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could never attain. But although swimming be acquired by art, yet is there somewhat more of nature in it than we observe in other habits, nor will it strictly fall under that definition; for once obtained, it is not to be removed ; nor is there any who from disuse did ever yet forget it.
Secondly, that persons drowned arise and float the ninth day, when their gall breaketh, is a questionable determination both in the time and cause. For the time of floating, it is uncertain, according to the time of putrefaction, which shall retard or accelerate according to the subject and season of the year; for as we observed, cats and mice will arise unequally, and at different times, though drowned at the same. Such as are fat do commonly float soonest, for their bodies soonest ferment, and that substance approacheth nearest unto air: and this is one of Aristotle's reasons why dead eels will not float, because saith he, they have but slender bellies and little fat.
As for the cause, it is not so reasonably imputed unto the breaking of the gall as the putrefaction or corruptive fermentation of the body, whereby the unnatural heat prevailing, the putrefying parts do suffer a turgescence and inflation, and becoming aery and spumous affect to approach the air, and ascend unto the surface of the water; and this is also evidenced in eggs, whereof the sound ones sink, and such as are addled swim, as do also those which are termed hypenemia or wind eggs, and this is also a way to separate seeds, whereof such as are corrupted and sterile swim, and this agreeth not only unto the seeds of plants locked up and capsulated in their husks, but also unto the sperm and seminal humour of man, for such a passage hath Aristotle upon the inquisition and test of its fertility.
That the breaking of the gall is not the cause hereof, experience hath informed us. For opening the abdomen, and taking out the gall in cats and mice, they did notwithstanding arise. And because we had read in Rhodiginus of a tyrant, who to prevent the emergency of murdered bodies, did use to cut off their lungs, and found men's minds possessed with this reason, we committed some unto the water without lungs, which notwithstanding floated with the others; and to
complete the experiment, although we took out the guts and bladder, and also perforated the cranium, yet would they arise, though in a longer time. From these observations in other animals, it may not be unreasonable to conclude the same in man, who is too noble a subject on whom to make them expressly, and the casual opportunity too rare almost to make any. Now if any shall ground this effect from gall or choler, because it is the highest humour and will be above the rest, or being the fiery humour will readiest surmount the water, we must confess in the common putrescence it may promote elevation, which the breaking of the bladder of gall, so small a part in man, cannot considerably advantage.
Lastly, that women drowned float prone, that is, with their bellies downward, but men supine or upward, is an assertion wherein the ori or point itself is dubious, and, were it true, the reason alleged for it is of no validity. The reason yet current was first expressed by Pliny, veluti pudori defunctorum parcente natura, nature modestly ordaining this position to conceal the shame of the dead, which hath been taken up by Solinus, Rhodiginus, and many more. This indeed (as Scaliger termeth it) is ratio civilis non philosophica, strong enough for morality or rhetoricks, not for philosophy or physicks. For first, in nature the concealment of secret parts is the same in both sexes, and the shame of their reveal equal; so Adam upon the taste of the fruit was ashamed of his nakedness as well as Eve. And so likewise in America and countries unacquainted with habits, where modesty conceals these parts in one sex, it doth it also in the other, and therefore had this been the intention of nature, not only women but men also had swimmed downwards; the posture in reason being common unto both, where the intent is also
Again, while herein we commend the modesty, we condemn the wisdom of nature : for that prone position we make her contrive unto the women, were best agreeable unto the man, in whom the secret parts are very anterior and more discoverable in a supine and upward posture; and therefore Scaliger declining this reason, hath recurred unto another from the difference of parts in both sexes; Quod ventre vasto
sunt mulieres plenoque intestinis, itaque minus impletur et subsidet, inanior maribus quibus nates præponderant ; if so, then men with great bellies will float downward, and only Callipyge, and woman largely composed behind, upward. But anatomists observe, that to make the larger cavity for the infant, the haunch-bones in women, and consequently the parts appendent are more protuberant than they are in men. They who ascribe the cause unto the breasts of women, take not away the doubt, for they resolve not why children float downward, who are included in that sex, though not in the reason alleged. But hereof we cease to discourse, lest we undertake to afford a reason of the golden tooth, * that is, to invent or assign a cause, when we remain unsatisfied or unassured of the effect.
That a mare will sooner drown than a horse, though commonly opinioned, is not I fear experienced; nor is the same observed in the drowning of whelps and kitlings. But that a man cannot shut or open his eyes under water, easy experiment may convict. Whether cripples and mutilated persons, who have lost the greatest part of their thighs, will not sink but float, their lungs being abler to waft up their bodies, which are in others overpoised by the hinder legs; we have not made experiment. Thus much we observe, that animals drown downwards, and the same is observable in frogs, when the hinder legs are cut off; but in the air most seem to perish headlong from high places: however Vulcan thrown from heaven be made to fall on his feet.
Of the cause whereof much dispute was made, and at last proved an imposture.
* That a mare, fr.] This paragraph added in 2nd edition.
That Men weigh heavier dead than alive, and before meat
That men weigh heavier dead than alive, if experiment hath not failed us, we cannot reasonably grant. For though the trial hereof cannot so well be made on the body of man, nor will the difference be sensible in the debate of scruples or drachms, yet can we not confirm the same in lesser animals, from whence the inference is good, and the affirmative of Pliny saith, that it is true in all. For exactly weighing and strangling a chicken in the scales, upon an immediate ponderation, we could discover no sensible difference in weight, but suffering it to lie eight or ten hours, until it grew perfectly cold, it weighed most sensibly lighter; the like we attempted and verified in mice, and performed their trials in scales that would turn upon the eighth or tenth part of a grain.
Now whereas some allege that spirits are lighter substances, and naturally ascending, do elevate and waft the body upward, whereof dead bodies being destitute contract a greater gravity; although we concede that spirits are light, comparatively unto the body, yet that they are absolutely so,
* That men weigh heavier, fc.] What Atmospheric Pressure on the Animal shall be said of the man who can use Frame, published in the 10th vol. of the such an argument as the following: - Manchester Memoirs, thus sums up: “Why doth a man fall down in his “Upon the whole I am inclined to believe sleep, who stood upright when he was the true explanation of the difficulty will awake, if he be not heavier than he was?” be found in this, that the whole substance Ross Arcana, p. 100. Truly we may say, of the body is pervious to air, and that a “ Every man is not a proper champion considerable portion of it constantly exists for truth, norfit to take up the gauntlet in the body during life subject to increase in the cause of verity !"--Rel. Med. p. 9. and diminution according to the pressure
The result of modern investigation of the atmosphere, in the same manner seems to confirm the opinion so pre as it exists in water, and further, that posterously advocated by Ross; at least when lise is extinct, this air in some it shews that the specific gravity of the degree escapes and renders the parts human body is in reality greater after specifically heavier than when the vital death than it was while living. Dalton, functions were in a state of activity.” in an interesting paper on the Effects of
or have no weight at all, we cannot readily allow. For since philosophy affirmeth that spirits are middle substances between the soul and body, they must admit of some corporeity, which supposeth weight or gravity. Beside in carcasses warm, and bodies newly disanimated, while transpiration remaineth, there do exhale and breathe out vaporous and fluid parts, which carry away some power of gravitation. Which though we allow we do not make answerable unto living expiration, and therefore the chicken or mice were not 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 Sanctoriụs.
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 refection, although he be heavier in the balance, from a corporal and ponderous addition; but a man in the morning is
6 trutination.] The act of weighing in scales; from trutina.