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attraction observed on the outside of the glass, which is observed when the air
has not been pumped out. Then turning the cock, so as to re-admit the air
gently into the globe during its motion, the light was broken and interrupted,
diminishing gradually," till at last it appeared only on the outside of the glass,
where it was accompanied with attraction. Does it not appear, that at first
the external air by its resistance drives back the electric effluvia, which go
then to the inside of the globe, where there is the least -resistance? for we ob-
serve, that as the air comes in, it repels the electric effluvia, that go inwards no
longer, when all the air is come in. If the fact be so, as the experiment shows,
is not my conjecture proved, viz. that the air is electrical ?

In Dr. Hales's Vegetable Statics, several of his experiments show, that air is
absorbed, and loses its elasticity by the mixture of sulphureous vapours, so that
4 quarts of air in a glass vessel will be reduced to 3. Will not this phenomenon
be explained by the different electricity of sulphur and air ? The effluvia of sul-
phur, being electric, repel each other; and the particles of air, being also
electric, likewise repel each other. But the air being electrical, of a vitreous
kind, and sulphur of a resinous, the particles of air attract those of sul-
phur, and the moleculse compounded of them, becoming non-electric, lose
their repulsive force.

It has for a great while been thought, that watery vapours, that rise in air to
form clouds, used to rise, because the water which is of itself specifically heavier
than air, being formed into little hollow spherules or bubbles filled with an aura,
or thinner air than the ambient air, in this new state made a fluid of little shells,
specifically lighter than the ambient air in which it must rise. But philosophers
have rejected that opinion ; and such as have implicitly come into it, may find
it refuted in the Philosophical Transactions, N° 407.

Now may not this phenomenon of the rise of vapours depend upon electri-
city in the following manner ? The air which flows at top of the surface of the
waters is electrical, and so much the more as the weather is hotter. Now in
the same manner as small particles of water leap towards the electric tube, may
not those particles leap towards the particles of air, which have much more
specific gravity than very small particles of water, and adhere to them ? Then
the air in motion having carried off the particles of water, and driving them
away as soon as it has made them electrical, they repel each other, and also the
particles of air. This is the reason that a cubic inch of vapour is lighter than a
cubic inch of air; which would not happen, if the particles of vapour were only
carried off in the interstices of air, because then a cubic inch of air, loaded with

VOL. viu. 4 F


vapour, would be made specifically heavier than an inch of dry air ; which is
contrary to experiments, which show by the barometer, that air which is moist,
or full of vapours, is always lighter than dry air.

Account of Margaret Cutting, a young Woman, at Wickham Market in Suffolk,
who speaks readily and intelligibly, though she has lost her Tongue.
By Mr. Hejiry Baker, F. R.S. N° 464, p. 143.

A. brief account of this young woman's case, in a letter from Mr. Benjamin
Boddington, of Ipswich, to Mr. Henry Baker, f. r. s. was communicated to
the Royal Society in the month of February last, and appeared so extraordinary,
that Mr. Baker was desired to make all possible inquiries into the reality of the
fact, and lay before the Society what information he should receive on it.

In pursuance of this, he wrote to Mr. Boddington, requesting him to make
the strictest inquiry into this affair, not only by viewing the young woman's
mouth, and examining her himself, but also by calling to his assistance some
skilful gentleman in the physical way, and any other learned and judicious per-
son whom he might judge most likely to contribute towards discovering the real
truth, and detecting any error, fallacy, or imposition. He also desired they
would heedfuUy observe her manner of speaking and articulating the sounds of
those letters and syllables, in the formation of which the apex of the tongue
seems more particularly needful: and, in order to render their examination more
easy, as well as more satisfactory, he sent a list of letters and sounds, with
several such sentences as he imagined would be most difficult to be pronounced
without the help of the tongue.

Mr. Boddington, soon after this prevailed on Mr. Notcutt, a minister, a
learned and curious gentleman, and Mr. Hammond, who perfectly understands
anatomy, to accompany him to Wickham Market, about 12 miles from Ipswich,
where the young woman lives ; whose case, after they had inspected her mouth,
and examined her in the strictest manner, is set forth in the following certificate
signed by them all.

