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NOTES.

NOTE A.

Referring to page 114.

THIS doctrine of vital spirit, to which Lord Bacon thus alludes in his observations upon the sweating sickness, appeared to him to be of great importance and but little understood. An imperfect syllabus of his observations, as scattered over his works may, perhaps, be thus exhibited.

1. Every tangible body contains a spirit.

2. The spirit is imperceptible by the senses.

3. The spirit is but little known because it is imperceptible by the senses.

4. This science is of great importance.

These general observations are explained by a particular investigation of the various properties of spirit.

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I. Quantity of spirit.

1. How generated.

2. Of condensing and dilating the spirit.

3. Detention of spirit.

4. Exhaustion of spirit.

II. Quality of spirit.

1. Different spirits of different bodies, and different sorts of spirits in the same body.

2. Of preserving the spirit young and vigorous.

3. Hot and cold.

4. Active and quiescent.

III. Regulation of spirit.

IV. Of the perceptible effects of spirit upon the body.

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As a poet, he considers the subject in the fable of Proserpine, contained in this volume*; and, as a philosopher, in various parts of his works. His opinion of the existence of this spirit, as stated in the Sylva Sylvarum, is contained in the preface to this volume. So in the history of "Life and Death, § 11. Ax. 2. he says, All tangible bodies contain a spirit covered over and enveloped with the grosser body. There is no known body in the upper parts of the "earth, without its spirit; whether it be generated by the attenuating and concocting power of the celestial warmth, or otherwise : "for the pores of tangible bodies are not a vacuum, but either "contain air, or the peculiar spirit of the substance. And this spirit "is not a virtue, an energy, a soul, or a fiction: but a real, subtle, "and invisible body, circumscribed by place and dimension. Nor again is this spirit air, any more than the juice of the grape is ↑ Page xxvii.

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** Page 88.

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"water: but a fine attenuated body, of kin to air, though again very "different from it. Let it be held as certain, that there is in all "tangible bodies a spirit, or pneumatical substance, enveloped and "included in the tangible parts; every tangible body, with us, con"tains an invisible and untangible spirit, over which the body is "drawn like a garment. For spirits are nothing else but a natural body, rarified to a proportion, and included in the tangible parts of "bodies, as in an integument. And they be no less differing one "from the other, than the dense or tangible parts; and they are in all tangible bodies whatsoever, more or less." And in "the treatise "De Augmentis," having divided the science of man, as an individual, into mind and body, he says-1. Now let us proceed to the knowledge which concerns the mind or "soul of man, out of the treasures whereof all other knowledges are extracted. It hath two parts, the one entreateth of the "reasonable soul, which is a thing divine; the other of the unreason"able soul, which is common to us with beasts. We have noted a "little before (where we speak of forms) those two different emana"tions of souls, which in the first creation of them both, offer them"selves unto our view; that is, that one hath its original from the "breath of God; the other from the matrices of the elements; for of "the primitive emanation of the rational soul: thus speaks the Scripture, Deus formavit hominem de limo terræ, et spiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitæ:' but the generation of the unreasonable soul, or of beasts, was accomplished by these words; 'producat aqua, producat terra:' and this irrational soul, as it is in man, is the instrument only to the reasonable soul; and hath the same original "in us, that it hath in beasts; namely, from the slime of the earth; "for it is not said, God formed the body of man of the slime of the "earth, but God formed man, that is the whole man, that spiraculum 66 excepted. Wherefore we will stile that part of the general knowledge concerning man's soul, the knowledge of the spiracle, or inspired substance; and the other part, the knowledge of the sen"sible or product soul."

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So Plato's doctrine of the Soul of the World; see also 6. EneidPrincipio cœlum, ac terras, camposq liquentes,

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Lucentemq globum lunæ, Titaniaq astra

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Spiritus intus alit totamq infusa per artus

Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet."

