Philosophical Transactions/Volume 1/Number 12

Num. 12.



Munday, May 7. 1666.

The Contents.

A way of Preserving Birds taken out of the Egge, and other small Fetus's; communicated by Mr. Boyle.An extract of a Letter, lately sent to Sr. Robert Moray out of Virginia, concerning an unusuall way of Propagating Mulberry-trees there, for the better improvement of the Silk-Work; together with some other particulars, tending to the good of that Royall Plantation.A Method by which a Glass of a small Plano-Convex sphere may be made to refract the Rayes of Light to a Focus of a far greater distance, than is usuall.Observations about Shining Worms in Oysters.Observations of the Effects of Touch and Friction.Some particulars, communicated from forrain Parts, concerning the Permanent Spott in Jupiter; and a contest between two Artists about Optick-Glasses, &c.An Account of a Book written by Dr. Thomas Sydenham, entituled, Methodus Curandi Febres, propriis Observationibus superstructura.

A way of Preserving Birds taken out of the Egge, and other Fætus's; communicated by Mr. Boyle.

THis was imparted in a Letter, as follows;

The time of the year invites me to intimate to you, that among the other Uses of the Experiment, I long since presented the Society, of preserving Whelps taken out of the Dams womb, and other Fætus's, or parts of them, in Spirit of Wine; I member, I did, when I was sollicitous to observe the Processe of Nature in the Formation of a Chick, open Hens Eggs, some at such a day, and some at other daies after the beginning of the Incubation, and carefully taking out the Embryos, embalmed each of them in a distinct Glass (which is to be carefully stopt) in Spirit of Wine: Which I did, that so I might have them in readinesse, to make on them, at any time, the Observations, I thought them capable of affording and to let my Friends at other seasons of the year, see, both the differing appearances of the Chick at the third, fourth, seventh, fourteenth, or other daies, after the Eggs had been fate on, and (especially) some particulars not obvious in Chickens, that go about; as the hanging of the Gutts out of the Abdomen, &c. How long the tender Embryo of the Chick soon after the Punctum saliens is discoverable, and whilst the Body seems but a little Organixed Gelly, and some while after That, will be this way preserv'd, without being too much shrivel'd up, I was hindred by some mischances to satisfie my self: but when the Fœtus's, I took out, were so perfectly formed as they were wont to be about the seventh day, and after, they so well retain'd their shape and bulk, as to make me not repent of my curiosity: And some of those, which I did very early this Spring, I can yet shew you. I know I have mention'd to you an easie application of what I, some years since, made publick enough; but not finding it to have been yet made by any other, and being perswaded by Experience, that it maybe extended to other Fœtus's, which this season (the Spring) is time to make provision off, I think the Advertisement will not seem unseasonable to some of our Friends; though being now in haste, and having in my thoughts divers particulars, relating to this way of Preserving Birds taken out of the Egge, and other small Fœtus’s, I must content my self to have mention'd that, which is Essential, leaving divers other things, which a little practise may teach the Curious, unmention'd. Notwithstanding which, I must not omit these two Circumstances; the one that when the Chick was grown big, before I took it out of the Egge, I have (but not constantly) mingled with the Spirit of Wine, a little Spirit of Sal Armoniack, made (as I have elsewhere delivered) by theIn the Usefulness of Experimental Philosophy. help of Quick-lime: which Spirit I choose, because, though it abounds in a Salt not Sowre, but Urinous, yet I never observed it (how strong soever I made it) to coagulate Spirit of Wine. The other circumstance is, that I usually found it convenient, to let the little Animals, I meant to imbalme, lie for a little while in ordinary Spirit of Wine, to wash off the looser filth, that is wont to adhere to the Chick, when taken out of the Egge; and then, having put either the same kind of Spirit, or better upon the same Bird, I suffer'd it to soak some hours (perhaps some daies, pro re nata) therein, that the Liquor, having drawn as it were what Tincture it could, the Fœtus being remov'd into more pure and well dephlegm'd Spirit of Wine, might not discolour it, but leave it almost as limpid, as before it was put in.

