The history of the Royal-Society of London for the improving of natural knowledge by Tho. Sprat.
Sprat, Thomas, 1635-1713., Cowley, Abraham, 1618-1667. To the Royal Society.
Page  52

THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY. The SECOND PART.

*THus I am, at length, arriv'd at the second Part of my Method, The Narration it self. This I shall divide into three Pe∣riods of Time, according to the seve∣ral Degrees of the preparation, growth, and compleat Constitution of the Royal Society.

The First shall consist of the first occasions of this Model, and the Men, who first devis'd to put it in execution: and shall end, where they began to make it a form'd, and Regular Assembly.

The Second shall trace out their first attempts, till they receiv'd the publick assistance of Royal Autho∣rity.

The Third shall deliver, what they have done, since they were made a Royal Corporation.

It may seem perhaps, that in passing through the first of these, I go too far back, and treat of things, that may appear to be of too private, and Domestick concernment, to be spoken in this publick way. But if this Enterprise, which is now so well establish'd, shall be hereafter advantageous to Man∣kind (as I make no scruple to foretel, that it will) Page  53 it is but just, that future times should hear the names, of its first Promoters: That they may be able to ren∣der particular thanks to them, who first conceiv'd it in their minds, and practis'd some little draught of it long ago. And besides, I never yet saw an Historian that was cleer from all Affections: that, it may be, were not so much to be call'd Integrity, as a stoical insensibility: Nor can I, more then others, resist my inclinations, which strongly force me to mention that, which will be for the honor of that place, where I receiv'd a great part of my Education. It was therefore, some space after the end of the Civil Wars at Oxford, in Dr. Wilkins his Lodgings, in Wadham College, which was then the place of Resort for Ver∣tuous, and Learned Men, that the first meetings were made, which laid the foundation of all this that fol∣low'd. The Vniversity had, at that time, many Mem∣bers of its own, who had begun a free way of reason∣ing; and was also frequented by some Gentlemen, of Philosophical Minds, whom the misfortunes of the Kingdom, and the security and ease of a retirement amongst Gown-men, had drawn thither.

Their first purpose was no more,* then onely the satisfaction of breathing a freer air, and of conversing in quiet one with another, without being ingag'd in the passions, and madness of that dismal Age. And from the Institution of that Assembly, it had been enough, if no other advantage had come, but this: That by this means there was a race of yong Men pro∣vided, against the next Age, whose minds receiving from them, their first Impressions of sober and gener∣ous knowledge, were invincibly arm'd against all the inchantments of Enthusiasm. But what is more, I may Page  54 venture to affirm, that it was in good measure, by the influence, which these Gentlemen had over the rest, that the Vniversity it self, or at least, any part of its Discipline, and Order, was sav'd from ruine. And from hence we may conclude, that the same Men have now no intention, of sweeping away all the honor of Antiquity in this their new Design: seeing they imploy'd so much of their labor, and prudence, in preserving that most venerable Seat of antient Learn∣ing, when their shrinking from its defence, would have been the speediest way to have destroy'd it. For the Truth of this, I dare appeal to all uninteres∣sed men, who knew the Temper of that place; and especially to those who were my own contempora∣ries there: of whom I can name very many, whom the happy restoration of the Kingdom's peace, found as well inclin'd, to serve their Prince, and the Church, as if they had been bred up in the most prosperous condition of their Country. This was undoubted∣ly so. Nor indeed could it be otherwise: for such spiritual Frensies, which did then bear Rule, can ne∣ver stand long, before a cleer, and a deep skill in Nature. It is almost impossible, that they, who con∣verse much with the subtilty of things, should be deluded by such thick deceits. There is but one bet∣ter charm in the world, then Real Philosophy, to al∣lay the impulses of the false spirit: and that is, the bles∣sed presence, and assistance of the True.

Nor were the good effects of this conversation, onely confin'd to Oxford: But they have made them∣selves known in their printed Works, both in our own, and in the learned Language: which have much conduc'd to the Fame of our Nation abroad, and to the spreading of profitable Light, at home. This I Page  55 trust, will be universally acknowledg'd, when I shall have nam'd the Men. The principal, and most con∣stant of them, were Doctor Seth Ward, the present Lord Bishop of Exeter, Mr. Boyl, Dr. Wilkins, Sir William Petty, Mr. Mathew Wren, Dr. Wallis, Dr. God∣dard, Dr. Willis, Dr. Bathurst, Dr. Christopher Wren, Mr. Rook: besides several others, who joyn'd them∣selves to them, upon occasions. Now I have produc'd their Names, I am a little at a stand, how to deal with them. For, if I should say what they deserve; I fear it would be intepreted flatt'ry, insteed of justice. And yet I have now lying in my sight, the example of an Elegant Book, which I have profess'd to admire: whose Author sticks not, to make large Panegyricks, on the Members of that Assembly, whose Relation he Writes. But this President is not to be follow'd by a yong Man; who ought to be more jealous of pub∣lick censure, and is not enough confirm'd in the good liking of the world; to think, that he has such a weighty, and difficult work, as the making of Cha∣racters, committed to him. I will therefore pass by their praises in silence; though I believe, that what I might say of them, would be generally confess'd: and that if any ingenuous man, who knows them, or their writings, should contradict me, he would also go neer to gainsay himself, and to retract the ap∣plauses, which he had sometime, or other, bestow'd upon them.

For such a candid, and unpassionate company, as that was, and for such a gloomy season, what could have been a fitter Subject to pitch upon, then Natu∣ral Philosophy? To have been always tossing about some Theological question, would have been, to have made that their private diversion, the excess of Page  56 which they themselves dislik'd in the publick: To have been eternally musing on Civil business, and the distresses of their Country, was too melancholy a reflexion: It was Nature alone, which could plea∣santly entertain them, in that estate. The contem∣plation of that, draws our minds off from past, or present misfortunes, and makes them conquerers over things, in the greatest publick unhappiness: while the consideration of Men, and humane affairs, may affect us, with a thousand various disquiets; that never separates us into mortal Factions; that gives us room to differ, without animosity; and permits us, to raise contrary imaginations upon it, without any danger of a Civil War.

Their meetings were as frequent, as their affairs permitted: their proceedings rather by action, then discourse; cheifly attending some particular Trials, in Chymistry, or Mechanicks: they had no Rules nor Method fix'd: their intention was more, to commu∣nicate to each other, their discoveries, which they could make in so narrow a compass, than an uni∣ted, constant, or regular inquisition. And me thinks, their constitution did bear some resemblance, to the Academy lately begun at Paris: where they have at last turn'd their thoughts, from Words, to experi∣mental Philosophy, and perhaps in imitation of the Royal Society. Their manner likewise, is to assemble in a private house, to reason freely upon the works of Nature; to pass Conjectures, and propose Pro∣blems, on any Mathematical, or Philosophical Mat∣ter, which comes in their way. And this is an Omen, on which I will build some hope, that as they agree with us in what was done at Oxford, so they will go on farther, and come by the same degrees, to erect Page  57 another Royal Society in France. I promise for these Gentlemen here (so well I know the generosity of their Design) that they will be most ready to accept their assistance. To them, and to all the Learned World besides, they call for aid. No difference of Country, Interest, or profession of Religion, will make them backward from taking, or affording help in this enterprize. And indeed all Europe at this time, have two general Wars, which they ought in honor to make: The one a holy, the other a Philo∣sophical: The one against the common Enemy of Christendom, the other also against powerful, and barbarous Foes, that have not been fully subdu'd al∣most these six thousand years, Ignorance, and False Opinions. Against these, it becomes us, to go forth in one common expedition: All civil Nations joyn∣ing their Armies against the one, and their Reason a∣gainst the other; without any petty contentions, a∣bout privileges, or precedence.

Thus they continued without any great Intermis∣sions,* till about the year 1658. But then being call'd away to several parts of the Nation, and the great∣est number of them coming to London, they usual∣ly met at Gresham College, at the Wednesdays, and Thursdays Lectures of Dr. Wren, and Mr. Rook: where there joyn'd with them several eminent persons of their common acquaintance: The Lord Viscount Brouncker, the now Lord Brereton, Sir Paul Neil, Mr. Iohn Evelyn, Mr. Henshaw, Mr. Slingsby, Dr. Timo∣thy Clark, Dr. Ent, Mr. Ball, Mr. Hill, Dr. Crone: and divers other Gentlemen, whose inclinations lay the same way. This Custom was observ'd once, if not twice a week, in Term time; till they were scat∣t'red Page  58 by the miserable distractions of that Fatal year; till the continuance of their meetings there might have made them run the hazard of the fate of Archi∣medes: For then the place of their meeting was made a Quarter for Soldiers. But, (to make hast through those dreadful revolutions, which cannot be beheld upon Paper, without horror; unless we re∣member, that they had this one happy effect, to o∣pen mens eies to look out for the true Remedy) up∣on this follow'd the King's Return; and that, wrought by such an admirable chain of events, that if we ei∣ther regard the easiness, or speed, or blessed issue of the Work; it seems of it self to contain variety, and plea∣sure enough, to make recompence, for the whole Twenty years Melancholy, that had gone before. This I leave to another kind of History to be de∣scrib'd. It shall suffice my purpose, that Philosophy had its share, in the benefits of that glorious Action: For the Royal Society had its beginning in the won∣derful pacifick year, 1660. So that, if any conjectures of good Fortune, from extraordinary Nativities, hold true; we may presage all happiness to this underta∣king. And I shall here joyn my solemn wishes, that as it began in that time, when our Country was freed from confusion, and slavery: So it may, in its pro∣gress, redeem the minds of Men, from obscurity, uncertainty, and bondage.

*These Gentlemen therefore, finding the hearts of their Countrymen inlarg'd by their Joys, and fitted for any noble Proposition: and meeting with the concurrence of many Worthy Men, who, to their im∣mortal Honor, had follow'd the King in his banish∣ment, Mr. Erskins, Sir Robert Moray, Sir Gilbert Tal∣bot,Page  59 &c. began now to imagine some greater thing; and to bring out experimental knowledge, from the retreats, in which it had long hid it self, to take its part in the Triumphs of that universal Jubilee. And indeed Philosophy did very well deserve that Re∣ward: having been always Loyal in the worst of times: For though the Kings enemies had gain'd all other advantages; though they had all the Garri∣sons, and Fleets, and Ammunitions, and Treasures, and Armies on their side: yet they could never, by all their Victories, bring over the Reason of Men to their Party.

While they were thus ord'ring their platform; there came forth a Treatise, which very much hasten'd its contrivance: and that was a Proposal by Master Cowley, of erecting a Philosophical College. The intent of it was, that in some place neer London, there should liberal Salaries be bestow'd, on a competent number of Learned Men, to whom should be com∣mitted the operations of Natural Experiments. This Model was every way practicable: unless perhaps, in two things, he did more consult the generosity of his own mind, than of other mens: the one was the largeness of the Revenue, with which he would have his College at first indow'd: the other, that he impos'd on his Operators, a Second task of great pains, the Education of youth.

The last of these is indeed a matter of great weight: The Reformation of which ought to be se∣riously examin'd by prudent Men. For it is an un∣deniable Truth, which is commonly said; that there would be need of fewer Laws, and less force to go∣vern Men, if their Minds were rightly inform'd, and set strait, while they were yong, and pliable. But Page  60 perhaps this labor is not so proper, for Experimen∣ters to undergo: For it would not only devour too much of their Time: but it would go neer, to make them a little more magisterial in Philosophy, then be∣came them; by being long accustom'd to command the opinions, and direct the manners, of their Scho∣lars. And as to the other particular, the large e∣state, which he requir'd to the maintenance of his College: It is evident, that it is so difficult a thing, to draw men in to be willing to divert an antient Reve∣nue, which had long run in another stream, or to contribute out of their own purses, to the support∣ing of any new Design, while it shews nothing but promises, and hopes: that, in such cases, it were (it may be) more advisable, to begin upon a small stock, and so to rise by degrees; then to profess great things at first, and to exact too much benevolence, all in one lump together. However, it was not the excel∣lent Author's fault, that he thought better of the Age, then it did deserve. His purpose in it was like himself, full of honor, and goodness: most of the other particulars of his draught, the Royal Society is now putting in practice.

I come now to the Second Period of my Narra∣tion: wherein I promis'd, to give an account of what they did, till they were publickly own'd, incourag'd, and confirm'd by Royal Favor. And I trust, that I shall here produce many things, which will prove their attempts to be worthy of all Mens incourage∣ment: though what was perform'd in this interval, may be rather styl'd the Temporary Scaffold about the building, then the Frame it self. But in my entrance upon this Part▪ being come to the top of the Hill, I begin to tremble, and to apprehend the greatness of Page  61 my Subject. For I perceive that I have led my Rea∣ders Minds on, by so long, and so confident a Speech, to expect some wonderful Model, which shall far exceed all the former, that I have acknowledg'd to have been imperfect. Now, though this were re∣ally so, as I believe it is; yet I question, how it will look, after it has been disfigur'd by my unskilful hands. But the danger of this ought to have de∣terr'd me in the beginning. It is now too late to look back; and I can only apply my self to that good Na∣ture, which a Great Man has observ'd to be so pecu∣liar to our Nation, that there is scarce an expression to signifie it, in any other Language. To this I must flye for succor, and most affectionately intreat my Countrymen, that they would interpret my fail∣ings to be onely errors of obedience to some, whose commands, or desires, I could not resist: and that they would take the measure of the Royal Society, not so much from my lame description of it; as from the honor, and reputation, of many of those Men, of whom it is compos'd.

I will here, in the first place, contract into few Words,* the whole summe of their Resolutions; which I shall often have occasion, to touch upon in parcels. Their purpose is, in short, to make faithful Records, of all the Works of Nature, or Art, which can come within their reach: that so the present Age, and po∣sterity, may be able to put a mark on the Errors, which have been strengthned by long prescription: to restore the Truths, that have lain neglected: to push on those, which are already known, to more various uses: and to make the way more passable, to what remains unreveal'd. This is the compass of their Page  62 Design. And to accomplish this, they have indea∣vor'd, to separate the knowledge of Nature, from the colours of Rhetorick, the devices of Fancy, or the delightful deceit of Fables. They have labor'd to inlarge it, from being confin'd to the custody of a few; or from servitude to private interests. They have striven to preserve it from being over-press'd by a confus'd heap of vain, and useless particulars; or from being straitned and bounded too much up by General Doctrines. They have try'd, to put it into a condition of perpetual increasing; by settling an in∣violable correspondence between the hand, and the brain. They have studi'd, to make it, not onely an Enterprise of one season, or of some lucky opportu∣nity; but a business of time; a steddy, a lasting, a popular, an uninterrupted Work. They have at∣tempted, to free it from the Artifice, and Humors, and Passions of Sects; to render it an Instrument, whereby Mankind may obtain a Dominion over Things, and not onely over one anothers Iudgements. And lastly, they have begun to establish these Refor∣mations in Philosophy, not so much, by any solemni∣ty of Laws, or ostentation of Ceremonies, as by so∣lid Practice, and examples: not, by a glorious pomp of Words; but by the silent, effectual, and unan∣swerable Arguments of real Productions.

This will more fully appear, by what I am to say on these four particulars, which shall make up this part of my Relation, the Qualifications of their Members: the manner of their Inquiry: their weekly Assemblies: and their way of Registring.*

As for what belongs to the Members themselves, that are to constitute the Society: It is to be noted, Page  63 that they have freely admitted Men of different Reli∣gions, Countries, and Professions of Life. This they were oblig'd to do, or else they would come far short of the the largeness of their own Declarations. For they openly profess, not to lay the Foundation of an English, Scotch, Irish, Popish, or Protestant Philosophy; but a Philosophy of Mankind.

That the Church of England ought not to be appre∣hensive,* of this free converse of various Judgments, I shall afterwards manifest at large. For the present, I shall franckly assert; that our Doctrine, and Disci∣pline, will be so far from receiving damage by it; that it were the best way to make them universally em∣brac'd, if they were oftner brought to be canvas'd amidst all sorts of dissenters. It is dishonorable, to pass a hard Censure on the Religions of all other Countries: It concerns them, to look to the reasona∣bleness of their Faith; and it is sufficient for us, to be establish'd in the Truth of our own. But yet this comparison I may modestly make; that there is no one Profession, amidst the several denominations of Christians, that can be expos'd to the search and scru∣tiny of its adversaries, with so much safety as ours. So equal it is, above all others, to the general Reason of Mankind: such honorable security it provides, both for the liberty of Mens Minds, and for the peace of Government: that if some Mens conceptions were put in practice, that all wise Men should have two Religions; the one, a publick, for their conformity with the people; the other, a private, to be kept to their own Breasts: I am confident, that most consi∣dering Men, whatever their first were, would make ours their second, if they were well acquainted with it. Seeing therefore, our Church would be in Page  64 so fair a probability of gaining very much, by a fre∣quent contention, and incounter, with other Sects: It cannot be indanger'd by this Assembly; which proceeds no farther, then to an unprejudic'd mix∣ture with them.

*By their naturalizing Men of all Countries, they have laid the beginnings of many great advantages for the future. For by this means, they will be able, to settle a constant Intelligence, throughout all civil Nations; and make the Royal Society the general Banck, and Free-port of the World: A policy, which whether it would hold good, in the Trade of England, I know not: but sure it will in the Philoso∣phy. We are to overcome the mysteries of all the Works of Nature; and not onely to prosecute such as are confin'd to one Kingdom, or beat upon one shore. We should not then refufe to list all the aids, that will come in, how remote soever. If I could fetch my materials whence I pleas'd, to fashion the Idea of a perfect Philosopher: he should not be all of one clime, but have the different excellencies of several Countries. First, he should have the Industry, Activity, and Inquisitive humor of the Dutch, French, Scotch, and English, in laying the ground Work, the heap of Experiments: And then he should have ad∣ded the cold, and circumspect, and wary disposition of the Italians, and Spaniards, in meditating upon them, before he fully brings them into speculation. All this is scarce ever to be found in one single Man: sel∣dom in the same Countrymen: It must then be sup∣ply'd, as well as it may, by a Publick Council; where∣in the various dispositions of all these Nations, may be blended together. To this purpose, the Royal So∣ciety has made no scruple, to receive all inquisitive Page  65 strangers of all Countries, into its number. And this they have constantly done, with such peculiar re∣spect, that they have not oblig'd them to the charge of contributions: they have always taken care, that some of their Members, should assist them in inter∣preting all that pass'd, in their publick Assemblies: and they have freely open'd their Registers to them; thereby inviting them, to communicate forein Rari∣ties, by imparting their own discoveries. This has been often acknowledg'd, by many Learned Men, who have travell'd hither; who have been intro∣duc'd to their meetings, and have admir'd the de∣cency, the gravity, the plainess, and the calmness of their debates. This they have publish'd to the world: and this has rous'd all our neighbors to fix their eies upon England. From hence they expect the great improvements of knowledge will flow: and though, perhaps, they send their Youth into other parts, to learn Fashion, and Breeding: yet their Men come hi∣ther for nobler ends; to be instructed, in the mascu∣line, and the solid Arts of Life: which is a matter of as much greater Reputation, as it is more honorable, to teach Philosophers, than Children.

By their admission of Men of all professions,* these two Benefits arise: The one, that every Art, and eve∣ry way of life already establish'd, may be secure of receiving no damage by their Counsels. A thing which all new Inventions ought carefully to consult. It is in vain, to declare against the profit of the most, in any change that we would make. We must not always deal with the violent current of popular pas∣sions; as they do with the furious Eager in the Se∣vern: Where the safest way is, to set the head of the Boat directly against its force. But here Men must Page  66 follow the shore; wind about leisurably; and insinuate their useful alterations, by soft, and unperceivable de∣grees. From the neglect of this Prudence, we often see men of great Wit, to have been overborn by the multitude of their opposers; and to have found all their subtile projects too weak, for custom, and inte∣rest: While being a little too much heated with a love of their own fancies; they have rais'd to themselves more Enemies than they needed to have done; by defying at once, too many things in use. But here, this danger is very well prevented. For what suspicion can Divinity, Law, or Physick, or any other course of life have, that they shall be impair'd by these mens labours: when they themselves are as capable of sit∣ting amongst them as any others? Have they not the same security that the whole Nation has for its lives and fortunes? of which this is esteem'd the Establish∣ment, that men of all sorts, and qualities, give their voice in every law that is made in Parliament. But the other benefit is, that by this equal Balance of all Professions, there will no one particular of them over∣weigh the other, or make the Oracle onely speak their private sence: which else it were impossible to avoid. It is natural to all Ranks of men, to have some one Darling, upon which their care is chiefly fix'd. If Mechanicks alone were to make a Philosophy, they would bring it all into their Shops; and force it wholly to consist of Springs and Wheels, and Weights: if Physicians, they would not depart farr from their Art; scarce any thing would be consider'd, besides the Body of Man, the Causes, Signs, and Cures of Dis∣eases. So much is to be found in Men of all conditi∣ons, of that which is call'd Pedantry in Scholars: which is nothing else but an obstinate addiction, to Page  67 the forms of some private life, and not regarding ge∣neral things enough. This freedom therefore, which they use, in embracing all assistance, is most advanta∣geous to them: which is the more remarkable, in that they diligently search out, and join to them, all extraordinary men, though but of ordinary Trades. And that they are likely to continue this comprehen∣sive temper hereafter, I will shew by one Instance: and it is the recommendation which the King himself was pleased to make, of the judicious Author of the Observations on the Bills of Mortality: In whose Ele∣ction, it was so farr from being a prejudice, that he was a Shop-keeper of London; that His Majesty gave this particular charge to His Society, that if they found any more such Tradesmen, they should be sure to ad∣mit them all, without any more ado. From hence it may be concluded, what is their inclination towards the manual Arts; by the carefull regard which their Founder, and Patron, has engag'd them to have, for all sorts of Mechanick Artists.

But,* though the Society entertains very many men of particular Professions; yet the farr greater Number are Gentlemen, free, and unconfin'd. By the help of this, there was hopefull Provision made against two corruptions of Learning, which have been long com∣plain'd of, but never remov'd: The one, that Know∣ledge still degenerates, to consult present profit too soon; the other, that Philosophers have bin always Masters, & Scholars; some imposing, & all the other submitting; and not as equal observers without dependence.

The first of these may be call'd, the marrying of Arts too soon;* and putting them to generation, before they come to be of Age; and has been the cause of Page  68 much inconvenience. It weakens their strength; It makes an unhappy disproportion in their increase; while not the best, but the most gainfull of them florish: But above all, it diminishes that very profit for which men strive. It busies them about possessing some petty prize; while Nature it self, with all its mighty Trea∣sures, slips from them: and so they are serv'd like some foolish Guards; who, while they were earnest in picking up some small Money, that the Prisoner drop'd out of his Pocket, let the Prisoner himself escape, from whom they might have got a great randsom. This is easily declam'd against, but most difficult to be hindred. If any caution will serve, it must be this; to commit the Work to the care of such men, who, by the freedom of their education the plenty of their estates, and the usual generosity of Noble Bloud, may be well suppo'd to be most averse from such sor∣did considerations.

The second Error, wich is hereby endeavour▪d to be remedied, is, that the Seats of Knowledg, have been for the most part heretofore, not Laboratories, as they ought to be; but onely Scholes, where some have taught, and all the rest subscrib'd. The conse∣quences of this are very mischievous. For first, as many Learners as there are, so many hands, and brains may still be reckon'd upon, as useless. It being onely the Master's part, to examine, and observe; and the Disciples, to submit with silence, to what they con∣clude. But besides this, the very inequality of the Titles of Teachers, and Scholars, does very much sup∣press, and tame mens Spirits, which though it should be proper for Discipline and Education; yet is by no means consistent with a free Philosophical Consultati∣on. It is undoubtedly true; that scarce any man's Page  69 mind, is so capable of thinking strongly, in the presence of one, whom he fears and reverences; as he is, when that restraint is taken off. And this is to be found, not only in these weightier matters; but also (to give a lighter instance) in the Arts of Discourse, & raillery themselves▪ For we have often seen men of bold tem∣pers, that have over-aw'd and govern'd the Wit of most Companies; to have been disturb'd, and dumb, & bashful as children, when some other man has been near, who us'd to out-talk them. Such a kind of natu∣ral soveraignty there is, in some mens minds over o∣thers: which must needs be farr greater, when it is ad∣vanc'd by long use & the venerable name of a Master. I shall only mention one prejudice more, & that is this; That from this onely teaching, and learning, there does not onely follow a continuance, but an increase of the yoak upon our Reasons. For those who take their opinions from others Rules, are commonly stricter Imposers upon their Scholars, than their own Authors were on them, or than the first Inventors of things themselves are upon others. Whatever the cause of this be; whether the first men are made meek, and gentle, by their long search, and by better understanding all the difficulties of Knowledg; while those that learn afterwards, onely hastily catching things in small Systems, are soon satisfy'd, before they have broken their pride, & so become more imperious: or, whether it arises from hence, that the same mean∣ness of Soul, which made them bound their thoughts by others Precepts, makes them also insolent to their inferiors; as we always find cowards the most cruel: or whatever other cause may be alleg'd, the observation is certain, that the successors are usually more positive, and Tyrannical, than the beginners of Sects.

Page  70If then there can be any cure devis'd for this; it must be no other, than to form an Assembly at one time, whose privileges shall be the same; whose gain shall be in common; whose Members were not brought up at the feet of each other. But after all, even this cannot be free from prevarication in all future Ages. So apt are some to distrust, and others to confide too much in themselves: so much sweetness there is, in leading parties: so much pride, in following a Facti∣on: such various artifices there are, to ensnare mens Passions, and soon after their Vnderstandings. All these hazards, and many more, are to be suppos'd; which it is impossible, for mortal Wit, wholly to fore∣see, much less to avoid. But yet we have less ground of jealousie from this Institution, than any other, not only, because they only deal in matters of Fact, which are not so easily perverted; but also upon security of the Inclinations of the greatest part of the Members of the Society it self. This, I hope, most men will ac∣knowledg, and I will take the permission, to say in general of them, that in all past and present times, I am confident, there can never be shewn, so great a Number of Contemporaries, in so narrow a space of the World, that lov'd truth so zealously; sought it so constantly; and upon whose labours, mankind might so freely rely. This I speak, not out of Bravery to Foreiners (before whose eyes, I believe this negli∣gent Discourse will never appear) but to the learned Men of this Nation, who are better Judges of what I say. And this too, I dare affirm, in an Age, wherein I expect to be condemn'd of falshood, or partiality, for this Character, which I have given. For so it happens, that we are now arriv'd at that excessive censuring humor, that he who takes upon him to commend any Page  71 thing, though never so worthy, will raise to himself farr more Enemies than Friends. And indeed this sowrness of Criticism, which now bears all down be∣fore it, is very injurious to the honour of our Coun∣trey. For by despising men, for not being absolutely excellent; we keep them from being so: while ad∣monitions, join'd with praises; and reproofs, with di∣rections; would quickly bring all things to a higher perfection. But the rudeness of such Criticks, I do not so much regard; as the objections of soberer men, who have a real good will to the promotion of this design, and yet may be a little dissatisfy'd in this place. For here especially they may doubt of two things. The first, whether the Royal Society, being so numerous as it is, will not in short time be diverted from its pri∣mitive purpose; seeing there wil be scarce enough men of Philosophical temper always found, to fill it up; and then others will crowd in, who have not the same bent of mind; and so the whole business will insen∣sibly be made, rather a matter of noise and pomp, than of real benefit? The second, Whether their number being so large, will not afright private men, from im∣parting many profitable secrets to them; lest they should thereby become common, and so they be de∣priv'd of the gain, which else they might be sure of, if they kept them to themselvs.

To the first,* I shall reply, That this scruple is of no force, in respect of the Age wherein we live. For now the Genius of Experimenting is so much dispers'd, that even in this Nation, if there were one, or two more such Assemblies settled; there could not be wanting able men enough, to carry them on. All places and corners are now busie, and warm about this Work: Page  72 and we find many Noble Rarities to be every day given in, not onely by the hands of Learned and pro∣fess'd Philosophers; but from the Shops of Mecha∣nicks; from the Voyages of Merchants; from the Ploughs of Husbandmen; from the Sports, the Fish∣ponds, the Parks, the Gardens of Gentlemen; the doubt therefore will onely touch future Ages. And even for them too, we may securely promise; that they will not, for a long time be barren of a Race of Inqui∣sitive minds, when the way is now so plainly trac'd out before them; when they shall have tasted of these first Fruits, and have been excited by this Example. There was scarce ever yet, any the meanest Sect, or the most contemptible Opinion, that was utterly ex∣tinguish'd in its Cradle. Whether they deserv'd to live, or not, they all had their course; some longer, some shorter; according as they could combine with the Interests, or affections, of the Countreys where they began. What reason then have we to bode ill alone to this Institution; which is now so earnestly em∣brac'd; and which, the older it grows, cannot but still appear more inoffensive? If we onely requir'd perfect Philosophers, to manage this employment, it were another case. For then I grant it were impro∣bable, that threescore, or an hundred such should meet in one time. But here it is far otherwise. If we cannot have a sufficient choice of those that are skill'd in all Divine and human things (which was the an∣tient definition of a Philosopher) it suffices, if many of them be plain, diligent, and laborious observers: such, who, though they bring not much knowledg, yet bring their hands, and their eyes uncorrupted: such as have not their Brains infected by false Images; and can honestly assist in the examining, and RegistringPage  73 what the others represent to their view. It seems strange to me, that men should conspire, to believe all things more perplex'd, and difficult, than indeed they are. This may be shewn in most other matters; but in this particular in hand, it is most evident. Men did generally think, that no man was sit to meddle in mat∣ters of this consequence, but he that had bred himself up in a long course of Discipline for that purpose; that had the habit, the gesture, the look of a Philosopher. Whereas experience on the contrary tells us, that greater things are produc'd, by the free way, than the formal. This mistake may well be compar'd, to the conceit we had of Souldiers, in the beginning of the civil Warrs. None was thought worthy of that name, but he that could shew his wounds, and talk aloud of his exploits in the Low Countreys. Whereas the whole business of fighting, was afterwards chiefly perform'd by untravell'd Gentlemen, raw Citizens, and Generals, that had scarce ever before seen a Battel. But to say no more, it is so farr from being a blemish; that it is rather the excellency of this Institution, that men of various Studies are introduc'd. For so there will be always many sincere witnesses standing by, whom self-love wil not persuade to report falsly, nor heat of invention carry to swallow a deceit too soon; as having themselves no hand in the making of the Experiment, but onely in the Inspection. So cautious ought men to be, in pronouncing even upon Matters of Fact. The whole care is not to be trusted to single men: not to a Company all of one mind; not to Philosophers; not to devout, and religious men alone: By all these we have been already deluded; even by those whom I last nam'd, who ought most of all to abhorr falshood; of whom yet many have mul∣tiply'd Page  74 upon us, infinite Stories, and false Miracles, without any regard to Conscience, or Truth.

To the second Objection I shall briefly answer; that if all the Authors, or Possessors of extraordinary in∣ventions, should conspire to conceal all, that was in their power, from them; yet the Method, which they take, will quickly make abundant reparation for that defect. If they cannot come at Nature in its particular Streams, they will have it in the Fountain. If they could be shut out from the Closets of Physicians, or the Work-houses of Mechanicks; yet with the same, or with better sorts of Instruments, on more materials, by more hands, with a more rational light, they would not onely restore again the old Arts, but find out, perhaps, many more of farr greater importance. But I need not lay much tress upon that hope; when there is no question at all, but all, or the greatest part of such Domestick Receipts, and Curiosities, will soon flow into this publick Treasure. How few secrets have there been, though never so gainful, that have been long conceal'd from the whole World by their Au∣thors? Were not all the least Arts of life at first pri∣vate? Were not Watches, or Locks, or Guns, or Printing, or lately the Bow-dye, devis'd by particular men, but soon made common? If neither chance, nor friendship, nor Treachery of servants, have brought such things out; yet we see ostentation alone, to be every day powerful enough to do it. This desire of glory, and to be counted Authors; prevails on all, even on many of the dark and reserv'd Chymists them∣selves: who are ever printing their greatest myste∣ries; though indeed they seem to do it, with so much reluctancy, and with a willingness to hide still; which makes their style to resemble the smoak, in which they Page  75 deal. Well then, if this disposition be so universal; why should we think, that the Inventors, will be only ten∣der, and backward to the Royal Society? From which they will not only reap the most solid honor; but will also receive the strongest assurances, of still retaining the greatest part of the profit? But if all this should fail; there still remains a refuge, which will put this whole matter out of dispute: and that is, that the Royal Society will be able by degrees, to purchase such extraordinary inventions, which are now close lock'd up in Cabinets; and then to bring them into one common Stock, which shall be upon all occasions expos'd to all mens use. This is a most heroick Inven∣tion: For by such concealments, there may come very much hurt to mankind. If any certain remedy should be found out against an Epidemical disease; if it were suffer'd to be ingross'd by one man, there would be great swarms swept away, which otherwise might be easily sav'd. I shall instance in the Sweating-Sick∣ness. The Medicine for it was almost infallible: But, before that could be generally publish'd, it had al∣most dispeopl'd whole Towns. If the same disease should have return'd, it might have been again as destructive, had not the Lord Bacon taken care, to set down the particular course of Physick for it, in his History of Henry the Seventh, and so put it beyond the possibility of any private man's invading it. This ought to be imitated in all other soveraign cures of the like nature, to avoid such dreadful casualties. The Artificers should reap the common crop of their Arts: but the publick should still have Title to the miracu∣lous productions. It should be so appointed, as it is in the profits of mens Lands: where the Corn, and Grass, and Timber, and some courser Metals belong to the Page  76owner: But the Royal Mines, in whose ground soever they are discover'd, are no man's propriety, but still fall to the Crown.

These therefore are the Qualities, which they have principally requir'd, in those, whom they admitted: still reserving to themselves a power of increasing, or keeping to their number, as they saw occasion. By this means, they have given assurance of an eternal quietness, and moderation, in their experimental pro∣gress; because they allow themselves to differ in the weightiest matter, even in the way of Salvation it self. By this they have taken care, that nothing shall be so remote, as to escape their reach: because some of their Members are still scattered abroad, in most of the habitable parts of the Earth. By this, they have provided, that no profitable thing shall seem too mean for their consideration, seeing they have some a∣mongst them, whose life is employ'd about little things, as well as great. By this they have broken down the partition wall, and made a fair entrance, for all conditions of men to engage in these Studies; which were heretofore affrighted from them, by a groundless apprehension of their chargeableness, and difficulty. Thus they have form'd that Society, which intends a Philosophy, for the use of Cities, and not for the retirements of Schools, to resemble the Cities them∣selves: which are compounded of all sorts of men, of the Gown, of the Sword, of the Shop, of the Field, of the Court, of the Sea; all mutually assisting each other.

*Let us next consider what course of Inquiry they take, to make all their Labours unite for the service of man-kind: And here I shall insist on their Expence,Page  77 their Instruments, their Matter, and their Method.

Of the Stock,* upon which their Expence has been hitherto defraid, I can say nothing, that is very magni∣ficent: seeing they have rely'd upon no more than some small Admission-money, and weekly Contributions amongst themselves. Such a Revenue as this, can make no great sound, nor amount to any vast summ. But yet, I shall say this for it, that it was the onely way, which could have been begun, with a security of suc∣cess, in that condition of things. The publick Faith of Experimental Philosophy, was not then strong enough, to move Men and Women of all conditions, to bring in their Bracelets and Jewels, towards the carrying of it on. Such affections as those may be rais'd by a mis-guided zeal; but seldom, or never, by calm and unpassionate Reason. It was therefore well ordain'd, that the first Benevolence should come from the Expe∣rimenters themselves. If they had speedily at first call'd for mighty Treasures; and said aloud, that their Enter∣prise requir'd the Exchequer of a Kingdom; they would onely have been contemn'd, as vain Projectors. So ready is man-kind, to suspect all new undertakings to be Cheats, and Chimaeraes; especialy, when they seem chargeable: that it may be, many excellent things have been lost by that jealousie. Of this we have a fatal Instance amongst our selves. For it was this fear of being circumvented, that made one of our wisest Kings delay Columbus too long, when he came with the promise of a new World: whereas a little more confidence in his Art, and a small charge in furnishing out some few Ships, would have yearly brought all the Silver of the West-Indies to London, which now arrives at Sevill.

This suspicion, which is so natural to mens breasts, Page  78 could not any way harm the Royal Societies establish∣ment: seeing its first claims, and pretensions were so modest. And yet I shall presume to assure the World; that what they shall raise on these mean Foundations, will be more answerable to the largeness of their in∣tentions, than to the narrowness of their beginnings. This I speak so boldly, not onely because it is almost generally found true; that those things, which have been small at first, have oftener grown greater, than those which have begun upon a wider bottom, which have commonly stood at a stay: But also in respect of the present prevailing Genius of the English Nation. It is most usually found, that every People, has some one study or other in their view, about which their minds are most intent, and their Purses readier to open. This is sometimes a profusion in Habit, and Dyet; sometimes Religious Buildings; and sometimes the Civil Ornaments of their Cities, and Country. The first of these will shortly vanish from amongst us, by the irresistible correction of the King's own ex∣ample: the next is of late years very sensibly abated: and it is the last of the three towards which mens desires are most propense. To evidence this; I think it may be calculated, that since the Kings Return, there have been more Acts of Parliament, for the clearing and beautifying of Streets, for the repayring of High∣wayes, for the cutting of Rivers, for the increase of Manufactures, for the setting on foot the Trade of Fishing, and many other such Publick Works, to a∣dorn the State; than in divers Ages before. This Ge∣neral Temper being well weigh'd; it cannot be ima∣gin'd, that the Nation will withdraw its assistance from the Royal Society alone; which does not intend to stop at some particular benefit, but goes to the root Page  [unnumbered] of all noble Inventions, and proposes an infallible course to make England the glory of the Western world.

This my Love, and my Hopes prompt me to say. But besides this, there is one thing more, that per∣suades me, that the Royal Society will be Immortal. And that is, that if their Stock should still continue narrow, yet even upon that, they will be able to free themselves from all difficulties, and to make a con∣stant increase of it, by their managing. There is scarce any thing, has more hindred the True Philosophy; than a vain opinion, that men have taken up, that no∣thing could be done in it, to any purpose, but upon a vast charge, and by a mighty Revenue. Men commonly think, that the pit, in which (according to Democri∣tus) Truth lyes hid, is bottomless: and that it will de∣vour, whatever is thrown into it, without being the fuller. This false conception had got so much ground, that assoon as a man began to put his hands to Expe∣riments, he was presently given over, as impoverish't and undone. And indeed the Enemies of Real Knowledge, had some appearance of Reason to con∣clude this heretofore: because they had seen the great Estates of some Chymists melted away, without any thing left behind, to make recompence. But this ima∣gination can now no longer prevail. Men now under∣stand, that Philosophy needs not so great a prodiga∣lity to maintain it: that the most profitable Tryals are not always the most costly: that the best Inventions have not been found out by the richest, but by the most prudent, and Industrious Observers: that the right Art of Experimenting, when it is once set for∣ward, will go near to sustain it self. This I speak, not to stop mens future Bounty, by a Philosophical Boast, Page  80 that the Royal Society has enough already: But rather to encourage them to cast in more help; by shewing them, what return may be made from a little, by a wise administration.

*Of the variety, and excellence of the Instruments, which it lyes in their power to use; I will give no other proof, then the wonderfull perfection to which all Manual Arts have of late years arriv'd. Men now generally understand, to employ those very Tools which the Antients lent us, to infinite more Works, than formerly: they have also of late devis'd a great multitude of all sorts, which were before unknown: and besides, we may very well expect, that time will every day bring forth more. For, according as the matter to work upon does abound, the greater plenty of Instruments, must by consequence follow: such a connexion there is between Inventions, and the means of Inventing, that they mutually increase each other.

I might be as large, as I pleas'd, in this particular; in running through some part of all the Innumerable Arts of the Western world; and it were not difficult to shew, that the ordinary shops of Mechanicks, are now as full of rarities, as the Cabinets of the former noblest Mathematicians. But I will leave that subject, which is so familiar to all; and choose rather, to fetch a confirmation of this, even from those Countreys, which (after the manner of the Antients) we call Barbarous. And in going thither for an example, I have a farther end. In my foregoing discourse, I try'd to make out the advantages of the Moderne Times, above the antient; by following the progress of Learning, down through their tracks, to which Scho∣larsPage  81 usually confine it; I will now also strengthen that argument; by briefly comparing the skill, and the works of the unlearned parts of the present world, with those that are past. The antient Barbarians then, those Nations I mean, who lay without the circle of those Arts which we admire; the Gaules, the Britains, the Germans, the Scythians, have scarce left any foot∣steps behind them, to shew that they were rational men. Most of them were savage in their practices; gross in their contrivances; ignorant of all, that might make life either safe, or pleasant. Thus it was with them, and this all History speaks with one voice: whereas the Barbarians of our Times (if I may take the liberty still to use that word, which the pride of Greece first brought into fashion) the Turks, the Moors, the East-Indians, and even the Americans, though they too are utterly unacquainted with all our Scien∣ces; yet by the help of an Vniversal Light, which seems to overspread this Age, are in several Handi∣crafts most ready, and dextrous: insomuch that in some, they can scarce be imitated by the Europeans themselves. I shall leave it to any man, to conje∣cture from hence, which of these two times has the Prerogative; and how much better helps are proba∣bly to be found at this day, in the most Civil Coun∣tries: when we now find so much artifice, amongst those our Contemporaries, who only follow rude, and untaught Nature.

Of the extent of the matter,* about which they have been already conversant, and intend to be here∣after; there can be no better measure taken, than by giving a general prospect of all the objects of mens thoughts: which can be nothing else, but either God, or Men, or Nature.

Page  82As for the First, they meddle no otherwise with Divine things, than onely as the Power, and Wisdom, and Goodness of the Creator, is display'd in the ad∣mirable order, and workman-ship of the Creatures. It cannot be deny'd, but it lies in the Natural Philoso∣phers hands, best to advance that part of Divinity: which, though it fills not the mind, with such tender, and powerful contemplations, as that which shews us Man's Redemption by a Mediator; yet it is by no means to be pass'd by unregarded: but is an excellent ground to establish the other. This is a Religion, which is confirm'd, by the unanimous agreement of all sorts of Worships: and may serve in respect to Christianity, as Solomon's Porch to the Temple; into the one the Heathens themselvs did also enter; but into the other, onely God's peculiar People.

In men, may be consider'd the Faculties, and ope∣rations of their Souls; The constitution of their Bodies, and the works of their Hands. Of these, the first they omit: both because the knowledg and direction of them have been before undertaken, by some Arts, on which they have no mind to intrench, as the Politicks, Morality, and Oratory: and also because the Reason, the Vnderstanding, the Tempers, the Will, the Passions of Men, are so hard to be reduc'd to any certain obser∣vation of the senses; and afford so much room to the observers to falsifie or counterfeit: that if such dis∣courses should be once entertain'd; they would be in danger of falling into talking, insteed of working, which they carefully avoid. Such subjects therefore as these, they have hitherto kept out. But yet, when they shall have made more progress, in material things, they will be in a condition, of pronouncing more boldly on them too. For, though Man's Soul,Page  83 and Body are not onely one natural Engine (as some have thought) of whose motions of all sorts, there may be as certain an accompt given, as of those of a Watch or Clock: yet by long studying of the Spirits, of the Bloud, of the Nourishment, of the parts, of the Diseases, of the Advantages, of the accidents which belong to humane bodies (all which will come within their Province) there, without question, be very neer ghesses made, even at the more exalted, and im∣mediate Actions of the Soul; and that too, without destroying its Spiritual and Immortal Being.

These two Subjects, God, and the Soul, being onely forborn: In all the rest, they wander, at their plea∣sure: In the frame of Mens bodies, the ways for strong, healthful, and long life: In the Arts of Mens Hands, those that either necessity, convenience, or delight have produc'd: In the works of Nature, their helps, their varieties, redundancies, and defects: and in bringing all these to the uses of humane Society.

In their Method of Inquiring,* I will observe, how they have behav'd themselves, in things that might be brought within their own Touch and Sight: and how in those, which are so remote, and hard to be come by, that about them, they were forc'd to trust the reports of others.

In the first kind: I shall lay it down, as their Fun∣damental Law, that whenever they could possibly get to handle the subject, the Experiment was still per∣form'd by some of the Members themselves. The want of this exactness, has very much diminish'd the credit of former Naturalists. It might else have seem'd strange, that so many men of Wit, setting so many hands on work; being so watchful to catch up all re∣lations, Page  84 from Woods, Fields, Mountains, Rivers, Seas, and Lands; and scattering their Pensions so liberally; should yet be able to collect so few Observations, that have been judicious or useful. But the Reason is plain; for while they thought it enough, to be onely Receivers of others Intelligence; they have either em∣ploy'd Ignorant searchers, who knew not how to di∣gest or distinguish what they found: or frivolous, who always lov'd to come home laden, though it were but with trifles: or (which is worst of all) crafty, who having perceiv'd the humours of those that paid them so well, would always take care to bring in such col∣lections as might seem to agree with the Opinions and Principles of their Masters, however they did with Nature it self.

