Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (1664)
by Robert Boyle
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Annotation IV.

There is another way and differing enough from those already mention'd, by which Metalls may be brought to exhibit adventitious Colours: For by This, the Metall do's not so much impart a Colour to another Body, as receive a Colour from it, or rather both Bodies do by the new Texture resulting from their mistion produce a new Colour. I will not insist to this purpose upon the Examples afforded us by yellow Orpiment, and common Sea Salt, from which, sublim'd together, Chymists unanimously affirm their White or Crystalline Arsenick to be made: But 'tis not unworthy our noting, That though Yellow Orpiment be acknowledg'd to be the Copiousest by far of the two Ingredients of Arsenick, yet this last nam'd Body being duely added to the highest Colour'd Metall Copper, when 'tis in fusion, gives it a whiteness both within and without. Thus Lapis Calaminaris changes and improves the Colour of Copper by turning it into Brass. And I have sometimes by the help of Zinck duely mix'd after a certain manner, given Copper one of the Richest Golden Colours that ever I have seen the Best true Gold Ennobled with. But pray have a care that such Hints fall not into any hands that may mis-imploy them.

Annotation V.

Upon the Knowledge of the differing wayes of making Minerals and Metalls produce their adventitious Colours in Bodies capable of Vitrification, depends the pretty Art of making what Chymists by a Barbarous Word are pleas'd to call Amanses, that is counterfeit, or factitious Gemms, as Emeralds, Rubies, Saphires, Topazes, and the like. For in the making of these, though pure Sand or Calcin'd Crystal give the Body, yet 'tis for the most part some Metalline or Mineral Calx, mingled in a small proportion that gives the Colour. But though I have many years since taken delight, to divert my self with this pleasing Art, and have seen very pretty Productions of it, yet besides that I fear I have now forgot most of the little Skill I had in it, this is no place to entertain you with what would rather take up an intire Discourse, than be comprehended in an Annotation; wherefore the few things which I shall here take notice of to you, are only what belong to the present Argument, Namely,

First, That I have often observ'd that Calcin'd Lead Colliquated with fine White Sand or Crystal, reduc'd by ignitions and subsequent extinctions in Water to a subtile Powder, will of it self be brought by a due Decoction to give a cleer Mass Colour'd like a German Amethyst. For though this glass of Lead, is look'd upon by them that know no better way of making Amanses, as the grand Work of them all, yet which is an inconvenience that much blemishes this way, the Calcin'd Lead it self does not only afford matter to the Amanses, but has also as well as other Metals a Colour of its own, which as I was saying, I have often found to be like that of German (as many call them) not Eastern Amethysts.

Secondly, That nevertheless this Colour may be easily over-powr'd by those of divers other Mineral Pigments (if I may so call them) so that with a glass of Lead, you may Emulate (for Instance) the fresh and lovely Greenness of an Emerald, though in divers cases the Colour which the Lead it self upon Vitrification tends to, may vitiate that of the Pigment, which you would introduce into the Mass.

Thirdly, That so much ev'n these Colours depend upon Texture, that in the Glass of Lead it self made of about three parts of Lytharge or Minium Colliquated with one of very finely Powder'd Crystal or Sand, we have taken pleasure to make the mixture pass through differing Colours, as we kept it more or less in the Fusion. For it was not usually till after a pretty long Decoction that the Mass attain'd to the Amethystin Colour.

Fourthly and lastly, That the degrees of Coction and other Circumstances may so vary the Colour produc'd in the same mass, that in a Crucible that was not great I have had fragments of the same Mass, in some of which perhaps not so big as a Hazel-Nut, you may discern four distinct Colours.

Annotation VI.

You may remember (Pyrophilus) that when I mention'd the three sorts of adventitious Colours of Metals, I mention'd them but as the chief, not the only. For there may be other wayes, which though they do not in so strict a sense belong to the adventitious Colours of Metals, may not inconveniently be reduc'd to them. And of these I shall name now a couple, without denying that there may be more.

The first may be drawn from the practise of those that Dye Scarlet. For the famousest Master in that Art, either in England or Holland, has confess'd to me, that neither others, nor he can strike that lovely Colour which is now wont to be call'd the Bow-Dye, without their Materials be Boyl'd in Vessels, either made of, or lin'd with a particular Metall. But of what I have known attempted in this kind, I must not as yet for fear of prejudicing or displeasing others give you any particular Account.[24]

The other way (Pyrophilus) of making Metals afford unobvious Colours, is by imbuing divers Bodies with Solutions of them made in their proper Menstruum's, As (for Instance) though Copper plentifully dissolv'd in Aqua fortis, will imbue several Bodies with the Colour of the Solution; Yet Some other Metalls will not (as I elsewhere tell you) and have often try'd. Gold dissolv'd in Aqua Regia, will, (which is not commonly known) Dye the Nails and Skin, and Hafts of Knives, and other things made of Ivory, not with a Golden, but a Purple Colour, which though it manifest it self but slowly, is very durable, and scarce ever to be wash'd out. And if I misremember not, I have already told you in this Treatise, that the purer Crystals of fine Silver made with Aqua fortis, though they appear White, will presently Dye the Skin and Nails, with a Black, or at least a very Dark Colour, which Water will not wash off, as it will ordinary Ink from the same parts. And divers other Bodies may the Same way be Dy'd, some of a Black, and others of a Blackish Colour.

[24] See the latter end of the fiftieth Experiment.

And as Metalline, so likewise Mineral Solutions may produce Colours differing enough from those of the Liquors themselves. I shall not fetch an Example of this, from what we daily see happen in the powdring of Beef, which by the Brine imploy'd about it (especially if the flesh be over salted) do's oftentimes appear at our Tables of a Green, and sometimes of a Reddish Colour, (deep enough) nor shall I insist on the practise of some that deal in Salt Petre, who, (as I suspected, and as themselves acknowledg'd to me) do, with the mixture of a certain proportion of that; and common Salt, give a fine Redness, not only to Neats Tongues, but which is more pretty as well as difficult, to such flesh, as would otherwise be purely White; These Examples, I say, I shall decline insisting on, as chusing rather to tell you, that I have several times try'd, that a Solution of the Sulphur of Vitriol, or ev'n of common Sulphur, though the Liquor appear'd clear enough, would immediately tinge a piece of new Coin, or other clean Silver, sometimes with a Golden, sometimes with a deeper, and more Reddish colour, according to the strength of the Solution, and the quantity of it, that chanc'd to adhere to the Metall; which may take off your wonder that the water of the hot Spring at Bath, abounding with dissolv'd Substances of a very Sulphureous Nature, should for a while, as it were gild, the new or clean pieces of Silver coyn, that are for a due time immers'd in it. And to these may be added those formerly mention'd Examples of the adventitious Colours of Mineral Bodies; which brings into my mind, that, ev'n Vegetable Liquors, whether by degeneration, or by altering the Texture of the Body that imbibes them, may stain other Bodies with Colours differing enough, from their own, of which very good Herbarists have afforded us a notable Example, by affirming that the Juice of Alcanna being green (in which state I could never here procure it) do's yet Dye the Skin and Nails of a Lasting Red. But I see this Treatise is like to prove too bulky without the addition of further Instances of this Nature.


Meeting the other day, Pyrophilus, in an Italian book, that treats of other matters, with a way of preparing what the Author calls a Lacca of Vegetables, by which the Italians mean a kind of Extract fit for Painting, like that rich Lacca in English commonly call'd Lake, which is imploy'd by Painters as a glorious Red. And finding the Experiment not to be inconsiderable, and very defectively set down, it will not be amiss to acquaint you with what some Tryals have inform'd us, in reference to this Experiment, which both by our Italian Author, and by divers of his Countrymen, is look'd upon as no trifling Secret.

