Francis Bacon would have been 82 years old at the time of his death. The first action is the Attenuation of Moisture into Spirit; the second is, the Egress or Escape of the Spirit; the third is, the Contraction of the Grosser Parts of the Body, immediately after the emission of the spirit. For these alone relate to the decay of the body from age. The ninth operation is upon the intencration of the parts after they have begun to dry. Likewise all the harder fruits last for a long time, not only in meal, but also in sawdust, and even in heaps of grain. Better saith he qui finem vitae extremum inter munera ponat naturae.
Quinces are certainly good for strengthening the stomach; but in my opinion they would be better used in conserves, which are made of strained juice and sugar, than in their solid state, because they load the stomach too much. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin, and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. But for a dying man, death is an object that instils fear and trepidation. On the other hand if the paper be dipped in oil, the transparency lasts for a long time, because of the slow evapo-ration of the oil. For they detain the spirits on pleasing subjects, and. In the practice of congealing and freezing fluids that has lately come into use, by applying snow and ice to the exterior of the vessel, nitre is also used, and no doubt excites and strengthens the congelation.
Writing removes all the residual weaknesses and ignorance from the person and enables him to remember the contents of a book. Leathern boots grown hard and stiff with age are softened by being greased with tallow before the fire; and if they are put before a fire alone they get some softness. Animals whose flesh is somewhat dark-coloured live longer than those with a white flesh; for it denotes that the juice of the body is firmer, and less easily dissipated. For cam-phor, which is full of spirit, and yet produces the effects of cold, refrigerates only by accident; inasmuch as, being thin and without acrimony, it assists perspiration in inflammations. Finally, Bacon eulogies the bravery and courage of the people who welcome death while pursuing a good and hallowed cause. It is a bird of most excellent plumage, living on fish, and perpetually carried, and that in running waters.
Studying is the whetstone that we use to sharpen our abilities. Experience tells us that some animals, as dormice and bats, sleep through the whole winter in holes and corners; such power has sleep to stop vital consumption. He is informal yet logical and methodical. Helena of Britain, the mother of Constantine the Great, was an octo-genarian. For it is very evident that many inanimate bodies can last a very long time without repair, but animate bodies without aliment and repair at once collapse and die out like fire. Bacon is also considered because of his introduction of science in England to be the philosophical influence behind the dawning of the Industrial age.
For how can a man, who knows not the ways of nature, meet and turn her? Of these, some come to the age of eight hundred years, and the most short-lived reach two hundred. Plato therefore judged wrongly that the virtue of generations was impaired, because women did not use the same mental and bodily exercises as men. Grapes and other fruits are preserved by hanging them up in the air. Bacon argues that the Stoics made a lot of costly preparations upon death that make the death appears more dreadful than it really is. The Turks find opium, even in large quantities, innocent and cordial, so that they even take it before a battle to give them courage. The Essays Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.
This restraint is effected in three ways; namely, by sleep, by avoiding strong labour, too much exercise, and all fatigue, and by controlling uneasy affections. But to regard this as the greatest blessing is natural; how to secure it is a difficult inquiry ; and the more difficult because it has been corrupted by false opinions and vain reports. This then is the second action; namely, the Egress or Escape of the Spirit 6. The first of these pertains principally to the spirits and external air, which cause the depredation; the second to the whole process of alimentation, which supplies the renovation. And in this respect woollen garments are better than linen; at least it is certain in the spirits of odours, that scented powders lose their smell much sooner in linen than in wool.
But this inconvenience also may be remedied by an occasional mixture of cooling medicines, as roses and myrtle, with the oil. Now if gold could be opened without corrosive waters, or by corrosive waters provided they had no poisonous qualities that were after-wards well washed, I conceive it would be a useful thing. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. The things described in the operation upon the blood are likewise of the greatest use here; but I will select and add a few more. For all closing of the pores externally strikes back the vapours, and sends them to the head. Let such be made of fruits and sweet roots; as wine and drinks of raisins, jujubes, dried figs, dates, parsnips, bulbous roots, potatoes, and the like, with sometimes a mixture of liquorice. I approve of taking pills of aloes, mastich, and saffron, before dinner, especially in winter.
Since the duration of bodies is of two kinds, the one in their simple identity, the other by repair; whereof the former takes place only in bodies inanimate, the latter in vegetables and living creatures, and is performed by alimentation; inquire likewise touching alimentation, with its ways and process; yet this not accurately for it belongs to the titles of Assimilation and Alimentation but as before, in passing only. Such are the cypress, fir, pine, box, and juniper; but the cedar, being assisted by its enormous bulk, almost equals the former in age. Joshua, a warrior, a renowned and ever successful general, lived 110 years. All the envy and bitterness vanishes with the death. It is curious that all the aliment, which sometimes produces such large fruit, should have to pass through such a, slender neck as the fruitstalk ; for fruit never grows to the stem without a stalk.
Along with prayers and exhortations, men indulge in and become honour prisoner of superstition and irrational beliefs which stem from the fear of death itself. Joy suppressed and sparingly communicated comforts the spirits Tore than joy indulged and published. But since it will be difficult to know the ways to death, unless the seat and house or rather cave of death be first examined and discovered; of this too should inquiry be made; not however of every kind of death, but of such only as are caused, not by violence, but by privation and want. However, it can be sharpened by selective studying. For it is most certain that any earth, though pure and unmixed with nitrous matter, if it be so laid up and covered as to be free from the rays of the sun, and produce no vegetable matter, will collect a great quantity of nitre.