The Alchemy web site on Levity.comAlexander van Suchten
Of Antimony Vulgar - The Second Treatise
Printed, and are to be sold by Moses Pitt at the White Hart in Little Britain, London 1670.
Transcribed by Robert Nelson.
To John Baptista van Seebach
My honourable Patron and my good Friend, my humble service in the first place presented to you: At you earnest request I cannot but accomplish your desires, seeing you have a great love and affection, by experience to find out the Secrets of Nature, which at this time are known to few, and even wholly hid in darkness. Although many of the Ancients have written thereof, and their books dispersed, yet are they written in a Magick stile, and profitable to none but those who from their youth have been trained up in this Magick, or instructed by God in such Secrets. Therefore, these Secrets for which you humble yourself are in a deep pit, strongly locked up, so that no man can open unless he have received the Key from the Spirit of Truth. Of the Magical Antimony or of that Antimony of the Ancients will I speak no thing in this treatise, seeing that men will know nothing of it; but what they read of it they apply only to common Antimony; of the which you only desire a treatise which I will freely communicate to you and will write, (1) What it is, (2) Of what parts it is composed, (3) Into what it may be resolved again.
And you shall in this treatise understand me no otherwise then according to the Letter; for I will use here no Metaphors, Allegories, or Similitudes; only I will describe Antimony with a plain stile, that you may not be deceived, though you prepare it according to the Letter, and ye shall obtain that of which I write; by these, you may also judge whether in common Antimony that secret, or Chymical and Physical Mystery be or not, of the which Paracelsus and the Magicians have written.
Now Antimony as it cometh out of the Mountains, is not pure as it should be; for it is mingled with stones of the mine. I never saw any that came forth pure from the Mountains; therefore ere one use it, it must be purified, which purification is done by digestion; but this digestion is a Sulphureous Fire. The best Sulphur is a Sulphur Metalline, and though Artists do purifie it with vegetable fire, that is with Tartar, yet is this digestion not natural, But that the Tartar divides the Regulus from its Faeces this is the cause that the Sulphur of Antimony, Salt is more Vegetable than Metalline, but you shall purify it with Sulphur that is sprung from Mercury, and not from Salts; for this metalline Sulphur will be reduced in the Argent vive of Antimony into Argent vive, and lastly out of this Argent vive of Antimony will be pure gold be made. Now this Metalline Sulphur that purifieth Antimony is only in Mars and no where else, and this purification is done thus: Rx Mars of Iron 4 parts (I am wont to take pieces of nails which are neither gross nor thick) put them into a strong crucible, and set them in a wind Furnace. Let it stand so long till you see the nails or Iron are soft, then put into the Crucible 8 parts of Antimony, make a strong fire that the Mars may flow well in the Antimony, then cast into the crucible with an Iron Ladle, a good handful of Saltpeter; then let them boil up together in the Crucible (let the Crucible therefore be considerably great, that it boil not out) and let it stand still till all be quiet and flowing, then cast it forth into a casting pot so the Regulus settleth itself so soon as the matter is coagulated in the Puckle-pot. Put t out and let it cool, and strike the Faeces from the Regulus, which appeareth and shineth like a marchasite. The Faeces you may lay up till you know what to do with it for in it is a mystery of which I will not speak at this time. Put the Regulus into a crucible again and let it flow; when it floweth, then cast therein one and one-half part of Antimony and let them flow well together, then put in as much Niter as you did before, and let it flow as ye did at the first time, cast it into the Puckle, strike the Regulus off from the Faeces. This Regulus is purer and finer than the first. Cast away the Faeces for they are worth nothing. Let the Regulus melt the third time in a Crucible, and when it flows, pour thereon a ladle of Nitre, and when you see that the Nitre floweth on the Metal as an Oyl (which must be done with strong fire otherwise the Nitre coagulateth itself and be hard) then cast it into a puckle, strike the Regulus from the Faeces. This Regulus is yet finer, purer and more Metalline than the former; the Faeces are nothing worth. Fourthly, let this Regulus melt in a clean Crucible, and when it is melted as pure Luna, cast some Nitre thereon, let it penetrate through each other and then cast it into a Puckle, beat the Faeces off from the Regulus, which Faeces will be of a golden color and then it is prepared. The Regulus will be as white as Luna, and have above a fine Star; this Regulus, if it be rightly wrought, will weigh four ounces and the work may well be finished in two hours. Some copies say twelve hours and in this manner is common Antimony prepared, wherein you shall mark this piece, viz., what it is that thus divideth the Faeces from Antimony. You shall not think that Nitre doth it, but know that Antimony draweth out the soul from Mars, that is his best Sulphur, and reduceth the same into Mercury; this Mercury is nothing else but fire, and hath the operation of fire digesteth the crude Mercury into Antimony and divideth the Mine from the metal; you shall also know that this mercury of Mars is hid in this purged Antimony, under the whiteness of the Antimonial Mercury; for this Lunary whiteness which you see in the Regulus is not from his Sulphur but from Argent vive, under which lurketh Mercury of Mars which is nothing else than Sol: this Mercury of Mars is also nothing else in the aforesaid Mercury of Antimony than as a Spirit or an air, and remaineth so long living in the Argent vive of Antimony till out of it be made a body again, this is Sol and then divideth itself from the Mercury of Antimony.
