Philosophical Transactions/Volume 1/Number 19
Munday, November 19. 1666.
An Addition to the Instances of Petrification, enumerated in the last of these Papers.
This Instance was some while since communicated to the Royal Society by that Ingenious Gentleman Mr. Philip Packer, a worthy Member of that Body, in these words;
N a Bank in a Close of Mr. Purefoy, neer his house, call'd Wadley, a mile from Farrington in Berks, there grows an Elme, which hath now lost the top, and is grown hollow, containing neer a Tun of Timber. From the But of the same Tree, one of the spreading Clawes having been formerly cut off with an Axe; that part of the But, from whence the same was sever'd, being about 11 foot above ground, and inward within the trunk of the Tree, hath contracted a petrified Crust, about the, thickness of shilling, all over the woody part Within the Bark; the Marks of the Axe also remaining very conspicuous, with this petrified crust upon it. By what means it should thus happen, cannot well be conceived, in regard there is no water neer it; the part, above the ground and out of the weather; the Tree yet growing: unless being cut at some season, when the sap was flowing, the owsing of the sap might become petrified by the Air, and the Tree grow rotten and hollow inward since that time; which how long since, is not known.
A piece of that part cut, was presented, together with this Account, to the said Society, for their Repository.
Articles of Inquiries touching Mines.
What the Honourable Robert Boyle gave the Reader cause to hope for, in Numb. 11. when he was pleased to impart those General Heads for a Natural History of a Country, there publish'd; He is not un-mindful to perform, by enlarging them as occasion serves, with Particular and Subordinate Inquiries. Here he gratifies the Curious with a considerable Set of Inquiries about Mines: which though unfinish'd, yet the publisher, was instant to obtain their present Publication, to the end, that he might the more conveniently recommend them to several Forreigners of his Acquaintance, now ready to return to their several Countryes, which he understands to abound in Mines; and from the Curious Inhabitants whereof he expects to receive a good Accompt upon some at least of these Inquiries; which also by several of them have been earnestly desired, as Instructions, to direct them, what Particulars to inquire after upon this Subject.
These Quæries are reduced by the Author to six Heads:
The first, The neighbouring Country about the Mines.
The second, The Soyl where the Mines are.
The third, The Signs of Mines.
The fourth, The Structure and other particulars belonging to the Mines themselves.
The fifth, The Nature and Circumstances, of the Ore.
The sixth, the Reduction of the Ore into Metal.
About the first Title.
1. Whether the Country be Mountainous, Plain, or distinguish'd with Vales? And in case it be mountainous, what kind of Hills they are; whether high, or low, or indifferently elevated? Whether almost equal or very un-equal in height? Whether fruitful or barren; cold or temperate; rocky or not; hollow or solid? Whether they run in ridges, or seem confusedly placed; and, if the former, what way the ridges run, North and South, &c. And whether they run any thing parallel to one another?
2. Whether the Country be barren or fruitful? And, if any way fruitful, what it produces, and what it most abounds with?
3. What Cattle it nourishes, and whether they have any such thing peculiar in point of bigness, colour, shape, longævity, fitness or unfitness to make good meat, &c. as may be rather adscribed to the peculiar nature of the place, than to the barrenness of the Soyl, or other manifest causes?
4. Whether the Natives, and other Inhabitants, live longer or shorter than ordinary? Whether they live more or less healthy? Whether they be subject to any Epidemical Diseases, that may very probably be imputed to the Mines; and what these Diseases are; and what Remedies are found successful?
5. Whether the Country be, or be not furnish'd with Rivers, Brooks, Springs, and other Waters; and how these waters are conditioned?
6. Whether the Air be dry or moist; hot or cold; clear or foggy; thick or thin; heavy or light; and especially, whether the Weather be more or less variable than ordinarily; or whether it be subject to great and sudden changes, that may probably be imputed to the Mineral and Subterraneous Steams; and what they are?
About the second Title.
7. Whether the Soyle that is neer the Surface of the Earth, be Stony; and, if it be, what kind of Stones it abounds with? Whether it be Clayie, Marley, Chalkye, &c. And, if it be of several kinds, how many they are; and by what properties they are diistinguish'd?
About the third Title.
8. By what Signs they know or guess, that there is a Mine in such a place?
9. These Signs are either upon the Surface of the Earth, or beneath it.
To the former belong these Quæries.
10. Whether the Ground be made barren by Metalline or Mineral Effluviums?
11. Whether it be observed, that Trees and other greater Plants seem to have their tops burnt, or other leaves or outsides discoloured? or whether there be any Plants, that do affect to grow over such Mines; and whether it have been tryed, that other Plants, that would prosper in the adjacent places, will not be made to grow or thrive there?
12. Whether the Stones and Pebles, that are wash'd by the Brooks, Springs, or other Waters, have any colour'd substance left upon them; and if they have, of what colour, weight, &c. these adherences are?
13. Whether the Waters of the place proposed, do by their tast, smell, ponderousness, &c. disclose themselves to contain Minerals? And, if they do, what Minerals they or their residences, when they are evaporated away, do appear to abound with, or to participate of?
14. Whether Snow will not lye, or Frost continue so long, or Dew be generated or stay upon the ground in the place proposed, as on other neighbouring grounds?
