NORTON The Key of Alchemy



SAMUEL NORTON (1548–1621)

These, which your highness here doth see,
Are leaves of Hermes' secret tree:
Thro' wisdom's love warelie brought to pass
By sowing seed in wombs of glass:
And given they are let you know
The garden where such fruit doth grow:
Elixers three so called of old
For health of man, Sun, Moon, Silver, Gold,
This soil is dewed by Impe of Saturn's race
Whose sire dame Maya did embrace
The crooked god, whom loving dame did wed
With heat doth cause our tree to spread.

The Petition of the Author to Alchemy

Alchemy noble Muse, of all most worthy praise
Which bring'st Dame Nature's secret laws to light
In Sphaere of princely mind again thyself upraise
From whence at first thou chose to shine with open light.
If love of lore allured thee to lodge in Hermes' breast,
Then fasten foot and stay thy steps; here is the place of rest.
If care of Patron's mighty hand may thee inflame
Or if thou hast regard of Pallas' gift for witt,
Or seekest anew from princes sent to fetch thy name
Alchemies greater here in regal chair doth sit:
If Calid's virtues were the marke whereat thou didst shoot
Draw up thy bow: hit right: our tree doth yield a greater fruit.
If Sicill isle, like center set in waves wide,
Or view of comlie port in Robert's kingly mind
Did thee provoke, in this our Isle, oh Muse abide,
Where equal soile, but Prince unmatched shall ye speed,
As Pallas did forthwith the rout of Greekish dames excel
So thee among European States for wisdom bears the bell:
The person apt, place fit, good Muse go joyne there with the best,
Sith fate doth thee assign in peerless Queen to rest.

To the most virtuous, magnificent & Noble Queen Elizabeth, Queen of England, France & Ireland, defender of the faith.

I read that the Persians both taken with an inestimable love of their Princes, and with a virtuous regard of their duties; endeavoring themselves to shew what affection they bore to their natural lord and King, established a law amongst themselves, That none might presume to salute his person with empty hands. Whereupon every subject intending to salute their Sovereign, did present him with some of the most precious things they had. A custom, no doubt, deserving great commendations, if not a little to be allowed of, as that which haveth unto us two excellent patterns; the honest and dutiful Persian love, toward their Prince, and the good government and virtues of their king; which so deeply stirreth as the love of the people. Encouraged therefore by this Persian example; and being no less carried away with dutiful zeal than any Persian whatsoever, having both, a far more virtuous Princess, and a greater government than the Persians, I am desirous to salute your Majesty, and here most humbly do present you with the most precious jewel I have, nothing mistrusting but that the selfsame causes which moved the Persian king Artaxerxes gratefully to receive the presented handful of water fetched from the river Cyrus; will also stir your Highness no less favorably to accept of this my handfull of water. First for that the will of the giver were equal as also in that it is deprompted from as noble a river as that which took the name of Cyrus; In respect whereof Artaxerxes? caused it to be put in a gold flagon: I mean that this my writing fetched out from the most noble fountain of knowledge the great Secret Elixir of the Ancient learned philosophers by me here presented unto your Majesty. Your Highness respecting the skill by means of my writing; must be by you put into the golden flagon of your understanding. Thirdly, here falleth out a cause whereby I have to find this my travail as acceptably to be received as did the Persian by ten of more labor and study; for the Persian a Lowly espying the king coming, ran speedily down to the river Cyrus, which being near at hand, his labour was not great; But far more easier had it been for me with Hannibal to make a new passage through the Alps, than to have pulled out his friend from the dark enigmata, dissembles and parables of our writers; wherein themselves confess that they envolved it in clouds, eclipsed it in tropes; and obscured it in figures to the end that it alone be known to him and to none others but to suit whom it liked them to accept as scholars and children; between whom it passed from mouth to mouth.No wonder therefore though it hath and is sought of many and found of so few. In respect whereof Rodagirus compareth our travailes with the labours of Hercules; for as hard a matter is it for us to mortify Mercury, as for Hercules to catch the swift stag in the maiden wood; whither the poets famed did fly; As hard for us to cleanse and rectify our stone, as for Hercules to cleanse Augeus' hall of dung; As hard for us to shed the blood of our green Lion as for Hercules to flay the Lion in Nemea; As hard also for us to obtain by skill of science as for Hercules to conquer Atlas and his Arts. The like for his other labors which are from the philosophers of the Poets alluded wherewith to shadow the Art. Nay, rather as easy to be come by, as saith the proverb as to wrest the club out of Hercules hands.

Although it fortuned well in manner unlooked for, to hit upon the secret bosom book of Riplie whereby the true grounds are discovered of which having by proof found so many to be true it and little doubting of the accomplishment of the rest: - I thought it but a point of dutie to reveal and open the secrets hereof unto your Highness, being both your subject and servant. And so much the rarer because being about Candlemas last in great danger by sickness; of which time, there was not any one living that more grieved me to trench on; then that I could not be a means for reviving again of that which had so long lain dead; in which I had found such great likelihood, sure tokens, and proof of practice, which forced me even sick as I was, to labor right earnestly to finish the translation of Riplie his bosom books. Not that I thought your Highness is unable to understand the Latin, in whom I know both your Greek, with divers other languages, and skill, to have taken deep root, but that a more easy way of unknown name might be described for the better understanding of the art, which books I so provided that it might come to your Majesties hands, not so much for the book itself as for my own several practice which should have been hereunto annexed with a right censure of judgment of proceeding in the rest, for though some there are which I know gave the same works, yet have they failed in proofs, not by the fault of the Author, but by their own follies.

But why seem I here to refer unto your Highness what I would have done? Seeing that sickness is escaped, and health attained; I have in this volume truly set forth, much more than that book contained, or myself at that time either knew or thought on; Which since I have in practice found out, to cease therefore from that which I would have done, and so come to that which now is to be done; I entered further in practice and thought to have proceeded to the end of the work, and then to have revealed it unto your Highness; but being detained therefrom by the advice of a certain friend of mine, learned in the laws; who informed me that my doings would come within the compass of the Statute of multipliers; and wished me to deal not further with your Majesty where thereon advertised, or Your Licence obtained in that behalf; which to achieve I only chose this way; to open to your Highness this art, that there by you might thoroughly discern, that I neither attempted the dealing therewith without sufficient ground, neither with fraud or collusion to abuse any, but that I sought alone that the art might take effect, and being brought to pass, your Majestie might have both the knowledge and assay thereof.

In the working of which, there falleth out a many things very delectable to the eye; for that it passeth throughout for many alterations and changes; as from a body by privation to no body; from a solid and compact substance, to waters and liquors, from hard to soft, from soft to hard, from fixed to flying, from flying to fixed, from gross to pure, from pure to gross and so to pure again, from heat to cold, from cold to heat, from colour to colour, from element to element; from fullness to emptiness, from emptiness to fullness from imperfect to perfect; and there, forever to abide. In which alterations, there is discovered unto us the natural causes of all things vegetative bearing life, and being under the concave orb of the moon; so that the great secrets of philosophy as well in superior as inferior causes shall openly lie bare and uncovered before you; Insomuch that you shall feel your self surfeited with an inestimable knowledge of all things natural, yea, miracles and wonders shall you see; or what is he that will not marvel to see the hard iron become soft water; or the steady fixed steel of nature biding fire, become volatile, or fly away in smoke; or moving quick silver, to abide in steadfast mass; brittle glass to soften […], copper to become medicineable; Gold and Silver to be potable; Tin to remove great sicknesses, and Lead in virtue, exceeding all, to have almost the sweetness of sugar. And last of all, mineral and deadly poisons to become perfect medicine; all which I know will lightly be done, and are not of great difficulty.

If things therefore so contrary in kind be brought to pass, between whom there is such contrarities and disseverance in nature; as from hard to soft; from heavy to light; from brittle to bendy; from unsavory to sweet; from poison to preservative; how much more easily and nearer then may matters goldenish and silvery, between whom there is concord and agreement; in kind be brought to gold and silver; as tin, wherein we find grains of gold; and silver in lead. This I write to disprove the words of such as ignorantly condemn the art for false, and the artists for beguilers and deceivers. Indeed, deceivers are rife. A good way to know the false from the true is this; The deluders always make it a matter of great cost, which true artificers know to be most false, and therefore affirm it to be of little charge and cost, as indeed it is not, such as any man need to undo or hinder himself for. Another infallible rule will I give to know them by; If they be talked withall touching the matter of the stone, they are always in Amalgams with mercury, arsenic, crude gold and silver. If you demand what menstrus is, many can tell that Raymond writes of menstrue, but what it is, they cannot answer you; If you require of them, what ferment is, they may perhaps tell you gold and silver; But if you ask them the manner of solution, there lieth an ignoramus.

Whosoever, therefore is ignorant in any of these things, never trust him in our philosophy. But to remove suspect or sinister dealing in myself, let this my writing suffice, where, from point to point, is most plainly set down the order and manner of every thing, save only of the charge of which there shall in the end appear an estimate; whereby unto your Highness, it may be evident, that the 1000 and 100 which the common imposters spend I speak of for the performance of the art, are not to be consumed therein. Wherefore Guido [Guido Magni de Monte Adropt.v.6, p3,4,6 and 7] and Ripley truely writeth; the one saying that purse's bottoms are not to be turned up; for things of great cost are not needful in our art; the other affirmeth that things of great charge are not here required; and those to be liers which report the art to be of great cost; which alonely is to be accomplished by good grace, reasonable expenses and convenience of time.

It resteth now therefore that I finish up this my rude epistle with two manner of request wherein I first beseech of God; to send your Majesty long life with prosperous reign, to the advancement of his glory, by subduing of your enemies and the comfort of your true subjects. Last of all I most humbly desire your Highness, to accept in good part, the green fruit of this my months travail, which although it be not so exactly produced, framed and penned by me and my writer, as I would wish, and were also requisite, if better leisure had served, yet my hope is that faults and imperfections herein committed, shall be tolerated by your Majestie's accustomed clemency and prudent consideration

Your Majesty's most humble subject and servant in bonds of loyalty.
Samuel Norton
From St Johnes in Cantabrige [Cambridge] the 20 of July 1577.

The Preamble

If I shall (right renowned and magnificent Princess) happen in this my treatise to set forth less shows of theoretical doctrine, then ever to have been used among the chemical writers, pardon me therefore; I beseech your Highness, neither attribute nor impute it to theoretical, ignorance, nakedness of skill, or insufficiency of art, but rather so that I have been bound by duty, stirred by good will, provoked by your infinite virtues, and altogether carried away with affectionate desire, to do ought that may import, though but a likelihood to be acceptable unto your Majesty, having directed my course another way, is sent myself to another charge; Namely in plain words, and speeches of art, not with fickle, voices of obscuring, so set down and open the materials, courses and practices contained in the secrets of the philosophers stone, both for physic, and also for that which I found of truth (as far as I have gone) for transmutation of metals. In which doings I shall not greatly digress from some of the philosophers fore footsteps; Morien the Roman moved with the virtues and earnest suits of king Calid of Egypt, instructed him in the science; Aristotle stirred by the good will he bear to Alexander, imparted the same to him; Of later years Raymond taught it to king Robert of Sycill. Here it was to your Highness' great grandfather of famous memory. King Edward the 4th; in whose time there were seven, whom I can right well prove, that had the art; of which three of them were favored with the King, and were laymen, the residue were religious, of whom Dalton, Monk of Tewkesbury was one; My great grandfather's master, another, the third our noble George Ripley Chanon: The 4th Wharram, Bishop of York to whom Ripley wrote his Medulla. The laymen which were favoured of the King, one of them was a stranger born in Lorraine, the other nigh the middest of England, the 3rd of them was my great grandfather himself, being of the privie chamber, divers times an ambassador for him, and one also that with himself bore such fortune's frowns (as the treacherous Earl then drove the King into when he was forced to flee into Burgonie). Of whom I not a little wonder why he would not impart it to the King; and yet in his book I find that he was willing thereto, yet some great fault in the King had not letted it; for in his book after a mourning sort he said:

Truly King Edward was nigh thereto
If sin had not kept him therefrom
But surely sin jointly with grace
Will not be together in one place.
For further he added:
Gratia tradatur peccatum dum dominatur,
That is to say:
Grace of consolation
Is deferred while sin hath domination.
Yet both in the beginning and ending of his book he after a prophetical kind of manner giveth out that that science shall happen to the Kings of England, where his words are found to be on this wise:
Yet once this science as I understand,
Shall greatly honor the throne of England
When in this Land shall reign a king,
Which shall love God above all thing.

The Latin verses in the beginning of his book are too many and too long to be recited, but that which I most of all desire to come to pass, is that which he intimates in his 6th Chapter where speaking of the stone to be revealed to the kings of this land, it shall be found he saith:

By the fortune and by the grace
Of a woman fair of face

And what know I Oh Queen! Whether it be yourself or no? I write not this unto your Majesty that I mean hereby, to present myself as able to perform it, although I hope it may be by your Majesty licensed from danger of law, and in the meantime this my writing which here I term Clavis Alchemiae, shall serve instead of a key, to open and discover the philosopher's writings, practised and locked by sentences; which they have so covertly locked up under a mantle of philosophy, to the intent that it might be kept close, being a thing of so great price, both from the rude vulgar sort; as also that it might not be attained of the ungodly and wicked persons, or achieved by such evil disposed minds, as using it to serve their appetites, or seeking thereby to accomplish their foul devices; would be ready to run headlong into a thousand outrages and mischiefs, to the great abusing of the art, heaping the displeasure of god, causing the effusion of blood, and ruin of nations, with subversions of estates. And therefore right few there were that wrote so plainly, or disclosed ought so practically, that one might have found just cause to blame him; as rare to find a black swan. Although ever monarch like, it pleased Alexander to reprove Aristotle for want of secrecy. As little cause had also either they which raised that note of imperfection of Lullie, of whom it is written, Cui claudit sua dogmata nulli, either as had my grandfather to profess Anaxagoras in that respect for a gentle matter; for sure I am that if they had received no more secret instructions from their masters by mouth, or else had had no greater knowledge afore than they had from their works; Alexander should never have need to find fault with Aristotle his master, nor Thomas Norton to have termed Anaxagoras so gentle a master; nor those to have raised that report on Raymond, whose writing if they speak plain, that is to those, which of themselves beside, are able to understand, as one brother may another. And surely in my opinion, if in any place he was overplain, it was in these books, first in his Epistle of Accortations to King Robert; And in his Magick which accordeth with the work of the Accortations, and his book De Testamento and Codicillio, where he teacheth to bring Mercury into water ready for separation, but far without comparison, is the transparent stone whereof he so largely intreateth in his first book De Quintessentiis; and in 44 canon.

