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The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) online

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The Immersions and Emersions of the four Satellites of Jupiter, for the Year
1738, computed to the Meridian of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.
By James Hodgson, F. R. S. N°443, p. 301.

Mr. Hodgson's usual annual calculation of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites:
but omitted, for the same reason as before.

On the Fiper-catchers, and their Remedy for the Bite of a Viper. By William
Burton, M.D. at Windsor. N° 443, p. 312.

William Oliver and his wife called on Dr. B. with their vipers, and either of
them offered to be bitten by any viper, and to suffer their arm to swell for
some tiuie ; and then, by the external application of a common cheap remedy,
in a few hours to remove all the symptoms. Accordingly the experiment was
made in the town-hall at Windsor, before Dr. Derham, Dr. Waterland, the
physicians, apothecaries, and surgeons of this town, and many other gentle-
men of the neighbourhood. The man was bitten in the upper joint of the
thumb, and higher upon the same arm, by two different fresh vipers. His
thumb, hand and arm soon after swelled much, and all the usual symptoms
of a viper-bite followed. He applied the remedy [sallad oil] before us, with
the promised success.

^n Account of the Experiments made June 1, 1734, before several Members of
the Royal Society, and others, on a Man, who suffered himself to be bitten by
a Viper, or common Adder; and on other Animals likewise bitten by the same,
and other Vipers. By Cromwell Mortimer, M. D. Seer. R. S. With some
Remarks on the Cure of the Bite of a Mad Dog. N° 443, p. 313.

William Oliver and his wife, from Bath, who follow the business of catching
and selling vipers, offered themselves to be bitten by any viper that should be
procured, trusting to the virtue of a remedy they had discovered in trying a va-
riety of things, when the woman was once accidentally bitten, and the usual
known medicines, even the oil of vipers, had no effect in assuaging her pains,
especially of her breast on the same side as the hand in which she had received
the wound. This remedy, which is only common oil of olives, and, from its
use with sallad, is commonly known by the name of sallad oil, recommends
itself not only for its efficacy, but also on account of its being readily to be
come at when accidents happen.

On the 1st of June 1734, in the presence of a great number of persons.


the said William Oliver was bitten by an old black viper, or adder, brought by
one of the company, on the wrist and joint of the thumb of the right hand,
so that drops of blood came from the wounds. He said that he immediately
felt a violent pain and shooting from the wounds, both to the top of his thumb
and up his arm, even before the viper was loosened from his hand; soon after
he felt a pain, resembling that of burning, trickle up his arm ; in a few minutes
his eyes began to look red and fiery, and to water much: in less than half an
hour, he perceived the venom seize his heart, with a pricking pain, which was
attended with faintness and shortness of breath; on which he fell into violent
cold sweats: in a few minutes after this, his belly began to swell, with great
gripings and pains in his back, which were attended with violent vomitings and
purgings. He said, that during the violence of these symptoms, his sight was
gone twice, for several minutes at a time, but that he could hear all the while.
He said, that in his former experiments he had never deferred making use of
his remedy longer than when he perceived the effects of the venom reaching his
heart; but this time, being willing to satisfy the company thoroughly, and
trusting to the speedy effects of the oil, which had never failed him, when used
in time, he forbore to apply any thing till he found himself exceedingly ill, and
quite giddy.

About an hour and quarter after he had been first bitten, a chafing-dish of
glowing charcoal was brought in, and his arm, the cloths being stripped off, was
held over it, as near as he could bear it, while his wife rubbed in with her hand
the sallad oil, (which Dr. M. had procured and kept himself in his pocket, lest
they should privately add any thing to it, having bought it by the name of Lucca
oil). Turning his arm continually round, as if she would have roasted it over the
coals; he said that the pain soon abated, but the swelling did not diminish
much, most violent vomitings and purgings soon ensued, and his pulse became
so low, and so often interrupted, that it was thought proper by the physicians
present, to give him the following cordial draughts, at about a quarter of an
hour's distance between each.

