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Upon the most

Material Passages,

Where the French Translation of


differs from the German Original.

From a GERMAN Edition.

The German Original says by Number 4. Of it self it cannot do it, altho' it should lie for ever IN the Earth; but the French Translation says: Though it should for ever remain ON THE EARTH.'Tis probable the Translator into Latin did say in terra, which indeed sometimes may be understood on the Earth, and is taken thus in the Lord's Prayer: Sicut in Coelo et in Terra, thy will be done on Earth, but in this place it should be otherways, viz. in the Earth.


By Number 9. the German Original says: To which OUR Stone answereth; but in the French the word Our is omitted; for it says, the Stone answered. 'Tis supposed the Translator into Latin has omitted first the word Our, not knowing perhaps that there is a difference between the Stone and the Philosophers, and between the Stone thus simply. But the French Commentator, as an ingenious Philosopher, would not have omitted the word Our, but perhaps rather have given a learned Explanation about it, if so be he had found it in the Latin Translation; For when the Philosophers say, Our Stone, they speak of it, as in that Condition, when it is work'd upon to be brought to Perfection, and plusquam Perfection. viz. to the Quality commonly called, The Philosophick Stone. But when it is barely called The Stone, without any other Epithet, in that Case it may be applied to the Stone, either generally, viz. in all and every one of its States and Conditions, or else it is taken in particular (to distinguish the Stone of the Philosophers, or its Matter) when it is still under the Operations of Nature, and not yet brought so far as that the Artist may assist Nature by a prudent Imitation of her. But as soon as the Philosophers work upon it, it is then properly and in particular called Their Stone. 'Tis true, the Philosopherssometimes confound on purpose theses two Denominations, because of the unworthy; but since the German Philosopher makes such a Distinction, the Translator into Latin ought not to have deprived the Hermetick Disciples of the same; for they might take Occasion thereby, to meditate, why 'tis called one time The Stone, and at another time Our Stone, and what he says when he distinguishes it with the word Our. 'Twas wrong therefore to be guilty of such an Omission, as not to give it the Denomination of Our Stone, as often as it was found in the German Original; but in Lieu thereof, to call it always merely The Stone.


By Number 10. the German Original says: Dear Gold, 'tis true, God has given you Honour, Beauty, and Constancy; which is rendered by the French in this manner: 'Tis true, my dear Gold, 'tis God who has given you THE Honour, THE Durability, and THE Beauty. This is said by the Stone as an Answer to what Gold advanced in its Reproach just before by Number 9, in which Reproach Gold uses the Article the, viz. the Honour, &c. thereby to assume to it self all the Honour, Beauty, and Praise which is to be found in the Operation and Art of the Philosophers; for the German tongue has this Property, that the Addition of the Article The takes in all, or the whole. Therefore the Stone in its Answer (according to the German Original) limits very much those Vertues (which Gold boasts of) by the Omission of the Article, saying: God has given it some Honour, intending as it were, thereby intimate, that Gold possesses but a part of such Vertues; and it also gives to understand in the following Discourses, that the Stone is self has communicated in the Earth to Gold, that Honour, Beauty, &c. which it possesses, and who is beholden for the same to the Stone; so that it ought not to pretend from that, to have the Chief, or so much as any part at all in the Philosophical Work, especially with the Exclusion of the Stone, whom Gold wrongly vilifies.

'Tis, however, not the fault of our eminent French Philosopher, that the said Article [The] has been made use of in the reply of the Stone, it having happened by Accident; for as he did not translate the said Treaties, called, The War of the Knights, from the German Tongue, but from the Latin, into which it had been translated first, and the Latin Tongue having no Articles, its was not possible for him to know, whether or no, or at what place the Article was made use of in the Original; so that it seems to have crept in, as the place aforesaid, by mere Chance.

'Tis nevertheless, true, that the Latin Translator is to blame; for in Case he had been careful to render the Author's Intention exact, he might have done it, although it was not possible to do it by an Article; and it might have been given in these or the like words: Verum est, Deum tibi honoris, pulchritudinis & in igne constantie ALIQUID [or NECESSARIUM TIBI DIMENSUM] concessisse.


