« PreviousContinue »
effects before mentioned, whereunto these general notes give some light. For the dilatation of the month and lips, continued expulsion of the breath and voice, and shaking of the breast and sides, they proceed, all, from the dilatation of the spirits; especially being sudden. So likewise, the running of the eyes with water, as hath been formerly touched, nhere we spake of the tears of joy and grief, is an effect of dilatation of the spirits. And for suddenness, it is a great part of the matter: for we see, that any shrewd turn that lighteth upon another, or any deformity, &c. moveth laughter in the instant; which after a little time it doth not. So we cannot laugh at any thing after it is stale, but whilst it is new: and even in tickling, if you tickle the sides, and give warning; or give a hard or continued touch, it doth not move laughter so much.
722. Lust causeth a flagrancy in the eyes, and priapism. The cause of both these is, for that in lust, the sight and the touch are the things desired; and therefore the spirits resort to those parts which are most affected. And note well in general, for that great use may be made of the observation, that, evermore, the spirits, in all passions, resort much to the parts that labour most, or are most affected. As in the last which hath been mentioned, they resort to the eyes and venerous parts: in fear and anger to the heart: in shame to the face: and in light dislikes to the head.
Experiments in consort touching drunkenness.
723. It hath been observed by the ancients, and is yet believed, that the sperm of drunken men is unfruitful. The cause is, for that it is over-moistened, and wanteth spissitude: and we have a merry saying, that they that go drunk to bed get daughters.
724. Drunken men arc taken with a plain defect, or destitution in voluntary motion. They reel; they tremble; they cannot stand, nor speak strongly. The cause is, for that the spirits of the wine oppress the spirits animal, and occupy part of the place where they are; and so make them weak to move. And therefore drunken men are apt to fall asleep: and opiates, and stupefactives, as poppy, hen-bane, hemlock, &c. induce a kind of drunkenness, by the grossness of their vapour; as wine doth by the quantity of the vapour. Besides, they rob the spirits animal of their matter, whereby they are nourished: for the spirits of the wine prey upon it as well as they: and so they make the spirits less supple and apt to move.
725. Drunken men imagine every thing turneth round; they imagine also that things come upon 'hem; they see not well things afaroff; those things that they see near hand, they see out of their place; and sometimes they see things double. The cause °f the imagination that things turn round is, for 'hat the spirits themselves turn, being compressed by 'he vapour of the wine; for any liquid body upon compression turneth, as we see in water: and it is all one to the sight, whether the visual spirits move, or the object moveth, or the medium moveth. And *e see that long turning round breedeth the same
imagination. The cause of the imagination that things come upon them is, for that the spirits visual themselves draw back; which maketh the object seem to come on; and besides, when they see things turn round and move, fear maketh them think they come upon them. The cause that they cannot see things afar off, is the weakness of the spirits; for in every megrim or vertigo there is an obtencbration joined with a semblance of turning round; which we see also in the lighter sort of swoonings. The cause of seeing things out of their place, is the refraction of the spirits visual; for the vapour is as an unequal medium; and it is as the sight of things out of place in water. The cause of seeing things double, is the swift and unquiet motion of the spirits, being oppressed, to and fro; for as w-as said before, the motion of the spirits visual, and the motion of the object, make the same appearances; and for the swift motion of the object, we see, that if you fillip a lute-string, it showeth double or treble.
726. Men are sooner drunk with small draughts than with great. And again, wine sugared inebriateth less than wine pure. The cause of the former is, for that the wine descendeth not so fast to the bottom of the stomach, but maketh longer stay in the upper part of the stomach, and sendeth vapours faster to the head; and therefore inebriateth sooner. And for the same reason, sops in wine, quantity for quantity, inebriate more than wine of itself. The cause of the latter is, for that the sugar doth inspissate the spirits of the wine, and maketh them not so easy to resolve into vapour. Nay farther, it is thought to be some remedy against inebriating, if wine sugared be taken after wine pure. And the same effect is wrought either by oil or milk, taken upon much drinking.
Experiment solitary touching the help or hurt of wine, though moderately used.
