Philosophical Transactions/Volume 1/Number 22

Numb. 22.



Monday, February 11. 1666.

The Contents.

Trials proposed to be made for the Improvement of the Experiment of Transfusing Blood out of one live Animal into another.A Method for Observing the Eclipses of the Moon, free from the Common Inconveniences.An Account of some Celestial Observations lately made at Madrid.Extract of a Letter, lately written to the publisher, containing some Observations about Insects and their Inoxiousness, &c.An Account of some books, vid.I. TOME TROISIEME DES LETTRES DE M. DESCARTES.II. ASTRONOMIA REFORMATA P. RICCIOLI.III. ANATOME MEDULLÆ SPINALIS ET NERVORUM, inde provenientium, GERARDI BLASII, M. D.An Advertisement about the re-printing of M. Evelyns Sylva and Pomona.A Table of the Transactions, printed these two years.

Tryals proposed by Mr. Boyle to Dr. Lower, to be made by him, for the improvement of Transfusing Blood out of one live Animal into another; promised Num. 20. p. 357.

THe following Quæries and Tryals were written long since, and read about a Moneth ago in the R. Society, and do now come forth against the Authors in ntion, at the earnest desire of some Learned Persons, and particularly of the worthy Doctor, to whom they were addressed; who thinks, they may excite and assist others in a matter, which, to be well prosecuted, will require many hands, At the reading of them, the Author declared, that of divers of them he thought he could fore-fee the Events, but yet judged it fit, not to omit them, because the Importance of the Theories, they may give light to, may make the Tryals recompense the pains, whether the success favour the Affirmative or the Negative of the Question, by enabling us to determine the one or the other upon surer grounds, than we could otherwise do. And this Advertisement, he desires may be applied to those other Papers of his, that consist of Quæries or proposed Tryals.

The Quæries themseves follow.

1. Whether by this way of Transfusing Blood, the disposition of Individual Animals of the same kind, may not be much altered; (As whether a fierce Dog, by being often quite new stocked with the blood of a cowardly Dog, may not become more tame; & vice versa, &c.?)

2. Whether immediately upon the unbinding of a Dog, replenisht with adventitious blood, he will know and fawn upon his Master; and do the like customary things as before? And whether he will do such things better or worse at some time after the Operation?

3. Whether those Dogs, that have Peculiarities, will have them either abolisht, or at least much impaired by transfusion of blood? (As whether the blood of a Mastiff, being frequently transfused into a Blood-hound, or a Spaniel, will not prejudice them in point of scent?)

4. Whether acquired Habits will be destroy'd or impair'd by this Experiment? (As whether a Dog, taught to fetch and carry, or to dive after Ducks, or to sett, will after frequent and full recruits of the blood of Dogs unfit for those Exercises, be as good at them, as before?)

5. Whether any considerable change is to be observ'd in the Pulse, Urin, and other Excrements of the Recipient Animal, by this Operation, or the quantity of his insensible Transpiration?

6. Whether the Emittent Dog, being full fed at such a distance of time before the Operation, that the mess of blood may be suppos'd to abound with Chyle, the Recipient Dog, being before hungry, will lose his appetite, more than if the Emittent Dogs blood had not been so chylous? And how long, upon a Vein opened of a Dog, the admitted blood will be found to retain Chyle?

7. Whether a Dog may be kept alive without eating by the frequent Injection of the Chyle of another, taken freshly from the Receptacle, into the Veins of the Recipient Dog?

8. Whether a Dog, that is sick of some disease chiefly imputable to the mass of blood, may be cured by exchanging it for that of a sound Dog? And whether a sound Dog may receive such diseases from the blood of a sick one, as are not otherwise of an infectious nature?

9. What will be the Operation of frequently stocking (which is feasible enough) an old and feeble Dog with the blood of young ones, as to liveliness, dulness, drowsiness, squeamishness, &c et vice versa?

10. Whether a small young Dog, by being often fresh stockt with the blood of a young Dog of larger kind, will grow bigger, than the ordinary size of his own kind?

11. Whether any Medicated Liquors may be injected together with the blood into the Recipient Dog? And in case they may, whether there will be any considerable difference found between the separations made on this occasion, and those, which would be made, in case such Medicated Liquors had been injected with some other Vehicle, or alone, or taken in at the mouth?

12. Whether a Purging Medicine, being given to the Emittent Dog a while before the Operation, the Recipient Dog will be thereby purged, and how? (which Experiment may be hugely varied.)

