Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

:

and silk, especially raw silk, have, besides their de- | for to ascribe it only to the vapour of lead, is less sire of continuance, in regard of the tenuity of their probable. Query, whether the fixing may be in thread, a greediness of moisture and by moisture such a degree, as it will be figured like other to join and incorporate with other thread; especially metals? For if so, you may make works of it for if there be a little wreathing; as appeareth by the some purposes, so they come not near the fire. twisting of thread, and the practice of twirling Experiment solitary touching honey and sugar. about of spindles. And we see also, that gold and silver thread cannot be made without twisting.

Experiment solitary touching other passions of

matter, and characters of bodies.

846. The differences of impressible and not impressible; figurable and not figurable; mouldable and not mouldable; scissile and not scissile; and many other passions of matter, are plebeian notions, applied unto the instruments and uses which men ordinarily practise; but they are all but the effects of some of these causes following, which we will enumerate without applying them, because that will be too long. The first is the cession or not cession of bodies, into a smaller space or room, keeping the outward bulk, and not flying up. The second is the stronger or weaker appetite in bodies to continuity, and to fly discontinuity. The third is the disposition of bodies to contract or not contract: and again, to extend or not extend. The fourth is the small quantity or great quantity of the pneumatical in bodies. The fifth is the nature of the pneumatical, whether it be native spirit of the body, or common air. The sixth is the nature of the native spirits in the body, whether they be active and eager, or dull and gentle. The seventh is the emission or detention of the spirits in bodies. The eighth is the dilatation or contraction of the spirits in bodies, while they are detained. The ninth is the collocation of the spirits in bodies, whether the collocation be equal or unequal; and again, whether the spirits be coacervate or diffused. The tenth is the density or rarity of the tangible parts. The eleventh is the equality or inequality of the tangible parts. The twelfth is the digestion or crudity of the tangible parts. The thirteenth is the nature of the matter, whether sulphureous or mercurial, watery or oily, dry and terrestrial, or moist and liquid; which natures of sulphureous and mercurial, seem to be natures radical and principal. The fourteenth is the placing of the tangible parts in length or transverse, as it is in the warp and the woof of textiles, more inward, or more outward, &c. The fifteenth is the porosity or imporosity betwixt the tangible parts, and the greatness or smallness of the pores. The sixteenth is the collocation and posture of the pores. There may be more causes; but these do occur for the present.

Experiment solitary touching induration by
sympathy.

847. Take lead and melt it, and in the midst of it, when it beginneth to congeal, make a little dint or hole, and put quicksilver wrapped in a piece of linen into that hole, and the quicksilver will fix and run no more, and endure the hammer. This is a noble instance of induration, by consent of one body with another, and motion of excitation to imitate;

848. Sugar hath put down the use of honey, insomuch as we have lost those observations and preparations of honey which the ancients had, when it was more in price. First, it seemeth that there was in old time tree-honey, as well as bee-honey, which was the tear or blood issuing from the tree: insomuch as one of the ancients relateth, that in Trebisond there was honey issuing from the boxtrees, which made men mad. Again, in ancient time there was a kind of honey, which either of its own nature, or by art, would grow as hard as sugar, and was not so luscious as ours. They had also a wine of honey, which they made thus. They crushed the honey into a great quantity of water, and then strained the liquor: after they boiled it in a copper to the half; then they poured it into earthen vessels for a small time; and after turned it into vessels of wood, and kept it for many years. They have also at this day, in Russia and those northern countries, mead simple, which, well made and seasoned, is a good wholesome drink, and very clear. They use also in Wales a compound drink of mead, with herbs and spices. But meanwhile it were good, in recompence of that we have lost in honey, there were brought in use a sugar-mead, for so we may call it, though without any mixture at all of honey; and to brew it, and keep it stale, as they use mead for certainly, though it would not be so abstersive, and opening, and solutive a drink as mead; yet it will be more grateful to the stomach, and more lenitive, and fit to be used in sharp diseases for we see, that the use of sugar in beer and ale hath good effects in such cases.

Experiment solitary touching the finer sort of base metals.

