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as well as original sounds, be not strongest near | And whereas in echoes of one return, it is much hand. to hear four or five words; in this echo of so many returns upon the matter, you hear above twenty words for three.
246. There be many places where you shall hear a number of echoes one after another; and it is when there is a variety of hills or woods, some nearer, some farther off: so that the return from the farther, being last created, will be likewise last heard.
247. As the voice goeth round, as well towards the back, as towards the front of him that speaketh; so likewise doth the echo: for you have many back echoes to the place where you stand. 248. To make an echo that will report three, or four, or five words distinctly, it is requisite that the body repercussing be a good distance off: for if it be near, and yet not so near as to make a concurrent echo, it choppeth with you upon the sudden. It is requisite likewise that the air be not much pent: for air at a great distance pent, worketh the same effect with air at large in a small distance. And therefore in the trial of speaking in the well, though the well was deep, the voice came back suddenly, and would bear the report but of two words.
249. For echoes upon echoes, there is a rare instance thereof in a place which I will now exactly describe. It is some three or four miles from Paris, near a town called Pont-Charenton; and some bird-bolt shot or more from the river of Seine. The room is a chapel or small church. The walls all standing, both at the sides and at the ends. Two rows of pillars, after the manner of aisles of churches, also standing; the roof all open, not so much as any embowments near any of the walls left. There was against every pillar a stack of billets above a man's height; which the watermen that bring wood down the Seine in stacks, and not in boats, laid there, as it seemeth, for their ease. Speaking, at the one end, I did hear it return the voice thirteen several times; and I have heard of others, that it would return sixteen times: for I was there about three of the clock in the afternoon: and it is best, as all other echoes are, in the evening. It is manifest that it is not echoes from several places, but a tossing of the voice, as a ball, to and fro, like to reflections in looking-glasses, where if you place one glass before and another behind, you shall see the glass behind with the image, within the glass before; and again, the glass before in that; and divers such super-reflections, till the "species speciei" at last die. For it is every return weaker and more shady. In like manner, the voice in that chapel createth "speciem speciei," and maketh succeeding super-reflections; for it melteth by degrees, and every reflection is weaker than the former: so that if you speak three words, it will, perhaps, some three times report you the whole three words; and then the two latter words for some times; and then the last word alone for me times, still fading and growing weaker. VOL. II.-6
250. The like echo upon echo, but only with two reports, hath been observed to be, if you stand between a house and a hill, and lure towards the hill. For the house will give a back echo; one taking it from the other, and the latter the weaker.
251. There are certain letters that an echo will
hardly express; as S for one, especially being principal in a word. I remember well, that when I went to the echo at Pont-Charenton, there was an old Parisian, that took it to be the work of spirits, and of good spirits. For, said he, call Satan," and the echo will not deliver back the devil's name; but will say, "va t'en;" which is as much in French as "apage" or avoid. And thereby I did hap to find, that an echo would not return S, being but a hissing and an interior sound.
252. Echoes are some more sudden, and chop again as soon as the voice is delivered; as hath been partly said: others are more deliberate, that is, give more space between the voice and the echo, which is caused by the local nearness or distance: some will report a longer train of words, and some a shorter; some more loud, full as loud as the original, and sometimes more loud, and some weaker and fainter.
253. Where echoes come from several parts at the same distance, they must needs make, as it were, a choir of echoes, and so make the report greater, and even a continued echo; which you shall find in some hills that stand encompassed theatre-like.
254. It doth not yet appear that there is refraction in sounds, as well as in species visible. For I do not think that, if a sound should pass through divers mediums, as air, cloth, wood, it would deliver the sound in a differing place from that unto which it is deferred; which is the proper effect of refraction. But majoration, which is also the work of refraction, appeareth plainly in sounds, as hath been handled at full, but it is not by diversity of mediums.
Experiments in consort touching the consent and dissent between visibles and audibles. We have obiter," for demonstration's sake, used in divers instances the examples of the sight and things visible, to illustrate the nature of sounds: but we think good now to prosecute that comparison more fully.
Consent of visibles and audibles.
255. Both of them spread themselves in round, and fill a whole floor or orb unto certain limits: and are carried a great way: and do languish and lessen by degrees, according to the distance of the objects from the sensories.
