Philosophical Transactions/Volume 2/Number 26
Munday, June 3. 1667.
Experiments for Improving the Art of Gunnery.
The better to determine the three Grand Desiderata, in the Art of Gunnery viz. 1. The Point-blank distance. 2. The Quantity of Powder for the just Charge of any Peece. 3. What Gun (for Size, Bore, Weight, Metal, &c.) Shoots Farthest: The following Experiments are proposed and directed, by Sr. Robert Moray; to give occasion to such as are Curious in this Art, to improve the same, as they shall have opportunity. Who we cannot but suppose will be so generous, as to impart the Successes and the Events of their Tryals of this kind to the Pubisher of these Transactions; for further Improvement and Use.
I. o know, how Far a Gun Shoots Point-blank (as they call it) that is, so near the Level of the Cylinder of the Peece, that the difference is either not discernable, or not considerable: On a fit plat-form, place and point the Gun at a Mark, as large as the Bullet, some 50. 60. or more Yards distant, so as the under-side of the Mark may be in the same Level or Line with the under-side of the Cylinder of the Peece. Then, between the Gun and the Mark at several places, place pieces of Canvas, Sheets of Paper pasted together, or the like, upon Stakes fixt in the ground, so as the underside, being level with the Horizon, may just touch the Visual line, that passeth from the Eye to the upper-side of the Mark; when the Eye is placed in the Line, that passeth from it to the upper-side of the Cylinder of the Gun; the Canvas being so broad and long, that, if the Bullet pass through it two or three foot higher than the Level of the Mark, or of either hand, the hole it makes, may make it known, how much it flieth higher than the Level of that place. Such piece of Canvas, &c. may be placed; one, at half the distance between the Gun and the Mark; another, halfway between the first, and the Mark, &c. And if it be found, that even at so small a distance the Bullet falls lower than the Mark, if it touch not the Canvas, the Gun may be next time raised a little, and so on, till the Bullet hit the Mark, or as high as it: And if at first it fall as high as the Mark and cut the Canvas, the Mark and Canvas may be brought neerer the Gun, till it needs be done no more: Afterwards the Mark may be removed to greater and greater distances, till, to hit the Mark, it fly higher, than some or all the interposed Canvasses: And thus the Experiment. is to be repeated and varied at pleasure.
II.To know, what Quantity of Powder, is the just Charge of any Peece, so as it maketh the farthest Shot, and fires totally.
1. Raise the Gun to a mean Random, as of 20 or 25 degrees, and Shoot with the ordinary Charge of Powder, in some convenient ground, where the fall of the Bullet may be easily seen, and having made a Shot, measure the distance with a Chain, between the hole made by the Bullet, and the Muzzle of the Gun.
2. Then, instead of a full Charge of Powder uses in the first Shot, take . part lesse, or some such proportion, for the next tryal; doing all things else as before.
3. For a third, fourth, or more tryals, diminish still the Quantity of Powder by . at a time, till the Shot be considerably Shorter, than at first.
4. Then take . more than the first Charge, and do all things else as before, and so continue more tryals, increasing still the Quantity of Powder in the same proportion, every new tryal, till you find the increase of the Charge does not make the Peece Shoot further: Only over-Charge not so far, as to endanger the Gun.
5. The right Charge found, the best Random is to be sought by trying all Randoms, by degrees at a time.
III.To know, What Gun Shoots farthest;
1. A Gun, to be prepared of Culverin-Bore (as being held the best for Shooting far,) but much longer (double the Ordinary length may do well;) is to be placed as in the former Experiments, and charged with the Ordinary Charge of a Culverin, or rather with that Quantity, which by the former Experiments shall be found the best; and being Shot, the fall of the Bullet is to be markt, and distance measured, as hath been suggested.
2. Then try less, and more Powder in her, as before.
3. Then cut off two inches of the Muzzle with a Saw, and try as before, doing every thing in the same manner: And so cut off still for new tryals, till the Shot begin to fall shorter than before.
