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light, and the object of sight, move swifter than sound: for we see the flash of a piece is seen sooner than the noise is heard. And in hewing wood, if one be some distance off, he shall see the arm lifted up for a second stroke, before he hear the noise of the first. And the greater the distance, the greater is the prevention: as we see in thunder which is far off, where the lightning precedeth the crack a good space.
211. Colours, when they represent themselves to the eye, fade not, nor melt not by degrees, but appear still.in the same strength ; but sounds melt and vanish by little and little. The cause is, for that colours participate nothing with the motion of the air, but sounds do. And it is a plain argument, that sound participated of some local motion of the air, as a cause sine qua non, in that it perisheth so suddenly; for in every section or impulsion of the air, the air doth suddenly restore and reunite itself; which the water also doth, but nothing so swiftly.
Experiments in consort touching the passage and interceptions of sounds.
In the trials of the passage, or not passage of sounds, you must take heed you mistake not the passing by the sides of the body, for the passing through a body; and therefore you must make the intercepting body very close; for sound will pass through a small chink.
212. Where sound passeth through ahardorclose body, as through water; through a wall; through metal, as in hawks' bells stopped, &c.; the hard or close body must be but thin and small; for else it deadeth and extinguished) the sound utterly. And therefore in the experiment of speaking in air under water, the voice must not be very deep within the water; for then the sound pierceth not. So if you speak on the farther side of a close wall, if the wall be very thick you shall not be heard; and if there were a hogshead empty, whereof the sides were some two foot thick, and the bung-hole stopped; I conceive the resounding sound, by the communication of the outward air with the air within, would be little or none: but only you shall hear the noise of the outward knock, as if the vessel were full.
213. It is certain, that in the passage of sounds through hard bodies the spirit or pneumatical part of the hard body itself doth co-operate j but much better when the sides of that hard body are struck, than when the percussion is only within, without touch of the sides. Take therefore a hawk's bell, the holes stopped up, and hang it by a thread within a bottle glass, and stop the mouth of the glass very close with wax; and then shake the glass, and see whether the bell give any sound at all, or how weak: but note, that you must instead of the thread take a wire; or else let the glass have a great belly; lest when you shake the bell, it dash upon the sides of the glass.
214. It is plain, that a very long and downright arch for the sound to pass, will extinguish the sound quite; so that that sound, which would be heard over a wall, will not be heard over a church; nor that sound, which will be heard if you stand some
distance from the wall, will be heard if you stand close under the wall.
215. Soft and foraminous bodies, in the first creation of the sound, will dead it; for the striking against cloth or fur will make little sound; as hath been said: but in the passage of the sound, they will admit it better than harder bodies; as we see that curtains and hangings will not stay the sound much; but glass windows, if they be very close, will check a sound more than the like thickness of cloth. We see also in the rumbling of the belly, how easily the sound passeth through the guts and skin.
216. It is worthy the inquiry, whether great sounds, as of ordnance or bells, become not more weak and exile when they pass through small crannies. For the subtilties of articulate sounds, it may be, may pass through small crannies not confused; but the magnitude of the sound, perhaps, not so well.
Experiments in consort touching the medium of sounds.
217. The mediums of sounds are air; soft and porous bodies; also water. And hard bodies refuse not altogether to be mediums of sounds. But all of them are dull and unapt deferents, except the air.
218. In air, the thinner or drier air carrieth not the sound so well as the more dense; as appeareth in night sounds, and evening sounds, and sounds in moist weather and southern winds. The reason is already mentioned in the title of majoration of sounds; being for that thin air is better pierced; but thick air preserveth the sound better from waste: let further trial be made by hollowing in mists and gentle showers; for, it may be, that will somewhat dead the sound.
219. How far forth flame may be a medium of sounds, especially of such sounds as are created by air, and not betwixt hard bodies, let it be tried in speaking where a bonfire is between; but then you must allow for some disturbance the noise that the flame itself maketh.
220. Whether any other liquors, being made mediums, cause a diversity of sound from water, it may be tried: as by the knapping of the tongs; or striking of the bottom of a vessel, filled either with milk or with oil; which though they be more light, yet are they more unequal bodies than air.
Of the nature of the mediums we have now spoken; as for the disposition of the said mediums, it doth consist in the penning, or not penning of the air; of which we have spoken before in the title of delation of sounds: it consisteth also in the figure of the concave through which it passeth; of which we will speak next.
Experiments in consort, what the figures of the pipes, or concaves, or the bodies deferent, conduce to the sounds.
