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311. As for percolation inward and outward, which belongeth to separation, trial would be made of clarifying by adhesion, with milk put into new beer, and stirred with it: for it may be that the grosser part of the beer will cleave to the milk: the doubt is, whether the milk will sever well again; which is soon tried. And it is usual in clarifying hippocras to put in milk; which after severeth and carrieth with it the grosser parts of the hippocras, as hath been said elsewhere. Also for the better clarification by percolation, when they tun new beer, they use to let it pass through a strainer, and it is like the finer the strainer is the clearer it will be.
Experiments in consort touching maturation, and the accelerating thereof. And first, touching the maturation and quickening of drinks. And next, touching the maturation of fruits.
The accelerating of maturation we will now inquire of. And of maturation itself. It is of three natures. The maturation of fruits, the maturation of drinks, and the maturation of imposthumes and ulcers. This last we refer to another place, where we shall handle experiments medicinal. There be also other maturations, as of metals, &c. whereof we will speak as occasion serveth. But we will begin with that of drinks, because it hath such affinity with the clarification of liquors.
312. For the maturation of drinks, it is wrought by the congregation of the spirits together, whereby they digest more perfectly the grosser parts: and it is effected partly by the same means that clarification is, whereof we spake before; but then note, that an extreme clarification doth spread the spirits so smooth, as they become dull, and the drink dead, which ought to have a little flowering. And therefore all your clear amber drink is flat. 313. We see the degrees of maturation of drinks in muste, in wine, as it is drunk, and in vinegar. | Whereof muste hath not the spirits well congregated; wine hath them well united, so as they make the parts somewhat more oily; vinegar hath them congregated, but more jejune, and in a smaller quantity, the greatest and finest spirit and part being exhaled: for we see vinegar is made by setting the vessel of wine against the hot sun; and therefore vinegar will not burn; for that much of the finer parts is exhaled.
314. The refreshing and quickening of drink palled or dead, is by enforcing the motion of the spirit so we see that open weather relaxeth the spirit, and maketh it more lively in motion. We see also bottling of beer or ale, while it is new and full of spirit, so that it spirteth when the stopple is taken forth, maketh the drink more quick and windy. A pan of coals in the cellar doth likewise good, and maketh the drink work again. New drink put to drink that is dead provoketh it to work again: nay, which is more, as some affirm, a brewing of new beer set by old beer
maketh it work again. It were good also to enforce the spirits by some mixtures that may excite and quicken them; as by putting into the bottles, nitre, chalk, lime, &c. We see cream is matured and made to rise more speedily by putting in cold water; which, as it seemeth, getteth down the whey.
315. It is tried, that the burying of bottles of drink well stopped, either in dry earth a good depth; or in the bottom of a well within water; and best of all, the hanging of them in a deep well somewhat above the water for some fortnight's space, is an excellent means of making drink fresh and quick; for the cold doth not cause any exhaling of the spirits at all, as heat doth, though it rarifieth the rest that remain; but cold maketh the spirits vigorous, and irritateth them, whereby they incorporate the parts of the liquor perfectly.
316. As for the maturation of fruits, it is wrought. by the calling forth of the spirits of the body outward, and so spreading them more smoothly: and likewise by digesting in some degree the grosser parts; and this is effected by heat, motion, attraction, and by a rudiment of putrefaction; for the inception of putrefaction hath in it a maturation.
317. There were taken apples, and laid in straw, in hay, in flour, in chalk, in lime; covered over with onions, covered over with crabs, closed up in wax, shut in a box, &c. There was also an apple hanged up in smoke, of all which the experiment sorted in this manner.
318. After a month's space, the apple enclosed in wax was as green and fresh as at the first putting in, and the kernels continued white. The cause is, for that all exclusion of open air, which is ever predatory, maintaineth the body in its first freshness and moisture; but the inconvenience is, that it tasteth a little of the wax: which I suppose, in a pomegranate, or some such thick-coated fruit, it would not do.
