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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703 / Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses : with observations and inquiries thereupon
(MDCLXVII [1667])

Observ. XXV. Of the stinging points and juice of nettles, and some other venomous plants,   pp. 142-147


Page 144


144                 M     ICROGR AP H IA,
     beyond their natural tone, but are alfo prick'd, perhaps, orcorroded
by
     the pungent and incongruous pores of the intruded liquor.
        And this feems to be the reafon, why Aqua fortis, and otherfaline
li-
     quors5 if they come to touch the fenfitive parts, as in a cut of the
Ikn,
     or the like, do fo violently and intollerably excruciate and torment
the
     Patient. And 'tis not unlikely, but the Inventors of that Diabolical
pra-
     &tice of poisoning the points of Arrows and Ponyards, might receive
     their firft hint from foome fuch Infiance in natural contrivances, as
this of
     the Nettle: for the ground why fuch poifon'd weapons kill fo infallibly
     as they do, feems no other then this of our Nettle's flinging ; for
the Pon-
     yard or Dart makes a paffhge or entrance into the fenfitive or vital
parts
     of the body, whereby the contagious fubftance comes to be diflblv'd
by,
     and mix'd with the fluid parts or humours of the body,and by that means
     fipreads it felf by degrees into the whole liquid part of the body,
in the
     fame manner, as a few grains of Salt,put into a great quantity of Water,
     will by degrees diffiife it felf over the whole.
         And this I take to be the reafon of killing of Toads, Frogs, Effs,
and
      feveral Fifhes, by ftrewing Salt on their backs (which Experiment was
      fhewn to the Rioyal Society by a very ingenious Gentleman, and a worthy
      Member of it) for thofe creatures having always a continual exfudation,
      as it wereof limy and watry partsfweating out of the pores of their
{kin,
      thefaline particles, by that means obtain a vehicletwhich conveys them
in-
      to the internal and vital parts of the body.
        This feems alfo to be the reafon why bathing in Mineral waters are
      fuch foveraign remedies for multitudes of diftempers,efpecially chronica15
      for the liquid & warm vehicles of the Mineral particles,which are
known
      to be in very considerable quantities in thofe healing baths,by the
body's
      long flay in them, do by degrees fteep and infinuate themselves into
the
      pores and parts of the Ikin,and thereby thofe Mineral particles have
their
      ways and palauges open'd to penetrate into the inner parts, and mingle
      themselves with theflagnant juices of the feveral parts; befides,many
of
      thofe offenfive parts which were united with thofeftagnant juices,
and
      which were contrary to the natural conflitution of the parts, and fo
be-
      come irkfome and paiiifull to the body,but could not be discharged,
be-
      caufe Nature had made no provifion for fuch accidental mischief, are,
by
      means of this foaking, and filling the pores of the fkin with a liquor,
af-
      forded a paflage through that liquor that fills the pores into the
am-
      bient fluid, and thereby the body comes to be difcharged.
         So that 'tis very evident,there may be a good as well as an evil
applica-
      tion of this Principle. And the ingenious Invention of that Excellent
      perfon, Doftor WUren) of injefting liquors into the veins of an Animal,
      feems to be reducible to this head: I cannot flay, nor is this a fit
place, to
      mention the feveral Experiments made of this kind by the moft incom-
      parable Mr. Boyle, the multitudes made by the lately mention'd Phyfician
      Dodor Clark, the Hliftory whereof; as he has been pleas'd to commu-
      nicate to the Royal Society, fo he may perhaps be prevail'd with to
make
      publique himfelf: But I thall rather hint, that certainly, if this
Principle
                                                                     were


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