The Alchemy web site on Levity.com
John French - The Art of Distillation - Book V
Back to Art of Distillation .
A MISCELLANY OF SPAGYRICAL EXPERIMENTS AND CURIOSITIES
THE SPAGYRICAL ANATOMY OF WATER
Water seems to be a body so very homogeneous, as if neither nature nor art could discover any heterogeneity in the parts thereof. Thus indeed it seems to the eye of the vulgar, but to that of a philosopher far otherwise, as I shall endeavor to make credible by presenting to your consideration a twofold process of the discovering of the dissimilarity of parts thereof, whereof the one is natural only, and the other artificial. But before I speak of either, it must be premised that in the element of water there is great plenty of the spirit of the world which is more predominant in it than in any other element, for the use and benefit of universal nature, and that this spirit has three distinct substances, viz. salt, sulphur, and mercury. Now, by salt we must understand a substance very dry, vital, and radical, having in it the beginning of corporification, as I may call it. By sulphur, a substance ful1 of light and vital heat, or vivifying fire, containing in itself the beginning of motion, and by mercury we must understand a substance abounding with radical moisture, with which the sulphur of life, or vital fire, is cherished and preserved. Now, these substances which are in the spirit of the world make all fountains and waters, but with some difference, according to the predominancy of either. This several predominancy therefore is the ground of the variety of productions. I say "of productions" because all things are produced out of water. For water is both the sperm and the menstruum of the world; the former, because it includes the seed of everything; the latter, because the sperm of nature is putrefied in it, so that the seed included in it should be actuated and take upon it the diverse forms of things, and because by it the seed itself, and all things produced of seed, grow and are increased. Now, this being premised, I shall show you what the natural process is which I shall make plain by instancing in three several productions. viz. of the spawn of frogs, of stones and of vegetables.
The spawn of frogs is produced after this manner, viz. the sulphur which is in the water, being by the heat of the sun resolved and dissolved, is greedily and with delight conceived by the element of water, even as the sperm of a male is by the matrix of the female, and that upon this account. The water wants siccity which the sulphur has and, therefore exceedingly desiring it, does greedily attract it to itself. Sulphur also wants humidity and, therefore, attracts the humidity of the water. Moreover, the humidity of the water has the humidity of the salt laid up occultly in it. Also, the sulphur cherishes the humidity of the fire and desires nothing more than the humidity of the salt that is in the water. Sulphur also contains the siccity of the salt, whence it is that salt requires a siccity from the sulphur. And thus do these attractive virtues mutually act upon each other's subject. Now, by this means there is a conception made in the water which now begins to be turgid, puffed up, and troubled, as also to be grosser and more slimy, until out of the spermatic vessels the sperms be cast upward, in which sperms after a while appear black specks which are the seed of the frogs and by the heat of the sun are in a short time turned into the same, by which it appears there are dissimilar parts in water.
Stones are produced out of water that has a mucilaginous mercury which the salt, with which it abounds, fixes into stones. This you may see clearly by putting stones into water, for they will after a time contract a mucilaginous slimy matter which, being taken out of the water and set in the sun, becomes to be of a stony nature. And whence come those stones, gravel, and sand which we see in springs ? They are not washed down out of the mountains and hills (as some think) from whence the waters spring. Neither were they in the earth before the springs broke forth (as some imagine) and now appear by washing away of the earth from them. For if you dig around the springs, even beyond the heads of them, you shall find no stones at all in the earth, only in the veins thereof through which the water runs. Now, the reason of the smallness of the stones is the continual motion of the water which hinders them from being united into a continued bigness. I shall make a further confirmation of this in the artificial process of manifesting the heterogeneity of water. I shall here only add the assertion of Helmont, saying that with his alkahest all stones and, indeed, all things may be turned into water. If so, then you know what the maxim is, viz., all things may be resolved into that from whence they had their beginning.
Vegetables are produced out of water, as you may clearly see by the waters sending forth plants that have no roots fixed in the bottom, of which sort is the herb called "duckweed" which puts forth a little string into the water which is as it were the root thereof. For the confirmation of this, that this herb may be produced out of mere water, there is a gentleman at this time in the city, of no small worth, that says he had fair water standing in a glass diverse years, and at last a plant sprang out of it. Also, if you put some plants, as water mint, etc., into a glass of fair water, it will germinate and shoot out into a great length, and also take root in the water, which root will in a short time be so increased and extended as to fill up the glass; but you must remember that you put fresh water into the glass once in two or three days. Hereunto, also, may be added the experiment of Helmont concerning the growth of a tree. For (says he) I took two hundred pound weight of earth dried in an oven and put it into a vessel, in which I set a willow tree which weighed five pounds which, by the addition of water to the earth, did in five years time grow to such a bigness as that it weighed 169 pounds, at which time I also dried and weighed the earth, and within two ounces it retained its former weight. Besides, the ancients have observed that some herbs have grown out of snow, being putrefied. And do not we see that all vegetables are nourished and increased with an insipid water, for what else is their juice? If you cut a vine in the month of March, it will drop diverse gallons of insipid water which water if it had remained in the trunk of the vine would in a little time have been digested into leaves, stalks, and grapes, which grapes also by a further maturation would have yielded a wine, out of which you might have extracted a burning spirit. Now, I say, although this insipid water be by the specifical sulphur and salt of the vine fixed into the stalks, leaves, and grapes of the vine, yet these give it not a corporificative matter, for that it had before, and an aptitude and potentiality to become what afterwards it proves to be. For indeed stalks, leaves, and grapes were potentially in it before, all which now it becomes to be actually by virtue of the sun and of the aforesaid sulphur and salt, whereof as I said could not add any bulk to them.
Moreover, do not we see that when things are burned and putrefied, they ascend up into the air by way of vapor and fume and then descend by way of insipid dew or rain? Now, what do all these signify but that from water are all things produced, and in it are dissimilar parts?
The artificial process is this: take of what water you please, whether well water, fountain, river, or rain water, as much as you please. Let it settle three or four hours until the slime thereof separates itself. Then digest it the space of a month, after which time evaporate the fourth part by a very gentle heat and cast it away, being but the phlegm. Then distill off the remainder of the water until the feces only be left, which feces will be a slimy saltish substance. This middle substance distill again as before, casting away every time the fourth part, as phlegm, and keeping the feces by themselves for a further use, and this do seven times. Note that after the fourth or fifth distillation the water will distill over like milk, coloring the head of your still so that it can hardly be washed or scoured off. This pure water after the seventh distillation will leave no feces behind, and if you digest it three months it will be coagulated into stones and crystals which some magnify very much for the cure of inward and outward putrefactions, out of which also may be made a dissolving spirit. Note that as this water stands in digestion you may see diverse curious colors. Now, as for the feces which I spoke of (which indeed all waters, even the sweetest, leave at the bottom) being as I said a saltish slime and in taste, as it were, a medium between salt and nitre, take them and distill them in a retort in sand. There will first come forth a white fume which, being condensed, descends in a straight line to the bottom. Next will come over a red oil of great efficacy, exceeding the virtues of the spirit of salt or nitre. For confirmation of part of this process, take May dew gathered in the morning (when it has not rained the night before) and put it into a glass vessel, covered with a parchment pricked full of holes, and set it in the heat of the sun for the space of four months. There will store of green feces fall to the bottom, the residue of the water being white and clear. Now by all this you may conclude what manner of dissimilarity there is in the parts of water. I shall add but one observation more, and so conclude this subject.
Take a flint out of river water and put it into a gourd glass. Pour upon it as much river water as will fill the glass. Evaporate this water until the flint be dry. Then pour on more fresh water. Do this so long until the flint will fill up the glass (for in a little time it will fill it up and become to be of the form or figure of the glass) for it attracts to itself the mucilaginousness of the water which, indeed, is a slimy saltish matter and the true matter of stones. And thus you shall have that done by art in few days which nature would have been perfecting many years and, indeed, just such a flint as is produced in the rivers. Anyone that should see this flint in the glass would wonder how it should come in there. You may break your glass and take out your flint.
There are diverse such processes which may be used but, in effect, they may demonstrate but little more concerning the potential heterogeneity of water and, therefore, to avoid tediousness, I shall here end with the anatomy of water, concerning which if anyone can make a further illustration, let him be candid and impart it and I shall be glad to learn of him and, in the meantime, let him accept of these, my endeavors.
THE SPAGYRICAL ANATOMY OF WINE
I shall not speak here of the juice of grapes as being naturally divided into wine, tartar, and lees, but of wine as artificially divided into pure spirit, phlegm, and feces.
The spirit is that hot, subtle, pure, clear, cordial, and balsamical substance which arises with a small heat after four or five distillations, being indeed but the twentieth part of the wine. This spirit is not that inebriating substance of the wine as most think, for a man may drink the spirit that is extracted out of ten pints of wine without distempering of his brain at all when, as perhaps, he would be distempered with drinking a pint or two of the wine.
Now, this spirit contains in it a subtle ammoniac and essential sulphur inseparably conjoined which, indeed, are the life of the spirit, and may be separated from the mercurial or watery part thereof which, after separation of them, remains insipid, but yet of wonderful subtility. They may be separated thus: first, rectify the spirit as high as you can the ordinary way. Then rectify it once or twice in these following vessels.
Note that if there be any phlegm remaining in the spirit, it will go no further than the middle receiver, especially the second time. By this means you have so subtle a spirit that unless it is kept close stopped it will fly away in the air. Then take of this spirit two ounces, and pour it upon six ounces of calcined tartar before the salt be extracted, and mingle them together. Then distill it in balneum, and there will come over an insipid water which, as I said before, is very subtle. Then put on a like quantity of the said spirit as before, and distill it off. This do so long until the water that comes over is not insipid, but the spirit comes over again hot as it was poured on. For by this time the fixed matter is glutted with the sal ammoniac and sulphur of the spirit. Then put this dried matter into a glass sublimatory, and put fire to it, and there will sublime a salt from thence, even as camphor is sublimed. This salt is the true essence of wine, indeed, and its virtues are wonderful, for there is no disease, whether inward or outward, that can withstand it. This is that essence of wine of the philosophers which is so penetrating, oh wonderful cordial and balsamical, which if you do once obtain, you shall need but few other medicines.
Now, this spirit or aqua vitae is in all vegetables as you may see in malt and vegetables that are putrefied before they are distilled which then yield a burning spirit. Yet it is in wine more than in any other liquors. I say liquors, for if you take eight gallons of sack and as much wheat, which is a solid body, and the wheat being malted will yield more aqua vitae than the sack.
