Glaser - The Complete Chemist - Mineralis 1 - Ores, Salts, Non-metals



CHAP. XI.

Of common Salt.

The Purification of Salt.

Dissolve what quantity you please of Sea Salt in six times as much Rain Water, and set it in a Vessel of Pewter, Copper, or glazed Earth upon a little Fire; Filter the Solution through gray paper, and having Evaporated all the Humidity, you shall have a very white and well purified Salt.

The Calcination of Common Salt.

Put what quantity you please of Sea Salt into an Earthen Pot which resists the Fire, cover the same with its covering and put Fire round about it (which they call Ignis rota) and when the Salt begins to be hot, it will crackle and be reduced into Powder; continue the Fire, (but moderately) till the Salt make no more noise. Then let the Pot cool, and you shall find the Salt calcined and deprived of all superfluous humidity. This is called Decrepitated Salt; The Chymists use it to Regalise Aqua fortis, as we shall show in the following Chapter of Nitre.

The Spirit of Salt.

Artists have tried divers ways to extract the Spirit of Salt with ease. Some distill’d Calcined or Decrepitated Salt alone, and without addition with a strong Fire; but besides that Salts being in Fusion penetrate and break all vessels they pertinaciously with-hold the Spirits. Others attempt to reduce Salts into Spirits, and afterwards into sweet Crystals by means of an Earthen Retort with a hole in the top, by which they put some drops of Water upon the Salt which must be melted in the said Retort with a strong Fire, and then they stop the hole til the vapor of the Water put into the hole be passed into the Receiver; and thus they continue till according to their opinion all the Salt be converted into Spirit. But as we have shown that the Vessels containing the Salts melted in a violent Fire, cannot resist long; and since Salts retain their Spirits whilst they are in Fusion, I conceive no body should amuse themselves with such preparations. The true way to Extract this Spirit with ease is, to mix Salt with some Body that may hinder its Fusion, but it must be such a Body as may communicate nothing of its own, as Potters Clay, or Bole.

Take therefore two pounds of Common Salt not decrepitated (because in this Calcination it loses part of its Volatile Spirits, especially be decrepitated with a gentle Fire without Fusion) dry it in a Basin with a gentle fire in order to be finely powdered, and mix it with eight pounds of Potters Earth, or Bole pulverized in like manner; put this mixture to a Glazed Retort, so that the third part be void, and place it in a close Reverberatory Fire. Fit a great Glass Receiver to the Retort, luting well the joynts and give a very small Fire the first six hours, during which the Phlegm will come forth; then increase it a little during other six hours, and the Volatile Spirits will come forth and appear in the Receiver like white Clouds. Continue to increase the Fire from six hours to six hours to the utmost violence. The whole operation will be finished in twenty four hours. After which leave the Vessel to cool, unlute them, and keep the Spirit in a very strong Vial. The Odour of it is sufficiently sweet, its savor agreeably Acid, and its colors yellow as Gold.

This Spirit may be rectified by an Alembick in Balneo Mariae, and about three quarters drawn off by distillation, which will be Phlegm and some Spirits mixt confusedly to gether; the other quarter left in the Gourd will be a more corrosive Spirit, improperly called Oil, which keep apart from the other. But note that the corrosive Spirit must be put into a very strong Vial of very good Glass; otherwise it will corrode the same.

The Volatile Spirit is an excellent Remedy against the Stone and Gravel, it powerfully dissolves the Tartar and Viscosities of the Body, it opens the obstructions of the Liver and Spleen; it gives great help to the Dropsy by quenching thirst; it cures the Jaundice, and hinders Gangrene; and being mixt with Oil of Soap it assuages the pains of the Gout and dissipates the Nodosities. The Dose of this Spirit is from 10 to 30 drops, or else to a grateful acidity in convenient Liquors. The Corrosive Spirit may be employed for dissolving of Metals.


CHAP. XII.

Of Nitre, or Saltpeter.

Nitre, or Saltpeter []] is drawn out of the Earth, and out of the ruins of Houses, Vaults, and Cellars, especially out of Stables, by reason of the great quantity of Volatile Salt in the Urine and Excrements of Animals, which is united to the Salt of the Earth by the continual action of the Air. Authors call it sometimes Cerberus, the Infernal Salt, the Dragon, Serpent, &c. But we stand not upon names. As for the choice of it, it must be white, crystalline, in long Hexagonal Needles; the taste must be Acid inclining to Sourness or Acerbity; and if it exhales totally from a burning Coal, ‘tis a sign of its goodness and pureness; but if it leave any remainder upon the Coal, it contains too much impurity, in which case it must be purified before it be employed for Chymical Operations.

The Purification of Nitre.

Put what quantity of Nitre you please into a Copper Basin, and pour upon it three or four times as much Rain Water. Make it boil upon a little Fire till the Nitre be dissolved, then strain it through a woolen Cloth into an Earthen pan, which expose in a cold place twenty four hours. At the end of which you shall find the Nitre reduced into fair transparent Crystals. Pour off the Water into a Basin, and Evaporate a third part of it, and set the rest to Crystallize as before. Continue this till all the Saltpeter be turned into Crystals; but the first Crystals contain the purest of the Saltpeter, and therefore must be dried and kept apart, for preparations to be used at the Mouth. The other Crystals may serve to make Aqua fortis, or other things of less consequence.

Mineral Crystal, or Sal Prunellae.

Melt a pound of well purified Saltpeter in a Crucible that resists the Fire and penetration of Salts, and when it is very fluid, throw into it by little and little an ounce of Flowers of Sulphur; which being exhaled, cast the Saltpeter into a very clean Basin, and spread it abroad; then break it and keep it dry in some vessel well stopt. ‘Tis an excellent Remedy against the putrid malignant Fevers called Prunella, or Burning, from whence ‘tis termed Lapis Prunella. The Dose is from twelve Grains to one Dram in ordinary Ptisane [barley water, or tea of pleasant taste], or some other convenient Liquor.

Some make use of purified Saltpeter without preparing it with Sulphur; which I disapprove not, because the Sulphur carries away with it part of the Sulphurous Volatile Salt of the Saltpeter, and so deprives it of the purest part of itself.

An Antifebril Salt, or a Salt against Fevers.

Take two ounces of purified Saltpeter, and two ounces of Flowers of Sulphur, powder them, and put them into a good large Retort; pour thereon six ounces of the Water of distilled Urine, and place it in a Sand Furnace, so that the Sand be not higher than the matter, and that two thirds of the Retort be out of the Sand in the Air. Fit to it a great Receiver, but Lute it not, because the Spirits issue out of these matters with such violence, that if there be no air, the Vessels break. Begin to distill with a very small Fire, and when no more humidity comes forth, increase the Fire by little and little, but not too hastily; for as soon as the Sulphur and Saltpeter begin to melt, they will flame, and drive out their Spirits impetuously in red fumes into the Receiver; which being all come forth, let the Vessels cool, and you shall find in the bottom of the Retort, being broken, a fixed Salt of a bitterish taste, which you must put into a little Earthen Gourd, and pour upon it the Spirit contained in the Receiver, to unite it to its proper body. Reject as useless the Flowers of Sulphur sublimed in the Receiver, and cover the Gourd with another Vessel, and set it upon hot Sand for three or four hours, during which the fixed Salt will be dissolved in its proper Spirit. Filter the Solution and Evaporate it gently to siccity; you shall have a Salt white as Snow, of a very agreeable Acid taste, which you must keep in a Vial well stopped. ‘Tis a very excellent Remedy in continual and intermitting Fevers. It powerfully resists putrefaction, and opens all the obstructions of the body. ‘Tis given in the beginning of fits, in some convenient Liquor. The Dose is from 8 to 30 Grains.

