Imágenes de páginas

burdening, is so from the beginning, that which is made by the expiration of the earth, or repercussion from above, a little while after, unless the eruption, or precipitation, or reverberation, be exceeding violent.

8. Air will endure some compression before it be overburdened, and begins to thrust away the adjoining air, by reason whereof all winds are a little thicker than quiet and calin air.

9. Winds are allayed five ways, either by the conjunction of vapours, or by their sublimation, or by transporting them, or by their being spent. 10. Vapours are conjoined, and so the air itself becomes water, four ways, either by abundance aggravating, or by colds condensing, or by contrary winds compelling, or by obstacles reverberating.

11. Both vapours and exhalations, but wind very frequently from vapours. But there is this difference, that winds which are made of vapours do more easily incorporate themselves into pure air, are sooner allayed, and are not so obstinate as those winds which are engendered of exhalations.

12. The manner and several conditions of heat have no less power in the generation of winds, than the abundance or conditions of the matter.

13. The heat of the sun ought to be so proportioned in the generation of winds, that it may raise them, but not in such abundance as that they gather into rain, nor in so small a quantity, that they may be quite shaken off and dispersed.

14. Winds blow from their nurseries, and the nurseries being disposed several ways, divers winds for the most part blow together, but the strongest either quite overthrows, or turns into its current the weakest.

grind more with less wind. A thing very useful for gain.

Next. Look concerning this upon our experi ments in the answer to the seven-and-twentieth article, where the thing seems to be, as it were done.

3. Optative. To foreknow when winds will rise and allay. A thing useful for navigation and for husbandry, especially for the choosing of times for sea-fights.

Next. To this belong many of those things which are observed in the inquisition, and especially in the answer to the two-and-thirtieth article. But a more careful observation hereafter (if any shall apply their mind to it) will give far more exact prognostics, the cause of the winds being already laid open.

4. Optative. To give judgment, and make prognostics by winds, of other things, as, first, whether they be continents or islands in the sea in any place, or rather a free, open sea; a thing very useful for new and unknown voyages.

Next. The next is the observation concerning constant and trade winds; that which Columbus seemed to make use of.

5. Optative. Likewise of the plenty or scarcity of corn every year. A thing useful for gain, and buying beforehand, and forestalling, as it is reported of Thales, concerning monopoly of olives.

Next. To this belong some things specified in the inquisition of winds, either hurtful or shaking winds, and the times when they do hurt ; to the nine-and-twentieth article.

6. Optative. Likewise concerning diseases and plagues every year. A thing useful for the credit of physicians, if they can foretell them, also for the causes and cures of diseases, and some other civil considerations.

Next. To this likewise belong some things

15. Winds are engendered everywhere, from the very superfices of the earth, up into the mid-set down in the inquisition to the thirtieth article. dle region of the air, the more frequent below, but the stronger above.

16. The countries which have retaining or trade winds, if they be warm, have them warmer than according to the measure of their climate; if they be cold, they have them colder.

A Human Map, or Optatives, with such things as are next to them concerning Winds.


1. To frame and dispose sails of ships in such a manner, that with less wind they might go a greater journey; a thing very useful to shorten journeys by sea, and save charges.

Next. The next invention precisely in practice I have not as yet found; yet, concerning that, look upon our greater observations upon the sixand-twentieth article.

2. Optative. That we could make windmills and their sails in such manner that they may

Monition. Of predictions by wind concerning corn, fruits, and diseases, look upon histories of husbandry and physic.

7. Optative. How to raise winds and to allay them.

Next. Concerning these things there are some superstitious opinions, which do not seem worthy to be inserted into a serious and severe natural history. Nor can I think of any thing that is near in this kind. The design may be this, to look thoroughly into and inquire about the nature of the air; whether any thing may be found, whereof a small quantity put into air may raise and multiply the motion to dilatation, or contraction in the body of the air. For out of this (if it might be done) would follow the raisings and allayings of winds. Such as that experiment of Pliny is, concerning vinegar thrown against the whirlwinds, if it were true. Another design might be, by letting forth of winds out of sub. terraneal places; if so be they should gather to

gether anywhere in great abundance, as it is a Next. We have not leisure to enter into common and approved opinion of the well in Dalmatia; but to know such places of prisons, is very hard and difficult.

8. Optative. To work many fine, pleasant, and wonderful conceits by the motion of winds.

consideration touching these things. Next to it is that common report of the duels of winds. Questionless many such pleasant things might very well be found out, both for motions and sounds of winds.






