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A Table Containing the General Heads of Natural Magick
"Preface To The
The Seventh Book of Natural Magick
"The Wonders of the Loadstone"
Chapter I - "What is the Name of this Stone, the kind of it, and the Country where it grows."
Chapter II - "The Natural reason of the Loadstones attraction."
Chapter III - "That the Loadstone has two opposite Poles, the North and South, and how they may be known"
Chapter IV - "The force of the stone is sent by a right line form the North to South, through the length of it."
Chapter V - "That the polar line in the Loadstone is not stable, but movable."
Chapter VI - " The force of North and South is vigorous in the points."
Chapter VII - "That by the touching of other stones, those points will not change their forces."
Chapter VIII - "That a Loadstone will draw a Loadstone, and drive it from it."
Chapter IX - "A sport of the Loadstone."
Chapter X - "The greater the Loadstone is, the greater is the force of it."
Chapter XI - "That the force of this Stone will pass into other Stones, that sometimes you may see as it were a rope of Stones"
Chapter XII - "That in the Loadstone that hairiness is contused"
Chapter XIII - "The attractive part is more violent then the part that drives off."
Chapter XIV - "The contrary parts of the Stones are contrary one to another."
Chapter XV - "How to know the Polar points in the Loadstone."
Chapter XVI - "That the force of drawing and driving off, can be hindered by no hindrance."
Chapter XVII - "How to make an Army of Sand to fight before you."
Chapter XVIII - "The Situation makes the Virtues of the Stone contrary."
Chapter XIX - "How the attractive force of the Loadstone may be weighed."
Chapter XX - "Of the mutual attraction, and driving off of the Loadstone and Iron."
Chapter XXI - "The Iron and Loadstone are in greater amity, then the Loadstone is with the Loadstone."
Chapter XXII - "The Loadstone does not draw on all parts, but a certain points."
Chapter XXIII - "That the same Loadstone that draws, does on the contrary point drive off the iron."
Chapter XXIV - "How iron will be made leap upon a Table, no Loadstone being seen."
Chapter XXV - "That the virtue of the Loadstone, is sent through the pieces of Iron."
Chapter XXVI - "The Loadstone within the sphere of its virtue, sends it forth without touching."
Chapter XXVII - "How the Loadstone can hang up iron in the air."
Chapter XXVIII - "The forces of the Loadstone cannot be hindered, by a wall or table coming between."
Chapter XXIX - "How a man of wood may row a Little Boat; and some other merry conceits."
Chapter XXX - "A Loadstone on a plate of iron, will not stir iron."
Chapter XXXI - "The position of the Iron, will change the forces."
Chapter XXXII - "That the iron rubbed with the northern point of the Loadstone, will turn to the South, and with the South point to the North."
Chapter XXXIII - "That iron touched by the Loadstone, will impart that force to other iron."
Chapter XXXIV - "The Virtue received in the iron, is weakened by on that is stronger."
Chapter XXXV - "How a stone the South or North point discerned."
Chapter XXXVI - "How to rub the iron needle of the Mariners Compass."
Chapter XXXVII - "Of the divers uses of Mariners Compasses."
Chapter XXXVIII - "How the Longitude of the world, may be found out by help of the Loadstone."
Chapter XXXIX - "If the Mariners Needle stand still, and the Loadstone move, or contrarily, they will move contrary ways."
Chapter XL - "The Loadstone imparts a contrary force to the Needle."
Chapter XLI - "Two Needles touched by the Loadstone, obtain contrary Forces."
Chapter XLII - "That the force of the Iron that draws, will drive off Iron by diversity of Situations."
Chapter XLIII - "The Needle touched by the Loadstone on one part, does not always receive Virtue on both parts."
Chapter XLIV "The Needle touched in the middle by the Loadstone, sends forth its Force at both ends."
Chapter XLV - "An Iron Ring touched by a Loadstone, will receive both Virtues."
Chapter XLVI - "An Iron Plate touched in the middle, will diffuse forces to both ends."
Chapter XLVII - "How filings of Iron may receive force."
Chapter XLVIII - "Whether Garlic can hinder the Virtues of the Loadstone."
Chapter XLIX - "How a Loadstone astonished may be brought to itself again."
Chapter L - "How to augment the Loadstones Virtues."
Chapter LI - "That the Loadstone may lose its virtues."
Chapter LII - "How the Iron touched with the Loadstone loses its force."
Chapter LIII - "It is false, that the Diamond does hinder Loadstones virtue."
Chapter LIV - "Goats blood does not free the Loadstone from the enchantment of the Diamond."
Chapter LV - "The Iron touched with a Diamond will turn to the North."
Chapter LVI -
"The forces and remedies of the
This stone does reconcile the man and wife,
And her recall that from her husband goes.
If one would know her leads a whorish life,
Under her head, when that she sleeps, it shows.
For she that's chaste, will presently embrace
Her husband while she sleeps, but a whore
Falls out o'th'bed, as thrown out with disgrace,
With stink o'th'stone, which shows
this, and much more.