This Inconvenience, the Royal Society has escap'd, by making the whole process pass under its own eyes. And the Task was divided amongst them, by one of these two ways. First, it was sometimes referr'd to some particular men, to make choice of what Subject they pleased, and to follow their own humour in the Trial; the expence being still allow'd from the gene∣ral Stock. By which liberty, that they afforded, they had a very necessary regard to the power of particu∣lar Inclinations: which in all sorts of Knowledg is so strong; that there may be numberless Instances given of men, who in some things have been altogether useless, and yet in others have had such a vigorous, and successful faculty, as if they had been born, and form'd for them alone.

Or else secondly, the Society it self made the di∣stribution, and deputed whom it thought fit for the prosecution of such, or such Experiments. And this they did, either by allotting the same Work to severalPage  85 men, separated one from another; or else by joyning them into Committees (if we may use that word in a Philosophical sence, and so in some measure purge it from the ill sound, which it formerly had) By this union of eyes, and hands there do these advantages arise. Thereby there will be a full comprehension of the object in all its appearances; and so there will be a mutual communication of the light of one Science to another: whereas single labours can be but as a pro∣spect taken upon one side. And also by this fixing of several mens thoughts upon one thing, there will be an excellent cure for that defect, which is almost un∣avoidable in great Inventors. It is the custom of such earnest, and powerful minds, to do wonderful things in the beginning; but shortly after, to be overborn by the multitude, and weight of their own thoughts; then to yield, and cool by little and little; and at last grow weary, and even to loath that, upon which they were at first the most eager. This is the wonted con∣stitution of great Wits: such tender things, are those exalted Actions of the mind; and so hard it is, for those imaginations, that can run swift, and mighty Races, to be able to travel a long, and a constant jour∣ney. The effects of this infirmity have been so re∣markable, that we have certainly lost very many In∣ventions, after they have been in part fashion'd, by the meer languishing, and negligence of their Authours. For this, the best provision must be, to join many men together; for it cannot be imagin'd, that they should be all so violent, and fiery: and so by this mingling of Tempers, the Impetuous men, not having the whole burthen on them, may have leisure for intervals to re∣cruit their first heat; and the more judicious, who are not so soon possess'd with such raptures, may carry Page  86 on the others strong conceptions, by soberer degrees, to a full accomplishment.

*This they have practis'd in such things, whereof the matter is common; and wherein they may repeat their labours as they please. But in forein, and re∣mote affairs, their Intentions, and their Advantages do farr exceed all others. For these, they have begun to settle a correspondence through all Countreys; and have taken such order, that in short time, there will scarce a Ship come up the Thames, that does not make some return of Experiments, as well as of Merchandize.

This their care of an Vniversal Intelligence, is be∣friended by Nature its self, in the situation of England: For, lying so, as it does, in the passage between the Northern parts of the World, and the Southern; its Ports being open to all Coasts, and its Ships spreading their Sails in all Seas; it is thereby necessarily made, not onely Mistress of the Ocean, but the most proper Seat, for the advancement of Knowledg. From the positions of Countreys, arise not only their several shapes, man∣ners, customs, colours, but also their different Arts, and Studies. The Inland and Continent, we see do give Laws, to Discourse, to Habits, to Behaviour: but those that border upon the Seas, are most properly seated, to bring home matter for new Sciences, and to make the same proportion of Discoveries above others, in the Intellectual Globe, as they have done in the Material.

Upon this advantage of our Island, there is so much stress to be laid, towards the prosperity of this De∣sign; that if we should search through all the World, for a perpetual habitation, wherein the Universal Phi∣losophy might settle it self; there can none be found, Page  87 which is comparable to London, of all the former, or present Seats of Empire. Babylon, that was the Capi∣tal City of the first Monarchy, was situated in a Cham∣pion Countrey, had a clear, and uncloudy air; and was therefore fit enough to promote one part of Na∣tural Knowledg, the Observations of the Heavens: But it was a Mid-land Town, and regarded not the Traf∣fique of Foreiners; abounding with its own luxury, and riches. Memphis was improper, upon the same ac∣compt; for Egypt was a Land content with its own plen∣ty; admitting strangers, rather to instruct them, than to learn any thing from them. Carthage stood not so well for a resort for Philosophers, as for Pirats; as all the African shore continues at this day. As for Rome, its Fortune was read by Virgil; when he said, that it only ought to excel in the Arts of Ruling. Constantinople, though its present Masters were not Barbarous, yet is too much shut up by the Straits of Hellespont. Vienna is now a Frontier Town, and has no communication with the Ocean, but by a long compass about. Amster∣dam is a place of Trade, without the mixture of men of freer thoughts. And, even Paris it self, though it is far to be preferr'd before all the others for the resort of Learned and Inquisitive men to it, yet is less ca∣pable, for the same reasons, for which Athens was, by being the Seat of Gallantry, the Arts of speech, and education. But it is London alone, that enjoys most of the others advantages, without their inconveni∣ences. It is the head of a mighty Empire, the greatest that ever commanded the Ocean: It is compos'd of Gentlemen, as well as Traders: It has a large in∣tercourse with all the Earth: It is, as the Poets de∣scribe their House of Fame, a City, where all the noises and business in the World do meet: and therefore this Page  88 honor is justly due to it, to be the constant place of re∣sidence for that Knowledg, which is to be made up of the Reports, and Intelligence of all Countreys.

To this I will adde; That we have another help in our hands, which almost forces this Crown on the head of the English Nation: and that is, the Noble, and Inquisitive Genius of our Merchants. This cannot be better shewn, than by comparing them, with those of that one Countrey; which onely stands in compe∣tition with us for Trade. The Merchants of England live honourably in forein parts; those of Holland meanly, minding their gain alone: ours converse freely, and learn from all; having in their behaviour, very much of the Gentility of the Families, from which so many of them are descended: The others, when they are abroad, shew, that they are onely a Race of plain Citizens, keeping themselves most with∣in their own Cells, and Ware-houses; scarce regard∣ing the acquaintance of any, but those, with whom they traffick. This largeness of ours, and narrowness of their living, does, no doubt, conduce very much to inrich them; and is, perhaps, one of the Reasons, that they can so easily under-sel us: But withall, it makes ours the most capable, as theirs unfit, to promote such an Enterprise, as this of which I am now speaking. For indeed, the effects of their several ways of life, are as different: of the Hollanders, I need say no more: But of the English Merchants I will affirm, that in all sorts of Politeness, and skill in the World, and humane affairs, they do not onely excel them, but are equal to any other sort of men amongst us.

This I have spoken, not to lessen the reputation of that Industrious people: But, that I might (if it were possible) inflame their minds to an emulation of this Page  89 Design. They have all things imaginable to stirr them up: they have the Examples of the greatest Wits of other Countreys, who have left their own homes, to retire thither, for the freedom of their Philosophical Studies: they have one place (I mean the Hague) which may be soon made the very Copy of a Town in the New Atlantis; which for its pleasantness, and for the concourse of men of all conditions to it, may be counted above all others (except London) the most advantagiously seated for this service.

These have been the privileges and practices of the Royal Society, in things forein, & Native. It would now be needless to set down all the steps of their progress about them; how they observ'd all the varieties of Ge∣nerations, and corruptions, natural, and artificial; all the increasings, and lessenings; agreements, and opposi∣tions of things; how, having found out a cause, they have apply'd it to many other effects: and the effects to different causes; how they are wont to change the Instruments and places, and quantities of matter, ac∣cording to occasions: and all the other subtilties, and windings of Trial, which are almost infinite to express. I shall onely, in passing, touch on these two things, which they have most carefully consulted.

The one is, not to prescribe to themselves, any cer∣tain Art of Experimenting, within which to circum∣scribe their thoughts: But rather to keep themselves free, and change their course, according to the dif∣ferent circumstances, that occurr to them in their operations; and the several alterations of the Bodies, on which they work. The true Experimenting has this one thing inseparable from it, never to be a fix'd and settled Art, and never to be limited by constant Rules. This, perhaps, may be shewn too in other Arts; as in Page  90 that of Invention, of which, though in Logick, and Rhetorick, so many bounds, and helps are given: yet I believe very few have argued or discoursed by those Topicks. But whether that be unconfin'd, or no, it is certain, that Experimenting is; like that which is call'd Decence in humane life; which, though it be that, by which all our Actions are to be fashion'd; and though many things may be plausibly said upon it; yet it is never wholly to be reduc'd to standing Precepts; and may almost as easily be obtain'd, as defin'd.

Their other care has been, to regard the least, and the plainest things, and those that may appear at first the most inconsiderable; as well as the greatest Curiosi∣ties. This was visibly neglected by the Antients. The Histories of Pliny, Aristotle, Solinus, Aelian, abound∣ing more with pretty Tales, and fine monstrous Sto∣ries; than sober, and fruitful Relations. If they could gather together some extraordinary Qualities of Stones, or Minerals, some Rarities of the Age, the food, the colour, the shapes of Beasts, or some vertues of Fountains, or Rivers: they thought, they had per∣form'd the chiefest part of Natural Historians. But this course is subject to much corruption. It is not the true following of Nature; For that still goes on in a steddy Rode, nor is it so extravagant, and so ar∣tificial in its contrivances, as our admiration, proceed∣ing from our ignorance, makes it. It is also a way that of all others, is most subject to be deceiv'd: For it will make men inclinable to bend the Truth much awry, to raise a specious Observation out of it. It stops the severe progress of Inquiry: Infecting the mind, and making it averse from the true Natural Philosophy: It is like Romances, in respect of True History; which, Page  91 by multiplying varieties of extraordinary Events, and surprizing circumstances, makes that seem dull, and tastless. And, to say no more, the very delight which it raises, is nothing so solid: but, as the satisfaction of Fancy, it affects us a little, in the beginning, but soon wearies, and surfets: whereas a just History of Nature, like the pleasure of Reason, would not be, perhaps, so quick and violent, but of farr longer continuance, in its contentment.

Their Matter,* being thus collected, has been brought before their weekly meetings, to undergo a just and a full examination. In them their principal en∣deavours have been, that they might enjoy the be∣nefits of a mix'd Assembly, which are largeness of Ob∣servation, and diversity of Judgments, without the mischiefs that usually accompany it, such as confusion, unsteddiness, and the little animosities of divided Parties. That they have avoided these dangers for the time past; there can be no better proof, than their constant practice; wherein they have perpetu∣ally preserv'd a singular sobriety of debating, slowness of consenting, and moderation of dissenting. Nor have they been onely free from Faction, but from the very Causes, and beginnings of it. It was in vain for any man amongst them to strive to preferr himself be∣fore another; or to seek for any great glory from the subtilty of his Wit; seeing it was the inartificial pro∣cess of the Experiment, and not the Acuteness of any Commentary upon it, which they have had in vene∣ration. There was no room left, for any to attempt, to heat their own, or others minds, beyond a due temper; where they were not allow'd to expatiate, or amplifie, or connect specious arguments together. Page  92 They could not be much exasperated one against an∣other in their disagreements, because they acknow∣ledg, that there may be several Methods of Na∣ture, in producing the same thing, and all equally good: whereas they that contend for truth by talk∣ing, do commonly suppose that there is but one way of finding it out. The differences which should chance to happen, might soon be compos'd; because they could not be grounded on matters of speculation, or opinion, but onely of sence; which are never wont to administer so powerful occasions of disturbance, and contention, as the other. In brief, they have escap'd the prejudices that use to arise from Authori∣ty, from unequality of Persons, from insinuations, from friendships; But above all, they have guarded them∣selves against themselves, lest the strength of their own thoughts should lead them into error; lest their good Fortune in one Discovery, should presently con∣fine them onely to one way of trial; lest their failings should discourage, or their success abate their dili∣gence. All these excellent Philosophical Qualities, they have by long custom, made to become the peculiar Genius of this Society: and to descend down to their successors, not onely as circumstantial Laws, which may be neglected, or alter'd in the course of time; but as the very life of their constitution; to remain on their minds, as the laws of Nature do in the hearts of Men; which are so near to us, that we can hardly di∣stinguish, whether they were taught us by degrees, or rooted in the very foundation of our Being.

*It will not be here seasonable, to speak much, of the Ceremonies which they have hitherto observ'd in these Meetings; because they are, almost, the same, Page  93 which have been since establish'd by their Council, which we shall have a more proper occasion to pro∣duce hereafter. Let this onely be said in brief, to sa∣tisfie the curious.

The Place where they hitherto assembled, is Gresham-College; where, by the munificence of a Citizen, there have been Lectures for several Arts indow'd so liberally, that if it were beyond Sea, it might well pass for an Vniversity. And indeed, by a rare happiness in the constitution (of which I know not where to find the like example) the Professors have been from the beginning, and chiefly, of late years, of the most Learned Men of the Nation; though the choice has been wholly in the disposal of Citizens. Here the Royal Society has one publick Room to meet in, another for a repository to keep their Instruments, Books, Rarities, Papers, and whatever else belongs to them: making use besides, by permission, of several of the other Lodgings, as their occasions do require. And, when I consider the place it self; me thinks it bears some likeness to their Design; It is now a Col∣lege, but was once the Mansion-house of one of the greatest Merchants, that ever was in England: And such a Philosophy they would build; which should first wholly consist of Action, and Intelligence, before it be brought into Teaching, and Contemplation.

There Time is every Wednesday, after the Lecture of the Astronomy Professor; perhaps, in memory of the first occasions of their Rendezvouses.

Their Elections, perform'd by Ballotting; every member having a Vote; the Candidates being nam'd at one meeting, and put to the scrutiny at another.

Their Chief Officer, is the President; to whom it be∣longs to call, and dissolve their meetings; to proposePage  94 the Subject; to regulate the Proceedings; to change the Inquiry from one thing to another; to admit the Members who are elected.

Besides him, they had at first a Register, who was to take Notes of all that pass'd; which were after∣wards to be reduc'd into their Iournals, and Register Books. This Task was first perform'd by Dr. Croone. But they since thought it more necessary, to appoint two Secretaries, who are to reply to all Addresses from abroad, and at home; and to publish what∣ever shall be agreed upon by the Society. These are at present, Dr. Wilkins, and Mr. Oldenbourgh, from whom I have not usurp'd this first imployment of that kind; for it is onely my hand that goes, the substance and direction came from one of them.

This is all that I have to say concerning their Cere∣monial part. In most other things, they bounded themselves to no standing Orders, there being nothing more intended in such circumstances, than conve∣nience and order. If any shall imagine, they have not limited themselves to Forms enough, to keep up the gravity, and solemnity of such an Enterprise, they are to consider, that so much exactness and curiosity of observances, does not so well befit Inquirers, as Sects of Philosophy, or places appointed for Educa∣tion, or those who submit themselves to the severity of some religious Order. The Work which the So∣ciety proposes to it self, being not so fine, and easie, as that of teaching is; but rather a painful digging, and toiling in Nature; It would be a great incum∣brance to them, to be straightned to many strict pun∣ctilioes; as much as it would be to an Artificer, to be loaded with many cloaths, while he is labouring in his Shop.

Page  95But having made so much hast through the Formal part of these their Meetings, I shall not so soon dispatch the substantial; which consists in Directing, Iudging, Conjecturing, Improving, Discoursing upon Experiments.

Towards the first of these ends,* it has been their usual course, when they themselves appointed the Trial, to propose one week, some particular Experi∣ments, to be prosecuted the next; and to debate be∣fore hand, concerning all things that might conduce to the better carrying them on. In this Praeliminary Collection, it has been the custom, for any of the So∣ciety, to urge what came into their thoughts, or me∣mories concerning them; either from the observati∣ons of others, or from Books, or from their own Ex∣perience, or even from common Fame it self. And in performing this, they did not exercise any great ri∣gour of choosing, and distinguishing between Truths and Falshoods: but a mass altogether as they came; the certain Works, the Opinions, the Ghesses, the In∣ventions, with their different Degrees and Accidents, the Probabilities, the Problems, the general Con∣ceptions, the miraculous Stories, the ordinary Pro∣ductions, the changes incident to the same Matter in several places, the Hindrances, the Benefits, of Airs, or Seasons, or Instruments; and whatever they found to have been begun, to have fail'd, to have succeeded, in the Matter which was then under their Disqui∣sition.

This is a most necessary preparation, to any that resolve to make a perfect search. For they cannot but go blindly, and lamely, and confusedly about the bu∣siness, unless they have first laid before them a full Account of it. I confess the excellent Monsieur des Page  96 Cartes recommends to us another way in his Philoso∣phical Method; where he gives this Relation of his own progress; that after he had run through the usual Studies of youth, and spent his first years in an active life; when he retir'd to search into Truth, he at once rejected all the Impressions, which he had before re∣ceiv'd, from what he had heard, and read; and wholly gave himself over to a reflexion on the naked Ideas of his own mind. This he profess'd to do, that he might lay aside all his old imaginations, and begin anew to write on a white and unblotted Soul. This, perhaps, is more allowable in matters of Contemplation, and in a Gentleman, whose chief aim was his own delight; and so it was in his own choice, whether or no, he would go farther to seek it, than his own mind: But it can by no means stand with a practical and univer∣sal Inquiry. It is impossible, but they, who will onely transscribe their own thoughts, and disdain to mea∣sure or strengthen them by the assistance of others, should be in most of their apprehensions too narrow, and obscure; by setting down things for general, which are onely peculiar to themselves. It cannot be avoided, but they will commit many gross mistakes; and bestow much useless pains, by making themselves wilfully ignorant of what is already known, and what conceal'd. It was try'd amongst the Antients, to find out the pure, and Primitive Language of the World, by breeding up a child so, that he might never hear any man speak. But what was the event of that trial? Instead of obtaining that end, the child was made absolutely dumb thereby. And the like success will that Philosopher find, who shall expect, that, by the keeping his mind free from the Tincture of all others Opinions, it will give him the original, and un∣infected Page  97Truths of things. All Knowledg is to be got the same way that a Language is, by Industry, Vse, and Observation. It must be receiv'd, before it can be drawn forth. 'Tis true, the mind of Man is a Glass, which is able to represent to it self, all the Works of Nature: But it can onely shew those Figures, which have been brought before it: It is no Magical Glass, like that with which Astrologers use to deceive the Ignorant; by making them believe, that therein they may behold the Image of any Place, or Person in the World, though never so farr remov'd from it. I know it may be here suggested; that they, who busie them∣selves much abroad, about learning the judgments of others, cannot be unprejudic'd in what they think. But it is not the knowing, but the peremptory addicti∣on to others Tenents, that sowers and perverts the Vnderstanding. Nay, to go farther; that man, who is throughly acquainted with all sorts of Opinions, is ve∣ry much more unlikely, to adhere obstinately to any one particular, than he whose head is onely fill'd with thoughts, that are all of one colour.

It being now so requisite, to premise this general collection: It could not be better made, than by the joint labours of the whole Society. It were an intole∣rable burthen, if it were wholly cast on the Experi∣menters themselves. For, it is not onely true, that those who have the best faculty of Experimenting, are commonly most averse from reading Books; and so it is fit, that this Defect should be supply'd by others pains: But also it would too much tire, and wast, or at least divert their spirits, before they came to the main Work. Whereas the Task being shar'd amongst so great a number, will become not much more than a business of delight. Well then, by Page  98 this first Comment, and Discourse upon the Experi∣ment; he, that is to try it, being present; and having so good an opportunity, of comparing so many other mens conceptions with his own, and with the thing it self; must needs have his thoughts more enlarg'd, his judgment confirm'd, his eyes open'd to discern, what most compendious helps may be provided; what part of it is more or less useful; and upon what side it may be best attempted: The Truths, which he learns this way, will be his Pattern; the Errors will be his Sea∣marks, to teach to avoid the same dangers; the very falshoods themselves will serve to enlarge, though they do not inform his Vnderstanding. And, indeed, a thousand more advantages will hereby come into the minds of the most Sagacious, and acute Inquirers, which they would never have compass'd, if they had been onely lest to themselves. I remember, my Lord Bacon some where says; That it is one of the greatest secrets of Nature, that mens Passions are more capable, of being rais'd to higher degrees in company, than in soli∣tude: and that we sooner grieve, fear, rejoyce, love, ad∣mire, when we behold many others so mov'd, than when we are alone. This is true; and the same may be as well affirm'd, of most other actions of the mind. In Assemblies, the Wits of most men are sharper, their Apprehensions readier, their Thoughts fuller, than in their Closets. Of this there is an undoubted proof in the Art of speaking. For, let the wittiest, and most eloquent men think as largely as they can, on any sub∣ject in private; yet, when they come into the publick; and especially, when they have heard others speak before them, their Argument appears quite another thing to them; their former expressions seem too flat, and cold for their present thoughts; their minds swell, Page  99 and are enlightned, as if at that time they were pos∣sess'd with the Souls of the whole multitude, before whom they stand.

Those,* to whom the conduct of the Experiment is committed, being dismiss'd with these advantages, do (as it were) carry the eyes, and the imaginations of the whole company into the Laboratory with them. And after they have perform'd the Trial, they bring all the History of its process back again to the test. Then comes in the second great Work of the Assembly; which is to judg, and resolve upon the matter of Fact. In this part of their imployment, they us'd to take an exact view of the repetition of the whole course of the Experi∣ment; here they observ'd all the chances, and the Re∣gularities of the proceeding; what Nature does wil∣lingly, what constrain'd; what with its own power, what by the succours of Art; what in a constant rode, and what with some kind of sport and extravagance; industriously marking all the various shapes into which it turns it self, when it is persued, and by how many secret passages it at last obtains its end; never giving it over till the whole Company has been fully satisfi'd of the certainty and constancy; or, on the otherside, of the absolute impossibility of the effect. This critical, and reiterated scrutiny of those things, which are the plain objects of their eyes; must needs put out of all reasonable dispute, the reality of those operations, which the Society shall positively deter∣mine to have succeeded. If any shall still think it a just Philosophical liberty, to be jealous of resting on their credit: they are in the right; and their dissent∣ings will be most thankfully receiv'd, if they be esta∣blish'd on solid works, and not onely on prejudices, or Page  100suspicions. To the Royal Society it will be at any time almost as acceptable, to be confuted, as to discover: see∣ing, by this means, they will accomplish their main Design: others will be inflam'd: many more will labour; and so the Truth will be obtain'd between them: which may be as much promoted by the con∣tentions of hands, and eyes; as it is commonly injur'd by those of Tongues. However, that men may not hence undervalue their authority, because they them∣selves are not willing to impose, and to usurp a do∣minion over their reason; I will tell them, that there is not any one thing, which is now approv'd and pra∣ctis'd in the World, that is confirm'd by stronger evi∣dence, than this, which the Society requires; except onely the Holy Mysteries of our Religion. In almost all other matters of Belief, of Opinion, or of Science; the assurance, whereby men are guided, is nothing near so firm, as this. And I dare appeal to all sober men; whether, seeing in all Countreys, that are go∣vern'd by Laws, they expect no more, than the con∣sent of two, or three witnesses, in matters of life, and estate; they will not think, they are fairly dealt withall, in what concerns their Knowledg, if they have the concurring Testimonies of threescore or an hun∣dred?

*The History, of the Trial perform'd, being thus se∣cur'd, I will next declare, what room they allow'd for conjecturing upon the Causes; about which they also took some pains, though in a farr different way from the antient Philosophers; amongst whom, scarce any thing else was regarded, but such general contempla∣tions. This indeed, is the Fatal point, about which so many of the greatest Wits of all Ages have miscar∣ried; Page  101 and commonly, the greater the Wit, the more has been the danger: so many wary steps ought to be troden in this uncertain path: such a multitude of pleasing Errors, false Lights, disguised Lies, deceitful Fancies must be escap'd: so much care must be taken, to get into the right way at first: so much, to continue in it; and at last, the greatest caution still remaining to be us'd; lest when the treasure is in our view, we undo all, by catching at it too soon, with too greedy, and rash a hand. These, and many more are the dif∣ficulties, to be pass'd; which I have here with less ap∣prehension reckon'd up, because the remedy is so nigh. To this Work therefore the Society approaches, with as much circumspection and modesty, as humane coun∣sels are capable of: They have been cautious, to shun the overweening dogmatizing on causes on the one hand: and not to fall into a speculative Scepticism on the other: and whatever causes they have with just deliberation found to hold good; they still make them increase their benefits, by farther experiment∣ing upon them; and will not permit them to rust or corrupt, for want of use. If after all this▪ they shall not seem wholly to have remov'd the mischiefs, that attend this hazardous matter; they ought rather to be judg'd, by what they have done towards it above others, than by what they have not provided against: seeing the thing it self is of that nature; that it is impossible to place the minds of men beyond all con∣dition of erring about it.

The first Danger that I shall observe in this kind, is an over-hasty, and praecipitant concluding upon the Causes, before the Effects have been enough search'd into: a finishing the roof, before the foundation has been well laid. For this, I shall first allege this cure; Page  102 that, though the Experiment was but the private task of one or two, or some such small number; yet the conjecturing, and debating on its consequences, was still the employment of their full, and solemn As∣semblies. I have already, upon several occasions, pre∣ferr'd Companies before single endeavours in Philoso∣phical matters; and yet I am not asham'd here to re∣peat it again; especially, seeing in this place, it is most apparent, to which of them the prerogative of free∣dom, and clearness of judging, belongs. To this pur∣pose I shall affirm, that there can never be found, in the breast of any particular Philosopher, as much wa∣riness, and coldness of thinking, and rigorous exami∣nation; as is needfull, to a solid assent, and to a lasting conclusion, on the whole frame of Nature. How can it be imagin'd, that any single mind can comprehend, and sustain long enough the weight of so many dif∣ferent Opinions, and infinite Observations; when even the best Mathematicians are soon tyr'd, with a long train of the most delightful Propositions, which were before made to their hands? Or, if there could be a man of that vastness of Soul; yet, how can we be as∣sur'd, that he will hold the scale even? where have we ever had an example of so much streightness, and impartiality of judgment; to persuade us, that the calmest Philosopher will not be insensibly inclin'd, to preferr his own Doctrines, before those of a stranger? We see all the world flatter themselves in their strength, beauty, nay, even (as some have noted) in their very Statures; the lowest men scarce believing, but that they are tall enough. Why then should they be singly trusted in their votes about their own thoughts; where the comparison of Wit, makes them more eagerly concern'd? If we follow the Philosopher home Page  103 into his study; we shall quickly discover, by how many plausible degrees, the wisest men are apt to de∣ceive themselves, into a sudden confidence of the cer∣tainty of their knowledg. We will suppose him, to begin his Inquiry, with all the sincerity imaginable: resolving to pass by no small mistake, and to forgive to himself no slight error in the accompt; with these fair purposes, he pitches on some particular subject: This he turns, and tortures every way; till, after much labour, he can make some ghesses at its Causes: upon this, his industry increases: he applies the same matter to several other operations: he still finds the effects answer his expectations: Now he begins to mould some general Proposition upon it: he meets with more and more proofs to confirm his judgment: thus he grows by little and little, warmer in his ima∣ginations: the delight of his success swells him: he triumphs and applauds himself, for having found out some important Truth: But now his Trial begins to slacken: now impatience and security creeps upon him: now he carelesly admits whole crouds of Testimonies, that seem any way to confirm that Opinion, which he had before establish'd: now he stops his survay, which ought to have gone forward to many more particu∣lars; and so at last, this sincere, this invincible Observer, out of weariness, or presumption, becomes the most negligent in the later part of his work, in which he ought to have been the most exact. Such is the uni∣versal inclination of mankind, to be mis-led by them∣selves: which I have mention'd, not to beat down the credit of any particular Philosophers, whose superstru∣ctures have not bin answerable to the strength of their first assertions: but I have onely complain'd of it in general; as we use to do of Man's mortality, and be∣ing Page  104 subject to diseases: the aggravating of which com∣mon infirmities, can never be esteem'd by any private man, as an effect of malice, or ill nature.

But now, on the other side, this doubtfulness of thoughts, this fluctuation, this slowness of concluding, which is so usefull in this case, is so natural to a mul∣titude of Counsellors; that it is frequently urg'd a∣gainst them, as their inseperable Imperfection. Every man has this Argument in his mouth, wherewith to condemn a great and mixt number of advisers; that their deliberations are so tedious, that commonly the seasons of Action are lost, before they can come to any result. 'Tis true, this unweildiness, and want of dis∣patch, is most destructive in matters of State, and Go∣vernment; as Christendom lately felt: But it has a quite contrary influence on Philosophy. It is not here the most speedy, or the swiftest determination of thoughts, that will do the business; here, many de∣lays are requir'd: here, he that can make a solid ob∣jection, or ask a seasonable question, will do more good, than he, who shall boldly fix on a hundred ill-ground∣ed resolutions. Every rubb is here to be smooth'd: every scruple to be plain'd: every thing to be fore∣seen: the satisfaction of the reason of all past, pre¦sent, and future times to be design'd: so that here, that which is so much cry'd down in policy, a striving still to do better, can never be too much regarded.

Nor is the Society only fore-arm'd against this great inconvenience, this rashness of setling upon cau∣ses, by the multitude of Judges that are to be satis∣fy'd: but also by their indifferent hearing of all conjectures, that may be made from the Tenents of a∣ny Sect of Philosophy; and by touching every effect that comes before them; upon all the varieties of o∣pinions,Page  105 that have been either of late found out, or reviv'd. By this equality of respect to all parties, it has allow'd a sufficient time, to ripen whatever it debated: By this too, it has made it self the common Cherisher, and Vmpire of them all: and has taken the right way of finding out, what is good in any one of them. A course, which if the Antients had more follow'd, their Sects would not so soon have destroy'd each other. It was a most perverse custom amongst their Disciples, not to make any strict choice; to leave some, and embrace others of their Masters Do∣ctrines, but to swallow all at once. He that became a Stoick, an Epicurean, a Peripatetick, in Logick, or Moral Philosophy, or Physicks; never stuck, presently to assent to whatever his Founder had said in all the other Sciences: though there was no kind of con∣nexion between his Doctrines in the one, and the other. Thus was the whole image of Philosophy form'd in their minds altogether: And what they receiv'd so carelesly, they defended the same way; not in par∣cels, but in gross. Of this the Errors are apparent; for by so partially believing all sorts of Tenents, they had no time to be fully convinc'd: and so became ra∣ther formal Asserters of them, than judicious. And by thus adhering to all; without making any distinction between the Truths, and falshoods; weaknesses, and strengths of their Sects; they deny'd to themselves a farr more calm, and safe knowledg; which might have been compounded out of them all, by fetching some∣thing from one, and something from another.

This the Royal Society did well foresee: and there∣fore did not regard the credit of Names, but Things: rejecting or approving nothing, because of the title, which it bears: preserving to it self the liberty of re∣fusing, Page  106 or liking, as it found: and so advancing its stock, by a sure and a double increase; by adding new Discoveries, and retaining antient Truths. A largeness, and generosity, which certainly is an excellent Omen of its establishment. In this, me-thinks, it excels any other Sect; as the Roman Common-wealth, did that of Venice. The later began upon a small stock, and has been careful to preserve it self unmingled, bestowing the freedom of its City very sparingly: And we see, it has been still on the defensive; making no great progress in the World: whereas the Romans, by a far more frank, and honourable counsel, admitted all, that desir'd to be their confederates; gave the liber∣ty of Roman Citizens to whole Towns, and Countreys; excluded none, but those that would obstinately stand out: and so deservedly extended their Empire, as farr as the bounds of the civil World did reach.

The second mischief in this great matter of causes, is an eternal instability, and aversion from assigning of any. This arises, from a violent, and imprudent hast to avoid the first. So easie is the passage from one extreme to another; and so hard it is, to stop in that little point, wherein the right does consist. The truth is, they are both almost equally pernicious: nothing sound is to be expected from those, who wil fix blindly on whatever they can lay hold on: and nothing great from them, who will always wander; who will never leave disputing, whether they dream; or wake; whe∣ther there is any motion; whether they have any being, or no: the one can produce nothing, but un∣wholesome, and rotten fruits: and the other, for fear of that, will endeavour to have no Harvest, nor Au∣tumn at all.

To this fault of Sceptical doubting, the Royal So∣cietyPage  107 may perhaps be suspected, to be a little too much inclin'd: because they always professed, to be so backward from setling of Principles, or fixing upon Doctrines. But if we fairly consider their intenti∣ons, we shall soon acquit them. Though they are not yet very daring, in establishing conclusions; yet they lay no injunctions upon their successors not to do the same, when they shall have got a sufficient store for such a work. It is their study, that the way to attain a solid speculation, should every day be more and more persued: which is to be done, by a long for∣bearing of speculation at first, till the matters be ripe for it; and not, by madly rushing upon it in the ve∣ry beginning. Though they do not contemplate much on the general agreements of things; yet they do on the particular: from whence the others also will in time be deduc'd. They are therefore as farr from being Scepticks, as the greatest Dogmatists them∣selves. The Scepticks deny all, both Doctrines, and Works. The Dogmatists determine on Doctrines, with∣out a sufficient respect to Works: and this Assembly, (though we should grant, that they have wholly o∣mitted Doctrines) yet they have been very positive and affirmative in their Works. But more than this, It must also be confess'd, that sometimes after a full inspection▪ they have ventur'd to give the advantage of probability to one Opinion, or Cause, above ano∣ther: Nor have they run any manner of hazard by thus concluding. For first, it is likely, they did hit the right, after so long, so punctual, and so gradual an examination: or if we suppose the worst, that they should sometimes judg amiss (as we cannot but allow they may; seeing it will not be just to bestow infal∣libility on them alone; while we deny it to all others) Page  108 yet they have taken care, that their weaker reasonings, and even their Errors, cannot be very prejudicial to Posterity. The causes, upon which they have agreed, they did not presently extend, beyond their due strength, to all other things, that seem to bear some re∣semblance to what they try'd. Whatever they have resolv'd upon; they have not reported, as unalterable Demonstrations, but as present appearances: deliver∣ing down to future Ages, with the good success of the Experiment, the manner of their progress, the In∣struments, and the several differences of the matter, which they have apply'd: so that, with their mistake, they give them also the means of finding it out. To this I shall add, that they have never affirm'd any thing, concerning the cause, till the trial was past: whereas, to do it before, is a most venomous thing in the making of Sciences: for whoever has fix'd on his Cause, before he has experimented; can hardly avoid fitting his Experiment, and his Observations, to his own Cause, which he had before imagin'd; rather than the Cause to the truth of the Experiment it self. But, in a word, they have hitherto made little other benefit of the causes, to which they have consented; than that thereby they might have a firm footing, whereon new operations may proceed. And for this Work, I mean a continuation, and variation of the Inquiry; the tracing of a false Cause, doth very often so much conduce; that, in the progress, the right has been discover'd by it. It is not to be question'd, but many inventions of great moment, have been brought forth by Authors, who began upon suppositions, which afterwards they found to be untrue. And it frequently happens to Philosophers, as it did to Columbus: who first believ'd the clouds, that hover'd about the Continent, to be Page  109 the firm Land: But his mistake was happy; for, by sailing towards them, he was led to what he sought: so by prosecuting of mistaken Causes, with a resoluti∣on of not giving over the persute; they have been guided to the truth it self.

The last Defect is, the rendring of Causes barren: that when they have been found out, they have been suffer'd to lye idle; and have been onely us'd, to in∣crease thoughts, and not works. This negligence is of all others the most dangerous: It is a Shipwrack in the end of the voiage, and thence the more to be pitied: It is a corruption, that both hinders additions, and eats out the knowledg that has been already obtain'd: It is the fault of Philosophers, and not of meer Inquirers; of those that have been successfull, and not of the un∣fortunate in their search: and therefore it is, as the miscarriages of those, that are prosperous in humane actions; which are always observ'd to be more destru∣ctive, and harder to be cur'd, than the failings of the afflicted, or those that are still in persute.

To this the Royal Society has apply'd a double pre∣vention;* both by endeavouring to strike out new Arts, as they go along; and also, by still improving all to new experiments.

Of the possibility of their performing the first; and the Method, which is to be taken about it; I shall shortly speak in another place. It is enough here, to say; that by this, they have taken care, to satisfie the hopes of the present times; which else might justly languish, and grow cold about this enterprise: if they once saw, that nothing would be ripe in their days; but that all was to come up hereafter, for the advan∣tage of those, that are yet unborn. They consulted Page  110 the good of Future times; but have not neglected their own; they have practis'd both the parts of good Husbandry; planting Trees, and sowing Corn. This later, for their own speedy benefit, and support; and the other, for the profit, and ornament of after-Ages.

Nor have they suffer'd their diligence to be swal∣low'd up, by the pleasures, and enjoyments of pre∣sent discoveries; but have still submitted their noblest Inventions, to be made Instruments, and means, for the finding out of others. This certainly is the most comprehensive, and unerring Method; at once to make use of that assistance, they give, and to force them, to be farther helpfull to greater ends. There is nothing of all the works of Nature, so inconsider∣able, so remote, or so fully known; but, by being made to reflect on other things, it will at once en∣ligten them, and shew it self the clearer. Such is the dependance amongst all the orders of creatures; the inanimate, the sensitive, the rational, the natural, the artificial: that the apprehension of one of them, is a good step towards the understanding of the rest: And this is the highest pitch of humane reason; to follow all the links of this chain, till all their secrets are open to our minds; and their works advanc'd, or imitated by our hands. This is truly to command the world; to rank all the varieties, and degrees of things, so orderly one upon another; that standing on the top of them, we may perfectly behold all that are below, and make them all serviceable to the quiet, and peace, and plenty of Man's life. And to this hap∣piness, there can be nothing else added: but that we make a second advantage of this rising ground, there∣by to look the nearer into heaven: An ambition, Page  111 which though it was punish'd in the old World, by an universal Confusion; when it was manag'd with im∣piety, and insolence: yet, when it is carried on by that humility and innocence, which can never be separated from true knowledg; when it is design'd, not to brave the Creator of all things, but to admire him the more: it must needs be the utmost perfection of hu∣mane Nature.

Thus they have directed,* judg'd, conjectur'd upon, and improved Experiments. But lastly, in these, and all other businesses, that have come under their care; there is one thing more, about which the Society has been most sollicitous; and that is, the manner of their Discourse: which, unless they had been very watchful to keep in due temper, the whole spirit and vigour of their Design, had been soon eaten out, by the luxury and redundance of speech. The ill effects of this su∣perfluity of talking, have already overwhelm'd most other Arts and Professions; insomuch, that when I consider the means of happy living, and the causes of their corruption, I can hardly forbear recanting what I said before; and concluding, that eloquence ought to be banish'd out of all civil Societies, as a thing fatal to Peace and good Manners. To this opini∣on I should wholly incline; if I did not find, that it is a Weapon, which may be as easily procur'd by bad men, as good: and that, if these should onely cast it away, and those retain it; the naked Innocence of vertue, would be upon all occasions expos'd to the armed Malice of the wicked. This is the chief reason, that should now keep up the Ornaments of speaking, in any request: since they are so much degenerated from their original usefulness. They were at first, no doubt, Page  112 an admirable Instrument in the hands of Wise Men: when they were onely employ'd to describe Goodness, Honesty, Obedience; in larger, fairer, and more moving Images: to represent Truth, cloth'd with Bodies; and to bring Knowledg back again to our very senses, from whence it was at first deriv'd to our understandings. But now they are generally chang'd to worse uses: They make the Fancy disgust the best things, if they come sound, and unadorn'd: they are in open de∣fiance against Reason; professing, not to hold much correspondence with that; but with its Slaves, the Passions: they give the mind a motion too change∣able, and bewitching, to consist with right practice. Who can behold, without indignation, how many mists and uncertainties, these specious Tropes and Fi∣gures have brought on our Knowledg? How many rewards, which are due to more profitable, and dif∣ficult Arts, have been still snatch'd away by the easie vanity of fine speaking? For now I am warm'd with this just Anger, I cannot with-hold my self, from be∣traying the shallowness of all these seeming Myste∣ries; upon which, we Writers, and Speakers, look so bigg. And, in few words, I dare say; that of all the Studies of men, nothing may be sooner obtain'd, than this vicious abundance of Phrase, this trick of Meta∣phors, this volubility of Tongue, which makes so great a noise in the World. But I spend words in vain; for the evil is now so inveterate, that it is hard to know whom to blame, or where to begin to reform. We all value one another so much, upon this beautiful deceipt; and labour so long after it, in the years of our education; that we cannot but ever after think kinder of it, than it deserves. And indeed, in most other parts of Learning, I look on it to be a thing al∣most Page  113 utterly desperate in its cure: and I think, it may be plac'd amongst those general mischiefs; such, as the dissention of Christian Princes, the want of pra∣ctice in Religion, and the like; which have been so long spoken against, that men are become insensible about them; every one shifting off the fault from himself to others; and so they are only made bare common places of complaint. It will suffice my pre∣sent purpose, to point out, what has been done by the Royal Society, towards the correcting of its excesses in Natural Philosophy; to which it is, of all others, a most profest enemy.

They have therefore been most rigorous in put∣ting in execution, the only Remedy, that can be found for this extravagance: and that has been, a constant Resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressi∣ons, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver'd so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressi∣ons; clear senses; a native easiness: bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can: and preferring the language of Artizans, Countrymen, and Merchants, before that, of Wits, or Scholars.

And here, there is one thing, not to be pass'd by; which will render this establish'd custom of the So∣ciety, well nigh everlasting: and that is, the general constitution of the minds of the English. I have al∣ready often insisted on some of the prerogatives of England; whereby it may justly lay claim, to be the Head of a Philosophical league, above all other Coun∣tries in Europe: I have urg'd its scituation, its present Genius, and the disposition of its Merchants; and Page  114 many more such arguments to incourage us, still re∣main to be us'd: But of all others, this, which I am now alledging, is of the most weighty, and important consideration. If there can be a true character gi∣ven of the Vniversal Temper of any Nation under Heaven: then certainly this must be ascrib'd to our Countrymen: that they have commonly an unaf∣fected sincerity; that they love to deliver their minds with a sound simplicity; that they have the middle qualities, between the reserv'd subtle southern, and the rough unhewn Northern people: that they are not extreamly prone to speak: that they are more concern'd, what others will think of the strength, than of the fineness of what they say: and that an universal modesty possesses them. These Qualities are so conspicuous, and proper to our Soil; that we often hear them objected to us, by some of our neigh∣bour Satyrists, in more disgraceful expressions. For they are wont to revile the English, with a want of familiarity; with a melancholy dumpishness; with slowness, silence, and with the unrefin'd sullenness of their behaviour. But these are only the reproaches of partiality, or ignorance: for they ought rather to be commended for an honourable integrity; for a neglect of circumstances, and flourishes; for regard∣ing things of greater moment, more than less; for a scorn to deceive as well as to be deceiv'd: which are all the best indowments, that can enter into a Philo∣sophical Mind. So that even the position of our cli∣mate, the air, the influence of the heaven, the compo∣sition of the English blood; as well as the embraces of the Ocean, seem to joyn with the labours of the Royal Society, to render our Country, a Land of Ex∣perimental knowledge. And it is a good sign, that Na∣ture Page  115 will reveal more of its secrets to the English, than to others; because it has already furnish'd them with a Genius so well proportion'd, for the receiving, and retaining its mysteries.

And now,* to come to a close of the second part of the Narration: The Society has reduc'd its principal observations, into one common-stock; and laid them up in publique Registers, to be nakedly transmitted to the next Generation of Men; and so from them, to their Successors. And as their purpose was, to heap up a mixt Mass of Experiments, without digesting them into any perfect model: so to this end, they confin'd themselves to no order of subjects; and whatever they have recorded, they have done it, not as compleat Schemes of opinions, but as bare unfi∣nish'd Histories.

In the order of their Inquisitions, they have been so free; that they have sometimes committed them∣selves to be guided, according to the seasons of the year: sometimes, according to what any foreiner, or English Artificer, being present, has suggested: some∣times, according to any extraordinary accident in the Nation, or any other casualty, which has hapned in their way. By which roving, and unsettled course, there being seldome any reference of one matter to the next; they have prevented others, nay even their own hands, from corrupting, or contracting the work: they have made the raising of Rules, and Propositions, to be a far more difficult task, than it would have been, if their Registers had been more Methodical. Nor ought this neglect of consequence, and order, to be only thought to proceed from their carelesness; but from a mature, and well grounded praemeditation.Page  116 For it is certain, that a too sudden striving to reduce the Sciences, in their beginnings, into Method, and Shape, and Beauty; has very much retarded their increase. And it happens to the Invention of Arts, as to children in their younger years: in whose Bodies, the same applications, that serve to make them strait, slender, and comely; are often found very mischievous, to their ease, their strength, and their growth.

By their fair, and equal, and submissive way of Re∣gistring nothing, but Histories, and Relations; they have left room for others, that shall succeed, to change, to augment, to approve, to contradict them, at their dis∣cretion. By this, they have given posterity a far grea∣ter power of judging them; than ever they took over those, that went before them. By this, they have made a firm confederacy, between their own present labours, and the Industry of Future Ages; which how beneficial it will prove hereafter, we cannot better ghesse, than by recollecting, what wonders it would in all likelyhood have produc'd e're this; if it had been begun in the Times of the Greeks, or Romans, or Scholemen; nay even in the very last resurrection of learning. What depth of Nature, could by this time have been hid from our view? What Faculty of the Soul would have been in the dark? What part of human infirmities, not provided against? if our Pre∣decessors, a thousand, nay even a hundred, years ago, had begun to add by little, and little to the store: if they would have indeavour'd to be Benefactors, and not Tyrants over our Reasons; if they would have communicated to us, more of their Works, and less of their Wit.