So now you understand what fire is which thus purifieth common Antimony; you must also understand what that fire is which purifieth and digesteth magical Antimony, that is, what that Sol Philosophur is which we call Aurum Potabile which even so well Mercury divideth itself in the end from Mercury Philosophor as the Sol divideth itself from the Argent vive of Antimony. Therefore, it is very necessary that you seriously consider how it worketh, so shall you find what nature is; not only in common Metals, but even in all things, and in the Metals of Philosophers, which are known to the Wise men. The chymists do assay Antimony by iron; when they have done this, they know not what they have made, nor the working of Nature, nor do they know what Nature is here: therefore teach they nothing, but remain Fools and Asses. Seeing that they have now divided Antimony from his Mineral Faeces, they should also know that in this Antimony there is as yet a Faeces, which is nothing else than a burning Sulphur; when this Sulphur is divided, so cometh Antimony again into his first matter or being, which is nothing else but Argent vive, and this Argent vive is created out of the greatest Mystery of Nature but Plato commandeth me to rest here. (Vide: Nicholas the Allobrogian).
To divide the Sulphur from the purged Antimony is the clearest operation but therein is a great knowledge hidden: so much thereof as is necessary for the knowledge of this Work will I manifest; but the other for divers reasons will I pass by.
A thing, if it be destroyed and mortified, it shall be raised again and made living; and the same thing which is the cause of death by separating the life must have two powers in it, of separating and vivifying; and these two must be one in power, but two in numbers for all Mysteries spring from this Fountain and are one essence, wonderfully distributed according to the will of God. This Will of God is the specifick of every creature and a being incomprehensible by sense not less than God. Now is Argent Vive dead in Antimony. Shall it be made living, so must it be raised up by that which it hath been ere it was dead Mercury for that life is in it very abundant and incorruptible; nothing which is dead can be made living but by his own and proper life and not by the life of other things; who writeth and teacheth otherwise is on philosopher, and the destroyed life, when it is again made living, is the Ferment of living things by which it was made living, is the Ferment of living things by which it was made living; and that thing is by Augmentation and Multiplication, Magical. Hence it followeth that in living things there must be a disposition which is transmutable into the disposition of other things, if it would be raised again: for the Will of God that all things must die, is that Specifick of all Creatures which after death augmenteth itself infinitely.
Now it followeth farther that those living things which are serviceable to our work and manual operation, by which the Metals are also transmuted into Sol, must also have such a Specifick in that they can be brought thus by no art without Regeneration as the senseless Alchymists give forth; for were there no Specifick therein, how could they be transmuted, because Species is not transmuted into Species; for if transmutation be not done, so can also no seed grow and augment itself; for that is against Nature. Therefore must that living have the nature of water as you can see that a grain of Corn cast into the Earth is made living by water, that is, in the Grain is a dead water, which is by water made living again, and the Ferment of water is that which giveth the water his Specifick Nature, so do infinite grains grow from one. So understand in this operation that the Argent Vive of Antimony is dead, and can never be made living but by Argent Vive. In this manner is corruption regenerated, and multiplication in the form of Metal made.
You may here demand, seeing the water multiplieth the grains in the earth, and is transmuted into very grains, if also the Argent Vive of Metals multiplied with common Mercury, may be made again into a Metal? To this I answer that this is not possible in common Metals, but in Philosophical Metals it may be done very easily for our Mercury layeth his Specifick from him,, and taketh it again by Art; that is, from him may be made Sol and Luna, which it was before, but why this cannot be done in common Metals, there are many Reasons, which I will pass by at this time. Now the Mercury of Antimony shall be living; that is Argent Vive shall be made per Argent Vive; but this cannot be done without mixture, and farther, we see that Regulus will not mingle in it with common Argent Vive because of the Sulphur which is in the Regulus; for seeing the same is not Metalline, it hath no communion with the Argent Vive because of the Sulphur which is in the Regulus; for seeing the same is not Metalline, it hath no communion with the Argent Vive that is common, and it hindereth the mixture. Therefore must there be a medium betwixt common Argent Vive and the mercury of Antimony; this medium must be a separative power, which is not in common Argent Vive, for in it is no specifick; and the separative power is a Specifick which coagulateth Mercury. God hath made this Argent Vive in the will of man, that he can bring a Specifick to them, which is necessary for there is none there: according to these things, viz., the separative is a Specifick Mercurial, but one must know in what Mercury it is to be found, and by experience it is found that it is in no other Mercury than in the Mercury of Luna.
