Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Century I. deeper; So that if you infuſe Rubarb for an hour, and cruſh it well, it will
purge better, and binde the Body leſs after the purging, than if it ſtood
Twenty ſ [?] our hours: This is tried, but I conceive likewiſe, that by repeat-
ing the Infuſion of Rubarb, ſeveral times (as was ſaid of Violets) letting
each ſtay in but a ſmall time, you may make it as ſtrong a Purging Medi-
cine, as Scammony. And it is not a ſmall thing won in Phyſick, if you can
make Ruharb, and other Medicines that are Benedict, as ſtrong Purgers, as
thoſe that are not without ſome malignity.



Purging Medicines, for the moſt part, have their Purgative Vertue in a fine
Spirit, as appeareth by that they indure not boiling, without much loſs of
vertue. And therefore it is of good uſe in Phyſick, it you can retain the Pur-
ging of Vertue, and take away the unpleaſant taſte of the Purger; which
it is like you may do, by this courſe of infuſing oft with little ſtay. For it is
probable, that the horrible and odious taſte is in the groſſer part.



Generally, the working by Infuſions is gro@s and blind, except you firſt
try the iſſuing of the ſeveral parts of the Body, which of them iſſue more
ſpeedily, and which more ſlowly; and ſo by apportioning thetime, can
take and leave that quality which you deſire. This to know, there be two
ways; the one to try what long ſtay, and what ſhort ſtay worketh, as hath
been ſaid; the other to try, in order, the ſucceeding Infuſions, of one and
the ſame Body, ſucceſſively, in ſeveral Liquors. As for example, Take
Orange-Pills, or Roſemary, or Cinnamon, or what you will; and let them in-
fuſe half an hour in Water; then take them out, and infuſe them again in
other Water; and ſo the third time; and then taſte and conſider the firſt
Water, the ſecond, and the third, and you will finde them differing, not one-
ly in ſtrength and weakneſs, but otherwiſe in taſte, or odor; for it may be
the firſt Water will have more of the ſent, as more fragrant; and the ſecond
more of the taſte, as more bitter or biting, & c.



Infuſions in Air (for ſo we may call Odors) have the ſame diverſities with
Infuſions in Water; in that the ſeveral Odors (which are in one Flower, or
other Body) iſſue at ſeveral times, ſome earlier, ſome later: So we finde,
that Violets, Woodbines, Strawberries, yield a pleaſing ſent, that cometh forth
firſt; but ſoon after an ill ſent quite differing from the former. Which is
cauſed not ſo much by mellowing, as by the late iſſuing of the groſſer



As we may deſire to extract the fineſt Spirits in ſome caſes; ſo we may
deſire alſo to diſcharge them (as hurtful) in ſome other. So Wine burnt, by
reaſon of the evaporating of the finer Spirit, inflameth leſs, and is beſt in
Agues: Opium leeſeth ſome of his po@ſonous quality, if it be vapored out,
mingled with Spirit of Wine, or the like: Sean leeſeth ſomewhat of his
windineſs by decocting; and (generally) ſubtile or windy Spirits are taken
off by Incenſion, or Evaporation. And even in Infuſions in things that are
of too high a ſpirit, you were better pour off the firſt Infuſion, after a ſmall
time, and uſe the latter.



BUbbles are in the form of an Hemiſphere; Air within, and a little Skin
of Water without: And it ſeemeth ſomewhat ſtrange, that the Air
ſhould riſe ſo ſwiftly, while it is in the Water; and when it cometh to the
top, ſhould be ſtaid by ſo weak a cover, as that of the Bubble is. But as
for the ſwift aſcent of the Air, while it is under the Water, that is a
motion of Percuſſion ſrom the Water, which it ſelf deſcending, driveth
up the Air; and no motion of Levity in the Air. And this Democritus


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