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Secreta Alchymiae
Kalid ben Jazichi
Transcribed by Robert Nelson.

Chapter XXII

Of the Difficulties of this Art

I.  Thanks be given to God, the Creator of all things, who hath made us, renewed us, taught us, and given us knowledge and understanding; for except he should keep us, preserve us, and direct us, we should wander out of the right way, as having no Guide or Teacher: Nor can we know any thing in this World, unless he teach us, who is the beginning of all things, and the Wisdom it self, his power and goodness, it is with which he overshadows his People.

II.  He directs and instructs whom he pleases, and by His long-suffering, and tender Mercies, brings them back into the way of Righteousness. For he has sent this Angels (or Spirit) into the dark places, and made plain the Ways, and with his loving kindness replenishes such as love Him.

III.  Know then my Brother, that this magistery of our Secret Stone and this Valuable Art, is a secret of the Secrets of God, which he has hidden with his own People; not revealing it to any, but to such who as Sons faithfully have deserved it, who have known his Goodness and Almightyness.

IV.  If you would request any Earthy thing at the Hand of God, the Secret of this Magistery is more to be desired than anything else. For the Wise Men who have perfected the knowledge thereof, have not been wholly plain but speaking of it, have partly concealed it, and partly revealed it; And in this very thing, I have found the preceding Philosophers to agree, in all their so much valued Books.

V.  Know therefore, that Musa, my own disciple (more valuable to me than any other) having diligently studied their Books, and laboured much in the Work of this Magistery, was much perplexed, not knowing the Natures of things belonging thereto: Whereupon he humbly begged at my Hands, my Explanation thereof, and my Directions therein.

VI.  But I gave him no other Answer, Than that he should read over the Philosophersí Books, and therein to seek that which he desired of me: Going his way, he read above an hundred Books of the Secret of the Great Philosophers: but by them he could not attain the knowledge of that Mystery which he desired, though continually studying it for the space of a Year, for which reason he was as one astonished and much troubled in mind.

VII.  If then Musa my Scholar (who has deserved to be accounted among the Philosophers) has thus failed in the knowledge of this Mystery; what may be supposed from the Ignorant and Unlearned, who understand not the Natures of things, nor apprehend whereof they consist?

VIII.  Now when I saw this in my most dear and chosen Disciple, moved with Piety and Love to him, by the Will also and Appointment of God, I wrote this my book near the time of my Death, in which though I have pretermitted many things which the Philosophers before me have mentioned in their Books; yet have I handled some things which they have concealed, and could not be prevailed withal to reveal or to discover.

IX.  Yea, I have explicated, and laid open certain things which they hid under enigmatical and dark Expressions; and this my Book I have named, The Secrets of Alchymie, for that I have revealed in it, whatsoever is necessary to the knowledge of this Learning in a Language befitting the matter, and to your sense and understanding.

X.  I have taught four Magisteries far greater and better than the other Philosophers have done, of which number the One is a Mineral Elixir, another Animal; the other two are Mineral Elixirs; but not the one Mineral whose virtue is to wash, cleanse, or purifie those things which they call the Bodies. And another is to make Gold of Azot Vive; whose Composition or Generation is according to the Natural Generation in the Mines, or in the Heart and Bowels of the Earth.

XI.  And these four Magisteries or Works, the Philosophers have discoursed of, in their Books of the Composition thereof, but they are wanting in many things, nor would they clearly show the Operation of it in their Books: and when by chance any one found it out, yet could he not thoroughly understand it; than which nothing was more grievous to him.

XII.  I will therefore in the work declare it, together with the way and the manner how to make it, but if you read me, learn to understand Geometrical proportion, that so you may rightly frame your Furnaces, not exceeding the mean, either in greatness or finalness; with all you must understand the proportion of your Fire, and the form of the Vessel fit for your work.

XIII.  Also you must consider, what is the ground work and beginning of the magistery: which is as the Seed and Womb to the Generation of Living Creatures, which are shaped in the Womb, and therein receive their Fabrick, Increase and Nourishment. For if the Prima Materia of our Magistery is not conveniently managed, the Work will be spoiled and you will not find that which you seek after, nor shall you bring your Work to perfection.

XIV.  For where the cause of Generation is wanting, or the root of the matter, and heat itself, your labor will be lost and the Work come to nothing. The same also will happen, if you mistake in the proportion or weight; for if that not be right, to wit, the proportion of the parts compounding, the matter compounded missing of its just temperature will be destroyed, and so you shall reap no fruit, the which I will show by an Example.

XV.  See you not that in Soap (with which Clothes are washed clean and white) that it has its virtue and property by reason of the just proportion of its Ingredients, which spread themselves in length and breadth, and because of which they agree in length and breadth, and because of which they agree to the same end; by which it appears, that the Composition was truly made, and the power and efficacy which before lay hid (which is called Property) is now brought to light, which is the quality of washing and cleaning in a proper Laver?

XVI.  But should the ingredients have been put together without proportion, being either too little or too much, the virtue and efficacy of the Soap would be destroyed, not would it any ways answer the end desired; for that end of effect ariseth from the just proportion and mixion of each Ingredient: The same you must understand, to happen in the Composition of our Magistery.

Chapter XXIII

Of the Four Principal Operations, Solution, Congelations, Albification and Rubifaction

I.  Beginning now to speak of the Great Work, which they call Alchymie I will open the mater without concealing ought, or keeping back anything, save that which is not fit toe declared: We say them that the great work contains four Operation, viz., to Dissolve, to Congeal, to make White and to make Red

II.  There are four quantities partakers together; of which two are partakers between themselves; so also have the other two a coherence between themselves. And either of these double quantities, has another quantity partaker of them, which is greater than these two.

III.  I understand by these quantities, the quantities of the Natures, and weight of the Medicines, which are in order dissolved and congealed, wherein neither addition nor diminution have any place. But these two, viz., Solution and Congelation are one Operation, and make but one Work, and that before Composition, but after; but after Composition those Operations be divers.

IV.  And this Solution and Congelation which we have spoken of, are the solution of the Body, and the congelation of the Spirit, which two, have indeed but one Operation; for the Spirits are not congealed, except the Bodies be dissolved; as also the bodies are not dissolved unless the Spirit be congealed. And when the Soul and the Body are joined together, each of them works its Companion into its own likeness and property.

V.  As for example, When Water is put to Earth, it strives to dissolved the Earth, by its virtue, property, and moisture, making it softer than it was before, bringing it to be like itself, for the Water was more thin than the Earth. And thus does the Soul work in the Body, and after the same manner is the Water thickened with the Earth and becomes like the Earth in thickness, for the Earth was more thick the Water.

VI.  Know also, that between the solution of the Body and the congelation of the Spirit, there is no distance of time, not diversity of work, as thought the one should be without the other; as there is no difference of time in the conjunction of the Earth and Water, that the one might be distinguished from the other by its operation. But they have both one instant, and one fact, and one and the same work performs both at once, before Composition.

VII.  I say, before Composition, lest he that should read my Book, and hear the terms of Solution and a Congelation, should suppose it to be the Composition which the Philosophers treat of, which would be a grand Error both in Work and Judgment: Because Composition in this Work is a Conjunction or Marriage of the congealed Spirit with the dissolved Body, which Conjunction is made upon the fire.

VIII.  For heat is its nourishment, and the Soul forsakes not the Body, neither is it otherwise knit into it, than by the alteration of both from their own virtue and properties, after the Conversion of their Natures: and this is the solution and congelation which the Philosophers first speak of.

IX.  Which nevertheless they have absconded by their Enigmatic Discourse, with dark and obscure Words, whereby they alienate and estrange the minds of their Followers, from understanding the Truth: whereof I will now give you the following Examples.

X.  Besmear the Leaf with Poyson, so shall you obtain the beginning of the Stone, and the Operation thereof. Again, Work upon the strong Bodies with one solution, till either of them are reduced to subtility. Also, except you bring the Bodies to such a subtility that they may be impalpable, you shall not obtain that you seek after. And, If you have not ground them, repeat the Work till they be sufficiently ground and made subtil, so shall you have your desire. With a thousand such other like unintelligible, without a particular demonstration thereof.

