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maketh me find it very strange, that the Egyptian mummies should be reported to be as hard as stonepitch ; 1 for I find no difference but one, which indeed may be very material, namely that the ancient Egyptian mummies were shrouded in a number of folds of linen, besmeared with gums, in manner of sear-cloth; which it doth not appear was practised upon the body of Alexander.

Experiment solitary touching the abundance of nitre in

certain sea-shores. 772. Near the castle of Catie, and by the wells of Assan, in the land of Idumea, a great part of the way you would think the sea were near at hand, though it be a good distance off: and it is nothing but the shining of the nitre upon the sea sands; such abundance of nitre the shores there do put forth.?

Experiment solitary touching bodies that are borne up

by water. 1 773. The Dead Sea, which vomiteth up bitumen, is of that crassitude, as living bodies bound hand and foot cast into it have been borne up, and not sunk; 3 which shewetli, that all sinking into water is but an overweight of the body put into the water in respect of the water ; so that you may make water so strong and heavy, of quicksilver (perhaps) or the like, as may bear up iron ; of which I see no use, but imposture. We see also that all metals except gold, for the same reason, swim upon quicksilver.

1 Namely, by Sandys, p. 104.

8 Id. p. 110.

2 Sandys, p. 109.

Experiment solitary touching fuel that consumeth little

or nothing. 774. It is reported, that at the foot of a hill near the Mare Mortuum there is a black stone (whereof pilgrims make fires) which burneth like a coal, and diminisheth not; but only waxeth brighter and whiter.1 That it should do so is not strange : for we see iron red hot burneth, and consumeth not; but the strangeness is, that it should continue any time so ; for iron, as soon as it is out of the fire, deadeth straightways. Certainly it were a thing of great use and profit, if you could find out fuel that would burn hot, and yet last long: neither am I altogether incredulous but there may be such candles as they say are made of salamander's wool; being a kind of mineral, which whiteneth also in the burning, and consumeth not. The question is this ; flame must be made of somewhat; and commonly it is made of some tangible body which hath weight: but it is not impossible perhaps that it should be made of spirit or vapour in a body, (which spirit or vapour hath no weight,) such as is the matter of ignis fatuus. But then you will say, that that vapour also can last but a short time : to that it may be answered, that by the help of oil, and wax, and other candle-stuff, the flame may continue, and the wick not burn.

Experiment solitary oeconomical touching cheap fuel.

775. Sea-coal lasts longer than charcoal ; and charcoal of roots, being coaled into great pieces, lasts longer than ordinary charcoal. Turf, and peat, and cowsheards, are cheap fuels, and last long. Small-coal, or briar-coal poured upon charcoal, make them last longer. Sedge is a cheap fuel to brew or bake with : the rather because it is good for nothing else. Trial would be made of some mixture of sea-coal with earth or chalk; for if that mixture be, as the sea-coal men use it, privily to make the bulk of the coal greater, it is deceit ; but if it be used purposely, and be made known, it is saving.

i Sandys, p. 111. But for brighter we ought, on the authority of the passage in Sandys, to read lighter.

Experiment solitary touching the gathering of wind for

freshness. 776. It is at this day in use in Gaza, to couch potsheards or vessels of earth in their walls, to gather the wind from the top, and to pass it down in spouts into rooms. It is a device for freshness in great heats: and it is said there are some rooms in Italy and Spain for freshness, and gathering the winds and air, in the heats of summer ; but they be but pennings of the winds and enlarging them again, and making them reverberate and go round in circles, rather than this de vice of spouts in the wall.

Experiment solitary touching the trials of airs. 777. There would be used much diligence in the choice of some bodies and places, (as it were) for the tasting of air ; to discover the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness, as well of seasons, as of the seats of dwellings. It is certain that there be some houses, wherein confitures and pies will gather mould more than in others. And I am persuaded that a piece of raw flesh or fish will sooner corrupt in some airs than in others. They be noble experiments that can make this discovery; for they serve for a natural divination of seasons, better than the astronomers can by their figuris : and again, they teach men where to choose their dwelling for their better health.

1 So in the original. Bacon probably wrote be used.-J. S. 2 Sandys, p. 116.

Experiment solitary touching increasing of milk in

milch-beasts. 778. There is a kind of stone about Bethlehem, which they grind to powder and put into water whereof cattle drink; which maketh them give more milk. Surely there would be some better trials made of mixtures of water in ponds for cattle, to make them more milch, or to fatten them, or to keep them from murrain. It

may

be chalk and nitre are of the best.

Experiment solitary touching sand of the nature of glass.

779. It is reported, that in the valley near the mountain Carmel in Judea there is a sand, which of all other hath most affinity with glass ;? insomuch as other minerals laid in it turn to a glassy substance, without the fire; and again, glass put into it turneth into the mother-sand. The thing is very strange, if it be true: and it is likeliest to be caused by some natural furnace, or heat in the earth : and yet they do not speak of any eruption of flames. It were good to try in glass-works, whether the crude materials of glass, mingled with glass already made, and remolten, do not facilitate the making of glass with less heat. i Sandys, p. 142.

2 Id. p. 159.

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Experiment solitary touching the growth of coral.

780. In the sea, upon the south-west of Sicily, much coral is found. It is a submarine plant. It hath no leaves : it brancheth only when it is under water; it is soft, and green of colour ; but being brought into the air, it becometh hard and shining red, as we see.

It is said also to have a white berry ; but we find it not brought over with coral.

Belike it is cast away as nothing worth: inquire better of it, for the discovery of the nature of the plant. Experiment solitary touching the gathering of manna.

781. The manna of Calabria is the best, and in most plenty. They gather. it from the leaf of the mulberry-tree; but not of such mulberry-trees as grow in the valleys. And manna falleth upon the leaves by night, as other dews do. It should seem that before those dews come upon trees in the valleys, they dissipate, and cannot hold out. It should seemn also, the mulberry-leaf itself hath some coagulating virtue, which inspissateth the dew ; for that it is not found upon other trees : and we see by the silkworm, which feedeth upon that leaf, what a dainty smooth juice it hath ; and the leaves also (especially of the black mulberry) are somewhat bristly, which may lielp to preserve the dew. Certainly it were not amiss to observe a little better the dews that fall upon trees, or herbs growing on mountains; for it may be many dews fall, that spend before they come to the valleys. And I suppose that he that would gather the best May-dew for medicine, should gather it from the hills. 1 Sandys, p. 184.

2 Id. p. 195.

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