This complaint, which I here take up, will appear Page  117 the juster; if we consider, that the first learned Times of the Antients, and all those, that follow'd after them, down to this day, would have receiv'd no prejudice at all; if their Philosophers had chiefly bestow'd their pains, in making Histories of Nature, and not in forming of Sciences: perhaps indeed the names of some par∣ticular men, who had the luck to compile those Sy∣stemes, and Epitomes which they gave us, would have been less glorious, than they are. Though that too may be doubted: and (if we may conclude any thing surely, upon a matter so changeable, as Fame is) we have reason enough to believe, that these later Ages would have honour'd Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, and Epicurus, as much, if not more, than now they do; if they had only set things in a way of propagating Ex∣periences down to us; and not impos'd their imagina∣tions on us, as the only Truths. This may be well enough suppos'd; seeing it is common to all man∣kind, still to esteem dearer the memories of their Friends, than of those that pretend to be their Ma∣sters.

But this matter of reputation, was only the private concernment of five, or six. As for the Interest of those Times in general, I will venture to make good; that in all effects of true knowledge, they might have been as happy, without those Bodies of Arts, as they were with them; Logick, and the Mathematicks on∣ly excepted. To instance in their Physicks: they were utterly useless, in respect of the good of mankind: they themselves did almost confess so much, by reserving all their Natural Philosophy, for the retirements of their Wisemen. What help did it ever bring to the vulgar? What visible benefit to any City, or Country in the World? Their Mechanicks, and Artificers (for whom Page  118 the True Natural Philosophy should be principally in∣tended) were so far from being assisted by those ab∣struse Doctrines; that perhaps scarce any one of those Professions, and Trades, has well understood Aristo∣tles Principles of Bodies, from his own Time down to ours. Hence then we may conclude, that those first Times, wherein these Arts were made, had been no∣thing dammag'd; if, instead of raising so many Specu∣lative Opinions, they had only minded the laying of a solid ground-work, for a vast Pile of Experiments, to be continually augmenting through all Ages.

And I will also add; that, if such a course had been at first set on foot, Philosophy would by this means have been kept closer to material things; and so, in proba∣bility, would not have undergone so many Eclipses, as it has done ever since. If we reckon from its first set∣ting forth in the East; we shall find, that in so long a Tract of Time, there have not been above four, or five hundred years, at several intervals, wherein it has been in any request in the World. And if we look back on all the alterations, and subversions of States, that have hapned in Civil Nations, these three thou∣sand years: we may still behold, that the Sciences of mens brains, have been alwayes subject to be far more injur'd by such vicissitudes, than the Arts of their hands. What cause can be assign'd for this? Why was Learning the first thing, that was constantly swept away, in all destructions of Empire, and forein inun∣dations? Why could not that have weather'd out the storm, as well as most sorts of Manufactures: which, though they began as soon, or before the other, yet they have remain'd, through all such changes, un∣alter'd; except for the better? The Reason of this is evident. It is, because Philosophy had been spun Page  119 out, to so fine a thread, that it could be known but only to those, who would throw away all their whole Lives upon it. It was made too subtile, for the com∣mon, and gross conceptions of men of business. It had before in a measure been banish'd, by the Philosophers themselves, out of the World; and shut up in the shades of their walks. And by this means, it was first look'd upon, as most useless; and so fit, soonest to be neglected. Whereas if at first it had been made to converse more with the senses, and to assist familiarly in all occasions of human life; it would, no doubt, have been thought needful to be preserv'd, in the most Active, and ignorant Time. It would have escap'd the fury of the Barbarous people; as well as the Arts of Ploughing, Gard'ning, Cookery, making Iron and Steel, Fishing, Sailing, and many more such necessary handicrafts have done.

But it is too late to lament this error of the Anti∣ents; seeing it is not now to be repair'd. It is enough, that we gather from hence; that by bringing Philoso∣phy down again to mens sight, and practice, from whence it was flown away so high: the Royal Society has put it into a condition of standing out, against the Invasions of Time, or even Barbarisme it self: that by establishing it on a firmer foundation, than the airy Notions of men alone, upon all the works of Nature; by turning it into one of the Arts of Life, of which men may see there is daily need; they have provided, that it cannot hereafter be extinguish'd, at the loss of a Library, at the overthrowing of a Language, or at the death of some few Philosophers: but that men must lose their eyes, and hands, and must leave off desiring to make their Lives convenient, or pleasant; before they can be willing to destroy it.

Page  120*Thus far I was come in my intended work, when my hand was stop'd, and my mind disturb'd from wri∣ting, by the two greatest diasters, that ever befel our Nation, the fatal Infection, which overspread the City of London in Sixty five; and the dreadful firing of the City it self, in the year insuing. These two cala∣mities may well be sufficient, to excuse the delay of publishing this Book: when the one of them devour'd as many Men, and the other as many Books, as the cruellest incursion of the Goths, and Vandals, had ever done.

The Plague was indeed an irreparable dammage to the whole Kingdom: but that which chiefly added to the misery, was the time, wherein it happen'd. For what could be a more deplorable accident, than that so many brave men should be cut off by the Arrow, that flies in the dark, when our Country was ingag'd in a forein War, and when their Lives might have been honourably ventur'd on a glorious Theater in its defence? And we had scarce recover'd this first misfortune, when we receiv'd a second, and a deeper wound; which cannot be equall'd in all History, if either we consider the obscurity of its beginning, the irresistible violence of its progress, the horror of its appearance, or the wideness of the ruine, it made, in one of the most renown'd Cities of the World.

Yet when on the one side, I remember, what de∣solation these scourges of mankind have left behind them; and on the other when I reflect on the mag∣nanimity, wherewith the English Nation did sup∣port the mischiefs: I find, that I have not more reason to bewail the one, than to admire the other.

Page  121Upon our return after the abating of the Plague, what else could we expect, but to see the streets un∣frequented, the River forsaken, the fields deform'd with the Graves of the Dead, and the Terrors of Death still abiding on the faces of the living? But instead of such dismal sights, there appear'd almost the same throngs in all publick places, the same noise of busi∣ness, the same freedom of convers, and with the re∣turn of the King, the same cheerfulness returning on the minds of the people as before.

Nor was their courage less, in sustaining the second calamity, which destroy'd their houses, and estates. This the greatest losers indur'd with such undaunted firm∣ness of mind, that their example may incline us to be∣lieve, that not only the best Natural, but the best Mo∣ral Philosophy too, may be learn'd from the shops of Mechanicks. It was indeed an admirable thing to be∣hold, with what constancy, the meanest Artificers saw all the labours of their lives, and the support of their families devour'd in an instant. The affliction 'tis true, was widely spread over the whole Nation: every place was fill'd with signs of pity, and commiseration: But those who had suffer'd most, seem'd the least af∣fected with the loss: no unmanly bewailings were heard in the few streets, that were preserv'd: they beheld the Ashes of their Houses, and Gates, and Tem∣ples, without the least expression of Pusillanimity. If Philosophers had done this, it had well become their profession of Wisdom: if Gentlemen, the nobleness of their breeding, and blood would have requir'd it. But that such greatness of heart should be found a∣mongst the poor Artizans, and the obscure multitude, is no doubt one of the most honourable events, that ever happen'd. Yet still there is one circumstance be∣hind, Page  122 which may raise our wonder higher: and that is, that amidst such horrible ruines, they still prosecu∣ted the War with the same vigour, and courage, against three of the most powerful States of all Europe. What Records of Time, or Memory of past Ages, can shew us a greater testimony of an invincible and heroick Genius, than this, of which I now speak? that the sound of the Heralds proclaiming new Wars, should be pleasant to the people, when the sad voice of the Bell-man was scarce yet gone out of their ears? that the increase of their Adversaries Confederates, and of their own calamities, should be so far from affrighting them, that they rather seem'd to receive from thence a new vigour, and resolution? and that they should still be eager upon Victories, and Triumphs, when they were thought almost quite exhausted, by so great de∣structions?

*From this observation my mind begins to take com∣fort, and to presage, that as this terrible Disease, and Conflagration were not able to darken the honour of our Princes Armes; so they will not hinder the many noble Arts, which the English have begun under his Reign on the strength of these hopes, and incourage∣ments, I will now return to my former thoughts, and to the finishing of my interrupted design. And I come with the more earnestness to perfect it, because it seems to me, that from the sad effects of these disa∣sters, there may a new, and a powerful Argument be rais'd, to move us to double our labours, about the Se∣crets of Nature.

A New City is to be built, on the most advantage∣ous Seat of all Europe, for Trade, and command. This therefore is the fittest Season for men to apply their Page  123 thoughts, to the improving of the materials of buil∣ding, and to the inventing of better models, for Hou∣ses, Roofs, Chimnies, Conduits, Wharfs, and Streets: all which have been already under the considerati∣on of the Royal Society: and that too, before they had such a sad occasion of bringing their observations into practice. The mortality of this Pestilence ex∣ceeded all others of later Ages. But the remem∣brance of it should rather enliven than damp our In∣dustry. When mankind is overrun with such horri∣ble invasions of Death, they should from thence be universally alarm'd, to use more diligence about pre∣venting them for the future.

It is true, that terrible evil has hitherto in all Coun∣tries, been generally too strong, for the former reme∣dies of Art. But why should we think that it will continue so for ever? Why may we not believe, that in all the vast compass of Natural virtues of things yet conceal'd, there is still reserv'd an Antidote, that shall be equal to this poyson? If in such cases we only accuse the Anger of Providence, or the Cruelty of Na∣ture: we lay the blame, where it is not justly to be laid. It ought rather to be attributed to the negli∣gence of men themselves, that such difficult Cures are without the bounds of their reasons power.

If all men had desponded at first, and sunk under the burden of their own infirmities, almost every lit∣tle wound, or pain of the least member, had been as deadly, as the Plague at this time. It was by much In∣quiry, and use, that most of the mildest diseases be∣came curable. And every first success of this kind, should alwayes strengthen our assurance of farther conquests, even over this greatest Terror of mankind. Distrust, and despair of our own indeavours, is as Page  124 great a hindrance in the progress of the True Philoso∣phy, as it is wont to be in the rise of mens private for∣tunes. Whoever aims not at the greatest things, will seldome proceed much farther, than the least. Who∣ever will make a right, and a fortunate Courtship to Nature, he cannot enterprise, or attempt too much: for She (as it is said of other Mistresses) is also a Mistress, that soonest yields to the forward, and the Bold.

I have hitherto describ'd the first Elements, on which the Royal Society arose, and supported its be∣ginnings: I have trac'd its progress from the first private indeavours of some of its members, till it be∣came united into a Regular constitution: and from thence I have related their first conceptions, and pra∣ctices, towards the setling of an universal, constant, and impartial survey of the whole Creation. There now remains to be added in this Third part of my Narra∣tion, an Account of the Incouragements they have re∣ceiv'd from abroad, and at home; and a Particular Enumeration of the Principal Subjects, about which they have been emploi'd since they obtain'd the Royal Confirmation.

*I will first begin with the esteem, which all the Ci∣vil world abroad has conceiv'd of their Enterprize. And I mention this with the more willingness, because I believe, that our Nation ought justly to be reprov'd, for their excess of Natural bashfulness, and for their want of care, to have their most excellent things re∣presented to Strangers with the best advantage. This silent, and reserv'd humour has no doubt been very prejudicial to us, in the judgment, that our Neigh∣bours have often made, not only concerning the con∣dition Page  125 of our Learning, but also of our Political affairs. I will therefore trespass a little on this disposition of my Countrymen, and affirm, that as the English name does manifestly get ground, by the bravery of their Arms, the Glory of their Naval strength, and the spread∣ing of their Commerce: so there has been a remarka∣ble addition to its renown, by the success, which all our Neighbours expect from this Assembly.

It is evident, that this searching Spirit, and this affe∣ction to sensible Knowledge, does prevail in most Coun∣tries round about us. 'Tis true, the conveniences for such labours, are not equal in all places. Some want the assistance of others hands; some the contributi∣on of others purses: some the benefit of excellent In∣struments, some the Patronage of the Civil Magistrates: But yet according to their several powers, they are every where intent on such practical Studies. And the most considerable effects of such attempts throughout Europe, have been still recommended to this Society, by their Authors, to be examin'd, ap∣prov'd, or corrected.

The Country,* that lies next to England in its scitua∣tion is France: and that is also neerest to it, in its zeal for the promotion of Experiments. In that Kingdom, the Royal Society has maintain'd a perpetual inter∣course, with the most eminent men of Art of all con∣ditions: and has obtain'd from them, all the help which might justly be hop'd for, from the vigour, and activity, and readiness of mind, which is natural to that people. From their Physicians, Chirurgeons, and Ana∣tomists, it has receiv'd many faithful Relations of ex∣traordinary Cures: from their most judicious Travel∣lers the Fruits of their Voyages: from their most fa∣mous Page  126Mathematicians, divers Problems, which have been solvd many different wayes: from their Chy∣mists the effects of their Fires: and from others of their best Observers, many rarities, and discourses, of their Fruits, Silk, Wine, Bread, Plants, Salt and such Natural productions of their Soil. And, to instance once for all, it has been affectionately invited to a mu∣tual correspondence by the French Academy of Paris: In which invitation, there is one expression, that ought not to be pass'd over in silence: that they acknow∣ledge the English Nation, to have many advantages, for the propagating of Real Philosophy, which are wanting to all others. This Confession is true. Yet these ad∣vantages, unless they had been improv'd by this insti∣tution, had been only as those, that we have for fishing, objections, and arguments of our sloth.

*In Italy the Royal Society has an excellent privi∣ledge of receiving, and imparting Experiments, by the help of one of their own Fellows, who has the oppor∣tunity of being Resident there for them, as well as for the King. From thence they have been earnestly in∣vited to a mutual intelligence, by many of their most Noble Wits, but chiefly by the Prince Leopoldo, Brother to the Great Duke of Thuscany; who is the Patron of all the Inquisitive Philosophers of Florence: from whom there is coming out under his Name an account of their proceedings call'd Ducat Experiments. This ap∣plication to the Royal Society I have mention'd, be∣cause it comes from that Country, which is seldome wont to have any great regard, to the Arts of these Nations, that lye on this side of their mountains.

*In Germany, and its neighbouring Kingdomes, the Page  127Royal Society has met with great veneration; as ap∣pears by several Testimonies, in their late Printed Books, which have been submitted to its Censure: by many Curiosities of Mechanick Instruments, that have been transmitted to it: and by the Addresses which have been sent from their Philosophical Inquirers. For which kinds of Enterprises the temper of the Ger∣man Nation, is admirably fit, both in respect of their peculiar dexterity in all sorts of manual Arts, and also in regard of the plain, and unaffected sincerity of their manners: wherein they so much resemble the English, that we seem to have deriv'd from them the composition of our minds, as well as to have descen∣ded from their Race.

In the Low-Countries,* their Interest, and Reputation has been establish'd, by the Friendship of some of their chief Learned men, and principally of Hugenius. This Gentleman has bestow'd his pains, on many parts of the speculative, and practical Mathematicks, with won∣derful successes. And particularly his applying the Motion of Pendulums to Clocks, and Watches, was an excellent Invention. For thereby there may be a means found out, of bringing the measures of Time, to an exact Regulation: of which the benefits are in∣finite. In the prosecution of such Discoveries, he has often requir'd the aid of this Society; he has receiv'd the light of their Trials, and a confirmation of his own, and has freely admitted their alterations, or a∣mendments. And this learned correspondence with him, and many others, is still continued, even at this present time, in the breach between our Countries: Their Great Founder, and Patron still permitting them to maintain the Traffick of Sciences, when all Page  128 other Commerce is intercepted. Whence we may ghess, what may be expected from the peaceful part of our Kings Reign, when his very Wars are manag'd, without injury to the Arts of Civil Knowledge.

*But not to wander any farther in particulars, it may perhaps in general be safely computed, that there has been as large a communication of Forein Arts, and Inventions, to the Royal Society, within this small com∣pass of time, as ever before did pass over the English Channel since the very first transportation of Arts in∣to our Island. And that this benefit will still increase by the length of time is indubitable, from the Recepti∣on, which has been given to the Scholars, Nobility, Embassadours, and Forein Princes, who of late years have travell'd hither, to behold a Country, which had been the Stage of so famous a War, and so miraculous a Peace. All these have still visited the Royal Society, as one of the first, and Noblest Fruits of our restora∣tion. From hence they have return'd home, with a free engagement of their assistance: the men of learn∣ing assuring it of a contribution of their Labours, and the Statesmen, and Princes of their Authority, and in∣deavours, in satisfying all Philosophical Quaeries, with which they have been plentifully furnish'd.

It would be a useless pomp to reckon up a Cata∣logue of their Names: especially seeing they are al∣ready recorded with gratitude, in a more lasting Mo∣nument, The Register of the Society. Only it will not, I think, be amiss, if I mention the visit of one Prince, because it may afford us a profitable observation. When the Duke of Brunswyck and Lunenbourgh was introduc'd into their weekly Assembly, and had sub∣scrib'd his name to their Statutes: there was accor∣ding Page  129 to the Custom, one of the Fellows appointed, to interpret to him, what Experiments were produc'd, and examin'd at that meeting. But his Highness told them, that it was not necessary, they should put them∣selves to that trouble: for he well understood our Language, having been drawn to the study of it, out of a desire of reading our Philosophical Books. From whence there may this conclusion be made, that if ever our Native Tongue shall get any ground in Eu∣rope, it must be by augmenting its Experimental Trea∣sure. Nor is it impossible, but as the Feminine Arts of Pleasure, and Gallantry have spread some of our Neighbouring Languages, to such a vast extent: so the English Tongue may also in time be more enlarg'd, by being the Instrument of conveying to the World, the Masculine Arts of Knowledge.

I now come to relate,* what incouragements this de∣sign has receiv'd at home in its Native soyl. And I will assure my Reader, that the Original of the Royal So∣ciety has found a general approbation within our selves, and that the most prudent men of all Professi∣ons, and Interests, have shewn by their respects to these hopeful beginnings, that there is a Reverence due to the first trials, and intentions, as well as to the last ac∣complishment of generous attempts.

Of our chief,* and most wealthy Merchants, and Ci∣tizens, very many have assisted it with their presence: and thereby have added the industrious, punctual, and active Genius of men of Trafick, to the quiet, sedentary, and reserv'd temper of men of Learning. They have contributed their labours: they have help'd their correspondence: they have employ'd Page  130 their Factors abroad, to answer their Inquiries; they have laid out in all Countries for observations: they have bestow'd many considerable gifts on their Trea∣sury, and Repository. And chiefly there is one Bounty to be here inserted, which for the singular benefit that may be expected from it, deserves the applause and imitation of this, and future times. It is the establish∣ment made by Sir Iohn Cutler, for the reading on Me∣chanicks, in the place where the Royal Society shall meet. This is the first Lecture that has been founded of this kind, amidst all the vast munificence of so ma∣ny Benefactors to Learning, in this later Age. And yet this was the most necessary of all others. For this has chiefly caus'd the slow progress of manual Arts; that the Trades themselves have never serv'd apprenti∣ships, as well as the Tradesmen: that they have never had any Masters set over them, to direct and guide their works, or to vary, and enlarge their operations.

*Of our Physicians, many of the most judicious, have contributed their purses, their hands, their judgments, their writings. This they have done, though they have also in London, a Colledge peculiar to their Pro∣fession; which ever since its first foundation, for the space of a hundred and fifty years, has given the world a succession of the most eminent Physicians of Europe. In that they confine themselves to the ad∣vancement of Physick: But in this, they have also with great zeal, and ability, promoted this universal inspe∣ction, into all Natural knowledge. For without danger of flattery, I will declare of the English Physicians, that no part of the world exceeds them, not only in the skill of their own Art, but in general Learning: and of very many of that profession I will affirm, that All Page  131 Apollo is their own, as it was said by the best Poet of this Age, of one of the most excellent of their number.

Of our Nobility,* and Gentry, the most Noble and Illu∣strious have condescended, to labour here with their hands, to impart their discoveries, to propose their doubts, to assist, and defray the charge of their Trials. And this they have done with such a universal agree∣ment, that it is almost the only thing, wherein the No∣bility of all the three Kingdoms are united. In their Assemblies for making Laws they are separated: in their customes, and manners of life they differ: And in their humours too, they are thought not much of kin to each other. But in the Royal Society the Scotch, the Irish, the English Gentry do meet, and communi∣cate, without any distinction of Countries, or affections. From hence no doubt very much Political, as well as Philosophical benefit will arise. By this means, there is a good foundation laid▪ for the removing of that aver∣sion, which the English are sometimes observ'd to ex∣press to the Natives of those Kingdoms: which though perhaps it arises from the Knowledge of their own advantages above the other, yet it is a great hindrance to the growth of the British power. For as a Kingdom divided against it self, cannot stand; so three King∣domes divided from each other, in Tempers, Studies, and Inclinations, can never be great, upon one com∣mon interest.

Of our Ministers of State at home,* and our Embassa∣dours abroad, there have been very few employ'd, who are not Fellows of the Royal Society: and especially these later, have bestow'd their pains in forein Courts, to collect Relations, and Secrets of Nature, as well as Page  132 of State: For which service their way of life is most convenient, by the generality of their converse, the priviledges, and freedom of their dispatches; and the usual Resort of the most knowing, and inquisitive men to their company.

*Our Greatest Captains, and Commanders have in∣roll'd their Names in this number, and have regarded these Studies: which are not, as other parts of Learn∣ing, to be call'd the Studies of the Gown, for they do as well become the profession of a Souldier, or any other way of life. Nor have our most renowned Generals neglected the opportunities of Philosophical Inquiries, even in the midst of their greatest Enterprizes, on which the fate of Kingdoms has depended. They have been furnish'd with Instruments, and directions by the Royal Society, and amidst the Tumult of Wars, and Government of Fleets, they have found leisure to make some Trials of Experiments: which works as much excell that of Declaiming, which some of the Roman Generals us'd in their Camps, as it is better to do, than to talk well.

*Of our Churchmen the Greatest and the most Re∣verend, by their care, and passion, and indeavours, in advancing this Institution, have taken off the unjust scandal from Natural knowledge, that it is an Enemy to Divinity. By the perpetual Patronage; and assistance, they have afforded the Royal Society, they have con∣futed the false opinions of those men, who believe that Philosophers must needs be irreligious: they have shewn that in our veneration of Gods almighty power, we ought to imitate the manner of our respect to Earthly Kings. For as, the greater their Dominion is, Page  133 the more observance is wont to be given to their neerest Servants and Officers: so the greatness of the Divine Majesty is best to be worshipp'd, by the due honouring, and observing of Nature, which is his im∣mediate Servant, and the universal Minister of his pleasure.

But I make hast to that,* which ought to be esteem'd the very life, and soul of this undertaking, the prote∣ction, and favour of the King, and the Royal Family▪ When the Society first address'd themselves to his Ma∣jestie, he was pleas'd to express much satisfaction, that this enterprize was begun in his Reign: he then re∣presented to them, the gravity, and difficulty of their work and assur'd them of all the kind influence of his Power, and Prerogative. Since that he has frequently committed many things to their search: he has re∣ferr'd many forein Rarities to their inspection: he has recommended many domestick improvements to their care: he has demanded the result of their trials, in many appearances of Nature: he has been present, and assisted with his own hands, at the performing of many of their Experiments, in his Gardens, his Parks, and on the River. And besides I will not conceal, that he has sometimes reprov'd them for the slowness of their proceedings: at which reproofs they have not so much cause to be afflicted, that they are the repre∣hensions of a King, as to be comforted, that they are the reprehensions of his love, and affection to their progress. For a Testimony of which Royal benignity, and to free them from all hindrances, and occasions of delay, he has given them the establishment of his Let∣ters Patents, of which I will here produce an Epi∣tome.

Page  134

CHarles the second, by the Grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all unto whom these presents shall come, Greeting. Hauing long resolved within our self to pro∣mote the welfare of Arts and Sciences, as well as that of our Territories and Dominions, out of our Princely af∣fection to all kind of Learning, and more particular fa∣vour to Philosophical Studies. Especially those which in∣deavour by solid Experiments either to reform or im∣prove Philosophy. To the intent therefore that these kinds of study, which are no where yet fufficiently cultivated, may flourish in our Dominions; and that the Learned world may acknowledge us to be, not only the Defender of the Faith, but the Patron and Encourager of all sorts of useful Knowledge.

Know ye, that we out of our special Grace, certain knowledge, and meer motion, have given and granted, and do by these presents give and grant for us, our Heirs, and Successors, That there shall be for ever a Society, con∣sisting of a President, Council, and Fellows, which shall be called by the name of the President, Council, and Fellows of the Royal Society of London, for and improving of Natural knowledge, of which Society we do by these pre∣sents declare our self to be Founder and Patron. And we do hereby make and constitute the said Society by the name, &c. to be a Body corporate, to be continued under the same name in a perpetual succession; And that they and their successors (whose studies are to be imployed for the promoting of the knowledge of natural things, and useful Arts by Experiments. To the glory of God, and the good of mankind) shall by the foresaid name of President, Council, &c. be inabled and made capable in Law, to levy, hold, possess, and injoy, Lands, Tenements, &c. Liberties, Franchises, Iurisdictions, for perpetuity, Page  135 or Terms of Lives, or Years, or any other way: as also Goods, Chattels, and all other things of what Nature or Kind soever. And also by the name aforesaid to Give, Grant, Demise, or Assign the said Lands, Goods, &c. and to do all things necessary thereabout. And the said Per∣sons by the name aforesaid are inabled to implead, be im∣pleaded, sue, defend, &c. in any Courts, and before any Iudges, Officers, &c. whatsoever of the King, His Heirs and Successors, in all and singular Actions Real and Per∣sonal: Pleas, Causes, &c. of what kind soever, as any of His Subjects within his Kingdom of England, or Corpo∣rations, are by Law capable and inabled to do.

And the said President, Council, and Fellows are im∣powr'd to have a Common Seal for their use in their Affairs: and from time to time to break, change, and make anew the same, as shall seem expedient unto them.

And his Majesty, in Testimony of his Royal Favour to∣wards the said President, Council, and Fellows, and of His especial esteem of them, doth Grant a Coat of Arms to them and their Successors, viz. On a Field Argent a Canton of the three Lyons of England: For a Crest, an Eagle proper on a Ducal Coronet supporting a Shield charged with the Lyons aforesaid; and for Supporters, two Talbots with Coronets on their Necks. The said Armes to be born, &c. by the said Society upon all oc∣casions.

And that His Majesties Royal Intention may take the better effect for the good Government of the said Socie∣ty from time to time: It is establish'd, That the Council aforesaid shall consist of 21. Persons; (whereof the Pre∣sident for the time being alwayes to be one.) And that all Persons, which within two Moneths next ensuing the date of the said Charter shall be chosen by the said Pre∣sident Page  136 and Council; and in all times after the said two Moneths, by the President, Council, and Fellows [and noted in a Register to be kept for that purpose] shall be Fellows of the said Society, and so accounted, and call'd during life, except by the Statutes of the said Society to be made any of them shall happen to be amoved And by how much any Persons are more excelling in all kinds of Learning, by how much the more ardently they desire to promote the Honour, Business, and Emolument of the said Society, by how much the more eminent they are for Inte∣grity, Honesty, Piety, Loyalty, and Good Affection toward His Majesty, His Crown and Dignity, by so much the more fit and worthy such Persons are to be judged for re∣ception into the Society.

And for the better execution of his Royal Grant, His Majesty hath nominated, &c. His Trusty and Well-belo∣ved William Viscount Brouncker, Chancellor to His dearest Consort Queen Catharine, to be the First and Modern President to continue in the said Office from the date of the Patent to the Feast of Saint Andrew next ensuing, and until another Person of the said Council be duly chosen into the said Office. The said Lord Brouncker being sworn in all things belonging thereto well and faithfully to execute the said Office before His right well-beloved and right Trusty Cosin and Counsellor, Edward, Earl of Clarendon, Lord High Chancellor of England, in the words following.

I William Viscount Brouncker do promise to deal faithfully and honestly in all things belonging to that Trust committed to me, as President of the Royal Society of London, for improving Natural Knowledge. So help me God.

Page  137

And His Majesty hath nominated, &c. the Persons following, His Trusty and Well beloved Sir Robert Mo∣ray Knight, one of His Privie Council in His Kingdom of Scotland, Robert Boyl Esquire, William Brereton Esquire, eldest Son to the Lord Brereton, Sir Kenelme Digby Knight, Chancellor to His dearest Mother Queen Mary, Sir Gilbert Talbot Knight, Master of His Iewel∣house, Sir Paul Neile Knight, one of the Vshers of His Privie Chamber, Henry Slingsby Esquire, one of the Gentlemen of His said Privie Chamber, Sir William Petty Knight, Timothy Clark Doctor of Physick, and one of His Physitians, Iohn Wilkins Doctor of Divinity, George Ent Doctor of Physick, William Erskyne Esq, one of His Cupbearers, Jonathan Goddard Doctor of Physick, William Ball Esquire, Matthew Wren Esquire, John Evelyn Esquire, Thomas Henshaw Esquire, Dud∣ley Palmer of Grayes-Inn Esquire, Abraham Hill of London Esquire, and Henry Oldenburg Esquire, toge∣ther with the President aforesaid, to be the first and Mo∣dern 21 of the Council and Fellows of the Royal Socie∣ty aforesaid, to be continued in the Offices of the Council aforesaid, from the date of the Patent to the Feast of Saint Andrew next following, and from thence till other fit persons be chosen into the said Offices. The said Persons to be sworn before the President of the Society, for the time being, well and truly to execute the said Offices, according to the form and effect of the aforesaid Oath to be administred to the President by the Lord Chancellor as aforesaid. For the administring which Oath to the said Persons, and all others hereafter from time to time to be chosen into the said Council, full Power and Authority is Granted to the President for the time being: And the said Persons duly sworn, and all other from time to time duly chosen into the said Coun∣cil Page  138 and sworn, are to aid, advise and assist in all affairs, businesses, and things concerning the better Regulation, Government, and Direction of the Royal Society; and e∣very Member thereof.

Furthermore, Libertie is granted to the said Society, lawfully to make and hold meetings of themselves, for the searching out and discovery of Natural Things, and Transaction of other businesses relating to the said Socie∣ty, when and as often as shall be requisite, in any Colledge, Hall, or other Convenient place in London, or within 10. Miles thereof.

And Power is Granted to the said Society, from time to time to nominate and choose yearly, on Saint Andrews day, one of the Council aforesaid, for the time being, to be President of the Society until Saint Andrews day next ensuing (if he shall so long live, or not be removed for some just and reasonable Cause) and from thence until another be chosen and put into the said Office: the said President so elected, before admission to that Office, to be sworn before the Council, according to the form before expressed, who are impowr'd to administer the said Oath from time to time, as often as there shall be cause to choose a President.

And in Case that the said President, during his Office, shall die, recede, or be removed; then, and so often, it shall be Lawful for the Council of the Royal Society, to meet together to choose one of their Number for President of the said Society, and the Person so chosen and duly sworn, shall have and exercise the Office of President for the re∣mainder of the year, and until another be duly chosen into the said Office.

And in case that any one or more of the Council afore∣said shall die, recede, or be remov'd (which persons or any of them, for misdemeanour, or other reasonable cause, are Page  139 declar'd to be amovable by the President and the rest of the Council) then and so often it shall be lawful for the President, Council, and Fellows, to choose one or more of the Fellows of the Royal Society in the room of him or them so deceasing, receding, or removed, to compleat the aforesaid number of 21. of the Council, which Person or Persons, so chosen, are to continue in Office until Saint Andrews day then next ensuing, and until others be duly chosen, the said Persons being sworn, faithfully to execute their Offices, according to the true intention of the Patent.

And His Majestie doth will and Grant unto the said President, Council, and Fellows, full power and authority on Saint Andrews day yearly, to elect, nominate, and change 10. of the Fellows of the Royal Society, to supply the places and Offices of ten of the aforesaid number of 21. of the Council, declaring it to be His Royal Will and Pleasure, that ten and no more of the Council aforesaid be annually changed and removed by the President, Coun∣cil, and Fellows aforesaid.

And it is Granted on the behalf of the said Society that if it shall happen, that the President to be sick, infirm, detained in His Majesties Service, or otherwise occupied, so as he cannot attend the necessary Affairs of the Socie∣ty, then and so often it shall be lawful for him to appoint one of the Council for his Deputy, who shall supply his place from time to time, as often as he shall happen to be absent during the whole time of the said Presidents con∣tinuance in his Office, unless he shall in the mean time constitute some other of the Council for his Deputy: And the Deputy so constituted is impowr'd to do all and singular things which belong to the Office of the Pre∣sident of the Royal Society, and in as ample man∣ner and form as the said President may do by vertue of Page  140 His Majesties Letters Patents, He the said Deputy being duly sworn before the Council in form before specified, who are impowr'd to administer the Oath as often as the case shall require.

It is further granted to the Society, to have one Trea∣surer, two Secretaries, two or more Curators of Experi∣ments, one or more Clerk or Clerks, and also two Sergeants at Mace, who may from time to time attend on the Pre∣sident: all the said Officers to be chosen by the President, Council and Fellows, and to be sworn in form and effect before specified, well and faithfully to execute their Offi∣ces, which Oath the Council are impowr'd to administer: And His Majesty nominates and appoints His well-belo∣ved Subjects, the aforesaid William Ball Esquire, to be the first and Modern Treasurer; and the aforesaid John Wilkins and Henry Oldenburg, to be the first and Mo∣dern Secretaries of the Royal Society, to be continued in the said Offices to the Feast of Saint Andrew next fol∣lowing the date of the Patent. And that from time to time, and ever hereafter, on the said Feast of Saint An∣drew (if it be not Lords day, and if it be Lords day, on the next day after) the President, Council, and Fellows aforesaid, are impowr'd to nominate and choose honest and discreet Men for Treasurer and Secretaries, which are to be of the Number of the Council of the Royal So∣ciety, which Persons Elected and sworn, in form before specified, are to exercise and enjoy the said Offices until the Feast of Saint Andrew then next following.

And if it shall happen, that the aforesaid Elections of the President, Council, Treasurer, and Secretaries, or any of them, cannot be made or perfected on the Feast of Saint Andrew aforesaid: it is granted to the aforesaid President, Council, and Fellows, that they may lawfully nominate and assign another day, as neer to the said Feast of Saint Andrew as conveniently may be, for making or Page  141 perfecting the said Elections, and so from day to day till the said Elections be perfected.

And in case that any of the aforesaid Officers of the Roy∣al Society shall die, recede, or be remov'd from their respe∣ctive Offices, then and so often it shall be lawful for the said President, Council, and Fellows, to choose one or more into the Office or Offices vacant, to hold the same during the residue of that year, and until others be duly chosen and sworn in their places.

Moreover, on the behalf of the Society, it is granted unto the President and Council, that they may assemble and meet together in any Colledge, Hall, or other convenient place in London, or within ten miles thereof (due and lawful summons of all the Members of the Council to ex∣traordinary meetings being always premised) and that they being so met together, have full power and authority from time to time, to make, constitute, and establish such Laws, Statutes, Orders, and Constitutions, which shall ap∣pear to them to be good, useful, honest, and necessary, accor∣ding to their judgments and discretions, for the Govern∣ment, Regulation and Directions of the Royal Society, and every Member thereof: And to do all things concerning the Government, Estate, Goods, Lands, Revenues, as also the Businesses and Affairs of the said Society: All which Laws, Statutes, Orders, &c so made, His Majesty wills and commands, that they be from time to time inviolably ob∣served, according to the tenor and effect of them: Provi∣ded that they be reasonable and not repugnant or contrary to the Laws, Customs, &c. of his Kingdom of England.

And furthermore, full Power and Authority is given and granted unto the said Society, from time to time to choose one or more Printers and Gravers, and by writing sealed with the Common Seal of the Society, and signed by the President for the time being, to grant them power to print such things, matters and businesses concerning the Page  142 said Society, as shall be committed to them by the Council from time to time; The said Printers and Gravers being sworn before the President and Council in form before specified, which President and Council are impowred to give the said Oath.

And for the greater advantage and success of the Society in their Philosophical Studies and Indeavours, full Power and Authority is granted unto them, to re∣quire, take, and receive, from time to time, dead bodies of Persons executed, and the same to anatomize, to all intents and purposes, and in as ample manner and form as the Colledge of Physitians, and Company of Chirur∣gions of London (by what names soever the said two Corporations are or may be called) have had and made use of, or may have and use the said Bodies.

And for the improvement of such Experiments, Arts, and Sciences as the Society may be imploy'd in, full Power and Authority is granted unto them from time to time by Letters under the hand of the President in the presence of the Council, to hold Correspondence and In∣telligence with any Strangers, whether private Persons, or Collegiate Societies or Corporations, without any In∣terruption or Molestation whatsoever: Provided that this Indulgence or Grant be extended to no further use than the particular Benefit and Interest of the Society, in Matters Philosophical, Mathematical, and Mecha∣nical.

Full Power and Authority is also granted on the behalf of the Society to the Council, to erect and build one or more Colledges within London, or ten miles thereof, of what form or quality soever, for Habitation, Assembling, or Meeting of the President, Council and Fellows, about any affairs and businesses of the Society.

And if any abuses or differences shall ever hereafter Page  143 arise and happen about the Government or Affairs of the Society, whence the Constitution, Progress, and Improve∣ment, or Businesses thereof may suffer or be hindred: In such cases His Majesty Assignes and Authorizes His right Trusty and right Well-beloved Cosen and Counsellor, Ed∣ward Earl of Clarendon Lord High Chancellor of Eng∣land, by himself during his life, and after his decease the Lord Arch-bishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, the Lord High Treasurer of England, the Lord Keeper of the Pri∣vy Seal, the Lord Bishop of London, and the two princi∣pal Secretaries of State for the time being, or any four or more of them, to compose and redress any such differences or abuses.

And lastly, His Majesty straightly charges and com∣mands all Iustices, Mayors, Aldermen, Sheriffs, Bayliffs, Constables, and all other Officers, Ministers, and Subjects whatsoever, from time to time to be aiding and assisting unto the said President, Council, and Fellows of the Royal Society, in and about all things, according to the true in∣tention of His Letters Patents.

This is the Legal Ratification which the Royal So∣ciety has receiv'd. And in this place I am to render their publick thanks to the Right Honourable the Earl of Clarendon Lord Chancellor of England, to Sir Ieffery Palmer Atturny General, and to Sir Heneage Finch Sollicitor General: who by their cheerful con∣currence, and free promotion of this Confirmation, have wip'd away the aspersion, that has been scanda∣lously cast on the Profession of the Law, that it is an Enemy to Learning, and the Civil Arts. To shew the falsehood of this reproach, I might instance in many Iudges and Counsellors of all Ages, who have been the Page  144 ornaments of the Sciences, as well as of the Bar, and Courts of Iustice. But it is enough to declare, that my Lord Bacon was a Lawyer, and that these eminent Officers of the Law, have compleated this foundation of the Royal Society: which was a work well beco∣ming the largeness of his Wit to devise, and the great∣ness of their Prudence to establish.

*According to the intention of these Letters Patents, their Council has ever since been annually renew'd: their President, their Treasurer, their Secretaries cho∣sen: The chief employments of the Council have been to manage their Political affairs, to regulate dis∣orders, to make addresses, and applications in their behalf; to guard their Priviledges, to disperse corre∣spondents, but Principally to form the Body of their Statutes, which I will here insert.

An Abstract of the Statutes of the Royal Society.

WHatever Statute shall be made, or repeal'd, the making or repealing of it shall be voted twice, and at two several meetings of the Coun∣cil.

This Obligation shall be subscrib'd by every Fellow; or his election shall be void.

WE who have hereto subscrib'd, do promise each for himself, that we will indeavour to promote the good of the Royal Society of London, for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, and to pursue the ends, for which the same was founded: that we Page  145 will be present at the Meetings of the Society, as of∣ten as conveniently we can: especially at the anni∣versary Elections, and upon extraordinary occasions: and that we will observe the Statutes and Orders of the said Society: Provided, that whenever any of us shall signifie to the President under his hand, that he desires to withdraw from the Society, he shall be free from this Obligation for the future.

Every Fellow shall pay his admission money, and after∣wards contribution towards the defraying of the char∣ges of Observations and Experiments, &c.

The ordinary meetings of the Royal Society shall be held once a week, where none shall be present, besides the Fellows, without the leave of the Society, under the de∣gree of a Baron in one of His Majesties three Kingdoms, or of His Majesties Privie Council; or unless he be an eminent Forreigner, and these only without the leave of the President.

The business of their weekly Meetings shall be, To or∣der, take account, consider, and discourse of Philosophical Experiments, and Observations: to read, hear, and discourse upon Letters, Reports, and other Papers, con∣taining Philosophical matters, as also to view, and dis∣course upon the productions and rarities of Nature, and Art: and to consider what to deduce from them, or how they may be improv'd for use, or discovery.

The Experiments that be made at the charge of the Society. Two Curators at least shall be appointed for the Inspection of those which cannot be perform'd before the Society: by them the bare report of matter of Fact shall be stated and return'd.

The Election of Fellows shall be made by way of Ballet: and their Admission by a solemn Declaration made by the President of their Election.

Page  146The Election of the Council and Officers shall be made once a year: Eleven of the present Council shall be con∣tinued, by Lot, for the next year, and ten new Ones cho∣sen, in like manner. Out of this new Council shall be elected a President, Treasurer, and two Secretaries, in the same way.

The President shall preside in all meetings, regulate all debates of the Society, and Council; state, and put Que∣stions; call for Reports, and Accounts from Commit∣tees, Curators, and others; summon all extraordinary meetings upon urgent occasions; and see to the executi∣on of the Statutes. The Vice-President shall have the same power in the absence of the President.

The Treasurer, or his Deputy, shall receive and keep Accounts of all money due to the Society, and disburse all money payable by the Society. He shall pay small sums by order of the President under his hand, but those that exceed five pounds, by order of the Council. All Bills of charges for Experiments shall first be sign'd by the Cu∣rators. The Accounts of the Treasurer shall be Audited four times a year, by a Committee of the Council, and once a year by a Committee of the Society.

The Secretaries are to take Notes of the Orders, and material passages of the Meetings; to take care of the Books, Papers, and Writings of the Society; to order, and direct the Clerks in making Entries of all matters in the Register, and Iournal-Books of the Society, or Council; to draw up such Letters as shall be written in their Name, which shall be approv'd at one of their Meet∣ings; to give notice of the Candidates propounded in order to Election.

The Curators by Office shall have a sufficient allowance for their incouragement, which shall increase proportio∣nably with the revenue of the Society, provided that it Page  147 exceed not two hundred pounds a year. They shall be well skilled in Philosophical, and Mathematical Learn∣ing, well vers'd in Observations, Inquiries, and Experi∣ments of Nature and Art. They shall take care of the managing of all Experiments, and Observations appoint∣ed by the Society, or Council, and report the same, and perform such other tasks, as the Society, or Council shall appoint: such as the examining of Sciences, Arts, and Inventions now in use, and the bringing in Histories of Natural and Artificial things, &c. They shall be pro∣pounded at least a month before they are chosen. They shall be examin'd by the Council before the election: To their Election every Member of the Society shall be sum∣mon'd: They shall at first be only elected for a year of probation, (except they be of known merits) at the end of the year, they shall be either elected for perpetuity, or for a longer time of probation, or wholly rejected. The causes of ejecting a Curator shall be the same with ejecting a Fellow, or for fraudulent dealing, and negli∣gence in the affairs of the Society, provided that he shall first receive three respective admonitions. If any Cura∣tor shall be disabled by Age, Infirmity, or any Casualty, in the service of the Society, some provision shall be made for him during life, if his condition requires, according as the Council shall think fit.

The Clerk shall constantly attend at all Meetings: he shall follow the directions of the Secretaries, in Regi∣string, and entring all matters that shall be appointed: he shall not communicate any thing contain'd in their Books, to any that is not a Fellow. He shall have a cer∣tain rate for what he copies, and a yearly stipend for his attendance.

The Printer shall take care for the printing of such Books as shall be committted to him by order of the Page  148 Society, or Council; and therein he shall observe their directions, as to the correction of the Edition, the number of Copies, the form, or volume, &c.

The Operators of the Society, when they have any of their Work under their hands, shall not undertake the work of any other persons, which may hinder the busi∣ness of the Society. They shall have Salaries for their attendance.

The Common Seal of the Society, shall be kept in a Chest with three Locks, and three different Keys, by the President, Treasurer, and one of the Secretaries. The Deeds of the Society, shall be pass'd in Council, and e ald by them and the President.

The Books that concern the affairs of the Society, shall be the Charter Book, Statute Book, Iournal Books, Letter Books, and Register Books, for the entring of Philesophical Observations, Histories, Discourses, Experi∣ments, Inventions.

The names of Benefactors shall be honourably menti∣on'd in a Book provided for that purpose.

In case of Death, or Recess of any Fellow, the Secreta∣ries are to note it in the Margent of the Register, over against their names.

The causes of Ejection shall be contemptuous disobedi∣ence to the Statutes and Orders of the Society; defa∣ming, or malicious damnifying the same. This shall be declar'd by the President at one of the Meetings; and the Ejection recorded.

When these Statutes were presented to his Majesty, he was pleas'd to superscribe himself, their Founder, and Patron, his Royal Highness, and his Highness Prince Rupert, at the same time, declaring themselves Fel∣lows.