319. The apple hanged in the smoke turned like an old mellow apple, wrinkled, dry, soft, sweet, yellow within. The cause is, for that such a degree of heat, which doth neither melt nor scorch, (for we see that in a greater heat, a roast apple softeneth and melteth; and pigs' feet, made of quarters of wardens, scorch and have a skin of cole,) doth mellow, and not adure: the smoke also maketh the apple, as it were, sprinkled with soot, which helpeth to mature. We see that in drying of pears and prunes in the oven, and removing of them often as they begin to sweat, there is a like operation; but that is with a far more intense degree of heat.
320. The apples covered in the lime and ashes were well matured, as appeared both in their yellowness and sweetness. The cause is, for that that degree of heat which is in lime and ashes, being a smothering heat, is of all the rest most proper, for it doth neither liquefy nor arefy, and that is true maturation. Note, that the taste of those
apples was good, and therefore it is the experi- she would perform her own work; and that, if ment fittest for use.
321. The apples covered with crabs and onions were likewise well matured. The cause is, not any heat; but for that the crabs and the onions draw forth the spirits of the apple, and spread them equally throughout the body, which taketh away hardness. So we see one apple ripeneth against another. And therefore in making of cider they turn the apples first upon a heap. So one cluster of grapes that toucheth another whilst it groweth, ripeneth faster; "botrus contra botrum citius maturescit."
322. The apples in hay and the straw ripened apparently, though not so much as the other; but the apple in the straw more. The cause is, for that the hay and straw have a very low degree of heat, but yet close and smothering, and which drieth not. 323. The apple in the close box was ripened also: the cause is, for that all air kept close hath a degree of warmth; as we see in wool, fur, plush, &c. Note, that all of these were compared with another apple of the same kind that lay of itself; and in comparison of that were more sweet and more yellow, and so appeared to be more ripe. 324. Take an apple or pear, or other like fruit, and roll it upon a table hard: we see in common experience, that the rolling doth soften and sweeten the fruit presently; which is nothing but the smooth distribution of the spirits into the parts; for the unequal distribution of the spirits maketh the harshness: but this hard rolling is between concoction and a simple maturation; therefore, if you should roll them but gently, perhaps twice a day, and continue it some seven days, it is like they would mature more finely, and like unto the natural maturation.
325. Take an apple, and cut out a piece of the top, and cover it, to see whether that solution of continuity will not hasten a maturation: we see that where a wasp, or a fly, or a worm hath bitten, in a grape, or any fruit, it will sweeten hastily.
326. Take an apple, &c., and prick it with a pin full of holes, not deep, and smear it a little with sack, or cinnamon water, or spirit of wine, every day for ten days, to see if the virtual heat of the wine or strong waters will not mature it.
