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Digestion was much too great to have been latent in the Oyl of
Vitriol. And that Vitriolate Spirits are not necessary to the
Constitution of such a Sulphur as ours, I could easily manifest, if I
would acquaint you with the several wayes by which I have obtain'd,
though not in such plenty, a Sulphur of Antimony, colour'd and
combustible like common Brimstone. And though I am not now minded to
discover them, yet I shall tell you, that to satisfie some Ingenious
Men, that distill'd Vitriolate Spirits are not necessary to the
obtaining of such a Sulphur as we have been considering, I did by the
bare distillation of only Spirit of Nitre, from its weight of crude
Antimony separate, in a short time, a yellow and very inflamable
Sulphur, which, for ought I know, deserves as much the name of an
Element, as any thing that Chymists are wont to separate from any
Mineral by the Fire. I could perhaps tell you of other Operations upon
Antimony, whereby That may be extracted from it, which cannot be
forc'd out of it by the Fire; but I shall reserve them for a fitter
Opportunity, and only annex at present this sleight, but not
impertinent Experiment. That whereas I lately observed to you, that
the Urinous and common Salts whereof _Sal Armoniack_ consists,
remain'd unsever'd by the Fire in many successive Sublimations, they
may be easily separated, and partly without any Fire at all, by
pouring upon the Concrete finely powder'd, a Solution of Salt of
Tartar, or of the Salt of Wood-Ashes; for upon your diligently mixing
of these you will finde your Nose invaded with a very strong smell of
Urine, and perhaps too your Eyes forc'd to water by the same subtle
and piercing Body that produces the stink; both these effects
proceeding from hence, that by the Alcalizate Salt, the Sea Salt that
enter'd the composition of the _Sal Armoniack_ is mortify'd and made
more fixt, and thereby a divorce is made between it and the volatile
Urinous Salt, which being at once set at liberty, and put into motion,
begins presently to fly away, and to offend the Nostrils and Eyes it
meets with by the way. And if the operation of these Salts be in
convenient Glasses promoted by warmth, though but by that of a Bath,
the ascending Steams may easily be caught and reduc'd into a penetrant
Spirit, abounding with a Salt, which I have sometimes found to be
separable in a Crystalline Form. I might add to these Instances, that
whereas Sublimate, consisting, as you know, of Salts & Quicksilver
combin'd and carried up together by Heat, may be Sublim'd, I know not
how often, by a like degree of Fire, without suffering any divorce of
the component Bodies, the Mercury may be easily sever'd from the
adhering Salts, if the Sublimate be distill'd from Salt of Tartar,
Quick Lime, or such Alcalizate Bodies. But I will rather observe to
you, _Eleutherius_, what divers ingenious men have thought somewhat
strange; that by such an Additament that seems but only to promote the
Separation, there may be easily obtain'd from a Concrete that by the
Fire alone is easily divisible into all the Elements that Vegetables
are suppos'd to consist of, such a similar Substance as differs in
many respects from them all, and consequently has by many of the most
Intelligent Chymists been denied to be contain'd in the mixt Body. For
I know a way, and have practis'd it, whereby common Tartar, without
the addition of any thing that is not perfectly a Mineral except
Salt-petre, may by one Distillation in an Earthen Retort be made to
afford good store of real Salt, readily dissoluble in water, which I
found to be neither acid, nor of the smell of Tartar, and to be almost
as volatile as Spirit of Wine it self, and to be indeed of so
differing a Nature from all that is wont to be separated by Fire from
Tartar, that divers Learned Men, with whom I discours'd of it, could
hardly be brought to beleeve, that so fugitive a Salt could be
afforded by Tartar, till I assur'd it them upon my own Knowledge. And
if I did not think you apt to suspect me to be rather too backward
than too forward to credit or affirm unlikely things, I could convince
you by what I have yet lying by me of that anomalous Salt.

[Footnote 4: Lib. 1. Observat. Cap. 6.]

The Fourth thing that I shall alledge to countenance my first
Consideration is, That the Fire even when it divides a Body into
Substances of divers Consistences, does not most commonly analyze it
into Hypostatical Principles, but only disposes its parts into new
Textures, and thereby produces Concretes of a new indeed, but yet of a
compound Nature. This Argument it will be requisite for me to
prosecute so fully hereafter, that I hope you will then confess that
'tis not for want of good Proofs that I desire leave to suspend my
Proofs till the _Series_ of my Discourse shall make it more proper and
seasonable to propose them.

It may be further alledg'd on the behalf of my First Consideration,
That some such distinct Substances may be obtain'd from some
Concretes without Fire, as deserve no less the name of Elementary,
than many that Chymists extort by the Violence of the Fire.

We see that the Inflamable Spirit, or as the Chymists esteem it, the
Sulphur of Wine, may not only be separated from it by the gentle heat
of a Bath, but may be distill'd either by the help of the Sun-Beams,
or even of a Dunghill, being indeed of so Fugitive a Nature, that it
is not easy to keep it from flying away, even without the Application
of external heat. I have likewise observ'd that a Vessel full of Urine
being plac'd in a Dunghill, the Putrefaction is wont after some weeks
so to open the Body, that the parts disbanding the Saline Spirit, will
within no very long time, if the Vessel be not stopt, fly away of it
self; Insomuch that from such Urine I have been able to distill little
or nothing else than a nauseous Phlegme, instead of the active and
piercing Salt and Spirit that it would have afforded, when first
expos'd to the Fire, if the Vessel had been carefully stopt.

And this leads me to consider in the Fifth place, That it will be very
hard to prove, that there can no other Body or way be given which
will as well as the Fire divide Concretes into several homogeneous
Substances, which may consequently be call'd their Elements or
Principles, as well as those separated or produc'd by the Fire. For
since we have lately seen, that Nature can successefully employ other
Instruments than the Fire to separate distinct Substances from mixt
Bodies, how know we, but that Nature has made, or Art may make, some
such Substance as may be a fit Instrument to Analyze mixt Bodies, or
that some such Method may be found by Humane Industry or Luck, by
whose means compound Bodies may be resolv'd into other Substances,
than such as they are wont to be divided into by the Fire. And why the
Products of such an _Analysis_ may not as justly be call'd the
component Principles of the Bodies that afford them, it will not be
easy to shew, especially since I shall hereafter make it evident, that
the Substances which Chymists are wont to call the Salts, and
Sulphurs, and Mercuries of Bodies, are not so pure and Elementary as
they presume, and as their _Hypothesis_ requires. And this may
therefore be the more freely press'd upon the Chymists, because
neither the _Paracelsians_, nor the _Helmontians_ can reject it
without apparent Injury to their respective Masters. For _Helmont_
do's more than once Inform his Readers, that both _Paracelsus_ and
Himself were Possessors of the famous Liquor, _Alkahest_, which for
its great power in resolving Bodies irresoluble by Vulgar Fires, he
somewhere seems to call _Ignis Gehennæ_. To this Liquor he ascribes,
(and that in great part upon his own Experience) such wonders, that if
we suppose them all true, I am so much the more a Friend to Knowledge
than to Wealth, that I should think the _Alkahest_ a nobler and more
desireable Secret than the Philosophers Stone it self. Of this
Universal Dissolvent he relates, That having digested with it for a
competent time a piece of Oaken Charcoal, it was thereby reduc'd into
a couple of new and distinct Liquors, discriminated from each other by
their Colour and Situation, and that the whole body of the Coal was
reduc'd into those Liquors, both of them separable from his Immortal
_Menstruum_, which remain'd as fit for such Operations as before. And
he moreover tells us in divers places of his Writings, that by this
powerful, and unwearied Agent, he could dissolve Metals, Marchasites,
Stones, Vegetable and Animal Bodies of what kinde soever, and even
Glass it self (first reduc'd to powder,) and in a word, all kinds of
mixt Bodies in the World into their several similar Substances,
without any Residence or _Caput mortuum_. And lastly, we may gather
this further from his Informations, That the homogeneous Substances
obtainable from compound Bodies by his piercing Liquor, were
oftentimes different enough both as to Number and as to Nature, from
those into which the same Bodies are wont to be divided by common
Fire. Of which I shall need in this place to mention no other proof,
then that whereas we know that in our common _Analysis_ of a mixt
Body, there remains a terrestrial and very fixt Substance, oftentimes
associated with a Salt as fixt; Our Author tells us, that by his way
he could Distill over all Concretes without any _Caput mortuum_, and
consequently could make those parts of the Concrete volatile, which in
the Vulgar _Analysis_ would have been fixt. So that if our Chymists
will not reject the solemn and repeated Testimony of a Person, who
cannot but be acknowledg'd for one of the greatest Spagyrists that
they can boast of, they must not deny that there is to be found in
Nature another Agent able to Analyze compound Bodies less violently,
and both more genuinely and more universally than the Fire. And for my
own part, though I cannot but say on this Occasion what (you know) our
Friend Mr. _Boyle_ is wont to say, when he is askt his Opinion of any
strange Experiment; _That He that hath seen it hath more Reason to
beleeve it, than He that hath not_; yet I have found _Helmont_ so
faithful a Writer, even in divers of his improbable Experiments (I
alwayes except that Extravagant Treatise _De Magnetica Vulnerum
Curatione_, which some of his Friends affirm to have been first
publish'd by his Enemies) that I think it somewhat harsh to give him
the Lye, especially to what he delivers upon his own proper Tryal. And
I have heard from very credible Eye-witnesses some things, and seen
some others my self, which argue so strongly, that a circulated Salt,
or a _Menstruum_ (such as it may be) may by being abstracted from
compound Bodies, whether Mineral, Animal, or Vegetable, leave them
more unlockt than a wary Naturalist would easily beleeve, that I dare
not confidently measure the Power of Nature and Art by that of the
_Menstruums_, and other Instruments that eminent Chymists themselves
are as yet wont to Empoly [Errata: employ] about the Analyzing of
Bodies; nor Deny that a _Menstruum_ may at least from this or that
particular Concrete obtain some apparently similar Substance,
differing from any obtainable from the same Body by any degree or
manner of Application of the Fire. And I am the more backward to deny
peremptorily, that there may be such Openers of compound Bodies,
because among the Experiments that make me speak thus warily, there
wanted not some in which it appear'd not, that one of the Substances
not separable by common Fires and _Menstruums_ could retain any thing
of the Salt by which the separation was made.

