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are wont to do; And I further remember that I have observ'd in the
fixt Salt of Urine, brought by depuration to be very white, a tast not
so unlike to that of common salt, and very differing from the wonted
caustick Lixiviate tast of other salts made by Incineration. But
because the Instances I have alledg'd of the Difference of
_Alcalizate_ salt are but few, and therefore I am still inclin'd to
think, that most Chymists and many Physitians do, inconsideratly
enough and without Warrant from Experience, ascribe the Vertues of the
Concretes expos'd to Calcination, to the salts obtain'd by it; I shall
rather, to shew the Disparity of salts, mention in the first Place the
apparent Difference betwixt the Vegetable fixt salts and the Animal
Volatile ones: As (for Example) betwixt salt of Tartar, and salt of
Harts-horn; whereof the former is so fixt that 'twill indure the brunt
of a violent Fire, and stand in fusion like a Metal; whereas the other
(besides that it has a differing tast and a very differing smell) is
so far from being fixt, that it will fly away in a gentle heat as
easily as Spirit of Wine it self. And to this I shall add, in the next
place, That even among the Volatile salts themselves, there is a
considerable Difference, as appears by the distinct Properties of (for
Instance) salt of Amber, salt of Urine, salt of Mans Skull, (so much
extoll'd against the falling Sicknesse) and divers others which cannot
escape an ordinary Observer. And this Diversity of Volatile salts I
have observ'd to be somtimes Discernable even to the Eye, in their
Figures. For the salt of Harts-horn I have observ'd to adhere to the
Receiver in the forme almost of a _Parallelipipedon_; and of the
Volatile salt of humane blood (long digested before distillation, with
spirit of Wine) I can shew you store of graines of that Figure which
_Geometricians_ call a _Rhombus_; though I dare not undertake that
the Figures of these or other Saline Crystals (if I may so call Them)
will be alwaies the same, whatever degree of Fire have been employ'd
to force them up, or how hastily soever they have been made to convene
in the spirits or liquors, in the lower part of which I have usually
observ'd them after a while to shoot. And although, as I lately told
You, I seldom found any Difference, as to Medical Vertues, in the fixt
Salts of Divers Vegetables; and accordingly I have suspected that most
of these volatile Salts, having so great a Resemblance in smell, in
tast, and fugitiveness, differ but little, if at all, in their
Medicinal properties: As indeed I have found them generally to agree
in divers of them (as in their being somewhat Diaphoretick and very
Deopilative; [Errata: Deopilative)] Yet I remember _Helmont_[18]
somewhere informes us, that there is this Difference betwixt the
saline spirit of Urine and that of Mans blood, that the former will
not cure the Epilepsy, but the Latter will. Of the Efficacy also of
the Salt of Common Amber against the same Disease in Children, (for in
Grown Persons it is not a specifick) I may elsewhere have an Occasion
to Entertain You. And when I consider that to the obtaining of these
Volatile Salts (especially that of Urine) there is not requisite such
a Destructive Violence of the Fire, as there is to get those Salts
that must be made by Incineration, I am the more invited to conclude,
that they may differ from one another, and consequently recede from an
Elementary Simplicity. And, if I could here shew You what Mr. _Boyle_
has Observ'd, touching the Various Chymicall Distinctions of Salts;
You would quickly discern, not only that Chymists do give themselves a
strange Liberty to call Concretes Salts, that are according to their
own Rules to be look'd upon as very Compounded Bodies; but that among
those very Salts that seem Elementary, because produc'd upon the
Anatomy of the Bodies that yield them, there is not only a visible
Disparity, but, to speak in the common Language, a manifest Antipathy
or Contrariety: As is evident in the Ebullition and hissing that is
wont to ensue, when the Acid Spirit of Vitrioll, for Instance, is
pour'd upon pot ashes, or Salt of Tartar. And I shall beg leave of
this Gentleman, sayes _Carneades_, casting his Eyes on me, to let me
observe to You out of some of his papers, particularly those wherein
he treats of some Preparations of Urine, that not only one and the
same body may have two Salts of a contrary Nature, as he exemplifies
in the Spirit and _Alkali_ of Nitre; but that from the same body there
may without addition be obtain'd three differing and Visible Salts.
For He Relates, that he observ'd in Urine, not only a Volatile and
Crystalline Salt, and a fixt Salt, but likewise a kind of _Sal
Armoniack_, or such a Salt as would sublime in the form of a salt, and
therefore was not fixt, and yet was far from being so fugitive as the
Volatile salt; from which it seem'd also otherwise to differ. I have
indeed suspected that this may be a _Sal Armoniack_ properly enough so
call'd, as Compounded of the Volatile salt of Urine, and the fixt of
the same Liquor, which, as I noted, is not unlike sea-salt; but that
it self argues a manifest Difference betwixt the salts, since such a
Volatile salt is not wont to Unite thus with an ordinary _Alcali_, but
to fly away from it in the Heat. And on this occasion I remember that,
to give some of my Friends an Ocular proof of the difference betwixt
the fixt and Volatile salt (of the same Concrete) Wood, I devis'd the
following Experiment. I took common Venetian sublimate, and dissolv'd
as much of it as I well could in fair Water: then I took Wood Ashes,
and pouring on them Warme Water, Dissolv'd their salt; and filtrating
the Water, as soon as I found the _Lixivium_ sufficiently sharp upon
the tongue, I reserv'd it for use: Then on part of the former solution
of sublimate dropping a little of this Dissolv'd Fixt salt of Wood,
the Liquors presently turn'd of an Orange Colour; but upon the other
part of the clear solution of sublimate putting some of the Volatile
salt of Wood (which abounds in the spirit of soot) the Liquor
immediately turn'd white, almost like Milke, and after a while let
fall a white sediment, as the other Liquor did a Yellow one. To all
this that I have said concerning the Difference of salts, I might add
what I Formerly told you, concerning the simple spirit of Box, and
such like Woods, which differ much from the other salts hitherto
mention'd, and yet would belong to the saline Principle, if Chymists
did truly teach that all Tasts proceed from it. And I might also
annex, what I noted to you out of _Helmont_[19] concerning Bodies,
which, though they consist in great part of Chymical Oyles, do yet
appear but Volatile salts; But to insist on these things, were to
repeat; and therefore I shall proceed.

