Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Century I. and Living Creatures, they will. It is no marvel there fore, that a ſmall Quan-
tity of Spirits, in the Cells of the Brain, and Cannals of the Sinews, are able
to move a whole Body (which is of ſo great maſs) both with ſo great force,
as in Wreſtling, Leaping; and with ſo great ſwiftneſs, as in playing Diviſi-
on upon the Lute: Such is the force of theſe two Natures, Air and Flame
when they incorporate.


touching the
Commixture of
Flame and
Air, and the
great force

TAke a ſmall Wax-Candle, and put it in a Socket of Braſs or Iron, then
ſet it upright in a Porringer full of Spirit of Wine, heated; then ſet
both the Candle, and Spirit of Wine on fire, and you ſhall ſee the flame of
the Candle open it ſelf, and be [?] come four or five times bigger then other-
wiſe it would have been, and appear in figure Globular, and not in Pyramis. You ſhall ſee alſo, that the inward flame of the Candle keepeth colour, and
doth not wax any whit blew to wards the colour of the outward flame of
the Spirit of Wine. This is a noble inſtance, wherein two things are moſt
remarkable; the one, that one flame within another quencheth not, but is
a fixed Body, and continueth as Air or Water do; and therefore flame would
ſtill aſcend upwards in one greatneſs, if it were not quenched on the ſides; and the greater the flame is at the bottom, the higher is the riſe. The other,
that Flame doth not mingle with Flame, as Air doth with Air, or Water
with Water, but onely remaineth contiguous; as it cometh to paſs be-
twixt Conſiſting Bodies. It appeareth alſo, that the form of a Pyramis in
Flame, which we uſually ſee, is meerly by accident, and that the Air about,
by quenching the ſides of the Flame, cruſheth it, and extenuateth it into
that form; for of it ſelf, it would be round: And thereſore Smoak is in
the figure of a Pyramis reverſed; for the Air quencheth the Flame, and re-
ceiveth the Smoak. Note alſo, that the flame of the Candle, within the
flame of the Spirit of Wine, is troubled, and doth not onely open and move
upwards, but moveth waving, and to and fro: As if Flame of his own Na-
ture (if it were not quenched) would roul and turn as well as move up-
wards. By all which it ſhould ſeem, that the Celeſtial Bodies (moſt of them)
are true Fires or Flames, as the Stoicks held; more ſine (perhaps) and rari-
fied, than our flame is. For they are all Globular and Deternate, they have
Rotation, and they have the colour andſplendor of Flame: So that Flame
above, is durable and conſiſtent, and in his natural place; but with us, it
is a ſtranger, and momentany and impure, like Vulean that halted with his


touching the
Secret Nature
of Flame.

TAke an Arrovv, and hold it in Flame for the ſpace of ten Pulſes; and
when it cometh forth, you ſhall finde thoſe parts of the Arrow which
were one the outſides of the Flame, more burned, blacked, and turned al-
moſtinto a Coal; whereas that in the midſt of the flame, will be as if the
fire had ſcarce touched it. This is an inſtance of great conſequence for the
diſcovery of the nature of Flame, and ſheweth manifeſtly, that Flame burn-
eth more violently to wards the ſides, then in the midſt: And, which is
more, that Heat or Fire is not violent or furious, but where it is checked and
pent. And therefore the Peripateticks (howſoever their opinion of an Ele-
ment of Fire, above the Air, is juſtly exploded) in that point they acquit
themſelves well: For being oppoſed, that if there were a ſphere of Fire,
that incompaſſEd the Earth ſo near hand, it were impoſſible, but all things
ſhould be burnt up; they anſwer, that the pure Elemental Fire, in his own
place, and notirritate, is but of a moderate heat.


touching the
Different force
of Flame in the
midſt, and on
the ſides.

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