849. It is reported by the ancients, that there was a kind of steel in some places, which would polish almost as white and bright as silver. And that there was in India a kind of brass, which, being polished, could scarce be discerned from gold. This was in the natural ure: but I am doubtful, whether men have sufficiently refined metals, which we count base; as whether iron, brass, and tin be refined to the height? But when they come to such a fineness, as serveth the ordinary use, they try no farther.

Experiment solitary touching cements and quarries.

850. There have been found certain cements under earth that are very soft; and yet, taken forth into the sun, harden as hard as marble: there are also ordinary quarries in Somersetshire, which in the quarry cut soft to any bigness, and in the building prove firm and hard.

Experiment solitary touching the altering of the

colour of hairs and feathers.

851. Living creatures generally do change their hair with age, turning to be grey and white: as is seen in men, though some earlier, some later; in horses that are dappled, and turn white; in old squirrels that turn grisly; and many others. So do some birds; as cygnets from grey turn white; hawks from brown turn more white. And some birds there be that upon their moulting do turn colour; as robin-red-breasts, after their moulting, growing to be red again by degrees; so do goldfinches upon the head. The cause is, for that moisture doth chiefly colour hair and feathers, and dryness turneth them grey and white: now hair in age waxeth dryer; so do feathers. As for feathers, after moulting, they are young feathers, and so all one as the feathers of young birds. the beard is younger than the hair of the head, and doth, for the most part, wax hoary later. Out of this ground a man may devise the means of altering the colour of birds, and the retardation of hoary hairs. But of this see the fifth experiment. Experiment solitary touching the differences of living creatures, male and female.

So

the most part, are larger than the bulls; which is caused by abundance of moisture, which in the horns of the bull faileth. Again, heat causeth pilosity and crispation, and so likewise beards in men. It also expelleth finer moisture, which want of heat cannot expel; and that is the cause of the beauty and variety of feathers. Again, heat doth put forth many excrescences, and much solid matter, which want of heat cannot do: and this is the cause of horns, and of the greatness of them; and of the greatness of the combs and spurs of cocks, gills of turkey-cocks, and fangs of boars. Heat also dilateth the pipes and organs, which causeth the deepness of the voice. Again, heat refineth the spirits, and that causeth the cock singing-bird to excel the hen. Experiment solitary touching the comparative magnitude of living creatures.

853. There be fishes greater than any beasts; as the whale is far greater than the elephant: and beasts are generally greater than birds. For fishes, the cause may be, that because they live not in the air, they have not their moisture drawn and soaked by the air and sun-beams. Also they rest always in a manner, and are supported by the water: whereas motion and labour do consume. As for the greatness of beasts more than of birds, it is caused, for that beasts stay longer time in the womb than birds, and there nourish and grow; whereas in birds, after the egg laid, there is no farther growth or nourishment from the female; for the sitting doth vivify, and not nourish. Experiment solitary touching exossation of fruits.

854. We have partly touched before the means of producing fruits without cores or stones. And this we add farther, that the cause must be abundance of moisture; for that the core and stone are made of a dry sap: and we see, that it is possible to make a tree put forth only in blossom, without fruit ; as in cherries with double flowers; much more into fruit without stone or cores. It is reported, that a cion of an apple, grafted upon a colewort stalk, sendeth forth a great apple without a core. not unlikely, that if the inward pith of a tree were taken out, so that the juice came only by the bark, it would work the effect. For it hath been observed, that in pollards, if the water get in on the top, and they become hollow, they put forth the more.