Take then the root call'd in Latin Curcuma, and in English Turmerick, (which I made use of, because it was then at hand, and is among Vegetables fit for that purpose one of the most easiest to be had) and when it is beaten, put what Quantity of it you please into fair Water, adding to every pound of Water about a spoonfull or better of as strong a Lixivium or Solution of Potashes as you can well make, clarifying it by Filtration before you put it to the Decocting water. Let these things boyl, or rather simper over a soft Fire in a clean glaz'd Earthen Vessel, till you find by the Immersion of a sheet of White Paper (or by some other way of Tryal) that the Liquor is sufficiently impregnated with the Golden Tincture of the Turmerick, then take the Decoction off the Fire, and Filter or Strain it that it may be clean, and leisurely dropping into it a strong Solution of Roch Allum, you shall find the Decoction as it were curdl'd, and the tincted part of it either to emerge, to subside, or to swim up and down, like little Yellow flakes; and if you pour this mixture into a Tunnel lin'd with Cap Paper, the Liquor that Filtred formerly so Yellow, will now pass clean thorow the Filtre, leaving its tincted, and as it were curdled parts in the Filtre, upon which fair Water must be so often pour'd, till you have Dulcifi'd the matter therein contain'd, the sign of which Dulcification is (you know) when the Water that has pass'd through it, comes from it as tasteless as it was pour'd on it. And if without Filtration you would gather together the flakes of this Vegetable Lake, you must pour a great Quantity of fair Water upon the Decoction after the affusion of the Alluminous Solution, and you shall find the Liquor to grow clearer, and the Lake to settle together at the bottom, or emerge to the top of the Water, though sometimes having not pour'd out a sufficient Quantity of fair Water, we have observ'd the Lake partly to subside, and partly to emerge, leaving all the middle of the Liquor clear. But to make this Lake fit for use, it must by repeated affusions of fresh Water, be Dulcifi'd from the adhering Salts, as well as that separated by Filtration, and be spread and suffer'd to dry leisurely upon pieces of Cloth, with Brown Paper, or Chalk, or Bricks under them to imbibe the Moisture[25].

[Page 372] Annotation I.

Whereas it is presum'd that the Magistery of Vegetables obtain'd this way consists but of the more Soluble and Coloured parts of the Plants that afford it, I must take the liberty to Question the supposition. And for my so doing, I shall give you this account.

According to the Notions (such as they were) that I had concerning Salts; Allom, though to sense a Homogeneous Body, ought not to be reckon'd among true Salts, but to be it self look'd upon as a kind of Magistery, in regard that as Native Vitriol (for such I have had) contains both a Saline substance and a Metall, whether Copper, or Iron, corroded by it, and associated with it; so Allom which may be of so near a kin to Vitriol, that in some places of England (as we are assur'd by good Authority the same stone will sometimes afford both) seems manifestly to contain a peculiar kind of Acid Spirit, generated in the Bowels of the Earth, and some kind of stony matter dissolv'd by it. And though in making our ordinary Allom, the Workmen use the Ashes of a Sea Weed (vulgarly call'd Kelp) and Urine: yet those that should know, inform us, that, here in England, there is besides the factitious Allom, Allom made by Nature Without the help of those Additaments. Now (Pyrophilus) when I consider'd this composition of Allom, and that Alcalizate Salts are wont to Praecipitate what acid Salts have dissolv'd, I could not but be prone to suspect that the Curdled Matter, which is call'd the Magistery of Vegetables, may have in it no inconsiderable proportion of a stony substance Praecipitated out of the Allom by the Lixivium, wherein the Vegetable had been decocted, and to shew you, that there is no necessity, that all the curdl'd substance must belong to the Vegetable, I shall add, that I took a strong Solution of Allom, and having Filtred it, by pouring in a convenient Quantity of a strong Solution of Potashes, I presently, as I expected, turn'd the mixture into a kind of white Curds, which being put to Filtre, the Paper retain'd a stony Calx, copious enough, very White, and which seem'd to be of a Mineral Nature, both by some other signes, and this, that little Bits of it being put upon a live Coal, which was Gently Blown whilst they were on it, they did neither melt nor fly away, and you may keep a Quantity of this White substance for a good while, (nay for ought I can guess for a very long one) in a red hot Crucible without losing or spoiling it; nor did hot Water wherein I purposely kept another parcel of such Calx, seem to do any more than wash away the looser adhering Salts from the stony substance, which therefore seem'd unlikely to be separable by ablutions (though reiterated) from the Praecipitated parts of the Vegetable, whose Lake is intended. And to shew you, that there is likewise in Allom a Body, with which the fix'd Salt of the Alcalizate Solution will concoagulate into a Saline Substance differing from either of them, I shall add, that I have taken pleasure to recover out of the slowly exhal'd Liquor, that pass'd through the filtre, and left the foremention'd Calx behind, a Body that at least seem'd a Salt very pretty to look on, as being very White, and consisting of an innumerable company of exceeding slender, and shining Particles, which would in part easily melt at the flame of a Candle, and in part flye away with some little noise. But of this substance, and its odd Qualities more perhaps elsewhere; for now I shall only take notice to you, that I have likewise with Urinous Salts, such as the Spirit of Sal Armoniack, as well as with the Spirit of Urine it self, Nay, (if I much mistake not) ev'n with Stale Urine undistil'd, easily Precipitated such a White Calx as I was formerly speaking of, out of a Limpid Solution of Allom, so that there is need of Circumspection in judging of the Natures of Liquors by Precipitations wherein Allom intervenes, else we may sometimes mistakingly imagine that to be Precipitated out of a Liquor by Allom, which is rather Precipitated out of Allom by the Liquor: And this puts me in mind to tell you, that 'tis not unpleasant to behold how quickly the Solution of Allom (or injected lumps of Allom) do's occasion the severing of the colour'd parts of the Decoction from the Liquor that seem'd to have so perfectly imbib'd them.

[25] The Curious Reader that desires further Information concerning Lakes, may Resort to the 7th Book of Neri's Art of Glass, Englished (6 or 7 years since the Writing of this 49th Experiment) and Illustrated with Learned Observations, by the Inquisitive and experienc'd Dr. Charles Merret.

Annot. II.

The above mention'd way of making Lakes we have tryed not only with Turmerick, but also with Madder, which yielded us a Red Lake; and with Rue, which afforded us an extract, of (almost if not altogether) the same Colour with that of the leaves.

But in regard that 'tis Principally the Alcalizate Salt of the Pot-ashes, which enables the water to Extract so powerfully the Tincture of the Decocted Vegetables, I fear that our Author may be mistaken by supposing that the Decoction will alwayes be of the very same Colour with the Vegetable it is made off. For Lixiviate Salts, to which Pot-ashes eminently belong, though by peircing and opening the Bodies of Vegetables, they prepare and dispose them to part readily with their Tincture, yet some Tinctures they do not only draw out, but likewise alter them, as may be easily made appear by many of the Experiments already set down in this Treatise, and though Allom being of an Acid Nature, its Solutions may in some Cases destroy the Adventitious Colours produc'd by the Alcaly, and restore the former: yet besides that Allom is not, as I have lately shown, a meer Acid Salt, but a mixt Body, and besides, that its operations are languid in comparison of the activity of Salts freed by Distillation, or by Incineration and Dissolution, from the most of their Earthy parts, we have seen already Examples, that in divers Cases an Acid Salt will not restore a Vegetable substance to the Colour of which an Alcalizate one had depriv'd it, but makes it assume a third very differing from both, as we formerly told you, that if Syrrup of Violets were by an Alcaly turn'd Green, (which Colour, as I have try'd, may be the same way produc'd in the Violet-leaves themselves without any Relation to a Syrrup) an Acid Salt would not make it Blew again, but Red. And though I have by this way of making Lakes, made Magisteries (for such they seem to be) of Brazil, and as I remember of Cochinele it self, and of other things, Red, Yellow or Green which Lakes were enobled with a Rich Colour, and others had no bad one; yet in some the colour of the Lake seem'd rather inferiour than otherwise to that of the Plant, and in others it seem'd both very differing, and much worse; but Writing this in a time and place where I cannot provide my self of Flowres and other Vegetables to prosecute such Tryals in a competent variety of Subjects, I am content not to be positive in delivering a judgment of this way of Lakes, till Experience, or You, Pyrophilus, shall have afforded me a fuller and more particular Information.

