Heaven having granted me success in making the Philosophers’ Stone, after having spent 37 years in seeking it, stayed awake at least 1500 nights without sleep, suffering innumerable miseries and irreparable losses. I have decided to offer to youth, the hope of the future, the heart-rending picture of my life. This may serve both as a lesson and at the same time help the young to turn away from an art that at first may offer the most delightful white and red roses that, however, are surrounded by thorns and of which the path the leads to the place where one can pick them is full of pitfalls.
The universal medicine being a far greater blessing than the gift of riches to know it naturally attracts studious men who believe themselves to be happier than the multitudes. This reason has influenced me to transmit to posterity the processes to be undergone in the greatest details, without leaving out anything at all, in order to let it be known and to prevent the ruin of honest people and to render a service to suffering humanity.
The reader who understands my processes will only have to seek the Matter, the Fire, and the Labors of Hercules. Duty has forced all philosophers to make a mystery of this. I have sworn to Almighty God to carry this secret into the grave and will not be perjured, were I even to be stoned, as I prefer to displease men rather than the eternal.
I have honestly described all the processes that have to be undertaken, on this you can count. I have hope from the depths of my heart that what I have dreamed will reveal to virtuous men, if so called by God, how to rejoice in such blessing, helping them to avoid the numberless traps, even to the possibility of losing his very life.
The greatest care is needed to pass the Labors of Hercules. Once they are passed the rest is a very agreeable work that does not cost one cent in money.
Be very careful that it does not happen to you, as it did tome, to be wounded. As a result of these varied labors I find myself with the most essential organ of life affected, which means that I shall be denied, considering the seriousness of the illness, enjoying a long life, the virtue of the medicine not being surgical, but only medicinal.
I would advise those who insist on treading the path that leads towards the Philosophers’ Stone, only to begin their journey after having followed several courses in chemistry so that they will know how to manipulate. Whatever many authors may say, if I had not had the knowledge of chemistry that I do possess, I would never have reached the goal.
I must add that the matter proper to the work is that which served to form the body of primitive man. It is to be found everywhere and in varied forms. Its origin is both divine and terrestrial, equally so the fire of the stone.
The Universal Medicine is a magnetic salt that serves as a covering for a strange energy, universal life. As soon as this salt reaches the stomach it penetrates the whole body to its ultimate limits, regenerates all its parts, brings about a natural crisis followed by abundant sweating, purified the blood as well as the body, strengthens this matter instead of weakening it, through dissolving and chasing away by perspiration all morbid matter which would impede the pay of life and its currents. This salt, due to its cold quality, also makes disappear every kind of inflammation while the mysterious energy of this same salt spreads itself throughout the principal organs of life, settles there while vivifying them. This is the effect of the Universal Medicine which medically cures all infirmities that may affect man throughout the course of his life. It allows him to exist for several centuries in good health, unless, due to his constitution, God has ordered otherwise. This effect is quite contrary to the opinion we obtain from doctors who insist that one remedy only cannot cure all illnesses. But if they were cognizant of the Universal Medicine they would see the power of this salt is similar to that of a magnet that attracts not in this case iron, but the energy of universal life for which it acts as a covering. In administering it, they would be forced to recognize its celestial power, and they would fall onto their knees before this beautiful magnetic salt endowed with such miraculous and supernatural power and at the same time would declare from the depths of their hearts that no illness can resist its action. Of this I have been able to convince myself by giving back life to many sick people already abandoned by doctors.
To understand what I have just said regarding this strange power within the medicine more clearly, one should observe the effect of champagne on our stomachs. As soon as it enters the stomach, its liquid penetrates the walls and strengthens them. At the same time, its unknown energy, due to the presence of carbonic acid, is freed and rises to the brain, chases away our sorrows and makes us feel gay unless, of course, too large a quantity of this gas starts pressing on the brain and makes us stagger and fall.
We must realize that the body of man is material; nevertheless, it contains a power and energy which is foreign to it. This energy is life.
At this point, I must warn you never to forget that only two matters of the same origin are needed: One volatile, the other fixed. That there are two ways, the dry and the humid. I personally follow the latter by preference and by duty, though the former is familiar to me. It is done with only one matter.
The azoth unites easily with sulphur, fire with fire, and the double mercury or rebis in powder or salt or oil forms the true potable gold or the Universal Medicine in white or red. Finally the seed of gold lies within the gold itself.
Few combustibles are necessary; even less receptacles. The work costs very little to undertake and can be performed in any place, but it is convenient to begin it with that of nature in order to finish it well. I thought in this book to retain the most important passages from several works written by those philosophers who have best grasped the secret mercury, that is to say, Hermes, Arnold of Villanova and the anonymous author printed in Leipzig in 1732 and others, so as to transmit in a primordial manner this most precious and divine art relating to health.
Seek to know the Vinegar of the Mountains because without it you can do nothing. Its knowledge will give you that if the fairy of the soul so called by Arnold of Villanova in his Little Rosary.
Also, consider deeply that the fire of our hearths, that of the furnaces, or of a lamp is the tyrant of destruction and that nature only uses only the common fire in order to destroy. For example, the fire of lightning or that of the volcanoes.
Remember that, after their preparation, the two metallic natures cannot be reunited, but only in the state of dissolved germs, as is told by Arnold of Villanova.
Having well understood the practice and the workings that I am going to give you, you can apply yourself to the task of doing the great work. If you do not have the good luck to succeed, it is that God does not wish to grant you such a gift, because I swear to you that I have told you everything in this book, without betraying my oath.
Having passed 37 years of my life studying the phenomena of nature, I believe it my duty to publish a part of my discoveries so that the pains and unhappiness I have experienced may be avoided by those other good honest people who are interested in serving suffering humanity. Born of a beloved mother and of a father who was both respectable and highly educated and who held an honorable place in society, I was the only son and my father was my teacher, he gave me a careful education. From my earliest days I was held up as a model to the youth of my city, because of my behavior, my tastes for arts and sciences and my education. I was barely 17 years of age when already I could live independently from the fruits of my talents. My father was in correspondence with scientists, among which were some who busied themselves searching for the Philosophers’ Stone and were students of the occult science of things. Their books had fallen into my hands. I was imbued by them and said to myself: Is it possible that kings, princes, philosophers, presidents of the court and religious people would have taken pleasure in lying and in spreading error among their fellow men? No, it is impossible, I answered myself. There is rather ancient knowledge hidden within the language of hieroglyphics so that the common people are deprived of it and that only the elect, whom God would please to initiate, would be allowed t possess this supernatural knowledge. I was, by nature, good and a believer. I was simple and did not know the twisting of the human heart. I believed in the sincerity of these books. I could hardly wait to become my own master so that I could devote myself entirely o this type of study. From my point of view, life only had charm so long as one was possessed of health and could make others happy without their being able to speak about you. The knowledge of the Philosophers’ Stone would achieve this goal. It became the main consideration of my waking moments and of my leisure. My ambition was also to obtain the certainty that the soul existed and was immortal. Such was the knowledge I wished to acquire, even if it meant losing my very life.
