Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

50. Deſiccation, Prohibiting of Deſiccation, and In-teneration of that which
is deſiccated and dried.

The Hiſtory.

FIre and ſtrong Heats dry ſome things, and melt others.

To the ſe-
cond Arti-
cle.

Limus ut bic dureſcit, & hæc ut Cera liqueſcit, Vno eodemque Igne? How this Clay is hardned, and how this wax is melted, with one and the ſame thing,
Fire? It drieth Earth, Stones, wood, Cloth, and Skins, and whatſoever is not liquefiable; and it melteth Metalls, wax, Gums, Butter, Tallow, and the like.

50.1.

1.

Notwithſtanding, even in thoſe things which the fire melteth, if it be very vehement
and continueth, it doth at laſt dry them. For metal in a ſtrong fire, (Gold onely ex-
cepted) the volatile part being gone forth, will become leſs ponderous and more brit-
tle; and thoſe oily and fat ſubſtances in the like fire will burn up, and be dried and
parched.

50.1.

2.

Air, eſpecially open Air, doth manifeſtly dry, but not melt: as High-ways, and the
upper part of the Earth, moiſtned with ſhowers, are dried; linnen clothes waſhed, if they
be hang’ [?] d out in the air, are like wiſe dried; herbs, and leaves, and flowers, laid forth in
the ſhade, are dried. But much more ſuddenly doth the Air this, if it be either en-
lightned with the Sun-beams, (ſo that they cauſe no putrefaction) or if the air be ſtir-
red, as when the wind bloweth, or in rooms open on all ſides.

50.1.

3.

Age moſt of all, but yet ſlo weſt of all, drieth; as in all bodies which (if they be not
prevented by putrefaction) are drie with Age. But age is nothing of it ſelf, being
onely the meaſure of time; that which cauſeth the effect is the native Spirit of bodies,
which ſucketh up the moiſture of the body, and then, together with it, flieth forth; and the air ambient, which multiplieth it ſelf upon the native ſpirits and juices of the bo-
dy, and preyeth upon them.

50.1.

4.

Cold of all things moſt properly drieth: for drying is not cauſed but by Contraction; now contraction is the proper work of cold. But becauſe we Men have heat in a high
degree, namely, that of Fire, but cold in a very low degree, no other than that of
VVinter, or perhaps of Ice, or of Snow, or of Nitre; therefore the drying cauſed by
cold is but weak, and caſily reſolved. Notwithſtanding we ſee the ſurface of the earth
to be more dried by Froſt, or by March-winds, than by the Sun, ſe@ing the ſame wind both
licketh up the moiſture and afſecteth with coldneſs.

50.1.

5.

Smoak is a drier; as in Bacon and Neats tongues which are hanged up in the chimneys: and
Perfumes of Olibanum, or Lignum Aloes, and the like, dry the Brain, and cure Catarrhs.

50.1.

6.

Salt, after ſome reaſonable continuance, drieth, not onely on the out-ſide, but in the
inſide alſo; as in Fleſh and Fiſh ſalted, which if they have continued any long time have
a manifeſt hardneſs within.

50.1.

7.

Hot Gums applied to the skin dry and wrinkle it; and ſome aſtringent waters alſo do
the ſame.

50.1.

8.

Spirit of ſtrong waters imitateth the fire in drying; for it will both potch an Egg put
into it, and toaſt Bread.

50.1.

9.

Powders dry like Sponges by drinking up the moiſture, as it is in Sand thrown upon
Lines new written: alſo ſmoothneſs and politeneſs of bodies, (which ſuffer not the va-
pour of moiſture to go in by the pores) dry by accident, becauſe it expoſeth it to the
air; as it is ſeen in precious Stones, Looking glaſſes, and Blades of Swords, upon which if you
breath, you ſhall ſee at firſt a little miſt, but ſoon after it vaniſheth like a cloud. And thus
much for Deſiccation or Drying.

50.1.

10.
Note:

They uſe at this day in the East parts of Germany Garners in Vaults under gronnd,
wherein they keep VVheat and other grains, laying a good quantity of ſtraw both under
the grains and about them, to ſave them from the dampneſs of the Vault; by which
device they keep their grains 20 or 30 years. And this doth not onely preſerve them
from fuſtineſs, but (that which pertains more to the preſ@nt inquiſition) preſerves them
alſo in that greenneſs that they are fit and ſerviceable to make bread. The ſame is reported
to have been in uſe in Cappadocia and Thracia, and ſome parts of Spain.

50.1.

11.

The placing of Garners on the tops of houſes, with windows to wards the Eaſt
and North, is very commodious. Some alſo make two Sollars, an upper and a lower; and the upper Sollar hath an hole it, through which the grain continually deſcen-
deth, like ſand in an hour-glaſs, and after a few dayes they throw it up again
with ſhovels, that ſo it may be in continual motion. Now it is to be noted

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