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Samuel Norton - The Key of Alchemy

The First Treatise - The Vegetable Stone

This transcription was originally made by W.A. Ayton in the latter decades of the 19th century, from the original manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1421. Samuel Norton was the great-grandson of the famous 15th century English alchemist Thomas Norton, author of the Ordinall of alchemy.
Transcribed by Brother Mercurius 2014. Back to Key of Alchemy page . Back to transcriptions page .

Here beginneth the Treatise of

The Key of Alchmie

& first of the vegetable stone

Hermes the great father & Prince of chymicall philosophers after he had in the beginning of Tabula Smaragdi[1] set out the certaintie of the art, comming to speak of the materials of the philosophers stone; he willeth us to take the stone Animal, Vegetable, Mineral; of the Animall, & the Minerall, shall be spoken in their due place; in the mean time wee will handle the vegetable; And although the philosophers have ascribed divers slender devices rather to cover than to disclose the fruite thereof; As Garland[2] in his 14th Chapter, Quia ex succo trium herbarum simul conjunctarum ~ mercurialis, Portulacae marinae quae Lac facit & Chelidoniae; Whereas he meaneth the Mercuries [symbol] of bodies, Sol & Luna; Luna by purslaine, by Chelidoniae, Sol, which close coluoring, have made the unlearned sort; yea & some that think themselves right wise, to seeke it in herbs & plants; As writeth Thomas Norton in his 4th Chapter, calling with Tousill, not knowing the cause whie it is called vegetable, for alonlie are trees, herbes, & plants, vegetables. And therefore may it easilie be objected on this wise; Nothing giveth that which has it not; vegetables have no metallic vertue, {...}; True; the parts are not to be denied, & yet to be distinguished; vegetables are not used in the stone to give any metallike virtue, but onlie to serve for preparation of metals; That thereby the vertues may be the better extracted; & yet using the self-same reason, I would prove that same vegetable giveth ingression to metals thus; That which it hath it may give to the stone; vinneger commeth of the vine, & hath vertue ingressive; Our vinneger vegetable may give ingression to the stone; which I thus prove; the spirit of the stone giveth ingression to the stone; the spirit of vinneger is in the spirit of the stone; Ergo the spirit of vinneger joyned to the spirit of the Stone giveth ingression unto the stone; Therefore writeth Riplie on the words of Marie, The water is the Menstrue drawne out from him, which consisteth of double Spirit, that is of vinneger & of himself, & in his vision againe:

Bufonem vidi rubrum potare liquorem

Uvarum, donec viscera rupta erant.[3]

By this toad he meaneth the red Lead, that is Adrop or Minium or Saturne or Capricorne or Rupiscissus Antimonae; of which & vinneger distilled, is the vegetable, Quin ex vite est. Take therefore the base afore named[4], & to his every pound weight, pour on a gallon of distilled vineger, & set it in a cool place for 3, 4 or 5 days, every day stirring it 4 or 5 times a day, & after that filter it over, with a woollen cloth of flannell into vessels or bodies of glass, so long that, the matter may be clear & crystalline; By which meanes the bodie is now become no bodie, but brought or reduced into the first matter, into a viscous matter, where of it was in the bowels of the earth engendered; And thereon writeth the Philosopher in his [...][5], there is nothing alterable except it be brought into his first matter; Here Riplies toad drinks so fast, that his bowels be all burst, heere have we made spissum liquidum; hereon saith Guido; The first matter of our Stone is viscous water, made thinne in the bowels of the earth; In another place also: The first matter of our Stone, is water sulphureous & mercureall: The which is plainly signified by the words of Arnold, where he saith, Sciant Artifices & let the Practisers of Alchimie understand, that the kinds of metalls be not transmutated, except they be brought into their first matter, & then may they be altered into other kinde, than they were at the first; Agreeing with him writeth the Philospher Whazchamech[6]; Corpus habet liquefieri in materiam su am primum; The bodie ought first of all to bee made liquid, into its first matter; which is our first solution in preparation; Not yet which the philosophers term "solutio prior" of which shall here after be spoken; But because in this solution we have a great deal too much vinigere, which we seek not but rather use as a meane to draw our gummie water from the lead; wee therefore place this water over a slow fire on a trevet that the superfluous waterishness of the vinigere[7] may be so evapored away that wee may find the extracted matter of lead drawne out by the vertue of vinegere; ffor so are we taught both by Riplie & Ive; according both in that point, touching the preparation of the base where his words are thus, vapour away the vinegar upon a lent fire, until an oile thick and viscous remaine in the bottome, like liquid pitch; whose substance being cold, becommeth of greene coullor; Of which I find written in the Tabula Scientiae majoris, these words; Imprimis habetur in Leone nostro viridi vera materia & cujus coloris sit, & vocatur Adrop, Azoth aut Duenech viride; The ffirst point is to finde out the true matterials, & what couller it is, which is found in our greene Lyon[8], & is called Adrop, Azoth, or green duenech, which word is by John Garland counted to be vitriolum viride, green vitrioll, And therefore Riplie speaketh in another place & calleth it vitriolum, Azoc, to give men to understand, what it is, & that it was not meant to be green copprass[9].