But seeing we are now entred to speak of such writers as have uttered plainness in their works, that thereby posterity might be instructed; there is none that have deserved more commendations and honor, than have our own countrymen; of whom, I will name two, Ive and George Riplie, whose works I judge were by some divine providence of God left to the renewing of those excellent arts, that they should not be hidden, and lie dead among such few as pleased God to stir up for the attainment of the same; Ive under color of physic taught how to handle the case and to extract the menstrue; but our noble Riplie whom I cannot sufficiently extol; although some there be that mightily inveigh against him, whom I will refer over to their own errors. Yet Riplie not to blame, but such as mistake Riplie, and understand him not. I take God to witness, I never yet found false conclusion in Riplie, but that the proofs fell justly with his speech; and therefore I must needs say that Riplie was alone the man: for beginning where Ive beginneth; he teacheth not; but plainly sheweth, how to begin, how to continue, and how to finish and make perfect. And as there is no secret in the art, which he in plainness toucheth not; so doth he above all the writers of the world, open the secrets of handling the ferment. For in vain is all our labor, though we attain to the stone, if we know not how to ferment it. Which is so rare a secret that hithertoo I could never find it in any one author; neither could I yet speak with any that ever came near it; which me once, or twice per dere et oleum et operam; till at the last better weighing my Master Riplie's words, I learned to stand upright where I was want to fall. For he it is, whose only hand hath rolled away the stumbling stone whereat men usually fell, and hath made the ground level; alone Riplie hath the price of the vegetable stone. Of the universal also he wrote right learnedly, plainly and well. Although Geber therein beareth the bell; from whom Riplie almost hath it verbatim; and yet neither of them both reveal the manner and how to extract the Lac Virginis or menstrue from Mercury alone by himself, which since that time hath been nobly set forth by the learned brother Theophrastus Paracelsus; the man at whom so bear-like, our davish Gallens mastiffs so fellie yell, and so baitingly bawl. I may not for manners sake, say howling, like curs, that bark at the moon. But now as concerning the animal stone, I will set down what experience hath learned me.

Thus have I here in manner of preamble declared those authors to your Highness, in whose works there is most plainness to be found, and yet have they set down nothing so plain, but that it is covered philosophically enough; although shadowed or shrouded with a more or less mantle of philosophy. The rest therefore of my preamble shall show forth the divisions of my book with the significations of obscure names, and voices of art.

The book I divided into eight several parts or treatises; whereof the first entreateth of the practices of the vegetable stone; The second of the mineral stone; the third of the animal stone, The fourth teacheth the fermentation; the fifth containeth the mixed stone; The sixth the composition of the transparent stone; the seventh the Elixir of Life; The 8th giveth rules of multiplication and projection.
To finish the last part therefore, let us come a little to explain some terms, which may seem at the first somewhat difficult to understanding Therefore the philosophers minding as much as in them lay, to uncolour their writings with obscure speeches; did not openly use to name the metals with their accustomed names, but sometimes with devised names of each one's own particular invention; but most commonly they gave them the names of planets, as unto lead, Saturnus; unto tin, Jupiter; unto Iron, Mars; unto quicksilver, Mercurius; unto copper, Venus; unto Gold, Sol; and unto silver, Luna and marked them with the characters of the planets. Lead also is by Rodagivius named Capricornus and being burnt or calcined they call that: Minium. So writeth Anaxagoras; Tin calcined they name Cerusa; Iron, crokeferr, or Crocus Martis; Quicksilver calcined with corrosive water, precipitate; and with dry and pulverised, corrosive sublimate; copper calcined Aes Adust; gold or silver, Calces prepared. Moreover when they meant to hide the material of the vegetable stone, they then termed their Lead, Lead of philosophers; and being calcined which they afore termed Minium they again called Adrop; and the gum which to the vegetable work proceedeth of that matter; they call Sericon; The oil which proceedeth of that gum menstrue, moreover, they termed the gum the green lion of the philosophers; and this menstrue is called the blood of the green lion. The liquors which proceed from that, they gave the names of elements. For imitating the law and works of nature, we set her operations before us as a plate and frame of nature, for as there was four elements divided out from that; which is termed [undecipherable Greek word] so out of our prime hyle, we divide or separate four substances which we call elements; of which that which riseth with most lent fire, we call air, or ardent water; and being thoroughly rectified upon the earth; that termeth Raymond his Lunarie. The other water or liquor, which is more weak and of color more greyish, is the flood, or phlegme. The red liquor which is of goldenish color or somewhat more deeper red, is counted the oil or fire. That which remaineth, is called the earth or ley [lees]. Sulphur of Nature, is the salt or sublimed lifted up earth of bodies, after the complete putrefication. The bodies are the metals. This sulphur is also named foliate or congelate; which sulphur being dissolved into oils, or liquors are called oils incombustible, especially the oils of gold or silver, which is the ferment of the stone; Either being assigned to the Sun or Moon which are the chief lights of the world. They figuratively adapt the same names and are called the lights of the stone, for as the sun and moon are lights to the world and besides give influence in creatures, so the ferments are lights to the stone, giving it his chief influence; Moreover it is also called the soul which quickeneth the whole stone; for as the soul in man is cause of quickness and motion; So the ferments are quickeners and movers of the whole stone, without which it can never be observed. So therefore we say join body, soul and spirit. By bodie we mean his sulphur, or his […] alterate calces. By soul the ferment. By the spirit the tincture whether white or red. The Fire, ardent water. Lac virginis, or lunarie, is the white tincture. The oil or fire is the red tincture.

We give also in this art 4 fires, namely fire of nature, fire against nature, unnatural fire, and elemental fire. Fire of nature is the liquor extracted out of the bodies; Namely, the air, quintessence or lunarie, and is called the fire of nature, in that it is agreeable and amicable unto all bodies; And for that it recomforteth things corrupted by fire against nature. This fire of nature is also called mercury vegetable. Fire against nature is all corrosive, and because they eat and corrode bodies, are called fire against nature. Unnatural fire, are balnea, that is dunghills, or husks of grapes, which serve for digesting, or putrefying heats. The last is elemental fire fed by combustible matter, of which fire we have three genders or kinds, and a number of species and degrees. Of which the first is called the fire of the first degree, and containeth all degrees between lent heat and scalding; and is the moist heate of water, called Balneum Maria. The second is the heat of ashes, which is a dry fire and his graduations is from the beginning to the end, double each degree of the bath; until the height of distilling heat. The 3rd degree is the heat of sand, whose graduations are from the distilling heat; unto the highest that can be given; that is until it be all fire hot. The first degree of fire is for digestion, putrefaction, separation of air and water, and circulation, or with dissolution and rectification. The second degree of fire serveth for some rectification, desiccation, coagulation, sublimation and dry calefaction. The fire of the 3rd degree pertaineth to the extraction of oils, corrosive waters, precipitation, and things to be done raised with extremity of fire.

As we have treated of fires, so shall it not be unnecessary to say somewhat of waters and earth in the vegetable stone as touching siccation, dissolution, philosophical putrefaction and multiplication, (except for preparation of ferment) we use no other waters but our mercuries white and red. In the mineral stone I mean out of Argent vive or quicksilver we only use his proper element to all purposes, for alteration of body. And in other mineral works we use and have water of sundrie compositions, as shall appear in the mixed stone. To speak of earths, and first of the vegetable stone; we have twain, and yet both come out of one matter. The first is that, which remaineth behind upon the draught of the menstrue. The other is the residence [residue] which remaineth in the bottom of the glass after the separation of the elements and it is called the earth of the stone, or the second black earth. The earth of the mineral stone is all one earth; and remaineth after the extraction of the liquor, which must be separated.

All corrosive waters be lightly made of one, or some of these following. Salt prepared, vitriol, commonly called copperas, or the Green Lion of fools, which vitriol being evaporated is termed vitriol Roman, Salt petre, or Niter, Sal armoniack, and Alum. With these corrosives, are the bodies corroded to elixirs alchemical, or else with Argent vive called Aroe, or with the sharp vinegar otherwise called the water of the sea; which is of the water of Mercury sublimed, wherewith the bodies prepared are soon dissolved to serve for mineral ferment.

Of furnaces, I shall not need here to speak, whose portraiture shall in the end of the book be plainly set forth; But seeing that of necessity I shall be driven to speak of vessels, it shall not be inconvenient for better understanding, as well as for knowledge of varieties of vessels, to express both their several forms and names. [A diagram of various vessels is shown here]. Which done, our vegetable treatise hath his beginning.


Here Beginneth the Second Treatise of the Key of Alchimie
Intreating of The Minerall Stone

The minerall stone is diversely taken among the philosophers and yet all to one end. Some therefore which hold opinion that vitrioll is the first matter doe think that it is the Green Lion of philosophers; in that the philosophers said take it for Poniaine gold. That it is not so to be taken I shall not neede to to spend any time therein; Seeing I have declared sufficiently what is the Green Lion of philosophers and what the Green Lion of fooles; and yet I meane not to denie, but that it may be done of vitrioll or green copperose; If therefore the elements be separated and the same manner observed as shall be shewed in this treatise upon Mercury: for Riplie in his Bosome Booke sheweth the selfe same worcke much alike unto this worcke whereof wee are now to intreat whose words as they be but briefe; yet are they plain and easie enough to understand.Rx (saith hee) Leonem viridem and eum dissolve, ie: Take the Green Lion meaning by copperose and in corrosive water or Aqua Fortis dissolve it setting it in balnes by the space of 15 daies. After that out thy vessaile; and make distillation that the tincture of the vitrioll may be had; Then with his elements separated and rectified proceede upone his owne earth first calcined; or upon the calcined earth of the ferments, or other waies, as the minerall stone of Mercury is to be used.

To come therefore to the purpose of the Minerall Stone. Although some there are that not thoroughly understand the trade and secrets of philosophers doe not only think but also affirme that quicksilver is not the matter of the stone. To whom I willingly grant; and farre further they avouch divers authorities, as among others Thomas Norton's authoritie for one, where in his 4th Chapter hee saith,
hee may not with metalls and quicksilver beginne,
To make Elixirs which yee intend to winne.
Small clarkship there is therein for they are not for this art.

These words are not amiss if they were rightly weighed; for here it is that crude metalls and crude quicksilver shall never make Elixir as they remaine or are in their crude matter, except they be before brought in their bodily compactions that thereby they may be the better and quicklier brought into the viscous waters or Mercuries: and in that behalfe are Thomas Norton his words which in a little after where hee not after his accustomed manner of most dark speech uttereth his meaning very plainly as appeareth in these words: 

"Yet if you destroy their whole composition
Some of the component parts may serve your conclusion
And that is nothing else of that one, or yet other
But only magnesia and Litharge, her brother."
(Nota: lithargyros, PbO)

By which words is given to understand that first of all wee ought to make solution for bodies or Argent Viv: crudum, being dissolved, are not any longer bodies but dissolved liquors or Mercuries of bodies; And therefore saith Riplie in his medulla, wrighting to Markham, Bishop of Yorke, if that yee know how and after what sort with the Aire or Elements of Quicksilver dissolved by himselfe, lifted up and rectified, therewithe to elixerate the body of Sol; The Artist, saithe hee, shall bee a searcher out of the most pretious worcke; Againe in the Treatise of the Minerall Stone he hathe these words: Certeine philosophers saied Quicksilver to speake, and said I am a father of enchantments, Brother to the Sunn and Sister to the Moone; I am the water of life drawne out of wine but the quick that is not of the vegetable but of quicksilver.

I make black and white, I carry in my bellie the Sol of philosophers. He that can joyne mee being dissolved after I am virgin's milk with my brother the Sol should faine him an hundred fould with my sister the Moon. I shall make all black bodies white; of which Quicksilver and his elements separated I finde that another philosopher saithe of Quicksilver alonsic when his elements are separated, (Nota) and againe mixed together by equall waight is made the Elixir compleate of Saturn and Jupiter (Heaven and Earth?): And further that this is meant by Quicksilver common or ar:vi (Argent Vive): hear what Raimond saith: The best Mercury cometh from Mount Parsulan (Nota: Pasuran in the NE of Java) in erthen baggs or skinns of which Geber saith in all they worckes labour to separate Mercury: for hee that cannot destroy Mercury cannot repaire Mercury; neither may you workce there with all untill it be dissolved wherefore it is said as afore; put not crude to worke things; As it only with the ferment is the Elixir made which congealeth ar:vi and all imperfect bodies.

