Certain Chemical Works, with the True Practice
Gathered into a True Method
[ BM Sloane 2567 ]
The Preface to the Reader.
When novelties or strange events ensue,
When we beholding greatly do admire
But being stake, or common to our view
Farther to gaze thereon have no desire
Thus I affirm, for that I know in man
Such secret wonders in ye world are none.
Having a body the World representing
In which God’s Image is so lively set
I mean ye Soul, which is our understanding
Within our Bodies pure and delicate
Wherein such wonders are more secretly knit
As more to seek will more delight thy wit.
Then what thou art, having care thyself to know
Thy Substance, state, condition and degree
The rarest wonder that ye world can show
Is represented in thine own Body.
Elements vegetable and Mineral
Are all contained in thy Animal.
God by his power the world of nothing made
Which nothing is immortal seed most sure
Of which ye world took root that cannot fade
But firm and stable to ye and endure.
After which Image man was framed I say,
In ye same Seed, joined to a Fattie Clay.
First know, no tongue is able to express,
Nor pen can write the wondrous works of God.
His hidden Secrets will he not confess
Nor make them common flying all abroad
His Divine Wisdom clearly doth foresee
To place his gifts to each in their Degree.
To some he doth his knowledge more impart
Than unto some, whose natures divers fall.
Others again more skillfull in this Art,
And such wise men Philosophers we call,
Among the which many delight to see
How Nature each thing frames in their degree.
First they divide what she united had
By which they find three Principles as ground,
In everything that Nature forth had led.
Mercury, Salt and Sulphur pure are found,
Which Elements of Earth, Water and Air,
Do make their Quintessence, which they call Fire.
Of this again a Medicine pure they frame
Which sees sick bodies from Infirmities.
This pure Elixir is the very same
That cures the Metals of foul Leprosie
This is the Jewel which so few can find
Though sought of some till smoke ye eyes do blind.
Whose lucks with skill compared, may fitly be
They want ye vessels Hermes used to bear,
Which if they had smoakes they should not see
Nor half such tolling, out their cloakes to wear
Neither whole years, nor charge, they should not spend
But in short time attain the happy end.
Wherefore be well advised ere thou begin
What is ye substance whereof Gold is made,
Then boldly mayst thou surely enter in
And take upon you this most worthy trade
For many thousand herewith be deceived
And of their error will not be bereaved.
And thus in hope thou wilt observe this rule
And with attention, understand it well
Remembering Virgil since thou wast at school
And Ovid who of famed heavens tell,
And know their Gods who was to each their Sire
So mayst thou come to attain thy desire.
Likewise do learn our mineral spirits three
From whence they rise, Arsenick of which being one,
The other Sulphur, ye last Mercury.
The Fuming Spirits chiefest of our Stone
One of those poisonous with his piercing breath
Congeals Quicksilver to a solid Earth.
But if thou think this strange and far untrue
Then make a trial hereof if thou wilt
Taking my former Counsel given you
If otherwise, your work is surely spilt
But I assure ye if thou have our Stone
Thou shalt attain thine own desire anon.
Author to Reader.
Now gentle reader on ye I bestow
A Secret which as yet thou dost not know.
If this my book thou read with good advice,
Shall find ye same ye sayings of ye wise
How sundry works compiled are in brief
Light charge, short time, which two I hold as chief.
All is not writ, some doth behind remain
Which is a whetstone for to sharp thy brain,
That it may cut as keen with wisdoms edge
Thou mayst attain to make ye golden wedge.
Let Nature therefore grave within thy heart
That which by writing no man will impart.
Which is a thing so easy for to gain
That understand well will requite thy pain.
Then praise the Author where thou comest in place
As higher powers above shall give ye grace.
The Authors Will and Testament.
If from this life of breath I be bereaved
Then as a Log, a Cold, a breathless Stone
Compare my carcass which I have bequeathed
To sleep in rest till resurrection
Where flesh and bone to dust shall there decay
Until they join again at latter day
Until which time Reliques lay as Rags,
Of n esteem but yet my Soul Divine.
Let it ascend out from the Earthly Dregs,
Among the Angels up in Heaven to shine.
Whereof no tongue be able to express
The glorious love and joyfull blessedness.
And he who shall this Book and Verses read
If by the same he profit chance to find
First in my Love I wish him to dread
And let my Chaos be within thy mind
That thou may’st shew thyself a grateful man
To think on him which is dead and gone.
The Author to All the Faithful Sons of Philosophy.
I write to such as have desire to see
Into the grounds of true Philosophy.
But unto such as choke themselves with smells
Of Earthy fumes, come from mean minerals
Or else from stinking odours against kind
Such of my verse but little good shall find
Until they first these rules do listen well
To which most briefly I mean here to tell
Then know that the Philosophers first ground
Is everywhere, yet hard for to be found.
Yet England hath it always in store
For twenty thousand Philosophers and more
This matter next unto the Soul of man
More precious thing God ne’er created none
And ‘tis offence unto his Godhead still
With violent hands this Stone to wrong and kill
Yet Natures first invention must be let
Before the first material you can get
Else Earth with will quake and groan and sadly grieve
If you will touch ere Nature will off leave.
For when as Nature she has done and wrought
There we begin, or else our work is naught.
One Chaos rude as God this World did make,
To man his little World from Chaos take.
Proportion several is therein I ween
Of Gold and Silver five nto fifteen
Not common Gold and Silver which is dead
For that is living which is in our Lead.
If thou canst free him from their Prison Dark,
I will account of thee a Learned Clarke.
