CHAP. LXIV. How the Passions of the mind change the body by way of imitati∣on from some resemblance; Also of the transforming, and translating of men, and what force the imaginative power hath not only over the body, but the soul.
THe foresaid Passions sometimes alter the body by way of imitation, by reason of the vertue which the likness of the thing hath to change it, which power the vehement imaginati∣on moves, as in seeting the teeth on edge at the sight or hearing of something, or because we see or imagine another to eat sharp or soure things: So he which sees another gape, gapes also; and some when they hear any one name soure things, their tongue waxeth tart. Also the seeing of any filthy thing Page 143 causeth nauseousness. Many at the sight of mans blood fall into a swoun. Some when they see bitter meat given to any, per∣ceive a bitter spitle in their mouth. And William of Paris saith, that he saw a man, that at the sight of a medicine, went to stool as oft as he pleased; when as neither the substance of the medicine, nor the odour, nor the tast of it came to him: but only a kind of resemblance was apprehended by him. Upon this account some that are in a dream think they burn, and are in a fire, and are fearfully tormented, as if they did truly burn, when as the substance of the fire is not neer them, but only a resemblance apprehended by their imagination. And sometimes mens bodies are transformed, and transfigured, and also transported, and this oft-times when they are in a dream, and sometimes when they are awake. So Cyprus after he was chosen King of Italy, did very much wonder at, and meditate upon the sight, and victory of Buls, and in the thought thereof did sleep a whole night, but in the morning was found horned, no otherwise then by the ve∣getative power being stirred up by a vehement imagination, elevating corniferous humors into his head, and producing horns. For a vehement cogitation, whilest it vehemently moves the species, pictures out the figure of the thing thought on, which they represent in their blood, and the blood im∣presseth from it self, on the members that are nourished by it, as upon those of the same body, so upon those of anothers. As the imagination of a woman with child impresseth the mark of the thing longed for upon her infant, and the imagination of a man bit with a mad Dog, impresseth upon his Urine the image of Dogs. So men may grow grey on a suddain. And some by the dream of one night, have grown up from boies into perfect men. Hitherto may be referred those many scarrs of King Da∣gobertus, and Marks of Franciscus, which they received, the one whilest he was afraid of correction, the other whilest he did wonderfully meditate upon the wounds of Christ. So, ma∣ny are transpored from place to place, passing over rivers, fires, and unpassable places, viz. when the species of any ve∣hement desire, or fear, or boldness are impressed upon their Page 144 spirits, and being mixed with vapors, do move the Organ of the touch in their original, together with phantasie, which is the original of locall motion. Whence they stir up the members, and Organs of motion to motion, and are moved without any mistake unto the imagined place, not out of sight, but from the interiour fantasy. So great a power is there of the soulupon the body, that which way soever that imagines, and dreams that it goes, thither doth it lead the body. We read many other ex∣amples by which the power of the soul upon the body is won∣derfully explaned, as is that which Avicen describes of a cer∣tain man, who when he pleased could affect his body with the palsie. They report of Gallus Vibius, that he did fall into madness, not casually, but on purpose: for whilest he did imi∣tate mad men, he assimilated their madness to himself, and became mad indeed. And Austin makes mention of some men who would move their ears at their pleasure, and some that would move the crown of their head to their forehead, and could draw it back again when they pleased: and of an∣other that could sweat at his pleasure. And it is well known, that some can weep at their pleasure, and pour forth abundance of tears: and that there are some that can bring up what they have swallowed, when they please, as out of a bag, by degrees. And we see that in these dayes there are many who can so imitate, and express the voices of Birds, Cattle, Dogs, and some men, that they can scarce at all be discerned. Also Pliny relates by divers examples, that women have been turned into men. Pontanus testifieth that in his time a certain women called Caietava, and another called Aemilia, who after many years, after they were married, were changed into men Now how much imagination can do upon the soul, no man is ignorant: for it is neerer to the substance of the soul then the sense is; wherefore it acts more upon the soul then the sense doth. So women by certain strong imaginations, dreams, and suggestions brought in by certain Magicall Arts do often times bind them into most strong loving of any one. So they say that Medea only by a dream, burnt in love towards Jason. So the soul sometimes is by a vehement imagination, or specula∣tion Page 145 altogether abstracted from the body, as Celsus relates of a certain Presbyter, who as oft as he pleased, could make himself senseless, and lie like a dead man, that when any one pricked, or burned him, he felt no pain, but lay without any motion or breathing, yet he could, as he said, hear mens voices as it were afar off, if they cryed out aloud. But of these ab∣stractions we shall discourse more fully in the following Chapters.