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vefleis, and breaking the obstructed matter, might also break or wound the fine tender coats of those small vefsels, and so bring on the untimely effects of old age, producing more, perhaps, and worse obstructions than those it removed ? Similar consequences 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 falutary 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 neigh bours, 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 ic do great good in a cold watery constitution, as a cardiac and stomachic; and at the same time allay heat and feverish thirst in another. I have known it correct costive habits in some, 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 lessen the heat in that, and the cold in this.
73. They who know the great virtues of common soap, whose coarse lixivial falts are the pro
duct 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 sales and oil whereof are a most elaborate product of nature and the solar light. • 74. It is certain tar-water warms, and therefore fome 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 condenfation do both increase the air's elasticity : so on the other hand, the same cause shall sometime produce opposite effects : heat for instance chins, and again heat coagulates the blood. It is noc. therefore strange that tar-water should warm one habit, and cool another, have one good effect on a cold constitution, 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 chil.. dren 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 pacient in a fever, who had been a drinker of it. But I will venture to affirm, that it is so far from increasing a feverish inflammation, that it is on the contrary a most ready means to allay ard extinguish it. It is of admirable use in fevers, being at the same time the surelt, fafest 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 warm in the paroxysm of a fever, even when plain water or herb teas shall be found to have little or no effect. To me it seems that it's singular and furprizing use in fevers of all kinds, were there nothing else, would be alone sufficient to recommend it to the public.
76. The best 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 nice 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 softened by balsamic remedies, all which intentions are answered by this aqueous acid balsamic medicine. Befides the viscid juices coagulated by the febrile heat are resolved by tar-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 seven hundred and forty one, having had
twenty-five fevers in my own family cured by this medicinal water, drunk copiously. The same me- . thod was practised on several of my poor neigh. bours with equal success. It suddenly calmed the feverish anxieties, and seemed every glass to refresh, and infuse life and spirit into the patient. At first some of those patients had been vomited ; but afterwards. I found that without vomiting, bleeding, blistering, or any other evacuation or me. dicine whatever, very bad fevers could be cured by the sole drinking of tar-water milk warm, and in good quantity, perhaps a large glass every hour taken: in bed. And it was remarkable, that such as were cured by this comfortable cordial, reco. vered health and spirits at once, while those who had been cured by evacuations often languished Jong, even after the fever had lefë them, before they could recover of their inedicines and regain their strength.
78. In peripneumonies and pleurisies I have observed tar-water to be excellent, having known some pleuritic persons cured without bleeding, by a blister early applied to the stitch, and the copious drinking of tar-water, four or five quarts, or even more in four and twenty hours. And I do recommend it to farther trial, whether in all cases of a pleurisy, one moderate bleeding, a blister on the spot, and plenty of tepid tar-water may not suffice, without those repeated and immoderate bleedings, the bad effects of which are perhaps never got over. I do even fuspect, that a pleuritic patient betaking himself to bed betimes, and drink. ing very copiously of tar-water, may be cured by that alone without bleeding, blistering, or any other medicine whatever: certainly I have found this suc. ceed at a glass every half hour.
79. I have known a bloody flux of long continuance, after divers medicines had been tried in vain, cured by tar-water. But that which I take to be the most speedy and effectual remedy in a bloody flux, is a clyster of an ounce of common brown rosin dissolved over a fire in two ounces of oil, and added to a pint of broth, which not long since I had frequent occasion of trying, when that distemper was epidemical. Nor can I say that any to whom I advised it miscarried. This experiinent I was led to make by the opinion I had of tar as a balsamic: and rosin is only tar inspiffated. ,
80. Nothing that I know corroborates the stomach so much as tar-water (a). Whence it fol. lows, that it must be of singular use to persons af. flicted with the gout. And from what I have observed in five or fix instances, I do verily believe it the best and safest medicine either to prevent the gout, or so to strengthen nature against the fit, as to drive it from the vitals ; or, at other times to change a worse illness into the gout, and to get rid of it ; Doctor Sydenham, in his treatise of the gout, declares that whoever finds a medicine the most efficacious for strengthening digestion, will do more service in the cure of that and other chronical distempers, than he can even form a notion of. And I leave it to trial, whether tar-water be not that medicine, as I myself am persuaded it is, by all the experiments I could make. But in all trials I would recommend discretion ; for instance, a man with the gout in his stomach ought not to drink cold tar-water. This essay leaves room for future experiment in every part of it, not pretending to be a complete treatise.
81. It is evident to sense, that blood, urine, and other animal juices, being let to stand, foon
(a) Sect. 68.