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inferted in the Acts of Copenhagen.

1

Do not know, whether you ever obferved, that the hair which, in people when living, was black or grey, often after their death, in digging up their graves, or opening the vaults where they lie, is found changed into a fair or flaxen colour; fo that their relations can fcarce know them again by fuch a mark. This change is produced, undoubtedly, by the hot and concentered vapours which are exhaled from the dead bodies.

equally demonftrable; for fome will fwallow as many as can be brought them, without the leaft fcruple ; and, indeed, there is but little reafon to fuppofe that a quantity of poifon, fufficient to produce fuch fudden and apparent ill effects, can be contained in so small a crab, when thofe of much larger dimenfions are daily eaten with fafety by all forts of people on thofe coasts, where they are found in plenty.

3. That it cannot be owing to any vicious quality imbibed from the copperas-beds near which they are found, because the fame effect is frequently produced by eating muscles gathered many hundred miles from any copperas-be; and by thofe of the whiteft and most

Thoughts on the poisonous effects of
Mufcles.

THE poisonous effect, confequent

on eating mufcles, does not proceed, as I apprehend, from any ill principle in the mufcle itself, nor from any noxious quality in thofe little crabs frequently found in them neither does it proceed from any property derived from the copperas-beds, near which muscles are fometimes found; nor from the malignity of any corrofive mineral whatever, nor from any heterogeneous mixture of animal falts that muscles may meet with in the ftomach of the eater, for the following reafons:

1. That no poifonous quality is inherent in the fubftance of the mufcle, is evident from this: that multitudes have made the muscle a part of their food, for many years, without finding the leaft inconvenience; on the contrary, have found them a wholesome, nourishing, and even a delicious food.

2. That the poifon which produces the effect, if any fuch there be, does not refide in the crab, is

inviting kind; nor can a quantity of vitriolic or mineral pungent falts, fufficient to poifon a perfon, exist in dreffed mufcles, without difcovering itself either in the liquor, or upon the palate when the mufcles are eating.

And, 4. It cannot proceed from any heterogeneous mixture of animal falts in the ftomach of the eater, because the fudden fwelling of the perfon affected is a fymptom that never follows from fuch a caufe.

It is further obfervable, that particular people only are affected by the eating of muscles, and thofe differently at different times. I am myfelf acquainted with fome perfons who never could eat muscles without being ill; but who can now eat them boldly, and without the leaft apprehenfion of any bad confequences: and I have my felf eaten them from my infancy, and yet they have never once difagreed with me, nor with any of my family, fave

one.

I am

I am therefore of opinion, from all the obfervations I have been able to make, that the diforders proceeding from the eating of muscles, happen from the ready difpofition of fome glutinous particles on the furface of the mufcle to adhere to what it touches of the ftomach; and that the real caufe, of what is generally thought the poisonous effect, is only the cohesion of the membrane of the mufcle, like a piece of leaf-gold, to the inner coat or lining of the ftomach, which, when once diflodged, the patient almost instantly recovers.

The reason why fome may be more liable than others to be affected in this manner, may be owing to the difpofition of the ftomach itfelf, the vifcofity of whofe contents may be a concurrent caufe of

the disorder.

inclined to make the mufcle a part of their neceffary food, as in fome places they are plenty, and are certainly nourishing, I would advife them, by way of prevention, firft to prepare their ftomachs by gentle emetics, and then to eat of them fparingly, with much bread and butter; and, by frequently eating them in this manner, thofe people, with whom fuch wholesome shellfish have difagreed, have been brought to eat them without danger.

Effex, March 20.

J. C.

The ufual fymptoms that follow fuch an adhesion, are great oppreffion of the præcordia, ftrangulation, anhelation, fhort cough, tingling ears, watery eyes, fwelled face and hands, with efflorefcence and itchings in the fkin; most of which fymptoms I have known to follow the eating of raw hot bread, fwallowing the fkins of grapes, and even from eating French beans. In all thefe cafes, gentle emetics feldom fail to relieve the patient; but as fudden disorders of this kind fometimes prove fatal before help can be called in, oils of any kind, mixed with warm water, taken into the ftomach, may, in fome cafes, have a good effect: for, as in loofening a plaifter from the fkin, oil is often the eafieft way of removing it, fo, in cafes of an adhesion to the internal coat of the ftomach, oil may have the like effect.

