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marine animals, and such great quantities of vegetable marine productions, it is natural to conclude, they are designed by Providence for the support of them, and that fish are sustained and nourished in the same manner that all other animals are.
That all animal and vegetable substances are ultimately the same, I think, may be strongly enforced, by observing, that, by putrefaction, they are both resolved into one uniform, undistinguished mass, the properties of which are exactly the same, be the subjects ever so different; so that the matter is originally the same, only modified into different forms.
Now, I should imagine, if spirituous liquors could be produced in any considerable quantities from milk, it would be a matter of important and beneficial consequence to the public, by increasing the number of cattle for that purpose, which must ultimately become provision, and thereby lessen the price of it, besides the increase of hides, tallow, &c. and as this would be a substitute for so much corn, now used in distillation, the price of that, in the same proportion, would be lessened; so that, on the whole, if this could be effected, it would be of the most extensive benefit in every point of view.
The manner how milk is prepared by the Tartars for distillation, is thus related by Strahlenberg, in his Historical and Geographical Description of the North and East Parts of Europe and Asia, 332 : “ Ariki or Arki; thus the Tartars and Calmucks call the brandy which they distil from cows' or mares' milk. They put the milk in raw ox-bides sown into bags, and there let it grow sour and thick; they afterwards shake it so long till a thick cream settles upon it; this they take off, and dry it in the sun, and treat their guests with it; and the sour milk they either drink, or distil into brandy. The sour milk which they drink they call Kumise.” So that this is really no inore than letting the milk grow sour, and then doing what is in their manner equivalent to churning it, to separate the aqueous and serous, from the oleaginous parts of the milk; and which, perhaps, might be made use of, and preserved as some species of cheese, and thus no loss sustained.
And it may be worth trying; whether the whey from cheese, suffered to grow sour, and treated in the same manner, might not produce the same effect as by the Tartarian method"; the design of the whole process seeming to be, to free the milk from its oleaginous parts before distillation, as those might prevent the uniting and coalescence of those particles, from which, by distillation, spirits are
formed : and this I am more inclined to think may be the case, as it is well known to the makers of sugar, that a small quantity of butter or fat thrown into the syrup will totally prevent its granulating, that is, the union and adhesion of its parts. 1771, Suppl.
L. Wonderful Effects of a Sympathetic Powder.
Kent, July 10, 1775. ON reading the account in the papers some time ago, of a man who pretended to open the head of any animal, and to cure it again in a very short time, it put me in mind of Sir Kenelm Digby's Sympathetic Powder, of which he gives the following remarkable account:
“ Mr. James Howell, “ says Sir Kenelm," well known for his public works, endeavouring to part two of his friends eugaged in a duel, seized, with his left hånd, the hilt of the sword of one of the combatants, and, with his right hand laid hold of the blade of the other. They, being transported with fury one against the other, struggled to rid themselves of the hinderance their friend made to prevent mischief; and one of them, roughly drawing the blade of his sword, cut to the very bone the nerves and muscles of Mr. Howell's hand; and then the other disengaging his hilty gave a cross blow at his adversary's head, which glanced towards his friend, who lifting up his wounded hand to save the blow, he was wounded on the back of his hand as he had been before on the inside. The two combatants, seeing Mr. Howell's face besmeared with blood, by lifting up his wounded hand, left off fighting at once, and ran to embrace him ; and, having searched his hurts, they bound up his hand with one of his garters, to close the veins which were cut and which bled abundantly. They brought him home, and sent for a surgeon; but this being heard at court, the King sent one of his own surgeons, for his Majesty much respected Mr. Howell.
“ It was my chance to be lodged hard by him, and four or five days after, as I was making myself ready, he came to my house, and prayed me to view his wounds; for I understand,' said he, that you have extraordinary remedies upon such occasions, and my surgeons are apprehensive that my wound may grow to a gangrene, and so the hand must be cut off.' In effect, his countenance shewed VOL. III.