In these trials also, as was used in the first, set another of the same fruits by to compare them, and try them by their yellowness and by their
Experiment solitary touching the making of gold. The world hath been much abused by the opinion of making of gold: the work itself I judge to be possible; but the means hitherto propounded to effect it are, in the practice, full of error and imposture, and in the theory, full of unsound imaginations. For to say, that nature hath an intention to make all metals gold; and that, if she were delivered from impediments, VOL. II.-7
the crudities, impurities, and leprosities of metals were cured, they would become gold; and that a little quantity of the medicine, in the work of projection, will turn a sea of the baser metal into gold by multiplying: all these are but dreams; and so are many other grounds of alchymy. And to help the matter, the alchymists call in likewise many vanities out of astrology, natural magic, superstitious interpretations of Scriptures, auricular traditions, feigned testimonies of ancient authors, and the like. It is true, on the other side, they have brought to light not a few profitable experiments, and thereby made the world some amends. But we, when we shall come to handle the version and transmutation of bodies, and the experiments concerning metals and minerals, will lay open the true ways and passages of nature, which may lead to this great effect. And we commend the wit of the Chinese, who despair of making of gold, but are mad upon the making of silver: for certain it is, that it is more difficult to make gold, which is the most ponderous and materiate amongst metals, of other metals less ponderous and less materiate, than "via versa," to make silver of lead or quicksilver, both which are more ponderous than silver: so that they need rather a further degree of fixation than any condensation. In the mean time, by occasion of handling the axioms touching maturation, we will direct a trial touching the maturing of metals, and thereby turning some of them into gold: for we conceive indeed, that a perfect good concoction, or digestion, or maturation of some metals, will produce gold. And hereby, we call to mind, that we knew a Dutchman, that had wrought himself into the belief of a great person, by undertaking that he could make gold: whose discourse was, that gold might be made; but that the alchymists over-fired the work for, he said, the making of gold did require a very temperate heat, as being in nature a subterrany work, where little heat cometh; but yet more to the making of gold than of any other metal; and therefore that he would do it with a great lamp that should carry a temperate and equal heat; and that it was the work of many months. The device of the lamp was folly; but the over-firing now used, and the equal heat to be required, and the making it a work of some good time, are no ill discourses.
We resort therefore to our axioms of maturation, in effect touched before. The first is, that there be used a temperate heat; for they are ever temperate heats that digest and mature: wherein we mean temperate according to the nature of the subject; for that may be temperate to fruits and liquors, which will not work at all upon metals. The second is, that the spirits of the metal be quickened, and the tangible parts opened: for without those two operations, the spirit of the metal wrought upon will not be able to digest the parts.
The third is, that the spirits do spread themselves even, and move not subsultorily, for that will make the parts close and pliant. And this requireth a heat that doth not rise and fall, but continue as equal as may be. The fourth is, that po part of the spirit be omitted but detained: for if there be emission of spirit, the body of the metal will be hard and churlish. And this will be performed, partly by the temper of the fire, and partly by the closeness of the vessel. The fifth is, that there be choice made of the likeliest and best prepared metal for the version, for that will facilitate the work. The sixth is, that you give time enough for the work; not to prolong hopes, as the alchymists do, but indeed to give nature a convenient space to work in. These principles are most certain and true; we will now derive a direction of trial out of them, which may, perhaps, by further meditation, be improved.
327. Let there be a small furnace made of a temperate heat; let the heat be such as may keep the metal perpetually molten, and no more; for that above all importeth to the work. For the material, take silver, which is the metal that in nature symbolizeth most with gold; put in also with the silver, a tenth part of quicksilver, and a twelfth part of nitre, by weight; both these to quicken and open the body of the metal; and so let the work be continued by the space of six months at the least. I wish also, that there be at some times an injection of some oiled substance, such as they use in the recovering of gold, which by vexing with separations hath been made churlish; and this is to lay the parts more close and smooth, which is the main work. For gold, as we see, is the closest, and therefore the heaviest of metals; and is likewise the most flexible and tensible. Note, that to think to make gold of quicksilver, because it is the heaviest, is a thing not to be hoped; for quicksilver will not endure the manage of the fire. Next to silver, I think copper were fittest to be the material.
Experiment solitary touching the nature of gold. 328. Gold hath these natures; greatness of weight, closeness of parts, fixation, pliantness or softness, immunity from rust, colour or tincture of yellow. Therefore the sure way, though most about, to make gold, is to know the causes of the several natures before rehearsed, and the axioms concerning the same. For if a man can make a metal that hath all these properties, let men dispute whether it be gold or no.
of the spirits of bodies, which ever are unquiet to get forth and congregate with the air, and to enjoy the sunbeams. The getting forth, or spreading of the spirits, which is a degree of getting forth, hath five differing operations. If the spirits be detained within the body, and move more violently, there followeth colliquation, as in metals, &c. If more mildly, there followeth digestion or maturation, as in drinks and fruits. If the spirits be not merely detained, but protrude a little, and that motion be confused and inordinate, there followeth putrefaction; which ever dissolveth the consistence of the body into much inequality, as in flesh, rotten fruits, shining wood, &c., and also in the rust of metals. But if that motion be in a certain order, there followeth vivification and figuration; as both in living creatures bred of putrefaction, and in living creatures perfect. But if the spirits issue out of the body, there followeth desiccation, induration, consumption, &c., as in brick, evaporation of bodies liquid, &c.
