Friar Bacon His Discovery of the Miracles of Art, Nature, and Magick

Chap. IV.

Of admirable Artificial Instruments.

THat I may the better demonstrate the inferiority and indignity of Magical power to that of Nature or Art, I shall a while discourse on such admirable operations of Art and Nature, as have not the least Magick in them, afterwards assign them their Causes and Frames. And first of such Engines, as are purely artificial.

It's possible to make Engines to sail withall, as that either fresh or salt water vessels may be guided by the help of one man, and made sail with a greater swiftness, than others will which are full of men to help them.

It's possible to make a Chariot move with an inestimable swiftnesse (such as the Currus falcati were, wherein our fore fathers of old fought,) and this motion to be without the help of any living creature.

It's possible to make Engines for flying, a man sitting in the midst whereof, by turning onely about an Instrument, which moves artificiall Wings made to beat the Aire, much after the fashion of a Birds flight.

It's possible to invent an Engine of a little bulk, yet of great efficacy, either to the depressing or elevation of the very greatest weight, which would be of much consequence in several Accidents: For hereby a man may either ascend or descend any walls, delivering himself or comrads from prison; and this Engine is only three fingers high, and four broad.

A man may easily make an Instrument, whereby one man may in despight of all opposition, draw a thousand men to himself, or any other thing, which is tractable.

A man may make an Engine, whereby without any corporal danger, he may walk in the bottome of the Sea, or other water. These Alexander (as the Heathen Astronomer assures us) used to see the secrets of the deeps.

Such Engines as these were of old, and are made even in our dayes. These all of them (excepting only that instrument of flying, which I never saw or know any, who hath seen it, though I am exceedingly acquainted with a very prudent man, who hath invented the whole Artifice) with infinite such like inventions, Engines and devices are feasable, as making of Bridges over Rivers without pillars or supporters.

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