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

19. Of preserving the Figures of Animal Creatures.

I Am absolutely of the opinion of those, who believe Natural Philosophy may promote not onely Ana∣tomy, but all other Arts, for else they would not be worth the taking of pains to learn them by reason the rational perceptions are beyond the sensitive. I am also of opinion, that there may be an Art to preserve the Page  56 exterior shapes of some animal bodies, but not their interior forms; for although their exterior shapes, e∣ven after the dissolution of the animal figure, may be some what like the shapes and figures of their bodies when they had the life of an animal, yet they being transformed into some other Creatures by the altera∣tion of their interior figurative motions, can no ways keep the same interior figure which they had when they were living animals. Concerning the preserving of blood by the means of spirit of Wine, as some do pro∣bably believe, my opinion is, That spirit of Wine, otherwise call'd Hot-water, if taken in great quantity, will rather dry up or putrifie the blood, then preserve it; nay, not onely the blood, but also the more solid parts of an animal body, insomuch as it will cause a total dissolution of the animal figure; and some animal Creatures that have blood, will be dissolved in Wine, which yet is not so strong as extracts or spirit of Wine: But blood mingled with spirit of Wine, may perhaps retain somewhat of the colour of blood, although the nature and propriety of blood be quite altered. As for the instance of preserving dead fish or flesh from putrifying and stinking, alledged by some; we see that ordinary salt will do the same with less cost; and as spirits of Wine, or hot Waters, may like salt pre∣serve some dead bodies from corruption, so may they, by making too much or frequent use of them, also cause living bodies to corrupt and dissolve sooner then Page  57 otherwise they would do. But Chymists are so much for extracts, that by their frequent use and application, they often extract humane life out of humane bodies, instead of preserving it.