Philosophical Transactions/Volume 1/Number 8

Num. 8.



Munday, Januar. 8. 1665/6.

The Contents.

An Account of the Tryals, made in Italy of Campani's new Optick Glasses.A further Relation of the Whale-fishing about the Bermudas, and upon the Coast of New England, and New Netherland.Of a remarkable spring of Paderborn in Germany.Of some other uncommon Springs at Basel and in Alsatia.Of the richest Salt-springs in Germany.Some Observations of Strange Swarms of Insects, and the mischiefs done by them: as also of the brooding of Snakes and Vipers.Observations of odd Constitutions of humane Bodies.Of a way, used in Italy, of preserving Ice and Snow by Chaffe.Directions for Sea-men bound for far Voyages, drawn up by Master Rook, late Geometry Professour of Gresham Colledge.Some Observations of Jupiter; Eclipsed by one of his Satellites; and of his Conversion about his Axis.Of some Philosophical and Curious Books, that are shortly to come abroad.

An Account of the Tryalls, made in Italy of Campani's new Optick Glasses.

AN Inquisitive Parisian writes to his Correspondent in London, as follows;

We received lately news from Rome, from a very Curious Person of our acquaintance, importing, that Campani hath had the advantage of Divini. The Great Duke of Toskany, and Prince Leopold, his Brother, upon Tryal, made of both their Glasses, have found those of Campani excel the other, and with them they have been able, easily to distinguish people at 4 Leagues distance: Of which I intend you more particulars hereafter.

Among them are expected the Length of these Telescopes, and the Largeness of the Aperture of their Object-glasses. In the mean time, the Parabolic-glasses, formerly mentioned to be in hand here at London, are finishing with all possible care and industry.

A Further Relation of the Whale-fishing about the Bermudas, and on the Coast of New-England and New-Netherland.

The same Person, that communicated the particulars about the new Whale-fishing near the Bermudas, mentioned in the first of these Tracts, gives this further Information; That there have been since taken by order of the Bermudas Company, sixteen of those Whales, the Oyle whereof, to the quantity of 50 or 60 Tuns arrived in Ireland at Limrick, some few months agoe.

He adds, that about two years since, there stranded upon the Coast of New-England a dead Whale, of that sort, which they call Trumpo, having Teeth resembling those of a Mill, and its mouth at a good distance from, and under the Nose or Trunk, and several boxes or partitions in the Nose, like those of the Tailes in Lobsters; and that that being open'd there run out of it a thin oily substance, which would candy in time; after which, the remainder, being a thick fatty substance, was taken out of the same part, with a scoope, And this substance he affirmed to be the Sperma ceti; adding further, that the Blubber, as they call it, it self, of the same sort of Whales, when stewed, yields on the top a creamy substance, which taken off, and thrown upon white wine[errata 1], lets fall a dirty heterogeneous sediment, but what remains aloft, affords a Sperma-Ceti-like like matter.

He concluded his relation with observing, that these whales were to be met with, between the Coast of New-England, and New Netherland, where they might be caught eight or nine months in the year; whereas those about the Bermudas are to be found these only in the Months of February, March and April.

Concerning the death of the Whale, which hath been related to have stranded upon New-England, it is not very improbable, but, (that Fish having also more than one Enemy, whereof a small Fish called the Thresher, is one, who, by Mr. Terry’s Relation in his East-Indian Voyage, with his nimbleness vexes him as much, as at Bee does a great Beast on the land; and a certain horny Fish another; who runs its horn into the Whal's belly) it may have been kill'd by the latter of these two; which kind of Fish is known, sometimes to run its horn into Ships (perhaps taking them for Whales) and there snapping it asunder; as hapned not long since to an English Vessel in the West-Indian Seas; the broken piece of that Horn being by the Master of that ship presented to the King, and now kept in His Majesties Repository: the like wherof befel a French Vessel, sailing towards the East-Indies, according to the Relation, made by Monsieur Thevenot in his second Tome of Curious Voyages.

Of a remarkable Spring, about Paderborn in Germany.