Therefore, take of Luna Purissimae one ounce, Reguli Praedici half an ounce, let the Luna glow well in a crucible, afterwards cast the Regulus on it, so will they melt presently and stand in the Crucible as fine Argent vive, cast them into an ingot, and you shall find a Mass metalline of the colour of Lead; beat this metalline mass to a powder, which will easily be done. Afterward, take fine Argent vive, four or five ounces, pour it in a small Phial and then pour the powder on it, let it stand a night and day in Balneum Maria, so goeth the powder into Argent vive; stir it well together and when the powder is well mingled with the common Argent vive, then pour it out and amalgam it well on a stone, so will the Amalgam thereof be red. Put this Amalgam into a wooden dish, and rub it well with a Pestle, so will the water be black; cast off this water and put more water on, and rub it till this water be black also. Do this so long toll the Amalgam be made white, the blackness which is washed from the Amalgam settleth itself in the bottom of the water, which keep, and cast the water away again, put this Amalgam again into a Phial, let it stand in a B.M. all night, pour it out and wash it again. So giveth it a blackness again, which pour to the other, wash it so long till it give no more blackness; you may also grind this Amalgam with pure, clean salt, so cometh the blackness the sooner from it. Now when the Amalgam is made clean again, set it again in a Phial in a B.M. all night and wash it again. Reiterated this work so often till no more blackness goeth from the Amalgam, then will it be pure, clean and bright and white; and mark the more blackness the Amalgam giveth, the more Mercury is resolved from the Antimony. So soon as no more blackness showeth itself (Abstract and cohobate 7 or 9times, then Ďtis Philosophical Mercury) in washing presently, then distill in a glass retort the Argent vive from Luna. If the washing is rightly done, so shall you find your Luna bright and clear and white in the retort; but if your Luna be of a leaden colour, it is a sign that it hath as yet Antimony amongst it; therefore must this washing be done for so long and oft till no more blackness come forth; the Recipient must be full of cold water ere you distill the Mercury into it, then you shall find a bright Argent vive which now is threefold, viz., Argent vive Common: Argent vive Antimony, and Mercury of Mars. This you must know that Mercury of Mars transmuteth the other two into his Nature, as other Metals do, because Mercurius Martis is not universally and radically mixed with the other two, but divideth itself from them, as you shall hear. Therefore, this Argent vive is not called Argent vive of Mars, but Mercury of Antimony for Antimony of is fuller of Mercury. That Arg. Vive of Mars which is hid in this Mercury of Antimony, is Sol volatile; and this you may not only believe, but also see it with your Eyes. If you take a little of the Amalgam washed clean, and gently evaporate the Arg. Vive from Luna, so remaineth the Aurum Volatil, that is, the Mercury of Mars with the Luna, and tingeth the Luna into the highest coloured Sol. But, seeing that this Sol is not fixt, the Fire driveth this Tincture from Luna. Here also is a point to be marked, that this Sol Volatil, which tinges Luna into Gold, but not fixed. Who understandeth the cause of this is not ignorant of the Sophistications of the Alchymist who would tinge Luna into Sol for they understand that Mercury alone is the Tincture; but then it is changed into Metals, then it loseth the power of Tingeing, and if it were fixt, so is a fine Metal, for Metals are nothing else than Mercury coagulated and fixed. But in this Work are only mercury coagulated or fixed. How Mercury of Antimony tingeth Luna is a more subtil manual operation. He that will make it, must well know the fire; therefore look well thereto; I myself have oftimes made it and I have also oft failed.
Now how the Mercury of Mars shall be fixed into true Sol and the Mercury of Antimony shall be transmuted from other Metals into this nature will I not hold from you. For in this operation every one seeth what the Metals are, who have not his five senses bewitched (I speak of true coagulation, not sophistical) and can mark that it is not possible to make Sol from Venus, or out of Saturn and Jupiter Silver; so sees he also very well that common Mercury will not be coagulated artificially; but the Arg. Vive of Metals easily, which before hath been coagulated; yet not every Mercury coagulated, but the Mercury alone of mars; for in this Mercury of Mars is found the nature of the last fixation; but in Saturn Jupiter Venus not. Therefore cannot any man give them that which they have not from God and Nature. It troubleth me not that many Chymical Books are written against the Truth, what the searcher of Alchymy imagineth and understandeth in this Transmutations is altogether another thing; therefore can I write of this Sophistry and speak with Paracelsus: They which understand Alchymy according to the letter, reap nothing but tare straw. Now concerning the Mercury before mentioned, which is distilled from Luna you shall know that it penetrateth the Metals and divideth the Elements of the Metals; that is, the Mercury and Sulphur from one another; common Mercury doth it not; it must then be actuated by the Mercury of Antimony and be changed in his nature and essence, as now is declared to you in this operation. You shall also know that every Metal hath his peculiar operation, and is not resolved as another. I will in an hour bring out Mercury out of Saturn out of Venus can I hardly d it in two months. Therefore, much lieth in the manual operation.
