Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Spirits.

 Spirit-writing.Spirits (Elemental). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Inflammable liquors obtained by distillation. This is connected with the ancient notion of bottle-imps (q.v.), whence these liquors were largely used in the black arts.   1
   Spirits. There are four spirits and seven bodies in alchemy. The spirits are quicksilver, orpiment, sal-ammoniae, and brimstone. (See SEVEN BODIES.)   2
“The first spirit quyksilver called is:
The secound orpiment: the third I wis
Sal armoni’ac; and the ferth bremstoon.”
Chaucer: Prof. of the Chanounes Yemanes Tale.
   Spirits. There were formerly said to be three in animal bodies:—   3
   (1) The animal spirits, seated in the brain; they perform through the nerves all the actions of sense and motion.   4
   (2) The vital spirits, seated in the heart, on which depend the motion of the blood and animal heat.   5
   (3) The natural spirits, seated in the liver, on which depend the temper and “spirit of mind.”   6

 Spirit-writing.Spirits (Elemental). 


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