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Title: The Mirror of Alchimy

Author: Roger Bacon

Release date: December 1, 2018 [eBook #58393]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by the Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from page images generously made available by Internet Archive (



E-text prepared by the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive


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Mirror of Alchimy,

Composed by the thrice-famous and learned
Fryer, Roger Bachon, sometimes fellow of
Martin Colledge: and afterwards of
Brasen-nose Colledge in

Also a most excellent and learned discourse of
the admirable force and efficacie of Art and Nature,
written by the same Author.

With certaine other worthie Treatises of
the like Argument.

Vino vendibili non opus est hedera.

Publisher’s Device

Printed for Richard Oliue.


The Preface.


n times past the Philosophers spake afters diuers and sundrie manners throughout their writings, sith that as it were in a riddle and cloudie voyce, they haue left vnto vs a certaine most excellent and noble science, but altogither obscure, and without all hope vtterly denied, and that not without good cause. Wherefore I would aduise thee, that aboue all other bookes, thou shouldest firmly fixe thy mind vpon these seuen Chapters, conteining in them the transmutation of mettalls, and often call to minde the beginning, middle, and end of the same, wherein thou shalt finde such subtilitie, that thy minde shalbe fully contented therewith.


The Mirrour of Alchimy, composed by the famous Fryer,
Roger Bachon, sometime fellow of
Martin Colledge, and Brasen-nose
Colledge in Oxenforde

Of the Definitions of Alchimy.


N many ancient Bookes there are found many definitions of this Art, the intentions wherof we must consider in this Chapter. For Hermes saith of this Science: Alchimy is a Corporal Science simply composed of one and by one, naturally conioyning things more precious, knowledge and effect, and conuerting them by a naturall commixtion into a better kind. A certain other saith: Alchimy is a Science, teaching how to transforme any kind of mettall into another: and that by a proper medicine, as it appeareth by many Philosophers Bookes. Alchimy therfore is a science teaching how to make and compound a certaine medicine, which is called Elixir, the which when it is cast vpon mettals or imperfect bodies, doth fully perfect them in the verie proiection.


Of the naturall principles, and procreation of Minerals.

SEcondly, I will perfectly declare the naturall principles & procreations of Minerals: where first it is to be noted, that the naturall principles in the mynes, are Argent-uiue, and Sulphur. All mettals and minerals, whereof there be sundrie and diuers kinds, are begotten of these two: but I must tel you, that nature alwaies intendeth and striueth to the perfection of Gold: but many accidents comming between, change the mettalls, as it is euidently to be seene in diuers of the Philosophers bookes. For according to the puritie and impuritie of the two aforesaide principles, Argent-uiue, and Sulphur, pure, and impure mettals are ingẽdred: to wit, Gold, Siluer, Steele, Leade, Copper, and Iron: of whose nature, that is to say, puritie, and impuritie, or vncleane superfluitie and defect, giue eare to that which followeth.

Of the nature of Golde.

Gold is a perfect body, engendred of Argent-uiue pure, fixed, cleare, red, and of Sulphur cleane, fixed, red, not burning, and it wanteth nothing.

Of the nature of Siluer.

Siluer is a body, cleane, pure, and almost perfect, begotten of Argent-uiue, pure, almost3 fixed, cleare, and white, & of such a like Sulphur: It wanteth nothing, saue a little fixation, colour, and weight.

Of the nature of Steele.

Steele is a body cleane, imperfect, engendred of Argent-uine pure, fixed & not fixed cleare, white outwardly, but red inwardly, and of the like Sulphur. It wanteth onely decoction or digestion.

Of the nature of Leade.

Leade is an vncleane and imperfect bodie, engendred of Argent-uiue impure, not fixed, earthy, drossie, somewhat white outwardly, and red inwardly, and of such a Sulphur in part burning. It wanteth puritie, fixation, colour, and fiering.

Of the nature of Copper.

Copper is an vncleane and imperfect bodie, engendred of Argent-uiue, impure, not fixed, earthy, burning, red not cleare, and of the like Sulphur. It wanteth purity, fixation, and weight: and hath too much of an impure colour, and earthinesse not burning.

Of the nature of Iron.

Iron is an vnclean and imperfect body, engendred of Argent-uiue impure, too much fixed, earthy, burning, white and red not cleare, and of the like Sulphur: It wanteth fusion, puritie, and4 weight: It hath too much fixed vncleane Sulphur, and burning earthinesse. That which hath bene spoken, euerie Alchimist must diligently obserue.

Out of what things the matter of Elixir must be more nearly extracted.

THe generation of mettals, as well perfect, as imperfect, is sufficiently declared by that which hath bene already spoken. Now let vs returne to the imperfect matter that must be chosen and made perfect. Seeing that by the former Chapters we haue bene taught, that all mettalls are engendred of Argent-uiue and Sulphur, and how that their impuritie and vncleannesse doth corrupt, and that nothing may be mingled with mettalls which hath not beene made or sprung from them, it remaineth cleane inough, that no strange thing which hath not his originall from these two, is able to perfect them, or to make a chaunge and new transmutation of them: so that it is to be wondred at, that any wise man should set his mind vpon liuing creatures, or vegetables which are far off, when there be minerals to bee found nigh enough: neither may we in any wise thinke, that any of the Philosophers placed the Art in the said remote things, except it were by way of comparison: but of the aforesaid two, all mettals are made, neither doth any thing cleaue vnto them, or is ioyned with them, nor yet chaungeth them, but that which is of them, and so of right wee must take Argent-uiue5 and Sulphur for the matter of our stone: Neither doth Argent-uiue by it selfe alone, nor Sulphur by it selfe alone, beget any mettall, but of the commixtion of them both, diuers mettals and minerals are diuersly brought foorth. Our matter therefore must bee chosen of the commixtion of them both: but our finall secrete is most excellent, and most hidden, to wit, of what minerall thing that is more neere then others, it shuld be made: and in making choise hereof, we must be very warie. I put the case then, yt our matter were first of all drawne out of vegetables, (of which sort are hearbs, trees, and whatsoeuer springeth out of the earth) here wee must first make Argent-uiue & Sulphur, by a long decoction, from which things, and their operation we are excused: for nature herselfe offereth vnto vs Argent-uiue and Sulphur. And if wee should draw it from liuing creatures (of which sort is mans bloud, haire, vrine, excrements, hens egs, and what else proceede from liuing creatures) wee must likewise out of them extract Argent-uiue and Sulphur by decoction, frõ which we are freed, as we were before. Or if we should choose it out of middle minerals (of which sort are all kindes of Magnesia, Marchasites, of Tutia, Coppres, Allums, Baurach, Salts, and many other) we should likewise, as afore, extract Argent-uiue and Sulphur by decoction: frõ which as from the former, wee are also excused. And if we should take one of the seuen spirits by it selfe, as Argent-uiue, or Sulphur alone, or Argent-uiue and one of the two Sulphurs, or Sulphur-uiue,6 or Auripigment, or Citrine Arsenicum, or red alone, or the like: we should neuer effect it, because sith nature doth neuer perfect anything without equall commixtion of both, neither can wee: from these therefore, as from the foresaide Argent-uiue and Sulphur in their nature we are excused. Finally, if wee should choose them, wee should mixe euerie thing as it is, according to a due proportion, which no man knoweth, and afterward decoct it to coagulatiõ, into a solide lumpe: and therefore we are excused from receiuing both of them in their proper nature: to wit, Argent-uiue and Sulphur, seeing wee know not their proportion, and that wee may meete with bodies, wherein we shall find the saide things proportioned, coagulated & gathered together, after a due manner. Keepe this secret more secretly. Golde is a perfect masculine bodie, without any superfluitie or diminution: and if it should perfect imperfect bodyes mingled with it by melting onely, it should be Elixir to red. Siluer is also a body almost perfect, and feminine, which if it should almost perfect imperfect bodyes by his common melting onely, it should be Elixir to white, which it is not, nor cannot be, because they onely are perfect. And if this perfection might be mixed with the imperfect, the imperfect shuld not be perfected with the perfect, but rather their perfections shuld be diminished by the imperfect, & become imperfect. But if they were more then perfect, either in a two-fold, foure-fold, hundred-fold, or larger proportion,7 they might then wel perfect the imperfect. And forasmuch as nature doth alwaies work simply, the perfection which is in them is simple, inseparable, & incommiscible, neither may they by art be put in the stone, for ferment to shorten the worke, and so brought to their former state, because the most volatile doth ouercome the most fixt. And for that gold is a perfect body, consisting of Argent-uiue, red and cleare, & of such a Sulphur, therfore we choose it not for the matter of our stone to the red Elixir, because it is so simply perfect, without artificiall mundification, & so strongly digested and sod with a natural heate, that with our artificiall fire, we are scarcely able to worke on gold or siluer. And though nature dooth perfect any thing, yet she cannot throughly mundifie, or perfect and purifie it, because she simply worketh on that which shee hath. If therfore we should choose gold or siluer for the matter of the stone, we should hard and scantly find fire working in them. And although we are not ignorant of the fire, yet could we not come to the through mundification & perfection of it, by reasõ of his most firme knitting together, and naturall composition: we are therefore excused for taking the first too red, or the second too white, seeing we may find out a thing or som body of as cleane, or rather more cleane Sulphur & Argent-uiue, on which nature hath wrought little or nothing at all, which with our artificiall fire, & experience of our art, we are able to bring vnto his due concoction, mundification, colour and fixation, continuing our ingenious8 labour vpon it. There must therefore bee such a matter chosen, wherein there is Argent-uiue, cleane, pure, cleare, white & red, not fully compleat, but equally and proportionably commixt after a due maner with ye like Sulphur, & congeled into a solide masse, that by our wisdome and discretion, and by our artificiall fire, we may attain vnto the vttermost cleannesse of it, and the puritie of the same, and bring it to that passe, that after the worke ended, it might bee a thousand thousand times more strong and perfect, then the simple bodies themselues, decoct by their naturall heate. Be therefore wise: for if thou shalt be subtile and wittie in my Chapters (wherin by manifest profe I haue laid open the matter of the stone easie to be knowne) thou shalt taste of that delightfull thing, wherin the whole intention of the Philosophers is placed.

Of the maner of working, and of moderating, and continuing the fire.

I Hope ere this time thou hast already found out by the words alreadie spoken (if thou beest not most dull, ignorant, and foolish) the certaine matter of the learned Philosophers blessed stone, whereon Alchimy worketh, whilest we indeuour to perfect the imperfect, and that with things more then perfect. And for that nature hath deliuered vs the imperfect onely with the perfect, it is our part to make the matter (in the9 former Chapters declared vnto vs) more then perfect by our artificiall labour. And if we know not the maner of working, what is the cause that we do not see howe nature (which of long time hath perfected mettals) doth continually work? Doo wee not see, that in the Mynes through the continuall heate that is in the mountaines thereof, the grosnesse of water is so decocted & thickned, that in continuance of time it becommeth Argent-uiue? And that of the fatnesse of the earth through the same heate and decoction, Sulphur is engendred? And that through the same heate without intermission continued in thẽ, all mettals are ingendred of them according to their puritie and impuritie? and that nature doth by decoction alone perfect or make al mettals, as well perfect as imperfect? O extreame madnesse! what, I pray you, constraines you to seeke to perfect the foresaide things by straunge melancholicall and fantasticall regiments? as one sayth: Wo to you that will ouercome nature, and make mettals more then perfect by a newe regiment, or worke sprung from your owne senselesse braines. God hath giuen to nature a straite way, to wit, continuall concoction, and you like fooles despise it, or else know it not. Againe, fire and Azot, are sufficient for thee. And in an other place, Heat perfecteth al things. And elsewhere, seeth, seeth, seeth, and be not wearie. And in an other place, let thy fire be gentle, & easie, which being alwayes equall, may continue burning: and let it not encrease, for if it do, thou shalt suffer great losse. And in an other place, Know thou10 that in one thing, to wit, the stone, by one way, to wit, decoctiõ, and in one vessel the whole mastery is performed. And in an other place, patiently, and continually, and in another place, grinde it seuen times. And in an other place, It is ground with fire. And in an other place, this worke is verie like to the creation of man: for as the Infant in the beginning is nourished with light meates, but the bones beeing strengthened with stronger: so this masterie also, first it must haue an easie fire, whereby wee must alwaies worke in euery essence of decoction. And though we alwayes speake of a gentle fire, yet in truth, we think that in gouerning the worke, the fire must alwayes by little and little bee increased and augmented vnto the end.

Of the qualitie of the Vessell and Furnace.

