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A Table Containing the General Heads of Natural Magick

"Preface To The Reader"

The Fourth Book of Natural Magick

"Which teaches things belonging to house-keeping; How to prepare domestic necessities with a small cost; And how to keep them when they are procured."


"The Proeme"

Chapter I - "How fruit may be long preserved upon their Trees."

Chapter II - "How Flowers may be preserved upon their own stalk."

Chapter III - "How to make Fruit safes, or places where fruit may be conveniently preserved."

Chapter IV - "What special time there must be chosen for the gathering of such fruit, as you mean to lay up in store for a great while after."

Chapter V - "Of the manner how to gather fruit, as also to help and dress the stalk that grows into them, whereby we may prevent the first original, and the occasion of their putrefaction."

Chapter VI - "In what grounds those fruit should grow and be gathered, which we would lay up."

Chapter VII - "How fruit must be shut up and kept closed that the air come not at them."

 Chapter VIII - "How the Ancients, when they had put their fruit into certain vessels, and so shut them up closed, did put them also into some other vessels full of liquor."

Chapter IX - "How fruit may be drenched in Honey, to make them last a long time."

Chapter X - "How fruit may be long preserved in ordinary Wine, or sodden wine, or new wine, or else in wine-lees."

Chapter XI - "That fruit may be very well preserved in salt water."

Chapter XII - "That things may be specially well preserved in Oil and lees of Oil."

Chapter XIII - "How Apples may be long preserved in Sawdust with leaves and chaff or straw."

Chapter XIV - "How fruit may be mixed with many things for their better preservation."

Chapter XV - "How other things may be preserved from putrefaction."

Chapter XVI - "How diverse sorts of bread may be made."

Chapter XVII - "Diverse sorts of Bread made from Roots and fruit."

Chapter XVIII - "Diverse ways to make bread of all sort of corn and pulse."

Chapter XIX - "How bread may be increased in weight."

Chapter XX - "How we may long endure hunger and thirst."

Chapter XXI - "Of what fruit may be made."

Chapter XXII - "How  Vinegar may be made of diverse ways, and of what."

Chapter XXIII - "How the defects of wine may be managed and restored."

Chapter XXIV - "How oil may be made of diverse things."

Chapter XXV - "How a Householder may provide himself with many sorts of thread."

Chapter XXVI - "To hatch Eggs without a Hen."

The Proeme

From animals and plants, we have now come to household affairs. There we provided diversity of new fruit fit for our use. Now we shall seem to have sowed nothing, and produced nothing, unless we show how, And what we sowed and produced at great charge and pains, may be preserved against the cold, and injuries of the outward air, that they may come forth in their seasons. It were the part of a wicked and slothful man carelessly to let that die and come to nothing, when he had provided with so much care and pains. Wherefore as you were witty to produce them, you must be as diligent to preserve them. And Husbandman that stores up fruit, shall have good provision for the winter. For says Marcus Varro, they serve for several meats, and no man stores them up but to produce them when he has need of them, to defend, or use, or sell them. I shall first set down the inventions of our ancestors, who were very diligent herein, for they found sundry things by diverse means, and faithfully delivered the knowledge of them to posterity. Then I shall relate what I know to be true, intermixing some of my own inventions, and such as I think to be of greatest concern, and that I have often tried. I shall besides add some considerations of Bread, Wine, and Oil, and such as are of great profit for the Husbandman to provide for his family with the lesser cost, always setting down the natural causes, that they being perfectly known, a man may easily invent and make them. But to proceed to the work...

Chapter I

"How Fruit may be long preserved upon their Trees."

