Page images
PDF
EPUB

those that are concurrent.

A man would think | into sharp vinegar, hath made a sudden recess of it should be otherwise; for that, when the acci- the spirits, and stanched blood. Thirdly, by the dent of sickness, and the natural disposition, do second the one the other, the disease should be more forcible and so, no doubt, it is, if you suppose like quantity of matter. But that which maketh good the aphorism is, because such diseases do show a greater collection of matter, by that they are able to overcome those natural inclinations to the contrary. And therefore in diseases of that kind, let the physician apply himself more to purgation than to alteration; because the offence is in the quantity; and the qualities are rectified of themselves.

:

Experiment solitary touching preparations before purging, and settling of the body afterwards. 65. Physicians do wisely prescribe, that there be preparatives used before just purgations; for certain it is, that purgers do many times great hurt, if the body be not accommodated, both before and after the purging. The hurt that they do, for want of preparation before purging, is by the sticking of the humours, and their not coming fair away, which causeth in the body great perturbations and ill accidents during the purging; and also the diminishing and dulling of the working of the medicine itself, that it purgeth not sufficiently therefore the work of preparation is double; to make the humours fluid and mature, and to make the passages more open: for both those help to make the humours pass readily. And for the former of these, syrups are most profitable: and for the latter, apozemes, or preparing broths; clysters also help, lest the medicine stop in the guts, and work gripingly. But it is true, that bodies abounding with humours, and fat bodies, and open weather, are preparatives in themselves; because they make the humours more fluid. But let a physician beware, how he purge after hard frosty weather, and in a lean body, without preparation. For the hurt that they may do after purging, it is caused by the lodging of some humours in ill places: for it is certain, that there be humours, which somewhere placed in the body are quiet, and do little hurt; in other places, especially passages, do much mischief. Therefore it is good, after purging, to use apozemes and broths, not so much opening as those used before purging; but abstersive and mundifying clysters also are good to conclude with, to draw away the relics of the humours, that may have descended to the lower region of the body.

Experiment solitary touching stanching of blood.

66. Blood is stanched divers ways. First, by astringents, and repercussive medicines. Secondly, by drawing of the spirits and blood inwards, which is done by cold, as iron or a stone laid to the neck doth stanch the bleeding of the nose; also it hath been tried, that the testicles being put

recess of the blood by sympathy. So it hath been tried, that the part that bleedeth, being thrust into the body of a capon or sheep, new ript and bleeding, hath stanched blood, as it seemeth, sucking and drawing up, by similitude of substance, the blood it meeteth with, and so itself going back. Fourthly, by custom and time; so the Prince of Orange, in his first hurt by the Spanish boy, could find no means to stanch the blood either by medicine or ligament: but was fain to have the orifice of the wound stopped by mens' thumbs, succeeding one another, for the space at the least of two days; and at the last the blood by custom only retired. There is a fifth way also in use, to let blood in an adverse part, for a revulsion.

Experiment solitary touching change of aliments

and medicines.

67. It helpeth, both in medicine and aliment, to change and not to continue the same medicine and aliment still. The cause is, for that nature, by continual use of any thing, groweth to a satiety and dullness, either of appetite or working. And we see that assuetude of things hurtful doth make them lose their force to hurt; as poison, which with use some have brought themselves to brook. And therefore it is no marvel, though things helpful by custom lose their force to help: I count intermission almost the same thing with change; for that that hath been intermitted is after a sort new.

Experiment solitary touching diets.

68. It is found by experience, that in diets of guaiacum, sarza, and the like, especially if they be strict, the patient is more troubled in the beginning than after continuance; which hath made some of the more delicate sort of patients give them over in the midst; supposing that if those diets trouble them so much at first, they shall not be able to endure them to the end. But the cause is, for that all those diets do dry up humours, rheums, and the like; and they cannot dry up until they have first attenuated; and while the humour is attenuated, it is more fluid than it was before, and troubleth the body a great deal more, until it be dried up and consumed. And therefore patients must expect a due time, and not kick at them at the first.

Experiments in consort touching the production of

cold.

The producing of cold is a thing very worthy the inquisition; both for use and disclosure of causes. For heat and cold are nature's two hands, whereby she chiefly worketh; and heat we have in readiness, in respect of the fire; but for cold we must stay till it cometh, or seek it in deep caves, or high mountains: and when all is done,

we cannot obtain it in any great degree: for | driving away of spirits such as have some degree furnaces of fire arc far hotter than a summer's of heat: for the banishing of the heat must needs sun; but vaults or hills are not much colder than leave any body cold. This we see in the operaa winter's frost. tion of opium and stupefactives upon the spirits of living creatures: and it were not amiss to try opium, by laying it upon the top of a weatherglass, to see whether it will contract the air; but I doubt it will not succeed; for besides that the virtue of opium will hardly penetrate through such a body as glass, I conceive that opium, and the like, make the spirits fly rather by malignity, than by cold.