Annotation III.

And on this occasion (Pyrophilus) I must here (having forgot to do it sooner) advertise you once for all, that having written several of the foregoing Experiments, not only in haste but at seasons of the year, and in places wherein I could not furnish my self with such Instruments, and such a variety of Materials, as the design of giving you an Introduction into the History of Colours requir'd, it can scarce be otherwise but that divers of the Experiments, that I have set down, may afford you some matter of new Tryals, if you think fit to supply the deficiencies of some of them (especially the freshly mention'd about Lakes, and those that concern Emphatical Colours) which deficiencies for want of being befriended with accommodations I could better discern than avoid.

Annotation IV.

The use of Allom is very great as well as familiar in the Dyers Trade, and I have not been ill pleas'd with the use I have been able to make of it in preparing other pigments than those they imploy with Vegetable Juices. But the Lucriferous practises of Dyers and other Tradesmen, I do, for Reasons that you may know when you please, purposely forbear in this Essay, though not strictly from pointing at, yet from making it a part of my present work explicitly and circumstantially to deliver, especially since I now find (though late and not without some Blushes at my prolixity) that what I intended but for a short Essay, is already swell'd into almost a Volume.


Yet here, Pyrophilus, I must take leave to insert an Experiment, though perhaps you'l think its coming in here an Intrusion, For I confess its more proper place would have been among those Experiments, that were brought as proofs and applications of our Notions concerning the differences of Salts; but not having remembred to insert it in its fittest place, I had rather take notice of it in this, than leave it quite unmention'd: partly because it doth somewhat differ from the rest of our Experiments about Colours, in the way whereby 'tis made; and partly because the grounds upon which I devis'd it, may hint to you somewhat of the Method I use in Designing and Varying Experiments about Colours, and upon this account I shall inform you, not only What I did, but Why I did it.

I consider'd then that the work of the former Experiments was either to change the Colour of a Body into another, or quite to destroy it, without giving it a successor, but I had a mind to give you also a way, whereby to turn a Body endued with one Colour into two Bodies, of Colours, as well as consistencies, very distinct from each other, and that by the help of a Body that had it self no Colour at all. In order to this, I remembred, that finding the Acidity of Spirit of Vinegar to be wholly destroy'd by its working upon Minium (or calcin'd Lead) whereby the Saline particles of the Menstruum have their Taste and Nature quite alter'd, I had, among other Conjectures I had built upon that change, rightly concluded, that the Solution of Lead in Spirit of Vinegar would alter the Colour of the Juices and Infusions of Several Plants, much after the like manner that I had found Oyl of Tartar to do; and accordingly I was quickly satisfied upon Tryal, that the Infusion of Rose-leaves would by a small quantity of this Solution well mingl'd with it, be immediately turn'd into a somewhat sad Green.

And further, I had often found, that Oyl of Vitriol, though a potently Acid Menstruum, will yet Praecipitate many Bodies, both Mineral and others, dissolv'd not onely in Aqua fortis (as some Chymists have observ'd) but particularly in Spirit of Vinegar, and I have further found, that the Calces or Powders Praecipitated by this Liquor were usually fair and White.

Laying these things together, 'twas not difficult to conclude, that if upon a good Tincture of Red Rose-leaves made with fair Water, I dropp'd a pretty quantity of a strong and sweet Solution of Minium, the Liquor would be turn'd into the like muddy Green Substance, as I have formerly intimated to You, that Oyl of Tartar would reduce it to, and that if then I added a convenient quantity of good Oyl of Vitriol, this last nam'd Liquor would have two distinct operations upon the Mixture, the one, that it would Praecipitate that resolv'd Lead in the form of a White Powder; the other, that it would Clarifie the muddy Mixture, and both restore, and exceedingly heighten the Redness of the Infusion of Roses, which was the most copious Ingredient of the Green composition, and accordingly trying the Experiment in a Wine glass sharp at the bottom (like an inverted Cone) that the subsiding Powder might seem to take up the more room, and be the more conspicuous, I found that when I had shaken the Green Mixture, that the colour'd Liquor might be the more equally dispersed, a few drops of the rectifi'd Oyl of Vitriol did presently turn the opacous Liquor into one that was cleer and Red, almost like a Rubie, and threw down good store of a Powder, which when 'twas settl'd, would have appear'd very White, if some interspers'd Particles of the red Liquor had not a little Allay'd the Purity, though not blemish'd the Beauty of the Colour. And to shew you, Pyrophilus, that these Effects do not flow from the Oyl of Vitriol, as it is such, but as it is a strongly Acid Menstruum, that has the property both to Praecipitate Lead, as well as some other Concretes out of Spirit of Vinegar, and to heighten the Colour of Red Rose-leaves, I add, that I have done the same thing, though perhaps not quite so well with Spirit of Salt, and that I could not do it with Aqua-fortis, because though that potent Menstruum does as well as the others heighthen the Redness of Roses, yet it would not like them Precipitate Lead out of Spirit of Vinegar, but would rather have dissolv'd it, if it had not found it dissolv'd already.

And as by this way we have produc'd a Red Liquor, and a White Precipitate out of a Dirty Green magistery of Rose-leaves, so by the same Method, you may produce a fair Yellow, and sometimes a Red Liquor, and the like Precipitate, out of an Infusion of a curious Purple Colour. For you may call to mind, that in the Annotation upon the 39th. Experiment I intimated to you, that I had with a few drops of an Alcaly turn'd the Infusion of Logg-wood into a lovely Purple. Now if instead of this Alcaly I substituted a very Strong and well Filtrated Solution of Minium, made with Spirit of Vinegar, and put about half as much of this Liquor as there was of the Infusion of Logg-wood, (that the mixture might afford a pretty deal of Precipitate,) the affusion of a convenient proportion of Spirit of Salt, would (if the Liquors were well and nimbly stirr'd together) presently strike down a Precipitate like that formerly mention'd, and turn the Liquor that swam above it, for the most part into a lovely Yellow.

But for the advancing of this Experiment a little further, I consider'd, that in case I first turn'd a spoonfull of the infusion of Logg-wood Purple, by a convenient proportion of the Solution of Minium, the Affusion of Spirit of Sal Armnoniack, would Precipitate the Corpuscles of Lead conceal'd in the Solution of Minium, and yet not destroy the Purple colour of the Liquor; whereupon I thus proceeded; I took about a spoonfull of the fresh Tincture of Logg-wood, (for I found that if it were stale the Experiment would not alwayes succeed,) and having put to it a convenient proportion of the Solution of Minium to turn it into a deep and almost opacous Purple, I then drop'd in as much Spirit of Sal Armoniack, as I guess'd would Precipitate about half or more (but not all) of the Lead, and immediately stirring the mixture well together, I mingled the Precipitated parts with the others, so that they fell to the bottom, partly in the form of a Powder, and partly in the form of a Curdled Substance, that (by reason of the Predominancy of the Ting'd Corpuscles over the White) retain'd as well as the Supernatant Liquor; a Blewish Purple colour sufficiently Deep, and then instantly (but yet Warily,) pouring on a pretty Quantity of Spirit of Salt, the matter first Precipitated, was, by the above specified figure of the bottome of the Glass preserv'd from being reach'd by the Spirituous Salt; which hastily Precipitated upon it a new Bed (if I may so call it) of White Powder, being the remaining Corpuscles of the Lead, that the Urinous Spirit had not struck down: So that there appear'd in the Glass three distinct and very differingly colour'd Substances; a Purple or Violet-colour'd Precipitate at the bottom, a White and Carnation (sometimes a Variously colour'd) Precipitate over That, and at the Top of all a Transparent Liquor of a lovely Yellow, or Red.