THe meanes and manner of working, wee haue alreadie determined: nowe wee are to speake of the Vessell and Furnace, in what sort, and of what things they must be made. Whereas nature by a naturall fire decocteth the mettals in the Mynes, shee denieth the like decoction to be made without a vessel fitte for it. And if we purpose to immitate nature in concocting, wherefore do we reiect her vessell? Let vs first of all therefore, see in what place the generation of mettals is made. It doth euidently appeare in the places of Minerals, that in the bottom of the11 mountaine there is heate continually alike, the nature whereof is alwaies to ascend, and in the ascention it alwayes drieth vp, and coagulateth the thicker or grosser water hidden in the belly, or veines of the earth, or mountaine, into Argent-uiue. And if the minerall fatnes of the same place arising out of the earth, be gathered warme togither in the veines of the earth, it runneth through the mountain, & becommeth Sulphur. And as a man may see in the foresaide veines of that place, that Sulphur engendred of the fatnesse of the earth (as is before touched) meeteth with the Argent-uiue (as it is also written) in the veines of the earth, and begetteth the thicknesse of the minerall water. There, through the continual equall heate in the mountaine, in long processe of time diuerse mettals are engendred, according to the diuersitie of the place. And in these Minerall places, you shall finde a continuall heate. For this cause wee are of right to note, that the externall minerall mountaine is euerie where shut vp within it selfe, and stonie: for if the heate might issue out, there should neuer be engendred any mettall. If therefore wee intend to immitate nature, we must needes haue such a furnace like vnto the Mountaines, not in greatnesse, but in continual heate, so that the fire put in, when it ascendeth, may finde no vent: but that the heat may beat vpon the vessell being close shutte, containing in it the matter of the stone: which vessell must be round, with a small necke, made of glasse or some earth, representing the nature or close knitting togither of glasse: the12 mouth whereof must be signed or sealed with a couering of the same matter, or with lute. And as in the mynes, ye heat doth not immediatly touch the matter of Sulphur and Argent-uiue, because the earth of the mountain cõmenth euery where between: So this fire must not immediatly touch the vessell, containing the matter of the foresaide things in it, but it must be put into another vessell, shut close in the like manner, that so the temperate heate may touch the matter aboue and beneath, and where ere it be, more aptly and fitly: wherevpon Aristotle sayth, in the light of lights, that Mercurie is to be cõcocted in a threefold vessell, and that the vessell must bee of most hard Glasse, or (which is better) of earth possessing the nature of Glasse.

Of the accidentall and essentiall colours appearing in the worke.

THe matter of the stone thus ended, thou shalt knowe the certaine maner of working, by what maner and regiment, the stone is often chaunged in decoction into diuerse colours. Wherupon one saith, So many colours, so many names. According to the diuerse colours appearing in the worke, the names likewise were varied by the Philosophers: whereon, in the first operation of our stone, it is called putrifaction, and our stone is made blacke: whereof one saith, When thou findest it blacke, know that in that13 blacknesse whitenesse is hidden, and thou must extract the same from his most subtile blacknes. But after putrefaction it waxeth red, not with a true rednesse, of which one saith: It is often red, and often of a citrine colour, it often melteth, and is often coagulated, before true whitenesse. And it dissolueth it selfe, it coagulateth it selfe, it putrifieth it selfe, it coloureth it self, it mortifieth it selfe, it quickneth it selfe, it maketh it selfe blacke, it maketh it selfe white, it maketh it selfe red. It is also greene; whereon another sayth, Concoct, it till it appeare greene vnto thee, and that is the soule. And another, Know, that in that greene his soule beareth dominion. There appeares also before whitenesse the peacocks colour, whereon one saith thus. Know thou that al the colours in the world, or yt may be imagined, appeare before whitenesse, and afterward true whitenesse followeth. Whereof one sayth: When it hath bin decocted pure and clean, that it shineth like the eyes of fishes, then are wee to expect his vtilitie, and by that time the stone is congealed rounde. And another sayth: When thou shalt finde whitenesse a top in the glasse, be assured that in that whitenesse, rednesse is hidden: and this thou must extract: but concoct it while it become all red: for betweene true whitenesse and true rednesse, there is a certaine ash-colour: of which it is sayde. After whitenesse, thou canst not erre, for encreasing the fire, thou shalt come to an ash-colour: of which another saith: Doo not set light by the ashes, for God shal giue it thee molten: and then14 at the last the King is inuested with a red crowne by the will of God.

How to make proiection of the medicine vpon any imperfect bodie.

I Haue largely accomplisht my promise of that great masterie, for making the most excellent Elixir, red and white. For conclusion, we are to treate of the manner of proiection, which is the accomplishment of the work, the desired & expected ioy. The red Elixir doth turne into a citrine colour infinitely, and changeth all mettals into pure gold. And the white Elixir doth infinitely whiten, and bringeth euerie mettal to perfect whitenesse. But we know that one mettall is farther off from perfection then another, & one more neere then another. And although euerie mettall may by Elixir be reduced to perfection, neuerthelesse the neerest are more easily, speedily, and perfectly reduced, then those which are far distant. And when we meete with a mettall that is neere to perfection, we are thereby excused from many that are farre off. And as for the mettals which of them be neere, and which farre off, which of them I say be neerest to perfection, if thou be wise and discreete, thou shalt find to be plainely and truely set out in my Chapters. And without doubt, hee that is so quick sighted in this my Mirrour, that by his own industry hee can finde out the true matter, hee doth full well knowe vppon what body the medicine is to bee proiected to bring it to perfection. For the fore15runners of this Art, who haue founde it out by their philosophie, do point out with their finger the direct & plain way, when they say: Nature, containeth nature: Nature ouercommeth nature: & Nature meeting with her nature, exceedingly reioyceth, and is changed into other natures. And in another place, Euery like reioiceth in his like: for likenesse is saide to be the cause of friendship, wherof many Philosophers haue left a notable secret, Know thou that the soule doth quickly enter into his body, which may by no meanes be ioyned to another body. And in another place, The soule doth quickly enter into his own body, which if thou goest about to ioyne with another body, thou shalt loose thy labour: for the neerenesse it selfe is more cleare. And because corporeall things in this regimẽt are made incorporeall, & contrariwise things incorporeal corporeall, and in the shutting vp of the worke, the whole body is made a spirituall fixt thing: and because also that spirituall Elixir euidently, whether white or red, is so greatly prepared and decocted beyonde his nature, it is no maruaile that it cannot bee mixed with a body, on which it is proiected, beeing onely melted. It is also a hard matter to proiect it on a thousand thousand and more, and incontinently to penetrate and transmute them. I will therefore nowe deliuer vnto you a great and hidden secret. One part is to bee mixed with a thousand of the next body, & let all this be surely put into a fit vessell, and sette it in a furnace of fixation, first with a lent fire, and afterwardes encreasing the fire16 for three dayes, till they be inseperably ioyned together, and this is a worke of three dayes: then againe and finally, euery part heereof by it selfe, must be proiected vpon another thousand parts of any neere body: and this is a worke of one day, or one houre, or a moment, for which our wonderfull God is eternally to be praised.

Here endeth the Mirror of Alchimy, composed by the most learned Philosopher, Roger Bacon.

The Smaragdine Table of Hermes, Trismegistus of Alchimy.

The wordes of the secrets of Hermes, which were written in a Smaragdine Table, and found betweene his hands in an obscure vaute, wherin his body lay buried. It is true without leasing, certain and most true. That which is beneath is like that which is aboue: & that which is aboue, is like that which is beneath, to worke the miracles of one thing. And as all things haue proceeded from one, by the meditatiõ of one, so all things haue sprung from this one thing by adaptation. His father is the sun, his mother is the moone, the wind bore it in hir belly. The earth is his nurse. The father of all the telesme of this world is here. His force and power is perfect, if it be turned into earth. Thou shalt seperate the earth from the fire, the thinne from the thicke, and that gently with great discretion. It ascendeth from the Earth into Heauen: and17 and againe it discendeth into the earth, and receiueth the power of the superiours and inferiours: so shalt thou haue the glorie of the whole worlde. All obscuritie therefore shall flie away from thee. This is the mightie power of all power, for it shal ouercome euery subtile thing, and pearce through euery solide thing. So was the worlde created. Here shall be maruailous adabtations, whereof this is the meane. Therefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus, or the thrice great Interpreter: hauing three parts of the Philosophy of the whole world. That which I haue spoken of the operation of the Sunne, is finished.

Here endeth the Table of Hermes.

A briefe Commentarie
of Hortulanus the Philosopher, vpon
the Smaragdine Table of Hermes
of Alchimy.

The praier of Hortulanus.

Laude, honour, power and glorie, be giuen to thee, O Almightie Lorde God, with thy beloued sonne, our Lord Iesus Christ, and the holy Ghost, the comforter. O holy Trinitie, that art the onely one God, perfect man, I giue thee thankes that hauing the knowledge of the transitorie things of this worlde (least I should bee prouoked with the pleasures thereof) of thy18 abundant mercie thou hast taken mee from it. But forsomuch as I haue knowne manie deceiued in this art, that haue not gone the right way, let it please thee, O Lord my God, that by the knowledge which thou hast giuen mee, I may bring my deare friends frõ error, that when they shal perceiue the truth, they may praise thy holy and glorious name, which is blessed for euer.


The Preface.

I Hortulanus, so called for the Gardens bordering vpon the sea coast, wrapped in a Iacobin skinne, vnworthy to be called a Disciple of Philosophie, moued with the loue of my welbeloued, doo intend to make a true declaration of the words of Hermes, the Father of Philosophers, whose words, though that they be dark and obscure, yet haue I truely expounded the whole operation and practise of the worke: for the obscuritie of the Philosophers in their speeches, dooth nothing preuaile, where the doctrine of the holy spirit worketh.

That the Art of Alchimy is true and certaine.

THe Philosopher saith. It is true, to wit, that the Arte of Alchimie is giuen vnto vs. Without leasing. This hee saith in detestation of them that affirme this Art to bee lying, that is, false. It is certaine, that is prooued. For what19soeuer is prooued, is most certaine, And most true. For most true golde is ingendred by Art: and he saith most true, in the superlatiue degree, because the golde ingendred by this Art, excelleth all naturall gold in all proprieties, both medicinall and others.

That the Stone must be diuided into two parts.

COnsequentlie, he toucheth the operation of the stone, saying: That which is beneath, is as that which is aboue. And this he sayth, because the stone is diuided into two principall parts by Art: Into the superiour part, that ascendeth vp, and into the inferiour part, which remaineth beneath fixe and cleare: and yet these two parts agree in vertue: and therefore hee sayeth, That which is aboue, is like that which is beneath. And this diuision is necessarie, To perpetrate the myracles of one thing, to wit, of the Stone: because the inferiour part is the Earth, which is called the Nurse, and Ferment: and the superiour part is the Soule, which quickeneth the whole Stone, and raiseth it vp. Wherefore separation made, and coniunction celebrated, manie myracles are effected in the secret worke of nature.


That the Stone hath in it the foure Elements.

ANd as all things haue proceeded from one, by the meditation of one. Heere giueth hee an example, saying: as all things came from one, to wit, a confused Globe, or masse, by meditation, that is the cogitation and creation of one, that is the omnipotent God: So all things haue sprung, that is, come out from this one thing that is, one confused lumpe, by Adaptation, that is by the sole commaũdement of God, and miracle. So our Stone is borne, and come out of one confused masse, containing in it the foure Elements, which is created of God, and by his sole miracle our stone is borne.

That the Stone hath Father and Mother, to wit, the Sunne and Moone.

ANd as wee see, that one liuing creature begetteth more liuing creatures like vnto it selfe: so artificially golde engendereth golde, by vertue of multiplication of the foresaid stone. It followeth therefore, the Sunne is his father, that is, Philosophers Gold. And as in euerie naturall generation, there must be a fit and conuenient receptacle, with a certaine consonancie of similitude to the father: so likewise in this artificiall generation, it is requisite that the Sunne21 haue a fitte and consonaunt receptacle for his seede and tincture: and this is Philosophers siluer. And therefore it followes, the Moone is his mother.

That the coniunction of the parts of the stone is called Conception.

THe which two, when they haue mutuallie entertained each other in the coniunction of the Stone, the Stone conceiueth in the bellie of the winde: and this is it which afterwarde he sayeth: The winde carried it in his bellie. It is plaine, that the winde is the ayre, and the ayre is the life, and the life is the Soule. And I haue already spoken of the soule, that it quickneth the whole stone. And so it behoueth, that the wind should carry and recarry the whole stone, and bring forth the masterie: and then it followeth, that it must receiue nourishment of his nurse, that is the earth: and therefore the Philosopher saith, The earth is his Nurse: because that as the infant without receiuing food frõ his nurse, shuld neuer come to yeres: so likewise our stone without the firmentation of his earth, should neuer be brought to effect: which said firmament, is called nourishment. For so it is begotten of one Father, with the coniunction of the Mother. Things, that is, sonnes like to the Father, if they want long decoction, shalbe like to the Mother in whitenesse, and retaine the Fathers weight.


That the Stone is perfect, if the Soule be fixt in the bodie.

IT followeth afterward: The father of all the Telesme of the whole worlde is here: that is in the worke of the stone is a finall way. And note, that the Philosopher calleth the worke, the Father of all the Telesme: that is, of all secret, or of all treasure of the whole worlde: that is, of euery stone found in the world, is here. As if he should say, Behold I shew it thee. Afterward the Philosopher saith, Wilt thou that I teach thee to knowe when the vertue of the Stone is perfect and compleate? to wit, when it is conuerted into his earth: and therefore he saith, His power is entire, that is, compleate and perfect, if it be turned into earth: that is, if the Soule of the stone (whereof wee haue made mention before: which Soule may be called the winde or ayre, wherein consisteth the whole life and vertue of the stone) be conuerted into the earth, to wit of the stone, and fixed: so that the whole substance of the Stone be so with his nurse, to wit earth, that the whole Stone be turned into ferment. As in making of bread, a little leauen nourisheth and fermenteth a great deale of Paste: so will the Philosopher that our stone bee so fermented, that it may bee ferment to the multiplication of the stone.


Of the mundification and cleansing of the stone.

