Royal Society (Great Britain).

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

. (page 54 of 85)
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 54 of 85)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

till night.

4. Observed at Rome. By S. de Revillas, Math. Prof, and F. R. S. p. 6oi.
— These observations are similar to the foregoing.

5. By Mr. James Short, at Edinburgh, p. 6o5. — We were surprised, on
looking out at the windows, about 6 o'clock, to find the sky, as it were, all in
a flame; but on further inquiry, it was nothing but the aurora borealis, com-
posed of red light. There was an arch of this red light reached from the west,
over the zenith, to the east; the northern border of this light was tinged with
somewhat of a blue colour. This aurora did not first form in the north, and
after forming an arch there, rise towards the zenith, as they commonly use to
do; neither did the light shiver, and by sudden jerks spread itself over the hemi-
sphere, as is common ; but gradually and gently stole along the face of the sky,
till it had covered the whole hemisphere ; which alarmed the vulgar, and was
indeed a strange sight. A great circle of this light came from the west to the
zenith, which seemed to be the magazine whence all the rest were supplied.
It is but about a year since Mr. S. first observed this red light in the aurora bo-
realis, and only then in very small quantities.


6. ^t Rosehi/l, Smsex. By John Fuller, Esq. jun. F. R. S. p. 6o6. — It was
a strong and very steady light, nearly of the colour of red ochre. It did not
seem to dart or flash at all, but continued going on in a steady course against
the wind, which blew fresh from the south-west. It began about north north-
west, in form of a pillar of light, at about 6^ 15"" in the evening; in about 10
minutes, a 4th part of it divided from the rest, and never joined again; in 10
minutes more it described an arch, but did not join at top; exactly at 7, it
formed a bow, and soon after quite disappeared. It was all the while lightest
and reddest at the horizon. It gave as much light as a full moon.

At 8'' it began again exactly north ; it was very light then, but not near so
light as before: in half an hour it made an arch from east to west, and went
quite away to the south, when it ended much with the same appearance as it
began in the north, but not quite so red.

Jl short Account of Dr. Jurins ninth and last Dissertation, De Fi Motrice. By
Mr. John Fames, F. R. S. N° 45Q, p. 607.

The last* dissertation is new, and treats of the motive forces of bodies,
whether they are to be estimated by the velocities, or the squares of the velo-
cities, when the masses are equal. The original of this dispute among the ma-
thematicians, the author ascribes to a slip committed by the celebrated Mr.
Leibnitz, in the year 1686; and the continuance, to the neglect of the times,
in which equal effects are produced. The one side asserts all causes to be equal,
whose effects are so, whether the times, during which the causes act, are
shorter or longer. The other, on the contrary, maintains, that equal effects
may arise from unequal causes, if the times of action are unequal ; that con-
sequently ^he times, as well as the effects, ought to be taken into the account.

He wishes the gentlemen on the other side of the question would produce
some experiment in their favour, where the equality of the times is preserved;
since all the experiments they have hitherto made, and argued from, may
justly be set aside, as incompetent, on account of the inequality of the times of

The author then proceeds to prove the truth of the common opinion of the
forces in equal bodies, being proportional to their velocities. This he does by
three mediums, the first taken from the action of a single spring on the same
body; the second from some experiments of Mr. Mariotte; the third from the
joint action of several springs on two unequal bodies.

* The eight preceding dissertations had been before printed separately ; but were now all collected
togetherj with the addition of this ninth, and published in one volume in 8vo. London, 1732.


1. A single spring, fixed to a moveable horizontal table, is made to commu-
nicate to the same body, degrees of force unquestionably equal, while the de-
grees o£ velocity communicated at the same time are also undoubtedly equal;
therefore the forces are proportional to the velocities.

, 2. In Mr. Mariotte's experiments, the impressions made upon equal surfaces
in the same point of time, are found to be in the duplicate ratio of the velo-
cities; but the masses or numbers of impinging particles are in the simple ratio
of the velocities; consequently, the masses and velocities conjunctly being in
the duplicate ratio, i. e. as the impressions, must also be as the forces which
made them; which is the old opinion.

3. A complicated or bent spring interposed between two unequal bodies,
acting on each with an equal pressure, and during an equal time, must commu-
nicate equal moving forces to each; but their velocities are by experiment reci-
procally proportional to their masses: therefore their masses, drawn into their
respective velocities, are also equal, as were their moving forces; and by con-
sequence their moving forces are as the masses and velocities conjunctly; which
is the generally received opinion.

