Fragment 520670



had plastered it all over with alum.

Original French:  l’auoit toute enduicte d’alum.

Modern French:  l’avoit toute enduicte d’alum.

enduicte d’alum

Les Anciens confondaient plus ou moins les sels naturels. S’agit-il ici d’alun, ou de quelque autre produit? On peut ignifuger des étoffes et des décors avec une solutuion de six parties de borax et cinq d’acide borique dans cent parties d’eau. (Paul Delaunay)

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Oeuvres. Tome Cinquieme: Tiers Livre
p. 373
Abel Lefranc [1863-1952], editor
Paris: Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion, 1931


alum: Latin alumen, the same substance: compare aluta tawed skin.]

A whitish transparent mineral salt, very astringent, used in dyeing, tawing skins, and medicine, also for sizing paper, and making materials fire-proof; Burnt alum: Alum deprived of its water of crystallization so as to become a white powder; rock or Roman alum, that prepared from the alum-stone in Italy.

C. 1325 E.E. Allit. P. B. 1035 As alum & alka[t]ran, that angré arn boþe.

1366 Maundev. ix. 99 About that see growethe moche Alom.

C. 1386 Geoffrey Chaucer Canterbury Tales, Chanounes Yemanne’s Tale. Prologue 260 Tartre, alym, glas [v.r. alum, alumglas(se, alem].

1436 Pol. Poems II. 172 Coton, roche-alum, and gode golde of Jene.

1453 in Heath Grocers’ Comp. (1869) 422 Alum, foyle or rooch, ye bale…

1551 William Turner A new herball ii. (1568) 123 Layed to with honey and allome.

1601 Philemon Holland, translator Pliny’s History of the world, commonly called the Natural historie (1634) II. 559 Alume brought from Melos, is the best.

1660 R. Coke Power & Subj. 208 The Pope had excommunicated all persons whatsoever, who had bought alume of the Florentines.

Applied to various native minerals, which are chemically alums proper, as native alum or kalinite; also to others (pseudo-alums), which are compounds of aluminium sulphate with the sulphate of some other base; or with the protoxides of iron, manganese, etc., as feather or plume alum (ferroso-aluminic sulphate). The name feather alum has been applied also to magnesia alum and alunogen.

1661 Barten Holyday, translator A. Persius Flaccus his Satires (1673) 122 Plume-alume burns the skin… rock-alume dissolves metals, shrivels the skin, loosens the teeth.



Posted 27 January 2013. Modified 13 February 2016.

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