We pass from jewels
to stones: The chief whereof, and the most admirable is the
and in it the majesty of
does most appear. And I undertake this work the more willingly, because
left little or nothing of this in writing to posterity. In a few days,
not to say hours, when I sought one experiment, others offered themselves,
that I collected almost two hundred of principal note; So wonderful is
God in all his works. But what wiser
and more learned men might find out, let all men judge. I knew at Venice,
R.M. Paulus, the Venetian, that
was busied in the same study. He was Provincial of the Order of Servants,
but now a most worthy advocate, from whom I not only confess, that I gained
something, but I glory in it, because of all the men I ever saw, I never
knew any man more learned, or more ingenious, having obtained the whole body
of learning; and is not only the splendor and ornament of Venice or Italy,
but of the whole world. I shall begin from the most known experiments,
and pass to higher matters, that it may not repent any man of his great study
and accurate diligence therein. By these, the longitude of the world
may be found out, that is of no small moment for sailors, and wherein the
greatest wits have been employed. And to a friend that is at a far
distance from us, and safe shut up in prison, we may relate our minds, which
I doubt not may be done by two Mariner's
Compasses, having the alphabet written about
them. Upon this depends the principles of perpetual motion, and more
admirable things, which I shall here let pass. If the
left anything of it, I shall put that in by the way. I shall mark some
false reports of some men, not to detest their pains and industry, but lest
any man should follow them in an error, and so errors should be perpetual
thereby. I shall begin with the name.
"What is the Name of this Stone,
the kind of it, and the Country where it
Lato in Ione writes, that Empedocles called this stone "Magnes", but Lucretius from the country of Magnesia.
"The Greeks do call it Magnes from the place,
For that the Magnets Land it does embrace."
And the same
Plato says, some call it
in his book of Stones calls
Herculeum, because he found it
about the city Heraclea. Others think it denominated from
Hercules. For as he conquered
and subdued all beasts, and men, so this stone conquers
Iron, which conquers all
thinks the stone so called, and so does
Pliny from him, from
one Magnes, a Shepard. For
it is reported that he found it by his hobnailed shoes, and his shepherds
Crook that it stuck to, when he fed
his flocks in Ida, where he was a Shepard. But I think it is called
Maganes, as you should say
Magnus, only one letter changed.
Others call it
Siderites from "",
that in Greek signifies Iron, and
the Latine call it Magnes,
makes the stone Siderites to
be different from
Heraclius, for he says, one
has an Iron color, and the other a
Silver color. Also,
Sotacus makes five
kinds of it. The Ethiopian, the Magnesian for Magnesia near Macedonia,
as the way lies to the Lake Boebis, on the right hand, the third in Echium
of Boeotia, the fourth about Alexandria at Troaderum, the fifth in Magnesia
of Asia. The first difference is, whether it be male or female, the
next in color. For those that are found in Macedonia and Magnesia,
are red and black, but the Boeotian is more red then black. That which
is found in Troas is black, and of the female kind, and has no force therefore.
But the worst sort is found in Magnesia, of Asia. It is white,
and attracts not Iron, and is like
a Pumice stone. It is certain,
that the more blue they are, the better they are. The Ethiopian is
highly commended, and it costs the weight in
Silver. It is found in Ethiopia
at Zimirum, for so is the sandy country called. It is a token of an
stone, if it will draw another
it. There is a mountain in Ethiopia, not far off, that produces a stone
drives away all Iron from it.
Dioscorides describes it thus. The best
Loadstone is that which easily
draws Iron, of a bluish color, thick,
and not very weighty.
Pisanrensis makes three sorts of them, one that draws
Iron, another flesh, and another that
draws and repels Iron, very ignorantly,
for the fleshy Loadstone is different
from this, and one and the same stone draws and drives
Iron from it.
says, it grows among the
and Indians. Olaus Magnus
reports, that there are mountains of it in the North, and they draw
so forcibly, that they have ships made fast by great spikes of
Wood, lest they should draw out the
Iron nails as the ships that pass
between these rocks of
Loadstone . There is an
island between Corsica and Italy, called Ilva, commonly Elba, where a
Loadstone may be cut forth, but
it has no Virtue. It is found
in Cantabria in Spain, Bohemia, and many other places.
"The Natural reason of the Loadstones attraction."
Because some have written
whole books, of the reason of the
Loadstones attracting of
Iron, lest I should become tedious,
which I purpose not to be, I think fit to pass over other means opinions,
especially, because they depend only upon words and vain cavils, that
philosophers cannot receive them. And I shall set down my own, founded
upon some experiments. Yet I shall not pass by the opinion of
set down by
his Book De Anima,
who by a similitude calls it a living stone, and that therefore it draws
Iron, and for some other peculiar
forces, which might be properly said to proceed from the soul, as you shall
would fain give a reason for it, as
Lucretius report. For,
say they, the
Atoms that flew out of
the Iron, and meet in the
Loadstone in one figure, so that
they easily embrace one the other. These, therefore, when they light
upon both the concretes of the stone and
Iron, and then fly back into the middle,
by the way they are turned between themselves, and do withal draw the
Iron with them.
