Robert Boyle (1627-91): Work-diary XXVII (Chymical recipes and notes from the late 1660s)

Content: Chymical recipes, many of them alchemical, aphorisms and notes contained in disbound pages from a small notebook of the late 1660s

General Information


Work-diary entries

/BP 44, fol. 43/

Entry 1: Editorial notes:

{Rx} grosse peeces of {sulphur} part 1 & calx vive parts 2 boyl them (continually stirrig) till the {sulphur} be dissolvd; [filter], a vapor ad sicc. add a 20th part of sal Decrepit. & distill over a red Sp.


Entry 2: Editorial notes:

{Rx} 2 parts Clay & one {sal ammoniac} distill & cohobate


Entry 3: Editorial notes:

{Rx} {sulphur} (vel florum [eius]) sacch ana [digere] per 10 vel 12 [...] &c


Entry 4: Editorial notes:

[Remember] the fromage [movir] made up with sifted Ashes


Entry 5: Editorial notes:

A Colorless stone kept 12 or 18 days, in hot scales of steele (but not red hot) gave it the color of a faire Aigue marine.


Entry 6: Editorial notes:

Ad Carunculas

{Rx} {ounce} ; of pouder'd savine stibium (i.e., crude {copper} {drachm} 2 oare (the yellow) {ounce} 6 all exactly powderd & mix incorpor with yell wax {ounce} ; [res. pini] {drachm} 2


/BP 44, fol. 43v/

Entry 7: Editorial notes:

F Candela when 'tis to cover a silver pipe cover it with alcool of Bol. arm.


Entry 8: Editorial notes:

[Remember that the] Min Celeste may be kept in Glasse, glaz'd [...]th, & oaken Vessels [(but] New) & is to be kept stopt.


Entry 9: Editorial notes:

[...] with sack & syrup of Elder Flowers


Entry 10: Editorial notes:

[{Rx}] the Inefficacy of Galens Med for mad Dogs, & of viper powder in Ireland


Entry 11: Editorial notes:

Tis <often> easyer to know what one ought to beleeve, than what Ar. did beleeve: for Natur. never contrad. hir selfe; but he may in one place contrad. what he teaches in anot: & we can aske Nature /BP 44, fol. 44/ new questions by pre[...] vis'd Experiments; but so w[...]


Entry 12: Editorial notes:

suppose the Nature [...] the medium employd (as if [the] [...] include a Magnet [red hot] in a Box that had Iron or steele,) by &c


Entry 13: Editorial notes:

{Rx} the [Præror] of [...] is [eminent] for a [...] very generally op[...] as heat, [in being] {sal ammoniac} [...] a Dissolvent; &c (answerable to a [...] obstruent, or [...] of [d] Diuretick in Physick


Entry 14: Editorial notes:

Pollish Silver worke with Putty & Water.

[d] (& Brasse with Tripoly & Water


/BP 44, fol. 44v/

Entry 15: Editorial notes:

[...]avagants [...]ll comparing of Cuntrys.


Entry 16: Editorial notes:

[...]ing of Words by [...]g &c, for fleets


/BP 44, fol. 45/

Entry 17: Editorial notes:

(Remember to send for


/BP 44, fol. 45v/

Entry 18: Editorial notes:

The Divisions of Philosophers are often to be look't on like those of Geographers & Natigations; where Diff. Dominions or Names do not always argue differing Soyls & Waters.


Entry 19: Editorial notes:

Remember to apply this to the Stages of N's Progresses


Entry 20: Editorial notes:

I exam. not whose such an Op. was but whose it shud be, & [d] it <be true> I conclude it ought to be mine


Entry 21: Editorial notes:

Who <employ> your Int. or their Fancys <to> chuse their Opinions, & <leave it to> their Understandings, only to Maintain them.


Entry 22: Editorial notes:

Remember the Concentrat. of Beams in the Præface to the II Tome.