In Wordsworth's Excursion, he says,

"To every form of being is assigned,'
"Thus calmly spake the venerable sage,
"An active principle :-howe'er removed
"From sense and observation, it subsists
"In all things, in all natures, in the stars
"Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds,
"In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
"That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
"The moving waters, and the invisible air.
"Whate'er exists hath properties that spread
Beyond itself, communicating good,

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"A simple blessing, or with evil mixed;

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Spirit that knows no insulated spot,

"No chasm, no solitude, from link to link

"It circulates, the soul of all the worlds." "

See also Berkeley's Siris, 133, and the beginning of the Minute

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Philosopher. See also Mandeville on Hypocondriasis, and Malebranche on Truth. The slightest knowledge of Lord Bacon's mind will reject the supposition that he was likely to be misled by any idle imagination, he followed truth, and only truth, wherever she led him. He tried all things, holding fast only that which was good upon this very subject he says, in his Sylva Sylvarum. "The philosophy of Pythagoras, which was full of superstition, did first plant a monstrous imagination, which afterwards was, by the school of Plato and "others, watered and nourished. It was, that the world was one "entire perfect living creature; insomuch as Apollonius of Tyana, a Pythagorean prophet, affirmed, that the ebbing and flowing of "the sea was the respiration of the world, drawing in water as breath, and putting forth again. They went on, and inferred, that if "the world were a living creature, it had a soul and spirit; which also they held, calling it spiritus mundi, the spirit or soul of the world, by which they did not intend God, for they did admit of a Deity besides, but only the soul or essential form of the universe. This "foundation being laid, they might build upon it what they would; "for in a living creature, though never so great, as for example, in a great whale, the sense and the effects of any one part of the body instantly make a transcursion throughout the whole body: so that by this they did insinuate, that no distance of place, nor want or indisposition of matter, could hinder magical operations; but that "for example, we might here in Europe have sense and feeling of "that which was done in China; and likewise we might work any "effect without and against matter; and this not holpen by the co-operation of angels or spirits, but only by the unity and harmony of nature. There were some also that staid not here; but "went farther, and held, that if the spirit of man, whom they call "the microcosm, do give a fit touch to the spirit of the world, by strong imaginations, and beliefs, it might command nature; for Paracelsus, and some darksome authors of magic, do ascribe to imagination exalted the power of miracle-working faith. With "these vast and bottomless follies men have been in part en"ertained.

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"But we, that hold firm to the works of God, and to the sense, "which is God's lamp, 'lucerna Dei spiraculum hominis,' will inquire "with all sobriety and severity, whether there be to be found in the footsteps of nature, any such transmission and influx of immate"riate virtues; and what the force of imagination is; either upon "the body imaginant, or upon another body: wherein it will be like that labour of Hercules, in purging the stable of Augeas, to separate from superstitious and magical arts and observations, any thing that is clean and pure natural; and not to be either con"temned or condemned."

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As a specimen of Bacon's ingenuity and beautiful reasoning upon this subject, I select his mode of explaining the Condensation of Spirit by Flight.' Spirits, he says, are condensed,

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One of the modes of condensing the spirits is By Flight,' that is

when there is an antipathy between the spirit and the body which acts upon it, and where the force of impulse is quicker than the force of recovery-opium, for instance, is exceedingly powerful in condensing the spirits, so powerful that a grain or two will tranquillize the nerves and by a few grains they may be so compressed as to be irrecoverable: now, if there is an antipathy between opium and spirit, as there is sympathy between the magnet and iron, and the opium acts without intermission upon the spirit before it recovers itself, the cause of the condensation appears. This may, perhaps, be illustrated by fainting from fear, where if the impression be repeated before the spirits rally, the patient falls but this may be prevented by the application of a stimulant, surprize from a sudden impulse, as a glass of water or the prick of a pin, or self possession. "I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand

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Any exploit worthy the name of honor."

This subject is more fully explained in the Novum Organum, where Bacon, speaking of what he calls magical instances, by which, "We understand such wherein the matter, or efficient, is but "small, compared with the greatness of the work or effect produced: so that though these instances were common, they would still be "almost miraculous; some of them at first sight, and others even "when attentively considered."

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That great effects are sometimes produced by apparently small causes, is obvious-" By the rapid and powerful expansion of gunpowder into flame, vast masses of building are in a moment "overturned, and great weights thrown to considerable distances— "By some poisons the most powerful animals may in a moment be destroyed."

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The following experiments made with a peculiar poison, will illustrate this-

"Mons. Condamine relates the experiments made by him with "the vegetable poison of 'ticunas' mixed with that of lamas.'

