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INQUISITION OF THE CONVERSIONS OF BODIES.
TRANSLATED BY A. BLAIR, ESQ., 1830.
Inquisition of the Conversions, Transmutations, Water, as there is reason to think, is changed Multiplications, and Productions of Bodies. into crystal; which may be seen in many caverns,
where the crystal hangs in drops. Earth, by fire, is converted into bricks, which You may have an experiment of wood, or are of the nature of stones, and which we use for the stalks of plants, buried in quicksilver, whebuilding, like stones. So with tiles.
ther they will harden, and, as it were, petrify, Naphtha, which was that bituminous cement, or no. wherewith the walls of Babylon were built, by Report has much prevailed of a stone bred in time acquires exceedingly great hardness and the head of an old and great toad. firmness, equal to stone.
It is related that a certain nobleman, digging In clayey lands, where are pebbles and gravel, in the bed of his pool, found an egg turned into you shall find huge stones, concreted of pebbles stone, the white and yolk retaining their proper and gravel, with stony matter interposed, as hard, colour; but the shell brightly sparkling, like a or truly harder, than the pebbles themselves. diamond exquisitely cut in faces.
There are certain springs of water, wherein if Make experiment of some bodies, let down you iinmerse wood, it shall be turned into the na- near to the bottom of a well, as wood, or other ture of stone; so as that the part sunk in the softer substances; but let them not touch the water shall become stone, the part above the water, lest they rot. water shall remain wood.
They say that the white of an egg, through The viscous matter about the kidneys and long insolation, or exposure in the sunbeams, has bladder, in the human body, is converted into a contracted the hardness of a stone. pebble or stony matter. A stone, also, is often Mud, in water, is converted in the shells of found in the gall-bladder; and sometimes, but fishes, as in muscles,-(the fish) which are found this is most rare, in the vena porta.
in pools of fresh water, that flow not, and are Quære, how much time is required, that the covered with moss.
But the substance of those matter of earth, in stone-quarries, may be con- shells is exceedingly delicate, clear, and glisverted into the stony nature ?
THE MASCULINE BIRTH OF TIME ;
GREAT INSTAURATION OF MAN'S DOMINION OVER THE UNIVERSE
To God the Father, God the Word, God the passages of sense, and the kindling of greater Holy Ghost, I address my most humbled and natural light, any infidelity or darkness may ardent prayers, that, mindful of the miseries of arise in our minds towards the mysteries of God; man, and of this pilgrimage of life, of which the but rather that, by the understanding cleansed days are few and evil, they would open up yet and purified from fantastic and vain ideas, yet new sources of refreshment from the fountains of wholly submissive and subjected to the divine good, for the alleviation of our sorrows; and, also, oracles, those things which are of faith may be that things divine may not in this be prejudiced rendered to faith. by things human, nor from the opening up of the
W.G. G. 2 2
THE MASCULINE BIRTH OF TIME;
THREE BOOKS CONCERNING THE INTERPRETATION OF NATURE.
1. The PurificaTION AND APPLICATION OF | human things,) as I shall disclose to you these THE Mind.
things with the fullest conviction, with the deep2. The Light of NATURE, OR Method or In- est forecast of my mind, and after the profoundest
research into the present state of knowledge, in 3. NATURE ILLUMINATED, OR THE Truth of the method of all others the most legitimate. Things.
