Fish called Ortica, and the Purple, and Muscles, and
Scallops, and Perwincles, and Limpins, and all shellfish are generated of
mud. For they cannot couple together, but live only as plants live. And look
how the mud differs, so does it bring forth different kinds of Fishes. Dirty
mud genders Oysters, sandy mud Perwincles, the mud in the rocks breeds
Holoturia, Lepades, and such-like. Limpins, as experience has shown, have
bred of rotten hedges made to Fish by, and as soon as the hedges are gone,
there have been found no more Limpins.
"That new kinds of living creatures may be generated of diverse beasts, by
We have shown that living creatures are generated of Putrefaction. Now we
will show, that sundry kinds of beasts coupling together, may bring forth
new kinds of creatures, and these also may bring forth others, so that
infinite monsters may be daily gendered. For whereas Aristotle says, that
Africa always brings forth some new thing, the reason thereof is this,
because the country being in most places dry, diverse kinds of beasts come
out of sundry quarters thither, where the rivers were, and there partly for
lust, and partly by constraint, coupled together, and so gendered diverse
monstrous creatures. The Ancients have set down many such generations, and
some are lately devised, or found out by chance, and what may be hereafter,
let men of learning judge. neither let the opinions of some philosophers
stay us, which hold that of two kinds diverse in nature, a third cannot be
made, unlike to either of the parents, and that some creatures do not gender
at all, as Mules do not. For we see, that, contrary to the first of these
their positions, many creatures are generated of kinds diverse in nature,
and of these are generated others, to the perpetual coupling together, have
brought forth other new kinds, differing from their progenitors every day
more and more, as they multiply their copulation's, till at length they are
scarce in anything like the former. And against their second position, we
must not think that the one example of Mules not gendering, should prejudice
the common course of other creatures. The commissions or copulation's, have
diverse uses in Physic, and in domestic affairs, and in hunting. For hereby
many properties are conveyed into many creatures. First, we will rehearse
those experiments, which the Ancients have described, and then those which
new writers have recorded, and ourselves have seen in diverse countries. And
by this, the ingenious reader may find out others. But first I will relate
certain observations, which Aristotle and others have prescribed, that this
generation may be more easily wrought. First, the creatures thus coupled,
must be of an equal pitch, for if there be great odds in their bigness, they
cannot couple. A Dog and a Wolf, a Lion and a Panther, an Ass and a Horse, a
Partridge and a Hen, are of one bigness, and therefore may couple together,
but a Horse and a Dog, or a Mare and an Elephant, or a Hen and a Sparrow
cannot. Secondly, they must have one and the same space to bring forth in.
For if one of them bring forth in twelve months, and the other in six, then
the young will be ripe by one side, when it is but half ripe by the other. A
Dog must have two months, and a Horse must have twelve. And the philosopher
says, no creature can be born, except he have his full time. So then a Dog
cannot be born of a man, nor a Horse of an Elephant, because they differ in
the time of their bearing. Again, the creatures which we would thus couple,
must be one as lustful as the other. For a chaste creature, that uses
coition but once a year, if he have not his female at that time, he loses
his appetite before he can fancy any other mate. But those which are full of
lust, will eagerly couple with another kind as well as their own. Among
four-footed beasts, a Dog, a Goat, a Swine, an Ass, be most lascivious,
among birds, Partridge, Quails, Dove, Sparrows. Moreover, they must be
coupled at such a time as it fit for generation. For nature has prescribed
certain times and ages fit for that work. The common time, is the Spring,
then almost all creatures are prone to lust. The ages of them must likewise
be fit. For the generative power comes to creatures, at a set age. Neither
of them must be barren, not weak, nor too young, for then their seed is
unfit for generation. But both of them, if it may be, in the prime of their
best age and strength. If any creatures want appetite thereunto, there be
many slights, whereby we may;
"Make them eager in lust."
And if the female do cast out the seed, there be means to make her hold in
it. Encouragements to lust there are many set down by writers, and some
usual with us. Aelianus writes, that the keeper of Sheep, and Goats, and
Mares, do besmear their hands with Salt and Nitre, and then rub the
generative parts of them in the time of their coition, for their more
lustful and eager performance of that action. Others besmear them with
Pepper, otherwise with Nettle seed, others with Myrrh and Nitre, all of them
kindle the appetite of the female, being well rubbed therewith, and make her
stand to her male. The He-goat, if you besmear their chin, and their
nostrils with sweet ointment, are thereby much inclined to lust, and
contrariwise, if you tie a thread about the middle of their tail, they are
nothing so eager of copulation. Absyrtus shows, that if you wipe off some
Nature or Seed of a Mare, and therewith besmear the nostrils of a Stallion
Horse, it will make him very lustful. Dydimus says, that if a Ram, or any
other beast, feed up the herb Milk-wort, they will become both eager to
lust, and stronger for the act of copulation. Pliny shows, that Onions
increase desire of copulation in beasts, as the herb Rotchet does in men.
The She-ass, holds the seed within her the better, if presently after
copulation she be well beaten, and her genitories besprinkled with cold
water, to make her run after it. Many such helps are recorded by those who
have written the histories of living creatures.
"How there may be Dogs of great courage, and diverse rare properties,
generated of diverse kinds of beasts."
We will first speak of Dogs, as being a most familiar creature with us, and
suiting with many beasts, in bigness, in like time of breeding, and besides,
being always ready for copulation, and very lecherous, often coupling with
beasts of a far diverse kind, and so changes his shape and fashion, leaving
the bad qualities of his own kind, and is made fitter to hunt, to keep
anything from spoil, to play or make sport, and for diverse other uses. And
"A strong Indian-dog may be generated of a Tygre."
This is called by some a Mastiff, by others a Warrior, or a Hircan-Dog.
Aristotle calls them Indian-dogs, and says, they are generated of a Dog and
a Tygre, and elsewhere, of a Dog and another wild beast, but he names it
not. Pliny writes, that the Indians intending to generate Dogs of Tygres,
tie the She-Tygre in the woods about rutting time, and Dog coupling with
them engender young. But the first and second births they care not for, as
being too fierce, but the third they bring up, as being milder and fitter
for their uses. Aelianus relates the story of this kind of Dog, out of
Indian writers. That the stoutest bitches, and such as are swiftest to run,
and best to hunt, are by the shepherds tied to certain trees within the
Tygres walk. As soon as the Tygres light upon them, if they have not before
met with their prey, they devour them, but if they be full of meat, and hot
in lust, then they couple with the bitches, and so generate, not a tiered,
but a Dog, their seed degenerating into the mothers kind. And these Dogs
thus gendered, scorn to hunt a Boar, or a Hart, but a Lion they will set
gallantly upon. A noble man of India made trial of the valor of these Dogs,
before Alexander the Great, on this manner. First he set an Hart before him,
but the Dog scorning the Hart, stirred not at him, next a Boar, but neither
stirred he at the Boar, after that a Bear, but he scorned the Bear too.
Last of all, a Lion, then the Dog seeing that he had an even match in hand,
rose up very furiously, and run upon the Lion, and took him by the throat,
and stifled him. Then the Indian that showed this sport, and knew well this
Dogs valor, first cut off his tail, but the Dog cared not for his tail, in
comparison of the Lion which he had in his mouth. Next, he cut off one of
his legs, but the Dog held fast his hold still, as if it had been none of
his legs. After that, he caused another of his legs to be broken, but the
Dog still kept his hold. After that, his third leg, and yet still he kept
his hold. After that, his fourth leg, and his head was cut off from his
body, yet still it stuck fast by the teeth in the same place, where he took
his first hold. Alexander seeing this, was much grieved for the Dogs death,
and greatly amazed at his valor, that he would rather suffer his life, then
his courage to be taken from him. The Indian perceiving that, gave to
Alexander four such Dogs, and he received them as a great present, and
accepted them gladly and thankfully. And moreover, rewarded the Indian that
gave them with a Princely recompense. The same story Philes also writes. But
Diodorus Siculus and Strabo, say that Sopithes a King, gave Alexander an
hundred and fifty of these Dogs, all very huge and strong, and usually
coupling with Tygres. And Pollux writes the same. And Plutark describes the
Indian-dog, and his fight before Alexander, as it is before related. Pliny
writes, that the King of Albania gave Alexander a great Dog, wherewith he
was much delighted. But when he brought the Dog, first bears, then Boars,
and then Deer, and saw he would not touch them, being much offended that so
great a body should have so little courage, he caused him to be killed. The
King that gave him, hearing this, sent him another, and withal charged the
messenger, that he should not be tried in small matches, but either with a
Lion or an Elephant. So then, Alexander caused a Lion to be set before him,
and presently the Dog killed him. Afterward he tried him with an Elephant,
and the Dog bristled and barked at him, and assaulted him so artificially
every way, till the Elephant was giddy with turning about, and so fell down
and was killed. Gratius writes of this kind of Dog, thus generated of a
Bitch and a Tyger. There is also another kind of Dog,
"Generated of a Lion ."