727. The use of wine in dry and consumed bodies is hurtful; in moist and full bodies it is good. The cause is, for that the spirits of the wine do prey upon the dew or radical moisture, as they term it, of the body, and so deceive the animal spirits. But where there is moisture enough, or superfluous, there wine helpeth to digest, and desiccate the moisture.
Experiment solitary touching caterpillars.
728. The caterpillar is one of the most general of worms, and breedeth of dew and leaves; for we see infinite number of caterpillars which breed upon trees and hedges, by which the leaves of the trees or hedges are in great part consumed; as well by their breeding out of the leaf, as by their feeding upon the leaf. They breed in the spring chiefly, because then there is both dew and leaf. And they breed commonly when the east winds have much blown; the cause whereof is, the dryness of that wind; for to all vivification upon putrefaction, it is requisite the matter be not too moist: and therefore we see they have cobwebs about them, which is a sign of a slimy dryness; as we see upon the ground, whereupon, by dew and sun, cobwebs breed all over. We see also the green caterpillar breedeth in the inward parts of roses, especially not blown, where the dew sticketh; but especially caterpillars, both the greatest, and the most, breed upon cabbages, which have a fat leaf, and apt to putrify. The caterpillar, towards the end of summer, waxeth volatile, and turneth to a butterfly, or perhaps some other fly. There is a caterpillar that hath a fur or down upon it, and seemeth to have affinity with the silk-worm.
Experiment solitary touching the flies cantharides.
729. The flies cantharides are bred of a worm or caterpillar, but peculiar to certain fruit-trees ; as are the fig-tree, the pine-tree, and the wild brier; all which bear sweet fruit, and fruit that hath a kind of secret biting or sharpness: for the fig hath a milk in it that is sweet and corrosive; the pine-apple hath a kernel that is strong and abstersive ; the fruit of the brier is said to make children, or those that eat them, scabbed. And therefore no marvel, though cantharides have such a corrosive and cauterising qualily; for there is not any other of the insecta, but is bred of a duller matter. The body of the cantharides is bright coloured; and it may be, that the delicate coloured dragon-flies may have likewise some corrosive quality.
Experiments in consort touching lassitude.
730. Lassitude is remedied by bathing, or anointing with oil and warm water. The cause is, for that all lassitude is a kind of contusion, and compression of parts; and bathing and anointing give a relaxation or emollition; and the mixture of oil and water is better than either of them alone; because water entereth better into the pores, and oil after entry softeneth better. It is found also, that the taking of tobacco doth help and discharge lassitude. The reason whereof is, partly, because by cheering or comforting of the spirits, it openeth the parts compressed or contused; and chiefly because it refreshes the spirits by the opiate virtue thereof, and so dischargeth weariness, as sleep likewise doth.
731. In going up a hill, the knees will be most weary; in going down a hill, the thighs. The cause is, for that in the lift of the feet, when a man goeth up the hill, the weight of the body beareth most upon the knees; and in going down the hill, upon the thighs.
Experiment solitary touching the casting of the skin and shell in some creatures.
732. The casting of the skin is by the ancients compared to the breaking of the secundine, or caul, but not rightly: for that were to make every casting of the skin a new birth: and besides, the secundine is but a general cover, not shaped according to the parts, but the skin is shaped according to the parts. The creatures that cast their skin are the snake, the viper, the grasshopper, the lizard, the silk-worm, &c. Those that cast their shell are, the lobster, the crab, the crawfish, the hodmandod or dodman, the tortoise, &c. The old skins are found, but the old shells never: so as it is like, they scale
off, and crumble away by degrees. And they are known by the extreme tenderness and softness of the new shell, and sometimes by the freshness of the colour of it. The cause of the casting of skin and shell should seem to be the great quantity of matter in those creatures that is fit to make skin or shell: and again, the looseness of the skin or shell, that sticketh not close to the flesh. For it is certain, that it is the new skin or shell that putteth off the old: so we see, that in deer it is the young horn that putteth off the old; and in birds, the young feathers put off the old: and so birds that have much matter for their beak, cast their beaks, the new beak putting off the old.
Experiments in consort touching the postures of the body.