By the last mentioned Number there follows soon after: But as for your disparaging me thus, you do it with Untruth, which Words have been left out in the French. Whose Fault soever it be, it is certain, the Words, (as almost the rest of the said Treaties,) and give to understand, that the Addition of Vulgar Gold to the philosophical Work, tends to the said Work's destruction.


By Number 13. the German original says: It begin Apparent, that all of them bring nothing to Effects, but employ their Gold in vain, [and] DESTROY THEMSELVES BY IT. But the Frenchsays: For 'tis improfitably that they employ their Gold, and that they ENDEAVOUR TO DESTROY IT.

The Latin translator has in this Passage taken the German (for the word destroy) quite wrong, having probably said thus: Aurum inutiliter impendunt & corrumpunt -- which is altogether against the Sense and Meaning of the Original.

The French Philosopher has very well perceived, that this Passage could not be right, and therefore did not render it into French in the same Sense, viz. That they destroy the Gold, but says, That they endeavour to destroy the Gold, knowing very well, that it is not possible for them do destroy the Gold.

The Translator into Latin finding the word destroy in the German, would have kept the true Meaning of the same Author, if he had said: Animadvertimus, quod hisce nihil effician, sed potius autrum eorum inutiliter impendant, eoque ipso deficientes misere pessum eant, & in summum egesatem incidur.


By that last quoted Number, the German Original says in the reply of Gold: I'll prove it by the Philosopher's Sayings, that the Art may be compleated by me and my Brother Mercury;concerning which it is to be noted, that in the French, the Words: And my Brother Mercury, have been omitted.


By Number 15. the German Original says: And they write without any winding Expressions. But the French says, without any Reserve.


By Number 19. the German Original says: Thy Brother Mercury is indeed imperfect, yet therefore is not he Mercury of the Philosophers. -- But the French says: Thy Brother Mercury is indeed imperfect, and by consequence he is not the Mercury of the Wise. -- In this manner it would be true indeed, that the Author of The Ancient War of the Knights had contradicted himself; which the French Commentator is obliged to own, and therefore makes Pyrophilus to state a Question, how to solve this Doubt? In answer to which, Eudoxus has done what he could to maintain the Honour and Credit of the Author. but there would have been no Occasion to form such Doubt, nor to clear it, if the Translation had been true, and conform to the Intention of the Original.

However, as nothing is so bad, but some good arises from it, as the Proverb says; it has been the same with this Passage; it having given Occasion to the Commenting Philosopher to give several important and useful Considerations upon this Passage, although he found it himself very hard. Perhaps the Translator into Latin has been a German, and rendered it thus: Frater tuus Mercurius est quidem imperfectum, sed propterea non Mercurius sapientum---. If it were thus, it were a Germanism, whose Sense will be taken right by a German who understands Latin; but not easily by a Frenchman, who is not acquainted with the Germanism's, which often happen amongst the German in the Latin Tongue; For one sees that the French Philosopher has taken the Sense of the Latin Words thus: He is imperfect, but for that very Reason (BECAUSE HE IS IMPERFECT) is not the Mercury of the Wise. A German, however, understands it thus: He is imperfect, but therefore (ALTHOUGH HE IS IMPERFECT) he is not the Mercury of the Sages; or, it is therefore no Consequence, that he should be the Mercury of the Philosophers; it being no Argument at all, that an imperfect Mercury (of which there are many Kinds) should by Reason of its Imperfection be the Philosophick Mercury. and thus it's very probable to have been the fault of the Translator, who, if he had been resolved to make use of the word propterea, (which nevertheless might better have been omitted,) he ought at least to have put the word nonbefore it, viz. Non tamen propterea est Mercurium sapientam; or, Non tamen inde conficitur, eum propterea esse Mercurium sapientum. So that this eminent Philosopher (viz. the Commentaror) may have been led into an Error, by the Aequivocation of this Germanism; and one sees how he is forced to turn and wind himself in the Answer of Eudoxus, to te skreen the German Philosopher from the blame of the supposed Contradiction; which it he has succeeded in it, and whether the Doubt, formed by Phyrophilus, has been suficiently cleared and taken away by Eudoxus's Answer, (how learned and useful soever it be,) it left to the Judgment of those that are well skilled in this Art. May bu this Passage has appeared to the said Comentator as one of those which the Philosophers make use of, when, because of the unworthy, and also for other Reasones, they contradict themselves, which ought to be no Obstacle to the true Disciples of Hermes, to meditate so much more upon the Reason and Cause of such Contradiction; by which means they may unexpectedly discover some Truths. For Cosmopolite says in the Epilogue of his Treatise: Noli moveri, quod aliquando contradictoria in meis Tractatibus. more Philosophorum usitato, tibi occurrunt. N.B. Opus habes illis, si intelligis. Non reperitur rosa sine spinis. And further in his Treatises of Sulphus, Cap. de 3 princip. He says: Nec te moveat, quod scripta contraria sibi videantur in aliquibus locis; ita enim opus est, ne ars proderetur: Tu autem elige ea, quae cum Natura conveniunt; accipe rosas, relinque spinas. --- And in the same manner our eminent French Commentator has (probably) taken this reply of the Stone for such an assumed Contradiction, which he designed to reconcile by the Answer to Eudoxus.