The practice how it is performed with the Mercury of Venus must I here shew, for this cause that you may find the Gold which coming from Mars, lieth hid in the Mercury of Venus. That is it of which I have made mention; this Sol is nothing else than the Mercurial Spirit which is in Mars, as the soul in man; but seeing this Sol is no more corporeal, as it was before in but through the Mercurial Spirit of Antimony is made a Spirit; it can no more be corporal but only by the Spirit of Salt in Venus. This Spirit is not the Mercury of Venus, also not Sulphur, but a middle betwixt both; when this middle cometh forth of Venus, then do his parts fall in pieces, that is, his Mercury and Sulphur, the Mercury of Venus abideth in the Antimony; the Sulphur must be washed from it, and is a Sulphureous gray Earth like Ashes.
Take 1.2 of the best Hungarian Vitriol, dissolve it in common water, set it in a strong Pot over the fire, and cast a handful of small pieces of iron therein. Let them seeth half a quarter of an hour; then put away the water, and put to the Iron the Mercury which has been distilled from Luna, so the Venus which the Iron reduceth from Vitriol amalgamates itself with the Arg. Vive: Wash the Amalgam clean, that all the pieces of Iron come from it; now when this Amalgam is wholly pure and clean, let it dry and then put it in a Glass-Phial, set it in B.M. and let it stand there eight days, so will this Amalgam be of a dark gray; then pour it out and wash it clean as men are wont to do with an Amalgam, in a Dish. The powder which is washed from the Amalgam put apart; put this Amalgam eight days in B.M., and then wash it as before; this work must be reiterated thrice. If you would resolve all the Venus into Mercury and Sulphur, then must you do this so oft till the Amalgam be made into pure Arg. vive; for it will not be done so quickly. When you have had this Amalgam thrice in B.M. and thrice washed, then distill the Arg. vive from the Venus; as you drew it before from the Luna. This is called Mercury of Venus: for it is no more vulgar, nor yet is it Mercury of Antimony but through the Mercury of Venus it is fermented and transmuted into the Mercury of Venus. This Mercury of Venus is a wonderful Mercury, as very one can try who shall use it in Chymical Operations.
The precipitate also made of this Mercury is exceeding bright and wonderful in the eyes of Alchymists; but as bright as it is, it is a gross poison in physick. Keep yourself from it, let not his fine appearance deceive you. In this Mercury of Venus is O out of Mars, which I have oft mentioned, yet hidden. It wanteth the frigidity of the Moon, by which it shall be coagulated in the perpetual and first coagulation of Sol; and the process of coagulation is thus:
Take of fine Luna one part wherein is no Gold, of the Mercury of Venus, parts IV, make an Amalgam thereof, and that the Amalgam may the easier be accomplished, dissolve the Luna in common Aqua Fortis and precipitate it with Mercury Venus, as it is commonly done. So falleth the Luna to the bottom and is a fine, bright powder, which may easily, by grinding, be Amalgamated with the Mercury of Venus. Wash this Amalgam that is clean and bright, put it onto a Phial, and let it stand for 24 hours in B.M. boiling, then will it be black as a Coal; take it out, grind it on a stone, and wash it clean; this blackness is the Soul of mars which is drawn from the Spirit of Antimony and in this last work is coagulated into Sol. With this Sol there are as yet Faeces of Sulphur, which separate themselves from the Mercury of Venus through this coagulation; for the Mercury of Venus is always green in the superficies. This Green shall be coagulated with Sol or Luna and begin separated from Arg. vive shall be reduced into a body, and so is the Spirit of Mars found; and so you see what it was and again what is from him. Now who hath a desire to take pains, he may try how much Mercury is in one pound of Ars, so much Sol shall he find therein and not more. He shall also see that more cost goeth to this work than the Sol is worth. The Arg. vive which is in other Metals cannot be so coagulated into Sol; but it continually remaineth living; the Reasons having been shown before. Thus is the Arg. vive vulgar actuated with the mercury of Antimony, that it draweth all the Mercury from imperfect Metals and is transmuted by them into their Nature. As it cometh to pass in Venus, have I here declared by the way of Sol out of Mars, which must be in this work for the purifying of Antimony; so have you also heard how this Sol is again extracted out and appeareth before the eyes; otherwise you would not believe that the purification of Antimony is done by the Sol in Mars.
Now will I farther write to you what Medicine there is in common Antimony; afterward for a conclusion will I impart to you as a brother, what farther out of this Regulus of Antimony can be made; for I dare not in truth boast and say, that it is not unknown to me, and I will write to you for a warning (If God give you his grace that you can understand) what it is that seduceth so many people, yea, even the Learned; and captivated them and brought them even to their Grave.