Ipsivich, April Q, 1 742. — We have this day been at Wickham Market, to
satisfy our curiosity concerning Margaret Cutting, a young woman, who, we
were informed, could talk and discourse without a tongue.

She informed us, that she was now more than 20 years of age, born at
Turnstal, a village within 4 miles of Wickham Market in Suffolk, where she
lost her tongue by a cancer, being then about 4 years old. It first appeared like
a small black speck on the upper superficies of the tongue, and soon eat its way
quite to its root. She was under the care of Mr. Scotchmore, a surgeon of
Saxmundham, who soon pronounced the case incurable: however, he continued


using the best means he could for her relief. One day when he was syringing
it, the tongue dropped out, and they received it into a plate, the girl, to
their anDazeuient, saying to her mother, " don't be frighted, mamma ; it will
grow again." It was near a quarter of a year after, before it was quite cured.

We proceeded to examine her mouth with the greatest exactness we could,
but found not the least appearance of any remaining part of a tongue, nor was
there any uvula. We observed a fleshy excrescence on the under left jaw, ex-
tending itself almost to the place where the uvula should be, about a finger
broad : this excrescence, she said, did not begin to grow till some years after
the cure : it is by no means moveable, but quite fixed to the parts adjacent.
The passage down the throat, at the place where the uvula should be, or a
little to the right of it, was a circular open hole, large enough to admit a small

Notwithstanding the want of so necessary an organ as the tongue was ge-
nerally supposed to be, to form a great part of our speech, and likewise to be
assisting in deglutition, to our great admiration, she performed the office of
deglutition, both in swallowing solids and fluids, as well as we could, and in the
same manner : and as to speech, she discoursed as fluently and well as other
persons do; though we observed a small sound, like what is usually called speak-
ing through the nose ; but she said she had then a great cold, and she be-
lieved that occasioned it. She pronounced letters and syllables very articu-
lately ; the vowels she pronounced perfectly, as also those consonants, syl-
lables, and words, that seemed necessarily to require the help of the tongue.

She read to us in a book very distinctly and plain ; only we observed, that
sometimes she pronounced words ending in ath as et ; end as emb ; ad as eib ;
but it required a nice and strict attention to observe even this diff^erence of
sound. She sings very prettily, and pronounced her words in singing as is
common. What is still very wonderful, notwithstanding the loss of this useful
organ the tongue, which is generally allowed by anatomists, and natural phi-
losophers, to be the chief, if not the sole organ of taste, she distinguishes all
tastes very nicely, and can tell the least perceivable difference in either smell
or taste.

We the underwritten do attest the above to be a true account.

Benjamin Boddington.
William Notcutt, Minister.
William Hammond, Apothecary.

Mr. Baker received along with the foregoing certificate, by letter from Mr.
Boddington, some farther particulars, which he supposed less material. He
says, if she were among 30 people in a room, he thinks it would be impossible

4 f2


for a stranger by any means to guess her being the person without a tongue,
for she has no odd motion of her mouth or lips in speaking : she sings with an
easy air, and modulates her voice prettily. He asked her, if she did not miss
her tongue, or find any inconvenience from the want of it ? She answered, no ;
not in the least ; iior could she imagine what advantage he had in the use of
his. He inquired, how she did to guide her food m her mouth to eat ; she re-
plied, very easily, she could eat before, or on one side or the other as she
pleased, but could not explain the manner how. He was very observing to see
her eat, but could discern no difference from others in the moving of her jaws,
or other motions of her face, nor in her swallowing food, or in drinking: she
did both very neatly, and had exactly the same motion in her throat as we have
in its passing down.

He was apprehensive the excrescence mentioned in the certificate, might, in
some measure, supply the use of a tongue ; but she assured him it never moved
in the least, and that she spoke as well before it began to grow, which was se-
veral years after the cure ; and Mr. Hammond convinced him, by trying with
their fingers and a spoon, that it was quite fixed and immoveable. He ob-
serves further, that she is no ways assisted by a good set of teeth ; for she has
but few, those bad, and scarcely so high as her gums. He asked her in what
part of her mouth her most sensible taste lay? She said it was all over alike;
and, smiling, added, she was afraid she was too nice in that ; for if her butter
was not curious, she eat dry bread.