For I assure thee in a shower of Rain
Cold heat moist dry hear soft therein remain,
Both thick and thin, a body spirit and soul,
Which Mercury Salt and Sulphur we do call
The four elements thou therein shalt find
Fire Water Air and Earth by kind
Clear then the Prison and thence set him free
And place them richly in a fair City,
Walled strongly about to keep them from their foe
Then hast thou rid them from their greatest woe
When in this City that a while they dwell
The heat therein will make them look like hell
For that there bodie never did abide;
So hot a climate as they felt that tide.
But use will make them well for to endure
A stronger heat when season will procure
Then will they strip them to shirts I fear
Till white as Snow to sight they do appear
Under which white is flesh red as blood
Which will not show till they have passed Noah’s flood,
Then pearl and Ruby will they give thee store
Silver and Gold what wilt thou wish for more.
1. Prima material which many can of clatter
Is not found in ought which Earth Imbowells
Nor on Earth growing comes our first Matter
As Vegetables Herbs Fruits or Flowers
Nor Animal nor excrements thence flowing
Or anything that on earth is growing.
2. Yet in each one of these thou mayest find
Three sorts of humours therein do conjoin,
As Water nourishing the Earth by kind.
When Sun it burns refreshed by rain
So is the first; next, oilie Radical
Which is the Substance of heat natural.
3. Last, humour watery as cement knitting
Bodys of Stones, metal living as dead
For Mercury, Salt and Sulphur being
United together and equally spread
As taste smell and colour the Quintessence call
Of Vegetable, Mineral or Animal.
4. Our Salt, a dry water and lively is he
Which many for Quicksilver did it take
But the three Spirits our Mercury must be
And the three Spirits our Mercury of which we must make,
Our noble Elixir both white and red
Our Adrop so precious and our red Lead.
5. First Matter of Metals is clammy like glue,
Quicksilver a nearer made of the same thing,,
Then Liquable Sulphur joined with them two
Whence vapour doth rise and to the earth cling.
Continual heat making decoction
And thereby made a metalline fusion.
6. Our Stone one thing of Elements four, being
The Earth and body wherein Earth dissolving
Air and Fire the Soul our Compound ripeneth.
All those well from one thing thou mayest divide
Which one thing known doth all things else exceed.
7. To give the Light what this one thing may b
When of the first this hour had of birth
And bearing life which vegetable growing
Till ripe as grass his state quite overthroweth
It is our Chaos as I erst did tell
If what I said thou do remember well.
8. Then not accepted but as base cast by
Yet of the wise is held in great esteem
To bring them health, wealth and free liberty
And from all thralldom will he them redeem
If by true Art they have the means to use him
For worldly wealth they never will refuse him.
9. If that thou wonder where thou shalt it find
I answer thee that thou in every in every place
Art sure to see if it thou be not blind
Through natures mantle covered hath his face
But if thou can’st it not yet understand
Look that wit speed thou do withdraw thy hand.
The Principles of Nature and of Art.
The grave Philosophers in time o yore
Divinely wrote that Gold within the ore
As other Metals first engendered be
Of Sulphur and Argent Vive called Mercurie
And Gold say they, springs from another Mine
Where Argent Vive and Sulphur red do shine
Which by our artificial fire not great
The purity thereof we may compleat
That is more Perfect by a 1000 fold
Than either Indian or Arabian Gold
Which is concocted by heat natural
Within the bowels of the Mineral
For heat perfecteth all things in his kind
This must the Artist know if he will find
This must the Artist know if he will find
The narrow way that God to Nature gave
Is boil, boil, boil if fruit thou seek to have
And this by seething doth dissolve congeal.
Learn well this lesson if thou wilt prevail
And Patience have with thy continuance
Lest too sharp fire cause much grievance
Yet as the Infant food first is weak
But stronger as he grows and learns to speak.
So at the first our work has easy fire,
And is increased as ripeness doth require.
So at the first our work has easy fire,
And is increased as ripeness doth require.
And in a Vessel that is made threefold
Sure sealed up therein concoct thy Gold.
For our one thing that is to wit our Stone
And by one way which is decoction
And in one Vessel do we putrify,
Dissolve, Congeal, and Seeth continually.
First grows he Black in dissolution
Until the end of Putrifaction.
That as the moisture doth congeal and dry
Gay Orient Colours therein thou shalt espye
And afterwards true Whiteness shall appear
Like Fishes Eyes or Diamonds shining clear
Thus White at last when water yields to air
Which yields to fire then red it doth appear.
And often yellow red changing hue
And oft it melt, congeals before Whiteness true
It doth dissolve, colour and putrify
Killing itself reviving joyfully
After his Whiteness do increase the fire
Keep safe the Ashes which thou dost desire
Which God shall give thee molten crowned to red
Which King, Philosophers have honoured.
An Excellent Work
From Natures four united into one,
Draw forth the menstrue of our Precious Stone,
Bodies calcined therewith dissolve to water
Which them is brought into his own first Matter
His parts divide the subtile from the gross
So shalt thou gain when others live by loss.
The unfixt light spirit superior part of stone,
Which is made pure by distillation
Then joined with the inferior part purged clean]
From parts superfluous ‘tis the earth we mean
By Calcination and Solution
Is brought at length to quick Ceration.
Then both are purged by Putrifaction
And wisely handling Sublimation
This Oil of Sulphur made of Trinity
Doth Geber call his Oleagivity,
Or Aqua Secunda for the second place
Tis our Tincture ferment and our Gold
And form of Metal secret doth unfold
Our Sulphur Tincture and our gory blood
Which must pass waters of Noah’s flood
His qualities are to consolidate
Into a Medicine he will penetrate
As meat or nutriment of Sulphur true
And doth convert and multiply thereto
Doth purge and cleanse and also giveth life
To Sun and Moon to Husband and to Wife.
It will conjoin natures that disagree
To wit I say the spirit and body
Between which two is the pure Oil the mean
And natures of them both it doth contain
Without the which they never joined will be
But as a dust on metal it would flee
The reason is that Humour radical
That is chief cause that metals melt at all
Is here defeat for imbibitions lack
Which to be fluent often see thou make.
This fixed earth the Humour will embrace
And earth in humour rejoyceth in like case,
Fixing the same against all fires trial
Against the Humour Earth makes volatile.
Hereof it comes that both being truly mixed
Is fixed volatile and volatile made fixed.
The Elixir fusible dissolve in simo [dung]
Fixed parts calcined often see this thou do
Then fix them till the Elixir that they tinn
Which must melt quickly Mercury to stain
And after into perfect Sun and Moon
Which else from fire will flee before they join
This Elixir is Medicine which doth cure
Imperfect metals of extreame Sulphur
Corrupt that form and bring another pure
With Golden Tincture ever to endure
To try Elixir of it be perfect.
On Copper plate melt some with gentle heat
If without smoke it spread and tin throughout
Is incombustible and perfect then no doubt
If that our Medicine thus purified
With Splendour of our Moon be garnished.
A Short Work.
By long concoction of our Watery Stone
Is Sulphur made of Air and Fire alone
With middle Air make the Red earth to flow
Of this Quick-silver Philosophers allow
Which will not moisten but congeal a maine
Such flying spirits as it doth retain
And Mercury called the first Essence
Must drink two parts of this for his defense
To join our Sulphur and our Mercury
Mix and fix them to our Lunary
Congealing both in our mercury Water
Which of all Metals is the first Matter
Our Earth of Crude Silver our Gold alone
For in all Tinctures is an inward Stone
Our Quick-silver is a Spirit quick of life
Ferment to bodies being Man and Wife.
It is Our Air and Our Fire fugitive
Penetrating bodies and giving life
Mercury Salt and Sulphur lovingly
Join as Sperms of Creatures certainly
Our agent body we do call our Lune
The patient Mercury which to him must join
The Menstrue nourishing them in the pot
Is made of the Salt of Alembrott.
Three days in milk at first our Stone is sure
Then add we salt to blood like flesh impure
Which in the water will coagulate
Then are his members framed to good estate
And then his Soul God on it doth bestow
That is to say a Power wherewith to grow
Then springs our ferment which we call our King
Which drops of water from dead earth did bring
Our Stone made quick and born as here you see
With milk at first do nurse him carefully
To three part Elixir being grown strong
Give but two parts of food for doing wrong
One par of elixir more than food
The better to digest and conclude.
Another Work of the Whole Magistery.
1. Whoso intendeth our rich Stone to make
Natures true grounds at first must not forsake
Two Sulphurs which two Mercuries contain
One Red and moist, one White and pure and clean
Which Spirits and bodys first Calcine with fire
And then again turn earth to perfect Air.
2. Dissolve to Gum which Hyle we call
The which to Air distill again you shall
Earth so to Water that to Air you turn
Which Air to earth again congeal and burn.
Wash not the Womb with too much Water clear
For so you may extinguish quite the fire.
3. Moderately feed it at each time you may
Digest then distill the phlegm away
For fixed shall the volatile remain,
Which then sublimes to Air or volatile earth
Ferment his Soul and then you have our birth.
4. For body Spirit and Soul sure knit on one
Is our Elixir and our Precious Stone,
Which oft dissolve, congeal with Water clear
Till fixed oil no fires force shall fear
Which oil calcine into a Powder Pure
To White or Red Elixir have you sure.
First putrify thine Elements together
Then separate them first with easy heat
By distillation purify with Water
But Air and Fire by Sand with great fire
The fiery Soul out drawn with spirit of water
Which bring on his White foliate soon after
The Spirit retains the Soul without annoy
And Soul the body willing doth embrace
By means of Spirit each one in other joy
The fire or Soul distill dark clouds deface
Then will he make of Silver, Gold in view
And eke the White of Copper, Silver true.
So bring this work into a perfect White
Put feces of this fire, distilled with Earth
Being deprived of all moisture quite
Then shalt thou have a new conceived birth
When this dry Earth hath drunk of moisture
Full fifty part that it can drink no ore
Which feed at first by drops and light calcine,
But first digest in sime [dung] for a day
Encrease the fire wisely at every time
If too much water be then it’s a troubled sea
But if too little then burnt to cinders it been
Therefore in feeding always use a mean
The Earth having drunk of Quicksilver his fill
And is most White with fire it then sublimes
For foliate Earth like ashes up shall still
Which separate from the inferior dust shall be
And further profit shall thou never see
This Sulphur White dissolve in Water red
And oft Congeal Dissolve sublime the whole
And the white Sulphur like to dust shall spread
The White will Copper turn to Silver pure
The Red turns silver to Gold most sure.
This fountain red of life original
Whose subtile Spirit is fire natural
Attending on moisture radical
A Quintessence fully spiritual
An Aqua Vitae most etherical
Whose nature is well near incorruptible.
2. This Spirit wit a gentle fire up rose
Heating the pipes of water when it did press
His Liquor Mercury, flame Sulphur shows
The last from Sal Armoniack tells no less
This Spirit rectify well, lute well the glass
Lest the exceeding subtile Spirit out pass.