Thus you see, Pyrophilus, that though to some I may have seem'd to have lighted on this (50th.) Experiment by chance, and though others may imagine, that to have excogitated it, must have proceeded from some extraordinary insight into the nature of Colours, yet indeed, the devising of it need not be look'd upon as any great matter, especially to one that is a little vers'd in the notions, I have in these, and other Papers hinted concerning the differences of Salts. And perhaps I might add upon more than conjecture, that these very notions and some particulars scatteringly deliver'd in this Treatise, being skilfully put together, may suggest divers matters (at least,) about Colours, that will not be altogether Despicable. But those hinted, Pyrophilus, I must now leave such as You to prosecute, having already spent farr more time than I intended to allow my self in acquainting You with particular Experiments and Observations concerning the changes of Colour, to which I might have added many more, but that I hope I may have presented You with a competent number to make out in some measure what I have at the beginning of this Essay either propos'd as my Design in this Tract, or deliver'd as my Conjectures concerning these matters. And it not being my present Designe, as I have more than once Declar'd, to deliver any Positive Hypothesis or solemn Theory of Colours, but only to furnish You with some Experiments towards the framing of such a Theory; I shall add nothing to what I have said already, but a request that you would not be forward to think I have been mistaken in any thing I have deliver'd as matter of Fact concerning the changes of Colours, in case you should not every time you trye it, find it exactly to succeed. For besides the Contingencies to which we have elsewhere shewn some other Experiments to be obnoxious, the omission or variation of a seemingly unconsiderable circumstance, may hinder the success of an Experiment, wherein no other fault has been committed. Of which truth I shall only give you that single and almost obvious, but yet illustrious instance of the Art of Dying Scarlets, for though you should see every Ingredient that is us'd about it, though I should particularly inform You of the weight of each, and though you should be present at the kindling of the fire, and at the increasing and remitting of it, when ever the degree of Heat is to be alter'd, and though (in a word) you should see every thing done so particularly that you would scarce harbour the least doubt of your comprehending the whole Art: Yet if I should not disclose to You, that the Vessels, that immediately contain the Tinging Ingredients, are to be made of or to be lin'd with Tin, You would never be able by all that I could tell you else (at-least, if the Famousest and Candidest Artificers do not strangely delude themselves) to bring your Tincture of Chochinele to Dye a perfect Scarlet. So much depends upon the very Vessel, wherein the Tinging matters are boyl'd, and so great an Influence may an unheeded Circumstance have on the Success of Experiments concerning Colours.

* * * * *


* * * * *


About a Diamond that Shines in the Dark.

First enclosed in a Letter written to a Friend,

And now together with it annexed to the Foregoing Treatise, upon the score of the Affinity Betwixt Light and Colours.

* * * * *


Printed for Henry Herringman. 1664

* * * * *


That Mr. Boyle wrote to Sir Robert Morray, to accompany the Observations touching the Shining Diamond.


Though Sir Robert Morray and Monsieur Zulichem be Persons that have deserv'd so well of the Commonwealth of Learning, that I should think my self unworthy to be look'd upon as a Member of it, if I declin'd to Obey them, or to Serve them; yet I should not without Reluctancy send you the Notes, you desire for him, if I did not hope that you will transmit together with them, some Account why they are not less unworthy of his perusal; which, that you may do; I must inform you, how the writing of them was Occasion'd, which in short was thus. As I was just going out of Town, hearing that an Ingenious Gentleman of my Acquaintance, lately return'd from Italy, had a Diamond, that being rubb'd, would shine in the Dark, and that he was not far off, I snatch'd time from my Occasions to make him a Visit, but finding him ready to go abroad, and having in vain try'd to make the Stone yield any Light in the Day time, I borrow'd it of him for that Night, upon condition to restore it him within a Day or two at furthest, at Gresham College, where we appointed to attend the meeting of the Society, that was then to be at that place. And hereupon I hasted that Evening out of Town, and finding after Supper that the Stone which in the Day time would afford no discernable Light, was really Conspicuous in the Dark, I was so taken with the Novelty, and so desirous to make some use of an opportunity that was like to last so little a while, that though at that time I had no body to assist me but a Foot-Boy, yet sitting up late, I made a shift that Night to try a pretty number of such of the things that then came into my thoughts, as were not in that place and time unpracticable. And the next Day being otherwise imploy'd, I was fain to make use of a drowsie part of the Night to set down hastily in Writing what I had observ'd, and without having the time in the Morning, to stay the transcribing of it, I order'd the Observations to be brought after me to Gresham College, where you may remember, that they were together with the Stone it self shown to the Royal Society, by which they had the good Fortune not to be dislik'd, though several things were through hast omitted, some of which you will find in the Margin of the inclosed Paper. The substance of this short Narrative I hope you will let Monsieur Zulichem know, that he may be kept from expecting any thing of finish'd in the Observations, and be dispos'd to excuse the want of it. But such as they are, I hope they will prove (without a Clinch) Luciferous Experiments, by setting the Speculations of the Curious on work, in a diligent Inquiry after the Nature of Light, towards the discovery of which, perhaps they have not yet met with so considerable an Experiment, since here we see Light produc'd in a dead and opacous Body, and that not as in rotten Wood, or in Fishes, or as in the Bolonian Stone, by a Natural Corruption, or by a Violent Destruction of the Texture of the Body, but by so slight a Mechanical operation upon its Texture, as we seem to know what it is, and as is immediately perform'd, and that several wayes without at all prejudicing the Body, or making any sensible alterations in its Manifest Qualities. And I am the more willing to expose my hasty Tryals to Monsieur Zulichem, and to You, because, he being upon the Consideration of Dioptricks, so odd a Phaenomenon relateing to the Subject, as probably he treats of, Light will, I hope, excite a person to consider it, that is wont to consider things he treats of very well. And for you Sir, I hope you will both recrute and perfect the Observations you receive, For you know that I cannot add to them, having a good while since restor'd to Mr. Clayton the Stone, which though it be now in the hands of a Prince that so highly deserves, by understanding them, the greatest Curiosities; yet he vouchsafes you that access to him as keeps me from doubting, you may easily obtain leave to make further Tryals with it, of such a Monarch as ours, that is not more inquisitive himself, than a favourer of them that are so. I doubt not but these Notes will put you in mind of the Motion you made to the Society, to impose upon me the Task of bringing in, what I had on other occasions observ'd concerning shining Bodies. But though I deny not, that I sometimes made observations about the Bolonian Stone, and try'd some Experiments about some other shining Bodies; Yet the same Reasons that reduc'd me then to be unwilling to receive ev'n their commands, must now be my Apology for not answering your Expectations, Namely the abstruse nature of Light, and my being already over-burden'd, and but too much kept imploy'd by the Urgency of the Press, as well as by more concerning and distracting Occasions. But yet I will tell you some part of what I have met with in reference to the Stone, of which I send you an account. Because I find on the one side, that a great many think it no Rarity upon a mistaken perswasion, that not only there are store of Carbuncles, of which this is one; but that all Diamonds and other Glistering Jewels shine in the Dark. Whereas on the other side there are very Learn'd Men, who (plausibly enough) deny that there are any Carbuncles or shining Stones at all.

And certainly, those Judicious men have much more to say for themselves, than the others commonly Plead, and therefore did deservedly look upon Mr. Clayton's Diamond as a great Rarity. For not only Boetius de Boot, who is judg'd the best Author on this Subject, ascribes no such Virtue to Diamonds, but begins what he delivers of Carbuncles, with this passage.[26] Magna fama est Carbunculi. Is vulgo putatur in tenebris Carbonis instar lucere; fortassis quia Pyropus seu Anthrax appellatus a veteribus fuit. Verum hactenus nemo nunquam vere asserere ausus fuit, se gemmam noctu lucentem vidisse. Garcias ab Horto proregis Indiae Medicus, refert se allocutum fuisse, qui se vidisse affirmarent. Sed iis fidem non habuit. And a later Author, the Diligent and Judicious Johannes de Laet in his Chapter of Carbuncles and of Rubies, has this passage. Quia autem Carbunculi, Pyropi & Anthraces a veteribus nominantur, vulgo creditum fuit, Carbonis instar in tenebris lucere, quod tamen nulla gemma hastenus deprehensum, licet a quibusdam temere jactetur. And the recentest Writer I have met with on this Subject, Olaus Wormius, in his Account of his well furnish'd Musaeum, do's, where he treats of Rubies, concurr with the former Writers by these Words.[27] Sunt qui Rubinum veterum Carbunculum esse existimant, sed deest una illa nota, quod in tenebris instar Anthracis non luceat: Ast talem Carbunculum in rerum natura non inveniri major pars Authoram existimant. Licet unum aut alterum in India apud Magnates quosdam reperiri scribant, cum tamen ex aliorum relatione id habeant saltem, sed ipsi non viderint. In confirmation of which I shall only add, that hearing of a Rubie, so very Vivid, that the Jewellers themselves have several times begg'd leave of the fair Lady to whom it belong'd, that they might try their choicest Rubies by comparing them with That, I had the Opportunity by the Favour of this Lady and her Husband, (both which I have the Honour to be acquainted with) to make a Trial of this famous Rubie in the Night, and in a Room well Darkn'd, but not only could not discern any thing of Light, by looking on the Stone before any thing had been done to it, but could not by all my Rubbing bring it to afford the least Glimmering of Light.