The phlegm is that which remains after the spirit is distilled off, and is a putrid, insipid, cold, narcotic, and inebriating liquor, debilitating the stomach and offending the head. A few spoonfuls of this will presently make a man drunk, when as two pints of wine itself would hardly do it. Nay, the phlegm of half a pint of wine will make a man drunk. Whence you may collect what a great corrector of malignant spirits and vapors the spirit of wine is which, while it is mixed with the phlegm before distillation, does temper and correct this inebriating quality thereof, and as it does this, so also being given (I mean the pure dephlegmated spirit) to them that are already inebriated, does much allay their distemper. This phlegm therefore being of so narcotic a quality is the cause of palsies and such like distempers.
Moreover, it is to be observed that when this phlegm is distilled off there remains at the bottom a viscous corrosive matter which by reason of its viscosity is the cause of obstructions, and by reason of its corrosiveness the cause of the gout, colic, stone, etc.
This feces, being distilled, yields a sharp spirit and fetid oil which leave behind them a saltish substance out of which, when the salt is extracted, there remains an insipid earth.
Now, if any shall object against what I have asserted and say that aqua vitae or spirit of wine are inebriating, the causes of paley, gout, stone, colic, weak stomachs, and such like, as we see by daily experience in those that are given to the drinking of these liquors, to which I answer it is true. But then I must distinguish of aqua vitae and the spirit of wine, for there is a common aqua vitae and spirit of wine, of which also they make anise seed water by putting a few anise seeds "hereunto, and other such like waters, as clove, angelica, lemon, etc., with which this nation is most abominably cheated, and their health impaired. But these are not rectified thoroughly, but three parts of four of them are an insipid narcotic phlegm, containing in it the feces I spoke of, all which I can in a day separate from the true pure spirit, which spirit rather prevents than causes such distempers And the truth is, all the goodness of the wine is from this pure spirit.
THE FAMOUS ARCANUM OR RESTORATIVE MEDICAMENT OF PARACELSUS CALLED HIS HOMUNCULUS
First we must understand that there are three acceptions of the word "Homunculus" in Paracelsus, which are these.
1. Homunculus is a superstitious image made in the place, or name of anyone, that it may contain an astral and invisible man, wherefore it was made for a superstitious use.
2. Homunculus is taken for an artificial man, made of sperma humanum masculinum digested into the shape of a man, and then nourished and increased with the essence of man's blood; and this is not repugnant to the possibility of nature and art. But is one of the greatest wonders of God which He ever did suffer mortal man to know. I shall not here set down the full process because I think it unfit to be done, at least to be divulged. Besides neither this nor the former is for my present purpose.
3. Homunculus is taken for a most excellent arcanum or medicament extracted by the spagyrical art from the chiefest staff of the natural line in man, and according to this acception I shall here speak of it. But before I show you this process, I shall give you an account why this medicament is called homunculus, and it is this
No wise man will deny that the staff of life is the nutriment thereof, and that the chiefest nutriment is bread and wine, being ordained by God, and nature above all other things for the sustentation thereof. Besides Paracelsus preferred this nutriment for the generation of the blood and spirits, and the forming thence the sperm of his homunculus. Now, by a suitable allusion the nutriment is taken for the life of man and, especially, because it is transmuted into life. And again the life is taken for the man, but unless a man be alive he is not a man, but the carcass only of a man, and the basest part thereof which cannot perfectly be taken for the whole man, as the noblest part may. Inasmuch, therefore, as the nutriment or aliment of life may be called the life of man, and the life of man be called man, this nutriment extracted out of bread and wine, and being by digestion exalted into the highest purity of a nutritive substance, and consequently becoming the life of man, being so potentially, may metaphorically be called homunculus.
The process which in part shall be set down allegorically is thus.
Take the best wheat and the best wine, of each a like quantity. Put them into a glass which you must hermetically seal. Then let them putrefy in horse dung three days, or until the wheat begins to germinate or to sprout forth, which then must be taken forth and bruised in a mortar and be pressed through a linen cloth. There will come forth a white juice like milk. You must cast away the feces. Let this juice be put into a glass which must not be above half full. Stop it close and set it in horse dung as before for the space of fifty days. If the heat be temperate, and not exceeding the natural heat of man, the matter will be turned into a spagyrical blood and flesh, like an embryo. This is the principal and next matter out of which is generated a two-fold sperm, viz., of the father and mother generating the homunculus, without which there can be made no generation, whether human or animal.
From the blood and flesh of this embryo let the water be separated in balneum, and the air in ashes, and both be kept by themselves. Then to the feces of the latter distillation, let the water of the former distillation be added, both which must (the glass being close stopped) putrefy in balneum the space of ten days. After this, distill the water a second time (which is then the vehiculum of the fire) together with the fire, in ashes. Then distill off this water in a gentle balneum, and in the bottom remains the fire which must be distilled in ashes. Keep both these apart. And thus you have the four elements separated from the chaos of the embryo.
The feculent earth is to be reverberated in a close vessel for the space of four days. In the interim, distill off the fourth part of the first distillation in balneum and cast it away. The other three parts distill in ashes, and pour it upon the reverberated earth, and distill it in a strong fire. Cohobate it four times, and so you shall have a very clear water which you must keep by itself. Then pour the air on the same earth, and distill it in a strong fire. There will come over a clear, splendid, odoriferous water which must be kept apart. After this pour the fire upon the first water, and putrefy them together in balneum the space of three days. Then put them into a retort and distill them in sand, and there will come over a water tasting of the fire. Let this water be distilled in balneum. What distills off, keep by itself, as also what remains in the bottom which is the fire, and keep by itself. This last distilled water pour again upon its earth, and let them be macerated together in balneum for the space of three days. Then let all the water be distilled in sand, and let what will arise be separated in balneum, and the residence remaining in the bottom be reserved with the former residence. Let the water be again poured upon the earth, be abstracted and separated as before until nothing remains in the bottom which is not separated in balneum. This being done, let the water which was last separated be mixed with the residue of its fire, and be macerated in balneum three or four days, and all be distilled in balneum that can ascend with that heat. Let what remains be distilled in ashes from the fire, and what shall be elevated is aerial. And what remains in the bottom is fiery. These two last liquors are ascribed to the two first principles, the former to mercury and the latter to sulphur. They are accounted by Paracelsus not as elements but their vital parts being, as it were, the natural spirits and soul which are in them by nature. Now, both are to be rectified and reflected into their center with a circular motion, so that this mercury may be prepared with its water being kept clear and odoriferous in the upper place, but the sulphur by itself.
Now, it remains that we look into the third principle. Let the reverberated earth, being ground upon a marble, imbibe its own water which did above remain after the last separation of the liquors made in balneum, so that this be the fourth part of the weight of its earth and be congealed by the heat of ashes into its earth. Let this be done so often, the proportion being observed, until the earth has drunk up all its water. And lastly, let this earth be sublimed into a white powder, as white as snow, the feces being cast away. This earth, being sublimed and freed from its obscurity, is the true chaos of the elements, for it contains those things occult, seeing it is the salt of nature in which they lie hid being, as it were, reflexed in their center. This is the third principle of Paracelsus, and the salt, which is the matrix, in which the two former sperms, viz., of the man and woman, the parents of the homunculus, viz., of mercury and sulphur are to be put, and to be closed up together in a glazed womb sealed with Hermes' seals for the true generation of the homunculus produced from the spagyrical embryo. And this is the homunculus or great arcanum, otherwise called the nutritive medicament of Paracelsus.
This homunculus or nutritive medicament is of such virtue that presently after it is taken into the body it is turned into blood and spirits. If then diseases prove mortal because they destroy the spirits, what mortal disease can withstand such a medicine that does so soon repair and so strongly fortify the spirits as this homunculus, being as the oil to the flame, into which it is immediately turned, thereby renewing the same. By this medicament, therefore, as diseases are overcome and expelled, so also youth is renewed and grey hairs prevented.
AN ARTIFICIAL WAY TO MAKE FLESH
Take of the crumbs of the best wheaten bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, being very hot, as much as you please. Put it into a glass vessel which you must presently hermetically close. Then set it in digestion in a temperate balneum the space of two months, and it will be turned into a fibrous flesh.
If any artist should please to exalt it to a higher perfection according to the rules of art, he may find out how great a nourisher and restorative wheat is, and what an excellent medicine it may make.
Note that there must be no other moisture put into the glass besides what is in the bread itself.
PARACELSUS, HIS WAY FOR THE RAISING OF A DEAD BIRD TO LIFE AND FOR THE GENERATING MANY SERPENTS OF ONE BOTH WHICH ARE PERFORMED BY PURTEFACTION
A bird is restored to life thus. Take a bird and put it alive into a gourd glass and seal it hermetically. Burn it to ashes in the third degree of fire. Then putrefy it in horse dung into a mucilaginous phlegm. So, by a continued digestion that phlegm must be brought to a further maturity (being taken out and put into an oval vessel of a just bigness to hold it) by an exact digestion, and will become a renewed bird which, says Paracelsus, is one of the greatest wonders of nature, and shows the great virtue of putrefaction.
Cut a serpent into small pieces, which put into a gourd glass and hermetically seal. Then putrefy them in horse dung, and the whole serpent will become living again in the glass either in the form of worms or spawn of fishes. Now, if these worms be in a fitting manner brought out of putrefaction and nourished, many hundred serpents will be bred out of one serpent, whereof every one will be as big as the first. And as it is said of the serpent, so also many other living creatures may be raised and restored again.
TO MAKE AN ARTIFICIAL MALLAGO WINE
First, take a wine barrel well trooped and dressed, with one end being open, to which a close cover must be well fitted, which must be to take off and put on at pleasure. Set it in a warm place winter or summer, and fill it full with clear and pure water, to each three gallons. Put six pounds of the best mallago raisins which you must bruise in a stone mortar. Then strong upon the water, upon each twenty gallons of which you must cast a handful of calx vive. Then cover the vessel close with the cover, and cast clothes upon it to keep it warm. Let it stand four or five days to work as wine or beer do when they be new. Then see if the raisins be risen up to the top of the water. If so, then put them down again and cover it as before. Let them thus stand three weeks or a month together, the raisins being every fourth or fifth day put down in case they rise up. Then put a tap into the vessel three or four fingers above the bottom and try if it be good and taste like wine. If not, let it stand a while longer; but if so, draw it off into another wine vessel, and to every twenty gallons that you have drawn off, put a pint of the best aqua vitae, two new laid hens eggs, and a quart of alligant beaten well together. Let it stand in a cellar as other wine does until it be clear and fit to be drunk.
