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one pons for betel-nut, and the leaf made up ready for chewing; one little piece of iron, and one piece of sandale wood. When she got to the pile, she looked a little at ber husband, wbo was lying upon it, and then walked seven times round it; when she stopped at his feet, and made the same obeisance to him as before. She then mounted the pile without help, and laid herself down by her husband's side, putting the pot she carried with her close to her head; wbich as soon as done, she clasped her husband in her arms; and the son, who was standing ready with a wisp of straw lighted in his hand, put the blaze of it three times to his father and mother's mouths, and then set the pile on fire all round, whilst the populace threw reeds and light wood upon them; and they were both burnt to ashes in less than an hour. I believe she soon died, for she never moved, though there was no weight upon her, but what she might have easily overset, had she had any inclination. It was intirely a voluntary act, and she was as much in her senses as ever she was in her life. I forgot to mention that she had her forehead painted with red paint, which she scraped off with her nails, and distributed amongst her friends, and also gave them chewed betel out of her mouth, for which favours every one seemed solicitous. The above, I assure you, is a true account of what I saw."
LX. Bergamot Pears recommended for the Stone and Gravel
MR. URBAN, I HAVE sent you the following case to be published in your Magazine, if you shall think proper.
I had for some years been afflicted with the usual symptoms of the stone in the bladder, when accidentally meeting with Dr. Lobb's Treatise of Dissolvents for the Stone and Gravel, I was induced on his recominendation to try the use of Bergamot pears, and ate a dozen or more every day with the rind, when in less than a week I observed a large red flake in my urine, which, on a slight touch, crumbled into the finest powder; and this was the case for several succeeding days. It is ten years since I made the experiment, and I have been quite free from all complaints of that kind ever since.
If any one should be so happy to receive the same benefit, it is to be hoped that he will publish his case for the good of mankind.
P.S. I do not know whether it may be material to observe that the pears I ate were of the small sort, and full of knots.
LXI. Account of Valentine Greatrakes, the Stroker.
MR. URBAN IN the year 1666, Mr. Valentine Greatrakes, an Irish gentleman, came to England, being invited thither by the Earl of Orrery, to cure the Viscountess Conway of an inveterate head-ache, and, though he failed in that attempt, he wrought many surprising cures not unlike miracles. He was born Feb. 14, 1628, at Affane, in the county of Waterford, and bred a Protestant in the free-school at Lismore, till he was thirteen years of age; he was designed for the college of Dublin, but, the rebellion breaking out, was forced with his mother to fly into England, where he was kindly received by his great uncle, Edmund Harris, Esq. after whose death his mother placed him with one John Daniel Getsius, a German minister, of Stoke Gabriel, in Devonshire. In five or six years he returned to his native country, which he found in a distracted state, and, there. fore, spent a year in contemplation at the castle of Caperquin. "In 1649, he was a lieutenant in Lord Broghill's* regiment, then acting in Munster against the rebels ; and in 1656, great part of the army being disbanded, retired to Affane, his native place, and was made clerk of the peace for Cork county, register for transplantation, and justice of the peace; but losing his places after the Restoration, he grew discontented. He seemed very religious; his looks were grave but simple, and not like those of an impostor. He said himself, that ever since the year 1662, he had felt a strange impulse or persuasion that he had the gift of curing the King's evil; and this suggestion became so strong, that
* Afterwards Earl of Orrery, above-mentioned.
he stroked several persons, and cured them. Three years after, an epidemical fever raging in the country, he was again persuaded that he could also cure that. He made the experiment, and he affirmed that be cured all who came to him. At length, in April, 1665, another kind of inspiration suggested to him, that he had the gift of healing wounds and uicers; and experience, he also said, proved that he was not deceived. He even found that he cured convulsions, the dropsy, and many other distempers.* Crowds flocked to him from all parts, and he performed such extraordinary cures, that he was cited into the bishop's court at Lismore, and, not having a licence for practising, was forbid to lay hands on any for the future. Nevertheless, being engaged by the lady above-mentioned to come over to England, he arrived there in the beginning of 1666, and, as be proceeded through the country, magistrates of the cities and towns through which he passed begged him to come and cure their sick. The King, being informed of it, ordered him, by the Earl of Arlington, Secretary of State, to come to Whitehall. The court, though not fully persuaded of his miraculous power, did not forbid him to make himself known. He went every day to a particular part of London, wbere a prodigious number of sick persons of all Tanks, and of both sexes, assembled. He did nothing but stroke them. Pains, the gout, rheumatism, convulsions, &c. were driven by his touch from one part to another, to the utmost extremities of the body, after which they entirely ceased. This occasioned his being called The Stroker. He ascribed several disorders to evil spirits, which he divided into different kinds. As soon as the possessed saw him, or heard his voice, they fell on the ground, or into violent agitations. He cured them, as he did other sick persons, by stroking. He could not, however, convince every one of the reality of his miraculous gift ; many wrote violently against him, but he found some zealous advocates, even among the faculty. He himself published, in 1666, a letterad. dressed to the celebrated Mr. Boyle, in which he gave a succinct history of his life,t from which the above particulars are extracted. 'He annexed to this pamphlet a great number of
* Among others, Mr. Flamsteed, the famous Astronomer, (then in bis 20th year,) went over to Ireland, in Angust, 1665, to be touched by him for a natural weakness of constitution, but received no benefit.
+ This letter was entitled " A brief account of Mr. Valentinc Greatrakes, and divers of the strange Cures by him performed, &c.” See also “ The Miraculous Conformist, &c.” By Henry Stubbe, M.D. Printed at Oxford, 1666.
eertificates, signed by persons of known probity, and among others by Mr. Boyle, and by the celebrated Drs. Wilkins, Whichcot, Cudworth, and Patrick, who attested the truth of some wonderful cures that he had wrought. Note withstanding all this, his reputation did not last much longer than that of James Aymar*. It appeared at length that all these miraculous causes were only built on the credulity of the public. The noise which this man made gave rise to a novel (in French) by M. St. Evremond; entitled, “The Irish Prophet,” in which he finely rallies the credulity of the people, and the spirit of superstition. He also shews that there is no kind of conjuration which is able to lay this kind of demon, which sometimes disturbs the peace of society.
He returned to Ireland in 1667, and though he lived there many years, he no longer kept up the reputation of performing those strange cures which have procured him a name even in our general histories. But in this, his case is very singular, that on the strictest inquiry no sort of blemish was ever thrown upon his character; nor did any of those curious and learned persons, who espoused his cause, draw any imputation upon themselves, though at the same time it must be allowed that there were several very eminent and knowing virtuosi, who could not be brought to have any great opinion of his performances, but were rather inclined to attribute all he did to the mere efficacy of friction.
LXII. Lord Mansfield's Opinion on Patents.
MR. URBAN, THE following opinion of Lord Mansfield, relative to patents in general, and to Dr. James's in particular, seeming to me to deserve being more universally known than it is likely to be in the pamphlet which contains it, I have therefore sent it to be inserted in your Magazine. Through whose hands patents from the crown pass, or who are the managers and conductors of them, I am totally ignorant; but it were to be wished, that, for the future, attention
A peasant of Dauphiny, who made much noise in France, in 1692 and 3, by the marvellous effects of bis divining rod.
should be paid to the circumstances mentioned in the foto lowing extract
BENEVOLUS, “The third point is whether the specification is such as instructs others to make it; for the condition of giving the encouragement is this :—That you must specify upon record your invention in such a way as shall teach an artist, when your term is out, to make it, and to make it as well as you, by your directions; for then, at the end of the term, the public have the benefit of it. The inventor has the benefit during the term, and the public have the benefit after. But it, as Dr. James did with his powders, the specification of the composition gives no proportion, there is an end of his patent, and, when he is dead, nobody is a bit the wiser. The materials were all old ; antimony is old, and all the other ingredients. If no proportion is specified, you are not, I say, a bit the wiser: and therefore I have determined, in several cases here, the specification must state, where there is a composition, the proportions, so that any other artist inay be able to make it, and it must be a lesson and direction to him by which to make it: if the invention be of another sort, to be done by mechanism, they must describe it in a way that an artist may be able to do it.”
Reply to Observations on two Trials at
Law, respecting Mess. Adums's
nemo-invented Stucco. 1779, Oet.
LXDI. Rough Water calmed by Oil.
MA. URBAN, DR. FRANKLIN (if I mistake not) lately plumed himself on the discovery of a method to still rough water by means of oil*. Though this phenomenon was noticed so long ago as the days of Pliny, yet I suspect that the Doctor first learned it from the Indians who live on the American lakes, as it is well known that the same expedient is practised by
* Dr. Franklin only confirms the report of Pliny and others who have mentioned this phenomenon. His only discovery is the effects of a single drop of oil on a large surface of water. E.