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lute or viol, with the belly of polished brass instead of wood. We see that even in the open air, the wire-string is sweeter than the string of guts. And we see that for reflexion water excelleth; as in music near the water, or in echos.
230. It hath been tried, that a pipe a little moistened on the inside, but yet so as there be no drops left, maketh a more solemn sound, than if the pipe were dry but yet with a sweet degree of sibilation or purling; as we touched it before in the title of equality. The cause is, for that all things porous being superficially wet, and, as it were, between dry and wet, become a little more even and smooth; but the purling which must needs proceed of inequality, I take to be bred between the smoothness of the inward surface of the pipe, which is wet, and the rest of the wood of the pipe unto which the wet cometh not, but it remaineth dry.
231. In frosty weather music within doors soundeth better. Which may be by reason not of the disposition of the air, but of the wood or string of the instrument, which is made more crisp, and so more porous and hollow and we see that old lutes sound better than new for the same reason. And so do lute-strings that have been kept long.
232. Sound is likewise meliorated by the mingling of open air with pent air; therefore trial may be made of a lute or viol with a double belly; making another belly with a knot ever the strings; yet so, as there be room enough for the strings, and room enough to play below that belly. may be made also of an Irish harp, with a concave on both sides: whereas it useth to have it but on one side. The doubt may be, lest it should make too much resounding; whereby one note would overtake another.
233. If you sing in the hole of a drum, it maketh the singing more sweet. And so I conceive it would, if it were a song in parts sung into several drums; and for handsomeness and strangeness sake, it would not be amiss to have a curtain between the place where the drums are and the hearers.
234. When a sound is created in a wind instrument between the breath and the air, yet if the sound be communicated with a more equal body of the pipe, it meliorateth the sound. For, no doubt, there would be a differing sound in a trumpet or pipe of wood; and again in a trumpet or pipe of brass. It were good to try recorders and hunters' horns of brass, what the sound would be.
235. Sounds are meliorated by the intension of the sense, where the common sense is collected most to the particular sense of hearing, and the sight suspended and therefore sounds are sweeter, as well as greater, in the night than in the day; and I suppose they are sweeter to blind men than to others: and it is manifest, that between sleeping and waking, when all the senses are bound and suspended, music is far sweeter than when one is fully waking.
Experiments in consort touching the imitation of
236. It is a thing strange in nature when it is
attentively considered, how children, and some birds, learn to imitate speech. They take no mark at all of the motion of the mouth of him that speaketh, for birds are as well taught in the dark as by light. The sounds of speech are very curious and exquisite: so one would think it were a lesson hard to learn. It is true that it is done with time, and by little and little, and with many essays and proffers, but all this dischargeth not the wonder. It would make a man think, though this which we shall say may seem exceeding strange, that there is some transmission of spirits; and that the spirits of the teacher put in motion should work with the spirits of the learner a predisposition to offer to imitate; and so to perfect the imitation by degrees. But touching operations by transmissions of spirits, which is one of the highest secrets in nature, we shall speak in due place; chiefly when we come to inquire of imagination. But as for imitation, it is certain, that there is in men and other creatures a predisposition to imitate. We see how ready apes and monkeys are to imitate all motions of man; and in the catching of dottrels, we see how the foolish bird playeth the ape in gestures: and no man, it effect, doth accompany with others, but he learneth, ere he is aware, some gesture, or voice, or fashion of the other.
237. In imitation of sounds, that man should be the teacher is no part of the matter; for birds will learn one of another; and there is no reward by feeding, or the like, given them for the imitation; and besides, you shall have parrots that will not only imitate voices, but laughing, knocking, squeaking of a door upon the hinges, or of a cart-wheel: and, in effect, any other noise they hear.
238. No beast can imitate the speech of man, but birds only; for the ape itself, that is so ready to imitate otherwise, attaineth not any degree of imitation of speech. It is true that I have known
a dog, that if one howled in his ear, he would fall a howling a great while. What should be the aptness of birds in comparison of beasts to imitate the speech of man, may be farther inquired. We see that beasts have those parts which they count the instru ments of speech, as lips, teeth, &c. liker unto man than birds. As for the neck, by which the throat passeth, we see many beasts have it for the length as much as birds. What better gorge or artery birds have, may be farther inquired. The birds that are known to be speakers, are parrots, pies, jays, daws, and ravens. Of which parrots have an adunque bill, but the rest not.
