Open main menu

Micrographia - or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon/Chapter 6

Observ. VI.Of small Glass Canes.

THat I might be satisfied, whether it were not possible to make an Schem. 4. Artificial pore as small as any Natural I had yet found, I made several attemps with small glass pipes, melted in the flame of a Lamp, and then very suddenly drawn out into a great length. And, by that means, without much difficulty, I was able to draw some almost as small as a Cobweb, which yet, with the Microscope, I could plainly perceive to be perforated, both by looking on the ends of it, and by looking on it against the light; which was much the easier way to determine whether it were solid or perforated; for, taking a small pipe of glass, and closing one end of it, then filling it half full of water, and holding it against the light, I could, by this means, very easily find what was the differing aspect of a solid and a perforated piece of glass; and so easily distingish, without seeing either end, whether any Cylinder of glass I look'd on, were a solid stick, or a hollow cane. And by this means, I could also presently judge of any small filament of glass, whether it were hollow or not, which would have been exceeding tedious to examine by looking on the end. And many such like ways I was fain to make use of, in the examining of divers other particulars related in this Book, which would have been no easie task to have determined meerly by the more common way of looking on, or viewing the Object. For, if we consider first, the very faint light wherewith the object is enlightened, whence many particles appear opacous, which when more enlightned, appear very transparent, so that I was fain to determine its transparency by one glass, and its texture by another. Next, the unmanageableness of most Objects, by reason
Schem. IIII.
most Objects, by reason of their smalness,3. The difficulty of finding the desired point, and of placing it so, as to reflect the light conveniently for the Inquiry. Lastly, ones being able to view it but with one eye at once, they will appear no small obstructions, nor are they easily remov'd without many contrivances. But to proceed, I could not find that water, or some deeply ting'd liquors would in small ones rise so high as one would expect; and the highest I have found it yet rise in any of the pipes I have try'd, was to 21 inches above the level of the water in the vessel: for though I found that in the small pipes it would nimbly enter at first, and run about 6 or 7 inches upwards; yet I found it then to move upwards so slow, that I have not yet had the patience to observe it above that height of 21 inches (and that was in a pretty large Pipe, in comparison of those I formerly mentioned; for I could observe the progress of a very deep ting'd liquor in it with my naked eye, without much trouble; whereas many of the other pipes were so very small, that unless in a convenient posture to the light, I could not perceive them:) But 'tis very probable, that a greater patience and assiduity may discover the liquors to rise, at least to remain suspended, at heights that I should be loath now even to ghess at, if at least there be any proportion kept between the height of the ascending liquor, and the bigness of the holes of the pipes.


An Attempt for the Explication of this Experiment.


My Conjecture, That the unequal height of the surfaces of the water,Schem. 4.
Fig. 1.
proceeded from the greater pressure made upon the water by the Air without the Pipes A B C, then by that within them; I shall endeavour to confirm from the truth of the two following Propositions:

The first of which is, That an unequal pressure of the incumbent Air, will cause an unequal height in the water's Surfaces.

And the second is, That in this experiment there is such an unequal pressure.

That the first is true, the following Experiment will evince. For if you take any Vessel so contrived, as that you can at pleasure either increase or diminish the pressure of the Air upon this or that part of the Superficies of the water, the equality of the height of those parts will presently be lost; and that part of the Superficies that sustains the greater pressure, will be inferior to that which undergoes the less. A fit Vessel for this purpose, will be an inverted Glass Syphon, such an one as is described in the Sixth Figure. For if into it you put Water enough to fill it as high as A B, and gently blow in at D, you shall depress the Superficies B, and thereby raise the opposite Superficies A to a considerable height, and by gently sucking you may produce clean contrary effects.

Next, That there is such an unequal pressure, I shall prove from this, That there is a much greater incongruity of Air to Glass, and some other Bodies, then there is of Water to the same.

By Congruity, I mean a property of a fluid Body, whereby any part of it is readily united with any other part, either of itself, or of any other Similar, fluid, or solid body: And by Incongruity a property of a fluid, by which it is hindred from uniting with any dissimilar, fluid, or solid Body.

This last property, any one that hath been observingly conversant about fluid Bodies, cannot be ignorant of. For (not now to mention several Chymical Spirits and Oyls, which will very hardly, if at all, be brought to mix with one another; insomuch that there may be found some 8 or 9, or more, several distinct Liquors, which swimming one upon another, will not presently mix) we need seek no further for Examples of this kind in fluids, then to observe the drops of rain falling through the air and the bubbles of air which are by any means conveyed under the surface of the water; or a drop of common Sallet Oyl swimming upon water. In all which, and many more examples of this kind that might be enumerated, the incongruity of two fluids is easily discernable. And as for the Congruity or Incongruity of Liquids, with several kinds of firm Bodies, they have long since been taken notice of, and called by the Names of Driness and Moisture (though these two names are not comprehensive enough, being commonly used to signifie only the adhering or not adhering of water to some other solid Bodies) of this kind we may observe that water will more readily wet some woods then others; and that water, let fall upon a Feather, the whiter side of a Colwort, and some other leaves, or upon almost any dusty, unctuous, or resinous superficies, will not at all adhere to them, but easily tumble off from them, like a solid Bowl; whereas, if dropt upon Linnen, Paper, Clay, green Wood, &c. it will not be taken off, without leaving some part of it behind adhering to them. So Quick-silver, which will very hardly be brought to stick to any vegetable body, will readily adhere to, and mingle with, several clean metalline bodies.

