Triumphal Chariot of Antimony by Basil Valentine / Part 3
[OIL OF THE MERCURY OF ANTIMONY]
This is a great Arcanum, and seems repugnant to Nature, that this Oil should first swim, and afterward being rendered more ponderous, settle to the Bottom. But consider, the Oil of Vitriol is also heavy, yet when the Mercury in its Separation is not altogether pure, it stands above it; but when the impure Lightness is taken from it by Vinegar, because the Vinegar assumes that, then the Oyl receives its just weight, becomes compact, and settles to the Bottom. This is the Oyl of the Mercury of Antimony, which is the fourth Column of Medicine.
Now come hither you Lepers! where be you? I will supply you with means for Health. This Oil is profitable against the Apoplexy, comforts the Brain, makes a man industrious, and cherisheth the vital Spirits of the Ehad. If anyone hath laboured long with grievous Diseases, and will for some time dayly use this Oil, his Hairs and Nayls will fall off, and he will be renovated, as a man newborn. All the Blood in the Humane Body is by it so purified, as every Evil is taken off from it, and expelled. This heals the French Disease, which we have lately inherited; for by this Medicine it is radically extirpated. And, to comrpehend much in few words, the praise of this Oil is greater in Medicine, than can be expressed in Speech or Writing.
Why do we, miserable Mortals, taken from the Earth, and ready to return into Earth, stick here? Why do we not hasten to give Thanks to God our Creator, for this Medicine so mercifully granted to Us? You Doctors (if it please the Gods) of either Medicine, come to me a religious man and Servant of GOD, I will manifest to you what your Eyes never saw, and will show you the way of Health and Sanity, which before you never knew. Yet if any one be found among you, who understands my Processes, and the way of Preparation, better than I; let him, I pray, not be silent, or set a Seal to his Lips: for here I stand ready to learn, nor am I ashamed further to inquire, and desire that Light, which before I knew not. For I have often said, that this our Life is circumscribed with more strait Limits, then that one man should be able to search out all Things, which Nature bears absconded in her Bosom.
But on the contrary, I being the Author, let them be silent, who have experienced less than the Author, let them be silent, who have experienced less than I, and if they have not attained to a solid Understanding of my Writings, let them not attempt to amend them, or (like Brawlers) with inconsiderate Words reprehend, what they never learned in the Schools, and the Processes of which they never received from men skilled in the Law. For my Terms otherwise sound, and signify other than theirs, who oppose themselves against me, and who are shamed of the Labour of Planting Trees, and of Grafting fruitful Sprouts thereon; therefore they always abide among dry and withered Wild Trees, and can never attain to any Branch of green, sappy, and well manured Fruit Trees.
[FISHES DIE NOT OF COLD]
Hasten not, I say, O man experienced in our Art, to pass your Sentence of Judging, and be not willing to condemn, what you have not yet yourself acquired by Thoughts, or gained by Discipline. Many imprudent men frequently say, Fishes are frozen in Waters; but these discover their own imprudence and want of Knowledge. for it will never be proved, that a Fish, even in the bitterest Winter will ever be frozen in Waters, as long as the Ice of those Waters is dayly broken by the diligence of Mortals.
[WHY THEY DIE IN FROZEN WATERS]
But the reason why Fishes die, is because, when the Ice is not opened, their respiration is hindred, and they thence are suffocated. For it may easily be proved, that no Animal can live, when to it the Use of air is denied. Whence it may well be concluded, that those Fishes, which are found dead under the Water, in an extreme Cold Season, die not of Cold (as men of little understanding think) but because they are deprived of Air. By like Reason (that we may apply this Example) I say; since Antimony, is to produce such admirable Fruits, it is to be taken out of the Mountains; but first, by the Care of the Miners spiracles, or breathing places, are to made for it, and afterward it must be prepared with Water, Air and Fire, as with auxiliary Mediums, lest its fruitlessness be suffocated in the Earth. But with many and laborious Preparations of Artifice, it must be manifested and brought to Light, for the expected Sanation of Diseases, by reason of which it hath been so long sought into.
[ADVICE AFTER REPREHENSION]
Where now, O wretch! who contemnest Antimony, and among all men accusest it as mere Venom, where is thy Rhetorick, or Dialect, wherewith to defend thyself? But since thou understandest neither White, nor Black, nor Green, nor Red, nor Yellow; nor knowest which way to go about to justify Antimony, its Virtue, Power and Utility, being unknown to thee, thou doest well, if thou keepest Silence, and permittest this Reprehension of thy Ignorance, as a Wave driven with vehement wind to fly over thy Head; fearing, that if those Winds and Waves should be predominant, thy own weak and frail Bark would be sunk and submerged. To avoid this peril, seasonably call upon thy Sleeping Master, as the Disciples of our Saviour Jesus Christ did, when they feared they should perish. Yet this must not be done with a dissembled and feigned, but with a true and pure Heart, without all Hypocrisy; then your Redemption and Help will undoubtedly follow, so that in all Verity you will see and find the Winds and the Sea to obey you, and all Things be brought to the desired End.
I wish man were but so disposed, as he would study to obtain somewhat with labour and Diligence, then certainly the gods, the Presidents of Prosperity and Art would give Success, by which such a Disciple and Follower of Art might be assured, that in the wished School of Art, and desired Domicile of Grace, Felicity and Health hsould not be denied him, but that he himself should certainly see and find the Foundation of the Corner Stone, upon which he might commodiously build up all the other Orders of Stones. tHen would cease the so many evilly founded Impertinencies of Bablers, which in the Schools stun the Ears of Disciples, and in Houses the Ears of the Sick; and the Matter itself would speak, as it were with open Mouth, and by certain Experience confirm, that a Castle or Palace of Stone cannot so easily be set on Fire and burnt, as a Pidgeon-House, or the old Nest of a Stork composed of rotten Wood, and dayly dried more and more by the Sun.
[CENTER OF ART, NOT KNOWN BY EXTERNAL ASPECT]
But my Auditor and Disciple, do thou with sharp Judgement weigh this my sincere Information, and iwth fervent desire strive to penetrate the inmost Center of Art, which by the external Face can be known to no man; prosecute and press after the Virtue and Power thereof, no otherwise, than as a Hunter pursues a Wild Beast; search out its Footsteps through the Snow, that you may rightly distinguish, and not take an Hart instead of an Hind, or an Hare instead of a Fox, or give a false estimate thereof, by erring from its Footsteps. Well, cast out your Nets, and take a multitude of Fishes, according to your own Wish or Desire. Place your Threads as is behooful, and dispose of the Birds, which allure others to their place, and by this way of Fowling you will fulfil your desire with profit. That by these, to every Searcher I may briefly propose my Admonition and Advice, I say: My Friend the Hunter, dispose rightly your Nets and Instruments for Hunting as behoveth; and you Mariner, who Night and Day sail through the vast Seas, and are often driven hither and thither by the Winds, give heed to the Point of your Compass, and undoubtedly you will reap profit, and not bring home your Ship, swiftly returning, without great Gain of Merchandize.
But why do I treat of many things, or spend time unprofitably (as tatling Sophisters are wont to do) in beating out the empty Chaff? I am deceived;
[WORDS OF THE AUTHOR ALL OF USE]
I do not unprofitably spend my time; for all the Words in my Writings are of use, and in them are found few empty Letters, which contain not some Utility together with a profitable Instruction, so that the time I spend in Writing will rather be a Recreation, than a Burthen to me. Therefore now, after the manner of Fencers, I will step back one pace, and into the Chymical Laboratory infer a new Doctrine of External Things;
[ANTIMONY IS A PRESENT HELP AGAINST WOUNDS] viz. Show, that Antimony is of such a Nature, as may be prepared so, as to yield present help in Medicine pertinent to External Wounds, which manifoldly offer themselves to us, and are delcare by Chirurgy. therefore I will begin and briefly explain my Processes, viz. how that is to be used in Medicine, and how it may profitably be prepared.
Whosoever thou art, among Junior Students, that desirest to search out the Occult things of Nature, and to bring her hidden Secrets to Light, attend to what I say, that thou mayest be able to distinguish Day from Night, and what is clear from the Obscure.
[ARCANUM OF ANTIMONY]
Take of Hungarian Antimony one part, Common Salt half a part, and six parts of Argilla not burnt, grind all together, and distil vehemently with a continual Fire without Intermission and at length an Oil will come forth: from this abstract its Phlegm by Distillation, that a red dry Powder may remain in the bottom of the Cucurbit. This Powder grind subtily, and resolve it into a Liquor, upon a Marble Stone; and you will have a red shining Balsom for Wounds, which far excels very many other Balsoms.
