« PreviousContinue »
generate an extreme rarefaction of the air; which is an action materiate, differing from the action of sound; if it be true, which is anciently reported, that birds with great shouts have fallen down.
Dissents of visibles and audibles.
268. The species of visibles seem to be emissions of beams from the objects seen, almost like odours, save that they are more incorporeal: but the species of audibles seem to participate more with local motion, like percussions, or impressions made upon the air. So that whereas all bodies do seem to work in two manners, either by the communication of their natures, or by the impressions and signatures of their motions; the diffusion of species visible seemeth to participate more of the former operation, and the species audible of the latter.
269. The species of audibles seem to be carried more manifestly through the air than the species of visibles; for I conceive that a contrary strong wind will not much hinder the sight of visibles, as it will do the hearing of sounds.
270. There is one difference above all others between visibles and audibles, that is the most remarkable, as that whereupon many smaller differences depend: namely, that visibles, except lights, are carried in right lines, and audibles in arcuate lines. Hence it cometh to pass, that visibles do not intermingle and confound one another, as hath | been said before; but sounds do. Hence it cometh, that the solidity of bodies doth not much hinder the sight, so that the bodies be clear, and the pores in a right line, as in glass, crystal, diamonds, water, &c. but a thin scarf or handkerchief, though they be bodies nothing so solid, hinder the sight: whereas contrariwise, these porous bodies do not much hinder the hearing, but solid bodies do almost stop it, or at the least attenuate it. Hence also it cometh, that to the reflexion of visibles small glasses suffice; but to the reverberation of audibles are required greater spaces, as hath likewise been said before.
271. Visibles are seen farther off than sounds are heard; allowing nevertheless the rate of their bigness; for otherwise a great sound will be heard farther off than a small body seen.
272. Visibles require, generally, some distance between the object and the eye, to be better seen; whereas in audibles, the nearer the approach of the sound is to the sense, the better. But in this there may be a double error. The one, because to seeing there is required light; and any thing that touch eth the pupil of the eye all over excludeth the light. For I have heard of a person very credible, who himself was cured of a cataract in one of his eyes, that while the silver needle did work upon the sight of his eye, to remove the film of the cataract, he never saw any thing more clear or perfect than that white needle: which, no doubt, was, because the needle was lesser than the pupil of the eye, and so took not the light from it. The other error may be, for that the object of sight doth strike upon the pupil of the eye directly without any interception; whereas the cave of the ear doth hold off the sound
a little from the organ and so nevertheless there is some distance required in both.
273. Visibles are swiftlier carried to the sense than audibles; as appeareth in thunder and lightning, flame and report of a piece, motion of the air in hewing of wood. All which have been set down heretofore, but are proper for this title.
274. I conceive also, that the species of audibles do hang longer in the air than those of visibles : for although even those of visibles do hang some time, as we see in rings turned, that show like spheres; in lutestrings filliped; a fire-brand carried along, which leaveth a train of light behind it; and in the twilight; and the like: yet I conceive that sounds stay longer, because they are carried up and down with the wind; and because of the distance of the time in ordnance discharged, and heard twenty miles off.
275. In visibles there are not found objects so odious and ingrate to the sense as in audibles. For foul sights do rather displease, in that they excite the memory of foul things, than in the immediate objects. And therefore in pictures, those foul sights do not much offend; but in audibles, the grating of a saw, when it is sharpened, doth offend so much, as it setteth the teeth on edge. And any of the harsh discords in music the air doth straightways refuse.
276. In visibles, after great light, if you come suddenly into the dark, or contrariwise, out of the dark into a glaring light, the eye is dazzled for a time, and the sight confused; but whether any such effect be after great sounds, or after a deep silence, may be better inquired. It is an old tradition, that those that dwell near the cataracts of Nilus, are strucken deaf: but we find no such effect in cannoniers, nor millers, nor those that dwell upon bridges.
277. It seemeth that the impression of colour is so weak, as it worketh not but by a cone of direct beams, or right lines, whereof the basis is in the object, and the vertical point in the eye; so as there is a corradiation and conjunction of beams: and those beams so sent forth, yet are not of any force to beget the like borrowed or second beams, except it be by reflexion, whereof we speak not. For the beams pass, and give little tincture to that air which is adjacent; which if they did, we should see colours out of a right line. But as this is in colours, so otherwise it is in the body of light. For when there is a skreen between the candle and the eye, yet the light passeth to the paper whereon one writeth; so that the light is seen where the body of the flame is not seen, and where any colour, if it were placed where the body of the flame is, would not be seen. I judge that sound is of this latter nature; for when two are placed on both sides of a wall, and the voice is heard, I judge it is not only the original sound which passeth in an arched line; but the sound which passeth above the wall in a right line, begetteth the like motion round about it as the first did, though more weak. Experiments in consort touching the sympathy or antipathy of sounds one with another. 278. All concords and discords of music are, no
doubt, sympathies and antipathies of sounds. so, likewise, in that music which we call broken music, or consort music, some consorts of instruments are sweeter than others, a thing not sufficiently yet observed as the Irish harp and base viol agree well: the recorder and stringed music agree well: organs and the voice agree well, &c. But the virginals and the lute; or the Welsh harp and Irish harp; or the voice and pipes alone, agree not so well: but for the melioration of music, there is yet much left, in this point of exquisite consorts, to try and inquire.