4. The same may be done with Guns of different Bores.
I.1. The way to accommodate the Canvas, &c. proposed for finding out the Point-blank-distance; is, first to pitch two stakes of the just height of the upper-side of the Cylinder of the Peece, some 6 or 8 foot asunder, in the streight line between it and the upper-side of the Mark, by a long Ruler, having one end in the Peece, after the Peece is duly point at the Mark; and then, by the Eye looking over the Stakes to the upper-side of the Mark, or rather by a Telescope, the Paper or Canvas interposed may be let down, or placed just so, as the undermost side may seem to touch the upper side of the Mark, to one that looks at it from the top of the first Stake.
2. If this way of Experiment be made for further distances and raisings of the Peece, as high as conveniently may be above the Level, and the distances measured as hath been intimated; and then all Randoms above these likewise tryed and measured, the distance of an Object, to be Shot at, being known, and other necessary cautions, beneath to be mentioned, carefully observ'd, good Gunners may with great confidence undertake to hit the Mark, be the distance what it will, so it exceed not the reach or the Gun.
II.1. The Experiments here proposed, are to be made in Guns of all Sizes, Bores, Weights, Metals, &c.
2. Three or more Shot to be made with every different Charge, and at every several tryal, that the certainty may the better appear.
3. The first Shot being Measured and marked, the rest may all be Measured from it, or from one another, to save labour.
4. The Gun is to be pointed, placed, and ordered every time in one and the same place and position, aiming still at the same Mark, or pointing still in the very same Line or Azimuth; that so all the Shot may fall in the same Line, as near as is possible.
5. The Powder must be exactly weigh'd, every time the Peece is charged, left it having been weigh'd long before, the weight may be alter'd; though Experiment may be made with Cartridges and without.
6. The Powder and Bullet is to be rammed home equally at every Shot; though the looser the Powder lye, it fire the better.
7. When the right Charge of a Peece is found, that makes the farthest Shot in the ordinary and plain way of Charging, Monsieur de Sons contrivance of a Wedge may be tryed, to make it Shoot farther; which is a piece of Board, so long, as being thrust home to the Breech of the Peece at one end, the other may reach farther out than the outside of the Bullet, being ramm'd up to its place; broad about an Inch, and thin so far as the Wadd before the Bullet reaches on the out-side; there it is to have a Shoulder, from which forward to the end, it is to be cut a sloap like a Wedge, being of such thickness, as that at the place, where the Center of the Bullet is to be, it may make it stick so fast, that the Powder finding more resistance may at length drive it out with the greater violence.
8. Another of this nature is a Wooden Tampion, like a piece of a Cylinder, big enough to fill the hollow Cylinder of the Gun, the length somewhat more than the Diameter of it and hollow'd towards the Bullet, so as to fit it; and either flat, or (which is better) hollow likewise towards the Powder, and serving instead of a Wadd. These and such others will probably render the effect of the Powder greater, than otherwise it would be.
9. The Strength of the Powder must be examin'd by a Powder-Tryer, that raiseth a Weight, such an one as has been contrived by Mr. Hook, and is made by Mr. Shortgrave, Operator to the Royal Society.
10. The Powder used in a Set of these Experiments, ought to be all of the same goodness.
11. The same Bullet is to be made use of, if it can be had, till the Figure of it be marred; otherwise another as near of the same Size, Shape, and Weight, as is possible.
12. The strength of the Wind, is to be observed at every time of Shooting; which may be done by an Engine, made by the lately nam'd Operator.
13. Observe also the Position of the Wind, with a Fane and Compass at every Shot.
14. Note also, at what Azimuth the Mark stands from the Gun.
15. Take precise notice, what effects the Wind hath every time upon the Bullet, in carrying further, in hindering, or turning it aside.
16. Note the Figure, dimensions and Weight of the Gun, Carriage and Wheels.
17. The platform to be very Levell.
18. The Wheels to be at every Shot placed in the very same place and position, to avoid inequalities.
19. Every thing to be exactly recorded in a Book, as also every Accident and Observation.
20. After all other Experiments are made, every Peece may be tryed with the right Charge of Powder, laying every time more and more Weight upon the Carriage; and at last fixing the Gun so, as it may not recoyle at all, observing every time how Far the Bullet goes, and how much less Powder than the full Charge will serve to Shoot the Bullet, when the Peece is fixt, as far as the Whole Charge does, when it recoyls freely.
21. Care is to be had, that the Experiments with the Wedge, Tampion, and the like, made for encreasing the force of the Powder, and the fixing of the Peece, do not endanger it.
III.1. The Long Guns are to be made without any Ring about the Muzzle.
The pieces cut of from the Muzzle, to be alwayes laid on the Carriage, when new shots are made, or their weight of Lead in a convenient Figure, that the recoyl may still be the same.
3. The Quantity of Powder, that Shoots furthest in an Ordinary Culverin being known, there needs no Variation of it in the Long one.
The Queries were these.
1. Whether a Needle may be so toucht upon any Magnet, as not to point to the true North and South? &c.
2. Whether different Load-Stones, will give different directions? or, whether fainter or stronger touches, upon one and the same Magnet, will cause any Variation in the directions? &c.
To these the Industrious Mr. Sellers returns this Answer:
To the First; That he had often made tryal with many Needles touching them in each Hemisphere of the Stone, with all variety of wayes he could imagine, to find, if it were possible by that means to cause any of these Needles to vary in its direction but, that he alwayes found the contrary; all of them conforming to the Magnetical Meridian, and standing North and South, as other Needles, that were toucht upon the very Pole of the Stone. He adds, that some of these Experiments he tryed in London, when there was no Variation known.
To the Second; 1. That, upon frequent tryals of touching Needles upon different Load-Stones, of several bignesses, as also of different vertue; the several Needles, touched upon these different Stones, gave all of them the same directions. This he thinks is confirm'd by all the Needles and Sea-Compasses, made in several parts of the World, and consequently touched upon several Stones of several Countries, yet all agreeing in this Magnetical Harmony, that they all give the same directions. 2. That having sometimes drawn a Needle, only over the Pole of the Stone, within the Sphere of its vertue, without at all touching the Stone; it hath received the same directive quality from the Stone, as if it had been really toucht upon the Stone it self, though not altogether so strong, as if it had toucht the Stone. Again, that having toucht Needles upon the Stone, with faint strokes, and other Needles with stronger; all these Needles received the same effect from the Stone, both for strength and direction; he conceiving, that 'tis not the fainter or stronger touches upon the Stone, nor the multiplicity of Strokes, that varies the Needles strength or direction; but that the Nature of the Steel, whereof the Needle is made, and the Temper that is given thereunto, causeth different effects, as to the strength it receiveth from the Stone; himself as having tryed all sorts of Steel, that he could possibly procure, and all the different Tempers he could imagine, for the most powerful receiving and retaining the vertue from the Load Stone; wherein he affirms to have fully satisfied himself, so that he can infuse such vertue into a piece of Steel, that it shall take up a piece of Iron of two Ounces weight or more; and give also to a Needle, the vertue of conforming to the Magnetical Meridian, without the help of a Load-Stone, or any thing else, that hath received vertue therefrom.
So far this Answerer; whom as we cannot but much commend for his diligence in searching, and frankness of communicating; so we give these particulars to the publick, that further Tryals may be made by others, for more discovery; hoping withall, that the same Inquisitive person, that hath made these returns, will not scruple to add to them the wayes, he uses for infusing that Magnetical vertue into Steel and Needles, without the help of a Load-Stone, spoken of in the end of this his Answer.
I was present, when M Gayant shew'd the Transfusion of the Bloud, putting that of a Young Dog into the Veins of an Old, who, two hours after, did leap and frisk; whereas he was almost blind with age, and could hardly stirr before.
In the House of M Bourdelots was shew'd a Monster in form of an Ape, having all over its shoulders, almost to his middle, a mass of flesh, that came from the hinder part of its head, and hung down in form of a little Cloak. The report is, that the Woman that brought it forth, had seen on a Stage an Ape so cloathed: The most remarkable thing was, that the said mass of flesh was divided in four parts, correspondent to the Coat, the Ape did carry. The Woman, upon inquiry, was found to have gone five months with Child; before she had met with the accident of that unhappy sight. Many questions were on this occasion agitated: viz. about the Power of Imagination; and whether this Creature was endow'd with a humane Soul; and if not, what became of the Soul of the Embryo, that was five months old.
