The Forty-First Dictum.
Zimon saith:- Whatsoever thou
hast uttered, O Jargos, is true, yet I do not see that the whole Turba
hath spoken concerning the rotundum.
Then he:- Speak, therefore, thine
opinion concerning it, O Zimon!
Zimon saith:- I notify to Posterity
that the rotundum turns into four elements, and is derived out of one thing.
The Turba answereth:- Inasmuch
as thou art speaking, explain for future generations the method of ruling.
And he:- Willingly: it is necessary
to take one part of our copper, but of Permanent Water three parts; then
let them be mixed and cooked until they be thickened and become one stone,
concerning which the envious have said: Take one part of the pure body,
but three parts of copper of Magnesia; then commingle with rectified vinegar,
mixed with male of earth; close the vessel, observe what is in it, and
cook continuously until it becomes earth.
The Forty-Second Dictum.
Ascanius saith:- Too much talking,
O all ye Sons of the Doctrine, leads this subject further into error! But
when ye read in the books of the Philosophers that Nature is one only,
and that she overcomes all things: Know that they are one thing and one
composite. Do ye not see that the complexion of a man is formed out of
a soul and body; thus, also, must ye conjoin these, because the Philosophers,
when they prepared the matters and conjoined spouses mutually in love with
each other, behold there ascended from them a golden water!
The Turba answereth:- When thou
wast treating of the first work, lo! thou didst turn unto the second! How
ambiguous hast thou made thy book, and how obscure are thy words!
Then he:- I will perform the
disposition of the first work.
The Turba answereth:- Do this.
And he:- Stir up war between
copper and quicksilver, until they go to destruction and are corrupted,
because when the copper conceives the quicksilver it coagulates it, but
when the quicksilver conceives the copper, the copper is congealed into
earth; stir up, therefore, a fight between them; destroy the body of the
copper until it becomes a powder. But conjoin the male to the female, which
are vapour and quicksilver, until the male and the female become Ethel,
for he who changes them into spirit by means of Ethel, and next makes them
red, tinges every body, because, when by diligent cooking ye pound the
body, ye extract a pure, spiritual, and sublime soul therefrom, which tinges
The Turba answereth:- Inform,
therefore, posterity what is that body.
And he:- It is a natural sulphureous
thing which is called by the names of all bodies.
The Forty-Third Dictum.
Dardaris saith:- Ye have frequently
treated of the regimen, and have introduced the conjunction, yet I proclaim
to posterity that they cannot extract the now hidden soul except by Ethelia,
by which bodies become not bodies through continual cooking, and by sublimation
of Ethelia. Know also that quicksilver is fiery, burning every body more
than does fire, also mortifying bodies, and that every body which is mingled
with it is ground and delivered over to be destroyed. When, therefore,
ye have diligently pounded the bodies, and have exalted them as required,
therefrom is produced that Ethel nature, and a colour which is tingeing
and not volatile, and it tinges the copper which the Turba said did not
tinge until it is tinged, because that which is tinged tinges. Know also
that the body of the copper is ruled by Magnesia, and that quicksilver
is four bodies, also that the matter has no being except by humidity, because
it is the water of sulphur, for sulphurs are contained in sulphurs.
The Turba saith:- O Dardaris,
inform posterity what sulphurs are!
And he:- Sulphurs are souls which
are hidden in four bodies, and, extracted by themselves, do contain one
another, and are naturally conjoined. For if ye rule that which is hidden
in the belly of sulphur with water, and cleanse well that which is hidden,
then nature rejoices, meeting with nature, and water similarly with its
equal. Know ye also that the four bodies are not tinged but tinge.
And the Turba:- Why dost thou
not say like the ancients that when they are tinged, they tinge?
And he:- I state that the four
coins of the vulgar populace are not tinged, but they tinge copper, and
when that copper is tinged, it tinges the coins of the populace.
The Forty-Fourth Dictum.
Moyses saith:- This one thing
of which thou hast told us, O Dardaris, the Philosophers have called by
many names, sometimes by two and sometimes by three names!
Dardaris answereth:- Name it,
therefore, for posterity, setting aside envy.
