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A CHAIN of
PHILOSOPHICAL REFLEXIONS

AND

INQUIRIES

Concerning the VIRTUES of
TAR WATER,
And divers other Subjects connected together

and arising one from another.

BY THE

Right Rev. Dr. GEORGE BERKELEY,

Lord Bishop of CLOYNE,
And Author of The Minute Philosopher.

As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men. Gal. vi. 10.
Hoc opus, hoc ftudium, parvi properemus et ampli. Hor.

A New EDITION,
With ADDITIONS and EMENDATIONS,

DUBLIN Printed,

LONDON Re-printed,
For W. INNys, and C. Hitch, in Pater-ngster-row
and C. DAVIS in Holbourn. MDCCXLIY.

[Price Two Shillings.]

A

A Letter to T. P. Esq. from the Author of SIRIS.

MONG the great numbers who drink Tar-water in

Dublin, your letter informs me there are several, that make it

too weak or too ftrong, or use it in an undue manner. To obviate these inconveniences, and render this water as generally useful as pofli. ble, you desire I would draw up some rules, and remarks, in a small compass; which accordingly I here send you. Norwegian tar being the most liquid, mixeth best with water. Put a gal.

of cold water to a quart of this tar, ftir and wo very strongly to gether, with a fat stick, for about four minutes. Let the vessel stand covesed forty eight hours, that the tar may subside. Then pour off the clear water, and keep it close covered, or rather bottled, and well stopped, for Use. This may do for a general rule; but as stomachs and constitutions are so varia ous, for particular persons, their own experience is the beft rule. The Atronger the better ; provided the stomach can bear it. Less water or more stirring makes it stronger; as more water, and less stirring makes it weaker. The same tar will not do quite so well a second time, but may serve for common uses.

Tar water, when right, is not higher than French, nor deeper coloured, than Spanish white wine. If there be not a spirit very senlibly perceived on drinking, you may conclude, the tar water is not good. If you would have it good, see it made yourself. Those who begin with it, little and weak, may, by habit, come to drink more and stronger. According to the season of the year, or the humour of the patient, it may be taken, cold or warm.

As to the quantity, in chronical cases, one pint of tar water a day may fuffice, taken on an empty stomach, at two, or four times ; to wit, night and morning; and about two hours after dinner and breakfast. Alteratives, in general, taken little and often, mix best with the blood. How oft, or how strong, each ftomach can bear, experience will shew; nor is there any danger in making the experiment. Those who la bour under old habitualilla nesses, must have great patience and perseverance in the use of this, as well as in alt other medicines ; which, if sure and safe, must yet be Now in chronical disorders; which, if grievous or inveterate, may require a full quart every day to be taken, at six doses, one third of a pint in each, with a regular diet. In acute cases, as fevers, of all kinds, it must be drank warm in bed, and in great quantity ; perhaps a pint every hour, till the patient be relieved; which I have known to work surprizing cures.

My experiments have indeed been made within a narrow compass; but as this water is now grown into publick use (though it seems not without that opposition which is wont to attend novelty) I make no doubt, its virtues will be more fully discovered. Mean while, I must own myself persuaded, from what I have already seen and tryed, that tar water may be drank with great safety and success, in the cure or relief of most if not all diseases, in ulcers, eruptions, and all foul cases; curvies of all kinds, disorders of the lungs, ftomach, and bowels; in nervous cases, in all imflammatory distempers; in decays, and other maladies: Nor is it of use only in the cure of sickness; it is also useful to preserve health, and a guard against infection and old age; as it gives lasting fpirts, and invigorates the blood. I am even induced, by the nature and analogy of things, and its wonderful success in all kinds of fevers, to think, that tar water may be very useful in the plague, both as a cure and preservative.

But, I doubt, no medicine can withstand that execrable plague of distilled Spirits, which operate as a now poison; preying on the vitals, and wasting the health and strength of the body and foul; which pest of humane kind, is, I am told, by the attempts of nur * Whisky patriots, gaining ground in this wretched country, already too thin of inhabitants. I am, C.