An Extract

Of a Letter, sent lately to Sir Robert Moray out of Virginia, concerning an unusual way of propagating Mulberry trees there, for the better improvement of the Silk-Work; together with some other particulars, tending to the good of that Plantation.

I am disappointed at this time of some Rarities of Minerals, Mettals, and Stones; but you may have them any other time, as conveniently, &c. I have planted here already ten thousand Mulberry trees; and hope, within two or three years, to reap good silk of them. I have planted them in a way unusual here, which advances them two or three years growth, in respect of their being sown in seed: And they are now, at writing hereof all holding good, although this has been a very long and bitter winter with us, much longer and colder, than ever I did find it in Scotland or England. I intend likewise to plant them all, as if they were Currants or Goos-berries, so thick as hedges; whereby one man may gather as many of them, as otherwise, when they are planted in trees at distance, four persons may do. Expedient is the benefit of this Trade Having discoursed of this new way to all here; they are generally inclinable to it; considering that the Planting their Trees, as before, at distance, and letting them grow high, has been the main obstruction of that work hitherto, and the loss of their time and gain: but being in hedges, they will be always young tender plants; and consequently will be easily cut in great quantities with a pair of Garden Sizzers. But there may be suggested yet another, and perhaps a better way; which is, to sowe some Acres with Mulberry seed, and to cut it with a sith, and ever to keep it under. I have also bethought my self of a new way, for a few hands to serve many Worms, and that more cleanly than before: which also will be a means, without more trouble or pains, to separate unhealthy worms from healthful; and by which a great many more may be kept in a room, than otherwise upon shelves, as is usual here. Besides this, I have sown a little French Barley and Rice seed, and am thinking on a way of un-husking them with expedition, and so preparing them for the Merchant, as they use to be; But if you can inform me, how they are prepared, you may save me some labour. If I had any Coffee in husks, or any other vegetable commodity, from the Streights to try, I would here make tryal with them. Its like, that some of those Merchants that are of your Society, and keep a Correspondency there, may assist in procuring them. By the latter ships I intend to send you a New sort of sweet sented Tobacco, which I have not yet had time to improve.

A Method, by which a Glass of a small Plano-convex Sphere may be made to refract the Rayes of light to a Focus of a far greater distance, than is usual.

This is proposed by Mr. Hook, in consequence of what was mention'd from him in Numb. 4 pag. 67, of these Transactions.

Prepare (saith he) two Glasses, the one exactly flat on both sides, the other flat on the one side, and convex on the other, of what Sphere you please. Let the flat Glass be a little broader than the other. Then let there be made a Cell or Ring of Brass, very exactly turn'd, into which these two Glasses may be so fastned with Cement, that the plain surfaces of them may lye exactly paralell, and that the Convex-side of the Plano-convex-Glass may lye inward; but so, as not to touch the flat of the other Glass. These being cemented into the Ring very closely about the edges, by a small hole in the side of the Brass-ring or Cell, fill the interposed space between these two with Water, Oyl of Turpentine, Spirit of Wine, Salme Liquors, &c; then stop the hole with a screw; and according to the differing refraction of the interposed Liquors, so shall the Focus of this compound Glass be longer or shorter.

But this (adds the Proposer) I would only have look't upon, as one instance of many (for there may be others) of the Possibility of making a Glass, ground in a smaller Sphere, to constitute a Telescope of a much greater length: Though (not to raise too great exspectation) I must add, That of Spherical object glasses, those are the best, which are made of the greatest Sphere, and whose substance hath the greatest refraction.

Shining Worms in Oysters.


These Observations occur in the French journal of April 12. 1666. in two letters, written by M. Auzout to M. Dela Voye; whereof the substance may be reduced to the following particulars.

1.That M. Dela Voye having observed, as he thought, some shining Worms in Oysters; M. Auzout, being made acquainted with it, did first conceive, they were not Worms (unless they were crushed ones) that shin'd, as having not been able then to discern any parts of a Worm; but only some shining clammy moysture; which appeared indeed like a little Star of a blewish colour, and stuck to the Oyster-shell; being drawn out, shone in the Air its whole length (which was about four or five lines,) and when put upon the Observers hand, continued to shine there for some time.

2.That M. Auzout afterwards, causing more than 20. douzen of Oysters to be open'd at Candle-light, really saw, in the dark, such shining worms in them; and those of three sorts. One sort was whitish, having 24. or 25. feet on each side, forked; a black speck on one side of the head (taken by him for a Chrystallin) & the back'like an Eele, stript off her skin. The second, red, and resembling the common Glow-worms, found at Land, with folds upon their backs, and feet like the former; and with a nose like that of a dog, and one eye in the head. The third sort was speckled, having a head like that of a Sole, with many tufts of whitish hair on the sides of it,

3.That, besides these, the Observer saw some much bigger, that were grayish, with a big head, and two horns on it, like those of a Snayl, and with 7. or 8. whitish feet, but these though kept by him in the night, shin'd not.

4.That the two first sorts are made of a matter easily resoluble, the least shaking or touch turning them into a viscous and aqueous matter; which falling from the shell stuck to the Observers fingers, and shone there for the space of 20. seconds: and if any little part of this matter, by strongly shaking the shell, did fall to the ground, it appear'd like a little piece of a flaming Brimstones and when shaken off nimbly, it became like a small shining Line, which was dissipated before it came to the ground.

5.That this shining matter was of different colour; some, whitish, some, reddish; but yet that they afforded both, a light which appear'd a violet to his eye.

6.That it is very hard to examine these worms entire (especially the white ones) because that at the least touch they doe burst, and resolve into a glutinous moysture; whence also if it were not for their feet, that are discover'd in their matter, none would judge them to be Worms.

7.That among those, which be observed, he saw two more firm, than the rest, which shone all over; and when they fell from the Oyster, twinkled like a great star, shining strongly, and emitting rays of a violet-light by turns, for the space, (as touch't above) of 20. seconds. Which Scintillation the Observer imputes to this, that those worms being alive, and sometimes raising their head, sometimes their tayle, like a Carpe, the light increased and lessened accordingly; seeing that, when they shone not, he did, viewing them by a Candle, find them dead.

8.That forcibly shaking the Oyster-shells in the dark, he sometimes saw the whole shell full of lights, now and then as big as a fingers end; and abundance of this clammy matter, both red and white, (which he judges to have been Worms) burst in their holes.

9.That in the shaking he saw all the Communications of these little Verminulous holes, like to the hole of Worms in Wood.

10.That in more than 20 douzen of Oysters he shook no shell (10. or 12. excepted) but it emitted light: And found some of this light in sixteen of the Oysters themselves.

11.That this light occurs more frequently in big, than small Oysters; in those that are pierced by the Worm, oftner, than in those that are not, and rather upon the Convex-side, than the other; and more in fresh ones, than in the stale.

12.That having somewhat scaled the Convex-side of the shell, and discover'd the Communication of the holes, wherein the often-mention'd viscous moysture, that has any form of insects, is found; he smelt a scent, that was like the water of a squeesed Oyster.

13.That the Worms give no light, when irritated, but if they do, the light lasts but a very little time, whereas that which appears in those, that were not angred before, continues a great while; the Observer affirming to have kept of it above 2 hours.

So far the Journal des Scavans; which intimates withal, that if the Observers had had better Microscopes, they could have better examin'd this matter.

But since the curious here in England are so well furnish with good ones, 'tis hoped, that they will employ some of them for further and more minute Observations of these Worms; it being a matter, which, joyned with other Observations, already made by some excellent persons here, (especially Mr. Boyle) upon this subject of Light, may prove very luciferous to the doctrine of it, so much yet in the dark.

Some Observations
Of the Effects of
Touch and Friction.

The Operations and Effects of Touch and Friction having been lately much taken notice off, and being lookt upon by some, as a great Medical Branch, for the curing of many diseases and infirmities; it will perhaps not be unseasonable to mention (here also) some Observations relating thereunto; which may give an occasion to others, to consider this subject more, than has been done heretofore, and to make further Observations and Tryals concerning the power of the same.

And First, the Illustrious Lord of Verulam, in his History of Life and Death Histor. 6. §. 3. observes, That Motion and Warmth (of which two, Friction consists) draws forth, into the parts, New Juyce and Vigour. And Canon. XIII. he affirms, That Frictions conduce much to Longevity. See the same, Connex. ix. §.26. &c.

Secondly, The Honourable Robert Boyle, in his Usefulness of Experimental Philosophy, sect. 2. ch. 15. considering the Body of a Living man or any Animal, as an Engine, so composed, that there is a conspiring communication betwixt its parts, by vertue whereof a very slight impression of adventitious matter upon some one part, may be able to work, on some other distant part, or perhaps on the whole Engine, a change far exceeding, what the same adventitious matter could do upon a Body not so contrived: Representing, I say, an Animal in this manner, and thence inferring, how it may be alter'd for the better or worse by motions or impulses, confessedly Mechanicall, observes, How some are recover'd from swouning fits by pricking; others grow faint and do vomit by the bare motion of a Coach; others fall into a troublesome sickness by the agitation of a Ship, and by the Sea-air (whence they recover by rest, and by going a shore.) Again, how in our Stables a Horse well-curried is half-fed: How some can tell by the Milk of their Asses, whether that day they have been well curried or not: Arguing hence, that if in Milk the alteration is so considerable, it should be so likewise in the Blood, or other Juyces, of which the Blood is elaborated, and consequently in divers of the principal parts of the Body. Where also (upon the authority of Piso) he refers the Reader to the Brasilian Empiricks, whose wild Frictions, as unskilfully as they order them, do strange things, both in preserving health, and curing diseases; curing Cold and Chronical ones by Friction, as they do Acute ones, by Unction.

Thirdly, The learned Dr. John Beale, did not long since communicate by some Letters; First, that he could make good proof of the curing or killing a very great and dangerous Wen (that had been very troublesome for two or three years,) by the application of a dead mans hand, whence the Patient felt such a cold stream pass to the Heart, that it did almost cause in him a fit of swouning. Secondly, that, upon his brothers knowledge, a certain Cook in a Noble Family of England (wherein that brother of his then lived) having been reproached for the ugliness of his Warty hands, and return'd for answer, that he had tried many remedies, but found none, was bid by his Lord, to rub his hand with that of a dead man; and that this Lord dying soon after, the Cook made use both of his Lords advise and hand, and speedily found good effect. (Which is also confirm'd by what Mr. Boyle relates in his lately mentioned Book, of Dr. Harvey's frequently successfull triall, of curing some Tumors or Excrescencies, by holding on them such a Hand.) Here is Friction or Touch, to mortifie Wens, to drive away swellings and Excrescencies: And why not to repell or dissipate Spirits, that may have a dangerous influence upon the Brain, or other parts; as well as to call forth the retired ones into the habit of the Body, for Invigoration? Thirdly, that a Gentleman, who came lately out of Ireland, lay at his House, and inform'd him of an aged Knight there, who having great pain in his feet, insomuch that he was unable to use them, suffered, as he was going to bed, a loving Spaniell to lick his feet; which was for the present very pleasing to him, so that he used it mornings and evenings, till he found the pain appeased, and the use of his feet restored. This, saith the Relator, was a gentle touch, and transpiration; for he found the Spirits transpire with a pleasing Kind of Titillation. Fourthly, that he can assure of an honest Blacksmith, who by his healing hand converted his Barrs of Iron into Plates of Silver; and had this particular faculty, that he caused Vomitings by stroaking the Stomack; gave the Stool by stroaking the Belly; appeased the Gout, and other paines, by stroaking the parts affected.

