J. F. HOUPREGHT
Dear Son, to point out to thee succinctly a Memorandum, as it were, concerning the understanding of the true and genuine Stone of the Philosophers, and the manner of proceeding in its preparation, I give thee this information, that the said Stone is compounded and engendered of two things, viz. Body and Spirit, or of masculine and Feminine Seed, that is, of the Water of Mercury, and of the Body of Sol; whereof we find sufficient proofs and attestations in all true writings of the Philosophers. And therefore I count it needless to enlarge my self by quoting of them. The upshot of all therefore is, that First of all Mercury be dissolved and reduced into a Spiritual Water, which is termed by the Philosophers, the First Matter of Metals, the Juice of Lune, Aqua Vitae, Quintessence, a fiery Water or Brandy, by which Water or Prime Matter, Metals are unlocked or untied, and freed from their hard and stiff bonds, and reduced to their first and uniform nature, such as the Water of Mercury itself is. Upon this account the Philosophers presented unto us in their Books, the example of Ice, or frozen water, which by heat is reduced into Water, because before its coagulation it hath been Water. Also telling us that by the very same principles, from which each thing hath its rise, it may be reduced or brought back to what it was in the beginning. And thence they infer, that it is impossible to transmute Metals into Gold or Silver, without reducing them first into their prima materia. Concerning therefore the bringing about of this Regeneration of Metals, thou must diligently heed and observe, my beloved Son, that the same is to be performed only by means of the prime Matter of Metals, that is, the Water of Mercury, and by nothing besides in the whole World. For this water is ext Kin unto the Metallick nature, in so much that after their mutual and uniform commixture, they can never be any more parted asunder. This the Philosophers in the Turba and other Books signify unto us, saying, Nature rejoyceth in its Nature; Nature sustaineth Nature; it amendeth Nature; it reduceth Nature; Nature overcometh Nature. Consequently it s necessary to know this blessed Water, and its preparation, which Water is a hot, fiery, piercing Spirit, the Philosophical Water, and the hidden Key of this Art. For without this all the labour and work of Alchymy is fruitless and frustraneous. Observe therefore, my Son, and mark, that all the groundwork of the Philosophers’ Stone, consisteth in this, that by means of the prima materia metallorum, that is with the Water of Mercury, we reduce and bring back the perfect body of Sol to a new birth, that is to be born again by Water and Spirit, according to our Saviour’s Doctrine: Except a man be born again of Water and Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. So likewise in this Art, I tell thee, my Son, unless the Body of Sol be sowed in its proper soil, your labour is in vain and it produceth no fruit; as Christ our Saviour saith, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground, and die, and rot, it bringeth no fruit. So when the Body of Sol is regenerated by Water and Spirit, there groweth and cometh forth a clarified, astral, eternal, immortal Body, bringing forth much fruit, and able to multiply itself like unto Vegetables. And to this purpose the Philosopher Roger Bacon speaketh, I do assure you, that if the Astrum do cast and impress its inclination into such a clarified Body of Gold, that it will not lose its power and virtue to the very last assay or judgment: for the Body is perfect, and agreeing to all Elements. But if it be not regenerated, no new, nor greater, nor purer, nor higher, nor better thing can come of it. He that doth not know nor understand this Regeneration of metals, wrought in nature by the Water and Spirit of the prima materia, ought not to meddle at all with this Art: For in truth, without this, all is but falsities, lies, unprofitable and to no purpose; yea, it is impossible to effect it otherways. Hence is that excellent saying of the Philosophers, That every thing bringeth forth its like, and what a man soweth, the same he shall also reap, and no other. And to the same purpose the Philosopher Richardus Anglicus saith, Sow Gold and Silver, that by the means of Nature they may being Fruit. Consequently, my Son, thou oughtest to choose no other Body for thy Work but Gold, because that all other Bodies are rank and imperfect. And therefore also the Philosophers made choice of Gold before all other Bodies, because it is of all things in the World the most perfect, illuminating all other Bodies and infusing life into them; and because it is of a fixated incombustible nature, of a constant or abiding root, and Fire proof; also, because (as Roger Bacon saith) the corporal Gold, as to its nobility and perfection, cannot be changed, and is the utmost bound and term of all natural generation; and there is no perfecter thing in the whole World. The like teacheth also the Philosopher Isaac Hollandus, saying, Our Stone cannot be extracted from any other but a perfect Body, yea the most perfect in the World. And if it were not a perfect Body, what Stone could be extracted thence? In regard that it must have power to quicken all dead Bodies, to purifie the unclean, to mollify those that are hard, and harden those that are soft: And in truth, it would be impossible to extract so powerful a Stone out of an imperfect and crass Body, for a perfect thing is not to be got from that which is imperfect and unclean: and although many do fancy, that such an extraction may be brought to pass, yet they err grossly, and are very unwise. Therefore, my Son, observe, that the red Philosophical Sulphur is in the Gold, as Richardus testifieth, and King Calid saith: Our Sulphur is no common Sulphur, but is of a Mercurial nature, fixated, and not flying from the Fire. The same all other Philosophers also do witness, that their red Sulphur is Gold.