733. Lying not erect, but hollow, which is in the making of the bed; or with the legs gathered up, which is in the posture of the body, is the more wholesome. The reason is, the better comforting of the stomach, which is by that less pensile: and we see that in weak stomachs, the laying up of the legs high, and the knees almost to the mouth, helpeth and comforteth. We see also, that galleyslaves, notwithstanding their misery otherwise, are commonly fat and fleshy; and the reason is, because the stomach is supported somewhat in sitting, and is pensile in standing or going. And therefore, for prolongation of life, it is good to choose those exercises where the limbs move more than the stomach and belly; as in rowing, and in sawing, being set.
734. Megrims and giddiness are rather when we rise after long sitting, than while we sit. The cause is, for that the vapours, which were gathered by sitting, by the sudden motion fly more up into the head.
735. Leaning long upon any part maketh it numb, and, as we call it, asleep. The cause is, for that the compression of the part suflereth not the spirits to have free access; and therefore when we come outof it, we feel a stinging or pricking, which is the re-entrance of the spirits.
Experiment solitary touching pestilential years.
736. It hath been noted, that those years are pestilential and unwholesome, when there are great numbers of frogs, flies, locusts, &c. The cause is plain; for that those creatures being engendered of putrefaction, when they abound, show a general disposition of the year, and constitution of the air, to diseases of putrefaction. And the same prognostic, as hath been said before, holdeth, if you find worms in oak-apples: for the constitution of the air appeareth more subtilly in any of these things, than to the sense of man.
Experiment solitary touching the prognostics of hard winters.
737. It is an observation amongst country people, that years of store of haws and hips do commonly portend cold winters; and they ascribe it to God's providence, that, as the Scripture saith, reacheth even to the falling of a sparrow; and much more is like to reach to the preservation of birds in such seasons. The natural cause also may be the want of heat, and abundance of moisture, in the summer precedent j which putteth forth those fruits, and must needs leave great quantity of cold vapours not dissipated; which causeth the cold of the winter following.
Experiment solitary touching medicines that condense and relieve the spirits.
738. They have in Turkey a drink called coffee, made of a berry of the same name, as black as soot, and of a strong scent, but not aromatical; which they take, beaten into powder, in water, as hot as they can drink it: and they take it, and sit at it in their coffee-houses, which are like our taverns. This drink comforteth the brain and heart, and helpeth digestion. Certainly this berry coffee, the root and leaf beetle, the leaf tobacco, and the tear of poppy, opium, of which the Turks are great takers, supposing it expelleth all fear, do all condense the spirits, and make them strong and aleger. But itseemeth they are taken after several manners; for coffee and opium are taken down, tobacco but in smoke, and beetle is but champed in the mouth with a little lime. It is like there arc more of them, if they were well found out, and well corrected. Query, of henbane-seed; of mandrake; of saffron, root and flower; of folium indicum j of ambcrgrease; of the Assyrian amomum, if it may be had; and of the scarlet powder which they call kermes; and, generally, of all such things as do inebriate and provoke sleep. Note, that tobacco is not taken in root or seed, which are more forcible ever than leaves.
Eiperiment solitary touching paintings of the body.
739. The Turks have a black powder, made of a mineral called alcohol, which with a fine long pencil they lay under their eye-lids, which doth colour them black; whereby the white of the eye is set off more white. With the same powder they colour also the hairs of their eye-lids, and of their eyebrows, which they draw into embowed arches. You shall find that Xenophon maketh mention, that the Medes used to paint their eyes. The Turks use with the same tincture to colour the hair of their heads and beards black. And divers with us that are grown grey, and yet would appear young, find means to make their hair black, by combing it, as they say, with a leaden comb, or the like. As for the Chineses, who are of an ill complexion, being disaster, they paint their cheeks scarlet, especially their king and grandees. Generally, barbarous people, that go naked, do not only paint themselves, but they pounce and raise their skin, that the painting may not be taken forth; and make it into works. So do the West Indians; and so did the ancient Picts and Britons; so that it scemeth men would have the colours of birds' feathers, if they could tell how; or at least they will have gay skins instead of gay clothes.