329. The means to induce and accelerate putrefaction, are, first, by adding some crude or watery moisture; as in wetting of any flesh, fruit, wood, with water, &c., for contrariwise unctuous and oily substances preserve.
330. The second is by invitation or excitation: as when a rotten apple lieth close to another apple that is sound; or when dung, which is a substance already putrefied, is added to other bodies. And this is also notably seen in churchyards, where they bury much, where the earth will consume the corpse in far shorter time than other earth will.
331. The third is by closeness and stopping, which detaineth the spirits in prison more than they would; and thereby irritateth them to seek issue; as in corn and clothes, which wax musty; and therefore open air, which they call "aër perflabilis," doth preserve: and this doth appear more evidently in agues, which come, most of them, of obstructions, and penning the humours which thereupon putrefy.
332. The fourth is by solution of continuity; as we see an apple will rot sooner if it be cut or pierced; and so will wood, &c. And so the flesh of creatures alive, where they have received any wound.
333. The fifth is either by the exhaling or by the driving back of the principal spirits which preserve the consistence of the body; so that when their government is dissolved, every part returneth to his nature or homogeny. And this appeareth in urine and blood when they cool, and thereby break: it appeareth also in the gangrene,
Experiments in consort touching the inducing and or mortification of flesh, either by opiates or by
accelerating of putrefaction.
The inducing and accelerating of putrefaction is a subject of very universal inquiry: for corruption is a reciprocal to generation: and they two are as nature's two terms or boundaries; and the guides to life and death. Putrefaction is the work
intense colds. I conceive also the same effect is in pestilences: for that the malignity of the infecting vapour danceth the principal spirits, and maketh them fly and leave their regiment; and then the humours, flesh, and secondary spirits, do dissolve and break, as in an anarchy.
334. The sixth is, when a foreign spirit, stronger | factions of the bodies of men and living creatures, and more eager than the spirit of the body, enter- as in agues, worms, consumptions of the lungs, eth the body, as in the stinging of serpents. imposthumes, and ulcers both inwards and outAnd this is the cause generally, that upon all poisons followeth swelling: and we see swelling followeth also when the spirits of the body itself congregate too much, as upon blows and bruises; or when they are pent in too much, as in swelling upon cold. And we see also, that the spirits coming of putrefaction of humours in agues, &c., which may be counted as foreign spirits, though they be bred within the body, do extinguish and suffocate the natural spirits and heat.
335. The seventh is by such a weak degree of heat as setteth the spirits in a little motion, but is not able either to digest the parts, or to issue the spirits; as is seen in flesh kept in a room that is not cool; whereas in a cool and wet larder it will keep longer. And we see that vivification, whereof putrefaction is the bastard brother, is affected by such soft heats; as the hatching of eggs, the heat of the womb, &c.
336. The eighth is by the releasing of the spirits, which before were close kept by the solidness of their coverture, and thereby their appetite of issuing checked; as in the artificial rusts induced by strong waters in iron, lead, &c., and therefore wetting hasteneth rust or putrefaction of any thing, because it softeneth the crust for the spirits to come forth.
337. The ninth is by the interchange of heat and cold, or wet and dry; as we see in the moulding of earth in frosts and sun; and in the more hasty rotting of wood that is sometimes wet, sometimes dry.
338. The tenth is by time, and the work and procedure of the spirits themselves, which cannot keep their station; especially if they be left to themselves, and there be no agitation or local motion. As we see in corn not stirred, and men's bodies not exercised.