[ITS USE AND VIRTUES]
Its Use* is principally in Wounds, which have been a long time open, and in the Cure of which the Doctors with their Plaisters, Unguents, Oils and Ligaments could effect nothing: but with very great Disgrace they at length take off the Horse’s Bridle and Saddle, and return him to the Stable, whence they had him.
*A wise General of an Army so disposeth his Soldiers in time of Fighting, that in the beginning of the Battle, the good and strong Soldiers fight, and in the End of the same the best and most strong come to deal with the Enemy; but such as are not powerful enough, for the first and last Encounter, in Arms or strength, are by him placed in the midst, that they may take Example of fighting from the Former, and hope of help and Victory from the Later. The Emperor is imitated by the Orator, in placing his Arguments so, as he may overcome the minds of men. Basilius imitates the Orator, in disposing his Processes so, as he may lead his Disciples to Sapience, and the Fruit of Wisdom. We have already had famous Processes, and in explaining them have used our Endeavour, and contributed some Light. Now follow those, that are in themselves clear enough, and not of so great moment as the former; therefore we shall not insist upon them.
[WHY THE AUTHOR SPEAKS SIMPLY]
My Form of Speaking Savours of Simplicity; for I am a man Religious, to whom the Method of Secular Men is unknown; therefore cannot so clearly detect and describe all Things, as the Matter itself seems to require. Such a man as I, as to the Terms, because he cannot so formally use them, desires to be pardoned in this, and if he neglect anything therein, he craves the candid Acceptation of all men, and in respect of his State offers himself willing and ready to serve all Christians Day and Night, and by his Prayers to GOD, to recompence this their Benevolence.
[BALSOM FOR WOUNDS, ITS USE]
This Oil is salutary in many grievous Accidents, and especially in old wounds, so that few Medicines are found, which must not give place to this. Only that Oil, which is prepared with the Vulgar Sublimate of Apothecaries, is equal unto it in Effects, and is oftentimes by Experience found to be better, especially in the Wolf and Cancer, and in the Noli me tangere. But in ordinary Fistula’s, and the Herpes the superior Oyl effects wonders, which were they not confirmed by Experience, could not be believed, and all which I recite not, lest someone or other should judge me to do it from Ambition, or that thence I hunt after Fame, which was never by me either sought or desired; nor at this time, as I can holily affirm, is it aimed at by me.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY]
Now I will give you the Preparation of another Oil.
Take Mercury mortified (which is sublimed to clearness and Splendor, and sold by Apothecaries) and Antimony, of each equal parts. Grind them together, and distil them by such a Retort, as will retain the Spirits thrice, and afterward rectify this Oil with Spirit of Wine. Then the Operation is absolved, and the Oil becomes red as Blood; but at first it is White, and like Ice or congealed Butter. This Oil effects wonders in many Affects, where Nature gave no hope of Amendment, and it always mostly shows its force, virtue, power, and efficacy, in the perfect Emendation of Evil into Good.
By Addition may be prepared another Oil very profitable in external Wounds.
Take of Antimony one part, Sulphur one part, Sal-Armoniack, or Salt of Urine purified half a part, and Calx-vive two parts. Expel the Oil strongly: whatsoever is sublimted, that grind with the Caput-Mortuum, and thereon again pour the Oil distilled off, and thrice distil it; then the Oil is prepared.
When old Wounds can in no wise be healed, then use this Oil. For it is strong, potent and penetrative: and lays a good Ground (even as Oil of Vitriol doth) for future Sanation.
[BALSOM OF ANTIMONY, AND OTHER INGREDIENTS]
An admirable Balsom of divers Ingredients (among which is Antimony) very useful in old Wounds is thus prepared.
Take of Sulphur, four ounces, set it over a moderate Fire to melt, and put into it half a pound of Mercury, and stir the Mixture so long together, as until both become one Mass.
[CINNABAR, HOW MADE]
This Mass grind to Powder (for it is made as Cinnabar is wont to be prepared) then grind with it four ounces of Antimony, of red Arsenick four ounces, of Crocus Martis two ounces and of Powder of Tiles eight ounces. Put all these into a Glass Cucurbit, and sublime them, as such things are wont to be sublimed;
[RUBIES OF ANTIMONY] and in this Sublimation you will have Rubies in Colour not inferiour to the Oriental, but tehy are not fixed; for they are volatile, and fly from the Fire. Let the Artificer separate these Rubies from the Cinnabar, which ascends in the Sublimation, grind them to Powder and extract them with strong Vinegar. This being done, let him abstract the Vinegar leisurely in B.M. and a Powder will remain; this Powder grind small as before, and having put it into another glass, extract its Tincture with Spirit of Wine, and separate the remaining Feces. This Extraction with Spirit of Wine digest in B.M. well closed for one Month. Then abstract the Spirit of Wine, as you abstracted the Vinegar, and put the remaining Powder into a flat Glass Dish, and set that dish in a Cellar into a Pail full of Water, that it may Swim upon the Water, as a Boat. So doing, the Powder which is in the Glass will in a few days resolve it self into a clear nad perlucid Liquor.
This Liquor is salutary in old open Wounds, and is a vulnerary Balsom in like Accidents, if put into them, and they covered round with a common Stiptick Plaister. In diuturnal open Wounds, it leaves no man destitute of help, although such, as in the Cure of which all otehr Remedies have been tried in vain. Of open Ulcers, which have their Original from within, I speak not here; for they cannot perfectly be healed without internal Remedies,
[ROOTS OF DISEASES MINDED BY FEW] which dry up all Fluxions, and radically extirpate the Disease: although at this time few are found, who bend their thoughts this way, or take any Course to touch the Root itself of those Diseases, of which I now treat.
If Men would in their Minds well consider the Calamities of Life, into which the Fall of our first Parents precipited us, and seriously weigh that Original Sin, and the great troop of Evills thence issuing, viz: of Sadness, Anguish, Diseases and Miseries, they certainly would spend their time better, and employ more labour to search out the health of their neighbours, so strictly commended to them by the Supreme Ruler of Heaven, and by him commanded as their proper Duty.
[SUCH AS SHUN LABOUR DO NOT WHAT THEY OUGHT]
But how many (with grief be it spoken!) shunning labour, consume their time unprofitably, and do not what was to be done by them, but what they formerly have done, and still ahve a lust to do, being afraid to do so much, as will soil their Fingers Ends; as if they did envy the Tradesman, who perhaps gets a small Gain by selling Soap, which they would not willingly buy, to wash their delicate hands. Are not all we miserable Mortals, that live here, Strangers in the Earth, possessing nothing, that we can call ours?
[GOODS OF GOD LENT, ONLY FOR TIME OF LIFE]
Are not all Things we here use, the Goods of our Lord, lent to us, whilst we live and no longer? Therefore we ought so to behave our selves in using them, taht supported with a good Conscience we may be able to stand in that Day, in which an Account is to be given for them; and be not for our Ingratitude cast into Prison, and utter Darkness where shall be weeping and gnashing Teeth. If this were the Meditation, and this the Intention of every Man, he would be like a Monster, if he should think of admitting Sin in himself, or of neglecting his Office; and all Men would, with a certain Emulation strive to pleasure their Neighbours, with the Gifts received from GOD. But these things are remote from the thoughts of the World, and Wordly Men; Money, Money, is the Scope of all their Intentions; this the Potent seek directly or indirectly, and for this the Poor are subservient to them, that they also may participate of the Mamon of Iniquity.
Yet take heed, I advise you to take heed, lest the Bones of that Flesh, sticking in your Throat, suffocate you, or the Back-bones of Fishes pierce your Heart. But what doth Admonition help which the World little esteemes of and derides? Hear, I pray you an History; or learn a Parable.
When I, according to my vow, undertook a Pilgrimage to St. James, to visit that holy Place as a Stranger, I prayed to GOD, and bound myself with a Vow, that if he granted me an happy Return to my Monastery, I would render him due Praise. He granted my Request, and I daily return Thanks to him. But I thought many more would have rejoiced with me, and have given thanks to the same GOD, for the famous Reliques, which at that time I brought with me to our Monastery, (for Consolation of the Poor, and many Others) that it might procure to it self a Name, in this perishing Valley of Tears, that could not be wiped out by any Oblivion. Yet hence few were rendered either better, or more grateful to GOD, for so great a benefit; but persevered in Derision and Contempt of that, which GOD will vindicate in the last Day.
