« AnteriorContinuar »
maketh them more lively and stirring. We know it hath been seen, that excessive sudden joy hath caused present death, while the spirits did spread so much as they could not retire again. As for tears, they are the effects of compression of the moisture of the brain, upon dilatation of the spirits. For compression of the spirits worketh an expression of the moisture of the brain by consent, as hath been said in grief. But then in joy, it worketh it diversly; viz. by propulsion of the moisture, when the spirits dilate, and occupy more room.
716. ANGER causeth paleness in some, and the going and coming of the colour in others: also trembling in some; swelling, foaming at the mouth, stamping, bending of the fist. Paleness, and going and coming of the colour, are caused by the burning of the spirits about the heart; which to refresh themselves, call in more spirits from the outward parts. And if the paleness be alone, without sending forth the colour again, it is commonly joined with some fear; but in many there is no paleness at all, but contrariwise redness about the cheeks and gills; which is by the sending forth of the spirits in an appetite to revenge. Trembling in anger is likewise by a calling in of the spirits; and is commonly when anger is joined with fear. Swelling is caused, both by a dilatation of the spirits by over-heating, and by a liquefaction or boiling of the humours thereupon. Foaming at the mouth is from the same cause, being an ebullition. Stamping, and bending of the fist, are caused by an imagination of the act of revenge.
717. LIGHT displeasure or dislike causeth shaking of the head, frowning and knitting of the brows. These effects arise from the same causes that trembling and horror do; namely, from the retiring of the spirits, but in a less degree. For the shaking of the head is but a slow and definite trembling; and is a gesture of slight refusal; and we see also, that a dislike causeth, often, that gesture of the hand, which we use when we refuse a thing, or warn it away. The frowning and knitting of the brows is a gathering, or
serring of the spirits, to resist in some measure. And we see also this knitting of the brows will follow upon earnest studying, or cogitation of any thing, though it be without dislike.
718. SHAME causeth blushing, and casting down of the eyes. Blushing is the resort of blood to the face; which in the passion of shame is the part that laboureth most. And although the blushing will be seen in the whole breast if it be naked, yet that is but in passage to the face. As for the casting down of the eyes, it proceedeth of the reverence a man beareth to other men; whereby, when he is ashamed, he cannot endure to look firmly upon others: and we see, that blushing, and the casting down of the eyes both, are more when we come before many; ore Pompeii quid mollius? nunquam non coram pluribus erubuit: and likewise when we come before great or reverend persons.
719. PITY causeth sometimes tears; and a flexion or cast of the eye aside. Tears come from the same cause that they do in grief: for pity is but grief in another's behalf. The cast of the eye is a gesture of aversion, or loathness to behold the object of pity.
720. WONDER causeth astonishment, or an immoveable posture of the body; casting up of the eyes to heaven, and lifting up of the hands. For astonishment, it is caused by the fixing of the mind upon one object of cogitation, whereby it doth not spatiate and transcur, as it useth; for in wonder the spirits fly not, as in fear; but only settle, and are made less apt to move. As for the casting up of the eyes, and lifting up of the hands, it is a kind of appeal to the Deity, which is the author, by power and providence, of strange wonders.
721. LAUGHING causeth a dilatation of the mouth and lips; a continued expulsion of the breath, with the loud noise, which maketh the interjection of laughing; shaking of the breasts and sides; running of the eyes with water, if it be violent and continued. Wherein first it is to be understood, that laughing is scarce, properly, a passion, but hath its source from
the intellect; for in laughing there ever precedeth a conceit of somewhat ridiculous. And therefore it is proper to man. Secondly, that the cause of laughing is but a light touch of the spirits, and not so deep an impression as in other passions. And therefore, that which hath no affinity with the passions of the mind, it is moved, and that in great vehemency, only by tickling some parts of the body: and we see that men even in a grieved state of mind, yet cannot sometimes forbear. laughing. Thirdly, it is ever joined with some degree of delight: and therefore exhilaration hath some affinity with joy, though it be a much lighter motion: res severa est verum gaudium. Fourthly, that the object of it is deformity; absurdity, shrewd turns, and the like. Now to speak of the causes of the effects before mentioned, whereunto these general notes give some light. For the dilatation of the mouth 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, where 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, etc. 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 most to the parts that labour most, or are most affected. As in the last which hath been mentioned, they resort to the eyes
and venereous 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 are 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, etc. 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 them; they see not well things afar off; those things that they see near hand, they see out of their place; and sometimes they see things double. The cause of the imagination that things turn round is, for that the spirits themselves turn, being compressed by the 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 we 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 obtenebration 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 was 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 sheweth 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.