69. The first means of producing cold, is that which nature presenteth us withal: namely, the expiring of cold out of the inward parts of the earth in winter, when the sun hath no power to overcome it; the earth being, as hath been noted by some, "primum frigidum." This hath been asserted, as well by ancient as by modern philosophers: it was the tenet of Parmenides. It was the opinion of the author of the discourse in Plutarch, for I take it that book was not Plutarch's own, "De primo frigido." It was the opinion of Telesius, who hath renewed the philosophy of Parmenides, and is the best of the novelists.

70. The second cause of cold is the contact of cold bodies; for cold is active and transitive into bodies adjacent, as well as heat: which is seen in those things that are touched with snow or cold water. And therefore, whosoever will be an inquirer into nature, let him resort to a conservatory of snow and ice, such as they use for delicacy to cool wine in summer; which is a poor and contemptible use, in respect of other uses, that may be made of such conservatories.

71. The third cause is the primary nature of all tangible bodies: for it is well to be noted, that all things whatsoever, tangible, are of themselves cold; except they have an accessary heat by fire, life, or motion: for even the spirit of wine, or chemical oils, which are so hot in operation, are to the first touch cold; and air itself compressed, and condensed a little by blowing, is cold.

72. The fourth cause is the density of the body; for all dense bodies are colder than most other bodies, as metals, stone, glass, and they are longer in heating than softer bodies. And it is certain, that earth, dense, tangible, hold all of the nature of cold. The cause is, for that all matters tangible being cold, it must needs follow, that where the matter is most congregate, the cold is the greater.

73. The fifth cause of cold, or rather of increase and vehemency of cold, is a quick spirit enclosed in a cold body: as will appear to any that shall attentively consider of nature in many instances. We see nitre, which hath a quick spirit, is cold; more cold to the tongue than a stone; so water is colder than oil, because it hath a quicker spirit: for all oil, though it hath the tangible parts better digested than water, yet hath it a duller spirit: so snow is colder than water, because it hath more spirit within it: so we see that salt put to ice, as in the producing of artificial ice, increaseth the activity of cold: so some "insecta," which have spirit of life, as snakes and silk-worms, are to the touch cold: so quicksilver is the coldest of metals, because it is fullest of spirit.

74. The sixth cause of cold is the chasing and

75. Seventhly, the same effect must follow upon the exhaling or drawing out of the warm spirits, that doth upon the flight of the spirits. There is an opinion that the moon is magnetical of heat, as the sun is of cold and moisture: it were not amiss therefore to try it, with warm waters; the one exposed to the beams of the moon, the other with some screen betwixt the beams of the moon and the water, as we use to the sun for shade: and to see whether the former will cool sooner. And it were also good to inquire, what other means there may be to draw forth the exile heat which is in the air; for that may be a secret of great power to produce cold weather.

Experiments in consort, touching the version and transmutation of air into water.

We have formerly set down the means of turning air into water, in the experiment 27. But because it is "magnale naturæ," and tendeth to the subduing of a very great effect, and is also of manifold use, we will add some instances in consort that give light thereunto.

76. It is reported by some of the ancients, that sailors have used, every night, to hang fleeces of wool on the sides of their ships, the wool towards the water; and that they have crushed fresh water out of them, in the morning for their use. And thus much we have tried, that a quantity of wool tied loose together, being let down into a deep well, and hanging in the middle, some three fathom from the water, for a night, in the winter time; increased in weight, as I now remember, to a fifth part.

77. It is reported by one of the ancients, that in Lydia, near Pergamus, there were certain workmen in time of wars fled into caves; and the mouth of the caves being stopped by the enemies, they were famished. But long time after the dead bones were found; and some vessels which they had carried with them; and the vessels full of water; and that water thicker, and more towards ice, than common water: which is a notable instance of condensation and induration by burial under earth, in caves, for long time: and of version also, as it should seem, of air into water; if any of those vessels were empty. Try therefore a small bladder hung in snow, and the

like in nitre, and the like in quicksilver: and if | the vapour, and so turneth it back, and thickeneth you find the bladders fallen or shrunk, you may be sure the air is condensed by the cold of those bodies, as it would be in a cave under earth.

