Poetry is that fine particle within us, that expands, rarefies, refines, raises our whole being: without it "man's life is poor as beast's". Man is a poetical animal: and those of us who do not study the principles of poetry, act upon them all our lives, like Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme, who had always spoken prose without knowing it.
It rather rarefies, and grows more inflammable, as the earthly particles diminish; and I have seen valor enough in a little fiery-hearted French dwarf, to have furnished out a tolerable giant.
Clouds form in this air saturated and cooled by the combined effects of radiation and the dilatation of the ascending air. This air augments its capacity for heat in proportion as it rarefies. With the formation and collection of the vesicular vapours, electricity accumulates in the higher regions of the atmosphere.
The result is that before it begins to ascend in the tropical updraught, being much moisture-laden, the atmosphere stores a good deal of heat. As it rises, rarefies, and cools, the moisture descends in the torrential rains which ordinarily fall when the sun is nearly vertical in the tropical belt.
The air, of course, was dark and heavy, for want of that vigorous heat which clears and rarefies it; and the fruits were so crude and unconcocted that they pined away and decayed, through the chilliness of the atmosphere. We have a proof still more striking that the assassination of Cæsar was displeasing to the gods, in the phantom that appeared to Brutus.
"The false society of men for earthly greatness All heavenly comforts rarefies to air." And when the farmer has got his house, he may not be the richer but the poorer for it, and it be the house that has got him.
Well, we went on splendidly enough for about a year. Meanwhile I was wonderfully improved in philosophy. You have no idea how a scolding wife sublimes and rarefies one's intellect. Thunder clears the air, you know!
Heat acting upon air rarefies it, by which it becomes specifically lighter, and mounts upward. The denser parts of the atmosphere which surround that so rarefied, rush into the vacuity from their superior weight; endeavouring, as the laws of gravity require, to restore the equilibrium.
Besides, they say dough will be leavened sooner in the full, for then, though the leaven is scarce proportioned to the meal, yet it rarefies and leavens the whole lump. Now when flesh putrefies, the combining spirit is only changed into a moist consistence, and the parts of the body separate and dissolve.
And why should the left cavity of the heart and the great artery be wider and larger than the right cavity and the arterial vein, were it not that the blood of the venous artery, having only been in the lungs after it has passed through the heart, is thinner, and rarefies more readily, and in a higher degree, than the blood which proceeds immediately from the hollow vein?