And that we may the better finde what the cause of Congruity and Incongruity in bodies is, it will be requisite to consider, First, what is the cause of fluidness; And this, I conceive, to be nothing else but a certain pulse or shake of heat; for Heat being nothing else but a very brisk and vehement agitation of the parts of a body (as I have elswhere made probable) the parts of a body are thereby made so loose from one another, that they easily move any way, and become fluid. That I may explain this a little by a gross Similitude, let us suppose a dish of sand set upon some body that is very much agitated, and shaken with some quick and strong vibrating motion, as on a Milstone turn'd round upon the under stone very violently whilst it is empty; or on a very stiff Drum-head, which is vehemently or very nimbly beaten with the Drumsticks. By this means, the sand in the dish, which before lay like a dull and unactive body, becomes a perfect fluid; and ye can no sooner make a hole in it with your finger, but it is immediately filled up again, and the upper surface of it levell'd. Nor can you bury a light body, as a piece of Cork under it, but it presently emerges or swims as 'twere on the top; nor can you lay a heavier on the top of it, as a piece of Lead, but it is immediately buried in Sand, and (as 'twere) sinks to the bottom. Nor can you make a hole in the side of the Dish, but the sand shall run out of it to a level, not an obvious property of a fluid body, as such, but this dos imitate; and all this meerly caused by the vehement agitation of the conteining vessel; for by this means, each sand becomes to have a vibrative or dancing motion, so as no other heavier body can rest on it, unless sustein'd by some other on either side: Nor will it suffer any Body to be beneath it, unless it be a heavier then it self. Another Instance of the strange loosening nature of a violent jarring Motion, or a strong and nimble vibrative one, we may have from a piece of iron grated on very strongly with a file: for if into that a pin be screw'd so firm and hard, that though it has a convenient head to it, yet it can by no means be unscrew'd by the fingers; if, I say, you attempt to unscrew this whilst grated on by the file, it will be found to undoe and turn very easily. The first of these Examples manifests, how a body actually divided into small parts, becomes a fluid. And the latter manifests by what means the agitation of heat so easily loosens and unties the parts of solid and firm bodies. Nor need we suppose heat to be any thing else, besides such a motion; for supposing we could Mechanically produce such a one quick and strong enough, we need not spend fuel to melt a body. Now, that I do not speak this altogether groundless, I must refer the Reader to the Observations I have made upon the shining sparks of Steel, for there he shall find that the same effects are produced upon small chips or parcels of Steel by the flame, and by a quick and violent motion; and if the body of steel may be thus melted (as I there shew it may) I think we have little reason to doubt that almost any other may not also. Every Smith can inform one how quickly both his File and the Iron grows hot with filing, and if you rub almost any two hard bodies together, they will do the same: And we know, that a sufficient degree of heat causes fluidity, in some bodies much sooner, and in others later; that is, the parts of the body of some are so loose from one another, and so unapt to cohere, and so minute and little, that a very small degree of agitation keeps them always in the state of fluidity. Of this kind, I suppose, the Æther, that is the medium or fluid body, in which all other bodies do as it were swim and move; and particularly, the Air, which seems nothing else but a kind of tincture or solution of terrestrial and aqueous particles dissolv'd into it, and agitated by it, just as the tincture of Cocheneel is nothing but some finer dissoluble parts of that Concrete lick'd up or dissolv'd by the fluid water. And from this Notion of it, we may easily give a more Intelligible reason how the Air becomes so capable of Rarefaction and Condensation. For, as in tinctures, one grain of some strongly tinging substance may sensibly colour some hundred thousand grains of appropriated Liquors, so as every drop of it has its proportionate share, and be sensibly ting'd, as I have try'd both with Logwood and Cocheneel: And as some few grains of Salt is able to infect as great a quantity, as may be found by præcipitations, though not so easily by the sight or taste[errata 1]; so the Air, which seems to be but as 'twere a tincture or saline substance, dissolv'd and agitated by the fluid and agil Æther, may disperse and expand it self into a vast space, if it have room enough, and infect, as it were, every part of that space. But, as on the other side, if there be but some few grains of the liquor, it may extract all the colour of the tinging substance, and may dissolve all the Salt, and thereby become much more impregnated with those substances, so may all the air that sufficed in a rarify'd state to fill some hundred thousand spaces of Æther, be compris'd in only one, but in a position proportionable dense. And though we have not yet found out such strainers for Tinctures and Salts as we have for the Air, being yet unable to separate them from their dissolving liquors by any kind of filtre, without præcipitation, as we are able to separate the Air from the Æther by Glass, and several other bodies. And though we are yet unable and ignorant of the ways of præcipitating Air out of the Æther as we can Tinctures, and Salts out of several dissolvents; yet neither of these seeming impossible from the nature of the things, nor so improbable but that some happy future industry may find out ways to effect them; nay, further, since we find that Nature does really perform (though by what means we are not certain) both these actions, namely, by præcipitating the Air in Rain and Dews, and by supplying the Streams and Rivers of the World with fresh water, strain'd through secret subterraneous Caverns: And since, that in very many other proprieties they do so exactly seem of the same nature; till further observations or tryals do inform us of the contrary, we may safely enough conclude them of the same kind. For it seldom happens that any two natures have so many properties coincident or the same, as I have observ'd Solutions and Air to have, and to be different in the rest. And therefore I think it neither impossible, irrational, nay nor difficult to be able to predict what is likely to happen in other particulars also, besides those which Observation or Experiment have declared thus or thus; especially, if the circumstances that do often very much conduce to the variation of the effects be duly weigh'd and consider'd. And indeed, were there not a probability of this, our inquiries would be endless, our tryals vain, and our greatest inventions would be nothing but the meer products of chance, and not of Reason; and, like Mariners in an Ocean, destitute both of a Compass and the sight of the Celestial guids, we might indeed, by chance, Steer directly towards our desired Port, but 'tis a thousand to one but we miss our aim. But to proceed, we may hence also give a plain reason, how the Air comes to be darkned by clouds, &c. which are nothing but a kind of precipitation, and how those precipitations fall down in Showrs. Hence also could I very easily, and I think truly, deduce the cause of the curious sixangular figures of Snow, and the appearances of Haloes, &c. and the sudden thickning of the Sky with Clouds, and the vanishing and disappearing of those Clouds again; for all these things may be very easily imitated in a glass of liquor, with some slight Chymical preparations as I have often try'd, and may somewhere else more largely relate, but have not now time to set them down. But to proceed, there are other bodies that consist of particles more Gross, and of a more apt figure for cohesion, and this requires somewhat greater agitation; such, I suppose . fermented vinous Spirits, several Chymical Oils, which are much of kin to those Spirits, &c. Others yet require a greater, as water, and so others much greater, for almost infinite degrees: For, I suppose there are very few bodies in the world that may not be made aliquatenus fluid, by some or other degree of agitation or heat.

Having therefore in short set down my Notion of a Fluid body, I come in the next place to consider what Congruity is; and this, as I said before, being a Relative property of a fluid, whereby it may be said to be like or unlike to this or that other body, whereby it does or does not mix with this or that body. We will again have recourse to our former Experiment, though but a rude one; and here if we mix in the dish several kinds of sands, some of bigger, others of less and finer bulks, we shall find that by the agitation the fine sand will eject and throw out of it self all those bigger bulks of small stones and the like, and those will be gathered together all into one place; and if there be other bodies in it of other natures, those also will be separated into a place by themselves, and united or tumbled up together. And though this do not come up to the highest property of Congruity, which is a Cohæsion of the parts of the fluid together, or a kind of attraction and tenacity, yet this does as 'twere shadow it out, and somewhat resemble it; for just after the same manner, I suppose the pulse of heat to agitate the small parcels of matter, and those that are of a like bigness, and figure, and matter, will hold, or dance together, and those which are of a differing kind will be thrust or shov'd out from between them; for particles that are similar, will, like so many equal musical strings equally stretcht, vibrate together in a kind of Harmony or unison; whereas others that are dissimilar, upon what account soever, unless the disproportion be otherwise counter-ballanc'd, will, like so many strings out of tune to those unisons, though they have the same agitating pulse, yet make quite differing kinds of vibrations and repercussions, so that though they may be both mov'd, yet are their vibrations so different, and so untun'd, as 'twere to each other, that they cross and jar against each other, and consequently, cannot agree together, but fly back from each other to their similar particles. Now, to give you an instance how the disproportion of some bodies in one respect, may be counter-ballanc'd by a contrary disproportion of the same body in another respect, whence we find that the subtil vinous spirit is congruous, or does readily mix with water, which in many properties is of a very differing nature, we may consider that a unison may be made either by two strings of the same bigness, length, and tension, or by two strings of the same bigness, but of differing length, and a contrary differing tension, or 3ly. by two strings of unequal length and bigness, and of a differing tension, or of equal length, and differing bigness and tension, and several other such varieties. To which three properties in strings, will correspond three proprieties also in sand, or the particles of bodies, their Matter or Substance, their Figure or Shape, and their Body or Bulk. And from the varieties of these three, may arise infinite varieties in fluid bodies, though all agitated by the same pulse or vibrative motion. And there may be as many ways of making Harmonies and Discords with these, as there may be with musical strings. Having therefore seen what is the cause of Congruity or Incongruity, those relative properties of fluids, we may, from what has been said, very easily collect, what is the reason of those Relative proprieties also between fluid bodies and solid; for since all bodies consist of particles of such a Substance, Figure, and Bulk; but in some they are united together more firmly then to be loosened from each other by every vibrative motion (though I imagine that there is no body in the world, but that some degree of agitation may, as I hinted before, agitate and loosen the particles so as to make them fluid) those cohering particles may vibrate in the same manner almost as those that are loose and become unisons or discords, as I may so speak, to them. Now that the parts of all bodies, though never so solid, do yet vibrate, I think we need go no further for proof, then that all bodies have some degrees of heat in them, and that there has not been yet found any thing perfectly cold: Nor can I believe indeed that there is any such thing in Nature, as a body whose particles are at rest, or lazy and unactive in the great Theatre of the World, it being quite contrary to the grand Oeconomy of the Universe. We see therefore what is the reason of the sympathy or uniting of some bodies together, and of the antipathy or flight of others from each other: For Congruity seems nothing else but a Sympathy, and Incongruity an Antipathy of bodies, hence similar bodies once united will not easily part, and dissimilar bodies once disjoyn'd will not easily unite again; from hence may be very easily deduc'd the reason of the suspension of water and Quick-silver above their usual station, as I shall more at large anon shew.