239. But I conceive, that the aptness of birds is not so much in the conformity of the organs of speech, as in their attention. For speech must come by hearing and learning; and birds give more heed, and mark sounds more than beasts; because naturally they are more delighted with them, and practise them more, as appeareth in their singing. We see also, that those that teach birds to sing, do keep them waking to increase their attention. We see also, that cock birds amongst singing birds are ever the better singers: which may be because they are more lively and listen more.
240. Labour and intention to imitate voices, doth | long, not full upon the surface, the rebound will be conduce much to imitation: and therefore we see as much the contrary way whether there be any that there be certain pantomimi, that will represent such resilience in echos, that is, whether a man the voices of players of interludes so to life, as if shall hear better if he stand aside the body reperyou see them not you would think they were those cussing, than if he stand where he speaketh, or any players themselves; and so the voices of other men where in a right line between, may be tried. Trial that they hear. likewise would be made by standing nearer the place of repercussing, than he that speaketh; and again, by standing farther off than he that speaketh; and so knowledge would be taken, whether echos, as well as original sounds, be not strongest near hand.
241. There have been some that could counterfeit the distance of voices, which is a secondary object of hearing, in such sort, as when they stand fast by you, you would think the speech came from afar off, in a fearful manner. How this is done may be farther inquired. But I see no great use of it but for imposture, in counterfeiting ghosts or spirits.
Experiments in consort touching the reflexion of
There be three kinds of reflexions of sounds; a reflexion concurrent, a reflexion iterant, which we call echo; and a super-reflexion, or an echo of an echo: whereof the first hath been handled in the title of magnitude of sounds: the latter two we will now speak of.
242. The reflexion of species visible by mirrors you may command; because passing in right lines they may be guided to any point: but the reflexion of sounds is harder to master; because the sound filling great spaces in arched lines, cannot be so guided and therefore we see there hath not been practised any means to make artificial echos. And no echo already known returneth in a very narrow
243. The natural echos are made upon walls, woods, rocks, hills, and banks; as for waters, being near, they make a concurrent echo; but being farther off, as upon a large river, they make an iterant echo: for there is no difference between the concurrent echo and the iterant, but the quickness or slowness of the return. But there is no doubt but water doth help the delation of echo; as well as it beeth the delation of original sounds.
246. There be many places where you shall hear a number of echos one after another and it is when there is variety of hills or woods, some nearer, some farther off: so that the return from the farther, being last created, will be likewise last heard.
247. As the voice goeth round, as well towards the back, as towards the front of him that speaketh; so likewise doth the echo: for you have many back echos to the place where you stand.
248. To make an echo that will report three, or four, or five words distinctly, it is requisite that the body repercussing be a good distance off: for if it be near, and yet not so near as to make a concurrent echo, it choppeth with you upon the sudden. It is requisite likewise that the air be not much pent: for air at a great distance pent, worketh the same effect with air at large in a small distance. And therefore in the trial of speaking in the well, though the well was deep, the voice came back suddenly, and would bear the report but of two words.
249. For echos upon echos, there is a rare instance thereof in a place which I will now exactly describe. It is some three or four miles from Paris, near a town called Pont-Charenton: and some birdbolt shot or more from the river of Sein. The room is a chapel or small church. The walls all standing, both at the sides and at the ends. Two rows of pillars, after the manner of aisles of churches, also standing; the roof all open, not so much as any embowment near any of the walls left. There was against every pillar a stack of billets above a man's 244. It is certain, as hath been formerly touched, height; which the watermen that bring wood down that if you speak through a trunk stopped at the the Sein in stacks, and not in boats, laid there, as it farther end, you shall find a blast return upon your seemeth, for their ease. Speaking at the one end, mouth, but no sound at all. The cause is, for that I did hear it return the voice thirteen several times; the closeness which preserveth the original, is not and I have heard of others, that it would return able to preserve the reflected sound: besides that sixteen times: for I was there about three of the echos are seldom created but by loud sounds. And clock in the afternoon: and it is best, as all other therefore there is less hope of artificial echos in air echos are, in the evening. It is manifest that it is pent in a narrow concave. Nevertheless it hath not echos from several places, but a tossing of the been tried, that one leaning over a well of twenty- voice, as a ball, to and fro; like to reflections in five fathom deep, and speaking, though but softly, looking-glasses, where if you place one glass before yet not so soft as a whisper, the water returned a and another behind, you shall see the glass behind good audible echo. It would be tried whether speak-with the image, within the glass before; and again, ing in caves, where there is no issue, save where you speak, will not yield echos, as wells do.