It is true, my Son, that the Philosophers do say in their Books that the common Gold or Silver, in regard that their Gold and Silver is quick or living, but the common are dead, and therefore not capable to bring imperfect Bodies to perfection, nor to communicate unto them the least of their perfection. For they should bestow some of their perfection upon others, they themselves would then be imperfect, in regard that they have no more perfection, than what is needful for themselves. These words of the Philosophers, my Son, are true, and spoken upon very good ground; for it is impossible for common Gold and Silver, to perfect other Bodies that are imperfect, unless, as taught before, that the Body of Sol and Lune be born anew, or regenerated by the water and Spirit of the prima materia, and thereby a glorious, spiritual, clarified, eternal, subtle, penetrant Body do grow forth, which afterwards hath power to perfect other Bodies which are imperfect. And therefore the Philosophers also said presently after, that those labors are to this end undertaken about their Stone, that its tincture may be advanced and exalted; for it is requisite, that the Stone be digested and carried on to a far greater degree of subtlety and excellency, than the common Gold and Silver possesseth. To this purpose the Philosopher Bernhard speaketh in his book, in the words following: Though we take this Body just as Nature hath produced it; for all that is necessary, that by Art, which in this point must imitate nature, the same be highly exalted in its perfection, to the end that by the means of that superlative accomplishment, and its superabundant rays, it may be able to perfect and compleat the imperfect Bodies, a to weight, color, substance, yea as to their Mineral root and principles. But it should have remained in that degree, wherein nature left it, viz. in its simple perfection, and not rendered more perfect or exalted, what should the time of nine months and a half we spend about it serve for? Arnoldus in his Epistle speaketh home, saying, Gold and Silver is in our Stone potentially and virtually, after a powerful, invisible and natural way; for if it were not so, no Gold nor Silver could come of it: but the Gold and Silver existing in our Stone, is better than the common, because it is living, but the common is dead. And for this very reason the Philosophers called it their gold and their Silver, because it is powerful in their Stone, active in its essence, but not visible common Gold and Silver; which is also confirmed by Euclides in the great Rosary, saying, Nothing cometh of a perfect thing, in regard it is already perfect and compleat, being so made by nature. Whereof we have an example in Bread; which being fermented and baked, is perfect in its degree or being, having attained to its intended end, so that it can be brought to no further fermentation, to make other Bread of it. The case is the same with Gold, which through length of time hath been deduced by Nature to a fixated and perfect condition: and so consequently it is impossible by the means of the simple Gold to perfect other Bodies, unless the perfect Body be first dissolved and reduced to its first matter, which done, it is introverted by our Labour and Art, and reduced into a true ferment and tincture. Moreover the Philosophers do say, that there is not coming to a good end, until Gold and Silver be joined together in one Body. Here, my Son, thou must understand Lune metaphorically, and not according to the letter, because the Philosophers say in their Writings, that Lune is of a cold and moist nature, which description they attribute unto Mercury: and therefore by Lune is understood Mercury, or the prime Matter, which is the Philosophers Lune, or juice of Lune, as is made plain by that excellent and deeply fathoming piece, the Clangor Buccinae.