Some particulars, communicated from forraign parts, concerning the Permanent Spott in Jupiter; and a Contest between two Artists about Optick Glasses, &c.

Eustachio de Divinis (saith the Informer,) has written a large Letter, wherein he pretends, that the Permanent Spot in Jupiter hath been first of all discovered with his Glasses; and that the P. Gotignies is the first that See Numb. 1 of these Transactions; by the date whereof it will appeare, that that Spot, was observed in England, a good while before any such thing was so much as heard of. hath thence deduced the Motion of Jupiter about his Axis; and that Signior Cassini opposed it at first; to whom the said Gotignies wrote a letter of complaint thereupon.

The same Eustachio pretends likewise, that his great Glasses excell those of Campani; and that in all the tryals, made with them, they have performed better; and that Campani was not willing to do, what was necessary for well comparing the one with the other. viz. To put equall Eye-Glasses in them, or to exchange the same Glasses.

The said Divini affirms also, that he hath found a way to know, whether an Object glass be good or not, onely by looking upon it, without trying. This, would be of good use, especially if it should extend so far as, to discerne the goodness of such a glas, whilst it is yet on the Cement.

An Account

Of Dr. Sydenham's Book, entituled, Methodus Curandi Febres, Propriis observationibus superstructa.

This Book undertakes to deliver a more certain and more genuine Method of curing Feavers and Agues, than has obtained hitherto: And it being premised, First, that a Fever is Natures Engine, she brings into the field, to remove her enemy; or her handmaid, either for evacuating the impurities of the blood, or for reducing it into a New State: Secondly, that the true and genuine cure of this sickness consists in such a tempering of the Commotion of the Blood, that it may neither exceed, nor be too languide: This, I say, being premised by the Author, he informs the Reader;

In the First Section, of the different Method, to be employed in the cure of Feavers, not only in respect of the differing constitutions and ages of the patients, but also in regard of the differing seasons of one and the same year, and of the difference of one year from another. As to the Former, he shews, in what sorts of Patients, and at what time of the Feaver, Phlebotomy, or Vomiting, or both, are to be used; and when and where not: In what space of time the Depuration if nature be not disturbed or hindred in her work, will be perform'd: When Purgatives are to be administred: How that Diarrhea's happen, if the Patient had in the beginning of the Feaver an inclination to vomit, but no vomit was given; and that those symptoms, which commonly are imputed to a malignity, do, for the most part, proceed from the Relaxation of the tone of the Bloud, caused by Medicines too refrigerating, or by the unseasonable use of Glisters in the declination of the disease. As to the Latter, he observes, that one of the chief causes, rendring the Cure of Feavers so uncertain and unsuccessful, is, that Practitioners do accommodate their observations, they take from the successful cure of some Feavers in one season of the year, or in some one year, to that of all Feavers in any season, or in any year whatsoever. And here he observes, first, how vigorous the blood is in the Spring, and how dispirited in Autumn; and thence regulates the letting of bloud, and Vomiting, and the giving of Glisters. Next, how difficult it is, to assign the cause of the difference between the Feavers of Several years; and to prognosticate of the salubrity or insalubrity of the following part of the year; where yet he insinuates, that, when Insects do swarm extraordinarily, and when Feavers and Agues (especially Quartans) appear very early, as about Midsummer, then Autumn commonly proves very sickly. Lastly, what method and Cautious are to be used in the Cure of Epidemical Feavers.

