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

6. Of the Effluvium's of the Loadstone.

IT is the opinion of some, that the Magnetical Efflu∣viums do not proceed intrinsecally from the stone, but are certain extrinsecal particles, which approaching to the stone, and finding congruous pores and inlets therein, are channelled through it; and having acquired a motion thereby, do continue their current so far, till being repulsed Page  18 by the ambient air, they recoil again, and return into a vor∣tical motion, and so continue their revolution for ever through the body of the Magnet. But if this were so, then all porous bodies would have the same Magne∣tical Effluviums, especially a Char-coal, which, they say, is full of deep pores: besides, I can hardly believe, that any Microscope is able to shew how those flowing Atomes enter and issue, and make such a vortical mo∣tion as they imagine. Concerning the argument drawn from the experiment, that a Magnet being made red hot in the fire, not onely amits the Magnetical Vigor it had before, but acquires a new one; doth not evince or prove that the Magnetical Effluviums are not innate or inhe∣rent in the stone; for fire may over-power them so as we cannot perceive their vigour or force, the motions of the Fire being too strong for the motions of the Loadstone; but yet it doth not follow hence, that those motions of the Loadstone are lost, because they are not perceived, or that afterwards when by cooling the Loadstone they may be perceived again, they are not the same motions, but new ones, no more then when a man doth not move his hand the motion of it can be said lost or annihilated. But say they, If the Polary direction of the Stone should be thought to proceed intrinsecally from the Stone, it were as much as to put a Soul or Intelligence into the Stone, which must turn it a∣bout, as Angels are feigned to do Celestial Orbs. To which I answer; That although the turning of the Page  19 Celestial Orbs by Angels may be a figment, yet that there is a soul and intelligence in the Loadstone, is as true, as that there is a soul in Man. I will not say, that the Loadstone has a spiritual or immaterial soul, but a cor∣poreal or material one, to wit, such a soul as is a par∣ticle of the soul of Nature, that is, of Rational Matter, which moves in the Loadstone according to the propri∣ety and nature of its figure. Lastly, as for their argu∣ment concluding from the different effluviums of other, as for example, electrical and odoriferous bodies, &c. as Camphire, and the like, whose expirations, they say, fly away into the open air, and never make any re∣turn again to the body from whence they proceeded; I cannot believe this to be so; for if odoriferous bodies should effluviate and waste after that manner, then all strong odoriferous bodies would be of no continuance, for where there are great expences, there must of ne∣eessity follow a sudden waste: but the contrary is suf∣ficiently known by experience. Wherefore, it is more probable, that the Effluviums of the Loadstone, as they call them, or the disponent and directive faculty of turning it self towards the North, is intrinsecally in∣herent in the stone it self, and is nothing else but the interior natural sensitive and rational corporeal motions proper to its figure, as I have more at large declared in my Philosophical Letters, and Philosophical Opinions; then that a stream of ex∣terior Atomes, by beating upon the stone, should Page  20 turn it to and fro, until they have laid it in such a po∣sition.