[Footnote 18: _Error vero per distillationem nobis monstrat etiam
Spiritum salinum plane volatilem odore nequicquam ut nec gustu
distinguibilem a spiritu Urinæ; In eo tamen essentialiter diversum,
quod spiritus talis cruoris curat Epilepsiam, non autem Spiritus salis
lotii._ Helmont. Aura Vitalis.]

[Footnote 19: _Aliquando oleum Cinnamomi, &c. suo sali Alcali miscetur
absque omni aqua, trium mensium Artificiosa occultaque circulatione,
totum in salem volatilem commutatum est. Helmont. Tria Prima
Chymicorum, &c. pag. 412._]

This Disparity is also highly eminent in the separated sulphurs or
Chymical Oyles of things. For they contain so much of the scent, and
tast, and vertues, of the Bodies whence they were drawn, that they
seem to be but the Material _Crasis_ (if I may so speak) of their
Concretes. Thus the Oyles of Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmegs and other
spices, seem to be but the United Aromatick parts that did ennoble
those Bodies. And 'tis a known thing, that Oyl of Cinnamon, and oyle
of Cloves, (which I have likewise observ'd in the Oyles of several
Woods) will sink to the Bottom of Water: whereas those of Nutmegs and
divers other Vegetables will swim upon it. The Oyle (abusively call'd
spirit) of Roses swims at the Top of the Water in the forme of a white
butter, which I remember not to have observ'd in any other Oyle drawn
in any Limbeck; yet there is a way (not here to be declar'd) by which
I have seen it come over in the forme of other Aromatick Oyles, to the
Delight and Wonder of those that beheld it. In Oyle of Anniseeds,
which I drew both with, and without Fermentation, I observ'd the whole
Body of the Oyle in a coole place to thicken into the Consistence and
Appearance of white Butter, which with the least heat resum'd its
Former Liquidness. In the Oyl of Olive drawn over in a Retort, I have
likewise more then once seen a spontaneous Coagulation in the
Receiver: And I have of it by me thus Congeal'd; which is of such a
strangely Penetrating scent, as if 'twould Perforate the Noses that
approach it. The like pungent Odour I also observ'd in the Distill'd
Liquor of common sope, which forc'd over from _Minium_, lately
afforded an oyle of a most admirable Penetrancy; And he must be a
great stranger, both to the Writings and preparations of Chymists,
that sees not in the Oyles they distill from Vegetables and Animals, a
considerable and obvious Difference. Nay I shall venture to add,
_Eleutherius_, (what perhaps you will think of kin to a Paradox) that
divers times out of the same Animal or Vegetable, there may be
extracted Oyles of Natures obviously differing. To which purpose I
shall not insist on the swimming and sinking Oyles, which I have
sometimes observ'd to float on, and subside under the spirit of
_Guajacum_, and that of divers other Vegetables Distill'd with a
strong and lasting Fire; Nor shall I insist on the observation
elsewhere mention'd, of the divers and unminglable oyles afforded us
by Humane Blood long fermented and Digested with spirit of Wine,
because these kind of oyles may seem chiefly to differ in Consistence
and Weight, being all of them high colour'd and adust. But the
Experiment which I devis'd to make out this Difference of the oyles of
the same Vegetable, _ad Oculum_, (as they speak) was this that
followes. I took a pound of Annisseeds, and having grosly beaten them,
caused them to be put into a very large glass Retort almost filled
with fair Water; and placing this Retort in a sand Furnace, I caus'd a
very Gentle heat to be administer'd during the first day, and a great
part of the second, till the Water was for the most part drawn off,
and had brought over with it at least most of the Volatile and
Aromatick Oyle of the seeds. And then encreasing the Fire, and
changing the Receiver, I obtain'd besides an Empyreumatical Spirit, a
quantity of adust oyle; whereof a little floated upon the Spirit, and
the rest was more heavy, and not easily separable from it. And whereas
these oyles were very dark, and smell'd (as Chymists speak) so
strongly of the Fire, that their Odour did not betray from what
Vegetables they had been forc'd; the other _Aromatick_ Oyle was
enrich'd with the genuine smell and tast of the Concrete; and
spontaneously coagulating it self into white butter did manifest self
[Errata: it self] to be the true Oyle of Annisseeds; which Concrete I
therefore chose to employ about this Experiment, that the Difference
of these Oyles might be more conspicuous then it would have been, had
I instead of it destill'd another Vegetable.

