Page images
PDF
EPUB

doth hasten putrefaction, so convenient drying, whereby the more radical moisture is only kept in, putteth back putrefaction; so we see that herbs and flowers, if they be dried in the shade, or dried in the hot sun for a small time, keep best. For the emission of the loose and adventitious moisture doth betray the radical moisture, and carrieth it out for company.

346. The sixth is the strengthening of the spirits of bodies: for as a great heat keepeth bodies from putrefaction, but a tepid heat inclineth them to putrefaction; so a strong spirit likewise preserveth, and a weak or faint spirit disposeth to corruption. So we find that salt water corrupteth not so soon as fresh and salting of oysters, and powdering of meat, keepeth them from putrefaction. It would be tried also whether chalk put into water, or drink, doth not preserve it from putrefying or speedy souring. So we see that strong beer will last longer than small; and all things that are hot and aromatical do help to preserve liquors, or powders, &c., which they do as well by strengthening the spirits as by soaking out the loose moisture.

347. The seventh is separation of the cruder parts, and thereby making the body more equal; for all imperfect mixture is apt to putrefy; and watery substances are more apt to putrefy than oily. So we see distilled waters will last longer than raw waters; and things that have passed the fire do last longer than those that have not passed the fire, as dried pears, &c.

348. The eighth is the drawing forth continually of that part where the putrefaction beginneth; which is, commonly, the loose and watery moisture; not only for the reason before given, that it provoketh the radical moisture to come forth with it; but because being detained in the body, the putrefaction taking hold of it, infecteth the rest: as we see in the embalming of dead bodies; and the same reason is of preserving herbs, or fruits, or flowers; in bran or meal.

349. The ninth is the commixture of any thing that is more oily or sweet: for such bodies are least apt to putrefy, the air worketh little upon them, and they not putrefying, preserve the rest. And therefore we see syrups and ointments will last longer than juïces.

350. The tenth is the commixture of somewhat that is dry; for putrefaction beginneth first from the spirits and then from the moisture; and that that is dry is unapt to putrefy: and therefore smoke preserveth flesh; as we see in bacon and neats' tongues, and Martlemas beef, &c.

351. The opinion of some of the ancients, that blown airs do preserve bodies longer than other airs, seemeth to me probable; for that the blown airs, being overcharged and compressed, will hardly receive the exhaling of any thing, but rather repulse it. It was tried in a blown bladder, whereinto flesh was put, and likewise a flower,

and it sorted not: for dry bladders will not blow: and new bladders rather further putrefaction: the way were therefore to blow strongly with a pair of bellows into a hogshead, putting into the hogshead, before, that which you would have preserved; and in the instant that you withdraw the bellows, stop the hole close.

Experiment solitary touching wood shining in the dark.

352. The experiment of wood that shineth in the dark, we have diligently driven and pursued: the rather, for that of all things that give light here below, it is the most durable, and hath least apparent motion. Fire and flame are in continual expense; sugar shineth only while it is in scraping; and saltwater while it is in dashing; glowworms have their shining while they live, or an little after; only scales of fishes putrefied seem to be of the same nature with shining wood: and it is true, that all putrefaction hath with it an inward motion, as well as fire or light. The trial sorted thus: 1. The shining is in some pieces more bright, in some more dim; but the most bright. of all doth not attain to the light of a glow-worm. 2. The woods that have been tried to shine, are chiefly sallow and willow; also the ash and hazle; it may be it holdeth in others. 3. Both root and bodies do shine, but the roots better. 4. The colour of the shining part, by day-light, is in some pieces white, in some pieces inclining to red; which in the country they call the white and red garret. 5. The part that shineth is, for the most. part, somewhat soft, and moist to feel to, but some was found to be firm and hard, so as it might be figured into a cross, or into beads, &c. But you must not look to have an image, or the like, in: any thing that is lightsome; for even a face in iron red-hot will not be seen, the light confounding the small differences of lightsome and darksome, which show the figure. 6. There was the shining part pared off, till you came to that that did not shine; but within two days the part contiguous began also to shine, being laid abroad in the dew: so as it seemeth the putrefaction spreadeth. 7. There was other dead wood of like kind that was laid abroad, which shined not at the first; but after a night's lying abroad began to shine. 8. There was other wood that did first shine; and being laid dry in the house, within five or six days lost the shining; and laid abroad again,. recovered the shining. 9. Shining woods being laid in a dry room, within a seven-night lose their shining; but being laid in a cellar, or dark room, keeps the shining. 10. The boring of holes in that kind of wood, and then laying it abroad, seemeth to conduce to make it shine: the cause is, for that all solution of continuity doth help on putrefaction, as was touched before. 11. No wood hath been yet tried to shine, that was cut down alive, but such as was rotted both in stock