3. The middle Liquor likewise keep aside
Reserve the phlegm with which his foeces laver
Let them digest till they have water dyed
Then put on fresh reserving still the former
Continue this till water be dyed no more
Which keep aside as erst you did before.
4. The foeces will like Crystal clearly shine
Which do provoke both seed and urine store
To cleanse the stomach liver and the spleen
And other virtues it hath many more
In his curcubit close the head on cover
Put on his spirit two inches floating over.
5. Set this on ashes to digest a space
The Spirit separate cleanly from the grounds
Then pour on fresh continuing the like case
Till black faeces be Quick smoaking found
Then hath the Crystal animated the spirit
With a tart Balsam ferment doth inherit.
6. Then in a glass these spirits firmly close
Cover in Sand where flame goes round about
Which in six days is White as any Rose
Calcine and fixed is the earth no doubt
With a fourth part then of Spirit animate
Let both a day by Balneo incorporate.
7. In Ashes out a water weak distill
Pour on more spirit doing as before
Until the fixed Salt retain his fill
And that the water loose his force no more
Which weighing is increased full three fold
And fixed then make volatile be bold.
8. This Matter then within his Limbeck close
Receives his Sulphureous humidity
Then for a day his Ashes repose
After increase the fire warily
For twenty hours that no fume appear
But Crystal Pearl stick on the Glass most clear.
9. In Porphyry Mortar beat this matter small
Powder on that Sulphur which was last distilled
Moderately feeding till imbibed it be all
Which for four days in strong Athanor being boiled
Is our great Lunary and Balsam radical
Sulphur of nature and true mercurial.
10. Dissolve this Sulphur philosophical
In rectified Spirit taught before
Close them in Pelican Hermetical
To circulate that two they seem no more
This our Azure water Celestial
Dissolve Gold to last perpetual.
11. From Marian and Salt Nitre may distill
By easy heat a Spirit Mercurial
A Sulphureous Oil by stronger fire come will
And fixed Salt of Salt Original
By force of fire yet will beneath remain
And thus three Salts extracted are from twain.
12. Which fixed Salt within his Limbeck lies
Yield until him Mercury again
Two days digest extract the phlegm aside
And volatile with fixed that will remain
Treble the fixed that it flight may take
Sublime thy Sal Armoniack them to make.
13. Within this Limbeck close the cover sure
Increase the heat after 3 hours space
In highest degree let it stand 6 hours more
Receive the flower of Salt come through the glass
Whose orient colours no man well can know
The fixed foeces Whiter lie than Snow.
14. Powder these Pearls and put on Sulphur Oil
Which Liquor first let putrified be
Then for a space together let them boil
Till fixed melting like to wax you see
This is the Soul or man the Spirit to join
That from his body never more will twine.
15. Behold the earth with fatness doth abound
By virtue of Nitres two flying Spirits
By sublimation falling on the ground
The growing substance Quickening life inherits
This is our Balsam and Fire Natural
Nitre from Sulphur Armoniack mercurial.
16. From Pitch lees sharp oil strong fire extract
Let foeces dry with phlegm 3 fingers cover
Six days in bath digest in water red, in act
Have drawn the Tincture; put fresh, then cover,
Digest, extract in all points as before
Until the waters be coloured no more.
17. Calcine the Sulphur, fixed Salt to gain
Which oft dissolve congeal with his own phlegm
When Crystalline in snow it doth remain
Imbibe him with his Airy Spirit of phlegm
The Watery substance then distil away
The Volatile with fixed Salt may stay.
18. And when you shall exceed the same threefold
By Fire sublime the foliate Earth to gain
Clearer than Pearl and richer than fine Gold
And yield to him his Sulphureous oil again
Join 3 in one which is our Leaven Tree
First branch whereof we call Antimony.
19. The balm of Gold his mercury is such
It purgeth men, the Sulphur of the same
Will Silver Gold till trial of the touch
Which put in fire yet it will take no flame
Within the flowers doth the Salt abide
Purging by vomit when it shall be tried.
20. The Mercury of this Antimony
Devouring Luna may well be called
Swallowing up Gold in his custody
Killing the Quick, again of Life installed
And this our Quicksilver is original
Of crude Quicksilver and all Mineral.
21. The Radical moisture fountain clear
Where Vulcan washed Venus at the sea
So clear that no impure spot appear
But shine as brightly by night as Sun by day
This precious Liquor is so rare a thing
Which health and wealth into our state will bring.
1. Of White and Red first was I bred, and Menstrue did me feed
Now am but much like a Stone, but am no Stone indeed.
I lay like Slime shut for a time, heat changed my former shape.
I was a fine as any twine when first in womb I laye.
In darkness prest, I long did rest before I came to light.
Then grew I big, as does the twig, with puissant strength and might.
2. Then mark we well, for down I fell, as each thing has his time.
Now cast away, as filthy clay, which was at first but slime.
So loathsome sure, few will endure me in their hands to hold,
But yet the wise, me not despise, they think me rich as Gold.
Can you not tell then? Mark now well from whence I first was sought.
3. From Paradise so say the Wise, that Adam first me brought.
Now where I dwell I shall you tell, and where you may me find,
I am in thee that readest me, this note bear well in mind.
With letters three you may name me, and in three me divide
By fires might, which in your sight, these three are Quickly spied.
4. An oil first mark, or Water dark, will seem as red as blood,
A Salt will fly, and soar on high Quite separate from the flood
These 3 in One, we call our Stone, our Chaos which doth hold
As we do read, the perfect Seed of Silver and of Gold.
