« PreviousContinue »
there are more of them, if they were well found out, and well corrected. Query, of henbane-seed; of mandrake; of saffron, root and flower; of folium indicum; of ambergrease; of the Assyrian amomum, if it may be had; and of the scarlet powder which they call kermes; and, generally, of all such things as do inebriate and provoke sleep. Note, that tobacco is not taken in root or seed, which are more forcible ever than leaves.
Experiment solitary touching paintings of the body.
739. THE Turks have a black powder, made of a mineral called alcohol, which with a fine long pencil they lay under their eye-lids, which doth colour them black; whereby the white of the eye is set off more white. With the same powder they colour also the hairs of their eye-lids, and of their eye-brows, which they draw into embowed arches. You shall find that Xenophon maketh mention, that the Medes used to paint their eyes. The Turks use with the same tincture to colour the hair of their heads and beards black. And divers with us that are grown grey, and yet would appear young, find means to make their hair black, by combing it, as they say, with a leaden comb, or the like. As for the Chineses, who are of an ill complexion, being olivaster, they paint their cheeks scarlet, especially their king and grandees. Generally, barbarous people, that go naked, do not only paint themselves, but they pounce and raise their skin, that the painting may not be taken forth; and make it into works. So do the West Indians; and so did the ancient Picts and Britons; so that it seemeth men would have the colours of birds feathers, if they could tell how; or at least they will have gay skins instead of gay clothes.
Experiment solitary touching the use of bathing and anointing.
740. IT is strange that the use of bathing, as a part of diet, is left. With the Romans and Grecians it was as usual as eating or sleeping; and so is it
amongst the Turks at this day; whereas with us it remaineth but as a part of physic. I am of opinion, that the use of it, as it was with the Romans, was hurtful to health; for that it made the body soft, and easy to waste. For the Turks it is more proper, because that their drinking water and feeding upon rice, and other food of small nourishment, maketh their bodies so solid and hard, as you need not fear that bathing should make them frothy. Besides, the Turks are great sitters, and seldom walk, whereby they sweat less, and need bathing more. But yet certain it is that bathing, and especially anointing, may be so used as it may be a great help to health, and prolongation of life. But hereof we shall speak in due place, when we come to handle experiments medicinal.
Experiment solitary touching chambletting of paper.
741. THE Turks have a pretty art of chambletting of paper, which is not with us in use. They take divers oiled colours, and put them severally, in drops, upon water, and stir the water lightly, and then wet their paper, being of some thickness, with it, and the paper will be waved and veined, like chamblet or marble.
Experiment solitary touching cuttle-ink.
742. It is somewhat strange, that the blood of all birds and beasts and fishes should be of a red colour, and only the blood of the cuttle should be as black as ink. A man would think, that the cause should be the high concoction of that blood; for we see in ordinary puddings, that the boiling turneth the blood to be black; and the cuttle is accounted a delicate meat, and is much in request.
Experiment solitary touching increase of weight in earth.
743. It is reported of credit, that if you take earth from land adjoining to the river of Nile, and preserve it in that manner that it neither come to be wet nor wasted; and weigh it daily, it will not alter weight until the seventeenth of June, which is the day when
the river beginneth to rise; and then it will grow more and more ponderous, till the river cometh to its height. Which if it be true, it cannot be caused but by the air, which then beginneth to condense; and so turneth within that small mold into a degree of moisture, which produceth weight. So it hath been observed, that tobacco cut, and weighed, and then dried by the fire, loseth weight; and after being laid in the open air, recovereth weight again. And it should seem, that as soon as ever the river beginneth to increase, the whole body of the air thereabouts suffereth a change: for, that which is more strange, it is credibly affirmed, that upon that very day when the river first riseth, great plagues in Cairo use suddenly to break up.
Experiments in consort touching sleep.
744. THOSE that are very cold, and especially in their feet, cannot get to sleep: the cause may be, for that in sleep is required a free respiration, which cold doth shut in and hinder; for we see that in great colds, one can scarce draw his breath. Another cause may be, for that cold calleth the spirits to succour; and therefore they cannot so well close, and go together in the head; which is ever requisite to sleep. And for the same cause, pain and noise hinder sleep; and darkness, contrariwise, furthereth sleep.
