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therefore gather from the whole store of things such as make most for the uses of life. But a more proper place for speaking of these will be when I come to treat of Applications to Practice. Besides in the work itself of Interpretation in each particular subject, I always assign a place to the Human Chart, or Chart of things to be wished for. For to form judicious wishes is as much a part of knowledge as to ask judicious questions.


Among Prerogative Instances I will put in the twenty-sixth place Polychrest Instances, or Instances of General Use. They are those which relate to a variety of cases and occur frequently; and therefore save no small amount of labour and fresh demonstration. Of the instruments and contrivances themselves the proper place for speaking will be when I come to speak of Applications to Practice and Modes of Experimenting. Moreover those which have been already discovered and come into use will be described in the particular histories of the several arts. At present I will subjoin a few general remarks on them as examples merely of this General Use.

Besides the simple bringing together and putting asunder of them, man operates upon natural bodies chiefly in seven ways: viz. either by exclusion of whatever impedes and disturbs; or by compressions, extensions, agitations, and the like; or by heat and cold; or by continuance in a suitable place; or by the checking and regulation of motion; or by special sympathies; or by the seasonable and proper alternation, series, and succession of all these ways, or at any rate of some of them.

With regard to the first; the common air, which is everywhere about us and pressing in, and the rays of the heavenly bodies, cause much disturbance. Whatever therefore serves to exclude them, may justly be reckoned among things of General Use. To this head belong the material and thickness of the vessels in which the bodies are placed on which we are going to operate; also the perfect stopping up of vessels by consolidation and lutum sapientiæ, as the chemists call it. Also the closing in of substances by liquids poured on the outside is a thing of very great use; as when they pour oil on wine or juices of herbs, which spreading over the surface like a lid preserves them excellently from the injury of the air. Nor are powders bad things; for though they contain air mixed up with them, they yet repel the force of the body of air round about; as we see in the preservation of grapes and other fruits in sand and flour. It is good too to spread bodies over with wax, honey, pitch, and like tenacious substances, for the more perfect enclosure of them, and to keep off the air and heavenly bodies. I have sometimes tried the effect of laying up a vessel or some other body in quicksilver, which of all substances that can be poured round another is far the densest. Caverns again and subterraneous pits are of great use in keeping off the heat of the sun and that open air which preys upon bodies; and such are used in the North of Germany as granaries. The sinking of bodies in water has likewise the same effect; as I remember to have heard of bottles of wine being let down into a deep well to cool; but through accident or neglect being left there for many years, and then taken out; and that the wine was not only free from sourness or flatness, but much finer tasted; owing, it would seem, to a more exquisite commixture of its parts. And if the case require that bodies be let down to the bottom of the water, as in a river or the sea, without either touching the water or being enclosed in stopped vessels, but surrounded by air alone; there is good use in the vessel which has been sometimes employed for working under water on sunk ships, whereby divers are enabled to remain a long while below, and take breath from time to time. This machine was a hollow bell made of metal, which being let down parallel to the surface of the water, carried with it to the bottom all the air it contained. It stood on three feet (like a tripod) the height of which was somewhat less than that of a man, so that the diver, when his breath failed, could put his head into the hollow of the bell, take breath, and then go on with his work. I have heard also of a sort of machine or boat capable of carrying men under water for some distance. Be that as it may, under such a vessel as I have described bodies of any sort can easily be suspended; and it is on that account that I have mentioned this experiment.

There is also another advantage in the careful and complete closing of bodies; for not only does it keep the outer air from getting in (of which I have already spoken), but also it keeps the spirit of the body, on which the operation is going on inside, from getting out. For it is necessary for one who operates on natural bodies to be certain of his total quantities ; that is, that nothing evaporates or flows away. For then, and then only, are profound alterations made in bodies, when, while nature prevents annihilation, art prevents also the loss or escape of any part. On this subject there has prevailed a false opinion, which, if true, would make us well nigh despair of preserving the perfect quantity without diminution ; namely, that the spirits of bodies, and air when rarefied by a high degree of heat, cannot be contained in closed vessels, but escape through their more delicate pores. To this opinion men have been led by the common experiment of an inverted cup placed on water with a candle in it or a piece of paper lighted; the consequence of which is that the water is drawn up; and also by the similar experiment of cupping-glasses, which when heated over flame draw up the flesh. For in each of these experiments they imagine that the rarefied air escapes, and that its quantity being thereby diminished, the water or flesh comes up into its place by the Motion of Connexion. But this is altogether a mistake. For the air is not diminished in quantity, but contracted in space; nor does the motion of the rising of the water commence till the flame is extinguished or the air cooled ; and therefore physicians, to make their cupping-glasses draw better, lay on them cold sponges dipped in water. And therefore there is no reason why men should be much afraid of the easy escape of air or spirits. For though it be true that the most solid bodies have pores, still air or spirit do not easily submit to such extremely fine comminution; just as water refuses to run out at very small chinks.