Galen inveighs against this,
for he cannot believe, as he says, that the small atoms that fly from the
stone, can be complicated with the like atoms that come form the
Iron, and that their embracing can
draw such a heavy weight. Moreover, if you put another
Iron to that which hangs, that will
fasten also, and another to that, and so a third and fourth. And the
atoms that result from the stone, when they meet with the
Iron, they fly back, and are the cause
that the Iron hangs. And it
is not possible that those atoms should penetrate the
Iron, and through the empty pores
should rebound unto the former atoms, and embrace others, whereas he saw
five Iron instruments hang one by
the other. And if the atoms be diffused straight forward through the
Iron, why then do other
Iron nails stick, fastened but on
the sides? For the
Virtue of it is spread every way.
Wherefore if a very little
Loadstone should touch many small
bodies of Iron, and these others,
and those others again, and the
Loadstone must fill them all,
that small stone would even be consumed into atoms. But I think the
Loadstone, is a mixture of stone
and Iron, as an
Iron stone, or a stone of
Iron. Yet do not think the stone
is so changed into Iron, as to lose
its own nature, nor that the
Iron is so drowned in the stone, but
it preserves itself, and while one labors to get the victory of the other,
the attraction is made by the combat between them. In that body, there
is more of the stone, then of
Iron, and therefore the
Iron, that it may not be subdued by
the stone, desires the force and company of
Iron, that being not able to resist
alone, it may be able by more help to defend itself. For all creatures defend
their being. Wherefore, that it may enjoy friendly help, and not lose its
own perfection, it willingly draws
Iron to it, or
Iron comes willingly to that. The
Loadstone draws not stones, because
it wants them not, for there is stone enough in the body of it, and if one
Loadstone draw another, it is
not for the stone, but for the
Iron that is in it. What I said
depends on these arguments. The pits of
Loadstone are where the veins
of Iron are. The are described
by Galen, and such as deal in minerals,
and in the confines of them both, of the stone and the
Iron they grow, and the
Loadstones are seen, wherein
there is more stone, and others in which there is more
Iron.. In Germany a
Loadstone is dug forth, out of
which they draw the best Iron, and
the Loadstone, while it lies
in the filings of Iron, will get more
strength, and if it be smeared or neglected, it will lose its forces. I
often saw with great delight a
Loadstone wrapt up in burning
coals, that sent forth a blue flame, that smelt of
Iron, and that being dissipated, it
lost its quality of its soul that was gone, namely its attractive
Virtue. It is the stink of
Brimstone, as such who destroy
Iron by reducing it to a
Calx, or use other chemical
operations, can easily try. And I thought that the same soul, put into
another body, must necessarily obtain the same faculty.
"That the Loadstone has two opposite
Poles, the North and South, and how they may be
Because the effects of the Loadstone are many and diverse, I shall begin to distinguish from the effects of it, that the readers may receive more benefit and direction. The effects of the Loadstone are of the stone only, or of the Iron touched with the stone, or of them both, the Iron and the stone. The simple effects of the stone, are to draw the stone, to respect the poles of the world, and such like. Also they are mixed and compounded. We say therefore first, that the stone has two points, that stand opposite one to the other, be it in a great or small stone, which we call the poles. One of them is directed to the North, and other to the South. For if the stone be at liberty, and hangs that it may play, without any impediments from its weight, one part turns freely to the North, and other to the South. The way to try it is thus; Take a little piece of Cork, or Fennel-giant, or some other light Wood, and make it like a boat, that it may serve to bear up the weight of the stone. Put the stone into this vessel, that it may be equi-distant from the bottom. Put the boat into a vessel of water, that it may move here and there, and find no impediment; Let it so alone, and the boat will never rest, until the point of the stone stand full North, and the opposite point full South. When the boat stands still, turn it about twice or thrice with your finger, and so it will come again to rest, and return to the same posture, and this shall make you more certain of the North and South Poles of it. There are many more ways to prove it, for letting it hang equally, as in the Mariners Compass, for where it can move of itself freely, it still directs to the same points. And you may do the same if you hang it by a small thread. Hence we may easily learn,
"To know which Loadstone is the more perfect."
Which a man may easily do by the former trial, and find out what Loadstone is void of Virtue, or most forcible. For that Loadstone that does soonest bring about the boat to the points, and having found the north pole, stands still, is certainly the most forcible stone. But that which slowly works, and comes softly about to its place, and stops often, is more weak and feeble. Also we may be certified another way. For that which can turn about the greater piece of wood, or boat, not slowly, but quickly, is the best stone. And though there be more ways to try it, yet let these suffice at present. We shall speak of the rest in other places.
"The force of the stone is sent by
a right line from North to South, through the length of
But the two points we speak of, are the end of the right line, running through the middle of the stone from North to South. If any man break the stone, and breaks this line, those ends of the division will presently be of another property and Virtue, and will be enemies one to the other. Which is a great wonder. For these two points, when the were joined together, had the same force of turning to the pole. But now being parted asunder, one will turn to the North, and other to the South, keeping the same posture and position they had in the mine where they were bred. and the same happens in the least bits that are seen in the greatest Loadstone.