And thus, my Son, thou are instructed briefly, that no profit is to be got by this Art, unless the perfect Bodies by means of the Philosophers Fire, or Water of Mercury, be reduced into their primum Ens, which is a Sulphureous Water, and not Mercury vive, as the Sophisters suppose. For the first Matter of Metals is not Mercury vive, but a clammy Sulphureous Vapour, and a viscous Water, wherein the three principles, viz. Salt, Sulphur and Mercury, are coexistent. Consequently it is necessary to know the true blessed Water of Mercury, or the Heavenly supernatural Fire, whereby the Bodies are dissolved and melted like Ice. For the knowledge of this, is the greatest secret of all, and is wholly and only in the power of God, and is not to be obtained otherways, but by fervent prayer unto Him. Concerning this the Philosopher Rogerius saith; God hath created Man, and placed him over Nature and all Creatures, though himself be natural, and nothing else but Nature, except the Breath which God breathed into him: The very same is to be the judge of the Works, and their nature. This divine Spirit representeth unto the senses and thoughts, in a true Vision as it were, the first principles of Nature, especially since the natural inbred Spirit discovereth some such grounds, whereupon he may surely rely, and in this Work and earnestness of the Spirit, which is of the natural Creation, the divine Adam representeth in us the dissolution of the whole World. And St Peter by the kindled and burning fiery Spirit of the inbreathed Breath of God, declareth the same very clearly: That the Elements shall melt with fervent heat; the Earth also, and the Works that are therein, shall be burnt up, and that there will be a new World, very glorious, excellent and good, as in Apocalypsi is described. And hereupon the Philosopher concludeth, according to what hath been alleged out of St Peter, that there shall happen a destruction of the Elementary World by Fire. Observe in this Art, that the Fire must perform the like in its type in Nature. Therefore, my Son, set thy thoughts upon this Water, wherewith the Body of Sol (which, as Rogerius witnesseth, is a perfect created World) is burnt up, and destroyed and dissolved, that it is not a common Fire, in regard the common is not able to burn or destroy the Gold: but it is a supernatural incombustible Fire, the strongest of all Fires, yea a Hellish Fire, which only hath power to burn the Gold, and to set the same free from its stiff and hard bonds. This supernatural Fire, which hath such a power over the Gold and other Metallick bodies, is nothing else but the spiritual sulphureous fiery Water of Mercury, wherein the Body of Sol is dissolved and burnt up, and of this dissolved and destroyed Body, a new World likewise is created and born, and the Heavenly Jerusalem, that is an eternal, clarified, subtle, penetrant, fixated Body, which is able to penetrate and perfect all other Bodies. Hence Rogerius saith, As that is to be a supernatural Fire, which is to break and melt into one another the Elements of the whole World; and as out of the broken corruptible Work of the dissolved Elements, a new Work will be born, which will be an everlasting Work; even so the Holy Trinity hath shewed and signified unto us likewise, a supernatural Fire in the Heavenly Stone. This supernatural Fire, my Son, the Philosophers have hidden in their books in parabolical expressions, naming the same by innumerable names, and especially they term it Balnem Maria, a moist Horse-dung, Menstruum, Urine, Milk, Blood, Aqua vitae, and the like. Fire, saith Bernhardus, make a vaporous Fire; continual, digesting, not violent, subtle, airy, clear, close, incombustible, penetrant and vital: and thereupon he speaketh further, Truly, I have told thee all the manner and circumstances of the Fire, which only performeth all, and therefore he bids the Reader, to consider well and often the words he said concerning the Fire. Consequently, he that is wise will easily perceive thence, that those words are not to be understood of a common, but of a supernatural Fire; which also Mary the Prophetess doth hint, saying, that the Element of Water doth dissolve the Bodies, and make them white. And concerning this Fire (which he calleth Menstruum) and its preparation, Raymond Lully speaketh in his Testamentm Novisimum, in Codice, in Anima Metallorum, Luce Mercurorium, Liber Mercurorium, de Secretis Naturae, de Quinta Essentia, & in