Page  149Nor has the King only incourag'd them,* by kind∣ness of words, and by Acts of State: but he has also provok'd them to unwearied activity in their Expe∣riments, by the most effectual means of his Royal Ex∣ample. There is scarce any one sort of work, whose advancement they regard, but from his Majesties own labours, they have receiv'd a pattern for their indea∣vours about it. They design the multiplying, and beautifying of Mechanick Arts: And the noise of Mechanick Instruments is heard in Whitehall it self. They intend the perfection of Graving, Statuary, Limning, Coining, and all the works of Smiths, in Iron, or Steel, or Silver: And the most excellent Artists of these kinds, have provision made for their practice, even in the Chambers, and Galleries of his Court. They purpose the trial of all manner of operations by fire: And the King has under his own roof found place for Chymical Operators, They resolve to restore, to enlarge, to examine Physick: And the King has in∣dow'd the Colledge of London with new Priviledges, and has planted a Physick Garden under his own eye. They have bestow'd much consideration, on the pro∣pagating of Fruits and Trees; And the King has made Plantations enough, even almost to repair the ruines of a Civil War. They have begun an exact Survey of the Heavens: and Saint Iameses Park may witness, that Ptolomey and Alphonso were not the only Mo∣narchs, who observ'd the motions, and appearances of the Stars. They have studied the promoting of Ar∣chitecture in our Island: and the beauty of our late Buildings, and the reformation of his own Houses, do sufficiently manifest his Skill and Inclination to that Art: of which magnificence, we had seen more ef∣fects Page  150 ere this, if he had not been call'd off by this War, from houses of convenience, to those of strength. They have principally consulted the advancement of Na∣vigation: And the King has been most ready to re∣ward those, that shall discover the Meridian. They have employ'd much time in examining the Fabrick of Ships, the forms of their Sails, the shapes of their Keels, the sorts of Timber, the planting of Firr, the bettering of Pitch, and Tarr, and Tackling. And in all Maritime affairs of this Nature, his Majesty is ac∣knowledg'd to be the best Iudge amongst Seamen, and Shipwrights, as well as the most powerful amongst Princes.

*By these, and many other instances it appears, that the King has not only given succour to the Royal So∣ciety, in the prosecution of their labours; but has also led them on in their way, and trac'd out to them the paths, in which they ought to tread. And with this propitious inclination of his Majestie, and the highest Degrees of men, the Genius of the Nation it self irresi∣stibly conspires. If we reflect on all the past times of Learning in our Island; we may still observe some remarkable accidents, that retarded these studies, which were still ready to break forth, in spight of all opposition.

Till the union of the two houses of York, and Lan∣caster, the whole force of our Country was ingag'd in Domestick Wars, between the King, and the Nobility, or in the furious contentions between the divided Families: unless sometimes some magnanimous Prince, was able to turn their strength, to forreign conquests. In King Henry the seventh, the two Roses were joyn'd. His Government was like his own Page  151 temper, close, severe, jealous, avaricious, and withall victorious, and prudent: but how unprepar'd his time was for new discoveries, is evident by the slender ac∣count that he made of the proposition of Columbus. The Reign of King Henry the eighth, was vigorous, haughty, magnificent, expensive, learned. But then the alteration of Religion began, and that alone was then sufficient to possess minds of men.

The Government of King Edward the sixth was contentious, by reason of the factions of those who manag'd his childhood: and the shortness of his life depriv'd us of the fruits, that might have been expe∣cted, from the prodigious beginnings of the King himself. That of Queen Mary was weak, melancholy, bloody against the Protestants, obscur'd by a forreign Marriage, and unfortunate by the loss of Calais. That of Queen Elizabeth was long, triumphant, peaceable at home, and glorious abroad. Then it was shewn, to what height the English may rise, when they are com∣manded by a Prince, who knows how to govern their hearts, as well as hands. In her dayes the Reformation was setled, commerce was establish'd, and Navigation advanc'd. But though knowledge began abun∣dantly to spring forth, yet it was not then seasonable for Experiments to receive a publick incouragement: while the writings of antiquity, and the controversies between us, and the Church of Rome, were not fully studied, and dispatch'd.

The Reign of King Iames was happy in all the be∣nefits of Peace, and plentifully furnish'd with men of profound Learning. But in imitation of the King, they chiefly regarded the matters of Religion, and Disputation: so that even my Lord Bacon, with all his authority in the State, could never raise any Colledge Page  152 of Salomon, but in a Romance. That of King Charles the First, began indeed to be ripe for such underta∣kings, by reason of the plenty, and felicity of the first years of his Government, and the abilities of the King himself: who was not only an inimitable Master, in reason and eloquence, but excell'd in very many practi∣cal Arts, beyond the usual custome of Kings, nay even beyond the skill of the best Artists themselves. But he alas! was call'd away from the studies of quiet, and peace, to a more dangerous, and a more honourable re∣putation. The chief Triumphs that Heaven reserv'd for him, were to be gather'd from his suffering virtues, in them he was only exceeded, by his Divine Exam∣ple of our Saviour: in imitation of whose Passion, those afflictions, and those thorns which the rude Soul∣diers design'd for his disgrace, and torment, became his glory, and his Crown.

The late times of Civil War, and confusion, to make recompense for their infinite calamities, brought this advantage with them, that they stirr'd up mens minds from long ease, and a lazy rest, and made them active, industrious and inquisitive: it being the usual benefit that follows upon Tempests, and Thunders in the State, as well as in the Skie, that they purifie, and cleer the Air, which they disturb. But now since the Kings re∣turn, the blindness of the former Ages, and the miseries of this last, are vanish'd away: now men are general∣ly weary of the Relicks of Antiquity, and satiated with Religious Disputes: now not only the eyes of men, but their hands are open, and prepar'd to labour: Now there is a universal desire, and appetite after knowledge, after the peaceable, the fruitful, the nou∣rishing Knowledge: and not after that of antient Sects, which only yielded hard indigestible arguments,Page  153 or sharp contentions instead of food: which when the minds of men requir'd bread, gave them only a stone, and for fish a serpent.

Whatever they have hitherto attempted,* on these Principles, and incouragements, it has been carry'd on with a vigorous spirit, and wonderful good Fortune, from their first constitution, down to this day. Yet I overhear the whispers, and doubts of many, who demand, what they have done all this while? and what they have produc'd, that is answerable to these mighty hopes, which we indeavour, to make the world conceive of their undertaking?

If those who require this Account, have themselves perform'd any worthy things, in this space of time; it is fit, that we should give them satisfaction. But they who have done nothing at all, have no reason to up∣braid the Royal Society, for not having done as much, as they fancy it might. To those therefore who ex∣cite it to work, by their examples, as well as words and reproofs, methinks it were a sufficient Answer, if I should only repeat the particulars, I have already mention'd, wherein the King has set on foot a Refor∣mation, in the Ornaments, and Advantages of our Country. For though the original praise of all this is to be ascrib'd to the Genius of the King himself: yet it is but just, that some honour should thence de∣scend to this Assembly, whose purposes are conforma∣ble to his Majesties performances of that Nature: Seeing all the little scandals, that captious humours have taken against the Royal Society, have not risen from their general proceedings; but from a few pretended offences, of some of their private Mem∣bers: it is but reason, that we should alledge in their Page  154 commendation, all the excellent Designs, which are begun by the King, who has not only stil'd himself their Founder, but acted as a particular Member of their Company.

To this I will also add, that in this time, they have pass'd through the first difficulties of their Charter, and Model: and have overcome all oppositions, which are wont to arise, against the beginnings of great things. This certainly alone were enough to free them from all imputation of idleness, that they have fram'd such an Assembly in six years, which was ne∣ver yet brought about in six thousand. Besides this the world is to consider, that if any that think, the whole compass of their work might have come to a sudden issue: they seem neither to understand the intenti∣ons of the Royal Society, nor the extent of their task. It was never their aim, to make a violent dispatch. They know that precipitancy in such matters, was the fault of the Antients: And they have no mind, to fall into the same error, which they indeavour to correct. They began at first on so large a Bottom, that it is im∣possible, the whole Frame should be suddenly com∣pleated. 'Tis true, they that have nothing else to do, but to express, and adorn conclusions of Knowledge already made, may bring their Arts to an end, as soon as they please. But they who follow the slow, and intricate method of Nature, cannot have the seasons of their productions, so much in their own power. If we would alwayes exact from them, daily or week∣ly harvests; we should wholly cut off the occasions of very many excellent Inventions, whose subjects are remote, and come but seldome under their consi∣deration. If we should require them, immediately to reduce all their labours, to publick, and conspicu∣ous Page  155 use, by this dangerous speed, we should draw them off from many of the best Foundations of Know∣ledge. Many of their noblest discoveries, and such as will hereafter prove most serviceable, cannot in∣stantly be made to turn to profit. Many of their weightiest, and most precious Observations, are not alwayes fit to be expos'd to open view: For it is with the greatest Philosophers, as with the richest Mer∣chants, whose Wares of greatest bulk and price, lie commonly out of sight, in their Warehouses, and not in their Shops.

This being premis'd, I will however venture to lay down a brief draught of their most remarkable par∣ticulars: which may be reduc'd to these following heads: The Queries, and Directions, they have gi∣ven abroad: the Proposals, and Recommendations they have made: the Relations they have receiv'd: the Experiments they have try'd: the Observations they have taken: the Instruments they have invent∣ted: the Theories that have been proposed: the Discourses they have written, or publish'd: the Re∣pository, and Library: and the Histories of Nature, and Arts, and Works, they have collected.

Their manner of gathering,* and dispersing Que∣ries is this. First they require some of their parti∣cular Fellows, to examine all Treatises, and Descripti∣ons, of the Natural, and Artificial productions of those Countries, in which they would be inform'd. At the same time, they employ others to discourse with the Seamen, Travellers, Tradesmen, and Mer∣chants, who are likely to give them the best light. Out of this united Intelligence from Men and Books, they compose a Body of Questions, concerning all Page  156 the observable things of those places. These Pa∣pers being produc'd in their weekly Assemblies, are augmented, or contracted, as they see occasi∣on. And then the Fellows themselves are wont to undertake their distribution into all Quarters, according as they have the convenience of corre∣spondence: of this kind I will here reckon up some of the Principal, whose Particular heads are free to all, that shall desire Copies of them for their Dire∣ction.

They have compos'd Queries, and Directions, what things are needful to be observ'd, in order to the making of a Natural History in general: what are to be taken notice of towards a perfect History of the Air, and Atmosphere, and Weather: what is to be observ'd in the production, growth, advancing, or transforming of Vegetables: what particulars are requisite, for collecting a compleat History of the A∣griculture, which is us'd in several parts of this Na∣tion.

They have prescrib'd axact Inquiries, and given punctual Advice for the tryal of Experiments of ra∣refaction, refraction, and condensation: concerning the cause, and manner of the Petrifaction of Wood: of the Loadstone: of the Parts of Anatomy, that are yet imperfect: of Injections into the Blood of Animals; and Transfusing the blood of one Animal into another: of Currents: of the ebbing, and flow∣ing of the Sea: of the kinds, and manner of the feed∣ing of Oysters: of the Wonders, and Curiosities ob∣servable in deep Mines.

They have Collected, and sent abroad Inquiries for the East Indies, for China, for St. Helena, for Tena∣riff, or any high Mountain, for Ginny, for Barbary, and Page  157Morocco, for Spain, and Portugal, for Turky, for France, for Italy, for Germany, for Hungary, for Transylvania, for Poland, and Sueden, for Iceland, and Greenland. They have given Directions for Seamen in General, and for observing the Eclipses of the Moon; for ob∣serving the Eclipses of the Sun by Mercury, in several parts of the World, and for observing the Satellites of Iupiter.

Of this their way of Inquiring, and giving Rules for direction, I will here produce a few Instances: from whose exactness it may be ghess'd, how all the rest are perform'd.

Page  158

The HISTORY of the ANSWERS RETURN'D BY Sir PHILIBERTO VERNATTI Resident in Batavia in Iava Major, To certain Inquiries sent thither by Order of the Royal Society, and recommended by Sir ROBERT MORAY.

Q. 1. Whether Diamonds and other Precious Stones grow again after three or four years, in the same places where they have been digged out?

A. Never, or at least as the memory of man can at∣tain to.

Q. 2. Whether the Quarries of Stone in India, neer Fetipoca, not far from Agra, may be cleft like Logs, and sawn like Planks, to ciel Chambers, and cover Houses.

A. What they are about the Place mentioned, I have not as yet been well informed; but in Persia not far from Cyrus where the best Wine groweth, there is a sort of hard Stone which may be cleft like Firr∣wood, as if it had a grain in it: the same is at the Coast Cormandel about Sadraspatuam; where they make but a mark in the Stone, set a wedge upon it, with a wooden hammer, as thick and thin as they please; it is used commonly for pavement in houses, one foot square, and so cheap, that such a stone finely polish'd costs not above six pence.

Page  159Q. 3. Whether there be a Hill in Sumatra which burneth continually, and a Fountain which runneth pure Balsom.

A. There is a Hill that burneth in Sumatra neer Endrapoer; but I cannot hear of any such Fountain; and I believe that the like Hill is upon Iava Major opposite to Batavia: for in a clear morning or even∣ing, from the Road a man may perfectly perceive a continual smoak rise from the top and vanish by lit∣tle and little. I have often felt Earthquakes here, but they do not continue long; in the year 1656. or 57. (I do not remember well the time) Batavia was cover'd in one afternoon, about two of the Clock, with a black dust, which being gathered together, was so ponderous, that it exceeded the weight in Gold. I, at that time, being very ill, did not take much notice of it, but some have gathered it, and if I light upon it shall send you some. It is here thought, it came out of the Hill: I never heard of any that had been upon this Hills top: Endrapeor is coun∣ted a mighty unwholsome place, as likewise all others where Pepper grows; as Iamby Banjar, Balingtoan, &c. though some impute it to the Hills burning.

As for the Fountain it is unknown to us, except Oleum Terrae is meant by it, which is to be had in Suma∣tra, but the best comes from Pegu.

Q. 4. What River is that in Java Major that turns Wood into Stone?

A. There is none such to our knowledge; yet I have seen a piece of Wood with a Stone at the end of it; which was told me, that was turned into Stone by a River in Pegu; but I took it but for a Foppery; for divers Arbusta grow in Rocks, which being appro∣priated Page  160 curiously, may easily deceive a too hasty be∣liever.

Q. 5. Whether it be true, that upon the Coast of A∣chin in Sumatra, the Sea, though it be calm, groweth ve∣ry high when no rain falls, but is smooth in rain, though it blows hard.

A. Sometimes, but not alwayes; the Reason is this, that Achin lieth at the very end and corner of Sumatra, as may be seen by the Map, open in the main Ocean, so that the Sea comes rowling from the Cabo de bona Esperanca, and all that way unto it, and it is natural to the Sea to have a continual motion, let it be never so calm; which motion cannot be called a Wave, neither have I any English for it at present, but in Dutch we call it, Deyninge van Dee Zee, and the calmer it is, the higher; the natural motion of the Sea elevates very slowly the water; so that I have seen Ships and Junks tossed by these Deynings in a calm, (when there is scarce wind enough to drive a bubble) that a man can scarce stand in them; some say this motion proceeds from boysterous winds at Sea far distant. That rain beats down the swelling of these Deynings (especially if it be vehement) proceeds naturally from its weight and impetuosity. And it is observed, that about Achin the Mountains are high and steep, from whose tops boysterous, called Tra∣vant, come suddenly (like a Granado cast) falling in∣to the Sea, are accompanied commonly with a great shower of rain, and last not above a quarter, or at the most, half an hour, which is too short a time to di∣sturb the Sea, or to cause a contrary motion in it, being shelter'd by these Mountains.

Q. 6. Whether in the Island of Sambrero, which lyeth Northwards of Sumatra, about eight degrees Nor∣thern Page  161 latitude, there be found such a Vegetable as Ma∣ster James Lancaster relates to have seen, which grows up to a Tree, shrinks down when one offers to pluck it up into the ground, and would quite shrink unless held very hard? And whether the same, being forcibly pluck'd up, hath a worm for its root, diminishing more and more; according as the Tree groweth in greatness; and as soon as the Worm is wholly turned into the Tree, rooting in the ground, and so growing great? And whether the same plucked up young turns, by that time it is dry, into a hard Stone, much like to white Corral.

A. I cannot meet with any that ever have heard of such a Vegetable.

Q. 7. Whether those Creatures that are in these parts plump and in season at the full Moon, are lean and out of season at the new, find the contrary at the East-Indies.

A. I find it so here, by Experience at Batavia, in Oysters and Crabs.

Q. 8. What ground there may be for that Relation, concerning Horns taking root, and growing about Goa?

A. Inquiring about this, a Friend laught, and told me it was a Jeer put upon the Portuges, because the Women of Goa are counted much given to le∣chery.

Q. 9. Whether the Indians can so prepare that stu∣pifying Herb Datura, that they make it lye several dayes, months, years, according as they will have it, in a mans body, without doing him any hurt, and at the end kill him, without missing half an hours time?

A. The China men in this place, have formerly u∣sed Datura as a Fermentation, to a sort of Drink much beloved by the Souldiers and Mariners, called Suyker∣bier,Page  162 which makes them raging mad, so that it is forbid∣den strictly under the penalty of a great pain to make use of the same.

Q. 10. Whether those that be stupified by the juyce of this Herb Datura, are recovered by moystning the soles of their feet in fair water?

A. No. For I have seen divers Souldiers and Ma∣riners fall into the Rivers and Ditches, being stupified by their drink aforesaid, who were rather worse after they were taken out, than better.

Q. 11. Whether a Betel hath such contrariety to the Durion, that a few leaves thereof put to a whole shopful of Durions, will make them all rot suddenly? And whether those who have surfeited on Durions, and thereby overheated themselves, do by laying one leaf of Betel cold upon the heart, immediately cure the Inflam∣mations, and recover the Stomach? This Betel being thought to preserve those Indians from Tooth-ach, loose Gums, and Scurvey, and from stinking breath; some of it is desired to be sent over with the fruit A∣reica, and the other Ingredients, and manner of prepa∣ring it.

A. I have seen that Betel leaves in a short time will spoil a Durion, take away his nature, and turn a fat creamy substance into water. Commonly those that eat great quantities of Durions, eat a Be∣tel afterwards as a Correctorium; but of laying a leaf upon the heart, I have never heard. As for the other qualities of the Betel, I believe they are good, if not abused; as most of the Indians do, who ne∣ver are without it in their mouths, no not sleeping, which corrodes their teeth, and makes them as black as Jet: It draws from the head the Flegmatick hu∣mours, which are voided by spitting; so we use it: Page  163 but the Indians swallow down their spittle, together with the juyce of the Betel, and the Areica. The man∣ner of preparing it is easie, being nothing but the Nut leaf and Calx viva, of which last each one adds as much as pleaseth his palat. There is a sort of Fruit called Sivgboa, which is used with the Areica, instead of Betel, and can be dried and transported as well as the Areica, and hath the same force, but a great deal more pleasant to the palate.

Q. 12. Whether the Papayas, that beareth fruit like a Melon, do not grow, much less bear fruit, unless male and female be together?

A They grow, as I have seen two in the English-house at Bantam, and bear little fruit, which never comes to perfection; but if the male and female be together, the one bears great Fruit, the other nothing but Flowers.

Q. 13 Whether the Arbor Triste sheds its Flowers at the rising of the Sun, and shut them again at the set∣ting of the Sun? And whether the distill'd water thereof (called Aqua di Mogli by the Portugals) may not be transported to England? And whether at the rising of the Sun the leaves of the Arbor Triste drop off as well as the flowers?

A. There is two sorts of the Arbor Triste; one is called by the Portugals Triste de Die, the other Triste de Nocte; the one sheds his Flowers at the Rising, the o∣ther at the Setting of the Sun; but neither of them shed their leaves. There is no body here that under∣stands the distilling of waters; some say this Aqua di Mogli is to be had at Malaca, for which I have writ, and shall send it if procurable.

Q. 14. Whether the Arbor de Rays, or Tree of Root, propagate it self in a whole Forrest, by shooting up and Page  164 letting fall roots from its branches into the ground, that spring up again, and so on?

A. This is true. And we have divers trees about Batavia, and the like adjacent Islands, above fifty foot in the diameter.

Q. 15. What kind of fruit is that in Jucca, which grows immediately out of the Trees body; and is said to breed the Plague if eaten immoderately?

A. It is a fruit much like to Durion, which groweth in the same manner; hath a faint smell, and sweet wa∣terish taste; for my part I do not affect them: The Plague is a Disease unknown amongst the Indians; but this fruit, as most others do, immoderately eaten, cau∣ses a Dirthea, which easily degenerates to a Tenasmus, by us called Peirsing, a dangerous Sickness, and worse than the Plague.

Q. 16. What Poyson is it the King of Macassar in Colebees is said to have particular to himself, which not only kills a man immediately, that hath received the slightest Wound by a Dart dipt therein, but also within half an hours time, make the flesh, touched with it, so rot∣ten, that it will fall like Snivel from the Bones, and whose poysonous Steam will soon fly up to a Wound made with an unpoysoned Dart, if the Blood be only in the slightest manner touch'd with a Dart infected with the Poyson? What certainty there is of this Relation?

A. That there is such a Poyson in this Kings pos∣session is most certain; but what it is, no Christian hi∣therto ever knew right. By the Government of Ar∣nold De Flamminge Van Outshorn divers have been tor∣tured; yea, killed.

Some say it is the Gall of a Venemous Fish, Others say it is a Tree which is so Venemous, that those who are condemned to die, fetch the Poyson, but not one Page  165 of an hundred scape death: the Roots of this Tree are held an Antidote against the Poyson; but our People, when we had War with Macassar, found no Antidote like to their own or others Excrements; as soon as they felt themselves wounded, instantly took a dose of this same, which presently provoked to vo∣mit, and so, by repulsion, (as I perceive) and sweat, freed the Noble parts from further Infection. That a Wound should be infected by this Poyson, though inflicted by an impoysoned Weapon, is not strange to those who study Sympathy; And set belief in that much renowned Sympathetical Powder of Sir Kenelme Digby. Yet such Effects of the Macassars Arts are unknown to us.

Q. 17. Whether in Pegu and other places in the East-Indies, they use a Poyson that kills by smelling, and yet the Poyson smell is hardly perceived?

To this no Answer was return'd.

Q. 18. Whether Camphire comes from Trees? What kind of Trees they are in Borneo, that are said to yield much excellent Camphire, as that one pound thereof is said to be worth an hundred of that of China and other places?

A. Camphire comes from Trees of an Excessive bulk, as you may see by the Chests which comes from Iappan into Europe, made of the same wood of Bur∣neo; it comes likewise from Trees, which are said to stand in Sandy Ground. And drop like a Gum.

But of late an Experiment is found in Ceylon, that the Root of a Cinnamon Tree yields as good Cam∣phire, as either Iappan, or China, of which I shall send you a pattern, being now to be had at present here; as also an Oyl extracted from the same Roots, which Page  166 reserves something of the Cinnamon smell: but may be the fault of the Distiller

Q. 19. Whether some of that rare Wood, called Palo d' Aquila and Calamba, of an Extraordinary value, even in the Country where it groweth, as in Siam about San and Patan, and in Cochinchina, may not be brought over; as also some of those strange Nests of Cochinchina, made by Birds upon Rocks, of a certaine viscous froth of the Sea, which Nests grown dry and hard, are said to be∣come transparent; and when dissolved in Water; serves excellently to season all their Meats?

A. If the Question be made, whether these things may be brought over by permission of the Company? I answer: as first, that their Laws forbid the transpor∣tation of all whatsoever, whether necessary to the conservation of Health, or acquisition of Wealth, or Rarities, &c. but if the Querie be concerning the na∣ture and substance of the Wood and Nests: they are transportable, and can subsist without decaying many years. Lignum Aquilae is far inferiour to Calamba, though not easie to be discerned: the pound of Ca∣lamba is worth in Iappan thirty, and sometimes forty pounds Sterling; the best comes from Cambodia, and seems to be the pith of the Tree Aquilae in Iappan, it is used as Incence to perfume Cloth, and Chambers. It is held for a great Cordial, and commonly used by that Nation, as also the Chineses: In Defectione spiri∣tuum vitalium; as in Paralisi & Nervorum laxatione & impotentia: They rub it with Aqua Cynamoni upon a Stone, till the substance of the Wood is mixt, sicut pulpa, with the Water, and so drink it with Wine, or what they please: The Birds-nests are a great Re∣storative to Nature, and much used by the lecherous Chinaes.

Page  167Q. 20. Whether the Animal call'd Abados, or Rhi∣noceros, hath teeth, claws, flesh, blood, and skin▪ yea his very dung and water, as well as his horns, Antidotal? And whether the horns of those beasts be better or worse, according to the food they live upon.

A. Their horns, teeth, claws, and blood are esteem∣ed Antidotes, and have the same use in the Indian Pharmacopeia as the Therieca hath in ours: the flesh I have eaten is very sweet and short: some dayes be∣fore the Receipt of your Letter, I had a young one no bigger than a Spaniel Dog, which followed me whereever I went, drinking nothing but Buffulo milk, lived about three weeks, then his teeth began to grow, and got a looseness, and died. 'Tis observed, that Children (especially of European Parents) at the breaking out of their teeth are dangerous sick, and commonly die of the scouring in these parts. His skin I have caused to be dryed, and so present it unto you, since fate permits not to send him you living; such a young one was never seen before: The food I believe is all one to this Animal, being that they are seldome seen but amongst withered Branches, Thistles and Thorns; so that the horn is of equal vertue.

Q. 21. Whether the falsifying of the China Musk is not rather done by mixing Oxen and Cows Livers dried and pulverized with some of the putrified and concrete flesh and blood of the China Musk-cat, than by beat∣ing together the bare flesh and blood of this Animal, &c.

Not answered.

Q. 22. Whether there be two sorts of Gumlack, one produced from a certain winged Ant, the other the Exudation of a Tree: The first had in the Islands Page  168 of Suachan, the last in the Kingdome of Marta∣ban?

A. We know of none but such as drop from Trees, and comes from divers places in Siam, Cambodia, Pegu, &c.

Q. 23. If the best Ambergreece be found in the Islands Socotora and Aniana, neer Java? To endea∣vour the getting of more certain knowledge; what it is, being reported to be bred in the bottom of the Sea like to a thick mud?

A. The best that is in the World comes from the Island Mauritius; And is commonly found after a Storm. The Hogs can smell it at a great distance; who run like mad to it, and devour it commonly be∣fore the people come to it. It is held to be a Zeequal viscosity, which being dried by the Sun, turns to such a Consistence as is dayly seen. Myavines father Isaac Vigny a Frenchman in Oleron, hath been a great Tra∣veller in his time, and he told me, he sailed once in his youth through so many of these Zeequalen, as would have loaded ten thousand Ships; the like having been never seen; his Curiosity did drive him to take up some of those, which being dried in the Sun, were per∣ceived to be the best Ambergreece in the World; I have seen one piece which he kept for a Memento, and another piece he sold for 1300 l. Sterling. This being discovered, they set sail to the same place where these Zeequelen appeared, and crusing there, to and fro, for the space of six weeks, but could not perceive any more. Where this place is scituated, I do not know; but Monsieur Gentillot, a French Captain in Holland, can tell you.

Q. 24. To enquire of the Divers for Pearls staying long under water; whether they do it by the assistance of Page  169 anything they carry with them, or by long and often use get a trick of holding their breath so long, at the Isle of Baharen neer Ormus?

A What they do at Baharen is unknown to me, but since we have had Tute Corein in Ceylon, where very good Pearls grow, I hear the Divers use no Ar∣tifice. The manner is thus; at a set time of the year Merchants come from all parts, as likewise Divers with their Boats; each Boat hath a certain quantity of square Stones, upon which Stones the Divers goe down, and give a token to their Companions, when they think it time to be hal'd up: each Stone payes tribute to the Company. The Oyster or Shell-fish is not immediately open'd, but laid on heaps, or in holes at the Sea-side. When the Diving time is ended, the Merchants come, and buy these heaps, according as they can agree, not knowing whether they shall get any thing or no. So that this is a meer Lottery. This Pearl-fishing is dangerous, being the Divers common∣ly make their Will, and take leave of their Friends, before they tread the Stone to go down.

Q. 25. Whether Cinnamon when first gathered hath no tast at all, but acquires its taste and strength by fif∣teen dayes sunning? And whether the Bark be gathered every two years in the Isle of Ceylon?

A. The Cinnamon Tree as it groweth, is so fra∣grant, that it may be smelt a great way off before it be seen. And hath even then, a most Excellent taste; so that by Sunning it looseth rather than acquires any taste or force; the Tree being pill'd is cut down to the root; but the young Sprigs after a year or two give the best and finest Cinnamon.

Q. 26. To learn, if it may be, what Art the Master∣workmen of Pegu, have to add to the colour of their Ru∣bies?

Page  170A. Not answered.

Q. 27. To inquire after, and get, if possible, some of the Bones of the Fish called Caballa, which are so power∣ful in stopping blood.

A. 'Tis done, and they shall follow with the Dutch Ships.

Q. 28. Whether at Hermita, a Town in Ethiopia, there are Tortoises, so big, that Men may ride upon them?

A. It is reported, that there be extraordinary great ones there; I have seen some Sea-Tortoises here, of four foot broad, in oval form, very low leg'd, but of that strength, that a man may stand on one: The manner of catching them, is to turn them with a Fork upon their backs.

Q. 29. Whether there be a Tree in Mexico, that yields Water, Wine, Vinegar, Oyl, Milk, Honey, Wax, Thread and Needles?

A. The Cokos Trees yields all this and more; the Nut, while it is green, hath very good Water in it, the Flower being cut, drops out great quantity of liquor, called Sury, or Taywack, which drank fresh, hath the force, and almost the taste of Wine; grown sowr, is very good Vinegar; and distilled, makes very good Brandy, or Areck: The Nut grated, and mingled with water, tasteth like Milk: pressed, yields very good Oyl; Bees swarm in these Trees, as well as in other; Thread & Needles are made of the leaves and tough twigs. Nay, to add something to this description; in Amboina, they make Bread of the body of the Tree, the leaves serve to thatch houses, and likewise sails for their Boats.

Q. 30. Whether about Java, there be Oysters of that vast bigness, as to weigh three hundred weight?

Page  171A. I have seen a Shell-fish, but nothing like an Oy∣ster, of such a bigness, the Fish being salted, and kept in pickle, afterwards boyled, tasteth like Brawn in England, and is of an horney substance.

Q. 31. Whether neer Malacca, there be found in the Gall of certain Swine, a Stone esteemed incomparably a∣bove Bezoar?

A. In that Country, but very seldome, there grows a Stone, in the Stomack of a Porkapine, called Pedro Porco: of whose virtue there are large descriptions: and the Hollanders are now so fond, that I have seen 400. Dollars of given for one no bigger than a Pidgeons Egg; There is sophistication as well in that as Bezoar, Musk, &c. and every day new falshood, so that I cannot well set down here any rules, but must be judged by experience. A false one I send you, which doth imitate very near virtue, the true one, but is a great deal bigger, and of another colour.

As for the Observations desired of the Islands Saint Helena, and Ascension, they may be better made by the English East-India men, which commonly touch at both places; but the Hollander never, or ve∣ry seldome.

Q. 32. Whether it be winter at the East-side of the Mountain Gates, which comes from the North to Cape Comoryn, whilst it is summer on the West-side? and Vice versa.

A. Not only there, but likewise on the Island of Zeylon.

Q. 33. In what Country Lignum Alloes is found, whether it be the Wood of a Tree? or the Root of a Tree? How to know the best of the Kind?

A. Lignum Alloes, Lignum Paradisi, Calamba, are Synonyma, the same: And the same Wood comes most Page  172 from Cambodia, and Siam; but they say it it brought by the people of Lawlan, a Country about Cambodia, whence Musk, and Benzoin, and most Aromada come: it is easily distinguished from other Wood, by its strong scent and richness of Balm in it, which ap∣pears in its blackness: it is of great Value, and hard to be gotten here.

The rest of the Queries are not answered, because the time is short since I received them, and especially, because I cannot meet with any one that can satisfie me, and being unsatisfied my self, I cannot nor will obtrude any thing upon you, which may hereafter prove fabulous; but shall still serve you with truth.

Page  [unnumbered]

[illustration]

Page  [unnumbered]Page  173

A METHOD For making a History of the Wea∣ther. By Mr. HOOK.

FOr the better making a History of the Wea∣ther, I conceive it requisite to observe,
  • 1. The Strength and Quarter of the Winds, and to register the Changes as often as they hap∣pen; both which may be very conveniently shewn, by a small addition to an ordinary Wea∣ther-clock.
  • 2. The Degrees of Heat and Cold in the Air; which will be best observed by a sealed Thermo∣meter, graduated according to the Degrees of Expansion, which bear a known proportion to the whole bulk of Liquor, the beginning of which gra∣dation, should be that dimension which the Liquor hath, when encompassed with Water, just begin∣ning to freeze, and the degrees of Expansion, either greater or less, should be set or marked above it or below it.
  • 3. The Degrees of Dryness and Moisture in the Air; which may be most conveniently observed by a Hygroscope, made with the single beard of a wild Oat perfectly ripe, set upright and headed with an Index, after the way described by Emanuel Magnan; the conversions and degrees of which, may be mea∣sured by divisions made on the rim of a Circle, in Page  174 the Center of which, the Index is turned round: The beginning or Standard of which Degree of Rotation, should be that, to which the Index points, when the beard, being throughly wet, or covered with Water, is quite unwreathed, and becomes straight. But because of the smalness of this part of the Oat, the cod of a wild Vetch may be used instead of it, which will be a much larger Index, and will be altogether as sensible of the changes of the Air.
  • 4. The degrees of Pressure in the Air: which may be several wayes observed, but best of all with an Instrument with Quicksilver, contrived so, as either by means of water or an Index, it may sensibly exhibit the minute variations of that Acti∣on.
  • 5. The constitution and face of the Sky or Hea∣vens; and this is best done by the eye; here should be observed, whether the Sky be clear or clouded; and if clouded, after what manner; whether with high Exhalations or great white Clouds, or dark thick ones. Whether those Clouds afford Fogs or Mists, or Sleet, or Rain, or Snow, &c. Whether the under side of those Clouds be flat or waved and ir∣regular, as I have often seen before thunder. Which way they drive, whether all one way, or some one way, some another; and whether any of these be the same with the Wind that blows below; the Colour and face of the Sky at the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon; what Haloes or Rings may happen to encompass those Luminaries, their big∣ness form and number.
  • 6. What Effects are produc'd upon other bo∣dies: As what Aches and Distempers in the bodies of men: what Diseases are most rife, as Colds, Fe∣vours, Page  175 Agues, &c. What putrefactions or other changes are produc'd in other bodies; As the sweat∣ing of Marble, the burning blew of a Candle, the blasting of Trees and Corn; the unusual sprouting, growth, or decay of any Plants or Vegetables: the putrefaction of bodies not usual; the plenty or scarcity of Insects; of several Fruits, Grains, Flow∣ers, Roots, Cattel, Fishes, Birds, any thing notable of that kind. What conveniences or inconveniences may happen in the year, in any kind, as by flouds, droughts, violent showers, &c. What nights produce dews and hoar-frosts, and what not?
  • 7. What Thunders and Lightnings happen, and what Effects they produce; as souring Beer or Ale, turning Milk, killing Silk-worms, &c?
  • 8. Any thing extraordinary in the Tides; as double Tides, later or earlier, greater or less Tides than ordinary. Rising or drying of Springs; Co∣mets or unusual Apparitions, new Stars, Ignes fatui or shining Exhalations, or the like.

These should all or most of them be diligently observed and registred by some one, that is alwayes conversant in or neer the same place.

Now that these and some other, hereafter to be mentioned, may be registred so as to be most con∣venient for the making of comparisons, requisite for the raising Axioms, whereby the Cause or Laws of Weather may be found out; It will be desirable to order them so, that the Scheme of a whole Moneth, may at one view be presented to the Eye: And this may conveniently be done on the pages of a Book in folio, allowing fifteen dayes for one side, and fifteen for the other. Let each of those pages be divided into nine Columes, and distinguished by Page  176 perpendicular lines; let each of the first six Co∣lumes be half an inch wide, and the three last equal∣ly share the remaining of the side.

Let each Colume have the title of what it is to contain, in the first at least, written at the top of it: As, let the first Colume towards the left hand, con∣tain the dayes of the Moneth, or place of the Sun, and the remarkable hours of each day. The second, the Place, Latitude, Distance, Ages and Phaces of the Moon. The third the Quarters and strength of Winds. The fourth the Heat and Cold of the sea∣son. The fifth the Dryness and Moisture of it. The sixth the Degrees of pressure. The seventh the fa∣ces and appearances of the Sky. The eighth the Effects of the Weather upon other bodies, Thun∣ders, Lightnings, or any thing extraordinary. The ninth general Deductions, Corollaries or Syllo∣gisms, arising from the comparing the several Phae∣nomena together.

That the Columes may be large enough to con∣tain what they are designed for, it will be necessary, that the particulars be expressed with some Cha∣racters, as brief and compendious as is possible. The two first by the Figures and Characters of the Signs, commonly us'd in Almanacks. The Winds may be exprest by the Letters, by which they are ex∣prest in small Sea-Cards: and the degrees of strength by 1, 2, 3, 4, &c. according as they are marked in the contrivance of the Weather-cock. The degrees of Heat and Cold may be exprest by the Numbers appropriate to the Divisions of the Thermometer. The Dryness and Moisture, by the Divisions in the rim of the Hydroscope. The pressure by Figures denoting the height of the Mercurial Cylinder. But Page  177 for the faces of the Sky, they are so many, that ma∣ny of them want proper names; and therefore it will be convenient to agree upon some determi∣nate ones, by which the most usual may be in brief exprest. As let Cleer signifie a very cleer Sky with∣out any Clouds or Exhalations: Checker'd a cleer Sky, with many great white round Clouds, such as are very usual in Summer. Hazy, a Sky that looks whitish, by reason of the thickness of the higher parts of the Air, by some Exhalation not formed in∣to Clouds. Thick, a Sky more whitened by a grea∣ter company of Vapours: these do usually make the Luminaries look bearded or hairy, and are of∣tentimes the cause of the appearance of Rings and Haloes about the Sun as well as the Moon. Overcast, when the Vapours so whiten and thicken the Air, that the Sun cannot break through; and of this there are very many degrees, which may be exprest by a little, much, more, very much overcast, &c. Let Hairy signifie a Sky that hath many small, thin and high Exhalations, which resemble locks of hair, or flakes of Hemp or Flax: whose varieties may be exprest by straight or curv'd, &c. according to the resemblance they bear. Let Water'd signifie a Sky that has many high thin and small Clouds, looking almost like water'd Tabby, called in some places a Mackeril Sky. Let a Sky be called Waved, when those Clouds appear much bigger and lower, but much after the same manner. Cloudy, when the Sky has many thick dark Clouds. Lowring, when the Sky is not very much overcast, but hath also under∣neath many thick dark Clouds which threaten rain. The signification of gloomy, foggy, misty, sleet∣ing, driving, rainy, snowy, reaches or racks va∣riable, Page  178 &c. are well known, they being very com∣monly used. There may be also several faces of the Sky compounded of two or more of these, which may be intelligibly enough exprest by two or more of these names. It is likewise desirable, that the particulars of the eighth and ninth Columes may be entered in as little room, and as few words as are sufficient to signifie them intelligibly and plainly.

It were to be wisht that there were divers in se∣veral parts of the World, but especially in distant parts of this Kingdom, that would undertake this work, and that such would agree upon a common way somewhat after this manner, that as neer as could be, the same method and words might be made use of. The benefit of which way is easily e∣nough conceivable.

As for the Method of using and digesting those so collected Observations; That will be more ad∣vantageously considered when the Supellex is pro∣vided; A Workman being then best able to fit and prepare his Tools, for his work, when he sees what materials he has to work upon.

Page  179

A SCHEME At one View representing to the Eye the Ob∣servations of the Weather for a Month.

Dayes of the Month and place of the Sun. Remarkable house.Age and sign of the Moon at Noon.The Quarters of the Wind and its strength.The Degrees of Heat and Cold.The Degrees of Dryness and Moysture.The Degrees of Pres∣sure.The Faces or visible ap∣pearances of the Sky.The Nota∣blest Effects.General De∣ductions to be made af∣ter the side is fitted with Observati∣ons: As,
 4 W. 2.9 ¼2 529 1/11Clear blew, but yellowish in the N. E. Clowded to∣ward the S. Checker'd blew.A great dew.From the last quart: of the Moon to the change the weather was ve∣ry temperate but cold for the sea∣son; the Wind pretty constant between N. and W.
 827312 ½2 8  
1412♉ 9.46.16  Thunder, far to the South. A very great Tide.
4   2 929 ⅛
12.468Perigeū. 10 1/8  
 12 W.SW. 17 ½229 ⅛ 
 8 N.W. 392 8½29 1/16A clear Sky all day, but a little chec∣ker'd at 4. P. M. at Sun∣set red and hazy.Not by much so big a Tide as yesterday. Thunder in the North. 
154284 29  
6♉ 24.51.N. 28 ½  A little before the last great Wind, and till the Wind rose at its highest, the Quicksilver con∣tinued descend∣ing till it came very low; after which it began to reascend, &c.
13.4010 172 1029
 10N. Moon. at 7.25′ A. M.S. 1101 1028 ½Overcast and very lowr∣ing. &c.No dew upon the ground, but very much upon Marble stones, &c.
16     
     
14.37 ♊ 10.8.     
  &c.&c.&c.&c.&c.&c.&c.

Page  180

DIRECTION For the Observations of the Eclipses of the MOON. By Mr. ROOKE.

EClipses of the Moon are observed for two prin∣cipal Ends; One Astronomical, that by compa∣ring Observations with Calculations, the Theory of the Moons motion may be perfected, and the Ta∣bles thereof reformed: The other Geographical, that by comparing among themselves Observations of the same Ecliptical Phases, made in divers places, the difference of Meridians, or Longitudes of those places may be discovered.

The Knowledge of the Eclipses Quantity and Duration, the Shadows, Curvity and Inclination, &c. conduce only to the former of these Ends: The exact time of the beginning, middle, and end of the Eclipses, as also in total ones, the beginning and end of total darkness is useful for both of them.

But because these times considerably differ in Observations made by the bare eye, from those with a Telescope, and because the beginning of Eclipses and the end of Total darkness are scarce to be ob∣served exactly, even with Glasses (one not being a∣ble clearly to distinguish between the true shadow and Penumbra, unless one have seen, for some time before, the line, separating them, pass along upon the Page  181 surface of the Moon). And lastly, because in small partial Eclipses, the beginning and end (and in to∣tal ones of short continuance in the shadow, the be∣ginning and end of total darkness) are unfit for nice Observations, by reason of the slow change of apparences, which the oblique motion of the sha∣dow then causeth: For these Reasons I shall pro∣pound a Method particularly designed for the ac∣complishment of the Geographical end in observing Lunar Eclipses free (as far as is possible) from all the mentioned inconveniences: For,

First, It shall not be practicable without a Tele∣scope.

Secondly, The Observer shall alwayes have Op∣portunity before his principal Observation, to note the distinction between the true shadow and Pen∣umbra.

Thirdly, It shall be applicable to those seasons of the Eclipse, when there is the suddenest altera∣tion in the apparences. To satisfie all which in∣tents,

Let there be of the eminentest Spots, dispersed over all Quarters of the Moons surface, a select number generally agreed on, to be constantly made use of to this purpose, in all parts of the world: As for Example, those which Hevelius calleth
  • Mons
    • Sinai
    • Etna
    • Porphyrites
    • Serrorum
  • Insula
    • Besbicus
    • Creta
  • Palus
    • Maeotis
    • Maraeotis
  • Lacus Niger Major.

Page  182

Let in each Eclipse (not all, but for instance) three of these Spots, which then lye nearest to the Eclip∣tic, be exactly observed, when they are first touched by the true shadow, and again when they are just compleatly entered into it; and (if you please) also in the decrease of the Eclipse, when they are first fully clear from the true shadow: For the accu∣rate determination of which moments of time (that being in this business of main importance) let there be taken Altitudes of remarkable fixed Stars, on this side the line, of such as lye between the Aequa∣tor and Tropic of Cancer; but beyond the line, of such as are scituated towards the other Tropic; and in all places, of such, as at the time of Obser∣vation, are about four hours distant from the Me∣ridian.

Page  183

Mr. ROOK'S DISCOURSE Concerning the Observations of the Eclipses of the Satellites of Iupiter.

LOngitudinis sive Differentiae Meridianorum scientia est vel Nautica, vel Geographica.

Illa Navis aquae innatantis; Haec Vrbium, Insula∣rum, Promontoriorum, &c. Globo terrestri adhaerentium situm investigat.

In Navi, motu vario subinde translatâ; Observatio identidem est repetenda; at loci terreni, fixam perpetuò sedem obtinentis, positionem semel determinasse sufficit.

Maria, fluctibus ut plurimum agitata, subtilem Instru∣mentorum, praesertim Telescopii longioris tractationem minime permittunt.

Longitudinis Scientia Nautica vix unquam de Caelo expectanda: Geographica vero ab Eclipsibus Corporum coelestium praecipuè petenda.

Eclipses sunt vel

  • Veteribus notae, scil. Solis & Lunae
  • Satellitum Iovis, ante Tubi Optici usum incognitae.
(Missam fecimus Cl. Hugenii Lunulam Saturniam, Ob∣servatu difficiliorem.)