I. R. Aq. lact. paeon, comp. aa. fiij. Sp. lavendulas 3i. m. pro duobus

2. R. Confect. Raleigh. 3SS. aq. theriacal, §iss. sp. c. c. g". x. m. f. haustus.

3. R. Confect. Raleigh, theriac. Andromach. aa. 3SS. sal. c. c. gr. v. aq. the-
riacal. §ij. pro duobus haustibus.

He said he was not sensible of any great relief from these cordials; but that
a glass or two of olive oil drank down, seemed to give him some case.

Continuing in this dangerous condition, he was put to bed, as soon as one
could be got ready for him, where his arm was again bathed with his remedy


over a pan of charcoal set by the bed-side; but continuing to complain much
of his back and belly, Dr. M. advised his wife to rub them likewise with sallad
oil, heated in a ladle over the charcoal: which she did accordingly; on which
he declared he found immediate ease, as if by some charm; and he had not
above two or three retchings to vomit and stools afterwards, but made water
plentifully, which was not discoloured. He then soon fell into a sound sleep;
only was often interrupted by persons coming to see and inquire after him, till
near 12 o'olock, from which time he slept continually to 5 or 6 next morning,
when he awaked, and found himself very well; but in the afternoon, on drink-
ing some rum and strong beer, so as to be almost fuddled, the swelling returned
with much pain, and cold sweats; which abated soon, on bathing the arm as
before, and wrapping it up in brown paper soaked with oil.

Immediately after the man, two pigeons were bitten by the same viper. They
soon sickened, and seemed giddy. Nothing being applied, the one died in
about an hour's time, the other half an hour after. The flesh of both was
turned quite black, as if mortified; the blood was coagulated, and looked

June 3, the man's arm remained swelled, looked red, marbled with spots
of yellow, but felt soft; and he had the perfect use of it, and even of his
fingers, no pain or stiffness being left. He then caused a small spaniel dog to
be bitten on the nose by a fresh viper; some oil was immediately applied hot,
and rubbed well in, till all the hair of his nose was thoroughly wet ; the dog
did not seem very uneasy; his nose only swelled a little; he eat soon after; his
nose was bathed once more that evening ; he was found very well next morning;
but his nose was bathed again, to make sure of his cure; he remained per-
fectly well without any symptoms ensuing, and was alive and well a year after.

Another pigeon was likewise bitten under the wing at the same time as the
dog, but by a fresh viper. The oil was immediately applied hot, and rubbed
well in, and the feathers of the wing were thoroughly wetted with it. This
bird did not seem at all disordered with the venom, but ate soon after, and was
found well the next morning, without any remarkable inflammation or swelling
about the part. The hot oil was rubbed in again for 2 or 3 days, twice a day,
and the bird continued well, so that the viper- catchers carried it with them out
of town in triumph, having never before experienced the efficacy of their
remedy on so small an animal; which, as it receives the same quantity of
venom by a bite as a larger one, is more liable to die under it; and they kept it
alive above 3 months, when they killed it and ate it.

They said that they had experienced their remedy to take effect on cows,
horses, and dogs, 10 hours after being bitten; but that for themselves, who


were frequently bitten in the they caught the vipers, they always carried
a phial of sallad oil along with them, that as soon as they perceived themselves
wounded, they without any loss of time bathed the part with it; and if it was the
heel, they wet the stocking thoroughly with it; if the finger, which happened
oftenest, they poured some of it into that finger of their glove, which they im-
mediately put on again, and thus never fell any further inconvenience from
the accident, not even so much as from the sting of a common bee.

Perhaps the oil may be found of use in the bite of rattle- snakes, and other
venomous animals; especially if we consider, that in the fields a man seldom
or never receives more than one bite at a time, which does not infect him with
so much venom as was instilled into the man's blood, when in these voluntary
experiments he suffered himself to be bitten twice together; and had likewise
been bitten 3 times but about a week or 10 days before; some remains of which
venom, it is highly reasonable to imagine, might still infect his blood at the
time he repeated the experiments, so as to make a fresh quantity of the venom
operate with greater violence on his body, than if he had been quite a fresh
man, never infected with the like poison before, or at least at so great an in-
terval of time, tliat his blood might have been entirely free from all remains of
such an acrid infection. From these experiments is it not reasonable to imagine,
that the oil by itself may be as efficacious against the sting of a scorpion, as
if scorpions were infused in it?