For example: Let the rock of
Loadstone be ABCD, and
let the line form North to South be AB. If we shall cut the
stone AB out of the rock, the very line AB in the stone will
represent the polar line form North to South. But if we break the stone
broadways, every little piece will keep its line. Cut the Stone AB
broadways, as CF, there will be two stones, ACD, and
EFB. I say, the stones cut through the line CD, each
of them will have its poles out of the world. In the stone AGD,
the North pole will be A, the South G. In the stone
EFB, the North will be H the south B, and that is beyond
all admiration, that the points GH will the stone was but one, were
but one, as being agreed together, they had the same forces, but when the
stone is divided, each part will hold its
Virtue, and be quite contrary and
at enmity. For G always turns to the South. And the same
will fall out, if you divide AG and HB into many small pieces,
and if you afterwards join all these pieces together as they were, their
mutual discord of Nature will be
presently reconciled. Wherefore
false, that the Loadstone draws
where it has but a thin cover, and more in one part then another. For
it attracts only from one certain point, as it had its position before in
"That the Polar Line in the Loadstone
is not stable, but movable."
But the like wonder of Nature cannot but be admired among many that God has made, and therefore I would have no man ignorant thereof. This Polar line spoken of, is not always certain in the same place, nor does it stand always firm, but changes, and takes the contrary positions. But this is constant in it, that it always runs through the middle of the stone, like a King that has always his court or fort in the midst of his country. For consisting in the center from where the extreme parts are as it were the Circumference, it can easily send its forces to all parts, and defend itself. But an example shall clear this.
Let the stone be AEFC, and let the line
AC running through the length of it , be the
Polar line we
speak of, wherein the force of its resides, which runs from the North to
the South Pole. I say, if you divide the stone in two pieces by the
line AC, that one piece may be AED, the other BCF, if
they be taken asunder, that the force of it does not reside in the extreme
part of the line AD or EXTREME, but being divided in the middle, the
forces is received in the middle of each stone, and in the stone AED,
it will be GH, and in BCF, it will be IL. Which
cannot be spoken without admiration, that in a dead stone there should be
a living Virtue to move itself.
Who is there, unless he try it, that will believe these things? For
as the line that stretches from North to South was in the prime, so if you
divide the stone into a thousand parts, that force is sent into all those
parts, each of them holding its own line in the middle of it. So if
we shall divide the part AED into other parts, and shall part the
smallest of them, what part so ever is parted from its confines, it will
have that same lively force running long-ways through the middle of it.
And so it will be, if you divide the stone into the smallest sand.
But the greater wonder is, that if you join all the parts together
again as they were at first, they will all have the same force united, and
that will retire into the middle of the stone.
"That the force of North and South
is vigorous in the points."
But is more wonderful? Though the force retreats to the middle of the stone, yet it does not send itself forth by the middle, but by the extreme part of the stone, and lies still in the middle, as if it were asleep, but it is awake in the end, and there it comes forth. But if a man break the stone, he shall see it more perfectly. I shall give an example for such that are curious, to search out the Virtue of the Loadstone ...
Loadstone be AB, and
A the North pole, B the South. I say that in AB
the end of the stone, the force is greater, and in the middle of the line
ILN, it s more weak and drowsy, unless there be any
Virtue unknown in the right and
left side CD. But the nearer it is to the North or South,
the more it augments, but the farther off it is, the more it faints. Break
the stone in C and G, wherein there lay a
Virtue unperceived, but it will
appear when the stone is broken and shows its properties, and one point shall
show forth the North, the other the South. And if these things seem
superfluous, yet are they necessary, as the grounds of what I must say.
"That by the touching of other stones,
those points will not change their forces."
And because I said that the
Loadstone does not always hold
its forces equal, but that one stone is more powerful in operation then another,
for some are faint and weak, I shall put the first question, whether by rubbing
and touching the weaker stones with the stronger, those forces will be changed,
or stay as they were, as, if a
Loadstone is sluggish in pointing
out the pole, whether in a stronger stone rubbed with the North point upon
the North point of the weaker, can help it at all; or if we shall rub the
South point of the other on the North point of this, whether the North point
rubbed on will be gone and become the South Point, or continue in its former
Virtue? Where we have not
reason to direct us, experience shall prove it. For let a
Loadstone be of what forces and
properties it may be, by rubbing it against a
Loadstone of less
Virtue, it will never lose anything,
but continues immutable, and being left at liberty in its boat, it will turn
voluntarily to its own pole, and decline the contrary part. And though
we cannot find the cause of it, yet it seems not against reason; I
say, that in stones of the same kind, the greater stones have the greatest
forces; and one Loadstone is
rubbed against another, it will leave certain hairs, which are but the bruised
small parts of the stone, that stick like hairs, and these are they that
lend force to Iron and other things
to attract, and to turn to the pole; but if the stone that is rubbed and
receives it be greater then those hairs, it can never be that the greater
Virtue should be conquered by the
less, always the stones being of the same kind, since the hairs have as it
were no proportion to the magnitude of it. And as the hairs to the
stones magnitude are insensible, so it is impossible that they can wrest
the force of it to the contrary pole.
"That a Loadstone will draw a Loadstone,
and drive it from it."
