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you may do, by this course of infusing oft, with little stay. For it is probable that the horrible and odious taste is in the grosser part.
21. GENERALLY, the working by infusions is gross and blind, except you first try the issuing of the several parts of the body, which of them issue more speedily, and which more slowly; and so by apportioning the time, can take and leave that quality which you desire. This to know there are two ways; the one to try what long stay, and what short stay worketh, as hath been said; the other to try in order the succeeding infusions of one and the same body, successively, in several liquors. As for example; take orange pills, or rosemary, or cinnamon, or what you will; and let them infuse half an hour in water: then take them out, and infuse them again in other water; and so the third time: and then taste and consider the first water, the second, and the third; and you will find them differing, not only in strength and weakness, but otherwise in taste or odour; for it may be the first water will have more of the scent, as more fragrant; and the second more of the taste, as more bitter or biting, etc.
22. INFUSIONS in air, for so we may well call odours, have the same diversities with infusions in water; in that the several odours, which are in one flower, or other body, issue at several times; some earlier, some later: so we find that violets, woodbines, strawberries, yield a pleasing scent, that cometh forth first; but soon after an ill scent, quite differing from the former. Which is caused, not so much by mellowing, as by the late issuing of the grosser spirit.
23. As we may desire to extract the finest spirits in some cases, so we may desire also to discharge them as hurtful in some other. So wine burnt, by reason of the evaporating of the finer spirit, inflameth less, and is best in agues: opium loseth some of its poisonous quality, if it be vapoured out, mingled with spirit of wine, or the like: sena loseth somewhat of its windiness by decocting; and, generally, subtile or windy spirits are taken off by incension, or eva
poration. And even in infusions in things that are of too high a spirit, you were better pour off the first infusion, after a small time, and use the latter.
Experiment solitary touching the appetite of
24. BUBBLES are in the form of an hemisphere; air within, and a little skin of water without: and it seemeth somewhat strange, that the air should rise so swiftly while it is in the water; and when it cometh to the top, should be stayed by so weak a cover as that of the bubble is. But as for the swift ascent of the air, while it is under the water, that is a motion of percussion from the water; which itself descending driveth up the air; and no motion of levity in the air. And this Democritus called motus plaga. In this common experiment, the cause of the enclosure of the bubble is, for that the appetite to resist separation, or discountenance, which in solid bodies is strong, is also in liquors, though fainter and weaker; as we see in this of the bubble: we see it also in little glasses of spittle that children make of rushes; and in castles of bubbles, which they make by blowing into water, having obtained a little degree of tenacity by mixture of soap: we see it also in the stillicides of water, which if there be water enough to follow, will draw themselves into a small thread, because they will not discontinue; but if there be no remedy, then they cast themselves into round drops, which is the figure that saveth the body most from discontinuance: the same reason is of the roundness of the bubble, as well for the skin of water, as for the air within for the air likewise avoideth discontinuance; and therefore casteth itself into a round figure. And for the stop and arrest of the air a little while, it sheweth that the air of itself hath little or no appetite of ascending.
Experiment solitary touching the making of
25. THE rejection, which I continually use, of experiments, though it appeareth not, is infinite; but yet if an experiment be probable in the work, and of great use, I receive it, but deliver it as doubtful. It was reported by a sober man, that an artificial spring may be made thus: Find out a hanging ground, where there is a good quick fall of rain-water. Lay a half-trough of stone, of a good length, three or four foot deep within the same ground; with one end upon the high ground, the other upon the low. Cover the trough with brakes a good thickness, and cast sand upon the top of the brakes: you shall see, saith he, that after some showers are past, the lower end of the trough will run like a spring of water: which is no marvel, if it hold while the rain-water lasteth; but he said it would continue long time after the rain is past: as if the water did multiply itself upon the air, by the help of the coldness and condensation of the earth, and the consort of the first water.
Experiment solitary touching the venomous
26. THE French, which put off the name of the French disease unto the name of the disease of Naples, do report, that at the siege of Naples, there were certain wicked merchants that barrelled up man's flesh, of some that had been lately slain in Barbary, and sold it for tunney; and that upon that foul and high nourishment was the original of that disease. Which may well be, for that it is certain that the cannibals in the West Indies eat man's flesh; and the West Indies were full of the pox when they were first discovered and at this day the mortalest poisons, practised by the West Indians, have some mixture of the blood, or fat, or flesh of man: and divers witches and sorceresses, as well amongst the heathen as amongst the Christians, have fed upon man's flesh, to aid, as it seemeth, their imagination, with high and foul vapours.
Experiment solitary touching the version and transmutation of air into water.
27. IT seemeth that there be these ways, in likelihood, of version of vapours or air, into water and moisture. The first is cold; which doth manifestly condense; as we see in the contracting of the air in the weather-glass; whereby it is a degree nearer to water. We see it also in the generation of springs, which the ancients thought, very probably, to be made by the version of air into water, holpen by the rest, which the air hath in those parts; whereby it cannot dissipate. And by the coldness of rocks; for there springs are chiefly generated. We see it also in the effects of the cold of the middle region, as they call it, of the air; which produceth dews and rains. And the experiment of turning water into ice, by snow, nitre, and salt, whereof we shall speak hereafter, would be transferred to the turning of air into water. The second way is by compression; as in stillatories, where the vapour is turned back upon itself, by the encounter of the sides of the stillatory; and in the dew upon the covers of boiling pots; and in the dew towards rain, upon marble and wainscot. But this is like to do no great effect; except it be upon vapours, and gross air, that are already very near in degree to water. The third is that, which may be searched into, but doth not yet appear; which is, by mingling of moist vapours with air; and trying if they will not bring a return of more water, than the water was at first: for if so, that increase is a version of the air: therefore put water into the bottom of a stillatory, with the neb stopped; weigh the water first; hang in the middle of the stillatory a large spunge; and see what quantity of water you can crush out of it; and what it is more, or less, compared with the water spent: for you must understand, that if any version can be wrought, it will be easiliest done in small pores: and that is the reason why we prescribe a spunge. The fourth way is probable also, though not appearing; which is, by receiving the air
into the small pores of bodies: for, as hath been said, every thing in small quantity is more easy for version; and tangible bodies have no pleasure in the consort of air, but endeavour to subact it into a more dense body; but in entire bodies it is checked; because if the air should condense, there is nothing to succeed: therefore it must be in loose bodies, as sand, and powder; which, we see, if they lie close, of themselves gather moisture.
Experiment solitary touching helps towards the beauty and good features of persons.
28. It is reported by some of the ancients; that whelps, or other creatures, if they be put young into such a cage or box, as they cannot rise to their stature, but may increase in breadth or length, will grow accordingly as they can get room; which if it be true and feasible, and that the young creature so pressed and straitened, doth not thereupon die; it is a means to produce dwarf creatures, and in a very strange figure. This is certain, and noted long since, that the pressure or forming of parts of creatures, when they are very young, doth alter the shape not a little; as the stroking of the heads of infants, between the hands, was noted of old, to make Macrocephali ; which shape of the head, at that time, was esteemed. And the raising gently of the bridge of the nose, doth prevent the deformity of a saddle nose. Which observation well weighed, may teach a means to make the persons of men and women, in many kinds, more comely and better featured than otherwise they would be; by the forming and shaping of them in their infancy as by stroking up the calves of the legs, to keep them from falling down too low; and by stroking up the forehead, to keep them from being low-foreheaded. And it is a common practice to swathe infants, that they may grow more straight and better shaped: and we see young women, by wearing strait bodice, keep themselves from being gross and corpulent.