“ And what,” you will say, “is this legitimate
method ? Have done with artifice and circumloC. I. Legitimate Mode of Statement. cution; show me the naked truth of your design, I find, my son, that men in showing forth, and that I may be able to form a judgment for myno less in concealing the knowledge which they self.” I would, my dearest son, that matters think they have acquired, have not acted in a were in such a state with you as to render this spirit of good faith and of duty. No less mis- possible. Do you suppose that when all the enchievous, though perhaps less shameful, is the trances and passages to the minds of all men are error of those who, with good intentions, but lit- infested and obstructed with the darkest idols, and tle wisdom, are ignorant of the art and rules these deep-seated and burned in, as it were, into proper for setting forth their several subjects. their substance, that clear and smooth spaces can We do not intend, however, to begin a complaint be found for receiving the true and natural rays of either this perversity or ignorance in the ex- of objects ? A new process must be instituted, pounders of knowledge. Had they, by unskilful by which to insinuate ourselves into minds so enteaching, broken down the weight of the subjects tirely obstructed. For as the delusions of the taught, it might, no doubt, have been matter insane are removed by art and ingenuity, but ag. of just indignation. But, in teaching inaptitude, gravated by violence and opposition, so must we it was natural to expect absurdity. I, however, adapt ourselves here to the universal insanity. far different from such instructors, intend to im- What! do even those less difficult requisites per part to you not fictions of imagination or shadows taining to the legitimate method of delivering of words; not a mixture of religion; not certain knowledge, appear to you such light and easy commonplace observations, or certain well-known matters ? That it be ingenuous, that is, afford experiments adjusted to conformity with fanciful no handle or occasion for error; that it have a theories, but to bind, and place at your command, certain native and inseparable quality, both to nature with her offspring about her; and can this conciliate belief, and repel the injuries of time, so be supposed a theme fit to be debased by preten- that the knowledge so delivered, like a vigorous sion or unskilfulness, or other defective treatment. and healthy plant, may daily shoot and thrive; So may I exist, my son, and so may I extend the that it appear to place itself in, and adapt itself to now deplorably narrow limits of man's dominion the situation of its proper and reasonable reader: over the universe to the permitted boundaries, whether I shall show in the sequel all these qua(which is the only object of my prayers among lities or not, I appeal to futurity. W. G. G.
THE HISTORY AND FIRST INQUISITION OF
SOUND AND HEARING,
TOUCHING THE FORM OF SOUND, AND THE SECRET PROCESS OF SOUNI),
OR THE WOOD OF SOUND AND HEARING.
Of the generation of sound, and the first per- customary, and as it were invariable, when trials cussion.
and observations have grown into art, that the Of the lasting of sound, and of the perishing mathematic and practic is pursued, the physic is and extinction of sounds.
left. Moreover, optic fareth some whit better : Of the confusion and perturbation of sounds. for not only the art of painting, and beauty, and
of the accessory aids and impediments of symmetry are propounded unto optic, but the consounds.
templation of all visibles; but unto music, only of the stay of sound, and the diversity of me- inusical tones. Therefore we do inquire of sounds. diums. Of the penetration of sounds.
Of the Generation of Sound, and the First PerOf the carriage of sounds, and their direction or
cussion. spreading, and of the area which sound fills, to- The collision, or elision, as they speak, meangether and severally.
ing thereby some section or cutting of the air, Of the variety of the bodies, which yield sound; which they will have to be the cause of sound, and the instruments; and of the species of sounds imports neither the form, nor the secret process which occur.
of sound, but is a term of ignorance and superficial of the multiplication, majoration, diminution, contemplation. and fraction of sounds.
Sound is diffused and moves with so small an of the repercussion of sounds, and echo. impulse in its generation; also so far, and that in
Of the consent and dissents of audibles and round, not much depending on the first direction; visibles, and of other (so called) spiritual species. withal so smoothly, without any evident motion,
Of the quickness of the generation and extinc- found either by flame, or by feathers and straws, tion of sound, and the time in which they are or in any other manner; that it seems altogether effected.
hard that the form of sound should be any cutting, Of the affinity or non-affinity which sound hath or local and perceptible motion of the air, howsowith the motion, local and perceptible, of the air ever this may hold the part of the efficient. in which it is carried.
For that sound is so suddenly generated, and Of the communication of the air percussed and straightway dies, it seems necessary that either elided, with the ambient air, and bodies, or their its generation do a little thrust the air from its spirits.
nature, and its perishing restore it, as in the comof the forming or articulation of sound. pressions of waters, whereas a body cast into the Of the very impression of sounds upon the water makes many circles in the waters, that
come of the water at first compressed, afterward Of the organ of hearing, and its disposition and restoring itself into its proper consistence and diindisposition, helps, and hindrances.
