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The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. [1913], at


Of the Inclinations of Enmities.

On the contrary, there are Inclinations of Enmities, and they are, as it were, the odium, and anger, indignation, and a certain kind of obstinate contrariety of nature, so that any thing shuns its contrary and drives it away out of its presence. Such kinds of inclinations hath rhubarb against choler, treacle against poison, the sapphire stone against hot boils and feverish heats and diseases of the eyes; the amethyst against drunkenness, the jasper against

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flux of blood and offensive imaginations, the emerald and angus castus against lust, achates against poison, piony against the falling sickness, coral against the ebullition of black choler and pains in the stomach. The topaz against spiritual heats, such as are covetousness, lust, and all manner of excesses of love. The like inclinations is there also of ants against the herb origanum; and the wing of a bat and the heart of a lapwing, from the presence of which they fly. Also origanum is contrary to a certain poisonous fly, which cannot endure the Sun, and resists salamanders, and loathes cabbage with such a deadly hatred that they destroy one the other. So cucumbers hate oil, and will run themselves into a ring lest they should touch it. And it is said that the gall of a crow makes men afraid and drives them away from where it is, as also certain other things. So a diamond doth disagree with the loadstone, that being set by it, it will not suffer iron to be drawn to it; and sheep fly from frog-parsley as from some deadly thing, and that, which is more wonderful, Nature hath pictured the sign of this death in the livers of sheep, in which the very figure of frog-parsley, being described, doth naturally appear. So goats do so hate garden basil as if there were nothing more pernicious. And again, amongst animals, mice and weasels do disagree; whence it is said that mice will not touch cheese if the brains of a weasel be put in the rennet, and besides that the cheese will not be corrupt with age. So a lizard is so contrary to scorpions that it makes them afraid with its very sight, as also it puts them into a cold sweat; therefore they are killed with the oil of lizards, which oil also cures the wounds made by scorpions. There is also an enmity betwixt scorpions and mice; wherefore if a mouse be applied to a prick or wound made by a scorpion, it cures it, as it is reported. There is also an enmity betwixt scorpions and stalabors,

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asps and wasps. It is reported, also that no thing is so much an enemy to snakes as crabs, and that if swine be hurt therewith they eat them and are cured. The sun, also being in Cancer, serpents are tormented. Also scorpion and crocodile kill one the other; and if the bird ibis doth but touch a crocodile with one of his feathers, he makes him immovable. The bird called bustard flies away at the sight of a horse, and a hart runs away at the sight of a ram, as also a viper. An elephant trembles at the hearing of the grunting of a hog, so doth a lion at the sight of a cock; and panthers will not touch them that are anointed all over with the broth of a hen, especially if garlic hath been boiled in it. There is also enmity betwixt foxes and swans, bulls and jackdaws. Amongst birds, also, some are at perpetual strife one with another, as also with other animals, as jackdaws and owls, the kite and crows, the turtle and ring-tail, egepis and eagles, harts and dragons. Also amongst water animals there is enmity, as betwixt dolphins and whirlpools, mullets and pikes, lampreys and congers. Also the fish called pourcontrel makes the lobster so much afraid that the lobster seeing the other but near him, is struck dead. The lobster and conger tear one the other. The civet cat is said to stand so in awe of the panther that he hath no power to resist him or touch his skin; and they say that if the skins of both of them be hanged up one against the other, the hairs of the panther's skin fall off. And Orus Apollo saith in his hieroglyphics, if any one be girt about with the skin of the civet cat that he may pass safely through the middle of his enemies and not at all be afraid. Also the lamb is very much afraid of the wolf and flies from him. And they say that if the tail or skin or head of a wolf be hanged upon the sheep-coate the sheep are much troubled and cannot eat their meat for fear. And Pliny makes mention of a bird, called marlin, that

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breaks crows’ eggs, whose young are so annoyed by the fox that she also will pinch and pull the fox's whelps, and the fox herself also; which when the crows see, they help the fox against her, as against a common enemy. The little bird called a linnet, living in thistles, hates asses, because they eat the flowers of thistles. Also there is such a bitter enmity betwixt the little bird called easlon and the ass that their blood will not mix together, and that at the braying of the ass both the eggs and young of the easlon perish. There is also such a disagreement betwixt the olive-tree and a wanton, that if she plant it, it will either be always unfruitful or altogether wither. * A lion fears nothing so much as fired torches, and will be tamed by nothing so much as by these; and the wolf fears neither sword nor spear, but a stone—by the throwing of which, a wound being made, worms breed in the wolf. A horse fears a camel so that he cannot endure to see so much as his picture. An elephant, when he rageth, is quieted by seeing a cock. A snake is afraid of a man that is naked, but pursues a man that is clothed. A mad bull is tamed by being tied to a fig-tree. Amber draws all things to it besides garden basil and those things which are smeared with oil, betwixt which there is a kind of a natural antipathy.


84:* This illustration of a natural antipathy said to exist between a wanton and an olive-tree, as well as other illustrations herein of the occult virtues of things, may be regarded as somewhat fanciful, but the reader will be able to bring to mind plenty of natural phenomena that fully prove the leading truths that Agrippa here seeks to convey. For instance, the writer knows one person of whom it may be justly claimed that every plant grows that he touches, while his mother, rendering the same care, finds it impossible to raise a plant. All women know, who have had the experience, that at certain times each month they cannot make pickles that will not spoil. The explanation of these things are found in the occult virtues of Nature; the inherent sympathy, amity or antipathy in all things to all other things, which Agrippa so admirably sets forth.

Next: Chapter XIX. How the Virtues of Things Are to Be Tried and Found Out, Which Are in Them Specially, or in Any One Individual by Way of Special Gift