The French Revolution had just burst forth. My knowledge seemed, in the eyes of my co-citizens, more useful in an administrative post than in the army. I was honored with several posts. During one of my tours, I saw when entering a small town a beautiful young lady whose appearance of goodness, sweet smile and air of general decency charmed my soul and inflamed my heart. At that very moment I resolved to make her my wife. After having fulfilled my mission I busied myself in finding a pretext to speak to her. Love was not lacking and not many days passed when the moment came that I received permission to visit her. Finally she accepted me and I promised to make her the happiest woman in the World. Alas! I was a long way from believing that I would be the cause of her experiencing a series of unprecedented miseries when considering that she did everything to make me happy.
A few months after my marriage, I made the acquaintance of a talented man whose wife was a famous artist. They were both interested in alchemy and trusted me with a little manuscript that had been found behind a closet. They were deeply impressed by this manuscript. It was written in a style that inspired a great deal of confidence. Everything was to be found there, with the exception of the name of the matter, of the Labors of Hercules and the knowledge of the Fire. I had felt I had reason to believe myself the happiest man on Earth. In the hotheadedness of youth, I came to conceive immense projects. I put myself to work which made me neglect my profession and personal needs. I then decided to resign from my post in order to be able to concentrate on Hermetic philosophy and within a few years I had used up all the money that my father and mother had given me upon my marriage and also a part of my wife’s dowry had been flown up the chimney.
My unlimited love and friendship for the companion of my youth and her tender feelings for me provided us with a large family that increased my expenses as my personal fortune diminished. I saw my wife bravely putting up with her situation and the desire to render her happy greatly increased my firm resolve to achieve the goal upon which I had decided. I fell into the deepest misery. My many friends now turned their backs upon me. Everyone lost interest in me, though some tried to discover why I had fallen into this sad state, especially considering my exemplary conduct. It came to light that my taste for alchemy deprived me of even the basic necessities. I became an object for public laughter. I was treated as a madman. I was booed. My family rejected me and on several occasions I found myself wandering over the country, obliged to interrupt my work, having sold even the best of my clothes in order to pay the wages of a servant who helped me pass my nights. My wife, burdened with many children, was obliged to take refuge with her parents, yet never ceasing to be a model of all the virtues. And, looking into the depths of my heart, I found nothing with which to reproach myself beyond my taste for a work that had ruined me and placed my family in such a painful situation.
I found it necessary to forget my work and to sell my talents, but the poor situation in which I stood made me unwanted. Hardly had I organized some advantageous deal that my subordinates or some people who furnished funds seized them, then seeking to discredit me so that I could find no help.
After about ten years had passed and having made use of a part of every night reading practically all the works published on the Philosophers’ Stone, my head beginning to be bowed with the weight of years, I began to feel the irresistible drive that reminds man of his first loves. In good faith, I suddenly believed myself better instructed than others and capable of overcoming all the obstacles that had stopped me heretofore. I had recourse to rich people of similar tastes. I was received in a very friendly manner. I passed happy days during the early days with these new acquaintances. Friendship was lavished upon me and I could now, to some extent, come to the help of my family. However, as soon as they thought that they had obtained all that I knew from me, I was abandoned with futile excuses. It even happened that some went to the point of giving me a strong dose of corrosive sublimate to destroy me and steal my writings. I learned to know the human heart at great cost. I had to keep wide awake all the time. But the fire which manifested in my stomach and the taste I recognized immediately, made me run to an antidote. This resulted in a year of discomfort and being almost deprived of the only pleasure that I knew on earth. In order to avoid importuning the reader and being accused of wordiness, I shall avoid a recital of the more petty human passions that I observed and the inconceivable differences that exist between the pleasant man one meets decorating the evenings in our drawing rooms and the same man controlled by the lure of riches and by his own vile cupidity. They are truly two different people.
I do not wish to pursue the recital of what happened to me. A description of the misfortunes that befell me would require a large volume. I once more fell into hardship. It was such that my numerous family, made up of charming well educated children, virtuous beyond expression by their decency and their talents were so unhappy because of the misfortunes of their father that they caught what in others would have been but slight diseases and, after a couple of weeks, these diseases became fatal for them. In a short while I lost my children.
Oh irreparable loss! How sad and heartbreaking it is for the paternal heart to be able to weep but tears and to feel only superfluous regrets! May the Eternal one day allow me once more to see you again and then the memory of my misfortunes will be erased for me.
Despite the broken-down condition in which I found myself, I decided to regather my strength in order to make one last effort. I went to see a rich person who was endowed with a great soul and equally great culture. For several years I was treated by her in a most generous manner. Far more generous than the others whom I had met in the past. I managed in the end to produce something encouraging, but it was not yet the true work.
One day as I had been walking in the country and was now sitting at the foot of a large oak tree, I took pleasure in bringing to my mind all the circumstances of my life and trying to judge whether I had some merit whatsoever or if I had deserved the huge weight of hardships that had brought me low. I remembered the discoveries I had made for commerce and the benefits that French industry had obtained from them. It was painful to see that strangers had profited and my name had been forgotten. I remembered the people who had had the skill to take advantage of all their discoveries after having given them a more fashionable form. They were covered with honors well situated while I was wandering and rejected. I asked myself if I had ever intentionally robbed one cent from any one of my fellow men and my conscience answered in the negative. Did I for one moment cease being a good son, god husband, good father, a good friend to those who deserved I? My heart answered my again: No, you unhappiness stems only from not having achieved your goal.
I brought to mind that it had been a cruel thing that so many times I had been so ill paid by my fellow men, even by my friends. I felt broken down by the pain of these memories. My strength and energy left me and I put my head on my hands and a very torrent of tears poured forth, as at the same time I called the Eternal to my help. That day it was very hot, so that I fell asleep and then dreamed a dream that I shall never forget.
I thought that I heard split the tree at whose feet I was sitting. The sound made me turn my head. I saw a nymph, a very epitome of beauty emerging from this tree. Her clothes were so diaphanous that they seemed transparent. She said to me: “From the heart of this holy tree I have heard the repetition of your misfortunes. There is no doubt but they were great, but such is the fate toward which ambition leads a youth who seeks and who believes himself able to face all dangers in order to satisfy his desires. I shall add no comment in order not to aggravate your misfortunes which I can ease. My essence is celestial. You can even consider me as a ray from the pole star. My power is such that I animate everything. I am the astral spirit. I give life to everything that breathes and vegetates. I know everything. Speak what can I do for you?”.