78. It is reported of very good credit, that in the East Indies, if you set a tub of water open in a room where cloves are kept, it will be drawn dry in twenty-four hours; though it stand at some distance from the cloves. In the country, they use many times in deceit, when their wool is new shorn, to set some pails of water by in the same room, to increase the weight of the wool. But it may be, that the heat of the wool, remaining from the body of the sheep, or the heat gathered by the lying close of the wool, helpeth to draw the watery vapour: but that is nothing to the version. 79. It is reported also credibly, that wool new shorn, being laid casually upon a vessel of verjuice, after some time, had drunk up a great part of the verjuice, though the vessel were whole without any flaw, and had not the bung-hole open. In this instance, there is upon the by, to be noted, the percolation or suing of the verjuice through the wood; for verjuice of itself would never have passed through the wood: so as, it seemeth, it must be first in a kind of vapour before it pass.

80. It is especially to be noted, that the cause that doth facilitate the version of air into water, when the air is not in gross, but subtilly mingled with tangible bodies, is, as hath been partly touched before, for that tangible bodies have an antipathy with air; and if they find any liquid body that is more dense near them, they will draw it and after they have drawn it, they will condense it more, and in effect incorporate it; for we see that a sponge, or wool, or sugar, or a woollen cloth, being put but in part in water or wine, will draw the liquor higher, and beyond the place where the water or wine cometh. We see also, that wood, lute strings, and the like, do swell in moist seasons; as appeareth by the breaking of the strings, the hard turning of the pegs, and the hard drawing forth of boxes, and opening of wainscot doors: which is a kind of infusion: and is much like to an infusion in water, which will make wood to swell; as we see in the filling of the chops of bowls, by laying them in water. But for that part of these experiments which concerneth attraction, we will reserve it to the proper title of attraction.

it into dew. We see also, that breathing upon a glass, or smooth body, giveth a dew; and in frosty mornings, such as we call rime frosts, you shall find drops of dew upon the inside of glass windows; and the frost itself upon the ground is but a version or condensation of the moist vapours of the night, into a watery substance: dews likewise, and rain, are but the returns of moist vapours condensed; the dew, by the cold only of the sun's departure, which is the gentler cold; rains, by the cold of that which they call the middle region of the air; which is the more violent cold.

82. It is very probable, as hath been touched, that that which will turn water into ice, will likewise turn air some degree nearer unto water. Therefore try the experiment of the artificial turning water into ice, whereof we shall speak in another place, with air in place of water, and the ice about it. And although it be a greater alteration to turn air into water, than water into ice; yet there is this hope, that by continuing the air longer time, the effect will follow: for that artificial conversion of water into ice is the work of a few hours; and this of air may be tried by a month's space or the like.

Experiments in consort touching induration of bodies.

Induration, or lapidification of substances more soft, is likewise another degree of condensation; and is a great alteration in nature. The effecting and accelerating thereof is very worthy to be inquired. It is effected by three means. The first is by cold; whose property is to condense and constipate, as hath been said. The second is by heat; which is not proper but by conse quence; for the heat doth attenuate; and by attenuation doth send forth the spirit and moister part of a body; and upon that, the more gross of the tangible parts do contract and sear themselves together; both to avoid "vacuum,' as they call it, and also to munite themselves against the force of the fire, which they have suffered. And the third is by assimilation; when a hard body assimilateth a soft, being contiguous to it.

:

[ocr errors]

The examples of induration, taking them promiscuously, are many as the generation of stones within the earth, which at the first are but rude earth or clay and so of minerals, which come, 81. There is also a version of air into water no doubt, at first of juices concrete, which afterseen in the sweating of marbles and other stones; wards indurate: and so of porcelain, which is an and of wainscot before, and in moist weather. artificial cement, buried in the earth a long time; This must be, either by some moisture the body and so the making of brick and tile: also the yieldeth, or else by the moist air thickened against making of glass of a certain sand and brakethe hard body. But it is plain, that it is the roots, and some other matters; also the exudalatter; for that we see wood painted with oil- tions of rock-diamonds and crystal, which harden colour, will sooner gather drops in a moist night, with time; also the induration of bead-amber, than wood alone, which is caused by the smooth-which at first is a soft substance; as appeareth ness and closeness, which letteth in no part of by the flies and spiders which are found in it;

and many more: but we will speak of them enter, then long seething will rather soften than distinctly.