Mr. Boddington, in another letter to Mr. James Theobald, f,r.s. dated the
14th of April 1742, after giving an account of this young woman in the manner
as before, adds, he can recollect nothing more, except her telling him, that
though she was able to speak from the very first losing of her tongue, she was
not so happy as to her deglutition ; for she was unable to swallow any thing
solid for many months after, without its being minced very fine, and then
thrust into her throat by a finger. But by degrees, she knows not how, she
became able to manage without that help, and could eat any thing in the same
manner as other persons do. He adds that, in his own mind, he thinks the
fleshy excrescence is of great service to her, though he cannot make out in
what manner : that for his own part, he had formerly supposed it as impossible
to speak without a tongue, as to see without eyes ; and therefore expects many
who shall hear this account will continue unbelievers, and think he and his
friends are all mistaken, that they do not know what they see, and that their
ignorance is the only ground of their admiration.

After reciting several more testimonies of the truth of the cases, it is added,
that there are several examples of like nature to be met with in medical writers,.


and those of the greatest authority ; one of which, as it has the attestation of
a whole university, it cannot be improper to mention here. M. Drelincourt, a
very noted physician, tells us, in his Treatise on the Small Pox, of a child 8
years of age, who had lost his tongue by that distemper, and was yet able to
speak, to the astonishment of the University of Saumur in France j and that
the University had attested it, by drawing up a particular account of the fact,
that posterity might have no room to doubt concerning the validity of it. The
account is to be met with at large, in the 3d vol. of the Ephemerides Germa-
nicae, under the title of Aglossostomographia.

Tulpius too makes mention of a man who had the misfortune to have his
tongue cut out by the Turks, and yet, after 3 years could speak very distinctly.
He says, he went himself to Wesop, a town in Holland, to be satisfied of the
truth of it, and found it to be as it was reported. Nay, he does not so much as
mention any defect in his speech, but assures us that he could pronounce those
letters which depend on the apex of the tongue, even the consonants, very
articulately. And this case is still the more worthy attention, because the patient
could not swallow even the least quantity of food, unless he thrust it into the
oesophagus by means of his finger.

If we go back to earlier times, the emperor Justin, in Cod. Tit. de Off. Praef.
Praet. Af. says, he has seen venerable men, qui abscissis radicitus Unguis,
poenas miserabiliter loquebantur, whose tongues having been cut out by the
roots, they miserably spoke, or complained of the punishments they had suf-
fered. And again. Nonnullos alios, quibus Honorichius Vandalorum rex
linguas radicitus praeciderat, loquelam tamen habuisse integram, that some
others, whose tongues Honorichius, king of the Vandals, had cut out by the
roots, yet perfectly retained their speech.

A remarkable Conformation, or Lusus Natures, in a Child. By C. JVarwick,
Surgeon, Truro. N° 464, p. 1 52.

About April 1741, one Sarah Allen, of the parish of St. Blazy, near Truro,,
having been married near 4 years, and mother of 1 children, well-formed and
living, was brought to bed of the present subject, but of so remarkable and
preternatural a constitution, as must render its whole life inevitably miserable,,
the particulars of which are as follow :

The umbilicus was nearly in its natural site, but somewhat large and promi.-
nent, having more the appearance of a tumour, than the ordinary irregular
shape of that organ. Immediately below this umbilicus, was a large fungous
excrescence, nearly the size of a small egg, but somewhat depressed, of a fiery
aspect, and exquisitely sensible. The surface was irregular, being composed of
divers granulations or small lobes of flesh ; and the basis of it Mr, W. could not


well discover, his endeavours being attended with much pain and difficulty ; how-
ever, from its branchy top, he was inclined to think it somewhat pendulous.

Beneath, adjoining to this fungus, was another pretty large excrescence,
neither sensible nor spongy, as the former, but of a solid uniform contexture.
Its projection from the abdomen was about one-third of an inch, and if a sec-
tion were there made parallel to its basis, it would be of an elliptical figure. In
shape and dimensions it somewhat resembled the glans penis, its surface being
covered with the same fine membrane, and had a small indenture in the top of
, it, but it was not so large, and had no aperture in it.

