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lose the freshness and sweetness of their odour. The cause is, for that when they are crushed, the grosser and more earthy spirit cometh out with the finer, and troubleth it; whereas in stronger odours there are no such degrees of the issue of the smell.
Experiments in consort touching the goodness and choice of water.
391. IT is a thing of very good use to discover the goodness of waters. The taste, to those that drink water only, doth somewhat: but other experiments are more sure. First, try waters by weight; wherein you may find some difference, though not much: and the lighter you may account the better.
392. SECONDLY, try them by boiling upon an equal fire; and that which consumeth away fastest, you may account the best.
393. THIRDLY, try them in several bottles or open vessels, matches in every thing else, and see which of them last longest without stench or corruption. And that which holdeth unputrified longest, you may likewise account the best.
394. FOURTHLY, try them by making drinks stronger or smaller, with the same quantity of malt; and you may conclude, that that water which maketh the stronger drink, is the more concocted and nourishing; though perhaps it be not so good for medicinal use. And such water, commonly, is the water of large and navigable rivers; and likewise in large and clean ponds of standing water; for upon both them the sun hath more power than upon fountains or small rivers. And I conceive that chalk-water is next them the best for going farthest in drink: for that also helpeth concoction; so it be out of a deep well; for then it cureth the rawness of the water; but chalky water, towards the top of the earth, is too fretting; as it appeareth in laundry of clothes, which wear out apace if you use such waters.
- 395. FIFTHLY, the housewives do find a difference in waters, for the bearing or not bearing of soap: and it is likely that the more fat water will bear soap best; for the hungry water doth kill the unctuous nature of the soap.
396. SIXTHLY, you may make a judgment of waters according to the place whence they spring or come the rain-water is, by the physicians, esteemed the finest and the best; but yet it is said to putrify soonest; which is likely, because of the fineness of the spirit and in conservatories of rain-water, such as they have in Venice, etc. they are found not so choice waters; the worse, perhaps, because they are covered aloft, and kept from the sun. Snow-water is held unwholesome; insomuch as the people that dwell at the foot of the snow mountains, or otherwise upon the ascent, especially the women, by drinking of snowwater, have great bags hanging under their throats. Well-water, except it be upon chalk, or a very plentiful spring, maketh meat red; which is an ill sign. Springs on the tops of high hills are the best: for both they seem to have a lightness and appetite of mounting; and besides, they are most pure and unmingled; and again, are more percolated through a great space of earth. For waters in valleys join in effect under ground with all waters of the same level; whereas springs on the tops of hills pass through a great deal of pure earth with less mixture of other
397. SEVENTHLY, judgment may be made of waters by the soil whereupon the water runneth; as pebble is the cleanest and best tasted; and next to that, clay-water; and thirdly, water upon chalk; fourthly, that upon sand; and worst of all upon mud. Neither may you trust waters that taste sweet; for they are commonly found in rising grounds of great cities; which must needs take in a great deal of filth.
Experiment solitary touching the temperate heat under the equinoctial.
398. IN Peru, and divers parts of the West Indies, though under the line, the heats are not so intolerable as they be in Barbary, and the skirts of the torrid zone. The causes are, first the great breezes which the motion of the air in great circles, such as are under the girdle of the world, produceth; which do refrige
rate; and therefore in those parts noon is nothing so hot, when the breezes are great, as about nine or ten of the clock in the forenoon. Another cause is,
for that the length of the night, and the dews thereof, do compensate the heat of the day. A third cause is the stay of the sun; not in respect of day and night, for that we spake of before, but in respect of the season; for under the line the sun crosseth the line, and maketh two summers and two winters, but in the skirts of the torrid zone it doubleth and goeth back again, and so maketh one long summer.
Experiment solitary touching the coloration of black and tawny Moors.