But of these enough at this time, let us proceed in our Instruction of Antimony, whence yet another Medicine may be prepared, which I myself have experience to be very salutary; and effectual in every kind of Feavers, and in the Pestilence.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY PER SE]
Grind Antimony subtily, put it inot a Glass Retort, and distil it with a strong fire, without any Addition, 3 or 4 times, and always with a large Receiving Vessel; at length of it is made a Red Powder, which extract with Vinegar, and circulate the Extraction with a gentle fire for ten whole Days; abstract the Vinegar by Distilling, and that which remains, by a singular* Artifice in distilling will be changed into an Oil. Let this Oil be further Circulated until all Humidity be drawn off therefrom, and it again be reduced to Powder, as it was; when the Vinegar is abstracted and separated by Distillation, then gather the Oil in a new Receiver.
*This Extraction may be rendered volatile with Spirit of Wine, after the same manner, as I taught you in former Operations.
[QUARTAN, QUOTIDIAN, AND TERTIAN FEVERS CURED]
Four Grains of this Oil taken with water of Carduus Benedictus, if the Sick be well covered and Sweated, heal Quotidian, Tertian and Quartan Fevers. The same Dose is very available for expelling the Pest, either given with Spirit of Wine, or with distilled Vinegar, according as the Paroxysm of the Pest first invades, either with Heat, or with Cold.
[HISTORY OF 3 OF THE AUTHORS BRETHREN CURED OF THE PLAGUE]
Which is witnessed by three Brethren in our Monastery, who recovered of the Plague by this Arcanum, when they expected no other but Death, and had made their Wills. This so reconciled their Minds to this my Art, as they helped me, with greater Zeal then before, both by their Prayers and Labour, and spent the leisure time they had exempt from Religious Duties, in serving me daily; and in a short time attained to so great Experience, that by their own Industry, and the Industry of their Brethren, they gained more true Knowledge in searching out the Arcanums of Nature, then they could before obtain in a longer series of time. Therefore, for these Men, I give them thanks, even unto my very old Age, and in very deed I return them thanks, because they deserved so well of me, and of others, by their so faithful Labour; but they finished their Course of this Life before me, and entred the way of all Flesh, wherefore I recommend their Reward to the Supreme Physitian, who dwells in the highest Heavens, and there will refresh them with sufficient Joy, and make up in Heaven that Just Recompence, which here on Earth was denyed them by ignorant, and ungrateful Men.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY PER SE]
Another Oil of Antimony for wounds, is prepared with Addition in the following manner.
[OIL OF SULPHUR PER CAMPAN. HOW MADE]
Take of Antimony, Sulphur, Saltnitre, of each equal parts; Fulminate those under a Bell, as Oil of Sulphur per Campan. is made; which way of preparing hath long since been known to the Ancients. But Consider, you will have a better way, if instead of a Bell, you take an Alembeck*, and apply to it a Recipient; so you will obtain more Oil, which will indeed be of the same Colour, as that which is made of Common Sulphur, but in powers and virtues not a little more excellent, then it.
*I now, O Lover of Chymistry, Speak to you by Pictures, not in words onely that by a Compendium of Speech, you may also have this Compendium of Labour, and Charge. Behold this Instrument, and provide for yourself such an One, that you may follow Basilius, in making Oil of Sulphur per Campan. For this way one ounce will yield you as much Oil, as a Pound will make in the Common Method. From Sixteen ounces of Sulphur you may extract half an Ounce of Oyl, which others, in their way, do scarcely expect from Sixteen Pounds.
We use 3 or 4 Drops of this inwardly taken with Spirit of Wine against the Phthisick of the Lungs; but outwardly, if it first be anointed, and a Stiptick Playster applyed, against all Wounds stinking, and tending to putrefaction, and so you will find it to be the most certain Remedy of all Wounds.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY PER SE]
Again another Oil of Antimony against all corroding Wounds very profitable, is this way made.
Take of Antimony, one pound, Common Salt dried, one-half pound, Tiles broken; five pounds. Grind all together, and put them into a Retort, whence distil a Yellow Oil. When all the Spirits are come forth, put the Matter in another glass. and from it extract the Phlegm, and a powder will remain; which in an humid place spread upon a stone, and you will have an Humid Balsom, which is a singular Remedy in all Verminant Wounds, and in the Cancer, which hath being cheifly in the Face of a Man, and in the Breasts of a Woman. Much more might be written of this Balsom, did I not fear, that every unskillful Man, and the Rabble of Sophisters would fall foul on me, and say I speak too largely, and commit more to writing, then Experience hath taught me; and so that I boast only of Speculations, and mere Imaginations.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY PER SE]
Moreover, another Oil is made in this manner.
Sublime one part of Antimony, with a fourth part of Sal Armoniack, with subtile Fire. The Salt carries up the Sulphur of Antimony, red as Blood. Grind this Sublimate to a fine Powder, and if you took at first one pound of Antimony, grind with it again five ounces of Sal Armoniack, and Sublime as before. The Sublimate dissolve in a moist place. Or otherwise, take the Sublimate, and edulcorate it from the Salt added, gently dry it, and you will have Sulphur, which burns like Common Sulphur, which is sold at the Apothecaries. From this Sulphur extract its Tincture with distilled Vinegar, and when you have abstracted the Vinegar by gentle Heat of B.M. and by a subtile Operation again distilled the remaining Powder, you will have (if in this Operation you erre not) a most Excellent* Oil, grateful, Sweet, and pleasant in its use, without any Corrosiveness or peril.
*This is another Repetition of the Process, by which the Balsom of Antimony is made, as our Author calls it in this Treatise, or the Quintessence of Antimony, of which often above. Yet in the process there is this difference, that here the Sulphur is separated by the Sal Armoniack from the Antimony, and then extracted from the Vinegar; whereas in the other Process, the Sulphur is extracted by the Vinegar, whilst it is yet united with the Antimony. But these are not things of so great a Moment, as to frustrate the Effect of Operations. Therefore this Variety gives the greater Liberty to the Operator, that he may not be Scrupulous is these Things, in which he understands the Reason of what he doth, and of the Method by which he acts.
It heals the Phthisick, remedies the Prickings of the Sides; and if any One labours with difficulty of Breathing, let him take two Grains in the morning, and as many at Night going to Bed. In the Elixir or Spirit of Wine, and he shall be healed, For it dilates the Passages of the Breast, expells all Impurities, and Phlegmes out of the Breast; and to me it hath often produced many unlooked for Effects. But cince in other Preparations of Antimony, I have described such Virtues, as with this are common to them, I Judge it needless to repeat them all, lest in the Sectators of Art I should create tediousness through multiciplity of Words, or alien thoughts by an impertinent Tautology.
In the mean while, the Liquor, which, as I above said, was resolved in an Humid Place, is an external Medicine, and very profitable; for it cleanseth the Impurities of the Skin, and if a little Oil of Tartar be mixed therewith, it heals the Phagedena of the Fingers; and it often anointed therewith, it purifies the Skin and cures Scrophulaes.
[TRUE SULPHUR OF ANTIMONY, OTHERWISE PREPARED]
Also, Sulphur of Antimony is prepared in another Manner.
Grind Antimony to a fine Powder, which boil for two hours or a little longer, in a sharp Lixivium made of the ashes of Beechwood. When boiled, filter the Antimony clear, and pour Vinegar upon the filtered Liquor, and then the Sulphur will settle to the bottom wholly red. Pour off the Phlegm and gently dry the Powder. Distil this Powder with Vinegar of Wine; extract the Tincture, and do as you did with the former Sulphur. To reduce the same into an Oil by Distilling, is worth your while: Although the Oil above mentioned hath greater Virtues, because its Body, by the Sal Armoniack, in the beginning of the Sublimation was better dissolved and opened.
There yet remain many things to be written of Antimony, and especially Three, necessary to be knwon by the Spagyrick Physician and Philosopher, viz. the Preparation of Vinegar, which is made of its Minera; and then the Philosophick Signate Star, which is not to be omitted; and lastly the Lead of Philosophers, of which we shall speak somewhat; touching which Many have imagined Great Things, and though (in their way of Reasoning, and Speculation) to prepare the true and sincere Mercury of Philosophers of it; which indeed cannot be done, since so great Efficacy is not from above insited in Antimony, as that in it can exist that Mercury, or of it be prepared. That Mercury is the first Ens, or first Water of Metals, which is perfect, otherwise the Great Stone of the ancient Wise Men could not be made of it. That first Ens, I say, and the Seeds thereof, are found in another Mineral, in which the Operation (according to the Genius Metals) is Particular, and most profitable Operation; and besides in it you may find whatsoever appertains to internal and external Medicine. For it is the Column of every Shop of Apothecaries, if duely prepared, as I often admonish; nor is anything wanting in it, provided the Artist hath learned well to distinguish the Disposition of Metals and Minerals, and diligently observes both the Preparation and Use of Antimony; because then, and not before, follows a perfect Judgement of it. Therefore I will stand to my Promise and comfort my Disciples, according to their Wish, by satisfying and instructing them, which way the Separation of Good from Evil may be known to them, and giving Information touching the Vinegar of Philosophers, which is made of Antimony.