Were people of weak stomachs

On the property of the Box-Tree to

make the Hair grow. From the Ephemerides of the Curious.

A Young woman, of Gunberg in

Silefia, having had a malignant dysentery, which occafioned the falling-off of all her hair, was advised by a perfon, fome time after her recovery (as her hair was not likely to grow again of itself, her head being then as bare as the hand) to wash it all over with a decoction of box-wood, which the readily did, without the addition of any other drug. Ufing no precaution to fecure her neck and face, hair of a chefnut colour grew in effect on her head, as the "was told it would; but her whole neck and face was alfo foon covered with red hairs, which made her fo deformed, that the appeared little different from an ape or monkey. A phyfician advised her to apply to her face and neck, a depilatory of the refin of the larch-tree, mixed up with that of maftich: but we have not yet learned what effect this remedy has produced on her.

of

Of a Stone, that, like the Chameleon, has the property of changing its colour, in certain circumftances.— From the Ephemerides of the Curious.

.

M.

Andrew Cnoffelius, one of the physicians of the court of Poland, relates, that, having been at Thorn, a famous lapidary there fhewed him, among other curiofities, a ftone, called by fome the mineral polypus, about the fize of a large pea, and of an afh colour. What was wonderful in this ftone is, that, though opaque, and having no transparent part, after being laid in water, it began, in less than fix minutes, to appear fhining at the edges, and to communicate to the water a fort of luminous fhadow, of the colour of yellow amber: it afterwards paffed from yellow to the colour of an amethyft, and from thence fucceffively to black, white, and a cloudy colour, and, as it were, furrounded with fmoke. At laft it appeared quite brilliant, intirely tranfparent, and of a very beautiful yellow-amber colour. Taken out of the water, it returned to its former opaque ftate, after being coloured fucceffively, and in a retrograde order, with the fame dyes it had before affumed in the water.

The doctor adds, that this stone is natural, and not a production of art; and that it also may be regarded as a proof of the existence of a formal light in nature.

Defcription of a new mineral.

T may be reafonably doubted, whether mankind will ever know all the riches of nature. Every cen

tury, every age, every country is diftinguished by new difcoveries, and the time present in this article always adds to the time paft. The mineral lately found in the neighbourhood of Gera in Voigtland, a province of Saxony, is an inconteftible proof of this affertion. It appears in form of a pretty strong vein, leaning against a mountain. No perfon hath as yet prefumed to define or impofe a name upon it, either old or new; because its properties are fo peculiar, that when fome people find an analogy between it and certain minerals, others perceive very confiderable differences between them. It is a very dufky fubftance, extremely white. refembling chalk, or the whiteft terreftrial marrow, a quality without which it would be taken for the talc of filver (lapis talci argenteus) for it feels fat to the touch. It is used as paint by the ladies, and can neither be altered or impaired by fire: but the talc of filver is ufually greenifh, and that of gold yellow: befides, talc is flinty, and found in large pieces. All these qualities do not center in this new mineral, while it hath others which we don't find in talc. A learned and indefatigable mineralift and chemift has endeavoured, by all poffible experiments, to difcover the properties, and determine the true ufe of this fubftance: and these are what he has already afcertained. 1. The mineral is very proper for polishing gold and filver: it leaves not one fcratch, and takes away every thing that can stain these metals. 2. It fuffers no change in the fire, and cannot be brought to fufion. 3. In confequence of this laft quality, it may be used for the fmelting and feparation of me tals,

tals. 4. It makes an excellent wafh for the fkin, which it wonderfully cleans and foftens, having nothing corrofive in its compofition. 5. Being put in water, it inftantly diffolves. 6. Being diluted with a great quantity of water, it may be ufed as varnish to figures of plaifter, which afterwards appear as if they were filvered. 7. It may be used for drawing on paper like lead ore: the strokes of it are soft, substantial, and fhining, and extremely proper for drawing flowers to be coloured and painted. 8. It yields a very fine magifterium, infinitely fuperior to that which is prepared from marcafite, and affords an incomparable white for the ladies. 9. It may be used by organ-makers, to fmear the fuftian of their moulds, which, by that means, will be preferved in the furnace, without being burnt fo foon as it commonly is. 10. It gives a polish to the organ pipes, like that of filver. A perfon of learning, to whom we communicated this paper, being justly ftruck with the qualities of fuch a mineral which melts in water, and refifts fire, thinks he perceives in it fome resemblance to a

mineral mentioned by Samuel Northon, who calls it Election..

