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the celestial soul chuseth, for its more immediate organs, the most subtiliated, spirituous, and active parts of matter, such as the vital and animal spirits, and the heat before-mentioned, which seems to be of the same genius, and all but the mechanick productions of various fermentations, percolations, and distillations in the human engine: Wherefore I shall crave leave to dismiss this fire, till we come to discourse of fermentations.
And so I pass on to the next flame; which is the Biolychnium, or the actual flame of the blood kindled in the heart, asserted both by ancients and moderns of astonishing titles and tremendous veneration; which devouring flame, if once kindled, will quickly depredate all the oleaginous aliment, if not renewed by frequent and plentiful assumptions. But, therefore, it is greatly suspected to have no existence in our bodies, because, in these jejunants, it must needs extinguish, for want of sulphureous supplies, and produce death to those that have lived long enough to help to entomb it. It is strange to me, that provident nature should require such vast supplies, both of meat and drink, out of which to extract a small quantity of nutritious juice; which, with divers ferments, colatures, emunctories, and rapid motions, it endeavours to exalt and defæcate; and yet, after all, should expose what she hath attained of purity and activity, and consequently of noblest use, by her unparalleled artifices, cost, and toil, to the improvident disposal of wasteful flames; for, indeed, flames are great wasters, as appears in the preparation of the balsam of sugar, &c. No less wonderful is it, that a flame should continually burn in the heart, and yet the fleshly walls thereof not boiled, roasted, nor so much as a fuli. ginous, or cineritious colour imparted. But, lest, sir, you should be confident, that this perennial flame scorns an extinction by these few drops, 'I therefore commend to your observation those numerous and plentiful buckets, that are poured thereupon by the dexterous hand of the very learned and candid Dr. Needham. But yet, lest you should be so far prepossessed, by the determinations of venerable antiquity, as to reject this new doctrine, and avowedly maintain this unseen fire, I shall therefore add, 1. That this flame can be but small, through the defect of bodily exercise, and freer ventilations (these fasters being mostly close prisoners) as also of strong fermentations; therefore, the less the lamp, the less oil will sustain it. 2. Through the defect of heat, the pores are bolted, and transpiration restrained; whence a scarce credible quantity of moisture is retained, which, returning both by veins and lymphaticks, gives no contemptible quantity of food to this fire. 3. Through the restraint of transpiration, the igneous particles are secured from their excursions, to the great increase of intestine heat; for, in feeders, the loss of transpiration often kindles in the blood a feverish fire. 4. The air (as impreg nated sometimes especially) entering by the mouth, the nose, and pores, in parts passing the various concoctions, may be converted. into a humour not altogether unapt to preserve the lingering life * Needham de formato Fotu, p. 129, &c.
of this dying flame. 5. In pituitous bodies, the abundance of phlegm, through the various concoctions which it undergoes in the body, may become useful, in the room of more proper aliment, to this analogous lamp in its table-supplies: Which phlegm though some reject as excrementitious, yet, I suppose, they do it only, when consideration is from home of its usefulness in the mastication of our food, wherein, as some say, lies the first con、 coction; at least, therein lies the main preparation for the grand concoction in the ventricle. The constant mixture of our food with our spittle, in the jaw-mill, may force some considering men to think, that it is nearer of kin to our natural moisture, than hath been formerly acknowledged. 6. The colliquation of the parts of these emaciated bodies may yield oil to these lamps, as it is usually affirmed in hectick fevers. Besides, if fire be nothing but an innumerable host of sulphureons atoms, breaking the prisons of their former compositions with other heterogeneities, then, cer. tainly, all fire is avropays, for nothing of that sulphur remains; it leaves only the heterogeneous principles, with which it was combined. 7. It is probable, that the moisture of these jejune bodies is much, not only condensed by their cold, but also, loaded with terrestreities, thro' the non-reception of aliment impregnated with active principles; whereby it is rendered more durable in this flame; as oils, the more impure, thick, and clammy they are, the less fiercely they burn; but, the more tenuious and spirituous, the more nimbly do they flame, and expeditiously consume: As my face and hair did sadly experiment, upon the unexpected and sudden conflagration of a quantity of the oil of turpentine, as I, not long since, drew it from the fire; I dare say, the turpentine itself would not, or rather could not, have served me so. 8. This moisture, being drawn from more jejune principles (as, air, phlegm, and lympha) +is the less impregnated with nitro-sulphureous particles, and therefore less inflammable; as, in oligophorous wines, where the spirit and sulphur are greatly exhaled, and with a quality abun. dantly dilated, there fire slowly burns. 9. It is probable, that the crasis of these bodies is so altered, by the predominancy of fixed salts not duly actuated by powerful fermentations, that they much retard the consumption of oil by this vital fire; as, if quick-lime, sope, or other saline concretes be added to wax, or tallow, they will (say chymists) make a candle of far greater duration than ordinary. Strange is that story of St. Augustine, who reports a lamp to be found in the temple of Venus, that no storms could extinguish; yet much more strange was that torch, reported § to have burnt fifteen-hundred and fifty years, in the tomb of Tullia, Cicero's daughter, which being exposed to the air, by the opening of the tomb, was quickly extinguished. Now, if our humours should chance to attain the disposition of these ancient oils, they might supply the Biolychnium long enough. 10. Or, if these fixed
Willis de Ferment. p. 66. + Willis de Febr. p. 103. Idem, de Ferment. p. 866. French's Art of Distillation, p. 148. Joh. Baptist. Porta. Card. de Subtilitate. # Ludovic. Vives, in Lib. xxi. c, 6. de Civitate Dei Augustin, Guido Pancirollus.
salts should attain fluidity, as it is probable they have done, because some of these abstinents were of melancholick complexions then the sulphureous parts of the humours would be so fettered and oppressed thereby, that they could not so quickly burst from under the yoke into violent flames, but by degrees, and leisurably, as they could disentangle themselves; from whence will arise a more durable, though less forceable fire. Lastly, it seems probable, that extraneous particles of fire may be conveyed into a body, and therein lodged, which shall afterwards cause heats to kindle therein. That igneous particles pass from one body to another, seems a matter of daily experience; for it is not easy to demonstrate, how our bodies are warmed by their approach to the fire, if there be not fiery effluviums from the burning matter, that enters our bodies; and, that these fiery atoms, thus lodged in a foreign body, may afterwards, by water, air, or the like, break forth into a considerable heat, is very imaginable; as in quicklime, which, before it is burnt, is not at all subject to combustions by air, or water; but, when it hath endured the kiln-fire, then it is readily kindled by the addition of almost any humidity: Which humidities may not be supposed directly to contribute to the kindling of the atoms, but to the dissolving of the concrete, and, thereby, the disentangling of the atoms; whereupon they fly out into a considerable heat; like whereunto is that powder, + boasted by chymists, to take flame in your hands, by the only addition of spittle. Thus, sir, having tendered a slender repast for your antique lamp, I crave leave to attend the more modern hypothesis of famed fermentation.
Thirdly, How shall fermentation be continued in the blood, without the addition of chyle? And how can chyle be added, with out food assumed? It is the opinion of ingenious Henshavius, that fermentation is caused by the addition of chyle to the blood in the heart, like that of wine by the adding of must; from whence doth arise (he saith) a necessity of frequent feeding; which the excellent Dr. Needham seems much to approve. And both the incomparable ¶ Willis and ingenious ** Castle cite Hogeland for ascribing heat to a fermentation in the heart, like to that which happens upon the pouring of spirit of nitre on butter of antimony. Resp. Now, sir, to help us out at this dead lift also, I shall take notice of the several opinions of the learned, touching the causes of fermentation. First, There is a ferment placed in the heart itself by the great++ Willis and his Hypaspistes, the dexterous anatomist Dr. Lower, ‡‡ with Dr. Castle,§§ and other renowned assertors of fermentation. This, sir, would serve us eximiously to supply the defect of new chyle, if it were but sufficiently evinced. But, I must confess ingenuously, though (as it is not unknown to you) I have laboured to advance the antique glory of the heart,
† Henshav. in ἀροχαλίνω.
Sennert. Pract. Lib. iii. Part. 2. Sect. 2. de longa Abstinentia. Distill. p. 130. § Needh. de Willis de Febr. p. 113. • Castle's Chym. Gal. p. 81, 82. p. 24, 25. De Febr. p. 101, 102, 103. tt Loweri Diatr. p. ii, 124. Gal. p. 91, 89.
† French's Art of
form. Fœtu, p. 132. tt Willis de Ferment. 50 Castle's Chym.