These properties therefore (alwayes the concomitants of fluid bodies) produce these following visible Effects:

First, They unite the parts of a fluid to its similar Solid, or keep them separate from its dissimilar. Hence Quick-silver will (as we noted before) stick to Gold, Silver, Tin, Lead, &c. and unite with them: but roul off from Wood, Stone, Glass, &c. if never so little scituated out of its horizontal level; and water that will wet salt and dissolve it, will slip off from Tallow, or the like, without at all adhering; as it may likewise be observed to do upon a dusty superficies. And next they cause the parts of homogeneal fluid bodies readily to adhere together and mix, and of heterogeneal, to be exceeding averse thereunto. Hence we find, that two small drops of water, on any superficies they can roul on, will, if they chance to touch each other, readily unite and mix into one 3d drop: The like may be observed with two small Bowls of Quick-silver upon a Table or Glass, provided their surfaces be not dusty; and with two drops of Oyl upon fair water, &c. And further, water put unto wine, salt water, vinegar, spirit of wine, or the like, does immediately (especially if they be shaken together) disperse it self all over them. Hence, on the contrary, we also find, that Oyl of Tartar poured upon Quick-silver, and Spirit of Wine on that Oyl, and Oyl of Turpentine on that Spirit, and Air upon that Oyl, though they be stopt closely up into a Bottle, and shaken never so much, they will by no means long suffer any of their bigger parts to be united or or included within any of the other Liquors (by which recited Liquors, may be plainly enough represented the four Peripatetical Elements, and the more subtil Æther above all.) From this property 'tis, that a drop of water does not mingle with, or vanish into Air, but is driven (by that Fluid equally protruding it on every side) and forc't into as little a space as it can possibly be contained in, namely, into a Round Globule. So likewise a little Air blown under the water, is united or thrust into a Bubble by the ambient water. And a parcel of Quick-silver enclosed with Air, Water, or almost any other Liquor, is formed into a round Ball.

Now the cause why all these included Fluids, newly mentioned, or as many others as are wholly included within a heterogeneous fluid, are not exactly of a Spherical Figure (seeing that if caused by these Principles only, it could be of no other) must proceed from some other kind of pressure against the two opposite flatted sides. This adventitious or accidental pressure may proceed from divers causes, and accordingly must diversifie the Figure of the included heterogeneous fluid: For seeing that a body may be included either with a fluid only, or only with a solid, or partly with a fluid, and partly with a solid, or partly with one fluid, and partly with another; there will be found a very great variety of the terminating surfaces, much differing from a Spherical, according to the various resistance or pressure that belongs to each of these encompassing bodies.

Which Properties may in general be deduced from two heads, viz. Motion, and Rest. For, either this Globular Figure is altered by a natural Motion, such as is Gravity, or a violent, such as is any accidental motion of the fluids, as we see in the wind ruffling up the water, and the purlings of Streams, and foaming of Catarracts, and the like. Or thirdly, By the Rest, Firmness and Stability of the ambient Solid. For if the including Solid be of an angular or any other irregular Form, the included fluid will be near of the like, as a Pint-Pot full of water, or a Bladder full of Air. And next, if the including or included fluid have a greater gravity one than another, then will the globular Form be deprest into an Elliptico-spherical: As if, for example, we suppose the Circle A B C D, in the fourth Figure, to represent a drop of water, Quick-silver, or the like, included with the Air or the like, which supposing there were no gravity at all in either of the fluids, or that the contained and containing were of the same weight, would be equally comprest into an exactly spherical body (the ambient fluid forcing equally against every side of it.) But supposing either a greater gravity in the included, by reason whereof the parts of it being prest from A towards B, and thereby the whole put into motion, and that motion being hindred by the resistance of the subjacent parts of the ambient, the globular Figure A D B C will be deprest into the Elliptico-spherical, E G F H. For the side A is detruded to E by the Gravity, and B to F by the resistance of the subjacent medium: and therefore C must necessarily be thrust to G; and D to H. Or else, supposing a greater gravity in the ambient, by whose more then ordinary pressure against the under side of the included globule; B will be forced to F, and by its resistance of the motion upwards, the side A will be deprest to E, and therefore C being thrust to G and D to H; the globular Figure by this means also will be made an Elliptico-spherical. Next if a fluid be included partly with one, and partly with another fluid, it will be found to be shaped diversly, according to the proportion of the gravity and incongruity of the 3 fluids one to another: As in the second Figure, let the upper M M M be Air, the middle L M N O be common Oyl, the lower O O O be Water, the Oyl will be form'd, not into a spherical Figure, such as is represented by the pricked Line, but into such a Figure as L M N O, whose side L M N will be of a flatter Elliptical Figure, by reason of the great disproportion between the Gravity of Oyl and Air, and the side L O M of a rounder, because of the smaller difference between the weight of Oyl and Water. Lastly, The globular Figure will be changed, if the ambient be partly fluid and partly solid. And here the termination of the incompassed fluid towards the incompassing is shap'd according to the proportion of the congruity or incongruity of the fluids to the solids, and of the gravity and incongruity of the fluids one to another. As suppose the subjacent medium that hinders an included fluids descent, be a solid, as let K I, in the fourth Figure, represent the smooth superficies of a Table; E G F H, a parcel of running Mercury; the side G F H will be more flatted, according to the proportion of the incongruity of the Mercury and Air to the Wood, and of the gravity of Mercury and Air one to another; The side G E H will likewise be a little more deprest by reason the subjacent parts are now at rest, which were before in motion.