I shall speak of the other operation of it, which is of its attracting and repelling. This is both admirable, and delightful to behold with our eyes, and to consider in our mind, that the part of one Loadstone should so carefully search out another, allure and attracted, to enjoy its company, and to foster it in its bosom, and again, another should be such an enemy to it, that they are at mutual discord, so that putting their contrary ends together, the one will be so contrary to the other, and have as it were the force of it, that it will turn the contrary way. Namely, the North part of the one does not indifferently draw any part of every other stone, but a distinct and certain part, nor does it drive every part from it, but that part it naturally abhors, and cannot endure, as being contrary unto it. The North part of the one will draw the South part of the other, and drive away from it the North part of the same, and the South part of this is not an enemy to the North part of the other, but to the South part of it. The same will appear better by an example...
Let there be two
stones ACD, and EBF. In the first stone let A
be the North pole, and the pint G the South, in the stone EFB
let the North part be H, and the South B. I say, if you
put the South part G, of the CAD, to the South part B,
of the stone EFB, it will presently drive it from it, and the same
will happen if you put the North pole A to the North pole G.
Again, if you show the North point A to the South point
H, or the South point B to the North point A, as being
mutually agreed it will draw the part to it that is not against it. The
reason of it I know; for since that the South part G, had formerly
been fast to the North part H, when the parts are divided they always
seek to unite again, to preserve the same body, as philosophers say. But
if the South point G had been fast with the South point B of
another stone, B flies off presently, and departs from it, or if you
show the North point A, to the North point H, the same will
come to pass, for they refuse one the other, because they did not so stand
in their Mine. Here I shall confute the error of
Pliny and of his followers, who think
that no other Loadstone has this
Virtue but the stone of Ethiopia,
but it is common to all Loadstones. Also, it is a sign says he, of
the Ethiopian Stone, because that will draw another whole
Loadstone to it. Also
Cardanus falsely affirms that
one Loadstone will not draw another,
but it will draw it, because the
Iron is concealed in it that it had
first drank in. In brief, the poles that are unlike, will join together,
by reason of the similitude of their substance, and likeness of inclination,
but the poles that are the same, by a contrary inclination are at enmity.
That is, the North point seeks the South point, and South the North
point, so shall the South and North points reject South and North points.
Yet we must tell you by the way, that when we try the stones, let them
not be both great and vast stones, that being hindered by their weights
cannot perform their office. But let one be great, and the other small,
or both small, that they may be mutually repulsed or drawn on. The
trial is easy, if they be hung by a thread, or put into their boats, or if
they play equally balanced upon the
"A sport of the Loadstone."
I will not
pass by a merry conceit of the
Loadstone , that I have often
made my friends sport with, for the good of those that are curious in the
search of the reasons of things. How in a short time two kinds of sands
mingled, and laid on a heap, my be parted on from the other very suddenly.
For the standers by, that cannot find the reason for it will think
it impossible. The trick is this; pound a
Loadstone into very fine sand,
and put some white sand, or some other sand together with it, and mingle
them, and make a heap of them. For if you put a
Loadstones to it, either uncovered,
or covered with linen (that bystanders may not know it) presently the sand
of the Loadstone, as in league
with it, will run like small hairs joined together, and will stick fast to
the stone, which you my brush off and lay aside, then come again, and what
is behind will run to the stone, till you have drawn it all out, and it will
cause no little wonder, that when the
Loadstone comes to the heap,
the sands that were mingled should be parted asunder. But the more
easily to powder the
Loadstone , do thus. Put
the Loadstone into an
Mortar, lay a blanket
or some other soft thing upon it, for it will thus yield to hand-strokes,
and presently crumble, if not, you must beat hard on the bottom of the
Mortar, and batter
the Pestle. Also
the same thing befalls us in a certain sand that is brought to us out of
an Iron mine from Porchys, for it
has the color and shining that
Iron has, and by the proximation of
the Loadstone , it is soon parted
from the other to the admiration of those that are present. It may
be this experiment was made, because the
Ancients report that
the Loadstone will draw
Iron, sand, oil, and all things.
"The greater the Loadstone is, the
greater is the force of it."
And you must know, that the bigger
Loadstone will cast forth its
force at a farther distance, and brandish it, and attract the opposite
Loadstone with more violence,
and draw it to it, and that in the same sort of stone, as if a
Loadstone be a pound weight,
and another Loadstone be a good
distance from it, it will presently leap, and meet the other that draws it.
If we cut off half that stone, the force of it will decay, and be dull
as if it were dead, and the vigor of it is taken away by the proportion of
the part taken from it. If any man will not believe it, let a stone
be brought for trial. For a part being taken away, part of the
Virtue is lost also. Join
the part taken away as it was, and the force will be restored, and become
more lively, and will be as powerful as before, that it will leap at a
Loadstone that meets it at a
great distance, and presently embrace it. This argument confirms it,
that the greater the stone is, the greater force it has, even in the same
sort of stones. For I have seen diverse
Loadstones, brought from diverse
parts of the world, to have diverse properties. I saw in Rome, a
Loadstone weighting an ounce,
that drew two ounces of Iron, and
held it so fast as it drew, that it could scarce be pulled from it. I
have seen others of forty pound weight, that were so feeble, that they would
scarce stir an ounce. But that I may the more oblige the curiosity
of students in this matter, I shall teach in the following chapters, how
the Virtue of the stone may be tried
and equally balanced..........