13. Whether the Operation may be successfully practis'd, in case the injected blood be that of an Animal of another Species, as of a Calf into a Dog, &c. and of a Cold Animal, as of a Fish, or Frog, or Tortoise, into the Vessels of a Hot Animal, and vice versa?

14. Whether the Colour of the Hair or Feathers of the Recipient Animal, by the frequent repeating of this Operation, will be changed into that of the Emittent?

15. Whether by frequently transfusing into the same Dog, the blood of some Animal of another Species, something further, and more tending to some degrees of a change of Species, may be effected, at least in Animals near of Kin; (As Spaniels and Setting Dogs, Irish Grey-hounds and ordinary Grey-hounds &c?)

16. Whether the Transfusion may be practis'd upon pregnant Bitches, at least at certain times of their gravidation? And what effect it will have upon the Whelps?

There were some other Quæries proposed by the same Author; as, the weighing of the Eminent Animal before the Operation, that (making an abatement for the Effluviums, and for the Excrements, if it voids any) it may appear, how much blood it really loses. To which were annext divers others not so fit to be perused but by Physitians, and therefore here omitted.

A method

For Observing the Eclipses of the Moon, free from the Common Inconveniences, as it was left by the Learned Mr. Rook, late Gresham-Professor of Geometry.

EClipses of the Moon are observed for two principal ends; One Astronomical, that by comparing Observations with Calculations, the Theory of the Moons Motion may be perfected, and the Tables thereof reformed: the other, Geographical, that by comparing among themselves the Observations of the same Ecliptick Phases, made in divers places, the Difference of Meridians or Longitudes of those places may be discerned.

The Knowledge of the Eclipse's 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 Eclipses, as also in Total ones, the Beginning and End of Total darkness, is useful for both of them.

But because in Observations made by the bare Eye, these times considerably differ from those with a Telescope, and because the Beginning of Eclipses, and the End of Total darkness, are scarce to be observed exactly, even with Glasses (none being able clearly to distinguish between the True Shadow and Penumbra, unless he hath seen, for some time before, the Line, separating them, pass along upon the Surface of the Moon,) and lastly, because in small Partial Eclipses, the Beginning and End, and in Total ones of short continuance in the Shadow, the Beginning and End of Total darkness, are unfit for nice Observations, by reason of the slow change of Apparences, which the Oblique Motion of the Shadow then causeth. For these reasons I shall propound a Method peculiarly design'd for the Accomplishment 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 Telescope. Secondly, The Observer shall alwayes have opportunity before his principal Observation, to note the Distinction between the True Shadow and the Penumbra. And, Thirdly, It shall be applicable to those Seasons of the Eclipse, when there is the suddenest Alteration in the Apparences.

To satisfie all which intents,

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, or Example, those, which M. Hevelius calleth,

Mons Sinai
Æthna Infula Besbicus Palus Mæotis
Porphyrites Creta Maræotis
Lacus Niger Major

Let in each Eclipse, not all, but (for instance) three of these Spots, which then lie nearest to the Ecliptick, be exactly observed, when they are first touch'd by the True Shadow, and again, when they are just compleatly entred 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 accurate determinations 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 of the Line, of such, as lie between the Æquator and Tropick of Cancer; but beyond the Line, of such, as are situate towards the other Tropick; and in all places, of such, as at the time of Observation, are about 4. hours distant from the Meridian.

An Account
Of some observations, lately made in
Spain, by
His Excellency the
Earl of Sandwich.

THe Right Honourable the Earl of Sandwich, as he appears eminent in discharging the Trust, his Majesty hath reposed in him, of Ambassador Extraordinary to the King of Spain; so he forgets not in the midst of that Employment, that he is a Member of the Royal Society; but does from time to time, when his weighty State-Negotiations do permit, imploy himself in making considerable Observations of divers kinds, both Astronomical and Physiological; and communicateth the same to the said Society; as for instance, lately, what he has observ'd concerning the Solar Eclipse in June last, the Suns height in the Solstice, and also the Latitude of Madrid, esteeming by the Suns Altitude in the Solstice, and by other Meridian Attitudes, the Latitude of Madrid to be 40 deg. 10 min; which differs considerably from that assigned by others; the General Chart of Europe giving to it 41 deg. 30 min. the General Map of Spain, 40 deg. 27 min. A large Provincial Map of Castile, 40 deg, 38 min.

To these particulars, and others formerly imparted, his Excellency is making more of the same nature; and particularly those of the Immersion of the Satellites of Jupiter.