And these are strong Dogs, and good hunters. Pollux says, that Arcadian dogs
first came of a Dog and a Lion, and called Lion-Dogs. And Coelius writes the
same. And Oppianus commends the Arcadian dogs, and those of Tegea, which is
a town of Acadia. This also
"A strong and swift Dog gendered of a kind of Wolf called Thos,"
which, as Aristotle writes, is in all his entrails like a Wolf's, and is a
strong beast, swift, and is wont to encounter a Lion. Pliny says, it is kind
of Wolf, Hesychius says, it is like a Wolf, Herodotus, that it is gendered
in Africa. Solinus called them Ethiopian Wolves. Nearchus calls these beasts
Tygres, and says there be diverse kinds of them. Wherefore Gratius says,
that Dogs generated of these Thoes, are strong, and fit to hunt, and calls
them half-savage, as coming of a tame Dog, and a savage kind of Wolf. There
is also a,
"Dog called Crocuta, gendered of a Dog and a Wolf."
Pliny says, that these Dogs break all things with their teeth, and presently
devour them. As the Indians join Tygres, so do the Gauls join Wolves and
Dogs together, every herd of wolves there, has a Dog for their ring-leader.
In the Country of Cyrene in Libya, Wolves do couple with Dogs, as Aristotle
and Pollux write. Galen, in his book concerning the use of parts, writes,
that a Bitch and may conceive by a He-wolf, and so the She-wolf by a Dog,
and retain each others seed, and ripen it to the bringing forth of both
kinds. Diodorus says, that the Dog which the Ethiopian calls Crocuta, is a
compound of the nature of a Dog and Wolf. When Niphus was hunting, one of
his Dogs eagerly pursued a she-wolf, and overtaking her, began to line her,
changing his fierceness into lust. Albertus says, that the great Dog called
a mastiff, is gendered of a Dog and a Wolf. I myself saw at Rome, a Dog
generated of a Wolf, and at Naples, a she-wolf of a Dog. Ovid says, that the
Dog Nape was conceived of a Wolf, and Ovid and Virgil both, mention the Dog
Lycisca, which, as Isiodore writes, are generated of Wolves and Dogs
coupling together. Coelius called these Dogs Chanides, being gendered of a
kind of Wolf called Chaos, as some suppose, whence they have that name. But
if we would generate swift Dogs, as greyhounds, we must join Dogs with some
swift beasts. As, couple Dogs and Foxes together, and they will,
"Gender swift Dogs, called Lacedamonian Dogs."
Aristotle, and out of him Galen, report, that beasts may couple together,
though they be of a diverse kind, so that their nature do not much differ,
and they be of a like bigness, and thereby suitable for their times of
breeding and bringing forth, as it is between Dogs and Wolves, of both
which, are gendered swift Dogs, called Lacedaemonian dogs. The first births
are of both kinds, but in time, after sundry interchangeable generations,
they take after the Dam, and follow the kind of the female. Pollux says,
these are called Alopecidae, Fox-dogs, as Xenophon also writes of them, and
makes them to be hunting Dogs. And surely the best and swiftest hunting
Dogs, as greyhounds, are long-headed, and sharp-snouted, as foxes are.
Hesychius and Varinus call them Dog-foxes. But now, if we would generate a
"Swift Dogs, and strong withal,"
we must make a medley of sundry kinds of Dogs together; as a Mastive and a
Greyhound gender a swift, and withal a strong Dog, as Aristotle writes, or
else couple a Dog with a wolf, or with a Lion, for both these mixtures have
hunts-men deviled, the former, to amend certain natural defects in one kind;
and the latter, to make their Dogs stronger for the game, and craftier to
spy and take advantage; as commonly, together with the properties of the
body, the qualities of the mind are derived into the young ones. Ovid
mentions such mongrels among Aetaon's Dogs. And Oppianus in his book of
hunting, counsels to join the spring-time, diverse Dogs together, if we
desire to have any excellent parts in any. As the Dogs of Elis, with them of
Arcadia, the Dogs of Crete, with them of Pannonia, Thracians, with them of
Caria, Lacedamonian with them of Tuscia, and sarmatian Dogs, with Spanish
Dogs. Thus we see, how to generate a Dog as stomachful as a Lion, as fierce
as a Tygre, as crafty as a Fox, as spotted as a Leopard, and as ravenous as
"How to generate pretty little Dogs to play with."
Because a Dog is such a familiar creature with man, therefore we will show
how to generate and bring up a little Dog, and one that will be playful.
First of the generation,
"Of little Dogs."
In times past, women were wont to esteem little Dogs in great price,
especially such as came from Malta the island situated in the Adriatic Sea,
near to Ragusius. Calimacus terms them with Melitean dogs. And Aristotle in
his 'Problems,' shows the manner of their generation, where he questions,
why among living creatures of the same kind, some have greater, and some
have smaller bodies, and there, gives two reasons: one, is the straightness
of the place where they are kept; the other, is the scarceness of their
nourishment, and some have attempted to lessen the bodies of them, even
after their birth, as they which nourish up little Whelps in small cages,
for thereby they shorten and lessen their bodies, but their parts are
prettily well knit together, as appears in Melitean dogs, for nature
performs her work, notwithstanding the place. Athenaus writes, that the
Sybarites were much delighted with Melitean dogs, which are such in the kind
of Dogs, as dwarfs are among men. They are much made of, and daintily kept,
rather for pleasure then for any use. Those that are chosen for such
purpose, are of the smallest pitch, no bigger at their best growth then a
mouse, in body well set, having a little head, a small snout, the nose
turning upward, bent so for the purpose when they were young; long ears,
short legs, narrow feet, tail somewhat long, a shagged neck, with long hair
to the shoulders, the other parts being as it were shorn, in color white,
and some of them are shagged all over. These being shut up in a cage, you
must feed very sparingly, that they never have their fill, and let them
couple with the least you can find, that so less may be generated, for so
Hippocrates writes, that Northern people, by handling the heads of Dogs
while they be young, make them less then, and so they remain even after they
are come to their full growth, and in this shape they gender others, so that
they make, as it were, another kind. But if you would know the generation of
"Dog that will do tricks and feats,"
One that will make sport of himself, and leap up and down, and bark softly,
and gnaw without biting, and stand upon his rear legs, holding forth his
other legs like hands, and will fetch and carry, you must first let them
converse and company with an Ape, of whom they will learn many sportful
tricks, and let them line the ape, and the young one which is born of them
two, will be exceeding practiced to do feats, such as jugglers and players
are wont to show by their Dogs. Albertus says, that these kind of Dogs may
very well be generated of a Dog and a Fox.
"How to amend the defects and lacks that are in Dogs, by other means."
We may also supply the lacks that are in Dogs, by other means, and teach
them new qualities, even by their food and nourishment, for we have shown
often, that qualities are drawn in together with the milk and nourishment
whereby we live. Columella shows how;
"To make Dogs strong and swift."
If you would have them full of stout spirits, you must suffer them to suck
the breasts of some other beasts, for always the milk, and the spirits of
the nurse, are much available, both for the quality of the body, and the
qualities of the soul. Oppianus bids us to keep hunting Dogs from sucking
any ordinary bitches, or Goats, or Sheep, for this, says he, will make them
too lazy and weak, but they must suck a tame Lioness, or Hart, or Doe, for
so they will become swift and strong, like to their nurses that give them
suck. And Aelianus gives us the very same precept, in the very same words,
or , says he, then they shall remember that they had such strong swift
nurses, nature will make them ashamed not to resemble their qualities.
Pollux says, that for a while, the Dams milk is fittest meat for Whelps, but
after, let them lap the blood of those beasts which Dogs have caught, that
by little and little they may be acquainted with the sweetness of hunting.
Ctefias in his book of Indian matters, writes, that the people called
Cynamolgi, do nourish and feed many Dogs with Bulls blood, which afterward
being let loose at the Bulls of India, overcome them and kill them, though
they be never so fierce, and the people themselves milk their bitches, and
drink it, as we drink Goats or Sheep milk, as Aelianus reports, and Solinus
writes, that this is supposed to make that people flap-mouthed and to grin
like Dogs. We may also make...
"An Ass become courageous,"
If we take him as soon as he is brought forth into the world, and put him to
a Mare in the dark, that she may not discern him, for her own colt being
secretly taken from her, she will give suck to the Ass as to her own foal,
and when she has done thus for the space of ten days, she will give suck
always after willingly, though she know him to be none of hers. Thus shall
he be larger, and better in every way.
"How to bring forth diverse kinds of Mules."
