Page images

ative of other metals which are softer and more fusible. For gold-leaf dissolved by aqua regia gives no heat to the touch; no more does lead dissolved in aqua forth; neither again does quicksilver (as I remember); but silver itself does, and copper too (as I remember); tin still more manifestly; and most of all iron and steel, which not only excite a strong heat in dissolution, but also a violent ebullition. It appears therefore that the heat is produced by conflict; the strong waters penetrating, digging into, and tearing asunder the parts of the substance, while the substance itself resists. But where the substances yield more easily, there is hardly any heat excited.

To the 20th. 26. To the heat of animals no Negative is subjoined, except that of insects (as above-mentioned), on account of their small size. For in fishes, as compared with land animals, it is rather a low degree than an absence of heat that is noted. But in vegetables and plants there is no degree of heat perceptible to the touch, either in their exudations or in their pith when freshly exposed. In animals however is found a great diversity of heat, both in their parts (there being different degrees of heat about the heart, in the brain, and on the skin) and in their accidents, as violent exercise and fevers.

TotheZUt. 27. To this Instance it is hard to subjoin a Negative. Indeed the excrements of animals when no • longer fresh have manifestly a potential heat, as is seen in the enriching of soil.

T°n*^d 28. Liquids, whether waters or oils, which possess a great and intense acridity, act like heat in tearing asunder bodies, and burning them after some time; yet to the touch they are not hot at first. But their operation is relative and according to the porosity of the body to which they are applied. For aqua regia dissolves gold but not silver; aquafortis, on the contrary, dissolves silver, but not gold; neither dissolves glass, and so on with others.

To the 24th. 29. Let trial be made of spirit of wine on wood; and also on butter, wax, or pitch; and observe whether by its heat it in any degree melts them. For the twenty-fourth instance exhibits a power in it that resembles heat in producing incrustation. In like manner therefore try its power in producing liquefaction. Let trial also be made with a graduated or calendar glass, hollow at the top; pour into the hollow spirit of wine well rectified, cover it up that the spirit may better retain its heat, and observe whether by its heat it makes the water sink.

To the 25th. 30. Spices and acrid herbs strike hot on the palate, and much hotter on the stomach. Observe therefore on what other substances they produce the effects of heat. Sailors tell us that when large parcels and masses of spices are, after being long kept close, suddenly opened, those who first stir and take them out run the risk of fever and inflammation. It can also be tried whether such spices and herbs when pounded would not dry bacon and meat hung over them, as smoke does.

Toth- h. 31. There is an acridity or pungency both in cold things, as vinegar and oil of vitriol, and in hot, • as oil of marjoram and the like. Both alike therefore cause pain in animate substances, and tear asunder and consume the parts in such as are inanimate. To this Instance again there is no Negative subjoined. Moreover we find no pain in auinials, save with a certain sensation of heat.

To the 27th. 32. There are many actions common both to heat and cold, though in a very different manner. For boys find that snow after a while seems to burn their hands ; and cold preserves meat from putrefaction, no less than fire; and heat contracts bodies, which cold does also. But these and similar instances may more conveniently be referred to the inquiry concerning Cold.


Thirdly, we must make a presentation to the understanding of instances in which the nature under inquiry is found in different degrees, more or less; which must be done by making a comparison either of its increase and decrease in the same subject, or of its amount in different subjects, as compared one with another. For since the Form of a thing is the very thing itself, and the thing differs from the form no otherwise than as the apparent differs from the real, or the external from the internal, or the thing in reference to man from the thing in reference to the universe ; it necessarily follows that no nature can be taken as the true form, unless it always decrease when the nature in question decreases, and in like manner always increase when the nature in question increases. This Table therefore I call the Table of Degrees or the Table of Comparison.

Table of Degrees or Comparison in Heat.

I will therefore first speak of those substances which contain no degree at all of heat perceptible to the touch, but seem to have a certain potential heat only, or disposition and preparation for hotness. After that I shall proceed to substances which are hot actually, and to the touch, and to their intensities and degrees.

VOL. vui. • 13

1. In solid and tangible bodies we find nothing which is in its nature originally hot. For no stone, metal, sulphur, fossil, wood, water, or carcass of animal is found to be hot. And the hot water in baths seems to be heated by external causes; whether it be by flame or subterraneous fire, such as is thrown up from iEtna and many other mountains, or by the conflict of bodies, as heat is caused in the dissolutions of iron and tin. There is therefore no degree of heat palpable to the touch in animate substances; but they differ in degree of cold, wood not being equally cold with metal. But this belongs to the Table of Degrees in Cold.

2. As far however as potential heat and aptitude for flame is concerned, there are many inanimate substances found strongly disposed thereto, as sulphur, naphtha, rock oil.

3. Substances once hot, as horse-dung from animal heat, and lime or perhaps ashes and soot from fire, retain some latent remains of their former heat. Hence certain distillations and resolutions of bodies are made by burying them in horse-dung, and heat is excited in lime by sprinkling it with water, as already mentioned. ■

4. In the vegetable creation we find no plant or part of plant (as gum or pitch) which is warm to the human touch. But yet, as stated above, green herbs gain warmth by being shut up; and to the internal touch, as the palate or stomach, and even to external parts, after a little time, as in plasters and ointments, some vegetables are perceptibly warm and others cold.

5. In the parts of animals after death or separation from the bodv, we find nothing warm to the human touch. Not even horse-dung, unless enclosed and buried, retains its heat. But yet all dung seems to have a potential heat, as is seen in the fattening of the land. In like manner carcasses of animals have some such latent and potential heat; insomuch that in burying grounds, where burials take place daily, the earth collects a certain hidden heat, which consumes a body newly laid in it much more speedily than pure earth. We are told too that in the East there is discovered a fine soft texture, made of the down of birds, which by an innate force dissolves and melts butter when lightly wrapped in it.

6. Substances which fatten the soil, as dung of all kinds, chalk, sea-sand, salt, and the like, have some disposition to heat.

7. All putrefaction contains in itself certain elements of a slight heat, though not so much as to be perceived by the touch. For not even those substances which on putrefaction turn to animalculae, as flesh, cheese, &c, feel warm to the touch; no more does rotten wood, which shines in the dark. Heat however in putrid substances sometimes betrays itself by foul and powerful odours.

8. The first decree of heat therefore among those substances which feel hot to the touch, seems to be the heat of animals, which has a pretty great extent in its degrees. For the lowest, as in insects, is hardly perceptible to the touch; but the highest scarce equals the sun's heat in the hottest countries and seasons, nor is it too great to be borne by the hand. It is said however of Constantius, and some others of a very dry constitution and habit of body, that in violent fevers they became so hot as somewhat to burn the hand that touched them.

« PreviousContinue »