---- ALCHEMY ----
texts related to Alchemy
in the Miskatonic University Library
The Turba Philosophorum.

The Epistle of Arisleus, 

prefixed to the Words of the Sages, 

concerning the Purport of this Book, 

for the Benefit of Posterity, 

and the same being as here follows:-

[part 2 including dictums 21 - 40]

BY C-.

Copyright © 2002 Miskatonic University Press/ yankeeclass.com, all rights reserved


The Twenty-first Dictum.

Pandolfus saith:- O Belus, thou hast said so much concerning the despised stone that thou hast left nothing to be added by thy brethren! Howsoever, I teach posterity that this despised stone is a permanent water, and know, all ye seekers after Wisdom, that permanent water is water of mundane life, because, verily, Philosophers have stated that Nature rejoices in Nature, Nature contains Nature, and Nature overcomes Nature. The Philosophers have constituted this short dictum the principle of the work for reasonable persons. And know ye that no body is more precious or purer than the Sun, and that no tingeing venom: is generated without the Sun and its shadow. He, therefore, who attempts to make the venom of the Philosophers without these, already errs, and has fallen into that pit wherein his sadness remains. But he who has tinged the venom of the wise out of the Sun and its shadow has arrived at the highest Arcanum. Know also that our coin when it becomes red, is called gold; he, therefore, who knows the hidden Cambar of the Philosophers, to him is the Arcanum already revealed.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast even now intelligibly described this stone, yet thou hast not narrated its regimen nor its composition. Return, therefore, to the description.

He saith:- I direct you to take an occult and honourable arcanum, which is White Magnesia, and the same is mixed and pounded with wine, but take care not to make use of this except it be pure and clean; finally place it in its vessel, and pray God that He may grant you the sight of this very great stone. Then cook gradually, and, extracting, see if it has become a black stone, in which case ye have ruled excellently well. But rule it thus for the white, which is a great arcanum, until it becomes Kuhul, closed up with blackness, which blackness see that it does not remain longer than forty days. Pound the same, therefore, with its confections, which are the said flower of copper, gold of the Indies whose root is one, and a certain extract of an unguent, that is, of a crocus, that is, fixed exalted alum; cook the four, therefore, permanently for 40 or 42 days. After these days God will show you the principle(or beginning) of this stone, which is the stone Atitos, of which favoured sight of God there are many accounts. Cook strongly, and imbue with the gum that remains. And know ye that so often as ye imbue the cinder, so often must it be desiccated and again humectated, until its colour turns into that which ye desire. Now, therefore, will I complete that which I have begun, if God will look kindly on us. Know also that the perfection of the work of this precious stone is to rule it with the residue of the third part of the medicine, and to preserve the two other parts for imbuing and cooking alternately till the required colour appears. Let the fire be more intense than the former; let the matter be cerated, and when it is desiccated it coheres. Cook, therefore, the wax until it imbibes the gluten of gold, which being desiccated, imbue the rest of the work seven times until the other two thirds be finished, and true earth imbibe them all. Finally, place the same on a hot fire until the earth extract its flower and be satisfactory. Blessed are ye if ye understand! But, if not, I will repeat to you the perfection of the work. Take the clean white, which is a most great arcanum, wherein is the true tincture; imbue sand therewith, which sand is made out of the stone seven times imbued, until it drink up the whole, and close the mouth of the vessel effectually, as you have often been told. For that which ye seek of it by the favour of God, will appear to you, which is the stone of Tyrian colour. Now, therefore, I have fulfilled the truth, so do I conjure you by God and your sure Master, that you show not this great arcanum, and beware of the wicked!

The Twenty-Second Dictum. 

Theophilus saith: Thou hast spoken intelligently and elegantly, and art held free from envy.

Saith the Turba:- Let your discretion, therefore, explain to us what the instructing Pandolfus has stated, and be not envious.

Then he:- O all ye seekers after this science, the arcanum of gold and the art of the coin is a dark vestment, and no one knows what the Philosophers have narrated in their books without frequent reading, experiments, and questionings of the Wise. For that which they have concealed is more sublime and obscure than it is possible to make known in words, and albeit some have dealt with it intelligibly and well, certain others have treated it obscurely; thus some are more lucid than others.

The Turba answereth: Thou hast truly spoken.

And he:- I announce to posterity that between boritis and copper there is an affinity, because the boritis of the Wise liquefies; the copper, and it changes as a fluxible water. Divide, therefore, the venom into two equal parts, with one of which liquefy the copper, but preserve the other to Pound and imbue the same, until it is drawn out into plates; cook again with the former part of the venom, cook two to seven in two; cook to seven in its own water for 42 days; finally, open the vessel, and ye shall find copper turned into quicksilver; wash the same by cooking until it be deprived of its blackness, and become as copper without a shadow. Lastly, cook it continuously until it be congealed. For when it is congealed it becomes a very great arcanum. Accordingly, the Philosophers have called this stone Boritis; cook, therefore, that coagulated stone until it becomes a matter like mucra. Then imbue it with the Permanent water which I directed you to reserve, that is to say, with the other portion, and cook it many times until its colours manifest. This, therefore, is the very great putrefaction which extracts (or contains in itself) the very great arcanum.