E will begin with Fruit.  And whereas fruit and flowers both may be preserved either upon their own mother tree which bear them, or else being plucked off from it, we will first show, how fruit may be preserved upon their own tree, and first rehearse those things which the Ancients have set down concerning this matter and next, what we ourselves have found by our own experience.  Our ancestors, when they would have fruit to last long upon the tree, were often found first of all to bind them to the stock or to the boughs, lest any tempest should strike them off, or toss them up and down.  Besides, they did intercept that juice from them, which should ripen them.  For there are some kinds of fruit, which, as soon as ever they be ripe, will stay no longer upon the tree, but fall down of themselves, though they are not so much as shaken.  Other fruit there are that will stick longer and faster to their hold.  Besides, they were often found to cover them with certain cases or shells as it were, thereby guarding them from the injuries of the weather, both hot and cold, and also the mouths of devouring birds.  How to make,

"Pomegranates hang long upon their trees,"

Some have wreathed and platted about the fruit the smaller boughs that grow hard by, that the rain may not come forcibly upon it to break it or chop it, for if it be once Bruised, or that it does but gape and have any chops in it, it will soon perish.  And when they have so done, they tie them fast to the stronger boughs, that they may not be shaken.  And then they bind the tree about with a kind of Broom Withes, that the Daws or Crows, or other kinds of birds may not come at the fruit to gnaw it.  Some do frame earthen cases fit for the fruit, and cover the same with Straw Morter, and let the fruit hang still upon the tree in them.  Others do wrap up every one of the Pomegranates in Hay or Loam, and then daub it thick over with Mortar which has chopped Straw in it, and so fasten them the stronger boughs, the the wind may not shake them.  But all these practices must be used when the weather is fair, and there is neigher rain nor dew stirring, as Columella teaches.  But Beritius uses this means to make them stay long on their tree.  He takes the blossoms of the tree when they begin to wither, and wraps in them every Pomegranate by itself, and then binds them about with bonds, thereby preventing their Putrefaction, and their Chawns and chops which otherwise would be in them.  Others put them in earthen pots every one by itself, and covers them will and settles them fast, that they may not be broken by knocking against the stock or arms of the tree, nor by hitting one against the other.  For by this means you shall have them always better grown then by any other.  Varro says, that if you take Pomegranates before they be ripe, as they stick upon their stalks, and put them into a bottomless pot, and cover them, boughs and all, in the ground, so that no wind may come at them, you shall not only find them whole when you take them out, but they will be greater also then if they had hung still upon the tree.  Palladius shows,

"Citrons may be preserved upon the Tree."

even by shutting them up in certain earthen vessels fit for such a purpose, for so you may keep them upon their tree almost all the year long.  If you would have,

"Grapes hang upon the Vine, Fresh and good, even tall the Spring of the year,"

Beritius prescribes you this course.  You must dig a pit in a very shadowy place near to the Vines, about a yard deep, and fill it up with sand, and set up some props in it.  Then you must loosen the joints of the Vine branches, and wind them in together with the clusters of Grapes to be tied to the props, and then cover them, that no water my come at them.. You must take heed also the the Grapes do not touch the ground.  A thing which I have often put into practice, but it fell not out to my expectation.  For still the Grapes were half rotten, and their color quite faded.  Columella says, there is no surer way then to prepare certain earthen vessels which may hold each of them a cluster of Grapes, so that they may have scope enough, and they must have every one four handles, whereby they may be tied to the Vine, and their lids or coverings must be so framed that the middle may be the place of closing, where both sides of the cover may fall close together when the clusters are in, and so meeting may hide the Grapes.  But you must see that both the vessels themselves, and also their coverings be well Pitched both within and without, for the pitch will do good service herein.  When you have thus covered and shut up your Grapes, then you must lay good store of Mortar with Straw chopped in it upon the vessels.  But in any case, look that the Grapes be so placed in the vessels, that they touch no part thereof.  Tarentinus gives this counsel.  The clusters that first grow, you must pluck off, and then others will come up in their steads, if you look carefully to the Vine.  Now these later clusters will be very backward and long before they are ripe.  Take some earthen vessels, and let them be somewhat open below.  Put into them your later clusters, and let the upper part of them be very close covered, and then bind your vessel fast to the Vine that so the wind may not shake them.   Palladius says, If you be desirous to keep Grapes upon the Vine till the springtime, you must take this course.  Near unto a Vine that is laden with Grapes , you must make a ditch about three foot deep and two foot broad in a very shadowy place, and when you have cast sand into it, stick up certain props, and wind the bunches daily towards them, and when you have wrought them to stand that way, bind them to your props without hurting the Grapes, and then cover them to keep them from the rain.  The Grecians likewise counsel you to shut up your Grapes into certain earthen vessels which are somewhat open beneath, but very close and fast shut above, and so you may preserve them long upon the tree.  If you would preserve,

