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on others. Of this sort we have many instances in medicines and plasters; some of which condense the flesh and tangible parts, as astringent and inspissatory medicaments; while others condense the spirits, as is most observable in soporifics. There are two ways in which spirits are condensed by medicaments soporific, or provocative of sleep; one by quieting their motion, the other by putting them to flight. Thus violets, dried rose leaves, lettuce, and like benedict or benignant medicaments, by their kindly and gently cooling fumes invite the spirits to unite, and quiet their eager and restless motion. Rose water too, applied to the nose in a fainting fit, causes the resolved and too relaxed spirits to recover themselves, and as it were cherishes them. But opiates and kindred medicaments put the spirits utterly to flight, by their malignant and hostile nature. And therefore if they be applied to an external part, the spirits immediately flee away from that part, and do not readily flow into it again; if taken internally, their fumes, ascending to the head, disperse in all directions the spirits contained in the ventricles of the brain; and these spirits thus withdrawing themselves, and unable to escape into any other part, are by consequence brought together and condensed, and sometimes are utterly choked and extinguished; though on the other hand these same opiates taken in moderation do by a secondary accident (namely, the condensation which succeeds the coming together) comfort the spirits, and render them more robust, and check their useless and inflammatory motions; whereby they contribute no little to the cure of diseases, and prolongation of life.
Nor should we omit the means of preparing bodies to receive cold. Among others I may mention that water slightly warm is more easily frozen than quite cold.
Besides, since nature supplies cold so sparingly, we must do as the apothecaries do, who when they cannot get a simple, take its succedaneum or quid pro quo, as they call it; such as aloes for balsam, cassia for cinnamon. In like manner we should look round carefully to see if there be anything that will do instead of cold; that is to say, any means by which condensations can be effected in bodies otherwise than by cold, the proper office of which is to effect them. Such condensations, as far as yet appears, would seem to be limited to four. The first of these is caused by simple compression, which can do but little for permanent density, since bodies recoil, but which
perhaps may be of use as an auxiliary. The second is caused by the contraction of the coarser parts in a body, after the escape of the finer; such as takes place in indurations by fire, in the repeated quenchings of metals, and like processes. The third is caused by the coming together of those homogeneous parts in a body which are the most solid, and which previously had been dispersed, and mixed with the less solid; as in the restoration of sublimated mercury, which occupies a far greater space in powder than as simple mercury, and similarly in all purging of metals from their dross. The fourth is brought about through sympathy, by applying substances which from some occult power condense. These sympathies or consents at present manifest themselves but rarely; which is no wonder, since before we succeed in discovering Forms and Configurations, we cannot hope for much from an inquiry into sympathies. With regard to the bodies of animals indeed, there is no doubt that there are many medicines, whether taken internally or externally, which condense as it were by consent, as I have stated a little above. But in the case of inanimate substances such operation is rare. There has indeed been spread abroad, as well in books as in common rumour, the story of a tree in one of the Tercera or Canary Isles (I do not well remember which) which is constantly dripping; so as to some extent to supply the inhabitants with water. And Paracelsus says that the herb called Ros Solis is at noon and under a burning sun filled with dew, while all the other herbs round it are dry. But both of these stories I look upon as fabulous. If they were true, such instances would be of most signal use, and most worthy of examination. Nor do I conceive that those honey-dews, like manna, which are found on the leaves of the oak in the month of May, are formed and condensed by any peculiar property in the leaf of the oak; but that while they fall equally on all leaves, they are retained on those of the oak, as being well united, and not spongy as most of the others are.
As regards heat, man indeed has abundant store and command thereof; but observation and investigation are wanting in some particulars, and those the most necessary, let the alchemists say what they will. For the effects of intense heat are sought for and brought into view; but those of a gentler heat, which fall in most with the ways of nature, are not explored, and therefore are unknown. And therefore we see that by
the heats generally used the spirits of bodies are greatly exalted, as in strong waters and other chemical oils; that the tangible parts are hardened, and, the volatile being discharged, sometimes fixed; that the homogeneous parts are separated, while the heterogenous are in a coarse way incorporated and mixed up together; above all that the junctures of composite bodies, and their more subtle configurations are broken up and confounded, Whereas the operations of a gentler heat ought to have been tried and explored, whereby more subtle mixtures and regular configurations might be generated and educed, after the model of nature, and in imitation of the works of the sun; as I have shadowed forth in the Aphorism on Instances of Alliance. For the operations of nature are performed by far smaller portions at a time, and by arrangements far more exquisite and varied than the operations of fire, as we use it
And it is then that we shall see a real increase in the power of man, when by artificial heats and other agencies the works of nature can be represented in form, perfected in virtue, varied in quantity, and, I may add, accelerated in time. For the rust of iron is slow in forming, but the turning into Crocus Martis is immediate; and it is the same with verdigris and ceruse; crystal is produced by a long process, while glass is blown at once; stones take a long time to grow, while bricks are quickly baked. Meanwhile (to come to our present business), heats of every kind, with their effects, should be diligently collected from all quarters and investigated, - the heat of heavenly bodies by their rays direct, reflected, refracted, and united in burning-glasses and mirrors; the heat of lightning, of flame, of coal fire; of fire from different materials; of fire close and open, straitened and in full flow, modified in fine by the different structures of furnaces; of fire excited by blowing; of fire quiescent and not excited; of fire removed to a greater or less distance; of fire passing through various media; moist heats, as of a vessel floating in hot water, of dung, of external and internal animal warmth, of confined hay; dry heats, as of ashes, lime, warm sand; in short heats of all kinds with their degrees.