We will speak of the commixtion of Asses, Horses, and such like, though it
be a known matter, yet it may be we shall add something which may delight
the reader. Aelianus writes out of Democritus, that Mules are not nature's
work, but a kind of theft and adultery devised by man, first committed by an
Ass of Media, that by force covered a mare, and by chance got her with foal,
which violence men learned of him, and after made a custom of it. Homer's
Scholiast says, that Mules were first devised by the Venetians, a city of
Paphlagonia. It is written in Genesis, chap. 36. v. 24 that Anah, Esau's
kinsman, feeding his fathers Asses in the wilderness, found out Mules.
"A Mule comes from a Mare and an Ass ."
They have no root in their own kind, but are grassed as it were, and
double-kinded, as Varro says. If you would have a strong and a big Mule, you
must chose a Mare of the largest size, and well-knit joints, not regarding
her swiftness, but her strength. But there is another kind of Mule called
Hinnus, that comes...
"...Of a Horse and a She-ass."
But here special choice must be made of the Ass that she be of the largest
size, strongly jointed, and able to endure any labor, and of good qualities
also, for howsoever it is the sire that gives the name to the young one, and
it is called Hinnus, of the Horse, yet it grows altogether like the Dam,
having the main and the tail of an Ass, but horses ears, and it is not so
great of body as the Mule is, but much slower, and much wilder. But the best
She-mules of all, are generated...
"...of a wild Ass, and of a She-ass,"
And these are the swiftest too, for though the muse that is begotten by the
He-ass, be both in shape and qualities very excellent in his kind, yet that
which is begotten of the wild Ass, comes nothing behind the other, but only
that is the unruly and stubborn, and somewhat scammel, like the sire. These
Mules thus gendered of a wild Ass, and a She-ass, if they be males, and put
to cover a mare, beget excellent young ones, which by little and little wax
team, resembling the shape and mildness of their sire, but the stomach and
swiftness of their grand-sire; and they have exceeding hard feet, as
Columella writes. These happily are the Mules which Aristotle writes, are
only in Syria, swift, and fertile, called by the common name of Mules,
because of their shape, though their kind be of a wild Ass. But there is a
more common kind of...
"Strong Mules gendered of a bull and an Ass..."
Which is a fourth sort of Mule found in Gratianopolis, and called by a
French name, Jumar. Gesner reports, that at the foot of the Hill Spelungus
in Rhetia, was seen a Horses gendered of a Mare and a Bull. And I myself saw
at Ferraria, certain beasts in the shape of a Mule, but they had a bulls
head, and two great knobs in stead of horns, they also a bulls eyes, and
were exceeding stomachful, and their color was black, a spectacle, wherewith
we were much delighted. I have heard, that in France, they be common, but I
could see none there, though I passed through the whole country.
"How to mingle the Sheep and Goats together, by Generation."
If we would better any qualities in a Ram, we must effect it by coupling
them with wild beasts, such as are not much unlike either in quantity or in
kind. There is a beast called...
"Musimones, gendered of a Goat and a Ram"
Pliny says, that in Spain, but especially in Corsica, there are beasts
called Musimones not much unlike to Sheep, which have Goats hair, but in
other parts, Sheep; the young ones which are gendered of them, coupling with
Sheep, are called by the Ancients, Umbri. Strabo calls them Musimones. But
Albertus calls them Musini or Musimones, which are gendered of a Goat and a
Ram. I have heard that in Rhetia, in Helvetian confines, there are generated
certain beasts, which are Goats in the hinder parts, but in the former
parts, Sheep or Rams; but they cannot live long, but commonly they die, as
soon as they are born. And that there the Rams being grown in years, are
very strong and lustful, and so often times meet with Goats, do run over
them, and that the young ones which wild Rams beget of tame Sheep, are color
like the sire, and so is their breed after them; and the wool of the first
breed is shaggy, but in their after-breed soft and tender. On the other
side, there is a beast called ...
"Cinirus, generated of a He-goat, and an Ewe, "
as the same Albertus writes of. But the best devised adultery is, to couple
in generation, and thereby to procreate young ones, of a wild and a tame
Goat . Writers affirm, that whatsoever kind has some wild, and some tame,
the wildness of them, if they couple with the tame of the same kind, is
altered in the succeeding generations; for they become tame. Columella
writes, that many wild Rams were brought out of Africa into Cales, by some
that set out games before the people, and Columella, the uncle of this
writer, bought some of them, and put them into his grounds; and when they
were somewhat tame, he let them cover his ewes. And these brought lambs that
were rough, and had the color of their sire. But these then afterward
coupling with the Ewes of Tarentum, begot lambs that had a thinner and a
softer fleece. And afterward, all their succeeding generations resembled the
color of their sires, and grand-sires, but the gentleness and the softness
of their Dams. The like is experienced in Swine. For we may bring forth..
"Of a wild and a tame Swine, the beast called Hybrides:"
for a Boar is exceeding hot is lust, and wonderfully desires coition,
inasmuch, that if the female refuses to couple with him, either he will
force her, or kill her. And surely howsoever, some wild beasts being made
tame, are thereby unfit for generation as a Goose, a Hart brought up by hand
from his birth, and a Boar is hardly fruitful in such a case. Yet there is
no kind so apt for generation, the one being wild, and the other tame, as
the kind of Swine is. And those which are thus gendered, these half-wilds,
are called Hybrides, happily because there are generated in reproachful
adultery. For hybris signifies reproach.
"Of some other commixtions, whereby other beasts of diverse kinds are
We will speak yet farther of the commixtion of diverse beasts differing in
kind, as also of other mixtures derived from these, so to find out all such
kinds.. And moreover we will show, that of their young, some take after the
sire most, and some after the Dam. An first, that ...
"A Leopard is gendered of a Libard and a Lioness."
The Lioness is reported to burn in lust, and because the Lion is not so fit
for copulation, by reason of his superfluity of heat, therefore she
entertains the Libard into the Lions bed. But when her time of bringing
forth draws near, she gets away into the mountains, and such places there
the Libard haunt. For they bring forth spotted Whelps, and therefore nurse
them in thick woods very covertly, making show to the Lions, that they go
abroad only to seek some prey. For if the Lions at any time light upon the
Whelps, they tear them in pieces, as being a bastard brood, as Philostratus
writes. In the wilds of Hircania, there are Leopards, as it were, another
kind of Panthers, which are known well enough, which couple the Lioness, and
beget Lions, but they are but base Lions, as Solinus writes. Isiodore says
that the Libard and the Lioness coupling together, procreate a Leopard, and
so make a third kind. Pliny says, that those Lions which are generated of
Libards, do want the mones of Lions. And Solinus says, that the Lion can
find out by his smell, when the Lioness has played the harlot, and seeks to
revenge it upon her with all his might. And therefore the Lioness washes
herself in some river, or else keeps aloof from him, till the scent is no
longer discernible. Now as there are two sorts of Mules, one a Horse and an
Ass an the other of an Ass and a mare, so there are two sorts of Leopards,
one of a Libard and a Lioness, the other of a Lion and a Panther, or
She-libard; that is in body like a Lion, but not in courage, this is in body
and color like a Libard, but not in stomach; for all double-kinded
creatures, take most after their mother, especially for shape and quantity
of their bodies. Claudianus says, that there is a kind of Libard, which he
calls a Water-libard, that is gendered of a mingled seed, when a strong and
vigorous Libard meets with a Lioness, and happily couples with her; and this
kind of Libard is like the sire for his spots, but his back and the
proportion of his body is like his Dam. Now there is another copulation of
the Lioness, when the...
"Hyena and the Lioness gender the beast Crocuta..."
for the Lioness is very furious in lust, ( as we have shown before) and
couples with diverse kinds of beasts. For Pliny writes, and Solinus writes
the same, that the Hyena and the Lioness of Ethiopia, gender the beast
Crocuta. Likewise the panther is a most lustful beast, and she also couples
with beasts of diverse kinds, with a wolf especially, of both which, the...
"Hycopanther, or beast called Thoes, is gendered..."
for the Panther, when her breeding time has come, goes up and down, and
makes a great noise, and thereby assembles many, both of her own kind, and
of other kinds also. And among the rest, the Wolf often meets and couples
with her, and from them is generated the beast Thoes, which resembles the
Dam in the spots of his skin, but in his looks he resembles the sire.
Oppianus says, that the Panther and the Wolf do gender this Thoes, and yet
he is of neither kind. For, says he, often the Wolf comes to the Panther 's
den, and couples with her, and thence is generated the Thoes, whose skin is
very hard, and is meddled with both their shapes, skinned like a panther,
and headed like a Wolf. There is also a Thoes gendered of a Wolf and a
female Hyena. This medley, Hesychius and Varinus have described. That of
them comes this Thoes, as the Greeks call it. The Scholiast upon Homer say,
that is like to the Hyena. And some call it Chaos. Pliny says, that this
Chaos, which by the French is called Raphium, was first set forth for a show
in the games of Pompeii the Great. And that it had spots like a Leopard, but
is fashioned like a wolf. But the Greeks make mention of a very strange
"The Baetrian Camel is gendered of a camel and a Swine.."
