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water rolleth and moveth, both more slowly, and with a sloper rise and fall: but where there is less water, and less space, and the water dasheth more against the bottom, there it moveth more swiftly, and more in precipice; for in the breaking of the waves there is ever a precipice.
Experiment solitary touching the dulcoration of
881. Ir hath been observed by the ancients, that salt water boiled, or boiled and cooled again, is more potable, than of itself raw; and yet the taste of salt in distillations by fire riseth not, for the distilled water will be fresh. The cause may be, for that the salt part of the water doth partly rise into a kind of scum on the top, and partly goeth into a sediment in the bottom; and so is rather a separation than an evaporation. But it is too gross to rise into a vapour; and so is a bitter taste likewise; for simple distilled waters, of wormwood, and the like, are not bitter.
Experiment solitary touching the return of saltness in pits upon the sea-shore.
882. IT hath been set down before, that pits upon the sea-shore turn into fresh water, by percolation of the salt through the sand: but it is farther noted, by some of the ancients, that in some places of Africa, after a time, the water in such pits will become brackish again. The cause is, for that after a time, the very sands through which the salt water passeth, become salt; and so the strainer itself is tinctured with salt. The remedy therefore is, to dig still new pits, when the old wax brackish; as if you would change your strainer.
Experiment solitary touching attraction by similitude of substance.
883. IT hath been observed by the ancients, that salt water will dissolve salt put into it, in less time than fresh water will dissolve it. The cause may be, for that the salt in the precedent water doth, by simi
litude of substance, draw the salt new put in unto it; whereby it diffuseth in the liquor more speedily. This is a noble experiment, if it be true, for it sheweth means of more quick and easy infusions; and it is likewise a good instance of attraction by similitude of substance. Try it with sugar put into water formerly sugared, and into other water unsugared.
Experiment solitary touching attraction.
884. PUT sugar into wine, part of it above, part under the wine, and you shall find, that which may seem strange, that the sugar above the wine will soften and dissolve sooner than that within the wine. The cause is, for that the wine entereth that part of the sugar which is under the wine, by simple infusion or spreading; but that part above the wine is likewise forced by sucking; for all spongy bodies expel the air and draw in liquor, if it be contiguous: as we see it also in sponges put part above the water. It is worthy the inquiry, to see how you may make more accurate infusions, by help of attraction.
Experiment solitary touching heat under earth.
885. WATER in wells is warmer in winter than in summer and so air in caves. The cause is, for that in the hither parts, under the earth, there is a degree of some heat, as appeareth in sulphureous veins, etc. which shut close in, as in winter, is the more; but if it perspire, as it doth in summer, it is the less.
Experiment solitary touching flying in the air.
886. It is reported, that amongst the Leucadians, in ancient time, upon a superstition they did use to precipitate a man from a high cliff into the sea; tying about him with strings, at some distance, many great fowls; and fixing unto his body divers feathers, spread, to break the fall. Certainly many birds of good wing, as kites, and the like, would bear up a good weight as they fly; and spreading of feathers thin and close, and in great breadth, will likewise bear up a great weight, being even laid, without tilting upon the
sides. The farther extension of this experiment for flying may be thought upon.
Experiment solitary touching the dye of scarlet.
887. THERE is in some places, namely in Cephalonia, a little shrub which they call holly-oak, or dwarf-oak: upon the leaves whereof there riseth a tumour like a blister; which they gather, and rub out of it a certain red dust, that converteth, after a while, into worms, which they kill with wine, as is reported, when they begin to quicken: with this dust they dye scarlet.
Experiment solitary touching maleficiating.
888. IN Zant it is very ordinary to make men impotent to accompany with their wives. The like is practised in Gascony; where it is called nouer l'eguillette. It is practised always upon the wedding-day. And in Zant the mothers themselves do it, by way of prevention; because thereby they hinder other charms, and can undo their own. It is a thing the civil law taketh knowledge of; and therefore is of no light regard.
Experiment solitary touching the rise of water by means of flame.