By Number 32. the German Original says: But as for me, I have an imperfect Body; a pure penetrating, tinging, and constant Spirit. --- The French gives theses Words with some Variation, viz. I have an imperfect Body, a steadfast Soul, a penetrating Tincture. --- Which, nevertheless, is much to the same purpose. only this ought to be added; that there are two Edition extant in the German Tongue, which differ from the rest, and ascribe the Stone a perfect Body. But according to the first Edition printed 1604, and others more, the Stone has an imperfect Body.

Here ought to be said, that both, perfect and imperfect is true, considering that the Stone is at different Times in a different Station, which is sufficiently limited by the Answer which Eudoxus give upon the Objection made by Pyrophilus upon the said Number.

If however one would keep to the two afore-mentioned Editions, in that Case there would have been no Occasion for the Objection of Pyrophilius, nor for the Answer of Eudoxus.


The Passage by Number 34, is that of which the French Commentator makes mention in his Preface, where the Old Philosophers are quoted, and made to say thus: Our Mercury cannot be had but out of the soft unadulterated Bodies.

The Cause why this Passage has been corrupted in the translating it into Latin, seems to proceed from the German word AECHT, which signifies so much as true, proper, legitimate, uncorrupted, standard, and fine, and serves generally to distinguish a true Matter from a Counterfeit; but the same Word having some Similitude with the Word ACHT, which signifies Eight, the Translator has been led into Mistake, which the Commentator finds fault with.

Whether the French Commentator got this gross Error rectified from the Original, or whether he thought proper to expunge those dark and improper Words, and insert others in their room, is not known; but it is certain, that if this last be the Case, a Philosopher, like himself, has Authority to do it; especially when he intimates such his Intention, as the Commentator has done; who likewise, as a Matter, has the Prerogative to teach the Disciples of Hermes, by what Words he thinks proper, from whence the Mercury of the Wise is to be taken.

'Tis observable also, that this said Commentator saying: It is not possible to attain to the Possession of our Mercury any other way, than by the means of two Bodies, whereof one cannot receive its requisite Perfection without the other, has ordered this Passage in such a manner, that it agrees with the Intention of the Original, altho' the Words are varied.


By Number 35. the French Translation says: The (Universal) Medicine is therefore made out of a Thing, which is the Water, and the Spirit of the Body, But the German Original says: Therefore a Medicine is made out of a Thing, which is the Water of the Body and Spirit, --- which last, however, contradicts no ways the Sense and Meaning of our Commentator, who says himself in his third Key: That in the Wine of the Philosophers (which appears in form of Water) there are three divers Substances, and three natural Principles of all Bodies, viz. Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, which are the Spirit, the Soul, and the Body. --- And thus it may be said, according to the Sense of the Original: That Thing, out of which the Medicine is made, is the Water (viz the Wine of the Wise) of the Body, (viz. the Body in the Water, which is the Male) and of the Spirit. (viz. of the Body and Spirit; for the Author himself takes them altogether in the aforesaid place, as the Feminine.) And with this, compare what is said by Number 37.

By Number 38. the German Original says: When the Fight began, our Stone ISSUED STRENGTH. But the French says: The Stone displayed ITS Force, and its Valour. --- Which intimates, as if the Stone had employed all its Strength for to conquer the two Companions; whereas the German gives to understand, that the Stone employed only so much of its Strength as requisite to conquer them.