Wherefore as Raimond saith in his booke of Mercury; it is never congealed; But with the sulphur congealing and of itselfe congealed, And because in it being dissolved not crude there is a great secret the philosophers saith. A certain thinne smoake springeth out of his own vaines, which if it be finely gathered and againe redisserted upon his owne vaines, (that is if his water had out by distillation or solution and agin put on his own earth, therewith all to be made fluxible and fixed hee then causeth a certain fixion; of which the elixir is ingendred in short space of time, for certainly without his liquorous spirit the bodie alchimick is not clensed.)

Now touching the matter of extraction. This water from Mercury crude there is but this only way; which I in theorick gather from Geber and Riplie but most specially from Paracelsus; and so have I seen it fall out in practise: Concerning the manner of doing it; Geber speaking of the dissolving of Sunn and Moon would have it done in the water of Mercury, that is, quothe hee, in the water of the dragon: And further saithe "Quod illa aqua draconis fit," that that water of the dragon ought to be made or drawne forth by alembick without putting any other water to it; and that in drawing thereof will arise a great stinck and further willeth that the Mercury be purified twice or thrice by passing it through Alimbeck before it be destilled in strong fire: As touching the stinck and perilous savoure my great grandfather commanded that the Artist should prepare a hood of leather with glass eyes to blindfold or stop his eies, nose, mouth, eares and by appointeth breath to be featched at one's feet for fears of the noisome aire or savour of Mercury. Ripley his way of drawing cometh somewhat neere Paracelsus way, in that his bodie was of stone his head of glasse; and touching the manner hee saith, Put they bodie which is waightie in a distillatorie of Stone and draw his sweat from him with a little spiracle as long as anything will distill: Then the vessaile being opened let the hole coole which being could; luting fast the head again, destill it and receive more of the humor. So doing manie times until the whole corporall bodie becomes after the manner of clay or dirt in the bottome of the glasse. Then put against on that matter the water distilled and make it putrifie the space of 40 daies in a dunghill or balneo: Which done destill first a white humor in a strong fire, with which worcke upon the calx of Sol and Luna prepared, either upon his owne calx or earth calcined, for that of his proper earth and oile is the redd medicine made with coagulated ar: vi (Argent Vive). Yet thus far goeth Ripley: But to come to that which Paraclesus teacheth and that which is known proved, Take a stone bodie and set him among a heap of coales, the bodies being well luted to the head of glass or stone, then make fire until this bodie be redd fire hot, Then having a hole made in the bodie afore, a little under the head, which must be stopped with some lute so that it may be shut and opened at your will; Take your Mercury or quicksilver first well purged or lifted up by Alimbeck twice or thrice over and by a funnel of glass put in by 2,3, or 4 ounces at a time. Then close fast the hole and have your fire very hot. Then shall you hear a great noise in the bodie and the Mercury will rise over the water and fall into the receiver: which you must afore lute very soft into the nose of the Alimbeck and on this sort may you draw as much Mercury as you will and when you have done destilling. let your bodie coole and taking off your head you shall find in the bottom of the bodie an earth; He which take and calcine; for that earth is not to be taken away after it is fixed; for on that earth is the stone to be made after the separation of the elements out of the same liquor, or Menstruall Mercury aforesaid; which must be done; Take the humor as it is in the receaver; which put in to a Gripes egge close stopped, that nothing may expire; Then set it in balneo to putrifie for a space of 15 daies. That done, emptie it out into a bodie and setting on Alembick draw in the balneo gentlie all the water that will come. And that is the Lac Virginis; which thou must 7 times after destill in an ash fire; and the oile which remaineth, that keep fast in a glasse close stopped for it is the fierce element of the Minerall Stone.

The order and manner of working with these elements to the white and redd followeth and are triple; the first is with his owne earth; the 2nd on Sol and Luna; the 3rd by putrefaction; To the first take your Lac Virginis being rectified, and the earth being calcined into white, dissolve the same earth into Lac Virginis rectified and being dissolved coagulate it againe with a gentle fire over a fixatorie, the water being well stopped in a peare glass: and so put into a fixatorie and being so dried and fixed, dissolve and drie as afore untill it will flow or yield easy fusion; then may it be fermented with either the oile of Luna to the white worcke or oile of gold to the redd worcke. On this manner adjoyning to this flowing gumme being divided into 2 parts: The Luna to the white worckes in proportion halfe to halfe; and Sol in the same proportion the 4 parts; fire them well together in a fixatorie. And when they are joyned they will both flow on a fiery plate. Then take of thy redd Mercury or fierie element and pouring thereof some pretie quantity on the matter set it well stopped to dissolve in balneo; and being dissolved place it in an ash fire to drie to powder or rather in a fixatorie; And soe you may doe; increasing your medicine by dissolution and coagluation or fixation untill it will congeale no more; but remains oile, which is the great Elixir Minerall for gold Alchimik.

Of this way Riplie speaketh in his Medulla; To the end that Elixir may be had to the transmutation of metalls; there are sundrie waies; of which the first is the Mercury onlie, that is with Mercury and his owne earth of them to create gumme flowing; which must be sought of a cunning artificer; dissolve, saith hee, Mercury into a milckie water; of which milckie water hee giveth a prettie note, for therewith he affirmeth that the Artist may dissolve as much other crude Mercury into water as hee will. But passing to the process he addeth to the separation in these words: Let this dissolved liquor be put to dissolve in an easy fire and it shall distill our Virgin's Milcke cleare and cristalline wherewith all bodies may be dissolved into their first matter. and this water is of silverie colour: which if it were fixed with his earthly faeces calcined and againe dissolved in a quantitie of his water remaining againe and so congealed and dissolved until it pierce and flow; it should make the Elixir on all bodies imperfect as Ar:vi: and others into trew white and redd. and so is made of this Mercury (Mercurial) Liquor or water permanent and (c) and by touching the process of this worcke hee saith; And because when Mercury is dissolved the elements are separable from it; a competent putrefaction had; after the white liquor a golden humor shall ensue or much like unto redd with which a little ferment to the gumm of the aforesaid white stone being added shall bee with that golden humor imbibed and brought into the redd Elixir which shall transmute and elixirate all bodies into perfect Sol and Luna, if it be handled as aforesaid. And so is that first manner accomplished.

The 2nd is in Mercury and the white bodie to the white worcke and with the redd bodie to the redd worcke; that is with the prepared calces of Sol and Luna, namely that the calx be prepared after the manner as shall be hereafter shewed in fermentation; When therefore the calces be prepared put them in a circulatorie in ashfire and put thereon a prettie quantity of Lac Virginis and so circulate them into powder having first dissolved them in balneo but far better would it be done in Gammissaries after the manner of the vegetable accortation aforesaid. And may so be handled in all points; for the third manner which is by putrefaction which Riplie plainely sheweth in these words; Moreover when Mercury shall be dissolved, dissolve in it a little of the redd ferment and put all into a kimia (Kymenna ampulla or matrass), sealed with the philosopher's knot, and with an easie fire draw the chariot of the four elements through the depths of the sea till when the clouds are gone into the dright there shall be shine and appear a matter like to fishes eyes; then by the space of thirty daies following let it be made redd in a mighty fire till it seeme to melt like flowing wax; Then it is apt to convert all bodies into pure gold; And this Medicine may be multiplied with his proper humidities by convenient solutions and coagulations. and this is the way plain to elixirate with Mercury only; another way is there also to dissolve Mercury into water, which is called the sharp vinegar or philosophers; or the water of the sea, of which Thomas Norton (though enigmatically enough) make mention in his sixth chapter, where he speaketh of such liquors as apt the stone, hath these words:

"Other men say no liquors from above"
Descended better than such as cungers love."

By which hee signified the waters of the sea, that is the water of their Mercury sublimate; which otherwise Ripley termeth sharp vinegar and hath white foeces and serveth as for putrefaction with water upon the calx of Lune; did Ripley make Elixir as appeareth in the 9 worckes he did at Estergate where in his 4th worcke hee saith was upon the calx of Lune with most sharp vinegar, which is our pure water of the sea. The order of the worcking therewith is on this wise: Take the Mercury well purged and sublime it thrice from Vitrioll and combust salt and once more from Allom; Then beate or grinde it small and rubb it up and downe on a broad pewter platter and let your sublimate to stand in a coole place to dissolve and it will turne to water. Take that water and filter it oftentimes then distill it and so rectifie it 7 times. With this water dissolve his owne earth which remaineth after the first (Nota) distillation being afore calcined into white and so dissolve it and fix it often times until it be fixed and flow; for to that end are the waters of Ripley where he saith; A good quantity of the Sharp vinegar being distilled by filter, Let destillation be made by Nature form his foeces and let the foeces be taken and with a lent fire be dried up and fixed in a phiol stopped; then being iterated let them be dissolved in his own water and let the water be destilled againe and his foeces may be fixed.

So continuing solutions and fixations until you may have the medicine fixed and flowing which is to be fermented in this manner; Let the medicine be dissolved in his owne water by himselfe; and let the white calx of (Luna) also be destilled with the same water in an other vessaile. Then let the solutions be mingled together and fixed together and doe with this as aforesaid in the other; And out of the vinegar if it be convenient lie putrefient for 10 days in balneo thereout may the elements be separated to serve for the uses aforesaid shewed; And therefore saith Ripley; Let there also be made water of Ar: Vi: sublimed, as you know, wich is called our Sharp vinegar and let the calx of white or red ferment bee dissolved with vulger dissolution untill it be cleare water with which the stone shall be fermented if you list; And thus I trust I have sufficiently declared the practise of the Minerall Stone.


Here Beginneth the Third Treatise of the Key of Alchimie
Containing the Animal Stone

Time now aprocheth that according to the predemonstrated division in the preamble of my booke I shew forth the manner of the animal Stone, rite as I have seen, part as I have found written, and although it might seem a thing incredible unto them; which have fallen hetherto into small consideration of the worke of Nature, and unto myself also at the first verie difficult; when I waied it according to common sense, or after the common first face; for who or what is hee that seeking to physick or amend the metallick sickness of metalls thereby convert them into perfect bodies would ever imagine to deale with bloud, whose substance is of a farre other composition and in shew contrarie to metallicall or minerall kinde.Wherefore I answer that as at the first it seemeth a matter very unapt and unfit, So if it be thoroughly laid down and wiselie pondered after the sound ground principles of our philosophers; it will shew itself otherwise; for like as the diamond taken from the mine is to the ignorant of little vallew and estimation and being polished is greatly esteemed of the Lapidaries; So the animal stone proceeding from the bloud of man, afore it be polished that is, afore the cause be laid open and known for the secret worcking thereof, may appear at the first shew to be a thing darck and obscure by vew of the dissemblable likeness in kind of mettallicall substance; And because I will as shortly as I can come to the touch of the matter I heere demand these questions, which being thoroughlie and diligently serched out, will not only give great delight, but also yeeld perfect proof thereof, to come therefore to the demand, I aske two questions, whereon mettalls consist, and by what is the first matter of mettalls; Which answered trulie, the troth shall appeare.

To the first, I say that whatsoever doth consist of even and equal substance may be made and brought by course of Nature to the selfe same matters, when bloud therefore with mettalls having the communitie of substance may be brought to the selfe same matter wherein the communitie of their substance lieth, namely Sal, Sulphur and Mercurie, which, seeing it falleth out so in mettalls, that without it there can be neither in his proper mine increase of grow, nor above earth wither suffer the benefit of healpe by art, except it be brought and divided into the salt, sulphur and Mercurie, wherefore if the generation and alteration of mettalls be in salt, sulphur and Mercurie then must salt, sulphur and Mercurie serve for generation of mettalls; And being therefore that in bloud there is salt, sulphur and Mercurie no doubt but the salt, sulphur and Mercurie being perfect, may serve, supply and fullfill the dutie and part of salt, sulphur and Mercurie; so to the first question I conclude that bloud may serve for matter of the Stone if it be by art brought to the perfection of Nature required in that behalfe.

For the second demand I aske whether ought else is to be required in this art for transmutation; Save only pure water and pure earth; Wherefore saith Raimond, our gold and our silver are but our two mines etc; that is our pure water and our pure earth; Wherefore seeing that pure water and pure earth are the materialls of the mettallicall kind, To the second I determine that the pure water and the pure earth which is and are found bloud, may serve for materiall of the Stone: for so witnesseth Ripley in his concordance upon the words of Hermes and Aristotle; Who writeth thus, Although many have imagined that this worcke may be done of heares and bloud etc; which have imagined falsely and true perhaps if the elements should therefrom be separated, for heares and bloud inasmuch as it is heares and inasmuch as it is bloud, may it be made; but yet of elements; So that if elements be separated, it appeareth in this that it may serve for the Stone: Indeede of any good to be done with his Mercurie; I think little if it be separated but if bloud may be brought into sulphur of nature then no question that Sulphur is as good an earth as may be possible; and therefore writeth Guido; of the earth there is no more matter nor care to be had; So it be fixed, neither can I deny but that the elements be separated from man's bloud are verie medicinable and comfortable for nature; for so writeth Raimond in his booke of quintessence; and Ruprecissus in his canon and Arnold in the booke he wrote to James of Toledo intreating of the bloud of man, concerning the creation of sulphur to be had out of man's blood.