XI.  And in like manner have they spoken of that Composition which is after solution and congelation, Thus: Our Composition is not perfect without Conjunction and Putrefaction, Again, You must dissolve, congeal, separate, conjoin, putrefy and compound, because Composition is the beginning and very life of the thing.

XII. But Ďtis true that unless there be a compounding, the Stone can never be brought to light: There must be a separation of the parts of the Compound, which separation is in order also to a Conjunction. I tell you again, that the Spirit will not dwell with the Body, nor enter into it, nor abide in it, until the body be made subtil and thin as the Spirit is.

XIII.  But when it is attenuated and made subtil, and has caste off its thickness and grossness, has forsaken its Corporeity, and become Spiritual; then shall it be conjoined with the subtil Spirits, and imbibe them, so that both shall become one and the same thing, nor shall they forever be severed, but become like water mixt with water, which no man can separate.

Chapter XXIV

Of the Latter Operations, viz., Albification and Rubification

I.  Suppose that of two like quantities which are in solution and congelation, the larger is the Soul and the Lesser is the Body: Add afterwards to the quantity which is the Soul, that quantity which is in the Body, and it shall participate with the first quantity in virtue only. Then working them as we have wrought them, you will have your desire, and understand Euclid his Line or Proposition

II.  Then take this quantity, weigh it exactly, and add to it as much moisture as it will drink up, the weight of which we have not determined; Then Work them as before, with the same Operations of a first imbibing and subliming it: This Operation is called Albification, and they name it Yarit, that is Silver or White Lead.

III.  When you have made this Compound white, add to it so much of the Spirit, as will make half of the whole, and set it to working, till it grows red, and then it will be of the colour of Al-Sulfur (Cinnabar) which is very red, and the Philosophers have likened it to Gold whose effects lead to that which the Philosopher said to his Scholar Arda.

IV.  We call the clay when it is white Yarif, that is Silver: But when it is red, we name it Temeynch, that is Gold: Whiteness is that which tinges Copper, and makes it Yarit: and it is redness which tinges Yarit, i.e., Silver and makes it Temeynch.

Chapter XXV

Of the Nature of Things Appertaining to this Work: Of Decoction, and its Effects

I.  Know then that the Philosophers have called them by divers names: Sometimes they call them Minerals, sometimes Animals, sometimes Vegetables, sometimes Natures, for that they are things natural: and others have called them by other names at their Pleasures, or as they liked best.

II.  But their Medicines are near to Natures, as the Philosophers have taught in their Books; for that Nature comes nigh to Nature, and Nature is like to Nature, Nature is joined to Nature, Nature is drowned in Nature, Nature makes Nature white, and Nature makes Nature red.

III.  And Corruption is in conjunction with Generation, Generation is retained with Generation, and Generation conquereth with Generation.

IV.  Now for the performance of these things, the Philosophers have in their Books taught us how to decoct, and how decoction is to be made in the matter of our Magistery: This is that which degenerates, and changes them from their Substances and Colours, into other Substance and Colours.

V.  If you err not in the beginning you may happily attain the end: But you ought t consider the seed of the Earth whereon we live, how the heat of the Sun works in it, till the Seed is impregnated with its influences and Virtues and made to spring, till it grows up to ripeness: This is the first change or transmutation.

VI.  After this, Men and other Creatures feed upon it; and Nature, by the heat that is innate in Man, changes it again, into Flesh, Blood and Bones.

VII.  Now like to this is the Operation or Work of our Magistery, the Seed whereof (as the Philosophers say) is such that its progress and perfection consists in the fire, which is the cause of its Life and Death.

VIII.  Nor is there any thing which comes between the Body and the Spirit, but the fire; nor is there any thing mingled therewith, but the fire which brings the Magistery to its perfection; this is the truth which I have told you, and I have both seen and done it.

Chapter XXVI

Of Subtilization, Solution, Coagulation and Commixion of the Stone

I.  Now except you subtilize the Body till it becomes water, it will not corrupt and putrefy, nor can it congeal the Fugitive Souls when the fire touches them; for the fire is that which by its force and spirit congeals and unties them.

II.  In like manner the Philosophers commanded to dissolve the Bodies, to the end that the heat might enter into their Bowels, or inward parts: So we return to dissolve these Bodies, and congeal them after their solution, with that things which comes near to it, till all the things mixed together by an apt and fixt commixtion, in proportional quantities, are firmly conjoined together.

III.  Wherefore we joyn Fire and Water, Earth and Air together, mixing the thick with the thin, and the thin with the thick, so as they may abide together, and their Natures may be changed the one to the other, and made like, and one thing in the compound which before were simple.

IV.  Because that part which generates or ferments, bestows its virtue upon the subtil and thin, which is the Air; for like cleaves to its like, and is a part of the Generation, from whence it receives power to move and ascend upwards.

V.  Cold has power over the thick matter, because it has lost its heat, and the water is gone out of it; and the dryness appears upon it. This moisture departs by ascending up; and the subtil part of the Air has mingled itself with it, for that it is like unto it, and of the same nature.

VI.  Now when the thick body has lost its heat and moisture, and that the cold and dryness has power over it; and that their parts have mixed themselves, by being first divided, and that there is no moisture left to joyn the parts divided, the parts withdraw themselves.

VII.  And then the part which is contrary to cold, by reason it has continued, and sent its heat and decoction to the cold parts of the Earth, having power over them, and exercising such dominion over the coldness which was hidden in the said thick Body; that, by virtue of its generative power, changes the thick cold Body, and makes it become subtil and hot, and then strives to dry it up again by its heat.

VIII.  But afterwards, the subtil part (which causes the Natures to ascend), when it has lost its Occidental heat, and waxed cold, then the Natures are changes, and become thick, and descend to the center, where the earthly Natures are joined together, which were subtilized, and converted in their generation, and imbibed in them.

IX.  And so the moisture joyneth together the parts divided: But the Earth labours to dry up that moisture, compassing it about, and hindering it for going out; by means whereof, that which before lay hid, does now appear; nor can the moisture be separated, but is held fast, and firmly retained by dryness.

X.  In like manner we see, that whatsoever is in the World is held or retained by or with its contrary, as heat with cold, and dryness with moisture: thus when each of them has besieged its Companion, the thin is mixed with the thick, and those things are made one substance, viz., their hot and moist Soul, and their cold and dry Body, are united, and made one.

XI.  Then it strives to dissolve and subtilize by its heat and moisture, which is the Soul; and the Body labours to enclose, and retain the hot and moist Soul in its cold and dry substance. And in this manner is their Virtues and Properties altered and changed from one thing to another.

XII.  I have told you the Truth, which I have seen, and my own self has done: And therefore I charge you to change or convert the Natures from their Substances and Subtilities, with heat and moisture, into their Substances and Colours. If you proceed aright in this Work, you must not pass the bounds I have set you in this Book.

Chapter XXVII

The Manner of Fixation of the Spirit, Decoction, Trituration and Washing

I.  When the Body is mingled with moisture, and that the heat of the fire meets therewith, the moisture is converted into the Body, and dissolves it, and then the Spirit cannot go forth, because it is imbibed with the Fire.

II.  The Spirits are fugitive, so long as the Bodies are mixed with them, and strive to resist the fire, its heat and flame, and therefore these parts can scarcely agree without a good and continua Operation, and a steadfast, permanent, and natural heat.

III.  For the nature of the Soul is to ascend upwards, where its Center is; and he that is not able to joyn two or more divers things together, whose Centers are divers, knows nothing of this Work.

IV.  But this must be done after the conversion of their Natures, and change of their Substances, and matter, from their natural Properties, which is difficult to find out.

V.  Whoever therefore can convert or change the Soul into the Body, and the Body into the Soul, and therewith mingle the subtil and volatile Spirits, they shall be able to tinge any Body.

VI.  You must also understand, that Decoction, Contrition, Cibation, Mundification, and Ablution, with Sweet Water, are most necessary, to the Secret of our Magistery.

VII.  And if you bestow pains herein, you may cleanse it purely; for you must clear it from its blackness and darkness, which appear in the Operation.

VIII.  And you must subtilize the Body to the highest point of Volatility and Subtility; and then mix therewith the Souls dissolved, and the Spirits cleansed, and so digest and decoct, to the perfection of the matter.

Chapter XXVIII

Of the Fire Fit for this Work

I.  You must not be unacquainted with the strength and proportion of the fire, for the perfection or destruction of our Stone depends thereupon: For Plato said, The fire gives profit to that which is perfect, but brings hurt and destruction to that which is Corrupt.

II.  So that when its quantity or proportion shall be fit and convenient, your Work will thrice prosper, and goon as it ought to do: but if it exceed the measure, it shall without measure corrupt and destroy it.

III.  And for this cause it was requisite that the Philosophers have instituted several proofs of the strength of their Fires; that they might prevent and hinder their burning, and the hurt of a violent heat.

IV.  In Hermes it is said, I am afraid, Father, of the Enemy in my house: To whom he made answer: Take the dog of Corascene, and the bitch of Armenia, and joyn them together; so shall you have a Dog of the colour of Heaven.

V.  Dip him once in the Water of the Sea; so will he become thy Friend, and defend thee from thine Enemy, and shall go along with thee, and help thee, and defend thee where ever thou goest, nor shall he ever forsake thee, but shall abide with thee forever.

VI.  Now Hermes meant by the Dog and Bitch, such Powers or Spirits as have power to preserve Bodies, from the hurt, strength, or force of the Fire.

VII.  And these things are Waters of Calxes and Slats, the Composition whereof is to be found in the Writings of the Philosophers, who have discoursed of this magistery; among whom, some of them have named Sea-water, Virginís Milk, Food of Birds, and the like.

Chapter XXIX

Of the Separation of the Elements

I.  Afterwards take this precious Stone (which the Philosophers have named, yet hidden and concealed) put it into a Curcuit with its Alembick, and divide its Natures, viz., the four Elements, the Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

II.  These are the Body and Soul, the Spirit and Tincture: when you have divided the Water from the Earth, and the Air from the Fire, keep each of them by themselves, and take that, which descends to the bottom of the Glass, being the Faeces, and wash it with a warm fire, till its blackness be gone, and its thickness be vanished.

III.  Then make it very white, causing the superfluous moisture to fly away, for then it shall be changed and become a white Calx, wherein there is no cloudy darkness, nor uncleanness, not contrariety.

IV.  Afterwards return it back to the first Natures which ascended from it, and purifie them likewise from uncleanness, blackness and contrariety.

V.  And reiterate these Works upon them so often, till they be subtilized, purified, and made thin, which when you have done, render up thanks and acknowledgements to the most Gracious God.

VI.  Know then that this Work is but one, and it produceth one Stone, into which Garib shall not enter, i.e., any strange or foreign thing. The Philosopher works with this, and therefrom proceeds a Medicine which gives perfection.

VII.  Nothing must be mingled therewith, either in part or whole: and this Stone is to be found at all times, and in everyplace, and about every Man; the search whereof is yet difficult to him that seeks it, wheresoever he be.

VIII.  This Stone is vile, black, and stinking; it costs nothing; it must be taken alone, I is somewhat heavy, and is called the Original of the World, because it rises up, like things that bud forth; this is the manifestation and appearance of it, to them that seek truly after it.

IX.  Take it therefore, and work it as the Philosopher has told you in the Book, where he speaks of it after this manner. Take the Stone and no Stone, or that which is not a Stone, neither of the nature of a Stone; it is a Stone whose Mine is in the top of the Mountains.

X.  By which the Philosopher understands animals, or living Creatures; whereupon he said, Son, go to the Mountains of India, and to its Caves, and take thence precious Stones, which will melt in the water, when they are put into it.

XI.  This Water is that which is taken from other Mountains and hollow places; they are Stones and no Stones, but we call them so, for the resemblance they have to Stones.

XII.  And you must know that the Roots of their Mines are in the Air, and their Tops in the Earth; and they make a noise when they are taken out of their places, and the noise is very great. Make use of them very suddenly, for otherwise they will quickly away.

Chapter XXX

Of the Commixion of the Elements which were Separated

I.  Now you must begin to commix the Elements which is the compass of the whole Work; there can be no commixtion without a Marriage and putrefaction. The Marriage is to mingle the thin with the thick; and Putrefaction is to roast, grind, water or imbibe so long, till all be mixt together and become one, so that there be no diversity in them, nor separation, as in water mixed with water.

II.  Then will the thick strive to retain the thin, and the Soul shall strive with the fire, and endeavor to sustain it, then shall the Spirit suffer it self to be swallowed up by the Bodies, and be poured forth into them: which must needs be, because the dissolved body, when it is commixed with the Soul, is also commixed with every part thereof.

III.  And other things enter into other things, according to their similitude and likeness, and both are changed into one and the same thing: For this cause the Soul must partake with the conveniency, propensity, durability, hardness, corporeity, and permanency, which the body had in its complexion.

IV.  The like also must happen to the spirit in this state or condition of the Soul and Body: For when the Spirit shall be commixt with the Soul by a laborious operation, and all its parts wit all the parts of the other two, viz., of the Soul and Body; then shall the Spirit and the said two, be changed into an inseparable substance, whose natures are preserved, and their particles, agreed and conjoined perfectly together.

V.  Whereby it comes to pass, that when this Compositum has met with a body dissolved, and that heat has got hold of it, and that the moisture which was in it is swallowed up in the dissolved body, and has passed into it (into its most inward parts) and united or conjoined itself with that which was of the nature of moisture, it becomes inflamed, and the fire defends itself with it.

VI.  Then when the fire would enflame it, it will not suffer the said fire to take hold of it, to wit, to cleave to it, i.e., to the Spirit commixt with the water: The fire will not abide by it until it be pure.

VII.  And in like manner does the Water naturally fly from the Fire, of which when the fire takes hold, it does by little and little evaporate.

VIII.  And thus is the Body the means to retain the Water, and the Water to retain the Oyl, that it might not burn and consume away, and the Oyl to retain the Tincture; which is the absolute matter and cause, to make the colours appear in that, wherein otherwise there would be neither light nor life.

IX.  This then is the true life and perfection of this great work, even the work of our Magistery, which we seek after: Be wise and understand, search diligently, and through the goodness and permission of God, you shall find what you look for.

Chapter XXXI

Of the Solution of the Stone Compounded, and Coagulation of the Stone Dissolved

I.  The Philosophers take great pains in dissolving, that the Body and Soul might the better be incorporated and united: for all those things which are in Contrition, Assation, and Rigation, have a certain affinity and Alliance between themselves.

II.  So that the fire may hurt or spoil the weaker principle in nature, till it be utterly destroyed, and vanish away, and then it turns itself also upon the stronger parts, till it divests the Body of the Soul, and so spoils al.

III.  But when they are this dissolved and congealed, they take one anotherís parts, striving in each otherís mutual defense, as well the great as the small, and they incorporate and joyn them well together, till they be converted and changed into one and the same thing.

IV.  When this is done, the fire takes as much from the Soul as it does from the Body, nor can it hurt the one more than the other, neither more nor less, which is a cause of perfection.

V.  For this reason it is necessary, in teaching the composition of the Elixir, to afford one place for expounding the solution of simple Bodies and Souls; because Bodies do not enter into Souls, but do rather prevent and hinder them from Sublimation, Fixation, Retention, Commixtion and the like Operations, except purification go before.

VI.  Now understand that Solution is done by one of these two ways; either by extracting the inward parts of things unto their Superficies (an Example whereof we have in Silver, which seems cold and dry, but being dissolved so that the inward parts appear outward, it is hot and moist).

VII.  Or else to reduce it to an accidental moisture which it had not before, to be added to its own natural humidity; by which means its parts are dissolved: and this is likewise called Solution.

VIII.  But as to Congelation, the Philosophers have said: Congeal in a Bath, with a good Congelation: This I tell you is Sulphur shining in Darkness, a Red Hyacinth, a fiery and deadly Poyson, the Elixir, the which there is nothing better, a Lyon, a Conqueror, a Malefactor, a cutting Sword, a healing Antidote, which cure all infirmities and Diseases.

IX.  And Geber, the Son of Hayen, said: That all the Operations of this magistery are comprehended under these six things: (1) To make fly, or ascend, or sublime. (2) To melt or liquefy. (3) To incinerate. (4) To make white as Marble. (5) To dissolve. (6) To congeal.