Or further in the third figure, let A I L D represent an including solid medium of a cylindrical shape (as suppose a small Glass Jar) Let F G E M M represent a contain'd fluid, as water; this towards the bottom and sides, is figured according to the concavity of the Glass: But its upper Surface, (which by reason of its gravity, (not considering at all the Air above it, and so neither the congruity or incongruity of either of them to the Glass) should be terminated by part of a Sphere whose diameter should be the same with that of the earth, which to our sense would appear a straight Line, as F G E, Or which by reason of its having a greater congruity to Glass than Air has, (not considering its Gravity) would be thrust into a concave Sphere, as C H B, whose diameter would be the same with that of the concavity of the Vessel:) Its upper Surface, I say, by reason of its having a greater gravity then the Air, and having likewise a greater congruity to Glass then the Air has, is terminated, by a concave Elliptico-spherical Figure, as C K B. For by its congruity it easily conforms it self, and adheres to the Glass, and constitutes as it were one containing body with it, and therefore should thrust the contained Air on that side it touches it, into a spherical Figure, as B H C, but the motion of Gravity depressing a little the Corners B and C, reduces it into the aforesaid Figure C K B. Now that it is the greater congruity of one of the two contiguous fluids, then of the other, to the containing solid, that causes the separating surfaces to be thus or thus figured: And that it is not because this or that figurated surface is more proper, natural, or peculiar to one of these fluid bodies, then to the other, will appear from this; that the same fluids will by being put into differing solids, change their surfaces. For the same water, which in a Glass or wooden Vessel will have a concave surface upwards, and will rise higher in a smaller then a greater Pipe, the same water, I say, in the same Pipes greased over or oyled, will produce quite contrary effects; for it will have a protuberant and convex surface upwards, and will not rise so high in small, as in bigger Pipes: Nay, in the very same solid Vessel, you may make the very same two contiguous Liquids to alter their Surfaces; for taking a small Wine-glass, or such like Vessel, and pouring water gently into it, you shall perceive the surface of the water all the way concave, till it rise even with the top, when you shall find it (if you gently and carefully pour in more) to grow very protuberant and convex; the reason of which is plain, for that the solid sides of the containing body are no longer extended, to which the water does more readily adhere then the air; but it is henceforth to be included with air, which would reduce it into a hemisphere, but by reason of its gravity, it is flatted into an Oval. Quicksilver also which to Glass is more incongruous then Air (and thereby being put into a Glass-pipe, will not adhere to it, but by the more congruous air will be forced to have a very protuberant surface, and to rise higher in a greater then a lesser Pipe) this Quicksilver to clean Metal, especially to Gold, Silver, Tin, Lead, &c. Iron excepted, is more congruous then Air, and will not only stick to it, but have a concave Surface like water, and rise higher in a less, then in a greater Pipe.

In all these Examples it is evident, that there is an extraordinary and adventitious force, by which the globular Figure of the contained heterogeneous fluid is altered; neither can it be imagined, how it should otherwise be of any other Figure then Globular: For being by the heterogeneous fluid equally protruded every way, whatsoever part is protuberant, will be thereby deprest. From this cause it is, that in its effects it does very much resemble a round Spring (such as a Hoop.) For as in a round Spring there is required an additional pressure against two opposite sides, to reduce it into an Oval Form, or to force it in between the sides of a Hole, whose Diameter is less then that of the Spring, there must be a considerable force or protrusion against the concave or inner side of the Spring; So to alter this spherical constitution of an included fluid body, there is required more pressure against opposite sides to reduce it into an Oval; and, to press it into an Hole less in Diameter then it self, it requires a greater protrusion against all the other sides, What degrees of force are requisite to reduce them into longer and longer Ovals, or to press them into less and less holes, I have not yet experimentally calculated; but thus much by experiment I find in general, that there is alwayes required a greater pressure to close them into longer Ovals, or protude them into smaller holes. The necessity and reason of this, were it requisite, I could easily explain: but being not so necessary, and requiring more room and time then I have for it at present, I shall here omit it; and proceed to shew, that this may be presently found true, if Experiment be made with a round Spring (the way of making which trials is obvious enough.) And with the fluid bodies of Mercury, Air, &c, the way of trying which, will be somewhat more difficult; and therefore I shall in brief describe it. He therefore that would try with Air, must first be provided of a Glass-pipe, made of the shape of that in the fifth Figure, whereof the side A B, represents a straight Tube of about three foot long, C, represents another part of it, which consists of a round Bubble; so ordered, that there is left a passage or hole at the top, into which may be fastened with cement several small Pipes of determinate cylindrical cavities: as let the hollow of

F. 1/4
G. 1/6
H. 1/8
I. be 1/12 of an inch
K. 1/16
L. 1/24
M. 1/32
&c ——

There may be added as many more, as the Experimenter shall think fit, with holes continually decreasing by known quantities, so far as his senses are able to help him; I say, so far, because there may be made Pipes so small that it will be impossible to perceive the perforation with ones naked eye, though by the help of a Microscope, it may easily enough be perceived: Nay, I have made a Pipe perforated from end to end, so small, that with my naked eye I could very hardly see the body of it, insomuch that I have been able to knit it up into a knot without breaking: And more accurately examining one with my Microscope, I found it not so big as a sixteenth part of one of the smaller hairs of my head which was of the smaller and finer sort of hair, so that sixteen of these Pipes bound faggot-wise together, would but have equalized one single hair; how small therefore must its perforation be? It appearing to me through the Microscope to be a proportionably thick-sided Pipe.

To proceed then, for the trial of the Experiment, the Experimenter must place the Tube A B, perpendicular, and fill the Pipe F (cemented into the hole E) with water, but leave the bubble C full of Air, and then gently pouring in water into the Pipe A B, he must observe diligently how high the water will rise in it before it protrude the bubble of Air C, through the narrow passage of F, and denote exactly the height of the Cylinder of water, then cementing in a second Pipe as G, and filling it with water; he may proceed as with the former, denoting likewise the height of the Cylinder of water, able to protrude the bubble C through the passage of G, the like may he do with the next Pipe, and the next, &c. as far as he is able: then comparing the several heights of the Cylinders, with the several holes through which each Cylinder did force the air (having due regard to the Cylinders of water in the small Tubes) it will be very easie to determine, what force is requisite to press the Air into such and such a hole, or (to apply it to our present experiment) how much of the pressure of the Air is taken off by its ingress into smaller and smaller holes. From the application of which to the entring of the Air into the bigger hole of the Vessel, and into the smaller hole of the Pipe, we shall clearly find, that there is a greater pressure of the air upon the water in the Vessel or greater pipe, then there is upon that in the lesser pipe: For since the pressure of the air every way is found to be equal, that is, as much as is able to press up and sustain a Cylinder of Quicksilver of two foot and a half high, or thereabouts; And since of this pressure so many more degrees are required to force the Air into a smaller then into a greater hole that is full of a more congruous fluid. And lastly, since those degrees that are requisite to press it in, are thereby taken off from the Air within, and the Air within left with so many degrees of pressure less then the Air without; it will follow, that the Air in the less Tube or pipe, will have less pressure against the superficies of the water therein, then the Air in the bigger: which was the minor Proposition to be proved.

The Conclusion therefore will necessarily follow, viz. That this unequal pressure of the Air caused by its ingress into unequal holes, is a cause sufficient to produce this effect, without the help of any other concurrent; therefore is probably the principal (if not the only) cause of these Phænomena.