How the figures of pipes, or concaves, through which sounds pass, or of other bodies deferent, conduce to the variety and alteration of the sounds; either in respect of the greater quantity, or less quantity of air, which the concaves receive; or in respect of the carrying of sounds longer and shorter way; or in respect of many other circumstances; they have been touched, as falling into other titles. But those figures which we now are to speak of, we intend to be, as they concern the lines through which the sound passeth; as straight, crooked, angular, circular, &c.
221. The figure of a bell partaketh of the pyramis, but yet coming off and dilating more suddenly. The figure of a hunter's horn and cornet is oblique; yet they have likewise straight horns; which if they be of the same bore with the oblique, differ little in sound, save that the straight require somewhat a stronger blast. The figures of recorders, and flutes, and pij.es, are straight; but the recorder hath a less bore and a greater, above and below. The trumpet hath the figure of the letter S: which maketh that purling sound, &c. Generally the straight line hath the cleanest and roundest sound, and the crooked, the more hoarse and jarring.
222. Of a sinuous pipe that may have some four ■ flexions, trial would be made. Likewise of a pipe
made like a cross, open in the midst. And so likewise of an angular pipe: and see what will be the effects of these several sounds. And so again of a circular pipe; as if you take a pipe perfect round, and make a hole whereinto you shall blow, and another hole not far from that; but with a traverse or stop between them; so that your breath may go the round of the circle, and come forth at the second hole. You may try likewise percussions of solid bodies of several figures; as globes, flats, cubes, crosses, triangles, &c. and their combinations, as flat against flat, and convex against convex, and convex against flat, &c. and mark well the diversities of the sounds. Try also the difference in sound of several crassitudes of hard bodies percussed; and take knowledge of the diversities of the sounds. I myself have tried, that a bell of gold yieldeth an excellent sound not inferior to that of silver or brass, but rather better; yet we see that a piece of money of gold soundeth far more flat than a piece of money of silver.
223. The harp hath the concave not along the strings, but across the strings: and no instrument hath the sound so melting and prolonged, as the Irish harp. So as I suppose, that if a virginal were made with a double concave, the one all the length, as the virginal hath; the other at the end of the strings, as the harp hath; it must needs make the sound perfecter, and not so shallow and jarring. You may try it without any sound-board along, but only harp-wise at one end of the strings; or lastly, with a doable concave at each end of the strings one.
Erperiment» in consort touching the mixture of sounds.
224. There is an apparent diversity between the species visible and audible in this,- that the visible doth not mingle in the medium, but the audible doth. For if we look abroad, we see heaven, a number of stars, trees, hills, men, beasts, at once. And the species of the one doth not confound the other. But if so many sounds came from several
parts, one of them would utterly confound the other. So we see, that voices or consorts of music do make a harmony by mixture, which colours do not. It is true nevertheless that a great light drowneth a smaller, that it cannot be seen; as the sun that of a glow-worm; as well as a great sound drowneth a lesser. And I suppose likewise, that if there were two lanthorns of glass, the one a crimson, and the other an azure, and a candle within either of them, those coloured lights would mingle, and cast upon a white paper a purple colour. And even in colours, they yield a faint and weak mixture : for white walls make rooms more lightsome than black, &c. but the cause of the confusion in sounds, and the inconfusion in species visible, is, for that the sight worketh in right lines, and maketh several cones; and so there can be no coincidence in the eye or visual point: but sounds, that move in oblique and arcuate lines, must needs encounter and disturb the one the other.
225. The sweetest and' best harmony is, when every part or instrument is not heard by itself, but a conflation of them all; which requireth to stand some distance off, even as it is in the mixture of perfumes; or the taking of the smells of several flowers in the air.
226. The disposition of the air in other qualities, except it be joined with sound, hath no great operation upon sounds: for whether the air be lightsome or daTk, hot or cold, quiet or stirring, except it be with noise, sweet-smelling, or stinking, or the like; it importeth not much; some petty alteration or difference it may make.
227. But sounds do disturb and alter the one the other: sometimes the one drowning the other, and making it not heard; sometimes the one jBrring and discording with the other, and making a confusion; sometimes the one mingling and compounding with the other, and making a harmony.
228. Two voices of like loudness will not bo heard twice as far as one of them alone; and two candles of like light will not make things seen twice as far off as one. The cause is profound; but it scemeth that the impressions from the objects of the senses do mingle respectively, every one with his kind; but not in proportion, as is before demonstrated: and the reason may be, because the first impression, which is from privative to active, as from silence to noise, or from darkness to light, is a greater degree than from less noise to more noise, or from less light to more light. And the reason of that again may be, for that the air, after it hath received a charge, doth not receive a surcharge, or greater charge, with like appetite as it doth the first charge. As for the increase of virtue generally, what proportion it beareth to the increase of the matter, it is a large field, and to be handled by itself.