Sal Polycrestes, or of many uses.

This preparation comes in place, because Nitre is the Base of it. Take a pound of purified Saltpeter, and a pound of Sulphur; reduce them together into powder; then take a good Earthen Pot that resists the Fire and has a flat bottom. Set it in a Wind Furnace with Coals round about, which kindle by degrees to preserve the Pot; and when the Pot is red hot, put in about two ounces of the mixture and stir it: the matter will flame presently, and the Volatile parts of the Nitre will exhale with part of the Sulphur. When the Flame is ceased, put two ounces more in, stirring the same continually. Do thus till all the mixture be employed. Then Calcine it by stirring it six hours more, during which the matter must be always red hot without melting; which would retain the burnt odour of the Sulphur, and the Salt would be grayish: but with these cautions you shall have a Salt of a Rose colors without smell, and of a bitterish taste. It may be used without more preparation; or if you desire it yet purer, dissolve it in a good quantity of warm Water, and having Filtered it, Evaporate it gently in some glazed Earthen Vessel till it have a scum upon it; then set it in a Cellar, and it will Crystallize at the bottom and sides of the Vessel. The Figure of this Salt is square, much like that of common Salt. ‘Tis used against obstructions of the Liver, Spleen, Pancreas, and Mesentery; it unloosens Viscous matter and Purges gently downwards. The Dose is from two Drams to six. ‘Tis usually dissolved overnight with Spring Water, and taken the next morning. Persons whose Nervous parts are weak and delicate, must wholly abstain from all sorts of preparations of Nitre, as Crystal Mineral, and Sal Polycrestes; which are not to be put into other compositions but to sharpen them and make them more penetrating, or to temper their heat; in which case the dose must be less than that of the other Medicaments; as for example, with the weight of two or three ounces of Senna it suffices to put half a Dram or two Scruples of Mineral Crystal, or twice as much of Sal Polycrestes.

Spirit of Nitre.

Take two pounds of Saltpeter refined in Powder, and eight pounds of common Bole or Potters Earth dry’d and powdered; mix them together, and put them into a great Retort so that the third part thereof be empty; place the same in a close Reverberatory Fire, fitting to it a great Receiver, and luting the joynts very well. Let the Fire be gentle at first, and increase it from six hours to six hours to the utmost violence. A Phlegmatic Water first comes out, then a Spirit, which during the distillation appears as red as Fire; which redness proceeds from the internal Sulphur of the Saltpeter, and has given occasion to some Authors to term this Spirit the Blood of the Salamander. The distillation is usually finished in twenty four hours; which ended, let the Vessels cool, then unlute the Receiver, mollifying the Lute with wet Linnen; and keep the Spirit in a strong Vial.

‘Tis a good Remedy against the Colick, and against all obstructions, Fevers, and the Pestilence. The Dose is from 6 to 20 drops in some convenient Liquor.

Aqua fortis.

Though Aqua fortis is made several ways, and sometimes with the addition of Alum, Vitriol, Verdigris, and other things, yet we shall insert the preparation of it in this Chapter of Saltpeter, because tis this which gives it its principle dissolving virtue. It has its name from its force of dissolving almost all Metals, and Minerals, even Gold too if it be Regalified by the addition of Salt Armoniac or common Salt. Now, to make good Aqua fortis, take three Pounds of Saltpeter and as much of Vitriol, or green Copperas; mix and powder them grossly, and put them into a Luted Retort in a close Reverberatory Furnace; fit a large Receiver to the Retort, and having Luted the joynts exactly well, give a very gentle Fire for eight hours to make the Phlegm come forth; then increase the Fire one degree, and you shall cause reddish Spirits to stream out; keep the Fire in that condition four or five hours; then increase it little and little to the utmost violence, quite opening the covering of the Furnace and that of the Ash hole. Continue the Fire till the heat of the Receiver abate, and wait not till it become clear; for though you should continue the Fire many days, the Spirits would be in continual agitation by the heat. But as soon as the Furnace and Vessels begin to lose their heat, the Spirits settle to the bottom and the Receiver grows clear. This operation is usually finished in twenty hours. The Vessels being cool,unlute the Receiver, and keep the Water in a strong Bottle well stopped with Wax.

You may also make Aqua fortis with Roche Alum and Saltpeter, and sometimes with addition of other ingredients; but being the preparation of these Waters is not different from this, I will not enlarge this Book with them, I will only give notice to the Reader, that the Aqua fortis made with Roche Alum and Saltpeter is to be preferred before that made with Vitriol for preparing red or white Precipitate, which is to be employed for diseases of the skin. Which is also to be observed in the preparations of the Precipitates above described, according to the different intention of using the said Remedies.

Aqua Regis, or, Water to Dissolve Gold.

This Water takes its name from its virtue of dissolving Gold, the King of Metals. Its Base is Spirit of Nitre or Aqua fortis, which becomes Regal by the addition of Salt Armoniac, or Common Salt, in manner following.

Take four ounces of Salt Armoniac unpurified and pulverized, put it into a great Matrass, and pour upon it a pound of good Aqua fortis; place the Matrass upon Sand moderately hot, that the Aqua fortis may gently dissolve the Salt Armoniac. Stop not the Matrass lest it should break, and avoid the vapors which rise when the Aqua fortis begins to act upon the Salt Armoniac; for they are fierce Spirits which cannot be condensed any more, and are very hurtful. As soon as you shall see the Salt Armoniack dissolved, remove the Matrass from the Sand, and when it is cold put the Water into a Vial, and stop the same with a Bladder and Wax.

Another Regal Water.

Put into a Retort half a pound of Sea Salt or Sal Gemma in Powder, and pour thereon a pound of good Spirit of Nitre, or good Aqua fortis; then distill in a Sand Fire into a Receiver till the Salt remain dry in the bottom of the Retort, and keep the water in a Vial well stopped.

Take a pound of Sea Salt, or Sal Gemma, and as much of good Saltpeter; powder them finely, and mix them with eight pounds of common Bole powdered; then distill them with a Retort in a Reverberatory Fire, in the same manner as we have directed the distillation of Spirit of Nitre, and you shall have a Regal Water which will easily dissolve Gold. These three sorts of Regal Water are equally good.


CHAP. XIII.

Of Salt Armoniac.

The Salt Armoniac of the Ancients was found in divers parts of Asia, and particularly in Lybia [Lydia ?], in places where the Camels of Caravans rested, whose Urine was imbibed in the Sand, and the Volatile Salt thereof was sublimed by the Rays of the Sun to the surface of the Sand; and they of the Country gathered it up to sell to other Nations. But the modern Salt Armoniac is compounded of Sea Salt, Chimney Soot, and the Urine of Animals. These three are so artificially mixt and incorporated, that though the Sea Salt be very fixed, yet being mixed with the Volatile Salts of Urine, and Soot, there arises a Compound of them, which though less Volatile than the said Salts, yet cannot resist the Violence of the Fire: for if you put it into a Crucible amongst burning Coals, it flies all away. But this composition may easily be destroyed by separating the Volatile Salts from the Sea Salt by the addition of some matter to fix and retain it. As for the manner of preparing it, I will not increase this Book by setting it down, since the said Artificial Salt is commonly and cheaply enough to be had from the Druggists. But since it is usually full of impurities, we begin with the purifying of it.

The Purification of Salt Armoniac.

Powder a pound of Salt Armoniac, and dissolve it in a Gourd upon hot Sand with three pounds of Rain water; Filter the Solution through gray Paper, and Evaporate it to Siccity, and you shall have a very pure Salt as white as Snow. This Salt provokes Sweat and Urine, and resists putrefaction. ‘Tis used in Quartan Agues, and outwardly against Gangrenes, and in Eye waters. The Dose is from 8 to 24 Grains in some Broth or other convenient Liquor.

The Flowers of Salt Armoniac.

Pulverize together a pound of Salt Armoniac and as much Common Salt, and put them into a Gourd covered with its head, and place the same in a Sand Furnace; give a gentle Fire at first, increasing it by little and little till you see the Salt Armoniac ascend into the Head like Meal; then continue the Fire in the same degree for five or six hours. After which let the Vessels cool, and gather off what is ascended into the Head, and mix it with new Salt, and sublime as before; Repeat this thrice, and you shall have Flowers well purified.

These Flowers being purer than Salt Armoniac simply purified by Solution, Filtration, and Coagulation, act with more efficacy; so that the Dose is but from 4 to 12 and 15 Grains. Their use is for Chronical Diseases.

They may be also prepared with Filings of Steel, mixing an equal quantity thereof with Salt Armoniac; and the Flowers have the more force and virtue, in that they are impregnated with a portion of Mars which increase their aperitive virtue.

The Urinous Volatile Spirit of Salt Armoniac.

We have showed in the beginning of this Chapter that Salt Armoniac is compounded of the Salt of Urine and that of the Soot of Chimneys (which are very subtle and Volatile Salts) and of Sea Salt, which is an Acid Salt and more fixed than the other two. These three Salts mixt together make but one, which holds a mean between the Volatility of the two former, and the fixedness of the latter. And though this mixture seems perfect, and the conjunction of these Salts of several families inseparable; yet when you well understand their qualities and properties, you will separate them very easily. The ensuing operation will instruct you. Powder and mix together a pound of Salt Armoniac and as much of Salt of Tartar; make them into a Paste with four or five ounces of Water, which put into a Glass Gourd, whereunto fit an Alembick with a Receiver, and having luted the joynts exactly, place the Gourd in a Sand Furnace. Begin the distillation with a moderate heat, which increase by little and little. As soon as the matter begins to heat, the Salts will act upon one another, and the Sea Salt will joyn with the Salt of Tartar, and they will both remain in the bottom of the Gourd. But the Urinous and Fuliginous Volatile Spirits will be loosened from their Fetters, and ascend through the Alembick into the Receiver. Continue a moderate Fire till all the Spirits are gone out, then increase it by little and little to make the Flowers ascend, which will stick to the Head and the upper part of the Gourd. The whole operation requires eight or ten hours. Let the Vessels being cool be unluted, and you shall find the Urinous Volatile Spirit in the Receiver, and the Flowers in the Head and upper part of the Gourd, and in the bottom thereof, a fixed Mass containing the Acid Sea Salt with the Salt of Tartar. These three substances must be kept apart. The Volatile Spirit is one of the most excellent Remedies that can be invented; for it opens all obstructions in general, and acts powerfully by Sweat and Urine. ‘Tis very good in Fevers, especially the putrid, in Palsies, Epilepsies, Hysterical fits, and the Plague, resisting all corruption. It likewise assuages the pains of the Gout, applied externally. It may be Sublimed into a Volatile Salt, by putting it into a long necked Matrass with a suitable Alembick having a large Betty, and placing the same in a very moderate Sand Fire. For this fiery Salt upon the least heat leaves its Phlegmatic Water which kept it in a liquid form. But ‘tis better to leave it in a liquid form than to sublime it into Salt, which is hard to be kept; whereas the Phlegm restrains it and hinders its activity; for which reason it may be given from 8 to 30 drops, but the Dose of the Salt is but from 3 to 8 or 9 Grains. The Flowers in the Alembick are nothing but part of the Salt Armoniack which was not closely mixed with the Salt of Tartar. They are of the same use as Salt Armoniack well purified. But the Mass remaining in the bottom of the Gourd affords an Acid Corrosive Spirit, as follows.

The Acid Spirit of Salt Armoniack.

Reduce into fine Powder the Mass remaining in the bottom of the Gourd after the foregoing distillation, and mix it with four times as much Bole in Powder. Put the mixture into a Retort of Glass or Earth well Luted, and distill it in a close Reverberatory Fire, observing exactly in this distillation all the circumstances described in the distillation of common Salt. You may rectify this Spirit in an Alembick in Balneo Maria and it will ascend easily. This Spirit is one of the greatest Dissolvents that we know; for it dissolves Gold, Copper, Iron, &c. and Volatilizes them in an Alembick by means of reiterated Cohobation. Besides which, ‘tis the most agreeable Acid that Chymistry hath invented. Some drops being given in Broth to those that have Fevers, for it tempers the inward heat by its subtlety and sharpness. It is also more Diuretical than other Corrosive Spirits. The Dose is from 6 to 30 drops, or to an agreeable Acidity.

The fixation of Salt Armoniac.

This fixation is made by mixing Salt Armoniac with some body that may hinder its exhaling in a violent Fire. To which purpose serve the Alkali Salts of Plants, of the Calx of Egg shells, and other shells, of Quicklime, and of the Calx of divers Minerals, and amongst others Zink, Lapis Calaminaris, and Hematites. Yet these Bodies cannot totally fix the whole body of Salt Armoniac, but retain only a part of it, namely the Sea Salt, letting go the Fuliginous and Urinous part which flies into the Air. The most usual way is to take equal quantity of Quicklime and Salt Armoniac, and to put them powdered together into a good Crucible amongst burning Coals. You shall presently see the Urinous Spirits disentangle themselves and fly away, but the common Salt which entered into the composition stays behind with the Quicklime, and being melted therewith runs in the Crucible like Oil. Cast this melted matter into a Basin or Mortar heated, and let it cool. You shall have a transparent Mass like Crystal, which may be reduced into little parcels whilst it is a little warm, and kept in a Vial well stopt with Wax. ‘Tis a very good Caustic, and serves commodiously for Cauteries. If this Salt be left to the Air, it dissolves in a few dayes into Liquor, which you must Filter. It serves for the Resuscitation of Metals into fluid Mercury, as some think.


CHAP. XIV.

Of Roche Alum.

The name of Alum is given to divers matters. First, there is a sort of Talc, which they call in Latin ‘Alumen scissile’, because it may be cut into transparent Leaves like Glass. There is another Species called ‘Alumen Plumosum’, or ‘Lapis Amiantus’ [asbestos?]. But these serve but little for Physick, and therefore I shall only insist upon Roche Alum, which is a Mineral Salt, Earthy and Acrimonious, full of an Acid Spirit. It is often found condensed in the Veins of the Earth, and sometimes ‘tis drawn from Aluminous Springs, by Evaporation. It is likewise found in Mineral Stones, from which it is drawn by dissolving the same in Water, and afterwards Evaporating it.

The Purification of Alum.

Powder and dissolve of Roche Alum in sixteen pounds of Rain Water; Filter the Solution, and Evaporate and Crystallize it in a cool place, as you would proceed with any other Salt; and by this means you shall have it pure and fit for all preparations.

The Distillation and Calcination of Alum.