Experiment solitary touching the use of bathing and anointing.
740. It is strange that the use of bathing, as a part of diet, is left. With the Romans and Grecians it was as usual as eating or sleeping; and so is it amongst the Turks at this day; whereas with us it remaineth but as a part of physic. I am of opinion, that the use of it, as it was with the Romans, was hurtful to health: for that it made the body soft, and easy to waste. For the Turks it is more proper, because that their drinking w-ater and feeding upon rice, and other food of small nourishment, maketh their bodies so solid and hard, as you need not fear that bathing should make them frothy. Besides, the Turks are great sitters, and seldom walk; whereby they sweat less and need bathing more. But yet certain it is that bathing, and especially anointing, may be so used as it may be a great help to health, and prolongation of life. But hereof we shall speak in due place, when we come to handle experiments medicinal.
Experiments in consort touching chambletting of paper.
741. The Turks have a pretty art of chambletting of paper, which is not with us in use. They take divers oiled colours, and put them severally, in drops, upon water, and stir the water lightly, and then wet their paper, being of some thickness, with it, and the paper will be wTaved and veined, like chamblet or marble.
Experiment solitary touching cuttle-ink.
742. It is somewhat strange, that the blood of all birds and beasts and fishes should be of a red colour, and only the blood of the cuttle should be as black as ink. A man would think, that the cause should be the high concoction of that blood; for we see in ordinary puddings, that the boiling tumeth the blood to be black; and the cuttle is accounted a delicate meat, and is much in request.
Experiment solitary touching increase of weight in earth.
743. It is reported of credit, that if you take earth from land adjoining to the river of Nile, and preserve it in that manner that it neither come to be wet nor wasted j and weigh it daily, it will not alter weight until the seventeenth of June, which is the day wjien the river beginneth to rise; and then it will grow more and more ponderous, till the river cometh to its height. Which if it be true, it cannot be caused but by the air, which then beginneth to condense; and so turneth within that small mold into a degree of moisture, which produceth weight. So it hath been observed, that tobacco cut, and weighed, and then dried by the fire, loseth weight; and after being laid in the open air, recovereth weight again. And it should seem that as soon as ever the river beginneth to increase, the whole body of the air thereabouts suffereth a change: for, that which is more strange, it is credibly affirmed, that upon that very day when the river first riseth, great plagues in Cairo use suddenly to break up.
Experiments in consort touching sleep.
744. Those that are very cold, and especially in their feet, cannot get to sleep: the cause may be, for that in sleep is required a free respiration, which cold doth shut in and hinder; for we see that in great colds one can scarce draw his breath. Another cause may be, for that cold calleth the spirits to succour; and therefore they cannot so well close, and go together in the head: which is ever requisite to sleep. And for the same cause, pain and noise hinder sleep; and darkness, contrariwise, furthereth sleep.
745. Some noises, whereof we spake in the hundred and twelfth experiment, help sleep: as the blowing of the wind, the trickling of water, humming of bees, soft singing, reading, &c. The cause is, for that they move in the spirits a gentle attention j and whatsoever movetli attention without too much labour stilleth the natural and discursive motion of the spirits.
746. Sleep nonrisheth, or at least preserveth bodies, a long time, without other nourishment. Beasts that sleep in winter, as it is noted of wild bears, during their sleep wax very fat, though they eat nothing. Bats have been found in ovens and other hollow close places, matted one upon another: and therefore it is likely that they sleep in the winter time, and eat nothing. Query, whether bees do not sleep all winter, and spare their honey? Butterflies, and other flies, do not only sleep, but lie as dead all winter: and yet with a little heat of sun or fire, revive again. A dormouse both winter and summer, will sleep some days together, and eat nothing.
Ejcperiments in consort touching teeth and hard substances in the bodies of living creatures.