We must not omit mentioning here, what he hath observed of Halo's about the Moon; which he relates in these words;

Decemb. 25, Old Style, 1666. In the Evening, here (vid. at Madrid) was a great Halo about the Moon, the Semidiameter whereof was about 23 deg. 30 min. Aldebaran was just in the North-east part of the Circle, and the two Horns of Aries just enclosed by the South-west of the Circle, the Moon being in the Center. I note this the rather (saith he) because five or six years ago, vid. Novemb. 21. Old Style, 1661. an hour after Sun-set, I saw a great Halo about the Moon of the same Semidiameter, at Tangier, the Moon being very near the same place, where fire was now.

Extract of a Letter, lately written by Mr. Nathaniel Fairfax to the Publisher, containing Observations about some Insects, and their Inoxiousness, &c.

The Ingenious Author of this Letter, as he expresses an extraordinary desire to see the Store-house of Natural Philosophy, more richly fraughted (a Work begun by the single care and conduct of the Excellent Lord Verulam, and prosecuted by the Joynt-undertakings of the R. Society) so he very frankly offers his Service in contributing some of his Observations, and begins in this very Letter to perform his Offer. For, Having taken notice of what was publisht in Numb. 9, p. 161, out of the Italian Philosopher Redi, vid, That Creatures, reputed Venomous, are indeed no Poysons, when swallow'd, though they may prove so, when put into Wounds: He, for confirmation thereof, alledges Examples of several Persons well known to him (himself also having been an Eye-witness to some such Experiments) who have frequently swallow'd Spiders, even of the rankest kind, without any more harm than happens to Hens, Robin-red-breasts, and other Birds, who make Spiders their daily Commons. And having made mention of some men, that eat even Toads, he adds, that though a Toad be not a Poyson to us in the whole; yet it may invenome outwardly, according to some parts so and so stirr'd; an instance whereof he alledges in a Boy, who stumbling on a Toad, and hurling stones at it, some Juyce from the bruised Toad chanced to light upon his Lips, whereupon they swell'd, each to the thickness of about two Thumbs: And he neglecting to use, what might be proper to restore them, they have continued in that mishapen size ever since; the ugliness whereof, when the Relator saw, gave him occasion to inquire after the cause of it, which thereupon he understood to be, as has been recited.

On this occasion, the same Gentleman relates, that once seeing a Spider bruised into a small Glass of Water, and that it tinged it somewhat of a Sky-colour, he was, upon owning his surprise thereat, informed, that a dozen of them being put in, they would dye it to almost a full Azure. Which is touch't here, that, the Experiment being so easie to make, it may be tried, when the season furnishes those Insects; mean time, it seems not more incredible, that this Creature should yield a Sky-colour, when put in water, than that Cochineel, which also is but an Insect, should afford a fine red, when steep'd in the same Liquor.

An Account
Of Some Books.

1. Le Tome troisieme et dernier des Lettres de M. DES-CARTES.

As the two first Tomes of M. Des-Cartes his Letters, contain Questions, for the most part of a Moral and Physiological Nature, proposed to, and answer'd by him; so this consists of the Contests, he had upon several Subjects with divers Men eminent in his time.

To pass by that sharp Contest, he was engaged in by some Professors of Divinity at Utrecht, who endeavoured to discredit his Philosophy, as leading to Libertinisme and Atheisme, notwithstanding he made it so much his business, to[errata 1] to assert the Existence of a Deity, and the Immortality of the soul[errata 2] of a Soul: We shall take notice of what is more to our purpose, vid., the Differences, he had touching his Dioptricks and Geometry.

As for his Dioptricks, though a great part of the Learned World have much esteem'd that Treatise, as leaving little to be said after him upon that Subject; yet there have not been wanting Mathematicians, who have declared their disagreement from his Principles in that Doctrine, The first of them was the Jesuit Boudrin, Mathematick Professor in the Colledg of Clermont at Paris; but this difference was soon at an end. A second was Mr. Hobbs, upon whose account he wrote several Letters to Mersennus, containing many remarks conducing to the Knowledge of the Nature of Reflection and Refraction. But the Person, that did most learnedly and resolutely attack the said Dioptricks, was Monsieur Fermat, writing first about it to Mersennus, who soon communicated his Objections to M. Des-Cartes, who failed not to return his Answer to them. But Fermat replied, and Des-Cartes likewise; and after many reciprocations, in which each party pretended to have the advantage, the matter rested; until M. Fermat taking occasion to write afresh of it to M. De la Chambre, several years after Des-Cartes's death, upon occasion of a Book, written by M. De la Chambre, Of Light; discoursed with this new Author after the same rate, as he had done before with Des-Cartes himself, and seemed to invite some-body of his friends, to re-assume the former contest. Whereupon M. Clerselier and M. Rohault took up the Gantlet, to assert the Doctrine of the deceased Philosopher, exchanging several Letters with M. Fermat, all inserted in this Tome, and serving fully to instruct the Reader of this Difference, and withal to elucidate many difficult points of the Subject of Refractions; especially of this particular, Whether the Motion of Light is more easily, and with more expedition, perform'd through dense Mediums, than rare.