Suspended to this glans, like the omentum to the ventricle, was a large
membrane of a semilunar figure, loose, flexible, and, when turned up, capable
' of covering some part of it. Its texture nearly resembled that of the praepu-
tium, or was somewhat thicker. There was likewise a small cord or frasnum,
which arising from the circumference of this membrane, and bisecting the above
glans, terminated under the fungus. About half an inch below this membrane,
was a wrinkled extuberance resembling a scrotum, but of an uncertain magni-
tude, great or small, as the descent of the infant's intestines, which having
broken their natural confines, form an unseemly roll from one inguen to the
other. Its situation was about the upper edge of the os pubis, which, on ex-
amining this part, he found greatly deficient, and he was apt to believe, from
the great chasm which he perceived there, it must be entirely wanting.

The next thing to be observed was the anus. He found the situation of this
part more forward than usual, at least by 2 inches ; and he conjectures that
the rectum, from this position, must take its course nearly through the chasm
of the OS pubis.

Besides all these inconveniencies, to complete the child's misery, there was a
perpetual distillation of urine from some unseen passages under the fungus, ex-
citing by its acrimony, every moment, pains and excoriations.

To conclude : its sex was so imperfect, and obscurely represented, that it
received no baptism till 4 months after it was born; when its parents, flattering
themselves that nature might take a turn some time or other for the child's ad-
vantage, gave it an appellation applicable to either sex, as time and circum-
stances should require.

A true Copy of a Paper, in the Hand-writing of Sir Isaac Newton, found among

the Papers of the late Dr. Halley, containing a Description of an Instrument for

observing the Moons Distance from the fixed Stars at Sea. N° 465, p. 155.

In fig. 9, pi. 14, PftRS denotes a plate of brass, accurately divided in the

limb Da, into -^ degrees, ^ minutes, and -^ minutes, by a diagonal scale ; and

the 4- degrees, and ^ minutes, and -iV minutes, counted for degrees, minutes,


and 4- minutes, ab is a telescope, 3 or 4 feel long, fixed on thq edge of that
brass plate, g is a speculum, fixed on the brass plate perpendicularly, as near
as may be to the object-glass of the telescope, so as to be inclined 45 degrees
to the axis of the telescope, and intercept half the light which would otherwise
come through the telescope to the eye. CD is a moveable index, turning about
the centre c, and, with its fiducial edge, showing the degrees, minutes, and
-y minutes, on the limb of the brass plate pa ; the centre c must be over-against
the middle of the speculum g. h is another speculum, parallel to the former,
when the fiducial edge of the index falls on 0° O' O* ; so that the same star may
then appear through the telescope, in one and the same place, both by the
direct rays and by the reflexed ones; but if the index be turned, the star
shall appear in two places, whose distance is showed, on the brass limb, by
the index.

By this instrument, the distance of the moon from any fixed star is thus ob-
served : view the star through the perspicil by the direct light, and the moon
by the reflexed (or on the contrary) ; and turn the index till the star touch the
limb of the moon, and the index shall show, on the brass limb of the instru-
ment, the distance of the star from the moon's limb ; and though the instru-
ment shake, by the motion of the ship at sea, yet the moon and star will move
together, as if they did really touch one another in the heavens ; so that an ob-
servation may be made as exactly at sea as at land.

And by the same instrument, may be observed, exactly, the altitudes of the
moon and stars, by bringing them to the horizon ; and thereby the latitude,
and times of observations, may be determined more exactly than by the ways
now in use.

In the time of the observation, if the instrument move angularly about the
axis of the telescope, the star will move in a tangent of the moon's limb, or of
the horizon ; but the observation may notwithstanding be made exactly, by
noting when the line, described by the star, is a tangent to the moon's limb,
or to the horizon.

To make the instrument useful, the telescope ought to take in a large angle :
and to make the observation true, let the star touch the moon's limb, not on
the outside of the limb, but on the inside.