Didymus, in his works called Geoponica, reports, that in certain mountains
in India, Boars and Camels feed together, and so fall to copulation, and
gender a Camel. And this Camel so gendered, has a double rifting, or two
bunches upon his back. But as the Mule which is generated of a Horse and an
Ass, is in many qualities like the sire, so the Camel which is begotten of a
Boars, is strong and full of stiff bristles like a Boar, and is not so soon
down in the mud as other Camels are, but helps himself out lustily by his
own force, and will carry twice so great a burden as others. But the reason
of their name, why they are called Baetrian camel, is this, because the
first that ever was so generated, was bred in the country of Baetria.
"Of sundry copulation's, whereby a man genders with sundry kinds of beasts."
I am much ashamed to speak of it, that man being the chief of all living
creatures, should so foully disparage himself, as to couple with brute
beasts, and procreate so man half-savage monsters as are often seen. Wherein
man shows himself to be worse then a beast. I will relate some few examples
hereof, thereby to make such wicked wretches an obloquy to the world, and
their names odious to others. Plutark says, that brute beasts fall not in
love with any, but of their own kind, but man is so incensed with lust, that
he is not ashamed most villanously to couple himself with mares and goats,
and other beasts, for man is of all other creatures most lecherous, at all
seasons fit and ready for copulation, and besides, agrees with many living
creatures in his time of breeding. All which circumstances make much for the
producing of monstrous, and half-savage broods. And howsoever the mater we
speak is abominable, yet it is not fruitless, but helps much to the
knowledge of some other things in the searching out of the secrecy's of
nature. Plutark in his Tract, which he calls the Banquet of the wise men,
shows that a shepherd brought in the house of Periander,
"A babe gendered of a man and a Mare..."
Which had the hands, and neck, and head of a man, but otherwise it was like
a Horse, and it cried like a young child. Thales, as soon as he saw it, told
Periander, that he did not esteem it as a strange and monstrous thing, which
the gods had sent to portend and betoken the sedition's and commotion's
likely to ensue, as Diocese thought of it, but rather as a natural thing.
And therefore, his advice was, that either they should have no
Horse-keepers, or if they had, they should have wives of their own. The same
author (Thales) in his 'Parallels,' reports out of Agesilaus, his third book
of Italian matters, that Fulvius Stella loathing the company of a woman,
coupled himself with a Mare, of whom he begot a very beautiful maiden-child,
and she was called by a fit name, Epona. And the same Plutark reports also
"A maiden that was generated of a Man and an Ass;"
for Aristonymus Ephesius, the son of Demonstratus, could not away with a
woman's company, but made choice of an ass to lie with; and she brought him
forth after a certain time, a very comely maiden, and was exceeding
beautiful. She was called Onoscelis, that is to say, one having Ass's
thighs. And this story was gathered out of Aristotle, in the second of his
paradoxes. But Galen cannot think this possible, nay, it is scarce possible
in nature, seeing a man and an ass differ so much as they do. For if a man
should have to do with an Ass, her womb cannot receive his seed, because his
genitories are not long enough to convey it into her place of conception. Or
if it were, yet she would presently, or at least no long after, mar his
seed. Or , if she could so conceive, and bring her birth to perfection, how,
or by what food should it be nourished after birth? But, though can hardly
be, yet I do not think it altogether impossible, seeing all men are not of a
like complexion, but some may be found, whose complexion does not much
differ from Horses, and some men also have longer and larger genitories then
others have, as also some mares and asses have less and shorter genitories
then other have. And it may be to, that some celestial influence has a
stroke in it, by enlivening the seed, and causing the Dam to conceive it,
and bring it forth in due time. And because all these things do very seldom
concur together, therefore such births are very seldom seen. Aelianus writes
another story, that there was once generated...
"A half-beast of a Man and a Goat."
There was a certain young man in Sybaris, who was called Crachis, a luster
after Goats. And being over-ruled by his lust, coupled himself with a fair
Goat, the fairest he could light upon, and lived with her as his love and
Concubine, bestowing many gifts upon her, as Ivy and Rushes to eat, and kept
her mouth very sweet, that he might kiss her. He laid under her soft grass,
that she might lie easy, and sleep the better. The He-goat, the ring-leader
of the herd, seeing all this, watched his time when the young man was
asleep, and fell upon him and spoiled him. But the She-goat, when her time
was come, brought forth an infant that had the face of a man, but the thighs
of a goat. The same author writes, that...
"Women lie with He-goats, and with the Cynocephali..."
For the He-goat are so lecherous, that in the madness of their lust, they
will set upon Virgins, and by force ravish them. Herodotus in second book,
writes of a He-goat, that had to do with a woman openly, and in the sight of
many men standing by. Strabo says, that in the Mediterranean Sea, a little
without the mouth of a river near to Sebenis and Pharnix, there is an island
called Xoas, and a city within the Province of Sebenis, and the Cities
Hermopolis and Mendes, where Pan is honored for a god, and with him is
likewise honored a He-goat, and there, as Pindarus reports, He-goat have to
do with women. In the utmost corner of the winding river Nilus, says he, are
fed certain herds of Goats, and there the lecherous He-goat are mingled with
women. Aelianus also writes of the Indians, and they will not admit into
their cities any Red Apes, because they are often mad in lust towards women,
and if at any time they find such Apes, they hunt and destroy them as being
adulterous beasts. Pliny writes also, that...
"Man couples with diverse kinds of beasts..."
For some of the Indians have usual company with brute beasts, and that which
is so generated, is half a beast, and half a man.
"That diverse kinds of birds may be generated of diverse birds coupling
Before we come to speak of the commixtion of Birds, it is meant to prescribe
certain observations for the more easy creating thereof. That if we have
need to supply any defects in any Birds, we may be the better instructed how
to perform it readily, to make them fitter for our uses. We showed before
out of Aristotle, that if we would mingle creatures of diverse kinds, we
must see that they be of like bigness, of a like proportion of time for
their breeding, of a like color, but especially, that they be very
lecherous, or otherwise they will hardly insert themselves into a strange
flock. If a falconer be desirous to produce fighting Hawks, or Cocks, or
other Birds, he must first seek out good lusty males, such as be strong and
stomachful, that they may derive the same qualities into their young ones.
Next, they must procure strong and courageous females. For if but one of
them be stomachful, the young ones will rather take after the fullness and
faint-heart of the one, and after the quickness and courage of the other.
When you have thus made choice of the best breeders, before their
copulation, you must keep them together within doors, and bring them by
little and little acquainted with each other, which you may best do, by
causing them to feed and live together. Therefore you must prepare a pretty
little cottage, about ten foot long, and ten foot broad, and let all the
windows be made out toward the south, so that there may be good store of
light come in the top of the house. In the middle you must make a partition
with lattices or grates, made of osiers. And let the rods stand so far
asunder, as that the Birds head and neck may go in between them. And in one
side of the room, let the bird be alone by her self, which you would make
tame, in the other side, put the other Birds which you purpose to join in
copulation with the strange bird. So then, in the prime of the Spring, (for
that is the time wherein all creatures are most eager in lust) you must get
you fruitful Birds, and let them be of the same color, as the bird which you
desire to become tame. These you must keep certain days at the same brood as
it were, and give them their meat together, so that the strange bird may
come at it through the grate. For by this means she will learn to be
acquainted with them, as with her fellows, and will live quietly by them,
being as it were kept in prison from doing them any wrong, whereas otherwise
she would be so fierce upon the, that she would spare none, but if she
could, destroy them all. But when once by tract of time, and continual
acquaintance with his fellows, this male-bird is become somewhat gentle,
look which of the females he is most familiar with, let her be put in the
same room where he is, and give them both meat enough. And because commonly
he either kills, or does not care for the first female that is put unto him,
therefore, lest the keeper should lose all his hope, he must keep diverse
females for supply. When you perceive that he has gotten the female with
young, presently you must divorce one of them from the other, and let him in
a new mate, that he may fill her before you must feed her well till she
begins to sit on her Eggs, or put the Eggs under some other that is sitting.
And thus shall you have a young one, in all respects like the cock. But as
soon as the young ones are out of the shell, let them be brought up by
themselves, not of their mother, but of some other hen-bird. Last of all,
the females of this brood, when they be come to ripeness, that they stand to
their cock, their first of their second brood will be a very exact and
"Diverse commixtions of Hens with other Birds."
We will begin with Hens, because they are in great request with us, and as
household-Birds, always before our eyes, and besides, they may be very
profitable and gainful, if we can tell how to procreate and bring up diverse
kinds of them. Cocks are of all other most lecherous, and they spend their
seed, not only at the sight of their Hens, but even when they hear them
crake or cackle, and to repress their lust, they are often carved. They
tread and fall to their sport, almost all year long. Some Hens are very
lusty, and withal very fruitful, inasmuch that they lay three-score Eggs,
before they sit to hatch them. Yes, some that are kept in a pen, do lay
twice in one day, and some bring forth such store of Eggs, that they consume
themselves thereby, and die upon it. We will first show...