In the appendix, the author answers some of the principal arguments brought
in favour of the contrary side.

The last of these arguments is founded on Poleni's experiments, in which
equal cavities are formed in soft substances, by equal bodies falling from heights
reciprocally proportional to their masses. This the author sets aside, as insuffi-
cient, since the times of forming these equal cavities are unequal, and unequal
causes may produce equal effects in unequal times. Poleni does indeed reply,
and say, that the formation of these cavities seems to be instantaneous; but
the ingenious author shows the contrary, and that from a position allowed of
by Poleni himself, in his reply.

Of some remarkable Stones, taken out of the Kidneys of Mrs. Felles, on opening
her Body after her Decease. By Noah Sherwood, Surgeon. N" 45Q, p. 6 10.

Mr. S. found nothing amiss in any of the viscera, till he came to the kid-
neys, both of which were considerably enlarged, and of an oblong figure, and
had several protuberances bunching out, which made the surface appear almost
like a beeve's kidney. On feeling them externally, he could plainly perceive
they were caused by stones; he took them out of the body, and laid them open
longitudinally, and found in the right kidney several stones o( an irregular
figure, branched like coral : they had extended themselves beyond the capacity
of the pelvis on every side, though that was greatly enlarged, so as each of
them to contain half a pint of pus, or inore, forming for themselves cells in


the parenchyma of the kidneys, which cells were all ulcerated within, and full
of matter, communicating with the pelvis; the whole substance of the kidneys
was scirrhous. The patient had long been troubled with grievous pains of
the back, and had voided great quantities of pus with all the urine she made,
so that there was no doubt of there being ulcers in her kidneys; and she her-
self often declared there were stones in the kidneys, which, on any motion,
she could feel grate against each other.

The left kidney was likewise full of matter, and contained only one stone,
larger than any of those in the right, nearly of a triangular figure, with the
angles pointed at their extremities.

Of a large Lake, called Malholm Tarn, near Skipton in Craven, in the County
of York. By John Fuller, Esq. Jun. F. R. S. ^^"459, p. 6l2.

This tarn, or lake, of between 3 and 400 acres, is situated among high hills,
by which it is supplied with water, which, after quitting the lake, runs in one
stream for 2 or 300 yards, then sinks into the ground at two different places,
which it is probable afterwards emerge, and immediately join the river Air.

Concerning a File rendered Magnetical by Lightning. By M. de Bremond,

M.D. N°459, p. 6 14.

In N° 437 of these Transactions, is given an extraordinary effect of light-
ning, which communicated magnetism to several iron tools. The following,
from the coast of St. Andre in Dauphine, in 1739, gives an account of a fact
of the same nature.

Some lightning fell on the house of a clock-maker. The thunder broke one
of his files, 4 inches from the end; so that there still remained 7 inches of it
in the handle; and the piece of 4 inches long, that was broken off, remained on
the shop-board. Using the broken file afterwards, it was found to attract iron
very strongly, like a magnet. But it was remarkable that this quality was given
only to the inside of the file, at the broken part ; for bits of iron applied to
every side of it, had no effect, the virtue residing no where but in the place
that was broken. Having broken in two the same piece of 4 inches, one of
the two pieces attracted iron at both ends, the other only at its broken end.
Rubbing the point of a knife on one of these two bits of the file, it com-
municated to the knife a degree of magnetism sufficient to raise needles, and
hold them suspended.


An Account of Tumours, which rendered the Bones soft. Communicated to
the Royal Society by Mr. Pott* Surgeon. N° 459, p. 6l6.

In Nov. 1737, a gentleman, aged 27, complained of a swelling in the inside
of his right thigh. On examination it appeared to be an encysted tumour of
the steatomatous kind, lying loose between the sartorius and vastus internus
muscles. Mr. P. took it out, and he got well in 6 weeks.

After this he continued well for near a year, except that he complained at
times of a slight pain in the joint of that hip, which went off and returned at
different times. He then fell into such a disposition to sleep, that no company
or diversion, nor his own endeavours to the contrary, could keep him awake
after 8 or 9 o'clock in the evening, if he sat down. This continued on him
for 3 or 4 months, and then the pain in his hip became worse; for which he
used the cold-bath, flesh-brush, and riding on horseback, but without any

He then asked the advice of Dr. Beaufort, who put him into a course of the
^thiops mineral, cinnabar of antimony and gum guaiacum, with the Spa-
water, and purging with calomel, by intervals: this method he pursued for a
considerable time, but without any benefit. After this, by the advice of some

• The name of Percival Pott holds a conspicuous place in the catalogue of English chirurgical
authors. He was one of Mr. Nourse's pupils, and not many years after his establishment in busi-
ness he was elected surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and got into very extensive practice.
Thus circumstanced, he had abundant opportunities of making observations conducive to the advance-
ment of his profession, and of his own reputation ; which rose to a degree seldom equalled ; inso-
much, that for many years preceding his death, he was consulted in the treatment of most cases
accompanied with difficulty, or requiring any great or nice operation, not only in the metropolis and
its vicinity, but even in very remote parts of the country. The result of his experience on these
and other occasions he communicated to the world in various tracts, published at different periods of
his life, and which have since been reprinted collectively by Sir James Earle ; to whom the public
is indebted for an excellent account of Mr. Pott's life. This edition of his works contains the.
author's Treatise on Ruptures; his observations on Fistula Lachrymalis; his Treatise on Injuries to
which the Head is liable from external Violence; his Remarks on Fractures and Dislocations; his
Practical Remarks on the Hydrocele; his Treatise on the Fistula in Ano ; his Observations on the
Cataract; his Observations on the Mortification of the Toes and Feet; his Treatise on the ne-
cessity of Amputation in certain cases ; his Remarks on Palsy of the I/imbs from Curvature of
the Spine; and some other tracts.

Mr. Pott was born in London in the year 1713, and died of a fever in 1788, at the age of
75. At this advanced age he had, in consequence of his temperate mode of living, so little in-
firmity of body, and so much activity of mind, that he continued to be busily engaged in the
exercise of his profession, till within a few days previous to his death.


acquaintance, he took half a drachm of salt of hartshorn night and morning,
in a draught of warm whey, for some time; but without any sensible effect,
even by perspiration. Some little time after this, he began to complain of a
slight periodical heat and thirst, which returned every night, with a quick, hard
pulse, but which was not so great as to make him uneasy.

It was Sept. 1739, when, having an opportunity of going with some friends,
he determined to try what Bath would do for him : in his journey thither,
the nocturnal heat and thirst increased so much, as to prevent his sleeping ;
but in the few days that he spent in recovering from the fatigue of the journey,
they seemed to go off again. He then began to use the waters, both inter-
nally and externally ; on which the last-mentioned symptoms again appeared,
and he was obliged to desist, and use cooling medicines. His physicians then
advised him to bathe the affected limb only; on which they returned again, and
with such violence, that the further use of the waters was thought highly im-
proper, and he left them off.

During this time the sight of his left eye became dim, and the dimness in-
creased gradually for some little time, till he became quite blind of that eye;
the bulb of it being considerably enlarged, and thrust forward out of the

For the most part of the time he had been at Bath, he had generally been
very costive ; and, on leaving off the water, had no stool for some days ; for
which reason a common clyster was given, and produced so profuse a discharge
of serous matter, and continued for so many hours, almost incessantly, that he
was reduced as low as possible.

For some time past, several small tumours had appeared in different parts of
him, viz. 5 or 6 on his head, 2 or 3 in his back, and one in the neck, all
lying just under the skin, and sensibly increasing every day, till they came to
a considerable size.

Decembers, 1739, he returned to London. His chief complaints now
were an excessive languor, an inability to move his right hip, and when moved
by another person, a very acute pain in it ; an incapacity of sleeping when in
bed, and an intense thirst in the night, with a quick hard pulse.

He now took the advice of Dr. Hartley and Dr. Shaw, who prescribed him
the cinnabar of antimony 3 times a day, to drink the Seltzer water, and keep
to a cooling regimen ; and allowed him a moderate dose of the pill Matthaei
every night ; by means of which he got some sleep, of which he had for some
time been absolutely deprived.