245. The echo cometh as the original sound doth, in a round orb of air: it were good to try the cresting of the echo where the body repercussing maketh an angle; as against the return of a wall, &c. Also we see that in mirrors there is the like angle of incidence, from the object to the glass, and from the glass to the eye. And if you strike a ball side
the glass before in that; and divers such super-
words for some times; and then the last word alone | fusion: as we see ordinarily in levels, as to the eye; for some times; still fading and growing weaker. and in crannies or chinks, as to the sound. And whereas in echos of one return, it is much to hear four or five words; in this echo of so many returns upon the matter, you hear above twenty words for three.
250. The like echo upon echo, but only with two reports, hath been observed to be, if you stand between a house and a hill, and lure towards the hill. For the house will give a back echo; one taking it from the other, and the latter the weaker.
251. There are certain letters that an echo will hardly express; as S for one, especially being principal in a word. I remember well, that when I went to the echo at Pont-Charenton, there was an old Parisian, that took it to be work of spirits, and of good spirits. For, said he, call Satan, and the echo will not deliver back the devil's name; but will say, va t'en; which is as much in French as apage, or avoid. And thereby I did hap to find, that an echo would not return S, being but a hissing and an interior sound.
252. Echos are some more sudden, and chop again as soon as the voice is delivered; as hath been partly said: others are more deliberate, that is, give more space between the voice and the echo; which is caused by the local nearness or distance: some will report a longer train of words, and some a shorter; some more loud, full as loud as the original, and sometimes more loud, and some weaker and fainter.
253. Where echos come from several parts at the same distance, they must needs make, as it were, a choir of echos, and so make the report greater, and even a continued echo; which you shall find in some hills that stand encompassed theatre-like.
254. It doth not yet appear that there is refraction in sounds, as well as in species visible. For I do not think, that if a sound should pass through divers mediums, as air, cloth, wood, it would deliver the sound in a different place from that unto which it is deferred; which is the proper effect of refraction. But majoration, which is also the work of refraction, appeareth plainly in sounds, as hath been handled at full, but it is not by diversity of mediums.
Experiments in consort touching the consent and
dissent between visibles and audibles.
We have obiter, for demonstration's sake, used in divers instances the examples of the sight and things visible, to illustrate the nature of sounds: but we think good now to prosecute that comparison more fully.
Consent of visibles and audibles.
255. Both of them spread themselves in round, and fill a whole floor or orb unto certain limits; and are carried a great way: and do languish and lessen by degrees, according to the distance of the objects from the sensories.
256. Both of them have the whole species in every small portion of the air, or medium, so as the species do pass through small crannies without con
257. Both of them are of a sudden and easy generation and delation; and likewise perish swiftly and suddenly; as if you remove the light, or touch the bodies that give the sound.
258. Both of them do receive and carry exquisite and accurate differences; as of colours, figures, motions, distances, in visibles; and of articulate voices, tones, songs, and quaverings, in audibles.
259. Both of them, in their virtue and working, do not appear to emit any corporal substance into their mediums, or the orb of their virtue; neither again to raise or stir any evident local motion in their mediums as they pass; but only to carry certain spiritual species; the perfect knowledge of the cause whereof, being hitherto scarcely attained, we shall search and handle in due place.
260. Both of them seem not to generate or produce any other effect in nature, but such as appertaineth to their proper objects and senses, and are otherwise barren.
261. But both of them, in their own proper action, do work three manifest effects. The first, in that the stronger species drowneth the lesser; as the light of the sun, the light of a glow-worm; the report of an ordnance, the voice: the second, in that an object of surcharge or excess destroy eth the sense; as the light of the sun, the eye; a violent sound near the ear, the hearing: the third, in that both of them will be reverberate; as in mirrors, and in echos.
262. Neither of them doth destroy or hinder the species of the other, although they encounter in the same medium; as light or colour hinder not sound, nor e contra.
263. Both of them affect the sense in living creatures, and yield objects of pleasure and dislike: yet nevertheless the objects of them do also, if it be well observed, affect and work upon dead things; namely, such as have some conformity with the organs of the two senses; as visibles work upon a looking-glass, which is like the pupil of the eye; and audibles upon the places of echo, which resemble in some sort the cavern and structure of the ear.
264. Both of them do diversly work, as they have their medium diversly disposed. So a trembling medium, as smoke, maketh the object seem to tremble, and a rising or falling medium, as winds, maketh the sounds to rise or fall.
265. To both, the medium, which is the most propitious and conducible, is air; for glass or water, &c. are not comparable.
266. In both of them, where the object is fine and accurate, it conduceth much to have the sense intentive and erect; insomuch as you contract your eye when you would see sharply; and erect your ear when you would hear attentively; which in beasts that have ears movable is most manifest.