A little after; another Monster was produced, which was an Infant come to maturity, having instead of a Head and Brains, a Mass of flesh like any Liver, and was found to move. And this Fœtus occasioned a Question for the Cartesians, how the motion could be performed, and yet the Glandula pinealis, or Conarium be wanting; nor any Nerves visible, which come from the Brain? The marrow in the Spine was of the same substance. It liv'd four days, and then dyed: It was anotomized by M. Emmerez in presence of the Assembly.
There came a Letter from Florence, Written by M. Steno, which has also somewhat perplext the followers of Des Cartes. A Tortoise had its head cut off, and yet was found to move its foot three days after. Here was no Communication with the Conarium. As this seems to have given a sore blow to the Cartesian Doctrine, so the Disciples thereof are here endeavouring to heal the Wound.
1. One Robert Cloak a joyner (whom I know) of Clamick in the Parish of Beer-Ferris in Devonshire, had on Febr. 24. last, a Monstrous black Ram-Lamb fallen with one Head, but two distinct Bodies, with eight Legs; which Bodies were joyned in the Neck: It had two Eyes, and as many Ears, in the usual places; and one extraordinary Eye in the Niddock, with one single Ear, about an inch distant from the Eye backwards: Its Dame, which was White, usually brought forth two Lambs every year, as she did this year also a White one, which with the Ewe remains alive. But whether this Monster was produce'd dead or alive, is not known, it being found dead by the hedge, and soon after put into the Earth. There were ten White Ews accompanied with three White Rams.
2. One John Cauce, Servant to Mr. William Knighton of Lockridge, likewise in Beer Ferris; had among his Sheep, on the seventeenth of Febr. last, a White Lamb faln on a Common in the said Parish, with two distinct heads and Necks, Joyned at the shoulders, but one only Body, and that well form'd, yet having double entrals in all respects. The Ewe remains well. The Monster dyed, and is now in my Custody, after it hath been dried in an Oven, and By the Sun.
One John Gill, a Man well experienced in Mineral affairs, discoursing with me about the Wind and its Origine; declared to me his thoughts concerning the same, as a result of twenty years Experience and Observations of his own.
First, He affirmed, that if in digging deep under ground, the Work-men meet with Water, they never want Air or Wind; but if they misse Water (as sometimes it happens, even at 12 or 16 Fathoms depth) they are destitute of convenient Air, either to breath in, or to make their Candles burn.
Next, When (as usual) there happens to be a great quantity of a Winters standing water, in a deep Mine, they commonly bring, or drive up an Adit for drawing away such water: But as soon as that part of the Level is made, that any of the standing Water begins to run away, the Men must secure themselves, as well as they can, from danger of being dash'd in pieces against the sides of the Adit: For the included Air or Wind in the standing Water, breaks forth with such a terrible noyse, as that of a Peece of Ordnance, and with that violence, as to carry all before it, loosening the very Rocks, though at some distance in the Work or Adit.
Thirdly, he hath observed on several occasions, going to and fro, between London and Plimouth, by Sea, that being in a Calm, that way, which the Sea began to Loom or move, the next day the Wind was sure to blow from that point of the Compass, towards which the Sea did Loom the day before.
This Account came but very lately to hand, though the thing hapned a while agoe; the Ingenious Author thereof having but newly, entred into a Philosophical Correspondence with the Publisher.
July, 17. 1666. About 10 in the Fore-noon, there fell a violent, storm of Hail about the Coast-Towns of Suffolk, tracing along Seckford-Hall, Wood-bridge, Snape bridge, Aldboraugh, &c. more to the North-ward. The Hail was small near Yarmouth; but at Seckford-Hall, one Hail-stone was found by measure to be 9. Inches about. One of this Town (viz. Wood bridge) found one at Melton, 8. Inches about. At Snape-bridge a man affirm'd, that he lighted on one about 12. Inches about. A Lady of Friston-Hall, putting one of them into a Ballance, found it weigh 12s. 6d. Several persons of good credit in Aldborough affirm'd, some Hailstones to have been full as bigg as Turkeys-Eggs; (an ordinary Hens-Egg weighs but about 9s.) J. Baker of Rumborough, driving a Cart on the Heath by Aldborough, had his head broken by the knocks of them through a stiff Country-felt: In some places his head bled; in others, bunnyes arose: The Horses were so pelted, that they hurried away his Cart beyond all command. They seem'd all white, smooth without, shining within. 'Tis somewhat strange, methinks, that their pillar of Air should keep them aloft, if they were not clapt together in the falling; especially at such a time of the year, when the Air is less thickned and its Spring weaker.
Mr. Goodrick Chirurgeon of Bury St. Edmunds affirm'd to me, that himself cutting a Lad of the Stone (for which he hath a great name) took out thence, it one time, 96 small Stones, all of them of unlike shape, Size, Corners, Sides; some of which were so bestow'd as to slide upon others, and had thereby worn their flats to a wonderfull slikness. He assur'd me also, that in the same place, another, when dead, had a Stone taken from him, almost as big as a new-born Childs head, and much of that Shape.
This was imparted by that Ingenious and Worthy Gentleman, Thomas Shirley Esq; an Eye-witness of the thing, now to be related in his own words; viz.
About the later end of February 1659. returning from a Journey to my house in Wigan, I was entertained with the relation of an odd Spring. situated in one Mr. Hawkley's Ground (if I mistake not) about a mile from the Town, in that Road which leads to Warrington and Chester.
The people of this Town did confidently affirm, that the Water of this Spring did burn like Oyle; into which Error they suffered themselves to fall for want of a due examination of the following particulars.
For when we came to the said Spring (being five or six in company together) and applyed a lighted Candle to the surface of the Water; 'tis true, there was suddenly a large flame produced, which burnt vigorously; at the sight of which they all began to laugh at me for denying, what they had positively asserted: But I, who did not think my self confuted by a laughter grounded upon inadvertency, began to examine what I saw; and observing that this spring had its eruption at the foot of a Tree, growing on the top of a neighbouring Bank, the Water of which Spring fill'd a Ditch that was there, and covered the burning place lately mention'd; I then applyed the lighted Candle to divers parts of the Water, contained in the said Ditch, and found as I expected, that upon the touch of the Candle and the Water, the Flame was extinct.
Again, having taken up a dishfull of Water at the flaming place, and held the lighted Candle to it, it went out. Yet I observed that the Water at the burning place did boyle, and heave like Water in a Pot upon the Fire, though my hand put into it perceived it not so much as warm.
This boyling I conceived to proceed from the Eruption of some bituminous or sulphureous Fumes; considering, this place was not above 30 or 40 yards distant from the mouth of a Coal-pit there. And indeed Wigan, Ashton, and the whole Country, for many miles compass, is underlaid with Coal. Then applying my hand to the surface of the Burning place of the Water, I found a strong breath, as it were a Wind, to bear against my hand.
Then I caused a Dam to be made, and thereby hindering the recourse of fresh water to the Burning place; I caused that, which was already there, to be drained away; and then applying the burning Candle to the surface of the dry Earth at the same point, where the Water burned before; the Fumes took fire, and burn'd very bright and vigorous. The Cone of the Flame ascended a foot and a half from the Superficies of the Earth. The Basis of it was of the Compass of a Mans hat about the brims. I then caused a Bucket-full of Water to be poured on the fire, by which it was presently quenched, as well as my companions laughter was stopped, who then began to think, the Water did not burn.
I did not perceive the Flame to be discolour'd, like that of sulphureous Bodies, nor to have any manifest scent with it. The Fumes, when they broke out of the Earth, and prest against my hand, were not, to my best remembrance, at all hot.
Account of Athanasii Kircheri CHINA ILLUSTRATA.
The Author by publishing this Volume, discharges the Promise, he had made some years ago, that he would do so. He acknowledges himself much obliged to Martinius, and his Atlas Sinicus; as also to Michæl Boim, a Polonian; Philippo Marino, a Jesuit of Genoa; and two other of the same Society, viz. Henry Roth of Ansburg, and John Gruber, an Austrian; whereof the latter went A. 1656; over Land from Rome, through Anatolia, Armenia, Persia, Ormus, Cambaja, and India, to Macao, the famous Port of China, and thence to Pekin, the Court of that Empire; whence two years after, he came back to Rome, accompanied for a part of the way, by the Jesuit Albert Dorville; traversing by Land in a manner the whole breadth of China, and a great part of the confining Tartary, and so further, through the Mogols Dominions, to Agra, where the said Dorville dying, the above-mentioned Henry Roth supplyed his place in accomplishing this Voyage.
