« PreviousContinue »
367. Consider well, whether the more speedy going forth of the flame he caused by the greater vigour of the flame in burning; or by the resistance of the body mixed, and the aversion thereof to take flame: which will appear by the quantity of the spirit of wine that remaineth after the going out of the flame. And it seemeth clearly to be the latter; for that the mixture of things least apt to burn, is the speediest in going out. And note, by the way, that spirit of wine burned, till it go out of itself, will burn no more; and tasteth nothing so hot in the mouth as it did; no, nor yet sour, as if it were a degree towards vinegar, which burnt wine doth; but flat and dead.
368. Note, that in the experiment of wax aforesaid, the wax dissolved in the burning, and yet did not incorporate itself with the spirit of wine, to produce one flame; but wheresoever the wax floated, the flame forsook it, till at last it spread all over, and put the flame quite out.
369. The experiments of the mixture of the spirit of wine inflamed, are things of discovery, and not of use: but now we will speak of the continuance of flames, such as are used for candles, lamps, or tapers; consisting of inflammable matters, and of a wick that provoketh inflammation. And this importeth not only discovery, but also use and profit; for it is a great saving in all such lights, if they can be made as fair and bright as others, and yet last longer. Wax pure made into a candle, and wax mixed severally into candle-stuff, with the particulars that follow; viz. water, aqua vitre, milk, bay-salt, oil, hotter, nitre, brimstone, saw-dust, every of these hearing a sixth part to the wax ; and every of these randies mixed, being of the same weight and wick with the wax pure, proved thus in the burning and lasting. The swiftest in consuming was that with saw-dust; which first burned fair till some part of the candle was consumed, and the dust gathered a'wut the snaste; but then it made the snaste big and long, and to burn duskishly, and the candle wasted in half the time of the wax pure. The next in swiftness were the oil and butter, which consumed by a fifth part swifter than the pure wax. Then followed in swiftness the clear wax itself. Then the bay-salt, which lasted about an eighth part longer than the clear wax. Then followed the aqua vitre, which lasted about a fifth part longer than the clear wax. Then followed the milk, and water, with little difference from the aqua vitas, but the water slowest. And in these four last, the wick would spit forth little sparks. For the nitre, it would not hold lighted above some twelve pulses: but all the while it would spit out portions of flame, which afterwards would go out into a vapour. For the brimstone, it would hold lighted much about the same time with the nitre; but then after a little while it would harden and cake about the snaste ; so that the mixture of bav-salt with wax will win an eighth part of the time of lasting, and the water a fifth.
3*0. After the several materials were tried, trial was likewise made of several wicks; as of ordinary cotton, sewing thread, rush, silk, straw, and wood. The silk, straw, and wood, would flame a little, till
they came to the wax, and then go out: of the other three, the thread consumed faster than the cotton, by a sixth part of time: the cotton next; then the rush consumed slower than the cotton, by at least a third part of time. For the bigness of the flame, the cotton and thread cast a flame much alike; and the rush much less and dimmer. Query, whether wood and wicks both, as in torches, consume faster than the wicks simple?
371. We have spoken of the several materials, and the several wicks: but to the lasting of the flame it importeth also, not only what the material is, but in the same material whether it be hard, soft, old, new, &c. Good housewives, to make their candles burn the longer, use to lay them, one by one, in bran or flour, which make them harder, and so they consume the slower: insomuch as by this means they will outlast other candles of the same stuff almost half in half. For bran and flour have a virtue to harden; so that both age, and lying in the bran, doth help to the lasting. And we see that wax candles last longer than tallow candles, because wax is more firm and hard.
372. The lasting of flame also dependeth upon the easy drawing of the nourishment; as we see in the Court of England there is a service which they call Albright; which is as it were a great cake of wax, with the wick in the midst; whereby it cometh to pass, that the wick fetcheth the nourishment farther off. We see also that lamps last longer, because the vessel is far broader than the breadth of a taper or candle.