Experiments in consort touching melioration of sounds.
229. All reflexions concurrent do make sounds greater; but if the body thatcreateth either the original sound, or the reflexion, be clean and smooth, it maketh them sweeter. Trial may be made of a lute or viol, with the belly of polished brass instead of wood. We see that even in the open air, the wire-string is sweeter than the string of guts. And we see that for reflexion water excelleth; as in music near the water, or in echos.
230. It hath been tried, that a pipe a little moistened on the inside, but yet so as there be no drops left, maketh a more solemn sound, than if the pipe were dry: but yet with a sweet degree of sibilation or purling; as we touched it before in the title of equality. The cause is, for that all things porous being superficially wet, and, as it were, between dry and wet, become a little more even and smooth; but the purling which must needs proceed of inequality, I take to be bred between the smoothness of the inward surface of the pipe, which is wet, and the rest of the wood of the pipe unto which the wet cometh not, but it remaineth dry.
231. In frosty weather music within doors soundeth better. Which may be by reason not of the disposition of the air, but of the wood or string of the instrument, which is made more crisp, and so more porous and hollow: and we see that old lutes sound better than new for the same reason. And so do lute-strings that have been kept long.
232. Sound is likewise meliorated by the mingling of open air with pent air; therefore trial may be made of a lute or viol with a double belly; making another belly with a knot ever the strings; yet so, as there be room enough for the strings, and room enough to play below that belly. Trial may be made also of an Irish harp, with a concave on both sides: whereas it useth to have it but on one side. The doubt may be, lest it should make too much resounding; whereby one note would overtake another.
233. If you sing in the hole of a drum, it maketh the singing more sweet. And so I conceive it would, if it were a song in parts sung into several drums; and for handsomeness and strangeness sake, it would not be amiss to have a curtain between the place where the drums are and the hearers.
234. When a sound is created in a wind instrument between the breath and the air, yet if the sound be communicated with a more equal body of the pipe, it meliorateth the sound. For, no doubt, there would be a differing sound in a trumpet or pipe of wood; and again in a trumpet or pipe of brass. It were good to try recorders and hunters' horns of brass, what the sound would be.
235. Sounds are meliorated by the intension of the sense, where the common sense is collected most to the particular sense of hearing, and the sight suspended: and therefore sounds are sweeter, as well as greater, in the night than in the day; and I suppose they are sweeter to blind men than to others: and it is manifest, that between sleeping and waking, when all the senses are bound and suspended, music is far sweeter than when one is fully waking.
Experiments in consort touching the imitation of sounds.
236. It is a thing strange in nature when it is
attentively considered, how children, and some birds, leam to imitate speech. They take no mark at all of the motion of the mouth of him that speaketh, for birds are as well taught in the dark as by light. The sounds of speech are very curious and exquisite: so one would think it were a lesson hard to learn. It is true that it is done with time, and by little and little, and with many essays and proffers, but all this dischargeth not the wonder. It would make a man think, though this which we shall say may seem exceeding strange, that there is some transmission of spirits; and that the spirits of the teacher put in motion should work with the spirits of the learner a predisposition to offer to imitate; and so to perfect the imitation by degrees. But touching operations by transmissions of spirits, which is one of the highest secrets in nature, we shall speak in due place; chiefly when we come to inquire of imagination. But as for imitation, it ia certain, that there is in men and other creatures a predisposition to imitate. We see how ready apes and monkeys are to imitate all motions of man; and in the catching of dottrels, we see how the foolish bird playeth the ape in gestures: and no man, in effect, doth accompany with others, but he learneth, ere he is aware, some gesture, or voice, or fashion of the other.
237. In imitation of sounds, that man should l>e the teacher is no part of the matter; for binis will learn one of another; and there is no reward by feeding, or the like, given them for the imitation; and besides, you shall have parrots that will not only imitate voices, but laughing, knocking, squeaking of a door upon the hinges, or of a cart-wheel: and, in effect, any other noise they hear.
