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into which he hath inserted them, upon his relation, Lib. iv. Cap. 13, though somewhat improperly, among sulphurous baths.
About the same time also one John Jones, an honest Cambro-Briton, frequenting the baths for practice, composed a little treatise of them, which he calls Baths Aid, in which are some things not contemptible, though in a plain country dress, and which might satisfy and gratify the appetite of those times, which fed more heartily and healthily too then, upon parson's fare, good beef and bag-pudding, then we do now upon kickshaws and haut-gousts; yet nothing of the true nature is there discovered, only, as almost in all former writers of baths, chiefly catholick, a strong stanch of sulphur, and a great ado about a subterreanean fire, a fit resemblance of hell, at least of purgatory. Our countryman Doctor William Turner, I confess, was more particularly concerned to give a better account, than I find is done in his discourse of English, German, and Italian baths. But whether want of opportunity, or any other impediment was in cause, I know not; but I find that, at this stay, they stood till the famous doctor Jorden
ook pen in hand, about the year 1630. To whom I thought fit make some additions, at my first entrance on this place, some five years since; and although that learned and candid physician had chiefly, and more especially, an intent to enlarge the knowledge of our baths in Somersetshire, as he declares to my Lord Cottington, in his dedicatory epistle; and hath performed more than any man before him; yet what was first in intention, was last in execution, and how small a part of that treatise is spent upon this subject, how short he is in some material points, and what objections may be framed against his opinion, I may some time or other, with due respect, more largely treat of, and for the present shall here, with good Shem and Japhet, cast a garment over the nakedness of this my father.
What hath been done since (except in some particular pieces of other tracts, to the authors of which the baths are also indebted for their kindness and good will) is not worth the mentioning. The old saying is true, ' Little dogs must piss,' and what is writ upon an alebench claims the greater affinity to the pipe and the candle; especially if the best wine at the feast (which is usually kept till last) be but a silly story of Tom Coriat, and an old Taunton ballad new vamped (the creature's parts lying that way) abusing the dead ghosts of Ludhudibras and Bladud, with a Nonsensico-Pragmatical, Anticruzadoorientado-Rhodomontado-Untruth Le Grand, which we, westerly moderns, call a grote lye, into the bargain. A pretty artifice in rhetorick, to cry a thing up, and besmear, and shed plentifully on the founder ordure, both human and belluine.
Rode, Caper, vitem, tamen hic, cum stabis ad aras,
In tua quod fundi cornua possit, erit.
Goat, bark the vine; yet juice enough will rise
To drench thy head, when made a sacrifice.
I have industirously omitted Doctor Johnson, Doctor Venner, and some others, in regard it would be improper here to write more historically, which I resolve to do, if my leisure permit, on another occasion. I shall therefore now let you know not so much, what hath been done by others, as what further discoveries have been made by my endeavours, assisted by the careful pains of Mr. Henry Moor, an expect apothecary and chymist of this city.
And here at first I cannot but take notice, how that opinion hath so much prevailed as to be accounted orthodox, and not only received by tradition as certain, but printed as such, that the body of the waters is so jejune and empty, as to afford little or nothing at all whereby to make a discovery of its nature; and that what impregnates the baths is not substantially, materially, or corporally there, hut potentially, vertually, and formally, or, to use the author's own words, duvápeet pãoy ñ ivegzoia, with much more canting after this manner in a small discourse in Latin, written by an itinerant exotick'; whenas a slight operation will soon evince it, though white and transparent of itself, being taken immediately from the pump, to contain a considerable quantity of a dusky, gritty, and saline matter, with many transparent particles intermixed with it, to the proportion (as near as I can calculate, sometimes more and sometimes less) of two drams to a gallon of the water. And this I can ascertain, having had several ounces of it done in earth, iron, bell-metal, and glass, and have at this time tree or four ounces by me, untouched, beside what I have made use of in other experiments.
But the thing I shall more peculiarly insist on, at present, is, that by God's blessing, on my industrious search, I suppose I have lighted on the main constituents of the vertues of the bath, in which alone resides what benefit can be expected from the use of these waters, and lodgeth in a saline substance, in a very small proportion to the body of the waters; so that, as they are now, not much more than forty grains are contained in a gallon, insomuch that this little soul, as I may so term it, is almost lost in so gigantick a body, and cannot animate it with that vigour and activity, as may be rationally expected, were a greater quantity of the salt contained in a less proportion of the water. The remainder, which is not saline, being, as I judge, two parts in three of the bulk of the contents, is partly whitish, gritty, and of a lapideous nature, concreting, of itself, into a stony consistence not easily dissolvible; partly more light and dirty, resembling clay, or marle, and discovers itself by an apparent separation from the saline and gritty part mentioned before.