And he:- The one is that which
is fiery, the two is the
body composed in it, the three
is the water of sulphur, with which also it is washed and ruled until it
be perfected. Do ye not see what the Philosopher affirms, that the quicksilver
which tinges gold is quicksilver out of Cambar?
Dardaris answereth:- What dost
thou mean by this? For the Philosopher says: sometimes from Cambar and
sometimes from Orpiment.
And he:- Quicksilver of orpiment
is Cambar of Magnesia, but quicksilver is sulphur ascending from the mixed
composite. Ye must, therefore, mix that thick thing with fiery venom, putrefy,
and diligently pound until a spirit be produced, which is hidden in that
other spirit; then is made the tincture which is desired of you all.
The Forty-Fifth Dictum.
But Plato saith: It behoves you
all, O Masters, when those bodies are being dissolved, to take care lest
they be burnt up, as also to wash them with sea water, until all their
salt be turned into sweetness, clarifies, tinges, becomes tincture of copper,
and then goes off in flight! Because it was necessary that one should become
tingeing, and that the other should be tinged, for the spirit being separated
from the body and hidden in the other spirit, both become volatile. Therefore
the Wise have said that the gate of flight must not be opened for that
which would flee, (or that which does not flee), by whose flight death
is occasioned, for by the conversion of the sulphureous thing into a spirit
like unto itself, either becomes volatile, since they are made aeriform
spirits prone to ascend in the air. But the Philosophers seeing that which
was not volatile made volatile with the volatiles, iterated these to a
body like to the non-volatiles, and put them into that from which they
could not escape. They iterated them to a body like unto the bodies from
which they were extracted, and the same were then digested. But as for
the statement of the Philosopher that the tingeing agent and that which
is to be tinged are made one tincture, it refers to a spirit concealed
in another humid spirit. Know also that one of the humid spirits is cold,
but the other is hot, and although the cold humid is not adapted to the
warm humid, nevertheless they are made one. Therefore, we prefer these
two bodies, because by them we rule the whole work, namely, bodies by not-bodies,
until incorporeals become bodies, steadfast in the fire, because they are
conjoined with volatiles, which is not possible in any body, these excepted.
For spirits in every wise avoid bodies, but fugitives are restrained by
incorporeals. Incorporeals, therefore, similarly flee from bodies; those,
consequently, which do not flee are better and more precious than all bodies.
These things, therefore, being done, take those which are not volatile
and join them; wash the body with the incorporeal until the incorporeal
receives a non-volatile body; convert the earth into water, water into
fire, fire into air, and conceal the fire in the depths of the water, but
the earth in the belly of the air, mingling the hot with the humid, and
the cold with the dry. Know, also, that Nature overcomes Nature, Nature
rejoices in Nature, Nature contains Nature.
The Forty-Sixth Dictum.
Attamus saith:- It is to be noted
that the whole assembly of the Philosophers have frequently treated concerning
Rubigo. Rubigo, however, is a
fictitious and not a true name.
The Turba answereth:- Name, therefore,
Rubigo by its true name, for by this it is not calumniated.
And he:- Rubigo is according
to the work, because it is from gold alone.
The Turba answereth:- Why, then,
have the Philosophers referred it to the leech?
He answereth:- Because water
is hidden in sulphureous gold as the leech is in water; rubigo, therefore,
is rubefaction in the second work, but to make rubigo is to whiten in the
former work, in which the Philosophers ordained that the flower of gold
should be taken and a proportion of gold equally.
The Forty-Seventh Dictum.
Mundus saith:- Thou hast already
treated sufficiently of Rubigo, O Attamus! I will speak, therefore, of
venom, and will instruct future generations that venom is not a body, because
subtle spirits have made it into a tenuous spirit, have tinged the body
and burned it with venom, which venom the Philosopher asserts will tinge
every body. But the Ancient Philosophers thought that he who turned gold
into venom had arrived at the purpose, but he who can do not this profiteth
nothing. Now I say unto you, all ye Sons of the Doctrine, that unless ye
reduce the thing by fire until those things ascend like a spirit, ye effect
nought. This, therefore, is a spirit avoiding the fire and a ponderous
smoke, which when it enters the body penetrates it entirely, and makes
the body rejoice. The Philosophers have all said: Take a black and conjoining
spirit; therewith break up the bodies and torture them till they be altered.