238. No beast can imitate the speech of man, but birds only; for the ape itself, that is so ready to imitate otherwise, attaineth not any degree of imitation of speech. It is true that I have known a dog, that if one howled in his ear, he would fall a howling a great while. What should be the aptness of birds in comparison of beasts to imitate the speech of man, may be farther inquired. We see that beasts have those parts which they count the instruments of speech, as lips, teeth, &c. liker unto man than birds. As for the neck, by which the throat passeth, we see many beasts have it for the length as much as birds. What better gorge or artery birds have, may be farther inquired. The birds that are known to be speakers, are parrots, pies, jays, daws, and ravens. Of which parrots have an adunque bill, but the rest not
239. But I conceive, that the aptness of birds is not so much in the conformity of the organs of speech, as in their attention. For speech must come by hearing and learning; and birds give more heed, and mark sounds more than beasts; because naturally they are more delighted with them, and practise them more, as appeareth in their singing. We see also, that those that teach birds to sing, do keep them waking to increase their attention. We see also, that cock birds amongst singing birds are ever the better singers: which may be because they are more lively and listen more.
240. Labour and intention to imitate voices, doth conduce much to imitation: and therefore we see that there be certain pantomimi. that will represent the voices of players of interludes so to life, as if you see them not you would think they were those players themselves; and so the voices of other men that they hear.
241. There have been some that could counterfeit the distance of voices, which is a secondary object of hearing, in such sort, as when they stand fast by you, you would think the speech came from afar off, in a fearful manner. How this is done may be farther inquired. But I see no great use of it but for imposture, in counterfeiting ghosts or spirits.
Experiments in consort touching the reflexion of sounds.
There be three kinds of reflexions of sounds; a reflexion concurrent, a reflexion iterant, which we call echo; and a super-reflexion, or an echo of an echo: whereof the first hath been handled in the title of magnitude of sounds: the latter two we will now speak of.
242. The reflexion of species visible by mirrors you may command; because passing in right lines they may be guided to any point: but the reflexion of sounds is harder to master; because the sound filling great spaces in arched lines, cannot be so guided: and therefore we see there hath not been practised any means to make artificial echos. And no echo already known returneth in a very narrow room.
243. The natural echos are made upon walls, woods, rocks, hills, and banks; as for waters, being near, they make a concurrent echo; but being farther off, as upon a large river, they make an iterant echo: for there is no difference between the concurrent echo and the iterant, but the quickness or slowness of the return. But there is no doubt but water doth help the delation of echo; as well as it belpeth the delation of original sounds.
244. It is certain, as hath been formerly touched, that if you speak through a trunk stopped at the farther end, you shall find a blast return upon your mouth, but no sound at all. The cause is, for that the closeness which preserveth the original, is not able to preserve the reflected sound: besides that echos are seldom created but by loud sounds. And therefore there is less hope of artificial echos in air pent in a narrow concave. Nevertheless it hath been tried, that one leaning over a well of twentyfire fathom deep, and speaking, though but softly, yet not so soft as a whisper, the water returned a grjod audible echo. It would be tried whether speaking in caves, where there is no issue, save where you speak, will not yield echos, as wells do.
245. The echo cometh as the original sound doth, in a round orb of air: it were good to try the creating of the echo where the body repercussing maketh an angle; as against the return of a wall, &c. Also we see that in mirrors there is the like angle of incidence, from the object to the glass, and from tb» glass to the eye. And if you strike a ball side
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long, not full upon the surface, the rebound will be as much the contrary way: whether there be any such resilience in echos, that is, whether a man shall hear better if he stand aside the body repercussing, than if he stand where he speaketb, or any where in a right line between, may be tried. Trial likewise would be made by standing nearer the place of repercussing, than he that speaketh j and again, by standing farther off than he that speaketh; and so knowledge would be taken, whether echos, as well as original sounds, be not strongest near hand.
246. There be many places where you shall hear a number of echos one after another: and it is when there is 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 echos 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 echos upon echos, 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 birdbolt shot or more from the river of Sein. 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 embowment 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 Sein 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 echos are, in the evening. It is manifest that it is not echos 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 superreflections, till the species speciei at last die. For it is every return weaker and more shady. In like manner the voice in that chapel crcateth speciem speciei, and maketh succeeding super-reflexions; for it melteth by degrees, and every reflexion 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 some times; still fading and growing weaker. And whereas in echos of one return, it is much to hear four or five words; in this echo of so many returns upon the matter, you hear above twenty words for three.
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 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. Echos 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 echos come from several parts at the same distance, they must needs make, as it were, a choir of echos, 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 different 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 dinsent 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 con
fusion: 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 emit any corporal substance into their mediums, or the orb of their virtue; neither again to raise 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 appertained 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 echos.
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 affect 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 diversly work, as they have their medium diversly 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 conglomeration of sounds doth