It is

852. The difference between male and female, in some creatures, is not to be discerned, otherwise than in the parts of generation: as in horses and mares, dogs and bitches, doves he and she, and others. But some differ in magnitude, and that diversly; for in most the male is the greater; as in man, pheasants, peacocks, turkeys, and the like: and in some few, as in hawks, the female. Some differ in the hair and feathers, both in the quantity, erispation, and colours of them; as he-lions are hirsute, and have great manes: the she-lions are smooth like cats. Bulls are more crisp upon the forehead than cows; the peacock, and pheasant-cock, and goldfinch-cock, have glorious and fine colours; the hens have not. Generally the males in birds have fairest feathers. Some differ in divers features: as bucks have horns, does none; rams have more wreathed horns than ewes; cocks have great combs and spurs, hens little or none; boars have great fangs, sows much less; the turkey-cock hath great and swelling gills, the hen hath less; men have generally deeper and stronger voices than women. Some differ in faculty; as the cocks amongst sing-add also, that it is delivered for certain by some, ing-birds are the best singers. The chief cause of that if the cion be grafted the small end downwards, all these, no doubt, is, for that the males have more it will make fruit have little or no cores and stones. strength of heat than the females; which appeareth manifestly in this, that all young creatures males are like females; and so are eunuchs, and gelt creatures of all kinds, like females. Now heat causeth greatness of growth, generally, where there is moisture enough to work upon: but if there be found in any creature, which is seen rarely, an over-great heat in proportion to the moisture, in them the female is the greater; as in hawks and sparrows. And if the heat be balanced with the moisture, then there is no difference to be seen between male and female; as in the instances of horses and dogs. We see also, that the horns of oxen and cows, for

Experiment solitary touching the melioration of

tobacco.

We

855. Tobacco is a thing of great price, if it be in request for an acre of it will be worth, as is affirmed, two hundred pounds by the year towards charge. The charge of making the ground and otherwise is great, but nothing to the profit; but the English tobacco hath small credit, as being too dull and earthy nay, the Virginian tobacco, though that be in a hotter climate, can get no credit for the same cause: so that a trial to make tobacco more aromatical, and better concocted, here in England,

were a thing of great profit. Some have gone about to do it by drenching the English tobacco in a decoction or infusion of Indian tobacco: but those are but sophistications and toys; for nothing that is once perfect, and hath run its race, can receive much amendment. You must ever resort to the beginnings of things for melioration. The way of maturation of tobacco must, as in other plants, be from the heat either of the earth or of the sun : we see some leading of this in musk-melons, which are sown upon a hot-bed dunged below, upon a bank turned upon the south sun, to give heat by reflection; laid upon tiles, which increaseth the heat, and covered with straw to keep them from cold. They remove them also, which addeth some life: and by these helps they become as good in England, as in Italy or Provence. These, and the like means, may be tried in tobacco. Inquire also of the steeping of the roots in some such liquor as may give them vigour to put forth strong.

fish, flesh, &c. by rottenness is, for that the spirits of the fruit by putrefaction gather heat, and thereby digest the harder part, for in all putrefactions there is a degree of heat: by time and keeping is, because the spirits of the body do ever feed upon the tangible parts, and attenuate them: by several maturations is, by some degree of heat: and by fire is, because it is the proper work of heat to refine, and to incorporate; and all sourness consisteth in some grossness of the body; and all incorporation doth make the mixture of the body more equal in all its parts; which ever induceth a milder taste.

Experiment solitary touching flesh edible, and not edible.

859. Of fleshes, some are edible; some, except it be in famine, not. For those that are not edible, the cause is, for that they have commonly too much bitterness of taste; and therefore those creatures which are fierce and choleric are not edible; as lions, wolves, squirrels, dogs, foxes, horses, &c. As

Experiment solitary touching several heats working for kine, sheep, goats, deer, swine, conies, hares, &c.

the same effects.

Vines,

856. Heat of the sun for the maturation of fruits; yea, and the heat of vivification of living creatures, are both represented and supplied by the heat of fire; and likewise the heats of the sun, and life, are represented one by the other. Trees set upon the backs of chimneys do ripen fruit sooner. that have been drawn in at the window of a kitchen, have sent forth grapes ripe a month at least before others. Stoves at the back of walls bring forth oranges here with us. Eggs, as is reported by some, have been hatched in the warmth of an oven. It is reported by the ancients, that the ostrich layeth her eggs under sand, where the heat of the sun discloseth them.

we see they are mild and fearful. Yet it is true, that horses, which are beasts of courage, have been, and are eaten by some nations; as the Scythians were called Hyppophagi; and the Chinese eat horse-flesh at this day; and some gluttons have used to have colt's flesh baked. In birds, such as are carnivoræ, and birds of prey, are commonly no good meat; but the reason is, rather the choleric nature of those birds, than their feeding upon flesh: for pewets, gulls, shovellers, ducks, do feed upon flesh, and yet are good meat. And we see that those birds which are of prey, or feed upon flesh, are good meat when they are very young; as hawks, rooks out of the nest, owls, &c. Man's flesh is not eaten. The reasons are three: first, because men in huma

Experiment solitary touching swelling and dilatation nity do abhor it: secondly, because no living crea

in boiling.

