Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

I conceive alſo, that the Species of Audibles, do hang longer in the Air than
thoſe of Viſibles: For although even thoſe of Vifibles do hang ſome time,
as we ſee in Rings turned, that ſhew like ſpheres. In Lute-ſtrings fillipped, a Fire-
brand carried a long, which leaveth a train of light behinde it, and in the Twi
light, and the like: Yet I conceive that Sounds, ſtay longer becauſe they are
carried up and down with the Wind; and becauſe of the diſtance of the
time in Ordnance diſcharged, and heard twenty miles off



In Viſibles there are not found Objects ſo odious and ingrate to the Senſe,
as in Audibles. For ſoul Sights do rather diſpleaſe, in that they excite the memory
of ſoul things, than in the immediate Objects. And therefore in Pictures, thoſe
foul Sights do not much offend; but in Audibles, the grating of a Saw when
it is ſharpned, doth offend ſo much, as it ſetteth the Teeth on edge; and any
of the hat [?] ſh Diſcords in Muſicks, the Ear doth ſtraight ways refuſe.



In Viſibles, after great light, if you come ſuddenly into the dark, or con-
trariwiſe out of the dark into a glaring Light. The eye is dazled for a time,
and the Sight confuſed; but whether any ſuch effect be after great Sounds, or
after a deeper ſilence may be better enquired. It is an old Tradition, that
thoſe that dwell near the Cataracts of Nilus, are ſtrucken deaf: But we finde
no ſuch effect in Cannoniers, nor Millers, nor thoſe that dwell upon Bridges.



It ſeemeth, that the Impreßion of Colour is ſo weak, as it worketh not, but
by a Cone of direct Beams, or right Lines, whereof the Baſis is in the Object
and the Vertical point in the Eye: So as there is a corradiation and conjuncti-
on of Beams; and thoſe Beams ſo ſent forth, yet are not of any force to beget
the like borrowed or ſecond Beams, except it be by Reflexion, whereof we
ſpeak not. For the Beams paſs and give little tincture to that Air which is ad-
jacent; which if they did, we ſhould ſee Colours out of a right line. But as
this in Colours, ſo other wiſe it is in the Body of Light. For when there is a
skreen between the Candle and the Eye, yet the light paſſeth to the Paper
whereon one writeth, ſo that the light is ſeen where the body of the flame
is not ſeen; and where any Colour (if it were placed where the body of the
flame is) would not be ſeen. I judge that Sound is of this latter nature: For
when two are placed on both ſides of a Wall, and the voice is heard, I judge
it is not onely the original ſound, which paſſeth in an Arched line; but the ſound,
which paſſeth above the Wall in a Right line, begetteth the like Motion round
about it, as the firſt did, though more weak.



ALl Concords and Diſcords of Muſick (no doubt) Sympathies and Antipathies of
Sounds, and ſo (likewiſe) in that Muſick, which we call Broken Muſick, or
Conſort Muſick; ſome Conſorts of Inſtruments are ſweeter than others, (a thing
not ſufficiently yet obferved;) as the Irish-Harp and Baſe-Vial agree well; the
Recorder and Stringed Muſick agree well; Organs and the Voice agree well, & c. But the Virginals and the Lute, or the Welsh-Harp and Irish-Harp, or the Voice
and Pipes alone, agree not ſo well; but for the Melioration of Muſick, there is
yet much left (in this Point of Exquiſite Conſorts) to try and enquire.


in Conſott,
touching the
Sympathy or
Antipathy of
Sounds, one
with another.

There is a common obſervation, That if a Lute or Vial be laid upon the
back with a ſmall ſtraw upon one ſide of the ſtrings, and another Lute or Vial be
laid by it; and in the other Lute or Vial the Vniſon to that ſtring be ſtrucken, it
will make the ſtring move; which will appear both to the Eye, and by the
ſtraws falling off. The like will be if the Diapaſon or Eight to that ſtring be ſtruck-
en, either in the ſame Lute or Vial, or in others lying by: But in none of theſe
there is any report of Sound that can be diſcerned, but onely Motion.



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