83. For indurations by cold, there be few trials of it; for we have no strong or intense cold here on the surface of the earth, so near the beams of the sun, and the heavens. The likeliest trial is by snow and ice; for as snow and ice, especially being holpen and their cold activated by nitre or salt, will turn water into ice, and that in a few hours; so it may be, it will turn wood or stiff clay into stone, in longer time. Put therefore into a conserving pit of snow and ice, adding some quantity of salt and nitre, a piece of wood, or a piece of tough clay, and let it lie a month or more. 84. Another trial is by metalline waters, which have virtual cold in them. Put therefore wood or clay into smith's water, or other metalline water, and try whether it will not harden in some reasonable time. But I understand it of metalline waters that come by washing or quenching; and not of strong waters that come by dissolution; for they are too corrosive to consolidate.

85. It is already found that there are some natural spring waters, that will inlapidate wood; so that you shall see one piece of wood, whereof the part above the water shall continue wood; and the part under water shall be turned into a kind of gravelly stone. It is likely those waters are of some metalline mixture; but there would be more particular inquiry made of them. It is certain, that an egg was found, having lain many years in the bottom of a moat, where the earth had somewhat overgrown it; and this egg was come to the hardness of a stone, and had the colours of the white and yolk perfect, and the shell shining in small grains like sugar or alabaster.

indurate them; as hath been tried in eggs, &c. therefore softer bodies must be put into bottles hung into water seething with the mouths open above the water, that no water may get in; for by this means the virtual heat of the water will enter; and such a heat, as will not make the body adust or fragile; but the substance of the water will be shut out. This experiment we made; and it sorted thus. It was tried with a piece of freestone, and with pewter, put into the water at large. The freestone we found received in some water; for it was softer and easier to scrape than a piece of the same stone kept dry. But the pewter, into which no water could enter, became more white, and like to silver, and less flexible by much. There were also put into an earthen bottle, placed as before, a good pellet of clay, a piece of cheese, a piece of chalk, and a piece of freestone. The clay came forth almost of the hardness of stone; the cheese likewise very hard, and not well to be cut; the chalk and the freestone much harder than they were. The colour of the clay inclined not a whit to the colour of brick, but rather to white, as in ordinary drying by the sun. Note, that all the former trials were made by a boiling upon a good hot fire, renewing the water as it consumed, with other hot water; but the boiling was but for twelve hours only; and it is like that the experiment would have been effectual, if the boiling had been for two or three days, as we prescribed before.

89. As touching assimilation, for this is a degree of assimilation, even in inanimate bodies we see examples of it in some stones in clay-grounds, lying near to the top of the earth, where pebble is; in which you may manifestly see divers pebbles gathered together, and crust of cement or stone between them, as hard as the pebbles them

86. Another experience there is of induration by cold, which is already found; which is, that metals themselves are hardened by often heating and quenching in cold water; for cold ever work-selves; and it were good to make a trial of pureth most potently upon heat precedent.

87. For induration by heat, it must be considered, that heat, by the exhaling of the moister parts, doth either harden the body, as in bricks, tiles, &c., or if the heat be more fierce, maketh the grosser part itself run and melt; as in the making of ordinary glass; and in the vitrification of earth, as we see in the inner parts of furnaces, and in the vitrification of brick, and of metals. And in the former of these, which is the hardening by baking without melting, the heat hath these degrees; first, it indurateth, and then maketh fragile; and lastly it doth incinerate and calcinate. 88. But if you desire to make an induration with toughness, and less fragility, a middle way would be taken, which is that which Aristotle hath well noted; but would be thoroughly verified. It is to decoct bodies in water for two or three days; but they must be such bodies into which the water will not enter; as stone and metal; for if they be bodies into which the water will

pose, by taking clay, and putting in it divers pebble stones, thick set, to see whether in continuance of time, it will not be harder than other clay of the same lump, in which no pebbles are set. We see also in ruins of old walls, especially towards the bottom, the mortar will become as hard as the brick; we see also, that the wood on the sides of vessels of wine, gathereth a crust of tartar, harder than the wood itself; and scales likewise grow to the teeth, harder than the teeth themselves.

90. Most of all, induration by assimilation appeareth in the bodies of trees and living creatures: for no nourishment that the tree receiveth, or that the living creature receiveth, is so hard as wood, bone, or horn, &c. but is indurated after by assimilation.

Experiment solitary touching the version of water

into air.