857. Barley in the boiling swelleth not much; wheat swelleth more; rice extremely; insomuch as a quarter of a pint, unboiled, will arise to a pint boiled. The cause no doubt is, for that the more close and compact the body is, the more it will dilate now barley is the most hollow; wheat more solid than that; and rice most solid of all. be also that some bodies have a kind of lentour, and more depertible nature than others: as we see it evident in coloration; for a small quantity of saf fron will tinct more than a very great quantity of brasil or wine.

It may

Experiment solitary touching the dulcoration of fruits.

858. Fruit groweth sweet by rolling, or pressing them gently with the hand; as rolling pears, damascenes, &c. by rottenness; as medlars, services, sloes, hips, &c. by time; as apples, wardens, pomegranates, &c. by certain special maturations; as by laying them in hay, straw, &c. and by fire; as in roasting, stewing, baking, &c. The cause of the sweetness by rolling and pressing, is emollition, which they properly induce; as in beating of stock

:

:

ture that dieth of itself is good to eat and therefore the cannibals themselves eat no man's flesh of those that die of themselves, but of such as are slain. The third is, because there must be generally some disparity between the nourishment and the body nourished; and they must not be over-near, or like: yet we see, that in great weaknesses and consumptions, men have been sustained with women's milk; and Ficinus, fondly, as I conceive, adviseth, for the prolongation of life, that a vein be opened in the arm of some wholesome young man, and the blood to be sucked. It is said that witches do greedily eat man's flesh: which if it be true, besides a devilish appetite in them, it is likely to proceed, for that man's flesh may send up high and pleasing vapours, which may stir the imagination; and witches' felicity is chiefly in imagination, as hath been said.

Experiment solitary touching the salamander. 860. There is an ancient received tradition of the salamander, that it liveth in the fire, and hath force also to extinguish the fire. It must have two things, if it be true, to this operation: the one a very close skin, whereby flame, which in the midst is not so hot, cannot enter; for we see that if the palm of the hand be anointed thick with white of egg, and then

aqua vitæ be poured upon it, and inflamed, yet one may endure the flame a pretty while. The other is some extreme cold and quenching virtue in the body of that creature, which choketh the fire. We see that milk quencheth wild-fire better than water, because it entereth better.

Experiment solitary touching the contrary operations of time upon fruits and liquors.

861. Time doth change fruit, as apples, pears, pomegranates, &c. from more sour to more sweet: but contrariwise liquors, even those that are of the juice of fruit, from more sweet to more sour: as wort, muste, new verjuice, &c. The cause is, the congregation of the spirits together: for in both kinds the spirit is attenuated by time; but in the first kind it is more diffused, and more mastered by the grosser parts, which the spirits do but digest: but in drinks the spirits do reign, and finding less opposition of the parts, become themselves more strong; which causeth also more strength in the liquor; such as, if the spirits be of the hotter sort, the liquor becometh apt to burn: but in time, it causeth likewise, when the higher spirits are evaporated, more sourness.

Experiment solitary touching blows and bruises.

862. It hath been observed by the ancients, that plates of metal, and especially of brass, applied presently to a blow, will keep it down from swelling. The cause is repercussion, without humectation or entrance of any body: for the plate hath only a virtual cold, which doth not search into the hurt; whereas all plasters and ointments do enter. Sure

ly, the cause that blows and bruises induce swellings is, for that the spirits resorting to succour the part that laboureth, draw also the humours with them: for we see, that it is not the repulse and the return of the humour in the part strucken that causeth it; for that gouts and tooth-aches cause swelling, where there is no percussion at all.