[26] Boetius de Boot. Gem. & Lapid. Histor. Lib. 3. Cap. 8.

[27] Musaei Wormiani. Cap. 17.

But, Sir, though I be very backward to admit strange things for truths, yet I am not very forward to reject them as impossibilities, and therefore I would not discourage any from making further Inquiry, whether or no there be Really in Rerum natura, any such thing as a true Carbuncle or Stone that without Rubbing will shine in the Dark. For if such a thing can be found, it may afford no small Assistance to the Curious in the Investigation of Light, besides the Nobleness and Rarity of the thing it selfe. And though Vartomannus was not an Eye witness of what he relates, that the King of Pegu, one of the Chief Kings of the East-Indies, had a true Carbuncle of that Bigness and Splendour, that it shin'd very Gloriously in the Dark, and though Garcias ab Horto, the Indian Vice-Roys Physician, speaks of another Carbuncle, only upon the Report of one, that he Discours'd with, who affirmed himself to have seen it; yet as we are not sure that these Men that gave themselves out to be Eye-witnesses speak true, yet they may have done so for ought we know to the contrary. And I could present you with a much considerabler Testimony to the same purpose, if I had the permission of a Person concern'd, without whose leave I must not do it. I might tell you that Marcus Paulus Venetus[28] (whose suppos'd Fables, divers of our later Travellours and Navigatours have since found to be truths) speaking of the King of Zeilan that then was, tells us, that he was said to have the best Rubie in the World, a Palm long and as big as a mans Arm, without spot, shining like a Fire, and he subjoyns, that the Great Cham, under whom Paulus was a considerable Officer, sent and offer'd the value of a City for it; But the King answer'd, he would not give it for the treasure of the World, nor part with it, having been his Ancestours. And I could add, that in the Relation made by two Russian Cossacks of their Journey into Catay[29], written to their Emperour, they mention'd their having been told by the people of those parts, that their King had a Stone, which Lights as the Sun both Day and Night, call'd in their Language Sarra, which those Cossacks interpret a Ruby. But these Relations are too uncertain for me to build any thing upon, and therefore I shall proceed to tell you, that there came hither about two years since out of America, the Governour of one of the Principal Colonies there, an Ancient Virtuoso, and one that has the Honour to be a member of the Royal Society; this Gentleman finding some of the chief Affairs of his Country committed to another and me, made me divers Visits, and in one of them when I enquir'd what Rare Stones they had in those parts of the Indies he belong'd to, he told me, that the Indians had a Tradition that in a certain hardly accessible Hill, a pretty way up in the Country, there was a Stone which in the Night time shin'd very vividly, and to a great distance, and he assur'd me, that though he thought it not fit to venture himself so far among those Savages, yet he purposely sent thither a bold Englishman, with some Natives to be his guides, and that this Messenger brought him back word, that at a distance from the Hillock he had plainly perceiv'd such a shining Substance as the Indians Tradition mention'd, and being stimulated by Curiosity, had slighted those Superstitious Fears of the Inhabitants, and with much ado by reason of the Difficulty of the way, had made a shift to clamber up to that part of the Hill, where, by a very heedful Observation, he suppos'd himself to have seen the Light: but whether 'twere that he had mistaken the place, or for some other Reason, he could not find it there, though when he was return'd to his former Station, he did agen see the Light shining in the same place where it shone before. A further Account of this Light I expect from the Gentleman that gave me this, who lately sent me the news of his being landed in that Country. And though I reserve to my self a full Liberty of Believing no more than I see cause; yet I do the less scruple to relate this, because a good part of it agrees well enough with another Story that I shall in the next place have occasion to subjoyn, in order whereunto I shall tell you, that though the Learned Authors I formerly mention'd, tell us, that no Writer has affirm'd his having himself seen a real Carbuncle, yet, considering the Light of Mr. Claytons Diamond, it recall'd into my mind, that some years before, when I was Inquisitive about Stones, I had met with an old Italian Book highly extoll'd to me by very competent Judges, and that though the Book were very scarce, I had purchas'd it at a dear Rate, for the sake of a few considerable passages I met with in it, and particularly one, which being very remarkable in it self, and pertinent to our present Argument, I shall put it for you, though not word for word, which I fear I have forgot to do, yet as to the Sense, into English.

[28] Purchas's Pilgrim. lib. 1. cap. 4. pag. 104.

[29] In the year 1619.

Having promis'd (Says our Author)[30] to say something of that most precious sort of Jewels, Carbuncles, because they are very rarely to be met with, we shall briefly deliver what we know of them. In Clement the seventh's time, I happen'd to see one of them at a certain Ragusian Merchants, nam'd Beigoio di Bona, This was a Carbuncle white, of that kind of whiteness which we said was to be found in those Rubies of which we made mention a little above, (where he had said that those Rubies had a kind of Livid Whiteness or Paleness like that of a Calcidonian) but it had in it a Lustre so pleasing and so marveilous, that it shin'd in the Dark, but not as much as colour'd Carbuncles, though it be true, that in an exceeding Dark place I saw it shine in the manner of fire almost gone out. But as for colour'd Carbuncles, it has not been my Fortune to have seen any, wherefore I will onely set down what I Learn'd about them Discoursing in my Youth with a Roman Gentleman of antient Experience in matters of Jewels, who told me, That one Jacopo Cola being by Night in a Vineyard of his, and espying something in the midst of it, that shin'd like a little glowing Coal, at the foot of a Vine, went near towards the place where he thought himself to have seen that fire, but not finding it, he said, that being return'd to the same place, whence he had first descry'd it, and perceiving there the same splendor as before, he mark'd it so heedfully, that he came at length to it, where he took up a very little Stone, which he carry'd away with Transports and Joy. And the next day carrying it about to show it divers of his Friends, whilst he was relating after what manner he found it, there casually interven'd a Venetian Embassadour, exceedingly expert in Jewels, who presently knowing it to be a Carbuncle, did craftily before he and the said Jacopo parted (so that there was no Body present that understood the Worth of so Precious a Gemm) purchase it for the Value of 10. Crowns, and the next day left Rome to shun the being necessitated to restore it, and (as he affirm'd) it was known within some while after that the said Venetian Gentleman did in Constantinople sell that Carbuncle to the then Grand Seignior, newly come to the Empire, for a hundred thousand Crowns. And this is what I can say concerning Carbuncles, and this is not a little at least as to the first part of this account, where our Cellini affirms himself to have seen a Real Carbuncle with his own Eyes, especially since this Author appears wary in what he delivers, and is inclin'd rather to lessen, than increase the wonder of it. And his Testimony is the more considerable, because though he were born a Subject neither to the Pope nor the then King of France (that Royal Virtuoso Francis the first) yet both the one and the other of those Princes imploy'd him much about making of their Noblest Jewels. What is now reported concerning a Shining Substance to be seen in one of the Islands about Scotland, were very improper for me to mention to Sr. Robert Morray, to whom the first Information was Originally brought, and from whom I expect a farther (for I scarce dare expect a convincing) account of it. But I must not omit that some Virtuoso questioning me the other day at White-Hall about Mr. Claytons Diamond, and meeting amongst them an Ingenious Dutch Gentleman, whose Father was long Embassador for the Netherlands in England, I Learn'd of him, that, he is acquainted with a person, whose Name he told (but I do not well remember it) who was Admiral of the Dutch in the East-Indies, and who assur'd this Gentleman Monsieur Boreel, that at his return from thence he brought back with him into Holland a Stone, which though it look'd but like a Pale Dull Diamond, such as he saw Mr. Claytons to be, yet was it a Real Carbuncle, and did without rubbing shine so much, that when the Admiral had occasion to open a Chest which he kept under Deck in a Dark place, where 'twas forbidden to bring Candles for fear of Mischances, as soon as he open'd the Trunck, the Stone would by its Native Light, shine so as to Illustrate a great part of it, and this Gentleman having very civilly and readily granted me the request I made him, to Write to the Admiral, who is yet alive in Holland, (and probably may still have the Jewel by him,) for a particular account of this Stone, I hope ere long to receive it, which will be the more welcome to me, not onely because so unlikely a thing needs a cleer evidence, but because I have had some suspition of that (supposing the truth of the thing) what may be a shining Stone in a very hot Countrey as the East-Indies, may perhaps cease to be so (at least in certain seasons,) in one as cold as Holland. For I observ'd in the Diamond I send you an account of, that not onely rubbing but a very moderate degree of warmth, though excited by other wayes, would make it shine a little. And 'tis not impossible that there may be Stones as much more susceptible than that, of the Alterations requisite to make a Diamond shine, as that appeares to be more susceptible of them, than ordinary Diamonds. And I confess to you, that this is not the only odd suspition (for they are not so much as conjectures) that what I try'd upon this Diamond suggested to me. For not here to entertain you with the changes I think may be effected ev'n in harder sorts of Stones, by wayes not vulgar, nor very promising, because I may elsewhere have occasion to speak of them, and this Letter is but too Prolix already, that which I shall now acknowledge to you is, That I began to doubt whether there may not in some Cases be some Truth in what is said of the right Turquois, that it often changes Colour as the wearer is Sick or Well, and manifestly loses its splendor at his Death. For when I found that ev'n the warmth of an Affriction that lasted not above a quarter of a minute, Nay, that of my Body, (whose Constitution you know is none of the hottest) would make a manifest change in the solidest of Stones a Diamond, it seem'd not impossible, that certain warm and Saline steams issuing from the Body of a living man, may by their plenty or paucity, or by their peculiar Nature, or by the total absence of them, diversifie the Colour, and the splendor of so soft a Stone as the Turquois. And though I admir'd to see, that I know not how many Men otherwise Learn'd, should confidently ascribe to Jewels such Virtues as seem no way competible to Inanimate Agents, if to any Corporeal ones at all, yet as to what is affirm'd concerning the Turquois's changing Colour, I know not well how to reject the Affirmation of so Learned (and which in this case is much more considerable) so Judicious a Lapidary as Boetius de Boot[31], who upon his own particular and repeated Experience delivers so memorable a Narrative of the Turquois's changing Colour, that I cannot but think it worth your Perusal, especially since a much later and very Experienc'd Author, Olaus Wormius,[32] where he treats of that Stone, Confirms it with this Testimony. Imprimis memorandum exemplum quod Anshelmus Boetius de seipso refert, tam mutati Coloris, quam a casu preservationis. Cui & ipse haud dissimile adferre possum, nisi ex Anshelmo petitum quis putaret. I remember that I saw two or three years since a Turcois (worn in a Ring) wherein there were some small spots, which the Virtuoso whose it was asur'd me he had observ'd to grow sometimes greater sometimes less, and to be sometimes in one part of the Stone, sometimes in another. And I having encourag'd to make Pictures from time to time of the Stone, and of the Situation of the cloudy parts, thatso their Motion may be more indisputable, and better observ'd, he came to me about the midle of this very week, and assur'd me that he had, as I wish'd, made from time to time Schemes or Pictures of the differing parts of the Stone, whereby the several Removes and motions of the above mentioned Clouds are very manifest, though the cause seem'd to him very occult: these Pictures he has promis'd to show me, and is very ready to put the Stone it self into my hands. But the ring having been the other day casually broken upon his finger, unless it can be taken out, and set again without any considerable heat, he is loath to have it medled with, for fear its peculiarity should be thereby destroy'd. And possibly his apprehension would have been strengthen'd, if I had had opportunity to tell him what is related by the Learned Wormius[33] of an acquaintance of his, that had a Nephritick stone, of whose eminent Virtues he had often Experience ev'n in himself, and for that cause wore it still about his Wrist; and yet going upon a time into a Bath of fair Water only, wherein certain Herbs had been boyl'd, the Stone by being wetted with this decoction, was depriv'd of all his Virtue, whence Wormius takes Occasion to advertise the sick, to lay by such stones whensoever they make use of a Bath. And we might expect to find Turcos likewise, easily to be wrought upon in point of Colour, if that were true, which the curious Antonio Neri, in his ingenious Arte Vetraria[34] teaches of it, namely, That Turcois's discolour'd and grown white, will regain and acquire an excellent Colour, if you but keep them two or three days at most cover'd with Oyl of sweet Almonds kept in a temperate heat by warm ashes, I say if it were true, because I doubt whether it be so, and have not as yet had opportunity to satisfie my self by Tryals, because I find by the confession of the most Skilfull Persons among whom I have laid out for Turcoises, that the true ones are great rarities, though others be not at all so. And therefore I shall now only mind you of one thing that you know as well as I, namely, that the rare Stone which is called Oculus Mundi, if it be good in its Kind, will have so great a change made in its Texture by being barely left a while in the Languidest of Liquors, common Waters, that from Opacous it will become Transparent, and acquire a Lustre of which it will again be depriv'd, without using any other Art or Violence, by leaving it a while in the Air. And before experience had satisfy'd us of the truth of this, it seem'd as unlikely that common Water or Air, should work such great changes in that Gemm, as it now seems that the Effluviums of a human Body should effect lesser changes in a Turcois, especially if more susceptible of them, than other Stones of the same kind. But both my Watch and my Eyes tell me that 'tis now high time to think of going to sleep, matters of this Nature, will be better, as well as more easily, clear'd by Conference, than Writing. And therefore since I think you know me too well to make it needfull for me to disclame Credulity, notwithstanding my having entertain'd you with all these Extravagancies; for you know well, how wide a difference I am wont to put betwixt things that barely may be, and things that are, and between those Relations that are but not unworthy to be inquir'd into, and those that are not worthy to be actually believ'd; without making Apologies for my Ravings, I shall readily comply with the drowsiness that calls upon me to release You, and the rather, because Monsieur Zulichem being concern'd in your desire to know the few things I have observed about the shining Stone. To entertain those with Suspicions that are accustomed not to acquiesce but in Demonstrations, were a thing that cannot be look'd upon as other than very improper by,


Your most Affectionate


most Faithfull Servant,


[30] Benvonuto Cellini nell Arte del Gioiellare, Lib. 1. pag. 10.

[31] The Narrative in the Authors own words, is this. Ego (sayes he) sancte affirmare possum me unam aureo Annulo inclusam perpetuo gestare, cujus facultatem (si gemmae est) nunquam satis admirari potui. Gestaverat enim ante Triginta annos Hispanus quidam non procula puternis aedibus habitans. Is cum vita functus esset, & ipsius suspellex (ut moris apud nos est) venum exposita esset, inter caetera etiam Turcois exponebatur. Verum nemo (licet complures eo concurrissent, ut eam propter Coloris Elegantiam, quam vivo Domino habuerat emerent) sibi emptam voluit, pristinum enim nitorem & Colorem prorsus amiserat, ut potius Malachites, quam Turcois videretur. Aderat tum temporis gemmae habendae desiderio etiam parens & frater meus, qui antea saepius gratiam & elegantiam ipsius viderant, mirabundi eam nunc tam esse deformem, Emit eam nihilominus pater, satisque vili pretio, qua omnibus contemptui erat, ac presentes non eam esse quam Hispanus gestarat, arbitrarentur. Domum reversus Pater, qui tam turpem Gemmam gestare sibi indecorum putabat, eam mihi dono dat, inquiens; Quandoquidem, fili mi, vulgi fama est, Turcoidem, ut facultates suas exercere possit, dono dari debere tibi eam devoveo, ego acceptam Gemmam sculptori trado, at gentilitia mea insignia illi, quamadmodum fieri solet, in Jaspide Chalcedono, aliisque Ignobilioribus Gemmis, insculperat. Turpe enim existimabam, hujusmodi Gemma ornatus gratia, dum gratiam nullam haberet, uti. Paret Sculptor redditque Gemmam, quam gesto pro annulo Signatorio. Vix per mensem gestaram, redit illi pristinus color, sed non ita nitens propter Sculpturam, ac inaequalem superficiem. Miramur omnes gemmam, atque id praecipue quod color indies pulchrior fieret. Id quia observabam, nunquam fere eam a manu deposui, ita ut nunc adhuc candem gestem.

