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solution be slowly evaporated in a glass vessel to a pellicle, so that chrystals may be formed. The above are two modes of making the most common, and perhaps the most useful of all the antimonial preparations, long known in the shops under the name of emetic tartar.
These modes differ considerably from each other, but in both, the reguline part of the antimony is united with the acid of the tartar. It is, perhaps, difficult to say to which mode of preparation the preference is to be given, for on this point the best chymists are still divided in their opinions.
The mode directed by the London College, is nearly the same with that of former editions of their pharma copoeia, while that which is now adopted in Edinburgh is of later date. It is very certain, however, that by either mode, a good emetic tartar may be formed. Bergman advises, that if the calx be precipated by an alkaline ley, it is more certainly freed from the muriatic acid.
In the after part of the process, whether precipitate or crocus have been used, the quality of the antimonial ought always to be some drachms more than is absolutely necessary for saturating the acid of tartar, so that no chrystals may shoot which are not impregnated with the active metallic part of the antimony. And, in order to secure an uniform strength, some attention is necessary in collecting the chrystals as some may contain more metal than others.
After they are all separated from the liquor, they should be rubbed together in a glass mortar, into a fine powder, that the medicine may be of uniform strength. Emetic tartar is, of all the preparation of antimony, the most certain in its operation in the human subject, when given even in a dose of a single grain ; and it is an excellent alterative for horses, in
doses from half a drachm to two drachms so that the ditferent proportion between the horse and the man, varies more in this medicine than in many others; for it appears that the horse can take forty times as much emetic tartar as a man; but in regard to aloes, twenty times the quantity taken by a man, is quite sufficient for a horse.
Take of powdered antimony four ounces; calcine it in a broad earthen vessel, with a fire gradually raised, stirring with an iron rod, until it no longer emits a sulphurous smoke.
Put this powder into a crucible, so as to fill two thirds of it. A cover being first fitted on, make a fire under it, at first moderate, afterwards stronger, until the matter be melted. Pour out the melted glass.
GLASS OF ANTIMONY.
Strew antimony, beat it into a coarse powder, like sand, upon a shallow unglazed earthen pan, and apply a gentle heat underneath, that the antimony may be heated slowly, keeping it at the same time continually stirring to prevent it from running into lumps. White vapours of a sulphurous smell will arise from it. If they cease to exhale with the degree of heat first applied, increase the fire a little, so that the vapours may again rise; go on in this manner till the powder, when brought to a red heat, exhales no more vapours. Melt the calx in a crucible with an intense heat, till it assumes the appearance of melted glass, then pour it out on a heated brass plate or dish. The calcination of antimony, in order to procure transparent glass, succeeds very slowly, unless the operator be wary and circumspect in the management of it.
The most convenient vessel is a broad shallow dish, or smooth flat tile, placed under a chimney. The antimony should be the purer sort, such as is usually found at the apex of the canes ; this, grossly powdered, is to be evenly spread over the bottom of the pan, so as not to lie above a quarter of an inch thick upon any part.
The fire should be at first, no greater than is just sufficient to raise a fume from the antimony, which is to be now and then stirred; when the fumes begin to decay, increase the heat, taking care not to raise it so high as to melt the antimony, or to run the powder into lumps. After some time, the vessel may be made red-hot, and kept in that state, until the matter will not, on being stirred, any longer fume. If this part of the process be duly conducted, the antimony will appear in an uniform powder, without any lumps, and of a grey colour.
With this powder, fill two-thirds of a crucible, which is to be covered with a tile, and placed in a wind furnace. Gradually increase the heat until the calx be in perfect fusion, when it is to be occasionally examined by dipping a clean iron wire in it. If the matter which adheres to the end of the wire appears smooth and equally transparent, the vitrification is completed, and the glass may be poured out on a hot smooth stone or copper plate, and suffered to cool slowly, to prevent its cracking and flying in pieces. It is of a transparent yellowish red colour.
CERATED GLASS OF ANTIMONY.
Take of yellow wax, a drachm; glass of antimony, reduced into a powder, one ounce.
Melt the wax in an iron vessel, and throw into it powdered glass; keep the mixture over a gentle fire for half an hour, continually stirring it; then pour it out upon paper, and when cold, grind it into powder. The glass melts in the wax with a very gentle heat. After it has been about twenty minutes on the fire, it begins to change its colour, and in ten minutes more, comes near to that of Scotch snuff, which is a mark of its being sufficiently prepared. The above quantity loses a about drachm of its weight in the process.
. In the human subject, this medicine was for some time much esteemed in dysenteries. The dose given is from two or three grains to twenty, according to the age and strength of the patient.
The foregoing are the different preparations of antimony, but the two that are most useful in veterinary medicine, are the butter of antimony and the emetic tartar. The first is an excellent and safe escharotic, and the last is a useful diaphoretic, and is given with the best effect in all inflammatory complaints, especially in inflammation of the lungs.
Serve not only to evacuate the contents of the intestines, but also to convey very powerful medicines into the system, when perhaps it is not practicable to
do it by the mouth; for although clysters are only conveyed into the larger intestines, and, perhaps, hardly penetrate into the smaller, still they are extremely useful by fomenting, as it were, the latter, and at the same time by softening the hardened excrement that is accumulated in the former, and rendering it so soft as to be expelled out of the body, by which flatulencies, or other offending matters that may up in them, are likewise expelled; besides, by their warmth and relaxing powers, they act as a fomentation to the bowels, and hence may be of considerable service in removing spasmodic constrictions in the bowels, carrying off flatulencies, and in preventing inflammation in the intestines; and by conveying opiates to the parts affected, give speedy relief to colics, &c.
The use of emollient clysters in fevers is considerable; they act by revulsion, and relieve the head when much affected; besides, by throwing in a quantity of diluting liquor in the intestines, it not only relaxes and cleanses them, but they may be said to cool the body in general; at the same time a considerable portion of the liquid is absorbed and conveyed into the mass of blood, by which means it is diluted, and in particular complaints of the bowels, clysters give almost immediate relief.
These remedies, when judiciously employed, pass directly to the parts affected, as they undergo little or no alteration from the powers of the body.
The diseases of horses are cured on nearly the same principle as those of the human body. The doctrines laid down by physicians for the cure of diseases in the latter are applicable to horses in similar circumstances; only it ought to be observed, for obvious reasons, that the intestines of horses should always be