The Forty-Eighth Dictum.
Pythagoras saith:- We must affirm
unto all you seekers after this Art that the Philosophers have treated
of conjunction (or continuation) in various ways. But I enjoin upon you
to make quicksilver con strain the body of Magnesia, or the body Kuhul,
or the Spume of Luna, or incombustible sulphur, or roasted calx, or alum
which is out of apples, as ye know. But if there was any singular regimen
for any of these, a Philosopher would not say so, as ye know. Understand,
therefore, that sulphur, calx, and alum which is from apples, and Kuhul,
are all nothing else but water of sulphur. Know ye also that Magnesia,
being mixed with quicksilver and sulphur, they pursue one another. Hence
you must not dismiss that Magnesia without the quicksilver, for when it
is composed it is called an exceeding strong composition, which is one
of the ten regimens established by the Philosophers. Know, also, that when
Magnesia is whitened with quicksilver, you must congeal white water therein,
but when it is reddened you must congeal red water, for, as the Philosophers
have observed in their books, the regimen is not one. Accordingly, the
first congelation is of tin, copper, and lead. But the second is composed
with water of sulphur. Some, however, reading this book, think that the
composition can be bought. It must be known for certain that nothing of
the work can be bought, and that the science of this Art is nothing else
than vapour and the sublimation of water, with the conjunction, also, of
quicksilver in the body of Magnesia; but, heretofore, the Philosophers
have demonstrated in their books that the impure water of sulphur is from
sulphur only, and no sulphur is produced without the water of its calx,
and of quicksilver, and of sulphur.
The Forty-Ninth Dictum.
Belus saith:- O all ye Philosophers,
ye have not dealt sparingly concerning composition and contact, but cornposition,
contact, and congelation are one thing! Take, therefore, a part From the
one composition and a part out of ferment of gold, and on these impose
pure water of sulphur. This, then, is the potent (or revealed) arcanum
which tinges every body.
Pythagoras answereth:- O Belus,
why hast thou called it a potent arcanum, yet hast not shown its work!
And he:- In our books, O Master,
we have found the same which thou hast received from the ancients!
And Pythagoras:- Therefore have
I assembled you together, that you might remove any obscurities which are
in any books.
And he:- Willingly, O Master!
It is to be noted that pure water which is from sulphur is not composed
of sulphur alone, but is composed of several things, for the one sulphur
is made out of several sulphurs. How, therefore, O Master, shall I compose
these things that they may become one!
And he:- Mix, O Belus, that which
strives with the fire with that which does not strive, for things which
are conjoined in a fire suitable to the same contend, because the warm
venoms of the physician are cooked in a gentle, incomburent fire! Surely
ye perceive what the Philosophers have stated concerning decoction, that
a little sulphur burns many strong things, and the humour which remains
is called humid pitch, balsam of gum, and other like things. Therefore
our Philosophers are made like to the physicians, notwithstanding that
the tests of the physicians are more intense than those of the Philosophers.
The Turba answereth:- I wish,
O Belus, that you would also shew the disposition of this potent arcanum!
And he:- I proclaim to future
generations that this arcanum proceeds from two compositions, that is to
say, sulphur and magnesia. But after it is reduced and conjoined into one,
the Philosophers have called it water, spume of Boletus (i.e., a species
of fungus), and the thickness of gold. When, however, it has been reduced
into quicksilver, they call it sulphur of water; sulphur also, when it
contains sulphur, they term a fiery venom, because it is a potent (or open)
arcanum which ascends from those things ye know.
The Fiftieth Dictum.
Pandolphus saith:- If, O Belus,
thou dost describe the sublimation of sulphur for future generations, thou
wilt accomplish an excellent thing!
And the Turba:- Do thou show
it forth, therefore, O Pandolphus!
