Robert Boyle (1627-91): Work-diary XXXIII (Miscellaneous observations, recipes and experiments from notebooks of the early 1680s)

Content: [1] Chymical and medical recipes and mnemonic verses from a notebook of the early 1680s; [2] two medical observations of the same period from a different notebook.

General Information

Work-diary entries

/MS 194, fol. 1v/

Entry 1: Editorial notes:

the Letter C. signifys choise Receipts Medicinall.
D. signifys Dubious [d] papers which do not readily shew to what title they belong.
E signifys Experiments & Processes chymicall not medicinall.
I. signifys Recepts and processes of an Inferior order.
M. signifys medicamenta chymica selectiora.
P. signifys Para ble medicins
T. signifys Papers belonging to Trades & others that are properly neither chymicall nor medicinall.
V. signifys Various Papers.

/MS 194, fol. 3/

Entry 2: Editorial notes:

Mr. de L. or M.

{Rx} 3 parts tin, 2 copper, and 40 Lead. {Rx} much decrep. salt, a little {sal ammoniac} & a moder. quant. of {antimony} after the 1st fusion 2 or 3 houres of stronge fire, repeated, if need be, once or twice.

Entry 3: Editorial notes:

Another to (the same purpose) or a better

{Rx} Banasis {ounce} 1 ;, sal. communis {ounce} 6 Jovis {ounce} 4 Postea, pro {ounce} 1 materiæ relictæ, {Rx} Banasis {ounce} 1 salis communis {drachm} 2 (sive, unciæ ¼ Detine in igne forti, per 3 aut 4 horas.

Entry 4: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

May the 24th. 80.

{Rx} Banasis partem 1 sal. communis partes 5 fund. simul Dein {Rx} huius misturæ & Kursellæ circiter ana & igne fortiss. destrue quantum poteris.

Entry 5: Editorial notes:

Dec the 26th

{Rx} Banasis & Kursell. ana {ounce} 1 Salis comm. fusi {ounce} 6 (or {ounce} 4.) Misce[?] & igne fortiss. destrue quantum pot.

/MS 194, fol. 3v/

Entry 6: Editorial notes:

Dec. the 3d 82. For Lebanæ

{Rx} 37, {ounce} 8, {antimony}, {ounce} 2 {nitre} {ounce} 1 ; & {salt} {ounce} 1 & sometimes {ounce} 1 ; serva hor 1 in igne moder. & 3 hor. in forti fusion. habeb. {ounce} 1 Leb. si vis [d] zahab ex hâc Leb. detine per horas cum {ounce} 2 Lap. parmieson

Entry 7: Editorial notes:

Pour avoir le paz tout d'une [vin] &c {Rx} 37 {ounce} 8 cum in fluxu paulatim injice Lapidis permieson {ounce} ;

/MS 194, fol. 4/

Entry 8: Editorial notes:

{Rx} vitrioli calcinati ad Rubr. Aluminis plumosi viridis Æris, nitri salis communis ex siccati, ana {pound} unam.

Entry 9: Editorial notes:

sal armoniac {drachm} 4 {antimony} {ounce} 1 misce distillentur per gradus clarificetur more ordinario.

Entry 10: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

The white flux is mine, viz. C. V. 2 parts, {sal ammoniac} one part, melt them, and adde, ana of soape. {Rx} the white flux, 2 parts, Tobaccoe-pipe-clay one part (ana doth well, but not so wel). [d] Calcine 4 or 5 parts of C. V. with 3 parts of {salt}, filter the {salt}, and fix it with, and on, coales

Entry 11: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

{Rx} {silver} {ounce} 1 {aqua fortis} {ounce} 4 exhale {ounce} 2 of the Ær diss. the chryst. of {silver} in {ounce} 4 of {spirit of wine} dig. long with {ounce} ; of {sal ammoniac}, then rub, sublime, & (si opus) tritura iterum ac reliquum sublima <& habebis {mercury} lunae>

Entry 12: Editorial notes:

The {gold} weight {ounce} ; + {drachm} 1 ; = 1 to 7 or a little below.
{drachm} 1 ; + gr. 3 ½ a little below

/MS 194, fol. 5/

Entry 13: Editorial notes:

The Materia prima, {Rx} silic. preparati {ounce} 1 Arsen. fixi {drachm} 2 Item, {Rx} {nitre} {ounce} 1 Boracis {ounce} ;

For a smarag'd beat all these (viz. {ounce} 2 + {drachm} 6) very wel in an iron mort.