"How to couple a Partridge with a Hen."
Partridges are much given to lust, and very eager of coition, and are
mingled with other Birds of diverse kinds, and they couple between
themselves, and so have young ones, as first with hens, of whom they
procreate certain Birds, which partake of both kinds in common, for the
first brood, but in process of time, when diverse generations have
successively passed, they take merely after the mother in all respects, as
Aristotle writes. The field-cocks are usually more lustful then household
cocks are, and they tread their Hens as soon as ever they are off the roost.
But the Hens are more inclined to coition, about the middle of the day, as
Athenaus writes, out of Aelianus and Theophrastus. Of which circumstances we
may take our best advantage in coupling them with Partridges. After the same
"A Hen and a Pheasant may gender together..."
As Florentinus writes, the Pheasant and the Hen agree both in their time of
laying, either of them bringing forth Eggs one and twenty days after
conception. And though she be not so wanton as other Birds are, yet in their
treading time they are glad of coition, and not very wild, especially those
that are of the smaller sort. For these may easily be made tame, and
suffered to go among hens, but at their first taking they are very fierce,
and will often not only kill hens, but even Peacocks also. Some men bring up
Pheasants to make a game of them. But some breed them for delight and
pleasure, as I saw at Ferraria in the Princes Court, where was brought up
very great store, both of Hens and Pheasants also. And this has been an old
practice. For in Athenaus we find a saying of Ptolomy, that not only
pheasants were sent for out of Media, but the country Hens, they also
afforded good store of them, the Eggs being conceived in them by the
treading of a cock-pheasant. First then, you must take a Cock-pheasant, and
be very careful in keeping him tame among your Hens, after that you must
seek out country-hens of diverse colors, as like the color of the
hen-pheasant as you can, and let them live with the Cock-pheasant, that in
the springtime he may tread the hens, and they will bring forth speckled
Eggs, everywhere full of black spots, far greater and better then other Eggs
are. When these are hatched, you must bring up the Chickens with
Barley-flour, and some leaves of Smallage shred among it. For this is the
most delightful and nourishing food that they can have. There is also....
"A Chick gendered of a Pigeon and a Hen:"
The Pigeon must be young, for then he has more heat and desire of
copulation, and much abundance of seed, for if he is old, he cannot tread.
But young pigeons do couple at all times, and they bring forth both Summer
and Winter. I had my self at home a single Pigeon, and a Hen that had lost
her Cock. The Pigeon was of a large size, and wanton withal, the hen was but
a very small one. These lived together and in the spring-time the Pigeon
trod the hen, whereby she conceived, and in her due season laid Eggs, and
afterward hatched them, and brought forth chicken that were mixed of either
kind, and resembled the shape of them both. In greatness of body, in fashion
of head and bill, they were like a Pigeon; their feathers very white and
curled, their feet like a Hens feet, but they were overgrown with feathers,
and they made a noise like a Pigeon. And I took great pleasure in them, the
rather, because they were so familiar, that they would still sit upon the
bed, or muzzle into some woman's bosom. But there is yet another mixture,
"A Cock , and a Pea, gender the Gallo-Pavus;"
Which is otherwise called the Indian-hen, being mixed of a Cock and a Pea
(hen), though the shape of it is more like the Pea then the Cock.
"How to generate Hawks of diverse properties"
We will show some commixtions of Hawks, by the example whereof, you may
imagine of yourself the like in other Birds. And here it shall appear how we
may amend diverse faults and defects in Hawks, and engross in them some new
qualities to be derived from there sundry progenitors. And first, how...
"The bird Theocronus is gendered of a Hawk and an Eagle."
Hawks are exceeding hot in lust, and though there be diverse kinds of them,
yet they all couple together among themselves without any difference, as
Aristotle writes, they couple with Eagles, and thereby engender bastard
Eagles. Eagles are most lecherous. And whereas among other creatures, the
female is not always ready and willing to yield the male for coition. Yet
the Eagles never refuse it. Aelianus accounts ordinary and common hawks in
the kind of Eagles. Oppianus in his Ixeutica says, that there is a bird
known well enough, called Theocronus, which is generated of a male Hawk, and
a female Eagle. There is a kind of Hawk so wholly given over to lust, that
in the spring they loose all their strength. She is so lusty, that she flies
up and down to revenge herself upon those little Birds, and as many of them
as she catches, she devours. If the male of this kind do but hear the voice
of the female Eagle, presently he flies to her, and they couple together.
But he Eggs which she conceives by this base copulation, she scorns to hatch
and sit upon. And that she may not be known of it to the male Eagle, she
flies far away from him. For the male Eagle, if once he perceive that she
has played the harlot, divorces her from him, and is thoroughly revenged
upon her. These Birds are now commonly called Sea-eagles. There is also a
commixtion, whereby the Hawk mingles himself,
"With a Falcon, and with a Buzzard, and the Eagle Nifus..."
For Hawks do not only couple with their own kind, but with Falcons,
Buzzards, and Eagles of diverse kinds, as also with most of those fowls that
live upon the prey and spoil of other Birds, and according to the diversity
of those kinds , diverse kinds of Hawks are generated. Besides, they couple
with strange Falcons of other countries, and other kinds. For as soon as
they be hatched and pin-feathered, if their parents see that they are not
right Falcons, presently they beat them away, and so partly because they
cannot endure their parents rage, and partly to get their living, they fly
away into strange places, and their finding no mates of their own kind, they
seek out a mate of another kind, the most like to her own that she can meet
with, and couples with them. So then, if you have Hawks that descend from
the right and best kind, they are more easily worked with, then those that
come from a baser sort. In like manner there may be generated of diverse
kinds of fowl, as,
"The Osprey, the fowl called Ossisragi, and Ravens also."
Pliny discussing the Osprey, says, that they have no proper kind of their
own, but are descended from different sorts of eagles mingled together. And
that which comes out of the Osprey, is of the kind of Ossisragi, and that
which comes of the Ossifragi, is a kind of little Raven, and of these
afterward is generated a kind of great Raven, which have no offspring at
all. The author of which assertions before Pliny, was Aristotle in his book
of wonders. Oppianus says, that land-eagles are a bastard brood, which their
parents beat out of their nests, and so they are for a while nourished by
some other fowl, till at length they forsake the land, and seek their living
in the sea.
"Of the commixtion of diverse kinds of Fishes"
It is a very hard thing for a man to know, whether divers kinds of Fishes be
mingled together or no, because they live altogether under the waters, so
that we cannot observe their doings. Especially such as they practice
against the ordinary course of nature. But if we rightly consider that which
has been spoken before, we may easily effect their commixtion, namely, if we
take such Fishes as are much given to venery, and match those together which
are alike in bigness. In time of breeding, and in other such conditions as
were before required. Aristotle in his book of living creatures, says, that
divers Fishes in kind never mingle their seed together. Neither did ever any
man see two Fishes of divers kinds couple in generation, excepting only
"The Skate and the Ray, which engender the Rhinobatos"
which is so called of both his parents names compounded together. And out of
Aristotle, Pliny reports, that no Fish of different kinds mingle their
seeds, save only the Skate and the Ray, of both which is gendered the Fish
Rhinobatos, which is like the Ray in all his former parts, and has his name
in Greek answerable to his nature. For it is compounded of the names of both
his parents. And of this kind of Fish I never read nor heard anything
besides this. Theodorus Gaza translates the word 'Rhinobatos' into
'Squatino-raia' in Latin, that is a Skate-ray. And though some deny that
there is any such Fish surely it is found in the sea about Naples. And Simon
Portus, a very learned philosopher of Naples, did help me to the sight of
one of them, and the picture therefore is yet reserved, and it is to be
"How we may produce new and Strange Monsters."
Strange and wonderful monsters, and abortments, or untimely births, may be
gendered of living creatures, as by those ways of which we spoke of before,
namely, the commixtion of diverse kinds, so also by other means, as by the
mixture of diverse seeds in one womb, by imagination, or such like causes.
Concerning imagination, we will speak hereafter. Now at this time let us see
the ways of engendering such monsters, which the Ancients have set down,
that the ingenious reader may learn by the consideration of these ways, to
invent of himself other ways how to generate wonderful monsters. Democritus,
as Aristotle says, held that the mixture of many seeds, when one is received
into the womb before, and another not long after, so that they are meddled
and confounded together. It is the cause of the generation of many monsters,
that sometimes they have two heads, and more parts then the nature of their
kind require. Hence it is in those Birds which use often coition's, do
oftentimes bring forth such births. But Empedocles, having forecast all
scruples and doubts within himself, seems to have attained the truth in this
case. For he says, that the causes of the generation of monstrous creatures,
are these, either if the seed be too much, or if it be too little, or if it
light not in the right place, or if it be scattered into many parts, or if
the congredients be not rightly affected to procreate according to the
ordinary course of nature. And Straton assigns many reasons, why such
monsters are generated, as, because some new seed is cast upon the former,
or some of the former seed is diminished, or some parts transposed, or the
womb puffed up with wind. And some physicians say it principally to the
place of conception, which is often misplaced, by reason of inflation's.