"Grapes upon the Vine till new come again, so that upon one and the same Vine -branch, may be seen old and new Grapes both together,"

You may effect it by this device, which I myself have used.  For, all the former experiments are the inventions of Antiquity, and, because there is great difficulty in working them, and small profit when they are wrought, therefore I esteem them as toys and matters of little worth.  But this I have experienced myself, and preserved good Grapes upon a Vine until May and June, and so have seen both new Grapes, and Grapes also of the former year together upon one and the same branch. When Vintage time is past, you must take the tops and pliant twigs of such Vines as grow by the house side, and wind them at the window into the house, and bind them fast to the summers or beams with the sprigs of Broom, as with strings or thongs, that they may be surely stayed from wagging up and down.  But you must let them in handsomely that the windows may be opened and shut conveniently.  By this means you shall keep them safe from the injury both of the cold weather and the devouring birds.  When there is any frost or wind abroad, keep the windows close shut, and open them again when the air is waxed calm and warm.  And so deal by them till the Spring is come.  And when the Vine has begun to bear new buds and leaves, then let your twigs out of prison, and let them back out again into open air, and their let them take the comfort of the warm Sun.  So shall there grow new Grapes upon the same twigs where the old Grapes are.  I have also effected the same,

"By another means."

Because it was a great trouble, and a very irksome piece of work, to take that course every year, I have thought of another device whereby the same effect may be attained both more prettily and miraculously.  About the time they are often found to prune the Vines, make a choice of two special branches on the Vine, such as are most likely to bear fruit.  Cut off the tops of either of them, but leave the branches still growing on the Vine, and leave two or three buds upon either branch.  Then take a vessel made of Chalk or white Clay, and let there be a hole bored quite through the bottom of it, and so place it, that it may stand fit for the branches to be drawn through it, so that they may stand a little out above the brims thereof.  When our branches are so seated, then fill the vessel with earth.  And that you may work more surely and speedily too, you must set over your earthen vessel, another vessel full of water all summer long, which must be stopped toward the bottom with a clout somewhat loosely, that the clout's end hanging down into the earthen vessel, may bedew the earth that is in it continually by little and little, so shall your sprigs or branches bring forth both fruit and leaves, and moreover take root in the vessel that will shoot out into new twigs.  After Vintage time, cut off the branches from the Vine a little beneath the earthen vessel, and so carry them into a close house that is situated in a dry place where no tempests can come at it, as in wine cellars, or such like.  Let the windows be netted over, that the birds may not come at them.  In the wintertime, if there come any fair days, bring them forth into the Sun, and, when the weather is extreme cold, keep them in so much the closer and warmer rooms.  If you preserve them thus until August, you shall have old and new Grapes both together upon one branch, and each of them will be quick and well colored.  

Chapter II

"How Flowers may be preserved upon their own stalk."

By the like devices as those were, we may also preserve flowers upon their own stalk, yet not so easily as fruit may be preserved upon their own tree.  Neither yet can they be made to last so long as fruit, because fruit are of a harder substance, but flowers are soft and tender.  First therefore we will show,

"How Roses may be preserved upon their own stalk."