and root while it grew. 12. Part of the wood that shined was steeped in oil, and retained the shining a fortnight. 13. The like succeeded in some steeped in water, and much better. 14. How long the shining will continue, if the wood be laid abroad every night, and taken in and sprinkled with water in the day, is not yet tried. 15. Trial was made of laying it abroad in frosty weather, which hurt it not. 16. There was a great piece of a root which did shine, and the shining part was cut off till no more shined; yet after two nights, though it were kept in a dry room, it got a shining.

of a more active habit. Cardamon is in Latin
"nasturtium," and with us water-cresses; which,
it is certain, is an herb that, whilst it is young,
is friendly to life. As for the quickening of
natural heat, it must be done chiefly with exercise;
and therefore no doubt much going to school,
where they sit so much, hindereth the growth of
children; whereas country people that go not to
school are commonly of better stature.
again men must beware how they give children
any thing that is cold in operation, for even long
sucking doth hinder both wit and stature. This
hath been tried, that a whelp that hath been fed
with nitre in milk hath become very little, but

And

Experiment solitary touching the acceleration of extreme lively: for the spirit of nitre is cold.

birth.

Experiments in consort touching sulphur and mercury, two of Paracelsus's principles.

And though it be an excellent medicine in strength 353. The bringing forth of living creatures may of years for prolongation of life; yet it is in childbe accelerated in two respects: the one, if the em-ren and young creatures an enemy to growth: bryo ripeneth and perfecteth sooner: the other, if and all for the same reason, for heat is requisite there be some cause from the mother's body, of to growth; but after a man is come to his middle expulsion or putting it down: whereof the former age, heat consumeth the spirits, which the coldness is good, and argueth strength; the latter is ill, of the spirit of nitre doth help to condense and and cometh by accident or disease. And therefore correct. the ancient observation is true, that the child born in the seventh month doth commonly well; but born in the eighth month, doth for the most part die. But the cause assigned is fabulous; which is, that in the eighth month should be the return of the reign of the planet Saturn, which as they say, is a planet malign; whereas in the seventh is the reign of the moon, which is a planet propitious. But the true cause is, for that where there is so great a prevention of the ordinary time, it is the lustiness of the child; but when it is less, it is some indisposition of the mother.

There be two great families of things, you may term them by several names; sulphurous and mercurial, which are the chymists' words, for as for their "sal," which is their third principle, it is a compound of the other two; inflammable and not inflamable; mature and crude, oily and watery. For we see that in subterranies there are, as the fathers of their tribes, brimstone and mercury; in vegetables and living creatures there is water and oil: in the inferior order of pneumaticals there is air Experiment solitary touching the acceleration of and flame, and in the superior there is the body

growth and stature.

of the star and the pure sky. And these pairs, though they be unlike in the primitive differences of matter, yet they seem to have many consents: for mercury and sulphur are principal materials of metals; water and oil are principal materials of vegetables and animals, and seem to differ but in maturation or concoction: flame, in vulgar opinion, is but air incensed; and they both have quickness of motion, and facility of cession, much alike: and the interstellar sky, though the opinion be vain, that the star is the denser part of his orb, hath notwithstanding so much affinity with the star, that there is a rotation of that, as well as of the star. Therefore it is one of the greatest

