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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 146


mitai         MICROGRAPI-I A.
miftake is manifeft enough from the defcription of it,which Mr. Parkinfon
fets down in his Herbal, Tribe XI. Chap. 2. Pbhaiolisfiliqua hirfuta ; the
hairy Kidney-bean, cal/cd in zurratte where it rows, Couhaee: We have had
(fays he) another of this kind brought as out of 'thc Eaft-Ind~is) which
beivg
planted. was inJkem like the former, but came not to perfecUlon, the unkindly
Jeafion not Jztffering it to hew the flower ; but ofthe Cods that were brought,
fJore were fJaller,fhorter, and rounder then the Garden kind ; others Much
longer, and manay growing together, as it were in cliJiers, and coverd alover
with a brown Jhort hairinej2lfo fine) that if any of it be rubb'd, or fall
on the
back of ones hand, or other tender parts of the skin, it will cadge a kind
of
itching, but not ifrong, nor long induring, but paffing quickly away, without
either danger or harms the Beans werefal/er then ordinary, and of a black
hinning colour.
   Having one of there Cods given me by a Sea-Captain. who had fre-
 quented thofe parts, I found it to be a fmall Cod, about three Inches
 long, much like a fhort Cod of French Beans, which had fix Beans in it,
 the whole furface of it was cover'd over with a very thick and fhining
 brown Down or Hair, which was very fine, and for its bignefs Jiff5
 taking fome of this Down, and rubbing it on the back of my hand, 1
 found very little or no trouble, only I was fenfible that feveral of thefe
 little downy parts with rubbing did penetrate, and were funk, or fiuck
 pretty deep into my 1kin. After I had thus rubb'd it for a pretty while,
 I felt very little or no pain, in fo much that I doubted, whether it were
 the true Couhage ; but whil'ft 1 was considering, I found the Down begin
 to make my hand itch, and in fome places to fmart again, much like the
 flinging of a Flea or Gnat, and this continued a pretty while, fo that by
 degrees I found my 1kin to be fwell'd with little red puftules, and to
 look as if it had been itchie. But fuffering it without rubbing or fcratch-
 ing, the itching tickling pain quickly grew languid, and within an hour
 I felt nothing at all, and the little protuberancies were vanifh'd.
    The caufe of which odd Phenomenon, I fuppofe to be much the fame
  with that of the ftinging of a Nettle, for by the Alicrofcope, I difcover'd
  this Down to confift of a multitude of fmall and flender cQnical bodies,
  much resembling Needles or Bodkins fiuch as are represented by A B.
  C D. E F. of the firft Figure of the XVI. Scheme 5 that their ends A A
A,
  were very fharp, and the fubftance of them ftiff and hard, much like the
  fiibftance of feveral kinds of Thorns and crooks growing on Trees. And
  though they appear'd very cleer and tranfparent, yet I could not per-
  ceive whether they were hollow or not,* but to me they appear'd
  like folid transparent bodies, without any cavity in them j whether,
  though they might not be a kind of Cane, fill'd with fome tranfpa-
  rent liquor which was hardned (becaufe the Cod which I had was very
  dry) I was not ;able to examine.
    Now, being fuch ftiff; fharp bodies, it is eafie to conceive, how with
  rubbing they might eafily be thruft into the tender parts of the skin,and
  there, by reafon of their exceeding finenefs and drinefs, not create any
  confidcrable trouble or pain, till by remaining in thofe places moiDined
  with the humours of the body, fome cauflick part flicking cn them, or
                                                              refiding


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