And he:- The philosophers have
ordered that quicksilver should be taken out of Cambar, and albeit they
spoke truly, yet in these words there is a little ambiguity, the obscurity
of which I will remove. See then that the quicksilver is sublimed in tabernacles,
and extract the same from Cambar, but there is another Cambar in sulphur
which Belus hath demonstrated to you, for out of sulphur mixed with sulphur,
many works proceed. When the same has been sublimed, there proceeds from
the Cambar that quicksilver which is called Ethelia, Orpiment, Zendrio,
or Sanderich, Ebsemich, Magnesia, Kuhul, or Chuhul, and many other names.
Concerning this, philosophers have said that, being ruled by its regimen
(for ten is the perfection of all things), its white nature appears, nor
is there any shadow therein. Then the envious have called it lead from
Ebmich, Magnesia, Marteck, White Copper. For, when truly whitened, it is
devoid of shadow and blackness, it has left its thickened ponderous bodies,
and therewith a clean humid spirit has ascended, which spirit is tincture.
Accordingly, the wise have said that copper has a soul and a body. Now,
its soul is spirit, and its body is thick. Therefore, it behoves you to
destroy the thick body until ye extract a tingeing spirit from the same.
Mix, also, the spirit extracted therefrom with light sulphur until you,
investigators, find your design accomplished.
The Fifty-First Dictum.
Horfolcos saith:- Thou hast narrated
nothing, O Pandolphus, save the last regimen of this body! Thou hast, therefore,
composed an ambiguous description for readers. But if its regimen were
commenced from the beginning, you would destroy this obscurity.
Saith the Turba:- Speak, therefore,
concerning this to posterity, so far as it may please you.
And he:- It behoves you, investigators
of this Art, first to burn copper in a gentle fire, like that required
in the hatching of eggs. For it behoves you to burn it with its humidity
lest its spirit be burnt, and let the vessel be closed on all sides, so
that its colour [heat] may be increased, the body of copper be destroyed,
and its tingeing spirit be extracted, concerning which the envious have
said: Take quicksilver out of the Flower of Copper, which also they have
called the water of our copper, a fiery venom, and a substance extracted
from all things, which further they have termed Ethelia, extracted out
of many things. Again, some have said that when all things become one,
bodies are made not-bodies, but not-bodies bodies. And know, all ye investigators
of this Art, that every body is dissolved with the spirit with which it
is mixed, with which without doubt it becomes a similar spiritual thing,
and that every spirit which has a tingeing colour of spirits, and is constant
against fire, is altered and coloured by bodies. Blessed then be the name
of Him who hath inspired the Wise with the idea of turning a body into
a spirit having strength and colour, unalterable and incorruptible, so
that what formerly was volatile sulphur is now made sulphur not-volatile,
and incombustible! Know, also, all ye sons of learning, that he who is
able to make your fugitive spirit red by the body mixed with it, and then
from that body and that spirit can extract the tenuous nature hidden in
the belly thereof, by a most subtle regimen, tinges every body, if only
he is patient in spite of the tedium of extracting. Wherefore the envious
have said: Know that out of copper, after it is humectated by the moisture
thereof, is pounded in its water, and is cooked in sulphur, if ye extract
a body having Ethelia, ye will find that which is suitable as a tincture
for anything. Therefore the envious have said: Things that are diligently
pounded in the fire, with sublimation of the Ethelia, become fixed tinctures.
For whatsoever words ye find in any man's book signify quicksilver, which
we call water of sulphur, which also we sometimes say is lead and copper
and copulated coin.
The Fifty-Second Dictum.
Ixumdrus saith:- You will have
treated most excellently, O Horfolcus, concerning the regimen of copper
and the humid spirit, provided you proceed therewith.
And he:- Perfect, therefore,
what I have omitted, O Ixumdrus!