De Sulphure Antimonii ~
Now concerning the other part of Antimony, that is, his Sulphur, you shall know that it is a fatness and assimulateth itself to the Fire which is in a black Coal. Therefore, take the blackness which you have washed from the Amalgam of Luna and Antimony, dry it in the Sun or otherwise in some gentle warmth. So shall you have a powder of a leaden colour to which, as yet, some Arg. vive vulgar doth cleave, abiding with it in the washing so now if you can stifle this powder in a close warmth as Colliers make wood Coals, then will it be black, and altogether like beaten or powdered Coals: but if you cannot so stifle, its no great matter.
Take this powder of a lead colour, put it into a Crucible, put it on the fire, but make it not to glow, wither inwardly or outwardly; so will the mercury fume away. This powder is inflamed by the warmth, and burneth not as Sulphur with a flame, but as a glimmering dry coal which giveth no flame. When it is so burnt out, there remaineth in the Crucible a powder which may be reduced into Regulus. Weigh this powder, so shall you see how much of the Antimony is resolved into his parts, and if you could dry up this powder that it be black, and the Common mercury cometh from it, so may you reckon how much of the Common Mercury is come into this Mercury of Antimony and how much combustible Sulphur was in this Arg. vive. So then you have the knowledge of Antimony fully; that is, his Elements of Arg. vive and Sulphur. This is enough to shew what Antimony is, and how the common Arg. vive is fermented and actuated through and with it; that it can thereby resolve the other Metals, every one according to his nature and disposition. How it is done in Venus the process is sufficiently declared for examples sake: But how it is to be done in other Metals, viz., how by the Mercury of Venus, and Mercury may be brought forth, that I commend to the experienced and skilled with the Fire: For it was not my purpose to manifest all things.
The Medicinal Sweet ~
Itís known to you before to prepare many ways of Antimony for Physick, but I have not as yet seen any who have observed the Arcanum in it. The good people imagine that whatsoever is written of Antimony is written of Common Antimony, which notwithstanding they find not by the proof; therefore we may justly think that Medicinal Antimony is much another thing, as indeed it is. For the Antimony of the Philosophers is their Mercury, and in it are all medicines in potentia, therefore it is called, Quintessence. In the Vulgar Antimony, is not the Quintessence of physick, but only the essence of the Element of Water, which Essence is a Medicine against the sicknesses which spring out of the Microcosmical Fire. Now the Physick of this Antimony is not in his mercury, but in his Fire, of the which I have spoken briefly, which you shall in this manner understand: In Wood there is a fire which we must have in our Kitchens to prepare our meats; so is Antimony a fire by which we digest our Medicines which thereby receiveth the essence of his Elements. Through this Essence, the elemental heat in our sickness is also digested. For thought the Galenists think to drive forth the heat through Purslane, Endive, Nightshade and other cold Simples, but cannot do it, for the heat looseth itself naturally; so is this Medicine in Antimony Vulgar and not only in it, but in all other things of the which the Element of Water is the Mother. Therefore, is a Physician even so little bound to this Antimony as a Cook to Beech-wood; for when he hath it not, then he useth Birch or Willow, by the which he cannot so well dress his meat. Besides this essential Medicine as well in other things as in Antimony, and is called in Magick Aurum. But of that Medicine which is prepared by the Fire of Antimony, I have nothing to say. It is known of to God and to those He hath manifested it. The wise men call it their Mercurius Philosophor and it is an Essence which may be changed in all the Elements of Nature and Art; for we know that this Antimony purgeth strongly upward and downward, which is done not by the Essence but by the body to which the Essence changeth. Now who can divide the Essence from the Body, he hath found a Medicine that worketh neither upward nor downward, but without purgation finisheth the work and through a strong Calcination with Salt Spirit, which is the cause of a Metalline Fusion, it be driven from it, that it causeth neither Vomit nor Stool, but forceth sweat. Yet it is not the medicine, but Antimony calcined which is a poison as the other Metals are, which are strongly calcined which taken in the body manifests it as calcined Venus, Saturn Mars. It may also be well digested by Sulphur Metalline, that it may be red and fixed in the fire, yet is there not in it that which the Artist seeketh. Therefore, all is lost which is begun with this Medicine. There is then a thing which divideth his essence from his Body:
Of the Secrets in Regulus ~
Farther, of divers Arcanas which are in the above mentioned Regulus, I have wonders to tell you; he which hath not thoroughly searched it will not believe me; for God lets not such things be common, and come forth publickly, especially in these base times, in the which Honor and Shame, Virtue and Vice, Lying and Truth are equally prized Now we seek not the Truth, but Vain Glory; and therefore doth God infatuate our senses, and we hate and envy one another, and destroy our wealth, and we ourselves are the cause thereof. Farther, I warn you, that I have discovered much, and from my writing you may understand more than I say, but all things shall not be written by reason of Praters and Sophisters, which flatter themselves they have been of the Council of Jove. I will also by this show forth my mind to you and I wish you well from my heart, that you may try in these things as much as myself, and I hope that time will give that which I cannot, and in time know what I mean. Now that I may keep my promise, you shall know that this Regulus hath deceived the best Philosophers and Chymists of greatest account and reading amongst us. For it is such a rare mineral that there is scarce its like in the world, and can make even the most earned and understanding men Fools. What is given me from it, what I have seen from my good Companions mark. In my little Book concerning the Mysteries of Antimony, which no man understandeth, even to this hour, have I said that Metal might be made out of it. So much belongeth to this point, I did not then cumber or trouble myself with it, but only explained myself and manifested the Medicines which are in it and go under its name. Now know that out of this Regulus all Metals may be made such as Lead, Tin, Copper, Iron, Silver and Sol, and so made that to the appearance and in hammering, melting, casting proof of the test, and in the driving of by Antimony, they are as good as the natural Metals. Lead which is made thereof, is in all proofs, good Lead, only it is a little harder than the Natural; but the Lead which is made of Antimony crude, not washed, hath not that hardness; the Tin is exceedingly fine and before coagulation, on the Touchstone, for certain as the finest Luna; the nature of Tin easily taketh to its self and is easily made Tin.