354. To accelerate growth or stature, it must proceed either from the plenty of the nourishment, or from the nature of the nourishment, or from the quickening and exciting of the natural heat. For the first excess of nourishment is hurtful; for it maketh the child corpulent; and growing in breadth rather than in height. And you may take an experiment from plants, which if they spread much are seldom tall. As for the nature of the nourishment; first, it may not be too dry, and therefore children in dairy countries do wax more tall, than where they feed more upon bread and flesh. There is also a received tale, that boiling of daisy roots in milk, which it is certain are great" magnalia naturæ," to turn water or watery driers, will make dogs little. But so much is true, that an over-dry nourishment in childhood putteth back stature. Secondly, the nourishment must be of an opening nature, for that attenuateth the juice, and furthereth the motion of the spirits upwards. Neither is it without cause, that Xenophon, in the nurture of the Persian children, doth so much commend their feeding upon cardamon, which, he saith, made them grow better, and be

juice into oil or oily juice: greater in nature than to turn silver or quicksilver into gold.

355. The instances we have wherein crude and watery substance turneth into fat and oily, are of four kinds. First in the mixture of earth and water; which mingled by the help of the sun gather a nitrous fatness, more than either of them have severally; as we see in that they put forth plants, which need both juices.

356. The second is in the assimilation of nou- | said, yet some that have kept chameleons a whole rishment, made in the bodies of plants and living year together could never perceive that ever they creatures, whereof plants turn the juice of mere fed upon any thing else but air, and might observe: water and earth into a great deal of oily matter: their bellies to swell after they had exhausted the living creatures, though much of their fat and air, and closed their jaws; which they open comflesh are out of oily aliments, as meat and bread, monly against the rays of the sun. They have a yet they assimilate also in a measure their drink foolish tradition in magic, that if a chameleon be of water, &c. But these two ways of version of burnt upon the top of a house, it will raise a water into oil, namely, by mixture and by assimi- tempest; supposing, according to their vain dreams lation, are by many passages and percolations, of sympathies, because he nourisheth with air, his and by long continuance of soft heats, and by cir- body should have great virtue to make impression cuits of time. upon the air.

357. The third is the inception of putrefaction; as in water corrupted: and the mothers of Experiment solitary touching subterrany fires. waters distilled; both which have a kind of fatness 361. It is reported by one of the ancients, that or oil. in part of Media there are eruptions of flames out 358. The fourth is in the dulcoration of some of plains; and that those flames are clear, and cast metals, as "saccharum Saturni, &c."

not forth such smoke, and ashes, and pumice, as mountain flames do. The reason, no doubt, is, because the flame is not pent, as it is in moun

be also some blind fires under stone, which flame not out, but oil being poured upon them they flame out. The cause whereof is, for that it seemeth the fire is so choked as not able to remove the stone, it is heat rather than flame, which nevertheless is sufficient to inflame the oil.

359. The intention of version of water into a more oily substance is by digestion; for oil is almost nothing else but water digested, and this di-tains and earthquakes which cast flame. There gestion is principally by heat, which heat must be either outward or inward: again, it may be by provocation or excitation, which is caused by the mingling of bodies already oily or digested: for they will somewhat communicate their nature with the rest. Digestion also is strongly effected by direct assimilation of bodies crude into bodies digested, as in plants and living creatures, whose nourishment is far more crude than their bodies: but this digestion is by a great compass, as hath been said. As for the more full handling of these two principles, whereof this is but a taste, the inquiry of which is one of the profoundest inquiries of nature, we leave it to the title of version of bodies, and likewise to the title of the first congregations of matter; which, like a general assembly of estate, doth give law to all bodies.

