Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Natural Hiſtory; Fourthly, That the object of it is Deformity, Abſurdity, Shrewd turns, and the like. Now to ſpeak of the cauſes of the effects before mentioned, whereun to theſe
general Notes give ſome light. For the Dilatation of the Mouth and Lips,
continued Expulſion of the Breath and Voice, and Shaking of the Breſts and
Sides, they proceed (all) from the Dilatation of the Spirits, eſpecially being
ſudden. So likewiſe the Running of the Eyes with Water, (as hath been for-
merly touched, where we ſpake of the Tears of Joy and Grief) is an offect of
Dilatation of the Spirits. And for Suddenneß, it is a great part of the Matter: For we ſee that any Shrewd turn that lighteth upon another, or any Deformity,
& c. moveth Laughter in the inſtant, which after a little time it doth not. So
we cannot Laugh at any thing after it is ſtale, but whileſt it is new. And even
in Tickling, if you tickle the ſides, and give watning, or give a hard or con-
tinued touch, it doth not move Laughter ſo much.



Luſt cauſeth a Flagrancy in the Eys, and Priapiſm. The cauſe of both
theſe is, for that in Luſt the Sight and the Touch, are the things defired; and
therefore the Spirits reſort to thoſe parts which are moſt affected. And note
well in general, (for that great uſe may be made of the obſervation) that
(evermore) the Spirits in all Paßions reſort moſt to the parts that labor moſt, or
are moſt affected. As in the laſt, which hath been mentioned, they reſort to
the Eyes and Venereous parts; in Fear and Anger to the Heart; in Shame to the
Face; and in Light diſlikes to the Head.



IT hath been obſerved by the Ancients, and is yet believed, That the Sperm
of Drunken-men is unfruitful. The cauſe is, for that it is over-moiſtned, and
wanteth Spiſſitude. And we have a merry ſaying, That they that go drunk to Bed,
get Daughters.


in Conſort,

Drunken-men are taken with a plain Deſect or Deſtitution in Voluntary
Motion; they reel, they tremble, they cannot ſtand, nor ſpeak ſtrongly. The
cauſe is, for that the Spirits of the Wine oppreſs the Spirits Animal, and oc-
cupate part of the place where they are, and ſo make them weak to move; and therefore Drunken-men are apt to fall aſleep. And Opiates and Stupefactives
(as Poppy, Henbane, Hemlock, & c.) induce a kinde of Drunkenneß by the groſsneſs
of their Vapor, as Wine doth by the quantity of the Vapor. Beſides, they rob
the Spirits Animal of their Matter where by they are nouriſhed; for the Spirits
of the Wine, prey upon it as well as they, and ſo they make the Spirits leſs
ſupple and apt to move.



Drunken-men imagine every thing turneth round; they imagine alſo,
that things come upon them; they ſee not well things afar off; thoſe things
that they ſee near hand, they ſee out of their place; and (ſometimes) they
ſee things double. The cauſe of the imagination that things turn round is,
for that the Spirits them ſelves turn, being compreſſed by the Vapor of the
Wine; (for any Liquid Body upon Compreſſion turneth, as we ſee in Water:) And it is all one to the ſight, whether the Viſual Spirits move, or the Object
moveth, or the Medium moveth; and we ſee, that long turning round breed-
eth the ſame imagination. The cauſe of the imagination that things come
upon them is, for that the Spirits Viſual themſelves draw back, which maketh
the Object ſeem to come on; and beſides, when they ſee things turn
round and move, Fear maketh them think they come upon them. The
cauſe that they cannot ſee things afar off, is the weakneſs of the Spirits; for
in every Megrim or Vertigo, there is an Obtenebration joyned with a ſem-
blance of Turning round, which we ſee alſo in the lighter ſort of Swoonings.


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