Robert Boyle (1627-91): Work-diary XX ('A Continuation of Physiologicall Entryes from the IXth of July')

Content: Accounts and observations of experiments involving oil of vitriol, turpentine, a 'venereal gum', etc., from the early 1660s.

General Information

Work-diary entries

/BP 18, fol. 94/

[Authorial heading]:
Physiologicall Entryes
From the IXth of July.

Entry 1: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

I tooke some of the stony-wood that is not soe hard as to cut glasse but yet seems to be a petrifyd Body throughout (& therefore differing from Wood barely incrustated with stone) & haveing dissolvd it in spirit of Venus & sufferd it gently to evaporate by the warmth of the Sun; the solution shot into very transparent & finely figur'd bodys like Rock Christall, but in Tract of time by the further Action of the Sun made them loose their transparency in the superficiall part where they grew white [d] as if they had been calcind.

Entry 2: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

A peice of Orpiment weighing in the aire {drachm} 2 gr. 27. & 3/32. weighd in the water {drachm} 1 ;. gr 11 ½. & 1/32.

Entry 3: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

The metalline Gum made with Copper & Sublimate ana being kept for <about 8> months, in a somewhat wide mouthd glasse, though stopd with a Corke that had a peice of Leather tyd over it, did not only [d] loose its first color & acquire one like that of Verdigreese but had almost all the Lumps it consisted off coverd over with a whitish Browne that seemd to be a saline Efflorescence, where one might observe a good Number <of> long Christalls as it were that appeard to be stiffe & yet far more slender then a haire.

Entry 4: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

An oar that was sent me up for Gold oar I ghessd to have its yellow Tincture rather from Mars & accordingly found that spirit of Salt made a solution of it almost as yellow as that of Gold in Aq. Regis. & yet this solution I found to be Martiall.

/BP 18, fol. 94v/

Entry 5: Editorial notes:
Marginal notes integral to entry text
Later marginal endorsements:

The Venereall Gum mentiond number the [blank space in MS, 4-5 characters] <3d> being powderd & put into strong spirit of Salt did presently turne it of a deepe muscadine colour. <On> another parcell of the same powderd Concrete, some spirit of nitre being put, it wrought thereon e'vn in the Cold like aqua fortis upon Sylver & [dassel] reducd it to a deepe greenish blew solution.

Entry 6: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

This day was put into a large Bolthead {drachm} 4 of oyle of vitrioll, to which haveing powerd the like weight of Alcool of wine, the whole ([wimd]) cavity of the glasse was made very white & opacous by the fumes copiously ascended from the mixture, if not only from the {spirit of wine}. Though I did not shake the Liquors together yet the bottome of the glasse grew soe hot that I could not indure it for ½ a minute, And haveing purposely layd it by in a coole place I came 2 or 3 howers after to try if [d] I could not e'vn then by shakeing & soe makeing a further mixture, produce a heat; accordingly I found that I could excite a considerable one, & that did not quickly vanish

Entry 7: Editorial notes:
Marginal notes integral to entry text
Later marginal endorsements:

The venereall gum mentiond numero the [blank space in MS, 2-3 characters] being to the Quantity of about a small Beane dissolvd in good Spirit of Salt the solution continued for 2 or 3 days of a thick muscadine colour as is mentiond numero the <5th> , but afterwards, [moistimg] [d] leisurely with it the sides & Bottom of a wide wine glasse, the fourth day the sides appeard to be full of greene branches not unpleasant to behold, & at the end of 4 days the bottom was for the most part coverd with tuffts of christall /BP 18, fol. 95/ & shapd very like Spanish Broome [...] [chris]talls together with a litle Liquor that re[mained] uncoagulated at the Bottom, were of a love[ly] almost of an Emerald colour.

Entry 8: Editorial notes:

Wee tooke some oyle of Turpentine that had been formerly distilld over from oyle of vitrioll & was of a yellow colour pretty high. To this we put an æquall part by ghesse of oyle of vitrioll and shakeing them together there was excited heat accompanyd with a strong & not pleasant smell & haveing sufferd these to stand a good while in an open mouth glasse in a Window, there setled to the Bottom, as we expected, a Balsam-like substance, which when it was somewhat thick was opacous, but where t'was thinner & transparent, appear'd to be of a deepe red.