X.  To make fly, is to drive away and remove blackness and foulness from the Spirit and Soul; to melt is to make the body liquid: To incinerate, is properly to subtilize the Body: To whiten, is to melt speedily: To dissolve is to separate the parts: And to congeal is to mix, joyn, and fix the Body with the Soul already prepared.

XI.  Again, to fly, or to ascend, appertains to both Body and Soul; to melt, to increase, to whiten and to dissolve, are accidents that belong to the Body: But congelation or fixation, only belongs to, and is the property of, the Soul: Be wise, understand, and learn.

Chapter XXXII

That Our Stone is but One, and of the Nature Thereof

I.  When it was demanded of Bauzan, a Greek Philosopher, whether a stone may be made of a thing which buddeth? Answereth, Yea, viz., the first two stones, to with, the Stone Alcali, and our Stone, which is the Workmanship and Life of him who knows and understands it.

II.  But he that is ignorant of it, who has not made, not knows how it is generated, supposing it to be no Stone, or apprehends not in his own mind, all the things I have spoken of it, and yet will attempt to compose it, spends away foolishly his precious time, and loses his Money.

III.  Except he finds out this precious Treasure, he finds indeed nothing, there is no second thing or matter, that can rise up and take its place, or stand itself instead thereof; there is no other Natures that can triumph over it.

IV.  Much heat is the nature thereof, but with a certain temperature: If by this saying, you come to know it, you will reap profit; but if yet you remain ignorant, you will lose all your labour.

V.  It has many singular Properties and Virtue in curing the Infirmities of Bodies, and their accidental Diseases, and preserves found Substance, so that there appears not in them any Heterogenities, or Contrarities: No possibility of the dissolution of their Union.

VI.  It is the Sapo, or Soap of Bodies, yea, their Spirit and Soul, which when it is incorporate with them, dissolves them without any loss.

VII.  This is the Life of the Dead, and their Resurrection; a Medicine preserving Bodies, cleansing them, and purging away their Superfluities.

VIII.  He that understands, let him understand, and he that is ignorant, let him be ignorant still: For this Treasure is not to be bought with Money, and as it cannot be bought, so neither can it be sold.

IX.  Conceive therefore its Virtue and Excellency aright, consider its value and Worth, and then begin to Work: How excellently speaks a Learned Philosopher to this purpose?

X.  God (saith he) gives thee not this Magistery for thy sole Courage, Boldness, Strength or Wisdom, without any labour; but thou must labour, that God may give thee success. Adore then God Almighty the Creator of all things, who is pleased thus to favour the, with so great, and so precious a Treasure.

Chapter XXXIII

The Way and Manner to Make the Stone Both White and Red

I.  When you attempt to do this, take this our precious Stone and put it into a Curcurbit, covering it with an Alembick, which c lose well with Lutum Sapientiae, and set it in horse dung, and fixing a Receiver to it, distill the matter into the Receiver, till all the water is come over, and the moisture dryed up, and dryness prevail over it.

II.  Then take it out dry, reserving the water that is distilled for a future occasion; take, I say, the dry body, that remained in the bottom of the Curcurbit, and grind it, and put it into a Vessel answerable in magnitude to the quantity of the Medicine.

III.  Bury it in as very hot Horse-dung as you can get, the vessel being well luted with Lutum Sapientiae: And in this manner let it digest. But when you perceive the Dung to grow cold, get other fresh Dung which is very hot, and put your vessel therein to digest as before.

IV.  Thus shall you do for the space of 40 days, renewing your Dung soften as the occasion or reason of the Work shall require, and the Medicine shall dissolve of itself and become a thick White water.

V.  Which when you shall see, you shall weigh it, and put thereto half so much by weight of the water which you reserved; close and lute your vessel well with Lutum Sapientiae, and put it again into hot Horse-dung (which is hot and moist) to digest, not omitting to renew the dung when it begins to cool, till the course of 40 days be expired.

VI.  So will your Medicine be coagulated in the like number of days, as before it was dissolved in.

VII.  Again, take it, weight it justly, and according to its quantity, add to it of the reserved water you made before, grind the Body, and subtilize it, and put the water upon it, and set it in hot Horse-dung for a Week and a half or ten days; then take it out, and thou shall see that the Body has already drunk up the Water.

VIII.  Afterwards, grind it again, and put thereto the like Quantity of your reserved water as you did before; bury it in very hot Horse-dung, and leave it therefore ten days more, take it out again, and you shall see that the Body has already drunk up the Water.

IX.  Then (as before), grind it, putting thereto of the aforesaid Water, the aforesaid quantity, and bury it in like manner in hot Horse-dung, digesting it ten days longer, then taking it forth, and this do the fourth time also.

X.  Which done, take it forth and grind it, and bury it in Horse-dung, till it be dissolved: Afterwards, take it out and reiterate the work once more, for then the birth Will be perfect and the Work ended.

XI.  Now when this is done, and you have brought forth your matter to this great perfection, then take of Lead or Steel 250 Drams, melt, and caste thereon 1 Dram of Cinnabar, to wit, of this our Medicine thus perfected, ad it shall fix the Lead or Steel that it shall not fly the fire.

XII.  It shall make it white, and cleanse it from all its dross and blackness, and convert it into a Tincture perpetually abiding.

XIII.  Then take a Dram from these 250 Drams, and project it upon 250 Drams of Steel, or Copper, and it shall whiten it and convert it into Silver, better than that of the Mine; which is the greatest and last Work of the White which it performs.

XIV.  To convert the said Stone into Red. And if you desire to convert this Magistery into Sol, or Gold, take of this Medicine thus perfected (at # 10 above), the weight of one Dram (after the manner of the former example), and put it into a Vessel and bury it in Horse-dung for 40 days till it be dissolved.

XV.  Then give it the Water of the dissolved Body to drink, first as much as amounts to half its weight, afterwards bury it in hot Horse-dung, digesting it until it is dissolved, as aforesaid.

XVI.  Then proceeding this Golden Work, as before in the Silver, and you shall have fine Gold, even pure Gold. Keep (my son), this most secret Book, containing the Secret of Secrets, reserving it from Ignorant and Profane Hands, so shall you obtain your desire.


Chapter XXXIV

Kalidís Secret of Secrets, or Stone of the Philosophers Explicated

I.  If you would be so happy as to obtain the Blessing of the Philosophers, as God doth live forever, so let this verity live with you. Now the Philosophers say it abides in the Shell, and contains in itself both White and Red, the one is called Masculine, the other Feminine; and they are Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral, the like of which is not found in the World besides.

II.  It has power both Active and Passive in it, and has also in it a substance dead and living, Spirit and Soul, which, among the ignorant, the Philosophers call the most vile thing: It contains in itself the four Elements which are found in its Skirts, and may be commonly bought for a small price.

III.  It ascends by itself, it waxes black, it descends and waxes white, increases and decreases of itself: It is a matter which the Earth brings forth, and descends from Heaven, grows pale and red, is born, dieth, rises again, and afterwards lives forever.

IV.  By many ways it is brought to its end, but its proper decoction is by a fire, soft, mean, strong, by various degrees augmented, until you are certain it is quietly fixed with the Red in the fire. This is the Philosophersí Stone.

V.  Read, and read again, so will all things become more clear to you: But if hereby understand not the matter, you are withheld by the Chains of Ignorance; for you shall never otherwise know or learn this Art.

VI.  Hermes saith, The Dragon is not killed, but by his Brother and his Sister; not by one of them alone, but by both together: Note these things: There are three heads, yet but one Body, one Nature, and one Mineral: This is sufficient for you if you have a disposition to understand this Art.

VII.  The Dragon is not mortified, nor made fixed but with Sol and Luna and by no other: In the Mountains of Bodies, in the Plains of Mercury, look for it, there this Water is created, and by the concourse of these two, and is called by the Philosophers, their permanent or fixed Water.

VIII.  Our sublimation is to decoct the Bodies with Golden Water, to dissolve, to liquifie, and to sublime them: Our Calcination is to purifie and digest in four ways, and not otherwise, by which many have been deceived in Sublimation.