[32] Olaus Wormius, in Musae. 18 pag. 186.

[33] Musae. Worm. pag. 99.

[34] Arte Vetraria, lib. 7 cap. 102.

* * * * *


Made this 27th.[35] of October 1663. about Mr. Clayton's Diamond.[36]

Being look'd on in the Day time, though in a Bed, whose Curtains were carefully drawn, I could not discern it to Shine at all, though well Rubb'd, but about a little after Sun-set, whilst the Twilight yet lasted, Nay, this Morning[37] a pretty while after Sun-rising, (but before I had been abroad in the more freely inlightned Air of the Chamber) I could upon a light Affriction easily perceive the Stone to Shine.

[35] These were brought in and Read before the Royal Society, (the Day following) Oct. 28. 1663.

[36] The Stone it self being to be shown to the Royal Society, when the Observations were deliver'd, I was willing (being in haste) to omit the Description of it, which is in short, That it was a Flat or Table Diamond, of about a third part of an Inch in length, and somewhat less in breadth, that it was a Dull Stone, and of a very bad Water, having in the Day time very little of the Vividness of ev'n ordinary Diamonds, and being Blemished with a whitish Cloud about the middle of it, which covered near a third part of the Stone.

[37] Hast made me forget to take notice that I went abroad the same Morning, the Sun shining forth clear enough, to look upon the Diamond though a Microscope, that I might try whether by that Magnifying Glass any thing of peculiar could be discern'd in the Texture of the Stone, and especially of the whitish Cloud that possest a good part of it. But for all my attention I could not discover any peculiarity worth mentioning.

Secondly, The Candles being removed, I could not in a Dark place discern the Stone to have any Light, when I looked on it, without having Rubb'd or otherwise prepar'd it.

Thirdly, By two white Pibbles though hard Rubb'd one against another, nor by the long and vehement Affriction of Rock Crystal against a piece of Red cloath, nor yet by Rubbing two Diamonds set in Ring, as I had Rubb'd this Stone, I could produce any sensible degree of Light.

Fourthly, I found this Diamond hard enough, not only to enable me to write readily with it upon Glass, but to Grave on Rock Crystal it self.

Fifthly, I found this to have like other Diamonds, an Electrical faculty.[38]

[38] V. For it drew light Bodies like Amber, Jet, and other Concretes that are noted to do so; But its attractive power seem'd inferiour to theirs.

Sixthly, Being rubb'd upon my Cloaths, as is usual for the exciting of Amber, Wax, and other Electrical Bodies, it did in the Dark manifestly shine like Rotten Wood, or the Scales of Whitings, or other putrified Fish.

Seventhly, But this Conspicuousness was Fainter than that of the Scales, and Slabber (if I may so call it) of Whitings, and much Fainter than the Light of a Glow-worm, by which I have been sometimes able to Read a short Word, whereas after an ordinary Affriction of this Diamond I was not able to discern distinctly by the Light of it any of the nearest Bodies: And this Glimmering also did very manifestly and considerably Decay presently upon the ceasing of the Affriction, though the Stone continued Visible some while after.

Eighthly, But if it were Rubb'd upon a convenient Body for a pretty while, and Briskly enough, I found the Light would be for some moments much more considerable, almost like the Light of a Glow-worm, insomuch after I ceased Rubbing, I could with the Chaf'd stone exhibit a little Luminous Circle, like that, but not so bright as that which Children make by moving a stick Fir'd at the end, and in this case it would continue Visible about seven or eight times as long as I had been in Rubbing it.

Ninthly, I found that holding it a while near[39] the Flame of a Candle, (from which yet I was carefull to avert my Eyes) and being immediately remov'd into the Dark, it disclosed some faint Glimmering, but inferiour to that, it was wont to acquire by Rubbing. And afterward holding it near a Fire that had but little Flame, I found the Stone to be rather less than more excited, than it had been by the Candle.

[39] IX. We durst not hold it in the Flame of a Candle, no more than put it into a naked Fire; For fear too Violent a Heat (which has been observ'd to spoil many other precious Stones) should vitiate and impair a Jewel, that was but borrow'd, and was suppos'd to be the only one of its Kind.

Tenthly, I likewise indeavour'd to make it Shine, by holding it a pretty while in a very Dark place, over a thick piece of Iron, that was well Heated, but not to that Degree as to be Visibly so. And though at length I found, that by this way also, the Stone acquired some Glimmering, yet it was less than by either of the other ways above mention'd.

Eleventhly, I also brought it to some kind of Glimmering Light, by taking it into Bed with me, and holding it a good while upon a warm part of my Naked Body.

Twelfthly, To satisfie my self, whether the Motion introduc'd into the Stone did generate the Light upon the account of its producing Heat there, I held it near the Flame of a Candle, till it was qualify'd to shine pretty well in the Dark, and then immediately I apply'd a slender Hair to try whether it would attract it, but found not that it did so; though if it were made to shine by Rubbing, it was as I formerly noted Electrical. And for further Confirmation, though I once purposedly kept it so near the hot Iron I just now mention'd, as to make it sensibly Warm, yet it shin'd more Dimly than it had done by Affriction or the Flame of a Candle, though by both those ways it had not acquir'd any warmth that was sensible.

Thirteenthly, Having purposely rubb'd it upon several Bodies differing as to Colour, and as to Texture, there seem'd to be some little Disparity in the excitation (if I may so call it) of Light. Upon White and Red Cloths it seem'd to succeed best, especially in comparison of Black ones.

Fourteenthly, But to try what it would do rubb'd upon Bodies more hard, and less apt to yield Heat upon a light Affriction, than Cloath, I first rubb'd it upon a white wooden Box, by which it was excited, and afterwards upon a piece of purely Glazed Earth, which seem'd during the Attrition to make it Shine better than any of the other Bodies had done, without excepting the White ones, which I add, lest the Effect should be wholly ascrib'd to the disposition White Bodies are wont to have to Reflect much Light.

Fifteenthly, Having well excited the Stone, I nimbly plung'd it under Water[40], that I had provided for that purpose, and perceiv'd it to Shine whilst it was beneath the Surface of that Liquor, and this I did divers times. But when I indeavour'd to produce a Light by rubbing it upon the lately mentioned Cover of the Box, the Stone and it being both held beneath the Surface of the Water, I did not well satisfie my self in the Event of the Trial; But this I found, if I took the Stone out, and Rubb'd it upon a piece of Cloath, it would not as else it was wont to do, presently acquire a Luminousness, but needed to be rubb'd manifestly much longer before the desired Effect was found.

[40] XV. We likewise Plung'd it as soon as we had excited it, under Liquors of several sorts, as Spirit of Wine, Oyl both Chymical and express'd, an Acid Spirit, and as I remember an Alcalizate Solution, and found not any of those various Liquors to destroy its Shining property.