91. The eye of the understanding is like the eye of the sense: for as you may see great ob

jects through small crannies, or levels; so you | penurious colour, and where moisture is scant. may see great axioms of nature through small and So blue violets, and other flowers, if they be contemptible instances. The speedy depredation starved, turn pale and white: birds and horses, of air upon watery moisture, and version of the by age or scars turn white and the hoar hairs. same into air, appeareth in nothing more visible, of men come by the same reason. And therefore, than in the sudden discharge or vanishing of a in birds, it is very likely, that the feathers that little cloud of breath or vapour from glass, or the come first, will be many times of divers colours, blade of a sword, or any such polished body, such according to the nature of the bird, for that the as doth not at all detain or imbibe the moisture; skin is more porous; but when the skin is more for the mistiness scattereth and breaketh up sud- shut and close, the feathers will come white. denly. But the like cloud, if it were oily or fatty, This is a good experiment, not only for the prowill not discharge; not because it sticketh faster; ducing of birds and beasts of strange colours; but but because air preyeth upon water; and flame also for the disclosure of the nature of colours and fire upon oil; and therefore to take out a spot themselves: which of them require a finer poroof grease they use a coal upon brown paper; be- sity, and which a grosser. cause fire worketh upon grease or oil, as air doth upon water. And we see paper oiled, or wood oiled, or the like, last long moist; but wet with water, dry, or putrify sooner. The cause is, for that air meddleth little with the moisture of oil.

Experiment solitary touching the force of union. 92. There is an admirable demonstration in the same trifling instance of the little cloud upon glass, or gems, or blades of swords, of the force of union, even in the least quantities, and weakest bodies, how much it conduceth to preservation of the present form and the resisting of a new. For mark well the discharge of that cloud; and you shall see it ever break up, first in the skirts, and last in the midst. We see likewise, that much water draweth forth the juice of the body infused; but little water is imbibed by the body: and this is a principal cause, why in operation upon bodies for their version or alteration, the trial in great quantities doth not answer the trial in small; and so deceiveth many; for that, I say, the greater body resisteth more any alteration of form, and requireth far greater strength in the active body that should subdue it.

Experiment solitary touching the producing of

feathers and hairs of divers colours.

Experiment solitary touching the nourishment of living creatures before they be brought forth.

94. It is a work of providence, that hath been truly observed by some, that the yolk of the egg conduceth little to the generation of the bird, but only to the nourishment of the same; for if a chicken be opened, when it is new hatched, you shall find much of the yolk remaining. And it is needful, that birds that are shaped without the female's womb have in the egg, as well matter of nourishment, as matter of generation for the body. For after the egg is laid, and severed from the body of the hen, it hath no more nourishment from the hen, but only a quickening heat when she sitteth. But beasts and men need not the matter of nourishment within themselves, because they are shaped within the womb of the female, and are nourished continually from her body.

Experiments in consort touching sympathy and an

tipathy for medicinal use.

95. It is an inveterate and received opinion, that cantharides applied to any part of the body, touch the bladder and exulcerate it, if they stay on long. It is likewise received, that a kind of stone, which they bring out of the West Indies, hath a peculiar force to move gravel, and to dissolve the stone; insomuch, as laid but to the wrist, it hath so forcibly sent down gravel, as men have been glad to remove it was so violent.

96. It is received, and confirmed by daily experience, that the soles of the feet have great affinity with the head and mouth of the stomach; as we see going wet-shod, to those that use it not, affecteth both applications of hot powders to the

93. We have spoken before in the fifth instance, of the cause of orient colours in birds; which is by the fineness of the strainer: we will now endea-it, vour to reduce the same axiom to a work. For this writing of our "Sylva Sylvarum" is, to speak properly, not natural history, but a high kind of natural magic. For it is not a description only of nature, but a breaking of nature into great and strange works. Try therefore the anointing over | feet attenuate first, and after dry the rheum: and of pigeons, or some other birds, when they are but in their down; or of whelps, cutting their hair as short as may be; or of some other beast: with some ointment that is not hurtful to the flesh, and that will harden and stick very close; and see whether it will not alter the colours of the feathers or hair. It is received, that the pulling off the first feathers of birds clean, will make the new come forth white: and it is certain that white is a

therefore a physician that would be mystical, prescribeth, for the cure of the rheum, that a man should walk continually upon a camomile alley; meaning, that he should put camomile within his socks. Likewise pigeons bleeding, applied to the soles of the feet ease the head and soporiferous medicines applied unto them, provoke sleep.

97. It seemeth, that as the feet have a sympathy with the head, so the wrists and hands have

« PreviousContinue »