The Book it self, a large Folio, is divided into 6. Parts.
The three first, and the last, being besides the design of these Tracts, we shall but glance at, taking only notice; First, That they pretend to perswade the Reader, that Christianity was spread over all Asia by St. Thomas the Apostle, and his Successors; and hath been there continued, though not without great Eclipses, to these very times. And here the Chino-Chaldæan Monument, said to have been erected several hundred years since in China, and found out A. 1625. is with great labour asserted and interpreted. Next, That the Rise of the Idolatry, in those remote parts, and their different Ceremonies in Worship, is confronted with those Ancient ones of Egypt. Lastly, that a large Account is given of the Chinese Letters, their Figure, Power, &c.
But we hasten to the Fourth Book, as belonging to our Sphere, That undertakes to describe the Curiosities and Productions of Nature and Art, in China. Here, the Author having premised something of the advantageous Scituation of China, and its Political Government; Calculated also both the Number of its Inhabitants, (which according to him, amount to 200 Millions of Men, besides Women, Children, Officers, and Eunuchs;) and the Annual Revenue of the Emperour (which he makes to be 150 Millions of Gold-Crowns;) he relateth many considerable productions and works of Nature in that Country; As
1. Mountains very odd for shape, burning, and raising of Tempests.
2. Isles, to the number of 99. all turned into one, under the same extent of space they had, when they were divided by water.
3. Lakes, some changing Copper into Iron, and causing storms, when any thing is cast into them; and others, sprung up by Earth-quakes.
4. Rivers, whereof one is said to be of a Blew colour in Autumn, and for the rest of the year Limpid: Another, to be cold at the top, and very hot beneath.
5. Fiery Wells, serving to boyl meat over: Perhaps of the same Nature with that here in England, we described above.
6. Plants, as 1. some Roses, changing their Colour twice a day: Whence the Author takes occasion to speak of that Plant, which grows at Rome, in the Garden of one Signior Corvino, call'd Viola Nocturna, changing its colour sensibly, according to the degrees of the rising and declining of the Sun; destitute of all smell in the day-time, but having a very fragrant one in the night. 2. A Farinaceous or Mealy Tree, serving to make Bread of it. 3. Leaves of certain Trees, standing on the side of a Lake, which falling into the water, become like black Birds: which he ascribeth to the Seminal parts of some Eggs, broken on those Trees, fill'd with Birds-nests. 4. The, and its wholesomeness, as to the suppressing of Vapours, and preventing the Stone. 5. A kind of Wicker-Tree, which, as if it were a Rope twisted by Nature, about an inch thick, creeps along upon the Earth, sometimes the length of 120 paces, much embarassing the way; but serving for Cables to Ships, Seats, Hurdles, Beds, Matts; enduring no Vermin; and being cool and refreshing in hot Seasons. 6. The Calamba-Wood; that it is esteem'd by some to be a kind of Lentiscum, by others, a sort of Terebinth, but of a nobler rank, by vertue of that Climat: which makes the Author suggest, that care should be taken to have it brought into Europe, and carefully cultivated there. 7. Rhubarb; of which he observes, that, because the vertue of its Roots, if they be exposed to dry hastily, soon evaporates; therefore the skilfull, lay them upon a Table within doors, and turn them several times a day, to incorporate and fix the Juyce the better, and then string them and expose them to the Wind, in a shade, altogether free from the Sunbeams. 8. Pine-Trees; of which he saith some are so big, that eight Men can hardly Fathom them. 9. Canes, so big, that they can make as many Barrels of them, as they have internodes or Joynts. 10. Trees, sweating a Gum, call'd Cie, like the droppings of Turpentine; which Gum, as long as tis not dryed, emits a very unwholsome and dangerous steam. To passe by the Polonie Tree, producing fruit without any blossoms, immediately out of its Trunk, as big as one man can well carry; and that kind of Fig-Tree, that bears Leaves as big as to wrap up a man in, &c.