Elucidario Testamenti, c. 4 saying, that it is not Human but Angelical to reveal this Celestial Fire, and that it is the greatest secret of all, how to attain to the knowledge of it. And moreover he saith in figurative expressions, that this Fire is composed of Horse-dung and Calx vive. But what is prefigured by Calx vive, I will expound in another place. And what is signified by Horse-dung, I mentioned before, viz. that by Horse-dung is meant the Water of the prima materia, for it is warm and moist like Horse-dung; but it is no common Horse-dung, as many ignorant persons do suppose and understand. Hence saith the Philosopher Alanus, the Philosophers called the moist Fire Horse-dung, in which moisture is kept the occult heat, because it is the property of the Fire existing in the Horse belly, not to destroy Gold, but by reason of its moisture to increase it. To the like purpose speaketh Alchidonius: Our Medicine must be hidden in moist Horse-dung, which is the Philosophers Fire. And Alanus: Dear Son, be careful in the work of Putrefaction or Destruction, which is to be performed in a gentle heat, that is, in moist Horse-dung. Arnoldus de Villa Nova, in the 9th chapter saith, that the heat of Horse-dung is their Fire. So likewise Alphidius: it is digested and buried in te heat of Horse-dung. And Aristotle: the Earth or Body will enjoy no virtue, unless it be sublimed by the means of Horse-dung. And therefore, saith Hermes, roast and cook it in the heat of Horse-dung. And Morienus: if thou do not find in Horse-dung what thou lookest for, thou hadst best save thy charges. With these agreeth Arnoldus, saying: Let none seek for any other Fire besides this, for it is the Fire of the Wise, the melting Furnace of the Wise, and their Furnace for calcining, subliming, reverberating, dissolving, and performing of Coagulation and Fixation; for this Water dissolveth all Metals, and calcieth them, and melteth itself together with them, both into red and white. In like manner also the Turba and Senior speaketh: Our Water is a Fire, and our Water is stronger than any Fire, for it reduceth the Body of Gold into a mere Spirit, which the natural Fire is not able to do, though the natural Fire must likewise be had. For then our Water enters into the natural bodies, and changeth itself into the primogenial Water, and afterwards into Earth or Powder, which doth more forcibly burn the Gold than the natural Fire; and accordingly Calid saith, It is truly a Fire, which burneth and grindeth all things.
But the manner of preparing this Philosophic Water or Fire, that is, the Aqua Mercurii, the Philosophers have concealed; however Raymund Lully of all hath written best of it, though in dark expressions. Accordingly, first of all it will be requisite, to purge Mercury from its extraneous humidity and terrene terrestreity, yet so, as not by means of corruptible things; for by such its noble, fruitful, viridescent and generating Nature would be marred. Avicen, Arnoldus, Geber, Raymundus, in Codicillo, and other Philosophers besides, say, that Mercury is best cleansed by subliming it from common Salt, which done, the sublimate is to be thrown into warm Water, which will dissolve and sever the Spirit of Salt from it; afterwards the sublimate being dried and mixed with Salt of Tartar, and forced through a Retort, it will revive again, and this is to be done divers times, and by this proceeding Mercury will be freed somewhat from its extraneous moisture and feculency; and Bernhardus towards the end of his Epistle saith, that this purgation doth not hurt Mercury, in regard that the hot Water and Salt do not penetrate into its substance. But it is to be noted here, my Son, that in regard that Mercury is of an uniform indivisible substance, it cannot be truly and perfectly cleansed by such an extraneous means, especially because its terrestrial impurity lies hid in its inmost center, which by no Sublimation is to be severed thence, as many ignorant men, though in vain, attempt. And therefore other means must be used to free Mercury vive from those bonds, wherewith Nature hath tied him uniformly in the bowels of the Earth, and to reduce him to its primum Ens, which is a Sulphureous spiritual water, which must be done without any addition of any heterogeneous thing, as Rogerius Bacon under the title of Mercury testifieth; and Raymundus in the Theorica of his Testament saith, that if it be not purified and opened after the aforesaid