Galilei, Galileo, Discourse concerning the natation of bodies, 1663

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and, furthermore, not with every Matter, but with thoſe only,
wherewith it may be able ro execute the deſired operation.
Like
as we ſee it verified by Experience, that the Acute and ſharp Angle is
more apt to cut, than the Obtuſe; yet alwaies provided, that both
the one and the other, be joyned with a Matter apt to cut, as for
example, with Steel.
Therefore, a Knife with a fine and ſharp
edge, cuts Bread or Wood with much eaſe, which it will not do, if
the edge be blunt and thick: but he that will inſtead of Steel, take
Wax, and mould it into a Knife, undoubtedly ſhall never know the
effects of ſharp and blunt edges: becauſe neither of them will cut,
the Wax being unable by reaſon of its flexibility, to overcome the
hardneſs of the Wood and Bread.
And, therefore, applying the
like diſcourſe to our purpoſe, they ſay, that the difference of Figure
will ſhew different effects, touching Natation and Submerſion, but
not conjoyned with any kind of Matter, but only with thoſe Matters
which, by their Gravity, are apt to reſiſt the Velocity of the water,
whence he that would elect for the Matter, Cork or other light wood
unable, through its Levity, to ſuperate the Craſſitude of the water,
and of that Matter ſhould forme Solids of divers Figures, woulld in
vain ſeek to find out what operation Figure hath in Natation or Sub­
merſion; becauſe all would ſwim, and that not through any property
of this or that Figure, but through the debility of the Matter, want­
ing ſo much Gravity, as is requiſite to ſuperate and overcome the
Denſity and Craſſitude of the water.
An objection
gainſt the Expe­
riment in Wax.
An Experi­
ment in Ebany,
brought to diſ­
prove the Expe­
timent in Wax.

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