Saith the Turba:- Return to thine exposition, O Theophilus!

And he:- It is to be known that the same affinity which exists between the magnet and iron, also exists assuredly between copper and permanent water. If, therefore, ye rule copper and permanent water as I have directed, there will thence result the very great arcanum in the following fashion. Take white Magnesia and quicksilver, mix with the male, and pound strongly by cooking, not with the hands, until the water become thin. But dividing this water into two parts, in the one part of the water cook it for eleven, otherwise, forty days, until there be a white flower, as the flower of salt in its splendour and coruscation: but strongly close the mouth of the vessel, and cook for forty days, when ye will find it water whiter than milk; deprive it of all blackness by cooking; continue the cooking until its whole nature be disintegrated, until the defilement perish, until it be found clean, and is wholly broken up (or becomes wholly clean). But if ye wish that the whole arcanum, which I have given you, be accomplished, wash the same with water, that is to say, the other part which I counselled you to preserve, until there appear a crocus, and leave in its own vessel. For the Iksir pounds (or contains) itself; imbue also with the residue of the water, until by decoction and by water it be pounded and become like a syrup of pomegranates; imbue it, therefore, and cook, until the weight of the humidity shall fail, and the colour which the Philosophers have magnified shall truly

The Twenty-third Dictum.

Cerus saith:- Understand, all ye Sons of the Doctrine, that which Theophilus hath told you, namely, that there exists an affinity between the magnet and the iron, by the alliance of composite existing between the magnet and the iron, while the copper is fitly ruled for one hundred days: what statement can be more useful to you than that there is no affinity between tin and quicksilver!

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast ill spoken, having disparaged the true disposition.

And he:- I testify that I say nothing but what is true why are you incensed against me Fear the Lord, all ye Turba, that you Master may believe you! 

The Turba answereth:- Say what you will.

And he:- I direct you to take quicksilver, in which is the male potency or strength; cook the same with its body until it becomes a fluxible water; cook the masculine together with the vapour, until each shall be coagulated and become a stone. Then take the water which you had divided into two parts, of which one is for liquefying and cooking the body, but the second is for cleansing that which is already burnt, and its companion, which [two] are made one. Imbue the stone seven times, and cleanse, until it be disintegrated, and its body be purged from all defilement, and become earth. Know also that in the time of forty-two days the whole is changed into earth; by cooking, therefore, liquefy the same until it become as true water, which is quicksilver. Then wash with water of nitre until it become as a liquefied coin.  Then cook until it be congealed and become like to tin, when it is a most great arcanum; that is to say, the stone which is out of two things. Rule the same by cooking and pounding, until it becomes a most excellent crocus. Know also that unto water desiccated with its companion we have given the name of crocus. Cook it, therefore, and imbue with the residual water reserved by you until you attain your purpose.

The Twenty-fourth Dictum. 

Bocascus saith:- Thou hast spoken well, O Belus, and therefore I follow thy steps!

He answereth:- As it may please you, but do not become envious, for that is not the part of the Wise.

And Bocascus:- Thou speakest the truth, and thus, therefore, I direct the Sons of the Doctrine. Take lead, and, as the Philosophers have ordained, imbue, liquefy, and afterwards congeal, until a stone is produced; then rule the stone with gluten of gold and syrup of  pomegranates until it be broken up. But you have already divided the water into two parts, with one of which you have liquefied the lead, and it has become as water; cook, therefore, the same until it be dried and have become earth; then pound with the water reserved until it acquire a red colour, as you have been frequently ordered.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast done nothing but pile up ambiguous words. Return, therefore, to the subject.

And he:- Ye who wish to coagulate quicksilver, must mix it with its equal. Afterwards cook it diligently until both become permanent water, and, again, cook this water until it be coagulated. But let this be desiccated with its own equal vapour, because ye have found the whole quicksilver to be coagulated by itself. If ye understand, and place in your vessel what is necessary, cook it until it be coagulated, and then pound until it becomes a crocus like to the colour of gold. 

The Twenty-fifth Dictum.

Menabdus saith:- May God reward thee for the regimen, since thou speakest the truth! For thou hast illuminated thy words. 

And they:- It is said because thou praisest him for his sayings, do not be inferior to him.