The manner is plaine and easie to be found out by Ripley both in the 12 gates, as also in his Medulla in the treatise of the animal stone; whereas touching the matter he noteth to be in man; and tearmeth him the little world, and shewing the choice of the matter he willeth it to bee hadd out of a man of Mars, that is, out of a chollerick complexion, and for the state of man's bodie had from a healthy and sound man, for the regard of the time and season of the yeare, in March, for the proofe of the worcke in the sort. (Nota) The worcke man's bloud. Take (saith hee) the bloud of a sound vaine (man) and emptying or taking the superflous waterishness therefrom put it in a Gripes egge sealed to putrifie in the fire of the first degree where let it stand a long season untill it become black. That done, take it out and set it in ashes, where driying it up it will bubble, in which bubble there will shew and appear colours innumerable until it become white. Then in a strong fire for 30 daies make him redd; if for the redd worcke and then it is Sulphur of Nature: and that excelling all other things or Sulphurs: and Thereupon breaking out into a great wondering; hee saith, O Marvaile more marvailous than any marvailes; for it hath the nature of perfect Sulphur; which to make Elixir imbibe this sulphur with the redd Mercury vegetable till it be fixed and flowing and give him his ferment of (Sol) in the 4th proportion; fixe them under fire which may be multiplied as the vegetable or minerall, And is then the great Elixir, for this manner of worcking until the white Sulphur heare, heare what Ripley saith: Take this one thing, this hidden stone, him putrifie. Wash him in his own broth till white hee become; That done, see thou ferment him wittilie. Of all they worcke soe heere is whole and Some. On this way therefore it appeareth that the stone may be made of man's bloud; which for that it cometh of man; tis said to be animall; Thus far I have proved that I have seene it black and further am not yet able to say for that this quarter of a year I have not seen it with this manner of worcking, I end the animal as touching the bloud of man.

To come therefore to the other part which Ripley speaketh of from the words of Marie the Prophetess; Whereby it falleth out that Marie by the animal stone understood a fixed earth which earth was the calcined earth of egge shells; What will some then say; how can this be true; seeing that kinde ought to be joined with kinde; which cannot be for that egge shells are not of a mettallicall kinde I answer that in this respect they are of kind for that one fixed thing or matter hath affinitie to another fixed matter; so that in the unitie of their fixedness they are of kind and are not therefore contrarie effect; That earth assuredly is most best for our intent, that is most void and exempt of humiditie superfluous namelie in which there is least Mercury; which is in the egge shell; for all that which is moist hath nature turned into the white and into the yeolke and that which is most drie hath it turned into the schell which is of colour white; for that, that heate worcking in drie bodies hath ingendered whiteness, for otherwise the schell should have been blacke and tender; for that heat worcking in moist bodies causeth blackness; and that other earths are more meet for us than our owne earth: Heare what Raimond saith, his own earth is seldom or never naturall for him: Guido likewise writing to the Bishop sheweth that that is no force what earth it bee, so that it be fixed; Therefore hee commandeth the first earth to be cast away; which place Ripley proveth to bee meant: when that the Artist will make the Stone of other fixed earth besdies his owne; which at this time is the philosopher's intent; that shorter worcke may be had by planting our Mercury) in a more fixed bodie that his owne; And therefore writeth Alphidius (Nota -- Not mentioned by L'aime du Fresnoy); The foeces from which the water was drawne are to be throwne away and cast away for that they are all of no vallew; and his Mercury) must be planted in another subtell earth; out of what bodie his earth fixed must be hadd, and what that bodie is Ripley sheweth it to be egge shells; expounding the words of Marie which she speaketh of the mountaines to be meant egge shells; which are little hills or mountaines; There Marie saith that the bodie is taken for the hittle hills or mountaines which bodie is white and cleere not suffering motion or curruption and is ingendered between male and female; Out of which of Marie's works Ripley found this I know not; But in that treatise of Marie which passed between her and Aros the philosopher as I did find it reported in Posinus ad episcopum savatantum; are these words; Recipe herbam: and take, saith hee, the herbe that is white, cleere, honorable and growing up on the little hills, which Ripley affirmeth to be egges shells and of that herbe shee afterwarde saith that it is a true bodie not flying the fire: for the process of the worcke she agreeth somewhat with Ripley.

But to remove all doubts what earth it should bee that our Eagle ? our Mercury should rest on: Aristotle teacheth us naming it as indeede it is by his owne name; Saying: I will name it thee by his owne name; Wherewith the common people name it, and that is the end of the egge; which being calcined and his skins removed saith Ripley, is the whitest earth and will longest abide fire; As I have seene; And it cannot be Mercury sublimat whom some would, the sublimatories to be little hills; Marie's words are plaine in two sorts: for that she saith it groweth upon the hills which sublimate doth not but within the hills; And further (saithe shee) is a bodie which will abide the fire which sublimate will not doe; but flie the fire and vanish away in smoake. To come to an end of this animal stone let us set forth his practise: Wherein hee saith the little hills or the eggs of hennes whose shells separated from their skins and dried up after their washing ought to be calcined untill they have the whitenings of the snow (NOTA: worcke) and the utmost subtilitie; The ablution of which is after this sort, seeth the egges until they be verie hard then let them be subtillie barked or pulled off so that they may be parted from their skins as much as possible, then put the fragments of these shells in the strong lie of brine and ashes; so made with much salt: and let them there stand for eight daies every day rubbing them with your hands that their slime may be hadd away: Afterward let them be washed in water and their skins which flote above be taken away and let the shells which remaine ponderously in the bottom bee dried on a table in the Sunn; Afterward let them bee calcined in a furnace of reverberation even as much as they may possible, until they become of white colour and in manner of a subtill matter and them keep for thy use, because that earth exceedeth all earths of the world, for that it shall be more meete for thy worcke than any other; Seeing that gold nor silver can abide so great fire and dailie examination as can this earth, let therefore our mundified Mercury be planted in the earth after they are rectified. That is the white worcke, white Mercury.

Yet to the redd worcke, redd Mercury that is the oile of the stone; which must be put upon the earth and so in a circulatorie circulated upon him untill it be fusible which could verie well bee done in the Krachell or Gemmissarie and when it will so pierce and flow then ferment it as in the other Elixir; and by solution and coalgulation increase it; And in this manner of worcking accordeth with the words of Marie: saying vitrifica super illud Kybrick or Zybrych and that is, vitrificate or harden upon it Kybrick and Zubech, Kybrick (NOTA Kybrick = Sol of Mercury or ferment) is gold brought unto ferment and Zebede is that two Mercuries for so Ripley interpreted it; where hee said from the works of Marie; Maketh thy water like the runninge water; of the two Zaybeth and Zybwech; that is the two Mercuries: which Marie biddeth to be vitrificated upon the fixed bodie; and to be made liquid by the secret fire of Nature in a vessaile of philosophie; By vitrificiation she meaneth to have it dried up: which must bee done in ashes; for so did Ripley it in his first worcke; which was as he affirmeth upon the calx of the little hills with the water of the menstrue, that is with the ardent water for the white, for so he did it for the white and his accurtations upon Raimond he set it to circulate in drie ash fire; Thus therefore in this sort have wee brought the Animal stone to be Elixir. 


Here beginneth the Fourth Treatise of the Key of Alchimie and containeth the Manner of Fermentation

In the three afore Treatises, are shewed the making of the stones, namelie, vegetable, minerall, and Animall; wherefore that we now come to accomplish the same in their height of perfection, this place is most convenient, for that hereby the treatises passed may be thoroughly finished into Elixir as well as the residue which are yet to follow, i.e. the mixed and the transparent stone: wherefore I have referred this middle and 4th place to treate of fermentation; as well for the accomplishing of the stones passed, as for the finishing of those to come; Let us therefore returne to speak of fermentations.

The philosophers speaking of their secret worcke of Nature to bring their Elixir to effect, have likened the composition of the Elixir to the creation and framing of Man: who consisteth of body, spirit, and soule; Even so, their stone for divers likely semblables, they affirme to consist of bodie, spirit, and soule; Of the bodie and spirit we have sufficiently spoken alreadie; We will heere therefore speake of the soule: Know therefore that even as the bodie cannot live or move to doe and use any act without the benefit of the soule, neither can be framed or brought to life, without the commixtion of the soule, and the soule being againe yielded up to the place whence it came, the bodie remaineth dead, deprived of all action and becometh a carcass; so the stone, though it can never so lightlie {...} peyrse and flow, yet can it never become Elixir, without it be commixed with the soule: which is the ferment: for otherwise it would lie dead and be of no effect or valour, for transmutation.

And therefore they wander far out of the way, which object that the stone is one thing; and how we add thereto nothing that is strange and forraine, save only remove superfluousness and therefore would have the Elixir to be made without gold, or silver: Indeede if they know the difference between the stone and Elixir, it might be true: for in the stone there is nothing but himself, but when they meane thereby the Elixir, then can it not bee; for that there cannot be any Elixir without the addition of gold or silver, And yet saith Raimond, Gold and Silver are nor forraine or strange. And more at large in writing of the stone, Raimond saith that without ferment, Sol and Lune shall not be brought to pass: for that they are the forme of the stone: for otherwise our vegetable Mercury is not of himselfe sufficient to make and forme the stone for that it is not his to give that which is appropriate unto another; and is the proprietie of that vegetable Mercurie which is in Sol and Lune by nature, And in the latter end of the first question in his Questionaire, he concludeth that of necessitie: Alchimie consisteth of Gold, Silver and Mercury vegetable, which he affirmeth to be true, reall and materiall essence thereof.

An other objection which seemeth of great force they gather of Rasis' words, and for better proofe thereof, they introduce this simile or example; The words of Rasis are these, our gold and silver are not gold and silver common, and therefore gold and silver are not ferment. These words will I answer by the very words of Raimond, where hee himself answereth if after this manner, saying that in these words there are two things given us to understand; first that it is common gold and after to teach us that though common gold is the matter of the ferment; yet wee are not there with all to ferment, untill it be altered and otherwise reduced; and then saith hee it cannot be called the Sun; for what it be altered; and so are Rasis's words to be understood: And to the like effect are the words of Ripley, where hee citeth the philosopher's words in that very point; saying, Our tincture is drawne from a vile thing and is indued with another much more noble thing; for that we doe ferment it with gold common; And therefore hee saith that all ambiguitie may be removed therefrom, you must know: of certeintie and believe me that the stone may be finished in the white and redd, both which spring out of one roote, without common gold or silver, but it can never bee made Elixir of the stone, but by putting to of common gold and silver: which ought to be altered and requickened with the Mercury of our stone; and to be lifted into christalline sulphur and fixed: and part of that golden sulphur to be made redd, and other part of that be oile of the sulphur of silver, to be kept in his whiteness, and both the sulphur of the gold and silver be oilified: which two oiles the sulphur of other bodies which are to be counted as it were of other middle matter, between Mercury and ferment, ought to bee fermented, untill they yeelde easie fusion, flowing; of a gummy nature, making both the Elixirs, sic. white and redd; The ferment of which cannot be called the common, but ferment philosophicall is ferment of ferments; that is not of common ferment, but must be taken philosophically altered into new qualities; in which all men almost erre, fermenting it with waters, and oiles drawne forthe of bodies not altered, perceiving not the true doctrine of Raimond; Saying of nothing that is white or redd, which Nature hath formed ought Elixir to bee made, or can bee made untill it shall pass the philosopher's wheele; So that the first qualities destroyed, the second qualities are to be brought in; by our masterie: And on this wise are the philosophers soe to be understood: which seem to the ignorant to disagree: And thus are their varieties concorded and Rasis' words answered.

To come to the example, whereby they seeme to prove the words objected, is thus; and I find it both objected by answered in Clangor Buccinae, where is said that even as bread which is once leavened and baked is perfect in his estate or being; and is come to the end of his perfection; so that there with all, we can leaven, or ferment no more; so in gold which is pure, and by examination of fire brought into a fixed and firme bodie and therewith all is impossible to ferment any more; To answer the premisses; it followeth even in the next words; Nisi habeatur {...}, Except the first matter {...} into which it must be resolved into divisible elements, which words I take {...} to confirm the exposition of Ripley: then ought at all to refill the same: for it be not said common, except it be altered {...} of gold; it must bee, {...} it must be of gold, but yet altered; And therefore not as I know some phantasticalie {...} imagine to have it fermented with the marchasites of gold: And that it is alonelie gold, that is the soule and ferment of the stone.

Let us view what Clangor Buccinae hath in that behalf in his 32, 36, 38, 40, 62, 65, 66 pages. Where for the first hee saith; speaking of the coagulation of Mercury: Take coagulum {...}, such coagulation ought to bee done with the Sun and Moon, dissolved in Mercury, but yet only the Moon of the white worcke, and the Sun both to white and redd; Againe in the next alledged; Item tinctura: Also the tincture is the composition of the stone of fire and Aire of gold or of silver: Either thus: It is a certeine compound of the fire and Aire of gold, or of silver: Gold to the redd, and silver to the white: and in the page a little after, the Elixir of philosophers is made of three things, of the Stone Lunaire, Solaire and Mercurie: In the Lunarie the white sulphur; and the stone of Mercury embraceth both natures white and redd: In 38 fac matrimonium {...} Joine matrimonie betweene the redd man and his white wife, and then shalt thou have all the masterie; The philosophers stone riseth up from a wild matter into a most pretious treasure: That is from the sperme of gold by act of generation proiected into the matrice of Mercury: which happeneth by the first commixion, wherefore it is said that when Sol shall be compounded with his like, scilicet Mercury; that shall be a pregnant planet: and in 40, the whole benefit of this Art is in Sol and Mercury: for indeed they being joined together in one, makes the philosopher's stone, and have infinite Tincture; ffor of the bodie is fetched out a colour more redd then bloud; Againe in the 62: for that as the philosophers say, without ferment there is no perfect Tincture: even as good bread cannot be without fermented paste: so is it in our stone: Seeing the ferment is as the soule, which giveth life unto the dead imperfect body by means of the spirit comming and betweene; which is Mercury: and hereby afterward; there is no other ferment but gold as well to the white as the redd Elixir. The Moon only to the white elixir; namely gold or silver of philosophers, not gold and silver naturall: altered therefore: Last of all in 55, 56, hee saith: the ferment is the soule; which by means of water giveth life to the imperfect bodie, which hee afore had not; And it also bringeth into a better forme, And again if you mingle not ferment with Elixir; The bodie shall not be coloured as it ought: for because that without ferment shall neither Sun nor Moon come forth.