Experiment solitary touching chameleons. 360. A chameleon is a creature about the bigness of an ordinary lizard: his head unproportionably big: his eyes great: he moveth his head without the writhing of his neck, which is inflexible, as a hog doth his back crooked; his skin spotted with little tumours, less eminent nearer the belly; his tail slender and long: on each foot he hath five fingers, three on the outside, and two on the inside; his tongue of a marvellous length in respect of his body, and hollow at the end; which he will launch out to prey upon flies. Of colour green, and of a dusky yellow, brighter and whiter towards the belly; yet spotted with blue, white, and red. If he be laid upon green, the green predominateth; if upon yellow, the yellow; not so if he be laid upon blue, or red, or white; only the green spots receive a more orient lustre; laid upon black he looketh all black, though not without a mixture of green. He feedeth not only upon air, though that be his principal sustenance, for sometimes he taketh flies, as was

Experiment solitary touching nitre.

362. It is reported that in some lakes the water is so nitrous, as if foul clothes be put into it, it scoureth them of itself; and if they stay any whit long, they moulder away. And the scouring virtue of nitre is the more to be noted, because it is a body cold; and we see warm water scoureth better than cold. But the cause is, for that it hath a subtle spirit, which severeth and divideth any thing that is foul and viscous, and sticketh upon a body.

Experiment solitary touching congealing of air.

363. Take a bladder, the greatest you can get, fill it full of wind, and tie it about the neck with a silk thread waxed, and upon that put likewise wax very close; so that when the neck of the bladder drieth, no air may possibly get in nor out. Then bury it three or four foot under the earth in a vault, or in a conservatory of snow, the snow being made hollow about the bladder, and after some fortnight's distance, see whether the bladder be shrunk; for if it be, then it is plain that the coldness of the earth or snow hath condensed the air, and brought it a degree nearer to water: which is an experiment of great consequence.

Experiment solitary touching congealing of water into crystal.

364. It is a report of some good credit, that in deep caves there are pensile crystals, and degrees of crystal that drop from above, and in some other, though more rarely, that rise from below: which

though it be chiefly the work of cold, yet it may be that water that passeth through the earth, gathereth a nature more clammy, and fitter to congeal and become solid than water of itself. Therefore trial would be made, to lay a heap of earth, in great frosts, upon a hollow vessel, putting a canvass between, that it falleth not in: and pour water upon it, in such quantity as will be sure to soak through, and see whether it will not make a harder ice in the bottom of the vessel, and less apt to dissolve than ordinarily. I suppose also that if you make the earth narrower at the bottom than at the top, in fashion of a sugar-loaf reversed, it will help the experiment. For it will make the ice, where it issueth, less in bulk, and evermore smallness of quantity is a help to version.

in the midst, and it burnt only to the space of eighty-seven pulses. Mixed with the sixth part of a spoonful of milk, it burnt to the space of one hundred pulses; and the milk was curdled. Mixed with the sixth part of a spoonful of water, it burnt to the space of eighty-six pulses, with an equal quantity of water, only to the space of four pulses. A small pebble was laid in the midst, and the spirit of wine burnt to the space of ninetyfour pulses. A piece of wood of the bigness of an arrow, and about a finger's length, was set up in the midst, and the spirit of wine burnt to the space of ninety-four pulses. So that the spirit of wine simple endured the longest ; and the spirit of wine with the bay-salt, and the equal quantity of water, were the shortest.

367. Consider well, whether the more speedy

Experiments solitary touching preserving of rose- going forth of the flame be caused by the greater

leaves both in colour and smell.