Ir is no marvel if nature be indebted to philosophy and the sciences, seeing it was never yet called upon to give an account, for there never was any diligent and dispensatory inquisition made of the quaintity of the matter, and how that had been distributed into bodies, (in some copiously, in others sparingly,) according to the true, or at least truest accounts that hath been truly received and approved of, that nothing is taken away and lost, or added unto the universal Likewise that place hath been treated upon by some, namely, how it can be loosened or contracted without intermixion or vacuity, according to more or less: but the natures of density and rarity, some have referred to the abundance or scarcity of the matter; another hath laughed at the same; the greatest part, following their author, to discuss and compose the whole matter by that cold and weak distinction of act and power. Those also who attribute them to the reasons of matter, (which is the true opinion,) do neither quite deprive the materia prima, or primary matter of its quantum, or quantity, though for other forms they will have it equal, but here do terminate and end the matter, and seek no further, nor do not perceive what followeth thereby; and either do not touch at all, or at least do not urge home that which hath a regard to infinites, and is, as it were, the basis and ground of natural philosophy.

First, therefore, that which is rightly set down must not be moved nor altered; namely, that there is no transaction made in any transmutation of bodies, either from nothing, or to nothing; but that they are works of the same omnipotence, to

create out of nothing, and to reduce unto nothing, and that by course of nature this can never be done. Therefore the sum of the total matter stands still whole, nothing is added, nothing is diminished; yet that this sum is divided by portions amongst the bodies is unquestionable, for there can no man be so much beside himself through any subtile abstractions, as to think that there is as much matter in one vessel of water as in ten vessels of water, nor likewise in one vessel of air as much as in ten vessels of air; but in the same body there is no question but that the abundance of matter is multiplied according to the measure of the body, in divers bodies it is questionable. And if it be demonstrated that one vessel of water turned into air will yield ten vessels of air, (for we take this computation for a received opinion, though that of a hundred-fold be the truer,) it is well; for now they are no more divers bodies, water and air, but the same body of air in ten vessels; but one vessel of air (as it was but now granted) is but only the tenth part of ten vessels. Therefore it cannot be contradicted but that in one vessel of water there is ten times more matter than in one vessel of air: therefore, if one should affirm, that one whole vessel of water could be converted into one vessel of air, it were as much as if one should affirm that something could be reduced to nothing; forasmuch as one tenth part of water would suffice to do it, and the other nine parts must of necessity be reduced to nothing; and, contrariwise, if one should affirm that one vessel of air could be turned into a vessel of water, it would be as much as if he should say, that something could be created out


of nothing; for one vessel of air can attain and reach but unto the tenth part of a vessel of water, and the other nine parts must needs proceed from nothing. In the mean time we will plainly acknowledge and confess, that to understand the true means of the reasons and calculations of the how much part of the quantum, or how much of the matter which is in divers bodies, and by what industry and sagacity one may be truly informed thereof, is a high matter to be inquired; but such as the great and largely extended profit


which will accrue thereby will largely recompense. For to know the densities and rarities of the body, and much more, how to procure and effect the condensations and rarefactions, is of great importance and moment both to contemplative and to the practice. Seeing, then, it is a thing (if any there be at all) merely fundamental and universal, we must go carefully and prepared about it, seeing that all philosophy without it is loose and disjointed. |



THE motion of gravity and lightness, the an- | any of the modern authors do any thing worth cients did illustrate with the name of natural motion, for they saw no external efficient, nor no apparent resistance; yea, the motion seemed swifter in its progress. This contemplation, or rather speech, they seasoned with that mathematical phantasy of the staying or stopping of heavy things at the centre of the earth, (although the earth should be bored quite thorow,) and that scholastical invention of the motion of bodies to their several places. Having laid, or set down these things, supposing they had done their parts, they looked no further, but only that which some of them more carefully inquired after, namely, of the centre of gravity in divers figures, and of such things as are carried by water. Neither did

speaking of concerning this, only by adding some few mechanical things, which they had also wrested with their demonstrations; but, laying many words aside, it is most certain that a body cannot suffer but by a body; neither can there be any local motion made, unless it be solicited or set forward, either by the parts of the body itself, which is moved, or by the adjacent bodies, which either touch it or are near unto it, or are, at least, within the orb of its activity. So that Gilbertus did not unknowingly introduce magnetic powers, he also becoming a loadstone, namely, drawing more things by those powers than he should have done, and building a ship, as it were, of a round piece of wood.