Now the chief vertue of the bath, as I conceive, consisting in the salts, which appear, by undeniable experiments, to be nitrous, and I believe vitrioline (bitumen and sulphur being not primarily, as these salts, but secondarily concerned, which, consisting of unctuous particles, cannot be supposed capable of mixing with the body of the waters, and therefore no way observable in the contents) and no small proportion of other things blended with it; the best way to make it most serviceable I conceived to be, to free it from those incumbrances and allays it hath from the other ingredients, and prepare it as exactly as may be performed by art, for the benefit of those especially, who are willing to drink the waters with greater success in a lesser quantity ; which they may now do, and have more of the vertue of the waters, in a quart, three pints, or a pottle, than they formerly had in two or three gallon, did they drink as much ; which will be, besides other conveniences, a great relief to the stomach, which certainly must be relaxed, and the tone of it injured by that vast quantity of water, which is usually taken diluting its ferment overmuch, and distending its membranes beyond all the bounds of a reasonable capacity.
1 Car. Clara mont. de Aer. Ag. & Loc. I. A. p. 32.
Besides, what is separated only by an artificial extraction, will better unite again, and mix with the waters, as much more familiar, than the extraneous salts of sal prunella, cream of tartar, &c. which are usually dissolved and drank with the waters; so that a great part of the operation may be ascribed to that; and the waters, being, as we say, between two stools, that of itself, and the dissolvent in it, bave not attained to that degree of reputation as they have deserved, and may be procured with much more advantage, if nothing but the same be spent upon the same, a way of improvement altogether equally beneficial to the fluids and solids, to the wet as the dry.
Again, whereas it is a custom here, as in all other places of the like nature, when persons are not willing, or have not conveniences to come to the fountain-head, to send for the waters to the places of their residence, not thinking it much material whether Mahomet go to the mountain, or the mountain come to him, whereby the vertue of the waters is much impaired, though stopped and sealed up with never so much care; this defect may be supplied by the addition of a quantity of the same ingredients, which may repair the loss that hath been sustained by evaporation in the carriage, or any other way of damage, and restore it again, as near as may be, to its pristine vertue, and genuine advantage. Not to mention that, if need require, and the
poorer sort cannot procure or pay the freight for the waters, they may take a shorter course, by mixing the salt, which they may have at reasonable rates, with spring water, brought to a proportionable degree of heat at home, and expect more advantage, for aught I know, than those that drink the waters themselves at su great a distance; and I have therefore ordered convenient doses of the salt to be prepared and kept, by Mr. William Child, alderman, and Mr. Henry Moore, two apothecaries in Bath, to whom any one may resort, that shall have occasion.
And, because I am now fallen on this subject, I shall crave leave to remind
you well enough understand already, that not only Dulcius, but Utilius, ex ipso Fonte, &c. and waters, especially impregnated with volatile spirits, such as most acid are, and peculiarly vitrioline, to avoid the inconvenience and expence, not so much of money as vertue, in the carriage, must be drunk on the place where they are, which, in some kind resembling children, that must live by sucking, if once removed from their mother, or nurse, by degrees dwindle away, and at last die.
you of what
It is observable in these waters, that with four grains of gall injected into a pint glass of water, or the water poured on it, it immediately turns of a purple colour, which in short time after, as the water cools, abates much of its vividity, and becomes more faint; if the waters be suffered to cool, and be quite cool before the galls are injected, no alteration happens upon a much greater proportion of galls superadded; and what is more remarkable, if the water, which is
permitted to cool, be recruited by the fire, and the same trial reiterated, it offers no greater satisfaction in change of colour, than the second experiment. Consonant to what Andreas Baccius, a veteran and experienced soldier in this militia, hath formerly observed, who in his second book de Thermis, cap. x. pag. 69, hath these words, Nulla Balnei Aqua, eodem cum successu, ac laude, bibitur, longe exportata, quod ad fontem proprium ; maxima enim pars, ex ipso fonte haustæ ac delatæ, amittunt omnem virtutem, multæ non servantur per hyemem : dilutæe pluviis, & quæ utcunque servantur delatæ a propriis fonticulis, fieri non potest, quin amittunt, cum calore suo minerali, vivificos illos spiritus, in quibus omnis juramenti vis consistit, quoe semel omissa, nullo pestea extrina seco calore restituitur. Quod est valde notandum.
