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of a Body, but Combine them so firmly, that Nature her self does very
seldom, if ever, make Unions less Dissoluble. For the Fire meeting
with some Bodies exceedingly and almost equally Fixt, instead of
making a Separation, makes an Union so strict, that it self, alone, is
unable to Dissolve it; As we see, when an Alcalizate Salt and the
Terrestrial Residue of the Ashes are Incorporated with pure Sand, and
by Vitrification made one permanent Body, (I mean the course or
greenish sort of Glass) that mocks the greatest Violence of the Fire,
which though able to Marry the Ingredients of it, yet is not able to
Divorce them. I can shew you some pieces of Glass which I saw flow
down from an Earthen Crucible purposely Expos'd for a good while, with
Silver in it, to a very vehement Fire. And some that deal much in the
Fusion of Metals Informe me, that the melting of a great part of a
Crucible into Glass is no great Wonder in their Furnaces. I remember,
I have Observ'd too in the Melting of great Quantities of Iron out of
the Oar, by the Help of store of Charcoal (for they Affirm that
Sea-Coal will not yield a Flame strong enough) that by the prodigious
Vehemence of the Fire, Excited by vast Bellows (made to play by great
Wheels turn'd about by Water) part of the Materials Expos'd to it was,
instead of being Analyz'd, Colliquated, and turn'd into a Dark, Solid
and very Ponderous Glass, and that in such Quantity, that in some
places I have seen the very High-wayes, neer such Iron-works, mended
with Heaps of such Lumps of Glasse, instead of Stones and Gravel. And
I have also Observ'd, that some kind of Fire-stone it Self, having
been employ'd in Furnaces wherein it was expos'd to very strong and
lasting Fires, has had all its Fixt Parts so Wrought on by the Fire,
as to be Perfectly Vitrifi'd, which I have try'd by Forcing from it
Pretty large Pieces of Perfect and Transparent Glass. And lest You
might think, _Eleutherius_, that the Question'd Definition of Heat may
be Demonstrated, by the Definition which is wont to be given and
Acquiesc'd in, of its contrary Quality, Cold, whose property is taught
to be _tam Homogenea, quam Heterogenea congregare_; Give me leave to
represent to You, that neither is this Definition unquestionable; for
not to Mention the Exceptions, which a _Logician_, as such, may Take
at it, I Consider that the Union of Heterogeneous Bodies which is
Suppos'd to be the Genuine Production of Cold, is not Perform'd by
every Degree of Cold. For we see for Instance that in the Urine of
Healthy Men, when the Liquor has been Suffer'd a while to stand, the
Cold makes a Separation of the Thinner Part from the Grosser, which
Subsides to the Bottom, and Growes Opacous there; whereas if the
Urinal be Warme, these Parts readily Mingle again, and the whole
Liquor becomes Transparent as before. And when, by Glaciation, Wood,
Straw, Dust, Water, &c. are Suppos'd to be United into one Lump of
Ice, the Cold does not Cause any Real Union or Adunation, (if I may so
Speak) of these Bodies, but only Hardening the Aqueous Parts of the
Liquor into Ice, the other Bodies being Accidentally Present in that
Liquor are frozen up in it, but not Really United. And accordingly if
we Expose a Heap of Mony Consisting of Gold, Silver and Copper Coynes,
or any other Bodies of Differing Natures, which are Destitute of
Aqueous Moisture, Capable of Congelation, to never so intense a Cold,
we find not that these Differing Bodies are at all thereby so much as
Compacted, much less United together; and even in Liquors Themselves
we find _Phænomena_ which Induce us to Question the Definition which
we are examining. If _Paracelsus_ his Authority were to be look't upon
as a Sufficient Proof in matters of this Nature, I might here insist
on that Process of his, whereby he Teaches that the Essence of Wine
may be Sever'd from the Phlegme and Ignoble Part by the Assistance of
Congelation: and because much Weight has been laid upon this Process,
not only by _Paracelsians_, but other Writers, some of whom seem not
to have perus'd it themselves, I shall give You the entire Passage in
the Authors own Words, as I lately found them in the sixth Book of his
_Archidoxis_, an Extract whereof I have yet about me; and it sounds
thus. _De Vino sciendum est, fæcem phlegmaque ejus esse Mineram, &
Vini substantiam esse corpus in quo conservatur Essentia, prout auri
in auro latet Essentia. Juxta quod Practicam nobis ad Memoriam
ponimus, ut non obliviscamur, ad hunc modum: Recipe Vinum
vetustissimum & optimum quod habere poteris, calore saporeque ad
placitum, hoc in vas vitreum infundas ut tertiam ejus partem impleat,
& sigillo Hermetis occlusum in equino ventre mensibus quatuor, & in
continuato calore teneatur qui non deficiat. Quo peracto, Hyeme cum
frigus & gelu maxime sæviunt, his per mensem exponatur ut congeletur.
Ad hunc modum frigus vini spiritum una cum ejus substantia protrudit
in vini centrum, ac separat a phlegmate: Congelatum abjice, quod vero
congelatum non est, id Spiritum cum substantia esse judicato. Hunc in
Pelicanum positum in arenæ digestione non adeo calida per aliquod
tempus manere finito; Postmodum eximito vini Magisterium, de quo
locuti sumus._