Ixumdrus saith:- You must know
that this Ethelia which you have previously mentioned and notified, which
also the envious have called by many names, doth whiten, and tinge when
it is whitened; then truly the Philosophers have called it the Flower of
Gold, because it is a certain natural thing. Do you not remember what the
Philosophers have said, that before it arrives at this terminus, copper
does not tinge? But when it is tinged it tinges, because quicksilver tinges
when it is combined with its tincture. But when it is mixed with those
ten things which the Philosophers have denominated fermented urines, then
have they called all these things Multiplication. But some have termed
their mixed bodies Corsufle and Gum of Gold. Therefore, those names which
are found in the books of the Philosophers, and are thought superfluous
and vain, are true and yet are fictitious, because they are one thing,
one opinion, and one way. This is the quicksilver which is indeed extracted
from all things, out of which all things are produced, which also is pure
water that destroys the shade of copper. And know ye that this quicksilver,
when it is whitened, becomes a sulphur which contains sulphur, and is a
venom that has a brilliance like marble; this the envious call Ethelia,
orpiment and sandarac, out of which a tincture and pure spirit ascends
with a mild fire, and the whole pure flower is sublimated, which flower
becomes wholly quicksilver. It is, therefore, a most great arcanum which
the Philosophers have thus described, because sulphur alone whitens copper.
Ye, O investigators of this Art, must know that the said sulphur cannot
whiten copper until it is whitened in the work! And know ye also that it
is the habit of this sulphur to escape. When, therefore, it flees from
its own thick bodies, and is sublimated as a vapour, then it behoves you
to retain it otherwise with quicksilver of its own kind, lest it vanish
altogether. Wherefore the Philosophers have said, that sulphurs are contained
by sulphurs. Know, further, that sulphurs tinge, and then are they certain
to escape unless they are united to quicksilver of its own kind. Do not,
therefore, think that because it tinges and afterwards escapes, it is the
coin of the Vulgar, for what the Philosophers are seeking is the coin of
the Philosophers, which, unless it be mixed with white or red, which is
quicksilver of its own kind, would doubtless escape. I direct you, therefore,
to mix quicksilver with quicksilver (of its kind) until together they become
one clean water composed out of two. This is, therefore, the great arcanum,
the confection of which is with its own gum; it is cooked with flowers
in a gentle fire and with earth; it is made red with mucra and with vinegar,
salt, and nitre, and with mutal is turned into rubigo, or by any of the
select tingeing agents existing in our coin.
The Fifty-Third Dictum.
Exumenus saith:- The envious
have laid waste the whole Art with the multiplicity of names, but the entire
work must be the Art of the Coin. For the Philosophers have ordered the
doctors of this art to make coin-like gold, which also the same Philosophers
have called by all manner of names.
The Turba answereth:- Inform,
therefore, posterity, O Exumenus, concerning a few of these names, that
they may take warning!
And he:- They have named it salting,
sublimating, washing, and pounding Ethelias, whitening in the fire, frequently
cooking vapour and coagulating, turning into rubigo, the confection of
Ethel, the art of the water of sulphur and coagula. By all these names
is that operation called which has pounded and whitened copper. And know
ye, that quicksilver is white to the sight, but when it is possessed by
the smoke of sulphur, it reddens and becomes Cambar. Therefore, when quicksilver
is cooked with its confections it is turned into red, and hence the Philosopher
saith that the nature of lead is swiftly converted. Do you not see that
the Philosophers have spoken without envy! Hence we deal in many ways with
pounding and reiteration, that ye may extract the spirits existing in the
vessel, which the fire did not cease to burn continuously. But the water
placed with those things prevents the fire from burning, and it befalls
those things that the more they are possessed by the flame of fire, the
more they are hidden in the depths of the water, lest they should be injured
by the heat of the fire; but the water receives them in its belly and repels
the flame of fire from them.
The Turba answereth:- Unless
ye make bodies not-bodies ye achieve nothing. But concerning the sublimation
of water the Philosophers have treated not a little. And know that unless
ye diligently pound the thing in the fire, the Ethelia does not ascend,
but when that does not ascend ye achieve nothing. When, however, it ascends
it is an instrument for the intended tincture with which ye tinge, and
concerning this Ethelia Hermes saith: Sift the things which ye know; but
another: Liquefy the things. Therefore, Arras saith: Unless ye pound the
thing diligently in the fire, Ethelia does not ascend. The Master hath
put forth a view which I shall now explain to the reasoners. Know ye that
a very great wind of the south, when it is stirred up, sublimates clouds
and elevates the vapours of the sea.