This therefore being thus explained, there will be divers Phænomena explicable thereby, as, the rising of Liquors in a Filtre, the rising of Spirit of Wine, Oyl, melted Tallow, &c. in the Week of a Lamp, (though made of small Wire, Threeds of Asbestus, Strings of Glass, or the like) the rising of Liquors in a Spunge, piece of Bread, Sand, &c. perhaps also the ascending of the Sap in Trees and Plants, through their small, and some of them imperceptible pores, (of which I have said more, on another occasion) at least the passing of it out of the earth into their roots. And indeed upon the consideration of this Principle, multitudes of other uses of it occurr'd to me, which I have not yet so well examined and digested as to propound for Axioms, but only as Queries and Conjectures which may serve as hints toward some further discoveries.

As first, Upon the consideration of the congruity and incongruity of Bodies, as to touch, I found also the like congruity and incongruity (if I may so speak) as to the Transmitting of the Raies of Light: For as in this regard, water (not now to mention other Liquors) seems nearer of affinity to Glass then Air, and Air then Quicksilver: whence an oblique Ray out of Glass, will pass into water with very little refraction from the perpendicular, but none out of Glass into Air, excepting a direct, will pass without a very great refraction from the perpendicular, nay any oblique Ray under thirty degrees, will not be admitted into the Air at all. And Quicksilver will neither admit oblique or direct, but reflects all; seeming, as to the transmitting of the Raies of Light, to be of a quite differing constitution, from that of Air, Water, Glass, &c. and to resemble most those opacous and strong reflecting bodies of Metals: So also as to the property of cohesion or congruity, Water seems to keep the same order, being more congruous to Glass then Air, and Air then Quicksilver.

A Second thing (which was hinted to me, by the consideration of the included fluids globular form, caused by the protrusion of the ambient heterogeneous fluid) was, whether the Phænomena of gravity might not by this means be explained, by supposing the Globe of Earth, Water, and Air to be included with a fluid, heterogeneous to all and each of them, so subtil, as not only to be every where interspersed through the Air, (or rather the air through it) but to pervade the bodies of Glass, and even the closest Metals, by which means it may endeavour to detrude all earthly bodies as far from it as it can; and partly thereby, and partly by other of its properties may move them towards the Center of the Earth. Now that there is some such fluid, I could produce many Experiments and Reasons, that do seem to prove it: But because it would ask some time and room to set them down and explain them, and to consider and answer all the Objections (many whereof I foresee) that may be alledged against it; I shall at present proceed to other Queries, contenting my self to have here only given a hint of what I may say more elswhere.

A Third Query then was, Whether the heterogeneity of the ambient fluid may not be accounted a secondary cause of the roundness or globular form of the greater bodies of the world, such as are those of the Sun, Stars, and Planets, the substance of each of which seems altogether heterogeneous to the circum-ambient fluid æther? And of this I shall say more in the Observation of the Moon.

A Fourth was, Whether the globular form of the smaller parcels of matter here upon the Earth, as that of Fruits, Pebbles, or Flints, &c. (which seem to have been a Liquor at first) may not be caused by the heterogeneous ambient fluid. For thus we see that melted Glass will be naturally formed into a round Figure; so likewise any small Parcel of any fusible body, if it be perfectly enclosed by the Air, will be driven into a globular Form; and, when cold, will be found a solid Ball. This is plainly enough manifested to us by their way of making shot with the drops of Lead; which being a very pretty curiosity, and known but to a very few, and having the liberty of publishing it granted me, by that Eminent Virtuoso Sir Robert Moray, who brought in this Account of it to the Royal Society, I have here transcribed and inserted.

To make small shot of different sizes; Communicated by his Highness P.R.

Take Lead out of the Pig what quantity you please, melt it down, stir and clear it with an iron Ladle, gathering together the blackish parts that swim at top like scum, and when you see the colour of the clear Lead to be greenish, but no sooner, strew upon it Auripigmentum powdered according to the quantity of Lead, about as much as will lye upon a half Crown piece will serve for eighteen or twenty pound weight of some sorts of Lead; others will require more, or less. After the Auripigmentum is put in, stir the Lead well, and the Auripigmentum will flame: when the flame is over, take out some of the Lead in a Ladle having a lip or notch in the brim for convenient pouring out of the Lead, and being well warmed amongst the melted Lead, and with a stick make some single drops of Lead trickle out of the Ladle into water in a Glass, which if they fall to be round and without tails, there is Auripigmentum enough put in, and the temper of the heat is right, otherwise put in more. Then lay two bars of Iron (or some more proper Iron-tool made on purpose) upon a Pail of water, and place upon them a round Plate of Copper, of the size and figure of an ordinary large Pewter or Silver Trencher, the hollow whereof is to be about three inches over, the bottom lower then the brims about half an inch, pierced with thirty, forty, or more small holes; the smaller the holes are, the smaller the shot will be; and the brim is to be thicker then the bottom, to conserve the heat the better.

The bottom of the Trencher being some four inches distant from the water in the Pail, lay upon it some burning Coles, to keep the Lead melted upon it. Then with the hot Ladle take Lead off the Pot where it stands melted, and pour it softly upon the burning Coles over the bottom of the Trencher, and it will immediately run through the holes into the water in small round drops. Thus pour on new Lead still as fast as it runs through the Trencher till all be done; blowing now and then the Coles with hand-Bellows, when the Lead in the Trencher cools so as to stop from running.

While one pours on the Lead, another must, with another Ladle, thrusted four or five inches under water in the Pail, catch from time to time some of the shot, as it drops down, to see the size of it, and whether there be any faults in it. The greatest care is to keep the Lead upon the Trencher in the right degree of heat; if it be too cool, it will not run through the Trencher, though it stand melted upon it; and this is to be helped by blowing the Coals a little, or pouring on new Lead that is hotter: but the cooler the Lead, the larger the Shot; and the hotter, the smaller; when it it too hot, the drops will crack and fly; then you must stop pouring on new Lead, and let it cool; and so long as you observe the right temper of the heat, the Lead will constantly drop into very round Shot, without so much as one with a tail in many pounds.

When all is done, take your Shot out of the Pail of water, and put it in a Frying-pan over the fire to dry them, which must be done warily, still shaking them that they melt not; and when they are dry you may separate the small from the great, in Pearl Sives made of Copper or Lattin let into one another, into as many sizes at you please. But if you would have your Shot larger then the Trencher makes them, you may do it with a Stick, making them trickle out of the Ladle, as hath been said.

If the Trencher be but toucht a very little when the Lead stops from going through it, and be not too cool, it will drop again, but it is better not to touch it at all. At the melting of the Lead take care that there be no kind of Oyl, Grease, or the like, upon the Pots, or Ladles, or Trencher.

The Chief cause of this Globular Figure of the Shot, seems to be the Auripigmentum; for, as soon as it is put in among the melted Lead, it loses its shining brightness, contracting instantly a grayish film or skin upon it, when you scum it to make it clean with the Ladle. So that when the Air comes at the falling drop of the melted Lead, that skin constricts them every where equally: but upon what account, and whether this be the true cause, is left to further disquisition.