But I dare not _Eleu._ lay much Weight upon this Process, because I
have found that if it were True, it would be but seldom Practicable in
this Country upon the best Wine: for Though this present Winter hath
been Extraordinary Cold, yet in very Keen Frosts accompanied with
lasting Snowes, I have not been able in any Measure to Freeze a thin
Vial full of Sack; and even with Snow and Salt I could Freeze little
more then the Surface of it; and I suppose _Eleu._ that tis not every
Degree of Cold that is Capable of Congealing Liquors, which is able to
make such an _Analysis_ (if I may so call it) of them by Separating
their Aqueous and Spirituous Parts; for I have sometimes, though not
often, frozen severally, Red-wine, Urine and Milk, but could not
Observe the expected Separation. And the Dutch-Men that were forc'd to
Winter in that Icie Region neer the Artick Circle, call'd _Nova
Zembla_, although they relate, as we shall see below, that there was a
Separation of Parts made in their frozen Beer about the middle of
_November_, yet of the Freezing of their Back [Errata: Sack] in
_December_ following they give but this Account: _Yea and our Sack,
which is so hot, was Frozen very hard, so that when we were every Man
to have his part, we were forc'd to melt it in the Fire; which we
shar'd every second Day, about half a Pinte for a Man, wherewith we
were forc'd to sustain our selves._ In which words they imply not,
that their Back [Errata: Sack] was divided by the Frost into differing
Substances, after such manner as their Beer had been. All which
notwithstanding, _Eleu._ suppose that it may be made to appear, that
even Cold sometimes may _Congregare Homogenea, & Heterogenea
Segregare_: and to Manifest this I may tell you, that I did once,
purposely cause to be Decocted in fair Water a Plant abounding with
Sulphureous and Spirituous Parts, and having expos'd the Decoction to
a keen North-Wind in a very Frosty Night, I observ'd, that the more
Aqueous Parts of it were turn'd by the next Morning into Ice, towards
the innermost part of which, the more Agile and Spirituous parts, as I
then conjectur'd, having Retreated, to shun as much as might be their
Environing Enemy, they had there preserv'd themselves unfrozen in the
Form of a high colour'd Liquor, the Aqueous and Spirituous parts
having been so sleightly (Blended rather than) United in the
Decoction, that they were easily Separable by such a Degree of Cold as
would not have been able to have Divorc'd the Parts of Urine or Wine,
which by Fermentation or Digestion are wont, as Tryal has inform'd me,
to be more intimately associated each with other. But I have already
intimated, _Eleutherius_, that I shall not Insist on this Experiment,
not only because, having made it but once I may possibly have been
mistaken in it; but also (and that principally) because of that much
more full and eminent Experiment of the Separative Virtue of extream
Cold, that was made, against their Wills, by the foremention'd Dutch
men that Winter'd in _Nova Zembla_; the Relation of whose Voyage being
a very scarce Book, it will not be amiss to give you that Memorable
part of it which concerns our present Theme, as I caus'd the Passage
to be extracted out of the Englished Voyage it self.