Thus then a remedy against the bite of the viper is as publicly known as the
famous Dampier's powder against the bite of a mad dog, first published by Sir
Hans Sloane, Bart, when seer. R. S. in N° 237 of these Transactions, Anno
1698;* which afterwards, when he was president of the Royal College of Phy-

• The lichen cinereus terrestris is mentioned as being said to be exceedingly efficacious in curing
dogs bitten by mad dogs; in a letter of Mr. Oldenburg's, seer. R. S. Lend. July 6, l672. See
Derham's Collection of Philosophical Letters between Mr. Ray and his Correspondents, p. no
printed at London, 1718, 8vo.

Dr. M. thought it proper to add the following passage taken out of the Journal-book of the Royal
Society, supposing it to be what Mr. Oldenburgh hints at in his letter.

" Nov. 16, 1671. (Sir Robert Moray) exhibited a certain plant, which was by Mr. Wray called
lichen terrestris cinereus, said by Sir Robert Moray to be very good to cure dogs bitten by mad dogs:
His Royal Highness having caused it to be given to a whole kennel of dogs, bitten by a mad one,
which were all cured, except one of them, to whom none of it was given."

The specimen was kept in the repository.

The same virtue is likewise ascribed to this plant, in the third part of Morison's Plantar. Hist.
Oxon. published at Oxford, Anno l6"99. in folio, p. 632, where tlie author, speaking of the lichen
terrestris cinereua. Rail Hist, et Synops. says, Adversus morsum canis rabidi egregium est medica-

Dampier, and the College of Physicians, in their Pulv. Antilyssui, prescribe equal quantities of the


sicians, by his proposal, was introduced into the London Pharmacopoeia, under
the name of Pulvis Antilyssus, Anno 1720. The composition of which is,
ash-coloured ground liver-wort and black pepper: the manner of giving it, not
only to men, but to dogs and cattle, being accurately set down in the above-
mentioned Transaction. Thus it is hoped, that certain cures are discovered for
the only two sorts of venomous bites of animals, to which the happy soil of
Great Britain exposes its inhabitants.

A brief Account, by Mr. John Eames, F.R.S. of a Work entitled. The Method
of Fluxions and Infinite Series, with its Application to the Geometry of Curve
Lines, by the Inventor Sir Isaac Newton, Kt. &c. Translated from the Ori-
ginal, not yet public. To which is subjoined a perpetual Comment upon the
whole, CSfc. by John Colson, M. A. and F. R. S. N° 443, p. 320.

This posthumous work of our late excellent president, a translation of which
we have now received from the hand of the learned and ingenious Mr. Colson,
has been long and impatiently expected by the curious in these matters; and
now it appears, it will fully answer, if not exceed, those expectations, as well
as confirm the reputation the author has so justly acquired by his other writings.
For it is written with the same genius and acumen, it explains the principles of
his method of fluxions with great clearness and accuracy, and applies those
principles to very general and scientific speculations in the higher geometry.
And further to explain this work, and to supply such things, for the use of
common readers, as the author, according to his usual brevity, has often
omitted; the translator has given a comment on a good part of the work, and
has promised the rest at a proper season.

lichen and pepper: but Dr. Mead, in a single quarto leaf, published by him Anno 1735, altered the
proportions of the composition, prescribing double the quantity of lichen to that of the pepper. This
difference in the proportions must be left to the judgment of practitioners ; but on the authority of
another minute in the Society's Journal-books, it may not be improper to make an addition to the
abovementioned Dampier's powder.

" March 7, 1671-2. Sir Robert Moray mentioned, that a whole kennel of dogs, belonging to his
Royal Highness, were bitten by a mad dog, and had been lately cured by a certain herb called stel-
laria, or star of the earth."

This plant is the lychnis viscosa, flore muscoso Casp. Bauhin. in English, Spanish catch-fly. See
these Transactions, N° 187, where is a receipt to cure mad dogs, &c. in which this plant is a prin-
cipal ingredient; which receipt, communicated by Sir Robert Gourdon, was there published by his
Majesty's (special) command. Anno l687.

