« PreviousContinue »
Experiment solitary touching the differing operations of fire and time.
295. SOME things which pass the fire are softest at first, and by time grow hard, as the crumb of bread. Some are harder when they come from the fire, and afterwards give again, and grow soft, as the crust of bread, biscuit, sweetmeats, salt, etc. The cause is,
for that in those things which wax hard with time, the work of the fire is a kind of melting; and in those that wax soft with time, contrariwise, the work of the fire is a kind of baking; and whatsoever the fire baketh, time doth in some degree dissolve.
Experiment solitary touching motions by imitation. 296. MOTIONS pass from one man to another, not so much by exciting imagination as by invitation; especially if there be an aptness or inclination before. Therefore gaping, or yawning, and stretching do pass from man to man; for that that causeth gaping and stretching is, when the spirits are a little heavy by any vapour, or the like. For then they strive, as it were, to wring out and expel that which loaded them. So men drowsy, and desirous to sleep, or before the fit of an ague, do use to yawn and stretch; and do likewise yield a voice or sound, which is an interjection of expulsion: so that if another be apt and prepared to do the like, he followeth by the sight of another. So the laughing of another maketh to laugh.
Experiment solitary touching infectious diseases. 297. THERE be some known diseases that are infectious; and others that are not. Those that are infectious are, first, such as are chiefly in the spirits, and not so much in the humours; and therefore pass easily from body to body; such are pestilences, lippitudes, and such like. Secondly, such as taint the breath, which we see passeth manifestly from man to man; and not invisibly, as the affects of the spirits do; such are consumptions of the lungs, etc. Thirdly, such as come forth to the skin, and therefore taint the air or the body adjacent; especially if they consist
in an unctuous substance not apt to dissipate; such are scabs and leprosy. Fourthly, such as are merely in the humours, and not in the spirits, breath, or exhalations; and therefore they never infect but by touch only; and such a touch also as cometh within the epidermis; as the venom of the French pox, and the biting of a mad dog.
Experiment solitary touching the incorporation
298. MOST powders grow more close and coherent by mixture of water, than by mixture of oil, though oil be the thicker body; as meal, etc. The reason is the congruity of bodies; which if it be more, maketh a perfecter imbitition and incorporation; which in most powders is more between them and water, than between them and oil: but painters' colours ground, and ashes, do better incorporate with oil.
Experiment solitary touching exercise of the body.
299. MUCH motion and exercise is good for some bodies; and sitting and less motion for others. If the body be hot and void of superfluous moistures, too much motion hurteth: and it is an error in physicians, to call too much upon exercise. Likewise men ought to beware, that they use not exercise and a spare diet both: but if much exercise, then a plentiful diet; and if sparing diet, then little exercise. The benefits that come of exercise are, first, that it sendeth nourishment into the parts more forcibly. Secondly, that it helpeth to excern by sweat, and so maketh the parts assimilate the more perfectly. Thirdly, that it maketh the substance of the body more solid and compact; and so less apt to be consumed and depredated by the spirits. The evils that come of exercise are, first, that it maketh the spirits more hot and predatory. Secondly, that it doth absorb likewise, and attenuate too much the moisture of the body. Thirdly, that it maketh too great concussion, especially if it be violent, of the inward parts, which delight more in rest. But generally exercise,
if it be much, is no friend to prolongation of life; which is one cause why women live longer than men, because they stir less.
Experiment solitary touching meats that induce
300. SOME food we may use long, and much, without glutting; as bread, flesh that is not fat or rank, etc. Some other, though pleasant, glutteth sooner; as sweet-meats, fat meats, etc. The cause is, for that appetite consisteth in the emptiness of the mouth of the stomach; or possessing it with somewhat that is astringent; and therefore cold and dry. But things that are sweet and fat are more filling; and do swing and hang more about the mouth of the stomach; and go not down so speedily and again turn sooner to choler, which is hot, and ever abateth the appetite. We see also that another cause of satiety is an over-custom; and of appetite is novelty; and therefore meats, if the same be continually taken, induce loathing. To give the reason of the distaste of satiety, and of the pleasure in novelty; and to distinguish not only in meats and drinks, but also in motions, loves, company, delights, studies, what they be that custom maketh more grateful, and what more tedious, were a large field. But for meats, the cause is attraction, which is quicker, and more excited towards that which is new, than towards that whereof there remaineth a relish by former use. And, generally, it is a rule, that whatsoever is somewhat ingrate at first, is made grateful by custom; but whatsoever is too pleasing at first, groweth quickly to satiate.
Experiments in consort touching the clarification of liquors, and the accelerating thereof.
ACCELERATION of time, in works of nature, may well be esteemed inter magnalia naturæ. even in divine miracles, accelerating of the time is next to the creating of the matter. We will now therefore proceed to the inquiry of it: and for acceleration of germination, we will refer it over unto the place where we shall handle the subject of plants generally; and will now begin with other accelerations.
301. LIQUORS are, many of them, at the first thick and troubled; as muste, wort, juices of fruits, or herbs expressed, etc. and by time they settle and clarify. But to make them clear before the time is a great work; for it is a spur to nature, and putteth her out of her pace: and, besides, it is of good use for making drinks and sauces potable and serviceable speedily. But to know the means of accelerating clarification, we must first know the causes of clarification. The first cause is, by the separation of the grosser parts of the liquor from the finer. The second, by the equal distribution of the spirits of the liquor with the tangible parts for that ever representeth bodies clear and untroubled. The third, by the refining the spirit itself, which thereby giveth to the liquor more splendour and more lustre.
302. FIRST, for separation, it is wrought by weight, as in the ordinary residence or settlement of liquors; by heat, by motion, by precipitation, or sublimation, that is, a calling of the several parts either up or down, which is a kind of attraction; by adhesion, as
when a body more viscous is mingled and agitated with the liquor, which viscous body, afterwards severed, draweth with it the grosser parts of the liquor; and lastly, by percolation or passage.
303. SECONDLY, for the even distribution of the spirits, it is wrought by gentle heat; and by agitation or motion, for of time we speak not, because it is that we would anticipate and represent; and it is wrought also by mixture of some other body which hath a virtue to open the liquor, and to make the spirits the better pass through.
304. THIRDLY, for the refining of the spirit, it is wrought likewise by heat; by motion; and by mixture of some body which hath virtue to attenuate. So therefore, having shewn the causes, for the accelerating of clarification in general, and the inducing of it, take these instances and trials.
305. It is in common practice to draw wine or beer from the lees, which we call racking, whereby it will clarify much the sooner; for the lees, though they keep the drink in heart, and make it lasting, yet withal they cast up some spissitude: and this instance is to be referred to separation.
306. On the other side it were good to try, what the adding to the liquor more lees than his own will work; for though the lees do make the liquor turbid, yet they refine the spirits. Take therefore a vessel of new beer, and take another vessel of new beer, and rack the one vessel from the lees, and pour the lees of the racked vessel into the unracked vessel, and see the effect this instance is referred to the refining of the spirits.
307. TAKE new beer, and put in some quantity of stale beer into it, and see whether it will not accelerate the clarification, by opening the body of the beer, and cutting the grosser parts, whereby they may down into lees. And this instance again is referred to separation.
308. THE longer malt or herbs, or the like, are infused in liquor, the more thick and troubled the liquor is; but the longer they be decocted in the