Experiment solitary touching the orrice root. 863. The nature of the orrice root is almost singular; for there be few odoriferous roots; and in those that are in any degree sweet, it is but the same sweetness with the wood or leaf: but the orrice is not sweet in the leaf; neither is the flower any thing RO sweet as the root. The root seemeth to have a tender dainty heat; which, when it cometh above ground to the sun and the air, vanisheth: for it is a great mollifier; and hath a smell like a violet.

Experiment solitary touching the compression of liquors.

864. It hath been observed by the ancients, that a great vessel full, drawn into bottles, and then the liquor put again into the vessel, will not fill the vessel again so full as it was, but that it may take in more liquor: and that this holdeth more in wine than in water. The cause may be trivial; namely, by the expense of the liquor, in regard some may stick to the sides of the bottles: but there may be a cause more subtile; which is, that the liquor in the

vessel is not so much compressed as in the bottle; because in the vessel the liquor meeteth with liquor chiefly; but in the bottles a small quantity of liquor meeteth with the sides of the bottles, which compress it so that it doth not open again.

Experiment solitary touching the working of water upon air contiguous.

:

865. Water, being contiguous with air, cooleth it, but moisteneth it not, except it vapour. The cause is, for that heat and cold have a virtual transition, without communication of substance; but moisture not and to all madefaction there is required an imbibition: but where the bodies are of such several levity and gravity as they mingle not, there can follow no imbibition. And therefore, oil likewise lieth at the top of the water, without commixture: and a drop of water running swiftly over a straw or smooth body, wetteth not.

Experiment solitary touching the nature of air.

866. Star-light nights, yea, and bright moon-shine nights, are colder than cloudy nights. The cause is, the dryness and fineness of the air, which thereby becometh more piercing and sharp; and therefore great continents are colder than islands: and as for the moon, though itself inclineth the air to moisture, yet when it shineth bright, it argueth the air is dry. Also close air is warmer than open air; which, it may be, is, for that the true cause of cold is an expiration from the globe of the earth, which in open places is stronger; and again, air itself, if it be not altered by that expiration, is not without some secret degree of heat; as it is not likewise without some secret degree of light: for otherwise cats and owls could not see in the night; but that air hath a little light, proportionable to the visual spirits of those creatures.

Experiments in consort touching the eyes and sight. 867. The eyes do move one and the same way; for when one eye moveth to the nostril, the other moveth from the nostril. The cause is motion of consent, which in the spirits and parts spiritual is strong. But yet use will induce the contrary; for some can squint when they will: and the common tradition is, that if children be set upon a table with a candle behind them, both eyes will move outwards, as affecting to see the light, and so induce squinting.

868. We see more exquisitely with one eye shut, than with both open. The cause is, for that the spirits visual unite themselves more, and so become stronger. For you may see, by looking in a glass, that when you shut one eye, the pupil of the other eye that is open dilateth.

869. The eyes, if the sight meet not in one angle, see things double. The cause is, for that seeing two things, and seeing one thing twice, worketh the satne effect: and therefore a little pellet held between two fingers laid across, seemeth double.

870. Pore-blind men see best in the dimmer lights; and likewise have their sight stronger near hand, than those that are not pore-blind; and can read and write smaller letters. The cause is, for that

the spirits visual in those that are pore-blind, are thinner and rarer than in others; and therefore the greater light disperseth them. For the same cause they need contracting; but being contracted, are more strong than the visual spirits of ordinary eyes are; as when we see through a level, the sight is the stronger; and so is it when you gather the eye-lids somewhat close: and it is commonly seen in those that are pore-blind, that they do much gather the eye-lids together. But old men, when they would see to read, put the paper somewhat afar off: the cause is, for that old men's spirits visual, contrary to those of pore-blind men, unite not, but when the object is at some good distance from their eyes.