"_Gerard de Veer_, _John Cornelyson_ and Others, sent out of
_Amsterdam_, _Anno Dom._ 1596. being forc'd by unseasonable Weather to
Winter in _Nova Zembla_, neer Ice-Haven; on the thirteenth of
_October_, Three of us (sayes the Relation) went aboard the Ship, and
laded a Sled with Beer; but when we had laden it, thinking to go to
our House with it, suddenly there arose such a Winde, and so great a
Storm and Cold, that we were forc'd to go into the Ship again, because
we were not able to stay without; and we could not get the Beer into
the Ship again, but were forc'd to let it stand without upon the Sled:
the Fourteenth, as we came out of the Ship, we found the Barrel of
Beer standing upon the Sled, but it was fast frozen at the Heads; yet
by reason of the great Cold, the Beer that purg'd out froze as hard
upon the Side of the Barrel, as if it had been glu'd thereon: and in
that sort we drew it to our House, and set the Barrel an end, and
drank it up; but first we were forc'd to melt the Beer, for there was
scarce any unfrozen Beer in the barrel; but in that thick Yiest that
was unfrozen lay the Strength of the Beer, so that it was too strong
to drink alone, and that which was frozen tasted like Water; and being
melted we Mix'd one with the other, and so drank it; but it had
neither Strength nor Taste."

And on this Occasion I remember, that having the last very Sharp
Winter purposely try'd to Freeze, among other Liquors, some Beer
moderately strong, in Glass Vessels, with Snow and Salt, I observ'd,
that there came out of the Neck a certain thick Substance, which, it
seems, was much better able then the rest of the Liquor (that I found
turn'd into Ice) to resist a Frost, and which, by its Colour and
consistence seem'd mafestly [Transcriber's Note: manifestly] enough
to be Yiest, whereat, I confess, I somewhat marvail'd, because I did
not either discerne by the Taste, or find by Enquiry, that the Beer
was at all too New to be very fit to be Drank. I might confirm the
Dutchmens Relation, by what happen'd a while since to a neere Friend
of mine, who complained to me, that having Brew'd some Beer or Ale for
his own drinking in _Holland_ (where he then dwelt) the Keenness of
the late bitter Winter froze the Drink so as to reduce it into Ice,
and a small Proportion of a very Strong and Spirituous Liquor. But I
must not entertain you any longer concerning Cold, not onely because
you may think I have but lost my way into a Theme which does not
directly belong to my present Undertaking; but because I have already
enlarg'd my self too much upon the first Consideration I propos'd,
though it appears so much a Paradox, that it seem'd to Require that I
should say much to keep it from being thought a meere Extravagance;
yet since I Undertook but to make the common Assumption of our
Chymists and _Aristotelians_ appear Questionable, I hope I have so
Perform'd that Task, that I may now Proceed to my Following
Considerations, and Insist lesse on them than I have done on the
First.




THE

SCEPTICAL CHYMIST.

_The Second Part._


The Second Consideration I Desire to have Notice Taken of, is This,
That it is not so Sure, as Both Chymists and _Aristotelians_ are wont
to Think it, that every Seemingly Similar or Distinct Substance that
is Separated from a Body by the Help of the Fire, was Pre existent in
it as a Principle or Element of it.

That I may not make this Paradox a Greater then I needs must, I will
First Briefly Explain what the Proposition means, before I proceed to
Argue for it.