889. It is a common experiment, but the cause is mistaken. Take a pot, or better a glass, because therein you may see the motion, and set a candle lighted in the bottom of a bason of water, and turn the mouth of the pot or glass over the candle, and it will make the water rise. They ascribe it to the drawing of heat; which is not true: for it appeareth plainly to be but a motion of nere, which they call ne detur vacuum; and it proceedeth thus. The flame of the candle, as soon as it is covered, being suffocated by the close air, lesseneth by little and little; during which time there is some little ascent of water, but not much for the flame occupying less and less room, as it lesseneth, the water succeedeth. But upon the instant of the candle's going out, there is a sudden rise of a great deal of water; for that the body of the flame filleth no more place, and so the air and the
water succeed. It worketh the same effect, if instead of water you put flour or sand into the bason: which sheweth, that it is not the flame's drawing the liquor as nourishment, as it is supposed; for all bodies are alike unto it, as it is ever in motion of nere; insomuch as I have seen the glass, being held by the hand, hath lifted up the bason and all; the motion of nere did so clasp the bottom of the bason. That experiment, when the bason was lifted up, was made with oil, and not with water: nevertheless this is true, that at the very first setting of the mouth of the glass upon the bottom of the bason, it draweth up the water a little, and then standeth at a stay, almost till the candle's going out, as was said. This may shew some attraction at first but of this we will speak more, when we handle attractions by heat.
Experiments in consort touching the influences of the moon.
Or the power of the celestial bodies, and what more secret influences they have, besides the two manifest influences of heat and light, we shall speak when we handle experiments touching the celestial bodies; mean while we will give some directions for more certain trials of the virtue and influences of the moon, which is our nearest neighbour.
The influences of the moon, most observed, are four; the drawing forth of heat; the inducing of putrefaction; the increase of moisture; the exciting of the motions of spirits.
890. FOR the drawing forth of heat, we have formerly prescribed to take water warm, and to set part of it against the moon-beams, and part of it with a screen between ; and to see whether that which standeth exposed to the beams will not cool sooner. But because this is but a small interposition, though in the sun we see a small shade doth much, it were good to try it when the moon shineth, and when the moon shineth not at all; and with water warm in a glass bottle, as well as in a dish; and with cinders; and with iron red-hot, etc.
891. For the inducing of putrefaction, it were good to try it with flesh or fish exposed to the moon-beams; and again exposed to the air when the moon shineth not, for the like time; to see whether will corrupt sooner and try it also with capon, or some other fowl, laid abroad, to see whether it will mortify and become tender sooner; try it also with dead flies, or dead worms, having a little water cast upon them, to see whether will putrefy sooner. Try it also with an apple or orange, having holes made in their tops, to see whether will rot or mould sooner. Try it also with Holland cheese, having wine put into it, whether will breed mites sooner or greater.
892. FOR the increase of moisture, the opinion received is; that seeds will grow soonest; and hair, and nails, and hedges, and herbs, cut, etc. will grow soonest, if they be set or cut in the increase of the moon. Also that brains in rabbits, woodcocks, calves, etc. are fullest in the full of the moon and so of marrow in the bones: and so of oysters and cockles, which of all the rest are the easiest tried if you have them in pits.
893. TAKE Some seeds, or roots, as onions, etc. and set some of them immediately after the change; and others of the same kind immediately after the full : let them be as like as can be ; the earth also the same as near as may be; and therefore best in pots. Let the pots also stand where no rain or sun may come to them, lest the difference of the weather confound the experiment: and then see in what time the seeds set in the increase of the moon come to a certain height; and how they differ from those that are set in the decrease of the moon.
894. It is like, that the brain of man waxeth moister and fuller upon the full of the moon and therefore it were good for those that have moist brains, and are great drinkers, to take fume of lignum aloës, rosemary, frankincense, etc. about the full of the It is like also, that the humours in men's bodies increase and decrease as the moon doth : and therefore it were good to purge some day or two after