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

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have been produced, I ſay, that Figures, as ſimple Figures, not only

operate not in naturall things, but neither are they ever ſeperated
from the Corporeall ſubſtance: nor have I ever alledged them ſtript
of ſenſible Matter, like as alſo I freely admit, that in our endeavour­
ing to examine the Diverſity of Accidents, dependant upon the va­
riety of Figures, it is neceſſary to apply them to Matters, which ob­
ſtruct not the various operations of thoſe various Figures: and I ad­
mit and grant, that I ſhould do very ill, if I would experiment the in­
fluence of Acuteneſſe of edge with a Knife of Wax, applying it to cut
an Oak, becauſe there is no Acuteneſs in Wax able to cut that
very hard wood.
But yet ſuch an Experiment of this Knife, would
not be beſides the purpoſe, to cut curded Milk, or other very yielding
Matter: yea, in ſuch like Matters, the Wax is more commodious
than Steel; for finding the diverſity depending upon Angles, more or
leſs Acute, for that Milk is indifferently cut with a Raiſor, and with
a Knife, that hath a blunt edge.
It needs, therefore, that regard be
had, not only to the hardneſs, ſolidity or Gravity of Bodies, which
under divers figures, are to divide and penetrate ſome Matters, but it
forceth alſo, that regard be had, on the other ſide, to the Reſiſtance
of the Matters, to be divided and penetrated.
But ſince I have in
making the Experiment concerning our Conteſt, choſen a Matter
which penetrates the Reſiſtance of the water; and in all figures deſ­
cendes to the Bottome, the Adverſaries can charge me with no defectus;
yea, I have propounded ſo much a more excellent Method than they,
in as much as I have removed all other Cauſes, of deſcending or
not deſcending to the Bottom, and retained the only ſole and pure
variety of Figures, demonſtrating that the ſame Figures all deſcende
with the only alteration of a Grain in weight: which Grain being
removed, they return to float and ſwim; it is not true, therefore,
(reſuming the Example by them introduced) that I have gon about
to experiment the efficacy of Acuteneſs, in cutting with Matters un­
able to cut, but with Matters proportioned to our occaſion; ſince
they are ſubjected to no other variety, then that alone which depends
on the Figure more or leſs a cute.
Figure is un­
ſeperable from
Corporeall Sub­
ſtance.
The anſwer to
the Objection
gainſt the Expe­
riment of the
Wax.

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