Aristotle says, that such creatures are wont to bring forth many young ones
at one birthing, especially such as have many cells or receipts for seed in
their womb, do most commonly produce monsters. And in his Book of Problems,
he says, that large four-footed beasts, as Horses and Asses, do not produce
them so often. His reason is, because the smaller kinds, as Bitches, Sows,
Goats, and Ewes, are far more fruitful then the greater kinds are. Nature is
earnest in fashioning of a living creature, and first shapes out the
principal parts of the body. Afterwards she works sometimes more, sometimes
less, as the matter can afford which she works upon, still framing herself
thereunto. Whereby it comes to pass, that if the matter be defective, as
having but one leg, or but one eye, some exceeding the ordinary course as
having four eyes, or four arms, or four feet, and sometimes having both
sexes in them, which are called Hermaphrodites. And so, look how your art
disposes and works, and finish your beginnings. But whosoever, would bring
forth any monsters by art, thou must learn by examples, and by such
principles be directed, as here possible to be brought to pass. For if you
attempt likely matters, nature will assist you, and make good your
endeavors, and the work will much delight you. For you shall see such things
effected, as you would not think of, whereby also you may find the means to
procure more admirable effects. There be many reasons and ways whereby may
"Monsters in Man"
First, this may come by reason of inordinate or unkindly copulation's, when
the seed is not conveyed into the due and right places. Again, it may come
by the narrowness of the womb, when there are two young ones in it, and for
want of room, are pressed and grow together. Again, it may come by the
marring of those thin skins of partition, which nature has framed in a
woman's womb, to distinguish and keep asunder the young ones. Pliny writes,
that in the year of Caius Lalius and Lucius Domitus Consulship, there was
born a maid-child that had two heads, four hands, and was of double nature
in all respects. And a little before that, a woman servant brought forth a
child, that had four feet, and four hands, and four eyes, and as many ears,
and double natured in every way. Philostratus in the life Apollonius writes,
that there was born in Sicily, a boy having two heads. I myself saw at
Naples, a boy alive, out of whose breast came forth another boy, having all
his parts, but that his head only stuck behind in the other boy's breast,
and thus they had stuck together in their mothers womb, and their hands and
four feet, with six fingers on one hand, and six toes upon one foot, and
monstrous diverse other ways, which here were too long to discuss. By the
like causes may,
"Monsters be generated in Beasts"
We have shown before, that such beasts as bring forth many young ones at one
birthing, especially such as have many cells or receipts in their womb for
seed, do most often produce monsters. Nicocreon, the Tyrant of Cyprus, had a
Hart with four horns. Aelianus saw an Ox that had five feet, one of them in
his shoulder, so absolutely made, and so conveniently placed, as it was a
great help to him in his going. Livy says, that at Seffa-Arunca, a city of
Italy, there was birthed a Lamb that had two heads, and at Apolis, another
Lamb having five feet, and there was a Kitling with but three feet. Rhases
reports, that he saw a Dog, having three heads. And there be many other like
matters which I have no pleasure to speak of. But it may be seen that...
"Monsters in Birds may be more easily produced"
Both in respect that they are more given to lust, and because also they bear
in their bodies many Eggs at once, whereby, they may stick together, and
easily cleave each to other. And besides this, those Birds that are by
nature very fruitful, are wont to lay Eggs that have two yellow yolks. For
these causes, Columella and Leontinus the Greek, give counsel to air and
purge the houses where the Hens are, and their nests, yes, and the very Hens
themselves, with brimstone, and Pitch, and torches, and many do lay a plate
of Iron, or some nail heads, and some Bay-tree boughs upon their nests, for
all these are supposed to be very good preservatives against monstrous and
prodigious births. And Columella reports farther, that many do strew straw
Grass, and Bay-tree boughs, and heads of Garlic, and Iron nails in the Hen's
nests. All of which are supposed to be good remedies against thunder, that
it may not mar their Eggs, and these also do spoil all imperfect Chickens,
if there be any, before they grow to any ripeness. Aelianus reports out of
Apion, that in the time of Oeneus King of the South, there was seen a crane
that had two heads; and in another king's days, another bird was seen that
had four heads. We will show also how to hatch...
"A Chicken with four wings and four feet"
Which we learn out of Aristotle. Among Eggs, there are often some that have
two yolks, if the hens are fruitful. For two conceptions cling and grow
together, as being very near each to each other, the like where we may see
in the fruits of trees, many of them being twins, and growing into each
other. Now, if the two yolks be distinguished by a small skin, they yield
two perfect Chickens without any blemish. But if the yolks be meddled one
with another, without any skin to part them, then that which is produced
thereof is a monster. Seek out therefore some fruitful hens, and procure
some of the most perfect Eggs that they may lay. You may know them against
the Sun, and you shall discern, both whether there be in them two yolks, and
also whether they be distinguished or not. And if you find in them such
plenty of matter, that you see they are for your turn, let them be sat upon
their full time. And the Chickens produced will have four wings and four
feet. But you must have special care in bringing them up. And as some Eggs
have two yolks, so there are some that have three. But these are not so
common, and if they could be gotten, they would yield Chickens with six
wings and six legs, which would be more wonderful. There has been seen a
small Duck with four feet, having a small thin bill, her foreparts black,
her hinder-parts yellow, a black head, whitish eyes, black low feet, and not
standing far asunder; and she is at this day kept to be seen at Torga. No
question but she was generated after the same manner as we spoke even now of
Chickens. So they report of a Pigeon that was seen which had four feet. And
many such monsters we have often hatched at home for pleasure sake. So also
are serpents generated, having many heads and many tails. Aristotle writes,
of certain serpents, that they may be generated after the same manner, to
have many heads. The Poets, and the ancient devisors of Fables, do speak
much of that, Hydra Lernaea which was one of Hercules labors to overcome.
Which fiction was without all question occasioned by these kinds of
monsters. And while I was in Naples a Viper was seen alive, which had two
heads, and three cloven tongues, and moved every one of them up and down. I
myself have seen many lizards that had two or three tails, which the common
people most foolishly esteem to be a jest, and it cannot be but these were
generated of such Eggs as had two yolks.
"Of certain other ways how to produce monstrous births"
We may also produce monsters by another way then that which we spoke of
before, for even after they are brought forth, we may fashion them into a
monstrous shape, even as we list. For as we may shape young fruits as they
grow, into the fashion of any vessel or case that we make for them to grow
into, as we may make a Quince like a mans head, a Cucumber like a Snake, by
making a case of that fashion for them to grow in, so also we may do try the
births of living creatures. Hippocrates in his book of Air, and Water, And
Places, does precisely set down the manner hereof, and shows how they do it,
that dwell by the river Phafis, all of them being very long-headed, whereas
no other nation is so besides. And surely custom was the first cause that
they had such heads, but afterward nature framed herself to that custom,
insomuch that they esteemed it an honorable thing to have a very long head.
The beginning of that custom was thus. As soon as the child was new born,
while his head was still soft and tender, they would presently crush it in
their hands, and so cause it to grow out in length. Yes, they would bind it
up with swathing bands, and so cause it to grow out in length, that it might
not grow round, but all in length. And by this custom it came to pass, that
their heads afterward grew such by nature. And in process of time, they were
born with such heads, so that they needed not to be so framed by handling,
for whereas the generative seed is derived from all the parts of the body,
found bodies yielding good seed, but crazy bodies unsound seed, and often
bald fathers beget bald children, and blear-eyed fathers, blear-eyed
children, and a deformed father, for the most part a deformed child. And the
like also comes to pass concerning other shapes. Why should not longheaded
fathers beget longheaded children? But now they are not born with such
heads, because that practice is quire out of use, and so nature, which was
upheld by that custom, ceases together with the custom.
"Of the wonderful force of imagination; and how to produce party-colored
Plutark, in his reherseal of the opinions of philosophers, writes, that
Empedocles held that an infant is formed according to that which the mother
looks upon at the time of conception. For, says he, women were won to have
commonly pictures and images in great request, and to bring forth children
resembling the same. Hippocrates, to clear a certain woman's honesty that
had brought forth children very unlike their parents, ascribed the cause of
it to a certain picture which she had in her chamber. And the same defense
Quintilian uses on the behalf of a woman, who being her self fair, had
brought forth a Blackmoore, which was supposed by all men to be her slaves
son. Damascen reports, that a certain young woman brought forth a child that
was all hairy, and searching out the reason thereof, he found the hairy
image of John the Baptist in her chamber, which she was wont to look upon.