Illarum per multa retro saecula Observationes; nè duo quidem loca quantum Meridianorum intercapidinem habeant, satis certò definitum esse Experimur: harum verò per pauculos annos adhibendâ diligenti animad∣versione; Page  184 praecipuae totius terrarum Orbis partes, quomo∣do ad se invicem sitae sint, accuratiùs determinatum ir i non desperamus.

Causae, ob quas minùs in hoc negotio praestitêre Eclipses Luminarium,

Sunt
1. Communis, utrisque ipsarum Raritas
Propria
2. Solari, Parallaxis Lunae.
Propria
3. Lunari, Penumbra Terrae.

His ergo praeferimus Satellitum Iovialium defectus frequentissimos, sine ulla Parallaxi, in quibus etiam pen∣umbra Iovis prodesse magis, quam officere videtur.

Methodus Longitudinis, ex Eclipsibus vel aliis Phae∣nomenis Coelestibus, indagandae àuplex est: Vna, cum tempore ad Meridianum Tabularum proprium supputato, tempus alibi observatum; Altera, tempora variis in lo∣cis observata, inter se comparat.

Cum Arti Nauticae Prior illa unicè interserviat quae motus coelestes accuratiùs multò, quam nobis sperandum videtur, cognitos supponit; ob Astronomiae imperfectio∣nem, & observationum Marinarum hallucinationem per∣petuo ferè necessarium: supra pronunciavimus Longi∣tudinis Scientiam Nauticam vix unquam de Coelo ex∣pectandam.

Methodus altera, Geographiae perficiendae idonea, cum non aliam ob causam praevium Calculum adhibeat, nisi ut eo moniti plures, eidem Phaenomeno, in dissitis locis, observando simul invigilent; Periodorum atque Epo∣charum 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 minimè desiderat.

Satellites Iovis numero sunt quatuor, varia apud Authores nomina sortiti; nos ex diversis, quae a Iove obtinent intervallis, 1. Intimum, 2. Penintimum, 3. Penextimum, 4. Extimum appellabimus.

Page  185Horum non nisi uniusmodi 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Observandum pro∣ponimus; immersionem nempè in Vmbram Iovis sive ipsum Eclipseces initium.

Solam hanc 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 seligimus, utpote in indivisibili ferò constitutam: Licet enim luminis languor atque diminu∣tio moram aliquantulam trahere possit, omnimodo tamen Extinctio & Evanescentia (de qua unicé soliciti sumus) momento quasi contingere deprehendetur.

Ante ☍ ☉ ♃ Satellites ad Occidentem Disci Iovia∣lis respectu, in deliquia incidunt; post Acronychia, ad Orientem.

Intimi & (nisi fortè rarissimè) penintimi Eclip∣s••• tantum Occidentalium initia nobis apparere possunt: duorum autem remotiorum multa etiam Orientalium exordia conspicere licet.

Defectus, Medicaeorum observatu faciliores reddant. 1. Major Planetarum claritas. 2. Motus ipsorum tar∣dior. 3. Penumbra Iovis crassior. 4. Longius a Io∣viali Disco intervallum: at Observationum 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 condicit. 1. Motus Satellitum velocior. 2. Penum∣bra Iovis angustior.

Haec omnia nobiscum meditati, subduct â benè singulo∣rum ratione, Satellitum intimum & penextimum ad rem nostram prae coeteris accommodatos; atque adeò cum sa∣tis frequentes sint ipsorum Eclipses, solos adhibendos esse judicamus.

Extimum omninò negligimus utpotè minimum omni∣um & obscurissimum; praesertim verò quod tantâ non-nunquam sit Latitudine praedictus, ut Vmbra Iovis ip∣sum Aphelium neutiquam attingat.

Penintimus autem nullâ gaudet ex suprà recensitis Praerogativâ, quae alterutri saltem eorrum, quos jam praetu∣limus, potiori jure non debeatur.

Maxima, Satellitum in Vmbra incidentium, a limbo Page  186 Disci Iovialis distantia, unâ aut alterâ, post priorem So∣lis & Iovis quadraturam, bebdomada contingit.

Estque ea Penextimi sesquidiametro Iovis ferè aequa∣tis: Intimi verò semidiametro ejusdem non multò ma∣jor sextâ ante memoratam Quadraturam Hebdomada; Penextimus Vmbram ingrediens Diametro Iovis à disco abest: Augendâ indè usque ad maximam distantiâ in∣cremento (non uniformi sed) continue decrescente.

Hinc iisdem reciprocè passibus (decremento sc. sen∣sim increscente) diminuitur istiusmodi intervallum, ad bimestre usque tempus a dictâ Quadraturâ elapsum, quando iterum Diametro Ioviali aequatur.

Posteà autem usque ad ipsa Acronychia, penextimus Vmbram subiturus, aequabili ferê gradu (singulis nem∣pe hebdomadis quadrante Diametri) promotus ad lim∣bum Iovis accedit. Intimi, pro diverso Iovis ad solem situ, distantia eâdem planè ratione variatur: ejus enim, quam ubique obtinet, Penextimus, trienti fere perpetuo est aequalis.

Mense circiter post Iovem soli oppositum, Penextimus (Intimi post ☍ ☉ ♃, immersiones observari non posse suprà innuimus) simul ac corporis Iovialis limbum ori∣entalem transierit, Occidentalem umbra continuo in∣trabit.

Inde augetur paulatim penextimi evanescentis di∣stantia, donec unâ aut alterâ ante posteriorem quadratu∣ram hebdomadâ, maxima evadat; quando a disci Io∣vialis margine semidiametro ejusdem removetur.

Postquam autem hucusque diminutâ sensim velocitate, umbra Iovis ab ipsius Disco recessit: hinc, motu continue accelerato, ad eundem redit.

Per bimestre ante & post Iovis cum sole conjunctio∣nem spatium in locis Longitudine multum differen∣tibus, eadem Eclipsis apparere nequit: adeoque tunc Page  187 temporis observationes instituere non est operae pre∣tium.

Quae cum ita sint, tempus quadrimestre, a sextili priori usque ad ipsa ferè Acronychia numerandum, utrique Sa∣telliti Observando erit unice opportunum: Penextimi autem soli, insuper trimestre, ab altero post oppositionem mense ad sextilem posteriorem.

Intra tempora jam definita, octoginta circiter utrius∣que simul Satellitis fient Eclipses; Penextimi sc. fere triginta, intimi autem quinquaginta.

H••s cum (non ubivis terrarum sed) aliae aliis in lo∣cis sint conspiciendae, in sex Classes digeremus.

1. In Europâ & Africâ
Eclipses ob∣servandas compre∣hendet.
2. In Asiâ.
Eclipses ob∣servandas compre∣hendet.
3. In Americâ.
Eclipses ob∣servandas compre∣hendet.
4. In Europa Africa & Asia.
Eclipses ob∣servandas compre∣hendet.
5. In Europa, Africa & America.
Eclipses ob∣servandas compre∣hendet.
6. In Asia Orient. & America Occident.
Eclipses ob∣servandas compre∣hendet.

Non opus est fortè, ut moneamus in Insulis

  • Oceani Aethiopici observandam esse Classem 4 am.
  • Oceani Atlantici observandam esse Classem 5 am.
  • Oceani Pacifici observandam esse Classem 6 am.

Calculus Eclipsium a nobis exhibendus in ipso fortasse loco ad quem instituitur, plus horâ integrâ nonnunquam à vèro observabit, ob variam se. in Satellitum motu 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ab Excentricitate (ut verisimile est) & propria∣rum ipsis Orbitarum ad Iovis Orbitam inclinatione ori∣undam.

Alibi autem térrarum multo minus calculo fidendum, propter incertam insuper in plerisque locis Meridiano∣rum Page  188 Differentiam; quae tamen, ut fiat, Reductio tempo∣ris, aliqua utcunque adhibenda est.

Longam itaque futuram sepiuscute Eclipsium harum ex∣pectationem praemonemus, assiduamque interim attentio∣nem, nec (ob 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 admodum 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) unquam fere inter∣ruptam, esse continuandum: primam enim, quam visu assequi possumus, luminis diminutionem, brevissimá (prae∣sertim in intimo) interpositâ morulâ mox insequitur per∣fecta ejus extinctio.

Molestum autem in observando taedium, summa 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 abunde compensabit, idemque plurimum minuit sociorum mutuas operas tradentium, ubi suppetit praesentia.

Ad momenta temporis accuratissime notanda (quod in hujusmodi Observationibus est Palmarium) perutile erit Horologium Oscillatorium, ab ingeniosissimo & candidissi∣mo Hugenio feliciter excogitatum.

Appendix.

LOngitudinis Sientiam Nauticam vix unquam de Coe∣lo expectandam suprà asseruimus: siqua tamen ejusmodi aliquando futura est; non aliud Fundamentum, quam Lunarium motuum praecisam cognitionem, habitu∣ra videtur. Horum autem restitutionem a Parallaxi in∣choandam solertissime monuit Keplerus. Parallaxeus ve∣rò indagandae, & a Lunae latitudine (cui semper ferè complicatur) distinguendae optima (si non sola) Me∣thodus est; quae, in regionibus longe dissitis & sub eodem Meridiano positis, altitudinum. Lunae Meridianarum, per singulas orbitae partes, simul observatarum series inni∣titur: inde enim, Polorum elevatione solum praecognitâ, sertissima innotescit Globi Lunaris à Terrestri distantia. Page  189 Proponimus itaque nos Africae Promontorium Cap. Bonae Spei, vel in Oceano Atlantico Sanctae Helenae Insulam, cum locis in Europá iis respondentibus, Satellitum ope, docuimus, determinandis, in quibus istiusmodi observa∣tiones commodissime instituantur.

Upon the Reading of these last Directions, Mr. Rook the Author of them being dead, I cannot forbear saying something of that excellent Man, which his incomparable Modesty would not have per∣mitted me to write, if he had been living. He was in∣deed a man of a profound judgment, a vast comprehen∣sion, prodigious memory, solid experience. His skill in the Mathematicks was reverenc'd, by all the lovers of those studies: and his perfection in many other sorts of Learning, deserves no less admiration. But above all, his Knowledge had a right influence, on the temper of his mind, which had all the humility, good∣ness, calmness, strength, and sincerity of a sound, and unaffected Philosopher. This is spoken not of one, who liv'd long ago, in praising of whom, it were easie to feign, and to exceed the Truth, where no mans me∣mory could confute me: But of one, who is lately dead, who has many of his acquaintance still living, that are able to confirm this testimony, and to joyn with me, in delivering down his name to posterity, with this just character of his Virtues. He dy'd in the year sixty two, shortly after the establishment of the Royal Society, whose Institution he had zealously pro∣moted. And it was a deplorable accident in his Death, that he deceas'd the very night, which he had for some years expected, wherein to finish his accu∣rate Observations on the Satellites of Iupiter: how∣ever this Treasure will not be lost, for the Society has Page  190 referr'd it to some of the best Astronomers of Europe, to bring his beginnings to conclusion.

*To many of these Queries they have already re∣ceiv'd good returns, and satisfaction: and more such Accounts are daily expected from all coasts. Besides these, there have been several great and profitable Attempts, relating to the good of mankind, or the English Nation, propounded to them, by many publick Bodies, and private persons: which they have again recommended, to be examin'd apart, by divers of their own number, and by other men of ability and integri∣ty, who have accepted of their Recommendations of this kind, the Principal, that I find recorded in their Registers, are these.

They have propounded the composing a Catalogue of all Trades, Works, and Manufactures, wherein men are emploi'd, in order to the collecting each of their Histories: by taking notice of all the Physical Re∣ceipts, or Secrets, the Instruments, Tools, and Engines, the Manual operations or sleights, the cheats, and ill practices, the goodness, baseness, and different value of Materials, and whatever else belongs to the opera∣tions of all Trades.

They have recommended the making a Catalogue, of all the kinds of natural things to be found in Eng∣land. This is already in a very good forwardness. And for its better completing, many Expedients for the preserving, drying, and embalming of all living Creatures have been prosecuted.

They have suggested the making a perfect Survey, Map, and Tables of all the fix'd Stars within the Zo∣diac, both visible to the naked eye, and discoverable by a six foot Telescope, with a large aperture; towards Page  191 the observing the apparent places of the Planets, with a Telescope both by Sea and Land. This has been approv'd, and begun, several of the Fellows having their portions of the Heavens allotted to them.

They have recommended the advancing of the Manufacture of Tapistry: the improving of Silk ma∣king: the propagating of Saffron: the melting of Lead-Oar with Pit-coal: the making Iron with Sea-coal: the using of the Dust of Black Lead instead of Oyl in Clocks: the making Trials on English Earths, to see if they will not yield so fine a substance as Chi∣na, for the perfecting of the Potters Art.

They have propounded, and undertaken the compa∣ring of several Soyls, and Clays, for the better making of Bricks, and Tiles: the way of turning Water into Earth: the observing of the growth of Pibbles in Waters: the making exact Experiments in the large Florentine Loadstone: the consideration of the Bo∣nonian Stone: the examining of the nature of Petri∣fying Springs: the using an Vmbrella Anchor, to stay a Ship in a storm: the way of finding the Longitude of places by the Moon: the observation of the Tides about Lundy, the Southwest of Ireland, the Bermoo∣das, and divers parts of Scotland; and in other Seas and Rivers where the ebbing and flowing is found to be irregular.

They have started, and begun to practise the pro∣pagation of Potatoes; the planting of Verjuyce Grapes in England; the Chymical examination of French, and English Wines; the gradual observation of the growth of Plants, from the first spot of life; the in∣creasing of Timber, and the planting of Fruit Trees; which they have done by spreading the Plants into many parts of the Nation, and by publishing a Page  192 large Account of the best wayes of their cultiva∣vation.

They have propounded, and attempted with great effect, the making Experiments with Tobacco oyl; the Anatomizing of all amphibious Creatures, and examining their Lungs; the observing the manner of the Circulation of the blood in Fishes; the wayes of transporting Fish from one place to another for Breed; the collecting Observations on the Plague; the examining of all the several wayes to breed Bees; the altering the taste of the Flesh of Animals, by al∣tering their food; the probability of making Wine out of Sugar-canes: Which last I will set down as one Example.

Page  193

A PROPOSAL For making WINE. By Dr. GODDARD.

IT is recommended to the care of some skilful Planters in the Barbadoes, to try whether good Wine may not be made out of the Iuyce of Sugar-canes. That which may induce them, to believe this work to be possible, is this Observation, that the Iuyce of Wine, when it is dry'd, does alwayes granulate into Sugar, as appears in Raisins, or dry'd Grapes: and also that in those vessels wherein cute, or unfermented Wine is put, the sides are wont to be cover'd over with a crust of Sugar. Hence it may be ga∣ther'd, that there is so great a likeness of the liquor of the Cane, to that of the Vine, that it may probably be brought to serve for the same uses. If this attempt shall succeed, the advantages of it will be very considerable. For the English being the chief Masters of the Sugar Trade, and that falling very much in its price of late years, while all other outlandish productions are risen in their value: it would be a great benefit to this King∣dom, as well as to our Western Plantations, if part of our Sugar, which is now in a manner a meer Drug, might be turn'd into Wine, which is a Forein Commodity, and grows every day dearer: especially seeing this might be done, by only bruising, and pressing the Canes, which would be a far less labour and charge, than the way, by which Su∣gar is now made.

Page  194These are some of the most advantageous proposals, they have scatter'd, and incourag'd in all places, where their Interest prevails. In these they have re∣commended to many distinct, and separate Trials, those designs, which some private men had begun, but could not accomplish, by reason of their charge: or those which they themselves have devis'd, and con∣ceiv'd capable of success: or even those of which men have hitherto seem'd to despair. Of these, some are already brought to a hopeful issue: some are put in use, and thrive by the practice of the publick: and some are discover'd to be feasible, which were only before thought imaginary, and fantastical. This is one of the greatest powers of the true, and unweari∣ed Experimenter, that he often rescues things, from the jaws of those dreadful Monsters, Improbability, and Impossibility. These indeed are two frightful words to weaker minds, but by Diligent and Wisemen, they are generally found to be only the excuses of Idle∣ness, and Ignorance. For the most part they lie not in the things themselves, but in mens false opinions con∣cerning them they are rais'd by opinions, but are soon abolish'd by works. Many things, that were at first improbable to the minds of men, are not so to their eyes: many that seem'd unpracticable to their thoughts, are quite otherwise to their hands: many that are too difficult for their naked hands, may be soon perform'd by the same hands, if they are strengthen'd by Instruments, and guided by Method: many that are unmanageable by a few hands, and a few Instruments, are easie to the joynt force of a multitude: many that fail in one Age, may succeed by the renew'd indeavors of another. It is not there∣fore the conceit or fancy of men alone, that is of suffi∣cient Page  195 authority to condemn the most unlikely things for Impossible: unless they have been often attempted in vain, by many Eyes, many Hands, many Instruments, and many Ages.

This is the assistance,* and information, they have given to others, to provoke them to inquire, and to order, and regulate their Inquisitions. To these I will add the Relations of the effects of Nature, and Art, which have been communicated to them. These are infinite in number. And though many of them have not a sufficient confirmation, to raise Theories, or Hi∣stories on their Infallibility: yet they bring with them a good assurance of likelihood, by the integrity of the Relators; and withall they furnish a judicious Reader, with admirable hints to direct his Observa∣tions. For I will once more affirm, that as the minds of men do often mistake falshoods for Truths, though they are never so circumspect: so they are often drawn by uncertain, and sometimes erroneous re∣ports, to stumble on truths, and realities; of this vast heap of Relations, which is every where scatter'd in their Entry Books, I will only take notice of these oc∣casional Accounts.

Relations of two new kinds of Stars, observ'd in the year sixty six, the one in Andromeda, the other in Cygnus, in the same place, where they appear'd sixty years since, and have ever since disappear'd: of several Observations of Coelestial Bodies made in Spain: of Ob∣servations of several of the Planets made at Rome, and in other parts, by extraordinary Glasses: of the compa∣rative goodness of Glasses us'd in other Countries: of several Eclipses observ'd in divers parts of the World.

Relations of Parelii, and other such appearances Page  196 seen in France: of the effects of Thunder and Light∣ning: of Hurricanes, and Spouts: of the bigness, fi∣gure, and effects of Hailstones: of Fish, and Frogs said to be rain'd: of the raining of Dust out of the Air, and of the distance it has been carri'd by great Fires, and Earthquakes: of changes of Weather, and a way of predicting them: of the vermination of the Air: of the suppos'd raining of Wheat in Glocestershire, which being sown was found to be nothing but Ivy-Berries.

Relations of a Spring in Lancashire, that will pre∣sently catch fire on the approach of a Flame: of Burning-glasses performing extraordinary effects: of Burning glasses made with Ice: of Fire-balls for Fuel: of a more convenient way of using Wax-candles: of the kindling of certain Stones, by their being moi∣sten'd with Water: of using ordinary Fuel to the best advantage.

Relations of the times of the rising, and disappear∣ing of Springs: of Artificial Springs: of the Natures of several of our English Springs, and of other Olea∣ginous, and Bituminous Springs: of the fitness, and unfitness of some waters for the making of Beer, or Ale: of brewing Beer with Ginger instead of Hops: of Tides and Currents: of Petrifying Springs: of the Water blasts of Tivoly: of Floating Islands of Ice: of the shining of Dew in a Common of Lancashire, and elsewhere: of Divers, and Diving, their habit, their long holding their breath, and of other notable things observ'd by them.

Relations of the Effects of Earthquakes, and the mo∣ving, and sinking of Earths: of deep Mines, and deep Wells: of the several layers of Earth in a Well at Amsterdam: of the shining Cliffs in Scotland: of the layers of Earth observ'd in divers Clifts: of Screw-Stones, Page  197 Lignum Fossile, Blocks buried in Exeter River, Trees found under ground in Cheshire, Lincolnshire, and elsewhere: of a Coal-Mine wrought half a mile from the shore, under the Sea: of the fatal effects of damps on Miners, and the ways of recovering them.

Relations of the extraordinary strength of some small Loadstones, taking up above 150. times their own weight: of several English Loadstones: of the variation of the Loadstone observ'd in two East-India voyages, and other places: of the growing of Peb∣bles inclos'd in a glass of water: of several excellent English clays: of Gold found in little lumps in a Mine in England: of the moving sands in Norfolk.

Relations about refining Lead, and Tin-Oar: of hardning Steel so as to cut Porphyry with it, and soft∣ning it so much, as to make it easie to be wrought on: of impregnating Lead-Oar with Metal, after it has been once freed: of Petrify'd Teeth, and a Petrifi'd humane foetus: of several wayes of splitting Rocks: of living Muscles found in the midst of Rocks at Le∣gorn: of the way of making Quick-silver: of things observable at the bottom of the Sea: of a soft Metal, which hardens after it has taken off the Impression, and the way of reducing such impressions into as small a proportion as is desir'd.

Relations about Agriculture: of ordering of Vines: of the setting and planting of Trees several wayes: of Elms growing from chips, of new Trees sprung from rotten roots: of several kinds of Trees, growing one out of another; and in the place of others: of the best wayes of pruning: of ma∣king a kind of Silk with Virginia Grass: of a kind of Grass making stronger Ropes than the common Hemp: of a new way of ordering Mulberry Trees in Page  198Virginia: of a Locust Tree Bow standing bent six months, without loosing its Spring: of a way of im∣proving the planting of Tobacco.

Relations of the usefulness of changing seed yearly: of the steeping, liming, sowing it several wayes: of freeing it from Worms: preserving it long (as eighty years) of freeing it from smut; of the causes, and first signs of smut: of the Instrument and way of chopping Straw, for the feeding of Horses: of Plants growing in meer Water: of others growing in meer Air: of several Indian Woods: of the growing of the divi∣ded parts of Beans: of the growing of chopp'd stalks of Potatoes: of ordering Melons: of keeping their Seed, and producing extraordinary good ones without transplanting.

Relations of the growth, breeding, feeding, and ordering of Oysters: of a Sturgeon kept alive in Saint Iameses-Park: of the moveable Teeth of Pikes: of young Eeles cut alive out of the old ones Belly: of the transporting Fish-spawn▪ and Carps alive from one place to another: of the strange increase of Carps so transported: of Snake-stones and other Antidotes: of Frogs, Frog-spawn, Toads, Newts, Vipers, Snakes, Rattle-Snakes.

Relations of several kinds of Poysons, as that of Maccasser, and Florence: of Crawfishes: of the Gene∣ration, growth, life, and transformation of Ants: of Cheese worms leaping like Fleas: of living Worms found in the Entrails of Fishes: of Insects found in the sheathing of Ships: of the generation of Insects, out of dead Cantharides: of Insects bred in mens Teeth, Gums, Flesh, Skin: of great quantities of Flies living in Winter, though frozen: of the wayes of or∣dering Silk-worms in France, Italy, Virginia: and of their not being hurt in Virginia by Thunder.

Page  199Relations of Swallows living after they have been frozen under water: of Barnacles and Soland Geese: of a new way of hatching Pigeons: of the way of hatching Chickens in Egypt: of Eggs proving fruitful, after they had been frozen: of recovering a tir'd Horse with Sheeps blood.

Relations of several Monsters with their Anato∣mies: of the measure of a Giant-child: of Stones found in several parts of the Body: of an unusual way of cutting the Stone out of the Bladder: of a Womans voiding the Bones of a Child out of her side eighteen years after her having been with child: of grafting Teeth, and making the Teeth of one Man grow in the mouth of another.

Relations of several Chirurgical operations: of re∣newing the beating of the heart, by blowing into the Receptaculum chyli: of the Art of perfectly restoring Nerves, transversly cut, practis'd in France: of a Mummy found in the Ruines of Saint Pauls▪ after it had lain buried above 200. years: of breaking the Nerve to the Diaphragm, and of its effects: of cutting a Steto∣ma out of a Womans Breast: of making the blood Florid with Volatil, and Coagulating with Acid Salts.

Relations of sympathetick Cures, and Trials: of the effects of Tobacco-oyl for casting into Convulsion fits: of Moors killing themselves by holding their Breaths: of walking on the Water by the help of a Girdle filled with Wind: of Pendulum Clocks: of several rare Guns, and Experiments with them: of new Quadrants and Astronomical Instruments: of Experiments of refraction made by the French A∣cademy: of a way to make use of Eggs in painting, instead of Oyl: of the Island Hirta in Scotland: of the Whispering place at Glocester: of the Pike of Te∣nariff.

Page  200

A RELATION OF THE PICO TENERIFFE. Receiv'd from some considerable Merchants and Men worthy of Credit, who went to the top of it.

HAving furnish'd our selves with a Guide, Ser∣vants, and Horses to carry our Wine and Provisions, we set out from Oratava, a Port Town in the Island of Tenariffe, scituated on the North of it at two miles distant from the main Sea. We tra∣velled from twelve at night till eight in the morn∣ing, by which time we got to the top of the first Mountain towards the Pico de Terraira; here, un∣der a very great and conspicuous Pine tree, we brake our fast, dined and refresht our selves, till two in the afternoon; then we proceeded through much Sandy way, over many lofty Mountains, but naked and bare, and not covered with any Pine trees, as our first nights passage was: this exposed us to excessive heat, till we arrived at the foot of the Pico; where we found many huge Stones, which seemed to have been fallen down from some up∣per part.

Page  201

About six a clock this evening, we began to ascend up the Pico, but being now a mile advanced, and the way no more passable for our Horses, we quitted and left them with our Servants: In this miles ascent some of our company grew very faint and sick, disorder'd by fluxes, vomitings, and Aguish distempers, our Horses hair standing up right like Bristles: but calling for some of our Wine, which was carried in small Barrels on a Horse, we found it so wonderfully cold, that we could not drink it till we had kindled a fire to warm it, although yet the temper of the Air was very calm and mode∣rate. But when the Sun was set, it began to blow with that violence, and grew so cold, that taking up our lodging under certain great Stones in the Rocks, we were constreined to keep great fires be∣fore the mouthes of them all night.

About four in the morning we began to mount again, and being come about a mile up, one of the Company fail'd, and was able to proceed no fur∣ther. Here began the black Rocks. The rest of us pursued our Journey till we came to the Sugar-loaf, where we begin to travel again in a white sand, being fore-shod with shooes whose single soles are made a finger broader than the upper leather, to encounter this difficult and unstable passage; being ascended as far as the black Rocks, which are all flat, & lie like a pavement, we climbed with∣in a mile of the very top of the Pico, and at last we gained the Summit, where we found no such smoak as appeared a little below, but a continual breathing of a hot and sulphurous Vapour, which made our faces extreamly sore.

In this passage we found no considerable altera∣tion Page  202 of Air, and very little Wind; but being at the top, it was so impetuous, that we had much ado to stand against it, whilst we drank the Kings health, and fired each of us a peece. Here we also brake fast, but found our Strong-water had quite lost its force, and was become almost insipid, whilst our Wine was rather more spirituous and brisque than it was before.

The top on which we stood, being not above a yard broad, is the brink of a Pit called the Caldera, which we judged to be about a Musquet-shot over, and neer fourscore yards deep, in shape like a Cone, within hollow like a Kettle or Cauldron, and all over cover'd with small loose Stones mixt with Sulphur and Sand, from amongst which issue divers Spiracles of smoak and heat, when stirred with any thing puffs and makes a noise, and so offensive, that we were almost stifled with the sudden Emanation of Vapours upon the removing of one of these Stones, which are so hot as they are not easily to be handled. We descended not above four or five yards into the Caldera, in regard of its fliding from our feet and the difficulty. But some have ad∣ventured to the bottom. Other observable mate∣rials we discover'd none, besides a clear sort of Sul∣phur, which looks like Salt upon the Stones.

From this famous Pico, we could ken the Grand Canaria, fourteen leagues distant, Palma eighteen, and Gomera seven leagues, which interval of Sea seemed to us not much larger than the River of Thames about London: We discerned also the Her∣ro, being distant above twenty leagues, and so to the outmost limits of the Sea much farther.

So soon as the Sun appeared, the shadow of the Page  203Pico seemed to cover, not only the whole Island, and the Grand Canaries, but the Sea to the very Hori∣son, where the top of the Sugar-loaf or Pico visibly appeared to turn up and cast its shade into the Air it self, at which we were much surprised: But the Sun was not far ascended, when the Clouds began to rise so fast, as intercepted our prospect both of the Sea, and the whole Island, excepting only the tops of the subjacent Mountains, which seem'd to pierce them through: Whether these Clouds do ever surmount the Pico we cannot say, but to such as are far beneath, they sometimes seem to hang a∣bove it, or rather wrap themselves about it, as con∣stantly when the North-west Wind blows; this they call the Cappe, and is a certain prognostick of ensuing Storms.

One of our company, who made this journey again two years after, arriving at the top of the Pi∣co before day, and creeping under a great Stone to shrowd himself from the cold Air (after a little space) found himself all wet, and perceived it to come from a perpetual trickling of water from the Rocks above him. Many excellent and very exuberant Springs we found issuing from the tops of most of the other Mountains, gushing out in great Spouts, almost as far as the huge Pine tree which we mention'd.

Having stay'd some time upon the top, we all descended by the Sandy way till we came to the foot of the Sugar-loaf, which being steep, even to almost a perpendicular, we soon passed. And here we met a Cave of about ten yards deep, and fifteen broad, being in shape like an Oven or Cupola, having a hole at the top which is neer eight yards over; Page  204 by this we descended by a Rope, which our Ser∣vants held at the top, whilst the other end being fastned about our middles, we swing our selves, till being over a Bank of Snow, we slide down and light upon it. We were forced to swing thus in the descent, because in the middle of the bottom of this Cave, opposite to the overture at the top, is a round Pit of water, resembling a Well, the sur∣face whereof is about a yard lower than the Snow, but as wide as the mouth at top, and is about six fathom deep. We suppose this Water not a Spring, but dissolved Snow blown in, or Water trickling through the Rocks.

About the sides of the Grot, for some height, there is Ice and Icicles hanging down to the Snow. But being quickly weary of this excessive cold place, and drawn up again, we continued our de∣scent from the Mountains by the same passages we went up the day before, and so about five in the evening arrived at Oratava, from whence we set forth, our Faces so red and sore, that to cool them, we were forced to wash and bathe them in Whites of Eggs, &c.

The whole height of the Pico in perpendicular is vulgarly esteem'd to be two miles and a half. No Trees, Herbs, or Shrubs in all the passage but Pines, and amongst the whiter Sands a kind of Broom, being a bushy Plant; and at the side where we lay all night, a kind of Cordon, which hath Stems of eight foot high, the Trunk near half a foot thick; every Stem growing in four squares, and emerging from the ground like Tuffets of Rushes; upon the edges of these Stems grow very small red Buttons or Berries, which being squeezed produc'd a poy∣sonous Page  205 Milk, which lighting upon any part of a Horse, or other Beast, fetches off the hair from the skin immediately; of the dead part of this we made our fires all night. This Plant is also univer∣sally spread over the Island, and is perhaps a kind of Euphorbium.

Of the Island Tenariffe it self, this account was given by a Judicious and Inquisitive Man, who liv'd twenty years in it as a Physician and Merchant. His opinion is, that the whole Island being a ground mightily impregnated with Brimstone, did in for∣mer times take fire, and blow up all or near upon all at the same time, and that many Mountains of huge Stones calcin'd and burnt, which appear eve∣ry where about the Island, especially in the South∣west parts of it, were rais'd and heav'd up out of the Bowels of the Earth, at the time of that ge∣neral conflagration; and that the greatest quanti∣ty of this Sulphur lying about the Center of the Island, raised up the Pico to that height at which it is now seen. And he sayes, that any one upon the place that shall carefully note the scituation, and manner of these calcin'd Rocks how they lie, will easily be of that mind: For he sayes, that they lye for three or four miles almost round the bottom of the Pico, and in such order one above another al∣most to the very Sugar-loaf (as 'tis called) as if the whole ground swelling and rising up together by the Ascension of the Brimstone, the Torrents and Rivers of it did with a sudden Eruption rowl and tumble them down from the rest of the Rocks, especially (as was said before) to the South-west; For on that side, from the very top of the Pico al∣most to the Sea shore, lye huge heaps of these burnt Page  206 Rocks one under another. And there remain to this time the very Tracts of the Rivers of Brim∣stone, as they ran over all this quarter of the Island, which hath so wasted the ground beyond recove∣ry, that nothing can be made to grow there but Broom: But on the North side of the Pico, few or none of these Stones appear. And he concluded hence, that the Volcanio discharg'd it self chiefly to the South-west. He adds further, that Mines of several Mettals were broken and blown up at the same time. These calcin'd Rocks resembling some of them Iron-Ore, some Silver, and others Copper, Particularly at a certain place in these South-west parts called the Azuleios, being very high Moun∣tains, where never any English man but himself (that ever he heard of) was. There are vast quan∣tities of a loose blewish Earth intermixt with blew Stones, which have on them yellow rust as that of Copper and Vitriol: And likewise many little Springs of Vitriolate waters, where he supposes was a Copper Mine. And he was told by a Bell-founder of Oratava, that out of two Horse loads of this Earth, he got as much Gold as made two large Rings. And a Portuguez told him, who had been in the West-Indies, that his opinion was, there were as good Mines of Gold and Silver there as the best in the Indies. There are likewise hereabout Ni∣trous Waters and Stones covered with a deep Saf∣fron colour'd rust, and tasting of Iron. And fur∣ther he mentions a Friend of his, who out of two lumps of Earth or Ore, brought from the top of this side the Mountain, made two Silver-spoons. All this he confirms from the late instance of the Palme Island eighteen leagues from Tenariffa, where a Page  207Volcanio was fired about twelve years since, the vio∣lence whereof made an Earthquake in this Island so great, that he and others ran out of their houses, fearing they would have fallen upon their heads. They heard the noise of the Torrents of flaming Brimstone like Thunder, and saw the fire as plain by night, for about six weeks together, as a Candle in the room: And so much of the Sand and Ashes, brought from thence by the Wind with Clouds, fell on his Hat, as fill'd a Sand box for his Ink∣horn.

In some part of this Island there grows a crook∣ed Shrub which they call Legnan, which they bring for England as a sweet Wood: There are likewise Abricots, Peaches, &c. in Standard, which bear twice a year, Pear-trees also which are as pregnant: Almonds of a tender shell; Palms, Plantains, Oran∣ges and Lemmons, especially the Pregnadas which have small ones in their bellies, from whence they are so denominated. Also they have Sugar Canes, and a little Cotton. Colloquintida, &c. The Roses blow at Christmas. There are good Carnations, and very large; but Tulips will not grow or thrive there: Sampier clothes the Rocks in abundance, and a kind of Clover the Ground. Another Grass growing neer the Sea, which is of a broader leaf, so luscious and rank, as it will kill a Horse that eats of it, but no other Cattle. Eighty ears of Wheat have been found to spring from one root, but it grows not very high. The Corn of this is transparent and bright like to the purest yellow Amber, and one bushel hath produc'd one hundred and thirty in a seasonable year.

The Canary birds (which they bring to us in Page  208England) breed in the Barancos or Gills, which the Water hath fretted away in the Mountains, being places very cold. There are also Quails, Partridges, larger than ours and exceeding beautiful, great Wood-pigeons, Turtles at Spring, Crows, and some∣times from the Coast of Barbary appears the Fal∣con. Bees are carried into the Mountains, where they prosper exceedingly.

They have wild Goats on the Mountains, which climb to the very top of the Pico sometimes: Also Hogs and multitudes of Conies.

Of Fish they have the Cherna, a very large and excellent fish, better tasted than any we have in England; the Mero, Dolphin, Shark, Lobsters without the great claws, Mussles, Periwinkles, & the Clacas, which is absolutely the very best Shell-fish in the world, they grow in the Rocks five or six un∣der one great shell, through the top holes whereof they peep out with their Nebs, from whence (the shells being broken a little more open with a stone) they draw them forth. There is likewise another Fish like an Eel, which hath six or seven tails of a span in length united to one head and body, which is also as short. Besides these, they have Turtles and Cabridos which are better than our Trouts.

The Island is full of Springs of pure Water ta∣sting like Milk. And in Lalaguna (where the Wa∣ter is not altogether so Limpid and Clear) they percolate it through a kind of spungy Stone cut in form of a Bason.

The Vines which afford those excellent Wines, grow all about the Island within a mile of the Sea, such as are planted farther up are nothing esteem'd, neither will they thrive in any of the other Islands, Page  209 for the Guanchios or antient Inhabitants he gives this full Account.

September the third, about twelve years since, he took his Journey from Guimar (a Town inhabited for the most part by such as derive themselves from the old Cuanchios) in the company of some of them, to view their Caves and the Bodies buried in them. This was a favour they seldome or never permit to any (having in great veneration the Bodies of their Ancestours, and likewise being most extreamly a∣gainst any molestation of the Dead) but he had done several Eleemosinary Cures amongst them (for they are generally very poor, yet the poorest thinks himself too good to marry with the best Spaniard) which indeared him to them exceedingly, other∣ways it is death for any Stranger to visit these Caves or Bodies.

These Bodies are sowed up in Goat-skins with thongs of the same, with very great curiosity, par∣ticularly in the incomparable exactness and even∣ness of the seams, and the Skins are made very close and fit to the body: Most of these Bodies are en∣tire, the eyes closed, hair on the head, ears, nose, teeth, lips, beard, all perfect, only discoloured and a little shriveld, likewise the Pudenda of both Sexes; He saw about three or four hundred in several Caves, some of them are standing, others lie on beds of Wood, so hardned by an art they had (which the Spaniards call Curar, to cure a piece of wood) as no Iron can pierce or hurt it He says, that one day being hunting a Ferret (which is much in use there) having a bell about his neck, ran after a Coney in∣to a hole, where they lost the sound of the bell; the owner being afraid he should loose his Ferret, Page  210 seeking about the Rock and Shrubs, found the mouth of a Cave, and entring in, was so afrighted, that he cryed out. It was at the sight of one of these Bodies, very tall and large, lying with his head on a great Stone, his feet supported with a little wall of stone, the body resting on a bed of Wood (as before was mention'd.) The fellow being now a little out of his fright entered it, and cut off a great piece of the skin that lay on the breast of this body, which, the Doctor sayes, was more flexible and pli∣ant than ever he felt any Kids-leather-glove, and yet so far from being rotten, that the man used it for his Flail many years after.

These bodies are very light, as if made up of straw, and in some broken Limbs he observed the Nerves and Tendons, and also some strings of the Veins and Arteries very distinctly.

His great care was to enquire of these people what they had amongst them of Tradition con∣cerning the embalming and preservation of these Bodies: from some of the eldest of them (above a hundred and ten years of age) he received this Account, That they had of old one particular Tribe of men that had this Art amongst themselves only, and kept it as a thing sacred, and not to be communicated to the Vulgar: These mixt not with the rest of the Inhabitants, nor married out of their own Tribe, and were also their Priests and Ministers of Religion: That upon the Conquest of the Spa∣niards they were most of them destroy'd, and the Art lost with them, only they held some Traditions yet of a few Ingredients, that were made use of in this business. They took Butter of Goats Milk (some said Hogs Grease was mingled with it) which Page  211 they kept in the Skins for this purpose, in this they boyled certain Herbs; first a sort of wild Laven∣der, which grows there in great quantities on the Rocks: Secondly, an Herb called Lara, of a very gummy and glutinous Consistence, which now grows there under the tops of the Mountains only: Thirdly, a kind of Cyclamen or Sow-bread: Fourth∣ly, wild Sage, growing plentifully in this Island: These with others bruised and boiled in the But∣ter, render'd it a perfect Balsame. This prepared, they first unbowelled the Corps (and in the poorer sort, to save charges, they took out the Brain be∣hind, and these poor were also sew'd up in Skins with the hair on, whereas the richer sort were (as was said before) put up in Skins so finely and ex∣actly dressed, as they remain most rarely pliant and gentle to this day.) After the Body was thus or∣dered, they had in readiness a Lixivium made of the Bark of Pine trees, with which they washt the Body, drying it in the Sun in Summer, and in Stoves in Winter, this repeating very often. Afterward they began their Unction with the Balsame, both without and within, drying it again as before. This they continued till the Balsame had penetrated in∣to the whole habit, and the Muscles in all parts ap∣peared through the contracted Skin, and the Body became exceeding light: Then they sew'd them up in the Goat-skins, as was mention'd already. He was told by these Ancient People, that they have above twenty Caves of their Kings and great Per∣sons, with their whole Families, yet unknown to any but themselves, and which they will never discover. Lastly, he sayes, that Bodies are found in the Caves of the Grand Canaria in sacks, and quite consumed, Page  212 not as these in Teneriffa. Thus far of the Bodies and embalming.

Antiently when they had no knowledge of Iron, they made their Lances of Wood hardned as be∣fore, some of which the Doctor hath seen. He hath also seen Earthen-pots so hard, that they cannot be broken; of these some are found in the Caves and old Bavances, and used by the poorer people that find them to boyl meat in. Likewise they did Cu∣ror Stone it self, that is to say, a kind of Slate called now Tobona, which they first formed to an edge or point as they had occasion to use it, either as Knives or Lancets to let blood withall.

Their Food is Barly roasted, and then ground with little Mills, which they made of Stone, and mixt with Milk and Honey: This they still feed on, and carry it on their backs in Goat-skins.

To this day they drink no Wine, nor care for Flesh. They are generally very lean, tall, active and full of courage.

He himself hath seen them leap from Rock to Rock, from a very prodigious height, till they came to the bottom, sometimes making ten fathom deep at one leap.

"The manner is thus:

First they Tertiate their Lance (which is about the bigness of a half Pike) that is, they poise it in their hand, then they aim the point of it at any piece of a Rock, upon which they intend to light (sometimes not half a foot broad.) At their going off they clap their feet close to the Lance, and so carry their bodies in the Air. The point of the Lance first comes to the place, which breaks the force of their fall; then they slide gently down Page  213 by the Staffe, and pitch with their feet upon the very place they first designed, and from Rock to Rock till they come to the bottome. Their Novices sometimes break their necks in learn∣ing.

He added several Stories to this effect of their great activity in leaping down Rocks and Cliffs. And how twenty eight of them made an escape from the battlements of an extraordinary high Ca∣stle in the Island, when the Governour thought he had made sure of them.

He told also (and the same was seriously con∣firmed by a Spaniard, and another Canary Mer∣chant then in the company) That they whistle so loud as to be heard five miles off. And that to be in the same Room with them when they whistle, were enough to indanger breaking the Tympanum of the ear, and added, that he (being in Compa∣ny of one that whistled his loudest) could not hear perfectly for fifteen dayes after, the noise was so great.

He affirms also, That they throw Stones with a force almost as great as that of a Bullet, and now use Stones in all their fights as they did ancient∣ly.

Page  214When my Reader shall behold this large number of Relations; perhaps he will think, that too many of them seem to be incredulous stories, and that if the Royal Society shall much busie themselves, about such wonderful, and uncertain events, they will fall into that mistake, of which I have already accus'd some of the Antients, of framing Romances, instead of solid Histories of Nature. But here, though I shall first confirm what I said before, that it is an unprofi∣table, and unsound way of Natural Philosophy, to re∣gard nothing else, but the prodigious, and extraordi∣nary causes, and effects: yet I will also add, that it is not an unfit employment for the most judicious Expe∣rimenter to examine, and record the most unusual and monstrous forces, and motions of matter: It is certain that many things, which now seem miraculous, would not be so, if once we come to be fully ac∣quainted with their compositions, and operations. And it is also as true, that there are many Qualities, and Figures, and powers of things, that break the common Laws, and transgress the standing Rules of Nature. It is not therefore an extravagance, to observe such pro∣ductions, and are indeed admirable in themselves, if at the same time we do not strive to make those appear to be admirable, that are groundless, and false. In this there is a neer resemblance between Natural and civil History. In the Civil, that way of Romance is to be exploded, which heightens all the characters, and actions of men, beyond all shadow of probability: yet this does not hinder, but the great, and eminent vir∣tues of extraordinary men of all Ages, may be rela∣ted, and propos'd to our example. The same is to be affirm'd of Natural History. To make that only to consist of strange, and delightful Tales, is to render it Page  215 nothing else but vain, and ridiculous Knight-Errantry. Yet we may avoid that extreme, and still leave room, to consider the singular, and irregular effects, and to imitate the unexpected, and monstrous excesses, which Nature does sometimes practise in her works. The first may be only compar'd to the Fables of Amadis, and the Seven Champions: the other to the real Histories of Alexander, Hannibal, Scipio, or Caesar: in which though many of their Actions may at first surprize us; yet there is nothing that exceeds the Truth of Life, and that may not serve for our instruction, or imita∣tion.

If this way of general receiving all credible ac∣counts of Natural,* and Artificial productions, shall seem expos'd to overmuch hazard, and uncertainty: that danger is remov'd by the Royal Societies reducing such matters of here-say and information, into real, and impartial Trials, perform'd by their own hands: Of the exactness, variation, and accurate repetition of their Experiments, I have already discours'd: I will now go on to lay down in short compass those parts of the visible World, about which they have chiefly bestow'd their pains.

The first kind that I shall mention,* is of Experi∣ments about Fire, and Flame, of these many were made in order to the examination of a Theory pro∣pounded to them, that there is no such thing, as an Elementary Fire of the Peripatetics; nor Fiery Atoms of the Epicureans: but that Fire is only the Act of the dissolution of heated Sulphureous Bodies, by the Air as a Menstruum, much after the same manner, as Aqua Fortis, or other sharp Menstruums do work on disso∣luble Page  216 Bodies, as Iron, Tin, Copper: that heat, and light are two inseparable effects of this dissolution, as heat, and ebullition are of those dissolutions of Tin, and Copper: that Flame is a dissolution of Smoak, which consists of combustible particles, carry'd upward by the heat of rarify'd Air: and that Ashes are a part of the Body not dissoluble by the Air.