Hermes saith that there is never true tincture without the redd stone, Avicenne saith that the Sun tincteth not except it be first tincted; and that it doth give tincture: Gold, saith hee, is held to be both the bodie and ferment; for the Elixirs, both white and redd, in scala philosophorum, I finde written: ferment is double, one to the white and one to the redd; To the white, the Moon, and to the redd, the Sun: Plato speaking of the stone; saith that except there be that in the stone which amendeth the stone, wee shall never have that wee seeke; wherefore wee give this in charge, that the stone we joyned with the bodie that it may ingender the like, that is which meere gold and silver: which are the ferment of your originall Elixir: concluding therefore that there is no other ferment besides the Sun and the Moon.

Wee will to the practick ending with this one saying out of the Rosarie; where it is written that hee which goeth about to seeke any tincture without the Sun or the Moon, is likened to a man that would climbe up a ladder without steps or roundles; There are divers and sundrie waies to prepare the ferments; of which at his time and in his place; I speake but of two waies: for or that the 3rd waie must of necesitie be touched in the next treatise of the mixt stone: The first is of the preparation to make the ferment; which is the long way in putrefaction, The other is the dissolution of the Sun with the Lac Virginis minerali in the sharpe vinegar; where wee speake in the Minerall Stone.

To the first: therefore take your gold, by having well purged it with Antimonis: as every common gold smith knoweth, let him be beaten into foliate or leaf gold: Then let it be corroded in corrosive water called Aqua Fortis made in this wise; Take vitrioll, otherwise green copperose and to him joyne halfe his waight of salt Petre, grinde them very finelie together and put them to distill in a retort of earth; and at the first make lent fire until the faint water be gone, {...} change the receiver and lute fast a great and long receiver thereto and make and increase the fire stronger, and receave all the water that cometh up in a redd fume; for that is the pure part of the strong water which if it be 3 or 4 times rectified: distilling it over in ash fire; then is it very well able to corrode the Moon but not the Sun except it be fortified with Sal Armoniac, or combuste salte, which is the better; You must thus fortifie your strong water with combust salt, take the salt of Burwage and Borage; calcine it in an earthern pot untill it be burned white, in a common fire of coles, then grinde it on a marble stone into fine subtill pouder: that done you must dissolve a goode quantitie thereof in the corrosive water, and in strong fire of sand distill the whole together; and so do with new salt twice of thrice more; Then into the water put your leafe gold do dissolve, and when you see that the corrosive water ceaseth to bubble and boille; set in on a few ashes in the furnace, and when you have soe corroded the gold as much as you list; Then take that water which is of a golden colour verie beutifull in the eye, and in ash fire draw the corrosive water therefrom, then in the bottome will the oile of gold remaine, most faire in sight, on which put againe other new water: for once more; and draw 3 or 4 times, then shall you have your gold verie faire in oile; and well corroded: which if ye touch with bare hands; they will be of a faire purple staine; And thereon riseth the words of Avicenne; Gold doth not tinct except it be afore tincted.

But to proceed unto that, wherein resteth the great secret. Take a good quantity of common Fountaine water distilled, and pour it upon the oile {...} which will then descend to the bottome like graines of salt though not of that colour; vapor away therefore or evacuate warilie that water from it; and drie the matter remaining; which put in a centipie to calcine for the space of 8 days in furnace of reveberation; first with{...} fire; after with an indifferent, and last of all with a strong fire, untill the water augmenting, and increasing become like sponges; Of this process only speaketh Ripley in his little bosome booke, where hee saith calces of the Sun and the Moon are made five waies; first with common Mercurie and common salt; secondlie, with strong corrosive vitrioll and salpeter in which they receive solution; unto whose solution let destilled water the fountaine be put, and the calx shall descend into the bottome of the glasse, in forme like unto grains of salt: Take these graines and calcine them as is said and so forth; In like sort is to be done with Lune: save there to put no salt to the corrosive.

And thus are the calxes prepared: Of which to make sulphures of nature for the great ferment; doe thus: Take the sponges aforesaid; Make them into pouder, and dissolve them in your Lunaris vegetable, or ardent water, being not gone so far as Lunarie, pouring it on the calxes untill it be coloured with the tincture of gold, and so doing it untill all the tincture be extracted together and then put the water with the tincture together in balneo for 10 daies, and at the tenth daies end draw off the water of all the water from it, and leaving the oile in the bottome; Which will then be verie thinne and subtill, put that into a gripes egge sealed, to putrifie; (provided always, that some small part of the water may be left with the gold in putrefaction). Which gripes egge must be placed in Balneo for 150 daies, untill it be converted into white sulphur; first having passed the colours: for Ripley then saith that the oile of the Sun is so simple of itselfe, and the bodie soe open, that then worcking in moist bodies, ingendreth blacknesse which all the philosophers for the most part appoint to bee had at the end of 40 daies, Yet some appoint so (yet heere must I give a note out of Raimond's treatise of the greater worck or philosophicall tree written in his 3rd distinction of this booke of Quintessence, for the better understanding of the colours in putrefaction, he saith; Da igitur sibi ignem and c. give him his fire in this sort successivelie and without any intermission, until hee come by {...} to {...} that is by dissolution to alteration: for that then beginneth another colour to be ingendred, which is black; Yet think it not to be so black coloured as the sloe, or Bullas, but that that colour is rather of the colour of an ill rotten pomegranate: And after you see the show or token of colour; understand that then there is conjunction, and love knot knits between the spirit and the bodie: And as this is in the redd: so is there the like in the white bodie; And saith the Artist ought to note that the colour differs in generation of our Infant; for the colour of the white falleth under another condition: for first of all his colour of putrefaction is of greenness mixed with reddnesse, and from thence they both come to bee (in their own times) sulphurs of Nature; Of which the white is then to be taken out of purtefaction; and to bee brought by circulation of his Lunarie upon him into water or oile: which is ferment of ferments and oile incombustible for the white worcke; with which the sulphurs of bodies must be fermented with all for the white worcke.

The manner now shall follow after wee have done; and brought the red sulphur of gold to bee ferment of ferments, and oile incombustible; When therefore your sulphur of the Sun is white; part from him that damned foeces which remaine in the bottome of the glasse belowe; Then put the into another gripes egge, and place him in an ash fire for 30 daies, increasing your fire from 10 daies to 10 daies until the terme of 30 daies; then in balneo dissolve or circulate your redd sulphurus with the oile of fire of the vegetable stone; untill it stand liquid, or be brought into oile; which is then redd ferment of ferments and oile incombustible for the red worcke; With these oiles and ferments are all stones to be fermented.

The manner of doing is divers; where I will set downe two:

The first is that when you have brought your sulphur into oiles very liquid, draw therefrom in a Limbeck as much Mercury of that which you put on as you can convenientlie; then take the sulphurs of other bodies. If it bee to the redd worcke, three parts, and of the ferment so dissolved: one part. If to the white halfe to halfe. Let this be done in a peare glass; which being very close sealed, put it for two daies to dissolve in Balneo: After that take out the glasse, and put it in a fixatorie there to fixe under fire untill it be fixed and will flow; which prove and if it will not, let him stand in fixation till it will so doe: and then is the Elixir of perfect virtue, after it small will be augmented in qualletie: Which shall be shewed when we touch augmentation and projection.

As concerning the other way of fermentation, dissolve both the sulphurs of the bodie, and the sulphur of the ferments with their proper Mercuries, scilicet, white to white and red to red; being so dissolved, draw off halfe the Mercury you put on; and putting the residue of the solutions together, fixe them in a fixatorie, as is aforesaid, and until they be Elixirs, and this is the most noble way of fermentation: which can never faile; The other way of fermentation is of less labour and will be accomplished in little space.

After your gold and silverie calx is brought to calxe, as is aforesaid, dissolve the calces of the white with the Lac Virginis minera (if redd, with the fierie element; and soe with these tinctures, bring them into oiles, wherewith you may ferment at will and pleasure, according to that which is already said in the minerall stone; Let there be made water of argent vive sublimed as thou knowest which is our most sharp vinegar, and let the calces of the Sun and the Moon be therein dissolved with vulgar solution untill it become cleare water, that is after the sharp vinegar or element of the Minerall stone be extracted, and the oiles must be put into Balneo for the space of 15 daies; in which Balneo it will dissolve and become more thinner; wherewith the stone may bee fermented as you list: And this is an easie way, This place must well serve to speak of Ripley's way of alteration and letting up of calces into {...} : but that inasmuch it is only done by benefit of the compounded and mixed waters. I will pass it over until the next Chapter following which shall at large shew the orders of working for the compound stone; And in the mean season let this be an end of fermentation.


Here beginneth the 5th treatise of the Key of Alchimie containing the mixed Stone

The Philosophers sometimes vexed, and grieved with the length of the time which they consumed are they might bring the Elixir to effect by putrefaction, did think with themselves to finde out some shorter way; which as last they found by joining together of contrairie natures; for whereas afore they were driven to make two worcks; one in a corroding, and an other in recomforting the corroded; that they at last found out to doe at one time by joining of their natures so eauqallie together, that as much as bodies were hindered by the fire against nature; so much they might on the contrary side be helpen even at that present instant by the fire of nature; wherefore they drew them both together: Or else after they were drawne, did commixe them; and put them together; so that they might jointlie have the use of them at one time; by vertue of which they might create their Elixirs in shorter time and space by alteration, where afore in longer time they did it by putrefaction.

Which Elixirs so made, happened by the vertue and benefit of the mixed water; wherefore think it no unnecessarie to give them the names of the mixed stones; for that all but such elixirs are perfected by the power and strength of the vegetable and minerall wee heere speake of; is not all one with that which in the vegetable afore I speake of: for by this our alteration which now we intreat of are the purities of all bodies lifted into [...] and so become calces of a second intention and of alterate qualities by vertue of our philosophicall fire against nature: Of which manner of working Caleatus [not in Dufresnoy] the philosopher saith that from the minerall and vegetable joyned together in the depth of this secret art proceedeth; And of these two waters writeth Raimond both in his Magic and in his Accortations: In the Magick, My Sons, there are two waters trough which the whole art of Alchimie is accomplished and in his Accortations Tota enim vita mineralium est, for the whole way of the minerall worck consisteth in two waters, of which two, the one maketh the stone volatile without labour and perill, the other fixing it, doth fixe and is fixed with him without any labour or perill, for that is made or drawne forth from out of a certaine stinking menstruall made of four things and this water is more strong and mortall than any other water in the world: whose only spirit doth multiply and increase the tincture of the ferment.

Of these waters verie few of the elder philosophers ever seemed to speake of, nor darklie to name it, except that in one only place I have redd of two dragons fighting together in the floud of Satalia; [not in Dufresnoy nor Johnson nor Pernetty]: which our noble Ripley expoundeth and aplieth to this worcke; with these waters: In whom and in Raimond I only heard of these waters: Of which I gave gud proofe, for that it will lift up calces into [Elixir], as I have seene.

And seing therefore that Raimond, is the elder philosopher whom Ripley most seemeth to follow. I will first of all beginn with the practick of Raimon on this mixed stone: Which I find written in his Accortations to king Robert; and is that which I afore referred over to this place; and is to be handled after the manner of the vegetable accortation rehearsed: Raimond therefore speaking of minerall and vegetable water saith that by a deepe consideration of which a man may so mingle the minerall, and vegetable together, that in short space he may make the greater medicine after this manner: The vegetable water saith hee; that is the water ardent being five time rectified; At which distillation, the water most commonlie: is void of flegme; then having verie good vitrioll, faire and clear and amber, so likewise in equall waight; Mingle them together, grind them verie well and drie them in the Sun, and afterwards on the fire: so that you would judge their watrinesse were gone; and then put them into your water; and in the beginning destill them with a lent fire, and in the end with a strong fire, as is the manner in corrosive and sharp water of philosophers. So doe five times, every time putting to new water. Alwaies taking heede that your powders be verie well dried; and so shall your minerall spirit be well joyned with the blessed spirit of water ardent: This, thus handled, take your gold in proportion and manner as is afore said in the vegetable Accortation, and doe in all points as afore and then shall you see that wonderfullie the spirit of the waters will be in four daies fixed with the gold; which in the vegetable will not be in 25 daies; and the reason is that one spirit engrosseth another; and because that the spirit of the quintessence of vitrioll is more fixed and gross than the spirit of the quintessence of the Ardent water, and for that also there is a greater concordancie between the spirit of vitrioll and the nature of gold; inasmuch as they have their beginnings from the same principles, in that they are Mineralls; Therefore the spirit of vitrioll joyned to the spirit of water ardent, doth make him more thicke and grosse and causeth him to cleave quickly into the metall:for the which cause and reason beleeve me that of all accortations this is most excellent as touching gold Alchemick.

Having therefore on this wise made fixation, you may proceed to solution by often dissolution and coagulation as in the vegetable Accortation, altho it will not so soone be dissolved as in the vegetable: for that it will aske 9 days solution, which solution must be reiterated thrice as in the vegetable; except it be dealt with all as hee teacheth immey in these words following; In which he openeth a great secret saying, O king, that I may in as much brief manner as is possible, write unto you, you must understand that out of the lead of philosophers, there is an oile of golden colour extracted or there abouts: With which you shall after their first fixion dissolve either the stone minerall mixed; or Animall, three or four times, or for the space of 3 or 4 days, it shall excuse you from all labour of solution and coagulation; The reason is for that this is the secret oile which maketh all medicines penetrable, amicable and conjungible to all bodies and doth above measure incrase his effect in such wise that in this world, there is nothing more secret than this; wherefore I will tell thee, O king, that which shall be wonderfull, and that which will seem incredible unto all the old philosophers that if you know how to separate this oile from his watrishness and shall therein labour according to the manner of mixion afore said, you shall in 30 daies accomplish the stone, the order of which is alreadie shewed in the separation of elements, and in the vegetable stone yet in no wise meddle therewith all in the vegetable accortation; and so endeth that worcke of the mixed stone collected out of Raimond.

