Folio 226

And swollen perhaps we might be observed the some of the Lacteal Ductus.

Mr Wray was of the the opinion that never any perfect cure was made of the Pox without Mercurie.[1]  Which he had confirmed by to him by the general comport of the best Practize[d] Doctour, he had yet spoake with all either in England or Italie.

That Water will make its way through, where aire cannot is manifest from this Experiment which Mr Croune[2] assured me to have tried several times before the Academie of Virtuosi at Gresham[3] and that \it/ was there Registered.[4]  If we blow up a blather and tye \it/ up hard as it should be it will continue for an age will go too, and keep its Aire in. but if you fill in the same blather with wind watter, tye it close \as you may/, and lay it in a faire bason, in 24 houres a 3d part will be run out the same he tryed in the stomack of a man with wine.[5]

Folio 226 verso

That the specifique of distinguishing vertu of a Plant was to be found in the Oily part of it \which was \\most// various and different in all/ rather, than either in the \fixt/ salt [6] or spirit. Which two after \due/ rectification[7] and ffixations of all urinous qualities by frequent burning were not to be knowne [[the one from the other]] all fix Salts \of Plants/ being alike as alsoe all spirits.  This was the result of an Entertein[8] wherin Mr Wray and Mr Havers[9] were the Antagonists and \where/ I assisted, etc.

As to the Powers of Phisick or Medicaments, Mr Wray was of the mind to allow of the first division of them into Purgatifs, Vomatifs, Diurthiqu[ic]s[10] and Suderifiqu[ic]s.[11] but as for any other of their subscriptions he kissed their hands.  If those that were properly soe called purgatifs, they be all too uncertaine in their Operation, that unlesse our Phisitians put some ten graines of Scammonial[12] or Diagrid.[13] into their composition, they ere never well assured that their businesse otherwise will be done.

[1] Mercury was commonly used to treat the Great Pox or syphilis.

[2] William Croone (1633-1684), also spelled Croune. in 1659, Croone was the Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, London, and he served as Register when the Royal Society was formed.  The Croonian Royal Society lecture was provided for in his will, though not endowed until 1701 by the terms of his widow’s will.

[3] The Royal Society.

[4] In preparation for the publication of his book De ratione motus musculorum (1664), which represented one of the earliest attempts to explain muscle contraction, William Croone did a series of experiments with bladders filled with air or water.  He argued that expanding muscle, like a bladder filled with air or water, could exert a force able to move part of the body against considerable resistance.  Croone proposed that an expansive chemical reaction between the blood and nervous fluid caused muscle swelling and thus contraction.  See Margaret Nayler, ‘Introduction’, On the Reason of the Movement of the Muscles, trans. Paul Maquet (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2000), 2.

[5] On 22 April 1663, three experiments of William Croone were read to the Royal Society, one involving ‘pouring five pints of French Wine into a large ventricle of an executed person’ to see if wine would transude the stomach and intestines of a dead person. See Classified Papers, vol. 17/2, the Royal Society Library, London.

[6] Fixed salts referred to salts with a degree of solidity of a substance as measured by the ability of that substance to resist the action of fire, those which were nonvolatile; an example is potassium carbonate which is noncombustible.  They also were thought to be composed of larger particles.  This was in opposition to volatile salts, made of fine particles, which gave off an aeriform component (such as an odor), but also to salts that decomposed easily on heating.  Most plant salts were produced chymically by bruising and burning a plant, and then calcinating its ashes, extracting from it a volatile salt.  There was a debate if salts were unique to each species of plant, pre-existing in them, or if they were rather produced, and not extracted by fire analysis.  See Anna Marie Roos, The Salt of the Earth: Natural Philosophy, Medicine, and Chymistry in England, 1650-1750 (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 48-49, 89.

[7] Purifying or correcting a substance by repeated distillations.

[8] Entretien.

[9] Skippon mentions a Mr Havers ‘formerly of Trinity college in Cambridge’ as resident in Montpellier at the time Lister was there. (p. 714). This was Gilbert Havers.

[10] Diuretic.

[11] Sudorific, a drug that induced sweating.

[12] Convolvulus scammonia. A resinous juice obtained from the roots of this plant has purgative properties.

[13] Diagridium, a synonym for scammonia.

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