With regard to the second of the seven modes of operating above mentioned, it is particularly to be observed, that compression and such violent means have indeed with respect to local motion and the like a most powerful effect; as in machines and projectiles ; an effect which even

the destruction of organic bodies, and of such virtues as consist altogether in motion. For all life, nay all flame and ignition, is destroyed by compression ; just as every machine is spoilt or deranged by the same. It causes the destruction likewise of virtues which consist in the position and coarser dissimilarity of parts. This is the case with colours; for the whole flower has not the same colour as when it is bruised, nor the whole piece of amber as the same piece pulverised. So also it is with tastes; for there is not the same taste in an unripe pear



as there is in a squeezed and softened one; for it manifestly contracts sweetness by the process.

But for the more remarkable transformations and alterations of bodies of uniform structure such violent means are of little il; since bodies do not acquire thereby a new consistency that is constant and quiescent, but one that is transitory, and ever striving to recover and liberate itself. It would not be amiss however to make some careful experiments for the purpose of ascertaining whether the condensation or the rarefaction of a body of nearly uniform structure (as air, water, oil, and the like), being induced by violence, can be made to be constant and fixed, and to become a kind of nature. This should first be tried by simple continuance, and then by means of helps and consents. And the trial might easily have been made (if it had but occurred to me) when I was condensing water, as mentioned above, by hammer and press, till it burst forth from its enclo

For I should have left the flattened sphere to itself for a few days, and after that drawn off the water; that so I might have seen whether it would immediately occupy the same dimensions, which it had before condensation. If it had not done

either immediately or at any rate soon after, we might have pronounced the condensation a constant one; if it had, it would have appeared that a restoration had taken place, and that the compression was transitory. Something of a similar kind I might have tried also with the expansion of air in the glass eggs. For after powerful suction I might have stopped them suddenly and tightly; I might have left the eggs so stopped

I for some days; and then tried whether on opening the hole the air would be drawn up with a hissing noise ; or whether on plunging them into water, as much water would be drawn up as there would have been at first without the delay. For it is probable — at least it is worth trying -- that this might have been, and may be, the case; since in bodies of structure not quite so uniform, the lapse of time does produce such effects. For a stick bent for some time by compression does not recoil; and this must not be imputed to any loss of quantity in the wood through the lapse of time; since the same will be the case with a plate of steel, if the time be increased, and steel does not evaporate. But if the experiment succeed not with mere continuance, the business must not be abandoned, but other aids must be employed. For it is no small gain if by the application


of violence we can communicate to bodies fixed and permanent natures. For thus air can be turned into water by condensation, and many other effects of the kind can be produced; man being more the master of violent motions than of the rest.

The third of the seven modes above-mentioned relates to that which whether in Nature or in Art is the great instrument of operation, viz. heat and cold. And herein man's power is clearly lame on one side. For we have the heat of fire, which is infinitely more potent and intense than the heat of the sun as it reaches us, or the warmth of animals. But we have no cold save such as is to be got in winter time, or in caverns, or by application of snow and ice; which is about as much perhaps in comparison as the heat of the sun at noon in the torrid zone increased by the reflexions of mountains and walls; for such heat as well as such cold can be endured by animals for a short time. But they are nothing to be compared to the heat of a burning furnace, or with any cold corresponding to it in intensity. Thus all things with us tend to rarefaction, and desiccation, and consumption; nothing hardly to condensation and inteneration, except by mixtures and methods that may be called spurious. Instances of cold therefore should be collected with all diligence; and such it seems may be found by exposing bodies on steeples in sharp frosts; by laying them in subterranean caverns; by surrounding them with snow and ice in deep pits dug for the purpose; by letting them down into wells; by burying them in quicksilver and metals; by plunging them into waters which petrify wood; by burying them in the earth, as the Chinese are said to do in the making of porcelain, where masses made for the purpose are left, we are told, under ground for forty or fifty years, and transmitted to heirs, as a kind of artificial minerals; and by similar processes.

And so too all natural condensations caused by cold should be investigated, in order that, their causes being known, they may be imitated by art. Such we see in the sweating of marble and stones; in the dews condensed on the inside of window panes, towards morning, after a night's frost; in the formation and gathering of vapours into water under the earth, from which springs often bubble up. Everything of this kind should be collected.

Besides things which are cold to the touch, there are found others having the power of cold, which also condense; but which seem to act on the bodies of animals only, and hardly

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