Having promis'd (Says our Author) to say something of that most precious sort of Jewels, Carbuncles, because they are very rarely to be met with, we shall briefly deliver what we know of them. In Clement the seventh's time, I happen'd to see one of them at a certain Ragusian Merchants, nam'd Beigoio di Bona, This was a Carbuncle white, of that kind of whiteness which we said was to be found in those Rubies of which we made mention a little above, (where he had said that those Rubies had a kind of Livid Whiteness or Paleness like that of a Calcidonian) but it had in it a Lustre so pleasing and so marveilous, that it shin'd in the Dark, but not as much as colour'd Carbuncles, though it be true, that in an exceeding Dark place I saw it shine in the manner of fire almost gone out. But as for colour'd Carbuncles, it has not been my Fortune to have seen any, wherefore I will onely set down what I Learn'd about them Discoursing in my Youth with a Roman Gentleman of antient Experience in matters of Jewels, who told me, That one Jacopo Cola being by Night in a Vineyard of his, and espying something in the midst of it, that shin'd like a little glowing Coal, at the foot of a Vine, went near towards the place where he thought himself to have seen that fire, but not finding it, he said, that being return'd to the same place, whence he had first descry'd it, and perceiving there the same splendor as before, he mark'd it so heedfully, that he came at length to it, where he took up a very little Stone, which he carry'd away with Transports and Joy. And the next day carrying it about to show it divers of his Friends, whilst he was relating after what manner he found it, there casually interven'd a Venetian Embassadour, exceedingly expert in Jewels, who presently knowing it to be a Carbuncle, did craftily before he and the said Jacopo parted (so that there was no Body present that understood the Worth of so Precious a Gemm) purchase it for the Value of 10. Crowns, and the next day left Rome to shun the being necessitated to restore it, and (as he affirm'd) it was known within some while after that the said Venetian Gentleman did in Constantinople sell that Carbuncle to the then Grand Seignior, newly come to the Empire, for a hundred thousand Crowns. And this is what I can say concerning Carbuncles, and this is not a little at least as to the first part of this account, where our Cellini affirms himself to have seen a Real Carbuncle with his own Eyes, especially since this Author appears wary in what he delivers, and is inclin'd rather to lessen, than increase the wonder of it. And his Testimony is the more considerable, because though he were born a Subject neither to the Pope nor the then King of France (that Royal Virtuoso Francis the first) yet both the one and the other of those Princes imploy'd him much about making of their Noblest Jewels. What is now reported concerning a Shining Substance to be seen in one of the Islands about Scotland, were very improper for me to mention to Sr. Robert Morray, to whom the first Information was Originally brought, and from whom I expect a farther (for I scarce dare expect a convincing) account of it. But I must not omit that some Virtuoso questioning me the other day at White-Hall about Mr. Claytons Diamond, and meeting amongst them an Ingenious Dutch Gentleman, whose Father was long Embassador for the Netherlands in England, I Learn'd of him, that, he is acquainted with a person, whose Name he told (but I do not well remember it) who was Admiral of the Dutch in the East-Indies, and who assur'd this Gentleman Monsieur Boreel, that at his return from thence he brought back with him into Holland a Stone, which though it look'd but like a Pale Dull Diamond, such as he saw Mr. Claytons to be, yet was it a Real Carbuncle, and did without rubbing shine so much, that when the Admiral had occasion to open a Chest which he kept under Deck in a Dark place, where 'twas forbidden to bring Candles for fear of Mischances, as soon as he open'd the Trunck, the Stone would by its Native Light, shine so as to Illustrate a great part of it, and this Gentleman having very civilly and readily granted me the request I made him, to Write to the Admiral, who is yet alive in Holland, (and probably may still have the Jewel by him,) for a particular account of this Stone, I hope ere long to receive it, which will be the more welcome to me, not onely because so unlikely a thing needs a cleer evidence, but because I have had some suspition of that (supposing the truth of the thing) what may be a shining Stone in a very hot Countrey as the East-Indies, may perhaps cease to be so (at least in certain seasons,) in one as cold as Holland. For I observ'd in the Diamond I send you an account of, that not onely rubbing but a very moderate degree of warmth, though excited by other wayes, would make it shine a little. And 'tis not impossible that there may be Stones as much more susceptible than that, of the Alterations requisite to make a Diamond shine, as that appeares to be more susceptible of them, than ordinary Diamonds. And I confess to you, that this is not the only odd suspition (for they are not so much as conjectures) that what I try'd upon this Diamond suggested to me. For not here to entertain you with the changes I think may be effected ev'n in harder sorts of Stones, by wayes not vulgar, nor very promising, because I may elsewhere have occasion to speak of them, and this Letter is but too Prolix already, that which I shall now acknowledge to you is, That I began to doubt whether there may not in some Cases be some Truth in what is said of the right Turquois, that it often changes Colour as the wearer is Sick or Well, and manifestly loses its splendor at his Death. For when I found that ev'n the warmth of an Affriction that lasted not above a quarter of a minute, Nay, that of my Body, (whose Constitution you know is none of the hottest) would make a manifest change in the solidest of Stones a Diamond, it seem'd not impossible, that certain warm and Saline steams issuing from the Body of a living man, may by their plenty or paucity, or by their peculiar Nature, or by the total absence of them, diversifie the Colour, and the splendor of so soft a Stone as the Turquois. And though I admir'd to see, that I know not how many Men otherwise Learn'd, should confidently ascribe to Jewels such Virtues as seem no way competible to Inanimate Agents, if to any Corporeal ones at all, yet as to what is affirm'd concerning the Turquois's changing Colour, I know not well how to reject the Affirmation of so Learned (and which in this case is much more considerable) so Judicious a Lapidary as Boetius de Boot , who upon his own particular and repeated Experience delivers so memorable a Narrative of the Turquois's changing Colour, that I cannot but think it worth your Perusal, especially since a much later and very Experienc'd Author, Olaus Wormius, where he treats of that Stone, Confirms it with this Testimony. Imprimis memorandum exemplum quod Anshelmus Boetius de seipso refert, tam mutati Coloris, quam
Ay, indeed, there they were; but quantum mutati ab illis! how strangely changed from the noisy, rollicking set I had known them in the railway-car and on board the steamer, ere yet the demon of sea-sickness had claimed them for his own! How ghastly sober they looked now, to be sure!