256. Both of them have the whole species in every small portion of the air, or medium, so as the species do pass through small crannies without confusion: as we see ordinarily in levels, as to the eye; and in crannies or chinks, as to the sound.
257. Both of them are of a sudden and easy generation and delation: and likewise perish swiftly and suddenly; as if you remove the light, or touch the bodies that give the sound.
258. Both of them do receive and carry exquisite and accurate differences; as of colours, figures, motions, distances, in visibles; and of articulate voices, tones, songs, and quaverings, in audibles.
259. Both of them, in their virtue and working, do not appear to admit any corporal substance into their mediums, or the orb of their virtue; neither again to rise or stir any evident local motion in their mediums as they pass; but only to carry certain spiritual species; the perfect knowledge of the cause whereof, being hitherto scarcely attained, we shall search and handle in due place. 260. Both of them seem not to generate or produce any other effect in nature, but such as appertaineth to their proper objects and senses, and are otherwise barren.
261. But both of them, in their own proper action, do work three manifest effects. The first, in that the stronger species drowneth the lesser; as the light of the sun, the light of a glow-worm; the report of an ordnance, the voice: The second, in that an object of surcharge or excess destroyeth the sense; as the light of the sun the eye; a violent sound near the ear the hearing: The third, in that both of them will be reverberate; as in mirrors, and in echoes.
262. Neither of them doth destroy or hinder the species of the other, although they encounter in the same medium, as light or colour hinder not sound, nor "e contra."
263. Both of them effect the sense in living creatures, and yield objects of pleasure and dislike yet nevertheless the objects of them do also, if it be well observed, affect and work upon dead things; namely, such as have some conformity with the organs of the two senses, as visibles work upon a looking-glass, which is like the pupil of the eye and audibles upon the places of echo, which resemble in some sort the cavern and structure of the ear.
264. Both of them do diversely work, as they have their medium diversely disposed. So a trembling medium, as smoke, maketh the object seem to tremble, and a rising or falling medium, as winds, maketh the sounds to rise or fall.
265. To both, the medium, which is the most propitious and conducible, is air, for glass or water, &c. are not comparable.
266. In both of them, where the object is fine and accurate, it conduceth much to have the sense
intentive and erect, insomuch as you contract your eye when you would see sharply; and erect your ear when you would hear attentively; which in beasts that have ears movable is most manifest.
267. The beams of light, when they are multiplied and conglomerate, generate heat, which is a different action from the action of sight: and the multiplication and coglomeration of sounds doth generate an extreme rarefaction of the air; which is an action materiate, differing from the action of sound; if it be true, which is anciently reported, that birds with great shouts have fallen down.
Dissents of visibles and audibles.
268. The species of visibles seem to be emissions of beams from the objects seen, almost like odours, save that they are more incorporeal: but the species of audibles seem to participate more with local motion, like percussions, or impressions made upon the air. So that whereas all bodies do seem to work in two manners, either by the communication of their natures or by the impressions and signatures of their motions; the diffusion of species visible secmeth to participate more of the former operation, and the species audible of the latter.
269. The species of audibles seem to be carried more manifestly through the air than the species of visibles: for I conceive that a contrary strong wind will not much hinder the sight of visibles, as it will do the hearing of sounds.
270. There is one difference above all other between visibles and audibles, that is the most remarkable, as that whereupon many smaller differences do depend: namely, that visibles, except lights, are carried in right lines, and audibles in arcuate lines. Hence it cometh to pass, that visibles do not intermingle and confound one another, as hath been said before, but sounds do. Hence it cometh, that the solidity of bodies doth not much hinder the sight, so that the bodies be clear, and the pores in a right line, as in glass, crystal, diamonds, water, &c. but a thin scarf or handkerchief, though they be bodies nothing so solid, hinder the sight; whereas, contrariwise, these porous bodies do not much hinder the hearing, but solid bodies do almost stop it, or at the least attenuate it. Hence also it cometh, that to the reflection of visibles small glasses suffice; but to the reverberation of audibles are required greater spaces, as hath likewise been said before.
271. Visibles are seen further off than sounds are heard, allowing nevertheless the rate of their bigness, for otherwise a great sound will be heard further off than a small body seen.