"June 8th.-I made a very small incision with a lancet between "the ears of a cat, and with a pencil I put into it a drop of the poison in an instant the creature died in my hands.

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July 15.-I pricked a hawk in the left claw: into the puncture "I introduced a small drop of the poison, and then set the creature "at liberty; but he could not fly: the utmost he could do was to "perch on a stick, which was within six inches of the ground. He "shook his head several times, as if to get rid of something that "seemed troublesome in his throat. His eyes were restless, and his “feathers were all bristled up. His head fell between his legs, and "in three minutes he died.

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"M. le Chevalier de Grossee had an eagle, which he kept a good "while in his court-yard, and intended to make a present of it to M. Reaumur, to adorn his cabinet, but wanted to know how to put it "to death without injuring its feathers. M. de Reaumur sent him an arrow fresh dipped in the poison: it was stuck into the wing of "this large bird, the eagle dropped down dead in an instant."

These effects, Bacon says, may be ascribed to one or more of three causes.

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1. By self-multiplication, as in fire, and those poisons, called specific; as also in motions, which pass and increase, as they go "from wheel to wheel; (2.) by excitation, or invitation, in another body as the loadstone animates numberless needles, without

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"loss, or diminution of its virtue; and we find the same kind of "virtue in yeast, &c. (3.) by the preoccupation of motion."

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Under the head of hydrometical instances in the Novum Organum, the expression of preoccupation of motion is explained. "When a musical string is struck, it vibrates, and the strings appear double, treble, &c. Rings, twirled upon an axis, appear spheres. A lighted stick moved quickly in a circle, appears a circle "of fire, or what boys call gold lace. A lighted flambeau carried quickly by night, appears tailed like a comet." But if these motions, are performed slowly, such appearances do not exist. It seems, therefore, that they originate in a new impression being made before the effect of a former impression is removed, that is, by the motion of impulse being quicker than the motion of recovery.

So too Bacon says, The effects produced by gunpowder, are "occasioned by the impelling power being quicker than the power "of resistance." He says, "the cause whereof is doubtless this, "that the motion of dilatation in the powder, which is the impelling "force, is many degrees swifter than the motion of gravity, which "makes the resistance, so that the prevailing motion is performed "before the opposite motion begins, whilst at first there was a kind "of neutrality, or want of resistance. And hence, in all projec"tiles, it is not so much the strong as the sharp and quick stroke "that carries the body furthest." And he adds, "Nor was it I possible that a small quantity of spirit in animals, especially in "them so bulky as the elephant, or the whale, should move and manage so great a mass of matter, but for the velocity of the "motion of the spirit before the quantity of the corporeal mass 66 can resist."

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Lord Bacon's opinions upon vital spirit are chiefly containedin his History of Life and Death: but in his tract upon the Prolongation of Life in the treatise "De Augmentis," he says that length of life partly depends upon strengthening the resistance of the body, and diminishing the activity of the spirit. His words are

"Consumption is caused by two depredations, depredation of "innate spirit; and depredation of ambient air. The resistance of "both is two-fold, either when the agents (that is, the suck and "moistures of the body) become less predatory, or the patients are "made less depredable. The spirit is made less predatory; if either "it be condensed in substance, as in the use of opiates, and nitrous application, and in contristations; or be diminished in quantity, as in spare, Pythagorical, or monastical diets; or is sweetened and "refreshed with motion, as in ease and tranquillity."

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"Our second precept is, that the prolongation of life be expected, "rather from working upon spirits, and from a malacissation or in"teneration of parts, than from any kinds of aliment or order of diet. "For seeing the body of man, and the frame thereof (leaving aside outward accidents) three ways become passive, namely, from the spirits; from the parts; and from aliments; the way of prolonga"tion of life, by means of aliment is a long way about, and that by many ambages and circuits; but the ways by working upon the spirits, and upon the parts, are more compendious, and sooner bring us to the end desired; because the spirits are suddenly moved, both from vapours and passions, which work strangely upon them and the parts, by baths, unguents, emplaisters, which “in like manner make way by sudden impressions.'

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Shaw, in his edition of Bacon, lately published, says, "the whole

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