And here, _Eleutherius_, (sayes _Carneades_) I should conclude as much
of my Discourse as belongs to the first Consideration I propos'd, but
that I foresee, that what I have delivered will appear liable to two
such specious Objections, that I cannot safely proceed any further
till I have examin'd them.

And first, one sort of Opposers will be forward to tell me, That they
do not pretend by Fire alone to separate out of all compound Bodies
their _Hypostatical_ Principles; it being sufficient that the Fire
divides them into such, though afterwards they employ other Bodies to
collect the similar parts of the Compound; as 'tis known, that though
they make use of water to collect the Saline parts of Ashes from the
Terrestrial wherewith they are blended, yet it is the Fire only that
Incinerates Bodies, and reduces the fix'd part of them into the Salt
and Earth, whereof Ashes are made up. This Objection is not, I
confess, inconsiderable, and I might in great part allow of it,
without granting it to make against me, if I would content my self to
answer, that it is not against those that make it that I have been
disputing, but against those Vulgar Chymists, who themselves believe,
and would fain make others do so, That the Fire is not only an
universal, but an adæquate [Transcriber's Note: adequate] and
sufficient Instrument to analyze mixt Bodies with. For as to their
Practice of Extracting the fix'd Salt out of Ashes by the Affusion of
Water, 'tis obvious to alleadge, that the Water does only assemble
together the Salt the Fire had before divided from the Earth: as a
Sieve does not further break the Corn, but only bring together into
two distinct heaps the Flour and the Bran, whose Corpuscles before lay
promiscuously blended together in the Meal. This I say I might
alleadge, and thereby exempt my self from the need of taking any
farther notice of the propos'd Objection. But not to lose the Rise it
may afford me of Illustrating the matter under Consideration, I am
content briefly to consider it, as far forth as my present
Disquisition may be concern'd in it.

Not to repeat then what has been already answer'd, I say farther, that
though I am so civil an Adversary, that I will allow the Chymists,
after the Fire has done all its work, the use of fair Water to make
their Extractions with, in such cases wherein the Water does not
cooperate with the Fire to make the _Analysis_; yet since I Grant
this but upon Supposition that the Water does only wash off the Saline
Particles, which the Fire Alone has Before Extricated in the Analyz'd
Body, it will not be Reasonable, that this Concession should Extend to
other Liquors that may Add to what they Dissolve, nor so much as to
other Cases than those Newly Mentioned: Which Limitation I Desire You
would be Pleas'd to Bear in Mind till I shall Anon have Occasion to
make Use of it. And This being thus Premis'd, I shall Proceed to

First, That Many of the Instances I Propos'd in the Preceding
Discourse are Such, that the Objection we are Considering will not at
all Reach Them. For Fire can no more with the Assistance of Water than
without it Separate any of the Three Principles, either from Gold,
Silver, Mercury, or some Others of the Concretes named Above.

Hence We may Inferre, That Fire is not an Universal Analyzer of all
Mixt Bodies, since of Metals and Minerals, wherein Chymists have most
Exercis'd Themselves, there Appear scarce Any which they are able to
Analyze by Fire, Nay, from which they can Unquestionably Separate so
much as any One of their Hypostatical Principles; Which may well
Appear no small Disparagement as well to their _Hypothesis_ as to
their Pretensions.