15. Whether the Dew that falls on that ground, will discolour white Linnen or Woollen-Cloths, spred overnight on the surface of the ground, and employed to collect the Dew? And whether the Rain that falls there, and may be supposed to come thither from elsewhere, will discolour such Clothes, or afford any residence of a Mineral Nature?
16. Whether the Place be more than ordinarily subject to Thunder and Lightning, and to sudden Storms or Earthquakes; as likewise to Nocturnal Lights and fiery Meteors.
17. Whether Mists use to rise from Grounds stored with Minerals? What is observable in them, and what Minerals they signify, and may be supposed to be produced by?
18. Whether the Virgula Divinitoria be used to find out the Veins of proposed Mines; and, if it be, with what success?
19. What other Signs above ground afford probability of Mines, or Direction for following a Vein over Hills, Valleys, Lakes, Rivers, &c.
The Second sort of Signs belonging to these Quæries, are such as follow.
20. Whether there be any Clayes, Marles, or other Mineral Earths, yellow or liquid matters, that usually give notice of the Ore? And if there be more than one, how and at what depths they are wont to lye respectively? Of what thickness and consistence they are; and in what Order the Diggers meet with them?
21. Whether there be any Stones or Marchasites to be found neer, or not very far from the surface of the ground, by which one may have ground to expect at Mine? As is often observed in the Tin-Mines of Cornwall, over which such kind of Stones are divers times found lying above ground?
22. Whether all Stones of that kind do equally signify that Mine? And, if not, how the significant Stones are to be known, as by Colour, Bigness, Shape, Weight, Depth under ground, &c.
23. Whether there be any Earths of peculiar kinds, as to Colour, Consistence, &c. that indicate a Mine beneath or near them; and, if there be, what they are, and what is their consecution, if they have any?
24. Whether Heat or Damps give any assurance or a probability of finding a Mine?
25. Whether Water of any kind, met with in Digging, especially at this or that depth, do betoken a Mine?
26. Whether there be any Signs of the neerness of the Mine, and what they are?
27. Whether there be any Signs of ones having miss'd the Mine, either by being past above, or beneath, or having left it on either hand; and what they are?
28. Whether there be any Signs not only of the distinct and determinate kind of Metals or Minerals; but of the Plenty and Goodness of the Vein; and what the are?
29. Whether there be any Signs of the depth of the Vein beneath the surface of the Earth; and what they are?
30. Whether there be any proper or peculiar Signs, that show it to be hopeless, or at least unlikely, to find a Vein in the place where it is digg'd for; and what those are?
About the fourth Title.
31. What is the depth of the Shaft or Groove (which though named in the singular Number, the questions about it are generally applicable) till you come at the Vein or Ore?
32. Whether the Vein run or lye Horizontal, or dippe? And if it dippe, what inclination it hath, how deep the lowest part lies; and consequently how much deeper than the uppermost? As also, what it's Flexures, if it have any, are? And whether it runs directly North or South, East or West; or seem rather to have a Casual tendency, than any determinate one by Nature? and how far it reaches in all?
33. What is the Wideness of the Groove at the Top, and elsewhere? Whether the Groove be perpendicular or crooked; and if crooked, after what manner, and with what distance it winds?
34. How the Groove is supported? What are the kinds, length, bigness, and way of placing the Timber, Poles, &c. that are employed to support it? And how long the Wood will last, without being spoyled with the subterraneous fumes and waters? and what wood lasts longest?
. What Air-shaft belongs to the Mine? Whether it be single, or more than One? Of what breadth the Air-shaft is at the Orifice? Whether it be convenient enough, or not? How neer it is placed to the Groove; and in what position? And if there be several Air-shafts, what their Distances and scituation are in reference to the Groove, and to each other? Or how Air is supplied, if there be no Air-shafts?
36. Whether they meet with any Waters in the Mine? And, if they do, how copious they are; at what depths they occur; how they are qualified; and what way they Spring, &c.
37. Whether they are constant or temporary? whether they increase or diminish notably in Summer or Winter, or at any other time of the year; and if they do, at what season that is; how long it is wont to last; and the proportions of Increase and Decrease?
38. What Expedients and Engines are employed to free the Mines from Water? The materials, the parts, the bigness, the shapes, the coaptation; and, in short, the whole structure, number, and way of applying the Instruments, that are made use off to free the Mines from Water?
39. What are the Conditions, Number, &c. of the Adits?
40. Whether the Mine be troubled with Damps, and of what kind they are? whether they come often or seldom at any set time, or altogether irregularly? what Signs fore-run them? what mischief they do? what remedies are the most successfully imployed against them, aswell in reference to the Cleering of the Mine, as to the Preservation and Recovery of the Work-men?
41. What Methods the Mine-men use in following the Vein, and tracing their passages under ground (which they call Plumming and Dyalling) according to the several exigencies? And whether they employ the Instruments, made with the help of the Load-stone, the same way that is usual; and if not, wherein they differ in the use of the same Instruments; or what Instruments they substitute in their place?
42. What ways they take to secure themselves from the uncertainty, incident to the guidance of Magnetick Needles, from the Iron-Stone or Ore, that they may meet with under ground? (of which yet perhaps there is not so great danger, as one may imagine; as far as I could find by a Trial, I purposely made in a Groove, where I was sure, there wanted not Iron-Ore.) And what other wayes may be used to direct Miners without the help of a Load-stone?