365. Take damask roses, and pull them, then dry them upon the top of a house, upon a lead or terras, in the hot sun, in a clear day, between the hours only of twelve and two, or thereabouts. Then put them into a sweet dry earthen bottle, or a glass, with narrow mouths, stuffing them close together, but without bruising: stop the bottle or glass close, and these roses will retain not only their smell perfect, but their colour fresh, for a year at least. Note, that nothing doth so much destroy any plant, or other body, either by putrefaction or arefaction, as the adventitious moisture which hangeth loose in the body, if it be not drawn out. For it betrayeth and tolleth forth the innate and radical moisture along with it when itself goeth forth. And therefore in living creatures, moderate sweat doth preserve the juice of the body. Note, that these roses, when you take them from the drying, have little or no smell; so that the smell is a second smell, that issueth out of the flower afterwards.

vigour of the flame in burning, or by the resistance of the body mixed, and the aversion thereof to take flame; which will appear by the quantity of the spirit of wine that remaineth after the going out of the flame. And it seemeth clearly to be the latter; for that the mixture of things least apt to burn is the speediest in going out. And note, by the way, that spirit of wine burned till it go out of itself will burn no more: and tasteth nothing so hot in the mouth as it did: no, nor yet sour, as if it were a degree towards vinegar, which burnt wine doth; but flat and dead.

368. Note, that in the experiment of wax aforesaid, the wax dissolved in the burning, and yet did not incorporate itself with spirit of wine to produce one flame; but wheresoever the wax floated, the flame forsook it, till at last it spread all over, and put the flame quite out.

369. The experiments of the mixtures of the spirit of wine inflamed are things of discovery, and not of use: but now we will speak of the continuance of flames, such are used for candles, lamps, or tapers; consisting of inflammable mat

Experiments in consort touching the continuance of ters, and of a wick that provoketh inflammation.

flame.

And this importeth not only discovery, but also 366. The continuance of flame, according unto use and profit; for it is a great saving in all such the diversity of the body inflamed, and other cir- lights, if they can be made as fair and bright as cumstances, is worthy the inquiry; chiefly, for others, and yet last longer. Wax pure made that though flame be almost of a momentary last- into a candle, and wax mixed severally into ing, yet it receiveth the more, and the less: we candle-stuff, with the particulars that follow, viz. will first therefore speak at large of bodies inflamed water, aqua vitæ, milk, bay-salt, oil, butter, nitre, wholly and immediately, without any wick to brimstone, saw-dust, every of these bearing a help the inflammation. A spoonful of spirit of sixth part to the wax; and every of these canwine, a little heated, was taken, and it burnt as dles mixed, being of the same weight and wick long as came to a hundred and sixteen pulses. with the wax pure, proved thus in the burning and The same quantity of spirit of wine mixed with lasting. The swiftest in consuming was that the sixth part of a spoonful of nitre, burnt but to with saw-dust; which first burned fair till some the space of ninety-four pulses. Mixed with the part of the candle was consumed, and the dust like quantity of bay-salt, eighty-three pulses. gathered about the snaste; but then it made the Mixed with the like quantity of gunpowder, which snaste big and long, and to burn duskishly, and dissolved into a black water, one hundred and ten the candle wasted in half the time of the wax pulses. A cube or pallet of yellow wax was pure. The next in swiftness were the oil and taken, as much as half the spirit of wine, and set butter, which consumed by a fifth part swifter

han the pure wax. Then followed in swiftness | that hole; and then set it upright again; and the clear wax itself. Then the bay-salt, which put a wick in at the hole, and lighten it; you lasted about an eighth part longer than the clear shall find that it will burn slow, and a long time: wax. Then followed the aqua vitæ, which lasted which is caused, as was said last before, for about a fifth part longer than the clear wax. that the flame fetcheth the nourishment afar off. Then followed the milk and water with little You shall find also, that as the oil wasteth and difference from the aqua vitæ, but the water descendeth, so the top of the turret by little and slowest. And in these four last, the wick would little filleth with air; which is caused by the raspit forth little sparks. For the nitre, it would refaction of the oil by the heat. It were worthy not hold lighted above some twelve pulses, but the observation to make a hole in the top of the all the while it would spit out portions of flame, turret, and to try when the oil is almost consumed, which afterwards would go out into a vapour. whether the air made of the oil, if you put to it a For the brimstone, it would hold lighted much flame of a candle, in the letting of it forth, will about the same time with the nitre; but then after inflame. It were good also to have the lamp a little while it would harden and cake about the made, not of tin, but glass, that you may see how snaste; so that the mixture of bay-salt with wax the vapour or air gathereth by degrees in the top. will win an eighth part of the time of lasting, and the water a fifth.