"That the force of this stone will pass into other stones, that sometimes you may see as it were a rope of stones."
The stone with us is commended for another property; for when it has taken hold of another stone, it not only holds that fast, but it sends into the body of it an efflux ion of its forces. And that having got more forces, draws another, and gives it the like faculty. The third made to partake of the same Virtue, draws others that are near or far off, and casts forth and brandishes the same Virtue. And this draws another. And so, by a reciprocal ejaculation, by the same force it is held, by the same it holds others. And from each of them to the other, are their darts flying as it were endowed with the Virtue of them. And if you lift them up on high, they seem to hang in links like a chain, that they will not easily be drawn one from the other, that we must wonder exceedingly, how that internal and invisible force can run from one to the other, and pass through them. And the more Virtue it has, to the more it does communicate it. Yet I though fit to forewarn you that you fail not in your trial, that the stones must stick the one to the other by the parts that agree, and not by contrary parts. For so would not one impart his Virtues to another, but by the meeting with an opposite part, would be held back, and cease from doing its office. Namely, that the North point of the one, must stick to the South point of the other, and the North point to the North point is contrary and the faculty will faint and decay at the presence of its adversary. Nor yet will we omit to remember those that are curious to try this, that the stones must successively be proportion able, that the great one must draw a less, and a little one must draw one less then itself. For so they will hang the faster, and not be so easily pulled asunder.
"That in the Loadstone that hairiness is contused"
Hence comes that hairiness of little hairs, that we mentioned before, that sticks so fast to the stone, that it can hardly be pulled off. For when one is rubbed against the other, or is beaten off with a light blow of the Hammer, those small pieces being rubbed one against another, do not fall to the earth by their own weight, but are held up on the force of the stone. And that one may stick fast to the other, turning its friendly countenance to it, it can by no other means commodiously fasten to its sympathizing part, nor be joined with it, but like a hair or small thread. And if you rub one stone long against another, that heap of sand will so augment, that it will appear all hairy, or like the down on a man's chin, or as it were beset round with a heap of pricks. Nor is this to be passed without admiration, that if any man puts another Loadstone to it, or near it, that is greater then it, and more powerful. They will appear presently to turn about, and to direct their friendly parts to the like parts in the stone that is put near them, and to strive to come to it. And if they cannot do it, for want of strength, they will fall to the ground.
"The attractive part is more violent then the part that drives off."
We must tell the reader of another thing beforehand, that having laid the foundation of what we shall say, we may proceed to greater matters. The part that attracts, draws more vehemently, and that which drives away, does it more faintly. Namely, the part opposite to it. For if the South part of the stone, sticks to the North part of the other, it will draw at greater distance and more force. But contrarily, if you turn the disagreeing part together, namely, the South parts to the South and the North parts to the North parts, the natural force is made dull, and as though it were feeble and weak. It loses its force, that it cannot so well perform its office. And if the are not very near, the force is stopped, and can do very little. If any man desires to try, let him hang them up with threads, or balance them on a pin, or put them in boats. And he shall find their readiness to draw, and their feebleness and sluggishness to drive off from them.
"The contrary parts of the Stones are contrary one to another."
The parts we speak of, if they are joined friendly together, they will as it were, enter a league, and help one the other, and will gain more force and Virtue. But if they be contrary, they are at such opposition by their Nature, and such secret hatred there is between them, that being put together by their disagreeing points, as if their adversary were present, they will cease from all their attraction and lose all their force. As, if you have Loadstones in your hands, that have the opposite parts united, the North and South together. If another stone be put to them, neither of these stones will move or get the victory, for they neither draw to, nor drive from, especially, if both their forces be equal. But if one be stronger then another, the stone that is put to it, will move and stir, and will either come forward or go backward. But if you take up his contrary companion, he will either be drawn after, or will fly from it willingly. For it will either go along with the part it agrees with, or will go from that part it is contrary to. By which reason you may know, that one hinders the other. We may also by another experiment, be made more certain of the same thing. If you draw one Loadstone with another, and let it hang in the air. If to the place where they join, you apply the contrary force of another Loadstone. By this meeting with their enemy, both their forces will fail and faint. And if the same be of a great force, the stone that drew will let the other go, and falls from it. And also, not without mirth and admiration, you shall see a chain of many pieces of Loadstones hanging together. And if you apply the contrary side to the third or fourth stone, the chain is presently broken, and the part falls off, and will not hang fast. But the other parts, whither the force of it comes not, will yet stick fast together in a link, unless you put the end of the contrary part to them.
"How to know the Polar points in the Loadstone."
We may know by another and more certain way then that I set down before, which are the vertical points in the Loadstone, which turn to the North, which to the South. And especially, that point that sends forth the attractive Virtue, will be discovered. Thus, that point that most vehemently draws unto it the South point of another stone, and sticks fast to it, that is the North point, and that point the North part of another stone willingly join with, is the South point. The same also may be known by the driving off. The point that drives off from it, and refuses the North part of the stone put against it, is the North point. And the South point, that drives from it the South point. And he that would have the true pole more exactly demonstrated, let him do thus. Put a little bit of a Loadstone, not much greater or lesser then a Millet seed, to the Loadstone. And if presently draw it at a distance, and when it is drawn, it sticks fast and is hardly taken from it, it is an argument of the true end whence that force proceeds. You may also draw about a little bit about that point, to see if it will draw weakly or strongly, and whether it will part from that place of itself, or unwillingly. Briefly, that point that draws with most force, and will hardly let loose what it has attracted, it the true point of attraction. Giving you to understand,
"That the Pole sends its force to the Circumference."