If not resteth therefore to speake of the mixed stone, according to the way of Ripley: For sure it is that among all men there are none that gave himself so much to the diverse and sundrie opinions of practice, as hee did; but most speciallie of Raimond's: Who marvaille therefore, if his schollers finde so much profit in Raimond; considering that this mr was so conversant with Raimond's worcks, and was so great an expositor of Raimond, that almost he might deserve the proverbe of Raimond's Apes; and yet in this hee sure exceeded Raimond, so that looke what soever hee fetched out of him, he proved it to the uttermost; yea more waies then one as may well appeare by his worcks on this mixed stone: For whereas in Raimond there is only one way rehearsed, hee setteth downe 3 several practises:

Of which one is with the water of the pure sea, that is our sharp vinegere of Mercury sublimed, and mingled with the ardent water upon the calx prepared, which I heere slightly overpasse; for that it is shewed and meaneth the like manner of dealing in the minerall treatise, by circulating: To come to the making of these mixed waters which are in number, two, the one consisting of the 4 things; of salt peter, vitrioll Romaine, vitriol sericon [or opus come to the red, according to some] that is the gum of sericon, and vermillion or cinober; The order by manner of drawing heereof is alone with the order by manner of drawing of the corrosive water afore shewed in the last treatise: the proportion of the ingredients followeth; Let the gumm of the sericon bee double the vitrioll, the peter half to the vitrioll, and the cinobar half to the peter: The process of the work set downe by Ripley, I cannot advise thoroughly to be followed for that hee doth that with crude Mercury sublimed and fixed: for that I never think it philosophically done when crude things are dealt with all, - therefore forsake crude Mercury and worck on this sort; Take Mercury sublimed, & sublime it by itself 7 times more; which will then bee scarce willing to rise from the bottome of the sublimatorie, and of that Mercury take 6 parts, and of the oile of gold one part and a halfe; & grind them well together on a glasse made broad and smooth like a marble stone: That done; put it into a long necked glasse stopped with clay or cotton; and set it to precipitate in ash fire, increase the fire daily; and in five it will be precipitated into redd powder in 5 daies if it be well followed with strong fire; so that it will be of thoroughlie fixed: Then with this fire against nature, dissolve this pouder, and being dissolved, draw the corrosive therefrom untill it be as thick as oile in the bottome, and stopping well the glasse, let that be fixed into drie powder; first with a lent fire, after with a stronger, a soe reiterate this worcke 10 times, for then it cannot be made drie, but remaineth oile transmuting all imperfect bodies into true Sol; The order how to dissolve Sol with this water is thus; Your Sol being made into powder or fine calxe as aforesaid, dissolve it in a great quantity of the first water that cometh of in the drawing of this compound water; and let it stand therein in balneo 20 daies, and then it will be redd and faire oile to see to, from which in a Limbeck, and in an ash fire, draw of the water, and the oile shall remaine in the bottome; where which inceare your Mercury as aforesaid.

And this way accordeth somewhat with Raimond worcks written both in Magick and in the Accortation where hee saith, Moreover, if thou shall impast Mercury 7 times sublimed with thy gold dissolved; and although there be 7 parts of silver and but one of gold; yet if thou wilt put thy Mercury to sublime sundrie times, ever putting that downe againe upon his foeces which riseth up, this Mercury shall at last bee fixed into medicine piercing and tincting; this manner of worcking carrieth a farr greater likelihood then to worcke with Mercury crude: For that the one is almost, nay very near brought to fixion, and the other is raw and crude, and will aske a longer time of doing; besides that the proportion of ferment is verie smale after that way and all the benefit of the fixion must in crude Mercury rise by the oile of gold; where heere it hath 2 healfs, the one from the quintessence of vitrioll wheron Ripley saith that the bodie of the spirit volatill is fixed by the fire against nature, which is the quintessence which riseth up (is saith Rupescissus) in snowie whiteness, and the other from the oile of gold; wherefore I conclude that this manner of dealing must of necessity far excell the other crude mercurie; of which this is the way, Take gold calcined in the colour of bloud with the first water, viz. Mercurielle, very clear and clarified 20 daies: For in less time nothing is done; which calcination cannot be so much profitable, unlesse gold be mercurized into such thinness, that it may with that to whom it shall be joyned in a 24 proportion strained through a linnen cloth without any glob remaining: for myself saith hee have so seen it ordered; for then may it without fail be precipitated in a long vessaile, and strong and surelie luted on every side; except in the top: where let it boile into red powder, like unto cinober, with violence of fire; as I have seene it done, saith hee by profe thereof; and being fixed, dissolve it, and doe as is afore declared; for now both waies are shewed.

Let that be followed which hath most reason; And for the fixing of sublimate I have done it into red pouder with the onlie elemental fire; above and beneath in the space of 8 houres and less, The other compound water which serveth for the alteration of calces, followeth in these words: Make a compound water of 3 things, that is, gumm of sericon. Naturall vitrioll, and Salt Niter or Salt Peter and them destill according to Art, it worketh many things, and is called the two dragons of philosophers and fighting in the bloud of satatia: Besides touching the vertues of this water he speaketh much, which I heere now omit for brevitie sake: Touching the order of the worcke, he giveth this note; and so commeth to practick, the working with the prepared Calces therein innceted, must be placed in a could place, the vessaile hard stopped with a linen cloth: Now to the practick; Take the prepared calx of the body, and put upon him such convenient quantities of compound water as may well cover it, or no more, agreeable to the reasonable judgment of the expert Artist: which straightway shall boile without any other externall fire added to it: which dissolving and lifting and letting up itself inform of yce, the hand of the workman must remove; and so doing tell the whole Calx of it bee lifted up and made to powder; which must be put in a good quantity of naturall fire rectified into water ardent, which by administration of outward fire as in the Balneo or Lent heat of sand, must be dissolved into oile by substracting the water from it, the oftener it be done the better: with this oile if it be of Sun and Moon may the calces of other bodies be lifted up after this manner be inceared, until they be fixed and flowing which shall congeale Argent vive and other imperfect bodies: the same oile may also be put in kymia, [or kymena, a Matras - q] there to putrefie and to be burned into ferment, which is that which was spoken of, touching alterations for ferment; with which in a great deale shorter time we may make ferment redie for the stone, then by putrefaction and an end of the mixed stone.


Here beginneth the 6th Treatise of the Key of Alchimie containing the Transparent Stone

Ripley, speaking of sundrie and divers tractations in the art of Alchimie, as touching the composition of the stone and elixir, followeth two waies in generall; by vertue of which the art is brought to effect, as much as in it lieth, by outward administration; of which in his little booke he writeth thus: There are many waies, (saith hee) which you shall find surer by experience than by imagination, neither shall it be very difficult or chargeable to the worcker, to trie all waies: Therefore some are helpen by fire excitative, namely by fire elementall, other some again not so, but are helpen in most could places that alteration may be made, if it will, by heat of the menstrue; of elixir done in heate by coagulation, wee have all this while intreated long enough. I will now therefore speake in this place of the composition of the elixir in cold; which is that that the philosophers call the transparent stone and is altogether congealed in cold into a hard and clear mass like christall or yce, which chanceth to be of sundrie colours after the tinctures, of which it is compounded of: And by the skill of this may all pretious stones be curiouslie conterfeit, but especially pearles; and this is that practise, which Raimond, Ripley and others have under counterfeiting of stones, so hardly and darklie given out.

Of which Raimond, in his 43, 44, 45 Canons in the first destinction of his book de Quintessentiis hath sufficientlie declared to such as are philosophers: And understand the secret Art; Ripley on the Accortations of Raimond, shadoweth it marvaillouslie under the confusiones of 20 solutions, and will therefore (taking the method from them both), shew forth an easier and not so difficult a way; the knowledge whereof I obtained, even as Protogenes made the fome in the counterfeit of an horse mouth; For when I had long time sought to putrifie the earth of the menstrue, and the earth of the vitrioll, evapored with the compound water; wherein worcking contrary to art; it would never putrifie; I thought to prove what it would do in cold, and having put in under ground, it immediately congealed into a christalline masse, whereby I received the worcke of the transparent stone; in which according as Raimond there intendeth in that place; For that there hee meaneth to conterfeit precious stones, rather then to frame elixir by that meanes: Which way of elixiring is of all waies the most noble; For that therein is least labor and travaille and least faile and peril; for that after the commixion, there is alonely nothing to bee done, untill it become to be transparent; then patientlie abide the times, wherefore saith Raimond, finito quippe anno tu habebis omne illud; If the year being come about, you shall have all that, that may be desired of the world; either to this worck or to the other; of which you may at pleasure doe what you list, as well in the masterie of Alchimie as in the making of stones by medicine; touching the making of stones I will say nothing; for that herein I intend to give out the making of Elixir in could; and upon this ground I mean to lay the foundation that may be made of Mercury, Sun, and Moon: only in cold by reason of the heat worcking there in the glass; and not without, ffor by the self same reason that Mercury sublimed becometh in a could place to be burned into a sulphur of nature by the water ardent; by the selfe same manner of worcking wee may, no doubt, bring the other to its full force and vertue.

For all this masterie lieth in the heate of the water, and what water wee should take appeareth by Raimond, Although Ripley would take the Lunarie vegetable, But Raimond in this place meaneth by Lunarie, the Lac Virginis minerale which hee willeth to be joined with quintessence; saying, Take an ounce of most fine gold, and dissolve it after the manner I have shewed thee in my Testament; Namely, pure Lunarie, to which add equal waight of the quintessence whereby I gather that by Lunarie hee meaneth the Lac [ Aqua mercurialis qua metalla solvuntur, and sal allembrot, or sal enixum, or J. D. Mylii Basilica philosophica, p. 90, Consilium decimum sextium] Virginis minerale, otherwise it could not be by vertue of the compound: ffor that Lunarie and Quintessence are all one: well, I will not stand upon that, For I will not meddle with any vegetable water in this behalfe: Although I will shew how it may become by two waters for the white, and by only one for the redd: The two waters are the Lac Virginis minerale, and Ripley's compound water of those things afore mentionned which water last named, let it bee 7 times rectified, or destilled before it bee occupied.

To come therefore to the practice: Take your gold made calx as afore taught, and dissolve it in Lac Virginis, or in the rectified water named; which being dissolved, filter, that the only fine, and pure water may passe away, that done, putrifie it altogether in Balneo, for 15 daies, then put it to distill away the dissolving liquor in ash fire; till all the oile of gold remaine in the bottome, and yet note that I have seen gold pass over the Limbeck: Wherefore if you can so pass over the whole (as I think it would) it shall be the better: When therefore you have your gold; as you like of; Take your fierie element of Mercury one halfe, and mingle it with the other halfe of oile of Sun; Which done, put it into balneo for 24 houres that it may the better conjoyne, then take it out of the balneo, and having your gripes egg well closed; set or burie it in the ground, a foot; and so let it stand for the space of a whole yeare; then take it up and you shall find it converted into a transparent stone of golden or carbuncle colour: which you may, by putting on more of the fiery element, dissolve in hot balneo, and congeale in cold; to be increased as you list, which shall be the perfect elixir on all bodies; yet note that when you shall take out of the earth this your glass, you must in an Athenor give it a prettie fixing heate for 9 daies; and so at the end of every dissolution and congelation, which Raimond in these words commandeth to be done: Et da sibi ignem de seraturis per novem dies naturales continuos: the selfe same, manner may you observe in Lune with either of the waters.

The transparent stone finished on this wise, I will somewhat say of pearles; Take therefore the fairest, Orientall seed or ounce pearle; and dissolve thereof an ounce waight in either of the waters named as afore; pass them over the Linbeck if you may, and then in Balneo separate away the water, so that the oile of the pearles remaine in the bottome: then take of the oile of pearle, one parte, of the oile of Lune handled like unto the Sun, halfe a parte; of the Lac Virginis equall to the Lune: Joyne them together, and after set them in Balneo the better to joyne: Then having moulds of stone made of what forme you will, whether like a peare or like an acorne of what bignels or quantity you list, put this joined liquor into that mould or furnell, which stopp close, and place it for the space above mentioned, then shall you have it congealed into a hard mass, or Orient pearle, which you must fixe afterward in drie fire, as is alreadie taught: Of this I have seen no proofs, save that I have gathered it from Raimond, and Ripley; who openly pofesseth and that under a damnable wish, that hee had so seen it: And sure reason yealdeth it to be verie likelie: And for truth this much I say, that I have to shew, gold dissolved with the Lac Virginis that congealeth doe what I can, which, if it were orderlie handled, would be the transparent stone. From which gold also when I would have separated the water dissolutive, I saw part thereof in weake fire rise over with the water: Which proveth that it will pass the Limbeck, and is therefore the best way. For boldlie (besides that) may there with the stone be ferment; And thus I shewed that which may suffice for the transparent stone.


Here beginneth the 7th Treatise of the Key of Alchimie
containing the Elixir of Life and the use thereof
I trust there is none so ignorant that thinketh any art able to prolonge, or continue the life of man any jot or little longer than the appointed houre; against which determined time of God there can be no defense, which to uphold, were farr from faith and sacred religion, neither have I ever redd any of the philosophers, or rather learned phisitians of elder time that asserted or attributed any such vertue of elongation unto their Elixir of Life; Although thereby they kept the bodie safe and sound from the extremitie of greefe, al long as God shall appoint times. Although it pleaseth some with full-blown cheekes of Goylus [B.C. 259 - used for austere critics] breath, to yield such sounds in reprochful sort, wondring, why some of the philosophers lived so little time and had such medicines to prolong life, as though what skill soever man hath, hee were able to prolonge the set houre; wee see none so great enemies to learning as the ignorant, not untrulie therefore riseth the Proverbe Scientia nemine habet inimicum proeter ignorantem: and these wee see are soonest readie to condemne, who either have least skill to judge, or else not to comprehend, have missed that which ignorantly they have sought for and cannot find or else moved by envie to see that attained to which they cannot aspire to. Do speak evil thereby to hinder what they mislike. I meane it by such obscure phisitians as know no more than maides, but walk in no other way to the woode, but one; deprave and speak ill of the most ancient medicine of the expert elders to cleave to the unsavorie Gallen's drugs, and if they chance to say that the elder sort which used them as Hermes, Alchimeus, with numbers, whose names are extant in turba philosophorum, knew not the excellent vertue of that chimicall kind of phisicke; Then what say they to Avicenne and Averroes, who were old men and knew both but used the one farre above the other: Rupescissa florished about that time, of latter times, Arnold and Raimond and others a number a number successively whom wee know not: Although of later yeeres and there were whose memories are fresh, as about an hundred yeeres since were Thomas Norton, whose owne word are these

I made also the Elixir of Life
Which mee bereft a marchant's wife:
She wrought with it a full great wonder;
I made the quintessence which set under
The nose of him which soundeth nie to death,
Would make revive thereof the only breath.

Yf of him it were asked what daies he lived; there were lately that could well report, for he lived since the birth of my father and was provectoe aetatis: In his time there flourished, Anglorum Raimundus, I mean George Ripley, who resting alonlie to that excellent kind of phisick, hadd Gallen's doses in little price: And yet I speak not this to condemne Galen, for I know in describing the knowledge of phisick, hee wrote right excellentlie; although in prescribing of medicines hee had them all from the empiricks, and set downe none of this owne; what phisic used Gallen to minister of his owne? if he had none but that which hee had from other men's practise? or wherefore getteth hee his name of a most expert phisitian? if hee did great cures, it appeareth hee did them not with that kind of phisick: of which he was ignorant, yf then at all with some other mean then is commonly knowne, I write not this to deprave Gallen, but rather to shew that Gallen used the secret phisick of philosophers which hee learned of Hippocrates his Master; which phisick since hee could not teach, unless hee should disclose the secret of the stone, hee therefore gave out another kind of phisick to colour the matter with all, which hee had observed to do good by worcking the practises of the Empiricks; I used not this opinion as of my own authoritie; for indeed the honorable Raimod fathers in his first distinction of his quintessentiis, where shewing that Hyppocrates, philosophers like had darklie in his pronosticks spoken of it commeth to Gallen, and writing a gloss upon the same worcke of Hyppocrates, hee saith; Galenus à veritate hujus narrare voluit, [...] which indeede Raimond most faithfully teacheth, and the use thereof; which here I mean to declare, not that the world should know it, for feare of opening so great secrets abroad; But in this place that you most noble soveraigne mought be instructed therein for the preservation of that time in healthie estate; which time I desire of Gold to grant it long; for I feede not on future hope.

To our purposed matter, I know there are sundrie kinds of phisicks between the Gelenists and the chimicall phisitians; wherefore because I am not ignorant of the both; I will thus much say between them, that as I know among the Galenists, that the huge quantitie of their dosis; doe divers waies hurt the bodies , so among the other sort, I fear their desperate gwing of Mercurie and hurtfull mineralls, will breed great hurt; for that verie few know how rightfulie to prepare them; but that which is done by extraction of oiles and quintessence is most excellent and may most safelie be given, for mettals such as are of knowne vertues may be ministered surely if they be brought into potable liquors; for the effecting of sublimates and precipitates which are divills, they rather are effectuall in surgerie that in phisicke inwardlie, although they may be given if they bee well prepared, and in my opinion the aqua vitae which Paracelsus speaketh of for the preparation of sublimate is our Aqua vitae, and not of a vine, but our true Quintessence and Mercury vegetable: of whose compose I will now speake:

In the vegetable treatise I afore taught what the matter was how the menstrue is extracted and in what sort the elements ought to be separated and rectified; then therefore you have your Mercury vegetable or ardent water well rectified, that is 7 times rectified and destilled; then thereto adjoine these simples following; black pepper, Euphorbium, pyrethrum, Andcardium, and qulla Qoiatrum, Apium [...], in proportion after the judgment of the discreet Artist; These put into the Quintessence of ardent water to putrefie for 21 daies; in the fire of the first degree, then put them so digested and putrefied into a Limbeck and in ash fire draw out that with ascende, and after that circulate it in a Beachell for 100 daies; the is it Quintessence and artificial Balme; of which Ripley thus speaketh: Let spices and gumms be putrefied in the said aire of the blessed stone; and after distilled and kept in a circulatorie in Balneo for 100 daies, and shall be Quintessence, healing all infirmerie; preserveth the body from corruption and renewing youth; that is the strength of the members and sicke parts, how this quintessence is to be used shall last of all appeare; here note that as soon as it is drawne and circulated, that then it is quintessence; but when it is circulated with spices and gumms, then it is artificial balme; to which if the quintessence of gold be added; it shall be then gold potable and elixir of life.

To make gold potable, take gold verie well purified and in oils of salt dissove it, which will be done by setting it 3 or 4 daies on an ash fire; then by often washing away, the salt with distilled vinegere either drawing it oftentimes in a Limbec in ash fire untill the oile of salt have lost his saltness, that done wash away the vinegeish tast with distilled founteine water then pour of thy water ardent afore reserved, for this purpose twice or thrice, every time evacuating of as much as you soe tained into a yeallow colour, and when you have so much as you think will serve your turne, which may be about 3 or 4 angells waight of the golden tincture which will be enough for 4 or 5 ounces of ardent water, which is both a great and huge quantitie; then proceed with your evacuations and draw away your ardent water, and your oile of gold so left in the bottome, put to dissolve in balneo; and when 7 daies it will be turned into a more thinn water, which so dissolved, saith Raimond is gold potable, and hath infinit vertues, as I have written (saith he) in the booke of the preservation of man's health, This gold potable if it be added to the artificiall Balm before that it be circulated, and so altogether into the thickness of honnie for 150 daies, is then the Quintessence of artificial balme, and the Elixir of Life; and that onlie medicine whereof Raimond writeth in his booke of Quintessence.

Who will read the reasons and proofes whie this medicine works so great effects, let him read the same worcke of Raimond, and there shall hee find how it hath infinite vertues and why it is called Coelum phorid: ffurther because it is for great causes appointed, that at some time the quintessence of pearle should be adjoyned that which I will shew forth the making thereof; Take of seede pearle verie finelie poundered, put it into vinegere 3 or 4 times destilled and therein dissolve it, which dissolved, evacuate of and so put on new vinegere untill that all the pearle be dissolved: Then wash it well with destilled water that the vinigrish salt or savore may be had away: That done, handle it as you did the gold, and so shall you have the quintessence of the pearle redie to any use, either to joyne your Elixir, or else used with the Elixir, as you shall see cause.

The order how the elixir is to be used for the diversitie of cures followeth:

The first cannon therefore sheweth how to cure all diseases in generall from the head to the feete after a general manner, so likewise for the restoring of youth, which is to be done.

Take the Elixir of life aforesaid, and thereunto joyne 2 or 3 drops of the quintessence of pearle to the quantitie of half a nut shell and so take it for a convenient space of 4 or 5 daies, and it to this you will add the common quintessence of wine, it shall worck more stranglie and forceablie. This is the rule which must be observed for the restoring of age and strengthning of the feeble:

The second Cannon sheweth after what manner it is to be used for the raising up of those which seeme to be gone in pangs:

Take of this Elixir the quantitie aforenamed, and putting it with some liquor in a spoone, minister it to the parties, upon the receipt whereof you shall see how dispersing itself into the stomach and principall members, it will raise the materiall heat of life: [...] which [...] have it worcke more [...], add thereunto the quantity of [...] the fierie element which is of golden colour extracted out of the herb Chelidon.

The 3rd teacheth the cure of leprosis:
Give of our Elixir unto the partie by the space of 8 daies and hee shall be perfectly cured so that it be not leprosie from the finger of God as was Gehazi, and Constantine his leprosy; yet for the better worcking hereof, let it be taken in the water of strawberries, for if that water be druncken inwardlie, and clothes wet therein laid on the partie, it will worcke wonderfully; for that strawberrie hath a special propertie in that behalfe.

The 4th for the Palsey :
Take the quantitie of Elixir aforesaid, and give it in drinck with the juice of yvie and sage with musterd seed for the space of 9 daies to drinck wherewith all use also to rub the paraliticall members and therewith all let him bee bathed in a bath hot and moist made of these herbs by which shall be cured in short space, and that so wonderfully, as if he never had had it; and other helpe there is with all that with our quiescence you give such things as purge viscous humours.

The 5th teacheth remedies against the consumption:
Give with our Elixir the aire of the hero Chelidon separated according to art, and herewith all mingle some quantetie of the pouder of the flesh of water crevishes; and hee shall be whole and sound; Note also that this is the onlie cure and refuge of all fevers whatsoever.

The 6th against melancholie and all manner of falling sickness :
The cure which is that with our Elixir aforesaid given in drinck wherein be infused Humitorie, Centaurie, the greater epichinie, Lime, Lapis Lazuli, and Eleboris niger; Bust most chiefly it unto them you add the herb Hyperion, commonly called St. John's Wort or Perforatum; and if for the falling sickness; Piony helpe.

The 7th to such as are fearfull, to make them recover strength, boldness and fortitude more then commonlie they have by Nature.

Add unto our Elixir of the Quintessence of pearle, nionie, angelica, and saffran, and give it him to drinck, and soe shall he recover both externall fortitude and strength.

The 8th for such are poisoned by biting, stinging, or any kind of poison.
Give him with the quantitie of our Elixir or medecine aforesaid some of the Quintessence by our Angelica, with the juice of Rue, red Dittanie and Scopae regiae, whereunto put Gentian and Unicornes horne, which let him drinck and hee shall be cured.

The 9th to heale infectious humors, lice, and fowle breaking out.

Give them of our Elixir to drinck and outwardlie anoint them with ointment made of quicksilver and stavesacre, to which some of our Elixir, and which the drinck may stavesacre be mingled; and so doing hee shall bee cured, except it be a plaane from God as that of Herod, which is redd of the 12 of the Acts.

The 10th for the quartaine which seemeth so nard to common Galenic Christians:

Give unto the patient with our Elixir to drinck such things as are spoken of in our cure of Melancholy, adding thereto the herb Savine which only hath an especial propertie for this fever in so much that if there be but 2 or 3 drops of his juice warmed, put into the mouth or into his eare, it taketh away the fever, being so used for 3 or 4 daies:-

The 11th for a true Tertian:
give of Rubarbe, two penie waight to drinck, one penie waight of pure scamonie; with half a nutshell full or our Elixir, and so continue 3 daies, and hee shall be cured; But if the Elixir be mixed with phlegme add unto the decoction aforesaid Turbith Senna; and Tolipodie.

The 12th a remedy against the Quotidian :
The Quotidian is only cured by taking our Quintessence afore it be artificiall Balme [...] Elixir, and especially if therewith all be given any of those things which purge fflegme, but above all if you put thereunto some of the juice of the herbe Mercury: for it is an experiment that if you take 3 or 4 drops thereof, and put it, and put it in the right nostrill or right eare of the partie, then as Raimond saith: Tollit typum quotidianae foebris.

The 13th continueth the cure of all fevers, whether of blood, coller, or phlegme, whether foebris sinochae, causon, frenesie, or lethargie, or any other proceeding of phlegme:

In leavers proceeding of bloud, first make phlebotomie or letting of blood; and after applie the partie with our quintessence, the pouder of water crevishes, and a little chamber; give it to be drunck, that the feaverie inflamation may be taken away if of coller, applie with our quintessence in drinck such as wee use to coole, and outwardlie applie Cinaments, with those cooling things, water crevishes and champhir: Of phlegme applie with our quintessence things as purge phlegme. If for the lethargie, give the fire of the quintessence, i.e. the fire of oile of our stone; Which let it be applied with hot things, and in drinck, let cold things be given: If unto all these things of the quintessence of man's bloud, be added; it will worck wonders in the cure of all feavers.

The 14th against the Feaver Pestilent:
Minister of our Elixir of life half a nut shell full and it shall suffice, yet if you will have it worck the stronger, adjoin thereto Gentian, Red Dittany, Cloves, Poole Armenie, Castorium, Scopae, Regiae or Wild Rue: which when hee shall taste, the raies of life will ascend to the heart, which will expell the infected aire. This would be given within a day after the partie is sick and God willing hee shall be cured.

The 15th against the spasmes:
There are divers kinds of spasms, some proceeding of emptiness, some of overfulness, some of wounds, but howsoever it happeneth, it is deadlie, [...] drinck it with the fire of oile of our stone, or quintessence : If thereto you add things that are moist of operation. The greatest cure in this is to induce a feaver, which is to be done with the herb flamula or Speerwort, if it be put in our quintessence, and so let it stand 3 houres with which rubb the Arteries and the back bone, and lay on clothes enough, and the patient shall have a feaver which cureth the spasme: Then labor after to cure the feaver with the medicines apointed for the feaver: If the spasms proceed of emptiness, let the partie eate: Yf of fulness give him a spare diet; if of a wound, combat the wound with a hot iron; After that which salves that provoke rottenness or quitture, and then with such as cause flesh to grow; and give all these ministered with a little of our quintessence. Further four wounds or fistalas, this can I add that our first menstrue worketh wonders.