And he:- I know that I can utter nothing but that which he hath uttered; however, I counsel posterity to make bodies not bodies, but these incorporeal things bodies.  For by this regimen the composite is prepared, and the hidden part of its nature is extracted. With these bodies accordingly join quicksilver and the body of Magnesia, the woman also with the man, and by means of this there is extracted our secret Ethelia, through which bodies are coloured; assuredly, if I understand this regimen, bodies become not bodies, and incorporeal things become bodies. If ye diligently pound the things in the fire and digest (or join to) the Ethelias, they become clean and fixed things. And know ye that quicksilver is a fire burning the bodies, mortifying and breaking up, with one regimen, and the more it is mixed and pounded with the body, the more the body is disintegrated, while the quicksilver is attenuated and becomes living. For when ye shall diligently pound fiery quicksilver and cook it as required, ye will possess Ethel, a fixed nature and colour, subject to every tincture, which also overcomes, breaks, and constrains the fire. For this reason it does not colour things unless it be coloured, and being coloured it colours. And know that no body can tinge itself unless its spirit be extracted from the secret belly thereof, when it becomes a body and soul without the spirit, which is a spiritual tincture, out of which colours have manifested, seeing that a dense thing does not tinge a tenuous, but a tenuous nature colours that which enters into a body. When, however, ye have ruled the body of copper, and have extracted from it a most tenuous (subject), then the latter is changed into a tincture by which it is coloured. Hence has the wise man said, that copper does not tinge unless first it be tinged. And know that those four bodies which you are directed to rule are this copper, and that the tinctures which I have signified unto you are the condensed and the humid, but the condensed is a conjoined vapour, and the humid is the water of sulphur, for sulphurs are contained by sulphurs, and rightly by these things Nature rejoices in Nature, and overcomes, and constrains.

The Twenty-Sixth Dictum.

Zenon saith:- I perceive that you, O crowd of the Wise, have conjoined two bodies, which your Master by no means ordered you to do!

The Turba answereth:- Inform us according to your own opinion, O Zenon, in this matter, and beware of envy! Then he:- Know that the colours which shall appear to you out of it are these. Know, O Sons of the Doctrine, that it behoves you to allow the composition to putrefy for forty days, and then to sublimate five times in a vessel. Next join to a fire of dung, and cook, when these colours shall appear to you: On the first day black citrine, on the second black red, on the third like unto a dry crocus, finally, the purple colour will appear to you; the ferment and the coin of the vulgar shall be imposed; then is the Ixir composed out of the humid and the dry, and then it tinges with an invariable tincture. Know also that it is called a body wherein there is gold. But when ye are composing the Ixir, beware lest you extract the same hastily, for it lingers. Extract, therefore, the same as an Ixir. For this venom is, as it were, birth and life, because it is a soul extracted out of many things, and imposed upon coins: its tincture, therefore, is life to those things with which it is joined, from which it removes evil, but it is death to the bodies from which it is extracted. Accordingly, the Masters have said that between them there exists the same desire as between male and female, and if any one, being introduced to this Art, should know these natures, he would sustain the tediousness of cooking until he gained his purpose according to the will of God.

The Twenty-Seventh Dictum.

Gregorius saith:- O all ye Turba, it is to be observed that the envious have called the venerable stone Efflucidinus, and they have ordered it to be ruled until it coruscates like marble in its splendour.

And they:- Show, therefore, what it is to posterity.

Then he:- Willingly; you must know that the copper is commingled with vinegar, and ruled until it becomes water. Finally, let it be congealed, and it remains a coruscating stone with a brilliancy like marble, which, when ye see thus, I direct you to rule until it becomes red, because when it is cooked till it is disintegrated and becomes earth, it is turned into a red colour. When ye see it thus, repeatedly cook and imbue it until it assume the aforesaid colour, and it shall become hidden gold. Then repeat the process, when it will become gold of a Tyrian colour. It behoves you, therefore, O all ye investigators of this Art, when ye have observed that this Stone is coruscating, to pound and turn it into earth, until it acquires some degree of redness; then take the remainder of the water which the envious ordered you to divide into two parts, and ye shall imbibe them several times until the colours which are hidden by no body appear unto you. Know also that if ye rule it ignorantly, ye shall see nothing of those colours. I knew a certain person who commenced this work, and operated the natures of truth, who, when the redness was somewhat slow in appearing, imagined that he had made a mistake, and so relinquished the work. Observe, therefore, how ye make the conjunction, for the punic dye, having embraced his spouse, passes swiftly into her body, liquefies, congeals, breaks up, and disintegrates the same. Finally, the redness does not delay in coming, and if ye effect it without the weight, death will take place, whereupon it will be thought to be bad. Hence, I order that the fire should be gentle in liquefaction, but when it is turned to earth make the same intense, and imbue it until God shall extract the colours for us and they appear.

The Twenty-Eighth Dictum.