But to return to our purpose, when this our gumme of Sericon is perfectly could, let it be ground into as small parts as it may, & so putting it into a bodie of glass never exceeding above the proportion of 4 pounds at a time, lute too the head or Alembick very sure & fast, so that no breath may expire or break out, which being done, put to distil in a sand fire, & make distillation first with a lent fire, untill the superfluous waterishness of the vinneger, have no sharpness, from thence let it be parted, & luting there to another great or large receiver, increase the fire & then the white Smoke will beginne to ascende, & so falling doune to the bottom of the glass in red oile; continue on this distillation ffor the space of 6 hours[10] & if you shall receive a red humour or thereabouts in coullor which Raimond calleth his stinking menstrue, & is our Mercury vegetable; Of which Mercury Geber pronounceth these words, Prima materia corporum non est Mercury non est vulgi, sed est vapor unctuosus et humidus; The first matter of bodies is not Mercury common but is a vapor unctuous & moist; ffor we recite in common philosophy, that aire condensed becometh raine; So the condensed aire or vapor of our base, condensed in the head of our Alimbeck turneth into water, which is our menstrue or Mercury vegetable; Not unaptly therefore finde it set doune in Tabulae Scientiae majoris[11]; In secondi similiter habetur quasi ter corpora solvuntur in Ar: vi: philosophorum in Aqua Mercuriali Mercury nostri, & fit unum corpus novum. It is likewise the second work to have, or find out, after what sort the bodies are dissolved into Ar: vi: of philosophers; that is into water of our Mercury, & so becometh our only new bodie.

Guido the philosopher speaking of the 4 works, had in the process of this art, saith that the first worck is that the dissolution of the Stone be done by the decoction, & seething of Elements; Namelie that the menstrue be drawne from the bodie; To the same effect writeth Parmenides, Primo solve Lapidem in suum Mercurium ; And a little after expressing plainly, what he meaneth, sheweth what must bee dissolved sed grossum in simplum, the gross substance into a thinne Duenech, into menstrue or Mercurie; But more plainlie Zenon writing of the second worck, Although he set it downe for the first worcke; Wherefore note that verie few Philosophers ever spake of the solution in preparation; & therefore counted the solution in drawing of the menstrue to the first worcke which they terme solutio prior. Therefore, saith Zenon in Alchemico, opere oportet, & that is It behoveth first of all in this worcke of the Stone, that the bodie, soul & spirit bee mortified & drawne out, being that other wise in this art yt yealdeth noe fruit afore it be mortified. But the separation of elements is of mortified bodies, & the effect of every element is set forth; wherefore if you will make the Elixir it behoveth you wholie to dissolve the Stone into elements, ffor so importeth the words of king Hermes in his second treatise, Scito fili &c, Know therefore my sonn that our Stone is of manie names & sundrie coullors. So that it was ordained & made of 4 elements which we must devide & cut into members & straightlie to sequester & to mortify their parts, & so convert them into the nature of that is in them; Wherefore saith our Riplie, the second worcke is the purging and clensing of the stone, which is done by rectifying of the elements, namelie, in separating of the earth, the water & the aire; The end & intent whereof it is done, appeareth in the words of Basius the philosopher, & in the second worcke of Guido. Basius saith; In the perfect masterie; stones never receive or joyne one with another except they be both clensed afore, for the bodie receive not the spirit, nor the spirit the bodie, before; So that the spirituall be made bodily, & the bodily spirituall, which cannot bee, except they be first most perfectlie clensed and depured from all other filthiness; Guido calling it his second worcke, that the Stone may be clensed, rectifying of the elements; which is the whole worcke after the whole menstrue be extracted, understand therefore that upon drawing out of the menstrue, there remaineth behind in the bottom of the glass an earth somewhat blackish like unto soote; which Guido to the beguiling of fooles, willeth to be cast away; which earth is yet to bee new handled; that there on may more of the menstrual Liquor be drawne, ffor as yet saith Riplie, the best of the fire remaineth behind.