373. Take a turreted lamp of tin, made in the form of a square; the height of the turret being thrice as much as the length of the lower part whereupon the lamp standeth: make only one hole in it, at the end of the return farthest from the turret. Reverse it, and fill it full of oil by that hole; and then set it upright again; and put a wick in at the hole, and lighten it: you shall find that it will burn slow, and a long time: which is caused, as was said last before, for that the flame fetcheth the nourishment afar off. You shall find also, that as the oil wasteth and descendeth, so the top of the turret by little and little filleth with air; which is caused by the rarefaction of the oil by the heat. It were worthy the observation, to make a hole in the top of the turret, and to try when the oil is almost consumed, whether the air made of the oil, if you put to it the flame of a candle, in the letting of it forth, will inflame. It were good also to have the lamp made, not of tin, hut of glass, that you may see how the vapour or air gathereth by degrees in the top.
374. A fourth point that importeth the lasting of the flame, is the closeness of the air wherein the flame burnetii. We see that if wind bloweth upon a candle it wasteth apace. We see also it lasteth longer in a lanthorn than at large. And there are traditions of lamps and candles, that have burnt a very long time in caves and tombs.
375. A fifth point that importeth the lasting of the flame, is the nature of the air where the flame burneth; whether it be hot or cold, moist or dry. The air, if it be very cold, irritateth the flame, and maketh it burn more fiercely, as fire scorcheth in frosty weather, and so farthercth the consumption. The air once heated, I conceive, maketh the flame burn more mildly, and so helpeth the continuance. The air, if it be dry, is indifferent: the air, if it be moist, doth in a degree quench the flame, as we see lights will go out in the damps of mines, and howsoever maketh it burn more dully, and so helpeth the continuance.
Experiments in consort touching burials or infusions of divers bodies in earth.
376. Burials in earth serve for preservation; and for condensation; and for induration of bodies. And if you intend condensation or induration, you may bury the bodies so as earth may touch them: as if you will make artificial porcelane, &c. And the like you may do for conservation, if the bodies be hard and solid; as clay, wood, &c. But if you intend preservation of bodies more soft and tender, then you must do one of these two: either you must put them in cases, whereby they may not touch the earth; or else you must vault the earth, whereby it may hang over them, and not touch them; for if the earth touch them, it will do more hurt by the moisture, causing them to putrify, than good by the virtual cold, to conserve them; except the earth be very dry and sandy.
377. An orange, lemon, and apple, wrapt in a linen cloth, being buried for a fortnight's space four feet deep within the earth, though it were in a moist place, and a rainy time, yet came forth no ways mouldy or rotten, but were become a little harder than they were; otherwise fresh in their colour; but their juice somewhat flatted. But with the burial of a fortnight more they berame putrified.
378. A bottle of beer, buried in like manner as before, became more lively, better tasted, and clearer than it was. And a bottle of wine in like manner. A bottle of vinegar so buried came forth more lively and more odoriferous, smelling almost like a violet. And after the whole month's burial, all the three came forth as fresh and lively, if not better than before.
379. It were a profitable experiment to preserve oranges, lemons, and pomegranates, till summer: for then their price will be mightily increased. This may be done, if you put them in a pot or vessel well covered, that the moisture of the earth come not at them; or else by putting them in a conservatory of snow. And generally, whosoever will make experiments of cold, let him be provided of three things; a conservatory of snow; a good large vault, twenty feet at least under the ground; and a deep well.
380. There hath been a tradition, that pearl, and coral, and turquois-stone, that have lost their colours, may be recovered by burying in the earth j which is a thing of great profit, if it would sort: but upon trial of six weeks burial, there followed no effect. It were good to try it in a deep well, or in a conservatory of snow; where the cold may be more constringent; and so make the body more united, and thereby more resplendent.
Experiment solitary touching the effects in men's bodies from several winds.
381. Men's bodies are heavier, and less disposed to motion, when southern winds blow, than when northern. The cause is, for that when the southern winds blow, the humours do, in some degree, melt and wax fluid, and so flow into the parts; as it is seen in wood and other bodies, which when the southern winds blow, do swell. Besides, the motion and activity of the body consisteth chiefly in the sinews, which, when the southern wind bloweth, are more relax.