745. SOME noises, whereof we spake in the hundred and twelfth experiment, help sleep: as the blowing of the wind, the trickling of water, humming of bees, soft singing, reading, etc. The cause is, for that they move in the spirits a gentle attention; and whatsoever moveth attention without too much labour stilleth the natural and discursive motion of the spirits.
746. SLEEP nourisheth, or at least preserveth bodies, a long time, without other nourishment. Beasts that sleep in winter, as it is noted of wild bears, during their sleep wax very fat, though they eat nothing. Bats have been found in ovens, and other hollow close places, matted one upon another: and therefore it is likely that they sleep in the winter time, and eat nothing. Query, whether bees do not sleep
all winter, and spare their honey? Butterflies, and other flies, do not only sleep, but lie as dead all winter; and yet with a little heat of sun or fire, revive again. A dormouse, both winter and summer, will sleep some days together, and eat nothing.
Experiments in consort touching teeth and hard substances in the bodies of living creatures.
To restore teeth in age, were magnale naturæ. It may be thought of. But howsoever, the nature of the teeth deserveth to be inquired of, as well as the other parts of living creatures bodies.
747. THERE be five parts in the bodies of living creatures, that are of hard substance; the skull, the teeth, the bones, the horns, and the nails. The greatest quantity of hard substance continued is towards the head. For there is the skull of one intire bone; there are the teeth; there are the maxillary bones; there is the hard bone that is the instrument of hearing; and thence issue the horns; so that the building of living creatures bodies is like the building of a timber house, where the walls and other parts have columns and beams; but the roof is, in the better sort of houses, all tile, or lead, or stone. As for birds, they have three other hard substances proper to them; the bill, which is of like matter with the teeth: for no birds have teeth: the shell of the egg: and their quills for as for their spur, it is but a nail. But no living creatures that have shells very hard, as oisters, cockles, muscles, scallops, crabs, lobsters, craw-fish, shrimps, and especially the tortoise, have bones within them, but only little gristles.
748. BONES, after full growth, continue at a stay; and so doth the skull: horns, in some creatures, are cast and renewed: teeth stand at a stay, except their wearing as for nails, they grow continually: and bills and beaks will overgrow, and sometimes be cast; as in eagles and parrots.
749. Most of the hard substances fly to the extremes of the body: as skull, horns, teeth, nails, and beaks: only the bones are more inward, and clad with
flesh. As for the entrails, they are all without bones; save that a bone is, sometimes, found in the heart of a stag; and it may be in some other creature. 750. THE skull hath brains, as a kind of marrow, within it. The back-bone hath one kind of marrow, which hath an affinity with the brain; and other bones of the body have another. The jaw-bones have no marrow severed, but a little pulp of marrow dif fused. Teeth likewise are thought to have a kind of marrow diffused, which causeth the sense and pain; but it is rather sinew; for marrow hath no sense; no more than blood. Horn is alike throughout; and so is the nail.
751. NONE other of the hard substances have sense, but the teeth; and the teeth have sense, not only of pain but of cold.
But we will leave the inquiries of other hard substances unto their several places; and now inquire only of the teeth.
752. THE teeth are, in men, of three kinds; sharp, as the fore-teeth: broad, as the back-teeth, which we call the molar-teeth, or grinders; and pointed teeth, or canine, which are between both. But there have been some men that have had their teeth undivided, as of one whole bone, with some little mark in the place of the division; as Pyrrhus had. Some creatures have over-long or out-growing teeth, which we call fangs, or tusks: as boars, pikes, salmons, and dogs, though less. Some living creatures have teeth against teeth; as men and horses; and some have teeth, especially their master-teeth, indented one within another like saws, as lions; and so again have dogs. Some fishes have divers rows of teeth in the roofs of their mouths; as pikes, salmons, trouts, etc. And many more in salt waters. Snakes and other serpents, have venomous teeth; which are sometimes mistaken for their sting.
753. No beast that hath horns hath upper teeth; and no beast that hath teeth above wanteth them below but yet if they be of the same kind, it followeth not, that if the hard matter goeth not into upper