Much after this same manner, when the Air is exceeding cold through which it passes; do we find the drops of Rain, falling from the Clouds, congealed into round Hail-stones by the freezing Ambient.

To which may be added this other known Experiment, That if you gently let fall a drop of water upon small sand or dust, you shall find, as it were, an artificial round stone quickly generated. I cannot upon this occasion omit the mentioning of the strange kind of Grain, which I have observed in a stone brought from Kettering in Northamptonshire, and therefore called by Masons Kettering-Stone, of which see the Description. Which brings into my mind what I long since observed in the fiery Sparks that are struck out of a Steel. For having a great desire to see what was left behind, after the Spark was gone out, I purposely struck fire over a very white piece of Paper, and observing diligently where some conspicuous sparks went out, I found a very little black spot no bigger then the point of a Pin, which through a Microscope appeared to be a perfectly round Ball, looking much like a polisht ball of Steel, insomuch that I was able to see the Image of the window reflected from it. I cannot here stay (having done it more fully in another place) to examine the particular Reasons of it, but shall only hint, that I imagine it to be some small parcel of the Steel, which by the violence of the motion of the stroke (most of which seems to be imprest upon those small parcels) is made so glowing hot, that it is melted into a Vitrum, which by the ambient Air is thrust into the form of a Ball.

A Fifth thing which I thought worth Examination was, Whether the motion of all kind of Springs, might not be reduced to the Principle whereby the included heterogeneous fluid seems to be moved; or to that whereby two Solids, as Marbles, or the like, are thrust and kept together by the ambient fluid.

A Sixth thing was, Whether the Rising and Ebullition of the Water out of Springs and Fountains (which lie much higher from the Center of the Earth then the Superficies of the Sea, from whence it seems to be derived) may not be explicated by the rising of Water in a smaller Pipe: For the Sea-water being strained through the Pores or Crannies of the Earth, is, as it were, included in little Pipes, where the pressure of the Air has not so great a power to resist its rising: But examining this way, and finding in it several difficulties almost irremovable, I thought upon a way that would much more naturally and conceivably explain it, which was by this following Experiment: I took a Glass-Tube, of the form of that described in the sixth Figure, and chusing two heterogeneous fluids, such as Water and Oyl, I poured in as much Water as filled up the Pipes as high as AB, then putting in some Oyl into the Tube AC, I deprest the superficies A of the Water to F, and B I raised to G, which was not so high perpendicularly as the superficies of the Oyl F, by the space FI, wherefore the proportion of the gravity of these two Liquors was as GH to FE.

This Experiment I tried with several other Liquors, and particularly with fresh Water and Salt (which I made by dissolving Salt in warm Water) which two though they are nothing heterogeneous, yet before they would perfectly mix one with another, I made trial of the Experiment: Nay, letting the Tube wherein I tried the Experiment remain for many dayes, I observed them not to mix; but the superficies of the fresh was rather more then less elevated above that of the Salt. Now the proportion of the gravity of Sea-water, to that of River-water, according to Stevinus and Varenius, and as I have since found pretty true by making trial my self, is as 46. to 45. that is, 46. Ounces of the salt Water will take up no more room then 45. of the fresh. Or reciprocally 45 pints of salt-water weigh as much as 46 of fresh.

But I found the proportion of Brine to fresh Water to be near 13 to 12: Supposing therefore G H M to represent the Sea, and F I the height of the Mountain above the Superficies of the Sea, F M a Cavern in the Earth, beginning at the bottom of the Sea, and terminated at the top of the Mountain, L M the Sand at the bottom, through which the Water is as it were strained, so as that the fresher parts are only permitted to transude, and the saline kept back; if therefore the proportion of G M to F M be as 45 to 46, then may the Cylinder of Salt-water G M make the Cylinder of Fresh-water to rise as high as E, and to run over at N. I cannot here stand to examine or confute their Opinion, who make the depth of the Sea, below its Superficies, to be no more perpendicularly measured then the height of the Mountains above it: 'Tis enough for me to say, there is no one of those that have asserted it, have experimentally known the perpendicular of either; nor shall I here determine, whether there may not be many other causes of the separation of the fresh water from the salt, as perhaps some parts of the Earth through which it is to pass, may contain a Salt, that mixing and uniting with the Sea-salt, may precipitate it; much after the same manner as the Alkalizate and Acid Salts mix and precipitate each other in the preparation of Tartarum Vitriolatum. I know not also whether the exceeding cold (that must necessarily be) at the bottom of the Water, may not help towards this separation, for we find, that warm Water is able to dissolve and contain more Salt, then the same cold; insomuch that Brines strongly impregnated by heat, if let cool, do suffer much of their Salt to subside and crystallize about the bottom and sides. I know not also whether the exceeding pressure of the parts of the Water one against another, may not keep the Salt from descending to the very bottom, as finding little or no room to insert it self between those parts, protruded so violently together, or else squeeze it upwads into the superiour parts of the Sea, where it may more easily obtain room for it self, amongst the parts of the Water, by reason that there is more heat and less pressure. To this Opinion I was somewhat the more induced by the relations I have met with in Geographical Writers, of drawing fresh Water from the bottom of the Sea, which is salt above. I cannot now stand to examine, whether this natural perpetual motion may not artificially be imitated: Nor can I stand to answer the Objections which may be made against this my Supposition: As, First, How it comes to pass, that there are sometimes salt Springs much higher then the Superficies of the Water? And, Secondly, Why Springs do not run faster and slower, according to the varying height made of the Cylinder of Sea-water, by the ebbing and flowing of the Sea?

As to the First, In short, I say, the fresh Water may receive again a saline Tincture near the Superficies of the Earth, by passing through some salt Mines, or else many of the saline parts of the Sea may be kept back, though not all.

And as to the Second, The same Spring may be fed and supplyed by divers Caverns, coming from very far distant parts of the Sea, so as that it may in one place be high, in another low water; and so by that means the Spring may be equally supply'd at all times. Or else the Cavern may be so straight and narrow, that the water not having so ready and free passage through it, cannot upon so short and quick mutations of pressure, be able to produce any sensible effect at such a distance. Besides that, to confirm this hypothesis, there are many Examples found in Natural Historians, of Springs that do ebb and flow like the Sea: As particularly, those recorded by the Learned Camden, and after him by Speed, to be found in this Island: One of which, they relate to be on the Top of a Mountain, by the small Village Kilken in Flintshire, Maris æmulus qui statis temporibus suos evomit & resorbet Aquas; Which at certain times riseth and falleth after the manner of the Sea. A Second in Caermardenshire, near Caermarden, at a place called Cantred Bichan; Qui (ut scribit Giraldus) naturali die bis undis deficiens, & toties exuberans, marinas imitatur instabilitates; That twice in four and twenty hours ebbing and flowing; resembleth the unstable motions of the Sea. The Phænomena of which two may be easily made out, by supposing the Cavern, by which they are fed, to arise from the bottom of the next Sea. A Third, is a Well upon the River Ogmore in Glamorganshire, and near unto Newton, of which Camden relates himself to be certified, by a Letter from a Learned Friend of his that observed it, Fons abest hinc, &c. The Letter is a little too long to be inserted, but the substance is this; That this Well ebbs and flows quite contrary to the flowing and ebbing of the Sea in those parts: for 'tis almost empty at Full Sea, but full at Low water. This may happen from the Channel by which it is supplied, which may come from the bottom of a Sea very remote from those parts, and where the Tides are much differing from those of the approximate shores. A Fourth, lies in Westmorland, near the River Loder; Qui instar Euripi sæpius in die reciprocantibus undis fluit & refluit, which ebbs and flows many times a day. This may proceed from its being supplyed from many Channels, coming from several parts of the Sea, lying sufficiently distant asunder to have the times of High-water differing enough one from the other; so as that whensoever it shall be High water over any of those places, where these Channels begin, it shall likewise be so in the Well; but this is but a supposition.