It will also remain True, notwithstanding the Objection, That there
may be Other Wayes than the wonted _Analysis_ by Fire, to Separate
from a Compound Body Substances as Homogeneneous [Transcriber's Note:
Homogeneous] as those that Chymists Scruple not to Reckon among their
_Tria Prima_ (as some of them, for Brevity Sake, call their Three

And it Appears, That by Convenient Additaments such Substances may be
Separated by the Help of the Fire, as could not be so by the Fire
alone: Witness the Sulphur of Antimony.

And Lastly, I must Represent, That since it appears too that the Fire
is but One of the Instruments that must be Employ'd in the Resolution
of Bodies, We may Reasonably Challenge the Liberty of doing Two
Things. For when ever any _Menstruum_ or other Additament is Employ'd,
together with the Fire to Obtain a Sulphur or a Salt from a Body, We
may well take the Freedom to Examine, whether or no That _Menstruum_
do barely Help to Separate the Principle Obtain'd by It, or whether
there Intervene not a Coalition of the Parts of the Body Wrought upon
with Those of the _Menstruum_, whereby the Produc'd Concrete may be
Judg'd to Result from the Union of Both. And it will be farther
Allowable for Us to Consider, how far any Substance, Separated by the
Help of such Additaments, Ought to pass for one of the _Tria Prima_;
since by One Way of Handling the same Mixt Body it may according to
the Nature of the Additaments, and the Method of Working upon it, be
made to Afford differing Substances from those Obtainable from it by
other Additaments, and another Method, nay and (as may appear by what
I Formerly told You about Tartar) Differing from any of the Substances
into which a Concrete is Divisible by the Fire without Additaments,
though perhaps those Additaments do not, as Ingredients, enter the
Composition of the Obtained Body, but only Diversify the Operation of
the Fire upon the Concrete; and though that Concrete by the Fire
alone may be Divided into a Number of Differing Substances, as Great
as any of the Chymists that I have met with teach us that of the
Elements to be. And having said thus much (sayes _Carneades_) to the
Objection likely to be Propos'd by some Chymists, I am now to Examine
that which I Foresee will be Confidently press'd by Divers
Peripateticks, who, to Prove Fire to be the true Analyzer of Bodies,
will Plead, That it is the very Definition of Heat given by
_Aristotle_, and Generally Received, _Congregare Homogenea, &
Heterogenea Segregare_, to Assemble Things of a Resembling, and
Disjoyn those of a Differing Nature. To this I answer, That this
Effect is far from being so Essential to Heat, as 'tis Generally
Imagin'd; for it rather Seems, that the True and Genuine Property of
Heat is, to set a Moving, and thereby to Dissociate the parts of
Bodies, and Subdivide them into Minute Particles, without regard to
their being Homogeneous or Heterogeneous, as is apparent in the
Boyling of Water, the Distillation of Quicksilver, or the Exposing of
Bodies to the action of the Fire, whose Parts either Are not (at
least in that Degree of Heat Appear not) Dissimilar, where all that
the Fire can do, is to Divide the Body into very Minute Parts which
are of the same Nature with one another, and with their _Totum_, as
their Reduction by Condensation Evinces. And even when the Fire seems
most so _Congregare Homogenea, & Segregare Heterogenea_, it Produces
that Effect but by Accident; For the Fire does but Dissolve the
Cement, or rather Shatter the Frame, or [tructure [Errata: structure]
that kept the Heterogeneous Parts of Bodies together, under one Common
Form; upon which Dissolution the Component Particles of the Mixt,
being Freed and set at Liberty, do Naturally, and oftentimes without
any Operation of the Fire, Associate themselves each with its Like, or
rather do take those places which their Several Degrees of Gravity and
Levity, Fixedness or Volatility (either Natural, or Adventitious from
the Impression of the Fire) Assigne them. Thus in the Distillation
(for Instance) of Man's Blood, the Fire do's First begin to Dissolve
the _Nexus_ or Cement of the Body; and then the Water, being the most
Volatile, and Easy to be Extracted, is either by the Igneous Atomes,
or the Agitation they are put into by the Fire, first carried up, till
Forsaken by what carried it up, its Weight sinks it down into the
Receiver: but all this while the other Principles of the Concrete
Remain Unsever'd, and Require a stronger Degree of Heat to make a
Separation of its more Fixt Elements; and therefore the Fire must be
Increas'd which Carries over the Volatile Salt and the Spirit, they
being, though Beleev'd to be Differing Principles, and though Really
of Different Consistency, yet of an almost Equal Volatility. After
them, as less Fugitive, comes over the Oyl, and leaves behinde the
Earth and the _Alcali_, which being of an Equal Fixednesse, the Fire
Severs them not, for all the Definition of the Schools. And if into a
Red-hot Earthen or Iron Retort you cast the Matter to be Distill'd,
You may Observe, as I have often done, that the Predominant Fire will
Carry up all the Volatile Elements Confusedly in one Fume, which will
afterwards take their Places in the Receiver, either according to the
Degree of their Gravity, or according to the Exigency of their
respective Textures; the Salt Adhering, for the most part, to the
Sides and Top, and the Phlegme Fastening it self there too in great
Drops, the Oyle and Spirit placing themselves Under, or Above one
another, according as their Ponderousness makes them Swim or Sink. For
'tis Observable, that though Oyl or Liquid Sulphur be one of the
Elements Separated by this Fiery _Analysis_, yet the Heat which
Accidentally Unites the Particles of the other Volatile Principles,
has not alwayes the same Operation on this, there being divers Bodies
which Yield Two Oyls, whereof the One sinks to the Bottom of that
Spirit on which the other Swims; as I can shew You in some Oyls of the
same Deers Blood, which are yet by Me: Nay I can shew you Two Oyls
carefully made of the same Parcel of Humane Blood, which not only
Differ extreamly in Colour, but Swim upon one another without Mixture,
and if by Agitation Confounded will of themselves Divorce again.

