Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Century IV. & c. But theſe two ways of Verſion of Water into Oyl, (namely, by
Mixture and by Aſſimilation) are by many Paſſages, and Percolations, and
by continuance of ſoft Heats, and by circuits of Time.



The third is in the Inception of Putrefaction; as in Water corrupted,
and the Mothers of Waters diſtilled, both which have a kinde of Fatneſs
or Oyl.



The fourth is in the Dulcoration of ſome Metals; as Saccharum Sa-
turni, & c.



The Intenſion of Verſion of Water into a more Oyly ſubſtance is by
Digeſtion: For Oyl is almoſt nothing elſe but Water digeſted and this
Digeſtion is principally by Heat; which Heat muſt be either out ward or
inward. Again, It may be by Provocation or Excitation, which is cauſed
by the mingling of Bodies already Oyly or Digeſted, for they will ſome-
what communicate their Nature with the reſt. Digeſtion alſo is ſtrongly
effected by direct Aſſimilation of Bodies Crude into Bodies digeſted; as in
Plants and Living Creatures, whoſe nouriſhment is far more Crude than
their Bodies. But this Digeſtion is by a great compaſs as hath been ſaid. As
for the more full handling of theſe two principles, whereof this is but a
taſte; (the enquiry of which, is one of the profoundeſt enquiries of Na-
ture,) we leave it to the title of Verſion of Bodies; and like wiſe to the title
of the Firſt Congregations of Matter, which like a General Aſſembly of
Eſtates, doth give Law to all Bodies.



AChamelion is a Creature about the bigneſs of an ordinary Lizard, his
Head unproportionably big, his eyes great; he moveth his Head
without the writhing of his Neck (which is inflexible) as a Hog doth: His
Back crooked, his Skin ſpotted with little Tumors, leſs eminent nearer
the Belly, his Tail ſlender and long; on each Foot he hath five Fingers; three on the outſide, and two on the inſide; his Tongue of a marvellous
length, in reſpect of his Body, and hollow at the end, which he will
lanch out to prey upon Flies. Of colout Green, and of a dusky Yal-
low, brighter and whiter towards the Belly, yet ſpotted with Blew,
White, and Red. If he be laid upon Green, the Green predominateth; if upon Yellow, the Yellow; not ſo, if he be laid upon Blew, or Red, or
White, onely the Green ſpots receive a more orient luſtre; laid upon
Black, he looketh all Black, though not without a mixture of Green. He
feedeth not onely upon Air, (though that be his principal ſuſtenance;) for
ſometimes he taketh Flies, as was ſaid; yet ſome that have kept Chamelions
a whole year together, could never perceive that ever they fed upon any
thing elſe but Air, and might obſerve their Bellies to ſwell after they had
exhauſted the Air, and cloſed their Jaws, which they open commonly
againſt the Rayes of the Sun. They have a fooliſh Tradition in Magick,
that if a Chamelion be burnt upon the top of an Houſe, it will raiſe a Tempeſt,
ſuppoſing (according to their vain Dreams of Sympathies) becauſe he nou-
riſheth with Air, his Body ſhould have great vertue to make impreſſion
upon the Air.



IT is reported by one of the Ancients, that in part of Media, there are e-
ruptions of Flames out of Plains, and that thoſe Flames are clear, and
caſt not forth ſuch ſmoak, and aſhes, and pumice, as Mountain Flames do. The reaſon (no doubt) is, becauſe the Flame is not pent, as it is in Moun-
tains, and Earthquakes which caſt Flame. There be alſo ſome blinde Fires,


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