mension; (which we have used to call the mo
tion of liberty ;) or that, contrariwise, the generaThe inquiry into sound and hearing I have tion of sound be an impression pleasant and thought well forth with to set on foot; for it ad- kindly, that winneth upon the air, and whereunto vantageth the understanding, and, as it were, the air freely stirreth itself, and that its extinction makes matter of its health, that the contempla- be from some enmity, which suffers not the air tions of the spiritual species, as they call them, longer to enjoy that agitation and impression; as and of operations at distance, he mixed with the in the generation of the very body of flame, wherein contemplation of those things, which work by the generation of the flame appears to be made communication only of the substance to the touch. with alacrity, but by the air and other environing Again, the observations concerning sounds have adversaries presently to be destroyed. brought forth to us the art of music. But it is! The whistling which is made by the mouth,
without use of a whistle, may be effected by suck-, back of the hand, or upon the forehead, cracks by ing in of the breath toward the inner parts of the eruption of the air. mouth, not only by expelling of the breath out- Instances of the percussion of a hard body wards; and clearly all sucking of the air inwards against the air, are seen in musical stringed gives a sound, which seems exceeding worthy of instruments; in the whistling of an arrow, as it remark: because the sound is generated against flies through the air; in the beating of the air, the perceptible motion of the air, so as the first although it strike not any hard body; also, in impulsion of the air appears plainly to be the regals, their sound is given by the air striking remote efficient, and no part of the form of sound. against water; in the pipe they call the nightin
In like manner, if there be an egg of glass gale-pipe, which gives a sound continually tumtaken, and the air through a small hole forcibly bling; in water agitated and restoring itself again; sucked out; then the hole stopped with wax, and and in the toys wherewith children please themit be laid by for a time; if afterwards the wax be selves, (they call them cocks,) in imitation of the removed from the hole, you shall hear plainly the voices of birds ; likewise in other hydraulics. hissing of the air entering into the egg, being Instances of the percussion of a hard body drawn, to wit, by the inner air, after forcible rare- against a hard body, are found either simply, or faction, restoring itself. So as in this trial also, with communication of some air enclosed beside sound is generated contrarily to the perceptible that air, which is cut or elided between the hard motion of the air.
bodies percussed; simply, as in all hammering In like manner, in the toy that is called a jew's- or knocking of hard bodies, with communication harp, holding the sides betwixt the teeth, the of air penned in, as in bells and drums. little tongue of iron is drawn outwards and jarred, A stone cast forcibly into the water gives a when it flies back inwards against the air that is sound; as do the drops of rain falling upon the in the mouth, and thence is a sound created. water, and no less wave dashing against wave, in
And in these three trials it may not be doubted which there is percussion betwixt a hard body but that sound is generated by the percussion of and water. the air inwards towards the mouth on the egg of It seemeth to be constant in the generation of glass.
all sound, that there are certain parts of air, and Sound is generated by percussions. The per- that air is required between the bodies percussed; cussion is either of air against air, or of a hard which air, in the percussion of a hard body against body against the air, or of a hard body against the air, and of a hard body against a hard body,
a a hard body.
appears manifestly to be cut or elided. I judge The instance of the percussion of air against that flame should suffice for this in the stead of air chiefly prasii's in the human voice, and in the air, as if in the midst of a great flame a bel! voices of birds and of other animals;. next in should be rung, or stones knocked together; but musical wind instruments; also in ordnance, in the percussion of air against air this elision or greater and less, where the percussion that gives separation appears more dark, but the air seems the sound is generated chiefly by the percussion only to be beaten and driven, and that in a soft of the confined air that issues from the mouth of voice, very gently. But it seems, even in this the piece against the outer air ; for the bullet kind, to need that there be some elision of the air wherewith it is charged makes not much to the percussed by the air percussing: for even in air noise. Neither is the percussion of a soft body moved by a fan, the air from the side of the fan, against a soft body only seen in the percussion of and when air is blown out of bellows, the blast air against air, but also of air against flame, as in of air from the mouth, divides the other air. But the raising of a flame with bellows; also flames concerning this kind of elision of the air, which amongst themselves, when one drives another, happens when the percussion of air against air yield a certain roaring; but whether the air assist createth sound, as in the voice, let inquiry be here may be further inquired. Also, all flame made further. that suddenly taketh, if it be of any greatness, It is well doubted, whether the percussion that makes a sound, rather, as I think, in displacing of produces sound, when the air is percussed by a the air than of itself. Also in eruptions, there is string, or otherwise, be from the beginning, when percussion made of the spirit breaking out against the string starting back percusses tne air, or a the air adjacent; as in the cracklings made by dry little after, the air, to wit, being compressed by the leaves, or bay-salt, and many other things, when first percussion, and thereafter acting the part, as cast into the fire; and in thunder, either by the it were, of a hard body. spirit oreaking out from the cloud, or wallowing When sound is yielded by the percussion of and tossed to and fro, as in the more hollow and air against air, it is required that there be an Cengthened rolling of thunder; also we see in imprisoning or penning of the air in some consport that a fresh rose-leaf gathered together cave, as in whistling by the mouth, in pipes, in 80 as 1: shall contain air, and struck upon the the viol, in the voice; which is divided, where
the air is penned in the hollow of the mouth or It can be taken for an argument, that sound is throat. In the percussion of a hard body against manifestly some kind of local motion in the air, air is required hardness of the body and quick that it so suddenly fails; because, in all cutting motion, and sometimes communication with a or impulsion of the air, the air quite recovers and concave, as in the cittern, lute, beating of the air, restores itself, which also water doth through &c.; but in the percussion of a hard body against many circles, albeit not so speedily as the air. a hard body, the hollow, or the quick motion, is less required.
