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Tranfactions. And the relation of Leo Africanœ, who describes, as an eye witness, the making of tar on Mount Atlas, agrees in substance, with the methods used by the Macedonians of old, and the people of New England at this day.
18. Jonstonus in his Dendrographia, is of opinion, that pitch was anciently made of cedar, as well as of the pine and fir grown old and oily. It' ihould seem indeed that one and the fame word was used by the ancients in a large fense, so as to comprehend the juices issuing from all those trees. '.far and all forts of exludations from evergreens are, in a general acceptation, included under the name resin. Hard coarse resin or dry pitch is made from tar, by letting it blaze till the moisture is spent. Liquid resin is properly an oily viscid juice oozing from the bark of evergreen trees, either spontaneously or by incision. It is thought to be the oil of the bark inspissated by the sun. As, it issues from the tree it is liquid, but becomes dry and hard being condensed by the sun or by fire.
19. According to Theophrastus, resin was obtained by stripping off the bark from pines, and by incisions made in the silver fir and the pitch pine. The inhabitants of Mount Ida, he tells us, stripped the trunk of the pine on the sunny side two or three cubits from the ground. He observes that a good pine might be made to yeild resin every year; an indifferent every other year; and the weaker trees once in three years; and that three runnings were as much as a tree could bear. It is remarked by the fame author, that a pine doth not at once produce fruit and resin, but the former only in its youth, the latter in its old age.
20. Turpentine is a fine resin. Four kinds of this are in use. The turpentine of Chios or Cyprus which flows from the Turpentine tree; th$ Venice turpentine which is got by piercing the Larch tree; the Strasburgh Turpentine which Mr. Ray informs us is procured from the knots of the silver fir; it is fragrant and grows yellow with age: The fourth kind is common turpentine neither transparent, nor so liquid as the former; and this Mr. Ray taketh to flow from the mountain pine. All these turpentines are usesull in the fame intentions. Theophrastus faith the best resin or turpentine is got from the Terebinthus growing in Syria and some of the Greek islands. The next best from the silver fir and pitch pine.
21. Turpentine is on all hands allowed to have great medicinal virtues. Tar and it's insusion contain those virtues. Tar-water is extremely pectoral and restorative, and if I may judge, from what experience I have had, it pofleffeth the most: valuable qualities ascribed to the several balfam* of Peru, of Tolu, of Capivi, and even to the balm of Gilead; such is it's virtue in asthmas and pleurisies, in obstructions and ulcerous erosions of the inward parts. Balsams as hath been already observed are apt to offend the stomach. But tar-water may be taken without ofsending the stomach. For the strengthening whereof it is the best medicine I have ever tried.
22. The folly of man rateth things by their scarceness, but Providence hath made the most usesul things most common. Among those liquid oily extracts from trees and shrubs, which are termed balfams, and valued for medicinal virtues, tar may hold it's place as a most valuable balfam. It's fragrancy fheweth, that it is possessed of active qualities, and it's oiliness, that it is fitted to retain them. This excellent balfam may be pur
B £ chased chased for a penny a pound, whereas the balfam of Judæa, when most plenty, was fold on the very spot that produced it, for double it's weight in silver, if we may credit Pliny; who also informs us that the best balfam of Judæa flowed only from the bark, and that it was adulterated with refin and oil of turpentine. Now comparing the virtues I have experienced in tar, with those I find ascribed to the precious balm of Judæa, of Gilead, or of Media (as it is diversly called) I am of opinion, that the latter is not a medicine of more value or efficacy than the former.
23. Pliny supposed amber to be a refin, and to distil from some species of pine, which he gathered from it's smell. Nevertheless it's being dug out of the earth shews it to be a fossil, though of a very disserent kind from other fossils. But thus much is certain, that the medicinal virtues of amber are to be found in the balfamic juices of pines and firs. Particularly the virtues of the most valuable preparation, I mean falt of amber, are in a great degree answered by tar-water, as a detergent, diaphoretic, and diuretic.
24. There is, as hath been already observed, more or less oil and balsim in all evergreen trees, which retains the acid spirit, that principle of lise and verdure; the not retaining whereof in sufficient quantity, causeth other plants to droop and wither. Of these evergreen trees productive of resin, pitch, and tar, Pliny enumerates six kinds in Europe -, Jonstonus reckons up thrice that number of the pine and fir family. And indeed, their number, their v.iriety, and their likeness makes it difficult to be exact.
25. It is remarked both by Theophrastus and Jonstonus, that trees growing in low and shady places do not yeild so good ur, as those which
grow grow in higher and more exposed situations. And Theophrastus surther observes, that the inhabitans of mount Ida in Asia, who distinguish the Idasan pine from the maritime, affirm, that the tar flowing from the former is in greater plenty, as well as more fragrant than.the other. Hence it should seem, the pines or firs in the mountains of Scotland, might be employed that way, and rendred valuable; even where the timber, by it's remoteness from water-carriage, is of small value. What we call the Scotch fir is falsly so called, ,being in truth a wild forest pine, and (as Mr. Ray informs usj agreeing much with the description of a pine growing on mount Olymphus in Phrygia, probably the only place where it is found out out of these islands; .in' which of late years it is so much planted and cultivated with so little advantage, while the cedar of Lebanon might perhaps be raised, with little more trouble, and much more prosit and ornament. , 26. The pines which differ from the firs in the length and disposition of their leaves and hardness of the wood, do not, in Pliny's account, yeild so much resin as the fir trees. Several species of both are accurately described and delineated by the naturalists. But they all agree so far as to seem related. Theophrastus gives the preserence to that resin which is got from the silver fir and pitch tree (tA*Ttj and Sti'tuc) before that yeilded by the pine, which yet, he faith, is in greater plenty. Pliny, on the contrary, affirms that the pine produceth the smallest quantity. It shou'd seem therefore that "the interpreter of Theophrastus might have been mistaken, in rendering zs&*.v\ by pinus, as well as Jonstonus, who likewise takes the pine for the sr<sC';oj of Theoprastus. Hardouin will have the pinus of Pliny to have been by others called Bxjoj, but by Theophrastus an'rof. Ray thinks the common
fir, or picea of the Latins to be the male fir of Theoprastus. This was probably the spruce firi for the picea, according to Pliny, yields much resin, loves a cold and mountainous situation, and is distinguished, tonlili facilitate, by it's fitness to be stiorn, which agrees with the spruce fir, whereof I have seen close shorn hedges.
27. There seems to have been some consusion in the naming of these trees, as well among the ancients as the moderns. The ancient Greek and Latin names are by later authors applied very difserently. Pliny himself acknowledged, it is not easy even for the skilsul to distinguish the trees by their leaves, and know their sexes and kinds: and that disficulty is since much encreased, by the discovery of many new species of that evergreen tribe, growing in various parts of the globe. But descriptions are not so easily - mifapplied as names. Theoprastus tells us, that wrruf disFeretb from vdlxti, among other things, in that it is neither so tall nor so streight, nor hath so large a leaf. The fir he distinguisheth into male and semale: the latter is soi'ttr timber than the male it is also a taller and fairer tree, and this is probably the silver fir.
i&i To fay no more on this obscure business which I leave to the criticks, I shall observe that according to Theophrastus not only the turpentine trees, the pines, and the firs yield resin or tar, but also the cedars and palm trees; and the words pix and resina are taken by Pliny in so large a sense as to include the weepings of the lentiseus and cypress, and the balms of Arabia and Judæa; all which. perhaps are near of kin, and in their most usesul qualities concur with common tar, especially the Norvegian, which is the most liquid and best for medicinal uses of any that I have experienced. Those trees that grow on mountains, exposed to