underground above 6 hours; all of them in time (some later, some sooner) become paralytick, and dye hectick.
We saw there a man, who had not been in the Mines for above half a year before, so full of Mercury, that putting a piece of Brass in his mouth, or rubbing it in his fingers, it immediately became white like Silver: I mean he did the same effect, as if he had rubb'd Mercury upon it, and so paralytick, that he could not with both his hands carry a Glass, half full of Wine, to his mouth without spilling it, though he loved it too well to throw it away.
I have been since informed, that here in Venice, those that work on the back-side of Looking-glasses, are also very subject to the Palsey. I did not observe, that they had black Teeth; it may be therefore, that we accuse Mercury injustly for spoiling the Teeth, when given in Venereal diseases. I confess, I did not think of it upon the place; but, black Teeth being so very rare in this Country, I think I could not but have markt it, had all theirs been so.
They use exceeding great quantity of Wood, in making and repairing the Engins, and in the Furnaces (whereof there are 16. each of them carrying 24. Retorts;) but principally in the Mines, which need continual reparation, the Fir-trees lasting but a small time under ground. They convey their Wood thus: About four miles from the Mines, on the sides of two mountains, they cut down the Trees, and draw them into the interjacent Valley, higher in the same Valley, so that the Trees, according to the descent of the water lye betwixt it and Idria: with vast charges and quantities of Wood they made a Lock or Dam, that suffers not any water to pass; they expect afterwards, till there be water enough to float these Trees to Idria; for, if there be not a spring, (as generally there is,) Rain, or the melting of the Snow, in a short time, afford so much water, as is ready to run over the Dam, and which (the Flood-gates being open'd) carries all the Trees impetuously to Idria, where the Bridge is built very strong, and at very oblique Angles to the stream, on purpose to stop them, and throw them on shore neer the Mines.