272. Visibles require, generally, some distance between the object and the eye, to be better seen; whereas in audibles, the nearer the approach of the sound is to the sense, the better. there may be a double error. The one,
But in this
seeing there is required light; and any thing that toucheth the pupil of the eye all over excludeth the light. For I have heard of a person very credible, who himself was cured of a cataract in one of his eyes, that while the silver needle did work upon the sight of his eye, to remove the film of the cataract, he never saw any thing more clear or perfect than that white needle: which, no doubt, was, because the needle was lesser than the pupil of the eye, and so took not the light from it. The other error may be, for that the obJect of sight doth strike upon the pupil of the eye directly without any interception; whereas the cave of the ear doth hold off the sound a little from the organ and so nevertheless there is some distance required in both.
273. Visibles are swiftlier carried to the sense than audibles; as appeareth in thunder and lightning, flame, and report of a piece, motion of the air in hewing of wood. All which have been set down heretofore, but are proper for this title.
274. I conceive also, that the species of audibles do hang longer in the air than those of visibles: for although even those of visibles do hang some time, as we see in rings turned, that show like spheres; in lute-strings filliped; a firebrand carried along, which leaveth a train of light behind it; and in the twilight, and the like; yet I conceive that sounds stay longer, because they are carried up and down with the wind; and because of the distance of the time in ordnance discharged, and heard twenty miles off.
275. In visibles there are not found objects so odious and ingrate to the sense as in audibles. For foul sights do rather displease, in that they excite the memory of foul things, than in the immediate objects. And therefore in pictures, those foul sights do not much offend; but in audibles, the grating of a saw, when it is sharpened, doth offend so much as it setteth the teeth on edge. And any of the harsh discords in music the ear doth straightways refuse.
276. In visibles, after great light, if you come suddenly into the dark, or contrariwise, out of the dark into a glaring light, the eye is dazzled for a time, and the sight confused; but whether any such effect be after great sounds, or after a deep silence, may be better inquired. It is an old tradition, that those that dwell near the cataracts of Nilus are strucken deaf: but we find no such effect in cannoniers nor millers, nor those that dwell upon bridges.
277. It seemeth that the impression of colour is so weak as it worketh not but by a cone of direct beams, or right lines, whereof the basis is in the object, and the vertical point in the eye; so as there is a corradiation and conjunction of beams; and those beams so sent forth, yet are not of any force to beget the like borrowed or second beams, except it be by reflection, whereof we speak not. For the beams pass, and give
little tincture to that air which is adjacent; which if they did, we should see colours, out of a right line. But as this is in colours, so otherwise it is in the body of light. For when there is a screen between the candle and the eye, yet the light passeth to the paper whereupon one writeth; so that the light is seen where the body of the flame is not seen, and where any colour, if it were placed where the body of the flame is, would not be seen. I judge that sound is of this latter nature; for when two are placed on both sides of a wall, and the voice is heard, I judge it is not only the original sound which passeth in an arched line; but the sound which passeth above the wall in a right line, begetteth the like motion round about it as the first did, though more weak.
Experiments in consort touching the sympathy or antipathy of sounds one with another.
278. All concords and discords of music are, no doubt, sympathies and antipathies of sounds. And so, likewise, in that music which we call broken music, or consort music, some consorts of instruments are sweeter than others, a thing not sufficiently yet observed: as the Irish harp and base viol agree well: the recorder and stringed music agree well: organs and the voice agree well, &c. But the virginals and the lute, or the Welsh harp and Irish harp, or the voice and pipes alone, agree not so well: but for the melioration of music there is yet much left, in this point of exquisite consorts, to try and inquire.
279. There is a common observation, that if a lute or viol be laid upon the back, with a small straw upon one of the strings, and another lute or viol be laid by it; and in the other lute or viol the unison to that string be strucken, it will make the string move, which will appear both to the eye, and by the straw's falling off. The like will be, if the diapason or eighth to that string be strucken, either in the same lute or viol, or in others lying by: but in none of these there is any report of sound that can be discerned, but only motion.