An inquiring Gentleman of those parts Writes to his Friend in London, as follows;

In this Diocess of Paderborn, about 2 leagues from that Town, is a treble Spring call'd Metborn, which has three streams, two wherof are not above one foot and and a half distant from one another, and yet of so differing qualities, that whereas one of them is limpid, blewish, lukewarm, bubling, and holding Sal-armoniack, Ochra, Iron, Vitriol, Allum, Sulphur, Niter, Orpiment, used against Epilepsies bad Spleens, and the Wormes; the other is Ice-cold, turbid and whitish, much stronger in tast, and heavier than the former, holding much Orpiment, Salt, Iron, Niter, and some Sal-Armoniack, Allum and Vitriol; Of this all Birds, observed to drink of it, doe dye; which I have also privately experimented by taking some of it home, and giving it to Hens, after I had given them Oates, Barly and Bread-crums: For, soon after they had drunk of it, they became giddy reeled, and tumbled upon their backs, with convulsion-fitts, and so dyed with a great extension of their leggs. Giving them common-salt immediately after they had drunk, they dyed not so soon; giving them vineger, they dyed not at all, but seven or eight days after were troubled with the Pipp. Those that dyed, being open'd, their Lungs were found quite shrivelled together. Yet some men, that are troubled with Worms, taking a litle quantity of it, and diluting it in common water, have been observed by this means to kill the Worms in their bellies, so that a great number of worms come from them; whereupon though they are sick, yet they dye not. As to the third stream, that lyes lower than the other two, about 20 paces distant from them, it is of a greenish colour, very clear, and of a sowre sweet tast, pleasing enough. It hath about a middle weight between the other two; whence wee guess, that it is mixed of them both, meeting there together: to confirm which, we have mixed equal quantities, of those two, with an addition of a litle common well-water, and have found that they, being stirred together and permitted to setle, made just a water of the same colour and tast of this third stream.

Of same other not-common Springs at Basel and in Alsatia.

A Curious Person writes from those Places in manner following;

At Basel the Spring, running in the Gerbergasse (or Tanners-street) from St. Leonard's Hill, is of a Blewish colour, and somewhat troubled, holding Copper, Bitumen, and Antimony, about 3 parts of the first, one of the second, and two of the last, as has been examined by skilful Persons. Our Tanners do water their Skins in it; and being a well tasted and wholsome Water, it is both much drunk, and used to Bath in. It mingles with another Spring-water, call'd the Birsick, and with it, between the Salt-tower and the Rhine-gate runs into the Rhine.

In the same Town (which abounds with Spring-waters) there are two, among the rest, called Bandulph's-well, and Brun Zum Brunnem, that are more observable then the other; the former of them having a Camphory and drying Quality, and used against Hydropical Distempers; the latter containing some Sulphur, Saltpeter and Gold, and being an excellent Water to drink, much used in the principal Tavern of the City, where the chief of the Town do resort, and near which it runs.

In Alsatia in the Valley, called Leberthal, near Geesbach (an ancient Mine-work) there runs out of a Cavern a foul, fattish, oily Liquor, which, though the Country-men of that place employ to the vile use of greasing their Wheels; instead of ordinary Wheel-grease; yet doth it afford an excellent Balsom, by taking a quantity of it, and putting it in an Earthen Pot well luted, that no steam may exhale; and then with a gentle Fire at first, but a stronger afterwards, boyling it for three hours together; in which space it will boyl in a fourth part, and an Earthen Matter, like Pitch, will settle it self at the bottom: but on the top thereof, when cold, there will swim a fatty Substance, like Lyne-Oyl, limped and somewhat yellowish, which is to be decanted from the thick Sediment, and then gently distilled in an Alembick in Arena; by which means, there will come over two differing Liquors, one Phlegmatick, the other Oily, which latter swimming on the Phlegm, is to be severed from it. The Phlegm is used as an excellent Resister and Curer of all the Putrefactions of the Lungs and Liver, and it heals all foul Wounds and Ulcers. The Oily part, being diluted with double its quantity of distilled Vineger, and brought three times over the Helm, yields a rare Balsom, against all inward and outward Corruptions, stinking Ulcers, hereditary Scurfs and Scabs: 'Tis also much used against Apoplexies, Palsies, Consumptions, Giddinesses, and Head-aches. Inwardly they take it with Succory-water against all corruptions of the Lungs. It is a kind of Petroleum, and contains no other Mineral Juice, but that of Sulphur, which seems to be thus distilled by Nature under ground; the distillation of an Oyl out of Sulphur by Art, being not so easie to perform.