A Seventh Query was, Whether the dissolution or mixing of several bodies, whether fluid or solid, with saline or other Liquors, might not partly be attributed to this Principle of the congruity of those bodies and their dissolvents? As of Salt in Water, Metals in several Menstruums, Unctuous Gums in Oyls, the mixing of Wine and Water, &c. And whether precipitation be not partly made from the same Principle of Incongruity? I say partly, because there are in some Dissolutions, some other Causes concurrent.

I shall lastly make a much more seemingly strange and unlikely Query; and that is, Whether this Principle, well examined and explained, may not be found a co-efficient in the most considerable Operations of Nature? As in those of Heat, and Light consequently of Rarefaction and Condensation, Hardness, and Fluidness, Perspicuity and Opacousness, Refractions and Colours, &c. Nay, I know not whether there may be many things done in Nature, in which this may not (be said to) have a Finger? This I have in some other passages of this Treatise further enquired into and shewn, that as well Light as Heat may be caused by corrosion, which is applicable to congruity, and consequently all the rest will be but subsequents: In the mean time I would not willingly be guilty of that Error, which the thrice Noble and Learned Verulam justly takes notice of, as such, and calls Philosophiæ Genus Empiricum, quod in paucorum Experimentorum Angustiis & Obscuritate fundatum est. For I neither conclude from one single Experiment, nor are the Experiments I make use of all made upon one Subject: Nor wrest I any Experiment to make it quadrare with any preconceiv'd Notion. But on the contrary, I endeavour to be conversant in divers kinds of Experiments, and all and every one of those Trials, I make the Standards or Touchstones, by which I try all my former Notions, whether they hold out in weight, and measure, and touch, &c. For as that Body is no other then a Counterfeit Gold, which wants any one of the Proprieties of Gold, (such as are the Malleableness, Weight, Colour, Fixtness in the Fire, Indissolubleness in Aqua fortis, and the like) though it has all the other; so will all those Notions be found to be false and deceitful, that will not undergo all the Trials and Tests made of them by Experiments. And therefore such as will not come up to the desired Apex of Perfection, I rather wholly reject and take new, then by piecing and patching, endeavour to retain the old, as knowing such things at best to be but lame and imperfect. And this course I learned from Nature; whom we find neglectful of the old Body, and suffering its Decaies and Infirmities to remain without repair, and altogether sollicitous and careful of perpetuating the Species by new Individuals. And it is certainly the most likely way to erect a glorious Structure and Temple to Nature, such as she will be found (by any zealous Votary) to reside in; to begin to build a new upon a sure Foundation of Experiments.

But to digress no further from the consideration of the Phænomena, more immediately explicable by this Experiment, we shall proceed to shew, That, as to the rising of Water in a Filtre, the reason of it will be manifest to him, that does take notice, that a Filtre is constituted of a great number of small long solid bodies, which lie so close together, that the Air in its getting in between them, doth lose of its pressure that it has against the Fluid without them, by which means the Water or Liquor not finding so strong a resistance between them as is able to counter-ballance the pressure on its superficies without, is raised upward, till it meet with a pressure of the Air which is able to hinder it. And as to the Rising of Oyl, melted Tallow, Spirit of Wine, &c. in the Week of a Candle or Lamp, it is evident, that it differs in nothing from the former, save only in this, that in a Filtre the Liquor descends and runs away by another part; and in the Week the Liquor is dispersed and carried away by the Flame; something there is ascribable to the Heat, for that it may rarifie the more volatil and spirituous parts of those combustible Liquors, and so being made lighter then the Air, it maybe protruded upwards by that more ponderous fluid body in the Form of Vapours; but this can be ascribed to the ascension of but a very little, and most likely of that only which ascends without the Week. As for the Rising of it in a Spunge, Bread, Cotton, &c. above the superficies of the subjacent Liquor; what has been said about the Filtre (if considered) will easily suggest a reason, considering that all these bodies abound with small holes or pores.

From this same Principle also (viz. the unequal pressure of the Air against the unequal superficies of the water) proceeds the cause of the accession or incursion of any floating body against the sides of the containing Vessel, or the appropinquation of two floating bodies, as Bubbles, Corks, Sticks, Straws, &c. one towards another. As for instance, Take a Glass-jar, such as A B in the seventh Figure, and filling it pretty near the top with water, throw into it a small round piece of Cork, as C, and plunge it all over in water, that it be wet, so as that the water may rise up by the sides of it, then placing it any where upon the superficies, about an inch, or one inch and a quarter from any side, and you shall perceive it by degrees to make perpendicularly toward the nearest part of the side, and the nearer it approaches, the faster to be moved; the reason of which Phænomenon will be found no other then this, that the Air has a greater pressure against the middle of the superficies, then it has against those parts that approach nearer, and are contiguous to the sides. Now that the pressure is greater, may (as I shewed before in the explication of the third Figure) be evinced from the flatting of the water in the middle, which arises from the gravity of the under fluid: for since, as I shewed before, if there were no gravity in the under fluid, or that it were equal to that of the upper, the terminating Surface would be Spherical, and since it is the additional pressure of the gravity of water that makes it so flat, it follows, that the pressure upon the middle must be greater then towards the sides. Hence the Ball having a stronger pressure against that side of it which respects the middle of the superficies, then against that which respects the approximate side, must necessarily move towards that part, from whence it finds least resistance, and so be accelerated, as the resistance decreases. Hence the more the water is raised under that part of its way it is passing above the middle, the faster it is moved: And therefore you will find it to move faster in E then in D, and in D then in C. Neither could I find the floating substance to be moved at all, until it were placed upon some part of the Superficies that was sensibly elevated above the height of the middle part. Now that this may be the true cause, you may try with a blown Bladder, and an exactly round Ball upon a very smooth side of some pliable body, as Horn or Quicksilver. For if the Ball be placed under a part of the Bladder which is upon one side of the middle of its pressure, and you press strongly against the Bladder, you shall find the Ball moved from the middle towards the sides. Having therefore shewn the reason of the motion of any float towards the sides, the reason of the incursion of any two floating bodies will easily appear: For the rising of the water against the sides of either of them, is an Argument sufficient, to shew the pressure of the Air to be there less, then it is further from it, where it is not so much elevated; and therefore the reason of the motion of the other toward it, will be the same as towards the side of the Glass; only here from the same reason, they are mutually moved toward each other, whereas the side of the Glass in the former remains fixt. If also you gently fill the Jar so full with water, that the water is protuberant above the sides, the same piece of Cork that before did hasten towards the sides, does now fly from it as fast towards the middle of the Superficies; the reason of which will be found no other then this, that the pressure of the Air is stronger against the sides of the Superficies G and H, then against the middle I; for since, as I shewed before, the Principle of congruity would make the terminating Surface Spherical, and that the flatting of the Surface in the middle is from the abatement of the waters pressure outwards, by the contrary indeavour of its gravity; it follows that the pressure in the middle must be less then on the sides; and therefore the consecution will be the same as in the former. It is very odd to one that considers not the reason of it, to see two floating bodies of wood to approach each other, as though they were indued with some magnetical vigour; which brings into my mind what I formerly tried with a piece of Cork or such like body, which I so ordered, that by putting a little stick into the same water, one part of the said Cork would approach and make toward the stick, whereas another would discede and fly away, nay it would have a kind of verticity, so as that if the Æquator (as I may so speak) of the Cork were placed towards the stick, if let alone, it would instantly turn its appropriate Pole toward it, and then run a-tilt at it: and this was done only by taking a dry Cork, and wetting one side of it with one small stroak; for by this means gently putting it upon the water, it would depress the superficies on every side of it that was dry, and therefore the greatest pressure of the Air, being near those sides, caused it either to chase away, or else to fly off from any other floating body, whereas that side only, against which the water ascended, was thereby able to attract.