TO MAKE AN ARTIFICIAL CLARET WINE
Take six gallons of water, two gallons of the best cider, and put "hereunto eight pounds of the best mallago raisins bruised in a mortar. Let them stand close covered in a warm place the space of a fortnight, every two days stirring them well together. Then press out the raisins and put the liquor into the said vessel again, to which add a quart of the juice of raspberries, and a pint of the juice of black cherries. Cover this liquor with bread spread thick with strong mustard, the mustard side being downward, and so let it work by the fireside three or four days. Then turn it up and let it stand a week, and then bottle it up. And it will taste as quick as bottle beer and, indeed, become a very pleasant drink and, indeed, far better and wholesomer than our common claret.
AN ARTIFICIAL MALMESEY
Take two gallons of english honey and put it into eight gallons of the best spring water. Set these in a vessel over a gentle fire. When they have boiled gently an hour take them off, and when they be cold put them into a small barrel or runlet, hanging in the vessel a bag of spices. Set it in the cellar, and in half a year you may drink thereof.
TO MAKE AN EXCELLENT AROMATICAL HYPPOCRAS
Take of cinnamon two ounces, ginger an ounce, cloves and nutmeg of each two drams, of white pepper half a dram, of cardamum two drams, and of musk mallowseed three ounces. Let all these be bruised and put into a bag and hung in six gallons of wine. Note that you must put a weight in the bag to make it sink.
Some boil these spices in wine which they then sweeten with sugar, and then let run through a hyppocras bag and afterwards bottle it up and use when they please.
A Single Hyppocras Bag, or Manica Hippocratis
When you would have this or any other liquor to be very clear, you may use the triple hyppocras bag, for what feces pass the first will stay in the second, and what in the second will stay in the last. Note that these bags must be made of white cotton.
A triple hyppocras bag is only one hung above another after this manner.
TO MAKE EXCELLENT HYPPOCRAS WINE IN AN INSTANT
Take of cinnamon two ounces, nutmeg, ginger, of each half an ounce, cloves two drams. Bruise these small, and then mix them with as much spirit of wine as will make them into a paste. Let them stand close covered in a glass the space of six days in a cold place. Then press out the liquor and keep it in a glass.
A few drops of this liquor put into any wine gives it a gallant relish and odor, and makes it as good as any hyppocras whatsoever and that in an instant.
Note that if the wine be of itself harsh, it will not be amiss to sweeten it with sugar, for thereby it is made far more grateful.
This also being put into beer will make it very pleasant and aromatical.
ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE HYPPOCRAS OR MAKE ANY WINE TO TASTE OF ANY VEGETABLE IN AN INSTANT
Take what wine you please, and according as you would have it taste of this or that spice or any other vegetable, of one or more together, you may drop a few drops of the distilled oil of the said spices or vegetables into the wine, and brew well together and you may make in an instant all sorts of hyppocras or other wines. As for example, if you would have wormwood wine, two or three drops of oil of wormwood put into a good Rhenish wine, being well brewed together, will make a wormwood wine exceeding any that you shall meet withall in the Rhenish wine houses.
TO MAKE A GOOD RASPBERRY WINE
Take a gallon of sack in which let two gallons of raspberries stand, steeping the space of 24 hours. Then strain them and put to the liquor three pounds of raisins of the sun stoned. Let them stand together four or five days, being sometimes stirred together. Then pour off the clearest and put it up in bottles and set it in a cold place. If it be not sweet enough you may add some sugar to it.
TWO OTHER WAYS TO MAKE IT ALL THE YEAR AT AN INSTANT
Take of the juice of raspberries and put it into a bottle which you must stop close. Set it in a cellar. It will become clear, and keep all the year, and become very fragrant.
A few spoonfuls of this put into a pint of wine sweetened well with sugar gives it an excellent and full taste of the raspberries.
If you put two or three ounces of the syrup of raspberries to a pint of wine it will do as well, but then you need use no other sugar, for that will sweeten it sufficiently.
TO MAKE MEAD OR METHEGLIN THAT IT SHALL TASTE STALE AND QUICK WITHIN A FORTNIGHT AND BE FIT TO DRINK
To every three gallons of water put one gallon of the purest honey. Put what herbs and spices you please. Boil it and skim it well, now and then putting in some water. When it is sufficiently boiled, take it off, and when it is almost cold, put it into a wooden vessel. Set it by the fireside, and cover it over with bread spread thick with the strongest mustard, the mustard side being downwards. So let it stand three days, and it will work. Only put a cloth over it. Then turn it up, and after a week draw it forth into bottles and set it into a cellar. After another week you may drink of it, for it will taste as quick as bottle beer that is a fortnight old and, indeed, as stale as other mead will in half a year.
TO MAKE A SPIRIT OF AMBERGRIS THAT A FEW DROPS THEREOF SHALL PERFUME A PINT OF WINE MOST RICHLY
Take of ambergris two drams, and of musk a dram. Cut them small and put them into a pint of the best rectified spirit of wine. Close up the glass hermetically and digest them in a very gentle heat until you perceive they are dissolved. Then you may make use of it.
Two or three drops or more if you please of this spirit, put into a pint of wine. gives it a rich odor.
Or if you put two or three drops around the brim of a glass, it will do as well.
Half a spoonful of it taken either of itself or mixed with some specifical liquor is a most rich cordial.
AN EXCELLENT SWEET WATER
Take a quart of orange flower water, as much rose water, and add thereto of musk-mallow seeds grossly bruised four ounces, of benjamin two ounces, of storax an ounce, of labdanum six drams, of lavender flowers two pugills, of sweet marjoram as much, of calimus aromaticus a dram. Distill all these in a glass still in balneum, the vessels being very well closed so that no vapor breathes forth.
Note that you may make a sweet water in an instant by putting a few drops of some distilled oils together into some rose water and brewing them well together.
TO PURIFY AND TO GIVE AN EXCELLENT SMELL AND TASTE UNTO OIL OF OLIVE THAT THEY THAT LOATHE IT MAY DELIGHT TO EAT IT
Take of a good sort of oil of olive, though not of the best. Put the same into a vessel of earth or copper that has a little hole in the bottom thereof which you may stop with wax or a cork to open at your pleasure. In this vessel, for every quart of oil add four quarts of fair water, and with a wooden spatula or spoon beat them well together for a quarter of an hour's space. When you have so done, open the hole in the bottom and let out the water, for the oil does naturally flee above, as being the lighter body. As soon as the water is passed away, stop the hole, and put in other cold water. Begin a new agitation as before, and work in the like manner diverse times as you did at the first, until in the end the oil be well cleansed and clarified. If the last time you work it with rose water, it will be so much the better. Then hang in the midst of the oil a coarse bag full of nutmeg sliced, cloves bruised, and the rinds of oranges and lemons cut small. Set the vessel in balneum for two or three hours and, I suppose, he that loathes oil will be easily by this means drawn to a liking of it.
Set oil of olive in the sun in summertime until there settles a good store of soul and gross lees, from the which by declination pour out the clear oil. Keep it until the next winter, and after the same has been congealed with some frosty weather the oil will be most sweet and delectable to taste.
After this manner you may clarify all thick oils and all kinds of grease but, then, you must use warm water instead of cold.
TO PURIFY BUTTER THAT IT SHALL KEEP FRESH AND SWEET A LONG TIME AND BE MOST WONDERFUL SWEET IN TASTE
Dissolve butter in a clean glazed or silver vessel and in a pan or kettle of water with a slow and gentle fire. Then pour the same so dissolved into a basin that has some. fair water therein. When it is cold, take away the curds and the whey that remains in the bottom. And if you will be at the charge thereof, you may the second time (for it must be twice dissolved) dissolve the butter in rose water, working them well together. The butter thus clarified will be as sweet in taste as the marrow of any beast, by reason of the great impurity that is removed by this manner of handling, the first part thereof being drosse which makes the butter many times offensive to the stomach.
TO MAKE BUTTER TASTE OF ANY VEGETABLE WITHOUT ALTERING THE COLOR THEREOF
When the butter is taken out of the churn and well worked from the ferous part thereof, mix with the said butter as much of the oil of that vegetable which you like best until the same be strong enough in taste to your liking. Then temper them well together.
If you do in the month of May mix some oil of sage with your butter, it may excuse you from eating sage with your butter.
If you mix the oil with the aforesaid clarified butter, it will be far better and serve for a most dainty dish and, indeed, a great rarity.
TO MAKE CHEESE TASTE STRONG OF ANY VEGETABLE WITHOUT DISCOLORING OF IT
You may mix the distilled oil of what vegetable you would have the cheese taste of with the curd before the whey be pressed out. But be sure you mix them very well that all places may taste alike of it. You may make it taste stronger or weaker of it, as you please, by putting in more or less of the oil.
TO PURIFY AND REFINE SUGAR
Make a strong lixivium of calx vive, wherein dissolve as much coarse sugar as the lixivium will bear. Then put in the white of eggs (of two to every quart of the liquor) being beaten into an oil. Stir them well together and let them boil a little, and there will arise a scum which must be taken off as long as any will arise. Then pour all the liquor through a great woolen cloth bag, and so the feces will remain behind in the bag. Then boil the liquor again so long until some drops of it being put upon a cold plate will, when they be cold, be congealed as hard as salt. Then pour out the liquor into pots or moulds made for that purpose, having a hole in the narrower end thereof which must be stopped for one night after, and after that night be opened. There will a moist substance drop forth which is called molasses or treakle. Then with potters clay cover the ends of the pot, and as the clay sinks down by reason of the sinking of the sugar, fill them up with more clay, repeating the doing thereof until the sugar shrinks no more. Then take it out until it be hard and dried, and then bind it up in papers.
TO MAKE A VEGETABLE GROW AND BECOME MORE GLORIOUS THAN ANY OF ITS SPECIES
Reduce any vegetable into its three first principles. Then join them together again, being well purified, and put the same into a rich earth, and you shall have it produce a vegetable far more glorious than any of its species.
Now, how to make such an essence, look into the first book, and there you shall see the process thereof.
TO MAKE A PLANT GROW IN TWO OR THREE HOURS
Take the ashes of moss and moisten them with the juice of an old dunghill, being first pressed forth and strained. Then dry them a little, and moisten them as before. Do this four or five times. Put this mixture, being neither very dry nor very moist, into some earthen or metal vessel, and in it set the seeds of lettuce, purslain or parsley (because they will grow sooner than other plants) being first impregnated with the essence of a vegetable of its own species (the process thereof you shall find in Book I) until they begin to sprout forth. Then, I say, put them in the said earth with that end upwards which sprouts forth. Then put the vessel into a gentle heat, and when it begins to dry moisten it with some of the said juice of dung.