Put into a great Glassed Retort two pounds of Alum purified, so that three quarters of the Retort be empty, to leave room for the Ebullitions of the Alum. Place the Retort in a close Reverberatory Fire, and fit a large Receiver to it. Make the Phlegm come forth with a little Fire, which increase by degrees till the Spirits begin to stream forth in white Clouds. Then open the Registers by little and little, and continue the Fire to the utmost violence, after which let the Vessels cool. You shall find in the Receiver an Acid Spirit mixed with a good quantity of Phlegm. And having broken the Retort, you shall find the Alum there Calcined into a very white and light Mass. Rectify and separate the Spirit from its Phlegm, putting into a Glass Retort all that was in the Receiver, and placing the same in a Sand Furnace; as you distill with a little Fire, the Phlegm will come forth first, and as soon as you taste the drops Acid, change the Receiver, and continue the Fire till all the Spirits be ascended and there remain nothing in the Retort but a little Earth which the Spirits had brought away with them in the first distillation. This Spirit is good in Fevers being taken in ordinary drink. ‘Tis very Diuretick and opening, and is very proper for Cancers in the Mouth. But being unpleasant in taste, Spirit of Vitriol may serve in its place upon all occasions. The Phlegm is very good in Eye waters, for inflammations of the Eyes; it is also good for Erysipelas and to wash Sores and Ulcers. The Calcined Alum is employed outwardly to dry and consume superfluous flesh in old Ulcers and Sores. It may be likewise Calcined in a Crucible, or upon a Plate, but we have taught the way to make benefit of all its parts.

Observe that neither Roche Alum nor Vitriol need any mixture of Bole, or other fat Earth powdered, when you distill them, as Common Salt, Sal Gemma, Saltpeter, and others have to hinder their melting; because Vitriolick and Aluminous Salts contain a sufficient quantity of Mineral Earth of difficult fusion.

A Febrifugous Salt of Alum.

Powder half a pound of Calcined Alum, and put it into a Glass Gourd, and pour upon it two pounds of good distilled Vinegar. Digest them in hot Sand till the Alum be dissolved; Filter the Solution and after Evaporation of the third part, set the rest to Crystallize in a Cellar. Pour off by inclination the Water above the Crystals, and Evaporate and Crystallize again till you have drawn out all the Crystals; which dry and mix with a like quantity of Nutmegs and Mineral Crystal; of which being finely powdered you may with happy success give a Dram in intermitting Fevers, especially such as proceed from corruption and abundance of Humors. This Powder is taken in Wine or some other proper Liquor in the beginning of the fit.


CHAP. XV.

Of Vitriol.

Vitriol is a Mineral Salt near of kin to Roche Alum, but containing in it some Metallick substance, especially Iron or Copper. There are several sorts of it, which differ in color and taste by reason of the divers substances wherewith they are mixed. That which is blue, compact, and in great Crystals is called Vitriol of Cyprus, though it comes from Hungary. It is very bitter and sharp, because it contains much of the substance of Copper; and though the dearest of all, yet it is not better worth; and I would not advise any body to make use of it except for Eye water or outwardly by reason of the violent Vomitings which it causes. There is another sort of Vitriol which is greenish, and of a sweetish taste, and in small Crystals; being found in Sweden, Liege, and other parts of Germany. The best is most compact and dry, which being rubbed upon Iron, does not dye the same with the color of Copper; which color shows it to be mixed with Copper, and consequently more hurtful; whereas by not tincturing the same it shows that it partakes more of Iron, and is fitter for all preparations, whatsoever many Authors say to the contrary. There is also white Vitriol, which comes from Vitriol Springs, and is not charged with any Metallick substance, which gives the color to other sorts of Vitriol. All the several Vitriols are formed by Nature in the entrails of the Earth; but they are also made by evaporating the Springs which contain them, as also by Dissolution, Evaporation and Crystallization of Marcasites or Vitriolick Stones. But since Vitriol is usually charged with impurities, we begin with its purification.

The Purification of Vitriol.

Dissolve in Rain Water what quantity of Vitriol you please; put the Solution into Pitchers or Bottles, and set it to digest in Horse dung, or Balneo Maria for eight or ten days; during which, much earthiness will separate to the bottom; Filter the Liquor, and having Evaporated about the half, Crystallize the remainder; Evaporate again the Water above the Crystals; and so continue to Evaporate and Crystallize till all be turned into Crystals.

Vomitive Vitriol called Gilla.

Dissolve in Rain water, or May Dew, half a pound of white Vitriol, and reduce it into Crystals, as is shown in the Purification of Vitriol; reiterating the Dissolution, Filtration, and Crystallization four times. You shall have a Vitriol well prepared, fit to be used in Tertian or other Fevers proceeding from corruption of humors in the first Region; for it evacuates gently by Vomit. It likewise kills Worms, and resists putrefaction. The Dose is from 20 Grains to half a Dram in Broth, Cordial waters, or some other Liquor. Yet some go as high as a whole Dram; but this Dose is a little too strong for our Climate.

The Calcination of Vitriol.

That which is commonly called the Calcination of Vitriol is nothing but an exsiccation and deprivation of its superfluous humidity, which is effected either by ordinary Fire or Rays of the Sun. The former is thus. Put twelve pounds of Vitriol into an earthen Pot not Glazed, which place amongst burning Coals; and the Vitriol will soon be reduced into Water. Boil it to the consummation of the humidity, and till it become a hard compact Mass of a whitish gray color. If you continue the Fire longer, till the Pot be red hot, the Mass will become yellow and at length a reddish brown, which is that which they call Colcothar, wherewith Blood is staunched; it is also used in Lethargies, being put up the Nose, to awaken the Stupid senses by sneezing. ‘Tis also a great Desiccative for Sores and Ulcers.

The second Calcination is made by exposing it thinly spread to the Beams of the Sun in July, stirring it often that it may be better penetrated by the Sun, and reduced into a Powder as white as Snow, very light, and less weighty than the Vitriol by a third part. This is that which they call Sympathetic Powder, which they pretend cures Wounds after an admirable manner, being applied upon Linen dipped in the Blood of the Wound. But note that Roman Vitriol is required to the making of this Powder.

The Distillation of Vitriol.

Take eight pounds of Vitriol dried in the Sun, which is to be preferred before any other, as well by reason of the impressions it may receive from him, as because it is more open, Spongy, and apt to part with its Spirits. But in defect thereof, take Vitriol dried in the Fire to whiteness and no more: put it into an Earthen Retort, and place the same in a close Reverberatory Furnace, and fit to it a large Receiver, Luting the joynts thereof exactly. Let the Fire be small during ten or twelve hours, in which time all the Phlegm will come forth; then open a little hole in the top of the Furnace, and the Ash hole, to increase the heat a little, and drive the Volatile Spirit into the Receiver. But govern the Fire well; for if the first Spirits be never so little over stirred, they issue so impetuously that they break the Receiver. Increase the Fire at the end of another twelve hours by opening the hole above, and the Ash hole a little more than before; and continue to augment it by little and little to the utmost violence; which continue during three or four days, and you will see the Receiver continually full of white fumes; but when the red drops begin to appear, cease the Distillation and let the Vessels cool; for ‘tis a sign that the Vitriol begins to be deprived of all the Spirit it had, these red drops being the Caustic part of it.

Note that if you continue the Fire twelve days and nights, the Receiver will be found continually full of a white mist: you must also observe that Vitriol thoroughly dried in the Sun will yield its Spirits sooner because it is finer and more Spongy than that which is dried at the Fire, which is more compact and retains its Spirits more obstinately; when your Vessels are cold, unlute your Receiver with wet Linen, and pour out all that it contains into a body, unto which you must presently adapt an Alembick with a Receiver, luting all the joynts exactly, that the Volatile Spirit may not fly away; set your Body in Balneo Maria, and distill with a very gentle heat the Volatile, Sulphurous and sweet Spirit, and when you have separated three or four ounces, change the Receiver, that no Phlegm may come over into it. Preserve this Spirit in a good Viol very exactly stopped. Fit to it another Receiver, and augment the Fire till the Balneum do boyle. By this means the Phlegm will rise, and you must continue the Fire till no more come. So the Acid Spirit will remain in the Body, which cannot rise with the heat of the boiling Bath. Pour that which remains into a Retort, and set it in a Sand Furnace, and fit a Receiver thereto, and distill about half of this Acid Spirit, which will be clear as Rock water. You may either reserve and keep apart that which remains in the Retort, or changing the Receiver push on and increase the Fire, and make it distill over and keep these two Spirits severally. The Volatile Spirit, the sweet Sulphur which rises first is very penetrating, and esteemed very effectual against the falling Evil. Its Dose is from 12 drops to one Dram, in any appropriate Liquor. The Phlegm is proper for inflammations of the Eyes, and to temper the Acrimony of Erysipelas, and to cleanse Wounds and Ulcers.