43. How the Miners deal with the Rocks and, Sparrs, they often meet with, before they come at the Ore? Whether they use Fire to soften, calcine, or crack them? How they employ it, and with what measure of success?
44. What wayes and cautions they use, to free the Mine and secure the Work-men from the inconveniencies and danger accruing from the use of much fire in it?
45. What Instruments they use to break the Rock &c? And how those Instruments are conducive; and how long they last?
46. How the Mine-men Work; Whether naked or cloathed? And what Lights they use to work by; what materials they are made of, what measure of light they give; how long they last; and by what wayes they are kept burning in that thick and foggy air?
47. How Veins are follow'd, lost, and recover'd? And how several Miners work on the same Vein? And what is the best way of getting all the Ore in a Vein, and most conveniently?
48. How they convey out their Ore, and other things, that are to be carried out of the Mine? Whether they do it in Baskets drawn up by Ropes, or upon Mens backs; and if this last-named way; what kind of Vessels they use for matter, shape, and capacity? And whether the Work-men deliver them one to another? or the same Work-men carry them all the way? And whether the Diggers descend and ascend by Ladders of Wood, or of Ropes, &c.
About the Fifth Title.
49. Whether the Ore runs in a Vein; or lie dispers'd in scatter'd pieces; or be divided partly into a Vein, and partly into loose masses; or like a Wall between two Rocks, as it were in a Cleft; or be interspers'd in the firm Rock, like speckled Marble? Or be found in Grains like Sand or Gravel; as store of excellent Tin is said to be found in some parts of Cornwall at the Sides and in the Channels of running Waters, which they call. . . . . . .; or whether the Ore be of a softer consistence, like Earth or Lome, as there is Lead-ore in Ireland holding store of Silver; and Iron-ore in the North parts of Scotland and elsewhere? And what is observable in it as to Weight, Colour, Mixture, &c.
50. Whether any part of the Metal be found in the Mine perfect and complete? (As I have had presented me good valuable Copper, and pieces of perfect Lead, that were taken up, the one at Jamaica, and the other by an acquaintance of mine, that took them out of the ground himself in New-England.)
51. Whether the Mine affords any parcels of Metal, that seem to grow like Plants (as I have sometimes seen Silver growing, as it seemed, out of Stone, or Sparre almost like blades of Grass; as also great grains of a Metal, which appear'd to me, and which those, that tried some of it, affirmed to be Gold, abounding in a stony lump, that seemed to consist chiefly of a peculiar kind of Sparre.)
52. Whether the Vein lie near, or much beneath the surface of the Earth, and at what depth?
53. Whether the Vein have or have not any particular Concomitants, or Coats (if I may so call them;) and, if any, what they are, and in what order they lie? (As the Veins of Lead-ore, with us, have frequently annext to them a substance call'd Sparre, and next to that another call'd Caulk.
54. Whether (besides these Coats) the Vein have belonging to it any other Heterogeneous substance? (As in Tin-mines we often find that yellow substance, which they call Mundick.)
55. What are the principal Qualities of these Extraneous substances? (As that Sparre is white, but transparent, almost like course Crystall, heavy, britle, easily divisible into flakes &c. Caulk is of a different texture, white, opacous, and like a Stone, but much more ponderous. Mundick I have had of a fine golden colour; but, though it be affirm'd to hold no Metal; yet I found it in weight, and otherwise, to differ from Marchasites; and the Mine-men think it of a poisonous nature.)
56. Whether the Vein be inclosed every way in its Coats; or whether it only lye between them?
57. Whether the Vein be every way of an uniform breadth, and thickness; and, if it be, what these Dimensions are; and, if not, in what places it varies, and in what measures? (The like Questions are to be made concerning the sparre, Caulk, and other Teguments or mixtures of the Ore?)
58. Whether the Vein be un-interrupted, or in some places broken off; and whether it be abruptly, or not; and whether it be by Vales, Brooks, Gullets, &c.
59. How wide the Interruptions are? what Signs, whereby to find the Vein again? whether the ulterior part or division of the Vein be of the same Nature, and hold on in the same Course, as to its tendency upwards or downwards, or Horizontally, Norward, Southward, &c. with the Vein, from which it is cut of?
60. Whether, in case the last end of the Vein be found, it terminate abruptly, or else end in some peculiar kind of Rock or Earth, which does, as it were, close or Seal it up, without leaving any crack or cranny, or otherwise? And whether the terminating part of the Vein tend upwards, downwards, or neither? And whether in the places, where the Vein is interrupted, there be any peculiar Stone or Earth, that does, as it were, seal up the Extremity of it?
61. Whether it be observed, that the Ore in Tract of time may be brought to afford any Silver or Gold, which it doth not afford, or more than it would afford, if it were not so ripe? And whether it have been found, that the Metalline part of the Vein grows so, that some part of the Mine will afford Ore or Metal in tract of time, that did not so before? and whether to this Maturation of the Mine, the being exposed to the free Air be necessary; or, whether at least it conduce to the Acceleration of it; or otherwise?
62. Whether all the Ore, contained in the Mine, be of the self-same nature and goodness; and, if not, what are the differing kinds; and how to be discriminated and estimated?
63. What is the fineness and goodnefs of the Ore, by which the Mine is wont to be estimated? And what are the marks and characters, that distinguish one sort from another?