I had almost forgot to take notice, that there is another sort of
Bodies, which though not obtain'd from Concretes by Distillation, many
Chymists are wont to call their Sulphur; not only because such
substances are, for the most part, high colour'd (whence they are
also, and that more properly, called Tinctures) as dissolv'd Sulphurs
are wont to be; but especially because they are, for the most part,
abstracted and separated from the rest of the Masse by Spirit of Wine:
which Liquor those men supposing to be Sulphureous, they conclude,
that what it works upon, and abstracts, must be a Sulphur also. And
upon this account they presume, that they can sequester the sulphur
even of Minerals and Metalls; from which 'tis known that they cannot
by Fire alone separate it. To all This I shall answer; That if these
sequestred substances where indeed the sulphurs of the Bodies whence
they are drawn, there would as well be a great Disparity betwixt
Chymical Sulphurs obtain'd by Spirit of Wine, as I have already shewn
there is betwixt those obtain'd by Distillation in the forme of Oyles:
which will be evident from hence, that not to urge that themselves
ascribe distinct vertues to Mineral Tinctures, extolling the Tincture
of Gold against such and such Diseases; the Tincture of Antimony, or
of its Glass, against others; and the Tincture of Emerauld against
others; 'tis plain, that in Tinctures drawn from Vegetables, if the
superfluous spirit of Wine be distill'd off, it leaves at the bottom
that thicker substance which Chymists use to call the Extract of the
Vegetable. And that these Extracts are endow'd with very differing
Qualities according to the Nature of the Particular Bodies that
afforded them (though I fear seldom with so much of the specifick
vertues as is wont to be imagin'd) is freely confess'd both by
Physitians and Chymists. But, _Eleutherius_, (sayes _Carneades_) we
may here take Notice that the Chymists do as well in this case, as in
many others, allow themselves a License to abuse Words: For not again
to argue from the differing properties of Tinctures, that they are not
exactly pure and Elementary Sulphurs; they would easily appear not to
be so much as Sulphur's, although we should allow Chymical Oyles to
deserve that Name. For however in some Mineral Tinctures the Natural
fixtness of the extracted Body does not alwayes suffer it to be easily
further resoluble into differing substances; Yet in very many extracts
drawn from Vegetables, it may very easily be manifested that the
spirit of Wine has not sequestred the sulphureous Ingredient from the
saline and Mercurial ones; but has dissolv'd (for I take it to be a
Solution) the finer Parts of the Concrete (without making any nice
distinction of their being perfectly Sulphureous or not) and united it
self with them into a kind of Magistery; which consequently must
contain Ingredients or Parts of several sorts. For we see that the
stones that are rich in vitriol, being often drench'd with
rain-Water, the Liquor will then extract a fine and transparent
substance coagulable into Vitriol; and yet though this Vitriol be
readily dissoluble in Water, it is not a true Elementary Salt, but, as
You know, a body resoluble into very differing Parts, whereof one (as
I shall have occasion to tell You anon) is yet of a Metalline, and
consequently not of an Elementary Nature. You may consider also, that
common Sulphur is readily dissoluble in Oyle of Turpentine, though
notwithstanding its Name it abounds as well, if not as much, in Salt
as in true Sulphur; witness the great quantity of saline Liquor it
affords being set to flame away under a glasse Bell. Nay I have, which
perhaps You will think strange, with the same Oyle of Turpentine alone
easily enough dissolv'd crude Antimony finely powder'd into a
Blood-red Balsam, wherewith perhaps considerable things may be
perform'd in Surgery. And if it were now Requisite, I could tell You
of some other Bodies (such as Perhaps You would not suspect) that I
have been able to work upon with certain Chymical Oyles. But instead
of digressing further I shall make this use of the Example I have
nam'd. That 'tis not unlikely, but that Spirit of Wine which by its
pungent tast, and by some other Qualities that argue it better
(especially its Reduciblenesse, according to _Helmont_, into _Alcali_,
and Water,) seems to be as well of a Saline as of a Sulphureous
Nature, may well be suppos'd Capable of Dissolving Substances That are
not meerly Elementary sulphurs, though perhaps they may abound with
Parts that are of kin thereunto. For I find that Spirit of Wine will
dissolve _Gumm Lacca_, _Benzoine_, and the _Resinous_ Parts of
_Jallap_, and even of _Guaiacum_; whence we may well suspect that it
may from Spices, Herbs, and other lesse compacted Vegetables, extract
substances that are not perfect Sulphurs but mixt Bodies. And to put
it past Dispute, there is many a Vulgar Extract drawn with Spirit of
Wine, which committed to Distillation will afford such differing
substances as will Loudly proclaim it to have been a very compounded
Body. So that we may justly suspect, that even in Mineral Tinctures it
will not alwaies follow, that because a red substance is drawn from
the Concrete by spirit of Wine, that Substance is its true and
Elementary Sulphur. And though some of these Extracts may perhaps be
inflamable; Yet besides that others are not, and besides that their
being reduc'd to such Minuteness of Parts may much facilitate their
taking Fire; besides this, I say, We see that common Sulphur, common
Oyle, Gumm Lac, and many Unctuous and Resinous Bodies, will flame well
enough, though they be of very compounded natures: Nay Travellers of
Unsuspected Credit assure Us, as a known thing, that in some Northern
Countries where Firr trees and Pines abound, the poorer sort of
Inhabitants use Long splinters of those Resinous Woods to burne
instead of Candles. And as for the rednesse wont to be met with in
such solutions, I could easily shew, that 'tis not necessary it should
proceed from the Sulphur of the Concrete, Dissolv'd by the Spirit of
Wine; if I had leasure to manifest how much Chymists are wont to
delude themselves and others by the Ignorance of those other causes
upon whose account spirit of Wine and other _Menstruums_ may acquire
a red or some other high colour. But to returne to our Chymical Oyles,
supposing that they were exactly pure; Yet I hope they would be, as
the best spirit of Wine is, but the more inflamable and deflagrable.
And therefore since an Oyle can be by the Fire alone immediately
turn'd into flame, which is something of a very differing Nature from
it: I shall Demand how this Oyle can be a Primogeneal and
Incorruptible Body, as most Chymists would have their Principles;
Since it is further resoluble into flame, which whether or no it be a
portion of the Element of Fire, as an _Aristotelian_ would conclude,
is certainly something of a very differing Nature from a Chymical
Oyle, since it burnes, and shines, and mounts swiftly upwards; none of
which a Chymical Oyle does, whilst it continues such. And if it should
be Objected, that the Dissipated Parts of this flaming Oyle may be
caught and collected again into Oyl or Sulphur; I shall demand, what
Chymist appears to have ever done it; and without Examining whether it
may not hence be as well said that sulphur is but compacted Fire, as
that Fire is but diffus'd Sulphur, I shall leave you to consider
whether it may not hence be argu'd, that neither Fire nor Sulphur are
primitive and indestructible Bodies; and I shall further observe that,
at least it will hence appear that a portion of matter may without
being Compounded with new Ingredients, by having the Texture and
Motion of its small parts chang'd, be easily, by the means of the
Fire, endow'd with new Qualities, more differing from them it had
before, then are those which suffice to discriminate the Chymists
Principles from one another.