COnsequently, hee teacheth how the Stone ought to bee multiplied: but first he setteth downe the mundification of the stone, and the separation of the parts: saying, Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the thinne from the thicke, and that gently with great discretion. Gently, that is by little, and little, not violently, but wisely, to witte, in Philosophicall doung. Thou shalt separate, that is, dissolue: for dissolution is the separation of partes. The earth from the fire, the thinne from the thicke: that is, the lees and dregges, from the fire, the ayre, the water, and the whole substaunce of the Stone, so that the Stone may remaine most pure without all filth.

That the vnfixed part of the Stone should exceed the fixed, and lift it vp.

THe Stone thus prepared, is made fit for multiplication. And now hee setteth downe his multiplication ct easie liquefaction, with a vertue to pierce as well into hard bodies, as soft, saying: It ascendeth from the earth into heauen, and again it descendeth into the earth. Here we must diligẽtly24 note, that although our stone bee diuided in the first operation into foure partes, which are the foure Elements: notwithstanding, as wee haue alreadie saide, there are two principall parts of it. One which ascendeth vpward, and is called vnfixed, and an other which remaineth below fixed, which is called earth, or firmamẽt, which nourisheth and firmenteth the whole stone, as we haue already said. But of the vnfixed part we must haue a great quantity, and giue it to the stone (which is made most clean without all filth) so often by masterie that the whole stone be caried vpward, sublimating & subtiliating. And this is it which the Philosopher saith: It ascendeth from the earth into the heauen.

How the volatile Stone may againe be fixed.

AFter all these things, this stone thus exalted, must be incerated with the Oyle that was extracted from it in the first operation, being called the water of the stone: and so often boyle it by sublimation, till by vertue of the firmentation of the earth exalted with it, the whole stone doo againe descende from heauen into the earth, and remaine fixed and flowing. And this is it which the Philosopher sayth: It descendeth agayne into the earth, and so receyueth the vertue of the superiours by sublimation, and of the inferiours, by descension: that is, that which is25 corporall, is made spirituall by sublimation, and that which is spirituall, is made corporall by descension.

Of the fruit of the Art, and efficacie of the Stone.

SO shalt thou haue the glorie of the whole worlde. That is, this stone thus compounded, thou shalt possesse the glorie of this world. Therefore all obscuritie shall flie from thee: that is, all want and sicknesse, because the stone thus made, cureth euerie disease. Here is the mightie power of all power. For there is no comparison of other powers of this world, to the power of the stone. For it shall ouercome euery subtil thing, and shall pearce through euery solide thing. It shall ouercome, that is, by ouercomming, it shall conuert quicke Mercury, that is subtile, congealing it: and it shall pearce through other hard, solide, and compact bodies.

That this worke imitateth the Creation of the worlde.

HE giueth vs also an example of the composition of his Stone, saying, So was the world created. That is, like as the world was created, so is our stone composed. For in the beginning, the whole world and all that is therein, was a confused Masse or Chaos (as is aboue saide) but afterward by the workemanship of the soueraigne26 Creator, this masse was diuided into the foure elements, wonderfully separated and rectified, through which separation, diuers things were created: so likewise may diuers things bee made by ordering our worke, through the separation of the diuers elemẽts frõ diuers bodies. Here shal be wonderfull adaptations: that is, If thou shalt separate the elements, there shall be admirable compositions, fitte for our worke in the composition of our Stone, by the elements rectified: Wherof, to wit, of which wonderfull things fit for this: the meanes, to wit, to proceede by, is here.

An enigmaticall insinuation what the matter of the Stone shoulde be.

THerefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus. Now that he hath declared the composition of the Stone, he teacheth vs after a secret maner, wherof the Stone is made: first naming himselfe, to the ende that his schollers (who should hereafter attaine to this science) might haue his name in continuall remembrance: and then hee toucheth the matter saying: Hauing three parts of the Philosophie of the whole world: because that whatsoeuer is in the worlde, hauing matter & forme, is compounded of the foure Elements: hence is it, that there are so infinite parts of the world, all which he diuideth into three principall partes, Minerall, Vegetable, & Animall: of which iointly, or seuerally, hee had the true knowledge in27 the worke of the Sunne: for which cause hee saith, Hauing three parts of the Philosophie of the whole world, which parts are contained in one Stone, to wit, Philosophers Mercurie.

Why the Stone is said to be perfect.

FOr this cause is the Stone saide to be perfect, because it hath in it the nature of Minerals, Vegetables, and Animals: for the stone is three, and one hauing foure natures, to wit, the foure elements, & three colours, black, white, and red. It is also called a graine of corne, which if it die not, remaineth without fruit: but if it doo die (as is aboue said) when it is ioyned in coniunction, it bringeth forth much fruite, the afore named operations being accomplished. Thus curteous reader, if thou know the operation of the Stone, I haue told thee the truth: but if thou art ignorãt thereof, I haue said nothing. That which I haue spoken of the operation of the Sunne is finished: that is, that which hath beene spoken of the operation of the stone, of the three colours, and foure natures existing and beeing in one onely thing, namely in the Philosophers Mercurie, is fulfilled.

Thus endeth the Commentarie of Hortulanus, vppon the Smaragdine table of Hermes, the father of Philosophers.


The Booke of the Secrets
of Alchimie, composed by Galid
the sonne of Iazich, translated out of
Hebrew into Arabick, and out of
Arabick into Latine, and out
of Latin into English

The Preface of the difficultie of the Art.

Thankes be giuen to God the Creator of all things, who hath conducted vs, beautified vs, instructed vs, and giuen vs knowledge and vnderstanding: Except the Lorde should keepe and guide vs, wee should bee like vagabonds, without guide or teacher: yea, we shuld know nothing in the world, vnlesse he taught vs: that is, the beginning, and knowledge it selfe of all things, by his power and goodnes ouer his people. He directeth and instructeth whom he wil, and with mercie reduceth into the way of iustice: for hee hath sent his messengers into the darke places, and made plaine the wayes, and with his mercy replenished such as loue him. Know brother, that this our mastery and honourable office of the secret Stone, is a secret of the secrets of God, which hee hath concealed from his people, neither would he reueale it to any, saue to those, who like sonnes haue faythfully deserued it, knowing both his goodnesse and greatnesse: for to him that desireth a secret of God, this secret masterie is more necessary then any other. And those wise men who haue at29tained to the knowledge herof, haue concealed part therof, and part therof they haue reuealed: for so haue I found my wise predecessors agreeing in this point in their worthie bookes: wherby thou shalt knowe that my disciple Musa, (more honorable in my eies then all other) hath diligently studied their bookes, & labored much in the worke of the mastery, wherin he hath bin greatly troubled, & much perplexed, not knowing the natures of things belonging to this work: the explanation whereof, and direction wherein, he hath humbly begged at my handes: yet I would afford him no answere therin, nor determine it, but commaunded him to reade ouer the Philosophers bookes, & therin to seke yt which he craued of me, & he going his way, read aboue a hundreth bookes, as hee found them euen the true and secret bookes of noble Philosophers: but in thẽ he could not find that which he desired: so he remained astonished, & almost distracted, though by the space of a yeare he continually sought it. If therfore my scholler Musa (that hath deserued to be accoũted among ye Philosophers) haue beene so doubtfull in the composition hereof, and that this hath hapned vnto him: what shall the ignorant and vnlearned doo, that vnderstandeth not the nature of things, nor is acquainted with their complections? But when I behelde this in my choysest and dearest disciple, moued with pitty and compassion toward him, or rather by the will and appointment of God, I made this book at the houre of my death, wherin I haue pretermitted many things, that my pre30decessors haue made mention of in their bookes: and againe, I haue touched some things which they concealed, & would by no meanes open & discouer: yea, I haue expounded and laide open certain things, that they haue hidden vnder dark & figuratiue speeches. And this my book I haue called the Secrets of Alchimy: in which I haue spoken of whatsoeuer is necessarie, to him that is studious of this Art or masterie, in a language befitting his sence & vnderstanding. And I haue named foure masteries far greater and better, thẽ other Philosophers haue done: of which number is Elixir, one Mineral, the other Animall: but the other two are minerals, and not the one Elixir: whose office is to washe that, which they call the bodies: and another is to make gold of Azot-viue, whose composition or generatiõ, is according to the generation or order of generation in the mynes, being in the heart and bowels of the earth. And these foure masteries or works, the Philosophers haue declared in their bookes of the composition of this mastery: but they want much: neyther would they shew the operation of it in their bookes: and though by chaunce he found it out, yet could hee not vnderstand it: so that hee found out nothing that was more troublesome to him. I wil therefore in this my booke declare it, together with the maner how to make it: but let him that will reade it, first learne Geometry, and her measures, that so he may rightly frame his furnaces, not passing a meane, either by excesse or defect: and withall, he must know the quantitie of his fire, and the forme of the vessell fit for his worke. Moreouer, lette him consider31 what is the ground-worke and beginning of the mastery, beeing to it, as the matrice is to liuing creatures, which are fashioned in the wombe, and therin receiue their createõ & nourishment: for if the thing of this mastery finde not that which is conuenient for it, the worke is marred, and the workmen shall not find that which they looke for, neither shal the thing it self be brought to the effect of generation: for where one cannot meete with the cause of generation, or the roote, and heate it selfe, it will fall out, that the labour shall be lost, and the worke nought worth. The like mischiefe will happen in respect of weight, which if it be not aright in the compound, the partes of the same nature, passing their boundes by augmentation, or diminution, the propertie of the compound is destroyed, & the effect therof voyd and without fruit, whereof I will giue you an example. Doo not you see that in Sope (with which cloathes are washed cleane and made white) there is this property if it be rightly made, by reason of equalitie, & one proportion, which participate in length and breadth? wherupon through this participation they agree, and then it appeareth, because it was truely made, and so the vertue which before lay hid, is nowe made known, which they cal a property, being the vertue of washing engendred in the compound: but when the grauity of the compound passeth his bounds, either by addition or diminution, ye vertue itself breaketh the limits of equality, & becõmeth contrary, according to ye distẽperãce of the cõpound. And this thou must vnderstãd to happen in the cõposition of our mastery.


Of the foure Masteries, or principall works of the Art, to wit, solution, congelation, albification, and rubification.

NOy, wherein I will confirme my woordes, without concealing ought, or keeping backe any thing, saue that which is not conuenient to bee vttered or named. We say then that the great work contained in it foure masteries (as the Philosophers before vs haue affirmed) that is to say, to dissolue, to congeale, to make white and red. And these foure quantities are partakers, whereof two of them are partakers betweene themselues, and so likewise are the other two. And either of these double quãtities hath another quantity partaker, which is a greater quantity partaker after these two. I vnderstand by these quantities, the quantitie of the natures, and weight of the medicines which are orderly dissolued and congealed, wherin neither addition nor diminution haue any place. But these two, to wit, solution and congelation, shal be in one operation, and shall make but one worke, and that before composition: but after composition, their works shall bee diuers. And this solution and congelation which wee haue spoken of, are the solution of the bodie, and the congelation of the Spirite, and they are two, yet haue but one operation. For the Spirites are not congealed, except the bo33dies bee dissolued, as likewise the bodies is not dissolued, vnlesse the spirit be cõgealed: & when the soule & the body are ioyned togither, either of them worketh in his companion made like vnto him: as for example, when water is put to earth, it striueth to dissolue the earth by the moisture, vertue and propertie which it hath, making it more subtile then it was before, and bringing it to be like it selfe: for the water was more subtile then the earth: and thus doth the soule worke in the bodie, and after the same manner is the water thickened with the earth, and becommeth like vnto the earth in thicknesse, for the earth is more thicke then the water. And thou must knowe that betweene the solution of the bodie, and congelation of the spirit, there is no distance of time or diuerse work, as though one should be without the other, as there is no difference of time in the coniunction of the earth, and water, that one might be knowne & discerned from the other in their operations: but they haue both one instant, and one fact, and one and the same worke conteineth them both at once before composition: I say before composition, least he that shall read this booke, and heare the names of resolution and congelation, shoulde suppose it to be the composition which the Philosophers entreat of, for so he should sowly erre in his worke and iudgement: because composition in this worke or masterie, is a coniunction or marriage of the congealed spirit, with the dissolued bodie, and this conjunction or passion is vpon the fire. For heate is his nourishment, and34 the soule forsaketh not the bodie, neither is it otherwise knit vnto it, then by the alteration of both from their owne vertue and properties, and after the conuersion of their natures: and this is the solution and congelation, which the Philosophers first spake of; which neuerthelesse they haue hidden in their subtile discourses with darke & obscure words, that so they might alienate and estrange the mind of the reader frõ the true vnderstanding thereof: whereof thou maist take this for an example. Annoynt the leafe with poyson, and ye shall approue thereby the beginning of the worke and mastery of the same. And againe, labour the strong bodies with one solution, til either of them be turned to his subtilitie. So likewise in these folowing, except ye conuert the bodies into such subtilitie that they may bee impalbable, yee shall not find that ye looke for: and if you haue not ground them, returne backe to worke till they bee ground, and made subtill: which if you do, you shall haue your wish. And many other such sayings haue they of the same matter. The which none that euer proued this Art could vnderstand, til he hath had a plaine demonstration thereof, the former doubt being remoued. And in like maner haue they spoken of that cõposition, which is after solution & congelation. And afterward they haue said, that Cõposition is not perfect without marriage, and putrifaction: yet againe they teach solution, congelation, diuision, mariage, putrifaction, and composition, because composition is the beginning, and verie life of the thing. For vnlesse there were35 composition, the thing should neuer be brought to passe. Diuision is a separatiõ of the parts of the cõpound, & so separation hath bin his coniunction. I tell you againe, that the spirit wil not dwel with the body, nor be in it, nor by any meanes abide with it vntill the body be made subtil & thin as the spirit is. But when it is attenuate and subtill, and hath cast off his thicknes, & put on thinnes, hath forsaken his grosnesse & corpority, & is become spirituall, then shall he be mingled with the subtill spirits, & imbibed in them, so that both shall become one and the same, & they shall not be seuered, like as water put to water cannot be diuided. Suppose that of two like quantities, that are in solution and congelation, the larger is the soule, the lesser is the body: adde afterward to the quantitie which is the soule, that quãtity which is in the body, & it shall participate with the first quantity in vertue only: then worke them as we haue wrought them, and so thou shalt obtaine thy desire, and Euclide his line shall bee verified vnto thee. Afterwarde take his quantity, and know his waight, and giue him as much moysture as he will drink, the weight of which moysture we haue not here determined. Then againe worke them with an operation vnlike the former, first imbibing and subliming it, and this operation is that which they call Albification, and they name it Yarit, that is, Siluer, and and white Leade. And when thou hast made this compounde white, adde to him so much of the Spirit, as maketh halfe of the whole, and set it to working, till it waxe redde, and then36 it shall be of the colour Alsulfir, which is verie red, and the Philosophers haue likened it to golde, the effect hereof, leadeth thee to that which Aristotle saide to his Disciple Arda: wee call the claye when it is white, Yarit, that is Siluer: and when it is red, wee name it Temeynch, that is Golde. Whitenesse is that which tincteth Copper, and maketh it Yarit, and that is rednesse, which tincteth Yarit, that is siluer, & maketh it Temeynch, that is Gold. He therefore that is able to dissolue these bodies, to subtiliate thẽ, to make them white and red, and (as I haue said) to compound them by imbibing, and conuert them to the same, shall without all doubt attaine the masterie, and performe the worke whereof I haue spoken vnto thee.

Of the things and instruments necessarie and fit for this worke.

IT behoueth thee to knowe the vessels in this masterie, to wit Aludela, which the Philosophers haue called Church-yards, or Cribbles: because in them the parts are diuided, and cleansed, and in them is the matter of the masterie made compleat, perfect, and depured. And euery one of these must haue a Furnace fit for it, and let either of them haue a similitude and figure agreeable to the worke. Mezleme, and many other Philosophers, haue named all these things in their bookes, teaching the maner and37 forme thereof. And thou must know, that herein the Philosophers agree togither in their wrytings, concealing it by signes, and making many books thereof, & instruments which are necessarie in these foure foresaid things. As for the instruments, they are two in number. One is a Cucurbit, with his Alembick: the other is Aludel, that is well made. There are also foure things necessarie to these: that is to say, Bodies, Soules, Spirites, and Waters: of these foure dooth the masterie, and minerall worke consist. These are made plaine in the Philosophers Bookes, I haue therefore omitted them in mine, and onely touched those things, which they passed ouer with silence: which he shall easily discerne, that is but of indifferent iudgement. And this booke I haue not made for the ignorant and vnlearned, but for the wise and prudent.

Of the nature of things appertaining to this worke.

KNow thou that the Philosophers haue giuen them diuerse names: for some haue called them Mynes, some Animal, some Herball, and some by the name of Natures, that is Natural: some other haue called them by certaine other names at their pleasures, as seemed good vnto them. Thou must also know, that their Medicines are neere to Natures, according as38 the Philosophers haue said in their bookes, that Nature commeth nigh to nature, and Nature is like to nature, and Nature is ioyned to nature, and Nature is drowned in nature, and Nature maketh nature white, & Nature doth make nature red, and generation is retained with generation, & generation conquereth with generation.

Of Decoction, and the effect thereof.

KNow thou that the Philosophers haue named Decoction in their Bookes, saying, that they make Decoction in thinges: and that is it that engendreth them, and changeth them from their substances and colours, into other substãces and colours. If thou transgresse not, I tell thee in this booke, thou shalt proceed rightly. Consider brother, the seed of the earth, wheron men liue, how the heate of the Sunne worketh in it, till it be ripe, when men and other creatures feede vpon it, and that afterwarde Nature worketh on it by her heate within man, conuerting it into his flesh and blood. For like hereto is our operation of the masterie: the seed whereof (as the learned haue sayde) is such, that his perfection and proceeding consisteth in the fire, which is the cause of his life and death, without somwhat comming betweene, and his spiritualtie, which are not mingled but with the fire. Thus haue I tolde thee the truth, as I haue seene and done it.


Of Subtiliation, Solution, Coagulation, and commistion of the Stone, and of their cause and end.

KNow, that except thou subtiliate the bodie till all become water, it will not rust and putrifie, and then it cannot congeale the flitting soules, when the fire toucheth them: for the fire is that which congealeth them by the ayd therof vnto them. And in like maner haue the Philosophers commanded to dissolue the bodies, to the end yt heat might enter into their bowels. Again we returne to dissolue those bodies, & congeale them after their solution, with that thing which cõmeth nigh to it, vntil we ioyne all those things which haue beene mingled togither, by an apt and fit commixtion, which is a temperate quantitie. Whereupon we ioyne fire and water, earth and ayre togither: when the thick hath bin mingled with the thin, & the thinner with the thick, the one abydeth with the other, and their natures are changed and made like, wheras before they were simple, because that part which is generatiue, bestoweth his vertue vpon the subtill, and that is the ayre: for it cleaueth vnto his like, and is a part of the generation from whence it receyueth power to moue and ascend vpward. Cold hath power ouer the thick, because it hath lost his heate, and the water is gone out of it, and the thing appeared vpõ it. And the moisture departed by ascending, & the subtil part of ye aire, and mingled it selfe with it, for it is like vnto it,40 and of the same nature. And when the thicke bodie hath lost his heat and moysture, and that cold and drinesse hath power ouer him, and that their parts haue mingled themselues, and be diuided, and that there is no moysture to ioyne the partes diuided, the parts withdraw themselues. And afterwards the part which is contrary to colde, by reason that it hath continued, & sent his heat and decoction, to the parts of ye earth, hauing power ouer them, and exercising such dominion ouer the cold, that where before it was in the thicke body, it now lurketh and lieth hid, his part of generation is changed, becomming subtil and hot; and striuing to dry vp by his heat. But afterward the subtill part (that causeth natures to ascende) when it hath lost his accidentall heat, & waxeth cold, then the natures are changed, and become thicke, and descend to the center, where ye earthly natures are ioyned togither, which were subtiliate and conuerted in their generation, and imbibed in them: and so the moysture coupleth togither the parts diuided: but the earth endeuoureth to drie vp that moysture, cõpassing it about, and hindring it from going out: by means wherof, that which before lay hid, doth now appear: neither can the moysture be separated, but is retained by the drinesse. And in like maner we see, that whosoeuer is in the worlde, is retained by or with his contrarie, as heate with colde, and drinesse with moysture. Thus when each of them hath besieged his Companion, the thin is mingled with the thicke, and those things are made one substance: to wit, their soule hote41 and moyst, and their body colde and drie: then it laboureth to dissolue and subtiliate by his heate and moysture, which is his soule, and striueth to enclose and retaine with his body that is colde and drie. And in this maner, is his office changed and altered from one thing to another. Thus haue I tolde thee the truth, which I haue both seene & done, giuing thee in charge to conuert natures from their subtilitie and substances, with heate and moysture, into their substances and colours. Now if thou wouldst proceed aright in this mastery, to obtaine thy desire, passe not the boundes that I haue set thee in this booke.

The manner how to fixe the Spirit.

KNowe also, that when the bodie is mingled with moysture, and that the heate of the fire meeteth therewith, the moysture is conuerted on the body, and dissolueth it, and then the spirite cannot issue forth, because it is imbibed with the fire. The Spirits are fugitiue, so long as the bodies are mingled with them, and striue to resist the fire & his flame: and yet these parts can hardly agree without a good operation and continuall labour: for the nature of the soule is to ascend vpward, whereas the center of the soule is. And who is hee that is able to ioyne two or diuers things togither, where their centers are diuers: vnlesse it be after the conuersion of theyr natures, and change of the substance and thing,42 from his nature, which is difficult to finde out? Whosoeuer therefore can conuert the soule into the bodie, the bodie into the soule, and therewith mingle the subtile spirites, shall be able to tinct any body.

Of the Decoction, Contrition, and washing of the stone.

THou art moreouer to vnderstand, that Decoction, contrition, cribatiõ, mundification, and ablution, with sweet waters is very necessary to this secret and mastery: so that he who will bestow any paines herein, must cleanse it very well, and wash the blacknesse from it, and darknes that appeareth in his operation, and subtiliate the bodie as much as hee can, and afterwarde mingle therwith the soules dissolued, and spirits cleansed, so long as he thinke good.

Of the quantitie of the Fire, and of the commoditie and discommoditie of it.

FVrthermore, thou must bee acquainted with the quantity of the fire, for the benefit and losse of this thing, proceedeth from the benefit of the fire. Wherupon Plato said in his booke: The fire yeeldeth profit to that which is perfect, but domage and corruption to that which is corrupt: so that when43 his quantitie shal be meete & conuenient, it shal prosper, but if it shall exceed measure in things, it shal without measure corrupt both: to wit, the perfect and corrupt: and for this cause it was requisite that the learned should poure their medicines vpon Elixir, to hinder and remoue from them the burning of the fire, & his heate. Hermes also said to his father. I am afraide Father of the enemie in my house: to whom he made answer, Son take the dog Corascene, & the bitch of Armenia, put them together, and they shal bring a dog of the colour of heauen, and dip him once in the sea water: for he shall keepe thy friend, and defend thee from thy enemie, and shall helpe thee whersoeuer thou become, alwaies abiding with thee, both in this world, and in the world to come. Now Hermes meant by the dog & bitch, such things as preserue bodies from the scorching heate of the fire. And these things are waters of Calces and Salts, the composition whereof, is to be found in the Philosophers books, that haue written of this mastery, among whome, some haue named them Sea-waters, and Birdes milke, and such like.

Of the Separation of the Elements of the Stone.

THou must afterward bother, take this precious Stone, which the Philosophers haue named, magnified, hiddẽ & concealed, & put it in a Cucurbit with his Alembick, & diuide his natures:44 that is, the foure elemẽts, the Earth, the Water, the Aire, and the Fire. These are the body and soule, the spirit and tincture. When thou hast diuided the water from the earth, and the aire from the fire, keepe both of them by themselues, and take that which descendeth to the bottom of the glasse, beeing the lees, and wash it with a warme fire, til his blacknesse be gone, and his thicknesse departed: then make him very white, causing the superfluous moysture to flie away, for then hee shall bee changed and become a white calx, wherein there is no cloudie darkenesse, nor vncleannesse, and contrarietie. Afterward returne back to the first natures, which ascended from it, and purifie thẽ likewise from vncleannes, blacknesse, and contrarietie: and reiterate these works vpon thẽ so often, vntil they be subtiliate, purified, and made thin: which when thou hast done, thou shalt acknowledge that God hath bin gracious vnto thee. Know brother, that this work is one stone, into which Gatib may not enter, that is to say, any strange thing. The learned work with this, and from hence proceedeth a medicine that giueth perfection. There must nothing be mingled herewith, either in part or whole. This Stone is to be found at all times, in euerie place, and about euery man, the search whereof is not troublesome to him that seeketh it, wheresoeuer he be. This Stone is vile, blacke, and stinking: It costeth nothing: it must bee taken alone: it is somewhat heauie, and it is called the Originall of the world, because it riseth vp like things that bud forth. This is his reuelation and apparence45 to him that maketh inquirie after it.

Of the nature of the Stone, and his birth.

TAke it therefore and worke it as the Philosopher hath told you in his booke, when he named it after this maner. Take the Stone, no Stone, or that is not a Stone, neither is of the nature of a Stone. It is a Stone whose myne is in the top of the mountaines: and here by mountaines, the Philosopher vnderstandeth liuing creatures, wherupon he saide. Sonne, go to the mountaines of India, and to his caues, & pull out thence precious stones which will melt in the water when they are putte into it. And this water is that which is taken from other mountaines and hollow places. They are stones Sonne, and they are not stones, but we call them so for a Similitude which they haue to stones. And thou must know, that the rootes of their mynes are in the ayre, and their tops in the earth, and it wil easily be heard when they are pluckt out of their places, for there will be a great noyse. Goe with them my sonne, for they will quickly vanish away.

Of the commistion of the Elements that were seperated.

