Hyre Be Aelyphants

1666 and all that. …

Browsing the 'Net looking for information on a weather book printed in 156 I came across gems in the form of extracts from the Royal Society:

1666 to 1856 is 190 years. It all seems such a long time ago does it not?

In 2046 the same timespan applied will take us back to 1856.
What will we think of us then?

There will be people living now who will still be living in 2046. It isn't that far off; a mere 33 years.
There are people alive now who remember what it was like 66 years ago. Bits of it. And there are people who were young then that remember people who remembered people who were alive at the height of Victoria's reign.

People who may have read the works of the author Thomas Belden Butler and his book: The Philosophy of the Weather. They may have enjoyed it for its remarkable use of grammar and vocabulary. Some of them may even have appreciated what he had to say about the weather.

Had the book been available to the think tank set up in Britain before the Great Plague, people like Isaac Newton would have enjoyed it and had much to say about it. It might even encouraged him not to write his works in Latin but to use the language that replaced it that all might enjoy its fruit to this day.

These days nobody reads Newton. Frankly my dear, I don't think anyone gives a damn about the work except that it is still revered as next to holy script. And that everyone believes someone somewhere is capable of reading it and understanding it if only they want to.

What would we make of someone who wrote in a language that all men speak?
Wasaburo Ooishi had the idea that if he wrote in Esperanto everyone would be able to read what he had to say. Had he written in French or German even in Latin, he might have been read outside of Japan.

He was a pacifist when he wrote of Jet Streams in the 1930's. 10 years later Japanese was on its way to being an international language. But in the 1940's the USA was studying jet streams empirically as they used ocean crossing aircraft to blast, burn, and blow Japan back into the dark ages.

Today nobody still reads Ooishi.

But what will the intelligensii of the middle of this century make of us in the early stages of it?

They will think us fools and monsters letting people die of malnutrition and poor medical services when we have plenty of food and medicine elsewhere?

Or will they laugh at us for using nuclear power plants that were allowed to get out of controll all the time?

What will they think of our traffic laws and traffic flow problems in rich countries where a mother and child might easily be mown down by inatentive drunks?

Will they think us foolish for believing the world was threatened by too much carbon dioxide?

Will they want to know what we did with all the fish, thanks?

No. None of that. They will not learn much in 300 years so they will positively learn nothing in 30.
In 1666 these enquiries were being conducted:

“A Spot in one of the Belts of Jupiter.
The Ingenious Mr. Hook did, some moneths since, intimate to a friend of his, that he had, with an excellent twelve foot Telescope, observed, some days before, he than spoke of it, (videl. on the ninth of May, 1664, about 9 of the clock at night) a small Spot in the biggest of the 3 obscurer Belts of Jupiter, and that, observing it from time to time, he found, that within 2 hours after, the said Spot had moved from East to West, about half the length of the Diameter of Jupiter.”

Well that's clever. These spots have only recently been investigated and tune out to be shadows of the moons.
This is clever too:
“A Narrative concerning the success of Pendulum-Watches at Sea for the Longitudes.
The Relation lately made by Major Holmes, concerning the success of the Pendulum-Watches at Sea (two whereof were committed to his Care and Observation in his last voyage to Guiny by some of our Eminent Virtuosi, and Grand Promoters of Navigation) is as followeth;

The said Major having left that Coast, and being come to the Isle of St. Thomas under the Line accompanied with four Vessels, having there adjusted his Watches, put to Sea, and sailed Westward, seven or eight hundred Leagues, without changing his course; after which, finding the Wind favourable, he steered towards the Coast of Africk, North-North-East. But having sailed upon that Line a matter of two or three hundred Leagues, the Masters of the other Ships, under his Conduct, apprehending that they should want Water, before they could reach that Coast, did propose to him to steer their Course to the Barbadoes, to supply themselves with Water there.

Whereupon the said Major, having called the Master and Pilots together, and caused them to produce their Journals and Calculations, it was found, that those Pilots did differ in their reckonings from that of the Major, one of them eighty Leagues, another about an hundred, and the third, more; but the Major judging by his Pendulum-Watches, that they were only some thirty Leagues distant from {14}the Isle of Fuego, which is one of the Isles of Cape Verde, and that they might reach it next day, and having a great confidence in the said Watches, resolved to steer their Course thither, and having given order so to do, they got the very next day about Noon a sight of the said Isle of Fuego, finding themselves to sail directly upon it, and so arrived at it that Afternoon, as he had said.

These Watches having been first Invented by the Excellent Monsieur Christian Hugens of Zulichem, and fitted to go at Sea, by the Right Honourable, the Earl of Kincardin, both Fellows of the Royal Society, are now brought by a New addition to a wonderful perfection. The said Monsieur Hugens, having been informed of the success of the Experiment, made by Major Holmes, wrought to a friend at Paris a Letter to this effect;”

I couldn't do it, could you?
We both have or have had watches quite capable of more accurate navigation than Huygens' watches. If not we can easily get some for a few pounds; the equivalent of a few pennies back in 1666.