64. What proportion of Metal it affords? (As in our Iron-mines 'tis observed, that about three Tuns of Iron-stone will afford one Tun of Metal: And I have had Lead-Ore, which an Ingenious man, to whom I recommended such Tryals, affirm'd to me to afford three parts in four of good Lead.)
65. Whether the Ore be pure in its kind from other Metals, and, if not, of what Metals it participates; and in what proportion? Which is especially to be inquired into, in case the Mine be of a base metal, that holds a noble metal: (As I have known it observ'd, that Lead-Ore, that is poor in its own metal, affords more Silver, than other; and I remember, that the Ore lately mention'd, being rich in Lead, scarce afforded us upon the Cuppel, an Atome of Silver. And Matthesius informs us, that a little Gold is not unfrequently found in Iron-Ore. And I have by me some Gold, that never endur'd the Fire, taken out of a Lump of Tin-Ore.)
About the sixth Title.
66. What are the mechanik and prævious Operations, as Beating, Grinding, Washing, &c. that are used to separate the Ore from the Heterogeneous Bodies, and prepare it for the Fire? Or whether the Ore requires no such preparation? (as It often happens in Lead, and sometimes in Iron, &c.)
67. Whether Mercury be made use off, to extract the nobler from the baser metals? (as is their practice in Peru, and other parts of the West-Indies.)
68. Whether the leaving the Ore expos'd to the open Air and Rain for a good while, be used as a Præparative? (as I have seen done in Iron-stone.)
69. Whether the Burning and Beating of the Ore be used to prepare it for the Furnace? (as is practised in Iron, and almost always in Copper:) And, in case they use it more than once, how often they do it; (for, Copper-Ore is in some places washed 8. or 10. times, and in others, 12. or 14.) and with what circumstances; as, how long the Ignition lasts at a time, whether the Ore be suffer'd to cool of it self, or be quench'd? whether it be washed betwixt each Ignition?
70. What Flux-powders, and other ways they have to try and examine the goodness of the Ore in small quantities?
71. Whether, when they working great, they use to melt the Ore with any Flux or Additaments, or only by the force of the Fire, or in any way between both? (As throwing in of Charcoals when they melt Iron-stone does not only serve to feed the Fire, but perhaps by the Alchaly of its Ashes to promote the fusior: so Lime-stone, &c.)
72. What kind of Furnaces they use, to melt the Ore in? Whether they be all of one sort and bigness, or of differing?
73. What are, the Situation, Materials, Dimensions, Shape, Bigness, and in short what is the whole structure and Contrivance of the Furnace? If there be any thing peculiar and remarkable? What Tools are used in Smelting, their Figures, use, &c. And the whole manner of working?
74. What kinds of Fewel, and what quantities of it, are wont to be employed in the Furnace, within the compass of a day, or week? How much is put in at a time? How often it is renewed? And how much Ore in a determinate time, as a week or a day, is wont to be reduced to Metal?
75. In case an Additament be employed, what that is, and in what proportion it is added? Whether it be mingled with the Ore, before that be put into the Fire, or call in afterwards; and, if so, at what time, &c?
78. Whether the Ore be melted by a Wind, excited by the Fire it self; as in Wind-ovens? Ore by the Course of Waters? Or acuated by the blast of Bellows; and if so, whether these Bellows be mov'd by a Wheel, turn'd by Water running under it, or falling on it? And what are, the Dimensions, Situation, &c. of the Bellows?
79. What contrivance they have, to let or take out the Metal, that is in fusion; and cast it into Barrs, Sows, Pigs. &c?
80. What Clay, Sand, or Mould they let it run or pour it through? And after what manner they refrigerate it?
81. Whether or no they do, either to facilitate the fusion, or to obtain the more or better Metal, mingle differing sorts or degrees of Ore of the same metal? (As in some places 'tis usual, to mingle poor and rich Ore; and at Mendip they mix two or more of those differing kinds of Lead-ore that they call Frim-ore, Steel-ore, Potern-ore, &c.)
82. Whether or no, having once brought the Ore to fusion, they melt all the Metal it self, to have it the more pure? And, if they do, with what circumstances they make the fusion?
83. Whether they have any Signs, whereby to know whether the Fusion have been well or ill perform'd; and the Metal have obtain'd the perfection, to be expected from such Ore, melted in such a Furnace?
84. Whether they observe any great difference in the goodness of the Metal, that first melts, from that of the rest of the Metal which comes afterwards in the same or another operation? And whether the Rule holds constantly? (For, though they observe in Tin-Mines, the best Metal comes first, yet in the works of an Industrious friend of mine, he informs me, that the best Metal comes last.)
85.Whether the produced Metal be all of the same goodness? And if it be, how good it is in reference to the Metal of other Mines, or other parts of the same Mine or Vein? And if it be not, what differences are observ'd between the produced portions of Metal; and what disparity that amounts to in the price?
86. What are the Wayes of distinguishing them, and estimating their goodness?
87. Whether they do any thing to the Metal, after it is once brought to Fusion, and, if need be, melt it over again, to give it a melioration? (As when Iron is refined, and turn'd into Steel;) And what distinct Furnaces, and peculiar Ways of ordering the Metals are employ'd to effect this improvement? With a full description of them and the Tools in all Circumstances, observ'd in the refining of Metals.