You may by this means have a salad grow while supper is making ready.
TO MAKE THE IDEA OF ANY PLANT APPEAR IN A GLASS AS IF THE VERY PLANT ITSELF WERE THERE
The process of this you may see in Book I and, therefore, I need not here again repeat it. Only remember that if you put the flame of a candle to the bottom of the glass where the essence is, by which it may be made hot, you will see that thin substance which is like impalpable ashes or salt send forth from the bottom of the glass the manifest form of a vegetable, vegetating and growing by little and little, and putting on so fully the form of stalks, leaves, and flowers in such perfect and natural wise in apparent show that anyone would believe verily the same to be naturally corporeal when as, in truth, it is the spiritual idea, induced with a spiritual essence which serves for no other purpose but to be matched with its fitting earth, so that it may take unto itself a more solid body. This shadowed figure, as soon as the vessel is taken from the fire, returns to its ashes again and vanishes away, becoming a chaos and confused matter.
TO MAKE FIR TREES APPEAR IN TURPENTINE
Take as much turpentine as you please and put it into a retort. Distill it by degrees. When all is distilled off, keep the retort still in a reasonable heat so that what humidity is still remaining may be evaporated and it become dry. Then take this off from the fire and hold your hand to the bottom of the retort. The turpentine that is dried (which is called colophonia) will crack asunder in several places, and in those cracks or chaps you shall see the perfect effigies of fir trees which will there continue many months.
TO MAKE HARTSHORN SEEMINGLY TO GROW IN A GLASS
Take hartshorn broken into small pieces, and put them into a glass retort to be distilled. You shall see the glass to be seemingly full of horns which will continue there so long until the volatile salt comes over.
TO MAKE GOLDEN MOUNTAINS AS IT WERE APPEAR IN A GLASS
Take of adders eggs half a pound, and put them into a glass retort. Distill them by degrees. When all is dry, you shall see the feces at the bottom turgid and puffed up and seem to be, as it were, golden mountains, being very glorious to behold.
TO MAKE THE REPRESENTATION OF THE WHOLE WORLD IN A GLASS
Take of the purest salt nitre as much as you please, and of tin half as much. Mix them together and calcine them hermetically. Then put them into a retort, to which annex a glass receiver, and lute them well together. Let there be leaves of gold put into the bottom thereof. Then put fire to the retort until vapors arise that will cleave to the gold. Augment the fire until no more fumes ascend. Then take away the receiver and close it hermetically. Make a lamp fire under it, and you will see represented in it the sun, moon, stars, fountains, flowers, trees, fruits and, indeed, even all things which is a glorious sight to behold.
TO MAKE FOUR ELEMENTS APPEAR IN A GLASS
Take of the subtle powder of jeat one ounce and a half, of the oil of tartar made per deliqulum (in which there is not one drop of water besides what the tartar itself contracted) two ounces which you must color with a light green with vardegrease, of the purest spirit of wine tinged with a light blue with indigo, two ounces of the best rectified spirit of turpentine colored with a light red with madder. Put all these into a glass and shake them together. You shall see the jeat which is heavy and black fall to the bottom and represent the earth. Next, the oil of tartar made green representing the element of water falls. Upon that swims the blue spirit of wine which will not mix with the oil of tartar, and represents the element of air, uppermost will swim the subtle red oil of turpentine which represent the element of fire.
It is strange to see how after shaking all these together they will be distinctly separated the one from the other. If it be well done, as it is easy enough to do, it is a most glorious sight.
TO MAKE A PERPETUAL MOTION IN A GLASS
Take seven ounces of quicksilver, as much tin, and grind them well together with fourteen ounces of sublimate dissolved in a cellar upon a marble the space of four days. It will become like oil of olive, which distill in sand. There will sublime a dry substance. Then put the water which distills off back upon the earth in the bottom of the still, and dissolve what you can. Filter it and distill it again. This do four or five times. Then that earth will be so subtle that, being put into a vial, the subtle atoms thereof will move up and down forever.
Note that the vial or glass must be close stopped and kept in a dry place.
TO MAKE A LUMINOUS WATER THAT SHALL GIVE LIGHT BY NIGHT
Take the tails of glowworms, put them into a glass still, and distill them in balneum. Pour the said water upon more fresh tails of glowworms. Do this four or five times and you shall have a most luminous water by which you may see to read in the darkest night.
Some say this water may be made of the skins of herring, and for ought I know, it may be probable enough. For I have heard that a shoal of herring coming by a ship in the night have given a great light to all the ship.
It were worth the while to know the true reason why glowworms and herring and some other such like things should be luminous in the night.
TO MAKE A VAPOR IN A CHAMBER THAT HE THAT ENTERS INTO IT WITH A CANDLE SHALL THINK THE ROOM TO BE ON FIRE
Dissolve camphor in rectified aqua vitae and evaporate them in a very close chamber where no air can get in. He that first enters the chamber with a lighted candle will be much astonished, for the chamber will seem to be full of fire, very subtle, but it will be of little continuance.
You must note that it is the combustible vapor, with which the chamber is filled, that takes the flame from the candle.
Diverse such like experiments as this may be done by putting such a combustible vapor into a box, or cupboard, or such like which will as soon as anyone shall open them, having a candle in his hand, take fire and burn.
TO MAKE POWDER THAT BY SPITTING UPON SHALL BE INFLAMED
Take a loadstone, powder it, and put it into a strong calcining pot. Cover it all over with a powder made of calx vive and colophonia, of each a like quantity, and also put some of this powder under it. When the pot is full, cover it and lute the closures with potters earth. Put them into a furnace and there let them boil. Then take them out and put them into another pot. Set them in the furnace again, and this do until they become a very white and dry calx. Take of this calx one part, of salt nitre very well purified four parts, and as much camphor, sulphur vivum, and the oil of turpentine and tartar. Grind all these to a subtle powder and searse them, and put them into a glass vessel. Then put as much spirit of wine well rectified as will cover them two fingers breadth. Then close them up and set the vessel in horse dung three months, and in that time they will all become a uniform paste. Evaporate all the humidity until the whole mass becomes a very dry stone. Then take it out and powder it, and keep it very dry.
If you take a little of this powder and spit upon it, or pour some water upon it, it will take fire presently, so that you may light a match or any such thing by it.
TO FORTIFY A LOADSTONE THAT IT SHALL BE ABLE TO DRAW A NAIL OUT OF A PIECE OF WOOD
Take a loadstone and heat it very hot in coals, but so that it be not fired. Then presently quench it in the oil of crocus martis, made of the best steel, so that it may imbibe as much as it can.
You shall by this means make the loadstone so very strong and powerful that you may pull out nails from a piece of wood with it, and do such wonderful things with it that the common loadstone can never do.
Now the reason of this (as Paracelsus says) is because the spirit of iron is the life of the loadstone, and this may be extracted from or increased in the loadstone.
TO MAKE QUICKSILVER MALLEABLE IN SEVEN HOURS
Take of the best lead, melt it, and pour it into a hole. When it is almost congealed, make a hole in it, and presently fill up the hole with quicksilver, and it will presently become congelated into a friable substance. Then beat it into a powder, and put it again into a hole of fresh melted lead as before. Do this three or four times. Then boil it, being all in a piece of linseed oil, the space of six hours. Then take it out and it will become malleable.
Note that after this it may, by being melted over the fire, be reduced into quicksilver again.
A thin plate of the said mercury laid upon an inveterate ulcer takes away the malignity of it in a great measure and renders it more curable than before.
A plate of said mercury laid upon tumors would be a great deal better repercussive than plates of lead which surgeons use in such cases.
The powder of the friable substance of mercury before it be boiled in the oil is very good to be strewed upon old ulcers, for it does much to correct the virulency of them.
TO REDUCE GLASS INTO ITS FIRST PRINCIPLES VIZ. SAND AND SALT
Take bits or powder of glass, as much as you please, and as much of the salt which glassmen use in the making of glasses. Melt these together in a strong fire. Then dissolve all the melted mass in warm water. Then pour off the water and you shall see no glass, but only sand in the bottom, which sand is that which was in the glass before.
This confutes the vulgar opinion, namely that the fusion of glass is the last fusion and beyond all reduction.
TO WRITE OR ENGRAVE UPON AN EGG OR PIBBLE WITH WAX OR GREASE
Make what letters or figures you please with wax or grease upon an egg or pibble. Put them into the strongest spirit of vinegar, and there let them lie two or three days. You shall see every place about the letters or figures eaten or consumed away with the said spirit. But the place where the wax or grease was is not at all touched. The reason whereof is because the spirit would not operate upon the said oleaginous matter.
TO MAKE ARTIFICIAL PEARL AS GLORIOUS AS ANY ORIENTAL
Dissolve mother of pearl in spirit of vinegar. Then precipitate it with oil of sulphur per campanum (and not with oil of tartar, for that takes away the splendor of it) which adds a luster to it. When it is thus precipitated, dry it, and mix it with white of eggs, and of this mass you may make pearls of what bigness or fashion you please. Before they be dried, you may make holes through them. When they be dried they will not at all, or very hardly, be discerned from true and natural pearls.
TO MAKE A MINERAL PERFUME
Dissolve antimony or sulphur in the liquor or oil of flints or pebbles, or crystals, or sand. Coagulate the solution into a red mass, pour thereon the spirit of urine, and digest them until the spirit be tinged. Then pour it off and pour more on until all the tincture be extracted. Put all the tinctures together and evaporate the spirit of unine in balneum. There will remain a blood red liquor at the bottom, upon which pour spirit of wine, and you shall extract a purer tincture which smells like garlic. Digest it three or four weeks, and it will smell like balm. Digest it longer and it will smell like musk or ambergris.
Besides the smell that it has, it is an excellent sudorific, and cures all diseases that require sweat: as the plague, putrid fevers, lues venerea, and such like as these.
THE OIL OR LIQUOR OF SAND, FLINTS, PEBBLES, OR CRYSTALS FOR THE AFORESAID PREPARATION IS MADE THUS
Take of the best salt of tartar, being very well purified by two or three dissolutions and coagulations, and powdered in a hot mortar, one part. Of flints, pebbles, or crystals, being powdered, or small sand well washed, the fourth part. Mingle them well together. Put as much of this composition as will fill an eggshell into a crucible. Set in the earthen furnace (described in Book III) and made red hot. Presently there will come over a thick and white spirit. This do until you have enough. Then take out of the crucible while it is glowing hot, and that which is in it is like transparent glass, which keep from the air.