For a Saphir. beat them in a brass mort. & add gr. 4 of Zafora.

For an Amet. adde to the {drachm} 2 + {drachm} <6> gr. 14 of magnesia.

But for a Topaz adde Croc. {iron} gr. 12 mangan & garnets, ana gr. 16 zafora gr. 3

For a Ruby, {Rx} Tutty {drachm} 2, {sulphur} & {mercury} ana {ounce} ;, mix them well and keep them in a stronge fire for one houre. Of this Pigment adde to the {ounce} 2 + {drachm} 6 of Mater. Prim. 12 gr. or rather 12 gr. of Calx {gold}

Entry 14: Editorial notes:

The other Mat. prima is made of white glass {ounce} 8, Minium {ounce} 5 & Niter {ounce} 3, beaten apart exceeding fine, & then very well mixt

/MS 194, fol. 5v/

Entry 15: Editorial notes:

[...]lures Glysters for the stone

Take Comfry roote & Marshmallow root of each about an ounce Leaves of Mullet, of Mallows & Althea of each an handfull or halfe, flowers of Camomill a pugil, Linseeds two drams. Boyle them in a quart of water to a pint. Straine it & add fine sugar two ounces, the Yolke of an Egge.

Entry 16: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

A Powder to burn under water.

Take Gunpowder six parts Charcoale two parts, Sulphur one part, Nitre one part & an halfe; beat them & sift them very fine mix them well together.

Entry 17: Editorial notes:

{Rx} Syrup de Jujub

papau errant ana {ounce} 1
Aq. Scabios {ounce} 3
in Dos unum Cochlear mane & vesperi.

Entry 18: Editorial notes:

A Monsieur
Monsieur Adam Gottlob Berlich Docteur en la Medicine a Leipezig

bey Hernn L. Menoken auff den Neumarckte ab Zugeben.

/MS 194, fol. 6/

Entry 19: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

{Rx} Caranna, tachamahacha & Pix burgundiaca ana; sp Misce fiat Emplastrum? To be spread <thick> on thin leather & applyd.

Entry 20: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

{Rx} the Ore to be try'd 2 {ounce} Ceruss {drachm} 2 litharge {drachm} 3 Mix them well & put them by degrees on melted lead when 'tis well tournd

Entry 21: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

{Rx} White Arsenick & Sulphur ana (5 gr.) {ounce} 1 of pure Niter {ounce} 2 Misce Fiat[?] Let this mixture fulminate well; & then mix with {ounce} 2 more of fresh Nitre; fulm. them again; & repeate this work thrice more, so that in all there may be {ounce} 10 of {nitre} employ'd. Of this remaining cerifluous substance project by degrees upon a stubborn Minerall heated red hot, to bring it to fusion.

/MS 194, fol. 6v/

Entry 22: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

{Rx} Salis armen. & sal. gemmæ ana one part, sal. comm. mar. parts 2, Nitri opt. parts 4. pouder & mixe them (in a glasse bason) over a gentle fire, imbibing them by degr. with {spirit of wine} til you have reduc'd all into a Past: of which ana is to be mixt with the Alcohol of the Ore to be brought to fusion & examind.

Entry 23: Editorial notes:

{Rx} Sal gem [d] dissolv'd in water (to be glutted with it) herewith make up finely searc'd tobacco-pipes into bals, which dry'd in the Air must be again alcoholiz'd & mixt with of Croc- {iron} (made as below∗) & brought to an exactly mixt Lute with the Sal-gemme water.

∗ Filings of {iron} & seasalt ana; kepe them in a Cæmenting heate, (but so that nothing melt) till the {salt} be wel decrepitated; then wash off the {salt} & rub the {iron} into a (whitish gray) impalpab. Powder.