To restore teeth in age, were magnale natura?. It may be thought of. But howsoever, the nature of the teeth deservcth to be inquired of, as well as the other parts of living creatures' bodies. »
747. There be five parts in the bodies of living creatures, that are of hard substance; the skull, the teeth, the bones, the horns, and the nails. The greatest quantity of hard substance continued is towards the head. For there is the skull of an entire bone; there are the teeth; there are the maxillary bones; there is the hard bone that is the instrument of hearing; and thence issue the horns; so that the building of living creatures' bodies is like*the building of a timber house, where the walls and other parts have columns and beams; but the roof is, in the better sort of houses, all tile, or lead, or stone. As for birds, they have three other hard substances proper to them; the bill, which is of like matter with the teeth: for no birds have teeth: the shell of the egg: and their quills: for as for their spur, it is but a nail. But no living creatures that have shells very hard, as oysters, cockles, muscles, scallops, crabs, lobsters, crawfish, shrimps, and especially the tortoise, have bones within them, but only little gristles.
748. Bones, after full growth, continue at a stay; and so doth the skull: horns, in some creatures, are cast and renewed: teeth stand at a stay, except their wearing: as for nails, they grow continually: and bills and beaks will overgrow, and sometimes be cast j as in eagles and parrots.
749. Most of the hard substances fly to the extremes of the body: as skull, horns, teeth, nails, and beaks: only the bones are more inward, and clad with flesh. As for the entrails, they are all without bones; save that a bone is, sometimes, found in the heart of a stag; and it may be in some other creature.
750. The skull hath brains, as a kind of marrow, within it. The back-bone hath one kind of marrow, which hath an affinity with the brain; and other bones of the body have another. The jaw-bones have no marrow severed, but a little pulp of marrow diffused. Teeth likewise are thought to have a kind of marrow diffused, which causeth the sense and pain; but it is rather sinew j for marrow hath no sense; no more than blood. Horn is alike throughout; and so is the nail.
751. None other of the hard substances have sense, but the teeth; and the teeth have sense, not only of pain but of cold.
But we will leave the inquiries of other hard substances unto their several places; and now inquire only of the teeth.
752. The teeth are, in men, of three kinds; sharp, as the fore-teeth; broad, as the back-teeth, which we call the molar-teeth, or grinders; and pointed teeth, or canine, which are between both. But there have been some men that have had their teeth undivided, as of one whole bone, with some little mark in the place of the division; as Pyrrhus had. Some creatures have over-long or out-growing teeth, which we call fangs, or tusks: as boars, pikes, salmons, and dogs, though less. Some living creatures have teeth against teeth; as men and horses; and some have teeth, especially their master-teeth, indented one within another like saws, as lions; and so again have dogs. Some fishes have divers rows of teeth in the roofs of their mouths; as pikes, salmons, trouts, &c. And many more in salt waters. Snakes and other serpents have venomous teeth; which are sometimes mistaken for their sting.
753. No beast that hath horns hath upper teeth; and no beast that hath teeth above wanteth them below: but yet if they be of the same kind, it followeth not, that if the hard matter goeth not into upper teeth, it will go into horns; nor yet e converso; for does, that have no horns, have no upper teeth.
754. Horses have, at three years old, a tooth put forth, which they call a colt's tooth; and at four years old there cometh the mark tooth, which hath a hole as big as you may lay a pea within it: and that weareth shorter and shorter every year; till that at eight years old the tooth is smooth, and the hole gone; and then they say, that the mark is out of the horse's mouth.
755. The teeth of men breed first, when the child is about a year and half old: and then they cast them, and new come about seven years old. But divers have backward teeth come forth at twenty, yea, some at thirty and forty. Query, of the manner of the coming of them forth. They tell a tale of the old Countess of Desmond, who lived till she was seven score years old, that she did dentire twice or thrice; casting her old teeth, and others coming in their place.
756. Teeth are much hurt by sweetmeats; and by painting with mercury; and by things over-hot; and things over-cold; and by rheums. And the pain of the teeth is one of the sharpest of pains.