Custos saith:- I am surprised, O all ye Turba! at the very great force and nature of this water, for when it has entered into the said body, it turns it first into earth, and next into powder, to test the perfection of which take in the hand, and if ye find it impalpable as water, it is then most excellent; otherwise, repeat the cooking until it is brought to the required condition. And know that if ye use any substance other than our copper, and rule with our water, it will profit you nothing. If, on the other hand, ye rule our copper with our water, ye shall find all that has been promised by us.

But the Turba answereth:- Father, the envious created no little obscurity when they commanded us to take lead and white quicksilver, and to rule the same with dew and the sun till it becomes a coin-like stone.

Then he:- They meant our copper and our permanent water, when they thus directed you to cook in a gentle fire, and affirmed that there should be produced the said coin-like stone, concerning which the Wise have also observed, that Nature rejoices in Nature, by reason of the affinity which they know to exist between the two bodies, that is to say, copper and permanent water. Therefore, the nature of these two is one, for between them there is a mixed affinity, without which they would not so swiftly unite, and be held together so that they may become one.

Saith the Turba:- Why do the envious direct us to take the copper which we have now made, and roasted until it has become gold!

The Twenty-Ninth Dictum.

Diamedes saith:- Thou hast spoken already, O Moses [Custos], in an ungrudging manner, as became thee; I will also confirm thy words, passing over the hardness of the elements which the wise desire to remove, this disposition being most precious in their eyes. Know, O ye seekers after this doctrine, that man does not proceed except from a man; that only which is like unto themselves is begotten from brute animals; and so also with flying creatures.

I have treated these matters in compendious fashion, exalting you towards the truth, who yourselves omit prolixity, for Nature is truly not improved by Nature, save with her own nature, seeing that thou thyself art not improved except in thy son, that is to say, man in man. See, therefore, that ye do not neglect the precepts concerning her, but make use of venerable Nature, for out of her Art cometh, and out of no other. Know also that unless you seize hold of this Nature and rule it, ye will obtain nothing. Join, therefore, that male, who is son to the red slave, in marriage with his fragrant wife, which having been done, Art is produced between them; add no foreign matter unto these things, neither powder nor anything else; that conception is sufficient for us, for it is near, yet the son is nearer still. How exceeding precious is the nature of that red slave, without which the regimen cannot endure!

Bacsen saith:- O Diomedes, thou hast publicly revealed this disposition!

He answereth:- I will even shed more light upon it. Woe unto you who fear not God, for He may deprive you of this art! Why, therefore, are you envious towards your brethren?

They answer:- We do not flee except from fools; tell us, therefore, what is thy will?

And he:- Place Citrine with his wife after the conjunction into the bath; do not kindle the bath excessively, lest they be deprived of sense and motion; cause them to remain in the bath until their body, and the colour thereof, shall become a certain unity, whereupon restore unto it the sweat thereof; again suffer it to die; then give it rest, and beware lest ye evaporate them by burning them in too strong a fire. Venerate the king and his wife, and do not burn them, since you know not when you may have need of these things, which improve the king and his wife. Cook them, therefore, until they become black, then white, afterwards red, and finally until a tingeing venom is produced. O seekers after this Science, happy are ye, if ye understand, but if not, I have still performed my duty, and that briefly, so that if ye, remain ignorant, it is God who hath concealed the truth from you! Blame not, therefore, the Wise, but yourselves, for if God knew that ye possessed a faithful mind, most certainly he would reveal unto you the truth. Behold, I have established you therein, and have extricated you from error!

The Thirtieth Dictum.

Bacsen saith:- Thou hast spoken well, O Diomedes, but I do not see that thou hast demonstrated the disposition of Corsufle to posterity! Of this same Corsufle the envious have spoken in many ways, and have confused it with all manner of names.

Then he:- Tell me, therefore, O Bacsen, according to thy opinion in these matters, and I swear by thy father that this is the head of the work, for the true beginning hereof cometh after the completion.

Bacsen saith:- I give notice, therefore, to future seekers after this Art, that Corsufle is a composite, and that it must be roasted seven times, because when it arrives at perfection it tinges the whole body.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken the truth, O Bacsen!

The Thirty-First Dictum.

Pythagoras Saith:- How does the discourse of Bacsen appear to you, since he has omitted to name the substance by its artificial names?

And they:- Name it, therefore, oh Pythagoras!

And he:- Corsufle being its composition, they have applied to it all the names of bodies in the world, as, for example, those of coin, copper, tin, gold, iron, and also the name of lead, until it be deprived of that colour and become Ixir.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken well, O Pythagoras!

And he:- Ye have also spoken well, and some among the others may discourse concerning the residual matters.

The Thirty-Second Dictum.

