The Oyly-Well: or, A
Topographico-Spagyrical description of the Oyly-Well, at St.
Catharines-chappel in the Paroch of Libberton.

by M. Mackaile

Originally published in Edinburgh by Robert Brown in 1664

In the Paroch of Libberton (the Church whereof lyeth two miles south-ward from Edinburgh) there is a Well at the Chappel of St. Catharine, which is distant from the Church, about a quarter of a mile, and is situat toward the South-west) whose profundity eqalleth the length of a Pike, and is alwaies replet with water; and at the bottom of it there remaineth a great quantity of black Oyl, in some veins of the earth.

His Majesty King James the sixth, the first Monarch of Great Britain, of blessed memory, had such a great estimation of this rare Well, that when he returned from England, to visit this His ancient Kingdom of Scotland, in anno 1617. he went in person to see it, and ordered, that it should be built with stones from the bottom to the top, and that a door and a pair of stairs should be made for it, that men might have the more easie access unto its bottom, for getting of the Oyl. This royal command being obeyed, the Well was adorned and preserved, until the year, 1650, when that execrable Regicide and Usurper, Oliver Cromwell, with his rebellious and sacrilegious complices. did invade this Kingdom; and not only deface such rare and antient monuments of Natures hand-work, but also the Synagogues of the God of Nature.

Before we proceed any further, let us inquire from whence the water of all Springs (such especially as are most frequently deprehended upon, or near unto, the tops of high mountains) do proceed. The opinions of Philosophers concerning this affair, are these three, which are mentioned by Frambesarius in his natural history, and Dr. Andrew Baccius de Thermis, lib. 1. cap, 2. and by Dr. John French, in his York-shire Spau, chap. 2.

The first is Aristotles, viz. That these Waters are generat of vapors (which are contained in the caverns of the earth) and of air (insinuating it self into them, by conduits it encountereth) which are condensed into water, by the frididity of the earth.

The second is, that these waters are only Rain-water, which having insinuat it self into the veins of the earth, maketh way for its own egress, by the most convenient passages.

The third is, that these waters come from the Sea, through the veins of the earth; according to that saying of Solomons (Ecclesiastes, 1.7. All rivers run into the Sea, yet the Sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again) who was the wisest of all meer men, who were before or should be after him, 1 Kings, 3.12 and that not only in spirituals, but also in naturals: For the Scripture ( 1 Kings, 4.33) saith, this be spoke (by which you may well understand writing also) of Animals and Vegetables. He was also, no doubt, as skilfull in the art of Navigation, and knew well the natures of Minerals, seing (1 Kings, 9 26, 27,28. and 10.22.) he made Navies of ships, which he sent with his servants, that had knowledge of the Sea, unto Ophir and Tarshish, from whence he brought gold and silver, in so great abundance, that in his dayes silver was nothing accounted of, 1 Kings, 10.21. He was also no less skilfull in Agriculture, as may appear from Ecclesiastes, 2.5. And his making of Pools of water (ver. 6.) demonstrateth his dexterous skill, in finding out the subterraneal passages of water.

As to the first of these opinions, we cannot embrace it, because of these reasons. 1. It is most improbable, that there are such large caverns in the earth, as will contain so great a quantity of vapors and air, as, being condensed, would afford so much water, as doth daily scaturiat in springs, which are upon high mountains: For ten Gallons of air will scarcely afford one Gallon of water, as all will acknowledge. We will make use of this argument, not only in relation to such springs, as proceed from the tops of high mountains, but also in relation to some which are in lower places, and environed with mountains; one whereof we will instance, which perpetually, every moment yielding many Scots quarts of water; and it is that known Well in Carrick, at the Wel-tries, near to Maybol, unto which Well, no man (who knoweth the Country betwixt it and the Sea west-wards) will deny its original to be from thence. 2. If the water which doth scaturiat from, or near unto the top of an high mountain, doth proceed from vapors, which have been condensed in the caverns of the same mountains, these caverns being (of necessity) below the caverns from which the water issueth, it seemeth impossible, that the water can naturally ascend, from the lower unto the higher parts of these caverns, which are at the tops of the mountains; because water doth naturally ascend no further, than it did descend. We will notwithstanding acknowledge, 1. that there may be some springs upon, or near unto the tops of some mountains, which do not proceed from the Sea immediately, but rather from some Logh, whose superfice is more distant from the Centre of the earth, than the springs, and whose water cometh from the Sea immediately, after that maner, of which you shall be informed afterwards. 2. When water issueth slowly from the lower part of a mountain (as from St. Anthonies Well, at Arthurs seat) it may proceed from vapors and air, which have been condensed in the caverns of that same mountain which are above the place out of which it issueth.

The second opinion is no less improbable; because it is incredible, that the Rain-water, which doth at sometimes only fall upon mountains and valleys can be the only water, which doth perpetually scaturiat in all fountains; and that as abundantly from some, after a long summers drought, as after the greatest abundance of brumal showers.

We will here likewise admit, that there be many springs issuing from mountains, which are furnished with no other water, than the bottles of the clouds do afford unto some valleys, whose superfices are further from the centre of the earth, than the foresaid springs, whose waters are perpetually increased by Rain, and diminished (totally sometimes) by drought. But these are not the springs, concerning the original of whose waters we are inquiring; and therefore all arguments which are, or may be taken from them, can conclude nothing against Solomon his forementioned assertion.

The third opinion, which (as was said) is founded upon Solomon his assertion, is also dubitable; because it doth necessarily infer this improbable conclusion, viz. that the superfice of the Sea, is higher (that is, further distant from the centre of the earth) than the orifices of these subterraneal veins, from which its water is alleged to issue forth upon, or near unto the tops of mountains, though never so high; and that because of the fore-mentioned Axiom, viz. water doth naturally ascend no further than it did descend; as is ordinarily demonstrat, by a stroup of white Iron, which is bowed at the middle.

The verity of the opinion, and validity of the consequences will evidently appear, by proving the conclusion to be a certain truth; for the doing of of which, take these undeniable Propositions, from which we shall maifestly infer, that the waters of the most part of springs do come from the Sea, through the subterraneal veins; because of the altitude of its superfice, beyond that of the highest mountains from which water springeth.

Proposition 1. In the evening of the first day of the worlds creation, the four elements did surround one another, that is, the water did compleatly surround the earth (Psal. 104.5, 6.) the air surrounded the water end the earth, and the element of fire (if there was or is such a thing) did contain within its concavity, all the three.

The truth of this is evident from, Gen. 1. 1, 2. For in the first verse it is expesly said, that in the beginning (that is, in the first day of the creation as ver. 5) God created the heaven and the earth; and in the second verse, the earth was without form and void; that is, the form of the earth did not appear, because it was completely covered with the waters, which upon the third day of the creation, God did gather unto one place, that the dry land might appear, as ver. 9.

Proposition 2. Before the gathering of the waters unto one place, the earth and the waters did constitute one rotund Globe, and never since, but when God commanded them, for drowning of the world, to return unto that their first position or cituation, wherein their superfice was fifteen cubits above the top of the highest mountain (Genes. 7. 19. 20.) And that, 1., through the fountains of the great deep (Gen. 7. 11.) or veins of the earth (as Job, 38. 8.) the latter half of which verse, doth, without controversie, relate to the floud of Noah. 2. Through the bottles of the clouds (unto which they had ascended into vapors, and) from which they did descend, for malaxing of the hard earth, that the subterraneal waters might the more easily conciliat a more facile egress unto themselves, by new passages, through the superfice of the same.

Proposition 3. From the third day of the worlds creation untill the floud of Noah, and since that after the floud, the waters returned from off the face of the earth (Gen. 8. 3.) and the dry land appeared (ver. 5. 11, 12) the middle of the superfice of the Ocean (which we conceive most probably to be beneath the Arctick or North-pole) hath been, and is further distant from the centre of the earth, than the top of the highest mountain. This Proposition is undenyable: for, if when the waters surrounded the whole earth, their superfice was fifteen cubits higher than the top of the highest mountain, far more is it higher now, and hath been ever since they returned from off the earth; and that (no doubt) unto one (yea their former) place, unto which they were at first gathered, Gen. 1. 9. Moreover, its truth is clearly evinced from Job. 38. 10. I brake up for it my decreed place. and set bars and doors, ver. 11. And said, hitherto shalt thou come and no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed. For these verses, and the first words of ver. 8. of the same Chapter, and Job, 28. ver. 11. (He bindeth the flouds from over-flowing, &c.) do no doubt relate unto the third day of the creation, wheron God did gather the waters unto one place (Gen. 1. 9.) or unto the returning of the waters from off the earth (Gen. 8. 3.) or both, which is most probable.

This third Proposition is also proven, by Psal. 104. 5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever, ver. 6. thou coveredÕst it with the deep, as with a garment, the waters stood above the mountains, ver. 7. at thy rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy thunder hasted away, ver. 8. they go up by the mountains, they go down by the valleys, un[t]o the place whch thou hast founded for them, ver. 9. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over, that they turn not again to cover the earth; ver. 10. he sendeth his springs (that is, permitteth the springs to pass) among the hills. And, Prov. 8. 28. When he strengthened the fountains of the deep, ver. 29. when he gvae [gave] to the Sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment. Seing it is most evident, from these places of Scripture (especially from Psal. 104. 9, 10. and Job, 28. 11. and 38. 8. 10. 11.) that the Sea hath a natural and perpetual inclination unto turning again to cover the earth (whereby all the parts of its superfice, may be equidistant from the centre of the earth) and that by the omnipotency only of God it is detained in that situation, wherein now it is, we do from them and the foresaid propositions conclude, that the waters of all springs (even such as do scaturiat upon the tops of the highest mountains) which run perpetually, do proceed from the Sea, through the subterraneal veins.

For further probation of this opinion, consider, that if the superfice of the Sea, where any of its water doth enter into the veins of the earth by which it is conveyed to the tops of high mountains, were not further distant from the centre of the earth than the tops of those mountains, it could never ascend unto them, no more than the water which issued from the top of an high mountain could move in a natural maner (as it doth) toward the Sea shore, if the place from whence it proceedeth, were not further distant from the centre of the earth then the shore.

Here we cannot but take notice, how Dr. John French, in his York-shire Spau, chap. 2. pag. 10, 11,12. denieth, that the middle superfice of the Ocean is higher than the shore, and that there are such veins in the earth, as the water would pass through, unto the tops of mountains where springs are; because the veins in the bowels of the earth, are not wholly and throughout full, as of necessity they must be, before water will ascend through them, for preservation of its continuity, and the avoiding of a vacuum, as those crooked pipes are, by which Wine-coopers use to draw wine out of one vessel into another. For answer, in consideration of our former reasons, we will as confidently affirm, as he doth deny, tht the middle superfice of the Ocean is not only higher than the shore, but also higher than the highest mountain; and that these veins of the earth, are whooly, and throughout, full of water; because if they were not so, the Sea-water could never scaturiat from the tops of high mountains.

The aforesaid Author having (as he thinketh) sufficiently refuted that opinion, which asserteth the ascent of the waters by the subterraneal veins, which are in the mountains (though it be according to the express Word of God, Psal. 140. 8.) They go up by the mountains, they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them) setteth down his own (pag. 15. 16.) which is this, the water which proceedeth from the tops of mountains, is only the vapours of the waters contained in the caverns of the earth, which the subterraneal heat (of the burning bitumen, as pag. 22.) did elevat unto the heads of the springs, where they are condensed into water, as water is elevated from the Sea unto the middle region of the air, where it is condensed into water. Having into our Appendix unto Moffet-Well, shewed the improbability (if not the impossibility) of that his subterraneal fire; for refutation of this opinion, I shall only make use of the words of his own 2. Arg. (pag. 2.) whereby he refuteth the opinion of Seneca, (viz. That Springs are generated chiefly of earth, changed into water) changing only the words air and corrupted, and putting vapor and converted for them, thus, It is to be wondered at, that seeing ten parts of vapor, if not mo[r]e, serve for the making of one part of water, containable in the same space, there should be so much space in the earth for containing so much vapor, as serveth the making of such a quantity of water, as springs daily out of the earth, how is it possible that so much vapor can be converted in such a moment? Moreover, as it is most probable (as he there writeth) that the whole elementary air, being of its own nature most subtile, and not being suffiecient to make such abundance of water, as all the sprins of the earth will amount to; so it is most like, that though there were such a subterraneal fire, occasioning the elevation of such vapors, yet all these would not be sufficient, to yield so much water, as doth daily proceed from all the springs that are upon the earth.

Let us here applaud the most ingenious opinion of the most famous Philosopher Renatus Des Cartes, prineip.Philosoph,parte 4.Parag. 65. Ut animalium sanguis in corum venis & atreriis, sic aqua in terr¾ venis circulariter fluit. Because thereby appeareth one great resemblance, which is betwixt the Macrocosme, and the choicest of Animals, Man, called the Microcosme. Not that we think, that the similitude holdeth in all things, but that because of its reality, the foresaid Author, is much to be admired and respected for his ingenious observation.

In the next place, we shall first give you that description of the Well, which we find in I. Monipeny his Memorial of the rare and wonderfull things of Scotland, at the end of his Abridgement of the Scotish Chronicles. 2. We shall shew, in what things this description is faulty. 3. Describe the manner of collecting this Oyl, and add such things as we have observed in the Well. 4. Prove, that the forecited Author his opinion, concerning the Oyl, is most probable. 5. Set down the maner of its separation from the Coals. 6. Describe the Virtues, which undoubtedly it hath, or in probability may be ascribed to it. 7. Propose and answer three questions.

As to the first, viz. I. M. his description of the Well, these are his words. In Louthian, two miles from Edinburgh, is a Well spring, called St. Catharines Well, flowing perpetually with a kind of black fatness or Oyl above the water, proceeding (as is thought) of the Parret coal, being frequent in these parts. This fatness is of a marvellous nature; for as the coal whereof it proceeds, is sudain to conceive fire or flame, So is this Oyl of a sudain operation, to heal all salt-scabs and humours, that trouble the outward skin of man; commonly the head and hands are quickly healed by the virtue of this Oyl. It renders a marvellous sweet smell. Dr. Ia. Hart also maketh mention of it, to the same purpose, in his Dyet of the diseased, Book 3 chap. 19. at the end.

The Author of the forementioned description is mistaken; 1. In saying, that the Oyl floweth perpetually above the water; 2. In asserting, that it hath a marvellous sweet smell.

As to the latter assertion, it savoureth of mis-information, because the smell of the Oyl is most like unto the smell of the smoke of Coals, and their Oyl, which are no wayes gratefull or sweet; and the first assertion is also of the same nature: For the Oyl remaineth in the veins of the earth, which are near unto the bottom of the Well, and doth never ascend unto the superfice of the water, but by drops only, and that when the water is commoved; because some drops of the Oyl, are then separated from the rest, which are detained in the veins of the earth, through their viscosity, by which they are attached unto the earth.

3. The manner of collecting the Oyl is this, the water of the Well being exhausted by buckets, untill the superfice of that which remaineth, be as low as the orifices of those veins, in which the Oyl is absconded, when the superfice of the water is often moved by a convenient vessel, from the side of the Well, where these orifices are, unto the middle, the Oyl cometh forth of the veins, and floateth upon the water, from which it is separated, as Cream from Milk.

Here you would take notice, 1. that when the Well is full of water, there appeareth sometimes a scum upon it, which is most delicately variegat with these colours, blue, red, green, purple, &c. ( and Chamelion-like) changeth all these colours, according to the variation of its position unto your eyes, either by your moving, from one place unto another, raound abour the Well, or by its moving its place upon the water, by motion. The reason of this variation of colours, we conceive to be the different wayes of reflecting the rays of light, by the foresaid scum, seing it is not altered by any other physical agent. 2. The water of the Well is scarcely affected with the taste of the Oyl, so that it may be justly esteemed as destitute of its other virtues. The reason of this is, because its taste (and consequently its parts, wherin its virtues do consist) cannot be communicated unto the water, without the mediation of its salt, either fixed or volatile: But so it is, that the fixed-salt of the Coals, remaineth inseperable from them, before they be calcined; and the volatile, being nitrous, is drawn along with the refinous oyl, whereby its solution in the water is prohibited.

If it shall be demanded, what this Scum is? We answer, that it is nothing else but one or more drops of the fore-mentioned oyl, which have been by agitation of the water, first separated from the rest, which lurketh in th subterraneal veins at the bottom of the Well, and then by a further commotion, extended over as much of the waters superfice, as it could cover, when converted into a thin pellicule or scum. The truth of this is easily demonstrat by this experiment; take one drop of the fore-mentioned oyl, and instill it into a large vessel full of water, and then agitat the water with a stick, and you shall presently perceive the like scum, which will vary its colours, as was said. The Chymical Oyl of Worm-wood will do so also.

4. It is most probable, that the foresaid oyl is the oyl of Coals; for proving of which, consider, 1. that this oyl is most like, in colour, smell and taste, unto the oyl, which is by the Spagyrical Art extracted out of Coals, save only in that it is not so strong; because it was not extracted by the violence of fire, as this, whose strength existeth in its most active spirits, which the fire hath separated from the Coals. 2. The artificial oyl of Coals, is impregnant with the same virtue (but in a more eminent degree) which the Author ascribeth unto the oyl of the Well, as experience hath often testified unto me. 3. A drop of the artificial oyl of Coals, being instilled into a large vessel full of water, by agitation it will be converted into a scum, which will vary its colours, after the same manner that the scum of the Well doth. 4. The adjacent ground, south-wards, is full of Coal-pits, and Lime-stones, which we conceive do tend unto the nature of Coals, and do differ only from them as Silver differeth from Gold; and this difference is easily collected from that Axiom, Metallizationis finis est aurificatio. Moreover, Lime-stones are alwaies found near to Coals, as we are credibly informed,

Having already asserted, that this oyl is the oyl of Coals, we cannot but also confess, that we are of opinion, that it is the very oyl of the Parret-coal; because this is the most sulphureous Coal, whose copious Sulphur, is of a most facile separation, by the abluent water, as it passeth through the veins of the earth, in which this sort of Coal is contained.

5. Whilst the water of the Well passeth through the veins of the Earth, where the Coals are, it carrieth along with it, as much of the oyl, as serveth to make an unctuous scum upon its superfice; and when it passeth through other veins of the earth into the Well, it encountereth some dryer parts, to which it attacheth it self, untill it is converted into an oyl, by the contraction of its parts, and continual accession of more pellicules. This is sufficiently proven by the forementioned experiment: For if one drop of the oyl be convertible into an unctuous scum (as was proven) why should any doubt, that the unctuous scum may be again converted into oyl, by having its parts more strictly united?

We hope that none will question the separation of this oyl from Coals, which are a most sulphureous mineral, seing many vegetables (less or no more sulpureous) do daily lacrimat sulphureous Gums, as Turpentine, Mastick &c.

The virtues of the oyl.

6. THe only virtues which, as yet, are ascrib> unto this oyl, are, 1. Its singular curing of the Scab, by the aforementioned Author. 2. A power of healing all aching of the Bones; by our learned country-man Dr. Anderson, in his Cold-spring of Kinghorn.

But we conceive, that these following virtues may, upon a most rational account, be attributed unto it, and to the artificial oyl of Coals.

1. It is very probable, that these are excellent Anti-podagrick and Anti-paralytick oyls; because of the intense calidity wherewith they are endued.

2. They are good Anti-hysterick oyls, for internal, as well as external use; because of the fetide smell, wherewith thay are impregnant.

3. They will prove good ant-asthmatick oyls; because of the aperitive quality, wherewith they seem to be enriched, by reason of the acrimony of their taste, resembling that of Balsam of Brimstone, which is esteeemed one of the best Ant-asthmatick medicines which we have; and is best known unto our ®sculapian sons and servants, by the name of Dr. Macullochs Balsam; because that lerned and expert Physician (to his Majesty King James the sixth, of glorious memory) was the inventer of its more terss preparation (whereof the antients were ignorant, and) which he left behind him, unto his Country-men.

7. We shall propose and answer three questions, one whereof is concerning Coals, and the rest are concerning Oyls.

Quest. 1. Why do not Coals yield a fixed salt, when exposed to spagyrical resolution? seing they are one of the kinds of minerals, which do most abound in salt. It is answered, 1. that because they do not render this kind of salt, it is not to be supposed, that therefore they contain none of it; for the whoteness of their ashes, and their intense corrosive quality, when converted into Lime, by calcination. with stones of their own nature (as was said) do sufficiently demonstrat the contrary. 2. They do not yield any fixed-salt; because, when they are calcined, their fixed-salt doth corrode the metallick earth, which they contain, that it converteth the same, with its self, into a magisterial pouder; from which (as from the magisterial pouders of Pearls, Corall, Lead, &c.) experience teacheth the impossibility of separating the corrosive salt. 3. They afford no fixed-salt; because they are of the nature of Lime-stones. from which (when converted into the most corrosive Lime) it is impossible to extract any fixed-salt. Teste Zuelfero, Chymico expertissimo, in Anima-adversionibus suis, in appendice in Antidotorum Classem, di salibus Theriacalibus, Pharmacopoei¾ Augustan¾, ab ipsoingeniosissime reformat¾, pag. 276. colum. 2.

Quest. 2. Why do some oyls perpetually descend unto the bottom of the water, as some oyls which ar destilled by descension? Ans. These oyls being more crass than others, are also more ponderous, and therefore cannot be supported by water, which is endued with more tenuity of parts; but when these oyls are (by reiterated destillations) rectified, and so deprived of these crasser parts, the water will support them.

Quest. 3. Why do the most part of (if not all) oyls descend unto the lowest parts of sulphurous spirits (as of Wine, Barley, &c,) of an aqueous consistence. Ans. The tenuity of the spirit is the undeniable cause, why it cannot support the more crass oyl (unless it be in a most exile quantity), which is most participant of its nature and properties: For, if you mix some crass water with such a spirit, it will then support the oyl, to which it formerly denied that service.

Seing the curious Former of all things, hath much embellished the superfice of our Scottish ground, with so many mineral springs of different natures, and richly enambled its bowels with such a variety of metallick markasites (as is well known) it is much to be regrated, that so few have attempted the discovering of their natures, or (having made some progress in that) adventured to expose their conceptions, concerning either of them, unto Fames fingering. I know not if any of our Country-men have published any thing concerning our Mettals; and it is to be feared, that there will be little, or nothin done to this purpose in haste, seing it hath pleased the Almighty, to put an end unto the dayes of that most learned and ingenious Mineralogist, the Lord Hopton, who died Dec. 1662. And (according to my best knowledge) there are only three who have written concerning our mineral springs.

The first is Dr. Moor, present Professor of Medicine, in the University of Aberdeen; who published a little book, concerning the Well of Peterhead, in the year, 1636. from which it is manifest, that then (though a student only of Medicine) he was privy to many of the most excellent actions of Art and Nature.

The second is Dr. Anderson, who wrote most learnedly upon the Cold-spring of King-born, in anno. 1618. and in that his book, mentioneth many rare springs (wherewith Scotland is replenished, and) which we here insert, because that book is rare to be found. The first is the spring which issueth from the top of Rattray-cave, in the Barony of Slains, whose water doth, in a short time, congele into a hard stone, as saith our forecited Author also, in his memorial of the most rareaxd [rare and] wonderfull things of Scotland. Our learned and ingenious Country-man, Dr. Sylvester Rattray, doth also make mention of this water in his book, entituled, Aditus novus, as occultas sympathi¾, & Antipathi¾ causas inveniendas. Here you would take notice of a story, which will convince you of the possibility of this. A Scottish Gentleman, having been in France, and there acquainted with another of that Country, who (it seemeth) was curious to know the various and (almost) miraculous operations of Nature, did inform him, by writing, concerning this Well, and its water. The French man returned him this answer, I am sorry, that you should think me such a fool, as to believe such a Paradox as this is, that water should, in a short time, be converted into a stone. Whereupon our Country-man fearing least the other should think this a meer fiction, he took the pains , toset [to set] a glass under the droping water, untill it became full, and then he sent the glass unto him, the water therein contained, being converted into a stone. A very ingenious argument, for convincing so confident a Gain-sayer. Secondly, a spring of the same nature, which himself did see in one of the vaults (which were most curiously hewed out of a solide rock) of Roslain-castle. Thirdly, two Wells in the Castle of Dumbarton, distant two or three foots, the one from the other; the uppermost whereof, springing from north to south, yieldeth a very salt water; the other running from south to north, exhibiteth fresh water. Fourthly, the Mud-earth wells of Menteith. Fifthly, the Lady-well of Strathearn. Sixthly, the Lady-well of Ruthven. Seventhly, this Oyly-well at St. Catharines Chappel.

The third is Mr. William Barclay, whom Dr. Anderson stileth, his very learned friend, and old Parisien acquaintance, and of whom he writeth, that he would have all the effects of the Cold-spring of King-horn to proceed from Tinn, &c. So it is very probable, that that Gentleman, hath written something concerning that, or some other spring.

And seing there are very many rare and admirable springs, in several places of this Kingdom, far distant from one another, concerning which nine hath, as yet, put pen to paper, such as live near to any one of them, would so well to attempt the discovering of their natures and virtues, and then publish them for the good of others; by the doing of which, they would purchase unto themselves further access in natures Cabin, where they would find greater discoveries of her manifold and great mysteries, with the knowledge of which, Providence hath decreed to inrich none, but the diligent searchers after them.

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