280. It was devised, that a viol should have a lay of wire-strings below, as close to the belly as a lute, and then the strings of guts mounted upon a bridge as in ordinary viols: to the end, that by this means, the upper strings strucken should make the lower resound by sympathy, and so make the music the better; which if it be to purpose, then sympathy worketh as well by report of sound as by motion. But this device I conceive to be of no use, because the upper strings, which are stopped in great variety, cannot maintain a diapason or unison with the lower, which are never stopped. But if it should be of use at all, it must be in instruments which have no stops, as virginals and harps; wherein trial may be made of two rows of strings, distant the one from the other
281. The experiment of sympathy may be transferred, perhaps, from instruments of strings to other instruments of sound. As to try, if there were in one steeple two bells of unison, whether the striking of the one would move the other, more than if it were another accord: and so in pipes, if they be of equal bore and sound, whether a little straw or feather would move in the one pipe, when the other is blown at a unison.
282. It seemeth, both in ear and eye, the instrument of sense hath a sympathy or similitude with that which giveth the reflection, as hath been touched before; for as the sight of the eye is like a crystal, or glass, or water; so is the ear a sinuous cave, with a hard bone to stop and reverberate the sound; which is like to the places that report echoes.
essence of sounds. For if it were corporeal, the repercussion should be created in the same man. ner, and by like instruments with the original sound: but we see what a number of exquisite instruments must concur in speaking of words, whereof there is no such matter in the returning of them, but only a plain stop and repercussion.
288. The exquisite differences of articulate sounds, carried along in the air, show that they cannot be signatures or impressions in the air, as hath been well refuted by the ancients. For it is true, that seals make excellent impressions; and so it may be thought of sounds in their first generation; but then the delation and continuance of them, without any new sealing, show apparently they cannot be impressions.
289. All sounds are suddenly made, and do suddenly perish: but neither that, nor the exqui
Experiments in consort touching the hindering or site differences of them, is matter of so great
helping of the hearing.
admiration for the quaverings and warblings in
283. When a man yawneth, he cannot hear solutes and pipes are as swift; and the tongue, well. The cause is, for that the membrane of the ear is extended; and so rather casteth off the sound than draweth it to.
284. We hear better when we hold our breath than contrary insomuch, as in all listening to attain a sound afar off, men hold their breath. The cause is, for that in all expiration the motion is outwards; and therefore rather driveth away the voice than draweth it: and besides, we see, that in all labour to do things with any strength, we hold the breath; and listening after any sound that is heard with difficulty is a kind of labour.
285. Let it be tried, for the help of the hearing, and I conceive it likely to succeed, to make an instrument like a tunnel; the narrow part whereof may be of the bigness of the hole of the ear; and the broader end much larger, like a bell at the skirts; and the length half a foot or more. And let the narrow end of it be set close to the ear: and mark whether any sound, abroad in the open air, will not be heard distinctly from farther distance than without that instrument; being, as it were, an ear-spectacle. And I have heard there is in Spain an instrument in use to be set to the ear, that helpeth somewhat those that are thick of hearing.
286. If the mouth be shut close, nevertheless there is yielded by the roof of the mouth a murmur, such as is used by dumb men. But if the nostrils be likewise stopped, no such murmur can be made, except it be in the bottom of the palate towards the throat. Whereby it appeareth manifestly, that a sound in the mouth, except such as aforesaid, if the mouth be stopped, passeth from the palate through the nostrils.
which is no very fine instrument, doth in speech make no fewer motions than there be letters in all the words which are uttered. But that sounds should not only be so speedily generated, but carried so far every way in such a momentary time, deserveth more admiration. As, for example, if a man stand in the middle of a field and speak aloud, he shall be heard a furlong in round; and that shall be in articulate sounds; and those shall be entire in every little portion of the air; and this shall be done in the space of less than a minute.
290. The sudden generation and perishing of sounds must be one of these two ways. Either that the air suffereth some force by sound, and then restoreth itself as water doth; which being divided, maketh many circles, till it restore itself to the natural consistence: or otherwise, that the air doth willingly imbibe the sound as grateful, but cannot maintain it; for that the air hath, as it should seem, a secret and hidden appetite of receiving the sound at the first; but then other gross and more materiate qualities of the air straightways suffocate it, like unto flame, which is generated with alacrity, but straight quenched by the enmity of the air or other ambient bodies.
There be these differences in general, by which sounds are divided: 1. Musical, immusical. 2. Treble, base. 3. Flat, sharp. 4. Soft, loud. 5. Exterior, interior. 6. Clean, harsh, or purling 7. Articulate, inarticulate.
