Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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Killing the animal to mold

You must have been careful not to hurt it while capturing it. If you have a stock [of animals] and you wish to keep them for a long time, place it in a glass bottle with bran or in a large barrel half full of damp fresh earth. Give them frogs to eat, live rather than dead, because should you keep them without feeding them, they would wither and become emaciated, and their skin would become saggy and wrinkled. Therefore, the sooner after its capture you mold it, the better it will come out. And kill it in the following manner: place it in a clean bottle or vessel so that [the animal] does not carry any dust; fill [the bottle] with enough good vinegar and urine so as to cover [the animal]. Shake [the bottle] and torment [the animal] inside there until it is dead which should take an hour or half an hour. But if you are in a hurry

at left bottom margin of folio 112r

To know if [the animal] is quite dead, take it out of the vinegar and take it by the tail. If it moves its tail, do not mold it because it still has feelings, and when pricking [its members], it would remove itself and harm the mold.

at left bottom margin of folio 112r

Water snakes do not bite much.

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to cast, force feed it your animal some good spirits or mix a bit of spirits with the vinegar. And soon it will be dead without any wounds that would deform it. As for large animals, for which it is necessary to have a lot of spirits, one uses vinegar and urine, but for small ones, spirits only are needed, and it will be done quicker.

When your animal is dead, take it out and clean it very carefully, relieving it of its old skin if it sheds, of its parasites like lizards have, and then apply it.

at left top margin of folio 112v

in a glass, and submerge, continuously holding the head of the animal. Or if it is not very big, put the whole thing in.

at left top margin of folio 112v

Be advised that before it dies, you must open it eyes, by blocking its eyelids with a bit of wax or something else.