“O celestial nymph”, I said, “you can reanimate in me a heart beaten down by hardship by granting me only some slight idea regarding the organization of the universe, regarding the immortality of the soul and give me somehow the means that I may achieve to a knowledge of the Philosophers’ Stone and the Universal medicine. I have become an object of public laughter. My back is bent under the huge weight of miseries. For pity’s sake deign give me the means to rehabilitate myself in my own eyes”.
“I am truly touched by your sorrowful existence”, she answered me. “Listen. Gather all your faculties and engrave into your memory what I am going to tell you. At the same time, take a part of my comparisons as figurative, in order that I may be able to make myself understandable to your intelligence”.
“Place before your mind an immense space, almost without limits, within which floats this system of worlds composed of suns, of fixed stars, of nebulae, of comets, of planets and satellites, all swimming within the breast of eternity, all within the light of a divine sun whose rays are without limits and you will have some slight notion of the totality of the universe, as well as both the finite and the infinite world”.
“This system of worlds and of the Eternal or the sun of divine light are all of the same origin. They have had neither beginning nor will they have an end. The slight changes that certain globes experience changes nothing in the order of the universe”.
“The will of the Eternal or of the Creative Spirit can at will hurl a nebula into space. This going off at a tangent while flying through space is subject to the law of attraction of any sun to which it has drawn near and finishes by describing a very elongated eclipse whose two nuclei are determined by the action of the two suns. Then it is transformed into a comet but at the end of a lapse of centuries it finishes by giving way to the attraction of the stronger of the two suns. Its course becomes regular and finishes by making part of its own solar system by turning in circles around it. Then after a certain number of centuries its two luminous points become one point only, one luminous point that becomes the central fire of this globe, which itself becomes at a very, very distant time a planet habitable as soon as it had taken on a certain metaliferous consistency. Then it brings to birth on its surface the elements necessary to the life of the animals proper to its nature, such for example as water and atmosphere and vegetables”.
“The planets can, by a powerful expansion of the central fire, tear themselves into different parts, each of which spreading out into space, becomes also a satellite that is attached to the active atmosphere of some other planet”.
“A comet which, in the first place, was a nebula can, by its effect when drawing too near to a planet, raise its waters and give rise to a flood by a lowering or raising its axis. This changes the bed of the seas and brings to light that which was covered by the waters and hidden for centuries under them such as inhabited countries which are recovered from the ooze of the sea bottom raising at the same time the debris of animals and of vegetables packed tightly one upon the other”.
“Another planet, passing through the tail of a comet, may have its atmosphere so burnt up that not only all animal and vegetable life is destroyed, but the planet itself is transformed into a vast tomb. Finally, a comet, by its excessive action when drawing near to a planet, can cause such a disturbance on it that animal and vegetable life be greatly modified, even destroyed. These are the only alteration that happen to the globes, but, for all that, nothing in the world is lost. Were these globes to be reduced to atoms, these last, by the law of magnetic attraction, would end up by bringing forth a new planet”.
“The various species of animals that seemed to have existed in the world at distant successive epochs, are the facts of the creation brought about by the Creative Spirit. But, all the beings who come from these appear at epochs more or less distant the one from the other. They seem to be the results of great catastrophes that happened to the earth. The human species itself only seem to date about 60 centuries”.
“The suns, the comets, and the various planets are as much beings of a specific nature that find themselves definitely ruled by a spirit. The universal hierarchy is infinite. The Eternal belongs to a category far above these spirits. These latter are, as it were, its ministers and the planets, the globes, its subjects that have to submit to the directives of the same ministers”.
“Everything that exists in the universe that is material or physical or purely mineral, even the gases, note this avowal”.
“Man is triune. His body or his shape is animated by a soul. This is the junction of diverse forces by the help of which the spirit imprints its shape or matter. The soul is directed by the Celestial Spirit which is an emanation of the divine action and, consequently, imperishable”.
“Only man’s form perishes. The spirit for which the soul serves as a tie or an envelope, separates itself and man’s form. Deprived of this vital celestial spirit, is delivered to the reaction of its constituent principles. Spirit and soul live then spiritually in seeking the centers that are suitable to them and, after the lapse of a certain time, man or the being or the spirit or the spiritual life which goes on always perfecting itself, separates itself from his soul or from his glorious envelope to enter into its universality. This means that man dies twice. This is to say, twice changes his form. But man or the spirit lives eternally. From what I have told you, you can now no longer doubt the immorality of the soul.
“This is all that I am allowed to teach you now to satisfy your desires”.
“Now do you want to know how the Universal Medicine acts on the animal economy? Consider as I have just told you how only man’s form is mortal and you will see that only the solid aspect perishes. As these latter are all mineral, all can be regenerated by the principle or mineralizing spirit which, by its various modifications, forms the various products of this same principle and by its mysterious power which re-establishes the balance and allows the spirit freely to enter and to leave through our proper form just as water passes through a sponge. Because the upsets of our body only come, excepting mechanical disturbances, because the currents of life cannot circulate freely. But the virtue of the Universal Medicine is purely medicinal and nit surgical. It cannot replace an amputated limb or one that is entirely destroyed, which means that the person who takes it in good time, generally at the two equinoxes, can live without infirmities for several centuries unless nature has predestined a short duration of his life due to his physical make-up which never ceases to combat the efforts of life”.
“Let is now come to this matter of all your miseries and, if I dare say so, of your fixed point. Your obstinacy was required in order to make you worthy of such good fortune. Listen attentively and never forget your hardships so that throughout your life you will always remember those who are unfortunate. Follow me and fear nothing”.
I then saw a cloud that seemed to emanate from the center of the earth. We were wrapped in this cloud and it carried us into the air. We wandered along the seashore on which I noticed small humps. Night came. The sky was covered with stars. We followed the Milky Way, directing ourselves toward the pole star. An extreme cold caught hold of me and brought on a deep sleep. Warmed afterwards, due to the rays of the sun that began to appear on the horizon, I was very astounded on waking up to find myself on the earth and here to notice a temple. The nymph took me by the hand and led me to its entrance.
“You have now arrived”, she told me, “at the spot where you must resolve the following problem. As you have been a good mathematician, reflect well because you can do nothing without solving it. From one by one which is only one are made three, from the three two, and from the two, one”.
“You have told me that you have been educated in chemistry. Look and see what means your knowledge can offer simply to open he lock of the door of this temple in order that you may penetrate into its very sanctuary”.
“A victory won without danger”, she said, “is a triumph without glory. Before leaving I must once more point out to you that you can only battle the dragon that defends interiorly the entry of this temple, with this spear which you must make red hot by the aid of a common fire in order to pierce the body of the monster which you must fight and to penetrate right to its very heart. This dragon has been well described by the ancients and they have spoken of it on many occasions”.
“Think of the dew of May. It becomes indispensable as vehicle and principle of all things”.
I looked at her; the nymph began to smile. “At last you will begin the labors of Hercules. Collect all your energies and be of firm will. Adieu”. The nymph took my hand and squeezed it. “Do you love life?”, she said to me.