267. The beams of light, when they are multiplied and conglomerate, generate heat; which is a different action from the action of sight: and the multiplication and conglomeration of sounds doth
generate an extreme rarefaction of the air; which is an action materiate, differing from the action of sound; if it be true, which is anciently reported, that birds with great shouts have fallen down.
Dissents of visibles and audibles.
268. The species of visibles seem to be emissions of beams from the objects seen, almost like odours, save that they are more incorporeal: but the species of audibles seem to participate more with local motion, like percussions, or impressions made upon the air. So that whereas all bodies do seem to work in two manners, either by the communication of their natures, or by the impressions and signatures of their motions; the diffusion of species visible seemeth to participate more of the former operation, and the species audible of the latter.
269. The species of audibles seem to be carried more manifestly through the air than the species of visibles; for I conceive that a contrary strong wind will not much hinder the sight of visibles, as it will do the hearing of sounds.
270. There is one difference above all others between visibles and audibles, that is the most remarkable, as that whereupon many smaller differences depend: namely, that visibles, except lights, are carried in right lines, and audibles in arcuate lines. Hence it cometh to pass, that visibles do not intermingle and confound one another, as hath been said before; but sounds do. Hence it cometh, that the solidity of bodies doth not much hinder the sight, so that the bodies be clear, and the pores in a right line, as in glass, crystal, diamonds, water, &c. but a thin scarf or handkerchief, though they be bodies nothing so solid, hinder the sight: whereas contrariwise, these porous bodies do not much hinder the hearing, but solid bodies do almost stop it, or at the least attenuate it. Hence also it cometh, that to the reflexion of visibles small glasses suffice; but to the reverberation of audibles are required greater spaces, as hath likewise been and before.
271. Visibles are seen farther off than sounds are heard; allowing nevertheless the rate of their bigness; for otherwise a great sound will be heard farther off than a small body seen.
272. Visibles require, generally, some distance between the object and the eye, to be better seen; whereas in audibles, the nearer the approach of the send is to the sense, the better. But in this there may be a double error. The one, because to seeing there is required light; and any thing that touch th the pupil of the eye all over excludeth the light. For I have heard of a person very credible, who himself was cured of a cataract in one of his eyes, that while the silver needle did work upon the sight of his eye, to remove the film of the cataract, he ever saw any thing more clear or perfect than that white needle: which, no doubt, was, because the Derdle was lesser than the pupil of the eye, and so took not the light from it. The other error may be, for that the object of sight doth strike upon the Papil of the eye directly without any interception; whereas the cave of the ear doth hold off the sound
a little from the organ and so nevertheless there is some distance required in both.
273. Visibles are swiftlier carried to the sense than audibles; as appeareth in thunder and lightning, flame and report of a piece, motion of the air in hewing of wood. All which have been set down heretofore, but are proper for this title.
274. I conceive also, that the species of audibles do hang longer in the air than those of visibles : for although even those of visibles do hang some time, as we see in rings turned, that show like spheres ; in lutestrings filliped; a fire-brand carried along, which leaveth a train of light behind it; and in the twilight; and the like: yet I conceive that sounds stay longer, because they are carried up and down with the wind; and because of the distance of the time in ordnance discharged, and heard twenty miles off.
275. In visibles there are not found objects so odious and ingrate to the sense as in audibles. For foul sights do rather displease, in that they excite the memory of foul things, than in the immediate objects. And therefore in pictures, those foul sights do not much offend; but in audibles, the grating of a saw, when it is sharpened, doth offend so much, as it setteth the teeth on edge. And any of the harsh discords in music the air doth straightways refuse.
276. In visibles, after great light, if you come suddenly into the dark, or contrariwise, out of the dark into a glaring light, the eye is dazzled for a time, and the sight confused; but whether any such effect be after great sounds, or after a deep silence, may be better inquired. It is an old tradition, that those that dwell near the cataracts of Nilus, are strucken deaf: but we find no such effect in cannoniers, nor millers, nor those that dwell upon bridges.
277. It seemeth that the impression of colour is so weak, as it worketh not but by a cone of direct beams, or right lines, whereof the basis is in the object, and the vertical point in the eye; so as there is a corradiation and conjunction of beams and those beams so sent forth, yet are not of any force to beget the like borrowed or second beams, except it be by reflexion, whereof we speak not. For the beams pass, and give little tincture to that air which is adjacent; which if they did, we should see colours out of a right line. But as this is in colours, so otherwise it is in the body of light. For when there is a skreen between the candle and the eye, yet the light passeth to the paper whereon one writeth; so that the light is seen where the body of the flame is not seen, and where any colour, if it were placed where the body of the flame is, would not be seen. I judge that sound is of this latter nature; for when two are placed on both sides of a wall, and the voice is heard, I judge it is not only the original sound which passeth in an arched line; but the sound which passeth above the wall in a right line, begetteth the like motion round about it as the first did, though more weak.