And I suppose You will easily Believe That I do not mean that any
thing is separable from a Body by Fire, that was not Materially
pre-existent in it; for it Far Exceeds the power of Meerly Naturall
Agents, and Consequently of the Fire, to produce anew, so Much as one
Atome of Matter, which they can but Modifie and Alter, not Create;
which is so Obvious a Truth, that almost all Sects of Philosophers
have Deny'd the Power of producing Matter to Second Causes; and the
_Epicureans_ and some Others have Done the Like, in Reference to their
Gods themselves.

Nor does the Proposition peremptorily Deny but that some Things
Obtain'd by the Fire from a Mixt Body, may have been more then barely
Materially pre-existent in it, since there are Concretes, which before
they be Expos'd to the Fire afford us several Documents of their
abounding, some with Salt, and Others with Sulphur. For it will serve
the present Turn, if it appear that diverse things Obtain'd from a
Mixt Body expos'd to the Fire, were not its Ingredients Before: for if
this be made to appear it, will [Errata: appear, it will] be Rationall
enough to suspect that Chymists may Decieve themselves, and Others,
in concluding Resolutely and Universally, those Substances to be the
Elementary Ingredients of Bodies barely separated by the Fire, of
which it yet may be Doubted Whether there be such or No; at least till
some other Argument then that drawn from the _Analysis_ be Brought to
resolve the Doubt.

That then which I Mean by the Proposition I am Explaining, is, That it
may without Absurdity be Doubted whether or no the Differing
Substances Obtainable from a Concrete Dissipated by the Fire were so
Exsistent in it in that Forme (at least as to their minute Parts)
wherein we find them when the _Analysis_ is over, that the Fire did
only Dis-joyne and Extricate the Corpuscles of one Principle from
those of the other wherewith before they were Blended.

Having thus Explain'd my Proposition, I shall endeavour to do two
things, to prove it; The first of which is to shew that such
Substances as Chymists call Principles May be produc'd _De novo_ (as
they speak.) And the other is to make it probable that by the Fire we
may Actually obtain from some Mixt Bodies such Substances as were not
in the Newly Expounded sence, pre-existent in them.

To begin then with the First of these, I Consider that if it be as
true as 'tis probable, that Compounded Bodies Differ from One Another
but in the Various Textures Resulting from the Bigness, Shape, Motion,
and contrivance of their smal parts, It will not be Irrationall to
conceive that one and the same parcel of the Universal Matter may by
Various Alterations and Contextures be brought to Deserve the Name,
somtimes of a Sulphureous, and sometimes of a Terrene, or Aqueous
Body. And this I could more largely Explicate, but that our Friend Mr.
_Boyle_ has promis'd us something about Qualities, wherein the Theme I
now willingly Resign him, Will I Question not be Studiously Enquired
into. Wherefore what I shall now advance in favour of what I have
lately Deliver'd shall be Deduc'd from Experiments made Divers Years
since. The first of which would have been much more considerable, but
that by some intervening Accidents I was Necessitated to lose the best
time of the year, for a trial of the Nature of that I design'd; it
being about he [Transcriber's Note: the] middle of _May_ before I was
able to begin an Experiment which should have then been two moneths
old; but such as it was, it will not perhaps be impertinent to Give
You this Narrative of it. At the time newly Mention'd, I caus'd My
Gardiner (being by Urgent Occasions Hinder'd from being present
myself) to dig out a convenient quantity of good Earth, and dry it
well in an Oven, to weigh it, to put it in an Earthen pot almost level
with the Surface of the ground, and to set in it a selected seed he
had before received from me, for that purpose, of Squash, which is an
Indian kind of Pompion, that Growes apace; this seed I Ordered Him to
Water only with Rain or Spring Water. I did not (when my Occasions
permitted me to visit it) without delight behold how fast it Grew,
though unseasonably sown; but the Hastning Winter Hinder'd it from
attaining any thing neer its due and Wonted magnitude; (for I found
the same Autumn, in my Garden, some of those plants, by Measure, as
big about as my Middle) and made me order the having it taken Up;
Which about the Middle of _October_ was carefully Done by the same
Gardiner, who a while after sent me this account of it; _I have
Weighed the Pompion with the Stalk and Leaves, all which Weighed three
pound wanting a quarter; Then I took the Earth, baked it as formerly,
and found it just as much as I did at First, which made me think I had
not dry'd it Sufficiently: then I put it into the Oven twice More,
after the Bread was Drawn, and Weighed it the Second time, but found
it Shrink little or nothing._