Strange effects of Sea-water on Caft Iron.- From the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, for the year 1756.

IN the month of July 1756, there

were fifhed up, in the road of La Hogue, within musket fhot-of Fort Lillet, four iron guns, one of which was a fixteen-pounder, part of the wreck of M. de Tourville's fquadron, to which that general fet fire

on the 29th of July, 1692; and which, confequently, had lain in the water fixty-four years. M. Morand, jun. had the curiofity to examine them; and fent the following account to the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris..

The guns were covered, both without and within, with a cruft of mud mixed with fand, &c. This cruft being taken off, the cannon were found to be as foft as tin: but after being expofed to the air for twenty-four hours, they refumed their former degree of hardness, and bore the largest charges three times fucceffively, without being fuffered to cool, tho' befides the balls, they were loaded with a number of flints on purpose to try them.

Becher, and fome other authors, have given fome interefting hints on the properties of marine falt; which may ferve to explain this phænomenon: but as this is only a fingle fact, Mr. Morand doth not pretend to account for it, contenting himself with relating the circumftances.

Obfervations on the Salamander, by Matthias Tilingius, a member of the Academy of the Curious in Ger

many.

SOM

OME years ago, when I was a ftudent in phyfic at Rostock, being out herbarifing in a wood in the neighbourhood in that town, I found a land falamander, which was black, and fpotted with yellow, like a lizard. I was pleafed to have an opportunity of trying whether this infect could effectually refift the heat of fire; and, as foon as I came home, I threw it accordingly

into the fire, but it was in a fhort time burnt, and reduced to afhes.

The ancients have told us a great number of fables concerning the falamander, and, among others, that it remains unhurt by the activity of fire. Some authors have indeed afferted, that the falamander refifts not only the heat of fire, but that it lives in it as its own element, and feeds and thrives upon its substance. Some others have thought it enough to fay, that the falamander can live for fome time in fire, without being burnt, because, at first, the aqueous exudation, caufed by heat, from its body, extinguishes the fire; but if the fire fhould be rekindled, or its heat increased, it would be burnt and confumed. Others, in fine, have maintained, with more reason, that nothing is more contrary to falamanders than fire, being confumed and reduced to afhes, foon after they are thrown into it. This is verified not only by the following obfervations, but by those of several modern authors.

For my part, I am perfuaded, that what has given room to fo erroneous an opinion, which paffed from ancient authors, who copied one another, to the moderns, is, that formerly this infect was known no otherwife than by its name: hence we may account for the monftrous paintings and defcriptions that have been made of it, fometimes reprefenting it with the head of a fheep, and fometimes with the head of a ferpent; fometimes cloathed with a lanuginous fkin, and fometimes with a fcaly fkin, rough, oily, &c. One author puts it in the clafs of worms; another in that of fpiders: fo that thofe defcriptions and paintings no more

refemble the falamander, than the afs does the horfe, or the owl the parrot.

I fhould be inclined to embrace the fecond opinion, if the obfervations I made did not feem very contrary to it. I cannot indeed aver it for matter of fact, that the falamander that I threw into the fire, lived therein one moment: for, having repeated feveral times the experiment, in prefence of fome learned men, I obferved, that fo foon as I laid them on the coals, after ftruggling a little to fave themfelves, they gaped and expired; fo that it always appeared to me that they could not bear the heat of fire, during the shortest interval of time. It is true, they remained afterwards pretty long before they were confumed, because a plentiful exuda- ́ tion of milky liquor oozed from all the pores of their skin, as others have already obferved, which diminished the activity of the fire for fome moments; but, as this mcifture acquired a thicker confiftence, the falamander became lefs, and, wafting away by degrees, was at laft reduced to ashes.

Now, what is there in this extraordinary, or particular to falamanders? Does not the fame thing happen whenever a bit of raw flesh is put into the fire, or even wood, which are not inflammable till the humidity contained in them is evaporated? Without paying therefore any regard to the authority and fuperftitious ftories of the ancients concerning. falamanders, it may be confidently afferted, purfuant to experience, that falamander, instead of living in fire as in their own element, instead of being nourished with fire, and extinguishing it by a property peculiar to them, furely die

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