It remains only, that I should determine how high the Water or other Liquor may by this means be raised in a smaller Pipe above the Superficies of that without it, and at what height it may be sustained: But to determine this, will be exceeding difficult, unless I could certainly know how much of the Airs pressure is taken off by the smalness of such and such a Pipe, and whether it may be wholly taken off, that is, whether there can be a hole or pore so small, into which Air could not at all enter, though water might with its whole force, for were there such, 'tis manifest, that the water might rise in it to some five or six and thirty English Foot high. I know not whether the capillary Pipes in the bodies of small Trees, which we call their Microscopical pores, may not be such; and whether the congruity of the sides of the Pore may not yet draw the juyce even higher then the Air was able by its bare pressure to raise it: For, Congruity is a principle that not only unites and holds a body joyned to it, but, which is more, attracts and draws a body that is very near it, and holds it above its usual height.

And this is obvious even in a drop of water suspended under any Similar or Congruous body: For, besides the ambient pressure that helps to keep it sustein'd, there is the Congruity of the bodies that are contiguous. This is yet more evident in Tenacious and Glutinous bodies; such as Gummous Liquors, Syrups, Pitch, and Rosin melted, &c. Tar, Turpentine, Balsom, Bird-lime, &c. for there it is evident, that the Parts of the tenacious body, as I may so call it, do stick and adhere so closely together, that though drawn out into long and very slender Cylinders, yet they will not easily relinquish one another; and this, though the bodies be aliquatenus fluid, and in motion by one another, which, to such as consider a fluid body only as its parts are in a confused irregular motion, without taking in also the congruity of the parts one among another, and incongruity to some other bodies, does appear not a little strange. So that besides the incongruity of the ambient fluid to it, we are to consider also the congruity of the parts of the contein'd fluid one with another.

And this Congruity (that I may here a little further explain it) is both a Tenaceous and an Attractive power; for the Congruity, in the Vibrative motions, may be the cause of all kind of attraction, not only Electrical, but Magnetical also, and therefore it may be also of Tenacity and Glutinousness. For, from a perfect congruity of the motions of two distant bodies, the intermediate fluid particles are separated and droven away from between them, and thereby those congruous bodies are, by the incompassing mediums, compell'd and forced neerer together; wherefore that attractiveness must needs be stronger, when, by an immediate contact, they are forc'd to be exactly the same: As I shew more at large in my Theory of the Magnet. And this hints to me the reason of the suspension of the Mercury many inches, nay many feet, above the usual station of 30 inches. For the parts of Quick-Silver, being so very similar and congruous to each other, if once united, will not easily suffer a divulsion: And the parts of water, that were any wayes heterogeneous, being by exantlation or rarefaction exhausted, the remaining parts being also very similar, will not easily part neither. And the parts of the Glass being solid, are more difficultly disjoyn'd; and the water, being somewhat similar to both, is, as it were, a medium to unite both the Glass and the Mercury together. So that all three being united, and not very dissimilar, by means of this contact, if care be taken that the Tube in erecting be not shogged, the Quicksilver will remain suspended, notwithstanding its contrary indeavour of Gravity, a great height above its ordinary Station; but if this immediate Contact be removed, either by a meer separation of them one from another by the force of a shog, whereby the other becomes imbodied between them, and licks up from the surface some agil parts, and so hurling them makes them air, or else by some small heterogeneous agil part of the Water, or Air, or Quicksilver, which appears like a bubble, and by its jumbling to and fro there is made way for the heterogeneous Æther to obtrude it self between the Glass and either of the other Fluids, the Gravity of Mercury precipitates it downward with very great violence; and if the Vessel that holds the restagnating Mercury be convenient, the Mercury will for a time vibrate to and fro with very large reciprocations, and at last will remain kept up by the pressure of the external Air at the height of neer thirty inches. And whereas it may be objected, that it cannot be, that the meer imbodying of the Æther between these bodies can be the cause, since the Æther having a free passage alwayes, both through the Pores of the Glass, and through those of the Fluids, there is no reason why it should not make a separation at all times whilst it remains suspended, as when it is violently dis-joyned by a shog. To this I answer, That though the Æther passes between the Particles, that is, through the Pores of bodies, so as that any chasme or separation being made, it has infinite passages to admit its entry into it, yet such is the tenacity or attractive virtue of Congruity, that till it be overcome by the meer strength of Gravity, or by a shog assisting that Conatus of Gravity, or by an agil Particle, that is like a leaver agitated by the Æther; and thereby the parts of the congruous substances are separated so far asunder, that the strength of congruity is so far weakened, as not to be able to reunite them, the parts to be taken hold of being removed out of the attractive Sphere, as I may so speak, of the congruity; such, I say, is the tenacity of congruity, that it retains and holds the almost contiguous Particles of the Fluid, and suffers them not to be separated, till by meer force that attractive or retentive faculty be overcome: But the separation being once made beyond the Sphere of the attractive activity of congruity, that virtue becomes of no effect at all, but the Mercury freely falls downwards till it meet with a resistance from the pressure of the ambient Air, able to resist its gravity, and keep it forced up in the Pipe to the height of about thirty inches.

Thus have I gently raised a Steel pendulum by a Loadstone to a great Angle, till by the shaking of my hand I have chanced to make a separation between them, which is no sooner made, but as if the Loadstone had retained no attractive virtue, the Pendulum moves freely from it towards the other side. So vast a difference is there between the attractive virtue of the Magnet when it acts upon a contiguous and upon a disjoyned body: and much more must there be between the attractive virtues of congruity upon a contiguous and disjoyned body; and in truth the attractive virtue is so little upon a body disjoyned, that though I have with a Microscope observed very diligently, whether there were any extraordinary protuberance on the side of a drop of water that was exceeding neer to the end of a green stick, but did not touch it, I could not perceive the least; though I found, that as soon as ever it toucht it the whole drop would presently unite it self with it; so that it seems an absolute contact is requisite to the exercising of the tenacious faculty of congruity.


  1. Original: aste was amended to taste: detail