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and therefore may hold the very sweetness of the herbs and flowers, as a distilled water; for rain, and other dew that fall from high, cannot preserve the smell, being dissipated in the drawing up: neither do we know, whether some water itself may not have some degree of sweetness. It is true, that we find it sensibly in no pool, river, nor fountain; but good earth newly turned up, hath a freshness and good scent; which water, if it be not too equal, for equal objects never move the sense, may also have. Certain it is, that bay-salt, which is but a kind of water congealed, will sometimes smell like violets.
Experiment solitary touching sweet smells. 833. To sweet smells heat is requisite to concoct the matter; and some moisture to spread the breath of them. For heat, we see that woods and spices are more odorate in the hot countries than in the cold: for moisture, we see that things too much dried lose their sweetness: and flowers growing, smell better in a morning or evening than at noon. Some sweet smells are destroyed by approach to the fire; as violets, wall-flowers, gilly-flowers, pinks; and generally all flowers that have cool and delicate spirits. Some continue both on the fire, and from the fire; as rose-water, etc. Some do scarce come forth, or at least not so pleasantly, as by means of the fire; as juniper, sweet gums, etc. and all smells that are enclosed in a fast body: but generally those smells are the most grateful, where the degree of heat is small; or where the strength of the smell is allayed; for these things do rather woo the sense, than satiate it. And therefore the smell of violets and roses exceedeth in sweetness that of spices and gums;
and the strong. est sort of smells are best in a weft afar off. Experiment solitary touching the corporeal sub
stance of smeils. 834. It is certain, that no smell issueth but with emission of some corporeal substance; not as it is in light, and colours, and in sounds. For we see plainly,
that smell doth spread nothing that distance that the
ever unpleasant to the eye: mixture of discordant sounds is unpleasant to the ear: mixture, or hotchpotch of many tastes, is unpleasant to the taste : harshness and ruggedness of bodies is unpleasant to the touch: now it is certain, that all putrefaction, being a dissolution of the first form, is a mere confusion and unformed mixture of the part. · Nevertheless it is strange, and seemeth to cross the former observation, that some putrefactions and excrements do yield excellent odours, as civet and musk; and, as some think, ambergrease: for divers take it, though improbably, to come from the sperm of a fish: and the moss we spake of from apple-trees, is little better than an excretion. The reason may be, for that there passeth in the excrements, and remaineth in the putrefactions, some good spirits; especially where they proceed from creatures that are very hot. But it may be also joined with a further cause, which is more subtile ; and it is, that the senses love not to be over-pleased, but to have a commixture of somewhat that is in itself ingrate.
Certainly, we see how discords in music, falling upon concords, make the sweetest strains : and we see again, what strange tastes delight the taste; as red herrings, caviary, parmesan, etc: And it may be the same holdeth in smells: for those kind of smells that we have mentioned, are all strong, and do pull and vellicate the sense. And we find also, that places where men urine, commonly have some smell of violets: and urine, if one hath eaten nutmeg, hath so too.
THE slothful, general, and indefinite contemplations, and notions, of the elements and their conjugations; of the influences of heaven; of heat, cold, moisture, drought, qualities active, passive, and the like; have swallowed up the true passages, and processes, and affects, and consistences of matter and na. tural bodies. Therefore they are to be set aside, being but notional and ill limited; and definite axioms are to be drawn out of measured instances : and so assent to be made to the more general axioms by scale. And of these kinds of processes of natures and
characters of matter, we will now set down some instances. Experiment solitary touching the causes of putre
faction. 836. ALL putrefactions come chiefly from the inward spirits of the body; and partly also from the ambient body, be it air, liquor, or whatsoever else. And this last, by two means : either by ingress of the substance of the ambient body into the body putrified ; or by excitation and solicitation of the body putrified, and the parts thereof, by the body ambient. As for the received opinion, that putrefaction is caused, either by cold, or peregrine and preternatural heat, it is but nugation : for cold in things inanimate, is the greatest enemy that is to putrefaction; though it extinguisheth vivification, which ever consisteth in spirits attenuate, which the cold doth congeal and coagulate. And as for the peregrine heat, it is thus far true, that if the proportion of the adventive heat be greatly predominant to the natural heat and spirits of the body, it tendeth to dissolution, or notable alteration. But this is wrought by emission, or suppression, or suffocation, of the native spirits; and also by the disordination and discomposure of the tangible parts, and other passages of nature, and not by a conflict of heats. Experiment solitary touching bodies unperfectly
mired. 837. IN versions, or main alterations of bodies, there is a medium between the body, as it is at first, and the body resulting ; which medium is corpus imperfecte mistum, and is transitory, and not durable; as mists, smokes, vapours, chylus in the stomach, living creatures in the first vivification : and the middle action, which produceth such imperfect bodies, is fitly called, by some of the ancients, inquination, or inconcoction, which is a kind of putrefaction: for the parts are in confusion, till they settle one way or other.
Experiment solitary touching concoction and crudity.
838. The word concoction, or digestion, is chiefly taken into use from living creatures and their organs; and from thence extended to liquors and fruits, etc. Therefore they speak of meat concocted; urine and excrements concocted; and the four digestions, in the stomach, in the liver, in the arteries and nerves, and in the several parts of the body, are likewise called concoctions: and they are all made to be the works of heat; all which notions are but ignorant catches of a few things, which are most obvious to mens observations. The constantest notion of concoction is, that it should signify the degrees of alteration, of one body into another, from crudity to perfect concoction; which is the ultimity of that action or process; and while the body to be converted and altered is too strong for the efficient that should convert or alter it, whereby it resisteth and hołdeth fast in some degree the first form or consistence, it is all that while crude and inconcoct; and the process is to be called crudity and inconcoction. It is true, that concoction is in great part the work of heat, but not the work of heat alone : for all things that further the conversion, or alteration, as rest, mixture of a body already concocted, etc. are also means to concoction. And there are of concoction two periods ; the one assimilation, or absolute conversion and subaction; the other maturation; whereof the former is most conspicuous in the bodies of living creatures; in which tliere is an absolute conversion and assimilation of the nourishment into the body: and likewise in the bodies of plants: and again in metals, where there is a full transmutation. The other, which is maturation, is seen in liquors and fruits; wherein there is not desired, nor pretended, an utter conversion, but only an alteration to that form which is most sought for man's use; as in clarifying of drinks, ripening of fruits, etc. But note, that there be two kinds of absolute conversions; the one is, when a body is converted into another body, which was before; as when nou.