279. There is a common observation, that if a lute or viol be laid upon the back, with a small straw upon one of the strings; and another lute or viol be laid by it; and in the other lute or viol the unison to that string be strucken, it will make the string move; which will appear both to the eye, and by the straw's falling off. The like will be, if the diapason or eighth to that string be strucken, either in the same lute or viol, or in others lying by: but in none of these there is any report of sound that can be discerned, but only motion.
280. It was devised, that a viol should have a lay of wire-strings below, as close to the belly as a lute; and then the strings of guts mounted upon a bridge as in ordinary viols; to the end that by this means the upper strings strucken should make the lower resound by sympathy, and so make the music the better; which if it be to purpose, then sympathy worketh as well by report of sound as by motion. But this device I conceive to be of no use, because the upper strings, which are stopped in great variety, cannot maintain a diapason or unison with the lower, which are never stopped. But if it should be of use at all, it must be in instruments which have no stops, as virginals and harps; wherein trial may be made of two rows of strings, distant the one from the other.
281. The experiment of sympathy may be transferred, perhaps, from instruments of strings to other instruments of sound. As to try, if there were in one steeple two bells of unison, whether the striking of the one would move the other, more than if it were another accord: and so in pipes, if they be of equal bore and sound, whether a little straw or feather would move in the one pipe, when the other is blown at an unison.
282. It seemeth, both in ear and eye, the instrument of sense hath a sympathy or similitude with that which giveth the reflexion, as hath been touched before for as the sight of the eye is like a crystal, or glass, or water; so is the ear a sinuous cave, with a hard bone to stop and reverberate the sound: which is like to the places that report echos. Experiments in consort touching the hindering or helping of the hearing.
283. When a man yawneth, he cannot hear so well. The cause is, for that the membrane of the ear is extended; and so rather casteth off the sound than draweth it to.
284. We hear better when we hold our breath than contrary insomuch as in all listening to attain
a sound afar off men hold their breath. The cause is, for that in all expiration the motion is outwards; and therefore rather driveth away the voice than draweth it: and besides we see, that in all labour to do things with any strength, we hold the breath; and listening after any sound that is heard with difficulty, is a kind of labour.
285. Let it be tried, for the help of the hearing, and I conceive it likely to succeed, to make an instrument like a tunnel; the narrow part whereof may be of the bigness of the hole of the ear; and the broader end much larger, like a bell at the skirts; and the length half a foot or more. And let the narrow end of it be set close to the ear: and mark whether any sound, abroad in the open air, will not be heard distinctly from farther distance, than without that instrument; being, as it were, an ear-spectacle. And I have heard there is in Spain an instrument in use to be set to the ear, that helpeth somewhat those that are thick of hearing.
286. If the mouth be shut close, nevertheless there is yielded by the roof of the mouth a murmur; such as is used by dumb men. But if the nostrils be likewise stopped, no such murmur can be made : except it be in the bottom of the palate towards the throat. Whereby it appeareth manifestly that a sound in the mouth, except such as aforesaid, if the mouth be stopped, passeth from the palate through the nostrils.
Experiments in consort touching the spiritual and
fine nature of sounds.
287. The repercussion of sounds, which we call echo, is a great argument of the spiritual essence of sounds. For if it were corporeal, the repercussion should be created in the same manner, and by like instruments, with the original sound: but we see what a number of exquisite instruments must concur in speaking of words, whereof there is no such matter in the returning of them, but only a plain stop and repercussion.
288. The exquisite differences of articulate sounds, carried along in the air, show that they cannot be signatures or impressions in the air, as hath been well refuted by the ancients. For it is true, that seals make excellent impressions; and so it may be thought of sounds in their first generation but then the delation and continuance of them without any new sealing, show apparently they cannot be impressions.