With the Copper it is thus also; for so soon as the Odour of Venus is vegetant, it penetrateth the Regulus, and giveth it the Nature of Copper; this operation is done very easily and quickly. You can make an ounce of Regulus into Copper in the time you can eat a soft egg.
Iron and Antimony are easily changed one into another, therefore is Antimony presently mars, and out of Mars is Antimony easily made, and also Saturn, Jupiter and Venus may easily be reduced into Antimony, yet Mars easiest of all. These four Metals I myself have out of Regulus; the other two, viz., Sol and Luna have I seen my friend make, the Luna is bright and may be cast, hammered and beaten as other natural Luna, and may be driven off in Saturn, and goeth not away from the Test. I thought a long time that it was nothing else but the Sol; but my Companion said, that in weight, it was heavier than other Luna. I therefore, being jealous what it was, did endeavor to dissolve it in Aquafort made of Vitriol and Nitre, but it would not touch it. Then I was much troubled in my thoughts and laid it in an Aqua Regia, and it dissolved totally. Then I thought that in the reduction it would be Sol, but I found a white powder very like to Tin which is calcined in Aqua Fortis. When I reduced this powder, there was thereout a glass of a Milkie colour, so found I what I had for good Luna; neverthele3ss, I was not content with these proofs, hoping for better things; and therefore I took four ounces of this Luna and amalgamated it with common Mercury, and set it in a gentle heat four weeks. It was in the Superficies black and indifferent hard; I took it out and beat it to pieces with a hammer and then did grind it to powder, and afterward by oft rubbing, I made it into an Amalgam again as it was before, then drew I the Mercury away in a retort and found my Luna again. This Luna I amalgamated again not with common Mercury, but with Mercury of Antimony, of the which I have spoken before.
This amalgam did I set, as before, three days and nights and found that the Amalgam, the longer it stood, the moister it was. In eight days it was as melted Saturn, and so it stood in the fire a month. Afterwards I took it out and distilled it by Retort, and the Mercury of Antimony, and the Luna came all from the Retort and was a Mercury. So know that the Luna made of Regulus was nothing else than Mercury coagulated, and not constant in a metalline form, but goeth away again and will be Mercury which thing might well make a Chymist a fool. Now come I to Sol, and to tell you what happened is a wonder. When I had showed to my good companion, who thought nothing else than he had got a great prize, he would not believe it but took it into his own hands, and at length found the truth. He began to question his Sol, and he spake, although I have oftentimes tried it, yet will not I trust myself, but take this half ounce of Gold and try it as you please. Mr Hans, the Goldsmith saith it is true Gold. So took I the Sol and brought it to the Goldsmith, and asked him if it were Gold. He said it was and he could work it for Sol, for to the sight, Touchstone and hammer, it was very good Sol. Nevertheless, took I the Sol and did put to it 2 parts of Luna to granulate it and divide it in Aqua Fort. The Luna dissolved itself and the Salt fell to the bottom; this proof was true; this Sol powder I mixed with a crude Antimony, and cast it through Regulus; let it flow in a crucible and cast Nitre upon it and drew the Antimony from the Sol, and drew it off with Saturn. This trial I found also true. This Sol, driven off, did I cast again through with Antimony and Sulphur; then I took the Regulus and let them go away before the Goldsmiths Bellows, for I had none. This trial was good also (the Sol stood), on which every Chymist may justly rejoice. Nevertheless, seeing the Luna deceived me, therefore could I not trust the Sol, but causeth it to be beaten very thin, and amalgamated it with my Mercury of Antimony, and did set it four weeks in a gentle warmth and took notice that the Amalgam was not hard, but soft, which was grievous to me. Nevertheless, I did let it stand four weeks and found my Amalgam much moister after then when I put it in. Then did I put it into a Crucible over a small fire, that the Crucible did not fully glow, and my Mercury flew away incredibly swiftly from the Sol that I did not mark it but thought that my Mercury was coagulated into Sol, but when I weighed by Sol I found no more than half an ounce and 2 Quintileins (drams) and thought certainly that the two Quintileins were pure gold.
These two Quintileins I proved further with Mercury of Antimony in the same manner as the first time. Then at length I evaporated the Mercury from it, and found my 2 Quintileins again. Then was I merry and hoped that my companion would communicate his Preparation to me and had Golden Mountains in my head and I brought a good Message to my Companion. But he himself was not merry, but spake evil of it. Well, said he, I had great labor and pains with this Sol, and more than I do say: what cannot be, that I cannot desire. But let it be a fine sophistication that which hath been made, for the Gold-seeking Alchymists which run hither and thither, today devouring one tomorrow another. The Gold which remaineth over and above thee is not come from the Regulus, but it is a composition of the natural Sol; for I could not coagulate the Regulus into Sol if there be not good Gold with it. This Sol hath remained in the test, but the other not. I know how to bring it further and now understand the cause well, that cannot be that I hoped. This fell into the mind of my companion and I feared the manual operations and I thought of my Metals. He spake that the Sulphur of Antimony which coagulateth the mercury is not united to it in radice, therefore it remaineth not with it. And if thou searchest thoroughly, thy Regulus will not be again Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and remain so, but will be mercury again which neither you nor any other can coagulate to a good metal as some imagine, when they have the Venus of Luna Saturn, that the Art will not fail then; but it is a Lunatick Melancholick Phantasie, from the which they that are not experienced in Alchymy, but only book-learned, and have gone on hearsay, can make arguments and conclude by themselves but when they come to the fire they see their Folly. Tell me when a dead thing is made living? When is his bound of Nature, in Death or in Life? What hath it been before death or life? Shall any come to this fixt immutable principle? What seekest thou then in metals vivified? But these things speak I not to thee, nor of thee, but of the Alchymists for whom pray God that he deliver them from such unreasonable men.
Of this sort discoursed we much together and seeing when then I was entangled, as to hold the printed Books of Alchymy for Gospels, but being led with I know not what Spirit, I doubted more than I believed. Therefore I always did think of the cause wherefore Alchymy was written by the first Philosophers, and did very often treat with this my good friend and Companion, well skilled in the Fire, concerning our Antimony, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Sol and Luna, in all which I found that true which the chymists put together for the Alchymical Art, and am in good hope that he will put from his this phantasie and think after the Philosophical metals. Now so much as belongeth to you, Noble Patron and friend, there is as yet one thing to be handled pertaining to this operation, which I neither can nor will withhold from you the Chymists such as Rhasis, peter Bonus, Ferrar, Trevisan and the other of the Dialogue, and many others who have well examined the imperfect metals, and had good experience. They at length remain in this opinion, that it is impossible to make Sol by the Art but out of Argent Vive. Seeing that they see that Sol is nothing else than Argent Vive coagulated with its proper Sulphur and fixed, now have they also well understood by their operation, that Mercury cannot be fixed into perfect Sol, unless be dissolved and brought into Mercury; this opinion have they taken from the ground that they see that Nature could not fix that Argent Vive of Saturn, Jupiter, Venus with the external Sulphur which cleaved unto them; much less shall Art do it; whereupon, they that thought to take an Argent Vive which hath been perfectly fixed before and to mix this Argent Vive with common mercury or other Metals, that both may be one Individuum; but seeing this mixture cannot be done with common Sol, they have taken the Sol in mars and have though to mix it so with the common Mercury that they should never be separated, but that the Sol should always remain with the Mercury, and the Mercury with Sol. That is, where the Sol is coagulated again and also the mercury is coagulated and fixed: in this practice everyone hath had his way or working, according to his understanding, and have spent long time herein; but this much is certain to me, that they always did, ere they obtained the end of their speculation. Therefore, saith the worthy Trithemius, that Alchymy is a perpetual Virgin and writeth of it thus: Chymia is beloved by many and yet, She is chaste. She hath many domestic servants which keep their mistress with watchful Eyes and oft take upon themselves her name that they may preserve her from the embracements of so many importunated Lovers, and always unpolluted: Vanity, fraud, deceit, sophistication, covetousness, falseness, boldness, lying, foolishness, poverty, desperation, proscription, cheating are the Lackeys of Chymistry: who feigning themselves to be the Mistress, that they may keep her unravished, do freely prostitute themselves to rich, covetous, worldly and proud Lovers. Thus much. He that will not believe the true man, may search and try according to his Phantasie, as I and others have sufficiently done. What I have told you here, cometh from experience that it is so. Who hath a desire to spend his money and time thereon, he shall find it so.
Thus have I finished what I promised to write of the Mercury of Antimony, and also what the Ancients have sought and found in this Mercury of Antimony. All which have I truly declared; on which you may conclude whether this mineral is known to me or not. They which boast that they can make the Mercury of Metals without Argent Vive, they give us to understand that they are not Philosophers, and that they know not what Corruption, Regeneration and the Multiplication of things is, and if they did rightly behold their work, they would see that they are deceived. Let Boasters be Boasters; believe in these things nothing but what your see, and consider always the possibility of Nature, so shall you come easily out of this Labyrinth.