7. Animals, Here he discourseth of the Murk Dear, and the several Compositions of Musk: the Sea-Horse, and Wild Men: Of some Birds, no where seen but in China (as he thinks) and among them a Wool-bearing Hen: Of Fishes, in Summer flying out of the Sea, seeking their food, like Birds, and in Autumn returning to the Sea: particularly of a Fish of a very exquisite taste, called Hoancio-yu, or the Croceous Fish: Further, of Sea-Cows, going often ashore, and fighting with the Land-Cows: Of Bats, of a vast bigness, eaten by the Chinese as a delicious meat: Of the Serpent, that breeds the Antidotal stone; whereof he relates many experiments, to verifie the relations of its vertue: Which may invite the Curator of the Royal Society, to make the like tryal, there being such a stone in their Repository, sent them from the East Indies. Again, of Silk Worms, spinning twice a year, and yielding a double Crop.
8. Fossils, where occurs the Relation, 1. Of an odd Specular stone, representing the figure of the Moon in all her Appearances, when exposed to Her. 2. Of an Earth called Quei, very Cosmetick, and abstersive of all blemishes of the face. 3. A Mineral cerusse, blended of Lead and Antimony. 4. Of Asbestus, that can be drawn and spun; the way of which he affirms to have described L. 12. Mundi sui subterranei. 5. The Matter that makes Porcellan, which he affirms to be nothing else but a transparent Sand, which they soak in water, and then reduce to a Masse or Dough, and so bake it. Not a word of the way of giving it the colour, which, it seems, they keep as a great secret. They have Gold and Silver Mines, but dig them not, pretending the danger and trouble in the work, and contenting themselves with the Filings and Dust of Gold, which they gather out of the Mud and Sand of Rivers and Fountains.Fig. I.
2. Vast Towns, but whose Houses are generally but one Story high, and good reason therefore, the Towns should be very big. They are, for the most part, built of Timber.
3. Turrets very artificiall, whereof one is all of Porcellan.Fig. II.
5. The Channel, that passeth from one extream of China to the other, having some 24 Sluces, to retain water, when tis necessary; a work of incredible industry and extraordinary advantage.
6. Vast Bells, one whereof, at Pekin, weighs 120000 pounds; whereas that of Erfurd in Germany, hitherto esteemed to be one of the biggest in the World, weighs but 25400. pounds.
As for their ingenious Inventions, this Author mentions chiefly,
1. Their Vernice, of which he sets down some Receipts both for the Red and Black, together with the way of their Use and Application, as he received them both from an Augustinian Fryar; affirming, that it differs not at all from that of China.
2. Their way of Printing, invented long before that in Europe, giving a large description of the same.
3. Gunpowder, which he also saith, they had before the Europeans.
These are the principal Subjects treated of in this Book. We passe by severall Stories, which seem much to require confirmation. E. g. That of Sugar-Canes, eaten by an Elephant, and taking root in his stomach; that of Boys eating Serpents with as much greediness, as others eat Eels, or any good meat, &c.
Among the Cutts of this Volume, there is a Map of Asia, not un-instructive; delineating the way, the two Jesuits took in their Land-voyage from Pekin to Goa; as also that, which the Muscovian Ambassadors, not many years since, took in travelling from their Countrey, through the vast Tract of the Northern Tartary, to China, arriving on the North side of the China Wall at Pekin: Item, The Land-passage, heretofore made by B. Goes (described by Rigaultius) from Persia, by Lahor in the Mogols Empire, through the Kingdoms of Cabul, Zancut, &c. to Cataja, or (which is all one to this Author, as it is to several others) the Province of Pekin in China. Item, The passage of Paulus Venetus over Land, out of Europe into the same China: and lastly, That pretended one of St. Thomas, out of Palestina, through Syria, Mesopotamia, ' Persia, the Mogols Empire, the Pen-insul between the Bays of Cambaya and Bengala, to Maliapur, on the Coast of Coromandel, where the Name of the Christians of St. Thomas is still in request.
Printed by T. R. for John Martyn, Printer to the Royall Society, and are to be sold at the Bell a little without Temple-Barr, 1667.