The Royal Society read and discussed Letter L-135

November 3, 1683

Birch, History, vol. IV, p. 219, 24 October 1683 (O.S.) in London:

A letter of Mr. LEEWENHOECK, dated September 17, 1683, was read, containing a description of three sorts of animals found in the scurf of the teeth, when it is mixed or dissolved in spittle or rain-water. These ariimals die in the water upon putting in a drop or two of wine-vinegar.

This letter contained also an account of the substance in the nose and face called worms, which are nothing else but pieces of hair, sometimes to the number of twenty or thirty, mixed with a clammy body.

It contained likewise a discovery of the structure of the cuticula in a man to be all scaly like a fish, and the scales shewn to be five-sided, to lie three deep one upon another, to expose but one third part of a scale to view, so shed at some times from the body, to be so small, that a sand will cover 200 of them. It was also affirmed, that there are no visible pores for the ejection of sweat.

It was desired, that Dr. SLARE would endeavour to borrow one of Mr. MELLIN's glasses, whereby these observations of Mr. LEEWENHOECK might be examined at the next meeting.

Some being apt to doubt, whether bodies so small as Mr. LEEWENHOECK mentioned, are really to be seen, Dr. KING affirmed, that he had seen things after 3000 times magnifying, which were then no bigger than the point of a fine needle.

Dr. Grew objected against there being no pores in the body, and said, that he had seen pores in the hand ranged in spherical triangles, and some in elliptics.

The discourse falling from microscopical worms to other large worms in the teeth, Sir ROBERT REDDING mentioned a worm found in a hollow tooth: and Sir THEODORE DE VAUX mentioned a paper of Sir THEODORE MAYERNE's which the Society had seen, concerning a woman, who killed worm in the teeth.

Dr. KING mentioned a worm, which he had found in the liver of a mouse.

Mr. ASTON was desired to inquire in his answer to Mr. LEEWENHOECK, whether the latter had observed any worms in the putrefaction of boils or the small pox.