Thy distillation accomplished & that it be cold, take off thy head, & take the matter aforenamed out of thy glass, & put it into an earthen panne, upon a few coals to calcine for the space of one halfe hour untill they become of coullor bright like gold or yellowish, & so are they sufficiently calcined, which is the calcination of the faeces. Take therefore a pound weight of them & put them to a gallon of distilled vinegar; Dissolve, stirre, ffilter, vapor & distill as afore, - twice or thrice. For that as yet, the best of the fiery elements lieth yet behind in that black earth, which is called terra nigra prima of which we afore spake. Of this drawing of the menstrue & calcination of the faeces, saith the philosopher: first dissolve, that is thy base in Menstrue, Next calcine, that is thy black earth here named yr Thic Mercury being on this wise extracted, & that thou hast thy whole proportion determined, thus loosed into thy natural liquor, then according to the doctrine aforesaid, you must on this sort proceede to the separation & rectification of elements, which separation is diversely given out of philosophers; And that by Riplie himself; The proof of which I full dearly bought; for thereby I lost all my quantity of white tincture in seeking of the Lunarie after that manner, for that which I found, thinking it to have been Riplie's owne manner of separation was but a note of separation by Riplie taken out of the works of Hortulanus; And therefore I admonish to refuse that way of separating, & follow this way, which Riplie set downe, as from the Authoritie of Aristotle; which I know to be right true & good; & therefore (expertus loquor) which separation is allowed by Hermes, saying: Cum habueris aerem ab igne, when you shall have the Ayre from the fire; which are the two virtues operative (so termed of Aristotle)[12] it is in this wise brought to effect; Take your Liquor aforesaid, put it into a Gripes Egge & stopping it verie close, place it in Balneo; there to digest, for the space of tenne daies, that done; take out they glass & put they digested matter into a bodie to distill; Lute the head close, & thy receiver so likewise, & draw thy water with an easy fire, & that which then riseth with most lent heat of the bath is the Aire or burning water, termed (Aqua Ardens) which ye must thus trie; power one or two drops thereof into a spoone, wetting a linnen cloth therein, put a candle thereto, & with the flame provoke it to burne & if it burne not clean away, distill it by itself in another bodie luted as before; & that which will not burne, but hydeth behind, throw that away: for it is the flood or faint water, & so doe 3 or 4 times, & that which will burne, keep it, & distill it over 4 times more which maketh 7 Rectifications in the whole. But if the last two times were done in ashes, it were a great deale the better for it, in that it will make it the softer & better able to worcke. And this is the Ayrie element, separated, rectified, & exhaled up into Quintessence; so writeth Riplie, which is then to be kept in a glass close sealed; This done; In the same bath exhale the floud, that is his watery substance which is not as the Aire is, of pale waterish colour, but of colour under whit; distill this till there be in the bottome or ground of the glass a substance black, liquid, & thick; And so have we another element & the water that burneth not, but extinguisheth fire, which water take & put upon the black substance, mingling them well together, & shut the vessel, & let them so stand to digest in balneo 7 daies; that the elements may be the better separated. Which done, proceed to the separation of the water & oile from the earth; Then with a most strong fire of ashes or sand, exhale the water untill the foresaid substance remaine blacke and drie in the bottom of the glass; which earth is the earth of the Stone & is that which I afore termed Terra nigra secunda. The water & oile which were from the same afore drawne together, separate in the lent fire of the bath, until the thick oyle remaine in the bottome; Which take & keep apart in their vessailes; for that you have the 4 elements separated one from the other: Scilicet, water, ffire, Aire & Earth; And thus is the Stone clensed from his original filth; by separation and rectification of the elements. But if any will proceede to go further in this separation of elements, to create Raimmond his Lunarie[13]; Then follow this way of Aristotle I advise thee; (for happie are they whom other men's harmes doe make to bee ware) Seeke not in any wise to calcine the black earth afore said into white; but calcine it from his blackness to some faire colour, in a furnace of Reverberatione; Then make it subtill into powder; And here on put your water ardent aforesaid; & so distill it from the earth in ashe fire 7 times, every time calcining the earth as afore, & so wee have that water, which Raimond called his Lunarie perfectly rectified, which come from wine; By virtue of which all bodies are dissolved, putrefied & purified, & the elements are divided, & the earth is exalted into a mervailous salt, by his virtue attractive. He that thinketh there is any other water is a foole & ignorant, & shall never come to effect.