How clever is that?
Huygens's chronometers were too expensive for mere ships' captains to afford in those days. Yet it as an amazing achievement, the equivalent of inventing the telephone, or TV, or computers. For they too in their time were enormously expensive toys only available to select communities like colleges and offices at first.
But what about this though:

“Of the Way of killing Ratle-Snakes.
There being not long since occasion given at a meeting of the Royal Society to discourse of Ratle Snakes, that worthy and inquisitive Gentleman, Captain Silas Taylor, related the manner, how they were killed in Virginia, which he afterwards was pleased to give in writing, attested by two credible persons in whose presence it was done; which is, as follows.

The Wild Penny-royal or Ditany of Virginia, groweth streight up about one foot high, with the leaves like Penny-royal, with little blue tufts at the joyning of the branches to the Plant, the colour of the Leaves being a reddish green, but the Water distilled, of the colour of Brandy, of a fair Yellow: the Leaves of it bruised are very hot biting upon the Tongue: and of these, so bruised, they took some, and having tyed them in the cleft of a long stick, they held them to the Nose of the Ratle-Snake, who by turning and wriggling laboured as much as she could to avoid it: but she was killed with it, in less than half an hours time, and, as was supposed, by the scent thereof; which was done Anno 1657. in the Month of July, at which season, they repute those creatures to be in the greatest vigour for their poison.”

Can anyone else wee the obvious here?
And what barbaric action would require the snake to be held for so long anyway?

What took them so long to get around to Scotland?

“A Relation of some extraordinary Tydes in the West-Isles of Scotland, as it was communicated by Sr. Robert Moray.

In that Tract of Isles, on the West of Scotland, called by the Inhabitants, the Long-Island, as being about 100. miles long from North to South, there is a multitude of small Islands, situated in a Fretum, or Frith, that passes between the Island of Eust, and the Herris; amongst which, there is one called Berneray, some three miles long, and {54}more than a mile broad, the length running from East to West, as the Frith lyes.

At the East end of this Island, where I stayed some 16. or 17. dayes, I observed a very strange Reciprocation of the Flux and Re-flux of the Sea, and heard of another, no less remarkable.
Upon the West side of the Long Island, the Tides, which came from the South-west, run along the Coast, Northward; so that during the ordinary course of the Tides, the Flood runs East in the Frith, where Berneray lyes, and the Ebb West. And thus the Sea ebbs and flows orderly, some 4. days before the full Moon, and change, and as long after (the ordinary Spring-tides rising some 14. or 15. foot upright, and all the rest proportionably, as in other places).

But afterwards, some 4. days before the Quarter-moons, and as long after, there is constantly a great and singular variation. For then, (a Southerly Moon making there the full Sea) the course of the Tide being Eastward, when it begins to flow, which is about 9½ of the Clock, not onely continues so till about 3½ in the afternoon, that it be high water, but, after it begins to ebb, the Current runs on still Eastward, during the whole Ebb; so that it runs Eastward 12 hours together, that is, all day long, from about 9½ in the morning, til about 9½ at night. But then, when the night-Tide begins to flow, the Current turns, and runs Westward all night, during both Floud & Ebb, for some 12. hours more, as it did Eastward the day before.

And thus the Reciprocations continue, one Floud and Ebb, running 12 hours Eastward, and another twelve hours Westward, till 4. days before the New and Full Moon; and then they resume their ordinary regular course as before, running East, during the six hours of Floud, and West, during the six of Ebb. And this I observed curiously, during my abode upon the place, which was in the Moneth of August, as I remember.

But the Gentleman, to whom the Island belongs at present, and divers of his Brothers and Friends, knowing and discreet persons, and expert in all such parts of Sea-matters, as other Islanders commonly are, though I shrewdly suspected their skill in Tides, when I had not yet seen what they told me, and I have now related of these irregular Courses of the Tides, did most confidently assure me, and so did every body I spake with {55}about it, that there is yet another irregularity in the Tides, which never fails, and is no less extraordinary, than what I have been mentioning: which is,

That, whereas between the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, that is, for six Moneths together, the Course of irregular Tides about the Quartermoons, is, to run all day, that is, twelve hours, as from about 9½ to 9½, 10¼ to 10¼ &c. Eastward, and all night, that is, twelve hours more, Westward: during the other six Moneths, from the Autumnal to the Vernal Equinox, the Current runs all day Westward, and all Night Eastward.

Of this, though I had not the opportunity to be an Eye-witness, as of the other, yet I do not at all doubt, having received so credible Information of it.

To penetrate into the Causes of these strange Reciprocations of the Tides, would require exact descriptions of the Situation, Shape, and Extent of every piece of the adjacent Coasts of Eust and Herris; the Rocks, Sands, Shelves, Promontorys, Bays, Lakes, Depths, and other Circumstances which I cannot now set down with any certainty, or accurateness; seeing, they are to be found in no Map, neither had I any opportunity to survey them; nor do they now occur to my Memory, as they did some years ago, when upon occasion I ventured to make a Map of this whole Frith of Berneray, which not having copied, I cannot adventure to beat it out again.”

Ah well. It also had this, which makes it cutting edge:

“A Confirmation of the former Account touching the late Earth-quake near Oxford, and the Concomitants thereof.