If you take a Reed or Cane, and cleave it when it is green as it grows by the Roses, and put in the Rosebud as it is upon the stalk, within the Reed , and then bind some paper about the Reed somewhat loosely, that it may have as it were a breathing space, your Roses will thereby be well preserved upon their stalk, as Dydimus reports.  Palladius says, If you shut up your Rosebuds as they grow upon their stalk, into a growing Reed which you have cleft for that purpose, and close up the Reed again, that he cleft does not gape, you shall have fresh Roses when you will, if you open your Reed again.  I have tried this device, and found it in some sort to be true, and answerable to my intentions.  I took the Rosebuds before they were blown, and shut them up into a Reed (for the Roses and the Reeds must be planted near together) and the cleft which I made in the Reed , being but slender, I bound it up again that it might not stand gaping, (only I left a fit passage for the Rose stalk to stand up) and so I preserved them a great while.  The like device I used,

"To preserve Lilies upon their stalks for a long time."

I cleft the Cane between the joints, and put the Lilies into it as they grow upon their stalk before they were blown, and so the joint of the Cane closing upon them beneath, and the cleft above being stopped with Wax, the Lilies were then long preserved upon their stalk.  The very same experiment I practiced upon Clove-gilliflowers, and so I had them growing upon their stalk a great while.  And whensoever I would use them, I broke up their cases wherein they were preserved, and so by the comfort and force of the Sun, they were blown and opened themselves.

Chapter III

"How to make Fruit Safes, or places where fruit may be conveniently preserved."

Now we will show how you may preserve fruit when they are taken off from the tree.   That we may so do, we must first know the causes of their Putrefaction.  The Philosophers hold, that the temperature of the air being exceeding variable by reason the the variety of celestial influences which work upon it, is also of that force, that it causes every thing which it comes at, even whatsoever is contained under the Cope of the Moon, to hasten towards an end, and by little and little to decay continually.  For the air which is apt to search for everything when it lights upon any fruit, finds in it a certain natural heat somewhat like to its own heat, and presently closes with it, and entices as it were the heat of the fruit to come into the air.  And the fruit itself, having a natural coldness as well as heat, is very well content to entertain the heat of the surrounding air, which exhausts the own heat of the fruit, and devours the moisture of it, and so the fruit shrinks, and withers, and consumes away.  But man is not of such a dull sense, and of such a blockish wit, but that he can tell how to prevent these inconveniences, and to devise sundry kinds of means, whereby the soundness of fruit may be maintained against the harms and dangers of both cold, and of heat.  And first we will speak of Fruit Safes, or artificial places, whereby the danger of heat may be avoided.  Then we will show that there is a special choice to be made of times, when the heat will be of small force.  And then we will prescribe the manner of gathering fruit, lest they might be Bruised with handling or falling, which if they should, it would be their Bane, and the beginning of their Putrefaction. And, last of all, we will teach you how to lay them up in diverse and sundry places, whereby you may prevent the heat and moisture of the air, from doing them any harm.  We will speak of some peculiar places of the world, which are excellent good to preserve fruit in.  Theophrastus  says, that some fruit will last the longer, because they are laid up in some certain places.  Wherefore, in a certain place of Cappadocia, which is called Petra, fruit may be preserved forty years, and yet they are all that time fertile, and very fit to be sown.  No, says he, if they be kept threescore years, or threescore and ten, they will still be very good for meat to be eaten, though not so good for seed to be sown.  The place he reports to be a high place, and open for the winds, and to stand lower towards the north then to the other three quarters of the world.  It is reported likewise, that fruit are preserved in Media, and other high countries, longer and better then in other places.  But these are the properties of some peculiar places only.  But generally for all Fruit Safes, it is the judgment and counsel of all the best and most learned Husbandman, that they must be so situated, that they may have windows towards the north, which must lie open in the springtime, and every fair day, that the northern wind may blow into them.  But in any case there must be no windows made towards the south, because the southern wind will make our fruit full of wrinkles.  Let us see therefore,

"What places are fittest to lay up Quinces in."