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

Chap. V.

Of Perspective Artificial Experiments.

THe physical figuration of rayes are found out to be very admirable. Glasses and Perspectives may be framed, to make one thing appear many, one man an Army, the Sun and Moon to be as many as we please. As Pliny in the 2d Book, Nat. Hist. chap. 30. saith, That Nature so disposeth of vapours, as two Sunnes, and two Moons; yea sometimes three Sunnes shine together in the Air. And by the same Reason one thing may in appearance be multiplied to an infinity, in regard that after any creature hath exceeded his own virtue (as Aristotle cap. de vacuo.) no certain bounds is to be assigned it.

This designe may seem advantagious to strike terrours into an Enemies Camp or Garison, there being a multiplication of appearances of Starres, or men assembled purposely to destroy them; Especially if the following designe be conjoyned to the former (viz.) Glasses so cast, that things at hand may appear at distance, and things at distance, as hard at hand: yea so farre may the designe be driven, as the least letters may be read, and things reckoned at an incredible distance, yea starres shine in what place you please. A way, as is verily believed, Julius C├Žsar took by great Glasses from the Coasts of France, to view the site and disposition of stoth the Castles and SeaTowns in great Britain. By the framing of Glasses, bodies of the largest bulk, may in appearance be contracted to a minute volumne, things little in themselves show great, while others tall and lofty appear low and creeping, things creeping and low, high and mighty, things private and hidden to be clear and manifest. For as Socrates did discover a Dragon, whose prestiferous breathings and influences corrupted both City and Countrey thereabouts, to have his residence in the Caverns of the Mountains. So may any other thing done in an Enemies Camp or Garison, be discovered. Glasses may be framed to send forth Species, and poisonous infectious influences, whither a man pleaseth. And this invention Aristotle shewed Alexander, by which he erecting the poison of a Basilisk upon the Wall of a City, which held out against his Army, conveyed the very poison into the City it self. Glasses may be so framed and placed, as that any man coming into a room, shall undoubtedly imagine he sees heaps of gold, silver, precious stones, or what you please, though upon his approach to the place he shall perceive his mistake.

It's then folly to seek the effecting that by Magical Illusions, which the power of Philosophy can demonstrate.

To speak of the more sublimate powers of Figurations, leading and congregating rayes by several Fractions and reflexions to what distance we please, so as any object may prove combustible. It's evident by Perspectives they burn backward and forward, which Authours have treated on in their Books. That which is the most strange of Figurations and Mouldings, is the description of Celestial Bodies, both according to their Longitude and Latitude, in such Corporeal Figures, as they naturally move by their diurnal motion. An Invention of more satisfaction to a discreet head, than a Kings Crown.

But this will suffice as to Figurations, though we might produce infinite prodigies of the like Nature.

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31