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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

5. Seventeenth-century Advances in Chemistry, Physiology, and Anatomy

13. Seventeenth-Century Advances in Chemistry

Texte intégral

Magdeburg hemispheres
Plate from Guericke’s Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica… (1672). Engraving by Gaspar Schott (detail, part left) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.

1Messieurs,

  • 1 [Francis Bacon (born 22 January 1561, London; died 9 April 1626, Highgate), English philosopher, s (...)
  • 2 [Descartes, see Volume 1, Lesson 6, note 7.]
  • 3 [Galileo, see Lesson 11, note 20.]
  • 4 [Kepler, see Lesson 12, note 2.]
  • 5 [Torricelli, see Lesson 11, note 41.]

2During our last session we saw how the main principles of philosophy by Bacon1 and Descartes,2 as well as the examples of Galileo,3 Kepler,4 Torricelli,5 and other great observers, had an influence on the minds in the realm of the natural sciences. We talked about the general taste for experiments and positive observations that ensued as well as the various societies that were founded to gather as many resources as possible and help satisfy this desire for discovery. We also talked about the support that several states brought to these societies.

3The effect of these various resources that were aimed at improving the sciences was more or less noticeable depending on the level of advancement of these sciences. Chemistry and anatomy, for example, were the ones that needed the most experiments and observations. We saw that as soon as erudite societies were created, chemistry evolved considerably; it spread and took the structure and the language of a true science instead of its mystical and secret appearance it had maintained so far. However, it was not easy to go through this evolution, which met some resistance; as we saw, at the beginning of the century that we are studying, the faculty of medicine of Paris still considered chemists to be fakes, as some kind of poisoners to whom any honorable doctor could not even refer. Nevertheless, we saw at the same time in Paris the introduction of doctor chemists, even at the court. The reason was simple: the new remedies had great power and great effect. They healed diseases that Galenic remedies failed to cure; thus, it was normal that when ordinary doctors no longer helped, one would consult those who used other means, which explains that today we trust charlatans when rational medicine has exhausted all its healing resources.

  • 6 [Henry IV, see Lesson 2, note 57.]

4The chemical doctrine appeared in several books. As we look at the various countries where these works were published, we see that in France, as early as the time of Henry IV,6 there existed some professors and authors of works on chemical medicine. Chemistry in their hands was not exactly a science separate from medicine; it was, in a way, a new branch. Actually, almost all chemists were also alchemists and believed in the transmutation of metals, but it was not the apparent object of their lessons and of their works.

  • 7 [Beguin, see Lesson 12, note 147.]
  • 8 [Louis XIII, see Lesson 2, note 110.]
  • 9 [John Beguin’s Tyrocinium chymicum e naturae fonte et manuali experientia depromptum…, first publi (...)
  • 10 [For Valentinus, see Lesson 10, note 9.]
  • 11 [Paracelsus, see Lesson 4, note 73.]

5The first of the physician chemists who wrote in France and who authored an elementary book was John Beguin;7 he was doctor to Henry IV, then he became a monk and later chaplain to Louis XIII.8 He published in 1610 Elements of Chemistry, which was later printed in Latin in 1615, with the title of Tyrocinium chimicum, etc.9 This work gives a rather polished summary of chemistry of that time, which is the chemistry of Valentinus10 and of Paracelsus11 based on the five principles.

  • 12 [Philosophia pyrotechnica, seu curriculus chymiatricus, nobilissima illa et exoptatissima medicina (...)
  • 13 [Nicolas Le Febvre (born c. 1610, Sedan; died 1674, London), a French chemist and pharmacist, reme (...)
  • 14 [Chymischer Handleiter und guldenes Kleinod, Nuremberg: Christoph Endfers, 1676, xxxiv + 867 + xlv (...)

6The same thing happened with Philosophia pyrotechnica (Philosophy of Fire), a book written by Davisson,12 an Englishman who lived in Paris that was published in 1635. Davisson was a public professor of chemistry when he published his book and the students of the faculty attended his lectures; thus, we can see that as early as 1630, the difficulties that had been an obstacle to chemical medicine had been overcome. Indeed, a few years later Nicolas Le Febvre also became a public professor of chemistry and published his lectures under the title of Treatise of Chemistry.13 This work was published in 1660 and was so well regarded that it was later translated into the language of Germany, the country of origin of chemistry. It was published in Nuremberg in 1676 with the title of Golden Jewelry or Elements of Chemistry.14

  • 15 [Glaser, see Lesson 12, note 148.]
  • 16 [Traité de la chymie, see Lesson 12, note 148.]
  • 17 [Antoine Vallot (born 1594 or 1595, Arles; died 9 August 1671, Paris), a French physician whose se (...)

7However, the best and most accessible book among all the elementary books of its kind was written by a German who had settled in Paris, Christopher Glaser.15 In 1663, under the title Treatise of Chemistry,16 he published the course he gave at the Jardin du Roi. He had been introduced to this institution by Vallot,17 first physician to Louis XIII, and even to Louis XIV at the beginning of his reign. As first physician, Vallot was also director of the Jardin des plantes since both functions were intimately linked. He was the one who appointed the first demonstrator of chemistry at the Jardin who was Christopher Glaser. His course makes up a small volume in octavo in which everything is very simply explained. It is perhaps the first work that is completely devoid of the mystical terms that stemmed from alchemy and where each thing is called by its name.

  • 18 [Valentinus, see Lesson 10, note 9.]

8Most of the explanations are still Cartesian. The author teaches the true system of Paracelsus with simple and clear terms and with a methodic order. Thus, he distinguishes five principles in chemistry: three active principles and two passive principles. The active principles, as I told you when we looked at Valentinus,18 are still 1) mercury or spirit, which is the principle of volatility; 2) oil or sulfur, which is the principle of combustion; and 3) salts or the principle of flavor.

9The passive principles are earth and water, which are also called placidity. It would be difficult to explain why he called some “passive” more than the others, but it is probably because they have less apparent activity, less action on the human body.

  • 19 [Newton, see Lesson 11, note 37.]
  • 20 [Fontenelle, see Lesson 12, note 126.]
  • 21 [Étienne François Geoffroy (born 13 February 1672, Paris; died 6 January 1731, Paris), a French ph (...)

10After he established these various principles, Glaser simply described the various chemical preparations. It proves that chemistry was only considered as a branch of medicine rather than a universal science that prevails over all the sublunary nature as we conceive it today. He successively addresses the preparations of gold and other metals, then salts, sulfurs, plants, and animal substances. He describes the various processes required to obtain the compounds that were used in medicine or in the arts. The ideas of combining elements according to their affinity did not yet exist. The idea of chemical affinity stemming from universal gravity as a kind of attraction became generally accepted only after Newton.19 Newton was the first to introduce this idea in chemistry but it took a while before it was generally accepted. An anecdote to note is when Fontenelle20 reported —in his praise of Geoffroy21 who was the first to propose tables of chemical affinity— that these tables annoyed many scholars of that time because they thought they contained hidden, concealed attractions. This occurred in 1730, in the first third of the eighteenth century, when people were still reluctant to except the idea of chemical affinity.

  • 22 The Marquise de Brinvilliers [Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d’Aubray, born 22 July 1630; beheaded and (...)

11Glaser gives the virtues of each of his preparations. While there were already some public professors who were paid by the state and gave courses in public institutions, chemistry was still so distrusted that a man called Exili was prosecuted for teaching the Marquise de Brinvilliers the art of making poisons.22 Glaser, however, was not investigated.

  • 23 [Homberg, see Lesson 12, note 119.]

12It was different for Homberg23 who was suspected of having participated in famous poisoning. This distrust was probably due to the unique status of the chemical science, its mysterious language and the secrets it had been surrounded with for so long.

  • 24 [Académie des Sciences de Paris, see Lesson 12, note 75.]
  • 25 [Duclos, see Lesson 12, note 122.]
  • 26 [Bourdelin, see Lesson 12, note 121.]
  • 27 [John Marchant (born c. 1650; died 11 November 1738, Paris), a French botanist and one time superi (...)
  • 28 [Dodart, see Lesson 12, note 120.]
  • 29 [Caput mortuum, a Latin term literally meaning “dead head” or “worthless remains,” used in alchemy (...)

13When the French Academy of the Sciences was established in 1666,24 it included a section devoted to chemistry; several of its members including Duclos,25 Bourdelin,26 Marchant,27 Dodart,28 and even Homberg presented some works on chemistry. You remember that at that time this academy did not work toward the progress of the sciences with individual memoirs as it had been doing since its revival in 1699, but through commissions that were in charge of some specific research. Thus, Duclos and several others were in charge of analyzing mineral waters; Dodart analyzed many plants. It was thought that the virtues of plants could be found based on their chemical analysis, but these analyses were so rough that they gave no result. Organized bodies were analyzed only through a drying process. They were put in a still; their various productions such as water, spirits, and volatile oils were then extracted from them until the caput mortuum29 was left, which is the residue that could no longer change. Breaking down the immediate principles of the bodies led to a unique fact —at least this is how it seemed to all chemists of that time— that plants were composed of the same elements except for those that contained nitrogen out of which volatile alkali was extracted, but it occurred in a minority of the cases.

  • 30 [Lemery, see Lesson 12, note 149.]

14Research in chemistry became more and more general, and Nicolas Lemery,30 who was also professor of chemistry after Glaser, taught this science without ever being the object of doubt.

  • 31 [Joseph Pitton de] Tournefort [born 5 June 1656, Aix-en-Provence; died 28 December 1708, Paris; a (...)

15Lemery was born in Rouen in 1645. The son of a prosecutor, he studied in Paris with Glaser and succeeded him in the position of demonstrator of chemistry at the Jardin du Roi. He still believed in the possibility of alchemy. His public lectures took place in 167231 and his course was published for the first time in 1675. He was persecuted, not as a chemist, but as a Protestant, in 1681, and had to flee to England. However, he came back to Paris and abjured in 1686. He wanted to resume working in his former profession, but to do so he had to go through further trials, until he was finally able to get his position back. In 1699, when the Academy of the Sciences was revived, he was granted membership, which he held until his death in 1715.

  • 32 [Rosicrucianists, see Lesson 1, note 6.]
  • 33 [Louis Claude] Cadet de Gassicourt [born 24 July 1731, Paris; died 17 October 1799, Paris; a Frenc (...)

16Lemery is known for being the first to explain chemistry in understandable terminology, without using the enigmatic language that Paracelsus, Valentinus, and the Rosicrucianists32 had always used before. But this opinion is not accurate:33 Glaser is as intelligible as Lemery; Glaser is even more easily understood because he does not give as many explanations. Descartes’s philosophy, which was supposed to explain everything through mechanics and the apparent laws on impact of bodies, had made people become accustomed to all these hypotheses, all these assumptions on the shape of molecules, which could give an explanation to any phenomena. We find this doctrine characteristic of al-most all the chemists of that time and in Lemery as much as in any other. He adopts the same principles as his predecessors, which are the three active principles, mercury or spirit, oil or sulfur, and salt; and two passive ones, water and earth. The spirit or mercury is clearly defined by him as anything that is volatile, but he notes that the metal of mercury, the one that we use in our experiments, is not the only one that exists. Oil or sulfur is according to him anything that is flammable, and salt, anything that is salty. The spirit gives movement and salt protects from degradation, which is why salt and spirit are found in all animals and plants as mixtures in which motion is supposed to occur and where the complex composition is supposed to produce decay and degradation more easily than in minerals in which we do not always find salt and spirit.

  • 34 [Becker, see Lesson 9, note 89.]
  • 35 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]
  • 36 [Boyle, see Lesson 12, note 32.]
  • 37 [Phlogiston theory, a long-discredited scientific theory that postulated a fire-like element calle (...)
  • 38 [Van Helmont, see Lesson 10, note 66.]

17Lemery gives a lot of explanations on the shape of the molecules that make up minerals. In salt, for example, in which he distinguishes the acids and the alkalis, acids have the shape of small pointed particles that enter bodies, which they dissolve; alkalis have different shapes. Basically, all Cartesian hypotheses, which we do not have to repeat here since they have now been completely abandoned, still remain in Lemery’s books, which, however, were quite famous since fifteen editions were published up through the middle of the seventeenth century. Lemery’s treatise on chemistry was at that time a classical book of reference for all pharmacists and physicians; basically for all those who needed to study chemistry. Forty years had passed since Becker34 had introduced his new theory developed by Stahl.35 Boyle’s experiments on pneumatic chemistry36 had been published even much earlier; however, nothing of it appeared in the general teaching of chemistry, at least not in France. The Italian chemists had just started to look into it, and Stahl’s theory was introduced only much later. In Lemery, there is no mention of chemical attractions or the phlogiston theory,37 or any of the ideas that dominated Italian chemistry. He does not talk about gases either, although Van Helmont38 had mentioned them, and that their various kinds had been determined during the sixteenth and at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

  • 39 [Homberg, see Lesson 12, note 119.]
  • 40 [Otto von Guericke, see Lesson 12, note 31.]
  • 41 [The Magdeburg hemispheres are a pair of large copper hemispheres with mating rims, used to demons (...)
  • 42 [Colbert, see Lesson 12, note 75.]
  • 43 [Abbot Bignon, see Lesson 12, note 124.]
  • 44 [Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (born 2 August 1674, Château de Saint Cloud, France; died 2 December (...)
  • 45 [Louis, Duke of Brittany, Dauphin of France (born 8 January 1707, Versailles; died 8 March 1712, V (...)
  • 46 [Purpura, an archaic medical term for a disease characterized by livid spots on the skin from extr (...)
  • 47 [Philippe de France, Duke of Anjou (born 30 August 1730, Versailles; died 7 April 1733, Versailles (...)

18A chemist from the same school who was more useful to science by his discoveries and the specific experiments he published is William Homberg.39 Homberg was of German origin since he was the son of a gentleman from Saxony, but because his father was at the service of the Dutch in the army, he was born in Batavia in 1652. He went back to Germany, was a lawyer in Magdeburg, and became friend and pupil to Otto of Guericke,40 whose experiments on air pressure, which I already told you about, have been called since then Magdeburg hemispheres.41 Then, Homberg went to England where he met Robert Boyle. He traveled to other countries, and Colbert,42 who had the opportunity to meet him in Paris in 1682, settled him there with the support of the king. When Colbert died, he was almost abandoned and went to Rome where he practiced medicine. But in 1691, he was called back to Paris by Abbot Bignon.43 In 1702, he was hired to be instructor to the Duke of Orléans44 who later became Regent of the Kingdom of France, after the death of Louis XIV. The Duke of Orleans acquired such a taste for chemistry from Homberg’s courses that he set up his own laboratory and worked with Homberg on all kinds of experiments. This is when he became suspect, so to speak, to the whole country of France, because all the princes of Louis XIV’s family started to die one after the other, especially the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy, and their son, the Duke of Brittany.45 Measles and a very pestilential purpura46 were the cause of their deaths, but their deaths came so rapidly that it led to suspicions against the Duke of Orleans who would have been the heir to the throne after the death of the Duke of Anjou, then reigning under the name of Louis XV.47 These suspicions were so strong that Homberg, who was the Duke of Orleans’s collaborator, felt he had to go to the Bastille to avail himself to any investigation that might be necessary about his behavior, but he was not interviewed. In fact, the king, who had more accurate ideas about his nephew’s integrity, did not give credit to the allegations that had been expressed against him. Furthermore, the best proof of his innocence is that Louis XV, the last one who remained between him and the throne, lived for a long time after the Duke of Orleans, although during his Regency, he had all the opportunities he could have wanted to act on this child if he had wanted to.

19Anyway, Homberg filled the Memoirs of the Academy, since its revival, with many experiments on all branches of chemistry, on salts, metals, for example, and many other experiments in physics. He is one of the first to use concave mirrors to create a great heat, and applied it to experiments in chemistry. Several of his works are still used today as founding principles in science. However, he did not create any new system: his explanations are based in part on Cartesian hypotheses and in part on the systems of Paracelsus and Valentinus. Thus, we cannot say that he helped chemistry evolve greatly as a general science, though he enriched it with several experiments of detail.

20Now that we have reviewed the chemists who wrote and taught in Paris or in France, we can look at those who wrote and taught in Germany. Germany was the country of the men who had done some experiments in chemistry. Valentinus is said to have been a monk in Erfurt and his German origin is undeniable. Paracelsus was actually Swiss, but from the German part of Switzerland; at that time, Switzerland was not as separate from Germany as it has been since then. Van Helmont who was Belgian, also belonged to Germany. He gave chemistry a character different from how it was known in the mines and in metal work since he is one of the men who started to introduce the knowledge of elastic fluids and of gas. However, during the period that we are reviewing, we only find elementary books written according to the five principles, based on Paracelsus’s doctrine.

  • 48 [Zachary Brendel or Brendelius (born 1592, died 1638), author of Chimia in artis formam redacta, u (...)
  • 49 He [Werner Rolfinck (born 15 November 1599, Hamburg; died 6 May 1673, Jena), a German physician an (...)

21The first author from Germany came before the one in France. His name is Zachary Brendel; he wrote in Jena in 1630 a work called Chimia in artis formam redacta.48 Werner Rolfinck,49 another chemist who was a professor in Jena whom we will see again in botany and in other branches of natural history, also wrote a treatise in chemistry with the same title, published in 1661.

  • 50 [Johann Helfricus Juncken (born 1648, Caldern; died 1726, Frankfurt am Main), a German physician a (...)

22Another treatise on chemistry was later written by a man called Juncken entitled Chimia experimentalis curiosa.50

  • 51 [Michael Ettmüller (born 26 May 1644, Leipzig; died 9 March 1683, Leipzig), a German physician, au (...)
  • 52 It was published by Johann Christoph Ausfledt [or Aussfeld]; Ettmüller died in 1683 following an e (...)

23One of the books that was used for the longest time in the teaching of chemistry was written by Ettmüller called Chimia rationalis ac experimentalis curiosa.51 Ettmüller always added the word curiosa to all of this writings. This one is dated from 1684,52 which brings us very close to the end of the century.

  • 53 [August Quirinus Rivinus (born 9 December 1652, Leipzig; died 20 December 1723, Leipzig), a German (...)

24A professor from Leipzig named Rivinus whom we will see again in botany (since botany and chemistry were both taught together in the German Universities) wrote in 1690 Manuductio ad Chemiam pharmaceuticam.53 Among all the authors we mentioned, Rivinus is the most intelligible of all, the one who retains the least of the style of the Rosicrucianists. He also tried to set a few general principles, yet more by abstraction and assumption than by experiment. He already mentions a universal salt that would be the fundamental principle of tastes from which all other particular salts would draw their properties and qualities. Then, he divides all these particular salts between acids and alkalis as we do today, and alkalis between fixed and volatiles. He shows their opposition and their neutralization, and demonstrates that salted salts and neutral salts come from their combination. We find in Rivinus’s book a few general principles of higher level than in those of his predecessors.

  • 54 [Jacob Barner (born 1641, died 1686,) a German physician, professor of chemistry at Padua, and of (...)
  • 55 [Phlogiston, see note 37, above.]

25An author who is even more easily understood and who is from the same period, around 1689, is Jacob Barner, doctor to the king of Poland. His book was quite successful and used for about twenty years in schools as an elementary book; it is called Chimia philosophica.54 Barner deserves special credit for studying the English authors and recognizing Boyle as the prince of all chemists; these are his own words. However, he still kept the old principles and tried to explain them. Thus, according to him, the spirits are dissolved salts, and salts are concrete spirits. He states already that sulfur contains an acid: it is Becker and Stahl’s principle that recognizes sulfur as composed of sulfuric acid and phlogiston.55 Because he saw that sulfuric acid was coming out of the combustion of sulfur, Barner concluded that sulfur is a hidden acid, or contains acid. He believed that fire was the efficient cause in chemistry and in all operations that are made with salts. It is the principle of the solvents.

26Many things are sprouting in all these books; but they are still hidden under an envelope that blocks them from becoming a philosophical science with very simple principles.

27Yet, at that time, many beautiful discoveries, experiments, and interesting works took place that, without changing the general system or the philosophical doctrine of chemistry, enriched science.

  • 56 [Johann Kunckel, also known as Johann von Löwenstern, (born 1630, near Rendsburg; died 20 March 17 (...)
  • 57 [Hennig Brand or Brandt (born c. 1630, Hamburg; died c. 1692 or c. 1710), a German merchant and al (...)
  • 58 [Philosophers’stone, see Lesson 10, note 4.]

28Among them all I will only mention the discovery of phosphorus that we owe to Johann Kunckel,56 born in 1630 in Hutten in the Duchy of Sleswig. Kunckel was very interested in the study of chemical processes used in manufacturing. He gave lessons in chemistry in Wittenberg in 1676, where he discovered phosphorus; here is how he discovered it: a German chemist named Brand57 worked on urine with the purpose of discovering the philosophers’stone,58 the cure that was believed to be applicable to the human body as to the improvement of metals. At that time, alchemists and especially the Rosicrucianists believed that the philosophers’stone would be a solvent able to go through all bodies, purify them, and remove all filth and harmful components; thus, since urine was considered as a means of extraction of several harmful elements from the body, it seemed that it might contain this universal principle of health that was being investigated. These ideas might seem weird to you today, but considered from the point of view of alchemists, they would be far less so. So, Brand was doing research on urine and during one of his experiments he found at the bottom of the container he was using a substance that was very bright in the dark. He showed it to Kunckel, but died not long afterward, without having told his secret to Kunckel. Kunckel who had seen Brand working guessed that urine was the basis for this bright substance and managed to find its composition. He informed scholars about his discovery and reached such fame that he became professor in Berlin in 1679. He was then called to Stockholm in 1693 and was ennobled under the name of Loewenster; it was indeed customary in Sweden to give a new name to a man who was going from bourgeoisie to nobility. Kunckel died in Stockholm in 1702.

  • 59 [Churfürstl. Sächs. geheimen Kammerdieners und Chimici Nützliche Observationes oder Anmerckungen v (...)
  • 60 [Chymische Anmerckungen: darinn gehandelt wird von denen Principiis chymicis, Salibus acidis und a (...)

29He left some acceptable research on gold and silver, on fixed and volatile salts, on the color and smell of metals and other mineral substances. You see from these titles that he was very passionate about alchemy; his first book is from 1676.59 He pretended to have the recipe of a tint that the Elector of Saxony had used to change silver into gold; if it is true that he owned such tint, it is surprising that he did not use it more, since he was not any richer than his contemporaries. We also have from him another book called Chemical Observations that was printed in 1677.60 It is still about research on salts that he reproduces everywhere.

  • 61 [Oeffentliche Zuschrift vom Phosphor Mirabile und dessen leuchtenden Wunderpilulen, Leipzig: Krüge (...)

30His third book is from 1678; it is about phosphorus and the glowing pills.61 These were pills in which phosphorus was inserted since at that time there was nothing in chemistry that would not be tried to be used in medicine.

  • 62 [Ars vitraria experimentalis, oder Vollständige Glasmacher-Kunst, Frankfurt; Leipzig: gedruckt bey (...)

31A more important book from him is his art of making glass, published in 1679.62 All these books are written in quite a rough and incorrect German, but they contain processes of chemistry that were new for their time. We can say that among all the authors we have mentioned, Kunckel is the one who has contributed the largest number of new facts to the science.

32In his art of making glass, Kunckel describes several secrets that he had gathered from all over. Germany had many manufacturers; it was perhaps the country where they were the most numerous and varied, with the most secrets, especially in the use of metals. Chemical arts had barely left Germany; maybe some of them had been introduced to Venice by several Germans who went there for trade with the Hanseatic towns, since trade with Alexandria was very active in Venice until the new route to India was discovered. This activity extended all the way to the north through various towns located in Germany, which was the Hanseatic League.

33Basically, Kunckel’s discoveries are more real than those from most of the basic authors I talked about.

  • 63 [Johann Joachim Becker or Becher (born 6 May 1635, Speyer, Holy Roman Empire; died October 1682, L (...)
  • 64 [Elector of Bavaria, see Lesson 5, note 7.]
  • 65 [We have not been able to identify the Count of Zenrodolf.]

34However, there is a man who published both great discoveries and many new processes, and changed the theory of chemistry, or at least prepared its change. His name is Johann Joachim Becker.63 You probably noticed that in the last century most of the chemists were adventurous men; they spent most of their life in secret societies to which one could only be accepted after some initiations. They had traveled a lot and had been exposed during these travels to many adventures that were more or less unusual. Thus, we saw that Homberg, who was born in Batavia, lived in Germany for a long time; that he went to England and to France; that he was a doctor in Rome; and that he came back to France where he was considered a poisoner and the accomplice to a great conspirator. Becker lived the same kind of life. He was born in Spire in 1628 of a Protestant minister whom he lost at the age of thirteen. He was so bright that he was able to give lessons and make enough money to feed his mother and his brothers. He traveled a lot, to Holland and to Italy. In Italy, he visited workshops where he learned about secrets that workers or other people knew. It was the universal custom of chemists of that time; it started with Paracelsus who, as you saw, went from inn to inn, enquiring from old women whether they had any knowledge that could benefit him. Becker was appointed professor in Mainz and doctor to the Elector in 1666. He was not only educated in chemistry; he was in fact interested in all human sciences, philosophy, law, politics, administration, and commerce. He wrote on almost all of these topics; in each government where he went, he would present a project. He was also for a while primary doctor to the Elector of Bavaria;64 then he went to Vienna where he had been called by the Count of Zenrodolf65 who was at that time President of the Chamber of Finances. He offered in this town all kinds of projects related to finances as well as the project of establishing a society of the Indies for Austria which, at that time, did not own the Netherlands and had only one port, in Trieste. For some time, he was a favorite at the Court of Vienna, but after several years, his bad temper led to a break up with the minister and he had to leave the capital of Austria. He went to Harlem where he invented a machine for winding silk, which was not successful. Then he went to England where he died in 1685 at the age of fifty-seven. In addition to his extraordinary personality, he was a true genius, a spirit able to generalize and identify the causes of phenomena, in particular chemical phenomena, in a more believable way, more consistent with the generality of these phenomena. He did this in a more direct way than any author of the systems that had been proposed so far in German and Paris scholarship. This is what we need to assess to evaluate the chemists we are now talking about and whose ideas differ more from those of the English chemists that we will soon be talking about.

  • 66 [Actorum laboratorii chymici Monacensis, seu physicae subterraneae libri duo: quorum prior profund (...)
  • 67 [Georg Ernst Stahl (born 22 October 1660, Ansbach; died 24 May 1734, Berlin), a German chemist, ph (...)
  • 68 [Libavius, see Lesson 10, note 63.]
  • 69 [Rey, see Lesson 11, note 11.]

35Becker’s doctrine is described in particular in his book called Physica subterranea or Report on the experiments of the chemical laboratory of Munich.66 While he was the physician of the Elector of Bavaria —who, like most of the princes of that time, believed in the existence of useful secrets in chemistry and hoped to see the discovery of the art of changing metals— Becker had access to a very well-equipped laboratory and the ability to spend as much money as necessary for his experiments. The result of his research is major and is recorded in the book I just mentioned, which was published for the first time in 1669. He first offers the idea of a primitive acid that would be an element that would be found in all other acids, whose individual differences would only be based on a few mixtures, but his primary contribution is a new theory on metals and metallization. According to him, a metal is always composed of an earthy substance with combustible properties and a particular element called a mercurial substance. These mercurial substances are still, in this doctrine, some sort of heritage from the chemistry of Valentinus and Paracelsus. The combustible principle, common to what Stahl67 called phlogiston, was the result of many experiments in which he saw metals take back their metallic structure under the addition of either coal, oil, or resin, basically any pure combustible substance that was not sulfur but other combustible substances that did not produce an apparent acid. This phenomenon probably made him think that the metallic form was linked to this common combustion principle, which was accepted as existing in all metallic lime. Thus, melted pewter gets burned on the surface and if you cover this surface with resin dust like any ironmonger would do, pewter takes its metallic shape back; the same occurs with lead. Becker also saw the elements of iron change into metal with the addition of coal; thus, it was natural to reach the conclusion that all metals had a common combustion principle. This reasoning was even more believable since he saw metals burning. As far as their lime, he did see in each of them an earthy appearance, but he also saw some differences. He had almost forgotten the fact, already known as early as the time of Libavius,68 that metal without its phlogiston, instead of decreasing in weight, actually increased its weight. He probably did not know the hypothesis that John Rey69 had proposed about this phenomenon in which he stated that lime increased in weight because the air would get into the metal molecules, thus increasing its weight. This effect, recorded in books known by all, did not strike neither Becker nor Stahl, nor any of those who adopted, prepared, and maintained their theory for more than seventy or eighty years. This is, however, the origin of the famous Phlogiston’s system that dominated for so long.

  • 70 Which means that these unfortunate chemists died in prison, since none of them made gold [M. de St (...)
  • 71 [Johann Friedrich Bötticher, also Böttger or Böttiger (born 4 February 1682, Schleiz; died 13 Marc (...)

36Based on this theory of metallization, you understand why Becker would believe in the possibility of transforming metals. Since they had many common elements, if it was possible to transfer the mercurial principle of gold to another metal while keeping is substance, transmutation would have occurred. Thus, he never doubted the possibility of this transmutation, though he never pretended to own it, as Kunckel had done. It was actually the general belief of that time: nobody in Germany had any doubt about the possibility of transmutation, not even about its existence. Each time a chemist was renown, one believed so strongly that he owned the secret of transmutation that it happened that princes held chemists in prison until they would make gold.70 The Elector of Saxony, for example, when he learned that Bötticher71 mastered the art of making gold, had him jailed in his fortress of Königstein, and told him that he would free him only when he would give him the product of his secret. Bötticher tried, made all kinds of experiments, and it is during these works that he invented the composition of porcelain, which benefited Saxony at least as much as the philosophers’stone, especially if the secret of making gold had spread around easily.

  • 72 [Physica subterranea profundam subterraneorum genesin, e principiis hucusque ignotis, ostendens. O (...)

37Bötticher’s book was reproduced in 1738 by Stahl who included it in his Specimen Becherium,72 in which he explains Becker’s theory better than Becker himself; because Becker did not have the intelligibility and simplicity required for any theory to become general. His works were still very complicated and lacked organization; he exposed his principles here and there and they needed, so to speak, to be extracted from the text in order to make them intelligible to the public.

  • 73 [Lavoisier, see Lesson 10, note 78].
  • 74 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

38This is where we end the history of chemistry during the seventeenth century; it goes on in the eighteenth century with the works of Stahl and his successors, and in 1770, with the theory of oxygen, the result of Lavoisier’s experiments.73 What is extraordinary is that this theory already existed at the time that we are studying, and it was almost complete in the works of English chemists, in particular in Boyle and Mayow’s books.74

  • 75 [Boyle, see Lesson 12, note 32.]
  • 76 [Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork (born 13 October 1566, Canterbury; died 15 September 1643), an Ir (...)
  • 77 [Bacon, see note 1, above.]

39Robert Boyle,75 whom I told you about as one of the main founders of the Royal Society of London and as a great physician of his time, was born in Ireland, in Lismore, in 1626, into a famous family. He was the seventh son of Richard, Count of Cork.76 Of a weak nature, he traveled, as most wealthy Englishmen did at that time and still did later. He studied in Geneva, where his fellow countrymen preferably went to learn the French language because this town was Protestant. In 1641, he went to Italy, and came back to England in 1644. Although of a young age, he was poised. He founded in 1645 the first branch of the Royal Society of London which was still named the Philosophical College and had been created, as I told you, to put into practice the project of experiments started by Chancellor Bacon.77

  • 78 [Magdeburg experiments, see Lesson 12, note 31; and note 40, above.]

40The principle of the pneumatic machine existed at that time, as we already saw, in the experiments at Magdeburg;78 but Boyle improved this machine a lot; he made it much more practical with the glass globe, the plate and the pump.

41Boyle rejected Aristotle’s philosophy, as Descartes and Bacon had done already, but he followed Bacon’s principles much closer than Descartes did. These systems, these weird hypotheses that Descartes used to try and explain everything disgusted Boyle so much that he did not even want to read the books in which they were mentioned. He rigorously followed Bacon’s precepts, which were pure experiments and generalization of his results.

  • 79 [Sceptical chymist, or chymico-physical doubts & paradoxes, touching the spagyrist’s principles co (...)

42Chemistry was, among all the physical sciences, the one that needed most the application of a rigorous method; Boyle understood it, which is why he focused his interest on this science. He realized very soon that the system of sulfur, the salts and mercury, basically all about alchemy was pretty much only hypothesis, which he wrote in his Sceptical chymist, or chymico-physical doubts and paradoxes, etc. This book was published in Oxford in 1661;79 he tried to apply all of chemistry to the principles of ordinary physics. We can already see amazing experiments that chemists did not pay attention to because at that time they usually used only the still, the retort, or fire, etc.

43With the help of the pneumatic-chemical flask, the same apparatus that today’s chemists are using when they work on gas, which is composed of a flask that contains liquid that can go up in a globe as the air in it is decreasing, Boyle expressed very clear ideas about air combustion and its corruption by respiration. He saw that when one burns something in the air, the quantity of air decreases and what remains can no longer be used for combustion; he noticed the same result in the action of breathing; he acknowledged that after some time, the same quantity of air can no longer be useful to the lungs. He also knew the necessity of air for combustion; while it was generally known already, he saw it by himself through his own experiments.

  • 80 [Libavius, see Lesson 10, note 63.]
  • 81 [Rey, see Lesson 11, note 11.]
  • 82 [New experiments to make the parts of fire and flame stable and ponderable, London: Printed by Wil (...)

44Like Libavius,80 he saw that metals became heavier when burnt; yet he gave a different reason from Rey’s81 explanation which, while it remained unknown when he expressed it, has been found again since then. He imagined that it was the fire and the flame that were penetrating into metals and made them heavier; thus, he concluded naturally that fire was heavy by nature and could fix itself to bodies. He published his experiments in a book called New experiments to make fire and frame stable and ponderable.82 It would have been easy to correct these mistakes, and then we would have reached accuracy as early as that time, since Boyle was on the path to the anti-phlogiston’s theory.

  • 83 [Van Helmont, see Lesson 10, note 66.]
  • 84 [Philosophical Transactions, see Lesson 12, note 65.]
  • 85 [Opera varia quorum posthac extat catalogus, Geneva: Samuel de Tournes, 1680, 4 vols, in-4°.]

45This chemist actually knew many different kinds of gases. For example, the carbonic acid that Van Helmont called sylvester gas,83 was known by Boyle; he also knew the inflammable air. He knew how both gases could be produced. He had even noticed that by burning alcohol, water was obtained, which could have easily led him to the knowledge of the composition of this substance. This essential fact on the anti-phlogiston’s theory and many other experiments that have more to do with physics than chemistry —which I will not talk about here— are recorded in many memoirs that he published, some by themselves, others in the Philosophical Transactions.84 The edition of this great work that was published in Geneva in 1680 in five volumes in quarto contains everything that Boyle did.85 It includes among other things his various experiments on the elastic force of air, which he performed with the pneumatic machine; the experiments in which he reported the connection between flame and air; and the experiments I mentioned earlier from which he concluded that the parts of fire and of flame could be made stable and ponderable.

46Boyle also published some experiments on colors. He also wrote on the difference between burnt coal and rotten wood; on the origin and virtues of precious gemstones; on the topics of mineralogy, physics, and technology, which I will not talk about now because they are not part of our curriculum. They demonstrate primarily how Boyle’s experiments were very close to modern theory and how close he was to getting there himself directly.

  • 86 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

47Another peculiar social phenomenon is that, while Boyle had disciples, he never had any impact on the chemists of Paracelsus’s school, or on those of the school of Stahl, and that after a short while, Stahl’s chemistry came back to England where it remained established, though contrary principles had been developed by English chemists (except for Mayow86 who, as we will see, applied Boyle’s principles to physiology).

  • 87 [Stephen Hales (born 17 September 1677, Bekesbourne, Kent; died 4 January 1761, Teddington), an En (...)
  • 88 [Joseph Priestley (born 24 March 1733, Birstall; died 6 February 1804, Northumberland, Pennsylvani (...)

48We will see that the experiments on gases continued with Hales87 and others all the way to Priestley,88 which eventually established the anti-phlogiston’s theory in spite of their author; since, contrary to his own experiments, Priestly always fought in favor of the Phlogiston’s theory.

49Here is, messieurs, the main work that was done in chemistry during the century we are now studying.

50This chemistry was applied not only to medicine as the art of healing, therapeutic or pharmaceutical medicine, but also to the theory of physiology.

  • 89 [For Descartes’s Traité de l’homme, see Lesson 12, note 65.]
  • 90 [Franciscus Sylvius, also called Frans, or François, de le Boë, or du Bois (born 15 March, 1614, H (...)

51Descartes, in his Treatise on Man,89 tried to link physiology to the general laws of physics and mechanics to which he subjected all of nature. He imagined hypotheses for the human body as for the system of the world. He also used his subtle matter, his branching matter, and his ribbed matter to explain the phenomenon of the muscular movements, sensations, digestion, and blood circulation; he compared the movement of the heart to fermentation. All these mechanical hypotheses were even more necessary to Descartes since according to his metaphysical ideas on the nature of the soul, which he always considered as essentially thinking, he had reached the conclusion that animals do not have a soul and are mere machines. In order to reach this result, he had had to refine, so to speak, all his hypotheses on physiology. As Descartes’s philosophy had become very famous, people tried to improve it. One found in chemical phenomena many ways to explain several phenomena of the human body. But the pretention of explaining all of them with the same explanation came from a famous man of that time named Francis Sylvius, called in Dutch Leboë and in French Lebois.90 His parents, of French origin, had settled in Hanau, near Frankfurt, where he was born in 1614. Leboë studied in Leiden and became a doctor in Basel; this is where the principles of chemistry were the strongest since Paracelsus. He became a professor at Leiden in 1658 and worked as a doctor.

  • 91 [Boerhaave, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

52Leboë had a very nice figure, was eloquent and basically had such attractive traits that he had been given the nickname of Gracious Doctor. He attracted a multitude of patients from all over Europe and a large number of students at the University of Leiden. This university, quite new at that time, had already hosted scholars from all fields of study. Sylvius is one of those who contributed the most to enhance its reputation; he secured the participation of patients, which increased again under Boerhaave91 and only stopped when the knowledge in medicine was more spread out and celebrity was shared among a larger number of men.

53Sylvius had studied chemistry mostly according to its Cartesian principles. He mainly tried to apply it to medicine, and to that purpose, he had to start its application with physiology, which is obviously the principle and basis of medicine. Van Helmont had also used chemistry for the explanation of physiological phenomenon, but he had been led by a particular principle that he had imagined, to which he attributed some semi-rational and semi-mechanical qualities. He called this principle archée, which is the principle of animated organisms, a principle whose roots were already found in prior chemists such as Paracelsus.

  • 92 [Reservoir of Pecquet, more properly called the receptaculum chyli, a medical term for the dilated (...)
  • 93 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

54Sylvius rejected completely Van Helmont’s archée; he explained everything with pure chemistry. The digestion in the stomach was the result of fermentation; since all fermentation needs a ferment, the ferment is created; this ferment contains a salt and a spirit; the salt is an acid hidden by an alkali. Then comes the action of the pancreas, which produces an acid, and to each of these chemical operations he links a certain number of diseases, depending on whether these principles that were supposed to produce these reactions were too much or too little activated. Thus, when the pancreatic juice was too acid, it had to be corrected with contrary substances. The bile that exists in the gallbladder is also the product of fermentation; when the blood reaches the liver, this bile makes the blood ferment, such as yeast would ferment dough. Sylvius thought that the product of all these secretions, such as bile, were alkalis by nature. These products were the principle of many diseases whose cause was alkaline and that had to be fought differently from those that were produced by the pancreas, which produced an acid. When the bile entered the intestines, it separated the chyle from the food through the process of a mild fermentation; the chyle met the lymph in the reservoir of Pecquet.92 When this lymph became acid, it was again the cause of new diseases including the gout, according to Sylvius. The blood of the body entered the heart where it met the blood that came from the liver through the hepatic vein. In the liver, the blood was mixed with the bile; thus, it had taken an alkaline quality. The blood of the body, through the lymph, had taken an acidic quality; when both kinds of blood met in the vena cava, a fermentation took place that was the cause of the reason for the movement of the heart and all the circulation. From this fermentation many diseases resulted. The animal spirits that Descartes considered as agents of the will on muscles and on sensitivity, were of a spiritual nature. Sylvius did not ignore that breathing had some links with combustion; however, in his system, the air that is inhaled is meant to cool off the blood and calm the heat that comes out of it; this is a contradiction. He thought that it was through some kind of niter that the air produced this effect. We will see in Mayow93 that the English chemists did accept the niter-air principle that played a major role in breathing, but in Mayow’s system, it produced heat; this is the true oxygen of the moderns. Thus, Sylvius did not combine well his two kinds of experiments; he was still attached to Paracelsus’s chemistry, among others, in which he could not find all the elements that would have been necessary to give his system a better appearance of truth. According to him, the arterial blood contains an acid: all secretions are produced, as those from the bile, through a specific ferment that exists in the glands. Each of these glands contains a specific ferment; this ferment transforms all the blood that reaches the gland in its own substance, such as the yeast, while making the dough leaven, transforms it all into a leavening agent. These various principles of physiology were used as well by Sylvius as a principle for his medicinal practice. He considered acidity as the cause of most illnesses: thus, alkalis and volatile oils were his most ordinary medicine. Since patients came to him after they had exhausted all other resources, those who had come to him and had felt relieved with his new remedies spread his reputation all over Europe.

  • 94 [The works of Sylvius: Disputatio medica de animali motu, eiusque laesionibus, Basileae: typis Geo (...)

55Sylvius’s books are not numerous; one of them is called De motu animali ejusque laesione; another is called De Febribus; a third, Disputationum medicarum decas; and a fourth Praxeos medicae idea nova.94

56The others were mostly theses that he had his students present, but since they were numerous, his doctrine spread rapidly. It remained for so long that it was not until Boerhaave that it was destroyed.

57All the experiments of this doctor on animal substances or plants were done with the secret goal of destroying the ideas that had been established by Sylvius’s theory; thus, Boerhaave’s first remark, when he treated any substance, was to point out that it was neither acid nor alkalin.

  • 95 [Otto Tachenius (born 1610, Herford; died 1680, Venice), a German chemist, pharmacist, physician, (...)
  • 96 [Hippocrates, see Volume 1, Lesson 5, note 36.]
  • 97 [Antiquissimae Hippocraticae medicinae clavis: Manuali experientia Naturae fontibus elaborata, Qua (...)
  • 98 [Hippocrates chimicus, qui novissimi viperini salis antiquissima fundamenta ostendit, Brunsvigae: (...)

58However, as I said, Sylvius’s theory remained for a very long time. One of his major supporters was a man named Otto Tachenius,95 born in Herford in Westphalia, who spent a large part of his life in Italy and in France. He gave even more simplicity to Sylvius’s theory; and since anything that is new is hard to accept, he tried to vindicate it based on the theory of Hippocrates.96 He wanted to show that this theory was really the one from the Ancients and that they only differ from the chemists from Sylvius’s school by the name of the substances. His book that was published in 1673 is called Antiquissimoe medicinoe Hippocratis clavis, which means key to the ancient medicine of Hippocrates.97 He wrote another book called Hippocrates chimicus98 in which he simplified a lot Sylvius’s principles. Everything is explained with acidity and alkalinity; fire is an acid and water an alkali; acid is the innate heat of the ancients; alkali is their radical moisture.

  • 99 [Antoine Fizes (born 1690, Montpellier; died 14 August 1765, Montpellier), a French physician, adm (...)
  • 100 [Friedrich Hoffman (born 19 February 1660, Halle; died 12 November 1742, Halle), a German physicia (...)

59You see, messieurs, that by switching names like this, there is no system that cannot be supported. This man unfortunately was given too much credit. Each time the appearance of simplicity is given to physiology, which is the most complicated, the most mysterious, and the most difficult science to comprehend for men, one can be sure that success will be obtained for quite a while. We can see the same thing happen during each period; young people jump immediately on easy systems because their study is thus easier. Tachenius’s weird system was a great success at the school of Montpellier until the middle of the eighteenth century. We will see in Fizes99 and other doctors of Montpellier similar theories since there is no system that cannot succeed up to a certain point, and prevail in the topics that do not require mathematics or direct experiments. Friedrich Hoffman100 and Boerhaave did a huge favor to science when they fought this doctrine at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

  • 101 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]
  • 102 [Thomas Willis, see Lesson 12, note 59.]

60Other doctrines had also produced in England some physiological systems; we can consider them mainly in Mayow101 and Willis.102

  • 103 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]
  • 104 [Tractatus quinque medico-physici. Quorum primus agit de Tertius de respiratione foetus in utero, (...)

61John Mayow103 was born in the county of Cornwall in 1645; he practiced medicine in Bath where he died at the age of thirty-four. This premature death probably prevented his pneumatic physiology to progress further, but his main book, which was published in Oxford in 1674 in one folio volume,104 is a physiology completely similar to the one we have today, with regard to respiration and animal heat. This book includes five treatises: 1) De Salnitro, 2) De Respiratione, 3) De Respiratione foetus in utero et ovo, 4) De Motu musculari et spiritibus animalibus, and 5) De Rachitide. The first two are the most important in which he introduces the application of Boyle’s experiments to physiology. The author shows that through combustion, the air decreases, gets corrupted, and is no longer good for combustion. He establishes that breathing also decreases the air and makes it then unsuitable for this use; that the animal that has used the breathable part of the air dies; and that the same effect takes place when an animal is taken to a place where air is void of its principle of combustibility, through the combustion of a body. Basically, the analogy between combustion and respiration is established by Mayow through experiments similar to those we conduct today: he had a large jar filled with water; on this jar was a globe; inside was a flame or a piece of metal that was burned with a glass; at the time of calcination, the water rose up in the jar, like in the most elementary experiments of chemistry of today.

62With regard to the nitro-salt that Mayow identified in air and is similar to what we today call oxygen, this opinion was then quite natural. One could see the niter being formed, so to speak, from the action of the air, and when used for combustion, and see it provide a great principle of combustibility. It was easy to assume that this substance took its combustibility from part of the air; and in fact, part of it is also true for some acids.

63The nitro-aereus spirit was considered to be the cause of acidity, combustion, and animal mobility; since according to Mayow, respiration enabled blood to acquire the qualities necessary to make muscles contract and move. Next to these truths that are tangible today and that were known at that time as well, we find other theories that are completely unknown. Thus, according to Mayow and English chemists, sulfur contains both a saline and a metallic part. Through the nitro-aereus principle, they take a pointy shape and become acid. Scientists were still burdened by the Cartesian ideas according to which the action of substances was determined by the shape of their molecules. This is how, while so close to reaching the greatest truth, obscure ideas and opposed principles still hindered progress.

  • 105 [Willis, see Lesson 12, note 59.]
  • 106 [De anima brutorum quae hominis vitalis ac sentitiva est, exercitationes duae: prior physiologica (...)
  • 107 [Willis’s book, see note 106, above.]

64Thomas Willis,105 who I will talk about again in anatomy, and who was one of the first members of the Royal Society of London, adapted to animal economy all the ideas from Mayow’s theory, and all the results from experiments done by Mayow and Boyle, in his treatise De anima brutorum.106 Descartes, in his treatise, said that animals did not have a soul. Those who did not want to adopt all of Descartes’s system only excluded the spirit of reason; they kept the old ideas about three kinds of spirits, the one that produces motion, the one that produces sensitivity, and the reasoning spirit. They granted the vital and sensitive spirit to brutes, but since, according to Descartes, one had to find a material principle to these souls, this principle was, so to speak, all explained with the pneumatic experiments. It was the nitro-aereus principle, or as we call it today oxygen, that probably provided animal sensitivity and movement, thus moved the fibers of the muscles and the intestines. This is the result of Willis’s book whose title I gave you earlier.107 It is actually a very good book, remarkable for its tone and its wealth of observations. It includes all of the pneumato-chemical physiology of that time.

  • 108 [Lavoisier, see Lesson 10, note 78.]

65Thus, you see, messieurs, that in the three books I analyzed are the roots of the doctrines of chemists; they remained buried for more than one hundred years until they were renewed by a man who did not know them; indeed, Lavoisier108 was very surprised when he saw in new editions of works written by his adversaries the first two treatises by Mayow and Willis that I just talked about, and that he was shown that his theory was consigned in their work, at least as a seed. Apparently he did not know about it when he proposed his theory in 1777.

66This is the history of chemistry, and its applications to physiology during the period of our study.

67In the meantime, many discoveries in anatomy occurred, and the greatest ones are probably from that time; so much so that, as I told you earlier, the seventeenth century is the century of the sciences, more than any other century. We will talk about the work done in anatomy during our next lesson.

Notes

1 [Francis Bacon (born 22 January 1561, London; died 9 April 1626, Highgate), English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author, who served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution. Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today (see Lesson 11, note 30.])

2 [Descartes, see Volume 1, Lesson 6, note 7.]

3 [Galileo, see Lesson 11, note 20.]

4 [Kepler, see Lesson 12, note 2.]

5 [Torricelli, see Lesson 11, note 41.]

6 [Henry IV, see Lesson 2, note 57.]

7 [Beguin, see Lesson 12, note 147.]

8 [Louis XIII, see Lesson 2, note 110.]

9 [John Beguin’s Tyrocinium chymicum e naturae fonte et manuali experientia depromptum…, first published in Paris in 1610]. Another edition of this book was published in 1614 [see Lesson 12, note 147] [M. de St.-Agy].

10 [For Valentinus, see Lesson 10, note 9.]

11 [Paracelsus, see Lesson 4, note 73.]

12 [Philosophia pyrotechnica, seu curriculus chymiatricus, nobilissima illa et exoptatissima medicinae parte pyrotechnica instructus. Multis iisque haud vulgaribus observationibus adornatus, & ab ipsis primis physicæ theoreticæ & practicæ elementis inexpugnabili demonstratione illustratus, artificiosam novamque rerum naturalium speculationem, & in usus medicos præparationem, & administrationem, in se continens; in quo, adminiculo diakrises aut synkrises chymicæ ex veget. animal. & mineral. familia petitæ, veræ & legittimæ rerum causæ deprehenduntur, ipsa autopsia demonstrantur, cum recentiorum tum veterum omnium philosophorum authoritate confirmantur: hactenus ab omnibus hujus sæculi chymicis, aut in simili studii genere sese exercentibus desideratus: nunc autem solidis & inconcussis radicibus stabilitus, assiduo studio & longa rerum praxi exaratus, by William Davisson (born 1593, Scotland; died 1669, an English physician, chemist, and botanist), Paris: John Bessin, 1635, 3 parts in 1 vol. [15 (] + 208 + [24] p. + 209-393 + [1] fold. leaves; [22] + 42 p. + [1] fold. leaves; [4] + 178 + [2] p.), in-8°.]

13 [Nicolas Le Febvre (born c. 1610, Sedan; died 1674, London), a French chemist and pharmacist, remembered for his Traicté de la chymie. Tome premier, Qui servira d’instruction & d’introduction, tant pour l’intelligence des autheurs qui ont traité de la théorie de cette science en général: que pour faciliter les moyens de faire artistement & methodiquement les operations qu’enseigne la pratique de cet art, sur les animaux, sur les végétaux & sur les minéraux, sans la perte d’aucune des vertus essentielles qu’ils contiennent. Tome second, Qui contient la suite de la preparation des sucs qui se tirent des végétaux, comme aussi celle de leurs autres parties, & celle des minéraux (Theoretical and practical chemistry), Paris: Thomas Jolly, 1660, 2 vols ([28] + 510 p.; [3] + 510-1092 + [18] p.) + [9] fold. leaves, in-8°; he went to England in 1664 at the invitation of Charles II (see Lesson 8, note 96), who made him royal professor of chemistry and apothecary to the king’s household, which came with the directorship of a laboratory in St. James’s Palace.]

14 [Chymischer Handleiter und guldenes Kleinod, Nuremberg: Christoph Endfers, 1676, xxxiv + 867 + xlviii p., illus., in-8°; English edition entitled A compleat body of chymistry: wherein is contained whatsoever is necessary for the attaining to the curious knowledge of this art... and teaching the most exact preparation of animals, vegetables, and minerals, so as to preserve their essential vertues: laid open in two books, and dedicated to the use of all apothecaries, &c. appeared in 1664 (London: Printed by Tho. Ratcliffe for Octavian Pulleyn, [12] + 312 + [12] + 364 p. + [8] fold. pages of pls, illus.) and another entitled A compleat body of chymistry... comprehending in general the whole practice thereof: and teaching the most exact preparation of animals, vegetables and minerals, so as to preserve their essential vertues (London: O. Pulleyn junior, [12] + 286 + [6] p.; 320 p. + [8] pls) in 1670.]

15 [Glaser, see Lesson 12, note 148.]

16 [Traité de la chymie, see Lesson 12, note 148.]

17 [Antoine Vallot (born 1594 or 1595, Arles; died 9 August 1671, Paris), a French physician whose service as superintendent of the Jardin des plantes greatly increased the size of the collection and attracted some of the most competent scientists and practitioners of Europe.]

18 [Valentinus, see Lesson 10, note 9.]

19 [Newton, see Lesson 11, note 37.]

20 [Fontenelle, see Lesson 12, note 126.]

21 [Étienne François Geoffroy (born 13 February 1672, Paris; died 6 January 1731, Paris), a French physician and chemist, best known for his affinity tables (tables des rapports), which he presented to the French Academy of Sciences in 1718 and 1720.]

22 The Marquise de Brinvilliers [Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d’Aubray, born 22 July 1630; beheaded and burned at the stake 17 July 1676, Liège] learned this art from [Godin de] Sainte-Croix, her lover, who had learned it from the Italian [chemist and poisoner] Exili [whose real name was probably Nicolò Egidi] while they both were jailed together in the Bastille. By vengeance and cupidity, she poisoned her father and all her family. She tried the poisons that Sainte-Croix created, by putting them in cookies that she gave to the poor; she even gave some at the Hotel Dieu, and then asked about the effect they had produced. Her husband’s life was not respected; but since she only wanted to get rid of him to marry her lover, and her lover did not want a woman who would be as mean as he was, he gave some antidote to the Marquise of Brinvilliers: in such a way that, according to Madame de Sévigné (see Lesson 14, note 28), “one day poisoned, one day better from the antidote, he remained alive.”
From a peculiarity unique to the human heart, the Marquise even committed crimes for which personal interest was not even a motive. If we dared use the word benevolence for such a woman and her atrocities, we might perhaps find traces of this feeling in the event that follows: one day, she saw in a convent a young novice who seemed buried in deep affliction. The Marquise learned that her parents wanted her to take up irrevocable vows so that her elder brother would inherit their fortune. The Marquise comforted her and told her that she would approach her family in her favor, saying that she had infallible means to succeed. Sometime later, the novice learned that her father, her mother, and her brother had just died suddenly and she went back to life outside of the convent without having any suspicion about the reason that led to her freedom. An obvious devotion covered up Brinvilliers’s crimes; what is difficult to explain is that this piety was not hypocritical; she confessed, and this is a general confession, written by her hand, which was one of the main exhibit against her. All her bad deeds were discovered and she was beheaded and burned. Her cranium can be seen at the Museum of Versailles. The heart of this famous poisoning woman had been used to depravation at a young age; she declared that she lost her innocence at the age of seven, and burnt a house [M. de St.-Agy].

23 [Homberg, see Lesson 12, note 119.]

24 [Académie des Sciences de Paris, see Lesson 12, note 75.]

25 [Duclos, see Lesson 12, note 122.]

26 [Bourdelin, see Lesson 12, note 121.]

27 [John Marchant (born c. 1650; died 11 November 1738, Paris), a French botanist and one time superintendent of the Jardin du Roi.]

28 [Dodart, see Lesson 12, note 120.]

29 [Caput mortuum, a Latin term literally meaning “dead head” or “worthless remains,” used in alchemy and represented graphically with a stylized human skull, a literal death’s head.]

30 [Lemery, see Lesson 12, note 149.]

31 [Joseph Pitton de] Tournefort [born 5 June 1656, Aix-en-Provence; died 28 December 1708, Paris; a French botanist, the first to make a clear definition of the concept of genus for plants] was one of his [Lemery’s] pupils, and forty Scottish citizens came to Paris just to hear him, as his reputation was so strong and brilliant [M. de St.-Agy].

32 [Rosicrucianists, see Lesson 1, note 6.]

33 [Louis Claude] Cadet de Gassicourt [born 24 July 1731, Paris; died 17 October 1799, Paris; a French chemist who synthesised the first organometalic compound] had this wrong opinion [M. de St.-Agy].

34 [Becker, see Lesson 9, note 89.]

35 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]

36 [Boyle, see Lesson 12, note 32.]

37 [Phlogiston theory, a long-discredited scientific theory that postulated a fire-like element called phlogiston, contained within combustible bodies, is released during combustion. It was first hypothesized in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becker (see Lesson 9, note 89). The theory attempted to explain burning processes such as combustion and rusting, which are now collectively known as oxidation.]

38 [Van Helmont, see Lesson 10, note 66.]

39 [Homberg, see Lesson 12, note 119.]

40 [Otto von Guericke, see Lesson 12, note 31.]

41 [The Magdeburg hemispheres are a pair of large copper hemispheres with mating rims, used to demonstrate the power of atmospheric pressure. When the rims were sealed with grease and the air was pumped out, the sphere contained a vacuum and could not be pulled apart by teams of horses.
The Magdeburg hemispheres were designed in 1656 by a German scientist and mayor of Magdeburg, Otto von Guericke (see Lesson 12, note 31), to demonstrate the air pump which he had invented, and the concept of atmospheric pressure. The first artificial vacuum had been produced a few years earlier by Evangelista Torricelli (see Lesson 11, note 41), and had inspired Guericke to design the world’s first vacuum pump, which consisted of a piston and cylinder with one-way flap valves. The hemispheres became popular in physics lectures as an illustration of the power of air pressure, and are still used in education. A pair of the original hemispheres are preserved in the Deutsches Museum in Munich.]

42 [Colbert, see Lesson 12, note 75.]

43 [Abbot Bignon, see Lesson 12, note 124.]

44 [Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (born 2 August 1674, Château de Saint Cloud, France; died 2 December 1723, Versailles), a member of the royal family of France who served as Regent of the Kingdom from 1715 to 1723.]

45 [Louis, Duke of Brittany, Dauphin of France (born 8 January 1707, Versailles; died 8 March 1712, Versailles), was the first son of Louis of France, Duke of Burgundy, and Marie Adélaïde of Savoy; like his parents, he died of measles and was buried in the Basilica of St. Denis.]

46 [Purpura, an archaic medical term for a disease characterized by livid spots on the skin from extravagated blood, with languor and loss of muscular strength, and pain in the limbs; or any of several blood diseases causing subcutaneous bleeding.]

47 [Philippe de France, Duke of Anjou (born 30 August 1730, Versailles; died 7 April 1733, Versailles), a French Prince and second son of King Louis XV. The Duke of Anjou from birth, he was always a sickly child, cared for by a group of female attendants, as all royal children were until the age of five. As part of their intensely superstitious beliefs, the women mixed in dirt from the grave of Saint Medard with his food; the child was given so much dirt that his organs failed and he died at age two.]

48 [Zachary Brendel or Brendelius (born 1592, died 1638), author of Chimia in artis formam redacta, ubi de auro potabile agit, a textbook edited and revised by his student Werner Rolfinck (see note 49, below) and printed by John Reiffenberg in Jena, 1630, [24] + 218 + [30] p., in-8°.]

49 He [Werner Rolfinck (born 15 November 1599, Hamburg; died 6 May 1673, Jena), a German physician and scientist, professor at the University of Jena] held the first chair of chemistry founded in Germany and was at the origin of the construction of an amphitheater of anatomy [his version of Chimia in artis formam redacta, sex libris comprehensa was printed by Samuel Krebs in Jena, 1662, [16] + 76 + [4] + 77-256 + 267-443 + [11] p. + [1] fold. leaf of pls, in-4°] [M. de St.-Agy].

50 [Johann Helfricus Juncken (born 1648, Caldern; died 1726, Frankfurt am Main), a German physician and author of Chymia experimentalis curiosa, ex principiis mathematicis demonstrata; in qua ex triplici regno remedia generosiora a neotericis et aliis hactenus inventa fideliter exhibentur, adjunctis singulariorum remediorum formulis, adversus omnes tam internos quam externos corporis affectus, Francofvrti: apud Hermannum à Sande, typis Joannis Andreæ, 1681, 11 + 898 p.]

51 [Michael Ettmüller (born 26 May 1644, Leipzig; died 9 March 1683, Leipzig), a German physician, author of Chymia rationalis ac experimentalis curiosa secundùm principia recentiorum adornata, Leiden: Johann Christoph Ausfeldt, 1684, [vi] + 159 p.]

52 It was published by Johann Christoph Ausfledt [or Aussfeld]; Ettmüller died in 1683 following an experiment in chemistry, according to various biographers [see note 51, above] [M. de St.-Agy].

53 [August Quirinus Rivinus (born 9 December 1652, Leipzig; died 20 December 1723, Leipzig), a German physician, botanist, and astronomer, author of Manuductio ad Chemiam pharmaceuticam, Leipzig: Christiani Goezi, 1690, 120 p., in-12.]

54 [Jacob Barner (born 1641, died 1686,) a German physician, professor of chemistry at Padua, and of Philosophy and medicine at Leipzig, author of Chymia philosophica: perfecte delineata, docte enucleata & feliciter demonstrata à multis hactenus desiderata nunc vero omnibus philatris consecrata cum brevi sed accurata & fundamentali salium doctrina. Medicamentis etiam fine igne culinari facile parabilibus, nec non exercitio chymiae appendicis loco locupletata, Nuremberg: Andreae Ottonis, 1689, [16] + 560 p. + [7] leaves of pls, illus.]

55 [Phlogiston, see note 37, above.]

56 [Johann Kunckel, also known as Johann von Löwenstern, (born 1630, near Rendsburg; died 20 March 1703, near Stockholm), a German chemist who is partly responsible for the discovery of the process by which Hennig Brand of Hamburg (see note 57, below) first prepared phosphorus in 1669; his work also included observations on putrefaction and fermentation, on the nature of salts, and on the preparation of pure metals. Though he lived in an atmosphere of alchemy, he derided the notion of the universal solvent, and denounced the deceptions of fraudulent people who pretended to know the secret of transmutation of metals.]

57 [Hennig Brand or Brandt (born c. 1630, Hamburg; died c. 1692 or c. 1710), a German merchant and alchemist who discovered phosphorus in 1669, which must have been an awesome event at the time —a product of man that appeared to glow with a “life force.” But he kept his discovery secret, as most alchemists of the time did, and worked with phosphorus trying unsuccessfully to use it to produce gold.]

58 [Philosophers’stone, see Lesson 10, note 4.]

59 [Churfürstl. Sächs. geheimen Kammerdieners und Chimici Nützliche Observationes oder Anmerckungen von den Fixen und flüchtigen Saltzen auro und Argento potabili, Spiritu Mundi und dergleichen, wie auch von den Farben und Geruch der Metallen, Mineralien und andern Erdgewächsen, Hamburg: Gottfried Schultze, 1676, [102] p.]

60 [Chymische Anmerckungen: darinn gehandelt wird von denen Principiis chymicis, Salibus acidis und alkalibus, fixis und volatilibus, in denen dreyen Regnis, minerali, vegetabili und animali; wie auch vom Geruch und Farben, & c. Mit Anhang einer chymischen Brille contra Non-entia chym. Nach eigener Experientz beschrieben, mit unterschiedenen Experimentis bewähret, und denen Warheit-und Kunst-Liebenden zu Nutz und dienstlichen Gefallen in den Druck befördert, Wittenberg: Christian Schrödter, 1677, [15] + 192 p.]

61 [Oeffentliche Zuschrift vom Phosphor Mirabile und dessen leuchtenden Wunderpilulen, Leipzig: Krüger; Rußwurm, 1678, [8] + 51 + [1] + 36 p., in-8°; it is not known if Kunckel’s “shining wonder-pills” were meant to be taken internally or simply “magic-pills” for entertainment purposes, but if ingestion was intended the dose would have had to have been very carefully measured so as not to result in fatal results.]

62 [Ars vitraria experimentalis, oder Vollständige Glasmacher-Kunst, Frankfurt; Leipzig: gedruckt bey Christoph Günthern, 1679, [24] + 350 + [12] + 176 + [34] p.]

63 [Johann Joachim Becker or Becher (born 6 May 1635, Speyer, Holy Roman Empire; died October 1682, London), a German physician, alchemist, precursor of chemistry, scholar and adventurer, best known for his development of the phlogiston theory of combustion (see note 37, above).]

64 [Elector of Bavaria, see Lesson 5, note 7.]

65 [We have not been able to identify the Count of Zenrodolf.]

66 [Actorum laboratorii chymici Monacensis, seu physicae subterraneae libri duo: quorum prior profundam subterraneorum genesin... posterior specialem subterraneorum naturam, resolutionem in partes partiumque proprietates exponit; accesserunt sub finem mille hypotheses seu mixtiones chymicae, ante hâc nunquam visae omnia..., Frankfurt am Main: Zunner, 1669, [19] + 633 + [3] p.]

67 [Georg Ernst Stahl (born 22 October 1660, Ansbach; died 24 May 1734, Berlin), a German chemist, physician and philosopher. He was a supporter of vitalism, and until the late eighteenth century his works on phlogiston were accepted as an explanation for chemical processes.]

68 [Libavius, see Lesson 10, note 63.]

69 [Rey, see Lesson 11, note 11.]

70 Which means that these unfortunate chemists died in prison, since none of them made gold [M. de St.-Agy].

71 [Johann Friedrich Bötticher, also Böttger or Böttiger (born 4 February 1682, Schleiz; died 13 March 1719, Dresden), a German alchemist, generally credited with being the first European to discover the secret of the manufacture of porcelain in 1708, the recipe for which he held in secret for his own benefit.]

72 [Physica subterranea profundam subterraneorum genesin, e principiis hucusque ignotis, ostendens. Opus sine pari, primum hactenus et princeps, editio novissima. Praefatione utili praemissa, indice locupletissimo adornato, sensuumque et rerum distinctionibus, libro tersius et curatius edendo, operam navavit et Specimen Beccherianum, fundamentorum documentorum, experimentorum, subjunxit Georg. Ernestus Stahl..., second edition, Leipzig: Moritz Georg Weidmann, 1738, 2 parts ([13] + 504 + [18] p.; [4] + 161 +[9] p. + [1] leaf of pls), in-4°; the first edition was published in 1703, [s. l.]: [s. n.], [30] + 1008 + [36] + [8] + 304 + [15] p., in-8°]

73 [Lavoisier, see Lesson 10, note 78].

74 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

75 [Boyle, see Lesson 12, note 32.]

76 [Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork (born 13 October 1566, Canterbury; died 15 September 1643), an Irish politician and financier, also known as the Great Earl of Cork, who from 1631 served as Lord Treasurer of the Kingdom of Ireland.]

77 [Bacon, see note 1, above.]

78 [Magdeburg experiments, see Lesson 12, note 31; and note 40, above.]

79 [Sceptical chymist, or chymico-physical doubts & paradoxes, touching the spagyrist’s principles commonly call’d hypostatical, as they are wont to be propos’d and defended by the generality of alchymists. Whereunto is praemis’d part of another discourse relating to the same subject, Oxford: Printed by J. Cadwell for J. Crooke, 1661, [18] + 34 + [2] + 408 p., in-8°.]

80 [Libavius, see Lesson 10, note 63.]

81 [Rey, see Lesson 11, note 11.]

82 [New experiments to make the parts of fire and flame stable and ponderable, London: Printed by William Godbid for Moses Pitt, 1673; published as one of several essays in Boyle’s Essays of the Strange Subtilty, Great Efficacy, Determinate Nature of Effluviums: to which are annext New experiments… of that year.]

83 [Van Helmont, see Lesson 10, note 66.]

84 [Philosophical Transactions, see Lesson 12, note 65.]

85 [Opera varia quorum posthac extat catalogus, Geneva: Samuel de Tournes, 1680, 4 vols, in-4°.]

86 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

87 [Stephen Hales (born 17 September 1677, Bekesbourne, Kent; died 4 January 1761, Teddington), an English clergyman who made major contributions to a range of scientific fields including botany, pneumatic chemistry, and physiology. He invented several devices, including a ventilator, a pneumatic trough, and surgical forceps for the removal of bladder stones. He was also a philanthropist and wrote a popular tract on alcoholic intemperance.]

88 [Joseph Priestley (born 24 March 1733, Birstall; died 6 February 1804, Northumberland, Pennsylvania), an English theologian, dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works. His considerable scientific reputation rests on his invention of soda water, his writings on electricity, and his discovery of several “airs” (gases), the most famous of which he called “dephlogisticated air” (oxygen).]

89 [For Descartes’s Traité de l’homme, see Lesson 12, note 65.]

90 [Franciscus Sylvius, also called Frans, or François, de le Boë, or du Bois (born 15 March, 1614, Hanau; died 15 November 1672, Leiden), a physician, physiologist, anatomist, and chemist who is considered the founder of the seventeenth-century iatrochemical school of medicine, which held that all phenomena of life and disease are based on chemical action. His studies helped shift medical emphasis from mystical speculation to a rational application of universal laws of physics and chemistry.]

91 [Boerhaave, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

92 [Reservoir of Pecquet, more properly called the receptaculum chyli, a medical term for the dilated sac at the lower end of the thoracic duct into which lymph from the intestinal trunk and two lumbar lymphatic trunks flow; it receives fatty chyle from the intestines and thus acts as a conduit for the lipid products of digestion. It is named for its discoverer, John Pecquet (born 1622, Dieppe, Seine-Maritime; died 1674), a French scientist who studied the expansion of air, wrote on psychology, and known also for his studies of the thoracic duct.]

93 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

94 [The works of Sylvius: Disputatio medica de animali motu, eiusque laesionibus, Basileae: typis Georgii Deckeri, 1637, [16] p., in-4°; another called Disputatio medica prima de febribus, Leiden: apud Johannem Elsevirium, 1661, [16] p., in-4°; a third, Disputationum medicarum decas, Amsterdam: apud Johannem van den Bergh, 1663, [56] + 167 p., in-12; and a fourth Praxeos medicae idea nova, Leiden: Johannes Carpenterii, 1671, 23 + [9] + 980 + [121] p.] In this last book, his weird system is presented methodically, with infinite divisions and subdivisions [M. de St.-Agy].

95 [Otto Tachenius (born 1610, Herford; died 1680, Venice), a German chemist, pharmacist, physician, and alchemist, who discovered silicic acid, the acid content in oils and fats, and explained the cleaning effect of soaps.]

96 [Hippocrates, see Volume 1, Lesson 5, note 36.]

97 [Antiquissimae Hippocraticae medicinae clavis: Manuali experientia Naturae fontibus elaborata, Qua per Ignem & Aquam inaudita Methodo, occulta naturae, & artis, compendiosa operandi ratione manifesta fiunt, dilucide aperiuntur…, Lutetiae Parisiorum: apud Joannem d’Houry, 1673, [12] + 273 + [3] p., in-16.]

98 [Hippocrates chimicus, qui novissimi viperini salis antiquissima fundamenta ostendit, Brunsvigae: Johannes Henrici Dunckeri, 1668, 1 + [38] + 271 + [1] p.]

99 [Antoine Fizes (born 1690, Montpellier; died 14 August 1765, Montpellier), a French physician, admired for the accuracy of his prognostics; his published works were principally essays on different points of medical theory and practice.]

100 [Friedrich Hoffman (born 19 February 1660, Halle; died 12 November 1742, Halle), a German physician and chemist whose chief work is Medicina rationalis systematica, Venice: apud Thomam Ballionem, 1730, 5 vols, in-4°.]

101 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

102 [Thomas Willis, see Lesson 12, note 59.]

103 [Mayow, see Lesson 12, note 68.]

104 [Tractatus quinque medico-physici. Quorum primus agit de Tertius de respiratione foetus in utero, et ovo. Quartus de sal-nitro, et spiritu nitro-aereo. Secundus de respiratione. motu musculari, et spiritibus animalibus. Ultimus de rhachitide…, Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1674, [40] + 335 + [1] + 152 p. + [6] leaves of pls, in-8°.]

105 [Willis, see Lesson 12, note 59.]

106 [De anima brutorum quae hominis vitalis ac sentitiva est, exercitationes duae: prior physiologica ejussdem naturam, partes, potentias, & affectiones tradit..., London: Richard Davis, 1672, [48], 400 + [16] p., illus., in-8°.]

107 [Willis’s book, see note 106, above.]

108 [Lavoisier, see Lesson 10, note 78.]

Table des illustrations

Légende Magdeburg hemispheresPlate from Guericke’s Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica… (1672). Engraving by Gaspar Schott (detail, part left) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.
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