Lastly, I desire that you would not be offended that I have held you so long with this Treatise; the condition at present which I suffer, permits little rest to write of this Operation, therefore have I cast it on the paper so miserably; when I have more leisure, I will finish other writings, which, as yet, for want of opportunity, I cannot.
The Alchymists everlasting God dominate the Lovers of Truth with His Spirit and bring them out of the Bonds of thick darkness and unprofitable talk of supposed Learned men.
Addition Out of the Haligraphia of Basil Valentine
How to Make the Salt of Antimony ~
Powder good Hungarian Antimony, small as meal, and calcine it over a gentle coal fire as men usually do. Always stirring it with an Iron till all be whitish and it smoke no more, but endureth an indifferent strong Fire. Then put it into a crucible and melt it into a transparent yellow Glass; beat this Glass small, put it into a retort Glass, and pour on it strong distilled Wine Vinegar. Let it stand in gentle warmth, and the Vinegar will extract the tincture of Antimony, and will be coloured very high, which Tincture, or extract of Antimony may be further prepared and be used for an excellent medicine. (V. Bas. Val. Trium. Mag.)
Now when the Tincture is all extracted, and coloureth no more the Vinegar, ten dry the powder at the bottom wholly, which will be black. Grind it with so much yellow Sulphur, and put it into a melting pot, well luted, and place in an indifferent fire till the Sulphur be wholly burnt away. Then grind the matter remaining very small ad pour on it new distilled Vinegar and draw the Salt thereby, and afterwards through reiterated distillations, draw off the eagerness of the Vinegar from it, and clarifie the Salt with the Spirit of Wine, till it be bright, clear and white. If thou hath wrought rightly, thou shall have the salt of Antimony wholly fixt and active, although there is another way to make the Salt of Antimony, which is written elsewhere.
Dose: 4 gr and it is equal to the Salt of Sol and cureth diseases (and may easily be made Sol).
The Use of the Salt of Antimony ~
This Salt of Antimony is of a wonderful operation; for it performs almost all that the Salt of Gold doth, given in like quantity; it cleanseth the whole body of man, purifieth the Blood, expels all Evils, consumes all obnoxious Humours, whence all open sores have their beginning and recourse to; it cures the French disease, taken 4 gr at the most with a dram of the distilled water of Lignum Vitae, sweating upon it, and this used daily until amendment.
The water of Lignum Vitae is thus made: First, grind it small, then moisten it with good Spirit of Wine in a Vessel close stopt. Let it stand certain days in a gentle heat; this done, pour a good quantity of Fumitory water or Scabious water, upon it. Digest then, 14 days in a Bath, then distill it; Preserve the Liquor apart, and the Oyl apart, in Glasses close stopt. Use the water with the Salt of Antimony. It is likewise used with good success in other diseases whereof we treated in another place; but an understanding Physician knows very well what virtues are in Guaiacum, and what benefit it doth in the cure of diseases. There are other ways to distill a Water and Oyl of the said Wood which is needless to be mentioned here.
The Salt of Antimony checks the Leprosie and other deep-rooted Diseases; it is good against the Gout, and weakness of the joints, purifies and makes good blood, corroborates the Heart and the Balsam of Manís Body drunk with a spoonful of Aqua Vitae; it restoreth lost strength, opens all internal Imposthumes, cleanses all external corroding sores, being strewed into them, or duly applied with good Plasters or Ointments, being dissolved in good distilled Wine Vinegar, it doth in a short time bring great ease to evil and incurable Sores to all Admiration. Being drunk with waters of Wormwood of Carduus Benedictus, it cures all Agues of long standing, which are deeply rooted, and admit no cure, especially the Quartane. Being drunk with Mint or Wormwood-water, it causeth a good digestion; drunk with waters of Speedwell, Red Corn-Rose-water causeth a good memory.
This Salt is used in Alchymy or Transmutation of Metals into Gold. If you add to it the fatness that drips out of the wheels of the Chariot of the Sun, when as the Alchymists Phaeton undertook to drive it, as the Poets describe it in their Alchymical Fiction. For the excellent Fictions of the Poets which they produce and write concerning the Celestial Gods, are nothing else but Covers to conceal the Secret Arts and Mysteries of Alchymy. As of Apollo when he slew the Serpent Python; as also the adultery of Mars and Venus, and it shall be proved as I am of the opinion, that Chymical Operations are revealed in Poetical Fictions, when they write of the Loves and Venereal Actions of the Gods and Goddesses; as also when they introduce various and wonderful Metamorphoses and Transmutations; for if we should understand their Fables literally, we should prejudice wise Antiquity, to think that such understanding and wise persons should believe and write such and so many wicked things of the Gods.