Robert Boyle (1627-91): Work-diary XVII ('A Philosophicall Diary begun Sept. the 20th')

Content: Medical and chymical recipes from the late 1650s; sources include Joachim Polemann and Henrik Le Roy

General Information

Work-diary entries

/BP 26, fol. 1/

[Authorial heading]:
Philosophicall Diary
Sept. the 20th.

Entry 1: Editorial notes:
Marginal notes integral to entry text

1. The Sol mirabile must be sublim'd out of its weaker Sp. 4 or 5 times or oftner till it be sufficiently impregnated therewith. Then it must be distilld from twice its weight as I remember of Salt of Tartar into a Liquor. <in minerall Safron> this digest [d] for a few daies & distill them both together over the helme. Then pour this yellow volatile Liquor upon common red powder (but it is better if the powder be made with the acid oyle of Sulphur) make them flow together after Digestion into a Ruby, to which you may afterwards use Borax & Copper. (Note that if the Saffron be digested very long in the menstruum it will yeild it's 2 Elements whereof this Sulphurious will remaine with the Liquor & be volatiliz'd by it. The like may be don with other flowers especially the next of kin to Saffron.

Entry 2: Editorial notes:
Marginal notes integral to entry text

2. The oyle of {hartshorn} is the specifick wherewith the man in Holland confessd that he did all his Cures with, in the Plague. Take scales of Iron, Salt of Tartar, minium & [blank space in MS, 5 characters] drive them over in a strong coated Retort with a vehement fire into a Receiver halfe full of cold water [d] according to Monsieur L'Roy.

Entry 3: Editorial notes:

3. Take Sp. of Vineger, poure it upon good quicklime. And then draw over first the phlegme & lastly the Sp. which may be usd in extracting tinctures, as may alsoe the Sp. of vinegar fortifyd with decrepitated Sea Salt.

Entry 4: Editorial notes:

4 In impregnating the Salt of tartar, 1st the <light> Sp. must be drawne over, then the phlegm & lastly the more fixt Sp. which is that of most use in this Case & each time the tartar must be calcind till it <be> ready to flow.

Entry 5: Editorial notes:
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Bath the part bitten by a made Dogg with oleum {sulphur} per Camp. it will smart exceedingly, but will kill the Poyson if it be applyd within the 3d day after the hurt, but the sooner the better. This Remedy [d] is much /BP 26, fol. 1v/ comended by the elder Helmont in one of his Manscripts as a specifick Remedy against the venome of a mad dogg.

Entry 6: Editorial notes:

Take calx viva, Nitre & mars <ana> calcine them together in a wind oven for 4 or 5 houres [d]. Then make a lixivium of the salt <&> coagulate <it> into a grime Alcali, which use with [d] Ant: powder'd [d] Silices &c.

Entry 7: Editorial notes:

Take of our Sp. of verdigrease & give to a child of a yeare old about 3 drops of it. to one of 3 o 4 yeare old 10 or 12 drops in any convenient Liquor. When & as often as necessity shall require. <Given me by Mr Polemann as a certaine Cure (prob. by him) Epileps>

Entry 8: Editorial notes:
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Take the liquid coagulum & in {ounce} 3 of it, dessolve {ounce} 1 of pure Salt of Urine sublimd 4 or 5 times out of faire water then distill the salt and menstruum twice or thrice over together that they may be perfectly united. soe the great volatility of the menstruum will be taken away.

Entry 9: Editorial notes:

In the liquid coagulum dissolve as much salt of Tartar or Sal Gemme, Sea Salt &c as you can, & by cohobations bring it & the liquor over together.

Entry 10: Editorial notes:

Take [blank space in MS, 5 characters] & with the liquid coagulum bring it over, then cast it thus volatile upon good præcipitate fix them together & make the red glass or what els you can.

Entry 11: Editorial notes:

Volatiliz any [blank space in MS, 5-7 letters] with our newly nam'd menstruum & then by long digestion fix it with the same, & then your menstruum will spue out 3 quarters of itselfe in water, & <all> the rest will remaine a fusible & fix'd mixture

Entry 12: Editorial notes:

Take of Antim. Nitre & Sulph. ana. distill the pouderd mixture by degrees in a tubulated Retort into an acid plague water.

Entry 13: Editorial notes:

Upon Hungariam Dantiscam or any other good blew vitrioll put into a funnell, pour a good quantity of well rectifyd Sp. of Wine let it <be> straind through the Vitrioll, then draw all this wine & carfully collect & keep those few graines of red Sulphur that will remaine in the bottome.

Entry 14: Editorial notes:

Smuckius his proportion Virede æris on part comon salt 2 parts Hungarian Vitrioll 3 parts mercury ad placitum.

Entry 15: Editorial notes:

For Silver sodder. [d] For soft sodder, silver {ounce} 1 brass {ounce} ;. I meane sterling Silver & very good cleane new scruffe brass, melt them together with a quick heat. For hard sodder take to an {ounce} 1 of Silver, a quarter or not quite soe much of such brass as above. Use as much of Borax as of Sandiver exquisitly searchd & mixt to make the sodder run.

Entry 16: Editorial notes:

Sodder for Gold. Take a peny weight of crowne Gold, put to it of fine Silver & fine copper ana [d] gr. 2. For soveraigne gold {Rx}/gr. 3 to a penny weight. To make it run {Rx} to {ounce} 1 of Borax, 4 peny weight of Sandiver

Parkinson pag: 1297

/BP 26, fol. 2/

Entry 17: Editorial notes:
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Take Arsnick 1 part Nitre 2 parts Let them flow together & <then> calcine for about 8 houres. Then take out the remaining mass & mix it well with its weight of fresh Nitre, keep them againe in calcination for 6 or 8 houres, soe that the mixture be ready to flow & the crucible or pot <all the while> red-hot; Then take out the matter & once more mix therewith its weight of fresh Nitre & let them calcine as before for 6 or 8 h. Then the matter (being now altogether fixd) must be taken out & with very well rectifyd spirit of wine swiming to the height of 5 or 6 fingers above it, must be distilld in Balneo, yet soe that the spirit of wine may boyl upon it. The same abstracted spirit of wine may be us'd often times, only now & then some fresh [d] must be added to it to recruite it, & the phlegme which may be produc'd must be cast away. This destillation of spirit of wine from the fixd Ars: must be reiterated at least 20 times, & if it be repeated 30 it will be soe much the better. The medicin must be kept in the forme of a powder, & must be strowed upon the Ulcer of the party affected to the thickness of a kniffe, once in 48 h: or if the necessity be great once in 24. any ordinary fit plaister may in the meane time be kept on to cover & defend the part. If there be noe Ex Ulcerationum when the powder is 1st to be applyd, there must be a hole made <with> a Caustick. This Medicin will mortify & make as seperationum of all that is malignant & leave the lips of the ulcer fresh & red, soe that the cure may be afterwards perfected with ordinary healing plaisters.