The 16th against the Sciatica, foot gout, and all manner of gouts, and last of all how laxative medicines ought to bee ministered:

For the cure of the gout in generall, God hath given us the quintessence to bee used in drinck, and to bee laid upon the place, but farre better if with all, the quintessence of man's bloud be administered, or mingled, but if to these bee added the quintessence of Ebulus sodden in wine, bee outwardlie applied; But because wee are entered into the cure of the Gout, not knowing what may happen even unto the greatest, I will show the most approved medicine of the world, which sithence it was my happe to finde by great consideration of the thing, and having also had great proofe thereof, I will heere set it downe; for I know it is the only medicine [...] upon a piece of lether and immediately within and hour or two after, it taketh away both redness, swelling, and paine; But in tempering of it, you are to add a spoonefull of our menstrue to it; then work [...] it as quick dispatch: yf for the thorow cure; our Elixir were given for 6 or 7 daies inward and applied outward; then noe doubt, it should bee cleane [...] write not this conjecturally; for my selfe in whom it is morbus hereditarius, and greatly given unto it, am by that only in a manner never troubled with all, ffor the administering of laxative things, there falleth out three considerations: first that they kill not; secondlie, that the lose no vertue: 3rdly, that they may worcke in the farmost parts of the bodie without danger to take away the corrupt humours. Observe therefore these things and give it without our quintessence; and let stand mixed 3 houres, for the quantitie is without our quintessence that you minister one ounce: with it one dragme if of a dragme one pennie waight, if of a pennie waight one barlie corn and so forth.

As touching the making of the Quintessence of man's bloud, I referre it over to Arnold de Villanova, in the book which hee writeth ad Magistrum Iacobum de Tolledo, which is a common booke and joyned to Rupesissus; and so the 7th treatise hath end.

Here beginneth the 8 th treatise of the Key of Alchimie containing the Rules of Multiplication and Projection

Having in the 7 afore passed Treatises labored, that this our key is now able to open our secret lock of Alchimie; yt now alonelie reseth that coveting to walcke and wander into these places at will, wee turne our key about in the locke, by which action wee turne back the spring the dore flieth open, and the way to entrance is plaine which in this Treatise I briefly mean to accomplish, in shewing the waies of multiplication and projection.

Wherefore note that as soone as our fixion aforesaid is made by setting our Elixir to fix in a furnace of fixation where the fire may be made above that by healp thereof the fire may strike downe the spirit upon the water, with whom it is to be joyned, in such sort that it ascend not, be kept downe, that by the helpe of administration of fire it may be kept still with the bodie and soule; that they may altogether commix into one masse, which will not fume but yeald easy fusion in fire; and pearse quickly; at which time we count it perfect Elixir and call it the Elixir of the first degree; for that it is then able to runn on a smaller quantity: which if it be fedd with milk and food will chaitoren like come to a fuller growth and so at the last to a man's stature; when hee shall bee to use the act of nature, and multiplie in his kinde; either as a plant, which nurished; or moistured with the heavenlie dew and raine, commeth by nurishing and ascending to a great tree and bringeth forth fruict innumerable; Of whom the seede, or kernel groweth, and againe becommeth to multiply in his owne proper kinde: Even so our Elixir fedd and nourished with the heavenly dewes and raines, that is tinctures which wee afore caled their vertues operative Namelie Lunaire and oile; the one to the white, and the other to the redd.

And thereof speaketh Aristotle that there behoveth to be much store of oile and tincture after the first fixion: For so much multitude of tintcure shall there bee, as there is of oile, water (1.) Lunary: Note therefore that although there bee but one multiplication in generall, that is to say, the multiplying of the white and redd: yet for that is done by two kinds and manners of worcking, wee therefore divide it into two parts: of which the one call multiplication, - spirituall, and the other, corporall; that is the one in quallitie, the other in quantitie; that that which before runned on 10, may be made to runne on a 100 to a 1000, and upward by the increasing thereof; of which I will first speake, and that alonelie to be done that the fixed may be made volatill, and againe the volatill fixed; and that by the often subliming of the water not fixed; upon the earth fixed.

Of this kind of multiplication, I find in Clangor Buccinae, et augmentum in qualitate pro bonitate est, yt and the augmentation or multiplication in quality and goodness is to dissolve and coagulate the [...] that is to imbibe it with our Mercury and to drie it up; with this place accordeth Arnold, saying, [...] tincturae praeparatee partem unam, yt Take of our prepared tincture, one parte, that is of our Elixir of the first degree, and dissolve him in 3 parts of our Mercury - that done, put it in a glass and seale it fast, and put it all under hot ashes untill it bee dried up and made into dust. That done, open this glass and imbibe it again [...] the after you shall doe soe, soe much the more shall you winn and have it tincted the higher; and transmute the larger; according and agreeing with those words written in Clangor Buccinae, Primus modus est, yt the first man is that you dissolve in the water, of his white or redd Mercury: of whom he was created, untill it become cleare water, and after that you shall congeale it and with his oiles incere it upon the fire untill it flows, by which his vertues shall be doubled in Tincture; which all his operations, and perfections, as shall be perceived in projection.
For that the waight which was afore projected on a 1000 will now runne and be projected upon 10,000 and in this kinde of multiplication, there is no great labor: againe I finde in the Rosarie, that if you take these medicines when they shall be fixed, and by giving them their white and redd Mercuries, and so congeale them, in their white and redd Mercuries, and so congeale them, their vertues shall everie time be doubled: so that if at the first his one part converts an 100 partes, it shall at the second time convert a 1000, at the 3rd time 10,000 and at the fourth 100,000, and the fifth time into 1,000,000 of true Sun and Moon.

Wherefore it is to be noted that in how much the more the medicine is dissolved, sublimed and congealed; so much the more, better, and abundantly it will work, because that in every imbibition and sublimation it winneth 10, in projection it therefore is no wearisome labour, in reiteration of sublimations or coagulation: ffor that by those meanes, the matter is better digested, united, fixed; and worcketh more perfectlie, his spiritual multiplication is done 2 waies, one by solution of heate, that you take the medicine; put it into a glass, and burne it in our moist fire; for 7 daies, until the medecine be dissolved into water; without any turbulent foeces; The other may by solution of thinness; that you take the glass vessaile with the medecine; and let it be hanged in a brasse pott, whose mouth is straight, in which let water boile, the mouth thereof being shut, that by the vapor of the boiling water, which ascendeth upward, the medecine may be dissolved, yet take heede, that the boiling water touch not the glass by the space of 3 fingers, and the solution will be done perhaps in one day, either in 2, or else in 3 daies: And after that the medecine shall be dissolved, take it off, and being cooled, let it be set to fire and congealed, to be hardened or dried; And in how much more the medicine shall be dissolved and fixed; the perfecter shall it bee; and such solution is his subtiliation and spiritual sublimation; which the more oftner it be done; so much greater and more full shall it tinct. Whereupon writeth Rasis: The goodness of this multiplication dependeth not, but in the often reiterating of it, in sublimation and fixation of the perfect medecine; For inasmuch more as the order of his [...], is reiterated, so much shall his exuberation worck the more and be increased the more; ffor how much more you shall dissolve the perfect medicine, so much more shall you winne every time to project one on a thousand, for if at the first it follow 1000 at he the second it will fall on 10,000, at the 3rd on a 100,000, at the 4th upon a 1000,000, and so to infinit.

To conclude this spirituall multiplication with the saying of Morien: Know for certaine (saith hee) that the more our stone is dissolved and congealed; so much the more the spirit and the bodie is conjoined, and the Tincture shall be increased: On this sort therefore make spirituall multiplication; Take the Elixir after it will run on 100, as it is a mean Elixir that tinckteth not so deep, and of him take one halfe and that dissolve with Mercury white or redd according to the nature of the Elixir, by powering of those Mercuries upon him untill he become by setting in Balneo liquid and cleane dissolved: then congeale him under fire till hee be powder: and so often you may it be congealed and dissolved, that it will no more become powder or drie, but remaine in oile; At which time it is oile incombustible and great Elixir, and this spitiruall multiplication belongeth chiefly to the Great Elixir:
The other multiplication which is done by often dissolving and congealing of the medicine; which is the augmentation in reretie, without any new adding of tincture, seventh to the lesser Elixir: To come therefore to multiplication, corporall or in quantitie; is when we cast it on bodies, thereby to make one ounce weight 100 or 1000 ounces weight and this is done by projection; Namelie, that an ounce weight of Elixir be cast on a 100 ounces of Mercury purged, and that it be thereby converted into medecine, whereof one ounce of that will burne a 100 more into medecine.

For better and plaine understanding; Take of the Elixir made into oile an angelle waight, which wee terme Elixir of the highest degree; and oile incombustible, project him upon his tenn waight of crude or common gold purged, and it shall bee turned into a pouder verie brittle, of which throwe his own angell waight on a hundred angell's waight of quick silver purged; and it shall bee medecine, converted into such a brittle substance, that if thereof bee throuwne upon his owne bodie, that is, on any of the bodies, if the Elixir's Mercury bee of the same, it shall bee converted into medecine, Of that, take one part and throwe on Mercury purged, or of his proper metall 1000, and it shall be turned into pure gould; and so likewise for silver, for the white Elixir; The medecine thus made is called the Elixir peregrinats; for it may be carried in one's purse, in pouder whereof, if you will multiply one part in vertue, grind it small, and therein poure of your Mercuries, which will dissolve and congeale as wee afore taught you; and so may do infinitely on the first manner of projection; which is on gold and silver purged.

Speaketh Ripley : your medecine being made perfect into Elixir, it is to be projected upon cleansed and purged bodies, but most chiefly upon the pure bodies; that is, our gold and silver: And therefore writeth hee further: The two earths being made perfect, the one into whit medecine the other into redd, that is into redd medecine; make oile (saith hee) of them both (1) subtill them, till they become the oile aforesaid; Then the white on silver; and the redd on gold; and then on other bodies; and the matters are at an end:

Where, right wiselie and plainelie I find in Scalacirc; Philosophorum: Melius tamen est projicere and c; writing therefore what hee should project, he willeth, Nune demittis, to be cast on fundamenta mea, Nune demittis, for that it is come now to the last worcke, and that is the last point, namelie, the Elixir made; he biddeth to cast that on fundamenta, which is gold and silver, for that they are grounds of the stone; and going to the next pointe, cast fundamenta super verba mea, hee meaneth quick silver purged; and that converted into medecine, to be super diligam Te Domine, that is on Saturn and Jupiter, if the Elixir be made on any of their parts, if of any other metalls on them.

For their kinde embraceth kinde, and maketh better fixion, For that between Mercuries and mettalls, there is a certeine love, which hee noteth in diligam Te, and diligam super attendite, ffor that the end whereto Alchimie attendeth is to create gold and silver; Hee saith, attendite, to shew that after thrice medecine, we must cease from projection to make medecine, and attende to making mettals; which will then be on 1000.

To end therefore the manner of projection; take this Rule, that as long as the mettall whereon you project carrieth an over deep goldenish or reddish colour, increase your quantity of mettall, and when your mettall declineth and decaiyeth in colour, increase, or put on more medecine, The practick of projection, and first on Mercury; Take Mercury, and thereon to put common salt and vinegere, and stir the quicksilver well therein, that done, straine it through fine linen cloth, and then you shall have it faire and right; which put into a crucible of goldsmith's pot and setting if over the coles till it begin to fume or smoke; then put in your medecine to the vertue of his conversion, and stirre it well together, and so it will be converted into perfect Sol and Lune; this projection upon Mercury, is of all, most best, for that it is of easiest liquefaction the next bodies unto that, are Saturn and Jupiter: ffor that in easie fusion, this cometh next, whose purgation is this: melt them in a crucible and in melting them, poure on Sal Armoniak; but better to throw over your metalls with Sal Armoniak afore you blow your fire, and when your mettalls are molten and cold, you shall have them as white as silver, then melt them againe; and into your crucible put your medecine, which stirr with an iron rodd; and when you see your matter well coloured, pour it out into an ingot, and suffering it there to coole, you shall find it transmuted into perfect mettall.

Of projection on other bodies I minde not to write, because the heat of melting iron and copper is fit smiths and copper smiths, but not for Princes; There resteth now nothing, whereon I should longer intreate, since all the treatise is treated, whereon I promised to intreat; save that I trust I may, without offense retract this one thing, where I promised in the end; to set downe how farr I had gone and proved in every one of the treatises; The which because I have alreadie unwarelie given out in every treatise, and hope your Highness will not now expect re-iteration, but cleane absolve mee from breach of promise: The last parte of all which I have now to doe, standeth not in intreating any longer; although altogether consisteth in craving; Wherefore, in most humble, dutiful and lowly manner I first of all crave pardon of your Majestie to bear with all; and to accept this my simple philosophy in goode parte; which I in this volume offer and present unto Your Highness; and with the writing the writer's hand to performe it, yf Your Highness shall command.


GEORGE RIPLEY - Rouleau alchimique (Bodleian Library - University of Oxford) - 15ème siècle

GEORGE RIPLEY - Rouleau alchimique (Beinecke Library - Yale University) - 15ème siècle

GEORGE RIPLEY - Rouleau alchimique (Huntington Library) - 15ème siècle

GEORGE RIPLEY - Rouleau alchimique (The Getty Research Institute)