You must divide and set aside the Earth from Water and Air,
To dry the mud by heat is good till then to touch forbear.
The outward heat hath wrought this heat by help of inward fire,
The which did fry to powder dry this muddy Earth our Mire
On which you shall let Water fall and dry the same again,
This as I say, is called our Clay and Water of the Mine,
This is our Toad which here is showed, that drinks the grapes so fast.
5. Until he swells, as Ripley tells, till all his bowels brast.
Being of such might, he devouring as is said;
For Waters all drink up he shall, which then is called our Lead
Here naught I fain, but teacheth you plain the first work of the 3.
I show our Stone, to every one that will advised be.
At the next birth, our foliate earth, I purpose to declare,
Until which time, I cease to Rhyme, and wish you to forbear.
Of True Principles.
1. Wise Geber, Hermes, Raymond and the rest
Of grave Philosophers so darkly wrote
To none but Sons, this Secret they exprest
For Ignorants they understood it not.
They want the Principles of Natures ground,
For by expense this Art is never found.
2. In Vegetables and Animals of kind
Which stranger be from Nature of Metal
True Principles of this Art is hard to find
Common Vitriol we do expel
Sulphur nor Common Quicksilver we use
For we from Metals do our subjects choose.
3. But he which hath a wit most natural
A searching spirit into natures ground
And follows Nature in her actions all
Not reading much which will the sense confound
By his own reason he may well confine
How Nature frames the Metal in the Mine.
4. Metal threefold within their roots we find
Far off a mine and some more nearer be
If thou canst wash the Sulphur and calcine
With Salt and Vinegar orderly
Knowing in Metal our Matter is contained
Sulphur and Mercury is all Wise men meaned.
5. Sulphur alone can never Metals make
But if he joined be with his Argent-vive
Congealation and Fixation will they take
Preparing Sulphur thou shalt see believe
That many skins above there shall appear
Which in short time will grow dry, white and clear.
6. For engendering metal and Elixir eke,
The Sulphur as the father it is
The Mercury the Woman Menstrue like
Art imitating Nature oft in this
And in the Work doth Nature overcome
There are out Principles both all and some.
7. A double fume doth penetrate our Stone
Wherein the Sulphur privily doth lurk
And mix itself with Mercury alone
And are decocted there by Natures Work
Where she converts them to a Metal pure
Learn nature’s Secret and then keep it pure.
8. When first the vapours shall be lifted high
And descend into an Earth Rose Red
To common Quicksilver they turned shall be
From imperfect Metals Vitriols are bred.
The Sulpureous species prepared right
Are turned to Mercury, Sol and Luna bright.
9. This is the Seed whence Metals do begin
And of diversity of mine or place
And of the Sulphur pure or not washt clean
Are Metals altered, some fine some base,
These accidents from radical Seed take
And then thou mayst the true Elixir make.
10. In Metalline bodys are Sulphurs twain
And their Mercury by calcinations
Which was a Salt and to Salt is turned again
Of a true Calx the kind and fashion
Sulphur and mercury give fixation
Within the Earth by long Conversion.
11. Our Arsenick doth of these participate
Wherefore Hermaphrodite we do it call
But of itself no Metal may beget
Our Tin and Lead are Salts ethereal
Mars and Venus two fumes from Sulphur rise
The which from Vitriol dissolved comes.
13. White fume a red within his belly bearing
Hath no actual Nature of Element
Called a Boar a Lion fierce and tearing
Being indeed our true Quintessence
The Copper Mine is Salt which Saturn call
But Saturn is our Chaos holding all.
14. Perfect bodys dissolve into Water
Are Sulphureous species clean prepared
For fixed bodys are hard Salts in Nature
Which we make flying and the flying fixed
Again the manifest we hide from sight
And which lay hid we bring again to Light.
15. From Foeces burnt our mercury we draw
Multiplication with which must be
Mark well this Secret following Natures Law
And many Wonders art thou like to see
But first prepare then fix, last multiply,
And these three orders follow warily.
16. Our Stone as King which in himself is rich
Wants nothing which to it doth appertain
Geber talks much of marchasites by which
Our Stone of Philosophers he doth mea
Which Elixir we call, being Mineral
And also Vegetable and Animal.
17. In this our Stone consisteth all our skill
Using a natural preparation
In it is Gold and Silver to his fill
Not common but spiritual in action
This Gold is Potable and Radical
Humidity of Sulphur called the Soul.
18. Our Aqua Vitae from our Stone descends
And many Liquor we extract from thence,
Among the which some wash and some do cleanse
Some do congeal and some are a defence
That fire do not vitrify our Stone
And thus we make use of every one.
19. Black, blacker than black we do our Sulphur call
When he grows black in calcinations.
But divers colours before White do fall
And when Citrine and lastly a Carnation
It is Blackness doth endure 40 days
Forty in Whiteness and 40 the Ted wise.
20. Elixir doth itself coagulate
Formed like an Egg but that his shell is tender
From it take nought nor add to his estate
Break not the shell for loss of spirits tender
But nourish it with heat till at the last
Extracted Colours all be gone and past.
21. The Poets hid this Art in fables dark
Under Hercules and Anthces Power
Preparation of Sulphur how to work
By Jupiter turned to a Golden Shower
They teach the distillation of our Gold
Which Wise Men for a Secret great did hold.
22. By Minerva armed we do understand
that Water distilled, which Water of Sulphur is
By Vulcan flowing Minerva armed
Is Sulphur following the water of his
And in his Salt in putrifaction
Which congeals all by fires action.