Experiments in consort touching the sympathy or antipathy of sounds one with another. 278. All concords and discords of music are, no
doubt, sympathies and antipathies of sounds.
279. There is a common observation, that if a lute or viol be laid upon the back, with a small straw upon one of the strings; and another lute or viol be laid by it; and in the other lute or viol the unison to that string be strucken, it will make the string move; which will appear both to the eye, and by the straw's falling off. The like will be, if the diapason or eighth to that string be strucken, either in the same lute or viol, or in others lying by but in none of these there is any report of sound that can be discerned, but only motion.
a sound afar off men hold their breath.
285. Let it be tried, for the help of the hearing and I conceive it likely to succeed, to make an in strument like a tunnel; the narrow part wherem may be of the bigness of the hole of the ear; and the broader end much larger, like a bell at the skirts; and the length half a foot or more. And le the narrow end of it be set close to the ear: an mark whether any sound, abroad in the open ar will not be heard distinctly from farther distance than without that instrument; being, as it were, an ear-spectacle. And I have heard there is in Spain an instrument in use to be set to the ear, that help eth somewhat those that are thick of hearing.
286. If the mouth be shut close, nevertheles there is yielded by the roof of the mouth a murmur such as is used by dumb men. But if the nostril be likewise stopped, no such murmur can be made except it be in the bottom of the palate towards the throat. Whereby it appeareth manifestly that sound in the mouth, except such as aforesaid, if the mouth be stopped, passeth from the palate through the nostrils.
Experiments in consort touching the spiritual and
280. It was devised, that a viol should have a lay of wire-strings below, as close to the belly as a lute; and then the strings of guts mounted upon a bridge as in ordinary viols; to the end that by this means the upper strings strucken should make the lower resound by sympathy, and so make the music the better; which if it be to purpose, then sympathy worketh as well by report of sound as by motion. But this device I conceive to be of no use, because the upper strings, which are stopped in great variety, cannot maintain a diapason or unison with the lower, which are never stopped. But if it should be of use at all, it must be in instruments which have no stops, as virginals and harps; where-instruments, with the original sound: but we in trial may be made of two rows of strings, distant the one from the other.
281. The experiment of sympathy may be transferred, perhaps, from instruments of strings to other instruments of sound. As to try, if there were in one steeple two bells of unison, whether the striking of the one would move the other, more than if it were another accord: and so in pipes, if they be of equal bore and sound, whether a little straw or feather would move in the one pipe, when the other is blown at an unison.
282. It seemeth, both in ear and eye, the instrument of sense hath a sympathy or similitude with that which giveth the reflexion, as hath been touched before for as the sight of the eye is like a crystal, or glass, or water; so is the ear a sinuous cave, with a hard bone to stop and reverberate the sound: which is like to the places that report echos. Experiments in consort touching the hindering or helping of the hearing.
283. When a man yawneth, he cannot hear so well. The cause is, for that the membrane of the ear is extended; and so rather casteth off the sound than draweth it to.
284. We hear better when we hold our breath than contrary insomuch as in all listening to attain
fine nature of sounds.
287. The repercussion of sounds, which we cal echo, is a great argument of the spiritual essence o sounds. For if it were corporeal, the repercussi should be created in the same manner, and by lik
what a number of exquisite instruments must con cur in speaking of words, whereof there is no suri matter in the returning of them, but only a plas stop and repercussion.
288. The exquisite differences of articul sounds, carried along in the air, show that they cannot be signatures or impressions in the air. a hath been well refuted by the ancients. For it i true, that seals make excellent impressions; and s it may be thought of sounds in their first gener tion but then the delation and continuance of them without any new sealing, show apparently they can not be impressions.
289. All sounds are suddenly made, and do su denly perish: but neither that, nor the exquisite dif ferences of them, is matter of so great admiration: for the quaverings and warblings in lutes and pipes are as swift; and the tongue, which is no very he instrument, doth in speech make no fewer motioas than there be letters in all the words which ar uttered. But that sounds should not only be speedily generated, but carried so far every way such a momentary time, deserveth more admiration As for example, if a man stand in the middle of a field and speak aloud, he shall be heard a furlong round; and that shall be in articulate sounds; and those shall be entire in every little portion of the arti