In the Second Section, he treats of the Symptoms, accompanying Continued Feavers; as Phrensies, Pleurisies, Coughs, Hicoughs, Fluxes,&c. Shewing, both whence they are caused, and how they are to be cured: Where having inserted a considerable Paragraph, touching a certain Symptomatical Feaver in the Spring, to be cured like Plurisies; he mentions among many Observables, this, as a chief one, that Laudanum, or any other Narcotick given against the Phrensy, in the beginning, progress, or height of a Feaver, does rather hurt, than good, but in the declination thereof, is used with good success. To all which he subjoins a particular accompt of the Iliac Passion (efteem'd by him to be sometimes a Symptome also of Feavers;) not only discoursing of its cause (a preposterous inversion of the Intestins, proceeding either from Obstruction, or Irritation,) but adding also a very plain way of Curing the same; and that not by the use of Quick-silver or Bullets (by him judged to be frequently noxious) but only by Mint water; and the application of a Whelp to the Patients stomach; to strengthen the same, and to reduce it again to its natural motion.

In the Third Section he treats of Intermittent Feavers, or of Agues: Where he discourses of the times of the Cold and Hot fits, and of that of the Separation of the subdued aguish matter: Finds difficulty in giving a satisfactory accompt of the return of Fits: distinguishes Agues into Vernal and Autumnal: Takes notice, that as there are few Continued Feavers, so generally there are only Quotidians and Tertians, in the Spring; and only Tertians and Quartans in Autumn; Of which having offered Reasons, that seem considerable, he proceeds to his Method of curing them; and, laying much weight upon the said difference, he prescribes and urges different ways to be used in that cure: Interserting among other things these notes; First, that the Period of Fermentation in Feavers, both Continued and Intermittent, is (if left to Natures own conduct and well regulated, if need be, by Art) perform'd in about 336. hours or 14 dayes; subducting in Intermittent ones, the hours of intermission, and counting 51/2 hours for every Paroxism; and imputing the excursion beyond that time to the disturbance given to nature by the error of Practitioners. Secondly, that whoever hath had a Quartan formerly, though many years be pass'd, shall, if he chance to have another, be soon freed from it; and that a Physician knowing that, may confidently predict this.

In the Fourth Section, the Author, in conformity to the Custom of those that write of Feavers, discourses of the Small-pox; and First, examining the cattle of this sickness and its universality, delivers his peculiar opinion of the bloud's endeavouring a Renovation or a New Texture (once at least in a Mans life) and is inclin'd to preferr the same to the received doctrine of its malignity. Then, having laid down, for a foundation of the Cure, the two times, of Separation and Expulsion, he argues as well against too high an Ebullition or too hasty a separation (by a hot diet or high Cordials) as against too languid a one (by Blooding, Purges, and Cooling medicines.) The like he does to the Time of Expulsion, forbidding both immoderate Heat (whereby Natures expelling operation is disturbed by a precipitated and too thick a crowd of the protruded pustuls,) and too much Cooling, whereby due Expulsion is hindred. In short, he advises, to permit Nature to do her own work, requiring nothing of the Physician, but to regulate her, when she is exorbitant, and to fortifie her, when she is too weak. He concludes all, with delivering a Model of the Method, he would use for his own only Son, if he should fall into this Sickness.


Whereas 'tis taken notice of, that several persons perswade themselves, that these Philosophical Transactions are publish't by the Royal Society, notwithstanding many circumstances, to be met with in the already publish't ones, that import the contrary; The Writer thereof hath thought fit, expresly here to declare, that that perswasion, if there be any such indeed, is a meer mistake; and that he, upon his Private account (as a Well-wisher to the advancement of usefull knowledge, and a Furtherer thereof by such Communications, as he is capable to furnish by that Philosophical Correspondency, which he entertains, and hopes to enlarge) hath begun and continues both the composure and publication thereof: Though he denies not, but that, having the honour and advantage of being a Fellow of the said Society, he inserts at times some of the Particulars that are presented to them; to wit, such as he knows he may mention without offending them, or transgressing their Orders; tending only to administer occasion to others also, to consider and carry them further, or to Observe or Experiment the like, according as the nature of such things may require.

Printed with Licence for John Martyn and James Allestry, Printers to the Royal Society. 1666.