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast
And he:- I will explain the testa,
and the vessel wherein is incombustible sulphur. But I order you to congeal
fluxible quicksilver out of many things, that two may be made three, and
four one, and two one.
The Fifty-Fourth Dictum.
Anaxagoras saith:- Take the volatile
burnt thing which lacks a body, and incorporate it. Then take the ponderous
thing, having smoke, and thirsting to imbibe.
The Turba answereth:- Explain,
O Anaxagoras, what is this obscurity which you expound, and beware of being
And he:- I testify to you that
this volatile burnt thing, and this other which thirsts, are Ethelia, which
has been conjoined with sulphur. Therefore, place these in a glass vessel
over the fire, and cook until the whole becomes Cambar. Then God will accomplish
the arcanum ye seek. But I direct you to cook continuously, and not to
grow tired of repeating the process. And know ye that the perfection of
this work is the confection of water of sulphur with tabula; finally, it
is cooked until it becomes Rubigo, for all the Philosophers have said:
He who is able to turn Rubigo into golden venom has already achieved the
desired work, but otherwise his labour is vain.
The Fifty-Fifth Dictum.
Zenon saith:- Pythagoras hath
treated concerning the water, which the envious have called by all names.
Finally, at the end of his book he has treated of the ferment of gold,
ordaining that thereon should be imposed clean water of sulphur, and a
small quantity of its gum. I am astonished, O all ye Turba, how the envious
have in this work discoursed of the perfection rather than the commencement
of the same!
The Turba answereth:- Why, therefore,
have you left it to putrefy?
And he:- Thou hast spoken truly;
putrefaction does not take place without the dry and the humid. But the
vulgar putrefy with the humid. Thus the humid is merely coagulated with
the dry. But out of both is the beginning of the work. Notwithstanding,
the envious have divided this work into three parts, asserting that one
quickly flees, but the other is fixed and immovable.
The Fifty-Sixth Dictum.
Constans saith:- What have you
to do with the treatises of the envious, for it is necessary that this
work should deal with four things?
They answer:- Demonstrate, therefore,
what are those four?
And he:- Earth, water, air, and
fire. Ye have then those four elements without which nothing is ever generated,
nor is anything absolved in the Art. Mix, therefore, the dry with the humid,
which are earth and water, and cook in the fire and in the air, whence
the spirit and the soul are dessicated. And know ye that the tenuous tingeing
agent takes its power out of the tenuous part of the earth, out of the
tenuous part of the fire and of the air, while out of the tenuous part
of the water, a tenuous spirit has been dessicated. This, therefore, is
the process of our work, namely, that everything may be turned into earth
when the tenuous parts of these things are extracted, because a body is
then composed which is a kind of atmospheric thing, and thereafter tinges
the imposed body of coins. Beware, however, O all ye investigators of this
art, lest ye multiply things, for the envious have multiplied and destroyed
for you! They have also described various regimens that they might deceive;
they have further called it (or have likened it to) the humid with all
the humid, and the dry with all the dry, by the name of every stone and
metal, gall of animals of the sea, the winged things of heaven and reptiles
of the earth. But do ye who would tinge observe that bodies are tinged
with bodies. For I say to you what the Philosopher said briefly and truly
at the beginning of his book. In the art of gold is the quicksilver from
Cambar, and in coins is the quicksilver from the Male. In nothing, however,
look beyond this, since the two quicksilvers are also one.
The Fifty-Seventh Dictum.
Acratus saith:- I signify to
posterity that I make philosophy near to the Sun and Moon. He, therefore,
that will attain to the truth let him take the moisture of the Sun and
the Spume of the Moon.
The Turba answereth:- Why are
you made an adversary to your brethren?
And he:- I have spoken nothing
but the truth.
But they:- Take what the Turba
And he:- I was so intending,
yet, if you are willing, I direct posterity to take a part of the coins
which the Philosophers have ordered, which also Hermes has adapted to the
true tingeing, and a part of the copper of the Philosophers, to mix the
same with the coins, and place all the four bodies in the vessel, the mouth
of which must be carefully closed, lest the water escape. Cooking must
proceed for seven days, when the copper, already pounded with the coins,
is found turned into water. Let both be again slowly cooked, and fear nothing.
