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I find that any luminous body when seen through a dense and thick mist diminishes in proportion to its distance from the eye. Thus it is with the sun by day, as well as the moon and the other eternal lights by night. And when the air is clear, these luminaries appear larger in proportion as they are farther from the eye.
No one knows what capacities for doing and suffering he has in himself, until something comes to rouse them to activity: just as in a pond of still water, lying there like a mirror, there is no sign of the roar and thunder with which it can leap from the precipice, and yet remain what it is; or again, rise high in the air as a fountain. When water is as cold as ice, you can have no idea of the latent warmth contained in it.
Go into a room where the shutters are always shut (in a sick-room or a bed-room there should never be shutters shut), and though the room be uninhabited — though the air has never been polluted by the breathing of human beings, you will observe a close, musty smell of corrupt air — of air unpurified by the effect of the sun's rays.
What is an odor? Is it an emanation of material particles into the air, or is it a form of vibration like sound? If you can decide that, it might be the starting point for a new investigation. If it is an emanation, you might be able to weigh it; and if it is a vibration, you should be able to reflect it from a mirror.