The spirit may be rectified by sand in a glass retort.
This spirit is of excellent use in the gout, stone, ptisick, and indeed in all obstructions. It provokes sweat, urine, and cleanses the stomach and, by consequence, is effectual in most diseases.
It being applied externally clears the skin and makes it look very fair.
Take that which remains at the bottom in the crucible and beat it to powder, and lay it in a moist place so that it dissolves into a thick fat oil. And this is that which is called the oil of sand, of flints, pebbles, or crystals.
This oil is of wonderful use in medicine, as also in the preparation of all sorts of minerals.
This oil, being taken inwardly in some appropriate liquor, dissolves tartarous coagulations in the body, and so opens all obstructions.
It precipitates metals and makes the calx thereof more weighty than oil of tartar does.
It is of a golden nature. It extracts colors from all metals, is fixed in all fires, makes fine crystals and borax, and matures imperfect metals into gold.
If you put it into water, there will precipitate a most fine white earth, of which you may make as clear vessels as are china dishes.
Note that all sand, flints, and pebbles, even the whitest, have in them a golden sulphur or tincture, and if a prepared lead be for a time digested in this oil it will seem, as it were, gilded because of the gold that will hang upon it which may be washed away in water. Gold also is found in sand and flints, etc., and if you put gold into this oil it will become more ponderous thereby.
TO MAKE STEEL GROW IN A GLASS LIKE A TREE
Dissolve steel in a rectified spirit of salt, so shall you have a green and sweet solution which smells like brimstone. Filter it and abstract all the moisture in sand with a gentle heat. There will distill over a liquor as sweet as rain water. Steel, by reason of its dryness, detains the corrosiveness of the spirit of salt which remains in the bottom like a blood red mass which is as hot on the tongue as fire. Dissolve this red mass in oil of flints or of sand, and you shall see it grow up in two or three hours like a tree with stem and branches. Prove this tree at the test, and it shall yield good gold which this tree has drawn from the aforesaid oil of sand or flints which has a golden sulphur in it.
TO MELT A METAL IN ONE'S HAND WITHOUT BURNING OF THE HAND
Take a little calcining pot in your hand. Make in it a lane or course of the powder of any metal. Then upon it lay a lane of sulphur, saltpeter, and saw dust, of each a like quantity, mixed together. Put a coal of fire to it, and forthwith the metal will be melted into a mass.
AN OBSERVATION UPON THE BEAMS OF THE SUN AND HEAT OF THE FIRE HOW THEY ADD WEIGHT TO MINERAL & METAL BODIES
Take of any mineral liquor and set it in an open vessel in the sun for a good space, and it will be augmented in quantity and weight. But some will say that this proceeds from the air, to the which I answer and demand whether the air had not this impregnation from the sun, and what the air has in itself that proceeds not from the sun and stars.
Put this liquor in a cold cellar or in a moist air, and you shall find that it increases not in weight, as it does in the sun or in the fire (which has in this respect some analogy with the sun). I do not say but haply it might attract some little moisture which is soon exhaled by any small heat.
Dissolve any sulphurous and imperfect metal, as iron, copper, or zinc, in aqua fortis or any other acid spirit. Then abstract the spirit from it. Make it glowing hot, yet not too hot, so that the spirit may only vapor away. Then weigh this metal calx and set it in a crucible over the fire. But melt it not, only let it darkly glow, let it stand so three or four weeks, and then take it off and weigh it again. You shall find it heavier than before.
Set any sulphurous metal, as iron or copper, with sixteen or eighteen parts of lead on a test made with ashes of wood or bones in a probatory furnace. First weigh the test copper and lead before you put them into the furnace. Let the iron or copper fly away with the lead, yet not with toe strong a heat. Then take the test out and weigh it, and you shall find it (though the metals be gone) when it is cold to be heavier than it was when it was put into the furnace with the metals. The question is now whence this heaviness of all the aforesaid minerals and metals proceeded, if that the heat of the sun and fire through the help of the minerals and metals be not fixed into a palpable mineral and metal body?
Set a test with lead or copper in the sun. With a concave glass unite the beams of the sun, and let them fall on the center of the metal. Hold the concave glass in your hand, and let your test never be cold. This will be as well done in the sun as in the fire. But this concave must be two feet in diameter, and not too hollow or deep, but about the eighteenth or twentieth part of the circle, so that it may the better cast its beams forth. It must be very well polished.
Calcine antimony with a burning glass and you shall see it smoke and fume and be made drier than before, yet weigh it and it will be heavier than before.
I shall take in, for the confirmation of all this, a relation of Sir Kenelme Digby concerning the precipitating of the sun beams. I remember (says he) a rare experiment that a nobleman of much sincerity and a singular friend of mine told me he had seen which was, that by means of glasses made in a very particular manner and artificially placed one by another, he had seen the sun beams gathered together and precipitated down to a brownish or purplish red powder. There (says he) could be no fallacy in this operation. For nothing whatsoever was in the glass when they were placed and disposed for this intent. And it must be in the hot time of the year, else the effect would not follow. Of this magistery he could gather some days nearly two ounces, and it was a strong volatile virtue, and would impress its spiritual quality into gold itself (the heaviest and most fixed body we converse withal!) in a very short time.
I leave it now to the reader to judge whether the beams of the sun and and the heat of the fire add weight to minerals and metals.
TO EXTRACT A WHITE MILKY SUBSTANCE FROM THE RAYS OF THE MOON
Take a concave glass and hold it against the moon when she is at the full in a clear evening. Let the rays thereof being united fall upon a sponge, and the sponge will be full of a cold milky substance which you may press out with your hand and gather more. De-La-Brosse is of the opinion that this substance is of the substance of the moon, but I cannot assent to him in that. Only this I say, if this experiment were well prosecuted, it might produce, for ought I know, such a discovery which might be the key to no small secrets.
TO CONDENSE THE AIR IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER AND IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY INTO WATER
Fill an earthen vessel unglazed, made pointed downward, and fill it with snow water (which must be kept all the year) in which is dissolved as much nitre as the water would dissolve. Let the vessel be close stopped. Hold this vessel against the sun and the air will be so condensed by the coldness of the vessel that if will drop down by the sides thereof.
HOW TWO SORTS OF VOLATILE SALTS WILL BE FIXED BY JOINING THEM TOGETHER
Take a strong lixivium made of unslaked lime, and evaporate it.
Whereas you would expect to find a salt at the bottom, there is none, for all the salt in the lixivium is vapored away, and the more the liquor is evaporated the weaker the lixivium becomes, which is contrary to other lixiviums. Also, if you take the spirit of vinegar and evaporate it, you shall find no salt at the bottom. Now, if you take the clear lixivium of lime and spirit of vinegar, of each a like quantity, and mix them together and evaporate the humidity thereof, you shall find a good quantity of salt at the bottom which tastes partly hot and partly acid. This salt, being set in a cold cellar on a marble stone and dissolved into an oil, is as good as any lac virginis to clear and smooth the face and dry up any hot pustules in the skin, as also against the itch and old ulcers to dry them up.
TO MAKE AN UNGUENT THAT A FEW GRAINS THEREOF BEING APPLIED OUTWARDLY WILL CAUSE VOMITING OR LOOSNESS AS YOU PLEASE
Take lapis infernalis and mix therewith of distilled oil of tobacco as much as will make an ointment. Keep it in a dry place.
If you would provoke vomiting, anoint the pit of the stomach with five or six grains thereof, and the party will presently vomit, and as much as with taking of vomit.
If you would provoke to loosness, anoint about the navel therewith, and the patient will presently fall into a loosness.
Note that you must give the patient some warm suppings all the time this medicine is working.
Note also, and that especially, that you let not the ointment lie so long as to cauterize the part to which it is applied.
HOW TO MAKE A MEDICINE THAT HALF A GRAIN THEREOF BEING TAKEN EVERY MORNING WILL KEEP THE BODY SOLUBLE
Take of the distilled oil of tobacco, of which let the essential salt of tobacco imbibe as much as it can. Then with this composition make some lozenges by adding such things as are fitting for such a form of medicine. Note that you put but such a quantity of this oily salt as half a grain only may be in one lozenge.
One of these lozenges being taken every morning or every other morning keeps the body soluble, and is good for them as are apt to be very costive in their bodies.
Note that you may put some aromatical ingredient into the lozenges that may qualify the offensive odor of the oil, if there shall be any.
TO MAKE A CORDIAL STOMACHICAL AND PURGATIVE TINCTURE
Make a tincture of hierapera with spirit of wine well rectified and aromatized with cinnamon or cloves.
Two or three spoonfuls of this tincture being taken in a morning twice in a week wonderfully helps those that have weak and foul stomachs. It opens obstructions and purges viscosities of the stomach and bowels, cures all inveterate headaches, kills worms and, indeed, leaves no impurities in the body, and is very cordial. For it exceedingly helps them that are troubled with faintings. There is nothing offensive in this medicine but the bitterness thereof which the other extraordinary virtues will more than balance.
Dissolve scammony in spirit of wine. Evaporate the one moity. Then precipitate it by putting rose water to it, and it will become most white, for the black and fetid matter will lie on the top of the precipitated matter which you must wash away with rose water. Then take that white gum, being very well washed, and dry it. (If you please, you may powder it and so use it. For indeed it has neither smell nor taste, and purges without any offence. It may be given to children, or to any that distaste physic, in their milk or broth without any discerning of it and, indeed, it does purge without any manner of grippings. I was wont to make it up into pills with oil of cinnamon or cloves which gave it a gallant smell, and of which I gave a scruple which wrought moderately and without any manner of grippings). Then dissolve it again in spirit of wine, being aromatized with what spices you please, and this keep.
This tincture is so pleasant, so gentle, so noble a purgative that there is scarce the like in the world, for it purges without any offence, is taken without any nauseating, and purges all manner of humors, especially cholera and melancholy, and is very cordial.
It may be given to those that abhor any medicine, as to children or those that are of a nauseous stomach.
The dose is from half a spoonful to two or three.
Note it must be taken of itself, for if it be put into any other liquor the scammony will precipitate and fall to the bottom.
After this manner, you may prepare jollap by extracting the gum therefrom and then dissolving it in spirit of wine.
