CHAP. XXXII. Of Fossil Fl•sh.
ANdreas Libavius, a Man exceedingly deserving in Philosophy and Physick, saith, that it was reported on the credit of the Je∣venses Schroterori, that at the rampire of Erfurd, by the port of St. Andrews, upon occasion of raising the Bulwark higher, that great pieces of raw flesh were dug out of ground, and that it was brawny; much like to Oxe-flesh, (only it had no bones): Hubnerus affirms this in Epistol. ad Libavium. But because those that dug it up prated that they could find it only upon Thursdays, wise men began to suspect the mat∣ter, and having discovered the fraud, the deceivers were cast into Pri∣son. Though fraud here may be objected; yet it is not against reason to say with Libavius, that there may be fossil flesh. Most true it is that the Earth, (I add the water also) is the Mother of some living Creatures, and of those imperfect ones that came by aequivocall gene∣ration; and by the mixture of both these, Clay may be made fit for the breeding of an animall principle, which somtimes becomes a perfect Creature, and somtimes is deficient. As in the kinds of perfect Crea∣tures, somtimes rude lumps are bred, somtimes provided with that supplies their defect. If that be first, and yet, helps being present, it is not frustrated of its motion, it is likely that a Mole of clotted blood or somthing like flesh should be made: no otherwise than as matter disposed with it for a bone, becomes a bone, which is called Fossil Horn. So Histories relate, that shell fish have been found in the tops of the highest Mountaines of sand, from Marle and Marble putrifi∣ed: which though some think they are the reliques of the General flood, yet is it not probable, that they could last so long, by reason of the injury of time. For Marble it self will at last dissolve. And if you think it absurd that a Creature with blood should proceed from matter that is without blood; I could by examples shew your absur∣dity. When Nilus sinks down, living Creatures are bred of the mud by heat of the Sun, some perfect, some half perfect, sticking to the Clods, Diodor. Sicul. A Venemous frog is bred deep within the Earth, where you can see no holes, when as the futures of stones are broken with wedges, Agricola. Of the rayning of blood and flesh there are many Histories, and that came not by the Sun, drawing blood from Carkeises, but by changing the humour so disposed. In Page 125 a ditch of the Town Beichelstein beneath out of a Willow, stinking blood ran. At Spira they say it came forth of bread. At Suidnicium, a bloody Fleece of Snow fell down like hail. What shall I say more? The Chymists say that of Satyrium, great Comfrey, Tutsan, Bread and Wine, a juyce may be made that is perfectly blood, which by due digestions may be made into substantial flesh. Of Brimstone boyled in Linseed Oyle, they make a Masse like a Liver. Lastly the fowls in the Orcades are said to be fruits of Trees. You shall see it proved in the appendix of the sixth Classis. Wherefore we conclude with Liba∣vius, that there may be Fossil Flesh; and with this discourse we will shut up this Classis. Setting aside those things that may be said con∣cerning Devill in Mettalls, which we shall speak of in our Thaumato∣graphia Pneumatica, which if God pleaseth, we intend to pub∣lish.
I add one thing that I had forgot. When Henry the 2. King of France was at Bononia, there was brought to him from the East Indies by an unknown person, but, as it appeared by his gesture, a Barba∣rous fellow, a stone of a wonderfull shape and nature, for it shone with light and clearnesse exceedingly, and it seemed as if it were all on fire, and turn it which way you would, the lustre of it so en∣lightned the ayre with its beams, that they could hardly endure to look upon it: And this was strange in it, that it could endure no earth upon it, but if it were covered with it, it would break forth with violence of its own accord: no art of man could hold it in a narrow place, for it delighted in the spacious Ayre, it was exceed∣ingly pure and bright, no filth was upon it, it had no certain figure, but was inconstant, and changed in a moment; and being so beau∣tifull to behold, yet it was not safe to touch it, and those that dealt roughly with it to hold it, felt the inconvenience, as many that stod by can testify. If any part were broken off from it, by contending with it, for it was not very hard, yet the vertue of it was very usefull for many things, and the Stranger said it was needfull chiefly for Kings. He boasted much of the miracle, but refused to discover it, unlesse he might first receive a mighty reward. Thuan saith, that he delivered these things as they were in Leters of John Pipin an eye witnesse of it: who in the Family of A. Mamorantius, M. E. professed Physick, and sent his Leters to Antony Mizaldus a famous Physitian; also, to Bononia, on the day before Ascension day, and saith, he leaves the matter to Philosophers to discusse farther. For Pipinus in his Letters, neither said that the Antient knew any such stone, nor do I affirm it. Thuan, l. 5. Histor.