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Ripley's Fourth Gate

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After the chapter of natural Separation,
By which the elements of our Stone be dissevered,
Here follows the chapter of secret Conjunction,
Which Natures repugnant joins to perfect unity.
And so them knitteth that none from the other may flee,
When they by fire shall be examined,
They be together so surely conjugated.

And therefore Philosophers give this definition,
Saying this Conjunction is nothing else,
But a copulation of dissevered qualities,
Or a co-equation of principles, as others tell,
But some men with Mercury that the Apothecary sells,
Meld bodies which cannot divide their matter,
And therefore they slip aside.

For until the time the soul be separated,
And cleansed from its original sin with the water,
And thoroughly spiritualised,
The true Conjunction you may never begin.
Therefore the soul first from the body twin,
Then of the corporeal part and of the spiritual.
The soul shall cause perpetual conjunction.

Of two conjunctions the philosophers do mention make,
Gross when the body with Mercury is reincrudate,
But let this pass, and to the second take heed,
Which is as I have said, after separation celebrated,
In which the parties be left with least to colligate,
And so promoted unto a most perfect temperance,
That never after amongst them may be repugnance.

Thus Separation causes true Conjunction to be had,
Of water and air, with earth and fire,
But that each element into other may be laid,
And so abide for ever to your desire,
Do as do daubers with clay or mire,
Temper them thick and make them not too thin,
So do updrying, you shall the rather win.

But manners there be of our Conjunction three,
The first is called Diptative by Philosophers,
Which between the agent and patient must be,
Male and female, Mercury and Sulphur vive,
Matter and form, thin and thick to thrive,
This lesson will help thee without any doubt,
And our Conjunction truly to bring about.

The second manner is called Triptative,
Which is Conjunction, made of things three,
Of body, soul and spirit, that they not strive,
Which trinity you must bring to unity,
For as the soul to the spirit must bonded be,
So the body must the soul to him knit,
Out of thy mind let not this lesson flit.

The third manner and also the last of all,
Four Elements together which join to abide,
Tetraptative certainly the Philosophers do call it,
And especially Guido de Montano whose fame goes wide,
And therefore in most laudable manner this tide,
In our Conjunction four elements must aggregate in due proportion,
Which first were separated asunder.

Therefore like as the woman has veins fifteen,
And the man has but five to the act of their fecundity,
Required in our Conjunction first I mean,
So must the man our Sun have of his water three,
And nine his wife, which three to him must be.
Then like with like will joy have for to dwell,
More of Conjunction I needeth not to tell.

This chapter I will conclude right soon,
Therefore gross Conjunction charging thee to make but one,
For seldom have strumpets children of them bore,
And so you shall never come by our stone,
Without you let the woman lie alone,
That after she has once conceived of the man,
Her matrix be shut up from all others then.

For such as add ever more crude to crude,
Opening their vessel letting their matters cool,
The sperm conceived they nourish not but delude themselves,
And spoil their work each time.
If you therefore wish to do well,
Close up your matrix and nourish the seed,
With continual and temperate heat if you will speed.

And when your vessel has stood by five months,
And clouds and eclipses be passed each one,
The light appearing, increase your heat, then believe,
Until bright and shining in whiteness be your Stone.
Then may you open your glass anon,
And feed your child which is born,
With milk and meat, aye more and more.

For now both moist and dry is so contemperated,
That of the water earth has received impression,
Which never after that asunder may be separate,
So water to earth has given ingression,
That both together to dwell have made profession,
And water of earth has purchased a retinue,
They four made one never more to strive.

Thus in two things all our intent does hang,
In dry and moist, which are two contraries.
In dry, that it bring the moist to fixing,
In moist, that it give liquefaction to the earth also,
That of them a temperament may thus go forth,
A temperament not so thick as the body is,
Neither so thin as water without miss.

Loosing and knitting thereof be two principles,
Of this hard science, and poles most principal,
How be it that other principles be many more,
As shining fanes which I shall show,
Proceed therefore unto another wall,
Of this strong Castle of our Wisdom,
That in at the fifth Gate you may come.

The end of the Fourth Gate.

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