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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning

Alguazil - anagram,   pp. 61-82 PDF (20.5 MB)

Page 62

Rtence iome imagine it formed of ALkdi eft; and accord.
ingly, that it was the Alkaline Salt of Tartar volatiliz'd
This feems to have been Glauber's Opinion; who indeed
performed furprizing things I vith fuch a Menffruum upor
Subjeas of all the three Kingdoms.
Others will have it -the German Word Algeift, q. d
wholly Spirituous, or volatile,: Others are of Opinion, thai
Alkaixft is taken from Salls-geifl, which fignifies Spirit o
Salt ; for the Univerfal Menf{ruum, 'tis Said, is to be
wrought from  Water; and fParacelfus him elf calls Sal
the Centre of Water, wherein Metals ought to die, ie$c.-
In effi:6t, Spirit of Salt was the great Menflruum he ufec
On moffi Occafions.-The Commentator on Paracelfus, whr
gave a Latin Edition of his Works at ]Delft, alfures that
the Alkahefl was Mercury, converted into a Spirit.-Z-wel
fer judg'd it to be a Spirit of Vinegar reffify'd from Verdi,
greafe.-And Starkey thought he difcover'd it in his Soap.
There have been fome Synonymous and more fignificant
Words ufed for the A4lkabeJl.-The elder Relmont mentions
the Alkabefj by the compound Name of Ignis-aqua, Fire.
Water: But he here feems to mean the circulated Liquor
of qParacelfus; which he terms Fire, from its Property ol
confuming all things; and Water, on account of its liquid
form.-The fame Author calls it Ignis-gebenme, infernal
Fire; a Word alfo 'ufed by Paracelfus: He alfo intitles it
'Stunmum be feliciffimum omium falium, the principal
'and moli fuccefsful among Salts, which having obtained
' the highefc degree of Simplicity, Purity, and Subtility,
' alone enjoys the Faculty of remaining unchanged and un-
'impaired by the Subjeas it works on, and of diffolving
the moil fiubbofn and untraclable Bodies, as Stones, Gems,
Glafs, Earth, Sulphur, Metals, bec. into real Salt, equal
in weight to the Matter diflioved ; and this with as much
eafe as hot Water melts down Snow.'-' This Salt, con-
tinues he, by being feveral times cohobated with Paracel-
'fus's Sal circulatum, lofes all its Fixednefs; and at length
becomes an infipid Water, equal in quantity to the Salt
it was made from.'
Helmont is exprefs that this Menflruum is intirely the
Product of Art, and not of Nature.-' Tho, fays be, a ho-
' mogeneal Part of elementary Earth may be artificially con-
' verted into Water, yet I deny that the fame can be done
A by Nature alone; for no natural Agent is able to tranf-
' mute one Element into another.' And this he offars as a
Reafon why the Elements always remain the fame.-It
may let fome light into this Affair, to obferve that Helmont,
as well as Paracelfus, took Water for the univerfal Infiru-
ment of Chymiftry, and Natural Philofophy; and Earth
for the unchangeable Bafis of all Things: That Fire
was defigned as the efficient Caufe of all Things; that fe-
minal Impreffions were lodged in the Mechanifm of Earth;
and that Water, by diffolving and fermenting with this
Earth, as it does by means of Fire, brings every thing to
light ; whence originally proceeded the Animal, Vegetable,
and Mineral Kingdoms ; even Man himfelf being thus at
firfl created, agreeably to the account of Mofes.
The great Characler or Property of the Alkaheft, we
have obferved, is to diltolve, and change all fublunary Bo-
dies; Water alone excepted.-The Changes it induces pro-
ceed thus : io, The Subjed expofed to its Operation, is con-
verted into its three Principles, Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury;
afterwards, into Salt alone; which then becomes volatile;
and at length is wholly turned into infipid Water.-The
manner of Application is by touching the Body propofed
to be diiTolved, e. g. Gold, Mercury, Sand, or the like, once
or twice with the pretended AlkabeJf; and if the Liquor
be genuine, the Body will be converted into its own Quan-
tity of Salt.
2o, It does not defiroy the feminal Virtues of the Bo-
dies diffolved thereby.-Thus, Gold is, by its Aaion, re-
duced to a Salt of Gold ; Antimony to a Salt of Antimony;
Saffron to a Salt of Saffron, Eèc. of the fame feminal Vir-
tues, or Charaders with the original Concrete.-By feminal
Virtues, Helmont underflands thofe Virtues which depend
upon the Confirudion or Mechanifm of a Body, and which
make it what it is. Hence, an adual and genuine Aurum
potabile might readily be gained by the Alkahbej, as con-
verting the whole Body of Gold into a Salt, retaining its
feminal Virtues, and being withal foluble in Water.
30, Whatever it diffolves, may be render'd volatile by a
Sand-heat ; and if after volatilizing the Solvend, it be dif-
till'd therefrom, the Body is left pure infipid Water, equal
in quantity to its original felf, but deprived of its feminal
Virtues.-Thus, if Gold be diifolved by the .dlkaheft, the
Metal firft becomes Salt, which is potable Gold - but
when the Menflruum is diflilled therefrom, 'tis left mere
Elementary Water. Whence it appears, that pure Water is
the lafi Produdion or Effed of the AlkabeJi.
40, It fulfers no Change or Diminution of Force by dif-
foiving the Bodies it works on, and therefore fuflains no
Reaaion from them; being the only immutable Menfiruum
in Nature.
AV. K1~
* , V' 'Tis incapable of Mixture, and *heremre
. from Fermentation 'and Putrefadion; coming
I from the Body it has diffolved, as when firfl
i on; without. leaving the leaft Foulnofs behind,
originally given, by the Arabians, to a Salt ex
t the Alhes of a Plant called Kali i and by ut
f becaufe ufed in the making of Glafs.  See
t   Afterwards, the Term Alkaly became a con
- for thc. 1,AArnls al  ,s ,11 Pl-,. . .. - . Q . .
1   as arc drw Yv Lotion from te. D j -Ia'L al lufr JLWLf ba"
I as are drawn hu, T.ntinn frnrn thp~r Aiihe  Q.  -;_
- H --- - _ rees --Wt --sX&W -X                                     
and Asti ES. ..
And hence, again, in regard the original Alkali wa
- found to ferment with Acids, the Name has fince becom,
- common to all volatile Salts, and all terrefirial Subianc
which have that Effea. See AcID.
ALKALY, then, in its modern extenfive Senfe, is any Sub.
fiance, which being mixed with an Acid, an Ebullition and
* EfFervefcence enfues thereon. See EFFERVESCENCE, Eg$c.
And hence arifes the grand Divifion of Natural Bodies
f into the two oppofite Claffes of Acids and Alalies.S &e
I oerhaave fcarce takes this Circumflance to be enough to
conflitute any determinate Clafs of Bodies.-In efed, 1.
kaliss are not of one fimilar homogeneous Nature; but
there are two feveral forts.
The firfi obtain'd from Vegetable and Animal Subfiances,
- by Calcination, Diffillation, Putrifadion, &,ßc. fuch are Spirit
of Urine, Spirit of Hartihorn, Salt of Tartar, Cc.-The fet
cond are of the terreftrial Kind ; as Shells, Bole, W
The two Species, !Roerhaave obferves, differ widely frot,
each other; having fcarce any thing in common, but their
being efihrvefcible with Acids.-The one is a Clafs of na.
tive, fixed, fcentlefs, infipid, mild, affringent, foflil Bodies-
The other a Set of fuch as are volatile, odorous, fapid, cau.
flick, aperitive, and procured by Art.
Hence, adds the fame Author, mere Ef~hryefcence with
Acids, muff be allow'd to be of it felf infufficient to deter-
mine the Nature of an Alkaly: and that fuch a Name, which,
properly denotes a cajiflick fiery Subfiance, Should not be
affixed to any mild and gentle Body, as Chalk, Efc. but
other Properties and Confiderations are to be taken i;,
and particularly their Tafle, manner of procuring, and the
Change of Colour they produce in Bodies.
With regard to this lafi Circumflance, thofe Liquors which
being pour'd on Syrup of Violets, change it of a green Co-
lour, are Alkalies; as thofe which turn it red, Acids.-Thus
Oil of Tartar turns it of a kindly green; and Oil of Vitriol
of a Carmine red: And if to the Syrup thus made red by
Oil of Vitriol, Oil of Tartar be pour'd, it turns that part
wherewith it comes in contad, green ; leaving the reQ red:
and the like holds of Oil of Vitriol, pour'd on Syrup made
green by Oil of Tartar.
To the like effea M. Hornberg obferves, that ' a mere heat
and bubbling arifing upon the Admixture of a Body with
an Acid, does not feem an adequate Criterion of the Alko.
' line Nature; fince diflill'd Oils of all kinds are found to do
' thus much; and many of 'em with more vehemence than
' Alkalies themfelves, fo as fometimes even to take fire, which,
' Alkalies never do.'
lo the Duennition and Charadter of an Alkaly the,
M. Homlberg adds this Circumflance;' that after the .
' the Mixtures coalefce and mhoot into a Salt, or faline
' ter.'-This excludes the Oils above mention'd ; wb
not, after EfFervefcence, unite with the Acids into a
Subflance, but rather compofe a refinous one.
All lixivious Salts have thefe Characters of Alkaly.-
not only lixivious, but alfo all urinous Salts; which art
flantly found to imbibe Acids with great eagerness, a
ter Ebullition, to unite and cryflallize with 'em. See
NOUS Salt.
Hence we have two Kinds of Alkaly Salts, viz.
or Lixivious Alkalies ; and Volatile, or Urinous ones.
SALT; fee alfo Fix'D, VOLATILE,   SC. -
But befide Alkaly Salts, there are an Infinity of
Bodies, not faline; which anfwer to the Characters o
kaly, i. e. produce much the fame Effeds with J
as the Alkaly Salts above mention'd.-And thefe all
Matters are in other refpeds of different Natures.
Some, e.g. are merely Earthlv as Quick-lime, M  a
Seal'd Earths, Z.5c.-Others are Metalline ; among which,
have their peculiar and appropriate Acids to adt on 'ei
Gold, Tin, and Antimony, which only difiolve with
Regia; Silver, Lead, and Mercury, with Aqua fortis
the others with other forts of Acids, as Iron, Copper,
Bifmuth, ,c.-   There are others of the Animal C
confifling, ro, Of flony Matters found in the Vi
of certain Species ; as the Calculus humanus, Bezt
Crabs Eyes, U'c -      2f, Tefiaceous Matters and Si
as Pearls, Oyffer-fihells, Cuttle-fifh Bones, the Ohel
Coats of Lobfiters, Crabs,  Ei'c.-30, The Parts of Ani

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