manner, the Menstruum will not be worth a Fig. But when the quick Mercury without any extraneous thing is set free from its bonds, and dissolved into the primogenial Water, then and but then we are capable to cleanse his inside, and by distillation to sever the Spirit from the Water, and terrene terrestriety; concerning which Separation the Philosophers have writ in an occult style, such as no conceited person will easily apprehend, but especially they described it figuratively in the distillation of Wine. For in the distillation of Wine appeareth evidently, that the Spirit of Wine is mixed with a great deal of Water, and terrene terrestriety; but by means of an artificial distillation, the dry Spirit of Wine may be severed from all phlegmatic humidity and terrene terrestriety, in so much that all the Spirit is severed from the Water existent in Wine, and the Water from the Earth, and then remain the Lees, out of which a white Salt is extracted, and joined again with the Spirit, and then the Spirit is distilled and cohobated divers times, until all the Salt be distilled and cohobated divers times, until all the Salt be gone over with it, whereby the Spirit is hugely fortified and actuated. And in truth, this is a notable typical description represented unto us by the Philosophers, which in the preparation of the Water of Mercury we ought to imitate; for after its dissolution we ought in like manner (as hath been taught of the Wine) by Sublimation sever the Water or Phlegm from the Spirit, and the Spirit from the Earth, and to rectify the Earth, and join and distill it together with the Spirit, until all together come over the Helm. Of which preparation of this Water, none of all the Philosophers hath written more clearly nor better than Raymund Lully, viz. in Testamento Novissimo, as also in the first Testament, in Libro Mercuriorum, Libro Quintessentia, &c. where he doth plainly enough declare, that after the Putrefaction, Separation, Distillation of the Philosophical Spirit of Wine, the Spiritual Water is to be mixed again and distilled with its own earth, that it come over with it; he declareth also, how this Philosophical Wine or Menstruum is fortified and actuated with its own Salt. And further it is to be noted, that this Water, Menstruum, or Philosophical Spirit of Wine, being thus prepared, doth dissolve or open its own Body, or Mercury vive, into the primum Ens, or primogenial Water, whereby it is multiplied without end, by means of Putrefaction and Distillation. But what is said of the Extraction of this Water, is confirmed by Arnold de Villa Nova, saying: It is a substance full of Vapours, which containeth in itself a fat humidity, whereof the Artist severeth the Philosophers humidity, such as it fit for the Work, and is clear as the tears of eyes; wherein dwelleth the Quintessence in a Metallick Nature, very proper for the Metals, and therein is the Tincture to bring forth an intire metal: for it containeth the nature both of Argent vive, and also of Sulphur. Rosarius Philosophorum saith concerning the distillation of this Menstruum or Water, that great industry and care must be had, and the Vessels to be used for the cleansing of this Spirit, must be of Glass, and exactly closed, to the end that the Spirit may find no vent nor place to fly through, it being very forward to make its way through any hole it findeth: And if the red Spirit should be gone, the Artist will lose his labour: the Philosophers call the red Spirit Blood, and Menstruum; therefore be very careful to have good vessels, and to have the joints well luted, that you may get the dry Spirit with its Blood into the Receiver by itself, without evaporation of its Virtue, and keep it, until thou have occasion to work with it. But concerning this distillation, the ocular inspection goeth beyond writing, and none can be a Master, before he have been a Scholar or Apprentice. Be provident therefore and discreet in thy Work, lay on a Receiver, and first distill by a gentle Fire the Element of Water, which being over, put it aside, and lay on another Receiver, and close the joints exactly, that the Spirit may not vapour away, increase the Fire a little, and there will rise in the Helm a dry yellow Spirit: Continue the same degree of Fire, so long as the Spirit cometh yellow. But when the Alembick beginneth to be red, then increase the Fire very gently, until the red Spirit and Blood be quite come over, which in its ascending and going