Of this sort, they have made Experiments, to find the lasting of the burning of a Candle, Lamp, or Coals, in a Cubic foot of common, rarify'd, and con∣dens'd Air: to exhibite the sudden extinction of Can∣dles, Lamps, and lighted Coals, when they are put in∣to satiated Air: to shew the speedy extinction of kindled Charcoals, by blowing on them with bellows, that Air which had before been satiated with burn∣ing: to shew that the greatest and most lasting heat, without a supply of fresh Air, is unable to burn Wood, Sulphur, and most other combustible matters: to find the comparative heat of all kinds of Fires, and Flames of several Materials, as of Sulphur, Cam∣phire, Spirit of Wine, Oyl, Wood, Coal, Seacoal, Iron: to find at what degree of heat, Lead, Tin, Silver, Brass, Copper, Gold will melt.

Experiments of the Transparency, and Refracted∣ness of Flames: of discerning the strength of several kinds of Gunpowder, Pulvis Fulminans, Aurum Fulmi∣nans: of Gunpowder in the exhausting Engine: of bending Springs by the help of Gunpowder: of melting Copper immediately, by the help of a Flux∣powder: of the Recoyling of Guns.

Experiments of Candles, and Coals, extinguish'd by the damps of a deep Well: of the burning of Lamps under water: of burning Spirit of Wine, and Cam∣phire together, and the diversity of their Flames: of Page  217 reducing Copper to a very combustible substance: of heating the Air, by blowing it through a red-hot earthen Pipe, so as to burn Wood: of the brightness of the Flame of Niter, and Sulphur: of the burning and flaming of Tin-filings by the help of Niter: of kindling Bodies, in common, rarify'd, and condens'd Air, by the help of a Burning-glass: of the compara∣tive heat cast by a Burning-glass, in the morning, and at noon: of burning with a Lens made of Ice: of cal∣cining Antimony in the Sun with loss: to find whether Aurum Fulminans or Putris Fulminans do flame upon Explosion: of hatching Eggs with a Lamp Furnace.

Their second sort of Experiments is of those that have been made in order to find out the nature,* pro∣perties, and uses of Air. Such as these.

Experiments for determining the height of the Atmosphere, for finding the pressure of the At∣mosphere: on the tops of Mountains, on the surface of the earth, and at the bottoms of very deep Pits, and Mines, by the help of Quick-silver, and other con∣trivances: for finding the pressure of the Atmosphere, both in the same place, and places very far removed.

Experiments to determine the possible bounds of expansion, and condensation of the Air, by heat and cold, by exhausting and compressing: to determine the strength of Air under the several degrees of ra∣refaction, and condensation: of the force of condens'd Air in Wind-Guns: to state the comparative gravity of the Air to other fluid, and solid Bodies: to disco∣ver the refractive power of the Air, under the several Degrees of rarefaction, and condensation: to manifest the inflective veins of the Air: to produce a kind of opacity of the Air: of the falling of Smoak in rari∣fy'd Page  218Air: to make small Glass-bubbles swim in Air ve∣ry much condens'd: of Glass-balls rising in a heavy, or condens'd Air, and falling in a lighter and more ra∣rify'd.

Experiments of the Propagation of Sounds through common, rarify'd, and condens'd Air: of the con∣gruity, or incongruity of Air, and its capacity to pene∣trate some Bodies, and not others: of generating Air by corrosive Menstruums out of fermenting Liquors, out of Water, and other Liquors, by heat, and by ex∣haustion: of the returning of such Air into the Wa∣ter again: of the vanishing of Air into Water exhau∣sted of Air: of the maintaining, and increasing a Fire by such Airs: of the fitness, and unfitness of such Air for respiration: of the use of Air in breathing.

Experiments of keeping Creatures many hours a∣live, by blowing into the Lungs with Bellows, after that all the Thorax, and Abdomen were open'd and cut away, and all the Intrails save Heart, and Lungs re∣mov'd: of reviving Chickens, after they have been strangled, by blowing into their Lungs: to try how long a man can live, by expiring, and inspiring again the same Air: to try whether the Air so respired, might not by several means be purify'd, or renew'd: to prove that it is not the heat, nor the cold of this respired Air, that choaks.

Experiments of the respiring of Animals, in Air much rarify'd, and the fatal effects: of the long con∣tinuance of several Animals very well in Air, as much condens'd, as it will be under water, at two hundred fathoms deep, that is about eight times: of the quan∣tity of fresh Air requisite for the life of a respiring Animal, for a certain space of time: of making Air unfit for respiration, by satiating it, by suffering Can∣dles, Page  219 or Coals to burn in it, till they extinguish them∣selves.

Experiments of including living Animals, and kin∣dled Coals, and Candles, in a large Glass, to observe which of them will be first extinguish'd: of a mans living half an hour, without any inconvenience, in a Leaden Bell, at divers fathoms under water: of the Quantity of Air respir'd at once by a Man: of the strength a Man has to raise Weights by his breath.

Experiments of the swelling of an Arm put into the rarifying Engine, by taking off the pressure of the Ambient Air: of the swelling of Vipers, and Frogs, upon taking off the pressure of the Ambient Air: of the life, and free motion of Fishes in Water, under the pressure of Air eight times condens'd: of Insects not being able to move in exhausted Air: of the resi∣stance of Air to bodies mov'd through it: of the not growing of Seeds for want of Air: of the growing of Plants hung in the Air, and of the decrease of their weight: of the living of a Cameleon, Snakes, Toads, and divers Insects, in a free Air, without food: of conveying Air under Water to any depth: of condensing Air by Water, and by the expansion of freezing Water: of the swelling of Lungs in the ra∣rifying Engine: of the velocity, and strength of seve∣ral Winds.

The third kind are those,* which have been made, about the substance, and properties of Water: Such are,

Experiments about the Comparative Gravity of Salt Water, and fresh, and of several Medicinal Springs found in this Nation: of the differing weight of the Sea-water, in several Climats, and at several Seasons: Page  220 of the weight of Distill'd-water, Snow-water, May∣dew, Rain-water, Spring-water: of augmenting the weight of Liquor, by dissolving Salts: of the greater thickness of such Water, at the bottom, than at the top: of weighing, ascending, and descending Bodies in Water: of the pressure of the Water at several depths under its surface.

Experiments of the heat and cold of the Water, at several depths of the Sea: of propagating sounds through the Water: of sounding the depth of the Sea without a line: of fetching up Water from the Bottom of the Sea: of fetching up Earth, Sand, Plants, from the bottom of the Sea.

Experiments of the resistance of Water to Bodies mov'd on its surface, of several Figures, and by several degrees of force: of the resistance of Water to Bodies mov'd through its substance ascending, and discend∣ing: of the expansion, and condensation of Water by heat and cold: of the condensation of Water by se∣veral wayes of pressure: of converting Water into a vapourous Air, lasting sometimes in that form: the Torricellian Experiment try'd with Water in a Glass∣cane thirty six and forty foot high, in a leaden Tube, also with a Glass at the top: the same try'd with Oyl, and other Liquors.

Experiments of the rising of Water in small Tubes, and many others about its congruity: of filtration, or of the rising of Water, to a great height in Sand, &c. of the swimming of Fishes: of Waters being able to penetrate through those Pores, where Air will not: of opening bellows at a depth under water, and blowing up Bladders, to find the pressure of the Water: of Water not subsiding in a high Glass-cane, upon remo∣ving the ambient pressure, after it had been well ex∣hausted Page  221 of the Air-bubbles that lurk'd in it: of forcing Water out of a Vessel by its own vapours.

Experiments of the different weight, and refracti∣on of warm Water, and cold: of the passing of Water through the coats of a Mans stomach: of the living of Fish in Water, the Air being exhausted: of closing up a Fish in a Glass of water: of the dying of Fishes in Water, upon taking off the pressure of the Air, in the rarifying Engine: of Hydrostaticks, and making a Body sink by pouring more water upon it: of raising Water above its Standard by sucking: of the subsiding of Water in the stem, upon putting the Bolt-head into warm water: of the shrinking of Water upon cool∣ing.

The fourth kind are about Mines,*Metals, Oars, Stones, &c. Such as,

Experiments of Coppelling made at the Tower: of dissolving many Salts in one Liquor: of the Oculus Mundi: of Rusma: of the Tenacity of several Me∣tals examin'd by weights: of the rarefaction and condensation of Glass: of the volatizing Salt of Tartar, with burnt Allom, with Vinegar, and Spirit of Wine: on the Bononian Stone: on Diamonds, of their shining by rubbing: on Copper-oar: of the distillation of Coal: of refining several kinds of Lead-oar: of ex∣tracting a much greater quantity of Silver out of that Oar, than is commonly done: of several wayes of re∣ducing Letharges into Lead: of changing Gold into Silver.

Experiments Magnetical, of the best form of capping Loadstones: of the best forms of Needles, of several lengths and bignesses: of various wayes of touching Needles on the Loadstone of making the same Pole of Page  222 the Loadstone, both attract, and chase the same end of the Needle without touching it: to find the variation of the Loadstone here at London.

Experiments with the dipping Needle: of the ex∣traordinary strength in proportion to its bulk of a small Loadstone: to measure the strength of the Mag∣netical attractive power, at several distances from the Stone: to examine the force of the attractive power, through several Mediums, as Water, Air, Wood, Lead, and Stone: to divert the attractive power, by inter∣posing Iron: to find the directive virtue of the Load∣stone under water.

Experiments to manifest by the help of Steel-dust, the lines of the Directive virtue of the Loadstone to be oval, in a contrary Position to what Des Cartes Theory makes them: to manifest those lines of Dire∣ction by the help of Needles: to discover those lines of Direction, when the influence of many Loadstones is compounded: to find what those lines are incom∣passing a Sphaerical Loadstone, what about a Square, and what about a regular Figure: to bore through the Axis of a Loadstone: and fill it up with a Cylin∣drical Steel: Experiments on Loadstones having many Poles, and yet the Stones seeming uniform.

*The fifth kind is of the growth of Vegetables in se∣veral kinds of Water; as River-water, Rain-water, Distill'd-water, May-dew: of hindring the growth of Seed Corn in the Earth, by extracting the Air: and furthering their growth, by admitting it: of steeping Seeds of several kinds: of inverting the Positions of Roots, and Plants set in the ground, to find whether there are values in the Pores of the Wood, that only open one way: of the decrease of the weight of Page  223Plants growing in Air: of Lignum Fossile: of the growing of some branches of Rosemary, by only sprin∣kling the leaves with water: of Camphire wood: of Wood brought from the Canaries: of a stinking Wood brought out of the East-Indies: of the re-union of the Bark of Trees after it had been separated from the Body.

The sixth are Experiments Medicinal,* and Anatomi∣cal; as of cutting out the Spleen of a Dog: of the effects of Vipers biting Dogs: of a Camaeleon, and its dissection: of preserving Animals in Spirit of Wine, Oyl of Turpentine, and other Liquors: of injecting various Liquors, and other Substances, into the veins of several creatures.

Experiments of destroying Mites by several Fumes: of the equivocal Generation of Insects: of feeding a Carp in the Air: of making Insects with Cheese, and Sack: of killing Water-Newts, Toads, and Sloworms with several Salts: of killing Frogs, by touching their skin, with Vinegar, Pitch, or Mercury: of a Spiders not being inchanted by a Circle of Vnicorns horn, or Irish Earth, laid round about it.

Experiments with a Poyson'd Indian Dagger on se∣veral Animals: with the Maccasser Poyson: with Florentine Poyson, and several Antidotes against it: of making Flesh grow on, after it has been once cut off: of the grafting a Spur on the head of a Cock, and its growing: of the living of Creatures by Factitious Air: of the reviving of Animals strangled, by blow∣ing into their Lungs: of Flesh not breeding Worms, when secur'd from Fly-blowings: of the suffocation of Animals upon piercing the Thorax: of hatching Silk-worms Eggs in rarify'd Air: of transfusing the blood of one Animal into another.

Page  224*The seventh sort are about those which are call'd sensible Qualities: as of freezing: of cold, and heat: of freezing Water freed from Air: of the time, and manner of the contraction in freezing luke-warm Water: of the temperature of several places, by seal'd Thermometers; as of several Countries; of the bottoms of deep Mines, Wells, Vaults, on the tops of Hills, at the bottom of the Sea.

Experiments of the contraction of Oyl of Vitriol, and divers other Oyls by freezing: of freezing bit∣ter Tinctures: of freezing several ting'd Liquors, and driving all the tincture inward to the Center: of shewing Ice to be capable of various degrees of cold, greater than is requisite to keep it Ice: of producing cold by the dissolution of several Salts: of freezing Water without blebs: of a membranous substance se∣parable from the blood by freezing: of a Thermome∣ter in rarify'd and condens'd Air: of very easie free∣zing of Oyl of Anniseeds: of making a Standard of Cold by freezing distill'd-water.

*The eighth are of Rarity, Density, Gravity, Pressure, Leuity, Fluidity, Firmness, Congruity &c., as of the Na∣ture of Grauity: of the cohaesion of two Flat Mar∣bles: of compressing the Air with Mercury to find its spring: of the weights of Bodies, solid and fluid: of rarefaction, and condensation by the help of Mer∣cury: of the tenacity of several Bodies: of the turn∣ing of two very fluid Liquors into one solid mass, by mingling them together.

Experiments for examining, whether the gravity of Bodies alter, according as they are carried a good way above, or below the surface of the Earth: of the Page  225 standing of Mercury well exhausted, many inches, nay many feet, above its usual standing: of a Wheel-Baro-Meter: of the expansion, and contraction of Glass, and Metals by heat and cold: of Spirit of Wine, and several ting'd Liquors by the help of a Glass Tube: the examination of Monsieur Paschals Experiment, by many others.

The ninth are Experiments of Light,*Sound, Colours, Taste, Smell: as of two transparent Liquors producing an opacous one: of Ecchos and reflected sounds: of Musical sounds, and Harmonies: of Colours, of the greater refraction of Water, than of Ice: of Refra∣ction in a new Engine; of the Refraction of Glass of various shapes under Water: of destroying the shi∣ning of Fish by Oyl of Vitriol: of making a great light by rubbing two Chrystals hard one against the other: of making a deaf, and dumb man to speak.

The tenth are Experiments of Motion:* as of Glass drops several wayes order'd, and broken: of the ve∣locity of the descent of several Bodies of divers fa∣shions through several Liquors: of determining the velocity of Bodies falling through the Air; try'd by many wayes: of the swift motion of sounds: of the irregular motion of the Oyl of Turpentine on Spirit of Wine; of the strength of falling Bodies, according to the several Heights, from which they fall: of pro∣portioning the shapes of Bodies, so as to make them fall together in the same time through differing Me∣diums.

Experiments of the swiftness of a Bullet shot with ex∣traordinary Powder: of the best Figure of the weight Page  226 of a Pendulum for Motion: of the Motion of Pendu∣lous Bodies of various figures: to determine the length of Pendulums: to find the velocity of the vi∣brations of a sounding string: to find the velocity of motion, propagated by a very long extended Wire: for explaining the inflection of a streight motion into a circular, by a supervening attractive power towards the Center, in order to the explaining of the motion of the Planets.

Experiments of the circular and complicated mo∣tion of Pendulums, to explain the Hypothesis of the Moons moving about the Earth: of comparing the Motions of a circular Pendulum, with the motion of a streight one: of the propagation of motion from one Body to another: of the reflection of motion: of the vibrating motion of Quick-silver in a crooked Pipe: imitating the motion of a Pendulum: of com∣municating of the strength of Powder for the bend∣ing of Springs; and thereby for making artificial Muscles, to command what strength we desire.

*The eleventh are Experiments Chymical, Mechani∣cal, Optical: as of reducing the Flesh of Animals into a Liquor like blood, by dissolving it in a certain Men∣struum: of a greater facility of raising Water in Pipes of a larger Bore: of brewing Beer with Bread, Barly, Oats, Wheat, and without malting: of preci∣pitating Tartar out of Wine by several expedients: of a Chymical extraction of a volatil Spirit, and Salt out of Spunges: of examining Aurum fulminans after explosion: of the dissolution of Manna in Water, and of a chrystallizing it again out of it, by evaporati∣on.

Experiments of volatizing Salt of Tartar many Page  227 wayes: of examining the mucilaginous matter call'd Star-shoot: of examining our English Telescopes, and Microscopes, and comparing them with such as have been made at Rome: of making a volatil Salt with Oyl of Turpentine, and Sea-salt: of the Quantity of Spirits in Cyder: of the strength of several Springs: of examining a Pump made with Bellows: of dying Silk with several Iamaica Woods: of finding the strength of Wood of several kinds, for bearing: of finding the flexibility of various Woods, and deter∣mining the utmost extent of their yielding, and bend∣ing.

Experiments about the gravity of Bodies made on the top of Saint Pauls Steeple, Westminster-Abby, and several other high places; and in a Well of seventy Fathoms depth: examined about the Virgula Di∣vina, wherein the common Assertions were found false: of the various refractions of several Liquors, in a new refractive Engine: of common Oyl of To∣bacco, made by distillation in a Glass retort: of ma∣king the Object-glass of a Microscope, to bear as large an Aperture as is desir'd.

Of this their way of Experimenting I will here produce these Examples.

Page  228

EXPERIMENTS Of the Weight of Bodies increased in the FIRE: Made at the Tower, and the Account brought in by my Lord BROVNCKER.

1. Copper and Lead.

 d.gr.
THe Coppel weighed10.8. 7/32
Lead4.9.
Copper0.6.
Into the fire all three14.23 7/32
Out of the fire15.4 /32
Gained0.5 /32

Besides what the Copel lost in weight, supposed to be about three grains.

2. Copper and Lead.

 d.gr.
Coppel10.2 ¾
Lead4.9.
Copper0.6.
Into the fire all three14.17 ¼
Out of the fire15.1 ••/32
Gained0.7 ••/32

Page  2293. Lead alone.

 d.gr.
Copel10.3 29/32
Lead4.9.
Into the fire both14.12 29/32
Out of the fire14.23 9/32
Gained0.10 ••/32

4. Lead alone.

 d.gr.
Copel10.10 ⅞
Lead4.9.
Into the fire both14.19 ⅞
Out of the fire15.1 5/64
Gained0.5 ••/64

5. Copel alone.

 d.gr.
Into the fire10.5.
Out of the fire10.1 /8
Lost0.3 ⅝

6. Copel alone.

 d. gr.
Into the fire10.wanting7 ¼
Out of the fire10.wanting9.
Lost0. 1 ¼

Page  230

EXPERIMENTS Of a Stone called OCVLVS MVNDI Made by Dr. GODDARD.

A Small Stone of the kind, called by some Authors Oculus Mundi, being dry and cloudy, weighed
5 gr. 200/256
The same being put under Water, for a night and somewhat more, became transparent, and, the superficies being wiped dry, weighed
6 gr. /256
The difference between these two weights
0. 50/256
The same Stone kept out of Water one day and be∣coming cloudy again, weighed
5. 225/256
which was more than the first weight
0. 16/256
The same being kept dry two dayes longer, weighed
5. 202/256
which was less than at first
0. 7/256
Being kept dry something longer, it did not grow sen∣sibly lighter.
Being put under Water for a night, and becoming again transparent, and wiped dry, the weight was
6. 3/256
the same with the first, after putting in Water, and more than the last weight, after keeping of it dry
0. 57/256
Another Stone of the same kind, being variegated with milky, white and grey, like some sort of Agates, while it lay under Water, was always invironed with little bub∣bles, such as appear in water before boyling, next the sides of the vessel.
Page  231There were also some of the like bubbles on the surface of the water just over it; as if either some Exhalations come out of it, or that it did excite some fermentation in the parts of the water contiguous to it.
There was little sensible difference of Transparency in this Stone, before the putting under Water, and after: To be sure the milky white parts continued as before, but more different in weight, than in the former. For whereas, before the putting into the water, the weight was-18 gr. ••/118 after it had lyen in about twenty four hours the weight was 20 gr. 27/123; so the difference was
1 gr 5/18
The same Stone was infused in the water scalding hot, and so continued for a while after it was cold, but got no more weight, than upon infusing in the cold; neither was there any sensible difference in the weight both times.
Page  232

An Account of a Dog dissected. By Mr. HOOK.

IN prosecution of some Inquiries into the Nature of Re∣spiration in several Animals; A Dog was dissected, and by means of a pair of bellows, and a certain Pipe thrust into the Wind-pipe of the Creature, the heart continued beating for a very long while after all the Thorax and Belly had been open'd, nay after the Diaphragme had been in great part cut away, and the Pericardium re∣mov'd from the heart. And from several tyrals made, it seem'd very probable, that this motion might have been continued, as long almost as there was any blood left with∣in the vessels of the Dog: for the motion of the Heart seem'd very little chang'd after above an hours times from the first displaying the Thorax; though we found, that upon removing the Bellows, the Lungs would presently grow flactid, and the Heart begin to have convulsive mo∣tions; but upon removing the motion of the Bellows, the Heart recovered its former motion, and the Convulsions ceased. Though I made a Ligature upon all the great Ve∣sels that went into the lower parts of its Body, I could not find any alteration in the pulse of the Heart; the cir∣culation, it seems, being perform'd some other way. I could not perceiue any thing distinctly, whether the Air did unite and mix with the Blood; nor did in the least per∣ceive the Heart to swell upon the extension of the Lungs: nor did the Lungs seem to swell upon the contraction of the Heart.

Page  [unnumbered]

[illustration]

Page  [unnumbered]Page  233

EXPERIMENTS Of the Recoiling of GUNS By the Lord BROVNCKER.

WHen I was commanded by this Society,*to make some Experiments of the Recoiling of Guns: In order to the discovery of the cause thereof, I caused this Engine that lyes here before you to be prepared, and with it (assisted by some of the most eminent of this So∣ciety) I had divers shots made in the Court of this Colledge, near the length thereof from the mark, with a full charge (about a fourpenny weight) of Powder; But without any other success, then that there was no∣thing Regular in that way, which was by laying it upon a heavy table, unto which it was sometimes fastned with Screws at all the four places R, L, V, B, sometimes on∣ly at R or L, having wheels affixed at L and V or R and B, that it might the more easily recoil.

This uncertainty I did then conceive might arise from one or more of these three causes, viz.

  • 1. The violent trembling motion of the Gun, whence the Bullet might casually receive some lateral impulse from the nose of the peece at the parting from it.
  • 2. The yielding of the Table which was sensible.
  • 3. The difficulty of aiming well by the Sight and But∣ton so far from the Mark.

Page  234Therefore to avoid all these, the Experiments I caus'd to be made before you in the Gallery of this Colledge, you may be pleased to remember were performed, first, taking only eight grains of Powder for the charge. Secondly, lay∣ing the Engine upon the floor, and thirdly, aiming by a thread at M, a mark about an Inch and ¾ from the mouth of the Gun (the edge of a knife being put for the mark the better to discern the line that was shot in) and they thus succeeded.

When the piece was fastned to the floor both at R and L, the Bullet then did so fully hit the mark, that it was divided by it into two parts, whose difference in weight was less than ten grains (about the thirty third part of the whole Bullet) although the lesser part was a little hol∣low, and that from which the neck of Lead was a little too close pared off: But when hindred from Recoiling only at R, the Bullet mist the mark towards L or A, for the whole Bullet, less than two grains excepted, went on that side: And in like manner when hindred from Re∣coiling at L, the Bullet mist the mark towards R or B, the whole Bullet, less than two grains excepted, passing the knife on that side thereof.

I had the honour to make other Experiments with the same Engine, lately at White-Hall before his Majesty and his Highness Royal within the Tilt-yard Gallery, where there is the hearth of a Chimney raised a little above the floor, about the distance of thirteen feet from the opposite wall, against which I caused a Plank to be placed, and the Engine to be laid first against the middle of the Hearth, that it might not recoil at all, and that part of the board to be marked against which 'twas levelled, known by a line stretched from the Breech of the Peece unto the Board, directly over the sight and button, and the fire be∣ing given (the charge being but eight grains of Powder Page  235 as before) the Bullet did fully hit the mark. Secondly, the Peece (charged and levelled in the same manner) was laid at the end of the Hearth next the Park, so that ve∣ry little of the corner R rested against it, and then the Bullet miss'd the mark about an inch and a quarter to∣wards the Park or A. The like being done at the other end of the Hearth, the Bullet then miss'd the mark as much the other way; and afterwards with double that charge something more, as before I had found it less with a smaller charge.

Since this (at first designing only to experiment the se∣veral distances that the bullet is carried wide of the mark with different charges of Powder) I made these Experiments following.

In the first Colume whereof you have the corner stopt from recoiling.

In the second the grains of Powder with which the Peece was charged.

In the third the distance the Bullet was shot wide from the mark in inches, tenths, and parts of tenths.

In the fourth the side on which the Bullet was car∣ried.

In the last the distance of the mark from the muzzle of the Gun in feet.

Page  236

B160.N9L480.5L9R390.3½L9R480.0N9
L161.7½R9L560.8L9R390.2L9R480.1L9
R161.5L9L961.2½L9R400.2L9L480.0¼R9
R121.5L9L961.5L9R400.0N9L416R9
L121.7½R9L400.5L9R400.2L9L41.5½R9
L81.6R9R960.9R9R960.6½R9R41.6L9
R81.1L9B80.2R9L961.0½L9R81.8L9
R41.0L9R960.6R9L961.0½L9L81.8R9
L41.1¼R9L960.9L9R960.7½R9L122.0R9
L241.1½R9L400.1¼L9R961.0R9R122.1L9
L320.6R9L380.1½R9R400.8L9R161.7½L9
L400.1½R9L390.0½L9L400.5R9L161.8R9
L480.4½L9R390.1L9L480.1R9L201.5R9
R201.0½L9R120.6L2R480.0¼L2L200.2R¼
R201.4L9R120.9¼L4L121.7R9L240.21/;R¼
R64¼0.7¼R9R121.2L6L120.2¼R¼L280.1R¼
L64¼0.9¼L9R121.5½L8L120.6½R2L320.1½R¼
L961.1L9R121.9L9L121.0R4L360.1¼R¼
R960.7R9B120.1L9L121.1¼R6L400.1R¼
R960.8R9R120.3L¼L480.0¼R¼L440.0½R¼
L961.3L9L120.3½R¼L480.1½L2L480.0½R¼
L961.3½L9L960.0½R¼L480.2½L4L520.0¼R¼
R120.3½L6R960.0½L¼L480.5½L6L560.0¼R¼
R121.3L9R960.2R2L40.1½R¼L600.0⅛R¼
L120.6¼R2L960.2L L40.1½R¼L640.0⅛R¼
L121.0¼R4L480.1½R¼L80.3¼R¼L960.0R¼
L121.2½R6L480.0N2L120.3R¼L961.1L9
L121.4½R8R480.1¼L¼L160.2¼R¼     

Page  237Whence you may be pleased to observe:

First, That the recoil of the Peece being hindred only at R or L, whatsoever be the charge of the Powder, the Bullet still misses the mark, placed at the mouth of the Gun, on the same side that the recoil is made.

Secondly, That about twelve grains of Powder shoots widest from the mark at all distances above mentioned, on the same side that the Recoil is made.

Thirdly, That above forty eight grains of Powder shoots wide from the mark, placed at nine foot from the muz∣zle of the Peece, on the contrary side to that on which the recoil is made.

The cause of the first I cannot doubt to be the recoil of the Peece (from the force of the Powder) before the Bullet be parted from it.

The second is, as I conceive, because with less than twelve grains the Peece ceaseth to recoil before the Bullet be parted from it. And with more than twelve grains the Bullet is parted from the Peece before it hath recoiled so far: A greater power not moving a greater weight swifter (horizontally) in the same proportion that it doth the lesser.

And for the third I have this to offer, viz Because the mouth of the Gun is moving sidewards whilst the Bullet is going out; Therefore the mouth of the Peece must be contiguous (at least) unto the Bullet on the con∣trary side to that on which the Peece recoils, some time after the separation made on the other side, and therefore the last impulse of the Bullet from the force of the Powder is on that side the Peece recoils, wherefore the Bullet must necessarily cross the Axis of the Peece, and that with a greater or lesser Angle, according to the force of the Pow∣der, & when this Angle therefore is greater than the An∣gle of recoil, then must the Axis of that Cylinder in which Page  238 the Bullet moues cross the Axis of the mark, beyond which interjection the mark being placed, the Bullet must be carried necessarily wide of the mark on the contrary side to the recoil of the Peece.

[illustration]

fek=flp=phm= the Angle of Recoile phn the Angle of Reflexi∣on made at the parting of the Bullet from the Peece. When phn>phm (mh being alwayes parallel to fg) then must hn enter∣sect fg if continued.

Some other Experiments I have also made with ano∣ther Peece (about the same length, but of a bore neer two tenths of an inch less) and ordered in the same manner, and do find, that with a small charge the Bullet is shot (thence too) wide of the mark on the same side on which the Recoil is made, and with a full charge wide the con∣trary side.

Page  239I caused besides two Pistol barrels of about five inches long to be placed upon Carriages with four Wheels,*and loaded with lead, that they might not overturn when dis∣charged, and both of equal weight, and an Iron Cylinder of the length of both their bores, and of the same diameter with a piece of Lead of weight equal to it. So that the piece of Lead affixed to either of these Guns (which of them I should please to charge) might equally poise the other with the Iron Cylinder. And thus indifferently charging either with eight grains more or less of Powder, and putting the Iron Cylinder home into both, the piece of Lead being affixed to that which held the Powder, and then both so set upon the floor and the Powder fired, I could not thereby discover, that the charged Peece, or the other, either of them, did certainly recoil more or less than the other, they rather seemed still to be equal.

These few Experiments I have made since, the Barrel being first cut at the muzzle, parallel to a vertical plain passing the line CD.

B480.8LR481.2L
B480.9LL480.2L
B160.1RL480.3L
B80.2R    
B80.N    

Page  240Besides these, there is another that I shall mention, and that is the Experiment it self, or the Double-Bottom'd-Ship, invented by Sir William Petty: of this I will venture to add a few words, and I think I may do it, without transgressing that Rule I had fix'd to my self, of not enlarging on the praise of particular Names, or Designs. For since the Experiment it self is lost, I hope I may securely speak of its advantages: seeing men are wont out of common humanity to al∣low the commendations of dead Men, I trust I may commend a wreck'd Ship, without any fear of the en∣vy that may thence arise to the Author. In brief there∣fore I will say this of it, that it was the most conside∣rable Experiment, that has been made in this Age of Experiments: if either we regard the great charge of the work, or the wonderful change it was likely to make in Navigation, or the great success, to which this first Attempt was arriv'd. Though it was at first con∣fronted with the doubts, and Objections of most Sea∣men of our Nation, yet it soon confuted them by Ex∣perience. It appear'd very much to excel all other forms of Ships, in sayling, in carriage, in security, and many other such benefits. Its first Voyage it perform'd with admirable swiftness. And though it miscarried after its return, yet it was destroyed by a common fate, and by such a dreadful tempest, as overwhelm'd a great Fleet the same night: so that the Antient Fa∣bricks of Ships have no reason to triumph over that new Model, when of the threescore and ten sail that were in the same Storm, there was not one escap'd to bring the News.

In a word, though this Invention succeeded not, while it was only supported by private Purses: it will undoubtedly produce great effects, if ever it shall Page  241 be retreiv'd upon the publick Stock of a Nation: which will be able to sustain the first hazards, and losses that must be allow'd to happen in the begin∣nings of all extraordinary Trials.

To their Experiments I will subjoin their Observa∣tions,* which differ but in name from the other, the same fidelity, and truth being regarded in collecting them both.

Observations of the fix'd Stars for the perfecting of Astronomy, by the help of Telescopes: of the Comets in 1665, and 1666. which were made both in London, and elsewhere; and particularly of the first Comet, for above a month after, it disappear'd to the naked eye, and became Stationary, and Retrograde.

Observations about Saturn, of the proportion, and position of its Ring, of the Motion and Orbit of its Lunale, of the shadow of the Ring on the Body, and of the Body on the Ring; and of its Phases, &c. of Iu∣piters Belts, and of its spots, and verticity about its Axis, of its eclipsing its Satellites, and being eclips'd by them; of the Orbs, Inclinations, Motions, &c. of the Satellites, together with Tables, and Ephemerides of their motions.

Observations of the Spots about the Body of Mars, and of its whirling motion about its Center: of se∣veral Eclipses of the Sun, and Moon, and some of them as were not taken notice of, by Astronomers, or Ta∣bles commonly us'd: of the Spots in the Moon, and of the several appearances in the Phases of it: of the Moon at the same time, by Correspondents in several parts of the World, towards the finding her Parallax, and distance.

Observations of the Eliptical and waved Figures Page  242 of the Planetary Bodies, neer the Horizon from the re∣fraction of the Hemisphere: of the effects of Light∣ning: of the various pressure of the Atmosphere, by a Wheel-barometer for several years, and of its usefulness for predicting the changes of Weather.

Observations on frozen Beer: on the Figures of Snow frozen Water, Vrine congeal'd: on the suspen∣sion of Mercury at a great height: on Mines, and Mi∣nerals: on the Concretions of Wood, Plants, Shells, and several Animal Substances: on the effects of Earthquakes, Fiery Eruptions, and Inundations: on Lakes, Mountains, Damps, subterraneous Fires: on Tides, Currents, and the Depth of the Sea.

Observations of the liming of Ground, for improve∣ment of the Bodies of Sheep, but spoiling their Wool: of several wayes for preventing smutty Corn: of the importance of changing Seed-corn: of the alteration of the Horns of Sheep, and other Cattel, by the change of Pasture: of the Pores and Valies in Wood: the Anatomy of Trees: of the sensitive, and humble Plant.

Observations on the Bills of Mortality: on the leaves of Sage: on small living Flies in the Powder of Cantharides: of Insects bred in Dew: of Virginian Silk-Bottoms: of the Parts, and Anatomy of Fishes: of the Teeth of Lupus Marinus, that they are the same thing with the Toad-stones set in Rings: of the Re∣spiration of Fishes: of Bernacles: of the calcin'd Powder of Toads: of an Outlandish Deer-skin, and hair: of the Parts of Vipers: of Stones taken out of the Heart of a Man: of young Vipers, that they do not eat holes through their old ones Bellies, as is com∣monly affirm'd.

For Examples of this Head, I will only refer my Page  243 Reader to those which Mr. Graunt has publish'd on the Bills of Mortality; wherein the Author has shewn, that the meanest and most trivial matters may be so cultivated, as to bear excellent Fruit, when they come under the management of an accurate, and prudent Observer: For from those Papers, which went about so many years, through every Tradesmans hands, without any manner of profit, except only to the Clerks that collected them, he has deduc'd many true Conclusions, concerning the gravest, and most weighty Parts of Civil Government, and humane Na∣ture.

As I am now passing away from their Experiments.* and Observations, which have been their proper, and principal work: there comes before me an Objection, which is the more to be regarded, because it is rais'd by the Experimenters themselves. For it is their com∣mon complaint, that there is a great nicety, and con∣tingency, in the making of many Experiments: that their success is very often various, and inconstant, not only in the hands of different, but even of the same Triers. From hence they suggest their fears, that this continuance of Experimenters, of which we talk so much, will not prove so advantageous, though they shall be all equally cautious in observing, and faithful in recording their Discoveries: because it is probable, that the Trials of Future Ages will not agree with those of the present, but frequently thwart, and con∣tradict them.

The Objection is strong, and material; and I am so far from diminishing the weight of it, that I am ra∣ther willing to add more to it. I confess many Expe∣riments are obnoxious to failing; either by reason of Page  244 some circumstances, which are scarce discernable, till the work be over: or from the diversity of Materi∣als, whereof some may be genuine, some sophisticated, some simple, some mix'd, some fresh, some may have lost their virtue. And this is chiefly remarkable, in Chy∣mical Operations, wherein if the dissolvents be ill pre∣par'd, if the Spirits be too much, or too little purify'd, if there be the least alteration, in the degree of Fire, the quantity of Matter, or by the negligence of those that attend it, the whole course will be overthrown, or chang'd from its first purpose.

But what is now to be concluded from hence? shall this instability, and Casualty of Experiments, deter us from labouring in them at all? or should it not rather excite us to be more curious and watchful in their process? It is to be allow'd that such underta∣kings are wonderfully hazardous and difficult; why else does the Royal Society indeavour to preserve them from degenerating, by so many forewarnings, and rules, and a Method so severe? It is granted, that their event is often uncertain, and not answerable to our expectations. But that only ought to admonish us, of the indispensable necessity of a jealous, and exact Inquiry. If the uncertainty proceeded from a constant irregularity of Nature, we had reason then to despair: but seeing it for the most part arises only from some defect or change in our progress, we should thence learn, first to correct our own miscarriages, before we cease to hope for the success.

Let then the Experiment be often renew'd. If the same kinds, and proportions of Ingredients be us'd, and the same circumstances be punctually observ'd, the effect without all question will be the same. If some little variation of any of these, has made any altera∣tion, Page  245 a judicious, and well practis'd Trier will soon be able to discern the cause of it; and to rectifie it, upon the next repetition. If the difference of time, or place, or matter, or Instruments, will not suffer the pro∣duct to be just the same in all points: yet something else will result, that may prove perhaps as beneficial. If we cannot alwayes arrive at the main end of our Labours, some less unsought Curiosities will arise. If we cannot obtain that which shall be useful for pra∣ctice, there may something appear that may in∣struct.

It is strange that we are not able to inculcate into the minds of many men, the necessity of that distin∣ction of my Lord Bacons, that there ought to be Ex∣periments of Light, as well as of Fruit. It is their usu∣al word, What solid good will come from thence? They are indeed to be commended for being so severe Ex∣actors of goodness. And it were to be wish'd, that they would not only exercise this vigour, about Expe∣riments, but on their own lives▪ and actions: that they would still question with themselves, in all that they do; what solid good will come from thence? But they are to know, that in so large, and so various an Art as this of Experiments, there are many degrees of usefulness: some may serve for real, and plain benefit, without much delight: some for teaching without apparent profit: some for light now, and for use here∣after; some only for ornament, and curiosity. If they will persist in contemning all Experiments; except those which bring with them immediate gain, and a present harvest: they may as well cavil at the Provi∣dence of God, that he has not made all the seasons of the year, to be times of mowing, reaping, and vin∣tage.

Page  246*Of the variety, and excellence of the Instruments, with which this Age abounds, for their help in Philo∣sophical matters, I have already discoursed in the for∣mer Part. I will now go on to mention those new ones, which they themselves, or some of their Mem∣bers, have either invented, or advanc'd, for the ease, strength, and direction of their senses, in the motions of Nature, and Art: of this kind are these that fol∣low.

An Instrument for finding a second of Time by the Sun: another for finding the Celestial Refracti∣ons.

Three several Quadrants made after three new contrivances, which though they are not above eigh∣teen Inches in Diameter, and so are manageable in any Window, or Turret, are yet far more exact, than the best, that have been hitherto us'd, for Astronomical Observations, or taking Angles at Land.

A new Instrument for taking Angles by reflection; by which means the Eye at the same time sees the two Objects, both as touching in the same point, though distant almost to a Semicircle: which is of great use for making exact Observations at Sea.

A new kind of Back-staff for taking the Suns alti∣tude by the Shadow, and Horizon: which is so con∣triv'd, that though the shadow be at three foot di∣stance, or as much more as is desir'd, yet there shall not be the least Penumbra: and the Shadow may be easi∣ly distinguish'd to the fourth part of a minute.

A Hoop of all the fix'd Stars in the Zodiac, for the speedy finding the Position of the Ecliptic, and for knowing the extent of the Constellations.

A Copernican Sphere, representing the whirling Page  247 Motion of the Sun, and the Motion of the several Planets.

A great many new wayes of making Instruments, for keeping time very exactly, both with Pendulums, and without them: whereby the intervals of time may be measur'd both on the Land, and Sea.

A universal Standard, or measure of Magnitudes, by the help of a Pendulum, never before attempt∣ed.

A new kind of Pendulum Clock, wherein the Pen∣dulum moves circularly, going with the most simple, and natural motion, moving very equally, and making no kind of noise.

A Pendulum Clock shewing the aequation of Time.

Three new wayes of Pendulums for Clocks, and se∣veral wayes of applying the motion of the Watch∣work to them.

Several new kinds of Pendulum Watches for the Pocket, wherein the motion is regulated, by Springs, or Weights, or Loadstones, or Flies moving very ex∣actly regular.

Several sorts of Instruments for compressing, and rarefying the Air: A Wheel-Barometer, and other Instruments for finding the pressure of the Air, and serving to predict the changes of the Weather.

A new kind of Scales, for examining the gravity of Bodies in all places: to see whether the attraction of the Earth, be not greater in some parts of the Earth, than in others, and whether it do not decrease, at farther distances from the surface of the Earth; either upwards into the Air, or downwards under the Earth.

A very exact pair of Scales, for trying a great num∣ber of Magnetical Experiments.

Page  248Several very accurate Beams, for trying many Sta∣tical Experiments, and for finding the most exact gra∣vity of several kinds of Bodies.

A great number of Magnetical Instruments, for ma∣king Experiments about Loadstones.

Several new kinds of Levels for finding the true Horizon, where, by one of not above a foot length, the Horizontal line may be found, without the error of many seconds.

A new kind of Augar for boring the ground, and fetching up whatever it meets with in the right or∣der.

A new Instrument for fetching up any Substance from the bottom of the Sea, whether Sand, Shels, Clay, Stones, Minerals, Metals.

A new Bucket for examining and fetching up what∣ever Water is to be found at the bottom of the Sea, or at any dept, and for bringing it up without mix∣ing with the other Water of the Sea, through which it passes.

Two new wayes of sounding the depth of the Sea without a Line, for examining the greatest dept of the Ocean, in those parts of it, that are most remote from the Land.

Several Instruments for finding the velocity of swimming Bodies of several Figures, and mov'd with divers strengths, and for trying what Figures are least apt to be overturn'd, in order to the making a true Theory, of the Forms of Ships, and Boats for all uses.

An Instrument of great height, with Glass-windows on the sides, to be fill'd with Water, for examining the velocity of Bodies of several Substances, Figures and Magnitudes, by their descent.

Page  249An Instrument for measuring, and dividing the time of their Descent, to the accurateness of two, or three thirds of time, serving also for examining the swiftness of Bodies descending through the Air, and of Bodies shot by a Gun, or Bow.

A Bell for diving under water to a great depth, wherein a man has continued at a considerable depth under water, for half an hour, without the least in∣convenience.

Another Instrument for a Diver, wherein he may continue long under water, and may walk to and fro, and make use of his strength, and limbs, almost as free∣ly as in the Air.

A new sort of Spectacles, whereby a Diver may see any thing distinctly under Water.

A new way of conveighing the Air under Water, to any Depth, for the use of Divers.

An Instrument for measuring the swiftness, and strength of the Wind.

An Instrument for the raising a continual stream of Water, by turning round a moveable valve, within the hollow of a close Cylindrical Barrel.

Several kinds of Thermometers for discovering the heat, and cold of the Air, or any other Liquors: a Thermometer for examining all the degrees of heat in Flames, and Fires, made of several Substances; as al∣so the degrees of heat requisite to melt Soder, Lead, Tin, Silver, Brass, Iron, Copper, Gold.

A Standard for Cold several wayes.

An Instrument for planting of Corn.

Four several sorts of Hygroscopes made with several Substances, for discovering the drowth, and moisture of the Air.

Several kinds of ways to examine the goodness, and badness of Waters.

Page  250Several Engines for finding, and determining the force of Gun-powder, by Weights, Springs, Sliding, &c.

An Instrument for receiving, and preserving the force of Gun-powder, so as to make it applicable, for the performing of any motion desir'd.

Several Instruments for examining the recoiling, true carriage, and divers other proprieties of Guns.

Several kinds of Otocousticons, or Instruments to im∣prove the sense of hearing.

Several Models of Chariots, and other Instruments, for Progressive Motion.

A Chariot-way-wiser, measuring exactly the length of the way of the Chariot, or Coach to which it is ap∣ply'd.

An Instrument for making Screws with great di∣spatch.

A way of preserving the most exact impression of a Seal, Medal, Sculpture; and that in a Metal harder than Silver.

An Instrument for grinding Optick-glasses: a dou∣ble Telescope: several excellent Telescopes of divers lengths, of six, twelve, twenty eight, thirty six, sixty foot long, with a convenient Apparatus for the mana∣ging of them: and several contrivances in them for measuring the Diameters, and parts of the Planets, and for finding the true position, and distance of the small fix'd Stars, and Satellites.

Towards the exactness of all manner of these Op∣tick-glasses, the English have got a great advantage of late years, by the Art of making Glass, finer, and more serviceable for Microscopes, and Telescopes, than that of Venice. This Invention was brought into our Coun∣try, Page  251 and practis'd here, by the care, and expence of the Duke of Buckingham; whom the Author of these Papers ought to mention with all honour; both for his Skill and Zeal in advancing such Experimental Stu∣dies of which I am writing: and also because it has been by the favour of so great a Patron, that I have injoy'd the leisure, and convenience of composing this History.