88. Whether in those places, where the Metal is melted, there be not elevated some Corpuscles, that stick to the upper parts of the Furnance, or Building? And, if there be, whether they be barely fuliginous and recrementitious exhalations, or, at least in part, Metallin Flowers? (As in the Cornish Tin-mines, after some years they usually destroy the thatch'd Houses, where the Ore hath been melted, to get the stuff, that adhears to the insides of the Roofs, out of which they melt store of excellent Tin.)
89. Whether the Metal, being brought to fusion, affords any Recrements? (As Iron-stone affords store of a dark Glass or Slagg) And, if it do, what those Recrements are? How they are separated from the Metal; and to what Uses they are employed?
90. Whether, after the Metal has been once melted, the remaining part of the Ore being exposed to the Air, will in tract of time be impregnated, or ripen'd, so as to afford more Metal? (For, this is affirm'd to me of the Cornish Tin-Ore; and what remained after the fusion of Iron-ore in the Forest of Dean, is so rich in Metal, that a Tenant of mine in Ireland, though he had on the Land, he held from me, an Iron-Mine, found it less profit to work it, than to send cross the Sea to the Forest of Dean for this already us'd Ore, which having lain for some ages, since it was thrown aside in great heaps expos'd to the Air, he affirm'd to yield as well great great store of Iron, as very good: though I somewhat doubt, whether this be totally to be ascribed to the Aire, and length of time; or to the leaving of Metal in the Slaggs in old times, before great Furnaces were in use.)
1. Whether the Territorie, that bears the Mine, abounds with no other Kind of Mineral in some distinct part of it? (As in Kent near Tunbridge, one part of the Country which is Hilly, abounds all along with Iron-Mines; the other, which is also Hilly, and divided from it but by a small Valley, abounds exceedingly (as the Diggers and Inhabitants told me upon the place) in Quarry's, which the Metallin-Country wants, but is quite destitute of Iron-stone. And so at Mendip, in one part of the Hill, I saw store of Lead-Mines, containing several Kinds of Ore of that Metal; another part of the Hill I found to be full of Cole-pits, which had some Marchasites, but no Metal; and in another place, Iron-ore, and mixt Ores[errata 1], which yet they did not think fit to work.)
2. Whether the Air appear to be really cold in Summer, and hot in Winter at the bottom of the Mines, by surer proofs than the Testimony of our Touch?
3. Whether they ever meet with places and Stones actually very hot, as Mathesius relates? And whether that spring not from the quenching of Marchasites?
4. Whether they find in the Mines any Mineral Gelly, such as the German Naturalists call Ghur? And whether in process of time it will harden into a metal, or Mineral Concretion?
5. What are the Laws, Constitutions, and Customs, Oeconomical, Political, Ethical, that are receiv'd and practis'd among the Mine-men?
6. Whether the Diggers do ever really meet with any subterraneous Dæmons; and if they do, in what shape and manner they appear; what they portend; and what they do, &c.?
7. Whether they observe in the Trees and other Plants, growing over or neer the Mine, not only, (as hath been already intimated) that the Leaves are any whit gilded or silver'd by the ascending Mineral Exhalations, but also, that the Trees or other Plants are more solid and ponderous? And if they have not also some discernable Metalline or Mineral Concretes, to be met with in the small Cavities and Pores of their substance?
8. Whether there be not Springs, and also greater Streams of Water neer the Mine, that rise, and run their whole course under ground, without ever appearing above it?
9. Whether the Subterraneous Springs do rise with any wind or determinate change of weather?
10. How much heavier the Atmosphere is at the bottom of the Mine, than at the top? And whether Damps considerably increase the weight of it?
11. Whether they find any strange substances in the Mines, as Vessels, Anchors, Fishes inclos'd in Sparr or Metal, &c.?
A considerable piece of the grand Design of the Modern Experimental Philosophers being, to procure and accumulate Materials for a good Natural History, whence to raise in progress of time a solid Structure of Philosophy; all possible Endevours are used in England, to send abroad and recommend to as many of Forreign parts, as there is opportunity, Directions for searching into the Operations of Nature, and for observing what occurs therein, aswell as in Mechanical operations and practises.
Several Heads of that kind have been already publish'd for this purpose in several of the former Tracts; to which, as we have added, in this, the Quæries about Mines, so we shall subjoyn those, that were not long since committed to the care of that Excellent Promoter of Astronomy and Philosophy, Monsieur Heuelius, Consul of Dantzick; who demonstrates so much zeal for the advancement of real knowledge, that he not only improves and promotes it by his own Studies, but labours also to incite others to do the like; having already warmed many of the Northern Climate, particularly Poland, Prusse, Livonia, Sweden and Denmark, into a disposition to be studious and active in inquiring after such particulars concerning Philosophy, as are recommended from hence, and rendred them, very willing to employ themselves in things of that nature.
The Inquiries sent to Dantzick, are these;
I. What Signior Burattini (an Italian Gentleman, Master of the Mint to the King of Poland, and reputed a great Master in the Mechanicks) hath perfom'd in Diopticks? Whether at present he employs himself, as is related, in grinding a Telescope of 120 foot long? And, if so, what way he means to make use of; commodiously to handle a Tube of that length?
2. Whether the same have the Art (as has been written from Paris) to make such Glass, as is not at all inferior to Venice-glass, and exceeds any plate of Glass, hitherto made there, twice or thrice in bigness?
