Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Moſt Odors ſmell beſt, broken, or cruſht, as hath been ſaid; but Flowers
preſſed or beaten, do loſe the freſhneſs and ſweetneſs of their Odor. The
cauſe is, for that when they are cruſhed, the groſſer and more earthy Spirit
cometh out with the Finer, and troubleth it; whereas in ſtronger Odors there
are no ſuch degrees of the iſſue of the ſmell.



IT is a thing of very good uſe, to diſcover the goodneſs of Waters. The
taſte to thoſe that drink Water onely doth ſomewhat: But other Expe-
riments are more ſure. Firſt, try Waters by weight, wherein you may
finde ſome difference, though not much: And the lighter, you may account
the better.


in Conſort,
touching the
Goodneſs and
Choice of

Secondly, Try them by boiling upon an equal fire; and that which con-
ſumeth away faſteſt, you may account the beſt.



Thirdly, Try them in ſeveral Bottles or open Veſſels, matches in every
thing elſe, and ſee which of them laſt longeſt without ſtench or corruption; and that which holdeth unputrified longeſt, you may like wiſe account the



Fourthly, Try them by making Drinks, ſtronger or ſmaller, with the
ſame quantity of Malt; and you may conclude, that that Water, which
maketh the ſtronger Drink, is the more concocted and nouriſhing; though
perhaps it be not ſo good for Medicinal uſe. And ſuch VVater (commonly)
is the VVater of large and navigable Rivers; and likewiſe in large and clean
Ponds of ſtanding VVater: For upon both them, the Sun hath more power
than upon Fountains, or ſmall Rivers. And I conceive, that Chalk-water is
next them the beſt, for going furtheſt in Drink. For that alſo helpeth con-
coction, ſo it be out of a deep VVell; for then it cureth therawneſs of the
VVater; but Chalky-water towards the top of the Earth, is too fretting,
as it appeareth in Laundry of Cloaths, which wear out apace, if you uſe ſuch



Fifthly, The Houſwives do finde a difference in Waters, for the bear-
ing or not bearing of Soap; and it is likely, that the more fat water will
bear Soap beſt, for the hungry water doth kill the unctuous nature of the



Sixthly, You may make a judgment of Waters according to the place,
whence they ſpring or come. The Rain-water is by the Phyſitians eſteemed
the fineſt and the beſt; but yet it is ſaid to putrifie ſooneſt, which is
likely, becauſe of the fineneſt of the Spirit; and in Conſervatories of
Rain-water, (ſuch as they have in Venice, & c) they are found not ſo
choice Waters; (the worſe perhaps) becauſe they are covered aloſt,
and kept from the Sun. Snow-water is held unwholeſome, inſomuch, as
the people that dwell at the Foot of the Snow Mountains, or otherwiſe
upon the aſcent, (eſpecially the VVomen) by drinking of Snow-water,
have great bags hanging under their Throats. VVell VVater, except it be
upon Chalk, or a very plentiſul Spring maketh Meat red, which is an ill ſign. Springs on the tops of high Hills are the beſt; for both they ſeem to have
a Lightneſs and Appetite of Mounting; and beſides, they are moſt pure and
unmingled: And again are more percolated through a great ſpace of Earth. For VVaters in Valleys, joyn in effect under ground with all VVaters of the
ſame Level; whereas Springs on the tops of Hills, paſs through a great deal
of pure Earth with leſs mixture of other VVaters.



Seventhly, Judgment may be made of Waters by the Soyl whereupon
the VVater runneth, as Pebble is the cleaneſt and beſt taſted; and next to that


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