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this water of health (as it may be justly called) is permanent. In which it emulates the virtues of that famous plant Gen Seng, fo much valued in China as the only cordial chat raiseth the spirits without depressing them. Tar-water is so far from hurting the nerves as common cordials do, that it is highly useful in cramps, spasms of the viscera, and paralytic numbness.
67. Emetics are on.certain occasions administred with great success. But the overstraining and weakening of nature may be very justly apprehended from a course of emetics. They are nevertheless prescribed and substituted for exercise. But it is well remarked in Plato's Timæus that vomits and purges are the worst exercise in the world. There is something in the mild operation of tar-water, that seems more friendly to the ceconomy, and forwards the digestions and secretions in a way more natural and benign, the mildness of this medicine being such that I have known children take it, for above six months together, with great benefit, and without any inconvenience; and after long and repeated experience I do esteem it a most excellent diet drink fitted to all seasons and ages.
68. It is, I think, allowed that the origin of the gout lies in a faulty digestion. And it is remarked by the ablest physicians, that the gout is so difficult to cure, because heating medicines aggravate it's immediate, and cooling it's remote caufe. But tar-water, although it contain active principles that strengthen the digestion beyond any thing I know, and consequently must be highly useful, either to prevent or lessen the following fit, or by envigorating the blood to cast ic upon the extremities, yet it is not of so heating a nature as to do harm even in the fit. Nothing is
more difficult or disagreeable than to argue meni out of their prejudices ; I shall not therefore enter into controversies on this subject, but, if men dispute and object, shall leave the decision to time and trial.
69. In the modern practice, foap, opium, and mercury bid fairest for universal medicines. The first of these is highly spoken of. But then those who magnify it moft, except against the use of it in fuch cases where the obstruction is attended with a putrefactive alkali, or where an inflammatory disz position appears. It is acknowledged to be very dangerous in a phthisis, fever, and some other cases in which tar-water is not only safe but useful. : 70. Opium, though a medicine of great extent and efficacy, yet is frequently known to produce grievous disorders in hysterical or hypochondriacal persons, who make a great part, perhaps the greatest of those who lead sedentary lives in these islands. Besides, upon all constitutions dangerous errors may be committed in the use of opium,
71. Mercury hath of late years become a media cine of very general use. The extreme minuteness, mobility, and momentum of its parts, rendering it a most powerful cleanser of all obstructions, even in the most minute capillaries. But then we should be cautious in the use of it, if we consider, that the very thing which gives it power of doing good above other deobftruents, doch also disa pole it to do mischief. I mean it's great momentum, the weight of it being about ten times that of blood, and the momentum being the joint product of the weight and velocity, it must needs operate with great force; and may it not be justly feared, that to great a force entring the minutest
veffels, and breaking the obstructed matter, might also break or wound the fine tender coats of thofe small vessels, and so bring on the untimely effects of old age, producing more, perhaps, and worse obstructions than those it removed ? Similar confequences may juftly be apprehended from other mineral and ponderous medicines. Therefore, upon the whole, there will not perhaps be found any medicine, more general in it's use, or more salutary in it's effects than tar-water.
72. To suppose that all distempers arising from very different, and, it may be, from contrary causes, can be cured by one and the same medicine must seem chimerical. But it may with truth be affirmed, that the virtue of tar-water extends to a surprising variety of cases very distant and unlike (a). This I have experienced in my neighbours, my family, and myself. And as I live in a remote corner among poor neighbours, who for want of a regular physician have often recourse to me, I have had frequent opportunities of trial, which convince me it is of so just a temperament as to be an enemy to all extremes. I have known it do great good in a cold watery conftitution, as a cardiac and ftomachic; and at the same time allay heat and feverish thirst in another. I have known it correct coftive habits in fome, and the contrary habit in others. Nor will this seem incredible, if it be considered that middle qualities naturally reduce the extreme, Warm water, for instance, mixed with hot and cold will lefsen the heat in that, and the cold in this.
73. They who know the great virtues of common soap, whose coarse lixivial salts are the pro
(a) Sect. 3, 4, 5, 6, 21, &c.
duet of culinary fire, will not think it incredible that virtues of mighty force and extent should be found in a fine acid soap (a), the salts and oil whereof are a most elaborate product of nature and the solar light.
74. It is certain tar-water warms, and therefore some may perhaps still think it cannot cool. The more effectually to remove this prejudice, let it be farther considered, that, as on the one hand, opposite causes do sometimes produce the same effect, for instance, heat by rarefaction and cold by condensation do both increase the air's elasticity : fo on the other hand, the fame cause shall sometime produce opposite effects : heat for instance thins, and again heat coagulates the blood. It is not therefore strange that tar-water should warm one habit, and cool another, have one good effect on a cold conftitution, and another good effect on an inflamed one ; ncr, if this be so, that it should cure opposite disorders. All which justifies to reafon, what I have often found true in fact. The falts, the spirits, the heat of tar-water are of a temperature congenial to the constitution of a man, which receives from it a kindly warmth, but no inflaming heat. It was remarkable that two children in my neighbourhood, being in a course of tar-water, upon an intermission of it, never failed to have their issues inflamed by an humour much more hot and sharp than at other times. But it's great use in the small pox, pleurisies, and fevers, is a sufficient proof that tar-water is not of an inflaming nature.
75. I have dwelt the longer on this head, because some gentlemen of the faculty have thought fit to
declare that tar-water must enflame, and that they would never visit any patient in a fever, who had been a drinker of it," But I will venture to affirm, that it is so far from increasing a feverilh inflammation, chat it is on the contrary a most ready means to allay and extinguish it. It is of admirable use in fevers, being at the same time the fureft, fafeft and most effectual both paregoric and cordial; for the truth of which, I appeal to any person's experience, who shall take a large draught of it milk warın in the paroxysm of a fever, even when plain water or herb teas thall be found to have little or no effect. To me it seems that it's fingular and surprizing use in fevers of all kinds, were there nothing else, would be alone sufficient to recom. mend it to the public.
76. The beit physicians make the idea of a fe. ver to consist in a too great velocity of the heart's motion, and too great resistance at the capillaries, Tar-water, as it softens and gently stimulates those rice vessels, helps to propel their contents, and so contributes to remove the latter part of the disorder. And for the former, the irritating acrimony which accelerates the motion of the heart is diluted by watery, corrected by acid, and foftened by balsamic remedies, all which intentions are answered by this aqueous acid balsamic medicine. Besides the viscid juices coagulated by the febrile heat are resolved by car-water as a soap, and not too far resolved, as it is a gentle acid soap ; to which we may add, that the peccant humours and falts are carried off by it's diaphoretic and diuretic qualities, 77.
I found all this confirmed by my own experience in the late sickly season of the year one thoufand feven hundred and forty one, having had