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so light being dead, as they would have been after ten hours kept alive, for in that space a man abateth many ounces; nor if it had slept, for in that space of sleep, a man will sometimes abate forty ounces : nor if it had been in the middle of summer, for then a man weigheth some pounds less than in the height of winter, according to experience, and the statick aphorisms of Sanctorius.
Again, whereas men affirm they perceive an addition of ponderosity in dead bodies, comparing them usually unto blocks and stones, whensoever they lift or carry them; this accessional preponderancy is rather in appearance than reality. For being destitute of any motion, they confer no relief unto the agents or elevators, which make us meet with the same complaints of gravity in animated and living bodies, where the nerves subside, and the faculty locomotive seems abolished, as may be observed in the lifting or supporting of persons inebriated, apoplectical, or in lipothymies and swoonings.
Many are also of opinion, and some learned men maintain, that men are lighter after meals than before, and that by a supply and addition of spirits obscuring the gross ponderosity of the aliment ingested; but the contrary hereof we have found in the trial of sundry persons in different sex and ages. And we conceive men may mistake, if they distinguish not the sense of levity unto themselves, and in regard of the scale, or decision of trutination. For after a draught of wine, a man may seem lighter in himself from sudden reflection, although he be heavier in the balance, from a corporal and ponderous addition ; but a man in the morning is lighter in the scale, because in sleep some pounds have perspired; and is also lighter unto himself, because he is refected.
And to speak strictly, a man that holds his breath is weightier while his lungs are full, than upon expiration. For a bladder blown is weightier than one empty; and if it contain a quart, expressed and emptied it will abate about a quarter of a grain. And therefore we somewhat mistrust the experiment of a pumice-stone taken up by Montanus, in his comment upon Avicenna, where declaring how the rarity of parts, and numerosity of pores, occasioneth a lightness in
6 trutination.] The act of weighing in scales; from trutina.
bodies, he affirms that a pumice-stone powdered is lighter than one entire; which is an experiment beyond our satisfaction ; for, beside that abatement can hardly be avoided in the trituration, if a bladder of good capacity will scarce include a grain of air, a pumice of three or four drachms, cannot be presumed to contain the hundredth part thereof; which will not be sensible upon the exactest beams we use. Nor is it to be taken strictly, what is delivered by the learned Lord Verulam, and referred unto further experiment; that a dissolution of iron in aqua fortis, will bear as good weight as their bodies did before, notwithstanding a great deal of waste by a thick vapour that issueth during the working; for we cannot find it to hold either in iron or copper, which is dissolved with less ebullition; and hereof we made trial in scales of good exactness; wherein if there be a defect, or such as will not turn upon quarter grains, there may
be frequent mistakes in experiments of this nature. That also may be considered which is delivered by Hamerus Poppius, that antimony calcined or reduced to ashes by a burning glass, although it emit a gross and ponderous exhalation, doth rather exceed than abate its former gravity? Nevertheless, strange it is, how very little and almost insensible abatement there will be sometimes in such operations, or rather some increase, as in the refining of metals, in the test of bone-ashes, according to experience: and in a burnt brick, as Monsieur de Calve, * affirmeth. Mistake may
be made in this way of trial; when the antimony is not weighed immediately upon the calcination, but permitted the air, it imbibeth the humidity thereof, and so repaireth its gravity.
That there are several passages for Meat and Drink. That there are different passages for meat and drink, the meat or dry aliment descending by the one, the drink or
* Des Pierres. 7 that antimony, dc.] This is like that other refuted before, that a pumice powdered weighs heavier then before.— Wr.
moistening vehicle by the other, is a popular tenet in our days, but was the assertion of learned men of old. For the
was affirmed by Plato, maintained by Eustathius in Macrobius, and is deducible from Eratosthenes, Eupolis and Euripides. Now herein men contradict experience, not well understanding anatomy, and the use of parts. For at the throat there are two cavities or conducting parts; the one the wesophagus or gullet, seated next the spine, a part official unto nutrition, and whereby the aliment both wet and dry is conveyed unto the stomach ; the other (by which 'tis conceived the drink doth pass) is the weazand, rough artery, or wind-pipe, a part inservient to voice and respiration for thereby the air descendeth into the lungs, and is communicated unto the heart. And therefore, all animals that breathe or have lungs, have also the weazand; but many have the gullet or feeding channel, which have no lungs or windpipe; as fishes which have gills, whereby the heart is refrigerated; for such thereof as have lungs and respiration, are not without the weazand, as whales and cetaceous animals.