The first Spirit that ascends next after the Phlegm, is very Diuretick and incisive, and much used in hot and malignant Fevers. It restores the Appetite, and opens all obstructions, the Dose is augmented or decreased according as its acidity is more or less agreeable with compliance to the Patients taste.

The last Spirit is improperly called the Oil of Vitriol, and is no other than the weightier and more Caustic part of the Acid Spirit; it is principally used for dissolving Metals and Minerals.

The fixed Salt of Vitriol.

Put that which remains in the Retort after your distillation, which will be a Mass as black as a Coal, into an Earthen Vessel, and pour Rain water thereon by little and little, for if this Mass be not a while exposed to the Air, it will when it comes out of a Retort do the same thing as Quicklime. Continue so to pour Water thereon, till it rise four or five fingers height above it. After, set it in an earthen Pot to digest in hot Sand for seven or eight hours, stirring the matter often to promote the Solution of Salt. After, Filter and Evaporate the Solution till a film rise thereon, and let it shoot into Crystals. Pour off and Crystallize the Water also which swims on the first Crystals, and continue to Evaporate and Crystallize it till it be all Crystallized. These Crystals are reddish at first, but being dried and brought into Powder, they are as white as Snow. This Salt is nigh in its effect to Vomitive Vitriol, but its Dose is less, only from 8 to 20 Grains. You may after all proceed to sweeten the Earth which remains in the Filtration, and make use thereof with assurance for, to stay the immoderate Fluxes of the Belly, and spitting of Blood, and to dry and heal up Wounds and Ulcers, and in like manner to mix with Styptic Ointments and Plasters.

Sulphur of Vitriol.

Put into a Glass Body two pounds of purified Vitriol, and one pound of the Filings of Steel mingled together. Pour upon them distilled Vinegar to the full of one Finger’s height. Set a Head on the Body, and place it in hot Sand, and fitting a Receiver thereto, give it a small Fire at the beginning to make all the moisture rise by little and little. After, augment the Fire from degree to degree, till you have made the Sand red hot.

When your Vessels are cold take out, and powder what remains in the bottom of the Body, and digest it in a Matrass with fresh distilled Vinegar. Surmounting the matter three or four Fingers height, in Balneo Maria for three days. Then you will find the Menstruum colored, which decant off, and put again new Vinegar upon your matter, and digest it anew, and decant and reiterate the same operation until your Vinegar be tinged no more; then Filter all the decanted Liquor, and pour thereon good Oil of Tartar, a sufficient quantity to precipitate all the Sulphur of Vitriol to the bottom, which you must afterwards sweeten with warm Water, and then dry it. This is a good Remedy for the Asthma, and for the diseases of the Breast. Its Dose is from five to twelve Grains in any Pectoral Conserve or Confection.

There are some who pretend to make thereof a Laudanum without Opium, and prefer this Remedy above it, but experience hath given us to know the difference betwixt this Sulphur and its effects, and those of Opium duly prepared.


CHAP. XVI.

Of Crystal of the Rock.

Crystal, and all Stones generally, as well Precious and Transparent, as common and Opaque, have hard and unmalleable bodies, coagulated and hardened by the forcible action of a Salt and Stone generating Spirit. Their different color, hardness, and purity, speaks only the difference of the Womb wherein they were produced. But our principle design being to show their preparation, we will here teach that of Rock Crystal, which will serve for other Stones of the same nature.

The Tincture of Crystal.

Make your Crystal red hot in burning Coals, and quench it in a Basin full of Water, in which it will fall to pieces, so that it may easily be brought into impalpable Powder; of which take four ounces, and of Salt of Tartar purified one pound, and put them well mingled into a great Crucible, which being empty two third parts, cover it with its cover; place it in a Wind Furnace, and give it a small Fire at the beginning, lest the matter should rise and run over the Crucible, but when it begins to fall again, augment your Fire by little and little to the highest violence, and so continue till the matter dissolve, and become clear as Oil, and transparent as Glass; which you may know by putting into the matter a little Rod of Iron, unto which some small part thereof cleaving will serve you for a proof; and when it is very transparent cast it into an hot Mortar, and it will congeal immediately: beat it into Powder whilst it is yet hot, and divide it into two parts, and put one half thereof quite hot in a clean, dry, and hot Body, and put thereon good rectified Spirit of Wine by little and little to the height of four fingers, then put upon this another Bolts-head so to make up a circulating Vessel. Lute well the joynts, and set it in hot Sand, and digest it so that the Spirit of Wine may boil for three or four days and nights continually: your Spirit of Wine will fill itself with the Tincture, and having decanted that off from the matter, put new to it, and proceed as before, and continue to put to new, digest and decant, till the Spirit draw no more color. Then Filter all the Tinctures and distill them with a Glass Body and Head in Balneo Maria, and draw off three fourth parts, and it shall be as good Spirit of Wine as before, and the red Tincture will remain in the Body, which you must put in a Viol, and close it well.

Note that this Tincture is made better, if you take River Pebbles which are colored within with red, green, and blue veins. Both these tinctures open all Obstructions of the Body. They are serviceable in Melancholic and Hypochondriac diseases, for the Dropsy and Scurvy. The Dose is from ten to twenty drops in White wine, or some other Liquor, using them continually.

The Liquor of Crystal.

Put your other half of your dissolvable Glass of Crystal which you reserved in a Glass Plate, and expose it in a Cellar or other moist place, and in a few days it will be dissolved into a Liquor, which being Filtered through Cap Paper, will be clear as Rock water. This Liquor is very Diuretic, given from 20 to 30 drops in any agreeable Water or Decoction. Note that if you put upon this Liquor any Acid Corrosive Spirits, they will both together in a moment be converted into a dry and sufficiently hard Mass.

Magistery of Crystal.

Take one pound of the aforesaid Liquor, and put it into a Body with five or six pounds of Distilled Rain water. After, pour thereon good Spirit of Nitre drop by drop. This Spirit will cause a great Ebullition, because it works upon the saline part contained in this Liquor, and the Salt at the same time by a certain counter-working joyns itself with the Spirit and takes from it its Corrosiveness so that the substance of the Crystal is precipitated to the bottom in a fine and Snow white Powder, which you must sweeten well and dry.

This Magistery is very proper to strengthen the Stomach, having a virtue to destroy the acidity of humors, and to sweeten them, and hinder their fervor which causeth an appetite. You may take a Dram in Wine after food.

Note, that if you Evaporate and Crystallize the first and second Lotions of this Powder, you may extract thence very fair and good Saltpeter which proceeds from the incorporation of its Spirits with Salt Alkali of Tartar.

CHAP. XVII.

Of Coral.

There are divers Salts of Coral differing one from another in color and hardness, of which the red is the best, which must be chosen of a good red, well compacted and shining. It is diversely prepared, and may serve for a model to Pearls, Crabs eyes, and such like. We are nevertheless obliged to give notice that better effects are to be expected from these sorts of Stones reduced only on a Marble to an impalpable Powder, than when they are corroded by Acid Spirits, and precipitated with Salts; for Nature knows very well of her self to make these kinds of dissolution in Man’s body; and as the Acid Spirits lose their Acrimony, and sweeten themselves by working on these Bodies, we may believe that Nature makes the same operation in our Stomachs, when they are oppressed with any Acidity, which is the cause of many diseases.