Bonellus saith: According to thee, O Pythagoras, all things die and live by the will of God, because that nature from which the humidity is removed, that nature which is left by nights, does indeed seem like unto something that is dead; it is then turned and (again) left for certain nights, as a man is left in his tomb, when it becomes a powder. These things being done, God will restore unto it both the soul and the spirit thereof, and the weakness being taken away, that matter will be made strong, and after corruption will be improved, even as a man becomes stronger after resurrection and younger than he was in this world. Therefore it behoves you, O ye Sons of the Doctrine, to consume that matter with fire boldly until it shall become a cinder, when know that ye have mixed it excellently well, for that cinder receives the spirit, and is imbued with the humour until it assumes a fairer colour than it previously possessed. Consider, therefore, O ye Sons of the Doctrine, that artists are unable to paint with their own tinctures until they convert them into a powder; similarly, the philosophers cannot combine medicines for the sick slaves until they also turn them into powder, cooking some of them to a cinder, while others they grind with their hands. The case is the same with those who compose the images of the ancients. But if ye understand what has already been said, ye will know that I speak the truth, and hence I have ordered you to burn up the body and turn it into a cinder, for if ye rule it subtly many things will proceed from it, even as much proceeds from the smallest things in the world. It is thus because copper like man, has a body and a soul, for the inspiration of men cometh from the air, which after God is their life, and similarly the copper is inspired by the humour from which that same copper receiving strength is multiplied and augmented like other things. Hence, the philosophers add, that when copper is consumed with fire and iterated several times, it becomes better than it was.

The Turba answereth:- Show, therefore, O Bonellus, to future generations after what manner it becometh better than it was!

And he:- I will do so willingly; it is because it is augmented and multiplied, and because God extracts many things out of one thing, since He hath created nothing which wants its own regimen, and those qualities by which its healing must be effected. Similarly, our copper, when it is first cooked, becomes water; then the more it is cooked, the more is it thickened until it becomes a stone, as the envious have termed it, but it is really an egg tending to become a metal. It is afterwards broken and imbued, when ye must roast it in a fire more intense than the former, until it shall be coloured and shall become like blood in combustion, when it is placed on coins and changes them into gold, according to the Divine pleasure. Do you not see that sperm is not produced from the blood unless it be diligently cooked in the liver till it has acquired an intense red colour, after which no change takes place in that sperm? It is the same with our work, for unless it be cooked diligently until it shall become a powder, and afterwards be putrefied until it shall become a spiritual sperm, there will in no wise proceed from it that colour which ye desire. But if ye arrive at the conclusion of this regimen, and so obtain your purpose, ye shall be princes among the People of your time.

The Thirty-Third Dictum.

Nicarus saith:- Now ye have made this arcanum public.

The Turba answereth:- Thus did the Master order.

And he:- Not the whole, nevertheless.

But they:- He ordered us to clear away the darkness therefrom; do thou, therefore, tell us.

And he:- I counsel posterity to take the gold which they wish to multiply and renovate, then to divide the water into two parts.

And they:- Distinguish, therefore, when they divide the water.

But he:- It behoves them to burn up our copper with one part. For the said copper, dissolved in that water, is called the ferment of Gold, if ye rule well. For the same in like manner are cooked and liquefy as water; finally, by cooking they are congealed, crumble, and the red appears. But then it behoves you to imbue seven times with the residual water, until they absorb all the water, and, all the moisture being dried up, they are turned into dry earth; then kindle a fire and place therein for forty days until the whole shall putrefy, and its colours appear.

The Thirty-Fourth Dictum.

Bacsen saith:- On account of thy dicta the Philosophers said beware. Take the regal Corsufle, which is like to the redness of copper, and pound in the urine of a calf until the nature of the Corsufle is converted, for the true nature has been hidden in the belly of the Corsufle.

The Turba saith:- Explain to posterity what the nature is.

And he:- A tingeing spirit which it hath from permanent water, which is coin-like, and coruscates.

And they:- Shew, therefore, how it is extracted.

And he:- It is pounded, and water is poured upon it seven times until it absorbs the whole humour, and receives a force which is equal to the hostility of the fire; then it is called rust. Putrefy the same diligently until it becomes a spiritual powder, of a colour like burnt blood, which the fire overcoming hath introduced into the receptive belly of Nature, and hath coloured with an indelible colour. This, therefore, have kings sought, but not found, save only to whom God has granted it.

But the Turba saith:- Finish your speech, O Bacsen.

And he:- I direct them to whiten copper with white water, by which also they make red. Be careful not to introduce any foreign matter.

And the Turba:- Well hast thou spoken, O Bacsen, and Nictimerus also has spoken well!

Then he:- If I have spoken well, do one of you continue.

The Thirty-Fifth Dictum.

But Zimon saith:- Hast thou left anything to be said by another?

And the Turba:- Since the words of Nicarus and Bacsen are of little good to those who seek after this Art, tell us, therefore, what thou knowest, according as we have said.