This Confirmation came from the Noble Mr. Boyle in a Letter, to the Publisher, as followeth:
As to the Earth-quake, your curiosity about it makes me sorry, that, though I think, I was the first, that gave notice of it to several of the Virtuosi at Oxford; yet the Account, that I can send you about it, is not so much of the Thing it self, {180}as of the Changes of the Air, that accompanied it.

To inform you of which, I must relate to you, that riding one Evening somewhat late betwixt Oxford & a Lodging, I have at a place, 4 miles distant from it, the weather having been for a pretty while Frosty, I found the Wind so very cold, that it reduced me to put on some defensives against it, which I never since, nor, if I forget not, all the foregoing part of the Winter was obliged to make use off.

My unwillingness to stay long in so troublesome a Cold, which continued very piercing, till I had got half way home-ward, did put me upon galloping at no very lasy rate; and yet, before I could get to my Lodgings, I found the Wind turned, and felt the Rain falling; which, considering the shortness of the time, and that this Accident was preceded by a setled Frost, was surprising to me, and induced me to mention it at my return, as one of the greatest and suddainest Alterations of Air, I have ever observ'd:

And what changes I found, have been taken notice of in the Gravity of the Atmosphere at the same time by that Accurate Observer * Dr. Wallis, who then suspected nothing of what follow'd; as I suppose, he has ere this told you himself. Soon after, by my guess about an hour, there was a manifest Trembling in the House where I was (which stands high in comparison of Oxford.)

But it was not there so great, but that I, who chanced to have my thoughts busied enough on other matters, than the weather, should not have taken notice of it as an Earth-quake, but have imputed it to some other cause, if one, that you know, whose hand is employed in this Paper, and begins to be a diligent observer of Natural things, had not advertis'd me of it; as being taken notice of by him and the rest of the people of the House.

And soon after there hapned a brisk Storm: whereupon I sent to make inquiry at a place call'd Brill, which standing upon a much higher ground, I supposed might be more obnoxious to the effects of the Earth-quake (of which, had I had any suspition of it, my having formerly been in one neer the Lacus Lemanus, would have made me the more observant:) But the person I sent to, being {181}disabled by sickness to come over to me (which he promis'd to do, as soon as he could) writ me only a Ticket, whose substance was, That the Earth-quake was there much more considerable, than where I lodged, and that at a Gentlemans house, whom he names (the most noted Person, it seems, of the neighbourhood) the House trembled very much, so as to make the Stones manifestly to move to and fro in the Parlour, to the great amazement and fright of all the Family.

The Hill, whereon this Brill stands, I have observ'd to be very well stor'd with Mineral substances of several kinds; and from thence I have been inform'd by others, that this Earth-quake reach'd a good many miles; but I have neither leasure, nor inclination to entertain you with uncertain reports of the Extent and other Circumstances, especially since a little further time an inquiry may enable me to give you a better warranted account.”

More weather stuff. I had always wondered how they surveyed for mines and the like. This is the stuff to look for:

“Articles of Inquiries touching Mines.

What the Honourable Robert Boyle gave the Reader cause to hope for, in Numb. 11. when he was pleased to impart those General Heads for a Natural History of a Country, there publish'd; He is not un-mindful to perform, by enlarging them as occasion serves, with Particular and Subordinate Inquiries.

Here he gratifies the Curious with a considerable Set of Inquiries about Mines: which though unfinish'd, yet the Publisher, was instant to obtain their present Publication, to the end, that he might the more conveniently recommend them to several Forreigners of his Acquaintance, now ready to return to their several Countryes, which he understands to abound in Mines; and from the Curious Inhabitants whereof, he expects to receive a good Accompt upon some at least of these Inquiries; which also by several of them have been earnestly desired, as Instructions, to direct them, what Particulars to inquire after upon this Subject.

These Quæries are reduced by the Author to six Heads:
The first, The neighbouring Country about the Mines.
The second, The Soyl where the Mines are.
The third, The Signs of Mines.
The fourth, The Structure and other particulars belonging to the Mines themselves.
The fifth, The Nature and Circumstances of the Ore.
The sixth, the Reduction of the Ore into Metal.

About the first Title.
1. Whether the Country be Mountainous, Plain, or distinguish'd with Vales? And in case it be mountainous, what kind of Hills they are; whether high, or low, or indifferently elevated? Whether almost equal or very un-equal in height? Whether fruitful or barren; cold or temperate; rocky or not; hollow or solid? Whether they run in ridges, or seem confusedly placed; and, if the former, what way the ridges run, North and South, &c. And whether they run any thing parallel to one another?
2. Whether the Country be barren or fruitful? And, if any way fruitful, what it produces, and what it most abounds with?
3. What Cattle it nourishes, and whether they have any such thing peculiar in point of bigness, colour, shape, longævity, fitness or unfitness to make good meat, &c. as may be rather adscribed to the peculiar nature of the place, than to the barrenness of the Soyl, or other manifest causes?
4. Whether the Natives, and other Inhabitants, live longer or shorter than ordinary? Whether they live more or less healthy? Whether they be subject to any Epidemical Diseases, that may very probably be imputed to the Mines; and what these Diseases are; and what Remedies are found successful?
5. Whether the Country be, or be not furnish'd with Rivers, Brooks, Springs, and other Waters; and how these waters are conditioned?
6. Whether the Air be dry or moist; hot or cold; clear or foggy; thick or thin; heavy or light; and especially, whether the Weather be more or less variable than ordinarily; or whether it be subject to great and sudden changes, that may probably be imputed to the Mineral and Subterraneous Steams; and what they are? {332}
About the second Title.
7. Whether the Soyle that is neer the Surface of the Earth, be Stony; and, if it be, what kind of Stones it abounds with? Whether it be Clayie, Marley, Chalkye, &c. And, if it be of several kinds, how many they are; and by what properties they are distinguish'd?
About the third Title.
8. By what Signs they know or guess, that there is a Mine in such a place?
9. These Signs are either upon the Surface of the Earth, or beneath it.
To the former belong these Quæries.
10. Whether the Ground be made barren by Metalline or Mineral Effluviums?
11. Whether it be observed, that Trees and other greater Plants seem to have their tops burnt, or other leaves or outsides discoloured? or whether there be any Plants, that do affect to grow over such Mines; and whether it have been tryed, that other Plants, that would prosper in the adjacent places, will not be made to grow and thrive there?
12. Whether the Stones and Pebles, that are wash'd by the Brooks, Springs, or other Waters, have any colour'd substance left upon them; and if they have, of what colour, weight, &c. these adherences are?
13. Whether the Waters of the place proposed, do by their tast, smell, ponderousness, &c. disclose themselves to contain Minerals? And, if they do, what Minerals they or their residences, when they are evapourated away, do appear to abound with, or to participate of?
14. Whether Snow will not lye, or Frost continue so long, or Dew be generated or stay upon the ground in the place proposed, as on other neighbouring grounds?
15. Whether the Dew that falls on that ground, will discolour white Linnen or Woollen-Cloths, spred overnight on the {333}surface of the ground, and employed to collect the Dew? And whether the Rain that falls there, and may be supposed to come thither from elsewhere, will discolour such Clothes, or afford any residence of a Mineral Nature?
16. Whether the Place be more than ordinarily subject to Thunder and Lightning, and to sudden Storms or Earthquakes; as likewise to Nocturnal Lights and fiery Meteors.
17. Whether Mists use to rise from Grounds stored with Minerals? What is observable in them, and what Minerals they signify, and may be supposed to be produced by?
18. Whether the Virgula Divinatoria be used to find out the Veins of proposed Mines; and, if it be, with what success?
19. What other Signs above ground afford probability of Mines, or Direction for following a Vein over Hills, Valleys, Lakes, Rivers, &c.
The second sort of Signs belonging to these Quæries, are such as follow.
20. Whether there be any Clayes, Marles, or other Mineral Earths, yellow or liquid matters, that usually give notice of the Ore? And if there be more than one, how and at what depths they are wont to lye respectively? Of what thickness and consistence they are; and in what Order the Diggers meet with them?
21. Whether there be any Stones or Marchasites to be found neer, or not very far from the surface of the ground, by which one may have ground to expect a Mine? As is often observed in the Tin-Mines of Cornwall, over which such kind of Stones are divers times found lying above ground?
22. Whether all Stones of that kind do equally signify that Mine? And, if not, how the significant Stones are to be known, as by Colour, Bigness, Shape, Weight, Depth under ground, &c.
23. Whether there be any Earths of peculiar kinds, as to Colour, Consistence, &c. that indicate a Mine beneath or near them; and, if there be, what they are, and what is their consecution, if they have any?
24. Whether Heat or Damps give any assurance or a probability of finding a Mine? {334}
25. Whether Water of any kind, met with in Digging, especially at this or that depth, do betoken a Mine?
26. Whether there be any Signs of the neerness of the Mine, and what they are?
27. Whether there be any Signs of ones having miss'd the Mine, either by being past above, or beneath, or having left it on either hand; and what they are?
28. Whether there be any Signs not only of the distinct and determinate kind of Metals or Minerals; but of the Plenty and Goodness of the Vein; and what they are?
29. Whether there be any Signs of the depth of the Vein beneath the surface of the Earth; and what they are?
30. Whether there be any proper or peculiar Signs, that show it to be hopeless, or at least unlikely, to find a Vein in the place where it is digg'd for; and what those are?
About the fourth Title.
31. What is the depth of the Shaft or Groove (which though named in the singular Number; the Questions about it are generally applicable) till you come at the Vein or Ore?
32. Whether the Vein run or lye Horizontal, or dippe? And if it dippe, what inclination it hath, how deep the lowest part lies; and consequently how much deeper than the uppermost? As also, what it's Flexures, if it have any, are? And whether it runs directly North or South, East or West; or seem rather to have a Casual tendency, than any determinate one by Nature? and how far it reaches in all?
33. What is the Wideness of the Groove at the Top, and elsewhere? Whether the Groove be perpendicular or crooked; and if crooked, after what manner, and with what distance it winds?
34. How the Groove is supported? What are the kinds, length, bigness, and way of placing the Timber, Poles, &c. that are employed to support it? And how long the Wood will last, without being spoyled with the subterraneous fumes and waters? and what wood lasts longest? {335}
35. What Air-shaft belongs to the Mine? Whether it be single, or more than One? Of what breadth the Air-shaft is at the Orifice? Whether it be convenient enough, or not? How neer it is placed to the Groove; and in what position? And if there be several Air-shafts, what their Distances and scituation are in reference to the Groove, and to each other? Or how Air is supplied, if there be no Air-shafts?
36. Whether they meet with any Waters in the Mine? And, if they do, how copious they are; at what depths they occur; how they are qualified; and what way they Spring, &c.
37. Whether they are constant or temporary? whether they increase or diminish notably in Summer or Winter, or at any other time of the year; and if they do, at what season that is; how long it is wont to last; and the proportions of Increase and Decrease?
38. What Expedients and Engines are employed to free the Mines from Water? The materials, the parts, the bigness, the shapes, the coaptation; and, in short, the whole structure, number, and way of applying the Instruments, that are made use off to free the Mines from Water?
39. What are the Conditions, Number, &c. of the Adits?
40. Whether the Mine be troubled with Damps, and of what kind they are? whether they come often or seldom at any set time, or altogether irregularly? what Signs fore-run them? what mischief they do? what remedies are the most successfully imployed against them, aswell in reference to the Cleering of the Mine, as to the Preservation and Recovery of the Workmen?
41. What Methods the Mine-men use in following the Vein, and tracing their passages under ground (which they call Plumming and Dyalling) according to the several exigencies? And whether they employ the Instruments, made with the help of the Load-stone, the same way that is usual; and if not, wherein they differ in the use of the same Instruments; or what Instruments they substitute in their place?
42. What ways they take to secure themselves from the uncertainty, incident to the guidance of Magnetick Needles from the Iron-Stone or Ore, that they may meet with under ground? {336}(of which yet perhaps there is not so great danger, as one may imagine; as far as I could find by a Trial, I purposely made in a Groove, where I was sure, there wanted not Iron-Ore.) And what other wayes may be used to direct Miners without the help of a Load-stone?
43. How the Miners deal with the Rocks and Sparrs, they often meet with, before they come at the Ore? Whether they use Fire to soften, calcine, or crack them? How they employ it, and with what measure of success?
44. What wayes and cautions they use, to free the Mine and secure the Work-men from the inconveniencies and danger accruing from the use of much fire in it?
45. What Instruments they use to break the Rock &c? And how those Instruments are conducive; and how long they last?
46. How the Mine-men work; whether naked or cloathed? And what Lights they use to work by; what materials they are made of, what measure of light they give; how long they last; and by what wayes they are kept burning in that thick and foggy air?
47. How Veins are follow'd, lost, and recover'd? And how several Miners work on the same Vein? And what is the best way of getting all the Ore in a Vein, and most conveniently?
48. How they convey out their Ore, and other things, that are to be carried out of the Mine? Whether they do it in Baskets drawn up by Ropes, or upon Mens backs; and if this last-named way; what kind of Vessels they use for matter, shape, and capacity? And whether the Work-men deliver them one to another; or the same Work-men carry them all the way? And whether the Diggers descend and ascend by Ladders of Wood, or of Ropes, &c.
About the Fifth Title.
49. Whether the Ore runs in a Vein; or lie dispers'd in scatter'd pieces; or be divided partly into a Vein, and partly into loose masses; or like a Wall between two Rocks, as it were in a Cleft; or be interspers'd in the firm Rock, like speckled Marble? Or be found in Grains like Sand or Gravel; as store {337}of excellent Tin is said to be found in some parts of Cornwall at the Sides and in the Channels of running Waters, which they call …; or whether the Ore be of a softer consistence, like Earth or Lome, as there is Lead-ore in Ireland holding store of Silver, and Iron-ore in the North parts of Scotland and elsewhere? And what is observable in it as to Weight, Colour, Mixture, &c?
50. Whether any part of the Metal be found in the Mine perfect and complete? (As I have had presented me good valuable Copper, and pieces of perfect Lead, that were taken up, the one at Jamaica, and the other by an acquaintance of mine, that took them out of the ground himself in New England.)
51. Whether the Mine affords any parcels of Metal, that seem to grow like Plants (as I have sometimes seen Silver growing, as it seemed, out of Stone, or Sparre almost like blades of Grass; as also great Grains of a Metal, which appear'd to me, and which those, that tryed some of it, affirmed to be Gold, abounding in a stony lump, that seem'd to consist chiefly of a peculiar kind of Sparre.)
52. Whether the Vein lie near, or much beneath the surface of the Earth, and at what depth?
53. Whether the Vein have or have not any particular Concomitants, or Coats (if I may so call them;) and, if any, what they are, and in what order they lie? (As the Veins of Lead-ore, with us, have frequently annnext to them a Substance call'd Sparre, and next to that another, call'd Caulk.)
54. Whether (besides these Coats) the Vein have belonging to it any other Heterogeneous substance? (As in Tin-mines we often find that yellow substance, which they call Mundick.)
55. What are the principal Qualities of these Extraneous substances? (As that Sparre is white, but transparent, almost like course Crystall, heavy, britle, easily divisible into flakes, &c. Caulk is of a different texture, white, opacous, and like a Stone, but much more ponderous. Mundick I have had of a fine golden colour; but, though it be affirm'd to hold no Metal; yet I found it in weight, and otherwise, to differ from Marchasites; and the Mine-men think it of a poisonous nature.) {338}
56. Whether the Vein be inclosed every way in its Coats; or whether it only lye between them?
57. Whether the Vein be every way of an uniform breadth, and thickness; and, if it be, what these Dimensions are; and if not, in what places it varies, and in what measures? (The like Questions are to be made concerning the sparre, Caulk, and other Teguments or mixtures of the Ore?)
58. Whether the Vein be un-interrupted, or in some places broken off; and whether it be abruptly, or not; and whether it be by Vales, Brooks, Gullets, &c?
59. How wide the Interruptions are? what Signs, whereby to find the Vein again? whether the ulteriour part or division of the Vein be of the same Nature, and hold on in the same Course, as to its tendency upwards or downwards, or Horizontally, Norward, Southward, &c. with the Vein, from which it is cut off?
60. Whether, in case the last end of the Vein be found, it terminate abruptly, or else end in some peculiar kind of Rock or Earth, which does, as it were, close or Seal it up, without leaving any crack or cranny, or otherwise? And whether the terminating part of the Vein tend upwards, downwards, or neither? And whether in the places, where the Vein is interrupted, there be any peculiar Stone or Earth, that does, as it were, seal up the Extremity of it?
61. Whether it be observed; that the Ore in Tract of time may be brought to afford any Silver or Gold, which it doth not afford, or more than it would afford, if it were not so ripe? And whether it have been found, that the Metalline part of the Vein grows so, that some part of the Mine will afford Ore or Metal in tract of time, that did not so before? And whether to this Maturation of the Mine, the being exposed to the free Air be necessary; or, whether at least it conduce to the Acceleration of it; or otherwise?
62. Whether all the Ore, contained in the Mine, be of the self-same nature and goodness; and, if not, what are the differing kinds; and how to be discriminated and estimated?
63. What is the fineness and goodness of the Ore, by which the Mine is wont to be estimated? And what are the marks and {339}characters, that distinguish one sort from another?
64. What proportion of Metal it affords? (As in our Iron-mines 'tis observed, that about three Tuns of Iron-stone will afford one Tun of Metal: And I have had Lead-Ore, which an Ingenious man, to whom I recommended such Tryals, affirm'd to me to afford three parts in four of good Lead.)
65. Whether the Ore be pure in its kind from other Metals, and, if not, of what Metals it participates; and in what proportion? Which is especially to be Inquired into, in case the Mine be of a base metal, that holds a noble metal: (As I have known it observ'd, that Lead-Ore, that is poor in its own metal; affords more Silver, than other; and I remember, that the Ore lately mention'd, being rich in Lead, scarce afforded us upon the Cuppel, an Atome of Silver. And Matthesius informs us, that a little Gold is not unfrequently found in Iron-Ore. And I have by me some Gold, that never endur'd the Fire, taken out of a Lump of Tin-Ore.)
About the sixth Title.
66. What are the mechanick and prævious Operations, as Beating, Grinding, Washing, &c. that are used to separate the Ore from the Heterogeneous Bodies, and prepare it for the Fire? Or whether the Ore requires no such preparation? (as it often happens in Lead, and sometimes in Iron, &c.)
67. Whether Mercury be made use off, to extract the nobler from the baser metals? (as is their practice in Peru, and other parts of the West-Indies.)
68. Whether the leaving the Ore expos'd to the open Air and Rain for a good while, be used as a Præparative? (as I have seen done in Iron-stone.)
69. Whether the Burning and Beating of the Ore be used to prepare it for the Furnace? (as is practised in Iron, and almost always in Copper:) And, in case they use it more than once, how often they do it; (for, Copper-Ore is in some places washed 8. or 10. times, and in others, 12. or 14.) and with what circumstances; as, how long the Ignition lasts at a time, whether the Ore be suffer'd to cool of it self, or be quench'd? whether it be washed betwixt each Ignition?
70. What Flux-powders, and other ways they have to try {340}and examine the goodness of the Ore in small quantities?
71. Whether, when they work in great, they use to melt the Ore with any Flux or Additaments, or only by the force of the Fire, or in any way between both? (As throwing in of Charcoals when they melt Iron-stone does not only serve to feed the Fire, but perhaps by the Alchaly of its Ashes to promote the fusior: so Lime-stone, &c.)
72. What kind of Furnaces they use, to melt the Ore in? Whether they be all of one sort and bigness, or of differing?
73. What are, the Situation, Materials, Dimensions, Shape, Bigness, and in short what is the whole structure and Contrivance of the Furnace? If there be any thing peculiar and remarkable? What Tools are used in Smelting, their Figures, use, &c. And the whole manner of working?
74. What kinds of Fewel, and what quantities of it, are wont to be employed in the Furnace, within the compass of a day, or week? How much is put in at a time? How often it is renewed? And how much Ore in a determinate time, as a week or a day, is wont to be reduced to Metal?
75. In case an Additament be employed, what that is, and in what proportion it is added? Whether it be mingled with the Ore, before that be put into the Fire, or cast in afterwards; and, if so, at what time, &c?
78. Whether the Ore be melted by a Wind, excited by the Fire it self; as in Wind-ovens? Ore by the course of Waters? Or acuated by the blast of Bellows; and, if so, whether these Bellows be mov'd by a Wheel, turn'd by Water running under it, or falling on it? And what are, the Dimensions, Situation, &c. of the Bellows?
79. What contrivance they have, to let or take out the Metal, that is in fusion; and cast it into Barrs, Sows, Pigs, &c?
80. What Clay, Sand, or Mould they let it run or pour it through? And after what manner they refrigerate it?
8l. Whether or no they do, either to facilitate the fusion, or to obtain the more or better Metal, mingle differing sorts or degrees of Ore of the same metal? (As in some places 'tis usual, to mingle poor and rich Ore; and at Mendip they mix two or more of these differing kinds of Lead-ore that they call Frim-ore, Steel-ore, Potern-ore, &c.) {341}
82. Whether or no, having once brought the Ore to fusion, they melt all the Metal it self, to have it the more pure? And, if they do, with what circumstances they make the fusion?
83. Whether they have any Signs, whereby to know whether the Fusion have been well or ill perform'd; and the Metal have obtain'd the perfection, to be expected from such Ore, melted in such a Furnace?
84. Whether they observe any great difference in the goodness of the Metal, that first melts, from that of the rest of the Metal which comes afterwards in the same or another operation? And whether the Rule holds constantly? (For, though they observe in Tin-Mines, the best Metal comes first, yet in the works of an Industrious friend of mine, he informs me, that the best Metal comes last.)
85. Whether the produced Metal be all of the same goodness? And if it be, how good it is in reference to the Metal of other Mines, or other parts of the same Mine or Vein? And if it be not, what differences are observ'd between the produced portions of Metal; and what disparity that amounts to in the price?
86. What are the Wayes of distinguishing them, and estimating their goodness?
87. Whether they do any thing to the Metal, after it is once brought to Fusion, and, if need be, melt it over again, to give it a melioration? (As when Iron is refined, and turn'd into Steel;) And what distinct Furnaces, and peculiar Ways of ordering the Metals are employ'd to effect this improvement? With a full description of them and the Tools in all Circumstances, observ'd in the refining of Metals.
88. Whether in those places, where the Metal is melted, there be not elevated some Corpuscles, that stick to the upper parts of the Furnace, or Building? And, if there be, whether they be barely fuliginous and recrementitious exhalations, or, at least in part, Metallin Flowers? (As in the Cornish Tin-mines, after some years they usually destroy the thatch'd Houses, where the Ore hath been melted, to get the stuff, that adhears to the insides of the Roofs, out of which they melt store of excellent Tin.)
89. Whether the Metal, being brought to fusion, affords {342}any Recrements? (As Iron-stone affords store of a dark Glass or Slagg) And, if it do, what those Recrements are? How they are separated from the Metal; and to what Uses they are employed?
90. Whether, after the Metal has been once melted, the remaining part of the Ore being exposed to the Air, will in tract of time be impregnated, or ripen'd, so as to afford more Metal? (For, this is affirm'd to me of the Cornish Tin-Ore; and what remained after the fusion of Iron-ore in the Forest of Dean, is so rich in Metal, that a Tenant of mine in Ireland, though he had on the Land, he held from me, an Iron-Mine, found it less profit to work it, than to send cross the Sea to the Forest of Dean for this already us'd Ore, which having lain for some ages, since it was thrown aside in great heaps expos'd to the Air, he affirm'd to yield as well great great store of Iron, as very good: though I somewhat doubt, whether this be totally to be ascribed to the Aire, and length of time; or to the leaving of Metal in the Slaggs in old times, before great Furnaces were in use.)

Promiscuous Inquiries about Mines, from the same Author.
1. Whether the Territorie, that bears the Mine, abounds with no other Kind of Mineral in some distinct part of it? (As in Kent near Tunbridge, one part of the Country which is Hilly, abounds all along with Iron-Mines; the other, which is also Hilly, and divided from it but by a small Valley, abounds exceedingly (as the Diggers and Inhabitants told me upon the place) in Quarry's, which the Metallin-Country wants, but is quite destitute of Iron-stone. And so at Mendip, in one part of the Hill, I saw store of Lead-Mines, containing several Kinds of Ore of that Metal; another part of the Hill I found to be full of Cole-pits, which had some Marchasites, but no Metal; and in another place, Iron-ore, and mixt Ores, which yet they did not think fit to work.)
2. Whether the Air appear to be really cold in Summer, {343}and hot in Winter at the bottom of the Mines, by surer proofs than the Testimony of our Touch?
3. Whether they ever meet with places and Stones actually very hot, as Matthesius relates? And whether that spring not from the quenching of Marchasites?
4. Whether they find in the Mines any Mineral Gelly, such as the German Naturalists call Ghur? And whether in process of time it will harden into a metal, or Mineral Concretion?
5. What are the Laws, Constitutions, and Customs, Oeconomical, Political, Ethical, that are receiv'd and practis'd among the Mine-men?
6. Whether the Diggers do ever really meet with any subterraneous Demons; and if they do, in what shape and manner they appear; what they portend; and what they do, &c?
7. Whether they observe in the Trees and other Plants, growing over or neer the Mine, not only, (as hath been already intimated) that the Leaves are any whit gilded or silver'd by the ascending Mineral Exhalations, but also, that the Trees or other Plants are more solid and ponderous? And if they have not also some discernable Metalline or Mineral Concretes, to be met within the small Cavities and Pores of their substance?
8. Whether there be not Springs, and also greater Streams of Water neer the Mine, that rise, and run their whole course under ground, without ever appearing above it?
9. Whether the Subterraneous Springs do rise with any wind or determinate change of weather?
10. How much heavier the Atmosphere is at the bottom of the Mine, than at the top? And whether Damps considerably increase the weight of it?
11. Whether they find any strange substances in the Mines, as Vessels, Anchors, Fishes inclos'd in Sparr or Metal, &c.?”

It is a peculiarity of the Australian mines at Kalgoorlie that the gold there was discovered by prospectors looking at the land that was similar to the land around the gold mines of California. It should be possible to get information about the above prospects that apply to Australia and California from the internet.
Something about getting diamonds was discussed in the following book brought to the attention of members of the society:

“III. RELATION DU VOYAGE de l' Evesque de Beryte, par la Turquie, la Perse, les Indes, &c. jusques au Royaume de Siam, & autres lieux; par M. de Bourges, Prestre &c.
This Author imploying his Pen chiefly, according to his design, to give an Accompt of the Success, the Undertakers of this Voyage had, in propagating the Christian Faith in the remoter parts of the World, and relating on that occasion, What number of Churches they have founded in Cochin, China, and the Kingdom of Tonquin, (in which latter alone he affirms, that there are more than three hundred thousand Christians;) being I say principally intent upon that Subject, he seems not to have made many Philosophical observations in those places. Mean while he does good service to those that have occasion to travel into the East-Indies mostly by Land, by describing the passage, they took thither; which was, That they embarqued at Marseilles, in September, the most convenient and favourable season for that Voyage; whence Ships do ordinarily pass every Month from Syria, reckoning one Month for the time of Sayling, to Alexandretta. Thence to Aleppo, counting one Month more for the Stay, to be made there to meet the Caravane for Babylon, and six weeks more for the march from Aleppo to Babylon, where a fortnight will pass before an opportunity happen to embarque upon the Tyger for Balsora; which Journey will require a fortnight more: And about this time it will be about the end of January. Thence is always conveniency to pass from Congo, 4 days Journey from Comoron or Gombroun, to which latter part there is also frequent occasion to pass by Sea from Balsora, which will take up some 15 or 16. days Sail. There (vid. at Comoron) you will every year meet with English, Portugal, Dutch, and Moorish Vessels, from Surat, from October till the end of April, for they are obliged to be at Surate, before the end of May, because all the ports of those {328}Indies are shut the 4. ensuing months, by reason of the danger of that Sea.
But besides this Direction, the Book is not quite destitute of Natural Observations. It relates, 1. How Diamonds are found and separated in Golconda; They take of the Earth, held to be proper to form them, which is reddish, and distinguish'd with white veins, and full of flints and hard lumps. Then they put near the places, which they will digge, a close and even Earth; and to it they carry those Earths, they have digg'd out of the Mine, and gently spread it abroad, and leave it exposed to the Sun for two days. Then being dryed enough they beat it, and sifting this Earth, they find the Diamonds in ashes of Flints, in which Nature hath set them. Here he adds, that the King of that Country farms out these Diamond-Mines for 600000. Crowns per annum, reserving to himself the right of all the Diamonds, that exceed ten Carats in weight. There are Diamonds, that mount to 35. and 40. Carats. And this is the great Treasure of that Prince.
2. That the most esteemed fruit in those parts; the Durion (of the bigness and shape of an ordinary Melon) has a very unpleasing and uneven untollerable smell, like to that of a rotten Apple.
3. That Rice prospers most in waterish grounds; and that the fields, where it grows best, resembles rather to Marshes, than to any ploughed Soyle: Yea, that that Grain has the force, though 6. or 7. foot water stand over it, to shoot its Stalk above it; and that the Stem, which bears it, rises and grows proportionably to the height of the water, that drowns the field.
4. That the way of keeping ones self harmless from a wild Elephant, when he runs directly upon one, is, to hold something to him; as a Hat, a Coat, a piece of Linnen, which he seises on with his Trunk; and playes with it, as if he were pleased with this apparent homage, done to him; and so passes on. If he be in a rage, that then the only remedy is, to turn incessantly behind him to the left side, in regard that naturally (saith this Author) he never turns himself that way, but to the right: And the time, there is to turn, because of the Beasts unweildiness, affords leisure enough to climbe up some high Tree, or to mount some steep ground: all which if it fail, by holding always his tail, and turning with him, the Animal will be tired, and give opportunity to escape.”

But I believe the last idea discussed to be the most valuable should the urge to push comes to drag. Always supposing the chance of finding an elephant should produce for you a wild one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s