that he was in much pain, which he said was insupportable, in regard of the extreme inflammation. I told him I would willingly serve him, but if haply he knew the manner how I would treat him, without touching the wound, or seeing it, perhaps he would not expose himself to my cure, because ne might think it either ineffectual or superstitious. He replied, the wonderful things of which many have related unto me of your way of curing, make me nothing af all doubt of its efficacy. I asked him then for any thing that had the blood upon it; so he presently sent for his garter wherewith his hand was first bound; and, having called for a bason of water, as if I would wash my hands, I cook a handful of powder of vitriol, which I had in my study, and presently dissolved it. As soon as the bloody garter was brought me, I put it within the bason, observing, in the mean while, what Mr. Howell did, who stood talking with a gentleman in the corner of my chamber, not. regarding at all what I was doing; but he started suddenly, as if he had found some strange alteration in himself. "I asked him, what he ailed? I know not what ails me, replied he, but I find that I feel no more pain. Methinks that a pleasing kind of freshness, as if a wet cold napkin did spread over my hand, has taken away the inflammation that tormented me formerly.' I answered, since you feel already so good an effect of my medicament, I advise you to cast away all your plasters; only keep the wound clean, and in a moderate temper betwixt heat and cold.' This was reported to the Duke of Buckingham, and a little after to the King, who were both very curious to know the circumstance of the business, which was, that after dinner, I took the garter out of the water, and put it to dry before a great fire. It was scarcely dry but Mr. Howell's servant came in running, that his master felt as much burning as ever he had done, if not more ; for his heat was such, as if his hand was betwixt coals of fire. I answered, that though that had happened at present, yet he should find ease in a short time; for I knew the reason of this accident, and I would provide accordingly; for his mas. ter should be free from that inflammation, it may be, before he could possibly return unto him; but, in case he found no ease, wished him to come presently back again ; if not, he might forbear coming. Thereupon he went; and, at the instant, I did put again the garter into the water, and he found his master without any pain at all.
“ King James, who had received a punctual information of what had happened, would fain know how it was done: I
teadily told him what the author, from whom I had the secret, said to the great Duke of Tuscany on the like occasion : (it was a religious Carmelite, who came from the Indies and Persia to Florence ; he had also been in China, and had done many strange cures with his powder, after his arrival in Tuscany,) the Duke said he would be very glad to learn it of him; and the Carmelite answered, that it was a secret he had learnt in the oriental parts, and he thought there was not any person in Europe who knew it but himself, and that it deserved not to be divulged, which could not be done if his Highness meddled with the practice of it, because he was not likely to do it with lis own hand, but must trust a surgeon, or some other servant; so that in a short time. divers others would come to know it as well as himself. But a few months after, I had an opportunity to do an important courtesy to the Carmelite, which induced him to discover unto me his secret, and the same year he returned to Persia; so that now there is no other knows this secret in Europe but myself. The King replied, that I need not be apprehensive that he would discover any thing, for he would not trust any body in the world to make experience of his secret, but that he would do it with his own hands, and, therefore, desired some of the powder, which I delivered, instructing him in all the circumstances; whereupon his Majesty made sundry proofs, whence he received singular satisfaction."
How far this may be credited in this enlightened age, I will not pretend to say ; yet Mr. Bayle, the author of the celebrated Dictionary which bears his name, relates something no less strange, in a letter to a friend, dated Rotterdam, March 27, 1697. “ It is,” says he, “some time ago that I mentioned to you a physician in Friezeland, who has performed several cures without giving any thing to his patients. He contents himself with mingling with their urine somewhat, which, as the malady requires, either sweats, voinits, or purges. He continnes this practice, and I am told he was domestic to a certain great Lord of Italy, who was sent for to the court of Vienoa, to cure the Emperor, which he actually did. This man discovered his master's secret, and has set up for himself. Yet he is not the only one who professes it, for there are three others who pursue this practice as well as he; one at Leyden, one at Antwerp, and a third has been here at this city of Rotterdam for two or three months. He has but lately been in any degree of credit. His house at present is like the pool of Bethesda, all who are diseased run thither. It is certain that he has
cured some, and that he has sweated a great many. The physicians cry out against him with the utmost fury; and, as there are more in this country than in any other, who are apt to deny, as impossible, whatever they do not comprehend, so there are numbers who join in the same outcry with the physicians; but, not being able to deny the fact that many have been sweated, they attribute this to a prepossessed imagination. For my own part I cannot think it impossible, physically speaking, that a man may be made to sweat by having something put into his urine."
These relations, with others no less wonderful that are mentioned in the great philosopher Bacon's Natural History, seem to give countenance to the pretensions of this new operator, who, the papers say, did actually perform some extraordinary cures.
I am, Sir,
LI. Physical Error exploded. MR. URBAN, I HOPE that by your means an error, which is of the greatest consequence to the lives of many poor unhappy wretches, may no longer exist, but be exploded out of all societies. It is this, that, if the lungs of a deceased infant, when put into water, swim, it is admitted as evidence, that the child was born alive. Now, Sir, if this experiment (so much relied on) is proved to be uncertain and fallacious, I hope you will grant with me, it is an experiment of very dangerous import. That it has proved to be such, there are many gentlemen of the faculty can testify, who were present at Surgeon's-hall when it was lately declared to be so by a learned gentleman in full court, when, on reading a lecture on the lungs, he took occasion to break off from the subject, and deliver himself in words to this effect:
"And here I must beg leave, gentlemen, to take notice of a method made use of by some of the faculty, to ascerLain whether an infant is born alive or dead, which is by opening the thorax of the suspected infant, taking out the lungs, and casting them into water; if they sink, it is looked upon as a fact the child was still-born ; but if they swim, then without all doubt the child was born alive. The truth of this experiment is founded on these reasons ; all crea.