Of the richest Salt-Springs in Germany.

An Account having been desired of those two chief salt-Springs in Germany, at Hall and Lunenburg, it was lately transmitted thus:

The Salt-Springs at Hall in Saxony are four, called Gutiar, the Dutch-Spring, the Mettritz, and the Hackel-dorn; whereof the three first hold near the same proportion of Salt; the last holds less, but yields the purest Salt. The three first hold about seven parts of Salt, three of Marcasit, and fourteen of Water: They are, besides their Oeconomical use, employed Medicinally to Bath in, and to draw a Spirit out of it, exhibited with good success against Venom, and the putrefaction of the Lungs, Liver, Reins, and the Spleen.

The Salt-Water at Lunenburgh, being more greenish then white, and not very transparent, is about the same nature and hold with that of Hall. It hath a mixture of Lead with it, whence also it will not be sod in Leaden Pans; and if it held no Lead at all, it would not be so good, that Mettal being judged to purifie[errata 2] the Water: whence also the Salt of Lunenburg is preferred before all others, that are made of Salt-Springs.

Some Observations of swarms of strange Insects, and the Mischiefs done by them.

A great Observer, who hath lived long in New England, did upon occasion, relate to a Friend of his in London, where he lately was, That some few Years since there was such a swarm of a certain sort of Insects in that English Colony, that for the space of 200 Miles they poyson'd and destroyed all the Trees of that Country; there being found innumerable little holes in the ground, out of which those Insects broke forth in the form of Maggots, which turned into Flyes that had a kind of taile or sting, which they struck into the Tree, and thereby envenomed and killed it.

The like Plague is said to happen frequently in the Country of the Cosacks or Ukrani, where in dry Summers they are infested with such swarms of Locusts, driven thither by an East, or Soutb-East Wind, that they darken the Air in the fairest weather, and devour all the Corn of that Country; laying their Eggs in Autumn, and then dying; but the Eggs, of which every one layeth two or three hundred, hatching the next Spring, produce again such a number of Locusts, that then they do far more mischief than afore, unless Rains do fall, which kill both Eggs and the Insects themselves, or unless a strong North or North-West Wind arise, which drives them into the Euxin Sea: The Hogs of that Country loving these Eggs, devour also great quantities of them, and thereby help to purge the Land of them; which is often so molested by this Vermine, that they enter into their Houses and Beds, fall upon their Tables and into their Meat, insomuch that they can hardly eat without taking down some of them; in the Night when they repose themselves upon the ground, they cover it three or four Inches thick, and if a Wheel pass over them, they emit a stench hardly to be endured: All which, and much more may be fully seen in the French Description of the Countries of Poland, made by Monsieur de Beauplan, and by Monsieur de Thevenot, in his Relation of the Cosacks, contained in the First part of his Curious Voyages.

An Observation touching the Bodies of Snakes and Vipers.

Several have taken notice, that there is a difference between the brooding of Snakes and Vipers, those laying their Eggs in Dung-hills, by whose warmth they are hatched; but these (Vipers) brooding their Eggs within their Bellies, and bringing forth live Vipers. To which may he added, That some affirm to have seen Snakes lye upon their Eggs, as Hens sit upon theirs.

Some Observations of odde Constitutions of Bodies.

A very curious Person, studying Physick at Leyden, to whom had been imparted those Relations about a Milky Substance in Veins, heretofore alledged in Numb. 6. returns, by way of gratitude, the following Observations.

There was (saith he) not many Years since, in this Country a Student, who being much addicted to the study of Astronomy, and spending very many Nights in Star-gazing, had, by the Nocturnal wet and cold temper of the Air, in such a manner obstructed the pores of his skin, that little or nothing exhaled from his Body; which appeared hence, because that the shirt, he had worn five or six weeks, was then as white as if he had worn it but one day. In the mean while he gathered subcutaneous Water, of which yet he was afterwards well cured.