Heliodorus begins that excellent history which he wrote, with the Queen of
Ethiopia, who brought forth Chariclea a fair daughter, the cause was
determined to be the fable of Andromeda pictured in that chamber, where she
lay with the King. We read of some others, that they brought forth horned
children, because in the time of their coition they looked upon the fable of
Aetaon painted before them. Many children have Hare-lips, and all because
their mothers being with child looked upon a Hare. The conceit of the mind,
and the force of the imagination is great. But it is then most operative,
when it is excessively bent upon any such thing as it cannot attain unto.
Women with child, when they long most vehemently, and have their minds
earnestly set upon any thing, do thereby alter their inward spirits, the
spirits move the blood, and so imprint the likeness of the thing mused upon,
in the tender substance of the child. And surely all children would have
some such marks or other, by reason of their mothers longing, if this
longing were not in some sort satisfied. Wherefore the searchers out of
secrets have justly ascribed the marks and signs in the young ones, to the
imagination of the mother, especially that imagination which prevails with
her in the chiefest actions, as in coition, in letting go her seed, and such
like. And as man of all other living creatures, is most swift and fleeting
in his thoughts, and fullest of conceits, so the variety of his with affords
much variety of such effects, and therefore they are more in mankind then in
other living creatures. Jacob was well acquainted with this force of
imagination, as the scriptures witness. For endeavoring...
"To bring forth party-colored Sheep,"
he took that course which I would with every man to take, that attempts any
such enterprise. He took certain rods and poles of Poplar and Almond-tree,
and such as might be easily barked, and cut off half the rind, pilling them
by white stakes, so that the rods were white and black in several circles,
like a Snake's color. Then he put the rods which he had pilled, into the
gutters and watering troughs, when the sheep came to drink, and were in heat
of conception, that they might look upon the rods. And the Sheep conceived
before the rods, and brought forth young of party-colors, and with small and
great spots. A delightful sight it was. Now afterwards, Jacob parted these
Lambs by themselves, and turned the faces of the other Sheep towards these
party-colored ones, about the time of their conception. Whereby it came to
pass, that the other Sheep in their heat, beholding those that were party
colored, brought forth lambs of the like color. And such experiments might
be practiced upon all living creatures that bear wool, and would take place
in all kinds of beasts.
"Generating party-colored Horses,"
A matter which Horse keepers, and Horse breeders do practice much. For they
are often found to hang and adorn with tapestry and painted clothes of
sundry colors, the houses and rooms where they put their Mares to take
Horse. Whereby, they produce colts of a bright bay color, or of a dapple
gray, or of any one color, or of sundry colors together. And Absytrus
teaches the same in effect. Counseling us to cover the Mare's body with
some stuff of that color, which we would have the Colt to be of. For look
what color she is set forth in, the same will be derived into the Colt .
For the Horse that covers her, will be much affected with the sight of such
colors, as in the heat of his lust he looks on. And will beget a Colt of
the same hue as the example then before his eyes does present unto him.
Oppianus in his first book of hunting, writes the same argument. Such is,
says he, the industry and practice of man's wit, that they can alter the
color of the young ones from the mother, and even in the womb of their Dam,
procure them to be of divers colors. For the Horse breeder does paint the
Mare's back with sundry colors, (even such as they would procure to be in
the Colt,) against the time that both she desires Horse, and the Stallion is
admitted to cover her. So the Stallion, when he comes and sees such goodly
preparation as it were for his wedding, presently begins to foam at the
mouth, and to neigh after her, and is possessed with the fire of raging lust
throughout his whole body, raving and taking on, that he cannot forthwith
satisfy himself upon his bride. At length the Horse breeder takes off their
fetters, and lets them loose together. And the Mare admits him, and
afterward brings forth a Colt of as many colors as she beheld in the time of
her copulation. For as she conceives the Colt, so withal she conceives
those colors which he then looks upon.
"How to procure white Peacocks "
In former times, white Peacocks were such a rare sight in Colen, that every
one admired them as a most strange thing. But afterward they became more
common, by reason that merchants brought many of them out of Norway. For
whereas black or else party-colored Peacocks were carried into that country
to be seen, they turned white, for there the old ones sit upon their Eggs in
the air, upon the tops of very high mountains, full of snow, and by
continual sitting there, it causes some alteration in their own color, but
the young ones which they hatch, are white all over. And so no doubt but
some such courses will take good effect in all kinds of Birds, for if we
take their cages or coops wherein they are kept, and their nests wherein
they sit, and white them on the inside with some plaster, or else cover them
all over with white colored curtains and so keep them in with grates, that
they may not get out, but there couple and sit, and hatch their Eggs, they
will yield unto us white broods. So if you would,
"Procure Pigeons of party colors,"
You must take that course which Oppianus has set down. At such time, as
they fall to kissing their mate, and are desirous of copulation, let him
that keeps them lay before their eyes sundry cloths of the bravest colors
they can get, but especially purple. For the Pigeons will in their heat of
lust be much affected and delighted with the sight thereof, and the young
ones which they bring forth, shall resemble the same colors. The subtle
Fowler, says he, that gives himself to take and to bring up Birds, is well
acquainted with, and is often found to practice such experiments, and very
artificially procures fine colors in young Pigeons. He casts before their
sparkling eyes fine wrought tapestry, and red coverlets, and purple
garments. And so while he feeds their eyes with pleasing sights, he steals
away their imagination to the colors which they look upon, and thereby
derives the very same colors into the young ones.
"How to procure a shag-haired Dog."
In breeding time you must strew their kennels, and the places where they lie
and couple, and usually haunt, with the fleeces and hides of beasts. And
so, while they continually look upon those sights, they will beget shag
Whelps like Lions. This we heard came to pass by chance, and without any
such intended purpose, that a little Bitch lying continually in a Ram
fleece, when she came to be with Whelp, she brought forth puppies of the
like hair as the fleece was.
"How to procure Swine, and other beasts to be white."
Swineherds and keepers of beasts, when they would have white litters, are
found often to beautify, and to build the stables and places where the
beasts resort to lie, with white roofs and white eaves. And the Swine which
were brought forth in such white sties, and the other beasts likewise that
were brought forth in such whitened places, became thereby white all over.
"How it may be wrought, that Women should bring forth fair and beautiful
By this, which has been spoken, it is easy for any man to work the like
effects in mankind, and to know how to procure fair and beautiful children.
Writers make mention, that these things which we speak of, have often fallen
out by chance. Wherefore it was not here to be omitted. The best means to
produce this effect, is to place in the bed-chambers of great men, the
images of Cupid, Adonis, and Ganymedes, or else to set them there in carved
and graven works, in some solid matter, that they may always have them in
their eyes. Whereby it may to pass, that whenever their wives lie with them,
still they may think upon those pictures, and have their imagination
strongly and earnestly bent thereupon. And not only while they are in the
act, but after they have conceived and quickened also. So that when the
child is born, imitate and express the same form which his mother conceived
in her mind, when she conceived him, and bare in her mind, while she bare
him in her womb. And I know by experience that this course will take good
effect, for after I had counseled many to use it, there was a woman who had
the great desire to be the mother of a fair son, that heard of it, and put
it in practice. For she procured a white boy carved of Marble, well
proportioned in every way, and him she had always before her eyes. For such
a son, it was that she much desired. And when she lay with her husband, and
likewise afterwards, when she was with child, still she would look upon that
image, and her eyes and heart were continually fixed upon it. Whereby it
came to pass, that when her breeding time was expired, she brought forth a
son very like in all points, to that Marble image, but especially in color,
being as pale and as white, as if he had been very marble indeed. And thus
the truth of this experiment was manifestly proved. Many other women have
put the like course in practice, that it is usual among the Lacedaemonians.
For they, says he, when they perceive that their wives are breeding young
bones, hang up fine pictures, and place goodly images in their sight. Some
of the most beautiful and handsome young men that ever mankind afforded, as
of Nireus, Narcissus, and valiant Hyacinths, and of other young lusty
gallants that were mostly comely and beautiful in face, and very sightly for
all the parts of their body; and some, of such excellent gods as was Apollo
crowned with a garland of fresh colored bay, and Evan that had a diadem of
vine-leaves about his head, and goodly hair hanging down under it. And this
they did, that while their wives stood gazing continually upon such brave
pictures, and comely portraitures, they might breed and bring forth children
of the same comeliness and beauty.
"How we may procure either males or females to be generated."
Empedocles was of opinion, that males or females were generated according to
the heat or cold that was in them. And thence it is, says he, that the
first males are reported to have been generated in the eastern and southern
parts of the earth. But the first females in the northern parts. But
Parmenides quite contrary affirmed, that males were especially generated
towards the North, as having in them more solidity and thickness, and
females especially towards the South, as being more loose and open,
according to the disposition of the place. Hipponax held, that males and
females were generated, according as the seed is either strong and sold, or
fluid, weak and feeble. Anaxagoras, writes, that the seed which issues out
of the right parts of the body, is derived into the right parts of the womb.