Thus far extend the words of Raimon, which is the accomplishment of Guido his 3rd worcke; which is the cibation of the Stone, which he saies is done by imbibition of water, that it may be made perfect Aqua vitae, by rectifying of the earth with water. Hermes agreeth in these words, speaking of the same earth, "Recifie the aire, saith he on his earth calcined; for then you need not care if that in this stone bee a little of the earth, ffor even as a little leaven doth ferment a great deale of past; so a little of the earth which is in this Stone doth suffice for the nourishment of the whole Stone. These words Riplie, in his concordance, upon the words of Hermes & Aristotle saith: "Yee need not care if in this Airy substance (of which we afore spake) "there bee a little vertue of earth, which it taketh from it, while it is rectified upon it, "for that a little ferment", &c. And in another place, where he calleth the earth, "the ferment of the water"; taking Hermes to record he saith: his Nource is the earth, without which ferment, the spirit of the Stone cannot be made perfect, neither the spirit be perfectly kept in; Nor can have the complement of his vertue; And therefore wee give this water, the vertue of his earth, & then hee hath his strength perfectly & wholie. Wherefore saith Hermes, His virtue is whole, if it shall be turned into his earth; & then it shall be called water of life perfectly rectified & complete. And if yee shall distill often times, yet shall it be called water of life, which hath often beguiled the ignorant, who taking instead thereof Aqua vitae of wine, have deluded themselves & lost both labour & cost. Neither is that alonlie common to the ignorant, but those that rightly understand the materialls may easily lose their Aqua vitae & Lunarie as I myself so well know. When there withall, I sought to dissolve the crude calx of gould. So wandered I before I founde out the true solution of Sol.

Let us now proceed to the 4th worcke, which is conjunction or comixtion, that between male and female, Agent and patient, water & earth, that the sonne of the fire may be engendered; which is held so dear among philosophers; Which Sonne is that which is called Sulphur of Nature; And is to be obtained two waies: the one by putrefaction; the other by alteration. Who will therefore create this Sulphur upon this unperfect bodie; Let him follow this way of Riplie, Take of this first black earth & calcine it till it bee faire & yeallow; Take thereof one ounce, or twaine according to proportion of this matter or Lunarie. Thereon power such a quantitie of Lunarie as may scarce cover the earth & so do from 8 days to 8 days, that is every 8 days once, until it will drink no more, but that the water stand upon him two fingers thick; And so is commixtion or conjunction made; And heere the two winged & flying dragon is joined with the dragon without wings; Of which the fixed, or not flying dragon eateth of the wings of the flying dragon, till at last they both die together; And so rising againe become both one flying dragon. Conjunction thus made, whereas afore in time of commixtion the vessaile or Gripes egge was in a cold place, but only loosely stopped with a linen cloth; Now seale it up with Solomon's Seale, or else with some other close kinde of stopple; for in this place are Geber his words to be verified: "Evolat & imprimis incluseris undique rimis"[14]; ffor otherwise the spirits will flie away and not joyne with the bodie.

