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114. After having faid so much of the uses of tar, I must farther add, that being rubb'd on them it is an excellent preservative of the teeth and gums; that it sweetens the breath, and that it clears and strengthens the voice. And, as its efsects are various and usesul, so there is nothing to be seared from the operation of an alterative so mild and friendly to nature. It was a wise maxim of certain ancient philosophers, that diseases ought not to be irritated by medicines. But no medicine disturbs the animal ceconomy less than this (a), which, if I may trust my own experience, never produces any disorder in a patient when rightly taken.
115. I knew indeed a person who took a large glass of tar-water just before breakfast, which gave him an invincible nausea and disgust, although he had before received the greatest benefit from it. But if the tar-water be taken and made in the manner prescribed at the beginning of this essay, it will, if I mistake not, have enough of the falt to be useful, and little enough of the oil to be inofsensive. I mean my own manner of making it, and not the American; that sometimes makes it too strong, and sometimes too weak which tar-water, however it might serve as there used, merely for a preparative against the small-pox; yet I question whether it may be fitly used in all those various cases wherein I have found tar-water so successsul. Persons more delicate than ordinary may render it palatable, by mixing a drop of the chemical oil of nutmegs, or a spoonsul of mountain wine in each glass. It may not be amiss to observe, that I have known some, whose nice stomachs could not bear it in the morning, take it at night going to bed without any inconvenience; and that with some it agrees best warm, with others cold. It may be
rnade made stronger For brute beasts, as horses, in whose disorders.I have found it very useful, I believe more. so than that bituminous substance call'd Barbadccs
tSs. . ..
116. In very dangerous and acute cases much may be. taken and often-, as far as the stomach can bear. But in chronical cases, about half a pinrr night and morning, may suffice; or in case so large a dose mould prove difagreeable, half the quantity may be taken at four times, to wit, in the morning, at night going to bed, and about two hours after dinner and breakfast. A medicine of so great virtue in so many difserent disorders, and especially in that grand enemy, the sever, must needs be a benefit to mankind in general. There are. nevertheless three forts of people to whom I would peculiarly recommend it: Sea-faring persons, la-. dies, and men of studious and sedentary lives.
117. To failors and all sea-faring persons, who are subject to scorbutic disorders and putrid severs, especially in long southern voyages, I am persuaded this tar-water would be very beneficial. And this may deserve particular notice in the present course of marine expeditions, when so many of our country-men have perished by such distempers, contracted at sea and in foreign climates. Which, it is probable, might have been prevented, by the copious use of tarrwater. .
1.18. Thjs fame water will also give charitable. relief to the ladies (a), who often want it more than the parjsh poor; being many of them never abje to make a good meal, and fitting pale, puny,, and forbidden like ghosts, 3t their own table, victims of vapours and.indigestion.
119. Studious persons also pent up in narrow boks, breathing bad air, and stooping over their
books, books, are much to be pitied. As they are debar* red the free use of air and exercise, this I will ven* ture to recommend as the best succedaneum to both. Though it were to.be wished, that modern scholars would, like the ancients, meditate and converse more in walks and gardens and open air, which, upon the whole, would perhaps be no hindrance to their learning, and a great advantage to their health. My own sedentary course of lise had long since thrown me into an ill habit, attended with many ailments, particularly a nervous cholic, which rendered my lise a burthen, and the more so, be* cause my pains were exasperated by exercise. But since the use of tar water, I find, though not a persect recovery from my old and rooted illness, yet such a gradual return os health and ease, that I esteem my having taken this medicine the greatestof all temporal blessings, and am convinced thatv under providence, I owe my lise to it.
120. In" the distilling of turpentine and other balfams by a gentle heat, it hath been observed, that there riseth first an acid spirit (ft) that will mix with water; which spirit, except the fire be very gentle, is lost. This gratesul acid spirit that first comes over, is, as a learned chemist and physician informs us, highly refrigerator}', diuretic, sudorific, balfamic or preservative from putrefaction, excellent in nephritic cases, and for quenching thirst, all which virtues are contained in the cold insusion, which draws forth from tar only it's fine flower or quintessence, if I may so fay, or the native vegetable spirit, together with a little volatile oil.
121. The distinguishing principle of all vegetables, that whereon their peculiar smell, taste, and specific properties depend, seems to be some1
i H extremely
extremely fine and subtile spirit, whose immediate vehicle is an exceeding thin volatile oil, which is it self detained in a groller and more viscid resin or balfam, lodged in proper cells in the bark and seeds, and most abounding in autumn or winter, after the crude juices have been thoroughly concocted, ripened, and impregnated with solar light. The spirit itself is by some supposed to be an oil highly subtilized, so as to mix with water. But such volatile oil is not the spirit, but only it's vehicle. Since aromatic oils, being long exposed to air, will lose their specific smell and taste, which fly off" with the spirit or vegetable falt* without any. sensible diminution of the oil.
122. Those volatile falts, that are set free 3nd raised by a gentle heat, may justly be supposed essential (a), and to have pre-existed in the vegetable ; whereas the lixivial fixed falts obtained, by the incineration of the subject, whose natural constituent parts have been altered or destroyed by the extreme force of fire, are by later chemists, upon very good grounds, supposed not to have pre-existed therein; all such falts appearing, from the experiments ot signor Rediy not to preserve the virtues of the respective vegetable subjects v and to be alike purgative and in an equal degree, whatsoever may be the shape of their points, whether sliarp or obtuse. But although fixed or lixivious falts may not contain the original properties of the subject; yet volatile falts raised by a slight heat from vegetables are allowed to preserve their native virtues: and such falts are readily imbibed by water.
123. The most volatile of the falts, and the most attenuated part of the oil, may be supposed.
1 *- > .: the xhc first and readiest to impregnate a ^cold infusion (b). And this will assist us to account for the virtues of tar water. That volatile acid in vegetables, which resists putrefaction, and is their great preservative, is detained in a subtile oil rniscible with water, which oil is it self imprisoned in the resin or grosser part of the tar, from which It is easily set free and obtained pure by cold water.
. 124.. The mild native acids are observed more kindly to work upon, and more thoroughly to dissolve, metallic bodies, than the strongest acid spirits produced by a vehement fire .; and it may be suspected, they have the fame advantage as a rpedicine. And as no acid, by the observation -of some of the best chemists, can be obtained from the substance of animals thoroughly assimilated, it should follow, that the acids received ifito a healthy .body must be quite subdued and changed by the vital powers: but it is easier to subdue and assimilate (e) the gentler than the stronger acids. .
, 125. I am very sensible, that on such subjects arguments fall stiort of evidence: and that mine fall short even of what they might have been, if I enjoyed better health, or those opportunities of a learned commerce, from which I am cut off in this remote corner, I shall nevertheless go on as If have begun, and proceed by reason, by conjecture, and by authority, to cast the best light 1. can on the obscure paths that lie in my way.
- 126. Sir Ifaac Newton, Boerhaave, and Homberg are all agreed, that the acid is a fine subtile substance, pervading the whole terraqueous globe; which producech divers kinds of bodies, as it isunited to different subjects. This according to
.. ^ (b) «. 7- CO 48.
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