Besides this, though one would think, Disputes had no place in Geometry, since all proofs there, are as many Demonstrations; yet M. Des-Cartes hath had several scufles touching that Science. As M. Fermat had assaulted his Dioptricks, so He reciprocally examined his Treatise De Maximis & Minimis, pretending to have met with Paralogismes in it. But the Cause of M. Fermat was learnedly pleaded for, by some of his Friends, who took their turn to examine the Treatise of Des-Cartes's Geometry; whereupon many Letters were exchanged, to be found in this Book, and deserving to be considered; which doubtless the Curious would easily be induced to do, if Copies of this Book were to be obtain'd here in England, besides that one, which the Publisher received from his Parisian Correspondent, and which affords him the opportunity of giving this, though but Cursory, Account of it.

As to Physicks, there occur chiefly two Questions, learnedly treated of in this Volume, though not without some heat between M. Des-Cartes and M. Roberval. The one is, touching the Vibrations of Bodies suspended in the Air, and their Center of Agitation: about which, there is also a Letter inserted of M. Des-Cartes to that late Noble and Learned-English Knight, Sir Charles Cavendish. The other is, whether Motion can be made without supposing a Vacuum: where 'tis represented, That, if one comprehend well the Nature, ascribed to the Materia subtilis, and how Motions, called Circular, are made, which need not be just Ovals or true Circles, but are only called Circular, in regard that their Motion ends, where it had begun, whatever irregularity there be in the Middle; and also, that all the Inequalities, that may be in the Magnitude or Figure of the parts, may be compensated by other inequalities, met with in their Swiftness, and by the facility, with which the parts of the Subtle Matter, or of the first Cartesian Element, which are found every where, happen to be divided, or to accommodate their Figure to the Space, they are to fill up: If these things be well understood and considered, that then no difficulty can remain touching the Motion of the parts of Matter in pleno.

Besides all these particulars, treated of in this Tome, there occur many pretty Questions concerning Numbers, the Cycloid, the manner of Working Glasses for Telescopes, the way of Weighing Air, and many other Curiosities, Mathematic and Physical.


For the Notice of this Book, and the Account of the Chief Heads contained therein, we are obliged to the Journal des Scavans which informs us,

First, That the Design of this Work is, that, because several Astronomers, having had their several Hypotheses, there is found so great a diversity of opinions, that it is difficult thence to conclude any thing certain; this Author judged it also necessary to compare together all the best Observations, and upon examination of what they have most certain in them, to reform upon that measure the Principles of Astronomy.

Secondly, That this Volume is divided into two Parts; whereof the First is composed of Ten Books; in which the Author considers the principal Observations, hitherto made of the Motion of the Planets and the Fixed Stars, of their Magnitude, Figure, and other Accidents; drawing thence several Conclusions, in which he establishes his Hypothesis. The Second contains his Astronomical Tables, made according to the Hypothesis of the First Part, together with Instructions teaching the manner of using them.

Thirdly, That Astronomers will find in this Book many very remarkable things, concerning the Apparent Diameter of the Sun and the other Stars, the Motion of the Libration of the Moon, the Eclipses, Parallaxes, and Refractions: And that this Author shews, that there is a great difference between Optical and Astronomical Refraction, which Tycho and many others have confounded; undertaking to prove, that, whereas these Astronomers believed, that the remoter any Star is, the less is its Refraction, on the contrary the Refraction is the greater, the more a Star is distant. And among many other things, he ingeniously explicates the two contrary Motions of the Sun, from East to West, and vice versa, by one onely Motion upon a Spiral, turning about a Cone.