This Passage may be compared with the Annotation, which has been made about that by Number 10.


Lastly, It is worth observing (and it ought rather to have been mentioned first of all, being it is on the Title Page, as likewise afterwards mentioned by Eudoxus in the Commentary by Number 4.) that the German Original says: That the Stone of the Philosophers is prepared by those who trace nature, with the Assistance of LUNAR VULCAN; by which Lunar Vulcan (according to what is said by the afore-mentioned Number 4.) is meant the secret and natural Fire of the Philosophers.

'Tis true, this Fire is, as to it self, one only Fire; but as to the place, it is called both Ineriour and Exteriour; for Instance. the said Eudoxus call it, The natural and interiour Fire, because, say he,it if brought to Action by the exteriour Fire.

Philosophia Aegyptiaca on the other Hand says: Osiris & Isis +?mi +?conjuges sunt, +?sie & frater & soror, Plutarch +?reste, sub mystica +?quadam ratione habentes, qubus additur +?terrus quidam, Typhon (forte ignis interniis materie) niger & ardens Spiritus, qui Osiridem fratrem +?uterinum in minutissima membra dissecat. +?Hisee +?adnumerant VULCANUM SEU IGNEM EXTERNUM. --- Therefore if taken according to this letter Sense, viz. of its being Exteriour, it is not part of the Matter, as Artephius says; but if taken in the first Sense, it is part of the Matter, according to the meaning of Empedocles.

As to the Vulcan being called Lunar, the Author of the War of the Knights agrees in this which the great Hermes, who says: Pater ejus Sol, mater +?vero Luna; and hereby is intimated the Quality of the philosophical Vulcan, viz, that its Heat must be tempered by the Humidity proceeding from Luna; for, +Algabel in +Consil. Conj. de massa Solis & Lunae says: Sol (which by our Author is called Vulcan) ++est fons totius caloris: Luna +++ +++ +?Humiditatis. And Hermes says: Humiditas est ex domino Lunae, +++ autem ex dominio Solis. For that Reason says Cosmopolitae: Calor intrisencus multo +?efficator est hoc igne elementali, sed temperatur terrena aqua, que de die in diem poro terre penetrat +?illunque refrigerat: Sic +?solem coelestem & ejus calorem temperat aer, qui de die in die circumvolat orbem. And at another place; Sicuti Sol centralis habet suum mare & aquam crudam perceptibilem; sic Sol coelestis havet etiam suum mate & aquam subtilem & imperceptibilem. -- And thus the aforesaid Reasons, the Vulcan of the Philosophers must be Lunar.

As to the French translation of these Words, they are quite otherways; for the same Translation call it Lunatick Vulcan. It is not to be supposed that these Words are given with any other meaning than what afore-mentioned; for, Lunatick is in another Sense mad, and it cannot by supposed that the Title of The War of the Knights would intimate, that the Stone of the Philosophers it to be prepared with the Assistance of such a mad Vulcan. On the contrary, the Turba says: Ne incendatis balneum Citrini & ejus uxoris plurimum, ne sensu & meta primevar.Item, Veneramini Regem & suam uxorem & nolite eos comburere +++ +++ . And therefore the Fountain (which Bernard Trevisan speaks of) in which the King bathes himself is secured by a threefold +++ . -- In the exposition of the Epistle, Solis and Lunam, are these Words: +++ +++ ++ in lumine Solari frigida & humida, quia sum mater +++ +++ +++ i.e.+++. N.B. In +++ +++, i.e. in proportione & +++. Now such a Copulation as that cannot be brought about by a mad Vulcan, and therefore the War of the Knights could not suppose that the Traces of Nature had mad use of the Assistance of such Violence, for to make the Stone of the Philosophers.

The Reason why in the French Translation is said Lunatick Vulcan, proceeds probably from the Translators into Latin having made another Error in this Passage and said: Auxilio Vulcani Lunatici; when he should have said Auxilio Vulcani Lunaris; which Error, however, is not to be imputed to our eminent Commentator, who was obliged to receive the Words as they were given him; and it is only in order to clear our Learned Commentator from the Suspicion of such an Error, that this Annotation has been made thereupon.