[VINEGAR OF ANTIMONY]
Melt the Minera of Antimony, and purify it, grind it to a Subtile Powder, this Matter put into a Round Glass, which is called a Phial, having a long Neck, pour upon it distilled Water, that the Vessel may be half full. Then having well closed the Vessel, set it to putrefy in Horse-dung, until the Mineral begins to wax hot, and cast out a Froath to the Superficies: then ‘tis time to take it out; for that is a Sign the Body is opened. This digested Matter put into Cucurbit, which well close, and extract the Water, which will have an acid Taste. When all the Water is come off, intend the Fire, and a Sublimate will ascend; this again grind with the Feces, and again pour on the same Water, and a second time abstract it, then it will be more Sharp. This Operation must be repeated, until the Water be made as Acid, as any other Sharp distilled Vinegar of Wine. But the Sublimate, the oftner the Operation is repeated, the more it is diminished. When you have obtained this Acid Vinegar, take fresh Minera as before and pour this Vinegar on it, so as it may stand above it three Fingers; put it into a Pelican, and digest it two days in Heat, then the Vinegar becomes red, and much more sharp then before. Cant this clean off, and distil it without Addition in B.M. The Vinegar comes off white, and the Redness remains in the bottom, which extract with Spirit of Wine is an excellent Medicine. Again rectify the Vinegar in B.M. that it may be freed from its Phlegm; lastly dissolve in its proper Salt, viz: in four ounces of it, one ounce of the Salt, and force it strongly by Ashes; then the *Vinegar becomes more sharp, and acquires greater Strength, and virtue.
*This Vinegar also is numbered among the chief of those things, which are prepared of Antimony, therefore I thought it worthwhile to illustrate this with some Commentaries. For although it may be made in the way Basilius prescribes, yet there are still some things wanting to render the Work both more easy and more perfect, which I here subjoin; For six pounds of Antimony are required sixteen pounds of Distilled Water, and when (after Digestion) we would distil it, a certain manual Operation must be observed, on which depends the Success of the whole Work almost. For the Alembeck must be so placed, as his Pipe or Beak may be covered with Water, which either must be put into the Recipient, or pass out by distilling into the same; otherwise the Spirit’s of the Antimony will be lost, and more then half part of the same perish, or the Work require much more time for its perfection. I have expressed this by a Figure here placed, that if any by hearing do not sufficiently perceieve this, they may be seeing understand. When the whole Water hath passed over by Alembeck, the Fire (as the Author admonisheth) is to be increased, and three Days, and as many Nights continued without intermission. Then let all cool, and the Sublimate, as he teaches, must again be mixed with the Antimony; this Labour for three Days and Nights must be re-assumed, and afterwards repeated to the third time.
[AUTHOR BALSOM OF LIFE, WHAT.]
Then your Water will be acid, as common Vinegar. If you tinge this Vinegar with new Minera of Antimony, you will have a Tincture, which Basilius names his Balsome of Life, so often described, but never sufficiently commended. O, did Mortals know what Mysteries lie absconded in this Tincture, I question whether they would be desirous to set about any other Preparation of Antimony. All things are in this One. I have spoken, O Lover of Chymistry, do thou act.
[VINEGAR OF ANTIMONY, ITS PROPERTY]
This Vinegar Cools vehemently, not as common Vinegar, but with great Admiration, and certain Experience, especially for assuaging the Gangreane, produced from Gunpowder; also it heals other enraged Wounds and Members, when joined with the Soul of Saturn, wrought up into an Unguent, and applied outwardly. And mixt with Water of Endive, to which Salt prunella is added, it consumes the Squinancy, and extinguisheth its great Heat: besides, it assuageth the Motion of the Blood inflamed. In time of the Pestilence, taken inwardly, the Dose of one Spoonful, several times, and outwardly applied to the Swellings by Linen Clothes moistened therein, extracts the Venom, and most excellently cools: but consider, when you would use it in this manner outwardly, it must be mixed with a third part of Water distilled from Frogspawn.
Many highly esteem the Signate Star of Antimony, and very many have endeavoured to prepare it, sparing no labour to attain the same. Which some have acquired with good success, others have lost all their labour and Cost, Many have assumed an Opinion, that this Star is the true Matter, whence the Stone of Philosophers may be made, induced hereunto, by this thought or Imagination, viz. because Nature herself hath signed it into a Star, therefore they could not choose but esteem of it, and by these Cogitations were led into the Way of Error, But I sincerely denounce, that it is nothing so. For these kind of Searchers erre from the Kings high-way, and kill themselves in clambering up Rocks and Cliffs, in which wild Goats inhabit, and Birds of Prey build their nests. It is not given to this Star to contain in itself so great Potency, or from itself to form so precious a Stone. Yet I affirm, that in it lies absconded a famous Medicine, which may be made of it. The Star is thus made.
[SIGNATE STAR OF PHILOSOPHERS]
Take of Hungarian Antimony 3. parts. of Steel 1 part. melt these together with 4. parts of burnt Tartar, when melted pour out the whole into a cone, when cold take out the Regulus, and separate it from all impurity, and the Scoria. Grind this Regulus to Powder and weigh it, then add thereto thrice so much of burnt Tartar, and pour it out as before. Repeat this labour the third time; then the Regulus purgeth itself, and becomes pure and clear. Note, when you have rightly completed the Fusion, and have used a manual Operation, as is fit (which is of principal concern in this Work) you will obtain a fair Star* bring and shining like Cupellate Silver, no less artificially formed, then if some Painter had with Compasses diligently divided the same.
*Here it is to be noted. In the third fusion of the Regulus, the Fire must be vehemently heightened, that if any Impurity remain with the Regulus, it may by that intense heat be taken away. By this means you will have a Regulus in beauty and Whiteness comparable to Silver, but in Virtue and Price far Superior.
This Star with Sal Armoniack is reduced to red *Sublimate; for the Tincture of Mars ascends. Such a Sublimate may be resolved in a moist place into a Liquor, which discovers wonderful Virtues in Chirurgy.
*This Sublimate, before it is set in a Cellar to be there resolved, should be purged from the Sal Armoniack with distilled Water. They are few Things which I admonish, but by the ignorance of these or those, great Errors are committed, and the Work with all its Costs and Charges perisheth, or at least yeilds not sufficient to pay what the Materials cost.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY MADE OF REGULUS]
This Regulus, or Signate Star, melted often with the Stone Serpent, is brought to such a state, as at length it consumes itself in it, and wholy unites itself with the Serpent.* This being done, the Sectator of Art hath a Matter altogether hot and fiery in which very much of Art is latent. This prepared Matter resolves itself into an Oil; this very Oil ought to be brought over the Helm by Distillation, and then rectified, that it may be pure and clear,
*Of a Snake or Serpent the Nature is such, if you slacken your hold he riseth up, if you gripe him hard he bursts, the same I fear here: Therefore the Author calls that a Serpent, which he mixeth with this Regulus. But it is the Serpent of a Stone, or a Stony-Serpent; because the Salt, as a Snake willing licks a Stone.
This Oil may commodiously and securely be taken inwardly; but with great Prudence and Caution, and not oftner then twice or thrice in a Week, and no more at one time, then three Drops in two ounces of Wine, or other Water distilled from Herbs, according to the Exigency of the Disease. For this Reason, it is the Physicians part to know the Causes of Diseases, together with the Complexion of the Sick, that he may the more securely use his Remedies.
[SOME ARTS WHY SUPPRESSED]
This is a famous Acrimony* containing in itself many Arcanums; but there is no need to reveal all things together and at once to unskillful men. Some Arts are to be suppressed, that some Secrets and Arcanums may remain proper to the Philosopher, who in searching them out hath daily sustained grievous Toil.
*They, who understand of how great Utility it is to extract the Essences from Metals, are not ignorant of the Virtues of this sharp Oil. For this is the only Menstruum for this purpose. How many are they who have spent their whole Life in Chymical Operations, and never could arrive to the knowledge of a true Menstruum? To thee it is here revealed, if Health be your aim, you may safely use it in the Body; if you attempt somewhat more sublime, and have already conceived good hope you shall compound it, this is the principal help of all, for ascending to the Throne of the Chymical Kingdom.