3. What is the way of making Pot-ashes in Poland?
4. What is to be observed about Succinum or Amber? whether it be an Exsudation of the Sea? whether it be seen to float upon the surface of the Sea? whether it be soft, when 'tis first cast on shore? At what season of the year, and in what manner 'tis taken up, &c?.
5. What is to be observ'd in the Digging of Sal Gemmæ in Poland? what is the Depth of the Mines, stored with this Salt? what their distance from the Sea, &c?
6. What truth there is in that Relation concerning Swallows being found in Winter under waters congealed, and reviving, if they be fish'd and held to the fire?
7. Whether there be in the Bodnick Bay a Whirl-pool, as is related to be in the Sea of Norway, which is commonly call'd. the Maal-stroom? And whether there be any Signs, that speak the communication of those Gulphs by subterraneous passages; as the Jesuit Kircher affirms in his Mundus Subterraneus T. 1. p. 146?
8. To what depth the Cold in those parts peirces the Earth and Water?
9. Whether their Watches go slower by the intense cold?
10. Whether their Oyls in hard frosts are turn'd into true, that is, hard and britle, Ice?
11. Whether they can freeze there a strong Brine of Bay-Salt; and a strong Decoction of Sal Gemmæ, or Soot; or a strong Solution of Salt of Tartar, or of Sugar of Lead?
12. Whether they can congeal meer Blood, all the serous part thereof being sever'd? Item, Canary Wine; the Lixiviums of Soap-boylers, and such as are prepared of other Salts; as also, the Spirits extracted out of Salts, as Spirit of Vitriol, Nitre, &c?
13. Whether an intense and lasting Frost makes any alteration in Quick-silver, exposed very shallow in a flat Vessel.
14. Whether the Purgative virtue of Catharticks be increased or lessened, or even totally destroy'd by a strong and continued Cold?
15. Whether Harts-horn thaw'd, and such like substances, using the same method of Distilling, yield the same quantity of Liquor, which they use to yield, when not frozen?
16. What Cold operates in the Fermentation of Liquors?
17. Whether Birds and Wilde Beasts grow white there in Winter, and recover their native colour in Summer?
18. Whether Colours may be concentred by a sharp cold? E.g. A strong Decoction of Cocheneel in a fit Glass?
19. Whether the Electrical virtue of Amber, and the Attractive and Directive force of the Magnet, be changed by a vehement Cold?
20. Whether pieces of Iron and Steel, even thick ones, be made britle by intense frosts; and therefore Smiths are obliged for prevention, to give their Iron and Steel-tools a softer temper?
21. Whether accurate Observations evince, that all Fishes dye in frozen Waters, if the Ice be not broken? Where it is to be diligently inquired into, whether the Cold it self, or the want of changing or ventilating the water, or the privation of Air, be the cause of the death of Fishes?
22. Whether any Physicians or Anatomists have inquired, by freezing to death some Animals (as Rabits, Pullets, Dogs, Cats, &c.) after what manner it is, that Intense Cold kills men? whether they have found any Ice in the Inner parts; and if so, in which of them; Whether in the Ventricles of the Brain and Heart; and in the greater Vessels?
These were the Quæries recommended about a Twelve-month ago. Monsieur Heuelius in a late Letter of his, accompanied with several papers from others, returns this Accompt.
THe Inquiries you proposed to me, I did impart to several of my Learned friends: But hitherto I have attained an Answer but to few particulars. Among the rest you'l find a Letter of the Learned Johannes Schefferus, Professor in the Swedish University at Upsall, wherein he discourses handsomly of several things, being ready to entertain a Literary Commerce with you about such matters. Touching Amber, I am almost of the same mind with him, that it is a kind of Fossil Pitch or Bitumen, seeing it is not only found on the Shore of the Borussian Sea, but also digg'd up in subterraneous places, some German miles distant from the and that not only in Sandy, but also in other Hills of firmer Earth; of which I have seen my self pretty big pieces. Concerning swallows, I have frequently heard Fisher-men affirm, that they have here often fish'd them out of the Lakes, in the Winter; but I never have seen it my self. Whilst I am writing this, I receive Letters out of Denmark, advertising me, that those two Learned men, Thomas and Erasmus Bartholin, do intend shortly to answer the same Quæries. Next Winter, if God vouchsafe me life and health, I purpose to make a journey to Konigs-berg, where I hope to learn many things, especially about Amber.
Thus far in answer to those Inquiries for the present.