BEgin composition, which is the circuite of the whole worke, for there shall be no compositi46on without marriage and putrefaction. The Marriage is to mingle the thinne with the thicke, and Putrefaction, is to rost, grinde, and water, so long till all be mingled together and become one, so that there should bee no diuersitie in them, nor separation from water mingled with water. Then shall the thicke labour to retaine the thinne: then shall the soule striue with the fire, and endeuour to beare it: then shall the Spirite labour to be drowned in the bodyes, and poured foorth into them. And this must needes bee, because the bodye dissolued, when it is commixt with the Soule, it is likewise commixt with euerie part therof: & other things enter into other things, according to theyr similitude and likenesse, and are changed into one and the same thing. And for this cause the soule must partake with the commoditie, durablenesse, and permanencie, which the body receiued in his commixtion. The like also must befall the Spirite in this state or permanencie of the soule and body: for when the Spirit shall bee commixt with the soule by laborious operation, and all his partes with all the partes of the other two, to wit, the soule and bodie, then shall the Spirite and the other two, bee conuerted into one indiuisible thing, according to their entire substance, whose natures haue beene preserued, and their partes haue agreed and come together: whereby it hath come to passe, that when this compounde hath met with a body dissolued, and that heate hath got hold of it, and that the moysture which was in it appeareth, and is molten in the dissolued body, and hath passed into it, and mixt it selfe with that which was47 of the nature of moysture, it is inflamed, and the fire defendeth it self with it. Then when the fire would be enflamed with it, it will not suffer the fire to take holde of it, that is to say: to cleaue vnto it with the Spirit mingled with his water. The fire will not abide by it vntill it be pure. And in like manner doth the water naturally flie from the fire, wherof when the fire hath taken hold, it doth forth with by little and little euaporate. And thus hath the body beene the meanes to retaine the water, and the water to retaine the oyle, that it should not burne nor consume away, and the oyle to retaine tincture, and tincture the precise cause to make the colour appear and shew forth the tincture, wherein there is neither light nor life. This then is the true life and perfection of the worke and masterie which thou soughtest for. Be wise therefore and vnderstande, and thou shalt find what thou lookest for, if it please God.

Of the solution of the Stone compounded.

THe Philosophers moreouer haue taken great paines in dissoluing, that the body and soule might the better be incorporate, for all those things that are together in contrition, assation, and rigation, haue a certaine affinitie and alliance betweene themselues, so that the fire may spoyle the weaker of nature, till it vtterly fade and vanish away, as also it again returneth vpon the stronger parts, vntil the bodie remaine without the Soule. But when48 they are thus dissolued and congealed, they take the parts one with another, as well great as small, and incorporate them well together, till they be conuerted and changed into one and the same thing. And when this is done, the fire taketh from the Soule as much as from the body, neither more nor lesse, and this is the cause of perfection. For this cause it is necessary (teaching the composition of Elixir) to afford one chapter for expounding the solution of simple bodyes and soules, because bodyes doo not enter into soules, but do rather withhold and hinder them from sublimatiõ, fixation, retention, commistion, and the like operations, except mundification go before. And thou shalt know, that solution is after one of these two wayes: for either it extracteth the inward parts of things vnto their Superficies, and this is solution (an example whereof thou hast in Siluer that seemeth cold and drie, but being dissolued, and that his inwards appeare, it is found hot and moyst) or else it is to purchase to a body an accidentall moysture, which it had not before, and to adde hereunto his owne humiditie, whereby his parts may be dissolued, and this likewise is called solution.

Of the coagulation of the Stone dissolued.

SOme among the learned haue said, Congeale in a bath with a good congelation as I haue tolde thee, and this is Sulphur shining in darknesse, a red Hiasinth, a firy & deadly poyson, the Elixir that abideth vppon none, a victorious Lion, a malefactor,49 a sharpe sworde, a precious Triacle, healing euery infirmitie. And Geber the sonne of Hayen sayd, that all the operations of this masterie are contained vnder sixe things: to put to flight, to melt, to incerate, to make as white as Marble, to dissolue and congeale. That putting to flight, is to driue away and remoue blacknesse, from the spirit and soule: the melting is the liquefaction of the body: to incerate belongeth properly to the body, and is the subtiliation thereof: to whiten, is properly to melt speedily: to congeale, is to congeale the body with the soule alreadie prepared. Againe, flight appertaineth to the body and soule: to melt, whiten, incerate, and dissolue, belong vnto the body, and congelation to the soule. Bee wise and vnderstand.

That there is but one Stone, and of his nature.

BAuzan a Greeke Philosopher, when it was demaunded of him, whether a stone may be made of a thing that buddeth, made answere, yea, to wit, the two first stones, the stone Alkali, and our stone, which is the life and workmanship of him that knoweth it: but he that is ignorant of it, and hath not made it, and knoweth not how it is engendred, supposing it to be no stone, or that conceiueth not with himselfe whatsoeuer I haue spoken of it, and yet will make a tryall of it, prepareth himselfe for death, and casteth away his money: for if he cannot finde out this precious stone, another shall not arise in his place, neither shall natures triumph ouer him. His nature is great heate with moderation. He that50 now knoweth it, hath profited by reading this booke, but he that remaineth ignorant, hath lost his labour. It hath many properties and vertues, for it cureth bodies of their accidentall diseases, and preserueth sound substances, in such sort, that their appeareth in them no perturbations of contraries, nor breach of their bond and vnion. For this is the sope of bodies, yea their spirit and soule, which when it is incorporate with them, dissolueth them without any losse. This is the life of the dead, and their resurrection, a medicine preseruing bodies, and purging superfluities. He that vnderstandeth, let him vnderstand, and he that is ignorant, let him bee ignorant stil: for it is not to be bought with mony, it is neither to be bought nor sold. Conceiue his vertue, value, and worth, and then begin to worke: wherof a learned man hath said: God giueth thee not this masterie for thy sole audacity, fortitude & subtilitie, without all labour, but men labor, and God giueth them good successe. Adore thẽ God the creator, that hath vouchsafed thee so great fauor in his blessed works.

The maner how to make the Stone white.

NOwe therefore when thou wilt enterprise this worthy worke, thou shalt take the precious stone, and put it in a Cucurbite, couering it with an Alembicke, being well closed with the lute of wisdome, and set it in verie hote dung, then shalt thou distill it, putting a receiuer vnder it, whereinto the water may distill, and thus thou shalt leaue it, till51 all the water be distilled, and moysture dryed vp, and that drynesse preuaile ouer it: then shalt thou take it out drie, reseruing the water that is distilled, vntill thou hast neede of it: thou shalt take (I say) the drie bodie that remayned in the bottome of the Cucurbite, and grinde it, and put it in a vessel, in greatnesse answerable to the quantitie of the medicine, and burie it in verie hote horse-dung as thou canst get, the Vessell beeing well shut with the lute of Wisedome, and so let it rest. But when thou perceyuest the dung to waxe colde, thou shalt get thee other that is fresh, and very hot, and therein put thy Vessell. Thus shalt thou do by the space of fortie dayes, renuing thy dung so often as occasion shall serue, and the Medicine shall dissolue of it selfe, and become a thicke white water: which when thou beholdest to be so, thou shalt weigh it, & put thereto so much of the water which thou hast kept, as will make the halfe of his weight, closing thy Vessell with the lute of Wisedome, and put it againe in hote horse-dung, for that is hote and moyst, and thou shalt not omit (as I haue sayde) to renue the dung, when it beginneth to coole, till the tearme of fortie dayes be expired: for the Medicine shall be congealed in the like number of dayes, as before it was dissolued in. Again, take it, and note the iust weight of it, and according to his quantitie, take of the water which thou madest before, grind the body, and subtiliate it, and poure the water vpon it, and set it againe in hot hors-dung, for a weeke and a halfe, that is to say, ten daies, then take it out, and thou shalt see that the bodie hath already drunk vp the water. Afterward grinde it againe, and52 put thereto the like quantitie of that water, as thou didst before: bury it in dung, and leaue it there for ten dayes more: take it out againe, and thou shalt find that the body hath already drunke vp the water. Then (as before) grinde it, putting thereto of the foresayd water, the foresayd quantitie, and bury it in the foresayd dung, and let it rest there ten dayes longer, and afterward draw it out, so shalt thou do the fourth time also: which being done, thou shalt drawe it forth, and grinde it, and burie it in dung till it bee dissolued. Afterward, take it out, and reiterate it yet once more, for then the birth is perfect, and his worke ended. Now when this is done, and that thou hast brought this thing to this honourable estate, thou shalt take two hundred and fiftie drams of Lead, or Steele, and melt it: which beeing molten, thou shalt cast thereon one dramme of Cinnabarus: that is, of this Medicine, which thou hast brought to this honourable estate, and high degree, and it shall retaine the Steele or Leade, that it fly not from the fire: it shall make it white, and purge it from his drosse and blacknesse, and conuert it into a tincture perpetually abiding. Then take a dramme of these two hundred and fiftie, and proiect it vpon two hundred and fiftie drammes of Steele or Copper, and it shall conuert it into Siluer, better then that of the Myne. This is the greatest and last worke that it can effect, if God will.


The conuersion of the foresaid stone into red.

ANd if thou desirest to conuert this masterie into Golde, take of this medicine (which as I saide, thou hast brought to this honourable estate and excellencie) the waight of one dramme (and this after the manner of thy former example) and put it in a vessell, and bury it in hors-dung for fortie dayes, and it shall be dissolued: then thou shalt giue it water of the dissolued body to drink, first as much as amounteth to halfe his waight, afterward vntill it bee congealed, thou shalt bury it in moyst hot dung, as is aboue sayd. Then thou shalt orderly proceed in this Chapter of Gold, as thou hast done in the former Chapter of Siluer: and it shall be Golde, and make Golde God willing. My Sonne keepe this most secret Booke, and commit it not vnto the handes of ignorant men, being a secret of the secretes of God: For by this meanes thou shalt attaine thy desire. Amen.

Here endeth the secrets Alchimy, written in Hebrew by Calid, the sonne of Iarich.


An excellent discourse of
the admirable force and efficacie of Art and
Nature, written by the famous Frier Roger Bacon,
Sometime fellow of Merton Colledge, and
afterward of Brasen-nose in


Ome there are that aske whether of these twaine bee of greatest force, and efficacie, Nature, or Art, whereto I make aunswere, and say, that although Nature be mightie and maruailous, yet Art vsing Nature for an instrument, is more powerfull then naturall vertue, as it is to bee seene in many thinges. But whatsoeuer is done without the operation of Nature or Art, is either no humane worke, or if it bee, it is fraudulently and colourablie performed: for there are some, that by a nimble motion and shewe of members, or through the diuersitie of voyces, and subtillitie of instruments, or in the darke, and by consent doo propose vnto men diuerse things, to bee wondred at, that haue indeede no truth at all. The worlde is euerie where full of such fellowes. For Iuglers cogge many things through the swiftnesse of their hands: and others with varietie of voyces, by certaine deuices that they haue in their bellies, throats or mouthes, will frame mens voyces, farre of, or neare, as it pleaseth thẽ, as if a man spake at the same instant: yea they will counterfeite the soundes of bruit beasts. But the causes hidden in the grasse, or buried in the sides of the earth, proue55 it to bee done by a humane force, and not by a spirit, as they would make men beleeue. In like maner, wheras they affirm things without life to moue verie swiftly in the twilight of the euening or morning, it is altogither false, and vntrue. As for concent, it can faigne any thing that men desire, according as they are disposed togither. In all these neither Physicall reason, nor Art, nor naturall power hath anye place: and for this cause it is more abhominable, sith it contemneth the lawes of Phylosophie, and contrarie to all reason, inuocateth wicked Spirites, that by theyr helpe they may haue their desire. And herein are they deceyued, that they thinke the Spirits to bee subiect vnto them, and that they are compelled at mens pleasures, which is impossible: for humane force is farre inferiour to that of the Spirites. And againe, they fowly erre, to dreame that the cursed spirits are called vppe, and figured, by vertue of those naturall meanes which they vse. Moreouer, they notoriously offende when they goe about by inuocations, deprecations, and sacrifices to appease them, and vse them for the benefite and commoditie of man. For this were without all comparison more easie to bee attayned at the handes of God, or of good spirites. But yet the malignaunt spirits will not yeeld vnto vs in those things which are very hurtfull and daungerous, saue so farre forth as it pleaseth God (who ruleth and gouerneth mankinde), for the sinnes of men to permit and suffer them. These wayes and meanes therefore are besides the rules and precepts of Wisedome (nay rather they are contrarie vnto them) and the Phylosophers did neuer make account of them.