IX.  Know also that our Brass or Latten, is the Philosophers Gold, is the true Gold: But you strive to expel the Greenness, thinking that our Latten, or Brass, is a Leprous Body, because of that Greenness, but I tell you that that Greenness is all that is perfect therein and all that is perfect, is in that Greenness only which is in our Latten or Brass.

X.  For that Greenness by our Magistery is in a very little time transmuted into the most fine Gold: And of this thing we have experience, which you may try by the following directions.

XI.  Take burnt, or calcined Brass, and perfectly rubified: Grind it, and decoct it with Water, seven times, as much every time as it is able to drink, in all the ways of Rubifying and Assating it again.

XII.  Then make it to descend and its green color will be made Red, and as clear as a Hyacinth; and so much redness will descend with it, that it will be able to tinge Argent Vive in some measure, with the very color of Gold; all which we have done and perfected, and is indeed a very Great Work.

XIII.  Yet, you cannot prepare the Stone by any means, with any green and moist liquor, which is found and brought forth in our Minerals; this blessed might, power or virtue, which generates all things, will not yet cause a vegetation, springing, budding forth, or fruitfulness, unless there be a Green color.

XIV.  Wherefor the Philosophers call it their Bud, and their Water of Purification or Putrefaction; and they say truth herein; for with its water it is putrefied, and purified, washed from its blackness and made White.

XV.  And afterwards, it is made the highest Red; whereby you may learn and understand, that no true Tincture is made but with our Brass or Latten.

XVI.  Decoct it therefore with its Soul, till the Spirit be joined with its Body, and be made one, so shall you have your desire.

XVII.  The Philosophers have spoken of this under many Names, but know certainly that it is but one matter which does cleave or joyn itself to Argent Vive, and to Bodies, which you shall have the true signs of: Now you must know what Argent Vive will cleave or perfectly joyn and unite itself to.

XVIII.  That the Argent Vive will cleave, joyn or unite itself to Bodies is false: And they err who think they understand that pace in Geber of Argent Vive, where he saith, When in searching among other things, you shall not find by our Invention, any matter to be more agreeable to Nature, than Argent Vive of the Bodies.

XIX.  By Argent Vive in this place is understood Argent Vive Philosophical; and it is that Argent Vive only which sticks to, and is fixed in, and with the Bodies: The old Philosophers could find no other matter; nor can the Philosophers now invent nay other matter or thing, which will abide with the Bodies, but this Philosophic Argent Vive only.

XX.  That common Argent Vive does not stick or cleave to the Bodies is evident by Experience, for if common Argent Vive be joined to the Bodies, it abides in its proper nature, or flys away, not being able to transmute the Body into its own nature and substance, and therefore does not cleave unto them.

XXI.  For this cause, many are deceived in working with the vulgar Quicksilver; For our Stone, that is to say, our Argent Vive accidental, does exalt itself far above mores fine Gold, and does overcome it, and kill it, and then makes it alive again.

XXII.  And this Argent Vive, is the father if all the Wonderful things of this our Magistery, and is congealed, and is both Spirit and Body: This is the Argent Vive which Geber speaks of, the consideration of which is of moment, for that it is the very matter which does make perfect.

XXIII.  It is a chosen pure substance of Argent Vive; but out of what matter it is chiefly to be drawn, is a thing to be inquired into. To which we say, That it can only be drawn out of that matter in which it is: Consider therefore, my son, and see from whence that Substance is, taking that and nothing else: By no Principle can you obtain this Magistery.

XXIV.  Nor could the Philosophers ever find any other matter, which would continually abide the fire, but this only, which is of an Unctuous substance perfect and incombustible.

XXV.  And this matter, when it is prepared as it ought, will transmute or change all Bodies of a Metallick substance, which it is rightly projected upon, into the most perfect Sol or most pure fine Gold; but more easily, and above all other Bodies, Luna.

XXVI.  Decoct first with Wind or Air, and afterwards without Wind, until you have drawn forth the Venom (or Virtue) which is called the Soul, out of your matter; this is that which you seek, the everlasting Aqua Vitae, which cures all diseases. Now the whole Magistery is in the Vapour.

XXVII.  Let the body be put into a fire for 40 days, of Elemental heat: and in that decoction of 40 days, the Body will rejoice with the Soul, and the Soul will rejoice with the Body and Spirit, and the Spirit will rejoice with the Body and Soul, and they will be fixed together, and dwell with one another, in which Life they will be made perpetual and immortal without separation forever.

Chapter XXXV.

A Further Explication of This Matter

I.  Our Medicine is made of 3 things, viz., of a Body, Soul, and Spirit. There are two bodies, to wit Sol and Luna: Sol is a Tincture, wherewith imperfect bodies are tinged into Sol; and Luna tingeth into Luna; for nature brings forth only its like, a Man a Man, a Horse a Horse, and etc.

II.  We have named the bodies which serve to this Work, of which some are called ferment; for as a little leaven leavens the whole lump so Sol and Luna, Leaven Mercury as their Meal into their Nature and Virtue.

III.  If it be demanded why Sol and Luna, having a prefixed Tincture do not yet tinge imperfect Metals? I answer: A Child though born of human kind, acts not the Man, it must first be nourished and bred up till it comes to Maturity: So it is with Metals also; they cannot show their power and force, unless they be first reduced from their Terrestreity to a Spirituality, and nourished and fed in their Tinctures through heat and humidity.

IV.  For the Spirit is of the same matter and nature with our Medicine: We say our Medicines are of a fiery nature, and much subtiler, but of themselves, they cannot be subtil nor simple, but must be maturated, or ripened with subtil and penetrating things.

V.  Earth of itself is not subtil, but may be made so through moist water, which is dissolving, and makes an ingress for Sol, tht it may penetrate the Earth, and with its heat make the earth subtile; and in this way the Earth must be subtilized so long, till it be made as subtil as a Spirit, which then is the Mercury, more dissolving than common water, and apt to dissolve the said Metals, and that through the heat of fire, to penetrate and subtilize.

VI.  There are several Spirits, as Mercury, Sulphur, Orpiment, Arsenick, Antimony, Nitre, Sal-armoniack, Tutia, Marcasites, etc., but Mercury is a better Spirit than all others; for being put into the fire they are carried away, and we know not what becomes of them: But Mercury, as it is much subtiler, clearer, and penetrative, so it is joined to the Metals, and changed into them, whereas the others burn and destroy, making them more gross than they were before.

VII.  Now Mercury is of such a subtil nature, that it transmutes Metal into simple and pure substances as itself is, and attracts them to itself: But no Metal can be transmuted by any of the other Spirits, but they burn it to Earth and Ashes: Which Mercury becomes impalpable, and therefore is called Argent Vive.

VIII.  We take nothing else to subtilize metals, to make them penetrative, or to tinge other Metals: Some call it Argent Vive, or a Water, an Acetum, a Poyson, because it destroys imperfect Bodies, dividing them into several parts and forms; our Medicine is made of two things, viz., of Body and Spirit: And this is true, that all Metals have but one Root and Original.

IX.  But why cannot this Medicine be made of the two compounded together? I answer: It may be made of all these together; but they must be reduced into a Mercury, which would be difficult of the shortness of Manís Life: Therefore we take the next matter, which are the two aforesaid things, viz., Body and Spirit.

X.  Some Philosophers say, our Medicine is made of four things, and so it is: For in Metals, and their Spirits are the four Elements. Others say true also, That Metals must be turned into Argent Vive: Here many learned and Wise Men err, and lose themselves in this path. Thus far of the matter of which our Medicine is made, or with which it is joined: Now of the Vessels.

XI.  The Vessel ought to resemble the Firmament, to enclose and encompass the whole Work: For our Medicine is nothing else but a change of Elements one into another, which is done by the motion of the Firmament; for which reason it must needs be round and circular.

XII.  The other, or second Vessel, must also be round, and be less than the outward Vessel: 6 or 7 inches high, called a containing Curcurbit; on which you must place an Alembick or Head, through which the Vapors may ascend, which must be well luted, with Lute made of Meal, sifted Ashes, Whites of Eggs, etc., or of Meal, Calx Vive, and j. part tempered with whites Or eggs which you must immediately use: Lute it so well, that no Spirits may fly away; the loss of which prejudice your Work extremely; therefore be wary.