We are next to Consider, whether in the Anatomy of mixt Bodies, that
which Chymists call the Mercurial part of them be un-compounded, or
no. But to tell You True, though Chymists do Unanimously affirm that
their Resolutions discover a Principle, which they call Mercury, yet I
find them to give of it Descriptions so Differing, and so
Ænigmaticall, that I, who am not asham'd to confess that I cannot
understand what is not sence, must acknowledge to you that I know not
what to make of them. _Paracelsus_ himself, and therefore, as you
will easily believe, many of his Followers, does somewhere call that
Mercury which ascends upon the burning of Wood, as the Peripateticks
are wont to take the same smoke for Air; and so seems to define
Mercury by Volatility, or (if I may coyne such a Word) Effumability.
But since, in this Example, both Volatile Salt and Sulphur make part
of the smoke, which does indeed consist also both of Phlegmatick and
Terrene Corpuscles, this Notion is not to be admitted; And I find that
the more sober Chymists themselves disavow it. Yet to shew you how
little of clearness we are to expect in the accounts even of latter
_Spagyrists_, be pleas'd to take notice, that _Beguinus_, even in his
_Tyrocinium Chymicum_,[20] written for the Instruction of Novices,
when he comes to tell us what are meant by the _Tria Prima_, which for
their being Principles ought to be defin'd the more accurately and
plainly, gives us this Description of Mercury; _Mercurius_ (sayes he)
_est liquor ille acidus, permeabilis, penetrabilis, æthereus, ac
purissimus, a quo omnis Nutricatio, Sensus, Motus, Vires, Colores,
Senectutisque Præproperæ retardatio._ Which words are not so much a
Definition of it, as an _Encomium_: and yet _Quercetanus_ in his
Description of the same Principle adds to these, divers other
_Epithets_. But both of them, to skip very many other faults that may
be found with their Metaphoricall Descriptions, speak incongruously to
the Chymists own Principles. For if Mercury be an Acid Liquor, either
Hermetical Philosophy must err in ascribing all Tasts to Salt, or else
Mercury must not be a Principle, but Compounded of a Saline Ingredient
and somewhat else. _Libavius_, though he find great fault with the
obscurity of what the Chymists write concerning their Mercurial
Principle, does yet but give us such a Negative Description of it, as
_Sennertus_, how favourable soever to the _Tria Prima_, is not
satisfi'd with. And this _Sennertus_ Himself, though the Learnedst
Champion for the Hypostatical Principles, does almost as frequently as
justly complain of the unsatisfactoriness of what the Chymists teach
concerning their Mercury; and yet he himself (but with his wonted
modesty) Substitutes instead of the Description of _Libavius_,
another, which many Readers, especially if they be not Peripateticks,
will not know what to make of. For scarce telling us any more, then
that in all bodies that which is found besides Salt and Sulphur, and
the Elements, or, as they call them, Phlegm and Dead Earth, is that
Spirit which in _Aristotles_ Language may be call'd [Greek: ousian
analogon [Errata: ousia analogos] tô tôn astrôn stoichaiô [Errata:
astrôn stoicheiô]]. He sayes that which I confess is not at all
satisfactory to me, who do not love to seem to acquiesce in any mans
Mystical Doctrines, that I may be thought to understand them.