Then let the vessel be opened, and a blackness will appear above. Repeat
the process, cook continually until the blackness of Kuhul, which is from
the blackness of coins, be consumed. For when that is consumed a precious
whiteness will appear on them; finally, being returned to their place,
they are cooked until the whole is dried and is turned into stone. Also
repeatedly and continuously cook that stone born of copper and coins with
a fire sharper than the former, until the stone is destroyed, broken up,
and turned into cinder, which is a precious cinder. Alas, O ye sons of
the Doctrine, how precious is that which is produced from it! Mixing, therefore,
the cinder with water, cook again, until that cinder liquefy therewith,
and then cook and imbue with permanent water, until the composition becomes
sweet and mild and red. Imbue until it becomes humid. Cook in a still hotter
fire, and carefully close the mouth of the vessel, for by this regimen
fugitive bodies become not-fugitive, spirits are turned into bodies, bodies
into spirits, and both are connected together. Then are spirits made bodies
having a tingeing and germinating soul.
The Turba answereth:- Now hast
thou notified to posterity that Rubigo attaches itself to copper after
the blackness is washed off with permanent water. Then it is congealed
and becomes a body of Magnesia. Finally, it is cooked until the whole body
is broken up. Afterwards the volatile is turned into a cinder and becomes
copper without its shadow. Attrition also truly takes place. Concerning,
therefore, the work of the Philosophers, what hast thou delivered to posterity,
seeing that thou hast by no means called things by their proper names!
And he:- Following your own footsteps,
I have discoursed even as have you.
Bonellus answereth:- You speak
truly, for if you did otherwise we should not order your sayings to be
written in our books.
The Fifty-Eighth Dictum.
Balgus saith:- The whole Turba,
O Acratus, has already spoken, as you have seen, but a benefactor sometimes
deceives, though his intention is to do good.
And they:- Thou speakest truly.
Proceed, therefore, according to thy opinion, and beware of envy!
Then he:- You must know that
the envious have described this arcanum in the shade; in physical reasoning
and astronomy, and the art of images; they have also likened it to trees;
they have ambiguously concealed it by the names of metals, vapours, and
reptiles; as is generally perceived in all their work. I, nevertheless,
direct you, investigators of this science, to take iron and draw it into
plates; finally, mix (or sprinkle) it with venom, and place it in its vessel,
the mouth of which must be closed most carefully, and beware lest ye too
much increase the humour, or, on the other hand, lest it be too dry, but
stir it vigorously as a mass, because, if the water be in excess, it will
not be contained in the chimney, while, if it be too dry, it will neither
be conjoined nor cooked in the chimney; hence I direct you to confect it
diligently; finally, place it in its vessel, the mouth of which must be
closed internally and externally with clay, and, having kindled coals above
it, after some days ye shall open it, and there shall ye find the iron
plates already liquefied; while on the lid of the vessel ye shall find
globules. For when the fire is kindled the vinegar ascends, because its
spiritual nature passes into the air, wherefore, I direct you to keep that
part separately. Ye must also know that by multiplied decoctions and attritions
it is congealed and coloured by the fire, and its nature is changed. By
a similar decoction and liquefaction Cambar is not disjoined. I notify
to you that by the said frequent decoction the weight of a third part of
the water is consumed, but the residue becomes a wind in the Cambar of
the second spirit. And know ye that nothing is more precious or more excellent
than the red sand of the sea, for the Sputum of Luna is united with the
light of the Sun's rays. Luna is perfected by the coming on of night, and
by the heat of the Sun the dew is congealed. Then, that being wounded,
the dew of the death dealer is joined, and the more the days pass on the
more intensely is it congealed, and is not burned. For he who cooks with
the Sun is himself congealed, and that signal whiteness causes it to overcome
the terrene fire.
Then saith Bonites:- Do you not
know, O Balgus, that the Spume of Luna tinges nothing except our copper?
And Balgus:- Thou speakest truly.
And he:- Why, therefore, hast
thou omitted to describe that tree, of the fruit whereof whosoever eateth
shall hunger nevermore?