XIII.  The Furnace or Oven must be round, 12 or 14 inches high, and 6 to 7 inches broad, and 3 or 4 inches in thickness to keep in the heat the better.

XIV.  Our matter is generated through, or by the help of the heat of the fire, through the Vapour of the Water, and also of the mercury, which must be nourished; be wise and consider, and meditate well upon the matter.

XV.  Now in order to this work, there is (1) Dissolution. (2) Separation. (3) Sublimation. (4) Fixation, or Congelation. (5) Calcination. (6) Ingression.

XVI.  Dissolution is the changing of a dry thing into a moist one, and belongs only to Bodies, as to Sol and Luna, which serve for your Art: For a Spirit needs only to be dissolved, being a liquid thing of itself; but Metals are gross and dry, and of a gross nature, and therefore must be subtilized.

XVII.  First, because unless they be subtilized through dissolution, they cannot be reduced into water, and made to ascend through the Alembick, to be converted into Spirit, whose remaining forces are reserved for a farther use.

XVIII.  Secondly, because the Body and Spirit must be made indivisible and one: For no gross matter joyns or mixes with a Spirit, unless it be first subtilized and reduced into Argent Vive, then the one embraces the other inseparably. For Argent Vive meeting with a thing like itself, rejoyceth in it; and the dissolved Body embraces the Spirit, and suffers it not to fly away, making it to endure the fire; and it rejoices because it has found an equal, viz., one like itself, and of the same nature.

XIX.  Dissolution is thus done: Take Leaves of Sol, or Luna, to which add a good quantity of pure Mercury; putting in the Leaves by little and little, into a Vessel places in so gentle a heat, that the mercury may not fume: when all is dissolved, and the Mass seems to be one Homogene body, you have done well: If there be any faeces, or matter undissolved, add more Mercury, till all seems to be melted together.

XX.  Take the matter thus dissolved, set it in B.M. for 7 days, then let it cool: and strain all through a Cloth or Skin; if all goes through, the dissolution is perfect; if not, you must begin again, and add more Mercury, so long till all be dissolved.

XXI.  Separation is the dividing or a thing into parts, as of pure from impure. We take our dissolved matter, and put it into the smaller Vessel which stands in the Curcurbit, well luting to the Alembick, and setting it in ashes, continuing the fire for a Week: One part of the Spirit sublimes, which we call the Spirit or Water, and is the subtilest part; the other which is not yet subtil, sticks about the Curcurbit, and some of it falls as it were to the bottom, which is warm and moist, this we call the Air. And a third part remaining in the bottom of the inner Vessel, which is yet grosser, may be called the Earth.

XXII.  Each of these we put into a Vessel apart; but to the third we put more mercury, and proceed as before, reserving always each principle or Element apart by itself, and thus proceeding, till nothing remains in the inner Vessel, but a black powder, which we call the black Earth, and is the dregs of Metals, and the thing causing the obstruction, that the Metals cannot be united with the Spirit; this black powder is of no use.

XXIII.  Having thus separated the four Elements from the metals, or divided them, you may demand, What then is the fire, which is one of these four? To which I Answer: That the Fire and Air are of one nature, and are mixed together, and changed the one into the other; and in the dividing of the Elements, they have their natural force and power, as in the whole, so in the parts.

XXIV.  We call that Air which remained in the bigger Vessel, because it is more hot than moist, cold or dry: The same understand of the other Elements. Hence Plate saith, We turned the moist into dry, and the dry we made moist, and we turned the Body into Water and Air.

XXV.  Sublimation is the ascending from below upwards, the subtil matter arising, leaving the gross matter still below, as he said before in the changing of the Elements: Thus the matter must be subtilized, which is not subtil enough, all which must be done through heat and moisture, viz., through Fire and Water.

XXVI.  You must then take the thing which remained in the greater Vessel, and put it to other fresh Mercury, that it may be well dissolved and subtilized: set it in B.M. for three days as before. We mention not the quantity of Mercury, but leave that to your discretion, taking as much as you need, that you may make it fusible, and clear like a Spirit. But you must not take too much of the Mercury, lest it become a Sea; then you must set it again to sublime, as formerly, and do this Work so often, till you have brought it through the Alembick, and it be very subtil, one united thing, clear, pure, and fusible.

XXVII.  Then we put it again into the inner Vessel, and let it go once more through the Alembick, to see whether any thing be left behind; which if so, to the same we add more Mercury, till it becomes all one thing; and leaves no more sediment, and be separated from all its Impurity and Superfluity.

XXVIII.  Thus we have made out of two, only one thing, viz., out of Body and Spirit, one only cogenerous substance, which is a Spirit and light; the Body, which before was heavy and fixed, ascending upwards, is become light and volatile, and a mere Spirit: Thus have we made a Spirit out of a Body, we must now make a Body out of a Spirit, which is the one thing.

XXIX.  Fixation or Congelation is the making the flowing and volatile matter fixt, and able to endure the fire; and this is the changing of the Spirit into a Body: We before turned the dryness and the Body, into moistness and a Spirit; now we must turn the Spirit into a Body, making that which ascended to stay below; that is, we must make it a thing fixed, according to the Sayings of the Philosophers, reducing each Element into its contrary, you will find what you seek after, viz., making a fixt thing to be volatile, and a volatile fixt; this can only be done through Congelation, by which we turn the Spirit into a Body.

XXX.  But how is this done? We take a little of the ferment, which is made of our Medicine be it Luna or Sol; as if you have 10 ounces of the Medicine, you take but 1 ounce of the ferment, which must be foliated; and this ferment we amalgamate with the matter which you had before prepared, the same we put into the Glass Vial with a long Neck, and see it in warm Ashes: Then to the said ferment, add the said Spirit which you drew through the Alembick, so much as may overtop it the height of 2 or 3 inches; put to it a good fire for 3 days, then will the dissolved Body find its Companion, and they will embrace each other.

XXXI.  Then the gross ferment, laying hold of the subtil ferment, attracts the same, joyns itself with it, and will not let it go; and the dissolved Body, which is now subtil, keeps the Spirit, for that they are of equal subtility, and like one to another; and are become so one and the same thing, that the fire can never be able to separate any more.

XXXII.  By this means you come to make one thing like another; the ferment becomes the abiding place of the subtil body, and the subtil body the habitation of the Spirit, that it may not fly away. Then we make a Fire for a Week, more or less, till we see the matter congealed: which time is longer or shorter, according to the condition of the Vessel, Furnaces, and Fires you make use of.

XXXIII.  When you see the Matter Coagulated, put of the above said Matter or Spirit to it, to over it two or three inches, which digest as before, till it be coagulated also, and thus proceed, till all the Matter or Spirit be congealed. This Secret of the Congelation, the Philosophers have concealed in their Books, none of them that we know of having disclosed it, except only Larkalix, who composed it in many Chapters; and also revealed it unto me, without any Reservation or Deceit.

XXXIV.  Calcination. We take the known Matter, and put it into a Vesica, setting a Head upon it, and luting it well, put it into a Sand Furnace, making a continued great Fire for a Week: then the Volatile ascends into the Alembic which we call Avis Hermetis; that which remains in the bottom of the Glass, is like Ashes or sifted Earth, called, the Philosophers Earth, out of which they make their Foundation, and out of which they make their increase or augmentation, through heat and moisture.

XXXV.  This Earth is composed of four Elements, but are not contrary one to another, for their contrariety is changed to an agreement, unto an homogene and uniform nature: Then we take the moist part, and reserve it a part to a farther use. This Earth, or Ashes (which is a very fixed thing) we put into a very strong Earthen Pot or Crucible, to which we lute its Cover, to which we lute its Cover, and set it in a calcining Furnace, or Reverbaratory, for 3 days, so that it always red hot: Thus we make of a Stone, a white Calx; and of things of an earthy and watery nature, a fiery nature: For every Calx is of a fiery nature, which is hot and dry.

XXXVI.  We have brought things to the nature of fire; we must now further subtilize the four Elements; we take apart, a small quantity of this Calx, viz., a fourth part: The other we set to dissolve with a good quantity of fresh Mercury, even as we had done formerly (in all the Processes of the aforegoing Paragraphs) and so proceed on from time to time, till it is wholly dissolved.

