<53r>

Cambridge Apr. 26. 1676.

Sr

I am now to return you thanks on a double account, the one for publishing my letter in yor last Transactions, the other for motioning to {illeg}{illeg}|ge|t ye Experiment in controversy, tryed before ye R. Society. I could be very desirous, not to say ambitious, to have such a thing done, did I not feare I should be troublesome, & therefore I shall esteem it a great favour if you please to get it done, being apt to think yt Mr Linus's Friends will not otherwise acquiesce.

Yesterday I reading ye two last Ph. Transactions, had ye opportunity to consider Mr Boyles uncommon expt about ye incalescence of Gold & ☿. I beleive ye fingers of many will itch to be at ye knowledge of ye preparation of such a ☿, & for that end some will not be wanting to move for ye publishing of it, by urging ye good i{illeg}|t| may do in ye world; but in my simple judgment the noble Author {illeg}|si|nce he has thought fit to reveale himself so far does prudently in being reserved in ye rest. Not that I think any great excellence in such a ☿ either for medical or Chymical operations: for it seems to me yt ye metalline particles wth wch yt ☿ is impregnated may be grosser yn ye particles of ye ☿ & be disposed to {illeg}t{illeg} mix more readily wth ye ☉ upon some other account then their subtilty, & then in so mixing, their grossnes may enable <54r> them to give ye parts of ye gold ye greater shock, & so put ym into yt|a| brisker motion then smaller particles could do: much after ye manner that ye saline particles wherewith corrosive liquors are impregnated heate many things wch they are put to dissolve, whilst ye finer parts of common water scarce heat any thing dissolved therein be ye dissolution never so quick; & if they do heat {illeg}|a|ny thing; ({illeg}|a|s quick lime) one may suspect that heat is produced by some saline particles lying hid in ye body wch ye water sets on work upon ye body wch thy|e|y could not act on whilst in a dry form. I would compare therefore this impregnated ☿ to some corrosive liquor (as Aqua fortis) the ☿ial part of ye one to ye saline \watry or flegmatic/ pt of ye other, & ye metallick particles \wth/ wch ye one is impregnate{d} to ye saline particles wth wch ye other is impregnated, both wch I suppose may be of a middle nature between ye liquor wch they impregnate & ye bod{illeg}|i|es they dissolve{illeg} & so enter those bodies more freely & by their grossness shake ye dissolved particles more strongly then a subtiler agent would do. If this analogy of these two kinds of liquors may be allowed, one may guess at ye {illeg} \little/ use of ye one by ye indisposition of ye other either to medicine or vegetation. But yet because ye way by wch such ☿ may be so impregnated, has been thought fit to be concealed by others that have known it, & therefore may possibly be{illeg} an inlet to something more noble, not to be communicated wthout immense dammage to ye world if there should be any verity in ye Hermetick writers, therefore I question not but that ye great wisdom of ye noble Authour will sway him to high silence till he shall be resolved {illeg} of w{illeg}|h|at consequence ye thing may be either by his own experience, or ye judgmt of \some/ other that throughly understand|s| what they speake|s| about, that is of a true Hermetic Pher, if whose judgmt (if there be any such) would be more to be regarded in this point then that of all ye world beside to ye contrary, there being other things beside ye transmutation of metalls (if those great < insertion from the left margin > pretenders bragg not) wch none but they understand. Sr because ye Author seems desirous of ye sense of others in this point, I have been so free as to shoot my bo{illeg}|lt|: but pray keep this letter private to yor self

Yor Servant

Is. Newton.

< text from f 54r resumes >

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC