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themselves to the taste. Tar-water therefore is a soap, and as such hath the medicinal qualities of soaps:
60. It operates more gently as the acid falts lose their acrimony being sheathed in oil, and thereby approaching the nature of neutral salts, are more benign and friendly to the animal fy-' stem : and more effectually, as, by the help of a volatile smooth infinuating oil, those same falts are more easily introduced into the capillary, ducts. Therefore in fevers and epidemical distempers it is (and I have found it fo) as well as- in chronic cal-diseases, a moft safe and efficacious medicine, being good against too great fuidity as a balfamic, and good against viscidity as a soap. There is something in the fiery corrosive nature of lixivial falts, which makes alcaline soap a dangerous remedy in all cases where an inflammation is apprehended. And as inflammations are often occasioned by obstructions, it should feem an acid soap was much the safer deobftruent.
61. Even the best turpentines, however famous for their vulnerary and detergent qualities, have yet been observed by their warmth to dispose to inflammatory tumours. But the acid spirit(a) being in so great proportion in tar-water renders it a cooler and safer medicine. And the ætherial oil of turpentine, though an admirable drier, healer, and anodyne, when outwardly applied to wounds and ulcers, and not less useful in cleansing the urinary passages and healing their ulcerations, yet is known to be of a nature so very relaxing as sometimes to do much mischief. Tar-water is not attended with the same ill effects, which I believe are owing in a great measure to che ætherial oil's being deprived
(a) Sect. 7, 8.
of the acid fpirit in distillation, which vellicacing and contracting as a stimulus might have proved a counterpoife to the excessive lubricating and relaxing qualities of the oil.
62. Woods in decoction do not seem to yield so ‘ripe and elaborate a juice, as that which is depofited in the cells or loculi terebinthiaci, and spontaneously oozes from them. And indeed though the balsam of Peru, obtained by boiling wood and fcumming the decoction, be a very valuable medicine and of great account in divers cases, particularly asthmas, nephritic pains, nervous colics and obstructions, yet I do verily think (and I do not say this without experience) that tar-water is a more efficacious remedy in all those cases than even that costly drug.
63. It hath been already observed that the restorative pectoral antihyfterical virtues of the most precious balsams and gums are poffeffed in a high degree by tar-water (a). And I do not know any purpose answered by the wood drinks, for which tar-water may not be used with at least equal success. It contains the virtues even of Guaiacum which seems the most efficacious of all the woods, warming and sweetening the humours, diaphoretic and useful in gouts, dropsies and rheums, as well as in the foul disease. Nor should it seem ftrange, if the virtues obtained by boiling an old dry wood prove inferior to those extracted from a balsam.
64. There is a fine volatile spirit in the waters of Geroníter, the most esteemed of all the fountains about Spa, but whose waters do not bear transporting. The stomachic, cardiac, and diuretic qualities of this fountain somewhat resemble those of tarwater, which, if I am not greatly mistaken, con.
(a) Sect. 9, 21, 22, 23.
tains the virtues of the best chalybeat and sulphurcous waters; with this difference, that those waters are apt to affect the head in taking, which tarwater is not. Besides there is a regimen of diet to be observed, especially with chalybeat waters, which I never found necessary with this. Tar. water layeth under no restraint either as to diet, hours, or employment. A man may study, or exercise, or repose, keep his own hours, pass his time either within or without, and take wholesom nourishment of any kind.
65. The use of chalybeat waters, however excellent for the nerves and stomach, is often suspended by colds and infiammatory disorders; in which they are acknowledged to be very dangerous. Whereas tar-water is so far from hurting in those cases, or being discontinued on that account, that it greatly contributes to their cure (a). . 66. Cordials, vulgarly so called, act inmediately on the stomach, and by consent of nerves on the head. But medicines of an operation too fine and light to produce a sensible effect in the primæ viæ, may, nevertheless, in their passage through the capillaries, operate on the sides of those small vessels, in such manner as to quicken their oscillations, and consequently the motion of their contents, producing, in issue and effect, all the benefits of a cordial much more lasting and falutary than those of distilled spirits, which by their caustic and coagulating qualities do incomparably more mischief than good. Such a cardiac medicine is tar-water. The transient fits of mirth, produced from fermented liquors and distilled spirits, are attended with proportionable depressions of spirit in their intervals. But the calm chearfulness arising from
this water of health (as it may be justly called) is permanent. In which it emulates the virtues of that famous plant Gen Seng, so much valued in China as the only cordial that 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.
63. 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 economy, 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 cause. 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 lefsen the following fit, or by envigorating the blood to cast it upon the extremities, yet it is not of so heating a nacure as to do harm even in the fit. Nothing is
more more difficult or disagreeable than to argue men out of their prejudices; I shall not therefore enter into controversies on this subject, but, if men dira pute 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 most, except against the use of it in such cases where the obstruction is attended with a putrefactive alkali, or where an inflammatory disa 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 use ful. :
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 conftitutions dangerous errors may be committed in the use of opium.
71. Mercury hach of late years become a media cine of very general use. The extreme minuteness, mobility, and momentum of it's parts, rendering it a most powerful cleanfer of all obstructions, even in the most minute capillaries. But then we should be cautious in the ufe of it, if we consider, that the very thing which gives it power of doo ing good above other deobstruenis, doth also difpose 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 so great à force encring the minutest