But to deal Candidly with You, _Eleutherius_, I must not conceal from
You the Event of another Experiment of this Kind made this present
Summer, wherein the Earth seems to have been much more Wasted; as may
appear by the following account, Lately sent me by the same Gardiner,
in these Words. _To give You an Account of your Cucumbers, I have
Gain'd two Indifferent Fair Ones, the Weight of them is ten Pound and
a Halfe, the Branches with the Roots Weighed four Pounds wanting two
Ounces; and when I had weighed them I took the Earth, and bak'd it in
several small Earthen Dishes in an Oven; and when I had so done, I
found the Earth wanted a Pound and a halfe of what it was formerly;
yet I was not satisfi'd, doubting the Earth was not dry: I put it into
an Oven the Second Time, (after the Bread was drawn) and after I had
taken it out and weighed it, I found it to be the Same Weight: So I
Suppose there was no Moisture left in the Earth. Neither do I think
that the Pound and Halfe that was wanting was Drawn away by the
Cucumber but a great Part of it in the Ordering was in Dust (and the
like) wasted: (the Cucumbers are kept by themselves, lest You should
send for them.)_ But yet in this Tryal, _Eleutherius_, it appears that
though some of the Earth, or rather the dissoluble Salt harbour'd in
it, were wasted, the main Body of the Plant consisted of Transmuted
Water. And I might add, that a year after I caus'd the formerly
mentioned Experiment, touching large Pompions, to be reiterated, with
so good success, that if my memory does not much mis-inform me, it did
not only much surpass any that I made before, but seem'd strangely to
conclude what I am pleading for; though (by reason I have unhappily
lost the particular Account my Gardiner writ me up of the
Circumstances) I dare not insist upon them. The like Experiment may be
as conveniently try'd with the seeds of any Plant, whose growth is
hasty, and its size Bulky. If Tobacco will in These Cold Climates Grow
well in Earth undung'd, it would not be amiss to make a Tryal with it;
for 'tis an annual Plant, that arises where it prospers, sometimes as
high as a Tall Man; and I have had leaves of it in my Garden neer a
Foot and a Halfe broad. But the next time I Try this Experiment, it
shall be with several seeds of the same sort, in the same pot of
Earth, that so the event may be the more Conspicuous. But because
every Body has not Conveniency of time and place for this Experiment
neither, I made in my Chamber, some shorter and more Expeditions
[Transcriber's Note: Expeditious] Tryals. I took a Top of Spearmint,
about an Inch Long, and put it into a good Vial full of Spring water,
so as the upper part of the Mint was above the neck of the Glass, and
the lower part Immers'd in the Water; within a few Dayes this Mint
began to shoot forth Roots into the Water, and to display its Leaves,
and aspire upwards; and in a short time it had numerous Roots and
Leaves, and these very strong and fragrant of the Odour of the Mint:
but the Heat of my Chamber, as I suppose, kill'd the Plant when it was
grown to have a pretty thick Stalk, which with the various and
ramified Roots, which it shot into the Water as if it had been Earth,
presented in its Transparent Flower-pot a Spectacle not unpleasant to
behold. The like I try'd with sweet Marjoram, and I found the
Experiment succeed also, though somewhat more slowly, with Balme and
Peniroyal, to name now no other Plants. And one of these Vegetables,
cherish'd only by Water, having obtain'd a competent Growth, I did,
for Tryals sake, cause to be Distill'd in a small Retort, and thereby
obtain'd some Phlegme, a little Empyreumaticall Spirit, a small
Quantity of adust Oyl, and a _Caput mortuum_; which appearing to be a
Coal concluded it to consist of Salt and Earth: but the Quantity of
it was so small that I forbore to Calcine it. The Water I us'd to
nourish this Plant was not shifted nor renewed; and I chose
Spring-water rather than Rain-water, because the latter is more
discernably a kinde of [Greek: panspermia], which, though it be
granted to be freed from grosser Mixtures, seems yet to Contain in it,
besides the Steams of several Bodies wandering in the Air, which may
be suppos'd to impregnate it, a certain Spirituous Substance, which
may be Extracted out of it, and is by some mistaken for the Spirit of
the World Corporify'd, upon what Grounds, and with what Probability, I
may elsewhere perchance, but must not now, Discourse to you.