I have known it so, as from the center to the Circumference. And as the light of a candle is spread every way, and enlightens the chamber. And the farther it is off from it, the weaker it shines, and at too great a distance is lost. And nearer it is, the more clearly it illuminates. So the force flies froth that point; and the nearer it is, the more forcibly it attracts; and the further off, the more faintly. And it is set too far off, it vanishes quite, and does nothing. Wherefore for that we shall say of it, and mark it for, we shall call the length of its forces the Compass of its Virtues.
"That the force of drawing and driving off, can be hindered by no hindrance."
But this is above all wonder, that you can never wonder so much as you should, that the force of the stone for attraction and repelling, can be included in no bounds, can be hindered by nothing, or held back. But it will penetrate invisibly. And will move and stir those stones that are sympathizing with it, if they be put to it, and will exercise its forces, as if there were nothing between. But this must be within the compass of its Virtue. For if you hang some Loadstone fitly upon a table of Wood, stone, or metal, or lying equally balanced, and you shall put your Loadstone under the table, and stir it there, the Virtue of it will pass from this body like a spirit penetrating the solid table, and move the stone above it, and stir it as it self is moved. As this moves, so moves that. And when this rests, that does the same. But if the table be made of Loadstone or Iron, the Virtue is hindered, and can do nothing. We shall show the reasons of it in their proper places. Of so many strange miracles in Nature, there in none more wonderful then this.
"How to make an Army of Sand to fight before you."
And it is pleasant as wonderful, that I have shown to my friends, who beheld on a plain table an army of sand divided into the right and left wings, fighting, to the wonder of the spectators. And many that were ignorant of the business, thought it was done by the help of the devil. I pounded a Loadstone into powder, some very small, some something gross. And I made some of little bits, that they might better represent troops or horse, or companies of foot. And so I set my army here and there. The wings were on the right and left, and the main body was in the middle, accompanied with troops of horse. Under a smooth table I put a very principal Loadstone with my hand. When this was put there, the left wing marched, and on the right hand, with another stone, the right wing marched. When they drew near together, and were more near the Loadstone, the sands trembled. And by degrees, they seemed like those that take up their spears. And when the Loadstone was laid down, they laid down their spears, as if they were ready to fight, and did threaten to kill and slay. And the better the Loadstone was, the higher would these hairs stretch forth themselves. And as I moved my hands little and little, so the army marched on, and showed the form of a battle. And you might see them sometimes retreat, sometimes march forward. Sometimes to conquer, and sometimes to be conquered. Sometimes to lift up their spears, and lay them down again, as the Loadstone was put near to them, or farther off. And the more force there was to send forth in every way. But this is the greater wonder, because what is done on a plain board, may be done hanging in the air. That you may see them like the Antipodes in battle. For stretching out a paper, or setting a table aloft, the Loadstones moved above the table, will do the same thing we speak of, and show it to the spectators. But if one that is ingenious do the business, he will do more and greater feats then we can write of.
"The Situation makes the Virtues of the Stone contrary."
It cannot want wonder, as it does reason, that the position should show the Virtues contrary to all that we have said. For the stone put above the table will do nothing, and another thing if is put under the table. For if you sit the stone by equally poising it to make it move freely, or put it into a boat, and put a stone above it. It will attract it, or reject it, as we said before. But if you put it under the stone, it will work contrarily, for that part the drew above. That is, if you place the stone above and beneath in a perpendicular. By which experiments, one may see clearly, that the situation will work contrary operations, and change the forces of it by turns. Wherefore in the operations of it, you must chiefly mark the position, if you put the Loadstone above or beneath.
"How the attractive force of the Loadstone may be weighed."
We can also measure that attracting or expelling Virtue of the Loadstone, or poise it in a balance. Which will be of no small consequence in the following considerations. And especially, for a perpetual motion, and to make Iron hang pendulous in the air, when the true and certain attractive Virtue is found out from the Circumference to the center. The art is this. Put a piece of a Loadstone into a balance, and the other scale as much weight of some other matter, that the scale may hang equal. Then we apply a piece of Iron lying on a table, that it may stick fast by their friendly points, you shall by degrees cast some sand into the other scale, and that so long, till the scale and Iron part. So by weighing the weight of the sand, we have the Virtue of the Loadstone we sought to find. We may also put the Iron into the scale, and lay the Loadstone on the table.
"Of the mutual attraction, and driving off of the Loadstone and Iron."