Entry 23: Editorial notes:

Remember that in hot Regions by the Ordinary Concours of the Air & Sun oft Eggs are hatch'd <in to Birds>


/BP 44, fol. 46/

Entry 24: Editorial notes:

Ol. Ess. I. 6 {ounce} tru Ess. Ol. [...] 4 {ounce} of Succ. 6 {ounce} incorp. these with 4 {ounce} of tafafa in a morter. Then ad {ounce} 8 of the pure volatil Sp. {sal ammoniac} true Vol. tafafa {ounce} 7. 20 ounces of the pure V. Sp. {urine} & {ounce} 8 of the common[?] sp. of Terp & 2 Gall. of {spirit of wine} [easier]. Draw these all over the helm once. <from {salt} of Potashes> This multip. by Destill. from common oyle.


Entry 25: Editorial notes:

The Creation. The Flood. The oyl ponderous as {gold}. The liq. ascending & in the Air made Astral, falling againe. Moses's Manna & the Tal & sweet unctuosity imbibd out of it. The little man that went out before 7. The heated Arme. The Chaotic Net as a Recipient. The water reaching to saffron, niter, &c & the Masse the [7] among them {mercury}. the {salt} urinae. Common [{mercury}] an abortive. Columb. Dian & {copper}. That the experiment. may be made (but in much longer time, & with more Ch. & Diff. with [parc] alone./ The Chaotic, Salvatory & Rationall unknown abbreviation & 88 at the top of the last of the 20 unknown abbreviation before multipl. 9. for the menstruum/ half a coccos, [d] kindled & almost killd him./ The separable earth of Paz./ The internal Magn./ Irene /BP 44, fol.46v/ The specific for [d] {lead}./ The sh. oyl. Liquid & coagulated./ The Baracle & paz with the Ferm. or {tincture} will make a min. perp


Entry 26: Editorial notes:

(The common Sapo requires a Gallon of {spirit of wine} unknown abbreviation to 8 {ounce} of it)


Entry 27: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

[d] Remember that Anarus (or Aranus) is the matter of the Bombast./ & needs no addition. (unlesse perhaps at last & tis an oyl or oleiforme.

yet if this oyl be united with ana of the Bomb. of Tart. & that of {nitre} they will all come over toget. into one menstruum.


Entry 28: Editorial notes:

With out Essential Saponary menstruum one may draw a true <{gold}> pot. [d] the Scor. made by injected {nitre} [d] upon a Reg. made of 2 parts Reg {antimony} simpl. & one of {gold}


Entry 29: Editorial notes:

The menstruum [or {mercury}] soph. draws out of paz about a ¼ part of {tincture} or oyl; which being fixt upon a due prop of {gold} [q. an commune] goes one up. 10 & that with more liq. 1 up 100 & so &.


Entry 30: Editorial notes:

Bomb. may be multipl. by the Essential oil itself draws from Talk.)


Entry 31: Editorial notes:

[d] Keep our Melago stiring till it be pulverable with it's own [Phl.] extract the Chrystals make a sapo of them (a little opend by a slit calcin.) [d] with ol. Ess. [d] Junip. & by cohob. unite & bring this over with <most> high Rectif. Sp. of {urine}


/BP 44, fol. 47/

Entry 32: Editorial notes:

Aug. 15th. The matter of the unknown abbreviation is the unct. part of Talc but that of unknown abbreviation is [incoroi]


Entry 33: Editorial notes:

The Eben will relent <much> in the Air


Entry 34: Editorial notes:

Our Sp. V. is ex tale & is really unct. or oleag. & will swim on water


Entry 35: Editorial notes:

Each Eg is a Separ. Elem. (viz {earth} and {water}) but made without Destillat.


Entry 36: Editorial notes:

The Magnet draws 4 or 5 pints in a day


Entry 37: Editorial notes:

Tasafa, (especially by the help of the magnet) is putrifyd; then subslimd into dry salt (in 2 months, but <to gaine the> forma liquida; it requires 5 months more.