Now concerning Charmes, Characters, and such like trumperies that are vsed in these dayes, I adiudge them to bee all false and doubtfull. For some are without all shewe of reason, whereof the Philosophers haue made mention in the woorkes of Nature and Art, to the ende they might conceale secrets from the vnworthie, as if it were altogither vnknowne, that the Load-stone could attract Iron: and one desirous to woorke this feate before the people, shoulde make Characters, and pronounce Charmes, that by this meanes he might bring it to passe, this worke of his should be erroneous and deceitfull. After this maner there are many thinges hidden in the Philosophers bookes, wherein a wise man must beware, that neglecting the Charmes and Characters, he onely attend and make tryall of the worke of Nature and Art. And then he shall perceyue things liuing, and without life, to concurre and agree in Nature, for the conformitie and likenesse of their Natures, and not by vertue of the Charme or Character: whereas the simple people suppose manie things to bee wrought by Magicke, which are nothing else but the secretes of Art and Nature. Yea, the Magitians themselues doo vainelie repose such confidence, in theyr Charmes and Characters, as though they should receyue power from them, that in the meane time they forsake the woorke of Arte and Nature. And by this meanes both these kinde of men are depryued of the benefite of Wisedome, theyr owne follye so constrayning. Neuerthelesse, there are certaine deprecations long since, framed and instituted by faithfull men, or rather ordained by God himselfe, and his Angels, that57 may retaine their pristine and ancient vertue, as it is yet to bee seene in many Countreyes, where they make certain prayers ouer Iron red hot, & ouer the water of ye riuer, & suchlike, thereby to approue the innocent, and cõdemne the guilty: and these things are thought to be brought to passe by the authority of the prelates. For euẽ the priests themselues do vse Exorcismes, as we may reade in the consecration of blessed water, and the old law of the water of purification, wherby adultery & breach of wedlock was sifted out. And ther are many other such like things. But as for those things that are contained in the Magicians books, we must vtterly reiect them, though they bee not altogether deuoyde of truth, because they be so stuffed with fables, that the truth cannot be discerned from falshoold. So that we must giue no credit to such as say, that Solomon and other learned men made them: for these bookes are not receiued by the authoritie of the Church nor of wise men, but by Seducers, that take the bare letter and make newe books themselues, and fill the world with their new inuentions, as daily experience teacheth vs. And to the ende men might be the more throughly allured, they giue glorious titles to their workes, and foolishly ascribe them to such and such Authors, as though they spake nothing of themselues: and write base matters in a loftie stile, and with ye cloke of a text do hide their own forgeries. But as for Characters, they are either words vnder the forme of some letters, containing in them the matter of a prayer, or else they are made for the seruice and worship of certaine Stars at speciall times. Of Characters, in the first sence, we are to iudge in the same sort, as we did of prayers: but as for these58 latter figures and Characters, it is well knowne that they haue no vertue nor efficacie at all, vnlesse they be framed in their proper seasõs. For which cause he that maketh them as he findeth them, in the books, obseruing only the figure wherein he followeth his sampler, is judged by al wise men to do iust nothing. But contrariwise, he that worketh according to the aspect of the heauens, in due constellations is able not onely to dispose of his Characters, but euen of all his works, as well artificiall as natural, agreeable to the influence of the heauen. Neuerthelesse, for so much as it is very difficult to perceiue the certainty of heauenly bodies, many are ouertaken with grosse errors, & few there are that can truly & profitably order any thing. And hence it is that the common Mathematicians iudging and working by Magick Starres, and by workes, as it were iudgements at choyse times, become nothing famous, although they bee right cunning, and throughly acquainted with the Arte, and are able to bring many things to passe. But it must not bee forgotten that the skilfull Phisition and any other, of what profession soeuer may to good purpose vse Charmes and Characters, though they bee fained after the opinion of Constantinus the Phisition: not as though Charmes and Characters coulde worke any thing, but that the Medicine might bee the more willingly and readily receyued, and that the minde of the patient might bee excited to become more confident, and bee filled with ioye: for the Soule thus affected, is able to renue many things in his owne bodie, insomuch that it may recouer his former health, through the ioy and hope it hath conceiued. If59 therefore the Physition for the magnifying of his worke, doo administer any such thing, that his patient may not dispayre of his health, it is not to bee abhorred if wee will credite the sayde Constantinus. For hee in his Epistle of those things which may be hanged about the necke, graunteth that Charmes and Characters may thus bee vsed, and in this cause defendeth them: for the soule hath great power ouer the body through his strong and forcible operations, as Auicenna sayth in his Bookes of the Soule, and in his eight booke of liuing Creatures, and in this poynt all wise men agree: and for this cause sicke folkes are suffered to see playes, and pleasaunt thinges are brought vnto them: yea, oftentimes following theyr humour, wee giue them many contrary thinges, because the affection and appetite of the soule ouercommeth sicknesse. The quantitie is called by the Logitians Passion, or passible qualitie, An example of a passible qualitie, is sweetnesse in hony, or coldnesse in yce: of passion when we blush for shame, and waxe pale through feare. Nowe forsomuch as the truth must in no wise bee empayred, wee are diligently to consider that euery Agent (not onely substances, but likewise Accidens of the third kinde of Qualities) worketh a vertue, and maketh an apparance in the outward nature, and that there are certain sensible vertues in things. This therefore may worke a vertue and kinde out of it selfe, and the rather because it is more excellent then other corporall things, but cheefely for the worthinesse of the soule. And men do not exercise only through heat, but their spirits are stirred vppe within them, as they likewise are in other liuing creatures. And we see that some creatures are changed, and do change such things as are obedient vnto them: as for example: The Basiliske slaieth a man if it doo but beholde him, the wolfe maketh a man 60hoarse, if it spie him first: and the Hyena (as Solinus reporteth in his wonders of the worlde and other Authors) will not suffer a dog to barke within his shadow. Yea, Aristotle sayth in his booke of Vegetables, that the frutes of the female Palme trees wax ripe by the smell of the male Palmes: and in some regions, Mares conceiue with yong through the very sent of the horses, as Solinus recordeth: and many such things happen through the kinds and vertues of creatures and plants, euen many strange & wonderfull things, as Aristotle affirmeth in his booke of Secrets. Now if plants and liuing creatures cannot attaine vnto the excellencie of mans nature, they shall much lesse be able to worke vertues & kinds, and sende foorth colours for the alterations of bodies without them: whereupon Aristotle saith in his booke of Sleep & Watching, that if a menstrous Woman beholde her selfe in a looking glasse, shee will infect it, so that there will appeare a cloude of bloud. And Solinus reporteth, that in Sythia there are women which haue a double Ball or Apple in one eye (which caused Ouid to say, Nos quoque pupilla duplex) who when they are angry, slay men with the very looking on them. And we know that a man of an ill complexion, hauing some contagious disease, as the leprosie or falling-sicknesse, or a sharpe ague, or very bad eyes, and the like, poysoneth and infecteth others that are in his company: but contrariwise, men of a good and healthie complexion, especially yong men, do comfort others, and make men ioyfull with their presence, which commeth to passe by reason of their delicate Spirits: theyr holsom and pleasant vapours: their kindly & natural heate: I say it is by meanes of the spirits and vertues61 which proceede from them, as Galen teacheth vs in Techin. And these things become hurtful, if the soule be corrupted with many grosse sins, beeing coupled with a diseased body of an euill complexion: and in like case is it, if there be a feruent appetite, and vehement desire to hurt and mischiefe. For then the nature of the complexion and soundnesse woorketh more forcibly by the cogitations of the soule, and longing desires that it hath. For which cause the Leper that earnestly wisheth, and with exceeding carefulnesse intendeth to infect some body that standeth before him, doth both more speedily and dangerously infect him, then he could haue done if he had not before hand thought hereof, desired and purposed in. For Nature (as Auicen teacheth, in the foresayde places) obeyeth the thoughts, and vehement desires of the Soule: yea, there should bee no operation at all in men, if the natural vertue in the members did not subiect it selfe to the thoughts and desires of the soule. For (as Auicen teacheth in the thirde of the Metaphysickes) the first moouer is a thought, and the next a desire conformable to the thought: And last of all, the vertue of the Soule in the members, which yeeldeth obedience to the desire and thought, and that both in euill and good. Whereupon when these thinges are to bee seene in a man, a good complexion, health of bodie, youth, beautie, comly proportion of the members, and a Soule free from sinne, an earnest thought and vehement desire to some worke, then whatsoeuer may be effected by the kinde and vertue of man, by the spirits and naturall heate, it must of necessitie be more forcibly and throughly wrought by these & such like62 Spirites, Vapours, and influences, then if anie of these were wanting, especially if there bee an earnest desire and forcible intention. So then many straunge matters may bee brought to passe by the woordes and workes of man, when all the fore-named causes doo concurre and meete together: for wordes proceede from within by the thoughts of the Soule, and desire, commeth by the motion of the Spirites, heate and vocall arterie-And the generation of these thinges hath open wayes, through which is a great passage of Spirits, heate, euaporation, vertue and kindes, which may bee made by the Soule and heart. By reason whereof, there are alterations and chaunges made in thinges spirituall (other things being answerable) by words according to that naturall power which is due vnto them. For wee see that by reason of these and such like arteries, gaspings and yawnings, and many resolutions of the Spirites, and of heate arise from the heart in the inwarde partes: which sometimes hurt vs, when they proceede from a crazie body: that is, of an euill complexion: and againe they greatly profite and comfort vs, when they come from a pure and sound bodie of a good complexion. In like sort therefore, there may be some naturall operations in the generation and pronunciation of woordes, with an intent and desire of working: so that not without good cause we vse to say, that a liuely voice is of great efficacie, not because it hath that vertue, which the Magitians dreame of: or that it is able to make and alter as others thinke, but because it is as nature hath ordained. We must therefore be verie circumspect in these things: for a man may easily tread awry, and many erre in both63 partes. Some denie that there is any operation: but others exceede and flie vnto Magicke. And hence it is, that there are so many bookes in the worlde of charmes, and characters, praiers, coniurations, sacrifices, and such like, that are meere Magicke: as the booke of the offices of Spirits, the book of the death of the Soule, the booke of Art notorie, and infinite more of the same kinde, that containe not in them the power of Art or Nature, but are wholy stuffed with the idle deuises of vaine magitians. Yet it must be remembred, that many bookes are ascribed to Magitians, which in truth are not such, but containe in them the excellencie of wisdome. Now amongst these, which are suspected, and which not, euerye mans particular experience shall instruct him. For if in any of them wee can meete with a worke of Nature or Art, let vs make choyse of that: if not, let vs leaue it as suspicious, and ill beseeming a wise man. It is the part of a Magitian so to handle thinges needlesse and superfluous: for (as Isaak iudgeth in his booke of Feuers) the reasonable Soule is not hindered in her operations, vnlesse it be detayned by ignoraunce. And Aristotle sayeth in his booke of Secretes, that in such matter a sounde and healthy person may doo any thing that is expedient for men, though not without the influence of diuine vertue: & in the third of the Meteors, he saith, that there is no vertue, but it cõmeth from God: and about the latter end of his Ethicks, he affirmeth, that there is no vertue, neither Moral, nor Naturall, endued with a celestiall vertue, without a diuine and celestiall influence. So that when we speake of the power of particular agents, we do not exclude the regiment of the vniuersal agent, and64 first cause. For euery first cause hath a greater influence in the thing caused, then the second cause, as it appeareth by the first proposition of causes.

Now will I begin to recount vnto you strange things, performed by Arte and Nature, and afterwards I will shew you the causes and manners of things, wherein shall bee nothing Magicall, so that you shall confesse all Magicke power to be inferior to these, and vnworthie to be compared with them. And first of all by the figuration of Art it selfe: There may bee made instruments of Nauigation without men to rowe in them: as huge Shippes to brooke the Sea, onely with one man to steere them, which shal saile farre more swiftly then if they were full of men. And Chariots that shall mooue with an vnspeakeable force, without any liuing creature to stirre them: such as the crooked Chariots are supposed to haue beene, wherein in olde time they vsed to fight, yea instruments to flie withall, so that one sitting in the middle of the Instrument, and turning about an Engine, by which the winges being artificially composed may beate the ayre after the maner of a flying bird. Besides, there may bee made a small Instrument in quantitie, to lift vppe, and let downe things of great waight, then which there is nothing more commodious to weigh with. For by an Instrument of three fingers high, and three fingers broad and lesse quantitie, may a man ridde himselfe, and his companions from all daunger of imprisonment, and lift them vp, and let them downe. Yea such an Instrument may easily be made, whereby a man may violently draw vnto him a thousand men, will they, nill they, and any other thing.


Moreouer instruments may be made wherewith men may walke in the bottome of the Sea or Riuers without bodily danger, which Alexander the great vsed, to the ende he might beholde the secrets of the seas, as the Ethick Philosopher reporteth: and these haue bin made not onely in times past, but euen in our dayes. And it is certaine that there is an instrument to flie with, which I neuer sawe, nor know any mã that hath seene it, but I full wel know by name the learned man that inuented the same. In a worde, a man may make an infinite sort of such things: as bridges ouer Riuers without postes or pillers, and instruments and engins neuer heard of before.

But physicall figurations are far more strange: for in such maner may we frame perspects and looking-glasses, yt one thing shall appeare to be many, as one man shall seeme a whole armie, and diuers Sunnes and Moones, yea, as many as wee please, shall appeare at one time: for in such wise sometimes are the vapours figured, that two or three Sunnes, and two Moones appeare together in the ayre, as Plynie witnesseth in the second booke of his naturall History. For by the same reason that one thing may seeme to be many things, it may likewise seeme to be infinite things because that when once it hath exceeded his vertue, there is no sette number to be assigned: for thus Aristotle reasoneth in the Chapter De vacuo. So that by this meanes a man may strike infinite terrors into any citie or army, insomuch that either through the manifolde apparitions of stars, or of men gathered together against them, they should vtterly perish, but in especiall, if there follow such an instrument wherwith at the first they may be had. For so66 may the perspects be framed, that things most farre off may seeme most nigh vnto vs, and cleane contrarie. So that we may reade verie small letters, an incredible distance from vs, and beholde things how little soeuer they bee, and make starres to appeare wheresoeuer wee will. And it is thought that Iulius Cæsar did from the Sea coastes in Fraunce marke and obserue the disposition and situation of the Castles and Citties of the lesser Brytannie by the helpe of great glasses. Bodyes also may so bee framed, that the greatest things shall appeare to be the least, the highest to bee the lowest, the most secret to bee the most manifest, and in like sort the contrarie. Thus did Socrates perceiue that the Dragon (which destroied the Citie and countrey adioyning with his noysome breath, and contagious influence) did lurke in the dens betweene the mountains. And thus may all things that are done in cities or armies be discouered by ye enemies. Again, in such wise may bodies be framed, that venimous and infectious influences may be brought whither a man will. And thus it is reported, that Aristotle instructed Alexander: through which instruction, the poyson of a Basiliske beeing lift vp vpon the wall of a citie against an armie, brought it into the Citie. And besides all these, we may so frame perspects, that any man entring into a house, hee shoulde indeede see golde, and siluer, and precious stones, and what else he will, but when he maketh haste to the place, hee shall finde iust nothing. But it appertaineth to higher powers of figurations, that beames should bee brought and assembled by diuers flexions and reflexions in any distance that wee will, to burne whatsoeuer is opposite vnto it, as it is67 witnessed by those perspects that burne before and behinde, according as certaine authours teach in their bookes treating of these matters. But the greatest and cheefest of all figurations and things figured, is to describe the heauenly bodies according to their length and breadth in a corporall figure, wherin they may corporally moue with a daily motion. These things are worth a kingdome to a wise and discreet man. Let these things suffice for examples of figurations, though many other wonderfull things might be produced. Now hereunto there are certaine other, to be annexed without figurations. In any distance that wee will, wee may artificially make a burning fire of Salt Peeter and other things, as also of oyle, red Petrolium, and such like: and moreouer of Amber, of Naptha, white Petrolium, and the like: according to that which Pliny reporteth in his second booke, namely that in a certaine Citie hee defended himselfe against the Romane armie: for hee burnt an armed souldior with diuers things which he cast at him. The Greeke fire is not much vnlike these, and many other burning things.