But above all, we must try to investigate and discover the effects and operations of heat when applied and withdrawn gradually, orderly, and periodically, at due distances and for due times. For such orderly inequality is in truth the daughter of the heavens, and mother of generation ; nor is anything great to be expected from a heat either vehement or precipitate or that comes by fits and starts. In vegetables this is most manifest; and also in the wombs of animals there is a great inequality of heat, from the motion, sleep, food and passions of the female in gestation; lastly in the wombs of the earth itself, those I mean in which metals and fossils are formed, the same inequality has place and force. Which makes the unskilfulness of some alchemists of the reformed school all the more remarkable, who have conceived that by the equable warmth of lamps and the like, burning uniformly, they can attain their end. And so much for the operations and effects of heat. To examine them thoroughly would be premature, till the Forms of things and the Configurations of bodies have been further investigated and brought to light. For it will then be time to seek, apply, and adapt our instruments, when we are clear as to the pattern.
The fourth mode of operating is by continuance, which is as it were the steward and almoner of nature. Continuance I call it, when a body is left to itself for a considerable time, being meanwhile defended from all external force. For then only do the internal motions exhibit and perfect themselves, when the extraneous and adventitious are stopped. Now the works of time are far subtler than those of fire. For wine cannot be so clarified by fire, as it is by time ; nor are the ashes produced by fire so fine as the dust into which substances are resolved and wasted by ages. So too the sudden incorporations and mixtures precipitated by fire are far inferior to those which are brought about by time. And the dissimilar and varied configurations which bodies by continuance put on, such as putrefactions, are destroyed by fire or any violent heat. Meanwhile it would not be out of place to observe that the motions of bodies when quite shut up have in them something of violence. For such imprisonment impedes the spontaneous motions of the body. And therefore continuance in an open vessel is best for separations; in a vessel quite closed for commixtures; in a vessel partly closed, but with the air entering, for putrefactions. But indeed instances showing the effects and operations of continuance should be carefully collected from all quarters.
The regulation of motion (which is the fifth mode of operatVOL. IV.
ing) is of no little service. I call it regulation of motion, when one body meeting another impedes, repels, admits or directs its spontaneous motion. It consists for the most part in the shape and position of vessels. Thus the upright cone in alembics helps the condensation of vapours; the inverted cone in receivers helps the draining off of the dregs of sugar. Sometimes a winding form is required, and one that narrows and widens in turn, and the like. For all percolation depends on this, that the meeting body opens the way to one portion of the body met and shuts it to another. Nor is the business of percolation or other regulation of motion always performed from without; it may also be done by a body within a body;
; as when stones are dropped into water to collect its earthy parts; or when syrups are clarified with the whites of eggs, that the coarser parts may adhere thereto, after which they may be removed.
It is also to this regulation of motion that Telesius has rashly and ignorantly enough attributed the shapes of animals, which he says are owing to the channels and folds in the womb. But he should have been able to show the like formation in the shells of eggs, in which there are no wrinkles or inequalities. It is true however that the regulation of motion gives the shapes in moulding and casting.
Operations by consents or aversions (which is the sixth mode) often lie deeply hid. For what are called occult and specific properties, or sympathies and antipathies, are in great part corruptions of philosophy. Nor can we have much hope of discovering the consents of things before the discovery of Forms and Simple Configurations. For Consent is nothing else than the adaptation of Forms and Configurations to each other.
The broader and more general consents of things are not however quite so obscure. I will therefore begin with them. Their first and chief diversity is this, that some bodies differ widely as to density and rarity, but agree in configurations; while others agree as to density and rarity, but differ in configurations. For it has not been ill observed by the chemists in their triad of first principles, that sulphur and mercury run through the whole universe. (For what they add about salt is absurd, and introduced merely to take in bodies earthy, dry, and fixed.) But certainly in these two one of the most general consents in nature does seem to be observable. For there is