And Balgus:- A certain person,
who has followed science, has notified to me after what manner he discovered
this same tree, and appropriately operating, did extract the fruit and
eat of it. But when I inquired of him concerning the growth and the increment,
he described that pure whiteness, thinking that the same is found without
any laborious disposition. Then its Perfection is the fruit thereof. But
when I further asked how it is nourished with food until it fructifies,
he said: Take that tree, and build a house about it, which shall wholly
surround the same, which shall also be circular, dark, encircled by dew,
and shall have placed on it a man of a hundred years; shut and secure the
door lest dust or wind should reach them. Then in the time of 180 days
send them away to their homes. I say that man shall not cease to eat of
the fruit of that tree to the perfection of the number [of the days] until
the old man shall become young. O what marvellous natures, which have transformed
the soul of that old man into a juvenile body, and the father is made into
the son! Blessed be thou, O most excellent God!
The Fifty-Ninth Dictum.
Theophilus saith:- I propose
to speak further concerning those things which Bonites hath narrated.
And the Turba:- Speak, Brother,
for thy brother hath discoursed elegantly.
And he:- Following in the steps
of Bonites I will make perfect his sayings. It should be known that all
the Philosophers, while they have concealed this disposition, yet spoke
the truth in their treatises when they named water of life, for this reason,
that whatsoever is mixed with the said water first dies, then lives and
becomes young. And know, all ye disciples, that iron does not become rusty
except by reason of this water, because it tinges the plates; it is then
placed in the sun till it liquefies and is imbued, after which it is congealed.
In these days it becomes rusty, but silence is better than this illumination.
The Turba answereth:- O Theophilus,
beware of becoming envious, and complete thy speech!
And he:- Would that I might repeat
the like thing!
And they:- What is thy will?
Then he:- Certain fruits, which
proceed first from that perfect tree, do flourish in the beginning of the
summer, and the more they are multiplied the more are they adorned, until
they are perfected, and being mature become sweet. In the same way that
woman, fleeing from her own children, with whom she lives, although partly
angry, yet does not brook being overcome, nor that her husband should possess
her beauty, who furiously loves her, and keeps awake contending with her,
till he shall have carnal intercourse with her, and God make perfect the
foetus, when he multiplies children to himself according to his pleasure.
His beauty, therefore, is consumed by fire who does not approach his wife
except by reason of lust. For when the term is finished he turns to her.
I also make known to you that the dragon never dies, but the Philosophers
have put to death the woman who slays her spouses. For the belly of that
woman is full of weapons and venom. Let, therefore, a sepulchre be dug
for the dragon, and let that woman be buried with him, who being strongly
joined with that woman, the more he clasps her and is entwined with her,
the more his body, by the creation of female weapons in the body of the
woman, is cut up into parts. For perceiving him mixed with the limbs of
a woman he becomes secure from death, and the whole is turned into blood.
But the Philosophers, beholding him turned into blood, leave him in the
sun for certain days, until the lenitude is consumed, the blood dries up,
and they find that venom which now is manifest. Then the wind is hidden.
The Sixtieth Dictum.
Bonellus saith:- Know, all ye
disciples, that out of the elect things nothing becomes useful without
conjunction and regimen, because sperma is generated out of blood and desire.
For the man mingling with the woman, the sperm is nourished by the humour
of the womb, and by the moistening blood, and by heat, and when forty nights
have elapsed the sperm is formed. But if the humidity of the blood and
of the womb were not heat, the sperm would not be dissolved, nor the foetus
be procreated. But God has constituted that heat and blood for the nourishment
of the sperm until the foetus is brought forth, after which it is not nourished,
save by milk and fire, sparingly and gradually, while it is dust, and the
more it burns the more, the bones being strengthened, it is led towards
youth, arriving at which it is independent. Thus it behoves you also to
act in this Art. Know ye that without heat nothing is ever generated, and
that the bath causes the matter to perish by means of intense heat. If,
indeed, it be frigid, it puts to flight and disperses, but if it have been
tempered, it is convenient and sweet to the body, wherefore the veins become
smooth and the flesh is augmented. Behold it has been demonstrated to you,
all ye disciples! Understand, therefore, and in all things which ye attempt
to rule, fear God.
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