And he:- Ye speak the truth, O all ye seekers after this Art! Nothing else has led you into error but the sayings of the envious, because what ye seek is sold at the smallest possible price. If men knew this, and how great was the thing they held in their hands, they would in no wise sell it. Therefore, the Philosophers have glorified that venom, have treated of it variously, and in many ways, have taken and applied to it all manner of names, wherefore, certain envious persons have said: It is a stone and not a stone, but a gum of Ascotia, consequently, the Philosophers have concealed the power thereof. For this spirit which ye seek, that ye may tinge therewith, is concealed in the body, and hidden away from sight, even as the soul in the human body. But ye seekers after the Art, unless ye disintegrate this body, imbue and pound both cautiously and diligently, until ye extract it from its grossness (or grease), and turn it into a tenuous and impalpable spirit, have your labour in vain. Wherefore the Philosophers have said: Except ye turn bodies into not bodies, and incorporeal things into bodies, ye have not yet discovered the rule of operation.

But the Turba saith:- Tell, therefore, posterity how bodies are turned into not-bodies.

And he:- They are pounded with fire and Ethelia till they become a powder. And know that this does not take place except by an exceedingly strong decoction, and continuous contrition, performed with a moderate fire, not with hands, with imbibition and putrefaction, with exposure to the sun and to Ethelia. The envious caused the vulgar to err in this Art when they stated that the thing is common in its nature and is sold at a small price. They further said that the nature was more precious than all natures, wherefore they deceived those who had recourse to their books. At the same time they spoke the truth, and therefore doubt not these things.

But the Turba answereth:- Seeing that thou believest the sayings of the envious, explain, therefore, to posterity the disposition of the two natures.

And he:- I testify to you that Art requires two natures, for the precious is not produced without the common, nor the common without the precious. It behoves you, therefore, O all ye Investigators of this Art, to follow the sayings of Victimerus, when he said to his disciples: Nothing else helps you save to sublimate water and vapour.

And the Turba:- The whole work is in the vapour and the sublimation of water. Demonstrate, therefore, to them the disposition of the vapour.

And he:- When ye shall perceive that the natures have become water by reason of the heat of the fire, and that they have been purified, and that the whole body of Magnesia is liquefied as water; then all things have been made vapour, and rightly, for then the vapour contains its own equal, wherefore the envious call either vapour, because both are joined in decoctions, and one contains the other. Thus our stag finds no path to escape, although flight be essential to it. The one keeps back the other, so that it has no opportunity to fly, and it finds no place to escape; hence all are made permanent, for when the one falls, being hidden in the body, it is congealed with it, and its colour varies, and it extracts its nature from the properties which God has infused into His elect, and it alienates it, lest it flee. But the blackness and redness appear, and it falls into sickness, and dies by rust and putrefaction; properly speaking, then, it has not a flight, although it is desirous to escape servitude; then when it is free it follows its spouse, that a favourable colour may befall itself and its spouse; its beauty is not as it was, but when it is placed with coins, it makes them gold. For this reason, therefore, the Philosophers have called the spirit and the soul vapour. They have also called it the black humid wanting perlution; and forasmuch as in man there are both humidity and dryness, thus our work, which the envious have concealed, is nothing else but vapour and water.

The Turba answereth:- Demonstrate vapour and water!

And he:- I say that the work is out of two; the envious have called it composed out of two, because these two become four, wherein are dryness and humidity, spirit and vapour.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken excellently, and without envy. Let Zimon next follow.

The Thirty-Sixth Dictum.

Afflontus, the Philosopher, saith:- I notify to you all, O ye investigators of this Art, that unless ye sublime the substances at the commencement by cooking, without contrition of hands, until the whole become water, ye have not yet found the work. And know ye, that the copper was formerly called sand, but by others stone, and, indeed, the names vary in every regimen. Know further, that the nature and humidity become water, then a stone, if ye cause them to be well complexionated, and if ye are acquainted with the natures, because the part which is light and spiritual rises to the top, but that which is thick and heavy remains below in the vessel. Now this is the contrition of the Philosophers, namely, that which is not sublimated sinks down, but that which becomes a spiritual powder rises to the top of the vessel, and this is the contrition of decoction, not of hands. Know also, that unless ye have turned all into powder, ye have not yet pounded them completely. Cook them, therefore, successively until they become converted, and a powder. Wherefore Agadaimon saith:- Cook the copper until it become a gentle and impalpable body, and impose in its own vessel; then sublimate the same six or seven times until the water shall descend. And know that when the water has become powder then has it been ground diligently. But if ye ask, how is the water made a powder? note that the intention of the Philosophers is that the body before which before it falls into the water is not water may become water; the said water is mixed with the other water, and they become one water. It is to be stated, therefore, that unless ye turn the thing mentioned into water, ye shall not attain to the work. It is, therefore, necessary for the body to be so possessed by the flame of the fire that it is disintegrated and becomes weak with the water, when the water has been added to the water, until the whole becomes water. But fools, hearing of water, think that this is water of the clouds. Had they read our books they would know that it is permanent water, which cannot become permanent without its companion, wherewith it is made one. But this is the water which the Philosophers have called Water of Gold, the Igneous, Good Venom, and that Sand of Many Names which Hermes ordered to be washed frequently, so that the blackness of the Sun might be removed, which he introduced in the solution of the body. And know, all ye seekers after this Art, that unless ye take this pure body, that is, our copper without the spirit, ye will by no means see what ye desire, because no foreign thing enters therein, nor does anything enter unless it be pure. Therefore, all ye seekers after this Art, dismiss the multitude of obscure names, for the nature is one water; if anyone err, he draws nigh to destruction, and loses his life. Therefore, keep this one nature, but dismiss what is foreign.