As soon as they were reduc'd into a Fix'd Assembly,* one of the Principal Intentions they propos'd to ac∣complish, was a General Collection of all the Effects of Arts, and the Common, or Monstrous Works of Na∣ture. This they at first began by the casual Presents, which either Strangers, or any of their own Members bestow'd upon them. And in short time it has in∣creas'd so fast, by a contribution from all Parts, and chiefly by the bounty of Mr. Colwal, that they have already drawn together into one Room, the greatest part of all the several kinds of things, that are scat∣ter'd throughout the Vniverse. The Keeping, and Ranging of these into order, is committed to Mr. Hook, who had also the honour of being made the first Curator of the Royal Society by electi∣on. This Repository he has begun to reduce under its several heads, according to the exact Method of the Ranks of all the Species of Nature, which has been compos'd by Doctor Wilkins, and will shortly be pub∣lish'd in his Vniversal Language: A Work wherein this excellent Man has undertaken a Design, that very well fits the temper of his own Mind; for it well became him to teach a Communion of Speech a∣mongst all Philosophers; whose chief study it has al∣wayes been, to promote a general agreement, and Page  252 correspondence amongst all Virtuous and Wise men.

This Book had sooner seen the light, if part of it had not perish'd in the Fire. Of its use and accurate composition there is no man can doubt, that has ever heard the name of the Author: of whom, if I had not at first restrain'd my self from particular commenda∣tions, I might have said very much in his praise, which deserves to be known to all the World, and to be the first Experiment of his own Vniversal Language.

* Having well succeeded in this their purpose of col∣lecting divers patterns of all Natural, and Artificial things: they have also (amongst others) appointed a Committee, whose chief employment shall be to read over whatever Books have been written on such sub∣jects. By this means they hope speedily to observe, and digest into Manuscript volumes, all that has been hitherto try'd, or propounded in such studies. This is the only help that an Experimenter can receive from Books: which he may still use, as his Guides, though not as his Masters. For this end they have begun a Library consisting only of such Authors, as may be ser∣viceable to their Design. To this there has been late∣ly made a great Addition, by the Munificent Gift of Mr. Henry Howard of Norfolk, who has bestow'd on the Society the whole Arundelian Library, containing several hundreds of choice Manuscripts, besides some thousands of other Books of all kinds. And because many of them belong'd to other Professions, this No∣ble Benefactor has given them with a free permission of changing them for others, that shall be more pro∣per for their Work: Whereby they will shortly be able to shew a compleat Collection of all that has been Page  253 publish'd in the Antient, or Modern Tongues, which either regards the productions of Nature, or the effects of all Manual Arts.

Nor is this the only bounty which this Illustrious Person has conferr'd on the Royal Society; since by the firing of London, the first place of their meeting has been restor'd to its original use, and made an Ex∣change, he has afforded them a retreat in his own house, where they assemble at this present: By which favour he has added a new honour to the antient No∣bility of his Race: one of his Ancestors had before adorn'd that place with many of the best Monu∣ments of Antiquity: And now by entertaining these new discoveries under his Roof, his Family deserves the double praise of having cherish'd both the old, and new Learning; so that now methinks in Arundel house, there is a perfect representation, what the Real Philosophy ought to be: As there we behold new In∣ventions to flourish amongst the Marbles, and Images of the Dead: so the present Arts, that are now rising, should not aim at the destruction of those that are past, but be content to thrive in their company.

It will not I hope be expected,* that I should present my Reader an Index of all the several Writings, which have at any time been publish'd by the Members of the Royal Society I shall omit those, which either were printed before the beginning of this Institution, or which treat of matters, that have no relation to their Design. Only I will say in general, that there is scarce any Art, or Argument, which has ever been the sub∣ject of humane Wit, of which I might not produce In∣stances, that some Fellows of this Society have given good proofs of their labours in it: of those Discour∣ses,Page  254 which have been since compos'd by some of their Body, or read before their weekly Assemblies, and di∣rectly concern the advancement of their Work, these are the principal.

Several Hypotheses explaining the divers Phases and Motions, and other Phaenomena of the Comets.

Several Hypotheses of Saturn, and its Satelles.

An Hypothesis of the cause of the Rugosity of the Moons surface.

An Hypothesis of the motion of the Moon, and of the Sea depending upon it.

An Hypothesis of the Motion of the Planets, and of Circular Motion in general.

Several Hypotheses for the Aequation of Time.

A Discourse about the possibility of the Retardati∣on of Coelestial Motions, and of their going slower, and slower, the longer they last.

A Discourse of making the several Vibrations of a Pendulum aequal, by making the weight of it move in a Cycloid instead of a Circle.

Several Discourses, and Hypotheses about the length of a Pendulum, for moving once in a second of Time.

A Discourse of the most convenient length of a Pen∣dulum, for making a Standard for a universal Measure.

Several Astronomical Discourses of Mr. Horrex re∣triv'd, and digested for the Press.

Vleg Beg translated, about the places of the fix'd Stars, and several other Astronomical Observations.

A Discourse about the possibility of the change of the attractive power of the Earth, and consequently of the variation of the vibrative motion of Pendu∣lums.

A Discourse about short inclining Pendulums, and of other Pendulums counterpois'd above the Center of Page  255Motion, and of others lying Horizontal in the manner of a Beam.

An Hypothesis about Fire, and Flame.

An Hypothesis, and discourse of the gravity, pres∣sure, and spring of the Air.

A Discourse of an Air Register.

Several Discourses Mathematical, and Philosophi∣cal, upon the Experiment of raising great weights by the Breath.

A Discourse and Demonstration against a propos'd Method of doubling the Cube, and of finding two mean Proportionals.

Several Discourses about Thermometers, Hygroscopes, Baroscopes, and other Weather-wisers.

An Hypothesis and Discourse of the Inflection and inflective veins of the Air, and of the fitness, and unfit∣ness of the Air for Coelestial Observations.

An Hypothesis of the Form, and Spring of the Air.

A Discourse of the different parts of the same Wa∣ter, and of the difference of Waters.

A Discourse and Hypothesis of Filtration, and of the Congruity, and Incongruity of Bodies.

A Discourse of the possible height of the Air, and of its proportionable rarefaction upwards.

An Hypothetical Discourse about the suspension of the Clouds, and their pressure.

An Hypothesis, and Discourse of Earthquakes.

A Discourse of Petrifactions, and an Hypothesis for explaining the several varieties of such Bodies.

Several Discourses about the Loadstone, and an Hy∣pothesis for salving its appearances.

A Discourse about the Pores of Stones.

A Discourse about Eggs.

A Discourse concerning the Glass-drops.

Page  256A Discourse and Hypothesis of annealing, and temper∣ing Steel.

Discourses about Cyder, and Coffee.

A Discourse of the original of Forms.

An Hypothesis of Light.

A Discourse and Hypothesis of the Nature and Pro∣prieties of Colours.

A Discourse about improving Wood for Dying, and for fixing Colours.

A Discourse about the improvement of Musick.

A Discourse of the differing Heat of Summer, and Winter:

A Discourse, and Hypothesis about Fluidity.

Discourses upon several Mercurial Experiments.

Discourses of Hydrostaticks.

Discourses about the force of falling Bodies.

A Treatise of the motion of the Muscles.

A Discourse of the usefulness of Experimental Phi∣losophy.

A Treatise of the vanity of Dogmatizing.

The Sceptical Chymist.

Essayes about Salt-peter.

The Parallel of the Antient, and Modern Archi∣tecture.

Microscopical Observations.

Micrographia, or a Discourse of things discover'd by a Microscope.

Three Books of Feavors, of the Brain, and of the Scurvy, which I will alledge as the great Instances of this head: Wherein the Famous Author has with ac∣curate diligence made prodigious improvements in all the parts of Physick, and shewn that the largeness of his Knowledge in it, is equal to the happy success of his practice.

Page  257In this Collection of their Discourses, and Treatises, my Reader beholding so many to pass under the name of Hypotheses, may perhaps imagine that this consists not so well with their Method, and with the main purpose of their Studies, which I have often re∣peated to be chiefly bent upon the Operative, rather than the Theoretical Philosophy. But I hope he will be satisfied, if he shall remember, that I have already re∣mov'd this doubt, by affirming, that whatever Prin∣ciples, and Speculations they now raise from things, they do not rely upon them as the absolute end, but only use them as a means of farther Knowledge. This way the most speculative Notions, and Theorems that can be drawn from matter, may conduce to much profit. The light of Science, and Doctrines of cau∣ses, may serve exceeding well to promote our Experi∣menting; but they would rather obscure, than illu∣minate the mind, if we should only make them the perpetual Objects of our Contemplation: as we see the light of the Sun, is most beneficial to direct our footsteps in walking, and our hands in working, which would certainly make us blind, if we should only continue fix'd, and gazing on its Beams.

The Histories they have gather'd are either of Na∣ture,*Arts, or Works. These they have begun to col∣lect by the plainest Method, and from the plainest In∣formation. They have fetch'd their Intelligence from the constant and unerring use of experienc'd Men of the most unaffected, and most unartificial kinds of life. They have already perform'd much in this way, and more they can promise the world to accomplish in a very short space of Time.

There are already brought in to them the HistoryPage  258 of Comets in general, and especially of the two last: The History of English Mines, and Oars: and particu∣larly two several Histories of Tinneries and Tin-work∣ing.

The Histories of Iron-making: of Lignum Fossile: of Saffron: of Alkermes: of Verdigreace: of whi∣ting of Wax: of Cold: of Colours: of Fluidity, and firmness.

The Histories of Refining: of making Copperas: of making Allum: of Salt-peter: of making Latten: of Lead: of making Salt out of Sea-water: of re∣fining Gold: of making Pot-Ashes: of making Ce∣ruse: of making Brass: of Painting, and Limning: of Calcography: of Enamelling: of Varnishing: of Dying.

The Histories of making Cloth: of Worsted-Combers: of Fullers: of Tanners, and Leather-ma∣king: of Glovers, and Leather-dressing: of Parch∣ment, and Vellum-making, and the way of making transparent Parchment: of Paper-making: of Hat∣ters: of making Marble-paper: of the Rowling-Press.

The Histories of making Bread: of Malt: of brew∣ing Beer and Ale in several places: of Whale-fishing: of the Weather for several years: of Wind-mills, and other Mills in Holland: of Masonry: of Pitch and Tar: of Maiz: of Vintners: of Shot: of ma∣king Gun-powder: and of making some, that is twenty times as strong as the common Pistol-pow∣der.

The two last of these were communicated to the Royal Society by the favour of Prince Rupert; whom I take the boldness to mention here, for his excellent Knowledge, and use in all manner of Mechanical Page  259 Operations. But his name will be recorded in all the Histories of this time, for greater works, for many glorious Enterprises by Sea and Land, and for the Im∣mortal Benefits whereby he has oblig'd the English Nation.

The Instances that I shall give of this their manner of collecting Histories, shall be, of Works, that of Salt-peter, of Arts, that of Dying, of Nature, that of Oysters: which last may perhaps seem a subject too mean to be particularly alledg'd; but to me it appears worthy to be produc'd. For though the British Oysters have been famous in the World, ever since this Island was discover'd, yet the skill how to order them aright, has been so little consider'd amongst our selves, that we see at this day, it is confin'd to some few narrow Creeks of one single County.

Page  260

THE HISTORY Of the Making of SALT-PETER By Mr. HENSHAW.

WHether the Nitre of the Antients be of the same species with the Salt which is com∣monly known by the name of Salt peter, is various∣ly disputed by very learned Authors amongst the modern Physitians: on the negative side are Ma∣thiolus and Bellonius; the latter of which had the advantage, by the opportunity of his travels in E∣gypt, to have often seen and handled them both, and is so positive as to pronounce, that in all Christen∣dom there is not one grain of Nitre to be found, un∣less it be brought from other parts, although at the time of his being in Grand Caire (which was about the year 1550.) it was so common there (as he sayes) that ten pounds of it would not cost a Mordin. Among those that hold the affirmative, the most eminent are Cardan and Longius; and it should seem the general vote of Learned men hath been most favourable to that Opinion, by reason that in all Latine Relations and Prescriptions, the word Nitrum or Halinitrum is most commonly used for Salt-peter.

Page  261

I have often enquired amongst our London Drugsters for Egyptian Nitre, and if I had been so fortunate as to have found any, I doubt not but I should have been able to have put an end to that Question by a Demonstration; that is, by turning the greatest part of it into Salt-peter. However, the Observations I have made in my own private Experiments, and in the practice of Salt-peter men and Refiners of Salt-peter, seem to give me suffici∣ent ground to suspect, that the confidence of those, who hold them to be several Salts, proceedeth chiefly from their being unacquainted with the various 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of Salt-peter in the making and re∣fining of it: and also their comparing double re∣fined Salt-peter (of which Gunpowder is made) with that description of Nitrum and Aprhonitrum in the tenth chapter of the one and thirtieth Book of Plinies Natural History (the only tolerable ac∣compt of that Salt that hath been handed to us from Antiquity) where he tells us, That Aphroni∣trum was Colore penè purpureo, and Egyptian Nitre Fuscum & Lapidosum, adding afterward, Sunt ibi Nitrariae in quibus rufum exit a colore terrae, which is sufficient to have hinted to any one but mode∣rately versed in the modern way of ordering Salt-peter, that the Antients were not at all skilled in re∣fining their Nitre from the Earth and common Salt that is usually mingled with it, nor from that foul yellow Oyl, which, it seems, did accompany their Nitre, as well as it doth our Salt-peter, in great a∣bundance; for Pliny takes notice of it, when he mentions the removing the Nitre (after it is grain∣ed) out of the Nitrariae, saying, Hic quoque natura olei intervenit, ad scabiem animalium utilis: And Page  262 indeed this greasie Oyl (which the Workmen call Mother of Salt-peter, and perhaps is but the crude and unripe part of it) doth by nature so wonder∣fully adhere to every part else of the Peter (it may be ordained for the nutriment and augmenta∣tion of it) that the separation of it is the sole cause of the great charge and labour that is required to the refining of Peter: otherwise the Peter will be yellow, or brown, or some other dark colour. And Scaliger in his 104. Exercit. sect. 15. saith, Sublu∣stris purpurae quasi splendor quidam in salis-petrae-ter∣ris sepenumero est a nobis observatus; and he that shall boyl a Lixivium past through a Salt-peter-earth, up to a consistence, without filtring it through ashes, or giving the Salt leave to Chrystal∣lize, may perhaps find something not unlike the Ni∣tre of the Antients.

To make this doubt yet clearer, it will require your patience to observe a few short remains out of the same Pliny, concerning the production of Nitre; saith he, Exiguum Nitri fit apud Medos, candescenti∣bus siccitate convallibus quod vocant Halmirhaga: minus etiam in Thracia juxta Philippos sordidum Terra quod appellant Agrium.

This agrees very exactly with what I have been informed of by a Refiner of Salt-peter, that near Sophia, Santa-Cruz, and several other places in Bar∣bary, he hath seen Salt-peter shoot out of the ground (as thick and white as a hoar frost) on many bar∣ren and desart Lands; only he adds, that this hap∣pens not till the beginning of the rains in August, or September; and that it is the falling of the fresh∣water that causes the Salt-peter to shoot out into little Chrystals; and that the people of the Coun∣try Page  263 do no more but take it off the ground as clean as they can, and sell it to Merchant-Strangers. This is, sayes he, the Barbary Peter, which the Refiners buy commonly at twenty shillings per Cent.

Much after the same manner (by the relation of an India Merchant) is that great quantity of Pe∣ter produced, which of late years hath been brought into England, and other parts of Christen∣dom, from about Pegu in East-India, saving that the Natives do refine it once, before they sell it to the Merchants: But being not so skilful, to discharge it from the common Salt, which attends Peter, our Workmen do refine it again, before it be fit for Gun-powder.

The next remarque out of Pliny is, Aquae vero Nitrosae pluribus in locis reperiuntur, sed sine viribus Densandi (he means by the heat of the Sun in those places) Optimum Copiosumque in Clytis Macedoniae quod vocant Chalastricum candidum purumque proxi∣mum sali. Lacus est Nitrosus, exiliente è medio dulci fonticulo, ibi fit Nitrum circa Canis ortum, novenis diebus, totidemque cessat, & rursus innatat & deinde cessat, iis autem diebus quibus gignitur si fuëre imbres salsius Nitrum faciunt, Aquilones deterius quia Vali∣dius commovent limum. In Egypto autem confici∣tur multò abundantius sed deterius, nam suscum lapi∣dosumque est, fit penè eodem modo quo Sal: nisi quod Salinis mare infundunt, Nilum autem Ni∣trariis.

How such great plenty of Nitre should be found in the Waters above mention'd will be no difficulty to conjecture, if we consider that Lakes are the re∣ceptacles of Land floods, and that great Rains may easily bring it to the Lake in Macedonia, from the Page  264 higher parts in the Country about it. And for the River Nile, there must needs be less scruple con∣cerning it, if we call to mind that once in a year, it sweeps with an impetuous overflow the burnt and barren Desarts of Africa under the Torrid Zone; where, by the relation of Travellers, those Sands are visibly full of Nitre, and those few Springs and Wells that are to be found there, are by that rea∣son so bitter, that the Mores and their Camels are forced to make a hard shift with them in their long journeys.

But when he comes to describe the Aphronitrum, he comes more home, both to the name and nature of our Salt-peter, in these words, Proxima aetas Me∣dicorum tradidit, Aphronitrum in Asia Colligi in speluncis & molibus distillans, dein sole siccant. And Scaliger speaking of Salt-peter, sayes, Est quaedam Nitri species inhaerens Rupibus, in quibus insolatur, ac propterea Salpetra dicitur. And I my self, for my own satisfaction in the point, have drawn very good Rock peter out of those Stiriae, which are usually found hanging like Icycles in Arched-cel∣lars and Vaults; and have been told, that a Phy∣sitian in Shropshire did perform great Cures by ver∣tue of Sal-prunellae, which he made only of Flower of Brimstone and those Stiriae.

But to steer more directly upon our immediate subject, Salt-peter; though it be likely, that the Air is every where full of a volatile kind of Nitre, which is frequently to be seen coagulated into fine white Salt, like Flower of Wheat (but by the ve∣ry taste may be easily known to be Peter) sticking to the sides of Plastred-walls, and in Brick-walls to the Mortar between the Bricks, (in dry wea∣ther, Page  265 or where the wall is defended from the rain) for Lime doth strongly attract it; though Dew and Rain do conveigh much of it to the Earth, and the Clouds seem to be spread out before the face of the Sun, either to imbibe some part of his influence, or to have a Salt generated in them, for to advance the fertility of the Earth, and certainly they return not without a blessing; for I have more than once extracted Salt peter out of Rain and Dew, but from the latter more plentifully, and yet even there, is Salt-peter accompanied with a greazy purple Oyl, in great plenty: Though (as I have found upon tryal) that most standing waters, and even deep Wells have some small quantity of Salt-peter in them; though the face of the Earth, if it were not impregnated with this Salt, could not produce Ve∣getables; for Salt (as the Lord Bacon sayes) is the first Rudiment of Life; and Nitre is as it were the life of Vegetables: Yet to be more sure of it, I made Experiment likewise there too, and found some little of it in fallows, and the Earth which Moles cast up in the Spring: Though I say the Air and Water want it not, yet is it not there to be had in any proportion, answerable to the charge in get∣ting it: And though the Earth must necessarily have great quantities thereof, generated or infused into it; yet in these temperate Countreys of Eu∣rope, it is no sooner dilated by Rain-water, or the Moisture of the Earth, but it is immediately apply∣ed to the production or nutriment of some Plant, Insect, Stone, or Mineral; so that the Artist will find as little of it here to serve his turn, as in the other two Elements.

The only place therefore, where Salt-peter is to Page  266 be found in these Northern Countries, is in Stables, Pigeon-houses, Cellars, Barns, Ware-houses, or indeed any place, which is covered from the Rain, which would dissolve it, and (as I have said) make it vegetate; as also from the Sun, which doth rarifie it, and cause it to be exhaled into the Air; (For the same reason Husbandmen also might make dou∣ble or treble the profit they usually do of their Muck, if they would lay it up under a Hovel, or some covered place, until they carry it out upon their Land.) And I have been told by an experi∣enced Workman, that no place yields Peter so plen∣tifully, as the Earth in Churches, were it not an im∣piety to disturb the Ashes of our Ancestours, in that sacred Depository.

Provided alwayes, that the Earth be of good mould, and the better the mould is, the more Peter is produc'd, for in Clay or sandy Earth, little or none is to be found: The freer ingress the Air hath into a place, is still of more advantage, so that the Sun be excluded: And let the Earth be never so good, if it be laid on a brick or boarded floor, it will not be so rich in Peter, as if it have free communi∣cation with the Exhalations of the lower parts of the Earth.

In any place thus qualified, you cannot miss of good quantities of Peter, if it have not been drawn out in some years before; which a Workman will quickly find, after he hath digged the first spadeful of Earth, by laying a little of it on the end of his tongue, and if it tast bitter, he is sure of good store of mineral, (as they love to call it) that is, Salt-peter; if the Ground be good, it continues rich, to six or eight foot deep, and sometimes, but not often, to ten.

Page  267

After the Salt-peter is extracted, if the Earth be laid wet into the same place again, it will be twenty years ere any considerable quantity grow there of it; but if the Earth be well dryed, it will come in twelve or fourteen: and if they mingle, with the dryed Earth store of Pigeons-dung, and mellow Horse-dung, and then temper it with Urine (as was usual before we were supplied with Peter from In∣dia) it will be fit to dig again in five or six years. He that shall cast Water upon a Ground fit to dig for Peter, will only sink the Mineral deeper into the Earth; but he that throws Soap-suds on it, will quite destroy the Peter, (as the Workmen have a Tradition) and it very well deserves a further En∣quiry.

That Salt-peter, and the way of drawing it out of the Earth, now in use, was a modern Invention, is generally concluded by all Authors; but whether we owe it to chance, or the sagacity of some great Wit, is as unknown, as the time when it was first dis∣covered.

It seems to have many years preceeded the Inven∣tion of Gunpowder, which by the Germans is ascri∣bed to Constantine Autlitzer, or Berthold Schwertz a Monk of Friburgh, and was, in all probability, not long discovered, when the Inventor (as Polydore Virgil tells us) taught the use of Guns, to the Vene∣tians, at the Battel of Fossa Claudia, when they ob∣tain'd that notable Victory over the Genoueses, An∣no 1380. For there is mention made, both of Salt-peter and Aqua fortis, in the Writings of Geber, a Spanish More, and an Alchymist; but at what time he lived is unknown, though it be certain, some hundreds of years before Raimund Lully; who a∣bout Page  268 the year 1333. published some of his Books, wherein he treats of Salt-peter and Aqua fortis. It is no ill conjecture of Maierus, that the foresaid Monk, being a skilful Alchymist, had a design to draw a higher Spirit from Peter than the common Aqua fortis, and that he might better open the bo∣dy of Peter, he ground it with Sulphur and Char∣coal, by which Composure he soon became the In∣ventour of Gun-powder.

The manner of making SALT-PETER.

IN the first place you must be provided of eight or ten Tubs, so large, that they may be able to contain about ten Barrows full of Earth, each of them. These Tubs must be all open at the top; but in the bottom of every one of them, you must make a hole near to that side you intend to place outermost, which hole you must fit very well with a Tap and Spigot on the outside downward. On the inside of the Tub, near the tap-hole, you must carefully place a large wad of straw, and upon that a short piece of board, which is all to keep the earth from stopping up the tap-hole. When you have placed your Tubs on their stands, at such a distance one from the other, that you may come with ease between them, then fill them up with such Peter-earth as you have chosen for your work, leaving only void about a spans breadth between the Earth and the edge of the Tub; then lay on the top of Page  269 the Earth in each Tub, as near as you can to the middle, a rundle of Wicker, like the bottom of a Basket, and about a foot in diameter, and by it stick into the earth a good strong Cudgel, which must be thrust pretty near the bottom; the Wicker is to keep the Water, when it is poured on, from hollow∣ing and disordering the Earth, and the Cudgel is to be stirred about, to give the Water ingress to the Earth upon occasion: Then pour on your Earth common cold Water, till it stand a hands breadth over the Earth: When it hath stood eight or ten hours loosen the Spigots, and let the Water rather dribble, than run into half Tubs, which must be set under the taps: This Lixivium the Workmen call their Raw-liquor; and note that if it come not clear at the first drawing, you must pour it on again, and after some little time draw it off, till it come clear, and of the colour of Urine.

If you are curious to know how rich your Li∣quor is before boyling, you may take a Glass-vial, containing a quart, fill it with the common Water you use, then weigh it exactly; next fill the same Glass with your Liquor, and find the difference of weight, which compared with the quantity of all your Liquors, will give you a very near ghess, how much Salt-peter you are like to make by that boyl∣ing.

Then pour on again, on the same Earth, more common Water, that it may bring away what is re∣maining in the Earth of the former Liquor. This second Liquor is of no other use, but to be poured on new Earth, instead of common Wa∣ter, because it contains some quantity of Salt-peter in it.

Page  270

When this is done, turn out the useless insipid Earth out of the Tubs, which you must fill with new Earth, and continue this Operation, till you have in the same manner lixiviated all the Earth: Then fill your Copper with your Liquor, which Copper, for one of the Profession, must be about two hundred weight, and set strongly in a Furnace of brick-work; besides, on one side of your Fur∣nace, you are to place a Tub full of your Liquor, which at a tap below may dribble as fast into the Copper, as the force of the Fire doth wast your Liquor, which Invention is only to save charges in Fewel. When you have boyled it up to that height, that a little of it, flirted off the finger on a live Charcoal, will flash like Gun-powder (which for the most part falls out to be after two dayes and a nights boyling) at what time, upon tryal, a hun∣dred weight of the Liquor contains about five and thirty pound weight of Peter. But the Work∣men seldom make use of any further indication, than by finding the Liquor hang like oyl on the sides of the Brasen-scummer, when 'tis dipped into it, which is a sign it is fit to be passed through the Ashes, which is done in this manner.

You must prepare two Tubs fitted after the man∣ner of the first, where you put your Earth, saving that at the bottom of these Tubs, you must lay Reeds or Straw a foot high, over them place loose boards, pretty neer one another, over them, a little more Straw (which is to keep the Ashes from the top, and to give the Liquor room to drein the bet∣ter from them:) Then fill up your Tubs with any sort of Wood-ashes to half a foot of the top; Then pour on the foresaid Liquor, as it comes scal∣ding Page  271 hot out of the Copper, on the Ashes contain∣ed in the first Tub; then after a while draw it off at the top; and so continue putting on and draw∣ing off, first at one Tub of Ashes, then at the other, till your Liquor grow clear, and lose the thick tur∣bid colour it had when it went on.

When all the Liquour hath in this manner past through the Ashes of both Tubs, that by this means all its greasie oyl is left behind in the Ashes, you must keep it for the second boyling in a vessel by it self: in the mean time pour upon your Ashes a suffi∣ent quantity of common Water very hot, once or twice, to bring away what is remaining of the Li∣quor in the Ashes.

When you begin the second boyling, put first into the Copper the Water that went last through your Ashes, and as that wasteth, let your strong Li∣quor drop into the Copper, out of the Tub above described, standing on the side of the Furnace, till the Liquor in the Copper be ready to shoot or chrystallise.

Note that toward the end of your boyling, there will arise great store of Scum and Froth, which must be carefully taken off with a great brass Scummer, made like a Ladle, full of little holes, and usually about that time it lets fall some common Salt to the bottom, which you must take up with the said Scummer, and lay it aside for another use.

To know when the Liquor is ready to shoot into Peter, you need but drop a little of it on a knife, or any other cold thing that hath a smooth superfi∣cies, and if it coagulate, like a drop of tallow, and do not fall off the knife when it is turned down∣ward, which also may be judged by its hanging like Page  272 oyl to the sides of the Scummer. When the Liquor is brought to this pass, every hundred weight of it containeth about threescore and ten pound weight of Peter.

When you find your Liquor thus ready to shoot, you must with great Iron Ladles lade it out of the Copper into a high narrow Tub for that purpose, which the Workmen call their settling Tub; and when the Liquor is grown so cool, that you can en∣dure your finger in it, you shall find the common or cubick Salt begin to gravulate and stick to the sides of the Tub, then at the tap, placed about half a foot from the bottom, draw off your Liquor into deep wooden Trays, or Brass-pans, and the cooler the place is where you let them stand to shoot in, the better and more plentifully will the Salt-peter, be produc'd; but it will be of no good colour till it be refined, but will be part white, part yellow, and some part of it blackish.

The Salt which sticketh to the sides and bottom of the setling Tub is (as I have sayd) of the na∣ture of common Salt; and there is scarce any Peter to be found but is accompanied with it, though no doubt some of this is drawn out of the Ashes by the second Liquors: If it be foul they refine it by it self, and about London sell it at good rates to those that salt Neats Tongues, Bacon, and Collar-Beef, for besides a savory taste, it gives a pleasing red co∣lour to most Flesh that is salted with it. Pliny sayes Nitrum obsonia alba & deteriora reddit Olera viri∣diora, whether Salt-peter doth so, I have not yet tryed.

When the Liquor hath stood two dayes and two nights in the Pans, that part of the Liquor which is Page  273 not coagulated but swims upon the Peter, must be carefully poured off, and being mingled with new Liquors must again pass the Ashes before it be boyl∣ed, else it will grow so greasy it will never generate any Salt.

To Refine SALT-PETER.

AFter you have made your Copper very clean, put in as much Water as you think will dis∣solve that quantity of Peter you purpose to Refine, when the Water is very hot cast in the Peter by lit∣tle and little, stirring it about with a Ladle, that it may the sooner dissolve, then increase the Fire till your Liquor begin to boyle: In the mean time feel with the Scummer, whether there be at the bottom any Salt undissolv'd and take it out, for it is Com∣mon-Salt, and doth not so soon dissolve as the Peter; then as the Water boyls scim of the Froth that swims at the top of it as fast as it riseth; when it hath boyled to the height that a drop of it will coagu∣late on a Plate, (as hath been said above in the ma∣king of Salt-Peter,) then cast in by degrees either a Pint of the strongest Wine-Vinegar, or else four Ounces of Allom beaten to powder (some choose burnt Allom,) and you shall observe a black Scum to rise on the top of the Liquor, which when you have allowed some time to thicken, you may easily take off with the Scummer; repeat this so often till no more Scum arises. Some do use to throw in a Shovel full of quick-Lime, and say it makes PeterPage  274 the whiter, and Rock the better; you must take great care all this while the Fire be not too strong, for while this is doing, the Liquor will be apt to boyl over, and will not easily be appeased without your great loss.

When this is done, lade out the Liquor into a setling Tub, and cover it over with a Cloth, that it cool not too soon, and within an hour or two a thick yellow Faeces will fall to the bottom of the Tub, then quickly draw of the Liquor while it is hot, into the shooting Trays or Pans, and do as you did in making Peter, saving that you must cover the Trays with a Cloth, for then the Liquor will begin to shoot at the bottom, which will make the Peter-Rock into much fairer Chrystals, than otherwise it would: When no more Peter will shoot (which is commonly after two days,) pour off the Liquor that swims at the top, and put the Peter into a Tub with a hole at the bottom for to drain, and when it is dry, it is fit for use.

The Figure of the Chrystals is Sexangular, and if it hath rightly shot, is fistulous and hollow like a Pipe.

Before I proceed to tell you, how this darling of Nature (the very Basis and Generation of Nu∣triment) is converted into Gun-powder (the most fatal Instrument of Death that ever Mankind was trusted withal) I will crave leave to acquaint you with a few Speculations I have of this Salt, which if I could cleerly make out, would lead us into the knowledge of many noble Secrets in Nature; as also to a great improvement in the Art of ma∣king Salt-Peter.

First then you are to observe, that though PeterPage  275 go alway in Gun-powder, yet if you fulminate it in a Crucible, and burn of the volatile part with Powder of Coal, Brimstone, Antimony or Meal, there will remain a Salt, and yet so fixed (very unlike Common-Salt) that it will endure the force of almost the strongest Fire you can give it; which being dissolved into Water and Spirit of Nitre drop∣ped into it, till it give over hissing (which is the same with the Volatile part that was seperated from it in the fulmination) it will be again reduced to Chrystals of Peter, as it was at first, which noble Experiment the World hath already been taught by an honourable Member of this Society; with a train of such important Observations, as never be∣fore were raised from one Experiment.

That which I aim at then is, that if the Spirit of the Volatile Salt of Soot, or of the Urine, Blood, Horns, Hoofs, Hair, Excrements, or indeed any part of Animals, (for all abound with such a Volatile Salt fixed, and Oyle as Peter doth) could by the same way or any like it, be reduced to Peter or some Nitrous Salt not much differing from it: It would excellently make out a Theory that I am much delighted with, till I am convinced in it; which is, that the Salt which is found in Vegetables and Animals, is but the Nitre which is so univer∣sally diffused through all the Elements, (and must therefore make a chief Ingredient in their Nutri∣triment, and by consequence of their Generation) a little altered from its first Complexion: And that the reason why Animals that feed on Vegetables are obliged by Nature, to longer meals than those that feed on other Animals; is, because Animals are fuller of that Salt than Vegetables: And in∣deed Page  276 such Animals are but Caterers of it for Man; and others whom Natures bounty gratifies with a more lusty and delicious Dyet.

I confess I have been the more confirmed in this fancy, since I have often seen a Friend of mine, with a Natural and Facile 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, convert the greater part of Peter, into a Salt so like the Vola∣tile Salt of Urine, that they are Scarce to be distin∣guished by smell or tast, and yet he adds nothing to it that can possibly be suspected to participate of that Nature: But indeed all Volatile Salts are so alike, that it is not easy to distinguish them in any respect.

Page  277

THE HISTORY Of Making GUN-POWDER.

THE materials of Gun-Powder are, Salt-Peter, Brimstone, and Coal; the Peter and Brim∣stone must be both refined if you mean to make good Powder, and the Coal must be Withy and Al∣der equal parts; for Withy alone is counted too soft, and some do commend Hazle alone to be as good as the other two.

The whole Secret of the Art consists in the pro∣portion of the Materials, the exact mixture of them, that in every the least part of Powder may be found all the Materials in their just proportion; then the Corning or making of it into Grains; and lastly the Drying and Dusting of it.

The Proportion is very differently set down by several Authors; Baptista Porta tells us the ordina∣ry Powder is made of Four parts of Peter, one of Sulphur, and one of Withy Coal: But the best Powder of 6, or 8. of Peter, and one a piece of the other, which agrees pretty well with Bonfadini a late Ita∣lian Writer, in his Book of the Art of Shooting flying, where to make the best Gun-Powder he prescribes Seven parts of Peter, one of Brimstone, and of Ha∣zle Coal an ounce less in every pound: Cardan sayes; Constat ex tribus Halinitri partibus, duabus Page  278 Saligni Carbonis atque una Sulphuris, Convenitque magnis Machinis: Sed Mediocribus Halinitri partes decem, Saligni carbonis tres, Sulphuris duas, par∣vis verò Halinitri partes decem; Carbonis ligni nucis Avellonae sine nodis, tum Sulphuris partem unam sin∣gularem: Langius appoints three of Peter, two of Withy Coal, and one of Brimstone: The English Author of Fire-Works sayes, that the proportions in England to make good, indifferent, and ordinary Powder is, 5.4. and 3. parts of Peter, to two of Coal and one of Brimstone. Our English Work-men are generally so curious of their secret, that I could not obtain the proportion of them without a promise of Secrecy: But when all is done their secret is not so much the way to make the best Powder, as the best way to get most mony by it; by substracting from the Peter, and making up weight with the Coal; when indeed there is so great a Latitude, that provided the Materials be perfectly mixt, you make good Powder with any of the proportions a∣bove mention'd; but the more Peter you allow it, it will still be the better, till you come to observe Eight parts.

The next thing after the proportion, is the mix∣ture, about which most of the workmens time and pains is bestowed: For first in a Horse-mill with two stones (like that with which they grind their Materials at the Glass-house) moving upon a Mar∣ble bottom, which is edged with boards set sloap∣ing, that what slips from under the stones may slide back again.

They grind the Brimstone and Coal each of them apart by themselves as fine as possibly they can; then they sift each of them apart by themselves: Page  279 The Brimstone is sifted thorow Tiffany in a Bolt∣ing-mill, such as the Bakers use for wheat-flower: The Coal is sifted thorow Lockram, in a bag made like a shirt sleeve; for the convenience of the Work-man it is done in a close Bin, with only two holes for him to put his arms in and shake the bag about. Whatsoever of each material is not small enough to sift thorow, is brought again to the Mill to be new ground.

As for the Peter, that must in the Copper be dissol∣ved in as much water as will just take it up, and then the water must be boyled away till the Peter comes to the thickness of hasty-pudding. The reason of this operation is, because when the Peter is thus soft, the other materials will the easilier incorporate with it, and in the next place it will not wear the wooden pestles so much when it comes to the Mill, as when it is hard and dry.

When the Materials are in this readiness, they are weighed (only the Peter is weighed before it is put to dissolve in the Copper) and by proportion are carried to the mingling Trough, which is made of boards, like a great Chest without a cover, being about eight foot long, four broad, and three foot high. The Coal is laid in first, the Brimstone next, and the Peter at top of all; Then two men with shovels stir and mingle them together for an hour, and then 'tis ready for the Mill.

The Powder-mills are seldom made to move with any thing but water: The great water-wheel is made like that of an ordinary water-wheel, ei∣ther over-shot or under-shot, according to the quantity of water they have: to the axis of this wheel, a little way within the Mill, is fastned a Page  280 lesser wheel called the Spar-wheel, with strong Cogs, which in their motion round take hold of the round slaves of another wheel of about the same diameter, set a little way above it, and fastned to the end of a beam of 15 or 16 foot long, laid parallel to the Horizon, with an iron gudgeon at the other end of it, to facilitate its motion round: This beam is called the round beam; out of it come a certain number of arms of about nine inch∣es long▪ and three inches broad, which in their go∣ing round meet with other lesser armes (called Tapes) coming out of the Pestles (for so they call certain small quarters of Timber placed perpendi∣cular to the Horizon, about nine foot long and four inches broad; they are set in a slight frame to keep them steady); by these small arms the Pestles are lifted up about two foot and a half, and then let fall into a strong wooden Trough set under them, wherein the powder is put to be pounded.

Every Mill hath two Troughs, and about sixteen Pestles: every Pestle hath fastned to the lower end of it a round piece of Lignum Vitae, of about five inches long and three and a half diameter; and in∣to the bottom of the Trough, just where the Pestle is to fall, is let in another piece of Lignum Vitae, of the fashion and bigness of an ordinary Bowl, split according to its longest diameter: The Pestles are not lifted up all together, but alternatively, to make the Powder turn the better in the working; and for the same reason round Troughs are counted better than square.

To make excellent Powder it ought to be wrought thus thirty hours; but of late they will not afford it above eighteen or twenty hours: once Page  281 in eight hours they use to moisten the Powder with a little fair water; others who are more curious, put water something thickned with quick-lime; o∣thers use White-wine Vinegar; others Aqua-vitae: But if it be not moistned with something once in eight hours, the Powder will grow dry, and in half an hour after it will take fire. As soon as the Pow∣der grows dry, you may find it, though at a di∣stance, by the noise of the Mill; for then the Pestles will rebound from the bottom of the Trough and make a double stroak. The only danger to the Mill is not from the Trough; for many times the iron Gudgeons grow hot for want of greasing, and then the dust that flies about will be apt to fire, and so the Mill blows up.

From the Mill the Powder is brought to the Corning-house, of a middle temper between moist and dry. The way of corning it is with two hair Sieves joyn'd together, the upper Sieve inclosing some part of the hoop of the lower Sieve: The upper Sieve hath holes of the size you will have the Powder grained at; the holes of the lower Sieve are much lesser: The upper Sieve they call their corning Sieve, the lower their wet Dust∣er: They lay the Powder upon the upper Sieve some two inches thick; upon that a piece of heavy wood made like a Trencher, of about eight inches diameter and two and a half in thickness, called a Runner, which when the Sieve is moved, by its weight and motion forces the Powder thorow the upper Sieve, and that corns it. Then the lower Sieve receives the Powder, and lets the dust go thorow into a Bin, over which the Sieve is shaken, called the Dusting-Bin.

Page  282

When the Powder is thus corned, it is laid about an inch and half thick on the drying Sieves, which are made of course Canvase fastned to slight frames of Deal about an ell long and some twenty inches broad; and thus it is carried into Stoves to dry.

The Stove is commonly a little Room about eighteen or twenty foot square, with ranges of small Firr poles about two foot one above another, to lay the drying Sieves upon, but only on that side the fire is made. Besides a glass window to give light, there must be a small lover hole at the top of the Room, to let out the steam, else the Powder will not only be the longer a drying, but often by the return of the steam on the Sieves, the top of the Powder will be so crusted that the lower part will not dry. The Rome is heated by an Iron of about a yard high and half a yard broad, cast in the form of an Arch equal to a Semy-quadrant, and placed in the back of a Chimney, the fore part whereof is like a Fur∣nace; and to avoid danger, opens into another lit∣tle Room apart called the Stoke-hole.

The Powder is brought into the Stove before it be heated, and is not taken out again till the Stove be cold; and about eight hours is required to the drying of it. In hot Countries the Sun is the best Stove, and a great deal of danger and charges that way avoided.

After the Powder is dried, it is brought again to the Corning-house, where it is again sifted over the dusting Bin in other double Sieves, but without any Runners. These Sieves have both of them smaller holes than the former: The upper Sieve is called the Separater, and serves to divide the great Page  283 corns from the lesser; the great corns are put by themselves, and serve for Cannon Powder: The lower Sieve is called the dry Duster, and retains the small corns (which serve for Musquet and Pistol) and lets fall the dust into the bin, which is to be mingled with fresh Materials, and again wrought over in the Mill.

So that good Powder differs from bad (besides the well working and mingling of the Materials) in having more Peter and less Coal; and lastly, in the well dusting of it.

The last work is to put the Powder into Barrels; every Barrel is to contain five score weight of Pow∣der, and then 'tis ready for sale.

Page  284

AN APPARATUS TO THE HISTORY Of the Common Practices of DYING. By Sir WILLIAM PETTY.

IT were not incongruous to begin the History with a Retrospect into the very nature of Light it self (as to inquire whether the same be a Motion or else a Body;) nor to premise some Theorems about the Sun, Flame, Glow-worms, the eyes of some Animals, shining Woods, Scales of some Fishes, the dashing of the Sea, stroaks upon the eyes, the Bolonian Slate (called by some the Magnet of Light) and of other light and lucid bodies.

It were also not improper to consider the very essentials of Colour and Transparencies (as that the most transparent bodies, if shaped into many an∣gles, present the eye with very many colours;) That bodies having but one single superficies, have none at all, but are suscipient of every colour laid Page  285 before them; That great depths of Air make a Blew, and great depths of Water a Greenish co∣lour; That great depths or thicknesses of colour∣ed Liquors do all look Blackish (red Wine in a large Conical Glass being of all reddish colours between black at the top and white at the bot∣tom.

That most Vegetables, at one time or other, are greenish; and that as many things passing the Sun are blackned, so many others much whitened by the same: Other things are whitened by acid Fumes, as red Roses and raw Silks by the smoak of Brimstone.

Many Mettals, as Steel and Silver, become of va∣rious colours and Tarnish by the air, and by several degrees of heat.

We might consider the wonderful variety of co∣lours appearing in Flowers, Feathers; and drawn from Mettals, their Calces and Vitrifications; and of the colours rising out of transparent Liquors ar∣tificially mixed.

But these things, relating to the abstracted nature of colours, being too hard for me, I wholly de∣cline; rather passing to name (and but to name) some of the several sorts of Colorations now com∣monly used in Humane affairs, and as vulgar Trades in these Nations; which are these: viz.

  • 1. There is a whitening of Wax, and several sort of Linen and Cotton Cloathes, by the Sun, Air, and by reciprocal effusions of Water.
  • 2. Colouring of Wood and Leather by Lime, Salt, and Liquors, as in Staves, Canes, and Marble Leathers.
  • 3. Colouring of Paper, viz. Marbled Paper, by Page  286 distempering the colours with Ox-gall, and apply∣ing them upon a stiff gummed Liquor.
  • 4. Colouring, or rather Discolouring the colours of Silks, Tiffanies, &c. by Brimstone.
  • 5. Colouring of several Iron and Copper work, into Black, with Oyl.
  • 6. Colouring of Leather into Gold-colour, or rather Silver leaves into Gold by Varnishes, and in other cases by Urine and Sulphur.
  • 7. Dying of Marble and Alabaster with heat and coloured Oyls.
  • 8. Colouring Silver into Brass with Brimstone or Urine.
  • 9. Colouring the Barrels and Locks of Guns in∣to Blew and Purple with the temper of Small-coal heat.
  • 10. Colouring of Glass (made of Sands, Flints, &c.) as also of Crystals and Earthen Ware, with the rusts and solutions of Metals.
  • 11. The colouring of live Hair, as in Poland, Horse and Mans Hair; as also the colouring of Furrs.
  • 12. "Enameling and Anealing.
  • 13. Applying Colours as in the Printing of Books and Pictures, and as in making of playing Cards; being each of them performed in a several way.
  • 14. Guilding and Tinning with Mercury, Block-Tin, Sal-Armoniack.
  • 15. Colouring Metals, as Copper with Calamy into Brass, and with Zink or Spelter into Gold, or into Silver with Arsenick: And of Iron into Cop∣per with Hungarian Vitriol.
  • 16. Making Painters Colours by preparing of Page  287 Earth, Chalk, and Slates; as in Vmber, Oker, Cul∣len-earth, &c. as also out of the Calces of Lead, as Ceruse and Minium; by Sublimates of Mercury and Brimstone, as in Vermilion; by tinging of white Earths variously, as in Verdeter, and some of the Lakes; by concrete Juyces or Faeculae, as in Gam∣brugium, Indico, Pinks, Sap-green, and Lakes: As also by Rusts, as in Verdegrease, &c,
  • 17. The applying of these colours by the adhe∣sion of Ox-gall, as in the Marbled Paper aforesaid; or by Gum water, as in Limning; or by clammy drying Oyls, (such as are the Oyls of Linseed, Nuts, Spike, Turpentine, &c.)
  • 18. "Watering of Tabbies.
  • 19. The last I shall name is the colouring of Wool, Linnen, Cotton, Silk, Hair, Feathers, Horn, Leather, and the Threads and Webs of them with Woods, Roots, Herbs, Seeds, Leaves, Salts, Limes, Lixiviums, Waters, Heats, Fermentations, Macera∣tions, and other great variety of Handling: An ac∣count of all which is that History of Dying we in∣tend. All that we have hitherto said being but a kind of remote and scarce pertinent Introduction thereunto.