By this means jollap would not be so offensive to the stomach, as usually it is, for it is the gum that is purgative and the earthliness that is so nauseous.
Jollap being thus prepared is a most excellent medicine against all hydropic diseases, for it purges water away without any nausea or griping at all.
TO REDUCE DISTILLED TURPENTINE INTO ITS BODY AGAIN
Take of oil of turpentine and the colophonia thereof (which is that substance which remains in the bottom after distillation) which you must beat to powder. Mix these together and digest them, and you shall have a turpentine of the same consistency as before, but of a fiery subtle nature.
Pills made of this turpentine are of excellent use in obstructions of the breast, kidneys, and the like.
TO MAKE THE DISTILLED OIL OUT OF ANY HERB, SEED, OR FLOWER IN AN INSTANT WITHOUT ANY FURNACE
You must have a long pipe made of tin which must have a bowl in the middle with a hole in it as big as you can put your finger into it, by which you must put your matter that you would have the oil of. Set this matter on fire with a candle or coal of fire. Then put one end of the pipe into a basin of fair water and blow at the other end, and the smoke will come into the water, and there will an oil swim upon the water which you may separate with a tunnel.
TO MAKE WATER AND THE TINCTURE OF ANY VEGETABLE AT THE SAME TIME WHICH IS AN EXCELLENT WAY TO DRAW OUT THE VIRTUE THEREOF
This must be performed by these following vessels.
A. Signifies the furnace itself.
B. The retort which stands in water or sand, wherein the matter to be distilled is put, instead, whereof if you please you may put a gourd glass with a head to it.
C. The pipe.
D. Another vessel where is more fresh matter, out of which the tincture is to be drawn, and which stands upon ashes with a fire under it.
E. The furnace with a pan of ashes.
F The receiver.
G. The hole of the furnace to put in coals to heat the second matter.
A WAY TO SEPARATE FRESH WATER FROM SALT WITHOUT A FURNACE OR MUCH TROUBLE
Take a cauldron with a great and high cover having a beak or nose, set it upon a trivet, and under it put a fire. Let this be filled with salt water, and there will presently distill off a good quantity of fresh water into a receiver which must be joined to the nose of the aforesaid cover.
This is of good use for seamen that want fresh water, for by this means they may distill a good quantity in 24 hours, especially if they have any considerable number of the aforesaid vessels, a figure whereof is this which follows.
Fill a great pot with puddled water, and put a soft and gentle fire under it. Lay some bricks across on the pot brims, and upon the sticks lay clean wool or a sponge well washed. Now the wool drinks up the vapors that ascend which you then must wring out and lay on the wool again. This you may do until you have as much clean water as you desire. The manner of this distillation is described thus.
A WAY TO PURGE AND PURIFY TROUBLED AND MUDDY WATERS
A. Signifies the pot.
B. The fire.
C. The sticks.
D. The wool.
This is of use for them that can come at no other waters but what are troubled, as it falls out many times in some places.
ANY THICK ANOTHER WAY TO PURIFY MUDDY, OR FECULENT LIQUOR
This is performed by shreds of any white woolen cloth in vessels as you can see hereafter expressed.
A. Signifies the vessels.
B. The shreds.
Note that the shreds must be first wet in fair water, and the feculent matter be put into the uppermost vessel.
Note also, whereas here be two receivers, that in many cases one may be sufficient.
This way serves for the purifying of decoctions, juices, or diesolutions of salts from their feculency, for that which is distilled by the shreds is as clear as crystal, when what remains is very feculent.
TO KEEP FIRE IN A GLASS THAT WHILE THE GLASS IS SHUT WILL NOT BURN BUT AS SOON AS IT IS OPENED WILL BE INFLAMED
First extract the burning spirit of the salt of tin in a glass retort well coated. When the retort is cold, take it out and break it, and as soon as the matter in it which remains in the bottom thereof after distillation comes into the air, it will presently be inflamed. Put this matter into a glass vial, and keep it close stopped.
This fire will keep many thousand years and not burn unless the glass be opened. But at what time soever that it is opened, it will burn.
It is conceived that such a kind of fire as this was found in vaults when they were opened which many conceived to be a perpetual burning lamp, when as indeed it was inflamed at the opening the vault and the letting in air thereby which before it lacked and, therefore, could not burn. For it is to be conceived that there is no fire burns longer than its matter endures, and there is no combustible matter can endure forever.
There may be many uses of such a fire as this, for any man may carry it about with him and let it burn on a sudden when he has any occasion for fire.
A lamp furnace is made thus.
A. Signifies the candlestick which must be hollow and full of water.
B. The top of the candlestick which must be wide to contain good store of water for to fill up the candlestick as the candle rises up.
C. The candle which must be as long as the candlestick.
D. The vessel that contains either water, sand, or ashes for any vessel to be set into, also to contain any matter itself that is to be distilled or digested.
E. A glass vessel standing in digestion.
F. A narrow-mouthed stopple to be put into the candlestick to keep the candle upright, and that must be made of tin with holes in it.
G. The cover for the vessel D which is to be put upon it when anything is decocted or kept warm in it.
H. A still head to put upon the vessel D when you would distill anything in it.
Note that if you make all these vessels large you may do many considerable things without much labor or trouble.
In the vessel D, if it be large, you may stew meat which, if you put in at night and cover it close, you may have it ready for your breakfast in the morning and so, according to the time you put it in, you may have it for dinner or supper. Also, you may keep anything warm in the night and at all times, diverse such uses as these it may be used for.
Note that the candle will still rise up until it be quite burned out, and an ordinary candle will last twice as long this way as it will out of the water.
If you would have one candle last a long time, as twelve or twenty hours, you must either make your candlestick very long that it may contain a long candle, or make your candle big and the wick small, or make your candle of such matter as will not presently be consumed.
Note also that if you would have a great heat, your candle must be great, and also the wick thereof great, but if gentle, let your candle be s mall.
ANOTHER LAMP FURNACE
There is another sort of lamp furnace with three candles after this manner.
The use of this is when you would have a constant fire that should give a stronger heat than one candle in the former furnace. And the truth is that if your candles be big (as you may make them as big as you will) you may have as strong a heat this way as by ashes in an ordinary furnace.
TO MAKE A CANDLE THAT SHALL LAST LONG
Take unslaked lime, powder it and mix it with your tallow, and so make you candle of that. Or else, you may make candles of castile soap which will serve for such uses as these, viz., to burn in such a lamp furnace.
Note that it is the salt that is in the lime and soap that preserves the the tallow from burnig out so fast as otherwise it would.
TO MAKE A LASTING AND DURABLE OIL
Take unslaked lime, bay salt, oil of olive, of each a like quantity, and mix them well together and distill them in sand. Cohobate the oil upon the same quantity of fresh lime and salt, and this do four or five times. By this means will the oil be clear and impregnated with what salt was volatile in the lime and salt.
Now that saline impregnation is that which gives a durableness to the oil.
Note that this oil while it is distilling is of a most fragrant smell. I have some of it which I distilled seven times and it is as pure, subtle, and odoriferous as many common distilled oils and vegetables.
This oil, besides the durability of it, is also good against any inveterate ache in the limbs.
A lamp made with this oil will continue burning six times as long as a lamp made of other oil. Also, it burns very sweet.
There must be a great deal of care used in making of it, or else you will quickly break your glasses. Also, you must take very strong lime, such as the dyers use, and call cauke.
There be here set down three figures of these kinds of instruments which belong to several uses.
A. Signifies that which blows a fire for the melting of any metal or such like operation, and it blows most forcibly with a terrible noise.
B. That which blows a candle to make the flame thereof very strong for the melting of glasses and nipping them up.
C. That which anyone may hold in their hand to blow up the fire strongly upon any occasion.
Now the manner of the using of them is this. You must first heat them very hot. Then put the noses thereof (which must have a very small hole in them, no bigger than that a pin's head may go in) into a vessel of cold water. They will presently suck in the water, of which then being full, turn the noses thereof towards the candle or fire which you would have blown.
As for the figure C, it must have a mouth drawn up around and hanging out an inch from the face, which mouth (the whole compass of the face being heated first) you must dip in cold water, and it will suck in water as the noses of the former did. This then you must hold close to the fire that it may be heated, and it will blow exceedingly, as otherwise it will not, viz., if it be cold.
If you put sweet water into such a vessel, you may perfume a chamber exceedingly, for a little quantity thereof will be a long time breathing forth.
Note that these kinds of vessels must be made of copper and be exceedingly well closed so that they may have no vent but by their noses.
AN EXCELLENT INVENTION TO MAKE A FIRE
Take three parts of the best Newcastle coals beaten small and one part of loam. Mix these well together into a mass with water. Make thereof balls which you must dry very well.
This fire is durable, sweet, not offensive by reason of the smoke or cinder as other coal fires are. It is beautiful in shape and is not so costly as other fires. It burns as well in a chamber even as charcoal.
This fire may either serve for such distillations as require a strong and lasting heat or for ordinary uses either in the kitchen or chambers.
A NEW INVENTION FOR BATHS
Seeing that by bathing and sweating most diseases are cured, especially such as proceed from wind, hot and distempered humors or cold and congealed humors, because all these are rarified and evaporated by transpiration in sweating or bathing, I thought it a thing much conducing to man's health to set down such a way of bathing and sweating that might be very effectual and appropriated to any particular disease or distemper.
I shall therefore here commend to you a way of bathing by distillation, the manner of which you may see by these ensuing vessels.
A. Signifies a hot still with two pipes going into two wooden vessels. In this still you may put either herbs, spices, with water or with spirits, and distill them, by which means they that are in the vessels will presently be forced into a sweat by virtue of the subtlety of the vapors. And this indeed is as good and effectual a way for sweating as any can be invented. You may by this means appropriate your ingredients to the nature of the diseases.
B. A vessel wherein a man sits in the bath. Now this vessel has in it a door for the easier going into it, which fashion is far better and more convenient, than to be open only at the top.
C. A long vessel where a man that is weak, and not able to sit up, lies and is bathed.
Now you must note that these vapors must not be hotter than the patient can bear. Also, if the vapor comes forth too hot upon the body of the patient, he may by putting a pipe upon the end of the pipe that comes into the vessel, divert the hot vapor from his body, and so it will not offend him that way.
Note that the patient, as soon as he begins to be faint, must come forth or else he will suffer more prejudice than good by his bathing. Also, to prevent him from fainting let him take some cordial or cold beer which will revive him and make him endure his bathing longer, as also make him sweat the more.
