« AnteriorContinuar »
parts. The twelfth is the digestion, or crudity of the tangible parts. The thirteenth is the nature of the matter, whether sulphureous or mercurial, watery or oily, dry and terrestrial, or moist and liquid; which natures of sulphureous and mercurial, seem to be natures radical and principal. The fourteenth is the placing of the tangible parts in length or transverse, as it is in the warp and the woof of textiles, more inward, or more outward, etc. The fifteenth is the porosity or imporosity betwixt the tangible parts, and the greatness or smallness of the pores. The sixteenth is the collocation and posture of the pores. There may be more causes; but these do occur for the present. Experiment solitary touching induration by sym
847. TAKE lead and melt it, and in the midst of it, when it beginneth to congeal, make a little dint or hole, and put quicksilver wrapped in a piece of linen into that hole, and the quicksilver will fix and run no more, and endure the hammer. This is a noble instance of induration, by consent of one body with another, and motion of excitation to imitate; for to ascribe it only to the vapour of lead, is less probable. Query, whether the fixing may be in such a degree, as it will be figured like other metals? For if so, you may make works of it for some purposes, so they
come not near the fire.
Experiment solitary touching honey and sugar.
848. SUGAR hath put down the use of honey, insomuch as we have lost those observations and preparations of honey which the ancients had, when it was more in price. First, it seemeth that there was in old time tree-honey, as well as bee-honey, which was the tear or blood issuing from the tree: insomuch as one of the ancients relateth, that in Trebisond there was honey issuing from the box-trees, which made men mad. Again, in ancient time there was a kind of honey, which either of its own nature, or by art, would grow as hard as sugar, and was not so luscious as ours. They had also a wine of honey, which they
made thus. They crushed the honey into a great quantity of water, and then strained the liquor: after they boiled it in a copper to the half; then they poured it into earthen vessels for a small time; and after tunned it into vessels of wood, and kept it for many years. They have also at this day, in Russia and those northern countries, mead simple, which, well made and seasoned, is a good wholesome drink, and very clear. They use also in Wales a compound drink of mead, with herbs and spices. But mean while it were good, in recompense of that we have lost in honey, there were brought in use a sugar-mead, for so we may call it, though without any mixture at all of honey; and to brew it, and keep it stale, as they use mead for certainly, though it would not be so abstersive, and opening, and solutive a drink as mead; yet it will be more grateful to the stomach, and more lenitive, and fit to be used in sharp diseases: for we see, that the use of sugar in beer and ale hath good effects in such cases.
Experiment solitary touching the finer sort of base
849. IT is reported by the ancients, that there was a kind of steel in some places, which would polish almost as white and bright as silver. And that there was in India a kind of brass, which, being polished, could scarce be discerned from gold. This was in the natural ure but I am doubtful, whether men have sufficiently refined metals, which we count base; as whether iron, brass, and tin be refined to the height? But when they come to such a fineness, as serveth the ordinary use, they try no farther.
Experiment solitary touching cements and quarries,
850. THERE have been found certain cements under earth that are very soft; and yet, taken forth int the sun, harden as hard as marble: there are also dinary quarries in Somersetshire, which in the quarry cut soft to any bigness, and in the building prove firm and hard.
Experiment solitary touching the altering of the colour of hairs and feathers.
851. LIVING creatures generally do change their hair with age, turning to be grey and white: as is seen in men, though some earlier, some later; in horses that are dappled, and turn white; in old squirrels that turn grisly; and many others. So do some birds; as cygnets from grey turn white; hawks from brown turn more white. And some birds there be that upon their moulting do turn colour; as robin-redbreasts, after their moulting, grow to be red again by degrees; so do goldfinches upon the head. The cause is, for that moisture doth chiefly colour hair and feathers, and dryness turneth them grey and white; now hair in age waxeth dryer; so do feathers. As for feathers, after moulting, they are young feathers, and so all one as the feathers of young birds. So the beard is younger than the hair of the head, and doth, for the most part, wax hoary later. Out of this ground a man may devise the means of altering the colour of birds, and the retardation of hoary hairs. But of this see in the fifth experiment.
Experiment solitary touching the differences of living creatures, male and female.
852. THE difference between male and female, in some creatures, is not to be discerned, otherwise than in the parts of generation: as in horses and mares, dogs and bitches, doves he and she, and others. But some differ in magnitude, and that diversly; for in most the male is the greater; as in man, pheasants, peacocks, turkeys, and the like: and in some few, as in hawks, the female. Some differ in the hair and feathers, both in the quantity, crispation, and colours of them; as he-lions are hirsute, and have great manes the she-lions are smooth like cats. Bulls are more crisp upon the forehead than cows; the peacock, and pheasant-cock, and goldfinch-cock, have glorious and fine colours; the hens have not. Generally the males in birds have the fairest feathers. Some differ in divers features: as bucks have horns, does
none; rams have more wreathed horns than ewes; cocks have great combs and spurs, hens little or none; boars have great fangs, sows much less; the turkeycock hath great and swelling gills, the hen hath less; · men have generally deeper and stronger voices than women. Some differ in faculty; as the cocks amongst singing-birds are the best singers. The chief cause of all these, no doubt, is, for that the males have more strength of heat than the females; which appeareth manifestly in this, that all young creatures males are like females; and so are eunuchs, and gelt creatures of all kinds, liker females. Now heat causeth greatness of growth, generally, where there is moisture enough to work upon: but if there be found in any creature, which is seen rarely, an over-great heat in proportion to the moisture, in them the female is the greater; as in hawks and sparrows. And if the heat be balanced with the moisture, then there is no difference to be seen between male and female; as in the instances of horses and dogs. We see also, that the horns of oxen and cows, for the most part, are larger than the bulls; which is caused by abundance of moisture, which in the horns of the bull faileth. Again, heat causeth pilosity and crispation, and so likewise beards in men. It also expelleth finer moisture, which want of heat cannot expel; and that is the cause of the beauty and variety of feathers. Again, heat doth put forth many excrescences, and much solid matter, which want of heat cannot do: and this is the cause of horns, and of the greatness of them; and of the greatness of the combs and spurs of cocks, gills of turkey-cocks, and fangs of boars. Heat also dilateth the pipes and organs, which causeth the deepness of the voice. Again, heat refineth the spirits, and that causeth the cock singing-bird to excel the hen.
Experiment solitary touching the comparative magnitude of living creatures.
853. THERE be fishes greater than any beasts; as the whale is far greater than the elephant: and beasts
are generally greater than birds. For fishes, the cause may be, that because they live not in the air, they have not their moisture drawn and soaked by the air and sun-beams. Also they rest always in a manner, and are supported by the water; whereas motion and labour do consume. As for the greatness of beasts more than of birds, it is caused, for that beasts stay longer time in the womb than birds, and there nourish and grow; whereas in birds, after the egg laid, there is no further growth or nourishment from the female; for the setting doth vivify, and not nourish.
Experiment solitary touching exossation of fruits. 854. WE have partly touched before the means of producing fruits without cores or stones. And this we add farther, that the cause must be abundance of moisture; for that the core and stone are made of a dry sap: and we see, that it is possible to make a tree put forth only in blossom, without fruit; as in cherries with double flowers; much more into fruit without stone or cores. It is reported, that a cion of an apple, grafted upon a colewort stalk, sendeth forth a great apple without a core. It is not unlikely, that if the inward pith of a tree were taken out, so that the juice came only by the bark, it would work the effect. For it hath been observed, that in pollards, if the water get in on the top, and they become hollow, they put forth the more. We add also, that it is delivered for certain by some, that if the cion be grafted the small end downwards, it will make fruit have little or no cores and stones.
Experiment solitary touching the melioration of
855. TOBACCO is a thing of great price, if it be in request for an acre of it will be worth, as is affirmed, two hundred pounds by the year towards charge. The charge of making the ground and otherwise is great, but nothing to the profit; but the English tobacco hath small credit, as being too dull and earthy: nay, the Virginian tobacco, though that be in a hotter climate, can get no credit for the same cause: so that