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to the 27th article, where the thing appears to be almost done. Desideratum.
3. A method of foreknowing the risings, fallings, and times of winds; a thing useful in navigation and agriculture, but especially so in selecting the times for naval engage
Approximation. Many things have been remarked in the inquiry which bear upon this subject, but especially the reply to the 32nd article. Now however that the cause of the winds is explained, the more diligent observations of posterity (if it shall care at all about these things) will discover more certain prognostics.
Desideratum. 4. A method of prognosticating and forming an opinion upon other things by means of the winds; for instance, whether in any part of the sea there are continents or islands, or whether the sea is open; a thing of use in new and unknown navigations.
Approximation. The observation about the periodical winds, which Columbus appears to have used, is an approximation to this.
Desideratum. 5. A method likewise of foretelling, every year, whether corn and fruit will be abundant or scarce; a thing useful and lucrative in speculative sales and purchases; of which an instance is related in the case of Thales when he bought up the olives.1
Approximation. Some observations under the 29th article of inquiry, on malignant or tearing winds, and the times when they are prejudicial, bear upon this point.
Desideratum. 6. A method likewise of foretelling the diseases and epidemics for every year; a thing useful to the reputation of physicians, if such things could be predicted; as also for the causes and cures of diseases, with some other matters of busi
Approximation. Some observations on the 30th article of inquiry have likewise reference to this question.
Admonition. For predictions from the winds concerning crops, fruits, and diseases, consult the Histories of Agriculture and Medicines.
Desideratum. 7. A method of raising and allaying winds. Approximation. There are some superstitious and magical cere
Diog. Laert. i. 26.
monies connected with this subject, which do not appear worthy to be received into a serious and exact natural history. Nor does any approximation at present occur to me. It will however be of service thereto, to inspect and inquire thoroughly into the nature of the air; to see if there be anything which, on being communicated in a small quantity to the air, can excite and multiply the motion of dilatation or contraction in the body of the air. For if this could be done, the raising and calming of the winds would naturally follow; like Pliny's experiment, if it be true, of throwing vinegar against the whirlwind.' Another method might be, by letting out subterranean winds wherever a great quantity was collected, as is told of the well in Dalmatia. But it is difficult to discover these places of confinement. Desideratum. 8. Methods of performing many amusing and
wonderful experiments by the motion of the winds.
Approximation. Such questions I have no time to consider. The approximation is the common games which depend on the wind; and, no question, many pleasant things of this kind, both with regard to sound and motion, may be invented.
'Pliny, ii. 49.
INTRODUCTIONS TO THE TITLES DESIGNED
FOR THE NEXT FIVE MONTHS.
FOR THE INTRODUCTION
THE HISTORY OF DENSE AND RARE,
SEE THE HISTORY.
THE HISTORY OF HEAVY AND LIGHT.
THE motion of heavy and light was distinguished by the ancients under the name of natural motion. For they saw no external efficient, and no apparent resistance. Moreover this motion seemed to gain rapidity by its progress. To their contemplation or rather discourse on this subject they added by way of seasoning the mathematical fancy that heavy bodies would adhere to the centre of the earth (even if a hole were made through it), together with the scholastic fiction of the motion of bodies to their own places. And believing that by these positions they had settled the question, they made no further inquiry, except that there was one of them who inquired somewhat more diligently concerning the centre of gravity in different figures, and touching the things which float on water. Nor has one of the moderns contributed anything of consequence; having only added a few mechanical inventions, and even those distorted by his demonstrations. But to speak direct, it is quite certain that a body is affected only by a body; and that there is no local motion which is not excited either by the parts of the body moved, or by the adjacent bodies, or by those contiguous or proximate to it, or at least by those which lie within the sphere of its activity. Gilbert therefore has not unscientifically introduced the question of magnetic force, but he has himself become a magnet; that is, he has ascribed too many things to that force, and built a ship out of a shell.
THE HISTORY OF THE SYMPATHY AND ANTIPATHY OF THINGS.
STRIFE and friendship in nature are the spurs of motions and the keys of works. Hence are derived the union and repulsion of bodies, the mixture and separation of parts, the deep and intimate impressions of virtues, and that which is termed the junction of actives with passives; in a word, the magnalia naturæ. But this part of philosophy concerning the sympathy and antipathy of things, which is also called Natural Magic, is very corrupt; and (as is almost always the case), there being too little diligence, there has been too much hope. The effect of hope on the mind of man is very like the working of some soporific drugs, which not only induce sleep, but fill it with joyous and pleasing dreams. For first it throws the human mind into a sleep by the recital of specific properties, and secret and heaven-sent virtues; whence men are no longer wakeful and eager in searching out real causes, but are content to rest in such kinds of indolence; and then it insinuates and infuses into it innumerable fancies, like so many dreams. Men likewise in their folly expect to become acquainted with nature from her outward face and mask, and by external resemblances to detect internal properties. Their practice also is very like their inquiry. For the rules of natural magic are such, as if men expected to till the ground and eat their bread without the sweat of their brow, and by an easy and indolent application of bodies to become masters of things. And they are always talking of the magnet, and the sympathy of gold with quicksilver, and a few other things of the kind, and appealing to them as sureties to accredit other