Again, beside these parts destined to divers offices, there is a peculiar provision for the wind-pipe, that is, a cartilagineous flap upon the opening of the larynx or throttle, which hath an open cavity for the admission of the air; but lest thereby either meat or drink should descend, Providence hath placed the epiglottis, ligula, or flap like an ivy leaf, which always closeth when we swallow, or when the meat and drink passeth over it into the gullet. Which part although all have not that breathe, as all cetaceous and oviparous animals, yet is the weazand secured some other way; and therefore in whales that breathe, lest the water should get into the lungs, an ejection thereof is contrived by a fistula or spout at the head. And therefore also, though birds have no epiglottis, yet can they so contract the rim or chink of their larynx, as to prevent the admission of wet or dry ingested; either whereof getting in, occasioneth a cough, until it be ejected. And this is the reason why a man cannot drink and breathe at the same time; why, if we laugh while we drink, the drink flies out at the nostrils; why, when the water enters the weazand, men are suddenly drowned; and thus must it be understood, when we read of one that died by the seed of a grape,* and another by an hair in milk.8 Now if
any shall affirm, that some truth there is in the assertion, upon the experiment of Hippocrates, who, killing an hog after a red potion, found the tincture thereof in the larynx ; .if any will urge the same from medical practice, because in affections both of lungs and weazand, physicians make use of syrups, and lambitive medicines ;9 we are not averse to acknowledge, that some may distil and insinuate into the wind-pipe, and medicines may creep down, as well as the rheum before them: yet to conclude from hence, that air and water have both one common passage, were to state the question upon the weaker side of the distinction, and from a partial or guttulous irrigation to conclude a total descension.
Of Saluting upon Sneezing. CONCERNING Sternutation or Sneezing, and the custom of saluting or blessing upon that motion, it is pretended, and generally believed, to derive its original from a disease, wherein sternutation proved mortal, and such as sneezed, died. And this may seem to be proved from Carolus Sigonius, who in his History of Italy, makes mention of a pestilence in the time of Gregory the Great, that proved pernicious and deadly to those that sneezed. Which notwithstanding will not sufficiently determine the grounds hereof, that custom having an elder era than this chronology affordeth.
* Anacreon the Poet, if the story be taken literally. 8 by an hair in milk.] And a woman in Knowle, Wiltes, by a piece of the great tendon in a neck of veale (which is commonly cald the Halifax) which getting sodenly within the larinx chokt her.- Wr. See my note relating the death of Lord Boringdon, at p. 168.
syrups.] In a dangerous catharr, the end of giving syrupes is, that sliding downe with the rheumes, they may both abate and correct the cold crude salt corroding qualityes of rheumes: and withall by the heat of the ingredients, and the balmy benigne quality of sugar, att once arme and warme the lungs, and withall thicken the rheum that fals, that itt may bee more easily expectorated.--Wr.
For although the age of Gregory extend above a thousand, yet is this custom mentioned by Apuleius, in the fable of the fuller's wife, who lived three hundred years before; by Pliny in that problem of his, cur sternutantes salutantur ; and there are also reports that Tiberius the emperor, otherwise a very sour man, would perform this rite most punctually unto others, and expect the same from others unto himself. Petronius Arbiter, who lived before them both, and was proconsul of Bithynia in the reign of Nero, hath mentioned it in these words, Gyton collectione spiritûs plenus, ter continuò ità sternutavit, ut grabatum concuteret, ad quem motum Eumolpus conversus, Salvere Gytona jubet. Cælius Rhodiginus hath an example hereof among the Greeks far ancienter than these, that is, in the time of Cyrus the younger, when consulting about their retreat, it chanced that one among them sneezed, at the noise whereof the rest of the soldiers called upon Jupiter Soter. There is also in the Greek Anthology a remarkable mention hereof in an epigram, upon one Proclus ; the Latin whereof we shall deliver, as we find it often translated.
Non potis est Proclus digitis emungere nasum,
Namq; est pro nasi mole pusilla manus :
Sternutamentum, tam procul aure sonat.
His hand too little is his nose to gripe ;
Himself not sneeze, the sound's so far from's ears. Nor was this only an ancient custom among the Greeks and Romans, and is still in force with us, but is received at this day in remotest parts of Africa. For so we read in Codignus, * that upon a sneeze of the Emperor of Monomotapa, there passed acclamations successive through the city ; and as remarkable an example there is of the same custom, in the remotest parts of the East, recorded in the travels of Pinto.
But the history will run much higher, if we should take in the rabbinical account hereof, that sneezing was a mortal
* De rebus Abassinorum. Africa.] And in Otaheite.--Jeff.