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of the heavens, and mother of generation; nor is anything great to be expected from a heat either vehement or precipitate or that comes by fits and starts. In vegetables this is most manifest; and also in the wombs of animals there is a great inequality of heat, from the motion, sleep, food and passions of the female in gestation; lastly in the wombs of the earth itself, those I mean in which metals and fossils are formed, the same inequality has place and force. Which makes the unskilfulness of some alchemists of the reformed school all the more remarkable, who have conceived that by the equable warmth of lamps and the like, burning uniformly, they can attain their end. And so much for the operations and effects of heat. To examine them thoroughly would be premature, till the Forms of things and the Configurations of bodies have been further investigated and brought to light. For it will then be time to seek, apply, and adapt our instruments, when we are clear as to the pattern.
The fourth mode of operating is by continuance, which is as it were the steward and almoner of nature. Continuance I call it, when a body is left to itself for a considerable time, being meanwhile defended from all external force. For then only do the internal motions exhibit and perfect themselves, when the extraneous and adventitious are stopped. Now the works of time are far subtler than those of fire. For wine cannot be so clarified by fire, as it is by time; nor are the ashes produced by fire so fine as the dust into which substances are resolved and wasted by ages. So too the sudden incorporations and mixtures precipitated by fire are far inferior to those which are brought about by time. And the dissimilar and varied configurations which bodies by continuance put on, such as putrefactions, are destroyed by fire or any violent heat. Meanwhile it would not be out of place to observe that the motions of bodies when quite shut up have in them something of violence. For such imprisonment impedes the spontaneous motions of the body. And therefore continuance in an open vessel is best for separations; in a vessel quite closed for commixtures; in a vessel partly closed, but with the air entering, for putrefactions. But indeed instances showing the effects and operations of continuance should be carefully collected from all quarters.
The regulation of motion (which is the fifth mode of operatVOIL. IV. R
ing) is of no little service. I call it regulation of motion, when one body meeting another impedes, repels, admits or directs its spontaneous motion. It consists for the most part in the shape and position of vessels. Thus the upright cone in alembics helps the condensation of vapours; the inverted cone in receivers helps the draining off of the dregs of sugar. Sometimes a winding form is required, and one that narrows and widens in turn, and the like. For all percolation depends on this, that the meeting body opens the way to one portion of the body met and shuts it to another. Nor is the business of percolation or other regulation of motion always performed from without; it may also be done by a body within a body; as when stones are dropped into water to collect its earthy parts; or when syrups are clarified with the whites of eggs, that the coarser parts may adhere thereto, after which they may be removed. It is also to this regulation of motion that Telesius has rashly and ignorantly enough attributed the shapes of animals, which he says are owing to the channels and folds in the womb. But he should have been able to show the like formation in the shells of eggs, in which there are no wrinkles or inequalities. It is true however that the regulation of motion gives the shapes in moulding and casting. Operations by consents or aversions (which is the sixth mode) often lie deeply hid. For what are called occult and specific properties, or sympathies and antipathies, are in great part corruptions of philosophy. Nor can we have much hope of discovering the consents of things before the discovery of Forms and Simple Configurations. For Consent is nothing else than the adaptation of Forms and Configurations to each other. The broader and more general consents of things are not however quite so obscure. I will therefore begin with them. Their first and chief diversity is this, that some bodies differ widely as to density and rarity, but agree in configurations; while others agree as to density and rarity, but differ in configurations. For it has not been ill observed by the chemists in their triad of first principles, that sulphur and mercury run through the whole universe. (For what they add about salt is absurd, and introduced merely to take in bodies earthy, dry, and fixed.) But certainly in these two one of the most general consents in nature does seem to be observable. For there is consent between sulphur, oil and greasy exhalation, flame, and perhaps the body of a star. So is there between mercury, water and watery vapours, air, and perhaps the pure and intersidereal ether. Yet these two quaternions or great tribes of things (each within its own limits) differ immensely in quantity of matter and density, but agree very well in configuration; as appears in numerous cases. On the other hand metals agree well together in quantity and density, especially as compared with vegetables, &c., but differ very widely in configuration; while in like manner vegetables and animals vary almost infinitely in their configurations, but in quantity of matter or density their variation is confined to narrow limits. The next most general consent is that between primary bodies and their supports; that is, their menstrua and foods. We must therefore inquire, under what climates, in what earth, and at what depth, the several metals are generated; and so of gems, whether produced on rocks or in mines; also in what soil the several trees and shrubs and herbs thrive best, and take, so to speak, most delight ; moreover what manurings, whether by dung of