Now are we come to the other part of our treaty, wherein we will discourse of the mutual union of Loadstones, and of their differences one with the other. The effects whereof are so known, that they are in the mouths of all men, nor will any man almost say that he know them not. The operation is this. Because there is such a natural concord and sympathy between the Iron and the Loadstone, as if they had made a League. That when the Loadstone comes near the Iron, the Iron presently stirs, and runs to meet it, to be embraced by the Loadstone. And that embraces it so fast, that with tossing of it up and down, you can scarce part them. And the Loadstone runs as fast to the Iron, as is as much in love with that, and unity with it. For neither of them will refuse to be drawn. But the weaker still runs willingly to meet the other. That you may believe this, you shall try it thus. either hang them both by a thread, or put them in boats, or balance them on the Needle. Pliny speaking of this, says, for what is more wonderful? Or wherein is Nature more wanton? What is more sluggish than a cold stone? Yet Nature has given this both sense and hands. What is more powerful than hard Iron? Yet it yields and submits. For the Loadstone draws it. And that matter that conquers all things, runs after I know not what. And as it comes near, it stops, and lays fast hold, and stays constantly to be embraced. Lucretius, seeking the cause of this effect,
"How it should be that Loadstone Iron draws."
Orpheus in his verses
relates, that Iron is drawn by the
Loadstone, as a bride after the
bridegroom, to be embraced. And the
Iron is do desirous to join with it
as her husband, and is so solicitous to meet the
Loadstone. When it is hindered
by its weight, yet it will stand on end, as it held up its hands to beg of
the stone, and flattering of it, as if it were impatient that it cannot come
at it by reason of its large size. And shows that it is not content
with its condition. But if it once kissed the
Loadstone, as if the desire were
satisfied, it then is at rest. And the are so mutually in love, that
if one cannot come to the other, it will hang pendulous in the air.
ignorantly told Frederick
the Emperor, that a friend of his showed a
Loadstone, that did not attract
Iron, but was attracted by it.
Since the lighter of these two will stir, when the heavier approaches
"The Iron and Loadstone are in greater amity, then the Loadstone is with the Loadstone."
The exceeding love of the Iron with the Loadstone, is greater and more effectual and far stronger, then that of the Loadstone with the Loadstone. and this is easily proved. For lay on a table, pieces of Iron, and Loadstone of the same weight. And let another Loadstone be brought near. When it comes to a fit distance, the Iron will presently stir, and runs toward the Loadstone and embraces it. And it is proven better thus. Let a Loadstone embrace a Loadstone, and be set softly near the Iron. When the force of its Circumference comes to the Iron, the Loadstone will presently let fall the Loadstone, and lay hold on the Iron. But let Iron and that be joined, no Loadstone can ever take them asunder to stick there.
"The Loadstone does not draw on all parts, but a certain points."
Yet we must not think that the Loadstone draws the Iron with every part, but at a set and certain point. Which is to be searched out, with great reason, care and diligence. You shall find it thus. Either hang up the Iron, or balance it on a table, that it may presently leap to be embraced from them. Then carry your Loadstone round about it. And when you see the Iron tremble, and run toward the Loadstone, touching it, that is the very point of attraction, and the beams of its Virtue are sent round about them from that point. Wherefore the farther from that point the Iron is, the more faintly and weakly will it move. For the more forcible Virtue nests in the center, as in its Throne.
"That the same Loadstone that draws, does on the contrary point drive off the Iron."
That no man might be deceived, thinking the Loadstone that draws Iron, to be different from that stone that drives it off. I tell him of it beforehand, and I shall by experiments dissipate this cloud. Pliny says, the Loadstone that draws Iron to it, is not the same with which drives Iron from it. And again, in the same Ethiopia, there is a mountain that produces the stone Theamedes, that drives off Iron and rejects it. Pliny not knowing this, erred exceedingly, thinking that they were two stones that had these contrary operations. Whereas it is but one and the same stone, that by sympathy and similitude, draws the willing Iron to it. But with the opposite part, by antipathy of natures, it drives it off. and you may be easily assured of this. For let Iron be balanced equally, and let one end of the Loadstone draw it, if you turn the other end to it, it will fly back, and turn to the contrary part. These points run in a right line through the middle of the stone. Yet observe this, that the Iron which is drawn by one point of the Loadstone, or is within the compass of its Virtue for a while, obtains presently this Virtue. That what is drawn by the one end of it, will be driven off by the other. You shall know these differences of attraction more clearly by the following experiment.
"How Iron will be made leap upon a table, no Loadstone being seen."
By reason of this consent and discord of the Loadstone, I use to make pretty sport to make my friends merry. For casting the Iron on the table, and not putting any Loadstone near it, that the spectators can see, the Iron will seem to move itself. Which is very pleasant to behold. I do it thus. Divide a Needle in the middle. Cast one half of it upon the table, but first rub the head of it with one end of the Loadstone. Put your hand with the Loadstone privately under the table, and there where the head of the Needle, the Loadstone will stick, and the Needle will presently stand upright. And standing so, to the wonder of the beholders, will walk over the table, and follow the motion of the hand that guides it. When it has gone thus a while, presently turn the stone upside down, and put the contrary part of the Loadstone to the Needle. And (which is strange) the Needle will turn about. And if it went on the head before, it will now go on the point. And draw your had which way you will, the Needle will follow it. And if you turn the stone three or four times, putting sometimes the South point, sometime the North point of the stone to it, the Needle will turn as often, and sometimes