339. All moulds are inceptions of putrefaction; as the moulds of pies and flesh; the moulds of oranges and lemons, which moulds afterwards turn into worms, or more odious putrefactions; and therefore commonly prove to be of ill odour. And if the body be liquid, and not apt to putrefy totally, it will cast up a mother in the top, as the mothers of distilled waters.
340. Moss is a kind of mould of the earth and trees. But it may be better sorted as a rudiment of germination, to which we refer it.
Experiments in consort touching prohibiting and preventing putrefaction.
It is an inquiry of excellent use to inquire of the means of preventing or staying putrefaction; for therein consisteth the means of conservation of bodies: for bodies have two kinds of dissolutions; the one by consumption and desiccation, the other by putrefaction. But as for the putre
wards, they are a great part of physic and surgery; and therefore we will reserve the inquiry of them to the proper place, where we shall handle medicinal experiments of all sorts. Of the rest we will now enter into an inquiry: wherein much light may be taken from that which hath been said of the means to induce or accelerate putrefaction: for that which caused putrefaction doth prevent and avoid putrefaction.
341. The first means of prohibiting or checking putrefaction is cold: for so we see that meat and drink will last longer unputrefied, or unsoured, in winter than in summer: and we see that flowers and fruits, put in conservatories of snow, keep fresh. And this worketh by the detention of the spirits, and constipation of the tangible parts.
342. The second is astriction: for astriction prohibiteth dissolution; as we see generally in medicines, whereof such as are astringents do inhibit putrefaction: and by the same reason of astringency, some small quantity of oil of vitriol will keep fresh water long from putrefying. And this astriction is in a substance that hath a virtual cold; and it worketh partly by the same means that cold doth.
343. The third is the excluding of the air; and again, the exposing to the air: for these contraries, as it cometh often to pass, work the same effect, according to the nature of the subject matter. So we see, that beer or wine, in bottles close stopped, last long: that the garners under ground keep corn longer than those above ground; and that fruit closed in wax keepeth fresh; and likewise bodies put in honey and flour keep more fresh and liquors, drinks, and juices, with a little oil cast on the top, keep fresh. Contrariwise, we see that cloth and apparel not aired do breed moths and mould; and the diversity is, that in bodies that need detention of spirits, the exclusion of the air doth good; as in drinks and corn: but in bodies that need emission of spirits to discharge some of the superfluous moisture, it doth hurt, for they require airing.
344. The fourth is motion and stirring; for putrefaction asketh rest: for the subtile motion which putrefaction requireth, is disturbed by any agitation: and all local motion keepeth bodies integral, and their parts together; as we see that turning over of corn in a garner, or letting it run like an hour-glass, from an upper-room into a lower, doth keep it sweet: and running waters putrefy not; and in men's bodies, exercise hindereth putrefaction; and contrariwise, rest and want of motion, or stoppings, whereby the run of humours, or the motion of perspiration, is stayed further putrefaction; as we partly touched a little before. 345. The fifth is the breathing forth of the ad ventitious moisture in bodies; for as wetting
doth hasten putrefaction, so convenient drying, whereby the more radical moisture is only kept in, putteth back putrefaction; so we see that herbs and flowers, if they be dried in the shade, or dried in the hot sun for a small time, keep best. For the emission of the loose and adventitious moisture doth betray the radical moisture, and carrieth it out for company.
346. The sixth is the strengthening of the spirits of bodies: for as a great heat keepeth bodies from putrefaction, but a tepid heat inclineth them to putrefaction; so a strong spirit likewise preserveth, and a weak or faint spirit disposeth to corruption. So we find that salt water corrupteth not so soon as fresh: and salting of oysters, and powdering of meat, keepeth them from putrefaction. It would be tried also whether chalk put into water, or drink, doth not preserve it from putrefying or speedy souring. So we see that strong beer will last longer than small; and all things that are hot and aromatical do help to preserve liquors, or powders, &c., which they do as well by strengthening the spirits as by soaking out the loose moisture.
