Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.

24. Of Salt, and of Sea- or Salt-water.

THe reason, why Salt is made, or extracted out of Salt-water, is, that the Circular lines of Sea- or Salt-water, are pointed exteriously, but not interiously, which is the cause that the saltish parts may be easily di∣vided from those watry lines; and it is to be observed, that those points when joyned to the watry circles, are rare, but being once separated, either by Art, or a more natural way, by some sorts of dividing motions, they become more dense; yet not so dense, but they may melt or return again into the first figure, which is a rare figure, and so become liquid salt, and after∣wards they may be densed or contracted again; for there is no other difference between dry and liquid salt, but what is made by the rarity or density of those sorts of points. As for that sort of Salt, which is named vo∣latile, it is when some of those rare points become more dilated or rarified, then when they are joyned to the watry circle-lines; I say some, not all; for as some points do condense or contract into fixt salt, so others do dilate or arise into volatile salt. But perchance some will say, How can there be several sorts of points, since a point is but a point? I answer; There may very well be several sorts, considering the Nature of Page  83 their substance; for some sorts are rare, some dense, some contracting, some dilating, some retenting, &c. besides, all points are not alike, but there is great diffe∣rence amongst several pointed figures, for all are not like the point of a Pin or Needle, but (to alledg some gross examples) there be points of Pyramids, points of Knives, points of Pins, points of the flame of a Candle, and numerous other sorts, which are all several points, and not one like another; for I do not mean a Mathe∣matical or imaginary point, such as is onely made by the rational matter in the mind, (although even a∣mongst those imaginary points there is difference; for you cannot imagine, or think of the several pointed fi∣gures of several sorts or kinds of Creatures, or parts, but you will have a difference in your mind) but I mean pointed figures, and not single points. It is also to be observed, that as some watry Circles will and may have points outwardly, so some have also points inwardly; for some watry Circles, as I have menti∣oned in my Philosophical Opinions, are edged, to wit, such as are in vitriol water; others pointed, as those in salt water; and others are of other sorts of points, as those in cordial or hot waters; but those last are more artificial; and all these are different in their sorts or kinds, although a litttle difference in their own natures may appear great in our humane perception. Concern∣ing Oyl, there is also difference between Oyl and other wet bodies; for Oyl, although it be rare, liquid and Page  84 moist, yet we cannot say, it is absolutely that which we name wet, as other liquors are, viz. Water and Wine, or natural juices; and since the interior natural figure of oyl is burning and hot, it is impossible to divide those interior fiery points from the circle figure of Oyl with∣out dissolving those liquid circle lines. But as the Penetrations of other acid and salt liquors are caused by their exterior points, so oyl, whose points are interi∣ously in the circle-lines, cannot have such quick ef∣fects of penetration as those that are exteriously point∣ed: But mistake me not, I do not mean such exterior parts as are onely subject to our humane perception, but such as cause those Creatures or parts to be of such a figure or nature.