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a swarm of fies or gnats, flying and turning among each other in a small space. Of this sort I believe there might be many thousands in a quantity of water no larger than a sand, though the flour were but the ninth part of the water or spittle containing it. Besides these animals, there were a great quantity of streaks or threads of different lengths, but of like thickness, lying confusedly together, some bent, and others straight. These had no motion or life in them.
I observed the spittle of two several women, whose teeth were kept clean, and there were no animals in the spittle ; but the meal between the teeth, being mixed with water, as before, I found the animals above described, as also the long particles. The spittle of a child of eight years old had no living creatures in it; but the meal between the teeth had a great many of the animals above described, as also the streaks. The spittle of an old man that had lived soberly had no animals in it; but the substance upon and between his teeth had a great many living creatures swimming nimbler than I had hitherto seen. The largest sort were numerous, and as they moved bent themselves. The other sorts of animals were in great numbers, insomuch that though the meal were little, yet the water it was mixed with seemed to be all alive; there were also the long threads above mentioned. The spittle of another old man, a toper, was like the former, but the animals in the scurf on the teeth were not all killed by his continual taking brandy, wine, and tobacco; for I found a few living animals of the third sort, and in the scurf between the teeth I found many more small animals of the two smaller sorts.
I took in my mouth some very strong wine-vinegar; then closing my teeth, I gargled and rinsed them very well with the vinegar ; and afterwards I washed them very well with fair water; but there were innumerable quantities of animals still remaining in the scurf on the teeth, but most in that between the teeth, and very few animals of the first sort. I took a very little wine-vinegar, and mixed it with the water in which the scurf was dissolved; upon which the animals died presently. From hence I conclude, that the vinegar with which I washed my teeth killed only those animals which were on the outside of the scurf, but did not pass through the whole substance of it.
The number of these animals in the scurf of a man's teeth are so many, that I believe they exceed the number of men in a kingdom. For on the examination of a small parcel of
it, no thicker than a horse-hair, I found so many living animals in it, that I guess there might have been 1000 in a quantity of matter no larger than the too part of a sand.
A certain man being said to have worms taken out of his face, I took a quantity of these imagined worms, which I laid upon a clean glass, that I might view them at my leisure. I found them not to differ considerably; unless it were that some of the hairs in these supposed worms were so tender, that they broke in two on the least touch. Other worms seemed to be a bundle of hairs, but when I went to separate them, it was just as if I had touched a soft fat body. I squeezed some black specks out of the thick of my own nose, which I saw to be bundles of hairs, I then took out hairs from one of them to the number of 36. I took the worms out of the noses of two other persons, and I found the number of hairs in a bundle to be from 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 to 25, and 30, When the worms lay deepest in the nose, they seldom contained any hairs, unless the person they came from were very black, and then the hairs were more easily perceivable. In the pressing out of worms, I could tell whether there were hairs in them or not; for if the substance came out straight, then there were always hairs; but if bended none.
In the year 1674, I asserted that the cuticula, or upper skin of a body, consists of round particles or scales. I then saw by a common microscope the parts of the scales appearing to the eye as if they were round, lying close in order, and so small that a sand would cover 200 or 250 of them. But examining them since by a glass which magnifies more, I am satisfied that they are not made out of the grosser part of the moisture or substance which is evaporated out of the body, as I formerly thought, but are mere scales, such as grow on the outward skin of a fish, and called fish-scales. These scales lie on our body just as they do upon fishes, the most part of them are five-sided, and are very thin, for I judge their breadth is about 25 times more than their thickness. They lie three deep on the body, every part being covered with three scales successively, though not above
part of a scale discovers itself to the eye, the other ; parts being hid by the other scales.
The scales of fishes also appear but in part to the eye; but it is very remarkable, that though fishes never change their scales, yet men do often; particularly I instance in myself at this time, being the 1st of September, that the scales came off me not one by one, but 1000 in a cluster. When I pluck
off à scale from my body which sticks fast, and perhaps is but newly grown, there comes blood after it, or at least there remains a red spot.
It is easy to conceive how a louse, flea, or other insect, may thrust his sting or snout into the skin ; for they need not do it through the scales, but between the plates or mails. From hence also may be perceived, that there are no pores in the cuticula, for the conveying out of sweat, because that may ooze out from between the scales, though they stick never so close together, without supposing that there are channels made for its passage. Let us only reckon how many
vacuities a scale has, whereby it is nourished so as to grow, and that in the space of } part of a scale there may be 100 such vacuities, through which the humours of the body may pass, and that 200 such parts of a scale may be covered with a sand. It will follow, then, that the body may exhale out of 20,000 places in a quantity no larger than what a sand will
Of the Bogs in Ireland. By Mr. William King. — [1685.]
As to the origin of bogs, it is to be observed, that there are few places in our northern world but have been noted for them, as well as Ireland: every barbarous ill-inhabited country has them. I take the loca palustria, or paludes, to be the very same we call bogs: the ancient Gauls, Germans, and Britons, retiring, when beaten, to the paludes, is just what we have experienced in the Irish; and we shall find those places in Italy that were barbarous, such as Liguria, were infested with them, so that the true cause of them seems to be want of industry. To show this, we are to consider, that Ireland abounds in springs ; that these springs are mostly dry in the summer, and the grass and weeds grow thick about those places. In the winter they swell and run, and soften and loosen all the earth about them. Now that swerd or surface of the earth, which consists of the roots of grass, being lifted up and made fuzzy or spongy by the water in the winter, is dried in the spring, and does not fall together, but wither in a tuft, and new grass springs through it, which the next winter is again lifted up; and thus the spring is still more and more stopped, and the swerd grows thicker and thicker, till at first it makes what is called a quaking bog, and as it rises and becomes drier, and the grass roots and other vegetables become more putrid, together with the mud and slime of the water, it acquires a blackness, and becomes what is called a turf-bog. I believe when the vegetables rot, the saline particles are generally washed away with the water, in which they are dissolved; but the oily or sulphureous remain and float on the water ; and this is that which gives turf its inflammability. To make this
appear, it is to be observed, that in Ireland the highest mountains are covered with bogs as well as the plains, because the mountains abound much in springs. Now these being uninhabited, and no care being taken to clear the springs, whole mountains are thus over-run with bogs.
It is to be observed, also, that Ireland abounds in moss more than probably any other country, insomuch that it is very apt to spoil fruit-trees and quicksets. This moss is of divers kinds, and that which grows in bogs is remarkable; for the light spongy turf is nothing but a congeries of the threads of this moss, before it be sufficiently rotten; and then the turf looks white, and is light. It is seen in such quantities and is so tough, that the turf-spades cannot cut it.
- In the north of Ireland they call it old-wives' tow, as it is not much unlike flax : the turf-holes in time grow up with it again, as well as all the little gutters in the bogs; and to it the red or turf bog is probably owing ; and from it even the hardened turf, when broken, is stringy, though there plainly appear in it parts of other vegetables ; and it is probable that the seed of this bog-moss, when it falls on dry and parched ground, produces heath.
The inconveniences of these bogs are very great ; a considerable part of the kingdom being rendered useless by them : they keep people at a distance from each other, and consequently interrupt them in their affairs. Generally, the land which should be our meadows, and the finest plains, are covered with bogs ; this is observed over all Connaught, but more especially in Longford and also in Westmeath, and in the north of Ireland. These bogs greatly 'obstruct the passing from place to place; and on this account the roads are very crooked, or they are made at vast expence through bogs. The bogs are a great destruction to cattle, the chief commodity of Ireland; for in the spring, when they are weak and hungry, the edges of the bogs have commonly grass, and the cattle venturing in to get it, fall into pits of sloughs, and are either drowned or hurt in the pulling out: the number of cattle lost this way is incredible.
Turf-bogs preserve things a long time : a corpse will lie entire in one for several years ; also trees are found sound and entire in them, and even birch and alder, that are very subject to rot; such trees burn very well, and serve for torches in the night.
Concerning the Salts of Vinegar, &c. By M. ANTHONY
Leuwenhoek.-[1685.] HAVING found my yearly provision of vinegar, which had been about three months in the cellar, to be more sour than ordinary, I left it open to the air during some hours, at which time I observed a great many particles, which I call the salt of the vinegar, as fig. A, tapering towards each end, and having in the middle a long brownish figure : others of the same extent, as fig. B, being as clear as crystal ; and these were the most numerous : others being
H long and brownish, having in the middle of them a
L bright clear substance, as fig. C. In another place
N were some few oval figures, within which were contained some lesser ovals, as fig. D. Under the aforesaid figures, A, B, C, I thought I saw many that had a hollowness within them, like that of a boat ; sometimes one of the figures appeared, the one half brown, and the other part clear; sometimes one of the figures lay across another, as at E. Sometimes there were figures which seemed to have been cut in two, each of them representing but one half of A, B, or C, as F. Many of these figures were so small, as scarcely to be seen, but so numerous that I judged them to be many thousands in one small drop of vinegar. These
particles I take to be the sharp pungent matter, which causes the sense in the tongue, which we term sour.
Having put into a glass about two inches wide a little vinegar, it was suffered to stand on my table for eight weeks. In this time I found swimming on the surface of the vinegar a full grown live eel, LM and N O, of which there were many more in the vinegar.
I took several new glasses with vinegar, and put in them some crabs' eyes, split into small pieces, lest the grit that