* Whisky is a spirit distilled from malt, ebe making of wbicb poison, cheap and plenty, as being of our growth, is eftecmed, by some unlucky patriots, a benefic cotheir country

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F

OR INTRODUCTION to the following

piece I assure the reader, that nothing
could, in my present situation, have in-

duced me to be at the pains of writing
it, but a firm belief that it would prove a valua-
ble present to the public. What entertainment fo-
ever the reasoning or notional part may afford the
mind, I will venture to say, the other part

seemeth so surely calculated to do good to the body, that both must be gainers. For if the lute be not well tuned, the musician fails of his harmony. And in our present state, the operations of the mind, so far depend on the right tone or good condition of it's instrument, that any thing which greatly contributes to preserve or recover the health of the body, is well worth the attention of the mind. These considerations have moved me to communicate to the public the falutary virtues of tar-water ; to which I thought myself indispensably obliged, by the duty every man owes to mankind. And, as effects are linked with their causes, my thoughts on this low, but useful theme led to farther inquiries, and those on to others remote, perhaps, and speculative, but, I hope, not altogether useless or unentertaining.

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N certain parts of America, tar-water is

made by putting a quart of cold water to a quart of tar, and stirring them well together in a veffel, which is left standing till the tar finks to the bottom. A glass of clear water being poured off for a draught is replaced by the fame quantity of fresh water, the vefsel being shaken and left to stand as before. And this is repeated for every glass, so long as the tar continues to impregnate the water sufficiently, which will appear by the smell and taste. But as this method produceth tarwater of different degrees of strength, I chuse to make it in the following manner : Pour a gallon of cold water on a quart of tar, and stir and mix them thoroughly with a ladle or flat stick for the space of three or four minutes, after which the vefsel must stand eight and forty hours that the tar ‘may have time to subside, when the clear water is to be poured off and kept covered for use, no more being made from the same car, which may still serve for common purposes.

2 This cold infusion of tar hath been used in fome of our colonies, as a preservative or preparative against the small-pox, which foreign practice induced me to try it in my own neighbourhood, when the small-pox raged with great violence. And the trial fully answered my expectation : all those, within my knowledge, who took the tar-water having either escaped that diftemper, or had it very favourably. In one family there was a remarkable instance of seven children, who came all. very well through the small-pox, except one young child which could not be brought to drink tar-water as the rest had done.

3. Several were preserved from taking the smallpox by the use of this liquor: others had it in the

mildest

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(5) mildest manner, and others that they might be able to take the infection, were obliged to intermit drinking the tar-water. I have found it may be drunk with great safety and success for any length of time, and this not only before, but also during the distemper. The general rule for taking it is, about half a pint night and morning on an empty ftomach, which quantity may be varied, according to the case and age of the patient, provided it be always taken on an empty stomach, and about two hours before or after a meal. For children and squeamish persons it may be made weaker, and given little and often. More cold water, or less ftirring, makes it weaker ; as less water, or more stirring, makes it stronger. It should not be lighter than French, nor deeper coloured than Spanish white wine. If a spirit be not very sensibly perceiv'don drinking, either the tar must have been bad, or already us’d, or the tar-water carelessly made.

4. It seemed probable, that a medicine of such efficacy in a distemper attended with so many purulent ulcers, might be also useful in other foulnesses of the blood; accordingly I tried it on several persons infected with cutaneous eruptions and ulcers, who were soon relieved, and soon after cured. Encouraged by these successes I ventured to advise it in the foulest distempers, wherein it proved much more successful than salivations and wood-drinks had done.

5. Having tried it in a great variety of cases, I found it succeed beyond my hopes; in a tedious and painful ulceration of the bowels, in a consumptive cough and (as appeared by expectorated pus) an ulcer in the lungs; in a pleurisy and peripneumony. And when a person, who for some years had been subject to erysipelatous fevers, perceived the usual fore-running symptoms to come on, I advised her

to

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