through the Helm will appear in the form of Clouds in the Air: and so soon as the red Spirit is distilled over, the Helm will be white, and then cease quickly; and thus you have in the Receiver the two Elements of Air and Fire, having extracted the true dry Spirit, and severed the pure from the impure. Lo, now you have the prima materia Metallorum, wherein the Bodies are reduced. For all the Metals have their rise from Water, which is a root of all metals. And therefore they are not reduced into Water, like as the frozen Ice by heat is reduced into Water, because it has been water before. Do not marvel at it, for all things upon earth have their root and rise from Water. O how many there are that work and never think upon the root, which is the Key to the whole Work: it dissolveth the Bodies readily, it is Father and Mother; it openeth and shutteth, and reduceth Metals into what they have been in the beginning. It dissolveth the Bodies, and coagulateth itself together with them; the Spirit is carried upon the Water, that is, the Power of the Spirit is seen there operating, which is done when the Body is put into the Water. Whereupon the Philosopher saith: Look upon that despicable thing, whereby our Secret is opened. For it is a thing which all know well, and he that knoweth it not, will hardly or never find it: the wise man keepeth it, and the fool throws it away, and the reduction is easy to him that knows it. But, my Son, it is the greatest secret to free this Stone, or Mercury vive, from its natural bonds, wherewith he is tied by Nature, that is, to dissolve and reduce it into its primogenial Water; for without this be done, all will prove but labour lost: for else we should not be able to sever and extract the true Spirit or Watery substance, which dissolveth the Bodies. And this Solution hath been concealed by all the Philosophers. Who left it to God Almighty’s disposing, anathematizing that man should openly reveal it. And therefore they spake very subtilly and concisely concerning the solution of this crude Body, to the end that it may remain occult unto the unwise. But, my Son, thou art to take notice, that the solution of Mercury vive will hardly be performed without a means, but none are to be used as are Sophistical, as many rude, unwise and ignorant fools use to do, who by strange extravagant ways reduce Mercury into Water, supposing that to be the right Water. They sublime Mercury with Corrosives, with all sorts of Salts and Vitriols, from which the sublimed Mercury attracteth the Salty Spirits, and then afterwards they dissolve the sublimate into water in Balneo, or in the Cellar, or divers other ways. Item, they reduce it into Water by Salt-Armoniack, by Herbs, Soap, Aquafort, by means of strange kinds of Vessels, and many the like Sophistical proceedings, all which are but gross fancies, foolish and frustraneous labours: Some also conceive to sever those things afterwards from the Water of Mercury, and that then it shall be the true Water, which the Philosophers do desire. The reason of their Errors is, that they consider not the words of the Philosophers, who plainly do say, that it ought not to be mixed with any heterogeneous thing in the whole World. And Bernhardus saith in his Epistle, that so soon as Mercury is dried up b the Salts, Aquafort, and other things, that thenceforward it is unfit for the Philosophick Work, for being dried up by the Salts, Alums, Aquaforts, it is not able to dissolve. But, my dear Son, observe what now I tell thee, and what information concerning this point the Philosophers left behind them in their Books; viz. that this Water is not to be prepared by any heterogeneous means whatever in the whole World, but only by Nature, with Nature, and out of Nature. These words are all plain to the understanding, which I will not now openly unfold, but reserve the same for a peculiar Treatise, however for a Memorandum, I will set down these following Rhymes.
Take fresh, pure, quick, white and clear,
Tye him hands and heels so near,
With a most puissant cord and yoke,
That he may be mortified and choked.
Reduce him by his like homogeneous Nature,
To his first Being, or primogeneous feature,
Within the close Chamber or House of Putrefaction,
According to Dame Nature’s indication:
Then you will have a living spiritual Fountain,
Flowing bright and clear from Heaven’s Mountain,
Feeding on its proper flesh and blood,
Therewithall increasing to an endless Flood.
