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in a lanthorn than at large. And there are traditions of lamps and candles, that have burnt a very long time in caves and tombs.
375. A FIFTH point that importeth the lasting of the flame, is the nature of the air where the flame burneth; whether it be hot or cold, moist or dry. 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 infusions 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, etc. And the like you may do for conservation, if the bodies be hard and solid; as clay, wood, etc. 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 putrify, than good by the virtual cold, to conserve them; except the earth be very dry and sandy.
377. An orange, lemon, and apple, wrapt in a linen cloth, being buried for a fortnight's space four feet deep within the earth, though it were in a moist place, and a rainy time, yet came forth no ways mouldy or rotten, but were become a little harder than they were; otherwise fresh in their colour; but their juice
somewhat flatted. But with the burial of a fortnight more they became putrified.
378. A BOTTLE of beer, buried in like manner as before, became more lively, better tasted, and clearer than it was. And a bottle of wine in like manner. A bottle of vinegar so buried came forth more lively and more odoriferous, smelling almost like a violet. And after the whole month's burial, all the three came forth as fresh and lively, if not better than before.
379. IT were a profitable experiment to preserve oranges, lemons, and pomegranates, till summer; for then their price will be mightily increased. This may be done, if you put them in a pot or vessel well covered, that the moisture of the earth come not at them; or else by putting them in a conservatory of snow. And generally, whosoever will make experiments of cold, let him be provided of three things; a conservatory of snow; a good large vault, twenty feet at least under the ground; and a deep well.
380. THERE hath been a tradition, that pearl, and coral, and turquois-stone, that have lost their colours, may be recovered by burying in the earth: which is a thing of great profit, if it would sort: but upon trial of six weeks burial, there followed no effect. It were good to try it in a deep well, or in a conservatory of snow; where the cold may be more constringent; and so make the body more united, and thereby more resplendent.
Experiment solitary touching the effects in mens bodies from several winds.
381. MENS bodies are heavier, and less disposed to motion, when southern winds blow than when northern. The cause is, for that when the southern winds blow, the humours do, in some degree, melt and wax fluid, and so flow into the parts; as it is seen in wood and other bodies, which, when the southern winds blow, do swell. Besides, the motion and activity of the body consisteth chiefly in the sinews, which, when the southern wind bloweth, are more relax.
Experiment solitary touching winter and summer sicknesses.
382. It is commonly seen, that more are sick in the summer, and more die in the winter; except it be in pestilent diseases, which commonly reign in summer or autumn. The reason is, because diseases are bred, indeed, chiefly by heat; but then they are cured most by sweat and purge; which in the summer cometh on or is provoked more easily. As for pestilent diseases, the reason why most die of them in summer is, because they are bred most in the summer for otherwise those that are touched are in most danger in the winter.
Experiment solitary touching pestilential seasons.
383. THE general opinion is, that years hot and moist are most pestilent; upon the superficial ground that heat and moisture cause putrefaction. In England it is not found true; for many times there have been great plagues in dry years. Whereof the cause may be, for that drought in the bodies of islanders habituate to moist airs, doth exasperate the humours, and maketh them more apt to putrify or inflame: besides, it tainteth the waters, commonly, and maketh them less wholesome. And again in Barbary, the plagues break up in the summer months, when the weather is hot and dry.
Experiment solitary touching an error received about epidemical diseases.
384. MANY diseases, both epidemical and others, break forth at particular times. And the cause is falsely imputed to the constitution of the air at that time when they break forth or reign; whereas it proceedeth, indeed, from a precedent sequence and series of the seasons of the year: and therefore Hippocrates in his prognostics doth make good observations of the diseases that ensue upon the nature of the precedent four seasons of the year.
Experiment solitary touching the alteration or preservation of liquors in wells or deep vaults.
385. TRIAL hath been made with earthen bottles well stopped, hanged in a well of twenty fathom deep at the least; and some of the bottles have been let down into the water, some others have hanged above, within about a fathom of the water; and the liquors so tried have been beer, not new, but ready for drinking, and wine, and milk. The proof hath been, that both the beer and the wine, as well within water as above, have not been palled or deaded at all; but as good or somewhat better than bottles of the same drinks and staleness kept in a cellar. But those which did hang above water were apparently the best; and that beer did flower a little; whereas that under water did not, though it were fresh. The milk soured and began to putrify. Nevertheless it is true, that there is a village near Blois, where in deep caves they do thicken milk, in such sort that it becometh very pleasant: which was some cause of this trial of hanging milk in the well: but our proof was naught; neither do I know whether that milk in those caves be first boiled. It were good therefore to try it with milk sodden, and with cream; for that milk of itself is such a compound body, of cream, curds, and whey, as it is easily turned and dissolved. It were good also to try the beer when it is in wort, that it may be seen whether the hanging in the well will accelerate the ripening and clarifying of it.
Experiment solitary touching stutting.
386. DIVERS, we see, do stut. The cause may be, in most, the refrigeration of the tongue; whereby it is less apt to move. And therefore we see that naturals do generally stut: and we see that in those that stut, if they drink wine moderately, they stut less, because it heateth: and so we see, that they that stut do stut more in the first offer to speak than in continuance; because the tongue is by motion somewhat heated. In some also, it may be, though rarely, the dryness of the tongue; which likewise maketh it less apt to move as well as cold: for
it is an affect that cometh to some wise and great men; as it did unto Moses, who was linguæ præpedita; and many stutters, we find, are very choleric men; choler inducing a dryness in the tongue.
Experiments in consort touching smells.
387. SMELLS and other odours are sweeter in the air at some distance, than near the nose; as hath been partly touched heretofore. The cause is double : first, the finer mixture or incorporation of the smell: for we see that in sounds likewise, they are sweetest when we cannot hear every part by itself. The other reason is, for that all sweet smells have joined with them some earthy or crude odours; and at some distance the sweet, which is the more spiritual, is perceived, and the earthy reacheth not so far.
388. SWEET smells are most forcible in dry substances when they are broken; and so likewise in oranges or lemons, the nipping of their rind giveth out their smell more; and generally when bodies are moved or stirred, though not broken, they smell more ; as a sweet-bag waved. The cause is double: the one, for that there is a greater emission of the spirit when way is made; and this holdeth in the breaking, nipping, or crushing; it holdeth also, in some degree, in the moving but in this last there is a concurrence of the second cause; which is the impulsion of the air, that bringeth the scent faster upon us.
389. THE daintiest smells of flowers are out of those plants whose leaves smell not; as violets, roses, wall-flowers, gilly-flowers, pinks, woodbines, vineflowers, apple-blooms, limetree-blooms, bean-blooms, etc. The cause is, for that where there is heat and strength enough in the plant to make the leaves odorate, there the smell of the flower is rather evanid and weaker than that of the leaves; as it is in rosemary flowers, lavender flowers, and sweet-briar roses. But where there is less heat, there the spirit of the plant is digested and refined, and severed from the grosser juice, in the efflorescence, and not before.
390. MOST odours smell best broken or crushed, as hath been said; but flowers pressed or beaten do