yet I cannot satisfy myself, though I would, that there is any such implanted ferment therein; for I find not this ferment cons firmed by any experiment, or other sufficient evidence, but (absit invidia verbo) too precariously asserted; nor any necessity assigned for such a ferment, the doctrine of fermentation being sufficiently demonstrated without it; and, though the honour ascribed to the heart may seem to require it, yet I cannot approve of conferring honours, which infer a necessity of multiplying beings above what the Opus and Usus of nature createth. Neither can I conceive where this ferment should be nested. It must be either in the walls of the heart, or in the chambers thereof: In the walls (saith Dr. Castle,* from Severinus, Danus, Des Cartes, and Hogeland) are mechanick spirits, seminal salts, or ferments; but yet, pace tanti viri, the heart, by its carnous fibres, membranes, colour, and consistence, seems to be but a muscle, as our worthy Dr. Needham and acute Steno affirm; and, if so, how a ferment should be there generated, any otherwise than in other muscles, I do not understand: It hath not the parenchyma of the liver, spleen, or other parts which are colatures to the blood, whereby they easily separate, and, having separated, retain what may conduce to constitute ferments; but the walls of the heart seem only, like other muscles, to receive blood for their own private use, but none for a publick stock. Moreover, if there were such a salt, ferment, it is a wonder it doth not discolour the ruti. lous fibres, as the salt in the spleen manifestly doth, but leave it of the same hue with other non-fermenting muscles. Neither are there any cavities, within these walls, capacious enough to contain these mechanick spirits for publick offices; nay, it is observable, that the heart is more firm, fast, hard, and less stored with porosities, than other muscles. Neither in the auricles, or ventricles, can these spirits keep quiet possession, by reason of that impetuous torrent, which many times in every minute washeth both floors and walls; and, though these cavities have their cellars, yet, by the so frequent constrictions of the omnimodous fibres causing the systole, there is not only a mixture of the blood at the bottom with that on the top, but also a violent extrusion of both, made in the same pulsation. Neither, in dissections, is there any considerable difference found betwixt that in the heart, and that in the veins, as famous Harvey observeth. Yet, with a non obstante to these premises, I must tell you, I opine that fermentation may, not abu. sively, he ascribed to the mechanick structure and operations of the heart, though not inriched with an innate ferment; of which hereafter more seas easonably.
Secondly, It is not unknown, that several liquors are self-sufficient to command a fermentation, and that perfective, as wines, cyder, with other like spirito-sulphuro-saline fluids; as also fruits of a more crass consistence, as apples, pears, plums, &c. whereof many are advanced, by lying, to a greater perfection, after pulled
• Ubi supra.
+ De formato Fæetu, p. 132.
Steno de Musc. & Gland,
from their mother's breast: And it is, at least, a violent presumption, that the blood, confected by such self-fermenting bodies, and they exalted greatly by the various additional concoctions, percolations, and, as it were, distillations in the transcendently exquisite and proto-laboratories of human bodies, is crowned with the same diadem of self-fermenting principles. And, indeed, an ordinary analysis of blood, according to the rules of pyrotechny, will discover all those principles of spirit, sulphur, salt, water, and earth, lodged in its embraces, which are sufficient to elaborate fermentations: Which is further confirmed, in that, when some of the innate fermenting principles (as, suppose, salts) begin to languish, several artificial ferments prove highly useful. Under this notion, saith the sagacious Willis,* are the fixed salts of vegetables, chalybeates, &c. of such sovereign efficacy.
Thirdly, After various disquisitions touching the use of the spleen, some exalting it to the honour, of sanguifying for the lower belly, others depressing it to the vile use of a sink, it is now, by many, upon consideration of its colour, site, and vessels, resolved to be a colature; wherein the more black and feculent juice is severed from the blood; and, being there reserved, it becomes a ferment to the scarlet liquor, even as a small parcel of dough, reserved in a saline condiment, grows acid, and so arrives to the dignity of a leven, or ferment, to the new farinaceous mass. The principles, which, in this bowel, are supposed to be regent, are salino-terrestrial; which, by over-long abode, attain fluidity, and so become acetous, like spirit of vitriol, nitre, and of other saline concretes: And that, which renders this the more probable, is, the sowre belchings of hypochondriack persons, the whiteness of their tongues, the soreness of their throats, the excess of their appetite, and the emaciating of their bodies; all which seem to proceed from a preternatural acidity: And, vice versa, when the spleen hath lost its ferment, then the blood grows too insipid, as appears in cachexies, ascites, tympanites, &c. These things premised, it will be no difficulty to prove, that the blood is fermented by the spleen. It is but very lately that I added spirit of vitriol to a small quantity of the recent blood of a patient, which caused a visible fermentation, and such a coagulation, that it became almost of the colour and consistence of our table-mustard, only there remained some perfect black parts, but no red ones; from whence I conjecture, that it is an acid humour, which causes such a black sediment in the urine of many hypochondriack persons; and that the same humour it is, that coagulates the blood often, if not always, and renders it so unapt for circulation. Wherefore, by the way, I would offer it to your consideration, whether that sort of scorbute and melancholy, which is rooted in blood more than sufficiently hot, florid, and fluid, as oft-times they are, can ascribe its origination to a mere acidity, or to fluid alts? And, consequently, whether it be not a misapplication of