[Footnote 20: _Chm. Tyrocin. lib. 1. Cap. 2._]

If (sayes _Eleutherius_) I durst presume that the same thing would be
thought clear by me, and those that are fond of such cloudy
Expressions as You justly Tax the Chymists for, I should venture to
offer to Consideration, whether or no, since the Mercurial Principle
that arises from Distillation is unanimously asserted to be distinct
from the salt and Sulphur of the same Concrete, that may not be call'd
the Mercury of a Body, which though it ascend in Distillation, as do
the Phlegme and Sulphur, is neither insipid like the former, nor
inflamable like the latter. And therefore I would substitute to the
too much abused Name of Mercury, the more clear and Familiar
Appellation of Spirit, which is also now very much made use of even by
the Chymists themselves, of our times, though they have not given us
so Distinct an Explication, as were fit, of what may be call'd the
Spirit of a mixt Body.

I should not perhaps (sayes _Carneades_) much quarrel with your Notion
of Mercury. But as for the Chymists, what they can mean, with
congruity to their own Principles, by the Mercury of Animals and
Vegetables, 'twill not be so easie to find out; for they ascribe Tasts
only to the Saline Principle, and consequently would be much put to it
to shew what Liquor it is, in the Resolution of Bodies, that not being
insipid, for that they call Phlegme, neither is inflamable as Oyle or
Sulphur, nor has any Tast; which according to them must proceed from a
Mixture, at least, of Salt. And if we should take Spirit in the sence
of the Word receiv'd among Modern Chymists and Physitians, for any
Distill'd Liquor that is neither Phlegme nor oyle, the Appellation
would yet appear Ambiguous enough. For, plainly, that which first
ascends in the Distillation of Wine and Fermented Liquors, is
generally as well by Chymists as others reputed a Spirit. And yet pure


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