A Cornucopia of divers Secrets

These entertaining snippets come from A Cornucopia of divers Secrets, by Thomas Jonson (1596), a little collection of rare knowledge:

The head of a Batte brought to powder and put uppon the Stomacke of one that is asleep, it is said that he shall not awake till it bee taken awaie.

It is supposed that the Smock or other apparrell of a Strumpet being worne by others, giveth a certain impudencie and shameless boldness to those parties.

The Olive tree so detesteth the Cucumber that being placed neere together, they will turne backe and growe hookewise lest they shoulde touch one another.

There is a bird like a Partridge called Ordis that cannot abide the sight of an horse.

There is a mortall hate betwixt the Mouse and the Scorpion, in such sorte that a Mouse applied to the biting of a Scorpion helpeth the griefe.

A Snake fearth a naked man, and pursueth or followeth one that is not naked.

The space betweene the toppe of the one shoulder to the toppe of the other over the back is the fourth part of a mans length.

Twice the compass of the wrist is the compass of the calfe of the legge.

It is said that an Hare is one yeare male another yeare female.

In the east part of the world are men having but one legge, wherewith they goe by Hoppes and that more swiftly than any beast.

Italie hatcheth stately mindes, France excesse of pride, England covertousnesse, Scotland craftiness, Ireland lustinesse, Flaunders drunkenesse.

 
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3 Comments

  • March 5, 2010 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Liam – I would imagine the best approach would be to stun the mouse, then lay it on the wound and hope for the best.

    Twaza – Which snakes will you use in the test, and will your sample of men and women be random, or restricted to attractive women and unappealing naked men?

  • March 4, 2010 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I am planning to do a double-blind randomized controlled trial of stripping to ward off pursuing snakes. The main research question is “Would pursuing snakes be repelled by naked men, and be attracted by naked ladies?”

    I have opened a list of volunteers who would like to participate. Modesty should not stand in the way of you contributing to the science of snake behaviour as both the participants and the investigator will be blindfolded.

  • March 4, 2010 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    This is great fun. I do wonder, though, in case I ever need to try, how does one apply a mouse to a scorpion wound?

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