Sixteenthly, I also try'd several times, that by covering it with my warm Spittle (having no warm Water at hand) it did not lose his Light.[41]

[41] XVI. Having found by this Observation, that a warm Liquor would not extinguish Light in the Diamond, I thought fit to try, whether by reason of its warmth it would not excite it, and divers times I found, that if it were kept therein, till the Water had leisure to communicate some of its Heat to it, it would often shine as soon as it was taken out, and probably we should have seen it Shine more, whilst it was in the Water, if some degree of Opacity which heated Water is wont to acquire, upon the score of the Numerous little Bubbles generated in it, had not kept us from discerning the Lustre of the Stone.

Seventeenthly, Finding that by Rubbing the Stone with the Flat side downwards, I did by reason of the Opacity of the Ring; and the sudden Decay of Light upon the ceasing of the Attrition, probably lose the sight of the Stones greatest Vividness; and supposing that the Commotion made in one part of the stone will be easily propagated all over, I sometimes held the piece of Cloath upon which I rubb'd it, so, that one side of the Stone was exposed to my Eye, whilst I was rubbing the other, whereby it appear'd more Vivid than formerly, and to make Luminous Tracts by its Motions too and fro. And sometimes holding the Stone upwards, I rubb'd its Broad side with a fine smooth piece of Transparent Horn, by which means the Light through that Diaphanous Substance, did whilst I was actually rubbing the Stone, appear so Brisk that sometimes and in some places it seem'd to have little Sparks of fire.

Eighteenthly, I took also a piece of flat Blew Glass, and having rubb'd the Diamond well upon a Cloath, and nimbly clapt the Glass upon it, to try whether in case the Light could peirce it, it would by appearing Green, or of some other Colour than Blew, assist me to guess whether it self were sincere or no. But finding the Glass impervious to so faint a Light, I then thought it fit to try whether that hard Bodies would not by Attrition increase the Diamonds Light so as to become penetrable thereby, and accordingly when I rubb'd the Glass briskly upon the Stone, I found the Light to be Conspicuous enough, and somewhat Dy'd in its passage, but found it not easie to give a Name to the Colour it exhibited.

Lastly, To comply with the Suspition I had upon the whole Matter, that the chief manifest Change wrought in the Stone, was by Compression of its parts, rather than Incalescence, I took a piece of white Tile well Glaz'd, and if I press'd the Stone hard against it, it seem'd though I did not rub it to and fro, to shine at the Sides: And however it did both very manifestly and vigorously Shine, if whilst I so press'd it, I mov'd it any way upon the Surface of the Tile, though I did not make it draw a Line of above a quarter of an Inch long, or thereabouts. And though I made it not move to and fro, but only from one end of the short Line to the other, without any return or Lateral motion. Nay, after it had been often rubb'd, and suffer'd to lose its Light again, not only it seem'd more easie to be excited than at the beginning of the Night; but if I did press hard upon it with my Finger, at the very instant that I drew it briskly off, it would disclose a very Vivid but exceeding short Liv'd Splendour, not to call it a little Coruscation.[42] So that a Cartesian would scarce scruple to think he had found in this Stone no slight Confirmation of his Ingenious Masters Hypothesis, touching the Generation of Light in Sublunary Bodies, not sensibly Hot.

[42] I after bethought my self of imploying a way, which produc'd the desir'd Effect both sooner and better. For holding betwixt my Fingers a Steel Bodkin, near the Lower part of it, I press'd the point hard against the Surface of the Diamond, and much more if I struck the point against it, the Coruscation would be extremely suddain, and very Vivid, though very Vanishing too, and this way which commonly much surpris'd and pleas'd the Spectators, seem'd far more proper than the other, to show that pressure alone, if forcible enough, though it were so suddain, and short, that it could not well be suppos'd to give the Stone any thing near a sensible degree of Warmth, as may be suspected of Rubbing, yet 'tis sufficient to generate a very Vivid Light.

* * * * *

A Postscript.

Annexed some Hours after the Observations were Written.

So many particulars taken notice of in one Night, may make this Stone appear a kind of Prodigie, and the rather, because having try'd as I formerly noted, not only a fine Artificial Crystal, and some also that is Natural, but a Ruby and two Diamonds, I did not find that any of these disclos'd the like Glimmering of Light;[43] yet after all, perceiving by the Hardness, and the Testimony of a Skilfull Goldsmith, that this was rather a Natural than Artificial Stone; for fear lest there might be some difference in the way of Setting, or in the shape of the Diamonds I made use of, neither of which was like this, a flat Table-stone, I thought fit to make a farther Trial of my own Diamonds, by such a brisk and assiduous Affriction as might make amends for the Disadvantages above-mention'd, in case they were the cause of the unsuccessfulness of the former Attempts: And accordingly I found, that by this way I could easily bring a Diamond I wore on my Finger to disclose a Light, that was sensible enough, and continued so though I cover'd it with Spittle, and us'd some other trials about it. And this will much lessen the wonder of all the formerly mention'd Observations, by shewing that the properties that are so strange are not peculiar to one Diamond, but may be found in others also, and perhaps in divers other hard and Diaphanous Stones. Yet I hope that what this Discovery takes away from the Wonder of these Observations, it will add to the Instructiveness of them, by affording pregnants Hints, towards the Investigation of the Nature of Light.

[43] We afterwards, try'd precious Stones, as Diamonds, Rubies, Saphires, and Emeralls, &c. but found not any of them to Shine except some Diamonds, and of these we were not upon so little practice, able to fore-tell before hand, which would be brought to Shine, and which would not; For several very good Diamonds, either would not Shine at all, or much less than others that were farr inferiour to them. And yet those Ingenious Men are mistaken, that think a Diamond must be foul and cloudy, as Mr. Claytons was, to be fit for Shining; for as we could bring some such to afford a Glimmering Light, so with some clear and excellent Diamonds, we could do the like. But none of those many that we try'd of all Kinds, were equal to the Diamond on which the Observations were made, not only considering the degree of Light it afforded, but the easiness wherewith it was excited, and the Comparatively great duration of its Shining.


* * * * *

Transcriber's notes.

The Errata of the printed book have all been corrected. They were as follows:

Pag. 142. l. 20. These words, And to manifest, with the rest of what is by a mistake further printed in this fourth Experiment, belongeth, and is to be referred to the end of the second Eperiment, p.137. pag. 145. l. 1. leg. matter. 146. l. 4. leg. Bolts-head. pag 161. in the marginal note l. 2. dele de ib. l. 3. lege lib 1. p 163. l. ult. insert where between the words places and the. p. 164 l. 1. dele that. ibid, l. 8. leg Epidermis. ibid. l. 19 leg. 300. for 200. p. 169. l. 22. leg. into it. p. 170. l. 23. & 24. leg. Some Solutions hereafter to be mentioned, for the Solutions of Potashes, and other Lixiviate Salts. p. 171. l. 6. insert part of between the words most and dissolved p. 176. l. ult. insert the participle it between the words Judged and not p. 234. l. 4. leg. Woud-wax or Wood-wax. p. 320 l. 29. leg. urine for urne.

In addition I have corrected the following original typos:

The preface: I devis'd tbem -> I devis'd them The preface: make Expements -> make Experiments The Publisher to the reader: made of Eperiments -> made of Experiments I. Ch. III.6 divers Expements -> divers Experiments I. Ch. III.13 epecially with some sorts -> especially with some sorts II. Ch. II.8 Slightet Texture -> Slightest Texture II. Exp. I two Colonrs -> two Colours II. Exp. XIII were the change of Colour -> where the change III. Exp. XII avoiding of Ambignity -> avoiding of Ambiguity III. Exp. XXIX Juice of this Sipce -> Juice of this Spice III. Exp. XL forty second Expement -> forty second Experiment III. Exp. XLIV keep them swimning -> keep them swimming III. Exp. XLVI it seem'd propable to me -> it seem'd probable to me III. Exp. XLVII where not comprehended -> were not comprehended III. Exp. XLVIII frequent Igintion -> frequent Ignition III. Exp. L I could tell yon -> I could tell you A Copy of the Letter: nemo unqnam vere -> nemo nunquam vere (ib.): what is reladed -> what is related Observations: carefulsy drawn -> carefully drawn

- and emended Phoenomenon/a to Phaenomenon/a 10 times and Coeruleous etc. -> Caeruleous 20 times


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