Experiment solitary touching winter and summer sicknesses.
382. It is commonly seen, that more are sick in the summer, and more die in the winter; except it be in pestilent diseases, which commonly reign in summer or autumn. The reason is, because diseases are bred, indeed, chiefly by heat; but then they are cured most by sweat and purge; which in the summer cometh on or is provoked more easily. As for pestilent diseases, the reason why most die of them in summer is, because they are bred most in the summer: for otherwise those that are touched are in most danger in the winter.
Experiment solitary touching pestilential seasons.
383. The general opinion is, that years hot and moist are most pestilent; upon the superficial ground that heat and moisture cause putrefaction. In England it is not found true; for many times there have been great plagues in dry years. Whereof the cause may be, for that drought in the bodies of islanders habituate to moist airs, doth exasperate the humours, and maketh them more apt to putrify or inflame: besides, it tainteth the waters, commonly, and maketh them less wholesome. And again in Barbary, the plagues break up in the summer months, when the weather is hot and dry.
Experiment solitary touching an error received about epidemical diseases.
384. Many diseases, both epidemical and others, break forth at particular times. And the cause is falsely imputed to the constitution of the air at that time when they break forth or reign; whereas it proceedeth, indeed, from a precedent sequence and series of the seasons of the year: and therefore Hippocrates in his prognostics doth make good observations of the diseases that ensue upon the nature of the precedent four seasons of the year.
Experiment solitary touching the alteration or preservation of liquors in wells or deep vaults.
385. Trial hath been made with earthen bottles well stopped, hanged in a well of twenty fathom deep at the least; and some of the bottles have been let down into the water, some others have hanged above, within about a fathom of the water; and the liquors so tried have been beer, not new, but ready for drinking, and wine, and milk. The proof hath been, that both the beer and the wine, as well within water as above, have not been palled or deaded at all; but as good or somewhat better than bottles of the same drinks and stateness kept in a cellar. But those which did hang above water were apparently the best; and that beer did flower a little; whereas that under water did not, though it were fresh. The milk soared and began to putrify. Nevertheless it is true, that there is a village near Blois, where in deep caves they do thicken milk, in such sort that it becometh very pleasant: which was some cause of this trial of hanging milk in the well: but our proof wag naught; neither do I know whether that nilk in those caves be first boiled. It were good therefore to try it with milk sodden, and with cream; for that milk of itself is such a compound body, of cream, curds, and whey, as it is easily turned and dissolved. It were good also to try the beer when it is in wort, that it may be seen whether the hanging in the well will accelerate the ripening and clarifying of it.
Experiment solitary touching slutting.
386. Divers, we see, do stut. The cause may be, in most, the refrigeration of the tongue; whereby it is less apt to move. And therefore we see that naturals do generally stut: and we see that in those that stut, if they drink wine moderately, they stut less, because it heateth: and so we see, that they that stut do stut more in the first offer to speak than in continuance; because the tongue is by motion somewhat heated. In 6ome also, it may be, though rarely, the dryness of the tongue; which likewise maketh it less apt to move as well as cold: for it is an effect that cometh to some wise and great men; as it did unto Moses, who was lingua; preepeBitae; and many stutters, we find, are very choleric men; choler inducing a dryness in the tongue.
Experiments in consort touching smells.
387. SmeUs and other odours are sweeter in the air at some distance, than near the nose; as hath been partly touched heretofore. The cause is double: first, the finer mixture or incorporation of the smell: for we see that in sounds likewise, they are sweetest when we cannot hear every part by itself. The other reason is, for that all sweet smells have joined *ith them some earthy or crude odours j and at some distance, the sweet which is the more spiritual, is perceived, and the earthy reacheth not so far.