When he had taken the cinnabar 5 or 6 days, and during that time had no
stool; a clyster was given, which brought away all the medicine, without the



least alteration ; nor was there ever after this time any appearance of any mucus
being secreted by the intestinal glands, he never going to stool above once in
a week, and then there came away a few lumps of excrement as hard as pieces
of wood; which were expelled with much labour and fatigue; though he gene-
rally took an oily clyster to render it more easy, and washed down his medicines
with a soapy draught.

The joint of the hip was now become quite stiff, all the inguinal glands
being loaded with the same kind of matter of which the other tumours seemed
to be composed ; and a large cluster more of them might be felt under the
glutei muscles, and behind the trochanter.

The cinnabar was now left off, and mercurial unction used; a proper quan-
tity being rubbed in every night, stopping now-and-then to see what turn it
would take ; and in this course he continued for more than a month, but
without any benefit, nor did the mercury produce any visible effect on him.

Sir Edward Hulse, being called in, directed the burnt sponge, which he
took for some time, till, growing worse and weaker, he determined to try
Mr. Ward. He took his sweating and purging medicines 2 or 3 times, but
found no sort of effect from them ; and being now quite tired of physic, and
reduced extremely low, he determined to pass the rest of his time as easily as
he could, by gradually increasing his opiate; and in this manner languished,
incapable of stirring or helping himself, till the 2d of May 1740, and then

For a considerable time before he died, he was nourished by fluids only:
yet, as soon as ever they were received into the stomach, in however small a
quantity, they gave him an acute pain at the bottom of his belly, just above the
pubes. For 2 months, or more, before his death, he could never make any
water while he was up, but always made a good deal at different times when in
bed. Soon after his return to London, Mr. P. opened the tumour he had
taken out of his thigh 2 years before, and found the inside of it ossified.

On dissection, the first thing that offered was a large tumour on the sternum,
which had been perceived about 3 months before he died: it was as large as a
turkey's egg, and so hard and immoveable, that Mr. P. was in doubt whether
it was upon or under the bone. On removing the skin, it appjeared covered
by the expansion of the tendons of the intercostal muscles, and the periosteum:
this coat being taken off, it was of a suetty kind of substance for about half
an inch deep; and below this was a kind of cartilage, intermixed with a great
many bony particles. Mr. P. then shaved off all this diseased body even with
the surface of the rest of the sternum, but found no bone, it being quite dis-


solved and confounded with the mass of matter that composed the tumour,
which was equally protuberant within the thorax, and composed of the same
materials. Part of the 5th and 7th ribs were dissolved in the same manner,
into a kind of substance between bone and cartilage, with a thick, coat of
steatomatous matter.

Within the cavity of the thorax were 37 of these diseased bodies, most of
them attached either to the vertebrae or the ribs ; and wherever they were at-
tached, the cortex of the bone was destroyed, and its internal cellular part
filled with the diseased matter.

Immediately above the diaphragm was a large scirrhous body, lying across
the spine and the aorta, the latter of which lay in a sinus formed in its lower
part ; it had no attachment to any other part, and weighed IS-J- oz ; and from
its situation, must have taken its rise from some of the lymphatic glands lying
about the thoracic duct.

From the origin of the aorta, from the heart, quite up to the basis of the
cranium, all the blood-vessels were surrounded with these scirrhous bodies, and
the thyroid gland was diseased in like manner, and bony within. On the left
side was another of these bodies, made out of the glandula renalis, weigh-
ing 94- oz.

On the right, the glandula renalis was in a natural state ; but the cellular
membrane, which surrounds the kidney, was filled with a large cluster of these
bodies of different sizes, some of them entirely suetty, others intermixed with
bony particles : three or four of them were attached to the body of the kidney,
and these were a sort of cartilage, beginning to ossify.

The pancreas was quite scirrhous, and very large. One very large tumour
sprung from the spongy body of the third vertebra of the loins, the bony texture
of which was so dissolved, and mixed with the matter of the tumour, that the
knife passed through it with great ease.

The inner side of the os ilium, all the ischium and pubis, were covered with
these appearances ; and on removing them, the bone was found in the same
state as the sternum and ribs. The middle of the right os femoris was sur-
rounded with a mass of the same matter, and the bone underneath in the same

In the bottom of the orbit, surrounded by the recti muscles, was a pretty
large steatoma, which occasioned the protrusion of the eye ; and, by pressing
on the optic nerve, probably caused the blindness.

3 o 2


[akko 1740.