289. All sounds are suddenly made, and do suddenly perish: but neither that, nor the exquisite differences of them, is matter of so great admiration : for the quaverings and warblings in lutes and pipes are as swift; and the tongue, which is no very fine instrument, doth in speech make no fewer motions than there be letters in all the words which are uttered. But that sounds should not only be so speedily generated, but carried so far every way in such a momentary time, deserveth more admiration. As for example, if a man stand in the middle of a field and speak aloud, he shall be heard a furlong in round; and that shall be in articulate sounds; and those shall be entire in every little portion of the air;
and this shall be done in the space of less than a
290. The sudden generation and perishing of sounds, must be one of these two ways. Either that the air suffereth some force by sound, and then restoreth itself, as water doth; which being divided maketh many circles, till it restore itself to the natural consistence: or otherwise, that the air doth willingly imbibe the sound as grateful, but cannot maintain it; for that the air hath, as it should seem, a secret and hidden appetite of receiving the sound at the first; but then other gross and more materiate qualities of the air straightways suffocate it; like unto flame, which is generated with alacrity, but straight quenched by the enmity of the air or other ambient bodies.
There be these differences in general, by which sounds are divided: 1. Musical, immusical. Treble, base. 3. Flat, sharp. 4. Soft, loud. 5. Exterior, interior. 6. Clean, harsh, or purling. 7. Articulate, inarticulate.
We have laboured, as may appear, in this inquisition of sounds diligently; both because sound is one of the most hidden portions of nature, as we said in the beginning, and because it is a virtue which may be called incorporeal and immateriate; whereof there be in nature but few. Besides, we were willing, now in these our first centuries, to make a pattern or precedent of an exact inquisition; and we shall do the like hereafter in some other subjects which require it. For we desire that men should learn and perceive, how severe a thing the true inquisition of nature is; and should accustom themselves by the light of particulars to enlarge their minds to the amplitude of the world, and not reduce the world to the narrowness of their minds. Experiment solitary touching the orient colours in dissolution of metals.
291. Metals give orient and fine colours in dissolutions; as gold giveth an excellent yellow; quicksilver an excellent green; tin giveth an excellent azure: likewise in their putrefactions or rusts; as vermilion, verdigrease, bise, cirrus, &c. and likewise in their vitrifactions. The cause is, for that by their strength of body they are able to endure the fire or strong waters, and to be put into an equal posture; and again to retain a part of their principal spirit which two things, equal posture and quick spirits, are required chiefly to make colours lightsome.
example of the former of these is in a country life; and of the latter in monks and philosophers, and such as do continually enjoin themselves.
Experiment solitary touching appetite of union in bodies.
293. It is certain that in all bodies there is an appetite of union, and evitation of solution of continuity and of this appetite there be many degrees; but the most remarkable and fit to be distinguished are three. The first in liquors; the second in hard bodies; and the third in bodies cleaving or tenacious. In liquors this appetite is weak: we see in liquors, the threading of them in stillicides, as hath been said; the falling of them in round drops, which is the form of union; and the staying of them for a little time in bubbles and froth. In the second degree or kind, this appetite is strong; as in iron, in stone, in wood, &c. In the third, this appetite is in a medium between the other two: for such bodies do partly follow the touch of another body, and partly stick and continue to themselves; and therefore they rope, and draw themselves in threads; as we see in pitch, glue, bird-lime, &c. But note, that all solid bodies are cleaving more or less: and that they love better the touch of somewhat that is tangible, than of air. For water in small quantity cleaveth to any thing that is solid: and so would metal too, if the weight drew it not off. And therefore gold foliate, or any metal foliate, cleaveth but those bodies which are noted to be clammy and cleaving, are such as have a more indifferent appetite at once to follow another body, and to hold to themselves. And therefore they are commonly bodies ill mixed; and which take more pleasure in a foreign body, than in preserving their own consistence; and which have little predominance in drought or moisture.
Experiments solitary touching the like operations of
heat and time.
294. Time and heat are fellows in many effects. Heat drieth bodies that do easily expire; as parchment, leaves, roots, clay, &c. And so doth time or age arefy; as in the same bodies, &c. Heat dissolveth and melteth bodies that keep in their spirits; as in divers liquefactions: and so doth time in some bodies of a softer consistence, as is manifest in honey, which by age waxeth more liquid, and the like in sugar; and so in old oil, which is ever more clear and more hot in medicinable use. Heat causeth the spirits to search some issue out of the body; as in the volatility of metals; and so doth time; as in the rust of metals. But generally heat doth that in small time which age doth in long.
tions of fire and time.