I begin this History by enumerating all the seve∣ral Materials and Ingredients which I understand to be or to have been used in any of the last afore∣mentioned Colorations, which I shall represent in various Methods, viz. out of the Mineral Family. They use Iron and Steel, or what is made or comes from them, in all true Blacks (called Spanish Blacks) though not in Flanders Blacks; viz. they use Cop∣peras, Steel-filings, and Slippe, which is the stuff found in the Troughs of Grind-stones, whereon Page  288 Edge-tools have been ground. They also use Pew∣ter for Bow-dye, Scarlet, viz. they dissolve Bars of Pewter in the Aqua fortis they use; and make also their Dying-kettles or Furnace of this Mettal.

Litharge is used by some, though acknowledged by few, for what necessary reason I cannot learn, o∣ther than to add weight unto Dyed Silk; Litharge being a calx of Lead, one of the heaviest and most colouring Mettals.

I apprehend Antimony much used to the same purpose, though we know there be a very tingent Sulphur in that Mineral, which affordeth variety of Colour by the precipitations and other operations upon it.

Arsenick is used in Crimson, upon pretence of giving Lustre, although those who pretend not to be wanting in giving Lustre to their Silks, do utter∣ly disown the use of Arsenick.

Verdegrease is used by Linnen Dyers in their Yellow and Greenish Colours, although of it self it strike not deeper colour than of pale Straws.

Of Mineral-Salts used in Dying; the chief is Allum; the very true use thereof seems to me ob∣scure enough, notwithstanding all the Narrations I could get from Dyers about it: For I doubt,
  • 1. Whether it be used to make Common-water a fit Menstruum, wherewith to extract the Tingent particles of several hard Materials; for I find Al∣lum to be used with such Materials as spend easy enough, as Brasill, Logwood, &c. And withal, that the Stuffs to be dyed are first boyled in Allum-liquors, and the Allum afterwards (as they say) cleared from the said Stuff again, before any Co∣lour at all be applyed.
  • 2. Whether it be used to scour the Sordes, which Page  289 may interpose between the Coloranda, and the Dying Stuff; and so hinder the due adhesion of the one unto the other: The boyling of several things first in Allum seeming to tend this way. But I find this work to be done in Cloth and Rugs, by a due scouring of the same in the Fulling-mills with Earth, and in Silk with Soaps, by which they boyl out the Gums and other Sordes, hindring or vitia∣ting the intended Colours.
  • 3. Whether Allum doth intenerate the Hairs of Wool, and Hair-stuff, as Grograins, &c. Where∣by they may the better, receive and imbibe their Colours? Unto which opinion I was led by the Dyers; saying, that after their Stuffs were well boyled in Allum, that they then cleared them of the Allum again: But we find the most open Bo∣died-Cottons and Silks, to have Allum used upon them; as well as the harder Hairs. Nor is Allum used in many Colours, viz. In no Woad or Indico Blews; and yet the Stuffs Dyed Blew, are with∣out any previous inteneration quickly tinged; and that with a slight and short immersion thereof into the Blew fat.
  • 4. Whether it contribute to the Colour it self, as Copperas doth to Gals, in order to make a black; or as Juice of Lemmons doth to Cocheneel in the Incarnadives; or as Aqua-Fortis impregnated with Pewter, doth in the Bow-Scarlet, changing it from a red Rose-Crimson to flame Colour. This use is certainly not to be denyed to Allum in some cases; but we see in other cases, that the same Colours may be Dyed without Allum, as well as with it, though neither so bright and lively, nor so lasting.
  • 5. Wherefore Fifthly, I conclude (as the most Page  290 probable opinion) that the use of Allum is to be a Vinculum between the Cloth and the Colour, as clammy-Oyls and Gum-waters are in Painting and Limming; Allum being such a thing, whose particles and Aculei dissolved with hot Liquors will stick to the Stuffs, and pitch themselves into their Pores; and such also, as on which the particles of the Dying Drugs will also catch hold, as we see the particles of Copperas and other Crystallizing materials, do of Boughs and Twigs in the Vessel, where such Crystallization is made. A second use I imagine of Allum in Dying, to be the extracting or drying up of some such particles, as could not consist with the Colour to be superinduced, for we see Allum is used in the dressing of Alutas or white Leather, the which it dryeth, as the Salt of Hen-dung doth in Ox-hides, and as common Salt doth in preserva∣tion of Flesh-meats; for we know, a Sheep-skin newly flayed could not be Colour'd as Brasils are, unless it were first dressed into Leather with Allum, &c. which is necessary to the Colour, even although the Allum be, as it is, cleared out of the Leather again, before the said Colouration, with Bran, yelks of Eggs, &c. Wherefore as Allum, as it were by accident, makes a wet raw skin to take a bright Colour by extracting some impedimental particles out of it; so doth it also out of other ma∣terials, though perhaps less discernably.

Another use I suppose of Allum, which is to brighten a Colour: For as we see the finest and most Glassie materials to make the most orient Colours, as Feathers, Flowers, &c. So certainly if by boyling Cloth in Allum, it become incrusta∣ted with particles, as it were of Glass, the tinging Page  291 of them yields more brightness, than the tinging of a Scabrous matter, (such as unallumed Cloth is) can do. Analogous hereunto I take the use of Bran, and Bran-liquors in Dying to be; for Bran yielding a most fine flower (as we see in the making of white-Starch;) I conceive that this flower entring into the pores of the Stuff, levigates their Superficies and and so makes the Colour laid on it, the more beau∣tiful, just as we see, that all woods, which are to be guilded are first smoothned over with white Co∣lours, before the Gold be laid on.

And indeed all other Woods are filled, not only as to their greater holes and Asperities, with Putty; but also their smaller Scabrities are cured by pri∣ming Colours, before the Ultimate Colour intend∣ed be laid thereon.

The next Mineral Salt is Salt-Peter, not used by ancient Dyers, and but by few of the modern. And that not, till the wonderfull use of Aqua-fortis (whereof Salt-Peter is an ingredient) was observ∣ed in the Bow-Scarlet: Nor is it used now, but to brighten Colours by back-boyling them; for which use Argol is more commonly used. Lime is much used in the working of blew-fats, being of Lime∣stone calcined and called Calke, of which more hereafter.

Of the Animal family are used about Dying, Cochineel (if the same be any part of an Animal) Urine of labouring men, kept till it be stale and stinking; Honey, Yelks of Eggs, and Ox-gall. The three latter so rarely; and as the conceits of par∣ticular Work-men, and for Collateral uses (as to increase weight, promote fermentation, and to scour, &c.) That I shall say very little more of them Page  292 in this place, only saying of Urine that it is used to scour, and help the fermenting and heating of Woad; it is used also in the blew-fats instead of Lime: It dischargeth the yellow (of which and blew, most Greens are compounded) and there∣fore is alwayes used to spend Weld withal. Lastly, the stale Urine, or old mudd of pissing places, will colour a well scoured small piece of Silver, into a Golden colour, and it is with this (and not at all with the Bath-water) wherewith the Boys at Bath colour single pence; although the generality be∣lieve otherwise. Lastly it seems to me, that Urine agreeth much in its Nature with Tartarous Lixivia; not only because Urine is a Lye made of Vegeta∣bles in the body of Animals; nor because in the Receptacles of Urine, Tartarous stones are bred like as in Vessels of Wine; nor because Urine dis∣charges and abrades Colours as the Lixivia of Tar∣tar, or the deliquated Salts of Tartar do; but be∣cause Tartar and Sulphur-Lixivia do colour the superficies of Silver, as we affirmed of Urine; and the difference I make between Urine and Tartarous Lixivia is only this, that though the Salts of both of them seem by their effects in Dying, in a manner the same; yet that Urine is made and consists of Salt and Sulphur both.

Before we enter upon the Vegetable materials for Dying, we may interpose this Advertisement, That there are two sorts of Water used by Dyers, viz. River-water and Well-water: By the latter I mean in this place the Pump water in great Cities and Towns, which is a harsh Water wherewith one can scarce wash ones hands, much less scour them clean; nor will Soap dissolve in it, but remains in rolls and Page  293 lumps: moreover the Flesh boyled in it becomes hard and reddish. The Springs rising out of large covered spaces (such as are great Cities) yield this Water, as having been percolated thorow more ground than other Water, and consequently been divested of its fatty earthy particles, and more im∣pregnated with saline substances in all the way it hath passed. The Dyers use this Water in Reds, and in other colours wanting restringency, and in the Dying of Materials of the slacker Contextures, as in Callico, Fustian, and the several species of Cot∣ton-works. This Water is naught for Blews, and makes Yellows and Greens look rusty.

River-water is far more fat and oylie, sweeter, bears Soap; that is, Soap dissolves more easily in it, rising into froth and bubbles, so as the Water thick∣ens by it. This Water is used in most cases by Dy∣ers, and must be had in great quantities for washing and rinsing their Cloathes after Dying.

Water is called by Dyers White Liquor; but there is another sort of Liquor called Liquor abso∣lutely, and that is their Bran-liquor, which is one part of Bran and five of River-water, boyled toge∣ther an hour, and put into leaden Cisterns to settle. This Liquor when it turns sour is not good, which sourness will be within three or four days in the Summer time. Besides the uses afore-named of this Liquor, I conceive it contributes something to the holding of the Colour; for we know Starch, which is nothing but the flower of Bran, will make a clinging Paste, the which will conglutinate some things, though not every thing; viz. Paper, though neither Wood nor Mettals. Now Bran-liquors are used to mealy dying Stuffs, such as Mather is, being Page  294 the Powder or fecula of a Root; So as the flower of the Bran being joyned with the Mather, and made clammy and glutinous by boyling, I doubt not but both sticking upon the villi of the Stuff Dy∣ed, the Mather sticks the better by reason of the starchy pastiness of the Bran-flower joyned with it.

Gums have been used by Dyers about Silk, viz. Gum Arabick, Gum Dragant, Mastick, and Sanguis Draconis. These Gums tend little to the tincture of the said Silk, no more than Gum doth in ordina∣ry writing Ink, which only gives it a consistence to stay just where the Pen delivers it, without run∣ning abroad uncertainly: So Gum may give the Silk a glassiness, that is, may make it seem finer, as also stiffer; so as to make one believe the said stiff∣ness proceeded from the quantity of Silk close wo∣ven: And lastly to increase weight; for if an ounce of Gum, worth a peny, can be incorporated into a pound of Silk, the said penny in the Gum produ∣ceth three shillings, the price of an ounce of Silk. Wherefore we shall speak of the use of each of the said four Gums, rather when we treat of Sising and Stiffening, than now, in a Discourse of Dying, where also we may speak of Honey and Molasses.

We refer also the Descriptions of Fullers-earth, Soaps, Linseed-oyl, and Ox-galls, unto the head of Scouring, rather than to this of Dying.

Wines and Aqua-vitae have been used by some particular Artists; but the use of them being nei∣ther constant nor certain, I omit further mention of them. The like I say of Wheaten-flower and Leaven.

Of Cummin-seed, Fenugreek-seed, Senna, and A∣garick,Page  295 I have as yet no satisfactory accompt.

Having spoken thus far of some of the Dying stuffs, before I engage upon the main, and speak more fully of those which have been but slightly touched upon already, I shall more Synoptically here insert a Catalogue of all Dying Materials, as well such as I have already treated upon, as such as I intend hereafter to describe.

The three peculiar Ingredients for Black are Copperas, filings of Steel, and Slippe.

The Restringent binding Materials are Alder, Bark, Pomegranate Pills, Wallnut rinds and roots, Oaken Sapling Bark, and Saw-dust of the same; Crab-tree Bark, Galls, and Sumach.

The Salts are Allum, Argol, Salt-peter, Sal Ar∣moniack, Pot-ashes, and Stone-lime; unto which Urine may be enumerated as a liquid Salt.

The Liquors are Well-water, River-water, Wine, Aqua-vitae, Vinegar, juyce of Lemmon, and Aqua-fortis: There is Honey used, and Molasses.

Ingredients of another Classis are Bran, Wheat∣en-flower, Yelks of Eggs, Leaven, Cummin-seed, Fenugreek-seed, Agarick, and Senna.

Gums are Gum Arabick, Dragant, Mastick, and Sanguis Draconis.

The Smecticks or Abstersives are Fullers-earth, Soap, Linseed-oyl, and Ox-gall.

The other Metals and Minerals are Pewter, Ver∣degrease, Antimony, Litharge, and Arsenick.

But the Colorantia colorata are of three sorts, viz. Blew, Yellow, and Red; of which Logwood, old Fustick, and Mather, are the Polychresta in the pre∣sent & common practices, being one of each sort. The Blews are Woad, Indico, and Logwood: The Yel∣lows Page  296 are Weld, Wood-wax, and old Fustick, as also Turmerick now seldom used: The Reds are Red-wood, Brazel, Mather, Cochineel, Safflowrs, Ker∣mes-berries, and Sanders; the latter of which is seldom used, and the Kermes not often. Unto these Arnotto and young Fustick, making Orange colours, may be added, as often used in these times.

"In Cloth Dying wood-soot is of good use.

Having presented this Catalogue, I come now to give or enlarge the Description and Application of some of the chief of them, beginning with Cop∣peras.

Copperas is the common thing us'd to dye Blacks withal, and it is the salt of the Pyrites stone, where∣with old Iron (having been dissolved in it) is incor∣porated. The filings of Steel, and such small par∣ticles of Edge-tools as are worn away upon the Grindstone, commonly called Slipp, is used to the same purpose in dying of Silks (as was said before) which I conceive to be rather to increase the weight than for any other necessity; the particles of Cop∣peras being not so heavy and crass as these are: for else why should not these later-named Materials be as well used about Cloth, and other cheaper Stuffs?

We observe, That green Oaken-boards by affri∣ction of a Saw become black; and that a green sour Apple, cut with a knife, becomes likewise black; and that the white grease wherewith Coach-wheels are anointed becomes likewise black, by reason of the iron boxes wherewith the Nave is lined, besides the ustulation or affriction between the Nave and the Axel-tree. Moreover we observe, That an Oak∣en stick, by a violent affriction upon other wood in a Turning-Lath, makes the same black.

Page  297

From all which we may observe, That the whole business of Blacking lies in the Iron, as if the salt of the Pyrites-stone in Copperas served only to extract the same; and withal it seems to lie in a kind of sindging and ustulation, such as rapid affrictions do cause: For Allum seems to be of the same nature with Vitriol; and yet in no case that I know of is, it is used for black colours: And the black colour upon earthen Ware is made with scalings of Iron vitrified. Note, That where-ever Copperas is used, either Galls, Sumach, Oak-Sapling-barks, Alder-bark, Wallnut-rinds, Crabtree-bark, or green Oak saw-dust, must be used with it; All which things Physicians call Austere and Stiptick.

Red-wood must be chopt into small pieces, then ground in a Mill between two heavy stons, as corn is. It is used also in Dying of Cloth and Rugs, and those of the Courser sort: The colour is ex∣tracted with much and long boyling, and that with Galls. The colour it makes is a kind of Brick-co∣lour-Red; it holdeth much better than Brasil. The Cloth it dyeth is to be boyled with it: Wherefore only such matters as are not prejudiced by much boyling are dyed herewith.

Brasil is chopt and ground like as the Red-wood:

It dyeth a Pink-colour or Carnation, imitating the colour of Cochineil the nearest: It is used with Allum for the ordinary colour it dyeth; and with addition of Pot-ashes, when it is used for Purples.

Brasil steept in Water giveth it the colour of Clar∣ret-wine, into which a drop or two of Juyce of Lemmons or Vinegar being put, turneth it into the colour of Canary-Sack; in which particular it a∣greeth with Cochineil. This Colour soon staineth, Page  298 as may appear by the easie change which so small a quantity of acid liquor makes upon it. A drop of Spirit of Vitriol turneth the infusion of Brasil into a purplish violet-colour, even although it hath been made yellow before, by the addition of Juyce of Lemmons or Vinegar; and is the same effect which Pot-ashes also produce, as we said before.

Mather is a Root cultivated much in Flanders: There be of it two sorts; Pipe-Mather, which is the coursest; and Bale-Mather, otherwise called Crap-Mather: This Mather used to the best advan∣tage, dyeth on Cloth a colour the neerest to our Bow-dye, or the new Scarlet; the like whereof Safflowr doth in Silk; insomuch as the colours cal∣led Bastard-Scarlets are dyed with it. This colour indures much boyling, and is used both with Allum and Argol; it holdeth well. The brightest colours dyed with this material are made by over-dying the same, and then by discharging part of it by back-boyling it in Argol.

Mather is used with Bran-liquor, instead of White-liquor or ordinary Water.

Cochineel is of several sorts, viz. Silvester and Me∣stequa: This also is used with Bran-liquor in Pew∣ter-Furnaces, and with Aqua-fortis, in order to the Scarlet-dye. It is the colour whereof the like quan∣tity effecteth most in Dying; and Colours dyed with it, are said to be dyed in Grain. Rags dyed in the dregs of this colour is called Turnsole, and 'tis used to colour Wines; Cochineel being counted so far from an unwholesom thing, that it is esteemed a Cordial. Any acid Liquor takes off the intense Redness of this colour, turning it towards an O∣range, Flame, or Scarlet-colour: With this colour Page  299 also the Spanish Leather and Flocks are dyed which Ladies use. The extract or fecula hereof makes the finest Lake.

Arnotto Dyeth of it self an Orang-colour, is used with Pot-ashes upon Silk, Linnen, and Cottons, but not upon Cloth, as being not apt to penetrate into a thick substance.

Weld, called in Latin Luteola; when 'tis ripe (that is to say, in the flower) it Dyeth (with the help of Pot-ashes) a deep Lemon colour, like un∣to Ranunculus, or Broom flower; and either by the smalness of proportion put into the Liquor, or else by the slighter tincture, it Dyeth all Colours between White and the Yellow aforesaid.

In the use of this material, Dyers use a cross, driven down into their Furnace with a screw to keep it down, so as the Cloth may have liberty in the supernatant Liquor, to be turned upon the Winch and kept out with the staves: This weed is much cultivated in Kent, for the use of the London-Dyers, it holdeth sufficiently well but against U∣rine and Tartarous Liquors. Painters Pinke is made of it.

Wood wax, or Genista Tinctoria (commonly cal∣led Grasing-weed by the Dyers,) produces the same effect with Luteola, being used in greater quanti∣ties: It is seldome made use of as to Silk, Linnen, or Cottons, but only as to course-Cloths: It is also set with Pot-ashes or Urine, called by the Dy∣ers Siggefustick; of it there be two sorts, the young and the old: Fustick is chopt and ground, as the other Woods abovementioned are.

The young Fustick Dyeth a kind of Reddish-Orang-colour; the old, a Hair-colour with several Page  300 degrees of yellowness between: It is used with slacked Lime. The Colours Dyed with old Fu∣stick hold extreamly; and are not to be discharg∣ed, will spend with Salts or without, and will work hot or cold.

Soot of Wood. Soot containeth in it self both a Colour and Salt; wherefore there is nothing add∣ed to it to extract its Colour, nor to make it strike upon the Stuff to be Dyed; the natural Colour which it Dyeth of it self, is the Colour of Honey; but is the foundation of many other Colours upon Wool and Cloth; for to other things 'tis not used. Woad is made of a Weed, sown upon strong new-broken Land, perfectly cleered from all stones and weeds, cut several times by the top leaves, then ground, or rather chopt with a peculiar Mill for that purpose; which being done several times, it is made up in Balls and dryed in the Sun; the dryer the year is, the better the Woad.

When it is made up in Balls, it is broken again and laid in heaps, where if it heat to fast, it is sprinkled with ordinary water: but if it heat too slowly, then they throw on it a quantity of Lime, or Urine. But of the perfect cultivating and cu∣ring of Woad, we shall speak elsewhere.

English Woad is counted the strongest, it is com∣monly tryed by staining of white Paper with it, or a white Limed wall, and if the Colour be a French-green it is good.

Woad in use, is used with Pot-ashes commonly called Ware, which if it be double refin'd, is cal∣led hard Ware (which is much the same with Kelp) or Sea-weeds, calcin'd and burnt into the hardness of a stone, by reiterated Calcinations.

Page  301

Lime, or Calke which is strong Lime, is used to accelerate the fermentation of the Woad, which by the help of the same Pot-ashes and warm liquors kept alwayes so, in three or four dayes will come to work like a Kive of Beer, and will have a blew or rather greenish froth or flowry upon it, answer∣ing to the Yest of the Kive. Now the over quan∣tity of Ware, fretting too much upon the Woad, is obtunded or dulled by throwing in Bran sometimes loose, sometimes in Baggs.

The making and using Woad, is one of the most mysterious, nice, and hazardous operations in Dy∣ing: It is one of the most lasting Colours that is Dyed: An intense Woad-Colour is almost black, that is to say, of a Damson-colour; this Colour is the foundation of so many others in its degree, that the Dyers have a certain Scale, or number of Stalls, whereby to compute the lightness and deepness of this Colour.

Indico is made of a Weed of the same Nature with Woad, but more strong; and whereas Woad is the whole substance of the Herb, Indico is only a mealy concrete juice or faecula dryed in the Sun, sometimes made up in flat Cakes, sometimes into round-balls, there be several sorts of Indico.

Logwood is chopt and ground like other of the Woods abovementioned, it maketh a Purplish∣blew; may be used without Allum: It hath been esteemed a most false and fading Colour; but now being used with Galls, is far less complained of.

Page  302

General Observations upon DYING.

FIrst, that all the materials (which of themselves do give Colour) are either Red, Yellow, or Blew, so that out of them, and the primitive fun∣damental Colour, White; all that great variety which we see in Dyed Stuffs doth arise.

2. That few of the Coloring materials (as Cochineil, Soot, Wood wax, Woad,) are in their outward and first appearance of the same Colour, which by the slieghtest distempers and solutions in the weakest Menstrua, the Dye upon Cloth, Silk, &c.

3. That many of the Colouring materials will not yield their Colours without much grinding, steeping, boyling, fermenting, or corrosion by pow∣erful Menstrua; as Red-wood, Weld, Woad, Ar∣notto, &c.

4. That many of the said Coulouring materials will of themselves give no Colouring at all, as Copperas, or Galls, or with much disadvantage, unless the Cloth or other Stuff to be Dyed, be as it were, first covered or incrustated with some other matter, though Colour-less, aforehand, as Mather, Weld, Brasil with Allum.

5. That some of the said Colouring materials, by the help of other Colour-less Ingredients, do strike different Colours from what they would a∣lone, and of themselves; as Cochineil, Brasil, &c.

Page  303

6. That some Colours, as Mather, Indico, and Woad, by reiterated tinctures, will at last become black.

7. That although Green be the most frequent and common of natural Colours, yet there is no simple ingredient, which is now used alone, to Dye Green with upon any Material; Sap green (being the con∣densated juyce of the Rhamnous Berry) being the neerest; the which is used by Country people.

8. There is no Black thing in use which dyes black; though both the coal and soot of most things burnt or scorched be of that colour; and the blacker, by how much the matter before it was burnt was whiter, as in the famous instance of Ivory-black.

9. The Tincture of some Dying Stuffs will fade even with lying, or with the Air, or will stain even with Water; but very much with Wine, Vi∣negar, Urine, &c.

10. Some of the Dyers Materials are used to bind and strengthen a Colour, some to brighten it, some to give lustre to the stuff, some to discharge and take off the colour either in whole or in part, and some out of fraud, to make the Material Dyed (if cost∣ly) to be heavyer.

11. That some Dying Ingredients or Drugs, by the courseness of their bodies, make the thread of the dyed Stuff seem courser; and some by shrink∣ing them, smaller, and some by levigating their A∣sperities, finer.

12. Many of the same colours are dyed upon se∣veral Stuffs with several Materials; as Red-wood used in Cloth, not in Silks; Arnotto in Silks, not in Cloth; and may be dyed at several prizes.

Page  304

13. That Scowring and Washing of Stuffs to be dyed, is to be done with special Materials; as some∣times with Ox-galls, sometimes with Fullers earth, sometimes with Soap: This latter being pernicious in some cases, where Pot-ashes will stain or alter the colour.

14. Where great quantities of Stuffs are to be dyed together, or where they are to be done with great speed, and where the pieces are very long, broad, thick, or otherwise, they are to be diffe∣rently handled, both in respect to the Vessels and Ingredients.

15. In some Colours and Stuffs the Tingent Li∣quor must be boyling; in other cases blood-warm; in some it may be cold.

16. Some Tingent Liquors are fitted for use by long keeping; and in some the vertue wears away by the same.

17. Some Colours or Stuffs are best dyed by re∣iterated Dippings ever into the same Liquor at se∣veral distances of time; and some by continuing longer, and others lesser whiles therein.

18. In some cases the matter of the Vessel where∣in the Liquors are heated, and the Tinctures prepa∣red, must be regarded; as the Kettles must be Pew∣ter for Bow-dye.

19. There is little reckoning made how much Liquor is used in proportion to the dying Drugs; the Liquor being rather adjusted to the bulk of the Stuff, as the Vessels are to the breadth of the same: The quantity of dying Drugs being proportioned to the colour higher or lower, and to the Stuffs both; as likewise the Salts are to dying Drugs.

Concerning the weight which Colours give to Page  305 Silk (for in them 'tis most taken notice of, as being sold by weight, and being a Commodity of great price:) It is observed, That one pound of raw Silk loseth four ounces by washing out the Gums and natural Sordes.

That the same scowred Silk may be raised to above thirty ounces from the remaining twelve, if it be dyed black with some Materials.

The reason why Black colour may be most heavy dyed, being because all gravitating Drugs may be dyed black, being all of colours lighter than it: whereas perhaps there are few or no Materials wherewith to increase the weight of Silk, which will consist with fair light colours; such as will ha∣ving been used, as white Arsenick to Incarnadives. Of a thing truly useful in Dying, especially of Blacks, nothing increases weight so much as Galls, by reason whereof Black Silks are restored to as much weight as they lost by washing out their Gum: Nor is it counted extraordinary, that Blacks should gain a∣bout four or six ounces in the Dying upon each pound.

Next to Galls old Fustick increases the weight about 1 ½ in 12.

Mather about one ounce.

Weld half an ounce.

The Blew-fat, in deep Blews of the fifth stall, gives no considerable weight.

Neither doth Logwood, Cochineel, nor Arnotto: Nor doth Copperas it self, where Galls are not.

I conceive much light would be given to the Philosophy of Dying, by careful Experiments of the weight added by each Drug or Salt in Dying of every colour.

Page  306

Slipp adds much to the weight, and giveth a deeper Black than Copperas it self; which is a good excuse for the Dyers that use it.

I have hitherto but mentioned the several Colo∣rations used in Humane Affairs, Enumerated the several Materials used in one of them, namely, Dy∣ing; and imperfectly described the several uses and applications of them in Dying. I have also set down some general Observations relating to that whole Trade. It remains now that we describe the several Vessels, Tools, and Utensils used in the same. And particularly to shew how any Colour assigned may be superinduced upon any kind of Material, as Wool, Linnen, Hair, Feathers, Cotton or Silk: And with what Advantages or Disadvantages of Lasting, Brightness, Cheapness, and Variety, &c. each may be performed. But this being infinite, and almost unteachable by words, as being incom∣parably more difficult, than how to imitate and compose any Colour assigned, out of the few, usual∣ly furnishing a Painters-palat; I leave the whole to the further consideration of this Learned Society.

Page  307

THE HISTORY Of the Generation and Ordering of GREEN-OYSTERS, Commonly called Colchester-Oysters.

IN the Month of May the Oysters cast their Spaun (which the Dredgers call their Spat;) it is like to a drop of Candle, and about the big∣ness of a half-penny.

The Spat cleaves to Stones, old Oyster-shells, pieces of Wood, and such like things, at the bot∣tom of the Sea, which they call Cultch.

'Tis probably conjectured, that the Spat in twenty four hours begins to have a Shell.

In the Month of May the Dredgers (by the Law of the Admiralty Court) have liberty to catch all manner of Oysters, of what size soever.

When they have taken them, with a knife they gently raise the small brood from the Cultch, and then they throw the Cultch in again, to preserve the ground for the future, unless they be so newly Spat that they cannot be safely severed from the Cultch, in that case they are permitted to take the stone or shell, &c. that the Spat is upon, one Shell having many times 20 Spats.

Page  308

After the Month of May it is Felony to carry a∣way the Cultch, and punishable to take any other Oysters, unless it be those of size (that is to say) a∣bout the bigness of an half Crown piece, or when the two shells being shut, a fair shilling will rattle between them.

The places where these Oysters are chiefly catcht, are called the Pont-Burnham, Malden, and Colne-Waters; the latter taking its name from the Ri∣ver of Colne, which passeth by Colne-Chester, gives the name to that Town, and runs into a Creek of the Sea at a place called the Hythe, being the Sub∣urbs of the Town.

This Brood and other Oysters they carry to Creeks of the Sea at Brickel-Sea, Mersey, Langno, Fringrego, Wivenbo, Tolesbury, and Salt-coase, and there throw them into the Channel, which they call their Beds or Layers, where they grow and fat∣ten, and in two or three years the smallest Brood will be Oysters of the size aforesaid.

Those Oysters which they would have green, they put into Pits about three foot deep, in the Salt-Marshes, which are overflowed only at Spring∣tides, to which they have Sluces, and let out the Salt-water until it is about a foot and half deep.

These Pits from some quality in the Soil coope∣rating with the heat of the Sun, will become green, and communicate their colour to the Oysters that are put into them in four or five days, though they commonly let them continue there six Weeks, or two Months, in which time they will be of a dark green.

To prove that the Sun operates in the greening, Tolesbury Pits will green only in Summer; but that Page  309 the Earth hath the greater power, Brickel-sea Pits green both Winter and Summer: and for a further proof, a Pit within a foot of a greening Pit will not green; and those that did green very well, will in time lose their quality.

The Oysters when the Tide comes in lie with their hollow shell downwards, and when it goes out they turn on the other side; they remove not from their place unless in cold weather, to cover themselves in the Ouse.

The reason of the scarcity of Oysters, and conse∣quently of their dearness, is, because they are of late years bought up by the Dutch.

There are great penalties by the Admiralty-Court, laid upon those that fish out of those grounds which the Court appoints, or that destroy the Cultch, or that take any Oysters that are not of size, or that do not tread under their feet, or throw upon the shore, a Fish which they call a Five-finger, resembling, a Spur-rowel, because that Fish gets in∣to the Oysters when they gape, and sucks them out.

The reason why such a penalty is set upon any that shall destroy the Cultch, is because they find that if that be taken away the Ouse will increase, and then Muscles and Cockles will breed there, and destroy the Oysters, they having not whereon to stick their Spat.

The Oysters are sick after they have Spat; but in Iune and Iuly they begin to mend, and in August they are perfectly well: The Male-Oyster is black-sick, having a black substance in the Fin; the Female white-sick (as they term it) having a milky substance in the Fin. They are salt in the Pits, salter in the Layers, but saltest at Sea.

Page  310In Composing Histories after this manner, they re∣solve to proceed, till they have not only obtain'd an Account of all the Great, and most substantial Trades; but also of all the less Works, and Private Productions, which are confin'd to some particular Soyls, or Cor∣porations, or Families. As this Stock shall increase, they purpose to make it of General use; either by continual Printing the most remarkable of them, or by freely exposing them to the view of all, that de∣sire such Informations; provided, that at the same time they receive some, they will also Communicate others: And they have assured grounds of con∣fidence, that when this attempt shall be compleated, it will be found to bring innumerable benefits to all practical Arts: When all the secrets of Manufactures shall be so discover'd, their Materials describ'd, their Instruments figur'd, their Products represented: It will soon be determin'd, how far they themselves may be promoted, and what new consequences may thence be deduc'd. Hereby we shall see whether all the parts of the most obvious Crafts have been brought to perfection; and whether they may not assist each other, more than has been hitherto indea∣vour'd: Hereby we shall discern the compass, the power, the changes, the degrees, the ages of them all; and speedily understand, whether their effects have been large enough, and the wayes of producing them sufficiently compendious. In short, by this help the worst Artificers will be well instructed, by con∣sidering the Methods, and Tools of the best: And the greatest Inventors will be exceedingly inlighten'd; because they will have in their view the labours of many men, many places, and many times, where∣with to compare their own. This is the surest, and Page  311 most effectual means, to inlarge the Invention: whose Nature is such, that it is apt to increase, not only by mens beholding the Works of greater, but of equal, nay of less Wits than themselves.

In the whole progress of this Narration,* I have been cautious to forbear Commending the labours of any Private Fellows of the Society. For this, I need not make any Apology to them; seeing it would have been an inconsiderable Honour, to be prais'd by so mean a Writer: But now I must break this Law, in the particular case of Dr. Christopher Wren: For doing so, I will not alledge the excuse of my Friendship to him; though that perhaps were suffici∣cient; and it might well be allow'd me to take this occasion of Publishing it: But I only do it on the meer consideration of Justice: For in turning over the Registers of the Society, I perceiv'd that many excellent things, whose first Invention ought to be ascrib'd to him, were casually omitted: This moves me to do him right by himself, and to give this se∣parate Account of his indeavours, in promoting the Design of the Royal Society, in the small time where∣in he has had the opportunity of attending it.

The first instance I shall mention, to which he may lay peculiar claim, is the Doctrine of Motion, which is the most considerable of all others, for establish∣ing the first Principles of Philosophy, by Geometrical Demonstrations. This Des Cartes had before begun, having taken up some Experiments of this kind, upon Conjecture, and made them the first Foundation of his whole Systeme of Nature: But some of his Con∣clusions seeming very questionable, because they were only deriv'd from the gross Trials of Balls Page  312 meeting one another at Tennis, and Billiards: Dr. Wren produc'd before the Society, an Instrument to represent the effects of all sorts of Impulses, made between two hard globous Bodies, either of equal, or of different bigness, and swiftness, following or meeting each other, or the one moving, the other at rest. From these varieties arose many unexpected effects; of all which he demonstrated the true Theo∣ries, after they had been confirm'd by many hundreds of Experiments in that Instrument. These he propos'd as the Principles of all Demonstrations in Natural Philosophy: Nor can it seem strange, that these Ele∣ments should be of such Universal use; if we consi∣der that Generation, Corruption, Alteration, and all the Vicissitudes of Nature, are nothing else but the effects arising from the meeting of little Bodies, of differing Figures, Magnitudes, and Velocities.

The Second Work which he has advanc'd, is the History of Seasons: which will be of admirable be∣nefit to Mankind, if it shall be constantly pursued, and deriv'd down to Posterity. His proposal therefore was, to comprehend a Diary of Wind, Weather, and other conditions of the Air, as to Heat, Cold, and Weight; and also a General Description of the Year, whether contagious or healthful to Men or Beasts; with an Account of Epidemical Diseases, of Blasts, Mill-dews, and other accidents, belonging to Grain, Cattle, Fish, Fowl, and Insects. And because the difficulty of a constant Observation of the Air, by Night, and Day seem'd invincible, he therefore devis'd a Clock to be annex'd to a Weather-Cock, which mov'd a rundle, cover'd with Paper, upon which the Clock mov'd a black-lead-Pensil; so that the Observer by the Traces of the Pencil on Page  313 the Paper, might certainly conclude, what Winds had blown in his absence, for twelve hours space: After a like manner he contriv'd a Thermometer to be its own Register: And because the usual Thermometers were not found to give a true measure of the exten∣tion of the Air, by reason that the accidental gravi∣ty of the liquor, as it lay higher or lower in the Glass, weigh'd unequally on the Air, and gave it a farther contraction or extension, over and above that which was produc'd by heat and cold; therefore he invent∣ed a Circular Thermometer, in which the liquor occa∣sions no fallacy, but remains alwayes in one height moving the whole Instrument, like a Wheel on its Axis.

He has contriv'd an Instrument to measure the quantities of Rain that falls: This as soon as it is full, will pour out it self, and at the years end dis∣cover how much Rain has fallen on such a space of Land, or other hard superficies, in order to the The∣ory of Vapours, Rivers, Seas, &c.

He has devis'd many subtil wayes for the easier finding the gravity of the Atmosphere, the degrees of drought and moysture, and many of its other acci∣dents. Amongst these Instruments there are Balances which are usefull to other purposes, that shew the weight of the Air by their spontaneous inclination.

Amongst the new Discoveries of the Pendulum, these are to be attributed to him, that the Pendulum in its motion from rest to rest; that is, in one descent and ascent, moves unequally in equal times, accor∣ding to a line of sines: That it would continue to more either in Circular, or Eliptical Motions; and such Vibrations would have the same Periods with those that are reciprocal; and that by a complication Page  314 of several Pendulums depending one upon another, there might be represented motions like the Planeta∣ry Helical Motions, or more intricate: And yet that these Pendulums would discover without confusion (as the Planets do) three or four several Motions, act∣ing upon one Body with differing Periods; and that there may be produc'd a Natural Standard for Mea∣sure from the Pendulum for vulgar use.

He has invented many ways to make Astronomical Observations more acurate and easie: He has fitted and hung Quadrants, Sextants, and Radii, more com∣modiously than formerly: He has made two Tele∣scopes, to open with a joynt like a Sector, by which Observers may infallibly take a distance to half mi∣nutes, and find no difference in the same Observati∣on reiterated several times; nor can any warping or luxation of the Instrument hinder the truth of it.

He has added many sorts of Retes, Screws, and o∣ther devises to Telescopes, for taking small distances and apparent diamets to Seconds. He has made a∣pertures to take in more or less light, as the Observer pleases, by opening and shutting like the pupil of the eye, the better to fit Glasses to Crepusculine Observati∣ons: He has added much to the Theory of Dioptrics; much to the Manufacture it self of grinding good Glasses. He has attempted, and not without success, the making of Glasses of other forms than Spherical. He has exactly measur'd and delineated the Spheres of the humors in the Eie, whose proportions one to another were only ghess'd at before. This accurate discussion produc'd the reason, why we see things e∣rected, and that Reflection conduces as much to Vision as Refraction.

He discours'd to them a Natural and easie Theory of Page  315Refraction, which exactly answer'd every Experiment. He fully demonstrated all Dioptrics in a few Proposi∣tions, shewing not only (as in Keplers Dioptrics) the common properties of Glasses, but the proportions by which the individual Raies cut the Axis, and each other; upon which the Charges (as they are usually called) of Telescopes, or the proportion of the Eye-glasses and Apertures are demonstrably disco∣ver'd.

He has made constant Observations on Saturn; and a Theory of that Planet, truly answering all Observa∣tions, before the printed Discourse of Hugonius on that subject appear'd.

He has essay'd to make a true Selenography by mea∣sure; the world having nothing yet but pictures, ra∣ther than Surveighs or Maps of the Moon. He has stated the Theory of the Moons Libration, as far as his Observations could carry him. He has compos'd a Lunar Globe, representing not only the spots, and va∣rious degrees of whiteness upon the surface, but the hills, eminencies, and cavities moulded in solid work. The Globe thus fashioned into a true model of the Moon, as you turn it to the light represents all the Menstrual phases, with the variety of appearances that happen from the shadows of the Mountains and Valleys He has made Maps of the Pleiades, and o∣ther Telescopical Stars; and propos'd Methods to de∣termine the great doubt of the Earths motion or rest, by the small Stars about the Pole to be seen in large Telescopes.

In order to Navigation he has carefully pursu'd ma∣ny Magnetical Experiments; of which this is one of the noblest and most fruitful of Speculation. A large Terella is plac'd in the midst of a Plane Board, with a hole in∣to Page  316 which the Terella is half immers'd, till it be like a Globe, with the Poles in the Horizon. Then is the Plane dusted over with steel-filings equally from a Sieve: The Dust by the Magnetical virtue is immediatly fi∣gur'd into Furrows, that bend like a sort of Helix, pro∣ceeding as it were out of one Pole, and returning into the other: And the whole Plane is thus figur'd like the Circles of a Planisphere.

It being a Question amongst the Problems of Na∣vigation, very well worth resolving, to what Mecha∣nical powrs the Sailing (against the wind especially) was reducible; he shew'd it to be a Wedge: And he demonstrated how a transient Force upon an oblique Plane, would cause the motion of the Plane against the first Mover. And he made an Instrument, that Mechanically produc'd the same effect, and shew'd the reason of Sayling to all Winds.

The Geometrical Mechanics of Rowing, he shew'd to be a Vectis on a moving or cedent Fulcrum. For this end he made Instruments, to find what the expan∣sion of Body was towards the hindrance of Motion in a Liquid Medium; and what degree of impediment was produc'd, by what degree of expansion: with other things that are the necessary Elements for lay∣ing down the Geometry of Sailing, Swimming, Rowing, Fling, and the Fabricks of Ships.

He has invented a very curious and exceeding spee∣dy way of Etching. He has started several things to∣wards the emendation of Water works. He has made Instruments of Respiration, and for straining the breath from fuliginous vapours, to try whether the same breath so purify'd will serve again.

He was the first Inventor of drawing Pictures by Microscopical Glasses. He has found out perpetual, at Page  317 least long-liv'd Lamps, and Registers of Furnaces, and the like, for keeping a perpetual temper, in or∣der to various uses; as hatching of Eggs, Insects, pro∣duction of Plants, Chymical Praeparations, imita∣ting Nature in producing Fossils and Minerals, keep∣ing the motion of Watches equal, in order to Longi∣tudes and Astronomical uses, and infinite other advan∣tages.

He was the first Author of the Noble Anatomical Experiment of Injecting Liquors into the Veins of Ani∣mals. An Experiment now vulgarly known; but long since exhibited to the Meetings at Oxford, and thence carried by some Germans, and publish'd abroad. By this Operation divers Creatures were immediately purg'd, vomited, intoxicated, kill'd, or reviv'd, according to the quality of the Liquor injected: Hence arose many new Experiments, and chiefly that of Transfusing Blood, which the Society has prosecuted in sundry Instances, that will probably end in extraordinary Success.

This is a short account of the Principal Discoveries which Dr. Wren has presented or suggested to this Assembly. I know very well, that some of them he did only start and design; and that they have been since carry'd on to perfection, by the Industry of o∣ther hands. I purpose not to rob them of their share in the honour: Yet it is but reasonable, that the ori∣ginal Invention should be ascrib'd to the true Author, rather than the Finishers. Nor do I fear that this will be thought too much, which I have said concerning him: For there is a peculiar reverence due to so much excellence cover'd with so much modesty. And it is not Flattery but honesty, to give him his just praise; who is so far from usurping the fame of other men, Page  318 that he indeavours with all care to conceal his own.

I have now perform'd my Promise, and drawn out of the Papers of the Society, an Epitome of the chief Works they have conceiv'd in their minds, or reduc'd into Practice. If any shall yet think they have not usefully employ'd their time, I shall be apt to suspect, that they understand not what is meant by a diligent and profitable labouring about Nature. There are indeed some men who will still condemn them for being idle; unless they immediately profess to have found out the Squaring of the Circle, or the Philoso∣phers Stone, or some other such mighty Nothings. But if these are not satisfied with what the Society has done, they are only to blame the extravagance of their own Expectations. I confess I cannot boast of such pompous Discoveries: They promise no Won∣ders, nor endeavour after them: Their Progress has been equal, and firm, by Natural degrees, and tho∣row small things, as well as great: They go leisu∣rably on; but their slowness is not caus'd by their idleness, but care. They have contriv'd in their thoughts, and couragiously begun an Attempt, which all Ages had despair'd of. It is therefore fit that they alone, and not others, who refuse to partake of their burden, should be Judges by what steps, and what pace, they ought to proceed.

Such men are then to be intreated not to interrupt their Labors with impertinent rebukes; they are to remember, that the Subject of their Studies is as large as the Vnivers: and that in so vast an Enterprise, many intervals and disappointments must be recon'd upon. Though they do not behold that the Society has already fill'd the world with perfect Sciences; Page  319 yet they are to be inform'd, that the nature of their Work requir'd that they should first begin with imme∣thodical Collections and indigested Experiments, be∣fore they go on to finish and compose them into Arts. In which Method they may well be justified, see∣ing they have the Almighty Creator himself for an Example: For he at first produc'd a confus'd and scatter'd Light; and reserv'd it to be the work of another day, to gather and fashion it into beautiful Bodies.

The End of the Second Part.