A Case in wkick Part of the iMmgt were cot^ked tqt. Presemted to the Royal So-
ciety by ffiUiam IFatsoH, F.FLS. N" 459. p. 6a3.

Tbomas Halsey, about 70 years of age, of a short make, and pretty fat,
beii^ in a tolerably good state of health, except that for some years before he
«as troubled wath frequeot coughing on any motion, was seized, Sept. 23,
1740, with a Tiol«it fit of coughing, in which he fell down, as if dead, and
diacfaaiged near a quart of Uood at his mouth, in a \ery large stream, mixed
with many portions of a seemingly gnimous matter. His coughing tit con-
tinued near 3 minutes. He renved upon bleeding at the arm, and being put
to bed, recovered his senaei, and was quite easy, and free firom pain, except
on ooqghing, whidi as often as he did, he spit blood \nsibly arterial from its
florid colour. About 4 hours after the first fit, he was taken with a 2d, at-
tended with the same s)-mptoms as the first ; and expired in it. On examining
the blood, which he brought up at his death, Mr. W. found, in pieces of dif-
iuui t-aiaes, near 3 oz. of the substance of the lungs, not ulcerated, or any
wmys iiilfm|ifinl ; and he bad reason to believe there was near the same quan-
ti^ of the lungs thrown up durii^ the first fit of coughing. The pieces were
easily distinguishable (mva gnimous blood, by their connecting membrane, the
acini in the intenial part, and their ^lecific gravity.

On examining the contents of the thorax after death, die right lobes' erf' the
Im^were sound, of a good colour, and nowise injured. In the left cavity of
the thorax, there was a large quantity of extrarasated blood ; the inferior left
lobe adhered stronglT both to the pleura and mediastinum, and was somewhat
decayed ; but of the superior left lobe, the upper part next the trachea adhered
to the pleura for about 1 inches ; and the remainder, where xherc had been no
be coold peroei\'e from the smooth surface of the pleura, was torn

ij by pieces, and discharged in coughing. As the greatest part of the left
akie of die langa was tied down to the cireumjaceot membranes, the person
being old, and the whole force of the paiietes of the abdomen, diaphr^m, &c.
in tbe actioo of coo^faii^, was unequally exerted on that part that did not ad-
here, and wfaidi, by the violence of tbe pressure, was torn off from the rest,
and dudiaiged.

It is worthy observatioo, how small the d^ree of sensibility is in the lungs ;
that a penoa dMold lose so much of their substance, as in this instance, on
tbe first fit ; and yet, on recovery of his senses, to complain of little or no pain
fivMi such dilaceration, when e\-eu the bite of an insect on the surface of the
body is attended with so much. The adhesion of this man's lungs explained
likcwiK the cause of his frequoit conning for some years before his death.

Toi~ xu.] rmuMormcAM. TKAJisAcnovs. 46g

An ADOtmmt of several MeUon, lowu m mmtated bg Thomas Short, M. D. Dated
Sheffield, March. 18, 1740-1. N* 459, P- ^25.

The wtx^ of 1737 WW the moct inegnhr year of any in my time ; not one
month but what had the weather of all the aeatoos in it, and that not by gra-
dual tranntions, hot by sodden jerks ; summer was dry, Angost was as ocAA as
winter, Sqitember fnU of great cfaaoges ; hence that sodden and gjeooal
cataah in October ; socceeded in the latter end of the moodi, and aD Nofcm-
ber, by a fatal diarrhoea among the poor.

Dec 5, at 5 o'dodi, afternoon, and all the ereni!^, ap pea r e d a reauAaiAt
lir^lfatness in the sky, of a Mood-red ooioor, very bright, and attended widi
many conoas ap pe a r a ncf* .

This meteor was seen at Venice at the same time ; and ofcr Kilkenny 10
Irelaid, it appeared like a great ball of fire ; which borst with an ezpiosion
that shook great part of the island, and set the whole hemisphere on fire ;
wUdi homed most fu i i o usly, tfll ail the solphnieoas matter was spent.

This meteor pot an end to the remains of both the catarrh, and watery
diarrfacea ; and restored general health, tfll the next epidemic c atar rh among
in£uits in Febroary 1 738, 2 months after.

The next meteor was on August, 1733, a dear, calm, exceasiTe hot day,

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 54 of 85)