Besides, there may be made perpetuall lights, and bathes burning without end, for we haue knowne many that are not burned, but purified. But ouer and besides these, there are other things of Nature that will amaze and astonish vs to heare of them: for noyses may bee made in the aire like thunders, yea with greater horror then those that come by Nature: for a little matter fitted to the quantitie of a thumbe, maketh a horrible noyse, and wonderfull lightning. And this is done after sundry fashions, whereby any citie and armie may be destroyed, after68 the manner of skilfull Gedeon, who hauing onely three hundredth men, discomfited the hosts of the Madianites, with broken pitchers, and lamps, & fire issuing out with an vnspeakeable noyse. These are maruailous things, if men knewe how to vse them effctually in a due quantitie and matter.

But nowe I will propose many strange things of another kind, which although they haue no great profite, yet are they a most apparent demonstration of wisedome, and may be vsed for the prouing of any secret things, which the rude multitude gainsay, being like to the attraction of Iron by the Adamant. For who would beleeue such an attraction, vnlesse he behelde it? and there be many wonders of nature in this drawing of the Iron, that are vnknowne to the common people, as experience teacheth the studious. But these things are greater and more in number: for there is the like attraction of all mettals by the Stone of golde and siluer: and the Stone runneth to Vineger. Yea plants, and the parts of liuing creaturs beeing locally diuided the one from the other, will notwithstanding by a naturall motion concurre and come together again. Now when I had beheld these and such like things, and considered them well, I thought nothing incredible, neyther in diuine nor humane things. Yet there are greater behinde then these. For the whole power of the Mathematickes (according to the practise of Ptolemy, in the .8. de Almagesto) setteth but an instrument vppon the superficies, wherein all things that are in the heauen shall be truely described with theyr lengths and breadths: but that they should naturally mooue with a daily motion, is not in the Mathematicians power. Yet doth the69 faithfull and industrious practisioner, earnestly desire to make it of such a matter and after such a manner. That the heauens should be naturally moued with a daily motion, seemeth impossible vnto him, because many things are carryed with the motion of the heauenly bodyes, as Comets, and the sea when it floweth, and other things: eyther wholy or in parte: for then should all instruments of Astrology be in vaine, as well those which haue beene inuented by the learned, as those that haue beene deuised by the common sort, neyther shoulde a Kings treasure bee skant comparable. Moreouer, there may yet greater things bee performed, though not in respect of their straungenesse, yet if wee regarde a publike or priuate commoditie, namely, to gette as great plenty of golde and siluer as we list, not by a possibilitie of Nature, but by the perfection of Art, forasmuch as there are seuenteene manners of golde, whereof eight in number haue a commixtion of Argent-uiue with gold. Now the first kinde of golde is made of certaine parts of golde, and some partes of siluer, vntill wee reach vnto the two and twentieth degree of Gold, alwayes augmenting one degree of gold with one of siluer: and there are as many more of the admixtion of Brasse with Golde. So that the last manner consisteth of foure and twentie degrees of pure golde, without the admixtion of any other mettall: and nature cannot proceede any further, as experience teacheth. But Art may augment gold very much in the parts of purity, and likewise accomplish it without fraude or couine. But this is a greater matter then the former, that although the reasonable soule cannot bee constrai70ned, yet may she be effectually disposed, indued, and prouoked, freely to change her maners, affections and desires, according to another mans pleasures: and this may be effected, not in one particular person alone, but in the whole body of a Citie, or people of a Kingdome. And such a matter Aristotle teacheth in his booke of Secrets, as well of a nation, as of an army or priuate person. These things are almost as much as nature or Art are able to performe. But yet the last decree, wherein the perfection of Art can doo oughts with all the power of nature, is the prolonging of life for a great space, and the possibilitie hereof is approued by many experimẽts. For Plynie reporteth, that there was a Souldiour lustie and strong both in body & mind, that continued healthy beyond the accustomed age of man, who when Octauianus Augustus asked him what he did that made him liue so long, made aunswere in a riddle, that he vsed oyle outwardly, and sweet wine inwardly. But afterwards there fell out many such things: for on a time, as a husband man was plowing, he chanced to finde a golden vessell with a precious licour, which he surmising to be the dew of heauen, washt his face with it, and dranke thereof, and was incontinently renewed in Spirite, in body, and in quicknesse of witte: for which cause, of a plow-man hee was made porter to the King of Sicily: & this hapned in the time of king Ostus. Besides, it is confirmed by the testimony of the Popes letters, that Almanichus beeing Captaine among the Saracens took a medicine, by the benifit wherof, he prolonged his life fiue hundred yeares. For the king to whom hee was prisoner, receiued Ambassadors from king Magus with this medicine, but forasmuch71 as he suspected it to be poyson, he would needes make a tryall of it in this Captiue. In like manner, the Queene of Tormery in great Britany, seeking after a white Hart, lighted vppon an Oyntment, wherewith the Keeper of the forrest had noynted his whole bodie, the soles of his feete onely excepted: he liued three hundreth yeares without corruption, saue that hee was troubled with the goute in his feete. And wee haue obserued many Countrey-men in our dayes, who, without the counsell and aduise of Phisitions, haue liued a hundred and threescore yeares, or there abouts. And these things are approoued by the works of bruit beasts, as namely in the Hart, the Egle, the Serpent, and many other, that by the vertue of hearbes and stones renewe theyr youth. For which cause wise men haue addiected themselues to search out such a secret, prouoked thereunto by the example of brute Beastes, deeming it to bee possible for man to obtaine that which is not denied to vnreasonable creatures. And hence is it, that Artephius in his Booke, intituled the Wisedome of Secretes, diligently obseruing the force and power of liuing creatures and stones, and such like things, to the end that he might be acquainted with Natures Secrets, but especially to attaine the knowledge howe to lengthen the life, boasteth of himselfe that he liued a thousande and fiue and twentie yeares.

And the possibilitie of the prolongation of life, is hereby confirmed, because the soule is naturally immortall, and able not to die: for euen after it had bin polluted with sinne, it was able to liue about a thousande yeares, and afterwardes by little and little72 the length of life was abbreuiated and waxed shorter. Now this abbreueation must needes bee accidentall, & therefore it may either in the whole or in parte bee prolonged. And if we will seeke out the accidentall cause of this corruption, we shall finde that it proceedeth not from the heauen, nor anie thing else, but for lacke of a due regiment of health. For in this age of ours, the fathers are corrupted, and therefore begette Sonnes of a corrupt complexion and composition, and theyr Sonnes for the same cause doo corrupt themselues, and this corruption descendeth from the fathers into the Sons, so long, till at the last, the shortnes of life doth continually preuaile, as it appeareth this day. Neuerthelesse, it cannot hence be necessarily inferred, that life shall alwayes bee shortned, because there is a time appoynted for humane things, and for the most, what men liue seuentie yeares, and the rest of theyr dayes are altogether labour and sorrow. But there may a remedie bee founde out for the particular corruption of euery man, that is to say, if euerie one for his parte from his youth vpwarde, will exercise a perfect gouernment of health, which consisteth in meate and drinke, in sleepe and watchfulnesse, in motion and rest, in euacuation and constriction, in the ayre and in the disposition of the minde: for if anie man would obserue this manner of gouernment from his natiuitie, he should liue as long as his nature (which he receiued of his parents) would permit him, and be brought to the farthest end of that nature falne from originall iustice: but this he can no way passe: for this regiment affoordeth no remedie against the auncient corruption of parents.73 Yet it is impossible that a man should with such moderation carrie himselfe in all these thinges, as the rule of health requireth: and therefore it is of necessitie that the abbreuiation and shortning of our dayes should spring from this head also, and not onely from the corruption of our parents. But the science of Physicke doth sufficiently prescribe and determine this maner of regiment: though neither rich nor poore, learned nor vnlearned, no not euen the Physitions themselues (howe absolute so euer they bee) are able indifferently to obserue these things in themselues, nor in other men. Notwithstanding, Nature fayleth not in things necessarie, nor Art beeing perfect and compact, yea rather it is able to breake out against accidentall passions, and either wholy or in part to abolish them. And in the beginning when the age of men first began to decline, a remedie might easily haue beene found out: but after sixe thousand yeeres and more, it is a difficult matter to prescribe a remedie. Neuerthelesse, wise men mooued with the foresaid considerations, haue endeuoured to finde out wayes, not onelye agaynst the defect of euery particular mans regiment, but also agaynst the corruption of Parents: not that men should be able to reach vnto the life of Adam, or Artephius, by reason of the corruption which daily encreaseth, but that they might prolong their liues for a hundred yeares or somewhat more, beyonde the common age of men now liuing, so that the diseases vsually accompanying olde age, might bee kept backe for a time, and though not vtterly prohibited and taken quite away, yet they might be mittigated and diminished, that the life might be profitably prolonged beyonde74 the expectation of men, but alwayes within the vtmost bounds and limits. For there is one tearme of Nature appoynted to the first men after sinne entered into the worlde, and another alotted to euerye man by the proper corruption of his parents. These two wee cannot passe: for though wee may passe the latter, yet are wee not able to arriue vnto the former: I am of opinion that a wise man may in this age attaine thereto, the possibilitie and aptnesse of humane nature, beeing the same nowe that it was in the first men: and no maruaile, seeing that this aptnesse extendeth it selfe to immortalitie, as it was before sinne, and shall bee after the resurrection. But if you say, that neither Aristotle, Plato, Hippocrates, nor Galen, attained hereto. I aunswere, that they were ignoraunt euen of manye meane vertues, which afterwarde were familiar to those that were studious. These therefore might easily bee hidden from them, though they laboured to finde them out: but they busied themselues too much in other matters, and waxed olde in a trice, spending their life in base and vulgar things, and yet they were acquainted with many secrets. For we knowe that Aristotle sayth in the Predicaments, that the quadrature of a Circle may bee knowne, although it bee not yet knowne. Whereby hee confesseth, that both himselfe, and all men till his time were ignorant of it. But now a dayes wee see that the truth is knowne, so that Aristotle might well be ignoraunt of the greatest of Natures Secrets. And againe, wise men are at this present ignorant of many things, which the common sort of Students shall knowe hereafter. So then this obiection is altogether vaine and foolish.


