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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703 / Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses : with observations and inquiries thereupon
(MDCLXVII [1667])

Observ. V. Of watered silks, or stuffs,   pp. 8-10


Page 8


  S                   MMI C R OG R AP HIA.
                    Obferv. V. Of watered Silks, or Stuffs.
~~hem. a, NwHere are but few Artifcial things that are worth obferving with
a
Fi& j- 1 Microfcope; and therefore I fhall fSpeak but briefly concerning
them.
       For the Produffions of art are fuch rude mif-fhapen things, that when
       view'd with a Microfcope,there is little elfe observable,but their
deformity.
       The moft curious Carvings appearing no better then thofe rude Rerfian
       Images we find mention'd in Purchas, where three notches at the end
of a
       Stick, hood for a face. And the moft fmooth and burnifh'd furfaces
appear
       moft rough and unpolifit: So that my firft Reafon why I thall add
but a
       few observations of them, is, their mif-thapen form ;.and the next,
is their
       ufelefsnefs. For why fhould we trouble our felves in the examination
of
       that form or fhape (which is all we are able to reach with a Aficrofcope)
       which we know was defign'd for no higher a ufe, then what we were
able
       to view with onr naked eye? Why fhould we endeavour to difcover
       myfteries in that which has no fuch thing in it ? And like Rabbihs
find out
       Cahallifins and £niggyns in the Figure, and placing of Letters,
where no
       fuch thing lies hid: whereas in naturalformsthere are fome So fmall,
and
       fo curiousand their defign'd bufinefs fo far remov'd beyond the reach
of
       our fight,that the more we magnify the objed, the more excellencies
and
       myfteries do appear ; And the more we difcover the imperfedions of
our
       fenfes, and the Omnipotency and Infinite perfeCtions of the great
Crea-
       tour. I fball therefore onely add one or two Obfervations more of
artifi'
       cial things, and then come to the Treaty concerning fuch matters as
are
       the ProduCtions of a more curious Workman. One of thefe,fhall be that
       of a piece of water'd Silk, represented in the fecond Figure of the
third
       scheme,asit appear'd through the leaft magnifying Glafs. A B. fignifjying
       the long way of the Stuffand C D the broad way. This Stuff, it the
right
       fide of it be looked upon, appears to the naked eye, all over So waved,
       undulated, or grain'd, with a curious, though irregular variety of
brigh-
       ter and darker parts, that it adds no fmall gracefulness to the Glofs
of it.
       It is fo known a propriety, that it needs but little explication,
but it is ob-
       fervable, which perhaps every one has not confidered, that thofe parts
       which appear the darker part ofthe wave, in one pofition to the light,
in
       another appears the lighter,and the contraryand by this means the
undu-
       lations become tranfient, and in a continual change,according as the
po-
       fition of the parts in ref ed of the incident beams of light is varied.
The
       reafon of which odd phenoniena. to one that has but diligently examin'd
       it even with his naked eye, will be obvious enough. But he that obferves
       it with a AMicrfofePe, may more eafily perceive what this Proteus
is. and
       how it comes to change its fhape. He may very eafily perceivre, that
it
       proceeds onely from the variety of the Refleclions of light, which
is caus'd
       by the various fhape of the Particles, or little protuberant parts
ef the
       thread that compofe the furface j and that thofe parts of the waves
that
                                                                     appear


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