Full text: Wilkins, John: A discovery of a new world

1. When a Man is in the bottom of a deep
River, tho’ he have over him a multitude of
heavy Waters, yet he is not burdened with
the weight of them. And though another Bo-
dy, that ſhould be but of an equal Gravity,
with theſe Waters, when they are taken out,
would be heavy enough to preſs him to death; yet notwithſtanding whilſt they are in the
Channel, they do not in the leaſt manner cruſh
him with their Load. The reaſon is, becauſe
they are both in their right places; and ’tis
proper for the Man being the more condenſed
Body, to be lower than the Waters. or ra-
ther thus, becauſe the body of the Man does
more nearly agree with the Earth, in this affe-
ction, which is the ground of its attraction,
and therefore doth more ſtrongly attract it,
than the waters that are over it. Now, as in
ſuch a caſe, a body may loſe the Operation
of its Gravity, which is, to move, or to preſs
downwards: So may it likewiſe, when it is
ſo far out of its place, that this attractive
Power cannot reach unto it.

’Tis a pretty Notion to this purpoſe, menti-
oned by Albertus de Saxonia, and out of him
by Francis Mendoca; that the Air is in ſome
part of it Navigable. And that upon this Sta-
tick Principle; any Braſs or Iron Veſſel (ſup-
poſe a Kettle) whoſe ſubſtance is much hea-
vier than that of the Water, yet being filled
with the lighter Air, it will ſwim upon it, and
not ſink. So ſuppoſe a Cup, or Wooden Veſ-
ſel, upon the outward borders of this Elemen-
tary Air, the Cavity of it being filled with
Fire, or rather Æthereal Air, it muſt neceſ-


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