399. THE heat of the sun maketh men black in some countries, as in Æthiopia and Guiney, etc. Fire doth it not, as we see in glass-men, that are continually about the fire. The reason may be, because fire doth lick up the spirits and blood of the body, so as they exhale; so that it ever maketh men look pale and sallow; but the sun, which is a gentler heat, doth but draw the blood to the outward parts; and rather concocteth it than soaketh it; and therefore we see that all Ethiopes are fleshy and plump, and have great lips; all which betoken moisture retained, and not drawn out. We see also, that the Negroes are bred in countries that have plenty of water, by rivers or otherwise; for Meroë, which was the metropolis of Ethiopia, was upon a great lake; and Congo, where the Negroes are, is full of rivers. And the confines of the river Niger, where the Negroes also are, are well watered: and the region above Cape Verde is likewise moist, insomuch as it is pestilent through moisture but the countries of the Abyssenes, and Barbary, and Peru, where they are tawny, and olivaster, and pale, are generally more sandy and dry. As for the Æthiopes, as they are plump and fleshy, so, it may be, they are sanguine and ruddy-coloured, if their black skin would suffer it to be seen.
Experiment solitary touching motion after the instant of death.
400. SOME creatures do move a good while after their head is off; as birds: some a very little time; as men and all beasts: some move, though cut in several pieces; as snakes, eels, worms, flies, etc. First therefore it is certain, that the immediate cause of death is the resolution or extinguishment of the spirits; and that the destruction or corruption of the organs is but the mediate cause. But some organs are so peremptorily necessary, that the extinguishment of the spirits doth speedily follow; but yet so as there is an interim of a small time. It is reported by one of the ancients of credit, that a sacrificed beast hath lowed after the heart hath been severed; and it is a report also of credit, that the head of a pig hath been opened, and the brain put into the palm of a man's hand, trembling, without breaking any part of it, or severing it from the marrow of the back-bone; during which time the pig hath been, in all appearance, stark dead, and without motion; and after a small time the brain hath been replaced, and the skull of the pig closed, and the pig hath a little after gone about. And certain it is, that an eye upon revenge hath been thrust forth, so as it hanged a pretty distance by the visual nerve; and during that time the eye hath been without any power of sight; and yet after being replaced recovered sight. Now the spirits are chiefly in the head and cells of the brain, which in men and beasts are large; and therefore, when the head is off, they move little or nothing. But birds have small heads, and therefore the spirits are a little more dispersed in the sinews, whereby motion remaineth in them a little longer; insomuch, as it is extant in story, that an emperor of Rome, to shew the certainty of his hand, did shoot a great forked arrow at an ostrich, as she ran swiftly upon the stage, and struck off her head; and yet she continued the race a little way with the head off. As for worms, and flies, and eels, the spirits are diffused almost all over; and therefore they move in their several pieces.
Experiments in consort touching the acceleration of germination.
We will now inquire of plants or vegetables: and we shall do it with diligence. They are the principal part of the third day's work. They are the first producat, which is the word of animation: for the other words are but the words of essence. excellent and general use for food, number of mechanical arts.
And they are of medicine, and a
401. THERE were sown in a bed, turnip-seed, radish-seed, wheat, cucumber-seed, and peas. The bed we call a hot-bed, and the manner of it is this: there was taken horse-dung, old and well rotted; this was laid upon a bank half a foot high, and supported round about with planks; and upon the top was cast sifted earth, some two fingers deep; and then the seed sprinkled upon it, having been steeped all night in water mixed with cow-dung. The turnip-seed and the wheat came up half an inch above ground within two days after, without any watering. The rest the third day. The experiment was made in October; and, it may be, in the spring, the accelerating would have been the speedier. This is a noble experiment; for without this help they would have been four times as long in coming up. But there doth not occur to me, at this present, any use thereof for profit; except it should be for sowing of peas, which have their price very much increased by the early coming. It may be tried also with cherries, strawberries, and other fruit, which are dearest when they come early.
402. THERE was wheat steeped in water mixed with cow-dung; other in water mixed with horse