Let him, that by Divine assistance obtaineth his blessed Water, render thanks unto God, for he hath the Key in his hands, wherewith he may open the fast Locks of all Metallick Chests, out of which Gold, Silver, Gems, Honour, Power, and Health are to be had. This blessed Water is by the Philosophers called, the Daughter of Pluto, having all the Treasures in her Power. It is also termed the white, pure, delicate, undefiled Virgin Beja, without which no generation nor increase can be effected. And therefore the Philosophers espoused this delicious pure Virgin unto Gabricius, to the end that they may raise up Fruit: and when Gabricius lay with her, he died. And Beja out of excessive love swallowed and consumed him, as Aristeus in Turba Philosophorum speaketh of it. And Bernhard in his Practica saith: the Fountain is as a Mother unto the King, for she doth attract him, and causeth him to die, but the King by her means riseth again, and uniteth himself so firmly unto her, that no man can hurt him. And therefore the Philosophers say, although Gabricius be costlier, dearer and more esteemed by the World than Beja, yet he alone can bring no Fruit. This Virgin and blessed Water the Philosophers have named in their Books with many thousand names; they call it Heaven, Celestial Water, Celestial Rain, the dew of Heaven, May-dew, Water of Paradise, parting Water, Aqua Regis, a corrosive Aquafort, sharp Vinegar, Brandy, Quintessence of Wine, growthful green Juice, a growing Mercury, a viridescent Water, and Leo Viridis, Quick-Silver, Menstruum, Blood, Urine, Horse-piss, Milk, and Virgins Milk, white Arsenick, Silver, Lune, and juice of Lune, a Woman, Feminine Seed, a sulphureous vapouring Water and Smoke, a fiery burning Spirit, a deadly piercing Poison, and Basilisk that killeth all, a venomous Worm, a venomous Serpent, a Dragon, a Scorpion devouring his Children, a hellish Fire of Horse-dung, a sharp Salt, and Salt-Armoniack, a common Salt, sharp Soap, Lye, a viscous Oyl, Ostrich’s Stomach which doth devour and concoct all, an Eagle, Vulture, Bird of Hermes, a Vessel and Seal of Hermes, a melting and calcining Furnace, and innumerable other names of Beasts, Birds, Herbs, Waters, Juices, Milk, Bloods, &c. And they write figuratively in their Books of this Water, to be made of such things, whereas all the unwise, which sought it in such like things, have not found the true desired Water. Know therefore, my dear Son, that it is only made of Mercury vive, and of no other heterogeneous thing in the World; and that the Philosophers therefore gave it so many Names, that it might not be known to the unwise. And with this Item I will conclude this Treatise, whereby thou mayst understand and learn, that without this Fire all the labour of the whole World is merely lost, all Chymical processes false, lying and useless. The great Rosary saith, there is no more than one Receipt; and with this one Lock all the Philosophers Books both particularly and universally are locked up, and walled about, and fenced as it were with a strong Wall; and he that knows not the Key, nor hath it in possession, is not able to open the Lock, nor to obtain Fruit. For this Water is the only Key for to open the Metallick Walls and Gardens. And this Water is the strong Aquafort, of which Isaacus in his particular Work is to be understood, wherewithall he dissolveth and spiritualizeth the bodies. And therefore it is very diligently to be noted, that without this Water nothing can be effect in Chemia, and without it all are but falsities and lies, both in Metals and Minerals, as also in Vegetables and Animals. Whether they dissolve, sublime, distill, calcine, extract, mix or compound with any other thing whatsoever; whether they dissolve per deliquium, in Balneo, in Horse-dung, in Aquafort, and all sorts of strong Liquors, which seem to promise some probability, and according as the pretended processes of Alchymists do teach or may be invented: whether there be made Oyl, Water, Calx, Powder, black, white, yellow and red; whether it be burnt, melted, or done anything about it, which the Alchymists receipts do teach and vent for true, whereby to make Gold and Silver, all proveth but false and a cheat in the event. For my self with my own hand have experimented all such things to my damage and loss, not believing them to be false before I tried them. Therefore be exhorted my Son, to shun Sophisters, Cheats and Imposters, as much as the grand Imposter the Devil, and avoid them as carefully as a terrible burning Fire, and Poison; for by such Sophistry, and sweetly insinuating false Alchymy, a man runs the hazard of Body and Soul, Reputation and Wealth, yea this Imposture is worse than the Devil himself. For though a man should spend a whole Province or Kingdom upon such deceitful processes, yet all would be consumed in vain, and no firm truth thereby be obtained. Wherefore open thy eyes, own and acknowledge the only Key, and flee from all falsity, for it is impossible else to speed, or do any good.