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Experiment solitary touching veins of medicinal earth.
701. THERE be minerals and fossils in great variety; but of veins of earth medicinal, but few; the chief are, terra lemnia, terra sigillata communis, and bolus armenus; whereof terra lemnia is the chief. The virtues of them are, for curing of wounds, stanching of blood, stopping of fluxes, and rheums, and arresting the spreading of poison, infection, and putrefaction: and they have of all other simples the perfectest and purest quality of drying, with little or no mixture of any other quality. Yet it is true, that the bole-armoniac is the most cold of them, and that terra lemnia is the most hot; for which cause the island Lemnos, where it is digged, was in the old fabulous ages consecrated to Vulcan.
Experiment solitary touching the growth of sponges.
702. ABOUT the bottom of the Straits are gathered great quantities of sponges, which are gathered from the sides of rocks, being as it were a large but tough moss. It is the more to be noted, because that there be but few substances, plant-like, that grow deep within the sea; for they are gathered sometimes fifteen fathom deep: and when they are laid on shore, they seem to be of great bulk; but crushed together, will be transported in a very small room.
Experiment solitary touching sea-fish put in fresh
703. IT seemeth, that fish that are used to the salt water, do nevertheless delight more in fresh. We see, that salmons and smelts love to get into rivers,
At the haven of
though it be against the stream. Constantinople you shall have great quantities of fish that come from the Euxine sea, that when they come into the fresh water, do inebriate, and turn up their bellies, so as you may take them with your hand. doubt there hath not been sufficient experiment made of putting sea-fish into fresh water, ponds, and pools. It is a thing of great use and pleasure; for so you may have them new at some good distance from the sea: and besides, it may be, the fish will eat the pleasanter, and may fall to breed. And it is said, that Colchester oisters, which are put into pits, where the sea goeth and cometh, but yet so that there is a fresh water coming also to them when the sea voideth, become by that means fatter, and more grown.
Experiment solitary touching attraction by similitude of substance.
704. THE Turkish bow giveth a very forcible shoot; insomuch as it hath been known, that the arrow hath pierced a steel target, or a piece of brass of two inches thick: but that which is more strange, the arrow, if it be headed with wood, hath been known to pierce through a piece of wood of eight inches thick. And it is certain, that we had in use at one time, for sea fight, short arrows, which they called sprights, without any other heads, save wood sharpened; which were discharged out of muskets, and would pierce through the sides of ships where a bullet would not pierce. But this dependeth upon one of the greatest secrets in all nature; which is, that similitude of substance will cause attraction, where the body is wholly freed from the motion of gravity: for if that were taken away, lead would draw lead, and gold would draw gold, and iron would draw iron, without the help of the loadstone. But this same motion of weight or gravity, which is a mere motion of the matter, and hath no affinity with the form or kind, doth kill the other motion, except itself be killed by a violent motion, as in these instances of arrows; for then the motion of attraction by similitude of substance beginneth
to shew itself. But we shall handle this point of nature fully in due place.
Experiment solitary touching certain drinks in Turkey.
705. THEY have in Turkey and the east certain confections, which they call servets, which are like to candied conserves, and are made of sugar and lemons, or sugar and citrons, or sugar and violets, and some other flowers; and some mixture of amber for the more delicate persons: and those they dissolve in water, and thereof make their drink, because they are forbidden wine by their law. But I do much marvel, that no Englishman, or Dutchman, or German, doth set up brewing in Constantinople; considering they have such quantity of barley. For as for the general sort of men, frugality may be the cause of drinking water; for that it is no small saving to pay nothing for one's drink; but the better sort might well be at the cost. And yet I wonder the less at it, because I see France, Italy, or Spain, have not taken into use beer or ale; which, perhaps, if they did, would better both their healths and their complexions. It is likely it would be matter of great gain to any that should begin it in Turkey.
Experiments in consort touching sweat.
