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tar water may be very useful against the plague, both as a preservative and a cure.
24. But I doubt no medicine can withstand that execrable plague of distilled spirits, which do all, without exception (the fire of the hot still imparting a caustic and coagulating quality to all distilled spirits, whatever the subject or ingredients may be), operate as a slow poison, preying on the vitals, and wasting the health and strength of body and soul: which pest of human kind, is I am told, gaining ground in this country, already too thin of inhabitants.
I am, &c.
1. Your attention to whatever promotes the public good of your country, or the common benefit of mankind, having engaged you in a particular inquiry concerning the virtues and effects of tar water, you are entitled to know, what farther discoveries, observations, and reflections, I have made on the subject.
2. Tar water, in the several editions of Siris, hath been directed to be made by stirring three, four, five, or six minutes, a gallon of water and a quart of tar. But although it seem best made, for general use, within those limits, yet the stomach of the patient is the best rule, whereby to direct the strength of the water; with a little more stirring, six quarts of good tar water may be made from one of tar; and with eight minutes stirring, I have known a gallon of tar water produced from second-hand tar, which proved a good remedy in a very bad fever, when better tar could not be had. For the use of travellers, a tar water may be made very strong, for instance, with one quart of water, and a quart of tar, stirred together for the space of five minutes. A bottle of this may serve long on a road, a little being put to each glass of common water, more or less, as you would have it stronger or weaker. Near two years ago, a quart of about this strength was given to an old woman, to be taken at one draught by direction of a young lady, who had consulted one in my family, about the method of preparing and giving tar water, which yet she happened to mistake. But even thus, it did service in the