23. By Mars our Sulphur they do plainly show
By Tin our Air, and oft our earth they mean
By the Phoenix which always doth receive we know
Our Elixir how to multiply certain
By Demergogous Tale we bring to life
Which is the Secret that s not so rife.
24. Thus Poets all their works in fables fained
Because the Art should never be attained.
A Brief Parabolical Description of the Stone.
Though Daphne fly from Phoebus bright, yet shall they both be one,
And is you understand this right you have our hidden Stone.
For Daphne she is fair and white but volatile is she.
Phoebus a fixed God of might and Red as blood is he.
Daphne is a Water Nymph and hath of moisture store,
Which Phoebus doth consume with heat and drys her very sore.
They being dryed into one, of Crystal flood must drink
Till they be brought to a White Stone which wash with Virgins milk.
So long until they flow as wax and no fume you can see,
Then you have all you need to ask --- praise God and thankful be.
The True Work.
Wise men will read seek and seek in this latter age
But miss to find for which too sore they sought.
Time, Goods, lost spent have put some in a rage
To seek the Thing which will cost right nought
A piece of Earth congealed by Natures might
Much like a Stone, but is no stone in sight.
Prepare this substance to dissolve with fire
From whence three things at once by heat will rise
Of which three pints the Wise men did desire
To which they put a Salt congealed like ice
And then these four things did distill again
Whence Salt with Oil dissolved did rise with rain.
Fire natural with Seed of Gold in Oil
Remains below which we dry up to dust
In out Athanor we continually boil
Which dry Clay moisten often times we must
For oft we grind, imbibe, bury and dry
In which the Stone doth kindly putrify.
This Lead dissolve like butter somewhat soft,
Dissolve in Balneo what will thence arise.
When fire of Sand will rise two fumes aloft
A White, and Red, called Arsenick of the Wise.
The Faeces black, calcine in fire you may
Till they be White or else look somewhat Grey.
In thirteen weeks this Earth thou White shall see
Wherein three parts of water knit shall be
These fixed Bodies volatile shall be
If this first Water on again you put
To cover it in a small quantity
Digest in sand on night the head on shut.
In Balneo distil the water weak away
But volatile with fixed Salt will stay
Continue this till Water loose his might
And that the Earth increased be threefold,
By heat sublime, comes Sal Armoniack bright
More richer far than any Indian Gold.
This White leaved Earth, divide it into two
And in one part the Soul again must grow
This Soul is Arsenic which likewise divide
From greatest part sever, the white from Red
Into fixed Oils with fire let them be fried
Which are the Lights, true Leavens for our Bread.
For when the Soul and Body be made on
These are the Lights which must ferment our Stone
The foliate earth which did behind remain
Dissolve in bath and make our Virgin Milk
The which must feed our Infant born again
Till be he strong to wear a suit of silk.
Then with our Gold and Silver set in order
Let him be guarded with an Orient border.
Out of an Old Written Book.
This World is in a Maze and what you why
Forsooth of late a great rich man did die
And as he lay dying on his bed
These words in secret to his son he said
My Son, Quoth he, ‘tis good for thee I die
For thou shall much the better be thereby
And when thou seest life hath me bereft
Take thou what thou findest and where I have it left
Thou dost not know, nor what my riches be
All which I will declare, give ear to me
An Earth I had all venome to expel
And that I cast into a mighty well
A Water eke to cleanse what was amiss
I threw into the Earth and there it is
My Silver all into the Sea I cast
My Gold into Air and then at last
Into the fire for fear it should be found
I threw a Stone, worth forty thousand pound
Which Stone was given me by a mighty King
Who bade me wear it in a fair gold ring
Quoth he, this Stone is by that Ring found out
If wisely thou canst turn the ring about
For every hoop contrary is to other
Yet well agree and of the Stone is Mother
And now my Son I will declare a Wonder
That when I die this ring will break asunder
The King said so but yet he said withal
Although the Ring be broken in pieces small
An easy fire shall soon it close again
Who this can do he needs not work in vain.
Till this my hidden treasure be found out
When I am dead my Spirit shall walk about
And stay with him till you may riches have.
Make him to bring you fire from the Grave.
These words a worldly man did chance to hear
Who daily watched the Spirit, but neer the neere
And yet it met him and every one
Yet tells him not where is this hidden Stone.
The adamical matter we may understand to be
The pains of this most little World wherein we plainly see
All things that needful are and nothing overplus
Our fiery Mercury it is by Art prepared thus
The true Hermaphrodite Adam and the true little World
The which among the Wisest men so highly is extold
When Corporal Salt with Waters Quick our Spiritual Mercury
And Sulphur animate be mixt and joined naturally.
Then Nature doth begin to work by her separating fire
By which impure Sulphur is divided from the pure
And earth from Salt is separated likewise and Mercury
From the faintest Water of the Clouds as Nature can devise
Again decoct these pure parts into a body pure
In the which Soul and Spirit both are fixed firm and sure.
This is the only milk and Stone which nourisheth our King
Fro the which union again our Mercury doth spring
Mercury Philosophical, not common of the mine
But our accidental is, which will with bodys join
For being fixed it father is of wonders great and small
It is both body and spirit which we Magnesia call
But our first composition of earth parts and dry
The body of Magnesia we call it certainly.
But when Quicksilver we do join in bodys to congeal
Magnesia we do call it, this rule may never fail.
Our Stone being raw we water call wherein contained is
Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus our filth of Silver cleaned
Which being in Quicksilver, Magnesia I do mean
White Sulphur we do call it but being boiled red
Is Gold, Coral, and Orpiment and Leaven for our bread.