706. IN bathing in hot water, sweat, nevertheless, cometh not in the parts under the water. The cause is; first, for that sweat is a kind of colliquation, and that kind of colliquation is not made either by an over-dry heat, or an over-moist heat: for over-moisture doth somewhat extinguish the heat, as we see that even hot water quencheth fire; and over-dry heat shutteth the pores: and therefore men will sooner sweat covered before the sun or fire, than if they stood naked: and earthen bottles, filled with hot water, do provoke in bed a sweat more daintily than brick-bats hot. Secondly, hot water doth cause evaporation from the skin; so as it spendeth the matter in those parts under the water, before it issueth in sweat. Again, sweat cometh more plentifully, if the heat be
increased by degrees, than if it be greatest at first, or equal. The cause is, for that the pores are better opened by a gentle heat, than by a more violent; and by their opening, the sweat issueth more abundantly. And therefore physicians may do well when they provoke sweat in bed by bottles, with a decoction of sudorific herbs in hot water, to make two degrees of heat in the bottles; and to lay in the bed the less heated first, and after half an hour, the more heated.
707. SWEAT is salt in taste; the cause is, for that that part of the nourishment which is fresh and sweet, turneth into blood and flesh; and the sweat is only that part which is separate and excerned. Blood also raw hath some saltness more than flesh: because the assimilation into flesh is not without a little and subtile excretion from the blood.
708. SWEAT cometh forth more out of the upper parts of the body than the lower; the reason is, because those parts are more replenished with spirits; and the spirits are they that put forth sweat: besides, they are less fleshy, and sweat issueth, chiefly, out of the parts that are less fleshy, and more dry; as the forehead and breast.
709. MEN Sweat more in sleep than waking; and yet sleep doth rather stay other fluxions, than cause them; as rheums, looseness of the body, etc. The cause is, for that in sleep the heat and spirits do naturally move inwards, and there rest. But when they are collected once within, the heat becometh more violent and irritate; and thereby expelleth sweat.
710. COLD sweats are, many times, mortal, and near death; and always ill, and suspected; as in great fears, hypochondriacal passions, etc. The cause is, for that cold sweats come by a relaxation or forsaking of the spirits, whereby the moisture of the body, which heat did keep firm in the parts, severeth and issueth
711. IN those diseases which cannot be discharged by sweat, sweat is ill, and rather to be stayed; as in diseases of the lungs, and fluxes of the belly: but in those diseases which are expelled by sweat, it easeth
and lighteneth; as in agues, pestilences, etc. The cause is, for that sweat in the latter sort is partly critical, and sendeth forth the matter that offendeth; but in the former, it either proceedeth from the labour of the spirits, which sheweth them oppressed; or from motion of consent, when nature, not able to expel the disease where it is seated, moveth to an expulsion indifferent over all the body.
Experiment solitary touching the glow-worm.
712. THE nature of the glow-worm is hitherto not well observed. Thus much we see; that they breed chiefly in the hottest months of summer; and that they breed not in champain, but in bushes and hedges. Whereby it may be conceived, that the spirit of them is very fine, and not to be refined but by summer heats and again, that by reason of the fineness, it doth easily exhale. In Italy, and the hotter countries, there is a fly they call Lucciole, that shineth as the glow-worm doth; and it may be is the flying glowworm. But that fly is chiefly upon fens and marshes. But yet the two former observations hold; for they are not seen but in the heat of summer; and sedge, or other green of the fens, give as good shade as bushes. It may be the glow-worms of the cold countries ripen not so far as to be winged.
Experiments in consort touching the impressions, which the passions of the mind make upon the body.
713. THE passions of the mind work upon the body the impressions following. Fear causeth paleness, trembling, the standing of the hair upright, starting, and shrieking. The paleness is caused, for that the blood runneth inward to succour the heart. The trembling is caused, for that through the flight of the spirits inward, the outward parts are destituted, and not sustained. Standing upright of the hair is caused, for that by the shutting of the pores of the skin, the hair that lieth aslope must needs rise. Starting is both an apprehension of the thing feared, and in that kind it is a motion of shrinking, and likewise an inquisition