388. Sweet smells are most forcible in dry substances when they are broken; and so likewise in oranges and lemons, the nipping of their rind giveth out their smell more; and generally when bodies are moved or stirred, though not broken, they smell more; as a sweet-bag waved. The cause is double: the one, for that there is a greater emission of the spirit when way is made; and this holdeth in the breaking, nipping, or crushing; it holdeth also, in some degree, in the moving: but in this last there is a concurrence of the second cause, which is the impulsion of the air, that bringeth the scent faster upon us.
389. The daintiest smells of flowers are out of those plants whose leaves smell not; as violets,
VOL L K
roses, wall-flowers, gilly-flowers, pinks, woodbines, vine-flowers, apple-blooms, lime-tree-blooms, beanblooms, &c. The cause is, for that where there is heat and strength enough in the plant to make the leaves odorate, there the smell of the flower is rather evanid and weaker than that of the leaves; as it is in rosemary flowers, lavender flowers, and sweet-briar roses. But where there is less heat, there the spirit of the plant is digested and refined, and severed from the grosser juice, in the efflorescence, and not before.
390. Most odours smell best broken or crushed, as hath been said; but flowers pressed or beaten do lose the freshness and sweetness of their odour. The cause is, for that when they are crushed, the grosser and more earthy spirit cometh out with the finer, and troubleth it; whereas in stronger odours there are no such degrees of the issue of the smell.
Experiments in cons or! touching the goodness and choice of water.
391. It is a thing of very good use to discover the goodness of waters. The taste, to those that drink water only, doth somewhat: but other experiments are more sure. First, try waters by weight; wherein you may find some difference, though not much; and the lighter you may account the better.
392. Secondly, try them by boiling upon an equal fire; and that which consumeth away fastest you may account the best.
393. Thirdly, try them in several bottles or open vessels, matches in every thing else, and see which of them last longest without stench or corruption. And that which holdeth unputrified longest, you may likewise account the best.
394. Fourthly, try them by making drinks stronger or smaller, with the same quantity of malt; and you may conclude, that that water which maketh the stronger drink, is the more concocted and nourishing; though perhaps it be not so good for medicinal use. And such water commonly is the water of large and navigable rivers; and likewise in large and clean ponds of standing water; for upon both them the sun hath more power than upon fountains or small rivers. And I conceive that chalk-water is next them the best for going farthest in drink: for that also helpeth concoction; so it be out of a deep well; for then it cureth the rawness of the water; but chalky water, towards the top of the earth, is too fretting; as it appeareth in laundry of clothes, which wear out apace if you use such waters.
395. Fifthly, the housewives do find a difference in waters, for the bearing or not bearing of soap: and it is likely that the more fat water will bear soap best; for the hungry water doth kill the unctuous nature of the soap.
396. Sixthly, you may make a judgment of waters according to the place whence they spring or come: the rain-water is, by the physicians, esteemed the finest and the best; but yet it is said to putrify soonest; which is likely, because of the fineness of the spirit: and in conservatories of rain-water, such as they have in Venice, &c. they are found not so choice waters; the worse, perhaps, because they are covered aloft, and kept from the sun. Snowwater is held unwholesome; insomuch as the people that dwell at the foot of the snow mountains, or otherwise upon the ascent, especially the women, by drinking of snow-water, have great bags hanging under their throats. Well-water, except it be upon chalk, or a very plentiful spring, maketh meat red; which is an ill sign. Springs on the tops of hills are the best: for both they seem to have a lightness and appetite of mounting; and besides, they are most pure and unmingled; and again, are more percolated through a great space of earth. For waters in valleys join in effect under ground with all waters of the same level; whereas springs on the tops of hills pass through a great deal of pure earth with less mixture of other waters.
397. Seventhly, judgment may be made of waters by the soil whereupon the water runneth; as pebble is the cleanest and best tasted; and next to that, clay-water; and thirdly, water upon chalk; fourthly, that upon sand; and worst of all upon mud. Neither may you trust waters that taste sweet; for they are commonly found in rising grounds of great cities; which must needs take in a great deal of filth.
Experiment solitary touching the temperate heat under the equinoctial.