Boil, grind, and wash the body cleanse and make his hardness mesh
His fiery Tincture hide which is his Soul and flesh
Must in another spirit rest for it is life not dying
Which to another body join and they will both be flying
That is our Mercury sublimed of Air and fire Light
United both in wedlocke band and made our Sulphur bright,
Mercury, Salt, Sulphur spring all from one rock and mine
Fix Salt and Sulphur to congeal Mercury not to twine
In them is such affinity in spermating aright
The Agent body Lune I mean and Mercury his Light
Which patient is the nutriment which Menstrus we do call
It is the Salt of Almebrot the which congealeth all
And doth revive the dead from death into a lively Stone
By means of Water ‘tis born nurst by decoction
The Spirits they will ne’er dwell in bodys foul and hard
Till they calcined to dust be with simple spirits prepared.
Behold the thing which Quiets every mind
Which many seek but very few can find
Here view the dead where Nature can no more
Work on her Corps as she hath done before
The Last of birth is first of Joys: the Cause
And first of Joys is last of Natures Laws
When first and last by Art is wisely framed
Then shalt thou see the Bear and Lyon tamed
The flying Dragon and the Serpent lurking,
In Waters wild shall close be set to working
If this my verse be dark unto thy sight
And then in scenes it nothing the delight
Then in good truth set all thy works apart
And trouble not thyself with this our Art
For if thou be bit of a pregnant wit
Thy humour right for that they plainly show
The Mine where Gold and Silver both do grow
And eke the way to work and bring to pass
As Nature in the mine, so in the Glass;
With Equal heat continuing to the end
Thy Precious Stone with little charge to spend
Much may be said but briefly to conclude
They have much writ but only to delude.
The Philosophers Brass.
Our Golden Tincture springs from bodys four
Where Souls called Sulphurs lie hid with their Power
First earthy bodies joined to our bras do call
Our body of Magnesia name you shall
But when the spirits be congealed with Clay
And putrified Magnesia call you may
But in the time of Putrifaction
Call it you may the Philosophers Saturn
When Quicksilver is in the body congealed
By grinding washing and boiling is prevailed
Then bodys soft pure and subtil are found
Quicksilver burning bodys in one bound
The Soul our Tincture is in other spirit hid
And spirit to another body is wed
Our fiery poison bringing this to pass
Being decocted long within our glass
Till bodys be like butter or like brain
Or that the spirit will ascend again
With gentle fire then sublime the Soul
Which will ascend fro the dregs corporeal
By Art make part of this Quicksilver red,
Divide in two parts to stand thee in stead,
Mix one part with those things due of our brass
Dissolve congeal them all within the glass
The second part is food to feed this youth
At 7 times we give it meat for truth
Two parts of brass in tables beaten small
Full seven parts of venom add you shall
This Sea Water with very gentle fire
Dissolve the bodys to our own desire.
But when you see that blackness shall appear
The bodys then be molten without fear
In which Sea Water boiling fort days
A Flower of White Salt to the top will rise
Most shining white to sight it will appear
Congealed by heat our white Stone called Air.
If one of three parts Water you congeal
And keep two parts of Water you do well
This foresaid Compound being white and dry
By strong fire it into ashes fry
Which then will shine like ashes somewhat green
Seven times dissolve it and congeal again
With Mercury reserved before
And to this I need not to write more.
Heaven of the Philosophers.
Our Heaven yieldeth to each growing thing
Both moisture, dryness, heat and chilling cold
For that our Stars such influence Forth do bring
Saturn and Luna, cold and moist spirits hold.
But Sol and Mars have spirits hot and dry
Jovalls hot and moist these bear rule on high.
Our fixed Salt which is our heavens ground
Whose Diamond circles glistening from the sky
Are shining fires and burning Comets round
From Sulpureous Substance which flame and dry
Which in mercurial Spirits shine so clear
Proceeding from the Substance of the Air.
Sulphur in flame, and mercury in wind
Earth volatile gives Air taste sharp and sour
Which Sulphur Salt and Mercury we find
From whence the Air her influence doth pour
Within the thunderbolt is Salt full fixed
Thus, in the Air all three be duly mixed.
From crystal clouds of Heaven doth descend
A water weak, from water doth distill
A subtil Air, mercurial Liquors send
The Waters gross which Sulphureous parts did fill
Our penetrating Air more gross of spirit
Then do our Earthly Mercuries inherit.
The Elemental bodies visible
Appear in two, one moist the other dry
A Sandy Earth, deprived of taste or smell
Unsavory phlegm from whence Quick spirits fly
There two, the passive having lost the strength
And so is Air deprived of force at length.
The Elements their active Qualities
To Mercury Salt and Sulphur do pertain
The passive to their bodies in like wise
And so Salt Sulphur and Mercury do remain
Which by an Oil are joined all in one
And Water, Air and Earth by Water alone
Thus by a mean we see a Conjunction made
As Sand and Water by a fatty Lime
Thus makes the Dauber Mortar by his trade
So Air and Earth by Water well do join
And fire extracted as from other three
Quickening the Principals when one there be.
A fourth Essence this Air, fire we call
From form and Matter of ye Elements three
Which is the Soul that animated all
The bodies of our Principles that be
Colours to forms belong this Spirit and Soul
And Elements clean unto Matter corporal.
On fixed bodies fix our Sulphurs twain
But first prepare our ferments pure and thin
To nourish youth by Quick corrosion
And to his Nature bring the Sulphur in.