I must rest here a while to speake somewhat of alteration; which hath almost the same course to runne; save that when the first earth in putrefaction is done with Lunarie, it is to be imbibed with his first menstrue unseparated immediately upon the stilling thereof: doe therefore on this sort: Take 4 or 5 oz.[15] of the earth that remaineth of the same distillation & calcine it into a faire yeallow colour, & thereupon pour so much of the menstrue as may even scarcely cover it throughlie, & so make fast the glass; for the commixtion is done.

Now let us proceed to putrefaction, which order is to be kept in both, & is like; save that colours are not to be looked for in Alteration, as in the putrefaction; And therefore Ripley speaking of the process of altheration, maketh no mention of the collours; But only saith, Hide or bury thy worcke in warme bath, or dunghill, & there abide the alteration, by the space of 150 daies; until such time as that of him which alteration shall be subtill & convertible may be sublimed into Holiest earth, although that the residence be some what more greater; ffor that which is grosser & thick shall remain belowe in the bottome; This alteration shall be done best of all in a lent fire & when from hence you have your christalline Sulphur or Salt; you have then matter which is apt to put on purple or white clothes, that is apt to be imbibed with the two Tinctures, & joined with the ferments that there on the Stone may be had, after it is found with the two virtues operative; of which shall shortly be spoken after the obtaining of the Sulphur.

In the meane season let us not pass over that place which Ripley so plainlie allegeth for the manner of alteration, saying: "Our water put upon our earth beginneth to bubble, or seethe which within an hour after it is distilled, ought to be put upon the calx, namely, that the bodie proportionate to the quantitie of water, be put to putrefaction & altered into christalline earth; & that which is altered may be fixed, & the rest that remaineth behind in the glasse may be cast away for damned dust.

And after that sort understand yee that where as the philosophers doe put downe many rectifications & decoctions, that they do deceave fooles; seeing that it is but one worcke, one labour, one vessaile, one thing to be guided, namely, with the bodie & the spirit. And although in these words there may be some disseverance from other places in that it is said many rectifications and decoctions; True it is that divers philosophers have after the conjunction made mention of taking up the glass after it is black & that it ought to be removed, & again to be imbibed; which they did to beguile fooles. Of those hee meaneth it by, & not of them that speaketh of Separation & Rectification, afore conjunction, but of such as after set downe such tractations, to the beguiling of fooles; for hee knew that there was no philosopher but knew after the Seperatione conceived, there can be an opening, till birth, & therefore & after conjunction, no more but patiently abide putrefaction, for that the putrefaction of the one is the generation of the other, & without the cord of seed sowne in the grounde, do putrefie & breake, we see that no graine groweth, no herbe springeth according to Aristotle; saying in our first philosophie, corruptio unius est generatio alterius"[16]. And Crases the philosopher in Turba saith, speaking of the same commixing, Sapientes accipiter aes nostrum; Yee wise men, saith hee, taketh our aes, namelie our Earth, & place it in a vessaile with our first water, that is, with the Aire or Lunarie, & so seeth it.