Therefore, suppose the composition were to be thus :

Take ash-coloured ground liver-wort, black pepper, and the herb Spanish catch-fly, all finely
powdered, of each 2 drachms, for 4 doses, to be taken as Dampier prescribes in his letter in these
Transactions, N" 237. Orig.


This text may very well be divided into three parts: an introduction, con-
taining the method of infinite series; the method of fluxions and fluents; and
lastly, the application of both to the most considerable problems of the higher
geometry. The comment consists of very valuable and curious annotations,
illustrations, and supplements, in order to make the whole a complete institu-
tion for the use of learners.

Of an Inguinal Rupture, with a Pin in the Appendix Cceci, incrusted with Stone;
and some Observations on fVounds in the Guts, By Claudius jimyand, Esq.
F. R. S. N° 443, p. 329.

Oct. 8, 1735, Hanvil Anderson, a boy 11 years of age, was admitted into
St. George's Hospital, for the cure of a hernia scrotalis, which he had from his
infancy, and a fistula between the scrotum and thigh terminating into it, which
for a month before had discharged a great quantity of an unkindly matter.
The rupture was small, and not troublesome, and part of it could be replaced;
but as it appeared that the sinuous ulcer sprung from that part that could not, it
was evident that the cure of the fistula depended on the cure of the hernia,
which latter could be obtained by no other operation than that for the bubono-
cele, which was agreed to, and performed the 6th of December following.

This operation proved the most complicated and perplexing Mr. A. ever met
with, many unsuspected oddities and events concurring to make it as intricate
as it proved laborious and difficult.

This tumour, principally composed of the omentum, was about the size of
a small pippin ; in it was found the appendix coeci perforated by a pin incrusted
with stone towards the head, the point of. which having perforated that gut,
gave way to a discharge of faeces through the fistulous opening in it, as the
portion of the pin obturating the aperture in it shifted its situation. The ab-
scess formed in the hernial bag occasionally, and the suppuration for 2 months
last past from this place.outwardly, had knit and confounded, and, as it were,
embodied together the gut and omentum with the hernial bag, and these with
the spermatic vessels and the testicle; so that it was as difficult to distinguish
them from each other, as it was to separate them without wounding them ;
this pin, whose point was fixed in the omentum, continually shifting its situa-
tion, and occasioning a discharge of fseces. The pin frequently lying in the
way of the knife, and starting out of the wounded gut, as a shot out of a gun,
the inundation of faeces on this occasion, from a gut which could not well be
distinguished, were so many difficulties in the way; but the greatest yet was,
what to do with the gut, which all this while was unknown, and could not be

TOL. vin. N


known till the operation was over; for this appendix coeci, which was the only
gut found in the rupture, was so contracted, carnous, duplicated, and changed
in its figure and substance, that it was impossible to determine what kind of
gut it was, or to find out that it was only this appendix elongated, and in

None of these difficulties were apprehended when the operation was under-
taken, in which Mr. A. proceeded as usual ; the omentum, lying uppermost in
the hernial bag, was dissected from the parts it was knit to, and particularly the
gut it was embodied with, and afterwards cut off close to the abdominal muscles,
without any previous ligature, the vessels in it being small, and its substance
more like a sweet-bread than a caul.

Much time was spent in this dissection; the operator being straitened for
room, and greatly disturbed by the discharge of the faeces coming out of the
gut, on every motion the pin lodged in it, and the omentum suffered, on the
separation of these from each other. The gut forming a double tube, like a
double-jointed syphon, continuing in the curve as it passed over the testicle and
spermatics, was separated one part from the other, and from the adjacent parts,
as far as the aperture in the abdominal muscles, where its imperforated end was
separated from them, and thence stretched out and unfolded, which brought in
view the aperture made in it by the pin, hitherto concealed, through which
that part of it, which was incrusted with chalk, had just made its way out on
an occasional pressure, as a cork out of a bottle. It was the opinion of the
physicians and surgeons present, to amputate this gut: to which end a circular
ligature was made about the sound part of it, 2 inches above the aperture; and
this, being cut off an inch below the ligature, was replaced in the abdomen, in
such a manner that an artificial anus might be made there, if the patient's case
should require it. Afterwards so much of the hernial bag as had been detached
from the skin, the spermatics, &c. was cut off, which, as they appeared in a
sound state, were preserved in situ. The fistulous opening adjoining to the
thigh, and answering to the aperture in the gut, was opened; some angles of
skin in the way removed ; the aperture in the muscles, which had been enlarged
by incision, was stopped up with a tent; and the rest of the dressings and the
situation of the patient ordered so, as to remove from the wound all such pres-
sure from within, as might disturb the cure.