Entry 38: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

From {ounce} 1 of Paz draw {drachm} 2 of {tincture} reduce the rest into neg. imbibe gradatim {drachm} 1 till you have united it with [d] 9 drams of neg. then put the other 3 & [d] unite that 18 times the neg. may exceed the {tincture}. This poud will [d] upon com. paz make an Eb. which (once or 2 invigorated) will upon co neg. make a Min. Perp.


Entry 39: Editorial notes:

By an Eg.'s reaching {lead} & is meant that it radically dissolves it into a Liq. distinct from the menstruum. [An] or after the 6 or 7th eg. it reaches paz & all other such bodys.


Entry 40: Editorial notes:

Bbt multipl. it self from somthing it extracts from the bodys it works on.

Tis best preservd by immersed sol. As the unknown abbreviation is, by being diluted with it's owne liquid parent.


Entry 41: Editorial notes:

Paz hath in it a separable {earth}


Entry 42: Editorial notes:

A menstruum (short of the 3 noblest) wil so only reduce {mercury} sub. as also Ars. [d] into sweet, & innoc., & efficac. oils.


/BP 44, fol. 47v/

Entry 43: Editorial notes:

Reductif. {Rx} ban. {ounce} 5, salis decr. {ounce} 3. M. F. P. si opus, adiice Ars. {drachm} 5; &, (si prac.) carb. partem duum [resp] totius. [Linus] mist. partes 2, corp. reduce partem unam


Entry 44: Editorial notes:

{Rx} {tin} parts 8, {mercury} part 1


/BP 44, fol. 48/

Entry 45: Editorial notes:

Remember Workmanship. Self-enjoyment. Improvident. Pusillan. take it to be answer indistinctly [d] Counterpoyson:


Entry 46: Editorial notes:

Inadæquate negative Conceptions. Take hold of, but not Graspe: Dress of Matter. Use or Wisd. [undisce] vera for being Too curious. Perform. our Underst. cannot reach to the maner. of Subserv. to the Person, & the End. Unconceiv. Excellency. Superemint. Knol. Unconceivable Perf: Architectonic wisdom. subservient - as to - &c. exprehensive Faculty - so many steps by which the mind ascends from the View Directive - contracted Nature & Intellect: concernd in the Fabric. Fermentative Agitat: & consequently, Collision: Mask's of Matters. Analyticall Putref. or Fermentatio. Incongr. to it self: energetic particles. Congenealness intrinsic Ferments. then to pass on, to what tis high time to prceed to release the fetterd or impr. part Heroisme Prejudicacy. feeble reason [stretgret] or smal of signific./ Chance, or [d] unguided Mot. of Matter [Atomology] Impenetrable Extension./ to Physiologize Anticipation./ Cogitative Beings,/ Materialists,/ Corporealists. Directives Principle/ Fortuitous Mechanisme / Histrionicall &c/ Philos. or Philosophizing Engine.


/BP 44, fol. 48v/

Entry 47: Editorial notes:

Aurorian, or Corpuscular Philosophy & Probationary Hypoth. Notions, Rules &c.


Entry 48: Editorial notes:

Dissolve the frame is not Presumable. Permananency in a separate state & the person he sustains & the tenor of his Doctrine.


/BP 44, fol. 49/

Entry 49: Editorial notes:

1) [qo] {tincture} of [Can[???]]
2) [...] of things to be seald up
3) The [...] of [dry sol]
4) The use of Sol. {gold}
5) The making of {salt} {antimony}
Remember Subl. & C V
fetid ol. {tartar}


Entry 50: Editorial notes:

{Rx} 2 {pound} of Aloes in powder, to one of the berrys of Miss. of w. thorne; or apple or peare. Sun them or saltem keep them for 4, 5, or 6 in F Pils of [then] to a dr. [glue] over night


Entry 51: Editorial notes:

The [d] Syr. is mad of ana of berrys of Miss & sugar left without fire to ferment.


Entry 52: Editorial notes:

{Rx} Fresh spearewort, beaten or, the Dry with a little strongth.


Entry 53: Editorial notes:

Abstract {spirit of wine} rect. (but not At Cohob:) 4 or 5 times from good C. V. with a Str. Fire at lest.