XXXVII.  Now that you may change the fixt into a Volatile, that is, Fire into Water, know, that the which was of the Nature of Fire, is now become the nature of Water; and the fixt thereby is made volatile and very subtil. Take of this water one part, put it to the reserved Calx; and add to it as much of the water, as may over top the Calx; and add to it as much of the water, as may over top the Calx 2 or 3 inches, making a fire under it for 3 days; thus it congeals sooner than at first, for Calx is hot and dry, and drinks up the humidity greedily.

XXXVIII.  This Congelation must be continued till all be quite congealed; afterwards you must calcine it as formerly; being quite calcined, it is called the quintessence, because it is of a more subtil nature than fire, and because of the Transmutation formerly made. All this being done our Medicine is finished, and nothing but Ingression is wanting, viz., that the matter may have an Ingress into Imperfect Metals.

XXXIX.  Plato, and many other Philosophers, began this Work again, with dissolving, subliming, or subtilizing, congealing, and calcining, as at first. But this our Medicine, which we call a ferment, transmutes Mercury into its own nature, in which it is dissolved and sublimed. They say also, our Medicine transmutes infinitely imperfect Metals, and that he who attains once to the perfection of it, shall never have any need to make more, all which is philosophically to be understood, as to the first Original Work.

XL.  Seeing then that our Medicine transmutes imperfect Metals into Sol and Luna, according to the nature and form of the matter out of which it is made; therefore we now a second time say, That this our Medicine is of that nature, that it transmutes or changes, converts, divides asunder like fire, and is of a more subtil nature than fire, being of the nature of a quintessence as aforesaid, converting Mercury, which is an imperfect substance, into its own nature, turning the grossness of Metal into Dust and Ashes, as you see fire, which does not turn all things into its nature, but that which is homogene with it, turning the heterogene matter into Ashes.

XLI.  We have taught how a Body is to be changed into a Spirit; and again how the Spirit is to be turned into a Body, viz., how the fixed is made volatile, and the volatile fixed again: How the Earth is turned into Water and Air, and the Air into Fire, and the Fire into Earth again: Then the Earth into Fire, and the Fire into Air, and the Air into Water; and the Water again into Earth. Now the Earth which was of the nature of Fire, is brought to the nature of a quintessence.

XLII.  Though we have taught the ways of transmuting, performed through heat and moisture; making out of a dry a moist thing, and out of a moist a dry one: otherwise Natures which are of several Properties, or Families, could not be brought to one uniform thing, if the one should be turned into the others nature.

XLIII.  And this is the perfection of the matter according to the advice of the Philosopher: Ascend from the Earth in Heaven and descend from the Heaven to the Earth; to the intent to make the body which is Earth, into a Spirit which is subtil, and then to reduce that Spirit which is subtil, and then to reduce that Spirit into a Body again which is gross, changing one Element into another, as Earth into Water, Water into Air, Air into Fire; and Fire again into Water, and Water into Fire: and that into a more subtil Nature and quintessence. Thus have you accomplished the Treasure of the whole World.

XLIV.  Ingression. Take Sulphur Vive, Melt it in an Earthen Vessel well glazed, and put to it a strong Lye made of Calx vive and Pot ashes: Boyl gentle together, so will an Oyl swim on the top, which take and keep: Having enough of it, mix it with Sand, distil it through an Alembic or Retort, so long till it becomes incombustible. With this Oyl we imbibe Our Medicine, which will be like Soap, then we distil by an Alembic, and cohobate 3 or 4 times, adding more Oyl to it, if it be not imbibed enough.

XLV.  Being thus imbibed, put fire under it, that the moisture may vanish, and the Medicine be fit and fusible, as the body of Glass. Then take the Avis Hermetis before reserved, and put it to it Gradatim, till it all becomes perfectly fixt.

XLVI.  Now according to Avicen, it is not possible to convert or transmute Metals, unless they be reduced to their first Matter; then by the help of Art they are transmuted into another Metal. The Alchymist does like the Physician, who first Purges off the Corrupt or Morbidic Matter, the Enemy to Manís Health, and then administers a Cordial to restore the Vital Powers: So we first Purge the Mercury and Sulphur in Metals, and then strengthen the Heavenly Elements in them, according to their various Preparations.

XLVII.  This Nature works farther by the help of Art, as her Instrument; and really makes the most pure and fine Sol and Luna: for as the heavenly Elemental Virtues work in natural Vessels; even so do the artificial, being made uniform, agreeable with nature; and as nature works by means of the heats of Fire and of the Bodies, so also Art worketh by a like temperate and proportionate fire, by the moving and living virtue in the matter.

XLVIII.  For the heavenly virtue, mixed with it at first, and inclinable to this or that is furthered by Art: Heavenly Virtues are communicated to their Subjects, as it is in all natural things, chiefly in things generated by putrefaction, where the Astral Influences are apparent according to the capacity of the matter.

XLIX.  The Alchymist imitates the same thing, destroying one form to beget another, and his Operations are best when they are according to nature, as by purifying the Sulphur, by digesting, subliming and purging Argent Vive, by an exact mixtion, with a Metallic matter; and thus out of their Principles, the form of every Metal is produced.

L.  The power and virtue of the converting Element must prevail, that the parts of it may appear in the converted Element; and being thus mixed with the Elementated thing, then that Element will have that matter which made it an Element, and the virtue of the other converting Element will be predominant and remain; this is the great Arcanum of the whole Art.

Chapter XXXVI

The Key Which Opens the Mystery of This Grand Elixir

I.  This is the true Copy of a Writing found in a Coffin upon the Breast of a Religious Man, by a Soldier making a Grave at Ostend, to bury some slain Soldiers, Anno 1450.

II.  My Dear Brother, if you intend to follow or study the Art of Alchymie, and work in it, let me give you warning, that you follow not the literal prescripts of Arnoldus nor Raymundus, not indeed of most other Philosophers, for in all their Books they have delivered nothing but figuratively; so that Men not only lose their time, but their Money also.

III.  I my self have studied in these Books for more than 30 Years, and never could find out the Secret or Mystery by them: But at length, through the goodness of God, I have found out one Tincture, which is good, true, and absolutely certain, and has restored to me my Credit and Reputation.

IV.  Not knowing (as I do) how much time you have lost, and what Wealth you have consumed being touched with it, as a Friend; and in regard of our faithful promise to each other in our beginning, to participate each of others Fortunes, I have thought it fit, here to persuade you, not to lose yourself any longer in the Books of the Philosophers, but to put you in the right way, which after long Wanderings I have found out, and now at this present, I on my Death Bed bequeath you.

V.  I advise you to take nothing from it, nor add any thing to it; but to do just as I have set it down, and observe these following directions; so will you succeed and prosper in the work.

VI.  First, Never work with a great Man, lest your life come into danger. (2) Let your Earthen Vessel be well made and strong lest you lose your Medicine. (3) Learn to know all your Materials, that you be not cheated with that which is sophisticated and worth nothing. (4) Let your Fire be neither stronger nor softer, but what is fit, and just as I have here directed. Let the Bellows and all the other Materials be your own. (6) Let no man come where you Work, and seem Ignorant to all such as shall enquire any thing of you touching the Secret. (7) Learn to know Metals well, especially Gold and Silver; and put them not into the Work till they be first purified by our own hands, as fine as may be. (8) Reveal not this Secret to any one, but let this Writing be Buried with you, giving a confirmed charge concerning the same to him you Trust. (9) Get a Servant that may be Trusty and Secret, and of a good Spirit, to attend you, but never leave him alone. (10) Lastly, when you have ended the Work, be Kind and Generous, Charitable to the Poor, publick Spirited, and return your Tribute of Thanks to the Great and most Merciful God, the Giver of all good Things.

VII.  Take mineral Quick Silver three pounds (made neither of Lead or Tin) and cause an Earthen Pot to be made, well burned the first time: glaze it all over except the bottom, the which anoint with hogs Grease, and it will not Glaze. This is done, that the Earth of the Quick Silver may sink to the bottom of the Pot, which it would not do, being glazed, nor become Earth again.