We have also (saith the same) seen here a young Maid, of about thirteen Years of age, which from the time that she was but six Years old, and began to be about her Mother in the Kitchin, would, as often as she was bid to bring her Salt, or could else come at it, fill her Pockets therewith, and eat it, as other children doe Sugar: whence she was so dried up, and grown so stiff, that she could not stirre her limbs, and was thereby starved to death.

That Learned and Observing Doctor John Beal, upon the perusal of the forementioned Numb. 6. was pleased to communicate this Note

To your Observation, of Milk in Veines, I can add a Phænomenom of some resemblance to it, which I received above 20. years agoe from Thomas Day, an Apothecary in Cambridge; vid. That himself let a man bloud in the arme, by order of Doctor Eade, a Physitian there. The mans bloud was white as Milk, as it run out of his arme, it had a little dilute redness, but immediately, as it fell into the Vessel, it was presently white; and it continued like drops of Milk on the pavement, where ever it fell. The conjecture which the said Physitian had of the cause of this appearance, was, that the Patient had much fed on Fish; affirming withall, that he had soon been a Leper, if not prevented by Physick.

A way of Preserving Ice and Snow by Chaffe.

The ingenious Mr. William Ball did communicate the relation hereof, as he had received it from his Brother, now residing at Livorne, as follows;

The Snow, or Ice-houses are here commonly built on the side of a steep hill, being only a deep hole in the ground, by which meanes, they easily make a passage out from the bottom of it, to carry away all the water, which, if it should remain stagnating therein, would melt the Ice and Snow: but they thatch it wich straw, in the shape of a Saucepan-cover, that the rain may not come at it. The sides (supposing it dry) they line not with anything as is done in St. Jeames's Park, by reason of the moistness of the ground. This Pit they fill full of Snow or Ice (taking care that the Ice be made of the purest water, because they put it into their wine) overspreading first the bottom very well with Chaffe; by which I mean not any part of the straw, but what remains upon the winnowing of the Corn; and I think, they here use Barley-chaffe. This done, they further, as they put in the Ice, or the Snow, (which latter they ram down,) line it thick by the sides with such Chaffe, and afterwards cover it well with the same; and in half a years lying so, 'tis found not to want above an eight part of what it weighed, when first put in. When ever they take it out into the Aire, they wrap it in this Chaffe, and it keeps to admiration. The use of it in England would not be so much for cooling of drinks, as 'tis here generally used; but for cooling of fruit, sweet-meats &c. So far this Author.

The other usual way both in Italy and other Countries, to conserve Snow and Ice with Straw or Reed, is set down so punctually by Mr. Boyle in his Experimental History of Cold, pag. 408. 409. that nothing is to be added. It seems Pliny could not pass by these Conservatories, and the cooling of drinks with Ice, without passing this severe, though elegant and witty, Animadversion upon them: Hi Nives, illi glaciem potant, pœnásque montium in voluptatem gulæ vertunt: Servatur algor æstibus, excogitatúrque ut alienis mensibus nix algeat, lib. 19. cap. 4. But the Epigrammatist sports with it thus;

Non potare nivem, sed aquam potare rigentem
De nive, commenta est ingeniosa sitis. Martial, 14. Ep. 117.

Directions for Sea-men, bound for far Voyages.

It being the Design of the R. Society, for the better attaining the End of their Institution, to study Nature rather than Books, and from the Observations, made of the Phænomena and Effects she presents, to compose such a History of Her, as may hereafter serve to build a Solid and Useful Philosophy upon; They have from time to time given order to several of their Members to draw up both Inquiries of things Observable in forrain Countries, and Directions for the Particulars, they desire chiefly to be informed about. And considering with themselves, how much they may increase their Philosophical stock by the advantage, which England injoyes of making Voyages into all parts of the World, they formerly appointed that Eminent Mathematician and Philosopher Master Rooke, one of their Fellowes, and Geometry Professor of Gresham Colledge (now deceased to the great detriment of the Common-wealth of Learning) to think upon and set down some Directions for seamen going into the East & West-Indies, the better to capacitate them for making such observations abroad, as may be pertinent and suitable for their purpose; of which the said Sea-men should be desired to keep an exact Diary, delivering at their return a fair Copy thereof to the Lord High Admiral of England, his Royal Highness the Duke of York, and another to Trinity-house to be perused by the R. Society. Which Catalogue of Directions having been drawn up accordingly by the said Mr. Rook, and by him presented to those, who appointed him to expedite such an one, it was thought not to be unseasonable as this time to make it publique, the more conveniently to furnish Navigators with Copies thereof. They are such, as follow;