This Sulphur enters Nature by a mean
Of his own Water which it doth retain.
So in Waters dissolve our Sulphur first
That into bodies it may better mix
Then into ferment thrice dissolve to dust
And by often iteration will our Sulphur fix
Boil Air and Mercury not fixed thereon
That both may take a fit impression.
Let ferment white three times his Sulphur bear
And earth must equal Air and Water or more
As two of Water one and half of Air
And three and half of earth or less than four.
Fix Water on earth and Air on Water
Then shalt thou have a perfect Matter
But to thy Gold let Earth two parts suffice
Of Water three as much of Air do take
One part and half of fire if thou be wise
Let weight of Fire half the Water make
If Colour want add Medicine as before
If too much Color then put Matter more.
Grind three parts Silver with Mercury six
One part white Sulphur with his Water
With one part more water likewise let him mix
Then with strong fire sublime both anon
And that which on the Vessel clear shall shine
With his own Water pour on dregs of Wine.
Grind seeth and roast till pap it be mixed
Again sublime it doing as before
Reiterate this work till earth be fixed
With twice his weight of Water and no more,
Then in like sort by drops with Air it fed
With gentle fire when it shall need.
And in this sort fix all this Air you may
Both day and night with fire then strong it bake
Let fire increase the second night and day
But in the third the stronger fire make
This substance feed upon a vehement fire
Till like to wax it melt to your desire.
A Declaration of the First matter with the Order of the Work,
The Name of the Author and His Profession.
Even as the rocks which bind thy solid Earth,
Doth Microcosme in itself contain
Worlds coin the lees which bringeth forth a birth,
Adamical Matter foul and unclean
Rectify this as nature doth us guide
Distil, Calcine, and Earth from Air divide.
Mesh oft thy womb with oil, water and air,
Oft dry and grind till earth have drunk up all,
Which done dissolve again this earth to clear
Even as before distil that which will fall,
Let faeces black calcined be by fire,
Like to burnt Salt but in colour somewhat higher.
Or cover this with his first water bright
Four fingers over place it then in sand
Distil again till water loose his might
And be as faint as water of the Land
And this continue till increase you again
Fourfold at least and then sublime again.
The foliate earth which is our fire will rise
Over the head and hang as white as snow
Receive this flower that’s honoured of the Wise
Dissolve with milk and let the Infant grow
Except one part of this be made a Child
Your labours lost and you yourself beguiled.
Return the Soul and Spirit to body dead
Earth or Ashes which we had did rest
Nurse well this Infant being newly bred
Milk let him have from his own Mothers breast
Until such time he strongly may endure
New food to eat his courage to procure.
Good gentle reader understand my Trade
Iron indeed the basest Metal is
Rest thee content through Gold I never made
By gains of Metal all my Living is
And credit me if that thou be of skill
Thou wilt in love requite my great good will.
To The Deriders of Alchemy.
What follows oft consist in Learned Men,
Whose Quick invention shewed by their pen
Can write a tragic story or devise
Some comic toy to please the viewers eyes,
But missed to see how blinded some be still
To write against Arts wherein they have no skill
And often times to please both fools and sage,
Will cause their work to be acted on a stage
This bringeth gain into the poets purse
The fox fares best when most men do him curse
And when he can not well obtain his prey
He discommends the thing as many say
To such as write against this Art Divine
Not knowing ought thereof do grudge and pine
But if such Quick conceits should change their stile
And know wherein the Wise did them beguile
Where in their books their writing they obscure
With offers great the simple to allure
For that such readers wanting Art or skill
Break pot and glass, use bellows Coal and Still
Sow Gold and Silver multiply with brass
And in the End can nothing bring to pass,
Threadbare their cloaths their Members out of frame
Abuse the Art, not knowing ought the same
Such workmen Chaucer in his tale doth flout
But the true Art commendeth without doubt,
And so would all our poets if they knew
The mine wherein our Seed of Gold doth grow
What do they think themselves to be more wise
Than Hermes, Arnold, bacon and the rest
Who by their writing had this Art exprest,
But yet so darkly writ that few or none
Can know or find the meaning of our Stone
Such as know naught and nothing seek to find
Their writings vain and they themselves as blind
Blind in this Art, I say, though Eye sight clear
And Quick their wits as by their works appear
Yet let them write naught against but what they know
And for the same can a good reason show.
True Alchemist though few such sure there be
Do know full well with what Art doth agree
They seek the thing Nature did work an frame
And having ended she did cast away the same
It had a time, the which time did expire
And his new birth began by force of fire
And every one who doth not know his price
Esteem it not but yet the Learned wise
Account thereof as the only thing on earth
That living dies and hath a second birth.
Hard as a Stone but once was soft and tender
Small as a hair white pure and as tender.
Now like an Egg in Nature not in show
By fire from thence will divers Liquors flow.
Earth White and Red our Chaos doth infold
Which we concoct and bring to seed of Gold,
Which seed we Mercury and Sulphur call
From whence all metals spring both great and small.
Not common brimstone or Quicksilver crude
But foliate Earth and Arsenick to conclude,
Of which by long concoction we do frame
A Powder Red which Elixir name.
Aurum Potabile we do it call
When into oil it is dissolved all
But to divide our Chaos in his kind
In Genesis or Esdras you shall find
Water and Air from Earth God first did take
Then muddy earth with fire did dry and bake
Within which Earth all treasures hid do lie
But Air as Wind about the Earth did fly
Unto the which I fitly may compare
The scoffs of such as here mentioned are.
Finis per Edward Nowell.