But let him, who resolves to tread in my Footsteps not be weary of Searching; but what I have done, let him do, and what I have so often desired, and what with so earnest Wishes I have sought, let him seek. These Principles, which I have prescribed you, are sufficient for to search out the End by. Many have failed, yea many have been cut off by Death, before they could in their Learning attain to the Principles only; that is, they are deprived of Life, before they could acquire the Magistery of Art. Therefore, I at first set forth a Book of Rudiments, that the Studious follower of Art (who in his first Experiences had need of so much time) might the sooner attain his desired end, and wished Scope, and next unto GOD give me thanks.
[ANOTHER OIL OF ANTIMONY MADE OF REGULUS, ITS EFFECTS]
Moreover, in this Oil a wonderful Effect is latent. For if this Oil be circulated with Crystals for sometime, viz. for three Days and Nights (the Crystals being first Calcined) it from them extracts a Salt: which being done, the Oil may again be distilled off by Retort. Thus you will have a Medicine, which admirably breaks the Stone in the Bladder, and expels it, and there also effects many other Things, by a certain famous virtue in it.
[LEAD OF PHILOSOPHERS]
But that we may also say something of the Lead of Philosophers, let the curious searchers of Nature know, that between Antimony and common Lead, there is a certain near affinity, and they hold a strict friendship each with other. As a Tree casts out of its side it’s superfluous Rosin, which is the Sulphur of that Tree; as the Cherry-tree, and other Trees, which give forth such Gums: there are other kinds of Trees also, which by reason of their abundance of Mercury, produce and cast forth from themselves a certain Excrescency, which neither in Form, nor Virtue is in any wise like to their Fruit; but hath wholy other properties, as in Oaks and Apple-trees is apparent, which produce like bastard Fruits, or Monsters: So the Earth also hath like abortive Fruits, which in Separation from the pure Metals, are severed and cast out.
Now although there is so strict an affinity between Antimony, and Saturn; yet by reason of the too much Sulphur, which Antimony hath in itself, it is cast out from it: because its viscous Body (in it’s Nativity) could not come to perfection; and therefore it was constrained necessarily to consist among Minerals: because it’s abundance of hot Sulphur was the Cause, that hindred it’s Mercury, that through defect of Cold it could neither come to Coagulation, nor into a Malleable Body. Morever, I say, the Lead in Antimony is no other, then its Regulus, which hath not as yet obtained Mallaeableness. And, as above I said, when the Regulus and Steel by Liquefaction are united, and deduced to a Star, there are many, who would thence make the ancient stone of Philosophers; which I before denied to be possible. Yet what Medicines may be prepared of it, you have already briefly heard; therefore touching them, I shall not add a Word more.
[WHY THE REGULUS IS CALLED LEAD]
But the Reason, why the Regulus is called and accounted Lead, is this. When that Regulus is taken, which Antimony gives forth from itself in making glass, and put into a Crucible well closed, which can resist the fire, with the Salt of Saturn (having been first Cemented with the Salt for three hours) and these permitted to melt together, in a Wind Furnace, the *Regulus, when taken out, is found to be rendered soft, and more ponderous, then it was before. For it receives it’s ponderosity from the Spirit of the Salt, which also gave it softness, so that it’s Body now is compact and heavy.
*I not enviously, as many Chymists do, but affectionately deal with Chirurgeons: wishing that they would in their mind, as according to their faculty they may and ought, endeavour to prepare such helps, for their miserably afflicted Patients, and such Compendiums of Sanity, as may be prepared of this Regulus. Would you have me discover to you the Mystery? Hear with pleasure, and use it. This Regulus, by the Salt of Saturn rendered Malleable, must be mixed with equal parts of Mercury condensed by Saturn, and in a vehement fire fluexed, and so well mixed. The Matter comes forth, in it’s external Face like unto Silver, but in its internal Virtues is more noble, and more precious than any Silver. But you Chyrurgeon, studious of your own Art, and by Art covetous of Glory, deduce that into thin plates, and externally apply it to Wounds, and Malignant Fistula’s. So doing, you will be amazed, when you shall see Nature, helped by this Art, to perform more, in a very short time, then you could have hoped for in a longer time, by so many Unguents and Plaisters. The Rusticks (to use the Words of Basilius) will no more deride and upbraid you, saying, they can effect more with a piece of crude and stinking Lard, then you are able to do with the laborious Process of your whole Chirurgick Art.
Therefore I say, there is not much difference between the Stignate Star, and Lead of Antimony; which notwithstanding are every where distinguished as two diverse things. For either of them is made of the Glass of Antimony, and prepared into one and the same Medicine, as is already by me sufficiently declared. Here therefore I break off my Discourse, that I may explain what the stone of fire is, after I shall have declared the Appendix which follows.
O GOD grant thy Grace, and open the Hearts and Ears of Men unwilling to hear, and to them impart thy Blessing, that they may acknowledge Thee in thy Omnipotency, and wonderful Works of Nature, to thy Praise, Honor and Glory, and for the Health, Solace, and Confirmation of the Strength of their Neighbour, and also for Restoring the Sick to their Pristine Health. Amen.
For a Conclusion you are further to know, that Antimony may be applied to many other Uses, then as above expressed, as to Scripture or Printing, for which Printers use it. Also under a certain Constellation and Concourse of the Planets, a Mixture of Metals is made with Antimony, of which Artists form Signatures and Characters endued with singular Virtues. Of the same Mixture also are made Speculums, of many and wonderful Aspects and Properties. Also Bells and other Instruments may be made thereof, of admirable sound. Likewise Images of Men, and many other Things*.
[ANTIMONY ITS WONDERFUL VIRTUES, THE HUNDREDTH PART OF THEM NOT KNOWN]
*The virtues and powers of Antimony which the Author here in this Appendix so lightly toucheth, and passeth over, are so many and so various, as indeed the hundredth part of them is not yet known to Men. Which Ignorance undoubtedly redounds to the Reproach and Ignominy of our kind; because we Men, among so many other Animals, only endued with Reason, and a Faculty of Discoursing, are hurryed with so great impetuousness, to that wicked and abominable Desire of Gain, as scarcely any Man hath leisure to search out the Wonders, which the Author of Nature hath insited in his Creatures. But I am unwilling to repeat this Reprehension so often spoken of by Valentine; I do only call it to mind. This Mineral, in which lies hid so admirable Spirit, that by Exhausting it cannot be exhausted, hath also Virtues, which by no man studying can be sufficiently known. What I have tried, out of the way of Chymistry and Medicine are few; yet Experience hath taught me so much, as I judge Antimony in other things will show itself no less admirable, then in Chymistry and Medicine.
Yet what I think of Characters and Signatures, which the Author saith may be made under a Concourse of certain Constellations, I shall not here discover. It sufficeth me, that I can say, that among all Metals and Minerals, there is not any Substance known, which contains so much of a Celestial Spirit, and hath so great Sympathy with the Stars, as Antimony. Weigh this, with all that I have before said of Antimony, but not negligently, and Hasten to the Stone, which is called the Stone of Fire.
But since these things concern not Medicine, nor appertain to my Order, Rule, and Calling, I rest well satisfied in my Vocation, and commend them to the Handling of Others, who know them better.
OF THE TRIUMPHANT CHARIOT OF ANTIMONY AND What the STONE of FIRE is.
When, at a certain time an abundance of Thoughts (which my internal and fervent Prayer to GOD suggested) had set me loose and wholy free from all terrene Businesses, I purposed in my self to attend to Spiritual Inspirations, of which we have need, for the more accurate scrutiny of Nature. Therefore I resolved to make myself Wings, that I might ascend on high, and inspect the stars* themselves, as Icarus, and his Father Daedalus in times past did, if credit may be given to the Ancient Writings of Poets.
*This Leave is to be given to all, who treat of Sacred Things, viz. to declare those things, which they are willing to discover (not to the unlearned ignorant Deriders, but only to Men, worthy, and to such as sincerely desire, and aspire to the knowledge of the same) in a certain singular and Parabolical kind of Writing. In which our Author is the more to be excused, because when he comes to the greatest of Mysteries, which he intended to explain in this Book, he betakes himself to certain hiding Places of Parables, and with the Heaven of Piety, which is wont to cover all things (yea even the most wicked) he so veils his Secrets, as None but Pious and sincere Disciples of Art can with the acuteness of their sight penetrate these Clouds. Do thou therefore, with a certain intellectual Luxury sport with him, he will not delude thee.