As soon as the patient comes forth, let him go into a warm bed and sweat as he is able to bear it, and take some posses drink or broth or such like warm suppings, as also some good cordial if he be very faint.
The patient may, according to his strength and his disease, bathe more seldom or oftener.
AN ARTIFICIAL BATH MADE FROM THE SAME PRINCIPLES AS THE NATURAL BATH IS
Before I set down the process of making an artificial hot bath, I shall premise something concerning the true nature and origin of a hot bath. Now the clearest and best account that I ever heard or read of the cause of the heat in baths is that which is given by Monsieur de Rochas, and that in a demonstrative way. His words are these:
"As I was", says he, "with some of my companions wandering in Savoy, I found in the valley of Lucerne between the Alps a hot spring. I began to consider the cause of this heat, and whereas the vulgar opinion is that the heat of fountains is from mountains fired within, I saw reason to think the contrary because I saw snow upon a mountain from whence this hot spring came, unmelted, which could not have been possible, but would have been dissolved by the hot fumes of the mountains had they been fired. Whereupon, being unsatisfied, I with my companions and other laborers (whom I could hardly persuade to undertake such a business by reason they were afraid that fire would thereupon break forth out of the ground and consume us) got tools and set upon digging to find out the true cause of the heat of this fountain. After we had dug fifteen days (having before perceived the water to be hotter and hotter by degrees as we came nearer to the source) we came to the original of the heat where was a great ebullition. In three hours more we dug beyond this place of ebullition and perceived the water to be cold, yet in the same continued stream with the other that was hot. Upon this I began to wonder much at the reason of these things. Then I carried to by lodging some of this hot water (which was both saltish and acid) and evaporated it. Of forty ounces I yet further purified and extracted thence three drams of pure nitrous hermetic salt, the other two ounces being a slimy sulphurous substance. Yet with this I was not satisfied, but with my laborers went again to the place and dug twelve days more. Then we came to a water which was insipid as ordinary fountain water, yet still in a continued stream with the saltish and hot water. At this I wondered much, whereupon I dug up some of the earth where the cold and saltish stream ran and carried it home with me, and out of a hundred weight thereof I extracted a good quantity of nitrous salt which was almost fluxile.
'When I extracted as much as I could, I laid the earth aside, and in 24 hours it was all covered over with salt which I extracted, and out of a hundred weight of this earth, which I call virgin earth, I had four pounds of this kind of salt which it contracted in the aforesaid 24 hours, and so it would do constantly. Now this satisfied me concerning one doubt. For before I was unsatisfied how there could be a constant supply of that salt which made the water saltish, seeing there was but a little distance between the insipid water and the hot water, and the constant stream of water washed away the salt which was in that little space. For I perceived that this kind of earth attracts this universal salt of the world partly from the air in the cavities of the earth and partly from the vapors that constantly pass through the earth. After this I took some of that earth where the ebullition was and carried it home and proved it, and I perceived it to be a sulphur mine, into which the former acid saltish water penetrating caused an ebullition, as do salt of tartar and spirit of vitriol being mixed together, and also water poured on unslaked lime. After this I began to question how it was that this sulphur mine was not consumed, seeing so much matter pass from it daily. But when I began to understand how all things in the earth did assimilate to themselves whatsoever was of any kind of affinity to them, as as mines convert the tools of miners into their own substance in a little time, and such like experiments of that nature, I was satisfied. And after all this I understood how this universal salt of the world was to be had, and I could at any time mix it with water, and pour that water upon sulphur, and so make an artificial hot bath as good as any natural bath whatsoever. Note that no salt in the world but this nitrous salt will do it, as I often tried. And this salt is to be found in all hot baths, and to be prepared artificially. " Thus far Monsieur de Rochas.
Something like unto this Helmont seems to hold forth, saying that there is a Primum Ens Salium or Femina Salium which are all seated in waters and vapors and give them an acidity, but as yet have no saline taste until they meet with such principles and be received into certain matrixes in the earth which may make them put forth this potential saltiness into act. According to this diversity of places this water or vapor, being impregnated with those seeds of salt, goes through arise the diversity of salts, as alum, sea salt, nitre, etc. Then upon this account the earth, through which the cold, acid, saltish water abovesaid run through, did specificate that potential salt which was both in the water and vapors into a nitrous salt (by which means was that kind of salt in that place). But whether this Prium Ens Salium by so unspecificated or Quid Hermaphroditicum as he asserts, or no, it matters not much to my purpose. It suffices if that earth,through which that acid nitrous water runs, attracts and multiplies an acid nitrous salt with which the water, being impregnated and running through a sulphurous mine, causes an ebullition. All this being premised, I shall now endeavor to illustrate how nature may in this be imitated, as that an artificial hot bath may be made by such like principles, as the natural hot bath consists of, being artificially prepared.
Now these principles are the sulphur mine and the acid nitrous salt. The former requires no further preparation (as says Monsieur de Rochas) if it be pure. The latter is to be prepared two manner of ways. Either it is to be extracted, as says the foresaid author, out of the waters of the bath by evaporating them away, or by condensing the nitrous air (for indeed as many judicious philosophers are of opinion, the air is wholly nitrous as it appears by the condensation of it in cold places into nitre) which his virgin earth did do into a salt which was acid and almost fluxile. Now when I say that the nitrous salt is to be thus prepared, I do not say that this is the full preparation thereof, for indeed it is yet further to be prepared, and that is by giving it a greater acidity.
I question much whether or no the salt, being prepared after the aforesaid ways, does retain that acidity which is required for that ebullition I spoke of, and which the nitrous water had before it came to the mine of sulphur. For indeed, the aforesaid author when he affirmed that he could at any time make an artificial hot bath, did not say he used the salt prepared only after the two former ways, viz., by extracting it out of the waters of the bath and making it with his virgin earth which did attract and condense the nitrousness of the air, but withall by making it so acid that it might cause an ebullition when it came to be joined with a sulphur mine.
Now then, how to give this nitre a sufficient acidity is the great question. For the better effecting of this we must consider whence that nitrous water (above mentioned) in the earth had the greatest part of its acidity.
As to that, it must be remembered that the virgin earth through which the acid nitrous water did run, did condense the nitrous air or vapors into a nitrous salt and, withal!, it is to be considered that before this nitrous air or vapor, before it is condensed, even when it is near unto condensation is acid, and part of it before condensation is mixed with the water, and so renders it acid. Now that waters have a great part of their acidity from the acid vapors of acid minerals both Henricus ab Heers and Jordan upon mineral waters affirm. That salts unbodied are far more acid than when they have assumed a body is clearly manifest in this, viz., that spirits of salts which I call salts unbodied, because they have lost their body, are become very acid because unbodied. If so in spirits that have lost their bodies, why not after some proportion in those that have not yet assumed a body, as vapors of nitre, or nitrous air being near to congelation, and bodying, and impregnant with spirits of nitre.
Now, I say that nitrous vapors or nitrous air, being a salt unbodied, are not so acid as spirits of nitre, because they are more phlegmatic and crude, which phlegm they lose by being congealed into a salt. Yet for all this, they are far more acid than the body of salt, and this is that which Helmont understands when he says that the esurine salt, being incorporificated, is far more active in giving taste and odor than when it has received its body by becoming a specificated salt. Furthermore, how nitre shall become sufficiently acid for the aforesaid operation is the great matter to be enquired into. We must therefore consider which way we may unbody nitre (seeing it is scarce possible to get it before it has received its body). That is done two ways, either by forcing of it into a most sharp spirit, which is too acid for our intention, or by digesting the whole substance of nitre into a liquor moderately acid, which indeed serves for our purpose, and the process is this.
Take the purest nitre you can get. Dissolve it in rainwater, so as that the water imbibes as much of it as it can. Then put this nitrous water into a common earthen vessel unglazed which you must set in a cellar. You shall see this vessel in a short time to be white all over on the outside as with a hoarfrost. This whiteness is partly the flowers of the nitre, being the purest part thereof, penetrating the vessel and partly the nitrous air condensed into nitre by the coldness of the vessel, as also assimilated to the nitre that penetrated the vessel. I said by the coldness of the vessel, because such is the coldness of an earthen vessel wherein is nitre, dissolved in water, that it will being set in snow by the fireside be freezed.
This nitre you must strike off with a feather and when you have a sufficient quantity thereof, as three or four pounds, put this or the nitrous salt extracted from both waters into a bolt head of glass (a pound in each bolt head) that two parts of three be empty. Nip it up, set it in ashes, and give it a reasonable strong fire, viz., that the upper part of the bowl of the bolt head be as hot as that you can, but well suffer your hand upon it, and you shall see that the nitre will be dissolved every day a little, and in two or three months time be wholly dissolved and become acid, but not so acid as the spirit thereof. Then put it into a glass gourd with a head and distill it off. In the bottom you shall find an acid nitrous salt almost fluxile, and not unlike that salt which Monsieur de Rochas found in the evaporating of his water. Then pour the distilled nitre water upon the said salt, and then it is for your use.
The use of these principles or ingredients is this, viz., to make fountain water sufficiently acid with this nitrous liquor. Then pour it upon a sufficient quantity of the best sulphur mine or sulphur vivum in a large wooden vessel where the patient is to be bathed. You will see the water presently heated so hot as the patient is able to bear.
The inward use of these bathwaters is by reason of the nitre in them, to dissolve gross humors, open obstructions, cleanse the kidneys and bladder and, by reason of the sulphur, to dry, mollify, discuss, and glutinate, and to help all uterine effects proceeding from cold and windy humors.
Note that they must be drunk warm and in a good quantity, or else they will do more hurt than good.
The outward use of this is for such ill effects as are in the habit of of the body and out of the veins, as of palsies, contractions, rheums, cold humors, effects of the skin and aches, for they resolve, discuss, cleanse, mollify, etc.
Now for the manner of bathing I shall not prescribe anything, but leave this to the discretion of the physician who is to give orders and directions for all the circumstances about it. For indeed everyone is not to bathe when and how he pleases, but must apply himself to an able physician and submit himself to his judgment and experience, or else may receive either prejudice or no benefit thereby.