Commixtion therefore made as aforesaid, & the glass shut up, proceede to putrefaction; for here begineth the worcke of a Philosopher & not afore; And this is it, of whence it is a common speech, that the process of the Stone is woman's worcke & childish play; A woman's worcke, for it is attributed to washing because the Liquor of the spirit, after the solution of the bodie, ascendeth up, & falling downe again in drops, doth continually wash the matter, & for the self same thing is it called children's play, in that children playing among puddles do commonlie bewet & spirth themselves with water; which is signified by the ascending of the spirit in the glass & washing of the matter; And therefore they say Aer Latonem abluit, the air washeth the earth. The worcke of putrefaction is that the glass be set in a moist fire, That is in Balneo Marie for 150 daies, there to putrifie, until passing the wheel of philosophie, it becommeth like fishes eies, that is to white Sulphur, having past all collours; Namelie, that at 40 days it be black; The reason ascribed is that heate working in moist bodies, ingender blackness, which the Philosophers calle Caput corvi, which is a sure token of putrefaction. Which Guido affirmeth on this wise; The decoction of the Stone endureth for 150 daies, at the least & in black colour is the tincture hidden even as the soul is in the bodie; between which & the white, as one should say, there appeareth the colours of a peacock; & after that perfect white. Riplie himself affirmeth, that after black cometh greene, & so after that, white. And in his vision shewing the putrefaction of the Stone, figured in his toad, touching the first colour, black, he hath these words into English verse from the Latine in these words:

"And when his corpse the force of vitall breath begin to lack,

This dying toad forthwith became like coale for colour black"

And of his sundrie colours, if followeth:

"Which done, a wonder to the sight but more to be rehearst

This toad with colours rare through every side was pearst

And white appeared, when all the sundrie hues were past

Which being tincted, redd for ever more did last."

And of this is generally given out among all the philosophers, One vessaile, one glass, one furnace. A great many of other speeches they have about this putrefaction, fetching their examples from humane conjunctions & generations, omitting the part of Phisicall discourses in that behalf; which to be read for reverence sake, I will not commit to your eies; most excellent & vertuous Queene, having all readie set downe as many as may suffice to leade to creation Sulphures; When there fore the white Sulphur is fullie risen in the glass[17], part it as warily as may be from the foeces remaining; & if you will proceed to the red Sulphur; for the redd Elixir, to the making of gold; parte this in twaine; & in a gripes egge, put the one halfe which you minde to save redd; & set it in an ashe fire, Increasing your fire from tenne daies, until 30 daies; & that the sulphur become red, then have you that matter; which exceedeth all treasures in all the world.

And thus is the way plaine sulphur of the imperfect bodie[18], & of his owne earth speaketh Aristotle[19], saying in his epistle to king Alexander, "Understand therefore that there beginneth the worcke of Elixirs & not before, for all that went before, was but to create the two earths"; viz: the white & the redd which are Lune & Sol of the philosophers; for Raimond saith of these Sulphurs, our metalls are not but Mines[20] in whome the clearness of Sol & Lune are infixed; Where upon wee make unto these Wines by art, & going further to the process of the worcke next ensuing, hee saith, teaching how it ought to bee imbibed to become the Stone.

Put therefore the white earth into one vessaile & the redd into another in manner of a Gripes egg & then pour the live vertues operative, scilicet water & fire, that is the Lunarie; & the red oile before reserved[21]. To the white sulphur by Lunarie, & to the redd, the oile; Alwaies take heed, that to the redd sulphur you put no Lunarie, & to the white, no oile[22]. This imbibition must be done in ash fire, the vessaile close stopped hard with a linning cloth; But alwaies take heede that you power not on so much at a time, for making the bellie too nesh[23], which cannot be holpen, but by a vomite; Therefore, imbibe him often times, & dry him up leisurelie, untill that it will give easy fusion, or melte like waxe on a plate of silver, if it be the redd; If white trie it on copper, ffor so must the philosopher's child be fedd with meate & food, till hee be able to doe a man's Art; At which time here is the stone perfect, readie to be elixirated; The matter & form of which elixiration is his fermentation, which shall be shewed when we come to the 4th Treatise, as is alreadie said in the preamble.

And thus having brought our vegetable stone now to the Elixir, that is to be the perfect stone, pearsing & flowing; I will cease to speake any further of this long worcke, done by putrefaction of his own bodie, & will intreate of the order of Raimond's Accortations fo the vegetable stone, to King Robert of Sicill; & there with all conclude our vegetable treatise.

Although there are many accortations to attaine the Elixirs in shorter time than this long way by putrefaction, which is from the preparation of the base to the end of the Elixir, - a year & a quarter's worcke even to a most expert Artist; yet is there none more excellent or like to this long worcke than this Accortation of Raimond's. Other Accortations there are, of which I have tried some, but one above all the rest where with very light skill I made silver to piente & flow in tenne daies, which yf I had continued on, must needes have beene the white Elixir Minerall; save that my happe was to lose that by the breaking of a vessaile in calcination; which can at any time be done.

I will not say in mine owne practise unto your Highnes any other wise than I have proved heire; Pardon me I beseech Your Magestie for my rude writing; In which under colour of art I seeke not to abuse Your Highnes, neither to enpeoffe Your Magesties with vaine falsehoode; So far as I have gone in every one of the severall practises, I will set downe in the end of my booke, that Your Magestie may the better see & conjecture what likelihood thereof is to be hadd for the attainment of the Art, to the points whereto yet I have not come; I set downe the practises, as I have gathered out of the philosophies & that verie course which I meane to follow & prosecute, yf Your Highnes shall thinnk good to permit & licence; which yf I bring to effect, as I now by this wrighting unto Your Highnes, unvail the secret of the skill; so will I (God grantinge) then impart the medicine; Thus much may I surelie say, that of the Elixir of man's life & curing of all diseases, I am sure to have; for that, for that or this I might have had, yf I had imploied the Ardent water some other way, as Your Magistie shalle heere after better understand, when I come to the seaventh Treatise to declare the composition of the Elixir of life; I have digressed.

I will now therefore come to the manner of Raimond's Accortations; Of which, because this is of the vegetable Elixir, I will here place him, to end the vegetable treatise; The other accortation; for that it is Minerall & mixed, I will referre it over to the mixed stone or Elixir; And although it may be thought that all Accortations are a diminishing of perfection, save only in these which he heere setteth downe to king Robert of S., all which for the vegetable worcke hee commendeth this Accortation; of whose sorte & vertue, hee saith, Deus Novit Great God (saith hee) whom I take to witness, knoweth how this manner of Accortation in effect subtileness, vertue & goodness, is more subtill & better than all other worckes of the world; & therein all the philosophers agree that all the worcke consisteth in Mercury, Sol , & Luna[24], Of which since the Elixir is engendered, there can be no greater liklyhood than in this way.

When therefore wee have our Ardent water extracted, as afore is shewed; distill it 9 times; Take thereof 12 parts, putting it into a paire Cencinissaries, that is to say to every of them 6 parts, that is the halfe; Then take of gold well made & purged into foliate, one part, & dividing it into two; where with do as with the water; In every Cemnissarie[25] put equal weight; That done & thy Cemmissaries close luted & stopped, where the noses of the Alembicks enter into the bodie, place them to destill in ashes where they may in the side of the furnace be placed, so that both Cemmissaries may receive equal heate & be of equal remotion from the fire; Then when the bodies feele heate; yee shall see how that the ferment or gold will begin to dissolve; Then tie or fasten to the pipes of the Cemmissaries noses two sponges which must be kept cold continually; And when the gold is all dissolved, you shall see how the ferment dissolved will ascend with the water, & destill from one vessaile into another continuallie, twise every day & twise every night; When you see this ascension & descension continued with equal heate, you shall perceive how by reason of heat the spirit becometh thinne & subtill, which the longer it shall be destilled, doth alwaies ascend & increase in degree & heighth of subtilness & strength; And in how much more lenter fire it shall be done in, it shall be more subtiller in strength & fortitude.