STRIFE and amity in nature, are the eggers on | impure, which also they call natural magic, and. of motions, and the keys of works. Hence pro- (which always comes to pass,) where diligence ceeds the union and dissension of bodies; hence the mixion and separation of bodies; hence the high and intimate impressions of virtues, and that which they call joining of actives with passives; finally, they are the great and wonderful works of nature. But this part of philosophy, namely, of the sympathy and antipathy of things, is most VOL. III.-59

and care hath wanted, there hath hope remained; but the operation thereof in men is merely like unto certain soporiferous medicines, which cast one asleep, and do, moreover, send and infuse into him merry and pleasant dreams. For, first, it casts man's understanding into a sleep, representing unto him specifical properties and hidden vir


tues, whereby men awake no more, nor look after the finding and searching out of true causes, but acquiesce and lie still in these idle ways. Then it insinuates an innumerable company of fictions, like unto dreams; and vain men hope to know the nature by the outward shape and show, and, by extrinsical similitudes, to discover inward properties. Their practice, also, is very like unto their inquiry; for the precepts of natural magic are such as if men should be confident that they could subdue the earth, and eat their bread without the sweat of their brow, and to have power over things by idle and easy applications of

bodies; and stil! they have in their mouths, and, like undertakers or sureties, they call upon the loadstone, and the consent which is between gold and quicksilver; and some few things of this kind they allege for to prove other things, which are not bound by any such like contract. But God hath appointed the best of things to be inquired out, and be wrought by labours and endeavours. We will be a little more careful in searching out the law of nature and the mutual contracts of things, neither favouring miracles, nor making too lowly and straitened an inquisition.



THIS triple of principles hath been introduced by the chymists, and, as concerning speculatives, is of them which they bring the best invention. The most subtile and acute of these, and those who are most philosophical, will have the elements to be earth, water, air, and the sky; and those they will not have to be the matter of things, but the matrixes in which the specifical seeds of things do engender in the nature of a matrix. But, for the materia prima, or primary matter, (which scholars do lay down, as it were, naked and indifferent,) they substitute those three, sulphur, mercury, and salt; out of which all bodies are gathered together and mixed. We do accept of their words, but their opinions are not very sound. Yet that doth not ill agree with their opinion, namely, that we hold two of them, to wit, sulphur and mercury, (taken according to our sense,) to be very first and prime natures, and most inward figurations of matter, and almost chief amongst the forms of the first class. But we may vary the words of sulphur and mercury, and name them otherwise, oily, waterish, fat, crude, inflammable, not inflammable, or the like. For these seem to be two very great things of the three, and which possess and penetrate the universe, for, amongst subterraneal things, they are sulphur and mercury, as they are called; in

the vegetable and animal kind, they are oil and water; in the inferior spiritual things, they are air and flame; in the heavenly, the body of a star, and the pure sky; but of this last duality we yet say nothing, though it seem to be a probable deciphering; for, if they mean by salt the fixed part of the body which is not resolved either into flame or smoke, this belongeth to the inquisition of fluid and determinate things. But if we take salt according to the letter, without any parabolical meaning, salt is no third thing from sulphur and mercury, but mixed of both, connexed into one by an acrimonious and sharp spirit; for all manner of salt hath inflammable parts, and other parts, also, which not only will not take fire, but do also abhor it and fly from it: yet the inquisition of salt, being somewhat allied to the inquisition of the other two, and exceeding useful as being a tie and band of both natures, sulphureous and salt, and the very rudiment of life itself, we have thought fitting to comprehend it also within this history and inquisition; but, in the mean time, we give you notice, that those spiritual things, air, water, stars, and sky, we do (as they very well deserve it) reserve them for proper and peculiar inquisitions, and here in this place to set down the history only of tangible, that is to say, mineral or vegetable sulphur and mercury.



The entrance to this history will be found in the history itself, which follows next in order.








I AM to give advertisement, that there came forth of late a translation of this book by an unknown person, who, though he wished well to the propagating of his lordship's works, yet he was altogether unacquainted with his lordship's style and manner of expressions, and so published a translation lame and defective in the whole. Whereupon, I thought fit to recommend the same to be translated anew, by a more diligent and zealous pen, which hath since travelled in it; and, though it still comes short of that lively and incomparable spirit and expression, which lived and died with the author, yet, I dare avouch it to be much more warrantable and agreeable than the former. It is true, this book was not intended to have been published in English; but, seeing it hath already been made free of that language, whatsoever benefit or delight may redound from it, I commend the same to the courteous and judicious reader.

W. R.



Although I had ranked the History of Life and Death as the last amongst my six monthly designations, yet I have thought fit, in respect of the prime use thereof, (in which the least loss of time ought to be esteemed precious,) to invert that order, and to send it forth in the second place. For I have hope, and wish, that it may conduce to a common good; and that the nobler sort of physicians will advance their thoughts, and not employ their times wholly in the sordidness of cures, neither be honoured for necessity only, but that they will become coadjutors and instruments of the Divine omnipotence and clemency in prolonging and renewing the life of man; especially, seeing I prescribe it to be done by safe, and convenient, and civil ways, though hitherto unassayed. For, though we Christians do continually aspire and pant after the land of promise, yet it will be a token of God's favour towards us in our journeyings through this world's wilderness, to have our shoes and garments (I mean those of our frail bodies) little worn or impaired.



« AnteriorContinuar »