/MS 194, fol. 25v/

Entry 24: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

C denotes choice Receipts Medicinall
D contains Papers that are Dubious all
E Processes purely Chymical signifies
I does Receipts of a lower sort <disguise>
M choicer Chymic Medicines <doth comprise>
P denotes easily parable Remedyes
T none of those, but Papers about Trades
U various Papers to denote is ma[de]

/MS 194, fol. 25/

Entry 25: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

{Rx} Cinn. {ounce} ;
Nutmegs {drachm} 2
Cloves {drachm} 1
Cardam. Seeds
Caraway seeds
ana {scruple} 1
Salis {tartar} {drachm} 2
{sal ammoniac} {drachm} 3
Brandy {ounce} 10
Destill off {ounce} 4 in Balneo

/MS 194, fol. 24v/

Entry 26: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

The first way dos Things Agitate, Strech, Compress,
As best may further the desird success.
The <next> dos every thing that would intrude,
And hinder the design'd Effect, Exclude.
The third, dos things expose to heat & Cold.
The fourth, their due time in fitt places, hold.
The fifth their motions dos Curb, & Guide.
I'th sixth their spetial consents are try'd[d]
The Seventh of these the Alternation shews.
Or what, in case that two or more we use,
Their Series & Succession will produce

/MS 194, fol. 24/

Entry 27: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

Take two gallons of Nantes Brandy, and five quarts of Rose water. Of this mixture destill off, three gallons in Balneo Dulcify these with six pounds of Sugar Candy and aromatize it with halfe a Dram of Ambergreise. To this quantity (of three gallons) put four ounces of Saffron, or of [d] violets, 3 or 4 pound <or> of Mint [d] 12 [d] Bundles

/MS 194, fol. 22/

Entry 28: Editorial notes:

Collige, Cola, Buli, Spumando, Cola, Distilles.
Putref, Congelia-bis, Impregna, Sublima deinde.
Putref, et Separa, et Marem Cum fæmina Junge
Coque novem Diebus ad Solem pulvis erit.

Entry 29: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

Th' first sorts of things fit for what I write
The next dos to Philosophy give much Light.
Th' third's of things, that few are like to try
For want of Money, Skill or Industry
The fourth things of great use to mankind shows
Easy and cheap the fifth & last compose.

/MS 194, fol. 22v/

The fourth, foretells the Event of untry'd things.
The 5th the use of apply'd Raitions brings.
The 6th [d] of things those practic hints doth give [d]
That from their Bulk & Shape, Men may derive
The 7th Their various Circumstances shows.
As measure Lasting Weight and such as those

/MS 194, fol. 21v/

Entry 30: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

B September the 23th

The fondant. {Rx} tquema 5 to 6 parts to one of Banasis +

{Rx} calcind 37. one part (viz {pound} 2) Reductif. 4 parts (viz, first 2 {pound}, afterwards the other 6, at 3 or 4 distant times.) keepe them in flux. ab. 8 houres, till the {pound} 2 be brought to ab. 2 {ounce}. Then make the Second oper. with these 2 {ounce} & 5 or 6 {ounce} (viz. parts 2; or 3) for about 4 hrs with a much stronger fire, [d] till all that can be driven away is. {pound} 1 yield ab. a quintrain & a halfe, scarce ever lesse than one, or more than two.

/MS 194, fol. 20v/

Entry 31: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

A [d] Sept. the 19

The first operation of the [...]silian Tokus requires about [...] houres the fire being more moderate and the reductief employ'd in a less proportion (as ab. half the weight of the matter) when by the operation the mixture is brought to a kinde of Lebana, then it must be mingl'd with new reductief in a greater prop: then before and must be keept in the strongest fire you can for Ab: 4 houres till nothing more will arise either in the form of fumes or otherwise.

If you would specifie your matter to Lebana you must upon 2 ounces of it which is the best Qant. to be wrought at a time put near a pound of very throughly calcin'd Allum by which means 6 or 8 Cocci are lost or fall short and but half a dram of the other body is preserv'd.

/MS 194, fol. 19v/

Entry 32: Editorial notes:

Take of glass of Antimony (made per se) 3 gr., Mercurius dulcis 4 gr. sulphurated scammony 6 gr., [d] creame of Tartar 24 gr. powder & mix these very well together and give them <for> one doze.

Entry 33: Editorial notes:

Take 3 parts of Alchool (not flowers) of sulphur incorporate them very wel with two parts of good honey [d] of this mixture give from [d] 3 or 4 drams to one ounce at a time.