AN ARTIFICIAL TUNBRIDGE AND EPSOM WATER
It is granted by all that tunbridge water proceeds from an iron mine, but how it contracts that acidity and that ironish and vitriolated taste and odor, seeing upon evaporation thereof, there remains little or no vitriol or salt of iron at the bottom, is the great question. Now for the solution of this, we must consider how many ways a subterranean mineral or metal may communicate its acidity to waters and that, says Henricus ab Heers, upon spew waters, it does three ways: one, when the water passing through the mines carries along with it some of the dissoluble parts of the mine, to which is consonant the saying of Aristotle that such are waters, as is the nature of those mines through which they pass, as also of Galen when he says that pure water passing through mineral mines carry with them some of the substance of the mines. The second way is when the vapors arising from fermented minerals and metals are mixed with waters. Now that vapors retain the odor and taste of those things from whence they are raised, Aristotle in his fourth book, Sublimium, affirms, and also Helmont when he says that some parts of the iron mines, being by fermentation turned into a vapor, retain the odor and taste of the mine by virtue of the acid esurine salt and are not presently reduced into a body, and also artificial vapors of the iron mines have more virtue,and active (I mean those parts that are raised by a strong fire in a furnace from the mine of iron)than iron itself when it is melted. The third way is when a great quantity of vapors arising from the aforesaid fermented mines is elevated and by the coldness of the ambient earth is turned into an acid water which, as it passes through the earth, meets with some springs of water and, mixing with them, gives them a pleasant acidity. And this is the best of all acid waters, being clear and very pure.
This being premised, I shall now proceed to the process of making artificial waters like to those of Tunbridge and Epsom.
To make tunbridge water, take of the mine or ore of iron. Beat it very small and put it into the furnace expressed on page 90 and there will come forth an acid spirit and flowers which you must mix together until the acid spirit extracts the salt out of the flowers. Then decant off the clear liquor which will have a strong taste and smell of iron.
A few drops of this liquor put into a glassful of fountain water gives it the odor and taste of tunbridge water and communicates the same operations to it.
It opens all obstructions, purges by urine, cleanses the kidneys and bladder, helps the pissing of blood, the stopping of the urine and difficulty of making water. It allays all sharp humors, cures inward ulcers and impostumes, cleanses and strengthens the stomach and liver, etc.
Note that fountain water being made moderately acid with this acid ironish liquor may be taken from a pint to six pints but, by degrees and after the taking of it, moderate exercise is to be used, and fasting to be observed until all the water be gone out of the body which will be in seven or eight hours.
Epsom water is made artificially thus. Take of the mine of alum or alum stones. Powder it very small and distill it in the furnace expressed on page 90 end there will distill over a certain acid aluminish water which must be mixed with a double quantity of nitre water (the preparation whereof is set down in the process of making the artificial hot bath). Now you must know that Epsom water has a certain kind of acid taste which is partly aluminous and partly nitrous which proceeds from nitrous air and vapors arising from the fermentation of aluminous mines, being first mixed together and then mixed with the fountains passing through the earth.
If you put a few drops of this liquor into a glassful of fountain water it will give it the odor and taste of Epsom water, that you shall scarce discern them asunder either by that odor or operation.
This water is purgative and, indeed, purges especially all sharp burning humors, cools an inflamed, and opens an obstructed body, cleanses the kidneys and bladder, cures inward ulcers and impostumes, and is a very good preservative against the consumption, etc.
Fountain water made acid with this liquor may be taken from a pint to six or eight, but by degrees, and after it moderate exercise must be used, and fasting until the water be out of the body. Only some thin warm suppings may be taken to help the working thereof. Some take this water warm.
TO MAKE ARTIFICIA L PRECIOUS STONES OF ALL SORTS OF COLORS
Take crystalline white pebble stones that are very white throughout and have no mixture of any other color which you shall find in fountains and on the sands of the sea. Put them into a crucible and make them glowing hot (covering the crucible). Then cast them into cold water, by which means they will crack and be easily reduced into a powder. Take the powder thereof and put the like quantity of pure salt of tartar thereto, which salt must not be made in any metalling, but glass vessels, so that it may have no mixture of any other colon To this mixture you may add what color you please which must be of a mineral or a metalline nature. Then put them into a very strong crucible which must be but half full and then covered, and there melt them in a strong fire until they become like glass. Note that when this mixture is in melting you must put an iron rod into it and take up some of it, and if there appears no corns of gravel in it, it is enough. If otherwise, you must melt it longer. The especial minerals and metals that give colons are these, viz., copper, iron, silver, gold, wismut, magnesia, and granite.
Common copper makes a sea green; copper made out of iron, a grass green; granite, a smaragdine green; iron, yellow or a hyacinth color; silver, white yellow, green, and granite color; gold, a fine sky color; wismut common blue; magnesia, an amethyst colon And if you will mix two or three of these together, they will give other colors. For copper and silver mixed together give an amethyst color; copper and iron, a pale green; wismut and magnesia, a purple color; silver and magnesia, diverse colors like as an opal. If you would have this mass not to be transparent, but opaque, you may add the calx of tin to it when it is in melting. As if you would make lapis lazuli, then to your mixture colored with wismut add the calx of tin, and this mixture when it is almost ready to congeal cast into a mold where some powder of gold has been scattered and, by this means, it will become full of golden veins very like true lapis lazuli which is very pleasant to behold. You may by these foresaid preparations cast what forms or figures you please, of what color you please.
The metals and minerals for the making of colors ought to be thus prepared as follows.
Plates of copper must be made red hot and then quenched in cold water, of which then take five or six grains, and mix them with an ounce of the aforesaid mixture, and melt them all together and they will color it sea green.
Iron must be made into a crocus in a reverberatory fire, and then eight or ten grains thereof will tinge the mixture into a yellow or hyacinth colon
Silver is to be dissolved in aqua fortis and precipitated with oil of flints, then dulcified with water, and afterward dried. Of this five or six grains give a mingled colon
Gold must be dissolved in aqua regis, precipitated with the liquor of flints, and then sweetened and dried. Five or six grains thereof give the finest sapphire color to an ounce of the mixture.
If gold be melted with regulus martis nitrosus, five or six grains thereof give to an ounce of this mass a most incomparable rubine colon
Magnesia may be powdered only, and then ten or twelve grains thereof make an amethyst color.
Wismut must be dissolved in aqua regis and precipitated with liquor of flints, and then sweetened and dried. Of this four or five grains turn an ounce of the mass into a sapphire color, but not so natural as gold does.
Granite may be powder only, and then ten or fifteen grains thereof tinge an ounce of the mass into a fine green color not unlike to the natural smaragdine.
TO PROVE WHAT KIND OF METAL THERE IS IN ANY ORE ALTHOUGH YOU HAVE BUT A VERY FEW GRAINS THEREOF SO AS THAT YOU CANNOT MAKE PROOF THEREOF THE ORDINARY WAY WITH LEAD
Take two or four grains (if you have no greater quantity) of any ore that you have, and put it to half an ounce of Venice glass. Melt them together in a crucible (the crucible being covered) and according to the tincture that the glass receives from the ore, so may you judge what kind of metal there is in the ore. For if it be a copper ore, then the glass will be tinged with a sea-green colon
If copper and iron, a grass-green.
If iron, a dark yellow.
If tin, a pale yellow.
If silver, a whitish yellow.
If gold, a fine sky colon
If gold and silver together, a smaragdine colon
If gold, silver, copper, and iron together, an amethyst colon
A PRETTY OBSERVATION UPON THE MELTING OF COPPER AND TIN TOGETHER
First, make two bullets of red copper of the same magnitude. Make also two bullets of the purest tin in the same mold as the others were made. Weigh all four bullets and observe the weight well. Then melt the copper bullets first. Upon their being melted, put the two tin bullets and melt them together, but have a care that the tin fume not away. Then cast this molten mixture in the same molds as before, and it will scarce make three bullets, but yet they weigh as heavy as the four did before they were melted together.
I suppose the copper condenses the body of the tin which before was very porous, and which condensation rather adds than diminishes the weight thereof.
A REMARKAB LE OBSERVATION UPON THE MELTING OF SALT ARMONIAC AND CALX VIVE TOGETHER
Take salt armoniac and calx vive, of each a like quantity, and mix and melt them together. Note that calx of itself will not melt in less than eight hours with the strongest fire that can be made, but being mixed with this salt melts in half an hour and less like a metal with an indifferent fire.
This mixture being thus melted becomes a hard stone, out of which you may strike fire as out of a flint which, if you dissolve again in water, you shall have the salt armoniac in the same quantity as before, but fixed.
Note that hard things have their congelation from salt armoniac, as horns, bones, and such like, for little fixed salt can be extracted from them, only volatile and armoniac.
An ounce of any of these volatile salts (as of horns, bones, amber, and such like) reduced into an acid liquor by distillation, condenses and endures a pound of oily matter.
AN EASY AND CHEAP POWDER LIKE UNTO AURUM FULMINANS
Take of salt of tartar one part, salt petre three parts, sulphur a third part, and grind these well together and dry them. A few grains of this powder being fired will give as great a clap as a musket when it is discharged.
TO MAKE THE ANTIMONIAL CUP AND TO CAST DIVERSE FIGURES OF ANTIMONY
Take the best crude antimony, very well powdered, and nitre - of each a pound - and of crude tartar, finely powdered, two pounds. Mix them well together and put them into a crucible. Cover the crucible and melt them. The regulus will fall to the bottom and be like a melted metal. Then pour it forth into a brass mortar, being first smeared over with oil.
Or, take two parts of powdered antimony and four parts of powder of crude tartar. Melt these as aforesaid.
This regulus you may (when you have enough of it) melt again and cast it into what maids you please. You may either make cups or what pictures you please, and of what figures you please. You may cast it into forms of shillings or half crowns, either of which if you put into two or three ounces of wine in an earthen glazed vessel, or glass, and infuse in a moderate heat all night, you may have a liquor in the morning which will induce vomit. The dose is from two drams to two ounces and a half.
Note that in the wine you may put a little cinnamon to correct and give a more grateful relish to it.
It is the custom to fill the antimonial cup with wine and to put as much wine round about between that and the little earthen cup where it stands, and so infuse it all night, and then drink up all that wine. But I fear that so much wine will be too much as being three or four ounces, when as we seldom exceed the quantity of two ounces of the infusion of antimony.
These cups or pictures will last forever and be as effectual after a thousand times infusion as at first. And if they be broken at any time (as easily they may, being as brittle as glass) they may be cast again into what forms you please.
Note that he that casts them must be skillful in making his spawde, as also in scouring of them and making them bright afterwards, for if they be carefully handled they will look even as bright as silver.
If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.
Works of Nicolas Flamel
Works of George Ripley
Works of Sendivogius
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum
Emerald tablet of Hermes
Texts from Musaeum Hermeticum
Spanish alchemical texts
German alchemical texts
French alchemical texts
Russian alchemical texts
Italian alchemical texts