Abbildungen der Seite

country. It is amusing to behold the superstitions to which all ranks of men were devoted in the dark ages, still prevailing among the ignorant vulgar in the most enlightened age. This seems to afford a probable argument that they are congenial, and even inherent in human nature.'

This appears on the whole to be a curious and entertaining collection ; we are only afraid that the compilers have, in some few instances, sacrificed their judgment to a love of the marvellous; a fault which it requires a man to possess a large fare of philosophy, and even phlegm, to be entirely divested of.

IV. A Treatise on Mineral Waters. By Donald Monro, M. D.

Physician to his Majesty's Army and to St. George's Hospital, F. R. S. In Two Vols, 8vo. Pr, jos.6d. Wilson and Nichol. THE subject of these two volumes, whether considered as

curious or useful in medicine, forms one of the most interesting and valuable parts of natural history. The great prolixity of the authors, however, who have wrote on mine. ral waters, has much retarded, even among the faculty, the propagation of that branch of knowledge. For this reason, we behold with pleasure the publication of a more compendious system, which is executed with great care and accuracy in the judicious abridgment before us. In the first part of this work, the author treats of the general principles of water, considered as a perfectly pure and unadulterated element; af. ter which he proceeds to the consideration of rain and snow. water, as the nearest to the standard of purity; and lastly, he presents us with a view of the various substances with which water may be impregnated in the bowels of the earth, and of the methods by which the existence of such principles may be discovered. In the second part, he treats of cold, and in the third, of hot waters, where he has judiciously arranged each kind into such classes as seemed best calculated for affording a distinct idea of their nature and properties. In the ac. count of each class, his method is first to give the general characteristics, and virtues of the waters belonging to it; and then to add the most accurate analysis which has been inftituted of each particular kind ; remarking the differences which authors have observed in performing their experiments, and any particular virtues which have been ascribed to each water, more than what might be supposed to exist in the general class to which it belongs. In this account of the ne. dicinal virtues of the several waters, the author has followed

the the most unquestionable and authentic information, and has every where rejected the evidence of credulity or imposture, which had formerly so much regulated the estimation of waters. As a specimen of the work, we shall present our readers with the author's account of the sulphureous waters of Harrigate, and the chalybeate ones of Scarborough.

Harrigate, near Knaresborough in Yorkshire. • Formerly there were only three springs taken notice of, but lately a fourth has been discovered; they have all a strong sulphureous smell ; and, from Dr. Short's account, seem to be nearly of the same strength with respect to their sulphureous qualities, though the quantity of faline matter be different in each. As the water springs up it is clear and sparkling, and throws up a quantity of air-bubbles. : This water has a falt and fulphureous taste, and a strong sulphureous smell, which it retains after being exposed to a boiling heat, and part of the water evaporated.

• This water presently blackens silver, and its solution ; and likewise a folution of sugar of lead and of gold, and precipitates a black sediment with each. It turns the earth on which it ftagnates for any time, of a black colour, as well as the mud at the bottom of the well; and, after standing some time, it throws up a thick dry white scum; and both the mud and scum, if dried in the fun, Dr. Short says, burn with a blue flame, and smell strong of sulphur. He tells us, that when Dr. George Neale attended at this place, that the stones at the bottom of the well were raised, and under them was found a great quantity of yellow sublimed flowers of sulphur. However, as we before observed, this fact has been doubted by many.

. And the sticks, grass, &c. in the course of this water, are covered with a white hairy mucus.

« This water became white and milky with alkalies; but only appeared to be whitish with spirit of vitriol, and of a whitish clear colour with spirit of sea salt.

• The water of the first spring weighs seventy-two grains in a pint heavier than common water ; of the second spring only thirty-two grains ; of the third fifty-eight grains; and fpirits in the thermometer, funk of an inch lower than in common water.

• Evaporated, Dr. Short got two ounces of sediment from a gallon of the first spring water ; of which near two fcruples were earth, the rest a saline matter.

• A gallon of the second well yielded near half an ounce of sediment, of which two drachms and a scruple were earth.

“A gal

· "A gallon of the third well yielded an ounce and a half of sediment, of which a drachm and twelve grains were earth.

• The faline matter of these waters, from both Dr. Short and Dr. Rutty's experiments, proves to be mostly a sea salt, with a small mixture of a bittern or a calcareous Glauber.

. In summer 1768, I wrote to a friend (a physician who often resides for some months at Harrigate in summer) and asked his opinion concerning the nature of the waters, and particularly about the existence of real sulphur in them, and I had the following answer :

“ I have taken particular notice of every appearance of the Harrigate waters, and must own I never observed any ap. pearance of sulphur floating in them, nor any scum at the top of the well; neither could I meet with any person in that quarter who remembered the appearance of real sulphur fublimed, upon taking up the stones at the bottom of the well, as mentioned by Dr. Neale.

“ The waters are perfectly limpid, and have a strong ful. phureous smell, when taken out of the well, without the leaft appearance of a cloud in them, or a scum upon the top; but if they be exposed to the atmosphere for a few hours, they become turbid, and have a thin scumn or pellicle upon the furface, not so strong as upon lime water, and they lose their sulphureous smell and deposit a whitish sediment.

“ The volatile spirit in which the fulphur (or what gives them this finell) seems to reside, is so very strong, that if the waters be bottled, and a sufficient space is not left between the cork and the surface of the water, they burst the bottles.

With distilled vinegar there neither ensues an effervescence nor change of colour ; but with the spirit of vitriol they become a little cloudy.

“ With all the volatile alkalies they turn immediately cloudy, and after standing some time there drops a separation to the bottom of the glass, like a strong solution of soap; and the falts are found sticking to the sides of the glass in small round grains.

“ The vegetable alkali turns them cloudy, but does not form so strong a coagulum at the bottom of the glass.”

· These waters, in sınall quantities, are good alteratives, and, when drank in large quantity, are strongly purgative ; they are drank from a pint to three quarts in the forenoon.

There, like other saline purging sulphureous waters, have been much used, and found extremely serviceable in cutaneous disorders and in scrophulous cases; and they have been found to be amongst the best remedies for destroying and evacuating worms, and their nidus; and to be extremely use


ful where the digestion has been bad, and the bowels and inteitines been full of viscid flimy matter; and to affift in removing many chronic obstructions.

• They are likewise much employed for external use, by way of washes, fomentations, and baths, particularly in cutaneous disorders.

"At some small distance from Harrigate, near to Knarerborough, is another fulphur well of the same kind, of which a gallon leaves two drachms of solid contents, fourteen grains of which are earth. And near to Harrigate are two chalybeate {prings, the strongest called the Tuewhet Spring, or Allum Well, the other the Sweet Spring.'

Scarborough, in Yorkshire. • The purging chalybeate waters of this place are the most frequented, and more used than any other of this class in England. We have a very particular analysis given of them by the late Dr. Shaw, who attended the water-drinkers here for many years.

• There are two wells, the one more purgative and the other stronger of the chalybeate principles than the other; and hence that nearest the town has been called the chalybeate Spring, the other the purging; though they are both impregnated with the same principles, but in different proportions ; the purging is the most famed, and that which is best known, and generally is called the Scarborough water.

. Both these waters are clear and chrystalline, though not so much so as the purer kinds of rock water ; when poured out of one glass into another, they throw up numerous air bubbles ; and if shook for a while in a close stopt phial, and the phial be suddenly opened before the commotion ceases they displode a kind of vapour with an audible noise.

• At the fountain they have both a brisk pungent chalybeate taste, but the purging water tastes manifestly bitterish, which the chalybeate does not usually do.

Their temperature is nearly the same as that of common water, equally defended from the sun and open air; and their specific gravities nearly the same, though usually both are ra. ther heavier than common water.

• Both waters, when fresh, presently strike a dark red, or purple with galls ; though the chalybeate does this with greater celerity, and in a higher degree than the other, and both turn syrup of violets green. They curdic soap, and likewise milk, if boiled with it.

• Dr. Shaw says, they both make an ebullition with acids, and loon deltroy the acidity thereof; an ounce of the purging water will take off entirely the acidity of a drop of re&ified oil of vitriol. With alkalies they exhibit a white cloud, and let fall a copious white earth.


• They both lose their chalybeate properties and transparency by keeping, or being exposed to the air ; but the chalybeate retains them longest. .

Four or five half pints of the purging water, drank in the space of an hour, give two or three cały motions, and raise the spirits. The like quantity of the chalybeate purges less, but raises the Spirits more, and goes off chiefly by urine.

• Both these waters putrefy by keeping, but in time they become sweet again.

Dr. Shaw put four pounds of the purging water into a re. tort, and distilling it with a low heat to driness, had remaining two drachms, or one hundred and twenty grains of solid matter. In performing this operation, as soon as the water became hot, numerous air bubbles appeared, and a volatile substance or air puffed through the luted point of the retort and receiver: when about one eighth of another parcel of water was exhaled in an open vessel, spangly concretions like duft appeared on the surface, and by degrees more and inore of a grained matter fell to the bottom.

• Distilled Scarborough water differs in nothing from com. mon distilled water.

• The dry matter, or residuum, left on evaporating these waters, felt somewhat rough between the fingers, dissolved in the mouth, and had a remarkable bitter, faline, roughish taste. This refiduum lixiviated and filtered, yielded one tbird, or forty grains of insoluble matter, made up of a calcareous, bolar, selenitical and ochreous earth. The filtered liquor yielded eighty grains composed of two sorts of salts; between seventy-five and seventy-six grains of a calcareous Glauber falt ; and between four and five grains of fca falt.

• Hence we see, that according to this analysis of Dr. Shaw's, a gallon of this water, belides a mineral spirit and air, contains about two hundred and forty grains of solid matter, eighly grains of insoluble matter, made up of a calcareous, bolar, and selenitical earth, with a portion of ochre, and one hundred and fixty grains of a saline matter, composed of above one hundred and fifty grains of a calcareous Glauber falt, and not quite ten grains of sea salt.

• Dr. Short, who likewise analysed this water, fays, that it is weaker and stronger at different seasons; that he has got fumetiines six drachms, twenty-four grains, or three hundred and eighty-four grains of sediment from a gallon; at other times only five drachms, one grain, or three hundred and one

grains ;

« ZurückWeiter »