I answered her, “In your presence I cherish it more than ever”.
“Try not to lose it as a result of imprudence. Waiting for the results of the battle I shall be watching by you and in case that anything happens, I shall come and help you. Adieu”. She disappeared.
I was so sad to have lost this nymph who had now become so dear to me. Finally I made up my mind and made ready for the battle. Having collected branches of dry wood that were scattered on the spot where I found myself, I lit them with the help of a lens that I found to be on me and heated my spear almost white hot. While doing this, I sought the means which would best destroy the lock on the door of the temple. I noticed that the nymph had slipped into my pocket without my noticing it a corked flask full of the substance that was necessary to me.
Determined to win or perish, I furiously seized my spear with one hand and the substance in the other and put a sufficient quantity of this latter on the lock. In a little while the lock disappeared entirely and the two leaves of the door to the temple opened with a loud noise. My eyes fell on a fierce dragon who was endowed with an enormous three pointed tongue with which he sought to throw his fatal breath on me. I hurled myself towards him crying out:
“When one has lost everything, when one has no more hope, life becomes a disgrace and death a duty”.
He opened his huge jaws to devour me, at which I hurled my spear with all my strength so that it pierced through his throat, deep into his entrails. I tore out his heart and, so that he could no reach me, at the same time, I made crude efforts with the help of my spear to turn away the direction of his head. The monster curled up on himself several times, committed waves of blood and ceased to exist.
Following this I walked to the heart of the temple and there heard a celestial voice speak, saying to me: “Audacious one, do you dare profane this temple in order to satisfy your vile cupidity, or do you come here in order to seek the means to help suffering humanity?”.
I answered, “I come free from all ambition to pray on my knees for you to grant me only the return of the fortune that I have sacrificed in order to know the Philosophers’ Stone. Also the means so that I can secretly help virtuous human beings. I swear to you, and I swear it before the Eternal, that if you deign to accord me such a boon, I shall never reveal the Labors of Hercules nor the Matter nor the Fire, except by means of a language that could only be understood by those whom God would wish t trust with such a secret and if I am perjured, may I be punished in the proper manner”.
I then saw two superb crystal vases each resting on a pedestal made of the most beautiful marble of Earrara.
One of these vases had the shape o an urn surmounted by a gold crown with four fleurons. On it had been engraved the following words: Matter containing the two metallic natures.
The other crystal vase was sealed with a glass stopper. It was very thick and on it was engraved similarly that which now follows: Astral spirit or ardent spirit which is a projection from the pole star.
This vase was adorned with a silver crown decorated with nine brilliant stars.
As I finished reading, I noticed with great joy my sweet nymph who said to me in showing me the large flask. “Do you see my mirror? Nothing”, she said to me, “can put itself in opposition now from your rewarding yourself for the struggle that you have sustained with so much courage while taking at will the substances that are contained in these two sacred vases which are of the same celestial origin. I noticed the discomfort that your victory is causing you. This could become dangerous to you if you stay too long in this place. Hasten to take your reward and leave this temple with all possible speed. I shall prepare everything for our departure”. She left me alone.
My strength and courage began to wane. I felt must obey the orders of the nymph. I noticed at the sides of the two sacred vases various empty flasks, very neatly made in crystal and corked with glass toppers. I took two of them, opened hastily the first vase in the form of an urn that contained the androgynous matter and the two metallic natures and filled my container with it. After having sealed the crystal urn, I opened the second and larger vase and tremblingly poured into my second flask some of the substance that it contained. I had no funnel. Time lacked, my strength was failing, I quickly closed the large vase and my own with its crystal cork and hastened from the temple. In passing near to the monster I had conquered, I saw that nothing was left of him except his mortal form which was of no value whatsoever.
No sooner had I come out into the fresh air than I thought that I would faint. Fearing to break my two vases through falling, I lay down on the earth with great caution having been careful to place my two flasks beside me. For a few moments I found it hard to breathe. My cherished nymph came to me, smiling. She congratulated me on my courage and on the victory I has just won. She said tome, “Be sure, unfortunate Cyliani, that it is not good to expose yourself frequently to such a battle. What am I seeing?”, she said to me. “A school!”.
Her words struck me. I said to her, “Explain yourself”.
“One of your vases”, she said, “seems to hold more androgynous matter than you will need, but you have not taken enough of the Astral Spirit. You need infinitely more. And, as Arnold of Villanova said, it is necessary to have an abundance of water, of distilled spirit, but your fault is excusable. It is the result of a valid fear. At any rate, you have enough to teach you how to make the Stone and how to achieve all your desires. Let us now hasten to return to our point of departure. You do not seem to be thinking any more of the companion of your youth, nor of the anxiety into which your absence has plunged her. Let us go. Here your life will be in danger”.
I saw a new cloud come out of the center of the earth. We soon found ourselves wrapped in it and lifted into the air. We made good speed. Night overcame us. The sky was without a cloud and well covered with stars. We again followed the Milky Way, but in a contrary direction. I then began to feel extremely cold. Our direction was also on the side of the pace which saw my birth. But, in leaving a cold region and in passing into a hot region, I felt a deep sleep overcome me and was astonished when I woke up at the aurora at sunset, to find myself at the foot of the large oak from which we had left.
I called to my amiable nymph and she said to me, laughing, “What do you want more?”.
Then I replied, “Tell me what it is necessary for me to do in order to finish my work”.
“Now that you have passed the Labors of Hercules and that you possess the Matters, it is nothing more than a work that could be done by a woman or careful and attentive child. Listen closely”.
“Observe the working of nature. In the center of the earth she has formed the metals, but something else is necessary — their quintessence. Observe from whence she draws the quintessence of things. It is only on the surface of the earth, in the kingdoms that live or vegetate. Just follow nature, step by step. Consider also how she functions in the vegetable kingdom, because it is not a mineral that you are going to make. Observe how she dampens with dew or with rain the seed that has been entrusted to the earth. How she dries it with the aid of celestial fire and reiterating thus until the embryo is formed, developed, buds, flowers, flows and as it reaches its multiplicative virtue. Finally, it matures as fruit. It is very simple. Dissolve and coagulate. That is all. And be very careful not to use any other fire than that of heaven”.
Finally the nymph was so kind as to designate everything that I still had to do, as I shall tell in the greatest detail. I threw myself at her feet to thank her from such an unparalleled blessing while offering my humble thanks to the Eternal for having allowed me to overcome so many dangers. Then she said goodbye to me, adding, “Do not forget me”.
She disappeared. Her flight made me experience such great pain that I woke up.
A little later I started my work again, now aided by the Labors of Hercules. I was able to produce the matter that contains the two metallic natures, as well as the Astral Spirit. This with the help of my last resources and not those of other times. This made me free to handle my success as I would towards those who deserved it in my eyes. Without hurting my sense of delicacy or my comfort, nor bringing out unnecessary gratitude.
PREPARING OF THE AZOTH OR THE PHILOSOPHERS’ MERCURY
I first took some of the matter that contained the two metallic natures. I began by imbuing it, little by little, with Astral Spirit in order to awaken the two interior fires, which were as it were put out, by lightly drying and stirring the whole with a circular movement by the heat of the sun. Then, reiterating thus and frequently damping more and more, drying and stirring, to the point that the matter had taken on the aspect of a slightly thick porriage.
Then I poured on top of it a new quantity of Astral Spirit, just enough to cover the matter and left the whole in this condition for five days, at the end of which I adroitly decanted the liquid or the solution, which I then kept in a cold spot. Then the matter that was left over I dried in the heat of the sum, in a glass vase which was approximately three fingers in height. I imbued, I stirred, I redried and dissolved as I had done before and reiterated thus until I had dissolved all that it was possible to dissolve, having been careful to pour each solution into the same well-sealed vase which I then put for ten days in the coldest place that I could find.
When ten days had passed, I put the whole solution to ferment in a holdfast for 40 days at the end of which, as a result of the internal heat, it precipitated, as a result of the internal heat of the fermentation, a black matter.
It is then tat I distilled, to the best of my ability, the precious liquid that floated on top of the matter containing its interior fire and placed it in a vase of white glass, well stoppered, in a place that was both humid and cold.
I took the black matter and dried it in the heat of the sun, as I have already said: Reiterating the imbuings with Astral Spirit, but stopping immediately that I noticed that the matter was beginning to dry up and thus leaving it to dry out by itself. This was done as many times as was necessary so that the matter could become as a shining black pitch. Then the petrification was total and I stopped using the exterior fire so as not to damage the matter through burning the tender soul of the black earth. By this means, the matter came to imitate horse manure. It was necessary according to what we are told by the philosophers to let the interior heat of the matter act upon itself.
It is now necessary to begin again, using the exterior fire, in order to coagulate the matter and its spirit, After having allowed it to dry itself, one imbues it little by little with its distilled reserved liquid which contains its own fire. The matte crushed should be imbued and dried by a light solar heat until it has absorbed all its water. By this means, the water is entirely transformed into earth and this latter, through a process of dessication, changes itself into a white powder that we also call air. This falls like a cinder containing the salt or the Mercury of the Philosophers.
During this first procedure one sees that the solution or water is changed into earth and this by a form of subtilization or sublimation transforms itself into air by means of the art and here is where one stops the first work.
By means of the new Astral Spirit, one dissolves this ash little by little leaving, after the dissolving and decanting, a black earth that contains the fixed sulphur. But in reiterating the operation on this last solution, exactly as we have described, an earth is obtained that is even whiter than the first time, which is called the first eagle. One reiterates this process seven or nine times. By this means one obtains the Universal Menstruum, or the Mercury of the Philosophers or the Azoth with the aid of which one extracts the active and personal energy of each body.
It is here good to observe that, before passing from the first eagle to the second as well as to the following, it is important to reiterate the preceding operation on the ash that has been left, if the salt is not sufficiently elevated by the central fire of the matter to the philosophical sublimation, so that nothing is left after the operation other than a black earth from which its mercury has been removed.
Be very careful here to note that following the swelling of the matte during the process of fermentation that follows the solution that at the upper part of the matter a sort of skin forms on which are to be found a mass of little bubbles which contain the spirit. It is at this point, that the fire must be led in a prudent manner as the spirit tends to take on an oily from and passes to a certain degree of siccicity.
As soon as the matter is dissolved it swells up, begins to ferment and gives out a slight noise which proves that she hold within herself a vital germ which frees itself in the form of bubbles.
In order to properly undertake the process I have just described, it is necessary to observe the weights, the control of the fire and the size of the vase. The weight must consist in the quantity of Astral Spirit necessary for the solution of the matter. The handling of the external fire must be directed so that the bubbles that contain the spirit do not evaporate in too large a quantity and do not burn the flowers or the sulphur by continuing the external fire too long after its fermentation and its putrefaction in order not to see the red before the black.
Also do not forget that the mysterious solution of the matter or the magical marriage between Venus and Mars takes place in the temple of which I spoke to you previously on a fine night with a calm cloudless sky, the sun being in the sign of Gemini, the moon being in its first quarter at its full with the help of the magnet which attracts the Astral Spirit from the heavens. It is seven times rectified to the point that it can calcine gold.
Now the first operation being ended, one has the Azoth or the White Mercury or the cell or the Secret Fire of the philosophers. From this point on certain sages dissolve it in the least quantity of Astral Spirit necessary to produce a thick solution. Having the solution, they place it in a cold place in order to obtain the three layers of salt.
The first salt has the aspect of wool. The second of a nitre with very small points and the third is a fixed, alkaline salt.
Some philosophers use them separately; others bring them together as is pointed out in A. de Villanova in his Petit Rosaire, written in 1306, in the article on the Two Leads and dissolves them in four times their weight of Astral Spirit in order to achieve all their operations.
The first salt is the veritable Mercury of the Philosophers. It is the key that opens all the metals by the aid of which one extracts their tinctures. It dissolves everything radically. It fixes and ripens all equally while fixing the bodies by its cold and congealing nature. Briefly it is a very active universal essence. It is the vase in which all philosophical processes are undertaken. One thus sees that the Mercury of the Wise is a salt which is named Dry Water which does not wet the hands, but to make use of it, it must be dissolves in the Astral Spirit, as we have already said. One uses ten parts of mercury against one of gold.
The second salt serves to separate the pure from the impure and the third salt serves continually to increase our mercury.
PREPARATION OF THE SULPHUR
The tincture extracted from common gold is obtained through the preparation of its sulphur which is the result of its philosophical calcinations that causes it to lost its metallic nature by changing it into a pure earth. This calcinations which cannot take place by means of the common fire but only by using the Secret Fire existing within the Mercury of the Wise, because of its dual nature. And, it is by virtue of this Celestial Fire — supported by trituration which penetrates into the center of common gold — that the dual central fire of gold, mercurial and sulphurous, which is found therein as if dead and imprisoned is now discovered to be untied and animated. The same Celestial Fire, after having extracted the tincture of the gold, fixes it by means of its cold and coagulating quality. It then becomes perfect, capable of multiplying itself in both quality as well as quantity. This earth having reached a state of stability takes on the color of peach blossom, which gives the tincture or the fire which is then the vital and vegetative gold of the wise. This takes place by means of the regeneration of the gold through our mercury.
It is now necessary to dissolve the common gold into its spermatic matter by means of the water of our mercury of our Azoth.
In order to reach this point the gold must be reduced to a very pure calx or oxide of a brown-red color. After having washed it over a low fire several times with well-distilled rain water, it is necessary to dry it lightly by the heat of the sun. Then we calcify it by means of our Secret Fire. It is upon this occasion that the philosophers say, “The chemists burn with fire and we with water”.
After having soaked and lightly crushed the oxide of well calcined gold and having it drink its own weight in salt, or dry earth which does not wet the hands, and having well incorporated them together from now they are wetted by successively increasing the dampings to the point that the whole resembles a slightly thick pap. Then place on top of this a certain quantity of water of mercury, proportionate to the matter, to the point that it just covers this last. The whole is now left for five days within the gentle heat of the water bath of the wise. At the end of this time the solution is to be decanted into a will-stoppered vase and which will be kept in a damp and cold place.
The matter that has not been dissolved is then to be taken and left to dry in a heat similar to that of the sum. Once it is dry enough, the frequent dampings and triturations are started once again in the same manner as previously indicated, in order to obtain a new solution which will be reunited with the first. Repeat in this manner until you have dissolved everything that can be and nothing is left except the dead earth, which is of no value. The solution being finished and collected in the well-sealed vase of which we have already spoken, its color should be the same as that of a lapis lazuli. This vase is to be placed in the coldest possible place for about ten days. Then the matter will be allowed to ferment as we have already said in the first procedure and, by the proper internal fire of this fermentation, a black matter will be precipitated. This matter is to be distilled skillfully and without fire by putting the liquid separated by the distillation which floated on top of the black earth into a well-sealed vase in a cold place.
Take the black earth, separated by the distillation of its liquid, and allow it to dry by itself. From now on it is permeated by the external fire: that is to say, by the Philosophical Mercury seeing that the philosophical tree requires to be burned by the sun from time to time and then refreshed by water.
It is then necessary to alternate the dry and the damp in order to hasten the process of putrefaction. Once it is noticed that the earth is beginning to dessicate, the imbuings are stopped and then one leaves it to dry itself until it reaches a suitable state of dryness and one repeats in his manner until the earth appears like black wax. Then the putrefaction of perfect.
We must now remember what was said during the first procedure in order not to allow the spirit to volatilize or to burn the flowers by stopping the external fire in good time as soon as the putrefaction is total.
The black color is obtained at the end of 40 or 50 days every time that the external fire has been well cared for is a proof that the common gold has been changed into a black earth and this the philosophers call their horse manure.
In the same way as horse manure acts by the power of its proper fire, so, by parallel, our black earth dries its proper oily dampness by means of its own double fire and converts itself after having drunk all its own distilled water and becomes gray into a white powder which is called air by the philosophers. This constitutes coagulation as we have already described regarding the first procedure.
Once the matter is white, coagulation having ended, it is fixed by taking the matter to a greater state of dessication by the help of the external fire, following the same procedure as in our former coagulation, until the white color is changed into a red color that the philosophers call the element of fire. The matter reaches a very high degree of fixity by itself, to the point that it no longer fears the attacks of the external or ordinary fire which can no longer be prejudicial to it in any way.
Not only is it necessary to fix the matter as we have just demonstrated, but it is also necessary to lapidify it by taking it to the point that it has the appearance of crushed stone by using an ardent fire, that is to say, the first fire used, and following the same means as previously described in order to change the impure part of the matter into a fixed earth and in depriving the matter also of its saline humidity.
Then we go on to the separation of the pure from the impure parts of the matter. This is the last degree of regeneration which terminates in the solution.
To arrive at this point, after having well crushed the matter and having it in a subliminatory vase, as we have already said, of three or four fingers in height, thick as ordinary glass, some mercurial water is poured over it. This is our Azoth dissolved in the quantity if Astral Spirit which is necessary to it and as previously indicated by graduating its fire in such a manner as to maintain a temperate heat and giving it, at the last, a quantity of this matter. By this means we transmit all the spiritual part of this last into the water and the earthy part sinks to the bottom. The extract is now decanted and placed in ice in order that the oily quintessence comes together and floats to the top o the water like an oil. The remaining earth is thrown to the bottom as useless, because it was this that held the medicinal virtue of the gold imprisoned, which means that it is of no value.
This oil now floating on the top is separated with the help of the white feather of a pigeon that has been well washed and dampened and it is necessary to be careful not to lose any of it at all because it is the true quintessence of there generated common gold in which the three principles are reunited and can no longer be separated the one from the other.
Be careful to note that it is not necessary to push the lapidification of the matter too far in order not to transform the calcined fold into a sort of crystal. It is necessary to control the external fire skillfully so that it dries the saline humidity of the calcined gold, little by little, and thus changes it into a soft earth, which falls like an ash, because of its lapidification or more ample dessication.
The oil thus obtained by separation is the tincture or the sulphur or the radical fire of the gold or the true coloration. It is also the true Potable Gold or the Universal Medicine for all the ills that afflict humanity. One only takes this at the two equinoxes in a quantity necessary lightly to color a soup spoon full of white tine or of distilled dew, seeing that a large quantity of this medicine would destroy the radical humidity of man and thus deprive him of life.
This oil assumes on all possible forms and transforms itself into powder, into salt, into stone, into spirit, etc., by means of dessication by the help of its own secret fire. This oil is also the Blood of the Red Lion.
The ancients symbolized it by the image of a winged dragon resting on the earth. Finally, this oil that cannot be consumed is the Golden Mercury. Once it is made, it is to be divided into two equal parts. One part is kept in the oily state in a small well-stoppered flask of white glass. This is kept in a dry spot in order to use it to make the imbuings during the reigns of Mars and the sun as I shall describe at the end of the third procedure. The other portion is dried until it is reduced to a powder by following the same means that I indicated previously to dry the matter and coagulate it. Then this powder is divided into two equal parts. One part is dissolved in proportions of one part to four of its weight of philosophical mercury in order to permeate the other parts of the powder that has been kept black.
CONJUNCTION OF THE SULPHUR WITH THE MERCURY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS
It is here that all the philosophers begin nearly all their procedures. This has led many people into error. It is also during this procedure that the sulphur of the philosophers is united with their mercury. Nearly all the sages have called this last procedure fermentation considering that it is during this that the new sulphur will be dissolved again. It now ferments, it putrefies and is resuscitated by its new regeneration and now with a ten-fold power.
This procedure differs from the two preceding ones. It is for this reason that the philosophers have divided it into seven degrees, to each of which they attribute a planet.
In order to undertake this operation, it is necessary to take half of the powder that has been kept back, of which I already have spoken, and to dampen it little by little in view of that the imbuing agent used in too great quantities will again dissolve the oil into a sulphur which will sublimate itself and float over the water. This hinders the union of the sulphur and the mercury, a serious fault that has hindered the success of many philosophers. The matter must therefore be imbued, drop by drop, by sprinkling, in order to bring about the reunion of the moon with the Sun of the Angels and this forming a thick paste.
It is now necessary to be careful to maintain the matter in an oily state by reiterated imbuitions as often as it is necessary to make the matter swell and have it start fermenting. Its solution is ended when the matter takes on a bluish color. This solution is immediately followed by fermentation. Then one stops the dampings and the external fire, allowing the internal fire of the matter to work all alone by itself until the matter has fallen to the bottom of the vase where it becomes as black as coal. It is then that the first degree called that of Saturn is started and that one distills without fire. The liquid that floats above the black matter in the same way described in the two preceding operations.
The black matter is allowed to dry by itself and, as soon as it has reached a suitable state of dryness, one again permeates it with the exterior fire. The permeation is stopped when the matter begins to dry up. It is allowed to acquire a certain degree of dryness by itself and one goes on reiterating in this manner until the matter has reached its total putrefaction. Then the exterior fire is stopped in order not to damage the matter.
By means of the action of the matter’s proper fire this now, from being black, becomes gray without our having been obliged to apply the external fire. We have now reached the degree of Jupiter. It is in this degree that one notices the colors of the rainbow appear. These are then replaced by a type of brown-black skin which acquires a certain dryness, divides itself, and becomes gray and one notices a small white circle on the walls of the vase.
The matter having reached this point one could use it as a medicine. In that case, it is necessary to allow the matter to become quite dry and transform itself into a white powder by using the same procedures already described in order to obtain this color that will later be made to become red by the aid of the Secret Fire.
This medicine would now have a virtue ten times as great as the first of which I have spoken. But if one desires to use it for the transmutation of metals, after having dried it well, one does not wait for it to become white but makes it such by amalgamating it to equal parts of a common commercial mercury which has been carefully purified by distillation, well sublimated and revivified. This is the milk or the fat of the earth.
In fact, when the common mercury is amalgamated with the matter the whole dissolves itself into a white liquid that looks like milk. It is fixed by the matter into a fixed salt by the action of its proper fire.
Then one again starts the mercurial washings which make it as white as crystal. This is done with the help of seven different washings, during each of which revivified mercury is added in equal parts as I have said above, then by a half, by a third, by a fourth, by a fifth, by a sixth and seventh parts of the weight of the fixed matter so that the weight of the matter will always be greater than that of the revivified mercury being used.
But from the very first washing with equal parts it is essential not to let the fire go out, either by day or night, that is to say the imbuings of the distilled liquid which contains the fire of the matter, so that this latter does not become cold and lost. The compound is the Brass of the Philosophers which must be whitened by frequent dampings until the amalgamated mercury is fixed by our matter, supported by its proper fire. This ends the degree of Jupiter.
In continuing thus, the brass takes on a yellowish color. Then it becomes bluish and then the most beautiful white appears on top. Then beings the degree of the Moon. This beautiful white has the appearance of crushed diamonds. It has become a very fine and very subtile powder. One has now obtained the fixed white. A little of this is placed on top of a blade made of reddened copper If it melts without smoke, that means that the tincture is sufficiently fixed. If the contrary is the case, it is necessary to add fire, continuing this until it has achieved its convenient degree of fixity and there one stops if one only wishes to make the white tincture. A one part of this transmutes oe hundred parts of common mercury into a silver better than that of the mines.
But if one wishes to make a red tincture, the fire of the matter must be continued without having allowed it to become cold, that is if one wishes that it become red.
If we continue to apply the external fire, the matter becomes very fine and of such a subtility that is almost unimaginable. For this reason the fire must be very well controlled so that the matter does not volatilize due to the strength of the fire which must penetrate it entirely, but that it stays at the bottom of the vase and transforms itself into a green powder. This is now the degree of Venus.
Wisely continuing the external fire, the matter turns to a lemon yellow. This is the degree of mars.
This color increases in intensity and becomes the color of copper. When it has reached this point it can no longer increase in intensity by itself. Now it is necessary to have recourse to the golden red mercury, that is to say, to our oil that has been kept and to impregnate the matter with this oil until it has become red. Now begins the degree of the sun.
In continuing the impregnations with the golden oil, the matter becomes redder and redder, then purple and, finally, of a brown-red. This constitutes the salamander of the wise that fire can no longer attack.
Finally, the matter in conjoined with the same aurific oil by imbuing it, drop by drop, until the oil of the sun is coagulated with the matter and that this latter, placed on a hot blade, melts without smoke. This is the fixed and coagulating gold of which one part transmutes a hundred parts of mercury into a gold that is better than that of nature.
The two tinctures of which I have just written, the white and the red, can multiply, both in quality as well as in quantity, so long as these tinctures have not been subjected to a common fire which has the effect of making them lose their radical humidity which fixes them into an earth resembling a stone. In order to achieve the multiplication of the white and red tinctures, the third process has to be repeated in its entirety.
The white and red powders have to be dissolved in the philosophical mercury. They must undergo fermentation and putrefaction as well as regeneration. In order to achieve success, the imbibition must be reiterated little by little. The fire must be directed and controlled in the manner already described. After this second multiplication one part is enough to make a projection on a thousand parts of mercury and transmute it into silver or gold, depending on the color of the powder. These metals are perfect.
The multiplication in quality is obtained by reiterating the philosophical sublimation which takes place when the pure is separated from the impure with the help of the Philosophical Mercury. The manipulations of the third process are to be punctiliously repeated after having dried and reduced into powder all the white oil with the help of the fire of the matter — it working in the white — and one part of the red oil if working in the red. This is in order to keep the other part to be used in the degree of Mars and the Sun, as I have already stated, if operating with the red.
The multiplication in quantity is achieved by adding regenerated common mercury as already stated. If one wishes to make the multiplication in quality at the same time, it is necessary to begin, as a general rule, by sublimating the matter. The pure must be separated from the impure, by total dessication — if working with the white — or by half if working with the red. This by the help of the self-same fire which is to be controlled in the same manner as I did for the third process. This is to reduce them into a powder which we shall divide each into equal parts. One part will be dissolved in four parts its weight in philosophical mercury. This will serve to imbue the part that has been retained by absolutely reiterating the third operation.
Should one so wish, these manipulations may be reiterated up to ten times. Each =time the matter will acquire a tenfold power and will become so subtile that the last time, it will pass through the glass, becoming totally volatilized. Usually one stops at the ninth multiplication. At this point it becomes so volatile that at the least heat it pierces the glass and evaporates. As a result, it is usual to stop at the transmutation of one part in a thousand or ten thousand at the most, in order not to risk losing so precious a treasure.
At this point, I shall not describe the very strange processes I have done, to my great astonishment, both in the vegetable and the animal kingdoms as well as the means used for making malleable glass, pearls and precious stones more beautiful even than those of nature, following the procedure indicated by Zachary in using vinegar and the matter fixed in white, and grains of pearls and rubies fine powdered moulded and then fixed by means of the fire of the matter. I restrain my words in order not to perjure myself and seem here to fly beyond the boundaries of human credulity.