But when I soared to near the Sun, my Feathers with it’s vehement heat were consumed, and burnt, I fell headlong into the depth of the Sea: yet to me, in this my extreme Necessity invoking GOD, help was sent from Heaven, which freed me from all peril and the present Destruction. For an Angel hastened to my assistance, who commanded the Waters they should be still, and instantly, in that deep Abyss appeared a most high Mountain, upon which at length I ascended,
[INFLUENCE OF SUPERIORS ON INFERIORS] that I might thereon examine, whether (as Men had affirmed) there was any Friendship* and Familiarity between Superiors and Inferiors, and whether the Superior Stars have acquired power from GOD, their Creator, to produce any one Thing like themselves in the Earth.
*There hath been no Man, who had darted his sight but as it were through a Lattice, into the Penetrals of Chymistry, who did ever deny this Influence of Superiors upon Inferiors. Therefore let Basilius so holily affirming, and so often openly declaring it to Men, be credited by those, who, the true Light being not yet risen upon them, do by feelign without sight practice Chymistry.
And having searched into Things, I found, that whatsoever the Ancient Masters had so many Ages since committed to Writing, and delivered to their Disciples, who earnestly desired to be the true Imitators of them, was (as I may say) more true than Truth itself. Wherefore, as is fit, I give praise and thanks to my Lord and Heavenly Father, for his incomprehensible Works.
[MINERALS HOW MADE]
In very deed (that I may expound the matter in few Words) I found all Things, which are generated in the Bowels of Mountains, to be infused from the Superior Stars, and take their beginning from them, in the form of an aqueour Cloud, Fume or Vapour, which for a very long time fed and nourished by the Stars, is at length educted to a tangible form by the Elements. Moreover, this Vapor is dried, that the Wateriness may lose its Dominion, and the Fire next, by help of the Air, retain the Ruling Power. Of Water Fire, and of Fire and Air Earth is produce: which notwithstanding are found in all things consisting of Body, before the Separation of them. Therefore this, viz. Water is the first Matter* of all things, which by the Dryness of Fire and Air is formed into Earth.
*This is an Old Song, this is the Sum of Art; from this Imitation of Nature is found the lesser Stone of Fire, from this it is made, whensoever it is prepared, from the Same also the great Philosophick Stone derives its Original.
[WATER OF ANAXAGORAS, WHAT]
This is the water of Anaxagoras, the Fire of Empedocles, and Aristotle’s first Matter, of which all things have been, and to this Day are made. Which is clearly evident in the Nutrition of Man, the Growth of a Tree, and in the Generation of Metals, for that, which constitutes Flesh, Woods, and Metals, is not taken from Food, Rain or Earth, but is infused into them from elsewhere.
[ALIMENT, WHICH NOURISHETH ALL THINGS, WHAT]
That very Thing is the Aliment, which nourisheth all things, but that it may be so variously specificate, it must be separated from that Body, in which it dwells, and by joined to another, which by the Chymical Art is performed.
But now since my Intention is to describe the Stone of Fire, how it is made of Antimony, together with the Process of its Preparation, which not only heals Men, but Metals also particularly; it will be necessary before all Things, to speak somewhat of these following Heads. What properly the Stone of Fire is; what is its Minera; whether a Stone can be made without Matter or no; what is the extreme difference of Stones, and how many Species of them are found, and lastly of their use.
In this my purpose, I pray, O spirit of Heaven illuminate me, that I may give a true and sincere Instruction, viz. according as is fit for me, and the matter itself permits. Indeed I have hopes of Eternal Absolution from this my Supreme confessor, who from Eternity possesseth the Throne of Mercy, and will give Testimony of all things, when the Decretory Sentence shall be pronounced upon all Men, in the Last Judgement, without any appeal.
[TRUE TINCTURE OF ANTIMONY NOT MADE OF CRUDE AND MELTED ANTIMONY]
Therefore first know and consider, that the True Tincture of Antimony, which is the Medicine of Men and Metals, is not made of crude and melted Antimony, as it is sold by Merchants and Apothecaries; but extracted from the Minera, as it is taken out of the Mountains, and before it is formed into Glass. But how that Extraction should be made, is the principal Work in which the whole Art consists: Health and Riches attend him, who rightly attains to that.
[TRUE TINCTURE OF ANTIMONY NAMED THE STONE OF FIRE]
But, my Reader, you must diligently mind this, viz. that the Tincture of Antimony prepared fixed and solid, or the Stone of Fire (as I name it) is a certain pure, penetrative spiritual and fiery Essence, which is reduced into a coagulated Matter, like the Salamander, which in Fire is not consumed, but purified and conserved.
Yet the Stone of Fire tingeth not universally, as the Stone* of Philosophers, which is made of the Essence of Gold itself. To this no such power is given, as that it should perform such things, but it tingeth particularly; viz, Silver into Gold, Tin also and Lead; but Mars and Venus it toucheth not, nor do they yield more, then from them by Separation may be effected.
[THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE STONE OF FIRE AND THE STONE OF PHILOSOPHERS]
As much as Heaven is elevated above the Earth, so much doth the true Stone of the Philosophers differ from this Stone of Fire. I myself do candidly confess, that although I have found this, yet I am very far distant from the other. And this, whatsoever it is, I own to be received from the Wisdom of Basilius. Do you take heed you be not deluded by your own Fantasy, and that others deceive you not.
Moreover, one part of it can tinge no more, then five parts of Metal, so as to persist in the Trial of Saturn and Antimony; whereas, on the contrary, the Great Stone of Philosophers can transmute to infinity. Also in augmentation it cannot be so far exalted; yet the gold is pure and solid.
[EARTH OF ANTIMONY]
The Minera, out of which this Stone or Tincture is made, is no other then (as I above mentioned) the very Earth of Antimony; from which, I say, it is made: but how or with what virtue, force, and power it is endued, you shall hear anon.
[POWDERS FIXED, WHY CALLED STONES]
Let the Reader consider, that there are many kinds of Stones found, which tinge particularly; but all fixed Powders, which tinge, I here signify by the name of Stones; yet one tingeth more highly then another, as especially the Stone of Philosophers, which obtains the principal place;
[TINCTURES, THEIR DIFFERENCE] the next is the Tincture of Sol; and of Luna. For the White: after these, the Tincture of Vitriol or Venus; likewise the Tincture of Mars; either of which hath in it self the Tincture of Sol, when reduced to Fixation. Next to these follow the Tinctures of Jupiter and Saturn for Coagulation of Mercury; and lastly, the Tincture of Mercury itself. This is the difference and multiplicity of Stones and Tinctures, all which notwithstanding are generated from Seed, and from one original Matrix, from which the true Universal Stone proceeds, but out of these no other Metallic Tincture is to be found. But all other Things, by what name soever called, all Stones (whether precious or common) I touch not now, nor have I any Intention to write or speak anything of them at this time; because they contain in themselves no other Virtues, then what appertain to Medicine. Nor shall I here make mention of Animal or Vegetable Stones; because they are only conducent to Medicine; but for Metallic Works unprofitable and void of all Virtue. Yet all the Virtues of all Things, Mineral, Animal, and Vegetable, collected into one, are found in the Stone of the Philosophers.
[SALTS, ENDUED WITH NO TINGING VIRTUE]
Salts are endued with no tinging Virtue, but are only Keys* for the Preparation of Stones; otherwise of themselves they effect nothing.
[SALTS ARE KEYS]
*Salts, as here is rightly said, are Keys; they open the Chest wherein the Treasure lies. But you must be sure to take the true Key; otherwise you may spoil the Lock, and not open the Chest. It is not safe in this Case to take Quid for Quo, as Apothecaries are wont. You must have a Philosophic Key, and proper Salts fit for opening must be taken. Nor condemn this Distinction, which is intimated, between Salts opening, which the Author here calls (as they are) Kleys, and Salts fixing, which enter the Treasure itself; as is sufficiently manifest by the Text.
Yet, as for Metallic Salts (I now speak to the purpose if you rightly understand, what distinction I put between Mineral Salts) they are not to be slightly esteemed, nor to be rejected in Tinctures, since we can in no wise be without them, in their Composition, For in them lyes that most precious Treasure, from which every Fixation derives its Original.
[A STONE, WHETHER MADE WITHOUT MATTER]
Here some may ask, and indeed very properly; whether such a Stone can be made without matter? I answer, No. For every Thing must have its own Matter; but not without Distinction. Animals require their Matter, Vegetables theirs, and Minerals theirs. Only consider and before all things observe this;
[FERMENTATION, NECESSARY, WHY] viz. that no Body can be profitable for any Stone, without Fermentation, which I find in the end of the Work (I mean as to the Preparation of the Great Stone) cannot be omitted, if I would convert Metals with gain; for although in tangible is taken; yet from that formal Body must be extracted a certain Spiritual and Celestial Entity (shall I call it) or Apparency; for I find no other more fit name to give it: which Entity was by the Stars, before infused into that Body, and by the Elements concocted and made perfect. Yet this Spiritual Entity must again by a lesser Fire, and by the Regimen and Direction of the Microcosm, be reduced to a tangible, fixed, Solid and inconsumptible Matter.
