Volltext: The Works of Robert Whytt

Since therefore fixed alcaline faits, which mix eafily with oils, 
and powerfully volatilize the ammoniacal fait of the urine, fhew 
very little power of diffolving the calculus, the principal and pecu¬ 
liar adion of lime-water, whereby it fo remarkably difiblves this 
concretion, mufl confift in its producing fbme change upon the 
principles of the ftone different from what fixed alcaline faits are 
obferved to do. But the only thing in which the action of quick¬ 
lime, and of fixed alcaline faits, upon fal ammon. and that of urine, 
differs, is, that while both feem equally to volatilize thefe faits, the 
former alfo deflroys their power of effervefcing with acids, and fo 
changes their nature as to render them incapable of being reduced 
to afolid form. The virtue of lime, therefore, in diffolving the cal¬ 
culus, feems to proceed from that power which it poffeffes, not 
merely of rendering the faits in this concretion volatile, but of fub- 
tilizing and dividing them in fuch a manner as thoroughly to de- 
flroy their nature and texture as folid faits. 
But further, fince quick-lime feems to owe its virtues to its being 
deprived of its air by calcination, it is reafonable to think that lime- 
water diffolves the calculus partly by extrading the air out of it. No 
elaflic air, however, is generated during the diffolution, becaufe 
the lime-water extrads no more air out of the ftone than itfelf 
is capable of abforbing. 
So A P-L E y s or a lixivium of potafh and quick-lime, is a much more 
powerful folvent of the ftone than either lime-water or a folution 
of potafh in water ; becaufe the alcaline fait, after being deprived 
of its air by the quick-lime, becomes much more acrid and cauftic 
than it was before, and not only ads more powerfully on the fait 
and air in the calculus, but alfo unites more readily with its oil. 
When a fragment of a calculus is immerfed infoap-leys, there ap¬ 
pear to iffue from almoft every point of its furface firiœ, or oily 
flreams, which run through the ley, exhibiting much the fame ap¬ 
pearance that alcohotHozs when mixed with water. Are thefeßrw 
owing to elaflic air ifiuing from the furface of the flone, in order to 
unite with the alcaline fait of the ley, which has been deprived of 
E e e its


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