Salt of Coral.

Coral being a body softer than Crystal needs neither to be Calcined nor quenched as Pebbles, for so soon as you put it in the Fire it becomes white and loses its fair Tincture, which is very Volatile, and wherein consists a part of its good properties and virtues. We must therefore be contented to reduce it into an Alcool, or impalpable Powder, and to put four ounces thereof into a pretty large Bolts-head, and to pour thereon very good distilled Vinegar, to four fingers height. A great Ebullition will arise presently by the working of the distilled Vinegar, and counter-working of the Coral, for which cause it is necessary that the Bolts-Head be large, that nothing may be lost. The working being over, place the Bolts-Head upon hot Sand for twenty four hours, at the end whereof you shall find the Vinegar changed in an almost Insipid Liquor. Its Acidity being destroyed by its working upon the Coral; decant this Liquor into some Vessel, and pour fresh distilled Vinegar on the Coral, and repeat the same Operation as before until the Coral be almost all dissolved, and there remain in the bottom an undissolved earthiness in a small quantity. Filter the Solutions first mingled together, through Cap Paper, and Evaporate them to dryness in a Glass Body in Balneo Maria.

Unto Salt of Coral is attributed a virtue to purify the mass of Blood, and it is given to the Sick in Melancholy cases. The Dose is from 6 to 20 Grains in some convenient Liquor.

Magistery of Coral.

Dissolve the Coral as we have now said, with distilled Vinegar; but instead of Evaporating away the Solution, instill thereon drop by drop good Oil of Tartar made by Deliquium, and you shall see immediately the Coral precipitate to the bottom of the Water in a very white Powder, which must be dulcified by many washings. It is serviceable for the same purposes as the Salt, but for that it worketh less forcibly. Its Dose is greater, it may be given to the weight of one Dram.

The Tincture of Coral.

Many have imagined that they knew how to draw the Tincture of Coral, and almost all Authors have given us thereof preparations as true as Aesop’s Fables. For many would draw this Tincture with Spirit of Oak Wood, - of Guaiacum, &c. Others with the Spirit of the Crusts of Bread, and such like: and having set the Coral to digest in these Menstruums (which rectified are clear as Water) because they are exalted by the digestion, by reason of a Salt Volatile Sulphur which they contain, seeing the color red in the Menstruum without considering that the digestion had given it this color, as well alone as without Coral; they took the shadow for the substance, and a foreign Tincture for the Coral. Others amuse themselves with a Calcination of Coral, either alone or with Nitre: but the Coral remained white, and lost it Tincture with the least heat of the Fire, which they regarded not at all; but this notwithstanding they forbore not to put a good Spirit of Wine upon the Body, which by digestion, and the help of a fixed Salt of Nitre, with which the Coral was Calcined, is exalted and becomes red as the Tincture of the Salt of Tartar. By such or such like means some imagine they may obtain a true Tincture of Coral, to which without reason they attribute surprising effects. I could yet give the Reader many more examples to keep him from relying on many ridiculous receipts, but I content myself with this one word by the way. And as I pretend not to put any Preparation in this little Treatise, of which I have not made trial with my own hands, I will give forth my manner of a Tincture of Coral, which seems to me reasonable and true.

Take four ounces of good red Coral, which make into a subtle Powder and mingle with a like quantity of Salt Armoniac, sublimed three times with Decrepitated Salt, as we have taught you in the Chapter of Salt Armoniac. Put this mixture into a small Body and Head, set it on a small Sand Furnace, and fit a Receiver to them, Lute well the joynts of the Vessels, and give a small Fire at the beginning, augmenting it by little and little, you shall see a Volatile Urinous Salt arise, which will separate itself from the fixed Sea Salt, which Volatile Salt is contained in the Flowers of the Salt Armoniac, and which fixed Salt joyns and incorporates itself with the Earthy substance of the Coral; after that this Volatile Spirit, which is small in quantity, shall have ascended and passed into the Receiver, you shall see the Flowers rise and stick to the head of the Alembick, and upper part of the Body, which will be tinged with divers colors as red, green, blue, very pleasant to behold, and contain in them the true Tincture of Coral; the Earthy part of the Coral white as Snow, remains in the bottom of the Body with the fixed Sea Salt, which contain the Flowers of the Salt Armoniac. Continue a moderate fire (for a great heat is not needed for this operation) until no more rise. The whole Operation may be done in a few hours. Then let the Vessels cool, and gather diligently what is Sublimed, and put it in a Bolts-head, and pour upon it a good Spirit of Wine to the height of four fingers, digest this some days in Balneo Maria, and it will be filled with a very red Tincture, and will rob the Flowers of all their pretty colors which they had before, for they remain in the bottom of the Bolts-head white like the Flowers of Salt Armoniac. Filter the Tincture, and draw from it three fourths by an Alembick in Balneo Maria, and the Tincture will remain perfect in the bottom of the Body, which must be kept in a well stopt Viol.

This is a Sovereign Remedy to strengthen the Bowels, in opening Obstructions, and it purifies the Blood by Sweat and Urine. Its Dose is from 6 to 24 drops in some convenient Liquor.

Another Tincture of Coral.

The Tincture of Coral which we here discover is in use among many, and though it be not a true tincture of Coral, but rather an exaltation of the Sulphur contained in the Spirit of Wine which is used for the Menstruum and is exalted rather by the fixed Sal Nitre, wherewith the Coral is Calcined, than by the Tincture in the Coral, we will not forbear to give you a description thereof.

You must take one pound of Powder of good red Coral, and two pounds of Salt Peter purified. Mingle and grind them together in a Mortar. After, put this mixture in an Earthen Pot that can endure the Fire. Set the Pot amongst coals in a Wind Furnace, which you must kindle gently at first, that the matter be hot by little and little, and that the sudden violence of the Fire cause not the Pot to break at first; but when it is red hot you must continue a pretty violent Fire the space of six or eight hours. Then let the Vessel cool and break it, and powder the snow white Mass which you will find therein. Put this into a long neck Bolts-Head, and pour thereon a good Spirit of Wine to the height of four fingers, and set the Bolts-Head in digestion in Sand for two days, in which time the Spirit of Wine will be filled with a red Tincture, which must be poured off, and new Spirit of Wine put thereon, and the digestion continued in hot Sand, and again pour more off and on, till the Spirit of Wine be no more tinged. Then take all the Tinctures together, and put them into a Body of Glass, with a Head and Receiver well Luted, distill off your Spirit of Wine with a very gentle heat. There will remain in the bottom a yellowish Powder approaching towards a red, of lixiviat taste. The Spirit of Wine drawn from it may be reserved for the same or other uses; but the Salt which remains in the bottom of the Body, must be set in a Cellar with the Body open. The reddish Salt will be dissolved by attracting a moisture to it into a reddish Liquor, which must be kept in a Viol for use, which is this. Take two pounds of good Spanish Wine, and an ounce of the said Liquor, and mingle them in a Glass Bottle well stopped, and let them stand together in a cold place for the term of eight days; the Spanish Wine which was white will become red as Blood.

This Tincture is given to purify the Mass of Blood for the Falling Sickness, for to strengthen the Stomach, and to cleanse away all Viscosities, from half a Spoonful to a good great Spoonful every morning fasting, and continuing the use of it for some time.


CHAP. XVIII.

Of Quick Lime.

Quick Lime is made of Pebbles or common Stones by a Calcination in a Furnace, and is practiced by Peasants themselves. It furnishes us with external Remedies, and amongst others the Water whereunto they have given the name of the Corrosive Water, and the Salt or Caustic Stone, which we will describe, not insisting upon many other preparations well or ill founded, and of little in use.

The Eating, or Corrosive Water.

Take two pounds of good Quicklime, well Calcined and newly made, put it into a great Earthen Vessel, and pour thereupon by little and little ten pounds of Rain water, and leave them together for two days, stirring them often. After, let the Lime settle, and decant the Water, which swims above and filter it, and put it into a large Glass Bottle, and put to it one ounce of Powder of Corrosive Sublimate, which will change from white to yellow, and descends to the bottom of the Vessel. Of this Water being settled, you may make use to mundifie Wounds and Ulcers, to consume the superfluities therein, and chiefly for Gangrenes, and in these cases the expert Chirurgion may add thereto on occasion, a fourth or a third part of the Spirit of Wine. The same thing may be observed in the diseases of the Eyes, and it may be tempered with appropriate Waters, and sometimes with Rain water, as the Artist thinks fit. The Calx which remains in the Vessel may be sweetened, dried and kept for all outward diseases which need Dessication.

The Caustic Stone.

Take two pounds of Quicklime, and two pounds of Pot Ashes, beat them together into powder, and Calcine them in a convenient Pot in a Potter’s Furnace. After making a Lye with them and Fountain, or River water, which Vapor away till it be dry, and there will remain a very sharp Salt. This you must put into a good Crucible, and melt it in a Wind furnace. And when it is well melted, cast it into an Earthen Basin, as in the Mineral Crystal, and after break it into little pieces whilst it is still hot, and put it into Vials well stopped with Wax; for otherwise these Stones will dissolve by attracting the moisture of the Air. The use of this Caustic Stone is too well known for me to insist upon it.


CHAP. XIX.

Of Arsenick.

Arsenick is a Mineral fuliginous and partly inflammable, as common Sulphur. There are three sorts of it, the first white which keeps the name of Arsenick; the second yellow, named Orpiment; the third red, called Realgar, or Sandarack. There is no difference in their preparation, that of the white will suffice for all. The principal preparations of this Mineral are, Regulus, Caustic Oil, Liquor, and fixt powder which are used outwardly with happy success, and some are bold to make use thereof inwardly, which I advise not, because nature furnishes us with other Remedies enough, less dangerous, and more safe.

Regulus of Arsenick, or Orpiment.

Beat into powder one pound of Arsenick (or Orpiment) with six ounces of Pot Ashes, and mix them with one pound of soft Soap. Put them into a good large Crucible, covered with another Crucible with an hole pierced through the bottom, through which the venomous Vapors may pass away. Set this Crucible in a Wind Furnace, and give it a little Fire at the beginning, still augmenting it by little and little, till the matter be melted. When the matter is well melted cast it into a deep picked Iron, Cornet, Cone, or Ingot, made hot and anointed with Wax and let it cool. You will find a small Regulus in the bottom, grained almost like the Antimonial Regulus.

Oil, or Corrosive Liquor of Arsenick.

Beat into Powder equal parts of Regulus of Arsenick and Corrosive Sublimate. Put them into a small Retort. Place it in Sand, and give a gradual Fire, and force over a gummy Liquor, which will distill like Butter of Antimony. This Liquor hath the same properties with that of Antimony but it is more violent. When the Butter is raised change your receiver, and increase the Fire a little, to make the Mercury come over, which distills into the Receiver alive and running; for the Spirits which held it before in the form of a Crystalline Salt, forsake it and betake them to the Regulus of Arsenick.

The Fixed Liquor of Arsenick.

Beat and mingle one pound of Arsenick with two pounds of Saltpeter. Melt them in one or more large Crucibles leaving of each one third part empty, by reason of the great Ebullition; and for the same cause the Fire at the beginning, and for two hours must be moderate. But when the Ebullition ceases, augment and continue the Fire till the matter smoke no more, and till it be liquid like Oil in the bottom of the Crucible. Then cast it into an hot Mortar, and when it begins to cool beat it to Powder, and expose it to the moist Air that it may dissolve into a Liquor, which Filter and keep in a Vial. It is used against malignant Ulcers, from the POX, Cankrous or Fistulate, and it is mixt with proper Waters to diminish its force.


CHAP. XX.

Of Sulphur.

Sulphur is a refined, or earthy Grease, mingled with an Acid and Vitriolick Salt. There are two sorts of it, the one they call quick, which is such as it comes out of the Earth. The other is common yellow Sulphur, which is taken out of the first by melting, or else out of Mineral waters, from whence it is separated by Evaporating their humidity. You must make choice of that which is made up in small Rolls being yellow, inclining towards green, casting a clear blue flame, that goes not out, and leaves no earthiness behind it. Its internal use is principally for the Diseases of the Breast. It is also used against the Plague, because it resists putrefaction, and outwardly to resolve Tumors, to heal the Itch, Scabs, Tetters, and other external Maladies. It is diversely prepared.

Flowers of Sulphur.

Take a Body of good Earth, set it in a Furnace with an open Fire, yet so that it be encompassed well with Clay and Bricks, so that the Fire may neither appear nor breath out on high, but only through Holes or Registers, and the neck of the Body must be above the Furnace. Make a little Fire at first, that it may heat the bottom of the Body by little and little. Afterwards put thereunto half a pound of powdered Sulphur, and immediately fit an Head to your Body without Luting it, and increase your Fire one degree. And when you see the Alembick begin to fill with Flowers, be careful to continue your Fire in the same degree, for if the Fire be too hot the Sulphur that is already Sublimed will melt and fall down, and if the Fire be not strong enough, the Flowers cannot rise. When the Head is sufficiently full of Flowers, take it away, and at the same time set another in its place, and gathering out the Flowers empty this Head that it may be ready to set in the place of the other when it shall be full. And when you judge that your half pound of Sulphur is almost Sublimed, put another half pound into the Body, and continue your work with a regular Fire, changing your Head from time to time, collecting the Flowers, and putting new Sulphur in the Body, till you have a sufficient quantity of Flowers. And continue the Fire till there remain in the Body nothing but a very small quantity of light Earth. Note that all the Sulphur rises in Flowers without any separation of any thing, save a little light Earth in very small quantity, so that this Sublimation is not properly a Purification but a Rarification only, whereby the Sulphur is divided into very small particles, more dissolvable in their Menstruums and more easy to mingle in Compositions, and more proper to be used in the Maladies of the Breast. The Dose of the Flowers is from 10 to 40 Grains, in a New-laid Egg, or any Confiture, Opiate, Extract or Conserve.

The Acid Spirit of Sulphur.

The greatest part of those who have attempted any thing in Chymical Operations have imagined that they could draw from Sulphur an Acid Spirit, not only in great quantity, but easily, and that by several Instruments which everyone invented severally for his own use. But when their pretended Acid Spirit is well examined, it is found to be nothing but Phlegm, or a Spirit of Sulphur made with Saltpeter. The true and most easy method is this.

Provide a large well baked Vessel of gray Earth, in the midst whereof set a little Earthen Dish with the bottom upwards, and thereon place another more large, which must be of good Earth, and which will endure a Fire well, in which there is a pound of melted Sulphur. Put into this Sulphur some burning Stone Coals, such as are those of Liege, to kindle it, and cover the Earthen Vessel with a Bell Glass, either hanging on a Cord or supported by three small pieces of Glass, for the brim of the Bell Glass must not touch immediately the Earthen Vessel, but must have the distance of a Fingers thickness round about, that the Sulphur may burn continually and not go out, and smokey fumes of the Sulphur may exhale, so that the Spiritous Acid Salt of Sulphur may be rarified and dissolved into Liquor, and cleaving to the Bell, fall down thereupon drop by drop into the Earthen Vessel. When the Sulphur is consumed put in more, and so continue this work till you have sufficient. Note that you must moisten your Bell at first, and work this in a moist time, between the two Equinoxes, if it may be. The properties of Spirit differ not from those of the Spirit of Vitriol; some believe them to be more specific against the Plague it self. It is given in Julips, and other Liquors to the degree of an agreeable sharpness.