This manner of order continue on for the space of 20 or 22 daies, & the quintessence of this blessed water will be so that it will no more ascend, but remains fixed with the ferment, & so is converted into the stone; Which perceived, take out both the glasses, & wholie together as they are, set them in the balneo, & by & by in one night they will be dissolved; Then congeale them as afore; so do thrice; And by the power of God, it will abide exalted in manner of an oile; which never more be kindly congealed; And this way is more pretious then all other waies; yet must you heere marck that the like is to be done with Lune, to the whit worcke, save that where as the redd worcke is done & coagulated in 22 daies, the white will be done in ten daies; for that Lune is much more gross, earthly, & cerine; but that after her fixion is not so soon dissolved as the redd, wherefore there is no great odds of time between the one & the other.

Where as Raimond heere addeth, to take Sol brought into foliat; that do you not in any wise; but learn this general rule of mee which is both theoritably grounded & practically proved to be true; Meddle never with crude Sole & Lune[26]; Crude I call it for that being in foliate, it is readie to be molten againe into gold, & therefore can never joine her minima neither may it abide examination. And therefore finde it written put not crude to worcke things; Wherefore let it bee either calxe prepared or else brought into oile as shall be declared in the treatise of fermentation; By which meanes, there ariseth another commoditie, ffor then less quantitie & proportion of water will serve, & besides that the Elixir shall be higher by reason that the ferment is tincted afore into a ruddisher colour; And these my words are not swerving from the practise in his Magick; wherein hee willeth that the Lune be dissolved into liquor first.

And for proportion appointeth that to every part of Lune be joyned three double of the water, & so proceede as afore is recited in the Accortation.

And this I hope may serve for the full practise of the vegetable stone, that which resteth in elixiration shall throughly be spoken of when we come to fermentation; Note therefore this difference between the stone & elixir; The stone; it is when it will pearce & flow; & be ready to give ready fusion, then may it justly be called yxer, & alonelie & not afore to be said Elixir till it be fermented; And so I end this present treatise of the vegetable stone; most willing to please & still craving pardon of offence.


[1] Margin note: "TC v 4 & 6 all his pieces have been in & vide PH. iii. TC 6. p."

[Transcriber's note: "TC": the letters are superimposed such that C centered on the vertical of the T, below the cross-bar]

[2] Margin note: "Garlandii, Ioannes {...} Artis Alchimia, cum eiusdem Artis compendio, de Metallorum Tincturae, preparatum, in 80, Basileae Basilius Joan. Herold. 1560, v1571."

[Transcribers note: manuscript verified, Garland, John. Compendium alchimiae etc. For details of title(s), contents, authors, complexities of versions, etc. see ]

[3] "I saw the frog drink the red liquid of grapes, until its bowels were ruptured."

[4] Margin note: "Dissolution"

[5] Transcriber's note: Though illegible (because so faint), it appears to be a single word of 8 or 9 probably Greek characters.

[6] Transcriber's note: This could be "Wharchamech". No reference found for either spelling, nor for the exact Latin phrase.

[7] Margin note: "poration"

[8] Margin note: "see Pernety, Dict:"

[9] Margin note: Partial word ending in "...ulphas Mars [symbol]", the first letters of the word having been missed by the scan.

[10] Margin note: "distillation"

[11] Transcriber's note: "7. 10ff Tabula scientiae majoris u. a. m. Ars magna Raymundi Lulli. – from

[12] Margin note: "not Alexander's Aristotle"

[13] Margin note: "Calcination of ye 2nd earth for Lunarie"

[14] "She flies everywhere and especially through cracks."

[15] Symbol for uncia or ounce; similar to the cursive "Z".

[16] "One corruption is the generation of another."

[17] Margin note: "Nota"

[18] Margin note: "The beginning of Elixirs"

[19] Margin note: "TC v. 5th p."

[20] Transcriber's note: possibly "Wines"

[21] Margin note: "Imbibition"

[22] Margin note: "Nota"

[23] Margin note: "Tender, soft."

[24] Symbols

[25] Margin note: Shows a drawing of a dual-alembic, with each beak feeding the belly of the other:

"The drawing of this is in Bas: Val: TC of Antimony p. 96 Engl. Edition" [Transcriber's note: p. 99 in mine, Engl. Renaissance Hermeticism, Vol 3, L. G. Kelly, Garland Publishing, 1990]

[26] Margin note: "Nota"