To this he subjoyns other things, no less fit to be communicated to the Curious, in these words;
The Books you have sent me over sea, I have not yet received: I wish, they were all translated into Latin; for I have not English enough, to understand all particulars perfectly. For the rest, you have obliged me, by communicating the Observations of the last Eclipse of the Sun, aswell those made in England, as those of Paris and Madrid. That I may requite you in some measure, I send you my Observations both of that, and the Moons last Eclipse. In the Sun's Eclipse, this is chiefly observable, That the Semidiameter of the Moon from the very beginning, to about 5. or 6. digits of the increasing Phasis was much less than the Rudolphin Account imports. light it was then almost equal to the Semidiameter of the Sun: but, after the greatest Obscuration, when I again contemplated the Moons Semidiameter, I found it 8″ or 9″ bigger than that of the Sun; so that the Semidiameter of the Moon was not always, during this Eclipse, constant to it self. It will therefore be worth while, to be hereafter more diligent and curious in this particular, and accurately to observe in the Phasis of each Digit the Proportion of the Semidiameters of both Luminaries; to the end, that first it may be made manifest, Whether in all the Eclipses of the Sun, or in some only, that variation happens; next, that the Causes of such a Phænomenon may be diligently inquired into. Of this Variation, the Excellent Ismael Bullialdus hath also observed something at Paris. For he has written to me, That in the same Eclipse the Semidiam. of the Sun to the Semid. of the Moon was as 16′.9″. to 16′.22″; but that in another Phasis of 6 digits, the Semidiameters appear'd equal. These my Observations, if you think them worthy, you may communicate to other Mathematicians. The last year 1665. July 27. (st.n.) the Tables did also indicate an Eclipse of the Moon: but though the Sky here was very cleer, yet the Moon was not at all obscured by the true shadow, but entred only a little into the Penumbra, wherein it continued 50′. The beginning of its touching the Penumbra did then almost happen, when Aquila was elevated 36° 18′; which is an Example worthy to be noted. I have many Observations of the Eclipses of former years by me, which I could not yet make publick, by reason of the multitude of my business, which do almost over-whelm me. The Eclipse of the Moon of this Year 1666. June 16. (st. n.) was observed from a Hill neer my Garden, to the end, that we might see both together the Suns setting, and the Moon rising. But I was disappointed of my hopes. For very thick Exhalations, besieging the Horizon, where the Moon was to rise, unto 2°. 30′, hindred me from seeing the Moon rise, in the Article of the setting of the Sun. Wherefore the first Phasis of 1. dig. 45′. did not appear but in the Moons Altitude of 2°. 30′; when the greatest Obscuration was already past. The End fell out hor. 9. 27′, about 128° from the Zenith Westward.
I am very glad to understand, that you have so good Telescopes, as to make such considerable Observations in Jupiter and Mars, as you have lately done in England. I have no leasure now, by reason of the Observations of the Fixt Stars, which I now almost constantly am employ'd about, to do any thing in the advancing of Telescopes. I am obliged to finish the Catalogue of the Fixt Stars; having mean while the contentment to find, that many excellent persons labour about the Improvement of 0ptick Glasses. If I could get a good one of those of 60. foot, you mention, at a reasonable rate, you would oblige me in sending me one; perhaps may I be so happy, as to make likewise some good discovery or other, by the help thereof. In the mean time, let me know, I pray, the Dimensions of those Glasses, and how they are to be managed. The ingenious Burattini has not yet finisht his Telescope; as soon as he hath, I shall acquaint you with it. * A Letter, written since from Paris, advertises, that some of the Curious there have received one of these Glasses of Sr. Burattini, and do esteem it to be good without mentioning the Dimension of it: which yet is look'd for by the next. * Before I conclude, I must give notice to the Lovers of Astronomy, that on the 24. of September (st. n.) of this year, I have observed that New Star in Pectore Cygni (which from the year 1662. untill this time hath been almost altogether hid) not only with my naked Eye, like a Star of the sixth or seventh Magnitude, but also with a very great Sextant. It is still in the very same place of the Heavens, where it was formerly from A. 1601. to almost 1662. For, its Distance from Scheat Pegasi hath been by me found 35°. 51′. 20″. and from Marcab, 43°.10′. 50″.; which Distances (as I have found in my Journal) are altogether equal to those, which I observ'd A. 1658. the 1. of November. For the Distance from Scheat at that time was 35°. 51′. 20″. and from Marcab, 43°. 10′. 25″: where that former from Scheat exactly answers to the recent; and that from Marcab, 'tis true, differs in a very few seconds, but that disparity is of no moment, since it only proceeded from thence, that this New Star is not yet so distinctly to be seen, as at that time, when it was of the third Magnitude. It is therefore certain, that it is the self same Star, which Kepler did first see A. 1601. and continued untill A. 1662. But whether in time it will grow bigger and bigger, or be lost again, time will shew. He that will observe this Star, must take care, lest he mistake those three more Southern ones, of the Sixth Magnitude, and now in a manner somewhat brighter (though not extant on the Globe) than the New Star in Collo Cygni. The highest of those three, is distant from Scheat Pegasi 36°. 24′. 45″; the middlemost from the same, 37°. 25′. 20″. and the lowest, 38°. 4′. 30″. Farewell, and assure the Most Illustrious Royal Society of my humblest Services.
So far Monsieur Hevelius, whose accurate Calcul. of the Solar Eclipses Duration, Quantity, &c. is intended to be fully represented the next Month, since it could not be conveniently done this time. The annexed Papers follow.
One is from Monsieur Joh. Schefferus, to this purpose.
1. That he is confident, the Royal Society of England will do much good for the advancement of usefull Knowledge.
2.That he conceives Amber to be a kind of Fossil Pitch, whose Veins lie at the bottom of the Sea; believing that it is hardned in tract of time, and by the motion of the Sea cast on shore: He adds, that hitherto it hath been believed, not to be found but in Borusia; but he assures, that it is also found in Sueden, on the shore of the Isle Biorkóó, in the Lake Melero, whose water is sweet. Of this, he saith, he hath a fine piece by him, two inches large and thick, presented him by one, that himself with his own hands had gathered it and several other pieces, on the shore of the said Island; affirming withall from the mouth of a Shepherd of that place, that it is thrown out by a strong Wind, bearing upon the shore.