And that the Fire doth oftentimes divide Bodies, upon the account that
some of their Parts are more Fixt, and some more Volatile, how far
soever either of these Two may be from a pure Elementary Nature is
Obvious enough, if Men would but heed it in the Burning of Wood, which
the Fire Dissipates into Smoake and Ashes: For not only the latter of
these is Confessedly made up of two such Differing Bodies as Earth and
Salt; but the Former being condens'd into that Soot which adheres to
our Chimneys, Discovers it self to Contain both Salt and Oyl, and
Spirit and Earth, (and some Portion of Phlegme too) which being, all
almost, Equally Volatile to that Degree of Fire which Forces them up,
(the more Volatile Parts Helping perhaps, as well as the Urgency of
the Fire, to carry up the more Fixt ones, as I have often Try'd in
Dulcify'd _Colcothar_, Sublim'd by _Sal Armoniack_ Blended with it)
are carried Up together, but may afterwards be Separated by other
Degrees of Fire, whose orderly Gradation allowes the Disparity of
their Volatileness to Discover it self. Besides, if Differing Bodies
United into one Mass be both sufficiently Fixt, the Fire finding no
Parts Volatile enough to be Expell'd or carried up, makes no
Separation at all; as may appear by a Mixture of Colliquated Silver
and Gold, whose Component Metals may be easily Sever'd by _Aqua
Fortis_, or _Aqua Regis_ (according to the Predominancy of the Silver
or the Gold) but in the Fire alone, though vehement, the Metals remain
unsever'd, the Fire only dividing the Body into smaller Particles
(whose Littlenesse may be argu'd from their Fluidity) in which either
the little nimble Atoms of Fire, or its brisk and numberless strokes
upon the Vessels, hinder Rest and Continuity, without any
Sequestration of Elementary Principles. Moreover, the Fire sometimes
does not Separate, so much as Unite, Bodies of a differing Nature;
provided they be of an almost resembling Fixedness, and have in the
Figure of their Parts an Aptness to Coalition, as we see in the making
of many Plaisters, Oyntments, &c. And in such Metalline Mixtures as
that made by Melting together two parts of clean Brass with one of
pure Copper, of which some Ingenious Trades-men cast such curious
Patterns (for Gold and Silver Works) as I have sometimes taken great
Pleasure to Look upon. Sometimes the Bodies mingled by the Fire are
Differing enough as to Fixidity and Volatility, and yet are so
combin'd by the first Operation of the Fire, that it self does scarce
afterwards Separate them, but only Pulverize them; whereof an Instance
is afforded us by the Common Preparation of _Mercurius Dulcis_, where
the Saline Particles of the Vitriol, Sea Salt, and sometimes Nitre,
Employ'd to make the Sublimate, do so unite themselves with the
Mercurial Particles made use of, first to Make Sublimate, and then to
Dulcifie it, that the Saline and Metalline Parts arise together in
many successive Sublimations, as if they all made but one Body. And
sometimes too the Fire does not only not Sever the Differing Elements

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