/MS 194, fol. 19/

Entry 34: Editorial notes:

{Rx} ping. C {ounce} 2 [blank space in MS, 14-16 characters] {aqua fortis} dupl {ounce} 1 misce peractâ effervescentiâ adde {aqua fortis} {ounce} 1 et fiet nova ebullitio, idque toties repetendum, donec nulla amplius ascendat spumosa et crassa substantia sed subsidat in fundo vasis refrigeratâ materiâ liquorem leniter decanta, residuo oleoso novæ addantur aquæ fortis {ounce} 2 quibus innatabit spiritus noster, qui toties cohobandus donec totus ascendat una cum {aqua fortis} a qua per tritorium separandus, qui spiritu vini com: et aqua com: abluendus

/MS 194, fol. 16v/

Entry 35: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

December the 22

Take Antimony 2 parts Minium, White Wine Tartar, and Sea Salt Arsenic & Niter ana half a part, beat them, & mix these very well together and divide {ounce} 6 of this mixture [d] [...] Packets of {drachm} 2 apiece [d] [...] a crucible give a pretty strong fire, to {ounce} 1 of Kursella, and when il faet Oeil [blank space in MS, 13-15 characters] cast on it one of these parcels of powder, & let them fulminate in the open vessel, til the remaining matter faet Oeil again. Then cast in another Packet, & let that quite deflagrate, and so proceed, (keeping the matter stil in strong fusion til you judg that there remains but {drachm} 1 or two. This may be done in about [blank space in MS, 3-5 characters] hours, & if you would have Keseph leave off here but if not, cast in more Packets as before, til the superfluous matter by <the> help of them & your fire (which must be very stronge) be quite carry'd off. The whole operation may require from 6 to 8 hours.

N.B. This quant. wil yeild you at least 12 gr. of caput mortuum & somtimes 20 25 04 perhaps 30.

/MS 194, fol. 14v/

Entry 36: Editorial notes:

{Rx} Chryst. {ounce} 2. Niter as much. Borax {ounce} 1. Fixt arsenick {drachm} 4. Saphora gr. 8.

Entry 37: Editorial notes:

{Rx} the white flux is mine, viz. C. V. 2 parts, {salt} ammoniac; 1 part. melt them, and add ana of sope.

Entry 38: Editorial notes:

{Rx} white flux (without sope) 2 parts, Tobacco-pipe-clay one part (ana dos well, but not so well) 8 parts of glas of Lead, vitrefys one part of white flux.

Entry 39: Editorial notes:

Calcine 4 or 5 parts of C. V. with 3 parts of {salt} filter the {salt} and fix it with and on, coles.

/MS 198, fol. 105/

Entry 40: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

A learned Physician & of great Practise <lately> inform'd me, that he had observ'd <in> some persons that when after Phlebotomy their Blood was settled, it would appear blackish & ill colour'd, & sometimes with little or no Serum, but oftner cover'd with Greenish or with Blewish staff that look'd more greasy than Serum, & yet that he <would> not thence conclude with other Physicians that the whole mass of Blood was much Corrupted; <in regard that he afterwards> observ'd no such Symptoms as must have been consequent to a far less Depravation; & sometimes in a few dayes the Blood of the same person would appear florid & well condition'd, thô no such [d]. Medicines had been us'd, as so great & quick a change could probably be ascrib'd to. Wherefore his opinion is, that such bad Colorations of the Blood do oftentimes proceed, not from Putrefaction or any great Corruption of the Mass, but from <a temporary> confusion & unequall mixture of the Parts of the Blood, which render it turbid & discolor'd for a while; but afterwards, especially <being a> little assisted by proper Remedies, regains its due Crasis & Colour. <But as for the> Observation it self about the visible Change of Blood, he told me /MS 198, fol. 104v/ had made it twenty times, & thought it fit to be much taken notice of in his Practise.

Entry 41: Editorial notes:
Later marginal endorsements:

A Lady of a middle age & sanguine Complexion, being afraid of a Relapse into an Inflammatory Distemper she had fallen into some Moneths before, resolv'd to [d] let out a considerable quantity of Blood, and the vein being open'd whilst she sat near a window, I had the Curiosity, as well as Conveniency, to observe the manner of flowing of the Blood, which came out [d] impetuously enough, & whilst I look'd upon it attentively in that enlightined Place, I could easily take notice, that sometimes, there would come a parcel of Blood (which I guess'd might be about a Spoonfull, that was of a much other & more florid Colour, than that Part of the Stream that preceded it, & that <also> which follow'd it. And this not only I perceiv'd more than once, but upon my warning, both one of the Bystanders & the Lady her self took notice of it.