3.That it is most certain, that Swallows sink themselves towards Autumne into Lakes, no otherwise than Frogs; and that many have assured him of it, who had seen them drawn out with a Net together with Fishes, and put to the fire, and thereby revived.
4.That 'tis also very true, that many Animals there grow white in Winter, and recover their own Colour in Summer. That himself hath seen and had Hares, which about the beginning of Winter and Spring were half White, and half of their native colour: that in the midst of winter he never saw any but all white. That Foxes also are white in Winter; and Squirrels grayish, mixt of dark and white colour.
5.That 'tis known there generally, that Fishes are killed, by reason of the Ice not being broken: but first, in ponds only or narrow Lakes; next, in such Lakes only, Where the Ice is pretty thick; for, where 'tis thin, they dye not so easily. Lastly, that those Fishes that lie in slimy or clayie ground, dye not so soon as others. But, he adds, that even in great Lakes, when 'tis a very bitter Frost, Ice is wont to be broken, either by the force of the Waves, or of the Imprisoned Vapors, raised by the agitation of the Water, and then bursting out with an impetuosity; witness the noise made by the rupture of the Ice through the whole length of such Lakes, which he affirms to be not less terrible than if many guns went off together. Whereby it falls out, that Fishes are seldom found dead in great Lakes.
6.That neither Oyle, nor a strong Brine of Bay-Salt, is truly congeal'd into Ice, in those parts, Viz. at Upsall in Sueden.
7.That the Frost pierces into the Earth, two Cubits or Swedish Ells; and what moisture is found in it, is white, like Ice: That Waters, if standing, freeze to a greater depth, even to three such Ells or more; but those that have a Current, less: That rapid Rivers freeze not at all; nor ever-bubling Springs; and that these latter seem even to be warmer in Winter, than Summer.
So far this Observer; who likewise offers his Services in giving an answer to the remaining Queries, and in entertaining a commerce in such other Philosophical matters, as he is conversant in.
Another Paper written by Monsieur Fehre, chief Secretary to Prince Ratzivil, contains these particulars;
1.That the College of the Learned in Borusia finds it not so easie to resolve all those Quæries sent from England to M. Hevelius: but yet that they will try what may be done upon it.
2.That as for himself; he can assure from his own Experience concerning the Effects of Cold; First, That in the War against the Muscovites and Cosaks, A. 1655. in January, in White Russia, at the Siege of Bichow, 30. Leagues from Smolensko, and three from Mothilo, near the River Boristhenes, when they had Quarter in a Village call'd Iskau, they were seized on with such a Frost, that all their Provisions of Spanish Wines or Petersimen, and Beere, were in one Night frozen upon the Sleds, notwithstanding they were cover'd with Straw; in so much, that when next morning they would have drawn of those Liquors, they found all dry, and were constrain'd to carry them into a Stove, to thaw them; which they could not do in two whole days, and were obliged to break the Vessels, and put pieces of the Icy Wine into Kettles to thaw them over the Fire, for Drink; That they asked not for a Draught, but a Morsel of Wine or Beer: That their Horses had no better cheer than themselves, as to matter of Drink; the Pool of the Village being so thoroughly frozen, that there was but very little Water left between the Ice and the bottom of the Pool; whereby the poor Beasts were forced to drink with great reverence, kneeling on their forefeet to thrust their heads into the holes, made for them in the Ice, and to stuck thence some drops of Water; and that, if they had not had Snow to eat; there would have dyed a far greater number of them, than there did. Moreover, that he observed, that the Hungarian Wine, of which they had a Tun, resisted the Cold better, than the Peter Simen; for it was not so much frozen; unless it be, that the Butler had more care of that, than the rest, by transporting it sooner into the Stove, when he found the excess of Cold. Again, that one presenting him in the March with some Aqua-vitæ, the Scrue of the Flagon, put to his Mouth, stuck so close to his Lips, that he could not draw it off; without drawing bloud,
In a third Paper, I find these particulars from the same M. Fehre.
1.That a considerable person, one Dr. Becker, a great Lover of Curious Inquiries, has given him hopes to entertain this Philosophical Commerce.
2.That he hath seen men dye in Poland and Lithuania both of Heat and Cold. And first, that A. 1653. in July, being with this present King of Poland in march from Leopoli to the Camp of Glignani, it was so furiously hot that day of their march, that it caused such an alteration in that Regiment of Foot, which was the Kings Guard, marching most of them bare-foot upon Sands, that more than an hundred of them fell down altogether disabled, whereof a dozen dyed out-right, without any other Sickness. Secondly, as to the Cold, that the frost was so bitter, that 3. Souldiers dyed of it, A. 1665. the 2. of January, in passing a long Ditch: besides, that divers persons lost some of their Lims.
THis Experiment, hitherto look'd upon to be of an almost unsurmountable difficulty, hath been of late very successfully perform'd not only at Oxford, by the directions of that expert Anatomist Dr. Lower, but also in London, by order of the R. Society, at their publick meeting in Gresham Colledge: the Description, of the particulars whereof, and the Method of Operation, is referred to the next Opportunity.
London, Printed for John Crook neer the Blew-Anchor in Duck-lane; and Mose Pits at the White-Hart in Little-Britain.
- Original: mixt with Ores was amended to mixt Ores: detail