And likewise that which issues out of the left parts of the body, fall into
the left parts of the womb. But if they change courses, and the right seed
falls into the left cell or receipt in the womb, or the left seed into the
right cell, then it generates a female. Leucippus held, that there was no
cause either in the seed or heat, or solidity, or place, that they should be
different sexes. But only as it pleases nature to mark the young ones with
different genitories, that the male has a Yard, and the female a womb.
Democritus affirms, that either sex in every part proceeds indifferently
from either parent. But the young one takes in sex after that parent which
was most prevalent in that generation. Hipponax says, if the seed whereof
the young is begotten, prevail most, then it is a male. But if the
nourishment which it receives in the breeding, prevail more then the seed,
then it is a female. But all physicians with one consent affirm, that the
right side has most heat in it. Wherefore if the woman receive and retain
the generative seed in the right side of her womb, then that which she
conceives, is a male. But if in the left side, it is a female. The
experience whereof may be evidently seen in such living creatures as bring
forth many at one birthing. For if you cut open a Sow, that is great with
Pig, you shall find the Boar-pigs lying in the right side, and the Sow-pigs
in the left side of her womb. And hence it is, that physicians counsel
women, as soon as they have taken in mans seed, to turn them presently on
their right side. And hence it is, that if you knit up a Ram's right stone,
he begets Ewe lambs only, as Pliny writes. A Bull, as soon as he has rid a
cow, gives evident signs to any man to conjecture whether he has begotten a
Cow-calf or a Bulchin. For if he leapt off by the right side, it is certain
that he has begotten a Bulchin.. If by the left side, then a Cow-calf.
Wherefore the Egyptians in their Hieroglyphics, when they would signify a
woman that has brought forth a daughter, they make the character and
likeness of a Bull looking toward the left side. But to signify the birth
of a son, they make his character as looking toward the right side. But if
you desire to have a male generated, Africanus, Columella, and Didymus
counsel you to knit up the left stone of the sire. If a female, then to
knit up his right stone, at such times as he is to be coupled for
generation. But because this would be too much to do, where there is great
store of cattle, we may cause it by another means. Northern blasts help
much to the conception of a male, and Southern blasts to the conception of a
female, as Pliny reports. The force of the Northern air is such, that those
beasts which are wont to procreate females only, this will cause to bring
forth males also. The Dams at the time of their copulation, must be set
with their noses into the North. And if they have been used to coition
still in the morning, you must not put them to it in the afternoon, for then
they will not stand to their mate. Aristotle, a man most subtle, and
exquisitely keen in the works of nature, wills us, that about the time of
gendering, we should wait for some Northern blasts in a dry day, and then
let the stock feed against the wind, and so let them fall to copulation. If
we would procure females to be gendered, then we must so wait for Southern
blasts, and let them stand with their heads towards the South as they are in
copulation. For not only Aristotle counsels, but Columella and Aelianus
also. For it is a rule that Aelianus, Pliny, Africanus and Didymus do all
give, that if the cattle, as soon as they have been covered, do turn
themselves toward the Southern wind, then certainly they have conceived
females. There is also some cause of the procreation of a male, or of a
female, in the begetters themselves. Nay further, some cause thereof may be
the force and operation of some waters. For sometimes the waters cause that
a male or female be generated. There is, not far from the city Pana, a
certain river called Milichus. And not far from that, another river called
Charadius. Whereof if the beasts drink in the springtime, they commonly
bring forth all males. For which cause the shepherds there drive away their
flocks at that time, and feed them in that part of the country which lies
farthest off from that river, as Pausanias writes in his Achaica.
"Of diverse experiments that may be, and have been, practiced upon diverse
There remain now certain experiments of living creatures, both pleasant, and
of some use, which we have thought good here to set down, to save a labor of
seeking them any further. And first,
"How to make Horses have white spots on them."
It is a thing required in the art of trimming of Horses , to be able to
cause white spots to grow in some parts of them. For crafty Horse coursers
are wont to counterfeit white spots in the forehead, or left thigh, or right
shoulder of an Horse. Thereby to deceive such men, as are wont to guess at
the goodness and qualities of a Horse, by the conjecture of such marks. And
this their counterfeit practice has been detected by this chance, that the
hair of a Horses skin being galled off in any place, after a while hoary
hairs have grown up there of themselves. And it is not unlikely but that
this chance taught them that practice. The manner of the doing it, is,
first to shave off the hair in that place where you would have a white
patch. But Oppianus speaking of the same experiment, shows that it is to be
done by fire. There are some Horses, says he, that are full of white round
spots intermingled with their black color. It comes by the industry of the
Horse breeder, who when they are yet tender and young, cunningly burns off
their hair with a hot iron. But on the contrary, if you would have,
"The hairs of a wounded or galled place, to grow up of the same color, as
the other hair is of,"
Tiberius has taught the way how do it. You must knead three pints of
bruised or ground Barley, and put to it the froth of Nitre and a little
Salt, and make it into loaves. Then you must put them into an oven till
they are burned to coals. Afterwards, crush them and beat them to powder,
and then mix them with oil, and anoint the fore or the scar therewith. And
this you must do for twenty days. But what should be reason that this
Barley ashes should cause, not white hairs, but the like in color to the
rest, to grow upon the scars or sores of Horses whereupon it is cast, that,
Alexander Aphrodisous ascribes to this, because Barley has in it a purgative
and cleaning force, and so washes and expels the humors, and all the naughty
stuff, that was gathered by the fore into that part, because it was maimed,
and consequently not so well able to revive itself. neither yet will I here
omit that boyish experiment whereby we may,
"Procure in Oxen a counterfeit show of fatness."
If you take an Ox well grown in years, and make a hole into hid thigh, and
blow wind thereby into him, and afterward give him meat, he will show fat,
though indeed he be very lean. We may also, by giving them some kind of
water to drink,
"Cause the Fleeces and hides of cattle to be of diverse colors."
as Aelianus show. the river Crathis affords one channel that makes beasts
white. For Oxen and Sheep, and all four footed beasts, as Theophrastus,
says, as soon as they drink of it, become white, though before they were red
or black. In Euboea, all for the most part, are white Oxen by nature.
Sheep, by reason of the diversity of water which they drink, do diversely
change their color. The force and nature of the rivers working this change
in them, especially at every ramming time. Some are turned from black to
white, and contrariwise, some are turned from white to black. These
alterations are commonly seen near to the river Antandrus, and near also to
a certain river Thracia. The river Scamander, which is near unto Troy,
makes as many Sheep as drink of the water thereof, to become yellow. We may
also conjecture and foresee by certain outward bodily signs in the Dam or
"What color their young ones will be of."
To foreknow the color of young Mules, we must take special example of the
hairs of their Dam's ears and eyelids. For however the rest of their body
is of one and the same color, yet in those two parts we may discern so many
and such colors as the foal shall have, as Columella writes. So if you look
under the Ram's tongue, you shall there find certain veins. Which if they
be black, then will the Lamb's be black also. But if they be white, then he
has begotten white Lambs. For look what color these veins are of, with the
same color will the fleece of the Lamb be overspread. Insomuch that if
there be sundry colors in them, there will be also sundry like colors upon
the Lambs, as Aristotle, Democritus and Didymus do witness. Now, how we
"Know by the Egg, whether the chick when it is hatched, will be a Cock or
Aristotle teaches us, for, says he, if the Egg be exactly round, then it
will yield a Cock Chicken. But if it be somewhat long, then it yields a
Hen. The reason is, because in things that are round, the natural heat is
more kindly and strongly compacted together.
"How to make a bird sociable and familiar with thee."
Now we will speak of the sociable ness and familiarity which a certain Pie
had with a friend of mine. Who by this pretty device did make the Pie so
well acquainted with him, and so serviceable to him, that she would fly to
him, not only for the supplying of her daily wants, but as it were for love,
never forsaking him night or day. The device was this. while she was yet
unfeathered in the nest, he broke off her lower beak, even to her very jaws,
that the poor wretch could not eat any meat but that which put into her
mouth with hands. And he himself gave her with his own hands all the meat
she did eat. After that, she would fly to his trencher at dinner and
supper, and would prate and chat unto him very flippant. Insomuch that
nothing could be spoken in the house, but she would imitate it, and speak it
again. And not only frame her tongue to their words, but her body also to
the imitating and resembling of their actions. And he often left her loose
at home, and she would fly everywhere. But still at dinner and supper times
she would return home. It fell out that the man had occasion to go from
home fifteen or sixteen days journey. She would always bear him company,
now and then flying a great way before him, and would sit still upon a bough
till he came at her. And then she would leap upon his cap and his
shoulders, frisking about him for very joy. And sometimes staying behind
him, and then when he was gone a great way before, she would in all haste
fly away after to overtake him. And she was also his continual bedfellow.
And yet to his day he has her, and enjoys her familiar company. But,
concerning the general transmutation and change of living creatures, let
these things be sufficient which we have already spoken.
The End of The Second Book of Natural Magick