Page images

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 dulness, 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 keck 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 diclosure 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 moun



tains; and when all is done, we cannot obtain it in any great degree : for furnaces of fire are far hotter than a summer's sun; but vaults or hills are not much colder than a winter's frost.

69. The frst 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 accessory 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 inclosed 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 the artificial ice, increaseth the activity of cold : so some insecta which have spirit of life, as snakes and silkworms, 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 driving away of spirits such as have some degree of heat : for the banishing of the heat must needs leave any body cold. This we see in the operation 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 weather-glass, 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.

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 skreen betwixt the beams of the moon and the water, as we úse 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.

[ocr errors]

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 nature, 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 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 twentyfour 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 verjuíce 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 spunge, 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 wain. scot 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.

81. THERE is also a version of air into water seen in the sweating of marbles and other stones; and of wainscot before and in moist weather. This must

« PreviousContinue »