Experiment solitary touching prolongation of life. 292. It conduceth unto long life, and to the more placid motion of the spirits, which thereby do less prey and consume the juice of the body, either that men's actions be free and voluntary, that no-Experiment solitary touching the differing operathing be done invita Minerva, but secundum genium; or on the other side, that the actions of men be full of regulation and commands within themselves: for then the victory and performing of the command giveth a good disposition to the spirits; especially if there be a proceeding from degree to degree; for then the sense of the victory is the greater. An
295. Some things which pass the fire are softest at first, and by time grow hard, as the crumb of bread Some are harder when they come from the fire, and afterwards give again, and grow soft, as the crust of bread, bisket, sweetmeats, salt, &c. The cause is, for that in those things which wax hard
with time, the work of the fire is a kind of melting;
and in those that wax soft with time, contrariwise, the work of the fire is a kind of baking; and whatsoever the fire baketh, time doth in some degree dissolve.
Experiment solitary touching motions by imitation.
296. Motions pass from one man to another, not so much by exciting imagination as by invitation; especially if there be an aptness or inclination before. Therefore gaping, or yawning, and stretching do pass from man to man; for that that causeth gaping and stretching is, when the spirits are a little heavy by any vapour, or the like. For then they strive, as it were, to wring out and expel that which loadeth them. So men drowsy, and desirous to sleep, or before the fit of an ague, do use to yawn and stretch; and do likewise yield a voice or sound, which is an interjection of expulsion; so that if another be apt and prepared to do the like, he followeth by the sight of another. So the laughing of another maketh to laugh.
Experiment solitary touching infectious diseases.
297. There be some known diseases that are infectious; and others that are not. Those that are infectious are, first, such as are chiefly in the spirits, and not so much in the humours; and therefore pass easily from body to body; such are pestilences, lippitudes, and such like. Secondly, such as taint the breath, which we see passeth manifestly from man to man; and not invisibly, as the effects of the spirits do; such are consumptions of the lungs, &c. Thirdly, such as come forth to the skin, and therefore taint the air or the body adjacent; especially if they consist in an unctuous substance not apt to dissipate; such are scabs and leprosy. Fourthly, such as are merely in the humours, and not in the spirits, breath, or exhalations; and therefore they never infect but by touch only; and such a touch also as cometh within the epidermis; as the venom of the French pox, and the biting of a mad dog. Experiment solitary touching the incorporation of powders and liquors.
298. Most powders grow more close and coherent by mixture of water, than by mixture of oil, though oil be the thicker body; as meal, &c. The reason is the congruity of bodies; which if it be more, maketh a perfecter imbibition and incorporation; which in most powders is more between them and water, than between them and oil; but painters' colours ground, and ashes, do better incorporate with oil.
Experiment solitary touching exercise of the body.
299. Much motion and exercise is good for some bodies; and sitting and less motion for others. If the body be hot and void of superfluous moistures, too much motion hurteth: and it is an error in physicians, to call too much upon exercise. Likewise men ought to beware, that they use not exercise and a spare diet both; but if much exercise, then a plentiful diet; and if sparing diet, then little exercise. The benefits that come of exercise are, first, that it sendeth nourishment into the parts more forcibly. Secondly, that it helpeth to excern by sweat, and so maketh the parts assimilate the more perfectly. Thirdly, that it maketh the substance of the body more solid and compact; and so less apt to be consumed and depredated by the spirits. The evils that come of exercise are, first, that it maketh the spirits more hot and predatory. Secondly, that it doth absorb likewise, and attenuate too much the moisture of the body. Thirdly, that it maketh too great concussion, especially if it be violent, of the inward parts, which delight more in rest. But generally exercise, if it be much, is no friend to prolongation of life; which is one cause why women live longer than men, because they stir less.
Experiment solitary touching meats that induce
300. Some food we may use long, and much, without glutting; as bread, flesh that is not fat or rank, &c. Some other, though pleasant, glutteth sooner; as sweet-meats, fat meats, &c. The cause is, for that appetite consisteth in the emptiness of the mouth of the stomach; or possessing it with somewhat that is astringent; and therefore cold and dry. But things that are sweet and fat are more filling; and do swing and hang more about the mouth of the stomach; and go not down so speedily and again turn sooner to choler, which is hot, and ever abateth the appetite. We see also that another cause of satiety is an over-custom; and of appetite is novelty; and therefore meats if the same be continually taken, induce loathing. To give the reason of the distaste of satiety, and of the pleasure in novelty; and to distinguish not only the meats and drinks, but also in motions, loves, company, delights, studies, what they be that custom maketh more grateful, and what more tedious, were a large field. But for meats, the cause is attraction, which is quicker, and more excited towards that which is new, than towards that whereof there remaineth a relish by former use. And, generally, it is a rule, that whatsoever is somewhat ingrate at first, is made grateful by custom; but whatsoever is too pleasing at first, groweth quickly to satiate.