347. The seventh is separation of the cruder parts, and thereby making the body more equal; for all imperfect mixture is apt to putrefy; and watery substances are more apt to putrefy than oily. So we see distilled waters will last longer than raw waters; and things that have passed the fire do last longer than those that have not passed the fire, as dried pears, &c.
348. The eighth is the drawing forth continually of that part where the putrefaction beginneth; which is, commonly, the loose and watery moisture; not only for the reason before given, that it provoketh the radical moisture to come forth with it; but because being detained in the body, the putrefaction taking hold of it, infecteth the rest: as we see in the embalming of dead bodies; and the same reason is of preserving herbs, or fruits, or flowers, in bran or meal.
349. The ninth is the commixture of any thing that is more oily or sweet: for such bodies are least apt to putrefy, the air worketh little upon them, and they not putrefying, preserve the rest. And therefore we see syrups and ointments will last longer than juices.
350. The tenth is the commixture of somewhat that is dry; for putrefaction beginneth first from the spirits and then from the moisture; and that that is dry is unapt to putrefy: and therefore smoke preserveth flesh; as we see in bacon and neats' tongues, and Martlemas beef, &c.
351. The opinion of some of the ancients, that blown airs do preserve bodies longer than other airs, seemeth to me probable; for that the blown airs, being overcharged and compressed, will hardly receive the exhaling of any thing, but rather repulse it. It was tried in a blown bladder, whereinto flesh was put, and likewise a flower,
and it sorted not: for dry bladders will not blow: and new bladders rather further putrefaction: the way were therefore to blow strongly with a pair of bellows into a hogshead, putting into the hogshead, before, that which you would have preserved; and in the instant that you withdraw the bellows, stop the hole close.
Experiment solitary touching wood shining in the
352. The experiment of wood that shineth in the dark, we have diligently driven and pursued: the rather, for that of all things that give light here below, it is the most durable, and hath least apparent motion. Fire and flame are in continual expense; sugar shineth only while it is in scraping; and saltwater while it is in dashing; glow- • worms have their shining while they live, or a little after; only scales of fishes putrefied seem to be of the same nature with shining wood: and it is true, that all putrefaction hath with it an inward motion, as well as fire or light. The trial sorted thus: 1. The shining is in some pieces more bright, in some more dim; but the most bright of all doth not attain to the light of a glow-worm. 2. The woods that have been tried to shine, are chiefly sallow and willow; also the ash and hazle; it may be it holdeth in others. 3. Both root and bodies do shine, but the roots better. 4. The colour of the shining part, by day-light, is in some pieces white, in some pieces inclining to red; which in the country they call the white and red garret. 5. The part that shineth is, for the most part, somewhat soft, and moist to feel to, but some was found to be firm and hard, so as it might be figured into a cross, or into beads, &c. But you must not look to have an image, or the like, in any thing that is lightsome; for even a face in iron red-hot will not be seen, the light confounding the small differences of lightsome and darksome, which show the figure. 6. There was the shining part pared off, till you came to that that did not shine; but within two days the part contiguous began also to shine, being laid abroad in the dew: so as it seemeth the putrefaction spreadeth. 7. There was other dead wood of like kind that was laid abroad, which shined not at the first; but after a night's lying abroad began to shine. 8. There was other wood that did first shine; and being laid dry in the house, within five or six days lost the shining; and laid abroad again, recovered the shining. 9. Shining woods being laid in a dry room, within a seven-night lose their shining; but being laid in a cellar, or dark room, keeps the shining. 10. The boring of holes in that kind of wood, and then laying it abroad, seemeth to conduce to make it shine: the cause is, for that all solution of continuity doth help on putrefaction, as was touched before. 11. No wood hath been yet tried to shine, that was cut down alive, but such as was rotted both in stock