Page images



Experiment solitary touching veins of medicinal earth.

701. THERE be minerals and fossils in great variety; but of veins of earth medicinal, but few; the chief are, Terra Lemnia, Terra Sigillata communis, and Bolus Arminus; whereof Terra Lemnia is the chiei. The virtues of them are, for curing of wounds, stanching of blood, stopping of fluxes and rheums, and arresting the spreading of poison, infection, and putrefaction : and they have of all other simples the perfectest and purest quality of drying, with little or no mixture of any other quality. Yet it is true that the Bole-Arminic is the most cold of them, and that Terra Lemnia is the most hot; for which cause the island Lemnos, where it is digged, was in the old fabulous ages consecrated to Vulcan.

Experiment solitary touching the growth of spunges.

702. About the bottom of the Straits? are gathered great quantities of spunges, which are gathered from

1 See, for some account of Terra Lemnia, Sandys's Travels, p. 18. (7th edition).

2 That is, the Hellespont. See Sandys, p. 14.


the sides of rocks, being as it were a large but tough

It is the more to be noted, because that there be but few substances, plant-like, that grow deep within the sea ; for they are gathered sometimes fifteen fathom deep: and when they are laid on shore, they seem to be of great bulk; but crushed together, will be transported in a very small room.

Experiment solitary touching sea-fish put in fresh

waters. 703. It seemeth that fish that are used to the salt water, do nevertheless delight more in fresh. that salmons and smelts love to get into rivers, though it be against the stream. At the haven of Constantinople you shall have great quantities of fish that come from the Euxine Sea ; that when they come into the fresh water, do inebriate and turn up their bellies, so as you may take them with your hand. I doubt there hath not been sufficient experiment made of putting sea-fish into fresh-water ponds and pools. It is a thing of great use and pleasure ; for so you may have them new at some good distance from the sea : and besides, it may be, the fish will eat the pleasanter, and may fall to breed. And it is said, that Colchester oysters, which are put into pits where the sea goeth and cometh, (but yet so that there is a fresh water coming also to them when the sea voideth,) become by that means fatter and more grown.

We see

1 Sandys, p. 23. Modern experience has confirmed what Sandys here relates; but there is no reason to suppose that the fish have any enjoyment in the state of half insensibility which the change to fresh water produces. The cause is probably to be sought in what appears à priori to be certain, namely, the rapid absorption through the gills of fresh water. All the conditions appear to be present by which absorption by endosmosis is occasioned. The periodical migrations from salt to fresh water, and vice versa, of certain kinds of fish may perhaps be connected with a change in the composition of the blood, determining endosmosis or exosmosis through the gills, and consequently rendering the fish uneasy in its actual position.

Has it ever been suggested that the persevering way in which salmon ascend rapid streams may result from the unequal velocity of the water at different depths? The consequence of this variation would be a sensation of greater pressure against the lower part of the body than on the upper; which under ci rtain circumstances may be agreeable.

Experiment solitary touching attraction by similitude of

substance. 704. The Turkish bow giveth a very forcible shoot ; nsomuch as it hath been known that the arrow hath pierced a steel target, or a piece of brass of two inches thick: but that which is more strange, the arrow, if it be headed with wood, hath been known to pierce through a piece of wood of eight inches thick. And it is certain that we had in use at one time, for seafight, short arrows, which they called sprights, without any other heads, save wood sharpened; which were discharged out of muskets, and would pierce through the sides of ships where a bullet would not pierce. But this dependeth upon one of the greatest secrets in all nature ; which is, that similitude of substance will cause attraction, where the body is wholly freed from the motion of gravity : for if that were taken away, lead would draw lead, and gold would draw gold, and iron would draw iron, without the help of the loadstone. But this same motion of weight or gravity (which is a mere motion of matter, and hath no affinity with the form or kind) doth kill the other motion, except itself be killed by a violent motion; as in these instances of arrows; for then the motion of attraction by similitude of substance beginneth to shew itself. But we shall handle this point of nature fully in due place.

1 Sandys, p. 50.

Experiment solitary touching certain drinks in Turkey.

705. They have in Turkey and the East certain confections, which they call servets, which are like to candied conserves, and are made of sugar and lemons, or sugar and citrons, or sugar and violets, and some other flowers ; and some mixture of amber for the more delicate persons: and those they dissolve in water, and thereof make their drink, because they are forbidden wine by their law. But I do much marvel that no Englishman, or Dutchman, or German, doth set up brewing in Constantinople; considering they have such quantity of barley. For as for the general sort of men, frugality may be the cause of drinking water; for that it is no small saving to pay nothing for one's drink: but the better sort might well be at the cost. And yet I wonder the less at it, because I see France, Italy, or Spain, have not taken into use beer or ale : which (perhaps) if they did, would better both their healths and their complexions. It

It is likely it would be matter of great gain to any that should begin it in Turkey.

Experiments in consort touching sweat.2 706. In bathing in hot water, sweat nevertheless cometh not in the parts under the water.

The cause is : first, for that sweat is a kind of colliquation, and

1 Sandys, p. 51. He like Bacon suggests the establishment of breweries at Constantinople.

2 For the statements in this and the next three paragraphs, see Arist. Prob. ii. 2, 3, 4. 16, and 23.

« PreviousContinue »