398. In Peru, and divers parts of the West Indies, though under the line, the heats are not so intolerable as they be in Barbary, and the skirts of the torrid zone. The causes are, first the great breezes which the motion of the air in great circles, such as are under the girdle of the world, produceth j which do refrigerate; and therefore in those parts noon is nothing so hot, when the breezes are great, as about nine or ten of the clock in the forenoon. Another cause is, for that the length of the night, and the dews thereof, do compensate the heat of the day. A third cause is the stay of the sun; not in respect of day and night, for that we spake of before, but in respect of the season; for under the line the sun crosseth the line, and maketh two summers and two winters, but in the skirts of the torrid zone it doubleth and goeth back again, and so maketh one long summer.
Experiment solitary touching the coloration of black and lawny Moors.
399. The heat of the sun maketh men black in some countries, as in ^Ethiopia and Guinea, &c. Fire doth it not, as we see in glass-men, that are continually about the fire. The reason may be, because fire doth lick up the spirits and blood of the body, so as they exhale; so that it ever maketh men look pale and sallow; but the sun, which is a gentler heat, doth but draw the blood to the outward parts; and rather concocteth it than soaketh itj and therefore we see that all .ffithiopes are fleshy
and plump, and have great lips; all which betoken moisture retained, and not drawn out. We see also that the Negroes are bred in countries that have plenty of water, by rivers or otherwise; for Meroe, which was the metropolis of ./Ethiopia, was upon a great lake: and Congo, where the Negroes are, is full of rivers. And the confines of the river Niger, where the Negroes also are, are well watered: and the region above Cape Verde is likewise moist, insomuch as it is pestilent through moisture: but the countries of the Abyssenes, and Barbary, and Peru, where they are tawny, and olivaster, and pale, are generally more sandy and dry. As for the iEthiopes, as they are plump and fleshy, so, it may be, they are sanguine and ruddy-coloured, if their black skin would suffer it to be seen.
Experiment solitary touching motion after the instant of death.
400. Some creatures do move a good while after their head is off; as birds: some a very little time; as men and all beasts: some move, though cut in several pieces; as snakes, eels, worms, flies, &c. First, therefore, it is certain, that the immediate cause of death is the resolution or extinguishment of the spirits; and that the destruction or corruption of the organs is but the mediate cause. But some organs are so peremptorily necessary, that the extinguishment of the spirits doth speedily follow; but yet so as there is an interim of a small time. It is reported by one of the ancients of credit, that a sacrificed beast hath lowed after the heart hath been severed: and it is a report also of credit, that the head of a pig hath been opened, and the brain put into the palm of a man's hand, trembling, without breaking any part of it, or severing it from the marrow of the back-bone; during which time the pig hath been, in all appearance, stark dead, and without motion; and after a small time the brain hath been replaced, and the skull of the pig closed, and the pig hath a little after gone about. And certain it is, that an eye upon revenge hath been thrust forth, so as it hanged a pretty distance by the visual nerve; and during that time the eye hath been without any power of sight; and yet after being replaced recovered sight. Now the spirits are chiefly in the head and cells of the brain, which in men and beasts are large; and therefore, when the head is off, they move little or nothing. But birds have small heads, and therefore the spirits are a little more dispersed in the sinews, whereby motion remaineth in them a little longer; insomuch, as it is extant in story, that an emperor of Rome, to show the certainty of his hand, did shoot a great forked arrow at an ostrich, as she ran swiftly upon the stage, and struck off her head; and yet she continued the race a little way with her head off. As for worms, and flies, and eels, the spirits are diffused almost all over; and therefore they move in their several pieces.
Erperiments in consort touching the acceleration of germination.
We will now inquire of plants or vegetables: and te shall do it with diligence. They are the principal part of the third day's work. They are the Srst producat, which is the word of animation: for the other words are but the words of essence: and they are of excellent and general use for food, medicine, and a number of mechanical arts.