Fourthly, That he represents, How uneasie it is to establish sure Principles of this Science, by reason of the difficulties of making exact Observations, So, for example, in the Observation of the Equinox, every one is mistaken by so many Hours, as he is of Minutes, in the Elevation of the Pole, or the Diameter of the Sun, or the Refraction, or in any other circumstance. In the Observation of the Solstice, the error of one only Second causeth a mistake of an Hour and an half: mean time it is almost impossible to avoid the error of a Second; and even the sharpest sight will not be able to perceive it, except it be assisted with an Instrument of a prodigious bigness. For to mark Seconds, though Lines were drawn as subtil as the single threds of a Silk-worms Clew, (which are the smallest spaces to be discerned by the sharpest Eye) by the Calculation made by this Author there would need an Instrument of 48. feet Radius, since Experience shews, that there needs no more at most, than 3600. threds of Silk to cover the space of an inch. But, suppose one could have a Quadrant of this bigness, who can assure himself, that dividing it into 324000. parts (for so many seconds there are in 90. Degrees) either in placing it, or in observing, he shall not mistake the thickness of a single thred of Silk: He adds, that Great Instruments have their defects, as the small ones: For in those, that are Movable, if the thred, on which the Lead hangs, is any thing big, it cannot exactly mark Seconds; if it be very fine, it breaks; because of its great length, and the weight of the Lead: And in the Fixed ones, the greater the Diameter is, the less the Shadow or the Light is terminated; so that it is painful enough, exactly to discern the extremities thereof. Yet 'tis certain, that the greater the Instruments are, the surer Astronomers may be: Whence it is, that some Astronomers have made use of Obelisks of a vast bigness, to take the Altitudes; and Signior Cassini, after the example of Egnatio Dante, caused a hole to be made on the highest part of a Wall of 95. feet in a Church at Bononia, through which the beams of the Sun falling on the Floor, mark as exactly as is possible, the height of that Luminary.

Fifthly, That the Author reasons for the Immobility of the Earth after this manner. He supposes for certain, that the swiftness of the Motion of heavy bodies doth still increase in their descent; to confirm which principle, he affirms to have experimented, That, if you let fall a Ball into one of the Scales of a Ballance, according to the proportion of the height, it falls from, it raiseth different weights in the other Scale, For example, A Wooden Ball, of 11/2 ounce, falling from a height of 35 inches, raiseth a weight of 5. ounces; from the height of 140 inches, a weight of 20 ounces; from that of 315 inches, one of 45 ounces; and from another of 560 inches, one of 80 ounces, &c. From this principle he concludes the Earth to be at Rest; for, saith he, if it should have a Diurnal Motion upon its Center, Heavy Bodies being carried along with it by its motion, would in descending describe a Curve Line, and, as he shews by a Calculus, made by him, run equal spaces in equal times; whence it follows, that the Celerity of their Motion would not increase in descending, and that consequently their stroke would not be stronger, after they had fallen thorow a longer space.


The Author shews in this little Tract a way of taking the entire Medulla Spinalis, or Marrow of the Back, out of its Theca or Bony Receptacle, without Laceration; which else happens frequently, both of the Nerves proceeding from it, and of the Coats investing it; not to name other parts of the same. This he affirms to have been put into practice by himself, by a fine Saw and Wedge; which are to be dexterously used: and he produceth accordingly in excellent Cuts, the Representations of the Structure of the said Medulla thus taken out, and the Nerves, thence proceeding; and that of several Animals, Dogs, Swine, Sheep.

He intermixes several Observations, touching the Singleness of this Medulla, against Lindanus and others; its Original, vid. Whether it be the Root of the Brain, or the Brain the Root of it: its difference of Softness and Hardness in several Animals; where he notes, that in Swine it is much softer than in Dogs, &c.

He exhibits also the Arteries, Nerves, and Veins, dispersed through this Medulla, and inquires, Whether the Nerves proceed from the Medulla it self, or its Meninx; and discourses also of the Principle and Distribution of the Nerves; referring for ampler information in this and the other particulars, to that Excellent Book of the Learned Dr. Willis, De Anatome Cerebri.


It was thought fit to publish here the following Advertisement of John Evelyn Esquire, and that, as himself proposed it. Viz.

BEing much solicited by many worthy Persons, to publish a Second Edition of my Discourse and Directions concerning Timber, &c. which was printed at the Command and by the Encouragement of the R. Society, I do humbly request, that if any Person have any Material Additions or Reformations, which he thinks necessary either to the Part, which concerns the Improvement of Forrest-Trees, or that of Cider, he would be pleased to communicate his Notes and Directions to Mr. H. Oldenburgh, one of the Secretaries of the said Society, at his House in the Palmal of St. James's Fields Westiminster, with what speed they conveniently can, before our Lady-day next, to be inserted into this intended Edition.


What was observed, Numb, 20, p. 364. l. 18. of the Number of Vegetables, (vid. That they are about 410.) found in England; and catalogued by Dr. Merret in his Pinax, &c. is to be understood only of the different Kinds of Plants, not of the several sorts of several Plants; for, these being comprised, the Number will amount to about 1400.


  1. Original: as to was amended to to: detail
  2. Original: of a soul was amended to of the soul: detail