Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

The Hiſtory of Life and Death. Reparation, and Reparation proceedeth by the Appetites of things, and Appetite is
ſharpned by variety) it holdeth not rigorouſly; but it is ſo far forth to be received, that
this variety be rather an alternation or enterchange than a confuſion, and as it were con-
ſtant in inconſtancy.

100. Canon XV.

The Spirit in a Body of a ſolid compoſure is detained, though unwillingly.

101. The Explication.

ALl things do abhor a Solution of their Continuity, but yet in proportion to their
Denſity or Rarity: for the more rare the bodies be, the more do they ſuffer
themſelves to be thruſt into ſmall and narrow paſſages; for water will go into a paſſage
which duſt will not go into, and air which water will not go into, nay, flame and
spirit which air will not go into. Notwithſtanding of this thing there are ſome
bounds: for the spirit is not ſo much tranſported with the deſire of going forth, that
it will ſuffer it ſelf to be too much diſcontinued, or be driven into over-ſtreight pores
and paſſages; and therefore if the ſpirit be encompaſſed with an hard body, or elſe
with an unctuous and tenæcious, (which is not eaſily divided) it is plainly bound, and,
as I may ſay, impriſoned, and layeth down the appetite of going out: wherefore we
ſee that Metalls and Stones require a long time for their ſpirit to go forth, unleſs either
the ſpirit be excited by the fire, or the groſſer parts be diſſevered with corroding and
ſtrong waters. The like reaſon is there of tenacious bodies, ſuch as are Gums, ſave onely
that they are melted by a more gentle heat: and therefore the juices of the body hard,
a cloſe and compact skin, and the like, (which are procured by the drineſs of the Aliment,
and by Exerciſe, and by the coldneſs of the air) are good for long life, becauſe they
detain the ſpirit in cloſe priſon that it goeth not forth.

102. Canon XVI.

In Oily and Fat things the Spirit is detained willingly, though they be not tenacious,

103. The Explication.

THe ſpirit, if it be not irritated by the antipatby of the body encloſing it, nor fed by
the over-much likeneſs of that body, nor ſollicited nor invited by the external body,
it makes no great ſtir to get out: all which are wanting to Oily bodies; for they are
neither ſo preſſing upon the ſpirits as hard bodies, nor ſo near as watry bodies, neither
have they any good agreement with the air ambient.

104. Canon XVII.

THe ſpeedy flying forth of the Watry humor conſerves the Oily the longer in his

105. The Explication.

WE ſaid before that the Watry humors, as being conſubſtantial to the Air, flie
forth ſooneſt; the Oily later, as having ſmall agreement with the Air. Now
whereas theſe two humors are in moſt bodies, it comes to paſs that the Watry doth in a
ſort betray the Oily, for thatiſſuing forth inſenſibly carrieth this together with it. There-
fore there is nothing more furthereth the conſervation of bodies than a gentle drying of
them, which cauſeth the watry humour to expire, and inviteth not the Oily; for then
the Oily enjoyeth the proper nature. And this tendeth not onely to the inhibiting of
Putrefaction, (though that alſo followeth) but to the conſervation of Greenneſs. Hence it is, that gentle Frications and moderate Exerciſes, cauſing rather Perſpiration than
Sweating, conduce much to long life.

106. Canon XVIII.

Air excluded conferreth to Long life, if other inconveniences be avoided.

107. The Explication.

WE ſaid a little before, that the flying forth of the spirit is a redoubled action,
from the appetite of the ſpirit and of the air, and therefore if either of theſe be
taken out of the way, there is not a little gained. Notwithſtanding divers Inconve-
niences follow hereupon, which how they may be prevented we have ſhewed in the
ſecond of our Operations.

108. Canon XIX.

YOuthful spirits inſerted into an old Body might ſoon turn Nature’s courſe back


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