Milk, or Magistery of Sulphur.

Take four ounces of Flower of Sulphur, two ounces of Salt of Tartar, and six pounds of Rain water. Put them all into a Stone Pot, and boil them in s Sand Furnace five or six hours; in this time the Sulphur will be dissolved and the Liquor become red. Filter it warm, and mingle it after it is filtered, with Water five or six pounds more. Afterwards, pour upon it by little and little some good distilled Vinegar, or other Acid in its stead. The Liquor will be immediately turned into Milk, and the Magistery will be precipitated by little and little to the bottom of the Vessel. Decant off the Liquor which swims above, and sweeten the Powder by many washings with hot Water. After, dry it and keep it.

The use of this Magistery is like that of the Flowers, but the Dose is less, because it is more open, and five Grains of this Powder avail more than ten of the Flowers, and ten Grains of the Flowers more than twenty Grains of common Sulphur.

Balsam of Sulphur.

Put into a Bolts-head two ounces of Flowers of Sulphur, and pour thereon eight ounces of Oil of Turpentine well rectified. Set your Bolts-head on Sand, and give it a small Fire at the beginning, and increase by little and little till your Sulphur be dissolved, which will be done in four or five hours in a sufficiently moderate heat. The Oil of Turpentine will be tinged with a Ruby color, and will dissolve all the Sulphur. But whilst the Vessel cools, one part of the Sulphur, which the Oil cannot hold up in its liquid form, re-incorporates or congeals again. You must pour out that which is clear and red into a Viol, and keep it well stopped. This Oil cures the Ulcers of the Lungs. It is good against the Plague, and against all contagious Diseases, both to heal and preserve from them. Its Dose is from 5 to 15 drops in some convenient Liquor. An excellent Oil for outward uses may be made with Oil of Linseed, instead of Oil of Turpentine, and this Oil is incomparable both for healing Contusions and Ulcers, for it is an Anodyne and sweetens the Acrimony of humors.


CHAP. XXI.

Of Ambergreece

Ambergreece is a sort of Balsam, rising from the bottom of the Sea altogether liquid, but it is congealed and hardened by the coagulative Spirit of the Sea Salt, and Rays of the Sun. It is commonly found on the Indian Sea shore. It is not always of an equal goodness, nor of the same color, which proceeds from the lesser or greater impurities it meets with in its congelation. The best is gray inclining to yellow, of a sweet and fragrant odour, and melting easily in heat. Ambergreece is one of the noblest works of Nature, and needs no great preparation, producing such as it is unprepared great effects, both for strengthening the Heart, Stomach, and Brain, and for refreshing the Vital and Animal Spirits. But its Bituminous quality hindering it from mixing easily with watery Liquors, we obtain our design therein and reduce it to an Essence as follows.

Essence of Ambergreece.

Take two Drams of good Ambergreece and one Scruple of good Levant Musk, powder them well, and put them into a Bolts-head, and pour on them four ounces of good Spirit of Wine. Fit to your Bolts-head another lesser [smaller ?], Lute well the joints, and set it to digest in Horse dung moderately hot for some days, then whilst it is yet hot pour off the tinged Wine, for this Essence congeals of itself, and melts again with the least warmth of the hand: It augments Seed, and makes man or woman capable for Generation; it is taken from 10 to 15 drops in Spanish Wine, or Mead, or other Liquor.


CHAP. XXII.

Of Karabe, or Amber.

Karabe usually called Yellow Amber, or Succinum, is a Rosin or Bitumen very pure and well digested, which distills out of the Veins of the earth into the Sea, where it is hardened by the congelative Spirit of the Sea Salt. There are of it several sorts, of which the white is best, next to it the yellow, and the black after the yellow. It is used in Powder without other preparation, for Catarrhs, Gonorrhea’s and Whites; but reduced into Oil, and Volatile Salt, it obtains thereby very great virtues, as we shall show.

Distillation of Amber.

Take three pound of Amber grossly beaten, put it into a large Retort, leaving it half empty, set it in a Sand Furnace, and fit thereto a large Receiver; lute the joints very exactly, and give it gradual heat. There comes over first a Phlegm, then a Spirit, and after an Oyl and volatile Salt mingled confusedly. Increase and continue the Fire till nothing more come over, then let all cool, and take away the Receiver. You will find in the Retort a black matter like Asphaltum. Pour into your Receiver about two pound of hot water, and shake it well together with all the substances found in it, to the end that the volatile Salt sticking to the sides of the Receiver or mingled in the Oyl may be dissolved therein. After, pour all out into a Glass Viol, and separate the Oyl from the Water, containing in it the volatile Salt and Spirit of Amber.

The Rectification of the Oyl of Amber.

Mingle the Oyl separated from the other matters, with so many sifted ashes as will suffice to drink it up, and make a pretty dry mass. Then put this mass into a Retort, and distill it in a pretty gentle fire. The first Oyl that comes over will be pretty fair and clear. You must keep it apart for internal uses. Continue and increase the fire by little and little to raise your red Oyl. When no more comes over, cease your fire, and keep your Oyls severally. The first is excellent against the Apoplexy, Epilepsie, Palsie, and all the Diseases of the Mother, and against the retention of Urine. Its Dose is from three to ten drops, in any proper Liquor. The red Oyl may be used in Unguents and Plaisters. It fortifies the Nerves, and dissipates Swellings and it is with good success rubbed into Paralytic Members.

The Sublimation and Purification of the Volatile Salt of Amber.

Take the aforesaid Liquor separated from the Oyl, which contains in it the Phlegm, Spirit, and volatile Salt of Amber. Filter it, to separate the oily substance the better from it, and put it into a Bolts-head with a long neck. Pour thereon drop by drop good Spirit of Salt, which will cause a great boyling up in the glass because of the action it hath upon the volatile Salt of Amber; for this Salt is nigh to the nature of the Volatile Salt of Animals. When the ebullition is over, put the Liquor into a Body and cover it with an head, and distilling it in a Sand Furnace, draw off the insipid water. The volatile Salt of Amber hath by reaction killed the acidity of the Spirit of Salt, and abides with it in the Stills bottom. After all the insipid water is come over, augment your fire one degree, to cause your Salt to sublime, which rises and cleaves partly to the head, and partly to the top of the body of your Still. Let your Vessel cool, and gather carefully the volatile Salt, which will be very subtle and penetrant, and will have the taste of sublimed Sal Armoniac. But to make it yet more subtle, you must mingle it with equal quantity of pure Salt of Tartar, and put this mixture in a small Body and Head, and sublime it in a Sand Furnace, and the Salt of Tartar will retain with it all the Spirit of Salt which was united and incorporated with the Salt of Amber in the first sublimation: and this Salt thus re-sublimed will be very pure and white as Snow, and must be kept in a Viol, very exactly well stopped, for it is so penetrant and volatile that it cannot be long kept without much trouble.

But these Salts are used against all Obstructions in the Body, against the Palsie and retention of Urine and against the Jaundice. It evacuates strongly by Sweat and Urine. The Dose of the former is from 20 grains to a Dram, but the second (which is purified to a higher degree) is given only from 4 to 15 Grains, in some agreeable Liquor.