757. Concerning teeth, these things are to be considered. 1. The preserving of them. 2. The keeping of them white. 8. The drawing of them with least pain- 4. The staying and easing of the toothache. 5. The binding in of artificial teeth, where teeth have been strucken out. 6. And last of all, that great one of restoring teeth in age. The instances that give any likelihood of restoring teeth in age, are the late coming of teeth in some; and the renewing of the beaks in birds, which are cornmaterial with teeth. Query, therefore, more particularly how that cometh. And again, the renewing of horns. But yet that hath not been known to have been provoked by art; therefore let trial be made, whether horns may be procured to grow in beasts that are not horned, and how? And whether they may be procured to come larger than usual; as to make an ox or a deer have a greater head of horns? And whether the head of a deer, that by age is more spitted, may be brought again to be more branched? for these trials, and the like, will show, whether by art such hard matter can be called and provoked. It may be tried also, whether birds may not have something done to them when they are young, whereby they may be made to have greater or longer bills; or greater and longer talons? And whether children may not have some wash, or something to make their teeth better and stronger? Coral is in use as a help to the teeth of children.
Ei-ptriments in consort touching the generation and bearing of living creatures in the womb,
758. Some living creatures generate but at certain seasons of the year; as deer, sheep, wild conies, &c. and most sorts of birds and fishes: others at any time of the year, as men; and all domestic creatures, as horses, hogs, dogs, cats, &c. The cause of generation at all seasons seemeth to be fulness: for generation is from redundance. This fulness ariseth from two causes; either from the nature of the creature, if it be hot, and moist, and sanguine; or from plenty of food. For the first, men, horses, •logs, &c. which breed at all seasons, are full of heat ■wd moisture; doves are the fullest of heat and moisture amongst birds, and therefore breed often j the tame dove almost continually. But deer are a melancholy dry creature, as appeareth by their fearfulness, and the hardness of their flesh. Sheep are a cold creature, as appeareth by their mildness, and for that they seldom drink. Most sort of birds are
of a dry substance in comparison of beasts. Fishes are cold. For the second cause, fulness of food; men, kine, swine, dogs, &c. feed full; and we see that those creatures, which being wild, generate seldom, being tame, generate often; which is from warmth, and fulness of food. We find, that the time of going to rut of deer is in September; for that they need the whole summer's feed and grass to make them fit for generation. And if rain come early about the middle of September, they go to rut somewhat the sooner; if drought, somewhat the later. So sheep, in respect of their small heat, generate about the same time, or somewhat before. But for the most part, creatures that generate at certain seasons, generate in the spring; as birds and fishes; for that the end of the winter, and the heat and comfort of the spring prepareth them. There is also another reason why some creatures generate at certain seasons ; and that is the relation of their time of bearing to the time of generation; for no creature goeth to generate whilst the female is full; nor whilst she is busy in sitting, or rearing her young. And therefore it is found by experience, that if you take the eggs or young ones out of the nests of birds, they will fall to generate again three or four times one after another.
759. Of living creatures, some are longer time in the womb, and some shorter. Women go commonly nine months; the cow and the ewe about six months; does go about nine months; mares eleven months; bitches nine weeks; elephants are said to go two years; for the received tradition of ten years is fabulous. For birds there is double inquiry; the distance between the treading or coupling, and the laying of the egg; and again, between the egg laid, and the disclosing or hatching. And amongst birds, there is less diversity of time than amongst other creatures; yet some there is; for the hen sitteth but three weeks, the turkey-hen, goose, and duck, a month: Query, of others. The cause of the great difference of times amongst living creatures is, either from the nature of the kind, or from the constitution- of the womb. For the former, those that are longer in coming to their maturity or growth are longer in the womb; as is chiefly seen in men : and so elephants, which are long in the womb, are long time in coming to their full growth. But in most other kinds, the constitution of the womb, that is, the hardness or dryness thereof, is concurrent with the former cause. For the colt hath about four years of growth ; and so the fawn; and so the calf. But whelps, which come to their growth, commonly, within three quarters of a year, are but nine weeks in the womb. As for birds, as there is less diversity amongst them in the time of their bringing forth; so there is less diversity in the time of their growth: most of them coming to their growth within a twelvemonth.
760. Some creatures bring forth many young ones at a burden: as bitches, hares, conies, &c. Some ordinarily but one; as women, lionesses, &c. This may be caused, either by the quantity of sperm required to the producing one of that kind; which if less be required, may admit greater number j if