But what do I, or what do I speak? I act as if I were deprived of my Reason*, in uttering words so openly. For if I had either Reason or Judgement, I should not discover so great Things with my Tongue, or command my hand to proceed in writing them.
*Art thou well in thy Wits, Basilius, who doest thus prostitute the Arcanum of the Stone, which hath unto this day been so diligently absconded by all Philosophers? Surely, if thou hadst not laboured with I know not what Intemperance of Mind, thou wouldst have closed thy Lips, and not have so clearly opened, what it is to separate the Pure from the Impure, what to render the fixed volatile, and again to fix that; how the Inferior becomes Superior, and that again plunged into the Deep Abyss, from which it had ascended. To discover so many Mysteries, in so few Words, as here thou doest, assuredly if it be not Madness, it is a certain very great benevolence to Posterity. This is that which moved him. Valentine seems to have burned with this Affection, and could not overcome that Inclination of Well-doing to many, by the Obligation (imposed on all Philosophers) of concealing the Secret Mystery of Nature, which by the Author thereof, that is, by Nature naturating with Intellectual Revelation, is communicated only to the Sons of Art worthy and chosen. The Secret of Secrets hath fallen from Basilius, do thou Reader attend, if you find the Pearl, be not like Aesop’s Cock.
All Tinctures of Metals ought to be separated, as that they may be moved with a certain principal Love and Affection to Metals, and have a propensity and desire of uniting themselves with tehm, and of reducing them to a better State. Will you have an Emblem, or Example?
[EXAMPLE OF MAN AND WOMAN]
Behold here it is of Man and Woman. If they two be inflamed with Mutual Love, neither Delay, nor Rest is admitted, until they be united, and their Desire satisfied: after this Union they rest, and are multiplyed, according to the good pleasure of GOD, and the promise of his Blessing.
Man lives obnoxious to many and perillous Diseases, some of which debilitate and consume the powers of Nature so, as the Man can by no Remedies be perfectly restored to Health and his former Strength
[LOVE, A DISEASE]
But Love is a disease, with which no other Disease may be compared, which is not healed unless by Production of its own like, which either Sex desireth, and that Desire is not satisfied, unless by fulfilling his will of the enkindled affection. How many Testimonies of this violence, which is in Love, are daily found? for it not only inflames the Younger Sort, but it so exagitates some Persons far gone in years, as through the burning Heat thereof, they are almost mad. Natural Diseases are for the most part governed by the Complexion of Man, and therefore invade some more fiercely, others more gently; but Love, without distinction of poor or rich, young or old, seizeth All, and having seized so blinds them, as forgetting all Rules of Reason, they neither see or fear any Snare. Peculiar Members are infected with the Singular Symptoms of other Diseases, all the other parts remaining sound and free from that Dolour. Whom Love infects, it invades all over, penetrates the Body and its whole Substance, Form, and Essence, and leaving nothing unoffended. For taking place in the Heart there it kindles a Fire, the burning heat of which is diffused through the Veins, Arteries, and all the Members of the body, and in a word I say, where Love once hath fixed its Root, the man is so deprived of all sense, reason and understanding, as he forgets all things, seriously minds nothing; he is unmindful of GOD and his Law, his promises and threats he little regards; the torments of Hell and rewards of Eternal Life he condemns. I speak of inordinate and unlawful Love, to which, if a man be once addicted, he adheres so pertinaciously, as nothing can reclaim, nothing can restrain him; he forgets his Duty, Calling and Condition; derides all admonition, despiseth the Counsels of Parents, Superiors, and others who wish him well; briefly I say, he is so blind with Love as he cannot see his own Misery; so deaf, as he cannot hear those, who by their faithful advice, endeavour to turn and avert from him, the damage and evil, which would befall him. Love leaves nothing entire, or sound in the Man; it impedes his Sleep, he cannot rest either Night or Day; it takes off his Appetite, that he hath no disposition either to Meat or Drink, by reason of the continual Toerments of his Heart and Mind. It deprives him of all Privdence; hence he neglects his Affairs, Vocation, and Business; he minds neither Labour, Study nor Prayer; casts away all thoughts of any Thing but the Body beloved; this is his study, this his most vain Occupation. If to Lovers the Success be not answerable to their Wish, or so soon and prosperously as they desire, how many Melancholies hence arise, with griefs and sadnesses, with which tehy pine away and wax so lean, as they have scarcely any flesh cleaving to the Bones; yea, at length tehy loose the Life itself, as may by many Examples!
[LOVES SAD EFFECTS]
For such Men (which is an horrible thing to think of) slight and neglect all perils and detriments, both of the Body and Life, and of the Soul and Eternal Salvation.
But of these enough; for it becomes not a Religious Man to insist too long upon these Cogitations, or to give place to such a flame in his heart. Hitherto (without Boasting I speak it) I have throughout the whole course of my Life kept myself safe and free from it, and I pray and invoke GOD to vouchsafe me his Grace, that I may keep holy and inviolate the Faith, which I have Sworn, and live contented with my Spiritual Spouse, the Holy Catholic Church.
[TINcTURE OF ANTIMONY OUGHT TO HAVE LOVE TO METALS]
For no other reason have I alleged these, then that I might express the Love, with which all Tinctures ought to be moved toward Metals, if ever they be admitted by them into true Friendship, and by Love, which penetrates the inmost parts, be converted into a better State.
Now let us proceed to the Preparation of the Stone, and leave its use to the Close of this Discourse. This Stone is of a penetrable and fiery Nature, is cocted and brought to Maturity by fire, no otherwise, then all other Things, which are found in this Orb; which notwithstanding as they are of a diverse Nature, so they in diverse manners obtain that, according as the Nature of Things supplies with Disverse Fires.
The first Fire is Celestial, by GOD kindled in our Hearts, by which being inflamed we are moved with Love and a certain confidence in and of GOD our creator, of the Most Holy and incomprehensible Trinity, and of the Mercy, Grave of our Saviour JESUS CHRIST; which Confidence kindled is Us by Love, never fails, never deserts us in our Necessities, but will most certainly deliver our Souls from everlasting destruction. The second Fire is Elemental, produced by the Sun, and tends to the Ripening of all things in the Macrocosm. The third Fire is corporal, with which all Foods and Medicines are cocted and prepared, without which Men can neither obtain Health of Body, nor sustentation of Life. Of a fourth Fire mention is made in the Sacred Scriptures, viz. that, which before the Supreme Judgement of GOD shall consume this visible World: but what Fire is, and how it shall operate, that (if we be wise) we must leave to be judged of by his own Supreme Majesty. A fifth Fire is also spoken of in Holy-Writ, viz. Eternal Fire, in which never to have end, the Divels shall never be set at liberty from their Infernal Prison, and wicked Men, their Companions, adjudged to those Eternal Fires, shall be vexed, punished and miserably tormented forever: from which I pray the Omnipotent and merciful Lord to preserve us. Here I would admonish all and every Creature endued with Reason, by their Prayers to beg that Grace and Mercy from the Omnipotent, that they may so conform their Life to the Divine Precepts, and their own Duty, as that they may escape this Fire, and its Eternal Torments.
Our stone of Fire (which is to be noted) must be cocted ripened with Corporal Fire in the Microcosm, as all other Medicines and foods are prepared by the same. For where the great Fire of the Macrocosm ceaseth from it’s Operation, there the Microcosm begins to produce a new Generation; therefore this Concoction should seem strange to no Man.
[EXAMPLE OF CORN]
Corn is augmented and ripened by the Elementary Fire of the Macrocosm; but by the Corporal Fire of the Microcosm a new Coction and maturation is effected, that man may use and enjoy that Divine Gift for his sustentation, and by the same perfect the Last and the Least, which is produced of the first and the Greatest.
The true Oil of Antimony, of which the said stone of Fire is made, is above measure sweet, and from it’s earth is in such wise purged and separated, as if a Glass full of it be exposed to the Sun, its casts forth various and wonderful Rays (as if many fiery Speculums were there present) resembling a Ruby and other Colours. Now attent O lover of Art and Truth, and hear what I shall teach.