But perhaps I might have sav'd a great part of my Labour. For I finde
that _Helmont_ (an Author more considerable for his Experiments than
many Learned men are pleas'd to think him) having had an Opportunity
to prosecute an Experiment much of the same nature with those I have
been now speaking of, for five Years together, obtain'd at the end of
that time so notable a Quantity of Transmuted Water, that I should
scarce Think it fit to have his Experiment, and Mine Mention'd
together, were it not that the Length of Time Requisite to this may
deterr the Curiosity of some, and exceed the leasure of Others; and
partly, that so Paradoxical a Truth as that which these Experiments
seem to hold forth, needs to be Confirm'd by more Witnesses then one,
especially since the Extravagancies and Untruths to be met with in
_Helmonts_ Treatise of the Magnetick Cure of Wounds, have made his
Testimonies suspected in his other Writings, though as to some of the
Unlikely matters of Fact he delivers in them, I might safely undertake
to be his Compurgator. But that Experiment of his which I was
mentioning to You, he sayes, was this. He took 200 pound of Earth
dry'd in an Oven, and having put it into an Earthen Vessel and
moisten'd it with Raine water he planted in it the Trunk of a Willow
tree of five pound Weight; this he Water'd, as need required, with
Rain or with Distill'd Water; and to keep the Neighbouring Earth from
getting into the Vessell, he employ'd a plate of Iron tinn'd over and
perforated with many holes. Five years being efflux'd, he took out
the Tree and weighed it, and (with computing the leaves that fell
during four Autumnes) he found it to weigh 169 pound, and about three
Ounces. And Having again Dry'd the Earth it grew in, he found it want
of its Former Weight of 200 Pound, about a couple only of Ounces; so
that 164 pound of the Roots, Wood, and Bark, which Constituted the
Tree, seem to have Sprung from the Water. And though it appears not
that _Helmont_ had the Curiosity to make any _Analysis_ of this Plant,
yet what I lately told You I did to One of the Vegetables I nourish'd
with Water only, will I suppose keep You from Doubting that if he had
Distill'd this Tree, it would have afforded him the like Distinct
Substances as another Vegetable of the same kind. I need not Subjoyne
that I had it also in my thoughts to try how Experiments to the same
purpose with those I related to You would succeed in other Bodies then
Vegetables, because importunate Avocations having hitherto hinder'd me
from putting my Design in Practise, I can yet speak but Confecturally
[Transcriber's Note: Conjecturally] of the Success: but the best is,
that the Experiments already made and mention'd to you need not the
Assistance of new Ones, to Verifie as much as my present task makes it
concern me to prove by Experiments of this Nature.

One would suspect (sayes _Eleutherius_ after his long silence) by what
You have been discoursing, that You are not far from _Helmonts_
Opinion about the Origination of Compound Bodies, and perhaps too
dislike not the Arguments which he imployes to prove it.

What _Helmontian_ Opinion, and what Arguments do you mean (askes


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