I have been the more particular in this, in regard it is a very useful and practical discovery, and may procure more real advantage to mankind, than the vain and unattainable attempts of the philosophers stone, making glass malleable, and the quadrature of a circle.
Some other observations I shall also mention, of no less magnitude, and more contracted circumference, as the dying of the bath-guides skins, the bathers linnen, and the stones in the bottom of the bath, of a yellow colour, and the eating out of the iron rings of bath, the iron bars of the windows about the bath, and any iron infused in it; insomuch as I have now by me a gad of iron, by accident taken up among the stones of the King's bath, so much eaten out, and digested by the ostrich stomach of these waters, that, the sweetness extracted what remains resembles very much a honey-comb, a deep perforation in many places being attempted, and the whole gad itself reduced very much like a sponge,
The first, viz. the tincture, I have discovered to arrive from an ochre, with which the bath abounds, and hath afforded me a considerable quantity, so that now I have near a pound by me, and, with an infusion of that in warm water, tinge stones as exactly of the Bath colour, that they are not discernible one from another. It is further observable, that, the nearer the place of ebullition, where the springs arise, the deeper and finer is the yellow coļour; so that in some places, about the cross in the King's bath, and at the head of the great spring, at the south-west corner thereof, it is almost made a natural paint, being laboured together by the working of the springs, and a continual succession of new matter coming on, free from those impurities it contracts in other places, which makes it distinguishable into two or three sorts, according to its mixture with, or freedom from, more adulterating matter. The clouts also and woollen rags, which the guides use to stop the gout withal, besides the walls, slip-doors and posts, when the bath is kept in a considerable time, as in the winter-season it useth to be, are all very much tinged with this yellow substance ; and if at any time they chance to lie unwashed, or not thrown away, they send out so ungrateful a scent, that a man had rather smell to a carnation, rose, violet, or a pomander, than be within the wind of so unwelcome a smell, it being the greatest policy to get the weathergage in this encounter. The same thing I have experienced in vessels at home, where, after it had stood some time, in a common infusion of warm water, I have the same reverence for that as pictures, and do aver it to be true, E longinquo reverentia major.
One thing more is to be noted before I leave this particular, that , although so much of this yellow matter is continually bred, with which the neighbouring ground is sufficiently replenished, as I have found by digging in some places not far distant, yet nothing of that colour is discovered in the contents; a probable argument it either evaporates, to which I am more inclined, in regard I find it much more copious where the steam of the bath meets with any resistance; or else perhaps, which is less probable, turns colour by the fire in evaporation that way; less probable, I say, because, for further satisfaction, I have decocted the ochre more than once, and find it rather gets than loses in its colour.
The greenish colour ariseth from another cause.
The eating out of the iron, I conceive, must proceed from something corrosive, and, till any one can assure me it is something else, I shall judge it to be vitriol ; and that it may appear not to be caused by the bare steam, as rust is bred upon pot-hooks and cotterels (as some imagine) besides the difficulty to conceive how the steam should operate under water, as in the case of the gad beforementioned, I made a lixivium of the contents of the water, and in it infused iron, but a very small time, and found it to do the same as in the bath itself, considering the time of infusion; and the very knives, and spatules, I put in to stir some residence in the bottom, were, almost as soon as dry, crusted over and defended with a rusty coat.
I have other arguments, I suppose, will contribute something more to the confirmation of this opinion; as, that, with the help of the sand of the bath with water, and galls, I make good writing ink, which, in a short time, comes to be very legible; but the infusion of the contents in common water, or the lixivium thereof, with an addition of an inconsiderable proportion of the decoction of galls, makes it tolerably legible, on the first commixture, only the first, viz. that made with sand, casting an eye of decayed red from a mixture of ochre contained in the same,
Neither is it altogether to be slighted, that the water itself hath been heretofore used by the best writing-masters for the making ink, who, observing by their experience, that ink made with Bathwater, and the other usual ingredients, had a better colour, and was more lasting than any other, preferred this water before any other for this use, as I have been informed by some credible persons. Also hav, ing not long since occasion to pour warm water on the contents of the bath, in order to the making a lixivium, some of the water happened, by an accident, to fall upon a Bazil-skin I sometimes use, and immediately turned the red into black, more than the breadth of an ordi