Allan Kardec

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79. When a vacuum is produced under the receiver of an air-pump, it is held down so forcibly that it is impossible to raise it, owing to the weight of the superin- cumbent column of air. Let the air into the receiver, and it is raised with the greatest ease, because the air beneath it acts as a counterpoise to the air above it. If the air beneath the receiver be now compressed, it will acquire a density greater than that of the air above, and the receiver will be raised, in spite of gravitation ; and, if the current of air be rapid and violent, it will be sustained in space without any visible support, in the same way as are the little figures of pith that are made to dance on a jet of water. Why then should not the universal fluid, which is the constituent element of all matter, when accumulated around a table, have the property of diminishing or of augmenting its natural weight, just as air affects the receiver of the air-pump, and as hydrogen affects balloons, without any derogation from the law of gravitation? Are you aware of all the properties of all the forces of this fluid? No; then do not deny a fact because you are as yet unable to explain it.

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