of the Confusion and Perturbation of Sounds. There is a talk of a white gunpowder, which In the act of sight, visibles from one part im. should give percussion without noise. It is sure pede not visibles from other parts; but all the that nitre, which is white, is of great force for visibles which offer themselves from every part, expulsion, yet in such wise as the speedy kindling lands, waters, woods, the sun, buildings, men, are doch much enhance both the percussion and the at once represented to the eyes. But, if so many noise; but the quick kindling is caused specially voices or sounds did at once issue from several by the coal of willows, which is black. There- parts, the hearing should be plainly confounded, fi re, if a composition were made of sulphur and nor might distinctly perceive them. nitre, and a modicum of camphor, it is like that The greater sound confoundeth the less, that it the kindling would be slower, and the percussion should not be heard; but spiritual species, as not so jarring and sharp; whence much might be they speak of a diverse kind from sound, confuse diminished of the sound, but with loss too in the not sound, but altogether and at once hang in the strength of the percussion. To be further air, the one little or nothing troubling the other; inquired.
as light, or colour, heat and cold, smells, magnetic Of the Lasting of Sound, and its Perishing and virtues ; all these together can liang in the air, nor Exlinction.
yet do greatly hinder or disturb sounds.
The cause wherefore many visibles are at once The lasting of the sound of a bell that is struck, represented unto the eyes, the one not confoundor of a string, which seems to be prolonged, and ing the other, would seem to be none other but gradually to fade, comes not rightly of the first this : that visibles are not seen except in a right percussion, but the trembling of the body per- line, but sounds are heard even in a line oblique, cussed generates in the air continually new or arcuate. Therefore, as many objects in the sound. For, if that trembling be checked, and area of the sphere of sight, as are conveyed, there the bell or string stayed, the sound quickly dies; be so many cones of beams, nor ever one cone as in virginals, where, if the quill be dropped so doth coincide with another; neither do the verthat it touch the string, the sciind ceases. tices of the cones meet in the same point, because
A bell hanging in the air gives a far louder and they are carried by right lines. But sounds, which more enduring sound if it be chimed upon with a are carried by lines, both right and arcuate, can hammer on the outside, than if it stood fixed, and meet easily in one point, and so are confused. were in like manner chimed upon with a hammer. The same seemeth to be the cause wherefore a And of the more enduring sound the reason is more bright colour drowns not a more dim colour; rendered already, because it trembleth longer. nevertheless, a greater light obscures and hides But that even the first sound in the hanging bell a weaker light, because light is perceived in an is more resounding, in the standing less, would be arched line, like as sound. For, although the further inquired.
very flame of a candle be not seen except in a Likewise a drinking cup of silver or of glass right line, yet does the light that is everywhere that is fillipped, if it be left alone, gives a sound spread round attain to the sight in lines, arched louder and more lasting; but if the foot of the cup in respect of the body of the candle: the like is be steadied with the other hand, a far duller, and the case of the sun, or flame. Now, if it be obof shorter stay.
jected that neither is light itself seen except in a The sound which is yielded in the viol or cit- right line from air illuminated, it is true; but I tern is plainly not made by the percussion between think that this as well happens to sound : for the finger, or the quill, and the string, or between neither is sound heard unless in right lines from the finger, or the quill, and the air, but by the some part of the sphere of sound, whither the first finger impelling, and thereafter the string flying pulsation arrives. But colour, which is nothing back, and in that recoil percussing the air. There other than the image unequally reflected of the fore, when the string is moved with a bow, not light, spreadeth around so weak species, that it by the finger, or a quill, the sound can be con- little or nothing tinges the air adjacent, unless tinued at pleasure, through the roughness of the where the colours are conveyed in right lines be. string of the bow, which is a little smeared with tween the object and the eye. rosin : whence it slides not on the string, nor once Let there be a trial made with a double recorder, strikes il, but holds and continually tortureth it, in which let there be two fipples, at each end one, out of which motion the sound is maintained. so as they may be played in unison : the hollow