The Effects of Cold ; with Observations of the Longitude, Latitude, and Decli-
nation of the Magnetic Needle, at Prince of Wales's Fort, on Churchill river
in Hudson s Bay, North America. By Capt. Christopher Middleton, F.R.S.
1741-2. N°465, p. 157.
Capt. M. observed, that the hares, rabbits, foxes and partridges, in Sep-


tember, and the beginning of October, changed their native colour to a snowy
white ; and that for 6 months, in the severest part of the winter, he never saw
any but what were all white, except some foxes of a different sort, which were
grizzled, and some half red, half white.

That lakes and standing waters, which are not above 10 or 12 feet deep, are
frozen to the ground in winter, and the fishes in them all perish. Yet in rivers
near the sea, and lakes of a greater depth than 10 or 12 feet, fishes are caught
all the winter, by cutting holes through the ice down to the water, and putting
lines and hooks in them. But if they are to be taken with nets, they cut se-
veral holes in a straight line the length of the net, and pass the net, with a
stick fastened to the head line, from hole to hole, till it reaches the utmost
extent ; and what fishes come to these holes for air, are entangled in the net ;
and these fish, as soon as brought into the open air, are instantly frozen as stiflT
as stock-fish. The seamen freshen their salt provisions, by cutting a large hole
through the ice in the stream or tide of the river, which they do at the begin-
ning of the winter, and keep it open all that season. In this hole they put their
salt meat, and the minute it is immersed under water, it becomes pliable and
soft, though before its immersion it was hard frozen.

Beef, pork, mutton, and venison, that are killed at the beginning of the
winter, are preserved by the frost, for 6 or 7 months, entirely free from putre-
faction, and prove tolerably good eating. Likewise geese, partridges, and
other fowl, that are killed at the same time, and kept with their feathers on,
and guts in, require no other preservative, but the frost, to make them good
wholesome eating, as long as the winter continues. All kinds of fish are pre-
served in the like manner.

In large lakes and rivers, the ice is sometimes broken by imprisoned vapours ;
and the rocks, trees, joists and rafters of our buildings, are burst with a noise
not less terrible than the firing of a great many guns together. The rocks
which are split by the frost, are heaved up in great heaps, leaving large cavities
behind ; which may be caused by imprisoned watery vapours, that require more
room, when frozen, than they occupy in their fluid state. Neither is it won-
derful that the frost should be able to tear up rocks and trees, and split the
beams of our houses, when we consider its great force and elasticity. If beer
or water be left in mugs, cans, bottles, or copper pots, though they were put
by our bed-sides, in a severe night they are surely split to pieces before morn-
ing, not being able to withstand the expansive force of the inclosed ice.

The air is filled with innumerable particles of ice, very sharp and angular,
and plainly perceptible to the naked eye. Capt. M. several times tried to make
observations of some celestial bodies, particularly the emersions of Jupiter's


satellites with reflecting and refracting telescopes : but the metals and glasses,
by the time he could fix them to the object, were covered a quarter of an inch
thick, with ice, which rendered the object indistinct, so that it is not without
great difficulties that any observations can be taken.

Bottles of strong beer, brandy, strong brine, spirits of wine, set out in the
open air for 3 or 4 hours, freeze to solid ice. He tried to get the sun's refrac-
tion to every degree above the horizon, with Elton's quadrant, but to no pur-
pose, for the spirits froze almost as soon as brought into open air.

The frost is never out of the ground; how deep cannot be certain. They
have dug down 10 or 12 feet, and found the earth hard frozen in the 2 summer
months; and what moisture is found, 5 or 6 feet down, is white like ice. The
waters or rivers near the sea, where the current of the tide flows strong, do not
freeze above 9 or 10 feet deep.

All the water used for cooking, brewing, &c. is melted snow and ice ; no
spring is yet found free from freezing, though dug ever so deep down. All
waters inland are frozen fast by the beginning of October, and continue so till
the middle of May.

The walls of the house they lived in are of stone, 2 feet thick, the windows
very small, with thick wooden shutters, which are close shut 18 hours every
day in the winter. There are cellars under the house, where are put the wines,
brandy, strong beer, butter, cheese, &c. Four large fires are made in great
stoves, built on purpose, every day. As soon as the wood is burnt down to a
coal, the tops of the chimneys are close stopped with an iron cover : this keeps
the heat within the house, though at the same time the smoke makes their

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 68 of 85)