Page images

whether glass remolten do lose any weight? for the parts in glass are evenly spread; but they are not so close as in gold; as we see by the easy admission of light, heat, and cold; and by the smallness of the weight. There be other bodies fixed, which have little or no spirit; so as there is nothing to fly out; as we see in the stuff whereof coppels are made, which they put into furnaces, upon which fire worketh not: so that there are three causes of fixation; the even spreading both of the spirits and tangible parts, the closeness of the tangible parts, and the jejuneness or extreme comminution of spirits: of which three, the two first may be joined with a nature liquefiable, the last not.

Experiment solitary touching the restless nature of things in themselves, and their desire to change.

800. IT is a profound contemplation in nature, to consider of the emptiness, as we may call it, or insatisfaction of several bodies, and of their appetite to take in others. Air taketh in lights, and sounds, and smells, and vapours; and it is most manifest, that it doth it with a kind of thirst, as not satisfied with its own former consistence; for else it would never receive them in so suddenly and easily. Water, and all liquors do hastily receive dry and more terrestrial bodies, proportionable: and dry bodies, on the other side, drink in waters and liquors: so that, as it was well said by one of the ancients, of earthy and watery substances, one is a glue to another. Parchment, skins, cloth, etc. drink in liquors, though themselves be entire bodies, and not comminuted, as sand and ashes, nor apparently porous: metals themselves do receive in readily strong waters; and strong waters likewise do readily pierce into metals and stones and that strong water will touch upon gold, that will not touch upon silver, and e converso. And gold, which seemeth by the weight to be the closest and most solid body, doth greedily drink in quicksilver. And it seemeth, that this reception of other bodies is not violent: for it is many times reciprocal,

and as it were with consent. Of the cause of this, and to what axiom it may be referred, consider attentively; for as for the pretty assertion, that matter is like a common strumpet, that desireth all forms, it is but a wandering notion, Only flame doth not content itself to take in any other body, but either to overcome and turn another body into itself, as by victory; or itself to die, and go out.


C. Baldwin, Printer,

New Bridge-street, London.


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »