A LETTER COMMUNICATED BY PRINCE FEDERICK DUKE OF HALSATIA & SLESWICK CONCERNING AN ADEPT AND RELATES THINGS STRANGE AND UNHEARD OF
THE FOLLOWING LETTER WAS COMMUNICATED BY THE MOST SERENE PRINCE FREDERICK DUKE OF HOLSATIA AND SLESWICK, AND RELATES THINGS STRANGE AND UNHEARD-OF
You have desired of me an account of the Life and Death, Inheritance and Heirs of my Master B.J. of happy memory: I return you this Answer, in Latine, as yours to me was, though I be not exactly skilled in it.
He was by Nation a Jew, by Religion a Christian, for he believed in Christ the Saviour, and openly made profession of the same: He was a man of great Honesty, and gave great Alms in secret: He lived chastly a Batchelor, and took me when I was about twenty years of Age, out of the House where Orphans are maintained by the Publick, and caused me to be instructed in the Latine, French, and Italian Tongues; to which I afterwards by use added the Jewish or Hebrew. He made use of me, so far as I was capable, in his Laboratory, for he had great skill in Physick, and cured most desperate Diseases. When I was twenty five years of Age, he called me into his Parlour, and made me swear to him, that I would never marry without his consent and knowledge; which I promised, and have religiously kept.
When I was thirty years of Age, on a morning he sends for me into his Parlour, and said very lovingly to me, My Son, I perceive that the Balsom of my Life, by reason of extreme old Age coming on, (for he was eighty eight years of Age) is well-nigh wasted, and that consequently my Death is at the door: wherefore I have writ my last Will and Testament, for the use and benefit of my Brothers Sons, and of you, and have laid it upon the Table of my Closet, whither neither you nor any mortal ever entered: for you durst not so much as knock at the door, during the hours set apart for my Devotion. Having said this, he went to the double door of his Closet, and daubed over the joynings thereof with a certain transparent and Crystalline Matter, which he wrought with his fingers till it became soft and yielding like Wax, and imprinted his Golden Seal upon it; the said Matter was immediately hardened by the cold Air, so that without defacing the Seal, the door could no way be opened.
Then he took the Keys of the Closet, and shut them up in a small Cabinet, and sealed the same as before with the said Crystalline Matter, and delivered the said Cabinet, after he had sealed it, into my hands, and charged me to deliver the same to none but his Brothers Sons, Mr. Jesse, Abrah, and Solomon Joelha, who at that time lived in Switzerland, the eldestof them being a Batchelor.
After this he returned with me into the Parlour, and in my presence dropped the Golden Seal he had made use of, into a glass of clear Water, in which the said Seal was immediately dissolved, like Ice in hot Water, a white Powder settling to the bottom, and the Liquor was ting’d with pale red of a Provence Rose. Then he closed the said Glass Vial, with the above-mentioned transparent Matter, and charged me to deliver the said Vial, together with the Keys, to Mr. Jesse.
This being done, he repeated upon his bended knees some of Davids Psalms in Hebrew, and betook himself to his Couch, where he was used to sleep after Dinner, and commanded me to bring him a Glass of Malaga, which now and then he sparingly made use of: As soon as he had drank off his Wine, he bid me come to him, and leaning his head upon my shoulders, he fell into a quiet sleep, and after half an hours time fetched a very deep sigh, and so yielded his Soul to God, to my great astonishment.
Upon this I according to my promise writ into Switzerland, to give notice of his death to his Nephews; and to my great wonder, the very day after my blessed Master died, I received a Letter from Mr. Jesse, wherein he enquired whether my Master were dead or alive, as if he had known every thing that had passed; as indeed he did, by means of a certain Instrument, of which hereafter I shall make mention.
A little after his Nephews came, to whom I gave an account of what had passed; all which Mr. Jesse heard with a smile, but the other Brother not without astonishment and wonder. I gave him the Keys, together with the Glass in which was the aforesaid Golden Solution; but they refused then to meddle with anything that day being tired with their Journey, but on the morrow, after I had carefully shut all the doors of the house, and none but they and I being present, Mr. Jesse took the Glass Vial, and broke it over a China-dish, which might receive the inclosed Liquor and put it upon the transparent Matter, with which the Cabinet was sealed, and immediately the Matter which before was hard as chrystal, was resolved into a thickish Water; so he opened the Cabinet, and took thence the Keys of the Closet.
Then we came to the door of the Closet, where Mr. Jesse having seen the Seal, he wetted it as formerly with the forementioned Liquor, which immediately gave way; and so he opened the said double door, but shut it again, and falling down upon his knees, prayed, as we also did; then we entered, and shut the doors upon us. Here I saw great Miracles.
In the midst of the Closet stood a Table, whose Frame was of Ebony: the Table it self was round, and of the same Wood, but covered with Plates of beaten Gold; before the Table was placed a low Footstool, for to kneel upon; in the midst of the Table stood an instrument of a strange and wonderful contrivance, the lower part of it or Pedestal was of pure Gold, the middle part was of most transparent Crystal, in which was inclosed an incombustible and perpetually-shining Fire; the upper part of it was likewise of pure Gold, made in the form of a small Cup, or Vial.
Just above this Instrument hung down a Chain of Gold, to which was fastned an artificial Crystal, of an Oval form, filled with the aforesaid perpetual Fire.
On the right side of the Table we took notice of a Golden Box, and upon the same a little Spoon: this Box contained a Balsom of a Scarlet colour.
On the left side we saw a little Desk of Massie Gold, upon which was laid a Book containing twelve leaves of pure beaten Gold, being tractable and flexible as Paper; in the midst of the leaves were several Characters engraved, as likewise in the Corners of the said leaves, but in the space between the Center and corners of the leaves, were filled with Holy Prayers.
Under the Desk we found the last Will of my deceased Master; whilst we were in the Closet, Mr. Jesse Kneeled down, leaning upon the Desk, and with most humble devotion repeated some of the forementioned Prayers, and then with the little spoon took up a small quantity of the aforesaid Balsom and put it into the top of the Instrument which was in the midst of the Table, and instantly a most grateful Fume ascending which with it most pleasing odour did most sensibly refresh us: but that which to me seem’d miraculous was, that the said Fume ascending, caused the perpetual Fire enclosed in the hanging Crystal, to flash and blaze terribly, like some great star or Lightning.
After this, Mr. Jesse read the Will, wherein he bequeathed to Mr. Jesse all his Instruments and Books of Wisdom, and the rest of his Goods to be equally divided between him and his Brother; besides he left me a Legacy of 6000 Golden Ducatoons, as an acknowledgment of my fidelity.
And accordingly first enquiry was made for the Instruments and Books of Wisdom; of those that were on and about the Table, I have spoken already: in the right side of the Closet stood a Chest of Ebony, whose inside was all covered with Plates of beaten Gold, and contained twelve Characters engraven upon them.
From thence we went to view a large Chest, containing twelve lookingglasses not made of Glass, but of a certain wonderful unknown Matter; the Center of the said Looking-glasses were filled with wonderful Characters, the Brims of them were inclosed in pure Gold, and between the said Brims and center they were polished, looking-glasses receiving all opposite Images.
After this we opened a very large Chest or Case, in which we found a most capacious looking-glass, which Mr. Jesse told us was Solomons Lookingglass, and the Miracle of the whole World; in which the Characterisms of the whole Universe were united.
We saw also in a Box of Ebony, a Globe made of a wonderful Matter; Mr. Jesse told us, that in the said Globe was shut up the Fire and Soul of the World, and that therefore the said Globe of it self performed all its motions, in an exact Harmony and Agreement with those of the Universe.
Upon this Box forementioned stood another, which contained an Instrument1 resembling a Clock-Dial, but instead of the Figures of the 12 hours, the Letters of the Alphabet were placed around this, with a Hand or Index turning and pointing at them. Mr. Jesse told us, that this Instrument would move of it self, upon the motion of a Corresponding and Sympathetick Instrument, which he had at home, and that by means of this Instrument, my happy Master had signified to him his approaching death; and that after this signification, finding that this Instrument remained without motion, he concluded my Master was dead.
Last of all we came to the Books of Wisdom, which he opened not; near the said Books was placed a Box of Gold, full of a most ponderous Powder of a deep Scarlet colour, which Mr. Jesse smiling took and put up.
Near to the Closet where we were, was another Closet adjoyning, which we entered into, and there found four large Chests full of small Ingots of most pure Gold, out of which they gave me my Legacy of 6000 Golden Ducatoons in a double proportion. But Mr. Jesse refused to take for himself any of the said Gold; for he said, that those things which were afore bequeathed to him, did fully content him, for he was skill’d in my Masters Art, and therefore ordered his part of the Gold to be bestowed upon several poor Virgins, of kin to them, to make up their Portions. I my self married one of these, and had with her a good Portion out of the said Gold; she embraced the Christian Religion, and is yet alive.
See this Instrument described in a Book called Arts Notoria, Printed in Latine or English, page 136.
Mr. Jesse packed up all his things, and carried them home with him into Switzerland, though since that he hath chose himself a quiet and well-tempered place in the East-Indies, from whence he writ to me last year, offering me to adopt my eldest Son, whom I have accordingly sent to him.
During the time we were in the Closet, I saw strange Miracles effected by the motions of the said Instruments of Wisdom, which I neither can nor dare set down in writing. Thus much, my intimate Friend, I was willing you should know, more I cannot add.