Having finished my work, I took one hundred grammes of distilled mercury and placed it in a crucible. As soon as they began to smoke, I threw one gramme of my transmuting sulphur on top. It turned into an oil on top of the mercury and I saw this last successively coagulating more and more. Then I increased my fire and thus pursuing made it stronger to the point that my mercury became perfectly fixed. This took about an hour. Having poured it into a little ingot-mould, I tested it and found it better than that of the mines,
How great was my joy! I was carried away with rapture! Like Pygmalion, I fell upon my knees in order to contemplate and to thank the Eternal. I wept a torrent of tears! How sweet they were! How my heart was relieved! It would be hard for me here to describe everything I felt and the position in which I found myself. A thousand thoughts came simultaneously before my mind. The first would lead me to seek the King citizen in order to confess my triumph; another, that one day I would make enough gold to create various foundations in the town that had given me birth. Another thought made me want to see married as many young girls as there are sections in Paris, dowering each one. Another idea impelled me to find out the addresses of people poor and ashamed of their poverty and to go in person to their homes to bring them help. In the end, I began to fear that joy had cracked my wits. I experienced the need to use violence on myself and to take a great deal of exercise by walking in the country. I did this during eight consecutive days. Every few hours I would take off my hat and raise my eyes to the sky to thank heaven for having granted me such a blessing. The tears would flow abundantly from my eyes. Finally I managed to calm myself and to realize how I would expose myself to danger if I undertook such endeavors. After having reflected soberly, I came to the firm decision that I would live unknown, without pomp, and restrain my ambition by giving happiness in secret without letting myself be known as a benefactor.
I had told my wife of my success and promised to repeat the transmutation for her benefit. She urged me not to speak of this to anyone. It was Maundy Thursday 1831 at seven minutes past ten in the morning that I had achieved my first transmutation, alone. I lacked mercury and put off showing my wife until the day after Easter. From a gardener, I bought a laurel branch and a twig of evergreen. Having tied them together, I wrapped the whole in a sheet of writing paper and wended my way home where my wife was sitting by the window, reading. Kneeling in front of her, I placed my bouquet at her feet, saying: “Here it is at last, dear friend, placed at your feet. It crowns me at last, just as you and I are descending towards the grave. It has cost me 37 years of painful labors and more than 1500 nights without sleep. I have known so many humiliations, been overwhelmed with abuses, shunned by my friends, rejected by your family and mine. Finally, I lost the most interesting creature that one might possibly see. Yet, I have never ceased from being an honest man and cherishing you”. My head fell upon her knees. I began to weep. O tears of regret at remembering my losses! Tears at the tribulations that I have known! Tears of joy, how sweet you were! You calmed my heart! I was reborn. I was a new man. Her eyes filling with tears, my wife lifted my head, saying: “Stand up, my friend, and stop crying”. I placed my lips upon hers and this tenderly reciprocated kiss embellished th sweetness of my life and reanimated my mind beaten down by unhappiness.
It was not enough to have admitted my success and to have placed the laurel at her feet. It was necessary to convince her and to perform the transmutation in front of her.
I took a watch glass and put therein a small quantity of just bought distilled commercial mercury which was quite pure. On this I placed my transmutatory mercury in the oily state, not powdered, in the proportion of one part to a hundred. I shook the glass gently in such a way as to give the oil a circulatory movement. Joyfully we saw the mercury offer a most curious phenomenon. It coagulated into the color of the most beautiful gold. All I had to do was to melt it in a crucible and pour it off. Thus, to my wife’s great astonishment, I demonstrated a cold transmutation. She then said tome: “Your success is the crown of your desires. If you wish to make me happy and help me forget the long chain of our miseries, let us spend the rest of our days unknown, without making any kind of show. Hide everything that might reveal your secret and serve as a lure to the greed of those whose ambition is insatiable. Hide from intrigue, from tyranny, from base humanity”.
I replied: “I have shown that, even if melted lead were to be poured through my veins, I would take my secret with me to the grave. That is to say, the knowledge of the Matter, the Fire, and the Labors of Hercules. Before God I swear to you that I shall make you happy and fulfill all your desires. Let us hope that the Eternal will protect us from men who are filled with envy, from the vicious and the corrupt”.
You young people who are likely to read this work, do not let your wish to make a showing in the world and the lure of wealth urge you to enter into the search for the Philosophers’ Stone. If you could only know, as I do, the various hardships that I have undergone in order to reach this goal, you would draw back in fear, Start only if God allows you to meet a man who has already succeeded in making the Stone. One who will lead you by the hand from the beginning to the end. Push away from your mind in horror the idea of devoting yourself to Hermetic Philosophy. Whole secrets are unbelievably far more difficult to find on one’s own. If, hoping to have better luck than I did, you reject my advice and are so fortunate as to succeed, never forge those more unfortunate than yourself. After all, be discreet. Be miserly in what you spend to satisfy your tastes and your passions, but be lavish towards the poor. Remember that the greatest happiness for a well-born heart is to make others happy without their knowledge and always keep the Eternal before your mind.
Flee the corrupt of society. They have all the means to abuse your qualities. They would seem ruined by their promises that seem to flow from a good heart, but they become rich by making you their dupe. In few words, do not seek happiness in life from the two extremes of society. Seek it in the middle class, from honest industrialists. However, there are certain exceptions to be made and I would be an ingrate to judge otherwise. Never in my life shall I forget a well-born man to whom I have promised myself I shall give proof of my friendship.
Estimable youth, may my life serve you as an example and my suggestions as lessons, and may they merit a few tears from your eyes to sweeten the long chain of miseries I have known.
If you, Kings of the earth, knew the number of people who devote their lives to seeking the Philosophers’ Stone, you would be astonished. If, also, you knew that during three or four hundred years only one or two men succeed in obtaining that which, in business, does not offer the product of a single gold mine in Peru or elsewhere. Instead of seeking out those who have succeeded and torturing them, you would cover them with goodness, grant them your friendship and help so that they could fully serve suffering humanity and allow you to share in the benefits of their discoveries.
My fellow countrymen, if the Eternal allows me to leave you that which my heart wishes to be your fate, in gratitude do the following for me.
Transport my mortal remains to a chalky place facing a little turret on which lies a sorrowful emblem from an ancient war, at the base of which runs a rivulet whose source is a league from there and turns several mills. Have them covered only by a large block of hard granite which is common in the place where I was born and where I was married and on it put just the following inscription:
“Here Rest the Mortal Remains of the Unfortunate Cyliani”.
Seeing that no law exists in any country forbidding the publishing of a discovery useful to society, I have had this work printed. I have also put into circulation gold, perfect by its weight, its color, its specific weight and fusibility. By what right would one wish to give preference to gold that is mined over that created by the philosophers’ art. considering that this latter is the better.