Experiments in consort touching the clarification of liquors, and the accelerating thereof.
ACCELERATION of time, in works of nature, may well be esteemed inter magnalia naturæ. And even in divine miracles, accelerating of the time is next to the creating of the matter. We will now therefore proceed to the inquiry of it: and for acceleration of germination, we will refer it over unto the place where we shall handle the subject of plants generally; and will now begin with other accelerations.
work; for though the lees do make the liquor turbid, yet they refine the spirits. Take therefore a vessel of new beer, and take another vessel of new beer, and rack the one vessel from the lees, and pour the lees of the racked vessel into the unracked vessel, and see the effect: this instance is referred to the refining of the spirits.
307. Take new beer, and put in some quantity of stale beer into it, and see whether it will not accelerate the clarification, by opening the body of the beer, and cutting the grosser parts, whereby they may fall down into lees. And this instance again is referred to separation.
301. Liquors are, many of them, at the first thick and troubled; as muste, wort, juices of fruits, or 308. The longer malt or herbs, or the like, are herbs expressed, &c. and by time they settle and infused in liquor, the more thick and troubled the clarify. But to make them clear before the time is liquor is; but the longer they be decocted in the a great work; for it is a spur to nature, and putteth liquor, the clearer it is. The reason is plain, beher out of her pace; and, besides, it is of good use cause in infusion, the longer it is, the greater is the for making drinks and sauces potable and service- part of the gross body that goeth into the liquor: able speedily. But to know the means of accelerating but in decoction, though more goeth forth, yet it clarification, we must first know the causes of clari- either purgeth at the top, or settleth at the bottom. fication. The first cause is, by the separation of And therefore the most exact way to clarify is, first, the grosser parts of the liquor from the finer. The to infuse, and then to take off the liquor and decoct second, by the equal distribution of the spirits of it; as they do in beer, which hath malt first infused the liquor with the tangible parts: for that ever in the liquor, and is afterwards boiled with the hop. representeth bodies clear and untroubled. The third This also is referred to separation. by the refining the spirit itself, which thereby giveth to the liquor more splendour and more lustre.
302. First, for separation, it is wrought by weight, as in the ordinary residence or settlement of liquors; by heat, by motion, by precipitation, or sublimation, that is, a calling of the several parts either up or down, which is a kind of attraction; by adhesion, as when a body more viscous is mingled and agitated with the liquor, which viscous body, afterwards severed, draweth with it the grosser parts of the liquor; and lastly, by percolation or passage.
303. Secondly, for the even distribution of the spirits, it is wrought by gentle heat; and by agitation or motion, for of time we speak not, because it is that we would anticipate and represent; and it is wrought also by mixture of some other body which hath a virtue to open the liquor, and to make the spirits the better pass through.
304. Thirdly, for the refining of the spirit, it is wrought likewise by heat; by motion; and by mixture of some body which hath virtue to attenuate. So therefore, having shown the causes, for the accelerating of clarification in general, and the inducing of it, take these instances and trials.
305. It is in common practice to draw wine or beer from the lees, which we call racking, whereby it will clarify much the sooner; for the lees, though they keep the drink in heart, and make it lasting, yet withal they cast up some spissitude: and this instance is to be referred to separation.
306. On the other side it were good to try, what the adding to the liquor more lees than his own will
309. Take hot embers, and put them about a bottle filled with new beer, almost to the very neck; let the bottle be well stopped, lest it fly out: and continue it, renewing the embers every day, by the space of ten days; and then compare it with another bottle of the same beer set by. Take also lime both quenched and unquenched, and set the bottles in them, ut supra. This instance is referred both to the even distribution, and also to the refining of the spirits by heat.
310. Take bottles, and swing them, or carry them in a wheel-barrow upon rough ground twice in a day; but then you may not fill the bottles full, but leave some air; for if the liquor come close to the stopple, it cannot play nor flower: and when you have shaken them well either way, pour the drink into another bottle stopped close after the usual manner; for if it stay with much air in it, the drink will pall; neither will it settle so perfectly in all the parts. Let it stand some twenty-four hours: then take it, and put it again into a bottle with air, ut supra: and thence into a bottle stopped, ut supra: and so repeat the same operation for seven days. Note, that in the emptying of one bottle into another, you must do it swiftly lest the drink pall. It were good also to try it in a bottle with a little air below the neck, without emptying. This instance is referred to the even distribution and refining of the spirits by motion.
311. As for percolation inward and outward, which belongeth to separation, trial would be made of clarifying by adhesion, with milk put into new beer, and stirred with it: for it may be that the