VIII.  The Pot must be made a good foot long, of the Fashion of an urinal, with a Pipe in the midst of it: The Furnace must be made on purpose, that the Pot may go in close to the sides of the Mouth of the Furnace: Set it on the Pot a good great Cap or Head, with its Receiver, without Luting of it, give it a good fire of Coals, till the Pot be all on fire and very red; then take the fire out quickly, and put in the Quicksilver at the Pipe, and then with as much haste as you can, stop it close with Lute.

IX.  Then will the Quick Silver by the heat and force it finds, both Break and Work; a part thereof you shall see in the Water, as it were a few drops; and a part will stick to the bottom of the Pot in black Earth: Now let the Pot cool within the Furnace, as it is, then open it, and you shall find the Quick Silver in it all Black, which you must take out, and wash very clean, and the Pot also.

X.  As for the Water which does distill out, put it aside, or cast it away, for it is worth nothing, because it is all Phlegm. Set the Pot into the Furnace again, and make it red hot; put in the Quicksilver, lute well the Pipe, and do as you did the first time, and do this so often, until the Mercury becomes no more black, which will be in ten or eleven times.

XI.  Then take it out, and you shall find the Mercury to be without Phlegm, but joined with Earth, of which two Qualities it must be freed, being  Enemies to Nature; thus the Quick Silver will remain pure, in color Celestial like to Azure, which you may know my this sign, viz., Take a piece of Iron, heat it red hot, and quench it in this Mercury, and it will become soft and white, like Luna.

XII.  Then put the Mercury into a Retort of Glass, between two Cups, so that it touches neither bottom or sides of the Cups, and make a good fire under it, and lay Embers on the top, the better to keep the heat of the fire; and in 40 hours the Mercury will Distill into a slimy Water (hanging together) which will neither wet your hands, nor any other things, but Metals only.

XIII.  This is the true Aqua Vitae of the Philosophers; the true Spirit so many have sought for, and which has been desired of all Wise Men, which is called the Essence, Quintessence, Powers, Spirit, Substance, Water and Mixture of mercury, and by many other the like Names, without strange things, and without offense to any Man.

XIV.  Save well this precious Liquor or Water, obscured by all Philosophers, for without it you can do no good or perfect Work: Let all other things go, and keep this only; for any one that sees this Water, if he has any Practice or Knowledge, will hold to it, for it is Precious and worth a Treasure.

XV.  Now resteth to make the Soul, which is the perfection of the Red, without which you can neither make Sol nor Luna, which shall be Pure and Perfect: With this Spirit you may make things Apparent and Fair, yea, most True and Perfect; all Philosophers affirm that the Soul is the substance, which sustains and preserves the Body, making it Perfect as long as it is in it.

XVI.  Our Body must have a Soul, otherwise it would neither move nor work; for which reason you must consider and understand, that all Metals are compounded of Mercury and Sulphur, Matter and Form; Mercury is the matter, and Sulphur is the Form. According to the pureness of Mercury and Sulphur, such is the Influence they assume.

XVII.  Thus Sol is engendered of most pure fine Mercury, and a pure red Sulphur, by the Influence of the Sun; and Luna is made of a pure fine Mercury, and a pure white Sulphur by the Influence of the Moon.

XVIII.  Thence it is that Luna is more pure than the other five Metals, which have need of cleansing; being cleansed, they need but only the pure Sulphur, with the help of Sol and Luna, Sulphur is the Form of Sol and Luna, and the other Metals; their other parts are gross matters of Sulphur and Mercury.

XIX.  Husband-men know many times more than we do: They when they reap their Corn growing on the Earth, gather it with the Straw and Ears. The Straw and Ears are the Matter, but the Corn or Grain is the Form or Soul.

XX.  Now when they sow their Corn, when they sow not the Matter, which is the Straw and the Chaff, but the Corn or Grain, which is the Form or Soul: So if we will reap Sol or Luna, we must use their Form or Soul, and not the matter.

XXI.  The Form or Soul is made by Godís help, after this manner. You must make a good Sublimate, that is seven times sublimed; the last time of the seven you must sublime it with Cinnabar without Vitriol, and it will be a certain Quintessence of the Sulphur of that Antimony.

XXII.  When this is done, take of the finest Sol one Ounce, or of the finest Luna as much, file it very fine, or else take leaf Gold or Silver; then take of the aforesaid Sublimate four ounces; sublime them together for the space of 16 hours; then let it cool again, and mix them all together, and sublime again: Do this four times, and the fourth time, it will have a certain Rundle, like unto the Matter of the White Rose, transparent and most clear as any Orient Pearl, weighing about Ounces.

XXIII.  The sublimate will stick to the brims and sides of the Vessel, and in the bottom it will be like good black Pitch, which is the Corruption of Sol and Luna.

XXIV.  Take the Rundle aforesaid, and dissolve it in most strong Spirit of Vinegar, two or three times, by putting it into an Urinal, and setting it in B.M. for the space of three days every time pouring it into a new Spirit of Vinegar, as at the first, till it be quite dissolves: Then distill it by a filter, and save that which remains in the Pot, for it is good to whiten Brass.

XXV.  That which passed the filter with the Vinegar, set upon hot Ashes, and evaporate the Moisture and Spirit of Vinegar with a soft fire, and set it in the Sun, and it will become most White, like unto White Starch; or Red if you work with Sol; which are the Form, or Soul or Sulphur of Luna and Sol, and will weigh a quarter of an Ounce, rather more than less, save that well.

XXVI.  Take an Urinal half a foot high, and take of the firm body five Ounces; of the Soul or Sulphur of Sol or Luna, a quarter of an Ounce; and of the Spirit four Ounces: Put all of them into the Urinal, and put on its head or Cover, with its Receiver well closed or Luted. Distill the Water from it, with a most soft Fire, and there will come off the first time, almost three Ounces.

XXVII.  Put the Water on again, without moving the Urinal, and distil it again, until no more liquor will distill, which do 6 or 7 times, and then every thing will be firm. Then set the same Urinal in Horse-dung seven days, and by the virtue and subtility of the heat, it will be converted into water.

XXVIII.  Distil or filter this water, with stripes or shreds of Woolen-cloth: a gross part will remain in the bottom, which is worth nothing: All that which is passed the filter congeal, which will be about 4 or 5 ounces, and save it. When you have congealed it three times, melt ten ounces of the most fine Sol or Luna, and when it is red hot, put upon it 4 ounces (one Copy said 13 ounces) of this Medicine, and it will be all true and good Medicine.

XXIX.  Likewise melt Borax and Wax, ana one ounce, to which put of the former Medicine 1 ounce: Put all these upon Mercury, or any other Metal 3 pound, and it will be most fine Sol or Luna, to all Judgments and Assays. Thus have I ended this process, in which, if you have any practice or judgment, and know how to follow the Work, you may finish it, or compleat it in 40 days.

XXX.  An Appendix teaching how to make Aurum Potabile. Take Sal Armoniac, Sal nitre, ana 1 pound: beat them together, and make thereof an A.R.: Then take of the most fine Sol q.v. in thin leaves, and cut into very small pieces, which roll into very thin rolls, and put them into an Urinal, or like Glass, to which put the A.R., so much as to overtop it the depth of an inch.

XXXI.  Then nip up the Glass, and put it to putrefy in Sand, with a gentle heat, like that of the Sun for3 or 4 days, in which time it will come to dissolution; then break the Glass off at the Neck, and pouring off the A.R. easily and leisurely, leave the dissolved Sol in the bottom, and repeat this work with fresh A.R., 3 or 4 times, and keep the first water, then put on a Helm with Lute, and distill off in Sand: Being cold break the Glass, and take the Sol, and wash it 3 or 4 times in pure warm water.

XXXII.  When the Sol is clean from the A.R., take of it, and put it into the like Glasses, with rectified S.V. 2 or 3 inches above it; put it into putrefaction as before in Sand, stopping the mouth thereof very close for 3 or 4 days; then put the S.V. out, which will be all blood red. If any thing remains in the Glass undissolved, put in more S.V. and let it stand as before. Do this as long as you find any Tincture therein. This is Aurum Potabile.

XXXIII.  But if you would have the Tincture alone, distill off the S.V. with a very gentle fire, and you shall find the Tincture at the bottom of the Glass, which you may project upon Luna.