The Thirty-Seventh Dictum.

Bonellus saith:- I will speak a little concerning Magnesia.

The Turba answereth:- Speak.

And he:- O all ye Sons of the Doctrine, when mixing Magnesia, place it in its vessel, the mouth of which close carefully, and cook with a gentle fire until it liquefy, and all become water therein! For the heat of the water acting thereupon, it becomes water by the will of God. When ye see that the said water is about to become black, ye know that the body is already liquefied. Place again in its vessel, and cook for forty days, until it drink up the moisture of the vinegar and honey. But certain persons uncover it, say, once in each week, or once in every ten nights; in either case, the ultimate perfection of pure water appears at the end of forty days, for then it completely absorbs the humour of the decoction. Therefore, wash the same, and deprive of its blackness, until, the blackness being removed, the stone becomes dry to the touch. Hence the envious have said:- Wash the Magnesia with soft water, and cook diligently, until it become earth, and the humour perish. Then it is called copper. Subsequently, pour very sharp vinegar upon it, and leave it to be soaked therein. But this is our copper, which the Philosophers have ordained should be washed with permanent water, wherefore they have said: Let the venom be divided into two parts, with one of which burn up the body, and with the other putrefy. And know, all ye seekers after this Science, that the whole work and regimen does not take place except by water, wherefore, they say that the thing which ye seek is one, and, unless that which improves it be present in the said thing, what ye look for shall in no wise take place. Therefore, it behoves you to add those .things which are needful, that ye may thereby obtain that which you purpose.

The Turba answereth:- Thou has spoken excellently, O Bonellus! If it please thee, therefore, finish that which thou art saying; otherwise repeat it a second time.

But he:- Shall I indeed repeat these and like things? O all ye investigators of this Art, take our copper; place with the first part of the water in the vessel; cook for forty days; purify from all uncleanliness; cook further until its days be accomplished, and it become a stone having no moisture. Then cook until nothing remains except faeces. This done, cleanse seven times, wash with water, and when the water is used up leave it to putrefy in its vessel, so long as may seem desirable to your purpose. But the envious called this composition when it is turned into blackness that which is sufficiently black, and have said: Rule the same with vinegar and nitre. But that which remained when it had been whitened they called sufficiently white, and ordained that it should be ruled with permanent water. Again, when they called the same sufficiently red, they ordained that it should be ruled with water and fire until it became red.

The Turba answereth:- Show forth unto posterity what they intended by these things.

And he:- They called it Ixir satis, by reason of the variation of its colours. In the work, however, there is neither variety, multiplicity, nor opposition of substances; it is necessary only to make the black copper white and then red. However, the truth-speaking Philosophers had no other intention than that of liquefying, pounding, and cooking Ixir until the stone should become like unto marble in its splendour. Accordingly, the envious again said: Cook the same with vapour until the stone becomes coruscating by reason of its brilliancy. But when ye see it thus, it is, indeed, the most great Arcanum. Notwithstanding, ye must then pound and wash it seven times with permanent water; finally, again pound and congeal in its own water, until ye extract its own concealed nature. Wherefore, saith Maria, sulphurs are contained in sulphurs, but humour in like humour, and out of sulphur mixed with sulphur, there comes forth a great work. But I ordain that you rule the same with dew and the sun, until your purpose appear to you. For I signify unto you that there are two kinds of whitening and of making red, of which one consists in rust and the other in contrition and decoction. But ye do not need any contrition of hands. Beware, however, of making a separation from the waters lest the poisons get at You, and the body perish with the other things which are in the vessel.

The Thirty-Eighth Dictum.

Effistus saith:- Thou hast spoken most excellently, O Bonellus, and I bear witness to all thy words!

The Turba saith:- Tell us if there be any service in the speech of Bonellus, so that those initiated in this disposition may be more bold and certain.

Effistus saith:- Consider, all ye investigators of this Art, how Hermes, chief of the Philosophers, spoke and demonstrated when he wished to mix the natures. Take, he tells us, the stone of gold, combine with humour which is permanent water, set in its vessel, over a gentle fire until liquefaction takes place. Then leave it until the water dries, and the sand and water are combined, one with another; then let the fire be more intense than before, until it again becomes dry, and is made earth. When this is done, understand that here is the beginning of the arcanum; but do this many times, until two-thirds of the water perish, and colours manifest unto you.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken excellently, O Effistus! Yet, briefly inform us further.

And he:- I testify to Posterity that the dealbation doth not take place save by decoction. Consequently, Agadaimon has very properly treated of cooking, of pounding, and of imbuing, ethelia. Yet I direct you not to pour on the whole of the water at one time, lest the Ixir be submerged, but pour it in gradually, pound and dessicate, and do this several times until the water be exhausted. Now concerning this the envious have said: Leave the water when it has all been poured in, and it will sink to the bottom. But their intention is this, that while the humour is drying, and when it has been turned into powder, leave it in its glass vessel for forty days, until it passes through various colours, which the Philosophers have described. By this method of cooking the bodies put on their spirits and spiritual tinctures, and become warm.

The Turba answereth:- Thou hast given light to us, O Effistus, and hast done excellently! Truly art thou cleared from envy; wherefore, let one of you others speak as he pleases.

The Thirty-Ninth Dictum.

Bacsen saith:- O all ye seekers after this Art, ye can reach no useful result without a patient, laborious, and solicitous soul, persevering courage, and continuous regimen. He, therefore, who is willing to Persevere in this disposition, and would enjoy the result, may enter upon it, but he who desires to learn over speedily, must not have recourse to our books, for they impose great labour before they are read in their higher sense, once, twice, or thrice. Therefore, the Master saith:- Whosoever bends his back over the study of our books, devoting his leisure thereto, is not occupied with vain thoughts, but fears God, and shall reign in the Kingdom without fail until he die. For what ye seek is not of small price. Woe unto you who seek the very great and compensating treasure of God! Know ye not that for the smallest Purpose in the world, earthly men will give themselves to death, and what, therefore, ought they to do for this most excellent and almost impossible offering? Now, the regimen is greater than is perceived by reason, except through divine inspiration. I once met with a person who was as well acquainted with the elements as I myself, but when he proceeded to rule this disposition, he attained not to the joy thereof by reason of his sadness and ignorance in ruling, and excessive eagerness, desire, and haste concerning the purpose. Woe unto you, sons of the Doctrine! For one who plants trees does not look for fruit, save in due season; he also who sows seeds does not expect to reap, except at harvest time. How, then, should ye desire to attain this offering when ye have read but a single book, or have adventured only the first regimen? But the Philosophers have plainly stated that the truth is not to be discerned except after error, and nothing creates greater pain at heart than error in this Art, while each imagines that he has almost the whole world, and yet finds nothing in his hands. Woe unto you! Understand the dictum of the Philosopher, and how he divided the work when he said- pound, cook, reiterate, and be thou not weary. But when thus he divided the work, he signified commingling, cooking, assimilating, roasting, heating, whitening, pounding, cooking Ethelia, making rust or redness, and tingeing. Here, therefore, are there many names, and yet there is one regimen. And if men knew that one decoction and one contrition would suffice them, they would not so often repeat their words, as they have done, and in order that the mixed body may be pounded and cooked diligently, have admonished you not to be weary thereof. Having darkened the matter to you with their words, it suffices me to speak in this manner. It is needful to complexionate the venom rightly, then cook many times, and do not grow tired of the decoction. Imbue and cook it until it shall become as I have ordained that it should be ruled by you- namely, impalpable spirits, and until ye perceive that the Ixir is clad in the garment of the Kingdom. For when ye behold the Ixir turned into Tyrian colour, then have ye found that which the Philosophers discovered before you. If ye understand my words (and although my words be dead, yet is there life therein for those who understand themselves), they will forthwith explain any ambiguity occurring herein. Read, therefore, repeatedly, for reading is a dead speech, but that which is uttered with the lips the same is living speech. Hence we have ordered you to read frequently, and, moreover, ponder diligently over the things which we have narrated.

The Fortieth Dictum.

Jargus saith:- Thou hast left obscure a part of thy discourse, O Bacsen!

And he:- Do thou, therefore, Jargus, in thy clemency shew forth the same!

And he answereth:- The copper of which thou hast before spoken is not copper, nor is it the tin of the vulgar; it is our true work (or body) which must be combined with the body of Magnesia, that it may be cooked and pounded without wearying until the stone is made. Afterwards, that stone must be pounded in its vessel with the water of nitre, and, subsequently, placed in liquefaction until it is destroyed. But, all ye investigators of this art, it is necessary to have a water by which the more you cook, so much the more you sprinkle, until the said copper shall put on rust, which is the foundation of our work. Cook, therefore, and pound with Egyptian vinegar.



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