any sort, or by chalk, sea-sand, ashes, &c., do the most good; and which of them are most suitable and effective according to the varieties of soil. Again the grafting and inoculating of trees and plants, and the principle of it, that is to say, what plants prosper best on what stocks, depends much on sympathy. Under this head it would be an agreeable experiment, which I have heard has been lately tried, of engrafting forest-trees (a practice hitherto confined to fruit-trees); whereby the leaves and fruit are greatly enlarged, and the trees made more shady. In like manner the different foods of animals should be noted under general heads, and with their negatives. For carnivorous animals cannot live on herbs; whence the order of Feuillans (though the will in man has more power over the body than in other animals) has after trial (they say) well nigh disappeared; the thing not being endurable by human nature. Also the different materials of putrefaction, whence animalculae are generated, should be observed. The consents of primary bodies with their subordinates (for such those may be considered which I have noted) are sufficiently obvious. To these may be added the consents of the
senses with their objects. For these consents, since they are most manifest, and have been well observed and keenly sifted, may possibly shed great light on other consents also which are latent. But the inner consents and aversions, or friendships and enmities, of bodies (for I am almost weary of the words sympathy and antipathy on account of the superstitions and vanities associated with them) are either falsely ascribed, or mixed with fables, or from want of observation very rarely met with. For if it be said that there is enmity between the vine and colewort, because when planted near each other they do not thrive ; the reason is obvious—that both of these plants are succulent and exhaust the ground, and thus one robs the other. If it be said that there is consent and friendship between corn and the corncockle or the wild poppy, because these herbs hardly come up except in ploughed fields; it should rather be said that there is enmity between them, because the poppy and corncockle are emitted and generated from a juice of the earth which the corn has left and rejected; so that sowing the ground with corn prepares it for their growth. And of such false ascriptions there is a great number. As for fables, they should be utterly exterminated. There remains indeed a scanty store of consents which have been approved by sure experiment; such as those of the magnet and iron, of gold and quicksilver, and the like. And in chemical experiments on metals there are found also some others worthy of observation. But they are found in greatest abundance (if one may speak of abundance in such a scarcity) in certain medicines, which by their occult (as they are called) and specific properties have relation either to limbs, or humours, or diseases, or sometimes to individual natures. Nor should we omit the consents between the motions and changes of the moon and the affections of bodies below; such as may be gathered and admitted, after strict and honest scrutiny, from experiments in agriculture, navigation, medicine, and other sciences. But the rarer all the instances of more secret consents are, the greater the diligence with which they should be sought after, by means of faithful and honest traditions and narrations; provided this be done without any levity or credulity, but with an anxious and (so to speak) a doubting faith. There remains a consent of bodies, inartificial perhaps in mode of operation, but in use a Polychrest, which should in no wise be omitted, but examined into with careful attention. I mean the proneness or reluctance of bodies to draw together or unite by composition or simple apposition. For some bodies are mixed together and incorporated easily, but others with difficulty and reluctance. Thus powders mix best with water; ashes and lime with oils, and so on. Nor should we merely collect instances of the propensity or aversion of bodies for mixture, but also of the collocation of their parts, of their distribution and digestion when they are mixed, and finally of their predominancy after the mixture is completed. There remains the seventh and last of the seven modes of operation, namely, the means of operating by the alternation of the former six; but it would not be seasonable to bring forward examples of this, till our search has been carried somewhat more deeply into the others singly. Now a series or chain of such alternations, adapted to particular effects, is a thing at once most difficult to discover, and most effective to work with. But men are utterly impatient both of the inquiry and the practice; though it is the very thread of the labyrinth, as regards works of any magnitude. Let this suffice to exemplify the Polychrest Instances.
Among Prerogative Instances I will put in the twentyseventh and last place Instances of Magic; by which I mean those wherein the material or efficient cause is scanty or small, as compared with the work and effect produced; so that, even where they are common, they seem like miracles; some at first sight, others even after attentive consideration. These indeed nature of herself supplies sparingly; but what she may do when her folds have been shaken out, and after the discovery of Forms and Processes and Configurations, time will show. But these magical effects (according to my present conjecture) are brought about in three ways; either by self-multiplication, as in fire, and in poisons called specific, and also in motions which are increased in power by passing from wheel to wheel; or by excitation or invitation in another body, as in the magnet, which excites numberless needles without losing any of its virtue, or in yeast and the like; or by anticipation of motion, as in the case already mentioned of gunpowder and cannons and mines. Of which ways the two former require a knowledge of consents; the third, a knowledge of the measurement