Take in the Name of the Lord, of the Minera of Antimony, which grew after the Rising of the Sun, and Salt Nitre, of each equal Parts; grind them subtily and mix them; burn them together with a moderate Fire very artificially and warily; for in this the principal Part of the Work consists. Then you will have a matter inclining to Blackness. Of this matter make Glass, grind that Glass to a subtile Powder, and extract from it an high red Tincture with sharp distilled Vinegar, which is made of it’s proper Minera. Abstract the Vinegar in B.M. and a Powder* will remain, which again extract with Spirit of Wine highly rectified, then some feces will be put down, and you will have a fair, red, sweet Extraction, which is of great Use in Medicine. This is the pure Sulphur of Antimony, which must be separated as exactly as is possible.
*Take heed, take heed, O Lover of Chymistry, lest by this Fire, you burn the Wings of your Bird, which hath now raised itself to the top of Mountains. Few words are sufficient to the Intelligent, there is no need to inculcate the same things often, our careful Father Basilius doth that often enough.
If of this Extraction you have one pound two ounces take of the Salt of Antimony, as I taught you to prepare it, four ounces and on them pour the Extraction, and circulate them, for a whole Month at least, in a Vessel well closed, and the Salt will unite itself with the Extracted Sulphur. If Feces be put down, separate them, and again abstract the Spirit of Wine by B.M. The Powder which remains urge with vehement Fire, and not without admiration will come forth a varicoloured sweet Oil, grateful, pellucid and red. Rectify this Oil again in B.M. So that a fourth part of it may be distilled, and then it is prepared.
This Operation being completed, take living *Mercury of Antimony, which I taught you how you should make, and pour
*This word, our Mercury, which hath so often rendred Thee ambiguous, is also here to be understood: for if you take not the true Mercury of Philosophers, you do nothing. Whosoever he be, that shall candidly tell you this, he will be to you Pylades, and you to him Orestes, and nothing will be more pleasant to me in Life, then to join myself to you, as a third Sociate in Friendship.
upon it red Oil of Vitriol made upon Iron, and highly rectified. By Distillation in Sand remove the Phlegm from the Mercury; then you will have a precious Precipitate, in Colour such, as never was any more grateful to the Sight; and in Chronical Diseases and open Wounds, it may profitably be used for recovering the Pristine Sanity. For it vehemently dries up all Symptomatical Humors, whence Martial-Diseases proceed; in which the Spirit of the Oil, which remains with the Mercury, and conjoins and unites itself thereto, powerfully helps.
Take this precipitate, and of the Superior Sweet Oil of Antimony, equal parts, pour these together into a Phial, which well closed set in convenient heat, and the Precipitate will in time resolve and fix itself in the Oil. Also the Phlegm by the Fire will be consumed, and what remains become a Red, dry, fixed and fluid* Powder which will not in the least give forth from itself any Fume.
*Far hence, far hence ye Prophane, and you that are initiated in the Sacred Mysteries of Chymistry keep silence. Let the King enter into his Bed-Chamber, that he may consummate his Marriage.
O tua te quantis attollet Gloria rebus,
Yet make not too much hast to enter, or disturb this Matrimonial Conjunction, let them for many Months delight themselves with their mutual Embraces, and not go forth, until from their mutual Love they be changed into an Hermaphroditic Body, and have produced that Son desired by all, if not a King of Kings, yet at least a Regulus or Ruler, which delivers his Subjects from Diseases and Necessity.
Now my Follower, and Disciple of Arcanums, I will speak after a Prophetic manner. When you have brought your Philosophic Studies (in the Method by me prescribed) to this end, you have the Medicine of Men and Metals; which is grateful and Sweet in use, without all peril, it is penetrative, yet causeth not Stools, it induceth Emendation, and expells Evil. Use it as is fit, and it will yield you many Commodities, both for health and temporal necessity; by which means you will be freed from want in this World; which is a thing of so great Moment, as no Sacrifice of Gratitude can be found sufficient to answer this favour of GOD showed to you.
Here, O my GOD, I as a Religious Man am troubled in Mind; and know not whether I do well or ill, whether in * speaking I have exceeded or not reached the due Bounds; whilst I propose, and show to everyone, as it were, his proper House. Do thou, that art a young Follower of Art, inquire, search and try, as I have done; if you attain your End, give greatest thanks to GOD, and after him to me your Master. But if you turn aside into devious and by-paths, blame yourself, not me; for I am not guilty of your Error.
*Our Author judgeth himself to have spoken too much, if you also think the same, you will rejoice in his Sadness. Yet it is strange, that no Man can contribute a little Light to this Philosophy, but he presently repents.
Now I have said enough, and writ enough, and taught so clearly and openly, and plainly, as more manifestly or clearly cannot be done by Writing, unless some lost and rash Man, knowing and willingly would cast himself into Hell, to be there Submerged and Perish: Because, by the Creator of all Things we are most severely prohibited further to unlock these Mysteries, or to eat of the Tree which was planted in the midst of Paradise. Therefore here I will desist, until Others show, what is here to be done by Me, and what they judge is to be omitted, and say no more of this, but pass to its Use.
[ITS USE, DOSE, ETC]
Therefore know, that the Use consists in Observation of the Person and his Complexion, with relation to what appertains to Humane Health, that Nature be not overpowered with too great a Quantity, or not helped by too small. Yet too much is not so Religiously to be feared; for it will not readily hurt; because it helps to recover the pristine Sanity, and fights against Venom, if any be in the Body. This I only add, three or four grains of it, given in one only Dose, are sufficient for expelling every Evil, if taken in Spirit of Wine. For this Stone or Tincture passeth through all the Members of the body, and contains in itself the Virtues of many Arcanums. It remedies the Giddiness of the Head, and all Diseases, which have their Original from the Lungs. It cures difficulty of Breathing, and the Cough; the Leprosy and French Disease are amended by it, in a wonderful manner. The Pest, Jaundices, Dropsies and all kinds of Fevers, are often cured by it, Likewise it expels Venom taken. It profits those, who have drunk a Philtrum or Love-potion: it confirms all the Members, Brain, Head, and all things depending thereon. It helps the Stomach and Liver; heals all Diseases, which proceed from the Reins; cleanseth the impurity of the Blood. Also this Tincture of Antimony, breaks the Stone of the Bladder to Powder; and expells it; it provokes Urine, when stopped by Flatus’s. It restores the vital Spirits, cures Suffocation of the Matrix, makes the Menstrues flow if stopped and stays them if inordinate. It causeth Fruitfulness, and makes the Seed sound, and available for Generation, both in Women and in Men. Lastly, this Stone of Fire inwardly taken (convenient Plaisters being also outwardly applied) heals the Cancer, Fistula’s, Rotteness in the Bones, and all corroding Ulcers, and whatsoever takes beginning from the Impurity of the Blood, also the Disease itself called Noli me tangere. And that I may comprehend all in few Words, this Stone, like a Particular Tincture, is a * Remedy against all Symptoms, which can happen to the Humane Body. All which Experience will very clearly demonstrate to you, and open the way further to you, if you be a Physician, called by GOD to that Office.
*Here the Medicinal Virtues are spoken of at large. For Basilius supposeth Thee not to be defiled with the Filths of Avarice, but splendid in the Light of Charity, and burning with a Desire of helping thy Neighbour, following him discovering thse Secrets. Now farewell, O Lover of Chymistry, and if thou, hast gained any Light, either from the Interpretation of Basilius, or my Commentaries, enjoy it, and communicate the same to the Sons of Art, that Philosophy oppressed for so many Years with the intollerable Yoak of Avarice, may at length be revived, and a return be of those times of Egyptians, in which Trismegistus and so many wise Magi, Philosophized not with empty denominations, but with wonderful Works.
In these, I think I have done my part, and writ more then sufficiently of Antimony. If any One follows me, he may add his own Experiences to these, that (with the singular favour of GOD) before the consummation of the World, the Mysteries of the most High may be revealed, to his Glory and honour, and the Conservation of health. Having finished this Discourse, I intend for a time to be silent and return to my Monastery, there to learn Philosophy further, that I may be able to comment of other Thigns and as I have already promised, I shall (GOD willing) write of Vitriol, common Sulphur, and the Loadstone, and open their Principle, Powers, Operations, and Virtues.
Let GOD the Lord of Heaven and Earth grant to us temporal Health here, and hereafter Eternal Salvation for the Refreshment of our Souls, in the Seas of Joy and Gladness, never to be limited within any Bounds of time. Amen.
Thus I conclude this Treatise of Antimony, and all whatsoever I have written of the Red Oil of Antimony, which is made of its Sulphur highly purified, and of the Spirit, which is prepared of its Salt. Incline your Mind to those, and with them compare these last, which I have prescribed you touching the Stone of Fire. If you acutely consider them, you may easily find their Union unto the End, by this Comparation. For the Foundation is the same, the Reason the same, the Friendship the same, by which Health is required, and the Stag long sought taken with a pleasant Hunting.