We have laboured, as may appear, in this inquisition of sounds diligently; both because sound is one of the most hidden portions of nature, as we said in the beginning, and because it is a virtue which may be called incorporeal Experiments in consort touching the spiritual and and immateriate, whereof there be in nature but
fine nature of sounds.
287. The repercussion of sounds, which we call echo, is a great argument of the spiritual
few. Besides, we were willing, now in these our first centuries, to make a pattern or precedent of an exact inquisition; and we shall do the like
hereafter in some other subjects which require it. | cleaving more or less: and that they love better For we desire that men should learn and perceive how severe a thing the true inquisition of nature is; and should accustom themselves by the light of particulars, to enlarge their minds to the amplitude of the world, and not reduce the world to the narrowness of their minds.
the touch of somewhat that is tangible, than of air. For water in small quantity cleaveth to any thing that is solid; and so would metal too, if the weight drew it not off. And therefore gold foliate, or any metal foliate cleaveth; but those bodies which are noted to be clammy and cleaving, are such as have a more indifferent appetite at
Experiment solitary touching the orient colours in once to follow another body, and to hold to them
dissolution of metals.
selves. And therefore they are commonly bodies ill mixed; and which take more pleasure in a foreign body than in preserving their own consistence, and which have little predominance in drought or moisture.
Experiment solitary touching the like operations of
291. Metals give orient and fine colours in dissolutions; as gold giveth an excellent yellow, quicksilver an excellent green, tin giveth an excellent azure: likewise in their putrefactions or rusts; as vermilion, verdigrease, bise, cirrus, &c., and likewise in their vitrifications. The cause is, for that by their strength of body they are able to endure the fire or strong waters, and to be put into 294. Time and heat are fellows in many effects. an equal posture, and again to retain part of their | Heat drieth bodies that do easily expire; as parchprincipal spirit; which two things, equal posture and quick spirits, are required chiefly to make colours lightsome.
Experiment solitary touching prolongation of life. 292. It conduceth unto long life, and to the more placid motion of the spirits, which thereby do less prey and consume the juice of the body, either that men's actions be free and voluntary, that nothing be done "invita Minerva," but "secundum genium;" or, on the other side, that the actions of men be full of regulation and commands within themselves: for then the victory and performing of the command giveth a good disposition to the spirits, especially if there be a proceeding from degree to degree; for then the sense of the victory is the greater. An example of the former of these is in a country life; and of the latter in monks and philosophers, and such as do continually enjoin themselves.
heat and time.
ment, leaves, roots, clay, &c. And so doth time or
Experiment solitary touching the differing operation of fire and time.
295. Some things which pass the fire are softest at first, and by time grow hard, as the crumb of bread. Some are harder when they come from the fire, and afterwards give again, and grow soft, as the crust of bread, bisket, sweet-meats, salt, &c. Experiment solitary touching appetite of union in The cause is, for that in those things which wax
293. It is certain that in all bodies there is an appetite of union and evitation of solution of continuity; and of this appetite there be many degrees; but the most remarkable and fit to be distinguished are three. The first in liquors; the second in hard bodies; and the third in bodies cleaving or tenacious. In liquors this appetite is weak: we see in liquors the threading of them in stillicides, as hath been said; the falling of them in round drops, which is the form of union, and the staying of them for a little time in bubbles and froth. In the second degree or kind, this appetite is strong; as in iron, in stone, in wood, &c. In the third, this appetite is in a medium between the other two: for such bodies do partly follow the touch of another body, and partly stick and continue to themselves; and therefore they rope and draw themselves in threads, as we see in pitch, glue, birdlime, &c. But note, that all solid bodies are
hard with time, the work of the fire is a kind of melting; and in those that wax soft with time, contrariwise, the work of the fire is a kind of baking: and whatsoever the fire baketh, time doth in some degree dissolve.
Experiment solitary touching motions by imitation. 296. Motions pass from one man to another, not so much by exciting imagination as by invitation; especially if there be an aptness or inclination before. Therefore gaping, or yawning, and stretching do pass from man to man; for that that causeth gaping and stretching is, when the spirits are a little heavy by any vapour, or the like. For then they strive, as it were, to wring out and expel that which loadeth them. So men drowsy, and desirous to sleep, or before the fit of an ague, do use to yawn and stretch, and do likewise yield a voice or sound, which is an interjection of expulsion: so that if another be apt and prepared to