1.To observe the Declination of the Compass, or its Variation from the Meridian of the place, frequently; marking withal, the Latitude and Longitude of the place, wherever such Observation is made, as exactly as may be, and setting down the Method, by which they made them.

2.To carry Dipping Needles with them, and observe the Inclination of the Needle in like manner.

3.To remark carefully the Ebbings and Flowings of the Sea, in as many places as they can, together with all the Accidents, Ordinary and Extraordinary, of the Tides; as, their precise time of Ebbing and Flowing in Rivers, at Promontories or Capes; which way their Current runs, what Perpendicular distance there is between the highest Tide and lowest Ebb, during the Spring-Tides and Neap-Tides; what day of the Moons age, and what times of the year, the highest and lowest Tides fall out: And all other considerable Accidents, they can observe in the Tides, cheifly neer Ports, and about Ilands, as in St. Helena's Iland, and the three Rivers there, at the Bermodas &c.

4. To make Plotts and Draughts of prospect of Coasts, Promontories, Islands and Ports, marking the Bearings and Distances, as neer as they can.

5. To found and marke the Depths of Coasts and Ports, and such other places nere the shoar, as they shall think fit.

6. To take notice of the Nature of the Ground at the bottom of the Sea, in all Soundings, whether it be Clay, Sand, Rock, &c.

7. To keep a Register of all changes of Wind and Weather at all houres, by night and by day, shewing the point the Wind blows from, whether strong or weak: The Rains, Hail, Snow and the like, the precise times of their beginnings and continuance especially Hurricans and Spouts; but above all to take exact care to observe the Trade-Wines, about what degrees of Latitude and Longitude they first begin, where and when they cease, or change, or grow stronger or weaker, and how much; as near and exact as may be.

8. To observe and record all Extraordinary Meteors, Lightnings, Thunders, Ignes fatui, Comets, &c. marking still the places and times of their appearing, continuance, &c.

9. To carry with them good Scales, and Glasse-Violls of a Pint or so, with very narrow mouths, which are to be fill'd with Sea-water in different degrees of Latitude, as often as they please, and the weight of the Vial full of water taken exactly at every time, and recorded, marking withall the degree of Latitude, and the day of the Month: And that as well of water near the Top; as at a greater Depth.

Some Observations concerning Jupiter. Of the shadow of one of his Satellites seen, by a Telescope passing over the Body of Jupiter.

I have received an Account from very good hands, That on the 26th of September last, at half hour after seven of the Clock, was seen, both in Holland and in France (by curious Observers, with very good Telescopes) the shadow of one of the Satellites of Jupiter, passing over his Body. One of those small Stars moving about his Body (which are therefore called his Satellites) coming between the Sun and it, made a small Eclipse, appearing in the Face of Jupiter as a little round black Spot. The Particulars of those Observations, when they shall come to our Hands, we may (if need be) make them publik: Which Observations, as they are in themselves very remarkable, and argue the Excellency of the Glasses by which they were discovered; So are we, in part, beholding to Monsieur Cassini for them, who giving notice before-hand of such Appearances to be expected, gave occasion to those Curious Observers to look for them.

Of a permanent Spot in Jupiter: by which is manifested the conversion of Jupiter about his own Axis.

Besides that Transient Shadow last mentioned, there hath been observed, by Mr. Hook first (as is mentioned in Numb. 1. of these Transact.) and since by M. Cassini, a permanent Spot in the Disque of Jupiter; by the help whereof; they have been able to observe, not onely that Jupiter turns about upon his own Axis, but also the Time of such conversion; which he estimates to be, 9 hours and 56 minutes.