401. There were sown in a bed, turnip-seed, radish-seed, wheat, cucumber-seed, and peas. The led we call a hot-bed, and the manner of it is this: there was taken horse-dung, old and well rotted; this was laid upon a bank half a foot high, and supported round about with planks; and upon the top was cast sifted earth, some two fingers deep; and then the seed sprinkled upon it, having been steeped all night in water mixed with cow-dung. The turnip-seed and the wheat came up half an inch above ground within two days after, without any watering. The rest the third day. The experiment was made in October; and, it may be, in the spring, the accelerating would have been the speedier. This is a noble experiment; for without this help they would have been four times as long in coming up. But there doth not occur to me, at this present, any use thereof for profit; except it should be for sowing of peas, which have their price «ry much increased by the early coming. It may he tried also with cherries, strawberries, and other fruit, which are dearest when they come early.
402. There was wheat steeped in water mixed with cow-dung; other in water mixed with horsedung; other in water mixed with pigeon-dung; other in urine of man j other in water mixed with chalk powdered; other in water mixed with soot; other in water mixed with ashes; other in water miied with bay-salt; other in claret wine; other in malmsey; other in spirit of wine. The proportion of the mixture was a fourth part of the ingredients to the water; gave that there was not of the salt above an eighth part. The urine, and wines, and spirit of wine, were simple without mixture of water. The time of the steeping was twelve hours. The bmc of the year October. There was also other *heat sown unsteeped, but watered twice a day with »arm water. There was also other wheat sown simple, to compare it with the rest. The event *as, that those that were in the mixture of dung, and mine, and soot, chalk, ashes, and salt, came up "ithin six days; and those that afterwards proved the highest, thickest, and most lusty, were first the wine; and then the dungs; next the chalk; next 'he soot; next the ashes; next the salt; next the "heat simple of itself, unsteeped and unwatered; r'txt the watered twice a day with warm water; next the claret wine. So that these three last were slower than the ordinary wheat of itself; and this
culture did rather retard than advance. As for those that were steeped in malmsey, and spirit of wine, they came not up at all. This is a rich experiment for profit; for the most of the steepings are cheap things ; and the goodness of the crop is a great matter of gain; if the goodness of the crop answer the earliness of the coming up, as it is like it will, both being from the vigour of the seed; which also partly appeared in the former experiments, as hath been said. This experiment would be tried in other grains, seeds, and kernels; for it may be some steeping will agree best with some seeds. It would be tried also with roots steeped as before, but for longer time. It would be tried also in several seasons of the year, especially the spring.
403. Strawberries watered now and then, as once in three days, with water wherein hath been steeped sheeps-dung or pigeons-dung, will prevent and come early. And it is like the same effect would follow in other berries, herbs, flowers, grains, or trees. And therefore it is an experiment, though vulgar in strawberries, yet not brought into use generally: for it is usual to help the ground with muck; and likewise to recomfort it sometimes with muck put to the roots; but to water it with muck water, w^hich is like to be more forcible, is not practised.
404. Dung, or chalk, or blood, applied in substance, seasonably, to the roots of trees, doth set them forwards. But to do it unto herbs, without mixture of water or earth, it maybe these helps are too hot.
405. The former means of helping germination, are either by the goodness and strength of the nourishment; or by the comforting and exciting the spirits in the plant to draw the nourishment better. And of this latter kind, concerning the comforting of the spirits of the plant, are also the experiments that follow; though they be not applications to the root or seed. The planting of trees warm upon a wall against the south, or south-east sun, doth hasten their coming on and ripening; and the south-east is found to be better than the south-west, though the south-west be the hotter coast. But the cause is chiefly, for that the heat of the morning succeedeth the cold of the night: and partly, because many times the south-west sun is too parching. So likewise the planting of them upon the back of a chimney where a fire is kept, doth hasten their coming on and ripening: nay more, the drawing of the boughs into the inside of a room where a fire is continually kept, worketh the same effect; which hath been tried with grapes ; insomuch as they will come a month earlier than the grapes abroad.
406. Besides the two means of accelerating germination formerly described; that is to say, the mending of the nourishment, and comforting of the spirit of the plant; there is a third, which is the making way for the easy coming to the nourish