Thus hauing produced certaine examples declaring the power of Art and Nature, to the end that out of those few we might collect many, out of the parts gather the whole, out of particulars, inferre vniuersals, wee see howe farre forth it is altogether needlesse for vs to gape after Magicke, when as Nature and Art are sufficient. Nowe I minde to prosecute euery one of the foresayd things in order, and deliuer their causes, and the wayes howe to worke them particularly. And first of all, I consider that the secrets of Nature contayned in the skins of Goates and sheep, are not spoken of, least euery man should vnderstand them. As Socrates and Aristotle willeth: for he affirmeth in his booke of Secrets, that he is a breaker of the celestiall seale that maketh the secrets of Art and Nature common: adding moreouer that many euils betide him that reuealeth secretes. And in the booke intituled Noctes Atticæ, in the comparing of wise men togither, it is reputed a great folly to giue an Asse Lettice, when Thistles will serue his turne: and it is written in the booke of Stones, that hee impayreth the Maiestie of things, that diuulgeth mysteries. And they are no longer to bee tearmed Secrets, when the whole multitude is acquainted with them, if wee regard the probable diuision of multitude, which euermore gainsay the learned. For that which seemeth vnto all, is true, as also that which is so iudged of by the wise, and men of best account. Wherefore that which seemeth to many, that is to the common people, so farre forth as it seemeth such, must of necessitie bee false. I speake of the Common sort, in that Sence, as it is heere distinguished agaynst the learned. For in the common conceytes of the minde, they76 agree with the learned, but in the proper principles and conditions of Arts and Sciences they disagree, toyling themselues about meere appearances, and sophistications, and quirks, and quiddities, and such like trash, whereof wise men make no account. In things proper therefore, and in secretes, the common people do erre, and in this respect they are opposite to the learned, but in common matters they are comprehended vnder the lawe of all, and therein consent with the learned. And as for these commyn things, they are of small value, not worthy to bee sought after for themselues, but in regarde of things particular and proper. Now the cause of this concealement among all wise men, is, the contempt and neglect of the secretes of wisedome by the vulgar sort, that knoweth not how to vse those things which are most excellent. And if they do conceiue any worthy thing, it is altogither by chance and fortune, & they do exceedingly abuse that their knowledge, to the great damage and hurt of many men, yea, euen of whole societies: so that he is worse then mad that publisheth any secret, vnlesse he conceale it from the multitude, and in such wise deliuer it, that euen the studious and learned shall hardly vnderstand it. This hath beene the course which wise men haue obserued from the beginning, who by many meanes haue hidden the secrets of wisedome from the common people. For some haue vsed Characters and verses, and diuerse others riddles and figuratiue speeches, as Aristotle witnesseth in his book of Secrets, where hee thus speaketh. O Alexander, I will shew thee the greatest secret in the world, God grant thou maiest keepe it close, and bring to passe the intention of the Art of that stone which is no77 stone, and is in euery man, & in euery place, and at all seasons, and is called the end of all Philosophers. And an infinite number of thinges are founde in many bookes and sciences obscured with such darke speeches, so that no man can vnderstand them without a teacher. Thirdly, some haue hidden their secretes by their maners of writing, as namely by consonants only: so that no man can reade them, without he knowe the signification of the words: and this is vsual among the Iewes, Chaldeans, Syrians, and Arabians, yea, and the Grecians too: and therefore there is a great concealing with them, but especially with the Iewes: for Aristotle sayth in the aboue named booke, that God gaue them all maner of wisedome, before there were any Philosophers, and all nations borrowed the principles of Philosophy of them. And thus much we are plainly taught by Albumasar in his booke named the larger Introductory, and other Philosophers, and by Iosephus in his eight booke of Antiquities. Fourthly, things are obscured by the admixtion of letters of diuerse kinds, & thus hath Ethicus the Astronomer cõcealed his wisdome, writing the same with Hebrew, Greeke & Latin letters, all in a row. Fiftly, they hide their secrets, writing them in other letters then are vsed in their owne country, to wit, when they take letters that are in vse in forreine nations, and feigne them according to their own pleasures. This is a very great impediment, vsed by Artephius in his booke of the Secrets of Nature. Sixtly, they make certain formes, not of letters, but such as are vsed by diuiners and enchanters, which according to the diuersitie of pricke and notes, haue the power of letters: and these likewise hath Artephius vsed in his science.

Seuenthly, there is yet a more cunning sleight of78 occultation behind by the helpe of Art notory: an art wherby a man may write or note any thing, as briefly as he will, & as swiftly as he can desire. And in this sort haue the Latine authours hidden many secretes. I deemed it necessary to touch these tricks of obscurity, because happily my self may be constrained through the greatnesse of the secrets, which I shal handle, to vse some of them, that so at the least I might helpe thee to my power. I giue thee therefore to vnderstand, that my purpose is orderly to proceed in the exposition of those things, whereof I made mention before: as to dissolue the Philosophers egge, and search out the partes of a philosophicall man. And this shall serue for a beginning to the rest. Take salt, and rub it diligently in water, and purifie it in other waters, after by diuerse contritions, rub it with Salts, and burne it with sundry assations, that it may bee made a pure earth, separated from the other Elements, which I esteeme worthy of thee for the stature of my length. Vnderstand me if thou art able: for it shall vndoubtedly bee composed of the Elements, and therefore it shall be a part of the stone, which is no stone, and is in euery man, which thou shalt finde at all tymes of the yeare in his owne place. This done thou shalt take oyle after the maner of a searecloath, and of viscous cheese, not able to be cut at the first, wherevnto all the fierie vertue must bee diuided, and separated by dissolution (now it must bee dissolued in a sharpe water of an indifferent sharpenesse, with a light fire) and decocted vntill his fatnesse be seuered, as the fat in flesh, by distillation, that no part of the oylinesse and blacke virtue, wherein the vrine is distilled, may get out. Afterward let it bee decocted in Vineger, till it be dryed into a coale (which is the cause of ad79dustion) and that his blacke vertue do appeare. But if it be not cured therof, let it be done againe: be watchfull and attentiue, for my speech is difficult. The oyle will dissolue, both in sharpe waters, and in common oyle, that worketh more apparauntly, or in a tart oyle of Almondes ouer the fire, so that the oyle may bee sundred, and the hidden spirite remaine, both in the partes of liuing creatures, and in Sulphur, and Arsenicke. For the Stones (wherein there is an Oyle of a superfluous humiditie) haue certaine boundes of their humours: partly because there is no strong vnion, sithens one may be dissolued from the other, by reason of the nature of the water, which is put to liquefaction in the Spirite, which is the meane betweene his parts and the oyle. Dissolution therefore being finished, there will remaine a certaine pure humiditie in the spirit, which though it bee throughly mixt with the dry parts, which are mooued to and fro in it, yet is the fire able to resolue it, beeing called by the Philosopher a melting Sulphur, and sometime Oyle, sometime an ayrie humour, sometime a coniunctiue substaunce, which the fire dooth not separate, sometime Camphora, and wash it. This is the Philosophers Egge, or rather the ende and accomplishment of the Egge. And let so much of the Oyles as commeth to our hands bee reckoned among Seeny seede, which must bee separated from the water, or Oyle wherein it is purged.

Moreouer, the oyle is putrified as thou knowest, by braying it with drying things, as with salt and vitriall, and by burning it, (though passion arise from the contrarie) and afterward it must bee sublimed, vntill his oylinesse be quite taken away, and that the water bee80 like Sulphur or Arsenicke in the minerals: for it may be prepared in the same maner that they are. Neuerthelesse, it were better to decoct it in waters of a temperate sharpenesse, vntill it bee purged or made white. And yet there is another profitable concoction in a dry or moyst fire, where distillation must bee renued (if you would haue your worke come wel to passe) and the matter rectified: of which rectification the last signes are to bee white, and cleare as Christall. And whereas other things grow black in the fire, this waxeth white, is purified, and euen shineth againe through the notable clearness & brightnes that is in it. Of this water and earth is Argent-uiue engendred, being not vnlike the Argent-uiue that is in the Mynes. Now when the matter is waxed hot after this maner, it is cõgealed: but the ayrie stone (which is no stone) must be put into a Pyramis in a warme place, or (if you think good) into the belly of a horse, or oxe, and so be changed into a sharpe feuer. And when it hath passed frõ this into 10. and from that into 21. so that the lees of the oiles are dissolued in their water, before it be separated, they do so often reiterate dissolution & distillation, til at length it be rectified. And here endeth this intention. But thou must remẽber that whẽ thou hast made an end, thou art then to begin anew againe.

Now will I hide another secret from thee. Prepare Argent-uiue by mortifying it, with the vapour of Steele for Margarites, and with the vapour of Lead for the stone Iber: and rubbe it with drying things, and atraments, and such like (as before) and boyle it: this done, let it be sublymed: if for vnion, 10. if for rednesse, 21. vntill the moysture bee consumed in it. Neither is it possible that the humiditie shoulde bee separated for the vapour (as the81 foresayde oyle) because it is very strongly commixt with his drie partes, neither doth it set any bound, as we haue already taught in the foresaid mettals. In this chapter thou maist easily bee deceiued, except thou perfectly vnderstand the signification of the words.

Now it is high time obscurely to intreat of the third chapter, to the end thou maist behold the very key of the worke thou lookest for. The calcined bodie is sometime put to (which is done to this end, that the moysture in it might be consumed by salt, and Sal Armeniack and Vineger) and againe, sometime it is nourished with Argent-uiue, and sublimed by them, till it remaine as pouder. These then are the keyes of the Art, Congelation, Resolution, Induration, Proiection, and this is both the end and the beginning: but as for purification, distillation, separation, sublimation, calcination, and inquisition, they are fellow-workers with the former, and now thou maist sit downe and take thine ease.

Sixe hundred and two yeares of the Arabians being accomplished, thou didst aske me of certaine secrets. Take therfore the stone and congeale it with a gentle boyling, and strong contrition, but without sharpe things. And in ye end mixe it a little with sweete water: and make a laxatiue medicine of seuen things, if thou think good, or of sixe, or of fiue: or of as many as thou wilt, but my mind is content with two: whereof the better shall be in sixe, rather then any other proportion, or there abouts, as experience may teach you. Neuerthelesse, resolue the gold by the fire, & restraine it better. But if you wil beleeue me, you ought to take but one thing. This is a secret of Natures secrets, able to worke wonders. It being therfore mixed with two things or more in number, or with the Phœnix82 (which is a worthie creature) at the fire, & incorporated by a strong motion, and that hereunto you putte warme liquor, foure or fiue times you shall be maister of your hearts desire. But afterward the celestiall nature is weakened, and waxeth feeble, if thou poure warme water into it three or foure times. Thou must therefore diuide the weake from the strong in diuers vesselles if thou dare credite mee, and draw out that which is good. Besides thou shalt take the powder, and throughly presse out the water that remained: for certainely it will make the partes of the powder spirituall: for which cause thou shalt saue this water by it selfe, because the powder dryed vppe herewith, hath the force of a medicine in a laxatiue body. Worke therefore as thou didst before, vntill thou hast remooued the weake from the strong, and put the powder thereto three, foure, or fiue times, or oftner, alwayes working after one and the selfe same manner. And if thou canst not worke with warme water, thou shalt offer violence. But if it bee broken by reason of the tartnesse and tendernesse of the medicine, together with powder thou must verie warily put more Gold to, and mollifie it: but if the plentie of the powder cause it to breake, thou shalt giue it more of the medicine, and if it bee long of the strength of the water: water it with a Pestill, and gather together the matter so well as thou canst, and separate the water by little and little, and it will returne to his former state. This water thou shalt drie vp, for it hath both the powder and water of the medicine, which are to be incorporate as dust. Be not asleepe nowe, for I haue tolde thee a great and profitable secret. And if thou couldest tell how to place and sette in order the partes of a burnt shrub,83 or of a willow, and many such like things, they would naturally keepe an vnion. Beware at any hand that thou forgettest not this, because it is very profitable for many things. Thou shalt mingle the Trinity with the vnion beeing first molted, and they will rise vp as I suppose like vnto the stone Iberus: doubtlesse it is mortified by the vapour of the lead, which lead thou shalt finde if thou presse it out of the dead body, and this dead body thou shalt burie in a stillitory. Hold fast this secret, for it is nought worth. And in like manner shalt thou deale with the vapour of a Margarite or the stone Tagus, burying the dead as before thou art commanded.

And now forsooth the yeares of the Arabians being accomplished, I make answere to your demaund after this maner. You must haue a medicine ye wil dissolue in a thing that is melted, and be annointed in it, and enter into his second degree, and be incorporate with it, not proouing a fugitiue seruant, and change it, and be mixt with the roote of the Spirit, and bee fixed by the calx of the mettall. Now it is thought that fixation prepareth, when the body & spirit are layd in their place, and sublimed, which must be so often reiterated, til the body be made a spirit, and the spirit become a body. Take therefore of the bones of Adam, and of calx the same weight, there must be sixe for the rocky stone, & fiue for the stone of vnions, & these you must worke togither with Aqua vitæ (whose property is to dissolue all other things) that it may bee dissolued and boyled in it. And this a signe of Inceration, if the medicine will melt, when it is poured on an Iron redde hot. This done, poure water into it in a moyst place, or else hang it in the vapour of very hote and liquid Waters, and congeale it in the84 Sunne: then thou shalt take Salt-peter, & conuert Argent-uiue into lead: and againe, thou shalt wash and mundifie the lead therewith, that it may come nigh to Siluer, and afterward worke as thou didst before. Moreouer, thou shalt drinke vppe all after this sort. Notwithstanding, thou shalt take of Salt-peter, Luru vo po vir can vtri, and of Sulphur, and by this meanes make it both to thunder and lighten. Thus shalt thou performe the worke. Nowe confider with thy selfe whether I speake in a riddle, or tell thee the plaine truth. There be some that haue bin of another mind: for it was said vnto me, that al things must be resolued to the matter, wherof you may find Aristotle, his iudgement in sundry vulgar & vnknowne places, and therfore I wil hold my peace. Now when thou hast them, thou shalt withall haue many simples and equals, and this thou shalt effect by contrary things and diuers operations, which before I tearmed the keyes of the Art. And Aristotle saith, that the equalitie of the powers doth containe in it the action and passion of bodies. And this likewise is the opinion of Auerroes reprouing Galen. It is thought that this is the most simple and pure medicine that may be found: It is good against the feauers and passions both of minde and bodyes, more cheape then any medicine whatsoeuer.

He that writ these things shall haue the key that
openeth, and no man shutteth, and when
hee hath shut, no man is able to
open it againe.



Printed at London by Thomas Creede,
for Richard Oliue.





Transcriber’s Note

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. All other spelling and punctuation remains unchanged.

The typesetting has used VV for W, with variable spacing. This has been replaced with W throughout.

The sidenote in Chapter XVI of The Booke of the Secrets of Alchimie begins “The quantitie is called by the Logitians Passion,” it seems likely from the context that this should read The quality etc.

The table of principal sections was added by the transcriber.