For as Kepler did before conjecture, from the motion of the Primitive Planets about the Sun as their Center, that the Sun moved about its own Axis, but could not prove it, till by Galileo and Shiner the Spots in the Sun were discovered; so it hath been thought reasonable, from the Secundary Planets moving about Jupiter, that Jupiter is also moved about his Axis; yet, till now, it hath not been evinced, by Observation, That it doth so move; much less, in what Period of Time. And the like reason there is to judge so of Saturn, because of the Secundary Planet discovered by Monsieur Hugens de Zulichem to move about it; (though such motion be not yet evinced from Observation:) as well as that of the Earth, from its Attendant the Moon.

Whether the same may be also concluded of the other Planets, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, (about whom have not yet been observed any Secondary Planets to move,) is not so evident. Yet there may be somewhat of like probability in those. Not onely, because it is possible they may have Secundary Planets about them, though not yet discovered; (For, we know, it was long after those of Jupiter, before that about Saturn was discovered; and who knows, what after times may discover about the rest?) But because the Primary Planets being all in like manner inlightned by the Sun, and (in all likely hood) moved by it; it is likely that they be moved by the same Laws and Methods; and therefore, turn'd about their own Axis, as it is manifest that some of them are.

But, as for the Secundary Planets, as well those about Jupiter, as that about Saturn; it is most likely that they have no such Rotation upon their Axis. Not so much, because, by reason of their smalness, no such thing hath been yet observed, (or, indeed, could be, though it were true;) But because they being Analogical to our Moon, it is most likely that they are moved in like manner. Now, though it be true, that there is some kind of Libration of the Moon's body, so that we have not precisely just the same part of it looking towards us; (as is evident by Hevelius observations, and others;) yet is there no Revolution upon its Axis; the same part of it, with very little alteration, always respecting us, as is to be seen in Hevelius his Treatise de Motu Lunæ Libratorio; and, indeed, by all those who have written particularly of the spots in the Moon; and is universally known to all that have with any curiosity viewed it with Telescopes.

Of some Philosophical and curious Books, that are shortly to come abroad.

1. Of the Origine of Forms and Qualities, deduced from Mechanical Principles; by the Honorable Robert Boyle Esq.

2. Hydrostatical Paradoxes, by the same Both in English.

3. A Tract of the Origine of the Nile, by Monsieur Isaac Vossius, opposed to that of Monsieur de la Chambre, who is maintaining, That Niter is the principal cause of the Inundation of that River.

4. A Dissertation of Vipers, by Signor Redi, an Italian.

5. A Discourse of the Anatomy of a Lyon, by the same.

6. Another De Figuris Salium, by the same.

7 A Narration of the Establishment of the Lyncei, an Italian Academy, and of their Design and Statutes: the Prince Cesi being the Head of them, who did also intend to establish such Philosophical Societies in all parts of the World, and particularly in Africa and America, to be by that means well informed of what considerable productions of Nature were to be found in those parts. The Author yet Anonymus.

8. To these I shall add, a Book newly Printed in Oxford (and not yet dispersed) being, A Catalogue of Fixed Stars with their Longitudes, Latitudes, and Magnitudes, according to the Observations of Uleg-Beig (a King, and famous Asronomer, who was Great-Grand-childe to the famous Tamerlane and one of his Successors in same of his Kingdoms) made at Samarcand, his cheief seat, (for the year of the Hegira 841, for the year of Christ 1437.) who not finding the Tables of Ptolemy to agree sufficiently with the Heavens, did with great diligence, and expense, make observations anew; as Tycho Brahe hath since done. It is a small part of a larger Astronomical Treatise of his, whereof there be divers Persian Manuscript Copies in Oxford. Out of which this is Translated and Published, both in Persian and Latine. by Mr. Thomas Hyde, now Library Keeper to the Bodleyan Library in Oxford: (with Commentaries of his annexed:) Like as another part of it hath formerly been by Mr. John Graves. And it were a desirable work that the whole were Translated, that we might be the better acquainted with what was the Eastern Astronomy at that time.

Published with License.

Oxford, Printed by A: & L: Lichfield,
for Ric. Davis. 1666.


  1. Original: lime was amended to wine: detail
  2. Original: putrifie was amended to purifie: detail