871. Men see better, when their eyes are overagainst the sun or a candle, if they put their hand a little before their eyes. The reason is, for that the glaring of the sun or the candle doth weaken the eye; whereas the light circumfused is enough for the perception. For we see that an over-light maketh the eyes dazzle; insomuch as perpetual looking against the sun would cause blindness. Again, if men come out of a great light into a dark room; and contrariwise, if they come out of a dark room into a light room, they seem to have a mist before their eyes, and see worse than they shall do after they have stayed a little while, either in the light or in the dark. The cause is, for that the spirits visual are, upon a sudden change, disturbed and put out of order; and till they be recollected do not perform their function well. For when they are much dilated by light, they cannot contract suddenly; and when they are much contracted by darkness, they cannot dilate suddenly. And excess of both these, that is, of the dilatation and contraction of the spirits visual, if it be long, destroyeth the eye. For as long looking against the sun or fire hurteth the eye by dilatation; so curious painting in small volumes, and reading of small letters, do hurt the eye by contraction.

872. It hath been observed, that in anger the eyes wax red; and in blushing, not the eyes, but the ears, and the parts behind them. The cause is, for that in anger the spirits ascend and wax eager; which is most easily seen in the eyes, because they are translucid; though withal it maketh both the cheeks and the gills red: but in blushing, it is true the spirits ascend likewise to succour both the eyes and the face, which are the parts that labour; but then they are repulsed by the eyes, for that the eyes, in shame, do put back the spirits that ascend to them, as unwilling to look abroad: for no man in that passion doth look strongly, but dejectedly; and that repulsion from the eyes diverteth the spirits and heat more to the ears, and the parts by them.

873. The objects of the sight may cause a great pleasure and delight in the spirits, but no pain or great offence; except it be by memory, as hath been said. The glimpses and beams of diamonds that strike the eye; Indian feathers, that have glorious colours; the coming into a fair garden; the coming into a fair room richly furnished; a beautiful person; and the like; do delight and exhilarate the spirits much. The reason why it holdeth not in

the offence is, for that the sight is the most spiritual of the senses; whereby it hath no object gross enough to offend it. But the cause chiefly is, for that there be no active objects to offend the eye. For harmonical sounds, and discordant sounds, are both active and positive: so are sweet smells and stinks: so are bitter and sweet in tastes: so are over-hot and over-cold in touch: but blackness and darkness are indeed but privatives; and therefore have little or no activity. Somewhat they do contristate, but very little.

Experiment solitary touching the colour of the seu,

or other water.

874. Water of the sea, or otherwise, looketh blacker when it is moved, and whiter when it resteth. The cause is, for that by means of the motion, the beams of light pass not straight, and therefore must be darkened; whereas, when it resteth, the beams do pass straight. Besides, splendour hath a degree of whiteness; especially if there be a little repercussion: for a looking-glass with the steel behind, looketh whiter than glass simple. This experiment deserveth to be driven farther, in trying by what means motion may hinder sight.

Experiment solitary touching shell-fish.

875. Shell-fish have been, by some of the ancients, compared and sorted with the insecta; but I see no reason why they should; for they have male and female as other fish have: neither are they bred of putrefaction; especially such as do move. Nevertheless it is certain, that oysters, and cockles, and mussels, which move not, have no discriminate sex. Query, in what time, and how they are bred? It seemeth, that shells of oysters are bred where none were before; and it is tried, that the great horsemussel, with the fine shell, that breedeth in ponds, hath bred within thirty years: but then, which is strange, it hath been tried, that they do not only gape and shut as the oysters do, but remove from one place to another.

Experiment solitary

touching the right side and the left.

876. The senses are alike strong, both on the right side and on the left; but the limbs on the right side are stronger. The cause may be, for that the brain, which is the instrument of sense, is alike on both sides; but motion, and abilities of moving, are somewhat holpen from the liver, which lieth on the right side. It may be also, for that the senses are put in exercise indifferently on both sides from the time of our birth; but the limbs are used most on the right side, whereby custom helpeth; for we see that some are left-handed; which are such as have used the left hand most.

Experiment solitary touching frictions.

877. Frictions make the parts more fleshy and full; as we see both in men, and in the currying of horses, &c. The cause is, for that they draw greater quantity of spirits and blood to the parts: and again, because they draw the aliment more forcibly from

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »