Les Pierres de Serpent – BOYLE – Of the reconcileableness of specifick medicines to the corpuscular philosophy to which is annexed a discourse about the advantages of the use of simple medicines (1685)

of the
to the
Corpuſcular Philoſophy.
To which is Annexed
A Diſcourſe about the Advantages
Of the Uſe of


An Invitation To the Uſe of Simple Medicine
To the very Learned Dr. F.




For this Reaſon, I ſay, I ſhall add a couple of other remarkable Inſtances, of the Efficacy of even Dry and Solid Bodies, tho but externally apply’d in Diſeaſes attended with ſeveral, and divers of them uncommon Symptoms, whereof, whatever many think of the harmleſſneſs of our Engliſh Vipers, I have here known ſeveral Inſtances, in Men as well as Brutes. And yet in theſe dangerous Caſes, many that come from Eaſt India extol the great Efficacy of ſome of thoſe Stony Concretions, that are ſaid to be found in the Heads of a certain kind of Serpents about Goa, and ſome other Eaſtern Countreys: for tho moſt Phyſicians reject or queſtion the Power aſcrib’d to theſe ſtones, for curing the Bitings of Vipers, and tho I do not wonder at their diffidence, becauſe in effect many of the ſtones brought from India are but counterfeit; and of thoſe that were really taken out of Serpents, ſeveral, for a Reaſon I muſt not ſtay to mention, are inſignificant; (and ſuch perhaps were thoſe that the learned and curious Redy made his Tryals with) yet there are others, whoſe vertues are not well to be deny’d. For, not to build on vulgar Traditions, which are but too often deceitful, one of the eminenteſt Doctors of the London Colledge aſſur’d me, that he had, with one of theſe ſtones, done, tho contrary to his expectation; a notable Cure, which he related to me at large. And one of our chief Engliſh Chyrurgeons affirm’d to me, that he had done the like upon another perſon; both of theſe Cures being perform’d by the bare application of the Stone, to the Place bitten by the Viper or Adder. And a very intelligent perſon, who had the direction of a conſiderable Company of Traders in Eaſt India, where he long liv’d, aſſur’d me that he had with this Stone cur’d ſeveral perſons of the Hurts of venemous Animals, But, this Teſtimony is much leſſ conſiderable, as to the number of Cures, than that of a great Traveller into the Southern parts of the ſame India, who, tho he were bred by a famous Carteſian Philoſpher, and were forward enough to diſcredit vulgar Traditions about the Countreys he had long liv’d in; yet being for thoſe Reaſons aſk’d by me, what I might ſafely believe of the Stones I ſpeak of, ſeriouſly affirm’d to me, that he had cur’d above threeſcore perſons of the Bitings or Stings of ſeveral ſorts of poyſonus Creatures; and that he perform moſt of thoſe Cures, by the outward Application of one Stone; becauſe, finding it excellent, He was invited to keep to it, eſpecially in difficult. caſes. And this ſame Experience of my own, made with a Genuine Stone of this kind, upon the Bodies of Brutes, much inclines me to give credit to.


BOYLE, Robert. Of the reconcileableness of specifick medicines to the corpuscular philosophy to which is annexed a discourse about the advantages of the use of simple medicines. London, 1685, pp. 217–220.

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Version latine :

De specificorum remediorum cum corpusculari philosophia concordia. Cui accessit Dissertatio de varia simplicium medicamentorum utilitate, usuque. Traduit en latin par D. A. M. D., Londini, 1686, pp. 169-171.

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Version française :

Nouveau Traité de Monsieur Boyle, de l’Academie Royale de Londres, sur la Convenance des Remedes Specifiques avec la Philosophie des Corpuscules, & sur l’Usage & les Proprietez des Medicamens simples. De la Traduction de Mr Rostagny, de la Societé Royale de Paris, Medecin ordinaire de S. A. R. Madame de Guyse. Traduit en français par Jean de Rostagny, Lyon, 1689.

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