It is easy to conceive that this operation was as painful to the patient as labo-
rious to Mr. A ; it was a continued dissection, attended with danger on parts
not well distinguished; it lasted near half an hour, during which the patient
vomited largely, and had several stools, but was soon composed by i oz. of
diacodium, and emollient embrocations and fomentations, frequently applied


warm on the belly; he was blooded, and an emollient carminative oily clystei*
was ordered to be applied in the evening; but as he was easy, and the belly not
tense, that was omitted. He was confined to a very spare diet, and his body
kept open by clysters, injected every second day, when stools were wanted, to
prevent straining. When dressed on the 4th day after the operation, every
thing appeared well, and there was good reason to hope for a cure, especially as
the discharge by the anus was natural. The tent put into the abdominal aper-
ture was not removed till the 8th. On the ]Oth, the ligature round the ap-
pendix coeci, where it had been amputated, dropped off, and no faeces followed
it; and as it was then plain they had taken the natural course, from that time
the wound was treated like an ordinary one, only care was taken to keep a
strong and constant pressure over the abdominal aperture, as well to fence
against the intrusion of the viscera into the wound, as by a strong incarnation
and cicatrix, effectually to secure the patient against a rupture. During the
time of the cure he was confined to his bed, always kept to spare diet, and or-
dered never to go to stool but in a bed-pan; by these means the wound was
completely healed up in less than a month, and the patient soon after dis-
charged with a truss, which he was ordered to wear some time, to confirm the

That the appendix coeci should be the only gut found in this rupture, is a
case singular in practice : this was full of excrements, and occasionally could be
distended with an additional quantity, which on pressure was returned into the
colon, with that kind of noise which guts replaced generally give. This had
occasioned a diminution of the tumour when compressed, before the operation
was performed, as the patient was lying backwards with his head downwards,
and an increase of it as he stood erect, when the faeces from the colon could
get into it again.

The patient does not remember when he swallowed the pin, which had per-
forated the gut within the rupture. But as this rupture was from his infancy,
fixed and unreducible, it is likely the pin had then made its way into the ap-
pendix coeci prolapsed ; and that an inflammation ensuing, had occasioned an
adhesion, by which the increase of the tumour had been checked, and the
reduction of the prolapsed parts rendered impracticable.

The surgeons who constantly dressed the patient before the operation, ob-
served then, as they have since, that the humour discharged formerly at the
fistula, had frequently the appearance and the smell of excrements, so that
there is no doubt that the cause of it was the wound made in the gut, by the
pin giving way occasionally to such a discharge. The patient also perfectly
remembers, that the imposthumation or gathering", preceding the fistulous dis-

N 2


charge, was attended with very little pain, or much less than generally attends
suppuration. Which shows that the extravasation of the excrements from the
gut into the hernial bag, and the bursting of this bag, were the cause of the
fistulous discharge, and of the continuance of it outwardly.

As to the pin found in the rupture at the time of the operation, it is observ-
able, that two-thirds of it, incrusted with a chalky matter, were confined and
concealed within the gut ; the other third, next the point, had made its way
through it, the point of which was so lodged in the omentum, where it was
fixed, as to leave a free passage for the excrement from the perforated gut out-
wardly, whenever the perforation in the gut, on shifting the position of the
inclosed pin, could open, and afford a passage for the discharge of the faeces
this way, which was as often as this conical or pyramidal pin altered its place,
or did not exactly obturate the aperture in the appendix ccEci, it exactly fitted.
The aperture made in the gut by the pin lay concealed, the point being lodged
in the omentum, lying parallel with the gut, which was here duplicated, where
it was so secured, that it seemed almost impossible it could ever make its way
out of this place, and its other confinement in the gut, as the aperture was
callous, and so resisting that it was with some violence it was forced out of its

Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 12 of 85)