374. A fourth point that importeth the lasting of the flame, is the closeness of the air wherein 370. After the several materials were tried, the flame burneth. We see that if wind bloweth trial was likewise made of several wicks; as of upon a candle it wasteth apace. We see also it ordinary cotton, sewing thread, rush, silk, straw, lasteth longer in a lantern than at large. And and wood. The silk, straw, and wood would there are traditions of lamps and candles, that flame a little, till they came to the wax, and then have burnt a very long time in caves and tombs. go out of the other three, the thread consumed 375. A fifth point that importeth the lasting of faster than the cotton, by a sixth part of time; the flame, is the nature of the air where the flame the cotton next; then the rush consumed slower burneth; whether it be cold or hot, moist or dry. than the cotton, by at least a third part of time. For the bigness of the flame, the cotton and thread cast a flame much alike; and the rush much less and dimmer. Query, Whether wood and wicks both, as in torches, consume faster than the wicks simple.

371. We have spoken of the several materials, and the several wicks: but to the lasting of the flame it importeth also, not only what the material is, but the same material whether it be hard, soft, old, new, &c. Good housewives, to make their candles burn longer, use to lay them one by one in bran or flour, which make them harder, and so they consume the slower: insomuch as by this means they will outlast other candles of the same stuff almost half in half. For bran and flour have a virtue to harden; so that both age, and lying in the bran, doth help to the lasting. And we see that wax candles last longer than tallow candles, because wax is more firm and hard. 372. The lasting of flame also dependeth upon the easy drawing of the nourishment; as we see in the Court of England there is a service which they call Allnight; which is as it were a great cake of wax, with the wick in the midst; whereby it cometh to pass, that the wick fetcheth the nourishment farther off. We see also that lamps last longer, because the vessel is far broader than the breadth of a taper or candle.

The air, if it be very cold, irritateth the flame, and maketh it burn more fiercely, as fire scorcheth in frosty weather, and so furthereth the consumption. The air once heated, I conceive, maketh the flame burn more mildly, and so helpeth the continuance. The air, if it be dry, is indifferent: the air, if it be moist, doth in a degree quench the flame, as we see lights will go out in the damps of mines, and howsoever maketh it burn more dully, and so helpeth the continuance.

Experiments in consort touching burials or infu

sions of divers bodies in earth.

376. Burials in earth serve for preservation, and for condensation, and for induration of bodies. And if you intend condensation or induration, you may bury the bodies so as earth may touch them: as if you will make artificial porcelane, &c. And the like you may do for conservation, if the bodies be hard and solid; as clay, wood, &c. But if you intend preservation of bodies more soft and tender, then you must do one of these two: either you must put them in cases, whereby they may not touch the earth, or else you must vault the earth, whereby it may hang over them and not touch them: for if the earth touch them, it will do more hurt by the moisture, causing them to putrefy, than good by the virtual cold, to conserve them, except the earth be very dry and sandy.

373. Take a turreted lamp of tin, made in the 377. An orange, lemon, and apple, wrapt in a form of square; the height of the turret being linen cloth, being buried for a fortnight's space thrice as much as the length of the lower part four foot deep within the earth, though it were in whereupon the lamp standeth: make only one a moist place, and a rainy time, yet came forth hole in it, at the end of the return farthest from noways mouldy or rotten, but were become a the turret. Reverse it, and fill it full of oil by little harder than they were; otherwise fresh in

« PreviousContinue »